Past Due Snarky Snippets!

It’s been a while since I’ve let loose with a string of snarky snippets, and the snark is building up … I noticed steam coming out of my ears as I was brushing my teeth this morning!  So …


Just one more lie …

One of Trump’s campaign “promises” was that he would bring troops home from the Middle East.  So why, some have asked, did we recently deploy 2,000 troops to Saudi Arabia.  When Trump was asked that question, he responded …

“Saudi Arabia, at my request, has agreed to pay us for everything we’re doing.  I said, ‘Listen, you’re a very rich country. You want more troops? I’m going to send them to you, but you have to pay us.’ They’re paying us. They’ve already deposited $1 billion in the bank.”

Trouble is, that appears to be untrue according to the Pentagon …

“Consistent with the president’s guidance to increase partner burden-sharing, the Department of Defense has engaged Saudi Arabia on contributing to US activities that support regional security and dissuade hostility and aggression. The Saudi government has agreed to contribute to the costs of these activities, and discussions are ongoing to formalize these contributions. Contributions of this nature do not lead to the deployment of additional US forces, and they do not drive DoD to take on new missions or responsibilities.” – Pentagon spokesperson, Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich

“Discussions are ongoing” is quite different from Trump’s unequivocal claim that Saudi Arabia had “already deposited $1 billion in the bank.”  I’ve heard a few question just whose bank account that check was deposited into.  I find it rather unconscionable that Trump happily sends troops to a country that is not an ally, and whose Crown Prince ordered the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year.  Trump refused to hold the Saudis accountable then, and now he is sending troops and lying about the justification, just as he lied about the justification for ordering the assassination of Iranian General Soleimani.


Poor little ousted CEO …

In light of Boeing’s recent and ongoing crisis (see Expendable Lives), the company fired Chief Executive Dennis A. Muilenburg.  He will not receive any additional severance or separation payments in connection with his departure, and Boeing said he had forfeited stock units worth some $14.6 million.  Wow, pretty tough, eh?  Why, he might need to apply for food stamps and housing assistance, yes?  NO!

Muilenburg still walks away with other stock and pension awards totaling some $62.2 million!  AND … Boeing’s new chief executive, David Calhoun, will receive a $7 million bonus if he is able to get the 737 Max, which has been grounded since March, safely flying again.  Seems to me that Boeing has far more money to burn than it has compassion or conscience for human lives.


An apology … of sorts

Last week, Representative Doug Collins of Georgia made the following remark in an interview on Fox News …

“Nancy Pelosi does it again and her Democrats fall right in line. One, they are in love with terrorists — we see that. They mourn Soleimani more than they mourn our Gold Star families who are the ones who suffered under Soleimani. That’s a problem.”

What a nice man … NOT.  Two days later, he managed an apology, of sorts …

“Let me be clear, I do not believe Democrats are in love with terrorists, and I apologize for what I said earlier this week.  The comment I made on Wednesday evening was in response to a question about the War Powers Resolution being introduced in the House and House Democrats’ attempt to limit the president’s authority.”

This morning, when she opened her floor speech, Pelosi graciously accepted Collins’ apology …

“As I enter into the conversation, I want to thank the distinguished gentleman from Georgia for his apology for his ridiculous remarks about me and House Democrats. Thank you, we accept your apology, Mr. Collins. Now I want to go the purpose of why we are on the floor today.”

Pelosi-clapSpeaker Pelosi does have a way of making her point while at the same time being gracious, rather like her applause at the beginning of Trump’s State of the Union Address last year!  I like that woman!


And speaking of that bill …

Last week, after Trump nearly started a new war in the Middle East by ordering the assassination of an Iranian general without informing Congress nor seeking their advice, a number of members of Congress realized the danger Trump poses to this nation and that his power needs to be reined in.  Thus, the House proposed and passed a bill to curtail his war-making powers.

Most of us didn’t think the bill stood a chance in the Senate, where Mitch McConnell seems to be running a dog-and-pony show, but … today it appears that at least the requisite four republican senators have found the courage to stand and do the right thing!  What changed?

A few things, I think, contributed to the change of heart.  First, the classified, closed-door briefing last week from the president’s national security team. White House officials at the briefing, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, cautioned lawmakers not to question Trump’s judgment on Iran.  Then there is the fact that Trump keeps changing his story about the justification for the assassination, and when he finally couldn’t keep his stories straight, he simply claimed …

“It doesn’t really matter, because of his horrible past.”

But, before you get too excited about the possibility of this actually passing the Senate, remember that the odds of Trump signing the bill into law are slim-to-none, and it is unlikely that either House or Senate would be able to provide a 2/3 majority to override his veto.


Okay … so that’s enough snark for one day!  I’ll be back soon!

Letter To Senator Re: Impeachment Trial

letterBelow is the letter I have sent to both of the senators for my state.  


Dear Senator Portman,

I am writing today about a matter that is of the utmost importance to the people you were elected to represent, and in fact to the entire nation:  the upcoming impeachment trial in the Senate.

As I’m sure you are aware, Donald Trump has grossly abused his power during his nearly three years in office, has literally trampled the U.S. Constitution – that document you swore to uphold when you were last sworn in on 03 January 2017.  We currently have the single worst president this nation has ever had, and my fear, along with some 60% of the people’s, is that he has already done irreparable damage to the nation.

Last December 18th, Donald Trump was impeached, only the third president in the nation’s history to have been so.  My understanding is that Speaker of the House Pelosi will be sending the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate next week, and that an impeachment trial will begin sometime thereafter.

Now to the purpose of this letter.  Your colleagues, Mitchell McConnell and Lindsay Graham, have announced that they do not intend to conduct a fair and impartial trial, but rather plan to hastily acquit Trump without reviewing all evidence, and without hearing from any witnesses.  This is plainly against the intent of the Constitution, and is against the Senate rules, as you no doubt realize.

I am writing to ask you to please use your conscience and your integrity to demand your colleagues treat this impeachment with the seriousness that it warrants.  It seems that some members of Congress are intimidated by Trump, or by the 40% of the people in the U.S. who support Trump, but that is politics, not governance.  You were not hired to look after your own political interests, but to govern fairly and honestly, and in the best interest of the country as a whole, not a select few.

Mr. McConnell claims he wishes to simply finalize the trial, acquit Mr. Trump, and “get on with the people’s business”, but … the Senate has not been doing the “people’s business” for a very long time now.  How many bills have been passed by the House of Representatives that the Senate has not even reviewed or considered?  More than 400 at last count.  What about the election security bill that would help prevent the foreign influence that changed the landscape of our 2016 election?  In 2019, the Senate passed, I believe only 70-some bills into law, many of which were non-essential, such as the re-naming of a post office or federal building.  What about the universal background check bill, that is supported by more than 80% of the people in this nation, including gun owners?  Or what about the net neutrality bill that would force internet service providers to provide access to all sites, content and applications at the same speed, under the same conditions without blocking or preferencing any content?

I agree that the Senate needs to conduct the business of the people, but they have been deficient in this for the entirety of 2019, and even before that.  The impeachment trial is the business of the people. We the People see our nation being placed in grave danger by the antics of the madman in the Oval Office.  I could provide you with countless examples, but you already know where you and your colleagues have let us down, you know what you should do.  The question now is … are you man enough, are you human enough, do you have enough integrity to do what you know is right?

We the taxpayers, the voters, the people of this nation, will be watching over the coming weeks, and our pleasure or displeasure will be reflected in our votes.  You have almost three years left in your term, but in many ways, that is a very short time, and if you fail us, if you let us down and swear your oath of fealty to Donald Trump instead of the people of this nation, you will not be returned to the Senate on January of 2023.  Do the right thing, Senator Portman.

Sincerely,

Jill Dennison, citizen, taxpayer, voter


I would strongly urge everyone to write to your senators, both republican and democrat, and let them know that you expect them to do their job, to do what is in the best interest of the nation and its people, not their own pockets.  Feel free to use any or all of this letter, or to compose your own.  Thank you for making your voice heard!

Meanwhile, Back At The Impeachment …

Donald Trump may believe that his warmongering, his assassination of a top Iranian general, his threats to Iran that he will destroy 52 of their cultural icons, and his attempt to start WWIII will cause us to all lose sight of his impeachment and looming trial.  It won’t.  Impeachment news may have taken a backseat in the press, but it definitely is not going away, as Trump had obviously intended.  A few things made their way into the news yesterday regarding impeachment.

So, former National Security Advisor John Bolton says he will be willing to testify before the Senate impeachment trial if allowed to do so.  At least 4 republicans and every democrat in the Senate will have to vote in favour of hearing Bolton’s testimony, and I’m not sure there are four republican senators who own a pair, much less remember where they keep them.

However, my question is this … why didn’t Bolton come through and testify during the House impeachment hearings?  His lawyer says he knew about “many relevant meetings and conversations” connected to the Ukraine matter that had not been shared with impeachment investigators.  It is also said that he was “deeply troubled” by the campaign to get Ukraine to investigate Democrats.  So, if all of that was true, and if Mr. Bolton has a conscience and wishes to do the right thing, where was that conscience in November and December?

And then, there was Lindsey Graham.  Good ol’ Lindsey who cannot remember from one day to the next who his friends are, and who one day wants to censure Trump, and the next day thinks he is the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Lindsey Graham who stabbed his “best friend” John McCain in the back.  Now Lindsey has decided it is up to him to decide to change the Senate rules regarding Trump’s trial and (hopefully) conviction.

Nancy Pelosi, as you know, has not yet sent the articles of impeachment to the Senate, pending some indication from the Senate that they are prepared to hold some semblance of a fair and impartial trial.  To date, both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham have blatantly stated that they had no intention of being fair, that the trial would simply be a formality to be gotten through, with Trump’s acquittal the pre-determined outcome.  This is not acceptable, and Ms. Pelosi is holding back sending the articles, hoping for some reassurance that the Senate will do their proper job.

That is what has Lindsey and a number of other senators up in arms.  Why do they care?  Because, the closer it gets to November 3rd, election day, the less they want the publicity of an ongoing impeachment trial to be fresh on the minds of the voters.  The republican senators want the trial to be speedy and low-key, with few or no witnesses called, and to be over and done as quickly and early as possible.  Not, mind you, because it is in the best interest of We the People, but only because it is in their best interests for re-election.  People have short attention spans, especially in the current climate with war looking more and more likely, and if the trial were held in late January, by November a large percentage of people would have forgotten all about it.

What Lindsey is proposing is a change in the Senate rules …

“What I would do, if she continues to refuse to send the articles as required by the Constitution, I would work with Senator McConnell to change the rules of the Senate so we could start the trial without her, if necessary.

Well, we’re not going to let Nancy Pelosi use the rules of the Senate to her advantage. This is dangerous to the presidency as an institution. They impeached the president, but the speaker of the House is holding the articles back, trying to extort from the majority leader of the Senate a trial to her liking. They’re trying to hold these articles over the head of the president.

If we don’t get the articles this week, then we need to take matters in our own hands and change the rules, deem them to be delivered to the Senate so we can start the trial, invite the House over to participate if they would like. If they don’t come, dismiss the case and get on with governing the country.”

Get on with governing the country, Lindsey???  WTF are you talking about, for you and your ignoble buddies there in the Senate have refused to pass legislation sent over by the House of Representatives for over a bloody year now!  You haven’t done a thing but sit on your fat ass and run your ignorant mouth.  Govern the country, my foot!

The way I see it, the impeachment trial has now taken on an even greater importance, for in the last 5 days, Trump has proven that he is, indeed, the madman I’ve been calling him.  This nation absolutely cannot handle another five years of his presidency, and frankly I’m not sure we can survive another year and come out intact.  It is on the Senate to make sure his trial is by the book, that witnesses are called by both parties, that the evidence is seriously considered, and that he is convicted and removed from office.  Anything less than that is unacceptable and will cost lives … many lives.

Two Very Different Men in Congress …

As I reported last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, along with Lindsey Graham and other republicans in the Senate, clearly stated that he has no intention of conducting a fair and impartial impeachment trial, but that he plans to “coordinate with the White House” every step of the way.  Well, that raised my hackles, for it is an intentional dereliction of his sworn duty to uphold the U.S. Constitution, but apparently it didn’t set too well with some others, as well.

First, Senator Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, the only republican to have voted “Nay” to the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, said …

“When I heard that I was disturbed. To me it means that we have to take that step back from being hand in glove with the defense, and so I heard what leader McConnell had said, I happened to think that that has further confused the process. For me to prejudge and say there’s nothing there or on the other hand, he should be impeached yesterday, that’s wrong, in my view, that’s wrong.”

While I applaud Senator Murkowski’s courage, I wish she had gone a step or two further.  But, another voice of dissention has been heard, this one from an editorial piece in one of Mitch’s home state’s largest newspapers, The Louisville Courier-Journal.

The framers wanted to make sure the Senate would never take such a trial lightly — this oath requirement is over and above the oath each senator has already taken to support the Constitution. The Constitution does not set out the text of the trial oath, but the Senate rules do. Senators will ‘solemnly swear… that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald J. Trump, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: So help me God’ 

 The presidential oath and the senatorial oath to be taken before an impeachment trial are kin. The president must act faithfully and without corruption. In those (presumably) rare situations in which the president has failed to be faithful, the Senate is required to be faithful in its adjudication of the case against him.

But we have already seen indications that McConnell has no intention of doing impartial justice. He has said that he does not consider himself an “impartial juror.” He is coordinating strategy with the White House. He has already called the case against the president “thin” and “incoherent.”

Every senator has a constitutional obligation of impartiality. But McConnell’s role as Senate leader makes his obligation even more important and crucial to the constitutional framework. This is not a time for political cynicism or constitutional faithlessness. McConnell’s loyalty to Trump should not overwhelm his loyalty to the Constitution. If he fails in this, he is not only violating his Article I oath but his Article VI oath.

The GOP line that the whole process is based on hearsay — not even accurate as an evidentiary matter  — could be easily ameliorated by hearing from more people who have direct knowledge of Trump’s mendacity, abuse of power and attempts at cover-ups.

 Short of declaring war, the Senate is about to conduct its gravest and most serious constitutional obligation — to exercise the “sole power to try” impeachments. All senators should take their obligation of faithful impartiality seriously, especially McConnell. History is watching, and it will be a harsh judge.

The editorial was written by Kent Greenfield, a sixth-generation Kentuckian, and professor of law and Dean’s Distinguished Scholar at Boston College … a man who knows of what he speaks.

I am encouraged that there is some backlash against McConnell’s stance, though it is far too little.  At the very least, the full Senate should be appalled enough by McConnell’s remarks, the violation of his oath, that they would vote unanimously to remove him as Senate Majority Leader … perhaps put Senator Murkowski in that position.  Otherwise, in the opinion of this writer, they will have lost all credibility for they will have failed We the People.


In other news, it was with deep sadness that I read yesterday that Representative John Lewis has been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, a deadly disease with a 5-year survival rate of only about 1%.  Mr. Lewis is one of the most respected members of Congress, well-known for his Civil Rights activism back in the days of segregated lunch counters and Freedom Rides.  He was beaten and arrested, but still he fought for the rights of African-Americans.  And he says he will fight this, too …

John-Lewis-Barack-Obama-medal

President Barack Obama awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to John Lewis in 2011

“This month in a routine medical visit, and subsequent tests, doctors discovered Stage IV pancreatic cancer. This diagnosis has been reconfirmed.

While I am clear-eyed about the prognosis, doctors have told me that recent medical advances have made this type of cancer treatable in many cases, that treatment options are no longer as debilitating as they once were, and that I have a fighting chance.

So I have decided to do what I know to do and do what I have always done: I am going to fight it and keep fighting for the Beloved Community. We still have many bridges to cross.

To my constituents: being your representative in Congress is the honor of a lifetime. I will return to Washington in coming days to continue our work and begin my treatment plan, which will occur over the next several weeks. I may miss a few votes during this period, but with God’s grace I will be back on the front lines soon.

Please keep me in your prayers as I begin this journey.”

If anybody can beat this, my money would be on John Lewis.  I hope … I really hope that his fighting spirit can bring him through this … he is a good man and this nation needs him now as much as at any other time.

Xmas Eve Trumptoons

Being that it’s Christmas Eve, and being that as I write this it is late and I am tired, and being that Donnie Trump makes such a great target for mocking and mirth, I thought we’d have a few Trumptoons!


Where else to begin but with some Christmas-themed ones?  Can you imagine what Trump would ask Santa for?  Or … what Santa would actually bring Trump?

xmas-toon-1

This one is my favourite!

xmas-toon-1axmas-toon-2COLORxmas-toon-4xmas-toon-5


For some strange reason, Trump seems to have taken a disliking to Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi …

Trump-Pelosi

I LOVE this one!

Bruce Plante Cartoon: Trump gets a present


Given that the big news of last week … nearly the only news … was the impeachment of Donald Trump … only the third time in the 232-year history of this nation that a president has been impeached.  The cartoonists went to town with it …

ImpeachedTrump-impeach-2Trump-impeach-3COLORTrump-impeach-5Trump-impeach-2Trump-minionsTrump-impeach-6Trump-impeach-7


The Senate, led by the ignoble Mitch McConnell, is planning to turn the upcoming impeachment trial into a mockery of justice.  Unless 20 republican senators can somehow find their consciences in their sock drawers, or wherever they have stashed them, then it is highly unlikely that the Senate will have enough votes to convict Trump and remove him from office.  

Senate-impeachSenate-impeach-2Senate-impeach-3


Last but not least, is this tribute to Trump’s upside-down view of the world … and himself

Ego.jpg


Alright, friends … time to go finish wrapping those presents 🎁 … oh, and today is National Eggnog Day ☕, so if you want to, you can have a cuppa eggnog (with or without a bit of accouterment 😉) while you wrap!  And just in case I don’t make it back with an afternoon post, I wish you all a very Happy Holiday!  Filosofa will not be posting on Wednesday, for I will be spending the day mostly in the kitchen 👩‍🍳!

Letter To Republican Senator

I think that if there is a chance that the U.S. Senate will remember their oath of office, will remember that their oath is to the U.S. Constitution, not the president, and that their loyalty damn well better be to We the People, it will only happen if we remind them.  Seems many of them have forgotten where to look for their conscience, their values.  I think the time has come to remind them.

Below is the letter I have sent to the republican senator in my own state.  Feel free to take any of the ideas expressed within if you write to your own senators.

Dear Senator Portman,

I am writing to you today, because as a resident of the State of Ohio, a citizen of the United States, I am very concerned about the actions of the Senate. 

First, I would like to remind you that you took an oath whereby you swore to uphold the U.S. Constitution.  Your loyalty is to the people of this nation, not the ‘man’ who sits in the Oval Office today.  We currently have the most corrupt president in the history of this nation, and frankly he has brought our reputation to its knees.  We are no longer regarded as a trusted ally by virtually any nation.  We have let the people of the entire world down with our complete disregard for the environment.  And all this has occurred in the last three years, and all because of the corruption that begins and ends with Donald Trump.

I believe it is a foregone conclusion that the House of Representatives will vote to impeach Donald Trump, possibly before the end of this year.  And then, Senator, the ball will be in your court.  The majority of people in this nation support the impeachment, conviction, and removal from office of Donald Trump.  Nothing less is acceptable, for the fate of not only this nation, but every nation in the world is at stake.  I firmly believe that within the next twelve months, Donald Trump will do everything in his power to ensure that next year’s election will be so dishonest and unfair that it will be a complete sham, a mockery of any democratic principles that remain in our nation.

I ask that you think long and hard about the actions of the Senate, search your own conscience and ask yourself if your loyalty to Donald Trump is of more value than your loyalty to the people who voted you into office.  Is your dedication to Donald Trump truly worth selling out your own values?  Is it worth risking your own career?  Can you look your three children in the eye and tell them how important it is to always ‘do the right thing’?  And perhaps for you the most important question:  Do you wish to be re-elected in 2022?  We the People have long memories, and if you fail us this time, I promise to do everything in my power to see that you never serve a third term in the U.S. Senate.

I think you know the right thing to do.  Please remember your oath of office, remember the people you are paid to serve, and do the right thing.

Sincerely,

Jill Dennison, voter/citizen/taxpayer

The Outcome of the Senate Trial is Not a Done Deal. Here’s Why.

I, like the majority of us, have been guilty of lamenting that though the House will almost certainly impeach the most corrupt president we’ve ever had, I was equally certain that the Senate would never vote to convict and remove him. My reasoning being that it will require 20 republican senators and every single democratic senator to achieve the 2/3 super-majority required and there are not 20 republican senators with integrity. While that may well be the case, I was wrong in that I forgot, briefly, what a powerful voice We the People can have when we work together to use it. Our friend TokyoSand reminds us …

Political⚡Charge

Screen Shot 2019-11-24 at 10.47.58 PM

Do you remember the days and weeks leading up to the Senate’s vote on the disastrous Republican “repeal and replace” healthcare bill during Trump’s first year as president?

I do. Thousands of everyday Americans called their Senators, and attended town halls, and demanded meetings in their local offices, and wrote op-eds for their local papers, and more. We demanded to be heard on this incredibly important topic and we did not give up. Back in 2017, we had no reason to believe that the Republican Senators would vote the way Democrats wanted them to. But we cared a LOT about this issue and nothing was going to stop us.

And then we won. The Republicans failed to get enough votes to pass their bill.

We’ve all seen the power of a motivated citizenry. So I’m very perplexed as to why everyone, and I mean everyone, says out loud that the…

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Monsters, Monsters Everywhere

There are monsters everywhere we look in the federal government today.  Those who are opening their mouths to say, “But it has always been so”, just hush, please.  Sure, every administration has had a few corrupt members, some more than others.  But the current administration is the most corrupt in history, and that is only based on what we know!  I think that once they are gone and the digging begins, we will find many dead bodies that we are not aware of yet.  But I’m not talking about corruption at the moment, I am talking about monsters …

It isn’t only the corruption, but the sheer lack of any shred of conscience or humanity in most of Trump’s administration, from his hired bimbo Kellyanne, to his senior policy advisor Stephen Miller, to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.  Look into their eyes … nothing.  No warmth, no sign of life.  And at the top of the monster chain is none other than Trump himself.  But today I write about other monsters …


Trampling the Constitution … again

Trump & Co are at it again, this time attempting to shut down journalists whose reporting is unfavourable to Trump.  A group of Trump allies has begun a program to start dossiers on these journalists consisting of basically any dirt, real or imagined, they can dig up on them, including potentially embarrassing personal social media postings.  According to the New York Times

The group has already released information about journalists at CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times — three outlets that have aggressively investigated Mr. Trump — in response to reporting or commentary that the White House’s allies consider unfair to Mr. Trump and his team or harmful to his re-election prospects.

Operatives have closely examined more than a decade’s worth of public posts and statements by journalists, the people familiar with the operation said. Only a fraction of what the network claims to have uncovered has been made public, the people said, with more to be disclosed as the 2020 election heats up. The research is said to extend to members of journalists’ families who are active in politics, as well as liberal activists and other political opponents of the president.

The information unearthed by the operation has been commented on and spread by officials inside the Trump administration and re-election campaign, as well as conservative activists and right-wing news outlets such as Breitbart News.

This is very shaky ground they are treading upon.  Be afraid, people, be very afraid.  Trump has trampled the Constitution multiple times already, has declared himself to be above the law, and sadly the Department of Justice is now headed by a Trump sycophant who will not pursue any action against Trump.  The 1st Amendment, perhaps most especially the free exercise clause guaranteeing freedom of the press, is the major safeguard from becoming an autocracy.  It isn’t, as some would tell you, the Second Amendment keeping us free … it is the First.

Though the Times was unable to identify all the members of the group, one such member is noted as Arthur Schwartz, a friend to both Don Trump Junior and Steve Bannon.


A monster re-surfaces …

“On this day, August 25, 2019, after consultation and approval from my wife of 61 years, Ava, I have decided to run to be reelected Sheriff. Watch out world! We are back!”Arpaio-2Those were the words spoken on Sunday by the man who was convicted of contempt of court, who has engaged in racial profiling and crimes against humanity, former Maricopa Country, Arizona sheriff, Joe Arpaio.  In case you’ve forgotten, Arpaio …

  • engaged in “unconstitutional policing” and established a “pervasive culture of discriminatory bias against Latinos”
  • failed to investigate over 400 alleged sexual assault cases reported to his office, including dozens of child molestations between 2005 and 2007 alone
  • arrested a 6-year-old child during an immigration sweep
  • arrested a reporter from The Phoenix New Times for reporting on him in an unfavourable light (The Times sued and won a $3.75 million settlement)
  • refused to comply with a previous court order to stop racially profiling, and was found guilty of contempt in July 2017
  • Was convicted of contempt of court and faced a prison sentence, but Donald Trump pardoned him on 25 August 2017

Despite the pardon, Arpaio is a convicted felon and a rotten-to-the-core excuse for a human being.  Surely the people of Maricopa Country cannot be stupid enough to elect him again???


And yet another monster rears its ugly head …

moore-4You remember ol’ Roy Moore, right?  Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama who was removed from the bench for breaking the very laws he had sworn to uphold … not once, but twice!  Ol’ Roy Moore made his own rules, refusing to remove the granite Ten Commandments monument from a federal government building, and the second time for issuing an order to Alabama judges to disregard the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the same-sex marriage case of Obergefell v Hodges.

In 2017, he ran against democrat Doug Jones for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions, and lost, largely because numerous credible accusations of sexual harassment emerged during that time, the most heinous one by a woman who says Moore sexually abused her when he was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney and she was only 14 years of age.

In the weeks that followed, Moore called into question the accuser’s character, saying she was a part of a “liberal conspiracy”.  The woman, Leigh Corfman, filed a defamation of character suit which is still pending.  And now, ol’ Roy is running once again for the U.S. Senate, and he wants the court to dismiss Ms. Corfman’s suit so that it doesn’t cause him problems with the voters in Alabama.

Moore’s senate bid is unlikely to gain much momentum, even without the shame of having been accused of such misconduct, for he has raised far less in campaign donations than his two opponents.  Doug Jones has raised some $4.3 million, Bradley Byrne has raised around $2.4 million, and Roy Moore has raised a paltry $16,000.  However, the mere fact that his arrogance allows him to believe he is fit for any office higher than that of garbage collector is appalling.


To offset the darkness of this post, I bring you just a little bit of humour …

Damn You, Mitch McConnell – Part II

Every other November, we go to the polls and we vote.  We vote for people to represent us in both state and federal legislatures.  We vote for the person whose values we believe to be most nearly aligned with our own.  We vote for the person who we believe will make the best decisions for the people in this nation … all 330 million of them, not just the white ones, not just the Christian ones, not just the straight ones … ALL of them.

I am fortunate, for my local polling place is within walking distance if I so choose, but many people must juggle work and family to travel long distances, often using public transportation, in order to vote.  Many decide it’s not worth the effort, but those who do make the effort deserve high fives.  And they deserve to have their votes counted fairly, to have their voices heard.

We, collectively, vote for 100 senators, two from each of the 50 states.  We, the taxpayers, pay the salaries of these 100 senators, an annual total of $17,438,800, but in addition we pay for their travel, many of their meals, and other expenses related to serving in the Senate.  We pay for their medical care.  And I don’t suppose any of us would begrudge the senators their $174,000 salary plus perks … if they did their job.

As it happens … for all the effort we go to in electing them, and for all the money we spend to support them … we in fact have only one senator at this time.  Oh sure, your state has two people you elected, and they go sit in the Capitol most days, sometimes maybe they even come back to their home states and sit in their offices and talk to the media or an occasional constituent.  But … they are senators in name only.  They are collecting their salary, traveling on our dime, and not doing a damn thing to earn any of it, for they have ceded their roles in the senate to one, single senator … and a lousy one at that … Senate Majority Leader Addison Mitchell McConnell, aka Moscow Mitch.

I did not vote for Mitch McConnell, and unless you live in Kentucky, neither did you, and yet our very lives rest in his soiled hands.  Last time McConnell was re-elected, he received 213,753 votes, or less than 6/1000 of the total of the population of the United States.  We did not choose him and he does not represent us!  And yet, in his own words …

“I’m the one who decides what we take to the floor, that’s my responsibility as the majority leader, and we will not be having this on the floor of the Senate.”

Those “this” things he won’t be having on the floor of the Senate have thus far included bills to reopen the government when Trump shut it down over his hideous ‘wall’, bills to fix partisan and discriminatory gerrymandering, bills to protect the Mueller investigation, bills to remove big money from elections, bills on universal background checks, bills to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices, environmental bills, and much more.  In fact, the Senate has only managed to pass 34 bills all year thus far, for such things as:  changing the name of a federal building in Utah; providing an honourary title to a member of the military; clarifying the grade and pay of podiatrists of the Department of Veterans Affairs, etc.

Meanwhile … McConnell is adamantly refusing to schedule ANY election security bills, many of which have bi-partisan support and have already been passed by the House of Representatives.  Foot doctors are more important to the U.S. Senate than our rights to a fair and honest election!

Now … the thing that many people don’t realize is that the Majority Leader’s ability to control what the Senate will consider to such an unconscionable degree is not … I repeat not … a written rule, but rather a long-standing precedent.  Put simply, party leaders are powerful because rank-and-file senators defer to them to manage the institution how they see fit. This deference is not mandated by the Senate’s official rules. Rather, it is simply grounded in its past practice.  Of the forty-four Standing Rules for the Senate, only ten even mention the majority and minority leaders. And those ten rules do not grant the leaders any real power vis-à-vis the rank-and-file.  Under the rules, all senators are essentially equal. That is, no senator is more powerful than another.

The question, then, is why aren’t the senators that were elected by We the People doing their job?  Why are they content to allow Mitch McConnell to single-handedly declare that it’s okay if Vladimir Putin uses his money and technology to rig the election next year?  What hold does Mitch have over them?  Have they forgotten that oath they took when they were sworn into office?  Have they forgotten to whom they owe their very jobs?  Or maybe the real question is … to whom are they beholden, of whom are they afraid?

Any senator can put a bill on the schedule to be discussed, not only Addison McConnell.  Listen up, Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown … get off your lazy asses and put election security at the front and center of your priority list or answer to your constituents.

I know you are all tired of hearing me say, “write a letter”, “make a phone call”, but this is just too important … what’s at stake here is the future of this nation, for if we cannot have a free and fair election in 2020, my best guess is that we aren’t likely to ever see another in our lifetime.  Take another look at the Reagan quote at the top of this post. Please take a few minutes to either write or call both senators, republican and democrat alike, and let them know in no uncertain terms that you demand they stand up to McConnell.  And then, write a letter to the editor of your local paper and let your community know that your senators are being well paid for sitting on their fat patooties thinking about foot doctors instead of fair elections!  Please … do it for all of us, for your kids, grandkids, puppies … do it for all the people who have fought throughout the history of this nation to give us the right to be heard.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ceremonially swears-in to another term as Vice President Joseph Biden reads the oath of office in the Old Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington

Addison Mitch McConnell takes the Congressional Oath of Office, January 2015

Damn You, Mitch McConnell – Part I

Mitch-McConnellAddison Mitchell McConnell is the very definition of corruption.  Last Friday, Dana Milbank wrote an opinion column in The Washington Post titled “Mitch McConnell is a Russian Asset”.  The column so incensed McConnell that he went on a 30-minute tirade on the Senate floor yesterday, referring to the column as “modern-day McCarthyism”.  To Mr. McConnell I would say this:  If it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck.

It is a proven fact that the Russians did interfere in our 2016 election and that without their assistance it is unlikely that Trump could have won enough votes to win the electoral college (remember that he lost the actual vote by nearly 3 million)Proven. Fact.  So, why would anybody who is elected to protect and preserve this nation, its Constitution, and its people, refuse to take steps to prevent intrusion by a foreign adversary?  Why???  Think about that one.  Meanwhile, since Mr. Milbank’s column annoyed ol’ Mitch so much, I present it here and will offer my own, as well as others’ views in Part II of this post tomorrow.


Mitch McConnell is a Russian Asset

Dana-MilbankBy Dana Milbank, Columnist, July 26

 

Mitch McConnell is a Russian asset.

This doesn’t mean he’s a spy, but neither is it a flip accusation. Russia attacked our country in 2016. It is attacking us today. Its attacks will intensify in 2020. Yet each time we try to raise our defenses to repel the attack, McConnell, the Senate majority leader, blocks us from defending ourselves.

Let’s call this what it is: unpatriotic. The Kentucky Republican is, arguably more than any other American, doing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bidding.

Robert Mueller sat before Congress this week warning that the Russia threat “deserves the attention of every American.” He said “the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in our election is among the most serious” challenges to American democracy he has ever seen. “They are doing it as we sit here, and they expect to do it during the next campaign,” he warned, adding that “much more needs to be done in order to protect against these intrusions, not just by the Russians but others as well.”

Not three hours after Mueller finished testifying, Mark Warner (D-Va.), vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, went to the Senate floor to request unanimous consent to pass legislation requiring presidential campaigns to report to the FBI any offers of assistance from agents of foreign governments.

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) was there to represent her leader’s interests. “I object,” she said.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) attempted to move a bill that would require campaigns to report to the FBI contributions by foreign nationals.

“I object,” said Hyde-Smith.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) tried to force action on bipartisan legislation, written with Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and supported by Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.), protecting lawmakers from foreign cyberattacks. “The majority leader, our colleague from Kentucky, must stop blocking this common-sense legislation and allow this body to better defend itself against foreign hackers,” he said.

“I object,” repeated Hyde-Smith.

The next day, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the minority leader, asked for the Senate to pass the Securing America’s Federal Elections Act, already passed by the House, that would direct $600 million in election assistance to states and require backup paper ballots.

McConnell himself responded this time, reading from a statement, his chin melting into his chest, his trademark thin smile on his lips. “It’s just a highly partisan bill from the same folks who spent two years hyping up a conspiracy theory about President Trump and Russia,” he said. “Therefore, I object.” McConnell also objected to another attempt by Blumenthal to pass his bill.

Pleaded Schumer: “I would suggest to my friend the majority leader: If he doesn’t like this bill, let’s put another bill on the floor and debate it.”

But McConnell has blocked all such attempts, including:

A bipartisan bill requiring Facebook, Google and other Internet companies to disclose purchasers of political ads, to identify foreign influence.

A bipartisan bill to ease cooperation between state election officials and federal intelligence agencies.

A bipartisan bill imposing sanctions on any entity that attacks a U.S. election.

A bipartisan bill with severe new sanctions on Russia for its cybercrimes.

McConnell has prevented them all from being considered — over and over again. This is the same McConnell who, in the summer of 2016, when briefed by the CIA along with other congressional leaders on Russia’s electoral attacks, questioned the validity of the intelligence and forced a watering down of a warning letter to state officials about the threat, omitting any mention of Russia.

No amount of alarms sounded by U.S. authorities — even Republicans, even Trump appointees — moves McConnell.

On Tuesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray — Trump’s FBI director — told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the Russians “haven’t been deterred enough” and are “absolutely intent on trying to interfere with our elections.”

This year, National Intelligence Director Daniel Coats — Trump’s intelligence director — told the Senate Intelligence Committee that “foreign actors will view the 2020 U.S. elections as an opportunity to advance their interests. We expect them to refine their capabilities and add new tactics.”

And on Thursday, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a bipartisan report finding that “Russian activities demand renewed attention to vulnerabilities in U.S. voting infrastructure.”

The committee concluded that “urgent steps” are needed “to replace outdated and vulnerable voting systems.” (The $380 million offered since 2016 is a pittance compared with the need.) “Despite the expense, cybersecurity needs to become a higher priority for election-related infrastructure,” the report concluded.

But one man blocks it all — while offering no alternative of his own.

Presumably he thinks whatever influence Russia exerts over U.S. elections will benefit him (he’s up for reelection in 2020) and his party.

“Shame on him,” Schumer said on the Senate floor this week.

But McConnell has no shame. He is aiding and abetting Putin’s dismantling of Americans’ self-governance. A leader who won’t protect our country from attack is no patriot.