Letter to Members of Congress

This is the letter I wrote yesterday to my two senators, Senator Rob Portman, a republican and Senator Sherrod Brown, a democrat, and my single useless Representative, Warren Davidson, a republican and member of the ignoble House Freedom Caucus.  I sent the letter via regular USPS mail, as I did not wish it to become lost in the tens of thousands of emails they receive daily.  I am angry with the entire lot of them, democrats and republicans, members of the House and Senate.  They are wasting time when there is important work to be done and they are allowing Donald Trump free rein to do exactly as he pleases … quite often abusing the limitations on the power of his office.


Dear Senator/Representative ___________________,

As a taxpayer, a voter, and a citizen of this country, I am beyond disappointed in the job Congress has done and is doing.  It matters not to me if you are a Republican or a Democrat … you are an elected official who swore an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, to do your job with the best interests of the country and its people as your goal.  Congress as a whole has let We the People down in so many ways that I’ve lost count.

Per the aforementioned Constitution, it is the duty of Congress to oversee the executive branch, ie the president, and in this, you are failing miserably.  By ‘you’, I mean the body as a whole, but each member must share responsibility for allowing the many atrocities that are being forced upon the people of this nation.  I have a few questions I would like answered:

    • Why is Donald Trump being allowed to fire the Inspectors General who are tasked with overseeing the various departments and agencies within the federal government? It is rather like allowing a child to fire its nanny!
    • Why is he being allowed to continue his false accusations against such honourable people as President Barack Obama, Vice President and candidate Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and others? These are merely a smoke screen intended to distract the public, and Congress, from the real issues at hand.
    • Why is he being allowed to threaten to cut off federal funding to states that adopt absentee and mail-in voting this year in order to make voting safe for everyone?  This is not within the bounds of his authority, yet who will stop him, if not Congress?
    • Why is Congress so divided along party lines that literally nothing of value is being accomplished, yet you are all taking your monthly pay?  Can you not set aside your differences to act in the best interest of the nation at this, a time of genuine crisis?  Is the power of your position more important to you than our lives?
    • Why did you so easily give up your oversight function regarding the last stimulus bill, such that the money was grossly misspent?  Small businesses received little, and corporations with ties to Trump and his cronies received money to which they had no right.

Today I read that Donald Trump is threatening states that are planning to use absentee and mail-in ballots in the upcoming November election.  This is an obvious ploy to disenfranchise many voters of both parties.  Do you plan to continue sitting on your haunches and allow him to get by with this?  He claims he will withhold federal funding from those states that plan to allow mail-in ballots … you CAN stop him from doing this, but will you?

Thus far, he has pulled this country out of critical international agreements, such as the Paris Accords and the Iran nuclear deal, and now he has ceased critical funding to the World Health Organization (WHO), which he is threatening to make a permanent cessation.  Will you truly allow this?  It is not within his power to do so, unless you simply sit back and do nothing to stop it.

As I said, I do not care what your party affiliation is … I myself am an independent who has voted at various times for people in both parties.  But, I DO care whether our elected officials, people whose salaries we pay with our hard-earned tax dollars, are doing their jobs, and it appears today that most of them are not.  Most seem to be more concerned with collecting their campaign donations from the NRA and corporations, rather than protecting the people of this nation.

I write this letter in hopes of opening your eyes to the fact that things need to change, and they need to change NOW.  You need to understand that the madman in the Oval Office is NOT your employer … We the People are!  You need to open your eyes and engage your brain and see what is in front of those eyes … a corrupt and evil person who has aspirations far beyond what the office of president allows.  I hope that you will take my concerns to the floor of Congress, allow me to have a voice, and that you and your peers will act to stop this runaway train before it dooms us all to life under a dictatorship.

Sincerely,

Jill E Dennison, voter & taxpayer

Discord & Dissension – Part XII – Fight For The Senate

So far, Jeff and I have focused solely on the presidential election in November, and granted, that is the single most important of the many elections coming up in November, but it is not the only crucial one.  We will come back to the presidential election soon, but for today I want to talk about the Senate races.

There are 35 senate seats up for grabs on November 3rd, 23 of which are currently held by republicans.  The current demographics of the Senate are 53 republicans, 45 democrats, and 2 independents who caucus with the democrats.  So, the democrats, in order to gain a simple majority, will need to flip at least a net 4 of the 23 republican-held seats.  Can they do it?  I think there is a better-than-average chance that they can and will, but as we saw in 2016, it doesn’t pay to take anything for granted.

But before I get into the specific races that I think will be integral to re-gaining a democratic majority, let’s talk for just a minute about the down ballot, also known as the coattail effect.  For those who may not be familiar with the term, it is the tendency for a popular political party leader to attract votes for other candidates of the same party in an election. For example, in the United States, the party of a victorious presidential candidate will often win many seats in Congress as well; these members of Congress are voted into office “on the coattails” of the president, as happened in 2016, giving Congress a republican majority in both chambers.

However, it also works in the opposite direction, and that may be to the democrats’ advantage this year, as Trump is almost certain to lose popularity the longer the pandemic crisis goes on, the more lives are lost due to his ineptitude, egomania, and continued disregard for the lives of the people of this country.  Those republican senators like Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham who have almost slavishly cast their lot in with Trump, are almost certain to suffer if Trump is falling in the polls, as I expect to see happen (fingers crossed).

Twelve of the twenty-three republican seats up for grabs are considered to be safe for the republican party, so at this time there isn’t much point talking about flipping those seats, so I will focus on the other eleven.  They are …

  • Martha McSally – Arizona
  • Cory Gardner – Colorado
  • Kelly Loeffler – Georgia
  • David Perdue – Georgia
  • Joni Ernst – Iowa
  • Pat Roberts – Kansas *
  • Mitch McConnell – Kentucky
  • Susan Collins – Maine
  • Steve Daines – Montana
  • Thom Tillis – North Carolina
  • John Cornyn – Texas

Martha McSally and Kelly Loeffler were never elected to their senate seats, but rather were appointed by their state’s governors to fill seats on the death of Arizona Senator John McCain and the poor health of Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson.  Neither are particularly popular in their states, and both have been the source of some controversies, the latest involving Kelly Loeffler and insider trading when after a briefing by top government scientists about the coronavirus in January, she immediately sold stocks that later tanked. She then turned around and re-invested in Citrix, a technology company that offers teleworking software and whose share price is one of the few that has risen since the crisis began.

For now, in the interest of both time and space, I will focus only on the four races where democrats stand the best chance to take over a republican seat, and I will come back to the others in a future post.

McSallyIn nearly every poll, McSally trails behind her democratic opponent, former astronaut Mark Kelly by a margin of between 5 and 12 points.  Mark Kelly is very popular, and I personally don’t foresee McSally being able to pull a rabbit out of her hat.  McSally is a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel, but she uses that almost as a weapon sometimes, a bit too much to suit most people.  She lost the 2018 election to democrat Kyrsten Sinema but gained her senate seat later that year after the death of John McCain.  I do think this is one the democrats can flip with relative ease.

gardnerTurning our sights now to Colorado where Senator Cory Gardner has become so unpopular that his approval rating is a mere 37%.  His democratic opponent is almost certain to be former Colorado governor and former presidential candidate, John Hickenlooper.  There are few Colorado polls out at this time, but the most reliable one puts Hickenlooper 12 points ahead of Gardner.  Another I think can be won by democrats, for even Trump has lost a good bit of his popularity in the state.

Susan-CollinsBy all rights, Susan Collins should be a pariah, an outcast in her home state of Maine.  Her democratic opponent, Maine state House Speaker Sara Gideon, is in fact leading in the polls, but by a small margin.  Ms. Collins has been in the Senate since 1997 and like some of her fellow senators, namely Mitch McConnell, is the perfect example of the need for term limits.  She lost some of her popularity when she referred to then-nominee for the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, as “an exemplary public servant, judge, teacher, coach, husband, and father”, despite credible accusations of sexual misconduct.  She then added: “I will vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh.”  Then she plunged a bit further during the impeachment trial when, after having said a few months prior that Trump had made “a big mistake” in asking foreign countries for political favours, she turned around and voted not to convict Trump.  She claimed she believed that Trump “has learned from this case”.  Within days, it became obvious that he hadn’t, and Ms. Collins became the butt of many jokes.  Currently, she is polling between 2.5 and 4 points behind Ms. Gideon and given that there are still some 200 days until the election, it is likely that she will say something else that proves her unfitness for her senate seat.  We can hope, at any rate.

thom-tillisIn North Carolina, the race between republican incumbent Thom Tillis and democrat Cal Cunningham is considered to be a toss-up at this point.  Only two polls have rung in, one putting Tillis ahead with a two-point lead, the other in favour of Cunningham by 5 points.  One thing that may help Cunningham is that North Carolina’s approval rating for Trump is only in the 43% range, and this may be where the down-ballot comes into play.  I’m less certain of this one than I am Arizona, Colorado and Maine, but it is definitely one where anything could happen.  Remember, there are 6+ months left …

Those are the four senate seats most likely to be flipped.  Two others, Joni Ernst of Iowa, and Moscow Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, bear watching and, by some accounts, may be easily switched, and we’ll talk a bit more about those, as well as others at another time.  Meanwhile, though, remember I said that to gain a majority in the Senate the democrats would need to gain a net 4 seats.  So, if the democrats are able to persevere only in the above four states, they must also hold all their current seats for a majority.  There is, fortunately, only one seat held by democrat Doug Jones of Alabama, that is in jeopardy, but it is a serious jeopardy.

doug-jonesSenator Jones earned his seat in a special election in 2017 to fill Jeff Sessions’ seat after Sessions became the Attorney General.  At that time, Jones ran against the scandal-ridden infamous Roy Moore, racist extraordinaire.  While at this time, there are three contenders for the republican nominee, and the primary has been postponed until July, most surveys are showing that any of the three, one being Jeff Sessions himself, could easily beat Jones.  I think, realistically, this is one that the democrats will lose, giving them a net 3 new seats, and tying the Senate 50-50.

Now, one last thing.  If, as most reading this are hoping, Joe Biden defeats Donald Trump for the office of president, a net 3 gain will suffice, for the vice president is the one who would break any ties.  However, if Donald Trump should win his bid for re-election, and there is a tie in the Senate, the republicans would prevail, as they have for the past three years.  One way or another, we must make sure this doesn’t happen.

Discord & Dissension — Table of Contents

Sherrod Brown Speaks … Boy Does He Ever Speak!!!

There are very few politicians in Ohio for whom I have the least bit of respect.  Jim Jordan and Warren Davidson are the lowest of low in my book, and after Tuesday’s fiasco, I’d like to take a baseball bat to Governor DeWine’s head.  But Senator Sherrod Brown has always seemed like a good guy who cares about the people he represents.

Earlier today, a friend sent me this video clip and … WOW!  You tell ’em, Sherrod!  Take a look for yourself …

The Little Boy Who Cried 🐺

Remember the story about the little shepherd boy who cried wolf?  You don’t?  Aw, c’mon … you’re not so old you’ve forgotten that one.  Well, the story goes that the little boy got bored while tending his master’s sheep, and I suppose to get attention, kept crying “Wolf!!!”, even though there was no wolf after him (not to mention that wolves aren’t bad guys anyway).  The townspeople all ran to his rescue, only to find there was no wolf, no threat, the kid was just bored. Then one day, a wolf really was after the kid, or more likely the sheep, and though he kept crying “Wolf!!!”, nobody came to his rescue, for they were all onto his tricks.  Thus, the wolf ate all the sheep and the little boy, mostly to get him to shut up (poor wolf had a severe case of heartburn for days after).  And the moral, according to Aesop, is “this shows how liars are rewarded: even if they tell the truth, no one believes them”.thinking wolfSo why, you ask, do I tell you a fairy tale on this Saturday afternoon?  I wish I could remember!  I know I had a purpose … but I cannot remember it just now.  So, I shall just proceed with a few snippets and perhaps it will come back to me, eh?


The impeachment trial, for those who might not know, is in its fourth day.  Funny, the senators haven’t done a bit of work all year, but they are so eager to get this trial out of their way, supposedly so they can, as one senator claimed, “get back to doing the work of the people”.  What work???  What “people”?  They haven’t passed a piece of meaningful legislation in the Senate in over a year now!  They don’t even discuss meaningful legislation.  Oh wait … they voted to re-name a few federal buildings … that was pretty important to us all, wasn’t it?

Anyway, one Senator, Roger Wicker from Mississippi, responded to the impeachment charges that Trump had acted inappropriately, had abused the power of his office, in attempting to withhold aid to the Ukraine in exchange for personal gain …

“I do things every week that are inappropriate. So no, I’m not going to go down that road.”

Yo!  Mississippi voters … are you listening here?  Your ‘esteemed’ Senator does things that are inappropriate every week!  Now, I might make mistakes on a near-daily basis, but … ‘inappropriate’ carries a connotation of corruption, of a lack of morals, of values.  I think you Mississippians better be keeping a closer eye on ol’ Senator Wicker!

wicker

He looks a little confused, don’t you think?


Funny, but the republicans seem a mite on edge these days, don’t you think?  For example, yesterday Mike Pompeo apparently didn’t like some of the questions asked of him by NPR radio host Mary Louise Kelly.  His answers were brief non-answers, but it was what happened after the interview that is telling.  As he walked out of the room, he stopped at her desk, leaned in and silently glared at Kelly for several seconds before leaving the room.  Within a minute, an aide asked Kelly to follow her into Pompeo’s private living room at the State Department without a recorder.

She would have been wise to decline, but curiosity got the better of her, I suppose, and she went.  According to Ms. Kelly, Pompeo shouted his displeasure at being questioned about Ukraine. He used repeated expletives, according to Kelly, and asked, “Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?”   Either the republicans are nervous about something and on a short fuse these days, else they are trying to win brownie points by emulating their idol, King Trump.king-trump


And then there was the freshman senator from Tennessee, Marsha Blackburn – a real nasty piece of work in my book.  It seems almost as if each republican picks his or her own target to vilify, and Ms. Blackburn’s target is Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman.  Vindman, you’ll remember, testified to House impeachment investigators about Trump’s July 25th phone call to Ukrainian President Zelenskyy and concluded that he considered it to be inappropriate.

blackburn-2

Notice anything about the mouth … the exaggerated contortions … reminds me of???  And didn’t women stop teasing their hair in the ’70s?

Blackburn has been busily tweeting, appearing on television and social media that she considers Vindman to be vindictive and a coward.  A coward?  Excuse me, but Vindman is a combat veteran of the Iraq War. He served in Iraq from September 2004 to September 2005. In October 2004, he sustained an injury from a roadside bomb in Iraq, for which he received a Purple Heart. He was promoted to the rank of major in 2008, and to lieutenant colonel in September 2015.  That, to me, is not the career path a ‘coward’ would take.

During his Army career, Vindman earned the Ranger Tab, Combat Infantryman Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, and Parachutist Badge, as well as four Army Commendation Medals and two Defense Meritorious Service Medals, yet Ms. Blackburn writes …

“Alexander Vindman broke the chain of command and leaked the contents of the President’s July 25th phone call to his pal, the “whistleblower.” Over a policy dispute with the President! How is that not vindictive?”

“Vindictive Vindman is the “whistleblower’s” handler.”

“Adam Schiff is hailing Alexander Vindman as an American patriot. How patriotic is it to badmouth and ridicule our great nation in front of Russia, America’s greatest enemy?”

There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support any of her claims.

I think Tennesseans, like Mississippians, need to re-think their choice of people to represent them in Congress!toon-1


I still don’t remember quite where I was going with the ‘little boy who cried wolf’ story, but perhaps you guys can come up with something?  Ah well, it’s a good story anyway.  And now, I shall return you to your weekend activities!

The Sham Trial Begins

I gave you my take on the impeachment trial, the dog-and-pony show yesterday, but I thought it would be interesting to read Jeff’s perspective as well. He and I think a lot alike, and even use some of the same verbiage, but since he is actually listening to the trial (what a way to spend your vacation, eh?) he has a bit better view of the participants. Thanks Jeff … good work!

On The Fence Voters

Reflections from the car

So here we are my friends. Finally, the President of the United States is being held to account. The impeachment trial is in progress and it’s heartening to see the Republican Party stepping up to the plate to make sure he answers for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist. My sarcasm vein is ready to burst!

Seriously, though,  I wanted to quickly share some thoughts from yesterday’s sham trial in the United States Senate. And I’m going to do it from a different perspective. Yesterday, my better half and I departed on a vacation to Southern California. The trip is a long one from the Pacific Northwest, and we’re driving.

Instead of watching it on TV, we listened to the proceedings on the radio, in the car for over six hours. To some, that might be considered torture. To me…

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History lessons on sham justice

Blogging friend Brosephus doesn’t post daily, and in fact today’s post is his first this year, but when he does post, his words are memorable and wise. In today’s post, he compares what is happening in the impeachment trial to certain events in the 1960s … history does repeat itself. Take a close look at the picture at the top of his post – it captures this moment in our history perfectly. Thank you, Brosephus, for this prophetic post.

The Mind of Brosephus

It’s my first post of 2020, and I have a ton of stuff on my mind. We’re only 23 days into the new year, and I’ve already hit life highs and lows that will be hard, if not impossible, to surpass. This post, however, isn’t about me or my personal life. This post is about what America is about to experience and to question how Americans will respond in return.

As we know, the impeachment trial of Donald Trump is underway in the Senate as I type. As some have prognosticators have pronounced, most Americans know “the fix” is in the works to acquit Trump for his crimes. Indeed, there may not be much that we Americans can do to stop the acquittal, but there is a lot we can do as a result.

I chose the cartoon at the top for an explicit reason. There are many of us…

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Mad As Hell! (Part II)

Last week I wrote a post titled “Mad as Hell!”, and then after some thought, I had a sneaking suspicion that there would be more to come, so I added “(Part I)” to the title.  Lo and behold, I was right.  I can only wonder how many parts I will end up with.

The word of the day is … well, actually there are several words of the day:  stonewall, injustice, dishonesty, and I could think of more, but why bother?  Yes, I am talking about the Mitch McConnell Dog-and-Pony show happening as we speak in the Capitol building in Washington D.C.  McConnell and his cronies seem to be programmed to say one word only:  NO.  No, you can’t subpoena documents from the White House.  No, you can’t call John Bolton or Mick Mulvaney or Robert Blair or Michael Duffy or virtually any other witness.  No, you cannot subpoena documents from either the Department of Defense or the Office of Management and Budget.  What a SHAM this trial has already, after only one day, turned into.

My question … at least my first one … is this:  If McConnell and the other 52 republican fools in the Senate truly believe that Donald Trump is NOT guilty of any wrongdoing, then why the hell are they so afraid of any witness testimony or document review?  It seems to me that if they believe he is innocent, they would welcome such witnesses and evidence, to show the American public once and for all that Trump did nothing wrong.  So … all this subterfuge, all the games that McConnell is engaging in … they point heavily to the fact that McConnell and the entire rest of the right side of the aisle in the Senate are altogether too well aware that the defendant, Donald Trump, is guilty as charged … and then some.

And if you thought that Chief Supreme Court Justice John Roberts presiding over the trial would bring even an element of fairness, then think again, for he is proving himself to be naught more than just another of Trump’s hired goons.  History will not be kind to him, nor to any of the actors in this dog-and-pony show, but they don’t seem to think past the nose on their faces.

Granted, we all knew that at the end of the day, Trump will be acquitted because … for some reason that as yet eludes me, they seem scared shitless of Trump and will throw their very careers in the trash to bow to his wishes.  However, one would think they would at least … at the very least … give the appearance of a fair trial.  But nooooooo … they might as well stand up and say, “Trump is guilty as hell and we therefore find him innocent.” 

The thing that disturbs me most about this is not that Trump will remain in office until he is (hopefully, fingers crossed) voted out in November … I already had that one pegged from the first time the word “impeachment” was mentioned.  No, what is most disturbing and should scare the hell out of us all is the precedent this sets.

At just over 8,000 words, the U.S. Constitution does not cover all bases, but merely lays the foundation for a government based on democratic principles.  Specifics are left to two things:  laws and precedent.  Both, once set, are difficult to reverse.  If a fair trial, at least on the surface, is conducted and Trump is yet acquitted, it would be no different than when Bill Clinton was impeached but acquitted at trial.  However, if this trial continues to be a sham, a circus according to the wishes of Mitch McConnell, the precedent it sets is that no president is ever likely to be impeached again.  But … even that is not the worst of it.

The very worst is that in using his office, his power, for personal gain and political purposes, Trump effectively tore down any constraints or barriers to unlimited power.  Checks and balances?  Where???  Congress is tasked with overseeing the executive branch, and yet they have handed him the keys to the kingdom and said, “Do whatever you wish … we won’t stop you.”  The judiciary has largely said the same.  Where, my friends, do you suppose that leaves us … the 330 million people of this nation whose voices have been stifled by the very people we voted into office and whose salaries we pay?

We have laws in this country … laws that are not being enforced today, laws that are being laughed at by the very people we have entrusted to enforce those laws.  Imagine if you vandalized your neighbor’s car and ten people were standing on the street and saw you.  One of them finally calls the police while you continue to use your baseball bat to break every window in the car.  Now imagine that at your trial, not a single one of those ten people are called to testify.  A neighbor’s home security camera caught the whole incident on video, but that is not allowed at your trial, either.  That is exactly what this impeachment trial is.  There is no doubt that what Trump did was wrong, nor is there doubt that he did attempt to use the leverage of assistance to the Ukraine in order to force them to publicly announce an investigation into Trump’s political opponent, Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.  There’s not a shred of reasonable doubt.  But … if no evidence is allowed to be presented, if no witnesses are allowed to tell what they know … where’s the damn justice???

Too many times already in the past three years, Trump has gotten by with abusing the power of his office, with obstruction of justice, with endangering the nation and its people.  If he is not held accountable now, then folks, we have an autocrat, an “Imperial President” who has no bounds, no conscience, and no reason to honour his oath of office.  The republicans in Congress are in the process of creating a monster, one that will destroy this nation.

I have emailed the republican senator for my state, Rob Portman, twice within the past ten days and have not received a single response, which leads me to believe that as a citizen and taxpayer, I have no voice in my government.  And that leaves me mad as hell!

Mad As Hell! (Part I)

Okay, folks, I’ve had enough.  All day, there has been a slow burn building up and it’s just about to ‘splode, so hold on to your hats.

Today will be the first official day of the Impeachment Trial of one Donald F. Trump.  This is a serious affair, for Mr. Trump has abused the power of his office, has utterly failed to uphold the Constitution he took an oath to uphold, has used the office of president for his own personal gain, and in so doing has put the entire nation at risk.  He has already, and will remain throughout history, a dishonoured, impeached president, but now it is up to the U.S. Senate to decide whether the evidence is sufficient to convict him, thereby removing him from office and protecting the nation from further atrocities.

Now, if the Senate carefully reviews the evidence, listens to witness testimony, and then decides to acquit Trump, I will be disappointed, but I will not scream from the rooftops.  But, as of this writing, it appears that there will be no such thing as a fair and honest trial, as impartial judges, and We the People will not be served.  First, as I reported previously, Senator Mitch McConnell said he would conduct the trial according to the wishes of the White House, and Senator Lindsey Graham blatantly said he had no intention of being fair and impartial, but that he had already decided to acquit Trump.

The “White House” sent its first ‘legal brief’1 yesterday, all 171 pages, signed by twelve of the attorneys representing Trump.  171 pages!  Twelve lawyers!  I found it highly interesting to note the name of Jordan Sekulow as one of the signers of the document.  Jordan Sekulow is the son of Jay Sekulow, Trump’s personal lawyer.  Both Jay and Jordan are talk radio show hosts, as well as lawyers.  The document begins with the Executive Summary that starts …

The Articles of Impeachment now before the Senate are an affront to the Constitution and to our democratic institutions. The Articles themselves—and the rigged process that brought them here—are a brazenly political act by House Democrats that must be rejected.

Rigged???  Sounds just like something coming out of Trump’s mouth, doesn’t it?  A dozen lawyers and this is how they start a 171-page legal brief?  But more importantly are those last three words, “must be rejected”.  The document goes on to urge senators to “immediately” acquit the president of the charges that will be formally presented at his trial that starts in earnest this week, even before hearing evidence or testimony!  Trump’s legal team, led by White House counsel Pat Cipollone, wrote that Trump “did absolutely nothing wrong” as it accused the House Democrats who impeached the president of attempting to overturn the results of the 2016 election and “to interfere in the 2020 election.”  SAY WHAT???

“The only threat to the Constitution that House Democrats have brought to light is their own degradation of the impeachment process and trampling of the separation of powers.”

Trampling of the separation of powers.  Now, isn’t that funny, coming from the lawyers representing the ‘man’ who has refused to allow congressional oversight time and time and time again.  This from the ‘man’ who ordered an assassination of a high-ranking foreign general without cause and without bothering to mention it to Congress.  This from a ‘man’ who forbade people both within and outside the administration from answering congressional subpoenas.

I am not a lawyer … I took a few Constitutional Law classes during my post-graduate studies, but I am in no way an expert.  Still, I know bullshit when I hear it, I know that these guys, under other circumstances, in a fair and honest trial, wouldn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of getting their client off.  But, these are not other circumstances, and this is not at all likely to be either a fair or honest trial.

The seven House members who will be prosecuting this case submitted a 9-page response2 … nine pages to respond to 171 pages.  Tells you that a) most of the 171 pages were just what I said, bullshit, and b) the House members have better things to do with their time.  The response begins …

The American people entrusted President Trump with the extraordinary powers vested in his Office by the Constitution, powers which he swore a sacred Oath to use for the Nation’s benefit. President Trump broke that promise. He used Presidential powers to pressure a vulnerable foreign partner to interfere in our elections for his own benefit. In doing so, he jeopardized our national security and our democratic self-governance. He then used his Presidential powers to orchestrate a cover-up unprecedented in the history of our Republic: a complete and relentless blockade of the House’s constitutional power to investigate high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

President Trump maintains that the Senate cannot remove him even if the House proves every claim in the Articles of impeachment. That is a chilling assertion.

It is, indeed, a chilling assertion. Any other president in the history of this nation would have been tried, convicted, and escorted out of the White House, probably in handcuffs by now for the many abuses of power Trump has committed, both before his election and since taking office.  Any other president would have been impeached and removed from office after the release of Robert Mueller’s report last year.  But, no other president in the past 233 years, not even Richard M. Nixon, has abused the office of the president in the many ways Trump has.  Since he has gotten by with it thus far, he seems to believe that he is invincible.

And maybe he is, since he has rid the government of those with morals and integrity, surrounding himself with characters who have little experience to qualify them for their jobs, but are slavishly dedicated and loyal to Donald F. Trump.

One more thing …

In the event that at least four republican senators vote to hear witness testimony, Trump’s lawyers and sycophants in the Senate are preparing a “Plan B” to ensure that John Bolton will not be allowed to testify, or that if he does, his testimony will be kept from the public.  Another abuse of the power of the office, another denigration of the separation of powers.  I hope … I sincerely hope that John Bolton has the cojones to give an interview to the New York Times or another credible media outlet and tells all.

If you have any remaining illusions that this is still, as Abraham Lincoln proclaimed, a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people”, you’d be wrong.  This is a government of, by, and for the wealthiest few people in this nation, including Donald F. Trump.  We the People are NOT being served, but rather are being royally screwed.

White House legal brief

House Prosecutor’s response

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!