Some Words of Perspective …

If you could use a bit of encouragement today, Robert Reich has just the right message with his Election Day thoughts.  No, he doesn’t promise that everything will come up rosy in the morning, but … he does put things into context, a historical context, that reminds us that even if it ain’t a bed of roses, it also isn’t a box of thorns with nary a bud.

Take a look … listen to what he has to say and read his words of wisdom, think about what he says.  Then take a deep breath and relax, my friends.

Robert Reich’s words of encouragement

Justice Alito Assured Senator Ted Kennedy That He Would Not Overturn Roe v. Wade

It’s one thing to acknowledge that politicians will tell lies to get elected to office. We may not like it, and some tell small lies while others tell whoppers, but most people accept that there are some lies told by politicians. However, Supreme Court justices are NOT politicians, do not stand for election but rather are appointed for life, and thus we should be able to hold them to a higher standard. To say that today’s Court is a disappointment would be an understatement. Read what Diane Ravitch shows us about the lack of integrity of one Justice Samuel Alito.

Diane Ravitch's blog

The New York Times reported that Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito assured Senator Ted Kennedy that he would not overturn Roe v. Wade. He said repeatedly that he respects precedent and considered Roe to be settled law. Seventeen years later, Justice Alito wrote the scathing opinion overturning Roe v. Wade and asserting that it was wrong from the start.

How should Americans react when they learn that at least three of the 6 justices who voted to overturn Roe are liars?

Senator Edward M. Kennedy looked skeptically at the federal judge. It was Nov. 15, 2005, and Samuel A. Alito Jr., who was seeking Senate confirmation for his nomination to the Supreme Court, had just assured Mr. Kennedy in a meeting in his Senate office that he respected the legal precedent of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 court decision that legalized abortion.

“I am a believer in precedents,” Judge Alito…

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Oh Please, Merrick Garland, SOS!

Robert Reich’s first three sentences of his newsletter this morning echoes my own sentiments exactly.  I don’t want to write about him, don’t want to hear his name or see his ugly mug, and I will go one step further on the third point … I wish he didn’t exist.  Never in my 71 years has a single person disgusted and sickened me as much as the former guy.  But the reality is … we cannot afford to ignore him.


Trump Redux

He looms over the 2022 midterm elections. He cannot be ignored or wished away.

By Robert Reich

24 October 2022

I really don’t want to write about him any more. I’d rather not even think about him. Honestly, I’d rather forget he existed.

But he looms over the 2022 elections like a sword of Damocles. Trump continues to dominate all political coverage. In many respects, he is still the center of American politics — if anything, bigger and more dangerous than he was when he left the White House.

First, consider all the action in federal and state courts.

Just within the last two weeks, Trump has been subpoenaed to appear before the January 6 committee, his appeal to the Supreme Court challenging the FBI’s seizure at Mar-a-Lago of secret documents he stole from the White House was rejected, his former aide Steve Bannon was sentenced to four months in prison for contempt of Congress, a federal appeals court denied a request by Sen. Lindsey Graham to be shielded from testifying in an investigation into Trump’s interference in the 2020 election in Georgia, other aides were observed after testifying before a grand jury in the criminal investigation of Jan. 6, his name was featured in text messages read aloud at the Oath Keepers trial, and his decision to form a new company (Trump Organization II) was criticized by the New York attorney general, who is suing him.

Never before in history has a former president, his aides, and supporters in Congress been as entangled in legal proceedings stretching years beyond his administration. Never have the legal maneuvers attracted more media attention.

Second is the continuing speculation about whether Merrick Garland will indict him.

The Jan 6 committee has done an outstanding job, but it has also helped Trump become a more historically significant. As Politico’s John Harris noted,  

“The usual journalistic crutch when assessing political legacies is ‘for better or worse,’ but in this case it is only for worse. Trump’s historic significance flows from how effectively he has made people doubt what was previously beyond doubt — that American democracy is on the level — and how brilliantly he has illuminated just how much this generation of Americans looks at one another with mutual contempt and mutual incomprehension.”

While the Jan. 6 committee has dismantled Trump’s deceptions and denialism surrounding the 2020 election, it has also helped build Trump into something larger than he appeared two years ago — a political force too serious to forget. That’s not a bad thing; we must not allow ourselves to forget what he has done to America. But it does cast his shadow over our future in ways few former presidents have ever managed.

Third is the groundwork for an undemocratic coup that Trump and his henchmen continue to lay.

That groundwork is being prepared step by step. A majority of Republican candidates for office in the 2020 midterms are election deniers, including several candidates for the crucial election jobs of secretaries of state and governors.  

The tactics they and their supporters used in primary elections force us to brace for a range of new challenges in the upcoming midterms and in 2024, including disruptive poll watchers and workers, aggressive litigation strategies, voter and ballot challenges and vigilante searches for fraud.

He will almost certainly declare his candidacy for president in 2024 within the next few months.

Just as menacingly for 2024 and beyond, the Supreme Court has taken up the “independent state legislature” doctrine. If upheld, this doctrine would allow state legislatures to do exactly what Trump tried to do in December 2020 — appoint their own slates of electors, regardless of the popular vote.

Finally, Twitter and Facebook are poised to allow Trump back on — to continue to spread his lies on the largest megaphones in the world.

Trump is not only a sociopath. He is also a masterful conman. Social media will soon allow him to continue to spread his lies and hate. (Elon Musk has virtually guaranteed it for Twitter if, as expected, Musk takes over that platform. Facebook has signaled it will do the same.)

A sociopathic conman on social media is terrifying.

It is our terrible misfortune that Trump came to power and continues to infect America and the world just as the tangled weave of other crises — near-record inequality, bigotry (racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia), the climate, the pandemic — have made many Americans vulnerable to his demagoguery.

I didn’t want to write about him today or even think about him. But none of us dares turn our eyes away in revulsion.

Rather than ignore him, we must demand that Trump be prosecuted. Instead of pretending the poison he released into the American system is behind us, we must acknowledge that it is spreading.

As opposed to dismissing him, we must deal with him and the lawmakers who are enabling him head-on — and stop him, and them, through every non-violent means possible.

No elected official is above the law, that includes you Senator

Good ol’ Lindsey Graham … the man who stabbed his ‘best friend’ John McCain in the back. The man who long ago forgot the meaning of that Oath of Office he swore to uphold. Our friend Keith sums up his latest perfidy pretty well … thank you, Keith!

musingsofanoldfart

Oh, Senator Lindsey Graham. You still think you are above the law, just like the former president for whom you keep white washing away his sins and crimes. This is highly disappointing, especially for an attorney who served in the military. So, you should know better as you technically have sworn the same oath to protect our constitution on three occasions.

For those who are not keeping up, Senator Graham had twice asked the courts to not require him to testify in the former president’s election meddling case in Georgia. Two judges have said no to his requests. Now, he is asking the Supreme Court to allow him to blow off a subpoena. If you have even only a small dose of skepticism, you have to ask why is he so adamant to not testify? Call me crazy, but I think he does not want to have to perjure himself…

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The Week’s Best Cartoons 10/8

As I struggled with motivation, or rather a lack thereof, this morning, I thought perhaps this would be a good time to visit TokyoSand over at Political Charge and see if she had done her usual posting of the week’s best political ‘toons.  Sure enough, I was not disappointed!  Naturally, the main topic of the week was Herschel Walker’s utterly ludicrous campaign for a seat in the U.S. Senate … I’m so sick of hearing his name that if I never hear it again it will be too soon.  But other topics vied for space as well, such as Hurricane Ian, women fighting for their rights in Iran, Vladimir Putin’s failing war against Ukraine, the Supreme Court and more.  Thank you, T.S., for bringing us the best of the best each week!


Be sure to check out the rest of the ‘toons!

Da Snark MUST Be Shared!

Ever notice how in certain weather, your head and chest just seem to fill with ‘stuff’ and you sneeze, wheeze, gasp and cough until you think surely you’ve coughed up a lung?  Well, in certain political climes, my head just fills to the gills with snark, and there’s only one way to alleviate the symptoms … share it!


You could’a knocked me over with a feather …

Yesterday was a red-letter day in the United States Congress!  Why?  Because the Senate … members on both sides of the aisle … actually agreed on something and voted 95 to 1 to allow Sweden and Finland to join NATO!  95-1 … can you believe it???  I think this is the most cohesion we’ve seen in the Senate since … since … maybe 1867 or thereabouts!  Granted, there is little reason to object to allowing these two nations to join NATO … it is a win-win, for it adds strength to NATO and provides protections for Sweden and Finland, but these days, there doesn’t seem to be a need for a reason to split the two sides!

Oh … that single ‘nay’ vote?  That was ol’ Josh Hawley, the brunt of many jokes since the January 6th committee aired video showing Josh of fist-pump fame running desperately from the insurrectionists that day!  His reason for naysaying the treaty expansion was, in his words …

“NATO expansion would almost certainly mean more U.S. forces in Europe for the long haul. In the face of this stark reality, we must choose. We must do less in Europe (and elsewhere) in order to prioritize China and Asia.”

No, it made no sense to me, either, but then … it’s Josh ‘fist-pump’ Hawley, so I don’t expect intellect, but merely nonsense.  Rumour has it that he sees himself as a presidential candidate in 2024 🤣 🤣


Religious freedom?  I think not.

It was on June 27th, just over a month ago, that the Supreme Court handed down its ruling in the case of Kennedy v Bremerton School District.  In a nutshell, the case was filed by Joseph Kennedy, a public-school football coach, who had taken the practice of praying at the middle of the field immediately after each game. The school board were concerned the practice would be seen as infringing on the Establishment Clause separating church and state. They attempted to negotiate with Kennedy to pray elsewhere or at a later time, but Kennedy continued the practice. His contract was not renewed, leading Kennedy to sue the board.

The Supreme Court ruled that the school’s actions against Kennedy violated his rights under both the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment.  This decision has bothered me for over a month now, and last night I had a thought that I would share with you, my friends.

I don’t deny that Mr. Kennedy or anybody else has the right to pray … here, there, or anywhere.  However, public schools are not the place for public displays of religious acts!  They are institutions of learning … learning math, science, literature, history, and more … not religion.  In case the U.S. Supreme Court has not noticed, this is a secular nation.  We have people of every religion here and many of us are non-religious … that is our right, per the U.S. Constitution!  So, the thought I had was this:  Would the United States Supreme Court justices have been so quick to defend the man’s ‘right to prayer’ if he were a Muslim publicly praying to Allah?  I’m betting not.

Some of the boys on the team Mr. Kennedy coached said they were uncomfortable with his habit … some boys joined in, and those who did not believe or did not wish to join in were made to feel left out, felt that to belong, they had to join in.  THIS IS NOT what public education is about, my friends!  I would take umbrage if my child or grandchild were subjected to a teacher or other school employee praying in public during school hours or activities!  Again … if it had been a Muslim … can you just imagine the furor?

The U.S. is a nation founded in part by religious freedom.  That does NOT mean that one religion, ie Christianity, dominates the spirit of the nation.  It doesn’t.  The Court made a grievous error on June 27th, one that some were just waiting for in order to pounce and turn our schools into religious institutions.  We must not allow that to happen.


Say WHAT???

Ryan Kelley was running in the GOP primaries for governor of Michigan.  He lost.  In fact, he lost by a lot, coming in at fourth place with only 15% of the vote, or 165,016 votes as compared to the leader, Tudor Dixon, who received 434,673 votes, or 40.6%.  (I will have more about Tudor Dixon at a later date)  Now, one would think ol’ Ryan Kelley would tuck his tail betwixt his legs and go home to lick his wounds or cry in his beer, yes?  But nope.  He is planning to contest the election!

Kelly made the announcement early Wednesday morning as primary election results began to roll out that he refuses to concede and is contesting the election results.  Oh … and it may not surprise you to know that Kelley was one of the insurrectionists who was arrested for his role in attempting to overturn the 2020 election on January 6th by breaking into the Capitol, destroying property, attacking Capitol Police, and calling to hang Mike Pence!  And it surely won’t surprise you that he was endorsed by the former guy who incited the attempted coup.

Methinks he can contest until the cows come home, but he ain’t gonna be the one running against Democrat Gretchen Widmer in November!

The Niece Speaks From Experience

I just finished reading Mary L. Trump’s post on Substack and watching her accompanying video that covers multiple topics, and I felt it important to share it with you.  Mary, for those who may be unaware, is the niece of the former guy, and likely knows him and his bunch better than most.


Occam’s Razor

By Mary L. Trump

30 July 2022

I’m trying to remain patient with the pace—even though it does appear to be accelerating—of the investigation into the many crimes committed by so many members of the Trump administration. I know these things take time. It is undoubtedly the largest and most complex investigation in DoJ history. Legal time runs much more slowly than political time—or any other kind of time. If you go for the king you best not miss. Yeah, I get it. The impatience comes from the fact that we, the people, know they all did it.

I’m also following a lot of threads for this coming week including the continuing, horrific fallout from the Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood which includes the complete collapse of the Court’s legitimacy; the shocking (but not surprising) cover-up of the January 6th crimes that has spread to the Department of Homeland Security; and the news that a group of Republicans and pseudo-Democrats, led by the execrable Andrew Yang, is starting a third party call “Forward.” I assume that’s short for “Forward toward Destruction.”

And here’s a video you might enjoy about the Right’s masculinity crisis, Alan Dershowitz’s Greek tragedy, and Senate Republicans proving themselves, yet again, to be monsters.

Conservatives??? HAH!!! I Think NOT!

As he so often does, Robert Reich hits the nail spot on the head in his take on the term ‘conservative’ as it is used to describe Republicans.  Read on …


How to handle radical Republicans

Stop calling them conservative. And take steps to genuinely conserve America

Robert Reich

July 11

This morning, I heard a commentator allude to “Mitch McConnell and other conservative senators.” Yesterday, a news report described the upcoming Alaska Republican primary as pitting Trump’s “conservative wing against Murkowski’s more moderate base.” I keep seeing references to the “conservative majority” on the Supreme Court.

Can we get real? There is nothing conservative about these so-called “conservatives.” They don’t want to preserve or protect our governing institutions — the core idea of conservatism extending from Edmund Burke to William F. Buckley and Barry Goldwater. They are radicals, intent on wrecking these institutions to impose their ideology on everyone else.

The Supreme Court’s Republican appointees have all but obliterated stare decisis — the conservative principle that the Court must follow its precedents and not change or reverse them unless clearly necessary, and with near unanimity. Recent decisions reversing Roe v. Wade, elevating religious expression over the Constitution’s bar on established religion, questioning Congress’s ability to delegate rule making to the executive branch, and barring states from regulating handguns, all call into question the legitimacy of the Supreme Court as an institution.

Meanwhile, Senate Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell, are abusing the filibuster and undermining the legitimacy of the Senate.

Throughout much of the 20th century, filibusters remained rare. But after Barack Obama moved into the Oval Office in 2009, McConnell and his Republican senate minority blocked virtually every significant piece of legislation. Between 2010 and 2020, there were as many cloture motions as during the entire 60-year period from 1947 to 2006. Now McConnell and his Republicans are stopping almost everything in its tracks. Just 41 Senate Republicans, representing only 21 percent of the country, are blocking laws supported by the vast majority of Americans.

At the same time, Trump and his Republican enablers in Congress and in the states have upended the centerpiece of American democracy, the peaceful transition of power, and undermined the legitimacy of our elections.

They continue to assert without any basis in fact that the 2020 election was stolen. Trump encouraged an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and threatened the life of the Vice President. Republican state legislatures are enacting legislation to suppress votes and take over election machinery.

Make no mistake: Republican appointees to the Supreme Court, most Republicans in Congress, and Trump Republican lawmakers across America are not conservative. They are radicals. They have embarked on a radical agenda of repudiating our governing institutions and taking over American democracy.

It is time to stop using the term “conservative” to describe them and their agenda.

And it is time it to fight back: Enlarge the size of the Supreme Court and limit the terms of justices. Abolish the filibuster and then pass laws most Americans want — protecting voting rights and reproductive rights, and controlling guns. Criminally prosecute Trump and his insurgents.

These are conservative measures. They are necessary to conserve and protect our governing institutions from the radicals now bent on destroying them.

“Right” To Dine???

You may have heard that a crowd of peaceful protesters gathered outside a restaurant where Justice Kavanaugh was dining one evening recently.  Now, I don’t approve of threats of violence under any circumstances, but from what I can gather, there were none … this was a peaceful protest.  Actions have consequences, and when you make a decision that is life-altering (not in any good way) for more than half the population, I think you have to expect that people will make their displeasure known in whatever way they can.  In fact, one section of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution reads …

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

In his July 9th newsletter, Robert Hubbell summed it up well, I think …


These two things are not alike.

A troubling aspect of the Dobbs decision is that many people view it as an abstraction rather than a significant change in the status of women under the Constitution. A small example of that occurred in a protest at Morton’s Steakhouse in Washington, D.C. Justice Kavanaugh was eating dinner at Morton’s yesterday. Word quickly spread, protesters gathered outside the restaurant, and someone called Morton’s to express their displeasure at Kavanaugh’s presence in the restaurant. Kavanaugh later left the restaurant through the back entrance to avoid the protesters.

Morton’s (read: a male manager at Morton’s who didn’t have the sense to consult a woman) issued an offensive statement that read, in part:

“Politics . . . should not trample the freedom of the right to congregate and eat dinner. Disturbing the dinner of all of our customers was an act of selfishness and void of decency.”

Wow! Strong words! Let’s take a look at Morton’s statement and consider the competing injuries of being subjected to free speech and being stalked by bounty hunters seeking a reward for reporting a woman who just had a miscarriage. Spoiler alert: Those two things are not alike.

First, Morton’s asserts there is a “right to eat dinner.” Well, let’s apply the Dobbs analytical framework to that right. The “right to eat dinner” does not appear in the text of the Constitution, nor is there an implied “right to eat dinner” that is a “deeply rooted tradition in our nation’s history.” As explained in Merriam-Webster’s usage note on “dinner” …

“The use of dinner to refer to the main meal of the day, eaten as the last meal of the day, is a relatively recent phenomenon.”

So, sorry, Morton’s, there is no express or implied constitutional “right to eat dinner” under Dobbs.

Second, Morton’s (like Kavanaugh) might be shocked to learn that the Constitution expressly protects “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Justice Kavanaugh might not like hearing the grievances of the people injured by his decision in Dobbs, but he has no constitutional right to prevent the protesters from expressing those opinions peacefully.

Finally, Kavanaugh knew when he joined the majority in Dobbs that women suffering miscarriages would be reported by bounty hunters to law enforcement in the hope of earning a $10,000 reward. Between 10% to 15% of pregnancies spontaneously miscarry. In Texas, women who suffer miscarriages and seek medical treatment presumptively expose their doctors to criminal prosecution and a $100,000 fine. Thus, the 10% – 15% of women who suffer miscarriages in Texas will likely be denied medical treatment because their doctors fear they will be charged with a felony. Compare that injury to being forced to eat a $75 steak while drinking a $200 bottle of wine as protesters gather peacefully on the street.

Kavanaugh lied his way onto the Court and has engaged in the bad-faith reversal of settled precedents in multiple cases. He should not be surprised that Americans are unhappy with his use of the Court as a raw political weapon. Let’s hope that the peaceful protests cause him to reflect on the fact that his actions have made the lives of American women immensely worse. Perhaps a bit of humility about the real-world consequences of his decisions will temper his thinking in future matters.

As for Morton’s, telling women that protesting their demotion to second-class citizenship is “selfish and void of decency” demonstrates that it is out of touch with what just happened in America. Someone who is not angry at women should take over the PR function at Morton’s.

The Week’s Best Cartoons 7/2

This week, as has been the case for many weeks/months of late, there was plenty for the political cartoonists to choose from.  Recent Supreme Court rulings and Tuesday’s televised hearing of Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony to the January 6th committee are, naturally, the main topics and the cartoonists have done a great job showing us the drama and angst that defines our nation today.  You won’t find much in the way of mirth, but there is a certain dark humour woven into it all.  Please be sure to click on the link at the bottom of this post to see the rest of the cartoons!  Thank you, TokyoSand, for finding some of the best ‘toons from this past dark week.


Click here to see ALL the ‘toons!!!