Why are these men in strange space suits smiling?

It can’t be because three of them are paying $55 million for the luxury of going into outer space to spend ten days on the International Space Station, can it? One might think spending that kind of money should only be done for a necessity, a matter of life or death thing or maybe to improve the condition of a loved one or another member of one’s human family. It’s the luxury of having that kind of cash available to do something one likes that causes them to smile and it’s a good thing to be able to do something you want and like to do.

Let’s be clear however, space travel is a luxury that only a few can afford but is not necessary for life on earth, like good health care or a safe, healthy place to live with a sustainable income. Here’s my cue to be a debbie downer because as much as I like the idea of them enjoying the moment of this accomplishment I also hope that in the case of the American civilian astronaut, Larry Connor, a member of The Connor Group which touts assets of $3.5 billion in 10 states throughout America I hope he’s equally excited about paying his fair share of taxes that allows him such financial security in America’s democracy. Over 50% of America’s wealth is controlled by 1% of the American population and 10 percent own 70 percent of the country’s total wealth, which means 90% of Americans work and produce for America while the upper 10% enjoy the fruits of their labor and get to go on space adventures and have other such luxuries. That is the definition of an oligarchy, not a democracy.

No one wants to ‘redistribute’ Connor’s wealth. He along with all the Americans he employs worked for and possibly earned it. What he must do is pay his share of being an American citizen who enjoys the benefits of an infrastructure that takes people to and from his businesses or supplies them with public utilities. He has to contribute equitably for a health care system that keeps his employees healthy enough to sustain his profits, and an educational system that gives them the skills to run his businesses while he takes his space adventures. I hope he’s willing to sign on to that and will encourage his fellow one percenters to do so as well.

Will Smith has demonstrated what Trump meant when he said he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and not lose supporters

The slap seen at the Oscars is the left’s version of Donald Trump’s entitlement to do whatever one wants without fearing any legal ramifications. Perhaps it’s become an American thing now and it is something we should be really worried about. The longer such entitlement is appeased, the worst the carrier of it becomes. Remember, Trump uttered that line during the 2016 campaign and six years later he’s still involved in criminal behavior that is an existential threat to American democracy. What will happen to us as a collective society if Smith gets away with assault broadcast around the world?

I am glad to see there was some push back which kinda echoes my own feelings about this. Kareem AbdulJabbar made some nuanced, quality points about Smith’s behavior, although I disagree with what he thinks should happen. In one sentence he encapsulated decades worth of arguments surrounding black masculinity and how it’s seen by others

When Will Smith stormed onto the Oscar stage to strike Chris Rock he advocated violence, diminished women, insulted the entertainment industry, and perpetuated stereotypes about the Black community

Am I the only one who sees the parallels between Smith and supporters of Trump and the GOP both of whom have embraced violence for the smallest of insults if those insults ever existed. Smith slapped one man before a television audience, while Republicans engaged in violence against symbols of American institutions for what they thought was an injustice against them. In the case of the GOP that’s been proven time and again NOT to be the case.

Unlike Republicans Smith comes from an African-American background that stresses in order to succeed black people have to be twice as good as their white counterparts. He does not come from the same space as Republicans who believe in natural entitlement, a birth right which only they have claim for. His being only the 5th black male actor to receive the award he got is proof that patience, endurance and craftmanship at the highest level are necessary to get the best male actor Oscar. How could he quickly forget all that and assault his fellow actor/comedian? (Smith was once a comedian, too)

It’s said he was protecting, defending the honor of his wife but what was he protecting her from? As Kareem points out in his piece, Jada Smith is equally talented, eloquent and capable as her husband and perhaps more prolific. She has her own broadcast medium where she discusses a wide variety of topics including alopecia everyone says was at the butt of Rock’s joke. Her Red Table Talk is the bully pulpit Smith, either of them, could have used to fire back at Rock if words were the weapon they used to do so. I would’ve preferred however, for Smith to fire back during his acceptance speech to talk about the importance his wife has meant to the success of his career and because of her strong character and how much she means to him she will forever be beautiful regardless of her appearance. He could only say that if it was heartfelt or he was thinking clearly. Regrettably neither of them thought words would work against Rock’s words. They chose option #1, the easier option, violence.

By resorting to aggressive, profane out of control violence, Smith solidified for a lot of Americans their belief that black men are fearful and violence is an appropriate response to control them and protect the rest of us from them. It was right there in front of everyone’s eyes. It is the image people will use to justify violence against men who use words, as Smith did and it will be the image people use to say they had to stop the kinda of violence they EXPECT all Will Smiths of America WILL use. I have heard a very catchy phrase emerge from this tragic episode in Americana, an expression that black people cannot condemn violence against themselves if they condone violence they perpetuate against themselves. I’m all in on that.

For those of you wanting the US govt to prosecute Donald Trump let me remind you

SCOTUS ruled in January, 2021 in an Emoluments Clause against Donald Trump that

wipes away two lower court rulings, but also orders dismissal of the entire dispute — leaving for some other time resolution of the many questions Trump’s conduct raised about the Emoluments Clause

Remember all the fuss about Trump violating the Emoluments clause? The Clause which

prohibits federal officeholders from receiving any gift, payment, or other thing of value from a foreign state or its rulers, officers, or representatives.

and is a provision of the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 9, Paragraph 8). SCOTUS decided there was no judicial relief from Trump’s violation that allowed him to profit while serving as POTUS. Since assuming office in 2016, petitions were filed against Trump because he failed to put his businesses in a blind trust that would keep him from selling the influence of the office and knowingly profit. It seems for now another door is closed for prosecuting Trump.

Donald Trump has a detailed history of lies, deception and fraud. Today’s claims made by him are simply a rehashing of what has gone on before

It is because of this history Trump has that makes this article all the more incredulous. Despite the claims in it that

The office had always been thinly staffed and cramped, overseen by an election board comprising citizens who’d answered a county ad for volunteers, filled out a form and might have been assigned to parks but got elections instead. The operation was known for being slow on election nights and at times disorganized, problems that had been a matter of eye-rolling until 2020, when Trump began predicting a rigged election and his followers began seeing every mishap as suspicious.

All of the above has nothing to do with Trump’s claim of voter fraud. He probably has never heard of that office and is probably not aware of the issues mentioned in the Post’s article. My point is this claim of voter fraud is something Trump has made since the very beginning of his involvement in politics and is a thread embedded in Republican politics.

Trump is a narcissist who believes anything he involves himself in equates to immediate success for him or the endeavor with which he is involved. Anything other than success means the results are flawed and invalid. During the 2016 general campaign he questioned

the legitimacy of the election process claiming “Of course there is large scale voter fraud happening on and before election day. Why do Republican leaders deny what is going on? So naive!

and in the waning days of the 2016 campaign held the nation in “suspense” about whether he would recognize the results from an election he claimed would be “rigged” or even “stolen upsetting many in his Party. Obviously he won but he continued to advance the claims of voter fraud even going so far as to establish a commission led by Kris Kobach to investigate something they said they found no evidence existed. One of the members of that Commission went on to say

“It’s calling into the darkness, looking for voter fraud. There’s no real evidence of it anywhere.”

We would naturally expect, given this history, that Trump would revisit his claims of voter fraud in the last election in which he took part. True to form it too was baseless and full of lies which begs the question, why does Trump take us and the Country thru such baseless nonsense? It all goes back to the nature of Donald Trump and the party he represents. Trump believes superlatives apply only to himself. He heaps them on himself like two bit fascist autocrats he admires and aspires to be . If he can’t have 90-100% approval for anything then the results are flawed, no good, tainted, spoiled and should not be seen as legitimate.

As the original article above claims, the outcomes for the GOP in making this voter fraud argument are

state’s GOP legislators have introduced 14 bills reorganizing county election boards that oversee election offices. So far, eight bills have been signed into law, resulting in a purge of longtime election board members, an exodus of election staffers and the installation of Republicans who have proposed measures to reduce poll locations and cancel Sunday voting.

The Republican party wants a piece of the voter fraud argument in order to reduce the number of people on voting rolls and to be able to control the outcome of elections in their favor through control of county and state election boards. The more people who vote, the less likely it is they are going to vote for a Republican. The two, Trump and the GOP, go hand and hand. They will forever be a stain on the history of America.

One cannot talk about the Russian invasion of Ukraine without talking about the damage Donald Trump did to American alliances.

Everyone knows about his attempted extortion of the Ukrainian president hoping to get Zelensky to announce, proclaim a lie so that Trump could use it for his political advantage.  Remember, he only wanted the Ukrainians to say they were opening an investigation into Joe Biden and his family’s relation with the eastern European country and Trump and his minions would take it from there.  The Ukrainians would then secure the weapons they were supposed to receive without any strings attached but quid pro quo is how the Trump administration did business so nothing is given in Trump world without extracting concessions, lies.

Everyone and especially Russia are aware of Trump’s disdain for NATO.  He came into office speaking disparagingly of the organization, was openly scornful of the organization and his body language towards NATO member states’ leaders was one of open contempt. His actions alone were meant to send all the right signals to Russia that America was at best ambiguous about NATO and even desirous of neutering the alliance’s potency.  One former Trump aide said he had to talk Trump out of leaving NATO in 2018 and that same aide has even gone on to suggest had Trump been reelected he would have withdrawn from the group altogether. Thinking about Trump having another four years as President alone is scary but if you are a citizen of Ukraine, it’s now become a matter of life and death.

America suffered through a Trump incited insurrection, a failed coup attempt and emerged on the other side to learn that Trump stole, illegally obtained, as he has done his entire life, top secret and classified documents and took them to his residence in Florida.  There were eventually 15 boxes of documents of a national security origin Trump unlawfully removed from the White House and the nature and substance of those documents is unknown to most of us.  But it is not unreasonable to think that some of them dealt with Russia, and specifically Putin, the NATO alliance and all things Russia.  It’s how he began his administration and was swept into power and one of the reasons he was infamously removed from office.  Knowing all we’ve come to know about Trump and his regards for Putin and Russia it’s not unreasonable to think he would compromise American national security, especially if it doesn’t fit his own world view, with whatever information he has at his disposal.

The war in Ukraine has blossomed into another European descent into genocide that has reached across the Atlantic Ocean and called America for help.  We cannot talk about what this war means to the country without acknowledging the last six years of neglect and abuse an American administration showed European allies and the absolute obsequiousness it showed the Russian protagonist and aggressor.

Why Is Merrick Garland missing

He’s missing because he is an institutionalist who serves a president Joe Biden steeped in the politics of the 20th century who believes in bipartisanship and consensus with the goal being what’s best for the country.  Garland is cut from that same cloth. Very traditional and intensely aware of the value of America’s institutions and the need to preserve them at all costs.  Why hasn’t Garland gone after such a criminally visible President as Trump?  No American president has been indicted for crimes they committed while in office even after they left office.  The case for doing so with Trump is he could not run for reelection, something he’s said he wants to do.  The Mueller Report left open the possibility Trump could be indicted for obstruction of justice but some would argue the precedent for doing that in the case of Trump who certainly deserves it risk criminalizing politics and entanglements that could weaken the legal fabric of the country.   

The mere act of impeaching Trump for widely demonstrated abuses has brought calls for Biden’s impeachment by Republicans if they take control of Congress while Biden is in office for no other reason than they can and they want to make him look as bad as Trump. Institutionalists would likely argue this kind of tit for tat partisanship would destroy the fabric of the country. An alternative to prosecuting a corrupt President would be to go after the circle of advisors caught in presidential scandal and there’s plenty of fodder for Garland to do that.  The January 6 insurrection has offered up a whole host of criminals the DOJ is pursuing but even that seems to be a halfhearted effort but one the Department can point to as doing its job. However, most likely DOJ also sees as part of its job avoiding the criminal prosecution of Trump as its best course of action in these volatile political times. As for the possibility a criminal such as Trump could run for office again, institutionalists would say if his crimes were widely known by the electorate Trump would be rejected as unfit for office.  However, after four years of widely known abuses of power, Trump got more votes in the 2020 election than he did in 2016 so there doesn’t seem to be much wisdom floating around in the public about Trump’s criminality.

Garland is a member of the Federalist Society and a Republicans who probably believes in the legal philosophies of restraint and adherence to precedent. Since there is no precedent for indicting a criminal former President, Garland seems reluctant to do so and especially a President from his own Party with a considerable national following. However, not prosecuting Trump runs the real risk he could return to office; state legislatures controlled by Republicans have been busy solidifying voter suppression and their hold on elections commissions. In so doing they can affect the outcome of elections and possibly oversee the return of Trump to office.  It is not wise to trust the American electorate during these times of Qanon and a rampantly running alternative facts-based media ecosystem but institutionalists like Garland see that as a more viable alternative than their insertion in the process which would lead to Trump not being able to run for office again.  This is the sad reality America faces at the moment; there is a legal system that has all the tools it needs to keep in check a criminal, potential President but an Attorney General who isn’t inclined to do what’s necessary to keep that candidate out of office despite overwhelming evidence he should be kept out of office.


This is who Putin is and what Trump wants to be

Putin said this before beginning his military campaign against Ukraine

……..we will strive for the demilitarisation and denazification of Ukraine, as well as bringing to justice those who committed numerous bloody crimes against civilians, including citizens of the Russian Federation…..  our plans do not include the occupation of Ukrainian territories. We are not going to impose anything on anyone by force…..

But this is what he brought to the people of Ukraine and the rest of the world

Sight unseen this is what Trump said about Putin’s ambitions in Ukraine

So Putin is now saying it’s independent — a large section of Ukraine. I said, how smart is that? And he’s gonna go in and be a peacekeeper. We could use that on our southern border. That’s the strongest peace force I’ve ever seen. There were more army tanks than I’ve ever seen. They’re gonna keep peace, all right.

Those are the sights of Donald Trump’s version of peace enforced by armaments of war.

In light of the aggression going on in Ukraine which was initiated solely by Vladmir Putin’s encroachment on Ukrainian sovereignty I am reminded of Donald Trump and the admiration he had for the Russian leader who he always chose over American presidents.

If [Putin] says great things about me, I’m going to say great things about him…Certainly in that system, he’s been a leader, far more than our president has been.

Trump would’ve liked to have the power to bring such scenes to the American landscape. Some would say he was nearly successful. Whatever the case the fact there is an American President who speaks highly of someone who has brought about the devastation now going on in Ukraine and who’s doing so breaking international law and based on lies is all one needs to know about Donald Trump and how important it is he never assume any type of power again.

Meanwhile back in America

On the day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine comes two current news articles that remind me this is America and this is who we are. Any one who thinks todays Republican party has anything positive to offer American citizens should be ashamed to think that way. There are still too many GOP politicians who say the 2020 elections were stolen and that there was no evidence of collusion between Russia and Donald Trump in the 2016 elections despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The fact the Party would actively involve itself in a way that would damage the interests, public health and safety of its constituents and even the national interests of America is some thing many would consider unfathomable.

If you live in the state of Texas that would be an incorrect assumption if not a life threatening one and here’s why

The former head of the Texas power grid on Wednesday testified that he was ordered by Gov. Greg Abbott to keep power prices at the maximum price cap during last winter’s winter storm……Power prices were kept at the maximum of $9,000 per megawatt hour, more than 150 times normal prices, during last winter’s storm.

Such outrageous pricing forced the bankruptcy of the utility  electric co-op Brazos Electric….an unintended consequence but there is little doubt the people of Texas faced a major inconvenience during the winter of 2021. On the heels of that tragedy however comes news of people who wanted to benefit from it and put America in the throes of a race war by attacking power grids throughout the United States. One of the conspirators in this scheme was from Texas and the aim of the three of them charged was to sow chaos by attacking regional electrical substations, expecting “the damage would lead to economic distress and civil unrest.”

Timothy McVeigh

Economic distress for the customers on Texas’ electricity grid was real in the winter of 2021 but luckily for America not yet the civil unrest. That wasn’t for lack of the Abbott administration trying. It later emerged that the utility commission paid little attention to taking measures necessary to prevent disruption of service to Texans and even a year later people in north Texas faced disruption of power as winter storm after winter storm moved through the area. Government must insure people have access to affordable utilities for their residences. Not doing so promotes discontent, dissatisfaction and disaffection with government. People in government and especially Republican government and her big business allies deflect such public outcry by pitting one group of people against another and so the conspirators of the above plot probably realized the potential their plan had in todays America.

Dylann Roof

Frankly there are too many criminally insane people who are willing to exploit the tinder box of America’s racial problems. We are lucky the three above weren’t successful but it only takes one person and one event to set America’s racial hotbed off. Timothy McVeigh tried back in the 90s with catastrophic results. Dylann Roof tried in 2015 when he killed nine people in their church because he believed white people are superior and that he had to kill black people in order to agitate race relations. In other words his aim was to start a race war. Six years separate him from his three co-defendants in crime meanwhile America and her politicians continue to provide every opportunity for them to diminish the power and vibrancy of the country with lies and the lack of courage to confront problems with real solutions. When will this stop?


I hate to break it to you but

America is going through another one of its periods where its fascist tendencies surpass, overpower its better ambitions of being a democracy. This is the 21st century version, 5.01. What I find laughable are all the pundits who want to imply America is approaching this troubling era by saying how the Nation has embraced a particular fascist trait like book banning but hasn’t quite reached it yet so we’d better stop sliding toward that trend……

I hate to break it to us, America, but book banning like racism is as American as apple pie and titles we so often quote today to underscore where America is were on someone’s list for us not to read in our not too distant past. Americans don’t like dealing with uncomfortable aspects of our past and present and would much rather push them off as far away as possible from society’s radar

since last year, 37 states have introduced or passed legislation that puts constraints on what can be taught about racism, sexism and inequality

When it comes to people of color, American Fascism 5.01 goes hog wild in its attempts at limiting what people say about their experience and their histories in this country. People as innocent as track star Wilma Rudolph who spoke of the racism she faced while growing up had her voice challenged by a school district in of all places Texas because of course we don’t like to be uncomfortable about our past.

So as long as America refuses to deal with its  long standing authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and the economy let’s be clear it is in the updated version, 5.01 of American fascism.

Reform policing, now

If you want to understand why black people in America are mad and fed up with policing read on. Most likely it’s because of the random, unnecessary nature of police’s interaction with the African-American community. Every day you can find examples of how police without any reason whatsoever interject themselves into the life of America’s black citizens. Even when police are dispatched to look for and apprehend normal, known criminals police will avoid doing that when they come across black citizens and begin a level of interaction that makes it clear to all involved they consider a black skinned individual a criminal who must explain to the satisfaction of the officer standing in front of them why he is occupying a particular space at a particular time. Why they are standing in front of a place or in a store; why they are sitting behind the wheel of a car; why they are walking or running on a particular sidewalk and on and on. Those civilians who are lucky can come away from such encounters unscathed, without being fined, their lives intact so to speak and free to live another day. There are some unlucky ones who when innocently minding their own business when confronted by police die or are killed. In such instances, asking for police reform is the least a society should do in order to ensure police’s contact with citizens doesn’t result in unnecessary death or injury to all parties involved.

Perhaps the first thing that needs to be addressed is the issue of profiling and why police automatically assume black skinned Americans are criminally inclined. This presumption of guilt or that something must be wrong is inbred in policing where there is an us against them mentality taught at the beginning of one’s police experience. That gets elevated when the variable of skin pigmentation is added in the mix between the two parties. No recent example underscores this dynamic of police naturally assuming pigmentation corresponds to guilt or innocence than this example out of Ohio where 60-year-old Eric Lindsay was confronted by police on suspicion of shoplifting.

If you watched the video you might be able to understand his outrage at being approached by the officer. Being black and experienced in how to get around in black skin you probably heard Lindsay refer to seeing the police enter the store BEFORE he did and if they were looking for someone based on a description given to the police BEFORE they entered then it couldn’t possibly be him. You probably saw him look warily at the approaching officer and how he responded to ‘take your hands out of your pockets’. The very command is akin to a threat. No doubt you heard the certainty in his voice when he said he would sue because he knew he did nothing wrong. That was not an empty threat. If you watched the video you probably heard that the description of the shoplifter was that he was young and white. The police had no business approaching Lindsay at all, so why did they?

Who is the greater threat in this encounter? Lindsay has gone on to sue the police department and he should win. Are the citizens of that town helped by the fact that a police department will have to pay a large sum of money to a plaintiff because their officers mistook a black 60 year old man for a white, male 30 something shoplifter? Will they understand the reason for increased taxes because of arcane and illegal policing practices performed by their officers who are sworn to serve and protect?

America is a mature democracy. It’s been around for a long time and with age should come wisdom and responsible practices in how people in society should deal with one another. If one can’t leave their personal prejudices aside during the performance of their duties as a law enforcement officer or find the stress of the job clouds their better judgement, they shouldn’t be police officers. If one is driven by an American age old prejudice to naturally assume people of color need to be reigned in, controlled, monitored, profiled, dispensed with judiciously because of their skin color, then they shouldn’t be police officers. America must do better than this or else more citizens will be brutalized by police and the trust of the community at large towards police will continue to erode into a toxic cauldron of violence and mayhem. That’s really not a choice, so do better America. Reform policing.

So you want to open up because you’re tired of Covid?

Peoople have become tired of Covid-19. I am too. I drive to an establishment, get out of my car and halfway to the door forget to put on my mask and have to run back to get it. Parents are tired of insisting their children wear masks at school, or so they say and are asking school boards to rescind mask mandates. The things Americans put employees who work at places that ask patrons to wear masks through is unconscionable. Our sons and daughters should not have to bear the brunt of uncontrollable and sometimes feigned rage of people who don’t want to wear a mask.

I am writing this on a Thursday in the second week of February when the seven day average for new covid cases is over 225,000 and the day before, yesterday saw 3,570 Americans die from the virus. If those numbers are acceptable to you America, then open up. I am fed up with your reluctance to do what’s right in the face of a raging pandemic.

Covid has become a stick which politicians and others hostile to the interest of the country have used to destroy our social fabric. Take that power from them; remove the government mandates so that folks with ill intent are no longer able to hold the country hostage. However, the federal government must maintain a role in dealing with this pandemic…because it’s still very much a pandemic which is defined by the CDC as a disease that affects the global population and are usually caused by new infectious agents (bacteria or viruses) that spread quickly.

Incentivize government resources to those places like schools, hospitals and businesses that follow CDC guidelines and recommendations. Make testing and vaccinations available for free in those areas that follow them. School systems that institute social distancing regulations in their facilities should be provided with the resources, funding, etc they need to do that. Those school systems that follow said guidelines are controlled by local school boards that initiate those policies not the federal government, thereby giving local control to policy makers which is what parents yell and scream at school board meetings they want.

Barely three weeks ago, hospitals were faced with this

Nationwide, daily COVID-19 hospitalizations are up about 33% this week from the week before and more than 155,000 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, well above the record set last winter.

Health care systems that set up a triage system that deals as much as humanely possible with the effects the pandemic has on their resources should receive the lion’s share of federal government assistance. That may mean un-vaccinated people, the ones who are clogging up emergency rooms, infecting health care providers which further jams up the system get pushed to the back of the line in terms of treatment but so be it. Perhaps the government can suggest procedures and reward systems that use them and for those who don’t and are inundated in ways that the article above mentions, well….ok…figure it out.

More people in 21st century America have died from covid than died in what I call pre-historic 20th century America during the 1918 pandemic. All the technology and advancement in medicine could not protect us from our stubbornness and the inclination of unscrupulous politicians to fight their opponents through the politicization of a medical pandemic. I’ve come to the conclusion, natural selection is the course to pursue at this stage in the pandemic. Let nature take its course and I say so with a bit of irony. We as a country are too immature to live prudently during times of national emergencies so let’s throw caution to the wind and OPEN UP AMERICA.

Donald Trump is a threat to America

It’s hard to admit that a former president of the United States poses an existential threat to American democracy but such is the case with Donald Trump. America has gone well past the days of making excuses for Trump’s behavior such as locker room talk, boys will be boys as the reason for the Access Hollywood comments. America chose to ignore his apparent conflicts of interest, his claims that he wasn’t violating emoluments clauses despite his excessive use paid for by taxpayers of Trump owned facilities . The idea that insulating him with professional bureaucrats who could smooth out his delivery while advancing his policy objectives didn’t work out for America either. Even though some of what Trump and his party wanted was implemented, judges, economic policies, international relations, it was still done with such heavy handedness that Trump was impeached twice, the only American president with that distinction.

The longer he goes untouched by all the institutions available to discipline an errant, abusive, criminal politician….and let’s be clear Trump is all those things, the worse he will become. Don’t believe it? His last rally in Texas is proof. At Texas rally, Trump all but promised a racially charged civil war if he’s indicted …………….is a headline of the Philadelphia Inquirer characterizing his remarks one Saturday night in Texas. In fact what Trump said was so inflammatory that a Georgia prosecutor sought advice, protection from the FBI. Let that sink in a minute. It’s not that she is just a prosecutor, an officer of the Court, sworn to protect and defend the Constitution, the same oath that Trump once took. It’s that she’s a leftist, racist prosecutor, Trump’s words, of the court who’s abusing her power and coming after Trump and his supporters. The unspoken part is she is also black and that part implied before a crowd in a red Southern state was the punch in the gut he wanted to deliver. Trump and the GOP have decided that highly radicalized language designed to pit one distinct group of Americans against another is acceptable. Even more frightening is the expectation that one of those groups will fight the other in support of Trump. Let’s be clear, Trump et co aren’t talking figuratively about engaging in a fight about ideas and policy civilly through the ballot process, they are talking about fighting in the streets in much the same way they did on 01/06/2021. This is the threat he poses; he foments civil unrest at every chance he gets and promises those who heed the call that when restored to power he will abrogate their prosecution. This is why American institutions of government and the judiciary must prosecute Trump to the fullest extent of the law and they must do so expeditiously otherwise America as it has come to be known will cease to exist.

The day before Christmas and chaos still reigns

Today, December 24, 2020 is like any other day under the Trump administration. The number of people who died from covid related illness is still over 3,000. December 23 saw 3,411 Americans die from the Trump scourge. Even though pharma companies have responded quickly with providing a vaccine to stop the spread of Covid-19 there’s news that it’s not being implemented as quickly as forecast or should be. While over 9 million doses have been distributed throughout the country, only about a million doses have been administered. The death rate continues to climb…….

Congress has passed a covid relief bill albeit entirely inadequate that Trump has promptly sabotaged leaving millions of Americans without hope of a decent holiday season. By inserting himself so late in the process and claiming he wanted a relief package that included more money than the Congressional bill, Trump has given himself three choices on how this could play out; he could sign the bill against his own desires for a more substantial bill; he could veto the bill outright which would be returned to Congress to override the veto or he could put the bill in his pocket for 10 days unsigned until it is too late for it to be dealt with during the current legislative session which ends on January, 3rd. After that if there is to be any covid relief bill the new Congress would have to start the process all over again. Remember the House passed legislation in May that has only now been written as legislation. To add insult to injury Trump has left town leaving Congress to send him their legislation there and hope for the best. Did I mention that along with the covid relief bill there was a omnibus spending bill attached that Trump is threatening to veto meaning the potential exists for a government shutdown? The irony is had such a prospect been suggested, that government be shutdown to fight the Corona virus, no one in the Administration would have agreed to proceed in the way Trump has now. Whatever the outcome there are too many in Washington who don’t sense the urgency of helping their fellow citizens and are quite comfortable not doing anything for now. Meanwhile people are without food, energy, drowning in financial insecurity.

How many Trump supporters who wanted to take back Christmas from……who or what ever…..could have thought that their President Trump was the one who stole Christmas from millions of Americans and in the process made the lives of an entire country miserable.


Hapless Bill Barr

America’s Department of Justice under Bob Barr is a hot mess. Yes it is. As of today, Wednesday December 2, 2020 there are three stories coming from there that under an ordinary administration would be a big deal but under the criminal enterprise known as the Trump administration receive a regular ho-hum.

In the midst of Trump still contesting the elections in ways that are as scandalous as anything he’s ever done, Barr came out to say his department hasn’t seen anything that would change the outcome of the 2020 elections to say Trump should be the winner and not Biden. It doesn’t take much to know that would upset the petulant CiC. Barr has done whatever he could to please Trump; even before the Nov 3rd elections he gave US Attorneys Generals the ability to take overt steps to pursue allegations of “vote tabulation irregularities” in certain cases before results were certified. We know Trump took that as a sign to openly, unilaterally declare voter fraud throughout the process of the elections. It didn’t help that Christopher Cox Krebs the Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency came out shortly after the elections to say the structural integrity of the elections was sound, there was no fraud and the results were certifiable. With that leg of government openly in defiance of Trump’s scheme to declare the process irredeemably null and void, Barr could more easily make his assertion that all was well with the vote.

Like most everything else about this administration, it can’t seem to get out of its own way. The news that the Attorney General thought the elections were legitimate was eclipsed by two other newsworthy events: Barr’s announcement he had appointed Connecticut US Attorney John Durham to act as special counsel investigating whether intelligence and law enforcement violated the law in investigating the 2016 Trump presidential campaign and the news coming out of the DC Superior Court of a criminal investigation into an age old Trump pay for play scheme involving presidential pardons. First off, John Durham was supposed to have completed his investigation if all went according to Trump’s plans just in time to influence the 2020 elections with news that the previous administration and by extension Biden had illegally conducted an investigation into Trump’s campaign and that all things Russia were really the hoaxes Trump always said they were. Trouble is Durham didn’t follow Trump’s timeline and his handling encountered what appeared to be an image problem when one of his assistants, an equally reputable Attorney General Nora Dannenhy quit during the investigation. An unidentified colleagues of Dannehy’s, said she resigned partly out of concern that the top of the Justice Department, i. e. Bill Barr was pressuring Durham’s team to produce results before the election for maximum effect for Donald Trump.

John Durham

I tweeted that Barr’s intent with this appointment was to leave Durham as a burr under the saddle of a Biden Administration, much like some viewed Robert Mueller’s tenure during the early period of Trump’s term a sort of ‘right back at ya’ gesture. Some said that the special counsel appointment means Durham will be around for as long as Trump’s Deep State-ers want him to be, playing the role of political gadfly to Biden’s flank providing information for demonic Republicans to enhance their own or Trump’s future political aspirations. Republicans have already lined up to say to Biden to allow Durham to do his apolitical work as if his appointment by Barr was about anything but politics. But once again, this Administration has proven itself to be inept because it could be argue Durham’s appointment is in violation of § 600.3 Qualifications of the Special Counsel which states in its entirety

(a) An individual named as Special Counsel shall be a lawyer with a reputation for integrity and impartial decisionmaking, and with appropriate experience to ensure both that the investigation will be conducted ably, expeditiously and thoroughly, and that investigative and prosecutorial decisions will be supported by an informed understanding of the criminal law and Department of Justice policies. The Special Counsel shall be selected from outside the United States Government. Special Counsels shall agree that their responsibilities as Special Counsel shall take first precedence in their professional lives, and that it may be necessary to devote their full time to the investigation, depending on its complexity and the stage of the investigation.

(b) The Attorney General shall consult with the Assistant Attorney General for Administration to ensure an appropriate method of appointment, and to ensure that a Special Counsel undergoes an appropriate background investigation and a detailed review of ethics and conflicts of interest issues. A Special Counsel shall be appointed as a “confidential employee” as defined in 5 U.S.C. 7511(b)(2)(C).

A Biden Attorney General could successfully, safely fire Durham because his appointment goes against the conditions for having a special counsel, that is he is within government as the Attorney General for Conneticutt and if Republicans insist appoint someone of his/her own choosing not a Trump partisan. Trump’s penchant for poorly selected appointees and acting directors has gotten him in trouble before. An acting Attorney General, Mathew Whitaker who was a shady spokesman for toilets for well endowed men or Chad Wolf who a federal judge in New York ruled that as acting homeland security secretary Wolf lacked the authority to limit the work permits of hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children because his appointment to the top position in the department did not appear to be lawful are just some examples of how disastrous Trump has been about employing the best people to do the jobs for which they are appointed. One could make the argument that keeping Durham as special counsel would taint whatever conclusions he is able to make because his appointment is illegal; that would be par for the course for this inept administration.

Finally there’s this from Trump’s own DOJ

The Justice Department in August investigated a potential “bribery-for-pardon” scheme in which a large political contribution would be offered in exchange for a presidential pardon by the White House, according to court records unsealed Tuesday.

The documents show that U.S. prosecutors were scrutinizing whether two individuals approached senior White House officials as unregistered lobbyists, and a related scheme in which cash would be funneled through intermediaries for a pardon or reprieve of a sentence for a defendant apparently in Federal Bureau of Prisons custody at some point.

Is there any doubt who the “senior White House officials” are in the Trump White House? Who is it Trump trusts the most to help him maneuver in his daily life other than his family? When this latest news story emerged from the the DOJ talk of Trump pardoning his family members also surfaced and one has to ask whether the two stories are related. Regardless what’s extraordinary is a Trump justice department had opened an investigation into whether his family (yes I know it’s not revealed it was his family members who were approached but the original charge papers were heavily redacted) was the focal point for Trump’s customary pay for play, quid pro quo schemes he’s been involved in all his life. From his charities which have been shut down to other business ventures that were recipients of financial contributions for services promised that weren’t delivered like Trump University Trump has begged for money and promised to give something in return which he never did or he misled contributors into giving him money . In other words, not much has changed in the way Trump does business. His sole intent is to enrich himself at other people’s expense; he does so by seeking out people whose only job is to give him what he wants at all costs even that cost is illegal; he does not care how the ends are met. Trump has turned a professional justice department into an inept bunch of Trump spokes people who go about doing his bidding, sometimes at great risk to themselves for being insulted or thrown under the bus by Trump. The latest news coming out of DOJ is not pretty but it’s all Trump’s doing. No Deep State here, only Trump’s own ego, narcissism that’s gotten in the way and become his downfall.

Democrats! Really?

The reason why Trump’s authoritarianism will succeed in this country is because of a weak opposition party. After the 2018 mid term elections and the adults in the room for the Democratic Party took the reigns in the House I thought there would be a disciplined, mature, principled, effective opposition to the worst administration in American history that would lead to a restoration of normalcy in American politics. Sadly that hasn’t happened. This news headline is proof of the Democratic impotence in Washington. Wolf shouldn’t even have the job of Director of Homeland Security. He’s occupying it illegally. He’s just one of many Trump has handpicked to work in his administration with the only job to do Trump’s bidding regardless of what it is or the consequences to America. However, America and Democrats go on acting as if this is all normal and there is no threat to democracy.

This is why they kneel

There’s been another shooting of a black man by white police and it’s as hideous and outrageous as all the others

For many there are no words to justify what happened to Jacob Blake, Jr. Being shot 7 times in the back by one of three police officers on the scene is simply inexplicable but just like being shot while fleeing, as in the case of Rashard Brooks in Atlanta earlier this summer the faucet of death that flows over black male bodies seems to have been turned on full blast and too many Americans are clueless about the reason for black outrage and frustration.

A New York Mets baseball player, Dominic Smith seems to have embodied that frustration while talking to media the day of a scheduled baseball game that was cancelled by his team. Barely able to keep it together he talks about what has motivated him after seeing another man who looks like him victimized by police.

I struggled to find the beauty in his response. I applaud him for both giving in to and keeping his emotions in check. At the same time I am raging that a man has been forced to yield to those emotions in the face of hostility to his existence. People should not take Smith’s reaction as a kind of weakness because it’s not. It’s a fatigue that comes from realizing this threat will follow him and others like him around all their lives. No matter how good they are some white police officer will always question in ways that may turn out to be fatal, why he is at that place at that time.

However I am overjoyed that others have not given in to their fatigue just yet and have found other ways to express their anger and strive for substantive solutions. Players from the NBA have turned their frustration into positive political action in extraordinary ways.

The (NBA) has committed to create a social justice coalition, work with elections officials to convert NBA arenas into polling places for the 2020 election and create advertising spots to promote “greater civic engagement in national and local elections.”

The league has committed to create a social justice coalition, work with elections officials to convert NBA arenas into polling places for the 2020 election and create advertising spots to promote “greater civic engagement in national and local elections.”

“These commitments follow months of close collaboration around designing a safe and healthy environment to restart the NBA season, providing a platform to promote social justice, as well as creating an NBA foundation focused on economic empowerment in the Black community,” (a) statement said.

Using arenas as polling places will provide a safe in-person voting option for communities vulnerable to COVID-19, according to the statement. The plan, which applies to arenas that the franchise owns and controls, also includes using some facilities for voter registration and ballot receiving boards if the deadline to establish a polling place has passed.

Three teams already offered their spaces as polling places in July as election officials across the country scramble to find rooms large enough to allow for adequate social distancing. The Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons and the Bucks have committed their arenas to be voting sites.

With just over two months before the elections athletes, like LeBron James, who was once told to shut up and dribble, have managed to come up with solutions that will enhance political participation in far better ways than Mr. Trump could ever imagine.

The disrespect of Donald Trump

It’s important to respect the office of the President of the United States but time has long since passed that people should respect Donald Trump.  I don’t understand why in this DAY people still have a modicum of civility towards a man in this highest office who has no appreciation for civil discourse and respect.

What draws me to post today is Trump’s latest faux pas which highlights just how disrespectful he treats the country and American citizens.  Appearing at an event in the White House to talk about a conservation bill which supposedly had bipartisan support by members of Congress Trump had prepared remarks to READ and among them this

When young Americans experience the breathtaking beauty of the Grand Canyon, when their eyes widen in amazement as Old Faithful bursts into the sky, when they gaze upon Yosemite’sYosemite’s towering sequoias, their love of country grows stronger and they know that every American has truly a duty to preserve this wondrous inheritance

Trump, however,  didn’t even come prepared. I no longer give him the benefit of the doubt. I know he wasn’t prepared and I don’t think for a minute he knows what Yosemite is or even where it is and more importantly I don’t think he cares. He just showed up and thought, correctly it appears today, there is something about himself that makes his appearances magical and that’s enough.  No need to be prepared, to know why he is doing what he’s doing or why he’s there, or even where he is; all he has to do is show up, shake a few hands and start reading.   If you didn’t know before you should know now that Donald Trump can’t read.  Don’t believe me? Watch

I’ve come to expect this from the man.  He’s a mental midget and more and more people who know him say that about him.  Apparently, not enough people know this about him and that’s extremely troublesome.  What bothers me about Trump’s remarks which I say occur every day and are quite common is this:

50% of White Americans Would Vote for Trump If Election Were Held Today

Trump’s issues with literacy and the English language are obvious for all to see. It’s no longer the “deplorables” who seem to inhabit Trump land as evidenced from this quote

the two political rivals ran very closely when paired among three demographics in particular. Biden led Trump by only one percentage point among Southern regional voters, voters over the age of 65 and voters with more than four years of college education

I expect the South would be pro-Trump. He can scare the hell out of white voters with his racist bullhorns, even though it doesn’t take much for that demographic to respond to the call to anyone’s racist dog whistle, their ears are so finely tuned. Senior citizens and the college-educated as groups that think there’s anything redeeming about Trump or if they had to choose between him and Biden, however, is simply mind-boggling.  What it suggests is idiocy is quite ok.  That not knowing why you are in a space to commemorate a national treasure and totally ruining it is ok.  It says it’s ok to talk openly about reducing social security and health benefits during a worldwide pandemic that has cost over 100,00 American lives and counting. It says Donald Trump only has to show up for over half of white America to approve of whatever else he does is ok. This is NOT ok America but this today’s America.  How far the mighty have fallen is yet to be determined. There’s still time to go even deeper or to save ourselves. I’m not optimistic Americans know how to make good choices.

There’s not much to be optimistic about concerning the impeachment of

Donald Trump. The contemptuous dismissal of the Senate Republicans to the impeachment proceedings is meant to show to the general public what little regard they have for impeachment. They also want to send the signal they will stick to their original plan of getting this over with as quickly as possible. Trump’s disruptive remarks about what’s going on in the Senate, how this is a hoax as if a constitutionally approved remedy for dealing with corruption is made up or his continued disparaging of his opponents in this process only muddies what should normally be a solemn, dignified act of government and turned it into a circus. However, the way Speaker Pelosi has dealt with the proceedings and the members of her caucus and the selection of the impeachment managers have been nothing less than stellar and inspiring. I’m almost afraid to mention the appearance her managers have with what one assumes would be appointees under Obama, but the diversity of the House’s managers is inspiring and more reflective of 21st century America. Unlike the group of 13 Republicans who managed their case against President Bill Clinton, who were all white men, this group of seven managers consists of three women and four men. Two are members of the Congressional Black Caucus, and one is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Once again Americans of all stripes and colors can look at any one of the House managers and see themselves; they can feel proud that capable and competent people were selected for a task as great as reinforcing the Constitution of the United States.

Impeachment Managers
These are the House Impeachment Managers. You should know their names (from left) Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo.

If you are not a white male and you are looking at the impeachment proceedings

and particularly at the GOP and how they manhandle the law you might have a feeling for what it was like for people like you who were around during the founding of this country. Granted the folks who were responsible for making the laws in the 18th century were unanimously from the same tribe, unlike today’s Republicans who are 81% white males. The heavy-handed way the Founding Fathers wielded power looks and feels like Mitch McConnell’s US Senate.

In spite of overwhelming evidence, the head of his party is corrupt McConnell et co choose to interpret the Constitution in a way that uniquely suits their purpose for power. I submit that same document was created with the same goal in mind…to lock down power for a segment of the American population even if it meant dehumanizing some and completely ignoring the rights of all but those who were lucky enough to have correct pigmentation and the “Y” chromosome that ensured their default qualities of superiority.

So callous is today’s GOP to the American population they are willing to legalize criminal behavior, codify it in a way to keep hold of the reigns of power and stave off the rule of law from Trump’s corrupt administration. America’s Founding Fathers denied the vote to more than half their citizens, women and made more less than human. What saved America was the likes of Adam Schiff today’s John Brown and Nancy Pelosi, today’s Quaker abolitionist Lucretia Mott who irritated, upset the conscious of the Founding Fathers and challenged their notions of American patriarchy.

How Donald Trump injected politics on MLK day

The convergence of white supremacy all came together this MLK Day of 01/20/20. A Virginia gun rights organization that was formed in the mid-90s during a Republican Virginia governor’s administration decided to have a gun rights rally in Richmond, Virginia former home of the American secessionist and traitorous group known as the Confederacy on Martin Luther King day.

In today’s heightened political environment guns and politics are a volatile mix. Race an ingredient never far removed from current events in America makes that mixture explosive. Elected and “legitimate” authorities decided to treat this event with the seriousness it deserves. The governor of Virginia banned firearms in an area around the state capital building and declared a state of emergency. The FBI, despite being emasculated by Trump and his Department of Justice was diligent enough to arrest white supremacists who were members of a racist organization, The Base that is provocative and well known to federal authorities. Virginia’s House Republican leader warned attendees “Any group that comes to Richmond to spread white supremacist garbage, or any other form of hate, violence, or civil unrest isn’t welcome here.”

America, however, is in the throes of the criminal enterprise known as the Trump administration and it didn’t take long for its boss to weigh in and inflame passions. Trump is racist and he knows the buttons that push his racism and he has no problem pushing them to engage his base to do things he wants doing but can’t do himself. So he acted irresponsibly and dangerously and tweeted:
“Your 2nd Amendment is under very serious attack in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia…That’s what happens when you vote for Democrats, they will take your guns away.”
The laws Virginia’s governor and legislature instituted DON’T take away citizens’ gun but Trump is the most lying politician in American history and facts never matter(ed) to him. What the absence of facts do is show America who is a fantasist and who is responsible when approaching the affairs of state.

Virginia gun rally, 01/20/20

America has been made worse with Trump being in office. One thing he did was open up, exacerbate the wound of the confederacy and America’s treasonous behavior that has since been excused and institutionalized by Americans. Trump turned a day of celebration into a day of politics meant to further the American divide, create animus among American citizens while ensuring his own political ascendancy. This is the Trump way; he believes in a scorched earth policy of clearing away any and all opposition to his way of rule no matter the cost to the American body politic. Employing lawlessness or unsavory characters to achieve this end is not a problem for him. If he escapes removal from office via the vehicle of impeachment America has to hold on for 10 months before they get the chance to rid themselves of him permanently and that should be the goal; get rid of Donald Trump within the constitutionally mandated way forever.