THE PANIC OF PANDEMIC

Why Did Trump Politicize a Crisis?

We human beings are challenged by nature, and the way we handle its catastrophes and calamities demonstrate our creative minds and will to survive. When a tornado blows through a midwestern town, we automatically step up, go into action and rescue people from the ruins. We may be confronted with death when the light of day comes, but we pledge to rebuild, remodel and rethink how to guard against the same fate in the future. We even use the cliché, “[Town Name] Strong!” to convince the rest of the world that we will be back.

Donald Trump keeps using the phrase, “invisible enemy” because he, like many others, has figured out that without an electronic microscope one cannot see the coronavirus. These non-living particles invade our bodies, usually in the lungs, and start a war between our immune systems and their camouflaged sharp little crowns. Our body thinks the virus is a friend and lets it multiply and cling to the walls of our organs. Therefore, a patient with the coronavirus has trouble breathing; the growth of the virus blocks the lung’s capacity to process air.

We all know that Donald Trump didn’t invent this virus in a lab. We also know that our President has never been a big believer in science, because he cannot link the value of science to an enterprise. When you build buildings, you argue against the environment because it costs money to comply with the rules. All of this should have been forgotten once Trump got to the White House. He should have evolved and started to use science and experts to our advantage. He didn’t make that transition.

Instead, Trump has promoted and fomented some far-right disdain for experts, up to and including his retweet of the #FireFauci tag. Why? Does he not know that the 20 to 30% of the population who think he walks on water will adopt whatever raw, political meat-dogma he throws into the kennel? He may have ignited protests around the country, but could he not know he’s putting his own voters in harm’s way? Someone called Trump’s political party a “death cult,” because people are going to get the virus by protesting without masks and social distancing. That’s bit rough, but it does have a ring.

I have concluded that Trump politicized this virus and global pandemic because he just doesn’t know what else to do. He was on the stage at the briefings telling us that the virus was going to go away. Remember, “Fifteen down to none.” He told those attending a rally on Monday, March 2, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina at the Bojangles’ Coliseum that this virus was a “Democrat hoax.” On that date there were less than two known cases in America, but officials in Santa Clara County, California, have now determined that at least two deaths in early February can now be attributed to COVID-19. So, any idea that Donald Trump knew what was really happening all along is false. On March 2, 2020, I was moved to a different hospital for a minor operation because of COVID-19 infected hospital workers. See, there were signs. By the way, I survived that operation.

When I saw the Governor of New York on TV saying that they have gone over the top of the mountain, I felt much better. However, he also said that 166 people died in the past 24 hours. He doesn’t make me panic, but he does make me think. Gee, that could have been me.

I wonder whether more people would be wearing masks if Andrew Cuomo was president right now. Would we have these protests? Probably yes, and they would have been motivated by the zealous ideolog Fox News opinion show hosts who really are in the panic business. They prey on older conservative viewers for ratings and money. They know if they create fear and dissent, ratings will go up. They will continue to do Trump’s monkey business long after Mr. Dorito Face is gone. It’s what they do.

The stark reality? It will take years for the stock market to come back. It’s also true that this virus and global pandemic will change the way we interact as humans. Until we get a vaccine, we all need to be careful. This isn’t panic talk; it’s simply good health advice. Trump is not the leader we need right now. He doesn’t understand complex conundrums and layered challenges. Sorry, but for all of his talk about being so smart, why does he keep saying the wrong things? He has the best experts around him. He should just communicate facts and well-thought-out advice, but he can’t.

If Trump really understood and believed the science behind the novel coronavirus, he wouldn’t have launched such an aggressive campaign to restart. He wouldn’t have tweeted the word LIBERATE to those states that were trying to keep this pandemic under control. He wouldn’t have wasted time verbally abusing reporters who were asking basic questions about the administration’s role in the response to COVID-19. Donald John Trump fails to understand that the politicizing of the crisis turns off moderates and educated suburban women. It creates doubt.

They say that the biggest hinderances to stock market performance is uncertainty. Trump cannot ignore that maxim and the country will react to his actions, inactions and disruptions. By tweeting about topics not related to the pandemic, Trump reveals his lack of focus, which equates to uncertainty. Tweeting every seven minutes over the weekend and tearing into reporters is terribly beneath the office of the President, but MAGA boy doesn’t at all understand the nuances and negativity of his office and actions.

He cannot conceive that his behavior often makes things worse. He could have done a simple, information-laced presser in the Rose Garden, but his handling of the questions made things worse. If you were an alien viewing that appearance from afar, you probably would have asked, “Who put this guy in charge?” I speak alien.

We need to defeat the Pandemic and remove the man who wasn’t ready for a real crisis. The real panic will come if he’s given more time to destroy America. We must not let that happen.

Two Books For Your Stay-at-Home

Available now at Amazon


ASK CHINA THAT QUESTION!

Trump Scolds Reporters in the Rose Garden

My father was born in 1913 and if alive today he would be 107 years old. Growing up on a farm, my father dealt with a lot of hard work after his father died when Dad was 15 years of age. He was the youngest of 13 children and acquired most of his beliefs, prejudices and viewpoints during a depression and two wars. I didn’t blame him for his Archie Bunker-type comments, even though I knew why they were wrong.

My father used the term “polack” to describe Polish people, and although he never used the “N” word, he was most comfortable with calling African Americans “colored.” All the schools I attended were not integrated. My schooling took place before controversial busing laws, so I grew up in a white bubble. This was well before there was even the notion of “political correctness,” and many of the things we said then would not be received well today. If my father was around now, he would probably agree with the main guy in the White House.

Maybe because I was schooled as a journalist, my viewpoint on Donald J. Trump has been damaged by his constant disdain of media and disparagement of our free press. Along with my Presbyterian upbringing and the moral core of my being, I take umbrage with any verbal attack of a group of people, especially the downtrodden and persecuted minorities. I guess you can call me a bleeding heart, tree hugging liberal, although I would prefer to be known as a person with an altruistic grounding and who cares about people.

One of the burning questions that many have raised about Trump is whether he has some embedded racist viewpoints. We do know that his father Fred was probably a Nazi sympathizer. Records show that his father was arrested during a Nazi parade in New York in 1927, but let’s not judge a son’s values based on his father’s closed-mindedness.

The 45th President is a cloudy picture that can turn ugly in an instant. He uses the terms, “good people” to describe individuals who carry Nazi symbols of hate. He needs an enemy or combatant on every issue, which forces him to create a demon when none exists. He was quick to desire a ban of all Muslims from entering the US before he knew the details of one shooting.

When Trump runs out of Democrats, people of color, people from other countries or anyone who disagrees with him to bully, he aims his verbal attacks at the press. That is probably one of his easiest targets. When engaging with the press, his uncharted and disjointed verbosity gives us a great portal into his soul. His words are telling.

During a press conference in the Rose Garden on Monday May 11, 2020, President Donald Trump abruptly ended the briefing after he was challenged by one CNN reporter for withdrawing her turn to ask a question, but the damage was already done on mic with a previous reporter. CBS News Asian American reporter Weijia Jiang asked Trump why he emphasized that the US was doing better than any other country with respect to coronavirus testing. Ms. Jiang pressed Trump, “Why does that matter? Why is this a global competition to you if every day Americans are still losing their lives and we are still seeing more cases every day?” As all the viewers could plainly see, Trump was miffed by the question and loudly retorted, “Well, they are losing their lives everywhere in the world. Maybe that is a question you should ask China. Don’t ask me! Ask China that question!”

Weijia has gotten under Trump’s skin in earlier press conferences, so even with her mask on Trump knew the Asian American reporter from CBS. He has rebuked and disparaged her in the past. The president then called on CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, who was walking to the microphone as Jiang leaned over with half her mask off to ask, “Sir, why are you saying that to me, specifically?” The whole world witnessed Donald Trump facing an Asian woman who was confronting the President of the United States.

Donald Trump’s comeback was lame, “I am not saying it specifically to anybody. I am saying it to anybody who would ask a nasty question like that.” The only thing that we could hear clearly after that was Jiang objection, “That is not a nasty question.”

Trump has no idea that what he did was purely racist, but then he doesn’t use logic, science or facts to determine any of his positions. Trump’s outburst was racist because she’s Asian, and he was insinuating that she should ask China because she’s Chinese. His move hearkened back to the time he asked April Ryan, an African American reporter, to talk to the Black Caucus for him. I guess he did so because of the color of April’s skin. He would not have asked a white reporter to be a middle-man or negotiator with African American groups. He assumed she was in cahoots with the Black Caucus.

Donald Trump had a strange comment when asked about the senseless killing of a black man in Georgia, Ahmaud Arbery. Few in the media picked up on this issue because of the intensity Trump created with his Chinese blunder during this week’s truncated press conference.

In response to a black reporter asking how he felt about the delayed justice in Georgia, Trump said, “I think it’s horrible and it’s certainly being looked at by many people – I’m speaking to many people about it.”  Then, the President pointed out that he talked with South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, the Senate’s only black Republican, and relayed that Senator Scott said that he too was disturbed by the fatal shooting. Tim Scott is a good guy but he’s not from Georgia. Donald Trump seemed to want people to know that he “has a black friend.” He was attempting to exploit that friendship to demonstrate he understands African American challenges in this country and, in a sense, was researching how he should react. Was he getting permission?

Our current House of Representatives has 56 African Americans while the Senate has only ten. Trump leans on Tim Scott so much in his commentary because of Scott’s special status of being African American and Republican. It’s doubtful that Trump called any Democratic African American members of Congress for their viewpoints on this tragedy.

When the President of the United States yells at a reporter, who was born in China but grew up in West Virginia, “ASK CHINA THAT QUESTION!” he is saying he doesn’t have an answer. He doesn’t know why everything is a competition. He told us we would be tired of winning. He was right; we are fatigued with his games. He has proven many times that he doesn’t like direct questions from women and especially women of color. So, he’s not only racist, but a male chauvinist pig. Okay, paste another star on his forehead. What a guy.

If you read this book, you can see why all this happened to us.

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


WITH ALL DUE RESPECT

Trump Train: No Conductor, Wrong Track

I think growing up in Pittsburgh put a bit of a chip on my shoulder. It’s not like us ‘burghers hold grudges or grievances, or stand ready to provoke disputes and arguments, but we can surely talk your leg off. Also, Pittsburghers have a built-in underdog status, which often comes in handy.

In the 1946 Marx Brothers movie, A Night in Casablanca, the female character, Bea, played by Lisette Verea, and Groucho’s Kornblow are both smoking and playfully blowing smoke at each other. As the cloud of smoke surrounds their heads, Groucho says, “This is like living in Pittsburgh – if you can call that ‘living.’” When we were kids, we were told that our hometown was inferior to other places.

The ‘burgh is a sports town. Our insecurity complex came to a screeching halt when our Pirates beat the New York Yankees in the 1960 World Series. We were brought to our feet waving yellow pieces of “terrible towels” when our NFL Steelers won six Super Bowls. Then there were the five Stanley cup wins by our Pittsburgh Penguins, which brought much joy to the hearts of Steel City citizens. The goal has always been respect, not just winning.

I always twitch when I hear a retort start with the words, “With all due respect.” It’s because I know that whatever they are about to say will be contra to my position. That’s fine. I want to know your point, perception or proposition. Afterall, you could be right. I will change my mind if you take the care and time to intellectually lay out the logic.

During the confirmation hearing for William Barr as Attorney General of the US, I believed he was a straight-shooter, even though he orchestrated and wrote all the pardons freeing those involved in the Iran-Contra Affair under President George H.W. Bush. Go ahead and Google it. You see, I have a thing about white collar crime and political infractions. Why are those people treated differently when they break the law? The lame excuse, “I was just following orders,” didn’t cut it at Nuremberg and shouldn’t in the United States of America. Oliver North was not a patriot.

I never liked Michael Flynn and was more than skeptical when Donald Trump appointed him to the post of National Security Advisor. I like smart generals and I have nothing against the military, but when pure ideologs make policies we often end up on shaky ground. Dick Cheney was of that ilk, and after spending a trillion dollars on unnecessary wars we saw the damage an ideolog can wrest when they become too powerful in US decision-making. Dick Cheney was not a patriot.

Take all that Trump has said during his three years in office, boil it down, and you will see a pattern of over-committing to a plan, then throwing water on the plan and, later, blaming someone else for the plan. It’s amazing to me that the guy doesn’t run into himself on his way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Trump is a confused little boy with the thinnest skin of any human.

When William Barr took control of the Department of Justice, he was called to the Senate for a hearing, and that’s when we saw the real Bill Barr. For the life of me, I don’t understand why Barr didn’t change his title from A.G. to P.O. — Political Operative, because that is what he is. He’s not upholding the law when it comes to Trump. He’s out front, blocking for him, running interference and acting more like a bought judge than the Attorney General.

During his first post confirmation hearing, Barr claimed that the FBI “spied on the Trump campaign.” He seemed to say that there were some misdeeds by the agency when they checked out unusual and premature contacts between Russians and those in the Trump campaign. Isn’t that something the FBI should do? Why would Barr think that’s not okay? Is he a Russian agent?

Not too long later, William Barr was discrediting and misquoting the Robert Mueller Report. During his presentation, before the document was released, he basically said that he and Rod Rosenstein reviewed the facts and determined that there was no wrongdoing by Trump or his cohorts. REALLY? I read it and saw a bunch of indictments, admissions of guilt and sentences handed down. The report wasn’t nearly as vague or positive as Barr wanted you to believe. Without the terms being present in the report, it paints Trump as an unindicted co-conspirator and the main obstructer of justice in the probe.

With the thousands of other cases the Attorney General is responsible for managing and directing, we can only hope that his biases and distractions are not affecting the process of justice. Unfortunately, that’s not the circumstance. Keep reading; it gets worse.

I wasn’t surprised when Barr announced that the DOJ was dropping its charges against Michael Flynn for lying to the FBI. Flynn admitted to the lying and was convicted of that crime. I am sure Barr can read the law: “Making false statements (18 U.S.C. § 1001) is the name for the federal process crime laid out in Section 1001 of Title 18 of the United States Code, which generally prohibits knowingly and willfully making false or fraudulent statements, or concealing information, in ‘any matter within the jurisdiction’ of the federal government of the United States, even by merely denying guilt when asked by a federal agent.” William Barr cannot erase this law from the books and has broken the law by ignoring it.

I don’t trust Trump and I don’t trust William Barr. Had Barr been doing his job properly he would have dug into Trump’s tax returns and attempted to establish motives for some of this president’s bizarre actions. There should be a Special Prosecutor appointed to investigate the Attorney General, but we don’t have time right now — you know, election coming, pandemic, virus in the White House, stuff like that.

With all due respect, William Barr is neither a patriot nor a glowing light for justice. He’s simply an ass-kissing Trump sycophant. For those who really care about law and order in America, please step up and help throw Trump out of the White House in November.

I don’t respect people who cannot be objective when administering the law. I know that if Trump losses the election in November, his fake writers will be churning out the pardons for everyone Trump believes treated him unfairly. They will take care of those who suffered terrible injustices that often happen to rich and famous people like Martha Stewart.

I cannot wait to see Donald, Ivanka, Jared and all the Trump knuckleheads walking to the helicopter to fly them back to New York in January. Better yet, why not make them ride a train back to their tower? I don’t mean the Acela Express; I’m talking about the slow train. Maybe we could drop a few trees over the tracks on the way back. That will allow them to appreciate a true, common man traveling experience.

Two Books For Your Stay-at-Home

Available now at Amazon

 


PARDON ME, MR. FAT BUTT

Trump’s Misuse of Power Continues

What did the Republicans expect after they blindly defended Donald Trump during his impeachment trial? Our President has a totally perverted view of the Judicial Branch of the government. He has no idea what it means for the Department of Justice to be independent of any Presidential interference or influence. What you may not realize is that Trump is setting the stage for his own possible pardon. What is so confusing about Trump is that while he thinks he’s a king and untouchable, he also has a persecution complex and he plans to be a martyr.

With the numerous pardons and clemencies that Donald Trump delivered this week, we can see that a get-out-of-jail-free card comes to those who have a relationship with the man. Perhaps he’s a donor and the quid-pro-quo is right there in the open. Perhaps he was a contestant on Trump’s reality TV show and is a “nice guy.” This President’s proclivity for giving white collar criminals a pass speaks to his view that people who are rich or powerful should be treated differently.

There are reports in the Washington Post today suggesting that the White House has, in effect, cut the Department of Justice out of the pardon process and is using Jared Kushner to vet the pardons. This might be weighing on Attorney General William Barr as much as the bothering tweets from Trump. Barr may have just figured out that the President is eating into his authority.

Jared’s father, Charles, is infamous for some sordid reasons. In 2005, he was convicted of illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion, and witness tampering. He served 14 months in federal prison and an additional ten months in a halfway house. Like Roger Stone, Charles Kushner was convicted on these charges, with witness tampering being the one that garnered the longest jail time. But he did go to jail.

So, Trump puts Kushner in charge of these pardons and his mission to free all the bad guys who did what his father did? How can he not be conflicted on this issue? The President of the United States is using his power to disregard court orders and judges’ opinions, which are the foundation of our system of law and order. Without an independent judiciary, we are doomed as a democracy.

Imagine someone who worked hard their whole life to go to college and get a law degree. Then, saddled with tons of college debt, they become a prosecutor rather than working a more lucrative legal position in private practice. They are given a case from a grand jury and they can see the infractions, misdeeds and illegalities that occurred. They spend the taxpayers’ money to bring a case against a person. During that journey, they find out that the defendant has been threatening the witnesses in their case. They discover that not only jury was tampering involved, but the person being charged lied under oath. After all this work, a jury of the person’s peers finds the person guilty of all charges and then, minutes later, the President of the United States says that he’s more powerful and important than the jury, the Department of Justice or those prosecutors who swore an oath to uphold the law and protect the Constitution.

Rebuked by a Presidential tweet about the Roger Stone case, four career prosecutors resigned from the case and one from the Justice Department. Barr claims Trump didn’t interfere or ask him to get involved in the case, but that doesn’t work this time. It’s like the person who post-dates a check to show they were not delinquent. Barr is more than delinquent; he’s complicit in overriding the American justice system.

The first thing a new president should do is get rid of William Barr and ask Congress to introduce reasonable guidelines for presidential pardons. When Donald J. Trump is gone, we the people will have to pick up the pieces and write new laws to protect the country from a future president like him. Maybe we should modify the Constitution to impose a limit to the number of pardons a president can give, maybe five or so within a calendar year. Right now, the president could conceivably pardon everyone in jail. With the laws in some states letting ex-felons vote, this could be a giant quid-pro-quo to get votes.

Trump’s misuse of power continued this week with his pardons of people whom he feels were treated unfairly. The ultimate jury in this country are the voters themselves and the election will clearly be a case against Donald Trump and his malfeasance in office. If you think he’s good for your pocketbook, think about him deciding one day to take away all your guns, all your healthcare or Medicare to force his vision of America. Did Trump really offer Julian Assange a pardon if he would back up his lie that Russia didn’t attempt to interfere with the 2016 election in the USA? If he did, he should be removed from office immediately. Oh yeah, we already tried that.

This just in: Roger Stone sentenced to 40 months in prison and we are now on “PARDON WATCH” because it’s no surprise that President Trump wants to give him a way out of this mess without serving any jail time. Odds are that this will take place within seven to ten days. Surprise, Surprise!

In the days ahead we will see who Donald John Trump really is, a corrupt politician a la Tammany Hall, a New York City political organization that endured for nearly two centuries and for a time, was the bribe clearing house to get things done. Trump truly believes it’s okay to take money from people and then give them something for their loyalty. He believes that he’s all powerful. He disgraces the office of President and he’s a horrible human being. Where are all the anarchists when we need them?

New Book About America

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.

 


PARNAS: RUSSIAN DOUBLE AGENT?

Trump Susceptible to Groupies & Secret Agents?

This is how conspiracy theories get started. You see things. You add some other data. Then you paste pictures and notes on a wall and connect them with thumbtacks and red string. Any of us can be a forensic scientist, even without training. Bear with me here. This might make more sense as you read along.

First of all, isn’t it shocking that the President of the United States could have dinner at a hotel in Washington, DC, which he happens to own, where two people who have never been vetted by the Secret Service, State Department or FBI are dining with him and discussing foreign policy? And would it not be even more astonishing if one of those guys recorded what President Donald John Trump said? Yet, it happened.

On October 9, 2019, those same two men were taken off a plane and arrested at Dulles International Airport before departing to Europe with one-way tickets. The two men are Lev Parnas and Igor Furman. The next day, this headline appeared in the Washington Post: Two business associates of Trump’s personal attorney Giuliani have been arrested on campaign finance charges. Before this happened, no one in America ever heard the names Parnas and Furman. But hold on. The next steps in this caper sound like they’re from an incredible spy novel.

When asked about the two gentlemen, Donald Trump, in performed style, said he didn’t know them and, if they are clients of Rudy Giuliani, then the press should ask Rudy about them. So, there’s the opening of yet another dirty chapter in the pathological lying and dangerous distraction that Donald Trump uses to avoid inconvenient truth. He thought his lying about knowing someone would allow him to escape admitting his involvement in stupidity.

This week, ABC News was brave enough to disclose receipt of a part-video, part-audio recording during a dinner at the Trump International Hotel where Trump, his son and others dined. The recording, likely made on April 30, 2018, are revealing. According to his attorney, Lev Parnas’ partner, Igor Furman, made the recording. You know, like spies do. On the recording, it appears the two Giuliani associates are telling Trump that the US ambassador to Ukraine has been bad-mouthing him, which leads directly to this Trump outburst, “Get rid of her! Get her out tomorrow. I don’t care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. OK? Do it.”

Let’s stop right here and think about this. I am sure when Trump said, “Take her out,” he wasn’t talking about dating her. It’s important to point out that Lev Parnas has no deep knowledge of political and state matters in Ukraine. Oh sure, he speaks Russian and Ukrainian but, according to Wikipedia, Parnas was born in Odessa, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, in 1972 to a Jewish family. His family brought him at the age of three to the U.S., first to Detroit, and when he was four, to Brooklyn. [Thus, the accent] He was a student at Brooklyn College and Baruch College. He also worked at Kings Highway Realty, where he sold Trump Organization co-ops. That may have been how Trump first came to know of Parnas. In fact, Trump was introduced to this guy so many times that only a fool would believe our fat-ass president’s claim he doesn’t know him. But don’t take my word, read the news.  Even though the Donald is such a “stable genius,” he seems to have a serious memory loss when it comes to any nefarious character he doesn’t want associated with him. Trump’s claim he’s has had his picture taken with thousands of people and doesn’t remember Parnas is total bullshit.

Some news outlets are posting a photo and claiming that Parnas slipped an envelope to Trump at a fund raiser. Was that money? Parnas has been granting interviews to anyone who will have him, almost bragging about his closeness with Trump.  The world seems to be missing the bigger problem, however. The recording shows how easy it would be for a Russian, or any other country’s agent, to get inside the inner circle of the most powerful buffoon in the world.

Could Lev and Igor be Russian double agents? Who will protect our country from a president making decisions based on information given to him by possible double agents? Rudy Giuliani, the President’s personal attorney, aided and abetted these characters. On the recording, Parnas claims he doesn’t remember the name of the Ambassador he was slandering. Now Parnas admits he didn’t know that US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was “bad mouthing” Trump. He even apologized to her on TV. WTF?

So, here’s the latest, stark example of what we feared all along. Donald Trump is the most gullible, misguided and underinformed President we’ve ever had. Forget about “No collusion,” “Read the transcript” or “What I did wasn’t a crime.” This guy is incapable of discerning a play, a lie, a scheme, a plot, or a conspiracy. If a piano fell on his fucking head he would declare, “What a beautiful melody!” as the instrument’s strings vibrated against his skull. He doesn’t know what he is doing.

Let’s sum it up. Two guys, who have never been cleared or investigated by our government, are in Trump’s inner circle giving him misinformation which he then acts upon. How can this President be trusted? What if Igor and Lev have been trained to con their way into our government? What if they are being paid by Dmytro Firtash, a corrupt Ukrainian businessman with ties to the Kremlin? Oh, yeah, they are. Could it be that Rudy Giuliani, in his glaring stupidity, is being played by Russia and Ukraine to orchestrate a regime change in the former Soviet state? You know, start with the US Ambassador and then work their way up to the new President.

I hope you are tacking your red string up to the wall with the pictures of all these characters and the notes you have taken. Rudy Giuliani’s associates were arrested not because they were caught trying to leave the country but because Attorney General William Barr wanted to send a message to Trump that Giuliani was hurting him. Trump is so dense that he cannot read the Russian tea leaves. Giuliani wasn’t arrested on charges of violating the Logan Act because Barr knows he would be fired if he arrested Rudy. That would anger Trump beyond words. If you are curious, The Logan Act — 1 Stat. 613, 18 U.S.C. § 953 — was enacted January 30, 1799 and is a Federal law that criminalizes negotiation by unauthorized American citizens with foreign governments. Violation of the Logan Act is a felony. Perhaps you could say it is “Treason-lite.”

The facts are simple. Russia interfered with our 2016 election with a massive, multi-million-dollar misinformation campaign, which American social media companies made a mint on yet never detected. Trump, the lessor of two evils in many people’s minds, was elected. He and his associates have been under investigation from the beginning of his campaign, obviously for good reasons. There is credible evidence that Trump has obstructed justice and Congress, but more seriously we have someone in the White House who can be played by untalented actors and agents.  Sadly, no one in the Republican party wants to admit this. Wow! Where are our forefathers when we need them?

Two thugs and cons got into Trump’s inner circle, spread the lie that Putin wanted to plant, cultivated that falsehood, promoted the conspiracy, convinced the President of the United States to act on it, and Donald J. Trump changed US policies and actions regarding another country. Hey, I’m not a Fox News guy but wouldn’t that mean that Lev Parnas is a double agent? He played the President to pull off Putin’s plan. He was paid by a third party connected to Russia and the actions taken helped another country, RUSSIA! Trump got manipulated by a double agent who he doesn’t even know is a double agent and the Senate is going to give Trump a way out of conviction. They are not impartial jurors and not smart enough to see what is truly happening. The fools in Congress are fake caretakers of the Constitution.

We need to send some thoughts and prayers out to our Democracy. Oh, too soon?

New Book About America

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


THE BIG TRUMP TRIAL

John, Mike, Mick & Bill Must Testify

Unless you have been living under a rock, you know a big trial will be starting tomorrow in Washington. This is the trial portion of Donald John Trump’s impeachment. It’s always revealing to use all three names a person has. You know, like John Wayne Gacy and other infamous villains. We need to know their exact identity for some reason.

I have been told that the addition of Trump’s middle name in the impeachment documents was necessary because he was sworn in under that name during his inauguration. We know exactly who the defendant is and there can be no mistake that the Senate is trying Donald Trump, Jr, so we are using our president’s middle name. Silly, really.

The process of drawing up the articles of impeachment in the House of Representatives has been criticized by Republicans, White House aids and Constitutional experts, but surely these controversies will be put to the test during the trial. Hopefully. The facts are there, but few will agree to agree on these points. The House could have called more witnesses and procured more documentation, if the President didn’t stonewall Congress. And here’s another solid fact. Had the House Democrats gone the route of subpoenaing all the witnesses they wanted, the matter would have dragged on in the courts. Probably until the end of summer, when someone would have suggested, Mitch McConnell most likely, that the court should not rule on these witnesses because it would affect the 2020 presidential election. We’ve been here before.

There are some people on the public payroll who took an oath to the United States and the Constitution and who haven’t come forward to testify about these important matters. These issues are so crucial to our foreign policy and corruption in the administration that these public servants have an obligation to tell the American people what they know.

Let’s walk through these voices that have been muzzled by Donald Trump. In a previous post, we pointed out the flaw in having the person who runs the OMB (Office of Management and Budget) also be the Chief of Staff to the President. However, conflict of interest is something the present occupant of the White House doesn’t care about. He’s the actual swamp.

Mick Mulvaney is officially the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and in this quirky Trump administration, he’s also “acting” Chief of Staff. He doesn’t get two paychecks, but he does control the release of funds, such as military aid to Ukraine, and must be questioned under oath about what happened in the Ukraine-gate conspiracy. He’s already admitted on live National TV that there was a quid pro quo with the President of Ukraine, and he urged us to get over it. Okay, what would he say under oath in a Senate impeachment trial?

Next, we have Mike Pompeo, who used to run the CIA and now runs the State Department. As amazing as it might seem, it took him more than six months to be brought into the loop regarding the US Ambassador to Ukraine being intimidated by Rudy Giuliani, There was even possible spying by Rudy’s boys and a campaign to discredit her by nefarious actors. Really? He was the head of the CIA and he didn’t maintain contacts with his team there to find out what was happening in Ukraine? What a poor administrator and Secretary of State. He must be questioned under oath and show the American public if he is protecting our diplomats and ambassadors.

Then there’s William Barr, the attorney general of the United States. Now there are those people who think he the best man for the job. What’s funny about that last line is most of those folks are Republicans, but remember, the Senate confirmed William Barr to be attorney general with a 54-45 vote. 45 Democratic senators saw Barr’s previous writings about the power of the President and the “flaws” he saw in the Mueller investigations and took them as an early indication that Barr’s ideological philosophy would be used to protect Trump rather than being an objective top cop in America. New evidence has come to the forefront that may implicate Barr in the Ukraine conspiracy and coverup. Lev Parnas believes that Trump commanded William Barr, on the advice of Rudy Giuliani, to arrest Parnas and his partner, Igor Fruman, to shut them up. Giuliani and Trump may have worried that once Parnas was out of the country, he would launch a campaign of truthful disclosure that would hurt both Trump and his personal attorney.

William Barr must testify because, without the oversight of the Department of Justice, there is no justice. Barr has already refused to testify and has been found to be in contempt of Congress. Why is he still the Attorney General? He must testify.

And last, but not least, Former National Security Advisor John Bolton must come forward, be sworn and tell his story. We know that Bolton either was fired or quit during heated discussions about Syria, Turkey, Afghanistan and Ukraine. Bolton has said he will testify if subpoenaed by the Senate. Mitch McConnell, leader of the Senate, doesn’t want witnesses, but it may be too late for him to block relevant witnesses. Trump said he would claim executive privilege to keep Bolton from testifying, which any logical person would take as proof that he is obstructing Congress, one of his impeachment charges. It’s not a Catch 22 — a dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions — it’s only a trick to keep the public from hearing more damaging facts that would likely come out during testimony.

No matter what happens during this historical week, Donald John Trump will have the stain of impeachment on his permanent record. When you read about him in history books, Wikipedia and the Congressional Record, it will be very clear that Trump was accused of high crimes or misdemeanors and tried in the Senate. In the past two impeachment trials, Senators concentrated on the number of votes and the articles, with little concern for the cult of personality. Clinton beat the rap, while Andrew Johnson was not victorious after winning the trial. His party took him off the ticket in 1868. So, while Trump and his talking heads keep pointing to the fact that Clinton went on to get reelected, they fail to remember how damaging an impeachment trial can be. Look at what happened to Nixon. He resigned before his trial. Will Trump be smart enough to get out before the election, or will he suffer a terrible loss because of the drip, drip, drip of more corruptive revelations?

Trump is dangerous and damaging to our republic. Let’s quote our “great southern statesman,” Lindsey Graham, “I want to put a vigorous case on that he’s guilty for the sake of the rule of law, for the sake of the truth, if nothing else,” Graham continued, “What I’m saying about witnesses is that if you take them off the table in the Senate, the next Judiciary Committee, the next independent counsel ought to do everything, because they may lose the chance to present their case and that would be bad for impeachment law. That would be against precedent, and I hope that doesn’t happen here.”

Of course, he was talking about the Clinton impeachment trial, not Trump’s, Graham is willing to do something bad for America and law. He’s putting party before his duty to protect the Constitution and will go down as one large-ass, feckless hypocrite of all time!

New Book About America

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


PRESIDENTIAL PRECEDENTS

Trump’s Ultimate Shame is Coming

We are hearing the word “precedent” quite frequently lately. A precedent is nothing more than an earlier event or action that is regarded as an example or guide to be considered in subsequent, similar circumstances. The thought that something should be considered, however, doesn’t mean it should be thought of as the absolute solution or outcome.

One of the aspects of law that makes it easier, and some might suggest fairer, is a judge considering how things were decided in an earlier case and study the previous judge’s logic when constructing their new decision. As we’re in the thick of presidential impeachment activity, we are hearing many examples from impeachments of the past. What is most stunning in all these pronouncements is that the number of previous impeachments is only three.

People can examine what happened to Richard Nixon, but he was never impeached. It was the threat of impeachment that drove him from office, not a conviction. His party leaders informed Nixon he had only 15 Republican votes against impeachment in the Senate. Certain to be removed from office, Nixon resigned in shame.

Then there are the impeachment proceedings of Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, but neither was removed from office. Johnson was acquitted by only one vote, while Bill Clinton got 45 guilty votes on one charge and 50 on the other. Two-thirds of the Senate must vote guilty before a president is removed from office. Clinton did have to pay penalties in state court cases and lost his license to practice law for life. He also served two-terms as President, but the shame of perjury hangs over him to this day.

In the latest Fox News polls of December 8-11, 2019, 50% of eligible voters said they favored Trump’s impeachment and removal. In those same polls, 53% claimed they thought Trump abused his power, while 48% said he obstructed Congress. I might remind our readers that this is a Fox News poll.

From the time the Donald officially declared he was running for President in June of 2015 through the first two-and-a-half years of his presidency, Trump has tweeted over 17,000 times. These are considered official statements by the President of the United States and they open him up to some harsh criticism from the press and the public. Trump’s tweets more than likely contributed to this impeachment mess in which he’s ensnared.

Historians are being called before the shiny microphones and HD cameras. They can fill us in on what has happened in the past but, let’s get real. Impeachment is not the normal process of our government. Donald John Trump is no more able to use the precedents of previous impeachments than certain people in Congress can ignore all the findings in the Mueller Report.

The two articles of impeachment that the House Judiciary Committee have drawn up, are extremely straightforward. They are ARTICLE I: ABUSE OF POWER and ARTICLE II: OBSTRUCTION OF CONGRESS.

For the first one, it’s clear that asking a foreign government to do anything that would distort or corrupt our process of electing officials is an abuse of power. One thing stands out to me. Trump spent two years telling us he didn’t collude with the Russians to disrupt our 2016 electoral process. He kept repeating that because he knew that his actions constituted a high crime and misdemeanor. He showed the world that he knew soliciting help from a foreign government was unlawful, and he denied wrongdoing over and over. In a rather amazing blog called Lawfare, you can read all of Trump’s statements and tweets on Russian, Putin, et. al. According to this site, the phrase of “no collusion” was transmitted more than 136 times.

Clearly, we have evidence that Trump believed that “colluding with a foreign state” was wrong because he kept telling us he was not guilty of that charge. So, what happens next? He does it again. That is exactly what he was attempting with Ukraine’s new president. He was colluding with a foreign government to help himself in the 2020 election. He even admitted to it on the south lawn of the White House. His partial transcript demonstrates that he asked for something in return for something. He was using the military aid as the bribe to get something, “a favor,” he wanted. Used in the context of that conversation, a “favor” means giving someone something that they wanted.

As for the second article of impeachment, Trump has done everything he possibly could to block witness testimony, conceal documents and not testify himself. Even Bill Clinton testified during his own trial, but the lawyers always cherry-pick those precedents that benefit their case.

All those who want to make this more complicated that what it actually is are mistaken. All those who see it only as a “political act” are wrong. There is nothing more definitive and legally determinative than removing a president from office. Will it hurt the country? Sure, but then what kind of country do we want to have? What kind of lawless executive office do we want to construct for the future? If we overvalue precedents, those mistakes could be codified into law. Trump is guilty of obstruction of Congress and should be removed from office.

In the end, if we think a president’s income taxes should always be in the public domain then we must pass a law that demands it. We should not sit back and complain about people not testifying before Congress after they ignore a subpoena. They should be arrested and imprisoned until they comply. Some reporters are jailed when they don’t reveal their sources. Why are our political appointees insulated by some executive branch cloak of protection? If our country is based on law and order, then let the laws protect the people from a president and all his men who are lying to us. They must come forward and testify or be taken out of their positions. Impeachment is not based on precedents, it’s part of the Constitution and was put there for this very necessary reason.


CONTAMINATION OF JUSTICE

Trump’s Stacking the Deck for Himself

There is something right before the very eyes of Donald Trump’s sycophants and political partisans that they cannot see. Their allegiance to the incompetent man in our White House is more important to them than whether Trump is qualified and effective at his job or loyal to our flag and Constitution. The only way a person can achieve and keep a position in the Trump administration requires unqualified support of Trump and his ego power grab. There have always been people who bend to the will of their benefactor, but what we have now are out and out lies for this man. Why?

We are seeing many people in the administration and in Congress openly lying or failing to answer important questions because they do not want to anger the pumpkin in the White House. What do they fear? They dread being fired with the tactics of intimidation and fear Trump used in the production of his inane TV show, The Apprentice. This is a country, our country, and America and must be treated with much more care than an insipid reality TV show.

One of the characters in Trump’s dysfunctional shameful body of enablers is William Barr. For months and months, we have been assaulted with the harangues and tweets from our President about how bad former Attorney General Jeff Sessions was. Trump did all things possible to shame Mr. Sessions resignation, when he could have simply fired him. Maybe the Donald was stalling for time to find the right guy for the job, a political operative rather than a real Attorney General. From his first day in office, Barr has been doing Trump’s dirty deeds. Perhaps his most devious moment was the discoloration of the Mueller Report before it was released.

This week, Barr graced us with his version of the Inspector General’s report on the investigation into the origins of the Mueller Report. Now, after being pressured by Trump, A.G. Barr has once again discounted the findings of the report before it was made public. His goal of amplifying the mistakes of the FBI may have been warranted, but he ignored the over-arching conclusion that the investigation was warranted. He simply stated that it wasn’t, and he ordered his new handpicked investigator, Mr. John Durham, to release a similar statement. Durham’s pronouncement referencing his ongoing investigation, echoed former FBI leader James Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton server investigation. Shame on both for repeating the mistake of talking about an ongoing investigation.

When John Kelly left the White House, Trump pushed his responsibilities onto the plate of Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. This added to Mulvaney’s role as manager of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which handles and releases funds, including foreign aid. And there you have it. The person who said, “Get over it,” attempted to justify political considerations in US interaction with another country. So, the sycophant running the White House and OMB, was maneuvering to avoid any proper scrutiny or review. The good news is that Trump and Mulvaney got caught.

As Trump continues to stack the seats of the judiciary with men and women who think like the great Donald, he is weakening our system of checks and balances. This is not by accident but rather a bragging point that candidate Trump used at his mob rallies. There are those in evangelical movements who say one of the reasons they look the other way with respect to Trump’s language and bad personal conduct is his selection of judges who will expediate the removal of the Roe vs. Wade ruling by the Supreme Court.

Whether in the majority or minority, all of us Americans have rights. We have heard the voices of those debating impeachment saying that Democrats are taking away the vote of the people. Those against impeachment speak about the process denying the vote of 62,984,828 voters. None of them mention that Hillary Clinton, the other person running for president, received 65,853,514 votes. If most of the people within the popular vote are not being served by this president, then the argument of Trump’s vast mandate is not correct.

Look at the most recent polls and you will see the clear facts. On September 16–17, 2019, Ipsos/Reuters surveyed voters in America  and found that Donald J. Trump has only 40% approval. According to the latest numbers from FiveThirtyEight.com, 47.5% of the American public support impeachment. Almost half the voters favor throwing Trump out of office, while 60% of the public disapprove of his performance. If he was the CEO of a major public company, he would have been fired years ago.

The poison that Trump has pissed into the punch bowl of American unity is appalling to this American. The Congress, with a Gallup 24% approval rating,  only worsens its reputation with their outlandish TV antics. The arguments and apparent love of Donald Trump is repugnant. And as we all know, love is blind. Most of the Republicans are blinded by the light of lies spewing from Trump’s misshaped little mouth. It’s time for change America!

New Book About America

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.

 


TURLEY BIRD A WHIRLING

Trump is just another brick in the wall

If we could hear every conversation of every president, we would probably gasp at some of the stupid mistakes they make. Perhaps we would impeach the lot of them. In my lifetime, there have been several that I would have voted for impeachment if I sat in the Senate.

History has a way of making everything somewhat less dramatic, even though it’s the basis for much of our theater. Shakespeare retold stories from history in such an elevated manner that they lasted for centuries. With the extremely real plague that conquered much of Great Britain at the time, Shakespeare escaped to Italy which influenced All’s Well that Ends Well, Antony and Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew and others. Some would argue he didn’t need to live in Italy to produce those plays, but his experiences influenced his writing and the flavor of Italian culture is now part of history.

Back to today’s Washington; I suppose the four Constitutional scholars who were summoned to Congress were there to explain the Constitution to a bunch of politically charged and highly biased men and women of the House Judiciary Committee. Wouldn’t they already know what the Constitution and the Bill of Rights says? After all, the swore an oath to protect them or was this latest hearing just more drama and theater?

What we got was four hand-picked professors pontificating on what it all means and whether Donald J. Trump should be impeached. Was it educational? Yes. Was it helpful? In some ways, yes, but mostly it was more chest pounding and finger-pointing by the same big mouth know-it-alls in Congress. What would sweet William Shakespeare write about this calamity of the staining of the presidency? Would he spare us sharp barbs bound for this ill-fitted blue suit wearing fool named Donald of Queens? This golden boy Trump doth lie at every turn and cares not for his subjects as much as the fawning flattery that shines down on his golden hair from fools and dictators. But let’s get real. He’s just a damn president.

I watched the proceeding with an attempt at objective analysis, but once again found myself realizing that neither Republicans nor Democrats are capable of un-biased reason. They don’t deserve to decide who should be president or, for that matter, what the laws of the land should be. As I said in my book, Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs, they are all corrupted fools… or, as I call them, Goofballs.

Three of the professors were totally convinced that Donald J. Trump committed either treason, bribery, or high crimes and misdemeanors. The fourth person, Jonathan Turley, a lawyer, legal scholar, writer, commentator, and legal analyst in broadcast and print journalism from George Washington University Law School, is not convinced that Trump’s malfeasance is thick enough to deport the Donald back to New York, or Florida. The other three believe his guilt is thick as a brick and, as the song goes, ”Your wise men don’t know how it feels, to be thick as a brick.” Was Turley’s thin-as-a-wafer attempt a religious reference? I think not.

Pink Floyd sang, “We don’t need no education,” but that didn’t stop Professor Turley from mounting a flimsy defense of Trump, saying that the process should be slowed down and more evidence established. A rush to judgement is never a good thing in court cases and executions, but Turley failed to point out the two biggest problems with Donald Trump, his lies and secrecy.

The 45th President is in contempt of Congress. Blocking documents and testimony is the most obvious form of obstruction. Just as the pro-Democratic professors are emphatic about Trump’s unfitness for office, Turley allows himself to ignore certain realities. We will not get more evidence unless Trump releases the grip on his aides and documents. Turley argues Congress should go to court to seek that additional information. Okay, but isn’t an impeachment in the House its own court? That is how it’s presented in the Constitution. Why does the Judiciary have to decide what the “Judiciary” committee can see? They should just order it. If he doesn’t provide evidence, impeach the son of a bitch.

Trump likes walls and he has constructed a huge barricade between himself, Congress and the Courts. Yes, Donald Trump is executing a good old power grab by the Executive Branch in broad daylight. And when the dust clears, Presidents in the future can simply say, “Well, you let Trump get away with it, and he wasn’t even a good president.” 

As evidenced in my book that urges Congress to impeach the bum, as well as a million words about Trump misgivings on this blog, I have been very clear from day one that I will be extremely happy the day Trump packs his bags and walks out the door. My disdain, however, didn’t start with his presidency. I lived in New York and was able to see his buffoonery almost every day. I hated the concept of the Apprentice TV show and never watched it. My deep-seated dislike for this man is simply personal. I just don’t think he’s a good person.

Politically, Trump’s coalition was put together with negativity toward the system, conspiracy theories and the division of people into US and THEM. What Trump is slowly finding out is that one must work within the system to get things done. When what you do is not legal, you will be stopped. The retweet of conspiracy theories is beneath the dignity of the presidency and chips away at Trump’s credibility with world leaders. They mock him when they are not on camera, or when they think they aren’t on camera. When does Donald Trump plan to unite the nation? NEVER. It’s just not important to him. What kind of president is that?

Impeachment is not an “insurance policy” that we cash in when we don’t like a president, it’s a remedy to remove a bad person from office. The farmers in the Midwest know that things were better when they could freely trade with China. The people on food stamps, who will now be motivated to not only get a job, but vote, will show their disdain for this president. And finally, there is a greater good in most Americans who want someone better. They want a real leader who is focused more on keeping our country great, than tweeting arguments, lies and put downs. Trump’s just an old brick in his own wall who doesn’t mesh with the fabric of America. We don’t need a king, we need a statesman.

 


IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS

How to Watch the Show

In olden days, kingdoms and countries held public executions to show the citizenry who was in charge. Today in the United States, we hold public hearings. The first suggestion I have is for all of us is to focus on the word HEARING when watching the testimony this week.

My first impeachment hearing was Watergate, which took place in early in 1973. Richard Nixon had just been reelected and only 19% of America thought the man should have been impeached. If you are old enough to remember, you’ll recall that the hearing made household names of Sam Ervin, Howard Baker, Fred Thompson and John Dean. To be clear, this was a Senate Committee hearing into Watergate, the scandal that involved a break-in of the Democratic Headquarters in the Watergate apartment and business complex in Washington, DC. The House never brought charges of impeachment, but there was a partisan uprising that forced Nixon to resign. I’m fairly sure that will not happen this time.

I also watched the Clinton Impeachment hearings, which lead to impeachment charges. Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives on December 19, 1998 on grounds of perjury to a grand jury (by a 228–206 vote) and obstruction of justice (by a 221–212 vote). Bill Clinton was acquitted in the Senate trial by the slightest of margins. On the perjury charge, 10 Republicans voted against, while in the obstruction charge, it was 50-50. Arlen Spector of Pennsylvania voted “not proven,” which Chief Justice Rehnquist decided was a vote against. So, you see, these things can get complicated.

The hearings we will see this week are the first steps in a long process, which the Democrats in the House are trying to speed up to keep the nation’s attention on the alleged misdeeds of Donald J. Trump. They also don’t want this to interfere with campaigning for the next election.

You will hear Republican members of the committee attempt to discredit the witnesses and possibly intimidate them on live TV. That is my opinion, but the central focus in this case is simple. Did President Trump use his office and power to extort a foreign country to discredit his political rival?

Under federal law, the offense of extortion typically requires the use of interstate communications to make a threat (using a phone or mail across state lines). Threats to federal or foreign representatives in order to obtain an official benefit may also be prosecuted as extortion under federal law. The law is very clear and what President Trump did is a prosecutable offense, but his supporters will say that this happens all the time and that Trump should be held to the same standard we used to determine the intent of past administrations. Okay, so two wrongs make a right?

Here’s a puzzling question. Why did Trump release the transcript? Why did he self-incriminate? Some people say that the Donald truly believes he did nothing wrong and that he released the partial transcript to show everyone the innocence of his conversation.

Trump keeps saying it was a “perfect call.” A good drinking game for those watching the hearings tomorrow might be taking a swig each time a Republican uses the word “perfect.” If that call was so damn “perfect” then why was it so ineffective? Trump did not get the public announcement of a Ukrainian probe and the extortion of not releasing the foreign aid was foiled by the press. You know, the “enemy of the people.” When word got out that our president was shaking down Ukraine, he released the funds on, of all dates, 9-11. If that’s perfect, I have some swamp land here in Florida to sell you.

So, the Republican party line is this. Nothing bad happened, therefore this is a non-event and not an impeachable offense. Even those who will openly admit that the call was questionable and inappropriate, will swear on a stack of Holy Bibles that nothing was wrong with Trump asking but not getting.

This impeachment rile reminds me of Albert Camus’ book The Stranger, in which the main character, Meursault, is on trial for killing an Arab. His trial quickly shifts away from the murder itself to Meursault’s attitudes and beliefs. The fact that he’s an atheist and didn’t cry at his own mother’s funeral play a greater role in his conviction than the murder. Within his life and presidency, Donald Trump has done many things that are more than offensive and detrimental to our country. Even seasoned politicians secretly admit that Trump is not a very good president, but in impeachment you must stick to the charges and attempt to prove them.

When watching the hearings, keep in mind that each side has a game plan and they will attempt to discredit and defend. Here’s my key question. Why are elected officials in the minority defending this president? Why won’t they cross examine the witnesses and attempt to find a deeper truth? I guess they feel a greater loyalty to their party and the man in the White House than the good of the country. But we already knew that. The major effort of each side will be making sure these hearings do not hurt their political brand. We will not see a kangaroo court, a “witch hunt” or even a camouflaged “hoax.” No, we will witness a GOOFBALL COURT, where in the end no opinions will change but the news networks will have plenty to talk about for a week.

Despite my suppositions and musings, you should watch the hearings because you never know what might happen. On Friday, July 13, 1973 (yes, Friday the 13th) Alexander Butterfield was asked whether there was a taping system in the Oval Office. Things quickly got interesting. Butterfield revealed to the public on TV that all Oval Office conversations were recorded. Once the committee knew that tapes existed, Nixon’s defenses and defenders dissolved in the bright lights. You never know what might happen and what people could say under the pressure of testimony. This could be fun to watch!

Read About The Country We Love

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.