Thursday, December 31, 2020

F**K you 2020!


I think I can speak on behalf of the families 
of three hundred and forty four thousand dead Americans and say that 2020 can f**k all the way off. 

Hopefully 2021 will be better, but given the state of the country and the world, I am not betting on it.

Stay safe field hands. 

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Stay safe.

I'm out of pocket field hands. Enjoy the holidays with your loved ones.

Stay safe, and if you happen to live in or around Nashville, Tennessee, be extra vigilant. These are scary times.


Wednesday, December 23, 2020

? Of The Day.

Where will the trump presidential library  be located, and what will be in it?

Saturday, December 19, 2020

America's racial defects are once again exposed.

 


The following essay by Justin Worland was published right after the 2020 election for Time magazine. It basically outlines where we are in America when it comes to race, and why we haven't come as far as we think. 

"In the weeks before the Nov. 3 election, as polling suggested that former Vice President Joe Biden might stand on the precipice of a landslide victory, many who had spent the past four years fighting President Donald Trump took solace in a silver lining: Trump, with his egregious behavior and his penchant for saying the quiet part out loud, had removed a bandage that in recent decades has hidden America’s deepest defects on race. In doing so, many of his opponents believed, he had presented us with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fix them.

But election night brought a shock, if not a surprise, for those eager for the country to turn over a new leaf. While Biden remains favored to collect enough electoral votes to win and become the next President, the striking reality of the small gap between the two contenders left many despondent and fearful. This was not the total repudiation of Trump and Trumpism that so many had hoped for. Instead, in some quarters, it amounted to an embrace, with Trump actually increasing the total number of votes he’d received in 2016. Trump removed the gauze, but rather than healing the wound, we may now be watching it fester.

It’s no surprise that many Americans are only now catching on to this country’s long history of systemic racism. In history class, most Americans learn of the past horrors of slavery and Jim Crow, but the line isn’t always drawn to the present. When it is, it’s often presented as a long arc of progress, one that “bends toward justice,” as famously described by Martin Luther King Jr. and often repeated in political rhetoric, most famously by President Barack Obama. But the reality is that race–and racism–continues to profoundly shape American life.

Four years of Trump have accelerated the learning. The COVID-19 pandemic–which has killed people of color at higher rates than their white counterparts–has exposed the health disparities that divide this country. His campaign for “law and order” has only inflamed tensions and further highlighted the mistreatment that many Black Americans are likely to face at the hands of law enforcement. He attempted to schedule a rally on Juneteenth in Tulsa, Okla., the site of a 1921 massacre of Black people, inadvertently bringing attention to both the history of violence against Black Americans and the Juneteenth holiday, which celebrates the freeing of the enslaved. And that was just this year.

Some white Americans have reacted with outrage to this newfound understanding, joining Black Lives Matter rallies and reckoning with race in the workplace, at school and with friends. The marches this summer that captured the nation’s attention, occurring in small towns and metropolises alike, are thought to be the largest mass demonstration in American history, collectively drawing nearly 9% of the country to the streets, according to data-science firm Civis Analytics.

And yet nothing really changed. Gridlock in Washington stymied even modest reform efforts. Trump doubled down, using the unrest to stoke his base’s fears of social unrest and crime with a seemingly endless stream of shock-and-awe television ads and dramatic rhetoric in his speeches. By the end of the summer, the marches still continued, but their strength–and, most important, their resonance with the larger American public–had started to fade. Why that happened and what can be done about it will be the work of the months to come.

When it came time to vote, tens of millions of Americans evidently shrugged off the racism. Many say they don’t like Trump’s handling of race but prefer his approach to the economy. That makes sense: sacrificing the welfare of a minority group for economic prosperity may not be uniquely American, but it is a part of the American DNA. For some others, Trump’s stoking of racial hostilities has been more a feature of his presidency than a bug. At Trump’s rallies, adoring crowds repeated and amplified the President, whether it was his reference to COVID-19 as “Kung flu” or adopting a chant of “Send her back” in reference to Ilhan Omar, a member of Congress born in Somalia.

For centuries, political leaders in the U.S. have used race as a cudgel to shore up support from white Americans, particularly those for whom racial hierarchy afforded a sense of status they otherwise lacked. White Southerners supported slavery–going as far as fighting and dying over it in the Civil War–even though most of them could not afford to own a slave. They did so because it gave them a higher social status. In the 1960s Richard Nixon used the infamous Southern strategy, which created the current electoral map, to stir up fear of Black empowerment and persuade white Southerners to vote for him.

These are Trump’s strategic predecessors. Immersed in data, his campaign built an engagement strategy around speaking to his largely unwavering base and motivating new, largely white voters sold on Trump’s personality and showmanship and his message of grievance. Not relying similarly on data, Trump still effectively channels his campaign’s messaging with constantly calibrated applause lines to test what energizes his audience. Trump’s fanning the flames of racial resentment tells us a lot about who he is; his crowd’s roaring response tells us more about where we are as a nation.

Biden is deeply aware of this fissure. He ran on healing it, and exit polls show he won over voters concerned about racial justice. Betting that most Americans believe in equality and justice, among other democratic values, Biden referred to his campaign as a “battle for the soul of the nation.” With more than 70 million votes received and counting, Biden may be favored to win the election, but to uproot the forces that perpetuate the deeply entrenched racism in this country, it’ll take more than maybe half the country." [Link]

Something else is happening; white Americans are slowly losing their majority status. So now, coupled with racism, you have fear. trump, to his credit, has seen that, and he has done everything in his power to exploit it. It worked for him once, and it almost worked again.

It's why he and so many of his supporters are having such a hard time letting go and accepting the reality that he loss. Sadly for him, there were just enough minorities and conscious white folks voting to deny him a second term. trump is bitter and angry, and so is his base. For them, this election meant more than just having someone in the White House. To them, it was personal. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

"What A Fool Believes."

 


The grift goes on.

Donald trump has now raised over 200 million dollars  thanks to his big lie that the election was stolen from him, and there was wide spread voter fraud throughout the land. There was none.

The suckers people who have fallen for this man's con game have given their hard earned money to him so that he can continue to maintain his lifestyle post presidency.  It's amazing that they can't spot the con game and see it for what it is, but I guess when you are blinded by your own insecurities and shortcomings it's hard to see the reality of what's happening right in front of you. The Doobie Brothers wrote and sang a song about these types of people a while back.

Sadly, as sad and pathetic as trump's followers are, they pale in comparison to the elected republican politicians who seem to both fear and worship him at the same time. These men who are supposed to be America's brightest and best, have simply made a mess of their once proud party, and they are on their way to making a mess of American democracy. Just think about this for a minute: Vladimir Putin congratulated Joe Biden on wining the election before the leading republican in Washington did. That's a stunning fact, even by 2020 standards. 

David Graham, writing in The Atlantic, sums up what we have been dealing with like this: 

"When Donald Trump was granted a coat of arms for his Scottish golf courses in 2012 (after a lengthy court battle, of course), he chose as its motto “Numquam concedere”: Never concede. He has not, even as it has become clear that he lost the presidential election by a wide margin.

In the first few weeks after the election, anonymous Republicans and White House officials insisted that Trump’s lack of a concession was no reason for alarm. They assured reporters that Trump knew he’d lost and just needed time to process his defeat—and to put up enough of a fight that he could maintain his image. Perhaps that was true, and perhaps it remains true now, but Trump isn’t acting like someone  working through the stages of grief. He’s acting like someone working through a slow-motion (and probably doomed) autogolpe.

Instead of Republican officeholders waiting out Trump’s postelection tantrum, he is waiting them out, and slowly bringing the party around to his side. In this way, Trump is ending his presidency just the way he won it: by correctly recognizing what Republican voters want and giving it to them, and gradually forcing the party’s purported leaders to follow along.

This embrace of the president’s attempt to overturn the results of the election is both shocking and horrifying. As Trump’s fraud claims and legal cases have steadily failed, the arguments he has pursued have become more outlandish and absurd, and they have also become more disturbing. Many Republican voters agree, and in refusing to stand up to him and them, Republican officials have gone from coddling a sore loser to effectively abandoning democracy."  

The thing is, Donald trump is a loser, and  he always has been. 

Now, only time will tell if he will bring down an entire political party and make them all losers as well. 

 


        

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Caption Sunday.

 


Give me a caption for this picture. 

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Denied again.

 


"The application for injunctive relief presented to Justice Alito and by him referred to the Court is denied'"

That was the one sentence Order from the Supreme Court denying the ridiculous attempt by republicans to overturn the will of the people of Pennsylvania in the 2020 general election. 

trump's legal team is now 1-50. 

Oh, and of the nine justices, there were zero dissenters. Not even trump's three appointees to the highest court in the land would come to his rescue. 

Sadly, though, this nightmare is not over. Incredibly, the Texas AG --who is himself under federal indictment-- has filed what has got to be the most frivolous lawsuit in the history of lawsuits to the Supreme Court asking the Supremes to throw out the votes of millions of citizens in four other states. (And here I thought the republican party was the party of state's rights.) I always wonder how these lawyers filing these lawsuits are not sanctioned for these types of filings. 

Rest assured that this case too shall be tossed, and Mr. trump will have to leave the White House after Joe Biden is sworn in. But, I'll give him credit, he is milking his long goodbye for as much as he can.  He will continue fleecing his supporters out of their hard earned dollars until he has enough to pay for all his legal fees, and live comfortably ever after.

"These tremendous fundraising numbers show President Trump remains the leader and source of energy for the Republican Party and that his supporters are dedicated to fighting for the rightful, legal outcome of the 2020 general election," Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said in a statement.

What he meant to say was this: These lawsuits are going nowhere, but these suckers who call themselves supporters continue to give us money so we will milk it for as long as we can.

There, fixed it for ya, Bill.  

Monday, December 07, 2020

The biggest loser.


You can count actor Matthew McConaughey in as one of the folks who have been feeling sorry for trump supporters and declaring that folks on the left are out of touch because they don't care enough about the feelings of these poor people who live in the middle of the country and love to shop at Walmart and drink domestic beer. 

It's crazy how everyone has to cater to the feelings of these folks. The same folks who are out threatening elected officials with physical arm at their homes and declaring that they will wage an all out Civil War if trump is not declared the winner of the 2020 election.

This is all, of course, being encouraged by trump. The man who has shamefully refused to exit the stage after being trounced by over seven millions votes in the general election. trump's long shameful goodbye is getting worse every day, and his cult members and the spineless sycophants who masquerade as republican elected officials refuse to grow a pair and tell him that it's over. 

Mr. trump is a loser, and the sooner he and his cut members realize that the better off we will me.

This is from Michael Tomasky writing for the Dailey Beast:

"So Tuesday is the day. December 8 is the “safe harbor” deadline by which all the states must resolve all election-related disputes. Then the electors vote next Monday, but that should be anti-climatic, because over the weekend, Biden was certified the winner in California, which gave him 279 electoral votes, and it doesn’t look right now as if electors are going to be replaced anywhere; the crazy-ass Republicans of Pennsylvania are up to something, but it looks like it’s mainly for show. So as of 5 p.m. Tuesday, it’ll basically be over.

He’ll try to pretend otherwise, even though it’s obvious to anyone with an IQ higher than the life expectancy in his beloved Russia that it’s all just a massive grift—a financial grift to get his bag-of-hammers-dumb supporters to pay off his debts, and a psychological grift of both his sucker admirers and the cowardly Republicans who know better but have the spines of amphibians and still won’t do something so basic as call Joe Biden the president-elect. (By the way, after Jan. 20, will they call him Mr. President? Sadly, this is a serious question.)

"Trump knows. He knows he is a historic loser. And he is in pain. He’s humiliated. And I’m overjoyed. I’ve never been big on schadenfreude, but this is one occasion when it’s absolutely called for. "

Yes, trump is a loser, but the biggest losers are the people who cuddled and enabled him all these years. They created this monster and now they have to live with the consequences. He has cannibalized the grand old party and there is no turning back from the MAGA invasion that has overrun them.

We all saw it coming, and we knew that it would come to this. We all hoped, though, that whatever damage he could do would be minimized with a resounding defeat at the ballot box. We were wrong. Losing the way he did has just made him worse. He is an even more grotesque character than he was before. He is man without shame or conscience, and he will continue his pathetic money grab and his Jim Jones style rallies until we stop paying attention to him. 

Hopefully that will be a lot sooner than later. 


  




  


 

Friday, December 04, 2020

The rise of the faux Socialists.



"Every man gotta right to decide his own destiny,
And in this judgement there is no partiality.
So arm in arms, with arms, we'll fight this little struggle,

'Cause that's the only way we can overcome our little trouble." ~Zimbabwe~ Bob Marley

Progressives and faux Socialists have been chirping a lot about Barack Obama's declaration that the defund the police slogan was a bad idea. Well, I hate to break it to them, but Obama was right.

No one in their right mind would think that defunding the police, or even saying it in such a manner would appeal to the general public. Most people view that as a cry to get rid of the police altogether, and that is the last thing that people living in crime- ridden neighborhoods in cities like Philadelphia want to do.

 I, for one, am tired of these so called progressive left wingers and "woke" people who sit behind their ivory tower desks and in their air conditioned television studios, and then pontificate to us about how good Socialism and progressive policies are. (I see you Mark Lamont Hill and AOC)  It's offensive.  I was teaching in rural Jamaica as a part of Michael Manley’s National Youth Service program before some of them were even born. My Socialist bona fides is quite strong. I know a thing or two about Socialism, as I have lived it and studied it for a great part of my life.

 Honestly, I consider myself more of a Socialist than anything else, because I happen to think that Socialism, in its purest form, is the best type of government for the majority of the people in the world. But I am also a realist, and I understand that you will never win elections in this country by being too far to what most Americans consider the left. The way you win the ideological battle is at the ballot box, and in order to do that you have to be smart politically. This means appealing to moderates in the middle and energizing your own base.

The faux Socialist out here calling for radical change know that it can’t be achieved in the voting process, And, let's keep it real, they damn sure aren’t going to take to the streets to start a revolution. That would mean having to give up their cushy lifestyles and making real sacrifices. 

The only alternative is to win elections and effectuate change by implementing policies that are closer to our socialist principles without the scary catch phrases. And the only way we are going to do that is to be smart enough to get more votes than the other side. 

To use a football and sports analogy: Don't give the other side bulletin board material to use against you. Be smart about what you are trying to do and how you are going to get there. 

Remember, there are more than one ways to skin a cat. Or, for that matter,  a turtle.         

"To divide and rule could only tear us apart;
In everyman chest, mm - there beats a heart.
So soon we'll find out who is the real revolutionaries;
And I don't want my people to be tricked by mercenaries." 

No mercenaries needed brother Bob. They are easily fooled by just about anything. 


Sunday, November 29, 2020

Caption Sunday.

 


Help me with a caption for this picture.



Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Lock him up.


Now that Mr. trump is almost a private citizen again, it's time to seriously consider investigating him for federal crimes committed while he was in office. 

 I, for one,  don't want to hear about how it will divide the country and all the rest of it. The country is already divided, and there is nothing that will change that. trump supporters are beyond saving, so if they want to be pissed off about their "dear leader" being investigated and prosecuted, then so be it.

I am not alone on this island. A former Mueller prosecutor, Andrew Weissmann, agrees with me. 

"The former deputy to Mueller during his investigation said he didn't come to the viewpoint to pursue a probe into the soon-to-be former president "lightly" but added that "Trump's criminal exposure is clear."

Weissmann cited the evidence collected during Mueller's investigation to determine whether Russia interfered in the 2016 election and whether Trump interfered with the probe. He said the team "amassed ample evidence to support a charge that Mr. Trump obstructed justice."

"What precedent is set if obstructing such an investigation is allowed to go unpunished and undeterred?" he wrote.

He also pointed out that both the Manhattan district attorney and the New York attorney general are investigating Trump on claims of tax and bank fraud, adding these probes could unveil new information leading to federal charges against Trump.

"Sweeping under the rug Mr. Trump's federal obstruction would be worse still," Weissmann said. "The precedent set for not deterring a president's obstruction of a special counsel investigation would be too costly: It would make any future special counsel investigation toothless and set the presidency de facto above the law."

"In short, being president should mean you are more accountable, not less, to the rule of law," he added."

Mr. trump has always thought that he was above the law, and his four year crime spree in Washington is proof of it. The only reason that he didn't go down like so many of his cronies is because he had the power of the office that he held behind him. Thankfully, that is no longer the case, so it's time that he faced the music. 

Right before I wrote this post, Mr. trump pardoned another member of his crime family, Michael Flynn. Of course we know that he had no choice, because Mr. Flynn knows where all the bodies are buried, and where all the incriminating documents are stored. Michael Flynn always had that look of a man who had supreme confidence that he would not be spending any significant amount of time in jail, because he always knew that Mr. trump would not let him. Mr. trump's justice department even took the extreme and unheard of step of trying to get a do over on charging Flynn, even after he pled guilty to the charges that were being brought against him. 

And speaking of the Justice Department, the man Mr. trump put in charge of it acted like his personal attorney, and not the Attorney General of the United States of America. History will not be kind to William Barr, a man who committed one despicable act after another right until the very end.  Another good thing about getting rid of Donald trump is knowing that he won't be far behind. 

"Former judge John Gleeson, the court-appointed "amicus," ripped into the Justice Department in a recent filing, arguing its move to drop the charges against Flynn was part of a political effort to benefit President Donald Trump's personal ally.

"In the United States, Presidents do not orchestrate pressure campaigns to get the Justice Department to drop charges against defendants who have pleaded guilty -- twice, before two different judges -- and whose guilt is obvious," Gleeson said. "There is clear evidence that this motion reflects a corrupt and politically motivated favor unworthy of our justice system."'

In the United States former presidents who commit crimes while in office should also be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. 

   



 

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Mr. trump is almost gone, but there will be more like him.


The republican party, led by Donald trump, have hijacked our democracy, at least for the time being. Can you imagine actively trying to disenfranchise millions of African American voters because they didn't vote the way you wanted them to? That's exactly what has been happening over the past couple of weeks. Us black folks have to deal with voter suppression before and after we vote.

Fortunately the courts have been seeing through this lame attempt by Mr. trump and his minions to change the out come of the election, and he has been taking one loss after another in the court of law. Apparently all those Judges that he appointed to do his bidding did not work out for him quite like he wanted them to. Here is the thing with the courts: unlike when you are on FOX News or conservative talk radio, you actually have to bring real proof and evidence of what you are alleging to prove your point. Mr. trump's lawyers have yet to do that. And, sadly for Mr. trump and his followers, Joe Biden's lead is actually widening as these ridiculous lawsuits play themselves out. 

Meanwhile, Donald trump isn't even pretending to be president anymore. Instead, he golfs all day and tweets about how the evil media and 79 million Americans stole the election from him. He fails to realize, of course, that his mishandling of a pandemic that has cost over 250,000 Americans their lives might have something to do with it.  

Anyway, now might be a good time to consider why we elected Donald trump in the first place, and consider where we are as Americans when it comes to electing those who lead us.

The following article from Zeynep Tufekci, writing in the The Atlantic, is a good place to start.

"Now that Joe Biden has won the presidency, we can expect debates over whether Donald Trump was an aberration (“not who we are!”) or another instantiation of America’s pathologies and sins. One can reasonably make a case for his deep-rootedness in American traditions, while also noticing the anomalies: the early-morning tweeting, the fondness for mixing personal and government business, the obsession with ratings befitting a reality-TV star—the one job he was good at.

From an international perspective, though, Trump is just one more example of the many populists on the right who have risen to power around the world: Narendra Modi in India, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, Viktor Orbán in Hungary, Vladimir Putin in Russia, Jarosław Kaczyński in Poland, and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Turkey, my home country. These people win elections but subvert democratic norms: by criminalizing dissent, suppressing or demonizing the media, harassing the opposition, and deploying extra-legal mechanisms whenever possible (Putin’s opponents have a penchant for meeting tragic accidents). Orbán proudly uses the phrase illiberal democracy to describe the populism practiced by these men; Trump has many similarities to them, both rhetorically and policy-wise.

He campaigned like they did, too, railing against the particular form of globalization that dominates this era and brings benefit to many, but disproportionately to the wealthy, leaving behind large numbers of people, especially in wealthier countries. He relied on the traditional herrenvolk idea of ethnonationalist populism: supporting a kind of welfare state, but only for the “right” people rather than the undeserving others (the immigrants, the minorities) who allegedly usurp those benefits. He channeled and fueled the widespread mistrust of many centrist-liberal democratic institutions (the press, most notably) —just like the other populists. And so on.

But there’s one key difference between Trump and everyone else on that list. The others are all talented politicians who win elections again and again.

In contrast, Trump is a reality-TV star who stumbled his way into an ongoing realignment in American politics, aided by a series of events peculiar to 2016 that were fortunate for him: The Democrats chose a polarizing nominee who didn’t have the requisite political touch that can come from surviving tough elections; social media was, by that point, deeply entrenched in the country’s politics, but its corrosive effects were largely unchecked; multiple players—such as then–FBI Director James Comey—took consequential actions fueled by their misplaced confidence in Hillary Clinton’s win; and Trump’s rivals in the Republican primaries underestimated him. He drew a royal flush.

It’s not that he is completely without talent. His rallies effectively let him bond with his base, and test out various messages with the crowd that he would then amplify everywhere. He has an intuitive understanding of the power of attention, and he played the traditional media like a fiddle—they benefited from his antics, which they boosted. He also clearly sensed the political moment in 2016, and managed to navigate his way into the presidency, though that probably had more to do with instinct than with deep planning.

Luck aside, though, Trump is not good at his job. He doesn’t even seem to like it much. He is too undisciplined and thin-skinned to be effective at politics over a sustained period, which involves winning repeated elections. He seems to have been as surprised as anyone else that he won in 2016. While he hates the loser branding that will follow him now, he’s probably fine with the outcome—especially since he can blame it on fantastical conspiracies involving theft or ballot-stuffing or the courts—as long as he can figure out how to escape the criminal trials that are certainly coming his way. (A self-pardon? A negotiated pardon? He will try something.)......

......Make no mistake: The attempt to harness Trumpism—without Trump, but with calculated, refined, and smarter political talent—is coming. And it won’t be easy to make the next Trumpist a one-term president. He will not be so clumsy or vulnerable. He will get into office less by luck than by skill. Perhaps it will be Senator Josh Hawley, who is writing a book against Big Tech because he knows that will be the next chapter in the culture wars, with social-media companies joining “fake news” as the enemy. Perhaps it will be Senator Tom Cotton, running as a law-and-order leader with a populist bent. Maybe it will be another media figure: Tucker Carlson or Joe Rogan, both men with talent and followings. Perhaps it will be another Sarah Palin—she was a prototype—with the charisma and appeal but without the baggage and the need for a presidential candidate to pluck her out of the blue. Perhaps someone like the QAnon-supporting Representative-elect Lauren Boebert of Colorado, who first beat the traditional Republican representative in the primary and then ran her race with guns blazing, mask off, and won against the Democratic candidate, a retired professor who avoided campaigning in person. Indeed, a self-made charismatic person coming out of nowhere probably has a better chance than many establishment figures in the party. [More here]

Good article, but the author is wrong with one of his assertions. It's not populism, but racism that drove trump to power. And it's racism that will bring others who are more talented politicians (see politicians who are better at hiding their racism) to the forefront. 

Mr. trump is gone for now, but others who think like him saw his playbook, and they know that they just have to tweak it a little bit to get the right result in the future 

 





Wednesday, November 18, 2020

? Of the Day.



 Do you think that the incoming president, Joe Biden, should encourage his administration to pursue criminal charges against Donald trump for his actions while he was in office? 


Sunday, November 15, 2020

Still no concession, but lots of golfing and tweeting.

 


It has now been 12 days since he lost the election, and the lunatic in the White House still refuses to concede. It is now becoming more than just a running joke and an embarrassment for him, it is starting to become a very serious national security issue as well. 

With the COVID-19 pandemic raging out of control, the current administration is refusing to participate in a smooth transition of power to Joe Biden and his team. This is something that would make fighting the pandemic so much easier. But we have known from day one that Mr. trump and his minions do not care about fighting this pandemic.  

We are sadly now learning that he has not attended a COVID-19 task force meeting in over five months. And how could he? He has been spending his days since getting his ass handed to him, golfing, tweeting lies and far-fetched conspiracy theories, and basically making a fool of himself on twitter by admitting defeat and then denying it.  

At some point the people around him who supposedly care about him are going to have to have a serious intervention with him and demand that he steps down and accept defeat. All the shouting in the world from the right-wing echo chamber won't change the results of the 2020 election: 77 million people voted for Joe Biden and 72 million people voted for him. Joe Biden got 306 electoral votes and he got 232. That's it. I can't say this enough: It's over for him! 

John Yoo, Mr. Torture himself, and a prominent conservative lawyer, sees a very dim future for Mr. trump when it comes to these elections.

"He has the right to mount legal challenges, but we should be clear that these are Hail Mary passes we might think of in American football," Yoo, a former legal advisor to the George W. Bush administration, told CNBC's Capital Connection on Thursday.....

 ...None of these cases really look like they have a very high probability of winning," Yoo said. "On the other hand, I think that Trump has every right to and demand that all the states be sure about the votes, so that we all have confidence in the election. But I'll say, looking at past cases, these are very hard cases to prove and generally they don't result in changes in the votes totals on the order by which President Trump lost to Joe Biden." 

Yoo is not typically a Trump critic: a renowned constitutional law scholar and currently a law professor at Berkeley, he is known as a strong advocate of executive power and has previously advised the Trump administration on how to bypass Congress to enact its own policies. 

Yoo has authored works including the Torture Memos, which in the early 2000s gave legal justification for former President George W. Bush's use of torture on detainees following the 9/11 attacks. Members of Bush's own Justice Department later repudiated Yoo's arguments. His "unitary executive" theory argued that presidents have the authority to assert their power over independent government agencies. 

But there is no argument that enables the president to sidestep the Constitution once his term has ended as decided by the states' electoral votes, Yoo said. 

He then offered an answer to the question many have been asking: What if Trump refuses to ever concede?

"He may never concede; he doesn't have to concede," Yoo said. "The thing about the American Constitution is that it doesn't actually require the sitting president to do anything one way or the other. On January 20th, Donald Trump's term ends and Joe Biden's, I believe, will begin." 

According to the Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution, the candidate with the most electoral votes becomes president at 12:00 p.m. on January 20. The current president's term is therefore over on that day, just before noon."

If only Four Seasons Landscaping had a moving company. 


Thursday, November 12, 2020

Stop the madness.


The trump presidency is almost over, as over 75 million Americans decided that they have had enough of his madness. 

Of course, Mr. trump, in typical trump fashion, refuses to do the gracious thing and exit stage left. In his heart he knows that there was no voter fraud that caused him to lose the election, but his ego and his gullible followers will not let him accept defeat. 

He is playing a dangerous game with American democracy and American lives, but he doesn't care, because, as always, it's all about him.  

Mahfuz Anam writing in the Daily Star sums up what is happening right now.

'"Election is free and fair if I win it and rigged if I lose"'. I wrote this sentence many times during our period of contested elections under the caretaker government system. I never imagined that I would have to write this about a US election. After having raised the bogey of possible massive election fraud during a re-election campaign, President Trump is now refusing to accept its result. He is opting for litigation to ascertain "legal" votes, implying that there were "illegal" ones, without any shred of evidence so far. Even the Republican controlled states have stood by the accuracy of the election process.

Trump is doing what he does best—disrupt. He did it all through his tenure and he is doing so as he departs, not, of course, if he can help it. But it is a dangerous game he is playing. If he really follows through with his threat of not "conceding" the election, he will cause serious problems in smooth transfer of power and push American politics towards uncharted waters, not to mention making his country subject of ridicule all over the world.

So much of democracy depends on following norms, precedence, procedures, decency and a willingness to play by the rules. Democracy is as much a system as it is a mindset, a collection of values fundamentally rooted on the respect for the "public will" and conceding to it when voted out. If a major actor of this process—in this case Trump—refuses to play by the rules and norms then the whole edifice of democracy risks being seriously dented. Trump's refusal to accept the electoral verdict will create all sorts of problems for a smooth transfer of power, a cornerstone of democracy. After all, politics is about gaining power and democracy is about its smooth and peaceful transfer reflective of people's choice. The more sober section of the Republican Party leadership must rise to the occasion and see that the choice of the majority is honoured.

A seriously vulnerable point of the US presidential election is the practice of "conceding" the election when one is defeated. Since its founding days in every election the defeated candidates had "conceded" to the winner. Normally presidents complete two terms and the election, held at the end of the second term, has two new contestants, neither of whom are in power. However, if the defeated candidate is the incumbent, as is in this instance (Trump being one of four one-term presidents) then the case is radically different. The sitting president, who is in power, has to "concede" to allow the process of transition to the new leadership to take place in a smooth manner.

So, what happens if Trump does not concede as he has announced he would not? Courts will come into the picture and their verdicts will set the course. We do not know how long it will pan out but we can be sure that it will make the relations between the winning and defeated parties—between the democrats and the republicans—bitter. The "time to lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other" appeal by Biden may fall on deaf ears making the "healing" difficult if not well-nigh impossible, definitely in the short run. People expect Biden to remain patient and he, perhaps, will. But much will depend on how elaborate, protracted and time consuming the legal process ends up being. Thankfully there is a time limit till January 20, 2021 when the new president is set to take oath. It is hoped by then some solution will emerge and power will be transferred without fracturing the time" [Source] 

Oh yes, "hope". We are now in a position in America where we can only "hope" that this madman leaves the people's house willingly, and without some sort of major Constitutional crisis, or worse, violence in the streets. 

Some of you thought making this man president was funny four years ago. Well, I hate to break it to you, it ain't so funny anymore. 

Monday, November 09, 2020

It's over! Bad things did happen in Philadelphia for Donald trump.




Time to move on Mr. trump. You lost. Get over it. 

You will forever be remembered as a one term impeached president, who got his ass kicked by a man you called the "worst presidential candidate in history.

Philadelphians were proud to be responsible for putting Joe Biden over the top, and you calling this great city a place where "bad things happen" did not help your cause. Yes, it is a place where "bad things happen", if your name happens to be Donald trump.

The country will now hear how they should reach out to the MAGA folks and try to heal and come together. Joe Biden himself seemed to be saying that in his victory speech. It just never ceases to amaze me that MAGA is never asked to reach out to the other side; it's always the other way around. 

The next few days should be interesting, since trump and his people are threatening court action because of all the alleged "voter fraud" against him. 

Let me say now for the record that there is ZERO chance that Mr. trump will win this challenge, and he needs to stop this charade now before he embarrasses himself and his family even more. 

On a personal note, I am proud of knowing that a half-Jamaican is the Vice President elect of these United States. 

Congrats to Kamala Harris for breaking new ground and being a trail blazer in every sense of the word. 

Saturday, November 07, 2020

The fat lady is about to sing.

 


I remember watching a disappointing playoff exit by my battered and beaten Philadelphia Eagles last year to Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks. It was painful to watch, and I wish more than anything that I could have just waived a magic wand and declare my Eagles the victors. Sadly, I could not. The scoreboard wasn't going to change, and the National Football League was not going to change their rules. 

 I suspect that the MAGA folks are feeling like I did after watching my birds go down right now. Their leader was on television declaring victory last week, as he wanted to wave a magic wand and just declare it to be so. That will not happen, because the votes don't lie, and the truth of the matter is that there is really no path for him to get to 270 votes and become the president of the United States. And, sadly for him, like the National Football League, America just cannot change the rules to appease Donald trump and his MAGA cult members. 

I am going to hold off declaring Joe Biden as the next president of the United State, because the election is technically not over. But the fat lady is warming up, and the opera is about to come to an end. 

If you are one of those black folks living in cities like Detroit, Milwaukee, Atlanta, and here in Philly where I currently reside; this must be particularly sweet for you to know that it's your vote that will cause Mr. trump to be a one-term president. (They're partying in the streets.) He trashed these cities and urban areas for four years, and now they will have the pleasure of seeing him booted from office thanks to their hard work, dedication, and perseverance. Republican voter suppression efforts just did not work. 

Now all eyes is on Donald trump and what he will do when the inevitable happens. Will he lock himself in the White House surrounded by Big Macs and big screen televisions? Will he do the decent and honorable thing and publicly concede to defeat? We will see. History suggests that he will not.

So far trump has been defiant, and has told lie after lie about the process and how the votes have been counted. He has been playing a dangerous game of stoking his base into a frenzy of defiance that could ultimately cost people their lives. (One man in Atlanta has been in hiding after false accusations have been floating around right-wing social media about him trashing a ballot.) Of course we know that Mr. trump doesn't care about any of this. All he cares about is power and not being labeled a loser. 

Unfortunately for him, he will soon lose power, and a loser is exactly what he will be. 

 


Tuesday, November 03, 2020

VOTE!

Sunday, November 01, 2020

Season of hate.


If you think that Mr. trump and his supporter's political season of hate and division couldn't get any worse, think again.

Yesterday, in what had to have brought flashbacks of the fifties and sixties, peaceful protestors on their way to vote were pepper-sprayed and arrested by police in North Carolina. Some of them were children. Also, yesterday, a caravan of marauding trump cultists attacked a Joe Biden campaign bus on a highway in Texas, causing them to cancel a planned campaign event and having to call 911. 

And here in the suburbs of Philadelphia (this I know first-hand from close friends) trump supporters have been vandalizing the homes of those who dare to put a Joe Biden yard- sign in their yards. They are terrified and scared. Some of them have children. This is the new normal in America's neighborhoods thanks to 45. 

If you have been watching Mr. trump's hate and whine campaign tour this fall, none of this surprises you. This is all the result of an indoctrination of conspiratorial nonsense and a kind of rabid us against them cult full of insecure uninformed people. It is all that Mr. trump has left, since his policies have been a disaster for America, and the families of 230,000 dead Americans have been forced to live with the results of his incompetence. 

I honestly don't know what will  happen on Tuesday. I suspect that Biden might be leading at the end of the night, but by such a narrow margin that Mr. trump will be crying foul and we will be in for a long three months, which won't end until his Supreme Court declares him the winner. 

Whatever happens, look for trump to be,....well trump.

The following article is from Salon.com:

"With poll numbers staying put and the odds of a Joe Biden win in Tuesday's election looking good — possibly by a decisive margin — there's mounting dread about how Donald Trump will behave after a defeat. After all, Trump is a sociopathic narcissist with the emotional control of a — well, I won't insult toddlers with the comparison — and he lives in mortal terror of being viewed as a loser. He's already made clear that he will refuses to concede, no matter what, and he's grasping desperately for any way to get legal ballots thrown out so he can steal the election. 

No wonder people are afraid Trump will go completely apes**t if his efforts to steal this fail and he actually loses. As Salon's Matthew Rozsa recently explained in a popular piece, psychologists worry that the narcissistic injury to Trump will result in him lashing out "in his vindictive rage to punish an America which he may believe has consigned him to 'loser' status."

On Friday, Ron Suskind of the New York Times published an article based on interviews with "some two dozen officials and aides, several of whom are still serving in the Trump administration," who worried that "the president could use the power of the government" to lash out at enemies, try to steal the election or otherwise wreak havoc on the nation. 

'Trump could do real damage to the country, his successor or presidential traditions," Garrett Graff wrote Wednesday at Politico, adding that "there's reason to wonder if a Trump transition might actually be the start of the wildest chapter of an already controversial presidency."'

Of course we should be worried that Trump, a vindictive man whose only true pleasures come from sadism, will abuse his power to punish Americans if he loses.

But let's be honest: He's also going to do that if he wins.

Heads or tails, Trump will be angry at Americans for not worshipping him in the way he believes is his due, and the next two and a half months are going to be hell. Moreover, win or lose, Trump supporters will continue to believe they are victims of the "liberal elite" and the "deep state," and will keep on being resentful, angry and aggrieved, stocking up on guns and screeching on social media about how poorly they believe they're being treated. 

But at least if Biden wins the election, there will be light at the end of the tunnel. 

We know that Trump and his supporters will act this way because that's how they've acted for the past four years. After all, it was less than a day after Trump's inauguration that the grievance politics and play-acting began. Trump insisted — and pressured his supporters and press secretary into insisting — that his inauguration was way, way bigger than Barack Obama's, and that all the photos showing otherwise were somehow "fake news." He obsessed for months about how the election had been "rigged" against him — even though he won! — because Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. 

Ever since then, the running theme of Trump's presidency is that he's a nonstop victim of shadowy liberal forces trying to take him down. Robert Mueller, Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi, the media (especially female journalists), the "Democrat governors" and on and on: Trump's conflicts are always about a conspiracy against him. They are never, ever his own fault for corruption, criminality, incompetence or just flat-out being the worst. 

Trump even views the coronavirus, which is, you know, a virus with no real agency, as a plot to destroy him, as if all those people decided to get sick and die just to make him look bad. 

Meanwhile, if there was one word to describe Trump's supporters — who, let's remember, were on the winning side in 2016 — it would be "bitter." Turn on Fox News any random night, and it's a full blown whine-fest about how alleged "elites" are trying to control them and ruin their lives. The fact that their party controls most state governments, the White House, the Senate and the federal courts never factors in. The narrative is one of perpetual victimhood. " [More]

I have never seen a group of people play the victim card like these trump cultists. Of course it's to be expected, because, as the article above outlined, they are led by an insecure and unstable man who plays the victim game like Roger Federer plays tennis. 

Hang on field hands, the next few days are going to be wild. 






        

Thursday, October 29, 2020

? Of The Day


Do you believe that the United States Supreme Court will ultimately decide the result of the upcoming presidential election? 

And, if they do, which state's ballots will it all come down to?  

Monday, October 26, 2020

Dissecting Peggy.


Peggy Noonan, for those of you who don't know, is a famous conservative writer and thinker, whose claim to fame is that she was Ronald Reagan's speech writer back in the day. Ms. Noonan is still relevant today, because she continues to write for the Wall Street Journal and other major publications, and folks on the right continue to hang on to every word. 

So let's go over what she wrote recently about the state of the 2020 presidential election. 

"It’s late in the game, most peoples’ minds are set, and more than 40 million have already voted. But he did himself some good. He wasn’t a belligerent nut. He held himself together, controlled himself, presented opening remarks that made sense. He won, not a dazzling win but a win that kept him in the game. He succeeded in doing what Joe Biden didn’t have to do: If you wanted or needed an excuse, an out, to vote for Mr. Trump, if you wanted an argument that justified your decision in a conversation in the office, he probably gave you what you need.

It was a good debate. The candidates argued big things. Both had some good moves. Mr. Trump was smart to dwell, early on, on opening up economically. He hung a “Closed” sign around Mr. Biden’s neck. Mr. Biden deftly turned accusations of familial venality into reminders of the president’s refusal, after five years of demands, to show his tax returns.

Mr. Biden too often lapses into government-speak—“the public option.” He was in government 47 years, and sounds it. Mr. Trump’s power, recovered Thursday night, is to speak like normal people, so you can understand him without having to translate what he’s saying in your head. He appears to have lied a great deal. That will be adjudicated in the coming days. "

Ms. Noonan writes that Donald trump "held himself together". What debate was she watching? About thirty minutes (after his meds started to wear off) trump reverted to his old self. He couldn't keep still and he once again kept interrupting the moderator and his opponent. 

As for hanging a "Closed sign" around Biden's neck, most Americans do want to close shop if it means getting our country back to normal. Most Americans will listen to the doctors and health care officials and not the political yes- men and hacks working for this administration, who want the country to remain open for purely political reasons. 

"All that said, where are we? This close to Election Day and everyone with bated breath. Everyone sees the polls, the clear Biden lead nationwide and the smaller lead in most of battleground states. We know what those polls suggest. But there is little air of defeat among Trump supporters and no triumphalism among Democrats.

Trump supporters believe he will win because of his special magic, Trump foes fear he will win because of his dark magic. Pollsters and pundits stare at the data and wonder how to quantify his unfathomable magic. It’s remarkable that all in their different ways put such stock in the president’s powers, his ability to pull a black swan out of a hat. I believe he is not magic and faces a big loss, and from the way he’s acted the week leading up to the debate—flailing about, stirring themeless chaos—so does he."

No Peggy, "Trump foes" fear that Russia will be allowed to pull a repeat of what they did in 2016. They fear that Russia will do everything to keep their guy in the White House, and that the American people will fall for it once again. 

"But there are a few points that contradict the picture. One is the number 56. That is the percentage of registered voters who, asked by Gallup if they are better off than they were four years ago, say yes. (Gallup has asked this regularly in election years since 1984.) Fifty-six percent—in a pandemic, after protests, riots and recession!

It’s only a poll, but after Gallup, a New York Times/Siena poll asked the same question, and 49% said they were better off.

What’s interesting, though, is that when Siena asked respondents if the country was better off than it was four years ago, only 39% said yes."

Poor Peggy is trying so hard to find a trump silver lining.

"The second data point has to do with Mr. Trump’s rallies—big, boisterous and frequent. He’s been in Michigan and North Carolina and has rallies planned this weekend in Ohio, Wisconsin and New Hampshire. “Gastonia Municipal Airport was packed shoulder to shoulder Wednesday night as tens of thousands of people showed up,” read a local North Carolina news report. Mr. Biden doesn’t seem to draw much of anybody, and doesn’t try. He doesn’t have rallies, and barely even appearances at this point. You can, seeing the polls, hypothesize that what you’re seeing at the Trump rallies is a political movement in its death throes. But I don’t know, they look lively to me. You might say, “The Democrats aren’t having rallies because they are more careful about the virus.” Fair enough, but in a lifetime watching politics, sometimes up close, I have never seen crowds keep away from someone they love. They’ll come whether you want them or not; they’ll find out you’re coming and stand at the side of the road to cheer as the motorcade goes by."

Or, it could just be that this is not so much about Biden as it is about trump. The people voting for Biden might not be enthusiastic about voting for him, but they are sure as hell passionate about voting against Mr. trump. And there in lies the rub. There is passion on both sides for the same man for different reasons. Peggy seems to be forgetting about that.

 "If Mr. Biden is an extremely lucky man he will win the presidency and his party will hold the House and lose the Senate. If the Democrats win all three they’ll be a runaway train fueled by pent-up progressive demand. If the Democrats lose the Senate, Mr. Biden will have a handy excuse for his natural moderation: “You guys may want court packing, reparations and taxes on bovine flatulence but I’ve got to get it past Mitch McConnell.” If the Democrats lose the Senate the Biden presidency will be more moderate, and more popular in a country whose nerves are shot.

A Republican Senate will let Biden be Biden."

Why does Peggy assume that "more moderate" will be "more popular"? I am pretty sure the center- left leaning democrats who are voting for Joe Biden are not sending him to Washington to be a moderate. Just look at what Mitch McConnell and republicans in Washington have done over the past four years. Look at what they did with the supreme court nominations and their theft of a seat on the Court from Barack Obama.  I suspect that because of these things even so called moderate democrats are pissed off and want revenge.  

Finally, Peggy, being an older white woman, allowed her racism flag to fly in the closing paragraph of her essay. 

"For her part, vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris is, when on the trail, giddy. She’s dancing with drum lines and beginning rallies with “Wassup, Florida!” She’s throwing her head back and laughing a loud laugh, especially when nobody said anything funny. She’s the younger candidate going for the younger vote, and she’s going for a Happy Warrior vibe, but she’s coming across as insubstantial, frivolous. When she started to dance in the rain onstage, in Jacksonville, Fla., to Mary J. Blige’s “Work That,” it was embarrassing.

If the dancing Kamala Harris was doing was embarrassing, what would Peggy call that spasmic display of untold dimensions that Donald trump unleashed on his supporters at a rally the other day? If Kamala Harris is coming off as "frivolous" what the heck would she call what Donald trump is doing?

Peggy Noonan is doing what a lot of other white pundits, journalists, and other white people in general have been doing when it comes to Donald trump. They overlook and allow all the things that he does because he happens to be white. The things he does and gets away with would not be tolerated if they were being perpetrated by a person of color, or even a woman for that matter. You heard Barack Obama kind of joke about it the other day. , but we all know that he was serious. And, sadly, he was right. 

Peggy Noonan's take on the upcoming election, at first glance seemed reasoned and impartial. She tried to be objective, but her inner racism was showing, and it manifested itself in her closing paragraph.  

When Donald trump gyrates on stage, simulates a sex act with the American flag, and says all manner of obnoxious things, I suppose that is just normal behavior for those who are allowed to behave in such a manner. When a woman of color shows black joy in its purest form, we get columns from old white women criticizing her. 

Peggy Noonan will be voting for Donald trump, and if you were to see Peggy Noonan on the street and ask her why, she wouldn't be able to tell you. 

  



Friday, October 23, 2020

Biden Trump Part Two.

 


I watched portions of the debate last night. The Eagles were on so I couldn't give it my undivided attention. 

From what I could see it looked like Mr. trump was sedated for the first thirty minutes or so, but then whatever he was on started to wear off. Then, as is to be expected, he reverted to form. The scary thing is that some pundits were actually giving him credit for controlling himself. They called it "showing restraint".  

It's amazing that the bar is so low for the president of the United States. All he had to do was to stop screaming at the moderator and interrupting his opponent at every turn to meet the bar set by some of these clueless pundits. Did they not see his bungled answers and response when pressed on his handling of the COVID-19 virus?  

So anyway, I gave Biden a C+ and trump a D. trump needed at least an A minus to move the needle. He needed to really have a good debate last night, and by all objective measures he did not do that. Most of the flash polls I saw had Biden winning the debate. Although I am quite sure that trump and the right-wing media will say that he won it as well. This is where we are with politics in America. Everyone is in their own corners and they see things how they want to see it.  

Still,  nothing particularly stood out for me last night. Not trump saying that he was the least racist person in the room, when the moderator was a black woman. Not trump implying that immigrants have low intelligence. Not trump saying that children being separated from their parents is good. Not trump telling people who are suffering from environmental racism and dying of cancer  that they are lucky to have good jobs. None of it. Because, quite frankly, I expect all of that from Donald trump. Joe Biden didn't say or do anything earth shattering, either. (Although promising to end the oil industry as we know it could be considered a big deal if you happen to live in Texas or Louisiana.)

What the debate did show was a stark contrast in the way both men approach leadership. 

In his closing argument Biden pledged to try to unify the country. trump, on the other hand, attacked Biden. 

Personally, what I remember most from the debate last night was this doozy from Mr. trump.

"President Donald Trump seemed poised to take responsibility for his failure on Covid-19 at Thursday’s presidential debate — and then he didn’t.

“I take full responsibility,” Trump said. He immediately continued: “It’s not my fault that it came here. It’s China’s fault.”'

Typical Donald trump.  

Oh, and the Eagles won, so the night wasn't a total loss.  



 



  

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

The real America.

 


I was recently talking to a friend of mine from the majority population who happens to be a very educated liberal. He was going on about how bad trump is and how he has ruined the "American way of life". He just couldn't understand how Americans could allow him to do what he has been doing to "our democracy". 

I hated to brake it to him, but I had to tell him the bad news that America has never been as exceptional. All those people who fled Europe because of religious persecution just came to a new world to persecute people of other religions. All those people who came here to be free decided that it was cool to enslave other people to do their heavy lifting for them.

What Donald trump has done is expose America's true character for what it is. The people screaming at his hate filled rallies could care less about American ideals and the American experiment. Mr. trump was smart enough to figure that out. He figured out that at the end of the day, Americans (particularly those who are in the majority for now) worry more about maintaining dominances over others and holding on to power than they do about being ideal. 

Donald trump is an American creation, and he is the perfect personification of the ugly American. What we have been witnessing over the past few weeks leading up to these elections have been horrifying to watch. And folks, if you don't think that Fascism can come to America, think again. If Donald trump gets four more years there is no telling what will happen. In fact, one could argue that it's already here.

The president is now openly calling for the arrest of his political opponent, and he is refusing to condemn militia members who plotted to kidnap the governor of an American state. Let that sink in for a minute. These are scary times. And, quite frankly, it's really going to get scary after November 3rd. I say this because I honestly don't think that Americans on either side will be happy with the result of the upcoming election. Both sides  have convinced themselves that they are going to win. 

Yesterday the president called a reporter who was simply asking him a question a "criminal", and he he continues to tour the country holding COVID-19 super spreader events in state after state. He won't stop, because he needs the adoration. Being praised by his cult members is more important to him than saving American lives. In fact, he called one of the people we trust in this country to help us with this deadly virus an idiot. Why? Because Dr. Fauci had the nerve to be on national television too much for his liking.

Ronald Reagan once called America a "shining city upon a hill." Maybe we were all hoping that America would become that city, or that the American experiment would work. Sadly, we now have proof that the city is inhabited by people (and leaders) who just want to tear it down. From the look of things they seem to be succeeding. 



Sunday, October 18, 2020

CAPTION SUNDAY.

 

 

Give me a caption for this picture.   



Thursday, October 15, 2020

Pushovers and pileups.


 If you are a democrat and you are pissed off at how the republicans pushed through Amy (I have never tried a case) Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Do not look to one of your senate leaders, Dianne Feinstein, to show some fight on your behalf. 

This is what she told Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the senate Judiciary Committee, today: 

"I just want to thank you. This is one of the best set of hearings that I've participated in. Thank you so much for your leadership." * Me puking* 

Keep in mind that this is the same Lindsey Graham who declared that Amy (I never tried a case) Coney Barrett's seat with the rest of the supremes is a  fait accompli. Or that this same Lindsey Graham, just a day ago, made reference to the "good old days of segregation" during the hearings.  This is why I can't ride with dumbocrats. They are such pushovers. America has pretty much become a one party country. No wonder Donald trump has become so emboldened.  

Anyway, enough of  Feinstein, hopefully her days in Washington are numbered. 

Let's  ruminate a little bit about how the president of the United States was boasting today about ordering the killing of an American citizen. Or, how a major television network decided to appease a cry baby president by giving him a town hall style meeting with voters in Miami tonight. Of course the  media will spend very little time on these stories, because they are always looking to move on to the next trump soundbite.

Sadly, the American people will never get the benefit of real journalists serving them. Because, at the end of the day, all they care about is money and their ratings. You better believe that they are all cheering for trump and hoping he wins the presidency. They rely on his buffoonery and outlandish behavior to drive up their ratings, and keep their programming going. You could literally talk about the crazy shit that he does all day, and at times it seems like that's all they do. 

I will be watching both debates tonight. (Thanks DVR). But rest assured that most people will be watching trump. NBC's ratings will double that of ABC. It makes sense if you think about it. I mean what would you most likely be rubbernecking on the highway? A person on the side of the road with a simple flat tire? Or, a multi-car pileup with numerous fatalities?  



Tuesday, October 13, 2020

The "originalist."


It's nice to be able to come to my own website and be able to vent and write about current events happening in these divided states of America. I say that because @Jack and the folks over at Twitter decided to suspend a brother for congratulating another brother (@lewishamilton) for a monumental achievement in formula one racing. 

Dear twitter, please start hiring more people of color. Maybe they would be able to explain to you that field Negro is actually a term of endearment. Twitter gets triggered when they see the word, Negro, because, quite frankly, they don't have much experience with Negroes.

This is the same twitter that allows the president of the United States to violate all of their decency policies, by constantly threatening, bullying, and calling people names on the platform. His actions are made even more egregious because he has millions of followers. Then again, maybe that's why he gets a pass. Millions of followers will trigger the double standard treatment every time.  

So anyway, I have been watching the Amy Cony Barrett nomination proceedings from Washington, and there hasn't been many surprises. The supreme to be was well coached and was very careful not to make any news.

She said (and didn't say )a few things that got my attention, though. Like when she refused to answer if presidents should commit to a peaceful transfer of power.  Or when she confirmed that she was an "originalist" in her Judicial philosophy. For those of you who don't know, these are the jurists who believe that the writings of the framers of the Constitution should be taken as they intended it at the time, and that there is no room for any other type interpretation. 

Here is what the soon to be supreme said about the philosophy 

"Originalism....  is the belief that “constitutional text means what it did at the time it was ratified and that this original public meaning is authoritative.” Judges, originalists maintain, should be bound by the words of the Constitution, and the meaning of those words should be determined solely based on how they were understood when they were added to the Constitution."

Hold the phone! I think we are heading in the wrong direction.

Sadly, the Barrett train has left the station, and there is no stopping it now.

Here is a great article that explains the concept of orginalism, and after reading it you will see what has me so triggered. 

"Some legal scholars, and some judges, are “originalists”; they believe that judges should be governed by the “original public meaning” of the Constitution’s text. The late Justice Antonin Scalia was an originalist. So is Justice Clarence Thomas. And so is the latest Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Debates about originalism have become complicated. But one point is simple: A committed originalist is going to have to allow the national government to discriminate on the basis of sex and race.

Let’s spell that out. Judges who are committed to the “original public meaning” of the Constitution would almost certainly have to allow the federal government to say, “No women need apply.” They would probably have to conclude that if Congress wants federal agencies to pay men twice as much as women, the Constitution does not stand in the way.

Originalist judges would find it exceedingly difficult not to rule that under the Constitution, Congress can segregate the schools in the District of Columbia. Originalist judges would probably have to conclude that if Congress wants to restrict African-Americans to lower-level positions within the federal government, the Constitution is not an obstacle.

On originalist premises, a “whites only” policy would be constitutionally fine, insofar as we are speaking of the decisions of the U.S. government.

Here’s why. The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, adopted in the aftermath of the Civil War, applies only to the states, which may not “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." The Bill of Rights, which does apply to the federal government, does not contain anything like an Equal Protection Clause, or any kind of ban on discrimination on the basis of race or sex.

Why, then, is it generally agreed that the Constitution forbids the federal government from discriminating on those grounds? The answer can be found in 1954, with one of the most emphatically non-originalist decisions in the entire history of American law: Bolling v. Sharpe.

The issue in the case was whether Congress could segregate the schools of the District of Columbia on the basis of race. The Supreme Court ruled that it could not. It said that the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment(1) — ratified in 1791 and applying then only to the federal government — essentially includes the Equal Protection Clause, ratified in 1868. So much for originalism.

The Court’s explanation is worth quoting:   

The Fifth Amendment, which is applicable in the District of Columbia, does not contain an equal protection clause, as does the Fourteenth Amendment, which applies only to the states. But the concepts of equal protection and due process, both stemming from our American ideal of fairness, are not mutually exclusive. The "equal protection of the laws" is a more explicit safeguard of prohibited unfairness than "due process of law," and therefore we do not imply that the two are always interchangeable phrases. But, as this Court has recognized, discrimination may be so unjustifiable as to be violative of due process.

From the originalist point of view, that’s outrageous. The Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment says that no person shall “be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” It is preposterous to say that the original meaning of those words — in 1791! — was that the national government may not discriminate on the basis of race.

In Bolling v. Sharpe, the Supreme Court insisted that the meaning of the Constitution is not frozen in time: “In view of our decision that the Constitution prohibits the states from maintaining racially segregated public schools, it would be unthinkable that the same Constitution would impose a lesser duty on the Federal Government.”

Seeing the problem, originalists have struggled mightily, and somewhat desperately, to explain why their approach would not allow the national government to discriminate on the basis of race and sex.

Some originalists say that they would accept Supreme Court precedents, even if they depart from the original understanding. They emphasize the importance of stability in the law and point to the long-standing tradition of respect for precedents, even when they are wrong.

Thomas disagrees; he would follow the original meaning and reject precedents that depart from it. Barrett has not offered a firm view, but she seems to have some sympathy for Thomas’s position: “Originalists,” she wrote in 2017, “have difficulty identifying a principled justification for following such precedent, even when the consequences of overruling it would be extraordinarily disruptive.”

There is a broader point here. Many people find it appealing to say that judges should respect the original meaning of the Constitution. No one should want to be ruled by unelected judges. There are sophisticated forms of originalism, and they deserve to be taken seriously.

But in too many cases, originalists end up speaking not for the founding generation, but for contemporary political views typically associated with the Republican Party — on property rights, on commercial advertising, on affirmative action programs, on gun rights, and much more.

In any case, the Constitution does not contain the instructions for its own interpretation. No provision of the U.S. founding document directs justices to be originalists. And in important areas, insistence on the original meaning of the constitutional text would make a mockery of constitutional rights that have made the U.S. a beacon to the world. For example, originalism would obliterate freedom of speech as the American legal system now understands it."  [More] 

This is why I worry about the direction of the court.

The soon to be member of the supremes might seem like the sweet lady next door who bakes cookies, drives the kids to soccer practice,  and adopts little black children from Third World countries, but don't be fooled. She is Clarence Thomas all over again. Just younger, whiter, and softer around the edges.