Sunday, October 27, 2019

The reason Republicans are so upset

Frat-boy Matt Gaetz and his gang of thugs recently stormed the SCIF room being used for impeachment interviews. Republicans claim the hearings are occurring without their knowledge, and that the impeachment inquiry is operating on fabricated rules. Both egregious lies, but Republicans know one thing for certain: their supporters (the base) are clueless, don't fact check and believe anything told to them by fellow MAGA Republicans.

The fact is Republicans are indeed present and have access to all of the supposed "secret" impeachment hearings and/or interviews. And this is the reason why they're so upset and rageful, because of what they're learning from these hearings. The testimonies are all corroborating what the whistleblower reported. Specifically, what William Taylor had to say was incredibly damning, all but justifying and assuring Trump's impeachment. As reported, Taylor's testimony "even led to gasps in the room" as "the gravity of the moment and the realization of what is at stake in the impeachment probe was palpable in the room." An anonymous Republican present succinctly said, "This isn't good."

It's after this bombshell testimony that Republicans lost their sh*t and, as they usually do, decided a diversion was needed, something theatrical and over-the-top to distract their Fox News base. Answering the call, Gaetz stepped forward with a genius plan.

Oh, and as for their second claim about the made-up rules, the fact is they wrote the rules! Republicans are very good at one thing, hypocrisy. They love rules as long as the rules don't apply to them. Same apparently goes for laws. Similarly, they despise deficits, until their guy's in charge and then deficits don't matter

But as a rule, the more you see Republicans pissed off and acting out, the more certain that Trump is doomed.  

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

My take on the debate

First off, I've grown weary of these debates. Too many candidates answering more/less the same questions each time. Instead of the field narrowing, it grew this time around. And there are eight more debates to go? Ugh. 

My take on last night:

Biden: Seems to now know that saying less is more, meaning avoid "senior moments" or gaffes. He remains near the top of most polls, better to just ride it out and let others fail and drop out. This strategy won't work for much longer. At some point, he'll need to give lengthy answers, often, and it will sink him.

Warren: She did fine. Compared to prior debates, she has quickly become the focus of attacks, with her rapid rise in the polls. Others will say it's counter-productive to see Dems attacking each other, but I disagree. Whoever does become the eventual nominee better be able to handle a barrage of attacks because that's what Trump does. Better to have Warren sharpen her chops versus other Democrats than to have her cakewalk. And frankly some of her answers could be better. It drives me crazy that she can't better explain her health care position, that yes taxes will go up, but after factoring in the health care savings, people will net net be ahead, i.e. the total savings surpass the tax increase. Bernie has been better at explaining this and he actually had his best answer to this last night. 

Sanders: Everyone wanted to see how he looked post-heart problem, and he actually looked better imo than pre-heart issue. As people say, Bernie will do Bernie, and that's what he did. Although as I wrote above, some of his answers have become even better, more concise and clear. The problem for Bernie is he has his diehard core base, but can he expand it? He would be able to if Warren drops out, but that won't happen anytime soon. So he needs to try and convert Warren supporters into Bernie-bots, but how will that happen? They're already with Warren, and not him, for a reason(s). 

Harris: She seemed noticeably at ease, esp. for someone who really needs to shake things up and make a move. But instead she seems resigned to the fact that she's likely Cabinet material. It's almost like she KNOWS she will be the future AG and she's good with that. In the meantime, she'll have fun and speak her mind.

Buttigieg: He seemed like he drank a few cups of high-octane coffee before the debate. He was very "on" and for him, fired-up. It was refreshing to see. And he didn't just keep to himself, answering questions as if on an island, and instead actively sparred with others. I think he's actively positioning himself for VP, knowing that role usually requires more of an attack-dog approach and demeanor. In my opinion, for someone like Warren, I think it comes down to Buttigieg or Castro as VP (she'll avoid dual female ticket, and she won't pick Bernie to avoid inevitable uber-socialist smear (and Bernie wouldn't accept VP role anyway)).

Klobuchar: Many are writing she did very well. I don't know about that. I thought she came across as desperate at times, even seemingly near tears, as if realizing her chances of winning are coming to a close. She obviously was in attack mode, specifically directed at Warren. Try as she might, she's not going to rise much further in the polls, if at all. 

Gabbard: I have no idea why she was on the stage. As if she was a Republican plant or operative. Fortunately it will soon be "Tulsi who?"

Rest of the field: Meh. Booker, Castro, Yang, Steyer, Beto -- why bother commenting, they soon won't be on the stage. Hopefully they all do what they can to support the eventual nominee and defeat Trump. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Biden has to drop out

I've tweeted many times that Biden is too old. He's had many "senior moments" on the debate stage and on the campaign trail. Ironically, what is actually benefiting Biden is his longstanding history of making gaffes. His habit of foot-in-mouth disease and/or garbling what he meant to say is allowing him to skate free now with what appears to be early-onset dementia of some sort. The media just gives him a pass, whereas if Warren or Buttigieg shook Bernie Sanders' hand and called him "Mr. President," there would be real concern. 

But showing signs of age is not the only reason Biden needs to drop out. The other is his son, Hunter. All informed, sane people know there's nothing there with this supposed scandal. Along with the G-7 and the IMF, Joe Biden was urging Ukraine to remove the prosecutor because he was not doing enough to investigate corruption. Republicans and right-wingers have reversed this 180 degrees, claiming Biden was trying to get Ukraine to fire the prosecutor because he was investigating Burisma, the company in which Hunter sat on the board. In short, Biden Sr. was looking to protect Biden Jr. All not true, with the truth being the exact opposite.

All of that aside, what we do know is if Joe Biden were to become the nominee, Trump and Republicans would look to incessantly hound him with this Hunter/Ukraine "scandal," to the point where it's all the media would focus on. They did it to Hillary with her private email server. It smelled just enough like a credible scandal that Fox News and right-wing radio pressed it hard, 24/7. It became this perfect distraction for Trump, allowing him to deflect from his extensive resume of corruption by saying "You think I'm bad? Look at her, she's no saint!" Followed by the "Lock Her Up!" mantra.

We can't have that happen again. Sure, no matter who becomes the nominee, they will always look to find some kind of supposed scandal to inflate and pound home to the Fox News rubes. But we cannot make it so easy for them. And with Biden, it's fairly low hanging fruit. I'll take Pocahontas nonsense over this Hunter/Ukraine BS, without question.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

It starts with a crack....

The dam is giving way. It starts with a crack and then boom, the whole thing collapses. That's how it went for Nixon, his approval rating was good and then boom, it plummeted. And then he was gone.

Romney and Sasse are trying to get out in front of the oncoming collapse. Only fools like Jordan, Meadows, Nunes and Gaetz will be the last to cave. But by then it will be far too late to save their lapdog skins.
Expect to see more Republicans waver and begin to move away from Trump's camp. Yes, sure, they'll face the wrath of Trump (as he's already doing to Mitt), but they know it's best to flee the Titanic while some life boats are still available.

Returning to blogging

It's been more than a year since I last posted anything on this blog. Instead, I decided to give Twitter a try, tweeting any thoughts or comments I had on any given topic. The upside of tweeting is the ease and immediacy: see something interesting and quickly post a few sentences expressing your take. Done. And the limitation on characters/words can also be a plus as it forces you to be concise and impactful.

However, the downside is the ease & immediacy of tweeting allows you to sidestep meaningful time spent reflecting on the topic at hand. Reacting replaces contemplation. A snarky sentence or two does not count as deep, considerate thinking. And for many Twitter users, the goal becomes getting many likes and hopefully -- fingers crossed -- going viral.

I admit, I got sucked into all that, the quick feel-good that comes from posting a tweet, then seeing how widely read it becomes, watching my followers grow in size (to 100, wow!) and wondering why others have so many more than me. Ugh.

So I plan to return to blogging. I will tweet links to all blog posts and I will remain active on Twitter. But I want to get back to writing commentary longer than 280 characters. Incredibly, I blogged all the way through the GW Cheney reign and thought that was bad; never did I believe we'd see worse. But Trump makes GW look like FDR!

Stay tuned....

Monday, July 16, 2018

The Tipping Point

I was going to try and write about the entire Strzok hearing but just couldn't stomach it. And trust me, it was horribly bad even before you get to the vile comments by Louie "Gomer Pyle" Gohmert. It was political grandstanding at its worst, nothing more.

It's hilarious to hear the Republicans go on about Strzok's anti-Trump bias, and how that presumably affected his professional work, and yet all of the House Republicans are obviously biased, 100%, no doubt. Yet we're expected to presume they're unbiased in their investigation about the 2016 election.

What's most obvious is the Republicans are desperate and in deep-panic mode. The only goal of the hearing was to discredit Strzok, and by association the Mueller investigation, because they know what's coming. Friday's twelve indictments were just a prelude.

And with today's press conference following the Trump/Putin meeting, that desperation and panic became even more palpable. More than a few Republicans have criticized Trump for his comments, and even Fox's Neil Cavuto said it was "disgusting."

I believe today marks the tipping point. From here we should start to see Republicans increasingly flee the sinking ship that is POTUS Trump. This historically awful and treasonous press conference was likely the last straw. How can the Republicans continue to support this man and his administration, abdicating their duties of oversight and being fully complicit?

As I said, bad things are coming down the road from Mueller and they know it. They've been banking on enough Americans simply not believing the bad news when it's revealed (thanks to the discrediting efforts of Republicans and Fox News).

But Republicans are taking a big chance, one that can blow up in their faces and decimate the GOP for many years to come.

With Trump defending Putin today and denying the findings of our own American intelligence agencies, Republicans are breaking out in flop sweat behind closed doors. Many are starting to realize they may have made a bad bet in siding with party over country.

Get ready to observe the rats turn on their orange leader....

Friday, July 13, 2018

Strzok Congressional Hearing, Part 2

Rep. Jerrold Nadler's opening statement:
  • He rightly points out that this hearing should really be about the nearly 3,000 children wrongfully separated from their families, how this happened and how it will be resolved. As opposed to this sideshow that will only play well on Fox News and to "the base."
  • Nadler goes on to state that post-election, the House Dems requested that the House conduct investigations into Russia's interference in the election, and Repubs said "no."
  • Note: the CSPAN replay had "CLINTON EMAIL INVESTIGATION" posted in the lower left corner the entire time. It's a helpful reminder since this entire hearing was NOT about Hillary's emails. It was all about trying to make Strzok look bad and not credible. This hearing was just another effort by Republicans to smear Mueller and his investigation, to further plant seeds of doubt in the minds of "the base."
  • Nadler requested that his Republican colleagues treat Strzok with common courtesy and respect -- almost as if Nadler knew how this hearing would play out.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Strzok Congressional Hearing, Part 1

Rep. Bob Goodlatte's opening statement:
  • He wants to get this "off the front pages." The Mueller investigation has had zero leaks.  
  • He talks about "text message after text message, dripping with bias." Someone please name the volumes of biased text messages that he's referring to....?
  • He says "the FBI director predetermined the outcome of the case months in advance." Huh? Mueller? Comey? (both Republicans) What is he talking about?
  • It's very telling that he feels the need to state that the House investigation has been "legitimate" in its oversight duties, AND he specifically lashes out at those "who continue to disparage our investigation." When you're defending, you're losing.
  • It's a joke, really. Goodlatte spent most of his time defending the farcical House investigation, trying to rebut the justified criticisms of how the House has completely divorced itself of proper oversight, in this case, of the Executive Branch, and namely the POTUS. But he ends his statement with a LOL howler, saying, "no one is above the law." Really?! How about Trump, the POTUS, will that apply to him down the road? Will Goodlatte abide by whatever comes of Mueller's investigation? And if it is found that Trump is guilty of "high crimes and misdemeanors," will Goodlatte remember that "no one is above the law"??
After all is said done, Strock's texts are but a speck on a GOP elephant's ass. Goodlatte tries to make the case that Strzok is Mueller, is heading the entire investigation into Trump, that it's really about Strzok vs. Trump, mano vs. mano. What a joke.

And when it comes to the election, Strzok's presumed and supposed efforts to stop Trump amounted to zilch, notta, whereas Putin and Russia wielded tremendous influence and had a real effect -- and yet Goodlatte and Repubs spend no time on this. It's all about Mueller and Hillary and Comey -- or anything that stands as a threat to their hold on power.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Trump, creator of criminals

Trump claimed Mexico was exporting their rapists and murderers to the USA.
The usual horse sh*t from him.

But by separating these kids, he (and Stephen Miller) has greatly increased the likelihood that many of these kids actually grow up to be murderers and rapists.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

The Telling Quiet

Conservatives and those on the right have clamored loudly against abortion for many decades. Yet finally when overturning Roe v. Wade is within their grasp, they suddenly go quiet.

Why the silence?

I liken it to sneaking a fox into the hen house. You must be very quiet, don't make a sound, no sudden moves, don't breath until you finally get the fox inside. Then it can pounce and go crazy!

Anti-abortion proponents are going to try and deftly sneak through their pick. The relative quiet is telling and foreboding.

Trump's pick will undoubtedly dance, dodge and attempt to finesse his/her way through the hearing(s). For an example of what to expect, watch Al Franken grill SCOTUS pick favorite Amy Barrett. It basically becomes an exercise in running out the clock without saying anything especially controversial or of substance. Feign ignorance, experience memory lapses, act naive -- whatever it takes to get through unscathed.

And nearly all the senators will oblige. For those few who choose to look tough and determined, just hold the line, it won't last long.

Such a charade allows senators like Susan Collins to later claim she was duped, that she was told X during the hearing and can't be blamed for the new Justice siding with Y or Z.

Yes, an incredibly lame defense for those who have at least half a brain, but that's beside the point.

However, all of that said, voting for Gorsuch is quite a different matter compared to this time around. Yes, Gorsuch did the dodge and dance regarding Roe/Wade, offering his respect for "settled law" and precedence. Right. But everyone knows, everyone, that push come to shove, Gorsuch will help to overturn Roe/Wade.

Yet there was always Kennedy to serve as a ballast, to keep the Roe/Wade decision intact. And in effect, Kennedy offered cover to "moderate" senators like Collins to vote for Gorsuch.

But that cover is now gone.

This next SCOTUS vote will directly target Roe/Wade. If a senator votes for Trump's pick, he/she will be voting to overturn Roe/Wade, period. No lame excuses allowed later about how you were misled or if you knew then what you know now. Nope, no one's gonna buy it. This vote is plain as day.

Such a reality should make the likes of Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski sweat a bit and force them to do some earnest soul-searching. Clearly their legacy is at stake. Do they want to be forever remembered for the key votes that turned back the clock 50+ years, to an awful era of coat hangers and maimed women? Not to mention the possibility of criminalizing mothers??

It's one thing to give empty rhetoric and then cave, voting the party line. It's quite another to be the deciding factor in establishing a dystopian nightmare.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Conservatives and the SCOTUS opening

Jeremy Peters was on Morning Joe this morning to discuss his NY Times piece concerning conservatives and the soon-to-be SCOTUS opening.

Some brief comments:
  • Jeremy said conservatives bemoan the fact that historically they've been on the wrong side of many SCOTUS verdicts.
Hmm, maybe this is because they're on the wrong side of the law and Constitution. Yet instead they perceive it as the fault of a person, the Justice(s). See Souter, or Kennedy or Sandra Day O'Connor. They want someone who is not going to properly interpret the Constitution or what the founding fathers intended. Rather they want strict ideologues, to side with narrowly-focused beliefs, not legal mumbo-jumbo.
  • Many evangelicals and/or conservatives voted for Trump for one reason only: abortion. In other words, SCOTUS picks to ban abortion. That's it. They ignore all of the voluminous filth and repugnant aspects of Trump, believing they're good with God & Heaven if they just ban this medical procedure. Trump may ruin the USA as we know it, but that's not going to stop these people from entering the pearly gates. And let's ignore the fact that the founding fathers specifically designated for the separation of church and state. We are NOT a country founded on religion, but rather a secular nation founded on laws. 
  • Jeremy said on MJ that it's amazing to think Reagan -- "the conservative lion" -- appointed O'Connor and Kennedy. 
But not before the Democrats fought hard and got Bork borked. And note also that Reagan today would be a moderate centrist compared to the far right positions of the GOP. I maintain that if Reagan were alive today, running for president, and yet did not look like Reagan, Republicans would cast him out with fervent animus.