Desperate President Tweets Threat to Republican Senators Who Are ‘Turning On Trump’

Apparently making reckless threats aimed at nuclear-powered madmen isn’t sufficiently fulfilling for Donald Trump. Perhaps his own reputation as a nuclear-powered madmen dilutes the effect. So Trump is now aiming his electoral weapons at his Republican colleagues in the senate.

Donald Trump

Included in his scheduled morning Twitter tirade was a retweet of his pals at Fox and Friends. [NOTE: Trump must be on the Fox News payroll as this is his 13th retweet of F&F so far this month, and the 121st since he launched his campaign] The article linked in the tweet was, of course, from Fox News. It dealt with the potential electoral tribulations of Republican senators who have had the audacity to be independent thinkers. In other words, they have disagreed with the wannabe dictator in the White House.

The article is titled “Senators learn the hard way about the fallout from turning on Trump.” That’s a perfectly legitimate subject of discussion. And there are GOP incumbents whose seats are in jeopardy next year. Although that’s true for those still fluffing the unpopular president. However, by posting that article Trump is blatantly warning all Republicans to refrain from challenging him, or face his wrath. There is nothing subtle about promoting the perils of “turning on Trump.”

This heat-seeking rhetorical missile is meant to frighten Republicans who may be wavering in their otherwise unyielding adoration of the President. He demands constant support for everything he does and says. Any healthy expression of doubt or criticism is regarded as disloyalty. And the temptation to distance oneself from Trump’s toxicity will not be tolerated. That’s a harrowing dilemma for politicians attached to a president who can’t raise his approval ratings out of the thirties.

Trump has already made very public and embarrassing attacks on the GOP’s Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell. He has characterized McConnell as a weak loser who is responsible for Trump’s failing agenda. Never mind that Trump ran on the promise of his unparalleled negotiating skills and how easy it would be to achieve every goal he put forward. By now we should have defeated ISIS, repealed ObamaCare, cut taxes for the rich, locked up Hillary Clinton, and built a wall on the Mexican border. You know, made America great again.

Trump, however, has failed achieved to any of his campaign promises. Instead, he has brought the world to the brink of a thoroughly unnecessary nuclear conflict. His administration is a pitiful mess that has undergone unprecedented upheavals. And he is being investigated for financial corruption and collusion with Russia’s attacks on our democracy. Is this what he meant when he told his rally-goers that they would soon be “sick and tired of winning?”

So while Trump is playing nuclear chicken with Kim Jong-Un, he is also alienating his allies on Capital Hill. Previously loyal colleagues like Paul Ryan, Jeff Flake, Dean Heller, and John McCain are becoming more comfortable defying his authority. How he expects to shepherd his agenda through Congress without their help is a mystery.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump thought the presidency was like his family business where he was the king. But now he is discovering that his only tool is whining and bullying. And the more offensive he is toward his own party, the more likely they are to join in impeachment proceedings as his legal troubles continue to unfold. Keep in mind, Republicans in Congress have always preferred Mike Pence anyway.

A Republican Appeal for ‘ObamaCare Horror Stories’ Backfires Spectacularly

Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress are continuing their efforts to kill ObamaCare. Never mind that that their proposed replacement is overwhelmingly opposed by the American people. In recent polls its support has languished in the teens. You have to wonder why a party would fight so hard for something so unpopular. Well, actually, you don’t have to wonder. It’s because they are committed to giving millionaires tax cuts, denying hard-working Americans basic human rights, and erasing President Obama’s legacy.

Medicare For All

Republicans have been unable to pass their TrumpCare legislation despite having majorities in both houses. The Senate Republican Leader, Mitch McConnell promised to bring it to the floor for a vote before July fourth. However, he couldn’t get his own party to support the bill so he postponed the vote indefinitely. Now he is engaged in backroom horse-trading (i.e. bribery) to try to get some members to flip.

In the meantime, the GOP PR machine is reaching out to improve the awful perception of their healthcare agenda. In Indiana, the home state of Vice-President Mike Pence, the party posted a request on Facebook for public feedback. Here is what they asked in a brazenly leading question:

“We were promised Obamacare would make healthcare cheaper, better, and more available, but in reality it’s turned out to be the opposite. What’s your Obamacare horror story? Let us know.”

Unfortunately for them, what they got was surely not what they hoped for. Hoosiers were appalled at the prospect of losing the Affordable Care Act. They were equally disturbed by the GOP bills currently circulating around Congress. And more than 7,000 of them made their opinions abundantly clear. Here are some select examples of the replies:

  • I saved over $100/month on individual coverage through the marketplace, for the exact same coverage from the exact same insurer! The horror!
  • Being able to afford to buy insurance through a market rather than having to rely on employer-provided insurance allowed my best friend to leave her job and start her own business.
  • My kids have a genetic illness. After the ACA was passed, we felt relieved that they would never be denied coverage. And there is no worry of a lifetime cap on their care. Thanks Obamacare!
  • I lost my job and found out I had skin cancer 2 weeks later. If it weren’t for Obamacare, I wouldn’t have been eligible for another insurance plan because I would have had a major preexisting condition. I was able to go on to the open market place and select an affordable option that covered the bulk of my treatments. I’m now cancer-free and didn’t have to lose everything to pay for chemo. Thanks Obamacare for being there exactly when I needed it!
  • The “horror” is that Republicans would take it away without a decent replacement. Or replace it with a giant tax cut to the wealthy instead of actual…ya know…health care.
  • No horror story about ACA. The real horror is a bunch of white guys making decisions about women’s health and bodies.
  • I am a single mom of two young children. Before IN joined the ACA, I was denied health coverage. Thanks to Obamacare my children and I both have healthcare while I’m back in school pursuing my nursing degree. Thank you Obama!
  • Prior to the ACA (Obamacare) I was denied coverage for my pregnancy because it was considered a pre-existing condition. I then went on state funded Medicaid because it was he only available option, besides going bankrupt.
  • Obamacare makes my dad able to obtain insurance with a preexisting and covers his $15k/month medication. Thank you, Obama, for giving my dad years on his life!
  • I’m a pastor here in Indiana, and Obamacare has been wonderful for some of the people in my congregation. Thanks to Obamacare, they now have affordable health insurance for the first time.
  • My premiums went down in 2017 under the ACA. My daughter had her gall bladder removed in January that left a bill totaling $93,000.00 but under the ACA my bill was $ 2000. I love my ACA. Stop lying.
  • My son was dx with leukemia at 5 months old. Thanks to ACA he can not be denied health coverage. The horror
  • My mom is fighting cancer because of the ACA. So your party of “pro life” and “family values” can shut the hell up. You don’t care about us. You care about tax cuts for the billionaires.

Will the Republicans pushing for their cruel and greedy alternative to ObamaCare be moved by these comments? It’s impossible to tell from this Facebook post. The party has not responded to any of the comments. But there are some diehard, Fox News infected, Trump disciples out there making irrational contributions to the debate. One found it “Interesting reading all the Soros-hired leftwing shills and their fake posts.” Right. George Soros hired more than 7,000 people to post unique and moving appeals to retain and improve ObamaCare.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

That’s the sort of lunacy that we have to contend with in order to preserve the first national healthcare plan the United States ever had. It’s indicative of a deeply deranged segment of the population that regards anything they don’t like as “fake.” The good news is that mental health care is covered under ObamaCare. So these poor souls may be able to get the help they desperately need. That’s is, if they don’t succeed in killing it.

Warren Buffett Blasts GOP Healthcare Bill as the ‘Relief for the Rich Act’

On Tuesday the Republican Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, was forced to make an embarrassing announcement. After insisting that the Senate would vote on the GOP’s ObamaCare repeal bill before the July fourth recess, he has now removed it from the schedule. He had a good reason. There was no way it pass. At least nine Republican senators had indicated that they would vote no.

Warren Buffet

The so-called “Better Care Reconciliation Act” is not only unpopular with some senate Republicans. Recent polling shows that the American people are overwhelmingly opposed to it. The USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll puts its approval at only twelve percent. The NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll is only slightly better with seventeen percent of Americans approving. That includes support from only thirty-five percent of Republicans. [And this just in: Even the latest poll from Fox News shows approval at only twenty-seven percent. Twice as many oppose]

These are disastrous numbers for any public policy. It’s startling that the GOP would even be interested in pursuing this farce. And yet, McConnell continues to be optimistic about its prospects for passage. So does Donald Trump, who just met with the GOP senate caucus and celebrated their non-achievement.

Among the skeptics of the Republican plan to make twenty-two million more people uninsured is billionaire investor Warren Buffett. In an interview with PBS’s Judy Woodruff (video below), Buffett made his opinion crystal clear. He expressed his support for a more inclusive healthcare plan saying that single-payer “probably is the best system.” Then he outlined what is one of the most troubling and unfair aspects in the GOP bill in the following exchange:

Woodruff: “One of the things the Republicans are looking at, as you know very well, is doing away with the so-called Obamacare surcharge on people earning a higher income. So, Republicans are looking at taking that away, or doing away with that, which would mean a tax cut, you have said, for people like you.”

Buffett: “Well, I brought my tax return along for the last year. I filed this on April 15. And if the Republican — well, if the bill that passed the House with 217 votes had been in effect this year, I would have saved — I can give you the exact figure. I would have saved $679,999, or over 17 percent of my tax bill.

“There’s nothing ambiguous about that. I will be given a 17 percent tax cut. And the people it’s directed at are couples with $250,000 or more of income. You could entitle this, you know, Relief for the Rich Act or something, because it — I have got friends where it would have saved them as much as — it gets into the $10-million-and-up figure.

Bringing in his tax return to provide a tangible example of how the wealthy would benefit was a nice touch. It was an effective method to drive the point home. But it was also subtle dig at Trump, who still refuses to release any of his tax returns. And Buffett had something to say on the subject of politicians feathering their own nests as well:

“I might point out — it might be an interesting question. I think members of the Senate and the House get $174,000 a year. But most of them have — if you look at the disclosures, they have substantial other income. If they get to higher than $250,000, as a married couple, or $200,000 as a single person, they have given themselves a big, big tax cut, if they — if they voted for this.”

Indeed. The median net worth of members of Congress is slightly more a million dollars. Fifty-one percent are millionaires. Obviously, they would personally profit from the changes proposed in the Republican bill. And that profit comes at the expense of millions of Americans being thrown off of their insurance plans. Millions more would suffer higher premiums and deductibles, fewer services, and denial of coverage for preexisting conditions.

Buffett has long been an advocate for average Americans, despite his great good fortune. His critical observation that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary became known as the “Buffett Rule.” He’s a shining example of a Patriotic Millionaire (billionaire) who puts the welfare of his country and fellow citizens above his own personal interests. It’s the sort of compassion that Republicans ought to exercise when crafting their healthcare bill. But then, why would they start now? They have never done it before.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

FEC Commissioner Calls Trump’s Bluff, Demands Evidence Of Voter Fraud

Three months ago Donald Trump managed to corral more electoral college votes than his opponent, Hillary Clinton. He also lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes. And he’s still whining about it. His obsession with the historically unprecedented popular vote deficit has glommed onto his psyche like a fetid leech that won’t let go. And despite having the burdens of the office weighing on him, he’s still yowling about it.

Donald Trump

Trump’s reaction to the popular vote loss was to assert that 3-5 million people voted illegally in November. That blatantly false contrivance has been thoroughly debunked. PolitiFact rated it a “Pants-On-Fire” lie months ago. Repeated requests for documentation of his claim have been ignored, but for a promise to launch a federal investigation. That inquiry, Trump said last week, would be led by Vice-President Mike Pence. Much like the claim of voter fraud itself, there is no evidence of any inquiry. Even the Republican majority leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, is skeptical. On CNN he said that “I don’t think we ought to spend any federal money investigating that.”

Which brings us to Trump’s Friday meeting with a group of senators and former New Hampshire senator, Kelly Ayotte. Proving that he’s still controlled by his image-conscious ego, Trump offered a new version of the voter fraud lie. According to Politico, Trump blamed his loss of the state of New Hampshire on “thousands” of people who were ‘brought in on buses’ from neighboring Massachusetts to ‘illegally’ vote.” Once again, he refused to provide any documentation of the claim.

This time, however, the allegation was noticed the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). Ellen Weintraub, a George W. Bush appointee to the commission, made a public request for Trump to fess up. Her letter said in part that:

“President Trump has alleged an astonishing voter-fraud scheme [that] would constitute thousands of felony criminal offenses. [And that] democracy rests on the faith of the American people in the integrity of their elections. […] I therefore call upon President Trump to immediately share his evidence with the public and with the appropriate law-enforcement authorities so that his allegations may be investigated promptly and thoroughly.”

Trump’s allegations of voter fraud are problematic for more than their dishonesty. It is irresponsible to foment distrust of the election process in ways that are demonstrably false. There are indeed flaws in the process of voting. They include gerrymandered districts, campaign financing, and voter suppression through registration obstacles. But every credible study done on voter fraud shows that it occurs so infrequently as to be irrelevant.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Nevertheless, Trump and his sycophants in the White House and the press continue to disseminate lies. It is part of a concerted strategy to deceive and confuse the public. They want people to doubt democracy. Just like they want people to doubt academia, science, the media, and government in general. By sowing suspicion of society’s institutions, the Trump regime aims to exert ever greater control of a frightened populace. He must not be allowed to succeed.

Elizabeth Warren Quotes MLK’s Widow – Republicans Tells Her To STFU #LetLizSpeak

The Senate is currently debating the confirmation of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III to be Donald Trump’s Attorney General. The nomination has been contentious from the start given Sessions’ racially charged past. Among his harshest and most effective critics is Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Elizabeth Warren Mitch McConnell

Tuesday night Warren took to the senate floor to deliver remarks on the Sessions nomination. Included in her speech were quotes from the 1986 confirmation hearing when Sessions was up for a federal judgeship. He was considered too racist then to be confirmed. Notable opponents spoke out against him at the time, including Sen. Ted Kennedy and Coretta Scott King, widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

When Warren got to the part of her speech that quoted Mrs. King, she was interrupted by the Chair. He warned her that she was close to violating the Senate’s Rule 19. This is a rule intended to maintain the collegiality of the chamber. It says that: “No Senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.”

While the rule has its merits, it complicates the process of confirmation if the nominee happens to be a senator. How is it possible to express criticism without potentially violating the rule? Merely asserting that a nominee is unfit could be interpreted as crossing the line. In fact, that’s precisely what happened to Warren.

After being warned by the Chair, Warren sought clarification saying that she didn’t understand. “I’m reading a letter,” she said, “from Coretta Scott King to the Judiciary Committee from 1986 that was submitted into the record.” Warren noted that there was no objection to the original statement. But the Chair repeated his ruling and affirmed that she had “been warned.”

Warren was then permitted to continue. But while quoting the letter by Mrs. King, Republican leader Mitch McConnell interrupted to formally charge her with the violation:

“The Senator has impugned the motives and conduct of our colleague from Alabama, as warned by the Chair. Senator Warren said ‘Senator Sessions has used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens.’ I call the Senator to order under the provisions of Rule 19.”

Actually, it was Mrs. King who said that. And she was referring to Sessions when he was the Attorney General of Alabama, not a senator. So the charge that Warren had violate Rule 19 was just a flimsy excuse to shut her up. There was no reasonable interpretation of the rule that would justify invoking it. Nevertheless, since Republicans have the majority, their interpretations, no matter how perverse, are final.

Warren was left to object and vainly appeal the ruling of the chair. “I am surprised,” she lamented, “that the words of Coretta Scott King are not suitable for debate in the United States Senate.” She’s not the only one that will be surprised.

The optics of Republicans effectively gagging Warren for quoting Mrs. King are cringe worthy. We are witnessing a party that has been trying to shed its reputation for inbred prejudice. So they censor the words of the widow of an iconic civil rights leader? Now Warren is prohibited from speaking on the senate floor for the duration of the Sessions debate. And all in an effort to confirm an Attorney General whose resume is rife with bigotry. That seems like a strange way to rehabilitate the Party’s racist image. And Warren, for her part, isn’t going away quietly:

[UPDATE] In a show of support, two Democratic senators have read the same letter by Mrs. King. Neither has been charged with breaching senate rules. They are both white males (Merkely and Udall). Warren is still prohibited from speaking.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump’s National Security Nominee Quits Before She Starts Amid Plagiarism Scandal

Donald Trump has been populating his cabinet with decidedly unsavory figures bent on destroying the agencies they will lead. And while appointing arsonists to run the Fire Departments, he has failed to properly vet his nominees. Case in point is Monica Crowley, tapped as strategic communications director of the National Security Council.

Monica Crowley

Crowley, formerly of Fox News, was discovered to have plagiarized portions of her 2012 book, “What The (Bleep) Just Happened.” CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski documented more than fifty instances of text that was taken from other sources without attribution. In addition, Politico reported that Crowley also allegedly plagiarized portions of her doctoral dissertation from Columbia University.

The Trump transition team initially dismissed these reports as politically motivated attacks. However, the budding scandal heated up when her publisher, HarperCollins, pulled the book off the market. It would be difficult for the Trump camp to accuse HarperCollins of partisanship given that it’s owned by the same corporate parent as Fox News.

Monday morning Crowley spoke with the Washington Times and revealed she would not be joining the Trump administration after all. As reported by TVNewser, she said that:

“After much reflection I have decided to remain in New York to pursue other opportunities and will not be taking a position in the incoming administration,” Crowley said in a statement, to the Washington Times. “I greatly appreciate being asked to be part of President-elect Trump’s team and I will continue to enthusiastically support him and his agenda for American renewal.”

Trump’s nominee for National Security Adviser, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, expressed regrets that Crowley had bowed out. He wished her well saying “The NSC will miss the opportunity to have Monica Crowley as part of our team.” No mention of the plagiarism charges was made by either Crowley or Trump’s people. However, this embarrassing episode could have been avoided with competent vetting. Crowley’s sticky fingers have been part of the public record since at least 1999. At that time the Wall Street Journal caught her plagiarizing an article from Commentary Magazine for a Journal feature.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Perhaps this is why Congress is so anxious to barrel through the confirmation hearings before the ethics reviews have been completed. Their unprecedented rush violates the standards that Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had demanded for President Obama’s nominees. Unfortunately, their haste and incompetence could have grave consequences for the country. The Crowley affair is just the tip of the iceberg. We can expect further scandals and untold harm as a result of staffing the government with crooks and amateurs.

GOP Hypocrites Abandon Criteria For Cabinet Nominees That They Demanded From Obama

As Inauguration Day draws closer, Donald Trump’s transition continues to break with ethical standards that have had bipartisan approval for decades. Now his cabinet nominees are scheduled to have hearings in a slap-dash, marathon day of Senate gabfests. This is designed deliberately to make it impossible for senators and citizens to fully consider the nominees.

Mitch McConnell

The Office of Government Ethics (OGE) is expressed its misgivings with the Republican scheduling. The OGE director warned that the plan to hold confirmation hearings before the completion of ethics reviews is “of great concern.” In a letter to the Senate he said:

“As OGE’s director, the announced hearing schedule for several nominees who have not completed the ethics review process is of great concern to me. […] I am not aware of any occasion in the four decades since OGE was established when the Senate held a confirmation hearing before the nominee had completed the ethics review process.”

Also expressing concern was the Democratic National Committee. They called for the hearings to be delayed until the ethics office had sufficient time to complete the reviews. Absent that, DNC spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said that “the only reasonable conclusion to be drawn is that they are concerned about what will be exposed.”

Among the reviews still being conducted are FBI background checks, OGE investigations into conflicts of interest, and financial disclosures. And what makes this all the more interesting is that Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell had the very same concerns. Not now, but back in 2009 when it was Obama’s nominees being considered. McConnell wrote to then-Majority Leader Harry Reid to insist that all these reviews must be completed and returned in enough time to review prior to the hearings.

Joining the call for adhering to ethical precedents was Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who tweeted:

Not surprisingly, Reince Priebus, Trump’s Chief of Staff, is comfortable with jettisoning ethics reviews. On Fox News Sunday he said that “there’s no reason … they have all the information that they need. It’s no different from any other new administration coming in.” However, McConnell’s letter proves that it’s entirely different.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The standards that Republicans impose on Democrats is a much higher one than that to which they hold themselves. That’s why their nominees have been criticized for their blatant conflicts and unsavory behavior. And it’s why Republicans are so anxious to shove these cretins through the confirmation process before everyone finds out about them.

CONFIRMED: Russia WAS Helping Donald Trump To Win The Election After All

Charges that Russia played a role in tampering with the just concluded U.S. election have been floating around for months. Insiders have revealed some of the covert actions with disturbing specificity. However, official government channels have been reluctant to make these charges formal. Until now.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

The Washington Post just published an article that blows the roof off of this story. The article states that:

“The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.”

That’s a shocking statement from ordinarily tight-lipped agencies to make. The ramifications of this disclosure are profound and can lead to prosecutions and alter the outcome of the election. Making matters worse, this was known long before Election Day by both the CIA and Congress.

The leaders of both houses of Congress, and the chairmen of the intelligence committees, were informed of this in September. Democrats sought to form a bipartisan agreement to make this critical information available to the public. That ought to have been the only responsible course of action given the circumstances. However, Republicans balked and acted to suppress the CIA’s findings and keep the American people in the dark.

Despite the obvious importance to voters, GOP leader Mitch McConnell dismissed the consensus view of the intelligence professionals. He said that he would publicly oppose the release of the non-partisan info as being politically motivated. Never mind that he had no evidence to suspect any bias on the part of the CIA. Trump’s team made a statement Friday that also cast doubt on the intelligence community. That should make it hard for them to work together if he becomes their boss in a few weeks. His statement said:

“These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again.'”

Actually, that isn’t true. The allegations about WMDs were orchestrated from the White House of George W. Bush and dictated to intelligence officials, not the other way around. Plus, the CIA isn’t made of the same people after sixteen years anyway. As for the Electoral College, Trump’s victory isn’t even in the top ten going back sixty years.

The revelations in this report are all the more troubling when you factor in Trump’s unsavory relationships with Russia. He has repeatedly praised Vladimir Putin and defended him against previous charges of hacking. As recently as last week he told Time Magazine that “I don’t believe they interfered.” He also went further than that in a campaign speech when he actually asked Russia to hack into Hillary Clinton’s email. What’s more, many of Trump’s aides and early cabinet picks are also affiliated with Russia.

President Obama has ordered a “full review” of Russian hacking during the election campaign. He asked for that review to be completed prior to January 20, 2017, when he will leave office. That’s important in order to prevent Trump from “round-filing” it after inauguration. However, if justice is to be served, whatever is known currently should be made public now. The Electoral College should have this information before voting on December 19.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Even with what is only known now, any member of the Electoral College that votes for Trump is potentially complicit in treason. At the very least it would be irresponsible to allow Trump to take residency in the White House with this cloud hanging over him. This is precisely the sort of event that the Electoral College was designed to deal with by the Founders. And the evidence is damning enough to take the extraordinary action of denying Trump the presidency for the sake of national security.

The Death Of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Is Instantly Politicized By Callous Republicans

The sudden and unexpected death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has produced a flurry of reactions from across the political spectrum. Everyone offering a comment has begun with praise for his public service and intellect, and expressions of condolences for his family.

Antonin Scalia

Unfortunately, Republicans have wasted no time in turning this personal tragedy into a political opportunity. GOP presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio (also members of the Senate) added to their sympathies a demand that President Obama refrain from nominating a replacement and leave that to whoever is president in January of 2017. Others, including Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who holds the power to vote or not, have made similar demands. After offering her condolences, Hillary Clinton responded to the GOP by saying that their intention to leave the seat vacant dishonors our Constitution.

There are several problems with the Republican’s overt obstructionism, starting with the fact that it is the constitutional duty of the President to nominate a replacement when there is a vacancy. It would be wholly inappropriate for him to simply ignore that obligation for political purposes. The Senate could refuse to confirm the nominee, or even allow it to come up for a vote. Of course, that would be an abdication of their constitutional duty, but they could do it. The President, however, should not be complicit with that negligence. The Founders intended the Supreme Court to reflect the mood of the nation as represented by the chief executive — not the mood of the nation as represented by the chief executive unless he’s in the last year of his administration.

Another reason that the President should nominate a replacement as soon as possible, and the Senate should confirm, is that this year the Supreme Court has a particularly heavy calendar. There are many cases waiting to be heard, and some are critical issues that will have far reaching effect. The litigants ought not to be penalized by self-serving politicians. And there has never been a vacancy on the Supreme Court for a year, which is what the GOP obstructionists are proposing. Some of the decisions to be made by the court this term could…

  • Limit the ability of unions to collectively bargain (Friedrichs).
  • Further restrict the use of race in college admissions (Fisher).
  • Drastically limit the ability of people to band together in class actions to stop corporate wrongdoing (Spokeo, Campbell-Ewald, Tyson Foods).
  • Dismantle environmental regulations (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission).
  • Expand the scope of forced arbitration (DIRECTV and Zaborowski).
  • Further undermine the voting rights of communities of color in urban areas (Evenwel).
  • Sanction far-right efforts to radically restrict women’s abortion rights and ability to obtain contraceptive medical coverage (Whole Woman’s Health and Zubik).

If a new justice is not confirmed, the pending cases would be heard by a short-handed court. And since this court has been divided ideologically with a five to four conservative advantage, there is a great possibility of frequent ties should this vacancy remain. In the event of a 4/4 tie, the ruling of the lower court would stand. From the Republican perspective, this might not be to their advantage. After eight years of the Obama presidency the district courts currently have a majority of Democratic nominated judges. Consequently, those lower court rulings may be more to the liking of liberals. So any effort by the GOP to obstruct the confirmation of a new nominee by Obama may have the opposite effect of what they intend. Senate Republicans also risk the possibility that they will not be in the majority next year and the next president, if Democratic, would have far more leeway in who they nominate.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The bottom line is that our government is supposed to work on behalf of the people, not at the whim of the politicians. By obstructing Obama’s constitutional mandate, Republicans would only further cement the impression of them as fomenting division and gridlock. In an election year where the public is fed up with political game-playing, that will likely hurt Republicans at the polls. On the plus side, it might finally elevate the appointment of Supreme Court justices as an election issue. That would be a good thing that should have happened long ago.

Update: President Obama offered his condolences. He also responded to the GOP’s irresponsible and callous politicization of Scalia’s passing, saying in part that…

“Today is a time to remember Justice Scalia’s legacy. I plan to fulfill my constitutional responsibilities to nominate a successor in due time. And there will be plenty of time for me to so and for the Senate to fulfill its responsibility and to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote. These are responsibilities that I take seriously, as should everyone. They are bigger than any one party. They are about our democracy.”

Not The Onion: GOP Congressman Already Floating Impeachment For Hillary Clinton

The Huffington Post is reporting that Alabama’s Mo Brooks isn’t taking any chances when it comes to hounding Hillary Clinton out of an office that she hasn’t even won yet:

“Hillary Clinton isn’t president yet. She hasn’t even won the Democratic nomination. But a Republican congressman is already getting ready for the opportunity to impeach her — on the first day of her hypothetical presidency.”

[Brooks said that] “In my judgement, with respect to Hillary Clinton, she will be a unique president if she is elected by the public next November, because the day she’s sworn in is the day that she’s subject to impeachment because she has committed high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Where do Republicans find these weasels? What’s especially funny to me about this is that two years ago I wrote a satirical article that proposed this very same idea – except I was joking. This seems like a good time to re-post it here in full:


May 12, 2013
Vowing to get an early start on efforts to remove Hillary Clinton from the White House, Republican leaders in congress have announced their intention to hold hearings on what they claim are the high crimes and misdemeanors that Hillary Clinton will commit once she assumes the presidency in January of 2017.

Hillary Clinton

Although she has not yet been sworn in to office (or elected, or announced her candidacy) Republicans are determined not waste any time in initiating her impeachment. House Speaker John Boehner told reporters that…

“We do not want to repeat the mistakes we made in the previous [i.e. current] administration where we waited too long to get the ball rolling. After all, President Obama was in office for nearly a month before we took meaningful action to remove him.”

Some members of the GOP attribute the failure to impeach Obama on the late start they got on manufacturing allegations of malfeasance and ginning up outrage over imaginary scandals. Consequently, they chased after flimsy accusations of foreign birth and socialist aspirations that never caught on with the public. That left them facing a reelection campaign dominated by impotent sound bites of whether or not small businesses “built that” and desperate rejections of real data including poll results and unemployment numbers. Republican strategist Karl Rove Rove addressed these shortcomings saying…

“We are proud of the fallacies we created and promoted. No one worked harder to invent phony issues than we did. Could we have done better? Should we have connected Obama to Hitler more often, or the spread of the Bubonic Plague? Sure, but it’s always easier to criticize with hindsight.”

This is not to say that there weren’t zealous attempts to plunder the Obama presidency. Republican politicians, with the help of Fox News and the Koch brothers, worked feverishly to construct controversies designed to hobble the administration. They labored over “Fast and Furious,” Solyndra, Bill Ayres, and ObamaCare, which they unsuccessfully took all the way to the Supreme Court. Each of these affairs, and several more, were alleged to be Obama’s Watergate,” but none of them gained any traction with a populace that proved to be smarter than the Tea Party – admittedly, not a very high bar.

The latest episode for which conservative muckrakers are crying wolf (or Watergate, as the case may be) is the tragedy that took the lives of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya. However, even with the help of near blanket broadcasting of Benghazi hysteria by Fox News, the utter lack of any compelling evidence of wrongdoing has turned the whole affair into a mushy smear campaign notable only for the tacky theatrics of the accusers. Even the specter of a cover-up fell flat when the proponents of that theory could not explain what exactly was being covered-up. “We forgot that little detail,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (Tea Party-UT).

Rather than risk a similar fate in the event that Clinton runs for and wins the presidency in 2016, Republicans are casting their lots now. Since it doesn’t matter whether the object of their scorn has actually done anything unlawful, why wait until the former senator and Secretary of State is in office to try her for the crimes they are planning to pin on her no matter what reality ultimately serves up. It’s a strategy that they believe conserves a great deal of political energy that would otherwise be wasted on honest politicking and the responsible stewardship of government.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Senator Mitch McConnell, who declared shortly after Obama’s first election victory that his primary legislative goal was to “make him a one-term president,” is devoting the same measure of commitment to the effort to pre-impeach Clinton. In remarks to the GOP caucus last week he reminded his fellow Republicans that their priorities ought not to change just because the complexion and gender of the person in the White House does.

“We have spent five years obstructing everything this president has attempted to do, from passing bills, to appointing judges and cabinet officials. This is not the time to let our guard down and be distracted by the burdens of actually governing or helping the nation recover from adversity.”

Asked for a comment when Clinton was told of the Republican campaign to impeach her, she said incredulously “What the fuck?” And walked away laughing uncontrollably. Her office later followed up with this statement:

“We have always known that these clowns were certifiable, and now we are seeing some of the best evidence of that. The Secretary has not yet made a decision as to whether or not she will run for president, but if she does she expects to campaign vigorously and appeal to the hearts and minds of the American people.

She also expects to face dipshits in the Republican Party who, with their pals at Fox News, will manufacture insane theories and conspiracies, and she plans to wipe up the pavement with their lame asses.”


Like it was yesterday. And once again, reality trumps satire. But don’t get me started on Trump.