Friday, September 6, 2019

The Importance of the Senate, IMPEACH NOW, a Weather Report, Stocking Up on Ammo and Brexit


The Importance of the Senate - A Great Column


Blog followers know that I have frequently pointed out the importance of the United States Senate.  It approves Supreme Court nominees and other important appointments and It votes on legislation which the House of Representatives has already passed.  While the House is “the people’s house,” generally representative of all Americans, the Senate is where the States are specifically represented.   For that reason, it isn’t particularly democratic (small “d”).  That’s why tiny Rhode Island and empty Wyoming each have the same number of Senators, two, as do far more populous States like California, New York or Texas.

As you know, the Senate is controlled by the Republicans and their leader, Mitch McConnell, doesn’t give a damn about anything that doesn’t benefit the G.O.P., consistently putting party over country.  McConnell would never do anything that would diminish the electability of members of his Senate majority. That’s why sorely needed gun-violence legislation or legislation to protect our election process from proven interference by the Russians, both approved by the House, never reaches the floor of the Senate.  Doing so might create problems for Senators who depend on NRA funding and those who are afraid of running afoul of the President’s base of support.  In fact, Mitch’s admitted willingness to move legislation, but only if the President first okays it, proves his chicken-hearted abdication from his role as Senate leader.  This will not change until the Democrats take over control of the Senate. 

O'Rourke
In a recent Washington Post column, Dana Milbank addressed the need for people like Beto O’Rourke (Texas), Steve Bullock (Montana) and Stacey Abrams (Georgia) to forget about other aspirations and run for the Senate seats up for grabs in their States.  He says it far better than I could.  Read his column by CLICKING HERE.

Jack Lippman 

Why We Must Impeach the Law-Breaker-in-Chief NOW

No matter how many laws the President breaks, no matter how often journalists and even Congressional committees go to court to get documents from the President or try to subpoena witnesses to testify, the President will always come out on top.  Why?  The courts, if they haven’t already been contaminated by his appointees, will come up with decisions which the Trumpublicans will appeal … all the way to the Supreme Court, which they control … and where they will therefore prevail. Attorney-General Barr manages these delaying shenanigans, serving the President and not the country. 

Donald Trump, really and truly, can shoot someone down in the middle of Fifth Avenue, as he has jocularly claimed and beside that act not bothering his supporters in the least, he will legally get away with it if he even gets arrested for it.!  Watch how fast he would be “sprung.”  He can get away with murder!  He would walk away smiling without even spending a night in jail.  Just leave it to his lawyers and “his” courts.

The man thinks he is above the law.  In his little corner of the business world where he operated for years, he has always thought of the law as an enemy and employed lawyers to get around it.  He is no different in the Presidency. No American is above the law. 

So it’s time to impeach him.  Now.  Today.  There’s enough in the Mueller Report, his obstruction of justice, in his personally profiting from his office, his making money from foreign delegations which stay at his hotels, his violation of election laws by paying off his whores (for which his personal lawyer has gone to jail), and even more, to get a bill of impeachment passed in the House.  Now.  Today.

And impeachment proceedings would be free from the legal roadblocks the Trumpublicans are able to throw in the way of the normal operation of the court system.  Congress would be in charge, as it should be, and not his devious lawyers led by Attorney General Barr.  
Trump and Barr - the Impeachables

And don’t be so sure that the Senate would not convict him, as we all assume.  If the evidence is so damning in the House’s impeachment hearings so that even the cowering Republican Senators in the Senate will be reminded that they are Americans first and Republicans second, they might vote to send him packing.  It would only take 20 of them courageous enough to put country before party.

But if the Senate closes its eyes and does not convict him, the American people will indeed convict him and send him into oblivion in 2020.  Then, even Fox News might not touch him with a ten-foot pole.

But standing still accomplishes nothing.  It is time to impeach him.  Now. Today.  

Even worse, any delay, and that’s what going through the courts involve, only benefits the President.  It plays into his hands.  It’s his game.  Forget about it.  There is only one answer.  Impeachment.  Now. Today.  
 JL



Weather Report from the White House 

And speaking of the President, let me comment on his recent meteorological remarks.   Many Americans have gotten their information on Hurricane Dorian by accessing the government’s weather web site, www.noaa.gov.   Its coverage of Dorian was, and continues to be, updated every few hours.  There are a multitude of charts and maps available and varied options available within each of them. 

A commonly viewed map is the “Warning Cone Static Images” chart, with the potential storm track option shown.  This is the one to which the President referred and suggested by the addition of a scrawled-in extension of the storm’s potential “cone” that it might, if it kept going in the same direction, reach Alabama.  Earlier, for no conceivable reason, he had mentioned that State as one of those threatened by Dorian and obviously, he was attempting to justify his misstatement.  He probably flunked geography in elementary school.  Using that logic, and his phony chart, it also might reach Kansas, Oregon and Korea! 

Graphics Embellish the Liar-in-Chief
In making his point, the President used a map version several days old in his phony “extended” projected cone illustration. Later versions showed the projected cone turning northward and could not be similarly mis-edited, so he used one a few days older to be able to extend his scrawled cone to Alabama.

 Furthermore, every update on this site is accompanied by an extremely detailed “discussion” of what it means by a professional meteorologist.  Mention of Alabama was totally absent from such “discussions.”  It might take a few minutes to read such “discussions” but that would be a task far beyond the President’s limited mental capabilities, something his former Secretary of Defense and his former Secretary of State eventually became aware of.  This is just another example of the President not doing his homework which was probably the case at the colleges he reportedly attended as well.   (Does anyone in the Wharton School’s Class of ’68 remember his actually being there?)

Americans must understand that the President is never wrong, so long as he has the ability to lie and make up the truth.  Black can be white, hot can be cold.  Fortunately for him, many Americans are equally stupid.  (H.L. Mencken once had something to say about that.)  Note that I did not say “ignorant.”  That can be remedied.  Stupidity cannot.   That is a problem.
 JL


Don't Forget Gun Violence

And back to gun violence, it should be noted that Walmart has curtailed its sale of certain types of ammunition.  This has bothered some Americans.  It was reported in the Palm Beach Post (Sept. 5) that one, a local resident who incidentally owns a company providing training for concealed-weapon permit applicants, visited his local Walmart “to get ammo in case of looters” following Hurricane Dorian.  He claimed Walmart’s action punishes law-abiding citizens looking to protect themselves and their families.  He pointed out that “people, not the guns, are the problem.”

I both disagree and yet, somewhat agree with him.  I maintain (see prior blog postings) that guns, not people, are the problem.   But I also agree that people are part of  the problem, but not all people, primarily people like him.  

Think about this for a moment:  With all the concerns that an impending hurricane brings to people, what kind of nut-jobs put “getting ammo in case of looters” on their list of priorities?  We have plenty of them in this country.  And you and I and Mitch McConnell know the way they vote.  That is a problem.
JL 



Brexit in Trouble

A word about Brexit.  Because of some of the same pressures that resulted in the election of Donald J. Trump to the Presidency of this country (job loss due to cheaper labor costs elsewhere and advancing technology, globalization, appeal to nationalism and dislike if not fear of immigrants) many of those in the United Kingdom felt a need “to Make England (actually the UK) Great Again.  I haven’t seen many Brits wearing “M.E.G.A.” hats but that’s the general idea. 

These misguided folks yearned for the old days when Britannia ruled the waves and when every other nation in the world looked to them for leadership.  They yearn for as the Beatles put it, “Yesterday.”  The logical step, they believed was to get out of the European Union and go it alone, as they had for centuries.  This got on the ballot and just like the Americans voted to put Donald Trump in office, Great Britain voted to exit from the European Union (Brexit) no later than this October.


The Europeans are willing to let them go, but some of the Brits with brains want to exit in a sane manner, one that would not destroy their economy and maintain some kind of economic connection with Europe, if Europe will let them do so on some limited basis. 
Boris Johnson
Theresa May couldn’t solve the problem and the current PM, Boris Johnson, is willing to go ahead with a clean break if need be rather than continue to look for some kind of a deal with Europe.  
Americans must not ignore the fact that an economic disaster in the UK, which a clean "Brexit" will cause, will also affect our economy!

That’s what is going on across the pond.  My guess:  Come 2020, both Donald Trump and Brexit will be history.  It will, unfortunately, take at least a decade to heal the wounds these two adventures in nostalgia caused.
JL
                                             

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