Tag Archive | GOP


Monday was Holocaust Remembrance Day and today is the anniversary of the Civil Rights Era lunch counter sit-in. It’s also the week we travel banned another six countries, all nations of color or majority Muslim, while a POTUS’s defense for his self-admitted criminal actions was “America is not a democracy or a republic, but a dictatorship where a president can do what a president wants, because that person is the president.”

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A friend said to me, with genuine bewilderment, “I just don’t understand how they ended up there.” What she meant was, how rational, normal people ended up murdering 6 million of their friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc in unspeakable ways.

“Really?” I said. “It’s pretty simple.”

It typically starts with a segment of society feeling as though they’re economically disadvantaged and socially disregarded. And those are often aren’t just feelings. It’s typically true. They are totally correct.  Social disregard for those suffering economic inequality within a society can become a catalyst for change (the Civil Rights Movement) or morph into a corrosive toxin (a Nazi dictatorship).

Which direction nations end up going generally has to do with just one thing in the Western world. How Christian people go about looking for answers.

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When Christian people look for answers by examining their own hearts and lives, then look critically at their society and government, they make personal changes and they work to make societal and political changes. That’s how you get a democracy that grows and changes, but remains true to its tenets. That’s how you ended up with a cell phone, instead of phone box on the corner.

On the other hand, if Christian people aren’t open to looking at their own lives, society, and style of government, they look instead for someone else to blame.  That’s how you get to Nazis. Specifically, they look for someone, a single white man, who will them:

“You don’t have to change. It’s not you. There’s nothing wrong with our capitalism or democracy. It’s certain people in our society, who don’t belong here, are controlling those mechanisms, and certain other nations that are against us and holding us back. And if you elect me, I’ll get rid of those people and deal with those nations. Your lives will get better. And you won’t have to do anything except vote for me. I’m the answer.”

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Most cults aren’t this obvious.

That’s how people become invested in dictators and surrender all their power to what is actually a cult leader. Some groups of people are more prone to doing this than others. In a sense, if you belong to a religion, it’s most likely because you believe that religion has all the answers and if you just do what you’re told, all will be well. You’re already in a cult, so a would be dictator can basically just tap into that mentality.

I’m not against religion. I’m a practicing Christian. But there are people who don’t think about their religion. They don’t treat the sacred text they read as wisdom, which can be applied to all situations. They treat it as dead letter law to be obeyed. They let other people tell them what it says. They give up their own power to decided what it says, what it means, how it should be applied in a new situation, and just blindly obey the people in charge.

The Reformation was an attempt to break from this “I’ll tell you ignorant people what’s good for you” thinking and kicked off the trend to democracy. Once Guttenburg printed a Bible, people could read what Jesus said for themselves. And things changed. They ditched the community phone box because they got themselves a direct line to God. In reality, the line was always there and free. But the people making pay-to-call phone boxes benefited from keeping people in the dark about that.

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Why do people today choose to to let others think and decide for them? They do this because they hope to get something out of it, hopefully a reward and, if not, at least the chance to escape punishment by claiming: “I only did what I was told.” Is any of this sounding familiar to you?

Sometimes I ask people to describe a Nazi. They often say, Germans. It’s a blanket term. People use it because it covers up a “far too close to home” reality they don’t want to face. People don’t want to look at the people who were closing the gas chamber doors and admit the hard truth, “Yep, those are white people who’ve embraced nationalism and racism, who go to church every Sunday and consider themselves devoted Christians.”

Before you write me in anger, check that rage. I’m from a German Catholic Christian family. My family members were flying over the Rhine dropping bombs on Nazis. And, my more distant family members were in Germany being killed by those bombs. If you think I don’t know what I’m talking about, sadly, you’d be mistaken. But back to what I was talking about…..

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Next time you walk into your church (if you’re white and go to church), look around and imagine those white people all wearing Nazi uniforms. Because that’s what you would have seen a church in Germany during WWII. Imagine the man singing a hymn praising God next to you had been shoving people in a gas chamber all week. Because that’s what your reality would have been.

Real people did those unspeakable things. Not generic “Nazis”. And those real people that did those real unspeakable things were all white and all Christians. It freaks people out when I say things like this, but I say them because they are true. Because it’s important to the world, to Christianity, to humanity, that we acknowledge this is the central truth. I don’t care if these things are hard. Woman-up and look at the truth.

Nazi uniform belt buckles were emblazoned with a logo that said God with us. They considered themselves a Christian army for a Christian nation. They were taking back Germany from the subversives and free thinkers. Nazi ideas included a Reich that would last 1000 years.  Do you know where that idea of 1000 year reign come from? Straight from the Bible, from the 1000 years Christ is supposed to reign on earth.

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So why bring all this up? I bring it up because true Christianity forbids racism and nationalism. The Bible calls all nations grass and all people dust. When you come to Christ, you still have a nationality, but it’s not important. You’re not a higher form of Christian because you’re white, or English, or protestant, or whatever. Whatever you are, those are just part of your tool kit for Christ.

Paul considered his Roman citizenship a tool. It was something he could lean on to get to Rome, to get heard, to spread the Gospel. He knew his citizenship conferred certain advantages, but he didn’t consider that to mean he should use them to oppress others, or that was better than other people, other Jews, other Christians, other pagans. A lot of people claiming to be Christians have totally forgotten this.

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Nationalism and racism can’t get a toehold if your Christianity is true. Once you cross over, and engage with nationalism and racism, you’re the gas chamber guy, singing in the church. You might think you’re a Christian, but Christ calls you a goat. You’re with the flock, but your “Just following orders” defense doesn’t fly with Jesus, whose orders you should have obeyed, and you get separated out for a different fate in the end.

One of the reasons dictators and their minions are so keen to be seen as Christian, is to corrupt Christianity.  If you can’t corrupt Christianity, you can’t make nationalism and racism, and all the other bad -isms, fly. If you can’t get people to bite hard on nationalism and racism, you can’t take over and become an authoritarian state. People who adhere to true Christianity fight you. That’s what it came down to in the end, in the 1940s. Real Christians saw nazism for what it was, an anti-Christian, authoritarian dictatorship run by a crazy person hell-bent on destroying the world.

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I’d like to say Christians today are wise to this tendency of politicians. You’d think they would be. But I think they’ve forgotten what the Founders knew all to well. The Founders remembered the Crusades, the 100 years war, the English Civil war, the endless problems that happened when government got their hands on religion and vice versa. So they wrote a Constitution to protect America from going down that road and hoped it would be a light for other nations still mired in such darkness.

I’d like to say that people who get swept up in bad Christianity that turns into an evil government eventually dig themselves out of that mind set. I’d like to say people eventually woke up to the Nazi movement. That they voted Hitler out of office before things got too bad. That they understood they’d taken a wrong turn and turned back. That they vilified the nationalism, racism, authoritarianism, etc that they once embraced.

Yes, I’d like to say that. But they never did. So I can’t. It took a world war with a lot of bombs, bullets and battles to stop the cult of the Nazis. And after that came the public trials and hangings. And still some people went on quietly clinging to their nazi beliefs, unable to see the irrational nature of their acts, unable to see the utter refutation of Christ’s message in what they did, unable to look in the mirror and accept the truth of themselves as murderers, dupes, co-conspirators, liars, thieves.

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Sometimes individual people wake up and walk away from a cult. It does happen now and then. They know they’ve lost years of their lives, money, family relationships, but they at least get to live out the rest of their days free. Free to rebuild, and maybe restore and reconnect. Sometimes even go back and save someone else, or witness the truth to the world as a warning.

Sometimes a whole group of people leave a cult all at once. Seventh Day Adventists in the 1840s were convinced they knew the exact date of Jesus’s return to earth. Some Baptist pastor, William Miller, had calculated the date based on some wildly weird theological interpretation. Bad Christianity. Bad theology. But he was a pastor, so…. the flock bought into this idea— even though they could read for themselves in the Bible that Jesus said, “I don’t know when I’ll be back, no man knows that. Only the Father.”

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Baptist Pastor Miller

If you read the newspapers of the day, you’ll discover that thousands of believers sold up all the possessions and gave away their money. Loads of good “Christian” people bought into this totally obviously anti-Christian teaching.  And what happened? These people ended up standing a field, with Jesus a no show. You’d think this would teach them something. But ….

Even though many people walked away at that point, some didn’t. Why? Because Pastor Miller said he made an error, the day of Jesus’ return was actually a little further off. And people believed this. They’d already given up everything on the basis of this idea. They had nothing to go back to. They didn’t want to seem stupid…..ummm, yeah.

Not really a clear mathematical explanation.

So they continued this journey of madness. They continued to buy into the idea this clearly wrong pastor was right, and by extension they were all right and the world was wrong. They would be saved. The world and the worldly would perish. They convinced themselves that this pastor was right and that Jesus himself was a liar. And they ended up standing on a hill…. alone again, naturally.

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I think I see Jesus. Do you see Jesus? Crap. Not again.

At that point the SDA church shrunk dramatically. It still exists today. It’s theology on Jesus’ return has shifted, a lot. But they still exist. Now they’re into prophets who teach vegetarianism and focus on going to church on Saturday. Although now they teach the Roman Catholic Church is the devil. Because there still has to be an enemy. A them, to keep the us viable.


They think the Catholic church will someday persecute them for their “sabbath-keeping” and try to take over the world and force them to worship on Sunday. They think they’ll be stamped with a number, like a brand, and be subject to death camps. That in the end only 144K will be left and they’ll be swept into the clouds when Jesus comes, but all the Catholics will burn in hell. So there’s that.

I have to say, being left on a mountain, broke and disabused of your notions of immediate salvation, was still not a bad outcome. It beats everyone ending up dead in a jungle, a la Jim Jones. A US Senator, California Democrat Leo Ryan — back when senators cared about American people — went to Jones compound in South America to see what was happening — at just the wrong time. He ended up assassinated.

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How the majority of followers left the Jim Jones cult, in body bags.

After that, Jones had his followers drink poison. Some drank the poison freely. Others were forced to drink it (men, women, and little children). 909 people died. Even that horrible outcome is better than a cult grown so strong that it takes a world war to stop it. Which is why nations should do all they can to avoid going down that well-worn garden path. It doesn’t end well. It’s also why white Christians should be especially leery of anyone pitching them nationalism and racism as a cure,while hacking at the knees of their democracy.

A lot of white Christian people in the US want to believe that things are normal. They want to believe it because then they don’t want to face the reality. They’ve sold out Christ and his teachings. They’ve followed pastors with strange theologies. They’ve elected a dictator. They’ve betrayed democracy. It was all accidental. It was all incremental. But that’s what happened. That’s where they’ve ended up. But there’s still time to change, to fix it, to come back to Christ.

Many Christians want to believe they’re at the forefront fighting back the dark forces. They like the Marvel Hero aspect of Christianity. But they’ve got the wrong end of the stick. The dark forces aren’t Muslims, people of color, gay people, abortion, or secularism. The dark forces are those that corrupt Christianity, and makes Christians into mindless minions that gleefully spring to the defense of all that is anti-Christ — authoritarianism, nationalism, racism, and unrestrained unethical godless capitalism.

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Sorry, Christian, this is not you.

I get that some Christians are unhappy with society.  But that’s because they really don’t understand the game plan Jesus laid out. They don’t read or maybe don’t believe what Jesus actually said (a la Adventists). Christians forget they are always going to be in the minority. The yeast or the salt, not the wheat of the loaf. Jesus says this. You’re never the majority, the rich, or the politically powerful.

When God sends you strangers, there’s your opportunity to spread love, spread the Gospel. If instead you’re thinking, “Wow, this may be bad for me. I may lose money. The town won’t be white anymore” Uh, maybe your view of God is too small? Maybe God is giving you a chance to grow? Maybe God is asking you to change? Maybe “these people” have something to teach you about Christ?

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This is you. Tiny, but potent in the mix.

When you close your borders to even those that need asylum? What is the God — who sent the Israelites to Egypt for asylum, and still blesses Egypt today because of this — to do with you except utter a curse upon you? Maybe instead of thinking, “Wow, too many Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, etc.” You should be thinking, “Wow, I don’t have to go to the mission field, God has sent it to me. I can show the love of Christ to the world, right in my own town.”

White Christians in ancient Ireland took over the government. Trust me, it didn’t work out. God got so fed up he sent the Vikings to disabuse them of their weird theology and strange “Christian” notions. As a grace, he sent those white Christians as slaves to foreign, pagan, white people lands to discover true Christianity for themselves and spread the reality of Christ’s teaching. Hard lessons all round.

Jesus could have taken over the world, he chose not to. He could have crowned himself king, he didn’t want to go that route. What route did he want his followers to go? He left his life as an example. People forget that. Jesus died broke and alone, a humiliating death for a crime he didn’t commit, and they don’t want to end up like that! Christians choose to forget Jesus’s life, and his death, because the reality of it crashes through their cozy, safe, American prosperity theology.

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Corrie Ten Boom

People want to forget what happened in WWII for the same reasons. Some people even want to deny it happened. It happened. Millions of innocent Jewish people died. And there were other groups that died as well. Gay people got gassed. People of color, ie Gypsies, too. The handicapped? A burden on the state. And let’s not forget that many true Christians, priest, nuns, pastors, humble lay people (like Corrie Ten Boom), all ended up in the camps and many of whom also died.

True Christians, who spoke out against the Nazis, were murdered in the camps along with the Jewish people. So yeah, when I see white Christian people embracing a authoritarian leader who’s selling nationalism, who encourages racism, who hates gay people, and …. Yeah, I see a whole bunch of  white Christian people heading down the garden path of nazism. And I pray for them and I work to change things.

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Warning, this path looks nice but ends really badly.

You may think I’m over reacting. Nope.  Right now, today, we have GOP Senators who are about to vote to acquit a POTUS of crimes they all acknowledge he committed. Their defense for this is saying that America is not a democracy but an authoritarian state. That’s right.

They say a POTUS can’t commit a crime because he’s the POTUS. That’s absurd. We all know it. The only place that’s true is a dictatorship. And if that’s what the senators think, and that’s what they plan to support, then they are selling out democracy in favor of making the US a dictatorship with the GOP temporarily in charge.

And, no one has said this, but I will, if they acquit this POTUS of these crimes, do you understand that the next day, that POTUS can call Ukraine and demand an investigation of the Bidens, while withholding congressional approved aid indefinitely till they do? Because the GOP senate will have approved the idea that’s okay, that’s legal.

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Don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the time.

Then the POTUS could call Johnson in the UK and say, No, sorry. No trade deal till you investigate Bernie Sanders and creates some dirt on Warren? Then he could call China and tell Xi, unless I get a Trump tower in Beijing, I’m dumping the trade deal. And then he could call Putin and say, hey, I need you to interfere in the election on my behalf and in return, I’ll give you …. all our state secrets.

And all of that would be legal because the GOP senators failed to protect the nation by removing the POTUS for his self-confessed crimes. If GOP senators vote to acquit the POTUS of his crimes, in essence they are declaring America is now an dictatorship. And if they do that, they are supporting a POTUS, the same way a cadre of men supported Hitler’s rise and the turning of democratic Germany into a dictatorship.

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Dictatorship. Not the right neighborhood for you? 

And, dictatorships don’t end well for anyone. Have a peak at Venezuela or Syria. You think those nations are in great shape? The GOP senators are claiming they don’t want to overturn the votes of 45 million people. But 48 million people didn’t vote for the POTUS. So what they are saying is their afraid they’ll be turved out office by the shrinking GOP base that they turned into rabid POTUS supporters instead of reasoned GOP supporters.


Frankly, removing the POTUS just means he’s replaced with the Republican VP. There’s no overturning of any votes. The GOP would continue to hold the White House and the Senate. There is no change there. No, what the GOP senators and others are concerned about is losing their own power, their own seats. They think Mike Pence isn’t a good bet for them personally. He’s not going to excite the base.

Let’s be honest, Pence is there to reassure white Christians this is an administration that keeps white Christian desires top of deck. And that, white Christians need to keep voting for the GOP to keep that true. On the other hand, the POTUS is like the Joker, crazy, but good for turn out. So, the impeachment trial outcome has nothing to do with democracy or justice. The outcome is based purely on the GOP Senators own self-interest.

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Karma. Not everyone gets it. But everyone gets it.

But ask yourself, what happens once the Democrats take the White House? Now that the GOP has said there can be no checks on the Executive branch? Are they ready for that? Will they complain about autocracy and dictatorship when it Dems are in office? I’m not sure why they would. They’ll be the ones that created that situation. They’ll be the ones the reshaped America from a democracy to an autocracy in the mad belief that they would be able to endlessly manipulate the law, the government, and the white Christians and cling to power.

White Christians are sewing the destruction of the world, of themselves, of the very faith they claim they own. They may not know it yet. They may not understand it. Or worse, they simply may not care. So long as they’re getting what they want (not what God actually wants, but what some twisted theologian they follow wants), who cares?

It’s amazing how giving people a veneer of power and status along with some money , makes otherwise sane people okay with stuff they would always have, in the past, risen up against. (This is where economically disadvantaged and socially disregarded people become oligarchs. )

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I’m not okay with the corruption of Christianity by nationalist, racist authoritarians. A vote for nationalism and racism, is a vote for a dictator and against Christ and his teachings. A vote for a senator or congressperson or anyone that’s nodding their head to America First nationalism, to racism, and the authoritarianism for which it stands….is a vote for becoming a Nazi state.

I don’t care what party is promoting these corrupt ideas, they’re anti-Christ. If you support them, you’ve left Christ. You’ve chosen a new god. That’s how this works. You accept nationalism and racism, you’re corrupting your Christianity and replacing Jesus with an authoritarian dictator. If that bothers you, turn back. God is waiting.

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It’s no coincidence there’s been a rise in hate crimes against Jewish people the past few years. That Jewish people are being murdered even as they worship in peace is not a surprise. What did people think would happen? Not just to Jews, but Muslims, people of color, LGBTQ people, disabled people, old people, migratory birds… there’s no bottom to this Moria. The GOP just keeps digging. And white Christians keep handing them the shovels.

Where do people think this will end if they don’t stop it? I already know. I wish I didn’t, but I do. I can never forget.

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And then what happens?

Some folks are pretty freaked out by James Comey’s firing. Me, not so much. Investigations like the one taking place into Trump-Pence campaign – Russia collusion are major operations that require a lot of time and agents.

If you step back and think about how many people and entities are involved in a presidential campaign, it’s pretty daunting. The FBI has to interview not just all those immediate campaign people, and but their family members and friends, as well as donors to the campaign, business partners of the campaign, transition people in the administration, and people in the administration.

And beyond the interviews, the FBI has to then trawl through all of their bank accounts, phone records, travel, etc, etc, etc. It’s a huge job and one which Comey was overseeing, but not doing the day to day work. He was head of the FBI, not a field agent.

At this point, there are multiple investigations going on into various aspects of the same general crime. The end result will, I expect, be indictments meted out to several hundred people, including most of the people who moved from the campaign into the administration, Trump and Pence family members, people they and the campaign did business with, people appointed in the administration, and people at the upper levels of the GOP and at the RNC who worked with or supported the campaign.

A large percentage are likely to end up impeached, convicted, or both. Of those, a good bunch are going to prison. Frankly, if I were part of the Trump-Pence campaign – Russia situation in anyway, I’d be turning state’s evidence just to get out in front of any charges. The same goes for those who are a part of any Trump organization, or Kushner organization.

Believe it or not, criminal activity, leading to convictions and prison, is pretty typical for a GOP Executive Branch.

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Ex Cr

These graphics comes from a dailykos.com article published in January. You can check it for more detail. It’s interesting.  This article was just about executive branch criminal activities, not about congresspersons or other government officials getting up to no good. In a case like Trump-Pence campaign – Russia, however, there’s almost certainly going to be a lot of congressional and government official fall out as well.

That is why I think it’s important to ask the important question, And then what happens?

America deserves are responsible, capable govt that represents the people and has the trust of the majority of the people. I think the vast majority Americans can agree that we don’t have that type of government now.

Here is a look at the presidential line of succession as it stands today.


I think there’s no question Pence will go, and Ryan too. But I don’t believe that Orrin Hatch would be accepted as president by the people. No one in the country would want Rex Tillerson, friend of Russia and former Exxon CEO as VP.

Personally, I expect many of the people on the succession list to be indicted and removed from office, but I can’t see anyone left on the list being accepted as president. I suspect that public might accept James Mattis as temporary president, while new elections were held. But being a general, he might want John McCain to VP.

That’s an extraordinary thing to say I know, because no one wants a general in charge, but there is some support for him, as a person who cares about America. And … at some point we, the electorate, have to be honest with ourselves.

Russia interfered with the election, which makes the results invalid. Trump lost the popular vote by a landslide, which confirms his party does not have the support of the majority of the people. When the administration goes down, taking with it all sorts of collateral damage, we have to admit the officials likely to be left, will not have been legitimately elected to the executive office and there is no reason American people should not have a new election.

If this were Britain, Trump would already have been given a vote of No Confidence (when someone is no longer deemed fit to hold that position: perhaps because they are inadequate in some respect, are failing to carry out obligations, or are making decisions that other members feel are detrimental) and general elections would have been called. But our system doesn’t work that.

Our system of 4 year terms is great, I love it. But nothing in our laws really has a good way to deal with what’s going on now. This is an extraordinary situation, which demands an extraordinary remedy. We have to ask, what is the remedy for this situation?

If elections were tampered with, the results have to be thrown out. If a president is removed for collusion with a foreign in order to gain the presidency, by definition that entire administration is invalid, and has to be thrown out. But things get even more profound when you start talking about how this impacts nuts and bolts government.

In impeaching Trump – Pence for collusion with a foreign power, all the Executive orders, memos, proclamations, and signed legislation (like the health care bill) are invalidated as tainted by the foreign power. The tie-breaker votes Pence cast in the senate would be invalidated. All their actions become fruit of the poison tree.

This also spills over onto those congressional members who aided and abetted. They get impeached for such a crime, and all their votes in the house or senate would be voided. The same for actions taken by any government appointees of Trump, who themselves would be invalidated as they were appointed by a person involved with a foreign power and could not be considered legitimate.

In fact, Neil Gorsuch could possibly find himself having to step down from the bench, depending on how many senate members who voted for him subsequently get caught up in this and crash and burn as a result.

As for vacated seats in congress, governor generally appoint fill the spots vacated till elections are called. Some states have special elections. But what happens to the presidency? We’d have to hold a new election for president. And this is something the Supreme Court will probably be asked to weigh in on.

We have had short presidential terms before. Garfield was shot and died 199 days in. Harrison died 31 days in of pneumonia. But neither of those men were impeached. So, new territory here.

Just to review US law about impeachment, At the federal level, Article II of the United States Constitution states in Section 4 that “The President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

The House of Representatives has the sole power of impeaching, while the United States Senate has the sole power to try all impeachments. The removal of impeached officials is automatic upon conviction in the Senate. In Nixon v. United States (1993), the Supreme Court determined that the federal judiciary cannot review such proceedings.

If you followed that closely you’ll understand that while anyone in the House can bring impeachment proceedings, it’s a Republican house. Once the proceeding drags through committee in the House, the trial to convict will then take place in the Republican Senate. While that may make it seem like impossible odds of conviction, you’d be wrong.

At this point, many in the GOP just want to save themselves and whatever power they have. Sacrificing an irrational, treasonous, corrupt administration to retain one’s seat in congress is a good deal. Also, in another strange twist of fate, the charges against the Trump-Pence campaign may be just that, against the campaign.

As I understand it, if the charges include stuff a president has done in office and before during the campaign, it’s an impeachment. If it’s only for stuff done prior to taking office, then it’s a regular trial for all involved. There’s not House or Senate GOP cover for Trump-Pence if the campaign is the problem. They just put them in handcuffs and walk them out of the White House.


The other question that comes into play here is that of presidential pardons. They’ve been used in the past to cover up crimes. The George H. W. Bush Administration only had a single criminal indictment, but it’s notable for two reasons. It was the only time that a U.S. treasurer has ever gone to prison. But President Bush 41 himself escaped potentially ruinous scandal by granting clemency to six people indicted in the Reagan Administration’s Iran-Contra scandal, thereby avoiding trials that could have exposed Bush’s involvement.

I don’t think anyone would want a new GOP president, as supposed by the line of succession, to pardon anyone in the Trump-Pence campaign – Russia scandal. There would no doubt be huge protests and electoral backlash. At this point, electoral backlash is guaranteed it’s just a matter of how bad. Elections in 2018 will leave any GOP president a lame duck. But giving long prison terms without the possibility of parole to the Trump-Pence campaign seems the best way for remaining GOP members from super Red districts to save face and try to avoid losing their jobs.










Fore! POTUS plays, Syria gets bombed



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Just bomb the Syrian air base and talk to Jared.  I can’t bother thinking about politics right now, I’m going golfing with the President of China

Most people, normal people, when they come up against a problem, try to work out what the problem is first, then they try to come up with a range of solutions, and finally, they act. Our current POTUS apparently sees a horrible picture and sends bombs. No thought involved at all. Or maybe it’s just hard to think rationally in super tacky surroundings such as Mar-a-Lago.

I confess to being less than surprised by the POTUS choosing to bomb the Syrian’s govt air base. He’s not a deal maker, as he tells himself. He’s never tried to deal with Syria. He’s gutted the State Dept, so it’s not like Tillerson is allowed to do it. I guess our POTUS had to bomb the Syrian army because Jared wasn’t around to fix things or if he was, he was just about to go on vacation, and being the big infant our POTUS is, he felt he had to do something, now.

Frankly, it was important to first find out if there was a chemical attack and if so what chemicals were used and who used them on them whom. I’m not denying the images, I just can’t verify them. Neither can you. Nor can anyone. I’m not denying the report by the Turkish hospital that said “it’s chemical weapons involved,” but them saying that doesn’t give a POTUS the information they need.

Just after the attack happened, US investigators were sent material from the scene to find out what was used, by whom. It takes a bit of time to do the that of scientific analysis, the kind needed before you can make a political decision. This isn’t another Saturday night party that got out of hand and your cousin’s boyfriend stabbed someone while drunk and so you and your boyfriend go to his house and shoot his mother and brother. This is international politics, which have international impacts.

And by the way, the AP is reporting that two different Opposition observer groups (The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Homs Media Center) have said that while planes took off from the Shayrat air base the POTUS bombed, none of those planes attacked the town where the chemical attack is said to have taken place. So it may be that there was no chemical attack, by the Syrian Govt, and hence, no reason to bomb Syria’s airbase. It could well be the Russians committed the chemical attack, just to get the POTUS to attack Syrian and destroy US-Syrian relations. Mission accomplished.

If analysis said the Syrian Govt used chemical weapons on the Syrian Opposition, then yes, there’s a Syrian problem. At that point, a POTUS has to decide to how to deal with it. Usually you start with diplomatic pressure. In the POTUS’s case, how about asking his buddy-buddies in Russia to lean on the Syrian president. Or making one of those famous “deals.” Or sending your Sec of State, Rex the napper.

How about maybe asking nations in the region, that have interests there to protect, to build a coalition with the US to support the removal of the Syrian president, either through sanctions or arms. Or asking the UN to form a coalition and send UN Peace keepers? Or accusing Pres Assad as a war criminal before the World Court? Or maybe, just maybe, the POTUS can ask Congress to authorize military action, either on behalf of the country, as part of a regional coalition or a UN coalition?

The thing you surely don’t want to do as POTUS is wing off half-cocked and bomb a Syrian govt air base. The other thing you surely don’t want to do, as a POTUS who ran on “American First”, is endanger US troops by your own reckless actions. US soldiers, which you sent there, who are in Syria with the cooperation of the Syrian govt, to weed out ISIS, not to get involved in Syria’s civil war.

Launching an unprovoked attack on a military base in a country where your soldiers are able to operate as guests to help you take down terrorists, and killing that nation’s soldiers is just astronomically stupid. The US just Pearl Harbored Syria. The US has declared war on the Syrian Govt, while our soldiers are there as guests. The only people that helped was ISIS.

The POTUS has now given the Syrian govt a reason to tell its soldiers to kill US soldiers, as well as Opposition forces and ISIS. Basically they’re all the enemy now. Way to think it through and put America First. Bet the GOP base is just thrilled with that. But then, that’s what Republicans do. They don’t think, they just start wars because it’s good for them the their arms manufacturing buddies.

I’m horrified by Syria’s civil war. I’m horrified by the use of chemical weapons. But I’m just as horrified that the POTUS is acting like a dictator himself, sitting at Mar-a-lago, surrounded by millionaires, stuffing his face with caviar, and choosing war as his first resort instead of his last resort.

Proportional response is only justified when you’ve been attacked. And by the way, Russia says on 23 of the 59 Tomahawks reached that air base, other news sources have already shown that the runway is still intact. So, apparently the only things the POTUS did was put a target on the backs of US soldiers, harm the Syrian Opposition, and help ISIS expand. Brilliant.




Benedict Arnold at least served his country before betraying it

As a registered Independent who didn’t vote for any Republicans this election, I would rather have Mike Pence as president. Just want to go on record as saying that. Pence has government experience. He’s apparently more than a bit gullible, I think of him as Trump’s mushroom — constantly in the dark about everything, but I can live with that. On the other hand, I draw the line at having an actual traitor (or traitors) in any office.


It’s obvious Trump has never had even a basic level of knowledge about the Constitution, how to run a government, or how to do things legally.  I get that. He’s lived in a world where he was just the brand and everyone else did the real work but reported to the brander in chief.

Think about it. He doesn’t have a daughter, she’s a brand. There are no actual people in the family. His sons are just parts of his brand. He doesn’t have a wife, she’s a brand. She just filed a suit in the UK stating she plans to use her term as First Lady to build her brand and make millions of dollars.

However, even as a removed as he is from reality, Trump the candidate must have known undermining the US government’s attempt to curb Russian aggression through sanctions in order solely to benefit himself and become president was treason. Having Gen. Flynn on his campaign staff, as his national security adviser, communicating directly with the Russian diplomats about removing sanctions, was undermining the US govt, and hence, treason.

The most likely scenario, one that I’m sure is on tape at the DOJ, FBI, or CIA somewhere and will come to light shortly, is that Trump promised the Russians relief from sanctions during the campaign, via Flynn, in return for the Russians helping him win the election. I know the focus has been “did Russians hack voting machines” (they didn’t). But that’s not what I mean when I say helping him.

Everyone seems to agree that the Russians hacking the DNC to obtain documents that might be damaging to Clinton, and then releasing them, did something to sway some voters minds. The real issue however, that is very much overlooked, is Russian data mining, normally used in phishing and other scams, that was used to target voters open to suggestion.

Russians are adept at feeding just the right kind of persuasive fake news to people on the voter mailing/email lists, as well as posting such news on various sites where persuadable people who vote, but tend not to do basic fact checking, hang out. That’s targeted marketing, which drives people (misinformed about the facts) to vote the way they’ve been led to. It’s that kind of hack the vote and helping I’m talking about.

I’m not surprised by Trump’s act of treason, for a couple of reasons. American traitors tend to be greed-driven egotists that feel undervalued. That’s Trump’s brand all over. This is not a man that gives a rat’s tail about America or its people. He only cares about himself. Period.

Consider this, Louisiana gets ripped apart by tornadoes and declares a state of emergency last week. What does Trump tweet about? How unfair Nordstroms is being to Ivanka. What does Ms Conway do? She acts as a shill for Ivanka’s brand from the White House press room on live tv (in clear violation of ethics, yet  fails to get dismissed for that).

Or take Oroville, California. It is facing the most massive dam collapse in the history of the country. Does our president tweet that there will be federal support? That this will be part of the much ballyhooed infrastructure bill? Nope. He instead rants about “so-called” justices being unfair and how he has 17th century monarchical absolute power as president. And then talks about sending his son-in-law, a real estate guy, to broker peace between Israel and Palestine.

Sadly, this new administration does nothing but lie, lie, lie and try to trot out distractions when they get caught. No one can believe anything they say. Sean Spicer might as well be a puppet with Trumps hand up his backside. MS Conway lives in the world of alternate facts. Try to do diplomacy when no other country believes you or takes you seriously.

China has already brought Trump to heel. Mexico will likely do the same. That’s not because Mexico or China are great at diplomacy, it’s because Trump is completely irrational. He imagines himself to be PT Barnum and the world his circus. Unfortunately, in reality, the POTUS is a clown and the elephants are just going to sit on him and then the lions are going to eat what’s left of America.

If you’ve got any doubts about this, just look at this morning’s news. The whole of the GOP, including Paul Ryan, came out to talk about Obamacare, to try to get the news cycle away from the fact the Flynn affair should be investigated and that would probably lead to Trump being impeached as a traitor. Of course, that’s only if Jeff Session had any integrity at all.

And what’s really incredible is how today they announce that another former, disgraced, general is to be considered for Flynn’s spot. For those of you that forgot the David Petraeus scandal, it was a an extramarital affair between retired four-star general David Petraeus, then Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and Paula Broadwell, his biographer. It became public, thanks to the media, and led to the discovery that this former general and current director of the CIA was giving his mistress/biographer classified information.

In other words, Petraeus betrayed his country for an easy lay and this the person Trump is considering for the National Security position Flynn just left. Seriously. This is how completely insane this administration is. I do not understand at all why the majority party Republicans don’t stand up for the USA and end Trump’s administration? Are they all involved in some scandal? Are they being bribed? Or blackmailed?

To me, all this only proves once and for all, the Republican party is not something one should vote for ever again.