Tag Archive | Pence

Theater of the Mind

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The stage is set!

Not long ago some neuroscientists realised something that anyone who’s ever done a high school play already knew. The stage isn’t lit up brighter when the curtain goes up, it’s just the house lights are turned down.

Basic car mechanics would tell you, turn on the AC and the engine has to compensate. But for years scientists thought when the brain focused on something, that somehow the brain ramped up attention to the things it was focused on while still running full throttle functions everywhere else.

Today scientists understand that when the brain focuses on one thing, all the other areas of the brain dim. I’m not trying to bash scientists. I love science and neuroscience. I’m just saying, sometimes people are so focused on an idea, because they’re trained in a certain area of expertise, they forget to turn up the houselights and look around.

I think this dimming effect is what’s going on with the impeachment process and people who comment on politics for a living. Just for moment, I’m going to turn off the AC and put the car in neutral so we can look under the hood. Or, if you prefer, I’m going to close the stage curtains, delay the drama, and turn up the house lights.

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In case you forgot the branches.

First, there’s a lot of talk about 3 co-equal branches of government. That’s not true. The Founders wanted checks and balances. Equality? Not so much. How do we know this? The Senate has the ability to remove a sitting president. A president can not remove a senator. The Senate can override a presidential veto. A president cannot override the Senate. The House can create laws, but the Senate has to pass them. Even the Supreme Court cannot override the Senate. The Senate just makes another law, and the SOCTUS must consider it.

Everything revolves around power in the Senate. I’m not sure why this is but I think it has to do with the nature of the Senate. It’s 100 people. Two people from each state. That means whether you’re a big state, or small, rich state, or poor, mostly blue state, or red, in the Senate, all senators have equal amounts of power. If there’s any equality anywhere, it’s supposed to reside in the senate, with older, wiser, calmer heads. Please stop laughing.

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Second, there’s the issue of party politics. I bring this up because people seem to forget that the RNC exists to keep Republicans in power, not the current president. As the POTUS’s base of white evangelical Christians and women erodes, who is the best person to shore that base up? Mike Pence. It may actually be in the GOP’s interest to flush the current POTUS. It’s about keeping the GOP power, not the POTUS.

As was the case with Nixon, bouncing Nixon got Republicans four more years, under Ford. If it comes down to it, Republicans might vote as a block to remove the current POTUS and replace him with Pence, just to keep control of the WH. If that seems the best way to keep the WH for another 4 years, they’ll do that. Voting as a block will lend weight to that decision and heads off repercussions.

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Murkowski votes with POTUS 74.8% of the time. Romney votes with POTUS 80.6% of the time. Collins votes with POTUS 67% of the time. These are not mavericks.

Third, an alternative way to drop the current POTUS without the whole GOP cutting him dead is having a few purple-blue leaning Republican senators defect. You only need a few FOP senators to switch sides to repeal and replace the POTUS. And allowing those GOP senators holding on to marginal seats at home to vote that way ensures that a) they have a better chance of being re-elected by their home state (so the GOP keeps its senate majority and the WH), and b) it gives everyone else in the GOP political cover.

To be honest, there’s no down side for the GOP to flushing the WH clean and turning it over to Pence. In fact, there’s a lot of upside. After the craziness of Trump, Pence seems like a relief. You know Pence will continue the same policies, but without the drama, the twitter rages, and probably without getting caught out doing the stupid and illegal things we all know both he and the POTUS are doing now anyway.

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I dunno. Do you really want one?

Fourth, the GOP senators asking for witnesses and documents are the same ones that are in trouble in their home states, and come from purple-blue states. They just make this request for witnesses and documents to “appear” fair at home. My reaction to their request for witnesses and documents? Same old, same old.

These same senators do this same routine every time — and then end up voting with the Republican bloc. Just review your notes on the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. There was a shamefully inadequate investigation, which these senators asked for, and then these senators voted on party lines. it amazes me that the liberal media gets so whipped up about their actions and actually thinks these senators are on the fence somehow or are going to do anything but what’s good for the GOP.

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Actually it’s Bully, but that’s for another day.

Fifth, there is actually space for the POTUS to act. On Christmas Day I ran into a friend. She’s white, works hard for her money, and is not a racist. She supports Trump.  Her exact words were, “I don’t hate him.” Okay…. She went on to say, “The world’s doomed and both parties are filled with extremists.” Okay…..

When I asked her about her views of the POTUS, she said, “I think he’s a good person trying to change stuff, but he’s being forced to adopt bad policies.” I said, “The POTUS sets the agenda.” She said, “The people around him are all bad. They’re the problem. The entrenched GOP.” I didn’t bother to say, “He picked his cabinet and chose the party he represents.”

She saw the POTUS, the man in the most powerful office in the world, as a victim. And this is pretty typical actually with GOP white women. Most bullies, when caught out, play the victim card. This is what Brett Kavanaugh did. And GOP white women went, Oh, poor Brett. It’s shameful, but it works on the GOP white women, so it goes on happening.

Because this happens, there’s an opening for the POTUS. There is now one thing the POTUS could actually do to turn things around. He could say it was all the bad people around him. Fire a lot of WH staff, campaign staff, and cabinet members. Blame everything on them giving him bad guidance or leading him astray for their own malign purposes, and then ask people to give him another chance.

People are stupid. It could work. Of course people might then ask why Barr wasn’t going after these people, but that’s not really the POTUS’s problem. He’s always only for himself alone, so what happens to those people….as recent history shows with Manafort, Cohen and a host of others…. doesn’t matter. If he has to kill the GOP goose to keep the WH, he’ll do it.

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Order in the … Senate. His facial expression says it all. The SCOTUS has weighty matters to decide. This? This is just shameful. The POTUS should have resigned months ago and spared everyone the bother.

With all this in mind, I now return you to the theater of the US Senate. The house lights are going down, the curtains are opening, and our national drama is about be illuminated. Enjoy the show.

 

 

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.

Seriously.

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.