Arguing With White People About The Confederate Flag


I read a lot of blog posts, some from people I don’t always (or ever) agree with. I saw a recent post from Jonathan Turley, a Constitutional Lawyer who often appears on MSNBC to discuss Constitutional Law issues. He posted about a white Georgia Police Sergeant who was fired from her small-town police force, allegedly for flying a Confederate Flag in her yard. The post itself wasn’t inflammatory, he concluded the woman likely had 1st Amendment grounds for a lawsuit. Then the comments began…

Only a few people had commented before I replied. Most were supportive of the woman and her rights. Dismissive of the “overly sensitive people” who filed the initial complaint and attacked the political correctness of the police department that fired her. The reason provided by their Internal Affairs department was that she “engaged in conduct that was unbecoming” and “brought discredit to the Roswell Police Department.”

I replied, “The flag does have negative connotations and does reflect poorly on the Department. Whether there is a sufficient legal basis to remove her may depend on her contract and whatever clauses exist and how vague they were. We are presuming the sole reason for her firing is flying the flag (which is legal) which may not be the case. There is a portion of the citizenry that would find her flying that flag offensive. I believe it is generally illegal to walk around naked in one’s home if visible to others with some constitutionally protected exceptions. Whether it should be offensive to others is debatable. That it is… is not.”

That’s when they came for me!

Olly: “There is a portion of the citizenry that would find her flying that flag offensive.”

“There is also a portion that are offended by the Rainbow flag. There are portions of our citizenry that are offended by any number of things for any number of reasons. Is there some objective standard that you can possibly think of that might protect you, me, your family, everyone from being arrested merely because someone took offense to an object they happen to have visible on their own property? Anything?”

Me: “She was under no threat of being arrested. She according to the article was dismissed because she reflected poorly on the department which I don’t doubt is true. I suspect she will ultimately win a lawsuit, be reinstated with back pay and continue to fly her flag. The “Heritage” she claims the flag stands for will win out. The offended will have no recourse as has almost always been true.”

Nancy: “So, true. She is the one offended and has no recourse against those with leukophobia. I firmly believe that bigotry is fear that grows out of ignorance. We have no hope of being other than a society of all kinds of bigots if we are offended by all things, try to remove any words and history associated with our fears, cease trying to understand the whys and wherefores of those with differing views. This is an America where freedom ceases and we are driven underground. It is why many left their countries in the past and now seek entry to America. What a sad state of affairs.”

Me: “I confess I had to look up “leukophobia,” because the fear of the color white never occurred to me as being an actual thing. Pray tell what is the effect of this fear gripping the nation? Has any minority truly achieved equal rights? Hasn’t gerrymandering, redistricting and voter suppression kept you in control despite changing demographics? The saddest thing I can imagine is a poor white person that has never experienced 10% of the affronts minorities have in the present let alone the past. You’re not driven underground. Redlining and restrictive covenants have ensured you got all the best places. Please elaborate on the suffering you have endured as a white person? Stop & Frisk? Hyper mass incarceration. Racial profiling? Lynching? Let me know when I get one right.”

Squeeky Fromme — Girl Reporter (who apparently idolizes the Manson family) wrote: “The “offended” will have the recourse that they have always had, which is, to “Get a life!” I am offended every time I hear somebody laud Trayvon Martin, but know what? I have a life sooo I get on with it.

If black people need something to get offended over, might I suggest the ridiculously high illegitimate birth rate among black women, and the way that black men have been made unnecessary in their own families by Democratic Party policies. That is something that blacks actually have some control over. Their own lives.”

If you know me, you know I actually enjoy engaging with idiot’s on-line. I picture them getting angrier while I get calmer and bombard them with information for which they have no logical argument.

Me: “There are many policies that have helped remove black men from their families. Kudos to you for recognizing that. We might disagree as to whether or not they are strictly Democrat Party Policies although many were. Since the passage of the Civil Rights Act and Voter Rights Act in the 60’s. Republicans (many of them who migrated from the Democrat Party) have done more than their share. Lee Atwater and the Southern Strategy, Mass incarceration began during the Nixon Administration although every President since has contributed to it (including Clinton and Obama). I don’t know that Trayvon Martin was made out to be a hero. Just a representation that one ought to be able to walk home from a 7-Eleven.”

Paul: “enigmainblackcom — one should not be allowed to pound someone’s head into the sidewalk.”

Me: “I supposed we’ll never know exactly what happened as Trayvon was unable to tell his side of the story. One thing that’s certain is that the entire situation was of George Zimmerman’s creation, after he disobeyed the police dispatcher’s instructions not to continue to follow.”

Paul: “enignainblackcom — I cannot believe how many people think that the police dispatcher ordered him to not follow him, she only suggested. She has no power to order anyone.”

Me: “I didn’t say she ordered him not to follow or that it was illegal. I am saying that everything that happened after that point is a direct result of his actions. His behavior since the trial does nothing to improve his credibility.”

Squeeky: “Oh the heck with the “Southern Strategy” canard. More word salads. I assure you that Lakeesha of the Hood is not thinking about Lee Atwater when she is laid up in the sack doing some Willie Horton wannabe in the sack. Or the next thug baby daddy, or the next. Nope, she is thinking about “benefits.”

And the “mass incarceration” canard is another non-starter. My goodness, but the durn Mexicans can swim the Rio Grande and find work. They roof houses, or work in slaughterhouses, or restaurants. And most of them don’t even speak English. And the poor old black men who just can’t find nothing to do except sell drugs and rob stuff? Hogwash. they are criminals, and don’t give a hoot about the very black people they sell the drugs to. They can be in prison, or they can be in the neighborhood.

And Trayvon? Oh my, but silly-a$$ white people were putting on hoodies and trying to end the right of self-defense after Poor Old Trayvon. What a joke. The little thug was busting George’s head into the sidewalk, and got shot in the process. That was hardly just “walking home from the 7–11.” Good riddance to bad rubbish, IMHO.

But by all means, ignore what blacks do to themselves, and sit around whining about slavery and Rebel flags. Geeesh, but most parts of the country haven’t had slavery for over 200 years, and many places, never, and blacks are still blaming whitey for their woes.”

Me: That’s as comprehensive a collection of misconceptions as I’ve seen in one place in the history of ever. So much that I don’t want to try to address everything individually. I would say that your premise that because slavery ended over 200 years ago that it wasn’t replaced by other institutions that were highly effective in suppressing a people. Slavery didn’t end and then everything was okay. It was replaced by Jim Crow. Those that couldn’t document employment were interned and sentenced to labor camps in some areas and were literally still slaves. There was some immediate progress. Former slaves in some areas got to vote and during Reconstruction actually sent members to Congress. In 1876–7, after a disputed Presidential election, Democrats (they were the bad guys then) ceded the Presidency as part of a deal to have Federal Troops removed from the South. Reconstruction ended and Jim Crow began.

I won’t explain to you what Jim Crow was, you might consider it more word salad. When The Civil Rights Act and Voter Rights Act were passed in the 1960’s. Many angry Democrats (Dixiecrats) fled the party and became Republicans. Lyndon Johnson famously said that Democrats had, “lost the South for a generation.” He may have underestimated. Then came the Southern Strategy you so easily dismiss as if it weren’t a real thing. The widow Atwater was front and center at the Republican Convention, happy to see the resurgence of her late husband’s beliefs. The Republican Party has a coordinated and comprehensive pattern of Voter Suppression which goes far beyond Voter ID which I could agree with it there was no cost which would be an Unconstitutional Poll Tax. I know, more word salad.

I suspect you have no true concept of what systemic things are substantially responsible for the difference in economic achievement between blacks and whites in America. Even you might agree whites had a bit of a head start. You might research “Black Wall Street” where what was the most prosperous black neighborhood in the nation was shot up by whites and police and bombed from the air by the National Guard outside Tulsa, OK. You might research The Ocoee Massacre where all the residents of the town were either killed, burned out or allowed to leave after two black men tried to vote outside Orlando, FL. The city of Ocoee stayed all-white for over 40 years. This is in the same county as Orlando yet nothing is ever taught about this, even locally.

I submit we should have a White History Month where the parts of American History too inconvenient to talk about and never seen on Fox News or read on Breitbart can be taught. I submit you live in a bubble which you demonstrated quite eloquently.

Mespo: “At some point, you might want to stop blaming people who weren’t even born for other people’s troubles. You might even consider that some problems in the black community are its modern cultural acceptance of illegitimacy caused by the welfare state and a persistent refusal to cooperate with police in fighting crime. And then you might want to adopt the very American belief in self-reliance. Until then, you’ll be complaining to an ever shrinking audience. Every group has troubles; some learn to deal with them and others don’t. No one owes anybody anything in a capitalist democracy except what the law requires.”

Me: “If you read through the various posts responding to me. It is Black people who have been blamed for all manner of things. All the while dismissing any rationale which suggests a rigged system or unequal playing field. I believe heavily in self-reliance. That doesn’t mean there aren’t real barriers, purposely erected to slow our progress.”

Paul: “enigmainblackcom — the only thing standing in the way of blacks today is blacks themselves. They are their own worst enemies. BLM has done more damage to the race than anything since Birth of a Nation.”

Me: “What is it you think Black Lives Matter stands for?”

Paul: “enignainblackcom — it is not what BLM originally stood for, it is what it stands for now.”

Me: “That wasn’t an answer to my question. I’ll try again. What do you think Black Lives Matter stands for now? I submit the original purpose hasn’t changed. Just the onslaught of negative publicity allowing people to ignore their message.”

Mespo: “There are short cuts purposely set up to speed your progress as well like college preferences, hiring preferences, affirmative action and the like which mitigate the historical discrimination. That never gets talked about.”

Steve (an ally): “There are short cuts purposely set up to speed your progress as well like inheritance laws, life insurance to avoid probate, legacy preference, and the like which suggest a rigged system or unequal playing field and which mitigate what you see as reverse discrimination. That never gets talked about.”

Me: “What I like about having responded to this one post about the right of one Georgia police sergeant to fly the Confederate Flag in her yard is being called on to address a wide range of issues. I don’t know that I accept the term “short cuts” when what actually happened was providing limited access to education/jobs/business opportunities that were historically denied. I’ll start with the colleges. At the end of slavery, a combination of efforts by the Freedmen’s Bureau and the establishment of Land Grant Colleges gave some black people the opportunity to attend college. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HCBU’s) were initially almost the only school’s black people and they did a relatively good job of educating initially teachers. Later doctors and dentists with the majority matriculating from two Medical schools, Meharry in Nashville and Howard in Washington, DC. Land grant colleges were initially intended to educate Americans in science and agriculture. The first beneficiaries were schools like Kansas State, Texas A&M, Rutgers and Cornell. Their funding was based on the Morrill Act of 1863 (slavery was still in force). A second Morrill act was passed circa 1890 which created a number of state-owned schools for the education of black people. Some private schools like Fisk University founded in 1866 already existed. To be clear, the establishment of many black schools were a way to have an alternative to ending segregation and were the result not of a new special program but one that had existed for 27 years and benefitting white people only with tax dollars that black Americans contributed to.. When desegregation finally came to public Universities (being implemented with “all deliberate speed”) the pace was so slow and admissions so few that Affirmative Action programs for colleges and universities were established to get those schools to do what they were not inclined to do on their own. In general, the percentage of blacks admitted were less than that of the population so instead of being a “short cut”.It set admission levels artificially low, a percentage most schools were not inclined to exceed. A case can be made that some black students were admitted that were unprepared for a college curriculum. I submit it had little to do with intelligence but was a reflection of the inferior resources of the segregated schools they came from including books, facilities and more. “Separate but equal” was a slogan but never a reality.”

(I would have continued but I reached the maximum number of characters for a reply.)

The conversation is ongoing. I did leave out some posts solely for length, certainly not because of any persuasive arguments I was afraid to print. The point is that some white people are living in a separate reality in which Black people have so many advantages, gained at the expense of white people and their upset about a changing demographic under which their reign will end. I avoided calling any of them racist because historically they would shut down, call me the racist for having the nerve to call them out. I’d like to think a couple of them at least considered some of the uncomfortable facts I brought up but I suspect like one person, they consider it all “word salad.”

P.S. The on-line, mostly anonymous names have not been changed to protect the innocent. It’s scary that most of them are, lawyers, judges, legal secretaries, or have some connection with the legal system. Of course, they don’t represent all white people. Then again 63, 000,000 voted for Trump?

Mitt Romney is Sitting by the Phone But Nobody’s Calling


Mitt Romney is ready if the Republicans need him. Perhaps he’s thinking back to the 2002 Winter Olympics. They were heading into the games with a financial shortfall of $379 million dollars. The Salt Lake Organizing Committee hired Romney as its President and CEO based on his business and finance experience at Bain Capital and his ties to the LDS Church (Church of Latter-Day Saints or Mormons) that were important in Utah. Romney was a whirling dervish, making commercials, lobbying Congress, hitting up his rich friends for donations. He waived his salary and contributed $1 million of his own money toward the effort. He became the face of the 2002 Winter Olympics and when all was said and done, the Games had an excess of $100 million making it the most successful Winter Olympics ever. According to himself and most everyone else, Romney saved the Games, he was a hero.

Mitt has tried three times to bring his leadership to the Republican Party as their candidate for President. In 2008 he watched John McCain get the nod and ultimately watched him lose overwhelmingly to the upstart Barack Obama. In 2012, he became the Republican Nominee, yet lost to Obama himself, despite a significant portion of the country’s rage against the first black President. In 2016, he’d explored running again but found little enthusiasm in the Party for a two-time loser and was unable to make the run, On January 30, 2015 he announced he would not run again saying, “one of our next generation of Republican leaders” would be better positioned to win the general election.”

We are approaching the 2020 Presidential Election, it would normally be a no-brainer that the incumbent President Donald Trump would again be the Party Nominee. The economy is doing well, for the most part, joblessness is at a 50-year low, and he has the overwhelming support of the Party base. The downside is that more than half the country opposes him and there’s the growing realization that “Individual #1” is a criminal that engaged in election fraud and obstruction of justice at a minimum. The Democrat-led House of Representatives has begun an Impeachment Inquiry with six separate committees running down various areas of interest. The one getting real traction is Trump’s efforts to get the new Ukranian President to investigate Trump’s Democrat political rival, former Vice-President Joe Biden, in order to receive almost $400 million in military aid approved by Congress. Unlike every other scandal (and there have been many), this one has taken root and new revelations are occurring literally every single day. While none dare say it publicly yet, Republicans are having the prospect of coming up with a new Nominee at the last second. Mitt Romney is thinking he might get that call.

The problem with Mitt though is that for all the times he has been “alarmed,” “shocked,” or “frustrated” with Trump and his actions, some of them inhumane like the caging of children coming across the Southern border. Romney has folded like a chair every time and ultimately used his role as a Senator from Utah to support Trump at every turn. America will never forget how you genuflected at Trump during the 2016 Election process, trying to become his Vice-President or Secretary of State. Trump made Mitt grovel and then publicly rejected him. Pride is normally thought of as a deadly sin but Mitt could have demonstrated just a little.

Should Republicans go looking for a respectable candidate they, unfortunately, have few places to search? Lindsay Graham has contorted himself into a Trump puppet, Paul Ryan slinked away from being Majority Leader and went to the board of Fox News. Only John Kasich, former Ohio Governor has shown any integrity and refused to participate in the Trump madness, even before things started going wrong. And then there’s Mitt… He’s one of the few speaking out even mildly against Trump’s behavior, hoping someone is listening.

View at Medium.com

Whoever answers the call if it comes will be asked to perform a miracle, picking up the pieces of a political party that Trump made his own then trashed. It may be far too late for anyone to undo the Trump damage but Mitt is thinking, “I did it before in 2002!” He’s sitting by the phone waiting for that call.

Is Anyone Actually Leaving The Republican Party?


Republicans rage at being considered racist. They remind us of the old days when they were considered, “The Party of Lincoln.” Indeed, the Party’s roots were in opposition to slavery. What they lacked was conviction. The slippery slope began in 1877 when they achieved a political goal by removing Federal Troops from the South, ending Reconstruction and extending the invitation to Jim Crow.

View at Medium.com

Republicans looked the other way as most of the evils of slavery were revisited on the freed slaves in the South under another name. They went as far as to make sure Federal Troops would never return to American soil with the enactment of Posse Comitatus.

View at Medium.com

Then came the 1960s; disgruntled Democrats fled their Party after the Democrat-led passage of The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and The Voting Rights Act of 1965. The angry, racist Democrats were welcomed with open arms. President Lyndon Johnson stated, “We have lost the South for a generation.” That was three generations ago.

“We have lost the South for a generation! – LBJ

Whatever date you wish to pick that Republicans stopped being the Party of Lincoln, they are now surely the Party of Trump. Watch any Trump rally; whether the chant is “Lock her up,” “Build the wall,” or most recently, “Send her home.” The Trump administration bans Muslims, calls African nations, “shithole countries,” pries brown children from their families at the Southern border. Not bothering to collect information to facilitate their eventual return. They fiddled as Puerto Rico drowned.

In the only area Donald Trump fails to discriminate, his Twitter attacks target Republicans as well as Democrats. Those that fail to please him are ridiculed and threatened mercilessly until they get on their knees and kiss his ring. Rather than stand up to Trump, they seemingly respond, “Yes sir, may I have another?” Does anyone ever remove themselves from association with the racist demagogue? Does anyone simply leave the Republican Party?

The easiest ones to measure are the elected officials. Dozens were either removed from office or decided not to run for reelection in the 2018 midterm elections. On the state level, State Senators or Assemblymen in three states; California, New Jersey, and Kansas became Democrats. Their common theme is that the Party under Trump has become “too extreme.”

“This is largely a product of the Trump phenomenon, President Trump has blown the lid off of this party. It starts to look like a personality cult.”

Patrick Murray — Monmouth University Polling Institute

On the national level, Rep. Justin Amash recently left the Republican Party to become an Independent. He was one of four non-Democrats to support the resolution against President Trump’s racist attacks against four minority Democrat Congresswomen. If you didn’t know about Trump’s racism when he engaged in housing discrimination in the 1970s, settling twice with the Federal government when sued. Or when he was the main cheerleader for the Birther Movement, claiming President Barack Obama was born in Kenya. Even if his appointments and policies didn’t convince you, surely his telling the four women to go back to their country is proof positive. But do any Republicans really care?

There doesn’t seem to be any mass exodus from the Republican Party like when Democrats left that Party for not being racist enough. Polls show Donald Trump’s popularity increasing, especially in the South (no surprise). If one were to draw a conclusion, it’s that while Republicans resent being called racist, actually being racist doesn’t bother them We’ve reached the point where pretending not to notice just won’t do. You’re either with the racists or against them. If you’re still in the Party despite Trump’s actions throughout his term, guess which category you fall in?

I have no data as to how many regular Republicans have had enough, deciding to either take their Party back… or leave. CNN ran an interview with 8 Texas Republican women who aren’t swayed by anything Donald Trump has said or done. While they seemed like lemmings, following their leader off a cliff. I’ll be willing to stipulate they aren’t representative of the entire Party. But if there any reasonable ones left, they aren’t speaking up.

https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2019/07/17/women-trump-voters-react-attacks-on-congresswomen-kaye-ac360-vpx.cnn

In a Democracy, assuming Trump doesn’t successfully negate the Constitution, castrate Republicans in Congress and stack the Courts. A strong Republican Party would be a good thing. Unless that Party has been taken over by a racist, white supremacist spreading vitriol wherever he goes. That the Republican Party is lost has become clear. The unanswered question is, why do so many of its members stay?

How the Party of Lincoln Became the Party of Trump?


For those that don’t know, the Republican Party truly has a history of which it can be proud. Its formation came from opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska Act which would have allowed local determination on slavery as opposed to the previous balance of free and slave states struck under the Missouri Compromise of 1850. You might wonder why it mattered to Democrats whether new territories/states embraced slavery or not? I’ll get to that, but it’s important to know that a lot of profits would be made with the expansion of slavery.

After the Civil War, Republicans became known as, “The Party of Lincoln,” responsible for freeing the slaves. Lincoln was personally against slavery and was President when the slaves were freed. But he would have been quite content to allow slavery to continue in the Southern states and in the territories like Missouri where it existed if it would have prevented war. He would have been equally content to send the slaves back to Africa and once had a plan for them to colonize Central America, never once desiring to see slaves reach social equality with white men.

“I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races,”

Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in January of 1863, not because of his great desire to free the slaves. In fact, the Proclamation did not free slaves in border states Delaware, Maryland, Missouri, and Kentucky. It only applied to those states that seceded from the Union. Even then it was a strategy to keep France and England from forming an alliance with the South who had more to offer in trade (Cotton) and was more financially sound. By abolishing slavery, the North was more in tune with the countries that had recently banned slavery themselves.

Back to the profitability of slavery. The Founders in Article 1; Section 9 of the Constitution, forbade the outlawing the importation of slaves before the year 1808.

“ The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.”

Congress indeed outlawed the International Slave Trade immediately after it was allowed by the Constitution, but not from any abhorrence to slavery. They would have abolished slavery altogether if that were the case. Their action was one of protectionism to ensure higher prices for Domestic slaves. America was now able to produce enough slaves on its own due to the practice of breeding slaves much like cattle on farms in Virginia, Maryland, and a few other states. There came a point where the “crop” of slavery produced more revenue in Virginia than tobacco.

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When the Civil War ended, the Republicans were firmly in power and the role of Democrats was severely diminished. Many of the freed slaves, despite the one-time promise of receiving 40 acres and a mule. Watched almost all land in the South returned to the former owners. Many slaves were forced into agreements to work on their former plantations in arrangements not so different than slavery. Some though, with the protection of the Federal Troops remaining in the South, became politically active, ran for office, opened businesses and purchased land. This was the era called Reconstruction during which the freed slaves were making advances towards equality. As long as the troops were there to protect them.

In 1876, there was a contested Presidential Election which it appeared the Democrats had won. They won the popular vote and were one short of the Electoral votes needed to claim victory with the votes of three states contested, Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina. Ultimately, in the Compromise of 1877. It was agreed that the Electoral votes would be awarded to Republican, Rutherford B. Hayes on the condition that Federal troops would be removed from the South. Once the troops were gone, Democrats and the Klan (often one and the same) erased all the gains of the freed slaves, ended Reconstruction, and implemented Jim Crow which was as close to reinstituting slavery as they could manage. It was the beginning of the Republican decline towards where they are now, as they sold out the former slaves they once championed and began to look away.

Oh, I wish I was in the land of cotton

Old times there are not forgotten

Look away

Look away

Look away

Dixieland

Not enough to simply refuse to address the violence and retribution being carried out in the South. In 1878, now President Rutherford B. Hayes gave us the Posse Comitatus Act, ensuring that never again would Federal troops be stationed in the South to protect the black men and women they once purported to champion. You could make a good case that the Republican Party stopped being what they called, “The Party of Lincoln, in 1878.

After the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920, women gained the right to vote (including black women) but a concentrated effort including violence ensured that votes of black men and women, especially in the South, barely mattered. Republicans did what they were accustomed to doing, they looked away. They still called themselves the Party of Lincoln, taking credit for acts long ago, that the current Party wouldn’t dream of.

It was the Democrats that helped turn the Republicans into what they are today. With the passage of Civil and Voting Rights Acts in the 1960s. There was a steady flow of “Dixiecrats” from the Democrat to the Republican Party. Dixiecrats included the Klan and the White Councils and the various organizations of White Knights. To be sure, some stayed behind in the Democrat Party, but the majority left and became Republicans. They were embraced with open arms. Democrat President Lyndon Johnson was alleged to have said.

“We have lost the South for a generation!”

It didn’t happen immediately, Democrats did quite well for some time in the South, helping elect two Southern Democrats to the Presidency, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. It took the election of the first black President, Barack H Obama, to remind the South of who they really were. Trump carried the South. Capitalizing on the Southern Strategy popularized by Nixon strategist Kevin Phillips, improved by Lee Atwater for George H. W. Bush. improved by George W Bush, and absorbed by Steve Bannon and Donald J Trump.

Republicans bristle at the suggestion that their party is racist. Certainly, not all of them are. Some of their policies bear a striking resemblance to others from years past. Voter suppression tactics are remarkably similar, the more things change, the more they stay the same. As Republicans have stood by while white supremacists have offices in the White House. They implement Muslim bans, child separation, gerrymandering, redistricting, charter schools which greater enable segregation. When you look at what the leaders and members of the Party do as Trump rolls on. It’s what they’ve done since 1878, they look away.

Trump Word Of The Day: “Oranges”


In a not too unusual rant by President Trump regarding the Mueller Investigation he now no longer wants the public or Congress to see the full report of. Trump multiple times demanded his Justice Department investigate the “oranges” of the investigation into his campaign’s frequent secret interactions with Russians, that they all lied about. Trump repeated his misuse of the word “oranges” as opposed to origins, removing the possibility it was a slip of the tongue like one of his spokesmen that thrice referred to Puerto Rico today as “that Country.”

Also today, in remarks about Germany’s contributions to NATO, he proudly asserted his father Fred was “born in Germany.” That may have surprised family members and others well aware Fred was actually born in New York. It would be piling on to bring up Fred’s ties to a German organization and his arrest in 1927 when that group was involved in a violent clash with New York police. Fred shared representation with the other’s arrested at the time. To his credit, Donald Trump denied the event happened and that Fred was not actually there.

The questions raised by Donald’s lack of comprehension of the English language and his assertion of false things as being true and the opposite. One must wonder, is he merely stupid or a pathological liar? Of course, both things can be true at the same time.

For The Good Of The Country: What Next?


The Republicans have settled on a single refrain, “For the good of the Country,” drop all investigations into Donald Trump, his family, and his administration. Stop the “Presidential harassment” as Trump called it. The Country is tired of all the investigations and we should simply let the rest of them go; “For the good of the Country.”

While Trump had what seems like a good day. It’s way too soon to declare him innocent of anything, based on William Barr’s summary of Robert Mueller’s report, which no one outside of the Special Counsel’s office and Barr has seen. Barr’s summary said there wasn’t conclusive proof that Trump participated in a coordinated effort to conspire with Russia. He also indicated that he and Rod Rosenstein decided there was no Obstruction of Justice. This was not the finding of the Special Counsel who declined to make that prosecutorial decision, only providing both sides of the argument for obstruction, arguments we haven’t seen.

Almost lost in the announcement was the mention of undisclosed information “of relevance in other matters.” If I were Don Jr, Erik Prince, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, and several others. I wouldn’t sleep easy yet. We have no idea how many other cases have been spun off to various US Attorneys in districts including the SDNY.

The bottom line is, we don’t know what we don’t know. It will take longer than we hoped for, but the likelihood is we’ll still find out. Although the Republicans, including every member of the House of Representatives, just voted to make public the entire Mueller Report. They’ll now leap on the bandwagon to keep the actual report secret, lest any inconvenient facts get out, all for the good of the Country mind you. What’s important to remember is that Mueller’s mandate was narrow and generally limited to Russian efforts to influence the election and American participation. Even though the report has been issued, there are other trials related to conspiracy with Russia including that of Roger Stone.

Though Mueller chose not to indict members of the President’s family that lied to Congress or the FBI. Those same people are under investigation by SDNY and the State of New York for activities of The Trump Foundation, Trump Inauguration, and Trump Organization. Their celebration is deserved, as they’ve had very few good days in the last year. But all those investigations are in full swing and Congress (the House anyway) is just getting warmed up and ready to issue it’s first subpoenas to the White House.

The Mueller Report specifically didn’t exonerate Trump of obstruction. There is a reason that Rick Gates hasn’t been sentenced yet because he’s still cooperating in “several investigations.” Michael Cohen is still talking to the SDNY. Michael Flynn just finished up any meaningful cooperation within the last two weeks. Barr’s summary of the Mueller report may seem a temporary setback, but the long arm of the law hasn’t stopped reaching for Donald Trump and some of his family. Have yourself a good tweet storm Donald, but save some of your energy. You’ll be needing it because people are still coming for you, for the good of the Country.

Paul Manafort and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day


With apologies to Alexander, Paul Manafort also had a very bad day. Last week he arguably got a very light sentence of 47 months when sentencing guidelines dictated he receives between 19–24 years in Federal prison. Judge T.S, Ellis had somehow been bamboozled into believing that Manafort had, “led an otherwise blameless life.” Calling into question his own fitness to continue serving on the bench.

Manafort rolled the dice again, this time before Judge Amy Berman Jackson who added another 3 and 1/2 years to his sentence, berated him for his lies and conduct, criticizing his attorneys as well. She put the lie to the claims of Manafort’s attorneys who keep saying, “No Collusion,” which they ran to repeat in a press conference on the courthouse steps.

You’d think facing 7 and 1/2 years in Federal prison would be bad enough? His lawyer, begging Trump for a pardon by repeating, “No Collusion!” despite the evidence presented about his conspiring with Konstantin Kilimnik and providing internal polling data to the Russians. Was shouted down by protesters, calling him a liar and correctly pointing out the Judge didn’t say there was no collusion.

Topping things off, minutes after his court appearance. The State of New York charged Manafort with 16 counts of criminal behavior related to mortgage fraud, conspiracy, and falsifying business records. If convicted, these charges will not be eligible for a Presidential Pardon, something Manafort was desperately hoping for.

Manafort is allegedly suffering from a variety of medical conditions including gout which he claims have worsened as a result of his months in prison during his trial. He wasn’t allowed his jet black hair dye, exposing his white hair as surely as his fraud was uncovered. His hopes that the highly unreliable Trump would free him appear to have been dashed by the State of New York with a big F.U. to both Manafort and Trump. A very bad day indeed!

If Robert Mueller Was Super Petty


I believe that Robert Mueller has collected enough information to know beyond a doubt that Donald Trump is a criminal, a fraud, and has sold out the interests of our country to a hostile foreign power. Still, he’s bound by Justice Dept. guidelines preventing him from indicting a sitting President. He’s limited to making the best case he can. Presenting a final report to the Attorney General. Assuming William Barr is confirmed, an Attorney General less than assuring that Mueller’s report will ever be made public.

Thus far, Mueller has issued so-called speaking indictments, providing far more public information than required in order to inform the American public. As the investigation winds down, with more indictments and arrests yet to play out. Mueller has to have developed a real contempt for the man occupying the Oval Office. Before the midterm elections, Mueller respectfully held off on public activity according to Justice Dept. norms. But now, given the ongoing attacks on Mueller and his credibility from Donald Trump. If Mueller were just a little bit petty. What would he do?

He’d arrest Donald Trump Jr on February 5th, hours before daddy is supposed to give the State of the Union address. That would be a shot across the bow.

He could commemorate the St. Valentines Day Massacre by arresting several members of the Trump campaign and administration on the same day. He’d also assure a headline that would live on in history. Those to include (assuming the evidence supports it) are Jared Kushner, Eric Trump, Erik Prince, Hope Hicks, John Kelly, Sean Spicer, and Rob Porter

He could issue search warrants to include offices in the White House, subpoena computers and notes of those involved.

And if he were really petty, he’d forget all about the Justice Department guidelines and indict Donald J. Trump a sitting President, charging him with everything he’s guilty of; fraud, money laundering, bribing foreign officials, perjury, Federal Election Campaign violations, and last but not least Treason. Mueller should prove that no one is above the law, not even a sitting President.

Trump should be arrested in the White House and do a perp walk across the White House lawn in full view of the cameras.

If Mueller were petty, he might do all of this. I can only hope!

Republicans: From The Party Of Lincoln; To The Party Of Putin, Trump, And David Duke

a a a a a a a a a a a lincoln

Republicans like to refer to themselves as, “The Party of Lincoln.” This typically comes in response to questions about racism in an attempt to deflect any charges of discrimination today by referring to their long-ago stance. When the Republican Party formed, their first platform resisted the expansion of slavery into new states and territories. The Party’s initial founders were abolitionists, an anti-slavery faction of the Whig Party, and the Free-Soil wing of the Democrat Party. Say what you will about Republicans now, they once stood for something positive, not so much today.

Lincoln himself gets all the credit for ending slavery but given his way, he’d have allowed slavery to continue where it already existed. At his first Inauguration Address, he said, “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.” He also supported the return of slaves to Africa. The Emancipation Proclamation was less about granting freedom to the slaves than it was about hurting the South’s economy and keeping France and Britain from siding with the South whom economically they were inclined to.

Despite Lincoln’s personal ambivalence, the Republican Party was a major factor in the ending of slavery and the environment that led to Reconstruction. Unfortunately, they gave away their claim of moral superiority when in the Compromise of 1877, in trade for winning a disputed Presidential election. They agreed to remove Federal troops from the South which directly let to the end of Reconstruction and the imposition of Jim Crow. The Republican Party’s last claim to be the Party of Lincoln died in 1877.

Fast-forward to the present. The most recent Republican platform includes language changing the previous Republican position favorably to Russia. There has never been a satisfactory explanation as to who, how, and why. The Republicans who controlled oversight in Congress in the House and the Senate have looked away. Their response to a President and Administration who has had multiple secret meetings with Russians and Russian intelligence has been either muted, standing by watching, or a full-throated defense. The more information that becomes public about Trump and associates ties to Russia and private communications, the more the Party that tied itself to national security, at best looks the other way.

Republican legislators have foresworn any priorities other than getting re-elected. This means looking away as he separates children from families, shuts down the government, and destroys the economy with his trade wars and dramatic increase of the national debt. They perhaps console themselves with the tax cuts which benefit them personally and court appointments which protect the class they are part of.

Republicans rage at being portrayed as racist. They don’t mind their Party being racist in their policies but find being called racist offensive. I’m not saying all or even most Republicans are racist. I’m saying they have created an environment where racists are welcome and in fact, pander to them to ensure their continued support at the polls. To avoid the appearance of promoting racism, the Republican House leadership just stripped Rep. Steve King (IA) from his committee assignments after wondering how white nationalism and white supremacy got a bad name? They were shocked, shocked, to find out King harbored racist sentiments, though he’d been expressing them openly for decades. The President makes racist statements all the time, where is the outrage?

Whatever you think of the Republican Party, they have long ceased to be the Party of Lincoln. Depending on the need they now are meeting the needs of Vladimir Putin, Donald J Trump, and David Duke. Parties can and do change. A look at the past of the Democrat Party shows a history of racism, more violent than Republicans have engaged in. When Republicans allowed Jim Crow in 1877, Democrats instituted it. The Democrats changed dramatically in the 1960s when dissatisfaction with the Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Act caused many (Dixiecrats) to flee to the Republican Party. The “Southern Strategy,” ensured they remained Republicans.

I’d like to believe Republicans can do better. I’m less sure they will. Mitch McConnel is racing to fill the Federal Courts with young, conservative Judges. He and other Republicans hope that they will exert control of the Judiciary for generations, long after demographics have lessened their power to legislate. Outside the Courts, Republicans are using Gerrymandering and Voter Suppression to impose the will of a minority on the rest of us. They have gotten a partisan Supreme Court to support unlimited, undisclosed financial contributions, courtesy of Citizens United. They just experienced historic losses of House seats in the 2018 elections and are facing tough sledding in the Senate in 2020 based on who is up for reelection. When they lose, it will be because they sacrificed the principals they once held as a Party. Telling us, “collusion is not a crime,” is not the cry of an ethical Party. Putin, Trump, and Duke couldn’t be more thrilled.

From the Party of Lincoln to the Party of Putin, Trump, and David Duke


Republicans like to refer to themselves as, “The Party of Lincoln.” This typically comes in response to questions about racism in an attempt to deflect any charges of discrimination today by referring to their long-ago stance. When the Republican Party formed, their first platform resisted the expansion of slavery into new states and territories. The Party’s initial founders were abolitionists, an anti-slavery faction of the Whig Party, and the Free-Soil wing of the Democrat Party. Say what you will about Republicans now, they once stood for something positive, not so much today.

Lincoln himself gets all the credit for ending slavery but given his way, he’d have allowed slavery to continue where it already existed. At his first Inauguration Address, he said, “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.” He also supported the return of slaves to Africa. The Emancipation Proclamation was less about granting freedom to the slaves than it was about hurting the South’s economy and keeping France and Britain from siding with the South whom economically they were inclined to.

Despite Lincoln’s personal ambivalence, the Republican Party was a major factor in the ending of slavery and the environment that led to Reconstruction. Unfortunately, they gave away their claim of moral superiority when in the Compromise of 1877, in trade for winning a disputed Presidential election. They agreed to remove Federal troops from the South which directly let to the end of Reconstruction and the imposition of Jim Crow. The Republican Party’s last claim to be the Party of Lincoln died in 1877.

Fast-forward to the present. The most recent Republican platform includes language changing the previous Republican position favorably to Russia. There has never been a satisfactory explanation as to who, how, and why. The Republicans who controlled oversight in Congress in the House and the Senate have looked away. Their response to a President and Administration who has had multiple secret meetings with Russians and Russian intelligence has been either muted, standing by watching, or a full-throated defense. The more information that becomes public about Trump and associates ties to Russia and private communications, the more the Party that tied itself to national security, at best looks the other way.

Republican legislators have foresworn any priorities other than getting re-elected. This means looking away as he separates children from families, shuts down the government, and destroys the economy with his trade wars and dramatic increase of the national debt. They perhaps console themselves with the tax cuts which benefit them personally and court appointments which protect the class they are part of.

Republicans rage at being portrayed as racist. They don’t mind their Party being racist in their policies but find being called racist offensive. I’m not saying all or even most Republicans are racist. I’m saying they have created an environment where racists are welcome and in fact, pander to them to ensure their continued support at the polls. To avoid the appearance of promoting racism, the Republican House leadership just stripped Rep. Steve King (IA) from his committee assignments after wondering how white nationalism and white supremacy got a bad name? They were shocked, shocked, to find out King harbored racist sentiments, though he’d been expressing them openly for decades. The President makes racist statements all the time, where is the outrage?

Whatever you think of the Republican Party, they have long ceased to be the Party of Lincoln. Depending on the need they now are meeting the needs of Vladimir Putin, Donald J Trump, and David Duke. Parties can and do change. A look at the past of the Democrat Party shows a history of racism, more violent than Republicans have engaged in. When Republicans allowed Jim Crow in 1877, Democrats instituted it. The Democrats changed dramatically in the 1960s when dissatisfaction with the Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Act caused many (Dixiecrats) to flee to the Republican Party. The “Southern Strategy,” ensured they remained Republicans.

I’d like to believe Republicans can do better. I’m less sure they will. Mitch McConnel is racing to fill the Federal Courts with young, conservative Judges. He and other Republicans hope that they will exert control of the Judiciary for generations, long after demographics have lessened their power to legislate. Outside the Courts, Republicans are using Gerrymandering and Voter Suppression to impose the will of a minority on the rest of us. They have gotten a partisan Supreme Court to support unlimited, undisclosed financial contributions, courtesy of Citizens United. They just experienced historic losses of House seats in the 2018 elections and are facing tough sledding in the Senate in 2020 based on who is up for reelection. When they lose, it will be because they sacrificed the principals they once held as a Party. Telling us, “collusion is not a crime,” is not the cry of an ethical Party. Putin, Trump, and Duke couldn’t be more thrilled.