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Friday, January 31, 2020

He's guilty

So, not enough Republicans voted for witnesses and documents to matter. Some of them admitted they believed the Democrats proved their case against Trump, but still they will let him get away with it. Why? As Republican Lamar Alexander opined, what Trump did wasn't serious enough to warrant impeachment. This from a party that impeached a president for having an extra-marital affair and lying about it - if we added up all of Trump's affairs and all of his lies, we would be here until the apocalypse.

Trump will brag to his zombie cult that he has been exonerated. That will be a lie. Despite Trump's lawyers lying their asses off, a majority of the Senate (all Democrats and some Republicans) found him guilty of the things of which he was accused, but the Republicans, who care more about keeping themselves in power than about the country, don't have the courage nor the integrity to remove him.

And now Trump is arguably the most powerful president in US history - as presidential historian Jon Meacham said above, virtually a king. What do you think Trump is going to do with all that power the Republicans have given him?

Thursday, January 30, 2020

No witnesses?

The question and answer part of the impeachment trial is over. It looks like there will not be any new witnesses or documents, thanks to Trump's Republican Senate toadies.

Already, on a daily basis Trump wreaks damage large and small. In the news just today ... he's going to gut medicaid, and he is repealing the law against killing birds. Yes, killing birds. After he is acquitted, what will he feel empowered to do?

Sunday, January 26, 2020


Some of my favorite songs to sing along with are old Peter and Gordon songs like this one written by Paul McCartney :) ...


Bolton's book

The New York Times has a preview of the book former National Security Advisor John Bolton has written but not yet published. The House Democrats have been trying to get Bolton's testimony in the impeachment trial - his aides who did testify said that he described Trump's Ukraine scheme as a "drug deal" of which he wanted no part. Republicans in the Senate refuse to call Bolton as a witness, and Trump has made it clear he would try to block any testimony by Bolton.

Trump Tied Ukraine Aid to Inquiries He Sought, Bolton Book Says

[...] The book presents an outline of what Mr. Bolton might testify to if he is called as a witness in the Senate impeachment trial, the people said. The White House could use the pre-publication review process, which has no set time frame, to delay or even kill the book’s publication or omit key passages.

Over dozens of pages, Mr. Bolton described how the Ukraine affair unfolded over several months until he departed the White House in September. He described not only the president’s private disparagement of Ukraine but also new details about senior cabinet officials who have publicly tried to sidestep involvement [Pompeo, Barr, Mulvaney, etc.] .....

I can't figure out if the Republicans in the Senate are spineless cowards who are terrified of Trump, cynical liars who only care about themselves staying in power, or pod-people whose innards have been scooped out and replaced with sentient Trump poop. Maybe it's all of the above.

Friday, January 24, 2020

80% of Americans

Trump tries to shore up evangelical support at March for Life rally

The first clue to the wrongness of the pro-life movement should be who they have chosen as their hero - Trump. He couldn't give a poop about children, born or unborn: his latest attack on children aims to take away free school lunches for poor kids, and he was pro-choice and supported partial-birth abortion when he found it expedient (Meet the Press 1999).

Pro-lifers know this, of course. They know he is just using them for their votes, but that's ok because they are using him in return to get the judges they believe will doom a constitutional right that 80% of Americans support: Poll: Majorities want abortion to remain legal but support some restrictions (including Catholics).

It's called "the end justifies the means".

Thursday, January 23, 2020

"Right matters ...

... And the truth matters. Otherwise, we are lost."

You must hear what Adam Schiff said today! ....

Adam Schiff delivers message to senators: 'If the truth doesn't matter, we're lost'

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Schiff rocks!

House manager and Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff gave the opening speech today at the impeachment trial and it was amazing! ...


Jared's best friend. There will be no consequences, of course - it's good to be king (or prince).

Help animals

I think I first saw koalas at the San Diego Zoo, which has a special exhibit of them. Their Twitter account now has a request to viewers to help the animals of Australia ...

Day one

I watched bits of the first day of the impeachment trial: Bitter exchanges and incriminating evidence rock Trump's impeachment trial.

The House managers did a good job of laying out the case against Trump and explaining why witnesses and documents should be called. The Trump defense team didn't address the evidence but instead made a 'so what' case, with the occasional lie thrown in.

I think many had hope that once the Republicans in the Senate actually heard the evidence against Trump, they would "see the light" and decide to vote for witnesses and documents, maybe even vote to impeach. I didn't have any hope of this. The Republican Senators were not unaware of the facts, it's just that those facts don't matter to them. They have sold their souls to Trump and they will not turn now, no matter what he has done.

I find this depressing and sickening. I've seen both the Nixon and Clinton impeachments and I'm pretty negative about human nature and politics, but I never would have thought so many would embrace the evil of Trump in order to benefit themselves at the expense of the country.

Monday, January 20, 2020


On Martin Luther King Day, a message from Nina Shaw about the inequities faced by women and racial minorities ....

Friday, January 17, 2020


Trump has made an exceptionally weird choice in the lawyers he has chosen to defend him in the impeachment trial, one of whom is Alan Dershowitz. Yes, the same Dershowitz who defended Claus von Bülow, OJ, Harvey Weinstein, and Jeffrey Epstein.

Yes, that same Epstein who trafficked young girls. Epstein, who was great party friends with Trump. Epstein, who was also friends with Dershowitz, who was accused of forcing himself on one of Epstein's girls. Epstein, who was once hired by AG William Barr's father to teach at a private high school. Epstein, who mysteriously died while in a federal prison run by Barr, one of Trump's most fervent toadies.

If this was a movie, we would say the plot was unbelievable.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

ERA passes


As you would expect, there will be those who will fight against it - religious conservatives. It was ever thus, as we can see from this article at National Catholic Reporter ...

Women are on the verge of constitutional equality, but some Catholics still stand in the way

[...] The ERA was so popular in the 1970s that many expected it to pass. Even some U.S. bishops were in favor of it. Six members of the U.S. bishops' conference formed an ad hoc committee on women in church and society to support the amendment in 1978.

In the end, the U.S. bishops rejected it "because of uncertainty as to its legal and constitutional consequences for family life, the abortion issue and other matters." The bishops were lobbying for a constitutional amendment to limit abortion and, they claimed, their legal counsel had discouraged them from supporting the ERA.

The U.S. bishops, of course, were not powerful enough to neutralize the ERA. But one very conservative Catholic woman was: Phyllis Schlafly. A constitutional lawyer, radical anti-feminist and anti-abortion activist, Schlafly was a culture warrior before the U.S. bishops knew it was cool. Her grassroots movement called Stop ERA (now known as the Eagle Forum) is largely credited with convincing lawmakers to reject the amendment.


So far, the U.S. bishops have remained silent on whether they will continue to reject the ERA, and my repeated requests for comment to the media office at the U.S. bishops' conference were unanswered.

But the response of the Virginia Catholic Conference gives us a clue as to what the bishops' position will be.

"The Equal Rights Amendment hurts women — both born and unborn," the Virginia bishops wrote in a press release in early 2019 as a surging Ratify VA campaign was getting serious traction ....

I find it hard to understand why any woman would want to belong to the Catholic church, which denies women equality within the institution and works via lobbying to doom women's rights in the greater world as well.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Lev Parnas

Tonight Rachel Maddow interviewed Lev Parnas (above are a few clips from the longer interview). Lev is one of the men working with Rudy Giuliani in Ukraine for Trump, getting rid of the ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch, so that they could more easily get the Ukrainian president to announce an investigation of Hunter and Joe Biden in return for US military aid, thus insuring Trump's re-election.

Lev is in the news because his attorney has turned over documents relating to all this to the House, and the House has released some of them.

What's amazing is how incriminating these documents are for Trump (and Giuliani and Pompeo and Barr and Pence and Nunes, etc.). If the Republicans in the Senate acquit Trump after the massive amount of evidence against him, it will be a scandal they will never live down.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Another study

In the news: Most women do not regret having an abortion, study finds

An overwhelming majority of women [95%] who get an abortion do not regret the decision to undergo the procedure, according to a new study published in the academic journal Social Science & Medicine on Sunday.

Researchers surveyed 667 women across 21 states in the US multiple times over a five-year period, tracking each woman’s emotions around their decision to get an abortion. About 95% of women indicated they believe that going through an abortion was the right decision over the course of the study.


[T]he claim that going through an abortion is a taxing decision has been used by anti-abortion advocates to justify restricting access to abortion. Multiple states require mandatory abortion counseling and waiting periods that include information on the negative emotional response to getting an abortion ...

This study shows the same results as another earlier 2015 study on the same subject. This information discounts the pro-life talking point that women are the "second victims of abortion". And it shows the great gulf between what most women believe about abortion and what those who want to outlaw it believe. That gulf will not be bridged by enforced ultrasounds - the pro-life movement knows this but since they can't change hearts and minds, they have settled for punishing women instead.

Australia: animals

I keep thinking about the fires in Australia, especially of all the animals - news stories have the death toll at around a billion animals killed and some species are facing extinction. Those that haven't been killed by the fires are often starving. Here's more information ..... Australia's fires have killed over a billion animals. Here's how to help

One place that is helping animals (see the video above) is WIRES. A lot of people are helping the victims of the fires, human and animal: Australian actor Chris Hemsworth (Thor) has contributed a million dollars! ...

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Iranian flight 655

There's much in the news about Iran having accidentally shot down a civilian Ukrainian passenger jet. This is weirdly similar to a situation 30+ years ago. Here's a bit from Wikipedia on Iran Air Flight 655 ...

Iran Air Flight 655 was a scheduled passenger flight from Tehran to Dubai via Bandar Abbas that was shot down on 3 July 1988 by an SM-2MR surface-to-air missile fired from USS Vincennes, a guided-missile cruiser of the United States Navy. The aircraft, an Airbus A300, was destroyed and all 290 people on board were killed. The jet was hit while flying over Iran's territorial waters in the Persian Gulf, along the flight's usual route, shortly after departing Bandar Abbas International Airport, the flight's stopover location. The incident occurred during the final stages of the Iran–Iraq War, which had been ongoing for nearly eight years. Vincennes had entered Iranian territory after one of its helicopters drew warning fire from Iranian speedboats operating within Iranian territorial limits ...

Although the US would not admit it had been at fault, Ronald Reagan wrote to the Iranian government expressing regret and a settlement was reached at the International Court of Justice in which the US agreed to pay $61.8 million dollars to the families of the victims.

Friday, January 10, 2020

176 dead

The Ukrainian passenger aircraft that crashed after leaving the Iranian airport was accidentally shot down by the Iranians, who feared it was an American jet. The situation created by Trump when he assassinated an Iranian general is the proximate cause of those 176 deaths.

But hey, Trump got some good material for his latest rally out of the situation. As usual, he told falsehoods (he told his zombies that Soleimani was planning to blow up various US embassies), but for a time, in the mosh pit of his cult followers, Trump got to brag he had the power to order someone killed. He didn't, of course, mention the collateral damage.

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Iran speech

- General Milley gives Trump the side-eye during his speech

Trump's speech contained lies, of course, one of which was that President Obama had given billions of dollars to Iran. Trump said ...

"[...] they were given $150 billion, not to mention $1.8 billion in cash. Instead of saying ‘thank you’ to the United States, they chanted 'Death to America .... The missiles fired last night at us and our allies were paid for with the funds made available by the last administration."

That $150 million actually belonged to Iran, it's own assets frozen by the US and released after they won a court case. The rest of the money ....

As for the $1.8 billion, Iran did get a payment of roughly that amount from the U.S. Treasury. But that was to pay an old IOU, according to the Associated Press. In the 1970s, Iran paid the U.S. $400 million for military equipment that was never delivered because the government was overthrown and diplomatic relations ruptured. After the nuclear deal, the U.S. and Iran announced they had settled the matter, with the U.S. agreeing to pay the $400 million principal along with about $1.3 billion in interest. The $400 million was paid in cash and flown to Tehran on a cargo plane. The arrangement provided for the interest to be paid later ...
- Fact check: Trump discusses escalation of tensions with Iran in televised speech

It's really pathetic that Trump is compelled to criticize Obama at every opportunity. Trump must feel so terribly inferior to the previous president.

There was much on twitter about the speech (#TrumpSpeech). One tweet I found particularly apt was this one ...

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

The Way

Another song: The Way, based on the true and mysterious story of an older couple who drove off together to a nearby festival, though both were ill, and were found later dead, hundreds of miles from where they had planned to go. Heard it at the grocery store and couldn't get it out of my head ...

Sunday, January 05, 2020

Connecting dots

Elizabeth Warren was on Jake Tapper's show today and she expressed the view that Trump may have had the Iranian general killed because he wanted to distract people from his impeachment. Jake seemed aghast that she would voice this opinion, but come on - who is *not* thinking this?

We know these things ...

- Both Bush and Obama declined to target Soleimani because the benefits didn't outweigh the possible fallout.

- Trump and his minions have not offered up any compelling evidence that Soleimani needed to be killed right now.

- Trump is a professional liar and his administration has always followed his lead in putting forth misleading information to the public for their own ends.

- Trump has shown that he is willing, even eager, to misuse the powers of his office to try to get himself re-elected (Ukraine).

You connect the dots.

Saturday, January 04, 2020

Starting a war

War with Iran - what could go wrong? Trump ordered Iranian General Soleimani assassinated with an air strike (and killed some medics with another air strike). Trump didn't tell Congress (except his henchman, Lindsey Graham) and though Pompeo assures us that Trump has a "deep strategy" when it comes to these actions, I'm pretty sure that strategy can be explained thusly ... Trump: "If I start a war with Iran, that will distract from my impeachment and I'll get re-elected instead of going to prison - yay!" Meanwhile, the Republicans are swooning over Trump's "butch" actions, but all he's done is insure that more people will die.

Australia burns

- the echidna

Trump and his minions, like Australia's prime minister, pretend to believe climate change is a hoax. They know it isn't, they're just in the pockets of the industries that are causing it. Here is what they have wrought: Australia fires kill half a billion animals as crisis mounts.

Australia is, or has been, the home of a a large number of unique creatures ...

Australia consists of a huge variety of animals; some 83% of mammals, 89% of reptiles, 90% of fish and insects and 93% of amphibians that inhabit the continent are endemic to Australia.[2] This high level of endemism can be attributed to the continent's long geographic isolation, tectonic stability, and the effects of an unusual pattern of climate change on the soil and flora over geological time. A unique feature of Australia's fauna is the relative scarcity of native placental mammals. Consequently, the marsupials — a group of mammals that raise their young in a pouch, including the macropods, possums and dasyuromorphs — occupy many of the ecological niches placental animals occupy elsewhere in the world. Australia is home to two of the five known extant species of monotremes and has numerous venomous species, which include the platypus, spiders, scorpions, octopus, jellyfish, molluscs, stonefish, and stingrays. Uniquely, Australia has more venomous than non-venomous species of snakes ...

I used to watch The Crocodile Hunter and learned so much about the animals, birds, and sea creatures of Australia. It's incredibly sad to see they're being destroyed in such numbers by the fires.

Thursday, January 02, 2020


I had never heard this song by Paul McCartney before. I like the harmony ...