Saturday, June 25, 2022

A Tale of Two Americas: Roe vs Wade Overturned; 1st Gun Control Bill in 30 Years Passed

If we're being honest with ourselves, we all know there's two Americas.

In conservative America yesterday it was a day to celebrate because the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs Wade. In doing so it threw out a precedent protecting women's rights to their own bodies for political reasons.

Related: Pence: 'We Must Not Rest' Until Abortion is Outlawed in Every State

The Democrats warned that the court would seek to undo other constitutional rights if it overthrew Roe vs Wade. That's happened now. What's next?

Related: Justice Thomas: SCOTUS 'Should Reconsider' contraception. Same-Sex Marriage Rulings and more

The Supreme Court's decision got a rapid response from the "other America" with protesters pouring out into the streets of America minutes after the decision was made public.

Related: "We Won't Go Back!" Spontaneous Protests Break Out Across U.S. After Supreme Court Overturns Roe

                       On the Same Day

The House passed a landmark gun bill, sending it to Biden to sign into law. After 30 years liberals were finally able to pass some bipartisan gun legislation. This represented a win for one America. A loss for the other one.

VIDEO: House Passes Gun Reform Legislation

The Fallout for Both Landmark Cases

The Roe reversal reshapes Democrats' battle to keep Congress.

A fractured Supreme Court upended American politics

Senate breakthrough clears the way for toughening US gun laws

How deep is the divide between these two Americas? No doubt we'll find out in the years ahead, but right now the chasm between Democrats and Republicans is widening with states like Texas talking about succeeding from the Union.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Do You Feel it? The Political Landscape is Shifting

Political tremors have been reported in Washington DC and the rest of the country during the last two weeks.

Millions of Americans have tuned into an unlikely reality show that's been a smash hit. The House hearings on the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol has gotten huge ratings each episode. Good news for Democrats. Bad news for Republicans as they watch Trump, and his minions sink into a quagmire of their own lies about the 2020 election.

After five hearings, with more to come in July, the committee has rocked the Republican Party's world as GOP lawmakers get linked to Trump's plot to overthrow the election.

One of the latest revelations is Republican lawmakers were asking for pardons before Trump left office. As we all know someone doesn't ask for a pardon unless they did something wrong.

The committee revealed an email from Rep. Mo Brooks on Jan.11, 2021, asking for "all purpose" pardons for every lawmaker who objected to electoral votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania

Requesting pardons were Rep. Andy Biggs, Rep. Louis Gohmert, Rep. Scott Perry, Rep. Matt Gaetz, Rep. Mo Brooks, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green. Apparently, Rep. Jim Jordan didn't ask for a pardon but did request an update on the status of requests by other members.

The question is will the J6 committee request these lawmakers to testify in future hearings? If they do, and they don't, will there be subpoenas? It's nervous time for Republicans who want people to focus on the midterms and to ignore the mountains of evidence being presented by the committee.

A new development

Law enforcement officials searched the Virginia home of former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark Wednesday.

That's significant because Clark was part of a plot by Trump to take over the Department of Justice and to make them conduct unlawful voting fraud investigations. The DOJ is ramping up it's investigation on the attempt to overthrow our electoral system.

The good news is that means the DOJ is closing on Trump's closest allies. Trump is closer than ever to being indicted by the same DOJ he tried to take over.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Once Upon a Midterm Election so Dreary...

Editor's note: My muse for this post was Edgar Allen Poe.

Once upon a midterm election so drearyI worried our democracy was weak and weary.

I knew if the GOP took back the House total condemnation of democracy would be the result all would see.

Republicans are promising a purge of our government - from President Biden to AG Merrick Garland. No Democrat in the land would be safe against Trump's master race. Fascism will have a new place in the world.

Looking deep into the darkness of what could be, I can see the Republic sinking into total anarchy.

Surely, said I, surely there's something we can do to avoid this horror? Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore. I need to look behind every door. 

Desolate yet undaunted, in my search for hope, someone spoke, and said, "Democrats and Independents need to turn out in record numbers to vote."

Only this, and nothing more.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Trump and Cronies Should Face a Criminal Investigation for Putting Two Election Workers Lives at Stake

Where's the accountability?

Trump and his minions need to be hauled into the Department of Justice for targeting two American election workers (AP Photo of Wandrea "Shay" Moss and her mother Ruby Freeman) whose lives were put in jeopardy due to a fake ballot scheme in Fulton County, Georgia.

Wandrea "Shaye" Moss and her mother Ruby Freeman had their lives turned upside down when Trump targeted them and encouraged his supporters to pressure them into confessing that they illegally added Biden ballots to the counting machines.

At one point of the continual harassment campaign Moss testified that people pushed their way into her grandmother's house, claiming they were making a citizen's arrest.

Meanwhile the FBI told Ruby Freeman she had to leave her house for an undetermined amount of time because of credible death threats.

There was no fraud as the Republican governor and secretary of state explained to the Jan. 6 committee. 

Trump sycophants like Rudy Giuliani traveled around holding quasi "press conferences" accusing the women of cheating for the democrats. 

Giuliani and his goons literally launched an all-out attack besmirching their reputation and making the election workers targets for MAGA morons everywhere. No American citizen(s) should be subjected to this kind of life-changing abuse by the nation's commander in chief.

It's shameful. It should also be illegal. But I haven't heard a word about the DOJ looking into their baseless crusade against both women that could have cost them their lives. Not a damn word.

Here's a video of the two women's testimony before the Jan. 6 committee on 6/21.

Moss and Freeman's story is only one example of the wild voting conspiracy theories spread by the Trump campaign. When Trump started showing edited clips of the two women at work and accused them of cheating, he was personally putting them at risk.

An interesting aside: Among the many threats and instances of harassment, a woman claiming to be Kanye West's publicist came to Freeman's house to encourage her to confess to voter fraud.

The connection is clear. It's just another case of Trump committing a crime and routinely getting away with it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

The 'Big Lie' is Devouring Democracy

After exhausting all avenues to change the results of the 2020 election Republicans have settled on ignoring reality.

The courts rejected 62 lawsuits that Trump's minions filed to try to overturn the voter's will. Then Trump cronies attempted a coup that failed.

The only tactic left was denying reality and defying all norms to secure a solid base of Trump believers' loyalty. 

So, openly lying has been embraced by the shambling Republican Party that is cannibalizing itself in an effort to please their chosen Lord and Master Trump.

The Big Lie is expanding every day. Just look at Texas. The state Republican Party adopted a resolution last weekend that rejects President Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election. 

Up to this point it's been individuals running for office proudly aligning themselves with the Big Lie to get Trump's endorsement. Meanwhile, Trump sycophants in the Senate and House have gone along with the election fraud narratives spread by Fox News and other right-wing media outlets.

Now we're looking at state GOP parties that are adopting election lies as the main part of their agenda. Don't be surprised if other state GOP parties decide to follow Texas. The Big Lie is a cancer that doesn't appear to have a cure. It's spreading throughout the land at an alarming rate.

How could this happen in America?

We're slipping into fascism as Trump slithers his way back towards a second term. Political pollsters and pundits are predicting a Red Wave in the midterms.

Make no mistake. Trump's cult is fully motivated to turn out in big numbers this fall. The economy is chaotic and rife with supply chain issues that stretch across the world, and it'll be Biden and the Democrats who get blamed.

In spite of all that, things could turn around before November. It's possible these Jan. 6 hearings will shock Democratic and Independent voters who value our liberty and freedoms picking Democracy over the economy.

One more thing to consider. When the Supreme Court takes down the Roe vs Wade decision, which is what the leaked draft showed, women - especially young women - will be motivated to vote in record numbers. Just what Democrats need. That young vote.   

In closing its ironic and scary as hell to consider the possibility that a lie could be what took down our democracy.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Before Trump was Elected President Doonesbury Took on His Rhetoric and Failed Ventures

Before his presidency and TV show The Apprentice, Donald Trump was a moving target of scorn and vicious satire by cartoonist Gary Trudeau.

His strip regularly mocked Don the Con with three characters who supposedly worked for him. 

There was J.J. who reluctantly painted a mural of Trump based on the Sistine Chapel, on the ceiling of the bathroom of Trump's boat "Trump Princess" because she needed the money.

Then there was the captain of the ship Duke (a caricature of Hunter S. Thompson, the gonzo journalist).

Finally, there was Boopsie who was hired to be in the background of a game show Trump created about himself, years before The Apprentice.

Trudeau's portrayal of Trump really cracked me up when it came out. I instantly became a regular reader of the controversial cartoon strip right up until today. 

By the way, here's a link to a Doonesbury website with current and old strips. I highly recommend reading #SAD!: Doonesbury in the Time of Trump.

One of the things I admire about Trudeau's satire is he's unafraid of making fun of the most powerful man in the US, regardless of political party. I loved his portrayals of Clinton, Bush, and Reagan.

There were other political power players that he mocked. Newt Gingrich was shown as a lite but unexploded bomb, and a floating feather was the stand-in for Vice President Dan Quayle.

If you would like to know more about Gary Trudeau and his Pulitzer Prize winning comic strip go here.

Thanks for stopping by. See you tomorrow.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

It's a Mean World Charlie Brown but You Don't Let That Get You Down

When I was in high school back in the mid-60s my Drama class put on a play featuring characters from the popular Sunday newspaper cartoon strip Peanuts

I remember thinking how dumb it was and not wanting a part in the play. My buddies would have had a field day if I played Charlie Brown or Snoopy. I was sure I'd be hazed about it for life.

A funny thing happened years later. I grew a new appreciation for Charles Schultz's (right) characters. 

I began taking inspiration from Charlie Brown's naive attempts to find something positive in a negative world. This video from A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (2010) is a good example.

The simple genius of Peanuts lies in Schulz’s ability to get to the heart of large matters (unrequited love, loneliness) and critical life questions (is there a Great Pumpkin?) through the lens of emotionally precocious children.

My three boys loved watching Peanuts specials on TV. My wife and I enjoyed watching them with the kids. Two generations appreciating cartoon characters originally created in 1950 (the year I was born).

I particularly like the way Charlie Brown keeps coming back after each failure.

He's a poor man's philosopher. No matter how mean people are to him, Charlie rises above their pettiness and keeps looking for rainbows with his loyal dog Snoopy.

According to Schultz's biographer the events and relationships in Peanuts are for the most part events and relationships distilled from his life. I find that fascinating. Converting one's life into a cartoon strip and becoming rich and famous along the way is quite an achievement.

I can't help wondering if I hadn't been too cool to get involved in the play how I would have portrayed Charlie Brown?

Crazy Talk: The Latest Conversations from the Lunatic Fringe in Politics

Let's get this party started. The leading conversation  today among the lunatic fringe in politics involves the former TV host and twice...