The Political Slant

Rise Above

Fathers and daughters not speaking to each other.  Decades-long friendships broken and volatile.  Siblings screaming at each other, saying terrible, hurtful things.  More and more, this is America.  Angry, divided, hyper-political. 

What separates us today are not the age-old differences between Republicans and Democrats, or conservatives and liberals, or the right and left.  What has divided us and continues to divide us today is Donald Trump.  We love him and hope that he becomes King and lives forever.  Or we start each morning praying that this will be the day he dies.  There is no in-between, no agreeing to disagree, no compromise.  It is this irreconcilable difference that continues to tear our once-great nation apart.

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Reporting, Reproach, and Our Republic

According to The Wall Street Journal of September 18, 2021, on September 17, 2021 attorney Michael Sussman was indicted by Special Counsel John Durham for lying to the FBI regarding Donald Trump’s association with Russians. Specifically, Sussman (allegedly) lied about the Russian-based Alfa Bank and the Trump Administration. Mr. Sussman was an attorney for the law firm Perkins Coie and was working for the Clinton Campaign  when he presented then FBI general counsel James Baker documents purporting to show “secret internet communications between the Trump Organization and the Russian-based Alfa bank” on September 19, 2016.

The indictment reads that Sussman represented himself to the FBI General Counsel as a “good citizen” and was not working “for any client” and not an advocate for a candidate. It turns out that he was lying to the FBI, something that is taken quite seriously by our federal government. Just ask Martha Stewart about lying to the FBI. The first question should be: How competent is an FBI who can be fooled by someone (even a lawyer, who are universally generalized as being adroit liars) who misleads them about their employer. I’m pretty sure that having access to tax records and financial transfers (of which it seems that the federal government can review) might reveal that someone is getting money transfers from a firm associated with a political campaign. I guess that the IRS is too busy examining citizens with more than six-hundred dollars in their bank account than to verify the income of wealthy and powerful liars.    

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A Dilapidated Defense of Dependency

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 I never knew that slavery and addiction could be so satisfying. Recently on a social media website, one of the addicted slaves made some startling comparisons that need some sincere comments. Claiming that our fears about our youth being too “dependent” on technology, and that those fears were nothing but “BS” our dependent youth made the following arguments:

His first point was that we use automobiles to travel instead of horses and buggies. Yes, that is true, but the Model T Ford began production in 1908. His second point is we don’t use outhouses to go to the bathroom. Yes, that is true, but the flushing-rim toilet was introduced in 1824. His third point is we don’t use typewriters to write comments. Yes, that is true, but typewriters were invented in 1868. His fourth point is we don’t heat water for our bath on the stove. Yes, that is true, but water heaters were patented in 1889. His closing statement was, “Do you see what I am getting at?”

Yes, I see what he was getting at, (including his poor grammar ending a sentence with a preposition) and his point was that apparently it is a valid argument to compare technology from centuries ago with the present technology. My professor whose essay tests frequently asked to compare and contrast concepts would have given him a failing grade.  None of the inventions this person mentioned can generate information, they only serve in a physical perspective.   

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The College Credit Conundrum

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The CARES Act, Public Law No: 116-136 (03/27/2020) aka the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act allows student loan borrowers to defer payments without accruing interest from September 2020 to October of 2021. The balances, or the total loan debt, will not increase in that time frame. As of the fourth quarter of 2020, none of more than half of the federal student loans totaling $1.6 trillion will be required to be paid back. Twenty-two million citizens who borrowed money from the federal government for college won’t be making an average payment of $400 a month .The interest that has been cancelled by the CARES Act totals $5 billion per month, with a total projected to be $90 billion. The taxpayers are footing that bill, all while the debt of the United States climbs to record highs.

Student Loan Forgiveness
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

In the meantime, Senator Elizabeth Warren is asking President Biden to cancel $50,000 per student of their loan debts. The request is for President Biden to just cancel the debts, by presidential order. The prevalence of our “cancel culture” means whatever anyone wants is now just a presidential declaration away. As former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel said, “never let a serious crisis go to waste.”

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Git-R-Done, Not Quite

People are characterized by their actions more than their words. People have hidden agendas and different forms of communicating. Most underlings recognize when a boss or supervisors throws out a suggestion as simple as “the report will be helpful, it means “Git-R-done.”

Most agree with the premise that one is not guilty until proven guilty in court and each citizen’s entitlement to due process. Investigators know people found not guilty are guilty. The criminal trial of OJ comes to mind with technicalities, inaccurate testimony, judgment.

Officers, much like scientists, follow paths from events and witnesses seeking to prove or un-prove truth. Most investigators are happy to clear someone, as much as they are pleased to convict someone.

Trump and Bannon began their agenda with bigotry and distrust of persons, partisanship, and institutions. The Department of Justice (DOJ) nor the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) would be spared. Disbelief and doubt in State and Federal government institutions, judicial courts, governance, and the people honorably engaged with such institutions were quickly labeled “the swamp.”

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Battle with the Bureaucrats

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“After all, the chief business of the American people is business” is a quote from Calvin Coolidge in 1925. From 2016 to 2020 America had a president who was primarily a businessman. While many politicians would see the presidency as their ultimate achievement, there are plenty of politicians who will never attain that office, for various reasons. It seems that someone with only a business background and no political experience would have no chance of winning the office of the presidency. Yet, in 2016, we elected a president who had never held public office before.

When faced with a pandemic of enormous proportion, in nine months, the president via Operation Warp Speed motivated public officials and the private sector to concentrate their efforts and created two vaccines, in a speed that will go down in history. Not that the president will be remembered for that, though. In 2020 the American stock market roared back, to heights that exceeded Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom, while home sales and automobile sales swelled.

Impeachment 2.0
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Voting in America – Fixing This is Just Too Easy

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Prior to moving from the west coast to New England earlier this year I assumed that since the east coast has ‘been in business’ longer than the west, things would be pretty together; organized, with good systems in place.  Well you know what they say about people that assume.

On the morning of November 3 – a cold yet sunny morning glimmering with a layer of unexpected snow – I stood in line waiting with several fellow townspeople for the polls to open, got screened for Covid, and was eventually handed a pen and an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper; some pesty form that a nameless office worker had run off on their HP printer, I guessed; something else to throw away when no one is looking.  And then I realized that it was my ballot!

how to fix voting

I didn’t know if I should laugh, object or look to see if there was a hidden camera ready to record my reaction.  What kind of hobo, hillbilly, half-assed organization came up with these?  In the year 2020, with all the technological advances of the past fifty years, when everything from paying bills to going to class is done via a series of 0s and 1s, these people expect me to cast the most important ballot I’ve cast since the very first in 1976 using 18th century technology? 

Are you kidding me?  What the hell?  Didn’t we put a man on the moon over two generations ago?  And you give me what amounts to some tree bark and a piece of charcoal? 

Unfreakingbelievable


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Democrats Disingenuous Demeanor

As quoted recently, on or about October 26, 2020 by political journal  The Hill, by reporter Celine Castronuovo, Rep. Alexandria  Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) took to Twitter late Monday to call for the  expansion of the Supreme Court as Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in as a  justice, with the progressive first-term lawmaker arguing that  Republicans don’t believe Democrats “have the stones to play hardball  like they do.”

More of AOC from The Hill:  “Remember that Republicans have lost 6 of the last 7 popular votes, but have appointed 6 of the last 9 justices,” she wrote. “By expanding the court, we fix this broken system and have the court better represent the values of the American people.”

OK, Um, don’t we have the Electoral College so that populous, left-leaning states such as New York and California do not run roughshod over the more sparsely populated states? If you choose to do  away with the Electoral College, then, by all means be fair, and offer  the states such as Wyoming, Iowa, the Dakotas and the other  conservative states the option of seceding, since it seems that they  do not share the “values of the American people.”

While AOC may be the spokesperson for socialist-leaning “let’s take from the rich and then give all the money away” folks in her congressional district, I’m not convinced that she is a “spokesperson for the American people.”

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Voter Tendencies

One non-mention among us is why some whites voted and will continue to vote for Trump due to their concern of being replaced in authority and status by nonwhites, a fear Trump stoked then and now. The embedded level of the hierarchy is a part of our history. The US Calvary overran the American Indians, our constitutional founders dismissed women and blacks, our textbooks left out acts of heroism by minorities, and financial restrictions slowed nonwhite attainment of power positions to where we are now.    

President Lyndon B. Johnson

President Lyndon B. Johnson said, “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best-colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.” Several voters recognized their economic circumstances and foresaw their survival interests as maintaining their perceived level of social-financial status among nonwhites.

Fear of dominant decline among white men is what Trump manipulated to the forefront of insecurity symphonized by a political platform that minorities were taking jobs away from whites; immigrants were rapists and drug runners. The imminence of the replacement of whites by nonwhites stood as a social disadvantage of being left behind. The handwriting on the wall to substantiate their unwarranted fear and create weight on their minds was the government’s documentation of the growing demographic change.

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Racism, Riots, and Our Republic

The tragic death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, has set into motion a public outcry that will go down in American history. In Mr. Floyd’s case, the officer who was responsible for his safety will be held responsible for his demise. Anyone issued handcuffs should be aware of the fact that handcuffed suspects who are laid on their stomachs cannot breathe because the pressure on the diaphragm restricts their breathing. If the officer charged in the death claims he was never advised of the potential danger, then he should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, under the much-used police phrase: “ignorance of the law is no excuse.” 

The United States is a nation of laws, where those who enforce those laws are the police. Accused of being the hands of unfair laws and enforcers of discriminatory policies, there are now movements to defund and even disband police departments. There have been riots, burned buildings, and destroyed public monuments. There have also been dozens of murders of those of the same race as George Floyd, all presumed just as innocent (certainly the murdered children were innocent) as Mr. Floyd. How the murders of innocent citizens will motivate legislatures remains to be seen. Which moves us to legislation.

Image Credit: NY State Senate
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