Closing Thought–27Jan20

Social media….vintage social media…..

I am an old fart so I remember the rotor telephone, stamps, photos printed on paper,….but enough of the that …let me show you “our” social media…

And somehow we made it to the 21st century without having told everyone every minute of our lives…..you were “famous” back in the Dark Ages for actually doing something exceptional…not because you did something stupid and put it on-line for all to see.

This silly thing, social media, is how we got to this spot in history and the turn will define the next decade……

“lego ergo scribo”

Senate Impeachment Trial–Day Of Rest

The Senate is taking a much deserved break from hearing the accounts from both sides of the Pres. Trump’s evidence for the trial.

So while they are busy sucking up to donors I would like to update my reader on what the polls are showing about the trial…..

So without further ado….let’s go to the polls……

Hoping the impeachment trial will sway Republicans or spark angry calls to Capitol Hill? Maureen Dowd’s column is a cold splash in the face. The New York Times writer describes bored senators, GOP staffers celebrating at night, and Democratic office phones sitting in silence. “Nobody cares,” a Dem staffer tells her. “It’s the saddest thing ever.” Dowd relishes an occasional verbal punch by House managers, but little else. “The more impressive the Democrats’ case is, the more depressing the reality becomes,” she writes. “They want to convince themselves that character matters. But many Americans knew they were voting for a thug. They wanted a thug who would bust up Washington, and they got one.” In other commentary:

  • Can the House really claim President Trump violated the Constitution by resisting Congressional subpoenas? “The President [then] becomes a vassal of king Congress,” writes the Wall Street Journal editorial board. “This is another reason for the Senate to repudiate this House impeachment as its own abuse of power.”
  • “Don’t bore your audience,” writes Michael Hirsh at Foreign Policy. “It is the injunction delivered to every TV and movie producer, and to every lawyer seeking to win over a jury.” Hirsh says Democrats “botched their case less through lack of evidence than an excess of verbiage.”
  • “Senate Republicans are growing confident that this is now the defense team’s trial to lose,” writes Lauren Fox at CNN. Republicans hope the legal team will avoid long attacks on the Bidens “or any tangents that alienate moderate Republican senators whose votes on witnesses are on the line.”
  • The Washington Post editorial board warns Republicans against dismissing the evidence. Those who do “will be reduced to watching in the months and years to come as the case against him—and against their abdication of constitutional duty—grows steadily stronger.”
  • Bradley Blakeman slams senators in both parties for coming and going during the trial and chatting with the press. “If a citizen-juror acted like a Senate juror, he or she would be removed and held in contempt of court,” he writes at the Hill.

After this break we will be watching Day 6 with analysis to follow……

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I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Those Pesky Headaches

In retaliation for the death of the Iranian general a rocket attack on US bases in Iraq…..

Fortunately there were no casualties…..but Trump has made it clear that all that happened were some headaches for US troops…..

Additional US troops who were identified as having potential concussions tied to the Jan. 8 Iranian missile attack have been taken to Germany for treatment, defense officials said Tuesday. While the AP says no troop count was provided, the reportedly small group adds to the 11 who were removed from Iraq and sent to medical facilities abroad last week. While giving a news conference in Davos on Wednesday, President Trump was asked by a reporter about why he’d previously maintained that he was told no troops were injured in the attack. “I heard that they [had] headaches and a couple of other things, but I would say and I can report it is not very serious,” he replied, per the Hill. The reporter pushed: “So you don’t consider a potential traumatic brain injury serious?”

Trump’s reply: “I don’t consider them very serious injuries relative to other injuries that I’ve seen. I’ve seen what Iran has done with their roadside bombs to our troops. I’ve seen people with no legs and with no arms. I’ve seen people that were horribly, horribly injured in that area, that war. … No, I do not consider that to be bad injuries, no.” CNN shares the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center’s stance, which is that most traumatic brain injuries are mild, though they can affect cognitive function in the long run. Mild TBIs can be tougher to spot because there may be no external sign of injury, and the symptoms can mirror that of PTSD, it notes.

Appears those “headaches” are a bit more serious than first announced…

Iran’s retaliatory strike on US troops injured more Americans than thought. The Pentagon on Friday said that 34 service members were diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries, reports the AP. Of those, 17 are still under medical observation. Eight of that group were shipped back to the Walter Reed Medical Center in the US for treatment, while the other nine are receiving treatment in Germany, per NBC News. The injuries came after Iran fired missiles at an Iraqi air base in retaliation for the US strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani.

The injury issue has been in the news because President Trump said in the immediate aftermath of the attack that no US troops were hurt. Then, after a Pentagon update said 11 troops had concussion-like injuries, Trump described them as “not very serious” and as “headaches,” adding, “No, I don’t consider them very serious injuries relative to other injuries that I’ve seen.” He compared them to troops who had lost limbs in roadside bombs. Of the 34 initially diagnosed, 16 are now back on active duty in Iraq.

Brain injuries are serious……it may be a long time before the final results are in….

Anyone making such a comment was never in the military and spent their time chasing skirts while others fought and died so they could be a coward.

After writing this draft more news has come to light…..the VFW weighs in on the “not serious” head injuries…..

The Veterans of Foreign Wars has demanded an apology from President Trump over recent comments in which he downplayed the seriousness of traumatic brain injuries suffered by American troops in an Iranian missile attack.

“The Veterans of Foreign Wars cannot stand idle on this matter,” William “Doc” Schmitz, VFW National Commander, said in a statement Friday, noting TBI is a serious injury known to cause depression, memory loss, severe headaches and other symptoms in the short and long-term.

“The VFW expects an apology from the president to our service men and women for his misguided remarks,” Schmitz added.

“And, we ask that he and the White House join with us in our efforts to educate Americans of the dangers TBI has on these heroes as they protect our great nation in these trying times. Our warriors require our full support more than ever in this challenging environment.”

https://taskandpurpose.com/vfw-demands-apology-from-trump-over-comments-calling-headaches

I Read, I Wrote, You KNow

“lego ergo scribo”

Professor’s Classroom

2007 was a good year for the Classroom…..I decided to go lightly on my players…..this one is simple as simple can get. Enjoy…..chuq

In Saner Thought

So it is Monday again and we are all here, well at least one of us, HA! Time to play the history game; if all will take out their writing instruments, paper and their brains, we will commence.

Name the only US standing governor to die from an assassins bullet. Who, when and where?

Many are asleep, but please take a moment to enlighten yourselves.

It has been fun; it has been real; but it has not been real fun!

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Psi Phi Society–2020 Winter Session

A new year and a new session of the Psi Phi (ΨΦ) Society…for those that do not know this has nothing to do the genre of SciFi…instead it is a group of academics that meet 4 times a year for a meal and some discussion on topics to be announced at the dinner.

Hard to believe it is Winter….we have had very little cold weather hardly any cool weather…..most temps have been in the 70s…low temps in the high 50s to high 60s…humidity about 94%…all in all just damn miserable for Winter.

Enough bitching ….onward…..

11 members of which 6 were in attendance…..the topic for discussion was America’s Obsession with guns….the draw was from the stainless  bed pan and we were given 30 minutes to prepare our positions…..but not before we had a great meal and a bit of schmoozing…..

My belief is that there needs to be an actual discussion not just finger pointing that we have had in the past 30 years…probably longer….

Gun violence is a uniquely American problem that has left the rest of the world scratching their heads over how a country could choose guns over the lives of its citizens. We have looked at various aspects of this issue and here are some of our top articles from this year. 

Hooked on Lead — Covering America’s Gun Obsession

“For the first time in more than 20 years, Congress could approve federal funding to study gun violence, which kills nearly 40,000 Americans each year. A House bill approved Tuesday includes $25 million for research, split evenly between the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Think about this……40,000 Americans die by gun violence every year…..

I am not optimistic with Congress in the lead……meetings, studies, and hearings and NOTHING will change…so we are back to finger pointing…..and more Americans will die.

After several hours of argument…..we decided to let it go (for now)….after a snifter of Cognac the meeting broke up and the Spring session will be announced at a later date.

Always a joy to see old friends and have a good debate something should be tried in our country these days instead of resorting to name calling and insults…..if only.

Our Spring session will be planned by the Chi Xi (χξ) Circle and will be announced at a later date.

“lego ergo scribo”

Senate Impeachment Trial–Day 5

Is it snowing in Hell?

I ask because the Senate will be in session for the impeachment trial of Trump on Saturday.

Today will be the start of the Trump’s team presentation….

  • Trump unhappy: The president tweeted Friday that he’s not thrilled with how the impeachment schedule has fallen. “After having been treated unbelievably unfairly in the House, and then having to endure hour after hour of lies, fraud & deception by Shifty Schiff, Cryin’ Chuck Schumer & their crew, looks like my lawyers will be forced to start on Saturday, which is called Death Valley in T.V.,” Trump wrote.
  • Short Saturday: This should help Trump’s concern about Saturday: That day’s session will be short, reports the Hill. It’s scheduled to begin at 10am and wrap up two hours later. The trial would then resume on Monday.

So what happened on Saturday—Day 5—of the impeachment drama?

Enter the defense. President Trump’s legal team, led by personal lawyer Jay Sekulow and White House counsel Pat Cipollone, gave a two-hour presentation Saturday morning against impeaching the president, the Washington Post reports. This after House managers, led by Rep. Adam Schiff, argued that Trump had abused his power and obstructed Congress over his dealings with Ukraine. Trump is accused of withholding military aid in return for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ordering an investigation into Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. Among highlights in the Senate presentation:

  • ‘Dangerous’: Out of the gate, Cipollone argued that removing Trump would be a “very, very dangerous” precedent for overturning an election. “They come here to the Senate, and they ask you to remove a president, tear up the ballots in all of your states, and they don’t bother to read the key evidence of the discussion of burden-sharing that’s in the call itself,” he said.
  • ‘Not a Real Call’: The team showed a video of Schiff embellishing on a rough transcript of Trump’s call to Zelensky. “That’s fake, that’s not the real call,” said White House deputy counsel Michael Purpura. (Schiff has said at separate times that he was either communicating the gist of Trump’s call or parodying it.)
  • Corruption’: Purpura said the July 25 call to Zelensky was “in line with the Trump administration’s legitimate concerns about corruption” in Ukraine. (Yet the word “corruption” never came up in the call, the Post notes.)
  • Quid pro quo: Purpura also argued that there was no quid pro quo in the call, per the New York Times. “There couldn’t possibly have been a quid pro quo because the Ukrainians didn’t know the security assistance was on hold” before Politico reported it, he said. “There can’t be a threat without the person knowing he’s being threatened.” (The quid pro quo argument hinges on a phrase Trump used in the call.)
  • Witnesses: Trump’s lawyers are also attacking witness testimony over the alleged quid pro quo, the Wall Street Journal reports. They showed video of Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland saying “presume” and “presumption” in regard to the claim.
  • Subpoenas: Deputy White House counsel Patrick Philbin defended the White House blockade against subpoenas for witnesses and documents, saying—among other things—that the House didn’t hold a full vote to launch the inquiry. “The subpoenas weren’t authorized because there was no vote or the subpoenas were to senior advisers to the president who are immune from congressional compulsion,” he said in part.
  • Whistleblower: Philbin also attacked the notion of building an impeachment case on an anonymous whistleblower, saying “you would want to find out something about the complainant that had started it all…” (But there’s an argument for keeping whistleblowers anonymous.)
  • Cough drops: Some senators looked weary Saturday, yawning, stretching, and blowing or wiping their noses. Sen. Michael Bennett (D-Colorado) was offered cough drops by Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
  • ‘Shredded’: Republicans praised the lawyers’ two-hour presentation, with several saying they had “shredded” the House case. “It took less than two hours to completely shred and eviscerate Adam Schiff’s failed case for impeachment,” said Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY).
  • Schiff disagrees: “They don’t contest the facts of Trump’s scheme,” he tweeted. “They’re trying to deflect, distract from, and distort the truth. And they are continuing to cover it up by blocking documents and witnesses.”
  • Sunday off: Trump’s defense will resume on Monday at 1pm EST.

Holy Crap!

I thought the Dems look silly at times….well they have nothing on the defense team for the president…..

This was a day of silly rhetoric….

Day 6 will continue on Monday…..

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I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Senate Impeachment Trial–Day 4

I apologize for the detour in my weekend posts but the impeachment trial is too important to ignore.  I hope that this does not spoil and otherwise calm weekend.

What seems like the “Never Ending Story” continues and we mere mortals are standing on the sidelines watching this farce of a legal proceeding.

Fidget spinners. Rule-breaking and evident boredom among senators is becoming a theme as the trial progresses. The New York Times reports that senators, who are supposed to sit and silently listen, have taken to wandering outside the chamber, often to the cloakrooms where their electronic devices are stores. At lunch, GOP Sen. Richard Burr handed out fidget spinners to his 52 colleagues.

Republicans don’t want a speedy acquittal. Politico reports that while most Senate Republicans are ready to acquit Trump, they would prefer Trump’s lawyers to offer a substantial, fact-based defense instead of “phoning it in.” “The president’s team … has never presented its case since it did not do so in the House,” says GOP Sen. Susan Collins, who is considered one of the few possible swing votes.

I agree with Chris Hayes on these proceedings……

“Most of those people have other jobs they have to take leave from,” he exclaimed. “If the trial goes for a long time, often they don’t collect their paycheck from that and are given a meager amount of money relative to what some of those people might make.” “These peoples’ jobs is to do this,” Hayes continued. “This is literally their job. If you find it too annoying or frustrating or uncomfortable to sit for eight hours and listen, you can resign tomorrow and go get another job!”

I agree for if I acted like these immature twats in the Senate while serving on a jury I would be held in contempt and gone to jail to think about my attitude….time to teach these Senators that their actions are insulting to the laws of this nation then laws they swore to uphold and protect.

Sorry I needed to get that off my chest.

Day 4 proceedings in the US Senate…….but first a little observations……

Democratic House impeachment managers are in their final day of arguments against President Trump. Friday’s focus: obstruction of justice. The impeachment managers are asserting that Trump withheld crucial documents and blocked the testimony of top White House officials, reports the Wall Street Journal. “The president tried to cheat,” said impeachment manager Rep. Hakeem Jeffries at the start of Friday’s session, per CNN. “He got caught, and then he worked hard to cover it up.” As for the delay in US aid to Ukraine at the heart of the controversy: “The $391 million in security aid was only released because President Trump was caught red-handed,” said Jeffries. Related:

  • Invoking McCain: Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff put the case-to-impeach this way: “If someone sacrifices the national interest in favor of his own and is not removed from office, our democracy is in jeopardy. It’s just that simple.” He also invoked the late John McCain, who said in 2014 after a Russian incursion into Ukraine: “We are all Ukrainians.” He said McCain “advised that this is a chess match reminiscent of the Cold War, and we need to realize that and act accordingly,” Schiff said, per the Washington Post. “He was, of course, absolutely right.” He also played a video clip of McCain extolling the beauty and importance of that country, notes Politico.

Witness protection: Trump’s effort to obstruct justice reached witnesses in the House investigation, Rep. Val Demings told the Senate. She brought up his tweet about Marie Yovanovitch, former ambassador to Ukraine, during her testimony and showed video of his attacks on others. It adds up to witness intimidation, she said, per the Post. “We must not condone President Trump’s attacks on whistleblowers and witnesses,” Demings said.

Trump unhappy: The president tweeted Friday that he’s not thrilled with how the impeachment schedule has fallen. “After having been treated unbelievably unfairly in the House, and then having to endure hour after hour of lies, fraud & deception by Shifty Schiff, Cryin’ Chuck Schumer & their crew, looks like my lawyers will be forced to start on Saturday, which is called Death Valley in T.V.,” Trump wrote.

Short Saturday: This should help Trump’s concern about Saturday: That day’s session will be short, reports the Hill. It’s scheduled to begin at 10am and wrap up two hours later. The trial would then resume on Monday.

Watch Lamar: Senators won’t decide on whether to call witnesses until after opening arguments, and it all hinges on whether Democrats can get four Republicans to vote with them. Politico reports that GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee is the key vote. Three other senators already have voiced some degree of support about witnesses, and Alexander, who is retiring this year, could be the deciding factor.

Believe it or not….but the Senate will do something they rarely do….work on Saturday.

Day 5 coming up!

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”