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”

Ban The Books!

Closing Thought–24Jan20

First I wish my mother a Happy Birthday…she would have been 99 today….I miss you Mom!

I was never told what I could read by my parents so I have a real problem with the government in any shade that wants to do what my parents never did.

I bring this up because of some ruling in Missouri…..

The bill was introduced earlier this month by Missouri state Rep. Ben Baker (R), who has argued that the measure is meant to protect children when they visit their public libraries.

“The main thing is I want to be able to take my kids to a library and make sure they’re in a safe environment, and that they’re not gonna be exposed to something that is objectionable material,” Baker told local news station KOAM. “Unfortunately, there are some libraries in the state of Missouri that have done this. And that’s a problem.”

The bill would ban libraries that receive state funding from allowing minors access to “age-inappropriate sexual material.” To identify what that content is, the bill would include the creation of “parental library review boards” made up of five locally elected community members. The boards would then review what content it considers appropriate.

https://thehill.com/homenews/news/478518-missouri-bill-proposes-parental-library-review-boards-that-could-land

Seriously?

Keep this stuff out of the hands of children?

Has this yahoo ever heard of social media?

This is just ignorance in government.

Read it again……

Under the Parental Oversight of Public Libraries Act (H.B. 2044), locally elected “parental library review boards” would be permitted to unilaterally remove books they decide are sexually explicit or otherwise inappropriate for young readers from library shelves. 

Libraries that allow children to borrow books that have been banned or whose access has been restricted would risk losing state funding, and librarians could be ordered to pay fines of up to $500 or sentenced to jail time for up to a year. 

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/01/16/right-wing-review-boards-missouri-would-pave-way-arresting-librarians-over-books

I just find this amazing……this from a party that hates the “Nanny State” and yet wants to be the same beast it rails against.

Hypocrites each and every one.

Ignorance in government should be a crime!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Senate Impeachment Trial–Day 3

The drama continues…..theatrics abounds…..and mind numbing yada yada…….but someone must take it upon needs to report the soul sucking saga…..

Day Three and nothing has really changed in the attitudes of the belligerents…..it is still a tragedy in many parts……

Day 3 of President Trump’s impeachment trial is underway, and Democratic impeachment managers plan to focus much of the day’s arguments on the abuse-of-power allegation against the president, reports the Hill. “The Constitution is not a suicide pact,” said one of those managers, Rep. Jerry Nadler. It “does not leave us stuck with presidents who abuse their power in unforeseen ways that threaten our security and democracy.” Coverage:

  • Early slam: Nadler told senators that Trump’s conduct “puts even Richard Nixon to shame,” reports Politico. “This conduct is not ‘America First,’” he said, a nod to Trump’s campaign slogan. “This conduct is Donald Trump first.”
  • About-face? Nadler also sought to use Trump attorney Alan Dershowitz’s own words against him, reports the Washington Post. He played a video of Dershowitz in 1998 speaking about the Bill Clinton impeachment and asserting that no crime was necessary to impeach. “It certainly doesn’t have to be a crime if you have somebody who completely corrupts the office of president and who abuses trust and poses great danger to our liberty,” said Dershowitz, who has since changed his view. (Dershowitz was grilled about this by Anderson Cooper.) Nadler made similar points about previous comments by Lindsey Graham and Attorney General Barr.
  • Defending Biden: Rep. Sylvia Garcia, another of the impeachment managers, defended Joe Biden’s actions toward Ukraine when he was vice president. “The allegations against Biden are completely groundless,” Garcia said, referring to Biden’s efforts to get Ukraine’s prosecutor general ousted because of corruption allegations. Biden’s actions were in sync with US policy, unlike Trump’s, she said. Republicans say Biden was trying to protect his son.
  • Rand’s doodle: Rand Paul spent the early part of the day doodling an image of the US Capitol, notes the New York Times. But then Garcia played a video clip of State Department official George Kent being asked whether Republicans such as Paul believed that what Biden did is the same as what Trump did. “Looking up from his doodle, Mr. Paul smiled and raised a fist with his index finger extended, as if to say, ‘Yes!'” per the Times. “Then, when Mr. Kent answered by saying that what Mr. Biden did was very different than what Mr. Trump did, Mr. Paul lowered his arm.”
  • Graham’s timing: Nadler rolled out a video clip of Graham speaking years ago as one of Clinton’s impeachment managers. “What’s a high crime?” he asked then. “How about an important person hurts someone of low means? It’s not very scholarly but I think it’s the truth.” However, Graham wasn’t actually in his seat when the clip came out because he had left the chamber. Politico suspects he knew the video was coming. On his return, fellow Republican Ben Sasse whispered something to him and Graham chuckled.
  • Hacking theory: Lead impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff said a “completely bogus” theory often cited by Trump that Ukraine, not Russia, hacked the 2016 election actually came from the Kremlin. He also noted speculation that Trump was heavily swayed by Rudy Giuliani. “You can say a lot of things about President Trump, but he is not led by the nose by Rudy Giuliani.”
  • Short Saturday: It looks like the Senate will opt for a short Saturday session that begins early and wraps up in the morning, reports CNN. The plan isn’t finalized yet, but few senators are expected to object—especially the Democrats running for president who might hightail it for Iowa. No session will be held on Sunday.

I realize that few are actually reading this analyses….but there may be some that actually care about the ramifications of these accusations…..I do this for them.

Day 3 came to an end…..but not mercifully.

Sadly to me it looks like a mockery in process……https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/23/a-cesspool-of-constitutional-nonsense-impeachment-in-the-senate/

I will return for the analysis of Day 4…….

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–22Jan20

I live in Mississippi and from time I write about to doings in my state….I do not write much for I do not think that too many are interested in the policies and events in Mississippi

But since a good portion of the population of my state is in prison or have been in jail…I read an article about the so-called “restitution program”…..

Debtors’ prison may sound like a concept from another century. But the Marshall Project asserts that Mississippi is running a court-ordered restitution program that is essentially the same thing. The investigation found that judges sentence hundreds of people a year to one of four “restitution centers” around the state. There they must live while they work off court-ordered debts, including fees, fines, and restitution to victims. One big problem is that most of the workers have low-paying jobs, making their stays at the centers open-ended. And “centers” might be overstating things. One is described as a motel-turned-jail that is surrounded by razor wire. The residents sleep on prison-issued mattresses, eat the same food as inmates, and generally have the same restrictions.

“We don’t know of any other states that have a program quite like Mississippi’s,” says Sharon Brett of Harvard’s Criminal Justice Policy Program. The story by Anna Wolfe and Michelle Liu also includes this quote from Cliff Johnson of the MacArthur Justice Center at the University of Mississippi. “Debtors’ prisons are an effective way of collecting money—as is kidnapping. But there are constitutional, public policy and moral barriers to such a regime.” The program has its defenders, including a judge who says it’s better than sending people to regular prison. One woman who went through it isn’t so sure. Annita Husband ended up escaping from her center. When caught, she went to prison for 10 months, about half as long as she would have spent at the center had she stayed and paid off the debt under its system.

I have thought that it was beyond time for reform in our penal systems and programs…..like why is there little training offered or educational programs?

While writing this draft more news about Mississippi penal system came to light……

Two inmates were beaten to death in a fight with other inmates in an understaffed Mississippi prison that has been shaken by other deadly violence in recent weeks, a coroner said. The state Department of Corrections on Tuesday confirmed the men died at Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman and said officials are investigating, the AP reports. “Both victims appear to have died from blunt force beating injuries,” said Sunflower County Coroner Heather Burton. The department originally said the inmates died Monday night, but Burton later clarified that they died early Tuesday. Department spokeswoman Grace Simmons Fisher said the injuries occurred late Monday as the two inmates fought with other prisoners. “At this moment, it appears to be an isolated incident—not a continuation of the recent retaliatory killings,” the Department of Corrections said Tuesday.

Violence is a recurring problem in Mississippi prisons, where many jobs for guards are unfilled. Five inmates were killed and an undisclosed number of others inmates were injured during an outbreak of violence in Mississippi’s prison system between Dec. 29 and Jan. 3. Three of those five deaths were at Parchman. In addition to those deaths and the two on Tuesday, another inmate was found hanging in his cell Saturday night at Parchman. Burton said she was called Sunday to the prison, where Gabriel Carmen was found hanging the night before. She said corrections officials reported he had been irate and throwing feces before his death. An autopsy was being done. Prison officials said Carmen’s cell lock had been jammed from inside the cell. One of the inmates who died Tuesday was Timothy Hudspeth, 35, who was serving a 10-year sentence for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The name of the other inmate was not immediately released because a chaplain was trying to reach his family.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

More Important Than The Trial

Closing Thought–21Jan20

The country is laser focused on the Senate impeachment trial but there are events that should be more important…why?

The trial will be a silly exercise in the absurd.

One of the “Rights” we have is the right to vote for who we like or better yet as a citizen I have the right to vote without worry…..

Back in the old Jim Crow days in the South Blacks had to pay a “poll tax” to vote….or they we not allowed to exercise a right……but thankfully those days are gone…..not so FAST!

Florida’s state Supreme Court on Thursday ruled in favor of denying convicted felons the right to vote if they do not pay fines and fees associated with their incarceration, a decision that was immediately assailed by rights activists as an unconstitutional and immoral poll tax.

In a statement condemning the ruling (pdf), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), ACLU of Florida, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund said the ruling “does not—indeed, cannot—alter what the U.S. Constitution requires.”

“A federal court has already held that the state cannot deny people the right to vote because of their inability to pay financial obligations,” the groups said in their statement. 

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/01/16/its-2020-and-floridas-supreme-court-just-ruled-favor-poll-tax

This is sick!

Trying to eliminate people from voting……

This will probably go to the US Supreme Court…as it should,,,,but I have NO confidence that this will be struck down by a mostly conservative court.

If not then this idea will spread throughout the South especially…..and the areas the the GOP has successfully purged voters from the rolls.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

War–Invest Your Children

There is an old saying….”Old men start wars and young men fight them”……and then Sartre said “when the rich wage war it is the poor that die”……”War settles nothing!”

There has been a lot of reports about the possibility of a new war for us Americans to fight and die.

I see the warmongers thumping their chest in wild blood lust…and yet as many wars as we are fighting today I see very little of people in opposition to war.

The young should be listening to all the war rhetoric and listening closely…..for they will be called upon to fight the “good fight”….

America’s forever wars and their fallout over these last 18 years have been hell for kids. Just ask Ismail or any of the other 56 wounded children who survived an August 2018 attack on their school bus in northern Yemen by Saudi planes armed with American weaponry. Of course, you can’t ask the perhaps 40 children who died, thanks to a single 500-pound laser-guided MK 82 bomb made by Lockheed Martin. And that was just one example of the way, in these years, war has torn the lives of children apart across the Greater Middle East.

Take, for example, Iraqi children in a country remade (or, more accurately, devastated) by the U.S. invasion of 2003 and everything that followed from it, including the ISIS takeover of major Iraqi cities in 2014. By 2016, UNICEF reported that “one in every five children in Iraq is at serious risk of death, injury, sexual violence, and recruitment into armed groups.” That was 3.6 million children (a jump of 1.3 million in 18 months). And if you make your focus larger still, UNICEF recently reported that, thanks to largely war-induced humanitarian crises across the Middle East and northern Africa, 32 million children need assistance, 5.8 million of whom are refugees.

How War Targets the Young

I have written about the shortcomings in our volunteer military……the young needs to pay attention…..

Show me a better deal for the common person,” he said.

Soldiers like him are increasingly making the United States military a family business. The men and women who sign up overwhelmingly come from counties in the South and a scattering of communities at the gates of military bases like Colorado Springs, which sits next to Fort Carson and several Air Force installations, and where the tradition of military service is deeply ingrained.

More and more, new recruits are the children of old recruits. In 2019, 79 percent of Army recruits reported having a family member who served. For nearly 30 percent, it was a parent — a striking point in a nation where less than 1 percent of the population serves in the military.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/who-signs-up-to-fight-makeup-of-us-recruits-shows-glaring-disparity/ar-BBYQ89L

Here’s a thought for Millennials……pay attention and you will not be surprised…..but I guess for that to sink in I need to be on some sort of social media and have no life…..

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–20Jan20

As the nation awaits the start of the Senate Trial…..how about a little humor to lessen the pain of the impeachment wait?

We think that our politicians are bold when they have a heated argument with an opponent or a voter….but these are very mild compared to the rest of the world…..

These are clips from around the world and the differences of opinion and how they are resolved…..

Parliaments around the world communicate dissent in various ways. In some cases, yelling is enough. Elsewhere, ministers express themselves with fistfights, kicking, elbowing, gouging eyes, spraying tear gas, and throwing things (including eggs, chairs, microphones…). 

In Jordan, after a heated debate, one MP wanted to shoot another but was not allowed to bring his AK-47 into the parliamentary chambers. (And he, or perhaps someone else, seems to be wielding a knife.) He was ordered out into the hall, where he fired a shot, the noise of which interrupted a speech. 

Well, there are limits to what will be tolerated. As shown in the video below, an emergency meeting was held, after which one member announced, “Some are suggesting to sack the member of parliament who did that.”

Violence in the US Congress was once fairly common, as a recent book documents. If the political culture grows any more polarized, could it return? 

House of Pain: Watch Crazy Parliament Fights From Around the World

Watch all the short clips…they are wonderful.

Now that is how we should be settling our opposition…..a good fist and the winner takes the day in politics.

Maybe extend it to international situations…..leaders of the two countries meet in a neutral area and have a 3 round fist fight…..the winner is declared by a panel of neutral judges or a knock out….the winning side gets the dispute settled in their favor.

Pretty simple and straight forward….this is a violent world we live then use that violence to settle disputes….other tan killing each other.

Just a thought!

“lego ergo scribo”