Opinion: It’s Been A Year

 Opinion: It’s Been A Year

By George Smith  — January 17, 2022

It’s been a year since Joe Biden took the oath of office to become the 46th president of the United States.

It has been a horrendous year for the president, the nation, the world.

Covid won’t retreat. Russia is rattling sabers. The Democrats Party is strangling itself with internal conflict. The GOP is manipulating the absolute right to vote for every citizen. Vice President Kamala Harris is AWOL and most people could care less. Biden’s cornerstone policy changes in voter registration and laws, and filibuster reform seem to be spectral fantasies.

Inflation is whooooo-high: Gas prices climbing; a single tamale at a taqueria can run $3.25; you can see the back of an abundance of grocery shelves; prices across the board continue to climb.

 It is a sucker bet that the Republicans will regain control of Congress at November’s midterm elections.

To put it succinctly: President Biden is a lame duck president with 1,095.75 days left in his presidency.

It is not an overstatement that our democracy is in peril. The most divided national populous in 160-plus years is simmering and seems ready to implode.

The causes are apparent: Stress over the pandemic, an inept administration which displayed great promise and vision but had no viable game plan to execute necessary strategy; a worn-out leader who could not hark back to his younger days and build fences; cabinet members with bad public policy ideas, inexperience in their bureaucratic arena of interest…or both; partisan politicos of both parties more interested in personal programs and maintaining power than in ensuring the future of America.

Bottom line: Same old, same old. The only thing certain is this downward  spiral of democracy that what we are experiencing today will get worse before it gets better.

And, here’s hoping that better days are ahead. Because what we, as individuals, as a nation, as a global community, are going through now quite simply … sucks.

For positive change to occur, the words and actions of calm patriots must prevail and our leaders must embrace the true ideals of democracy.

All the average citizen can do at this point is pray.

Prayer can’t hurt at a time when the United States needs a true and lasting miracle.

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Capitol Police Reportedly Feared Gohmert

Government – January 9, 2022

from  The Huffington Post

Capitol Police Reportedly Feared Rep. Louie Gohmert’s Election Rant Could Spark Violence

“In effect … you gotta go to the streets and be as violent as antifa” and Black Lives Matter, the Texas Republican said on Newsmax days before the Jan. 6 riot.

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Days before the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, an assessment by U.S. Capitol Police analysts highlighted heated remarks by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) as potentially encouraging violence over Donald Trump’s presidential election defeat, Politico reported.

The analysts noted in a Jan. 3, 2021, report obtained by Politico that Gohmert said on “pro-Trump news network Newsmax” two days earlier that “letting the will of the voters stand would ‘mean the end of our republic, the end of the experiment in self-government.’”

He then “seemed to encourage violence as a means to this end,” the intelligence report noted, according to Politico.

“Bottom line is, the court is saying, ‘We’re not going to touch this,’” said Gohmert, referring to his failed suit to challenge the 2020 presidential election results, which Trump claimed were rigged. “You have no remedy ― basically, in effect, the ruling would be that you gotta go to the streets and be as violent” as antifa, the catch-all name given to anti-fascist counterprotesters, and the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Republicans’ Jan. 6 Responsibility

Republicans’ Jan. 6 Responsibility

From the Wall Street Journal

The GOP has a duty to condemn the riot and those who refuse to acknowledge it.

By Carl Rove

We’re in an acrimonious period of partisan tribalism and have been for some time. Both parties are guilty of overwrought denunciations of their political opponents. My criticisms are often aimed at Democrats; on the anniversary of Jan. 6, I’m addressing squarely those Republicans who for a year have excused the actions of the rioters who stormed the Capitol, disrupted Congress as it received the Electoral College’s results, and violently attempted to overturn the election.

These apologists say those who stormed the Capitol were innocent patriots, tourists visiting the seat of the national government to petition their elected representatives peacefully. We’re told that these harmless, ordinary Americans are being persecuted as political prisoners.

Let’s stipulate that while the thousands who went to the Capitol a year ago were wrong to insist the election was stolen, most weren’t violent as they exercised their First Amendment rights to gather peacefully on the Mall—just as I had seen liberals gather to protest both inaugurations of President George W. Bush.

But last year there were several thousand protesters willing to use force to disrupt Congress in its constitutional duty to receive and certify the electoral vote. Some went to Washington with that purpose in mind. Others were swept up in the moment’s savagery, led astray by stronger wills with dangerous motives.

The leaders of this group were intent on committing violence, some having planned to do so for weeks. Many wore tactical gear. Some came armed with chemical agents, flagpoles, batons and sticks. They broke through barricades and assaulted approximately 140 police officers, in some cases with an officer’s own shield or gear. They smashed doors and windows, illegally entered the Capitol, ransacked offices and searched for leaders of Congress, and made dire threats about what would happen if they found them.

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Opinion: An attempted coup, so what?

 Opinion: An attempted coup, so what?

By George Smith  — January 6, 2022

Yeah, it was pretty much an attempted coup, so what?

One year ago today, an unruly mob of mush-brained followers of DonaldTrump held a “pull my finger” type of insurrection to halt the constitutionally ordained counting of ballots following a presidential election. The day was supposed to represent the tradition and symbolic peaceful transfer of power from the seating president To the new occupant of the Oval Office.

Instead, what the nation, the world, witnessed was a mutinous mob of inglorious vigilantes attacking police officers, smashing their way into the Capitol, and causing more than $1 million in damages, which culminated in the deaths of five people.

Egged on by the volatile atmosphere created by the lies of the president, his key supporters and certain news commentators, the crowd wanted blood…and they got it.

Their intended targets of Vice President Mike Pence, who affirmed Joe Biden as the elected president, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, along with all senators and representatives, were spirited to safety as the mob broke into the nation’s center of government.

That did not stop the Neanderthal knee-breakers from busting doors and windows, battering their way into congressional offices and stealing souvenirs. Mob mentality ruled and law officers were beaten and battered; one invader was killed by a bullet fired by a police officer as she was climbing through a broken window; others died of injuries sustained in the melee.

For hours as the mob raced from area to area in the Capitol, the president was glued to his television, watching his supporters “beard the lion in its den.” As he dithered deciding whether or not to ask his supporters not to end democracy, the world was collectively glued to mews channels and thinking they were watching a rerun of the “Princess Bride” or “Robin Hood” scene with peasants storming the castle.

Before the Trumpuppets descended on the Capitol Trump urged them to “… fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,”

In the end, after a series of deaths and elected officials in lockdown in Capitol hidey-holes, Trump went against his normal if-it-ain’t-making-me-money-kill-it reaction and told the insurrectionists to stop the nonsense.

Sort of.

After telling them via video to go home in peace, he added, “We love you.”

Trump loves insurrectionists. Wow! That was a shock.

Just like Dec. 7, 1941 and Sept.11, 2001, Jan. 6, 2020 is now and for always will be a “thing”, a date we will all remember…no matter how hard we try and erase it from our memories.





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Trump Booed By Supporters

Newsweek

Trump’s supporters booed and jeered when he revealed he got a booster shot and is pro-vaccination.

Trump’s supporters booed at an event Sunday when he announced he’d gotten the COVID-19 booster shot.

The audience cheered when Trump said he was opposed to vaccine mandates.

But the reaction changed when Trump and Bill O’Reilly said they were vaccinated and had boosters.

Supporters of former President Donald Trump booed and jeered when he announced on Sunday that he had received a COVID-19 booster shot and was in favor of the vaccine.

Trump made the comments during an appearance on the former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly’s “History Tour.” Newsweek first reported on the remarks.

At the event, Trump noted that the COVID-19 vaccine was developed under his administration as part of Operation Warp Speed. “Look, we did something that was historic, we saved tens of millions of lives worldwide when we, together, all of us, we got a vaccine done,” Trump said.

“This was going to ravage the country far beyond what it is right now. Take credit for it,” Trump said, adding later: “It’s great. What we’ve done is historic. Don’t let them take it away.”

The former president drew cheers from the crowd when he said that he was opposed to vaccine mandates, adding, “If you don’t want to take it, you shouldn’t be forced to take it. No mandates.”

But the crowd’s reaction shifted when Trump and O’Reilly revealed they were both vaccinated and had gotten booster shots.

According to Newsweek, after O’Reilly told the audience that he and Trump were vaccinated, he asked Trump if he received a booster shot, to which Trump replied, “Yes.”

“I got it, too,” O’Reilly said.

Newsweek reported that the crowd then started booing Trump and that he had to tamp down the audience’s reaction which appeared to be coming from one side of the arena.

“Don’t, don’t, don’t,” Trump said. “That’s all right. It’s a very tiny group up there.”

Trump’s comments over the weekend came a few months after he told reporters that he would not be getting a booster shot.

“I feel like I’m in good shape from that standpoint — I probably won’t” get one, he told The Wall Street Journal in a September interview. Later he added, “I’m not against it, but it’s probably not for me.”

Trump has repeatedly sent mixed messages about the COVID-19 vaccine to his base, a big chunk of which remains reluctant to get the shot.

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Opinion: Unintended Coincidences

The Hill

Editor comment: 

Sometimes laws have unintended coincidences. Texas’ overly restrictive abortion law might just be one of laws.

Law experts have suggested that the clever “vigilante justice” part of the Texas law, if Constitutional, might be used by other special interest groups to accomplish very different goals.

Reports say that the conservative justices on the Supreme Court are concerned about the unintended coincidences of finding the Texas law constitutional.

It looks like other states are already working to use the Texas law to their benefit.

California governor to use Texas abortion law tactics to target assault rifles

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is looking to use a tactic from Texas’s controversial abortion law to target assault rifle sales in the Golden State.

Newsom on Saturday said he directed his staff to collaborate with the legislature and attorney general to draft a bill that would allow private citizens to file lawsuits for at least $10,000 “against anyone who manufactures, distributes, or sells an assault weapon or ghost gun kit or parts in the State of California.”

“If the most efficient way to keep these devastating weapons off our streets is to add the threat of private lawsuits, we should do just that,” he added in a statement.

California has had a ban in place on the manufacture and sale of specific assault-style weapons, The Associated Press noted, adding that a federal judge overturned the ban in June, ruling that the law was unconstitutional.

The state is appealing the judge’s ruling, in which he likened an AR-15 rifle to a Swiss Army knife, claiming the former is “good for both home and battle,” according to the AP.

Newsom’s announcement followed a ruling from the Supreme Court on Friday that allows Texas’s controversial abortion law to remain in place. The policy prohibits abortions from being performed after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which could occur as early as six weeks — before many women know they are pregnant.

The law also empowers private citizens to file lawsuits against individuals who perform, aid or abet an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

The Supreme Court in its ruling also said abortion providers can pursue a federal lawsuit challenging the law.

The California governor on Saturday said he was “outraged” by the Supreme Court’s decision.

“If states can now shield their laws from review by the federal courts that compare assault weapons to Swiss Army Knives, then California will use that authority to protect people’s lives, where Texas used it to put women in harm’s way,” he said.

“If that’s the precedent then we’ll let Californians sue those who put ghost guns and assault weapons on our streets,” Newsom said in a separate tweet on Saturday, referring to the Supreme Court’s decision to let the law stand.

California has had a ban in place on the manufacture and sale of specific assault-style weapons, The Associated Press noted, adding that a federal judge overturned the ban in June, ruling that the law was unconstitutional.

The state is appealing the judge’s ruling, in which he likened an AR-15 rifle to a Swiss Army knife, claiming the former is “good for both home and battle,” according to the AP.

Newsom’s announcement followed a ruling from the Supreme Court on Friday that allows Texas’s controversial abortion law to remain in place. The policy prohibits abortions from being performed after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which could occur as early as six weeks — before many women know they are pregnant.

The law also empowers private citizens to file lawsuits against individuals who perform, aid or abet an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

The Supreme Court in its ruling also said abortion providers can pursue a federal lawsuit challenging the law.

The California governor on Saturday said he was “outraged” by the Supreme Court’s decision.

“If states can now shield their laws from review by the federal courts that compare assault weapons to Swiss Army Knives, then California will use that authority to protect people’s lives, where Texas used it to put women in harm’s way,” he said.

“If that’s the precedent then we’ll let Californians sue those who put ghost guns and assault weapons on our streets,” Newsom said in a separate tweet on Saturday, referring to the Supreme Court’s decision to let the law stand.

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Opinion: A series of questions

By George Smith  — December 12, 2021

A series of questions, poignant, ponderous ones, are flashing through my brainpan on this brilliant Sunday.

— Is the fiber of a revolution being woven in this country right this minute?

— Was the January 6, 2021 attack in the U.S. Capitol, designed to prevent the approval of the electoral votes for president (resulting in the death of five citizens) just a prelude to an all-out assault on democracy?

— Would the rightest of right-wingers, loyalists in the Army of Trump, actually take up arms in a systematic insurrection to overthrow our democratic republic?

There is little doubt the philosophical and political differences in this country are more severe than at any time in our history since the Civil War.

Yes, there were massive divides during the civil rights era, and the Vietnam War was fervently argued along generational lines.

But, now, today, feels different, is different.

Donald Trump’s campaigns and one-term presidency corrupted, abused and set on fire virtually every single hot button issue in America: race, religion, voting rights, education, gun laws, global alliances, abortion.

With Trump and his loyalists, everything was black and white, good or bad, righteous or evil.

With no gray areas permitted, the lines for verbal combat were clearly drawn; no middle ground existed, losers were kicked to the curb.

The chance for a meaningful dialogue about the benefits or negatives of any issue was lost as the far left forces and those with extreme right views dismissed anyone who chose to remain neutral or even want to consider options for compromise.

As the right hardened their positions on issues, the liberals felt compelled to harden their stances – no give, all take expected. When Democrats took over all three branches of government in 2020, instead of trying  to work on a government enveloped in compromise, they doubled down on the power they held, further widening the abyss.

It’s not going to stop, you know, this division. It’s only going to get worse.

There’s a good chance the Republicans will regain control of either the House or Senate or both in 2022.

If that happens, political hell is forecast with no light seen in the foreseeable future.

It’s a sad commentary, to think of the future with constantly combative political parties constantly fighting for power with the singular purpose of rubbing the noses of the other party’s elected officials in the dirt especially reserved for losers.

Where does it end? When do we, the citizens who rely on elected officials, start to matter again? When will the needs of the country come first, ahead of the naked grasp for power, retribution, and revenge for past sins, perceived or real by the so-called winners of elections?

Americans, all Americans, should demand a return to government by compromise and demand our elected representatives start acting like they care about this country and are not slaves to any party or any party leader.

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Opinion: Stupid-stewped-stoopid Headline

 Opinion: Stupid-stewped-stoopid Headline of the Day:

By George Smith  — December 11, 2021

“The US House Jan 6 Probe is WITCH HUNT 3.0”

Right-wing social media sites, posing as “news outlets”, have no shame, no sense of decency, answering only the clarion call of the Money God and its acolyte twins Political Pabulum and Laughable BS.

Jan. 6 happened. It’s a fact that a domestic terrorist mob tried to kidnap democracy by denying constitutional due process in the peaceful transfer of power from one president to another.

Labeling it anything other than a full-fledged, orchestrated insurrection strains credibility past the breaking point.

Former President Donald Trump did not invent the term “witch hunt”. He did, however, stake claim to its use way back in 2015 and has sprinkled it liberally in every rambling speech he ever gave since.

The term has become synonymous with Trump’s tenure and even with the man himself. In our thoughts, “Donald Trump” is usually followed by “witch hunt”, despite the fact that most of his witchiest-huntable moments are all-too-true.

It makes little difference to the Trumpuppet Corps, who disbelieve their own eyes and ears to pay homage to their personal cult leader, The Prophet Trump. If he says the insurrection was a meeting of “like-minded patriots wanting to see the workings of government up close and person,” then so be it.

These fools, as Brian Willians said last night in his retirement address, have “…decided to burn it all down – with us inside”.

For shame.

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Opinion: You guys okay?

 

By George Smith  — November 24, 2021

Texas First District Congressman Louie Gohmert is quitting his one-act “One Truck Pony” gig to run for state attorney general.

Gohmert is famous, you know. Google “dumbest congressman” — just those two words — and seven of top eight returns are about Gohmert.

With headlines like “The Dumbest Guy in Congress Asks U.S. Forest Service If It Can Change Moon’s Orbit”, and “Lincoln Project Co-Founder Calls Republican Louie Gohmert ‘America’s Craziest and Dumbest Congressman’”, it’s hard to think of a suitable runner-up for the coveted Dim Bulb Trophy. Well, it’s not really hard… just that the list is so darn long.

Gohmert raided $1 million in 10 days to reach the goal he says it would to put him in the race.

Ken Paxton and Louie Gohmert in the GOP primary for attorney general. YeeeeeeeHAAAAAAAW!

Watch out for flying field fritters. Texans are going to be dodging slung mud, well, not mud, but the same color and texture, for the next year.

Weather forecast: Heavy bluster-storms throughout the race with predictable cloudbursts of lies.

Votes can assume the absence of truth from both candidates followed by broken arms from patting themselves on the back.

It’s rumored the GOPers are even going to share a campaign song:

Trump cried dem dim bulbs
Trump cried dem dim bulbs
Now I hear the word of Trump

Dem bulbs
Dem bulbs
Dem dim bulbs

It’s going be he a long, long year with two candidates with common big-hat-no-cattle personas, try to out-dumb each other in the campaign trail.

Saddle up, Texans. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

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Opinion: Start Scratching

 

By George Smith  — November 15, 2021

Just so we’re clear on where I stand on this issue (as if it really matters WHERE I stand), Kamala Harris will never be president of the U.S. Neither will Pete Buttigieg.

The Dems need to start scratching the grassroots and harvesting the next generation of  party all stars because the current crop of Me Nexters will not get the job done.

From Day 1 VP Harris needed to be visibly competent in everything she was assigned or touched. It’s hard to do that if you are invisible, a role she has embraced for some reason.

Mayor Pete? If you believe his sexual orientation should not matter in being elected to the nation’s highest office…you are correct in your belief. But that belief is not reality-based in 2021, or for the foreseeable future.

2022? Look for the Senate to revert to GOP control; the final count in the House will be close, but could easily go back to being The House That Pelosi Razed.

Where is that Savior of Dems the party sourly needs?

Texas’ Beto O’Roarke could fill that bill…he just announced for Texas governor, and he needs to knock off Atilla the Hun’s step-brother who is so far right-wing he rolls in circles, and works hard for two years to put a reality-based boot print on the Lone Star State.

Every day that passes without action from the Democrats puts this country closer to a return to Trumpenomics.

That, the country cannot survive.

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