Observations Along the Road

Theatre Writeups, Musings on the News, Rants and Roadkill Along the Information Superhighway

Category Archive: 'rant'

Where The Buck Should Stop

Written By: cahwyguy - Tue Feb 28, 2017 @ 3:04 pm PDT

userpic=trumpOne of the big distractions in the news this week, other than how Kellyanne Conway sits on a sofa, has been the fiasco with Best Picture at the Oscars. I’ve already shared my thoughts on why this happened; instead, I’d like to look at what PWC did immediately afterwards: they accepted responsibility. That is the mark of a responsible CEO and business leader. When their business screws up, as the leader at the top of the food chain, they accept responsibility for the action, and clearly state they will find the cause and correct the system so it doesn’t happen again. I’m sure you can think of numerous examples (one of the best known). With respect to government this principle is clear, and it goes back to Harry S. Truman, who had the sign on his desk: “The Buck Stops Here.”

President Trump was supposedly elected because of his experience in business and as a CEO. One would think he would have learned this.

Obviously, one would be thinking wrong.

Just this week, there have been three egregious instances where President Trump has blamed anyone but himself or his administration for problems in the country:

The President is a leader — someone who leads in words and by example. Mr. Trump is failing to do that. Update: He started his speech tonight by condemning the antisemitic violence — which is good.

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A War Not Fought By Soldiers

Written By: cahwyguy - Tue Feb 28, 2017 @ 7:57 am PDT

According to Donald Trump, we’re in a war. But this is not the war against ISIS; it is not the war against terrorism. But it is a war for the soul of America.

Let me explain. An article in the LA Times this morning had the headline: “The real goal of Trump’s executive orders: Reduce the number of immigrants in the U.S.” Why does Trump want to do this? Here’s how the article starts:

Behind President Trump’s efforts to step up deportations and block travel from seven mostly Muslim countries lies a goal that reaches far beyond any immediate terrorism threat: a desire to reshape American demographics for the long term and keep out people who Trump and senior aides believe will not assimilate.

In pursuit of that goal, Trump in his first weeks in office has launched the most dramatic effort in decades to reduce the country’s foreign-born population and set in motion what could become a generational shift in the ethnic makeup of the U.S.

Think about it this way: Before the 1960s, what was the goal of immigrants? To blend in. To become part of the American culture, to melt into the great American melting pot and become indistinguishable from everyone else. Distinctive cultural traditions were lost: this was the era of Reform Judaism and religious practice that looked like Christian practice. It was white bread — everyone blending in. Comfortable conformity. This is the era where the White Man was superior. It is also the era to which much of small town America aspires: it is in many ways the epitome of small town America. This is the era that Trump, and many of his followers, pine for.

When you look at the post-1960 era — and especially what America has become — it is best expressed by a phrase from that era: “Black is Beautiful”. We celebrate our distinct culture. It is the era of Black Studies and Women Studies and Asian Studies in college. It is the era of wearing our religious identity “in your face”: hijabs, kippot, turbans, all are beautiful. We celebrate our origins and we keep them separate. We are no longer a homogenous melting pot with a uniform flavor: we are a diverse multiflavored broth where you can taste every distinct flavor. We don’t hide our diversity, we insist and treasure it.  We insist on it at work because it makes us better thinkers. We work to make up for past mistakes with affirmative action programs and providing extra advantages to classes previously disadvantaged — all so we can have more diversity. We don’t want our immigrants to assimilate and blend in. We want them to stand out, celebrate their origins, and be diverse.

[ETA: In a comment on Facebook, I used this analogy: Think of America as a large box of crayons of all colors. The Trump Administration wants to go back to the melting pot: where these crayons are melted together (assimilated) into a single homogeneous color, all the same. He is protesting the approach of the recent generations, which is to recognize that while we are all crayons, it is the variety of colors that makes us beautiful and stronger.]

President Trump, his advisors, and all their followers hate this. Their answer: reduce those immigrant groups that won’t assimilate into the whole. The Mexicans. The Muslims. (and I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t go after the Orthodox Jews at some point, the Amish having been here far too long). How do we do this? Hmmm, just look at those executive orders.

(Psst. There was once another leader in the 1930s who wanted a similar goal for his nation. We know how that ended, especially for those groups that were different.)

Seeing the truth is the key. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

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Offensive People: They Make America Stronger

Written By: cahwyguy - Sat Feb 25, 2017 @ 7:09 am PDT

Back in early 2016, while the movie about her libel trial was in production, Dr. Deborah Lipstadt participated in a debate at Oxford University about whether the act of Holocaust Denial — that is, saying that the Holocaust never happened — should be against the law. You might find it surprising that her position was that it SHOULD NOT be criminalized. Her reasons? Here is what she said: “I am convinced that freedom of speech means nothing unless it includes the freedom for offensive people to be offensive.  We who are offended by them, must accept that, as a cost of living in a free society.”

Read that again: “Freedom of speech means nothing unless it includes the freedom for offensive people to be offensive.” This bedrock principle of America is why the ACLU defended the right of Nazis to march in Skokie. It is why Breitbart News is an important part of the landscape, but it is also why left-learning and neutral news sites are also an important part of the landscape. Freedom of Speech, and Freedom of the Press, are cornerstones of what makes America great, of what keeps American politicians accountable to the American people, and ultimately, what keeps the people at the top of the national power structure.

It is something that Donald Trump has forgotten. In a post yesterday on Facebook, Trump wrote that he is fulfilling the promise of promoting “our values”. And what are these values? He talks about allegiance to America. He says, “We all salute the same American Flag. And we are all made equal by the same Almighty God”. But he does not mention the Constitution — the ultimate, founding definition of American Values. Values that, for America, take priority over the Bible. This is no small testimony to the wisdom and foresight of the Founding Fathers. Unlike the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution contains no reference to God.

Offensive people being offensive. We see this every day in the era of Trump. Yet it is something that Trump does not want to see. It was manipulation of the media and fake news that created the outrage against Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Agenda that cemented his election — and it was something that he supported, used, and encouraged. Now that he is in office, this manipulative news is the only news he wants to see. More importantly, it is the only news he wants THE PEOPLE to see. He wants to suppress investigative journalism into what his administration is really doing, and is arguing that such media is “fake news”, the product of “illegal leaks”. He is going so far as to publicly attack journalists as “enemies of the people” (such an ominous phase) and to bar selected news outfits — including not only American media but the BBC and the Guardian — from meetings with the Press Secretary. There has only been one time where, in my memory, an American President has been this hostile to the media. Most Americans won’t remember it; I wasn’t barely in my teens when it happened. It was when President Nixon attempted to cover up his direct involvement in the Watergate Breakin.

What is President Trump trying to hide? What is he trying to divert and distract us from seeing? It could be his collusion with Russia over the election, although Congressman Darryl Issa (R-California) is working to get a special prosecutor to investigate just that. More importantly, however, it could be to divert our attention from the fact that the President is actively working to dismantle the American Government.

That’s right: His advisor Steve Bannon said so directly: Bannon framed much of Trump’s agenda with the phrase, “deconstruction of the administrative state,” meaning the system of taxes, regulations and trade pacts that the president says have stymied economic growth and infringed upon U.S. sovereignty. But in doing so, he is also deconstructing the system that ensures equality and non-discrmination under the law; that ensures safe food, water, and drugs; that ensures a clean environment in which to live; that ensures that our leaders are ethical, honest, and working for the people. In doing so, he is building a system where reporting government abuse of the Constitution and violation of the law is viewed as a problem for the government, not whistleblowing protecting the people.

Pretty offensive, right?

But just as in America it is vital that we have the ability to hear the offensive lies that President Trump and his supporters promote, it is vital that President Trump, and his supporters, and all the American people hear the offensive truth that the media investigates, sees, and reports. This reporting comes not only from American media sources such as the television networks, the major city papers, and long-time journalist outlets, but from the foreign media such as the BBC.

Occasionally being offended is the price we pay for living in the freest society on the planet. Those who work against such offense are working against American values.

In a few weeks, Jews all over the world will be celebrating Purim. It is an interesting holiday. It is not in the Torah at all; it is defined in a story called the Megillah, which you know as the Book of Esther. The story is remarkable because it makes no mention of God — just like the Constitution. It tells the story of an advisor to the King that hated the Jews, and wanted to see them all destroyed to make him, and his values, more powerful. Sound familiar? It is also the story of how a man of the people and from the people spoke truth to power, and not only saved his people but restored the nation to their values. Speaking truth to power — even when it is uncomfortable to do so, even when there is significant risk in doing so — that is what our Free Press does.

It is what men such as Hamen — the real enemies of our people — hate and despise and want to suppress, for speaking truth to power will deprive them of their power.

Now think about this: Who is the power that has the President, his advisors, and the GOP leadership shaking in their boots? Who is the power to whom the Press is speaking? The People. It is the People — you and me and Democrats and Republicans and Independents — who have the power to vote their asses out of power, to remove the power of their party and ideas at the state and local level. It is we the People that have the power to replace them with people from all across the political spectrum — liberals to conservatives, non-religious to religious — who respect and treasure the Constitution, and who realize that in our system of government, it is finding the point of compromise that is key, and compromise only comes from all sides both talking and listening.

All of this, just from putting up with offensive people.

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We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Papers

Written By: cahwyguy - Tue Feb 21, 2017 @ 7:48 pm PDT

userpic=trumpToday, President Trump put a new “tougher” immigration policy in place, and our country became a less safe place for citizens and non-citizens alike. The reason why is best captured in the subtitle of a Vox post on the policy: “Almost everyone in the US without papers is now a priority for deportation.”

As you read about the new policies, I want you to ask yourself, if you are a legal US citizen, either naturalized or by birth, whether you carry papers with you at all times proving your citizenship? A drivers license is not sufficient — drivers licenses can be forged, and some states issue licenses to non-citizens. Drivers licenses are also issued to legal residents.

So, if under the new rules, an ICE officer thinks you look like an illegal immigrant, for whatever reasons, and you have anything on your record — a parking ticket — they can deport you first and ask questions later. They will not give you access to a judge or a way to prove your citizenship (even though that amendment has been ruled by the Supreme Court as applicable to anyone in the US, citizen or not).

Another problem is the tactics that ICE uses. Did you know that they can impersonate local law enforcement to entice people in — they do not have to identify as ICE until after they have taken people into custody?

Not that I’m not arguing that people should be permitted to be in this country illegally. Employers should be following immigration laws and only hiring legal immigrants, and those who don’t should be penalized (and that includes picking up undocumented laborers at Home Depot). But the Government must respect the constitution, and must respect the rights of citizens. It must not profile based on religion or skin color. It must be humane in how it treats people, and respect people as people. It must also use a risk management approach: recognizing it is impossible to identify and deport everyone, prioritize the efforts on those committing crimes, and prioritize that effort on those committing violent crimes.

This is not an easy issue — if it was, we would have resolved it by now. But the approach being taken here is just wrong and needs to be rethought.

 

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The Message He Sends

Written By: cahwyguy - Mon Feb 20, 2017 @ 4:00 pm PDT

I’ve been sitting around this afternoon wondering what I might post. I didn’t have enough random news chum, and I wrote up the show from yesterday. Then I saw a headline and a rant welled up that touches on a number of things from this weekend. The headline?

Vandals target historic Jewish cemetery in University City

University City, MO, is a suburb of St. Louis. It is actually where my mother grew up; we have relatives buried in a different Jewish cemetery in the city. This is on a day when we’ve yet another round of threatened (at least, we hope they are only threats) bombings of Jewish Community Centers around the country.

Presidents are supposed to lead; to represent American values. One value is the right to practice your religion. This, after all, is why homophobic Christian bakers insist they can’t bake a cake for a homosexual, right? Trump wants to defend that right. This, after all, is why Christian-owned Hobby Lobby wants to deny insurance coverage for contraceptives, even for workers whose religion permits them to use contraception? Trump wants to defend that right.

So where is Trump on this issue? Where is he insisting that antisemitism is un-American?

Anyone?

He gets questions at a press conference asking for a statement on increased antisemitism in America, and he responds that he has Jews in his family — how can he be antisemitic? Remember the days of “But I have a black friend?”

Further, he wants to ban people from entering this country — excuse me, be suspicious of them — just because of their religion, Muslim. But he wants to permit extra Christians to come in from those countries. His Secretary of Education wants Federal Tax Dollars — my Federal Tax Dollars — to flow to Christian religious schools and out of the public school system.

We all know you set an example and send messages by what you say. President Trump has demonstrated that aptly, by trusting opinion pieces on Fox News over fact from government agencies, by claiming that science is an opinion, and that independent journalism is un-American. We know these messages are bullshit, but they have been said over and over and over and have become a conspiracy theory. We all know that Conspiracy Theories can’t be disproved, and a large segment of the country now believes the conspiracy and will not be convinced otherwise. (And why should they: we’ve lost the ability to teach critical thinking)

But you also set an example by what you don’t say, and what you do without saying it? President Trump, by not condemning attacks on individuals and institutions based on religion, is condoning it. President Trump, by instituting a Muslim ban — excuse me, extreme Muslim vetting — is condoning religious discrimination. He is letting fear rule the country, just as fear kept Jews from safety during World War II, just as fear put Japanese in internment camps at the same time. By not saying anything, he is demonstrating the worst of America.

Further, those in rural areas are eating it up. Remember, much of rural America is heavily Christian. They may never have met a Jew or Muslim in person, and their only knowledge is from TV shows, movies, and the news. Jews tend to live in larger cities, because of the nature of Jewish worship and practice. Muslims are often the same — in areas with sufficient population to support a mosque. How likely is that in a city under 25,000. So these people believe what they are told: if TV says they are bad, then they must be bad. Ask yourself: how does our media portray minority religions? Now think about what we must do to battle that impression, and why it is even more important for our President to stand up and be Presidential, to say: This is not America. America respects all religions: all religions are welcome here, and no religion, including “no religion”, is favored by the Government.

Mr. Trump: Again, you are failing to lead. If you can’t do the job, resign and let someone who can do it.

[ETA: Finally, on 2/21, he condemned the threats against the JCCs and antisemitism.]

P.S.: Presidents are also supposed to work to support all states and all the people in the country, even those that may oppose him. That’s part of the job; no President is universally loved (not even Reagan). So what has Mr. Trump done to California? He cut the allocated funding for Caltrain to electrify. This makes it more expensive to run the trains, increases operating costs, retains older equipment decreasing ridership, and keeps us tied to polluting fuel. All because he doesn’t like a state. Watch out, other urban areas. You might be next (while he lines his personal pockets every time he goes down to Mar-a-Lago).

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Trump and Apocalyptic Visions

Written By: cahwyguy - Thu Feb 09, 2017 @ 11:19 am PDT

userpic=trumpWhen the state of Israel was formed, many Orthodox Jews were anti-Zionist. The reason was simple, in their logic: “the Torah forbids us to end the exile and establish a state and army until the Holy One, blessed He, in His Glory and Essence will redeem us. This is forbidden even if the state is conducted according to the law of the Torah because arising from the exile itself is forbidden, and we are required to remain under the rule of the nations of the world”. In other words: It was G-d’s responsibility to establish the state, not the actions of men.

I mention this because of an interesting article that came across my RSS feeds today exploring the Islamic view of Donald Trump, and how the Koran foretold his arrival. The d’var koran, if I can use a mixed term, describes how the Muslim scripture foretold someone who seems to fit the description of Trump, and notes:

“The individual described in the Quran did not meet a good end. The result of his cheap, mean-spirited ways was that God destroyed his garden overnight, and when he and his workers came to it in the morning they lamented: “nay we have been deprived of everything.” The only silver lining the Quran offers is that they, after witnessing the result of their evils, realized the error of their ways, reproached one another, turned to God and repented of their past injustices.”

Now, I’m not an Islamic scholar. I do not know if this is a conventional interpretation, or a fundamentalist interpretation. All I note is that it is an interesting interpretation, and one that might be used as an excuse for many things, from an Islamic ban to…

But apocalyptic interpretations of scripture are not limited to Muslims. Many devout Christians appear to support Mr. Trump precisely for the chaos he is bringing. You see, they view him as the anti-Christ:

Trump does fit several of the criteria attached to popular perceptions of the Antichrist. Many earnest sources of apocalyptic speculation, including the best-selling Left Behind series by the late Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, imagine the Antichrist as a truly modern figure. Although the wildly popular 17-book series, which was published between 1995 and 2007 and has sold over 65 million copies, is fictional, the vision embraced by LaHaye and Jenkins portrays the coming apocalypse as an event where non-believers are forced to reckon with the damage wrought by the Antichrist. Here, the Antichrist is a worldly, charismatic man, often of Eastern European and Jewish heritage, who embraces modern technology and institutions for his own sinister ends. This interpretation, which is common among a large subset of American Evangelicals, believes the Antichrist’s reign — a period known as the “tribulation” — will follow the rapture of true followers of Christ.

It’s easy to extrapolate this to Trump. He’s vainglorious, charismatic (at least in the eyes of some Americans), and obsessed with wealth. Kushner Companies, a real estate company jointly owned by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, is headquartered at 666 5th Ave. Trump, while not Eastern European himself, has a proclivity for Eastern European women and promises better relations with Russia, a country that figures prominently in 20th and 21st century apocalyptic tales. And while Trump says that his favorite book is the Bible, he did once note that he’s “not sure” as to whether he’s asked God for forgiveness of his sins.

In particular, Steve Bannon, Trump’s closest advisor, has such apocalyptic visions:

In Bannon’s view, we are in the midst of an existential war, and everything is a part of that conflict. Treaties must be torn up, enemies named, culture changed. Global conflagration, should it occur, would only prove the theory correct. For Bannon, the Fourth Turning has arrived. The Grey Champion, a messianic strongman figure, may have already emerged. The apocalypse is now.

[…]

War is coming, Bannon has warned. In fact, it’s already here.

“You have an expansionist Islam and you have an expansionist China,” he said during a 2016 radio appearance. “They are motivated. They’re arrogant. They’re on the march. And they think the Judeo-Christian West is on the retreat.”

To confront this threat, Bannon argued, the Judeo-Christian West must fight back, lest it lose as it did when Constantinople fell to the Ottomans in 1453. He called Islam a “religion of submission” in 2016 — a refutation of President George W. Bush’s post-9/11 description of Islam as a religion of peace. In 2007, Bannon wrote a draft movie treatment for a documentary depicting a “fifth column” of Muslim community groups, the media, Jewish organizations and government agencies working to overthrow the government and impose Islamic law.

And you wonder where Trump gets his ideas.

I have seen discussions on Facebook where the hope has been expressed for the rapture to occur, and for the true believer to be swept up to Heaven to live with Jesus. As for the rest of us: non-believers and liberals and such, well, it is the pits of Hell. And if not Hell, then Detroit or Cleveland.

Now, I’m not going to criticize anyone for their beliefs. This is America, and you are free to believe whatever you wish. Further, the government is not supposed to establish or favor any particular religion, so as to permit you to believe whatever you wish. More importantly, to permit me to believe whatever I wish. [Translation: This is not a Christian Nation; even though almost a third of Americans think you need to be Christian to be truly American. Sigh.]

However, your right to your beliefs stops when it impacts someone else. I take offense at people who deliberately elect someone unqualified, and with a dangerous narcissistic streak, just to hasten the Rapture and the Apocalypse. Here I side with the Orthodox: it is not your place to bring it about. If a Rapture and Apocalypse is going to happen, it is up to G-d to bring it about, not you or me. You are not G-d, and you are certainly not my G-d. If there is a G-d.

Note that there is a distinction between belief in G-d and faith. Although I sometimes question the existance of G-d, I certainly do have faith. In particular, I have faith that the American People and our Nation will survive the bumpy ride we’re in for with Trump. Resistance to his unilateral executive orders is growing, his unqualified nominees are not making it through the Senate, and the Democratic Congress has decided to resist Trump the same way the Republican Congress resisted Obama. Further, a number of Patriotic Republicans such as John McCain and Lindsey Graham, are standing up for American Values and saying: Trump’s behavior is not who we are.

Both the Muslim and the Christian interpretations of scripture above assume that all is ordained, with the implication that we don’t have the ability to stop it. But we are given the choice in Deuteronomy 30:19: “This day, I call upon the heaven and the earth as witnesses [that I have warned] you: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. You shall choose life, so that you and your offspring will live;” We are given the choice — we can choose. We must and should choose the good, the blessing, the life, and not the evil.

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Finding the Experts

Written By: cahwyguy - Thu Feb 09, 2017 @ 11:00 am PDT

Some people play games as a palette cleanser between tasks; I look at the news. In this NPR article about Trump meeting with Airline Executives, the following exchange was quoted:

Trump said his private pilot, “a real expert” and a “smart guy,” has told him that the government has been buying the wrong type of equipment in its years-long effort to upgrade the current control system. He said U.S. airports “used to be the best, now they’re at the bottom of the rung.”

Sigh. Reminds me of an anecdote. Many years ago, there was an on-going interaction between Dr. Dixie Baker (my boss at the time), who had long been working in what then was called computer security (now “cybersecurity”) and Cliff Stoll, who had just published his book “The Cuckoo’s Egg”. Cliff kept insisting he was a security expert, when those of us in the field knew he was a newcomer, a poser, someone who had lucked into a situation to solve. Cliff asked Dixie what it would take to be a security expert — after all, he had published X papers. (I forget the value of X). Dixie’s response: “X+1”.

Trump’s opinion on how to modernize the Air Traffic Control situation is based on his private pilot, a “real expert” and a “smart guy”. Having been through the AAS years and all the issues with FAA modernization: This isn’t going to end well.

Again, from the article:

“You’re going to be so happy with Trump,” the president said.

Oh, where is Stan Freberg when we need him.

Maybe this is the harbinger of the apocalypse. Oh, wait, that’s the next post.

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I Only Ask This: Be Consistent

Written By: cahwyguy - Wed Feb 08, 2017 @ 11:15 am PDT

As I read the news this morning, one incident of many from this administration sticks in my craw: the Republican leadership in the Senate voting to censure (silence) Sen. Eliz. Warren because she had the temerity to read a letter from the widow of Dr. Martin Luther King, Mrs. Coretta Scott King. In the letter, King writes that Sessions’s ascension to the federal bench “simply cannot be allowed to happen,” arguing that as a U.S. attorney, the Alabama lawmaker pursued “politically-motivated voting fraud prosecutions” and that he “lacks the temperament, fairness and judgment to be a federal judge.” She said Sessions’s conduct in prosecuting civil rights leaders in a voting-fraud case “raises serious questions about his commitment to the protection of the voting rights of all American citizens.” The letter originally was written to the Senate Judiciary Committee in opposition to Sessions’s 1986 nomination to be a federal judge. The letter was never entered into the congressional record by then-Judiciary Committee Chair Strom Thurmond.

Why was she censured? Senate Rule XIX, which states “2. No Senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.”

There’s a slight problem here: the senator in question is a nominee to lead an executive department! Think about this for a minute: That rule would prohibit any negative information about a sitting senator nominated to any position that required confirmation, which makes absolutely no sense at all. In fact, that’s why the rule is seldom invoked. The rule came about in February 1902 when a feud was escalating between the two Democratic senators from South Carolina. Benjamin Tillman, the senior senator and something of a political boss in the state, had grown angry that John McLaurin, his protege, was allowing Senate Republicans to court him on some issues, including the annexation of the Philippines. Furious that McLaurin was colluding with the other side of the aisle, Tillman used a Feb. 22, 1902, speech on the Senate floor to harangue the younger senator. Gesturing toward McLaurin’s empty chair, Tillman accused his counterpart of treachery and corruption, saying he had succumbed to “improper influences,” according to a Senate history of the dispute. When McLaurin caught wind of Tillman’s remarks, he rushed into the chamber and shouted that Tillman was telling a “willful, malicious and deliberate lie.” A fistfight erupted. This led to the rule.

The intent was not to stifle debate about the qualifications and demeanor of a candidate to head an executive department.

Further, another Democratic senator was able to read from the same letter (albeit some different portions) later in the debate. Without being censured.

Now, imagine if President Obama had nominated the Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton, or even (were he still alive) Senator Edward Kennedy to head the Justice Department. What would the Republicans have done or said? What comments would they have made on the Senate floor about these men?

This is why I call bullshit on the Republican Party. I call inconsistency. I call putting party above the people.  I even call, for some, sheer racism.

When Obama was President, every nominee was thoroughly investigated. Every nominee had to be clear of conflicts of interest. Every nominee had to be qualified. As for the President, every misstep was investigated. Even every non-misstep was investigated.

So why isn’t the same Congress holding President Trump to the same standard? I can think of only two reasons:

  1. He’s Republican. After all, if he’s from the same party — if he’s a Republican — we don’t need to investigate him or his nominees because Republican’s never violate the law or cheat or …* . Never mind of course, that 50 years of investigation of Democratic Presidents, from Johnson on, have only found a stain on a dress, whereas investigations into Republican Presidents have found little things like Watergate and Iran-Contra. No, Republican’s never abuse the office of President. [*: IOIDBAR: It’s OK if done by a Republican]
  2. He’s White. I don’t like saying this, but there is the belief that many Republicans didn’t trust Obama because he was black. If you eliminate the Republican Pass above, it is the only explanation that remains.

Both reasons are wrong. The role of Congress is to scrutinize and reign in the power of the President. The Republican Congress did that consistently with Obama. There is absolutely no reason they shouldn’t be doing the same with Trump. If they don’t, they should be removed from office for not doing their job.

When you look at an action of Congress, ask if they would have behaved the same way if President Obama had done the action or if it was a nominee of President Obama. If not, it is IOIDBAR or worse.

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