Republicans: It’s Back By Popular Demand; Entree De Prestidigitation

You have to give Mr. Trump and this Republican controlled congress credit; they are persistent!  There is currently a direct threat to the American democracy as a result of Russia meddling in our 2016 election and they have the press focused on re-litigating the past sex sins of former President Bill Clinton and current Representative John Conyers, the current sins of current senate candidate Roy Moore and a host of other past and current sins of elected officials rather than focusing on the Russia investigation.  Yes, once again folks, Washington Republicans have resorted to their infamous and longstanding sleight of hand maneuver; no matter the problem or facts that are involved, ‘PRESTIDIGITATION’ and the problem is gone!  Don’t you just love it?

Mr. Trump, a media savvy guru, is spearheading this masterful manipulation of the press and, thereby, the American public.  He knows that he still has the acceptance of his loyal base so now he is refocusing and redoubling his efforts on continuing to dupe the rest of the American people by discrediting or destroying the press.  For far too long American voters have failed to take Mr. Trump seriously because many of them believe that he is just a stupid (he is definitely ignorant but he is not stupid) narcissistic blowhard.  They find that it is easier to ignore him than it is to continue to fight against his shamelessness and grating personality and relentless pursuit to satisfy self.  For whatever reason that they have decided not to continue this fight, it comes at a great price to America because it allows for the normalization of his behavior.

I am among those who have grown weary of Mr. Trump’s antics, his never-ending efforts to divide America, his determination to represent only those Americans who voted for him, and his unbridled and unchallenged disdain of long held American norms.  I have said before that I am completely tired of writing about him.  But he dominates media coverage and while doing that somehow, to a great degree, bullies the media into focusing on and talking about those things that he wants them to talk about.  So although I have grown weary of him, as long as he continues to conduct himself as he has since the time that he was elected, I will not stop writing about him.  I will never be that weary; especially when our democracy is at stake!

Without doubt the curtain has been drawn back in the corridors of power on all of the pseudo pomp-and-circumstance and statesmanship of our elected officials on both sides of the aisle in Washington and around the country.  Certainly many of the things that Mr. Trump and the Republican controlled congress are pointing to with regard to the current and past sins of Democrats, if the media is to be fair, deserve to be examined.  But congress must properly prioritize those things and the investigation of the threat to our democracy must come first and be properly resolved and completed.  Then, if the Republicans want to go back and re-litigate the Bill Clinton, John Conyers and all of the other past and current sins of elected Democrats I am confident that Democrats would be amenable to that; that is, if the Republicans would also be willing to go back and re-litigate the Mr. Trump sins and those past and current sins of all of the other elected Republicans who have experienced similar problems.

Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line

Congress Seems To Have Forgotten America

I do not know if you like watching nature shows that show a lot of National Geographic type stuff but I know that I do.  In the event that you do like watching that kind of stuff then you have likely seen the show that I am about to use as an example.  It goes as follows: There were these three male cheetahs that were following this female cheetah that was in heat.  They had been following her for days and when she would stop to rest they would keep their distance from her and, from time-to-time, they would fight with one another.  I suppose that it was to determine which one would be the alpha male that would eventually breed with her.

Whether or not this was the reason, one time when she stopped and they began fighting they did not notice that they were being watched by a pride of lions.  In the event that you are not aware of it, lions and cheetahs are natural enemies.  Anyway, these cheetahs – although they had strayed into lion territory, were so busy fighting with one another that they did not notice that some of the lions had decided to attack them and were openly approaching them.  To make a Long story short, the lions attacked these cheetahs.  While they attacked them, other lions in the pride simply watched what was happening without showing much interest.  As it relates to the example that I just gave you, it does not really matter whether one, all, or none of the cheetahs were either injured or killed.  What matters is that they were trespassing on territory on which they were keenly aware that they should not be trespassing and the lions let them know that in no uncertain terms.

If we were to juxtapose this example onto what is currently happening with Mr. Trump and his administration, Mr. Trump would be represented by the female cheetah, and his administration and his Republican congress enablers would be represented by the three male cheetahs that were eager to mate with her.  The American Constitution would be represented by the land that these cheetahs were trespassing on and those Americans who were active in protecting it would be represented by the lions that attacked these cheetahs for knowingly trespassing on their territory while exhibiting a clear and present intent to do harm.  And finally, the lions in the pride that were simply watching the attack occur would represent those Americans who were likely also concerned about the cheetahs unrightfully infringing on their territory but were not interested enough, at least at the time, to join in on the attack  because they were sure that the attacking lions would easily overpower these intruders; therefore, the outcome was already determined.

I openly acknowledge that this scenario slightly modifies a lion prides’ actual behavior but this modification  will help you to better get the gist of the point that I want to make.  And that point is that not just a few Americans should be concerned about how Mr. Trump and his administration are purposely obfuscating when it comes to the Constitution, that they are ignoring American norms, and that the Republican controlled congress is allowing them to do this unchallenged; but all Americans should be concerned!  Not only should they be concerned because countries that used to look to America for leadership are now laughing at us but they should be concerned because it appears that America is now modeling itself after countries that are led by despots and oligarchs.  How any American could witness this type of behavior by someone who occupies the Oval Office and a congress that is supposed to be representing its constituents and not be prompted to fight against it is mindboggling.  What has happened to us and what will become of us if we do not immediately come back to our senses and immediately begin to fight back?!

What kind of snake oil has Mr. Trump duped congress and the American people into drinking or what kind of voodoo powder has he released into the American drinking water system that would cause us to react in the way that far too many Americans are reacting?!  Thank goodness that the immune system of some of us has detected this virus and been able to fight against it!  Those members of Mr. Trump’s administration, the majority of those who work for him, and congress, seem to somehow have transformed themselves from human beings into some sort of machines that are simply a part of his system to the point where they have no comprehension as regards human needs or human suffering.  Even those people who have been highly respected and held in high esteem before being touched by Mr. Trump, after being touched by him, lose any dignity that they ever thought that they had; kind of like Speaker Paul Ryan.

Congress seems to have forgotten America as they pursue their own political aspirations and protect their party but that should demand that America does not forget them or Mr. Trump and his administration.  America must rise up in defense of our Constitution, regardless of party, and demand that all Americans and those within America’s borders respect it and abide by it.  We must not allow Mr. Trump or anyone else to purposely sow seeds of confusion where something that we hold so scared is concerned!  The way that we can assure that that demand is heard and respected is by way of the ballot box.

Mr. Trump has proven that he is an extremely strong, powerful, and dangerous man.  He has steadfastly ignored the Emoluments Clause and various long observed American norms that all other American presidents in modern history have held in high esteem and honored.  In referring to China’s advantage in the balance of trade with America, he said that China is ‘raping America’.  If he were to take an introspective view and make an assessment concerning the actions that he has taken since he has been in office, I wonder how he would describe what he is doing to America.  Mr. Trump has also proven that, for whatever reason, he has the ability to grate on, if not completely wear down, the will of many of the American people.  You must determine that you will not be one of those whose will he can wear down because he is counting on the fact (assumed fact/alternative fact?) that he can.  You must be and remain determined that you will not be a victim!  If you truly agree with what he is doing and the direction in which he is leading America then fine; but do not be a victim!

It is far past time for all American voters to step up and demand that those people that we elect to represent us actually represent us and do what they were elected to do.  It is especially important that we do that now to assure that the Constitution will not be ignored and that, as Americans, everyone knows that we will not sit by idly while our democracy is being threatened and is in danger of being weakened or destroyed.  Again, the best way to do this is through our vote.  So whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent always remember; your vote is the most important one of all…unless you don’t use it!

Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line

Keep An Eye On The Koch Brothers And Their Powerful Cohorts

On August 24, 2016 I wrote an article entitled “Republicans Team With Koch, Donors Trust And Other Rich Conservative Supporters In Their Quest To Amend The Constitution” and posted it to this site.  The article talked about how the Koch brothers and a number of organizations and people that they are associated with were quietly working to convene a convention of the 50 states in an effort to change the U.S. Constitution.  It also encouraged Americans to become and remain aware of this effort and to resist it.  Further, it stated that because they were extremely stealthy in their effort to achieve this goal that many Americans are not aware of it and those who are aware of it continue to ignore it because they believe that it is an all but impossible task.  As a result of this complacency, I reminded readers of the success of the Republicans Red Map program and the part that it likely played in the ultimate election of Mr. Trump.

I want to continue to remind all Americans who are concerned about the things that Mr. Trump and congressional Republicans are doing, how they are governing and the direction in which they are leading our country that they must remain vigilant and relentlessly fight back against this kind of leadership and governance.  The Koch brothers might not be Trump supporters but they are supporters of the current congressional Republicans and their agenda.  And they are still quietly pushing their own agenda.  I have already mentioned how stealthy they are and cited an example of what they have been able to accomplish by way of that stealth; well, they are just as deadly politically as they are stealthy.  Those aforementioned concerned Americans must realize this and prevent them from dealing a lethal blow to voting rights and to middle class America.

If the Koch brothers and those organizations and people that they are affiliated with should ever be successful in their efforts to convene a convention of the 50 states and convince them to change the U.S. Constitution then, obviously, it will also affect local governance and communities in those states.  On Tuesday November 7 – this past election day, states proved the power that they can wield and the kind of impact that they can have on politics from the local level all the way up to the highest federal level.  States such as Virginia, Maine, New Jersey, New York, the entire west coast states and many others showed exactly the kind of power that the American voter can wield when their vote is combined and wielded with those votes of like-minded thinkers.  Those states showed that even though our elected officials might kowtow to billionaires, millionaires, and other powerful people who feel that they should run America and it should not be run by the collective will of the American people, that does not have to be the case.  The American people do not have to bow down to the rich and powerful when it comes to choosing a path forward for America!

Having said that, I will take this opportunity to address a problem that we are faced with in Colorado.  A major issue that we are faced with and struggling to address in Denver is the use of force by police.  Various Denver community members, community churches and other organizations are currently working with the police department in an effort to help them draft a “use of force” policy that will work for police officers and citizens.  Media reports reflect the fact that many other states around the country are faced with this same problem.  My point is that if the Koch brothers are successful in bringing the 50 states together and convincing them to change the U.S. Constitution, this is likely only to exacerbate the problem.

Why?  Because the U. S. Department of Justice’s current ability to have leverage in their effort to work with states to assure a uniform system that incorporates “equal justice for all” throughout all states would likely be severely curtailed; at least, until any proposed changes to the revised Constitution could be implemented and established.  The United States does not need to revise its Constitution, we need to have elected officials who are willing to engage in reasonable discourse and not be intimidated by billionaires and millionaires.  And keep in mind, the Koch brothers concern is not about middle class Americans’ issues and the issues of poor people without a voice; their concern is about their own agenda and what can be done in every state where they have businesses that will have a positive impact on those businesses’ bottom line.  And let there be no doubt that they would put money and other resources into influencing these states and others with regard to what these constitutional changes would entail.  Because, for whatever reason, it seems that far too many rich people feel that they can never obtain enough money!

Republicans in Washington have long trumpeted “states rights” (including its dog whistle meaning) and the Koch brothers have long strongly supported these Republicans.  According to the Koch brothers contributed substantial amounts of money to organizations that worked in support of voter suppression.  Voter suppression in states and at the federal level might help to bolster the bottom line of big business but it is something that can only be good in further decimating the middle class and that is something that is not good for America overall.  The fact of the matter is that there is a haunting thread that runs throughout the fabric of America that has always been there; that thread is “Big Money”.

And whether it is in our overall political system, election system, justice system, business system or anywhere else it is like a bad case of cancer.  It is bad and has the potential to be lethal In all cases but just like some types of cancer have more of a potential to cause death than do others, “Big Money” in our election system is like the worse type of cancer.  It has the greatest potential to kill America.  Voting is an intricate part of the American way of life and is key among the things that make America the great country that it is!  You might say that without the right to vote, you are not – or at least you don’t feel like – you are an American.  That is one among the many reasons why it is so devastating to have the word “felon” next to your name.  Felons are stripped of their right to vote.  And in consideration of this kind of consequence alone, one would think that to try to prevent any legitimate American voter from voting would be unfathomable!  …But, obviously, it is not.

America, we must find a way to get “Big Money” out of our election process because, ultimately, it affects far more than the bottom lines of big business.  It, in essence, affects who we really are as Americans.  If we can somehow find a way to get “Big Money” out of our election process, we will be able to work more effectively to solve our problems.  Problems like healthcare, tax reform, infrastructure, gun laws, equal pay for equal work, housing, equal justice under the law and a host of other problems.  Why will things change?  Because, since statesmanship seems to have all but vanished under the relentless pressure of money and power, elected officials will finally feel the direct pressure from voters and, therefore, the need to be accountable to their country and all of their constituents.  They would no longer be relegated to the constant temptation  to morph into invertebrates and ignore the rest of their constituents during election cycles due to the demand on them by their deep pocket donors for fealty; and then, in between these election cycles, struggle to again grow -at least –  a pseudo  spine and return to some semblance of normalcy knowing that this process will only be an endless vicious cycle.

The catch is that the only way that we will ever bring about this change is through our vote.  This change likely will not occur immediately but it will occur if we will value and use our right to vote.  But for some reason that I have not yet been able to fully comprehend, far too many of us take our right to vote for granted!  We treat the franchise like a trivial thing!  We need to end that way of thinking right now and fulfill our responsibility to vote!

Obviously, we have responsibilities as American citizens and among those responsibilities is our responsibility to vote.  We will never be happy as a whole with every outcome that our collective vote produces.  But we can agree to disagree, remain civil toward one another and always willingly engage in any and all discourse that will continue to pull us together as Americans rather than divide us: because we are stronger together!  So whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent; always remember, your vote is the most important one of all…unless you don’t use it!  “Stay Focused” and let’s get to work!

Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line

Yes, Brock Osweiler Really Started For The Broncos Today

Well, it’s come down to this, Brock Osweiler started for the Denver Broncos against the Philadelphia Eagles…  How about them Avs?!  …Or them Rockies, or them Rapids, or – what’s the name of Denver’s Lacrosse team?  Anyway, how about them?!  Enough about sports already, right?  I know that I have likely agitated, baffled, challenged, frustrated, harassed, irritated, mistreated (at least in your minds), obfuscated, pontificated, ubiquitoustated (I made that word up by adding ‘tated’ to it because I really wanted to have a ‘U’ word in my list) enough by venturing into sports when this is a political blog but…  Oh, wait; let’s use the word ululated instead of “ubiquitoustated”.  “Ululate” is a real word and four of the seven letters in it are also in my first name.  Yeah, that’s a great reason to use that one!

Once again I must say, with all of the chaos and the way that things are in government now as a result of Mr. Trump’s rationale and well thought-out policies (kind of like the first paragraph in this article), for those who follow politics closely, it is important to find something to laugh about; whether it is just to keep from crying or to help us to maintain our sanity.  Sorry teams whose names that I used to pursue that laughter…but not to you Brock; this apology does not apply to you!  After all, you deserted us!  …To go to Houston…and wound up in Cleveland… and only came back to us because…; well, I’m not sure why you came back to us.  But the apology does not apply to you.  I contemplated revisiting and perhaps revising the preceding sentence in the event that you won today so that it would also apply to you but…

The first paragraph of this article is not meant in any way to state or imply that I will never again delve into sports in this blog.  But it was meant to gin up a short respite and laugh for me (and hopefully for you too).  Maybe I was a little bit harsh toward Brock by not including him in my apology.  But maybe he was a little bit harsh to us Broncos fans when he left the way that he did.  So if some of you are upset with me, you might consider giving me a break.  Anyway, the fact of the matter is that I am not going to talk any further about sports in this article.  But I am going to talk about that young preacher again that I spoke about in my article entitled “Stay Focused Democratic, Republican, And Independent Voters” and posted to this site on October 10, 2017.  I am going to talk about him because his latest message entitled “Yom Kippur”, while perhaps not purposely intended to contain political implications, had a political strand that ran throughout the entire sermon although the message was about the responsibilities of today’s church.

This sermon contained political implications because such implications were inevitable since this young pastor said that the church is responsible to speak out loud and clear and advocate for those who are in bondage with respect to equal justice for all.  These political implications were unavoidable because unequal justice for some has long been winked at and accepted all the way from the lowest levels of the US government to its highest levels.  And since the election of Mr. Trump, a glaring bright light has become focused on this problem because it has been dragged onto the public stage at the highest level of government and is quickly making its way to center stage.  Some might argue that it is already there.  Having said that, let’s visit our current helter-skelter world of politics.

It is my opinion that there has never before been anyone like Mr. Trump who has occupied the Oval Office.  Sure, we have had bad presidents before but Mr. Trump has broken the mold.  But this article is not intended to focus on Mr. Trump.  Instead, it is intended to focus on our justice system and the unequal justice that has been dispensed by it for years.  The fact that Mr. Trump is the catalyst that has instigated the keen focus of the aforementioned glaring bright light is about the best thing that I can say about his tenure so far.  Although the reasons, which includes the scandal that he and the head of the Department of Justice is engulfed in, for this keen focus are unfortunate, it provides at least a spark of hope that our congressmen and other elected officials around the country will finally sincerely work to fix this problem.

The young pastor that I mentioned earlier in this article seems to be focused in like a laser beam on the responsibilities of his church; and he appears to be determined to carry forward a message that he believes in and to provide those in need with more than just lip service.  His sincerity and candor has me convinced that he has no intention to be in any way political or to carry forward a political message for anyone or any party.  However, I am just as convinced that he fully intends to carry forward the message that he has been given even if it does infringe on what some might consider to be political territory.  And he intends to encourage his flock to understand, focus in on and – to the greatest degree possible – provide any required services (not just lip service) associated with that message, and carry that message forward as well.  This young pastor is fiery and extremely self-confident!  That is one among a number of reasons why I believe that he has a strong chance to succeed.

I would say “good luck” to that young pastor but I have no doubt that he would immediately challenge those words because I have no doubt that he believes that he has much more going for him than that.  So I will just continue to observe and see where his efforts will take him.  I said that I would not talk further about sports and I have not talked about it, right?  But I have spent quite a lot of time talking about “this young pastor.”  Some readers may believe that I have once again strayed from politics.  They may believe that I have strayed into the church side of the realm of church and state, which has always been kept separate from politics.  Well, I’m not sure that I have ever believed that church has really been kept completely separated from politics where “church and state” is concerned.  But I certainly do not believe that to be the case now that we are living in the Trump era.

Many of the things that America and the world are expected to deal with now likely dance around the edges of, enter into the grey areas of, and perhaps even – at times- fully enter into the church territory of church and state.  Surely, if the church is to do its job, there are bound to be times it will – at the least- blur the line of church and state; kind of like, to my thinking, this young pastor has, even if unintentionally.  Be that as it may – if we and the rest of the world are to remain civil societies, it is extremely important that “state” does its job and it is just as important that “church” does its job.  Although I believe that church and state must remain separated because it could create unspeakable problems if they did not, I fully expect that the line between the two will oftentimes be blurred and even crossed.

Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line

The Congressional Republican Fealty Squad

Virtually every Republican in congress has lined up in support of Mr. Trump.  They do not seem to be at all concerned with what he does as long as there is an “R” next to his name.  He is a (R) Republican and that is all that matters.  Therefore, he can do no wrong.  Senators Chuck Grassley and senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell , Representatives Devin Nunez and Speaker Paul Ryan and most other congressional Republicans have lined up behind Mr. Trump.  And they appear to be determined to carry out any orders that might be implied during his press conferences or by way of his “beautiful twitter account.” These congressmen seem to be oblivious to the fact that our democracy was attacked by a foreign power via our election system, that that foreign power made efforts to manipulate that system so that it would favor Mr. Trump, and that we have an upcoming election in 2018 to which that foreign power still remains a threat.

I cannot understand why these Republicans can remain so comfortable and calm and continue to support Mr. Trump under such dire circumstances, especially after two people who were closely associated with him and his campaign have been targeted by special counsel Robert Mueller and have now been arraigned on criminal charges.  The details of these charges, at the very least, suggest that Mr. Trump and his campaign might be privy to the actions that were taken by these two people that caused them to be targeted and charged.  I asked before “what will it take to make congressional Republicans take action against Mr. Trump and I continue to ask this question.  What will it take?!  And I submit that even if they take action now they should still be held accountable for their inaction, which allowed this problem to continue up to this point.

There was a recent poll taken that said that about 80% of Trump supporters said that Mr. Trump should remain in office even if it is proven that he and members of his administration colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.  Since these Republican congressmen have been reluctant to act against Mr. Trump because they are afraid of him and his base, if 80% of his supporters believe that he should remain in office even if collusion is proven, this is neither an encouraging sign for America nor is it a sign that congressional Republicans will acquiesce and do the right thing!  Instead, it is a sign that rather than honoring the oath that they took to the Constitution (not to Mr. Trump), these Republicans will choose to remain the Trump Fealty Squad and to place Mr. Trump and party above our country!  A number of those Republicans mentioned have already knelt and kissed Mr. Trump’s ring; some on more than one occasion.  The multiple time kissers are those who fell away but for various reasons returned to the fold.

Those supporters that Mr. Trump has surrounded himself with are encouraging him to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller and they are preparing cover for him by providing the rationale for this firing in advance; they are working hard to discredit Special Counsel Mueller and smear his character.  And it also appears that Steve Bannon and Sean Hannity are spearheading these efforts.  Everything that is going on right now at the highest levels in our government is surreal and that makes it hard for me to focus in on, grasp the true gravity of and fully comprehend how serious America’s situation is already.  I do not believe that I am the only American who is feeling this way.  If I am correct and that is the case, whether we are Democrats, Republicans or Independents, we need to focus, find a way to get through all of the obfuscation, peel away all of the ancillary stuff, and make sure that we do our part to get America out of this mess that we find ourselves in.  Then, we need to ‘Stay Focused’!  I know what I am going to do; I am going to do my part.  What are you going to do?

Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line