American Voters, Keep Your Eyes On The Prize

Mr. Trump is extremely uninformed as a politician but, due in large part to his tenure on the TV program “The Apprentice”, he is very astute when it comes to manipulating the press and keeping the attention focused on him.  He does not care nearly as much about the fact that the vast majority of America and the world looks upon him as being a racist, narcissist and an ignorant politician as he cares about his ability to manipulate press coverage whether it is good or bad.  As long as he consumes all of the oxygen in the room and the focus remains on him he is relatively happy.

The same things applies to this blog – no matter the number of people that it reaches or how minor its impact might be, if the attention is focused on him and prevents it from being focused on those with a different perspective on any issue, which is not in line with how he views it and believes that it should be resolved, he is happy.  So from this point forward even if he is able to manipulate the press because it is incumbent upon them to cover him because he occupies the Oval Office, I will make a concerted effort to mention him either not at all or as little as is humanly possible and focus instead on ‘We the people’.  Having said that…

There are more distractions in the world of politics than we would care to think about right now but we must keep working and keep our eyes on the prize.  We must always focus on the fact that, as American citizens, we have a responsibility to ourselves and future generations, which are our children, our grandchildren, their children, and their children’s children.  All of these Americans, whom are comprised of those just mentioned in the previous sentence, and those whom they will directly or indirectly choose to become Americans in the future – right now – are in our hands.  It is easy to become weary or distracted for any number of reasons but as a result of our great love for America, we must resist this at all costs!  We must keep the dream alive!

We must always remember that ‘big money’ is not America, ‘surrogates – whether they go by the name of talking heads, mouthpieces or any other name – are not America, the congressional House is not America, the Senate is not America, nor is anything else America other than the American people as a whole.  ‘We the people’ are America and we must always remember that.  ‘We the people’ must realize that as America, we have a grave responsibility.  And that responsibility is to make sure that America remains America no matter how hard any other forces, whether they be internal or external, try to tear her down.  We owe this to ourselves and to our children, grandchildren, and to all of those who will follow them.

We need desperately to reform our election system.  That would be a good start to helping to continue to assure that every American’s vote will count.  And not only that, but it would begin to assure that a poor person’s vote will carry the same weight as that of a rich person, no matter how rich that person is.  Big money like, specifically speaking, the Koch brothers and all of those like them, should have their say and that say should carry their fair weight  in how the United States should function and handle its affairs, but their input should not carry any more weight than that of the everyday American citizen!  Their financial status should have nothing whatsoever to do with their vote!  Unfortunately right now, that is not the case because of the way that the system is set up; and when it was set up, it was skewed in favor of the rich because it was set up by them, and if those who set it up weren’t people like them, they were heavily influenced by people like them.

For instance, according to an article in the Associated Press dated January 29, 2018, the Koch brothers have announced that they will spend $400 million on the upcoming 2018 elections, which is more than that spent by the Republican National Committee, the National Rifle Association and the Chamber of Commerce combined in the 2016 cycle.  This provides them with an unfair advantage.  What average American citizen has that kind of money?!  And how many of them would it take to produce that kind of money?!  My question is why should the people who have that kind of money (the few) be able to dictate to those who do not have it (the many), which is the majority of Americans, how America will handle its affairs and which path forward she will take?  Many times polls have revealed that the majority of Americans have wanted to move in a particular direction but big money has won out and she moved in big money’s chosen direction instead.  How can this be right or fair?  It can’t be because it is intrinsically wrong!

My argument is not essentially that the weight of big money, of necessity, must carry the exact same weight of that of the everyday American because by default, there are fewer of them.  And that is where the needed reform comes in.  It must define the something that is needed to determine the weight of the say of the big money people compared to that of the everyday American.  In that election reform, we must work out something that is fair and just to every American and that is not just skewed in favor of those who – ironically, by virtue of the fact that this is America, were able to become ‘big money.’  It has been proven time and time again that American greed runs rampant.  On the surface, it appears that greed is what it takes to exist and survive in the murky waters of the big money crowd.

Even if that is the way that things are, as America, ‘We the people’ (as a whole), must act as the checks and balances on those who feel that, if they are to survive, they must do battle in the previously mentioned murky waters of big money and fight at all costs to win.  Until they show ‘We the people’ that to win at all costs does not include any and all collateral damage to the American people and to America’s reputation whether domestic and/or around the world, whenever necessary, we must interject those checks and balances.  And even if they do show us that it does not include these things, it is incumbent upon us as American citizens to always remain on guard.

The very fact that we are Americans dictates that we cannot view being an American as a zero sum situation where only a binary choice exist.  Our principles and the spirit and intent of our Constitution do not allow for that.  I do not have to lose in order for my fellow American to win!  In most cases, I do not have to chose one thing over another; I do not have to choose between Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIPS):  I choose both!  Why can’t I have both?!  It is not an impossible feat to give Americans both of these things without some kind of miracle and it is not impossible for politicians in Washington to solve many of the other problems that America is faced with; that is, if each would place real value in the oath that they swore to the Constitution when they were elected and would work to do the job that they were elected to do.  How much governance work has congress really done over the past few years, and especially this past year?

Ask yourselves that question, Honorables.  Then each of you should cut the crap, get busy, and do your job!

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

Republicans Trash The FBI For Trump

The Republican congress has chosen to trash the FBI rather than allow special counsel Robert Mueller to complete the Russia investigation unimpeded. They are determined not to risk the chance that he might find something that will prove, or even implicate, that Mr. Donald Trump was complicit with Russia in meddling in America’s 2016 election.  And it appears that they certainly do not want him to find that Mr. Trump actually colluded with the Russians and obstructed justice in his efforts to prevent or, at the very least, determine the outcome of the ensuing investigation.  It does not seem to matter to them that if he is found guilty of these things that he is unfit to occupy the Oval Office.  Virtually every Republican who ran for president in 2016 has already said that he was unfit.  They might not have called him treasonous but they called him almost every other derogatory name that they could think of at the time.

All of the dishonorable and underhanded things that these Republicans are accusing the FBI of doing, if they are not illegal, certainly border on being so. Not only do these accusations that are leveled against the FBI as a whole stain the long-held and hard-earned honor of the men and women who regularly risk their lives to keep the rest of us Americans safe, but they serve to discredit the FBI in the eyes of far too many Americans (even if it is only one) and countries around the world.  The sad thing is that they are doing this solely to protect a proven adamant liar who has worked harder to divide and weaken America than he has to pull us together and help us to maintain our current strength and, hopefully, grow even stronger.  Why is he doing this?  There is no doubt that we are stronger together: hopefully, Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation will provide us with the answer or if not, at least clues that will point us to the answer.

It is disconcerting to see America in so much chaos and just as disconcerting to see those elected officials in congress who are supposed to be our leaders and the protectors of the Constitution selling out, whether it is to personal ambition, party, Mr. Trump, all three or any combination thereof! Mr. Trump has indeed broken the mold.  I cannot recall any other president in my lifetime who has ignored presidential norms and traditions to the extent that Mr. Trump has.  So it naturally follows that I cannot recall a congress of either party that would so willingly follow a president down a rabbit hole if there was even the slightest chance that that president might be guilty of subversion of any type.  Either Mr. Trump has the charm and charisma of the very first snake in the apple tree or those congressional Republicans who are following and supporting him are just plain dumb.

No matter which it is, I hope that the Russia investigation will somehow be completed despite any obstruction that occurs; and I hope that it will be completed fairly and without bias. I also hope that American voters will hold all of those to account who for nefarious reasons worked to impede the investigation.  Whether they worked to support Mr. Trump through speaking on his behalf when they knew that he was lying, knowingly obfuscated the truth, hid evidence that would incriminate him, provided him with information so that he could prepare his lies in advance or lied themselves on his behalf, they should and must be held to account at the polls come November 2018 and 2020.  They must not be allowed to continue to help Mr. Trump move America backward, dismantle everything that America ever stood for, and strip her of all of her dignity and respect and the place of honor and high esteem that Americans have worked to earn in the eyes of all of those around the world.  They must not normalize him and empower him so that he can pull all of the rest of Americans down to his level.

If Mr. Trump’s only goal is to acquire and store up accolades  and always stand before an audience that adores him and showers him with affection then he should go back to reality television and all Americans should wish him good riddance.  They should do this because that is where those things that he is seeking can and should be found.  They should not be sought after in such an esteemed and serious office as that of the President of the United States of America because that is not where these things should be found.

Instead, the Oval Office is a place that demands a dedicated Commander-In-Chief who is dedicated to America and the American people and who is seeking to take the lead in continuing to nurture and grow something that has always been and still is bigger than any one person including their self. It is a place where that elected leader has accepted the responsibility of taking the entire weight of all of the American people – their dreams, their desires and aspirations – upon their shoulders.  The load is heavy, especially with America being a melting pot, and should not be taken on lightly and without long and serious consideration.

Most, if not all, of America’s past presidents recognized this grave responsibility, had seriously considered and prepared for it, and entered into this Office with an open mind, willingness to learn, and a determination to be all Americans president. That has not been the case with Mr. Trump.  He believes that he should be the Mr. Trump only to those who agree with him, admire him without reservation, and shower him with praise and adulation; and for the greatest part, that is his base.

So whether or not you agree with the direction in which Mr. Trump is leading America you should always get out and vote. If we all determine that that is what we are going to do and we step up to our responsibility as citizens and vote, then America will travel in the direction that the majority of Americans want her to travel…whether I agree with that direction or not.  Consequently, me and those Americans who might not agree with the majority can make our feelings known and the president with the best interest of America and its citizens in mind –  in the spirit and intent of fairness –  and with their great ability to sort through things, can use their great leadership skills combined with their determination to consider and empathize with all of the American people, to make a decision as to what should be done to effectively address the situation.

I realize that what was just said is more than a mouth full but I hope that you get my point. All of the things (and many more) mentioned in the preceding paragraph are necessary ingredients in the politics of the POTUS if they are to be successful while leading such a diverse group of citizens such as those that we have here in America.  Fortunately, Americans can change the direction that America is traveling in with their vote.  Things will never always go the way that everyone wants them to go and there will always be winners and losers.  But that is democracy!  So whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent, get out and vote.  And 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

Democrats Are In A Quandary Over How They Handled The Latest Republican Continuing Resolution Bill

Democrats have found themselves in a disconcerting situation as a result of how Senate Minority  Leader Chuck Schumer handled the recent situation that helped the Republican controlled senate to reopen the government.  Minority Leader Schumer, after conferring with a small number of Democratic senators, which included senators Susan Collins and Joe Manchin, decided to work with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to reopen the government without any real concessions from the Majority Leader.  This not only angered many progressive senators in the party but it angered many progressives overall.

I know that I was angry because I believed that the fact that senate Democrats had refused to support the Continuing Resolution (CR) unless it included a solution to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or at least a guarantee that this problem would be addressed immediately to avoid going beyond the March 5 deadline, which was arbitrarily imposed by Mr. Trump, had the support of the Democrats’ base and the majority of the American people.  And for Minority Leader Schumer to give up the fight for virtually no concessions from the other side made me wonder why he bothered to stand on the side of a shutdown in the first place.

Then I read Ezra Klein’s article in dated 1/22/2018 entitled ‘Democrats didn’t cave on the shutdown’.  It calmed me down somewhat and allowed me to think more clearly.  I then read Pat Garofalo’s article in U.S. News & World Report also dated 1/22/2018, which was basically the counterpoint to that of Ezra Klein’s and it gave me a basis of comparison for Mr. Klein’s conclusion that the Democrats did not cave and my conclusion that Minority Leader Schumer (and therefore the Democrats) did cave.

After I read these articles, I was able to moderate my disgust with Senator Schumer and my ‘I told you so’ attitude toward him that I had expressed in a previous article that I posted to this site before he became Minority Leader.  I still am not sure that he is the person for the Minority Leader job and neither am I sure that I will believe that he is after I further consider the situation; even if his tactic proves to be successful.

The bottom line is that we Democrats are in a quandary that we absolutely must find a way to extricate ourselves from and remain intact as a cohesive party.  Obviously, if I am a reasonable example of how those angry Democratic senators and other progressives feel, it will take some work.  Because although I have been able to moderate my anger regarding this cave…or not, by the Minority Leader, the fiery anger that engulfed me may be out but the top of my head has not yet stopped smoldering and the smoke has not yet stopped rising.

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

Trump Credibility Zero. America’s Credibility Waning Steadily

Mr. Donald J. Trump’s credibility is already at zero and with him in charge of America, America’s credibility is waning steadily.  Although it has been publicized that Mr. Trump told 2,000 lies during his first year in office it is highly likely that he told countless more than that.  Our country is now embroiled in a shutdown and Mr. Trump is doing more to hurt any potential resolution than he is to help it.  Why?  Because he is an out of control liar who finds it hard to make decisions or honorable agreements and when he does manage to make any, he is subject to change his mind and reverse that decision as soon as the party that he made the agreement with walks out of the meeting.  And because he occupies the Oval Office and in essence is the personification of America’s word, he is pulling America down with him.

Should they choose to do so, the Republican controlled congress could put a stop to this progressive draining of America’s credibility or, at the very least, stem its flow until the problem can be corrected.  Instead, they have chosen to enable Mr. Trump and have done nothing to even try to help America retain its honor and credibility in the eyes of American citizens and the world.

Unfortunately, this credibility problem also has a direct impact on congress and its ability to function properly.  It is obvious that Mr. Trump is continuing to soil all of those whom he touches as far too many of them, apparently including Republican members of congress, have abandoned their sworn duties to the Constitution and now have sworn allegiance to Mr. Trump.  They have become his minions.  Surely they must know that no matter how hard they try to hide it that the truth will ultimately be revealed.  But they have not yet realized this and if they have, they are not letting that deter them.  Therein lies the problem.  There is no longer trust among members of congress so that makes it all but impossible for members to do their job and represent the people who elected them to office.

Since Mr. Trump was elected, Republicans have taken a hard right turn and they have promulgated their intentions to ignore the minority party if they will not agree with them on the Republicans’ agenda and act simply as a rubber stamp, and pass legislation that addresses the Republican agenda without the agreement or help of congressional Democrats.  The only major case so far where they have been successful in running roughshod over Democrats is there tax cut bill.  They managed to give corporations a gigantic tax cut on the backs of middle class and poor Americans and distribute the great majority of those proceeds to rich Americans, the majority of which went to the top one tenth of a percent.  After the tax cut became law, the Koch brothers made a $500,000 contribution to Speaker Paul Ryan, which was likely a reward for him working to assure that the bill was passed.

After Mr. Trump was elected, among other things, he rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and set an arbitrary date of March 5, 2018 for congress to resolve the DACA problem.  Because congress had continually refused to address the issue and the March deadline is fast approaching, in order to address this problem before the deadline and prevent those in the DACA program from being haphazardly deported and possibly prevent the need for them to be deported at all, congressional Democrats asked that a solution for DACA be included in the latest continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government for the short term.

The Republicans refused this request and continued with their bullying tactics so Democrats refused to support the CR.  A number of Republicans refused to support it as well.  Now that the government shutdown has occurred, all the while that they are blaming Democrats for it, they are asking them to help them to reopen the government by promising them that they will give serious consideration to DACA by its deadline on March 5, 2018.  Promise?!  They have got to be kidding, right?!  There word has to be worth almost as much as a bucket of spit!

In order for America to get back on track and for congress to be able to properly do its job, trust and credibility must first be restored in congress and in the White House.  This cannot be done if the Republican controlled congress continues to refuse to confront Mr. Trump and hold him to account.  Congress is not a subordinate to Mr. Trump it is his equal and members must act accordingly and do their job.  Among the numerous allegations that have been leveled against Mr. Trump is one that says he is a racist.  Senator Lindsey Graham said that Mr. Trump is ‘definitely not a racist’ and cited seriously flawed rationale as to how he came to this conclusion.  It is extremely hard to believe that Mr. Trump is not a racist in light of his record before and since he was elected to office.

If a fruit grows on an apple tree, has an apple peel, the fruit beneath the peel looks and tastes like an apple then whether it is red, yellow, green or some other color, it is an apple.  Despite any other name that anyone else might call it and no matter how many times they call it by another name, it is still an apple.  Everything about Mr. Trump including his record says that he is a racist; therefore, he is a racist.  Democrats must continue to stand against Mr. Trump’s efforts to rid America of people of color for nefarious reasons and all Republicans should join them.  If they value the oath that they swore to the Constitution and are true statesmen, then they will do this.  Let’s just hope that they will do it sooner than later.

Eulus Dennis – author, Political Pawns And Puppets and Living Between The Line

The Chuck Grassley Lindsey Graham Sham

Senators Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham have become so protective of Mr. Donald Trump that they will do virtually anything to try to prevent special counsel Robert Mueller from getting to the bottom of what Russia did to interfere in our 2016 election and whether or not Mr. Trump and his campaign assisted them in doing it.  Both of these senators are (were?) considered to be statesmen who have (had?) a reputation for putting country ahead of party and doing the right thing even if it goes against their party’s interest.

Senator Grassley, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, refused to release the transcripts from his committee’s interview of Mr. Glenn Simpson, the co-founder of Fusion GPS, although he had told his constituents that he saw no reason why he would vote against releasing them.  We do not know for certain why he changed his mind but considering how protective he has been toward Mr. Trump makes one wonder whether his reason was nefarious.

The action that senators Grassley and Graham took subsequent to Senator Grassley’s refusal to release these transcripts is, at best, shameful.  Instead of using the intelligence information that was provided to Fusion GPS by Mr. Steele, formerly of M.I. 6 – the British intelligence agency, to try to get to the bottom of whether or not Russia interfered in the 2016 election, they attacked Mr. Steele’s credibility and the dossier that he had given to Fusion GPS and recommended that the FBI conduct a criminal investigation against him!  They are willing to ruin his life rather than allow any potentially damaging information on Mr. Trump to come to light.  Mr. Steele has always been, and still remains, highly respected by US intelligence agencies.

It took the courage of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) to allow the American people to have access to these transcripts and decide for themselves whether or not what Mr. Steele reported is valid and does not warrant that he be subjected to a criminal investigation.  No matter how patriotic Senators Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham might try to sound when going off course to investigate the dossier itself, who funded it and why while denigrating the FBI and supporting Mr. Trump in his attacks on America’s other intelligence agencies by using phrases like ‘rule of law’; savvy Americans know that although these phrases have real meaning they are also code words in dog-whistle politics for white supremacists and other hard right organizations.

In Mr. Trump’s latest embarrassment of America, during a meeting on immigration with six Republicans and one Democrat, he attacked immigrants from African countries and Haiti by labeling them as ‘shithole’ countries.  Of course, Mr. Trump denied having made these comments but neither the White House nor senators who attended the meeting specifically denied these allegations.  Instead, in order to remain on his good side and retain the opportunity to continue to kiss his ring whenever necessary, they came up with the following responses when asked by reporters whether or not he actually made the ‘shithole’ statement that he allegedly made.  All of the listed responses are based on an article in the Washington Post by Anne Gearan and Ed O’Keefe dated January 12, 2018 entitled “Trump acknowledges ‘tough’ language but appears to deny ‘shithole’ remark.”

  1. Speaker Paul Ryan said “First thing that came to my mind was: Very unfortunate, unhelpful…”
  2. A joint statement from Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) said “We do not recall the president saying these comments specifically but what he did call out was the imbalance in our current immigration system, which does not protect American workers and our national interest.”
  3. A comment from Senator Graham regarding Mr. Trump’s ‘shithole’ remark came from Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.). “…Senator Tim Scott told the Post & Courier newspaper that Gram told him that the reported comments are ‘basically accurate.'”
  4. Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) said “If those countries aren’t as you described, Democrats should be happy to deport criminal aliens back to them. &End #AnchorBabies, too.”
  5. This final response (#5), is my own and should not be credited to The Washington Post; and that is that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not commented yet. He is in the underground mode of his Whack-A-Mole MO (method of operation). When he pops up, maybe reporters can get a drink with him and find out what he thinks about this whole Mr. Trump mess.

Karine Jean-Pierre said on the January 11, 2018 Lawrence O’Donnell show that “I feel like I’m everything that Donald Trump hates…”  Those are this author’s sentiments exactly and I believe that there are many other people of color who feel the same way!  The fact is that Mr. Trump and all of those Republican politicians (and anyone else in government) who have enabled him, whether or not they are continuing to do so, must be held to account!  Let all of these folks know how you feel during the midterm elections and beyond via your vote!  Mr. Trump is the head of America but he is not the king or despot of America!  His position does not reign supreme despite what the rest of America wants for our country!

We must let Republicans in congress know that they cannot have it both ways.  We must let them know that they were elected to serve America and not Mr. Trump and that they must choose which one it will be.  If they choose to put Mr. Trump and party above country then they should and must be held to account.  This is not a partisan issue.  All Americans whether they are Democrats, Republicans or Independents should be concerned about what Mr. Trump is doing to America and those who disagree with what he is doing must work to put a stop to it immediately!  We can do this by way of our vote.  So always remember, whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent, 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