The Honorable Senator John McCain, A Patriot And True Statesman Has Died

Senator John McCain was a patriot and true statesman who served his country with honor.  He died on August 25, 2018 after a bout with a deadly form of cancer called glioblastoma.  There were more than a few times that I disagreed with Senator McCain and became very angry with him for the things that he was doing or saying.  From time-to-time when he was on the TV for a short period of time doing or saying those things I would say a few unkind words to his image on the TV and let it go at that.  But there were other times when he was on for a longer period of time or made a long speech that I would angrily go back-and-forth with him or simply mumble my disagreement under my breath(don’t tell anybody that).  But although I disagreed with him many times, I seldom doubted his sincerity about his rationale and that he felt that what he was doing was in the best interest of his country and constituents.

All Americans owe the late honorable senator John McCain a debt of gratitude.  So I want to take this opportunity to say publicly, “thank you Senator McCain for your service and sacrifice – while in the military and in congress – to this great country.  We are all better off because of your statesmanship, service and tireless dedication to America and the American people.  I extend my condolences to your family for their loss and to you I say, rest in peace.”  As I reflect on senator McCain and his time in congress, I see him as a savvy politician who strongly supported his party and was a disciplined team player.  But I believe that he always placed country first, above party and personal gain.  He seemed genuinely interested in making America better for all of the American people.

Finally, I recall a time when, many years before Senator McCain ran for president, I said to my wife, “I could vote for him for president.”  I cannot articulate what kind of a look that she gave me but I did not have any problem with how to interpret it.  It was an ‘I totally disagree with you look.’  Actually, I think it was an ‘have you completely lost your mind?’ look.  If I recall correctly, we did not talk any further about my comment but quickly moved on to another topic.  That notwithstanding, I hope that it is obvious through other articles that I posted to this website that I respected Senator McCain and always believed that he was a patriot who stood firmly on principle and his principles and honor were not for sale…to anyone.  If you would like to read those articles, type ‘John McCain’ or ‘Senator John McCain’ into this site’s search box.

Senator John McCain’s shoes will be hard to fill.  But if the person who ultimately steps into them is as honorable and principled as was Senator McCain, then we will have a worthy elected official who will be worthy of serving America and the American people.

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

Senator Lindsey Graham Is A Senator John McCain Knock-Off

How senator Lindsey Graham ever became associated with Senator John McCain and somehow was awarded the same status and honor as a man of integrity as that of the honorable Senator McCain is a mystery to me.  I guess that he just found a way to somehow glom on – kind of like a tick or flea does to its unaware subjects – to him.  When the media writes about these two men, senator Lindsey Graham does not deserve to even be mentioned in the same paragraph or sentence – let alone same breath, with Senator John McCain.  It is now very obvious that senator Graham has decided, along with almost all of the other Republicans in congress, to sell his soul to Mr. Donald Trump and pledge his loyalty to him even at the cost of his loyalty to the constitution and the American people.

Senator Graham, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan are all cut from the same bolt of cloth; they place politics and the political games of politics above all else.  They are firmly rooted in the “don’t hate the player, hate the game” mentality and they play strictly by “the game” rules.  They condemn street people who play by these rules and look upon them as the scum of the earth who should always be punished to the full extent of the law for their “crimes.”  But, of course – from their perspective, there is a gigantic gulf between what they are doing and what street people are doing when they commit crimes because there is a gigantic difference between white-collar crime and other (street people) crimes (The overall fairness of the American justice system warrants the attention of another post at another time).  After all, they are government officials who are so-called elected representatives of the American people.

If senator Graham, senator McConnell and Speaker Ryan really cared about the American people and the oath that they took to defend the constitution and this country against all enemies foreign and domestic when they entered office, they would have put Mr. Trump in check a long time ago.  But instead, they have chosen to protect the Republican party, move its agenda forward and promote their own self interest.  What a sad commentary these three men and the current Republican-led congress have proffered to the American people, late founders and the great American institutions that these founders established and worked hard to assure would provide, in perpetuity, a firm foundation that would support America, the American people and the American way of life.

Most Americans do not closely follow politics so they don’t thoroughly realize how cavalierly that the aforementioned three men have handled, and continue to handle, their oath of office, the constitution and their responsibility to the American people.  These so-called elected representatives of the American people count on Americans to not be and remain informed on politics.  That way, they can always dupe them with their election cycle rhetoric when it is time for them to be reelected.  They do not care that Mr. Trump is taking us backwards at a break-neck pace and ruining America’s reputation nationally and in the eyes of the world as long as he is advancing the Republican party agenda.  Hence, “don’t hate the player, hate the game” has been and still remains their mantra!

I don’t know where America will ultimately end up because a large number of Americans – although a minority – still support Mr. Trump and are satisfied with his performance as president.  But I do not like the direction in which we are headed.  Mr. Trump is completely unhinged!  And unfortunately because of his so-called leadership, right now, we are a completely polarized and divided country.  Whether or not it is on purpose or by accident, Mr. Trump is leading America down a rabbit hole filled with chaos that can lead to nothing good for America and her allies.  It is his version of Vincent Bugliosi’s Helter Skelter and he is loving it!  The sad part of the whole thing is that he does not really seem to realize that he is doing anything wrong and that his unorthodox leadership has the potential to completely ruin America and forever taint or completely destroy our democracy as we know it!

The bottom line is that all Americans must get involved, get informed and do all that they can to assure that Trump’s America will not succeed!  Therefore, I implore all Americans – whether or not you agree with and support Mr. Trump, to get informed and stay informed on politics.  And once you are truly informed (not just by Fox News), even if you still agree with the direction in which Mr. Trump is leading America, you should always exercise your right to 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!  Be sure to vote in the 2018, 2020 elections and beyond; America and our way of life are depending on you!

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

Trump Works To Thieve Hope

Mr. Trump and the spineless Republican-led congress are working twenty-four seven to rob Americans of all hope and any confidence that they have left in our democracy and the American system of governance. This congress is well aware of what Mr. Trump is doing to the American people and the American way of life and yet they still sit back and heartlessly watch because they want to press forward with the Republican agenda.  They would rather count the number of judges that they are able to confirm than to rescue the American people from the slaughterhouse tactics that Mr. Trump is perpetrating upon them!  It appears that as far as congress is concerned, for all intents and purposes, our plight is meaningless to them.  They are treating this whole nightmarish scenario like some kind of a cruel Darwinian game that will ultimately culminate in the survival of the fittest… so don’t look for any help.

They are not even moved to action by the despot-like tactics that Mr. Trump is using against former and current career government employees who are, without a doubt, patriots and who have served this country selflessly and with honor! The most recent victim of these Trumpian tactics is former CIA Director John Brennan.  Mr. Trump unilaterally revoked Director Brennan’s security clearance.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan have cowed to Mr. Trump and abdicated all but a feeble appearance of leadership to him.  As a result, the Republican-led congress has become reprobate and due to the lack of genuine leadership by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan, far too many patriotic Republicans throughout America continue to support this poor excuse of a congress, which is filled with pseudo statesmen who claim to represent them.  Whether these elected officials are doing it explicitly or tacitly, they are helping Mr. Trump in his effort to destroy America; and they know it!

Senate Majority Leader McConnell let Americans know exactly who he is and what he is all about when he refused for 293 days, the longest nomination process in the history of Supreme Court nominations, to hold confirmation hearings on President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland. Senator McConnell blatantly lied about why he refused to hold these hearings and shamelessly denied judge Merrick Garland, who was well respected on both sides of the isle, the opportunity to become a Supreme Court Justice.  And he did this for strictly partisan reasons.  He was holding out hope that a Republican would be elected president in the 2016 elections and that Republicans could then put a person on the court that would be further to the right than was judge Garland.  His plan worked and the recently confirmed Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, who was nominated by Mr. Trump, was the fortunate beneficiary of his unyielding tenacity.

I don’t know about you but I am hard-pressed to continue to believe that those senators and representatives that Americans voted for to look out for the best interest of America and to represent them and their thoughts really care even in the slightest about them, their concerns and needs or what they think. Instead, they are locked in on their prospects for personal gain, loyalty to their party, Mr. Trump, big money donors and getting reelected; although not necessarily in that order.  As a regular American citizen it is extremely hurtful and hard for me to understand why everyone in power is sitting by and allowing Mr. Trump to do the terrible things that he is doing without even trying to place checks on him.  Congress has the power to do this yet they are doing absolutely nothing!  Well, they are not always doing absolutely nothing; in many cases they are actually enabling him.

What is happening to us in this country?! What has become of statesmanship and leadership?!  What has become of that instilled human element in all Americans, and especially our elected officials and leaders, to always treat others, whether they are friend or adversary, with that inalienable dignity and respect that they were born with; that degree of dignity and respect that they are not required to earn?!  Is it no longer there?!  And if that is the case, is this the place that we have allowed Mr. Trump to lead us to without us and those that we elected to represent us making any effort whatsoever to prevent it from happening?!  Is this where we really want to be?!  God help us if it is!

Even though Mr. Trump and his minions are doing everything in their power to tear down and discredit Special Counsel Mueller and his team, I still completely trust them. I believe that they will get to the bottom of what happened with Mr. Trump and his campaign and what took place with regards to the Russian meddling in our 2016 elections.  But it is taking soooooo long and Mr. Trump is continuing to ride roughshod over the American people and do damage to America that will be extremely hard to completely recover from if not impossible to recover from.

Still, Americans must continue to support those true patriots who are working to bring out the truth about what happen in 2016 to put Mr. Trump in office and to determine whether or not he is indeed a legitimate U.S. president who was elected without the aid of a foreign adversary. That notwithstanding, those patriots must realize that the American people are hurting and struggling to understand why Mr. Trump is being allowed to do the things that he is doing unchecked by those in power who can do something to halt or at least mitigate, the damage that he is doing to our country.  Most Americans likely believe that they already realize this and empathize with us.  Along with that empathy, however, they must move to correct this problem as quickly as possible without jeopardizing the Mueller investigation or putting America in a position that will force Americans to give Mr. Trump a free pass.  He and all of those who assisted him must be held to account if they colluded with Russia in any way or committed any other criminal acts.

Mr. Trump is becoming more bold each time that he sends up a trial balloon and finds that his supposed overseers are too timid to challenge him even when he and they know that he is way out of line and abusing his power. And each time that this happens he moves what is supposed to be an immoveable Rubicon just a little further from favoring and protecting America and the American people as the Founders intended it to do, to favoring and protecting Mr. Donald John Trump, which completely subverts the spirit and intent of why it was established in the first place.  When will our elected officials step up and address this problem?  Will they wait until it is too late?

Will they be like the frog in the pot of cool water that was brought ever so slowly to a boil and by the time that it realized that it was going to be dinner or have all of its parts that were its very life ripped out and replaced with stuffing, it was too late to do anything about its situation. The point is not whether it would wind up as dinner or be stuffed by a taxidermist and placed in a museum or on someone’s mantel, the point is that its life was over!  Will we wait so long that when we decide to finally put a stop to Mr. Trump’s antics, democracy as we now know it will be over?  That’s a scary thought!  All the more reason why all voting-age Americans should seriously contemplate what is happening now and get informed, stay informed and vote in the 2018, 2020 elections and beyond.

Your vote does count and you can make a difference. 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

Trump, Prestidigitation And The Republican Agenda

Mr. Trump, the Republican party and the Republican-led congress are at it again.  Or perhaps I should say they are still at it because they have never stopped trying to fool the American people since Mr. Trump took office.  The sad part about this is that what they are doing is working.  Since Mr. Trump is championing and carrying forward the Republican agenda, with the obvious help of the Republican-led congress, by way of prestidigitation and his base is loving every minute of it as they boisterously  cheer him on, Republicans are content to put up with his antics.  Especially since these antics provide cover for the fact that their party’s agenda is heartless and just as vile as those eccentric behaviors which Mr. Trump proudly flaunts as the leader of their party and leader of the free world.

In the event that some readers might not be familiar with the word ‘prestidigitation’, please allow me to save you a trip to the online dictionary; it simply means sleight of hand, magic tricks, smoke-and mirrors or deception.  I suppose, since it is a seldom used non-household variety word, I used it as a ploy in an effort to assure that I would get your attention and somehow hold it.  The use of a ploy seems appropriate in light of the subject matter of this article.  And if the trick did grab your attention – even if you do not normally closely follow politics because it is too often too down in the gutter, involves too much mudslinging and is therefore frustrating for you, I hope that you will read this entire article.  Because if there was ever a time when Americans should (and must) overcome their frustrations and political battle fatigue and stand up and fight for what they believe in, that time is now!  It is important for all of us to realize that we have never had – and I believe that most Americans hope that we will never have again, no matter how much and how strongly we might disagree with one another – a leader of the free world like Mr. Trump!

Anyway, the things that the Department of Justice, Department of Education, Department of Commerce, Department of Treasury, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Homeland Security and etc. are doing are not just things that are occurring because they are out-of-control rogue Departments; they are carrying out the Republican agenda!  And Mr. Trump provides the perfect cover to allow this to happen!  While the entire nation is focused on trying to decide whether he is a racist, misogynistic, Islamophobic, white supremacist – among many other vile things – president, the Republican-led congress is quietly implementing the Republican agenda.  An agenda which serves and caters to the rich and powerful and has no regards for the poor and those without power.  And they are doing this even though they know that many of the other things that Mr. Trump is doing at the same time is a bona fide  threat to American democracy as we know it!  Hello, Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell!  Where are you?!

All of the scandals involving cabinet members in the Trump administration and the overall scandalous behavior that is taking place since Mr. Trump was elected should not come as a surprise.  Americans knew who Mr. Trump was before he was elected.  And yet, his supporters put him in office to lead America and represent our country in leading the free world.  Look what that got us; a man who is a consummate liar and who acts like an elementary school schoolyard bully!  In the words of Maya Angelou, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”  Too many Americans did not believe Mr. Trump.

Even so, due to the magnitude of these scandals and scandalous behavior along with the nonchalant response by our congress, especially under the existing circumstances, Americans should be in total shock.  It is easy to see that Mr. Trump’s campaign pledge to ‘drain the swamp’ in Washington has instead resulted in the creation of a larger swamp with more and larger alligators.  In fact, the swamp that he pledged to drain looks more like an aboveground septic tank.  The way that the White House is being run and the way that it is functioning smacks more like that of a reality TV show than that of the functioning of the residence of the most powerful man in the world.  It certainly does not function like the smooth running well-oiled machine that Mr. Trump has claimed that it is.  Surely only he could conjure that up and then actually believe it!

As a result of this bizarre situation that we find ourselves in, come November 2018, we should be prepared to show those sitting (pun intended because that is about all that they are doing) congressmen that we are holding them to account for the path that America is traveling as a result of the unchecked, unorthodox leadership of Mr. Trump.  We must stand at the ready to perform, not only our civic duty as Americans to vote but to do all that we can to assure that our country will be defended and protected against all enemies both foreign and domestic… despite any differences that we might have with one another as fellow Americans.  First and foremost we must protect our democracy!  We must not stand by and simply watch as politicians – for purposes of personal gain or loyalty to a party or president, stand by and watch our country be sold down the river by anyone; and especially if that someone is our president!

Mr. Trump was not a politician when he was elected and was not at the time hardwired to play politics; and perhaps he is not even a skilled politician now, but he certainly is, and has long been, a master charlatan.  He knows how to manipulate all of the people around him – which one can easily ascertain by the actions of our worm-like Republican-led congress, and he also knows his way around the television ratings world and that helps him in his ability to manipulate the news media in its coverage of him while he is at the same using the news media’s coverage of him to smear them and attack and ruin their own credibility.  Mr. Trump is obviously ignorant and shallow when it comes to the many complex issues that America is faced with and he is ill-equipped to deal with those issues in the way that a qualified and effective leader would deal with them.  Ergo, endless deflection and smoke-and-mirrors.  This is the full extent of what he has in his intellectual, altruistic, leadership and governmental experience toolbox.  And minus a congress with a spine, Mr. Trump’s gain is America’s loss.

All Americans regardless of party and partisan politics must step up now and say enough is enough!  We will not tolerate this kind of politics any longer!  And we will hold you to account come November 2018 and beyond no matter your party affiliation!  The best way for us to do this is 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