Tag Archives: GOVERNMENT

Trump, making it even worse for Puerto Rico

The population of the US Territory of Puerto Rico is 3.195 million US citizens. In 2017 the island was struck by two major hurricanes that inflicted horrible and long-lasting damage. Congress authorized $20 billion in relief aid but so far only $1.5 billion has been released; the balance being held back by Trump’s Department of Housing and Urban Development headed up by the always insensitive and incompetent, Ben Carson.

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Those Damned Do Nothing Democrats

We all know how Republicans love to charge the Democrats in Congress with never doing anything. It’s the easiest and most convenient means of throwing or diverting the heat off their backs. After all, it takes two to tango and while the House is one of the necessary partners in the dance, the GOP and Moscow Mitch controlled Senate is the other.

Actually, American lawmaking is not a dance for two. Instead, it is, as the French would say, a “danser pour trois.” Before anyone

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Civics 101 for Trump & Company

Yesterday or today Trump tweeted that the House of Representatives didn’t have the power to impeach him. Instantly I thought of the standard triangular graphic that appears in absolutely every high school government or civics textbook.

There has never been a public school student who sat in one of the aforementioned classes and didn’t see something that closely resembled the attached graph. And, as they saw the graphic,

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An alphabetical summation of Donald Trump

This appeared on my Facebook feed last week and I think it pretty much says all that can honestly (HONESTLY) be said about Trump.

“A person asked the question, “Why are people so hostile towards President Donald Trump?”

Chris O’Leary:

Before you pass my answer off as “Another Liberal Snowflake” consider that
1.) I’m an independent centrist who has voted Republican way more often in my life than Democrat, and
2.) If you want to call someone who spent the entire decade of his 20’s serving in the Marine Corps a snowflake, I’d be ready to answer the question what did you do with your 20’s?

Why Liberals (And not-so liberals) are against President Trump.

A.) He lies. A LOT. Politifact rates 69% of the words he speaks as “Mostly False or worse” Only 17% of the things he says get a “Mostly True” or better rating. That is an absolutely unbelievable number. How he doesn’t speak more truth by mistake is beyond me. To put it in context, Obama’s rating was 26% mostly false or worse, and I had a problem with that. Many of Trump’s former business associates report that he has always been a compulsive liar, but now he’s the President of the United States, and that’s a problem. And this is a man who expects you to believe him when he points at other people and says “They’re lying”

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Establishment vs Anti-Establishment

I don’t always agree with Robert Reich but I do always enjoy listening to his points of view. Simply put, he makes me think and that’s what so many Americans need, to be forced to think.

While I don’t have a clue as to who I’ll vote for in Ohio’s Democratic Primary it does help to hear all the sides. Spending six-minutes listening to an informed and experienced voice like Riech’s will help me when decision time comes.

America, our nation, may be doomed

I taught American Government for a couple of decades and always believed in the basic principles of our Constitutional democracy. That the founders feared power and they believed too much power would result in corruption. This fear led them to create a system that divided power into three governmental branches and assigned certain powers to each. It was assumed that protecting what was their own would cause each branch to check the power of the others while protecting its own.

While this system of “checks and balances” has never worked perfectly it has, for almost two and a half centuries, kept us a democratic nation and prevented the rise of a tyrannical dictatorship. The maintenance of democracy in America has, however, been under attack since Donald Trump took occupancy of the White House. Trump has increasingly used every means at his disposal to weaken the competing two branches while strengthing the power of the executive to levels never before seen. The current attempt to impeach and remove Trump fro43%m power is motivated in great part, to an attempt to restore a balance between the three branches.

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The Impeachments You’ve Probably Not Heard Of

I think we can now confidently say that three American presidents have been impeached, Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton, and most certainly, Donald Trump. Richard Nixon would have been impeached and most likely removed from office had he not resigned his office before the House of Representatives took a vote.

But, what about other federal impeachments? The Constitution permits the impeachment of the President, Vice President, and all civil officers, including federal judges, of the United States.* So far, in our nation’s history, there have been nineteen impeachments, fifteen of which were judges and two were presidents. Trump is not included in the total, as of yet.

Most Americans know little to nothing about the non-presidential impeachments but a little investigation makes for interesting reading. A list if our impeachments, along with a brief story of each can be found by clicking HERE.

  • Members of Congress are not considered civil officers and are not impeachable.

Ford & Rockefeller Make History

With everything that’s recently been said about impeachment, Gerald Ford was mentioned. Ford, a long-time member of the House of Representatives, was quoted as having said that high crimes and misdemeanors were whatever the House says they are.

That said, I got to thinking about Ford’s time in the White House and recalling a bit of historical trivia regarding both he and his vice president, Nelson Rockefeller.

While some of you old-timers may recall this, it may be new to the whipper-snappers out there. As a result of the 25th Amendment and the resignation of President Richard Nixon, Ford and Rockefeller made history.

Before the resignation of Nixon his Vice President, Spiro Agnew, had been forced to resign because of criminal problems back in his home state of Maryland. The 25th required that a replacement be appointed and that person was Gerald Ford. Thus, Ford became the first VP to have never been elected by the people or the Electoral College. Later, when Nixon resigned to avoid being removed through the impeachment process, Ford became the president, again without being elected.

That left the VP vacant and the 25th required that someone needed to be appointed to fill that vacancy. That somebody was the former governor of New York, Nelson Rockefeller.

So, for the first and only time in America’s history, both the presidency and the vice presidency were filled by people who had not been chosen by either popular vote or the majority of the Electoral College. And there children, is your historical trivia for the day.

 

The Supreme Court – Some History & Thoughts!

Neither political party can claim total innocence when it comes to manipulating an ideological balance on the US Supreme Court. But as Robert Reich points out in the concluding video, maybe neither has put as much effort into structuring the Court of its dreams than today’s Republican Party.

As Mitch McConnel has shown, he is willing to do anything Senate leadership position lets him get away with to avoid permitting a moderate or liberal jurist gaining a seat on the Court; Merrick Garland would be the perfect example.

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Sergeant at Arms, Arrest That Man!

Unless you’re brain dead you know there is a huge battle going on between the House of Representatives and the White House. The House is gleaning information (evidence) in an attempt to impeach Donald J. Trump and Donald J. Trump is stonewalling in every way he can.

Traditionally the House could turn to federal prosecutors but since the AG is behaving as if he were Trump’s personal attorney there’s not much chance of resolution via that route.

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Understanding High-Crimes & Misdemeanors

For at least the fourth time in our history, the US House of Representatives is investigating a sitting president for impeachable offenses. Besides the official investigation that Speaker Nancy Pelosi endorsed yesterday against Donald Trump, there was Andrew Johnson in 1868, Richard Nixon in 1973, and Bill Clint 1998. Nixon resigned before his case came to trial in the Senate while the Senate failed to find Johnson and Clinton guilty of the charges. 
With yesterday’s decision by Pelosi the question arises, what are impeachable charges? The US Constitution clearly states that the president, the vice president, and all civil officers, may be impeached. Stated impeachable offenses would include “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

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“Locked & Loaded” – Oh Shit, Not Another War!

George H.W. Bush, in 1990, took a coalition of nations into Kuwait and Iraq to protect one of our sources of oil from an invading Iraqui army. We went to war for oil, and many Americans didn’t think that was justified. The majority, however, saw our actions as protecting a friendly nation from a tyrant, Saddam Hussein.

Currently, Donald Trump is threatening war with Iran and seems to be claiming that Iran attacked our friend, Saudi Arabia. A clearer version of the truth is that both Iran and Saudi are aggressor nations and neither is a friend to America. Both nations are religious and economic rivals and both sponsor international terrorism. After all, it was Saudis who brought down the trade towers on 9/11 and it is the Saudis who are heavily responsible for the civil war that is raging in their neighboring country of Yemen.

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To Grow It Helps To Know

For as long as there has been an American “war on drugs” the nation of Columbia has been a target. Sitting at the top of South America, Columbia has been a major supplier of illegal marijuana and cocaine for decades. Arguably, no one knows more about growing pot and coke than Columbia.

Well, according to National Public Radio Columbia is putting all this experience into legal business opportunities, supplying the world’s needs for medical marijuana. NPR says:

“Colombia is on track to become a medical marijuana powerhouse. The South American country now has more than two dozen legal cannabis companies that have invested more than $600 million in building new facilities. The government legalized medical marijuana in 2016 and the country now exports products to Canada and the U.K.”

Truths About American Health Care

Medicare for all is a hot topic with progressive Democrats pushing for it and conservative Republicans falsely referring to it as communism and claiming it will bankrupt the nation.

Well, back in the fight over Obamacare days I did some checking and read a book or two about comparative health care systems. While I don’t remember much of the details I do remember the general knowledge I acquired. Lesson learned number one is that lots of countries have far better systems than America. Number two is that withing America the most efficient systems are the VA and Medicare. Both of which, by the way, are socialists systems and extremely popular.

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