End of Week 336 – It’s time….

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Well, chemo is kicking my ass so this will be short. I have an appointment with my oncologist tomorrow, and tomorrow is midterms.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to drive myself to the doctor, but I certainly am going to vote. It would be easy to stay home – Delaware is a pretty safely blue state as far as our state-wide offices go. Our governor is not up for re-election for another 2 years. This time we have a senator (Carper) and our single US Rep (Rochester) running and although I’m pretty sure they are each going to win I want to vote for them, and will not let chemo stop me.

Today is rainy and blustery. I’m hoping all this goes away before tomorrow. We need good weather for a big turnout. I do not believe in polls, except the one poll that counts – voting. However, many polls are saying the GOP may lose control of the US House of Reps. That would be good. It would be a first step in establishing checks on the person currently pretending to be a president. SCROTUS is trying to salvage the situation; barnstorming across the country.

The problem is his campaigning is based on hatred of anyone who is not white. SCROTUS also prefers those who are rich, male, and who can help him with his personal finances, but he is not saying that to his base, most of whom are white but not rich (and not very intelligent, unfortunately). Despite shootings, mail bombs, and attacks on places of worship, SCROTUS still promotes his platform of hating anyone of color or who may be different in any other way. He is violating the law by sending troops to secure our southern border against a caravan of immigrants that is still hundreds of miles away. It is all just a show for the election.

VOTE!! VOTE BLUE!! The existence of our republic depends on controlling SCROTUS.

Until next time….

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End of Week 335 – A Week of Sorrow….

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We are emerging from a week that has been dominated by tragedy. Three horrific incidents, each carried out by a white, male, conservative, home-grown terrorist, filled the evening news.

A man with a gun tried to enter a predominantly black church in Kentucky. When he could not do that, he went to a local grocery store and killed two people.

A man with a white van covered in pro-SCROTUS pictures and stickers mailed explosive devices to more than 10 SCROTUS opponents (individuals and businesses, like CNN) all across the country. None exploded, but we don’t know if they have all been found. The man was based in Florida; he has been arrested.

A man with an AR15 rifle entered a Pittsburgh synagogue and killed 11 people, injured more (including 4 police officers), while screaming anti-Semitic slogans.

None of these people is still at large. Two are SCROTUS fans. The third, the man in Pittsburgh, is listed as not a particular fan of SCROTUS, but that may be because SCROTUS is not anti-Semitic enough for him. What is the connecting thread? It is that the rhetoric and actions of SCROTUS over the last two years have emboldened both his fans and those even more unbalanced. They have taken their cue from the current occupant of the White House, who publicly approves of violence against others; praises politicians who body slam journalists; bullies anyone who disagrees with him. He encourages his rally audiences to attack others, literally. He also leads his followers down the path of violence by calling the free press “the enemy of the people”. He constantly insults, belittles, and outright lies.

The behavior seen this week is a direct result of the example set by SCROTUS. Before anyone says, “But these are adults. They make up their own minds,” sure – they bear responsibility for their own actions. However, a person in a position to make his ideas known world-wide is pushing an agenda of hate and division. They are following it. SCROTUS is just as responsible.

There is only one solution. VOTE LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT, BECAUSE IT DOES!! Midterms are less than 2 weeks away. We aren’t voting for president, but we can take the House of Representatives if we can get out the vote! We need to get a foothold that can keep check on the madman in the White House. Change is best from within; this is how we start. VOTE BLUE!!!

Until next week….

 

End of Week 334 – Conspiracies of the Right…

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I’ve posted this picture before. It is old, but it shows so many of the people who are important to me; people I love. I talk a lot of politics on this site, but since I’ve started down this cancer treatment road I’ve realized that friends, family, and love are much more important to me! Following politics helps keep my mind sharp, but these people are an example of who keeps me emotionally grounded.

Politics, however, is always in the news. In my last post I discussed the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi (JK), Saudi citizen and legal, permanent resident of Northern VA, USA, and a contributor to WashPo. When last we discussed this situation, Saudi Arabia was maintaining JK left their Turkish consulate on his own, which made no sense. Well, this story, and the reaction of SCROTUS, has gone through a LOT of changes since then.

Saudi Arabia now admits JK was killed in their Turkish consulate, but they say it was an accident stemming from a fist fight. This is as ridiculous as saying he walked out and left his fiancée standing on the Turkish street. Maybe more ridiculous. Consider what the world knows about this:

JK went to the consulate to get forms needed to get married. They told him to come back on October 2nd to pick up the forms. He did, and he disappeared.

The world has seen video of Saudi thugs arriving in Turkey, arriving at the consulate, and leaving the consulate. It has been confirmed that a “dissection specialist” with a bone saw was part of that group.

The world has seen video of a “body double” pretending to be JK, wearing his clothes, and then changing back and ditching JK’s clothes.

The Saudi government has never said a word about where the body is. If JK died accidentally in a fight, there would be no reason to keep the location of the body secret.

SCROTUS has changed from believing the Saudi prince to saying the SA government is covering up the murder. He has talked about yanking the visas of some SA nationals. What the world is not seeing or hearing is anything that affects the arms deal between SA and the US, or anything that affects the personal monetary deals SCROTUS has with SA. That’s a lot. SCROTUS is deep in SA’s debt and he won’t do anything to endanger his relationship with them.

Everything about this grisly murder points to premeditation on the part of the Saudi government, and we all know nothing happens connected to SA without the crown prince knowing. SCROTUS is trying to ride the wave, using midterms and a migrant caravan as distractions, until he can just resume normal business with SA and make more money for himself.

Speaking of midterms and caravans; there is a “caravan” of immigrants working their way from Central America, through Mexico, with the US as their ultimate goal. What’s interesting about this is SCROTUS and the GOP are claiming the caravan is being funded by the Democrats. SCROTUS and the GOP are talking about this caravan at every opportunity; making false and unproven statements about it with no supporting evidence; using it for fear mongering to rile up their bigoted, hate filled, xenophobic, racist base.

This migrant caravan is a weapon ready-made for the GOP. It is doing nothing for the Democrats and in fact may hurt them in midterms since the Dems do not appeal to voters who react with racism and hate. So why would the Dems fund such a caravan? Simple – they wouldn’t. If there is any outside American funding (which I doubt), it is probably coming from the GOP, the Koch brothers, or other conservative fear mongers. It is the only thing that makes sense. They are the only ones benefiting from the lies being told.

Mainstream Media is playing right into the GOP’s trap, covering the caravan every step of the way, despite the fact that they are at least 6 weeks from the US/Mexico border. It would be nice if they would stop reporting on it for a while since all that does is fuel the hate of those who support SCROTUS.

Until next week….

End of Week 333 – The Home Stretch…

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A picture of a cardinal in my back yard. Just because. I like cardinals. I like birds.

I’m getting ready for my second chemo infusion on Tuesday. There is another site where I chronicle that experience. I mention it here as context because I’ve dropped 15 pounds since mid-August. I haven’t been able to exercise as much as I’d like, but I also don’t eat as much. The first chemo infusion took away my appetite for a while and while I wasn’t eating I think my stomach shrank because I’m just not as hungry as I used to be.

I’m also not as interested in SCROTUS as I used to be. Trying to follow the idiocy masquerading as an administration is difficult enough, but when you’re tired anyway for other reasons trying to follow it is irritating. Still, there are things going on that get my attention.

One of the big stories this week has been the disappearance of a journalist, a WashPo contributor, Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi is a citizen of Saudi Arabia, but lives and works in the Northern Virginia area of the USA. He is also a harsh critic of the current monarchy in Saudi Arabia. That I am using the present tense here is me being hopeful. It is becoming more and more likely that while he was in Turkey he entered the Saudi consulate to get the forms required to get married, and never came out. The theory is that a Saudi hit squad was waiting for him, killed him, dismembered him, and shipped his body parts out. Sounds like it should happen only in the movies, right?

If there is an area of the world from which it is difficult to get the truth, it is the Middle East, and especially conservative autocratic countries like Saudi Arabia (SA). Right now there are way more questions than answers. There are reports of Turkey having recordings of the murder, but we have not heard them yet. SA insists Khashoggi left the consulate on his own, but they have not provided video of him leaving. There is video of him entering, so there should also be video of him leaving. Khashoggi’s fiancée was waiting for him just outside the consulate. She was there for hours and he never emerged. It does not make sense that he would voluntarily depart the consulate and just leave her standing there. When Khashoggi first inquired at the consulate regarding obtaining the marriage forms, they told him to come back on October 2nd to get them. They gave him a specific date, and that is the date he returned to the consulate and vanished. We have a lot of different parties making a lot of different claims and no proof of anything, except that Khashoggi is definitely GONE.

So, how does the USA fit into this? First of all, Khashoggi may have been in Turkey when this happened, but he was officially working and living in Virginia, USA. Second, SCROTUS has close ties to the monarchy in SA, all monetary of course. He has way too much personal wealth tied up in that country to be trusted to do the right thing in this case. This sinister mystery made headlines for several days before SCROTUS said anything. It apparently was more important for SCROTUS to hold court for, and be worshiped by, F-bomb dropping Kanye West in the Oval Office than to take a position on the possibility of his rich friends committing a horrible crime.

Besides personal wealth, SCROTUS does not want to endanger the arms deal he has going between the US and SA. When asked about it, SCROTUS said he doesn’t want to endanger the defense industry jobs that are dependent upon us filling SA’s arms order. Someone in Congress should investigate how this ties in to any and all Trump family business in SA. Rather than hold SA’s feet to the fire to get the truth; it is more important that the US provide SA with even more arms than we already have. That way we can be even more complicit and responsible the next time SA launches weapons against another country and kills a bus full of school children.

SCROTUS also said he asked the SA monarch about Khashoggi, and the monarch denied the accusations “in every way imaginable”. Well, I guess that settles it. SA is innocent. After all, all it took was Putin denying that Russia cyberattacked us to convince SCROTUS. Since he does not want to anger SA, their denials will probably be all SCROTUS needs to just brush off the whole thing.

Until next week….

 

 

End of Week 332 – The Predictable Disaster Happens….

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Ok, Kavanaugh is on SCOTUS. Happened over the weekend. I knew that was how it was going to end. The GOP is in control and they restricted the follow-up investigation. Once the vote was taken Saturday night they brought Kavanaugh (BK) in for a sneak swearing-in before anything could go wrong.

The aftermath is interesting. Two senators are having to explain their votes for Kavanaugh – Republican Susan Collins of Maine, and Democrat Joe Manchin of WVA. WVA is a “red” state. Manchin broke with his party to support BK, probably because he is from a red state and it appears he is up for reelection. The people of WVA are in a “no win” situation. Manchin is the Democratic candidate, but that doesn’t seem to mean much since he will vote GOP when it is expedient and benefits him. So, WVA has either a DINO (dem in name only) senator, or a genuine GOP senator. Either way the vote results are the same.

Collins is different. She is not up for reelection, and I’m sure she is counting on everyone forgetting about what she has done and said in 2018 prior to her reelection in 2020. Even though she is from Maine, considered a blue state, she appears to be so comfortable in her position that she doesn’t have to worry about what anyone thinks.

Collins spent most of the weekend after the vote explaining on various talk shows and in news interviews why she voted to confirm. During those explanations she managed to insult Dr. Ford (Kavanaugh’s main accuser), express doubt as to Dr. Ford’s mental abilities, talk patronizingly about Dr. Ford and other assault victims, and completely ignore the fact that one cannot find corroborating evidence when the GOP knows where that evidence is and deliberately keeps it from being obtained. But that wasn’t the worst.

It seems a victims rights group informed Collins that if she voted to confirm Kavanaugh they would raise as much money as allowed and contribute to her opponent in 2020. Collins proceeded to call what they said “blackmail” and “buying votes”. Really?? How is what that group did any different from the NRA buying every GOP politician they can? Until Collins said that I actually kind of respected her, despite disagreeing politically. Now I see she is really just like the rest of the GOP, and I hope the Dems can get someone strong to run against her in a couple of years.

And SCROTUS, in true SCROTUS fashion, is now making outrageous statements about the whole process. He has called victims of sexual assault “paid professionals”, and said that Dr. Ford, her painful disclosures, and all her supporters are one big Democratic HOAX. He has called Kavanaugh “flawless”. Now, I’m not religious, but last I heard there was only one person anybody ever claimed was flawless, and that was over 2000 years ago!

I think the most discouraging thing about this is how similar Susan Collins sounds to SCROTUS. I really thought she was classier than that.

Until next week….

End of Week 331 – Well, that was a circus…

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Ok, running a little late this week. It is October 1st and October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Right now, no one is more aware than I, for obvious reasons. For more on this go to http://www.weightloss4charity.com and click on “blog” in the upper right corner. I’ll do a new post there sometime this week.

Meanwhile, SCROTUS is calling Dr. Ford “credible”; he is blackmailing an unnamed US senator in public (like in front of the mics); and he has fallen in love – with Kim Jong Un???

Of course, all the stuff about Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has to do with the confirmation hearing of Brett Kavanaugh for a vacant SCOTUS seat. I think SCROTUS is being dumb like a fox in this case. After Dr. Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee panel SCROTUS tried to sound a little sympathetic and open-minded, even to the point of ordering an additional FBI investigation. The flip side is, despite his statements to the contrary, it appears SCROTUS/”the White House” is placing restrictions on what this investigation can cover. There is a time restriction, and there are certain people and alleged events that the FBI has been told they cannot investigate/interview. This can change, naturally, once the WH gauges public reaction.

As we all know, many women are angry that a man who they believe attacked Dr. Ford a long time ago may be appointed to SCOTUS for life, especially since he has made it clear that he does not believe in women’s rights. That is not my overriding concern. It does concern me, and I believe Dr. Ford, but I am also concerned about Kavanaugh’s position that a sitting president is above the law. I believe the position is that a sitting president should not have to worry about being indicted or sued while in office. If a serious enough situation arises there is impeachment, and then he or she can face other legal action after leaving office.

That’s all well and good, but what if the sitting president travels beyond the reach of our laws right after leaving office? Seems extreme I know, but I wouldn’t put it past SCROTUS, who I think believes he has nominated a “stay out of jail free card” in Kavanaugh.

With the GOP controlling both congressional houses, the White House, and a lot of the judiciary, I think eventually Kavanaugh will be approved and will end up on SCOTUS for many years – certainly for the rest of my life. A lot of what SCOTUS considers does not affect me directly at this stage of my life, but I am concerned for the well-being of younger generations and those continuing to fight for their rights. I am concerned about a conservative-dominated federal government trying to do things like making everyone be “Christian” (in the Trump style evangelical sense, which is nothing but evil). Sure, that would be unconstitutional, but a conservative SCOTUS would find a way around that. They’ve already done it once.

But on to more entertaining absurdities. When I first heard that SCROTUS stated he and Kim Jong Un “fell in love”, I thought it was a joke; didn’t believe it at all. Today I was watching the news and saw the video. He really did say that – more than once in fact. If Obama or any other Democratic president had said that the GOP would be going nuts. I’m not even sure another GOP prez could get away with that statement. The GOP is supposed to be the party of “superpatriotism”, conservative pro-military nationalistic isolation, right? So, what is it about SCROTUS?

Members of the GOP and SCROTUS supporters will tell you that they like his strength. They think that because SCROTUS acts strong, the country is strong. How long will it take before they realize SCROTUS is not trying to make the USA strong? Everything he does is to make himself personally strong, and not in a good way. Why does he like Kim, and other leaders like Kim, so much? Because they have TOTAL CONTROL OVER ENTIRE NATIONS. SCROTUS is an authoritarian wannabe. To SCROTUS, strength rests in him and only him! His supporters may not realize what’s happening until it is too late.

Finally, the news broadcast that showed SCROTUS declaring his undying love for Kim also showed him saying that he has compromising information on a democratic senator, and the Dems better not stand in the way of Kavanaugh, or else! Seriously, he said this in front of the public, the press, and into the live mics! Sounds like blackmail to me; something I thought was illegal (but I’m no attorney).

He was asked to name the senator, and would not. This is typical of SCROTUS. He often makes outlandish statements with no evidence and not enough information to confirm or deny. So, in this case, I CALL BULLSHIT!! I think he’s talking through his ass and making more empty threats. Either that, or he thinks it’s ok to blackmail people in front of  everyone. Really??

Until next week….

End of Week 330 – Waiting Game, but for what?

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We are coming to the close of baseball season. I want to post this picture now just in case my Cardinals do not make the post-season play. They still have a chance to get the second wild card spot in the National League, but I never assume. So, I’m waiting for the last few regular games to be played, and then we’ll see.

We’re all playing a waiting game politically as well. Most of it revolves around Brett Kavanaugh and his confirmation hearings to be a SCOTUS justice. A woman named Dr. Ford has accused Kavanaugh of sexually attacking her back in high school. Now we are all waiting to see if she will testify before Congress, and if so, when?

Just a guess on my part, but I suspect this will not keep the GOP members of the committee holding these hearings from voting to send Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full Senate. What interests me about all this are the side arguments it has precipitated. Some male GOP committee members have been pushing the idea that even if the attack happened, it was back in high school and that kind of thing happens in high school all the time.

So, according to these men, during high school years girls are fair game and boys cannot be held accountable??

Next there is the problem of various GOP politicians making jokes or dismissive statements about sexual assault. Rep. Ralph Norman (R – SC) opened a campaign debate by stating that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, when she was nominated, claimed she was groped by Abraham Lincoln. Of course he was kidding, but the real message was that the women coming forward with their stories of assault and abuse should not be believed. I haven’t heard how, or even if, Justice Ginsburg responded.

Trump showed some restraint at first, but that didn’t last. He finally had to say something or bust I imagine. So, he displayed his complete lack of understanding of the abuse victims’ situations by saying that if the attack were really that bad it would have been reported when it happened, and why didn’t she report it. This upset many who support the victims of sexual assault, but I’m not sure what they expected. Trump has bragged ON TAPE about what he is able to do with women. What else would he say?

Then there is the ever-present question of the release of records. A good portion of Kavanaugh’s records have not been provided, and many Democrats in congress, and many of us who have been following these hearings, are wondering what Trump and the GOP are hiding.

Finally, we are waiting for midterm elections. Campaigns are rolling along. Polls are being reported almost daily. I don’t pay much attention to any of it. I find out about the candidates, decide who I want, vote in November, and that is it. I do worry about getting the Blue vote out. It is vital for the country that Democrats do very well in midterms. If things continue the way they are the country is going down the tubes.

And outside my window I see cardinals and house finches and goldfinches and titmice. All this summer I’ve had a pair of hummingbirds buzzing about my back yard. I know they will migrate south soon, but I’m glad they decided they liked my yard this summer. Watching the birds puts things in perspective.

Until next week….