Why won’t the Senate protect American elections?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BROOKINGS BRIEF)
(Moscow Mitch The Trumpian Bitch?) oped: oldpoet56)

Why won’t the Senate protect American elections?

Darrell M. West and Raj Karan Gambhir

Editor’s Note:This post is part of “Cybersecurity and Election Interference,” a Brookings series that explores digital threats to American democracy, cybersecurity risks in elections, and ways to mitigate possible problems.

Cybersecurity & Election InterferenceThe United States is at risk of serious foreign intervention and disinformation in the 2020 elections. When asked during his testimony to the House Judiciary Committee whether Russia could interfere in the 2020 elections, Robert Mueller responded that they are “doing it as we sit here.” The very next day, the Senate Intelligence Committee reported that “the Russians had attempted to intrude in all 50 states” during the 2016 election. A blog post by Brookings Institution Fellow Margaret Taylor furthermore shows that our European allies have experienced similar Russian activities over the last few years in their national elections, the Brexit campaign, and European Union parliamentary races. Even as the scope of Russian intent and ability becomes increasingly clear, Senate Republicans have done nothing to address this problem.

It is not as if there aren’t good ideas to protect American elections. Four major pieces of election security legislation have been introduced over the last two years: the Secure Elections Act (introduced by Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)); Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act (introduced by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)); Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines Act (Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)); and Securing America’s Federal Elections Act (introduced by Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA19)).

As noted below, the bills demonstrate relative bipartisan agreement over several key remedies. A number of members have proposed providing additional funding for the Election Assistance Commission, sharing election security expertise with the states, providing paper ballot backups of electronic voting systems, sanctioning financial institutions that support foreign interference, authorizing retaliatory actions against any nation interfering in American elections, and requiring intelligence agencies to determine whether any foreign agents interfered in American elections. A version of these ideas already has been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on a 225 to 184 vote, but has been repeatedly blocked from a Senate vote by Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY). Calling the bill “highly partisan,” McConnell blocked a unanimous consent vote on the bill just hours after Mueller’s testimony.

This Senate inaction brings to mind Albert Einstein’s infamous definition of insanity as repeating the same behavior but expecting a different outcome. With no beefing up of election defenses and high odds of continuing foreign interference, 2020 will likely see the same problems of 2016: campaigns that sow discontent and play on societal divisions, active efforts to undermine electoral legitimacy, and widespread public doubts following the campaign about the integrity of the election process itself. Americans will wake up on Wednesday, November 4, 2020 wondering how the U.S. electoral process again fell prey to foreign interference and why political leaders failed to defend our vital democratic processes.

Providing additional funding for the Election Assistance Commission

In looking across the proposed bills, there are a number of promising ideas designed to secure U.S. elections. One of them advanced in the Secure Elections Act is the creation of an Election Assistance Commission grant program that provides funding for states and localities to secure electoral processes and upgrade equipment. The idea is that since elections largely are administered at the state and local level, additional funding for those entities would enable them to update their equipment, install the latest cyber-security protections, and make sure that vital infrastructure is protected during the election.

Sharing election security expertise

Several of the proposed bills give the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) a major role in advising the states, offering them technical expertise, and being proactive in dealing with possible cyber-threats. Since this department works to counter terrorism and maintain vital infrastructure, the department has expertise to evaluate hardware and software for cyber-security risks. Armed with that information, it could provide help to state and local agencies charged with administering the upcoming elections.

Providing paper ballot backups of electronic voting systems with an audit trail

A number of local jurisdictions have moved to electronic voting machines in recent years, although in most cases, this equipment is not connected to the internet in order to minimize opportunities for hacking. However, there still could be software bugs that distort the vote or systematically under-count certain areas. Given that possibility, it is important to have paper ballot backups of electronic voting systems and the possibility of conducting an audit if any irregularities are spotted. That way, voters can feel confident their votes will be counted and there are mechanisms to evaluate the vote in case anything is contested.

Sanctioning financial institutions that support foreign interference

The Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act establishes financial sanctions that could be applied against countries, financial institutions, or individuals that “facilitate illicit and corrupt activities, directly or indirectly, on behalf of Putin.” The idea is that Russians could be discouraged from malicious behavior if they think there will be serious consequences.

Authors

In addition, the bill “would give prosecutors additional authorities to pursue federal charges for the hacking of voting systems and create a National Fusion Center to respond to hybrid threats of disinformation and other emerging threats from Russia”. There are provisions that specifically would impose sanctions for “Russian interference in democratic processes.”

Authorize retaliatory actions against any nation interfering in American elections

The Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines (DETER) Act would allow the President to impose sanctions against any country identified as a threat. Among the actions that could invite retaliation “include a foreign government or agent purchasing political advertisements to influence an election” or “using social media to spread false information, hacking and releasing or modifying election- or campaign-related information or hindering access to elections infrastructure, such as websites for polling places.”

Requiring intelligence agency leaders to determine whether any foreign agents interfered in American elections

The DETER Act would mandate that the director of national intelligence determine within 30 days of the national election whether “the government of a foreign country, or any person acting as an agent of or on behalf of that government, knowingly engaged in interference in the election.” Under threat of sanction, foreign agents specifically would not be allowed to “spread significant amounts of false information to Americans. They also cannot hack, leak or modify election and campaign infrastructure, including voter registration databases and campaign emails.”

Why the Senate inaction in the face of a clear foreign danger?

A number of arguments have been made to justify the votes of those who opposed the House bill or are supporting Senate inaction. One is a state’s rights argument suggesting that the federal government should not have a major role in electoral security given the country’s history of state and local control of balloting. While it certainly is important to maintain state and local control of elections, providing federal assistance to upgrade voting machines does not violate existing legal or constitution provisions. There is a long history of the federal government paying for voting equipment and offering technical assistance. Many states lack funding for voting machines and the federal government often has funded upgrades and improvements. There is ample precedent for national authorities to protect vital infrastructure in the face of foreign threats.

Another rationale concerns the financial cost of electoral security. The idea is at a time when America is running a trillion-dollar budget deficit, it should avoid unnecessary expenditures. Rather, lawmakers should focus on vital priorities and critical infrastructure. Yet electoral security should fall within each of those principles. Having secure elections is essential to democracy. There is no excuse for not spending several hundred million dollars (a very small portion of the overall federal budget) on meaningful steps to protect American elections. Democracy is too important to be risked for a relatively small amount of money.

Short of these criticisms, it is hard to see any justified reason not to enact some type of electoral security measures. As is clear to all who study American elections and have heeded the warnings of our European allies, the intelligence community, and the Special Counsel—the Russian threat is real. Given these dire circumstances, it is difficult to fathom why Senate leadership is refusing to allow a vote on such important legislation, and therefore risking the integrity of the democratic process. Americans should demand Senate action to protect U.S. elections from foreign interference.

Presidents: How Old Is Just To Damn Old?

Presidents: How Old Is Just To Damn Old?

 

I just finished reading a CNN article on the Democratic candidates for President and I would like to share some ideas with you. Being there are at least 23 people vying for this job within the Democratic Party I have chosen the top five candidates (what the polls say) to discuss with you today.

 

As I am sure that you have garnered from the title I am going to talk with you about the ages of these candidates. Simply put, in your opinion does age matter? Via the U.S. Constitution you must be at least 35 years of age to hold the Office yet there is no maximum age set.

 

The ages I am going to give you are the age these people would be on the day they would be sworn into Office on January 20th of 2021. It is just my personal opinion that if a person will reach their 72nd birthday during an term for any Office, they should be barred from being able to seek the Office. As I said earlier, these five folks are leading in the Democratic Presidential polls. I have added one person to the list as he just announced his candidacy yesterday. He is the California Billionaire who has been paying out of his own pocket for the commercials saying that President Trump needs to be impeached. His name is Tom Steyer.

Name:                                                         Day Born:                                 Age as of January 21st of 2021:

Tom Steyer                                                  June 27, 1957                           63

Bernie Sanders                                           September 8, 1941                   79

Joe Biden                                                    November 20, 1942                  78

Kamala Harris                                             October 20, 1964                     56

Elizabeth Warren                                         June 22, 1949                           71

Pete Buttigieg                                             January 19, 1982                      39

 

I am only going to mention two other people who are on the Republican side.

Donald Trump                                             June 14, 1946                           74

Mike Pence                                                 June 7, 1959                              61

 

I am a registered independent voter who personally does not like the Democratic nor the Republican Parties. I don’t believe that either Party cares at all about the American people as a whole. But today’s Republican Party of Donald Trump, Mike Pence and Mitch McConnell totally discuss me. So, in the next Presidential election cycle I would vote for a dead dog before I would vote for any Republican. Personally, of the candidates that I mentioned my top two choices would be Tom Steyer or Elizabeth Warren. If my 72 guideline were the law Mrs. Warren could not be on the ballot. But then neither could Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden or Donald Trump.

 

This article is just the thoughts and ideas of an old man. But personally I am sick and tired of these old fart career politicians with there way out of date ideas running/ruining our Country. The old folks whom many of them have been in office for 40-50 years need to be made to retire. Do you/we really want people running our Country who are in their 80’s? I just don’t, I am sick and tired of their partisan B.S..

 

These two people are not running for the office of President but they are the two leaders of the House and the Senate who pretty much tell all the members of their political party how to vote on every issue, every bill. First, Nancy Pelosi who was born on March 6th of 1940.  She will be 80 when the next President takes Office. Then there is Mitch McConnell who is the top Republican in the Senate, he was born on February 20th of 1942. So, he will be 78 when the next President is sworn in and he has already stated just like Nancy Pelosi has that he is running for reelection. So, one more term for each of them and Mrs. Pelosi will be 82 and Mr. McConnell will be 84.

 

What is your thoughts on this issue? Do you even care about this issue, or maybe is it not even an issue at all to you? If you would, please leave me a comment, I thank you for your time, I appreciate you taking of your time to read this.

 


 

Mitch McConnell And The Republican Party Are Just Asshats For Trump Mafia

Mitch McConnell And The Republican Party Are Just Asshats For Trump Mafia

 

This letter that I am writing to you tonight is not one that makes me happy, I wish these things I am going to be saying were not true, but I believe they are. For those of you who don’t know me, I am a 63 year old white male who lives in the state of Kentucky. By today’s standards I guess I am suppose to be a Republican, a racist and a Trump supporter but all three are wrong. I have been a registered independent voter for decades now, I personally can not stand these fake bought and paid for politicians of either political Party. The following paragraphs are going to be a Prophecy of events to soon come. Obviously I am not G-d so I could be wrong, I wish that I were wrong, but I don’t think so. If I am correct or wrong, time will tell, we will know the answers to all these things in less than two years.

 

I believe that Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell in all his fakeness has hooked the Republican Party to the Trump Mafia Train. Our glorious Senator who is also the head of the Senate and so is the leader of the Republican Party has hitched his phony grin to an IED that is fixing to blow up in his and the Republican Party’s face. I was already sick of the two major Parties before this total fraud (Trump) came into the Republican picture frame. Don’t get me wrong I can’t stand the phony Democratic Party Leadership either. If Hillary was President the Republicans would be doing to her what the Democrats are doing to Trump. My reasoning is simply that both are totally crooked and both are habitual liars. The only difference is that Hillary is smart and the Teflon Donald is as dumb as a box of rocks. Senator McConnell has been doing all he can to contain the Moron in the Oval Office and by doing so has totally enabled this piece of trash to totally ruin our Nation, inside and out.

 

I believe that the Supreme Court is going to side with the U.S. Congress on several of the Subpoenas and this will open up the Mueller Report to the Congress and to some degree to the American people. When this does happen even the Republicans who have been sticking with Trump in all his evil will take a blood bath in the November 2020 elections. One of the bad things about this event will be that the Democrats who will win big will think that the American people actually want them to be in charge. Could either Party have put forth worse people to head their Ticket than Hillary and Trump? People are voting for the least of the two evils, not actually for either one of them. People guessing who will be the least horrible, then voting for them. It is my prediction that Senator McConnell will lose his Senate seat in the 2020 election and he can only blame himself for that defeat. Donald Trump along with several of his family members and several of his Cabinet members will be convicted of multiple Felonies. We here in the U.S. will have our first former President to be sent to Federal Prison.

 

There is a flip side to my prediction though, if I am wrong, may G-d help us all because we will have totally lost our Democracy and given it to Dictator/King. We The People badly need a Centerest Party, not the far right Tea Party nor the far left Progressive Democrats. We need a political Party that pulls toward the center not these (far wrong) wackos. I am going to toss out some ideas to you about a Centerest Platform to see what you think. Some ideas I am going to pull from the Democrats and some from the Republicans, that is what I personally mean by a Centerest.

1.) I personally am against abortion but I believe that the Supreme Court must decide this issue and I thought they did that in 1973. Unless we want a human ‘High Priest’ to be our Nation’s Leader the Supreme Court should decide if each law passed is Constitutional.

2.) I am a gun owner, but I am not a hunter, I never have been. I do believe that people have the right to hunt if they wish to as long as they do it legally (in season) only. I own my guns for one purpose only, self protection and the protection of my family and no Political Party has any right whatsoever to try to take them. An honest government should want their people to be armed, only a crooked government tries to disarm their law abiding citizens.

3.) Free health care for all citizens.

4.) Free college or tech school for all graduating high school seniors as long as their grades are good enough to qualify.

5.) Forgive all college debt so that that money can then go straight into the economy. People would be having more money to spend and it would be spent on items that create jobs which creates more income which creates more jobs.

6.) Income inequity, pass the laws where on earnings and taxes you drastically close this gap and once again, this would create many more jobs because people would have more income which they would spend which would pick up the economy. My suggestion is on taxes that all exemptions and loopholes be closed completely. Have a tax rate that starts at the ‘poverty’ point. From that level up have a 20% tax on all earnings except on savings accounts. This 20% would be a personal or a business tax load with nothing else added. The taxes to be spread out between Social Security 9%. City Tax and County taxes combined to 3%. State tax 3%. Federal tax of 5%. Any other federal revenues should come from tariffs on imports say about 20% on everything across the board. Now for the wages of people who live in or do business within the U.S. try this idea out, see what you think. Perks have to count as income, especially things like bonuses, free housing, free transportation and the such. The people who take the chances and start or run a business their income has to max out at 10x the earnings of their lowest paid employee. If your lowest wage earner makes $300 per week the top end can not make more than $3,000 per week. No one is worth more than ten times the earnings of their workers. This spreads income, this causes much more buying of products which creates more jobs here in the States.

7.) Any company large or small who outsourced any jobs to another country has to pay a 50% tariff on any item you bring back to the States to sell. Example, I am in favor of a company like General Motors to build factories in Mexico or China, or where ever but only for their sales in those countries. If you close a factory in Michigan and move it to Mexico and you wish to sell those vehicles in the U.S. they must pay the 50% tariff. This is designed to protect U.S. workers from being on welfare. The rich complain about the poor when in reality it is the rich who refuse to pay their workers a livable wage, their greed is the reason for poverty,

 

These 7 things I mentioned won’t happen as long as the Republicans or the Democrats are in charge. We The People need to start taking out the trash and showing them the same amount of ‘mercy’ they put upon the people.

 

 

 

 

Folks: Like The Man Or Hate Him He Is Our Nation’s President But, Is He Sane?

Folks: Like The Man Or Hate Him He Is Our Nation’s President But, Is He Sane?

 

This article is not intended to be any type of joke or a poem. I know that I am not the most tuned in type of person, but I do read at a lot of sites pretty much every day. Please tell me where President Trump is positioning Himself with this ‘Trade Agreement’ with President Xi Jinping of China? Did He really just make this up, you know, this whole ‘ I thought it, so it must be so’? Honestly all that I can say is, I really hope that this is not so. Folks, that would actually mean that our Nation’s President, is insane. I don’t like the person that is our President right now. What I don’t like is his constant lying, it is not ever possible to believe anything he is talking about. I believe that our President is a lot of very bad things, it is simple the Man can’t be trusted, he is a loose Cannon and totally ignorant to everyday realities.  But actually crazy? If it turns out that President Trump made this ‘Deal’ up in His Head, but it really didn’t happen? What is it that President Xi Jinping and their Communists Government, who doesn’t like us in the first place, suppose to think about how to take advantage of this situation to their best advantage? Our President has greatly hurt our relations with almost every Nation on the Globe. Is it possible that Our President isn’t just a hate filled habitual liar, but that He is actually legally Crazy? Lord knows that I hope not. That would be a new low for Our Country. Mr. McConnell and the Republicans should really be ashamed of their works these past few years I believe that the Republican Party is going to take a 20 year or so ‘Hit’ to their credibility in Elections, if He is proven to not ‘be competent’. I just hope that He is not lying about this ‘trade deal’ with China. Could it be He could claim ‘temporary insanity’ with regard to Mr. Mueller’s Investigation also? Man, I hope that the Man is not ‘less than sane.’ As an old and Special Lady friend used to say once in a while, ‘we shall see what we shall see.’ Think about it, is that not so?

Mitch McConnell, My Homes State Habitual Fraud And Liar?

(THIS WAS SENT TO ME BY A LONG TIME FRIEND IN ILLINOIS VIA FB)

 

18 hrs

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If Mueller Is Fired: Then Trump And Sessions Must Be Impeached Right Now

AGAIN TODAY TRUMP IS TELLING ATTORNEY GENERAL JEFF SESSIONS TO FIRE SPECIAL COUNCIL ROBERT MUELLER AND TO SHUT DOWN THE RUSSIA INVESTIGATION: RIGHT NOW!

 

The U.S. Congress can not Impeach a sitting President, only the U.S. Senate can do that. Back when Bill Clinton was President the Republican led Congress voted to Impeach Bill Clinton because an adult female intern gave him oral sex in the Oval Office. What Mr. Clinton did was morally wrong but so is being a liar, a tax fraud, or colluding with a know enemy to commit treason. All are sins, all are wrong, just like making up evidence so that you can go bomb people is a sin, morally and physically. When the Republican led Congress voted to Impeach Mr. Clinton the whole act was nothing but symbolic, the vote had no teeth. Via the U.S. Constitution only the U.S. Senate can Impeach a sitting President and to do so it will require 67 of the 100 Senators to vote for the impeachment, in the Clinton case the Senate didn’t even hold a vote on the issue. There is another set of rules as far as Impeaching the Attorney General is concerned though. To do this, a simple majority of the Congress has to vote to Impeach and then the Senate would have to get 67 of their 100 to vote to Impeach.

 

One of the many things that Mr. Trump has proven over and over again is that he is a total habitual liar, folks this is not a quality trait for anyone to have, especially the Leader of any group or organization. If you can not believe anything that is coming out of a persons mouth, what good are they as a person or as a Leader? If you remember, right after Jeff Sessions was approved by the Senate to be Mr. Trumps Attorney General he was caught lying at least twice to the Senate about his Russian contacts during the Presidential campaign of 2016. This is why Mr. Sessions recused himself from anything to do with any investigation into any Russian collusion during the 2016 Presidential Campaign. Mr. Sessions turned over this investigation to his number two-man Rob Rosenthal who then appointed the former Republican FBI Director Bob Mueller to head this investigation. As you most likely know, this whole set of events infuriated Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump has tried to get Mr. Sessions to fire Mr. Rosenthal several times but Mr. Sessions has refused to do so. Now Mr. Trump is demanding that Mr. Sessions fire the Special Council, Mr. Mueller. One of the many realities of the real world that Mr. Trump doesn’t seem to understand is that Mr. Sessions can not legally fire the Special Council or shut down the Russia investigation because Mr. Sessions in his recusing himself made it to where he can not legally do what the President is demanding that he do.

 

As a 62-year-old citizen of the United States I have learned very plainly that the politicians on both sides of the ‘political isle’ both Republicans and Democrats, as a whole do not give a damn about this country or the people who live within its borders. The only reason that the Republicans in the Congress and the Senate are backing Mr. Trump is because the President says he is a Republican. If Mr. Trump was a Democrat these same Republicans like my disgusting home state Senator Mitch McConnell would have been trying to get him Impeached ever since he took Office on January 20th of 2017. I am not by any means going to give the Democrats a free pass here in this article today either, to do so would be total hypocrisy. If the Congress and the Senate were controlled by the Democrats at this time and Hillary Clinton were the President and she had done all these exact same treasonous sins that Mr. Trump has done (she has many of her own personal sins which she should be in prison for, just some different ones than Mr. Trump has) the Democratic leadership would be shielding her from Impeachment just like the Republicans are doing right now with Mr. Trump. To hell with the Country, to hell with the people, the only things that matter are ‘the Party’,  personal power and bigger bank accounts. If you don’t think so my friend, you are being naive at best.

 

Evidently by law the President can fire the Special Council, Mr. Mueller himself, just as he can fire Jeff Sessions and or Mr. Rosenthal and he can assign some flunky into those positions. This ‘flunky’ could then fire Mr. Mueller and shut down every thing that the DOJ (Department Of Justice) is investigating concerning the crimes that Mr. Trump and his family are so obviously guilty of. Then all the world will see if Mitch McConnell will grow a set of balls and insist that a vote for Impeachment take place, at once.  My guess is no, he won’t. The reason that I believe this is because of seeing how these bought and paid for pieces of trash have operated over the past 50 or so odd years. I have absolutely no faith in either ‘Party’ to ever simply be honest with the American people and to do their damn jobs that the people have been paying them to do. To me, if the events do play out like I believe they will with Mr. Trump and several members of his family being charged with major crimes against the sovereignty and security of the people of Our Nation, then it is time for the people to remove all the trash in the Senate and the Congress who are betraying us. Simply put, the people must then Impeach them ourselves, or we don’t deserve a free Country to live in!

Treason = Impeachment = Hang Them High?

 

This article to you today is simply my attempt to get you to think about some very serious issues with our (the U.S.) government that does effect every person in this country as well as in many other Nations.  I’m writing this article in the form of ‘what if’s’. What if President Trump really isn’t the legitimate President and that ends up being proven beyond any reasonable doubt? Pretty much everyone on earth except Donald Trump knows and understands that the Russian government with orders from their President attacked the voting computers of 21 states during the 2016 U.S. elections. It is only logical that being if in deed Mr. Putin wanted Mr. Trump to win that election he would only target states that were expected to be somewhat close. If the Russian hackers had been ignorant they would have targeted states like New York and California where Hillary was going to win by huge amounts. If they had done that then everyone would have known that the machines had been compromised. Swinging a states numbers that were very close, say 52% to 48% for Hillary to a 52-48 for Trump would be believable. If this is what did happen and it can be proven, now what folks?

 

If Mr. Mueller and his team can prove that Mr. Trump along with members of his family and staff colluded with the Russian government to steal the election, is this treason? Personally I believe that it is, also personally I then believe that everything that Mr. Trump and the Congress has signed into law since January 20th of 2017 would have to be removed. Without a doubt this would really be a mess like this Nation has never had happen to us. For those of you who do not know me, do not get me wrong, I personally can’t stand the lying witch Hillary either and no, I did not vote for her, nor did I vote for Mr. Trump, I voted for Gary Johnson. There are some things that I believed about Hillary and Donald before the election in November of 2016 and nothing has changed my beliefs on these two since then. First, I believed that both people are total egomaniacs and both are totally habitual liars who will do anything for money or to win. Now the difference that I see in the two is that in my opinion Hillary is totally evil but she is also very smart, on the other hand Donald is very evil but he is about as ignorant of a person that I have ever come across. So, for President, should I have voted for a smart evil person or a dumb ass evil person? Which one would be the least evil for the American people? I thought Hillary would win and I do believe that she did, so I voted for a person that I knew very well was not going to garner more than a couple of percentage points.

 

Okay, I have made my point that I believe that Donald Trump, members of his immediate family and members of his personal staff are guilty of treason against the American people. Now I wont you to consider another issue please and this is the Republican Congress and the Republican Senate. Unless a person is clueless to reality it is very obvious that the majority of the Republicans in the Congress and the Senate can not stand Donald Trump as a person, yet they have in almost all issues sided with Mr. Trump on programs that Mr. Trump has wanted to make into law. The reason is simple folks, the Republicans realize that with a Republican in the White House they are able to get some of their own personal agenda passed into law, things like the new tax law and getting more Republicans onto the Supreme Court. This sickening display of cowardliness and treason by the Republican leaders like Senator McConnell is enough to make an Independent puke at the sight of their face and unfortunately he is my home state Senator so I see his face often. In the past I have voted for Republicans and Democrats at about a 50/50 clip but because of the disgusting display of Republicans kissing the ass of this dangerous un-genius stupid ass I will never ever vote for another Republican for any office at any level of government. Here is another slap of reality though, I totally believe that if Hillary was the current President the Democrats in the Congress and the Senate would be doing the exact same dirty tricks for her. Neither one of these ‘Parties’ gives a damn about the United States or of our people, they only care about their selves.

 

Now, what should ‘We The People’ do about it when Mr. Mueller and his team prove that these people have committed treason against us? Should we insist that those in Office be impeached as once? Should we insist that all of those folks be put into a maximum security prison for the rest of their lives and have all of their assets stripped from them and sold to the highest bidder with the proceeds put toward the National Debt? Should people in the Congress and the Senate like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell suffer the same fate as those in the Executive Branch? Should they all be made an example of like being shot by a firing squad, or better yet, hung from the Statue Of Liberty for defiling Our Constitution and of ‘We The People’ of OUR NATION? What do you think should be done to these people if they are proven to be the Criminals that they all appear to be?

Mitch McConnell’s tax plan slammed tiny Berea College; nevertheless, he persisted

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE LEXINGTON KENTUCKY CURRIER JOURNAL)

 

Mitch McConnell’s tax plan slammed tiny Berea College; nevertheless, he persisted | Joseph Gerth

https://uw-media.courier-journal.com/video/embed/108794256?sitelabel=reimagine&platform=desktop&continuousplay=true&placement=uw-smallarticleattophtml5&pagetype=story

In a White House press conference, President Trump, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and other republican leaders celebrated the passage of a new tax plan. USA TODAY

Mitch McConnell is a stickler for rules.

Heck, he’s even a stickler for rules that don’t exist. Like the one about not considering Supreme Court appointments in an election year.

That’s why it seems so, well, so hypocritical of him to write a letter to Courier Journal whining that we shouldn’t blame him for his tax reform bill that will cost Kentucky’s tiny Berea College as much as $1 million dollars a year in additional taxes.

See, McConnell proposed his tax reform bill that was designed to get at some of the money that is being stashed away at liberal universities like Yale and Harvard.

When he learned that the bill would also ensnare Berea, which educates poor mountain students for free, he tried to exempt the college located in Madison County, leaving all other private colleges with large endowments to pay the freight.

Trouble is, the Senate parliamentarian ruled that his effort to carve out Berea violated the rules.

So, surely, McConnell stopped the process and vowed to get it right. Right?

Nope.

More columns from Joseph Gerth

Braidy Industries wants your money but not your scrutiny
Old, poor and black? The city of Prospect doesn’t want you
The Bevin administration is trying to operate in secret – again

To paraphrase ol’ Addison Mitchell McConnell: He had appeared to violate the rule, He was warned. He was given an explanation. Nevertheless, he persisted.

Yep, he steamed right ahead, despite the fact that he knew his tax bill would mean that Berea will have to cut the number of scholarships it gives to poor students and cut the number of poor students educated, just so McConnell and his millionaire and billionaire buddies get a big tax break.

Oh, you’ll get one too.

It will be smaller. Much smaller.

And there will be tax breaks available to the extremely wealthy that aren’t available to you. And the federal deficit will rise, requiring Congress to slash programs that mean a heck of a lot more to you and your families than to the extremely wealthy.

But hey.

No biggie. Right?

Instead of deciding that the Senate would stop the process, rewrite the bill, fix it, do it right, vote on it early next year, McConnell forged ahead.

Part of that was to give President Donald Trump a victory in his first year as president but part of it was likely to get around the problem of a smaller GOP majority in the Senate when Democrat Doug Jones, of Alabama, is sworn in to replace Republican Luther Strange.

And McConnell is nothing if not consistent when it comes to making sure important legislation is acted upon quickly before there is a midterm change in Senate makeup.

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You remember back in 2010, when he demanded that the Senate deal with Obamacare legislation before Republican Scott Brown was seated to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, don’t you?

Nope?

Oh, yeah. That didn’t happen.

Sorry about that.

OK, so let’s get this straight.

Tax bill hurts Kentucky College. McConnell’s attempted fix violates Senate procedures. He pushes it through anyway because, well, politics.

Now, what to do?

Blame Democrats.

That’s right. And in this case, a Democratic Socialist. Bernie Sanders.

Sure, he’s got a Republican majority in the Senate. Sure, he’s the most powerful man in the Senate. Sure, he’s got a Republican as vice president who would break a tie in the Senate in the case that he lost a couple of votes.

Sure, he used a parliamentary move called “reconciliation” that allowed him to pass  legislation without threat of a filibuster – something that he screamed long and loud about when Democrats used it to pass the Affordable Care Act.

Sure, he voted for it, as did Rep. Andy Barr, the Republican from Lexington who has Berea College in the district. Sure, not a single Democrat in the Senate voted for his tax bill.

But it’s the Democrats’ fault that McConnell’s tax bill is poised to cost Berea College a million dollars a year and force it to cut services to bright kids from the mountains who otherwise won’t have a chance to attend college?

The fact is that McConnell is to blame. He had appeared to violate the rule. He was warned. He was given an explanation. Nevertheless, he persisted.

Joseph Gerth’s column runs on most Sundays and at various times throughout the week. He can be reached at 502-582-4702 or by email at [email protected] Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: www.courier-journal.com/josephg.

Retiring Republican Senator Flake Blasts Trump For “Disregard For Truth And Decency”

(THIS ARTICLE IS FROM DEADLINE HOLLYWOOD And Fox News)

 

Sen. Jeff Flake Throws In Towel On Re-Election Bid, Blasting Donald Trump’s “Disregard For Truth And Decency”

Jeff Flake Speech

Writers of Washington-set political dramas threw themselves on their couches today and chewed the pillows in an ecstasy of grief when Actual Washington topped most of their plotlines in a single day.

Not one but two Republican senators blasted their own party’s POTUS as a lying lout and warned the world he is a menace and a danger. But that did not stop them from attending a “unity lunch” on Capitol Hill with President Donald Trump – who got a Russian flag thrown at him as he was entering the event.

Donald Trump Russian Flags
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After the lunch, during which Trump received multiple standing ovations, Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flakebecame the second member of Trump’s own party to devote Tuesday to denouncing the exec branch’s flagrant “disregard for truth or decency.” In a passionate address to fellow senators, and TV cameras, Flake also lamented the White House’s “reckless provocations” and undignified behavior Flake called dangerous to the country.

Flake announced on the floor of the Senate that he will not run for re-election after his current term ends in early 2019, saying he cannot be “complicit or silent” to what the current administration is up to. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismissed his remarks as the comments of a guy who was going to lose his re-election bid, badly.

“I rise today with no small measure of regret,” Flake said in his announcement. “Regret, because of the state of our disunion, regret because of the disrepair and destructiveness of our politics, regret because of the indecency of our discourse, regret because of the coarseness of our leadership, regret for the compromise of our moral authority, and by all of our complicity in this alarming and dangerous state of affairs.

“It is time for our complicity and our accommodation of the unacceptable to end.”

“We must never adjust to the present coarseness of our national dialogue – with the tone set at the top,” Flake said pointedly, though he never mentioned Trump by name.

“We must never regard as ‘normal’ the regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals. We must never meekly accept the daily sundering of our country — the personal attacks, the threats against principles, freedoms, and institutions, the flagrant disregard for truth or decency, the reckless provocations, most often for the pettiest and most personal reasons.”

“Reckless, outrageous, and undignified behavior has become excused and countenanced as “telling it like it is,” when it is actually just reckless, outrageous, and undignified,” Flake said.

Just a few hours earlier, and shortly before Trump’s lunch with GOP senators, Sen. Bob Corker, who heads the powerful Foreign Relations Committee, gave a pop-up presser in a Hill hallway at which he said the world is bearing witness to Trump’s lies, adding that POTUS’ legacy will be the “debasing of our nation.”

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Republicans Control All Three Houses No Democrats To Blame: Americans Don’t Want What They’re Selling

 

This afternoon some of the biggest news coming out of Washington D.C. is that the Republicans in the Senate have decided not to call a vote on their version of a Health Care Bill. The reason is that no Democratic Senator will vote for what they are trying to push through onto the American people, and several of the Republican Senators refuse to vote for it either. If there is such a thing as a moderate Republican Senator it has been no surprise to me that they can not muster up a Health Care Bill that the so-called ‘conservative base, meaning the ultra right Tea Party folks’ will vote for. These folks like Senator Ted Cruz are the kind of folks that insist that everything be 100% their way, or it is no way. Remember during the recent Presidential debates he looked straight into the camera and fanatically stated that “if I become President I will not negotiate with the Democrats?” We the people have been telling Washington for several decades now that we are sick and tired of the total gridlock in Washington. The reason for the gridlock folks is because neither Party is willing to negotiate policies with the other. The other side of this “Republican coin” is that when these politicians took their huge summer break and held ‘town hall’ meetings with the voters they got told in no uncertain terms to leave the ACA alone, or make it ‘more’ inclusive, not less. These Republican Congressmen/Women and Senators got the message from the voters that if they vote for what the Republicans are calling a Health Care Bill, they will be voted out of Office at the next election they run in. In other words, we the people are going to fire them. So, now you have a group of so-called ‘Liberal’ Republican Senators who see the light and for the sake of their own jobs are saying no to the Republican Leadership on their Bill they are trying to push down the throats of the American people.

 

For seven years the Republicans have gripped about the ACA (Obama Care) and talked and talked about how when they got control of the power in Washington that the first thing they were going to do on day one was to get rid of it, replace it. For seven years they flapped their lips yet it became obvious that during that seven years not a single one of them actually came up with any plan to replace it with. This, to me falls straight in the laps of the Republican Leadership in both the House and the Senate. The Leader of the Senate is Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, the other Senator is Republican (he is actually Libertarian) Rand Paul. Rand Paul is one of the Republican Senators that refuses to vote for the Republican Bill unless it is much more restrictive which is something that he is in lockstep with Ted Cruz on. For seven years the Republicans blamed the Democrats for pretty much everything they seen in the world as being wrong. When it actually surprised them last November to gain full control of all three branches of the Federal Government they no longer were able to hide their hate filled agenda’s from the American people. Here in the U.S. there is only one main issue that turned the Christian voters into the Republican camp and that is when the Democratic Party adopted abortion as a founding block of their Party Agenda. The Christian folks that I know mostly either don’t vote or they vote Republican and the abortion issue is exactly why. Many who vote for the Republicans aren’t fans of the Republican Party, they are voting as anti-Abortion. If you really look at the Republican agenda, except for the abortion issue, there is very little that conforms with the teachings of Jesus Christ in the New Testament or in the teachings of the Old Testament. In reality the teachings of the Bible go directly against the teachings and policies of the Republican Part’s actions. There are other issues that people of faith have against the Democratic Platform also, it is just that the Abortion issue is by far the single biggest issue. I wrote an article a few months ago that I am going to try to locate where the title was something along the line of “The Republican And The Democratic Parties Are Both Anti-Christ Parties.” If I can find that article I will re-post it this evening for you to consider.

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