LaBoyteaux 2020–Time to End Government by Death Ray

Please read my previous post “On the Basis of Sex” about the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

I wrote Joe Biden yesterday urging him to take the position that any person that he nominated to the Supreme Count would need to get a minimum of 60 votes in the Senate.  Democrats did away with this requirement some years ago when Republicans led by a younger Mitch McConnell began blocking all the Democratic Judicial nominees.  Doing away with the sixty vote requirement, the number needed to break a filibuster, was a mistake.  It has led to a far more partisan, divided and mean spirited Senate.  Gone is the greatest deliberative body in the world.  I see this morning Democrats threatening even more divisive measures if they gain control of the Senate and Republicans, rushing to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat, reasoning that Democrats would do the same to them.  Need to think first about the good of the whole country.  It is time to end government by partisan death ray.  I believe RBG would say the same.

Many thanks for Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins for their principled position that it is too close to an election to fill a Supreme Court vacancy and their recognition that there is a moral and ethical issue involved.  Deeply disappointed that no male Republican Senator is able to see the gross unfairness of refusing to even give Merrick Garland a hearing and now contorting and contradicting their previous statements to rush a replacement for RBG.

Also this morning a Republican led Senate committee report accusing the Bidens of wrong doing in Ukraine, repeating a Russian disinformation effort.  Thank you Mitt Romney for saying immediately that Senate committees should not be used for political propaganda.

 

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LaBoyteaux 2020–On The Basis of Sex

If this title is unfamiliar, it was a movie about that dear woman Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, who passed away yesterday.  In her legal career Ruth Ginsburg was a ground breaking leader for women’s rights and justice for all.

An hour after her death, Mitch McConnell announced he would bring President Trump’s next Supreme Court nominee to a Senate vote.  We should all remember that in 2016, when Justice Scalia died, Mitch McConnell refused to bring President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, to a Senate vote, claiming the appointment should not occur until after the election.  That was 10 months before the election.  We are now 46 days before the election.

McConnell is the ultimate partisan.  Almost always party before country.  It is also Mitch McConnell who is blocking legislation to prevent foreign meddling, notably Russian meddling, in our elections.  It is the job of the Senate to deliberate and vote on issues, in his partisan extreme he has failed as leader of the Senate and should be removed from office.

Something else crazy and shocking happening in our country.  The level of gun violence has accelerated to a point where no one can feel completely safe.  But in the last week or so there have been three ambush shootings of police.  These were not shooting incidents with a fugitive, but ambushes where the officers were just sitting in their patrol cars.  If there are warped minds out there thinking about retribution, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, soon the whole world will have no eyes or teeth.  The police need to learn to de-escalate certain situations, particularly with unarmed persons of color.  We must all resolve to avoid all confrontation and violence.

President Trump knew in early February that Covid 19 would be far more lethal than the flu and that it could spread through the air.  Bob Woodward got all this on tape.  Trump has downplayed the virus while nearly 200,000 people have died to build a story for his re-election.

 

 

 

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LaBoyteaux 2020–The Woodward Tapes

In case you have not heard, one key point of the Woodward Tapes now in print in his book “RAGE” is that Donald Trump knew the seriousness of Coronavirus in early February.  He knew it could be transmitted through the air and that it would be far worse than the flu.  He deliberately down played it, and continues to do so, at a time when masks and social distancing would have saved thousands of lives.  We are now approaching 200,000 deaths from Covid and the President says “it is what it is”.

My message to all Americans is do not let down your guard.  The Virus is still spreading out there.  It is still killing hundreds of people every day.  Maintain social distancing in public and at work.  Masks are an effective deterrent.  I recommend wearing as mask at all times in public and at work.  If you enter a business which requires or requests masks, take care of yourself and be considerate of others, wear your mask.

Further today, police have a most difficult job.  In our effort to root out bad actors and de-escalate fatal confrontations, we should not forget how difficult and dangerous police work can be every day on the street.  Overnight there has been an ambush shooting of two Sheriff’s deputies in Compton, California.  Both are fighting for their lives in the local hospital.  I ask you to join me in prayer for these officers.

 

 

 

 

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LaBoyteaux 2020–Aisne-Marne Cemetery, France

When the Atlantic article broke, talking about Trump’s failure to attend memorial services at the Aisme-Marne, WWI cemetery in France, I decided to withhold judgement as the article was based on anonymous sources.  There were already a number of examples of the President bad mouthing U.S. service members, John McCain, wounded veterans in parades and his failure to act regarding Russian bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afganistan.  The President’s actions in France were always strange, Queen Elizabeth made it out to the cemetery umbrella and all.  The Atlantic article has now been corroborated.  The President referred to U.S war dead as “losers” and “suckers”.  As president, honoring fallen U.S. soldiers, is a duty I would be proud to perform.  I would inquire into the backgrounds of a few, where in the U.S. they came from, who were their families.

Bill Barr’s interview with Wolf Blitzer left no doubt that Barr will distort the truth to benefit Trump.  Barr claimed Jacob Blake was committing a felony at the time he was shot and had a weapon.  Blitzer should have asked what felony?  I saw an unarmed man walk to his car and lean in and get shot seven times in the back.  You would think that the Attorney General would know that in the United States, even if arrested, persons are considered innocent until proven guilty.  Barr also said that China is doing more than Russia to interfere in the upcoming election.  That is apparently also untrue, while the Republicans are still blocking any legislation to prevent meddling by any foreign country.

 

 

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LaBoyteaux 2020–Kenosha

Domestic disputes are one of the most difficult and dangerous situations which police are called to address.  Tempers are already out of control, people may feel more righteous in their own homes and weapons are often present.  Details of the dispute that led to the police shooting of Jacob Blake are not clear.  Police believed he needed to be arrested and removed, they used a taser, he should not have resisted arrest.  But for the life of me I cannot see any justification for shooting him.  I’ve watched the video several times and tried to put myself in the position of those police officers.  I hope and pray that I would have had the presence of mind to back off.  To me, the need to de-escalate has been so evident in many police shootings.  If Jacob Blake had gotten a weapon out of his car, that would be different.  As it is, shooting seven times in the back is completely unreasonable, possibly attempted murder.

I want to commend Sheriff Glen of Kenosha County for his refusal to deputize vigilantes.  Even if I try to understand the sense of frustration by black Americans, and powerlessness to prevent unnecessary police shootings,  arson and looting cannot be tolerated as part of protest demonstrations.  The best solution is to utilize the national guard early and in force to protect property.  This frees the local police to sort out and arrest those causing violence.  One of the biggest problems with protest demonstrations is individuals coming from outside the immediate community with their own political motivations, to use the demonstration and violence to make some kind of statement.  There should be some legal way for local law enforcement to remove outside agitators or persons carrying guns in these situations.

Also want to commend the boycott actions of professional athletes as a powerful way to condemn unnecessary police shootings of unarmed black men.  Police need new training in how to de-escalate these situations.

 

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LaBoyteaux 2020–Mail In Voting

In seven years of 100% mail in voting, the State of Colorado has had two, just two, cases of cheating.  The mailman does not count the ballots, the mailman delivers the mail.  Ballots are counted by the elections office, checking the authenticity of the ballot itself then matching the signature to the registered voter’s signature on record.

Voter suppression has been part of Republican election strategy for 10-15 years.  At this moment, the Republican controlled Senate will not pass legislation to address election meddling by Russia and other foreign nations.

Donald Trump’s presidency is defined by a continuous stream of lies, misinformation and cruelty.  Now he is the first president in the history of our nation who has tried to prevent people from voting by strangling the Post Office, a direct attack on our democratic system of government, a direct attack on government of the people, by the people.  President Trump should be removed from office immediately if there is a constitutional way to do so, impeachment, 25th amendment.

If we cannot return the Post Office to normal before the election, the individual states should establish locations, fire stations, police stations, libraries, state offices, where election officials will receive mail in ballots.  This would be safer with regard to public health and still allow people to return ballots in a timely.

 

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LaBoyteaux 2020–Covid 19 Today

I am nearly in tears knowing of so much unnecessary suffering and deaths of so many Americans.  The death toll now exceeds that of U.S. soldiers killed in Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf Wars combined.  I am more than angry about the lack of leadership from our president, beyond lack of leadership the outright stupidity and personal greed of willfully trying to ignore the problem while criticizing medical experts and medical science.  Mary Trump is right, resign now!

I know that I could walk into the oval office this morning and start making things better immediately.  I will wear a mask in public and in the White House and mandate masks in all Federal Buildings and facilities.  I will strongly encourage governors to do the same.  I will support those jurisdictions which need to require that all their citizens wear masks.  I will make sure there is more than enough, a surplus, of personal protective gear for our medical providers and first responders.

And I will read the daily intelligence brief, take actions to prevent foreign interference in the coming election, make it easier for people to vote and I damn well will not tolerate bounties on our service members in Afganistan by Russia or anybody else.

 

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LaBoyteaux 2020–What else did he know?

Roger Stone lied to protect Trump.  Trump made sure he did not spend one day in prison.  What else did he know?  Once again where are the Republicans?

Robert Mueller has maintained silence since completing his investigation but Saturday he spoke out about Trump communing Stones’ sentence.

“Congress also investigated and sought information from Stone.  A jury later determined he had lied repeatedly to members of Congress.  He lied about the identity of his intermediary to WikiLeaks.  He lied about the existence of written communications wit his intermediary.  He lied by denying he had communicated with the Trump campaign about the timing of WikiLeaks’ releases.  He in fact updated senior campaign officials repeatedly about WikiLeaks.  And he tampered with a witness, imploring him to stonewall Congress,” Mueller writes in the op-ed posted Saturday evening.

“The jury ultimately convicted Stone of obstruction of a congressional investigation, five counts of making false statements to Congress and tampering with a witness.  Because his sentence has been commuted, he will not go to prison.  But his conviction stands.”

 

 

 

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LaBoyteaux 2020–Mt. Rushmore

Every time Donald Trump goes off on an angry and hate filled rant about people different than himself I find myself repeating the words of our Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable rights among which are life, liberty and pursuit of happiness”.  Trump’s denial of responsibility regarding the bounties placed on the lives of U.S. troops as well as his continued delusional fantasies about the Coronavirus threat are a form of insanity.  Later today, our president whined about the removal of the Confederate flag from NASCAR races.  NASCAR first removed the Confederate flag after white supremacist Dylann Roof murdered nine people at the Charleston Methodist Church.  Our president is absolutely brain dead to the pain these Confederate symbols can cause.  His vision of America is an arguably racist fantasy about a time before he was born.

The monuments at Mt. Rushmore, those in Washington D.C and most Civil War battlefields are managed and preserved by the National Park Service.  In South Dakota there is also a very large Native American monument “Crazy Horse” chief of the Lakota.  Obviously it is impossible to tell the stories of the Civil War battlefields without including the Confederates.  What can be done is to include the cultural and historical background of the men who fought and the beliefs and attitudes which caused them to fight.  The Confederate flag as well as statues and monuments of confederate leaders, located throughout the south can still be symbols of oppression and white supremacy.  Some were erected with that intent.  The future of these symbols should be determined by the communities where they are located.  Many belong in museums where their stories, the good and the bad, can be fully told and they are no longer symbols which burden the futures of ourcitizens.

Six young children and multiple other persons were killed by random gun violence in the United States over the 4th of July weekend.  This is another form of insanity.

And today, Wednesday, live long and prosper Lt. Col Alex Vindman, a man of honor and integrity.  Trump White House messing with the Army promotion system looks like vendetta.  Tammy Duckworth looking into it.  Where are the Republicans?

 

 

 

 

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LaBoyteaux 2020–Bounties on U.S. Troops

Words escape me to adequately express both sorrow and anger at the depravity, corruption and indifference of President Trump who continued to “make nice” with Putin while the Russians placed bounties on the killing of U.S. and British troops in Afganistan.  I don’t believe for a second that he was not briefed about this.  What the hell has Putin got on President Trump that he, Trump, won’t act to protect American lives?  The worst answer is that Putin has nothing, it is about continuing Russian help with his reelection, just like Trumps denial and mismanagement of Coronavirus is about his reelection.

And I heard the “white power” chant the first time I viewed that tweet.  Maybe I’ll get into the statues and monuments thing in a future post.  Trump is just using it to further divide us.  Right now I am sick to my stomach about his failure to call out Putin about these bounties and take some decisive action to force Russia to stand down.

 

 

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