“Present!”

It’s no wonder that throughout history, people have dreamed of a Messiah who would be a great political and military leader who would straighten out all the problems with nations, governments, politics, etc. Those of you who are Christian know that such is not the way it works.

Vote tally: How senators voted on GOP health care motion ...

In the current situation in Washington, DC, the expectation is that political expediency (aka–how do I get re-elected?) easily trumps honesty, ethics, or even self respect. Regardless of anything else, it is virtually guaranteed that there will be an acquittal of your president. Any Republican who votes for impeachment will suffer greatly; they will end up without the prestige and power to which they have become accustomed and be forced to find–and work at–a real job.

However, will their constituents see things the same way? If the Senate allows neither witnesses nor evidence, what will the outcome be next election? Here are several issues to consider:

  • How many voters in the last presidential election voted AGAINST Hillary Clinton as opposed to FOR Donald Trump?
  • While there are vocal supporters of Donald Trump and some for other candidates, given how contentious politics have become, many people do not speak about their views–it’s too socially risky. What will they do in the voting booth?
  • It has been posited that if the Senate’s vote was by secret ballot, the outcome would be very different from what is generally expected. What does this mean?

I suggest a radical response.

If a Senator fears retribution, but whose honest assessment of the testimony calls for breaking with the party, vote “PRESENT”. If challenged, that senator can explain that neither side presented an overwhelming preponderance of guilt or innocence.

Suggest that to your elected officials. They’ll ignore it, of course, but recommend it anyway.

No Place Like Home

diogenes_04

 

If you ever read about me you know that history claims that I lived in either a sewer or a large pot. Trust me, it was a sewer. If you live in a large pot, before too long, it becomes a sewer.

However, that was my choice. After all, I was a legitimate and, in fact, esteemed philosopher. I am credited with being a major force in developing the philosophical discipline known as cynicism. Me, being a cynic, suspect that you don’t believe that.

Observing events in your time, I must admit it adds great credence to the importance of the cynical philosophy. In fact, while every age needs a certain amount of healthy cynicism, your age will never be cynical enough.

But I digress.

I was thinking, after seeing political, social, and religious interactions over the past decade, how I am perfectly adapted to live in this time. If I had lived in your here and now, I would have readily eschewed my desire to find an honest man. It was a fool’s errand in my time, and today, um, well . . . .

Today, it is often not the person with a powerful title who has power; the power is frequently wielded by those who whisper in the leader’s ear–those once called the powers behind the throne.And, indeed, a throne it is.

If I lived in this day and age I could . . . .

No. Never mind.

I miss my sewer.

Entertaining Judicial Appointments

Since, by virtue of being dead and long gone, I am not impacted by your government’s activities, I can watch them with enjoyment as nothing more than entertainment.

People are being appointed by your president as federal judges who have never engaged in the judicial process to any real level. Have they tried a case? No. Have they deposed witnesses? No. Have they examined or cross-examined a witness? No.

Hey. it’s only a judge. What difference could they possibly make?

Let’s shift professions–if you needed surgery, would you be comfortable if your surgeon:
Had never performed surgery?
Had never decided whether a patient needed surgery?
Had never taken care of a patient after their surgery?

Hey, it’s only a surgeon. What difference could it possibly make?

 

Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs)

My Dearest Vlad,

I’m so lucky to have you as an advisor–you are so much more smart than my generals or the so-called “intelligence” experts. I don’t need them because, after all, I’m a stable genius. Smart! Stable! Genius!

As you suggested, I got on live TV (You know I’m a reality TV star, don’t you? Big! Huge! Star!). I explained everything I could remember about the special operation that killed Bagdaddy. Dead! Coward! Covfefe!

Some of the generals here are trying to argue with me (ME!) but my staff stops them–most of my staff are temporary, or as I like to call them, “acting.” Kelly cabinet! We work!

The generals keep complaining that I disclosed TTPs. Isn’t that when people throw toilet paper over your house and trees? So what’s the big deal? It’s a mess, but I have employees to clean it up who are willing to work for next to nothing. I never check their paperwork. Lots of Spanish. Good business! Cost cutting! Smart!

In any case, Vlad, I appreciate all your support and advice.

I hate to ask this, but just in case things go badly, will you help me out? I’m sure you could provide me with a nice dacha in Crimea. If absolutely necessary I’d be willing to bunk with Ed Snowden for a couple of days until you can get everything finalized.

You don’t need to worry about my wife–she is from somewhere over there, so she’ll be fine.

Your apostle,

(Signature illegible)

 

Which Side Is He On?

tp

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve become pretty jaded over the millennia. The last few years have managed, somehow, to shock me at times.

Such as now.

Normally in the United States, the president informs Congress, or at least key members of Congress (regardless of political party) before a significant military event occurs.

President Trump, however, initiated the special forces military operation that led to the death of ISIS Caliph Abu Bakr al Baghdadi without informing key congressional leaders. He did, however, inform Russian President Vladimir Putin in advance.

If I were a suspicious person . . . .

At least, for as much as Trump admires Putin, he has not taken to Putin’s affinity for taking off his shirt at every opportunity. We should all be thankful for that.

 

Precedent

Based on President Trump’s demand that he does not need to answer any subpoenas until certain conditions–such as a vote of the entire House of Representatives–are met, may I present this scenario:

Judge: “Mr. Johnson, do you have an attorney?”

Johnson: (tweeting) I don’t need an attorney. I will represent myself.

Bailiff: confiscates cell phone.

Judge: “If we may continue, Mr. Johnson you are charged with . . . .”

Johnson: “This is a political fiasco and I won’t  provide any information until the entire police department votes unanimously to charge me!”

Judge: “Mr. Johnson, with all due respect to Fox News (if any is, in fact, due) the accused is not the one who gets to set terms. The rules are already in place and you are expected to comply with them.”

Johnson: “This is a witch hunt! TERRIBLE! I’m being harassed! It’s all based on fake news! SAD!”

Judge: “Bailiff, given that Mr. Johnson is not President of the United States, would you please take Mr. Johnson into custody until he either is represented by an attorney or is prepared to present an appropriate legal defense.”

Bailiff: Half guides and half carries Johnson out. Johnson is still screaming.

Johnson: “I demand my phone! It’s my constitutional right to tweet! This is a travesty! (sound of his voice fades out)

Judge: Puts head in hands, brushes her hair back, and takes a deep breath. “Bailiff, to save me from calling a recess, do you have any acetaminophen?”

Bailiff: “Yes, your honor. Every day, your honor.” Passes a bottle of generic acetaminophen to the judge, who shakes two into her hand and with her bottle of water, swallows them.

Judge: Handing the bottle back to the bailiff, “Thank you. Please remind me to buy a large economy size bottle to keep here on my bench.”

Bailiff: nods

Judge: Sighs. “Okay, let’s move on to the next case.”

Bailiff: “Your honor, the next defendant is represented by Rudy Giuliani.”

Judge: Groans

Electoral College

Your democratic republic is confusing to me. I’ve seen many approaches to representative government–it’s far more difficult than autocratic forms of government, but “the consent of the governed” makes for a powerful nation-state.

In America’s case, one of the most interesting and challenging ideas is the Electoral College. Initially, as far as I can tell, the Founding Fathers wanted to ensure that less populated states would still have representation.

The emphasis then was united STATES–the states were not provinces, but actual nation-states. This idea, unfortunately,  contributed to the Civil War since the Southern States believed that as nation-states they were sovereign and free to choose to stay in or leave the Union.

After the Union victory, the prevailing attitude became that it was one nation.

Therein lies the problem.

When Americans vote, do they vote as members of one country or as members of semi-sovereign local states? Is the president the leader of one nation, or fifty semi-autonomous pseudo nation-states?

If one nation, the Electoral College is unnecessary. If fifty semi-autonomous, semi-sovereign states, the Electoral College makes sense.

I’m confused, because from my perspective, it is a single nation.

Hopefully someone will explain this all to me.