During Memorial Day weekend, while the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus was nearing 100,000, and after he had called for the reopening of the nation’s churches, Donald Trump was playing golf. In fact, he hit the course that he owns in Virginia, twice. Quite frankly, I’m surprised he felt confident enough about his safety […]
What we witnessed on February 13, 2021 with Mitch McConnell’s reason for voting not guilty in the impeachment trial of ex-president Donald Trump, is the Senate playing the Judicial Branch.
The question on whether the Senate had jurisdiction to hold impeachment trial was raised, and voted on. The Senate’s vote was that it had jurisdiction.
In a regular court of law, once a judge has ruled, the issue can no longer be argued, and jurors are instructed not to consider the issue during deliberations. However, the Senate is not a court of law. Mitch McConnell disregarded the majority Senate vote and used the issue of constitutional jurisdiction to acquit ex-President Donald J. Trump.
The argument over whether the Senate has jurisdiction to hold an impeachment trial for a government official no longer in office, is over a hundred years old. In 1862, it was federal judge West Hughes Humphries. In 1876, it was Secretary of War William Belknap. So, why hasn’t a federal court settled the question? Read the rest of this entry
In August, 2008, they started pouring-in. The “they” were “birther” cases arguing that Barack Obama was disqualified from being President of the United States on the allegation that he is not a “natural born” United States Citizen. As late as November 2010, the SCOTUS was still dismissing such cases. If anyone is interested in the majority of cases, there is a good list on Wikipedia.
The other day, Twitter was buzzing about the Attorney General for the State of Texas petitioning the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn election results in four states. In response to one such tweet, I tweeted the following;
Trump culture has made things unpredictable. After the death of Justice RBG, Trump’s brazenness to quickly appoint a Justice to the Supreme Court on the basis that he needed nine Justices to decide election controversies, made many voters nervous. I hoped that judges and Justices would adhere to the basic requirements before they hear a case.
Regardless of their arguments, Plaintiffs have to meet a requirement in order for any court to hear their claims. That requirement is “standing”. Read the rest of this entry
By Robert A. Vella The breaking news that hit late yesterday shouldn’t be surprising. We already knew that Donald Trump is pathologically narcissistic and sociopathic. We already knew that he isn’t mentally competent enough to serve as President of the United States. We already knew that he is ethically and intellectually unfit to fulfill the […]The un-American, traitorous U.S. President exposed — The Secular Jurist
Just after I posted Trump’s Suspension of Travel From Europe Sealed America’s Fate For Major Covid 10 Spread, news came out that Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, developed a national testing strategy. Donald however, was looking for a re-election advantage. As reported in Vanity Fair,
Most troubling of all, perhaps, was a sentiment the expert said a member of Kushner’s team expressed: that because the virus had hit blue states hardest, a national plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically. “The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy,” said the expert.
That logic may have swayed Kushner. “It was very clear that Jared was ultimately the decision maker as to what [plan] was going to come out,” the expert said.
I took another look at the Department of Homeland Security’s list of airports allowing the landing of planes from Europe carrying American citizens. There are 13 airports on the list. Other than Texas, Georgia and Florida, the planes were not allowed to land in other southern states.
Donald Trump exploited Covid-19 , intentionally allowing the virus to infect Blue States, not provide testing through the federal government, and blame Democratic Governors for the spread and lack of testing.
Now, the Lincoln Project has come out with a video about it.
Donald Trump represents that mail-in voting is different than absentee voting. His position is that absentee voting requires requesting a ballot while mail-in voting does not. Trump also represents a factual error about mail-in voting. He postures it as ALL states mailing ballots to registered voters whether or not they want to vote by mail.
THAT IS NOT TRUE FOR THE STATE OF ILLINOIS
I reside in the State of Illinois where I am a registered voter. In the mail, I received an “Application For Vote By Mail”. It is not a ballot. I would need to fill-out the application and wait to receive the ballot by mail.
Trump’s generalizations include an assumption that only Democrats want mail-in voting for the general election. There is a pandemic in America. Covid-19 acts differently in people, but it can be deadly. People not only have to think about themselves, but also those around them; family, friends, co-workers. No sane person wants to gamble with their life.
Maybe it’s because a disproportionate of minorities die from Covid-19 that it’s assumed the number of Democratic voters are being reduced. As of today in the United States, there are almost 170,000 deaths from Covid-19. States such as Texas and Florida have seen almost 10,000 deaths from Covid-19. Georgia and Arizona have almost 5,000 deaths from Covid-19. (Stats from CDC on 8/16/2020) Read the rest of this entry
That suspension meant that Americans in Europe needed to return home, and Trump gave them 48 hours to do so, packing them into airports like sardines for hours.
Trump has praised himself for his decision in January to restrict travel from China in order to contain the coronavirus, claiming that his decision saved millions of lives. His response to travel from Europe however, opened the back door for Covid-19 to enter the U.S. Many Americans did not want to be stuck in Europe and returned to the U.S. on the same weekend, bringing the virus with them. Exposed travelers into the U.S. from Europe sealed the nation’s fate for a major spread.
On March 12, 2020, Trump suspended all travel to the United States from Europe for 30 days. Americans had 48 hour notice to make travel arrangements back to the U.S.
We should never forget that it was Trump’s decision that caused a major spread of Covid-19 across the United States.
On March 13, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security published its outline for Americans returning from Europe.
““Effective for flights taking off at 11:59 PM EDT on Friday, March 13th, Americans returning from all restricted countries will now be required to travel through the following 13 airports:”
Those airports were;
- Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS), Massachusetts
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Illinois
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Texas
- Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), Michigan
- Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Hawaii
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Georgia
- John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York
- Los Angeles International Airport, (LAX), California
- Miami International Airport (MIA), Florida
- Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), New Jersey
- San Francisco International Airport (SFO), California
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Washington
- Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD), Virginia
On March 14, 2020, 40,000 passengers returning from Europe crowded into the 13 airports.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), on March 13, 2020, the United States had 1,896 confirmed Covid-19 virus cases. Two weeks later, on March 27, 2020, the number of confirmed cases had risen to 103,321. Read the rest of this entry
If you’re like me, since the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Cop Derek Chauvin, you’ve spent hours watching demonstrators in the streets of major cities. I was doing that yesterday when seeing signs carried by demonstrators. Some signs had names of others killed by police. One name struck me. That name is Jose Campos Torres.
Kare reports the following:
MINNEAPOLIS — United States Attorney Erica Macdonald says they’re conducting a “robust and meticulous” criminal investigation into the police-related death of George Floyd.In a press conference Thursday evening, Macdonald said that the Department of Justice has made the investigation into George Floyd’s death a top priority.
“We have assigned the highest of the high in my office to investigate and look at the case,” Macdonald said. “FBI, likewise, has assigned their experienced law enforcement officers to conduct the investigation.” She added that President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr are “directly and actively monitoring the investigation.”
If people did not trust that system before MacDonald spoke, they certainly did not — cannot trust it after she stated that Donald Trump and Bill Barr are “directly and actively monitoring the investigation”. For some, the distrust was planted in 1977 when Jose Campos Torres was killed by Houston police officers, and how that system punched justice in the face.
On October 7, 2015, I published an Open Discussion post. In that post, I wrote about Jose Campos Torres. Seeing his name yesterday on a sign carried by a demonstrator inspires me to share with others that the people on the streets are not only protesting the death of George Floyd. They are also demonstrating against a system of empty promises that has often laughed in our faces because they have the authority to do so. The following is an excerpt from that post.
Need to laugh?
The Governor of Illinois gives a briefing around 3 p.m. CST. About 3 times a week, that briefing is followed by one held by County and City officials. When they have finished, I’m usually off to the kitchen to start cooking dinner.
Thursday was different. I had left-overs so after the local briefings, I turned to MSNBC. I was hoping it was too early for the Donald Trump liar-a-thon, but I was wrong. When he spoke about killing coronavirus by injecting people with disinfectant, I went numb for a few seconds. UNBELIEVABLE!
Twitter has been ablaze with comments, memes, and jokes about Trump’s cure. Among them all, I found the following extra funny because it gave no clue that it wasn’t serious and seriously funny. Enjoy.
Regarding the coronavirus sweeping across the United States, on March 22, 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump said in a tweet;
“WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF. AT THE END OF THE 15 DAY PERIOD, WE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH WAS WE WANT TO GO!”
During his briefing on March 23, 2020, Trump made it clear that his perception of a highly contagious virus with potential to kill is a “problem” rather than a public health issue. Rather than avoid the spread of the virus, he wants people to return to work. He wants the stock market to go up.
According to Politico, the prospect of resuming typical business has horrified public health leaders.
“At a White House briefing Monday night, Trump seemed adamant that the economy would come back to life “very soon,” insisting that the government can fight the viral spread while also going to work — ‘we can do them both at the same time’.”
Let’s be clear about something. The White House recommended “social distancing” but Trump, neither anyone in his administration, gave stay-at-home orders. He can’t rescind nor change orders that he didn’t issue.
As of March 24, 2020, Governors of 16 states have issued stay-at-home orders. The mayor of Atlanta issued a stay-at-home order for that city.
Donald Trump lacks jurisdiction to order Governors and Mayors to cancel their orders. Read the rest of this entry
“President Donald Trump insisted in a tweet Friday that he has a “legal right” to demand that Attorney General William Barr intervene in a federal criminal case — just hours after the Justice Department chief asserted that the president’s social media posts “make it impossible for me to do my job.”
In my first college semester Political Science class, we learned and discussed constitutional separation of powers. Forty of the 50 states have constitutions of the same. Elected officials cannot intervene in court cases.
I remember many years ago organizations of citizens who saw corruption in federal courts wrote their U.S. Reps and Senators. They all received letters that stated about the separation of powers and advised that they obtain private legal counsel.
It is a slap in the face of the U.S. Constitution and separation of powers for Donald Trump to assume that he has a legal right to demand the U.S. Attorney General to intervene in a federal criminal case or any other case. He appears to be a man whose only motivation to be president of the U.S. is to use the power of the position to benefit his friends and pay retribution to those he cannot exploit.
This is a great summary. Thanks.
The impeachment trial of US President Trump (January 16th to February 5th 2020) ended yesterday. The Senate, controlled by his own party, the Republicans, found him not guilty. He remains the president.
The two charges:
- Abuse of power – for asking a foreign power, Ukraine, to help him win the 2020 election.
- Obstruction of Congress – for refusing requests for witnesses and evidence.
Acquittal: Only 48% of the Senate found him guilty of the first charge, 47% of the second. Well short of the 67% required by the constitution.
No witnesses called: All but two Republicans voted to allow no witnesses to be called. What kind of trial is that?
The Republican arguments during the trial showed that the facts were not on their side.
- Some said Democrats had not proved their case – yet refused to allow any eyewitnesses to…
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Subtitle: The Jury in Trump’s Impeachment Trial is Rigged By Republican Senators Who Hold The Majority.
Donald Trump made it publicly known that he disregards all reports by U.S. Intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 Presidential Election. It is more disturbing that currently, U. S. Congressional Republican Senators are disregarding the findings and conclusion of the GAO. Sticking to Trump’s talking points, and in spite of the GAO’s report, Republican Senators declare that Trump did no wrong when withholding funds from the Ukraine. Those funds were to assist the Ukraine in defending themselves against Russia’s aggression.
The United States Government Accountability Office, (formerly, General Accounting Office), is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. GAO is the federal government’s audit institution. It is part of the Legislative Branch of government under the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921. Its history is at this link.
On Thursday, January 16, 2020, GAO released its report on the withholding of funds of vital military aid to the Ukraine. It found that President Trump broke the law when he withheld those funds.
Representative Adam Schiff, (D-CA) made the following statement regarding GAO’s findings. Read the rest of this entry
I agree with the Canadian.
Yesterday, A Canadian CEO blamed Donald Trump for the lives lost by Iran shooting down the Ukrainian airliner. Iran was responding to the United States killing its top general while he was on his way to the airport in Baghdad. The general was killed after Donald Trump ordered his assassination. The CEO, Michael McCain, chief […]
Friends of Padre Steve’s World, The great Prussian military strategist Carl Von Clausewitz wrote: “No one starts a war–or rather, no one in his sense ought to do so–without first being clear in his mind what he intends to achieve by the war and how he intends to conduct it.” Late Thursday night I saw […]
December 18, 2019 is a day that goes down in history. U.S. President Donald J. Trump was impeached by a majority vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.
House Majority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, has not yet given the passed Articles of Impeachment to the Senate, which is led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Senators are to be impartial jurors at impeachment trials. McConnell has made public statements that he is not impartial and is working with White House personnel on how to conduct Trump’s trial.
During the debate in the House, Republicans representatives presented their defense of Trump by accusing Democrats of wanting Trump impeached before he was sworn into office. They made redundant and spurious arguments that Trump did not abuse his power when he made an Ukrainian investigation into Crowdsource and Joe and Hunter Biden conditional on releasing defense aid to Ukraine that Congress had already approved. Read the rest of this entry
December 17, 2019 UPDATE
On Friday, the House Judiciary Committee passed two Articles of Impeachment against Donald Trump. The matter has been moved to the full House of Representatives for a vote. A vote is expected for this coming Wednesday. If passed, Trump is impeached, and the matter then moves to the Senate to decide whether or not to remove Trump from office.
According to the Daily Beast, the Senate is suppose to act as a “fair and impartial jury,” but both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, “have said explicitly their only goal is to end the trial as quickly as possible, call zero witnesses, and take their marching orders directly from the president himself. They’re supposed to be the jury and they’re literally going on TV admitting they’re not going to be impartial and they’re going to take their orders from the president.”
Of a personal opinion, I question if Republican Representatives and Senators do not want to impeach Trump and remove him from office because they do not want V.P. Pence taking over the role of President. I wonder why?
December 10, 2019 UPDATE
The House Judiciary Committee’s two proposed articles of impeachment against President Trump on Tuesday. The first article charges him with abuse of power for pressuring Ukraine to assist him in his re-election campaign by damaging Democratic rivals. The second article charges him with obstruction of Congress for blocking testimony and refusing to provide documents in response to House subpoenas in the impeachment inquiry.
You can read the full Articles of Impeachment here.
DECEMBER 3, 2019 UPDATE
CNN says of the 300 page House Intelligence Committee report, that it contains witness testimonies, timelines and phone records that accuse “Trump of perpetrating one of the most serious political crimes in the history of the United States. ”
Rather than add it to comment section, I am embedding a link to the full report here. The Finding of Facts portion begins on page 39 as;
Based on witness testimony and evidence collected during the impeachment inquiry, the Intelligence Committee has found that:
I. Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United States—acting personally and through his agents within and outside of the U.S. government—solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 U.S. presidential election. The President engaged in this course of conduct for the benefit of his reelection, to harm the election prospects of a political opponent, and to influence our nation’s upcoming presidential election to his advantage. In so doing, the President placed his personal political interests above the national interests of the United States, sought to undermine the integrity of the U.S. presidential election process, and endangeredU.S. national security.
The impeachment inquiry starts on Wednesday before the House Judiciary Committee.
On Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, public hearings begin on the impeachment of Donald Trump. My intent is to keep this post as a discussion and update thread until those hearings are completed. Updates, including any available videos of the hearings, will be posted in the comment section below. Feel free to add to them.
The public hearings will be live streamed on most major media networks and on USA Today online.
For a breakdown of Committee Members and schedule, see NBC News.
According to MSNBC:
“On the eve of the historic impeachment hearing, the top impeachment investigator, Rep. Adam Schiff tells NPR there is enough evidence to impeach Trump for bribery, for abusing “official” powers of the presidency and because Trump was “offering official acts for some personal or political reason.”
Below is a list with links to transcripts of depositions that have been released to the public. Click on the words that appear in blue to open the links, which will open in another window. Transcripts of testimonies are in pdf. Read the rest of this entry
I’ve been tied to the news about this. Here is the Whistleblower’s Complaint at this link.
By Robert A. Vella
This is day-3 of Donald Trump’s impeachment process. Events are moving at light-speed, and it appears that the president – who had escaped accountability in the Mueller investigation and countless other transgressions – has finally gone too far even for Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Yesterday, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for the release of the whistleblower complaint detailing Trump’s corrupt interactions with the Ukrainian government. That the demand was quickly complied with is very telling. It indicates that Trump has lost control over this situation, and that Congress’ tolerance for continued obstruction by his administration has come to an end.
A redacted copy of the formal whistleblower complaint filed by Inspector General Michael Atkinson has been submitted to Congress ahead of today’s testimony by acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Joseph Maguire. The still unnamed whistleblower has also agreed to testify…
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U.S. tourism drops, GOP to cancel primaries, Trump coerces NOAA, Dem controversy, and health concerns
Thanks for the updates.
By Robert A. Vella
Tourism to the U.S. is declining due to international concerns over mass shootings, xenophobia, trade wars, and foreigners’ dislike of President Trump. The loss of revenue to American businesses is estimated to be in the tens of billions from 2018-2020. GOP officials in several states are planning to cancel their presidential primary elections in order to protect Trump from challengers to his reelection campaign. Embarrassed by his contrived, inaccurate, and illegal publicized “weather forecast” for Hurricane Dorian, Trump apparently coerced the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) into rebuking its own National Weather Service (NWS) agency for having the temerity to tell the truth. NOAA’s statement was suspiciously authorless and the timing of its release suggest that the White House ordered it as an act of retribution and to protect Trump’s prodigious yet fragile ego. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is involved in another internal party…
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