Land of the Free & Home of the Cowards: The Impeachment Trial

I just finished watching day 2 of the question and answer portion of the impeachment trial. I don’t even know what to say. I haven’t even titled this post yet because the things I heard in the trial are still whirling in my head and I’m lowkey speechless.

I could talk about a lot of different things but I think I’ll talk about what an international embarrassment this whole situation is. Imagine: a country elects a new president who has a firm anti-corruption stance and proves it shortly after beginning his job by getting rid of corrupt government officials and the leader of The United States of America is now on trial for his own corruption.

190910121227-04-john-bolton-large-169

Not only that, the attorneys that are supposed to be defending the POTUS have jumped from one defense to another almost by the minute. A group of between 5-6 attorneys can’t even come up with a steady, consistent, and logical defense of what their client did.

The pièce de résistance on this mountain of disgrace is that we have a body, the Senate, full of lawyers, who have largely decided that this TRIAL doesn’t need documents or witnesses. Further, 8 minutes ago, a senator who is retiring (meaning there’s no need for political gameplay from him), and who at one point basically said he had no doubt that the POTUS did what he’s being accused of, just announced that he would vote against the entry of documents and witnesses. He just said that the House Managers proved their case and that what the POTUS did was inappropriate. By the way, that senator’s name is Lamar Alexander.

As an African-American, I was long disabused of the “greatest country” bullshit that Americans like to run around proclaiming. So, please don’t interpret my tone as one of disappointment. What I’m feeling is more like fatigue. The electoral college put a reality TV star into the White House. He majorly fucks up like anybody with sense knew he would. And because he apparently has some dirt on a few of his fellow Republicans, people who could not stand him back in 2016 (like Lindsay Graham), are suddenly beholden to him and too afraid to do the right thing.

If the senate doesn’t at least censure him, the United States would have lost whatever credibility it had left.

 

Impeachment The Wayward Daughter Way

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been watching the ongoing saga that is the impeachment trial of President Donald John Trump. I watch it on my Firestick using the NBC app because I find the commentary from Ari Melber, Chris Hayes, and Rachel Maddow, and their accompanying panels to be the best and shadiest in the land.

Today, is the first day that the president’s counsel gets to present their defense. If you were expecting a random, largely untrue, nonsensical, so ironic it’s funny defense, you will not be disappointed.

But, that’s not what I want to talk about today. If you’ve tuned in from the beginning, you know that the GOP is closing ranks around not allowing documents and witnesses to be presented during the trial. This is stupid because what trial is ever successfully executed without documents and witnesses? Even Judge Judy requires paperwork.

mitch

In my mind, I feel like the impeachment process needs to be changed to accommodate the ever-increasing partisanship and lack of principle of these politicians. So, here’s my proposal:

The jury in the impeachment trial needs to be the citizens. American citizens are called upon every day to sit on juries across the country. Most of these people have no legal or criminal justice background but they are entrusted by a judge, prosecutors, defense lawyers, and defendants to decide the fate of cases that range from small misdemeanors to 3rd degree felonies.

There is no reason that when the leader of the country is taken to trial, American citizens, who are most directly affected by bad political behavior, shouldn’t get to directly participate in deciding his/her fate.

I believe that the same process should be undertaken to choose a jury. Have voire dire and eliminate until the judge, lawyers, and defendant are comfortable with the final selection. Start the trial and may the odds be ever in the sitting POTUS’s favor.

The reason I feel this way, as I said before, is that politicians are now so unprincipled and corrupt themselves that they can’t really be trusted to do the right thing. I am not a Democrat, nor am I a Republican. During the Obama era, I found the Republicans to be so infected with racism that they were willing to hurt their own constituents to stick it to the n*gger in the Oval Office. Now, I find the Republicans to be such cowards that they are willing to make themselves look like utter fools by saying that a trial for “high crimes and misdemeanors” doesn’t need documents and witnesses.

Not only does this demonstrate that they are unprofessional, but it shows that they are likely as unscrupulous as the POTUS most of them didn’t even like yet keep trying to defend for no reason at all.

I’m not an expert but I think we are getting more and more to a place where a group of people whose income is supplemented by lobbyist dollars and doing backroom deals, can hardly be trusted to make (legislative), enforce (executive), or interpret (judicial) the laws and policies that affect this country’s citizens.

Yes, People Really Are That Dumb: Why I Don’t Want to Live to 100

We’ve all laughed about the dumbing down of America. Every time we see a post where adults are consistently unclear about the differences between to, too, and two or your and you’re, we roll our eyes and decide to either chide them or automatically discount everything they said. If we know or like them, we cringe inside and hope it was just a slight oversight or the result of errant autocorrect.

Well, last week, I think either the gods of ignorance were out to haunt me or I was being tested by the universe because I seemed to encounter, online and in-person, an abnormal amount of people who apparently only learned basic educational lessons long enough for the quiz and afterwards, kissed the knowledge goodbye (kind of like I did with calculus).

The week began with me having to tell an editorial assistant (I guess) that actually most of the words in a title do, indeed, need to be capitalized and no, it’s not true that words four letters and under don’t need to be capitalized. I’m not certain why this wasn’t understood, but this person was content to post my content with a title that looked like a ransom demand where the letters were cut at random out of a magazine. I was annoyed, of course, because instead of taking my writer word for it, I actually received flack for wanting this very obvious mistake corrected before it was posted under my name. I low-key had to fight for that shit to the extent of screenshotting another random article as an example. Imagine!

obama

But, I was even more annoyed by the fact that someone reached full adult age and made their way into an editorial position fully believing that what they did was correct. Despite the fact that they’ve seen books, articles, e-articles, and periodicals throughout their life (I’m sure), they chose to believe that all those publications were wrong and they were correct.

How?

Then, there was this Twitter exchange about Prince Harry and Prince William where someone didn’t know the difference between the words “princes” (as in the plural form of “prince”) and “princess.” This person vigorously defended their poor understanding of 2nd grade grammar.

sportsguy

I won’t tell you the number of people I, as a Texan, encounter who don’t seem to be able to rationalize “signal, brake, turn” in favor of “sudden brake, start turn, signal.”

rage

This goes beyond the comical “lack toast and tolerant” (lactose intolerant) gaffe that was made on Twitter a few years back. I mean, I don’t really understand how people have perhaps the largest database at their fingers yet seem to constantly mess these things up, but I chalked that one up to a teen trying their hardest (God help us) to explain a medical condition they had only heard of but not seen on paper.

simpsons

I truly believe this is a foretelling of where the country is headed when its citizens increasingly cannot comprehensively read and write correctly in their native language. Further, the fact that intellectual processing speeds seem to have slowed at least 75% since I was in high school is frankly frightening. When I think about the fact that intellect and common sense never bears weight on reproductive functioning, I feel like we’re headed into a real-life Alfred Hitchcock/Stephen King type of situation.

So, to all my friends who have long-term plans of being in a rocking chair with their great-grandchildren, mazel tov. Not me. If we keep going down this path, I see myself begging for a quick death and hoping the person who makes my headstone knows how to spell.

 

 

 

Flea Market Pt. 3: Which Democrat Will Make It?

This morning, I awoke to the news that Corey Booker has decided to end his (ill-fated) campaign for the 2020 Democratic nomination. I honestly wasn’t surprised because if any of you have been keeping up, his numbers were dismal. His hopefulness was…encouraging though. Back in December, when asked on either CNN or MSNBC (can’t remember which), why he was staying in when his numbers were so low, he reminded me of a teenager resolutely expressing her plans to marry her boyfriend who had been in and out of juvie 6 times and was prone to disappear for 72-hour chunks of time.

booker.gif

Anywho, Booker must have had his electoral Demascus Road experience sometime over the weekend and decided that his campaign was indeed a no-go.

So where do we stand? If you read my Flea Market Pt. 1 and Flea Market Pt. 2 posts, you’ll know we started with a mess that became a bigger mess and slowly, but surely, the mess is being cleaned up (if it could ever be).

Big hitters Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders are still in the race (duh). Notorious white man who doesn’t get it but thinks being gay means otherwise Pete Buttigieg is still in it. Then, you have Amy Klobuchar holding on like a woman at a 48-hour Pentacostal revival on her knees with a prayer cloth waiting for Jesus to zap the diabetes out of her. Tulsi Gabbard is somewhere still in there even though Dems were quite nonplussed by her “Present” declaration at the impeachment vote. Andrew Yang is surprisingly doing well and still in the race. Latecoming billionaires Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer are also running to the extent that I can’t watch Hulu or my trash TV on TLC without seeing a commercial for one or both of them.

I haven’t decided who I’m voting for (or if I’m voting but we’ll talk about that later). But, here’s my take on each of the remaining candidates:

biden

Joe Biden: Frankly, I think Biden missed his shot. I think there are certain grand things in life where timing is everything. I think Biden would have easily slid into the POTUS chair had he run in 2016. He didn’t use that opportunity though and I think that door has closed. Boomers and Blacks love him but with a new crop of younger voters coming in and ideas such as Medicare for all, reparations, and student loan forgiveness seriously on the table, unless Biden does an abrupt about face, I don’t see it for him. Plus, his history in politics will ALWAYS follow him. Here’s his platform.

warren

Elizabeth Warren: I’m willing to forgive her for pretending to be Native American. I mean…she wouldn’t be white if she didn’t. A lot of people like her Medicare for all idea. I think it’s a good idea, too. I mean, dying or having to go bankrupt because you need a surgery or expensive medication is ridiculous in a developed country. I also like that she wants to address the maternal mortality rate for Black women that is largely driven by racism in the medical industry. What I think is an issue is that her student loan forgiveness plan doesn’t go far enough. $50k is a pretty penny but from what I’ve gathered is on the low end of what A WHOLE LOT of borrowers owe. However, visit her campaign “Plans” page here to get a peek of everything she wants to do.

bernie

Bernie Sanders: If I had to vote today, he’d likely be my choice. I was reading his platform page and in addition to the forgiveness of all student loan debt, he also wants to forgive medical debt and replace for-profit credit bureaus. I’m still mad at Equifax for promising us $125 for their fuckup and then figuring out they couldn’t pay their bill and deciding to not pay us (oh the irony) so putting them out of business sounds great to me. Several Black people have expressed concerns about certain comments that Sanders have made that sound less than progressive. I, however, never expect to get anything racially progressive from white people; especially not a white man his age. I still think that he’s the best choice of the field at this point. Let’s just hope the DNC doesn’t….nevermind. Here’s his platform page.

nah

Pete Buttigieg: No.

yang.gif

Andrew Yang: His page has a plethora of things that he either wants to do or “explore.” For example, one of his big three issues is “human-centered capitalism” which aims to put people before money (ie. instead of the health of the economy being measured by the stock market, it would be measured by how well people are actually doing). But, perhaps, his biggest claim to fame is his desire to give each American (over 18) “universal basic income.” This entails each American getting $1,000/mo free and clear. In theory, this extra $1,000 would allow people to have a little more breathing room each month. Every single person I know who supports Yang cites this $1,000/mo as their reason. Do I think he’ll win? Neaux. But, he may be forcing the eventual winner to step up their game a little. You can find the rest of his platform here.

chapelle

Amy Klobuchar: I Googled her website to see her platform. My only option was to sign up as a supporter or visit her store. So…..moving on….

skeptical.gif

Tulsi Gabbard: Let me just start out by saying that I don’t think she’s serious. It’s like when you do an internship in a field you’re not really passionate about just to be able to put it on your resume in case you need it one day.  I looked at her website and she  seems to care a lot about war and war-adjacent topics (makes sense since she’s a veteran). What got me was the following line under her healthcare section:

“I will also incentivize good health choices and lifestyles for a healthier, wealthier nation!”

Whew, girl! Have you met 2016, yet? That’s the perfect steak for the people ready to accuse someone of -shaming to latch onto but you know…

mb.gif

Michael Bloomberg: Yes, I know MB is the source of “Stop and Frisk.” But, Judge Judy is endorsing him so he must be alright, no? I’m just kidding. I have looked at his page though and I’ll have to admit that a Jewish candidate addressing redlining and other past racial injustices is interesting. He’s also addressing Black maternal mortality rates as well. Many people have wondered why he entered so late and suspect him of trying to buy the election. I don’t think that’s the case. Frankly, I feel like the fun part of elections is people who likely won’t win to make issues big enough so that the people who might win are under pressure to take those issues seriously. Click here for more.

Farallon-our-people.jpg

Tom Steyer: All I know is the company that he founded and worked for only has like 3 non-white people on their site and I can’t imagine it was much better when he was there so….

evil eye

The cynical conspiracy theorist in me feels like Biden has already been chosen. I don’t know that for a fact but there’s a reason Trump presumed he’d be his political rival.

Anyway, I still think Trump is going to win in 2020.