Letitia James and Fani Willis may be the Ones Who Save Us From You Know Who

It has been said that where there is smoke, there is fire. If that is true, there has been smoke coming out of a famous NYC building owned by you know who for a very long time.

Earlier this week, New York state Attorney General Letitia “Tish” James announced that she has filed a lawsuit against he who shall not be named, and his three eldest children. In short, it claims that their namesake organization and its leadership have been committing financial fraud as a standard business model for years.

Of course, his response was a racist slur. Which we have learned over the years is par for the course.

In Georgia, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has pulled together a grand jury investigation. The purpose is to determine if he and his supporters violated state laws in an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 Presidential election.

Starts at 1:15

As pointed out in yesterday’s episode of the podcast The New Abnormal (which starts at 5:19), both James and Willis are African American women. I think it speaks to where this country is going politically. These women understand that if they don’t stand up for what is right and the rule of law, there is a chance that no one will.

The only way to shut down a bully is to beat them at their own game. The former President is a bully. Until it is made crystal clear that he and his cronies are not above the law, they will continue to act with impunity.

The US and the Holocaust Review

There is a famous quote about history. As cliche as it sounds, it is the truth

If we don’t learn from the past, we are doomed to repeat it.

The new PBS three-part documentary series, The US and the Holocaust premiered this past weekend. Co-created and co-directed by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick, and Sarah Botstein, actor Peter Coyote narrates the story of the near destruction of European Jewry from 1939 to 1945.

Within the film, there are interviews with historians, survivors, and readings from respected actors such as Meryl Steep, Paul Giamatti, and Liam Neeson. It does more than share what the events in our history books have already told us. It takes the viewer back in time to show what led the Shoah and repeats what most of us (hopefully) know. Though it’s been nearly a century since World War II, it is clear to me that we have not learned from the experiences of that generation.

The thing that hit me immediately is that there are far too many parallels to what is happening now both in the United States and around the world. Xenophobia and hatred have once again become the norm. We have a former President who has authoritarian tendencies, refuses to accept the results of the previous Presidential election, and has convinced many that he is the victim.

What made me angry was the spoken and unspoken complicity of a majority of Americans at the time. Though this country is supposed to be the land of immigrants and freedom. Instead, it became a land of isolation and hypocrisy. That hypocrisy was clear in the first episode when the connection was made between the Nazi’s racial laws and Jim Crow.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely. In fact, I would say that it is required viewing for every American.

The first two episodes are available for streaming on the PBS website. The third will air tomorrow night at 8PM.

P.S. After I watch or read anything about the Holocaust, I can’t help but think of what the victims or the descendants might have given to the world. The late performer Olivia Newton-John was Jewish on her mother’s side. Her maternal grandparents got out while it was still possible to do so. If they hadn’t, it is very likely that she would have never been born and therefore, not entertained multiple generations of audiences.

Electable: Why America Hasn’t Put a Woman in the White House . . . Yet Book Review

Over the last half a century or so, there has been a shift in regard to women and politics. Many nations across the world have had at least one female in the highest office in the land. Except for one….the United States.

Electable: Why America Hasn’t Put a Woman in the White House…Yet, by Ali Vitali was published last month. Dissecting the events of the 2020 Presidential election, she examines how it was both history-making and business as usual. Though there were a good amount of female candidates (Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, etc), Joe Biden still ultimately won the Democratic nomination.

She also deconstructs previous elections (the 2008 and 2016 Presidential elections to be specific) and how both Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton were viewed by the press and the voters. As usual, the questions of “likability” were applied unequally. The qualities that were questionable or just plain wrong in terms of the female candidates were brushed off as completely fine for their male counterparts.

Throughout the book, Vitali asks two important questions:

  1. When will we finally be able to say “Madame President” in this country?
  2. When will women and men truly be equal, both legally and socially in the US?

This book is an important and vital read. It is a reminder of the fact that the glass ceiling is still intact and how far women still have to go. Given our present political circumstances (i.e. Roe V. Wade being overturned in June), we need to take a hard look in the mirror and ask why only a man can be President.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Electable: Why America Has Not Put a Woman in the White House…Yet is available for purchase in bookstores.

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Thoughts On President Biden’s Speech

There is a reason why the Presidential pulpit is called the bully pulpit. It gives whoever is in the position a unique spotlight and opportunity to speak to the nation as they wish to.

On Thursday, President Biden gave a speech, calling out the right-wing Republicans and the MAGA believers. While praising Republicans who are willing to work with their Democrat colleagues, he was not afraid to speak directly to those who are ready and willing to destroy this country based on lies.

Some said that he went too far. I disagree. Without pushing the envelope over the edge, he told the country the truth about our potential future. Unless we do everything in our power to secure our democracy, the prospects for our nation to continue on the path set by the founders look pretty bleak.

Among the many issues that have been created and/or magnified is the claim of election fraud. It started, as we all know back in 2020 and continues to this day. What makes it worse is that it has trickled down the political pipeline. Arizona Gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake made the following statement about the results of her primary election and the possible outcome of the general election:

“If we don’t win, there’s some cheating going on. And we already know that.”

This is the game they are playing. If they win, everything is fine. If they lose, it was not because the majority of voters went for the other candidate. This is not the reaction of a mature adult who understands that you cannot get what you want whenever you want it. This is a tantrum taken by a spoiled child who cannot bear to be told no.

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We have two choices come November. We can either protect our future and our children’s future by keeping the American democracy alive. Or, we can give in to big babies, fascists, and wannabe autocrats. The choice is ours, I only hope we can make the right one.

Liz Cheney’s Loss Was Inevitable. She Maybe The One Person Standing Between the Republicans and the American Democracy

Elections are more than votes for a specific political office and the person who has won the race. They represent the values of the voters and the politicians who are running for that specific position.

Last week, Liz Cheney lost the primary vote for her congressional seat. The margins between Cheney and her opponent were not small.

What I find revealing and scary is that Cheney only lost because she is a vocal opponent of he who shall not be named. Unlike her chickenshit colleagues, she has the backbone to say the quiet part out loud. It does not matter that in the past, she voted consistently with her party. The sole deciding factor was her stance on you know who.

I hate to say it, but Cheney may be one of the few individuals on the right who is able to save our nation and our democracy from her fellow Republicans. Unfortunately, she is one of only a few who stands by her beliefs, and more importantly, will hopefully be able to hold onto their seat.

I won’t go as far as to call her a hero. But in standing up for the country and our ideals, she proves that the American spirit is alive and well. Even when some have twisted that spirit to fit their own perspective.

 “Stand for what is right. Even if it means standing alone.” — Suzy Kassem

The Truth Comes Out (Sort of): Mar-a-Lago Searched and You Know Who Pleads the Fifth

The role of any politician at any level of government is to serve the voting public, not themselves or their career. But for everyone in government who knows who they are indebted to, there are others who believe that they must cater to their donors or their base first.

The major headlines this week around you know who are the following: the FBI searched (and found) boxes of classified documents in Mar-a-Lago that should have gone to the National Archives when he left office. If the rumors are true, some of what was found include nuclear codes that could have fallen into and/or been given to government officials from Saudi Arabia.

Though the complete description of what was taken has not been released, this announcement by itself should be enough to make all Americans ask ourselves if we really want this man as President for another 4 years. The answer should obviously be no. But there are too many who have drunk the Kool-Aid and believe his lies.

On Wednesday, after using multiple bullshit excuses to get out of a scheduled deposition in front of New York Attorney General Tish James, he finally met with the AG and her team. The only answer he gave in the affirmative was his name. For every other question, he responded by pleading the fifth amendment.

What is not surprising about this choice is that it is his usual hypocritical response. In the past, he claimed that only criminals and mobsters used this tactic. But now that it fits his needs, he has decided to use it to his advantage.

He who shall not be named is more than an egotistical used car salesman con artist who has taken this country for a ride. He is dangerous and not unwilling to do anything he can to stay in power and in the headlines.

For the sake our nation and our chldren, I beg and plead with my fellow Americans. D0 not give him the figurative oxygen. Do not allow him to run for office. If we are to move forward, he must become an insignificant fly who can be swatted away for good.

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Invisible Storm: A Soldier’s Memoir of Politics and PTSD Book Review

Jason Kander is many things: a politician, a veteran, a published author, and a family man. He was also living with PTSD after serving his country.

Kander’s new memoir, Invisible Storm: A Soldier’s Memoir of Politics and PTSD, was published earlier this month. Back in 2017, Kander’s political future was bright. He was running for mayor in his hometown of Kansas City. All signs pointed to an easy victory. There were even whispers of him as a possible candidate in the 2020 Presidential election.

Then everything stopped. After being home from Afghanistan for more than a decade, he suddenly became depressed and suicidal. This deeply felt and dark memoir is the story of how the darkness nearly claimed him and the difficult task of recovery that he underwent to heal.

His story is personal, heartfelt, and a reminder that mental health is health. Just because the scars are not visible to the naked eye does not mean that the person is not suffering. What I was impressed by was how brutally honest Kander was about the experience. He also was very vocal about the fact that our veterans are not being given the medical care that is owed to them. They gave up almost everything for this country, the least we can do is ensure that they are as physically and mentally healthy as possible.

My favorite part of the book was the interjections by Kander’s wife, Diana. It shows that this disease does not only affect the person, it affects everyone they love. Mental illness requires a team effort to live with and/or overcome.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

Invisible Storm: A Soldier’s Memoir of Politics and PTSD is available wherever books are sold.

Those on the Right Would be Wise to Observe How Boris Johnson was Removed From Office

When our plans go awry, sometimes the best decision is knowing when to cut our losses.

Last week, former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned after a series of scandals became too much to bear. Mostly known outside of the country for his support for Brexit, he finally stepped down after initially ignoring the whirlwind swirling around him.

Those on the right in this country should note. When someone at the peak of political leadership misuses their power for personal gain, they and everyone who helped them should be expelled from office. Instead, in the United States, they continue to stay in their position and spread the lie that the results of a certain Presidential election were fraudulent.

It is no wonder that our reputation on the world stage has been damaged.

Resistance: How Women Saved Democracy from Donald Trump Book Review

If our history books have proven one thing, it is that women are underestimated. We have so much power to change the world. But for that change to happen, that power must be harnessed and our voices must be heard.

In 2021, Resistance: How Women Saved Democracy from Donald Trump by Jennifer Rubin was published. Rubin tells the story of how American women, from 2016 to 2020, fought for our country while you know who sat in the Oval Office. The story starts in the fall of 2016 when he who shall not be named won that year’s Presidential election. Many presumed (myself included) that Hillary Clinton would be the winner. When the results were announced, shock, rage, and fear ran through the nation like a bolt of lightning.

Instead of taking to our beds and filling the proverbial hole with food or alcohol, we banded together. Organizations like EMILY’s List helped first-time political nominees from across the political spectrum run in their various districts. Not all of them won, but the fact that they threw their hats in the ring was enough to light the fires.

She spends several chapters towards the end of the book focusing on the female nominees who ran for President in 2020. Though we did not get America’s first female President, the fact that Kamala Harris was chosen as Vice President was enough to see that progress has been made. Though we know that the war for equality has not been achieved, the battles we have fought and won are victories in their own right.

This book should be required reading for every female (and anyone with a uterus by extension) above a certain age. Standing on the shoulders of previous generations of feminists, the women chronicled are history makers in their own right. Though there are those who would keep us down (I’m looking at you, SCOTUS), we have still found a way to rise up.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

Resistance: How Women Saved Democracy from Donald Trump is avaliable wherever books are sold.

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Politics Book Reviews: Battling the Big Lie: How Fox, Facebook, and the MAGA Media Are Destroying America & Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy’s Guide to the Constitution

It would be easy to think that those who we elect to speak for our needs in the halls of power are doing their jobs. A deeper dive reveals a lust for power, the need for influence to fill one own pocket, and the lack of care/responsibility to those who put them in office.

Battling the Big Lie: How Fox, Facebook, and the MAGA Media Are Destroying America, by Dan Pfeiffer, was published last month. In short, it describes how both the carelessness of the social media companies and a right-wing conspiracy nearly led to the annihilation of this nation and our democracy. He also talks about how we can fight back and stop the lies before they destroy us.

Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy’s Guide to the Constitution, by Elie Mystal, was published in March. Mystal takes the legalese out of the Constitution and explains them in a way that anyone would understand. Complete with pop culture references and the occasional f-bomb, Mystal points out what is wrong with the law (i.e. racism, sexism, anti-LGBTQ sentiment, etc), and how we can prevent the white patriarchy from dragging us back into the past.

What we need right now are two things: hope and a kick in the behind. These books provide both. By writing laymen’s terms, both Pfeiffer and Mystal are giving the average citizens the tools we need to fight against the growing threats of theocracy and fascism.

Do I recommend them both? Absolutely.

Battling the Big Lie: How Fox, Facebook, and the MAGA Media Are Destroying America and Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy’s Guide to the Constitution are available wherever books are sold.

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