Can Mike Pence and Liz Cheney be Redeemed?

In politics, reputation is everything. That reputation, whatever it may be, can make or break your career.

The reputations of two specific politicians, Mike Pence and Liz Cheney are going to be made or broken by the time the January 6th commission hearings are over. Will they be redeemed or go down in history for their misdeeds?

In any job, the ability to work with anyone within the organization is important. But there is a difference between knowing when to respectfully disagree and kissing ass. The former Vice President is the latter. For the entirety of the Presidency of you know who, Pence was a lapdog who did his boss’s bidding without (at least in public view) questioning his actions and motives. The only time he developed a backbone was when he did not go along with the lie that the election results were fraudulent. Now that he is back on the election circuit, Pence now claims that President Biden is one who is lying constantly.

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I have a feeling that Pence’s place in American history will not be a good one.

Liz Cheney is the American political royalty. The daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, she has been a stalwart Republican for decades. Between 2016 and 2020, she consistently voted along party lines. Then January 6th happened. Cheney is one of two members of the GOP on the committee (the other being Adam Kinziger). Though I disagree with her on many things, the fact that she has put country and the saving of our democracy over party speaks volumes.

What will future historians say about Cheney? I think the jury is still out.

We cannot predict what posterity will say about this era. But I hope that we will remember those who stood up for our nation and those who didnt.

P.S. Who else wanted to reach out through the screen and hug Wandrea “Shaye” Moss and  Ruby Freeman? The treatment they recieved is digusting, immoral, and in my opinion, unAmerican.

Student Loan Forgiveness Might be the Key to 2022, 2024, and Beyond

We all know that college is the key to our professional future. Without that degree, our careers would be stuck in first gear and our earning potential is stunted. The problem is that the cost of obtaining that status of college graduate has grown exponentially over the past few years and is unlikely to stop anytime soon.

One of the issues that have come to the political forefront lately is student loans. Several Democrats have proposed that President Biden forgive student loans for those earning under $125,000. While the devil is in the details, I think this is important for two reasons. The first is that it would remove the financial shackle for millions of Americans. The second is that it would give Biden and the Democrats an ace up their sleeve when it comes to the midterm elections in the fall and the presidential election in 2024.

My own loans were paid off a long time ago. I understand why some people disagree with this decision. That being said, I can see the potential in the financial freedom that comes from not having thousands of dollars (if not hundreds of thousands of dollars) to pay off hanging over someone’s figurative head.

Two Giant Steps Forward and One Step Back: Ketanji Brown Jackson and the Ten Year Anniversary of the Homicide of Trayvon Martin

One of the most potent and universal quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. is as follows:

The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.

Last Saturday, February 26th, was the ten-year anniversary of the murder of Trayvon Martin. Had his killer (who shall not be named on the blog) not decided to take the law into his own hands, young Mr. Martin would be 27. He might have graduated from high school and college, started a successful career, and perhaps said “I do” by now. But he will forever remain 17, a promising life full of possibilities that we can speak of in a hypothetical manner.

Though we cannot bring Travyon back to life or undo the acquittal of the man who was responsible for his killing, we can see look to our present and see where progress has been made. The men responsible for the executions of both George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery were found guilty of their respective crimes.

During the 2022 Presidential election, President Biden promised to nominate an African-American woman to the Supreme Court. On February 25th, he kept his promise. After Justice Stephen Breyer announced his upcoming retirement, Ketanji Brown Jackson was introduced to the country as his replacement.

This is one GIANT step forward. As both a woman and a person of color, Brown Jackson, represents the true nature and the potential of this nation. With March being Women’s History Month and this coming Tuesday being International Women’s Day, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our wins and identify where there is more work to be done.

Of course, not everyone welcomed her with open arms. Her legal abilities and history were questioned by some Republicans (no surprise there). The obvious inquiry is if Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh had to face the same criticism. Probably not. My hope and prayer is that not only will she sit on the highest court of the land, but also that she will help to create the America that we know is possible.

May the memory of Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, etc, be a blessing and a reminder of how far we need to go.

More Republican Fuckery: FL’s “Don’t Say Gay” Law, TX’s Anti-Transgender, Cowardly Kevin McCarthy, and MI’s Banning Contraception For Married Couples

It says something about a nation when one political party is focused on the future and bringing people together while the other one is focused on the past and pulling people apart.

In both Texas and Florida, laws against the LGBTQ community and LGBTQ kids have created a dangerous precedent that puts lives at risk. As of Monday, the “Don’t Say Gay” law in Florida is one step closer to becoming law. The details of the bill are as follows:

Should the bill become law, Florida educators would be barred from speaking to primary school students about certain LGBTQ+ topics that are not considered “age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”

Under the bill, parents would also have greater authority to take legal action against school districts they believe to be in violation.

In Texas, parents of transgender children who seek out hormone therapy to help their offspring become their true selves could be characterized as child abusers. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to foresee the potential mental health issues that may have a hugely detrimental effect on an entire generation. If we lose young lives due to these laws, the blood will be on the hands of those who wrote and supported these pieces of legislation.

Several weeks ago, Kevin McCarthy was asked by a member of the press about January 6th. Instead of answering her question, he ran away.

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Contrast this to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. When asked by the US if he wanted to get out of the line of fire, he said no and asked for ammunition. We should all be so lucky to have a President like him.

Finally, in Michigan, the three Republican candidates for State Attorney General were asked about the 1965 Supreme Court decision Griswold vs. Connecticut. The ruling states that married couples can buy contraception without the government stepping in. All three of them (who are all men, if it was not already obvious) state that they believed it was up to the state and not the federal government.

Who are they to make these decisions? When Roe V. Wade was ratified as the law of the land in 1972, it came down to privacy. That same concept applies to married couples. The choice to end a pregnancy and/or use contraception is one that belongs to those who are involved in that process and no one else.

Just another day of Republican fuckery.

P.S. I hope I was not the only was one who was offended and horrified by the outburst by Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene during last night’s State of the Union. It was akin to drunken idiots insulting the opposing team during a baseball or football game. What is worse is that they chose to do this when President Biden was speaking about his son who he lost to cancer. How much more disrespectful can they get?

Thoughts On President Biden’s First Year in Office

The first year of any Presidential administration is always rocky, regardless of how much political experience the President and their team have. It is a transition that requires patience, understanding, and the knowledge that the road ahead is anything but smooth.

Last week, President Biden held a press conference marking his first full year in office. To say that it was a challenge is an understatement. Given the mess his predecessor left behind, I think we need to be a little more understanding.

Looking back, I think many of us expected Biden to twitch his nose and instantly undo the damage done by you know who. It is a task that by definition is impossible.

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The one thing that I think he has going for him is his ability to change course, genuinely listen, and apologize when necessary. I can’t say the same for he who shall not be named.

The one obstacle I see ahead of Biden and the Democrats overall is the 2022 midterms. Recent history tells us that the party in power loses its advantage in Congress every two years. The major problem this time around is that the Republicans have no problem crossing the moral lines to win elections. Michelle Obama‘s recommendation two years ago to go high when they go low will not work this time around.

We can’t completely stoop to their level, but getting a little dirty maybe the one thing that saves the nation and our Democratic model of government. If Biden wants to see his poll numbers climb and ensure that his party retains control, there are two things he must do.

  1. Get the Voting Rights legislation passed: I firmly believe that he won because he spoke to Americans who have been disenfranchised and promised to make it happen. We all know that not all promises made on the campaign trail come to fruition. But this one is the key to the future success of this administration.
  2. Kitchen table issues: Not only does he have to address the most basic of kitchen table issues, he has shout his accomplishments from the rooftops. The only way to win over Americans who believe he is doing a poor job is to reach them where they are. If they are gainfully employed with a good salary, prices are reasonable, etc, then they may finally see through the bullshit of the Republicans. Otherwise, we are facing political tumult like we have never seen before.

I wish I had a crystal ball. But I don’t. I can only hope that at some point in the near future, we can put this madness aside and return to some version of normal.

A Year On and January 6th Has Not Been Solved

When certain events become shorthand, it is certain to become a part of the public consciousness.

A year ago today, a mob forced its way into the Capitol building in Washington D.C. They nearly stopped what would have been an otherwise mundane procedure of certifying the 2020 Presidential election. Thankfully, they were stopped and President Biden was able to take the position that the American people chose him for.

While I would love to say that the perpetrators responsible for that day were prosecuted, sent to jail, and we could move on. But we can’t. There are far too many in this nation who not only believe that you know was robbed, but that they have the right to take back “their country” as they see fit.

Earlier this week, an article caught my eye. Written by Jonathan Allen, the final line is chilling.

“Jan. 6 is analogous to the first attack on the World Trade Center that failed. We should take heed of that.”

The people behind the riot knew exactly what they were doing that day. They also know what they need to do moving forward. They are not dumb, not by any stretch of the imagination. When their plan to physically take control of the government failed, they took a less noticeable, but far more invasive route. Via gerrymandering and taking control of school boards, there are many Republicans who are too happy to sacrifice this nation and her ideals to shape it into their image. If that means taking away the rights of women, minorities, and immigrants, so be it. And even further, if that means creating a real-life version of Gilead, they would be happy to do so.

We dodged a bullet last year. The next time this happens, it will not be a bullet coming in our direction. It will be a shoulder-fired missile and its target will not be left standing.

For nearly 300 years, Americans have assumed that our democracy will last forever. Unless we take a stand, our children and grandchildren will be talking about it in the past tense.

Peril Book Review

Up until the beginning of this year, the transition from one Presidential administration to another was a process that few outside of Washington D.C. ever thought about. That changed with the 2020 Presidential election.

Peril, by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, was published in September. Told in a spellbinding and sometimes downright scary manner, the authors detail how close this nation came to nearly abandoning our democratic ideals. Basing their narrative on interviews, transcripts, and other documents, they take us on a roller coaster ride that is solely based on you know who’s want to stay in power, regardless of the response from the voting public. It also details how unnecessarily difficult a task President Biden has ahead of him. If nothing else, this book is a warning that unless we do something ASAP, the United States of America as we know it to be maybe one day be consigned to the history books.

This book should be read by every American, regardless of where they are on the political scale. The belief that our political system is secure has been shaken to its core. We have two choices at this point in time. We can either sit back and do nothing. The other option (which in my mind is the only option) is to stand up, vote, and fight for everything we hold near and dear.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

Today’s Republican Party Could Learn a Thing or Two from Bob Dole

At the end of the day, a democracy needs compromise to survive. We don’t need to be in complete agreement 100% of the time, but we cannot be at each other’s throats all day.

Last week, Bob Dole, the late former Senator, and Presidential Candidate was remembered in a ceremony at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. Among the speakers was President Biden.

Though Senator Dole and President Biden were on different ends of the political spectrum, they understood that they needed to find some sort of common ground to do their jobs. They also knew the value of real friendship outside of the office. Today’s Republican party could learn a thing or two from this relationship. Instead of being confrontational and refusing the see the other side, it wouldn’t hurt if they put down their literal armor and attempted to come to the table.

Earlier this week, newscaster Brian Williams announced his retirement. Speaking directly to his viewers, he implored his audience to put aside their differences and find a way to come together.

RIP Senator. Your contribution to this nation will never be forgotten.

Juneteenth is the Newest Federal American Holiday

The late Martin Luther King Jr. once said the following:

“I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.”

This week, the arc of justice finally reached it’s mark this week. President Biden officially designated Juneteenth as a federal holiday. As others have pointed out (which I agree with), as important this proclamation is, it must be backed up by laws up holding equality and shutting down of institutional racism in every fact of our society.

The fact is that African-Americans have built this country. Instead of thanking them and giving greater opportunities, we have degraded them, dehumanized them, and denied the most basic of rights that we claim is due to every American.

In a move that surprised no one, several members of Congress, who are all male, Caucasian, and Republican, voted no. Thankfully, a majority knew and understood how vitally important it is to at least try to reach the ideals written in our founding documents.

This is just a step in the road to real equality, but it is huge and if nothing else, a day to be proud of.

Takeaways from the State of the Union

The State of the Union tells us everything we need to know about the President.

Last night was President Biden‘s first State of the Union.

First of all, the fact that there were two women sitting behind him is nothing short of awesome.

If there was one word to describe the speech, it is ambitious. Some might say a little too ambitious, given what Covid-19 has done to us, the only way out maybe to go big or go home. Will it require compromise from both sides of the aisle? Absolutely. Will it be easy? To call the process difficult is an understatement. As corny as it sounds, the path back to some sort of normalcy is working together.

After the President spoke, Senator Tim Scott spoke for the Republicans. If their plan was to use Senator Scott to show how how diverse they are, it fell flat on their face.

The fact that they claimed that Biden and the Democrats are responsible for the political and cultural division in the country is pure bullshit. The cherry on top was the idea that racism is dead in the United States. I have two words for him: Derek Chauvin.

After 4 years of you know who, Biden is a breath of fresh air. Though the work ahead of him and his administration is far from easy, I am confident that America’s future is bright in their hands.

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