Ted Cruz’s cheap confession: ‘Obviously a mistake’

The following two articles speak to how U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas is out of touch with his constituents during a winter weather disaster. The articles speak for themselves. I’ve only written this post because the event happened just as I was posting the previous entry, “Cheap atonement“.

(Texas, among other states, is experiencing winter weather conditions that they’re not prepared for. Millions have been without power and large numbers have lost access to clean water.)

‘Obviously a mistake’: Cruz returns from Cancun after uproar,” AP, February 18, 2021.

Opinion: Ted Cruz wants to be a populist. But he can’t get it right.The Washington Post, February 20, 2021.

Right now, hot tea with sugar is impossible for millions of Texans.

Cheap atonement

Convicted criminals often apologize and say that they’re sorry. Politicians also get called out on some indiscretion and say that they’re sorry. Do you believe criminals and politicians? (A few politicians actually are criminals, too.)

Consider U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene. She’s apologized for ill-advised posts to social media from before she was elected to Congress. She was removed from her committee assignments because she expressed extremist views.

She says, “I’m sorry for saying all those things that are wrong and offensive, and I sincerely mean that.” Sincere?

Do you believe her? Like criminals, is she sorry for what she did or just sorry she got called out or is suffering unfortunate consequences?

(See The Washington Post for its reporting this story — “After losing committee assignments, Marjorie Taylor Greene says she has been ‘freed’ to push the GOP further right,”February 5, 2021.)

Then consider Neera Tanden. She’s a nominee to head the Office of Management and Budget in U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration.

Tanden has maligned progressives in the Democratic Party on social media. “Ms. Tanden apologized for hurting anyone’s feelings and promised to take a radically different approach to communicating if confirmed as budget director,” according to The New York Times (“Neera Tanden Grilled Again Over Statements, This Time by Bernie Sanders,” February 10, 2021). She also deleted more than 1,000 posts to Twitter shortly after the November 2020 presidential election. “Ms. Tanden apologized to that committee and said she had deleted some of her tweets because she regretted her tone” (ibid.).

According to The Washington Post, Tanden said concerning her tweets, “I must have meant them, but I really regret them.” (“Republicans criticized a Biden nominee for her tweets. Democrats see a ‘whole new level of hypocrisy,’” February 10, 2021). Hah! Is this sincere or cheap regrets? She stands to gain by disavowing her previous approach to political speech, so …

Do you have to be a cynic to suspect that such apologies and disavowals by Representative Greene and nominee Tanden are insincere? I think not.

American miracles

Insurrectionists mobbed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, while Congress was in joint session to formally count the votes of the Electoral College. All of our elected federal officials except the president were in one room together at one time, but fortunately none of them was a victim of the mob’s violence — a miracle.

There were a few casualties — five people died including one police officer and one insurrectionist. About 140 police officers were injured in the line of duty, some grievously. Since the insurrection, two police officers took their lives, presumably because of what happened January 6th.

Then at former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, we discovered that some members of the mob were intent on assassinating former Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Both escaped unharmed as did Pence’s family.

It could have been a blood bath, but no Congressperson or staffer was hurt. They were understandably shaken up and traumatized, which leaves a long-term wound, but able to go about the Congress’s Constitutional business several hours later and ever since.

Real miracles. It’s as if a Biblical cloud descended over the officials to protect them. To my thinking, this salvation was Divine intervention.

Credit is also to the laws of Washington, D.C., against carrying guns in the District. Imagine the carnage that guns can do.

To my way of thinking, January 6th warrants being declared a national day of thanksgiving for the many miracles that America was favored with that day.

‘March to Save America’ rally on Electoral College vote certification: Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric

The Ellipse, Washington, D.C. | January 6, 2021
Duration of rally: 4 hours and 50 minutes
Duration of President’s speech: 1 hour and 12 minutes

Former U.S. President Donald Trump called for his loyalists to rally in Washington, D.C., on the day that Congress was to certify the Electoral Vote count, January 6, 2021. The crowd largely insisted that the November 3rd, 2020, election was stolen from Trump, as he would elaborate during his speech: “It was rigged.” They were demanding that the results be overturned in Trump’s favor. “Stop the steal” they would chant.

Trump whipped up the enthusiasm of the crowd which led to a mob storming the U.S. Capitol. Trump made veiled suggestions that he approved of violence in his cause to overturn the election results.

The Hill reported:

“You’ll never take back our country with weakness,” Trump said. “You have to show strength and you have to be strong. We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated.

“I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically, make your voices heard today.” [3 hours and 46 minutes into the video]

The event was sponsored by Women for America First, co-founded and chaired by Amy Kremer. The organization is funded by dark money,* as reported by CNBC.

Several days before the rally, Trump took over the planning, and it became an official White House event.*

The rally attendees gathered on The Ellipse. The stage faced the Washington Monument, with the White House visible behind the stage.

At times, Trump seemed to be reading from a teleprompter.

The full video of the rally can be seen on C-SPAN. On this C-SPAN page, you can see a transcript of the President’s remarks taken from closed captioning.

From C-SPAN:

Campaign 2020
President Trump spoke at a rally in Washington, D.C., held to protest the results of the Electoral College, which Congress was set to count later that day. “We will never give up. We will never concede,” he declared. President Trump repeated his unsubstantiated claims of fraud in both the November election and the Georgia U.S. Senate runoff election held the previous night. He railed against Republicans he deemed insufficiently supportive of his efforts to overturn the results and promised to “primary the hell out of the ones that don’t fight.” The president also continued to publicly pressure his vice president, Mike Pence, to reject electoral votes in states that he lost. As the speech was concluding, Vice President Pence issued a statement saying he lacked the constitutional authority to dismiss the votes when the Congress met later that day.

Outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump enters the stage around 3 hours and 29 minutes into the video. He starts to speak at about 3 hours and 31 minutes. The speech ends with Trump leaving the stage at 4 hours and 43 minutes.

In the early afternoon of Wednesday January 6, 2021, former U.S. President Donald Trump spoke to a rally crowd. It was styled as “March to Save America.”

Here are some gleanings from the speech. I’ve given approximate times into C-SPAN’s video when the quotes can be heard according to the hour and minute.

“The media will not show the magnitude of this crowd.” (3 hours and 31 minutes into the rally)

“We have hundreds of thousands of people here.* [Not true] And I just want them to be recognized by the fake news media…. These people are not going to take it any longer…. They came from all over the world actually [doubtful].” (3:32)

“The media is the biggest problem we have … the single biggest problem. The fake news and the big tech.” (3:32)

“We beat them four years ago. We surprised them. We took them by surprise. And this year, they rigged an election. They rigged it like they’ve never rigged an election before.” (3:32)

“All of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by emboldened, radical left Democrats … and stolen by the fake news media.

“We will never give up. We will never concede…. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved.” (3:32)

“Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore.” (3:34)

“We will stop the steal.” (3:34)

“I’ve been in two elections. I won them both, and the second one I won much bigger than the first. Okay? Almost 75 million people voted for our campaign. The most of any incumbent president by far in the history of our country. Twelve million more people than four years ago.” (3:34)

“And they say we lost. We didn’t lose.” (3:35)

“Does anybody believe that Joe had 80 million votes? … He had 80 million computer votes.* [not possible] It’s a disgrace.” (3:35)

“Take third world countries. Their elections are more honest than what we’ve been going through in this country. It’s a disgrace.” (3:35)

“Even when you look at last night …” [in the Georgia election for two Senate seats] (3:35)

“We will not let them silence your voices.” (3:36)

The crowd chants: “Fight for Trump!” (3:36)

The crowd chants: “We love Trump!” (3:39)

“You’re stronger. You’re smarter. You’ve got more going than anybody, and they try and demean everybody having to do with us, and you’re the real people. You’re the people that built this nation. You’re not the people that tore down this nation.” (3:42)

“You have to get your people to fight.” (3:43)

“We’re leading [in the November 3rd voting in the evening], and then in the morning, boom. These explosions of bullshit.” (3:44:25) [The crowd roars with approval, and then the crowd erupts in a rhythmic chant that I haven’t deciphered.]

“… our election was so corrupt that in the history of this country, we’ve never seen anything like it.” (3:45)

“We don’t have a free and fair press. Our media is not free. It’s not fair. It suppresses thought. It suppresses speech. It’s become the enemy of the people. biggest problem we have in this country.” (3:45)

“We’re going to walk down and I’ll be with you … We’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women.” (3:46-7)

“… take back our country …” (3:47)

“You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength. And you have to be strong.” (3:47)

“I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically, make your voices heard.” (3:47)

“Our country has been under siege for a long time; far longer than this four-year period. We’ve set it on a much straighter course.” (3:48)

“We rebuilt the military…. Our military has been totally rebuilt.” (3:48) [Not true. It didn’t need rebuilding.]

“… many people don’t like us because we’ve done [accomplished] too much.” (3:50)

“We were going to sit home and watch a big victory. Everyone had us down for a big victory. Everything was going to be great. And now we’re out here fighting.” (3:50)

“Ten o’clock it was over.” [We were victorious.] (3:51)

“We set a record.” [It wasn’t close. Trump got 75 million popular votes to Joe Biden’s 81 million.] (3:51)

“It was a setup [in Georgia].” (3:52)

“It took them four years to devise [this fraud].” (3:53)

“As you know, the media has constantly asserted the outrageous lie that there was ‘no evidence of widespread fraud …’ You ever see these people? ‘While there’s no evidence of fraud.’ Oh really? Well, I’m going to read you pages … I hope you don’t get bored listening to it. Promise? Don’t get bored listening to it. Promise. Don’t get bored listening to it. All those hundreds of thousands of people back there [points to the back].” [The number is not close to being true as I pointed out before.] (3:56)

“The American people do not believe the corrupt fake news anymore. They have ruined their reputation. But you know, it used to be that they’d argue with me. So I’d fight. I’d fight, they’d fight. You’d believe me. You’d believe them … They had their point of view. I had my point of view. But you’d have an argument. Now what they do is they go silent. It’s called ‘depression’ [suppression?]. And that’s what happens in a communist country. That’s what they do. They suppress. You don’t fight with them anymore. Unless it’s a bad story. They have a little bad story about me, they make it ten times worse, and it’s a major headline.” (3:57)

[Mentions Hunter Biden with allegations of wrong-doing from 3:57:40 through 3:58:40.]

“No, we have a corrupt media. They’ve gone silent [concerning Hunter Biden]. They’ve gone dead.” (3:58)

“We don’t have a fair media anymore. It’s suppression…. And they’ve lost all credibility in this country.” (3:59)

[Recites unsubstantiated incidents of fraud. (4:03 through 4:09; then 4:11 through 4:12)]

[If the electoral ballots are not sent back to the states:] “You will have a president who lost all of these states. Or you will have a president, to put it another way, who was voted on by a bunch of stupid people who lost all of these states. You will have an illegitimate president … and we can’t let that happen.” (4:10)

“Every time I put out a tweet, even if it’s totally correct, totally correct, I get a flag. I get a flag. And they also don’t let you get on…. They don’t let the message get out…. I don’t care about Twitter. Twitter is bad news… If you want to get out a message, and if you want to go through big tech, social media… If you are a conservative, if you’re a Republican, if you have a big voice … they shadow ban you. And it should be illegal.” (4:12)

[So long as social media aren’t liable for the posted content, and they can ban you:] “… That’s going to be the end of the Republican Party as we know it. But it’s never going to be the end of us, never.” (4:13)

“This is a time for strength.” (4:13)

“They also want to indoctrinate your children in school by teaching them things that aren’t so. They want to indoctrinate your children. It’s all part of the comprehensive assault on our democracy, and the American people are finally standing up and saying ‘no’….” (4:13)

“Two months ago we had a massive crowd come down to Washington, and I said, ‘What are they there for?’ ‘Sir, they’re there for you.’” (4:13)

[Speaks disparagingly about Representative Liz Cheney. (4:14)]

“Remember I used to say in the old days, ‘Don’t go in[to] Iraq, but if you go in, keep the oil.’” (4:14)

[Speaks about allegations of election fraud in Wisconsin. (4:15-17)]

[Speaks disparagingly about Georgia’s secretary of state who recorded his conversation with ex-President Trump. (4:15-17)

[See the AP:

[Jeff Amy, Darlene Superville, and Jonathan Lemire. “GA election officials reject Trump call to ‘find’ more votes.” AP. January 4, 2021. Retrieved January 19, 2021. Contains a link to a transcript of the call. Also see a transcript of the call and listen: “Transcript: President Trump’s Phone Call With Georgia Election Officials.” The New York Times. January 3, 2021. Retrieved January 25, 2021.]

[Speaks about alleged illegal votes in Georgia. (4:19-20)]

[Democrats — the radical left — want to steal elections. (4:20)]

“The radical left … knows exactly what they’re doing. They’re ruthless, and it’s time somebody did something about it. And Mike Pence, I hope you’re going to stand up for the good of our Constitution and for the good of our country, and if you’re not, I’m going to be very disappointed in you….” (4:20-21)

[Again speaks about alleged illegal votes in Georgia. (4:21-24)]

“This election was stolen from you, from me, from the country. And not a single swing-state has conducted a comprehensive audit to remove the illegal ballots. This should absolutely occur in every single contested state before the election is certified.” (4:24)

[Speaks about alleged illegal votes in Arizona; then Nevada; then Michigan. (4:24-29)]

[Castigates Dominion voting systems. (4:29-31)]

“I could go on and on about this fraud that took place in every state. And all of these legislatures want this back.” (4:31)

Crowd chants, “We love Trump.” (4:32)

“When you hear, ‘While there is no evidence to prove any wrongdoing …’. This is the most fraudulent thing…. This is a criminal enterprise…. And the press will say, and I’m sure they won’t put any of that on there because that’s no good…. ‘While there is no evidence to back President Trump’s decision …’ I could go on for another hour…. There’s never been anything like it.” (4:32)

[Speaks about alleged illegal votes in Detroit and Pennsylvania. (4:32-33)]

“It’s a disgrace of the United States of America. Tens of millions of people are allowed to go vote without so much as even showing identification. In no state is there any question or effort made to verify the identity, citizenship, residency, or eligibility of the votes cast.” [A dubious allegation] (4:33)

“The Republicans have to get tougher. You’re not going to have a Republican Party if you don’t get tougher. They want to play so straight…. ‘Sure, yes the United States, the Constitution doesn’t allow me to send them back to the states.’ Well, I say yes it does, because the Constitution says you have to protect our country, and you have to protect our Constitution. And you can’t vote on fraud. And fraud breaks up everything, doesn’t it? When you catch somebody in a fraud, you’re allowed to go by very different rules.” (4:33)

“So I hope Mike has the courage to do what he has to do. And I hope he doesn’t listen to the RINOs [Republicans In Name Only] and the stupid people that he’s listening to.” (4:34)

[Speaks about alleged illegal votes. (4:34)]

“We won in a landslide. This was a landslide.” Crowd cheers.

“They said it’s not American to challenge the election. This is the most corrupt election in the history, maybe, of the world.” (4:35)

“… it’s so egregious, it’s so bad, that a lot of people don’t even believe it. It’s so crazy that people don’t even believe it. It can’t be true. So they don’t believe it. This is not just a matter of domestic politics. This is a matter of national security.” (4:35)

“So today, in addition to challenging the certification of the election, I’m calling on Congress and the state legislatures to quickly pass sweeping election reform. And you better do it before we have no country left.” (4:35)

“Today is not the end. It’s just the beginning. With your help over the last four years, we built the greatest political movement in the history of our country, and nobody even challenges that. I say that over and over, and I never get challenged by the fake news, and they challenge almost everything we say.” (4:35-6)

“But our fight against the big donors,* big media, big tech, and others is just getting started. This is the greatest in history. There’s never been a movement like that. You look back there, all the way to the Washington Monument,* it’s hard to believe. We must stop the steal, and then we must endure, that such outrageous election fraud never happens again, can never be allowed to happen again. But we’re going forward, we’ll take care of going forward. We gotta take care of going back.” (4:36)

“With your help we will finally pass powerful requirements for voter ID.* You need an ID to cash a check. You need an ID to go to a bank, to buy alcohol, to drive a car. Every person should need to show an ID in order to cast your most important thing, a vote. We will also require proof of American citizenship in order to vote in American elections…. We will ban ballot harvesting and prohibit the use of unsecured drop boxes to commit rampant fraud. These drop boxes are fraudulent…. They disappear; then they all of a sudden show up. It’s fraudulent. We will stop the practice of universal unsolicited mail-in balloting. We will clean up the voter rolls and insure that every single person who casts a vote is a citizen of our country, a resident of the state in which they vote, and their vote is cast in a lawful and honest manner. We will restore the vital civic tradition of in-person voting on election day, so that voters can be fully informed when they make their choice.” (4:36-8)

“We will finally hold big tech accountable, and if these people had courage and guts, they would get rid of section 230,* something that no other company, no other person in America, in the world has. All of these tech monopolies are going to abuse their power and interfere in our elections. And it has to be stopped, and the Republicans have to get a lot tougher, and so should the Democrats. They should be regulated, investigated, and brought to justice under the fullest extent of the law. They’re totally breaking the law.” (4:38)

“Together we will * drain the Washington swamp, and we will clean up corruption in our nation’s capital. We have done a big job on it, but … You think it’s a dirty business? It’s a dirty business. You have a lot of bad people out there.” (4:38)

“Despite everything we’ve been through, looking out, all over this country, and seeing fantastic crowds (although this, I think, is our all time record). I think you have 250,000 people,* 250,000! Looking out at all the amazing patriots here today, I have never been more confident in our nation’s future. Well, I have to say, we have to be a little bit careful. It’s a nice statement, but we have to be a little careful of this statement. If we allow this group of people to illegally take over our country, because it’s illegal, when the votes are illegal. When the way they got there is illegal. When the states that vote are given false and fraudulent information.” (4:39)

“We are the greatest country on earth, and we are headed and were headed in the right direction. You know, the wall is built. We’re doing record numbers at the wall. Now they want to take down the wall. Let’s let everybody flow in. Let’s let everybody flow in. We did a great job on the wall. Remember the wall? They said it could never be done. One of the largest infrastructure projects we’ve ever had in this country, and it’s had a tremendous impact, and we got rid of tax relief [?] and we got rid of all the stuff we had to live with.” (4:39-40)

“But now … the caravans are forming again. They want to come in again and rip off our country. We can’t let it happen.” (4:40)

“As this enormous crowd shows, we have truth and justice on our side. We have a deep and enduring love for America in our hearts. We love our country. We have overwhelming pride in this great country. We have it deep in our souls. Together we are determined to defend and preserve government of the people, by the people, and for the people. [Crowd cheers] Our brightest days are before us. Our greatest achievements still wait. I think one of our great achievements will be election security. Because nobody until I came along had any idea how corrupt our election was. And again, most people would stand there at nine o’clock [on election night] in the evening and say ‘I want to thank you very much,’ and they’d go off to some other life. But, I said, ‘something’s wrong here. Something’s really wrong. It can’t have happened.’ And we fight, we fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” (4:40-1)

“Our exciting adventures and boldest endeavors have not yet begun. My fellow Americans, for our movement, for our children, and for our beloved country — and I say this despite all that’s happened — the best is yet to come. [Crowd cheers] So we’re going to … walk down Pennsylvania Avenue … and we’re going to the Capitol, and we’re going to try and give … our Republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don’t need any of our help. We’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country. So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.” (4:41-2)

“I want to thank you all. G-d bless you. And G-d bless America. Thank you all for being here. This is incredible. Thank you very much.” (4:42)

Nathaniel’s notes:

See some short excerpts from Trump’s speech in The Washington Post: “Trump issued a call to arms. Then he urged his followers ‘to remember this day forever!’” By Anne Gearan and Josh Dawsey, January 6, 2021.

  • dark money – Brian Schwartz. “Pro-Trump dark money groups organized the rally that led to deadly Capitol Hill riot.” CNBC. January 9, 2021. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  • official White House event – According to Matthew Rosenberg and Jim Rutenberg, “Key Takeaways From Trump’s Effort to Overturn the Election,” The New York Times, Feb. 1, 2021. Retrieved January 31, 2021. “But at the turn of the year, Mr. Trump decided to join the rally himself, and the event effectively became a White House production, with several people close to the administration and the Trump campaign joining the team.”
  • hundreds of thousands of people here – Not true. See: WJLA.“‘Save America March’ rally draws thousands on day two of demonstrations in D.C.” January 6, 2021. Retrieved January 10, 2021. The organizers’ projected attendance was 30,000 people.
  • He had 80 million computer votes – A strangely wild and impossible statement. Apparently his followers aren’t troubled by something that defies logic.
  • our fight against the big donors – Not true. Trump has no fight with big donors since he received plenty of money from them, if only as dark money.
  • all the way to the Washington Monument – In truth, most of the National Mall was empty. Cameras had been turned in that direction earlier in the rally, although before Trump spoke.
  • requirements for voter ID – Apparently, Trump is referring to presenting a photo ID at the polls. This fails to address mail-in voting.
  • section 230 generally provides immunity for website publishers from third-party content.
  • Together we will … – Trump is speaking as though he will be president for the next four years.
  • 250,000 people – Trump began with an exaggerated 100,000, then it became “hundreds of thousands,” and now 250,000.

Trump is not learning

On Thursday, February 6, 2020, I wrote that,

I expect that U.S. President Donald Trump will abuse the power of the presidency today. If not today, then no later than tomorrow.

Trump is acquitted. What next?

He actually waited until the morrow at the end of the day. On Friday, he fired Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman from his post as a national security advisor to the President.

Vindman was planning to be transferred from his post by the U.S. Army at the end of February. However, rarely does one just leave the Trump administration. They are fired, usually in a dramatic way. This is an abuse of power. Trump sends away people who have worked for him with drama because he can. These people do indeed serve at his pleasure. But why drama and humiliation? Why seething and mocking tones?

But, why such forbearance to wait another day?

Actually, according to The Washington Post (February 8, 2020), Trump wanted to fire Vindman on Wednesday just after being acquitted in a Senate trial from the impeachment charges leveled against him by the House of Representatives. However, aides to the President persuaded him to delay the action in hopes of enjoying positive news coverage over the acquittal.

To make matters worse, “Trump simultaneously ordered the ousting of Vindman’s twin brother, Yevgeny, a chief ethics lawyer at the National Security Council (NSC) who did not testify in the impeachment probe.” Besides this, Trump recalled Gordon Sondland who was serving as U.S. ambassador to the European Union. Sondland also testified before the House’s impeachment probe. Both Alexander Vindman and Sondland were responding to subpoenas from the House. Yevgeny Vindman was caught in Trump’s snare only because of his brother.

So, Trump has become emboldened – as I wrote – and is seeking revenge for betrayal, real or imagined.

According to the Post, Fernando Cutz, who served on the NSC as a senior advisor to then-national security adviser H.R. McMaster before they both left in 2018, said, “Every career official will tell you it’s not just chilling but frightening … The broader message to career officials is that you can’t speak up. Even if you see something illegal, something unethical, you can’t speak up. That’s the message the president wants to send.”

Trump has been and continues to be a bully. With the backing of the power of the presidency, he bullied Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky (last July), and this is what precipitated his impeachment. He’s not learning from his misdeeds. He remains the Bully-in-Chief.

Trump’s celebration — a coronation

Thursday, February 6, 2020

U.S. President Donald Trump was received today in the White House’s East Room. Trump was clear. “It’s a celebration, because we have something that just worked out.” This is how he characterized his remarks to the nation – a celebration.

As I heard it, I imagined a coronation. He entered the East Room to the herald of the United States Marine Band playing “Hail to the Chief.” Trump thanked his supporters in the room, many by name. I heard this as bestowing knighthoods on his warriors. He actually called his Senate and House partisans “warriors” – “great warriors,” “incredible warriors.”

Trump spoke for an hour in his extemporaneous, rambling style. He often used the royal ‘we’, although at times it was an inclusive ‘we’ – everyone in the room, all Republicans (except for Senator Mitt Romney whom he’s sorry about). No barrier between him and the people. Entirely unified against the party of black knights who tried to depose him.

Trump spouted his grievances against those whom he styled as his enemies who were out to get him – ranting on and off for a full hour about the injustice heaped upon him. The Speaker of the House is “a horrible person.” The chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is “a vicious, horrible person.” He’s a “corrupt politician.”

His enemies were out to get him even before the election. It was so unjust – “tremendous corruption,” according to Trump.

But the righteous king was victorious – a “total acquittal.” Trump was only missing a crown and a sable stole.

Trump is acquitted. What next?

Thursday, February 6, 2020

I expect that Donald Trump will abuse the power of the presidency today. If not today, then no later than tomorrow. Yesterday he was acquitted by the U.S. Senate of the two articles of impeachment delivered by the House of Representatives. Most likely, he regards the acquittal as license to do whatever his heart desires.

But, on what basis do I predict that his next malfeasance will be today?

On July 24, 2019, Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified before the House Judiciary Committee, answering their questions in line with the report that bears his name. Mueller’s findings were two: He could not find sufficient evidence that the Trump presidential campaign of 2016 cooperated or coordinated with Russians to sway the vote in his favor. Since Mueller couldn’t find sufficient evidence, U.S. courts would not bring charges. Second, as far as obstruction of justice was concerned, Mueller found ample evidence that President Trump should be charged. Despite this, Mueller refrained from bringing charges because of a ruling that a sitting president cannot be prosecuted.

The very next day after Mueller testified, President Trump spoke to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and extorted him. Zelensky was to investigate Ukrainian corruption in connection with presidential candidate Vice President Joe Biden and his son. In return, Ukraine would get consideration to receive $391 million in military aid. President Trump released a record of the call, saying that there was nothing wrong with the call.

On one day, Trump was relieved of liability from his misbehavior of three years, and the very next day, he abused the power of the presidency.

Yesterday, Donald Trump was acquitted by the U.S. Senate. Today, he already outraged the attendees at National Prayer Breakfast by speaking divisively against politicians he doesn’t like. He publicly nursed his grievances. He spoke this way after the featured speaker spoke about reconciliation. Trump indicated that he’s not interested in reconciliation. He has no shame.

I’ll write later about his public celebration of acquittal that he presented only a few hours after the Prayer Breakfast.

We now have an unrepentant man occupying the office of the President of the United States. Shame on us for boosting him into office.

Rooting out corruption

Testimony of George P. Kent, United States Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, before the U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on November 13, 2019:

You can’t promote principled anti-corruption action without pissing off corrupt people.

Now let’s mull that over with a cup of hot tea with sugar.

Donald Trump has fallen from grace; are the American people now rising in a nascent recovery?

Frankly, I was projecting when I posted that impeachment would bring a new dawn for America.

I’m now recovering from the suspense of whether U.S. President Donald Trump would be impeached and if so when. It was cathartic for me to think optimistically.

Now that the president has been impeached – which is to say indicted for high crimes and misdemeanors – I’m relieved to not be listening to Congressional hearings. I’m recovering. But, we Americans cannot expect to repair damage brought about by President Trump until a new president is inaugurated with a new Senate and House.

If I’m honest with myself, though, my own recovery will be short. I’ll soon be listening to the proceedings of his trial in the Senate. I’ll be listening in suspense over whether new damning evidence will be presented. Will such evidence reveal more corruption or further crimes? Will the Senate hear new testimony that appalls even the Republicans? Will the Republicans ask President Trump to resign, as in the case of President Richard Nixon?

So much suspense, and I’ll succumb to listening from the first gavel to the last.

By the way, I did watch some live feed of the proceedings from The Washington Post because I don’t have a television set hooked up to cable service. I moved into my present apartment ten months ago but have yet to set up my television.

I didn’t have a television during the Clinton impeachment trial either. I reluctantly listened to the disgusting proceedings over the radio. I had the flu during the trial and needed some noise to distract me from the aches, pain, and fever. So why didn’t I listen to classical music? Don’t ask. And classical music is not noise.

Sometime I’ll tell you why I didn’t have a television set.

Acquittal: freed from charges

I found these notes after the previous post on the subject:

A not guilty verdict is not exoneration except in a colloquial sense.

U.S. President Donald Trump claims that the Senate will exonerate him. “I’ve done nothing wrong.” What he doesn’t know – or doesn’t want to admit – is that a not guilty vote doesn’t mean innocent.

An acquittal, which is to say a preponderance of not guilty votes in the Senate, would only free President Trump from the impeachment charges. No explanation is attached to the individual votes, though.

A Senator who votes not guilty may intend to say that the President is innocent of the charges. He simply did not do what he was accused of doing. Another Senator might intend that there wasn’t enough evidence to convict. The President may still be guilty – just not in the eyes of the law.

What is the difference here?

Those who believe that he is innocent will still associate themselves with him. Those who believe that the President probably did what he was accused of will distance themselves from him.

Similarly with voters, although it is more complicated. People have been known to hold their noses when they reach a ballot box.