What is Impeachment, Anyway?

Impeachment is the action of calling into question the integrity or validity of something; a charge of misconduct made against the holder of a public office.

Judging from the media hype and what I’ve heard from others, it appears many people believe that to ‘impeach’ a President is to kick him out of office. That is NOT the case.

Impeachment starts with an inquiry in the House of Representatives. It’s the process by which the House gathers testimony and documents to uncover evidence, if any, to support Article II, Section 4 of the US Constitution and prove a charge of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors against the President. It is NOT a criminal or legal action; it is a political action, a safeguard to our Republic.  This evidence, if deemed sufficient by the House Intelligence Committee, is brought to the House floor for a vote of impeachment. It takes a simple majority to agree with the evidence to impeach.

If the House votes to impeach, in other words, the evidence supports misconduct by the President pursuant to Article II, Section 4, the Senate is then tasked with conducting a ‘trial’ to decide if the President should be ‘removed’ from office. That ‘trial’ is overseen by the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court and requires a 2/3 majority vote FOR removal of the President.

To date, three former Presidents (Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton) have been impeached by the House, but two were acquitted by the Senate (Johnson and Clinton), and Nixon, assured the Senate would vote to have him removed, resigned before the vote took place. No President has ever been ‘removed’ from office because of an impeachment.

So with all this talk of impeachment in the news, what’s really going on right now?

The House Intelligence Committee received information from a whistleblower of wrongdoing by the President. As required by the Constitution (Congress is charged with oversight of the Executive Branch), an inquiry was opened to establish the validity of the information. Trump doesn’t believe the inquiry is legitimate, so he’s calling for the full House to vote on an ‘impeachment inquiry’ BEFORE he will cooperate with the investigation, calling the Intelligence Committee a kangaroo court. However, there is no ‘court’, no ‘trial’, not until the Senate takes over. There’s no ‘due processes’ or ‘right to face his accuser’ during an inquiry. Nowhere in the Constitution or House Rules does it call for the full House to vote on whether an ‘inquiry’ can take place or not. The vote to impeach or not comes AFTER the inquiry.

As with any investigation, the suspect or accused has the right to remain silent. But not Trump. He’s badmouthing Schiff, Pelosi, the media, and all Democrats, in front of foreign dignitaries, airing his dirty laundry in public while stonewalling the inquiry at every turn. His actions are the very definition of Obstruction.

So today, in the American Pork pigsty, as we wade into the muck of impeachment, I have to wonder why Trump is so worried about this inquiry. The Republican-based Senate won’t likely vote to have him removed from office, anyway…unless maybe he’s worried the inquiry might turn up more grievous misdeeds. Oink! Oink!

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Let’s Talk Tariffs

Boring, I know, but most Americans know little or nothing about tariffs. Most are too young (or not born yet) to remember 1969 when a Japanese car manufacture flooded the US market with cheap and fuel-efficient Hondas, eventually destroying AMC and Chrysler and crippling GM and Ford. Toyota jumped in, as well. If not for tariffs, the US auto industry would have been scuttled. Take a look at what’s happened since then.

First, the facts: A tariff is a tax or duty to be paid on a particular class of imports or exports. Tariffs provide an incentive to develop domestic production and reduce foreign competition in the US marketplace. Tariffs are paid to US Customs and Border Patrol by US import firms. Importers pass on the tax to US manufactures and wholesalers who, in turn, pass the additional costs to US consumers. Thus imported goods become more expensive, giving domestic goods a fair advantage in the retail marketplace.

How does this advantage work? Let’s say a US company (employing union labor and operating under strict environmental regulations) makes t-shirts that wholesale for $10. The same quality t-shirt imported from a Chinese company (employing cheap labor without any regulations) wholesales for $8. The US company is at an economic disadvantage, so let’s say the government imposes a 25% tariff on China’s t-shirts ($2), thus raising the wholesale price to $10. Without this tariff that evens the playing field, the US company could go out of business, thus tariffs protect American jobs.

However, what if there’s no US company making t-shirts anymore? US consumers must still purchase the imported shirts and suffer higher prices. What if the tariff isn’t sufficient enough to offset the high price of American-made t-shirts? US consumers will still purchase the imported shirts and suffer higher prices.

This is currently the case with today’s tariffs on China. The global market is so complex and intertwining that most goods Americans purchase are made in China, in whole or in part, or made in other countries, as well. US importers, to avoid the tariffs, may purchase t-shirts from countries where they’re made in sweatshops by child labor. This harms the Chinese company’s sales and triggers a retaliatory response where China levees high tariffs on US goods, thus harming US companies and farmers who rely on exports to pay their bills. Tariffs then become punitive instead of protective, and the result is a trade war with no benefit for either side.

Back in 1979, tariffs placed on Japanese imports forced a change in the auto industry, the results of which we still see today. Honda, to avoid the tariffs, started producing their cars in the USA, employing non-union workers, and because these cheaper cars directly competed with Chevy and Ford, they moved their factories to Mexico where costs were lower, just to stay afloat. Lee Iacocca took a different approach. He purchased Japanese engines and drivetrains to install in Chrysler cars and spurred the beginning of the end for 100% Made in America. Today, of the seven car models now made in America, three are Hondas, one Chevy (Volt), one Ford (Taurus), the Jeep Cherokee, and Acura’s MDX. Toyota is built with the most American-made parts but assembled in Mexico, as are Chevrolets and Fords with parts manufactured all around the globe. Now you know the effects of tariffs are far-reaching and bad for US workers.

So, at the pig trough of American materialism, as we gorge ourselves on more-expensive imports, remember who’s paying the price for these punitive tariffs on China (you and I) and worry about the indigestion to come. Oink! Oink!

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NYPD – Shame on You

Don’t get me wrong. The death of Eric Garner during his arrest in New York City on July 17, 2014 was a tragedy on many levels. I’m sorry for the loss his family has had to endure. However, in my opinion, laying the blame for his death on Officer Daniel Pantaleo is a travesty.

I’ve studied the Ramsey Orta video that shows the alleged chokehold, which didn’t start out as a chokehold but ended with Pantaleo’s arm across Garner’s throat as the two impacted the sidewalk and Garner continued to resist arrest. Seven seconds elapsed from the time of the grab to the release, when Pantaleo climbed off Garner and pressed his head to the ground (with both hands) while four other officers piled on to subdue the 6’2”, 395 pound Garner and apply the handcuffs. This is when Garner cried out, “I can’t breathe,” PROOF Pantaleo’s so-called chokehold did NOT kill him. He was alive, conscious, and breathing well enough to cry out eleven times. An ambulance was called immediately, and the responding medics determined he was suffering cardiac arrest. It’s highly likely that he couldn’t breathe because his heart couldn’t take the strain of the scuffle that he started.

The New York City Medical Examiner found no external injuries to Garner’s neck, but there were internal telltale signs of choking (strap muscle hemorrhages in the neck and petechial hemorrhages in the eyes), so he listed the causes of death as “compression of the neck (chokehold),  compression of the chest, and prone positioning during physical restraint by police” and the manner of death a “homicide” (death caused by another person or persons) and contributing factors: asthma, heart disease, and obesity. All the public and press heard was the word “chokehold.” Pantaleo’s seven-second chokehold took precedent over every other cause of death.

The outcry from the family and the community for Pantaleo to be prosecuted for homicide, the protests in the streets: “I can’t breathe,” their battle cry, created an atmosphere of mob mentality and civil unrest. A grand jury and the Department of Justice found no grounds for criminally charging Pantaleo for his actions. Still, the department suspended him, and the city paid Garner’s family a $5.9 Million settlement. However, the cry for ‘justice’ persisted. The family wanted Pantaleo fired for causing Garner’s death and called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to get that justice. Because Bill de Blasio was running for the Democratic nomination for President, the case entered the political arena. During a debate, he promised the family that justice was coming soon. On August 2, 2019, an NYPD disciplinary hearing judge recommended Pantaleo be fired (the politically correct thing to do), so de Blasio pressured the police chief (the ultimate decider) to fire him, which he did on August 19, 2019, ending the career of a police officer who was doing his job in the service of his city when a suspected criminal resisted arrest.

So here I stand at the pig trough of American justice, thankful for the police who protect us, though I wonder why they even bother. NYPD. Shame on you for buckling under political pressure to do the wrong thing. Oink!!! Oink!!!

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The Lack of Decorum

I studied the video of Trump’s confrontation with CNN’s Jim Acosta and came to a definite conclusion based on what actually happened.

When Jim Acosta challenged Trump on calling the migrant caravan, hundreds of miles away from the border, an invasion, Trump responded with, “It’s an invasion. We have different opinions on what an invasion is,” and when Acosta stated, “But Mr. President, they’re not invaders,” Trump shot back with an insult. “Honestly, I think you should let me run the country, you run CNN, and if you did it well your ratings would be much higher.” Acosta responded with “Mr. President, are you worried—?“ Trump interrupted him: “That’s enough. That’s enough.” The aide grabbed at the mic in Acosta’s hand at least three times as he tried to ask, “Mr. President… Mr. President..” He gave up the mic and Trump pointed his finger at Acosta saying, “You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn’t be working for CNN.”

The next reporter put in a good word for Acosta to which Trump replied, “Well, I’m not a big fan of yours either.” And when Trump wouldn’t answer the report’s question again, the reporter asked, “Why are you pitting Americans against each other?” Trump replied, “What are you, trying to be him?” pointing to Acosta then ordered the reporter to sit down. He then refused to answer any other questions posed by other reporters, cut them off, bullied them, rambled on about himself, and then stated the media was hostile: “It’s so sad…you asked me… No… you rudely interrupted him,” and pointed to someone else.

Trump’s refusal to answer questions he didn’t like spurred the reporters to repeat the questions, and he couldn’t hold back his temper. The bully in Trump came out full blast, and as bullies always do, he blamed everyone in the room. Now he’s going to write rules and regulations about decorum so he can have an excuse to revoke the press passes of reporters he doesn’t like or stop the news conference and walk out, which he always had the right to do. The fact is: Trump is the person who destroyed decorum by pointing his finger and throwing out the first insult, and then the verbal attacks on Acosta and the other reporters escalated from there. The lack of decorum was clearly Trump’s doing, but we know he’ll never admit it. He’ll double down on ‘fake news’ and continue his assault against the free press and the constitution of the United States.

If you think it stinks in this pig pen, you’re right. Oink-Oink!

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The Flynn Fiasco

General Flynn didn’t wake up on the day Obama slapped sanctions on Russia for interfering in our election and decide to call the Russian Ambassador and tell him Trump would fix it. Makes no sense he’d do this of his own volition. He had no reason to go ‘rogue.’ I believe President Elect Trump instructed Flynn to make that call(s) to assure Russia that those sanctions would be reversed after the inauguration because Trump didn’t believe Putin was involved in the hacking. All Russia had to do was NOT retaliate, which would create more problems in the opening days of Trump’s new administration. Trump would then commend Putin for his restraint and declare him to be very smart.

Should the call(s) be discovered, the conspiracy included an agreement to deny any conversation regarding the sanctions. When the call(s) was discovered, puppet Flynn acknowledged the call(s) but denied any discussion of the sanctions, even to the point of lying to the Vice President (assuming he was in the dark on this conspiracy). Then Flynn had to walk that back and say sanctions might have been mentioned, he didn’t remember for sure. Russia, doing their part, also denied there was any mention of the sanctions.

What they didn’t count on: the phone conversation was recorded by our intelligence agencies, which proved the sanctions were discussed and that those discussions were the main reason for the call(s). (Transcript(s) not released) As the heat intensified from the media and the DOJ, ever-patriotic Flynn played the scapegoat and resigned (or was forced to resign). Turns out, almost three weeks ago, the DOJ had informed the White House (Dan Pfeiffer) about the existence of a transcript of the call(s) and the possibility Russia might blackmail Flynn with his part in the conspiracy. I don’t believe the White House staff failed to relay this information to Trump, (that would be beyond incompetent) thus I believe Trump was fully aware that his part in their scheme was about to be exposed. He hoped it would blow over, but after 17 days, he was forced to sacrifice his long-time friend and supporter to save his own neck, sighting a loss of trust in Flynn (yup, Trump threw him under the bus). Trump’s further silence on the matter is akin to the proverbial ostrich with his head in the sand; maybe it’ll all go away, however, the Democrats smell blood. This is far from over.

Bottom line: only 25 days in the Oval Office and Trump’s White House is already embroiled in a major scandal. How many scandals did the Obama White House incur in eight years? Oh, yeah: ZERO.

Oink, oink.

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The Case against Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton has been accused of lying to Congress and lying to the FBI. When her use of a private server was discovered, a Republican witch hunt ensued. She was accused of storing classified emails improperly. She said there were no classified emails on her server. A Congressional investigative committee demanded she turn over the emails on her server to prove none were classified. She complied through a private company handling her server, with one exception. She had them delete her private emails first and only turn over the emails that contained State Department business.

The committee determined, that out of 30,000 plus emails, a small number of them (I’ve heard 3 – or – 9 –or – 100+ ) were in fact classified ‘secret’, but only because they had retroactively classified them.

The FBI investigated the claim that she endangered national security by using a private server. They determined that she did in fact have classified material on her server, a claim which she denied. The FBI also determined that there’s no evidence that her server was ever hacked, and that the classified information was ever leaked. They said she should have known the email was classified because of an inconspicuous “C” in the header, which she was not familiar with, but they contend she should have known.

Here’s the rub. For every email there’s a sender and a receiver. Someone had sent her emails with a “C” in the header to an address that was NOT state.gov. Whoever sent those emails jeopardized national security, but there’s NEVER been any investigation into who sent them. That’s because the investigator’s intentions were to discredit Hillary Clinton and make her look like a liar to the American public.

So the FBI decided not to recommend the DOJ press charges against Hillary. She had broken no laws and no harm was done, as no information was leaked. In order to prosecute her, the content of those ‘classified’ emails would have to be revealed in court to prove they were classified. However this ‘evidence’ against her is ‘classified’ and cannot be revealed, so there’s no chance in hell she’d ever be convicted. Knowing Hillary haters would condemn the FBI for this action, Director James Comey, a Republican, inflicted as much damage as possible by making a highly unprecedented judgment of his own, stating that she was ‘extremely careless’ in the handling of classified information.

So without the DOJ’s ability to prosecute Hillary Clinton, the Congressional committee investigating her considered charging her with perjury, lying to Congress, which IS against the law. However, she never knowingly lied to Congress, as the emails were not classified, to her knowledge, until Congress retroactively classified them. They’d also have to reveal the ‘sender’ of the emails with the “C” in the header, which is not on their agenda to stop Hillary Clinton from running for President. Even if they did charge her, they’d have to prove she knew, beyond a reasonable doubt, those few emails were classified (emails they can’t reveal), so there’s no chance in hell they’d get a conviction.

Hillary Clinton’s case is not prosecutable.

She made a mistake using a private server. She’s admitted as much and apologized. For most American’s, that’s good enough, but for those who want to keep smearing her in the mud, it’s still fodder for their agendas.

And that’s the American Pork truth of the matter, my friends.

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What Disqualifies Trump for the White House?

I don’t’ care that he’s bragged about kissing and groping women without their consent. Locker room talk? Maybe. I don’t care if a hundred women come forward with claims of his improprieties. Shame on him. I don’t care that he bullies and downright lies about his competition. That’s politics. I don’t care if he never releases his taxes or that he’s not paid Federal income tax for two decades. Good for him. I don’t care that he’s gone bankrupt several times and stiffed thousands of ‘little guys’ out what he owed them. That’s business. I don’t care that he whines and complains when he’s questioned, ridiculed, or challenged by his Republican counter parts and the media. He doesn’t play well with others.

What I do care about: He makes outlandish claims about what he’s going to do if he becomes President. It’s as if he doesn’t know how our government actually works, the checks and balances, or smarter still, he’s betting a majority of Americans are ignorant of the Constitution, believe his rhetoric, and elect him to be the leader of the free world.

I offer these major issues as evidence that he’s not qualified to be President.

The wall: He says he’s going to build a wall across our southern border and make Mexico pay for it. He and his supporters are ignorant to the facts. #1: It’s geologically impossible to build a wall similar to the Great Wall of China along our border with Mexico. He can’t block the northern drainage into the Rio Grande, and a lot of the topography cannot support a wall. #2: Mexico has already said they won’t pay for the wall. #3: Congress will never fund the wall. #4: If he builds a twenty-foot wall, illegal immigrants will build a twenty-one foot ladder.

Forced deportation of 11 million undocumented immigrants: He and his supporters are ignorant of the facts: #1: Even illegals are entitled to due process. The government has to prove in a court of law that the immigrant is, in fact, here illegally. #2: The immigrant’s home country must agree to take the illegal back. #3: Congress will never fund a Deportation Force, besides, ripping people from their homes in the middle of the night is NOT what America is all about. #4: We already have ICE, which has already deported more undocumented immigrants during the Obama administration than under any other President. There are two types of deportations: ‘returns” and “removals.” Do the research. Trump has managed to convince his supporters that illegals are ‘pouring over our borders’ and that Obama has done nothing to stem the tide. That should get him some votes.

Banning Muslim immigration: Trump has convinced his supporters that Muslim immigration is a “Trojan Horse” that threatens our country with terror attacks from within. Again, the facts that he ignores: #1: Since 9-11, the only ‘terrorist attacks’ within our borders were carried out by American citizens, not immigrants. The only half-exception was the wife of a US citizen who’d recently emigrated from Pakistan, an US ally, who was a lawful permanent resident. #2: It’s against our Constitution to ban anyone because of their religion. Under pressure from the media and the Republican Party he was forced to change his approach and proclaim he’d use “extreme vetting” of immigrants coming in from countries with terrorist activity. #3: Immigrants are already extremely vetted, a nearly two-year process. #4: Those who do not have proper documentation from their home countries and cannot be vetted do NOT get in. #5: The facts prove that stopping Muslim immigration would NOT have prevented the ‘terrorist attacks’ we’d recently suffered. Trump claims immigrants take American jobs. #6: If there are American jobs to be taken, why haven’t unemployed Americans taken them? It’s a ridiculous assertion he’s pushed and his supporters have come to believe.

Defeat ISIS: He knows more about ISIS than the Generals: “Believe me.” #1: Of course he doesn’t know more about ISIS than the Generals. He even admits he gets his information from television shows. He’ll “bomb the shit out of them.” (carpet bomb them) – He’ll go after their families. – He’ll resort to torture. #2: All three of these things are war crimes. Oh, it makes for tough talk, but should he take it upon himself to order these atrocities be committed, fact #3: the Generals do not have to follow illegal orders. #4: our so-called depleted military has already conducted over 100,000 airstrikes against ISIS, yet Trump has convinced his followers that Obama and his stupid Generals have done nothing to fight ISIS.

He’s going to rip up the Iran Nuclear Deal: This flies in the face of all logic. More facts, (I know, those pesky facts) #1: Here’s the deal. https://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/foreign-policy/iran-deal There’s too much to type here. Read it for yourself and get the facts. #2: The United States, United Kingdom, Russia, France, and China – plus Germany worked out this deal with Iran. How stupid would we be to back out of the deal now? #3: The sanctions against Iran hurt trade and the economies of every country, not just Iran. To reinstate the sanctions would be political international suicide. #4: We’d then stand alone against Iran. #5: They’d be pissed as well and highly motivated to resume building nuclear weapons. #6: This would again further destabilize the Middle East and put Israel in even greater danger, yet Trump has convinced his supports that ripping up the Iran Deal would be a good thing.

He’s going to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something much better and cheaper: “Believe me.” Nobody will argue the fact that Obamacare (The Affordable Care Act) is going off the rails, but to take health insurance away from 20 million plus people…where’s the logic in that? And what about the safeguards ACA supplies to all of us: pre-existing conditions covered, no lifetime limits, no cancelling sick people, dependents insurable until age 26, and more. It’s a fact #1: As of February, 2015, the House of Representatives has voted 56 – 67 times (depending on who you ask, Democrats or Republicans) to repeal Obamacare. It has failed every time. #2: The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Obamacare, Constitutional wise. Hey, nobody likes to be forced to buy something, especially insurance one hopes they’ll never need to use, but somebody somehow has to pay for all those medical bills the uninsured rack up every year. Still, Trump has convinced supporters that he’ll scrap the law and replace it, as if he alone has the power to do what Congress can’t even do.

He’ll rescind every one of Obama’s Executive orders: Really? Read them here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/executive-orders
#1: You’ll find that most executive orders deal with the internal operations of the White House, staff, days off, etc. Others have to do with establishing committees or studies on important issues too small for Congress to deal with. He did address deportation of undocumented families whose children have grown up here, which pissed off Congress for his attempt to reform immigration without their consent. #2: Obama has NOT issued 923 executive orders that will allow him to take over the country and impose martial law. http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/executiveorders.asp #3: You have to go clear back in history to Glover Cleveland’s first term to find a President who’d issued fewer executive orders per year than Obama. But Trump has his followers believing that he’ll stop Obama’s power grab, rescind his executive orders, and save our country.

He would reverse Roe V Wade and punish women who seek abortions. I hate abortion, but it’s a fact of life, has been since ancient Egypt. People have been arguing, sometimes violently, the pros and cons, but the judges who decided Roe V Wade actually did something about it. Read it here: https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/410/113 #1: Without this law to protect a woman’s right to professional medical care (no matter what she needs – including abortion), she’ll be forced back into the shadows, subjected to the abortion butchers of the past, or resort to the old stand-in medical treatment, a coat hanger. Yeah, let’s make America great again. Thankfully, President Donald Trump won’t be in charge of the laws in this country because he doesn’t have the power to overrule the Supreme Court, no matter what his followers believe.

He’ll drop out of NATO: It’s obsolete and the other countries aren’t paying their fair share and we are getting ‘ripped off’. #1: Out of 28 countries in NATO, only five meet their spending requirements (2% of their GDP) The US, UK, Poland, Greece, and Estonia. France and Germany are behind (1.78% and 1.19% respectively). Other countries spend less than 1%. #2: The United States has the largest military budget in the world, so naturally it spends more on NATO, more than all the other countries combined. #3: There’s strength in numbers, an attack on one is an attack against all. #4: If the US drops out, others will follow, and before long it’s every country for itself and Europe is doomed to collapse into another world war. Certainly, Trump supporters can’t want that to happen, even if NATO doesn’t seem to benefit our country. The question is, can Trump unilaterally drop out of NATO? He seems to think he can. Definitely, he has his supporters believing he can.

He’d renegotiate NAFTA or drop out of the worst trade deal ever made. (more facts folks) #1: NAFTA reduced or eliminated tariffs on goods traded between the US, Mexico, and Canada. This made US products cheaper in Mexico and Canada, and vise-versa. NAFTA increased trade between the three countries: from $337 billion before NAFTA in 1993 to $1.182 trillion after NAFTA in 2011. #3: NAFTA increased wages in all three countries: US by 0.17%, Canada by 0.96% and Mexico by 1.3%, according to a study done by three Federal Reserve economists, though they agree other factors beside NAFTA may have contributed. NAFTA supports about 5 million US jobs. Unemployment in the decade before NAFTA was 7.1% and 5.1% from 1994 to 2007 before the great recession at the end of the Bush era. On the negative side: #1: Mexican workers have benefited less than expected. US investment in Mexico has yet to increase the size of the middle class. #2 NAFTA lifted tariffs but not regulations, so there are still plenty of government-imposed restrictions to absolute free trade. #3: Nowhere could I find stats on NAFTA costing American jobs or manufacturing businesses, though this is Donald Trump’s main contention. As long as he can make people believe it’s an issue, he’ll get their vote. By the way, say goodbye to affordable fresh bananas during the winter.

He’s going to rebuild our depleted military: Hogwash. We have the greatest military in the world. We spend more on defense than any other nation. To say our military is depleted is an insult to our service men and women everywhere. Still, his supporters believe our military is a disaster.

He wants to give nuclear weapons to Japan, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia. It’s hard to believe any American would support Trump on this issue, which in itself is a reason not to support him.

If Trump becomes President, he’s going to direct the DOJ to appoint a special prosecutor and jail Hillary Clinton: #1: Granted, she’s had her problems, especially with her email server, but the FBI has already determined she broke no laws. #2: she jeopardized our national security by keeping classified materials on her server. Yes, all 9 emails out of 60,000 plus, all 9 of which were marked classified retroactively. However, there’s no proof her server was ever hacked, unlike many government systems and the DNC’s. And she has every right to delete her personal emails; they’re none of the government’s business. Should she have used a private server? No? She’s admitted her mistake and apologized. But keep in mind that public email networks like Google and AOL were not reliable back then. And she couldn’t put more than one email account on a device, so she’d have to carry two devices. Nowadays we can put dozens of email accounts on our phones. Should she go to jail for this? Trump supporters and Hillary haters say yes. “Lock her up.” Give me a break.

And his latest whopper: He’s going to impose term limits on Congress. In what world would Congress and the majority of states ever agree to amend the Constitution with a law that will shoot every one of them in the foot? Oh, Trump makes a great argument and the benefits of less corruption and more progress sound great, but none of it is steeped in reality. Nonetheless, Trump has convinced his supporters that he has the power to “drain the swamp” in Washington.

He claims our government doesn’t know what it’s doing. He says our leaders are stupid. He boasts that he alone can fix it. He’s going to make America great again, which is an insult to all of us who believe our country is the greatest nation on the planet. Do we have our problems? Of course we do. Is it Hillary Clinton’s fault? She’s been in public service for thirty years. She should have fixed it by now. Instead of pitting his policies against hers to win votes, he bullies her, “Crooked Hillary, she’s the devil, folks” threatens her, “Lock her up” demeans her, “She can’t even make it to her car” and he blames her, “She’s the founder of ISIS” even before the fact, “If Hillary is elected President, it’ll be the end of our country, folks.” And his supporters love it. I’m pretty sure that’s deplorable.

I have news for Donald Trump. Running the United States isn’t the same as running a business. In a business, the boss is a dictator. He controls the money, and he controls the people. In a democracy, the boss is the President. He doesn’t control the money. He doesn’t control the people. In truth, he works for us.

I say we tell Trump “you’re fired” and vote for Hillary Clinton.

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The Trump Phenomenon

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s Super Trump. He flies in, spews pig slop from his mouth, and people eat it up like a passel of piglets at their momma’s teets. Republicans, Independents, and crossover Democrats form a sounder of swine that squeals and oinks at his heels like he’s the Pied Piper of political righteousness. What’s hard for me to swallow is that any American with any knowledge of how our government works (or is supposed to work) actually believes he’s fit to be the President of the United States.

He doesn’t understand, nor do his followers, that the President doesn’t make the laws. Congress makes the laws. The President can’t change the laws. Only Congress can change the laws.

Worse, Trump talks big but he has nothing to back him up.

He says he’s going to build a wall along the Mexican border. Where’s the money going to come from? He’s going to make Mexico pay for it. And even though Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, has emphatically declared that Mexico will NOT pay for the wall, Trump continues to beat that drum, and his followers still believe he’ll make Mexico pay for the wall. When asked how he’s going to make Mexico pay for the wall, he never answers the question, simply goes on about how much NAFTA is a bad trade deal, how he’s going to make a better deal and ends with, “Believe me.” Why do people believe him when he doesn’t have a single fact to back up his claims?

Has it ever crossed his mind, or the minds of his followers, that if he builds a twenty-foot wall, the illegal immigrants will build a twenty-one-foot ladder?

If Trump becomes President, he’s going to repeal the Affordable Care Act, leaving millions of Americans without health insurance. Doesn’t he (and his followers) realize that Congress has voted 6 times to repeal and 54 times to defund the ACA and failed every time? Americans want affordable health care. They want preexisting conditions covered. They want their children covered until the age of 26. They want the cap on benefits removed so insurance companies can’t pull the plug on their health care if it gets too expensive. If Trump has his way, insurance companies, health care providers, pharmaceutical companies, and medical equipment manufacturers will again be in control of every citizen’s health care and purse strings.

What about the Iran Nuclear Agreement? He tells people it’s the worst deal ever made in the history of the world. “We give them 150 billion dollars and we get nothing.” STOP! The money was their money to begin with, money frozen in banks and financial institutions around the world (not just in the USA) when sanctions against Iran were put into place. “We” didn’t give them a nickel.

So, say Trump rips the agreement to shreds. What then? We reinstate our sanctions? Iran kicks out the UN inspectors? And what about the other countries who signed the agreement: UK, France, Russia, China, and Germany? Does Trump expect them to reinstate their sanctions against Iran? Remember, sanctions hurt both sides. Example: Iran cannot sell their oil on the world market, and the world market cannot sell wheat to Iran. Talk about a foreign policy disaster. Trump would stab our partners in the back, leave Iran to develop nuclear weapons, unhindered, and put the entire world on the brink of nuclear war.

Trump is a blowhard. He talks without thinking, encourages his followers to resort to violence against their fellow Americans, and he verbally abuses anyone who doesn’t agree with him. He demeans women, minorities, Muslims, and he even insulted a Vietnam veteran and ex-POW, John McCain. Trump can’t beat his opponents on substance and policy so he crushes them emotionally, as any bully would do.

What I want to know is how Trump supporters don’t understand the consequences of a Trump Presidency? Are their heads buried in the pig trough so deep they can’t see the light? It’s the only way I can explain the Trump phenomenon.

And that’s American Pork, my friends.

PS. I realize Ted Cruz’s policies are not much different or any less dangerous than Trump’s, after all, they’re both Republicans, but it’s their delivery that sets them apart.

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Mass Shootings – They’re already against the law

Here we go again. San Bernardino, CA, Colorado Springs, CO, more innocent Americans slaughtered and wounded within the past week. The list of mass shootings is long: 355 this year to date. And what do I hear on the news? Gun control. More laws. Tougher background checks. Those who cry for disarming law-abiding Americans don’t get it. When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

Killing people is already against the law.

Criminals don’t care about the law. If they did, they wouldn’t be criminals. There wouldn’t be mass shootings…or drive-by gang shootings…or domestic violence shootings and stabbings, and you name it.

Obama’s latest remark was about terrorists on the NO FLY list being able to purchase a gun. That has to change. WAIT A MINUTE: Syed Farook and Robert Lewis Dear were Americans. They weren’t on a NO FLY list. So how the hell does Obama’s comment have any relevance to what happened? It’s typical political rhetoric.

The truth is simple. It’s impossible to legislate mass murderers out of existence. It’s impossible to legislate crime off the planet.

There are those who tout better mental health care and treatment for those with SMI within the population. SMI = Serious Mental Illness. In 2013, there were an estimated 10 million adults aged 18 or older in the U.S. with SMI. Sad but true. So if we assume there are still 10 million seriously mentally ill in 2015, of which 355 of them (so far) went on a mass shooting spree, then you can figure .0034% of those SMI adults are the culprits. That leaves 99.9966% of those afflicted who do NOT commit mass shootings. How is it possible for mental health care providers to weed out those who might turn guns on their fellow citizens? Talk about a needle in a haystack.

The solution? Keep guns out of the hands of crazy people through more intensive background checks. Really?

Are stricter gun law proponents saying we should scrap doctor/patient confidentiality? Do they want doctors to report crazy people to the government so their names can go on a NO GUN list? What other freedoms do these idiots want Americans to give up?

On the other side of the aisle, the NRA and gun rights activists cry Amendment 2 of the Bill of Rights is under fire. Most people don’t even know what that amendment says. As ratified by Congress: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” A well regulated militia is a standing army, supplied by the states to defend the country. “Militia” in colonial America consisted of a subset of “the people”— those who were male, able bodied, and within a certain age range. State militias failed miserably, so on May 8, 1792 Congress established the Uniform Militia for National Defense, set the terms for drafting young men from the states, all of whom had to acquire and maintain their own weapons, which Amendment 2 provided the right to do so. We call it the Army now, and the army supplies the weapons of war, thus the Second Amendment is null and void.

Amendment 2 was never meant to guarantee the rights of the people ‘as a whole’ to bear arms, but the subset of the people: “Each and every free able-bodied white male citizen, shall be the age of eighteen years and under the age of forty-five years, shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia.”

It wasn’t until 2008 that the Supreme Court ruled (United States vs. Heller) the people ‘as a whole’ were deemed to be protected under Amendment 2: “The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”

That is a complete reversal of the Bill of Rights Amendment 2 as it was written and intended by our forefathers.

So there you have it, folks. The slop in the pig trough is deep and icky.

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Cosmos – An Eye on the Stars? Almost.

Cosmos with Neil DeGrasse Tyson is over. If you missed the thirteen episodes of stunning imagery, highly imaginative content, and down-to-earth history, you can get it on disc, so don’t despair. I was especially touched by the story of Neil’s real life encounter and ensuing relationship with the originator of Cosmos, the late, great Carl Sagan. In my younger days, I admired Carl for his unique ‘voice’ and insights, and now I believe Neil has filled the man’s shoes snuggly.

So you’re probably wondering how Cosmos has earned a spot at the American Pork pig trough. It’s all about global warming, my friends. Neil, like Carl, stood in front of a camera and spewed the rhetoric of the human caused phenomenon that will destroy our planet. When Carl did it, I believed him. Carbon dioxide is a green house gas, and if we don’t stop burning fossil fuels, our planet will overheat and become the next Venus, shrouded in clouds with a surface temperature that will melt lead.

Back then, I was suckered into believing that we were doomed, but only because I didn’t understand the true motivation behind such so-called scientific claims. Money. That’s right. Money. I’m talking billions of dollars in research grants and project funding that would go away if the truth became known about the real cause of global warming.

Say you’re a scientist. If you want a piece of that pie, you have to get on that bandwagon. Oh, but once you’re on that bandwagon, and if you really believe we are heating up our planet you better give up your car, your heated home, your lighted rooms and city streets, and by god don’t you dare fly in a plane, ride on a train, or buy goods shipped by truck or vessel. Instead, live and work by candlelight and ride a bicycle made out of sticks. If you don’t, you’ll be just as hypocritical as Carl Sagan, Al Gore, and now Neil DeGrasse Tyson. They didn’t give up the very things they claimed would bring the earth to ruin.

Here’s the killer. Neil conceded that carbon dioxide is naturally produced in our environment. However, the carbon dioxide from manmade sources can be scientifically differentiated from natural carbon dioxide. He said that, folks, not me. But I’m here to tell you that statement is preposterous. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a molecule made up of one part carbon and two parts oxygen. Anything else would NOT be carbon dioxide. People watching Cosmos who don’t know that scientific fact will believe it’s possible to have different kinds of CO2.

Yes, the globe is heating up, on average four tenths of one degree Celsius since 1980, according to the IPCC. The increase in carbon dioxide traps that heat and warms the planet. That said, if CO2 is responsible for the surface temperature of a planet, then Mars, like Venus, with 96% CO2 in the atmosphere, would be hotter than hell. But it’s freezing on Mars, minus 80 degrees Celsius. The reason for the temperature variance is the planet’s distance from the sun, not the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. So common sense tells us that the sun is the determining factor in global temperatures, not CO2. What Neil didn’t tell us is that sunspot activity is at an all-time high, bombarding the earth with more solar energy than ever before. It’s the rise in temperature that causes the rise in CO2, not the other way around, as Al Gore and those money grubbing global warming scientists would have you believe.

The earth has its own built in CO2 ‘scrubbing’ system. Every plant, every tree, every blade of grass and wild weed consumes that CO2 and releases oxygen into the air. The biggest worry I have over this scrubbing system’s ability to function is the burning of our rainforests to clear land for agriculture. Neil and Cosmos did not address that problem at all. He and his producers and funders wanted only to alarm viewers of the consequences of burning fossil fuels. Thus, one of the greatest science shows ever produced managed to get in their political plug as if it were science fact. Shame on them. The CO2 in our atmosphere is miniscule compared to Mars and Venus, less than .04%.

Rest assured, everyone, this global warming fiasco is all about money. It’s the greatest hoax ever perpetrated upon the population. However, just like those naysayers, I’m not giving up my car, my heated home and city lights, my trips and cruises. I’ll not be clubbed back into the stone-age, nor will I feel guilty for enjoying the benefits of our modern way of life.

Granted, we shouldn’t be pumping billions of tons of CO2 (or anything) into the air. We should be leaning more toward solar and wind energy. One day the coal will be gone. The oil fields will dry up. Meanwhile we should invest in hydrogen fuel and ‘cold fusion’ technology. We should stop burning our rainforests. And even after all this innovation, the sun will still control the temperature of our planet.

Cosmos will not be back next season, but perhaps in another 30 years a new scientist will host a new Cosmos wherein he (or she) will be warning us of an impending ice age that we are responsible for causing, thus the alarmists can keep bringing in the bacon.

And that’s American Pork, my friends.

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