Saturday, July 26, 2014

Impeach? What charges?

It appears Republicans in the House of Representatives want to impeach President Obama, despite the fact that their fearless leader, John Boehner, has expressed no interest in doing so.  But those Republicans don't need Boehner; they can do it on their own.

Most people truly don't understand the concept of impeachment.  So let's take a look, shall we?  Impeachment is a political process; it is not a criminal process.  Impeachment is set up in the U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 4:

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

The House of Representatives must file official impeachment charges (Articles of Impeachment). The U.S. Senate then hears evidence in the impeachment trial and acts as the jury, deciding whether the accused is guilty or not guilty.  A 2/3 vote of the Senate is needed for conviction.

All those Republicans calling for impeaching President Obama have yet to identify specific charges.  Just what are the "high crimes" and "misdemeanors?"  The charges in the Articles of Impeachment must be specific.

Oh, those House Republicans get their knickers in a bunch every time the president opens his mouth.  And they point to controversies, rather than high crimes or misdemeanors, as a reason to impeach.   Example:  the mishandling of the way the ACA was rolled out ... all the computer problems and delays.  Oh, pleeeeaaasseee ... that's a high crime or misdemeanor?  Treason?  Bribery?  No ... that was a government snafu and we see those every single day at some level.

Okay, how about the current crisis involving children from Central America entering the United States illegally?  Those patriotic Republicans say President Obama's handling of the situation (not immediately dumping those children back across the border) is treason!  Well, no, it's not.  The president is simply following the law!

Just before leaving office, on Dec. 23, 2008, George W. Bush signed into law the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act. The law describes exactly how unaccompanied children crossing the border must be treated. 
  • For children coming from Mexico and Canada, countries with a border with the United States, a Border Patrol officer has the authority to determine whether the child is eligible to stay in the country. And because the child can be easily handed over to officials from his or her home country, the process can move very quickly.
  • But for children from Central America, where handing them back to authorities is more complicated, the law dictates that Customs and Border Patrol must turn undocumented children over to the Department of Health and Human Services within 72 hours.
  • HHS will then hold them humanely until they can be released to a “suitable family member” in the United States.
So ... let's impeach the president for following the law that was passed by Congress and signed into law by a Republican president?  You just have to laugh.

Be prepared.  House Republicans will come up with something.  And they will fail.  And the rest of us will shake our heads at the time wasted - and the taxpayer money spent - on just the latest "nail this president" effort.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Over the last few weeks, we have been inundated with "religious freedom" legislation and/or conduct.  However, it should actually be called "religious compulsion" because that's what it really is.

Consider Hobby Lobby, that wondrous store based on religious principles - that according to the owners, of course. The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments today. Hobby Lobby doesn't want the Affordable Care Act to force them to provide employee health insurance that includes contraception coverage.  In other words, Hobby Lobby owners believe they should make medical decisions for their employees ... based on their religious beliefs.  If the SCOTUS decision favors the oh-so pious Hobby Lobby owners, that will open the floodgates.  How about denying insurance coverage for blood transfusions?  Immunizations?

Do you want YOUR employer making medical decisions for you based on his/her religion?  That would be religious compulsion.

Weeks ago, Arizona's GOP-controlled legislature passed a bill that would have allowed businesses to discriminate against anyone as long as that discrimination was based on religious beliefs.  Of course, these oh-so wise lawmakers didn't really think it through.  How about a Jewish deli that would have been able to deny service to Christians?  Or a boutique owned by a straight woman that would have been able to deny entrance to lesbians? (Actually, we all know that this last example is exactly what the legislature had in mind.)  Fortunately, Governor Jan Brewer vetoed this obnoxious legislation ... but the Christian right group that wrote the bill is already planning a comeback for next year.

The question you should probably ask yourself:  When might be the target of discrimination based on religious belief?  You know, you could ... depending on who you are.  Again, religious compulsion.

Now let's take a little trip to that oh-so tolerant state of Tennessee.  Again (what a coincidence!) the legislature is controlled by Republicans.  The House and Senate sent a bill to the Governor's desk that would allow students to use religion in any manner they choose.  And, guess what ... that includes bullying.  These lawmakers are on a religious mission and to hell with anyone who is the target of bigotry and hatred.  They want to protect religious freedom, don't you know!  Of course, just like the Republican legislators in Arizona, they didn't think this through to the end.  But then, that's nothing new.

This Tennessee abomination will also force students of all beliefs to be subjected to the proselytizing by Christians ... that's really the group the legislature wants to protect because what do you think will happen when a Muslim student gets up and starts quoting from the Qur'an? He'll be suspended in a heartbeat and you know it.

The religious right - masked as thinking Republican lawmakers - are calling their actions "religious freedom" yet it's anything but freedom.  It's religious compulsion.

noun: compulsion; plural noun: compulsions
the action or state of forcing or being forced to do something; constraint.

Hobby Lobby wants all its employees forced into abiding by the owners' religious beliefs.  Arizona lawmakers wanted to allow discrimination based on religious beliefs - the underlying belief being Christian - and if you don't conform, oh, well.  The state of Tennessee wants to allow students do behave any damn way they choose, based on religious beliefs and that forces all students to fall under the Christian thumb.

This kind of reminds me of a Sunday School song I learned long, long ago.  The chorus goes like this:

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

 In the above cases, the light is shining bright ... on the bigotry and hatred running rampant throughout this country.  The attempt to hide it under the guise of "religious freedom" is a huge FAIL because most of us see it for what it is.

It's religious compulsion and it needs to stop.  The only way it will stop is at the ballot box.  It does no good to complain and then go vote Republican simply because you are a registered Republican.  You need to ask yourself if you want to be the target one day (and that could well happen). If the answer is no, then do us all a favor and vote against the GOP candidates ... or just stay home on election day.  We'll all be better off for sure.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Phyllis Schlafly quotes

I really had forgotten all about Phyllis Schlafly.  Truly, she hasn't entered my consciousness for years and years.  Until today.

Schlafly said, "many Americans" are protesting the wave toward marriage equality by dissenting with their feet.  She said they are "moving away from same-sex marriage states and into the many states that continue to recognize the value of marriage as being between one man and one woman."  Of course, Schlafly provides no evidence to support her claim.  Are you surprised?

In any case, I remembered a few of the wondrous things espoused by Schlafly.  If you're my age, you will nod your head ... if you are younger, this is your opportunity to get a glimpse into this woman's thinking.  Here are a few Schlafly quotes:

"Sex-education classes are like in-home sales parties for abortions."

[Evidently she hasn't viewed the statistics that demonstrate comprehensive sex-ed classes reduce the incidence of unwanted pregnancies.]

"Sexual harassment on the job is not a problem for virtuous women."

[Most every woman has experienced some form of sexual harassment on the job whether Schlafly admits it or not.]
"Feminism is doomed to failure because it is based on an attempt to repeal and restructure human nature."

[Feminism is based on equality.  Perhaps we need to give her a dictionary.]
"Birth on U.S. territory has never been an absolute claim to citizenship."

[Perhaps we should also give Schlafly a copy of the U.S. Constitution where Amendment 14, Section 1 declares that "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."]

"ERA means abortion funding, means homosexual privileges, means whatever else."

[Here's what the Equal Rights Amendment says:   Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.]

"People think that child-support enforcement benefits children, but it doesn't."

[Schlafly doesn't explain this piece of wisdom, but in my view child-support, thus child-support enforcement most certainly helps children.]
"After Big Media, U.S. colleges and universities are the biggest enemies of the values of red-state Americans."

[I assume that means that red-state/conservative state values don't include an education or the critical thinking skills and economic skills needed to support families and continue our nation's prosperity.  Perhaps that's why the stats show that the poorest states are the red states?]

"Men should stop treating feminists like ladies, and instead treat them like the men they say they want to be."

[I have yet to meet a feminist female who wanted to be a man or said she wanted to be a man.  We are very happy with our gender, Schlafly, but ... now open your ears ... we want equality with men.  Gender equality benefits women and men.]

There are more delightful words from this woman, but I've done enough remembering for one day.

claims that “many Americans are dissenting with their feet, by moving away from same-sex marriage states and into the many states that continue to recognize the value of marriage as being between only one man and one woman.” - See more at:
claims that “many Americans are dissenting with their feet, by moving away from same-sex marriage states and into the many states that continue to recognize the value of marriage as being between only one man and one woman.” - See more at:

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The fast for discrimination and bigotry

My "mouth" has been relatively quiet these past few months, but I feel the need to let it all hang out.

A 35-year-old Utah man has been fasting since Dec. 21, 2013.  No food, no drinks except water.  He is taking vitamin supplements and has, to date, lost about 25 pounds.  

What courage!  What dedication! What commitment!  He's a man of principle and he's willing to stand his ground for those principles!

Is he fighting for the downtrodden? Hungry children? Women's equality? Veterans' benefits? Is he fighting for educational opportunities or a more responsive Congress?  Is he risking his health - maybe even his life - to bring about fairness in our justice system?

No.  Trestin Meacham is willing to starve to death so the state of Utah can deny equal rights to a certain group of people.  Let me repeat that:  This man will - if he's really that committed - starve himself to death so a certain group of people will not have the rights and legal protections that he enjoys. He has determined they are not worthy of legal equality.

Yeppers, that's right.  Meacham is extremely upset with recent court rulings that allow same-sex couples to marry in Utah.  Uh, huh.

"I cannot stand by and do nothing while this evil takes root in my home," Meacham said.  Well, that explains it!  I sure didn't know those couples were getting married in his home!  No wonder he's upset ... I imagine his home became rather crowded when the marriages started taking place! He probably ran out of Doritos and ice!

Okay, I admit that's a bit sarcastic.  And I really want to be fair.  Meacham actually says on his blog that this has nothing to do with hatred.  In fact, I was interested to read that, "I have friends and relatives who practice a homosexual lifestyle and I treat them with the same respect and kindness that I would anyone."

I beg to differ, Meacham.  You don't respect them at all and you are certainly not kind.  You want to deny them equal protection under the law.  You want to prevent this group of people from enjoying the rights you have and the ability to lead their lives the same way you can.  That is NOT respect and it is NOT kindness.  

Oops ... here I am being unfair again.  Meacham explains: "This is about religious freedom, and an out of control federal government."

Sorry, buddy, you already have your religious freedom and allowing same-sex couples to marry isn't taking it from you.  Nobody is forcing you to marry another man.  You don't have to attend those weddings or give gifts.  It's evident, however, that you want to force YOUR religion on everyone else in Utah.  So, religious freedom is great - as long as it's yours?

Out of control federal government?  Try reading Article VI of the U.S. Constitution or the Fourteenth Amendment.  The last time I looked, Utah was in the United States and is bound by the same constitution as the other 49 states. 

I don't believe Meacham will starve himself to death.  God will suddenly appear to him and tell him to eat so he can live to fight another day.  Or, perhaps a court will step in and order a feeding tube.  Now, THAT would be an invasion of his privacy and a violation of his rights.  But allowing same-sex couples to marry doesn't violate Meacham's rights at all.  Not one whit.  Unfortunately, he and his supporters will never understand that.