Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Disruptive Technological Innovation meets State Government

The speed of change in America is rapidly increasing.

On March 13, responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Arizona Legislature closed the public galleries in both chambers to the public. Ten days later, lawmakers recessed with "tentative plans to return April 13."

Now, from the Yellow Sheet Report (3/31/2020),
As coronavirus cases continue to grow, lawmakers are rethinking their April 13 date to reconvene. “Based on the latest info that we have, I’m going to guess that April 13 is probably a little too early,” Fann told our reporter. Shope said he, too, is skeptical of the April 13 return date. “If the president says we shouldn’t be doing crowds until April 30, I think we should be following that,” he said, noting he doesn’t speak for Bowers, who didn’t return a call for comment... 
Senate GOP leadership plans to meet about once a week at the Capitol to talk through the latest changes, and Fann, for example, was driving away from the Capitol when she spoke to our reporter. Lawmakers are staying in touch through calls and emails, but meeting in person helps leaders keep on top of everything they need to consider, she said, adding they’re careful to sit 6 feet apart. Gowan, Gray and Leach attended today’s meeting, while Borrelli called in from Lake Havasu
Both chambers have changed their rules to allow members to vote remotely if needed, but Fann said many of her senators don’t like that idea and would prefer to meet, debate and vote in person. “We have said that if we do that, it’s going to be a last resort,” she said. Meanwhile, House leadership has insisted throughout the process that a full-remote Legislature is off the table.
It's really no wonder to me that those people are reluctant to vote remotely or conduct their business, "full-remote." 

But the cat may already be out of the bag.


Consider this question. Did Abraham Lincoln envision the oligarchical system that controls government in Washington, DC and all 50 states today? Did he describe a government in which the citizens should have statistically non-significant impact on lawmaking and how those laws are carried out?

I don't think so.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
How ironic must it be that President Lincoln, the first Republican president of our country, marked this sacred occasion, the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania with this most succinct and poignant declaration -- "that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people and for the people, shall not perish from the earth." 

Rather than continue to expound on the terrible condition of government in America, at any or all levels, I call your attention to the fact that during times of national (world-wide) stress, major change can happen, sometimes quite quickly.

Direct democracy has been on my personal radar since the mid-1990s.

But the subject has been on the minds of thinkers and political theorists such as Jean Jacques Rousseau, author of The Social Contract, for centuries.
Although Rousseau argues that sovereignty (or the power to make the laws) should be in the hands of the people, he also makes a sharp distinction between the sovereign and the government. The government is composed of magistrates, charged with implementing and enforcing the general will. The "sovereign" is the rule of law, ideally decided on by direct democracy in an assembly.
The moment may be soon upon us.

The speed of change in America is rapidly increasing.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered

Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered: yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, 1776
How nearly is human cunning allied to folly! The animals to whom nature has given the faculty we call cunning, know always when to use it, and use it wisely; but when man descends to cunning, he blunders and betrays. Thomas Paine, To the Citizens of the United States, 1803
A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason. Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776


Today in America, we are faced with increasing tyranny. Many of my friends are discouraged or fearful or downright angry. The America of the Orange Menace is not the America fought for in the 18th Century.

In some ways, we are today a more promising country, having overcome long and deep injustices, notably institutionalized slavery and disenfranchisement of women and racial minorities. Yet, the influences that embedded those injustices in our society remain and to this day push back against the Progress of humanity accomplished in law over the last 200+ years. 

Independence declared in 1776 with the proclamation that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. Only now we know that to reference all of humanity, male and female, poor and rich, regardless of skin color or religious creed. Even though those rights are self-evident, they were never manifested with only a simple snap of the fingers. Our history is full and rich with incidents, stories, of bitter conflict between those who would claim said rights and those who refused to allow them. 

Words fail me in an effort to succinctly document the current cultural and political environment. It is anything but peaceful. So, I'll stop here but say that Paine, the great pamphleteer, saw this time in his mind. The difference between his time and ours is a matter of labels. He heralded the Great Experiment of self-determined self-governance. Today, tyranny has returned. But now it's not called hereditary monarchy. Instead, it's oligarchy and plutocracy.
I’m not sure what America’s form of government is anymore but, it is definitely not a democracy. A Democracy provides every legal citizen of a certain age with the free and equal right to participate in a system of government that elects representatives of the people by the majority of the people, who promise to do the will of the people.
The Electoral College, gerrymandering, photo IDs and other voter suppression tactics are just some of the practices that keep America from being a democracy.
And the man who used masterful cunning to ascend to the most powerful office on the planet in 2016 ironically makes no pretense of his deceit.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Hard Truth

Like it or not. Love the Democratic Party or hate it. The hard truth about the binary decision American voters face in the 2020 general election for president is encapsulated in this meme:

Except that the hard truth is even more stark than "helping" him. Those are three of the four ways to effectively vote for the Orange Menace to get a second term.

So, what you have today is about seven and a half months to decide if what's important to you is to make a quixotic statement about something you have little to no control or even influence over (like condemning a political party that can be a huge pain in the ass)... or if you actually want to stand together to effectively eradicate said Orange Menace.

As for me and my house, we're going to stand together.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Biden campaign explanation of Trump coronavirus failure

There's been plenty of internet content about the coronavirus this week. Sorting through what's most succinct and meaningful isn't always easy.

Further, I've seen people asking where Joe Biden is lately. Well, here's Ron Klain from Biden's campaign. Klain served in the Obama administration as Ebola response coordinator. His explanation is just over 4 minutes.

Additionally, Columbia University infectious disease expert W. Ian Lipkin breaks down the situation in this video that makes sense.

And here's one of the most important things we can do in 2020:

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Drawing forth the next wave of Progress!

Bull Connor hoped to drive a stake through the heart of the civil rights movement.

He achieved the exact opposite.

... We now have a tremendous opportunity because America has been awakened to realize how bad things are. To take the next step forward, we have a great, great opportunity...

... to give the marginalized, the demonized, the isolated, the oppressed, a full share of the American Dream... to root out systemic racism...

Please continue to give HOPE, HOPE, HOPE. Thank you. -- Joe Biden

From Teri Kanefield's blog today,
Some background: Oligarchy isn’t new in the US. In fact, this is our third slide into oligarchy. [...]
When the South lost, the North quickly moved to strengthen industry and infrastructure. There were almost no federal regulations limiting industrialists, so many cheated. They manipulated markets and fixed prices. There were no labor protections, no social security, no 40 hour work week. [...]
This brings us to the second oligarchy, the age of robber barons. The rich were rich. The poor had no hope of advancement. [...]
These groups aligned to dismantle the federal government:
  • Industries that wanted to get rid of regulations and taxes
  • White supremacists
  • and Evangelicals who wanted the church to govern, not the state. [...]
We’re now tipping toward a third oligarchy which (if we get there) will be best described as a Post-Communist Mafia State.
A mafia state is when a few wealthy people control the government and essentially own and control the nation’s industries.
This brings us to Putin, a creator of the modern mafia state.
White supremacists love Putin. [...]
Each oligarchy we’ve been through has been outwardly different, but each was fueled by racism.
According to political psychologists some people will never live comfortably in a liberal democracy. They’ll hate it. They’ll fight it.
Democracy is chaotic and messy. Autocracy is streamlined and efficient (none of those checks and balances to slow things down).
As I alluded to in my previous post, this has been a tough week for me. One reason: the best presidential candidate (IMNSHO) dropped out of the race.

That leaves Tulsi Gabbard (oh, PUH-leeze), Bernie Sanders (my 2016 favorite candidate), and Joe Biden.

Technically, the race between Bernie and Joe is still up in the air. However, essentially and practically, I believe it's over.

Unless Bernie comes up with a nobly unifying message, Joe Biden will be the nominee.

The video at the top of this post is the primary reason. Secondarily, the reason is because while Bernie and his supporters weren't looking, Liz Warren effected the revolution. Perhaps the only revolution that matters at this moment.

Liz Warren, as HuffPost declared a few days ago, has (fundamentally) changed the Democratic Party.
The two most influential scholars of economic inequality in the past 50 years are a French economist named Thomas Piketty and a former Harvard law professor named Elizabeth Warren. Piketty’s work revolutionized the way we think about capitalism; Warren’s research transformed the way we think about the economic pressures facing middle-class families. Her bankruptcy scholarship from the 1980s through the 2000s didn’t just resonate with those reading law reviews and economic journals. It took Washington. Chuck Schumer was stunned to read Warren’s work indicating that middle class incomes were actually declining during what had seemed like boom years at the turn of the millennium. She had discovered, he said, “the greatest crisis in America.” [...]
Warren was different. She showed up in D.C. in 2009 as the chair of a panel overseeing the bank bailouts. The panel was essentially toothless ― something created to mollify critics without limiting the Treasury Department’s ability to do what it wanted with the $700 billion Congress had allotted the financial rescue. Warren could have easily secured a place for herself in Democratic Party politics by playing nice and not looking too hard at the people in power.
Instead, she converted the oversight committee into a bracing exposé of abuse and incompetence, enraging the Obama administration and educating the public. [...]
On Thursday, Warren formally withdrew from the primary, after a disappointing showing in early states. But like her career prior to Washington, the significance of Warren’s campaign can’t really be measured quantitatively. Warren has changed the way we think about our politics in ways many Americans don’t even realize. The horizon of possibilities is wider and a bit brighter as a result of her run, and ideas that once seemed like hippie pipe dreams are now the serious subject of policy discussion. Even self-proclaimed moderates and centrists now define themselves on her terms ― they are moderate because they don’t want to do what Elizabeth Warren has proposed.
Liz Warren may not be President #46. But if she's not sworn in as Vice-President on January 20, 2021, she may be the next Secretary of the Treasury of the United States. In the alternative, there's already a movement, which might just get major traction, calling for Warren to become the next Majority Leader of the Senate.

The possibilities are legion. They ALL include Elizabeth Warren playing a major role to usher in the next wave of PROGRESS that Biden called forth in this latest ad.

By the way, for all the criticism Joe Biden has faced and will face, there's a fundamental difference between Joe and Hillary. Widely believed to be inauthentic in 2016, Hillary came damn close to becoming president.

Joe Biden has his foibles. But he is genuine and authentic. His policy mistakes through the years can easily be cataloged. But his concern for Main Street America cannot be reasonably questioned.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Our MINDS are hard to change once we become convinced...

This week, I failed big time at something that has mattered to me for a very long time. But just a couple of days hence, I'm recovering emotionally.

Have you ever failed at something? At anything? I suspect the answer is yes.

It might be natural to feel demoralized and defeated after you fail... but don't let yourself become convinced that you cannot succeed. However, you might have to first adjust your path to get there.

Fight feelings of helplessness. Perform emotional first aid on your self.

Years ago I recognized that the cure for apathy among and throughout the American electorate is empowerment.

For collective success, success as a team, we have to discover what empowers not only our self, but ourselves as a team. Our mates. Our teammates. Perform emotional first aid for others with whom you have common ground and common goals and objectives... but don't forget to put the oxygen mask on yourself before trying to help them.

Our minds and our feelings are not the trustworthy friends we've thought them to be for so long. Perhaps they're more like the really moody friend who can be totally supportive one minute and really unpleasant the next.

What didn't I do this week? Lash out at anyone, even myself. Actually, I recognized the mistake I had made shortly after I made it. A couple of acquaintances/friends confronted me by asking questions. Because they did so, the way they did, I anticipated the consequences and knew it was coming.

I didn't blame anyone. Maybe not even myself. Because frankly, the consequences were reasonable even though unpleasant. And the longer term ramifications for my health, had the consequences not emerged, likely would have been more harmful in the long run. It still was personally very stressful.

But it's going to be okay.

I count it as victory. That's because I've seen SOOOOOO much psychological projection by others and by me over the last two or three decades that maybe this is a breakthrough. Maybe.

But I digress.

At some point in our lives, it's a very good bet that each of us will have our heart broken. The immediate problem/question is what can, or more reasonably, what SHOULD we do about it.

It began to dawn on me Monday that Liz Warren would not be the Democratic presidential nominee this year. This broke my heart. It wasn't the first major disappointment in my life, just the most recent. Btw, I still  Elizabeth Warren.

I've lost siblings, both parents, and endured a divorce with a major dose of acrimony.

Then four years ago, when Bernie failed to win the presidential nomination, it devastated me. I knew it was crucial to defeat the Republican candidate then... the person who has become the Orange Menace.

Clearly, I was convinced Hillary Clinton would be a far better president than the Orange Menace and voted accordingly.

Since then, I've come to the realization that the enemy isn't the DNC.

The Democratic "establishment" didn't cast all of those votes for Joe Biden on Super Tuesday. The diverse American electorate did.

And even more of them (US) will.

My heartbreak in 2016 lasted too long. These two TED Talks from Guy Winch can help shorten the negativity and sadness if you're experiencing anything like I did.

Of course, it IS still reasonable to see that Bernie remains in contention for the nomination.

But when the dust settles, please grieve and then lets Rise UP with One VOICE to oust the Orange Menace.

We shall overcome.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Mike Bloomberg, on the other hand, is NOT what Paine had in mind

Mike Bloomberg's interests are NOT the same as yours and mine. That is, unless you're a billionaire reading this blog.

Reviewing a Common Sense point from the Arizona Eagletarian post earlier on Friday (February 28),
According to Common Sense, Thomas Paine's essay that sparked the American Revolution, Liz Warren is exactly THE kind of candidate we should want as president.
But as the Colony encreases, the public concerns will encrease likewise, and the distance at which the members may be separated, will render it too inconvenient for all of them to meet on every occasion as at first, when their number was small, their habitations near, and the public concerns few and trifling. This will point out the convenience of their consenting to leave the legislative part to be managed by a select number chosen from the whole body, who are supposed to have the same concerns at stake which those have who appointed them, and ... and that the ELECTED might never form to themselves an interest separate from the ELECTORS, prudence will point out the propriety of having elections often: because as the ELECTED might by that means return and mix again with the general body of the ELECTORS in a few months, their fidelity to the public will be secured by the prudent reflection of not making a rod for themselves. And as this frequent interchange will establish a common interest with every part of the community, they will mutually and naturally support each other, and on this, (not on the unmeaning name of king,) depends the STRENGTH OF GOVERNMENT, AND THE HAPPINESS OF THE GOVERNED.
Comes now the Washington Post (Style section) telling us about Bloomer's lifestyle,
By Sarah Ellison and Roxanne Roberts
Feb. 28, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. MST
NEW YORK — When Mike Bloomberg ran the city of New York, he ate hot dogs on the street, was a regular at Knicks games and rode the subway, as a relatable mayor should.
But his billionaire lifestyle lifted off at helipads around the city, and he sometimes used one on the East River at 34th Street, where Bloomberg piloted his own helicopter out of Manhattan during hours the city declared off-limits.
Irked by the din of the helicopter engine and the odor of its fuel, a disgruntled neighbor recorded Bloomberg’s comings and goings in 2012 and gave the video to a local [* see below] ABC news station.
The New York press corps pounced. When asked about the illicit weekend travel, Bloomberg said he would no longer use that particular helipad, but his irritation was clear: “Don’t know why it’s such a big deal,” he told reporters. “If that’s the news that’s fit to print in this day and age, it’s a sad day.” (continued)
What are we to make of Bloomer's lifestyle? Well, I believe him when he says he wants to be president. Also when he says he'll spend however much money it takes to defeat the Orange Menace even if he (Bloomer) is NOT the Democratic nominee.

That's commendable. But what does he bring to the table that Liz Warren doesn't?

(Perhaps on the plus side), $60Billion that he alone has a say over on what it will be spent.  That's NOT equivalent to $60Billion in the general fund of the federal government, which a Congress elected by the people say what programs or projects it must fund.

On the minus side of the ledger, he brings the possibility (probability) that he could go on doing much of the same kind of heavy handedness that the Orange Menace does on a daily basis.

Sure Bloomer will start off aiming to fulfill campaign promises. His passion for gun safety, addressing the climate crisis, and such are certainly authentic.

But as a rich guy, and as WaPo (quoted above) demonstrated, he has no patience for playing by the rules if he doesn't like the rules. That is, if the rules limit his ability to be a nuisance to his neighbors or if he deems opaque business practices to be more convenient.

I will grant that Bloomer now says he has issued a blanket release so women silenced by NDAs involving him or his company are free to tell their side of whatever stories. But we don't know whether there are any hidden inducements that still might make any of them reluctant to spill the beans.

Recently, I re-read the text of a lecture Bertrand Russell gave in 1922 (98 years ago). Several passages highlighted the significance of taking what a rich guy with unlimited resources says without a hearty dose of doubt.
Credulity [willingness to believe or trust too readily, especially without proper or adequate evidence; gullibility.] is a greater evil in the present day than it ever was before, because, owing to the growth of education, it is much easier than it used to be to spread misinformation, and, owing to democracy, the spread of misinformation is more important than in former times to the holders of power.
Russell, Bertrand. Free Thought and Official Propaganda (p. 20). Transcript. Kindle Edition. 
Concerned American citizens now face a governmental crisis greater than any other in my lifetime. I argue that 98 years after Russell delivered that speech, the problem of gullibility is even worse now than it was then.

Therefore, in this primary election season, it is of the utmost importance and urgency that voters thank Bloomer for his governmental service and hold him to his promise to defeat the Orange Menace but not as a candidate himself for the most powerful elected office in the world.


* from the linked ABC7NYC website
Two Billionaires: One, the Mayor of a large city. The other is owner of a huge industrial empire. Both seem to fly by their own set of rules when using the East 34th Street Heliport.
"Helicopter landing before 8:00 a.m.," Amy Sticco said.
Billionaire Ira Rennert's huge helicopter breaks an early morning curfew, it's massive engines and rotor blades whipping up noise and fumes before the heliport's 8:00 a.m. opening.
"It's humongous. And when it lands, it shakes the windows the noise is just unbelievable," Ron Sticco said.
The Sticcos have had it with wealthy helicopter owners violating the noise curfew. In an earlier investigation, we showed how the city's billionaire Mayor repeatedly ignores the weekend curfew. On weekdays, though, it is Rennert's chopper violating the rules and rattling residents.
"30 minutes before the heliport opens," Amy said.
The Sticcos have captured Rennert's helicopter breaking curfew at least 9 times. On video, the silver-haired Billionaire is seen getting into his huge chopper 30 minutes before the heliport opens. Perhaps he's headed to his home in the Hamptons, believed to be the largest residential compound in the nation:
"Invariably, it's before the opening hours of the heliport and the worst part about that it's the loudest helicopter we've seen land on this heliport and the biggest," Amy said.
But back to the other billionaire, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who seems to think the heliport is his own private landing pad, especially on weekends. The Sticcos captured him violating the weekend noise curfew 16 times, often with his girlfriend and dogs along for the ride.
"My understanding, it's not closed on the weekends," Bloomberg said.
How could the Mayor be so misinformed about a city-imposed curfew that's spelled out in the heliport's own chart to pilots. [He knows it's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission. Why would anyone reasonably expect the former mayor, if made president, to not do as he pleases and express his defiance in such passive-aggressive manor repeatedly?]
"I've been using it and I have a lot of things to do. I'm trying like everyone else. The heliport is there. It's available to land and to take off from," Mayor Bloomberg said.
"We've seen him bend rules more than once. This is for his own convenience. It's not for the residents," Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio said.
DeBlasio says the Mayor needs to follow the rules.
"For the mayor to act like he can be held to a different standard whenever it's convenient for him and use the heliport when no one can is ridiculous," he said.

Warren 2020 to begin airing ads in AZ on Sunday

According to the blog, Arizona's Politics,

This ad will be broadcast in Phoenix and Tucson

Beginning Sunday [March 1], Elizabeth Warren will introduce herself to local TV viewers in advance of the March 17 Democratic Presidential Preference Election.
Warren's ad buy looks to be for between $60-100,000, with the spot (so far) running only through Wednesday.
Warren surrogate Julián Castro was in the state earlier this week, and her campaign is actively canvassing and phone banking.
According to Common Sense, Thomas Paine's essay that sparked the American Revolution, Liz Warren is exactly THE kind of candidate we should want as president.
But as the Colony encreases, the public concerns will encrease likewise, and the distance at which the members may be separated, will render it too inconvenient for all of them to meet on every occasion as at first, when their number was small, their habitations near, and the public concerns few and trifling. This will point out the convenience of their consenting to leave the legislative part to be managed by a select number chosen from the whole body, who are supposed to have the same concerns at stake which those have who appointed them, and who will act in the same manner as the whole body would act were they present. If the colony continue encreasing, it will become necessary to augment the number of representatives, and that the interest of every part of the colony may be attended to, it will be found best to divide the whole into convenient parts, each part sending its proper number: and that the ELECTED might never form to themselves an interest separate from the ELECTORS, prudence will point out the propriety of having elections often: because as the ELECTED might by that means return and mix again with the general body of the ELECTORS in a few months, their fidelity to the public will be secured by the prudent reflection of not making a rod for themselves. And as this frequent interchange will establish a common interest with every part of the community, they will mutually and naturally support each other, and on this, (not on the unmeaning name of king,) depends the STRENGTH OF GOVERNMENT, AND THE HAPPINESS OF THE GOVERNED.
In today's America, even the trumpsters aren't content with the representation in Washington DC. Rightfully so. Key insight on the reasons thereof can reasonably be derived from the paragraph above, quoting from the second section of Common Sense.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

For Rayma Suprani, drawing cartoons is an Act of Resistance

A lovely expression of why I political cartoons.

Rayma Suprani, whose TED talk was just published to YouTube this afternoon.

Some of my other political cartoonist heroes include:

Clay Bennett Chattanooga Times Free Press

Mike Luckovich Atlanta Journal Constitution

Steve Benson Arizona Mirror

And now Rayma Suprani

Today it is a case of the grasshopper pitted against the elephant. But tomorrow the elephant will have its guts ripped out. Le Loi, Vietnamese emperor, 15th Century.

Monday, February 24, 2020

GOP State Senate moving forward with measure to hamstring Independent Redistricting

On February 6, the Arizona Eagletarian pointed out the effort the fear-laden and fear-mongering AZ Senate is taking to try to restrict the ability of the next redistricting commission (which will be seated roughly one year from now) to comply with the Voting Rights Act.

As if they aren't satisfied with their ability now to dramatically restrict the voting power of minorities.
Redistricting is all about how to divvy up the power of the people.
In 2011 they set their aim on Independent Redistricting. So far, they have failed.
They tried to decapitate the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission in the 2011. But they failed.
Now they are hoping to ramp up a Dark Money campaign to con Arizona voters into doing their dirty work for them.
That is a big reason why Arizona citizens are working to get the Outlaw Dirty Money initiative on the ballot for this year's general election on November 3.
Their hands are tied because of the Voter Protection Act, passed when voters realized the legislature would undermine the Will of the People every chance they could. So, now they can't get the job done on their own.
Because Republicans couldn't get the courts to limit the Independent Redistricting Commission they want to get voters to rethink the proposition. We were the first state to take redistricting away from lawmakers. Now those lawmakers want us to give it back to them, one step at a time. This is one such step.
And because the Outlaw Dirty Money Initiative has not yet been enacted, you can count on Dark Money trying to confuse and suppress the vote in November.

The good news is that on the legislature's website, the number of people who have registered their disapproval of SCR1018 is more than 10 times as many as those signed in saying they support the effort to take the rights of minority voters away.

The bad news is... well, the senate is planning to hold floor debate on the measure today, Monday February 24.

Since Republicans control the senate, unless they hear loud, vocal opposition to the measure now, they are likely to pass the measure.

You know what to do.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Mike Bloomberg's Rude Awakening UPDATED 2-20-2020 6:30pm MST

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the next president of the United States, Elizabeth Warren:

From New Republic deputy editor Heather Souvaine Horn,
The Radicalism of Warren’s Unapologetic Aggression
The senator's evisceration of her competitors at the Las Vegas Democratic debate hinted at an ability to shatter a longstanding political convention. 
Mike Bloomberg has proposed to buy American votes with $400 million (and counting) in advertisements. Elizabeth Warren walked onto Wednesday’s debate stage proposing to buy American votes with the body of Mike Bloomberg. It was quality television. It was “Big Dick Energy.” And it could mark the end of an era in American politics. [...]
Some saw her performance as an act of desperation: a flagging candidate seeking discount media coverage with a parade of quotable moments. Or it may have been more strategic: driving a stake through the heart of the revenant Stop-and-Frisk architect, as a televised show of devotion for progressive and black voters. Either way, as countless post-debate writeups have already pointed out, it was a return to the “fighter” identity that Massachusetts voted for in 2012. But that’s underselling its novelty. [...]
Closing statements are a revealing little exercise, each candidate trying and sometimes failing to boil down their pitch to a single word. Bloomberg asked for votes as a “manager.” Biden asked for votes as Joe Biden. Sanders played the revolutionary, and Buttigieg the unifier. Warren sold herself as a “fighter.” No maternal overtones tempered the identity presented in this final statement. Warren did not describe herself as a “mama grizzly.” She did not mention her children at all. And the “mother” she mentioned was not herself, but her own mother. “I watched my mother fight to save our family. And I grew up fighting to save our family, my family,” she said. “Give me a chance, I’ll go to the White House and I’ll fight for your family.”
It’s such a trite little triptych you could easily miss the bait-and-switch. As a female candidate, you’re supposed to ground any aggression you might have in your motherhood, not the childhood people of all genders share.
But Warren, at the end of the debate, didn’t grin sheepishly and say, “Well, I’m a mom after all.” She claimed her kills, and promised American families to go out and fell fresh targets in their name.
Here was an assassin, bathed in the blood of her enemies, turning steady eyes to the TV camera and offering her talents to the public: For the small price of a primary vote, this assassin will work for you.
From where I sit (and stand) that's EXACTLY who and what we need to defeat the Orange Menace currently occupying the Oval Office.

What follows is NOT the update.

This needs no explanation from me.

But THIS came first.

Who do you think would be the best person to take on the Orange Menace?

Oh, and lest you think it might be easy to trade one (alleged) billionaire for a different billionaire, consider the fact that there's hard DATA which strongly suggest nominating a moderate Democrat to face off with Trump is a losing proposition.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Martha McSally, Illiberal HACK -- UPDATED 2/18/2020 9:40pm

Remember this?

Perhaps it's not unreasonable to consider Martha an illiberal hack.

In a deplorable act of weakness, not only did McSally refuse to answer a reporter who asked perhaps the most salient question of that day (during the Trump Impeachment Trial, regarding the issue of calling witnesses), her backbone liquified along with all except two other GOP senators when the question came up for real on the Senate floor.

Well, NOW the retired Air Force combat pilot, whose 2018 youtube Senate campaign announcement video was full of bluster, even had Leslie Stahl (of 60 Minutes) proclaim that Martha's got the "right stuff" and is not afraid of a good fight.

I'm apparently not the only one who thinks that ad hasn't aged well. Just last week, she released her 2020 campaign announcement video, sans bluster.

Now the honorable (but NOT elected) senator is the mellow "champion" of those who need pre-existing condition health care coverage. How authentic might that be? A genuine concern for millions of Americans, but Martha's got a track record on the subject and it ain't good.

What did Politifact have to say about that record in October 2018?
U.S. Rep. Martha McSally is promoting herself to Arizonans as someone who’s led the fight to guarantee insurance coverage for people with pre-existing health conditions.
McSally, a Republican running for the state’s open [in 2018] Senate seat, says in a new ad that she is "leading the fight to secure our border, force insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions and protect girls and women from sex trafficking."
Has McSally, an Air Force veteran, led the fight to "force insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions"?
That’s not what her voting record shows. McSally in 2015 voted for a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act. In 2017, she voted for a repeal and replace bill that health care law experts say undermined the Affordable Care Act. It is the Affordable Care Act that forces insurers to cover pre-existing conditions.
But wait, there's more.

From the Yellow Sheet Report (2/17/2020),
The Martha McSally of 2014 might have some choice words for the Martha McSally of 2020. In a televised debate in October 2014 between McSally and then-US Rep. Ron Barber, McSally discouraged political tribalism and argued that voting against your party 20 percent of the time isn’t enough. 
During that debate, McSally questioned Barber’s bipartisanship and said he didn’t vote against the Democratic Party enough to justify his claim of independence. “I don’t think it’s bipartisan when you say you voted against your party only 20 percent of the time,” McSally said. 
“If that’s what’s going on in our country, that’s what’s wrong with Washington, DC.” But McSally held Barber to a standard she [since then] hasn’t met
It’s unclear which statistics McSally was citing at the time, but ProPublica’s vote-tracking project shows that from 2013 to 2015, Barber voted against his party 23.8 percent of the time. That same vote-tracking methodology found that McSally has voted against her party 2.1 percent of the time since being appointed to the Senate seat. 
During her final term in Congress [the House of Representatives], McSally voted against her party 7 percent of the time, and during her first term, she voted against her party 7.5 percent of the time
According to FiveThirtyEight, McSally votes with Trump 95 percent of the time, the third highest percentage among all Senate Republicans.
Bottom line? Martha "Mendacious" McSally is trying to hoodwink Arizona voters this year, hoping she might actually get elected this time.

Don't put money on it in Vegas.


Honest Arizona dot org

Sunday, February 16, 2020

10 Ways to Tell if a President is a Dictator aka Authoritarian Creep

Just because the United States is a democracy now doesn't mean it will stay that way, says Harvard Prof. Stephen Walt,
if you live in the United States, what you should really worry about is the threat that Trump may pose to America’s constitutional order. His lengthy business career suggests he is a vindictive man who will go to extreme lengths to punish his opponents and will break a promise in a heartbeat and without remorse.
As if we've not been able to recognize it when we see it (and we've been seeing it for the last three years). Fortunately a LOT of Americans realize this particular problem right now.

By the way, I've been noting for months that I've seen NO data showing who is or is not electable. That's largely because the word is bandied about by many who don't have data to back up their claims, whether it's about centrist candidates, women candidates, or Progressive candidates. Last year, I published an essay by Bob Lord on a related subject. He began thus,
Holding the Center, or Abandoning Hope?
Trump's re-election would be an unmitigated disaster, but so would squandering the opportunity to establish a bold plan for America's future.
At times in recent months, Speaker Pelosi has shined. Her handling of Trump’s shutdown was beyond skillful. So give credit where credit is due.
But what is she thinking when she insists Democrats must “hold the center”?
Now I've found, because somebody posted a link where I could find it, that there apparently IS data on the subject. In an article on Salon, senior editor Keith Spencer wrote last June,
There is hard data that shows that a centrist Democrat would be a losing candidate
Economist Thomas Piketty wrote a paper about this in 2018, though the Democrats paid no attention
The Republican Party has earned a reputation as the anti-science, anti-fact party — understandably, perhaps, given the GOP's policy of ignoring the evidence for global climate change and insisting on the efficacy of supply-side economics, despite all the research to the contrary. Yet ironically, it is now the Democratic Party that is wantonly ignoring mounds of social science data that suggests that promoting centrist candidates is a bad, losing strategy when it comes to winning elections. As the Democratic establishment and its pundit class starts to line up behind the centrist nominees for president — like Mike Bloomberg and Pete Buttigieg — the party's head-in-the-sand attitude is especially troubling.
The mounds of data to which I refer come from Thomas Piketty, the French political economist who made waves with his 2013 book "Capital in the Twenty-First Century." This paper, entitled "Brahmin Left vs. Merchant Right: Rising Inequality & the Changing Structure of Political Conflict," analyzes around 70 years of post-election surveys from three countries — Britain, the United States and France — to comprehend how Western politics have changed in that span. 
So, my friends who say nothing else matters more than beating Lord Dampnut (er, Donald Trump, an anagram of Lord Dampnut), pay close attention to what Professor Piketty discovered. From the paper's abstract,
Using post-electoral surveys from France, Britain and the US, this paper documents a striking long-run evolution in the structure of political cleavages. In the 1950s-1960s, the vote for left-wing (socialist-labour-democratic) parties was associated with lower education and lower income voters. It has gradually become associated with higher education voters, giving rise to a “multiple-elite” party system in the 2000s-2010s: high-education elites now vote for the “left”, while high-income/high-wealth elites still vote for the “right” (though less and less so). I argue that this can contribute to explain rising inequality and the lack of democratic response to it, as well as the rise of “populism”. I also discuss the origins of this evolution (rise of identity/migration cleavage, and/or educational expansion per se) as well as future prospects: “multiple-elite” stabilization; complete realignment of the party system along a “globalists” (high-education, high-income) vs “nativists” (low-education, low-income) cleavage; return to class-based redistributive conflict (either from an internationalist or nativist perspective). Two main lessons emerge. First, with multi-dimensional inequality, multiple political equilibria and bifurcations can occur. Next, without a strong egalitarian-internationalist platform, it is difficult to unite low-education, low-income voters from all origins within the same party.
From the Salon article,
Now, here's the line that should make the Democratic Party perk up [...]
To translate from academese: An "egalitarian-internationalist platform" means the kind of political platform that articulates a shared, global struggle among all of the poor and working-class people around the world. In other words, a class-conscience platform that recognizes that rich people are not on the same side as the rest of us, have different interests, and are eager to exploit us. And egalitarian means the opposite of nationalistic or xenophobic: united in a common class struggle, you might say, towards a mutual goal of universal civil rights.
In other words, in America this year, Michael Bloomberg and Joe Biden are NOT electable. Bloomberg, however, is conning people into believing (because they're paying attention to his adverts rather than genuine DATA) that he can save us from Trump. It's a con.

Don't fret. We've ALL been conned in our lives. I could tell you about a couple of times it's happened to me, but that's beside the point at the moment. [The cure for being vulnerable to con artists is critical thinking.]

Trump pulled the biggest one in 2016. But we don't want our own rogue candidate.

If you know of any DATA which contradicts these claims, I'd love to see them.

It's also noteworthy that my friend Teri Kanefield has pointed to what ails us and how to cure it. The CURE does not entail trying to elect a centrist.

On the main subject of this blog post, it's also of the utmost importance that we put swing voters (persuadable ones) in perspective.
The people up for grabs, the persuadable voters, is a band of about 5-7% of voters. Get a chunk of those, and we can reach landslide numbers.
The problem: These are also the people vulnerable to propaganda. Given the recent uptick in Trump’s approval, the disinformation tactics are clearly working.
The cure is for you and I to get involved in rebuilding the institutions which have made our country great already. If you need ideas on how to get started, here's where you can find Teri's list of suggestions.

That includes getting potential voters who skipped the last presidential election to vote this year.

Today it is a case of the grasshopper pitted against the elephant. But tomorrow the elephant will have its guts ripped out. -- Le Loi, Vietnamese emperor, 15th Century.

Sunday, February 9, 2020


Tomorrow [well, day after tomorrow], President Donald Trump will face New Hampshire voters in a primary election he will win in a walk. Given the president’s systematic takeover of most Republican state parties, he’s ensured himself little more than token opposition, and in some places, none at all.
That this is how Trump chose to operate in the primaries should be no surprise. Since long before he descended the golden staircase in the Trump Tower lobby, Americans have known who and what Donald Trump is: Someone who extracts as much as he can from others by whatever means necessary.
Donald Trump is a thief. He steals from Americans’ pockets and he steals America’s spirit.
Before he won the White House, Trump and his organization were notorious for stiffing small firms out of money for work honestly and honorably performed. His charity was forced to shut down because investigations concluded Trump and his family utilized the funds for their own purposes.
The larceny didn’t end there. Since taking office, Trump has lined his own pockets with taxpayers’ (and donors’) money by ensuring that numerous events are held at his eponymous properties. The Trump Hotel in Washington, DC is host to both unsavory characters and myriad Republican politicos.
When Trump is “relaxing” in New Jersey or Florida, everyone in his entourage is charged for the privilege of staying there. Just last week it was reported that the president is charging his own Secret Service detail – the organization whose members are obligated to take a bullet for him - nearly $650 a night.
The president’s thievery doesn’t stop at the merely financial. In three long years in office, Donald Trump has robbed us of something much more valuable and harder to replace: Our spirit and belief in America. The American economy may be going strong, but Trump as president is hollowing out the heartland and our hearts
There is a psychological and political cost every day Trump is in office. His capacity for lying puts the worst fabulists in the world to shame. Tracking his mendacity is a full-time job, one that individual Americans have neither the time nor the energy to track.
At what cost? Those voters who are most essential to ensuring Trump is turned out of office this fall are also the most likely to be so disgusted by his behavior that they’ve tuned out all the noise – both Trump’s and that of his would-be opponents.
The anger, resentment and ugliness take a toll on everyone – even those who claim Trump as a hero and savior of a wayward nation. The endless outrage, the undermining the credibility of our elections and institutions and the stoking of hot-button issues prevents us from seeing what’s really going on – and that’s exactly how Trump needs it to be.
Trump, like all strongmen, is actually brittle and thin-skinned. His power comes only from robbing others of their ability and agency to stand up to him. Republicans in the United States Senate serve as a prime example. If the 52 members who voted to acquit Trump of abusing his office really believed he did nothing wrong, the viral nature of this president is potentially terminal for the Republic.
For these reasons, and many more, a group of current and former Republicans founded The Lincoln Project. We have a simple mission: Defeat Donald Trump and Trumpism at the ballot box on Nov. 3.
We have put aside our partisan stripes for the good of the country that has provided us so much opportunity. That prosperity, though, will be short-lived indeed if Donald Trump spends a second term in office. Day in and day out, The Lincoln Project is working to remind voters that we are better than this as a nation.
On Election Day, we will look back and say that it was voters – from across the political spectrum and across the country - that told the Thief-in-Chief enough is enough.
Reed Galen is an independent political consultant and adviser to the Lincoln Project. He left the GOP in 2016. He previously worked for President George W. Bush, Senator John McCain and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. You can follow him on Twitter @reedgalen. Jennifer Horn is a communications strategist and served as Chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party from 2013-2017. In 2008, she was the first Republican woman nominated to federal office in New Hampshire. You can follow her on twitter @nhjennifer. The views expressed are those of the writers.

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Friday, February 7, 2020

Trump totally ate the souls of 52 Senate Republicans

By now it's no longer news that the GOP-controlled US Senate acquitted Trump on both Articles of Impeachment.

Referring back to former FBI director James Comey's May 1, 2019 NYTimes op-ed, cited in the Arizona Eagletarian on December 4, gives us the salient insight on the whys and wherefores of said acquittal.
Amoral leaders have a way of revealing the character of those around them. Sometimes what they reveal is inspiring. For example, James Mattis, the former secretary of defense, resigned over principle, a concept so alien to Mr. Trump that it took days for the president to realize what had happened, before he could start lying about the man.
But more often, proximity to an amoral leader reveals something depressing. I think that’s at least part of what we’ve seen with Bill Barr and Rod Rosenstein. Accomplished people lacking inner strength can’t resist the compromises necessary to survive Mr. Trump and that adds up to something they will never recover from. It takes character like Mr. Mattis’s to avoid the damage, because Mr. Trump eats your soul in small bites.
The only real news from the acquittal vote was that one of the Republican senators voted to convict Trump on (only) one of the Articles. Even then, that one senator's soul was not left untouched. Romney voted to acquit on the obstruction Article.

Rightfully, Republicans for the Rule of Law, a group led by Bill Kristol, put together a 30-second video to thank Romney for his stand.

Nevertheless, the bully president who a couple of years ago, when first learning that he was being investigated by Robert Mueller, famously declared, "Oh my God, this is the end of my presidency. I'm FUCKED!" Defiantly he continued taking bites out of Romney's soul after having taken HUGE bites out of the rest of the Republican senators. He tried to do the same to the Democratic House Managers and Speaker Pelosi. But they resisted. The first 1:30 of the last video is plenty to get the point.

The result, on the surface, is disgusting and despicable. But I believe it will -- contrary to Trump's wishes -- cause the majority of Americans, who disapprove of the bastard, to Rise UP!

But it won't be without plenty of noise from Fascist wannabes like Trump. 

Thursday, February 6, 2020

AZ Senate Republicans again aim to hamstring Independent Redistricting UPDATED 1:15pm MST

They are afraid.

In this case, who is they?

The Republican-controlled Arizona Legislature.

They are afraid their ability to dominate lawmaking in our state will slip out of their hands.

Actually, they have a strong hunch that they'll lose it eventually. They want to do everything possible to put a halt to it.

It (the state turning from red to blue) happened in California. It will happen in Arizona for several reasons.

Redistricting is all about how to divvy up the power of the people.

In 2011 they set their aim on Independent Redistricting. So far, they have failed.

They tried to decapitate the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission in the 2011. But they failed.

Now they are hoping to ramp up a Dark Money campaign to con Arizona voters into doing their dirty work for them.

That is a big reason why Arizona citizens are working to get the Outlaw Dirty Money initiative on the ballot for this year's general election on November 3.

Their hands are tied because of the Voter Protection Act, passed when voters realized the legislature would undermine the Will of the People every chance they could. So, now they can't get the job done on their own.

Because Republicans couldn't get the courts to limit the Independent Redistricting Commission they want to get voters to rethink the proposition. We were the first state to take redistricting away from lawmakers. Now those lawmakers want us to give it back to them, one step at a time. This is one such step.

Fat chance.

Here's the plan. SCR1018, introduced last week, is on the agenda for the Senate Judiciary Committee for today, Thursday February 6. The committee meets at 9am.

Here's the pertinent language the resolution wants voters to add to the state constitution, (new language in CAPS)
Congressional districts shall have equal population to the extent practicable, and state legislative districts shall have equal population to the extent practicable SO THAT THE POPULATION OF THE LARGEST LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT BY POPULATION SHALL NOT EXCEED THE POPULATION OF THE SMALLEST LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT BY POPULATION BY MORE THAN FIVE THOUSAND PERSONS.
The reason for this language is that the Republicans believe that provisions in the Voting Rights Act that must be followed dilutes the voice of Republicans by packing too many of their voters into too few legislative districts. That was the subject of Harris v AIRC. But the United States Supreme Court unanimously held that compliance with the Voting Rights Act -- which provides that there must be districts in which racial or ethnic minority voters are able to choose their own lawmakers -- does NOT substantially dilute the voting power of Republicans.

If you have access to the RTS (Request to Speak) system, you can log in and register your disapproval.

Otherwise, please call and/or email the offices of each member of the committee and leave a message for the member to vote NO on SCR 1018.

Sonny Borrelli (602) 926-5051 email SBorrelli@azleg.gov

Vince Leach (602) 926-3106      VLeach@azleg.gov

Rick Gray, Vice-Chairman (602) 926-5413   RGray@azleg.gov

Lupe Contreras (602) 926-5284     LContreras@azleg.gov

Martin Quezada (602) 926-5911  MQuezada@azleg.gov

Eddie Farnsworth, Chairman (602) 926-5735     EFarnsworth@azleg.gov

Andrea Dalessandro (602) 926-5342    ADalessandro@azleg.gov


On a party line vote today, the Senate Judiciary committee approved (recommended to the Senate) passage of SCR1018.

Arizona voters have a history of making GOP lawmakers regret thumbing their noses at the people. This issue is far from over. I will keep you updated as I learn more.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Schiff's powerful closing argument February 3, 2020

Not even Thomas Paine, without whose writing there may never have been an American Revolution or a Republic to begin with could have given such a rousing closing argument today.

Excerpted below:

History will not be kind to Donald Trump. I think we all know that. Not because it will be written by "never trumpers," but because whenever we have departed from the values of our nation, we have come to regret it.

And that regret is written all over the pages of our history. If you find that the House has proved its case, and still vote to acquit, your name will be tied to his with a cord of steel... and for ALL of history.

But if you find the courage to stand up to him, to speak the awful truth to his rank falsehood, your place will be among the Davids who took on Goliath... if only you will say ENOUGH.

We revere the wisdom of our Founders and the insights they had into self-governance. We scour their words for hidden meaning and try to place ourselves in their shoes. But we have one advantage that the Founders did not. For all their genius, they could not see but opaquely into the future.

We, on the other hand, have the advantage of time. Of seeing how their great experiment in self-governance has progressed. When we look at the sweep of history, there are times when our nation and the rest of the world have moved with a seemingly irresistible force in the direction of greater freedom. More freedom to speak and to assemble; to practice our faith, and tolerate the faith of others.

To love whom we would, and choose love over hate. More free societies, more walls tumbling down and nations reborn.

But then, like a pendulum approaching the end of its arc, the outward movement begins to arrest. The golden globe of freedom reaches its zenith and starts to retreat. The pendulum swings back past the center and recedes into a dark unknown.

How much farther will it travel in its illiberal direction? How many more freedoms will be extinguished before it turns back, we cannot say.

But what we do here, in this moment, will affect its course and its correction.

Every single vote, even a single vote, by a single member, can change the course of history.

It is said that a single man or woman of courage makes a majority. Is there one among you who will say, ENOUGH?

Saturday, February 1, 2020

US Senate voted to totally refuse witnesses and document evidence. How soon will it come back to bite the GOP in the BEE-hind?

It certainly will end up taking a HUGE bite out of their collective BEE-hind. The only question is, how quickly?

My favorite blogger (beside the Arizona Eagletarian, 😉 ) Teri Kanefield, this evening posted,
What happened is this: McConnell made a calculation. He knows what is in the excluded evidence and he determined [hopes] that allowing evidence would be more damaging than conducting a sham trial. This tells you the evidence is devastating.
McConnell prefers to [rather, figures he can] deal with the devastating [what he believes will only be a] drip-drip in the media because the GOP has a well-oiled media-propaganda loop.
For multiple reasons, I believe that both Teri and #MoscowMitch are underestimating the speed and severity of the bite the GOP will most certainly suffer.

First, 75 percent of Americans want to see witness testimony and documents be entered into the trial record.

Second, that 75 percent figure indicates the White House Occupant's persistent claims that the press is the "enemy of the people" hasn't taken root. Maybe an analogy to a woman scorned (i.e. hell hath no fury like...) might seem hyperbolic, but... come on. Did you see what the appointed (but not annointed by the People) Sen. Martha McSally did recently?

Do you REALLY think a FREE PRESS is going to take what the Occupant and his minion Martha have to say about them lying down?

Consider the tone of the editorial published by the Washington Post within minutes of the vote to exclude witnesses.

The cringing abdication of Senate Republicans.
REPUBLICAN SENATORS who voted Friday to suppress known but unexamined evidence of President Trump’s wrongdoing at his Senate trial must have calculated that the wrath of a vindictive president is more dangerous than the sensible judgment of the American people, who, polls showed, overwhelmingly favored the summoning of witnesses. That’s almost the only way to understand how the Republicans could have chosen to deny themselves and the public the firsthand account of former national security adviser John Bolton, and perhaps others, on how Mr. Trump sought to extort political favors from Ukraine.
The public explanations the senators offered were so weak and contradictory as to reveal themselves as pretexts. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said she weighed supporting “additional witnesses and documents, to cure the shortcomings” of the House’s impeachment process, but decided against doing so. Apparently she preferred a bad trial to a better one — but she did assure us that she felt “sad” that “the Congress has failed.” [...]
Americans who object to Mr. Trump’s relentless stonewalling and Republicans’ complicity can take some comfort in the prospect that most or all of the evidence the White House is hiding will eventually come out. A reminder of that came Friday in a New York Times report about Mr. Bolton’s unpublished book, which describes how Mr. Trump ordered him last May to tell Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to meet with his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani. Mr. Giuliani said publicly at the time he wanted to induce Mr. Zelensky to investigate Mr. Biden because it would be “helpful to my client,” Mr. Trump.
That report underlined the cringing shamefulness of the Republican decision to block Mr. Bolton’s testimony — and there will surely be more reminders in the weeks and months ahead. We can hope only that voters who wanted that evidence to be heard in the trial will respond by showing incumbent senators they are a force to be reckoned with, as much as the bully in the White House.
There will most certainly be more. Much more. I don't see journalists or journalism, even corporate journalists (or the American People for that matter) taking this without a whole helluva lot of righteous indignation and determined arguments. Do you? WaPo columnist Dana Milbank later Friday, describing the trial as rigged (seriously, who wouldn't believe that?) finished his column thus,
In their cowardly, 51-to-49 vote Friday evening to speed a guilty president on his way to a hasty acquittal while suppressing the evidence, Trump’s protectors planted the seeds of a poisonous harvest in November. [Note: Mitt Romney and Susan Collins voted with the 47 Dems]

Don't take my word for it. Consider the wisdom of Mark Twain or whoever really coined the expression.