Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Still out of it and disinclined to get back into it. This is the fifth or maybe sixth day in a row for this sort of mood. In the same state, I’m not really into doing this, either, but we do have our pride.

Impeachment moved into its next phase today, as the trial began in the Senate. Due to Mitch McConnell’s shenanigans, the trial started this afternoon at 1 p.m. and will run to midnight. It’ll be the same thing tomorrow. One wonders if this is a part of the GOP’s grand scheme of mounting a cover-up for Trump, but one doesn’t wonder long because it most certainly is.

The Senate voted against subpoenaing White House documents as well as officials and documents from the State Department and Office of Budget and Management, putting a serious crimp in the Democrats strategy. The vote was straight down party lines, of course, as the GOP throw in more behind saving Trump’s ass any way it can.

Former chair of the Republican National Committee Michael Steele said there were “more than four” GOP senators willing to jump ship and vote with the Democrats to convict Trump. Well, maybe, but money talks and bullshit walks, Mr. Steel. I for one will believe it when I see it, and since this will be a public vote, I doubt we’ll see it.

But that’s politics, that’s how the game is played. For all his talk of “draining the Swamp” and how much a mantra that’s become for his followers, Trump has very much embraced living the Swamp Creature’s life. An astounding number of  J Street lobbyists have made up his appointments, despite what he claims, his followers repeat, and the press doesn’t question. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, that’s how Washington works and no one is really inclined to change it despite what they tell the rubes who vote for them.

Anyhow, the trial goes on through tonight before starting another 11-hour run starting tomorrow at 1 p.m. Like most everything in American politics, I’m of the opinion that only once it’s over can we really wrap our heads around just what happened and just what it means. The game certainly seems rigged against actually holding Trump to any sort of accountability. Again, this is nothing new; this is what the GOP argued when Bush Jr. oversaw the largest expansion of governmental power since, at least, LBJ’s “Great Society”.

I can’t keep my ear stuck to the livestream like a lot of folks, but it does help to keep an eye on things. I’m not going to lie and I’ve said it before, I don’t see Trump getting convicted by the Senate, much less punished for what his lawyers are saying wasn’t an impeachable issue because none of it actually worked. One has to give the devil his due, that is a unique tract to take; even worse, it’ll probably work. Impeachment isn’t as easy as folks seem to think, whether the jury is ready to acquit before the trial even starts or not.

That being said, an acquittal won’t be the end of it. There’s plenty more to dig into and if the Trump Cabal thinks when they “win” it’ll all be over and everyone will follow along meekly, they have been drinking some bad buttermilk. That’s politics, baby. Get a helmet.

Okay, let’s bring it home. Two more prisoners were killed in one of Mississippi’s state prison, bring the total up for the past month to nine. These deaths happened at the State Penitentiary at Parchman and seem to be a result of beatings. Officials are saying the deaths aren’t connected to the strife that rocked the state’s prisons earlier in the month, completely unrelated to any sort of retaliation. That really doesn’t make things better, but there you go.

Another voice in the Willie Nash issue. One of the few opinion columnists I pay any attention to, The Miami Herald’s Leonard Pitts, Jr. gave us one of his usual superlative efforts concerning the Nash case and the State government’s complete disinterest in addressing the issue. I’ve written a good bit on this topic, frankly because I’m tired of being ashamed of my home, but Mr. Pitts always does it better.

What else? Oh, yeah. Look, Glenn Greenwald does not deserve this. However much a disappointment one might think he’s become since Trump took office due to his absolutely loathing of the Clintons and Democratic Party destroying his credibility, he’s being threatened by a country’s administration that makes Trump look like a particularly obnoxious member of the gated community’s rules committee.

Me, I gave up on Greenwald when it became apparent he wasn’t opposed to the “War On Terror” so much as how poorly it was being done by the government and military. Regardless, Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsanaro is trying to shut up a serious thorn in his side and there’s no reason to think otherwise. I don’t really know if there’s anything to be done, but this won’t be the last time one of the world’s emergent radical right wing governments won’t try to silence critics.

It’s cold as kraut here and I’m out of lithium. Maybe that’s why I’m in such an ugly mood, but there you go. Good thing I have nothing to do with my time but find different ways to fill the hours, I guess.

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