The trial of the century

Today I just have some random thoughts on the impeachment trials currently underway.

I see many Republicans coming out and giving interviews, and saying things along the lines that “there is nothing new here”, or “they’re just repeating the same thing”. It’s a spectacularly disingenuous thing to say, given that Republicans are the only thing standing in the way of issuing subpoenas that would provide a metric shit-ton of new evidence to consider. It’s also not a requirement that evidence be “new” to be worthy of consideration. What they are really saying is that they have no cogent rebuttal, and none of them will actually go on record saying that Trump hasn’t abused the power of his office as the evidence clearly shows.

Which leads us to the legality argument, or stating that abusing the power of the the office of the president is not actually a crime. Remember, this is not a criminal proceeding. The decision they are faced with in the end is whether or not the president is fit for office, and whether or not he should be removed. Furthermore, committing a crime is not necessarily grounds for impeachment. If for instance the President was issued a ticket for speeding (a misdemeanor BTW), nobody in their right mind would call for his impeachment on those grounds alone. That was essentially the case with the Clinton impeachment trial. However a crime is not required to impeach and remove a president from office either if the president is proven to be unfit for office. If it can be demonstrated that they used that office for personal benefit to the detriment of their oath of office, that is not necessarily a crime, but it is absolutely sufficient grounds for removal from office.

The one that really incenses me though is when they state that there isn’t enough evidence to indict the president. I mean really? REALLY? Okay, then perhaps we should, ohhhh I dunno, get all the documentary evidence that could either be use to exonerate or indict the president? I mean, Trump was bragging a mere two days ago about how he’s blocked Congress from getting their hands on that evidence, so he’s clearly proud of his ability to hide it from the light of day. If you really think that you need more evidence to indict, does it make any sense at all to say that a.) nah, we don’t need to hear that evidence and refuse to allow any subpoenas to collect it, and b.) Despite claiming that there isn’t enough evidence to indict, I’ve already heard enough to exonerate the president. I mean, even someone as intellectually challenged as the president could see that such an argument wouldn’t hold a single molecule of water.

Then there is the question of “horse trading” witnesses wherein the Republicans get a Hunter Biden to testify in exchange for a John Bolton’s testimony. I for one think that the Democrats should jump on that offer. Maybe the Democrats are playing it coy lest the Republicans see through such a charade, but I can’t imagine a scenario where calling Hunter Biden in as a witness is a good look for the Republicans. It’s a childish tactic at best, or amateurish if I’m being nice. If they really wanted to hear his testimony, all they would have to do is use their majority vote whilst continuing to refuse to allow Bolton et. al. to testify. That is precisely why I think it’s a bluff, and why the Democrats should totally call them on it. I mean, think about it? Would the Trump re-election campaign really want the son of the likely Democratic frontrunner to be given a voice in Trump’s Senate impeachment trial?

Finally, I would like to address what appears to be the complete apathy of the US citizenry. I don’t think the average citizen really grasps what is at stake here with this impeachment. Are we really so cynical that we’ll just look the other way, pretending that there is nothing to see here, or that none of it really matters? Is it to be that this is just how things are done now. Are we to expect from now on that the president will put their own priorities above those of the public’s, and that all future presidents are beholden to nobody, even Congress? It strains credulity to state that politicians in Congress should get back to working on domestic issues like the economy, job creation, gun control, healthcare, etc instead of impeaching the president, but fail to recognize that the president has failed to do just that by putting his own interests above all else? If Senate Republicans are allowed to ram this trial through to acquittal without any witnesses or without subpoenaing the evidence that Trump, by his own god damned admission, is withholding from them, then we shall cease to be a democratic republic and will descend into tyranny.

The Gaslight Presidency

It’s been a while since I’ve spoken here, dear non-existent reader. Just shy of an entire year as a matter a fact, and during that time a lot has happened. I’ve also attracted more comments for some reason, and I’m not entirely sure that these are real people responding. In most cases, it’s not even clear that the commenters are even responding to the content I’m laying down here. Besides that, there is the only news story that matters for the past week, the previous 11 months be damned. I am of course speaking about the impeachment inquiry that House Democrats have opened.

Before I get into that, let me first say that there is a reason that I disallow comments and posting on this blog. There is the religious crank who keeps attempting to post a rambling mess of a post about how we’re approaching the biblical end times. Understand that I regard all religion as mythology, so find another avenue for pushing that bullshit, because it’s not going up here. Then there is the guy who merely states, “Don’t wear seat belts lest you drown in your own urine?”. I’m not sure why it’s phrased as a question, and I would dismiss it as a drive-by troll were it not for the fact that there are multiple attempts to convey that exact sentence. So yeah… there is no commenting or posting allowed by anyone other than myself, and it will continue to be read-only for all of you non-existent readers.

Now on to the gristle of the post, which is of course the fast moving impeachment inquiry launched by House Speaker Nance Pelosi last week. There isn’t much that I can add that hasn’t been said on the constant, 24 hour news loop. I will say this; it’s quite obvious that this president’s entire strategy is to gaslight the Dems. He consistently accuses Adam Schiff, the Bidens, and the anonymous whistleblower of lying and has attempted to paint them as guilty of treason. He has yet to provide any evidence for those accusations, hence the need to extort a highly vulnerable Ukraine to manufacture dirt on his likely opponent in the 2020 presidential election. There is however mounting evidence that Trump is guilty of lying and treason himself, and who knows what may come out during the course of the congressional investigations.

The other shaky leg that their defense rests on is this idea that the whistleblower’s reliance on second hand accounts of the President’s misdeeds amounts to hearsay. First, it’s only hearsay if the accusations are unfounded. The IG investigated the claims and found them credible, and alarming enough to mark urgent. If it was all unfounded hearsay, why the initial refusal by the DNI, and by extension, the White House and DOJ, to furnish the report to the House Intel Committee as the rule of law demands? Why did Secretary of State Pompeo feign ignorance about the call at first, only to find out that he was actually listening in on the call? Why did the DOJ decide not to investigate these very serious allegations, and instead came to the conclusion that no wrongdoing occurred? Why did they attempt to bury the report, and hide it from the Intel Committee? If you happened to be one of the few people who actually read the call summary and the whistleblower’s report (Yes, I’m one of them), it’s pretty fucking obvious why. Rather than exonerate the President, the call summary confirms the whistleblower’s account of the call. They knew it, and sought to prevent the release of the whistleblower’s report because they knew it.

Then there is Rudy Giuliani, who’s sanity is clearly in doubt. Imma just shake my head for a bit, because nothing he’s said up to this point deserves validation by putting up a response. Rudy had the good fortune of being Mayor of New York on 9/11, and he’s milked it for all that it was worth. I mean, this is a guy who has never turned down an invitation to appear on the press, where he spews endless streams of bullshit. I can only assume that he’s seeking to remain relevant, his cachet as “America’s Mayor” having eroded away completely, by going all in and jumping onto Trump’s coattails. I totally see him meeting his wholly and utterly timely demise under a bus somewhere in the coming months.

Finally, I would like to touch upon a recent poll where 6 in 10 Republicans admit to living under a rock for the past week. That’s a fucked up statistic. I mean, c’mon… really? To those 60% I just have to ask. Are you really such a fucking bitter, partisan fucktard? I mean, you do know that Trump himself told us quite publicly that he did in fact bring up the Bidens during a phone call with  Ukrainian President Zelenskyy. I get it, he lies so much that it can get confusing when he actually (or accidentally) speaks the truth, but Trump released the call summary. Not Nancy Pelosi. Not Adam Schiff. It’s readily available to the general public to read, but for your convenience, here is the line straight from the horse’s mouth, emphasis mine:

 “There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.”

Set aside the fact that this is one of the debunked conspiracy theories that he is referring to, it’s right there in black and white folks! What more do you want? Are you so blinded by partisan bickering as to selectively filter out the facts that fail to support your twisted world view? Or maybe you just don’t read, in which case you can watch here as he specifically states that they spoke about Biden. For fuck’s sake, get your heads outta your collective asses for a minute and listen to what the man himself has readily admitted to on live television. If Trump’s own words and deeds won’t sway you, I fear for the integrity of our increasingly threadbare Republic.

I dub thee Donny Helmsley.

Today I was greeted with the news that Sen. Elizabeth Warren saw Trump’s DNA challenge, and has gleefully accepted it. Back in July President Trump opened his big mouth, as he often does, and promised that he would give $1 million to her charity of choice if she took a DNA test and it showed that she has American Indian ancestry. Well, Warren took the test and the results are in. She does indeed have American Indian ancestry, and while she has already identified her charity of choice we have yet to see that $1 million check.

Not that any of this will matter to Trump supporters. I mean, these are the same group of self-identified “deplorables” who still believe that Obama wasn’t a citizen, despite making his birth certificate public. These are the same group of people who still believe that Clinton ran a child sex ring from a D.C. pizza shop. They will still believe whatever idiocy comes out of Trump’s mouth when he declines to follow though on his promise.

Given Trump’s penchant for demeaning nicknames, I have a really terrible one that I’ll just throw out there for Sen. Warren to use as she sees fit. With the recent Times story about the Trump family’s shady, and almost certainly illegal tax evasion schemes, I propose we start calling him “Donny Helmsley” after the famous tax cheat Leona Helmsley. Now that she has followed through with a DNA test, she should press for Trump to release his tax returns to prove that he isn’t a tax cheat.

Blind justice, or blinded justice?

There’s been a lot of noise coming from the Republicans lately about what they deem as the unfair treatment of Kavanaugh. It’s all a bunch of bullshit really. All one needs to do is look back over the 8 years that Obama was in office to see that, particularly with how they treated Obama’s last nominee, Merrick Garland. They refused to even hold a hearing, much less a vote, for nearly a year as the clock ran out on Obama’s second term. How fair was that? If you think that Garland was treated fairly, yet rant and rave that Kavanaugh’s treatment has been unfair, you’re not really being totally honest.

Republican’s can point fingers all they want, but they have nobody else but themselves to blame for this. They did everything they could to obstruct each and every one of Obama’s judicial appointments. So much so, that the Democrats were forced to remove the 60 vote filibuster threshold in order to get any judicial appointments through the Senate. What were the Republicans doing instead? What was the most constructive thing that they could come up with to do with their time while Obama was in office? How about attempting to repeal the ACA over 70 times, knowing full well that Obama would veto it each and every time.

Fast forward to the present, after McConnell completed the dismantling of the filibuster by removed the 60 vote threshold for SCOTUS nominees. Among the consequences of that Senate rule change was to transform the confirmation hearings into a highly partisan farce. Democrats, left with few other options to block Kavanaugh’s confirmation, resorted to assaulting Kavanaugh’s character by dredging up decades old sexual assault allegations. Republicans, faced with what they called “credible” accusations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh, continued the farce by relenting to demands for an additional FBI investigation into the matter. I say farce, because the FBI was clearly directed to not look too deeply into the allegations, as the Trump administration establishing guardrails that would all but guarantee an outcome in their favor.

I don’t see any corroborating testimony. Do you see any corroborating testimony?

If anything, this whole debacle has exposed how little the truth really matters anymore. We have a president who lies daily, and I’m not talking about simply mistaking the facts or getting them confused. He is literally attempting to mislead the American public on a daily basis. So much so, that his lawyers are absolutely terrified of Trump being interviewed by Mueller because they know the inevitable result is that he would perjure himself. Fittingly, we now have a nominee for The SCOTUS who was caught lying during his hearing, and who also expressed a clear political bias, in a fit of anger no less.

Remember, these are the same people who were so fired up about Clinton lying on the stand, and more directly to American’s in general, that they launched an expensive and lengthy investigation that culminated in a failed impeachment attempt. Keep in mind how the Republican’s lost their fucking minds over calls for an FBI investigation into Kavanaugh’s sexual conduct. This is Kavanaugh we’re talking about; the very same guy who proposed to purposely embarrass Clinton and aggressivley assault his character by asking lots of pointless questions about his sexual encounters with Lewinsky. It is no wonder then that Kavanaugh would attempt to paint the Democrats as seeking revenge for how he treated Clinton since it’s obvious that’s what he would do, given what we know about his work as deputy to independent counsel Kenneth Starr.

The Devil’s Triangle?

All that is to say, in Kavanaugh’s own words even, that “what goes around, comes around”. It’s telling that he would even say such a thing, and it’s clearly something that will guide his decisions on the bench of The Supreme Court for decades to come. He’s been a partisan hack his entire life, having worked on Ken Starr’s independent investigation, and in the junior Bush’s administration where he helped craft their quasi-legal justifications for torture. He’s kissed all the right asses along the way to get where he is now, and I’m still as certain as I was last week that his life’s ambitions will be realized over the weekend, truth, justice, and integrity be damned.

I believe.

I had thought that I wouldn’t be on this subject after my last post 2 days ago, but then the two words “I believe” started to get bandied about by both sides of the aisle with regards to Dr. Ford’s testimony. Both are wrong on some level for reasons that should be obvious, were it not for the glaring blind spots each side has.

I’ll start with the liberal side. To them “I believe” is as good as a guilty conviction, except that there were no charges involved in yesterday’s spectacle. As so many were quick to remind us yesterday, it was not a trial in a court of law. Belief is a good starting point during an investigation, but it’s not a substitute for facts and evidence. That is the basis of our entire justice system, at least when it’s applied correctly, and we would do well to remember that.

As for the conservatives, “I believe” is no more than lip service. To say that they believe Dr. Ford, but then turn around and say that they also believe it’s all just a case of mistaken identity is in fact the opposite of belief. The only part of Dr. Ford’s testimony that she claimed to recall with 100% accuracy was the identity of the offender, Brett Kavanaugh. One cannot rightly say that they believe her story if they selectively choose not to believe the most crucial aspect of it.

Then there were the beliefs espoused by the nominee himself, which should be the truly disqualifying testimony in my mind. He sat there and made unsubstantiated claims of his own, accusing the Democrats of conspiring to maliciously ruin his reputation. He not only chose a political side with those charges, he made it quite clear that he is absolutely biased and cannot be trusted to sit on the bench of the Supreme Court.

The Republican strategy is all rather transparent. While they say they empathize and believe Dr. Ford, they certainly aren’t going to let that deter them from their mission to install another far right conservative on the court before the midterm elections potentially denies them of that chance. Even though they speak so eloquently about truth, honor, and integrity, the real truth is they don’t give a shit about any of those things. In Brett Kavanaugh, Republicans see nothing more than the culmination of a decades long effort to radically shift the Supreme Court ideologically in their favor, period.

As for the Democrats, of course they are going to do whatever they can to tank this nominee. That is what they should be doing, and if the shoe were on the other foot you can bet that the Republicans wouldn’t hesitate to use the same tactics to prevent a far left nominee from ascending to the bench. All the Republican bellyaching and lecturing to the Democrats was hypocritical at best. Were the Democrat’s tactics dirty and underhanded? You bet, but that’s politics motherfuckers. If you don’t like it, step aside and let someone else make a run for your seat in Congress.

Boys will be boys.

No matter which side of the aisle you lean on, it’s suspicious timing for the Democrats to drop 11th hour sexual assault allegations like this. That being said, I’d like to point out that Senator McConnell is now very much reaping what he has sown. Merrick Garland wasn’t even given so much as a meeting for 10 months. If they had been in as much of a hurry to fill a Supreme Court vacancy back then, we wouldn’t be watching this trainwreck unfolding before our eyes.

I remember the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings back in 1991, and I can tell you that little has changed since then. Now I know what you’re thinking dear non-existent reader, “but Jaime Christ, we didn’t have a Me Too movement back then”. While that is true, I’d argue that such a point is moot. Considering that Judge Kavanaugh is still likely to be confirmed this Friday, and old white guys still appear to have the same mindset as they did 27 years ago… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Would you fuck me? I’d fuck me.

Okay, that’s not exactly honest. There is one difference that I would like to point out. His defenders it seems, rather than accuse Kavanaugh’s accusers of lying, or just going the easier route of claiming not to believe their stories, have chosen an even more heinous defense. I’ll dub it the “If True” defense. Basically, it is an attempt to minimize the alleged attacks, and it goes something along these lines: If these allegations are true, it still doesn’t fucking matter.

But rather than launch into a lengthy explanation, let’s go straight to the source. This is Kevin Cramer, Republican Rep. from N.D., who’s comments encapsulate the “If True” defense quite perfectly:

“These are teenagers who evidently were drunk, according to her own statement. They were drunk. Nothing evidently happened in it all, even by her own accusation. Again, it was supposedly an attempt or something that never went anywhere”

First, he’s making the defense that all involved were drunk teenagers, (even though Blasey claims to have had only 1 beer that evening), and we all know that teenagers can’t hold their liquor and therefore cannot be held responsible for their actions while under the influence. As if that wasn’t enough, he also attempts to minimize the attack by calling it an attempt that never went anywhere. He’s actually stating a position that since they were drunk minors, and no penile penetration occurred in any of the victim’s orifices, that none of it really matters and we should all just move along and let Kavanaugh ascend to the highest court in the land, posthaste.

Then there was our illustrious Commander in Chief, with his patently thoughtless and ill informed opinions, when he assured the American people that if it were a real assault someone would have called the police already. Never mind that an estimated 80% of all rapes go unreported. Even more entertaining was Brett’s buddy Ed Whelan who spun a wild yarn on twitter. He used Google Maps and Zillow of all things to push a crazy theory that the actual offender was a Brett Kavanaugh look-alike. He then proceeded to post the name of the aforementioned look-alike along with his photo, and publicly accused a private citizen of rape.

The best defense though was Kavanaugh’s own when he gave an interview on Fox News, seated next to his supportive and loving wife, and commenced to deny, deny, deny! During those denials, he made the not so dubious claim that he was a virgin during his high school career, and remained a virgin for some number of years thereafter. It’s an admission that none of us were even remotely curious about to be sure, however it would not have precluded him from making any, eh-hem… failed attempts at rape. Having never succeeded at doing the deed during that period of time, by force or otherwise, is not a valid defense.

All of this is to say that despite the Me Too movement, despite the precipitous fall from grace of the once mighty Kevin Spacey’s and Harvey Weinstein’s of the world, and despite seeing the man formerly known as America’s Father get carted off to jail in cuffs this week, history will almost assuredly repeat itself.

The Steady State

If you somehow escaped hearing the news about the now infamous op-ed penned by an “anonymous senior Trump administration official” that ran in the New York Times this week, then my hat’s off to you. That’s a near herculean feat to be able to ignore all sources of media for so long and remain so willfully ignorant. If you happen to be one such individual, go ahead and get caught up to speed by going to literally any news website of your choosing and searching for NYT op-ed. Really, go ahead. I’ll wait…

First, I’d like to state right off the bat that I find myself in the awkward circumstance of agreeing with the White House somewhat. I find it all rather distasteful and underhanded. It’s also quite difficult to discern what the intended result might have been, or whether or not the author has succeeded at achieving said intended result. Barring an unmasking in the near future, we are forced to take this op-ed at face value.

It would appear that this was in part an attempt to comfort those of us who are troubled by Trump’s leadership, or lack thereof. They specifically mention that they are the “adults” in the room, and that the author and their cadre of like minded individuals dubbed “The Steady State” are surreptitiously resisting Trump’s agenda from within his administration. If they are indeed looking to quell fears on this front, they have failed miserably.

First, they are doing so from the shadows. I don’t know about you dear non-existent readers, but I don’t feel comfortable with an anonymous individual, or group of individuals taking it upon themselves to protect our increasingly fragile republic. This is in fact the exact opposite of a republic. Nobody in the White House but Trump was actually elected to serve in that capacity. I for one prefer the devil that I know to the devil that I don’t know, and it is no comfort at all to know that not only has Trump lost control of the White House, but that whoever is actually running it cannot be held to account.

Second, if the whole idea was to prevent Trump from leading the country into ruin, why did they think this anonymous op-ed would improve upon that situation? Consider the fact that Trump has been claiming without evidence for some time now that there is a so-called “Deep State”, or a ragtag group of Obama era bureaucrats in the federal government who are actively engaged in sabotaging Trump’s agenda. Far from dispelling that myth, they may now have confirmed Trump’s seemingly outlandish claims. Granted, these are people that were presumably hired by the Trump administration, nonetheless his paranoia has now been justified. Furthermore, he is now aware of it and will most certainly take measures to isolate himself even further from what he may now rightly assume is a wholly untrustworthy cabinet.

Third, they make mention of talk early on in the Trump presidency about invoking the 25th amendment, but that they decided not to for fear of creating a “constitutional crisis”. The irony of course is that the 25th amendment is the constitutional method by which a president who is unfit to serve can be removed from office. Instead, they have chosen the decidedly unconstitutional path of exploiting Trump’s incompetence to enact whatever agenda they have in mind.

At the peril of inviting yet another conspiracy theory, I can almost believe that this was some sort of false flag operation on behalf of the Trump administration. It’s almost too perfect if you think about it, all while using Trump’s self-proclaimed enemy of the state, otherwise known as the press ( and the New York Times in particular), to legitimize his so-called Deep State theory. I mean, this is the guy who would talk to the media incognito as his own publicist, so I don’t think it’s too much beyond the pale to believe that he would attempt such a stunt. However as previously mentioned, we are left to take this at face value for now until such time that someone steps forward to claim authorship.

86’d

Over the weekend it came to light that Trump admin press secretary Sarah Sanders was asked to leave a restaurant that her and her family were attempting to dine in. While I don’t agree with the owner of the the Red Hen in Lexington KY, I would like to point out the glaringly obvious reason why the Huckabee’s, or any Trump official for that matter, had it coming.

Mike Huckabee, father of liar Sarah Huckabee, totally not supporting a small minded bigot.

Consider for a moment way back in 2015, when a certain Rowan County, Kentucky clerk of court refused to issue same sex marriage licenses. Remember who was at her side when she was released from prison for being a feckless cunt (yeah, I said it, so what)? She claimed it was against her religion, and that since she morally opposed gay marriage on religious grounds she was therefore within her rights to refuse to issue a marriage licenses to gay couples.

Now fast forward to last Saturday, when he tweeted this fantastically self-unaware statement:

That’s truly rich, coming from someone who has championed so called “religious liberty”, or as I like to call it, religiously sanctioned bigotry. If you open the door to denial of service for those people who you just disagree with, or generally don’t like because of your misguided interpretation of a Bronze Age code of laws, you can’t rightly call foul when you’re done the same exact disservice. It’s truly mind boggling that they never once considered that this was the inevitable result.

While I find this fitting in karmic sort of way, it’s still an unfortunate turn of events. I don’t generally agree with refusing service based on ideological or religious differences. This is not how civil societies conduct themselves, but then again, the age of Trump has very little to do with civility.

Happy 4-20 Chuck Shumer!

This looks like the start of something good.

My most formative years of childhood occurred during the 80’s, a time when the so called “crack epidemic” was making headlines around the country and the “War on Drugs” was kicked into high gear. That war failed miserably in it’s attempt to remove recreational drugs (and users) from our society. The end result was that a lot of people went to prison for a very long time due to mandatory minimums, and often came out as hardened criminals with few job prospects. As a consequence, one did not exactly advertise their marijuana usage publicly. It was, and still is to a much smaller degree, something to hide from the authority figures in our lives, like parents, teachers, bosses, but most especially the police. Given that upbringing, it’s with some trepidation that I’ll admit to being a daily smoker more or less for the past 25+ years.

The War on Drugs was started by the Nixon administration, though not out of concern for it’s effects on society, the health of users, saving the children, or any of the half-baked myths concocted to justify the criminalization of marijuana. According to John Ehrlichman, who was Nixon’s former domestic advisor and Watergate co-conspirator, it was started for a wholly different reason. During a 1994 interview published by Harpers, he had this to say:

The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people, you understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities, We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.

Thus began one of the most egregious drug policies to date, as Nixon moved to classify marijuana as a Schedule 1 narcotic by signing the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, putting it alongside far worse drugs such as heroin and cocaine. He established numerous agencies to tackle what he called “Public enemy number one”, including the DEA, and introduced mandatory sentencing for drug crimes.

In the 80’s, the decade I came of age, the Reagan’s carried Nixon’s torch even further. First Lady Nancy Reagan started the “Just Say No” campaign targeted at children, with the purpose of educating them about the dangers of drugs. Ronald Reagan signed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act in 1986, which established harsh and lengthy mandatory minimum sentencing for non-violent drug offenders.

It was under this environment that I first started experimenting with drugs as a teenager, and it is the source of my current trepidation. For all of my adult life I’ve been forced to live outside of the law to procure marijuana. I’ve lived under the fear of random drug testing, and the fear of being caught up in the criminal justice system for my extra-curricular activities during my off hours. Lately it’s been more of an open secret, but it’s still not an aspect of my life that I will readily divulge to my parents, or my bosses, or random strangers.

Today, on 4-20 no less, Chuck Schumer, D, N.Y, is introducing a bill to decriminalize marijuana federally. For me, this wipes away decades of fear and is a vindication against the Jeff Sessions’ of the world who would gleefully lock me up in a federal prison if given the chance. To Jeff Sessions, I’d like to extend a hearty Fuck You as I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed while this bill wends its way through the legislative process. Happy 4-20 to all my fellow weed smokers, and thanks to Senator Schumer for thinking of us, the least offensive of all drug offenders.

Promises, promises, promises.

That look you make when you realize that you may be compelled to testify against your own client.

Marital fidelity has long been one of many yardsticks with which our politicians have been measured against. While it’s not exactly fair to tie any given politician’s marital fidelity, or lack thereof, to their job performance, it does say quite a bit about one’s ability to keep a promise. Promises are the currency of any political campaign, and they are often as cheap as they are plentiful on the campaign trail. They’re often broken which can be expected, but a promise made on the alter carries a bit more weight.

When Trump was caught on tape bragging about getting away with sexual assault, he attributed his lack of accountability to his fame. While that may have been true at the time, it’s certainly not what won over the Christian Conservative base that populates the Republican party. It’s my belief that it was his promises, or more to the point, the promises he made in support of Christian Conservative pet social causes. Causes like banning abortions, or packing the SCOTUS with justices who support so called religious liberty.

Now if you’re old enough to recall, much like our current president, Bill Clinton faced similar accusations. Conservatives were apoplectic when it came to light that he carried on an affair with a White House intern, and then lied about it on national television. This was a consensual affair, mind you, and there was no talk of “grabbing them by the pussy”. There were no shady payments made to porn stars nor non-disclosure agreements being signed. There was no Harvey Weinstein style quid pro quo, just a stained dress and a blowjob in the Oval Office. At that time it was deemed enough of a moral depravity by Conservatives to impeach Clinton, and there certainly was no talk of mulligans or giving him a pass. What Clinton lacked of course was the aforementioned promises.

I find it just a little ironic that we’ve come full circle now. That this presidency could be brought down, however incidentally, by Trump’s infidelity is incredible. His heavy reliance on a misguided concept of attorney-client privilege to shield him from Mueller’s investigation may now be coming back to bite him in the ass. Whatever correspondence that was conducted between Trump and Cohen under that false pretense was possibly seized yesterday by the FBI. At stake now are the very promises Trump made, and which Conservatives accepted, in exchange for looking the other way. Had they stuck to their principles and applied their moral judgement equally across the aisle, they perhaps wouldn’t be facing a Democratic wave during this midterm election. A Democratic wave which promises to throw a spanner in the works on Capitol Hill and grind the Christian Conservative agenda to a halt.