Democracy is strong … not ‘fragile’

Vice President Kamala Harris needs to take a deep breath and assess carefully the strength of the democratic republic she is governing alongside President Joe Biden.

Harris told an interviewer that the 2024 election well could be the “last democratic election” this country could have. Really, Mme. Vice President?

She frets that the presumed Republican presidential nominee could get elected and enact a permanent dictatorship. Thus, we have the end of democracy in this great nation of ours, she reckoned.

Kamala Harris agrees with interviewer that 2024 could be last US democratic election (yahoo.com)

Harris was speaking on a podcast hosted by Angie “Pumps” Sullivan. “I don’t think it’s hyperbolic to say this genuinely could be the last democratic election we ever have,” Sullivan said.

“You’re right,” Harris responded.

Excuse me, but I’ll butt in for a moment.

Sullivan is being hyperbolic in the extreme. For the VPOTUS to endorse that hyperbole is folly in the extreme.

All of this seems to presume that the GOP nominee is going to win the election. I am going out on that fragile limb and say, “No way in this world is that moron going to win the election this fall!”

Harris went on: “No, and I’m going to tell you. As vice president, I’ve now met with over 150 world leaders … in the last three international trips I’ve taken — which are going back to the end of last year through this year — world leaders have come up to me, expressing their real concern about this election,” Harris said.

What precisely do they know about the character of Americans? We have it totally within our power to stop this crazed lunatic from ascending to power yet again.

And make no mistake about it, the GOP nominee-to-be is flat-out nuts, a loon, and he poses an existential threat to the very government he once swore to “defend and protect.”

OJ is gone … somewhere

Orenthal James Simpson has died of cancer, according to his family … whose members have asked for “privacy and grace” as they mourn his passing.

I am going to express terribly mixed feelings about this news.

We’ve all heard it said that we shouldn’t speak ill of the departed. So, I’ll just declare two things about the former football star.

First, I believe he committed the murders of his former wife and her friend. That’s the extent of the “speaking ill” I will offer.

Second, he hired the best damn legal team imaginable to engineer an acquittal. The trial dragged on for months on TV. Americans such as me were transfixed by the testimony, the theatrics and the melodrama.

The jury got the case and in four hours — just four measly hours! — returned a verdict that sent Simpson home a free man, To be clear, I didn’t necessarily disagree with what the jury decided. Simpson’s defense team planted plenty of seeds of doubt in jurors’ minds. The jurors saw and heard every shred of evidence, which is more than I can say for the rest of the nation watching on TV.

Simpson said he would spend the rest of his life looking for the “real killers” of his ex-wife and her friend., He didn’t need to do so.

Now he’s gone forever. I’m out.

Eclipse enthralled us all

Few pictures I have snapped over the years have filled me with the pride of the one I am showing with this brief blog post.

On the Eighth of April, 2024, we in North Texas got a lifetime thrill when the moon traveled in front of the sun and gave us this view. It lasted a little more than four minutes.

To be honest, I awoke that morning dreading what I believed would happen. That we would be blanketed by heavy cloud cover. The weather forecasters were talking the previous night about rain falling on us in the D/FW area.

I looked outside and saw a clear sky with the sun rising in the east … just like it’s supposed to do!

The day progressed and the clouds kinda/sorta rolled in. They were spotty. Plenty of breaks in them as they traveled overhead.

I had my eclipse-viewing glasses at the ready. I looked up and saw the edge of the moon starting its path across the sun.

The rest is history. I was so glad and thrilled to be able to witness it as it occurred.

Tiger is ‘bigger than the game’

Maybe it’s just me, but I doubt it, but I believe most eyes tomorrow belonging to golf fanatics are waiting to see how one pro golfer performs at the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Ga.

That golfer is Eldrick “Tiger” Woods.

He hasn’t played much competitive golf in recent years, having to recover from surgeries and the effects of that near-fatal car crash in California.

Woods is teeing it up tomorrow. A lot of fans — and I am one of them — want Woods to do well. If he doesn’t and falls out of the race for the trophy early, well, I am not likely to watch much of the event.

That is, unless one of the older guys rises to the top, which can — and does — happen on occasion.

Still, I am rooting for the fellow who truly is larger than the game he plays.

Cruz seeks to rebrand himself … yeah, right

Rafael Edward Cruz, aka Ted Cruz, is trying to pull off the biggest rebranding effort in U.S. Senate history.

The Republican firebrand now calls himself a “bipartisan” member of the Senate, citing his working relationship and friendship (if you dare believe that) with leading Senate Democrats.

It’s a joke, I’m tellin’ ya. Except that I ain’t laughing at it … except perhaps in derision.

Cruz is in for another tough re-election fight, this time against Democratic U.S. Rep. Colin Allred of Dallas, who — according to many leading polls — is in a dead heat with the two-term senator. Cruz was first elected in 2012, then won a bitter re-election battle in 2018 against former Rep. Beto O’Rourke by about 3 percentage points.

Ted Cruz angles for a bipartisan rebrand | The Texas Tribune

Allred, serving his second term in the House, has established a bipartisan reputation in the lower chamber and says Cruz’s effort is a bald-faced sham. Allred told the Texas Tribune: “I don’t think Ted Cruz is fooling anybody,” Allred said. “He spent 12 years being the most divisive — and proudly so — partisan warrior in the United States. And I think it’s kind of laughable actually that at this point, when he’s in a close race, that he wants to now stress, ‘Oh, actually I have been working in a bipartisan way.’”

He’s nothing like the bipartisan statesman he is portraying himself to be. Recall how he filibustered in the Senate in trying to kill the Affordable Care Act. He has been a front-row election denier, questioning the validity of the 2020 presidential election that gave us Joe Biden as president. He has been virtually silent about the 1/6 assault on our government and has endorsed the 45th POTUS’s bid to win back the White House after losing to President Biden in 2020.

According to the Tribune: “When I first arrived in the Senate 12 years ago, there was such a thing as moderate Democrats. They existed. You could work them,” Cruz said at the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Texas Policy Summit last month. “There aren’t any left. The Democrats, they hate Trump so much their brains have melted, and what’s happened is they have gone crazy off the edge to the left.”

Now he wants us to believe he’s willing to work with Democrats whose “brains have melted”?

Hah!

Are we really that stupid?

A member of my family and I disagree on the potential outcome of the 2024 presidential election.

My family member believes the 45th president is poised to regain the presidency. I disagree. He and I had an exchange that went something like this:

Family member: I think he’s going to win.

Me: No. He won’t win.

FM: You said the same thing in 2016 and look what happened.

Me: We have learned from the mistake we made as a nation. We aren’t going to make it again.

FM: I am not so sure about that. I don’t think we’ve learned anything. Besides, Biden didn’t win in 2020 by a landslide.

Me: I know. A few hundred thousand-vote switch in three states would have produced a vastly different result.

The exchange ended shortly after that. My family member does not want the 45th POTUS to win. He doesn’t exactly line up strongly in President Biden’s camp.

I do wish my family member had more faith in the collective intelligence of American voters. But … he doesn’t and I’ll accept his view that we are collection of gullible dummies. I, however, am going to stand on my wellspring of belief that we are smarter than we have demonstrated.

The former POTUS tapped into a heretofore mine of resentment in Americans’ hearts. He now vows to be “your retribution” for misperceived wrongs that have been committed against the former POTUS. He is going to unleash the Justice Department on his foes … and to think he accuses Biden of “weaponizing” the DOJ.

Are we really ready to welcome a return of this kind of political vengeance into the halls of power?

I think not.

Ex-POTUS now opposes national abortion ban … oh, really?

POTUS No. 45 has just declared his opposition to a national ban on abortion, saying that states should have the final say on what happens within their borders.

What in the world are we to glean from the presumed Republican Party presidential nominee’s latest stance on abortion?

Let’s review for a moment this moron’s path through the abortion pea patch.

He once declared himself to be fully pro-choice on the issue. Then he ran for president in 2016 and promised to appoint judges who would overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling that inscribed a woman’s right to choose as a civil liberty. He kept that promise, with three judges named to the high court during his single — and hopefully only — presidential term. Republican senators declared their intention to enact a national ban, the former POTUS was silent. Now he says it’s up to the states.

While making that declaration, the former Idiot in Chief has boasted about “single-handedly overturning Roe v. Wade.”

Where does this clown stand on the issue? Don’t answer that. I think I know. He doesn’t stand anywhere on it.

He has no view. He has no policy.

Shooter’s parents get slammer time

James and Jennifer Crumbley are headed to the big house after a Michigan judge today imposed a 10- to 15-year prison sentence for involuntary manslaughter.

The Crumbleys, though, are fairly unique in this regard: their son took a gun out of their house and killed four high school students. The son is serving a life term in prison after he pleaded guilty to the crime. The shooting took place at Oxford High School, about 40 miles from Detroit, Mich.

I watched on TV several parents of the victims of the shooting urge the judge to impose a maximum sentence allowed for the crime charged.

“These convictions were not about poor parenting,” said Judge Cheryl Matthews. “These convictions convey repeated acts or lack of acts that could have halted an oncoming runaway train.”

Parents of Michigan School Shooter Ethan Crumbley Sentenced to 10-15 Years in Prison (msn.com)

I get what the judge is saying. The Crumbleys no doubt love their son, but their inattention to what they might have seen in him contributed to the horrific crime that took the lives of four young people and inflicted permanent damage on the hearts of their loved ones.

The sentence is an appropriate punishment.

Politics enters eclipse coverage

Leave it to the TV network talking heads to inject contemporary politics into discussion about the historic wonder of a total solar eclipse.

I was taken aback … but not surprised.

Listening to the eclipse run-up early this afternoon, an MSNBC commentator noted that an eclipse actually prevented a war from erupting in ancient Greece. I didn’t catch the name of the adversary facing down the Greeks.

Then she wondered out loud whether during these contentious times that we could have a similar peace-finding result from the eclipse that swept across the eastern third of the United States.

We all know the answer to that one. No! It won’t end the sniping, the backbiting, the innuendo here at home and the wars that rage in Europe and the Middle East.

It’s kind of a quaint thought, however.

The old-time Greeks didn’t have social media to take their minds away from Mother Nature’s splendor back in the day. Nor did they have cheap tinhorn politicians who play to TV cameras whenever someone — anyone! — turns on the lights; oh sure, they had their tinhorns, but they were motivated by simpler means.

Here’s my immediate takeaway from what we witnessed today in North Texas.

For a few minutes in the early afternoon, I wasn’t worried at all about what mere mortal politicians were doing or saying in the halls of power. Not in Congress, or the White House, or City Hall or the county courthouse. My focus was straight up as I watched the moon block the sunlight shining on Earth.

Nothing else mattered. Nothing!

Let the trial begin … and end

Eight days from now a judge in New York City is going to bang a gavel and call for the beginning of a trial.

It won’t be an ordinary trial. The criminal defendant will be a former president of the United States. He will make history by being the first ex-POTUS ever to stand trial.

The ex-POTUS has three more trials awaiting him once this one concludes. The others are more consequential in terms of the charges leveled against him. First things first, though.

The NYC trial is going to take the former POTUS off the campaign trail for as long as it takes to reach a conclusion. He’ll be in court listening to testimony alleging how he misused campaign funds to pay off an adult film actress to keep quiet about a one-night stand the two of them had, but which the former POTUS said didn’t happen.

Go figure.

The defendant cut a check for the actress totaling 130 grand to shut her up.

This might not be the biggest legal deal facing the former POTUS. Still, it’s pretty damn big. District Attorney Alvin Bragg has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did what has been alleged. It’s a criminal case, after all, so the bar is set high.

I will not shy away from — or apologize for — my hope that DA Bragg delivers the goods to the jury that will decide this matter. I want the former POTUS to be convicted of the crime that has been alleged. I also want him locked up and kept out of public view. He is an existential menace to the nation he seeks to lead once more.

God help us if there are enough stupid Americans out there to put him back into the Oval Office.

In many crucial ways, this is the most important trial in U.S. history. It’s going to make for the highest political drama any of have ever witnessed.