Tag Archives: House of Representatives

Not evolving? Sure thing, lady

Check out this Twitter message from one of the QAnon queens of the U.S. House of Representatives, Lauren Boebert, a Colorado Republican and conspiracy theorist who needs to be committed to the nut house.

I am going to argue that the U.S. Constitution has “evolved” no fewer than 27 times since the Founders created the framework that governs the United States of America. That’s the number of amendments we have tacked onto the Constitution since 1789.

Had it not evolved, Rep. Boebert wouldn’t be allowed to vote for the nut jobs she endorses for public office. That’s just one example of how the Constitution has changed over the years.

You see, this is where the so-called “strict constructionist” philosophy of constitutional interpretation breaks down, at least in my eyes. Simpletons such as Lauren Boebert seem to believe the Founders created a perfect governing document. They didn’t, even though in real time they might have presumed that the Constitution would stand the test of time as it was written. I wasn’t there to know for certain; for that matter, neither was Lauren Boebert.

I hasten to note that the preamble to the document does stipulate that the men who wrote it said the nation should strive to create a “more perfect Union,” which — once again — suggests to me that the Constitution begged for an evolution.


What happened to Congress’s better angels?

There once was a time when we expected our elected leaders to represent the very best in us, yes?

What, then, has become of that standard in the halls of our Congress?

A Republican member of the House, Paul Gosar of Arizona, could be censured by his Democratic colleagues for posting an animation depicting him killing Democratic U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacking President Biden. Has there been any recrimination coming from the Republican side of the great divide? Has any of the GOP leadership scolded Gosar publicly for posting such a hideous depiction? No. Nothin’, man.

House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy has said nothing. Nor has any of the leadership team surrounding him.

Gosar could be censured. That means he will have to stand in the well of the House and listen to  his colleagues excoriate him. The critics are likely to be Democrats only. But his conduct casts shame on the entire House of Representatives, which contains a significant number of Republicans as well.

The better angels of our elected House have gone silent.

What a horrible shame on them!


Let the probe begin

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It’s not how many of us wanted this process to move forward, but I’ll accept it as a step toward rooting out the cause of the infamous insurrection of Jan. 6.

The U.S. House of Representatives, with just two Republican members joining their Democratic colleagues, today voted to form a select committee that will take a deep dive into the insurrection.

GOP Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois — both of whom voted to impeach the disgraced 45th POTUS for his role in inciting the riot on Capitol Hill — voted “yes” on the committee creation. They both also signaled a willingness to serve on that panel.

My version of political perfection would have produced a bipartisan commission approved by the Senate. The GOP caucus slammed that door shut, leaving any look into the event up to the House. The lower chamber’s approval does not require Senate endorsement, so the House will proceed on its own, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The Wall Street Journal reports: “It’s clear that Jan. 6 was not simply an attack on the Capitol building, it was an attack on our democracy,” Mrs. Pelosi said in a speech before the vote Wednesday. “Every member here knows that Jan. 6 was an attempt to subvert our democracy,” she said. “But many across the aisle refuse to admit the truth.”

House Approves Creation of Select Committee to Probe Jan. 6 Attack (msn.com)

Indeed, the Republican resistance to examining the horrific event simply boggles my mind. The mob that stormed Capitol Hill that day launched a full assault on the entire government. It targeted Republicans as well as Democrats. It injured several law enforcement officers; two of them died in the melee. So, members of the political caucus that professes to be strong on “law and order” has resisted efforts to get to the truth of the attack.

Moreover, they have dug in to fight efforts to prevent future attacks.

So now it falls on the Democratically controlled House to select the committee. Pelosi is indicating she might appoint at least one Republican to sit on the panel.

This isn’t the perfect path toward finding some key answers to this horrifying assault on our democratic form of government. Given the stubborn refusal by Republicans to seek the truth behind it, this select committee will have to do.

Sen. Ernst says Dems have ‘lowered impeachment bar’?

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst is an Iowa Republican who on Wednesday will vote to acquit Donald John Trump of the crimes for which the House of Representatives impeached him.

Her statements, though, about whether a President Biden would be impeached requires a rebuttal.

She said that House Democrats have “lowered the (impeachment) bar so far” that it would be too easy for future presidents to be impeached by future members of Congress.

I cannot believe she said that. On second thought, yes I can believe it, as she is a member of the GOP cabal that is putting political party over the Constitution.

The House did not lower the impeachment bar. House members impeached Trump because he solicited a foreign government for a political favor; he also threatened to withhold military aid that had been sent to that government which is in the middle of a civil war with rebels backed by Russia. Abuse of power … anyone?

The House also impeached Trump for conducting an unprecedented obstruction of Congress by refusing to turn over any documents to congressional investigators and by barring any White House aides from answering subpoenas to tell Congress what they know about transpired. I believe that is a clear-cut case of obstruction of Congress.

To my way of thinking, that ain’t setting the bar low. The House acted just as it should have acted.

The current president of the United States has gotten a pass from his political allies in the Senate — such as Sen. Ernst — who have refused to act on what they should know to be a “high crime and misdemeanor.”

McConnell accuses House of rushing … so he wants to do the same?

Where do we stand with this Senate trial of Donald Trump, the third president in U.S. history to be impeached?

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell accused the House of Representatives of rushing through an impeachment process to achieve the outcome it received. Then, well, what do you know? Now he wants to do the same thing with a hurry-up Senate trial with no witnesses called, no evidence introduced.

The House impeached the current president on two counts: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Congress then split from Washington for a two-week Christmas break.

What is most maddening, though, is the notion that McConnell doesn’t intend to be an “impartial” juror, which is part of an oath he will take when Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts takes the gavel and presides over the Senate trial. McConnell’s mind is made up. Let’s get this deal done, he said, acquit the president and then get on with legislating and, oh yes, that election.

At one level, I want this trial to be over sooner rather than much later. However, I do believe it is only correct for there to be witnesses from whom the Senate will hear testimony. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer wants to hear from White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security adviser John Bolton. What is so damn wrong with that? McConnell is having none of it.

I realize we aren’t talking about a trial that follows all the rules of a strict judicial proceeding. However, the judge in this case — Chief Justice Roberts — will issue an oath for the jurors to take; that oath will include a pledge to be impartial. How can McConnell take that oath with a straight face when he promises to work with the White House and to take his cue from the president’s legal team?

I am shaking my head.

By all means, let’s get this trial done. Let us get it done the right way and in a way that mandates a fair trial that allows witnesses to testify in public and for the Senate to examine all the evidence that House members assembled in reaching their decision to impeach Donald Trump.

Impeachment journey set to take another historic turn

(Photo by Jeff Malet)

It is becoming distressingly clear to me that the impeachment of Donald Trump is going to produce the Mother of All Partisan Battles on Capitol Hill.

Congressional Democrats have sought to make the case that the president has committed impeachable offenses. I happen to believe the evidence that I have seen — and I’ve seen only the portion of it that has gone public!

I need no more convincing that Trump needs to be impeached, convicted of high crimes and misdemeanors in the Senate and then shown the door out of the Oval Office. Sayonara, Mr. President.

It won’t end that way.

Congressional Republicans have fortified their defense of the president with diversions, accusations and vilification of the accusers’ motives. They have ignored publicly the evidence that shows how the president solicited a foreign government for dirt on a domestic political foe, encouraged that government to interfere in the 2020 election, endangered our national security by buttressing the fortunes of a hostile power and violated the oath he took when he took office.

The Senate won’t budge, either.

Where does this leave us? We are left with the upcoming election, which curiously is where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said initially this battle should conclude. I do not believe the speaker overplayed her hand by launching the impeachment inquiry. Nor do I believe she erred in instructing relevant House committees to draft articles of impeachment.

Believing that the outcome will retain Trump in the White House at least through January 2021, I look forward to watching the trial unfold. I want the Senate trial to commence and conclude in short order. The Senate Democrats who seek to become president need to spend time on the campaign trail and any effort to prolong the trial plays into Trump’s hands.

It won’t end the way I want it to end. However, my own partisan bias persuades me that the 2020 presidential campaign will be just as relevant and spirited as we all knew it would be.

It is also going to be filthy, but millions of us knew that would be the case as well.

Pelosi: It’s time to impeach Donald Trump

Well, there you have it. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has declared that the time has come to impeach the president of the United States.

She said this morning that she makes that assertion with sadness in her heart. Pelosi said Donald Trump has brought this moment onto himself.

Pelosi resisted the idea of impeaching the president for a good bit of time. Then came that infamous phone call and the request he made of a foreign government for personal political help. That did it.

The speaker has directed the Judiciary Committee to begin drafting articles of impeachment. So, the committee will proceed I presume with all deliberate speed.

I am going to take her at her word that she doesn’t “hate” Donald Trump. She fielded a reporter’s question today about whether she and here fellow Democrats hate the president and that their visceral feelings toward him are driving their push for impeachment. Pelosi fired back, telling the reporter to “don’t mess with me” by accusing her hating anyone. She said her Catholic upbringing taught her to “pray” for the president, which she said she does every day.

The impeachment process is now moving ahead. There will be no more delay. That suits me just fine.

The Intelligence and Judiciary committees have compiled enough evidence to lay out those articles of impeachment.

I am one patriotic American taxpayer who is ready to see this drama play out toward its conclusion.

Still waiting to hear from my congressman

Gosh, it’s been about a month since I wrote my congressman a letter. I asked him directly for a response to a question that had been nagging at me. He hasn’t delivered his answer.

Van Taylor is a Plano Republican representing the Third Congressional District of Texas. He’s been in office only since this past January. Maybe he’s been too busy trying to find his way around the massive U.S. Capitol Building.

I asked him why he voted “no” on sending the impeachment inquiry into the public domain. He and other Republican lawmakers had yapped about so-called “secrecy” regarding the closed-door testimony the House Intelligence Committee was receiving from witnesses.

Taylor said “no” to taking it to the public. How come? I want to know.

OK, I’ve been a little busy the past couple of weeks. I still intend to phone his office. I have a couple of business cards from key staffers. I plan to call his Plano district office, the one closest to his constituents. I happen to one of them.

Van Taylor, who I have described as — and still believe him to be — an earnest young man. He’s a Marine Corps veteran who saw duty during the Iraq War. I certainly salute his veteran status.

I do not salute his recalcitrance over this issue of taking the Trump impeachment inquiry into the public. I need to know why he voted against bringing it into the open.

I’m his boss. He answers to me, not to Donald Trump.

Will ‘Texodus’ cause loss of clout in Congress? Uhh, yes, it will

A headline in the Texas Tribune asks a question that borders on the preposterous.

“As experienced Texan congressmen retire, will the states’ sway in Congress decline?”

I have the answer: Yes. It will decline.

Both congressional chambers rely heavily on seniority. The more senior the members of the House and Senate, the more powerful committee assignments they get. They ascend to chairmanships or, if they’re in the House, they sit as “ranking members” of the minority party; a ranking member is deemed to be the senior member of the party that doesn’t control the chairmanship.

My former congressman, Republican Mac Thornberry of Clarendon, is retiring at the end of next year; he won’t seek re-election to his umpteenth term in the House. He serves as ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, a panel he chaired until Democrats took control of the House after the 2018 election.

Congressional power ebbs and flows. Texans who worry about such things need not fret over Texas’s loss of clout in the House. Indeed, if the state is turning into more of a “swing state,” Texas Democrats might find themselves elevated to positions of power formerly occupied by their Republican colleagues.

For the time being, though, the retirements of six Texas members of Congress does create a dwindling clout for the state on Capitol Hill.

However, it is likely far from a terminal ailment.

Expecting impeachment to drag this campaign into the ditch

If we try to project how this impeachment saga will play out, we ought to be left with a distressing prognosis.

It is that no matter how it ends, the upcoming 2020 presidential campaign is likely to be dragged into the deepest dietch you can imagine.

Donald Trump at this moment is likely to survive a trial in the U.S. Senate after the House of Representatives impeaches him for various high crimes and misdemeanors.

If you’re a Democratic challenger, you might want to talk about issues of the day. Things that ought to matter to Americans who will be voting for president of the United States. But then you’ll have to deal with Trump’s manic obsession with the impeachment.

He is unable to set impeachment into one cranial compartment while concentrating (more or less) fully on the upcoming issues debate. No way! He is obsessed with impeachment.

When the House impeaches him, my hope is that it is done soon. I also hope the Senate can dispense with the trial soon. I do not want the impeachment and trial to hang over the campaign. Alas, it will hang anyway, given Trump’s inability or unwillingness to put it into perspective in the event he survives the Senate trial.

I can imagine now that he is likely and quite willing to keep mentioning the impeachment as he campaigns for re-election. He will use the impeachment and trial as a sort of shield against legitimate criticism that could come from his political foe.

You know: his refusal to acknowledge climate change as the existential threat it has become; his continuing effort to pi** off our valued allies; Trump’s inability to cut the deficit as he promised he would do; the president’s poor choice of key aides and Cabinet members; the fact that so many top level positions remain vacant or are filled by “acting” Cabinet members or agency heads.

The president will ensure that we do not forget that the House impeached him and that the Senate “acquitted” him, although it might be on a technicality, given the high bar set by the Constitution for removal after a Senate trial.

Yep, the 2020 presidential campaign is heading for the ditch.