Visions with a leader………”I can’t breathe!”


Stevie Wonder & Hurricane Dave

Shortly after George Floyd was murdered and folk took to the streets many used the airwaves to voice their response.

One leader, you will recognize when you hear the song spoke poignantly about how African-Americans have historically dealt with the consequences of having a “knee on their neck.”

Through Hurricane Dave’s genius and the gift of Stevie Wonder who owns KJLH (Kindness, Joy Love & Happiness) radio station in Los Angeles (102.3FM), part of the leader’s speech “I can’t breathe” is woven into Wonder’s “Autumn Leaves” song.

Enjoy!!!

If the song does not load – try this link

George Floyd Protests – Scenes from Los Angeles…..continues


[Los Angeles, CA – Day 18]  It has been eighteen days since George Floyd was murdered.  Depending on one’s perspective or life’s experiences, sides have been drawn.  Just about everyone agrees ex-officer Chauvin as well as the other three arresting ex-officers used excessive and unnecessary force.

The Floyd incident has morphed from a moment to a movement based on what we are witnessing in cities around the globe.  As expected, there are those who proclaim the reaction is over-blown.  They go further to suggest it is some type of Democratic funded operation to smear our system.   I guess they feel because Floyd was African-American and the majority of them vote in favor of Democratic candidates, surely the party must be behind their antics?  They quietly dismiss the notion that deciding which political party to support boils down to which one MOSTLY  supports your issues?  It appears to be a sound-bite that some accept based on which media they consume? 

One side sees a need for justice.  The other side sees a need to stop disrespecting civility.  Another critical analysis those in opposition can’t explain, as history may be the final arbiter is why folk from various ethnicities, age groups and other demographics have joined the movement?   To further justify their belief the reaction is fueled by a political party, they voice opposition via social media suggesting those who support the reaction to Floyd are ill-informed or have they been induced into some cult?  

Most have forgotten the Black Lives Matter has been around.  Just in 2016, through media it was vilified as a revolutionary group you should be scared to associate with.  That’s why this time is different.  As mentioned, folk from all walks of life have changed their social consciousness and now proudly proclaim the Black Lives Matter moniker.

 

There is one more critical point about protesting which those in opposition somehow find difficult to accept or understand.  Protesting is a public gesture to create awareness of the issue.  Following must be a series of actions which make the reason for protesting a serious action.  As an example most people never heard or knew of Emmett Till, Jimmie Lee Jackson or more contemporary examples such as Alton Sterling,  Trayvon Martin, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner or even George Floyd.  It was the type of tragic death they suffered which made them household names.  Therein lays a prime reason for the public outrage we are experiencing.  It is bigger than any specific named person.  It has to do with a system that minimizes their life merely because they were black. It has very little to do with their past as a seed of racism makes it okay to marginalize those who are deemed less than.  Unfortunately, many buy into this paradigm while defining themselves as wholesome american folk.  


Protest is a basic right.  How long people take to the streets is anybody’s guess?  What we are hearing by documenting daily events is it will continue until November 3rd!  While Black Lives Matter is the main organization leading the protest, many splinter groups have joined and that has helped fuel the energy to sustain the reaction.

Revolutionary Communist Party known as RevCom was one group which led the Los Angeles Protest – Day 18.   Just like when Black Lives Matter hit the scene, their name probably scares the hell out of people.  The long and short, they are a social-action group.  One of their main tenets is trying to unite “Brown & Black.”  Speakers did a very good job in communicating how racism has been used to divide the groups.  Unfortunately many in the affected groups have bought into the notion of distrusting the other.  As an example one of the passionate Latina leaders expressed how many from Mexico and other Latin American countries have been raised to feel African-Americans are lazy, untrustworthy, criminal and otherwise the type of people you need to stay away from.


Like many rallies, the participation builds as it weaves through the streets to their final destination.  They started across the street from City Hall, facing Grant Park.  Headed south on Spring street, the spirited group marched to 7th Street and headed west until they reached Mac Arthur Park which is several miles away in the Westlake community.  There were no incidents or negative reaction.  As a matter of fact, many who were driving stopped their cars to show support.  A few actually joined the marchers.  Folk came out of restaurants and bars to show support.  The Los Angeles Police picked up the rear to undergird the marchers progress as they went through the streets.


HERE IS OUR PHOTO ESSAY FROM 

LOS ANGELES PROTEST RALLY – DAY 18

George Floyd Protests – Scenes from Los Angeles


[Los Angeles, CA – Day 9]  Activism is nothing new to me, at least that’s what I want to think!  Today marked the 9th day since the murder of George Floyd and after jockeying my schedule I ran out of excuses of why I could not be on hand to document the important rally scheduled at 3pm..

 

You’ve all seen the protest which followed ex-policeman Chauvin pulling a rare move most of us haven’t seen – putting his knee of the neck of George Floyd, while he had been restrained and in hand-cuffs. The cous de gras was Chauvin’s bold move to comfortable place his hand in his pocket while cutting off Floyd’s air flow.  Most of you saw what we all saw and perhaps that inspired you to raise your voice and join the movement?

 

I was trying to remember when was the last time I saw a reaction of this magnitude?  I go back to 2000 when I was fortunate to travel to Chiapas, Mexico to get a first-hand glimpse of supporters of Subcomandante Marcos and the Zapatista movement.  The revolutionaries rose up against the government while loudly proclaiming – BASTA!!!!!!

 

The reaction from Floyd’s murder seems a bit different.  We’ve heard that refrain from members of the media who have been reporting the events   One of the major protests today centered at the Hall of Justice (County of Los Angeles) at the steps of District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s office.  As I was driving to secure a parking spot, I could see a flurry of participants head towards Temple & Broadway.  Signs in tote it was quite a sight.  I just knew this was different from the many events I have attended/participated in.

The crowd swelled to easily 10,000 plus.  The event was well organized and despite the Covid-19 pandemic we are dealing with folk had mask and other protection.   Folk were walking the line dispatching out water, squirts of hand-sanitizer, snacks and even first-aid stations so you could maintain your energy.  Their focus was maintaining a safe environment to insure the message of change was front & center.

 

A very interesting dynamic that I witnessed was the demographic of the crowd.  I would guestimate the primary ages ranged from 20 – 40.  The ethnic composition was what you would expect from Los Angeles.  It was exceptionally diverse.  The take-away from today’s event as well as those which have taken place since Floyd’s life was cut short is will the energy and commitment get translated into serious civic engagement – VOTING?  For all the signs and images of being fed-up, will the people have the courage to leverage their voice and create the change they are seeking?


HERE IS MY PHOTO ESSAY FROM TODAY’S

LOS ANGELES PROTEST RALLY

 

How Cubans Lost Faith in Revolution, or not? – Ms. Caridad Limonta


above caption courtesy of Getty Images, Ms. Caridad Limonta

In my journey’s and study to Cuba, the “Revolution” is a very intriquing topic.  The hopes and aspirations of that iconic period brought tremendous hope.  Of course those who are anti-Castro and oftentimes crowd the airways would have you believe it was a total, if not absolute failure.  One question I always ask when I come across those of Ms. Limonta’s age group is what inspired then to hang-on?  It really is simple:  Either you believe or you don’t!

I would encourage you to read the following editorial which was posted in the New York Times May 24, 2020.

**ARTICLE REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION**

How Cubans Lost Faith in Revolution
In this election year, the key for American politicians to understanding Cubaʼs politics is understanding its people and the promises of a better life that were not kept.
By Anthony DePalma
Mr. DePalma is a former foreign correspondent for The Times.
May 23, 2020
GUANABACOA, Cuba — There was nothing Caridad Limonta would not do for her dear mother, even if it meant fulfilling her strange wish to be buried with two pairs of socks.
Cancer took Ms. Limonta’s mother, Zenaida, in 2002, while they lived together in this ancient town across the harbor from Old Havana. Following the custom of many Cuban families, Ms. Limonta washed the body and sprinkled it with talcum powder and perfume. Holding back tears, she dressed her mother and covered her with a white sheet. Then Ms. Limonta, at age 46, carried out her mother’s odd request, pulling two polyester socks onto her feet and another pair over her hands.

From my experiences Cuba is a definition of survival and struggle.  It is not a place for the weak or feeble-minded or those who judge everything from their prism.

A few years later, when her mother’s remains were exhumed and the bones interred in a small vault so that the tomb could be reused, Ms. Limonta saw the sense in her precautions. The tiny bones of her hands and feet were neatly contained inside the pairs of socks, like marbles in two sacks.
Until her mother died, Ms. Limonta had managed to avoid this unpleasant Cuban reality. But her mother’s illness and death also forced her to confront an unsettling truth that profoundly reshaped her relationship with the Cuban revolution and led her to a deeper understanding of what it really means to be Cuban.
It is an understanding that American voters and politicians might benefit from recognizing, in this election year when relations with Cuba, along with the votes of Cuban-Americans, are on the table. As Ms. Limonta came to realize, being a Cuban means having deep respect for, and first loyalty toward, her fellow Cubans and the heritage, customs and needs of their island society that they share, no matter who holds power there.
But it had taken Ms. Limonta decades to even approach that realization.
The first inkling came when her mother, a retired nurse, had been fussed over by some of Cuba’s best doctors inside Havana’s finest hospitals. Ms. Limonta needed to know: Had she benefited from Cuba’s acclaimed medical prowess because every Cuban does? Or had her mother been pampered because Ms. Limonta herself was a ranking member of the Communist Party and vice minister of light industry for all of Cuba?
Until then, Ms. Limonta’s faith in the revolution had been absolute. Born just three weeks after Fidel Castro started his uprising by beaching an old American yacht called Granma in a mangrove swamp on Cuba’s southern shore in 1956, she had fully embraced his promise to wipe out inequality and create a new Cuba.
Growing up in the tiny sugar mill town of Tacajó in eastern Cuba, she’d believed with all her heart that regardless of her gender, or the poverty into which she’d been born, or the deep mahogany sheen of her skin, she was equal to every other Cuban. When she boarded a trans-Atlantic ocean liner in 1976, she gazed at the thousands of other Cuban students going with her to study at Soviet universities and felt equality had already been achieved. “The ship was full of young people,” she recalls. “Chinese, white, mulatto, black, all of us equal, with practically the same clothes, the same suitcases.”
Returning to Havana in 1981, she applied her economics degree to positions in Cuba’s textile industry, overlooking the advantages she was receiving and the shortcomings of the revolution that she, unlike many other Cubans, had embraced. On the darkest day of the revolution in August 1994, when angry mobs shouted “Freedom” and “Down with Fidel”— the largest mass protest against the Castro government —she was enjoying a buffet at a Varadero beach resort, a deserved reward for a job well done. She eventually rose to vice minister and held powerful positions within the party. But she couldn’t understand why tens of thousands of Cubans had risked their lives trying to reach Florida in flimsy rafts.
As the revolution aged, contradictions grew harder to ignore. As her job took her around the country, she saw that the hospitals most Cubans went to were shabby reflections of the one where her mother was treated. Other Cubans waited months, sometimes years, for a wheelchair. They couldn’t count on oxygen being available. Vital equipment broke down. Medicines ran out. Doctors and nurses expected to be bribed.

Caridad Limonta Ewen, Cuban businesswoman during the Women’s Forum in Mexico City on April 27, 2016 / AFP / OMAR TORRES (Photo credit should read OMAR TORRES/AFP via Getty Images)

THAT THE CORONAVIRUS MAKES NO CLASS DISTINCTIONS? – Covid19 – A Cuban Perspective


The above caption is the iconic statue of Antonio Maceo Grajales at the plaza in Santiago, Cuba

This article was reprinted with permission

Professor Esteban Morales Dominguez is a distinguished lecturer and author on social and economic matters related to Cuba.

Por Esteban Morales

 

MONCADA

 

That, in absolute terms, is not true. Class distinctions are present and expressed in a sometimes catastrophic way, under the coronavirus pandemic. Becoming the very basis of the conditions under which the individual is obliged to face the pandemic

 

It is true that anyone can get sick, in biological terms, but neither the way to get sick, nor the way to face the disease, is the same for all individuals. This is determined by the social conditions in which  each one lives . A time when their class status is decisive. 

 

Biologically speaking, anyone can acquire the virus, but certain circumstances play an important role in this, which are inextricably linked to class status.

 

This is the result of the contagion with the virus is quite determined by the living conditions in which people survive and those that have occurred, and capitalism had already predetermined them very strongly, before the pandemic arrived.

 

By the way, I am not referring to personal conditions, related to the suffering of certain chronic diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, respiratory problems, heart disease, etc. But to those living conditions, which do not have to do directly with the disease as such.  

 

These, pre-existing to the pandemic, are the following:

 

  1. The monetary income received, determines, above all, the conditions in which one lives. The neighborhood, the quality of the house, the social and material environment and the type of environment and people around us.

 

  1. The medical care you receive, even if it is free, can be better or worse, and this is decisive, because it contributes to some extent to the conditions, better or worse, in which each person faces the virus and a possible disease in general. 

 

  1. Diet and its quality, in general, is decisive, in the conditions with which each person faces any illness. If you are well fed, you have energies that are decisive for recovery.

 

  1. Moving by car is not the same as traveling by public transport. The risks with which you must face a possible contagion differ greatly.

 

  1. It is, then, that in general, the material life conditions in which the individual finds himself, are determining factors to overcome the possibility of acquiring the virus, or any disease.

 

  1. Finally, the culture of the individual is also decisive in the face of the reality of the disease. Well, the individual conscience before the possibility of getting sick or facing the disease as such, are determined by the level of culture that the individual possesses. Cultural level that is determined, first of all, by social origin, access to education and living conditions.

 

All the situations mentioned are closely linked, it could be said that, determining, the conditions in which the individual can face the adversity of becoming ill.

 

All the aforementioned conditions are present in any company. We would say, the same in a society like that of Cuba, as in any other society.

 

In all known societies, until now, individuals differ in their living conditions, which is decisive when facing the disease.

 

The Coronavirus pandemic has served to make even more evident, substantial differences, how an individual copes with the disease within a society like that of Cuba and the rest, of the majority, of the existing societies in the world.

 

Being true that, biologically speaking, the virus makes no distinction of class, social group, race, cultural level, etc. Well, he attacks anyone who opposes him. Although the conditions in which each person must face such a situation, particularly the danger of becoming infected, differ, since such situations are influenced by the living conditions of each individual, already mentioned above.

 

However, the pandemic has also clearly shown that it unfolds with more or less aggressiveness, depending on the health policy followed by the countries that suffer from it. Becoming clear that in such circumstances the political will of governments has influenced, to face the pandemic. The following becoming evident:

 

  1. Countries that, by prioritizing the economy, over health, such as the United States, have begun to suffer the pandemic, due to the lack of an efficient health policy, through contagion, neglect of early detection of the virus and the lack of material conditions for the care of the sick.

 

  1. The pandemic has also clearly shown how the neo liberal policy followed in recent years has affected health budgets, which have been systematically lowered, resulting in the fact that, when the pandemic arrived, many countries showed that they lacked health policies, budgets and resources to face the situation.

 

  1. The pandemic has also shown that only with international collaboration and solidarity is it possible to face it. But, the fierce competition that neoliberal policies have brought, the harsh trade confrontation, the military confrontations at the regional level, the policies of international sanctions, the territorial usurpations and the theft of oil resources, among others, have shaped an international, negative environment. for confronting the pandemic. Because such an environment, prevalent in international relations, is incompatible with the type of relations needed to face the pandemic.

 

  1. In particular, the policy followed by the United States has not been more negative regarding the behavior of the President. According to the Washington Post of April 8, 2020, “on January 3, Trump had already received formal notification of the existence of the virus. Trump was also informed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, on January 18. But when asked publicly about the virus, on January 22, he said: we have it totally under control: he is a person who comes from China. ”
    1. Trump, after being alerted to the virus, spoke at eight rallies and six times played Golf, as if he had nothing to worry about.

 

Trump began to speak of the “Chinese Virus”, unloading on this nation the responsibility for the pandemic. By characterizing it this way, Trump then forces us to argue, reacting to a racist projection of the “scapegoat” type. And it is that this is precisely what he is pursuing, because it allows him to divert our attention, from which the fundamental questions should be right now: Where are the missing beds? Where are the masks and tests? Where is the federal policy that should be followed to counter the pandemic? While Trump does so, in addition, achieving a sounding board within American society, among many people, racists, xenophobes and neoliberals, who follow him and who do not measure the consequences of his policies.   

 

Not enough to do so, Trump even acts against the World Health Organization (WHO) by threatening and blackmailing it by lowering or suspending its financial contribution to it. 

 

Trump , flatly refuses also to put aside the sanctions policy against countries like Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, Venezuela, etc .; assuming at all times a arrogant attitude and not just genocidal, even mocking the predictions and recommendations of science. A policy that also denies collaboration with its historical allies , while cynically receiving and accepting solidarity aid that has come from China and Russia. Undoubtedly, it cannot be more cynical.   

 

  1. The United States cannot be consistent in its policy on pandemic response at the international level, because it is not at the domestic level. As a consequence of which, they have become the nation most affected by the new coronavirus.

 

  1. The prevailing ideological values ​​in American society also put citizens in a critical situation today, representing a danger to their own survival.

 

  1. In the external order, the slogan of “America first”, and internally, individualism, consumerism, messianism and other very negative values ​​that are its own, put the worst situation in American society, to achieve the degree of coherence policy that is needed to beat the pandemic. So all this becomes very difficult situations to overcome. Being Trump’s most optimistic projection, that the virus will kill between 100,000 and 240,000 citizens in the United States.

But, in addition, Golmann Sachs has calculated that social distancing measures have already caused a 34% contraction in GDP.

 

As if that were not enough, 33% of households, with incomes below $ 50,000 a year, have some unemployed member.

 

There are 16.7 million citizens without medical coverage.

 

“According to a study by the director of the Brookings Institute, the 50 counties hardest hit by the coronavirus, contribute 30% of employment and 36% of the country’s GDP.” Which is a serious problem to face in the perspective of a possible recovery.

 

It is insisted that Trump must classify Covid deaths, according to skin color, since serious studies have shown that the pandemic affects 70% of Afro-descendants in the United States.

 

Trump, in reality, did not foresee the polarization that has occurred with his policy, both in the world and within the United States, but has used it, dramatically increasing it. And that polarization is truly one of the greatest dangers facing American society.  

 

The United States, and Trump in particular, did not learn the lessons of 2008-2009, when Wall Street was rescued, after the bankruptcy of Lehman Bross, at which time, as now, large masses of money were injected. However, no measures were then taken to prevent certain high-level sectors from benefiting to the detriment of the rescue of the real financial balance. Nor were there limits on investment banks on how to use the bailout. As a result, the current bailout is perceived as a new opportunity for companies to do business and make easy money.  

 

The attitude of the Donald Trump administration puts the United States and the world in serious danger to overcome the coronavirus pandemic. 

 

It is that, for the United States – that is, for the system – the first thing is money and then everything else. This has been clearly demonstrated in its policy of prioritizing financial issues and attention to the economy above all else. Hence his insistence that the economy in general should be recovering by April Easter, and the country as a whole, when until now the situation has only worsened, without any light being seen at the end of the tunnel. . 

 

Significant resources and money are obviously necessary to overcome the pandemic, which in particular is proving very expensive, particularly within the United States, without being able to calculate even how much it will cost to overcome Covid-19. However, there is really no shortage of money or resources on the planet.   What there is is an order of priorities that, demanded by the neoliberal policy followed, prioritizes profit, expenditure on armaments, waste, concentration in a few hands of resources and money, over satisfaction of basic needs. human. Reasons that explain very well how the pandemic has far exceeded the available hospitalization capacities and resources for medical care in general, within a rich country like the United States.

 

Meanwhile, Cuba, Venezuela, Russia and China, mainly, are standing out for their political behavior in the face of the pandemic, which earns the respect of the peoples of the world, showing great solidarity in this battle and also highlighting the character deeply. negative of US foreign policy, in the face of President Trump’s interest in taking advantage of the pandemic, with the aim of advancing his intentions to control the world. 

 

Being a global problem, the pandemic requires a global approach, global collaboration and solutions of the same nature. Because it is required to share medical equipment, as well as not to impose controls that affect the export of medicines, food and other essential products. 

 

However, the United States does not react with a policy in tune with the situation to which it has led its population and the planet as a whole. So his obvious abundance of  resources and money, to help the world and help himself, means very little. This represents an incalculable danger, because it is not possible to suppose that the pandemic can be globally overcome, if the United States does not end up collaborating to overcome it.   

 

So, until today, the possibility of overcoming the pandemic appears to us as something fraught with uncertainties, dangers and potentially negative predictions.

 

The experience that the pandemic brings to date is not positive for capitalism. He has highlighted the incapacities of a system, which, in the face of the danger that affects the world, seems not to be in a position to assume adequate policies, even though its own salvation may go its way.

 

All of which is the consequence of a model of accumulation, in which only the benefits of capital, large corporations, large banks and that of a single part of society are prioritized. A very minority. So the rest of humanity could  disappear , without causing the slightest concern. 

 

Only now, the Covid-19, has demonstrated that the economic principles and values ​​of capitalism are potential causes of its possible destruction. Because, as never before, it has been demonstrated that the world is one and that its survival does not depend only on a single part of it, but on all those who have the true will to save it.

 

Which, dialectically, confirms that it is also true that the coronavirus does not make class distinctions, especially when considering how we should save ourselves from the pandemic. Because we all share the same spaceship. 

 

Havana, April 14, 2020


This article was reprinted with permission from the author, Professor Esteban Dominguez Morales who is a distinguished author and lecturer.  Professor Morales hails from Cuba and his perspective is sought worldwide on social and economic matters related to Cuba.

The CARE Act – The COVID Economic Recovery – What it means to you?


The long awaited Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act known as CARES was signed into law yesterday, March 27th.

I have been bombarded with many questions as the ACT is very complex regarding what it does and what it doesn’t do.  Unfortunately, because so many do not dig into the details there is lots of misinformation that do more harm than good resulting in people becoming frustrated or going around believing something that simply is not true.

One other point about the Act.  Regardless if you subscribe to conspiracy theories, don’t believe in voting or engaging into the political process, COVID-19 has no boundaries nor does it discriminate or distinguish and that is yet another reason why voting is important because our lives are impacted by the legislative process, and those who do not participate are left on the sidelines with no voice.


Here is the text of the FULL Act

 


In the meantime, I would encourage you to click on the link below which was  provided by my Congressperson Karen Bass who is a reliable leader that consistently keeps her constituents engaged and informed.

CARE ACT HIGHLIGHTS PRESENTED BY REPRESENTATIVE KAREN BASS


In the meantime stay tuned, get informed and check back as this page will be updated with accurate information.

Professor Esteban Morales Dominguez joins ThomasReports


 

Like many who travel to Cuba my initial visit in 2015 was based simply as intrigue.  I wanted to see the country for myself.  I knew very little of the people and the culture.   Prior to that first visit I had to absorb myself with whatever knowledge I could find.  About a week before my trip I popped into Eso Won bookstore in Leimert Park.  They happened to have two recent books on Cuba so I grabbed both.  Unfortunately, I was not able to read them until I returned.

 

Race in Cuba

Once I read “Race in Cuba” I was blown away.  While Cuban’s define themselves as ONE, the vestiges of racism and color take on a new dimension even in Cuba.  So, while my initial interest in going to Cuba was simply to check out the country, I quickly changed my focus and wanted to learn more about “The Negro League and Cuban baseball and further explore the dynamic of race.  Later that year I dialogued with the author of the book, professor Esteban Morales Dominquez and he shared many essays he had written on race, politics, even covering President Barack Obama.

Since then we have become very close friends and he is one of my top authorities regarding issues relating to Cuba.

 

Even though Professor Esteban is retired his voice is sought from across the globe.  He pens relevant essays on a regular basis and they are embraced because of the perspective readers are offered.

 

I am pleased to announce that Professor Esteban has agreed for some of his writings to appear on ThomasReports.  Even this week there has been a storm of controversy regarding the comments Senator Bernie Saunders made in mentioning a positive attribute of the Castro regime.  I have asked Professor Esteban to chime in.  So, stay tuned.


Professor Esteban Morales Dominguez is retired from the University of Havana.  He is a well sought-after author who holds two pHD’s in economics and history, one being from Russia.  He and his wife Katia reside in Havana.

Impeachment: Hakeem Jeffries responds to Jay Sekulow ala Biggee Smalls


[above photo - WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 21: In this screengrab taken from a Senate Television webcast, House impeachment manager Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) speaks during impeachment proceedings against U.S. President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol on January 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Senate Television via Getty Images)

American rapper Notorious BIG (born Christopher Wallace) attends the 1995 Billboard Music Awards, New York, New York, December 6, 1995. (Photo by Larry Busacca/WireImage)

Now that the impeachment trial for Donald John Trump is in its fourth day, many of his defenders especially his legal team led by Jay Sekulow keep asking a rhetorical question to the House (House of Representatives) Managers who are prosecuting the case.  That question is, “Why are we here?”  That question has turned into a soundbite used by Sekulow and the MAGA acolytes who swear their leader has not done anything wrong, surely nothing worthy of impeachment.

 

One of the House Managers is Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY8).  During one of his presentations on Wed, Jan. 22nd as he wrapped up, he used the words of famed rapper Biggee Smalls as a response.

 

“And If You Don’t Know…….Now You Know!”

Impeachment:  Donald Trump sets another record


By mid-morning on Friday, December 13th, 2019, Donald J. Trump the nations 45th President of the United States set another record.  Surely, he likes to boast of all of his achievements and this one puts him on top of the list.  He became the first POTUS (President of the United States) in the history of the House of Representative’s Judiciary committee to vote for his impeachment – during his FIRST TERM.  The formal process has moved to the full House and in several days his official impeachment is imminent. Of course, impeachment is a political process.  The House has the sole purview to issue an indictment or charge.  The next step known as the formal hearing or trial is the sole purview of the Senate and as of this writing, despite strong evidence of guilt, it is likely he will be acquitted as the charges are very likely to be dropped.

Did he bring this on himself?

Donald Trump prides himself on being his own spokesperson.  He often brags of his media prowess and how he is a master of manipulating others in agreeing and supporting his ideology.  A quick analysis of the issues which have stymied his presidency is beyond political opposition or as he likes to state; those who hate him.  In fact, most of his problematic issues could be defined as self-inflicted or those he brought on himself.  His constant tweeting, badgering people, making ridiculous comments and other things unimaginable to be sprouted from the president of the United States bring direct radar on him.

He thought he received a reprieve from the Mueller report as even though it was strategically misconstrued by him and his supporters the only thing that saved him was the Office of Legal Counsel ruling.  In fact, the report clearly stated any remedy to deal with his behavior was the impeachment process.  Yet, he and his supporters have insisted the report was a flop and a big waste of taxpayer funds.

The threat

Many have concluded Trump’s actions are the sole reason why impeachment is even discussed. He and his team of mouth-piece acolytes have insisted those who attempt to reign in his behavior or try to impeach him will suffer greatly.  They try and compare his impeachment to Bill Clinton’s, who escaped being removed from office as those who pushed it were promptly voted out of office at the next election.  It is a dare worthy of consideration but surely one Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has assessed.  Her main benchmark is understanding the worse case scenario of being removed as the majority but weighing the alternative in doing nothing or accepting the intimation that is touted by Trump, which would be a terrible reaction in allowing his consistent disruptive behavior to go unchecked.

 

Conspiracy theories

“The more I can create alternative realities are better for me because people will be looking elsewhere which allows me to do what I want.”  Donald J. Trump

 

Perhaps the fuel or motivation for Donald Trump to operate is his insatiable appetite for conspiracy theories.  The more outlandish, the better.  The humiliation he suffered at the 2011 correspondent’s dinner when President Barack Obama put an end to his tirade over his birth certificate was not enough.  It seems each month or each week he belts out another conspiracy theory.  Sadly, precious time and millions of taxpayer resources are wasted tracking down to what only can be summed up as a “fool’s errand.”

“Donald Trump wants you to believe the Mueller report cleared him from any wrongdoing.  Further, he has no respect for the people of the United States (unless you absolutely agree with him) as well as the constitution.  We have a duty.”  Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives

Trump is a proud person and despite solid evidence from officials whose job is to determine fact from fiction, he will not accept that Russia interfered with the 2016 election.  Instead he adopted the premise that the real culprit was Ukraine.  Holding what he assumed was his literal “trump” card he waited and waited for the right time to use the power of his office to make clear his notion was more than a theory; it instead was a fact.

 

Fast forward, following the House of Representatives authorizing nearly 400 million dollars in military aid to Ukraine, Trump known for his savvy business behavior which some have defined as “gangster” crafted a plan to leverage the aid for a favor the Ukraine government must provide before its release.

Unfortunately for him, his actions were uncovered and as they say “he was caught in the act.”  Once it became clear how his plan was mapped out, he was doomed.  There was very little doubt, at least from those with a modicum of objectivity to conclude his actions were in violation of the Constitution.  Sadly, his actions were avoidable.

One could conclude it is very difficult to rehabilitate a person’s behavior, especially if they are in their 70’s.  What he defined as a “perfect call” is anything from being perfect.  It’s the call and subsequent knowledge of the overall scheme in handling the aid earmarked for Ukraine which has granted Trump the dubious honor of achieving the first person in U.S. history of being impeached during his first term.