Help Wanted at The Supreme Court

Gone, gone, gone. Done moved on.

It’s an election year and everything that comes out of Washington has political calculation written all over it. Hell, Antonin Scalia wasn’t dead a day before Mitch McConnell proclaimed no nominee of the president would be confirmed no matter how qualified. they may be.

McConnell said, “The American people‎ should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.”

The distinguished senior senator from Kentucky is totally full of shit.

The American people expressed their voice in the selection of the next Supreme Court Justice in 2012 when they reelected Barack Hussein Obama as President. We already have a President in place. We don’t have to wait until January 20, 2017 to fill the vacancy left by Antonin Scalia’s demise.

The Senate has no reason not to fill the vacancy expect for political ones.    You know, like the one where the Republicans hate Obama’s guts?

The President should place before the U.S. Senate a nominee on Monday–President’s Day–and DEMAND they give his nominee a hearing and a up-or-down vote by the Senate.

Oh, I know McConnell won’t give a Obama nominee that vote and Obama knows it too. The president can’t make the Senate do anything. But he can make them sweat bullets for stonewalling his nominee. Nothing will prove to the American people how obstructionist the Republicans are than denying President Obama the right to exercise the Constitutional authority that is his and his alone.

Obama should call bullshit on McConnell, roll up his sleeves and go hard for his replacement for Scalia.   In the last months of his presidency pretty much the only thing Obama can do besides the daily ceremonial stuff is unleash hell on a “do-nothing Senate” that is stonewalling a qualified nominee.   This would be an excellent time for Obama to nominate a  Black or Latino jurist with exemplary credentials and dare the GOP to deny them Scalia’s empty seat.

Thus, with Scalia’s death, the vital importance of who gets to choose who sits on the nation’s federal and the Supreme Court, is refocused with laser-beam intensity. Now more than ever “who chooses?” will be a critical consideration for the American voters in November.

"Tony, in about 30 years you'll be dead and a Black guy in this office will pick your replacement."

“Tony, in about 30 years you’ll be dead and a Black guy in this office will pick your replacement.”

If McConnell wants to give Obama and the Democrats the rope to which to hang Kelly Ayotte, Mark Kirk, Rob Portman, and other GOP incumbents facing tough reelections in the fall, they’ll happily accept that gift. It will make sure McConnell’s one term-and-done as the Majority Leader, and passing the gavel over to Chuck Schumer so he can stonewall a President Rubio or Trump’s nominee. We could be looking at a long wait until there are nine Justices on the Supreme Court.

I know he won’t but I wish Obama would nominate a committed, unapologetic, true progressive to replace Scalia.    The question is would Bernie Sanders take the job?

I know he won’t but I wish Obama would nominate a committed, unapologetic, true progressive to replace Scalia. The question is would Bernie Sanders take the job?

Fact is, since there’s nobody Obama can nominate the Senate Republicans won’t block, why half-step with a “confirmable centrist?” There has to be a liberal jurist with impeccable legal credentials, pedigree and accomplishments under their belt, so why not? Send them a nominee who deserves a hearing and when McConnell and company throw up their mealy-mouthed bullshit excuses about “letting the American people have their say” pointedly remind them they had their say in 2012 when Obama won the election despite McConnell’s declaration nothing was more important than making sure Obama was a one-term president.

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There’s nothing much dramatic President Obama can do in these last months of his presidency beyond his daily ceremonial duties. Filling a Supreme Court vacancy is one of the most important jobs any president has and since this one in now in official legacy mode, he should fight like hell and go ballistic on the Republican Senate. Obama can lose and probably will lose this fight, but it’s a fight well worth the waging. Nothing less than the balance of power of the High Court hinges on it.

Passivity and retreat are not an option. President Obama should send a Supreme Court nominee to the Senate and then scorch the earth to fight for their confirmation.

I’m sending this quote to the President from a great progressive, the late Sen. Paul Wellstone, “If we don’t fight hard enough for the things we stand for, at some point we have to recognize that we don’t really stand for them.

I don’t want another squishy centrist or mushy moderate. I want President Obama to nominate someone like Leah Ward Sears, the former Chief Justice of Georgia and the first African-American Chief Justice in the United States. Let him nominate someone like Sears and dare the Republicans to deny her a confirmation vote.

As for the late Antonin Scalia himself, it has been said if you can’t say anything good then say nothing at all and I got nothing to say.

What? Too soon?

What? Too soon?

Why Hate Cam Newton Because He Has More Fun On His Job Than You Do?

Cam is the Man for the Fans.

Cam is the Man for the Fans.

One of the smarter moves I made last year was calling up DirectTV and asking for a discount on the NFL Sunday Ticket (and I ended up getting it for free).  Last year was the first year I actively avoided Niners games.  It made zero sense to pay $300 to watch the 49ers stack up 5 wins against 11 losses.  That would have been an expenditure even my extremely tolerant wife would have given the side eye too.

I can’t say what any other Niner fans did to escape watching a deadly dull football team stumble through such a rotten season even the Cleveland Browns put a foot all up in that ass,  but my refuge was to follow the Carolina Panthers and their charismatic QB, Cam Newton, the likely NFL Most Valuable Player.

The Panthers went 15-1 in the regular season and crushed the Seahawks and Cardinals on their way to the NFL Championship and punched their ticket to Super Bowl 50 where they face the Denver Broncos, hoping to win what appears to be a last run for a ring for 39-year-old Payton Manning.   The Broncos feature a kick-ass defense and an aging, creaky QB who looked frail and fragile at times this season, but rebounded somewhat in the playoffs.

It should be an epic match-up between the old gunslinger trying for one last shot at glory and the new fast draw who is cocky and on top of his game.    As dreary and miserable as slogging through the 49ers’ Season in Hell was, the tonic was watching the Panthers’ wide-open offense and take no prisoners “D” plow through the NFL, and it was enjoyable to watch Newton play with a smile on his face  and making plays with his legs as well as his arm.

Newton had the sort of season where it wasn’t only fun to watch him, he was having fun doing it.   The trouble is if you have too much fun in the No Fun League you’re going to take some from the fans (not Carolina fans mind you).

15-yard penalty for Dabbing While Black.

Don’t Hate Me Cuz U Can’t Dab Like Me.

Here’s a sampling of the dogpile from Pro Football Talk:

Newton’s style is obnoxious, juvenile and bush league that’s why people don’t like him. Not because he’s black. Russell Wilson is black and NFL fans respect his style because it is professional and shows humility.

·         Cameron “the thief” Newton celebrates a first down when he is losing by 24 points. The guy is the definition of ME ME ME.

 ·         Newton has always been about trying to get as much attention as he can get. It doesn’t matter to me whether or not it can be backed up. I just can’t find it possible to actually like him.

 ·         I don’t think any fan has a problem with celebrating. But Newton celebrates every TD like he just won his 15th straight super bowl, cured cancer, and created an unlimited source clean, free energy for the planet.

 ·         Once Cam Newton starts acting like a Professional he will be elite like Peyton.

I always enjoy when someone says “it’s not because he’s Black” and then immediately follows up with an example of a Black person they find acceptable.  It’s even more hilarious to say when Newton starts acting professional like Peyton Manning that will make him elite.

Does that mean Newton has to start shilling lousy pizza for a right-wing millionaire and be investigated for using human growth hormone?

Football is both a kid’s game and a billion dollar business. Cam loves the kids and the kids love Cam, especially when after the Panthers score, Newton hands a ball to a kid who is usually so excited they’re probably going to sleep with that ball for the next five years.

Young, Incredibly Gifted, and Black. Rich, too!

No kid who gets a football from Newton thinks he’s a selfish showboat who only cares about himself.  Newton pisses off other players and purists, but he’s delighting the Panthers fans and developing a national following for the team.  That’s good for the business of the NFL which is far from being the most fan-friendly sport.

Cam Newton does not take games off because he’s getting drunk and lying to his employers or fighting in strip clubs or depositing babies across the NFL     If the worst thing anyone can say about Newton is they don’t like how he celebrates a touchdown, they should be mad at the other team’s defense for not stopping him.

I don’t know if Newton reads James Baldwin, but he explained it a long time ago when he said, “The power of the white world is threatened whenever a black man refuses to accept the white world’s definitions.”  All those small-minded types clutching their pearls and grumbling how Newton doesn’t act like that nice Russell Wilson or that elite Payton Manning are missing the point.  Cam Newton chooses to define himself and that threatens the White world that insists only they can do that.

They will never forgive Newton for that so he might as well keep on dancing and dabbing and having a good time all the way to a Lombardi Trophy on Sunday.

If Cam Newton scowled and frowned his critics would say he needs to smile more.   He can’t win with them and shouldn’t bother to try.

Thankyouforlettingmebemyselfagain.

 

We’ve Been Here Before and We’re Going Back Again.

Hey, Donald, here's how you really scare the crap out of those pointy-head intellectuals.

Hey, Donald, here’s how you really scare the crap out of those pointy-head intellectuals.

Another Republican debate and another one dominated by Donald Trump as the hare and the rest of the field trying to catch up while tripping all over themselves trying to match Trump for bombast, bluster and bullying—and succeeding.

It’s not only other politicians scratching their heads in bafflement over what accounts for Trump being the leader of the pack for so long with the most committed supporters in the race.    Mental health pros are trying to figure it out too.

Psychotherapist Joseph Burgo supported this idea, saying that Trump’s personality could be perceived as one that would be useful if the country were threatened.

“For many people, Trump’s braggadocio, contempt, and grandiosity come across as self-confident strength,” he said. “When frightened by dangers from abroad or here at home, many people gravitate to the ‘strong man’ who promises to vanquish their fears and confusion.”

“Trump gives voice to the feeling of dismissal and mines the anger,” according to Stanley Robinson, a political scientist at CUNY and a psychoanalyst said. “And what is that anger, it’s the anger of ordinary Americans who feel they have been lied to, that the policies they have been promised don’t work, and, by and large, they feel they have not been taken into account. Trump says to them, “You are right. Watch me, I am making them take me into account. I’ll do the same for you.

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Dr. Robinson should refer to his political history instead of his degree in psychoanalysis.   Don’t try to put Trump and his fans on the couch.  Ask instead, why is Trump doing so well?   It’s simple.

People support Trump because he gives voice to their fear of change, fear of foreigners, fear of losing out to all those moochers and layabouts and bums and leeches who haven’t worked for a thing.

People support Trump because he says horrible things about women, about people of color, about different religions and anyone who happens to have pissed him off today and any suggestion he has crossed the line is waved away by his refusal to bite his tongue over “political correctness.” What was once recognized as crude and rude is now applauded as being a straight shootin’ son of a gun.

People support Trump because he provides easy and simple solutions to complex problems. Muslim extremists worrying you? Ban all Muslims from entering the U.S, including those born here! Afraid of the Browning of America as Latinos surge past Whites as the new majority? Build a wall and make Mexico pay for it! Concerned about the latest shooting spree? Arm everybody and let ’em shoot it out!

People support Trump because he is the Angry White Man. The spawn of an Scottish mother who imports his wives from Europe and now talks about building walls to keep out the undesirables from Mexico. Illegal immigrants make up 5% of the U.S. work force, or some 8.1. million people. Not all of them have jobs, but anyone trying to make you believe American citizens are lining up to work 42 hrs a week for $7.25 an hour is trying to sell you something you don’t want to swallow because its bullshit and its bad for ya.

People support Trump because he appeals to their mean, selfish, frightened, isolationist, xenophobic, nasty, bigoted side and certainly not the goodness, charity and hopefulness that are the central tenets of the American character.

Some 44 years ago there was another demagogue who whipped his supporters into a frenzy by giving it to them raw and rough by calling out his enemies, demonizing people of color and urging hate and fear instead of love and understanding.   George  Wallace, the archetype of Southern segregation,  had a motto Trump’s bland “Make America Great Again” couldn’t compete with:  the my-fist-your-face implied threat of “SEND THEM A MESSAGE!”

People support Trump for the same reasons people supported Wallace. They both speak to the ugly intolerance of the dark side of America’s soul.

Defeat Trump. That'll make America great again.

Defeat Trump. That’ll make America great again.

Too Young To Live, Too Black to Live.

Does Tamir Rice’s Black Life Matter? Cleveland says “no.”

“There can be no doubt that Rice’s death was tragic and, indeed, when one considers his age, heartbreaking.   However … I conclude that Officer Loehmann’s belief that Rice posed a threat of serious physical harm or death was objectively reasonable as was his response to that perceived threat.”
~ S. Lamar Sims, a prosecutor from Colorado, in his report to the grand jury

“Tamir Rice is in the wrong  He’s menacing. He’s 5-feet-7, 191 pounds. He wasn’t that little kid you’re seeing in pictures. He’s a 12-year-old in an adult body.”
~ Steve Loomis, Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association

It only took a year, but today Cuyahoga County District Attorney Timothy McGinty told the world something everyone already knew:  he would not indict the two cops who blew away Tamir Rice in 2014.

Just like they didn’t indict Daniel Pantaleo for killing Eric Garner.

Just like they didn’t indict  Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown.

Just like they didn’t indict the two cops for killing John Crawford III.

Just like they didn’t indict Dante Servin for killing Rekia Boyd.

Just like they didn’t indict the two LAPD cops for killing Ezell Ford.

Just like they didn’t indict anyone for killing Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr.

Just like they didn’t indict anyone for Sandra Bland’s death.

Same as it ever was.

This outcome was so obvious–so painfully obvious–even Ray Charles could have seen it coming and he’s both blind and dead.

Nobody will ever convince me if Tamir Rice had been a 12-year-old White kid named Todd Rice and everything else remains equal that the grand jury wouldn’t have brought an indictment against Timothy Loehmann.   But Rice had the bad luck to be born Black and his life doesn’t matter. Certainly not to McGinty and his handpicked grand jury and pro-cop experts who were never interested in justice, only giving the appearance they were.

A few years ago, I did a two-week stint on a grand jury.  An interesting experience.  The prosecutors come in and run their rap about why we should indict some no-good son of a bitch who’s up for everything from domestic abuse to dealing drugs to murder.   I can’t recall how many indictments we rubber-stamped, but it had to be at least 90 percent.    A grand jury will pretty much give a prosecutor any result they want.

police-brutality02

Same as it ever was.

What does a Black parent tell their son or daughter what the legal stamp of approval of Tamir Rice’s murder by the Cleveland Police means? Lie to them that they are valued and protected members of society or tell them the truth their lives have no meaning and they have no rights, not even the right to live because a cop can take that away from them at any time for any reason and walk.

Sandra Bland last week and Tamir Rice this week. Wanna take bets on the cop who blew away Walter Scott taking a walk? Cops don’t go to jail for killing Black men, Black women or Black children. It’s like looking for hen’s teeth or whiskey in a wine glass. It doesn’t happen.

Ohio is an open carry state but the cops still executed Tamir Rice within two seconds.  You won’t hear the NRA screaming about his 2nd Amendment rights.

Tamir’s murder isn’t a Black Lives Matter problem or a Black people problem. It’s an American problem and not until America realizes the lives of your Black children are every bit as important as your White children’s lives, will there ever be an end to this madness.

America has a legal system. It does not have a justice system and it never has. As if anyone really needed yet another reminder.

Black lives matter.  But to whom?   Tamir Rice’s Black Life Matters.   But not to Timothy McGinty.   His blood is on your hands just as much as Timothy Loehmann.

Same as it always is.

Fat Tony Would Prefer You Lesser Blacks Go Back to Your Lesser Schools.

Scalia knows how many intelligent Blacks he’s met.

I’m a bit behind the news so I missed on commenting on Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s outrageous remarks during oral arguments on an affirmative action case, but it doesn’t mean I’m cool how boldly Scalia showed his contempt for Black college students.

You know the conventional wisdom is  Scalia is the possessor of a brilliant legal mind and is easily one of the most intelligent jurists ever to sit on the Supreme Court? The conventional wisdom is wrong and so is Fat Tony.

“One of the briefs pointed out that most of the black scientists in this country don’t come from schools like the University of Texas.  They come from lesser schools where they do not feel that they’re being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them.”

What exactly is a “lesser school?” A HBCU or another college not as big as the University of Texas? What classes are “too fast” for Black students?

Fat Tony is saying Black scientists/students come from “lesser” (re: inferior) schools where the pace has been slowed to a point where they can keep up (re: since Blacks are slower in processing complex and difficult material, it must be kept as simple, basic and rudimentary as possible for them to grasp it).

“I’m just not impressed by the fact that the University of Texas may have fewer” minority students. Maybe it ought to have fewer.”

Well, golly gee Tony. I wish you had told me this before I had my daughter waste three years at predominantly White institution before she transferred to a HBCU. We could have sent her to a Black school from the get-go and not wasted the time exposing her to all those White kids she’s not smart enough or fast enough to keep up with.

You don’t have to parse Scalia’s words to find his contempt for the intellectual capacity of “minority” students. You only have to read.

The strongest argument possible against affirmative action is making Clarence Thomas a lifetime member of the United States Supreme Court. He was unqualified when he was selected and time has not made him any less so.

Thomas’ hypocrisy and intellectual inconsistency reeks like an infant’s diaper after too many jars of cream corn. I’m attacking this unqualified, groveling, sniveling dullard because he is the WORST sort of hypocrite because Thomas benefited from the very same affirmative action he now lusts to destroy.

The man is a joke and not a particularly funny one at that. I am repulsed by Clarence Thomas. Not because he’s a conservative. Because he’s selfish, cold, hateful, vengeful and malicious. Thomas is fueled by spite and has turned that spitefulness into a long and sustained attack on African Americans from his seat on the Supreme Court. Where his predecessor Thurgood Marshall fought for and articulated for the Constitutional rights of 35 million Blacks, Thomas wages war against them

If Scalia thinks Blacks can’t hack it, he should start with the moron who sits next to him, but he won’t because Uncle Thomas is Scalia’s idea of a Good Negro. Never speaks out of turn, defers to his betters, and knows his place. Yep, Uncle Thomas is Scalia’s boy, all right.

A boy and his dog.

My opinion on affirmative action is this: it was a necessary remedy due to the sickness of institutional racism that stigmatized and excluded people of color. And it’s still necessary.

Fat Tony’s insulting, belittling, and despicable remarks have the stench of industrial strength racism wafting from them and I have no reason to be respectful of an unrepentant bigot. Calling Scalia “fat” is a mild insult compared to his massive insult Blacks are too stupid to compete on the collegiate level.

Scalia is a fossil and when he finally dries up and blows away it will be a net plus for the highest court he drags into a sewer of ignorance.

Donald Trump: American Mussolini

The names have changed but the song remain the same.

The names have changed but the song remain the same.

Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on. According to Pew Research, among others, there is great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population. Most recently, a poll from the Center for Security Policy released data showing “25% of those polled agreed that violence against Americans here in the United States is justified as a part of the global jihad” and 51% of those polled, “agreed that Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to Shariah.” Shariah authorizes such atrocities as murder against non-believers who won’t convert, beheadings and more unthinkable acts that pose great harm to Americans, especially women.

Mr. Trump stated, “Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life. If I win the election for President, we are going to Make America Great Again.” – Donald J. Trump

 

I laughed at the idea of Donald Trump running for president.  It was funny.  Such a wacky joke!

Joke’s over.

I laughed and so did you. Why wouldn’t we? Donald J.Trump? The Celebrity Apprentice guy? The blowhard who imports his wives from other countries even while he says he wants to build a wall to keep Mexicans out? The WWE guest wrestler? The guy who ran the USFL out of business and declared bankruptcy

The guy who wants to ban all Muslims–including native-born American Muslims–from entering the country or reentering it should they leave it for any reason.

That guy. The G.O.P. frontrunner, same as he has been for nearly half of 2015.

This is the man who wants to lead your party, Republicans. The Party of Lincoln and Reagan. If you don’t stand against Donald Trump, you stand with Donald Trump.

I understand there are people in America who are at flirting with the notion of supporting Trump, even if they aren’t inclined to say so out loud. I’m inclined to say they are supporting Trump’s bigotry, racism, intolerance, sexism, misogyny, lies, deceptions, fabrications, slanders, lack of patriotism and neo-Fascist tendencies.

All due respect to these people and I’m sure some of them very nice people, but supporting Donald Trump is not a nice thing to do. I’ve yet to hear anyone proclaim support for Trump for reasons that didn’t make me want to hurl.

I’d wager there are Latino Americans and gay Americans and Jewish Americans and female Americans and Black Americans and Muslim Americans and an international community who are very concerned and distressed over what Trump is saying and how well he’s doing.  As a writer I owe it to the reader and be precise in my language. Donald Trump is the dark underbelly of everything that is bad, unsavory and toxic in American politics.

I mean, I know why Trump says this off-the-wall stuff. Hell, it could practically be a TV show: Shit Donald Trump Says. He fell behind Terrible Ted Cruz in Iowa and he’s throwing out the reddest chunk of bloody red meat to the base to pimp up his polling numbers. And polls are the only thing Trump cares about. He says what nobody else would dare to say and his poll numbers go up.

Rachel Maddow showed Trump supporters being asked what they thought of his idea to essentially make Muslims illegal in the U.S. and they were all cool with it. Not one person said, “This is not who we are as Americans.” Not one person said, “What ISIS wants most is the West to go to war with 8 billion Muslims and this is how it is done.”

I find those people more detestable and deplorable than Trump because they keep him afloat. They make me ill. Actually physically sick.

There has always been a strong strain of nativism in America and Trump’s rise is based exclusively on fear, suspicion and hatred of The Others. Those people with their strange names and customs and beliefs and dress and religion. They aren’t like us and we can’t trust them. We have to register them, watch them, follow them, close down their mosques, ban them from country, cast them out, hunt them down and kill them.

Hatred of the Other is Donald Trump’s idea of how you make America great again.   Mussolini would be proud.

We are crossing the Rubicon in our political discourse when in our fear we begin to cannibalize each other for no reason other than we are different. Normally, I deeply distrust slippery slope arguments, but in the case of Donald Trump and what he says he will do if elected President I will make an exception. We sit by idly because as long as it’s Muslims and Mexicans Trump is trashing we can shrug and say, “He’s not talking about me,” but it really does feel like this is a Martin Niemoller moment.

I can’t tell if Trump is the embodiment of the maniacal Greg Stillson of Stephen King’s The Dead Zone or the most elaborate executor of performance art I’ve seen since Andy Kaufman in his prime.

It’s not a risk worth taking to find out.  Donald Trump is a dangerous fascist and he is our American Mussolini.

"Here's your trophy, Ali. Now get outta my country!"

“Here’s your trophy, Ali. Now get outta my country!”

Prayers Are Not Enough

There have been thousands more memorials for the dead since Sandy Hook.

As opposed to the slow-to-no response from the 2016 Republican presidential candidates to the Colorado Springs shootings less than a week ago, following this week’s  the shooting spree in San Bernadino that left 14 dead, most of them reacted  quickly to get out their expressions of shock and sympathy for public consumption.

Notice any differences between the Democratic and Republicans?

“Our prayers are with the victims, their families, and the first responders in San Bernardino who willingly go into harm’s way to save others,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tweeted.

It was remarkably similar to the response from Cruz following the shooting at a Planned Parenthood office in Colorado Springs last week.

“Praying for the loved ones of those killed, those injured & first responders who bravely got the situation under control in Colorado Springs,” Cruz tweeted at the time.

“Praying for all those victimized by the shootings in San Bernardino, California today,” tweeted New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Jeb Bush’s message was nearly identical.

“Praying for the victims, their families & the San Bernardino first responders in the wake of this tragic shooting,” he tweeted.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the shooting victims and their families in San Bernardino,” wrote Ben Carson.

Donald Trump, not surprisingly, offered a response with a bit more attitude — but it still said nothing about guns.

“California shooting looks very bad. Good luck to law enforcement and God bless. This is when our police are so appreciated!” Trump tweeted.

The Democratic hopefuls struck a strikingly different tone.

“I refuse to accept this as normal. We must take action to stop gun violence now,” Hillary Clinton tweeted.

“Mass shootings are becoming an almost everyday occurrence in this country,” Bernie Sanders tweeted. “This sickening and senseless gun violence must stop.”

Martin O’Malley called out the National Rifle Association by name.

“Horrifying news out of #SanBernardino. Enough is enough: it’s time to stand up to the @NRA and enact meaningful gun safety laws.”
Prayers are no substitute for taking action. The Democrats say something must be done but lack the will or votes to do anything. The Republicans say a prayer and do nothing.

My reply? God helps those who help themselves.

Not sure which “meaningful gun safety laws” could be enacted to address rampant gun violence in America, but one thing clear to me is prayers aren’t working.

Prayers are no substitute for action.

obama grief

There may be value in prayer and I’m not knocking it, but if God is busy at a football game or something, I don’t leave it all in His hands. More has to be done than sending up prayers to a God who may not be there or may not be interested in getting involved.

I prayed for change.
I prayed after Sandy Hook.
I prayed after Charleston.
I prayed after Paris.
I prayed after Colorado Springs.
I prayed time and time again after senseless acts of violence here in America, in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and around this troubled globe.

I pray and nothing changes.   If we have learned nothing from Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Columbine, Aurora, Colorado,  and now San Bernardino it’s that grief is not enough, tears are not enough, prayers are not enough.

This says to me maybe I should pray less and do more.

Republican Enablers Make Attacks on Abortion Providers Possible. Democratic Wimps Make It Inevitable.

Colorado Springs shooting suspect Robert Lewis Dear of North Carolina is seen in undated photos provided by the El Paso County Sheriff's Office. A gunman burst into a Planned Parenthood clinic Friday, Nov. 27, 2015 and opened fire, launching several gunbattles and an hourslong standoff with police as patients and staff took cover. By the time the shooter surrendered, at least three people were killed, including a police officer and at least nine others were wounded, authorities said. (El Paso County Sheriff's Office via AP)

Colorado Springs shooting suspect Robert Lewis Dear of North Carolina: the latest American Psycho

“We can’t let it become normal. If we truly care about this — if we’re going to offer up our thoughts and prayers again, for God knows how many times, with a truly clean conscience — then we have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them. Period. Enough is enough.”
~ President Obama in response to the shootings at a Planned Parenthood clinic

I’m going to engage in speculation here, but I feel certain it isn’t reckless or irresponsible speculation.   The motives and motivations of Robert Dear, the suspect in the Colorado Springs shooting spree  which left three dead and nine wounded, are yet unknown.   What his political leanings were or party affiliation was is also still in doubt, but here’s what I believe isn’t in doubt:  this one is on the Republicans.

I’m not going to lay the blame on conservatism as a whole, but specifically the fault goes to the Republicans. Between Fox News, right-wing radio and opportunistic G.O.P. politicians in cheap suits making Planned Parenthood part of their Axis of Evil, it was only a matter of time before some asshole got their grubby mitts on a gun and started shooting up a clinic. “I’m going to kill cops, patients, nurses and doctors to save the babies because I’m Pro-Life!”

It wasn’t just Carly Fiorina lying her Botoxed face off with a phony video slamming Planned Parenthood as a baby body parts merchant. Fiorina was the one to lie and keep lying after she got caught lying. Fuck the truth and fuck the facts. ARE YOU NOT OUTRAGED?

It’s a goddamn travesty it is even necessary to have police guarding clinics for a woman to undergo a medical procedure.

That’s the Republicans for you. They light the fire, throw gasoline on it, push you in and claim you were clumsy and fell in, then demand an apology for being accused. There is always a chance this Angry White Man could turn out to be a Pro-Choicer who staged a false flag covert op to gin up sympathy for abortion clinics and the movement. We know that’s bullshit, right?

Dr. George Tiller: murdered by an anti-abortion terrorist in 2009.

It is completely acceptable to blame the Republican Party for an abortion clinic terrorist when they have created the political climate in the U.S. that emboldens and then sympathizes with this sort of domestic terrorist action. If wasn’t for the fact a cop was among the slain the GOP would be as sympathetic as they were when Dr. George Tiller was murdered in Kansas by another Angry White Man with a gun.

Dr. Tiller had been singled out by Bill O’ Reilly as “Tiller the Baby Killer” and mentioned him 28 times on his top-rated program. After Tiller was gunned down by Scott Roeder, O’Reilly expressed his sympathy–for his own demagoguery and Fox News’ demonetization of Tiller:

When I heard about Tiller’s murder, I knew pro-abortion zealots and Fox News haters would attempt to blame us for the crime, and that’s exactly what has happened. […]

No backpedaling here, madam [Mary Mapes]. Unlike you, I report honestly. Every single thing we said about Tiller was true, and my analysis was based on those facts. […]

Now, it’s clear that the far left is exploiting — exploiting — the death of the doctor. Those vicious individuals want to stifle any criticism of people like Tiller. That — and hating Fox News — is the real agenda here. Finally, if these people are soooo compassionate — so very compassionate, so concerned for the rights and welfare of others — maybe they might have written something, one thing, about the 60,000 fetuses that will never become American citizens. Or am I wrong?

O’Reilly was wrong but no high-profile Republican calling him out for being wrong.

Be clear on this: I am blaming the far-Right, the right-wing noise machine and the Republican Party’s craven opportunism and pandering to the anti-abortion zealots in general and the mendacity of Carly Fiorina specifically. So-called “Democrats” and “liberals” who had nothing to say about the GOP’s propaganda then are useless enabling dupes with nothing of relevance to say now that people are dead.

You can’t play footsie with sort of fanaticism the way Republicans have and then claim it has nothing to do with anything when some nut takes fighting words and turns them into bloody action.

Denial of the pro-life militancy poison the Republicans have injected into the American body politics supersedes any claim of supposed liberal bona fides. Is it polarizing and impolitic to say the Republican Party has enabled and all but abetted this sort of bloody violence against abortion providers and Planned Parenthood? Sure it is, but so is the rhetoric spewed by the GOP for a long time now and if that didn’t honk off these so-called “liberals”, I could not care less if they don’t like it being said.

The Republicans love to bang on President Obama for not using the term “Radical Islam” in response to international terrorism. When the Republicans call what Robert Dear did in Colorado Springs an act of domestic terrorism, they’ll have a point instead of just a talking point.

The timidity of politicians and the refusal of citizens to call this act of violence by its rightful name: domestic terrorism is denying what happens here in the United States is the same damned thing as what happens on distant shores. A day has passed since the attack in Colorado Springs and only two out of 14 GOP presidential candidates have responded to the shootings, so if before gets offended I’ve namechecked the Republican Party, save some of that righteous wrath on the men and woman who want to be your next Commander-in-Chief yet have nothing to say when yet another city becomes a killing field.

Chances Robert Dear was part of some armed anti-abortion resistance like The Army of God are small, but even if he was the latest in a never-ending series of “lone wolves” hard to detect and harder to stop that should be worrisome to all sides of the abortion argument.

As a writer and journalist, I know how much words mean.  Words matter and words like “baby-killer” and “abortion mill” only polarize.  They can’t facilitate reasoned discussion, but they can push an already mentally unstable person to pick up a gun and go off on a mission to kill the baby killers and when one political party specializes in that sort of hate speech they own the consequences of the chaos it creates.

The passivity of consensus-seeing liberals in the face of concerted conservative enabling of ferocious anti-abortion extremism has not and will not elevate the debate to a higher plane of civility. It’s only abandoning women–and mostly poor women–to the non-existent mercies of maniacs like Robert Dear.

Another city. Another rampage. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Another city. Another rampage. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The reproductive rights of women are literally under attack from anti-abortion fanatics enabled and abetted by the Republican Party. That may not pleasant to read, but it’s far less harmful to the ego than a crazed gunman’s bullets are to the body of a cop, client or staff of an abortion clinic. Republican lawmakers have done all they can to limit, prohibit, restrict and legislate abortion out of existence until they get another Supreme Court justice in place to outlaw it entirely. By this time next year they may well be in position to do just that.

The ramifications of a Republican president returning to the Oval Office is too slow and uncertain for the domestic terrorists who don’t want to wait. The radical extremists targeting abortion providers are hoping their atrocities will be minimized and marginalized as nothing more than one nut’s unhinged act of violence. The Left loves to pin a Good Conduct medal on their shirt for being on the “right” side of women’s issues, but when it comes to putting any teeth to the talk, they opt not to offend the Republicans who have fed this Frankenstein monster since Roe v. Wade.

Liberals and Democrats are selling women out under the vain hope by not being blunt about the enablers Republicans have been to abortion extremist they are going to move them to a more moderate middle ground on abortion and all that is doing is getting people killed. This is the flip side of the argument conservatives have so successfully made against the Left over international terrorism but they aren’t anywhere as reticent about hurting the feelings of liberals and Democrats.