Serolf Divad

Why Donald Trump Will Not Pardon Himself and If He Tries He Will Fail.

Today is a day ending in “y” which means that Donald Trump has once again done something outrageous that shows his utter contempt for the idea that the United States is a nation of laws and not of men. What’s got most people of good conscience raising eyebrows is a tweet in which the President seems to indicate that if need be he will not refrain from leveraging the Presidential pardon authority to write himself and his family members a “get out of jail free” card should Robert Muller decide to bring charges as a result of his investigation of Russian collusion and obstruction of justice.

 

As usual Donald Trump is trying to be too cute by half here, at once asserting that he is innocent of any real crime (it’s all just “fake news”) but at the same time insisting that “everyone” agrees that his pardon authority is unlimited and thus, one must surmise, applicable to himself. Read more »

The Future of Health Care Under a Trump Administration

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An interesting thing happened in America on November 9th, 2016. The day after the votes cast in our presidential election were tallied and it was determined that Donald Trump had carried the electoral college, 100,000 people rushed Healthcare.gov to buy insurance for themselves and for their families. The website, whose rocky grand-opening just a couple of years earlier was ridiculed as an example of government incompetence, is now looking more like a precarious lifeline for thousands of people who see it as their last chance to buy into a health insurance plan before the new Republican administration of Donald Trump rides into town on a promise to blow the whole system up. Read more »

You May Have Already Won!!!

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Looks like Ted Cruz is targeting the “Keep the government’s hands off my Medicare” crowd with his latest mailer which tries to entice recipients with promises of free money from the government. The Huffinton Post reports:

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is out with a deceptive new mailer that masquerades as official government business and promises people there’s a “check enclosed” when it’s actually asking for money instead.

A New Jersey resident sent The Huffington Post the latest piece of mail he received from Cruz’s campaign. The envelope appears to have come from Cruz’s Senate office and has his name printed the same way it often is for Senate business. In small type the mailer clarifies that it is for “personal” matters and was not sent at taxpayers’ expense. It also promises a check.

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The Problem With Running For President in a Nativist Party (When Your Name is Rafael Cruz)

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It was really only a matter of time before Ted Cruz, presidential candidate and most hated man in the U.S. senate, would fall victim to his own party’s anti-immigrant fervor. Climbing in the polls and threatening the Trump campaign in Iowa, Cruz has become the target of accusations and insinuations that the conservative firebrand, born of a Cuban father and American mother on Canadian soil (Calgary), does not meet the Constitutional requirement that a president be a “natural born citizen.”

From the left, it’s deliciously ironic to see this sort of comeuppance for man who sought to reassure GOP voters of his anti-immigrant bonafides by paraphrasing George Wallace’s “segregation forever speech” for The New York Times. And of course, there’s more than just a little satisfaction to be gained by watching the party that spawned an industry of nutty conspiracy theorists dedicated to casting doubt on Barack Obama’s eligibility now setting its sights on destroying one of its own. Read more »

The Freedom Of Other People

Early the morning of March 24, 1944 a German patrol pulled up to a home on the outskirts of in the Polish town of Markowa.  The Germans had been alerted by a local police constable to the fact that eight Jews, comprising members of two different families, had secretly been given shelter by Josef Ulma, a prominent citizen and the town librarian. The Germans surrounded the home, and after extracting the Jews shot all eight of them in the head on the spot. Not satisfied with this bloody deed, the Germans turned to the Ulma family themselves. For hiding Jews in defiance of German martial law, Joseph was shot.  The fact that Jospeh’s wife Wiktoria was his eight months pregnant, failed to soften the Soldier’s hearts and she was shot as well. Finally, the Nazis turned their attention to the UIma’s six children, now weeping loudly and profusely at the sight of their dead parents.  Methodically, mercilessly and in cold blood they were shot as well. The eldest of the Ulma children was eight years old. The youngest was but two. Read more »

The House that the NRA Built

In pondering the significance of the Umpqua Community college tragedy, one of a seemingly unbroken string of mass killings to shake the nation since the shocking Columbine massacre 16 years ago, the first and perhaps most distasteful truth we have to acknowledge is that this shooting will not change anything. I’m sorry to be so blunt. I’m sorry if this sounds defeatist. But any honest assessment of the politics and the culture of firearms in America must come to the simple and inescapable conclusion that thanks to our nation’s out-sized love of firearms, at this very moment somewhere in the Midwest a mother is preparing dinner for a daughter who won’t live to see her 21st birthday, somewhere down South a father and son are restoring an old car that will be completed by just one of them under a somber cloud of loss, somewhere in New England a young couple are planning for a future life together in a world that has a place set aside for only one of them, and this is a scene that is being replayed hundreds, if not thousands of times this very moment all across our country.

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Two Completely Unrelated Stories

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Today, Stinque brings you two completely unrelated stories from the great state of North Carolina:

Our first item, comes to us from scenic Randolph County, where the local school board has voted 5-2 to remove all copies of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man from public school libraries, after the parent of an 11th grader complained about the book. Ellison’s novel has heretofore been considered  a classic of American literature and an invaluable portrait of the black experience in America and landmark narrative of racial alienation at a time in our nation’s history when, in many regions of the country, African American’s were routinely denied, not just the vote, but the right to eat, shop and attend school in the same establishments as whites. The novel won its author the 1953 National Book award.

However, this assessment has more recently come under fire by members of the Randolph County school board. Speaking for the majority, board member and literary authority, Gary Mason, pronounced that he “didn’t find any literary value” in the work, and so it has been banished.

Our second story, gentle reader, comes to us from Charlotte, where, in a comedy of errors befitting a Three Stooges film, or Movie Night in Hitler’s Bunker, an injured African American man who managed to drag himself away from a horrible accident, found himself, first shunned by a terrified homeowner to whom he had turned for help, and then, riddled with bullets by a police officer who mistook the young black man’s pleas for help as an impending attack. Before making questionable decision to turn to white people in North Carolina for help with his injuries, Jonathan Ferrell played football for Florida A &M, where he majored in Chemistry.

Now, there may be some among you who would seek to find some link between these stories, to see an underlying commonality in a story about members of a white North Carolina school board who see no literary value in the great American Classic Novel of African American alienation and residents and police officers of a North Carolina city who react to the pleas of a wounded African American man with fear and deadly violence. But if that was your first reaction then allow us to assure you that you’re barking up the wrong tree and you couldn’t be more wrong. Trust us, there’s nothing to see here. Apples and oranges. Now, please move on.