Trump Continues Contemptuous Behavior

The Contemptuous Donald Is Finally In Contempt…

Trump faces numerous law suits around the country

By Anna Hessel with Wes Hessel

 

Holding The Contemptuous One in Contempt

After years of apparent criminal and questionable civil business activities, Donald Trump is finally being forced to face the music.  He is being held in contempt of court by New York State Justice Arthur Engoron.  I heartily applaud this decision and am planning a “Contempt for Trump” party, complete with champagne, a DJ for dancing, and swag bags, including a mini-Donald Trump collector’s edition dartboard, macaroons, and a bottle of Evian water, for my guests.  It’s about time the orange haired scowling monster is called on the carpet legally.  Per the citation, this civil contempt charge will cost Trump ten thousand dollars per day until such time as he turns over the subpoenaed documents.

So, What Does That Mean, Really?

So, what exactly is “contempt of court”?  We sometimes hear this phrase referenced as just “contempt”.  According to Wikipedia, being in contempt of court means, “the offense of being disobedient to or disrespectful toward a court of law and its officers.”  This can include willful disobedience of a court order, ignoring the court’s decorum or authorization, or failure to preserve a reverent frame of mind.  Investopedia defines, “Contempt of court is a legal violation committed by an individual who disobeys a judge or otherwise disrupts the legal process in the courtroom.”  This describes Donald Trump accurately.

Ignore The Court at Your Peril

Wikipedia also states, “Contempt of court is essentially seen as a form of disturbance that may impede the functioning of the court.  The judge may impose fines and/or jail time upon any person committing contempt of court.  The person is usually let out upon his or her agreement to fulfill the wishes of the court.”  In other words, Mr. Trump, you have never been, nor will you ever be above the law.

Trying To Stave Off the Inevitable Again…

“The Donald” was ordered back in February of this year to turn over documents for scrutiny no later than March 31, 2022.  It is unclear whether the daily fine is retroactive to the end of March deadline or not, but we can hope that it is.  Sources report that Trump’s legal team had agreed to provide the documents but then filed exceptions saying the summons, despite having been approved by the judge, “is grossly overbroad, unintelligible, unduly burdensome, and does not adequately describe which documents and communications are requested or sought with reasonable particularity.”  Letitia James, the New York State Attorney General, sought the fines to force the former president to comply with the NY State subpoena.

More Of the Same Game

Trump and his company, The Trump Organization  is accused, quite bluntly, by the state of NY of tax fraud.  The attorney general’s accusations in the filing are regarding misreporting property values to receive loans with better terms and improved tax positions.  New York’s top lawyer had also said of late her investigators had, “uncovered substantial evidence establishing numerous misrepresentations in Mr. Trump’s financial statements provided to banks, insurers, and the Internal Revenue Service.”

What, Me Cooperate?

Needless to say, “The Donald”, who apparently feels he is above the law, is still not cooperating.  Ms. James considers Justice Engoron’s actions to be “a major victory” and that the rule of law has prevailed.  These documents are needed for an attorney general investigation into Trump’s business holdings.  Her office has been assisting the Manhattan District Attorney’s office with a synchronous criminal investigation into Donald’s companies, as well.  The court, declaring him in contempt is monumental.  Mr. Trump apparently committed crimes, and this decision should hopefully knock his attitude down a few pegs, but I doubt it will.

More Ways to Try to Hold Off the Inescapable

Criminal charges against his “Organization” are being pursued, and it’s CFO Allen Weisselberg who denies wrongdoing and has entered a not guilty plea despite charges of falsification of business records and tax fraud.  The subpoena in the civil probe by New York’s lead litigator is similar, perhaps say, to the turning over of one’s tax returns when running for president.  Forty-five sued Attorney General James, filing in federal court, at the end of 2021, claiming her exploration to have political motivation.  The suit is still unresolved.  Gee, could this be a stall tactic on the part of “The Donald”?  He would never do such a thing, not.  Trump attorney Alina Habba claims he is unable to turn over the documentation, claiming that he does not actually have said documents.  She goes on to say the office of the attorney general was told this.

I Don’t Know Where It Is

Ms. James made it clear that Trump and the company were to provide statements regarding what they did to attempt finding these documents.  She went on to say Donald should have knowledge of the whereabouts of such documentation, since he, “personally executed documents central to the issues under investigation.”  If this is complied with, the civil contempt charge can potentially be averted. Well, how difficult is it to look in the paper shredder or the fireplace, Mr. Trump?  It could save you ten grand a day.  If you go too many days being fined this significant sum of money, how will Melania get her plastic surgery, or will you be able to afford golf balls, because those are the only kind you possess.  Ten big ones is a lot of McDonald’s, Donald.

Which Witch is Which?

Of course, forty-five’s lawyer is calling this, “a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time”; let her tell that line to Joan of Arc.  The Trump Organization alleges turning over more than 750,000 documents in this investigation, however the New York attorney general claims that the release of papers has been rather lethargic.  She wants a look at “post it notes” and the files that “The Donald” utilized as communication to his employee base.  This information is necessary to examine and evaluate whether civil suit will be brought against the former ‘Oval Office’ occupant and his firm.

Still Subject to The Rule of Law

Trump’s attorneys have filed an appeal and we don’t know whether the court of appeals will suspend the fine during the appellate process.  But reportedly the judge has just recently rejected “The Donald’s” affidavit, which claims Trump does not have the documents that are being demanded by the Attorney General of New York.  In closing, I for one am overjoyed to see any legal action against forty-five because absolutely no one is above the law, whether it be criminal or civil.  Statutes govern all citizens, even former White House residents.

Putin’s War On Humanity

Putin’s War On Humanity

The people of Ukraine are valiantly fighting to halt Russian assault.

Putin’s War On Humanity

By Anonymous

 

No Words

Empathy is a word that gets tossed around a lot. And yet, when we put it to use in times of tragedy, it does little to solve the matters at hand—except, perhaps, to stay that hand from causing further destruction.

I Can Imagine

Right now, I’m mother of one with another on the way. I could be one of those terrified Ukrainians running from bombs, one hand holding my child’s and the other clutching my belly. For a moment, I can place myself there: terror, frustration, and determination all coursing through my veins as I fear for my family’s wellbeing, wondering if my husband would be running with us or staying behind to defend our country and our democratic way of life.

Loud and Ugly

There is much at stake, and although it doesn’t always feel real to us, as we’re scrolling through the news on our phones and sipping our coffee, the reality of injury and death is a stark possibility for those simply living in any war torn region of the world. Now, Ukraine has become a war zone due to the madness of one man, Vladimir Putin. Putin’s ilk is nothing new. Sadly, such strongmen take over countries and strip citizens of self determination, someplace in the world on a nearly daily basis. Some countries fall quietly. Such is not the case with Ukraine, the fight there is loud and ugly, as Ukrainian civilians take up arms to fight back against the Russian invaders.

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Black History Is Everyone’s History

Black History Is Everyone’s History

The contribution of black Americans to this country is huge, and undeniable and deserves to be taught in American schools, north or south.

Black History Is Everyone’s History

Editor: As 2022 Black History Month ends it is important to acknowledge the contribution of black Americans to the arts, sports, science, technology, and innovation. Let’s celebrate their amazing contribution to our country and support the rights of all citizens to participate in the American Dream in all its promised dimensions.

By Wes & Anna Hessel

 A Black Mark Not On Our History

As Black History Month comes to a close, let us acknowledge those African Americans that have made a positive impact on the United States and the world.  We all recall as children eating peanut butter spread on crackers as we learned about George Washington Carver, but little other significant Black history has been taught in our schools.  African-American contributions to our society remain mostly hidden; not celebrated, or taught in schools.  Black history has little representation in curriculums, what a shame; it should be an integral part of  our education, just as it has been an integral part of life and history. History and culture of African-Americans needs to be taught, alongside other cultures, including the typical Western European WASP and Greco-Roman past. Nothing is done in isolation, certainly not improving the world.

Black History Is More Than A Month…

Founded by historian Carter G. Woodson to honor the attainments of black men and women, it originally began as a week-long celebration known as “Negro History Week” in February of 1926, a week in which the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass occurred.  Dr. Woodson was himself the son of a slave and although he did not begin his high school education until the age of 20, delayed by his need to earn a living in West Virginia coal mines, he went on to study at Berea College, the Sorbonne, and the University of Chicago.  He eventually earned his PhD at Harvard, only  the second African American to achieve this, his predecessor being none other than W. E. B. Du Bois.

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The Powerful Words Of Dr. King

The Powerful Words Of Dr. King

Dr. MLK had powerful words for our society

The Powerful Words Of Dr. King

By Wes & Anna Hessel

 

The Great Doctor

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., stands as the paramount leader of the civil rights movement.  There were many more alongside him, most notably the other members of the “Big Six”.  They were James Farmer, A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins, Whitney Young, and John Lewis.  But Dr. King, or MLK, as many refer to him, was the most visible light and lightning rod.

He Still Speaks To Us

His words continue to speak volumes today, calling us to continue the fight for what is right. Most particularly right now is the need to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act.  That is the legacy that should be made to honor both these men who worked staunchly for what they believed.  Dr. King’s own family is calling for a hold on celebrating his day until these voting rights bills are made law.  In the meantime, we hear the echoes of MLK’s quotable phrases and speeches.

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Fears Of The Metaverse Are Justified

OPINION: Fears Of The Metaverse Are Justified

A metaverse is a network of 3 D virtual worlds focused on social connection.

OPINION: Fears Of The Metaverse Are Justified

Editor: The world of the future may be at hand. Like other new technologies the potential is great, the threat terrifying. The development of the metaverse should put us all on high alert for the nearly inevitable privacy abuses, misinformation campaigns,  and unprecedented targeting.

By Joseph Wales

A New Name

In late 2021, Mark Zuckerberg introduced Meta as the parent company to Instagram and Facebook. This move left many of us in the dark; not understanding what Meta is and the future direction of the company. Since the announcement it has emerged that the main idea behind Meta is developing a 100% virtual world with AI (Artificial Intelligence) and VR (Virtual Reality) enhancements. A world where our interactions will be more digital than physical. The technology growth rate is at an all-time high. Most believe that the tech gurus have more power than they deserve and legal restrictions are necessary. Before we go into the nitty-gritty details, let’s look at what metaverse is.

What Is The Metaverse?

As mentioned above, think of the metaverse as a virtual universe. The metaverse combines numerous technologies, including Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and eye-tracking. These technologies combine to create the ultimate virtual experience. Now might be a good time to read or watch “Ready Player One.” It is a story set in 2045, where all people turn to VR to escape the real world. The feature could help you get a rough idea of how a metaverse might look.

What Is Inside The Metaverse?

The metaverse is usually digital assets, 3D avatars, games, and businesses. Each metaverse can have their virtual economy. There are endless activities to engage in while in the metaverse. You could meet friends, join virtual events, host business meetings, monetize your creations, and so on. The metaverse closely resembles the real world. Most have their own economies and accept virtual currency. For instance, Cryptoxles, a metaverse, accepts ETH, while Decentraland uses their original currency, MANA. The only significant difference is that you can travel the world, go to the store, climb Mt. Everest, all from your home’s comfort. Access to the metaverse is via an VR headset.

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After Trump, Can Love Break Through?

OPINION: After Trump, Can Love Break Through?

The 1/6 insurrection aftermath is heating up

OPINION: After Trump, Can Love Break Through?

Editor: One year ago thousands of Trump supporters assaulted the U.S. Capitol. January 6, 2021 was one of the most horrific events in U.S. history. There is increasing evidence of behind the scenes maneuvering by Trump and his inner circle to thwart the law and overturn the 2020 election. The work of the 1/6 Select Committee is plowing forward, closing in on the instigators of the insurrection. Donald Trump’s role in the plot to end democracy in the United States is becoming more clear as emails and texts are made public. In the light of the current division in the country Anna Hessel believes it is time to be honest with ourselves, face the truth of what happened on 1/6/2021, bring the culprits to justice, and then move toward healing.

By Anna Hessel

The Crush Of Charlottesville

Back in 2017, I took one of the DNA tests that are so very popular.  Since I was adopted as an infant, my curiosity about my heritage peaked with regularity – I was giddy with surprise to learn that I am multi-racial.  Thrilled that the Lord has chosen to bless me with an interesting rainbow of cultures in a world where racial tensions dolorously abound.  On August 12, I looked on in horror at a group who call themselves ‘nationalists,’ terrorize Charlottesville, VA. One of them drove through a crowd in his Dodge Challenger, injuring 19 individuals and killing Heather Heyer.  Heather was a beautiful young woman, who was a local paralegal.  Little did I know, at the time, this was a foreshadowing of worse things to come.  This hideous act prompted then-former Vice-President  Joe Biden to run for president in 2020. In my opinion, his election is the only good that has come out of this.

Worse Is Yet To Come

On January 6, 2021, a similar, yet even more heinous act of violence occurred at our nation’s Capitol Building.  I find only small comfort in the fact that James Alex Fields, the man responsible for the horrific Charlottesville attack, was sentenced in 2019 to life plus 419 years. The sentence though appropriate does not bring back Heather Heyer.  Nor does it heal the scars, both physical and emotional,  of those who were injured, or who witnessed her murder. This callous disregard for life, an act of cowardice and pure evil, a precursor to the insurrectionists actions one year ago.

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EDITORIAL: Flirting With Nazis Is Dangerous

EDITORIAL: Flirting With Nazis Is Dangerous

The dark days of the Nazi control of Europe led to the death of millions.

EDITORIAL:

Flirting With Nazis Is Dangerous

A Neighbor’s Nazi Experience

D. S. Mitchell

Martin Hartman is a tall slender man. His thinning white hair is brushed back, his jacket zipped against the winter wind, as he leans against his cane for support. There is a deep sadness in his eyes and a soberness in his demeanor. You can tell he has a story, and he wants to share it. Martin Hartman is my neighbor.

Martin was born in Holland in 1924. Prior to the Depression of the 1930’s, his family had owned a prosperous construction business. His family like many others had suffered during those economically depressed times, but by 1940, the 97-year-old said, the economy “had begun to turn around,” things were looking up he confirmed. The future looked promising.

There had been rumblings of war, but few took them seriously, after all WWI was a mere twenty two years in the past. No one could imagine the world once again plunging into conflict. The next few days would change his life and those of his friends and family forever. “I was 16. It was May 10, 1940. We heard bombing and saw planes. It was the German invasion, and the blitz was over in three days.” The squashing of Holland’s defenses was quick, but far from painless.

After the German invasion, they began barricading city blocks and then sweeping the apartments for young men to fill the military ranks due to troop loss. Hartman describes it, “Gradually Nazism crawled into Holland. Good people were killed, or sent to prison . . . Jews and ministers.”

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OPINION: Joe Manchin Shows His Political Ass

OPINION: Joe Manchin Shows His Political Ass

OPINION: Joe Manchin Show His Political Ass

I think it is time to remove the obstructionists from the Democratic Party

D. S. Mitchell

Joe’s Talking on Fox

12/19/2021. Joe Manchin (D.W.V.) is on FoxNews (sic) telling Bret Baier he “cannot vote” for the Build Back Better bill. Finally after months of dancing about, throwing up one road block after another Manchin, playing with the press and his colleagues has finally come clean and said it out loud. He, the lone Democrat,  was now going to squash the bill, that would have given assistance to 70% of his constituents.

Out of Touch

I am dumbfounded. How could this rich, fat, white, yacht sunning, coal mine owning, entitled man be so cruel, and corrupt? How can he shut his eyes to the basic needs of the most vulnerable people in his state? West Virginia is one of the poorest states in this country, it seems Joe wants to keep it that way. By standing against the BBB act Manchin is not only denying West Virginians food on the table, affordable prescriptions for life saving medicines, and dentures in their mouths, but every other person in the country. Without remorse, apparently.  Enraged, I switched to CNN where Jake Tapper was interviewing Bernie Sanders (I.Vt).

Unrestrained Passion

Bernie Sanders went after the failed senator from West Virginia with unrestrained passion. Bernie called Manchin a “coward” for not standing up to the lobbyists and special interest groups (which Manchin is part of). Bernie, is also a wealthy man, just like Joe Manchin. But, Bernie seems to have a deep well of human empathy, decency, and compassion, which apparently, Manchin cannot understand or emulate. Is Manchin capable of embarrassment?  Being the only Democratic senator that is willing to let kids go hungry, not only in West Virginia, but across the nation, should make him red faced with shame and embarrassment.

Purge the Party 

It is time to purge the Democratic party of obstructionists, like Manchin, that are willing to stop a president and his policies by their single vote. Joe Manchin you were not elected president of the United States. Get in line and support President Biden and the Democratic platform. Support voting rights. If you are a Republican, Mr. Manchin, run as one, don’t pretend to be a Democrat. Be brave. Be courageous. As I see it Mr. Manchin, is intent on his legacy being nothing more than the dark smear left by a wet fart.

Quotes on Courage

Here’s a brief collection of some pretty smart comments by some pretty smart people on the topic of courage in life and politics.

1.) “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen,” Winston Churchill

3.) “Courage conquers all things,”  Ovid

4.) “The strongest, most generous and proudest of all virtues is courage,” Michel De Montaigne

Conclusion

It is time to fight the obstructionists in the Democratic party. Joe Manchin cannot be allowed to stand in the way of progress much longer. He has ‘shown his ass.’ as they say in Texas, and a few other places; time for Mr. Manchin to vote with his party or leave the party.

Ivanka Mismanaged Food Program

Ivanka Mismanaged Food Program

Lines at food banks were long during the height of the COVID pandemic

Did Ivanka Mismanage Food Program?

“Of course,” she did, says investigative congressional committee

Ivanka is at the center of  another scandal involving fraud, incompetence, and mismanagement

By D. S. Mitchell

Numb To Outrage

I thought I was numb to the outrageous behavior of the Trump family, and those in their orbit, but I am not. Yesterday, I was perusing the internet, instead of doing what needed to be done. Anyway. . . I came across an article on ProPublica about the mishandling of the Food to Families Program from last spring and then the same story with updates popped up again in a Palmer Report article last week.

Pulling Back The Veil

Ivanka Trump, unveiled the program in May 2020.  According to congressional investigators, Ivanka spearheaded the idea to include the letter from her father in each of the boxes.  Private contractors were told by the USDA that the letter was mandatory. Food bank operators told congressional investigators the letter concerned them because it was politically biased.

The Dig Continues

I continued digging. I discovered that last week The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis,  published their report on the debacle. Sadly, the conclusion was that that former President Donald Trump’s administration, under the leadership of his daughter Ivanka, failed miserably at delivering food to families as promised.

Furthermore, the year long congressional investigation identified problems with the deliveries themselves; including food safety issues, spoiled food, failed deliveries, and uneven food distribution. Recipient organizations complained some contractors forced them to accept more food than they could distribute or store. That’s why, under the Trump administration, the Food to Families program was created. This program was supposed to get food into the hands and mouths of needy families. “Supposed to” are the keywords. It turns out, like, with everything else Trump & Associates touched, this program fell apart.

Whistle While You Work

ProPublica reports that the Farmers to Families Food Box program gave contracts to companies that had no relevant experience, and in many cases companies that lacked the necessary licenses for the contracts they applied for. Contractor applications were not adequately screened or vetted; nor did officials follow up on red flags in bid proposals. Money was foolishly wasted, grievously mishandled, probably stolen, and most assuredly misappropriated for political campaigning.

Conclusion

Why is that? To start with Ivanka was involved. According to new reporting  millions of dollars were misused and squandered. And much of the money went to bogus contracts being given to unqualified and inexperienced companies. There was little screening of said applications, according to the investigators. Some of the funds were also used to promote President Trump in various ways. Who would have guessed that? Remember that letter Ivanka Trump insisted be included in the food packages? The now infamous letter bragged about what a good job Daddy Trump was doing with the pandemic response. Democrats point out that the letter appears to violate the Hatch Act. No surprise there. I’d laugh if it wasn’t so predictable and so corruptly Trump.

OP-ED: The Dangers of the “Shadow Docket”

OP-ED: The Dangers of the “Shadow Docket”

 

The conservative court is using the shadow docket to hide their partisan decisions.

OP-ED:

The Dangers of the “Shadow Docket”

There is a fundamental danger to our democracy when the Supreme Court is allowed to hide their actions through the misuse of the “Shadow Docket.” 

 

The “shadow docket” references cases taken up on an ’emergency basis’, outside the scope of the Supreme Court’s normal procedural order. . . .

By D. S. Mitchell

Partisan And Controversial Decisions

Observers have noted that the current court has disproportionately used the shadow docket to authorize its most right-wing and controversial decisions. Nearly all of the SCOTUS’s Covid-19 decisions have seeped and bubbled up from the shadow docket. Specifically, both of its rulings on the CDC eviction moratorium came through this dark and enigmatic process.

An Unsigned Opinion  

In August of 2021, SCOTUS handed Biden a shocking ruling. The court ordered Biden to re-instate Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” program. Where did this ability suddenly manifest itself? The court has no authority over treaties with foreign governments. None. The outrageous ruling came in a single one paragraph unsigned opinion. This opinion (like other Shadow Docket opinions), gave no insight into the judicial history supporting the court’s decision to upend the constitutional separation of powers.  The court is now looking at the Texas abortion law. I’d call it a bit late. The heartbeat law went into effect on 9/1/2021. It is the first time a state has successfully imposed a six-week abortion ban since Roe v. Wade was decided.  The only reason is that the court has been packed with anti-abortionists. SCOTUS refused to take up the case, initially attempting to hide behind the shadow docket.

Vigilante’s Extraordinaire

As a refresher, SCROTUS said, (by initially refusing to hear the case) it was okay if Texas set up a system where vigilantes are allowed, and in fact, encouraged to pursue a woman in court for damages of up to $10,000; and anyone who assists her in obtaining an abortion.  Imagine this, it can be the cabbie that took the woman to the medical appointment, a friend who provided educational materials on termination, or the doctor who provides the abortion. Each of them under Texas law can be hauled into court and sued by someone with no standing in the case, in effect, on behalf of the state.

Dystonic Fiction

Atwood’s ‘The Handmaiden’s Tale’ in real life.

What We Expect

In the innocence of our collective minds, we fantasize the nine justices in their solemn black robes hearing robust debate in open court in front of fascinated and anticipatory spectators. Their esteemed heads taking in the well-considered arguments between opposing attorneys and ideologies, giving deliberate consideration to the legal issues of each individual case. Only after prolonged and august discussion does the court publish their venerable decisions in long verbose opinions. But, that is a faulty image of what is actually happening, folks. This heavily conservative court has slipped into a dangerous shadow zone, a place where justices lack the courage to sign their names to their own rulings, while expecting complete deference and compliance to those rulings. Somehow the two do not mesh in a democratic society.

Here’s How It Works

Here’s how it works in the SCROTUS of 2021. Lawyers are allowed to submit expedited briefs to make their “emergency” arguments, but they are not allowed to argue in person, in full view of the press and the public. These decisions don’t come after months of deliberation amongst the justices, but quickly and through whatever informal conversations the justices may have between themselves. Usually they don’t bother to explain to litigants the law or logic behind their decrees, instead issuing an order often amounting to a mere few sentences.

My Thoughts On The Matter

I believe, it is clearly evident that SCOTUS is operating in bad faith. This group of hacks is so lazy in their decisions that they won’t even take time to create legal reasons for their partisan hackery. Under the guise of “emergency” rulings this flawed and broken court is making policy. Courts do not make policy. That is not their role. Unsurprisingly the policy this court concocts melds nicely with the extremist Republican party’s political agenda. Using the “shadow docket” the court is attempting to camouflage it’s heinous actions.

Hitting The Talk Shows

Recently several of the sitting justices, hearing angry rumblings across the country have taken to the airwaves. Their recent appearances across media platforms make it clear that the justices have noted that the public view of the supreme court is at its lowest level in decades. When you have justices making speeches at colleges and going on TV claiming they “are not partisan hacks” you can damn well be assured they know the public is on to them.

The Real Danger

The power now wielded by unelected conservative justices is unnerving to me, and should be worrisome to anyone, no matter their place on the political spectrum. Just to point out, any Executive Order signed by this president (or any other president), any law passed by Congress, can be undone in the dark of night, without reason or explanation. Since this administration lacks the spine to proceed with court reform we can expect the six conservative judges to hold veto power over the Democrats entire political agenda.  Not just this year, or next, but for decades to come. It is time in the opinion of this writer to expand the court. The number of justices has been changed five or six times. Such action is not new, but it sure as hell looks like it is necessary.