What If They Threw an Inauguration and No One Cared?

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This Friday, the States of America will once again pause to see the passing of the baton from the current President, Barack Obama, to a completely inept, out-of-place scuzzbag that will be referred to here as the GOP nominee. After eight years (and yes, that’s all he gets despite the wishes of others – the Constitution says so), Obama will pack up his family, take one last look at Capitol Hill and finally be able to shout “Fuck you, cocksuckers!” to those that obstructed him. At that moment, this idiocratic kakistocracy will take over.

For myself, I’ve never been a big fan of the inauguration of a President. I’ve never watched the parade, never cared about the speeches, and certainly don’t want to watch people dancing around in their finery. There’s only a couple of parades that I’m interested in:  the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade (it’s always the signifier of the start of the Christmas season) and any parade that a member of my family is in. Other than that, I don’t really want to sit around for several hours (live) or a couple of hours (on television) to watch floats, bands and other parade potpourri walk.

This year’s inauguration, then, is no different for me…I won’t be watching it, much like I didn’t watch Obama’s, nor Bush’s, nor Clinton’s. What makes it even easier is because there is absolutely no reason to give any “celebration” to the cacophony of idiocy that the minority of people have subjugated on the country through their vote nor the person who it is supposed to celebrate. No one wants to perform, save for a 16-year old who didn’t even win the competition she was vying for, a church choir, dancers who might have been forced to appear and the Great American Redneck(s), and there’s plenty of nice dresses available (despite Twitler’s protestations to the contrary). And it appears that many are coming around to the notion that hey, maybe we should have thought about this a bit more.

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While his minions continue to harp about how much he’ll do the “first day,” the GOP nominee has himself stated that he won’t be starting his new position until MONDAY. In an interview with the Times of London, the GOP nominee is quoted as saying, “Day one – which I will consider to be Monday as opposed to Friday or Saturday…my day one is gonna be Monday because I don’t want to be signing and get it mixed up with lots of celebration.”

The utter stupidity of this statement boggles the imagination. This fuckhead just took a job that is a 24/7 gig, not a 9-to-5 job. You don’t get weekends off…hell, you don’t even get VACATIONS off. Just ask the former Presidents how many days they said, “Fuck it…just going to go back to my mansion in (insert your favorite Presidential retreat here) and take a few days off.” As the President, you’re there FOR THE PEOPLE and the free world all the goddamn time. You’re taking briefings WHILE ON VACATION because, you know, shit can happen at any time. But this thimble-fingered imbecile seems to think that he’ll just be able to go about life, not a care in the world. How long before that wears thin on him?

Then there’s the constant circus that has been the parade of the Confederacy of Dunces to Capitol Hill. “Billionaire Betsy” DeVos, the choice of the orange-hued stain on the human condition for the Secretary of the Department of Education, couldn’t manage to get through her hearing without proving her total ineptitude for the position she was taking. Under questioning from Senator Al Franken, “Billionaire Betsy” couldn’t discern the difference between achievement testing and performance testing. She stumbled through another question on gun-free school zones by saying that weaponry might be needed to “defend against grizzly bears.” (Research into that has shown that, in recent history, there have been zero grizzly attacks on schools while there have been 210 attacks by people with guns since just 2013.)

Finally, Senator Bernie Sanders was the only one with the balls in the room to call her out. Sanders recited the litany of things that she hasn’t done that you might want in a Secretary of Education (didn’t attend public school, no collegiate background or degree in education, children didn’t attend public school, etc.) before noting that her family had donated “around $200 million” to GOP causes. “Do you think you’d be sitting here today if it weren’t for those contributions?” Sanders asked a woman who had NO REASON to be sitting there other than THAT REASON.

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I’d get into the GOP nominee’s choice for the Secretary of Health and Human ServicesRepresentative Tom Price – and his travails with non-payment of taxes, buying stock in companies and then writing bills to aid said companies and PROFITEERING off such actions or even the factor that major National Security Council personnel have been unable to brief their incoming replacements because those replacements HAVEN’T RECEIVED SECURITY CLEARANCES, but the real fun hasn’t even occurred yet. That comes on Thursday when former Texas Governor Rick Perry tries to tell a cadre of Senators that he’s ready to be the Secretary of the Department of Energy.

Perry, who once wanted to disband this organization before forgetting about it during the GOP debates in 2012 (now known as the “OOPS!” Moment), was reportedly thrilled when the GOP nominee asked him to fill the position. That was before he actually learned what the job was all about. Instead of ensuring the security of the nuclear arsenal of this country – the primary job of the Secretary of the department – Buckaroo Ricky thought that he’d be promoting the country’s oil and gas industry just like he did as the “guvner” of the Lone Star State.

Let that sink in a minute…this moron thought he’d be a glorified salesman, promoting a product to exactly whom isn’t known…

The continued Circus of Comedy that is being provided by the GOP nominee’s proposed administration (he’s already lost one person, former Fox News commentator Monica Crowley, due to her plagiarism of significant portions of a book she allegedly wrote…perhaps she can continue her wall research now) has sent many into a fit of navel gazing. The GOP nominee is coming into the office of the Presidency with the LOWEST APPROVAL RATING of any candidate since 1977. The GOP nominee’s approval rating is 37%, according to a Quinnipiac poll, a pitiful rating even for a scumbag that has shown no ability to grasp the importance of the job he ran for and no interest in even the base learning of the myriad of things he might face. Not only are the numbers overall for the GOP nominee in this shitter, his overall transition has been received less-than glowing reviews. An equal number of citizens of the States of America – 48% each – have said they either “approve” or “disapprove” of his transition period, according to a Gallup poll. The reason this is bad? NO ONE has ever seen numbers that bad when they were entering the Presidency.

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So we can lament the loss of the Ringling Brothers/Barnum & Bailey Circus, but it isn’t like we’re without new performers. In fact, a new circus is moving into the White House soon – just as soon as “wittle Barron” can pull himself away from his silver-spoon up their asses brats at his private school and Melania can get her “model scowl” just right – along with the Head Clown and a cast of characters. Unfortunately, the comedy of errors they’ll be presenting won’t be making anyone laugh as they wreak havoc on the country. As such, I won’t be watching when this embarrassment for the country is jutting his chin out like Mussolini as he reviews whatever high school band marches in front of him during the inauguration.

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As The Bullets Continue To Fly…

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Thanksgiving…a time for all of us to join together with our families and friends and truly demonstrate that we are grateful for the bounty that our lives have provided for us. I was feeling quite heartened by these spirits as Thanksgiving Day elapsed, having a great time preparing (OK, thanks to Harris Teeter, there wasn’t much preparing) our Thanksgiving dinner with my lovely wife as our son bounded about watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade (probably the first year he actually paid attention to it). The very next day, the bullets continued to fly as it ruined any amount of goodwill I might have mustered from that one day.

It started on Tuesday and I did try to ignore it but, as the news continued to grow, I grew more irritated at our current condition. Last Tuesday, city officials in Chicago finally got around to releasing the dash cam video of the death of Laquan McDonald, the 17 year old who was allegedly gunned down by police in an attack that dated back MORE THAN A YEAR PREVIOUSLY. The investigation supposedly had been going on that entire time and officials reluctantly (after being forced by an FOIA request from a journalist) released the video to the general public late in the afternoon. They also decided to charge the officer responsible for the shooting, Jason Van Dyke, with first degree murder while releasing the video.

If you haven’t had the chance to watch the dash cam video of that fateful night, it is angering. With no audio from the dash cam (a violation of Chicago videotaping procedures, by the way), we see McDonald (who was found with PCP in his system in the autopsy afterwards) acting erratically as he walks down a city street carrying what would later be learned to be a pocket knife. Several police officers, either in their cars or on foot, are following McDonald from a distance as they try to get the situation under control.

What happens next is outrageous. Van Dyke allegedly pulls up on the scene and steps from his vehicle, drawing his weapon. Within six seconds of Van Dyke’s arrival on the scene, the bullets start to fly from his weapon. In total, McDonald was hit sixteen (16) times, Van Dyke emptying a full magazine into his body. There are even shots hitting McDonald’s body while he is on the ground and no longer moving. The act takes all of 10-15 seconds and no other officer fired a shot that night; in fact, Van Dyke allegedly went to RELOAD and continue firing before an officer called him off. These other officers did add to the egregious nature of the act, however, by not offering any medical assistance to McDonald, even though that is what they wrote in their reports.

Van Dyke surrendered to authorities on Wednesday and it became known that the officer had 18 complaints against him over the 14 years that he had been on the Chicago Police Department rolls, but he had never been reprimanded in any of those cases. These incidences, which ranged from “roughing up” suspects to usage of racist language, are unfortunately common – if someone is getting arrested, it sometimes slows their prosecution process down to accuse the arresting officer of some malfeasance – but perhaps in this instance were indicative of something more.

What finally got me, however, was the support of Van Dyke from his union, the Chicago branch of the Fraternal Order of Police. In a Yahoo! article Saturday, the FOP admitted they were actively trying to raise bail money for Van Dyke (first through a GoFundMe account that was closed soon after launch and then through the chapter’s website) and providing an attorney for him. One of the officers from that chapter of the FOP even stated to Yahoo! “First degree (murder) is a high bar to set and of course it is political (the charges),” indicating some level of support for Van Dyke.

I know it is the job of a union to support its members, but we’ve seen this type of story far too often. Be it in North Charleston, the streets of Staten Island or even on a playground in Cleveland, police officers nowadays are far too often shooting first and asking questions later. I leave out Ferguson because, after all the evidence was in, there were some grounds for the officer’s actions in that situation. It is then followed up by fictionalized police reports – the same documents that are admitted as EVIDENCE in a court of law – and fellow officers who tacitly support ANY officer whose actions are questioned.

The Chicago situation is particularly angering on several fronts. We’ve mentioned the lack of medical attention provided and we’ve talked about the unduly long time it took to even bring charges against the officer, but what hasn’t been mentioned are the supposed “good cops.” Sure, you can write off some of these acts as that of a “bad apple,” but “bad apples” continue to fester when the “good apples” don’t get them removed from the barrel. The continued silence and/or tacit approval (as what the Chicago FOP is doing) of anyone’s actions is wrong, nearly as bad as that of the actual killing.

There was one suggestion that I made in a discussion that, when heard by a former officer, he responded as if I was cutting off one of his limbs. Every two years, an officer should go through a thorough performance, psychiatric and financial background check and review to determine their mindset and stability to remain on the active police force. Enforcing such a program as this would have found the Fox Lake, IL officer who, after a lengthy mourning process for a “hero” that was gunned down by a trio of “bad guys,” was found to have committed suicide because he was embezzling money and threatening public employees; in the Chicago case, there could have been more focus on the complaints against Van Dyke that might have prevented what happened in 2014.

The role of law enforcement officers isn’t an easy one. It also isn’t one where you are given free reign over all who are “beneath you” by your viewpoint, to do whatever you feel is appropriate. The people you are supposed to protect also have to know you’re equipped to handle the job…if not, then you shouldn’t be on the street. Perhaps if the bi-annual reviews were done (and other things more immediate, like video cameras appropriately used), we’d weed out the “bad apples.”

If that wasn’t enough, then Friday came along. Instead of the usual reports of “Black Friday” idiocy such as an old woman having that $99 HDTV “Black Friday deal” snatched from them by an 18-year old (you know, those heartwarming Christmas tales), the attack of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, CO, dominated the news. As we know now, a man who was obviously mentally off somehow penetrated the doors of one of the most secure Planned Parenthood branches in the United States and proceeded to kill three people and injure nine others. If this doesn’t bother you, then the callous response from a particular branch of politicians is probably up your alley.

During the day on Friday and into Saturday, NOT ONE of the GOP candidates for President issued a statement in support of the employees of Planned Parenthood nor those that were injured in the shooting. A few mumbled some support for the officer who was killed in the Colorado Springs shooting, but nothing about the business or the people who were there for the services. As of Monday, these GOP “leaders” are trying to come out with their lame statements even as they try to keep from even being seen as showing any support for Planned Parenthood.

Yes, these are our choices for the Republican nomination of the President of the United States.

When you lead this country, YOU LEAD ALL. If you cannot fashion the words, “The shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic, despite my objection to the clinic’s purposes, is completely wrong. The people killed and injured is a tragedy that shouldn’t occur in the United States. My campaign extends our condolences to all at the clinic and to the state of Colorado” into a cohesive statement within hours of the arrest of the suspect, then you do not have the ability to lead the nation. Just because you have an opposition to an issue is no reason to remove the humanity from it. But, then again, we are also talking about the same party who believes that shutting the door in the face of refugees is the correct course to take.

While the two issues aren’t connected, they do show the continued degradation of our society. Continually allowing the “bad apples” – whether they are politicians or police – to ruin the whole batch can be changed. The question is whether anyone is willing to take on the dirty work to do it or not.