Texas GOP Follies

donald trump lost the 2020 presidential election.

Period. Exclamation point. Double underline.

Despite atempt after attempt after attempt to challenge it, trump’s repeated denial of it, and the insurrection on January 6th, 2021 to try and overturn it, it remains a solid, incontrovertible fact.

Most of the United States has accepted that, though a certain segment has done so begrudgingly. A lot of folks don’t like it, but at least have the good sense to admit it.

Which brings us to last weekend’s convention of the Texas GOP, the living embodiment of what Forrest Gump’s mother told him:

Stupid is as stupid does.

These guys adopted a party platform at their convention in Houston that, upon reading, left me in shock, disbelief, horror, disgust, and just outright anger.

You’ve heard of the Five Stages of Grief? I think I went through the Five Stages of Pissed Off.

Not to mention, utter embarrassment for my home state. We already were a laughingstock, and this sure doesn’t help any.

To list all the outrageous things declared in this platform would take more than a single post – much more – but I’ll just mention a few:

Regarding the aforementioned 2020 election – which, I will remind you again, trump lost – the Texas GOP party platform includes a resolution stating, in part: “We reject the certified results of the 2020 presidential election, and we hold that acting President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was not legitimately elected by the people of the United States.”

Yes. It actually says that. Proving that facts that are inconvenient to these people are simply wrong. They’re kissing trump’s tookis so hard, they’re gonna leave bruises.

Not content with stopping there, the platform also issues a rebuke to the 10 Senate Republicans involved in the bipartisan talks on gun legislation — including Texas Sen. John Cornyn, who was booed during his speech Friday at the convention.

The platform states that “all gun control is a violation of the Second Amendment and our God given rights.”

I’m just gonna say this once. God never, ever gave anyone the right to carry a gun. You believe otherwise, you have no idea who God is.

Oh, and then, there’s this: the platform calls for a referendum “in the 2023 general election for the people of Texas to determine whether or not the State of Texas should reassert its status as an independent nation,” asserting elsewhere that “Texas retains the right to secede from the United States.”

Yep, secession fever is flaring up again. Won’t get anywhere, of course; the US Constitution, the US Supreme Court and legal experts all agree that Texas cannot do this. (Which will disappoint Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, who wrote a piece titled, “Texas Republicans Want to Secede? Good Riddance.”)

And I haven’t even got to what this platform says about abortion, voting rights, gay and transgender rights, the World Health Organization, the Federal Reserve, the United Nations, education and oh, so much more. If you think you’ve got the stomach for it, read the whole thing here.

Now, of course, this is only the platform; none of it is policy.

Yet.

But it gives a clear picture of what’s on these people’s minds. And I don’t like it the least little bit.

Happy Flag Day!

Today, June 14, is Flag Day here in the United States.

Now, how many of you fellow Americans out there knew we commemorate Flag Day every year, but that was all you knew about it?

Yeah, me too. 😳😳

So, here’s a little refresher course for us:

According to our good friend, Wikipedia, “It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. The Flag Resolution, passed on June 14, 1777, stated: “Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

Poster commemorating the 140th Flag Day on June 14, 1917

“In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day; on August 3, 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress.”

Though Flag Day is observed nationwide, it’s not a federal holiday. However, you lucky folks in Pennsylvania get to have the day off, as that’s the only state to observe today as a holiday.

All over the country, there are Flag Day parades today. Maybe near where you live. Some of them have a long history; Fairfield, Washington’s parade dates all the way back to 1909 or 1910.

If you wish to display the Stars and Stripes today (or any day), you may want to consult https://www.usa.gov/flag for info on the proper way to do so.

So, Happy Flag Day, friends! Go to a parade if you have the chance, fly Old Glory proudly if you have it, and let’s all take a moment to respect the national symbol of our freedom.

Oh, and incidentally:

June 14 is also the birthday of the United States Army! Congress adopted “the American continental army” on this day in 1775. So, Happy Birthday to you!

Thank You, Baratunde Thurston

Who is Baratunde Thurston, you ask?

Well, I didn’t know until this afternoon, when I read something he said on his Twitter page. I discovered this tweet by way of the Zinn Education Project website. (Which I recommend you visit sometime)

Turns out, Mr. Thurston is quite the talent. Here’s what his website says:

Baratunde is an Emmy-nominated host who has worked for The Onion, produced for The Daily Show, advised the Obama White House, and wrote the New York Times bestseller How To Be Black. He’s the creator and host of How To Citizen with Baratunde which Apple named one of its favorite podcasts of 2020 and for which he received the Social Impact Award at the 2021 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards. He’s also a founding partner of the new media startup Puck and is host of the forthcoming America Outdoors with Baratunde Thurston airing on PBS starting July 5th, 2022. In 2019, he delivered what MSNBC’s Brian Williams called “one of the greatest TED talks of all time.” Baratunde is unique in his ability to integrate and synthesize themes of race, culture, politics, and technology to explain where our nation is and where we can take it.

In other words, he’s a pretty interesting fellow, and worth checking out.

Which brings me back to what he tweeted back on January 29th of this year.

It’s the most brilliant, profound thing I’ve read in a long time, and it succinctly captures the current American zeitgeist.

Let that soak in for awhile. We are showing by our actions exactly where our priorities lie in regards to children.

There can be no argument. There can be no rationalization.

And, my Conservative readers, there can be none of this:

I know this is real obvious, but no. No, it isn’t. And we will no longer tolerate it.

The kids deserve so much better. That shouldn’t even have to be said, should it?

Thank you, Baratunde. You have made an instant fan of me.

Must See TV, For Real

If you care about the future of the democracy of the United States of America, you have a date in front of your TV tonight.

That is when, on prime time television, the House Committee investigating the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol will begin making its findings public.

And after eleven months of investigation, and over 1,000 interviews, the committee has a lot of findings.

The hearings will feature eyewitness testimony, unreleased audio and video footage and, according to a committee aide speaking on condition of anonymity, a “mountain of evidence “, including recorded accounts from Trump’s senior aides at the White House, the administration and the campaign, as well as members of Trump’s family.

The hearings will be televised live by several stations. Except, of course, Fox News. You should have no problem finding it.

I know this will be difficult to watch. We’re going to see and hear things about the insurrection, and all the people and events that led up to it, and be shocked, disgusted, enraged, heartbroken, the whole gamut of emotions.

We will also be grateful for the heroic actions of many people, some of whom even lost their lives, who prevented the violent attempt at overthrowing our democracy that came frighteningly close to succeeding.

I know Washington congressional hearings are usually not of much interest to you and me but, I urge you, please tune in this evening, beginning 7 PM Central Time. If you can’t make it, record it. Or watch it on demand.

Friends, this is way too important to miss. I hope you feel the same.

This is for our country.