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HUMANITY DOOMSDAY CLOCK - Moves forward to 2125 due to election of US President trump.

Estimate of the time that Humanity will go extinct or civilization will collapse. The HUMANITY DOOMSDAY CLOCK moves forward to 2125 due to US President trump's abandonment of climate change goals. Apologies to Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for using the name.

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Saturday, February 27, 2021

Time for Serious Questions

 

Questions of the Day:

 

Will ex-president trump try to create another insurrection?

 

How many Americans will his cult murder to support his insurrection ???

 

Will he try to install himself as dictator??

 

Will he take money from foreign powers to fund his insurrection???

 

Will he run for a House of Representatives seat in 2022 ???

 

Will he try to become Speaker of the House if the Republicans secure a majority??

 

More to the point: How can we stop him ????

 

Is this how the American experiment ends, with a lie??

 

Where are the men of Honor ???

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Mnuchin Raises Money for trumpwar

 


Ex-Treasury Secretary Mnuchin flew to most of the Middle Eastern countries on the taxpayer dime in late January. Most of these countries have sovereign wealth funds worth trillions of dollars. 

[https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/02/23/mnuchin-investment-fund-gulf/]

 

In addition, so did Kushner, Pompeo and Wolf on earlier trips.

 

Why ??

 

Considering the recent insurrection, I suggest the possibility they were selling the idea of supporting the next trump insurrection as a good investment.

 

To repeat - this crew may be seeking money to support a new trump insurrection.

 

First thing one does when planning a war is to raise money - lots of money.

 

It can be a profitable undertaking for the backers. After all, since a new US government will be hospitable to foreign interests, the cost of a few planes and tanks is a pittance.

 

US corporations routinely show profit increases of hundreds of times the cost of a few 'campaign contributions'. Taking that idea overseas to finance a war against the US government is a natural extension of that idea.

 

Friday, February 19, 2021

Fairness Doctrine - Stop Fake News Media !!



The new Fairness Doctrine reins in the Fake News !!


The new FCC imposes penalties on media which disseminates false facts it claims are true. 


Finally, fake CNN and MSNBC shut down !!


Here's how it works:


When a party sues a broadcast or online media outlet alleging the broadcast of a fake news item and after the item is judged fake by the court, the FCC shall impose a penalty of $1.0 million for the first offense, $10.0 Million for the second and $100.0 million for the third offense. On the fourth such offense, the FCC shall suspend the license of the guilty party for 6 months. Further suspensions will be at the discretion of the FCC Board.


ONLINE MEDIA

The new FCC includes online platforms as well as newspapers, radio and television. The money penalties are the same for online platforms as for traditional media. But, instead of suspending a license, the FCC shall cut off access to the internet for offending parties, including Twitter, Face Book and You Tube.


When a party sues an online outlet alleging the posting of a fake news item and after the item is judged fake by the court, the FCC shall impose a penalty on the platform of $1.0 million for the first offense, $10.0 Million for the second and $100.0 million for the third offense. On the fourth such offense, the FCC shall suspend internet access of the guilty party for 6 months. Further suspensions will be at the discretion of the FCC Board.


EQUAL TIME


The old Fairness Doctrine 'required broadcasters to devote some of their airtime to discussing controversial matters of public interest, and to air contrasting views regarding those matters.' [wikipedia]


Media are  '...given wide latitude as to how to provide contrasting views: It could be done through news segments, public affairs shows, or editorials. The doctrine did not require equal time for opposing views but required that contrasting viewpoints be presented...' [wikipedia]




Friday, February 12, 2021

History Has Judged


All the Senators and Representatives who vote to enable trump have been judged. 


The judgment is simply this: They are self-serving cowards who dishonor the Armed Service men and women who have placed themselves in harms way and who have died to protect the Constitution. 


'Jacob Chansley, the face-paint and fur wearing Trump supporter whose images from inside the Capitol came to define the 6 January riots in Washington, is now offering to testify against the president, saying he feels betrayed.' [https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/qanon-shaman-capitol-riots-testify-trump-b1794522.html]


Here is the real American patriot:





Saturday, February 6, 2021

UPDATE Stop the Next Insurrection - Use Fairness Doctrine to Force Media to Present Provable facts

 


Ex-President trump tried to take over the government of the United States using a violent mob.


He WILL try again.


We will be wise to create obstacles to his attempt.


Here is a preliminary action list of obstacles we can create.  


As background, Freedom of Speech under the First Amendment has limits - it is not absolute.


'Categories of speech that are given lesser or no protection by the First Amendment (and therefore may be restricted) include obscenity, fraud, child pornography, speech integral to illegal conduct, speech that incites imminent lawless action, speech that violates intellectual property law, true threats, and commercial speech such as advertising.' 

[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_free_speech_exceptions]


1. REDUCE MEDIA LIES WITH FAIRNESS DOCTRINE

Stop the Next Insurrection - Use Fairness Doctrine to Force Media to Present Provable facts 


The United States has controlled lies and seditious propaganda using the Fairness Doctrine that ended in 1987. We recognized the role inflammatory propaganda played in the rise of totalitarian governments in Europe; we chose to limit such activities.


'The fairness doctrine of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), introduced in 1949, was a policy that required the holders of broadcast licenses to both present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was honest, equitable, and balanced.' [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FCC_fairness_doctrine] 

NOTE ABOUT FAIRNESS DOCTRINE 

Some commentators focus on the equal time component but I prefer to focus on the need to present facts with a penalty of losing access to public media if proven to present lies.


The FCC could take away media rights to publish or broadcast if found guilty of abusing the First Amendment by presenting misinformation as fact. 


IN ADDITION, the fairness doctrine can be extended to social media. The FCC can suspend a company’s access to the internet if found guilty of First Amendment abuse. Even with encryption and the dark web, the FCC can still reduce the volume of abusive content. 


2. CREATE LAW CRIMINALIZING DOMESTIC TERRORISM


There is no law against domestic terrorism in the United States. [https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/justice-department/there-no-law-covers-domestic-terrorism-what-would-one-look-n1040386]


Law enforcement uses lesser infractions to charge insurrectionists. We should create a federal law to criminalize domestic terrorism.


3. STOP PUBLICIZING BLATANT LIARS


Some officials who repeat false and unprotected statements receive media exposure; that exposure serves to enforce a false narrative. As a civic duty, media should limit coverage of proven liars and inciters like M. T. Greene.


4. INFILTRATE AND DESTABILIZE HATE GROUPS


Ex-President trump may well rely on organized hate groups as foot soldiers in his next insurrection. We must interfere with their activities that may lead to violence. There are hundreds of established hate groups that pose a danger to the peace and stability of the United States. 


List- [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_organizations_designated_by_the_Southern_Poverty_Law_Center_as_hate_groups]


Background [

https://www.npr.org/2021/02/01/962973774/the-number-of-hate-groups-declined-last-year-but-hate-did-not]


5. REMOVE RACIST AND FAR RIGHT ADHERENTS FROM OFFICIAL POSITIONS.


Police and armed forces in the United States have many far right and racist adherents as members. 


Remove them. [https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/hidden-plain-sight-racism-white-supremacy-and-far-right-militancy-law]


6. LIMIT FAR RIGHT TAKEOVER OF STATE REPUBLICAN PARTIES


White supremacists and conspiracy theorists are actively infiltrating state and local GOP organizations. They want to remove moderate members and install their supporters as local elected officials. 


Ex-President trump supports this practice; some of the compromised governments may support the next insurrection.


[https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-capitol-siege-trials-washington-impeachments-c83fe958e624c1ead5301407eb8a0347]


7. CREATE REAL EQUALITY


Inequalities and differing treatments of race, income, wealth, gender and class have increased. Such inequalities are the driving force behind the far right movement. It is not JUST the poor white malcontents - there are real issues. 


Everybody knows this; now is the time to fix it. The future of the American experiment is at risk.

[https://inequality.stanford.edu/publications/20-facts-about-us-inequality-everyone-should-know]


Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Are We Evil ?



That's an overly broad questions so I'll narrow it down a bit.


Let's try this: Does the Federal Government of the United States adopt policies with evil effects?


Well that question requires a definition of what are evil effects. After all, how can we sort out all the policies with real world effects into evil effects and good effects?


And, since the USA probably has thousands of individual policies, some of them may very well have evil effects - policies that actively harm people.


And, of course, some policies that are good for the country may harm individual people. All we can ask is that the policy designer has considered the trade offs before implementing the policy.


We need a sorting mechanism to separate any policies with evil effects from the policies with good effects. 


Luckily we can draw on the experience at Nuremburg trials of Nazi's after WW II. 


Captain G. M. Gilbert, US Army psychologist was assigned to watching the Nazi defendants at the Nuremberg Trails. 


"In my work with the defendants (at the Nuremberg Trials 1945-1949) I was searching for the nature of evil, and now I think I have come close to defining it. A lack of empathy. It's the one characteristic that connects all the defendants, a genuine incapacity to feel with their fellow men. Evil, I think, is the absence of empathy."


[https://sluggerotoole.com/2018/06/19/evil-i-think-is-the-absence-of-empathy/]


If he is right, then it is likely that policies created with no concern for the effects of the policy on Americans or other people can be considered evil.


I think we prefer that United States governmental polices are designed with empathy for the people affected by the policy.



Monday, February 1, 2021

VIOLENCE IS TREASON in the USA


 Let us be clear - we live in a Democracy wherein the government derives its powers from the consent of the governed.

 

If you choose violence to prevent that, you are a traitor committing treason.

 

The universal punishment for treason is death.

 

Those who commit violence, encourage violence, justify violence or incite violence are traitors.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Anger Junkies Create Terror


We are looking at right wing terrorists and activists the wrong way, IMHO. 


Perhaps we can consider them as anger junkies - they need a fix of anger-inducing speech to fill an emotional void. 


We can moderate their behavior by looking at their emotional reactions to external stimuli, especially false, albeit inflammatory, statements from right wing media.


Animal and human bodies react to perceived threats with several documented changes. 


See: [https://www.sharecare.com/health/anger-management/what-physical-effects-of-anger]. 

And: [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK10829/]


When humans have an emotional lack in their lives, some fill that void with drugs and artificial stimuli that create increased metabolic activity. 


A person with no hope can be stimulated to feeling strong and angry about a person or institution with inflammatory rhetoric whether the speech is false or true. Sometimes groups of people react to anger stimulating rhetoric with violent actions. They are impervious to logic or rationality while in that state. 


Unscrupulous actors can create mobs of angry and physiologically stimulated people. The mob can be directed in whatever direction the actor chooses. 


It is likely that actors like Putin and trump use that physiologic response to create division and chaos in the United States of America. They use lies and falsehoods to create anger and violence in their followers. 


The goal is to profit financially from the chaos and division they create. It seems they play the emotions of marginalized people like a violin. 


Our goal should be to prevent falsehoods from airing on broadcast media. When people hear fewer anger inducing lies, they are less likely to use violence. 


We created the FCC Fairness Doctrine in 1949 to prevent lies on broadcast media platforms but we canceled it in 1987. We should restore the Fairness Doctrine. 


It will help by reducing the volume of anger inducing falsehoods in FOX and other broadcast networks. Social media can ban groups which post falsehoods. 



Sunday, January 24, 2021

Fourscore

 I approach fourscore years, imminently.


Threescore years I spent as infantry in the war of ideas about economic systems. 


Of the two competing systems, both have failed.


The Planned/Socialist/Communist system failed without markets; it devolved into a corrupt authoritarian kleptocracy.


The free market with regulation system failed from internal corruption; in the US, the system may yet fail totally into an authoritarian kleptocracy.


Both systems failed to work for average people. 


US protests from Women, Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street, marginalized workers and Far Right terrorists have delivered the same message: 


Fix it.


Will you hear the message???





Sunday, January 17, 2021

How to Create Civil Discourse: Restore the F C C Fairness Doctrine


I argue that the current dysfunctional state of social and broadcast media was created by the revocation of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987 after a series of challenges during the Reagan years.


We should restore it. When we do that, our country will heal; we will have a single set of facts....


Here is Heather Cox Richardson, January 16, 2021 (Saturday) on FB


'The roots of modern right-wing extremism lie in the post-World War II reaction to FDR’s New Deal and the Republican embrace of it under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Opponents of an active government insisted that it undermined American liberty by redistributing tax dollars from hardworking white men to those eager for a handout—usually Black men, in their telling. Modern government, they insisted, was bringing socialism to America. They set out to combat it, trying to slash the government back to the form it took in the 1920s.'


Their job got easier after 1987, when the Fairness Doctrine ended. That Federal Communications Commission policy had required public media channels to base their stories on fact and to present both sides of a question. When it was gone, talk radio took off, hosted by radio jocks like Rush Limbaugh who contrasted their ideal country with what they saw as the socialism around them: a world in which hardworking white men who took care of their wives and children were hemmed in by government that was taxing them to give benefits to lazy people of color and “Feminazis.” These “Liberals” were undermining the country and the family, aided and abetted by lawmakers building a big government that sucked tax dollars. 


Here's some history from Wikipedia:


'The fairness doctrine of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), introduced in 1949, was a policy that required the holders of broadcast licenses to both present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was honest, equitable, and balanced. The FCC eliminated the policy in 1987 and removed the rule that implemented the policy from the Federal Register in August 2011.[1]


The fairness doctrine had two basic elements: It required broadcasters to devote some of their airtime to discussing controversial matters of public interest, and to air contrasting views regarding those matters. Stations were given wide latitude as to how to provide contrasting views: It could be done through news segments, public affairs shows, or editorials. The doctrine did not require equal time for opposing views but required that contrasting viewpoints be presented. The demise of this FCC rule has been considered by some to be a contributing factor for the rising level of party polarization in the United States.[2][3]


The main agenda for the doctrine was to ensure that viewers were exposed to a diversity of viewpoints. In 1969 the United States Supreme Court, in Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v. FCC, upheld the FCC's general right to enforce the fairness doctrine where channels were limited. However, the Court did not rule that the FCC was obliged to do so.[4] The courts reasoned that the scarcity of the broadcast spectrum, which limited the opportunity for access to the airwaves, created a need for the doctrine.


The fairness doctrine is not the same as the equal-time rule. The fairness doctrine deals with discussion of controversial issues, while the equal-time rule deals only with political candidates.'


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FCC_fairness_doctrine


Tuesday, January 12, 2021

January: Rules of Engagement for Officers Protecting the United States

 Violent right wing terrorists threaten the United States of America. 

Armed groups call for 'taking over' the national Capitol and all 50 State Capitols this week. 

They seek to overturn the free and fair election, remove duly elected officials, prevent the Inauguration of Joseph Biden as President  and install trump as the President.

These groups seek the violent overthrow of the Constitution with armed force, no more and no less.

Most likely they will assemble large numbers of armed and unarmed 'patriots' and try to remove with force any Police and National Guard standing against them as they did in the January 6 mob riot in Washington DC.

As the Force protecting our State and National Capitols, we call on you to remember that these are Terrorists even though they may also be Police, Firemen  and/or your neighbor. They beat Ofc Brian Sicknick to death with a fire extinguisher. They beat  another Officer with an American Flag while he was unconscious. 

When you stand with your brothers in our defense, you may see hundreds of people of all ages and appearances marching toward you. Some have guns and other weapons.

If they shoot at you or try to harm you with other weapons, you must stop the shooters and attackers with any force you have including rifles, pistols, tear gas, water cannons and whatever else you have. 

You will surprise them since they expect no resistance. 

Should you fail to stop them, they will attack and try to murder you.

We are with you.

May God bless you and the United States of America.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Dear Friends Who Support trump


I watched his address on January 6 just before the terrorist action in the US Capitol.

 

Every single statement and fact he quoted was a complete fabrication. The speech presented a fantasy designed for the sole purpose of making you angry. He wants you angry enough that you will commit crimes that will help him stay in office.


The election had NO significant fraud; he filed more than 60 lawsuits to prove fraud and judges threw every single one out of court. He, including three Justices of the United States Supreme Court, appointed many of the judges throwing out the lawsuits. 


When you commit a crime for him, you may murder or injure a Police Officer; and, you can be killed and/or injured. 


You certainly will be arrested.


Your action will not succeed in changing the election.


You will lose your job. You will have a criminal record.


He will offer you no help at all, zero. He will watch your sacrifice on television, safely away from harm. He will deny any contact with you or encouragement for your actions. 


The Police, Sheriffs, National Guard and all other law enforcement agencies including Federal, State and local law enforcement officers are waiting for you. 


PREPARE NOW

 

January 6 may have been a rehearsal with INSIDE HELP.

 

DC and all 50 state Capitols may be targeted again this week.

 

See Michael Moore [https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=3677083552373627&ref=watch_permalink]

 

Some amateur ideas to prepare:


Immediately, Impeach trump, jail all the terrorists for murder and treason.


Lockdown and harden all military bases and immobilize all planes, helicopters, vehicles and ships.

 

Fire, furlough or re-assign all trump supporters in Police and Military; take their badges and weapons when the terrorists arrive.

 

Lockdown and harden all significant buildings.

 

Establish a military style perimeter

 

Arrest and jail anyone who passes the perimeter.

 

Declare gatherings as unlawful assemblies

 

Declare weapon free zones, confiscate the weapons and jail the bearers.


If fired upon,  return fire with effect , keep weapons hot.



Saturday, January 9, 2021

trump Seeks Private Army Funding From Foreigners?


With a private force, possibly of disillusioned voters, and after the inauguration of Biden, trump may encourage future attacks on Federal, State and City governments. Such a force might be encouraged to attack at his direction.

After his private force destroys Federal, State and local governments, he could proclaim a new government.

That is how Hitler did it; he lost his first attempt but then came back to succeed. See Forbes: [https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimpowell/2013/02/05/how-dictators-come-to-power-in-a-democracy/?sh=67dbe0257ff7]

Several trump minions - Kushner, Wolf, et al - are meeting in foreign capitals now, perhaps they are seeking just such backing. They should be detained and questioned on their return. 


Friday, January 8, 2021

Inauguration Threat


Some of the trump mob has suggested that they WILL attack the Inauguration violently. 

trump announced he will not be there. 

The mob feels no constraint since their leader will be absent.

The plan is clear - attack and disrupt the Inauguration and/or kill Biden and Harris. 

PLEASE prepare..


All trump International Agreements, Contracts or any other Acts on Behalf of the United States are Null and Void.


trump's minions roam the world. We must assume that whatever they do is against the interests of the United States. 


The United States hereby notifies all parties that any such agreement or understanding is canceled until and unless approved by United States' normal process for undertaking such actions.


The United States will prosecute any party, whether in the United States or elsewhere, which commits or conspires to commit an act that violates United States laws. 


Sunday, January 3, 2021

Morality Wins Elections in 21st Century

 

Have American voters changed their expectations?


Americans vote differently now than in 2000, IMHO.


Most voters want a higher moral standard from candidates today.


Voters reject candidates who do not meet their expectations and vote for those who do meet them.


Voters will reject candidates whom they expect to fail the code, even though the code is unwritten.


I will try to address some of the Moral Tenets underlying this code, even though it is a precarious task. Others may disagree and wish to add or delete some items - it may be a continuing discussion. These tenets appear to resonate with voters; there are other moral tenets which do not appear to affect voters as deeply.


FINANCIAL GAIN - A candidate perceived as likely to seek personal financial gain from the office would lose the election.


FOREIGN INFLUENCE - Candidates who accept financial or other help from foreign governments or businesses will lose.


MARITAL FIDELITY / PEDOPHILIA - Candidates perceived as likely to cheat on a spouse would lose an election, as will those who support adults having sex with minors. 


RACISM - Overtly or covertly racist candidates will lose. 


SUPPORT DEMOCRACY - Candidates who reject election results will lose.


HONEST BIDDING AND HIRING - Candidates perceived as likely to hire unqualified relatives or award contracts in exchange for graft will lose.


Other commentators may wish to add additional tenets to this list.


Clearly then, candidates who have weaknesses in any of these areas can be defeated by drawing the connection.


Monday, December 21, 2020

Those Who Serve the United States With Honor

 Those Who Serve the United States With Honor


Honorable members of United States military and intelligence services face difficult times today. Current administration office holders, including but not limited to the President, well may call for unconstitutional actions. 


Any such unconstitutional orders from the legal Chain of Command must be resisted.


Mr. Schlesinger, in consultation with Gen. George S. Brown, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, created a precedent for such resistance in 1974 under President Nixon.


'WASHINGTON, Aug. 24, 1974—Defense Secretary James R. Schlesinger and the Joint Chiefs of Staff kept unusually close control over lines of command, in the last days of the Nixon Administration to insure that no unauthorized orders were given to military units by the White House.


A senior Pentagon official said today that the decision to monitor closely all orders from any source was taken by Mr. Schlesinger, in consultation with Gen. George S. Brown, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to prevent any of a series of hypothetical situations from developing....'


[https://www.nytimes.com/1974/08/25/archives/pentagon-kept-tight-reinin-last-days-of-nixon-rule-no-event.html]


Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Lessons in the Decline of Democracy From the Ruined Roman Republic

 

Lessons in the Decline of Democracy From the Ruined Roman Republic

Historian Edward Watts argues that violent rhetoric and disregard for political norms was the beginning of Rome’s end.

Smithsonian Magazine  Jason Daley

Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus. Credit: Jean-Baptiste Claude Eugène Guillaume / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain.

The U.S. Constitution owes a huge debt to ancient Rome. The Founding Fathers were well-versed in Greek and Roman History. Leaders like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison read the historian Polybius, who laid out one of the clearest descriptions of the Roman Republic’s constitution, where representatives of various factions and social classes checked the power of the elites and the power of the mob. It’s not surprising that in the United States’ nascent years, comparisons to ancient Rome were common. And to this day, Rome, whose 482-year-long Republic, bookended by several hundred years of monarchy and 1,500 years of imperial rule, is still the longest the world has seen.

Aspects of our modern politics reminded University of California San Diego historian Edward Watts of the last century of the Roman Republic, roughly 130 B.C. to 27 B.C. That’s why he took a fresh look at the period in his 2018 book Mortal Republic: How Rome Fell Into Tyranny. Watts chronicles the ways the republic, with a population once devoted to national service and personal honor, was torn to shreds by growing wealth inequality, partisan gridlock, political violence and pandering politicians, and argues that the people of Rome chose to let their democracy die by not protecting their political institutions, eventually turning to the perceived stability of an emperor instead of facing the continued violence of an unstable and degraded republic. Political messaging during the 2018 midterm elections hinged on many of these exact topics.

Though he does not directly compare and contrast Rome with the United States, Watts says that what took place in Rome is a lesson for all modern republics. “Above all else, the Roman Republic teaches the citizens of its modern descendants the incredible dangers that come along with condoning political obstruction and courting political violence,” he writes. “Roman history could not more clearly show that, when citizens look away as their leaders engage in these corrosive behaviors, their republic is in mortal danger.”

Historians are cautious when trying to apply lessons from one unique culture to another, and the differences between the modern United States and Rome are immense. Rome was an Iron-Age city-state with a government-sponsored religion that at times made decisions by looking at the entrails of sheep. Romans had a rigid class system, relied on slave labor and had a tolerance for everyday violence that is genuinely horrifying. Then again, other aspects of the Roman Republic feel rather familiar.

The Roman people’s strong sense of patriotism was unique in the Mediterranean world. Like the United States after World War II, Rome, after winning the Second Punic War in 201 B.C. (the one with Hannibal and the elephants), became the world’s hegemon, which lead to a massive increase in their military spending, a baby boom, and gave rise to a class of super-wealthy elites that were able to use their money to influence politics and push their own agendas. Those similarities make comparisons worthwhile, even if the togas, gladiator battles and appetite for dormice seem completely foreign.

Cullen Murphy, whose 2005 book Are We Rome? makes a more head-on comparison between the fall of the Roman Empire and the U.S., argues that the changes in politics and society in Rome stemmed from one source: its growing complexity. Rome, during the Republic and Empire, had increasing and evolving responsibilities around the Mediterranean which its government constantly struggled to manage. Those challenges forced changes throughout the economy and society, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. In general terms, he sees many of the same struggles in recent U.S. history.

“I think the U.S. is experiencing this same situation—we’ve never quite recovered from our victory in World War II, which left us with the world on our shoulders; and the implications of that responsibility have skewed things in every part of our society and economy, and put our old political (and other) structures under enormous strain,” he says. “New sources of power and new forms of administration and management fill the gap—and create unease and sometimes also injustice, and at the same time create vast new sectors of wealth.”

Those types of social and economic changes also rattled the Roman Republic, leading to the moment in 130 B.C. when politics turned violent. The introduction of a secret ballot meant Roman politicians and political factions couldn’t keep tabs on (or bribe) individual voters. Instead, politicians had to build political brands that appealed to the masses, leading to something akin to modern American campaigning with big promises and populist language aimed at the poor and middle class.

Reforms to the military also meant that service was no longer reserved for the elite, who for centuries used their privilege to demonstrate their loyalty to Rome. For poorer soldiers, however, service became a path to riches. They began to count on the loot, bonuses and gifts of land they received from their often-wealthy commanders meaning that over time the loyalty of the Roman legions shifted from the empire to their generals. These changes set the stage for a new type of politics, one where whipping up the resentments of the lower classes and threatening political enemies with semi-private armies became the norm.

These trends first came to a head in 134 B.C. when Tiberius Gracchus, an elected tribune of the people, proposed a land reform bill that would benefit poorer and middle-class Romans. The way Gracchus went about his reform, however, was an affront to the norms and traditions of the Republic. He brought his law before the Plebeian Assembly without the thumbs-up of the Senate. When his fellow tribune Marcus Octavius threatened to veto the bill, which was his right, Gracchus manipulated the rules to have him stripped of his office. There were other incidents as well, but the most concerning aspect of Gracchus was his fiery, populist language, which whipped his supporters to the edge of political violence. As his power grew, Gracchus began moving through the streets surrounded by a mob of frenzied supporters, a kind of personal militia not seen in Rome before.

Rumors spread that Gracchus was angling to become a king or dictator, and some in the Senate felt they needed to act. When Gracchus stood for a second term as tribune, which was not illegal but broke another norm, a group of Senators and their supporters beat Gracchus and 300 of his followers to death.

It was just the beginning. Over the next century, Tiberius’s brother Gaius Gracchus would come into conflict with the Senate after a similar populist confrontation. The commander Sulla would march legions loyal to him on Rome itself and battle his political rival Marius, the first time Roman troops fought one another. He would then execute and punish his political enemies. In the following generation Pompey and Caesar would settle their political scores using Roman legions, Octavian and Marc Antony would field an army against the Senate before finally battling one another bringing almost 500 years of the Republic to a bloody (and confusing) conclusion.

Watts argues that while the Senate ordered his murder, it was Tiberius Gracchus who let the genie out of the bottle. “What he has to bear responsibility for is he starts using this really aggressive and threatening language and threatening postures. He never resorts to violence, but there’s always this implicit threat. ‘If not for me, things would get out of control.’ And that is different, that was never done before. What he introduces is this political tool of intimidation and threats of violence. Later thinkers say once it’s there, even if others choose not to use it, it’s there forever.”

While life in Rome, with gladiator battles, crucifixions and endless war was violent, for centuries Romans took pride in their republican system and political violence was taboo. “The Republic was free of political violence for the better part of 300 years. People who are politically engaged are not killing each other and they’re not threatening to kill each other. When they disagree with each other they use political means that were created by the republic for dealing with political conflict,” says Watts. “If you lose one of those conflicts, you don’t die and you don’t lose your property and you aren’t sent away. You just lose face and move on. In that sense, this is a remarkably successful system for encouraging compromise and encouraging consensus building and creating mechanisms whereby political conflicts will be decided peacefully.”

So what does the story of the Roman Republic mean for the United States? The comparison is not perfect. The U.S. has had its share of political violence over the centuries and has more or less recovered. Politicians used to regularly duel one another (See the Hamilton soundtrack, song 15), and in the run-up to the Civil War, the ultimate act of political violence, there was the raid on Harper’s Ferry, Bleeding Kansas, and the near murder of Charles Sumner in the Senate chamber. Joanne B. Freeman, author of Field of Blood, a history of violence in Congress before the Civil War, tells Anna Diamond at Smithsonian she found at least 70 incidents of fighting among legislators, including a mass brawl in the House, though they often tried to paper over the conflicts. “It’s all hidden between the lines in the Congressional record; it might say “the conversation became unpleasantly personal.” That meant duel challenges, shoving, pulling guns and knives.”

The better comparison, surprisingly, applies to post-WWII America. Despite periods where the U.S. political system and established political norms have been tested and stretched—the McCarthy hearings, Vietnam, Watergate, the Iraq War—partisan violence or attempts to subvert the system have been rare. But recent events, like changes to filibuster rules and other procedures in Congress as well as increasingly heated political rhetoric give Watts pause. “It is profoundly dangerous when a politician takes a step to undercut or ignore a political norm, it’s extremely dangerous whenever anyone introduces violent rhetoric or actual violence into a republican system that’s designed to promote compromise and consensus building.”

The solution to keeping a republic healthy, if Rome can truly be a guide, is for the citizens to reject any attempts to alter these norms he says. “I think the lesson I take away most profoundly from spending so much time with these materials is basically, yes, we do need to assign blame to politicians and individuals who take a shortsighted view of the health of a republic in order to try to pursue their own personal objectives or specific short-term political advantages.”

The example of the Roman Republic shows the result of not policing those norms and keeping violence in check is the potential loss of democracy. “No republic is eternal,” Watts writes. “It lives only as long as its citizens want it. And, in both the 21stcentury A.D. and the first century B.C., when a republic fails to work as intended, its citizens are capable of choosing the stability of autocratic rule over the chaos of a broken republic.”

Jason Daley is a Madison, Wisconsin-based writer specializing in natural history, science, travel, and the environment. His work has appeared in Discover, Popular Science, Outside, Men’s Journal, and other magazines.   

Sunday, December 13, 2020

USA: Billionaires Choose

Today the United States of America faces two significant long-term threats – inequality and deteriorating systems of healthcare, transportation, social services, etc.


Our country will decline unless we address both. 


Here is a solution to both threats:


Create a comprehensive infrastructure plan to address existing issues; then, raise taxes on billionaires to repair or replace all those items. 


In addition, allow for wages and salaries of working people to rise to at least 1972 levels in real purchasing power. 


Most elected and appointed officials in national, state and local jurisdictions agree with both the threats and the solutions, but our billionaires have blocked meaningful actions since the 1970's.


The billionaire class determines our future; our future is bright if they choose to support meaningful change, but it is dark if they choose greed. 



Thursday, December 10, 2020

What Really Saved the Republic From Trump?


It wasn’t our constitutional system of checks and balances.

Tim Wu, New York Times

Mr. Wu is a law professor at Columbia University.

 Dec. 10, 2020

Americans are taught that the main function of the U.S. Constitution is the control of executive power: curtailing presidents who might seek to become tyrants. Other republics have lapsed into dictatorships (the Roman Republic, the Weimar Republic, the Republic of China and so on), but our elaborate constitutional system of checks and balances, engineered largely by James Madison, protects us from despotism.


Or so we think. The presidency of Donald Trump, aggressive in its autocratic impulses but mostly thwarted from realizing them, should prompt a re-examination of that idea. For our system of checks and balances, in which the three branches of government are empowered to control or influence the actions of the others, played a disappointingly small role in stopping Mr. Trump from assuming the unlimited powers he seemed to want.


What really saved the Republic from Mr. Trump was a different set of limits on the executive: an informal and unofficial set of institutional norms upheld by federal prosecutors, military officers and state elections officials. You might call these values our “unwritten constitution.” Whatever you call them, they were the decisive factor.


It’s true that the courts at times provided a check on Mr. Trump’s tyrannical tendencies, as with their dismissal of his frivolous attacks on the election and their striking down of his effort to overturn the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program without appropriate process. But in other cases, such as his anti-Muslim travel ban, the courts have been too unwilling to look beyond form to ferret out unconstitutional motive. More generally, Mr. Trump has tended to move fast, while the courts are slow, and to operate by threat, which the courts cannot adjudicate.


The bigger and more important failure was Congress. Madison intended Congress to be the primary check on the president. Unfortunately, that design has a key flaw (as Madison himself realized). The flaw is vulnerability to party politics. It turns out that if a majority of members of at least one body of Congress exhibits a higher loyalty to its party than to Congress, Congress will not function as a reliable check on a president of that same party. This was what happened with Mr. Trump and the Republican-controlled Senate.


The problem is chronic, but over the last four years it became virulent. Confronted with a president who was heedless of rules, Senate Republicans, in ways large and small, let him do what he wanted. They allowed acting appointees to run the federal government. They allowed him to claim a right to attack Iran without congressional approval. The impeachment process was reduced to nothing but a party-line vote. The Senate became a rubber stamp for executive overreach.



Instead, the president’s worst impulses were neutralized by three pillars of the unwritten constitution. The first is the customary separation between the president and federal criminal prosecution (even though the Department of Justice is part of the executive branch). The second is the traditional political neutrality of the military (even though the president is the commander in chief of the armed forces). The third is the personal integrity of state elections officials.


If any of these informal “firewalls” had failed, President Trump might be on his way to a second and more autocratic term. But they held firm, for which the Republic should be grateful.


Consider the first firewall: prosecutorial independence. The prosecution function of the executive branch is not mentioned in the Constitution, and based on the text alone — “the executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States” — some might think (and some have even insisted) that the president has the power to order federal prosecutors to do his bidding. Mr. Trump claimed that power in 2017, saying “I have absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department.”


But an unwritten norm has long held that the president should not dictate law enforcement decisions in general, and criminal prosecutions in particular. That is why, throughout this fall, even as Mr. Trump urged his appointees in the Justice Department to openly announce a criminal investigation into the Biden family, they did not comply. None of Mr. Trump’s appointees was willing to openly investigate Joe Biden or his family members, let alone issue an indictment or civil complaint.


Imagine if the Justice Department had followed Mr. Trump’s lead. Imagine if in response to the provocations of Mr. Trump’s lawyer Rudolph Giuliani, a U.S. attorney had charged Mr. Biden with criminal fraud. Even if Mr. Biden ultimately prevailed in court, publicly fighting such charges during an election would be a political and logistical nightmare. The unwritten constitution blocked this line of attack on the electoral process.


Prosecutorial independence was not limited to refusing to indict Mr. Trump’s political adversaries; it also extended to indicting his allies. Over the past four years, seven of Mr. Trump’s close associates were indicted and six have been convicted, including his adviser Stephen Bannon, his campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his lawyer Michael Cohen. Such convictions would be unimaginable in a dictatorship.


None of this is to suggest that William Barr, Mr. Trump’s attorney general, has served as a model of nonpartisan behavior, or that the Justice Department has been scrupulously fair. What it does show is how powerful unwritten norms can be, even in a department run by a loyalist.


The second firewall of the unwritten constitution was the U.S. military’s longstanding custom against getting involved in domestic politics. It was invaluable in checking Mr. Trump’s militaristic instincts.


On June 1, as protests and counter-protests occasioned by the killing of George Floyd became violent and destructive of property, Mr. Trump appeared in the Rose Garden of the White House and denounced what he called “acts of domestic terror.” He said he would “deploy the United States military” if necessary to “defend the life and property” of U.S. citizens. In a subsequent photo op, he was flanked by Mr. Barr, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who was clad in military fatigues. Soon, active duty forces from the 82nd Airborne Division were positioned outside of Washington.


Mr. Trump’s plan had the written law on its side. Neither the Constitution nor any congressional statute would have prevented the president from directly ordering active duty military to suppress the protests. The Constitution makes the president the commander in chief of the armed forces and the Insurrection Act of 1807 allows the president to use the military or National Guard to suppress civil disorder, providing a broad exception to the general rule barring domestic use of the military.


It was an extraordinarily dangerous moment for the country. As the history of lapsed republics suggests, when the military becomes involved in domestic politics, it tends to stay involved. But two days after Mr. Trump’s speech, Mr. Esper publicly broke with the president, stressing that active duty forces should be used domestically only “as a matter of last resort, and only in the most urgent and dire of situations.” He concluded that “I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act.”


General Milley later issued a public apology for participating in Mr. Trump’s photo op. “My presence in that moment,” he said, “created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics.” He added, “I should not have been there.”


Mr. Trump’s plans ran afoul not of the law, but of an unwritten rule. In a few days, the active duty troops gathered around Washington were sent home. Though briefly tested, the norm had held.


The final firewall of the unwritten constitution has been the integrity of state elections officials. Corruption of the people and institutions that set election rules and count votes is an obvious threat to the democratic process. In Russia, for example, the neutrality of its Central Election Commission during President Vladimir Putin’s rule has been repeatedly questioned, especially given the tendency of that body to disqualify leading opposition figures and parties.


The story of Brad Raffensperger, the secretary of state in Georgia and its top elections official, testifies to the potential threats to an election’s integrity during a heated campaign. Mr. Raffensperger, a Republican, was loosely in charge of the vote in a state that went narrowly for Mr. Biden. In that capacity, Mr. Raffensperger was attacked and disparaged by higher-ranking members of his own party. This included such prominent political figures as Georgia’s two senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. Both demanded Mr. Raffensperger resign for no apparent reason other than his failure to prevent Mr. Biden from winning the state.


Despite the pressure, Mr. Raffensperger and the state’s governor, Brian Kemp, held steady, along with an overwhelming majority of state elections officials around the country. They have refused to “discover” voting fraud without good evidence of it. Party loyalty — at this point — seems not to have fatally corrupted the vote-counting process.


Might this welcome result be credited to constitutional design? Not really. The states are an important part of the Constitutional design, and the document does give them a central role to play in federal elections. But what seems to have mattered most, in terms of ensuring the integrity of the voting process, was less the constitutional structure and more the personal integrity of the state elections officials. Their professional commitment to a fair vote may have spared the Republic an existential crisis.


Madison famously wrote, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” Cynical minds have read this line to mean that we should never trust people and should rely only on structural controls on government power.


The last four years suggest something different: Structural checks can be overrated. The survival of our Republic depends as much, if not more, on the virtue of those in government, particularly the upholding of norms by civil servants, prosecutors and military officials. We have grown too jaded about things like professionalism and institutions, and the idea of men and women who take their duties seriously. But as every major moral tradition teaches, no external constraint can fully substitute for the personal compulsion to do what is right.


It may sound naïve in our untrusting age to hope that people will care about ethics and professional duties. But Madison, too, saw the need for this trust. “There is a degree of depravity in mankind,” he wrote, but also “qualities in human nature which justify a certain portion of esteem and confidence.” A working republican government, he argued, “presupposes the existence of these qualities in a higher degree than any other form.”


It is called civic virtue, and at the end of the day, there is no real alternative.


Tim Wu (@superwuster) is a law professor at Columbia, a contributing opinion writer and the author, most recently, of “The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age.”


The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our email: letters@nytimes.com.


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Sunday, November 29, 2020

Patriot Candidates Warnock and Ossoff Oppose Crooked trump Supporters Perdue and Loeffler


The American ideal expects public servants to place the common good over their personal enrichment. Voters want that ideal in their candidates. 


Georgia Republican incumbent Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler demonstrate the opposite by committing crimes against the country for personal gain. 


See NYT on Perdue here: 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/02/us/politics/david-perdue-stock-trades.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage&fbclid=IwAR3RM1czk73v1IqzGhpw5PQi3HLUbSlCbH-wThKZg8CGju1YfCuzLjAVvTE


Democrat candidates Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossof should make the differences clear to voters by: 


1. Describe a crime done by the incumbent;


2. Promise to represent all voters by doing the best for America's common good;


3. Release tax returns and financial statements; and,


4. Place personal assets in a blind trust.


I advise Warnock and Ossoff to make the statement above at each campaign rally; voters don't need a lengthy discussion - they get it. 


Voters want high quality candidates - they don't want crooks.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Can Donald J. Trump End the American Experiment??

The American experiment is a simple idea: When a group of citizens of good will gathers and agrees to place their personal interests second to the common good, they can create a Democracy where everyone has an equal voice. 

However, if a group among them does not agree that the common good comes ahead of their own personal good, the Democracy may be short lived. 

Donald J. Trump has attempted systematically to fire all the people in Government service who serve the country and dismantle all the United States Institutions created to support the elevation of country over self.

If he were to retain control over a national party, he could use his power and influence to stymy a candidate who opposed his personal corrupt aims.

The GOP has the responsibility of endorsing and supporting only the candidates for office who will place country over self-interest. 

At the least, that means to challenge every trump candidate at the primary level. 

That can and will happen, IF, and it is a BIG IF, the GOP removes the cancer that is trump and his cult from the GOP. Let them pursue their agenda without the support of a responsible, national party.




Sunday, November 22, 2020

Will trump Play the Armed Insurrection Card??

Many trump supporters have guns and have indicated they will take their guns to the streets as soon as trump tells them so.

What are the odds he will make that call? 

It may be more and more likely as he perceives he is running out of options to retain power. 

The best response is to arrest and jail any person participating in or threatening any such insurrection.

That may require a declaration of a State of Emergency in open carry States. It's a good idea. 

And, police should respond with deadly force if they are fired upon. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Whither GOP



The Republican Party in the United States faces a crossroads. One path leads to a stronger party and a stronger country while the other path leads to potential disaster for both country and party.


Some Republicans seek personal power and fortune at the expense of the country.  Some seem so needy that they will accept abhorrent behavior from trump in the hope of staying in office. 


This behavior may well lead to great weakening of the country. 


Since trump probably will not change his behavior, then perhaps it is time to separate the party from him. 


I hope for a group of Republican campaign financiers who can place our country above their personal fortunes. If we look we might find some office seekers who are willing to serve with honor instead of serving with greed. Those folks will need campaign financing in order to become elected. 


With such a group the United States may be able to correct our course and become stronger. And, trump will probably divorce himself from that party group once he finds he cannot control their behavior. 


Friday, November 13, 2020

Things I want to Know from Political Candidates


Here is a list of some questions I want to ask all candidates. It's a bit sad that we have to ask, but things are different now. It will be good if your candidate publishes his/her answers to these questions.

I do not mean to be encyclopedic and all readers can add questions at will.

ABORTION - Do you think a government has the right to decide whether a woman can have an abortion?

GUN LAWS - Shall citizens be allowed to possess assault rifles and other weapons designed for military purposes?

RULE OF LAW - Can a President circumvent the law if he decides it is necessary?

FOREIGN CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS - Have you ever taken anything of value from a foreign donor?

INEQUALITY - Do you think current inequalities of income and wealth are bad for the country?

RACISM - Can our country deny Muslims entry while immigrating to the USA solely on their religion?

FEAR - Are you afraid of black people? Or Muslims? Or Mexicans? Or anyone else?

EQUAL JUSTICE - Do you think that the justice system treats black people and other people of color differently than white people. 

POLICE - Should police officers treat all people identically based on the circumstances they see?

HEALTH CARE - Do you think that all citizens are entitled to health care?

SOCIAL SECURITY - Do you think Social Security should be privatized? In addition, do you think it will go bankrupt soon?

STIMULUS - Do you want the Federal government to provide financial assistance to workers, businesses and local governments to prevent a recession?

FACE MASKS - Do you support a national mandate to wear facemasks if scientists recommend it?

ELECTORAL COLLEGE - Do you support abolishing the Electoral College and accepting the ballot count only in Presidential elections?

INCOME TAX - Do you pay Federal income taxes?

FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE - Have you released your tax returns?

CHILD RAPE - Do you think it is OK for an adult to have sex with a minor child?

NATO - Do you support NATO as a deterrent to Russian expansion?

CLIMATE CHANGE - Do you think climate change is real or a hoax?

IMMIGRATION - Is it OK to take infants from their parents to deport them?

LABOR UNIONS - Do labor unions have too much power?

BLIND TRUST - Will place all your assets into a blind trust while in office?

VOTING FAVORS - Is it OK to place a vote because you think it will help a contributor?

INSIDE INFORMATION - Is it OK to make decisions to buy or sell assets based on information you receive while in office that is not publicly available?

WHITE COLLAR CRIME - Should we put white-collar criminals like convicted bankers in jail?

MONOPOLIES - Do you think that monopolies hurt the economy because they restrict competition?


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Resignation Pressure Campaigns: Republican and/or Greedy Useful Idiots and Siloviki


A 'useful idiot' is a person in any country including the United States who willingly believes in ideas which can help Russia and/or hurt his/her own country. As used here, the term can include greedy persons who are bribed into specific actions and those who see a personal financial gain for themselves from an action. A 'Russian asset' is an employee of the Russian state residing in another country. 

A 'siloviki' is a private person or government employee who owns and/or controls companies or state organizations in any country for the benefit of Vladimir Putin and shares in the benefits at Putin's discretion; that control is usually obtained by criminal methods which can include murder. 

It is fair to say that some Republican and other United States Senators, Representatives and bureaucrats fit into one or more of these categories.

Since some of this cohort have real political power to affect or stall legislation, Biden's task is to find a way to enact legislation benefitting the National Interests of the United States with the cooperation of some of the Russian cohort; it is likely that they will impede actions which do not benefit Russia or their personal fortunes. They will probably not support actions which benefit the interests of only the United states. 

Unless, one or more such persons - if they are enough to tip the scales and pass a proposal - can be convinced to do the right thing, it is probable that the United States will be compromised. 

Perhaps some may be encouraged to support a proposal through a resignation campaign. Such a resignation campaign might consist of a dossier enumerating factual cases of illegal or morally repugnant actions.

When asked for their official support of a proposal or law that clearly benefits the United States, they can be presented with the dossier and asked to support the proposal in order to keep the dossier from the press. 

While some may argue that such actions are 'dirty' politics, perhaps they are justified in today's political climate where National Interests are sacrificed routinely for private gain. Who is there that can make those fine distinctions in a time of crisis? The only answer is President Joe Biden.

Of course it may be unethical and perhaps illegal to use public resources like the FBI or CIA to create such dossiers; however, private investigators do not have those restraints. 

And, many of the folks listed below are just personally political in their support and do not realize the effects of their actions, but some have considerable power and are worth pursuing. The underlying assumption is that support for trump and Russia will dissipate among some of these folks as Biden/Harris begin the change the political scene. 

Since the list is so extensive it may seem that it just a political issue; but, the more influential of these folks may act to damage the National Interests of the United States. 

Below is a list from wikipedia of some of the United States officials who MAY fit the categories above and thus be legitimate targets of such resignation campaigns:

[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Donald_Trump_2020_presidential_campaign_endorsements]


CURRENT UNITED STATES SENATORS


Lamar Alexander, U.S. Senator from Tennessee (2003–present) and 45th Governor of Tennessee (1979–1987


John Barrasso, U.S. Senator from Wyoming (2007–present)


Marsha Blackburn, U.S. Senator from Tennessee (2019–present)


Roy Blunt, U.S. Senator from Missouri (2011–present)


John Boozman, U.S. Senator from Arkansas (2011–present)


Richard Burr, U.S. Senator from North Carolina (2005–present)


Shelley Moore Capito, U.S. Senator from West Virginia (2015–present)


Bill Cassidy, U.S. Senator from Louisiana (2015–present)


John Cornyn, U.S. Senator from Texas (2002–present) and Chair of the Senate Narcotics Caucus (2019–present)


Tom Cotton, U.S. Senator from Arkansas (2015–present)


Ted Cruz, U.S. Senator from Texas (2013–present)


Steve Daines, U.S. Senator from Montana (2015–present) and U.S. Representative from MT-AL (2013–2015)


Mike Enzi, U.S. Senator from Wyoming (1997–present)


Joni Ernst, U.S. Senator from Iowa (2015–present)


Deb Fischer, U.S. Senator from Nebraska (2013–present)


Cory Gardner, U.S. Senator from Colorado (2015–present) and U.S Representative from CO-4 (2011–2015)


Lindsey Graham, U.S. Senator from South Carolina (2003–present, U.S. Representative from SC-3 (1995–2003) and candidate for president in 2016


Chuck Grassley, U.S. Senator from Iowa and President pro tempore of the United States Senate (1981–present)


Josh Hawley, U.S. Senator from Missouri (2019–present)


Cindy Hyde-Smith, U.S. Senator from Mississippi (2018–present)


Jim Inhofe, U.S. Senator from Oklahoma (1994–present)


Ron Johnson, U.S. Senator from Wisconsin (2011–present) and Chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (2015–present)


John Kennedy, U.S. Senator from Louisiana (2017–present)


James Lankford, U.S. Senator from Oklahoma (2015–present) and U.S. Representative from OK-5 (2011–2015)


Mike Lee, U.S. Senator from Utah (2011–present)


Kelly Loeffler, U.S. Senator from Georgia (2020–present)


Mitch McConnell, U.S. Senator from Kentucky (1985–present) and Senate Majority Leader (2015–present)[68]


Martha McSally, U.S. Senator from Arizona (2019–present) and U.S. Representative from AZ-02 (2015–2019)[69]


Rand Paul, U.S. Senator from Kentucky (2011–present)


David Perdue, U.S. Senator from Georgia (2015–present)


Rob Portman, U.S. Senator from Ohio (2011–present


Marco Rubio, U.S. Senator from Florida (2011–present)


Rick Scott, U.S. Senator from Florida (2019–present)


Tim Scott, U.S. Senator from South Carolina (2013–present)


Richard Shelby, U.S. Senator from Alabama (1987–present)


Dan Sullivan, U.S. Senator from Alaska (2015–present)


John Thune, Senate Majority Whip (2019–present) U.S. Senator from South Dakota (2005–present)


Thom Tillis, U.S. Senator from North Carolina (2015–present)


Pat Toomey, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania (2011–present)


Roger Wicker, U.S. Senator from Mississippi (2007–present)


CURRENT FEDERAL OFFICIALS:

[Note - Footnotes can be found in the wikipedia line]


    Alex Azar, United States Secretary of Health and Human Services (2018–present) and United States Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services (2005–2007)[2] 


David Bernhardt, United States Secretary of the Interior (2019–present) and United States Deputy Secretary of the Interior (2017–2019)[2]


    Jovita Carranza, Administrator of the Small Business Administration (2020–present) and Treasurer of the United States (2017–2020)[2]


    Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (2017–present)[3]


    Elaine Chao, United States Secretary of Transportation (2017–present) and United States Secretary of Labor (2001–2009)[4]


    Betsy DeVos, United States Secretary of Education (2017–present)[5]


    Richard Grenell, special envoy for the Serbia and Kosovo Peace Negotiations (2019–present)[6]


    Keith Kellogg, National Security Advisor to the Vice President of the United States (2018–present)[3]


    Larry Kudlow, Director of the National Economic Council (2018–present)[3]


    Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to the President (2017–present), Director of the Office of American Innovation (2017–present) and son-in-law to Donald Trump[7]


    Kayleigh McEnany, White House Press Secretary (2020–present)[3]


    Mick Mulvaney, United States Special Envoy for Northern Ireland (2020–present), White House Chief of Staff (2019–2020), director of the Office of Management and Budget (2017–2019)[8]


    Peter Navarro, Director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy (2017–present) and Director of the National Trade Council (2017)[9]


    Robert C. O'Brien, National Security Advisor (2019–present) and Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs (2017–2018)[10]


    Sonny Perdue, United States Secretary of Agriculture (2017–present)[11]


    Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (2018–present), Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (2017–2018)[3]


    Wilbur Ross, United States Secretary of Commerce (2017–present)[2]


    Dan Scavino, White House Deputy Chief of Staff (2020–present)[3]


    Ja'Ron Smith, Assistant to the President for domestic policy (2019–present)[3]


    Ivanka Trump, Advisor to the President for women's issues policy (2017–present) and daughter of Donald Trump[12]


    David Urban, Chair of the American Battle Monuments Commission (2018–present)[13]


    Seema Verma, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (2017–present)[14]


    Robert Wilkie, United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs (2018–present) and Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (2017–2018)[2]



The wikipedai page includes several other categories as well.