Today would have been Sam Cooke's 89th birthday. My advice to you? Go listen to his 1963 album Night Beat. You'll feel better about whatever it is.
This is the second day of the Impeachment Trial in the United States Senate of the 45th President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump, on charges of corruption and obstruction of justice. Like yesterday, it started this afternoon and, again, will run up to midnight. Today marked the opening arguments from House Managers and the Democratic Party.
Things got a little testy last night, apparently, and Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts chastised the bickering senators and President's council for being a little too contentious in their openings. Calling it the "World's Greatest Legislative Body", Roberts apparently forgot what century or country he was in, or that we're talking about impeaching a president that regular shits on cities and calls people who disagree with him "losers and haters".
So far, the Trump defense, which includes Fox News, seems to be, more or less, "so what"? If what he did - if he even did it, which they're not admitting to it (on purpose, anyway) - it doesn't really matter because everyone in Washington is as corrupt and complicit. Even if it's all true, they say, it's not impeachable and doesn't really matter. Parker Malloy noted that this argument is about the only place they had left to go.
In the actual Senate, the GOP seems to be falling back on what works, what they used in Brett "Kegger" Kavanaugh's nomination hearing to the Supreme Court. That is, "how dare you plebes question us." Toadies like Ron Johnson and Lindsey Graham nearly gave themselves strokes today, almost weeping in rage that anyone would have the unmitigated gall to even think of questioning Holy Trump. Graham in particular came off as a Twitter rando, saying "I'm covering up nothing. I'm exposing your hatred of the president." Well, that, and outright lying, but that comes as a shock to no one.
As for his part, Trump doesn't seem to give a shit in public. At Davos, where he's embarrassing us in front of the world again in reference to climate change, he pretty much brags about the obstructing justice charge, owning up to. "But honestly, we have all the material," he said. "They don't have the material." Legacy hire and professional statist Rand Paul also sort of gave the game away, saying 45 Republican Senators were ready to dismiss the impeachment charges, because if anyone thinks the GOP is going to buck this president on anything ever is drinking some bad buttermilk.
The above paragraph gives pause to two thoughts. There are 51 Republican Senators, so that's six Senators Paul isn't depending on. To convict on impeachment, the Democrats will need 2/3 of the Senate and if all six senators, that's still shy of the 67 out of 100 they'd need. Two, and maybe this is more relevant, it's looking more and more that if Trump gets called on anything, it'll be that obstruction he keeps bragging about. Ken Starr, who probably has more gall than anyone on the planet, tries to argue that it doesn't exist, but I don't think anyone pays attention him.
In other news, yet another prisoner at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman was found dead in his cell this morning. As of right now, the name hasn't been released and the cause isn't known, though preliminary reports are saying it was suicide. The investigation is ongoing and we won't hear much until the family's notified, though officials note it doesn't seem connected to the deaths in the past months. And how many deaths? This makes 10 dead in Mississippi prisoners since the first of the year and three in Parchman alone just this week. So, yes, there is a problem somewhere in the running of these prisons despite what the state government wants to claim.
Hey, while we're on the subject, here's the link to the petition for the state to return to Willie Nash's 12-year sentence for charging his phone when he didn't know he wasn't supposed to do that. I am cynical, but it doesn't hurt to try. Every mountain eventually crumbles.
And in entertainment news, Democratic presidential contender, Hawaii Representative and whack-a-doo Tulsi Gabbard has filed suit against Hilary Clinton for at least $50 million. The whole kerfuffle comes from an interview Clinton gave last year where she suggested one of the party's hopefuls was a "Russian asset" being groomed for a third-party bid. While she never mentioned the Representative by name, Gabbard for some reason assumed it was her and claims Clinton's remarks harmed her reputation and her candidacy. That, of course, assumes she had a snowball's chance in Hell of snagging the nomination or, for that matter, have her reputation even more damaged apart from her fanboys.
Finishing up, I wrote something at the Tumblr site about the Krystal Burger chain filing for bankruptcy and how greed and predatory capitalism via private equity firms are causing American business to eat itself at the expense of people who don't benefit from it when it actually does work. Do check it out. I do think it's a mistake to anthropomorphize economic theories, because most of the harm still comes from human beings, but the modern approach to capitalism sure makes it easier to do so.
And that is that. Boom.