February 23, 2021 – a date that will live in disgrace, shame, disrepute and odium!

Commentary

Thanks, Ron Johnson, for not making our day.

On January 7, 2021, I posted an Around the Block headlined, January 6, 2021, a date that will live in ignominy!

It began,

“December 7th will forever be remembered as ‘a date that will live in infamy.’”

“September 11th will forever be remembered as the ‘9/11 attack.’”

”January 6 will forever be remembered as ‘a date that will live in ignominy.’”

Now, February 23, 2021 will be known, at least regarding the Senate of the United States of America, as the date that will live in disgrace, shame, disrepute and odium!

Why?

Continue reading “February 23, 2021 – a date that will live in disgrace, shame, disrepute and odium!”

DeSantis, Scott and ‘Liddle’ Marco – the Florida grifts that keep on giving.

Commentary

Small consolation: At least we don’t have Tommy Tuberville and Marjorie Taylor Greene!

As incredible as it may sound, there were three stories and one Op-Ed in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel yesterday reporting on the undemocratic, lawless, deceitful and frankly, egregious activities of Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis.

Let me start by listing the headlines:

The Undemocratic: Election integrity – DeSantis pushing voting changes that could help his reelection chances

The Lawless: Hotel gets warning for hosting maskless DeSantis crowd

The Deceitful: COVID-19 vaccines for votes: DeSantis’ shot-in-the-arm strategy

The Egregious: Democrats – DeSantis’ order to lower flags in honor of Limbaugh ‘an embarrassment’

Let me give you a minute to allow all this to sink in. In one edition of one newspaper, it was reported that the governor of the third largest state in the Union:

  • Was trying to rig the next election to “help his reelection chances;”
    • Doing so after touting that the 2020 election in Florida was a “voting success story;
  • Held a news conference in which a crowd of 100 to 150 people, 80% mask-less, including the governor himself, violated the Palm Beach County COVID-19 mask ordinance.
  • Was chastised in an Op-Ed for:
    • Dishing out COVID-19 vaccines to voters the way Florida politicians used to serve up barbecue;
    • Showing up at vaccination facilities, all home to high-priority 65-and-up residents, at the front of the vaccination line electioneering these be reliable voters, paid for with your tax dollars, piped into your living room on TV in, what may be, an unbeatable re-election formula.
  • Ordered flags to be flown at half staff in Florida to mark the death of Rush Limbaugh:
    • Politicizing an honor usually reserved for the death of prominent government officials, police officers or firefighters who die in the line of duty, members of the armed forces or tragic events such the mass shootings;
    • Doing so based on the request of a Republican Florida lawmaker because Limbaugh was a “relentless champion of America and of civic engagement.”

Minute’s up…yours and mine. No need to beat a dead horse. Just a reminder, in the next Florida horse race, there’s a horse named “Repugnant Ronnie” running; we need to beat “double R” as hard as we possibly can!

But before I move on to Florida’s junior senator, let me say this to my California readers: “And they’re trying to recall Gavin Newsom?”

So, what about Florida Senator Rick (Not So Great) Scott?

After Scott’s vote to acquit Donald John Trump (D.J.T.), otherwise now known as “The Former Guy” (T.F.G.) earlier this month, I sent an email to him saying in part, “… to say I was embarrassed by your vote would be a huge understatement. Disgusted might be more appropriate. Did you actually listen to the arguments today? I think not. Because if you were listening you could not have voted to convict…Thank you, Senator Scott, for making me ashamed to be a Floridian and ashamed to have you represent me.”

Since most communications to our elected officials are answered with a boiler-plate, non-specific reply, I was astonished today to receive this from Senator Scott:

“Dear Mr. Block, Thank you for contacting me regarding the second impeachment trial and subsequent acquittal of former President Donald J. Trump.”

My God, I thought, Scott’s reply actually had something to do with my email, so I read on.

Scott continued, “The attack on the Capitol we all witnessed on January 6 was horrific and the lawless thugs who are responsible for the disgusting violence we saw do not represent America. They should all be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. “

Wow, I actually said out loud, I can’t believe this. Have I misjudged our junior senator?

And then, the return to form.

“For weeks, instead of addressing the serious issues facing our nation, Democrats in Congress put our work for the American people on hold and pushed forward with an unconstitutional impeachment trial. It’s time to move our nation forward and get back to work…Blah, blah, blah, blah blah.”

In my response to Scott’s reply, I intend to remind him:

  • As trite as it is, Congress can “walk and chew gum at the same time.” The trial lasted about a week. During that time the House continued working on as many of 19 different initiatives, bills and/or committee meetings according to the House’s legislative activity web site – https://www.house.gov/legislative-activity;
  • Regarding the Senate, the trial took up a total of five days, one of which was a Saturday which wouldn’t have normally been a working day. Not that any of that matters. Accusing the Democrats of putting “our work on hold” is incredibly disingenuous when the record of the Senate is truly inspected:
    • According to a study by Common Cause, only 1 percent of nearly 15,000 bills were enacted into law between January 2019, and September 2020;
    • During that time frame, “the House of Representatives passed nearly 10 democracy reform bills, often with bipartisan support, but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked debate and markups on all of those bills and refused to allow a vote.”
  • Regarding the “unconstitutional impeachment trial,”
    • The Senate voted 56-44 that putting Donald Trump on trial again is constitutional;
    • The constitutional question would have been moot if McConnell (yes, him again) had not said that he would not take up the trial before Trump left office;
    • Hundreds of constitutional scholars from ardent conservatives to liberals and progressives went on record stating the impeachment trial was, in fact, constitutional, writing, “Now that President Trump has left office, may the Senate take up an article of impeachment, and try, convict, and disqualify President Trump from holding future office? We, the undersigned constitutional law scholars, conclude it can.”
    • With all due respect, although you obtained a law degree and passed the Texas Bar, before entering politics you were an executive in several health care enterprises. As a busy executive whose main purpose was to make as much money as possible for yourself and your cronies, er, shareholders, you probably didn’t have much time to study and reflect on the Constitution. Given that, I would venture a guess that your opinion on the constitutionality of the Trump impeachment trial is based less on the Constitution and more on your politics and your need to assuage your base.

And what about the third Florida Amigo, Senator “Liddle” Marco Rubio? I sent the same email to Rubio. As of this writing the only response I’ve received was that the correspondence was received. I’m not holding my breath.

Ivanka and Marco sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g

Commentary

Sometimes it’s the little things that can make your day

I have never felt a greater sense of relief than the one I felt this morning. I mean it was palpable, resulting in the deepest relief sigh I’ve ever breathed.

What was it that caused this solace, this comfort, this calmness?

Ivanka Trump won’t run for Rubio’s seat!

Continue reading “Ivanka and Marco sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g”

“Why can’t Democrats work with Republicans?”…Wait, what?

Commentary

Around the Block responds to an Op-Ed published in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

(Note: A 150-word version of this post was sent to the Sun-Sentinel as a letter to the editor.)

Just when I thought I’d read it all, the Sun-Sentinel publishes a syndicated (Tribune Group) Op-Ed from Ramesh Ponnuru of Bloomberg Opinion, “Why can’t Democrats work with Republicans?” I actually had to read the headline three times before I realized that it wasn’t a typo; that “Democrats” and “Republicans” hadn’t been somehow juxtaposed by the typesetter (yes, I know typesetters have gone the way of the steam locomotive fireman, but I digress). Despite the baffling headline, I read the article.

Continue reading ““Why can’t Democrats work with Republicans?”…Wait, what?”

Something is rotten in the state of America

Commentary

It’s the GOP – and it’s really starting to stink!

In Day 3 of the Trump Impeachment Trial, House managers concluded their case. Their arguments were as powerful as the ones on Day 2. But, to quote the great legal scholar Yogi Berra, “it ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” So, if you were an independent juror with an open mind, you would wait until the defense attorneys made their case to make your decision. You’d only make that decision after you heard the defense rebuttal of the prosecution’s case.

Continue reading “Something is rotten in the state of America”

Impeachment Defies Logic — Not Really

Commentary

Sometimes you have to push back when you read something in the newspaper — so I did

The Palm Beach Post reserves a space on their Opinion page for a column called, “Point of View.” It’s a place for Op-Ed submissions from readers, encouraging “a civil and robust exchange of ideas.” In the February 8 edition of the paper, I was somewhat surprised, but mostly chagrined, when I read a piece by one Charles B. Zuravin of West Palm Beach entitled, “Impeachment defies logic, but Dems don’t care.

Continue reading “Impeachment Defies Logic — Not Really”

“Everything Old is New Again”

Commentary

But there’s “good” old and “bad” old – which will it be in 2021?

(A version of this story will appear in the March 2021 issue of the Valencia Palms monthly magazine, “The Breezes.”)

As many readers know, I’m also a regular contributor to my community’s monthly magazine, The Breezes. Each month, contributing writers and photographers are asked to submit articles and/or photos that reflect the magazine’s monthly theme. For example, the theme for February issue was “Love the life you live. Live the life you love.” My article was was about how I fell in love with Broadway musicals (embedded here):

The theme for March is “Spring: Everything Old is New Again!” To assist in getting potential contributors’ creative juices flowing, the editor provided some thematic suggestions:

Continue reading ““Everything Old is New Again””

Is there something about the water at Lake of the Ozarks?

Commentary

Missouri Republican Senator Rick Brattin’s bill would allow drivers to run over protesters

First there was Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo) with his thumbs-up, fist-pumping, riot-inciting encouragement of the crowd of Trump supporters gathered outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 just before these insurrectionists, after cheering Hawley, stormed and breached the building. But it’s time to move on; there’s been enough written about the young, highly educated but clearly delusional freshman senator.

Image: Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo. raises his fist toward a crowd of supporters of President Donald Trump gathered outside the Capitol

Wouldn’t you know it. Just as we’ve become “Hawley’d” out, another young, ambitious Missouri politician, Rich Brattin, grabbed the evil baton.

Brattin, 40, represents a district that includes some Kansas City suburbs. His bill, SB 66, would allow the use of deadly force against protesters, releasing drivers who run over protesters from any liability.

Continue reading “Is there something about the water at Lake of the Ozarks?”