An Opinion on Impeachment

Written by: Colin Offenbacker

The House of Representatives have begun what could and probably will end in articles of impeachment toward President Donald J. Trump for committing “high crimes and misdemeanors”. He (Trump) officially joins the ranks of other U.S. Presidents who have had to deal with the imposition of that great political phantom known as impeachment. Given the amount of Presidents the United States of America has seen since its inception, the percentage of Presidents who have dealt with impeachment in some fashion is relatively small, at about 16%. If that percentage doesn’t give it away, its safe to say that this group of Presidents include more than just the two we remember from contemporary history.

Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton are the two names that most media outlets recall when examining previous attempts at Congressional impeachment, reaching back through history occasionally to bring up Andrew Johnson who was impeached, but not removed from office back in 1868. Their are however more cases of impeachment that are never really talked about. James Buchanan in 1860, John Tyler in 1843 and even another contemporary name which is probably familiar to many people these days, George W. Bush. Unlike the former, the impeachment attempts on the ladder Presidents never made their way to full Senatorial court like hearings due to either failing to meet the Congressional voting threshold required to initiate the official impeachment process, or simply failing to even get out of committee and onto the House floor for the voting process all together.

President George W. Bush in fact had 35 articles of impeachment drafted against him in 2008, all pertaining to his involvement in and around what lead to and ultimately became the conflict we now refer to as “The War in Iraq”. Though the Resolution (H.Res. 1258 (110th): Impeaching George W. Bush, President of the United States, of high crimes and misdemeanors) was referred to committee at the time, it failed to go any further and simply disappeared into the historical archives, which can now be found online, and might I add, is a very compelling read.

Considering all the political bluster coming from “The Hill” on how this particular impeachment is being handled, Republicans screaming about a failure in process and how the Democrats are holding hearings behind closed doors, it is important to remember our time in Civics 101. The United States Constitution, Article I, Section II, states, “The House of Representatives shall chuse (choose) their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.” And yes, that is literally the extent of it, at least as to it’s involvement with the House. It does layout a few more guidelines for the moment it gets pushed up into the Senate but as of right now, were at step one, the House. That singular statement, boiled down to realistic terms, means that the House can run impeachment anyway the House chooses to run their impeachment. Since Representative Nancy Pelosi was elected as Speaker of the House by the members of the House, impeachment can be done whichever way she chooses. Regardless of who says what about how Speaker Pelosi is running the impeachment, it’s simply her prerogative to do it how ever she sees fit. If any member of congress decides that they don’t like it, it is up to them to form a coalition of members and propose a Constitutional Amendment. Simply complaining about it without taking any form of action comes off as nothing more than a political temper tantrum, a “woe is me” form of pandering to an ill informed voting block. Frankly, I find it rather pathetic.

Without getting into all the ins and outs of this particular attempt at impeachment, it’s so called validity, and it’s possible outcomes in the Senate if and when it does make it’s way there, there is one factor I want to focus on here and now. A factor that has bothered my since the word impeachment first crossed the threshold from governmental process into popularized vernacular. For example, when Congressperson (I say ‘person’ because she is a member of ‘the squad’ and I don’t want to assume her gender identity) Rashida Tlaib recounted a conversation she had after winner her Congressional seat and being sworn in to office, in which she said “And when your son looks at you and says, ‘Mama, look, you won. Bullies don’t win,’ and I said, ‘Baby, they don’t’ – because we’re gonna go in there and we’re going to impeach the motherfucker.” Impeach the motherfucker…? Really? Is that what you’re going to tell you son? I don’t mean to purposefully pick on a member of “the squad” so much as to illustrate a point. That point being, the use of the term impeachment in its very present context was popularized in malice. Malice that has been palpable since before President Trump was even sworn into office. It is this malice, I believe, that has truly done the most damage. Blinded by rage and an unyielding call to somehow, one way or the other remove a President from office (deservedly so or not) the congress has neglected to do their own civil duty. The job we literally pay them to do. Regardless of what they themselves might think, no congress member was elected to impeach the President. They were elected to represent their constituents on the federal level. Yes, that might include bringing an impeachment view reflective of their constituents but it is also to do the job of legislating on their behalf.

Remember about 5 seconds ago when we had a massive immigration crisis? Remember the kids being locked in cages as the government walked the tightrope between following legal precedent and violating human rights? As impeachment rolls on and heats up, the U.S. Congress has yet to address the problematic 1997 Flores Agreement which caused the “kids in cages” problem to begin with. They have failed to address the undeniable problems in our immigration system in general in fact. They’re has been zero discussion outside of the Presidential nominees addressing, overpriced college costs and why that might be, much less how to approach a fix. No talk of how to address the national debt, something that could literally sink our entire economy overnight given the right circumstances. No talk on the cost of housing and how to approach that. Some of our biggest cities are crumbling, California is on fire and homelessness has grown out of control. The list of domestic issues going seriously undiscussed is so long it pains me to even think of how many their might actually be.

Globally the story isn’t much different. Russia is still more or less at war with Ukraine and have begun cementing their influence in the middle east. Iran has begun fueling centrifuges, and has resumed uranium enrichment at their facility in Fordow. China is running active concentration camps, they’re suppressing a call for freedom and democracy in Hong Kong not to mention Tibet and the other nation states it has systematically just absorbed into its communist ranks, their belt and road initiative is still paving the way for them to become a national global economic oligarch. And let us not forget the Kim regime in North Korea is still a thing. That is just to name a few situations the United States Congress should be, at the very least, discussing. But no, all eyes and ears are solely focused on, to steal a line from Rep. Tlaib, impeaching the motherfucker.

Whether or not the current impeachment inquiry manifests into actual articles of impeachment, passes a House vote and goes on to a Senate trial seems almost inconsequential when balanced on scale with the “issues” of the day. Don’t get me wrong, I wholeheartedly believe in getting to the bottom of this “Ukrainian Affair” I just wish the Congress could walk and chew gum at the same time. But then again, that’s just the opinion of one guy. But then again, maybe it isn’t.

Episode 71/Movember Year 4!

Halloween is over and it time again for Movember. This is the 4th year that Donavan has taken part in supporting mens health through the Movember foundation and ahs raised hundreds of dollars to help with that cause. Updates of the progress of the stache can be tracked on the ppod videos, Dons social media and his movember page which you can also use to donate if you so choose. Far too many men fall prey to mens healt issues for no reason. Anything you do can help. Even just grow a mustache.
You can go HERE to donate to Dons Movember Page
 
On episode 72 Don and Offie continue their breakdown of the impeachment inquiry by breaking down the testimony of several Trump Administration officials, the testimony of Mark Zuckerberg in regards to Libra, and Facebooks decision not to fact check political ads and how it may be a sign of the dissolve of personal responsibility and accountability in America, if we KNOW speech doesn’t cause violence what effect DOES it have on behavior, a 2015 podcast about a gender fluid individual and “the power of categories” and why it can be so confusing, the NCAAs decision to allow student athletes to collect money based on their likeness rights in SPORTS!! and the next two weeks of picks are made.
We have broken down different parts of the impeachment inquiry the last two weeks in Episode 71 and Episode 70.
All of our podcasts and the audio versions of our pre shows all originate on SoundCloud but can immediately thereafter be found ANYWHERE you can find a podcast. After we livestream the preshow on our FaceBook it joins all of our other videos on our YouTube channel. T-shirts are available and can be purchased through our email or Facebook. $20 local and $25 shipped in the US. Subscribe, rate and review to help us get our name out there. After you rate and review us, send us a screenshot and you will get $5 OFF YOUR FIRST T SHIRT! If you would like to support the podcast in another way we have Venmo @SaltOfThe-Streets and CashApp @$saltofthestreets

Blogpost 10/24: The Role of Personal Accountability in America

Today (10/23) Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of FaceBook, testified in front of The Financial Services Committee of the House of Representatives. Zuckerberg was there to testify both about Libra, the digital currency FaceBook has been getting involved in as well as a settlement Facebook entered with HUD (the department of Housing and Urban Development) over discriminatory ads being purchased and posted on their platform. On the whole, this sounds like an excellent thing for Zuckerberg to be testifying about. But as with the last time the Zuck testified, the questions quickly turned very partisan, and again seemed to want to remove every shred of personal responsibility and accountability that every American citizen should hold.

If you were listening the last time we covered Zuck testifying – I will link to it under the post – but he testified last time about the the role Facebook had in the 2016 election. Today, he was questioned many times about his recent “announcement” that FaceBook would not be fact checking political ads posted on their site, a decision that has drawn varying opinions around the country. Zuckerberg’s reason for this was that he felt American should know which politicians are credible and who is not. Something I agree with wholeheartedly. The flaw I see in his logic is that people don’t like to fact check information on their own, they would rather just believe what they read in one place or dismiss it entirely.

This was made apparent to me during his last testimony when he was grilled over allowing fake news and profiles to sway peoples’ opinions and make people “look stupid”. No mention of the individuals responsibility to check the validity of the information they are taking in before they share it (which everyone in this country very much has). But in the hearing today it was again asked why Zuckerberg and Facebook would allow false information to be posted on their site in the first place? Doesn’t Zuck believe he has some duty to police what people get to take in on Facebook? NO. For Mark Zuckerberg to pre screen what is posted on Facebook for anything other than what is exempt from the first amendment (and obviously terrorism, threats, etc.) would not only be violating our right to information and free speech, but also COMPLETELY removes any sense of personal responsibility that is held for what we CHOOSE to consume. No one is forced to be on Facebook.

No one is forced to friend, like, or follow anyone or anything on Facebook. You can even say you don’t like an ad and you likely won’t see it ever again. But for some reason, when politics and a large tech company are involved every man woman and child on the internet is turned into nothing but a victim to the informational assault of anyone with the money to place an ad. The Washington Post among MANY other news outlets make their living covering the lies of politicians and public officials. And in the world of rapid, almost instant, information that we live in it takes no more than a few clicks to check whether something is true. God forbid, you may have to read an entire article. But I’m pretty sure someone told me once that reading is good for you.

This absolution of personal responsibility and accountability doesn’t stop at political ads, it goes into corporate ads as well. In March of this year Facebook reached a settlement within HUD over slowing discriminatory ads to be purchased and take place on Facebook. These ads were for properties and were targeted at people for their age and location and in some cases ads were hidden from people who could have afforded and needed it. Since then, those options are no longer allowed when placing an ad for something that is covered under the Equal Opportunities Act AND a limited amount of options are available for the way those ads can be targeted. When questioned about this today, there was no mention of the companies who placed these ads or the fact that they had chosen to pay for discriminatory ads on Facebook, only that Zuckerberg and Facebook had allowed them to take place to begin with.

Please do not misunderstand me, certainly those discriminatory ads should not have been allowed to take place on Facebook, but if Facebook is expected to know that these ads were illegal, then so should the companies that placed them. Why does this not matter? Speaking as someone who has payed for ads on Facebook, there are literally hundreds of different options you can select to help tailor your ad, and until March EVERY ad used the same form. It is not by the choice of Facebook that these discriminatory ads were placed, but by the choice of the companies who paid for them.

It concerns me gravely that tech companies have begun to take the blame for situations that could have been avoided or mitigated had someone done what they should have from the beginning. Those are the people we should be blaming for this, not the tech companies who gave them the opportunity. In my opinion, I do not see racism or bias on the side of Zuckerberg simply because he (who also most likely had NOTHING to do with the design of the ad platform) runs a company that allowed people to take out discriminatory ads. I see racism and bias on the part of the companies who placed those ads in the first place. I do not blame Zuckerberg or Facebook for allowing people to post information that is not correct, I blame the people who choose to consume that content, not fact check it, and then share that false information anyway.

This dissolution of personal responsibility is how the general public always has someone else to blame for their problems. That very same dissolution? That’s how we got Trump. We have gone so far from being able to see what role we played in our own problems that we, as an electorate, let a horrible terrible person convince us that HE was the solution because THEY were the problem. Who are they? I don’t know. And neither does he. But in the end it doesn’t matter because “they” can never be “us”. At least until the other party holds the White House. Until we accept and understand our own responsibility for our lives and choices we will never escape this system of partisanship and denial. To improve this country, take responsibility for yourself and the choices you make. That is all that we can control. But once that is done, all else will fall into place.

Episode 71!

On a fun filled episode 71 Don and Offie crack open a monks indiscretion and go over the strange events and nuance surrounding the impeachment inquiry that was broken down in episode 70 including prior knowledge of the whistleblower report by Adam Schiff, texts between diplomats and process in the House of Representatives, a quick update on emoluments, Dons mom drops in, the rapid withdrawal of troops from Syria and the horrific aftermath of that decisio, the 4th round of democratic debates and the lies shared and the truth behind them including healthcare, guns, and foreign policy, and in SPORTS Colin owns Don in fantasy and the week 7&8 picks are made.
 
In episode 23 we talked about Peter Strzok and the allegations around him.
https://soundcloud.com/user-433586172/episode-23-july-21-2018
 
All of our podcasts and the audio versions of our pre shows all originate on SoundCloud but can immediately thereafter be found ANYWHERE you can find a podcast. After we livestream the preshow on our FaceBook it joins all of our other videos on our YouTube channel. Subscribe, rate and review to help us get our name out there. After you rate and review us, send us a screenshot and you will get $5 OFF YOUR FIRST T SHIRT!
 
T-shirts are available and can be purchased through our email or Facebook. $20 local and $25 shipped in the US. For $5 OFF YOUR FIRST SHIRT, just leave us a review wherever you listen to the pod, send us a screenshot and the discount is yours. If you would like to support the podcast in another way we have Venmo @SaltOfThe-Streets and CashApp @$saltofthestreets

Episode 70 & Scheduling Updates

With Episode 70 we are announcing that Salt of The Streets will begin releasing podcasts every other week. In order to make sure we don’t leave a gaping hole of content in your line up we will be releasing blogposts and audio blogposts on our off weeks. This time will allow us to strengthen and maintain strong ties with our family as well as continue to provide a quality product to our devoted listeners. It is because of you that we are able to do what we love and we want to thank you for your continued support. Keep sharing and spreading the word about what we are doing to help bridge the gap for other people in the world around you.

On a glorious episode 70 Don and Offie dive deep into a pint of space blood as well as the growing concerns around vaping and the two main issues that have been conflated into one that is leading to many different bans around the country, the trial and sentencing of Amber Guyger, best wishes to Podcoin as we dissect their business model, why vaping bans aren’t comparable to safe injection sites, why babys can be happy in small spaces, the Sandy Hook rabbit hole is not worth traveling, the full and complete timeline to understanding the recent Impeachment Inquiry and the legitimacy around it and the week 6 picks are made and tight ends are cursed in a very fast SPORTS!!

In Episode 65 we would have discussed Dan Coates Resigning

All of our podcasts and the audio versions of our pre shows all originate on SoundCloud but can immediately thereafter be found ANYWHERE you can find a podcast. After we livestream the preshow on our FaceBook it joins all of our other videos on our YouTube channel. Subscribe, rate and review to help us get our name out there. After you rate and review us, send us a screenshot and you will get $5 OFF YOUR FIRST T SHIRT!

T-shirts are available and can be purchased through our email or Facebook. $20 local and $25 shipped in the US. For $5 OFF YOUR FIRST SHIRT, just leave us a review wherever you listen to the pod, send us a screenshot and the discount is yours. If you would like to support the podcast in another way we have Venmo @SaltOfThe-Streets and CashApp @$saltofthestreets

Episode 69 is LIVE!

The SOS boys will be off for the next two weeks but there WILL be content provided while we are gone! Be on the lookout for new blogposts and audio blogposts over the next two weeks! Thanks for sticking around!

Episode 69 takes Don and Offie down the path of the emoluments clause of the constitution and concerns regarding money spent at Trump hotels as well as excess tax payer money spent on Mike Pences travel, OJ Howard is tanking fantasy teams, a secret Taliban meeting is cancelled and John Bolton resigns(?), the building blocks of America are discussed and the most recent and worst Democratic Debates are discussed by topic including health care, gun control, and education, the Antonio Brown allegations are broken down and in SPORTS!! menisci are torn and mono is contracted.

In Episode 9 we would have discussed the appointment of John Bolton:

In Episodes 65 and 61 we discussed the previous debates

All of these episodes AND the rest can be found on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Podcoin and every other podcast platform and start on our SoundCloud. We livestream the pre show on our Facebook and then that video joins all of the rest on our YouTube

T-shirts are available and can be purchased through our email or Facebook. $20 local and $25 shipped in the US. For $5 OFF YOUR FIRST SHIRT, just leave us a review wherever you listen to the pod, send us a screenshot and the discount is yours. If you would like to support the podcast in another way we have Venmo @SaltOfThe-Streets and CashApp @$saltofthestreets

This episode is brought to you by Podcoin.

Episode 68 of Salt of The Streets Podcast!

On episode 68 Don and Offie remind us that the Democratic candidates don’t HAVE to make the next debates to continue to run, a recent New York Times article regarding the different “players” in the gun industry and Walmarts recent decision on guns and ammunition in their stores, Don and Offie arrive at similar conclusions on Walmarts decision for VERY different reasons, the roles that credits cards could play in a gun buying experience and in personal finance in general, the muddiness around the recent “vape related” sickness and some clarity is provided, how modern media lost legitimacy long ago, Daniel Radcliff and True Grit remakes and in SPORTS!! the Antonio Brown saga continues and reaches its “final” resting place.

Here are a few other episodes where we discussed guns

Episode 67

Episode 66

Episode 62

 

You can find this episode and ALL of our episode on our SoundCloud and anywhere else that you can find a podcast. We livestream our pre shows on the Salt of The Streets Facbook and then upload them onto our YouTube along with the full episode and all of our other episodes.

T-shirts are available and can be purchased through our email or Facebook. $20 local and $25 shipped in the US. For $5 OFF YOUR FIRST SHIRT, just leave us a review wherever you listen to the pod, send us a screenshot and the discount is yours. If you would like to support the podcast in another way we have Venmo @SaltOfThe-Streets and CashApp @$saltofthestreets

This episode is brought to you by Podcoin.