Editorial License

Rob Hammerton, music educator etc.

On Oaths, With Occasional Swearing


(A blog post gets a foreword? Yes.)

With apologies: this blog post has grown like Topsy since just before Christmas, partly because of the careening nature of life here at the home of the Blogge, but mostly because of the careening nature of current events. Think you’ve got a handle on the news? Half a day later, there’s an event, or a quote, or something, out there that eclipses what you thought was at the extreme end of possibility.

This post originally started at the Senatorial oath you see quoted in indented-paragraph form below. Shortly thereafter, the post’s topic (target?) – sure enough – did something that may not have eclipsed his previous achievement but assuredly added to the near-cartoonish sense of are you even kidding me?

So I thought I had a new, fresh beginning to the post, which I could place at the beginning of what I thought was the original essay. That fresh beginning begins with the words, “Okay. First thing”, below.

So … a gentle addition, edition, both, whatever, not too complicated; run that baby!

And then, today, in a classic Friday night news dump, a declassified version of a US intelligence-community report was released. The headline in The Hill read: “Declassified report: Putin ordered election interference to help Trump”.

Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary [Hillary] Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump,” the report reads.

We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him.”

The bombshell document details the intelligence community’s findings but provides little in the way of forensic evidence backing up its assessment, citing the need to protect sources and methods. [Italics mine.]

While the conclusions in the report are all reflected in the classified assessment, the declassified report does not and cannot include the full supporting information, including specific intelligence and sources and methods,” the report reads.

and it brought my original post screaming back into relevance.


Okay. First thing. This brief moment of utter hypocrisy:

The headline reads, “[Sen.] Mitch McConnell [(R. – Ky.)] Says Americans Won’t Tolerate Democrats Blocking Supreme Court Nominations”. The writer continues, “McConnell’s admonition that the American public may not put up with prolonged Democratic obstruction is curious in light of his own plan to not lift a finger on any of Obama’s nominees.”

Curious” is not exactly the word I would use.

Two words: Merrick Garland. 294 days without a hearing. The longest time for a Supreme Court nominee to go without a hearing in the last 100 years.

Two other words: Sen. McConnell, you really honestly don’t care that you sound like an utter, utter hypocrite, right out in the open, do you? It’s not okay if you Democrats want to do it, but it’s perfectly fine and in fact clever and smart if I do it. Tremendous.

Two other words (I know, I know; go with the joke): there’s something else about Mitch McConnell that is related to that — but much, much more important. And it applies to a comparable number of other Washington politicians.


I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

     -Oath of office for United States Senators (emphases added)

Lemme see if I got this straight.

You’re telling me that in September … well before the Presidential election … the CIA briefed the “Gang of 12”, an inauspiciously-named group of Congressional leaders from both sides of the political aisle. And in this briefing, the CIA reported that seventeen separate US intelligence agencies felt they had credible evidence that Russian intelligence agencies had carried out cyber-activity intended specifically to support the Republican candidate for the US presidency.

Senate Democrats reportedly were unanimous in their recommendation to release this news to the American public. But Sen. Mitch McConnell, US Senator from Kentucky, United States Senate majority leader, advocated not doing so.

I’ll say it here, although it should be so clear as to not need to be expressed: Mitch McConnell should be charged with treason.

Read on.

He saw evidence that a foreign government was interfering with a US presidential election – not conspiring to generically and non-specifically reduce confidence in our concept of Democracy, but conspiring to AFFECT the election in the favor of their preferred candidate. A foreign power had attempted to interfere with this country’s election. This interference might even rise to the level of an act of war against the United States. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, and did, nothing. No – sorry – worse: he advocated actively keeping this information from the voters who could have used this knowledge; which is to say, all of them. All of us.

So much for representative government. So much for being a public servant.

So much for loyalty to one’s own country. So much for upholding one’s oath of office.

So much for professed love for and adherence to the US Constitution.


This is treason.

It is nothing but.

I’d be saying this if it were merely (!) the sanctity of an election that was at stake here.

But there’s another layer to this.

This summer, the Democratic National Committee website was hacked, AND the Republican National Committee website as well, by Russian intelligence organizations. The Russians released what they found in the DNC website. They did not release anything they found in the RNC database. The Russians released, effectively, opposition research for the benefit of the Republican candidate. They did not release anything like that for the benefit of the Democratic candidate.

Just what did they find out about the Republican candidate for president? About other Republican candidates for other national offices? About members of the RNC staff and leadership? About people who are up for appointed (not elected) Cabinet positions within the coming Republican administration, who have business ties to Russian interests? … What did they find out about them, what bits of tantalizing information, which they knew they could hold back, the better to use in an effort to blackmail any of them, in the future? Or to influence US economic and foreign policy to benefit themselves?

And if I know this (thanks to reputable, not fake-news, sources) … surely Mitch McConnell knew it.



McConnell knew.

And McConnell’s not the only one.

But we can start there.

If McConnell knew, the rest of the security-clearance-laden Republican Gang of 12 members knew. Trump, the de facto head of the Republican Party (and the loser of the popular vote) knew. And it is documented that not a one of the Republican members of the Gang of 12 wanted the American public to know.

At the very least, Sen. McConnell put the interests of the American public – our interest in knowing that our elections are conducted in a remotely fair way, and our interest in being aware that a foreign country was making cyberspatial war on us – second. He put his own interests – financial and power-oriented – first.

He was willing and happy to look the other way, when he was among the few people who could have looked straight at what was happening, and said something about it.

And for what?

Maintaining his power and personal fortune? And that of his friends, and family?

(“Must make sure that my wife, Elaine Chao, will still receive a Cabinet-level appointment in the coming Republican administration. Must not keep this from happening.”)

This is treason.

McConnell is a traitor.

And again, it’s not just McConnell.

But it’s a great place to start, perhaps to head off or at least shine a light upon what is actually happening here.

We are looking at a coup.

The Russian government wants to control the American government. And this is cheaper than starting an actual shooting war; and they get the benefits of any part of the American economy that any of Trump’s hired minions control. Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, who would have made a $500 billion deal with a Russian oil company if the US government hadn’t meddled with pesky sanctions against Russia, a short time ago … is the current nominee for US Secretary of State. Hmmmmmm. It all starts to make sense now.

McConnell will never be charged with treason, of course. How silly to think so. The US Congress is in Republican-majority hands, and (I would judge, based on my observations of at least the past six years of that Republican Congressional majority) nothing will keep Republican members of Congress from choosing the good of their party over the good of their country. How I know this is: the fish rots from the head down. The head of Republican congressional leadership is Mitch McConnell, and Mitch McConnell puts party before country. What are his Congressional underlings supposed to do, after all, but rot?

They are cowards. Cartoonishly corrupt cowards. Cowards who seem largely willing to be seen as such, and who seem not to care how cartoonishly corrupt they look. They’ll get theirs, and screw the rest of y’all.

And because these cowards are wealthy (you need to be wealthy nowadays in order even to run for national office), and sheltered (tax- and otherwise; thanks to their guaranteed Congressional lifelong salaries and health insurance coverage, they will never know want) … they will likely never be made to feel the repercussions of their cowardice. They’ll even likely be rewarded for it. Again: they’ll get theirs, and screw the rest of y’all.

The list of corrupt, Constitutionally-challenged cowards starts with Mitch McConnell.

And so, he should be called what he is – and so should everyone in Washington who knew something, but did nothing.



This is treason.

It is nothing but.


[Ed. Note: Two weeks … fourteen days … until we inaugurate a dangerously unstable person – who will have the assistance of a Congress whose partisan majority is comprised of hypocritical, corrupt cowards.



January 6, 2017 - Posted by | current events, government, news, politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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