I Thought He Came With You is Robert Ellison’s blog about software, marketing, politics, photography and time lapse.

Open letter to Nancy Pelosi

Sent to Speaker Pelosi today:

As an American, constituent and supporter I am writing to ask you to investigate President Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors and to pass articles of impeachment in the House.

You have said that impeachment must to be bipartisan. That would certainly need to be the end result in order for the effort to succeed. It does not make sense as a precondition for starting the process, especially if as you also said impeachment should not be started or avoided for a political reason.

You have also said that impeachment must wait for the completion of the Special Counsel investigation. Any crimes revealed by the investigation would be icing on the cake. By imposing this condition you are making the case that obstruction of justice by the President is normal, that violations of campaign finance law are minor and that using the office for personal enrichment is only to be expected. The President deserves to be tried in the Senate for these charges. The future of our democracy depends on us not accepting this behavior.

Disagreements on policy and personality should be resolved by the electorate. High crimes and misdemeanors are your job. Please do it.

The top four Petitions that will help to Impeach Trump

Updated on Monday, June 4, 2018

The top four Petitions that will help to Impeach Trump

Democrats are being rather lame about pushing to impeach Donald Trump. Sure, they don't have the votes. But maybe next year they'd stand a better chance of getting them if they did a little less cozying up on deals that won't happen and a little more talking up impeachment. It would be nice if Mueller wrapped things up and dropped an incontrovertible bombshell but that doesn't and shouldn't matter. It would be nice if the various Congressional enquiries did their job but again that should be viewed as icing on the cake.

Trump assaulted equal protection and religious freedom by banning Muslims from travelling to the US. It doesn't matter what else Mueller turns up. Trump violates the Emoluments Clause on a constant basis. We don't need anything more from Congress. It's hard to see the Comey firing as anything other than obstruction of justice. Democrats need to start beating the drum and get Trump out of office. They're not going to do it without a big push.

You should sign all of these petitions today:

Need to Impeach. Over a million signatures already.

Impeach Trump Now. Over 1.25M.

Impeach Donald J. Trump: The Million American Petition on change.org.

Impeach Trump on Care2.

After all that signing don't forget to call your Senators and Representative and make sure they know how you feel as well.

(Photo by Jacob Morch on Unsplash)

I didn't think I'd ever fall for fake news of Facebook

Updated on Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I seriously considered giving up Facebook as a New Year's resolution when it became clear that fake news was one of the many things that cost Hillary the election.

Not because of what other people might believe. The problem is me. I get my news primarily from the BBC and NPR. I cruise through RSS feeds and podcasts. I'm a savvy media consumer with a well honed bullshit filter. And then I fell for this:

I didn't think I'd ever fall for fake news of Facebook

It just continued to show up in my Facebook feed reposted from various friends and it wormed its way in as something totally Trumpian and plausible and, well, truthy. Which it isn't. I felt like I'd got as far as filling in the wire transfer form before stopping to think that the Nigerian Prince probably didn't need my personal help with expatriating his fortune. I didn't share it or quote it thankfully but it's like that study where everyone thinks they are a better than average driver. I'm vulnerable to this shit.

I keep reading articles about being a better Facebook user and always checking that the site hosting a story is reputable and written by people who have a footprint outside the site and reverse-searching any images to see if they've been used out of context etc etc etc. Which is implausible if you have more than one friend and comes across as victim blaming.

The horrible danger is that if you don't fact check every stupid quote on image meme the power of repetition lodges them somewhere in your subconscious where they become that thing that you read somewhere. Which is OK if you only read quality news but deadly if you want to catch up on old friends quickly.

What I really want is the friend part without the democracy ending bullshit part.

I tried Diaspora and App.net but they make Google Plus look lively. Facebook, I would pay you for an ad-free, brand-free experience. Also a ban on text on images.

I've been trying to block all the fake news sites that show up in my feed but for some reason that option isn't always available. Also that's probably an impossible task unless Facebook decides to offer shared block lists. Which is probably against their best interest.

I wrote this post to talk myself out of not using Facebook but I don't think I've managed to convince myself yet...

(Meme image grabbed from CNN).

(*on*)

Scott Adams

Updated on Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Scott Adams

Dilbert creator Scott Adams recently endorsed Donald Trump. I could take it if this was just our daisyworld politics in action. But it's a horrible post that boils down to money and rationalization.

"I don’t know the best way to defeat ISIS. Neither do you. I don’t know the best way to negotiate trade policies. Neither do you."

The first plank of the argument is that he can't make a call on most issues and so he's not qualified to weigh in. Welcome to democracy. The job is to make the best choice that you can with imperfect information. If you can't do that then do the rest of us a favor and abstain.

"You can argue whether an estate tax is fair or unfair, but fairness is an argument for idiots and children."

The second plank is that he might be less well off if the estate law changes.

So now the lack of an opinion on any other issue makes sense. If you had to think about ISIS or trade (or walls or Muslims or women) then maybe a dent in your income would have to move down a position or two or fifty. But if, aw shucks, you're just not smart enough to make those calls then it's a conveniently self-serving single issue election.

All of this is true even if raising the estate tax is a bad policy. But at the risk of coming across as a child or idiot maybe there's something in it:

"Between 1979 and 2007, paycheck income of the top 1 percent of U.S. earners exploded by over 256 percent. Meanwhile, the bottom 90 percent of earners have seen little change in their average income, with just a 16.7 percent increase from 1979 to 2014."

I don't know the best estate tax policy. But Scott, neither do you.

Updated 2016-10-12 20:28:

So over the weekend he switched his endorsement to Gary Johnson. Maybe:

"You might enjoy my book because you’re not sure if I’m really endorsing Gary Johnson or just saying so to protect my brand."