The President Should Not Be Impeached

The President Should Not Be Impeached

Removing the President of The United States of America by impeachment is no small business. It involves substantiated charges of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’. It requires a full vote by the House of Representatives, and a two-thirds conviction by the more deliberative body of the United States Senate. While battles over process have raged throughout our country’s history, this is only the fourth time the matter has been raised in seriousness. No President has ever been removed from office by our congress, and I think that’s something to be proud of. It’s a confirmation of the public confidence in our system. 

Donald Trump is facing a certain impeachment, and an uncertain vote of conviction in the Senate. His allies are hard at work to defend him, and have made it clear they intend to fight on until the end. We should expect and appreciate this kind of vitality from anyone we empower.  What shouldn’t expect is that our Senators will turn a blind-eye to proven criminal actions for the sake of a political party.

The President should not be impeached. A President SHOULD never be impeached. This President MUST be.

‘Russia if you’re listening…’ are words spoken publicly by then candidate Donald Trump in the summer of 2016. He openly implored a foreign nation to interfere in our elections. It has been proven that they did. More recently President Trump temporarily withheld military aid to Ukraine in exchange for their support against a political candidate for President from the opposition party. These transgressions are just the tip of the iceberg; former FBI director Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference and his report established a litany of crimes and charges against 35 people and 3 Russian businesses. This list includes Donald Trump’s campaign manager, deputy campaign manager, personal lawyer, and National Security advisor. It detailed 10 times where the President himself worked to obstruct justice, which is a felony regardless of political position.

In addition to this, Trump’s charitable foundation has been disbanded for committing fraud, his personal lawyer used campaign funds to pay hush money bribes to porn stars, Trumps businesses have been billing the government illegally, and foreign governments have been patronizing his businesses at the same time they ask him for foreign aid or tariff reductions. The Emoluments Clause (also known as the Title of Nobility Clause; Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution) expressly forbids this, and empowers Congress to determine what can be received/kept.  He has called federal witnesses ’rats’, has dangled Presidential pardons out as a potential reward for personal loyalty from these same witnesses, and his allies have openly made threats.  Congressman Matt Gaetz tweeted a message to Trumps former lawyer, Michael Cohen, the day before he was set to testify before congress, it read in part: “Maybe tonight would be a good time for that chat. I wonder if she’ll <implying Cohen’s wife> remain faithful while you’re in prison. She’s about to learn a lot.”  Matt Gaetz still hasn’t been charged by the FBI for attempting to intimidate a federal witness. I wasn’t surprised that Florida’s Bar and Ethics commission cleared him of wrongdoing because they have exhibited a long running pattern of political malfeasance, but I am stunned that our U.S. Department of Justice has taken a pass on the matter.

Nobody is above the law. 

Senators have an important choice to make: Will they uphold their oaths to protect the constitution, or will they trade their own credibility in order to keep Donald J Trump in power? As a nation we should be demanding that they do their jobs and abandon bought loyalty to a corrupt President. History has shown repeatedly that no nation which abandons an adherence to its own laws can survive for long. While this lawlessness might come from the top down, it is up to all of us to demand real change from the bottom up.

Posey Votes Against Overwhelming Bi-Partisan Bill to Fight Against Barbaric Shark Finning

Posey Votes Against Overwhelming Bi-Partisan Bill to Fight Against Barbaric Shark Finning

The same day in which Bill Posey argued about the science backed harmless levels of mercury in a very small number of flu vaccinations, he voted against a bill aimed at stopping the commercial trade of shark fins in the United States. Shark fins are known at times to contain mercury levels so high that they pose a public health risk. Again he argues against proven science and evidence, and when he has the opportunity to actually vote for something to stop the exact thing he argued for (decreasing risk of injury from mercury), he votes against it. We deserve better than this.

Our leaders have to make decisions based off of science, data, and facts; not fear and emotion. Posey increasingly makes decisions based off of conspiracy theories, misinformation campaigns, and posting videos from known discredited websites on his official Facebook page. In fact, he recently bazzaringly questioned Mark Zuckerberg in a hearing on cryptocurrency about why Facebook doesn’t promote anti-vax information. This is insane, but more importantly it’s dangerous.

This bill — the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act of 2019 — would make it illegal to possess, trade, distribute, sell, or purchase shark fins in the U.S. and also prohibit their import or export. It would also establish penalties for shark finning under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

This bill has 128 bipartisan cosponsors, including 101 Democrats and 27 Republicans, in the current session of Congress. Last Congress, this bill passed through both the Senate and House committees with the support of 262 bipartisan cosponsors in the House, including 177 Democrats and 85 Republicans. It has the support of Oceana, the Humane Society Legislative FundShark Stewards, and the Animal Welfare Institute.

The original cosponsor of the bill Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) says: “I am proud to help introduce the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act, which builds upon existing federal law and state initiatives to ban the sale, purchase, or possession of shark fins in the United States. The gruesome shark-finning practices are decimating populations and putting many species on the brink of extinction. This sound bipartisan legislation will promote conservation and responsible fishing practices that are good for the environment and our economy. As the largest economy in the world, how we conduct our commerce has a profound impact on global markets and greatly influences others’ economic behavior. It is long since time we leverage our economic might against shark-finning and work to counter the larger issue of animal poaching and the illicit trafficking of animal parts.”

What is shark finning?

Warning, this video is graphic but shows the brutality of this illegal practice.

Sharks are now being killed 30 percent faster than they can reproduce. It is estimated that between 2000 and 2011, 16,815 metric tons of shark fins were traded worldwide. This commerce is unsustainable, and some shark populations have declined by as much as 90% in recent decades, resulting in a crisis not only for sharks themselves but for the balance of ocean ecosystems.

In a poll from Oceana.org the key findings were:

  • Eighty-nine percent of voters agree that shark finning is a cruel and wasteful practice.
  • Seventy-five percent of registered Republicans and 84 percent of registered Democrats support the legislation.
  • Americans 65 years and older register the highest amount of support for the bill, at 91 percent.
  • Women register higher amounts of support for the bill than men, at 84 percent vs. 76 percent, respectively.
  • A subsample of 107 Floridian voters indicate 88 percent support for the bill.

“It’s clear that Americans support a ban on the trade of shark fins—and Congress should listen,” said Oceana campaign director Lora Snyder.

Bill Posey’s job is to represent your voice. Clearly he is not doing that. His duty is to make decisions based on facts, not special interest groups. His decisions put us all at risk. As an engineer and a scientist, it is what I do for a living, and it is what I will do for you. 

The science and data are clear; our water should be also.

Jim Kennedy

Posey Votes Yes to Permit Dumping Mining Waste into our Drinking Water

Your vote matters, and so does your Congressman’s. That’s why I have to question why someone who claims to be an advocate for our environment has been consistently voting against it hoping that no one will notice. You can see the roll call vote here.

If February of 2017, Bill Posey voted yes in support of H.J.Res.38 – Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of the Interior known as the Stream Protection Rule. This joint resolution nullifies the Stream Protection Rule finalized by the Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement on December 20, 2016. The rule addresses the impacts of surface coal mining operations on surface water, groundwater, and the productivity of mining operation sites.

The purpose of this rule was to reduce the occurrence of an environmental hazard known as acid mine runoff, defined by the Environmental Protection Agency:

Acid mine drainage is the formation and movement of highly acidic water rich in heavy metals. This acidic water forms through the chemical reaction of surface water (rainwater, snowmelt, pond water) and shallow subsurface water with rocks that contain sulfur-bearing minerals, resulting in sulfuric acid. Heavy metals can be leached from rocks that come in contact with the acid, a process that may be substantially enhanced by bacterial action. The resulting fluids may be highly toxic and, when mixed with groundwater, surface water and soil, may have harmful effects on humans, animals and plants.

The previous administration Stream Protection Rule, written by the Department of Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation (OSMRE). Within it were new restrictions for mining permits in areas with potential for surface water contamination, as well as language clarifying a stricter definition of “stream buffer rules.” A lack of clarity regarding buffer zone regulations that were meant to curb acid mine runoff was discussed in a history of stream protection published on the OSMRE web site:

In 1983, OSMRE issued a rule that required a 100-foot “buffer zone” adjacent to streams. Environmental groups have alleged that the 1983 rule is an outright prohibition on the disposal of excess spoil that buries streambeds, which could severely limit coal mining operations in Appalachia. Historically, OSMRE and some Appalachian states did not interpret the 1983 rule in this manner.
In 2008, OSMRE finalized the Stream Buffer Zone Rule to clarify OSMRE’s interpretation of the 1983 rule. The 2008 Stream Buffer Zone Rule explicitly allows excess spoil to be placed in streams, though it also added new requirements designed to reduce the adverse environmental impacts of doing so.
Environmental groups challenged the 2008 Stream Buffer Zone Rule in court … and in February 2014, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia vacated the 2008 Stream Buffer Zone Rule. The decision reinstated the 1983 version of the Stream Buffer Zone Rule.

Alex Kasprak

So essentially, passing of this new resolution has taken us back to 1983.  It does not in itself legalize anything — rather, it invalidates an update to the 1983 law, leaving plenty of wiggle room for interpretations friendlier to the mining industry and an enemy to our water supply. We need leaders who are ready to move us forward and learn from the mistakes of our past. Not ones who blindly vote and take us back from decades of research and science. The science and data are clear; our water should be also.

Posey Votes Against the Environment and for Special Interest Groups

Posey Votes Against the Environment and for Special Interest Groups

Yesterday my opponent voted against the environment and for party lines. Despite overwhelming opposition by his constituents, and even our Governor, Posey voted to allow off shore drilling on our coasts. Governor Desantis stated “we’re not a state for that” and he “will be raising Cain” if drilling plans advance. 

Thankfully, this bill to stop the drilling passed the house, with Republican support from Representatives Matt Gaetz and Mast. We need a leader in congress who doesn’t just say he cares about the environment, but shows it in his actions and votes. No state is more effected by the environment than Florida. Our economy depends upon it. Our Indian River Lagoon and wildlife depend on the responsible actions of us. Could you imagine the devestation of our economy and environment with another BP Oil spill right off of our own coast? We are supposed to learn from our mistakes, not continue to do the same things that continue to put us at risk.

Your representative is supposed to represent your voice, not the voice of special interest groups. I want to hear your voice and I will be your voice. I will make decisions based on facts, data, and science, and I will always protect our environment over any party line. This is certainly one issue we can all come together on and be better.

Here’s a record of the vote:
http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2019/roll525.xml

More info about the bill:
https://www.countable.us/bills/hr1941-116

Never Forget How We Came Together When We Were Torn Apart

Never Forget How We Came Together When We Were Torn Apart

18 years ago today, 2,792 people lost their lives to terrorists in the September 11th attacks.  18 years, and yet I still recall the day as if it was only last week; Mike, Tom, and I huddled around Nick’s TV watching as the towers fell and wondering what was next.  But for some people, those 18 years have been their entire lives, and our post-9/11 world is all they know.  They have always lived with politicians and the media using ‘us’ and ‘them’ to divide us and define how we live.  Fighting with each other, instead of fighting the issues and causes that led to the attack by al-Qaeda.

When the attacks happened, I had recently finished up 8 years with the Navy and was using my GI Bill to get a degree.  Like a lot of veterans at the time, I wondered if I would be recalled somehow, or asked to return, I also wondered if I should just re-up on my own.  As the war on terror evolved and progressed, it became clear that the need for an aviation electrician specializing in submarine hunting was not an ‘in demand’ billet for desert warfare.  I had heeded the call from the first Gulf War when only 17 and still in high school, this time I figured to finish college and look for an OCS opportunity to return and assist the Country.  However, this time the calling came as an engineer who could assist by using my new skills to design military equipment and systems that helped to enhance and protect the next generation of Service Members.  It certainly was not as courageous as those that were called to fight, but I do feel that my work helped those that were more directly involved in that conflict, as the designers of the equipment I used, assisted and protected me when I served.  I saw my work as a fight against hate, and the role I could play was being an engineer, as we all have our own parts to play in any society.

I too have reacted emotionally and fallen for the misinformation of ignorance being pushed to us by many outlets; blaming or labeling a group and ignoring that it was specific people who committed these acts Men who had hate in their hearts and used societal tools, like religion, to justify their actions.  None of us are perfect people, and we must continuously work together to achieve our goals.  We must never forget that there are evil men in this world, and that good men must stand in opposition to those that seek to do harm.  But we must also not let fear or anger cloud our judgement.  We all must stand together against extremism, be it religious, racial or ideological.  We need to listen to each other so that we can see our common ground and not just the differences.  The only way to make our country, and the world better, is by working together accepting our differences and acknowledging our commonalities. On September 12th our Country did just that. We set aside things that don’t really matter in order to do good. We came together, and showed the world we are better together. Let’s keep it that way.

Jim

Posey Votes Against Violence Against Women’s Act; Folds to NRA Pressure

Posey Votes Against Violence Against Women’s Act; Folds to NRA Pressure

Domestic violence victims are 5 times more likely to be killed if their abuser has access to a gun. In the U.S., a woman is killed by an intimate partner with a gun every 16 hours. The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) that made improvements in services for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse, also aimed to tighten gun laws against the abusers. The bill passed. Bill Posey voted against it. Why?

Individuals convicted of domestic violence offenses against a spouses or family member are already banned from owning firearms under federal law. Unfortunately, and to a women’s detriment, this law may not apply if you are not married to your abuser. This out- dated premise known as the “boyfriend loophole” is fundamentally flawed. This legislation seeks to close the loop. An overwhelming 93 percent of the women murdered by men in 2015 were killed by a man they knew, according to a recent study conducted by the Violence Policy Center.

The bill in question also included a provision that would make it illegal to own a firearm if you were subject to a temporary restraining order. Experts say that victims are at the greatest risk of danger immediately after filing for a protective order, and are likewise in dire need of this protection. What seems like common sense measures to protect victims from their abusers, did not outweigh the importance of owning a gun according to Posey’s vote. By voting this way, he has placed the rights of guns over the right to safety (and in some cases the right to live). Perhaps this isn’t all that surprising if you’re already aware of Posey’s A rating with the NRA and the thousands upon thousands of dollars he has received from them during his elections.

But this isn’t the first time Representative Posey has voted against the landmark of 1994 to protect women from violence. In fact; he has voted against it every time it has been brought to the floor during his tenure. Fortunately, despite this unjustified and disgraceful opposition, it has still passed. Until now. Although it has passed the house, it is now at the mercy of the Senate, where Mitch McConnell has blocked it. Now more than ever, it is imperative that we keep guns out of dangerous people’s hands. A domestic abuser is certainly a red flag. It’s a burning flag.

Every right we have in this Country comes with a responsibility. The second amendment allows us to own a weapon should we choose to. It does not allow us to be irresponsible or unlawful. Those who abuse their rights or exercise them unlawfully, are subject to restriction in order to protect the public. The number one role of the government is to provide safety to its citizens. Any legislation or lack thereof that puts individuals at greater risk is unacceptable and a failure of government. Any lawmaker that puts special interest groups above their constituents safety and best interests is also unacceptable.

The NRA has enormous influence over Republicans in Congress because of the money it gives them. In the 2016 elections, they spent close to half a billion dollars supporting Republican candidates. However, If their candidate of choice break ranks and votes against their interests; the NRA will spend even more in their opposition. The longer a lawmaker is in office, the more influence they can have on them. I am going to change that. I will never take a dime from the NRA which within itself is falling apart at this very moment from alleged internal corruption. I will always stand for protecting everyone against violence over any influence. I am not a career politician. I have signed the US Term Limits pledge and will honor it, and seek to bring term limits to congress.

It’s time to get large interest group money out of politics. I am committed to campaign finance reform. The influence of outside money in our government has proven to be polarizing, divisive, and crippling. The focus has shifted from the electors to the elected, no longer representing the great people of our nation. I want to hear your voice. I want to be your voice. I want to make things better, and I want to do it together.

Please let me hear from you. Click here to send me a message on your thoughts. Or go to my Facebook page and see what listening event I have scheduled in your area. If you would like to contribute a small amount to help bring us back together, please click here.

Where We Came From

Where We Came From

“Go back where you came from…” You may not know how far they’ve come. It’s far too easy to judge from our very prosperous and blessed nation. Our children may never have to even dream about the everyday realties of others. We aren’t a Nation of open borders, but a Nation of open hearts. To whom much is given, much is expected. Expect more from our leaders. Expect more from ourselves. We’ve come much too far to go back where we came from.

Space industry electrical engineer Jim Kennedy running for Congress vs. incumbent Bill Posey

Space industry electrical engineer Jim Kennedy running for Congress vs. incumbent Bill Posey

Click here for article.

Teacher’s Salary

Teacher’s Salary

What can we do in life that does not start with learning?  From the family farmers teaching their children how to care for the land, to the scientist who design a new spacecraft, to the plumbers who keep our system ‘flowing’.  They all started with learning a trade or skill.  To learn a new skill we need the basic building blocks of knowledge, and who teaches us these skills?  Teachers.  Teachers teach, and are, the base foundation on everything we learn and achieve in life.  How do we expect our children to succeed when we don’t provide the ones getting them a start with a livable wage?

We need to increase funding to our schools and teachers if we want to avert a future without progress.  I propose we expect more from our teachers, but we need to give them a reason to reach higher.  With increased teacher salaries and educational incentives; tuition reimbursement, raises for higher degrees and skills (trades teachers), we can attract and retain the best for our children and our future.