Earlier today, in a made for TV ritual, the United States Senate did something, but it wasn’t really interesting at all.
Ninety-nine Senators were there.
The most conservative among them, Republican Jim Inhofe, Oklahoma’s senior senator, 85, wasn’t there, because he was way too busy back home in the Earthquake State writing the sequel to his climate change denier book, The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future (2012, published by the Republican National Committee).
86-year old Republican Chuck Grassley, the senior senator from Iowa, was not in the Hawkeye State campaigning for Donald Trump.
Grassley, who has been in the Senate since 1980, is the president pro tempore of what used to be a gentlemen’s debating society.
Our Chief Congressional Correspondent, associate solitary reporter Melissa Smith, 35, watched as Grassley mumbled a few words to Chief Justice John Roberts (a very smart Republican who saved the Affordable Care Act, at least for the time being), so the Chief Justice could preside in the third presidential impeachment trial in this very young nation’s history.
ASR Smith is determined to find out why there are no term limits for Republican U S Senators.
Anyway, it was Grassley the Grizzled who opened the ritual by investing the Chief Justice with the power to preside over the acquittal of Donald Trump.
Then the Chief Justice asked ninety-nine U S Senators to be impartial jurors, even though Senate Majority Leader Addison Mitchell McConnell Jr. has already made it extraordinarily clear that he considers impartiality to be something invented by somebody whom he would gladly describe as a loony Democrat.
All ninety-nine said yes, but McConnell had both his hands behind his back with his fingers crossed.
Our Washington-based associate solitary reporter Keith Coleman, who served as Chief of Staff for the late, great Senator Mike Mansfield (D-Montana), was in the Senate gallery with Odessa-born Lev Parnas and Parnas’ attorney, Joseph Bondy.
Parnas is a close personal friend of Trump (even though Trump says he doesn’t know him, despite photographic and video evidence to the contrary) and is an intensely close personal friend of Trump’s Shadow Secretary of State and Chief Political Operative, Rudy Giuliani.
Our Chief International Correspondent, associate solitary reporter Larry Theis, who is fluent in Russian and Ukrainian, was seated to the left of Parnas, so he could hear everything that Parnas said to Bondy and ASR Coleman.
“I am so deeply offended that Trump says he doesn’t know me.”
“He’s the most corrupt man ever to sit in the Oval Office.”
“I live in Florida,” Parnas continued, “and in a moment or two I’m going to jump from my seat here in the gallery and, using my parachute, I’m going to descend to the floor of the Senate and go directly to my senators, 'Little Marco' Rubio and Rick Scott.”
“They’re both Republicans, so they have their own constituencies in the Sunshine State, and neither of them likes McConnell.”
“I’m gonna tell both Little Marco and Scott that if they don’t vote to convict Trump, I won’t give either of them a single penny from my vast business interests."