Let’s talk impeachment for a minute.

FYI: The United States of America has never actually impeached and removed a president before.

Americans toss the idea of impeaching a president around pretty casually in conversation. We demand it, we talk about it like it’s a one-and-done kind of thing.

It is not. It really, really isn’t.

You can read about how federal impeachment works on Wikipedia, but very basically, the House Judiciary Committee first investigates if a president has committed impeachable offenses of some sort. “Impeachable offenses” are defined pretty vaguely in the Constitution: “Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

So first the House Judiciary investigates. Investigation can take quite awhile – months, easily. If they find something they think is an “impeachable offense,” usually some kind of crime, the Judiciary will issue articles of impeachment with specific allegations. The articles of impeachment are sent on to the full House of Representatives.

The House debates the various allegations and votes on the articles of impeachment. A simple majority vote is needed to pass the articles. After that, folks from the House of Representatives present the case to the Senate.

The Senate holds a trial. The House presents the prosecution case, and the president would have his lawyers defend him. After hearing the case, the Senate deliberates among themselves, and they need a two-thirds super majority to convict the president.

Once the president is convicted, he’s out. This is a process that can take months. Clinton’s impeachment took just over a year, and I don’t think that’s counting whatever investigations the House Judiciary did at the time.

Impeaching a president is a lengthy, cumbersome, drama-filled process, and one that is not generally undertaken lightly by Congress.

Another thing to consider: The United States has never actually impeached and convicted a president before. We’ve never kicked a president out of office.

We’ve impeached two presidents in the House, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, but they were both acquitted in the Senate. We started to impeach Richard Nixon, but he resigned before we really got going.

We’ve had 45 presidents over the course of 242 years. Some of them were pretty frickin’ awful. A few of them were monsters. And we’ve never kicked a single one out of office by impeachment.

I’m pointing this out to you because I want you to understand that impeaching a president and removing them from office has a momentous weight of history bearing down on it. This is the kind of action that stamps its mark on history for generations.

This is, as Joe Biden might say, a big fuckin’ deal.

Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t do it. I’m not saying Trump doesn’t deserve it. (If anyone does, I’m pretty sure it’s him.) I’m just saying, this is not a thing you just up and do.

So if you’re one of the many, many people or news pundits out there who’s all “He should be impeached, why aren’t we impeaching him, we should do it tomorrow, yaddayaddayadda,” hey, take a breath. This isn’t going out for ice cream, man.

It’s probably gonna happen. We’ll probably at least try to impeach Trump. But it’s going to take a minute. Nobody changes the arc of history overnight.

Featured photo: US Capitol Building, by Martin Falbisoner. CC BY-SA 3.0. Source and licensing.

Re: Ghostbusters 2020

I don’t know if I have the strength and patience for one more round of pissbaby nerdrage over a Ghostbusters movie, people.

Maaaan. They’re doing another Ghostbusters sequel/reboot/thing.

This one’s going to be in the Bill Murray/Dan Aykroyd/etc. “universe,” not a sequel to the 2016 Ghostbusters, and I just, uugh.

I enjoyed the 2016 Ghostbusters. It was funny and fun, Chris Hemsworth was a gem, and Kate McKinnon’s Jillian was the best. I thought it had a few problems. Leslie Jones was pretty underserved by her character, for starters. They should have given her something better to work with. But overall? Good movie. Laughed my ass off.

Then the Internet’s Pissbaby Men’s League got their knickers all in a twist over the movie because – *gasp!* – there were girls in it. If you don’t remember, it turned into a whole bullshit thing. They deliberately tanked the scores for the movie on review sites. If you mentioned the movie on social media (particularly Twitter), pissbabies ganged up on you and shat all over your account.

It was endless. They chased Leslie Jones off Twitter with horrific, racist abuse. Parts of Twitter and Reddit were wall-to-wall fat jokes and hate for Melissa McCarthy.

All because they put girls in a Ghostbusters movie.

Now they’re doing this sequel/reboot/whatever thing in the “original universe” and there’s already pissbabies crowing about it on Twitter and shitting up women’s tweets about it. And I just…

If I have to listen to one more crybaby who’s mad because he’s such a socially-inept trash person that he can’t get laid so he’s mad about women doing literally anything and turns up for every new inclusive nerd thing to shit all over it, my hand to god, I will lose my entire damn mind.

See, here’s the thing: I grew up watching Ghostbusters. I loved the first movie, I loved the cartoon, I even loved the considerably less-than-stellar Ghostbusters II. I had the toys, I think I even dressed as a Ghostbuster for Halloween once. I loved Ghostbusters 2016.

I want to love this new movie (assuming it even gets made, which is up in the air, since they’ve been trying to make a third Ghostbusters for like 30 years and it hasn’t happened yet).

But now Ghostbusters is a thing. And if I go see the movie, or talk about it, I have to feel like I’m somehow supporting or encouraging the Pissbaby Men’s League. Like, I just want to watch people be funny and fight ghosts with weird laser guns.

I’m living in a golden age of nerddom, and all the nerdy things I love are getting more and more inclusive of women and non-white and non-straight/cis people (well, that one’s moving a bit slower, but we’re getting there), and I feel like the things I love are now more available for more people to love, which is awesome. Except every time someone tries to open up a new realm of nerddom for more people to enjoy, this little clique of assholes rages up and shits all over everyone, and ruins it.

It’s just so tedious and tiresome.

So, assuming they manage to make a new Ghostbusters, I dunno. I probably won’t bother watching it in the theater. Not sure I’ll bother renting it or even Netflixing it. I just can’t stand the idea of encouraging these assholes anymore.

Spider-Man, Crickets, Apples & TSS

The trailer for “Spider-Man: Far From Home” dropped, plus I have a couple of interesting things for you to read.

We got a Far From Home trailer! Mysterio looks great. I’m looking forward to Nick Fury and Spider-Man. Kind of weird to see Nick Fury all… Nick Fury-ed up, though. He’d ditched SHIELD after Civil War, then we saw him driving around with Maria Hill briefly at the end of Infinity War, having dropped his “incognito” look for full Fury regalia. No explanations given for that, so I’m hoping we find out what he’s been up to since Civil War, either in Spider-Man 2 or Endgame.

I do feel bad for Far From Home, having to follow Into the Spider-verse. That bar has been set pretty damn high, folks.

Okay, let’s read some stuff!

  • The Atlantic: Animals Keep Creating Mysteries by Sounding Weird – Okay, remember how there were those “sonic attacks” that American diplomats were dealing with in Cuba, and everyone was baffled, and people were getting brain damage and whatnot? Turns out: Crickets. Crickets and bullshit, apparently, as that whole “permanent brain damage” thing was based on wildly flimsy evidence.
  • Chuck Wendig: In Which I Rank Grocery Store Apples – Chuck Wendig is an author with a highly entertaining Twitter account, and one of the things he occasionally does on Twitter is review heirloom apples (hilariously). Well, apple season is pretty much over, so he’s reviewing grocery store apples (hilariously).
  • Lifehacker: Everything You Think You Know About Toxic Shock Syndrome Is Probably Wrong – This was a pretty informative and interesting read about TSS, a rare disease vagina-having people can get from putting things in their vaginas. (Mostly tampons, but not always.) It’s long, but worth a read, especially if you have a vagina you need to take care of.

And that’s all I’ve got today. The rest is all politics, and really, there’s not much new there to report. We’re still shut down, Trump and the GOP are still trash, everything is awful, all that jazz. But hey, The Flash is back on tonight, so that’s something to look forward to.

5 Things to Read Today (Jan. 11)

Today’s articles cover Internet fakery, bad forensic science, a huge malware attack, an awesome read about being a cable guy, and how your cell providers are selling your private data.

Bad Headlines & Poe’s Law

Reminder: Most people reading the news really only read headlines, particularly folks who get their news via social media. Y’all have to do better at headlines.

Two quick things about this screenshot.

First Thing: This headlines states that Donald Trump thought the the people he saw talking on the TV were talking privately to him. The article, however, is about an answer Pence gave to a question from NBC: “Which former presidents told President Trump, as he said, that he should’ve built a wall?” The answer was basically, “Maybe Trump saw it on TV.”

Look, guys, I know you’re trying to get clicks. We’re all trying to get clicks. But we’re dealing with a president who has an obvious mental impairment of some kind, and who seems to be in mental decline. You can’t go announcing that he thinks the TV people are talking directly to him, because that is shit we’ll all easily believe in real life.

You’re not helping.

Second Thing: The President of the United States is such a hot, festering mess that I just read a headline that said Trump thinks the TV people are talking directly to him, and I found that shit extremely easy to believe.

Like, it wasn’t a “Ha ha, he’s so dumb, I bet he does,” reaction. It was a “Yeah, he probably does, dude has dementia or something and dementia patients get confused like that,” response.

And that is terrifying.

The shutdown drags on…

Here’s some news about the ongoing government shutdown, Trump’s demands to address the nation during prime time on Tuesday, and, just for funsies, “Supernatural.”

Some good news: Russell Vought, the acting director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, claims the IRS will pay out tax refunds even if the government is still shut down. Details as to how they’ll do that are thin on the ground, considering they haven’t been legally allowed to disperse funds without actually having the funds in the past. And they won’t have funds until a spending bill gets passed. So I guess we’ll see?

And some bad news: The Dept. of Agriculture, which runs the SNAP program (“food stamps”), doesn’t know how much longer they’ll be able to pay those out. That’s real bad, folks.

Meanwhile, Trump wants to address the nation tomorrow at 9 p.m. so he can lie at us some more about his border wall. News folks were reporting earlier that network stations weren’t sure if they were going to carry the address, but the article I linked says they will. I’m not sure if that’s been updated recently or what. Keep an eye on that, I guess. And of course, if you do bump into Trump during prime time tomorrow evening, don’t believe a word he says. The man is pathologically unable to tell the truth.

Trump keeps saying he’s going to declare a national emergency and use his emergency powers to build his wall, and the House Democrats plan to meet him in court if he tries it. Other experts have said that a national emergency and presidential emergency powers still won’t get the wall built. NPR has a fact check, if you’re interested.

And, to wrap things up on a lighter note, it looks like Supernatural‘s 300th episode is going to have some favorite old faces involved somehow.

(Photo credit: White House in Washington, D.C. on Wikimedia Commons. Source and licensing.)