Monthly Archives: September 2020

The Untimely Death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Is Tragic and Consequential More than Any Before Her


The iconic Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, otherwise popularly known as RBG passed on last evening and you can almost touch the sense of loss felt across the nation.

This is because RBG was not only the iconic justice she was and an inspiration for many, especially women across the world, she was one of four justices in the Supreme Court appointed by Democrats or “liberal” justices as they are commonly referred to.

Her passing means one of the most hated, if not the most hated president in US history will have a chance to appoint a third justice therefore having his stench remain with us for a long time. Never mind that Trump and Republicans will try and shove down our throats a conservative justice when voting has started for 2020 general elections.

When I first saw the news of RBG’s passing, I felt both sad for the loss of this wonderful human being and sick at the prospect of having the man whose secretary of state never denied calling a moron having yet again another opportunity to appoint another justice of the Supreme Court.

So much so such that I woke up and couldn’t sleep anymore thinking about this so I decided to do the only thing I can do under these circumstances and that is just to write and share my thoughts about this.

I have several thoughts that have been in my mind since I had the sad news and these are jumbled in my mind and I have privately shared some of them with family and friends but let me try and organize them here.

To begin with, I hope the greatness of this wonderful woman will not be overshadowed by the elephant in the room and that is, her vacancy. I hope the media, including those of us who blog will take time at least the next few days before she is buried to focus and highlight her accomplishments.

To this end, let me just quote verbatim what former President Barrack Obama said about RBG and this sums up very well what everyone is saying about her:

Sixty years ago, Ruth Bader Ginsburg applied to be a Supreme Court clerk. She’d studied at two of our finest law schools and had ringing recommendations. But because she was a woman, she was rejected. Ten years later, she sent her first brief to the Supreme Court — which led it to strike down a state law based on gender discrimination for the first time.

And then, for nearly three decades, as the second woman ever to sit on the highest court in the land, she was a warrior for gender equality — someone who believed that equal justice under law only had meaning if it applied to every single American.

Over a long career on both sides of the bench — as a relentless litigator and an incisive jurist — Justice Ginsburg helped us see that discrimination on the basis of sex isn’t about an abstract ideal of equality; that it doesn’t only harm women; that it has real consequences for all of us. It’s about who we are — and who we can be.

Justice Ginsburg inspired the generations who followed her, from the tiniest trick-or-treaters to law students burning the midnight oil to the most powerful leaders in the land.

Michelle and I admired her greatly, we are profoundly thankful for the legacy she left this country, and we offer our gratitude and our condolences to her children and grandchildren tonight.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought to the end, through her cancer, with unwavering faith in our democracy and its ideals. That is how we remember her. But she also left instructions for how she wanted her legacy to be honored.

I fully concur and echo these sentiments and may RBG rest in peace.

On the political end, there is no denying RBG’s passing and who replaces her will have great impact and determination on which direction the court takes. Again, Obama summed it up very well and let me quote him again, he said,

Four and a half years ago, when Republicans refused to hold a hearing or an up-or-down vote on Merrick Garland, they invented the principle that the Senate shouldn’t fill an open seat on the Supreme Court before a new president was sworn in.

A basic principle of the law — and of everyday fairness — is that we apply rules with consistency, and not based on what’s convenient or advantageous in the moment. The rule of law, the legitimacy of our courts, the fundamental workings of our democracy all depend on that basic principle.

As votes are already being cast in this election, Republican Senators are now called to apply that standard. The questions before the Court now and in the coming years — with decisions that will determine whether or not our economy is fair, our society is just, women are treated equally, our planet survives, and our democracy endures — are too consequential to future generations for courts to be filled through anything less than an unimpeachable process.

The former president is right on.

Republicans in the senate led by Mitch McConnel will commit an unforgivable political blunder if they ram down our throats anyone Trump nominates—even if the justice is a known liberal. This is simply because the principle Republicans themselves enunciated is you cannot have a president appointing a justice to the supreme court during an election year.

We are not even talking about nominating someone during an election year in this case but nominating and ramming through the senate someone when elections are already underway, and people are voting!

Were McConnel to be reckless and tone-deaf enough to do this, then this is what I foresee happening, or is what Democrats must do as a response.

First, use the thuggery as a rallying cry to mobilize even more voters to take out vulnerable Republican senators and take over control of the Senate while increasing their majority in the House. It of course goes without saying the same efforts should and must produce a landslide victory for Biden and Harris at the polls.

Second, if Republicans ram through Trump’s nominee at this time when elections are underway instead of waiting for voters to have a say who appoints RBG’s successor, they will only do so by invoking the so-called nuclear option, meaning, doing away with the filibuster rule in the senate requiring 60 votes for important votes like this.

Third, doing away with the filibuster rule that protects the interests of a party out of power may enable Trump and Republicans to do what is convenient for them now, but they will leave to regret it because with Biden as president with both houses under Democratic control—and this must be the outcome if a nominee is rammed down our throats—Biden and Democrats will be able to, and they must quickly ram through far-reaching and impactful legislation to put in check with the Supreme Court can do.

For example, Biden and Democrats can increase the number of seats in the Supreme Court from 9 to 12. This alone will negate all appointments made by Trump and even though there was not much appetite to do this previously, it will be imperative that this happens, if this is how dirty Republicans want to play with power.

All that points to Republicans not being foolish enough to do this and this not even about Trump but the Republican’s own remaining relevant after November.

Say what you can about Americans and leaving aside the Trumpians for whom neither logic nor facts apply, a vast majority of Americans and I would even venture to say upward of 70% are thoughtful and favor fairness and justice for all.

If Republicans who denied Obama a simple up or down vote for his nominee to the Supreme Court Merrick Garland on grounds it was an election year and now flip their position to say Trump can appoint his nominee not just during an election year, but when voting has already started, they will pay dearly at the polls as this will anger and drive many voters to the polls who would otherwise not bothered to vote.

There; that is my analysis, so I am not concerned whichever way it goes. If McConnell knows this will be the scenario and doesn’t bring up the vote, then he might stand a chance the Senate remains Republican majority though barely; he forces the vote, the Senate flips to Democrats by as many as 5 seats majority.

I have read a statement Senator Mitch McConnel has issued saying he will allow a vote on Trump’s nominee notwithstanding his blocking Obama from appointing one under even less dire circumstances. To put it mildly, the statement and reasons given is as moronic as you would expect a tone-deaf Trump sycophant to do.

He must pay the political price for it and that means let’s use the only power we have against him and all other Republicans in the Senate and that is to vote overwhelmingly for Biden and give him a landslide and help those challenging Republican senators, including McConnel in any way we can, including contributing money to their respective campaigns.

God help us.

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Posted by on September 19, 2020 in Law


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Trump Squandered Opportunity to “Pivot” and Become the Leader He Has Never Been


After posting news about the latest book on Trump dropping bombshells about the man, someone responded saying “[Trump] was not voted in based on good character or astitute (sic) leadership credentials and these revelations won’t affect his core base.”

Let me whisper here something many of us know and would like to keep to ourselves by way of responding to that comment: nobody cares about Trump’s cult-like core base that he bragged he can shoot and kill someone and they’ll still adore and support him.

What we were concerned with after Trump shocked everyone, including himself losing the popular vote but being sworn as president in 2016, is that he would abandon his racist and mad stances to “pivot” and go on to win a second term more traditionally.

Going into late last year, however, that had not happened but he had proven plenty he was and still is the very inept and unfit person to be president he proves each day that goes by.

We therefore felt good as we went through the primaries, worried only that the Democratic Party doesn’t buckle and be divided in choosing its flag bearer and leave the party damaged to hand Trump an undeserved victory.

Thank God things went smoothly and Joe Biden emerged and remained the frontrunner and now the flagbearer.

Then in the midst of that Democratic primary came the pandemic which I will confess I told people I talk to about this that this was a second chance for Trump to “pivot” and show leadership no different than George W did following 911 and ride that to a second term much as W did.

Never happened and won’t happen in the less than 60 days left to election day, with early voting already underway.

I can’t say thank God for that but Trump’s inept and total failure to provide leadership during this pandemic is the last nail that nailed completely shut his political coffin, with all other nails being his now proven record of failure after failure, when he was not busy dividing the country, shredding norms, attacking institutions and abusing his office, complete with giving Putin a pass unlike what any other president would have done–and that is to say nothing about Putin having helped in his election in 2016 and is still trying in 2020 to no avail.

Trump’s defeat will be as historic as his accidental election as president because it will prevent the United States from crumbling and ceasing to be a world superpower and leader as Biden’s election means a mostly United States, but Trump’s reelection means an end to America as we knew it and one going full throttle to one led by a lawless dictator no less harmful than Putin or Kim Jung un.

Indeed, Biden’s victory will mean the country as well as the rest of the world breathing a sigh of relief and returning to a better place to live when this nightmare leaves the White House.

In sum, Trump’s base and those who voted for him can dismiss all these character flaws and still vote for him but this time around he will see dust for two reasons:

First, Democrats have a far much better candidate who has not only united the party, he has love and support from Never Trumpers and other Republicans actively campaigning for Biden as opposed to simply not voting for Trump and

Second, a large number of those who held their noses and voted for Trump have now confirmed the very things we were saying about his unfitness to be president and inability to lead and, included in that, is his now confirmed attacks on the military he no doubt hates more than he already had out there in the public as to his disdain for people who serve or have served and sacrificed for the country.

Barring the extraordinary, Biden is our next president and what a good riddance shall that be of this nightmare, along with the swamp the man his secretary of state never denied calling a moron brought to Washington, starting from the man himself and members of his family, especially his son-in-law that is doing damage to the country than people know.

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Posted by on September 9, 2020 in Politics


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Rebutting Henry Makori’s Piece “10 Reasons Why Ruto Will Be Next President”


In a column published by the Star, its writer Henry Makori purported to offer these reasons which I now take time to dissect and show how none of them stands in the face of any scrutiny.

To offer full context of what Makori said in the piece, I quote him verbatim and what he said is in italics.

Kenyans love a fighter. The person who stands up to great odds is often a hero, regardless of what the fight is about.

Goes without saying and this is not peculiar to Kenyans alone; it’s a universal concept going back ages.

Ahead of the 2013 election, Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto turned their arraignment at the ICC into an anti-imperialist platform and gave their opponents a run for their money.

True, even though I would not call that giving their opponents a “run for their money” as that phrase is commonly used. That phrase implies or assumes a certain level of fairness and open competition, not a competition where one side is aided by state machinery as was the case in 2013 where Uhuru and Ruto were the beneficiaries of state machinery.

In contrast, the likes of Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi, never known for a fight, hardly stir public emotion.

True but only to a certain extent.

Today, Ruto is the only fighter among political bigwigs.

False. Ruto is only fighting to survive and he knows the prospect of becoming president in 2022 is fast fading away. Put another way, the only way Ruto now becomes president is (a) convincing the system he is not the threat he is believed to be or (b) sits this one out but backs Raila or whoever Uhuru and Raila tosha, if it is not Raila.

Makori then goes on to give what he fashions as “10 reasons why he has a chance of becoming the fifth President:”—again, what he says is in italics.


Ruto keeps his head high despite open betrayal by his boss.

Not true. Although in some cases Ruto has said words which in isolation can be interpreted as being the obedient deputy to the president, in many cases he has said and done things that directly undermine that position and, what he has not done to downright show contempt for Uhuru, his minions have done that for him without abandon, and obviously with his tacit approval.

As to “betrayal,” one can’t call what has happened between Uhuru and Ruto “betrayal.” True, Uhuru promised to support Ruto after completion of his term or the so-called “kumi kumi” pledge. But politicians not keeping promises given is nothing new; in fact, is one thing that all politicians have in common, namely, never take any of their words or promises as a given. If circumstances change, a politician will change direction and cause accordingly.

Kibaki shred his MoU with Raila and he went on to serve as president for 10 years. Raila has shred his MoU and he will use state machinery to have his successor of choice to come in as president and nothing Ruto can do to stop that, much as Raila was unable to stop Kibaki—and Raila had twice the support across the nation as Ruto does.

Uhuru has practically kicked him out of government and the ruling party, hounded some of his allies out of parliamentary leadership and targeted others in a selective war on graft.


Ruto’s refusal to buckle under pressure will serve him well.

The odds are he will buckle under the tremendous pressure he is on and resign as deputy president; if not, those who want him out will find other ways to force him out.


The prevailing view seems to be that a referendum is not what the country needs now but better implementation of the Constitution.

This is a view held by Ruto and those who support him. Obviously, there is the original view that remains and that is the one held by Uhuru, Raila and those who want to see an end to electoral violence every five years. That view is BBI is the solution and that is soon likely to come to pass.

Many believe the planned changes are not for the common good but to benefit Uhuru and Raila and lock out Ruto.

“Many” here means Ruto and those who support him. I refer you to my comment above.

 Like happened in 2005, Ruto is busy turning the referendum against the two.

Though there are some similarities between efforts to revamp the constitution in 2005 and what is being sought in implementing BBI, there are also dissimilarities that are even greater and dispositive of why Ruto cannot have a repeat of 2005. For one, the architect of 2005 revolt against Kibaki is this time protagonist in what would be the equivalent of Kibaki side in 2005. Ruto is no match for that and therefore put this one on the Yes column in terms of BBI referendum passage.


The handshake killed the Raila brand.


While there are many Raila supporters who were disillusioned with Raila’s decision to shake hands with Uhuru for they wanted him to lead them into a revolution or even a secessionist movement, those supporters themselves were and remain to be ill-advised and ill-informed. Raila’s move was a masterstroke that meets and surpasses opposition objectives and I’ll elaborate on this in my next column or one I’ll pen soon.

His millions of supporters wanted nothing short of a revolution following the repeat 2017 presidential election he boycotted.

I would not say “millions” but a significant portion among those who closely follow politics. That number is coming down to fewer and fewer because many now understand what the handshake was intended to deliver and is poised to do just that.

That was the point of Raila’s swearing-in as the “people’s president” on January 30, 2018.

It may have been (and I was personally opposed to the move and told Raila as much) but the handshake is the better alternative for a myriad of reasons no need to get into here.

The handshake was a painful betrayal and demobilized his support base – except the “cows.”

Again, initially, many of Raila’s supporters may have been disillusioned and even demoralized by the handshake but over time that has changed as nearly all of them now see the benefit of the handshake and what dividends lie in wait for its implementation.

Ruto will try to capitalize on Raila’s disgruntled supporters.

He is already doing that but he will fall short as what he is up against is simply insurmountable.


Ruto has turned the war on corruption against Uhuru.

It is a decision he will live to regret.

People who argued that Uhuru was rich and could not be involved in corruption if he rose to power have had good reason to rethink that view.

That’s neither here nor there; what matters is Uhuru has the instruments and he can cause real pain for those engaged in corruption than anyone can ever do against him. With Raila on his side, this is a war those they target cannot possibly ever win.

Corruption accusations cannot stop one from being elected in Kenya. Ruto knows this.

Not true; if Uhuru wanted to, he could have the DP arrested and once again charged with corruption, except this time he will be bogged down with case after case to have room to breathe, let alone run for president. Just because this has not been done before does not mean the system doesn’t have it as one of its arrows in the quiver.

Kenyans tolerate corruption because of state failure. Given a chance, many would readily use public office for private gain. Graft is accepted as “working smart”

That may be true, but it is a double-edged sword. See my comment above.


Jubilee promised Kenyans, especially the youth, heaven. It has delivered hell. Ruto has distanced himself from the government and resorted to using his money to help jobless youths (hustlers).

You cannot have your cake and have it! Ruto was fully in Jubilee for five years and he can’t run away from that record and say he is now for the “hustler” simply because he has been kicked out of Jubilee and the government for all practical purposes and intent.

The gullible will believe that use of money Ruto is accused of having obtained by corrupt means “to help the jobless” is somehow Godsent and a ticket to State House as president.

Far from it.

We do not need individuals dishing out money (a few shillings) to the poor and calling that a solution to what we need to have done. That was the whole basis of Moi politics—recall he said he can buy any vote for 100 bob. To promote this type of politics is the very definition of backwardness.

 This contrasts with the “dynasties” who are disconnected from the sufferings of Kenyans as they cut backroom deals to retain power and accumulate more.

This “dynasty v us” narrative is a fallacy peddled by Ruto and his supporters when Ruto is no different and probably worse than the purported dynasties themselves.

Reminds me of one Donald J Trump who fooled poor and racist whites that he is one of them and will help them fight to keep America white and he succeeded in doing so but those same whites and racists are no better off than they were in 2016; in fact, they are worse off!

Were Uhuru to become president, the poor will remain poor because there is no vision he has he could not have had implemented as deputy president and we no of no legislation or proposals he put forth to improve the conditions of the poor or to create jobs.

Everything he promised, the stadiums, the factories and so on none came to pass so he suffers the consequences though not exactly as Uhuru who, for his part, he simply wants to leave a country more peaceful and on a path to the development that eluded the duo last 7 years.


Kenya’s politics is tribal. Everyone is aware three of Kenya’s four presidents are Kikuyu, two of them father and son. Uhuru told Kenyans he would support Ruto to succeed him. Jomo Kenyatta and Mwai Kibaki betrayed allies who backed them to get state power. Ruto could benefit from the Kikuyu hoi polloi who reject being branded as betrayers one more time.

Here is a reality check for you: If you think Kikuyus who are supporting Ruto are doing for their love for the man or because Uhuru promised him 10 years, you are completely naïve and have no clue what is going on.

The only reason Ruto has enjoyed the support he did in Kikuyu nation is twofold:

One, hatred of Raila in the region. Not all, but a large segment of the Kikuyu community can’t stand the notion of Raila becoming president. These poor folks have been so programmed all their lives it is virtually impossible to cure them of this disease but, thankfully, more and more of the community is now starting to warm up to the notion of Raila being president because of no less an effort by Uhuru and his men and women to reverse cause and say this is the right thing to do.

Two, Ruto engaged in a stealth campaign for years to woo politicians from the region to support him. Support for Ruto in Kikuyuland is as firm as a house built on sand. Yes, the money Ruto has spent in the region has endeared him to many, but the support is as artificial as any can be. Once BBI is implemented and the campaigns roll around, nearly all that support will evaporate and all but the hardcore haters of Uhuru because he now loves Raila as his brother will not back his preferred successor. Keep in mind, it will be the first time the Kikuyu vote will be split but Raila or anyone Uhuru backs other than Ruto need not have the near unanimous vote from the region, only enough to provide the requisite margin of 50%+1.


Ruto is an evangelical Christian. It makes strategic sense that he has focused his philanthropy on raising funds for churches. Delegations of church leaders’ troop to his Karen and Sugoi homes nearly every day. Kenya is a majority Christian nation and the Church has massive political influence.

There are two types of Christians: those who exploit Christianity to enrich themselves and those who genuinely advance Christianity in the true meaning and spirit of the faith. The former are no different from your ordinary crooked politician busy stealing from the public till; in fact, these types of fake Christians will gladly welcome such stolen loot as good for “spreading the word of God” when in reality the loot is good for them and their lifestyles.

The latter Christians (those who truly live up to the faith’s calling) can only be neutral and guide their congregants as the spirit leads them, not because of having been bribed to do so.

Given this dynamic, I wouldn’t put much stock that Ruto is an Evangelical, much like I would put any stock in 2020 that Evangelicals still support Trump in America; if you’re in a sinking boat, nothing will stop you from sinking the only thing you must do is get your life-vest on and hope to be rescued by someone—in this case that someone is the next government.


Ruto has been a 2022 presidential candidate for the last seven years. He backed Uhuru to inherit Central votes.

This is also his undoing; had Ruto lied low and waiting for a more opportune time to strike, he would not have alienated and alarmed many in the system as he has to have them draw and aim their weapons at him to politically finish him as they have. So, this is a net minus than it is any gain.

Other politicians have declared their intention to run but many of them – Kalonzo, Mudavadi, Mwangi wa Iria – pose no serious challenge.


Raila, whom Uhuru is expected to back following the handshake, has not declared he will run. That makes Ruto the frontrunner in the coming election even going by current opinion polls.

True but only to an extent. Raila has not declared but you can take it to the bank barring something catastrophic, Raila will be on the ballot for 2022. That being the case, if Uhuru backs him as he is expected to, it will be all but a foregone conclusion he will be our next president—regardless of how Ruto performs or even whether he vies at all.


Whoever Uhuru will support would likely split Jubilee even further. The expected coalition between the ruling party and ODM (and possibly other parties) will take time to cobble together. By the time their compromise candidate will hit the ground, Ruto would already be miles ahead.

As I and others have repeatedly said and repeat here, most gains Ruto made in Mt. Kenya region have been erased already and, going forward, the powers that be will make sure the man from Sugoi has no room to breathe, let alone mount a serious presidential campaign.

Put another way, the system’s preferred candidate will be our next president.

Ruto was the beneficiary of that system, he knows how sweet it is to be sworn against all odds and having not won at the polls as was the case for him and Uhuru, now let him be prepared to suffer the same medicine as prescribed by the very same system.


Unlike his mostly lackluster competitors, and despite being isolated by Uhuru, Ruto is the second highest-placed insider in the current government.

False, I assume you are not including Raila as a “lackluster competitor” but, given the man will vie barring something catastrophic, the man (Raila) is the second highest placed insider in the current government, not Ruto.

Conversely, were Raila not to vie, then whoever he and Uhuru back (and they will under that scenario) will have all the benefits of incumbency and Ruto will have none, not even being in government altogether.

He enjoys the trappings of power and the privileges of incumbency.

Not anymore.

Ruto is for all practical purposes and intent merely an occupant of an office in title but nothing else.

Having an office with no power and scant budget to do anything is not exactly having the power and privileges of incumbency.

He knows how the system works and will likely use that knowledge to great political advantage.

Partially true.

As one who knows how the system works, he will be the first one to tell you it’s virtually impossible to beat it no matter who you are but he’s putting on a brave face knowing he will soon or later succumb to it.

In other words, Ruto knows once the system has rejected his prospect to become our next president, that will be the case and, more importantly, if he tries to show he has the proverbial bigger balls than anyone who has tried and failed before him, the system has other arrows in the quiver to render his candidacy a non-starter to begin with.

Wiser counsel would be for Ruto to accept the fate, lie low and live to fight another day.

In 2027 or 2032, that is.




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Posted by on September 6, 2020 in Politics


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