Sunday, May 19, 2019

Amen, Amash!

Shortly after the criminal con man was elected president by a minority of American voters, I stated the only way to remove him is for enough Republicans to find their conscience. My impossible dream, so to speak.

The Democratic leadership have been waffling, over-calculating cowards and will accomplish nothing if left to themselves. Impeachment can only succeed with the help of a handful of decent-minded Republicans who respect the Constitution and rule of law. Will it become another tragic lost cause for justice? Probably, if left to the Party of Trump.

On May 1st I wrote: "The entire Republican Party is guilty of covering up for criminals, violating their oaths of office, and betraying our Constitution."

Our friend TB3 questioned the accuracy of my broad statement: “Surely not the entire Republican Party. Just the corrupt ones afraid of Trump airing their dirty laundry. It just seems to be a large number of them.” 

I responded, “TB3, Perhaps I am exaggerating a bit by including the entire Republican Party. Elected or appointed individuals who stand with Dems for impeachment, and charges of obstruction of justice, and charges of violating campaign finance laws can be excused. I would include any Republican who challenges his fitness for office and renounces support for his presidency and his administration. Shall we start a list when they appear?”

Until this weekend there were zero names of elected Republicans to begin that list.

At last we have one name for the list. 

We can thank Michigan Representative Justin Amash for being the first elected Republican to bravely take a stand for the truth and our Constitution.

The first metaphorical penguin has jumped from the ice and taken the plunge. Will he be devoured by a seal, or will more join him?

You see, he actually read the Mueller Report, unlike most Republicans, including Barr, it would seem. The cover-up has failed. There is now a crack in the dam. Surely more will follow. This is the time for Republican Senators to find their conscience. 

Will it happen? Not with the majority of the corrupt authoritarians; that is certain. As we continue dreaming the impossible dream, we would still need 17 of them to read the report and reach the obvious conclusion. Trump obstructed justice and his campaign colluded with Russians.

I won't hold my breath. Authoritarians have no conscience. But some are smart enough to see how history will judge their crooked leader, and their response to his reprehensible behavior, pathological dishonesty and documented crimes. There would be some bi-partisan agreement on impeachment and removal.

Perhaps more war-mongering and tariff madness will tip the scales. Wall-Mart prices are rising, and farmers are hurting, thanks to the dotard's delusions of trade prowess.

Amash tweeted the reasons why he decided Trump should be impeached:


Here are my principal conclusions:

1. Attorney General Barr has deliberately misrepresented Mueller’s report.
2. President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct.
3. Partisanship has eroded our system of checks and balances.
4. Few members of Congress have read the report.

I offer these conclusions only after having read Mueller’s redacted report carefully and completely, having read or watched pertinent statements and testimony, and having discussed this matter with my staff, who thoroughly reviewed materials and provided me with further analysis.

In comparing Barr’s principal conclusions, congressional testimony, and other statements to Mueller’s report, it is clear that Barr intended to mislead the public about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s analysis and findings.

Barr’s misrepresentations are significant but often subtle, frequently taking the form of sleight-of-hand qualifications or logical fallacies, which he hopes people will not notice.

Under our Constitution, the president “shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” While “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” is not defined, the context implies conduct that violates the public trust.

Contrary to Barr’s portrayal, Mueller’s report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment.

In fact, Mueller’s report identifies multiple examples of conduct satisfying all the elements of obstruction of justice, and undoubtedly any person who is not the president of the United States would be indicted based on such evidence.

Impeachment, which is a special form of indictment, does not even require probable cause that a crime (e.g., obstruction of justice) has been committed; it simply requires a finding that an official has engaged in careless, abusive, corrupt, or otherwise dishonorable conduct.

While impeachment should be undertaken only in extraordinary circumstances, the risk we face in an environment of extreme partisanship is not that Congress will employ it as a remedy too often but rather that Congress will employ it so rarely that it cannot deter misconduct.

Our system of checks and balances relies on each branch’s jealously guarding its powers and upholding its duties under our Constitution. When loyalty to a political party or to an individual trumps loyalty to the Constitution, the Rule of Law—the foundation of liberty—crumbles.

We’ve witnessed members of Congress from both parties shift their views 180 degrees—on the importance of character, on the principles of obstruction of justice—depending on whether they’re discussing Bill Clinton or Donald Trump.

Few members of Congress even read Mueller’s report; their minds were made up based on partisan affiliation—and it showed, with representatives and senators from both parties issuing definitive statements on the 448-page report’s conclusions within just hours of its release.

America’s institutions depend on officials to uphold both the rules and spirit of our constitutional system even when to do so is personally inconvenient or yields a politically unfavorable outcome. Our Constitution is brilliant and awesome; it deserves a government to match it. 


Amen, Amash!

We now have ONE elected Republican who understands the ONLY way to keep America great is to impeach the crooked, evil racist currently desecrating the Oval Office.

Of course, the treacherously dishonest and hypocritical theocrat Pence would pardon his criminal benefactor. We know this. But he can't pardon him for his insurance/bank fraud and money-laundering crimes being brought by the state of New York.

The Tangerine Tyrant is going down in disgrace, as he should. It's only a matter of time. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Collusion And Obstruction? Yes

“Total exoneration! No collusion!” The Trump Cult has been repeating these two lies about the Mueller Report.

The lies are being tolerated and even embraced by the ignorant masses, of course.

Unfortunately the ignorant masses are not only in the cult. Moderates are duped as well. And so are many liberals who have not actually read the Mueller Report.

Orwell nailed it with, “Ignorance is strength.”

Trump was NOT exonerated. It’s clearly spelled out by Mueller:

“If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment. ... Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

Of course Mueller didn’t exonerate Trump, because he obstructed justice:

18 U.S.C. § 1503 defines "obstruction of justice" as an act that "corruptly or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, influences, obstructs, or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice."

Mueller presented the evidence here: (Pg. 158, Pt. II):

The President launched public attacks on the investigation and individuals involved in it who could possess evidence adverse to the President, while in private, the President engaged in a series of targeted efforts to control the investigation. For instance, the President attempted to remove the Special Counsel; he sought to have Attorney General Sessions unrecuse himself and limit the investigation; he sought to prevent public disclosure of information about the June 9, 2016 meeting between Russians and campaign officials; and he used public forums to attack potential witnesses who might offer adverse information and to praise witnesses who declined to cooperate with the government. Judgments about the nature of the President's motives during each phase would be informed by the totality of the evidence.

The president's efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the president declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests.

The key elements of obstruction are clear. "The President's motives would be informed by the totality of evidence."

And that is a LOT of evidence.

Public attacks on the investigation and individuals...a series of targeted efforts to control the investigation... limit the investigation... attack potential witnesses... praise witnesses who declined to cooperate... efforts to influence the investigation...Judgments about the nature of the President's motives during each phase would be informed by the totality of the evidence.

He obstructed.

Now let's examine the “no collusion" lie.

We need to understand the definition of collusion and put it in context of the Mueller Report.

From Merriam-Webster:

Collusion: secret agreement or cooperation especially for an illegal or deceitful purpose.

 As in, "Russia, if you're listening....", that's cooperation.

As in the secret Trump tower meeting cooperating with Russian agents, and as in Manifort giving polling data to Russian agents. THAT's collusion.

As in the words of the Mueller Report, "The investigation also identified numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump Campaign...established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts..."

“The Campaign expected it would benefit”. THAT is cooperation, and collusion.

Vol 1 Pg 2:

“Collusion didn't apply to the investigation: In evaluating whether evidence about collective action of multiple individuals constituted a crime, we applied the framework of conspiracy law, not the concept of “collusion.” In so doing, the Office recognized that the word “collud[e]” was used in communications with the Acting Attorney General confirming certain aspects of the investigation’s scope and that the term has frequently been invoked in public reporting about the investigation. But collusion is not a specific offense or theory of liability found in the United States Code, nor is it a term of art in federal criminal law.”

Collusion is not a specific offense or theory of liability found in the United States Code, nor is it a term of art in federal criminal law. For those reasons, the Office’s focus in analyzing questions of joint criminal liability was on conspiracy as defined in federal law.”

The Trump Tower meeting with Russian agents and other efforts to cooperate with Russian agents was collusion, but Mueller didn’t find sufficient evidence to convict for specific legal conditions of conspiracy with the Russian government.

There was collusion with oligarchs and people with connections to the Kremlin, as in a secret agreement or cooperation especially for an illegal or deceitful purpose.

The truth is Mueller recounts numerous contacts between Trump’s people and Russians, and they LIED under oath about those contacts. Flynn, Papadopoulos, Gates, Manifort and Cohen are just five of the convicted criminals. None were convicted of conspiracy, but they most certainly colluded.

Mueller also noted the Trump campaign welcomed the Russian interference. They didn’t report it, as required by law. They cooperated with it. That is collusion.

VOl 1 Pg 1:

”...the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts...” 

Vol 1 Pg 5:

”The Russian contacts consisted of business connections, offers of assistance to the Campaign, invitations for candidate Trump and Putin to meet in person, invitations for Campaign officials and representatives of the Russian government to meet, and policy positions seeking improved U.S.-Russian relations.”

Vol 1 Pg 6:

“Papadopoulos suggested to a representative of a foreign government that the Trump Campaign had received indications from the Russian government that it could assist the Campaign through the anonymous release of information damaging to candidate Clinton. Throughout that period of time and for several months thereafter, Papadopoulos worked with Mifsud and two Russian nationals to arrange a meeting between the Campaign and the Russian government... On June 9, 2016, for example, a Russian lawyer met with senior Trump Campaign officials Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and campaign chairman Paul Manafort to deliver what the email proposing the meeting had described as “official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary.” The materials were offered to Trump Jr. as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” The written communications setting up the meeting showed that the Campaign anticipated receiving information from Russia that could assist candidate Trump’s electoral prospects...”

That’s a lot of “secret agreement or cooperation especially for an illegal or deceitful purpose”, aka collusion.

Conclusion: He obstructed. They colluded. 


Update: The latest witness tampering and obstruction of justice is evidenced from Trump's personal attorney in a voicemail to Flynn's attorney, "It wouldn't surprise me if you've gone on to make a deal with ... the government. ... (I)f ... there's information that implicates the President, then we've got a national security issue, ... so you know, .... we need some kind of heads up.”

Hey, Congress! We need some kind of heads up about now.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Con-servative "Humor"

Remember back when conservative humor used to be Hee Haw? Remember when Dennis Miller was sort of funny? Remember when the cutting sarcasm of Don Rickles represented the most mean-spirited humor?

Ah, the good old days.

The modern American Right Wing Authoritarian con-servative dwells in a world of negative emotions such as resentment, fear, anger, and hate toward the other side. Trump and his followers share a spiteful, angry, and derogatory brand of humor that resonates from their darkened souls.

The mechanism of a lot of classic humor is "funny because it is true", or because it reflects the beliefs or common understanding of the listeners.

ScientificAmerican examines this perspective in humor: “New research proves that the things we find funny often reveal somewhat hidden beliefs we hold.

Since so many beliefs on the Right have no basis in reality, their “humor” needs to reflect their false beliefs to be funny to them. “Funny” as in “owning the libs” or otherwise expressing said resentment, fear, anger and hate.

Here are two examples that illustrate that sharp contrast in humor.

The first bit is from Mrs. Betty Bowers, "America’s Best Christian": If I discriminate against or criticize you, it’s called “religious freedom”. If you return the favor it’s called “persecution”.

Funny ‘cause it’s true, isn’t it?

From the Right we have:

President Trump is making America so great that Obama is applying for citizenship.

That is not funny to most of us because it has no grain of truth to it. In fact it reeks of ignorance, hate, and bigotry.

However, on the far Right, it is hilarious because to them it “owns the libs” and reinforces Trump’s racist birtherism.

What a hoot! That’ll show the Muslim/Kenyan/Socialist Black Guy and his commie libs. LOL!

Speaking of immigrants, did you see the president grin in mirthful delight while his MAGAt rally mob guffawed when someone shouted, "Shoot 'em!"?

"Shoot 'em!" 

They are as hilarious as they are enlightened and compassionate.They see themselves as tough guys and can dish a lot out, but one thing they can't take is a joke. If one didn't know better, they would appear to be immature, thin-skinned, emotionally labile, tantrum-throwing snowflakes.

This is how the radical far Right finds humor in malevolence, and why they will always be mean-spirited, while being completely befuddled and angered by satire. 

Thursday, May 9, 2019

"Trump Derangement Syndrome"

Authoritarian MAGAts have been passing a “Trump Derangement Syndrome” meme that they think teaches us libs a lesson. There’s even an element of truth to it, as in a half-truth.

I’m sure they get quite a rush of malevolent delight from their two-sentence meme lifted from a Psychology Today article on Trump Derangement Syndrome. There is no such diagnosis, of course. The author confirms,  “TDS is not a real, diagnosable or treatable mental disorder... There is no shared lay understanding of TDS, mainly because it is a folk category rather than a professional category.”

Despite the claim it is “all you need to know about Trump Derangement Syndrome”, the article is grossly un-scientific. It is filled with such vacuous “evidence” in the forms of “many have been questioning”, “more people are suggesting”, “Some have even suggested”, “much armchair speculation”, “Several commentators have run with this”, and “Many have argued”.

We can’t question those clear-eyed experts and their un-educated, biased opinions, can we?

And of course the authoritarian MAGAts never actually read the article, or obviously ignored the opening paragraph.

"Indeed, over 70,000 people self-identifying as "mental health professionals" have signed a petition declaring that "Trump is mentally ill and must be removed." In sociological terms, the ‘medical gaze’ has been hitherto focused on President Trump, and to a lesser extent his ardent supporters."

Look no further than a Trump rally to see him spew lies and delusions for his indoctrinated cult. Here him amp up anger, and agitate his enraged crowd to chant for imprisoning his political opponents, and to harass and assault journalists and protesters. Naturally this objective and observable case study isn’t the point of the article.

Then the pivot.

However, in recent months many have been questioning the direction of this ‘medical gaze.' In fact, more and more people are suggesting that this ‘medical gaze’ should be reversed and refocused on President Trump’s most embittered and partisan opponents. Some have even suggested that these opponents are experiencing a specific mental condition, which has been labeled ‘Trump Derangement Syndrome' (TDS).

The sources quoted are pro-Trump, right wing hacks “well-known writer” Bernard Goldberg and “political commentator” Justin Raimondo.

Shared amongst these (commentators) is a notion that the everyday activities of President Trump trigger some people into distorted opinions, extreme emotions and hysterical behaviors. 

(Note to Psychology Today: This is an example of what projection looks like.)

Two other non-clinical opinions are offered for “balance”.

Contrariwise, many others ridicule the notion that TDS is anything but a malicious slur term used to discredit and delegitimize criticism of President Trump. For example, CNN’s Chris Cillizza speaks for many when he states that "the truth is that TDS is just the preferred nomenclature of Trump defenders who view those who oppose him and his policies as nothing more than blind hatred." Likewise, Adam Gopnik writes that "our problem is not TDS, our problem is Deranged Trump Self-Delusion."

In other words, there are polarized opinions about the nature, reality and existence of TDS.

All right, then. Pop psychology and “bothsiderism”, with a clear slant to the right.

Obviously none of this is in the MAGAt meme. Here’s their “money shot” that they think will own the libs:

Many have argued that some people have been seriously disturbed and distressed by the policies, speech, behavior and tweets of President Trump, so much so that it has affected their cognitive, affective and behavioral functioning. Such people may need mental health support. 

While I’m not a psychiatrist, I do have decades of experience working in community mental health. And since I am also a political commentator, that should qualify me more than the article’s sources to arrive at a real world conclusion. Yes, Trump really does “trigger some people into distorted opinions, extreme emotions and hysterical behaviors.” 

But it sure ain’t the liberals.

This is the reality. As any Trump rally abundantly demonstrates, MAGAts are filled with indoctrinated fear, anger, hate and delusions. The Tangerine Tyrant feeds their paranoia. They see enemies in not only liberals, but everyone not in their cult. They berate the press as the “enemy of the people”. The most deranged have attacked and even killed without warning. In any world, white nationalist terrorists like the MAGA bomber are severely deranged.

As for Trump’s effect on those outside the cult, this is their reality.

It’s no surprise that some people have been seriously disturbed and distressed by Trump’s unending stream of ignorance, indecency, and lies.

It’s no surprise that some people have been seriously disturbed and distressed by the rampant dishonesty and corruption of the Party of Trump and his Administration

It’s no surprise that some people have been seriously disturbed and distressed by Trump siding with Putin and betraying our country in Helsinki.

It’s no surprise that some people have been seriously disturbed and distressed by Trump’s hateful racist rhetoric emboldening white nationalists to acts of murder and terrorism.

It’s no surprise that some people have been seriously disturbed and distressed by Trump’s cruel child abuse, ordering children to be stripped from their mothers arms and locking them in pens, until some even died.

These are natural and sane reactions to evil.

Trump has indeed left millions of people disturbed and distressed, but only his corrupt party of authoritarians and frothing MAGAts are truly deranged by their evil leader.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Religious Liberty Vs. Progressivism

Out of curiosity, I occasionally visit the American Conservative website. I even agree with some of their positions questioning Trump and Bolten’s war mongering against Iran and Venezuela.

One article prompted me to comment. It was called "Religious Liberty Vs. Building Progressivism". Obviously it is a false choice. Yes, the famous “wedding cake issue” was mentioned, along with the obligatory twist of dire communist implications in opposing bigotry.

You’ve heard it all before. The author had a question for progressives. Do you believe that there are any cases in which defending First Amendment guarantees of religious liberty should take precedence over the building of progressivism? If so, what are they? If not, how, exactly, does your view of religious liberty differ from that held by the totalitarian regime that threw people like Silvester Krcmery into prison?

In other words, “How are you libs not Commies??”

I had this to say: *


This isn’t meant to be personal, but I know it will be taken that way.

Crybaby Christians again. Always the victims.

Freedom of religion is a progressive value. Bigotry is not.

It's not just about wedding cake, kids. Jesus never said a word about selling or not selling wedding cakes to killers, thieves, or rapists, let alone gays.

Do they think at the Cana wedding, Jesus said, "Wine for everybody! Except for all you homos. None for you!"? 

Do they really believe they will go to hell for baking a cake for gays? I highly doubt it. But it sure as hell "justifies" their bigotry though. And we know damn well they’d love to sell a cake to the pussy grabber in the Oval Office.

It wasn't that long ago when white Christian-run hospitals turned away minorities. Progressivism opposed that. Shame on the godless ones!  

The terrible injustice and horrors that good, conservative, white Christians endure pale when compared to all the blacks, Jews, Unitarians, Muslims, Sikhs mistaken for Muslims, and doctors murdered in their places of worship.

Bigotry is not religion, but fundamentalist religion seems to make bigotry acceptable. These fundies are the enemies of progressivism, as well as democracy. Why should any progressive respect their bigotry?

Why should any conservative respect their bigotry?

Is it really shocking that Trump's anti-progressive, hypocritical evangelicals believe the Great Liar and racist birther was sent by Jesus to save America from brown people? Sadly, no. Bigotry becomes them.

Here's the nasty little secret. White Nationalists are all "good Christians". Just ask them.

Trump's "very fine people" marching with tiki torches are all "Christians". Those burning crosses were lit to "guide Jesus" for His return. Just ask any one of them. Go ahead.

The more intelligent and compassionate conservatives among us understand this. 

American Evangelical Christianity is becoming just another religion of hate. Trump is their new Messiah.

Here's to the big alt-right beam in their eyes. 


* After 53 comments, this one is still unposted. I guess someone took it personally. 

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Learning the "One Rule"

The woman who got over 2,860,000 more votes than the president presented an interesting hypothetical scenario to Rachel Maddow on how absurd our election laws have become:

“Imagine, Rachel, that you had one of the Democratic nominees for 2020 on your show and that person said, ‘You know, the only other adversary of ours, who’s anywhere near as good as the Russians, is China. So why should Russia have all the fun? And since Russia is clearly backing Republicans, why don’t we ask China to back us...China, if you’re listening, why don’t you get Trump’s tax returns? I’m sure our media would richly reward you’...According to the Mueller Report that is not conspiracy because it’s done right out in the open.”

Sorry, Hil. This is only OK if you are a Republican. Don’t you know the "One Rule" by now?

As if that isn’t depressing enough...

It’s also OK if you are a Republican to advocate for torture, incarceration without charges, and start wars of aggression based on lies.

"First of all, I actually like Dick Cheney, for real. I get on with him. I think he's a decent man." - Joe Biden

Ol' Joe will pander to anyone. I'm sure he "actually likes" just about everybody. In his defense, the context was Cheney cordially welcoming him to the vice-presidency and Blair House. He went on to say he didn't agree with him, so there's that sliver of decency.

But still, come on...

And this:

Trump’s private counsel and US Attorney General Barr stated, "The president does not have to sit there constitutionally and allow it to run its course. The president could terminate the proceeding and it would not be a corrupt intent because he was being falsely accused."

IOKIYAR. The One Rule. 

It’s still morning, but for some reason I’d like a large pour of Scotch now.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Sacrifice Of Souls

In today’s Senate hearing, it seemed somebody’s girdle was a bit too tight, and it wasn’t the woman asking the questions.

Enraged at the uppity woman’s tone in questioning Trump’s Attorney General and de-facto personal defense lawyer William Barr, Lindsey "Huckleberry” Graham clutched his pearls and jumped to Barr's defense saying, "Listen, you've slandered this man."

Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii responded, "I do not think that I'm slandering anyone. Mr. Chairman, I am done. Thank you very much."

"You have slandered this man from top to bottom," Graham squealed. "So if you want more of this, you're not going to get it. If you want to ask him questions, you can."

So what outrageous lie and affront to decency snapped Lindsey's garter?

After Barr weaseled out of answering her questions, Senator Hirono mentioned the unspeakable truth:

"Mr. Barr, now the American people know that you are no different from Rudy Giuliani or Kellyanne Conway or any of the other people who sacrificed their once decent reputation for the grifter and liar who sits in the Oval Office... You lied to Congress... But now we know more about your deep involvement and trying to cover up for Donald Trump. Being attorney general of the United States is a sacred trust. You have betrayed that trust. America deserves better. You should resign."

I'm with her. 

She sees through them, past their lies, and into the darkness they've embraced.

Indeed, authoritarian tyrants leave a long trail of "people who sacrificed their once decent reputation".

Former FBI Director James Comey has been there, and has seen into the moral abyss now defiling the White House. In his recent New York Times piece he explains "How Trump Co-opts Leaders Like Bill Barr".

It starts with your sitting silent while he lies, both in public and private, making you complicit by your silence. In meetings with him, his assertions about what “everyone thinks” and what is “obviously true” wash over you, unchallenged, as they did at our private dinner on Jan. 27, 2017, because he’s the president and he rarely stops talking. As a result, Mr. Trump pulls all of those present into a silent circle of assent.

...From the private circle of assent, it moves to public displays of personal fealty at places like cabinet meetings. While the entire world is watching, you do what everyone else around the table does — you talk about how amazing the leader is and what an honor it is to be associated with him.

...Next comes Mr. Trump attacking institutions and values you hold dear — things you have always said must be protected and which you criticized past leaders for not supporting strongly enough. Yet you are silent. Because, after all, what are you supposed to say? He’s the president of the United States.

...Of course, to stay, you must be seen as on his team, so you make further compromises. You use his language, praise his leadership, tout his commitment to values.

And then you are lost. He has eaten your soul.

History corroborates Comey, and shows how authoritarian leaders have long exploited passive followers. This is the same way "good Germans" became obedient Nazis. This is how the "Party of Values" drank the koolade to become the Party of Trump, and how "good Christians" praise a pathological liar and racist criminal "sent by Jesus".

Barr has lied to congress. He and the Big MAGAt are both criminals and should be impeached and convicted. The entire Republican Party is guilty of covering up for criminals, violating their oaths of office, and betraying our Constitution.

They are eating our nation’s soul.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Democracy: Use It Or Lose It

Let’s discuss the issues of third parties and voters choosing not to participate in elections. I get it. People get frustrated. We seem to have two kinds of candidates, disappointing and horrible.

It should be obvious that the most horrible are always Republicans.  As I’ve repeatedly emphasized, the Republican Party is at war with representative democracy, which means they want to suppress voters and voting rights.
The more people who turn out to vote, the more Republicans lose.

The Right has made this tactic abundantly clear.

In 1980 Paul Weyrich of the conservative Heritage Foundation came out and flatly stated, “I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people, they never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”

In 2013 Phyllis Schlafly responded to North Carolina voter suppression laws with, “The reduction in the number of days allowed for early voting is particularly important because early voting plays a major role in Obama’s ground game. The Democrats carried most states that allow many days of early voting, and Obama’s national field director admitted, shortly before last year’s election, that “early voting is giving us a solid lead in the battleground states that will decide this election.”

In 2012 Doug Preisse, the chairman of the Franklin County Republican Party, whose area includes the city of Columbus, Ohio admitted, “I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter turnout machine.

Also in 2012, Republican House Leader Mike Turzai declared that a new voter identification law would “We are focused on making sure that we meet our obligations that we’ve talked about for years..  Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done”.

Staying home is a vote for Republicans. Discouraging voting has been their strategy all along.  I understand the principle of voting third party, but that often has the same effect as voting for Republicans, unless it is in certain local elections or in a true blue state.

Just as the US needed to side with Russia to stop the Nazis, I feel the same need to side with Democrats against the Republicans. It doesn't have to mean we like them, just as siding with the Soviets didn't mean we approved of Stalin. 

Republicans have shown us they are clearly more dangerous to democracy, voting rights, peace, equal justice under law, public healthcare, and the environment.

Lazy and apathetic people never contribute to progress. If Trump isn't enough to motivate them, then nothing will get them off their asses to vote in primaries and produce better candidates. 

But remember, AOC is proof that corpo-dems can be defeated. 

The choices often suck, but shame on us for not being as active as the authoritarian fringe of our country. If the rest of us were as passionate as the worst of us, we'd never have seen the rise of Trump or the invasion of Iraq.

Remember most Democrats voted against invading Iraq. The parties are NOT the same.

Only Republicans wage war on voter rights. All Republicans gut environmental and Wall Street regulations, and cut taxes for the rich and corporations. Most Democrats did not. Only Republicans want to privatize Social Security and prisons, and the VA, along with every other public service. That should be more than enough motivation to vote against Republicans.

If not, then what would it take?

Staying home is just what the worst of us wants. The same applies to third party votes. That's just how it is.

The Right is at war with democracy, the Earth, and everything we hold dear. We need all the allies we can get. Even if they are the damn Democrats.

Democracy: Use it or lose it.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

I'm With Her, And Her, And Her...

18 USC Section 1513: It’s a crime to “knowingly, with the intent to retaliate” take “any action harmful to any person, including interference with the lawful employment or livelihood of any person, for providing...truthful information to law enforcement.”

Remind you of anyone?

Campaign finance felon Individual 1 is a criminal, as well as a liar and racist.

Who has the guts to take a stand against that violence-inciting, white nationalist thug? 

Ladies first:

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib showed the courage and insight to make the necessary, patriotic, and constitutional call for an impeachment inquiry.

I’m with her...and her...and her.

Elizabeth Warren had this to say when she was interviewed by Rachael Maddow on MSNBC:

This is about point of principle... This isn’t about politics. This isn’t even specifically about Donald Trump himself. It is about what a President of the United States should be able to do and about the role of Congress is in saying: “No. A president does not get to come in and stop an investigation about a foreign power that attacked this country, or an investigation about his own wrongdoing. Equal justice under law, no one is above the law; and that includes the President of the United States. It is the constitutional responsibility of Congress to follow through on that.

Because it matters, not just for this president, it matters for the next president, and the next president after that, and the next president after that. I get it…in dictatorships, the government coalesces around one person in the middle and does everything to protect that one person. But that’s not where we live. We live in a democracy, and it is controlled by a constitution. And the way we make that democracy work is with checks and balances. And a president who says, “I don’t have to follow the law, and nobody can touch me on criminal acts” - that’s not right.

The Constitution says that the House and the Senate can do this. […] And every member of the House, and every member of the Senate should be called on to vote: Do you believe that constitutes an impeachable offense? I do believe that the evidence is just overwhelming that Donald Trump has committed these offenses, and that means that we should open proceedings in the House. And then the House can take a vote.

On April 19, 2019, the woman with a message, Elizabeth Warren Tweeted: 

The Mueller report lays out facts showing that a hostile foreign government attacked our 2016 election to help Donald Trump and Donald Trump welcomed that help. Once elected, Donald Trump obstructed the investigation into that attack.

Mueller put the next step in the hands of Congress: “Congress has authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice.” The correct process for exercising that authority is impeachment.

To ignore a President’s repeated efforts to obstruct an investigation into his own disloyal behavior would inflict great and lasting damage on this country, and it would suggest that both the current and future Presidents would be free to abuse their power in similar ways.

The severity of this misconduct demands that elected officials in both parties set aside political considerations and do their constitutional duty. That means the House should initiate impeachment proceedings against the President of the United States.

... I’m with her too.

Rep. Elijah Cummings pointed out that even if the House moves to impeach Trump and the Senate votes against it, "history would smile upon us for standing up for the Constitution."

And I’m with him.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

It"s Called "Justice"

This just in.

The Attorney General/White House spokesman Bill Barr has presented the White House spin on the Mueller Report, before we see it naturally.
It turns out the Big MAGAt , known for being “very strong”, was suffering emotional stress and was “frustrated and angry” at the Russia investigation.

The Attorney General/White House spokesman Bill Barr, by divine insight of con-servatism, knew the Big MAGAt’s emotional state without the pesky trouble of an actual interview from the worst liar in the history of the United States.

Well, that changes everything.

What this clearly means is it was not obstruction of justice, it was just “fighting back”. It’s about the delicate dictator’s “feelings”, you know.

Another shocking revelation was displayed this morning, especially in light of his open partisan bias in denouncing the Russia investigation in his job application letter.

The Attorney General/White House spokesman Bill Barr represented the "independence" of our Justice Department by parroting “No collusion, no collusion” several times in his press conference.

Why does that ring a bell? “Collusion” still isn’t a legal term, but who cares when the political message is clear, amirite?

And let’s not forget to blame the “enemy of the people” in all this:

“As he entered into office, and sought to perform his responsibilities as President, federal agents and prosecutors were scrutinizing his conduct before and after taking office, and the conduct of some of his associates. At the same time, there was relentless speculation in the news media about the President's personal culpability. Yet, as he said from the beginning, there was in fact no collusion. And as the Special Counsel's report acknowledges, there is substantial evidence to show that the President was frustrated and angered by a sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents, and fueled by illegal leaks. Nonetheless, the White House fully cooperated with the Special Counsel's investigation...”  ~ Attorney General/White House spokesman Bill Barr

Of course, Attorney General/White House spokesman Bill Barr would never lie. "Fully cooperated” means firing, and threatening to fire, the investigators while refusing to be interviewed under oath. Don the Con's lawyers' written statements claimed over 30 instances when his "greatest memory" couldn't remember, or didn't recall. He had “no independent recollection” where he was on the day of  the Trump Tower meeting with Russian agents. (He was in Trump Tower that day.)

And don't you know it should be treason for investigators to be "scrutinizing his conduct"? It's not like Dirty Don is a Democrat, for Satan's sake!

After all, the AG/White House spokesman’s job is to provide political cover for the leader he has sworn to loyally protect and defend. He was also clear about who Mueller worked for. And it was NOT the American people, silly ones.

Mueller worked only for Attorney General/White House spokesman Bill Barr, who works only for Trump. Got it?

It’s called “justice”. Get over it.

Barr may have sworn to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States”, but what he really meant was to support, defend, protect and serve the interests of Dirty Don the Big MAGAt.

This affirms our sacred national standard of power and justice, “When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.” This applies to Republicans only, obviously.

The short Q&A session was abruptly terminated after this highly inappropriate question was asked. “Is it an impropriety for you to come out and sort of spin the report before people are able to read it?”

"No", was Attorney General/White House spokesman Bill Barr's parting lie to the press, as he walked off.

Isn’t that just what the enemy of the people would ask?

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Not That Different

Here's how the enemies of democracy operate. 

First, the fanatic and loyal Trump supporter Patrick Carlineo was charged with threatening to kill Rep. Ilhan Omar. Carlineo told the FBI "that he was a patriot, that he loves the President, and that he hates radical Muslims in our government.”

This is terrorism people. This is the Right-wing terrorism Trump is more than tacitly condoning, by shutting down federal investigation, identification, and classification of domestic white nationalist terrorism.

After the terrorist was arrested, Rep. Ilhan Omar called Trump's authoritarian bigoted adviser Stephen Miller a white nationalist, which he is.

Miller loves serving the racist agenda of a racist president. He has praised Alex Jones, and is a buddy of alt-right racist Richard Spencer. AND he wants to lock immigrant children in cages.

For her calling out Trump’s white nationalist henchman, the racists of the Party of Trump accuse her of being anti-Semitic. This is calculated to inflame more hate, racism, and bigotry towards an innocent black woman. 

For the Party of Trump, it is not evil enough for her to be just threatened by a white nationalist terrorist.

Those fascist vermin are basically signaling to their cult of killers to continue targeting Omar.

Understand this.

If it excites them so much to imprison and terrorize brown children, imagine what they'd like to do with their political opposition. "Lock her up!" is more than a hate-filled rally chant. It is their plan. 

These cold-blooded, evil-hearted assholes are not that different from Nazis. If not for our Constitution they’d have us all in camps. Unless they are stopped, that is exactly what they would do.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

What Republic?

Collusion. Obstruction. Cover-up. These are not legal terms, but are very real elements in the dirty workings of powerful and corrupt individuals, corporations, government agencies, or administrations.

For those of us who are not lawyers, we need to at least understand how Merriam-Webster defines obstruction of justice.

“the crime or act of willfully interfering with the process of justice and law especially by influencing, threatening, harming, or impeding a witness, potential witness, juror, or judicial or legal officer or by furnishing false information in or otherwise impeding an investigation or legal process”

The Barr/Trump Cover-up of the Mueller Report is rolling along, just as intended. 

All we really have is, “Trust us. We promise.”

Nothing else. They don’t have to cover up the report forever; just long enough to dupe the public into buying their summary and spin as the actual report. 

They’d like to stall on this until the election, of course.

It’s safe to say If Democrats hadn’t taken the majority of the House, we would never see the report. It will be enough of a fight as it is. 

After all, Nunes and the rest of Trump’s House loyalists exonerated him with their not-so-thorough committee investigation, under coaching from the White House, of course.

Since there WAS obvious collusion and conspiracy with Russians, and there WAS obstruction of the investigation in plain sight, the propaganda machinery of the Party of Trump is working feverishly to distract us from what we already know.

“But, intent and motive for conspiracy are difficult to prove,” one may fairly assert. That may be so, but again, it’s all in plain sight.

Numerous campaign cronies were caught lying about numerous contacts with Russians running up to, and after, the election.

In glaring plain sight was, “Russia, if you’re listening...”  And they were. 

His cronies and offspring delighted in meeting with Russian agents in Trump Tower, seeking their support in the election. 

And in Helsinki, our intelligence community was thrown under the bus because Putin “strongly denies” interfering in the United States presidential election.

Who ya gonna trust, Trump or your lyin’ eyes?

Something else is in plain sight. Somehow a few inconvenient words slipped through Barr’s filter. Now the Party of Trump’s mission is to deflect from one annoying little passage from the report.

"While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,"

Or as the Liar-in-Chief puts it, “Complete and total exoneration!”

In the tradition of all authoritarian followers, this is what his cult of true believers shall believe. And so does his loyal party of authoritarian enablers, sycophants, stooges, corporate elites and shills calling themselves the “Republican Party”.

Okay. Time out. 

I need to clear this up right now. They are NOT a “republican” party. That’s history. Their name has become a lie.

Merriam-Webster defines a republic as:

“ a government having a chief of state who is not a monarch... and a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law”

So much for the Party of Trump being that of a republic. He is their monarch and is above the law. He is protected from the law by those abetting his crimes, obstruction, lies, betrayals, and treachery.

Hey, they are Right-wing Authoritarians after all. They have no conscience. They prove it daily.

Any defense of the indefensible is fair in their war against democracy, education, journalism, and equal justice under law.

Rand Paul told Fox(R) News on March 26, 2019, “I think that you can’t obstruct justice when there wasn’t a crime. How do you cover up for a crime that didn’t occur? So if President Trump and nobody in his campaign colluded with Russia, which was the accusation, if they didn’t do that, how can they be covering up for something they didn’t do?”

Gee, that just makes simple common sense, doesn't it? So, how do we know there “wasn’t a crime” again? Perhaps because there wasn’t enough evidence or proof?

What happens when process, evidence and proof are suppressed by obstruction? Proof there was no crime?

No. What happens is there is no conviction for the crime.

“...if they didn’t do that, how can they be covering up for something they didn’t do?”

They same way they’d cover up something they DID do. The report that “does not exonerate” the Tangerine Tyrant is precisely what is covered up now.

Then something else emerged into plain sight:

As Marcy Wheeler wrote in the New Republic: 

Barr’s letter doesn’t address something else Mueller investigated: whether a series of exchanges between Trump’s campaign and Russians amounted to a crime. The sworn testimony of Trump’s aides reveal that, at least through June 2016, he continued to pursue a $300 million real estate deal in Moscow that required Vladimir Putin’s assistance. While hoping to land that deal, Trump’s son, Don Jr., took a meeting with some Russians offering dirt on Clinton as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” At the end of the meeting, Don Jr. said his father would consider sanctions relief for Russia if he won.

Then, on August 2, 2016, in the same meeting where Manafort gave Kilimnik polling data, he discussed a “peace” deal in Ukraine that would also amount to sanctions relief for the Russians.

Finally, after he was elected but before he was president, Trump undercut President Obama’s response to the Russian hacks, suggesting that he would give Russia sanctions relief.

The hack-and-leak is not the crime Trump may have committed. It is, instead, a quid pro quo deal by which Russia would help Trump win and Trump would relieve Russia of the sanctions imposed for engaging in human rights violations, annexing Crimea, and hacking the election to help Trump win.

Obstruction is committed before the crime is proven in order to destroy, conceal, or suppress evidence, and to impede or undermine the process of investigation. This is exactly the purpose for the obstruction.

There is never a “crime" when obstruction is successful.  Funny how that works out.

What a beautiful system of justice we have for those very special people.

Next up, also in plain sight, we'll see how beautifully "Individual 1" slithers out of his campaign finance crime.

And he will. The authoritarian Party of Trump will do everything and anything to hold power and defend their Monarch from the rule of law.

And you thought we had a republic?

Sorry, Ben Franklin, we couldn't keep it. The Republican Party destroyed our republic.