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.