Friday, June 24, 2022

Shared "Values"

"It can't happen here?"

Authoritarianism is here.

The US is under minority rule, with a Supreme Court packed with liars by a criminal president.

History warns us how that can turn out:

“The National Government...regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life." - Adolf Hitler "My New Order" - Proclamation to the German Nation, Berlin, February 1, 1933

On October 10, 1936 Heinrich Himmler created the Reich Central Office for Combating Homosexuality and Abortion, or Special Office (II S), a sub-department of Executive Department II of the Gestapo.

In 1941 Hitler said, “I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so."

The Supreme Court is infected with traitors, theocrats and perjurers who violated the law and Constitution. IMPEACH them.


Thursday, June 23, 2022

Conservative Republican "Values"

Conservative Republicans are loving people.

But they only really love each other. Perhaps some may love family members who disagree with their Trumpism.


But they love something bigger. A larger family. A movement and a leader who appeals to their emotions, voices their resentments, and triggers their anger.

And so they love, trust and believe that leader. They love, trust, and believe Trump.

They believe he can do no wrong, AND don’t care if he does wrong.

Q-Anon fed the most gullible and hateful of them a putrid stream of evil Trump-sanctioned lies.

Trump claimed he doesn't "know much about the movement, other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate,” and they "basically believe in good government”.

So there. If he weaponizes lies in attacking, angering or hurting those they hate, all the better. They love him more for it.

They love him despite the numbers of credible accusations and reports of his criminal sexual conduct. They loved him for telling them President Obama wasn’t a natural-born American.

They love him despite his blatantly corrupt efforts to extort a Ukrainian investigation of the Bidens, even though there was no evidence of a crime.

They love him despite his uncivil and unpatriotic refusal to concede to President Biden’s victory.

They love him despite his Big Lie that the election was “stolen”. They believe him like a cult believes their leader.

Ruth Ben-Ghiat, author of  “Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present” and Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University was blunt:

“The Big Lie is one of the most successful propaganda operations in U.S. history.”

It just might be the tipping point of America’s fall into authoritarian one-party rule. The Big Lie is the “justification” for his followers to suppress voter rights and seize control of elections.

But they love Trump despite, or because of, his lies, hate-mongering, and gross authoritarian behavior. 

They love him despite his terminating the long American history of peaceful transfer of power.

They love him despite his incitement of a violent mob to march on the Capitol to overturn our election.

They love him despite his refusal to order them to stop their assault on the Capitol.

They love him despite the fact he repeated his Big Lie as he PRAISED his mob of violent insurrectionist thugs.


Why do they love him despite his utter and complete corruption, criminality, depravity, dishonesty, racism and narcissism?

What possible reason could there be for this fanatic loyalty?

People who say Trump is guilty have testified under oath. People who say Trump is innocent have refused to testify under oath or pleaded the Fifth.

Trump had something to say about pleading the Fifth Amendment in the past.

“You see the mob takes the Fifth,” he said. “If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?”

Maybe he should ask his lawyer John Eastman?

Trump's 1/6 coup co-conspirator, crooked lawyer John Eastman, has pleaded the Fifth over a hundred times. He also begged his Dear Leader for a pardon.

Same with fellow coup partners Republican congressmen Scott Perry, Andy Biggs, Mo Brooks and Paul Gosar.

Do they understand asking for a pardon is an admission of guilt?

Trump WH attorney Eric Herschmann advised Trump lawyer John Eastman, author of the memo Trump relied on to try and overturn the election: “Get a good f*cking criminal defense lawyer. You’re going to need it.”

Jan. 6 committee member Adam Kinzinger on CBS Face the Nation said of Trump: “If he truly believes the election was stolen, he’s not mentally competent to be President”.

He was repeatedly told there was no massive voter fraud by every expert, including his own sycophantic Attorney General Barr, who called the claims "bullshit".

Trump fired director of DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Christopher Krebs for telling him the truth.

He willfully ignored poll workers, election certification boards, secretaries of state, and 60 federal and state courts.

The term "willful blindness" is a key legal term to identify someone who knows what they're doing is illegal, but who tries to make sure they don't hear or know about things to eliminate any criminal liability.

Trump’s Big Lie alone proves he is not morally and ethically fit to be president. His criminal actions to interfere with our election spell G.U.I.L.T.Y.

The list of his corrupt and criminal offenses against our elections and democracy is being revealed by the January 6 committee.

Trump pressed Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger, “So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state. There’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, that you’ve recalculated.”

(The state counted its ballots three times before certifying Biden won there by 11,779 votes.)

Trump pressured acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen to declare that the election was corrupt.

According to acting deputy attorney general Richard Donoghue's notes, Trump said, "Just say that the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican Congressmen."

His urged his cartel of crooks to manufacture a scheme of fake and illegal electors to declare him the winner.

Trump consigliore Rudy Giuliani ramped up racist rage by smearing Black women election workers in Georgia

He described surveillance video he claimed showed the two exchanging "USB memory sticks containing fraudulent vote counts, passing out dope, as if they’re vials of cocaine."

“I mean, it’s obvious to anyone who’s a criminal investigator or prosecutor that they are engaged in surreptitious, illegal activity,” Giuliani said. “And they’re still walking around Georgia. They should have been questioned already. Their homes should have been searched for evidence.”

Trump falsely accused poll worker Ruby Freeman of being a “professional vote scammer and hustler.” 

His racist supporters heeded the call to action.

Ruby, her mother, and her daughter were terrorized and threatened by angry Trump supporters, to the degree the FBI urged them to move out of their homes for their safety.

Lady Ruby: “There was nowhere I feel safe. Nowhere. Do you know how it feels to have the president of the United States to target you? The president of the United States is supposed to represent every American, not to target one. But he targeted me, Lady Ruby, a small business owner, a mother, a proud American citizen who stood up to help Fulton County run the election in the middle of the pandemic.”

Trump supporters don’t care.

Arizona Republican “Rusty” Bowers testified to the January 6 Committee, “I do not want to be a winner by cheating.”

Before you praise him for having a modicum of decency, remember Bowers also said. “I’d vote for him again”.

What he means is, “I do not want to be a winner by cheating, but I’ll gladly vote for a cheater”.

This takes us back to the question: What possible reason could there be for this fanatic loyalty?

It’s a slight consolation and ray of hope that not ALL conservative Republicans sold their soul to Trump.

While the overwhelming majority is firmly in the Trump cult, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger are two House Republicans who value the Constitution and rule of law over loyalty to Trump. 

Their party is rabidly furious with them for acting with conscience and courage.

Pence advisor and Republican, J. Michael Luttig understands, “Donald Trump and his allies are a clear and present danger to the United States”.

But tragically, he's in the minority among Republicans. MOST Republicans still believe Trump’s Big Lie.

They value their leader more than democracy. They value power and wealth over cooperation and community. They value cruelty over compassion, and dominance over equality.

And if it serves their interests, they value a cheater over an honorable man, and lies over truth.

Trump is one of them, and that’s why they love him.

This is who and what they really are, and what they value.

They ARE authoritarians without conscience.


News Update:

Authoritarians without conscience also tend to flip on their leaders, if it saves their neck.

Mo Brooks has offered to testify before the January 6 committee.

Subpoenas were reportedly issued related to Trump fake elector scheme to: David Shafer, chair of Georgia GOP Brad Carver, Georgia GOP Thomas Lane, Trump campaign aide in Arizona & New Mexico Shawn Flynn, Trump campaign aide in Michigan.

FBI Search warrants were served for the phone of Nevada GOP chairman Michael McDonald A second search warrant was issued for Nevada party secretary James DeGraffenreid, who also signed fake elector document, but FBI agents could not locate him Wednesday, KLAS reported.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Let Texas Secede?


In case it’s not clear by now, a primary goal of fascism is to deny the will of the majority and eliminate representative democracy. A number of MAGA “Big Lie” Republicans running for governor and secretary of state in 2022 openly boast of their intent to control the election outcome in 2024.

They WANT electoral chaos and a Constitutional crisis. Social instability is fertile ground for growing authoritarianism.

The Republican agenda has gone from opposing taxes, regulations and big government to spreading lies and hate to achieve an anti-American one-party dictatorship. We can be certain of this because the dishonest and hateful authoritarians scorn compromise and detest fair elections and representation.

They have openly embraced a core tenet of fascism.

And in that regard Texas leads the way.

Newsweek reports:

“Texas GOP Declares Biden Illegitimate, Demands End to Abortion”

The Texas GOP's convention in Houston reinforced how many remain fixated on former president Donald Trump's baseless claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election—even after the House panel investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol presented evidence that those claims were false and showed testimony from Trump's closest advisers saying they did not believe them during televised hearings.

Earlier this week, the party's Permanent 2022 Platform & Resolutions Committee advanced a resolution claiming the 2020 election had violated the Constitution.

“We reject the certified results of the 2020 Presidential election, and we hold that acting President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was not legitimately elected by the people of the United States.”

What they reject is the will of the people. What they embrace is Trump’s Big Lie. We’re learning from Trump’s fellow Republicans’ sworn testimony before the Jan. 6th Committee hearings that he knew he lost the election. Even his unctuous ally Bill Barr told him so, before the Big MAGAt tried to strong arm the Justice Department into challenging the election results.

On Nov. 12, 2020, officials from two Department of Homeland Security committees — the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Council and the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council overseeing cybersecurity — released a joint statement to Trump:

“The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history. The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history.”

For that, Trump fired director of DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Christopher Krebs.

Poll workers, election certification boards, secretaries of state, and 60 federal and state courts are united in the truth. Trump lost to Biden in a fair election. There was no rampant voter fraud.

Reality is unacceptable to tyrants. Crushing democracy by controlling and stealing elections is now the stated Republican agenda.

Trump crony Steve Bannon said in November 2021: “We’re taking action. We’re taking over school boards. We’re taking over the Republican Party with the precinct committee strategy. We’re taking over all the elections.”

If that wasn’t ominous enough, Bannon tweeted on January 5, 2021:

“All hell is going to break loose tomorrow. It’s all converging, and now we’re on the point of attack tomorrow. And all I can say is: Strap in. You have made this happen, and tomorrow it’s game day.”

One of the few conservative Republicans who still honor the Constitution made it clear.

In “The Republican blueprint to steal the 2024 election” Pence advisor J. Michael Luttig wrote:

The last presidential election was a dry run for the next.

From long before Election Day 2020, Trump and Republicans planned to overturn the presidential election by exploiting the Electors and Elections Clauses of the Constitution, the Electoral College, the Electoral Count Act of 1877, and the 12th Amendment, if Trump lost the popular and Electoral College vote.

Authoritarian theocracy is also a Texas Republican value.

"We urge lawmakers to enact legislation to abolish abortion by immediately securing the right to life and equal protection of the laws to all preborn children from the moment of fertilization, because abortion violates the US Constitution by denying such persons the equal protection of the law.”

Nowhere does the Constitution, or any law, state a zygote is a “person”.

And anti-American Trumpist Texas Republicans have an odd way of showing their “patriotism”.

Their new platform states: "Texas retains the right to secede from the United States, and the Texas Legislature should be called upon to pass a referendum consistent thereto."

My reflexive response would be, “Go ahead. Make my day”. But then I consider what could happen to minorities, educators, progressives, LGBTQ and other people the radical Right detests. Their civil liberties and right to vote for fair representation would be destroyed.

Their platform also calls for a state electoral college to elect statewide office holders instead of the popular vote.

Under a section titled "State Sovereignty," the platform states: "Pursuant to Article 1, Section 1, of the Texas Constitution, the federal government has impaired our right of local self-government. Therefore, federally mandated legislation that infringes upon the 10th Amendment rights of Texas should be ignored, opposed, refused, and nullified.”

Texas, of course, goes even further to radicalize the extreme Right to sow the seeds of anger and future violence. The Texas GOP's new party platform also called for full repeal of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and describes homosexuality as "an abnormal lifestyle choice”.

Only ignorant bigots and religious fanatics believe it is a "choice".

Nothing reeks of fascism like denying voting rights and demonizing a minority.

I have a radical idea. 

Instead of letting Texas secede, let’s let democracy succeed.

But let’s play their game for a minute. If homosexuality is “abnormal”, despite it being prevalent in nature and throughout all human history, we have to conclude it is “abnormal” only because homosexuals are a minority.

Fine. Since Texans consist of a minority of Americans, let’s declare Texans “abnormal Americans”, and deny them their civil liberties, voting rights and representation in Congress.

Hell yes, let’s mess with Texas. They aren’t loyal Americans anyway. Let them go. Remove all US military and law enforcement, including Homeland Security, ICE and US Customs and Border Protection from their Redneck Regime. No more Social Security or Medicare for abnormal Americans, either. No more US Constitution.

But then again, all Texans are not Republicans. “And some, I assume, are good people.”

Saturday, June 11, 2022

5 Poison Pills


 A provision for amending the Constitution for a growing and changing country was a wise idea by the founders. But they could not foresee what the future held.

Apart from lowering the voting age to 18 in 1971, the last time any rights were expanded or protected was in 1964, when the right to vote “shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay poll tax or other tax”.

That was well over half a century ago. Republicans are now conspiring new ways to obstruct and deny voter rights. They are building the political machinery that would overturn elections if they lose.

In this century the chances of passing a Constitutional Amendment are nil. The radical Right and Supreme Court are systemically shutting down reproductive and voting rights. Progress is being reversed. The “living Constitution” is dead in the water, a relic of past times. 

For the most part the Bill of Rights is the sustaining and essential feature of our law of the land. But the founders left huge obstacles for a free democratic republic to overcome.

The consequences are very much still with us, and ominously threatening our democratic republic more than any foreign adversary could. Rich White men made sure they would rule, and still have dominant political power.

The founders wittingly and unwittingly poisoned the republic with five massive impediments to democracy, justice, and stability.

1. Slavery

Slavery, racism and white supremacy were enshrined in the Constitution with long term consequences. Even some Republicans understand the residual effects of this racism. Liz Cheney tweeted on 5-16-22: “The House GOP leadership has enabled white nationalism, white supremacy, and anti-semitism. History has taught us that what begins with words ends in far worse. GOP leaders must renounce and reject these views and those who hold them.”

2. Lifetime Supreme Court Justices

The legacy is a lifetime appointment of an unaccountable Supreme Court with no code of ethics. The wife of  Justice Thomas actively worked to overturn our election.

3. The 2nd Amendment

It was about organized, “well regulated” state militias, ostensibly to defend their territory and people from armed insurrection. They had the right to bear muzzle loading arms. The Historical record shows militias killed Native Americans, and were used by Southern states to hunt slaves and to defend slavery by waging war on the United States.

To this day, waging war on the Federal Government and the Republican Party’s adversaries is the justification for a large percentage of purchasers of AR-15 style weapons.

Weapons of mass murder are easily acquired by young and unstable people. 37,200 Americans died from guns in 2021.

169 Americans, mostly children, have been killed in school-related mass shootings in America since 1999, when two teenage students rampaged through Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. 

President Biden noted: “Over the last two decades, more school-aged children have died from guns than on-duty police officers and active-duty military combined.” The CDC reports 42,507 firearm deaths of children ages 5 through 18 over that time span.

According to the Defense Casualty Analysis System there were 25,527 active-duty military deaths between 2001 and 2020. The National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) lists 3,583 deaths from active-duty officers in 2001-2020. Between the military and the police, that’s a total of 29,110.

And there are STILL paranoid gun nuts and greedy voices of the industry calling for “more guns” as the solution.

4. The Electoral College

How can a "bastion of democracy" allow a minority to elect a president and control congress, essentially subordinating the will of the people as political hostages to rural white people? 

This has been a disastrous failure in our so-called experiment in representative democracy.

Bush and Trump both won the White House with fewer votes, and stacked the Supreme Court with Federalist Society selected, anti-choice, Catholic judges who favor corporate interests and the ideology of the conservative minority of American voters. Thank the slave states for this terrible compromise.

5. The unrepresentative, disproportionate, anti-democratic Senate

About 30% of Americans, again mostly white rural Americans, control 50% of federal legislators. Fueled by racial resentments stoked by Trump and the Radical Right, White Americans were the only racial/ethnic group with a majority of Trump voters. This assures minority rule and marginalization of the majority.

All five of these poison pills doomed our republic from the beginning, and eventually tore our country apart. I'm thinking the only path to a democratic representative republic is through eliminating corporate personhood and protection of voter rights. It wouldn't hurt to see demographic changes that put White Americans squarely in the minority, either. 

No, not by "replacing" them. They'll still be around.

Our founders' ideal of consent of the governed cannot be realized until radical White nationalism is subdued. The radical Right must be voted out of power and lose their war on our democracy. Too many White people are blinded by the Right, to the absurd degree that a large percentage of conservative White Americans have been duped by white nationalist propagandists into believing THEY are the "real victims" of racism. 

Too many irrational bigots and authoritarians are their leaders.

Therefore, in the interests of democracy and equality, the radical white right needs to be outnumbered and outvoted by significant numbers of Americans who deserve a voice and fair representation. 

Otherwise. the American Dream will continue to be suffocated in its sleep.