Friday, May 31, 2019

Fiasco




Stories like this are click bait. They want to panic you, and they are specifically designed to advance the idea that impeachment (which maybe 1 in 10 Americans actually understands as a process undertaken by the House of Representatives) is going to solve all of our problems.

I don’t care if you’ve been right fifty or a hundred times. There is no equivalent to Trump and his fiasco of a presidency. There is no one who has been able to do every single thing you’re not supposed to do and end up getting elected president. This trick has only worked once, and it won’t work again. And Trump will be thrown out of office by a country that is monumentally sick of his shit:

An American University professor who has correctly predicted the last nine presidential elections says President Trump will win the 2020 election unless congressional Democrats, “grow a spine,” CNN reported

Allan Lichtman, a political historian, said Democrats only have a shot at the White House if they begin impeachment proceedings against Trump, calling the decision both “constitutionally” and “politically” right in the wake of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. 

“It’s a false dichotomy to say Democrats have a choice between doing what is right and what is constitutional and what is politically right. Impeachment is also politically right,” Lichtman told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin on Wednesday.

Lichtman has developed a system of 13 “key factors” that help determine whether the party in the White House will maintain its hold, according to CNN. The factors range from whether the party has an incumbent president running to the country’s short- and long-term economic conditions to foreign policy successes and failures. If the party loses out on six factors or more, he says they will lose the presidency.

I’m not going to attack or criticize Lichtman because what would be the point of that? His “key factors” don’t take into account that Trump motivated racial hatred, used Russian assistance to suppress voters in some states and enrage others in the three key states that he needed, and has been the most unpopular president of the modern era. In the next calendar year, we might have a great economy, low unemployment, and even moderate wage growth, but that won’t win the 3-5% of the voters needed to swing the election his way. Those voters will not break his way ever again because they’re the ones who were manipulated and fooled in 2016.

The level of engagement voters are having with Trump has dropped like a stone. His rallies are a shambles and not anywhere near as well attended as they should be. You’ll see another wave of Republican retirements because the real polling is done in races that will decide who will gain seats in Congress on both sides of the aisle.

No president has ever been this hated since Nixon. I know it is not scientific, but can you imagine anyone reasonable saying, “yeah, Trump should get another four years.” I simply cannot.

Of course, I’ve been wrong before. If Americans don’t vote, if the Democrats run a stale, aged candidate who can’t get anyone to come and watch him speak, if this whole impeachment thing goes tits up and embarrasses the entire Democratic Party, Trump might only lose by 70 electoral votes.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

We Must Fight For Every Senate Seat




Let me tell you a story about a man who has no respect for the institution he purports to lead:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday if a Supreme Court vacancy occurs during next year's presidential election, he would work to confirm a nominee appointed by President Donald Trump. 

That's a move that is in sharp contrast to his decision to block President Barack Obama's nominee to the high court following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016. 

At the time, he cited the right of the voters in the presidential election to decide whether a Democrat or a Republican would fill that opening, a move that infuriated Democrats. 

Speaking at a Paducah Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Kentucky, McConnell was asked by an attendee, "Should a Supreme Court justice die next year, what will your position be on filling that spot?"

Oh, and the media will laugh and let him do it! He won’t pay the price for his reversal, nor will he face any backlash whatsoever for continuing to destroy comity in the Senate. Why, he’ll continue to be semi-anonymous all throughout this great land and people will keep voting for Republicans for the Senate because this is a stupid fucking country that has been all but indoctrinated into the idea of letting GOP stalwarts destroy everything. Hey, red state voters—show everyone in the court your scars from all of the abuse you’ve suffered. Nothing else explains how you can keep voting to keep these monsters in office.

In my dreams, I see a Democrat in the Senate who won’t stand for this. That ain’t Chuck Schumer, of course, but oh well. In my dreams, I see a party that fights back and wins back the Senate, but, nope, we can’t find anyone to run in key states. In my dreams, I can imagine a time when Mitch McConnell is rolled up in a rug and jettisoned from the Senate and replaced by someone with honor and class, but incumbency is now permanent when you have Russian money backing you.

The 2020 election is about throwing Trump and McConnell out of office. Why can’t anyone else see that as their central organizing principal and build a Democratic Party that is ready to make that happen? Let’s go into every red state and let’s run against every Republican and let’s beat as many of them as possible. How hard is that to figure out?

In my dreams, I see people giving a shit about what McConnell is doing, but it ain’t happening. I think this starts with winning back the Senate, and then holding hearings to determine how best to impeach and remove Bret Kavanaugh from the Supreme Court for being a drunken lout and an unethical liar who had all of his bills paid in some secretive fashion.

Yeah, that ain’t happening, either. I guess I’m alone with my delusions.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

The Greatest Failure Since Lincoln




I have no idea how people can even believe something like this:

The actor urged Americans to "stand with our president" in a new video message.

Addressing the American people, actor Jon Voight has proclaimed Donald Trump the “greatest president since Abraham Lincoln.”

Voight, who has appeared in movies such as Varsity Blues, National Treasure, Pearl Harbor, Transformers and more, posted a pair of videos to Twitter last night (May 24) in which he urged Americans to “stand with our president.”

Voight’s statement in public is laughable, of course. I’m shocked to find it published on the NME website. This means that people who normally sleep through these kinds of issues are engaged and aware.

Trump is the most unpopular president in the modern era, and he will likely remain so until he is thrown out of office. There’s a parallel universe where his presidency exists solely as a means by which liberals are annoyed by his style, but the general public is able to ignore him because of careful stage management. In that universe, he brought in people to run his administration like the way they ran George W. Bush’s. Instead, they brought the cruelty and the racist tendencies out into the open for all to see. The version of his presidency we are experiencing in this universe is a shambles.

That’s because the careful stage management of day-to-day affairs never happened. They failed to staff the government and they failed to bring in people who could make everything look like the government was functioning. Trump has brought his shit show into the every day lives of Americans, insisting on being the biggest spectacle there is. Had he simply gone to work, carried out his monstrous policies behind the scenes, and insisted on a veneer of respectability, he would be coasting to a second term right now.

Instead, his presidency is a tremendous failure in every sense of the world. You couldn’t fail more spectacularly than Trump if you wanted to. It’s a replay of his Atlantic City casino career, and it’s all falling apart before our eyes.

You can do a lot of things as president, but never wake up the activists and never make it so people who have never thought about politics go out and run for office. The 2018 mid-term election has actually sealed Trump’s fate. No one can recover from that, and he most certainly won’t survive the singular act of bringing so many women into the political arena.

They will save us, and I think we need to remember that every time someone who knows nothing—Voight, in particular—tries to tell us something that defies belief.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Another Salvo in the Information War




Rarely do you see news organizations move this fast to debunk something that comes from the fevered swamp of right wing disinformation:

A manipulated video being shared by some social media users to spread a false claim that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slurred her words after meeting with President Donald Trump on Wednesday has been removed by YouTube, the company told CNN on Thursday.

The crudely edited video comes amid warnings from the US intelligence community that more sophisticated video manipulation may be part of future disinformation campaigns targeting the American electorate. 

The video, which shows Pelosi's onstage comments at the Center for American Progress on Wednesday, has been slowed down, which makes her words seem slurred. 

Pelosi's spokesman declined to comment on the video when contacted by CNN. When asked about this video and other manipulated videos targeting Pelosi, her spokesman Drew Hamill told The Washington Post, which first reported the story, "We're not going to comment on this sexist trash."

This is what they do—they lie in order to gain any advantage. They will never, ever respect or follow any of the rules that liberals apply to themselves.

When Democrats say they won’t take PAC money or respond to this sort of thing or when they ignore what’s happening, I just want to point out that the information war that we are currently living in is one where your purity tests and your good behavior are going to get you wiped out. I would put a premium on behaving honorably if this was 2008 or 2012. I wouldn’t bet on that for a while because we have entered a phase in American history when Republicans are not bound by any rules of normalcy. They have to be engaged and defeated on a battlefield that is littered with these attacks.

Put it this way. The alt-right, the fascist right, and Trump supporters are counting on you to clutch your pearls and decry this sort of tomfoolery. They don’t fucking care about anything and they’ll do whatever it takes to win.

What are you going to do to stop them?

Monday, May 20, 2019

What's a Little Money Laundering Anyway?




You really don’t get to the single most important piece of information in this story until you wade through a significant amount of bullshit:

In the summer of 2016, Deutsche Bank’s software flagged a series of transactions involving the real estate company of Mr. Kushner, now a senior White House adviser.

Ms. McFadden, a longtime anti-money laundering specialist in Deutsche Bank’s Jacksonville office, said she had reviewed the transactions and found that money had moved from Kushner Companies to Russian individuals. She concluded that the transactions should be reported to the government — in part because federal regulators had ordered Deutsche Bank, which had been caught laundering billions of dollars for Russians, to toughen its scrutiny of potentially illegal transactions.

Ms. McFadden drafted a suspicious activity report and compiled a small bundle of documents to back up her decision.

Typically, such a report would be reviewed by a team of anti-money laundering experts who are independent of the business line in which the transactions originated — in this case, the private-banking division — according to Ms. McFadden and two former Deutsche Bank managers.

That did not happen with this report. It went to managers in New York who were part of the private bank, which caters to the ultrawealthy. They felt Ms. McFadden’s concerns were unfounded and opted not to submit the report to the government, the employees said.

Ms. McFadden and some of her colleagues said they believed the report had been killed to maintain the private-banking division’s strong relationship with Mr. Kushner.

After Mr. Trump became president, transactions involving him and his companies were reviewed by an anti-financial crime team at the bank called the Special Investigations Unit. That team, based in Jacksonville, produced multiple suspicious activity reports involving different entities that Mr. Trump owned or controlled, according to three former Deutsche Bank employees who saw the reports in an internal computer system.

Some of those reports involved Mr. Trump’s limited liability companies. At least one was related to transactions involving the Donald J. Trump Foundation, two employees said.

Deutsche Bank ultimately chose not to file those suspicious activity reports with the Treasury Department, either, according to three former employees. They said it was unusual for the bank to reject a series of reports involving the same high-profile client.

The bombshell that goes off for me in this story is that we have fairly undeniable proof that there was an exchange of money between Jared Kushner and Russian entities. How is that not collusion in every sense of the word? It happened before and after the 2016 election. That’s the quid and the goddamned pro quo right there.

How difficult is this to figure out? You have Jared Kushner sending money to individuals in Russia, and it makes you wonder—is this what he failed to put on his security clearance forms? Did he lie about these transactions, thereby causing officials to deny him access to classified material before Trump intervened and granted him a high-level clearance? This can’t be the first time someone in the U.S. government has been tipped off to this sort of behavior. If it looks and smells like money laundering, why was this kept from the American people during the election? Why weren’t we told about this activity?

The son-in-law of the President has money going back and forth with the Russians, and we, as a nation, are just okay with that? Really?

And, oh by the way, I’m pretty sure that nobody serving as President of the United States of America should be involved in money laundering schemes. How is that even remotely difficult to figure out?

I think that should be an up front example as to how our new normal—the way we live now—is making people who follow politics absolutely bonkers. President Obama was afraid of refinancing his house in Chicago because of the conflict of interest that it might have presented. Guess what? Trump has done hundreds of things that are far worse and no one can keep track of them because it’s scandal after scandal, whizzing by like there’s no tomorrow. We’re living in crazy times!

Right there, plain as day, the threads of another handful of scandals are now firmly connected. You can see that Trump’s use of a limited liability corporation is criminal in nature whenever it is revealed. It doesn’t matter whether they’re being used to launder money or pay off an old girlfriend. You can see money laundering, a staple of how Trump does business with Russia, right there before your eyes (remember when he said he didn’t have any dealings with Russia?). You can see that the revelation of these transactions and arrangements is shocking in the context of American politics. If voters had known this before the 2016 election, would it have caused them to change their minds? How could the Republican Party have run with Trump on the ticket if this information had been freely available? It sort of supports, for me, anyway, the notion that Republicans were fine with money laundering, connections to Russia, widespread criminal activity, and jackass behavior so long as Trump was the advocate of white supremacy that Mitt Romney wasn’t.

You can also see the leverage that Russia has had over him. They’re exchanging money with all of these shell companies, the Trump Foundation, and Jared Kushner’s half-assed company. It is exactly this sort of lawless, unhinged business behavior that should be investigated by Congress. This is what would trigger any reasonable national security investigation into any other American business. But good luck with that. We’ll never see the end of this. We’ll never see the full extent of this assault on the rule of law play out. There’s too much malfeasance, too much money being stolen to keep track of it all.

Thanks again, noble elites, for stepping up and protecting the country. You really fucked us over good.

Pete Buttigieg Got His Ideas Out There




When Pete Buttigieg went on Fox News over the weekend, he exposed their viewers to some radical ideas that they would normally be shielded from:






That’s just a sampling of what they were presented. I still agree with Elizabeth Warren that an appearance on Fox News allows them to profit from being raised up as a legitimate news outlet when they are, in fact, . But, what’s important about what Buttigieg did with his appearance is that he showed that a veteran and a leader can take a moral stand against all the things Fox News viewers believe. He can go before that audience and turn their world inside out.

Now, who’s mind is going to be changed by what Buttigieg had to say?

With regards to the Fox News audience, I doubt very much if anyone who watches on a regular basis has ended up with a changed position on anything. It’s good that he has exposed them to different ideas and different arguments, but we’re right back where we started from. They remain polarized by their hatred of Democrats and social progress. They still hate everything that Democrats believe out of a reflexive belief that everything liberals want is evil and wrong. Regardless of common sense and proven results, they hate what Buttigieg stands for before he even lays it out for them.

It’s one thing for a veteran like Buttigieg to give an opinion on defense-related matters; how many will respect his views? The answer is none of them respect his views. They have been conditioned to reject what he offers.

So, kudos for going out there to say what you believe. But, what’s the point?

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Joe Biden is Ignoring Bernie Sanders




Former Vice President Joe Biden is running like it is his nomination to lose. Instead of getting into the weeds with Bernie Sanders, he’s brushing off his attacks like they’re nothing. Is this the right strategy for a front runner? Who the hell knows anymore?

"Bernie is trying to rekindle the magic of 2016, where he was the outsider running against a longtime member of the establishment," said Dan Pfeiffer, a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama. "The challenge is that this year there are no candidates with a claim to outsider status."

A Sanders representative declined to comment. Mark Longabaugh, an adviser to Sanders' 2016 campaign, said the senator ran then by pitting himself first and foremost against Wall Street, pharmaceutical drug companies and the billionaire Koch brothers, who fund conservative causes and campaigns.

Sanders' critiques of Biden come as the former vice president is taking the lead in many polls, displacing Sanders from the top.

For his part, Biden only nods at the tensions without mentioning Sanders by name.

You can see how hypocritical all of this is just by tracking the dishonest rhetoric of the Sanders campaign. Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent by Wall Street, drug manufacturers, and the Koch brothers to run President Barack Obama and Joe Biden out of office. He was in the administration that fought these people and gave the country the Affordable Care Act. He was on the receiving end of their abuse. This is just more of the same from Bernie. Instead of talking about what he plans to do, he attacks every Democrat in the race and tries to win by dividing the party that he’s too pure to actually join.

I think it is pretty disingenuous to sit here and pretend that Biden, as Obama’s Vice President, was somehow part of the problem. He wasn’t. He was on the right side of history when they were trying to tear down Obama. He was a chief defender, a loyal Democrat, and always seemed to be working to bring people together. You can denigrate that all you want, but it is largely the reason why Biden is more of a consensus pick for president—he represents the Democratic Party as a return to normalcy.

The best advice I can give people is, “don’t knock normalcy.” Restoring this country’s democratic traditions and rebuilding our standing in the wake of the Trump Regime is going to take years. If you want to beat Trump, give people a reason to vote for Democrats. The best reason to do so is to end all of the evil shit, fix the country’s infrastructure, preserve the health care system, deal with Global warming, and avoid starting any more wars.

If we’re going to pick a president based on his outdated opinions from the 1970s and 1980s, I don’t know that Bernie could really survive that sort of scrutiny.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Donald the Dove, Hillary the Hawk




To the elites who should have stopped Trump before he was even elected president, thanks again for nothing:

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented an updated plan to President Trump’s top national security aides that potentially sends as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East if Iran attacks U.S. forces or accelerates its work on nuclear weapons, The New York Times reports. National Security Adviser John Bolton ordered Shanahan to update the plan, which was presented at a meeting last week and does not call for a land invasion of Iran. Deploying the 120,000 troops was reportedly the “uppermost option” of the plan, and it was estimated to take “weeks or months” to execute. While the plan was presented, it is not clear if Trump was briefed on the plan’s details or if he would support it. Spokesmen for Shanahan and Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reportedly declined to comment. Garrett Marquis, a National Security Council spokesman, told the newspaper on Monday the U.S. “does not seek war with Iran” but said the administration would be “ready to defend U.S. personnel and interests in the region.”

One hundred twenty thousand troops is “approaching” the number of troops deployed when the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, the Times reports. When Trump was asked if he wanted regime change Iran, he told reporters Monday that he’ll “see what happens” in the country. “If they do anything, it would be a very bad mistake,” he said.

Iran is not flat, nor is it in any way, shape or form similar to Iraq. There is no point in explaining that 120,000 American troops could smash through virtually any part of the Iranian military and then become bogged down if they are cut off logistically (the Iranians know how to close the Strait of Hormuz and they have gamed out any number of invasion scenarios). There’s no point because anyone who invades Iran is a fool and I cannot believe that is actually on the table. The threat of Iran is an illusion, of course, but American military planners know that an invasion would trigger a massive series of retaliatory moves throughout the Middle East. They’ve had decades to plan this out. We had a chance to hit them when Bush was president and, for some reason, sanity prevailed.

I don’t believe that there really are plans to move 120,000 American troops to the region; I think this is a trial balloon being floated by idiots. To successfully invade Iran and threaten the regime, you would need a force more than seven times that to even begin to have a serious discussion. Let’s start at a million troops for the invasion, and at least 2.5 million for logistics. That’s everyone on active duty, all the Marines, and you’re going to have to call up virtually all of the reservists and Guardsmen available. You’re going to need your entire merchant marine and you’re going to have to send five aircraft carriers just to kick off what promises to be a multi-year operation. Good luck getting all of them into their uniforms for game time.

No Christmas for you, private Snuffy.

Malcolm Nance is actually an expert on these plans and I think Adam Silverman is also very knowledgeable. To get into the insanity of invading Iran is a losing proposition. You could explain the logistical nightmare of it all you wanted, but it wouldn’t budge the people who think we can project a nearly a million men and women anywhere in the world these days and crush any adversary. We would have to spin that up very carefully, and we would have to be united as a country to do it. We are not. We would have to activate several hundred thousand National Guard members, and when we did that during the first Gulf War in 1990, a whole lot of people fought having to be deployed (again, you weren’t told much of that because it was a rah-rah war started by a Republican). Do you really think, in the Trump Era, the American people would stand for such a thing?

Hells to the no, baby.

If you tried to move that many sailors, airman, soldiers and Marines into the region, Iran would not stand for it. Where are you going to base them? Do you think Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and Qatar and the UAE would want that sort of attention this time around? Do you think Turkey would want us to run the war out of Incirlik again? Oh, hell, we’re in Afghanistan this time around. Just run it through there, right?

Sorry, but that ain’t happening. If it does, the American people are in for a world of hurt and years—years—of war.

Friday, May 10, 2019

The Massage Parlor Entrepreneur




In any other era of American politics, this would be a scandal of epic proportions and would define an entire presidency. In the Trump era, this is what you sweep up on a Friday morning after an endless series of events:
The FBI has opened a public corruption investigation into Republican donor and South Florida massage-parlor entrepreneur Li “Cindy” Yang, focusing on whether she illegally funneled money from China into the president’s reelection effort or committed other potential campaign-finance violations, the Miami Herald has learned.
Investigators obtained a federal grand jury subpoena Tuesday seeking records from Bing Bing Peranio, an employee of Yang’s family’s spa business who last year contributed a maximum $5,400 to President Donald Trump’s reelection effort, according to a source familiar with the probe. Yang came to Peranio’s workplace and helped her write the check, Peranio told reporters from The New York Times, who first reported the contribution. Peranio told The Times she didn’t “say no.”
The subpoena asked for any records related to that March 5, 2018, donation and possibly other contributions between 2014 and the present, said the source, who asked for anonymity to discuss an ongoing federal investigation.
In a brief phone interview with the Miami Herald, Peranio confirmed that she had received a subpoena and that FBI agents had interviewed her at her home Thursday.
She declined to discuss the nature of the conversation but said she did not understand why investigators were interested in her political contributions. “It’s not just me,” Peranio said. “I don’t know why I always get it.”
I’m sorry, but Bing Bing Peranio is today’s version of Bebe Rebozo, and this isn’t even counting all of the other weirdos that have latched on to a presidency so corrupt, we may never know the full extent of the lawlessness that has been happening before our eyes.
Here’s a slice of hilarity from the New York Times, which should be front-paging every single development in this story:
One of the $5,400 political donations came from a 25-year-old woman who gives facials at a beauty school, in a strip mall in nearby Palm Beach Gardens that is owned by Ms. Yang’s family. Another $5,400 came from a woman who says she worked as a receptionist at a massage parlor owned by Ms. Yang’s husband. A third gift of $5,400 came from an associate of Ms. Yang’s who had been charged in 2014 after a prostitution sting with practicing health care without a license, police records show.
The receptionist, Bingbing Peranio, listed as a “manager” on her disclosure, spoke with a reporter about her relationship with Ms. Yang. She described herself as a big fan of Mr. Trump’s and said Ms. Yang, a registered Republican, was seen as a leader among Asian-American Republicans in Florida.
Ms. Peranio said Ms. Yang had come to the spa where she worked at the time and helped fill out the check toward the president’s campaign. “I can’t say she was pushing me or not pushing me, but I worked there then,” she said, speaking at her home in Jupiter. “I was working there. I didn’t say no.”
Thanks again to our political elites and our ruling class. They really, really failed America. No, go ahead. Tell me how the Clintons brought all kinds of shame and dishonor to the presidency. Tell me again how President Obama’s tan suit really was the end of Western civilization.
The media’s stunning hypocrisy and lack of institutional memory and perspective is really the story here. An incredibly unpopular president who can’t staff the Federal government, who can’t go from one day to the next without lashing out like a toddler, and who is surrounded by incompetent criminals is literally involved in a cheap scandal with Chinese women who provide masturbation services to old, white men in Florida. It’s as if the worst screenwriter in America wrote a rough draft of what would happen if America elected a con man president and forgot to include plausible events and details.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

This Man Has No Credibility




Someone just needs to shut up and go away:

Former national security adviser H.R. McMaster accused some of his former White House colleagues on Wednesday of being "a danger to the Constitution" because they are either trying to manipulate President Donald Trump to push their own agenda or see themselves as rescuing the country from what they view as the commander in chief's bad policy choices.

The retired Army lieutenant general, who served as a top Trump aide between February 2017 and April 2018, cast himself among the group who sought to provide unvarnished policy options to the president. But he said others whom he declined to identify by name had very different agendas — and he said those agendas are dangerous.

“The second group of people, and I think this is true in any administration,” he explained, are those “who are not there to give the president options — they’re there to try to manipulate the situation based on their own agenda, not the president’s agenda."

The third group of Trump advisers are those who “cast themselves in the role of saving the country, even the world, from the president," McMaster told an event hosted by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a hawkish think tank where he is now a scholar.

“I think those latter two categories of people are actually a danger to the Constitution of the United States,” he concluded, explaining that the public servants were not elected to overrule or stymie Trump’s policy desires.

McMaster is unique among the generals who served Trump. He didn’t completely buy in like Kelly and he didn’t use his resignation to send a message (that was ignored) to Congress like Mattis. He abandoned his principles and tried to manage Trump. Instead of raising a warning in the early days of his tenure, he allowed the safety and security of the American people to take a backseat to a wild ride through Trump’s feverish ignorance of the world.

America is on a downward spiral through the deepest horrors of Trumpism. Instead of using his credibility and influence to stop this process, McMaster ignored everything he had ever written, contradicted every oath he had sworn, and placed himself in the service of a criminal enterprise desperate for legitimacy. If McMaster had declined the offer to work for Trump, he would have a future in American foreign policy. I can’t imagine a scenario where anyone will want someone tainted by their association with Trump to join any future administration.

In other words, go away. You surrendered your soul to the Trump family, and helped them carry out the charade of being in charge of things. While McMaster slept, they were making deals behind his back. I suspect he knew all of this and did nothing, thinking he could ride it out and emerge with some semblance of dignity and respect.

What does he have, other than a gaping hole in his resume and no right to criticize any other leader?

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Hollowing Out the Government is What Republicans Love About Trump




The Republican Party has always fantasized about destroying the Federal bureaucracy, and this is more proof of that:

Economists in the Agriculture Department's research branch say the Trump administration is retaliating against them for publishing reports that shed negative light on White House policies, spurring an exodus that included six of them quitting the department on a single day in late April.

The Economic Research Service — a source of closely read reports on farm income and other topics that can shape federal policy, planting decisions and commodity markets — has run afoul of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue with its findings on how farmers have been financially harmed by President Donald Trump's trade feuds, the Republican tax code rewrite and other sensitive issues, according to current and former agency employees.

The reports highlight the continued decline under Trump’s watch in farm income, which has dropped about 50 percent since 2013. Rural voters were a crucial source of support for Trump in 2016, and analysts say even a small retreat in 2020 could jeopardize the president’s standing in several battleground states.

“The administration didn’t appreciate some of our findings, so this is retaliation to harm the agency and send a message,” said one current ERS employee, who asked not to be named to avoid retribution.

For example, two ERS researchers presented a paper at an economic conference in early 2018 that indicated the GOP tax overhaul would largely benefit the wealthiest farmers — generating negative press coverage that staff members said irked senior officials at USDA.

Number one, no one is going to sympathize with a handful of bureaucrats. This is why destroying the Federal work force is a win-win for the GOP. Number two, facts and statistics always seem to have a liberal bias in that they get in the way of doing what “feels” right when it comes to making policy. Evidence that contradicts their cherished beliefs never seems to come up when a Republican talks about getting rid of Federal programs. They are steeped in ideology and never mind if it actually hurts people.

Oh, and my third point here is that any goddamned farmer who voted for Trump ought to be proud of their noble stand against the honesty and decency that will never be a feature of his time in office. I hope you have a seat in the front row as they sell off everything you can’t make the loan payments on and I hope you get to watch a corporate conglomerate farm your land while you sit on a bucket in your backyard and think about how proud your great-grandfather would be knowing that you ruined all that he built.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Bernie Sanders is Here to Re-Elect Donald Trump




The Democratic Party hasn’t figured it out yet. Bernie Sanders is not here to win the presidency. He’s fulfilling a life-long goal to destroy the Democratic Party, which will, of course deliver the presidency to the Republican Party for another Trump term in office.

In just the last month, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) unloaded a blistering attackon a leading Democratic think tank. He went after former Vice President Joe Biden on a number of policy fronts. And one of his top congressional surrogates accused Mayor Pete Buttigieg of intellectual dishonesty. 

It’s a new, more aggressive look for Team Sanders. The senator who four years ago was known as a gruff but endearing candidate running a democratic-socialist, ideas-driven campaign has decided to bare his fangs more quickly this time, in hopes that it may actually win him the nomination.

“[T]he senator learned… many lessons from 2016,” Nina Turner, a national co-chair of Sanders’ 2020 campaign told The Daily Beast, “and one of those lessons is to show what separates you very clearly from the rest of the people running.”

At this point, every Democratic candidate needs two things. One, a plan to deal with Bernie and, two, a plan to deal with the information warfare that is being directed against them by Trump and his allies in Russia.

It’s not about denying him the nomination. It’s about exposing him for the fraud that he is. Sanders will savage every single Democrat that gets in his way, and I don’t see that anyone has a plan to deal with that. I don’t see where anyone is really taking a swing at him. In fact, I see the opposite—I see Joe Biden running a campaign several cycles out of date. I see everyone else afraid to confront Sanders.

Can he be the nominee of the Democratic Party? Of course not. Sanders cannot beat Trump. Sanders has no interest in winning; he wants to lose so that he can continue his attacks on the Democratic Party’s leadership and so that he can continue to draw in far left donors who would never give anyone else their money.

The 2020 Campaign will be an information warfare slugfest. Candidates will have to maintain a 24 hour watch just to ensure they have a response in place for whatever is thrown at them. They need to have a firm grasp of how Facebook will be weaponized against them along with every other social media platform. That’s going to take hundreds of millions of dollars to fight. I just don’t think we can afford to fight a purity test this time around. We have to obliterate Trump and capture every single possible vote in order to survive the next election.

That means taking PAC money. That means asking everyone on the left to step up and unify around a candidate. That means asking a lot of the American people—asking for their trust and their support. This is no time for arguing over who did what thirty years ago. This is about what we’re going to do to take back our democracy right fucking now.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Only Republicans Can Break the Law




I don’t know how much more of this anyone can take:

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Thursday accused Attorney General William Barr of lying to Congress about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. “What is deadly serious about it is the attorney general of the United States of America is not telling the truth to the Congress of the United States. That’s a crime,” Pelosi told reporters. “He lied to Congress. If anybody else did that, it would be considered a crime. Nobody is above the law.” Pelosi was apparently referring to Barr’s assertion during a hearing last month that Mueller’s team had not expressed any concerns to him about his four-page summary of Mueller’s findings. Earlier this week, it was revealed that Mueller sent Barr a personal letter expressing his concern over the summary. Mueller wrote that the summary “threatens to undermine... public confidence” in the investigation, and “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of the probe.

If you’re a Republican in America today, you can break the law if it is service to the world of Trump. The rest of us have to follow the law because that’s just how things are. You can break whatever laws you want to break if Trump is there to pardon you, but you’d better make sure they’re not state laws. Aw, what the hell?

Break all the laws you want.

There are no consequences if you are orbiting Trump in some way, shape or form. We are no longer a nation of laws, we’re a nation where a handful of white men have decided to operate as if everything is here for them to pillage and steal. Is it nailed down? Don’t worry, Trump has a kid who knows how to make off with it anyway.

In theory, this is where we should all go into hiding. The autocrat who has come to steal has already decided to unleash the Department of Justice on his enemies. The next scandal isn’t going to involve Mueller or the Russians at all. It will start to dawn on people that the Barr Justice Department isn’t here for any other purpose than to help Trump win in 2020. They will start by investigating any Democrat who gets out of line. Anyone with something slightly off in their background might as well drop out of the race for president.

Given the propensity Jane Sanders has for bankrupting colleges, you would think that Bernie would figure out that, if he runs for president and starts to win some primaries, Trump’s Justice Department will start sniffing around his financial dealings. The same goes for everyone else running for president. Make inroads against Trump, and the law will come after you.