Make no mistake – what the Republican Party pulled off election
day 2016 was nothing less than a soft coup d’état.
Recognizing that the nation’s demographics spelled certain political marginalization and doom, Republicans sought to impose permanent minority rule on America first by hijacking the judiciary (a mission Moscow Mitch McTreason started back when Obama was still POTUS. Mitch did this by refusing to give Merrick Garland a hearing — and by refusing to let Obama fill most of the vacancies on the federal bench. With Trump in office, not only has Mitch scored two SCOTUS seats, he’s also jammed through horrible, deficient right wing candidates to fill all those seats Mitch previously refused to do anything about.
We were in a Constitutional Crisis the instant Trump took
his oath of office while simultaneously violating it. If swearing in a criminal – who KNOWINGLY betrayed
the country even as he became its leader (under false pretense) – a criminal
working for the country we’ve been at cold war with for 75 years – isn’t a
Constitutional Crisis, nothing is.
Yesterday, Trump’s chief of staff Mick Mulvaney (a man who
takes sycophancy to staggering new lows) gave one of the most amazing news
conferences of all time. He didn’t just confess
(on behalf of Trump), he waved away any outrage We The People might feel with a
brusque “Get over it”.
That’s rapist-speak. “Get
over” what I’ve just done to you. What I’m
doing to you still. “Get over it”. Get
over it why? Because YOU don’t want to
talk about it – or, worse, confess?
That’s what “get over it” really means. I did it.
A rapist mid-rape couldn’t put it better.
That soft coup d’etat was a whole other kind of rape. That was the Constitution being raped. And the Rule Of Law. It was the majority getting raped by the
It was Republicanism and Trumpism sizing up the American
electorate like Trump and Jeffrey Epstein taking in the pretty girls they
ordered up for lunch.
And when the girls say “no”, having agreed to one thing but
nothing at all like this? “Get over it”
will be how Trump responds. I’m having
it anyway. You might as well lie back
and “enjoy it”.
As good as a deep, inky red wine pairs with a steak or
champagne with oysters, it’s nothing compared to how well cannabis pairs with
Not only does cannabis give you the munchies (there’s a
reason it’s a great medicine for people with eating issues or whose appetites
have been impacted by chemo), it also makes the food you eat taste
amazing. That happens because THC causes
your brain to process more information.
You’re simply more aware of your surroundings and what you’re
experiencing in it because more of your synapses are open and processing
information. That is what THC does to
our brains. It’s the same reason some
people feel paranoia – it’s the flow of all that additional information that
your brain regularly “screens out” or misses.
Yeah, it can be daunting, intimidating – scary.
But all that additional information can also enhance the
flavor of food. Cannabis and eating
establishments are as natural and delicious a pairing as chicken and soup.
Lowell Cafe is in West Hollywood. It opened a few weeks ago — America’s first ever fully licensed cannabis restaurant. The restaurant aside, It’s a dispensary where you can smoke your buy on the premises. That’s a first anywhere in the country (as far as I know).
Part of the lingering ooga-booga in our thinking about
cannabis is that smoking cannabis causes people to act like they’ve been
drinking for hours. It’s not the case –
As cannabis users can attest – smoking cannabis doesn’t fog
your mind like alcohol does. It doesn’t make
you irrational. It doesn’t make you loud. It doesn’t impact your motor skills. It doesn’t make you want to fight or vomit up
everything you drank. It doesn’t make
you want to take out your junk and piss wherever you are because all that alcohol
filled your bladder.
Cannabis civilizes most people. Fact.
My good bud Johnny invited me to join him – he’d made
reservations after hearing Howard Stern do a live broadcast from the café last
week. There’s almost always a line
outside the place – even with reservations.
The concept is this – when you sit at your table, there are
two menus (same as with alcohol). The
only difference here is (because of the way cannabis is still regulated), you
have to purchase your cannabis separately from your food. Two different bills.
One can bring in one’s own weed – but the “corkage” is $30. Lowell Cafe is a dispensary. They grow all their own weed — organically. The prices aren’t cheap. They’re retail-retail. But that’s to be expected. You’re here also for the experience of smoking marijuana in public – with strangers – like you’d drink in a bar with them.
While you can also get that same experience at a concert, it’s
not the same. Everyone doing that
illicitly. Here – it’s the whole point
of the exercise.
For starters – the room is smoky – but it’s not dense with
smoke as it would be if it were filled with tobacco smoke. Tobacco smoke is sharper, heavier, denser,
more genuinely toxic. There’s no data
yet that says what cannabis second hand smoke is filled with. I can only tell you that whereas a restaurant
filled with tobacco smoke makes eating downright unpleasant, that was not the
case at Lowell Farms.
The eating experience was not impacted by the smoke whatsoever.
The cannabis menu (you
can read it yourself here) includes flower (they provide rolling papers or
they’ll rent you a piece – the state regs prevent customers from bringing their
own pipes for now), oils and edibles.
The food the café serves has not been prepared with cannabis – that’s
not allowed yet). If you want to buy and
use oils, the restaurant will rent you a rig with which to smoke it. You can rent a simple rig or a very cool “gravity
water pipe” that I wish I had photographed because it was incredibly cool.
I was too busy eating, enjoying the buzz and talking. Johnny and I ordered a pre-rolled Space
Coyote – a combination sativa flower, kief and oil, with a bubbly, spirited impact
(according to the menu). The Space
Coyote was indeed heady and social. And
it made the food taste awesome. Johnny ordered the Lowell Cobb. Enjoyed it immensely – fresh ingredients not
overly slathered in dressing.
Feeling less in the mood for healthy, more in the mood for “stoner
cuisine”, I opted for the sticky tamarind wings and the jalapeno mac-and-cheese
bites. Did I mention how cannabis makes
everything taste great? The tamarind
doesn’t bash you over the head. It doesn’t
have to. The wings were easily
inhaled. The mac-and-cheese bites came
with a chipotle-sriracha sauce that cleared the sinuses effectively.
The staff is all young and excited to be there. They know they’re pioneers in a business that
will take over the country. Lowell Farms
has applied for a liquor license. They
don’t need it. They should avoid it.
The tone in the room was cannabis chill. Not alcohol loud. There was a lot less glass being
clinked. It was… civilized is the
word I keep coming back to. Until you’ve experienced sitting in a room with
strangers who are all smoking cannabis – like it was normal – you can’t know
how remarkable it is.
We’ve lived in the shadow of Harry Anslinger’s bullshit,
racist marijuana mythology for so long, we’ve almost forgotten how incredibly
untrue every bit of it is.
Marijuana legalization has not brought about the fall of
Western Civilization. It hasn’t harmed
the communities in which it thrives. It
hasn’t brought about a rise in teen smoking (they’re smoking less, in fact,
because every last bit of rebellion has been taken away from smoking marijuana –
it’s hard to rebel against something your parents do, too.) It hasn’t brought a rise in traffic
And that’s the last point I want to make here. Lowell Cafe has a valet parking lot. People hand their keys to the valet then go inside for 90 minutes (that’s your limit for the time being – there’s a line to get in, remember). They smoke copious amounts of cannabis and they eat. Then they get their car from the valet guy – climb in it and go home (or wherever).
I walked down La Brea to where I’d parked my car at a
meter. I got into my car. I drove home.
And I went back to work.
I wouldn’t have – couldn’t have – had I been drinking all afternoon.
I have seen the future, America – and it was the bomb.
Vladimir Putin has never been shy about his goals. Aside from remaining the richest man on earth
(because he’s also the most corrupt), Putin
wants to restore the “Greater Russia” that the Soviet Union had, but
lost. And he wants to restore Russia to “Greater
Russia” at our expense.
After all, it was America that broke the Soviet Union – not so
much through the Cold War as through the Cold War’s long term effect on Russia’s
economy. The Soviet Union ended with a
sad whimper, nothing like a “bang”.
Putin’s never forgotten nor forgiven.
As disastrous as Afghanistan was for Russia (we know that
feeling now too), Syria has been different.
For starters, he has a very willing local client in Bashar
al-Assad. Surrounded by enemies, his
economy a complete shambles, Assad is in no position to negotiate with
anyone. Putin’s patronage – he’s always
had Assad’s back – comes at a very steep price.
Putin has built air bases in Syria. One of them, in fact, houses Assad’s chemical
weapons supply. That’s the airbase WE
bombed right after Syria gassed the Syrians in Douma. The airbase where Russia said to us “Okay –
you can bomb this base (so it looks like you’re doing something) – but you can
only bomb THIS part of the air base where we let the Syrians hang out; you bomb
any of the rest of the air base – where we are – and our planes
and equipment? You’re gonna have a problem…”.
also has a naval base in Syria – in Tartus (Russia’s only naval base
outside the Russian Federation – think about how important that makes Tartus to
Putin). That fact alone speaks
volumes. Putin has no intention to ever
give back or vacate that naval base. Why
the hell would he? It’s just as likely
that Kim tosses his growing nuclear stockpile.
Russia’s problem with Syria was that they didn’t control all
of it. There were groups – like the Kurds
– standing in their way.
Putin – knowing the America won’t stand in his way (because
he owns Trump outright), made a cynical deal with Turkey. Erdogan got what he wanted (part of Syria
that he could fill with anyone NOT Kurd – a group he hates because they’re 1) sepratists
and 2) multi-religious as opposed to just Muslim. ISIS even gets what IT wanted – the means to
reconstitute, rebuild and recommit themselves to terrorizing Europe &
Everything Russia could possibly want, they got. And the world, yet again, looks at America with
disgust – this time for betraying an ally.
It’s perverse that our Main Stream News Media to this day
asks “Why does Trump like Putin so much?” as if the answer to that question was
truly hard to ponder.
Say it with me – please: Trump treats Putin like Putin owns
him because Putin owns him.
Betcha Putin opened one of his best bottles of vodka last
night. I bet he savored every last bit
of it – the same way he’s savoring what Trump is doing to America on his
I’ve spent a ton of words here, trying to put my finger on
why it is America’s press consistently fails to adequately report the story we’re
all living through.
The answer to my question, ultimately, is perspective. Our MSM (not their fault, really) have no
perspective on an historical event so monstrous, so huge, so far-reaching, so
corrupt on so many levels that it will take historians a generation or so to completely
wrestle our story to the ground. The
Netflix limited series will take a dozen seasons or so to pack it all in.
Failure of imagination also plays a part in the news media’s
inability to see and report on Donald Trump.
They’ve bolted their Normalcy Bias Blinders to their heads and can’t get
them off. As insanely abnormal as
everything about Donald Trump has been, they STILL treat Trump as if he WERE
normal. They treat his presidency – with
all ITS disturbing abnormalities as a NEW normal – instead of the aberration that
it is. Again – perspective would help
The instant our news media let go of “Mexicans are rapists”,
they normalized Trump’s abnormality.
When they whip-sawed from “pussy grabbing” to the Comey letter without
whipping back, the fix was completely in.
Bullshit had superseded Truth as the Trumpian touchstone. Bullshit would now be seen AS “the truth”
where Trump was concerned.
Con men con by bamboozling the bamboozle-able. Another problem solved with perspective.
Spies – and active intelligence assets – also con via
misrepresentation. Look at the picture Trump
has painted of his relationship with Russia and especially Vladimir Putin. Look at the WHOLE picture, start to finish,
with every lie, evasion and outright deception included. THAT paints a picture, too. Not the one Trump wants us to see.
When the American Press finally pulls back far enough to see
the whole story with the perspective it might have started with, they’ll
conclude: Donald Trump is a traitor. He
betrayed the country, our ideals – perhaps even our future. They’ll also discover that the whole
Republican Party also betrayed us but that’s another whole story unto itself.
On that day, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS & NBC – and every
talking head on their air – will crow about Trumpian treason. They’ll scream and shout how obvious it is
(now that they can see it). But the
problem is, Trump and the Republican Party will not start being traitors
on the day the American Press finally gets it, they’ll have been traitors all
along. Up until the moment the Press
got it, the traitors were getting away with their treachery.
THAT, right there, is our problem.
The feeling I’ve been trying to describe is a lot like that
feeling one gets during an English Pantomime.
If you’ve never seen one, they’re amped up common stories (like
Cinderella or Puss In Boots) told in an amped up theatrical fashion that
encourages audience participation. There
is no fourth wall and the players (the lead especially) regularly talks to the
audience and engages them in repartee.
There’s always a moment here the villain of the piece enters
the scene – but our hero (seems) totally unaware. The audience (now part of the show), tries to
warn the hero. He turns to look but the
villain ducks just in time. The audience
howls at the hero to look the other way – which he does – but not in time to
catch the villain who ducks away again.
It’s fixed, of course.
The hero’s not supposed to see the villain just yet. But the audience, sucked in to the
theatricality, feels frustration and panic (by design) because the bad guy is
getting away with it.
Voila! Is that not how we feel every day? That we’re watching a show where the bad guys couldn’t be more obvious yet every attempt to stop them fails in large part because the people best able to stop them, haven’t grasped yet the massive size of the thing that they’re trying to stop. It’s very, VERY hard to solve a problem you don’t know (or admit to yourself) that you have.
Our problem is treason.
For real. Actual war-time
treason. We’re under attack (anyone want
to argue?) in a cyber war – just as real, just as dangerous as a shooting
war. Welcome to the future, boys n
girls, where THIS is how wars get fought.
Just because we don’t admit (or even SEE) that we’re under attack, doesn’t
mean we aren’t. The citizens of Pearl
Harbor had no idea as the Japanese Navy approached that an undeclared state of
war existed. And THEY were going to be
where the first shots would be fired.
Ask ten people what “God” is, you’ll get ten different
answers. That’s because “God” didn’t
invent us, we invented “him”.
Ask ten Evangelicals what “God” is and they’ll draw you a
word picture that, if you stripped it of all the larger-than-life puffery would
look exactly like them.
For reference-sake, let’s remind ourselves that Jesus
preached a simple message: Do Unto Others.
It was Paul, selling his version of Jesus and Jesus’ message to the
gentiles, who actually invented what we think of as Christianity. If Paul doesn’t do what he does, there is no
Jesus, in fact, taught his followers that they didn’t need a
“church”. He raged against not only the
money changers but the Temple Priests, too, who Jesus believed were corrupt. Speak directly to the father, Jesus preached.
Talk to Yahweh (the “god” character’s actual name; “god” is actually his job
description) directly, no need for a church or a priest to intercede on your
Yet lots of American Christians – Evangelicals especially – could
ditch Jesus entirely and be completely at peace practicing a religion that
couldn’t care less about doing unto others. What matters most to them is
maintaining political power and keeping all the money.
The trick every theist plays on themselves – and anyone they
then talk to – is believing that they have a direct line to this Yahweh
guy. When push comes to shove, they can
get Yahweh on the phone and get him thinking straight. The truth, of course, is way more
complicated. Cue the Magical Thinking.
Theists imagine a deity clever enough to create the whole
cosmos – and everything in it – but too inept to get human beings right. In fact, the Yahweh character, as written, is
so inept and incompetent that he (only a male would react like this), faced
with the mess he’s made with humans (it never says Yahweh is unhappy with any
other creature except the talking snake), is willing to destroy ALL LIVING
THINGS – non humans included – out of… what, spite?
What kind of tin pot, third-rate deity is this guy?
Then – when he gets the humans he really wants, Yahweh
cranks the incest meter up to a thousand.
Think about it. First there’s
Adam & Eve. They have two sons –
Caan & Abel. It’s written how Caan,
after he killed Abel, has a massive family.
Okay, fair enough. Where’d his
wife – and HER family – come from?
Unless she spontaneously sprang into being, she had to be conceived,
born and raised. Well – who conceived
her? Who was the sperm donor? Whose was the egg?
If other people existed on earth then those people also had
to spring from Eve. If this story is “historical”
(good thing it isn’t), then every human on earth is the bi-product of
incest. Theists happily re-play the
incest meme hen they get to Noah. If
every other human being is wiped out, every other line of human genetics, then
every last human on earth must be related to Noah – and sprang from incestuous
origins. There’s no way around it.
Religionistas all insist that they have insight about Yahweh
that no one else has. They know what
Yahweh means across however many translations from the Aramaic to the Greek to
the English. Religionistas all claim to
know what lurks in a fictional creature’s fictional heart. What could possibly
History is littered
with the victims of religious people who spoke for god using violent
means. Religionistas destroyed whole
cultures because “God” wanted it. That
would be their “god”. Their white
man’s “god”. Them.
That image haunted W’s presidency. It haunts him to this day because nothing had
actually been accomplished. The only
thing they’d succeeded at, mission-wise, up to that point was successfully
hanging that banner without anyone getting hurt.
Like everything else Republicans say, “Mission Accomplished” was marketing, no more honest or genuine than Mitch McConnell insisting Merrick Garland couldn’t get a hearing because “the American people needed to make the SCOTUS choice, not the president who they’d overwhelmingly returned to office”. That WAS what Moscow Mitch said with as straight a face as he could muster.
And yet – when it comes to “Mission Accomplished”, Republicans
have actually succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. The America being torn apart right now is the
America Republicans want. We are living
in their “Mission Accomplished” – or, to be accurate, “Mission NEARLY Accomplished”. Republicans can see Permanent Minority Rule
from their house now. They ache to get
This is how close Republicans are now to accomplishing their
PACK THE COURTS — Moscow Mitch denied Obama dozens of lifetime court appointments. How strange that all those vacancies started filling the moment Trump became POTUS.
How strange that Merrick Garland couldn’t get a hearing while Brett Kavanaugh skated despite overwhelming evidence he was unworthy to hold the judgeship he already held.
PROHIBIT NON-WHITE IMMIGRATION – Children in cages, anyone?
DESTROY THE ENVIRONMENT – We left the Paris Accords. Ryan Zinke. The end of clean water, clean air, National Parks. Life as we know it.
MAKE THE RICH RICHER & THE POOR POORER – Tax cuts for the rich, bullshit & lies for everyone else.
INSTITUTIONALIZE RACISM – “Decent people on both sides”.
MAKE GERRYMANDERING PERMANENT – Twice as many Democrats as Republicans have to vote in order for their majority to actually feel like a majority. The whole point of gerrymandering is to CIRCUMVENT the Will Of The People. Welcome to Republicanism. Can’t win on the law, can’t win on procedure, so pound the table into sawdust instead.
ENFORCE PERMANENT MINORITY RULE – Remind the class – how many more votes did Hilary Clinton get over Trump? 3 million plus, was it? Remember – that doesn’t include all the uncounted, provisional, suppressed, flipped & tossed in the trash ballots. Think any of those were Republican votes?
DESTROY OUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH ALL ALLIES – The knife-wound in the Kurds’ back is still fresh enough we can watch it bleed.
MAKE AMERICA A RUSSIAN SATELLITE STATE – How about that: “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED”!
That means any political campaign that takes ANYTHING from a foreign national is breaking the law. You cannot break the law to win political office. Breaking the law to win disallows your win. In fact, because you broke the law, you DIDN’T win.
We already knew that Russian money flowed into the NRA for distribution to Republican candidates. That means — any Republican candidate who took one penny from the NRA needs to PROVE that that penny didn’t flow from a Russian source. Can’t prove it? We will now assume that that money DID flow from Russia. And you TOOK IT.
We know that Russian retirees, living in America, saw their retirement check’s from Russia suddenly bumped from mere kopeks a month to thousands of dollars a month. That largesse wasn’t intended for the retirees, it was intended for Republican campaign coffers. The retirees were laundering money Russia wanted to donate to Republicans. Voila — “Mission Accomplished”.
We already knew that Russian money flowed into Mitch McConnell’s PAC — same as it did lots of other Republicans’ PACs. The way those dollars flowed was all within the letter of the law. But the spirit of the law will haunt them. Innocent foreign dollars one moment, Treason Cash the next.
Russia, we keep learning, waged a complex, multi-faceted, multi-pronged attack on our election and election systems. They pounded us with propaganda and disinformation. We don’t know yet if or how Russia flipped actual voting machines. It doesn’t matter. If Russian disinformation (gleaned via proprietary polling data, handed from Paul Manafort to Oleg Deripaska to Russian Military Intelligence for weaponizing back into personalized Facebook ads on individual voters Facebook pages) caused ONE African American voter to stay home when they intended to vote, then Russia changed the outcome of an American election on Donald Trump’s behalf.
One vote is all it takes to be election fraud. I don’t see where the Rule Of Law keeps a score sheet with a threshold.
If The Rule Of Law is back as “A Thing” then every Republican who received money from Russia broke the law. They broke it in order to WIN their elections — which means they didn’t win. You can’t break the law in order to become the law’s protector — that’s a contradiction.
If you steal something, it’s not actually yours. Regardless of how much you like driving around in a stolen car, the car STILL belongs to the guy you stole it from. In the case of election 2016, Trump, the Russians & the GOP stole the desired (voted upon) outcome We The People wanted and stole not only the Highest Office In The Land but every other electoral “win” below it.
If the Rule Of Law is really back then every last bit of Election 2016 must be voided. That means Donald Trump was never actually POTUS. He was never legitimately authorized to do the things he did — like pick judges. Every judge Trump picked was picked by someone unauthorized to pick judges. That means they must be voided — since, in point of fact, Hillary Clinton was the legitimate POTUS.
If we end up doing this right? This shit’s gonna get M E S S Y !