“TRUMPOCALYPSE: THE MOVIE” — Let’s All Play Casting Director!

U.S. Vice-President Biden smiles as he speaks with Croatian PM Milanovic in Zagreb

Take this to the bank: a movie or two WILL be made about the Trump presidency.  A few will nibble at the periphery of the experience, capturing the graft and the grift.  Some will try to capture its essence economically but that won’t satisfy.  One really had to experience the overwhelming “everyday” of it — the relentless, sometimes narcotizing fire hose of awfulness that got locked into the “on” position — to appreciate “it”.  This story could never fit into a feature film no matter the length.  This is streaming TV territory that audiences will want to both binge and purge at the very same time.  That’s why we should make the casting process as democratic as possible.  We’re invested in getting the best performances we can.

We’ve already seen a few actors play Trump — Alec Baldwin on SNL of course (which shouldn’t put him out of the running though I suspect he’d want to add a little nuance to the part if he gets the nod) and Brendan Gleason in Showtime’s “The Comey Rule” adaptation.  Late night hosts (Jimmy Fallon) and comedians (Bob DiBuono) have played Trump but they haven’t “inhabited” Trump the way we’ll need our actor to inhabit the part.

Quick casting note: having personally cast a lot of actors over my career, I can assure you: we never cast actors to “act”.  We cast them to “be”.  We cast actors to, essentially, play a version of themselves (with a different name and wardrobe) as honestly as they possibly can.  If they act the emotions, it won’t work.  The camera will see it and we’ll hate the actors as a result.  Much better that they just “open a vein” emotionally and let their hearts flow.  So — as you look at the roles, don’t think so much “who can ‘act’ this part, think “who already inhabits it in a way” because of who they are.  There’s a reason actors get so close associated with the parts they play.  They’re not playing anything.  They’re just “being”.

Back when I first threw down this post in the early years of Trump’s presidency, the story was smaller and simpler (if you can remember back that far).  It was corruption and Russia and a desperate attempt to make it to 2018 when (as we did) we could reassert control of the House at least and try to inject a little oversight into the toxic mix.  Since then… geez — what hasn’t happened?  This — is it a limited series even? — could go on for years as it’s still playing out in real time.

This will always be celebration of wishful thinking — not the TV series itself — casting the damned thing as if we could stay ahead of the story.  The Trump Age was brutal to people who write fiction for a living.  How could fiction possibly stand up to the reality we all lived through?  If a writer tried to sell what we all lived as a novel or script, they’d have been told to stop writing, period.  Way too over the top.  Way too crazy.  Way too everything.

And yet.

This post invites your contributions!  It’s an “open casting call” meaning everyone’s open to making a few casting calls.

CHARACTER              ACTOR

Donald Trump          Woody Harrelson, Alec Baldwin, Brendan Gleeson, Sarah Cooper

Woody Harrelson as Trump Woody Harrelson as Trump?

Alec Baldwin as Trump Alec Baldwin as Trump?

Brendan Gleeson as Trump Brendan Gleeson as Trump?

Sarah Cooper as Trump Sarah Cooper as Trump?

Mike Pence

mike-pence-sanctimonious Mike Pence as Mike Pence

Beck Bennet as Mike Pence SNL’s Beck Bennett as Mike Pence?

The Coronavirus

Coronavirus Coronavirus as Coronavirus

Bubonic Plague 2 Bubonic Plague as Coronavirus?

Spanish flu Spanish Flue of 1918 as Coronavirus?

Joe Biden

Jim Carrey as Joe Biden Jim Carrey as Joe Biden?

Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi Nancy Pelosi as Nancy Pelosi

Meryl Streep as Nancy Pelosi Meryl Streep as Nancy Pelosi

Helen Mirren as Nancy Pelosi 2 Helen Mirren as Nancy Pelosi?

Mitch McConnell

mitch-moscow-mitch Mitch McConnell as Treason McTurtleface

Rudy Giuliani

Rudy Rudy as Rudy

Kate McKinnon as Rudy Kate McKinnon as Rudy? Kate can play whoever she wants!

Ted Cruz

ted-cruz-sexy-eyes Ted Cruz as Ted Cruz

Josh Hawley

Josh Hawley Josh Hawley as Josh

Roger Stone

roger-stone-communicated-directly-with-wikileaks-despite-denials-thumbnail-1511217-640x360 Roger Stone as Roger

Michael Flynn

Michael Flynn Michael Flynn as Michael Flynn

The Proud Boys

Proud Boys The Proud Boys as Themselves

Nazis Nazis — as The Proud Boys dream of themselves

Bill Barr

bill-barr-is-handsome Bill Barr as Bill Barr as the Worst AG in American History

Mike Pompeo

Mike Pompeo Mike Pompeo as Mike Pompeo

Lindsey Graham

lindsey-graham-looks-haunted Lindsey Graham as the most haunted, hunted man in America

Kevin McCarthy

Kevin McCarthy Kevin McCarthy as The Guy Who KNEW Trump Was Getting Paid By Putin

Merrick Garland

Merrick Garland Merrick Garland as The Guy Who Will End It All For The Republicans

Steve Bannon            Jeff Bridges, Nick Nolte, John Goodman, John Howard

Steve Bannon Steve Bannon as Steve Bannon (for comparison’s sake)

Jeff Bridges as Steve Bannon Jeff Bridges as Steve Bannon?

John Howard as Steve Bannon John Howard as Steve Bannon?

Ivanka                         Scarlet Johanson

Ivanka Ivanka as Ivanka

Scarlet J as Ivanka Scarlet Johansson as Ivanka?

Amanda Seyfried as Ivanka Amanda Seyfried as Ivanka?

Jared Kushner

Donald Trump, Jr.

Eric Trump

Melania Trump

Vlad Putin                   Mark Ivanir, Mads Mikkelsen

vlad-is-a-tough-guy1 Vlad Putin as Vlad Putin

Mark Ivanir as Putin Mark Ivanir as Vlad Putin?

Robert Mueller           Chris Noth, George Clooney

Don McGahn                Andrew McCarthy

Sarah Sanders              Rosie O’Donnell, Mary Lynn Rajskub

Robert Mercer            Greg Kinnear, Noah Emmerich

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

Now let’s move on to a few new roles — JARED KUSHNER…

jared-kushner-trump-split-pending

Couple of thoughts — first — NICK JONAS —

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I know – Nick Jonas is 24, Jared is mid 30’s BUT — I think Nick’s youth works for the part because it will READ as such — and one thing Jared is most notable for IS BEING TOO YOUNG for pretty much everything he’s been tasked to do.  Too young and too fucking stupid…

Second thought — CHRISTIAN BALE — at 43, he’s a little old for the part but the guy’s versatile as hell.  And he’s got the tools to bring out all the passive aggressive, weak-link-in-a-weak-chain nuances that make Jared so Jared…

Christianbale

KELLYANNE CONWAY

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The obvious choice — because she INHABITS the character so hauntingly — is KATE MCKINNON.

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In fact, I can’t imagine anyone better.  As far as I’m concerned, it’s hers.

MORE TO COME…

ROBERT MERCER (CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA and one of THE Big Money Guys the Republican party RELY on.  He’s one of the reasons they pushed through a ‘tax bill’ that could completely bankrupt us with debt —

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But SOMEONE will have to play him in “TRUMPOCALYPSE:  THE MOVIE”. And April Lea — one of my readers on Twitter had this fabulous suggestion — GREG KINNEAR —

Grdg Kinnear

It’s like Greg was BORN to play the part, no…?

MORE CASTING TO FOLLOW…

“TRUMPOCALYPSE:  THE MOVIE” — CASTING

I’m just trying to get ahead of the curve here.  A MOVIE VERSION of this Moment In History is coming — not today of course and not tomorrow but — not too much longer after that.

As anyone in The Biz will tell you, casting is everything.  Get it right — you’re Golden.  Get it wrong — it doesn’t matter how good the script is, the direction, the design — you’re going down in flames colored purple by terrible acting.

Even a story as good as THIS — and stories will NEVER (I sure as hell hope) ever, ever, EVER get ‘better’ than this — could be undermined by bad casting.  With that in mind, here are my thoughts about who in the current crop of actors we should ‘think about’ for ‘Our Movie’…

First up — OUR LEAD of course.  Now, I know — first guy in everyone’s mind is Alec Baldwin —

And who doesn’t love when Alec Baldwin does his Trump (except perhaps for Donald himself — but then, he has no sense of humor — something our actors need to grasp and incorporate into their character).  And I wouldn’t say ‘No’ to Mr Baldwin; in fact, I’d love to see Mr Baldwin come at the character from a more ‘actory’ point of view — from within.  I’d want to talk about that for sure.  Maybe get a screen test out of him…

It’d be worth it (for him).

Let’s say we like what he does — a lot — but don’t quite ‘love’ it.  I have the ace card right here — the guy we should cast regardless of how good Mr Baldwin is because WOODY HARRELSON will be better — cos he can do just about anything.

Kingpin_1martin-hartwoody-harrelson-as-president-lyndon-b-johnson-in-rob-reiner-s-lbjWoody-Harrelson-Hunger-Games-Featured-01032017-322x268

His INTERIOR range is amazing — and we’re going to need an actor with incredible emotional range to play a character with VIRTUALLY NONE.  It’s like getting an actor to sing off key.  The ones who can actually sing will automatically do it better.  They even know where off-key is.

So — think about it, folks — THIS GUY playing THIS GUY —

Can I sign him?  Please?

Next up was going to be Robert Mueller but circumstances have forced us to consider casting THIS GUY now instead —

steve-bannon

My first thought is JEFF BRIDGES.  Bannon is like The Dude’s soul-less Evil Twin — with a side of Gin Blossoms…

jeffbridges

Got some great suggestions on Twitter.  Sorry, ‘Dude’, but you have competition.  How about THIS GUY — NICK NOLTE…

…or JOHN GOODMAN…

See?  Casting is harder than it looks!  Keep the suggestions coming, folks

Okay — I WILL get to this guy but — he’s HARD…

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In the meantime — IVANKA TRUMP —

Ivanka

My FIRST thought?  SCARLETT JOHANSSON…

MV5BMTM3OTUwMDYwNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTUyNzc3Nw@@._V1_UY317_CR23,0,214,317_AL_

It’s almost too on the nose… I bet Scarlett would tear up the part though.  Tear it up and have it for dinner…

This is a movie with multiple villains.  And each villain is very different from the others and very interesting.  But our Uber-Villain is THIS GUY — Vladimir…

Now, personally, I’d give it to my good friend MARK IVANIR (he played the Russian Spymaster a few seasons back on the BERLIN SEASON of HOMELAND).  Mark’s Russian by birth but grew up in Israel.  Knows his way around a villain while being an absolutely delightful person in the flesh…

But I know everyone’s a star-fucker so… I would also think about TCHEKY KARYO ( on the right — ‘La Femme Nikita’) or MADS MIKKELSEN ( on the left — ‘Hannibal’) while trying to talk you into my friend Mark —

Next up TWO THOUGHTS for ROBERT MUELLER) —

Senate Judiciary Committee

A great suggestion from Purple Mountains on my Twitter feed — CHRIS NOTH —

Chris Noth

Rock solid idea.  Another possibility?  A guy with surprising emotional range who you just plain like the moment you see him —

Clooney — George Clooney… ya think?

Since she’s ‘up to bat’ — let’s try n cast Sarah Huckabee Sanders —

sarah-huckabee-750x

I’m thinking MARY LYNN RAJSKUB (24 among lots of other great credits) —

Mary Lynn Rajskub

But PURPLE MOUNTAINS — on my Twitter feed had this very, VERY good idea — ROSIE O’DONNELL —

1200px-Rosie_O'Donnell_by_David_Shankbone

That’s gonna be a hard one.  And we’ve only just started thinking about it… Next up —

JARED THE ‘K’…

jared-kushner-trump-split-pending

Republicans Need To Taste “Failure Gravity”

What is it that stands between most of us and criminal behavior — other than the fact that we’re not criminals by nature? I’d peg it as fear of NOT getting away with it. Most of us, even when we cheat in some small, pathetic way on our tax returns, we do it with at least a twinge of fear that WE might be the schmuck that gets audited, and our “tax fraud” revealed. Not only would we fail at crime, we’d suffer the consequences, too. What would earn rich guys a slap on the wrist could devastate us. Bottom line, we’d walk around with a scarlet letter on us — “C” for “Criminal”. For most of us, the idea of being labeled a “criminal” would be like crashing to earth, never to fly again. Gravity would win as it always does. And our flightpath would perfectly describe “failure gravity”.

Some people don’t seem to fear failure gravity. Donald Trump doesn’t. Or, he hasn’t so far. Same goes for Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy, Matt Gaetz, Devin Nunes, Jim Jordan, Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz and the rest of the Republican Treason Caucus. Hawley & Cruz are the poster boys for “no fear of failure gravity”. They both openly whipped the crowd to a seditious frenzy even before January 6 then doubled down in its bloody aftermath. To this day, both “men” believe they’ll get away with this. In their minds, they think they’re golden, their futures assured as the new face of the Trumpian Party. They don’t feel gravity, they feel lighter than air.

That’s why it’s imperative that we pop their balloon.

Ted and Josh — and all the rest of their caucus — need to experience a little of what the Coyote experiences when he realizes 1) he ain’t getting the Roadrunner this time either and 2) when he hits the ground this time? It’s REALLY gonna hurt.

The Coyote, industrious as he is (and who the hell’s bankrolling him? Surely the Acme Company isn’t extending him credit!) always retains his fear of gravity. Perhaps if the Coyote had to cover his own medical expenses (he must have the same Platinum coverage Congress does) — having capped out — he’d quit and let the Roadrunner live in peace. That’s another kind of “failure gravity’ — fear of your wallet losing “lift” and crashing to earth. Ironically, the “wallet” is most conservatives’ most vulnerable organ.

What instantly began to give the seditionists pause — in the midst of their celebrations — was getting arrested for having done the thing they were so proud of. They weren’t expecting to experience failure gravity and yet, suddenly, there they were — behind bars. Some of them lost their jobs — another effect of failure gravity. Friends and neighbors, family members and loved ones all began to rat the insurrectionists out to the FBI — that was failure gravity spreading like wildfire. Well, the fear of it. The problem with being associated with a criminal is the possibility that their criminal cooties might get on you — and criminal cooties = failure gravity. You get em, you fail.

I bet not a one of the seditionists thought for a second what the ripple effect would be should they fail. For sedition alone? It’s steep. Heavy, heavy fines and prison — up to twenty years. That’s a lot of prison dinners. And each one — that’s literally what failure gravity tastes like — the succotash especially.

If every one of these criminals had been given a moment beforehand where a “Voice O’ God” had pointed to the fork in the road they’d just reached and told them success as a regular citizen lay one way and failure as an insurrectionist lay the other, which road would they have taken? Most human beings — having no taste for failure gravity (especially BECAUSE OF the succotash) — would choose success and being a regular citizen. Would anyone be surprised if more than a handful of the current class of Republicans — Ted and Josh maybe — said “Screw it! Give me failure gravity or give me death!”

Um, dude, those two things might just be the same.

What scares Republicans most as the Biden Administration slowly coalesces like a young galaxy — having been denied a proper transition by pirates unconcerned by failure gravity (even the failure gravity of people dying from a pandemic) — is the newly rejuvenated Department of Justice as it will be under soon-to-be confirmed Merrick Garland. Justice, ya see, is failure gravity to Republicans.

One thing Trumpian DoJ’s were infamous for was NOT pursuing justice while, simultaneously, fomenting and creating INjustice. Remember L’il Jeff Sessions?

Ironically, it was failure gravity that caused Sessions to recuse himself from the Russia investigation that estranged him from Trump. Hey, even Bill Barr, Justice’s mortal enemy, had enough respect for failure gravity to walk away from Trump before the really sedition-y parts of the program began.

But, fear of failure gravity and actually tasting it are two different things. Bill Barr, betcha, still doesn’t think he’ll taste failure gravity. Rod Rosenstein deliberately halted the counter-intelligence investigations into Donald Trump and his relationship with Vlad Putin — right when Putin was in the middle of a cyber war against us where Trump was his main weapon. Rod wasn’t oblivious of the bigger picture. But he obviously didn’t fear failure gravity enough not to go down a road CLEARLY marked “TREASON”.

Paul Manafort and Roger Stone — though their noses were rubbed in failure gravity’s odeur — still believed this was just temporary. In time, they’d be pardoned. The taste of failure gravity would be replaced by caviar or the finest Russian vodka or virgin’s blood — whatever taste they preferred.

However — having to answer hard questions under oath will change all that. As a matter of course — just doing his job — AG Garland will pull threads on corrupt sweaters that will unravel with lightning speed. He’ll issue subpoenas that must be answered. He’ll ask questions that lead to increasingly uncomfortable places where there’s more squirming than answering. Want to plead the Fifth? Okay — that’s your right. But you and your lawyer better be prepared for where this goes afterward. That’s the biggest problem right there — the cost of lawyering up.

None of those yahoos who stormed the Capitol ever considered what it might cost to defend them against steep federal charges. That’s some expensive lawyering right there. Times how many seditionists? Geez, if I didn’t know better, I’d swear the Trumpublican Party was about to make a whole generation of lawyers fabulously wealthy. Suddenly, I realize how right my parents were — I should have gone to law school!

Now add in what losing their jobs will cost. And getting hired in the future? Even McDonald’s will look past them. Who wants a seditionist on their fry crew?

And who wants to co-brand with sedition? Twenty of the big thirty corporate donors have said they won’t give money to any Republican who refuses to accept the election’s results — that Joe Biden won fairly and squarely. That’s because the big corporations understand that THEIR customers don’t want to buy products from companies that coddle seditionists. Home Depot doesn’t care how treasonous Donald Trump is? Fine — we can all shop at Lowe’s — or, better still, a LOCAL hardware store. Remember Bill O’Reilly? The Twenty-First Century Fox board of directors FIRED him at the top of his popularity, while he was the biggest cash cow they had. They had no choice — their advertisers made it clear — THEIR clients — actual consumers (and, where the rubber meets the road, most buying decisions in American households are made by women) were simply not going to buy anything from companies in business with Bill O.

Money talked and Bill O walked (the plank).

Ask Bill O’Reilly if HE knows what failure gravity tastes like.

Mitch McConnell caved last night to Chuck Schumer, finally allowing for the transfer of Senatorial power to the Democrats. Mitch was playing junk cards and knew it. The second Merrick Garland clocks in for the first time, Mitch will get nervous. It’ll just be a matter of time before HE gets subpoenaed. Mitch needs to answer for quite a few things: his relationship with oligarch Oleg Deripaska in particular. Mitch needs to answer for why he refused to let We The People in on the secret Barack Obama wanted us to know in September 2016 — before the election: that Russia was actively attempting to MAKE Donald Trump president. Yeah, yeah, sure, Mitch — you didn’t want intelligence being “politicized” to your candidate’s disadvantage. But, your candidate was committing TREASON, Mitch — and you KNEW IT at the time.

You did, Mitch… you knew. Your whole party knew. Hell, a month before the Republicans even nominated Trump they were agreeing to “keep it in the family” that “Putin pays Rohrbacher and Trump… swear to God”. They knew.

Voila le probleme. That’s the real failure gravity here. Treason.

Treason is the failure gravity that the Republican Party believed/believes it will escape. It is incumbent on We The People to make sure the “physics of failure” frustrate them.

Hey, Democrats — Here’s Some Fun We Can Have With Mitch McConnell, The US Senate And America’s Future

It bears repeating: when this is all done and said, Mitch McConnell’s name will replace Benedict Arnold’s as the epithet Americans use when they want to call someone “a traitor”. “You Mitch McConnell, you!” people will scream at people like… well, Mitch McConnell. Because they’re traitors. Mitch McConnell IS a traitor. That’s not hyperbole. It’s not emotion speaking. Is it ironclad? Not 100%, no — we’ll need to put Mitch under oath to ice that cake. That’s about to happen. I bet it’s pretty top-of-the-list when Merrick Garland punches in finally. How did Russia gain so much traction inside our government? Hey, Mitch — got any ideas how that might have happened? Remember, pal — you’re under oath. I want to believe there are Democrats in power today who’d sell their families into bondage to get a chance to take down Mitch McConnell. Well, Democrats — you CAN do that — right now, in fact!

Let’s put this essential fact on the table first: Kentucky is one of those states where, should a sitting Senator be forced from office, the GOVERNOR gets to appoint a replacement until the next scheduled election. The governor of Kentucky right now is Andy Beshear — A DEMOCRAT. So, if we could find a way to take Mitch McConnell out of the picture, The Democratic governor of Kentucky could — legally — replace Republican Mitch with the Democrat of his choice.

That’s where Merrick Garland comes in. Among the questions in the soon-to-be AG’s head should be these: “Why did Mitch McConnell refuse Barack Obama when President Obama wanted to inform America — before election 2016 — that RUSSIA was actively engaged in throwing the election to Trump — and does Mitch’s relationship with Russian oligarch and former military intelligence officer OLEG DERIPASKA have anything to do with it?” That’s important because Deripaska got sanctioned for what he did in the 2016 election — he received proprietary polling data (concerning Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan) that was weaponized into personalized ads that showed up on the personal Facebook pages of Black, Democratic voters in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. Deripaska got sanctioned for the same reason Paul Manafort went to prison.

Deripaska committed a crime against We The People. And yet — not only did Mitch McConnell refuse to give us a “head’s up” that Russia was actively trying to do this to us, Mitch PROFITED from it! Mitch got those sanctions against Deripaska LIFTED — in January 2019 — so that Deripaska could “gift” western Kentucky with $300 million dollars worth of aluminum factory. When you consider, on top of that, Mitch’s resistance to election security, his refusal to question Trump’s odd relationship with Vladimir Putin and his participation in every last bit of Trump’s obstruction of justice, ya gotta believe Mitch McConnell has secrets.

Once AG Garland begins pulling threads on the “Mitch McConnell” sweater, that ugly, old thing will come apart like a Trump family reunion.

Now, here’s where the fun begins. Mitch knows he’s got secrets. The Democrats know Mitch has secrets. Mitch knows that once his secrets stop being secret, this will kill the Republican Party dead — because they hitched a cynical plan to assert permanent minority rule (by them) to Donald Trump despite KNOWING that he was even more corrupt than they were — because he was owned outright by Russia. Mitch KNOWS that the GOP committed TREASON at its very highest level in order to grab power.

This was entirely “do or die”. You can’t plan and execute an insurrection (Republicans both planned and executed this thing) and expect nothing to happen to you. Oh, sure — the Republicans “might still” think they’ll get away with it but then, Merrick Garland hasn’t been sworn in yet. People like Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley haven’t been subpoenaed and placed under oath. People like Matt Gaetz, Devin Nunes and Jim Jordan haven’t been “Benghazi’d” yet — grilled to the gills about all the strange things they’ve done the past four years. What do you think people like Lauren Bobert will say — under oath — when questioned about her real-time participation in an act of real-time sedition?

Mitch McConnell is now officially “low hanging fruit”. He’s there to be taken, Democrats — and all you have to do (well, all AG Garland has to do) is sit Mitch down for questioning. Once Mitch is under oath and backtracking furiously though, Democrats, that’s the time to finish Mitch. Use the court of public opinion. Ask the questions out loud about Mitch and his relationship with hostile foreign actors like Deripaska. Demand Mitch tell us where his loyalties lie. Who, Mitch, are your REAL constituents?

Fortunately for Mitch, his wife’s rich so the cost of defending him won’t bankrupt the family. The cost of defending Elayne Chao, his beard however…

How Mitch is on one side of being indicted will be very different from how Mitch is on the other side of being indicted. For Mitch, it will be akin to getting dragged — kicking and screaming — from his turtle shell, having to stand before us buck naked. For what it’s worth, that will be as hard on us as it will be for Mitch. Who the hell wants that image burned into their mind’s eye forever?

At some point, the physical cost of defending himself will preclude continuing on as Kentucky’s senior corrupt senator. He’s no spring chicken. More like an old dinosaur. He hasn’t looked well lately. Knowing what he knows about what he did and what the consequences will be, Mitch will be forced to step down. He really won’t have a choice.

Hey, remember Kentucky’s Democratic governor, Andy Beshear? This is where he steps to the plate — and flips Mitch’s long-time-Red Senate seat from red to blue. Even if it was only temporary, the only reason it’d be happening is because Mitch finally got caught being the corrupt Treason Turtle he is. But, Mitch’s seat flipping from red to blue might NOT be all that temporary. While we’re pulling the thread on Mitch’s corruption sweater, let’s pull the thread on how exactly Mitch keeps getting elected by huge numbers in a state where pretty much everyone hates his guts. That thread, count on it, will lead to a whole other corrupt sweater — the one that explains 1) HOW Mitch keeps cheating his way to re-election, 2) how Republican-owned electronic voting machine companies ES&S and Diebold use their internet-connected backdoors to pad Republican election totals, and 3) how that padding technique closed the deal and “won” Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan for Trump in 2016.

Nothing America’s about to learn about Trump and the GOP and the full, ugly extent of their seditious behavior will endear us to them. There will not be a single bit of good news. Nothing will suddenly make us all think “Oh, right — now we understand why you all did it — it all makes sense!” Instead, our disgust for Republicans, their party, their hypocrisy — it will compound like usurious daily interest. We will not hear any evidence that a single Republican had anything but malice in mind.

Hey, Mitch — caveat emptor, understand? Ya puts yer money down, ya takes yer chance! You bet on permanent minority rule. You bet on Donald Trump (despite what you knew). You bet on sedition and treason and, frankly, evil.

If I were governor of Kentucky instead of Andy Beshear, when that moment came to replace you, I would find an actual SOCIALIST and name them Mitch’s replacement. But — most importantly — before Mitch found out, I’d get a whole bunch of cameras on him. Mitch does “I lost” better than almost anyone. Remember this?

Remember how good this moment felt, Democrats? That was the warm up act to literal fireworks. Go after Mitch McConnell, Democrats. Do it now. Do it with justice in mind. But don’t forget to enjoy it, too. We’ve all earned it.

I Want The Beginning Of The Biden-Harris Administration To Feel Like The END Of A “Godfather” Movie

I don’t recall any movie doing this before Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather” did it — that climax where the family gets back into the game with one, bold strike at all their enemies at once. In this case Michael Corleone’s gutsy move forces the other five families — shocked by the tactical balls, precision and lethality — to more or less sue for peace. Coppola repeats it more or less in “Godfather II”. Different characters getting whacked but it’s the same idea. What differentiates the lightning strike in G2 from the one in G1 is where Michael is in his own trajectory. At the end of “Godfather II”, Michael is losing it. Even his justified decisions — having Fredo killed — feel wrong.

What has the past four years of the Trump presidency been if not a mob movie? An awful one — written by hyperkinetic hacks hopped up on powdered Adderall, sniffed from a male hooker’s ass cheek. Literally everyone in the cast is corrupt. Everyone deserves whatever happens to them.

There’s not a single player — not a one — who isn’t corrupt. That’s not to say they can’t redeemed. Michael Cohen seems to have found his soul somewhere in his prison dinner succotash. A few others — Anthony Scaramuchi, Omarosa Anagault Newman, Olivia Troye, Mary Trump — have removed themselves from the environment and worked hard to build their “found our souls too!” bona fides.

Pretty much everyone else — everyone IN and around the Trump administration — every Congressperson (especially those who signed up for the “Club Sedition” Texas Lawsuit) — know exactly what’s going on here and has almost from the beginning.

Let’s remind ourselves of that now well-documented conversation a month before the 2016 Republican convention. Current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy enters (late) a meeting of GOP Muckety-Mucks (including then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan). He says — out loud: “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump”.

The Washington Post story went on:

Some of the lawmakers laughed at McCarthy’s comment. Then McCarthy quickly added: “Swear to God.”

Ryan instructed his Republican lieutenants to keep the conversation private, saying: “No leaks. . . . This is how we know we’re a real family here.”

The remarks remained secret for nearly a year.

These criminals knew — back then — what was going on. They did not expect to win. That (I bet we’ll learn) was the surprise Russia pulled on every one of them. And, they probably figured, once they were traitors for a penny, they might as well be traitors for a pound. And, being pigs at a trough by nature, they went all in.

One of the first things the rejuvenated Department of Justice will do is blow up its “consigliere to the most corrupt president ever” shingle and hang out the Justice shingle the Trumpanistas took down like vampires getting rid of a mirror. Few, if any, pundits seem to grasp that fact. The corrupt Trump DoJ will absolutely end and a DoJ aching to demonstrate how credible and devoted to justice it is will emerge. That won’t be good for anyone in TrumpWorld.

That’s why the Republicans are doing everything they can think of to deny that Trump lost the election and come January 20, 2021, will cease to have the authority that flows from We The People to do ANYTHING — including BE at the White House. What’s worse for Trump, he KNOWS for a fact that he will go from being “Unindicted Co-Conspirator #1” in the Michael Cohen trial to “INDICTED Co-Conspirator”. And, with that, a tidal wave of legal woe will obliterate Trump.

All the investigations into Trump, his corruption, his treason that Bill Barr and Rod Rosenstein successfully killed are about to come back to life. Like a zombie craving flesh, justice will come for Donald Trump — and it won’t stop until it’s gobbled up and spit out every Trumpanista. At long, long last Trump will PAY for the money laundering that bankrupted his Atlantic City casinos. It was that laundering of Russian mob money, by the way, that convinced Fusion GPS — then doing oppo research on Trump on behalf of the Washington Free Beacon — that Trump was likely a criminal. That’s why they hired Chris Steele (former dean of Britain’s MI6 famed Russia Desk).

We thought the mess Barrack Obama and Joe Biden inherited from W was bad. That, it turns out, was less than nothing. The Biden-Harris team have a far bigger, deeper, nastier, more onerous problem to solve.

Trump’s criminal mis-handling of the pandemic response is distracting us from Trump’s criminal involvement with Russia. Or, is that the point? Trump sees distraction the way a pitmaster sees a steak.

Russia won’t have been the only game Trump was playing, it will just be the most consequential one.

For four years, some of us have dreamed of Trump being led from the White House in handcuffs. Hell, I want him to struggle a bit so it gets awkward for him when they shove him to the ground and he cries. That was a pipe dream up until now. Good thing, Trump has made it impossible for us to NOT prosecute him. That’s how rotten Trump is.

The opening frames of the Biden-Harris movie — as the curse that’s bedeviled America finally dissipates — should be filled with competent, capable public servants filling the the blank spaces TrumpWorld deliberately created. Just like that — investigations are launched. Subpoenas are written and delivered — subpoenas with teeth. Answer or sit your ass in jail while paying a hefty fine. People accustomed to getting away with literally everything suddenly find themselves being pursued relentlessly.

In place of bodies dropping, bring the subpoenas. In place of hits, let’s have questioning — under oath for hours on end, Benghazi-style.

In place of Michael and Kay’s baby being baptized (while all the mayhem goes on), let’s have America experiencing a renewal — and improvement upon the ideals on which the country was founded.

Whichever, don’t forget: leave the gun, take the canolis.

A Presidency Is Like A Four-Year Story Cycle — And America Is Done, Done, DONE With The Donald Trump Story

We didn’t need to preview “The Donald Trump Presidency” to know it was going to be a double-barreled dumpster fire that could only end horribly. Everything about the prequel to Trump’s presidency — his life — suggested he was a terrible businessman, a terrible husband, a terrible father, a terrible American and an even worse human being. His candidacy did not change one iota of our assessment. If anything, Trump’s presidency has proven that we underestimated his awfulness. By a factor of a million.

The Donald Trump story is about greed and malfeasance and corruption and treason. It’s about piggery and power lust. It’s about bullying and bullshit replacing common decency and stone cold truth. It’s about one of our two political parties finding enough common ground with a man they KNEW was treasonous to make him their presidential nominee anyway. It’s about bad guys running amok because the good guys let them for so long. Or, maybe that’s because the news media equated bad guys with good guys since “both sides do it”.

Nothing about it makes sense. It’s like a rabbit hole designed by a dunderhead. It was never going to make sense anyway but now, it’s completely incomprehensible.

What the hell is THIS?

Even the news media — incapable of judging Trump despite the wall of immorality he presented every day of his presidency — has given up on any pretense that this isn’t “bonkers” — a word CNN used to describe Trump. America — by a margin of SIX MILLION VOTES & COUNTING — voted to go another way (the way we actually voted to go four years ago!) We all agreed: it’s time to turn the channel on this show because it sucks.

Most Americans enjoyed the Barack Obama story. We survived the George W. Bush story but only just. The Donald Trump story started off bonkers and then got steadily crazier.

It’s taken “bonkers” to places even “bonkers” had never been to.

That’s one more feature the Republican Party to add to its “brand” (in addition to “CORRUPT”, “RACIST”, “MISOGYNIST”, “BIGOTED” and “TREASONOUS”) — “BONKERS”. Thanks anyway, GOP — We The People have had our fill of bonkers. We’re moving onto healthier fare.

Dear Republicans: We The People Are Angrier At You Than You Realize

The Republicans are now all-in on their power grab. The soft coup d’etat they started in 2016 has reached it’s moment of truth. There’s no going back anymore. Either the Republican Party will finish what they started — and bust a cap in American democracy’s noggin — or they’ll balk. Because, really, creating a state of permanent minority rule and then RUNNING IT SUCCESSFULLY requires more governing skill than any Republican is capable of. Republicans hate government because the suck at governing.

What scares the Trumpanistas more than almost anything is what will happen when Team Biden restores a functioning Department of Justice whose mission is actually justice (and not being the corrupt president’s consigliere). Think of all the oversight that never got done because of corruption. Think of all the investigations into Trump and all his cronies that AG Bill Barr either derailed or killed. Think of the counter intelligence investigation into Trump and his relationship with Russia that neither Team Mueller nor the FBI ever began because Rod Rosenstein — a real snake in the grass — made go away.

Take Russia out of the 2016 equation and Trump never gets past the primaries (never mind “winning” the presidency). Without Russia, Trump does not win. What more does one need to know? Russia won the 2016 election. And that cannot stand. Neither can the political party that aligned themselves with a hostile foreign power carrying out an open act of cyber war.

That’s something else the Republicans don’t realize they’ve done. The anger at them isn’t simple. It isn’t about one thing. It’s about a whole bunch of things — that ultimately come down to one thing (greed). But, as we stand here in the midst of the most important election this country will ever have, what will strike us is how many terrible, criminal, corrupt things the Republicans have done — and how much they deserve to be punished for every last bit of it.

Were it just the treason alone, of course, that would be bad enough. Perversely, the catalogue of Trumpian criminality is so vast that we’ve already forgotten that Donald Trump is the first president EVER to run for re-election having been IMPEACHED for cheating in the very election he’s now running in. We ain’t in Kansas here, Toto. Even Kansas isn’t in Kansas anymore.

Republican greed and selfishness have now resulted in actual American death. Their response to the pandemic can never be forgiven. They’ve effectively gutted the rule of law. That can’t be forgiven either. We will get it back in working order though — and when we do, Republicans will be shocked by how many of them suddenly have giant legal problems. Pretty much all of them will actually. See something, say something. See something, say nothing? We have to ask “Why?”

Why did so many Republican say nothing when they KNEW it was morally, ethically and legally wrong?

We’re angry now because we see the Republican Party and Donald Trump cheating out in the open. We see how we outnumber them. We see how we are the majority and they are not. That they are still trying to impose their will over us — well, frankly, that’s really pissing us off. Having been on the receiving end of sexual assault when I was 14, I know what this feeling on the back of my neck is. Donald Trump and the Republicans may not be physically assaulting us but the impact on our minds is no different.

We feel under assault because we are under assault. And, having told you to stop repeatedly, Republican Party, now that we’ve gotten to our feet, we intend to make you stop. You will not like how this ends.

I’m not saying the feeding frenzy around the Republicans as the accusations start to land won’t be fun to watch. It absolutely will be. The catharsis will be exquisite. That’s what will drive us, drive our fury: our need to catharsis our way past this moment of epic awfulness.

There’s an “uh oh” moment coming to the GOP as more and more Republicans realize that not only are they losing the election, but also they’re entering a winter wilderness of shame, investigation, indictment and financial hardship. You can already hear them begging for a deal if only to lighten their brutal sentencing.

And the sentencing for what the Republicans have done will be brutal — at least it will seem that way to them. As we all know, most Republicans are nothing but soft, white underbelly. They’re bullies at heart, good at kicking their victims when they’re down — but only if someone is holding them down. They’re charmless sociopaths out on a joyride.

In their calculus, the Republicans must think we’ll feel obligated to keep what they did because… that’s how criminals think. They don’t want to give back what they stole but then — IT’S NOT UP TO THEM. We The People are the victims of a crime perpetrated upon us by the Republican Party. In 2016, We The People voted one way — for Hillary Clinton and whatever she wanted to make of her presidency — but, instead, were given Donald Trump because the Republican Party had conspired with Russia to alter the results in three key states: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.

We will arrive here: Donald Trump is not now nor has he ever been the legitimate president. He had no right or business taking any oath of office (that he would break even as he spoke it). He’s the only fake in our fake news cavalcade. Having never been the legitimate potus with the legitimate authority vested in him, at no point did he ever have the authority to sign legislation into law, make presidential pronouncements, put together a cabinet or even nominate judges. IOW Donald Trump never had the authority to nominate a single one of the unqualified hacks he nominated up to and including Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barnett.

There really are a thousand very good reasons for Americans to be angry at Donald Trump. What he’s done to this country is, well, criminal.

Election 2020: Prediction Time

From the second Donald Trump first stole the presidency in 2016, the only remedy available to We The People was going to be We The People. Barack Obama pretty much told us that in his farewell speech. As we speak nearly 100 million Americans have voted already. Considering how apathetic most Americans are come election time? That’s not insignificant.

Maybe being at war has inspired us to take our most sacred right as citizens more seriously. On the one hand, there’s the cyber war that Russia launched against us. On the other, there’s the Culture War launched by the snowflakey right wing against the diverse rest of us. Seeing all those Americans lining up to vote gives me hope — and it’s proving Obama right.   

If I go back and look at things I prognosticated before Trump was elected (going back to Facebook posts and tweets and blog posts), I’ll admit: I was wrong about Trump.  I wasn’t wrong about what he would do, I was wrong about how completely he’d get away with what he was doing.

I was wrong about Trump lasting four years.  I did not see that.  I did not see him pulling us out of the Paris Accords or treating Kim Jong-Un like a brother.  I didn’t see him betraying the Kurds or opening vast tracts of the Arctic to pollution.

I figured, by the time he got around to that stuff?  He’d be gone.

I was wrong, you see, about the complicity of the people around him.  It never occurred to me that the entire Republican Party would close ranks around Trump entirely out of party loyalty — in the face of the fact that he is a clear and present danger.

That’s not ME talking, that’s David Laufman, Former chief of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division’s Counter Intel & Export Control Section (that’s how real and technical this guy is):

This is not an ordinary election between two competing political sides.  Victory by one side will result in a very different America from what will result — sorry, what could happen — should the other side claim and get to experience their victory.

In 2016, don’t forget, the majority of Americans voted against Trump but got Trump anyway!  It feels kinda… un-democratic.  In fact, it feels kinda suspect — especially considering as the majority — by a lot — voted for the diametric opposite of what we’re living through.

That’s the thing — while life may appear to go on should Trump “win”, that will only be on the surface.  And for some.  For others, life stopped going on the moment Trump “won” the first time.  For plenty of people, life began to stop.  Literally. 

Pandemics are not political.  Why is ours?  Oh, right… 

The problem is, Trump did not “win” the 2016 election.  We still need to deal with that fact; in fact, Trump’s illegitimacy is at the heart of the question we’re asking today — or the predictions we’re making.  

In one sense, every American presidency is like a four-year story cycle with that president as the story cycle’s hero.  If we like the story cycle (and the hero), we’ll put our money down for a sequel.  If we don’t, we’ll start a new story cycle with a new hero.

Some of us understood what the Donald Trump story cycle was really about from the get-go: corruption.  His “politics” have been all over the place because he’s not a political creature.  He’s a guy looking to make a deal and if being a Democrat in NYC makes dealmaking easier than Trump’s not just a Democrat, he’s the most passionate pro-abortion Democrat of all!  Trump’s not political.  He’s flat out cynical.  He thinks everyone else is as corrupt as he is.

If only Democrats were accusing the Trump admin of corruption, an argument could be made that the accusation was political in nature.  But, there’s the Lincoln Project.  And a growing list of other Republicans — politicians, public servants and military people — who have come out and openly stated that they are voting for Joe Biden as should you because Trump’s so corrupt.  This list is amazingly long!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Republicans_who_oppose_the_Donald_Trump_2020_presidential_campaign

When literally hundreds of important, knowledgeable people from Trump’s own political party openly speak of how dangerous he is to the republic itself, I’d say that deserves our attention.

This is not an ordinary election.  The choice isn’t between two variations on a theme.  It’s between two diametric opposites.  With very real consequences for either side when the other side wins.

Very, very real consequences will ensue.

The best indicator of future events is past events.  When humans consistently behave a certain way in the past, we can make an informed guess about their future behavior.  A person with a history of getting violent when triggered in the past will probably get violent when triggered in the future (unless he does something to stop it).  If we can’t assess future risk based on the past, we’re left to face the future blind.

It comes down to what we KNOW empirically based on the past.

Part of our problem with Donald Trump — and predicting what he’ll do — is that our idea of him is tainted by television.  An awful lot of Trump’s voters voted for him because they believe to this day that Trump IS the character he played on The Apprentice.  Except he’s not.  Trump the “master negotiator” and “great businessman” was an invention of Mark Burnett’s.  

Master negotiators and great businessmen don’t declare bankruptcy as many times as Trump has — and they don’t owe over a billion dollars — AS TRUMP DOES — a fact he does not deny!

Before I make my predictions, one story.  From the moment the Steele Dossier first came to life, everyone around Trump worked overtime to trash its credibility.  The news media never understood it in its proper context — it’s raw intelligence data.  

Let’s be clear: Steele’s work product has proven to be almost (not entirely) accurate.  There are still questions about it but the overwhelming majority of Steele’s observations and notes pan out or have since panned out.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/the-inside-story-of-christopher-steeles-trump-dossier

https://www.lawfareblog.com/steele-dossier-retrospective

First, you have to understand how the dossier came to be in order to understand what it is and why it’s important.

During the 2016 primaries, the owners of the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative newspaper, hired Fusion GPS to do oppo research work on Donald Trump.  The Beacon’s owners were Jeb Bush supporters and they wanted dirt on Trump.  

Fusion was a research firm co-created by Glenn Simpson, a journalist who’d written most recently for the Wall Street Journal (hardly a bastion of liberal idealism).  When hauled before the Senate Judiciary Committee in August 2017 (the Republican-led committee was trying to undermine the dossier’s integrity), Simpson testified that, having gotten the assignment from the Free Beacon, the first thing Fusion did was its “due diligence”.

They got their hands on every piece of publicly available material about Trump.  They got newspaper clippings, books and magazine articles.  They watched every video they could find, every radio show interview he did.  They went to Amazon and actual book stores.  They even went to the public library so as to exhaustively find every piece of publicly available material — just so they’d have a STARTING PLACE on Trump to work from.

And their STARTING PLACE, Simpson testified, was the absolute certainty that Trump had used his (now bankrupt) Atlantic City casinos to launder copious amounts of Russian mob money.  In order to answer that question (and other questions about Trump’s strange relationships over the years with shadowy Russians), Fusion sub-contracted out the work to Christopher Steele, former head of the MI6’s Russia desk (MI6 is Britain’s CIA).  Steele had the best contacts inside Russia bar none.

The dossier is simply Steele using his sources to provide a picture of all the intel currently floating around inside Russia about Trump — and his relationship with the country’s leaders.  And its criminals — since, really, Russia is run by criminals.  

Okay, okay — I’m getting there!

My predictions come loaded down with baggage — they’re informed by a lot of reading.  There are journalists and other informed writers of this story who’ve brought remarkable insight to how I see what’s happening here: Sarah Kendzior, Seth Abramson, Rachel Maddow, Nicolle Wallace (Sarah Palin’s former handler!), Andrew Weissman, Mary Trump and Glenn Simpson himself (in Crime In Progress, his book about the Steele Dossier and Fusion’s own investigation of Trump).

Another thing I got wrong: like many people, I thought somewhere between Robert Mueller and the FBI, there was an ongoing counterintelligence investigation that was going to connect all the dots between Trump and Russia.  We learned recently however that assistant AG Rod Rosenstein, a Trump supplicant, told Team Mueller to stay in the Wikileaks lane.  They were under the impression that the FBI was handling the counterintel op.  But Rosenstein never told the FBI to pursue the counterintel op.  Deliberately.

In other words, the most important investigation into what happened behind the scenes in 2016 to explain the strange relationship between Team Trump and Russia never happened.  Those questions remain unanswered though they must be asked.

Let’s remember something: Donald Trump was impeached for cheating in the very election he’s running in.  And the thing he was impeached for was cheating in THIS election the same way he cheated in the last election.

That is my starting point.  This is not an election between two political ideologies.  

It is between right and wrong (let’s avoid good v evil, wink-wink).  

I’m not alone in thinking this.  The most prominent, forceful, brutally honest voice in the pre-election mix just might belong to THE LINCOLN PROJECT.

https://lincolnproject.us

The Lincoln Project is made up of Republicans (some now former Republicans) including George Conway (Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway’s HUSBAND!), Rick Wilson & Steve Schmidt — John McCain’s campaign manager.  These are serious Republicans.  Patriotic Americans. Good people.  Good people with whom people on the left disagree politically.  But we can all live with that because good people can argue amongst themselves and find compromises they all hate equally.  The stone cold truth is: the left needs the balance of the right as surely as the right needs the balance of the left.  Our success does indeed lie somewhere in the middle.  

To get there from where we are — swinging violently to the right against the majority’s will — to where we need to be — a more moderate “center” — requires more than just a jerk to the center.  That’s not what’s coming.  And a jerk to the far left is coming.  The Lincoln Project Team understand that.

This is from THEIR mission statement: “We do not undertake this task lightly nor from ideological preference. Our many policy differences with national Democrats remain. However, the priority for all patriotic Americans must be a shared fidelity to the Constitution and a commitment to defeat those candidates who have abandoned their constitutional oaths, regardless of party. Electing Democrats who support the Constitution over Republicans who do not is a worthy effort.”

Further, their web site states: “… sectionalism in the country and factionalism in government has led to ever uglier examples of how our political system is failing. President Donald Trump and those who sign onto Trumpism are a clear and present danger to the Constitution and our Republic. Only defeating so polarizing a character as Trump will allow the country to heal its political and psychological wounds and allow for a new, better path forward for all Americans.”

The have produced some breathtakingly brutal ads that point directly at their problem with Trump and Trumpism: it’s sheer immorality. 

An example:

https://lincolnproject.us/video/cruel

Remember as you watch — this is Republicans addressing what other Republicans have done.  They’re advising the undecided to vote for Joe Biden not for political reasons but for moral ones.

I repeat: though I have deep and profound issues with Trump politically, my deepest issue with him transcends politics completely.  My core issue with Donald Trump (as candidate and now as president) has always been with his total lack of moral character.  His sexism.  His constant houndogging outside his marriage.  His blatant racism.  His creepy sexuality toward his own daughter.  It almost doesn’t matter what the man’s politics are.  Even if I agreed with his politics, I’d object to him as a human being.  I am not alone in feeling this way.

I believe (based on copious receipts provided by good, competent, genuine journalists) that Trump and those around him knowingly committed multiple crimes in order to “win” election 2016.  One of the protections Trump is hiding behind is that DoJ rule that says you can’t indict a sitting president.  THAT is what Trump must avoid at all costs: being indicted.

That’s what every republican has to avoid — the legal consequences of their criminal actions up till now.

You have to have this in your mind when you turn to the future — and what will happen should Trump “win”.

MY PREDICTIONS

Trump won’t “win”.  He literally can’t.  He literally never did.  

The only way Trump “wins” this election is because he’s stolen it.  Again.  Trump has no intention of governing this country in the way it was designed to be governed.  He and his party are actively engaged in preventing other Americans from voting — because they don’t want those Americans to vote them out of office.

Sorry, that’s not how this country works.  Not THIS country, not yet.  

This desperation speaks to what will happen when We The People (not the Democrats or Joe Biden) throw Donald Trump and a huge swath of the Republican Party out of power.  People are coming out to vote who have never voted before.  Young people are voting as never EVER before — and they’re voting, most of them, in one direction: for something and against the other — because of what the other is and not because of its politics.

  1. Donald Trump will get blown out by the biggest margin ever.  More Americans will vote in this election than, perhaps in any other election ever. That’s for a reason: the overwhelming majority of Americans are done, done, DONE w Donald Trump and what he’s doing to America.
  2. IF Trump claims victory, it will be through manipulating the courts and the vote count.  As Trump himself has said OUT LOUD: the problem with letting too many Americans vote is it’s always bad for Republicans.  (“They had things, levels of voting that if you’d ever agreed to it, you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again” — that’s Trump during an appearance on Fox & Friends.) Again, Trump may claim victory but he will not have legitimately won.  He “got away with it” last time; he won’t this time.
  3. Joe Biden will win handily.  The Democrats will increase their lead in the House and they will flip the Senate.  Then, here is what (I predict) they will do
    1. The Democrats will increase the size of the Supreme Court — from 9 seats to 13 or 15 at a minimum in order to make the SCOTUS look more like We The People and less like just one segment of our population.  
    2. The Democrats will make Puerto Rico and Washington DC states — giving them two Senators each — helping to bring some balance back to the Senate and how it “represents” Americans and their interests.  
    3. The pandemic (as much as the Democrats) will make socialized medicine and universal basic income done deals. They’ll launch a massive infrastructure project even bigger than Roosevelt’s WPA — all in order to help get the economy out of the ditch it’s in — the ditch Trump and his coronavirus response put us and the economy in.
    4. As Joe Biden said, it won’t be up to him what “happens” to any Republican who might have behaved illegally over the last four years, it will be up to a newly rejuvenated Department of Justice — as per our Constitution and the rule of law.  If the rule of law dictates the Justice be visited upon all the Republicans now fallen from power then so be it.  They knowingly violated the rule of law which is what brought us here.  Behold The Day Of Judgment.

In neither case will life go on as it was.  

Life will go on but we are about to experience the kind of profound political and social change that followed the Black Death.  In the same way that bubonic plague ended feudalism, the coronavirus pandemic will undermine crony capitalism and usher in a more socialistic approach to life and governance.  

My big prediction? Change is coming!

NOTE: this post was also published at https://faitheismproject.com/.

Oh, What A Tangled Web We Weave When We’re A Corrupt Treason Turtle

When the story of our times gets written — with the perspective of history — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will be infamous as one of America’s worst traitors ever. Moscow Mitch’s name will replace Benedict Arnold’s as the epithet Americans use to call other Americans “traitor”. Mitch still thinks he’s on a grand crusade to re-cast the judiciary as the last bastion of white, Christian male hegemony.

That grand plan isn’t Mitch’s. Mitch McConnell doesn’t do grand plans. He’s a functionary. A petty politician doing the dirty working for Big Money Interests. The Big Money has the grand plans — an unfair world where they all get richer while the rest of us fall further behind, our debt growing, our health failing.

Mitch is their bitch. His job — manifest these terrible, repressive, regressive grand plans into our reality.

That’s why Mitch worked so hard to deny Barack Obama all those federal bench openings. It’s why Mitch denied Obama so much as a hearing for Merrick Garland. Mitch was in the middle of pleasing his masters — of hijacking the judiciary on the sly. Here’s the thing: the popular vote reflects the majority’s voice. Barack Obama was the majority’s voice and choice — to fill every judicial vacancy during his tenure. Our voice and choice was denied us by Mitch McConnell — for the benefit of his masters. That is not hyperbole.

And this is not how our democracy is supposed to work. Not according to the rules or the rule of law.

In addition to destroying the judiciary, Mitch also has destroyed the Senate. Anyone suggesting the Democrats aren’t showing enough comity toward their Republican co-workers needs to shut up. Comity will be reserved for whatever party replaces the Republicans. No one who calls himself “A Republican” can do so without also being a Trumpist. Trumpism & Republicanism are now equal in every way.

Mitch has operated in the shadows for most of his career. He’s about to end his career in the spotlight. That is, his corruption is.

The Democrats are about to retake the Senate. What was a likelihood before is now a dead certainty. RBG’s passing — even without all the additional political baggage — would have moved people to action. It would have motivated tens of millions of women at the very least. Now it’s a question of Legacy. And reproductive rights. And basic health.

What happened in 2018 — that massive blue “wave” — wasn’t a wave. It was the leading edge of a much larger wave. The Trump years have torn every last bit of cover off our various failings. Remember — we didn’t vote for this, this was forced on us. Donald Trump — with massive Russian assistance — stole the outcome of election 2016. Together they stole our intention — what WE wanted this country to do for our benefit and in our name. Their aim is to make that theft permanent.

Their problem: America’s women aren’t down with and aren’t going to be. Ever. That’s Mitch McConnell’s biggest miscalculation of all.

Mitch, when he’s done, will have finished the hard work of turning America’s women into the most potent, dynamic, unstoppable political force in America. He’ll be shocked by how socialist they are by nature. Of course women are more “socialist” — they care above all about their babies and they KNOW from pure experience that it DOES take a “village” to raise a child — of family members and community members and teachers and mentors and coaches and friends. The healthier and happier that village is, the healthier and happier their babies will be.

Women — and I’m generalizing, but biology does impact us in particular ways — think communally — and seek the group’s wisdom before making a decision while men think they alone can fix it. If we look at the current world leaders and how they’ve handled the pandemic, the women — Angela Merkle in Germany, Jacinda Ardern in New Zealand — did especially well in both protecting their people but also protecting their economies.

I’ll go further onto this limb. Merkle and Ardern’s success relative to Trump’s stems in large part from their political and personal strengths and skills but also, to a measurable degree, from their chromosomes. They have a little more empathy baked into their genetics. That radiates in the form of humanity — and then policy.

America truly stands on the precipice. We will go one way or the other. There’s no middle route.

Either Mitch McConnell will see the rot he introduced succeed or Mitch will fail spectacularly with dire, terrible consequences for every single Republican legislator who had the least inkling what Mitch was up to. Keep in mind — Mitch is a traitor. That’s not hyperbole either. He’s taken gobs of Russian money into his campaign coffers (though legally via his PAC but not-so-legally with added perspective), denied We The People the knowledge that Russia was fixing the 2016 election for Trump, canned the sanctions Obama implemented BECAUSE of that election interference and TO THIS DAY has refused to spend a penny on election security.

Mitch McConnell is one of the biggest traitors in all American history. And THAT isn’t hyperbole.

It’s vitally important that we not only punish Mitch McConnell for what he’s done but that we punish him to the very fullest extent the rule of law allows. We need to make an example out of Mitch for all time. We need to send the lesson that, perhaps, would have been sent had we punished Richard Nixon instead of pardoning him — abuse of power (especially at the executive level) is wholly unacceptable.

Mitch is already the architect of his own downfall. We owe it to Mitch to see that those plans get carried out all the way.

The SCOTUS Should Look Like America, Not Just Repressive, White, Christian Men And Their Handmaiden

Fact: the Republican Party is, as we speak, hijacking the judiciary. What began as Mitch McConnell’s secret mission — begun the day Barack Obama became POTUS — became clear the day Trump assumed the office he stole as Mitch began filling the federal bench with lifetime appointments — each and every one a right wing hack put there to carry out a very specific right wing agenda — the majority of America (not right wing) be damned. By hijacking the judiciary, McConnell and the Right Wing Money (the Kochs, the Mercers, etc) hope to stave off the political extinction rushing toward them.

Hey, Mitch — no, it won’t. In fact, this coup d’etat will have hastened not only your extinction but the end of your freedom, too. You will all end up in prison. That’s not political revenge — and you know it. It’s the rule of law reasserting itself. It’s oversight. It’s the Constitution. It’s Justice (with a capital “J”). And, by the way — all those judges you shoved down our throats? By the time we’re finished, every last one of them will be gone one way or another. Most (Brett Kavanaugh especially) will have to answer for committing perjury during their confirmation hearings. As Brett Kavanaugh did repeatedly.

The whole gambit will die right there, Mitch. Your six-to-three majority will shrink to a five to four again. But that won’t matter after the Democrats — having the Senate now and even more of the House under their control (and with the Progressive crazies running rampant!) — increase the SCOTUS to 15 or 17 seats so that it better represents a diverse America and not just a coterie of rich, white, Christian men. And their brand new literal handmaiden Amy Coney Barrett.

Will the Democrats pack the bench? You better believe it. But then, the Democrats won’t do it like pigs at a trough — like Republicans. Remember Merrick Garland — Obama’s nominee in an election year? The whole thing about Garland was his moderation. He was chosen as a reasonable reach-across-the-aisle to the GOP, someone whose moderation even they could embrace. Except Mitch McConnell had a hijacking on his mind. He even said so.

Mitch’s whole Life’s Work was seizing the judiciary for his monied overlords. As he rots in prison (and we should do everything we can to keep Mitch alive for as long as possible), Mitch will watch that Life’s Work get razed — right alongside that Russian aluminum factory he got in exchange for lifting the sanctions on Oleg Deripaska — who, in 2016, received the proprietary polling data for Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania (from Paul Manafort) that turned into a three-state, 77,000 combined electoral college “win”. Mitch isn’t just a traitor, he’s an uber traitor.

His name will replace Benedict Arnold’s as the epithet Americans use when they want to call someone a “traitor”.

Ah, but that’s not even the best part!

The whole point of Mitch’s gambit — stealing the judiciary for his RW Monied Overlords — was to create a state of permanent minority rule instead of the far more socialized America a diversifying population in an increasingly complex world would push it toward being. The right wants to kill Obamacare because it’s the first step toward “socialized medicine”. THAT’S what scares the right more than anything. Are they all that heavily invested in for-profit medicine?

As America settles into the security of knowing their essential health CARE (not the insurance) is PAID FOR — in other words, they can never go broke or lose their home because the got ill — we won’t thank Mitch and his wannabe slave masters, but we will chuckle. And, as we think of them — eating prison dinner for the rest of their lives — that chuckle will probably become full on laughter.

Yeah, there’ll be a touch of meanness to it. I’ll apologize in advance. But, for the most part? That laughter will be joyous — and righteous as hell.

Real Leaders LISTEN And Make Everyone Around Them Better; Donald Trump’s The Exact Opposite

Pete Souza’s wonderful photo of Barack Obama, bending down so the son of a WH staff member could pat his head.

What makes Barack Obama a superb leader (his approval rating’s 58%) — regardless of whether you liked or like his policies — is his limitless capacity to inspire those all around him to do better, be better. Not because Big Brother was compelling you to — for Big Brother’s benefit — but because being the best you could be would make your life better as well as everyone else’s. We v Me. What gave Donald Trump away as the worst possible kind of “leader” was his apparent belief that “I alone can fix it”. As the British half of my family would say: “BOLLOCKS!”

“I alone can fix it” is something only a delusional male would say. Same goes for the idea of the “rugged individualist”. Those are little boys who equate their refusal to color inside the lines with entrepreneurial spirit when, really, they’re just little boys who don’t know how to color. On a team, they’re the question mark — sure, they have a skill set, but will they feel like using it on the day we really need them? Libertarianism is so self-congratulatory, it’s a wonder libertarians can talk about anything else. They’re all mole rats convinced they’re eating caviar when, in fact, they’re feeding on the rot inside their own corrupt intestines.

I’ve been lucky in my show biz career. Damned lucky. Before I took my best shot at undoing all that luck, I got to work with extraordinary people. When I ran “Tales From The Crypt” for HBO, among my Executive Producers was Robert Zemeckis. Bob’s features include “Back To The Future”, “Forrest Gump”, “Castaway”, “Contact”, “Flight”. I wrote two of the three episodes Bob directed for “Crypt”. Watching Bob work — his process — was a master class in leadership.

First, Bob challenges with “the cool idea”. What if we could do “this” — “this” being something we’ve never seen before? Yeah, we all agree, that would be cool, but the problem is, it’s un-doable. “Oh, is it?” asks Bob with a smile. Bob has a way to get there. He’ll reveal it eventually. But, first, he wants to see how we might solve it — knowing there’s a possible solution. His goal — see what we might contribute to what he’s thinking. We can’t hurt what he’s got in mind, but we can definitely add to it. Ideas flood the floor — good, bad, indifferent. It doesn’t matter. Everyone in the creative team is invested and investing in finding that solution.

And then — as we (feel like we’re) collectively solving the problem — the problem gets solved. And we feel like we did it together! The truth is, Bob guided us all along. We don’t know where Bob’s idea ended and ours began. We solved the problem, not me. The environment was entirely nurturing.

Again: We v Me.

Making movies and TV shows is a crap shoot. Aspirations to greatness don’t always produce box office boffo results. How’s that old saw go — “It’s not whether you win or lose but how you play the game”. Yeah — THAT. In almost every project Bob Z does, there’s a moment where Bob gathered the creative team all around him and told them what he had in mind. The idea was awesome. “Okay, guys,” Bob said, as he looked from eye to eye, “How’re we gonna do this?”

That’s leadership.

Joe Biden — regardless of whether he’s progressive enough for you (and he isn’t progressive enough for me but I do see him as a means to the end I want) — has been and will be a good leader because he draws on those same leadership skills. To him, a big part of leadership is LISTENING.

I’ll say it again: LISTENING. Leadership = Listening.

If you can’t listen, you can’t lead. Even if you’re a pirate by nature, surely you see that listening to your crew — even if only occasionally — could work out to your advantage. Donald Trump can’t even manage that because “he alone can fix it”.

Oooh, wait. I think I see our problem. We’ve misunderstood how Donald means “fix”. When HE says “he alone can ‘fix’ it”, he means “fix” the way a criminal does.

I may be talking myself out of my own argument here… If Donald means he alone can make everyone around him more of a criminal, then he’s absolutely right! To enter Trump’s sphere is to criminalize yourself. If you won’t compromise yourself (provided you haven’t already), you don’t get to play or stay in Trump’s world. Donald Trump is great at turning people into criminals! I may not like how that’s transforming people, but — in his own way, isn’t Trump making these otherwise mediocre Republicans “better”?

Hmmmmm… No. Even in criminal world, the REAL criminals — the Vlad Putins, the Kims, the MbS’s — see Donald Trump as a piker. He’s just a greed machine and a garden variety bully. He couldn’t kill anyone — for real — in cold blood. He’s too much of a wuss. He’ll throw money at someone — tell them to get blood on their hands. Even among criminals, that ain’t “leadership”.

Donald may be a black hole of corruption, but he’s not a super nova black hole of corruption. He’s simply not good enough.

Whew! That’s a relief. For a second there, I almost had to admit Donald Trump was good at something — as if he could “lead” in it.

It’s a stone cold fact: Donald Trump — alone — can’t fix OR LEAD anything.