The Republican Party DOES Have A Platform In 2022: Treason

Back in 2020, our news media got all atwitter when the RNC – ever Donald Trump’s leather-clad, down-on-all-fours, red-rubber-ball-in-mouth bitch – announced it wouldn’t have a platform for the presidential election. Frankly, we should have appreciated the RNC’s unintentional honesty. The last time Team Trump imposed itself on the party’s platform, they tweaked it to take Putin’s side against the Ukraine. That, it turns out, wasn’t just odd, it was treasonous! Not hyperbolic treasonous, real, honest-to-God, red-meat-and-potatoes treasonous. Emphasis on the “red”. Is I scream and shout here regularly, we can point to an actual documented moment in time when the GOP clearly crossed a line. On one side was terrible, immoral behavior that skirted illegality. But, on the other was flat out law-breaking. Treason, in fact.

On June 25, 2016, current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy walked into a GOP leadership meeting and said “There’s two people I think Putin pays – Rohrbacher and Trump – swear to god!”. No one questioned or doubted what Kevin said. No one demanded receipts. Instead, then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan put the kibosh on any further discussion of that particular subject. Though they suspected that their soon-to-be nominee for POTUS was a national security threat, these Republicans willfully chose to keep this terrible secret a secret from We The People. And then they did everything they could to prevent any investigation into this secret – that Russia had compromised Trump and the Republican Party knew it.

With that piece of information in mind – “Putin pays Trump” – reconsider the GOP allowing Trump to change its platform and Trump’s whole “different approach to Putin”. It’s the “different approach” an intelligence asset has to the master spy running him. Reconsider “Russia, if you’re listening!” Reconsider Trump’s relationship with Wkileaks and every bit of obstructive behavior Team Trump has displayed – so much obstructive behavior that the Mueller Report complained it couldn’t get its main investigation done because of it! Consider the sledgehammer Trump took to NATO and every little acquiescence to Putin’s interests over ours. “Putin pays Trump” equals “Trump is a traitor”. Anyone not immediately on the phone to the FBI is officially a co-conspirator.

See something, SAY something. See something, say nothing? Why’s that?

In October 2016, Mitch McConnell stuck the dagger in when he refused to let President Obama tell America what our intelligence community believed (and which history has born out as absolutely true) that Russia was actively working to subvert the out come of our election in Trump’s favor. Mitch threatened to accuse Obama of politicizing the intelligence for political gain – the very thing Mitch was doing. Instead, Obama softened what should have been an eye-opening piece of information that We The People deserved to know.

Mitch was simply continuing the treasonous roll Kevin McCarthy started. Jump forward to 2020. The biggest threat to Trump losing power is losing the Department of Justice. Even when Republicans lost the House and began to face oversight, they used every legal device available to them to run out the clock. Republicans don’t see elections as referendums, they see them as opportunities to steal another election. The only thing saving Trump from indictment during his term was Robert Mueller’s slavish devotion to a DoJ rule (not a law) that frowned on (but didn’t prohibit) indicting a sitting president. Imagine giving treason the benefit of the doubt because “niceties”… White people cut themselves some amazing slack.

Also remember – professional, by-the-book rule of law investigations take time. Nothing of value could be started while Trump occupied the White House. And even after Biden won, the Republicans in the Senate deliberately slow walked all DoJ nominations, Merrick Garland’s in particular, their jaundiced eye, as ever, focused on the clock. I wish this was all done and dusted already – with Trump in federal custody, virtually the entire GOP gutted because they’re under indictment themselves and their violent followers dissuaded from further violence because of their own crushingly expensive legal bills. I do believe that day is coming. Once the DoJ pulls the thread on indicting sitting politicians, the pulling may never stop. The Republican Party will absolutely unravel.

Once again, as they gear up for what they expect will be the last “free and fair” election in America – this’ll be the one where the Republicans finish the kill – the GOP has ditched the idea of having a platform. Since they have no platform to talk about, they’ve also tossed the idea of participating in debates. This is the Republicans – still being bracingly honest – announcing in public that they no longer feel the need to be retail politicians. From here on out, they’re crusaders imposing their minority white will onto an unruly, non-white majority.

Ironically, the Republicans also are being honest when they embrace The Big Lie. They’re confirming what we long suspected: the GOP no longer “believes” in democracy because democracy no longer believes in Republicans. As Trump himself keeps pointing out, when more Americans vote, Republicans lose; if every American voted, the GOP might never win another election again ever. This is precisely why the Republican Party embraced Trump even though they knew he was a traitor. Machiavelli himself couldn’t have mustered that much naked cynicism.

The point of the insurrection – both the physically violent one and the bureaucratic ones behind the scenes – was to deny We The People yet again our electoral choice on the one hand while, on the other keeping Trump in power and out of federal prison convincingly accused of treason. “The Big Lie” is, itself, treason. It’s based on treason and designed to perpetuate treason and treason’s desired outcomes. Everyone agreeing with it is automatically a traitor and should be understood as such – starting with Donald John Trump.

The Bottom Line Explanation For EVERYTHING The Republicans Are Doing Is TREASON

It all starts with Russia.

Take Russia out of the Donald Trump Equation and Trump never wins anything. In fact, take Russian mob money away from Trump and his Atlantic City casinos fail even faster. Take Miss Universe in Moscow away from Trump and he has zero avenues available to try and launch a Trump Tower Moscow project. Take Russia away from Trump and he never gets to rescue himself; he ends up squandering daddy’s entire real estate fortune. Take Russia away from Donald Trump and not only was he never POTUS, he might be living on skid row himself – in one of the more squalid trash heaps. The Republican Party KNEW for a fact that Trump was compromised by Russia before they nominated him to be their candidate for POTUS. They KNEW that a Trump presidency would be a massive national security risk (and failure!) . Nothing about Trump surprised the Republican Party’s leadership from the moment he shoved his way into their tent.

They KNEW Trump was a traitor – and they stepped in line behind him regardless.

Some receipts… As the primaries got underway, the Marco Rubio-backing Washington Free Beacon funded some opposition research on Trump. They hired a commercial research and strategic intelligence-gathering firm called FUSION GPS to do the work that ultimately produced the Steele Dossier. Fusion had been co-founded by former Wall Street Journal writers Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch. When he was called before the Senate Judiciary Committee on August 22, 2017 (the then Republican controlled Senate was trying to squash all investigations into Trump and was especially focused on knocking down the Steele Dossier’s damaging implications), Simpson told the story about how we got a “Steele Dossier” to begin with. Before beginning its oppo research work in earnest, Simpson testified, Fusion did its “due diligence”: they got their hands on every piece of publicly available material they could on Trump – newspaper pieces, magazine articles, radio and TV appearances. They scoured Amazon. They went to actual bookstores. They watched and listened to a lot of video and audio tape.

What Fusion found there – in material anyone could find (including the rest of the news media) – took them aback. Simpson testified that the picture they had – even before beginning their real work – implicated Trump as a money launderer. And maybe worse. In order to bore down more deeply into the questions they now had about Trump and his odd relationship with Russia, Fusion sub-contracted that part of their research to another company – Orbis – which was owned and operated by the former head of the MI6’s vaunted Russia desk, the highly respected Christopher Steele. Steele WAS known and respected when Fusion engaged him; the FBI had relied on Steele and his integrity when they took down Sepp Blatter, the corrupt former head of FIFA.

By that point in the chronology, Marco Rubio’s presidential ambitions had been kicked to the curb. The Washington Free Beacon had stopped paying for the research but the ball was picked up by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and by the DNC. Quick note: Hillary Clinton has been 100% right about EVERYTHING regarding Donald Trump). Now, we all have to understand one simple thing: Steele is in the intelligence business. By its nature, this is a smoke and mirrors world. Very often, facts have to be discerned; they won’t necessarily present themselves. One must approach information with both caution and perspective. Our news media, being shallow and sensationalist, got it into their heads that the worst allegations about Trump had to do with hookers and a bed that Obama slept in. Perversely, the most titillating parts of the Dossier are its least problematic for Trump. There’s nothing inherently illegal in watching hookers piss on a bed.

There’s something inherently illegal however when you are on a foreign country’s payroll especially when that country is engaged in cyber war against us.

Another receipt: let’s visit the moment on June 25, 2016 when current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy entered a meeting of GOP leaders in Washington, DC. It’s a month BEFORE these very people will crown Donald Trump as their nominee. “There’s two people I think Putin pays,” Kevin says, “Rohrbacher and Trump – swear to God!” Let’s take “I was joking” off the table, please. It’s bullshit (and it was Kevin’s explanation the ONE TIME he was questioned about this moment). People with no sense of humor cannot kid, joke or be ironic. This is for real. Not every has a sense of humor because not everyone can laugh at themselves. Being able to laugh at oneself is the marker for having a sense of humor. People who can’t laugh at themselves laugh exclusively at others; they’re called “bullies”. When Kevin added “Swear to God” to his accusation, it was in answer to the ripple of nervous laughter his accusation had caused.

Let’s bore in here – and, for the record, this conversation among Republicans WAS RECORDED and that recording was played in 2017 for Washington Post reporter Adam Entous. Kevin McCarthy has just accused the man they’re all going to nominate of being corrupt. Not just corrupt – corrupt because a hostile foreign government is PAYING HIM. And the job they’re going to nominate this corrupted man for is the PRESIDENCY.

But, no one in the room seems surprised by Kevin’s damning accusation. No one says “Whaaaaat? Kevin, are you SURE about this? Do you have RECEIPTS for such a crazy idea?” Instead, as I said, there’s nervous laughter. That’s why McCarthy stammers “Swear to Go!” He wants the room to believe him. He’s not making it up. And no one present thinks he is. Least of all then Speaker Of The House of Representatives (and third in line to the presidency) Paul Ryan. Does Paul Ryan – the country’s national security apparatus two heartbeats away from his control – demand to know why Kevin thinks their soon-to-be nominee is a clear national security risk? No, he doesn’t!

Instead, Ryan goes in the OTHER direction – away from transparency! Away from patriotism. Away from doing the right thing. This terrible secret, Ryan tells them all, will remain their terrible secret. Nothing about this conversation, Ryan insists, will leave this room. “That’s how we know we’re family” is how he puts a bow on it.

I keep going back to this moment because it’s real. It is a fully documented, primary sourced instance of deliberate treason. There is absolutely no refuting it.

And everything that led to where we are today flowed directly from it: an act of treason.

Another receipt. September 2016. Barack Obama calls an urgent “Gang of Eight” meeting at the White House. He wants the intelligence community to present information they have that alarms them deeply: Russia is actively engaged in trying to throw the coming presidential election to Trump. They have proof and believe the American electorate deserves to know. But, then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gets upon his treason turtle hind legs and insists that if Obama tries to warn America about what Russia is actively doing on Trump’s behalf, he, McConnell will tell America that this mighty NOT be true – that Obama is merely “politicizing the intelligence”.

That wasn’t the case of course. And do ya really think Mitch wasn’t as aware as anyone else with an R next to their name that “Putin pays Trump”?

Think about that. Mitch McConnell refused to let America know that Russia was actively engaged in making a man Mitch knew Russia was paying president. That’s a hell of a secret to keep from We The People, don’tcha think?

But if you appreciate that Mitch was just keeping the same secret Paul Ryan insisted they all keep – like a mafia family – then, suddenly, every last bit of Republican behavior makes absolute sense. Instead of endlessly scratching their heads as they wonder what hold Trump has on the GOP, our news media could 1) read what it’s already reported and 2) do a deeper dive into it especially in hindsight. The answer isn’t hard to find. :Hell – like almost everything that Trump did, it’s right there, out in the open! All any reporter really has to do is look at it and report honestly what they see.

There’s another element here that’s worked entirely to Trump’s benefit. Rich white people are loathe to prosecute other rich white people. It’s weird… like they all know where each others’ bodies are buried… It is remarkable what white men can get away with in America that no one else can even contemplate. Apparently, that includes treason.

At the end of the day, there will be a clear, simple explanation for everything that’s happened over the past five years. The January 6 insurrection didn’t just spontaneously “happen” regardless of what the Republican Party needs America to believe. The insurrection was planned and paid for by people who needed Trump to stay in power – up to and including Trump himself. Our news media will insist that Trump is merely being childish – he’s a grown man refusing to accept a humiliating electoral defeat. But that misses the point entirely. It misses what Trump actually is and what he’s actually guilty of.

The reason Trump needed to stay in power was less because Trump loves power than because without the power of the presidency, Trump is going to be prosecuted out the wazoo – and especially as a traitor. He was “golden” while protected by that silly Department of Justice directive that sitting presidents can’t be subpoenaed. But, now that any lawyer with a case can have a shot at him? He’s feeling the pain (though not the financial pain since Trump now has the RNC paying his legal bills).

But, consider that fact all by itself! Why would the Republican Party pay MILLIONS OF DOLLARS in legal fees for charges that have zero to do with Trump’s time in office? You can hear the question forming in our news media’s head already: “What ‘hold’ does Donald Trump sill maintain over the Republican Party?”

Hey, remember when using the word “treason” got you nothing but eye rolls? Remember when calling Trump a fascist cost you respect because you went “there” (regardless of how right you were)? Remember when we used to think that Republicans were ordinary, patriotic Americans just like Democrats?

Neither do I. Treason has blotted out everything.

What Would Happen If Donald Trump Were To Suddenly Vanish?

My original headline for this post was “What would happen to the world were Donald Trump to suddenly die?” I wanted to (and will) explore the “What if…?” possibilities of Trump – a famously unhealthy person with a famously unhealthy diet suddenly succumbing to a lifetime of bad habits and croaking unexpectedly due to natural causes. In other words, what if Trump disappeared personally from the public stage in a way that made it harder for his followers to martyrize him? Would that rob Trump of some of his disruptive potency? Disruption really is the secret to Trump’s dark success. He disrupted the GOP, disrupted our entire political process, disrupted our government, disrupted climate change, the SCOTUS, NATO, the USPS, health care in general, abortion rights specifically, and free and fair elections themselves forever more. No other candidate in the entire history of American politics has been as negatively impactful as Trump.

No one has been more deserving of investigation, prosecution and punishment than Trump. Yet, no one’s investigation,. prosecution and punishment is more likely to cause so much violence. We assume a big part of why Merrick Garland still hasn’t prosecuted Trump is because of what his followers would do. Yeah, sure, aside from Richard Nixon, America has never criminally prosecuted a president in any way (and his resigning because of the threat he’d be impeached and convicted was a political result, not a criminal justice result). The DoJ going after Trump would set some pretty significant precedents.

But, what if Trump suddenly vanished from the picture in a way that even his looniest followers couldn’t say was suspicious? What if Trump went face down in his lunch time taco bowl and checked off the mortal coil?

On the one hand, justice would then never get properly served. Even if we rounded up and prosecuted every single Trumpanista from top to bottom, the fact that Trump would escape prosecution would make justice feel a lot less satisfying. But, I suspect, we could learn to live with that lack of total justice. On the plus side, prosecuting every single political player who benefited from Trumpism would pretty much eliminate the entire Republican Party as a going concern. How key is Trump’s continuing presence to the Republican Party’s ongoing ability to avoid prosecution for overt criminal acts? How key is Trump’s continuing presence to the GOP’s plan to destroy American democracy forever?

Could the Republicans really finish what Donald Trump started without Trump’s physical presence? Are Republicans really as politically dangerous without Trump as an organizing principle around which to corruptly organize? If we take Trump away as their rallying cry, what’s the rallying cry to replace him? Fascism and authoritarianism itself?

It was always hilarious that our punditry (witless as ever) actually entertained the idea that Ivanka or Don, Jr could have political careers in the future. They’re more likely to have careers in the priesthood or at NASA than as president. Ron DeSantis running for president doesn’t have the same threat as Trump because Ron DeSantis, terrible human that he is, is not Trump and will never gin up the Republican base the way Trump did. No other Republican can manipulate the rest of the Republican Party the way Trump can because no other Republican has compromised the entire Republican Party the way Trump has.

Even before the GOP nominated Trump to be POTUS in 2016, they KNEW for a fact that Trump was a grave national security threat because of his relationship with Putin. As current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy put it as he entered a meeting of GOP leaders on June 25, 2016, “There’s two people I think Putin pays – Rohrbacher and Trump – swear to God!” This moment cannot go unexplained or uninvestigated. Understand this moment from the inside and you’ll understand what the last five years have really been about.

You’ll understand why Trump could do whatever he wanted without the GOP reeling him in. You’ll understand Mitch McConnell insisting in September 2016 that if Barack Obama informed the American electorate that Russia was actively working to tip the 2016 election to Trump, that he, McConnell would tell America that Obama was “politicizing the intelligence” in order to help Hillary Clinton win. You’ll understand why Trump has continued to do everything humanly possible to keep his finances private, why Rod Rosenstein ended all counter intelligence investigations into Trump, why Bill Barr lied about the Mueller Report and why there even was an insurrection to begin with.

Take Donald Trump’s fight to the death to obstruct justice out of the conversation and what would happen going forward?

Sure, some of the Republicans would try to keep the bullshit flying but without Trump as the bullshit’s chief inspiration – without Trump himself peddling The Big Lie – The Big Lie will not fly.

Without Trump’s bloated orange presence, a lot of the legal roadblocks would stop immediately. No other defendant will have the criminal capacity (or genetics) to persist at all costs the way Trump will. None of them sits at the nexus of all the corruption the way Trump does,

If Donald Trump were to suddenly vanish, the world would instantly become a better place simply because Donald Trump was no longer in it. Our Trump-loving news media won’t be able to fill the void with any other Republican. That void will become increasingly apparent as the GOP further fragments into small personality cults and violent militia groups. As prosecutions continue, the rudderless Republicans will quickly realize that all the good sentence reduction deals are long gone; they’ll have to fight to the death for scraps. And fight to the death these criminals absolutely will.

That’s the moment we should all be waiting for – the one where the villains of the piece realize the piece is going to end with them all in federal prison. This will happen regardless of whether Trump is here or not. Trump’s presence makes it harder – way harder. But no less essential.

Could we “live with” not getting every last drop of justice we want from this? If it means our democracy survives – and that everyone who aided and abetted Trump gets what they deserve? Hell, yes. It will still beat the living crap out of the alternative.

Mitch McConnell Now WANTS The Democrats To Take Out The Republican Party’s Insurrectionist Wing But Only If They Stop There

Mitch McConnell, Enemy of the Vote - Rolling Stone

Mitch McConnell may be a profound failure as a human being, but when it comes to politics? He knows how to play. He knows how to use the levers of power available to him to maximum personal advantage. He knows how to kowtow to the money behind him. He knows when to stop serving one bully because another bully now owns the schoolyard. He knows when the cards in his hand suck but also knows that rules are for suckers. Up until now, Mitch has successfully relied upon the Democrats’ refusal to ever play hardball the way Mitch plays hardball. Quick note: the reason Democrats don’t play the way Mitch does is because then Democrats would BE Mitch. But, times being how they are, that has suddenly changed. Yesterday, Mitch said this about the quickening pace of the House Select Committee’s work: “I think the fact finding is interesting. We’re all going to be watching it,” McConnell told Spectrum News. “It was a horrendous event, and I think what they’re seeking to find out is something the public needs to know.”

For context – because context is everything – Mitch never wanted any kind of investigation into January 6 whatsoever. There’s a reason for that. It’s the same reason you don’t pull a thread on an old or badly made sweater. But, Mitch understood that with the Democrats in control of Congress and the Department of Justice, his best political tack was to slow Team Biden down on every possible front. Notice how the Senate has slow-walked most every Biden nominee for anything through? Actually, Team Biden has adeptly moved to fill judicial seats with good legal minds (instead of the American Enterprise Institute’s right wing anti-abortion clones). It was the Department of Justice, ambassadorships and a few other social justice posts where Republicans really focused their obstructionism. Especially the DoJ.

Remember how long it took to get Merrick Garland in the door to begin with? And Merrick Garland was, from a Republican POV, the “safest” bet out there. Imagine if President Biden had chosen Sally Yates instead (with her inside view of early Trumpian corruption at the DoJ). Mitch controls the flow of confirmation hearings. He’s always got that filibuster in his pocket, doesn’t he? Actual justice flowing from the Department of Justice is the LAST thing on earth any Republican wants.

But, consummate politician Mitch can read the wind like an assets statement. And Mitch knows that if the whole truth about what just happened to America gets out? Almost (but not quite) everyone with an “R” next to their name is going to get prosecuted for treason. That’s not hyperbole. The Republican leadership knew even before they nominated Donald Trump to be their presidential candidate in 2016 that he was compromised by Russia. They said so out loud during a meeting on June 25, 2016. Current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy entered the meeting and said “There’s two people I think Putin pays – Rohrbacher and Trump – swear to God!” Nobody “made him” say that. And when he did? No one in the room reacted with shock or horror. A few laughed uncomfortably.

As in laughed uncomfortably because something that was supposed to remain unspoken just got spoken.

How do we know that was the case? First, because no one resisted the idea. No one said “Whaaaaaat? Kevin – dude – are you sure about that?” No one demanded that Kevin put down a receipt to back up such a bold accusation. Let’s not under-sell the accusation – or the room it was made in – or the room’s reaction to the accusation. A lot happened there that we still haven’t gone back to and examined. But we must because it explains the very thing I’m talking about here.

If Putin “pays Trump”, he OWNS Trump. He’s compromised Trump. And that means he’s compromised America’s national security should Trump win the presidency. Everyone in that room understood those implications about their presidential nominee and yet, instead of balking in any way, instead of doing something patriotic like call the FBI, they went along with then Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s calming insistence that they go back to not speaking about the subject. That they keep this secret of theirs a secret. “No leaks. . . . This is how we know we’re a real family here.” Did you catch that? Not just the “family” part, the “no leaks” part.

The GOP knew even as they engaged with Trump that they were engaging in something so illegal that it HAD to be kept secret. And – most importantly – part of that secret involved America’s national security being compromised because of Donald Trump’s relationship with Vladimir Putin. Put that statement in context with this photograph –

“Putin pays Trump”. Putin OWNS Trump. And if Putin owns Trump, he owns everyone around Trump who KNOWS that “Putin pays Trump” or even suspects it. It all starts with treason and the simple, inescapable fact that no one in the Republican Party did anything whatsoever to stand in treason’s way.

That – right there – that’s the GOP’s problem. It’s Mitch’s problem. What saved Mitch’s ass up till now of course was the ability to obstruct justice from within (and from within the Department of Justice). While everyone thought Rod Rosenstein was a good soldier minding the fort, he was a Trojan horse who quietly ended the counter intelligence investigations into Trump’s relationship with the man who was paying him. We have to wonder now – who in the DoJ, in the FBI, in our government period knew about Trump’s relationship with Putin? Who knew and did nothing to stop it or give the rest of us a “head’s up!”?

Mitch may not have gone willingly into treason, but once he was there, he was THERE. Keep in mind the fact that as of June 25, 2016, the Republican leadership KNEW that “Putin pays Trump”. How then to explain Mitch’s behavior at that “Gang of Eight” meeting at the White House in September 2016 where President Obama presented the intelligence community’s fears that Russia was working to sway the presidential election to Trump – the guy THEY WERE PAYING. At the meeting, rather than sign a letter of condemnation toward Russia’s actions, McConnell threatened to announce that Obama had “politicized the intelligence”.

“Politicized the intelligence” about the guy RUSSIA WAS PAYING – and that Mitch KNEW they were paying.

See Mitch’s problem getting bigger? But then, Mitch made it worse. Mitch did not want to condemn Russia’s involvement because Mitch knew there’d been so much of it. Are we to believe that Mitch McConnell knew nothing (either before, during or afterward) about Paul Manafort handing Oleg Deripaska proprietary polling data for Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan? Take PA, WI & MI out of Trump’s Electoral College totals and he loses. A lot of that polling data was weaponized by Russian military intelligence (Deripaska) and laser focused at Black Democratic voters via their Facebook pages where targeted ads reminded them daily that Hillary Clinton was a racist on the downlow. At some point in that timeline (before, during, afterwards), Mitch had to know about it yet Mitch, to this day, hasn’t called the FBI. Instead, Mitch refused to let America in on the secret and then – even when Obama punished Deripaska on his way out the door – Mitch rescinded the punishment.

Braidy Industries made a deal with Russian company Rusal to put an aluminum factory in western Kentucky. Can you smell the stink already? How much money got tossed around for real? $200 million? $400 million? How many poor Kentuckians would now have jobs thanks to Rusal and its money? Doesn’t matter. One of Rusal’s owners is Oleg Deripaska. Mitch got the sanctions on Deripaska lifted while knowing Deripaska helped make Donald Trump president.

That, by the way, is illegal.

Did Mitch have anything to do with the insurrection? I’m sure not! Mitch prefers to work quietly, like poison. He’s not the beat you over the head kinda guy (because, well – look at him!). But that’s not to say Mitch won’t take full advantage of the fellow traveler beside him who IS beating someone over the head. Quick thought experiment: IF the insurrection had succeeded – and IF somehow the election’s outcome HAD been thrown to the House, would Mitch McConnell have raced to the majority’s defense or would he have stood by and watched as democracy got beaten over the head and killed deader than dead?

Mitch knew even as they were rushing him out of harm’s way that the insurrection was both a problem and a possible solution. The problem was that it would make it a thousand times easier to expose the deepest part of the corruption, the treason part. The possible solution was that the insurrection was a separate crime unto itself, carried out by separate criminals (Trump-crazed citizen-zombies). Sure, sure – a few Congressional Republicans had a direct hand in planning the insurrection but they were Representatives. Crazies who threaten Mitch’s calm, cool corruption. Jim Jordan? What’s that sexual assault enabling ass to Mitch? Boebert? She’s amusing but entirely expendable.

Mitch’s bottom line: no one in his Senate caucus is threatened by an investigation into January 6… he hopes.

Did any of them see Mark Meadows’ power point presentation and then fail to call the FBI? That may seem like a small worry today, but Mitch still needs to make it part of his larger calculus. Mitch wants to escape a treason charge. Personally. If he says out loud that the investigation is “interesting” and “We’re all going to be watching it” and “what they’re seeking to find out is something the public needs to know”, then Mitch, for the moment, has no fear for himself. Whatever deep dark secrets the Commission learns, makes public and refers for criminal prosecution? Mitch can live with them.

He hopes like hell that the insurrection will be a fire wall against treason.

I wish I felt a hundred percent that Mitch’s fire wall will fail. The white power structure is still very much in place. Its whole way of thinking still dominates and one of its autonomics is self preservation. I would not be shocked if indeed the Department of Justice prosecuted the insurrection both inside and outside Congress but stopped at any inference that Russia, somehow, was involved too.

Take this to the bank: Russia had a hand in the insurrection. How could they not have? Consider it from their point of view. For five years you have worked to put an asset into the White House and then keep that asset there – betraying America out in the open to your absolute and total benefit. It’s to your advantage to squeeze every last bit of value out of your asset until the bitter end if there ever is one. You have compromised nearly everyone with an “R” next to their name. And then the idea for an armed insurrection pops up. If you’re Russia, do you back away and say “Guys, no – don’t go there!” or do you lean in even further and put your money where you think it will do the most “good”?

Russia had a hand in the insurrection. If they didn’t, they’re idiots. They ain’t idiots.

But they are Mitch McConnell’s nightmare – should HIS relationship with Mother Russia become common knowledge.

Can A Stolen Election Ever Have “Legitimacy”? Not If A Democracy Wants To Continue Being A Democracy

Oh, the irony… Joe Biden absolutely did not steal an election from Donald Trump but Donald Trump absolutely did steal an election from Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump not only lost election 2020, without Russia’s direct involvement, he would never have “won” election in 2016 to begin with.

Trump may have wet-dreamed about being POTUS before he ever met Vladimir Putin, but had laundered Russian mob money not propped up his bankrupt Atlantic City casinos and bought countless condos as money laundering vehicles, Trump would have completely crashed daddy’s real estate business eons ago and no one (not even his most ardent followers) would even know his name today. For one thing, Mark Barnett would never have thought to invent a reality show based on him. Tony Schwartz would never have ghosted “The Art Of The Deal” because no one would have equated Trump with success. Take Russia completely out of the Donald Trump equation and Trump is nothing and (maybe even literally) a nobody.

These two things are mutually exclusive propositions: winning a presidential election & having the direct assistance of ANY foreign government least of all a hostile one actively engaged in a cyber war against us in winning that election. Take your pick. There’s no middle ground. Benjamin Franklin famously said of our government’s prospects that we could keep our Republic going but only so long as we were willing to keep it going ourselves. Keeping that republic — keeping it safe from enemies foreign and domestic — demands real and constant vigilance. There are no gradations to corruption or treason. No “acceptable” amount of bad faith or bad intent. One can’t just be “a little bit corrupt” or “a little bit treasonous”. One is or one isn’t. And, once one is — corrupt or treasonous (or corrupt AND treasonous as with Trump and the entire Republican Party) — that’s it. There’s no coming back.

Stone cold fact: the GOP hierarchy knew before they even nominated Trump to be their presidential candidate in 2016 that Russia owned him. They said as much out loud (it was recorded and the recorded conversation was played for Washington Post reporter Adam Entous a year later) but agreed to keep this terrible, national security threat a secret. If the rule of law is (and, it too either must “be” or “not be”, it can’t really exist in some quasi-enforced state) then it demands that everyone in the GOP hierarchy who knew or even suspected that Trump was behaving treasonously was obligated (at the very least by their oaths of office!) to do something or say something.

Regular readers of this blog know that I harp on this moment relentlessly. That’s because it’s a very clear line in the sand between any possible reasonable doubt about the GOP’s complicity in treason and the GOP having really and truly committed treason. This is one of the clearest examples I can think of of our news media reporting important stories with important details that they then fail to aggregate into the larger story — to our detriment. How many Trumpian lies did it take for our news media to finally decide Donald Trump might be “a liar”? How many euphemisms did NEWS media use to avoid using the only correct word: LIAR? Why would a news operation hesitate to tell its news audience the truth they’re tuning in to see? Because what’s making news might hurt some of their feelings? What kind of bullshit arrogance is that — by people with commercial interests?

This is exactly how corruption gets normalized.

When politicians or news media or average citizens accept corruption as “just how it is”, they speed corruption’s spread. Corruption doesn’t need any more advantages over integrity and the rule of law. The corrupt can cut every corner there is. Integrity can’t. The rule of law takes time because it has to play by the rules whereas corruption can take a huge, steaming dump on the rule of law. When that happens, the rule of law can’t defend itself. That part’s up to us. And, if we stood up for the rule of law as it applies to Donald Trump and how he became POTUS, the rule of law would DEMAND that we prosecute Trump to the fullest extent the law allows because of how Trump broke it and why.

For starters, if we don’t punish people when they cheat in order to win elections, we’re telling them “cheat more”. We’re telling them that cheating is just another (accepted) election strategy. Similarly, if you don’t punish the crap out of people for trying to overthrow the government, you’re telling them, get your insurrection right next time! Bet the ranch: they will.

And, if Donald Trump and the Republicans thought Trump’s cavorting with Russia was in any way defensible (meaning not completely illegal), they’d have run that argument down our throats long ago. It was the only shot at legitimacy they had (bullshit as it was). Instead, from the get-go, Trump and his Republican co-conspirators have done everything possible to obfuscate, lie and obstruct justice on Trump’s behalf. Like the co-conspirators to commit election fraud, obstruction of justice and treason that they all absolutely are.

Here in our little experiment in human self-government, The authority to govern flows FROM the people. Win election fairly and squarely and you have our permission — the authority — to govern us. Cheat to win and the authority doesn’t flow to you the same way. It shouldn’t flow to you at all because you cheated. Without the authority to govern America you don’t have the power or permission to nominate SCOTUS judges; you’re just pretending that you do. And, if you cheated (as the Republicans did) in order to secure the power (versus the authority) to nominate judges (so as to shape the judiciary more to your liking than the Peoples’ preferences), then when you nominate those judges, you’re committing a crime.

To deny the majority their will — what they voted for — IS A CRIME. It’s not a political opinion, it’s a crime. And just like with a guy who stole your car, if we catch him, you get your car back. We caught Trump and the GOP stealing from us. Are we really going to let them keep what they stole?

They stole lifetime judiciary appointments that Obama had the authority to fill — which means they stole from US. They denied Merrick Garland so much as a hearing so they could hand that SCOTUS seat to Neal Gorsuch. They stole what should have been Joe Biden’s first SCOTUS selection by handing that seat to handmaid Amy Barrett. Even Trump’s one “legitimate” choice — Kennedy’s replacement Brett Kavanaugh — stinks of corruption. Judge Kennedy’s son worked Trump’s account at Deutsche Bank (where he works). Brett Kavanaugh’s entire nomination process was a study in even more corruption from the bogus FBI investigations into Kavanaugh’s rapey past to Brett’s own perjured hearing testimony. The reason Republicans always seem to be acting like criminals is because they are.

We’re soooooo close to having the first real threads pulled on the Trumpublican Corruption Ugly Christmas Sweater. The first ones publicly pulled will be “January 6 Insurrection” threads. Once we pierce the veil of Congressional Republican involvement in planning the insurrection, this story will undergo a massive shift in its focus. Suddenly, sitting members of Congress will be in very real legal peril that will cost them very real money.

That’s going to be what destroys Republican corruption: what it costs them personally. None of them seem to grasp what defending themselves against federal charges like these is going to cost them in real cash money. Billable hours for this kind of lawyering is staggeringly expensive. That’s one reason so many of the foot soldiers are throwing in the towel and copping pleas. They don’t want to bankrupt their families for a generation. They don’t want to lose their family homes while also becoming unemployed and unemployable. Also in the mix: we will find Russian involvement. Count on it. If you consider how much money and effort Russia expended to make Trump POTUS and then to keep his corrupt, treasonous admin alive and unprosecuted, it’s impossible that they’d have nothing to do with a coup attempt to keep Trump in power.

Russia paid for part of it. They helped arrange it. If that’s the case then this physically violent act against the US is itself an act of flat out treason.

And voila — Trump will be tied directly to Russia. That will pop the lid on Trump and the GOP’s treasonous behavior.

America’s original sin was and remains slavery. We’re still dealing with it today. If we allow Trump to get away with betraying us, if we allow the GOP to go unpunished for its treachery, then we will have brought the end of our democratic republic ourselves. A country that won’t stand up for its sovereignty (and letting Russia make Trump POTUS was us letting Russia choose our president) won’t be a sovereign country for much longer. It’s told all its enemies that it’s no longer serious about its own government, it’s own people, its own future.

Mitch McConnell Can Count Votes Too — So Long As They’re Corrupt

As we lurch toward a Republican-forced government shut-down on Thursday night, the media keeps reminding us how good Nancy Pelosi is at counting votes. She won’t put a bill on the floor that doesn’t have the votes to pass. If Joe Biden’s agenda doesn’t have the votes today, Speaker Pelosi will work her magic — it’s agreed she’s one of the best, savviest Speakers of the House in American history — and make that vote happen tomorrow. Bet against her at your peril. The news media — believing that “both sides do it” — also give Mitch McConnell mucho cred for being a great politician because he can count votes. But, the way Mitch counts votes — and the votes he’s counting — is entirely different from the way Speaker Pelosi works. Speaker Pelosi can only appeal to her caucus’ hearts. Public servants serving the public have hearts, ya see. And Democrats, by their nature (and by their hearts) are wild and unruly. Democrat Will Rogers said of us almost a hundred years ago “I’m not a member of any organized political party, I’m a Democrat”. By contrast to Speaker Pelosi, Mitch McConnell has a far, far easier time.

Mitch knows his caucus — to a man — doesn’t have a heart. Instead, they have greed. Greed runs everything in their personal and collective worlds. Their bottom line is enrichment and power. Getting richer than they already are and (since this is what it will require), holding onto political power forever in order to do it. For Mitch then, life is simple so long as it’s as corrupt as he is. You can always count on corruption to come through because you can always blackmail corrupt people into compliance. Try blackmailing an innocent person — it’s much, much harder.

We’ve seen — live — what happens when Mitch can count all his corrupt votes but can’t count on his un-corrupt ones. Remember this — the night Senator John McCain literally voted a thumbs down to Mitch’s attempt to kill the ACA?

I betcha Mitch still gets himself into a mighty treason-turtle snit every time he thinks of it. I bet — same token — an uncorrupted John McCain stood between Lindsey Graham’s anti-Trumpism and his remarkable flip into the Uber-Trumpism.

Can anyone name a higher purpose any Republican is fighting for other than power for power’s sake? Mitch McConnell certainly isn’t interested in serving the needs of most Americans since he’s only about servicing a teeny-tiny slice of really rich white men. Who are all Christians.

When he’s not servicing his Russian clients (Oleg Deripaska, for instance), Mitch is Charles Koch’s Bitch. Tasked with seizing the judiciary from any possible Democratic grasp — that was the point of denying Barrack Obama more than a hundred hearings for federal bench judgeships and, of course, Antonin Scalia’s seat. Our news media depicted Merrick Garland not getting a hearing as Mitch McConnell being a clever, skilled (Machiavellian) politician. No, actually that was Mitch McConnell putting himself between the point of electoral politics — the majority getting what they voted for — and Mitch and his cohorts getting what THEY want. Our news media — convinced that “both sides do it” — have it in their heads that anti-democratic behavior and acts is just some “political opinion” as opposed to what it is: an affront to democracy and to individual voters’ right to vote.

But, hey — so long as rich, Christian white guys are doing it? How can it be bad, right?

This is the corruption Mitch McConnell relies on. It’s his oxygen now same as it’s always been. Make no mistake: Mitch and corruption go way back.

Mitch has been a political hustler since grade school. Being naturally unlovable, Mitch saw political power — even at the public school level — as a way to make people love him. Or, at least not hate him because of who he was. And Mitch has deep issues with who he is. Mitch graduated with honors from the University of Louisville with a B.A. in poli sci in 1964. He was student body president. Three years later, he graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law where was president of the student bar association.

Mind you, Mitch isn’t doing this to make anywhere he is a better place for him being there. He’s doing it because he adores political power and he’s figuring out how to get it and keep it. But then, Mitch’s perfect glide path goes awry.

He enlists in March or July 1967. But by August, Mitch has been discharged (honorably) for an eye condition that was treatable in 1967 with steroids. In other words, that was no basis for discharging Mitch. Mitch has been extremely closed-mouthed about the whole thing and his military records are now inaccessible if not destroyed — which only ever means one thing: Mitch is guilty of something. I have no idea whether the following is true but my sense is that were it libelous versus true, DKos would have taken it down. They’re not in the bullshit business. According to a sourced story, there’s a possible explanation for Mitch’s sudden exit from the military — and it has nothing to do with any eye infections. According to the story, Mitch was caught engaged in an act of sodomy and agreed to go away rather than face (what would have been an embarrassing for all) trial. Having political connections — as Mitch did — surely stood up for Mitch — out of corruption not because anyone cared about LGBTQ rights.

Plenty of people helped Mitch rise politically. Not all of them were as corrupt as Mitch — and came to regret backing Mitch later. In the New Yorker, Jane Mayer describes how John David Dyche, a conservative columnist, Louisville lawyer and former Mitch supporter, went from being an active Mitch supporter now sees Mitch’s standing by Donald Trump as proof that Mitch has “no ideology except his own political power”. In other words: corruption. Mitch’s former supporter looked back at Mitch’s political career — especially the part where despite the fact that he despised Trump, he stood by Trump — as proof that Mitch was and is corrupt. Per Mayer, even Mitch’s three daughters can’t stomach their father and his corruption.

Mitch sees Charles Koch (formerly the Koch Brothers) as his lord and master. The Kochs are the most powerful money in American politics. Charles Koch still intends to twist our democracy into something more pleasing to him and his needs — being a purveyor of dirty power and a climate terrorist. Koch thinks his money (which he inherited) makes him smarter than me or you. And Charles Koch thinks rich, white. Christian men should lead and everyone else should follow. The Kochs may be crooks but they aren’t stupid crooks. Charles and David (now just Charles) spent their dirty money wisely — buying pretty much every Republican and just enough Democrats (Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Krysten Sinema of Arizona) to stop Americans from ever getting the government (and government services) they keep voting for.

The Kochs recognized that the only reliable branch of government aside from the Senate (designed, like the Electoral College to empower racism and racists over urbanites and diversity) was the judiciary — the lifetime federal bench in particular and the SCOTUS especially. Control the judiciary, the Kochs realized and one can control the country — perhaps even force it to rewrite laws pushing America toward progressivism. One could even — by jiggering the law just so — cancel Roe v Wade without even actually canceling it.

We don’t know how deeply Russia has its hooks into Mitch McConnell, all we know is that every time Mitch burps, it tastes of stale rubles. We need to explore this with Mitch under oath — Benghazi-style. He needs to explain his relationship with Oleg Deripaska (the man to whom Paul Manafort passed proprietary polling data covering Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, three of which flipped unexpectedly in election 2016, throwing the election to Trump). Deripaska is Russian military intelligence and we KNOW that Russian military intelligence was actively engaged in throwing the 2016 election to Russia. Deripaska was sanctioned by our government for doing that — sanctions that Mitch got lifted so that Deripaska could drop $300 million into an aluminum factory in impoverished western Kentucky. That’s swell for those dirt poor Kentuckians, but awful otherwise for the rest of the country and our democracy.

We need to understand above all why Mitch refused to let We The People in on the Republican Party’s dirty little secret: that Russia wanted Trump to be president and they were actively engaged in making that happen. In September 2016, when Obama called a Gang of Eight meeting (four Democratic Congressional leaders and four republican leaders) to discuss telling America what Russia was doing on Trump’s (and the GOP’s) behalf, Mitch got up on his little treason turtle hind legs and insisted that if Obama did such a thing — told America the truth about Russia and Donald Trump — that he’d accuse Obama of “politicizing the intelligence”. Obama, unfortunately, caved.

I bet that if Obama had that moment to do over? He’d tell Mitch McConnell to go eff himself. But, first, he’d tell Mitch what he thought of Mitch’s corruption. Then he’d call Mitch a traitor.

And, of course, he’d be right.

Here’s a prediction. Some day — soon, I bet — Mitch McConnell’s name will replace Benedict Arnold’s as the epithet Americans use when they want to call someone a “traitor”.

Imagine Hating “The Other” So Much You’d Infect Your Own Children To Prove How Much You Hate

You can’t blame humans for being tribal. We’re social creatures. Tribalism is a survival technique hardwired into our genome. We will more likely thrive if those around us thrive. Or because those around us are thriving. More importantly — from a purely animal point of view — our genome wants our children to thrive in order to carry our personal genes forward. Life doesn’t get any more purposeful than that. In theory then, each and every one of us is programmed to do whatever it takes to give our children the best possible chance to have the best possible future. If the The Weather Channel suddenly forecast localized hellfire from above and recommended staying indoors until the freakish storm cell blew over, pretty much everyone would make damned sure their children weren’t outside playing. That is unless you hated your children.

Or hated someone else so much you’d toss your own kids onto the flames just to keep that hate fed.

That is how much the right wing in America hates everyone else. That’s the white, Christian male part of America plus their camp followers. Make no mistake. This is about a handful of wealthy, white Christian men protecting their political hegemony using the tribal-based fear of their underlings.

In a sense, one can “understand” the Republican Party (now fully exposed for the corrupt treason weasels they are) resorting to The Big Lie to manhandle power back from the People. Every single anti-voting law every single Republican has drafted is one hundred percent about either limiting who can vote or whose votes will be counted. Democracy, alas, poses an existential threat to the Republican Party just as progress poses an existential threat to conservatism. If Republicans could win elections on the strength of their ideas, they’d be doing it. By the same token — if Republicans thought all those impoverished people streaming northward toward our southern border were reliable Republican voters, they’d offer to limo them not only past the customs line but right to an employment office where they’d be handed both a well-paying job and an American passport.

The whole point of gerrymandering is to deny the majority their rightful voice and their rightful choices about public policy. It’s minority rule on the hoof. And the whole point of denying the majority its voice is because you’re afraid of the majority, of what the majority might do. Like, thrive, for instance. The conservative perspective cynically assumes that if someone not of their tribe thrives, as a result, someone of their tribe will fail to thrive as a result. They can’t imagine a tide that lifts all boats. All they can imagine is a tsunami that only their boats can even tolerate. Screw everyone else.

There’s a moment in the film “The Usual Suspects” where — as the legend of Kaiser Soze is being related — we learn just how much of a stone cold criminal he is. Though a rival gang boss held his wife and children hostage, Soze would not bend and used his family’s brutal murder to motivate his even more brutal takedown of the whole rival gang. Screw me? No — screw you, pal. Screw you to death.

The same yahoo’s who can’t abide being told they must wear a mask to enter someone else’s business have never EVER said a word about signs that read —

Perhaps if we retooled those signs this way, they’d shut up —

Those same yahoo’s don’t have a problem when their public schools won’t let their kids matriculate unless their kids are vaccinated against certain highly communicable, very dangerous diseases. They have no problem when the jobs they apply for have certain prerequisites. They have no problem demanding the people they hire have certain prerequisites in their pocket (and in their experience database). Yet, suddenly, when politics come into play, nothing else matters except having their way. Even their own life experience — things they saw and heard — can be denied if the end result isn’t to their liking.

No, January 6 was not in any way, shape or form, some “normal tourist visit”.

To assert that is to actively decide “I will deny reality” because my political ends demand it”. Vaccine denialism is no different. President Biden succeeding at lifting the pandemic’s hold is political poison to the GOP. But, it’s not merely about taking back power for the sake of doing it. The Republicans know that should they NOT take power back — and permanently — the terrible truth about what the Republicans did because Donald Trump and Russia compelled them to will not only get revealed but be the basis for terrible, terrible punishments. The majority of Americans, Republicans rightly fear, will become incredibly angry at them. Angry enough to insist they all get put away in federal prison forever.

Refusal to get vaccinated goes even further down this rabbit hole because it’s not just the Republicans themselves that the Republicans are putting at risk, it’s their own families, their own children. But, that is how deeply Republicans hate and hate the rest of us. They don’t honestly fear the vaccine. They’ve been vaccinated countless times before. They don’t fear getting Covid 19 because they believe in magic and believe magic (that their genome is so superior that pathogens that infect others won’t hurt them) will protect them either from the virus or from the virus visiting its worst upon them.

That “magic” is pure racism.

It would be bad enough if this Republican insanity threatened only their tribe — which, right now, that’s what it’s doing. Republican refusal to mask or get vaccinated is why the pandemic is raging again where the political map is red (or like here in Southern California where lack of any kind of travel restrictions make us a giant collecting pool for who knows how many unvaccinated peoples’ virus loads on top of the viral loads already festering in the red parts of LA County). When Republicans use “science” as the basis for their nonsense, they’re not using science, they’re using the word “science” cynically (in the same way they cynically use the words “election security”).

Republicans are a doomsday cult on a doomsday mission. When they hitched their wagon to Trump, they knowingly hitched their wagon to Russia, too (current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy famously told a roomful of GOP leaders a month before the GOP nominated Trump in 2016 that “There’s two people I think Putin pays — Rohrbacher and Trump, swear to God!”) Around that same time, don’t forget, Mitch McConnell told President Obama at a Gang Of Eight meeting (where Obama wanted them to sign off on his telling America that Russia was actively working to tilt the election to Trump) that if he did that, he, McConnell would insist that Obama was politicizing the intelligence. Get it? The Republicans did NOT want America to know THAT Russia had influence over Trump or HOW MUCH influence Putin had over Trump. Instead, they let a photo do their talking…

It was hard enough imagining that Republicans hated the rest of us so much that they sold us out to Vladimir Putin. It’s even harder to imagine that the Republicans hated us so much that they sold out their children — just to deny the reality the rest of us live in. They really are saying — out loud — “Y’all can love your children enough to keep em alive! We ‘love’ ours so much, we’ll kill em instead of living in a world where YOU have any sort of political power” over them.

That’s a hell of a lot of hate.

The GOP’s Ultimate Goal Is To Avoid Being Prosecuted As Traitors

Stone cold fact: we are in the midst of an undeclared cyber war, launched against us by Russia which, itself, is being aided and abetted by almost the entire Republican Party. Members of the GOP’s hierarchy suspected more than a month before they nominated Donald Trump that he was more than just corrupt, he was treasonously corrupt; they nominated him anyway. Walking into that strategy session, current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said out loud (it was recorded and the recording was heard later by a Washington Post reporter): “There’s two people I think Putin pays, Rohrbacher and Trump!” When that got a few uncomfortable chuckles (as in “Dude — you’re not supposed to say it out loud!”), Kevin doubled down: “Swear to God,” he added. Hindsight tells us it wasn’t just idle banter. Kevin really thought something that made everyone present uncomfortable. Good thing then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan was there to keep them all in line. Their secret would not leave the room. “That’s how we know we’re family,” said Ryan.

This moment matters. Especially in light of the four years that followed. “Putin pays Trump” (never mind Rohrbacher). Yeah, I absolutely buy that — just based on this photo from Norway. Putin OWNS Trump.

We already know from press reporting that Putin had his financial hooks into way more Republicans than just Donald Trump. Putin’s tried to get his hooks into a few Democrats, too. We know that he tried multiple times in multiple ways to compromise Bernie Sanders. Sanders (as far as we know) ultimately responded responsibly; he ended his associations with compromised individuals. The Republicans, on the other hand, have embraced those associations. Putin funneled money to Republicans via the NRA (and his brilliant, talented agent Maria Butina who, all by herself compromised countless Republicans), via Russian retirees living in America (they suddenly found their retirement accounts flooded with cash that they “donated” to Republican candidates, and via other benign-seeming entities who took advantage of Citizens United’s allowance for anonymity and poured money into who knows how many Republican PACS. Mitch McConnell could tell us all about it — under oath.

But for Putin, Trump would never have been president. That is the bottomest line of all. Russia MADE Trump president. Though the Republicans resisted Trump at first (the Steele Dossier exists because of the Republican money that started Fusion GPS on the oppo research that uncovered the likelihood that Trump had used his Atlantic City casinos to launder Russian mob money), when they ultimately did succumb to him, they succumbed willingly. The Kochs (both brothers were alive in 2016) KNEW that their goal to undermine our elections and Russia’s goal to do the same thing dovetailed neatly in Trump’s candidacy. That corruption would make both Russia and the Republican Party happy.

Cyber war IS war. Just because Russia hasn’t formally said “Hey, we’re at cyber war with you!” doesn’t mean they aren’t. Cyber war, by its nature, is quieter than normal “bombs-n-bullets” war. It’s way, way cheaper too. Its asymmetry levels the playing field; even little guys can knock out big guys. Putin uses both official channels (Russia’s various intelligence agencies and secretariats) and unofficial. All those malware attacks coming from Russia? They may not be official Russian government, but the Russian government thinks of them as “theirs”. Their work product is meant to support Putin’s work.

Bill Barr — we already know — deliberately lied to America about the Mueller Report’s conclusions. Team Mueller’s scope was deliberately limited. Acting AG Rod Rosenstein was responsible for that. He also was responsible for telling Team Mueller that the FBI was continuing the counter intelligence investigation into Trump’s relationship with Russia that had begun while Obama was POTUS. The FBI was doing no such thing. They believed that Team Mueller was picking up the counter intel investigation because that’s what Rosenstein told them. No more work on the counter intelligence investigation got done (as far as we know).

Guilty behavior is guilty behavior is guilty behavior. People unafraid of the truth are happy to shine a light on it. Criminals? Not so much. Criminals obstruct justice because it’s in their best interest. They KNOW they’re guilty of a crime but do NOT want to suffer any consequences. The longer they go unpunished, the more brazen they become. A Republican of one kind or another has interfered with We The People getting to the bottom of Trump-Russia from the get-go. That’s not a coincidence. It’s a clue.

I’m old enough to remember when associating the word “treason” with Trump was considered left wing craziness. Hell, I’m old enough to remember when invoking Russia got peoples eyes rolling at you. Or fascism. Remember when calling out Republicans for acting like Nazis was “no-go”? Yet, here we are. The same will go for “treason”. We WILL get there and maybe sooner than the GOP likes. The reason Republicans want no part of any January 6 Truth Commission is because they KNOW what some of that truth will be: that many, MANY Republican Congresspeople (and their staffs) had a hand in planning and executing the insurrection. People inside the White House also worked with the insurrectionists. Journalism professor and news media aggregator Seth Abrahamson has pointed to two meetings on January 5 that make it abundantly clear how deep Trumpian involvement was in the insurrection’s planning. Team Trump was intimately involved. So was Donald Trump himself.

And so was Russia. Hey, considering all the other ways Russia had its hooks set, it would be out of character for them to NOT involve themselves in the planning of an insurrection that — if it succeeded — would absolutely destroy American democracy for good? Of COURSE Russia’s fingerprints are all over January 6. While that’s not what scares the Republicans obstructing the investigations — they take it for granted — spotlighting Russia’s involvement will spotlight the GOP’s complicity in that involvement. Once that nut gets cracked (and it will be), expect the deluge to follow. Trump;s hard core followers won’t care that Trump betrayed the country. THEY are betraying the country. Just like the Kochs and their money, they’ve never been that “into” democracy since democracy’s never really been that in to them.

Our news media spends a lot of its days scratching its head over why Trump is/was so loyal to Putin and why the Republican Party is still so loyal to Trump. If you refuse to look out the window before walking outside, don’t be shocked if you get rained on. The information is out there; all anyone has to do is open their eyes. THEY reported Kevin McCarthy’s assertion about Putin paying Trump (and Rohrbacher) yet THEY seem incapable of taking in their own reporting and aggregating it into the larger narrative. The Republican Party’s treason shouldn’t be “Breaking News”. It’s been breaking the whole time Trump ran for POTUS, was POTUS and now seeks to be “reinstated” as POTUS.

The same goes for the GOP’s staggering corruption.

Our news media keeps telling itself — and its audience — that nothing criminal happened here. Have they cracked a law book to ascertain that or is that just the wind flowing from their asses? Treason is absolutely illegal. So’s conspiracy to commit treason.

“There’s two people I think Putin pays, Rohrbacher and Trump — swear to God!” should have been the end of Donald Trump’s presidential ambitions. In fact, THAT fact, was its starting point. If the treasonous shoe was on the other foot, the Republicans would already be howling for every Democrat’s head — and rightfully so. But then, Democrats aren’t as cynical as Republicans; Democrats are cynical but not the way Republicans are. Democrats are cynical because they fear Republicans always get away with everything — including treason.

That unbroken record ends now. Once We The People fully grasp not just THAT the Republicans are traitors but how many are traitors and how “creatively” they’ve betrayed us, the rage will build until every Republican gets what’s due them. In most cases, the cover up of the crime turns out to be worse than the crime itself. Treason will be the exception. Treason will fuel our rage. The Republicans know this. It truly scares them.

It should.

People Who Can Laugh At Themselves Never Become Bullies

The joke was on Trump at the 2011 WH Correspondent’s Dinner; It’s been on us ever since

Think of a well-known bully: Donald Trump, for instance. While Trump loves being an entertainer and making people laugh, he’d never entertain his followers by making them laugh at him. Trump’s notorious for his inability to laugh at himself or to be the butt of anyone’s joke (as Barack Obama learned when he poked fun at Trump during the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner). Barack Obama, for comparison’s sake, CAN laugh at himself; in fact, he’s as notorious for being able to laugh at himself as Trump is for not being able to. No one considers Barack Obama a bully. That’s not a coincidence. Even a cursory glance at history proves the point. Hitler didn’t get famous as a painter — or as a guy good at telling jokes. Stalin wasn’t known to poke fun at himself. Nor was Pol Pot or Mao or Mussolini or any of North Korea’s ruling Kim family. Had any of them had a sense of humor, they would never have become monsters. Their sense of humor would have kicked in first; they would have laughed so hard at themselves for even thinking such a stupid thing that the idea would have died right there. Having a sense of humor is essential to having a healthy psyche.

When bullies like Trump or Vlad Putin laugh, it’s always AT someone, never with them. Trump savors other peoples’ pain and hardship. Others’ suffering excites him. His niece Mary Trump has personally experienced it.

Think about the ways Trump thinks one “gets” a laugh. He infamously mocked journalist Serge Kovaleski (who he knew and who’d interviewed Trump many times)

Back when Trump was president, occasionally his people would insist that some awful thing Trump said was just him “joking”. That was always especially galling. The press can’t get it through their heads that it’s not up to Trump or any racist whether or not they’re racist; racism is in the eye of the beholder, not the racist. Racists think their racism is justified; that’s why they’re the worst people to ask! Along those lines, allowing a bully to mischaracterize an act of bullying (that got caught) as him just “joking” — that also demands to be called out.

For starters, the evidence says clearly that Donald Trump has zero sense of humor. It goes without saying since he can’t laugh at himself — and if you can’t laugh at yourself, that’s the proof that you have zero sense of humor. As a matter of fact, it was probably Trump’s not having a sense of humor that prodded him over the line to run for president.

Trump hit the ground already compromised by Putin (a fact the entire GOP leadership knew was true — they even discussed it OUT LOUD a month before nominating Trump!) Putin’s another bully with no sense of humor — although Putin’s pretty good at sounding like he’s funny. Like all bullies, Putin and Trump surround themselves with lesser bullies. The world in their heads is all dog eat dog; humans are just different flavors of Alpo. But, what does an alpha bully di tutti bullies do when all the beta bullies suddenly turn on him? Surely the Big Bully can’t be too surprised when the lesser bullies turn on him or simply abandon the sinking ship. That’s what they would do.

Unfortunately for Vlad and Don, in their bully world, bullies who lose power often lose their lives either in the process or in its aftermath. Putin knows this for a fact. Trump’s about to learn that lesson the hard way. Trump would have been far happier had he lived out his days as the ordinary, bankrupt bully he was, a petty tyrant running a mom & pop money laundering & corruption shop. Playing with the big bullies will not end well for Trump. When his actions cause the downfall of all those other bullies? They won’t be happy until they’ve had a moment or two to personally tell Trump just HOW angry they are.

Unlike Putin, Donald Trump WILL face justice. There’s not stopping it now. It’s ludicrous for our news media to think Trump or the GOP has any political future. The FBI’s raid this morning on Rudy Giuliani’s home and office was the beginning of the Big Reveal. While the feds are going after Giuliani because of his relationship with Ukrainians, those Ukrainians are all Putin backers — which means they’re all assets owned outright by Putin. Like all roads, this one too LEADS TO RUSSIA.

Russia is the ultimate punch line here. It’s the payoff to the sick, awful joke that was the Trump presidency. The Trump presidency was the sick, awful culmination of the Republican Wet Dream of permanent minority rule. And what, after all, is the Republican dream of permanent minority rule than the biggest joke of all on the majority?

“The Big Lie” And “The Giant Secret”

We all know what “The Big Lie” is — Donald Trump’s insistence that, despite literally all evidence to the contrary, he “won” the 2020 election. Stop for a second to savor the sheer lunacy of the fact that this is even a question. We have followed a criminal down a rabbit hole of his making by indulging him. Everything about this question — including the fact that I’m even writing here about it — is bullshit on steroids. FFS, Trump did not even win his first election, as we will absolutely learn — take that to the bank and count on getting rich. That’s where “The Giant Secret” comes in. Trump has to insist upon The Big Lie BECAUSE OF The Giant Secret. We know for a fact that the Republican Party’s hierarchy KNEW The Giant Secret at least A MONTH before the GOP nominated Trump to be their standard bearer. As THE WASHINGTON POST put it — “A month before Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination, one of his closest allies in Congress — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy — made a politically explosive assertion in a private conversation on Capitol Hill with his fellow GOP leaders: that Trump could be the beneficiary of payments from Russian President Vladimir Putin.” The assertion? “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump… swear to God!”

The WaPo reported this conversation, having listened to it because it was recorded! As far as I know, not a single journalist has revisited this story to ask anyone who was in that room – with the retrospect we’ve gained in four years – what exactly current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy meant by “I think Putin pays Rohrbacher and Trump… swear to God!” What made Kevin think such a thing — that Putin was paying Rohrbacher and Trump? Wouldn’t that be interesting to know? Even more interesting to know? Why NO ONE IN THE ROOM freaked out. Not a single person — according to the report — questioned Kevin’s outrageous assertion including then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan. Ryan, at the time, was one of the most powerful members of his party. Another important leader had just said — out loud — that their likely nominee for POTUS was financially compromised by a hostile foreign government — a government their very party had spent decades screaming about!

Instead, Paul Ryan made sure that everyone in the room — who’d heard this — would keep it “within the room”. “No leaks,” the Speaker Of The House told his fellow travelers, “This is how we know we’re a real family here.” A real “family”? Like an organized crime family?

Those same Republican leaders knew what Trump’s hiring Paul Manafort to run his campaign meant. They all knew Manafort’s resume. They knew who Manafort’s friends and associates were (including Roger Stone — a former business partner). They knew his relationship with Russia and with pro-Russian Ukranians because they were all on Paul’s resume! No one had a delusion about who Paul Manafort really worked for. They just didn’t want to know about it. Plenty of Republicans, it turns out, ALSO had relationships with Russia they preferred the rest of us not know about. Plenty had taken money from Russia through quasi legal means (into various PACS so as to distance candidate from illegal contribution). The NRA, we’ve learned, was deeply penetrated by Russian influence — a lot of it in the person of intelligence agent par excellence Maria Butina.

Manafort, as we’ve known for years, handed proprietary polling data (about Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota) to Konstantin Kilimnik which landed with Oleg Deripaska, Manafort’s former client (to whom Manafort owed $17 million!). Deripaska, like Kilimnik, was a Russian Military Intelligence agent. They turned that polling data (Paul handing it to the Russians was illegal) into weaponized Facebook ads that showed up on the pages of Black voters in PA, WI and MI, blue states where the polling had slipped to within the margin or error because of the Comey Letter. Additional voter suppression — via these Facebook ads — reduced Black voter turnout in those three states. That (and here, for the moment, I’m speculating) made spiking the Republican vote tallies (easily done through a line or two of computer code delivered via the internet to every ES&S electronic voting machine or tabulator whose back doors ES&S refused to shut. If, say, such malicious code told these ES&S machines (ES&S is the largest maker of electronic voting machines in America) to “for every ten republican votes add one”, Trump and the Republicans could have padded their numbers by just enough to “eek out” the victories they seem to have eeked out in PA, MI & WI.

Trump’s total winning margin for those three blue states was 77,000 votes!

If you don’t think that stinks, you’re probably a Republican.

From the get-go, Trump’s Justice Department went into overdrive to protect The Big Secret. They did everything they could to narrow the scope of Robert Mueller’s investigation then, it turns out, they (acting AG Rod Rosenstein) killed the counter intelligence investigation into The Big Secret that Trump’s campaign had broad ties to Russia. That Trump himself was… how did Kevin McCarthy put it? Being paid by Putin?

“See something, SAY something”. That’s how we’re all supposed to respond to hearing about someone else’s illegal behavior. Hear about criminals, report the bastards! No one in that roomful of Republican leaders called the FBI. Hell, they all VOTED FOR the man they KNEW was owned by Russia. They told the rest of the country to do the same thing. See something, SAY something? Not like that!

Our news media continues to scratch its head at the question: why, oh why, is Trump so tied at the hip to Putin? ASK THE REPUBLICAN PARTY — they know the answer to the question! Why, oh why, they wonder, are the Republicans still so devoted to Trump. Yes, yes — there’s racism in the mix. But that’s not what’s driving the criminal behavior. We ARE talking about TREASON here. And treason still carries the death penalty. The traitors in question KNOW what they’ve done. They KNOW what it will cost them — cost their families — should they get caught, prosecuted and punished. The rule of law stands completely against them. That’s why the GOP is doing everything it can to undermine the rule of law.

The Republican Party leadership knows the end is nigh. Mitch McConnell knows his time in the barrel is coming. Mitch also has a problematic relationship with Oleg Deripaska. Mitch personally interceded to get the sanctions we’d put on Deripaska lifted so Deripaska could stick a $300 million Russian aluminum factory in poverty-stricken Western Kentucky. Those sanctions, remember, were applied to Deripaska because he took that proprietary polling data from Paul Manafort. Talk about a vicious circle…

Mitch also, don’t forget, refused to let We The People in on The Big Secret when President Obama wanted to let us in — in September 2016 — TWO MONTHS before the 2016 election. Obama had called a Gang of Eight meeting because the intelligence community wanted to inform Congress (so they could inform US) that they had good, rock solid info that said Russia was actively engaged on multiple fronts to try and make Donald Trump president. Instead of allowing Obama to tell us what we NEEDED TO KNOW, Moscow Mitch got up on his Treason Turtle hind legs and insisted that if Obama tried to inform us of the truth, that HE would insist that Obama was “politicizing the intelligence”. Perhaps being overly sensitive to what was actually BLACKMAIL, Obama acquiesced and agreed to make a far less damning, LESS TRUTHFUL statement.

We The People remained in the dark about the cyber attack we were already under. Because the co-conspirators in this massive crime insisted.

“That’s how we know we’re family.”

There’s something even bigger behind The Giant Secret that terrifies the GOP. It’s what will happen AFTER We The People learn The Giant Secret. First, the Republicans fear for their own asses — as they absolutely should. They’ve all committed treason! But, strangely, they also fear for the large cause they’ve all committed to: destroying our democracy and installing a state of permanent minority rule that vaguely “looks like” a “democracy” while it’s really an authoritarian shithole. The Republicans have been marching in lockstep to try and make this happen, Republicans being really, really good at marching in lockstep (being authoritarians).

The Even Gianter Secret that terrifies every Republican is the knowledge that the 2016 election “victory” was fraudulent. But for Russia, Donald Trump would NOT have “won” the presidency and an awful lot of Republicans would not have “won” either. That cannot stand. Russia cannot make someone POTUS and if they do? That POTUS is — as Trump kept telling us he was — “illegitimate”. If Trump’s victory was illegitimate than the authority to govern us that flows from winning elections freely and fairly never, in fact, flowed to him. You cannot get our authority under false pretenses like, say, you’re doing it at the behest of a hostile foreign enemy engaged in cyber war against us. That is strictly verboten.

And a presidency “won” that way is not a “presidency”.

The RW money (the Kochs, the Mercers) are counting on keeping what they stole — the judiciary, those three SCOTUS seats especially. Gorsuch’s seat belonged to Merrick Garland. Kavanaugh’s seat was achieved via perjury during Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings (and that cannot stand!) Barret’s seat — formerly RBG’s — was stolen from Joe Biden and Kamala Harris — from We The People yet again. This was the whole point of the exercise. The GOP is hoping, praying, that their stolen SCOTUS seats will yet save them.

Here’s hoping prosecution of their crimes prevents that from happening. Oh, the irony… if Merrick Garland was sitting on the Supreme Court, he would not today be the newly confirmed Attorney General. The nation’s top law officer is an honest man who’s committed to making the rule of law a “thing” again. The “thing” about the rule of law? As AG Garland knows, you can’t kind of do it, you have to completely do it. And if applying the rule of law equally (for once!) means you do not cut ANYONE slack, then AG Garland will be obligated to not only pull every single Republican corruption thread, he’ll be obligated to pull those threads until the entire corrupt Republican sweater falls apart — which it absolutely, positively will.

White collar criminals may talk tough but they’re all soft white underbelly. They have everything to lose — and, as the cost of their criminality suddenly crashes down on them, each and every Republican co-conspirator will realize just how expensive this is going to get — and the evidence is going to bury them. The cost of defending themselves will threaten to bankrupt every Republican for a generation. They won’t want that to happen and will begin to cut deals — as the January 6 insurrectionists are starting to.

What will We The People do once WE know the Giant Secret? Will we let the Republicans keep their toys? I, for one, say no effin’ way! If a guy steals my car, he doesn’t get to keep after we catch him. He has to “give it back”. It doesn’t belong to him and never did. The same goes for what Trump and the GOP stole — the correct OUTCOME of the election — the officials we actually elected crafting the legislation we voted for and nominating the kinds of judges WE approve of. That’s the product of our Will — what the will of the majority should have resulted in. We got something else entirely and that cannot stand.

Every single judge Trump appointed must be tossed. Trump never had the authority to nominate them. That authority actually belonged to Hillary Clinton, the election’s actual winner. We may not be able to go back in time and make HRC president, but that doesn’t mean we have to accept what Trump did — and allow him to keep what he deliberately and with malice aforethought perpetrated against us.