“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…

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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…

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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

Playing Fields Can’t Level Themselves

The whole notion of “The American Dream” rests on the foundational idea that, in America, provided you’re willing to work your ass off, anyone (from anywhere) can make themselves and their future into whatever they want it to be. American exceptionalism flows from the fact that people from every other country on earth aspire (still) to get to America because of that tantalizing possibility. Then those same people — having achieved some part of their dream — invariably pay America back with not only their hard work but the products of that work — whether food, health care services or just great ideas. Immigration has always been essential to America’s exceptionalism. But, some Americans don’t want just anyone to achieve the American Dream. Because economic success converts into political power, white people have worked hard — via racist legislation, voter suppression tactics and outright violence — to take any and all Black wealth before it can accumulate thereby denying them even the chance to walk onto the American playing field and play. The “playing field” in America has NEVER been level. How could it be when “All men are created equal” actually means some MEN are created equal and everyone else who isn’t white, male and Christian can go screw themselves?

White people love a level playing field when it’s been leveled for their benefit. White conservatism’s goal is to keep the playing field from ever being level. That’s what conservatism wants to “conserve” — how it was back when the playing field was at maximum tilt toward them. It’s not just advantage that succumbs to gravity — so, too, does all the money. It rolls straight downhill. Conservatives don’t want to chase it as it rolls, they want to be waiting for it at the bottom. That’s the Republican Party’s stated goal. It’s their clear intention with every anti-voting bill they shotgun at the wall in fear of what 2022 will bring. Not only did we not start with a level playing field here in America, one of our two political parties is actively engaged in doing everything in its power (including commit treason) to keep the playing field as it is — not just “unleveled” but violently unleveled. The whole point of Trumpism — which is really just Republicanism on steroids & powdered Adderall — is permanent minority rule. In other words, a playing field that can never be leveled ever againby design.

Accountability levels playing fields. That’s why Republicans don’t want it.

Fairness levels playing fields. Competition — real competition — levels playing fields. That’s really, what conservatives most want to avoid: competition. Especially in the marketplace of ideas since their idea — taking America back to the past — won’t sell to anyone else but conservatives, racists and Trumpanistas. If Republicans thought they could sell their ideas, they’d sell them. Republicans after all excel at marketing. “Trickle down economics” is pure marketing. It’s bullshit, too. “Mission Accomplished” was marketing and nothing but. Remember “Compassionate conservatism”? Hurts just to think the words together, doesn’t it? That was marketing at its most diabolically cynical.

Republicans arrive at the stadium knowing their only path to “victory” is through cheating so, first, they set about hobbling Team Democrat’s ability to assemble and suit up their team via voter suppression tactics (a thing both sides absolutely DON’T do — Democrats don’t even think of suppressing Republican voters). Then, the Republicans work the refs hard. They commit every foul in the book, deny they did anything, but assure the refs that the Democrats were doing it. They assure the refs that their flagrant twos to the head are the same as the Democrats accidentally stepping out of bounds while taking a corner three. See? Both sides “break the rules”! And our news media nods its head — yeah, both things are “outside the rules” so “both sides do it”. But, remember, the playing field was un-leveled when everyone stepped onto it. It was especially un-leveled this time because Russia was sitting at one end — waiting for America to finish tumbling into Russia’s open maw.

We’re sitting, today, in the “float” between Trump’s perverted Department of Justice and the refurbished, rejuvenated and returned-to-its-core-principles Department of Justice that Merrick Garland will helm once he’s confirmed by the Senate — a process that starts tomorrow. The DoJ has already begun finding its equilibrium again as the lifers who hung on by their fingernails during the Trump-Sessions-Rosenstein-Barr years step forward, asserting normalcy as they formally await new leadership to clock in. Garland has already stated publicly that he will prosecute white supremacy as terrorism. That, all by itself, is a game changer. But, it’s what happens as Garland’s DoJ pulls those white supremacy threads that will undo the entire, corrupt, treasonous Republican Christmas sweater.

The January 6 Insurrection dot connects to the white supremacy dot. The white supremacy dot connects to the Roger Stone and Mike Flynn dots which connect to the Donald Trump dot. But, the pandemic dot ALSO will connect to the Insurrection dot (I betcha they wondered aloud in the Trump WH — which someone will testify to under oath) if it would make it easier to roll America via insurrection if America was weakened by a non-existent pandemic response. We already know Russia had an interest in keeping America weak. The Russia dot, we’ll learn — after Merrick Garland’s DoJ resurrects the counter-intelligence investigation into Trump’s relationship with Russia that Rod Rosenstein quashed — connects, one way or another, to pretty much everything.

If we want this playing field leveled, we’re going to have to level it ourselves. We’re going to have to remain vigilant once it’s as close to leveled as we can get it (keeping in mind there will always be resistance) by electing people committed to getting the playing field leveled. Every attempt to un-level the field — as the Republicans are doing all over America with a raft of new anti-voting laws — needs to be met with not merely resistance but rage focused back on them with white hot, laser-like intensity.

The bottom line is so simple: the fairer the game, the better the outcome for all and the more Americans “win”.

The Senate — With Its Weird Rules — Was The WRONG Place To “Try” Donald Trump; A 9-11 Style “Truth Commission” Will Be More Satisfying & Productive

Politics and Justice don’t play nicely together. Politics rarely plays by “the rules”. Justice, on the other hand, is a kind of “prisoner” of them. For a moment, we told ourselves yesterday, when it appeared the House Managers would call witnesses before Donald Trump’s Senate trial, that the Truth would, at long, long last, have its day in court. Then, after negotiations with the Senate and Trump’s defense, the House Managers backed off that call. They entered Jaimie Herrera Beutler’s statement — relating GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy’s desperate call to Trump to stop the riot — into the record and let it stand there. In that moment, it certainly felt like, again, Democrats were letting Republicans get away with their corruption. That wasn’t what happened. We need to appreciate the perspective the House Managers had when they sought witnesses (it was their right to demand so they demanded it) and when they chose NOT to actually call any. Perspective is the thing we’ve lost sight of over the last four years. Perspective says that what the House Managers did yesterday was as spot on as pretty much everything else they did.

Trust them, America. TRUST THEM. Trump’s Senate trial was entirely POLITICAL. That’s a vital distinction. Being a political process, Truth was not the goal; appearances — THAT was the goal for Republicans. The appearance of loyalty to Donald Trump. The fact that Trump’s defense could spew so many blatant lies on the Senate floor with zero fear of repercussions speaks volumes. For starters, even when you’re certain you know what a witness will say on the stand — under oath — you cannot control it one hundred percent. The recorded, written statement will not change. For the moment, that sufficed. Appearances and politics were satisfied. But not Justice — because Justice doesn’t live in the Senate. It never has, never will and wasn’t going to start yesterday.

Keep this in mind: the Democrats in the Senate represent 45 million more Americans than the Republicans in the Senate do. The Senate is a variation on the Electoral College theme — where white men get over-represented and everyone else gets under-represented. Ask yourself — why are there TWO Dakotas? Is it because there were way too many Dakotans for ONE Dakota? Or is it because TWO Dakotas adds TWO conservative, white, Christian Senators to the mix. Between the TWO Dakotas there aren’t two million people. 1.7 million Dakotans (North & South) have 4 Senators to represent them. Here in California just south of 40 MILLION AMERICANS get just 2 Senators. See how that gives way more political power to rural Dakotans and their desires over literally every single Angeleno? That’s not a level playing field — and it’s by design. It’s also why it’s essential that we make DC, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands ALL separate states with two senators each and the right to vote for president.

The Electoral College is slavery voting in our elections. The filibuster is slavery interfering with the Congress actually governing America.

Had the House Managers gone down the “witnesses” road, the Senate trial would have gone into a period of recess while the process to interview witnesses began. While the truth would have gotten out into the public record, it would have taken a while to get there — and the Republicans would have used the time to take every bit of wind from the Democrats’ sails, add to the chaos, spew more lies and all without ever opening their minds. The Senate remains a minefield — too unpredictable, too political.

A better idea — and this was the House Managers’ thinking: don’t do this “here”, form a 9-11 style “Truth Commission” give it ample power and oversight. Having a functional Department of Justice with Merrick Garland at its helm will help make it happen. And — an important distinction — while the newly formed and empowered Truth Commission is doing its work, Merrick Garland also will be doing what We The People are paying him to do — seek, prosecute and deliver JUSTICE. Ignore Garland’s well-known moderation. He’s a prosecutor. All we want from AG Garland is for him to FOLLOW the rule of law and FOLLOW the Constitution. If he does that? The Republicans and Donald Trump are screwed.

Even if he sucked as a prosecutor, once Garland pulled the first Republican corruption thread he saw, Republican corruption is so massive, so pervasive, so unavoidable that Garland couldn’t help stumbling over it. We have to stop thinking that four years of Trumpian Justice are “justice”. They aren’t — and bet the ranch that all those dedicated DoJ-ers who hung on for dear life while Jeff Sessions, Rod Rosenstein and Bill Barr ran the department are just aching to set their ship aright. That will mean cleaning house of Trumpian corruption both within their department and everywhere they find it.

The State of Georgia is going to prosecute Trump for election fraud. The SDNY is going to prosecute Trump for HIS role in the same case that sent Michael Cohen to prison. All they have to do there is flip Trump’s status from “POTUS” to “Former-POTUS” and indict away. He’s already on their books as “Unindicted co-conspirator #1”. Then there’s E. Jean Carroll’s civil suit. And all the other civil suits about to rain down on Trump, his company, his former charity, his everything.

And, hey — remember that counter-intelligence investigation we all thought was happening? The one Rod Rosenstein told Team Mueller the FBI was doing but also told the FBI that Team Mueller was doing but that, in reality, NO ONE WAS DOING? That’s back on the menu — and that is the bottomest line there is here. Russia. Russia, Russia, RUSSIA.

It all comes down to Russia. “But for Trump”, there wouldn’t have been an insurrection. “But for RUSSIA”, Donald Trump would NEVER have become POTUS.

Deep breath, everyone. Now, take another. And another. Let go of your cynicism — it’s not serving you. Instead, embrace skepticism. Embrace perspective. Embrace Justice — REAL Justice, not the kind of “justice” the US Senate can “deliver”. Until we use REAL Justice to clean every bit of Republican corruption from the Senate, any trial’s a show trial.

Patience is always a virtue. Just a teensy bit more patience on our part and that virtue will begin to feel deeply satisfying too.

You Say “To-May-To”, I Say “To-Mah-To”; You Say “Republican”, I Say “Criminal”

Actually, no matter which way you “pronounce” their names, Republicans are criminals. They’re racists, too. And anti-Semites. And misogynists. They’re corrupt — almost every one of them. And, bottom line, traitors. Even if each Republican in question isn’t 100% corrupt or 100% anti-Semitic (they like Jews roughly 30% of the time, when a Jew is doing their taxes or defending them in court), the fact that they stand with anti-Semites (guys who wear “Camp Auschwitz” t-shirts) MAKES them just as anti-Semitic. Hate spreads like cooties. We have to assume, being a hater, you refused to socially distance yourself and won’t wear a mask. It’s a pretty safe bet you’ve caught the whole suite of diseases. The Republican Party’s leadership knew even before they NOMINATED Donald Trump as their presidential candidate that he was CORRUPT — owned outright by Russia.

“There’s two people I think Putin pays, Rohrbacher and Trump… swear to God!” said current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy upon entering a meeting of the Republican leadership a month before their 2016 convention. A discussion broke out. No one said “What? Kevin — dude, are ya SURE about this?” No one said “Whoa — that’s a problem! Somebody, quick — get the FBI on the phone — it’s our patriotic duty!” No, instead, then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan corralled the troops. They were going to keep their KNOWLEDGE (even their suspicions) to themselves. “That’s how we know we’re family”, said Paul Ryan.

For the life of me, I can’t understand why Kevin McCarthy and Paul Ryan aren’t hounded by that question — WHY DIDN’T ANYONE CALL THE FBI? Considering how impactful Russia’s been in retrospect? It seems like a question that needs answering. Why was it acceptable to them that Trump (and Rohrbacher) were being paid by a hostile foreign power? What was acceptable about even chancing it that a man compromised by Russian intelligence might win the presidency? At that moment, the GOP should have dug in its heels and said “STOP!”

The second that happened, the Republican Party crossed the line from being a legitimate political party to being criminals — traitors who themselves were already compromised by the same hostile foreign power. See something, SAY SOMETHING, see something, say nothing? WHY? Why say nothing? Who are you protecting with your silence? One does not have to be an active participant in the crime in question for the law to see you as a co-conspirator in it. Your silence — if you even suspected what the criminals were up to — damns you. WHY DIDN’T YOU SPEAK UP? There are no “good” reasons.

Even Lindsey Graham understood what would happen if the Republican Party continued down the road of making Trump their nominee: “I think he’s a kook“, said Lindsey, and “If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed… and we will deserve it.” Yeah, Lindsey — you WILL deserve it. The thing that terrifies Republicans more than anything right now is the idea of Merrick Garland finally punching the clock at the Department of Justice. That’s the “newly refurbished” DoJ (the one no longer functioning as a corrupt gangster president’s consigliere). Garland’s DoJ will rededicate itself to Justice. As Joe Biden has correctly insisted, whether or not the DoJ goes after Trump — or anyone — isn’t up to him. It’s a function of whether or not they might have broken the law. If they did? They now have a legal problem.

As all Trump’s insurrectionists are learning the hard way, defending yourself against federal charges is a very expensive proposition. Those billable hours cost a bomb — and there’s going to be a kajillion of them. I sure hope all those insurrectionists are independently wealthy. This could bankrupt their families for a generation otherwise. The GOP also is beginning to learn the cost of being pro seditionist. It’s really bad for business. America’s economy is a consumer economy. We rely on consumers buying our goods and services. But, when Americans don’t like your politics, they can be motivated to stop buying your products. The reason Bill O’Reilly no longer has a show on Fox’s air is because Fox News was told by its advertisers that women — who make most of the big buying decisions in American households these days — would not buy products that advertised with O’Reilly because they felt O’Reilly was a sexist pig. Even though, at the time, Bill O was Fox News’ biggest cash cow, they sacrificed him.

The Republican Party has lost most of its big corporate sponsors. Ford and Coca Cola don’t want to co-brand with sedition. A political party that refuses to acknowledge the peaceful transfer of power presents a problem to corporate money — that’s why they’ve suspended donating to the GOP (in some cases until the party stops insisting that Trump’s “2020 victory” was “stolen from him” Just wait till Merrick Garland’s DoJ begins exposing how Trump’s 2016 victory also was stolen — from Hillary Clinton and from We The People. The election result we voted for is not the result we got because Russia literally HANDED TRUMP the win. We The People are crime victims here. Our will has been denied. It was OUR RESULT that got “stolen”.

“There’s two people I think Putin pays” said Kevin.

Hmmmmmmmm… On second thought, you say “Republican”, I say “traitor”.

“But For” Donald Trump, There’s No Insurrection; “But For” Russia, Trump Is Never POTUS

The genius of the House Manager’s artfully crafted argument for Trump’s conviction in the Senate is its utter simplicity: “But for Donald Trump, there is no insurrection”. Take Trump out of the equation and the insurrection never happens. Cause and effect. Its Truth is undeniable. The same goes for the fact that Trump ever got to be POTUS in the first place. That’s the Big Reveal yet to land on us. “But for” Russia’s direct involvement, Trump would NEVER have been President of the United States. Let’s be clear: Trump did not ‘win” the presidency. One cannot “cheat” and “win legitimately”. On can “cheat” and win “illegitimately” but those aren’t the same thing — and we need to be crystal clear on that fact: winning via illegal means (and winning via treason is absolutely illegal!) does not and cannot ever be the same thing as “winning legitimately”. In fact, why don’t we stop calling it a “win” and call it what it is: a crime.

Take Russia out of the Trump equation — take its money out of his pocket — and Trump does not (CANNOT!) win the presidency. Take Russia out of Trump’s failing Atlantic City casinos and his casinos go down the toilet. Take the tens of millions that Russia funneled to Trump via Deutschebank — the ONLY BANK STILL WILLING TO LEND TRUMP MONEY — our of Trump’s pocket and his real estate empire crashes and burns. Russia has used real estate to launder money it’s been feeding to Trump all along. You don’t get to be or stay an oligarch in Russia without Vlad Putin’s blessing. He’s far less a “head of state” than he is a literal crime boss. Every time an oligarch gives Trump money, he’s not doing it for himself.

Every Russian condo purchase in a Trump building no matter where in the world is money being laundered. Trump gets his cut and the oligarch gets a little richer. Hey, remember that crazy Russian real estate purchase in Florida — where the “crazy Russian” paid $95 million bucks in 2008 for a house Trump purchased at auction in 2005 for $41 million? That Russian must have been crazy to pay a $54 million premium for a house, right? I mean — who does that? Ummmmmmmmm… international criminals maybe?

The Republican Party KNEW from the get-go that Trump was OWNED by Russia. They said so — out loud — to themselves — in a meeting that was recorded and then reported on by the news media. A MONTH before the GOP nominated Trump to be their presidential candidate, current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy walked into a Republican leadership meeting and said “There’s two people I think Putin pays, Rohrbacher and Trump… swear to God!” Did anyone in the room — in GOP leadership — question the accusation’s veracity? NO! They understood that, yeah — Putin WAS paying Rohrbacher and Trump. They understood it, some of them, because they, too were being PAID BY RUSSIA. They’d been taking Russian money into their campaign coffers forever. In the end, then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan, spoke for the Republican Party when he got everyone to agree: they’d know they were “family” if everyone kept this terrible secret “In the family”.

Donald Trump could be one of the worst negotiators ever in the whole history of negotiation. He’s all tells. He’s been telling US since the beginning how corrupt he is. How tied to Russia he is. How much of a traitor he is. Maya Angelou would be ashamed of us. How loudly does Trump have to tell us who he is before we’ll listen to him?

Trump’s Senate trial is a political process, not a criminal process. The Republicans in the Senate aren’t so much Trump’s jury as Trump’s co-conspirators (which is odd since they were also Trump’s potential victims, too). As Trump’s own lawyer, Bruce Castor suggested, when the political trial ends perhaps a criminal trial should begin. That suggestion must have horrified the majority of Republicans sitting in the chamber. But then, so does the idea of Merrick Garland hanging out his shingle as AG. There’s a reason Mitch McConnell has slow-walked Garland’s hearing (can Mitch actually look Garland in the eye considering how criminally abusive Mitch has been toward Garland?) For four years, under L’il Jeff Sessions, Rod Rosenstein and Bill Barr, the Department of Justice served as Trump’s consigliere, enabling rather than prosecuting Trump’s various crimes. All that criminal activity is about to get exposed. And, remember the counter-intelligence investigation into Trump’s relationship with Russia — the one Rod Rosenstein told Team Mueller the FBI was handling and told the FBI that Team Mueller was handling while, in reality, no one was handling it (by design) and it died? Yeah, well — if that’s not back on the books and chugging forward already, it WILL BE.

Take this to the bank: when a rejuvenated Department of Justice under Merrick Garland begins issuing subpoenas with teeth and puts certain Republicans under oath and questioning them about THEIR strange relationships with Russia, the ground will shift beneath our feet. A whole lot of Republican Congresspeople will suddenly have to lawyer up. They’ll grow less concerned with legislating and doing their jobs than staying out of prison forever. Guys like Kevin McCarthy and Paul Ryan will finally have to explain WHY neither of them — or anyone else in that room — called the FBI after learning that someone IN THEIR LEADERSHIP feared that Donald Trump was corrupt and, likely, a TRAITOR. Guys like Senators Ron Johnson and John Kennedy of Louisiana will have to explain WHY they chose to have dinner IN MOSCOW July 4, 2018 instead of here in America. Lindsey Graham will have to answer for his amazing change of “heart” from “Trump’s a kook!” and “If we make him our nominee then we deserve to be destroyed as a party” to “I will go down with the Donald Trump ship and nothing anyone can do will stop me”. Mitch McConnell will have to explain his relationship with Oleg Deripaska — the oligarch SANCTIONED for his part in skewing the 2016 election to Trump (he received the proprietary polling data from Paul Manafort that Russian military intelligence repurposed into weaponized Facebook ads placed on the pages of Black voters in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan meant to suppress their votes by convincing then that Hilary Clinton was a closet racist). Mitch got those sanctions LIFTED so that Oleg could put a $300 million aluminum factory in western Kentucky. There are a thousand reasons why that was a terrible, TERRIBLE idea regardless of Trump.

All roads will lead to Russia. Okay, maybe a few will lead to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Israel and Turkey. But only Russia really owns Trump. I bet that’s how Putin feels about Donald. Others may own a piece of Trump, but Putin owns his “soul”.

And always, ALWAYS has.

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.

Dear Donald Trump: How Was The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life?

Yesterday felt like we finally got over the worst bout of food poisoning imaginable. We knew the moment America “swallowed” Trumpism that Trump would put every single one of our systems through hell. I know I wasn’t alone in literally weeping with joy as I watched Joe and Kamala be sworn in, watched Lady Gaga and Garth Brooks both tear it up, watched Amanda Gorman speak a poem that seemed to drill right into our souls. Damn, what Ms. Gorman recited was incredible — it was like a warm, burbling stream that you could step into at any point and instantly feel what she was thinking about. All day, our collective reaction to Donald Trump exiting stage right felt like a dark cloud lifting.

Trump exited the building as gracelessly as he entered it. Shocking, right? Just to go the eff away, he needed pomp and circumstance. He needed every last bit of smoke he could generate from the wreckage he’d left behind blown up his bloated orange ass. I wish we had delivered Trump directly TO Mar a Lago yesterday — from 35,000 feet sans parachute. Perhaps, as the indictments start to appear at his front door, demanding attention, Trump will start to feel like he’s falling from 35,000 feet with no way to stop it.

Pariah-hood for Trump is a good beginning. It’s what he’s deserved his whole life. It will sting way more now because, at his age, he’s completely incapable of adapting or finding other alternative ways to keep it cash flowed. The adoration of money is what Trump has instead of feelings. Threaten his money, you threaten his feelings. Stomp on his wallet, you’ve wounded his heart.

Freeze Donald Trump’s bank account — you’ve pulled the plug on his existence. Without money, Trump can’t keep justice at bay. If justice comes calling — like a wolf at Trump’s door — Trump will have no way to stop it from devouring him and his whole family. Never mind Trump surviving years of being a federal prisoner (or a state prisoner if that happens first). Trump may not get through one night in detention without every physical ailment his diet and lifestyle have exacerbated suddenly becoming an existential emergency. Of course Trump fears going to jail. Who doesn’t?

But, for Trump, it means the literal end. Contemplating prison is contemplating mortality. As he flew home on Air Force One, his empire of bullshit collapsing around him, Trump knew he’d be landing as much in hot water as in Florida.

I bet the SDNY is already moving to convert Donald Trump from his status as the “unindicted co-conspirator” known as “individual 1” in Michael Cohen’s felony election fraud conviction to a fully INDICTED co-conspirator. The only thing ever standing between Trump and that indictment was time — and Trump losing the election — and therefore losing the “immunity” from prosecution he benefited from (though he should never have benefitted from it). Trump is about to meet the E. Jean Carroll buzz saw head on — and that will be even uglier for Trump.

The last 36 hours of Trump’s presidency was increasingly bizarre because so many forces were actively at work. The big overhanging question — aside from who-all would Trump pardon before leaving — remains “will the Senate convict Trump?” Trump needs the Senate to NOT convict him — desperately. If the Senate were to convict Trump (making him the first POTUS ever 1) to be impeached twice and 2) first POTUS ever to be impeached AND convicted), they’d move on to the next question they’re obligated to ask: “shall this person to be allowed to run for public office again EVER?” For Trump, THAT’S the danger inherent in being convicted by the Senate.

Trump doesn’t want anyone asking that question about him because if they’re asking, the answer’s going to be “no”. Trump can never run for public office ever again. That will mean Trump can’t raise campaign cash to theoretically use for getting elected (but that he’d actually use to cash flow his life or pay his legal bills). With the Trump brand’s collapse — caused partly by the pandemic and partly because who wants to give money to a traitor — he can’t rely on the hospitality business to keep him afloat.

Trump’s in desperate financial straits. His presidency has now completely and utterly destroyed his brand. The Trump name is synonymous with corruption, sedition and (soon enough) treason. Think Coca Cola wants to co-brand with that? That’s what would happen if they gave a traitor campaign cash. It’d be “Hey, drink Coca Cola! It’s the official cola of traitors everywhere!” Think Ford wants its trucks to be how “seditionists sedition”? Only traitors want to be a traitor’s pal — or the co-conspirator who keeps stuffing cash in the traitor’s pocket.

Treason, as most Fortune 500 companies will tell you, is terrible for business.

With his properties losing value and huge, balloon payments on ridiculous loans coming due, Trump’s somewhere north of $400 million in the hole. He owes — in total — north of a billion. And Deutschebank, one of his main financial bitches, just told him “Enough!” They don’t want to be in business with him anymore either. With other money sources drying up or, like Sheldon Adlestein, actually dying, Trump needs the sucker bait factory that a having Political Action Committee (a PAC) legally permits the way a vampire needs a fresh blood supply.

Donald Trump’s election sent this country into a psychological tailspin unequaled in history. I betcha that will be duly noted in history books — how, in the aftermath of November 2016, a significant portion of America sought intense therapy to deal with the trauma they felt. Trumpism was bad for plenty of Americans, but it was awfully good for the psychotherapy business. Considering how long the PTSD is likely to last, therapy should continue to be growth industry for quite a while longer.

Though LOSING the election by a lot, Trump has still reaped a whopping $210 million in cash by bamboozling people into thinking some kind of “fight” still remained to be fought. Trump sees re-election the way he saw election in the first place — as a cash cow for him to use up and then plow into with his golf cart, killing it. IT’S ALWAYS ABOUT THE MONEY! Take that to the bank and get richer than rich.

What America needs — what it yearns for — is justice. Donald Trump assaulted us (like the rapist he is). That can’t go unmarked or unpunished. As a victim of sexual assault who’s on the mend, let me assure you — until you 1) admit something was done to you, 2) that it’s not your fault, and 3) that the person who did this is a bad person for doing this to you, you can’t 4) start to heal. There is right, there is wrong. We need both to acknowledge these things and we need to acknowledge that we’re acknowledging it.

Trump didn’t just violate the law with impunity, he violated our sense of decency. While he unintentionally exposed some terrible truths about who America really is, Trump wanted to exploit those terrible truths and ride them to a state of permanent minority rule. Too bad democracy got in his way.

Merrick Garland will both revert Justice back to how it was when Obama was POTUS and make it even better at carrying out its mission. Trumpian corruption is like the ugliest Christmas sweater ever knit by human hands. It’s also badly made. Pull one of the many threads hanging off it and the whole rotten garment will instantly fall apart.

Just like Donald Trump’s life is about to.

Yesterday was a terrible, terrible day for Trump. Today will be even worse and tomorrow will make today look like a picnic.

E. Jean Carroll’s success against Trump will create a cottage industry. Once it’s safe to go after Trump — his NDA’s now being toothless because they covered criminal activity — I bet most of the women we know about and plenty that we’ve never heard of will seek justice and satisfaction from Trump.

Charges of tax fraud and insurance fraud will land on Trump. His taxes will finally see the sunlight. His adult children will find themselves in deeper shit than they ever imagined shit could be piled. We don’t think Trump pardoned himself or his adult children but that doesn’t mean he didn’t. It would have cost Trump nothing to do a silent pardon for himself and his family. That is a possibility and it’s completely legal — these will only ever come to light if Trump or his family are charged with something. That’s when they’d have to pull their “get outta jail” cards from their corrupt pocket.

Then we’ll take it to the SCOTUS where — rest assured — Trump will lose. By then, Trump and his crime family will stand utterly naked, utterly alone, utterly exposed.

The only place left to run will be Russia. Putin will welcome them — with open arms even. He’ll greet them as the heroes that they are — to Russia. For a year or so, things will go swimmingly. On the surface anyway. But, once Trump stops being useful to Putin, he stops being worth keeping around. Or alive.

One night — quite suddenly — a group of thugs will round up every last Trump and take them to a secret location where they’ll all be “Romanov-ed” just like the last Czar’s family. Perhaps, being vain and stupid, the Trumps — like the Romanovs — will think they’re about to pose for a picture — something they’re all fond of doing. I’m not sure if they’ll all be ready for that day’s “close up”, but I feel pretty certain the rest of the world will be.

What’s This Feeling Welling Up Inside Of Us — Is That… Happiness?

Fess up: how many people, other man me, half expected one more terrible Trumpian twist before he boarded Air Force One for his last pony ride? As I write this, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are still about an hour-and-a-half away from being sworn in. Trump, still airborne, is still POTUS. If we could manufacture justice on the spot and manifest it in reality, either law enforcement would be awaiting the Trumps when they land in Florida — and every last one of them would be taken into custody (might as well do it now, it WILL happen eventually) — or, instead, we’d deliver the Trumps directly to Mar-A-Lago from 35,000 feet without parachutes. By the time the Trump Crime Family had crammed onto AF1, pretty much everyone in Washington, DC had abandoned them; aside from Mark Meadows, no one with an official parking spot of value showed up at Andrews AFB to wave goodbye to them.

Mitch McConnell? He’s attending church with the Bidens — and Nancy Pelosi. Mike Pence? He’s got a chair waiting for him at the Inauguration. And both Mitch & Mike know their futures are cloudy. They’re not making nice to the Democrats because they want to — they know what’s coming. They need all the friends they can get especially now that the Department of Justice has taken down Bill Barr’s shingle and hung up Merrick Garland’s. The DoJ has just as much on its plate at the start as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris do. Not only do they have today’s work to plow into, they have four years worth of oversight to catch up with first — including the counter-intelligence investigation into Donald Trump’s relationship with Vladimir Putin that Rod Rosenstein ended.

It isn’t Democrats having the presidency that terrifies Republicans, it’s Democrats having the Department of Justice. That’s incorrect. Democrats don’t “have” the DoJ, We The People do. That’s the difference (it damned well better be!) Under Bill Barr, the Department of Justice became Trump’s consigliere. Under Merrick Garland, it will revert to being the nation’s overseers of justice and chief practitioners of the rule of law. If Merrick Garland does his job the way we need him to, a culture of fairness — of justice serving the public equally — will permeate every nook and cranny of the DoJ. That’s how good management works — by example and from the top down. Remember how much corruption there was during eight years of Obama’s presidency? ZERO. There was zero corruption because Barack Obama made it crystal clear that HE PERSONALLY would not tolerate it.

We know — having been the lab rats — how the opposite conditions work out.

As mentally and emotionally exhausted as we feel — if I may project “me” onto “we” for a second — watching Donald Trump leave was heartening. It felt good watching him cross from the White House to Marine One — the helicopter that flew him to Andrews. It felt even better watching him cross from Marine One to the podium where, for once, it was tolerable to hear him speak (if only because we knew it was for the very last time as president). It belt best of all when Trump and his viperous family climbed aboard Air Force One for their trip “home”.

I know, looking back, what four years of Trumpism did to my psyche and sense of mental well-being. Hell, my suicide attempt came six weeks after Trump “won” the election. I know what election day 2016 did to me — it struck something deep. I wasn’t alone that night, feeling that something terrible had just happened. This wasn’t just the woe the comes from losing an election. We could feel it — something… untoward had happened. Something not on the up-n-up. Something not quite “legit”. Something, in fact, downright criminal. If only we could “prove” that these feelings weren’t just… feelings.

Four years ago felt awful — though the Women’s March the day after Trump was inaugurated felt like we were collectively picking ourselves up, dusting ourselves off and preparing for what turned out to be four years of hard, relentless battle with the darkest part of our nation. We sought relief and thought it was coming! It breaks my heart still to think how deluded we were all were by Team Mueller. It’s not that they didn’t do good work — they absolutely did. But, wishful thinking gave them a far bigger mandate than they, in fact, worked from. We assumed that even as Team Trump obstructed justice, in the background, plenty of heavy lifting was going on; intelligence professionals and law enforcement were carrying on an extensive, intensive counter-intelligence investigation into every last nuance of Donald Trump’s treasonous relationship with Vladimir Putin.

The thing people like me didn’t count on — this story really did run far darker than imagined — was the extent of Republican complicity. I know I kept thinking that surely the third rail of going to prison forever would keep the Republican leadership from letting Trump run completely amok. But, it turns out, once you’ve committed treason — as pretty much the entire Republican leadership has — it really doesn’t matter anymore if you let a treasonous POTUS run amok since — if the other side wins the election — you’ll be going to prison, too, now. Because that’s how conspiracy works.

See something, say something. See something, say NOTHING? We have to ask: “Why?” Why say nothing? Whose interests are you protecting here — since, clearly, they’re not ours? Perfect example? Current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (who — ironically — attended church this morning with Mitch and Nancy and Kamala and Joe) who, a month before the GOP nominated Trump to be their 2016 standard-bearer, walked into a roomful of the Republican leadership and famously said “There’s two people I think Putin pays, Rohrbacher and Trump… swear to God!” The correct, moral, patriotic response in the room would have been “Wait, WHAT? Why do you say that, Kev’? Holy shit — if that’s even remotely true, we gotta tell the FBI!” That, alas, is NOT how that roomful of Republicans responded to hearing that their presidential candidate was likely already compromised by a hostile foreign power. No, instead, they all followed then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan’s lead and “kept it in the family”.

What we felt settle over us on election day 2016 — like the blackest cloud imaginable — was Trumpian corruption. Today, that cloud officially lifts.

The air — filled with coronavirus as it is — smells fresher. The sun feels warmer. And we now have a president who doesn’t wear orange face paint because he thinks it improves his appearance.

For that alone — I feel better!

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.

Can America Ever Forgive The Republican Party For What It’s Done?

I’m all for kissing and making up. But, kissing and making up for the sake of kissing and making up usually ends badly. The compromises made just to get along aren’t genuine or satisfying. They were entirely situation and now that the situation’s changed? Up until now, America — well, the Democrats — have been relentlessly pressured to forgive the Republicans their trespasses. That’s pressured by the news media — who, the “both sides do it” kool-aid pumping through them, only ever want progressives to kowtow before conservatives and never the other way around. Even now — with Republicans revealing themselves as outright SEDITIONISTS, no reporter has (to my knowledge) stuck a mic in a Republican’s face and demanded “But aren’t you afraid of what Democrats will think of you?”

For some reason, what Republicans think matters more than what anyone else thinks — even though what Republicans “think” is authoritarian, anti-Democratic and corrupt.

As usual, the news media is miles behind the story curve. Hell, most of our news media hasn’t figured out how to aggregate a story so that the story they’re reporting reflects the most up-to-date understanding of what WE KNOW NOW instead of what little THEY knew when they started reporting the story. Too much of our news media (looking at YOU, MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle!) asks “Yeah, but what if…?” questions (“Yeah, but what if there’s nothing wrong with authoritarianism?”) that give credence to bullshit. “Yeah, but what if…?” is the modern version of “When did you stop beating your wife?” The only way to answer is to ask the questioner what’s in THEIR head. Why are THEY so determined to run down a rabbit hole?

If our news media could just connect a few of the visible dots — impeached POTUS with a strange connection to Russia and myriad instances of secretive behavior with Vladimir Putin and Russia launching a massive cyber attack against us as Trump’s presidency draws to a close while Trump and the Republicans REFUSE to acknowledge that Trump lost in a landslide — maybe, just maybe, they’d stop asking themselves WHY the Republicans STILL refuse to abandon Trump and Trumpism. What, they wonder, is Trump’s Svengali-like hold on these people?

It ain’t cowardice. It’s kind of the opposite — a boldness. These people are behaving TREASONOUSLY. They’re behaving like criminals and co-conspirators determined to stop any and all investigations into what happened to get us here. What they’re doing — trying to deny We The People our voice and choice — is sedition. It’s a deliberate attempt to destroy not only the greatest experiment ever in human self-government but those of us who want to continue that experiment and improve upon it.

We stand at a literal crossroads. We will go one way or the other. There can be no compromise between democracy and authoritarianism. We chose democracy. So, the question is: what do we do about the authoritarians in our midst? Do we kiss and make up with them?

Ask a hard question. That one’s easy: NO! No, no, no, no, N O ! It simply is not possible. You can compromise with evil all you like. Evil will never compromise with YOU. Likewise, you cannot “forgive” evil. Evil never thinks it’s done anything that needs forgiveness. It thinks you’re an idiot for thinking that way. Having no integrity, evil will happily tell you whatever you want to hear — just so you’ll compromise with it. How “Mitch McConnell” does THAT sound?

Which of these corrupt, treasonous faces, I wonder, does our news media want Democrats to look into and say “I forgive you!”

Mitch’s?

Bill Barr’s?

Mike Pence’s?

Matt Gaetz’s?

Jim Jordan’s?

Devin Nunes’?

Ron Johnson’s?

Stephen Miller’s?

Donald Trump’s?

Okay — I’ll keep an open mind for two seconds. Is there ANY way I’d forgive ANY of these corrupt, racist, treasonous rat bastards? Maybe. But, first, they’d have to show significant contrition.

Not “kiss and make up” contrition, REAL contrition; real “come-to-Jesus”, “Do unto others” brand, mea culpa contrition where the “contritionist” literally throws themselves at our feet, begging for the mercy they KNOW they do not deserve. They have to be THINKING the song “Amazing Grace” because they ARE the “wretch” once lost, now found, once blind, now able to see.

But, alas, they won’t. That’s one of the most prominent features of these criminals: THEY’RE CRIMINALS. By choice. And, if you don’t know what happens when you give criminals a “pass” — because you’ve forgotten or forgiven what they’ve done — allow me to welcome you into the ranks of America’s journalists.

You’re now ready for your close up.