Coronavirus Throws A Monkey Wrench Into The GOP’s Soft Coup D’Etat

The Trump Era keeps proving — it’s hard to keep your eye on the ball when there are fifty balls flying at you. Trump’s coronavirus response has been everything you’d expect it to be — a chaotic, self-centered act of corruption. It’s been such a massive failure that it’s even managed to make everyone forget this essential fact: Donald Trump is a traitor who would not be POTUS if not for Russia MAKING him POTUS.

Imagine losing sight of that fact — but we have. The press — even with Trump lying daily about pretty much everything — they’ve reverted to treating Trump as a legitimate president whose every utterance about the crisis they must cover. The hue and cry to stop covering Trump’s daily campaign rallies has come from all over. it’s a puzzlement why MSNBC & CNN can’t treat it the way they treat Trump’s impromptu WH lawn news pressers. They regularly put some lag time between Trump lying and their broadcasts of his lies. Occasionally they even contextualize Trump’s bullshit — imagine!

I’ve written here often how I think we got here — not so much the coronavirus crisis (though it’s intimately connected) as the underlying political crisis that comes from having the intelligence asset of a hostile foreign government running OUR government. Hillary Clinton did not “lose” election 2016, the correct result was stolen from We The People — which would have made HRC POTUS.

The leadership of the Republican Party has always known what’s going on here. Kevin McCarthy “knew” back when he told a meeting of the Republican Party’s muckety-mucks during the 2016 GOP convention: “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump”. Then Speaker of the House Paul Ryan — third most powerful politician in the country — told now GOP leader McCarthy: “Let’s keep that ‘in the family’.”

“In the family” — like a bunch of stinking mafioso.

The GOP’s extreme deference to Trump is way beyond tribalism. It’s criminal conspiracy to commit election fraud, obstruction of justice and treason. That’s why the Republicans can’t stop this train from going off the cliff. The instant Trump stops being president, shit will get real for Trump and everyone sporting that “R” next to their names.

Whether he likes it or not — whether he knows it or not — on January 20, 2021 regardless of whether Trump cancels the election — his term expires. So does Mike Pence’s. On that day, if no election has happened, the presidency will default to the third in line — the Speaker of the House. It is now and will be then Nancy Pelosi.

This is why Mitch McConnell is begging every older conservative judge to retire now. Mitch hopes like hell that the old rules — the ones he violated regularly — will hold and his corrupt hijacking of the judiciary will stand. Mitch is going to be sorely disappointed. I’m with former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner (his Twitter feed is here): when this is all done & said, we must address the fact that everything that flowed from election 2016 — every bit of Republican legislation & chaos, every American Enterprise Institute-approved lifetime judge named while President Obama was denied the appointments — must be considered in the light of treason — of the entire Republican Party knowingly conspiring with Russia to not only seize control of the government but to maintain that control forever: permanent minority rule.

Bill Barr has come damned close to corrupting the Department of Justice beyond repair. Mike Pompeo has nearly destroyed the Department of State. Mitch McConnell, of course, has broken the Senate — with the purpose of hijacking the judiciary for all time.

And then coronavirus screwed up their plans.

For starters, shutting down the govt has already made voting by mail for every American a very real possibility now. Coronavirus has pushed a lot of ideas into the foreground that have struggled for attention up till now. That horrifies Republicans more than anything. The economic chaos — lots of it exacerbated by the damage done by crony capitalism — can only be cured by progressive, social democracy type solutions.

When a version of universal basic income works in ways austerity never could (because it’s always austerity for everyone BUT the rich) — when everyone infected by the coronavirus or kovid-19 finds relief through our socialized medicine response (you won’t get billed for your care or bankrupted by it) — when more Americans realize that the whole point of government is to create an environment where as many people as possible have the education, training and opportunity they need to succeed, they’ll stop seeing it as “the enemy”. If Americans got things for their tax dollars that they could point at — like, say, good health CARE that can’t bankrupt them if they get sick — they’d stop seeing taxes as a black hole.

This is not to say the Republicans won’t still do everything they can to hold onto power. Consider their motivation. They know they could all end up like Paul Manafort — eating prison dinner every night. And Trump knows that the moment he stops being POTUS, he becomes private citizen Don Trump — an INDICTED co-conspirator to election fraud. He could well lose every building he owns to confiscation. Sad, no?

Make no mistake — Neither Trump nor the Republicans “won” election 2016. Without heavy cheating and Russian involvement there’s no way they win election 2020 either.

As of today, Vladimir Putin insists the Russia alone conquered coronavirus. Oh, the things authoritarian shitheads say out loud. That’s just not true — and regardless of what Putin allows the disease sweeping through Russia to be called (a rash of pneumonia), it will clear out people with brutal efficiency. If Russia were suddenly stricken and found itself consumed by not dying instead of poking around in our political system, what would Trump do then?

Imagine Trump & the GOP having to run a “fair” campaign. They couldn’t do it on principle.

If Every Human Could Be Merged Into A Single REASONABLE Human, Here’s What THAT Human Might Do…

If we were able to put out a “help wanted” ad on some cosmic Craigslist, but the ad stressed that the human we’re looking for MUST BE REASONABLE, we’d instantly exclude a third of humanity. I’ll own it — I’m extrapolating from this country onto humanity in general.

Trump’s approval ratings in America still ping-pongs somewhere in the mid-40’s. On the day he resigned from office — because of Watergate — Richard Nixon’s approval ratings sat at about 27%. So, dots connected, Trump’s mid 40’s approval probably includes every one of those right wingers who still thinks Nixon was a god.

Wasn’t it Steve Bannon who pointed out that if Dick Nixon had had a Fox News at his disposal — he would never even have been threatened with impeachment. Reasonable people see rules — the Rule Of Law — as essential to co-existing as fairly as possible. Unreasonable people see the Rule Of Law as something “in their way”. So — everyone surrounding Donald Trump? They won’t make the cut.

Hell, no one around Trump can even spell the word “reasonable”. That’s because they’re all bullies — and bullies don’t “do” reason.

Being as every Republican Senator except Mitt Romney refused to convict Trump — for reasons no one can argue about (as we watch Trump & Bill Barr bludgeon the Rule Of Law with everything they’ve got), none of them can claim to be “reasonable”. Same goes for every single Republican House member who stood in the way of the investigation and knew for a fact that they were obstructing justice in real time every goddamned day.

For the moment we have one, single Republican who qualifies — for the moment, I repeat — as “reasonable.

As we know, if there’s anything that separates people from reason, it’s religion. As readers of this blog know, I draw a distinction between spirituality (which everyone has in one way or another) and religion (which is really just some people trying to quantify & manage other peoples’ spirituality). No one needs rules or regulations — or a church for that matter — to tell them how to be spiritual. The unreasonableness always starts when some “church” claims to speak for a deity. Better do what (they say) the deity wants or (so they say the deity says), there’ll be “hell to pay”.

Man, are those dice loaded.

There is nothing reasonable about thinking people need to behave a certain way because YOU THINK a talking snake REALLY & TRULY convinced a woman to eat a piece of fruit from a tree she wasn’t supposed to eat from — which caused all the suffering on the planet. If YOU THINK a sky deity wiped out every creature on the planet because he was angry at ONE GROUP of creatures (and, hey — what about all the life that lived in water? Did all the fresh water destroy the ocean’s salinity? Where’d all that additional water go (since the amount of fresh water on earth is actually FINITE)? There is nothing reasonable about thinking anything written by men ignorant of germ theory, astrophysics, biochemistry or even rudimentary psychiatry has any value to a modern human outside its literary value — especially when we can prove that everything they thought WAS WRONG.

“Doing unto others”, by contrast — that IS a reasonable thing to do. Hell, “doing unto others” is reasonableness defined. Even a humble atheist can happily “do unto others” without harming his atheistic bona fides. Because even a humble atheist can be reasonable.

Ummmmmm, Mitt? Unless you want to let go of the fantasy that Jesus (we’ll give you “he existed” for argument’s sake) CAME TO NORTH AMERICA and a(nother) talking serpent revealed magical gold plates to Joseph Smith and when Mormons die they all get their own planets, then here’s where you and “reasonable” part ways.

So close, so far, eh, Mittens?

So, now that we’ve culled the herd of unreasonable people, let’s take a look at our Single Reasonable Human.

Ms. Reasonable wakes up one morning to learn the following things are happening in her world:

  • The climate is super-heating super-fast because of shit HE’S DOING.
  • Americans take it for granted that their children getting shot at their schools is normal.
  • Children are in cages at our border.
  • A cabal of men is protecting Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking
  • A hostile foreign power (Russia) launched a successful-beyond-its-wildest-hopes intelligence operation against America’s 2016 election and managed to put THEIR GUY (Trump) into the White House.
  • The Entire Republican Party (save for Mitt Romney) is 100% complicit in a cover up meant not only to keep Donald Trump in power until the next election but to keep Trump (and the Republican minority) in power FOREVER.
  • The news media continue to mis-report the most important story in ANY of their lifetimes because they were convinced (from their journalism schools?) that “both sides do it” and so had spun a massive false narrative around election 2016 that Trump’s win was legitimate (all his projecting that it wasn’t aside) and that as abnormal as his presidency was, it still had to be “normal” cos they lacked the imagination to see what was happening in all its abnormalness.
  • Elections do indeed have consequences — but stolen ones have even BIGGER consequences.

So — having “learned” all these things, what would Ms. Reasonable do?

There’s a lot to deal with in lots of different directions. In short order, a reasonable person would do everything they could think of to stop the climate from crashing down around them first.

They’d stop buying products that hurt the environment — and they’d start demanding packaging that broke down quickly after its single use. Better, Ms. Reasonable would do everything possible to make single-use plastics a thing of the past. Reusable containers would take their place. Need new shampoo? Take your empty shampoo container to Target where Target happily sells you the shampoo itself — which you then put into your empty containers (which Target weighs — minus the weight of your container — and then charges you for).

Ms. Reasonable would take her own cup to Starbucks or Peete’s or she’d happily buy a new reusable cup or (just as happily) pay a premium to buy a single-use cup manufactured to break down quickly and decompose completely.

Ms. Reasonable would stop constantly thinking she needed new stuff. Not needing new stuff all the time would take a huge load off the environment. For real.

Ms. Reasonable would free everyone in a cage. She’d reunite children with their parents. She’d stop the inhumanity and deftly set in motion a system that mitigated the harm we’ve done while seguing into an immigration policy that actually resulted in sane, reasonable policy built above all on perspective.

Guns get the reasonable treatment, too. It’s unreasonable to think we’ll ever get rid of all guns in America. But, Ms. Reasonable will make owning a gun lots harder. She’ll remind everyone that the second amendment — with its well-regulated militia being the arbiter of who gets to “keep & bear” (not own) arms — is all about gun CONTROL and not gun proliferation. Want a machine designed to send a piece of hot metal flying through the air at a live target so as to kill it? Fine. But you will need to be trained in the use of that death machine and you will need to be fully licensed to “keep & bear” it. You will NOT “own” it as the Constitution does not give anyone THAT right.

Your weapon will have technology that allows ONLY YOU to use that gun. No one else may pull its trigger and cause death to hurtle from its business end. If anything bad can be traced to your gun? The onus is 100% on YOU, the “responsible” gun owner. Gun owners will, indeed, FINALLY be “responsible” when Ms. Reasonable is on the case.

All those men hiding behind Jeffrey Epstein? Ms. Reasonable exposes every last one of them. They all follow Harvey Weinstein to prison and ignominy.

Finally, Ms. Reasonable turns to Russia and what Russia has done and is doing.

Learning that her government was now being run by autocratic oligarchs, Ms. Reasonable would remind everyone how the Rule Of Law works. Doing that would take care of all but one of Ms. Reasonable’s most pressing problems. By making The Rule Of Law “a thing” again, all those Republicans guilty of UNDERMINING The Rule Of Law would have to stop undermining it and, instead, feel its wrath.

Reasonableness demands The Rule Of Law. It demands we follow it TO THE LETTER.

If The Rule Of Law suddenly becomes a thing, then Ms. Reasonable’s remaining problem — the News Media’s inability to do its job — might get solved incidentally.

With The Rule Of Law back in place, even our most dim-witted MSM-ers would understand that, no, both sides DON’T “do it” and never did. Perspective would replace “Both Sides Do It” at Journalism Schools and journalists would no longer equate Republicans acting politically to undermine the Rule Of Law with Democrats acting PATRIOTICALLY to STOP THE REPUBLICANS. Even Chuck Todd would grasp that the victim of a crime (having an election result STOLEN FROM YOU) cannot be the PERPETRATOR OF THE CRIME too.

Ms. Reasonable would get to watch cable news that featured Nicolle Wallace and Joyanne Reid and Rachel Maddow and broadcasters like them 24/7 — because even the news networks would — finally — have become REASONABLE.

Of course, when I woke up this morning, Ms. Reasonable wasn’t actually there. She had already been knocked the ground and trampled by Trump & Barr & McConnell and the inept MSM and every unreasonable dickhead with a Twitter account.

Am I crazy to put out a “help wanted” ad regardless?

But, At The End Of The Day — It’s STILL A Damned Coup D’Etat!

Today is slated to be one of the very worst in American History. Today, the corrupt-to-its marrow Republican-controlled Senate will acquit the most corrupt POTUS in American History of charges he’s corrupting this year’s election.

Think about that. We stand poised at a Treason Trifecta — A treasonous president, a treasonous Senate and a judiciary MADE treasonous by the treasonous Senate. Keep in mind, We The People did not vote for this. We did not choose this. We did not want this. In fact, the majority of us voted AGAINST this. Our majority would have been significantly larger, of course, but for massive voter suppression efforts carried out by the GOP. Quick note — only one side EVER works to suppress the other side’s voters. That’s not a coincidence.

If not for Russia’s direct assistance, Donald Trump would not be president today. That is a stone cold fact. We don’t know yet exactly how impactful the proprietary polling data Paul Manafort handed to Oleg Deripaska was. Deripaska took that polling data — which should never EVER have been given to a foreign person let alone a foreign person with a well known background in spying & intelligence as Deripaska has — and converted it into propaganda that showed up as weaponized Facebook ads on individual Democratic voters’ Facebook pages. Especially African American Democratic voters. A lot of those ads spewed disinformation claiming Hillary Clinton was a closet racist.

We know — we’ve witnessed it — one vote can change an election’s outcome. ONE VOTE. That means EVERY VOTE COUNTS. You screw with one vote — you screw with the election’s outcome. The tolerance therefore for voter manipulation of any kind is ONE VOTE.

We know — because there’s reporting — at least one Democratic African American voter stayed home, successfully dissuaded from voting because of the propaganda. That means voter fraud happened. That voter fraud was part of a larger, coordinated effort to cheat the election. That voter fraud was a clear collaboration between Trump’s campaign & Russia.

You cannot cheat to become POTUS. It’s the law. Therefore, if you DO cheat to become POTUS, you are NOT POTUS. How can you be if you broke one of the basic rules of “how to become POTUS”? That means Donald Trump has never been the legitimate president. He’s been aware of that fact from the start; he’s projected it regularly — as he’s projected every last bit of his guilt. His party has known it all along, too. That’s why they’ve worked so hard to COVER UP THE TRUTH about how exactly Trump “won” — who was behind the “win” and what’s happened since to keep all that ugly Truth from seeing the sunlight.

This didn’t just “happen”. To a degree — but only a degree — it was planned. Mitch McConnell certainly had a plan. He’s been slowly hijacking the judiciary — denying Barack Obama lifetime appointments including Merrick Garland’s seat on the SCOTUS and then using his Senate majority to cram young RW nitwits & scumbags down our throats. Mitch has taken gobs of Russian money into his campaign accounts for years.

No doubt — because it was Mitch’s PAC and because the money all got laundered one way or another — it all seemed perfectly legal at the time. Ah, but context… We now know WHY Mitch was so open to Russian money. He saw Russia as an ally in his (and the RW Money’s) plan to deny the coming demographic Republican apocalypse. By partnering with Russia, Mitch & the RW money saw a way to keep from going the way of the Whigs into extinction — at least for a little while.

Mitch wasn’t the only one hip to the game. There’s that famous moment at the Republican convention in 2016 when now Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy walked into a meeting of GOP Muckety-Mucks and announced “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump.” Then Speaker of the House Paul Ryan “…immediately interjected, stopping the conversation from further exploring McCarthy’s assertion, and swore the Republicans present to secrecy.”

In theory, Paul Ryan’s response should have been “You think WHAT? Have you got any proof of that? Holy shit — somebody call the freakin’ FBI!” But, Paul Ryan didn’t say that. Instead, he swore everyone to SECRECY — as if there was a SECRET that needed keeping.

Hmmmmmm… A SECRET, ya say…

I’m willing to give the GOP this — rotten intentions aside, a lot of what’s happened over the last 3 years has been “seat of the pants”. The Republicans knew what they were involved with but they had no idea their Russian partner could pull off what they managed to pull off. As surprising as I’m sure it was to the Republicans — to find themselves the winners of an election even they were certain they’d lose — it was equally confounding. Their nominee had “won” the White House. The problem — the Republicans had just committed TREASON.

We can document that Mitch McConnell knew as early as September 2016 when Obama called a Gang Of Eight meeting so that our Intelligence Community could brief the rest of our political leadership about the very real, very grave threat that Russia was posing to the INTEGRITY OF OUR ELECTIONS. McConnell flat out refused to let Obama tell We The People that OUR election system was under threat.

Now, WHY, I wonder, would Mitch McConnell do that?

The instant Trump “won”, if Mitch McConnell — or ANY Republican — had had an inkling that Trump’s win might be tainted — by Russian influence FFS! — they should have said something. They did not. WHY?

Yeah, okay — it’s a loaded question. We know why. Mitch & Paul & Kevin were all playing ball with Russia. They’d been compromised already — each of them — and there was no way to stop what was now in motion — an illegal attempt to change the outcome of an American election. To deny the American electorate its will.

That’s the bet the Republican Party made — that they could get away with corrupting our elections permanently — to seize power and to hold onto power. That, by definition, is a coup d’etat. The illegal seizure of power. Most coups are military. Ours was special that way. The Republicans didn’t need the military — they needed the press. And the press — by not seeing what the Republicans were doing — spread bullshit legitimacy over clear corruption.

Today the Senate Republicans will deny evidence & witnesses to clear criminality — all bent on further subverting the will of the American People.

If Americans — and our news media — didn’t grasp how very real a coup d’etat this was, this must serve as their (and our) wake up call. Never mind Nancy Pelosi tearing up a copy of Trump’s lie-filled SOTU address. Trump’s whole SOTU was him shredding the Constitution.

Okay – Let’s Say Donald Trump’s Presidency IS Illegitimate. What’s It Mean…?

Former President Jimmy Carter spoke Truth several weeks back from a rare perch — as a former President Of The United States. He said unequivocally that he believes Donald Trump’s presidency is illegitimate. He said, unequivocally, that Donald Trump did NOT his election, that Russia changed the outcome of the election to make Donald Trump president.

I’m trying to recall the last time a former president called out a sitting president for being a traitor… and coming up dry.

Trump projects everything he’s guilty of out into the public sphere or onto other people. It sure makes knowing what all he’s guilty of a lot easier; assume Trump’s guilty of everything.

From the beginning, Trump has projected his illegitimacy like a fireworks show. It’s like he wants us to know he got away it. He thinks doing anything legally is for suckers. Good thing the majority of Americans have seen right through him. It’s only his base and the Main Stream Media who either refuse to see Trump for what he really is or see him for the despicable racist/misogynist/bigot/traitor he is — but just don’t care to do anything about it.

Never mind that Trump lost by at least three million popular votes, there’s ample evidence available right here in public that says Trump probably didn’t win the Electoral College either. Take Russia out of the election 2016 equation and Donald Trump does not make it through the primaries.

Russia isn’t just a Trump problem. Until I hear definitely otherwise, I feel absolutely justified in assuming that every single Republican has taken money directly from Russia (or Russian cut-outs). As far as I can tell, Russia has its hooks in every single Republican. I’m going to need THEM to provide proof they are who/what they say.

Trump’s win — and every Republican win — is tainted by the stink of corruption, conspiracy, treason. There are multiple stories by solid sources that Russia fed money to Republican candidates via the NRA and through the pension accounts of longtime Russian emigres (whose monthly pensions suddenly went from a couple thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars which they then donated to Republican candidates.

Make no mistake the active measures Russia applied against our election amount to an act of war. Cyber War is just as much war as anything else — especially if it nets you the other guy’s presidency. Imagine — taking control of our White House and a growing chunk of our government — without having to fire a shot.

I will take Donald Trump at his word. His presidency is illegitimate. It’s an illusion of a presidency that’s really a criminal enterprise. The Republican Party knew about this as early as their convention in 2016. There’s a story that was reported on at the time about a conversation the GOP’s head muckety-mucks had. Representative Kevin McCarthy of California enters. Says “I think Putin pays money to Dana Rohrbacher and Donald Trump”.

Does anyone there gasp in horror and insist they all run right to the FBI? Of course not! The opposite happens. Corrupt, spineless Speaker of The House Paul Ryan says “We’re not going to talk about that here. We’re going to keep it in the family”. Not the American electorate family, mind you, the treasonous GOP electorate family.

That same family had already denied Barack Obama — and all the Americans who elected him fairly and squarely — at least one SCOTUS seat that was his to pick and a shit-ton of other life-term judicial appointments. Earning his keep from the Koch Bros, uber-villain and destroyer of the Senate Mitch McTreasonTurtle has made it his life’s work to install permanent minority rule in America.

Unfortunately for the Republicans, permanent minority rule is not something most Americans would vote for. And while they are trying to shove it down our throats, ultimately they will fail. The numbers say they will. The burgeoning number of women running for political office say they will.

Failure will devastate the Republicans. Everything about election 2016 will have to be voided. Every single lifetime appointment — gone. all those ludicrously cruel rules & regs? Shredded.

We don’t have a choice. The Will of the People was stolen. Their choice was denied them by corruption and by corrupt players. To allow the theft to go unpunished — and the result allowed to stand — would be the equivalent of allowing the crime itself to continue — unpunished.

That can’t possibly be good for anyone.

We’re Living Through World War THREE – And Don’t Even Know It

Anyone who thinks you need bombs & bullets to win a war is going to lose every war they ever fight going forwards. Right now — that’s us.

We’ve been under intense Cyber attack ever since Donald Trump became part of our political process. That’s not hyperbole or conjecture — it’s material fact — contained right there in the Mueller Report. Russia didn’t just “meddle” in election 2016, they changed its outcome. They made Donald Trump the winner even though he absolutely was not.

Don’t tell me about voting machines — how if no voting machines were impacted, how can the vote be effected. That’s just as ignorant and troglodytic as thinking cyber war doesn ‘t happen. First of all, no official forensics have ever been done on any of the voting machines in Pennsylvania, Michigan or Wisconsin (that I know of). Those are three of the four states for which Paul Manafort handed over proprietary polling data to Oleg Deripaska — who then gave them to the GRU (Russian military intelligence) for weaponization. Unofficial forensics on the numbers by terrific citizen journalists like Mike Farb and Jennifer Cohen have pointed to numerous clear anomalies. Counties with the exact same percentages of Trump v Hillary vote tabulations. it doesn’t pass the “what a coincidence” smell test.

The point is, we don’t KNOW if machines were attacked and their vote totals altered — we’ve never asked the question. It’d be easy enough to DO the forensics and put the conspiracy theories to bed. Wonder why they don’t…

If you honestly think a changed vote at the point of purchase — a voting machine — is the only way to flip an election, you will lose every election you run in going forward. That, too, is contained within the Mueller Report — how weaponized social media works — and rest assured it does. If one — ONE — single voter (their voter data stolen, weaponized and turned back on them via an ad on THEIR Facebook page) changed their vote or changed their mind about voting in the first place — that, too, is like changing their actual ballot. If you LIE them into NOT VOTING, their non-vote aids the opponent — it’s as good as a vote that’s been stolen because it directly impacts the election’s outcome.

One vote can change an election’s outcome. That means our tolerance for bullshit here can only be ONE VOTE. That is our margin for error.

Trust me on this — please — more than ONE VOTE was changed via weaponized (stolen) voter data. This virtual attack on our voting system was meant to directly alter the election’s outcome. It was meant to circumvent the will of the American people in order to put Vladimir Putin’s candidate — Donald Trump — in the White House instead.

Every word of that is true. And — it’s right there in the Mueller Report, too — Every member of the Trump Crime Family, their entourage and every member of the Republican Party knows it too. What else could you call this BUT an ACT OF WAR? If Putin shut off our power grid tomorrow — something he CAN DO apparently — we’d sue for peace immediately on whatever terms he dictated. We’d have to.

Imagine — a war fought and lost without a shot being fired.

Sound horrifyingly possible? Well, BE horrified — it’s happening. We’re living in. We are that frog slowly being boiled to death, completely unaware. Problem is, it isn’t us that’s being boiled away, it’s our Democracy.

Donald Trump knows the only thing standing between him and indictment for multiple crimes is a stupid Department of Justice rule meant to keep Spiro Agnew from pardoning Richard Nixon back during Watergate. Once out of office, Trump will be instantly indictable — and indicted. He has to fight tooth & nail to remain in office forever because the alternative will be criminal charges, prosecution and — cos he’s SO incredibly guilty — asset forfeiture. It’s a fact, being such a ginormous criminal, Trump has no incentive to leave power EVER.

It’s maddening that we’ve been so slow to see this — though Trump’s been sociopathic about it from the get-go. He’s projected every last bit of it (with remarkable candor actually) — that his presidency was totally illegitimate, that his election was “rigged”, that he is Putin’s bitch. He’s also projected from the start that he intends to stay in power forever. He’s told his followers that — and they love the idea.

Want to know the worst part of living through World War Three? It’s seeing so many Fifth Columns already fanning out (like in, say Oregon where armed militias SHUT DOWN THE STATE CAPITOL). It’s knowing that one of our broadcast networks is a propaganda wing for Trump — and therefore for Russia. What — it’s not bad enough we still have cable systems & satellite providers pumping RT into our homes? We need a “news” network propagandizing, too?

I think of our situation as being akin to the Hawaiians living at Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941. The Japanese attacked at 7:22 a.m. — that’s when their first airplanes arrived and began dropping bombs. But, if we visited with those people at, say, 6:45 a.m. — and asked them — “Hey, are you at war with anyone?” They would have said no. That included Japan.

Just because you don’t know you’re at war doesn’t mean you aren’t. And just because a war wasn’t formally declared — well, bullets and bombs don’t care about your semantics. They’ll kill you even if you want to call them something kinder and gentler. You can call a bullet a marshmallow but when they bust that marshmallow inside your head, you’re dead.

We Live In Remarkable Times… That’s Not A Good Thing

I write movies & TV shows for a living (and a book, too, which I just finished!) It’s not the most reliable way to pay the rent but when I do make a buck, I make it by making stuff up, writing it down and selling it. I take great pride in the fact that my imagination can go just about anywhere.

But no writer could possibly have made up the Time we live in. That’s not a revelation of course; I’m hardly the first person or writer to say that. But I might be the first writer to say out loud how much I resent that fact. It’s damned hard to come up with stories these days half as compelling as what’s on the news. A 240 year old experiment in self-government teeters on the brink of destruction. And we’ve got a front row seat.

There’s a famous scene in a great movie called “The Third Man”. Joseph Cotton stars as a Holly Martin, writer who goes to Vienna just after WWII because he believes his friend Harry Lime has died. Vienna is a divided city with a free side and a side behind Russian control. Harry Lime may have committed a crime — which explains the mystery surrounding whether or not Harry is really dead. Turns out (Spoiler Alert!) he’s not dead — he IS a criminal and he did fake his death so that he could hide out in the Soviet sector.

Orson Welles plays Harry who finally comes out of hiding to confront Holly — and to seduce Holly into coming over to the dark side and going into the black market with him. Holly turns him down which sets up the climax later when Holly tries (working with the British authorities) to lure Harry into a trap. But, before Holly says no, Harry delivers a great monologue (written by the book & screenplay’s author, Graham Greene). Write

Chaos seems to produce greatness in addition to chaos. An argument can be made that war itself has inspired some of the greatest statements of human artistic genius. Picasso’s Guernica comes to mind…

War movies, war literature, war art, war music (Beethoven’s Eroica — written with Napoleon in mind, that dedication was later withdrawn however), war everything — it makes us look deep inside ourselves for a few thoughtful seconds before we go back to killing and wholesale slaughter.

Another argument can be made that American comedy hasn’t been this robust since Richard Nixon was president. My point — there are benefits to living in Remarkable Times. There are laughs to be had — bitter ones, perhaps but — laughs all the same. There’s that feeling of “chumminess” we all feel when we hear the latest stupider-than-stupid thing Donald Trump said on TV or via Twitter and we all think “What an asshole!” at the very same time.

I didn’t used to be a news junkie. I was a daily consumer of news product but my diet was a lot more balanced back then before Trump “won” in 2016. I used to be a regular Howard Stern listener. I was hard core. But Trump winning changed everything for me. I couldn’t listen to characters I loved anymore because they were worried about trivial shit (funny but trivial) while the world was ending around us all. I have been news 24/7 ever since.

This is not good for us but the answer isn’t sticking our heads in the sand. The 75th anniversary of D-Day brought Tom Brokaw out into the light again — and his book The Greatest Generation. I grew up in the war’s shadow; my parents were the Greatest Generation’s children. A baby boomer, I grew up in the 1960’s, part of a generation that was, in a way, the diametric opposite of the Greatest Generation. We weren’t fighting a war, we were protesting it (well, to be fair, by the time I got to college, the Vietnam war was 5 years over and done with. We were still deep into our wound-licking phase.

Baby boomers, Gen-X-ers, Millennials — we’ve all lived through interesting times but not very interesting times. Yeah, yeah, the Soviet Union died — but it didn’t die spectacularly like Nazi Germany did. Until Donald Trump ran for president — and “won” (he didn’t — fact o’ life — he lost both the popular and he absolutely lost the EC too.) That’s what Robert Mueller’s report teases us with.

The Donald Trump story — and the corrupt Republicans story — and the we’re under cyber attack right now story — these are all remarkable stories all by themselves. Lucky us for getting gang-tackled by them all. This will get far, far worse before it starts to get better. When we get to the part where ALL the shit starts flying from ALL the nooks & crannies, this will get exponentially more ugly. Never mind the awful, treasonous things the republicans have all done, when the American public get a firm grip on what this story is — how deep, dark & horrible it is — and how the republicans continue to play them for suckers and rubes — this will turn thermo-nuclear.

Bill Barr and Donald Trump have succeeded in muddying a narrative they desperately needed to muddy. The Truth will not set them free. It will however send them to prison for the rest of their lives. It may even expose them to execution — still one of the punishments for treason. And, yes — this IS treason because ARE at war. We’re at Cyber War.

Oh — but it’s “undeclared”, you say? Well, it’s just as “undeclared” as the state of war that existed in Japan’s mind when it attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Just because the Americans being bombed by the Japanese didn’t know they were at war didn’t mean the bombs didn’t kill them just as dead. You don’t have to know you’re at war to BE at war.

I used to feel a lot more certain that I knew how this would turn out. I’m a lot less certain now. The pleasures of living in remarkable times have worn thin. I suspect we all long for this to end and for something we used to call “normalcy” to replace it (and reign for a thousand years if it wants to).

There’s a Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times (in other words, may you be inundated with chaos). We’re learning — the Chinese knew what they were talking about.

Want To Know The Real Difference Between Men & Women? It’s How We Fill Silence…

Two weeks ago, I handed my manager the revised version of a big TV pilot script & “bible”; in TV-Speak, a ‘bible” is the document that lays out all the vital details about a TV show that might not be included in its pilot script. A show’s bible contains all the characters, all their story arcs, all the show’s themes big and small starting at episode two and going through all of the next ten seasons you aspire to make and become rich off of). I’m not telling this story to bitch n moan — not at all.

Everything takes time. I am but one of many clients my manager has. He apologized profusely this morning for having not gotten to it yet.

While I would prefer if he had read it already, also I acknowledge that getting anyone to read anything these days is a massive chore — mostly because everyone I know is so overwhelmed by what’s already on their plates. I happily threw the waiting time into other projects — using the “I don’t know where I stand” dynamic to compel myself to get other work done — because I might have to.

Pro Life Hack: Always have Plans “B”, “C” & “D” within easy reach.

But I was beginning to get a little worried. I was beginning to assume that there was a “message” lurking in my manager’s silence. There wasn’t, of course. There was just “The Silence”.

Oh, the S I L E N C E . . .

Silence terrifies most humans. Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman made a whole career out of movies about “cosmic silence”. Being stuck in a moment of silence is almost as unsettling a prospect to the average person as farting in public — and getting caught.

Put a man and a woman in a car together (let’s let the man drive cos he’ll probably insist). They drive along on a beautiful day. In silence.

The woman doesn’t just “hear” the silence between them, she feels it. Feels it in her bones and in their very relationship. Her partner’s silence is loaded with dark intent and worry. The guy meanwhile? He hasn’t even thought about it. All he’s thinking is how nice the car feels this morning… must have been the more expensive oil he opted for last oil change… He hasn’t a clue his relationship is about to come at him like a shark with a vendetta.