It’s The Corruption, Stupid!

The “Ragin’ Cajun”, James Carville, coined “(It’s) The economy, stupid!” during Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign. Why would people vote one way(for Bill Clinton) vs the other (for GW Bush)? Back then, in those heady, carefree days (relatively speaking), the economy was our biggest, baddest problem. Oh, the luxury of only having to deal with one mega-crisis at a time! Nowadays — in Donald Trump’s America, every day brings a whole new mega-crisis. Or it seems to. If we’d just pull the lens back as far as we can so we could see Donald Trump, the GOP, election 2016 and election 2020 with the widest possible perspective — we’d see that, really, just like in 1992, we’re only facing ONE mega-crisis: Donald Trump’s takeover of the Republican Party was the GOP’s final and total surrender to the corruption that’s been stalking it… well, forever.

The Republican Party prides itself on being the Big Money Party. Anyone in class today who thinks money doesn’t corrupt? Anyone who doesn’t think that the more money there is the more likely corruption there is? Good. Everyone’s a realist then. That helps.

Politicians and the money that owns them rely on corruption to have their way because relying on the majority of voters to vote for their ideas is pointless. The majority of Americans want the OPPPOSITE of what corrupt Republicans want. That’s why the majority voted the way it did in 2016 and 2020. Let’s stop pretending that the Electoral College reflects anything other than how slavery would vote. In 2016, the Republican Party managed to use both slavery’s vote and a silent vote from Russia to overcome the majority’s will. When you factor in the fact that Russia is and has been waging CYBER WAR against us, you can only conclude that Republicans were SO desperate to win that they even resorted to TREASON.

We The People felt corruption’s grip on us the instant 2016 was called for Trump. Democrats felt (rightfully) cheated of the result THEY’D WON in 2000 when Antonin Scalia stepped in and STOPPED the vote counting in Florida, crafting a mountain of bullshit into an argument that completely contradicted the very originalism he’s been selling from the trunk of his car like hot merchandise. Bush v Gore is the picture portrait of bullshit. Al Gore didn’t concede because he thought he lost to W. He conceded for the good of the country.

In retrospect, OY!

Corruption got us again. It caused us to make a terrible decision; we chose appeasement. Compromise. But, while WE compromised with corruption, corruption did not compromise with us. It simply caused us to NORMALIZE that much more corruption. It caused us to grow that much more cynical about ourselves and our democracy. Want to know why so many Americans went into the streets the moment it became a fact that Joe Biden was President-Elect? Because we’re sick to death of Donald Trump and the corruption he imposed onto our lives.

Remember: we did not vote for Trump. We voted against him. We voted against what he’s doing to us, to our Allies, to the planet.

Our news media needs to stop framing the Donald Trump story from corruption’s point of view as if corruption was just “another way of doing business”. It’s only “another way” if we let it be. If we put our collective foot down every time corruption reared its ugly head, corruption would quickly learn — don’t rear your ugly head (it could get stepped on)! But, when you indulge the boy who cries wolf every time he falsely cries wolf (without ever making him pay a price for doing it), he will cry wolf every chance he gets. If our news media would stop giving credence to the boy crying wolf — if they’d see him for what he is (a fraud) — maybe they’d turn their attention to more important parts of the story.

Like the fact that he’s a traitor.

Dear Fellow Progressives: Please Take A Deep Breath — Time And Circumstance Are Now Entirely On Our Side

The moment Joe Biden started announcing cabinet choices, people on the winning side started sniping at each other, having immediately lost all perspective apparently. Perspective says this: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris whipped Donald Trump’s ass (Mike Pence doesn’t enter into it — nobody voted “for” Mike Pence except maybe Mike Pence). They beat them substantially with a coalition of voters covering everything from hard core Progressives like me to moderate (former) Republicans (everyone on the Lincoln Project for example). In politics, nothing is free. Ever.

Let me drop a word here: pragmatism. Have the vision. Keep the vision strong. But recognize that it’s still a process getting there. Obstacles remain. Problems will need to be solved. Emotional responses may feel good at first, but they’re unlikely to produce good, workable responses. And being slaves to theory — that, too, may feel good and justified but if you can’t get enough people to buy the theory, you won’t be getting there. One needs to 1) make the theory palatable (so understand who you’re selling to and how to sell to them), and 2) in the event you can’t sell the whole theory right this second? Go with the flow. Sell what you can today with the caveat that you’re coming back to finish the sale tomorrow. That’s pragmatism: sensible, realistic solutions based on practical rather than theoretical considerations.

Reality says there’s literally no conservative way out of this mess. It’s conservatism — its greed, it’s power lust — that put us here. They have no idea how to get us out of it. For starters, they don’t even want to. The majority of Americans now believe that without strong, continuing government assistance — cash infusions into their bank accounts — we’re toast. The reason Mitch McConnell and the RW Money stand steadfastly against giving suffering Americans a penny more than they have to is because if Americans saw how Universal Basic Income works (that’s what this government aid would amount to), they’d want it permanently.

That is, they’d understand that a supposedly “socialist” idea is actually just a productive use of THEIR TAX DOLLARS. Instead of using them to make rich guys richer, we’re using OUR TAX DOLLARS to help US. See how that works? That’s “socialism” in a nutshell.

And the RW Money machine is all about transferring the wealth of ordinary Americans into THEIR already full pockets. If Americans realized how simple it was to take BACK the wealth already stolen from them — and then create structures that guarantee they hold onto that wealth (for instance — by NOT going bankrupt just because they or someone in their family got sick), don’t you think they’d demand it? Especially since the money in question IS THEIRS.

As in OURS.

The most important thing that happened — the only thing that really mattered — was putting Joe Biden and Kamala Harris into the White House. Forget, for a moment, everything else — the Republicans possibly holding onto the Senate, the loss of House seats (making the Democratic majority uncomfortably slim), the prospect of Trumpism enduring — and focus on one thing: having the executive branch in our grasp means having the DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE in our grasp. It means the Department of Justice can now STOP being Trump’s consigliere and go back to being an actual Department of JUSTICE.

Joe Biden has said he wants to focus on healing the nation — as he should. He’s also said it won’t be up to him if a renewed, functional DoJ chooses to investigate anyone on Team Trump — or in the Republican Party. Of course Joe doesn’t want to see that. But, again, IT WON’T BE UP TO HIM. If you think the people in the DoJ who survived Trump won’t be out for blood? You’re not watching the same movie the rest of us are.

The second law ENFORCEMENT becomes the point of the DoJ, they’ll go at both the crimes Trump committed BEFORE he was POTUS and the crimes he committed while he was POTUS. That’s not speculation. Neal Katyal just said as much on Nicolle Wallace’s Deadline White House show. Imagine, for instance, if Sally Yates gets the top spot at Justice. Sally Yates was the person who ran around warning everyone about how dirty Michael Flynn was. How do you think Sally Yates views Trump pardoning Michael Flynn? Approvingly? Hell, no. She wants justice.

The drip-drip-drip of info coming from inside the White House is going to become a cascade the closer we get to Trump’s official sell-by date. And the instant everyone realizes that they have nothing to fear from any NDA they signed because Trump insisted? They’ll be no turning off the spigot. We are about to be deluged with even more detail about just how big a corrupt traitor Trump has been. Donald Trump is never going to have a “good day” for the rest of his stinking, corrupt, treasonous life.

Once the DoJ starts prosecuting Trump, other shoes will drop. Before too long, the DoJ will reinstate every single criminal investigation that Bill Barr hampered or kneecapped. The FBI will finally begin the counter-intelligence investigation that never happened (because Rod Rosenstein prevented it from happening). The SDNY and the Manhattan DA will expand their investigations not only into Trump but into his children. Without the cushy bubble of the presidency to spare him, Trump will quickly roll up into a bloated orange ball.

The prosecutions won’t just impact Trump and his crime family; they’ll; quickly draw the entire Republican Party into the conversation. If you think Republican corruption makes us feel sick now, just wait till we get the full draught of Republican criminal behaviors.

Six months from now, we won’t think of Republicans the way we do today. We’ll think of them as a bunch of criminals facing increased scrutiny. Guys like Devin Nunes, Ron Johnson and Kevin McCarthy — once placed under oath and grilled Benghazi style — will all become the picture definition of “soft, white underbelly”. Mitch McConnell? If he’s the Senate Majority Leader, he’s going to have legal problems to deal with; screwing with the Biden-Harris agenda won’t be quite as important to him as not dying in federal prison.

The biggest thing to impact how time and circumstance will strengthen the hands of Progressives is the pandemic. We’re about to get hammered. But the winter’s death toll will be placed in Donald Trump’s column not Joe Biden’s. When Spring comes — and the dying slows — and one or more vaccines have begun to circulate and we all feel a sense of order where previously there was chaos — that contrast will play as a victory for Team Biden-Harris. Competence will make for good marketing.

The pressure on Mitch and the Republicans to let Americans have their own tax dollars to keep from starving or becoming homeless will only increase — especially as more Americans starve and face homelessness because Republicans refuse to budge. As we learn more and more about Republican criminality — this won’t be defensible for them. Under assault from all sides, more and more Republicans will fold up their tents.

Universal Basic Income, health CARE (not health INSURANCE) and a paid-for public university college education or comparable job training for those who prefer that are not radical ideas anymore. The only “socialism” that’s been practiced in America has been corporate socialism. Socialism for the rich.

We Progressives deserve to have our vision put front and center. It’s the vision America has been heading toward for a generation at least. Circumstances in the form of a pathogen have flipped the world on its head. Just as the Black Death altered life in Medieval Europe — putting an end to feudalism as a social and economic system — so, too, will COVID-19 end how we do things and start something new.

It’s hard to trust that events will happen the way we think they will. It was inevitable that Trump and the Republicans would fail. There’s simply too many of us and not nearly enough of them to pull this off. One thing we CAN do to help ourselves feel less squirrely as events unfold (albeit too slowly for our liking) is to stop being cynical. When we assume the worst will happen regardless of what we do, we surrender the future to the bad guys. A better answer when shitheads do shitty things? Reply “no”. “No, you are not doing that.” Or “No, you are not getting away with that.” or “No, an immoral shit like you doesn’t deserve to walk around free with the rest of us.”

Remember — it’s part of the Trumpian dynamic to instill panic. But, if the panic is purely an invention then it would behoove us to ignore it and focus instead on the entirely real. Now’s a good time to take another deep breath.

And another. We beat him. We beat them. They know it — that’s why they’re fighting so hard to stop what’s coming next. You see, they know what’s coming. That’s how guilty minds work.

Quick Reminder — The GOP Knew During The 2016 Convention That Donald Trump Was Owned By Russia; They Kept It A Secret

This is from the Washington Post, May 17, 2017: “A month before Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination, one of his closest allies in Congress — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy — made a politically explosive assertion in a private conversation on Capitol Hill with his fellow GOP leaders: that Trump could be the beneficiary of payments from Russian President Vladimir Putin.” What current GOP Leader McCarthy said was “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump”. Then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan — one of the fellow GOP leaders present “…instructed his Republican lieutenants to keep the conversation private, saying: “No leaks. . . . This is how we know we’re a real family here.””

The Republican family behaved exactly like a mafia family. It was all about protecting “la cosa nostra” — this thing of ours.

I’m curious. Has ANY member of the American press corps EVER asked Kevin McCarthy, Paul Ryan or anyone who was in that room what they were thinking? Has any reporter or journalist stuck a microphone in their faces and asked “Why didn’t you call the FBI if you thought that?” Or “Why didn’t you call the FBI if you even SUSPECTED it?”

That was their obligation — to tell something. To DO something. Because they had more an an inkling that their presidential nominee was corrupt to his bone marrow. And not just corrupt — TREASONOUSLY corrupt. Perhaps Paul Ryan’s response — let’s keep it a secret — had more to do with all the Russian money they ALL had taken on the down low. Pull a thread on Trump’s Russian dalliance, you might as well pull threads on every one of their dalliances — and there were plenty.

As documented as the Republican knowledge that Trump was dirty is the knowledge that Putin had contemplated cyber war against us for years. Cyber war (or asymmetrical warfare if you prefer) is as much a war as an old fashioned “bombs ‘n bullets” war. If the Russians shut down our power grid today, we’d have to sue for peace tomorrow — on their terms. Hell, the Russians placed themselves inside the Oval Office without firing a shot. On a cost basis alone, Russia’s cyber war against us has been the greatest military victory of all time.

How much money flowed to Republican campaign coffers via the NRA? How much flowed via Russian emigrees whose Russian government pensions suddenly rose from enough money to live on to enough money to cash flow a political campaign? How many Russian contacts did the Trump campaign have — and how many have they worked overtime to hide from us? And why?

Our news media, incapable of aggregating the Donald Trump story, forgot apparently that Donald Trump was the first president EVER to run for re-election having BEEN IMPEACHED for CHEATING in the very election he was running in! And the cheating he was impeached over? It was a replay of the exact kind of “foreign government involvement” in our election as in the 2016 election. Even back in 2016, our news media couldn’t grasp how to report on Trump. They thought “but her emails” was far more important than “Mexicans are rapists”, “Pussy grabbing” and “What’s wrong with making nice to Vladimir Putin?”

It boggles the mind that journalists — still unable to tell the 2016 election story — would be just fine with Democrats “forgiving and forgetting” should the moderates somehow convince everyone else that letting criminals get away with the highest crime against We The People — stealing our votes and the intended political outcome our votes demanded — won’t have permanent, negative consequences. “Both sides do it” journalism has convinced journalists that they can never “judge” anything. Moral v immoral behavior — it’s not for them to say. The president only behaves treasonously in the minds of Democrats. And their accusation is purely political.

Oy.

This happened. This photo. At Helsinki. Way more than a thousand words are being spoken here.

I’m old enough to remember when lunatics like me would get rolled eyes from fellow progressives when we’d utter the word “treason” in reference to Trump. Now it’s part of the landscape. It should be a featured part of the landscape — the fact that the sitting POTUS is a stone cold traitor. It should also be part of the landscape that the entire Republican Party — everyone who’s known or suspected anything nefarious since 2016 — also are traitors. It kinda matters in a cyber war.

And an election.

In A Negotiation, All The Power Lies In “No” As In “NO, Donald Trump, You AREN’T POTUS Anymore Cos We FIRED YOU

Democrats are, historically, poor negotiators because they’re too willing to compromise. They ache to use the word “yes”. Republicans, OTOH, are good negotiators — not because they’re good at negotiating (they’re not), but because there’s one word in their vocabulary that’s not in the Democrats’: “NO”. The Republicans are perfectly happy to say “no” and refuse to budge regardless of the pain it causes or even how it undercuts their own best interests. Republicans think they’re being Machiavellian. They’re not. They’re being assholes. It’s not the same thing.

Take Mitch McConnell. Is Mitch a great negotiator? No — he’s a guy good at saying “No.” It doesn’t make him a great negotiator because he gets what he wants while all the Democrats around him don’t — especially when you consider what Mitch wants and what the rest of America isn’t getting. We The People are the point of the exercise in self-government. Mitch is always negotiating against us — using our needs (and the urgency of those needs) as a tool. Again — in the context of a government of the people, by the people and for the people — that makes Mitch a pirate, not a deal-maker.

Donald Trump — also a terrible, terrible negotiator. Has anyone had more tells in the whole history of terrible negotiating?

Trump’s one reliable tool — the only tool on his belt: the word “no”. “No, America isn’t a democracy anymore”… “No, America isn’t going to be the greatest experiment in human self-government ever anymore”… “No, America isn’t going to be a place anybody except white, Christian, racist bigots wants to live in anymore”.

Or, to put it the way Trump’s used to hearing it: “Nyet”.

The news media definitely doesn’t understand the concept of saying “no”. That’s why Trump has all the power in his relationship with the press while they have literally none. Like a belligerent five year old who refuses to climb out of his car seat, Trump is holding us up while all we want to do is go back inside our house. Meanwhile, traffic behind us is backing up. Horns are blaring. Tempers and temperatures are spiking.

Now that Trump has no more cards to play — he will no longer be POTUS come none Eastern time January 20, 2021 — the only play left is to toss the cards in the air, rip them up as they land and then, on the way out of the room, turn over the whole card table. Trump has no choice but to take this train to the end of the line. The moment he stops being president, his legal troubles will begin in earnest. So too will legal issues begin to haunt every single Republican. See something, say something. See something, say nothing?

That’s the glaring issue facing the GOP: they’ve known since the get-go that Trump had an unnatural relationship with Vladimir Putin and Russia. Current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said so out loud during the 2016 Republican convention when he walked into a room of Republican muckety-mucks and said “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump”. Good citizenship would have demanded that someone in the room get the FBI on their cell phone to report what they just heard. No one did. Instead, as then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan put it, we “…keep the conversation private, saying: “No leaks. . . . This is how we know we’re a real family here.”

If Paul Ryan had been an honest man, if the Republicans had been an honest political party, no one in that meeting would have thought such a thing. But they aren’t so they didn’t. The Republicans surrendered the power in their relationship with Trump a long, long time ago.

The press did, too. They surrendered the power of “no” when they stopped asking Trump what he meant by “Mexicans are rapists”. Had the news media dug in its heels right then and there — and said “NO, WAIT!” and then refused to follow Trump (into “pussy grabbing”) — then THEY might have gained the power of “no”.

Americans need to learn this valuable lesson from the Republicans. Yes, we all want to and need to get along together. But compromising with the very people who have betrayed you is a fool’s errand. That’s why Republicans never do it. They may be ignorant, deranged and dangerous but they’re not fools.

We The People have got to stop negotiating with Trump — especially when it’s not even a genuine negotiation. It’s a hostage-taking which means we only ever wind up negotiating with ourselves. The last person we ever want to negotiate with is ourselves.

We don’t need to negotiate with Trump anymore. We fired him. By a lot. It’s over.

The correct answer therefore to literally anything Trump does or says about staying in power a second longer than necessary is “what are you even talking about, old man? NO”.

Remember this look on Moscow Mitch’s Treason Turtle face when the late Senator John McCain stuck a shiv in him when he thought he had Obamacare defeated?

That’s Mitch reacting in real time — with actual human emotions — to having the word “no” shoved down his throat. Let’s promise ourselves to make Mitch revisit that moment repeatedly throughout the rest of his treasonous life. Every time Mitch dreams of being a free man again? “NO, Mitch, NO.”

Trump loves saying “You’re fired” because it’s the ultimate “no”: “no, you don’t work here anymore”.

Hey, Don-Don, this is America speaking: “You’re fired. YOU DON’T WORK HERE ANYMORE”. Wow… saying “no” to Donald Trump could be habit forming. That’s a habit I’ll gladly take up.

The Republican Playbook Is Now The Trump Playbook: That’s Why They’re Accusing Democrats Of The Very Crime THEY Are Guilty Of…

Want to know the stone cold proof that Republicans are using (and probably have been using) voting machines to steal elections? They’re now accusing Democrats of doing it — without a lick of proof. Because there isn’t any. But — here’s the point — when the Democrats (a functional Department of Justice functioning again) begin to investigate what exactly happened in 2016 and in this election and they focus their attention on Republican voting machine fraud? The Republicans will claim it’s pure retaliation.

See how that will work? When the criminals finally get accused of their crime? They’ll claim the accusation is entirely political when, in fact, it’s not political at all.

If our news media hadn’t instilled the bullshit idea that “both sides do it” (they absolutely do not), such a hacky move would fail right off the bat. But, that’s the “genius” of the Trump playbook. It relies on the news media’s inability to focus, their love of jingly-jangly keys and squirrels, their refusal to approach the subject with an ounce of perspective. Remember in 2016, during one of the debates when — after Hillary Clinton accused Trump of being a “Russian puppet”? Remember how Trump responded?

“YOU’RE the puppet”. Uh huh. Who looks like a “puppet” in THIS now infamous photo?

Ya think we’ll ever see the “notes” from the FIVE SECRETIVE MEETINGS Trump had with Vladimir Putin? Maybe we will on the day Putin decides to burn Trump — and dumps EVERYTHING onto our heads — every bit of Republican collusion with Russia’s cyber war on us. Imagine the chaos THAT would cause internally.

Remember the last time a transition played like this one’s playing? Of course not. It’s never happened before. Hell, Barack Obama KNEW he was turning the government over to a criminal (and a traitor) but the transfer of power was bigger than him. See, both sides DON’T think like Republicans think. Only Republicans think like Republicans. They aren’t playing a game, interfering with the transfer of power, they’re playing FOR KEEPS. Because they have no choice.

Trump’s playbook is a criminal’s playbook. All its plays are meant to circumvent the law (or break it entirely) so as to get richer, richer and richer. The Republicans had no objection to that playbook — so long as they got their cut and Power went to them. The point of the exercise for them is permanent minority rule. If the majority of Americans get to have a say? It’s just like Trump said — Republicans won’t win another election.

As I wrote here, it wouldn’t take a grand conspiracy of Republicans to use voting machines to literally steal elections. While the Republicans are accusing Democrats of FLIPPING votes, that’s not the smart way to win via internet-connected voting machine. The Republicans’ problem is they have zero receipts. There would be receipts if votes had flipped. Well — correction — if those machines spit out paper receipts that a voter could check — the voter could catch the mistake. As happened in Mississippi.

If machines beyond that one polling place started acting the same way — flipping votes from Republican to Democrat or Democrat to Republican — red flags would have gone up. They didn’t. That’s not how the Republicans cheated.

Now, remember: the companies that make most of our voting machines — Diebold, ESS, Dominion — they’re all owned by Republicans. Proud Republicans who donate to political campaigns (a clear conflict of interest). But it gets “conflictier”. There are Republican politicians ADVISING these companies and even sitting on their boards of directors. Sorry, but assurances from people that conflicted — with a history of ignoring conflicts of interests — do not get a pass.

Instead of flipping votes, the Republican play has been to pad their numbers. We don’t know how long Republicans have been doing this but even a cursory glance at, say, Mitch McConnell’s county-to-county vote totals makes you think something is beyond rotten in the State Of Kentucky. Though there are more registered Democrats than Republicans in Kentucky, though county-after-county has Moscow Mitch winning not only all the Republican votes but big chunks of the Independent and Democratic votes too. Mitch’s approval rating in KY is around 18%. That does not fit with Independents and especially Democrats crossing over in huge numbers to vote for Mitch. And yet…

Mitch won 15% of Black voters, far higher than your typical Republican. He won people who make more than $100,000, and people who make less than that. He won 56% of men and 59% of women.

Racist, old misogynist Mitch McConnell got nearly 60% of Kentucky’s women? Bullshit. Stick a microphone in the face of a few and maybe we’ll begin to believe it. Those women don’t exist in reality though. They were created inside a voting machine.

Here’s now it works: the code says something like “for every tenth Republican vote, add one”. So, ten votes becomes eleven, twenty becomes twenty-two, thirty becomes thirty-three et cetera. The machine is adding TEN PERCENT to the Republican’s vote total with almost NO WAY TO VERIFY whether or not actual voters made all those votes.

Their historical and relentless lack of transparency is troubling. Their need to win elections at all costs is even more troubling. Their current behavior — trying openly to toss the will of the people aside in favor of their blatant theft — cements the certainty that this is exactly what the Republican Party is doing.

In the Donald Trump cheating playbook, one never brings receipts. Why would one? Any receipts (if they’re legit) can only screw you. That’s probably why Republicans NEVER bring receipts. It’d be like negotiating against yourself. And losing badly.

The Republican Party has now set itself squarely in opposition to democracy and especially OUR democracy. Can we please, please, please accept what they’re telling us? Their playbook doesn’t include allowing Democrats political power ever again. It’s understandable. The moment the Democrats are back in power (as we’re about to be), the Republican Party is going to have endless legal problems.

Good. It couldn’t happen to a “nicer” bunch of raping & pillaging pirates. Republic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When Team Biden Hits The Ground, They’ll Have TWO Viruses To Contend With — COVID19 And Republican Corruption

Team Biden-Harris choosing Ron Klain as Chief of Staff signals clearly that the Democratic response to the greatest threat to Americans’ health in a century will be multi-faceted, dynamic and hell-bent on getting results. I hope a good chunk of the remaining brain trust gets tasked with confronting America’s OTHER raging virus: Republican corruption. That one’s just as dangerous — more probably. And a hell of a lot more insidious. Think of how much Republican corruption we as a nation of laws had to normalize just to have a “President Trump”. Yeah — that’s a disease and we have it.

Republican corruption is now so widespread and uniform that we marvel each time another GOP-er peels off and says out loud that the election is over. The boys in the bund took one on the chin. They’ll tell themselves that Democrats never demand Republicans EVER pay for their bad behavior; in the name of “getting back to normal”, the Democrats (the Republicans think) will, as usual, live and let live. That would like cutting a deal with cancer.

Not doing it. Here — I’ll link to a song that says it clearly: We Won’t Get Fooled Again.

Now that we’ll begin to apply science to our pandemic response, we’ll actually HAVE a pandemic response. Thank you, Team Trump, for setting the bar so low we have to be careful not to trip over it while surpassing it. Even if Team Biden-Harris failed spectacularly, that failure would still be miles better than whatever herd immunity type non-response Trump was going to call “a plan”. Already — because Team Biden-Harris will be there and Team Trump won’t — our fortunes will be measurably better.

Team Biden-Harris needs to apply the same aggressive, science-based, whole world, deal-with-it-on-every-level attack plan they apply to the coronavirus to the even more pervasive virus of Trumpism. This is a cancer we ignore at our peril.

On the one hand, a winter of sickness will both cull the Trumpian herd and rob it of righteous indignation. Most people (Trump not included) emerge quite humbled by their experience with COVID19. Plenty will survive it but feel its hold on them for the rest of their lives. As Trump followers die, having caught the virus at a Trump event, while Trump comes unglued in full public view, the Cult of Trump will be harder to justify except to the most hardcore of the hardcore. The Lifers. The 29% who still loved Richard Nixon on the day he resigned because of Watergate.

On the other hand, a political environment free from Trump’s voice — private citizen Trump won’t get the pass President Trump does from Twitter or any other social media platform who now have to live in a world where Joe Biden is President and the rules are beginning to be rewritten. Enter into this environment a functioning Department of Justice, dedicated anew to Justice instead of behaving like some crime boss’s consigliere.

It’s that reinvigorated DoJ where the fight against Virus #2 — Trumpism — will begin in earnest. An equally reinvigorated FBI will finally get down to the counter intelligence investigation into Trump’s relationship with Russia that Rod Rosenstein knee capped. Those threads, once pulled, will obliterate the bad Christmas sweater of corruption that has been the Republican Party for a generation. Well, it will REVEAL all the corruption in revolting waves of puke-inducing awfulness. One of the more puke-inducing will be the revelation that we’ve been living inside a giant False Narrative for that very same time frame.

How long, I wonder, have the Republican-owned voting machine companies been padding Republican vote results? As I wrote here, it wouldn’t take more than three people — and no one meticulously checking the math — to add, say, ten percent to one party’s vote total. Point of reference. Kentucky, this cycle.

Let’s start by hauling out the voter rolls — they’re public record: https://elect.ky.gov/SiteCollectionDocuments/Election%20Results/2010-2019/2014/statcnty.txt

Here’s the final page — with the state totals.

Here — the next part of the data — the actual results from the election —

Here’s the statewide result. Mitch really whupped Amy McGrath’s butt, didn’t he?

If we compare totals, Mitch got 1,233,135 votes out of a possible 3,105,349 registered voters in Kentucky. How many of Kentucky’s voters are registered as Republicans? 1,196.183. How many as Democrats? 1672,664…

Wait, what? Yeah. Kentucky has more registered Democrats than it does Republicans. Who knew? There are a half million or so “other” voters in the mix — independents, Libertarians, Greens, Who-Know-What-Else — but, still, DEMOCRATS OUTNUMBER REPUBLICANS in Kentucky.

Yet Mitch — in a tribe election — in a state with more registered Democrats than Republicans — blows out the Democrat. Did I mention that Mitch’s approval number sits at 18% in one poll! Either Mitch is simply the greatest politician of all time — turning groups of voters who should despise the air he breathes into people happy to pull the lever for him. Excuse me if I’m dubious.

Take Pike County. Here’s how Mitch performed there —

Mitch beat McGrath 18,362 to 6,013. That’s in a county where there are 34,464 registered Democrats vs 11,178 registered Republicans. That means at least 7,000 other voters plus Democrats had to vote for Mitch — at a far greater clip than an 18% approval rating would suggest possible.

See how the math doesn’t “add up”? We need to be skeptical about this. We need to be suspicious at the very least.

Make that Team Biden-Harris needs to be suspicious — and they need to act swiftly. For starters, we need to ascertain whether Republicans have been padding their vote totals for years or not (take it to the bank and make plans with the proceeds — it’s that dead certain). We need to have this piece of the puzzle in hand as we look at election 2016 and the question of “Did Trump Really Win Pennsylvania, Wisconsin & Michigan?” Because, if he didn’t (he didn’t) then Trump never did win the Electoral College. That means he never did legitimately win the presidency — just like he’s been telling us in his strangely projective way. That means that everything Donald Trump did should be voided since he never had the legal authority to do it.

Something was stolen from We The People — the result of our vote. The outcome, with all its legislative and judicial manifestations — that was what we voted for. That is what was literally stolen from us and taken by the Republicans. They replaced our judges with theirs. Our president with theirs. Our future with… whatever the hell this monstrosity is.

Just like Covid19 can fog your brain, Trumpism fogs reason. It’s got some of us thinking that cheating to win is just “another way to win” and that if a cheater wins, they still get to keep what they stole from us.

No, they don’t. Turns out the cure for Trumpism is the same as for a pandemic: diligence and a lockdown. Let’s start by locking down every single Republican. Then let’s diligently ask them all the questions we have for them — under oath.

Let’s cure ourselves of this sickness once and for all.

IF The Republicans Cheated — Padding Their Voting Machine Totals — Then The Argument The Democrats Are Having About “Who They Are” Is A False Narrative

Let me repeat: “IF” the Republicans cheated in the election we just held — using their unique, unregulated access to voting machines to inflate their own vote totals — then the argument the Democrats are having amongst themselves (about Progressives costing moderates their seats) is rubbish. It’s a FALSE NARRATIVE. Or, should I say, it’s another false narrative that sits snugly beside “Donald Trump legitimately won election in 2016”. The rule of law says that working in tandem with a hostile foreign government — executing a cyber war plan against us — voids every last bit of your presidential campaign because it wasn’t a presidential campaign, it was an act of outright TREASON.

And that void — it also applies to everything you did as POTUS. The authority to nominate lifetime judges flows from us. From We The People. If you cheat us out of the election result we voted for, you are literally stealing from us. In a democracy, there is no graver crime than denying the People their Will. That is what the Republican Party has done repeatedly starting with “Bush v Gore”.

The Republican mantra is “the majority be damned”. Their refusal — with the exception of four sitting Senators — to acknowledge the fact that Joe Biden is President-Elect and Kamala Harris is Vice-President-Elect isn’t some kerfuffle over an administrative detail. It’s part two of the coup d’etat the Republicans initiated in 2016. If the GOP thought they could have done what they’re doing now WITHOUT an election, they’d have done it. But that was a little too hard to pull off.

So, the Republicans allowed us to hold an election. As I wrote here, it’s bizarre that our news media consistently runs toward a magical explanation for “the polls being wrong”. They’ll accept that ALL THE POLLS ARE WRONG rather than ask, “But, is there, perhaps ANOTHER explanation for this bizarre discrepancy?” That’s what real journalists would do.

Donald Trump IMPLORED all HIS VOTERS to avoid voting by mail. He implored them: VOTE BY MACHINE. Hmmmmmmmmm… why was that, do you suppose? Even Trump knew a Red Mirage would only go so far. That was not the purpose of pushing all his voters to the machines. They’re dirty. All of them. By design. They have backdoors accessible to the companies — with no way to regulate the companies other than putting their owners and directors under oath and grilling them Benghazi style (which I, for one, am all for).

It wouldn’t take a grand conspiracy to cheat massively via machine and get away with it. Three people could do it. The guy who owns the company (who provides the back door but with plenty of plausible deniability), the guy who writes the code and uses the back door to apply the computer code, and the powerful politician who’s running the show. Mitch McConnell, for example.

Mitch is scum as a human but one hell of a politician. He knows how to count. And he knows how to make his numbers “work” — even when he doesn’t have them.

Take 2016 for example. The Comey Letter knocked three to four points off Hillary Clinton’s lead TEN DAYS BEFORE THE ELECTION. Meanwhile, Russia (using the proprietary polling data Trump campaign manager PAUL MANAFORT had given them) to bombard Black Democratic voters — in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin (Minnesota’s voter data was also part of that package) — with personalized Facebook ads that showed up on THEIR individual Facebook pages — that said Hillary Clinton was a racist. What happened to Black voter turnout in those three states in 2016?

IT WAS SUPPRESSED. Mission accomplished. Oh, by the way? IT’S ALSO A CRIME. You cannot win an American election if you do that. If you “do” win, it’s not a legitimate win. Cheating to win can not be “another way to win”. Otherwise, why not always cheat to win — since it’s easier, cheaper and much more guaranteed to succeed? Cheating to win is a crime and we need to see it as one and TREAT IT as one.

Having pulled HRC’s polling numbers to within the margin of error, voting machine manipulation became viable. A “surprise” outcome was still mathematically possible. Remember — Trump won three blue states by a COMBINED 77,000 votes. No one has EVER forensic-ed those machines (not that it would wield a smoking gun — the machine IS the smoking gun, you see).

The most basic way to win via padding is this: at some point a line or two of new computer code slips in through the back door. It reads something like this: “For every tenth Republican vote, add one.” Ten becomes eleven, twenty becomes twenty-two, thirty becomes thirty-three. Voila — you’ve added ten percent to your vote tally. Unless someone clever compares the total number of Republican voters with the result — and saw an anomaly — they’d never see the crime’s evidence.

Part of the code, mind you, erases itself.

If you’ll grant me that this mechanism isn’t a fantasy — that this tool hung on Moscow Mitch’s treasonous tool belt — then the rest falls neatly into place. It falls into place far better than imagining some “secret Trump voter” who lies to pollsters out of shame but still proudly pulls the lever for the man they’re so ashamed of: Trump. If the news media could only put a microphone in front of one of them, maybe it wouldn’t smell so bullshitty.

The “mysterious Trump voter” is a false narrative. Just like Trump “won” in 2016 is a false narrative.

Mitch and his Republican co-conspirators know they have a problem. Their lie has put forward the fiction that America is a divided nation torn between power-mad Progressive and kindly, common-man-loving conservatives. While America may have been a moderate to conservative country after World War Two, we aren’t that country anymore. America — as six million more voters just made clear — is a moderate to Progressive country. That will not tilt toward conservatism any time soon — or ever for that matter.

There simply aren’t enough conservative voters to make that happen.

Unless conservatives — via their Republican operatives — cheat.

The Democrats need to take a deep breath. They need to wait for a functional Department of Justice before judging anything. There’s so much corruption to be exposed — and once it’s exposed, the narrative will change. We’ll suddenly see that the story of Trump becoming president is far, far more complicated. And dark.

And criminal. A true narrative will take shape — about a corrupt political party fearing extinction and a con man under Russia’s control coming together in an unholy alliance bent on undermining American democracy in order to install a state of permanent minority rule.

The whole point of propaganda is misinformation. False narratives are the end game. Make Americans think they’re at war with each other. Make them think the party that lost won. Make them think a once-respected political party is still respectable.

Bullshit. All of it.

Please, America — please, fellow Democrats — stop listening to false narratives. Start triangulating the news. Start thinking critically about everything. If a Republican has touched it, it must be examined more carefully and not taken for granted. Some day soon, a new moderate conservative party will rise from the ashes of the GOP. Maybe “The Moderation Party” should be their moniker.

America will need them. Progressives like me will need them because that’s how democracy works — via counterweights. But none of those weights can be far, far heavier than all the others. Better if they’re all equal.

Cynicism Is To Skepticism What Republicans Are To Reasonable Human Beings

Cynicism is thinking the worst of everyone right off the bat. So, screw em! Skepticism is having questions — lots of questions — that need answering before you’ll make up your mind. Skepticism leads to critical thinking while cynicism leads to bias reinforcement. If you want to believe everyone’s a rat bastard then even the good things they do will have a “rat bastard” stank to them. If you want to believe the bad guys will always win in the end so why bother doing anything to stop them — then the bad guys WILL win in the end and your worst fears will be realized. Just like you wanted them to be.

The goal of a propagandist is to pull you past skepticism and critical thinking to cynicism where, down deep, you’ve already surrendered to them. You don’t have to be a propagandist though to give cynicism succor. You just have to give in to it.

While it’s completely true that Donald Trump is the most corrupt president in America’s history, it’s completely NOT true that he’s going to get away with it. That’s up to us. If we accept Trump’s corruption and roll over for him? Then, yes — Trump will get away with it. If we refuse to roll over? No, he won’t.

Not even remotely.

Trump’s corrupt on a scale few humans can match but he’s not monolithic. He’s an incompetent man-child, an inarticulate boob who’s failed at literally everything. The ONE thing he’s succeeded at: not getting caught. That onus is on us. We can change all this ourselves just by giving a shit and insisting that the rule of law — now that we’re bringing it back and enforcing it — applies to Trump the same way it applies to the rest of us.

Mitch McConnell is an adept politician but a rotten human. The inner rot is finally making its way to Mitch’s exterior. While he’s managed to keep ahead of the stink up till now, the stink just caught up with Mitch. Mitch has sooooooo much explaining to do. Under oath. With the TV lights turned up to eleven and the glare of the cameras turned up to twelve.

Mitch is the Poster Turtle for cynicism. The end justifies the Treason Turtle means. No one will ever accuse Mitch McConnell of overplaying his sincerity card. He’s our own Schmuck-iavelli.

We need our news media to be deeply skeptical. Alas, “Both Sides Do It” brand journalism has perverted their skepticism into cynicism. Everyone, BSDI insists, does things for the same reasons — usually political. Their motives? The same. They’re concerns — ditto.

Oy.

If Democrats behaved like Republicans, we’d BE Republicans. We don’t. We aren’t. Democrats, you see, are skeptical by nature but prone to cynicism because of the way we keep voting in the majority without experiencing the joy of winning that should have been part of the package. Getting cheated out of the thing you earned sucks if it happens once. With Democrats, this is starting to look like a habit.

Democrats have won the presidential popular vote in every election since Reagan. And yet — though he LOST the popular vote, George W. Bush became POTUS. So did Trump — after losing the popular vote. Trump wants to be the second person to ever LOSE the popular vote twice and still get to be POTUS.

That’s called cheating. And cheating to win is not “another way to win”, it’s cheating. If you cheat to win, you’ve done the opposite of winning: you’ve disqualified yourself from the competition entirely. Win? No, you didn’t win. You’re not even in the conversation.

Maybe We Should Be A Little More Suspicious Of Donald Trump Wanting “HIS” Voters To USE VOTING MACHINES

Donald Trump keeps giving away the game and STILL we refuse to listen to him. Just as Trump’s been telling us his presidency’s illegitimate, he keeps telling us HOW he thought he would stay in the White House — via the VOTING MACHINES. Even Trump’s not dim enough to think he could “ride to victory” on the strength of a red wave. That’s the jingly keys here. Trump wanted HIS voters to skip voting by mail and vote by machine because the machines are where the fix was set up and ready to roll. Right now, everyone’s asking aloud “how could ALL the pollsters be sooooo wrong again?” They weren’t wrong. Stop looking in the wrong place for the answer to the question.

It’s only a “conspiracy theory” if it has no receipts and the connected dots are sketchily connected at best. Put this in the “Stone Cold Fact” column: most of the voting machine makers are owned by card-carrying Republicans. Their business is almost completely unregulated. The Republican owners are significant donors to Republican politicians and Republican politicians sit on the boards of the voting machine making companies. Conflicts of interest abound — unregulated.

Also add to the “Stone Cold Fact” column: hacking a voting machine doesn’t even amount to “a piece of cake” it’s so easy.

Also add: any voting machine that connects to the internet in any way, shape or form is vulnerable.

Also add: every last voting machine made by these companies has at least one back door available to the company.

Also: to cheat in an election using a voting machine would NOT require any sort of “grand conspiracy” whatsoever. It could be accomplished with, at most, a handful of people. Hell, if properly organized, one could steal a presidency (or a few Senatorial elections) with three. One — at the ownership level — to provide a back door, another — technically competent and able to access that back door at the appropriate time (so the ownership level can claim plausible deniability) so as to drop in the code — and, then the third (the political side) guiding the whole pirate ship with subtle hints and clues. Three people could pull this off and no one would ever know. Plausible deniability uber alles.

These are all facts. Demonstrably true. These machines are vulnerable to criminal behavior intent on changing the outcome of the elections they’re tallying.

The most blatant way to steal an election via computer code in a voting machine would be to overtly steal or flip votes. We KNOW FOR A FACT that that happens! It’s been documented! But that’s too easily caught; it CAN be caught if the voter is vigilant. If too much of that happens (putting myself in the criminal’s expensive loafers), it’s apt to raise questions or, worse, alarm. There needs to be a better, subtler, more nuanced way to win via code.

Padding. That’s the ticket.

The code would go something like this: “for every tenth vote for the Republican candidate, add one vote”. Thus, ten votes becomes eleven votes, twenty becomes twenty-two votes, thirty becomes thirty-three votes and on and on. We’ve just added ten percent to the vote total with very little way to check it out — since the computer code that gave the instruction can either be removed or written so as to “remove itself” after having executed its instructions. This is coding that near-amateurs could probably write.

In 2016, the chattering class was quick to jump on Hillary Clinton and the Democrats for botching the election. For sure, the campaign had its flaws. But look at what it was swimming upstream against: RUSSIA and a full-on cyber war attack with the full-on participation of the entire Republican Party. How typical for the boys to gang up on one girl. The false narrative the news media invented to explain how “the polling could be so wrong!” (it wasn’t) was the “secret Trump voter” who lied to the pollsters out of shame but proudly voted for Trump when the time came.

I’m trying to recall if the news media ever stuck a microphone under the nose of any such voter… They should try now — to find a similar voter who voted for Joe Biden (and everything he stood for) but also for the vulnerable Republican Senate candidate — and everything Trumpian he or she stood for. That sounds… no, it SMELLS like bullshit. It stinks of bad analysis that refuses to look at ALL the possible explanations. Instead, it invents a character it can’t produce so as to interview and VERIFY their story.

Very few people in this election “split their vote”. This was tribal — top to bottom.

It might not be possible anymore to forensic evidence from the voting machines. I don’t know. But the Democrats should be all over that like a Republican on an illegal campaign donation.