If We're In A Kind Of "War Of The Worlds" Between Good & Evil, The Coronavirus Might Be The Ultimate "White Knight"

It’s perverse — that headline. How could something so pathogenically hostile to human beings — a virus able to spread so easily & kill its victims — be a “good guy”? As we know from History, some human beings are worse than pathogens when it comes to killing other people. Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin… Those are just the recent hot shots. The Catholic Church was pretty good, too, in its day. Wouldn’t want to forget about them.

Dark, Right Wing forces have found an opening across the world. Empowered by each other — and by flaws inherent in free societies — uber-conservatives have gotten shockingly close to knocking social democracies from their place as how mature cultures govern themselves. Nothing scares uber-conservatives more than the future. If they could halt evolution itself, they absolutely would.

As their name suggests, conservatives want to conserve. Uber-conservatives want to conserve in the extreme. They really do want to live in the past — in a golden age of order (where they’re 100% in control of that order) that exists only in their minds. The uber-conservatives in America are SO terrified, it turns out, that they were even willing to risk the punishment that could result from attempting a soft coup d’etat.

So far, the Republicans have avoided punishment for their betrayal. When you’re that good at being corrupt, you’re also good at knowing how to keep from getting caught. They now stand squarely outside The Rule Of Law. Squarely outside of oversight. Squarely outside of punishment.

Or so they think…

In HG Wells’ “War Of The Worlds”, Martians take over Earth. They make very short work of our armies and armaments. They subdue us quickly and it looks like humans are in for a long patch of “terrible”. But then the Martians begin to die. Almost overnight, their incredible victory vanishes — and all because the Martians couldn’t handle earthly PATHOGENS.

Quick note to you anti-vaxxers — yes, it’s fiction, but the concept holds for any organism vulnerable to other organisms. Europeans didn’t subdue the native peoples’ of America, their pathogens did. If the Martians had done just a little more homework about the planet they were going to invade, perhaps they would have learned about — and planned for — earth’s pathogens.

Authoritarian China demonstrated by authoritarian government is terrible for human beings. The decision-making process is restricted to those at the very top and no one wants to be the bearer of bad news to decision-makers known for killing bearers of bad news. Every day that China dithered — afraid of offending those in power with the news that a deadly pathogen was on the loose — STALKING THEIR CITIZENS — the coronavirus spread.

Because no one was being quarantined yet, all those people who’d been exposed to the initial infection headed in different directions, potentially spreading the virus to everyone with whom they came into contact. The infection rate rose exponentially — and spread out to the four corners of everywhere else.

Now that we’ve started to actively contain the coronavirus — and find a vaccine for it — we can begin the process of actually neutralizing it as a global threat to human life. It will take time. Meanwhile — China is shut down. Considering all the goods it manufactures (on the cheap) and supplies to the rest of us, China shutting down has the very real potential to shut a giant piece of the world’s economy down.

Considering as the super-charged economy is Trump’s one positive (regardless of the fact, apparently, that the economy was already supercharged during the Obama years), should China’s economy grind to a near halt because of the coronavirus, then all the widgets China supplies won’t be available. That means the bigger product into which the widgets go — that can’t get finished now either.

As supply chains freeze or dry up — even if only for a short period of time — the impact will be ferocious — easily enough to throw our souped up economy into a profound stall. If that happens — and, with no moves left in our hand to effect the economy, Trump oversees a massive recession, even the stupidest journalist would have to give in — Trump will get blamed for being an incompetent and a traitor.

Wars are messy thing and we are most definitely in one. This is the first world wide Cyber War — World War Three, it will soon be known as. America’s election was attacked by a cyber-experienced Russian spy shop. How much control they have over this Frankenstein’s Monster — we don’t know yet.

But, we’re about to find out.

It’s perverse as hell to root for a nasty little pathogen over innocent humans. But, clearly, Big Ideas will not stop criminals from harming the rest of us. Hopefully Little single-celled organisms can rise to the challenge — and save us from ourselves.

How Do You Sell CHANGE To People Terrified Of Change?

My wife and I had dinner last night with friends we hadn’t seen for a while — busy schedules, our children on different tracks — life, in other words.

Rene’s a lawyer. Lovely guy. More honest than the day is long.

What I’ve always loved about “arguing” with Rene is his complete loyalty to The Rule Of Law. If you don’t have receipts to back up your argument, your argument has no place at the table. Rigor is everything.

One of the subjects we wrangled over — actually, it was more like Rene had me in a headlock and I struggled pathetically — was how to appeal to those Trump voters who might come across to vote Democratic. Rene’s a better man than I will ever be. He argued for understanding them so as to appeal too them.

Rene’s point — we had to deal with what they were afraid of in order to bring them in — or even just make them see that we heard and understood them.

“Okay,” I said, “What are they afraid of?”

Economics. Brown people taking their jobs. People of color getting opportunities while they get nothing.

“But none of that’s happening,” I said.

Doesn’t matter. That’s what’s scaring them. Deal with it.

I got hung up on the messaging — that these people were mis-informed and self-defeating. We Democrats should focus on new voters instead and screw the Trump voters. Rene wouldn’t walk away from them. Yes, yes — we both agreed about the 30% or so who are old Nixonians — those scumbags were irredeemable. Rene was focused on that slice of Trumpians who voted for Obama.

The white men, mostly, of the rust belt and coal country. West Virginia.

I insisted that the thing he said scared them seemed like an abstraction rather than a real thing — and that people can’t actually be afraid of abstractions; they need a “thing” to personify the abstraction (like Goldberg in 1984). Rene insisted right back at me that people CAN be afraid of abstractions — and clever, creative people like me should be figuring out how to deal with that fact.

We moved on to other subjects — where Rene continued to make a meal of me. But the first topic stuck with me as we had desert and tea afterwards and then on through the drive home, bedtime and a pretty good night’s sleep. Rene’s question bugged me. How do you sell people afraid of an abstraction?

It still gnawed at me: what, really, are these people afraid of?

I grew up in the shadow of the Holocaust in a Jewish suburb outside of Baltimore. I started Hebrew School at age 6 in 1965 — 20 years after the camps were liberated. Rather than shy away from the topic, my Jewish education obsessed on the topic. The end of the war didn’t mean the end of Jew hatred, it meant the end of this chapter of Jew hatred — a really, really, REALLY “successful” chapter of Jew hatred (from Jew hatred’s point of view).

Israel — while a good, positive development in Jews not getting massacred again — was surrounded by Arab countries that wanted to obliterate it.

“We are still hated & reviled” was pounded into my skull. Fear is the natural ride-along to all of that. Fear is your survival instinct telling you it’s got your back. I have lived my whole life with that fear tickling the back of my neck.

I know from “fear”.

Charlottsville & “Jews will not replace us” — that produced feelings of genuine fear. That old prickling on the back of my neck that I felt the first time I saw this photo — and put myself in that boy’s place…

What that boy feels — that’s fear. What those Trump voters were feeling… the best I will grant it is “fear adjacent”.

Rene talked about the most obvious problem afflicting these people — they were tied to industries and ways of life that were dying if not already dead. They’d replaced hope for the future with opioids. You could try to relocate them to where jobs of the future were but — they liked where they lived. They were tied to it apparently — as if they “owned” the land (which they most certainly did not).

And then it hit me. It’s obvious, really. Just open your eyes, mate: these people are afraid of CHANGE. THAT’S the “abstraction” they’re afraid of. They’re facing profound change to virtually every part of their lives — and it’s scaring the crap out of them. For real. They are on the cutting edge of the very thing that motivated the GOP to steal election 2016 — the White Guy’s Fear Of Change — especially the one where he loses political supremacy.

Rene’s right. Damn him. Those former Obama voters are terrified of change — because change is hitting them first.

If I continue down this road toward decency, as my friend Rene would, I’d start to challenge myself with this question: How does my party appeal to people who are in fact “gettable” as voters — but only if I can overcome their fear of change. And a big chunk of the Democratic Message sounds like profound change…

As I said — what I love about “arguing” with my friend Rene is his rigor. And his profound decency.

As we here on the left can testify to, having changed shoved down your throat is horrible. Even more so when it’s the opposite of what you want. It never sits well. The mission isn’t to compromise the change we want — hell, the change we DEMAND. But, if it’s possible to reel a few people in — maybe more — considering the massive cheating that’s about to come at us, a single vote & voter might make the difference.

Hey, Marketing Department — get in here! This concerns you!

Rush Limbaugh Is The Poster Boy For What Happens When Conservatism Crashes Into Reality

I don’t wish cancer on anyone. Not out loud anyway. Inside my head might be another story but that’s between me and me.

For years, Rush Limbaugh used his radio show to 1) pooh-pooh the harmful effects of tobacco (and cigar smoking) while advocating that his audience take up the habit BECAUSE TOBACCO COULDN’T HURT THEM and 2) tell his radio audience that marijuana (medical marijuana in particular) was bullshit.

Don’t believe me — believe Rush

Oh, the irony — she is cruel, no? It seems that the very words Rush was reading and mocking came back to take a giant, lung-sized bite out of Rush’s ass.

The question isn’t whether or not adults can do things that might be dangerous to them. So long as they understand the risks involved and so long as they don’t drag anyone else into their risky behavior with them? Go ahead — smoke ten packs a day if that floats your boat. Just don’t breathe on me, dude. And don’t feed other people the same misinformation & bullshit YOU used to make your shitty, ill-informed decision. That’s criminal — propagandizing innocent people into self-destructive behavior.

Rush has also spent his career bleating about the dangers of medical marijuana. Rush says he’s never tried it — doesn’t have to. Still, “he knows” what the experience is like — “knows” its (lack of) efficacy as a medicine. What a shame for Rush then that, as he begins a course of chemotherapy, he’s turned his nose up at a product that could actually help him. If Rush had an open mind, as the chemo did its worst to him, he’d reach for a hybrid like Girl Scout Cookies or Dutch Treat. For starters, there’s the feeling of mild euphoria — a sense that whatever life’s throwing at you, you can now handle it. Then there’s the way it alleviates nausea — something that destroys chemo patients from within. Finally, there’s the fact that cannabis gives you the munchies — and eating is essential for chemo patients to keep up their strength.

Shame Rush got cancer. He has a chance now — with the limited time he has left — to demonstrate the capacity to learn. When I faced my own mortality (I attempted suicide), it changed me profoundly. After I overcame my darkness — and the compulsion to hurt myself — I felt “born again”. I approached my life and the time I have left with renewed passion. I’ve made it my life’s work to preach what I learned.

We all need to seize the day, live our lives to their fullest. Rush Limbaugh has a golden opportunity to change his legacy from ignorant, petty racist to very good man.

Everything that came before says it won’t happen.

If I wasn’t so convinced I’d die, I’d hold my breath.

Kirk Douglas Died Yesterday — I Had The Pleasure of Working With Him; It Went Something Like This…

Back in the early 1990’s (1990 – 1996), I had this amazing gig: I ran a show for HBO called “Tales From The Crypt“. My creative partner at the time and I took over the show in its third season after the second season had run a million dollars over budget. Gil Adler (my partner then) is a superb producer. An accountant by training, Gil understood that if you had a dollar to spend on the project, it was no good thinking you could spend $1.01. You didn’t have that extra penny — and should rewrite accordingly.

That’s where I came in.

At the time Gil and I took over running Tales, season three was supposed to be “it” for the series. HBO wasn’t going to order any more. But Gil and I had another idea. Gil believed we could use the cachet of our executive producers (some of the biggest names in Hollywood at the time — Joel Silver, Dick Donner, Bob Zemeckis & Walter Hill) to get the biggest names in Hollywood to do our little half hour horror-black comedy show. I believed we needed to take the writing back to the EC Comics in its embrace of irony, juicy (but hilarious) gore and righteous indignation at scumbags getting away with shit.

I also advocated for reinventing the Crypt Keeper. Through the first two seasons, the Crypt Keeper pretty much wore the same outfit (his sackcloth-looking hoodie) and spoke the same puns while sitting in the same set. The Crypt Keeper was the franchise as much as the comics (was my thinking). We needed to know more about him. What did the Crypt Keeper do — I wanted us to explore — when he’s off the clock and not being the Crypt Keeper? What were his interests and hobbies? What were his likes & dislikes? Who were his friends? What did he do for entertainment or recreation?

The Crypt partners liked what Gil and I did to their show. HBO liked it, too (they ultimately ran us for four more seasons). The Crypt Keeper became a recognizable enough character that products like Budweiser co-branded with him. We’re still talking about the Crypt Keeper today because of that reinvention. Gil and I also got that great Hollywood talent to join us for an episode — Michael J. Fox, Tom Hanks, Kirk Douglass…

HBO — having made its decision to extend Crypt’s life beyond that third season — allowed us to splash out on the final episode of that third season — an episode that our executive producer Bob Zemeckis was going to direct. Bob — for those who don’t know who he is — is one of most innovative guys to work in the film/TV business. He’s also one of the most exquisitely collaborative. It is an unadulterated creative pleasure to work with Mr. Z.

As all the episodes had to (by contract with EC Comics’ founder Bill Gaines) be connected — at least via title — with an actual Tales From The Crypt (or Vault of Horror or any of the other EC horror title) comic. Bob had chosen “Yellow” — a story that took place during World War I. Bob wanted to recreate scenes from one of his own favorite movies — Stanley Kubrick’s “Paths Of Glory” — which, it just so happened — starred KIRK DOUGLAS.

Ya see where this is going?

Kirk Douglas in Stanley Kubrick’s “Paths of Glory”, 1957

For Bob’s vision of the episode, we HAD to get Kirk Douglas. The script we had was good but not yet good enough. The story (thumbnailed) — WWI general (Kirk) learns that his men all believe the general’s son (an officer) is a coward — that he’s “yellow”; the son’s cowardice in battled directly caused the death of another (much more highly valued) officer. The General puts his son on trial — and allows him to be convicted — and sentenced to be shot the next morning by firing squad. The son pleads with his father to save him. The General tells the son he has a plan. The son will go along bravely — facing the punishment he deserves like a man. But the firing squad will be rigged so that no one will fire any fatal shots at the son. His death will be faked.

The son is grateful — and goes along with it. He owns up to his cowardice and admits the punishment he’s about to receive is just and deserved. Of course, his father hasn’t rigged anything. He’s gotten his son to do the right thing — before being executed.

See? Morality tale. Not exactly a happy ending but it’s Tales From The Crypt. Find happy endings elsewhere.

The father-son relationship in the script we had was under-developed and one-dimensional. Bob believed that if we invested more in those two characters — and made them more realistic — we could score Kirk for the General. And that’s exactly what happened. The work I did on the script gave Bob the confidence he needed to submit the script to Kirk’s agents for them to consider.

When Kirk said “yes” and agreed to take the part, Bob was thrilled. He wrote me a very kind note. Sent a very cool gift basket even. It was very gratifying as you can imagine. Kirk had one caveat though — if he was going to take the role. The part of the son had to be played by his son Eric Douglas.

Cast of “Tales From The Crypt” episode “Yellow” — Kirk Douglas, Eric Douglas & Dan Ackroyd

Kirk had been trying for a few years at that point to help Eric get an acting career launched. In 1971, Eric had appeared in “A Gunfight” starring his dad and Johnny Cash. In 1982, he appeared in the NBC television film Remembrance of Love, also starring his father. In fact, Eric played a younger version of his father’s character in flashback scenes.

He also had played small parts in other projects not involving his father. To be fair — but honest — he couldn’t get past his own baggage so as to be the best actor he could be. It’s no secret that Eric’s baggage ultimately killed him. On July 6, 2004 — after almost two dozen attempts at rehab, arrests on both coasts for drug possession and disorderly conduct — Eric was found dead in his Manhattan apartment. The toxicology report pointed to “acute intoxication” caused by the combined effects of alcohol, tranquilizers and painkillers.

Eric’s death was ruled accidental but there was nothing really “accidental” about it. Of all the lost souls I’ve ever met, Eric was the most lost.

Being a father myself, I understand completely how you can only do so much for your kids. Past a certain point, whatever parenting mistakes you made — they’re hard-wired now. What you see is what you got. Though he had countless rehab centers and broken promises and who knows what other psychodrama still ahead of him, Kirk knew when he and Eric did Crypt together that Eric was a ticking time bomb.

Interestingly, Eric had a groupie. There was a young woman (I’ve long since forgotten her name) who was a total Eric Douglas fan. There was nothing sexual between them (that I know of) but she was devoted to Eric. She believed in him. Believed Eric was an incredible actor who the world just hadn’t discovered yet.

Kirk did a wonderful job with his role. He worked as well with Eric as an actor could. He tried damned hard not to outshine his son in their scenes together.

We also cast Dan Ackroyd and Lance Henriksen in the episode. We turned a couple of acres of Simi Valley into the Sommes.

Check out the episode. Kirk got an Emmy nomination for his work.

In Essence, Donald Trump's Just A Glorified Car Thief — Who's Stolen America's Car

Something I struggle with daily is our news media’s raging inability to tell the story we’re all part of. Had our main stream news media not normalized “Mexicans are rapists” and “pussy-grabbing” in favor of “her emails”, we might not be at the precipice right this second. To Donald Trump’s infinite credit, he has the innate ability to ID the most susceptible to his perverse brand of bullshit and then sell those rubes as much bullshit as they can swallow. He’s always known the majority of the press are among those rubes — and he’s played them accordingly.

For reference-sake: back when the GOP-dominated House went after all attempts to investigate Trump’s 2016 campaign and its deep involvement with Russia, they went hard after the Steele Dossier of course. They were desperate to undermine its integrity. One has to wonder why… . The GOP hauled Glenn Simpson, one of the founders of Fusion GPS, the oppo research firm that sub-contracted out to Christopher Steele, before Congress to answer “tough questions” about why Fusion was investigating Trump and his campaign.

Simpson described how Fusion — being pro’s — did their due diligence before beginning their work in earnest. They got their hands on every piece of publicly available material about Trump — every book, every magazine or newspaper article, every TV show or radio interview, every burp or fart Trump committed in public, Fusion got its hands on it. What they found there (Simpson testified) — in publicly available material — so concerned them that they hired Christopher Steele (former MI6 Russia desk guru) to investigate further; Steele, it was agreed upon, had excellent sources inside Russia. Fusion saw money laundering. They saw corruption. They saw criminal behavior.

They saw a car thief.

Maybe our news media’s problem is they just can’t wrap their heads around the enormity of the crime we’re talking about here. It’s epic in its evil. It’s unthinkable. And yet it is. They did it. It’s a fact. Donald Trump and the Republican Party conspired with Russia to pervert the outcome of now multiple American elections. Their intention: to get and hold onto political power forever — in defiance of the wishes and will of the American electorate. It’s as bad as bad can be. Worse even.

But let’s see the crime more metaphorically. America is an amazing car that everyone wants to drive around in. It’s crazy with innovations. It’s fast, too. Big, of course, and roomy. But there are rules to how you get to drive this car. For starters, the car belongs to The American People.

We allow special people — people we vet — to drive the car for four years at a time. If they treat the car respectfully, we’ll let them drive it around for another four years. But, first they have to earn the right to drive the car. Driving the car, you see, comes with rights. And privileges.

And responsibilities. We make you take an oath about how you’ll drive our car. It spells out how important it is to us that you drive our car responsibly and not like some asshole out for a joyride.

If you go through the vetting process to the American Peoples’ satisfaction, we’ll hand you the keys — with the understanding that the car is NOT yours — it’s ours and we retain the right to take back the keys if you violate your oath to drive our car responsibly.

Donald Trump didn’t do that however. Donald Trump pretended to go through the vetting process. But even as he took part in the vetting, Donald was talking to his Russian pal Vladimir. Vlad has always coveted our car. He knows he can’t drive it — but he’d like to have influence over whoever drives our car. If Vlad had influence over the person driving America’s car? He could get them to drive the way Vlad likes, going places Vlad likes, running errands Vlad wants run.

Vlad saw a way to control how America’s car gets driven by getting Donald Trump to do his dirty work. Trump — with Vlad’s help — figured out how to STEAL our car. For real! Vlad figured out how to go around our car’s security system. He even found a way to start the car without the keys. We had another driver in mind for the next four years — a lady named Hillary.

Instead, on the day we intended to hand Hillary the keys, we walked out to the driveway to find our car stolen.

The car was out there all right — but Donald Trump was sitting behind the wheel. Donald insisted he’d done all the vetting properly — and even paid for the car. His friends all agreed. Nothing untoward here. The car, Donald & his buddies all insisted, was legally Donald’s. He would get to drive our car around for the next four years.

From the moment Donald slid behind the wheel, we felt weird about the whole thing. Donald never acted like he had any experience with a car like ours. He didn’t seem to care to be taught HOW to drive it around. He was convinced that however he drove the car — that was how the car was supposed to be driven.

And if the car broke down — which he insisted it was doing repeatedly (though we didn’t seem to think it was happening), he alone could fix it.

So, we’re standing there — in our driveway — staring at the street where Donald is sitting behind the wheel of our car. “You never earned the right to drive our car,” we insist. Donald grins sheepishly for a second then catches himself. He doesn’t have to “earn” the right to do anything. He’s a Trump.

Donald lays on the horn. The car is his, he insists.

“Can we see the papers then?” we ask — “Show us the bill of sale & the new registration so we can ascertain that indeed you are the car’s new rightful driver. Instead, Donald drives off — with our car — laughing as he pulls away, revving the engine too high.

Fearing for ourselves and the car, we call the cops. Problem is, the head cop — guy named Bill Barr — is a good friend of Donald’s. He insists Donald didn’t steal our car and therefore won’t press charges against Donald. In fact, Bill insists that Donald can do whatever he likes with our car. He can drive it dangerously. He can replace all the good parts with crap. He can sell off parts to his friends — or let his friends drive around in it — or drive it even.

Turns out, just after Donald stole the car, he wasn’t even behind the wheel most of the time. Vladimir was. That’s the most worrying part of it. All this time we thought Donald was driving our car? It was Vladimir — and Vladimir is dead set on wrecking our car. He won’t disable it; we’ll be able to drive around. But no one will want to drive our car anymore — the way they all did. They won’t even want to see it near their driveways. Or in their neighborhoods. Or zip codes even.

Donald Trump intends to make our car his forever. He intends for our stolen car to stay stolen. Forever.

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.

Here's The Question We Should All Be Asking: WHEN Did The GOP Collectively Decide To End Our Democratic Republic?

Yesterday, Lamar Alexander — Moscow Mitch McConnell’s Kentuckian partner in Senate Crime — gave the whole Republican game away. Yeah — the House proved its case beyond a shadow of a doubt. Donald Trump did everything he’s accused of. He did more — and we’re likely to learn about it. So what?

“So what?” is the Republican response to “But, the Constitution…” and “But, the Rule Of Law…” and “But, just basic logic says…”.

Let’s be clear — Mitch McConnell didn’t walk into that vote with any doubts how it would turn out. He has not a doubt how Wednesday’s vote will go. He can count — and he knows he can count ON every single other Republican there in Congress. Lamar Alexander put it plainly — “We all know that Trump 1) broke the law, 2) intends to KEEP breaking the law and 3) intends to break the law in order to UNDERMINE THE INTEGRITY of the election all the Republicans scream we should wait for.”

Our not-very-bright MSM keeps asking the same not-very-bright question: why, oh why does the Republican Party continue to back Donald Trump? WHY do they stay so loyal to him? How could they piss in the face of 70% – 80% of the country who wanted evidence and witnesses? It’s simple. Yes, on the one hand, the Senate is rigged to give real estate more say than human beings. Those Republican Senators don’t necessarily have to fear for their seats. But, don’t they have to fear for their souls?

“Juror” (sworn to impartiality) Mitch McConnell wasn’t the only Republican Senator to openly state how he intended to vote in this trial before it even began. Think of it — anyone with an “R” next to their name who took their oath seriously should have been horrified at the thought — because that meant their fellow jurors would be violating their oath — and perverting the solemn process they were now part of.

Please, say you’re laughing right now. Every Republican violated their oath during this trial. Every Republican knew they were doing it as they did it. Every Republican pretty much marches in lock step.

Hmmmmmm… Democrats never march in lock step — we’re too disorganized. What Will Rogers said early in the 20th century still holds true about us: “I’m not a member of any organized political party, I’m a Democrat”. Republicans, by contrast, enjoy walking in lock step. They’re good at getting ORGANIZED like that.

Getting organized… you cannot march in lock step — even on a critical vote about a president everyone taking that vote KNOWS is guilty — without getting organized FIRST.

That means at some point in the past, a bunch of Republicans had to sit in a room together an GET organized — to march in lock step — to do the thing they’re not doing. Considering the extreme criminal nature of it — violating the Constitution in myriad ways — they had to CONSPIRE together.

No doubt, this criminal conspiracy started small. A handful of criminals — Mitch (representing the Money and the GOP’s deepest, darkest desires), Paul Ryan… Paul Ryan we know because when current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy walked into a room of muckety-mucks during the 2016 GOP convention and said “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump“, Paul Ryan said “Let’s keep that ‘in the FAMILY’.”

Ya mean like ‘Crime Family’, Paul?

At some point this conspiracy to defraud Americans of a free & fair election spread as far & wide as the Russian money did to Republican campaign coffers. Not a single Republican raised their hand to say anything. Not a one called the FBI.

Quick Reminder: we KNOW that the Russians hacked into the Republicans same as they hacked into the Democrats. They spent all their Democratic hacking finds during 2016. The betting is they’ve been holding their Republican hacking all along — using it and lots of other material as kompromat. Once you’ve started down that road, there’s no going back shy of a confession.

The Republican Party knows exactly — E X A C T L Y — what it is doing here. It’s calculated. It’s planned.

You can’t really wing a coup d’etat after all and expect to get away with it.