How The Hell Did America Normalize Treason?

So, last night, I attended a fundraiser for Representative Adam Schiff at a friend’s home. Representative Schiff was awesome. He’s great in a room, as we know, and he did not disappoint last night. His message — geared toward fundraising for the 2022 election campaign — was hopeful but realistic. These are extraordinary times — and not in a good way. It will require extraordinary effort to get through this, a thing Rep Schiff believes firmly we can and will do. After Schiff finished speaking, he took questions for about twenty minutes. That’s when I realized how bad things are. Adam Schiff is doing his job and doing it well all things considered. We The People — the other side of the equation at the fundraiser — are failing miserably.

There was considerable money at this fundraiser; the buy in at the top was thousands and thousands of dollars. Even the cheap seats weren’t cheap. Also there was brain power there. Cal Tech was physically nearby. A few Cal Tech-ers were in (outside actually) the house. The questions were all smart, detailed and thoughtful. Great! But none of the questions seemed to grasp the most fundamental question facing America right this second: the outright criminal behavior of the entire Republican Party as they openly attempt to not only subvert democracy but end it.

Think about this — the Republican Party as a whole is actively engaged in various activities (legislating, propagandizing, co-conspiring to obstruct justice) that are, on their face, illegal. Their attempts to curtail voting aren’t just some “opinion” they have about our system of government, it’s an active attempt to deny millions of Americans their RIGHT TO VOTE. That is a violation of their civil rights. In fact, because these laws can’t differentiate between who they’re disenfranchising, these regressive, racist laws therefore have the potential to deny EVERY voter their right to vote. Every one of these “you can vote this way but you can’t vote that way” laws is really demanding that non-white voters guess h ow many imaginary jelly beans are in the imaginary jar inside every Republican’s head. A poll tax is a poll tax is a poll tax.

Hell, normalizing racism is what this country does better than anyone. Our founders may have written “All men are created equal” but most of them did not believe that. Never mind. We’re all here to fix those mistakes. And they are mistakes that demand fixing. Our news media still haven’t figured out that the LAST person you should ever ask “Are you racist?” is a racist. Unless they’re really hard core, they’ll insist that not only aren’t they racist, they’re probably the least racist person they know. That’s exactly how racists think. It’s why the racist is the LAST person you should ever ask “Are you racist?” The only person who really knows that truth? The racist’s victim.

While our system insists that everyone gets their day in court before being convicted, not every crime gets that kind of daylight shined on it. That’s part of our problem — the prevalence of terrible behavior coming from one particular part of the political class. The Republicans have abandoned any and all pretense that they’re into continuing American democracy as it has always been. The GOP’s intent is clear. Unable to win elections on the strength of their ideas, instead they’ve resorted to gerrymandering, voter suppression and outright treason as a means to win and keep winning elections. The whole point of taking power from elected officials and giving it to private actors is to benefit a few individuals over the commonweal.

We have already accepted massive amounts of corruption into our hard costs. There’s a flaw in our thinking that opens that door. It’s the flaw I saw on display last night at the Adam Schiff fundraiser: tacit acceptance of the corrupt status quo. We The People have allowed Republicans to operate corruptly for so long that the Republicans think that corruption is their entitlement. They still think slavery was their entitlement and they’re still insanely angry that we ever freed the slaves. Or, far worse, let them vote.

I marvel at the remarkable grace Black Americans maintain despite how horribly America has always treated them. It’s like this community — in the face of its relentless oppression — saw the inherent rightness of the democratic ideal and committed to doing everything in its power to make it happen no matter how long it took and despite endless white resistance. Those who must constantly fight to keep their rights have a whole different view of their rights than, say, an aggrieved white guy who takes his rights for granted. Hell, white people think they have rights they don’t in fact have. But, when you’ve been the dominant culture forever, when you’ve always been favored, always gotten first dibs on anything of value, always benefitted regardless of what happened to anyone else, you’re apt to assume a kind of “I can do whatever the hell I want!” kind of ‘tude.

How did America normalize treason? That’s how. White guys did it to protect their hold on power. They allied with a hostile foreign power to do it, knowing that they were all now compromised. On June 15, 2016, current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy walked into a room of GOP muckety-mucks. The meeting was recorded on audio tape and the tape was played — a year later — for a Washington Post reporter who printed a whole transcript of the conversation. As he enters, Kevin says out loud “There’s two people I think Putin pays — Rohrbacher and Trump! Swear to God!” Kevin added the “Swear to God” in the face of nervous laughter.

No one in the room suddenly regarded Kevin like he had three heads. No one asked whether Trump would really do such a terrible thing or if he’d already had done it. No one behaved as if an important member of their hierarchy had just told them that their likely nominee to be POTUS was a flat out traitor — compromised by a foreign government we KNEW wanted to undermine us. No one said “Holy shit, Kevin — let’s get the FBI on the phone! This sounds like it could be really, really bad!” Instead, then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan (third in line to the presidency) put an end to the conversation, insisting that the subject would not be discussed outside that room. “That’s how we know we’re family,” is how Ryan put it. Literally.

Right there, that room normalized treason. To them, a POTUS guilty of treason was not a problem. That made them ALL guilty of treason. That makes everyone who’s heard this story (on the inside) and did nothing about it is aiding and abetting traitors. That’s not hyperbole, it’s fact. Want to know what the strange hold Trump has over the GOP? That’s it. That’s the hold — even bigger than the fear of being primaried out of a job by a Trumpanista. Getting primaried means losing your job. Being prosecuted for treason? That could get you hung. Literally as capital punishment is still one of the ways America handles those who betray it the way Donald Trump and the entire Republican Party has betrayed America.

For all four years of Trump’s presidency, the GOP obstructed any attempt to investigate Trump’s odd relationship with Russia. That wasn’t just to protect their hold on power (the move they’re making now). That was to deny America the stone cold truth that but for Russia Donald Trump would NEVER have been POTUS. And, but for the Republican Party, that secret would already be prosecuted.

White America’s refusal to share power with non-white Americans lies at the heart of this catastrophe. The hard right was money was so determined to hold onto power that they willingly and knowingly cast their lot in with Russia to get Trump over the finish line. And, once they’d gotten him there — knowing that Russia was instrumental in MAKING Trump POTUS — they refused to divulge that secret because of the consequences that would surely befall them. The Republican Party isn’t just the Trump Party, it’s the Treason Party.

White corruption has been deeply entrenched since the country’s founding. How else can one see the statement “All men are created equal” being made by a country that also legalizes slavery? Great idea, too bad the execution was so awful; hey — leave it to all the non-white people to get the concept right! That’s what needs to happen here. White men need to take a back seat for the time being. They need to let everyone else take over the helm for the foreseeable future. That’s not to say that everyone else will absolutely get governing a democracy right, but it isn’t possible to screw up this amazing experiment in human self-government any more than the white men have. Really and truly, no one could do worse. Anything else would be a verifiable improvement.

The GOP’s partner in crime remains the news media — at least those who drank the “both sides do it” kool aid. Both sides do not and have never conspired with foreign enemies to take over the government after an election as the Republican Party is now doing. We have to assume that everything comes with Russia’s stamp of approval. Let’s be real — even if the Republicans succeeded in turning America from a democracy into an autocracy, Vlad Putin will expect his due. From each and every one of them.

Like the traitors they are and always will be.

In “Both Sides Do It” World, A Politician, A Criminal And A Public Servant Are All The Same Thing

American journalism has a lot to answer for. Given multiple opportunities to be the new Woodward-Bernstein, most American journalists chose to be Judith Miller instead. Judith Miller was the vaunted New York Times Reporter with the remarkable inside access to the George W. Bush White House and to the office of Vice President Dick Cheney in particular. The cost of that access was any pretense that Judith Miller would tell the truth about Dick Cheney and the mountain range of corrupt behaviors Cheney and his office perpetrated in order to put and keep America at war with Iraq. Cheney’s chief of staff Scooter Libby was convicted of leaking the identity of covert intelligence officer Valerie Plame. To Judith Miller, getting and maintaining access to a source (even if it compromised her capacity to tell the truth) was more important than telling the truth. Judith liked the power access gave her. And, frankly, the naked cynicism fit better than the skepticism she’d never quite mastered.

Skepticism v cynicism. That, in a nutshell, is where American journalism went wrong. Skepticism is harder by a long shot. It requires perspective. “Is that really so?” and “Why IS that exactly” should be the guiding principles. The journalist has to appreciate at all times that the story she’s focusing on is a tile in a much larger mosaic. How does that tile fit into the larger picture? That’s a skeptic’s question because it assumes a complex world. Cynics, on the other hand, assume only simplicity. Every story can be boiled down to one opinion versus another. He said, she said. But, if you walk in the door assuming everyone’s an honest actor — or that everyone’s a dishonest actor — you’re going to mis-frame your reporting because neither assumption is true.

A skeptical journalist – bringing perspective to the table – looks and listens for subtle clues that what they’re seeing and hearing has the ring of truth. When they see and hear those signs, the story takes a step forward because their skepticism has established to their satisfaction that their reporting can now add information upon which it can build. Adding information is how good, skeptical journalists build and tell a story. But a cynical journalist can’t do that because they can never establish to their satisfaction that anyone’s telling the truth. Or that anyone’s lying. If journalists won’t be the bulwark for what is versus what isn’t then their subjects will get to do it. That’s how Donald Trump managed to stand in front of the White House Press Corps for four years and spew pure, unadulterated bullshit with only the occasional whimper of complaint.

Counting Trump’s lies was great sport. It didn’t stop him from lying. Perhaps if the White House Press Corps had — just once — walked out en masse (and on camera) in order to make the point: STOP LYING TO US! But, of course, doing that would have risked access to an historically hypersensitive POTUS. Yes, on the one hand, if you’re not there to ask a question, you can’t ask a question. But, then, OTOH? Are you really asking any kind of meaningful questions? It’s all access for the sake of having access. That is pure cynicism.

Let’s compare public servant Adam Schiff to public servant Matt Gaetz.

While in high school, Schiff was both class valedictorian and the student voted by his classmates “most likely to succeed”. He got a BA from Stanford in poli sci and his JD from Harvard Law School. Those are nice names to have on your resume. They don’t automatically convey anything however. Donald Trump has Wharton and the University of Pennsylvania on his CV. Without daddy’s money, Trump wouldn’t have been allowed in the dorms at either institution never mind the classrooms. After law school, Schiff clerked for a judge in California then became an assistant district attorney. He first ran for office in 1994 (but lost), trying again (and succeeding) in 1996. Since then, Adam Schiff has epitomized the very notion of what a “public servant” should be.

Schiff’s closing remarks delivered during Trump’s first impeachment pretty much sum up his public servant bona fides…

Matt Gaetz is one hundred percent the Goofus to Schiff’s Gallant.

In Gaetz’s defense, there’s nothing wrong with being mediocre. Gaetz was an unremarkable high school student, an unremarkable undergrad at Florida State University and an unremarkable graduate of the William & Mary Law School (the country’s oldest, by the way). In 2008, Matt had a run-in with the law after cops pulled him over and booked him for a DUI. Strangely, though Matt SHOULD have lost his license, he didn’t. Pays to have connections apparently.

After a year of “private practice”, Gaetz did what his father and grandfather had done — he ran for office (as a Florida state rep). Having more money than any other candidate in the Republican primary got him through a crowded field. Having waaaaaay more money on hand than his Democratic opponent made a huge difference in the general election which Gaetz won handily. Having a little political power in his hands brought Matt Gaetz’s base awfulness to the surface.

A taste: Gaetz proposed legislation that would hasten the execution of many inmates on Florida’s death row, he joined State Senator Greg Evers in proposing legislation to eliminate the federal ethanol content mandate that 10 percent of gasoline sold in Florida contain ethanol and he was one of two members of the Florida House to vote against a Florida bill against revenge porn in 2015, after having successfully blocked the bill previously.

In 2016, Gaetz took his act national to the US House of Representatives. As we’re about to learn from the flipped testimony of Gaetz’s buddy former Florida Tax Collector Joel Greenberg, the answer to question “Are you a pedophile?” is “yes”.

And lest we forget — Matt said this:

In theory, both Adam Schiff and Matt Gaetz are “public servants”. From the news media’s point of view — that’s certainly true. But beyond the label, the two have zero in common.

But, from a cynical news media’s point of view, that fact’s irrelevant. They’re both “politicians”, too. If Matt Gaetz is also a criminal? Then what’s to say Adam Schiff isn’t one too?

Or, conversely — if Adam Schiff is a paragon of political virtue and public service then so is Matt Gaetz. From the news media’s point of view, who are they to say otherwise? Well, actually, according to the Constitution, they are the ones we most NEED to say otherwise — to employ their most skeptical instincts as the final check on raw political power.

When this assault on our democracy is finally laid to rest — as it will be — after we’ve finished investigating and prosecuting every last perpetrator (to leave an unprosecuted would invite them to try again), we need to turn our focus on the news media. We need to force some very real, very hard self analysis upon them. We need to rub their noses in “both sides do it”. It’s the only way to make them feel the disgust the rest of us feel about it.

We’ll know we’re finally making headway when wastes of carbon like Chuck Todd finally get kicked to the curb.

America’s founders didn’t intend to create a binary political environment but their refusal to outlaw slavery at the outset pretty much guaranteed that America would always be binary — pro-slavery v anti-slavery. Take this to the bank: pretty much every white supremacist would vote to bring back slavery if they could figure out a way to get it onto a ballot somewhere. That’s why their “public servants” — like Matt Gaetz feel less like servants and more like co-conspirators to commit a crime. That’s what they’re doing — committing crimes. But, in order to see that happening, you must have perspective.

A news media that really and truly believes that all politicians and public servants are criminals because some are isn’t doing the democracy they’re serving any favors.

Or, What If The Meeting Between Biden & Putin Is More Of A “Showdown”?

For four years, Vladimir Putin looked DOWN into Donald Trump’s eyes as Trump metaphorically serviced Vlad. As current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy knew a full month before the GOP nominated Trump to be POTUS, Putin owned him. As Kevin put it: “There’s two people I think Putin pays – Rohrbacher and Trump – swear to God!” Not much wriggle room there in retrospect. Kevin knew what he was talking about. That must have been the case because ever since, the GOP has done everything it could to keep America from connecting the Trump Dot to the Putin Dot to the Treason Dot. The undeniable fact is that but for Russia, Trump would NEVER have been president. Russia made Trump POTUS and, since, have done everything they could to keep him POTUS. Too bad for them the American electorate showed up en masse and got in Putin’s way. As the residents of Pearl Harbor can tell us, just because a war’s not declared doesn’t mean its bombs and bullets can’t kill you. In this instance, it’s our democracy that’s under surprise attack — by Russia AND by the Republican Party who sprung their surprise attack on our democracy with the assistance of Russia’s military intelligence. Or, as Republicans think of them, “oligarchs who like them”.

Joe Biden sat in on the meeting at the White House in September 2016 where President Obama wanted to inform the gang of eight — the Democratic leaders of the House and Senate — that our intelligence agencies were extremely confident that Russia was actively engaged in trying to make Trump president. Current minority leader Mitch McConnell got up on his treason turtle legs and warned Obama that if did such a dastardly thing — informing America that Russia was attacking us — he would insist that Obama was “politicizing the intelligence”. I wonder what Joe Biden looked like as he stared down Mitch McConnell that day. Unfortunately, Obama caved. He softened the message so completely that it went over everyone’s head — especially the news media’s.

They still believed “But Her Emails” was more important anyway. Ain’t retrospect a bitch?

Understanding how important our intelligence agencies are — and how to work with them — comes more naturally to Joe Biden (having done it for so much of his career in public service) than it did to Trump who was under investigation by those agencies (until Rod Rosenstein ended it). Democrats unfortunately still practice decorum. Were the treason shoe on the other foot, the Republicans probably would have hung people already. The rule of law can be frustrating to follow. Following the rule of law takes longer and demands more energy and attention than ignoring it or breaking it does. I bet Joe Biden knows things (having been briefed now by a rededicated, re-energized IC) about not only Donald Trump but plenty of Republican office holders that would curl our collective hair.

We’re just learning that Trump’s DoJ (by way of Sessions & Barr) went along with Trump’s demands to subpoena the metadata of his Democratic political enemies including Californian representatives Adam Schiff and Eric Swallwell. Every Trumpanista in the DoJ went along with this abuse of power (and violation of the law). Every Trumpanista in Congress feels fine with it. This plays at the same time that Republican lawmakers ramp up attempts to restrict voting to Republicans — all at the behest of Donald Trump who NEEDS Republicans to re-take power completely for one simple reason: otherwise, he’ll be prosecuted for money laundering, tax fraud, election fraud, obstruction of justice and treason. If the Republican Party could stop that from happening they absolutely would. Because they are tied to Trump’s criminality.

If Trump goes down, they’ll all go down. It’s just a stone cold fact. The Republican Party is now a package deal. Vote for them, you vote for Trump. Vote for Trump, you vote for the end of democracy and the beginning of white supremacist, minority rule authoritarianism. It’s not really as if America is facing a choice between the two. We aren’t. Most Americans are crystal clear which America they want — and it’s not the America the Republican party wants us to be. That’s why the GOP has turned to cheating in order to win. The majority wouldn’t vote for Republican ideas if their lives depended on it — which is the case.

Diplomatic principles will prevent Biden from speaking hard core truths to Putin. But, having just visited with our NATO allies — and reaffirmed our collective commitment to stop Putin in every way we can — Biden will speak for more than himself. That’s important when confronting a bully. Biden doesn’t have to threaten any sort of military action; that’d go after the wrong people with the wrong tool. Greed motivates Putin. Greed and Russian nationalism. If we want to pinch Putin hard enough to make him scream “ouch-ski!”, we’ll need to attack his most vulnerable organ: his wallet.

Putin, like all his oligarch pals (and you can’t be an oligarch in Putin’s Russia if Putin doesn’t want you to be one), must bank outside of Russia — mostly here in the West. They know they can’t trust Russian banks since they all own they and they KNOW how corrupt Russian banks are. The last place they’d put their own money is their corrupt banks. That means they need Western banking and investments to harbor their criminal gains. If we attack the gold seams that feed Putin and his pals, we’ll hurt them. Then, either we keep hurting them till they stop or we drain them dry of money. An oligarch without money is an oligarch without power. He’s a nobody.

On the one hand, Putin will savor the chaos yet to come — as prosecution of the insurrectionists begins and, increasingly, draws in Republican members of Congress who helped plan and execute the insurrection. But, it would be absurd to think Putin — with everything he’d done up to that point to make and keep Trump POTUS — that Putin had zero hand in the insurrection. Of course Putin had a hand in it. And those associations will find their way to the surface. Ironically, the insurrection may be the quickest way into prosecuting the entire GOP for treason. Once the idea of treason gets before a Grand Jury anywhere — and more than one traitor gets identified — we’ll have a treasonous conspiracy on our hands — with law enforcement pulling threads that seem to go everywhere.

Prosecuting and punishing every last Republican traitor (and if we don’t punish them or only punish a few, we’ll absolutely invite a repeat performance and soon) will focus the majority’s furor like few things could. Everyone hates being betrayed. Americans haven’t experienced betrayal this disruptive since the Civil War. And, hell — the majority of Americans were willing to take up arms and fight that betrayal.

Our news media — still wedded to framing every story from the Republican perspective — still have it in their heads (having normalized Trump) that his behavior on the world stage is “normal” for American presidents. They think it’s now “normal” for American presidents to have Vlad Putin’s dick in their mouths.

Putin will know — as he looks UP at Joe Biden — that he’ll be keeping his pecker in his pants. That goes for there in the room and outside it. Putin needs to be reminded that, except for its nuclear weapons, it’s a third world shit hole. It’s GDP is 24th in the world, about the same as Italy’s. Aside from crude oil, Russia produces nothing that anyone else wants (including their chaos).

This American leader will offer Putin a chance to get out of the rest of the world’s way. Either Putin will take it or he won’t. If Putin backs down, he’ll still end up sanctioned and his money targeted. But he’ll get to stay “President of Russia”. If Putin continues to be a pariah, he’ll be treated accordingly.

In the background meanwhile will be the ongoing investigation, prosecution and punishment of every American who conspired with Putin even unwittingly. The basic fact is this: Vladimir Putin cannot now or in the past have won an American election. If Putin did ANYTHING – big or small – to in any way “help” make Trump president then the whole enterprise of making Trump POTUS is corrupt and must be treated as such.

As Merrick Garland reminded us all just this morning: nothing is more important to the American democratic franchise than voting and the free and fair elections that make it possible for every eligible American to vote. The authority to govern Americans flows directly from those elections. If we did not elect you, you do not have that authority. We The People did not EVER elect Trump to be POTUS. If not for Russia literally MAKING Trump president, that scourge would NEVER have “taken over” the White House.

Our news media, dopy as ever, thinks this is about “deliverables”. It’s not. The meeting with Putin is very much about everything that precedes the meeting. That’s the context for the meeting. Whereas Trump would ditch our allies so he could openly fondle Putin in public, Biden has sat down with them first. Made peace and rekindled relationships. Then he will have turned to our collective enemy — knowing exactly what Putin has done to us and all our allies. And with THAT in his hand, he will reach toward Putin’s.

Trump’s Criminality Isn’t Up For Debate Anymore; Now The MSM Needs To Connect The NEXT Dot – REPUBLICAN Criminality

Pssssssst, MSM – It’s an elephant. Trust me. And that elephant’s a criminal.

By the time Adam Schiff gavelled the House Intel Committee’s business closed yesterday, the case he and the Democrats were making was well past being made. Never mind what any Republican says about acts being bad (maybe) but still not impeachable. Divorced from politics, the information we’ve learned during the past two weeks — much of it from career diplomats wth no political axes to grind — paints one picture and one picture only: Donald Trump isn’t just unworthy of the office of President Of The United States, he’s a goddamned criminal to boot.

When the talking heads and pundits finally got to have their say, they first had to get past their own amazement at what they’d seen to get to their assessments. As amazed at they were at the picture of Trumpian malfeasance being painted, they were equally amazed by the Republicans’ questions and questioning of the witnesses.

Now, c’mon — watching Devin Nunes throw ludicrous charges around at people — as his defense of Trump tells a story if only we’d listen to it. If we pull back the camera just a scosh (the news media understands that technical term), we see Devin obstructing justice every second of every day. Seems kinda basic to ask “WHY?” No one — not even Devin — does anything for no reason.

And, while Devin’s devotion to Trump seems a little extreme, even THAT demands explanation. Under oath.

Out here in reality, that sort of behavior speaks volumes. That behavior is being practiced by every Republican — irrational denial of the undeniably true. It’s not tribalism at work. At its core, it’s not political either (though a political bent does contribute to it). It’s criminal. It’s a willful intent to not just violate The Rule Of Law but to undermine the integrity of the Constitution.

But, why, you should ask. Why would Republicans want to do THAT ffs? Then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan could answer that question. The way current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy put it was “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump”. That was DURING the 2016 Republican convention — while Paul Manafort was making one change to the Republican Party platform (a change, though odd, that the party hierarchy allowed) — that was notably Putin-friendly and Ukraine un-friendly.

What our MSM can’t wrap their heads around is the insidiousness of what happened — how we got here. They love a good “smoking gun” because it requires the least amount of explanation. All they have to do is point at it and imagine the Pulitzer on their mantle. But what Vladimir Putin launched against us — and it was very much part of a concerted plan against us — is all based in intelligence active measures. It’s equally happy with chaos as a solid, identifiable result — say, a traitor in the White House.

Disinformation, misinformation and propaganda rely on the press to spread them. While it’s easy to get a provocative lie to motivate a crowd to action, if you can get the news media to broadcast the lie for you? Not only does it get a far bigger crowd riled up, it legitimizes your lie because the NEWS MEDIA was spewing it. That’s the secret to Donald Trump’s media success. Even now — today — 13,000 known lies into his presidency — and the NEWS MEDIA still quotes Trump as if his words WEREN’T outright lies.

Just because your hair’s on fire as you report the lie, you’re still a journalist speaking the words — without saying THEY’RE why your hair’s on fire. It creates confusion not because the audience is stupid but because YOU are using the language of the media (sounds & images) incorrectly. You’ve placed your camera too close to the subject so that vital information is happening outside the frame.

To put it simpler, MSM — you’re missing the story. While it’s a stone cold relief that you finally see Russia prominently here, you still don’t see Russia prominently enough. That’s because you’re still grappling with Trump’s relationship with Russia; though you see a relationship, you don’t see the depths of the relationship. You don’t see the HEART of the relationship. They WHY there even is a relationship and who controls the relationship accordingly.

Because the MSM can’t yet see Trump’s relationship with Russia, they can’t see the Republican Party’s relationship with Russia. The MSM still hasn’t acknowledged that Russia didn’t just steal Democratic emails and secrets, they also stole Republican emails and secrets. What’s in them? Could something there explain Lindsey Graham? Or is that explained better by, say, photos Russia’s obtained of Lindsey and sexual partners he’d rather we didn’t know about?

Strange behavior doesn’t just happen. And definitely not en masse. Republican intransigence in the face of incontrovertible evidence of criminality can’t be explained by mere tribalism. Make no mistake — with Republicans (feeling cornered and increasingly isolated in the culture), this goes far beyond groupthink to groupcriminality.

It’s not a coincidence that virtually every silly Republican defense of what Trump does and has done sounds like mob underlings covering for Da Boss. After three years of this bullshit, some of out here in the Public Courtroom get it. This jury member doesn’t need to see more proof (though I’m always happy to get it). The Big Picture is clear. The dots connect clearly, the picture they make unmistakable.

But, as we know, our Main Stream News Media likes to have EVERY dot connected before they commit. If there’s a smidgen of room to give any benefit of any doubt — they want to give it, no matter how ludicrous.

The Republicans are licking their lips because they think they can kill not just impeachment dead in the Senate, but all resistance to their minority rule coup d’etat. They expect it all to go away even though the Republicans in the Senate will have shrugged off staggering evidence of not just criminality but outright treason. Mitch McConnell and the GOP actually believe that they’ll just sail through another campaign season, slightly bruised but ready to set sail into full on RW authoritarianism.

They don’t expect We The People to do anything. Oh, they expect us to come out and vote — in massive numbers. But, as we speak, Moscow Mitch is expecting the same help from Moscow in 2020 that he KNEW the Republicans got in 2016. Remember — it was Mitch McConnell who refused to let President Obama tell We The People that our IC knew for a fact that Russia was actively trying to impact the election on Trump’s behalf.

And, to this day, Mitch McConnell has done zilch to protect our electoral systems. There are no coincidences.

Mitch McConnell is a traitor who’s about to lead the defense of a CO-CONSPIRATOR with the fate of the Republic hanging in the balance.

That’s what’s really happening here. That’s what a “news media” should be reporting. But, to do that, they’d need perspective. They’d have to see the Republicans for what they are and — here’s the hard part — call them out for what they are. Criminals…

Traitors…

Republicans.

Dear MSM – Donald Trump Isn’t The Only One Betraying The Constitution

A few minutes ago, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representative Adam Schiff gave a remarkable news conference.  In addition to reminding the American Press that Democrats routinely walk and chew gum at the same time (maybe the Press CAN’T do it – and assume the Democrats can’t either), Speaker Pelosi framed the Impeachment Question as a question about our Constitution.

Donald Trump has openly admitted to an impeachable act.  Fact – using Ukraine to take down a political opponent in 2020 is exactly what Trump did in 2016 except this time he got caught doing it in real time. Make no mistake: this is just a continuation of that.  This impeachable act is meant to “fix” the first impeachable act.  Actually – if the second impeachable act is the same as, the first impeachable act, it means Trump broke the law to become POTUS.  That immediately disqualifies him.

Trump is not and never was the legitimate President of The United States.  Not according to our Constitution.

What Speaker Pelosi and Representative Schiff also pointed out this morning, everyone around Trump ALSO is violating the Constitution.  That includes Mike Pompeo and Bill Barr. 

Check your watch.  The Republicans-Shittiing-On-The-Constitution Club is about to include a massive, growing blob of Republicans.  It will be the rare Republican who doesn’t get absorbed into the blob.  Pretty much all of them have already been absorbed, some without even knowing it.  If they took a penny of Russian money – whether directly or through Russia’s money mule the NRA – then they are part of a massive conspiracy to defraud the American People of a Free & Fair Election.

A massive act of cyber war – by Russia – against We The People.

Russia and the Republican Party are openly – OPENLY – interfering with a legitimate investigation into Russian interference in 2016.  They are OPENLY violating the Constitution. Betraying it and us.

We now know what the Democrats are doing to fight back – to protect the Constitution as they swore to do.  But, as Madame Speaker looked out at the Press gathered (a much larger crowd than she normally gets at this weekly briefing), she also lay down a challenge – to them.  To do THEIR part to defend the Constitution.

Madame Speaker shouldn’t have to ask.  Only one non-governmental job is mentioned in the Constitution (and its amendments)  and the Bill Of Rights – journalism.  Freedom of the Press is guaranteed because the Press is the final check on power. 

America’s Press is not a single unitary thing.  It’s a complex creature, mostly corporate but also blessed with loads of rock solid journalistic skill and passion.  But there are bad habits too.  Intellectual laziness, lack of rigor, a tendency to accept common wisdom unchallenged, and worst of all, a failure of imagination.  Normalcy Bias.

“Both Sides Do It” ignores context and proportionality.  It seems incapable of recognizing a false narrative when it sees one. 

Donald Trump is a liar.  He lies about even small things.  It’s a fact.  Yet the Press (take NBC News’ Kelly O’Donnell for instance) STILL repeats everything Trump says without contextualizing it first: “Please be advised that literally nothing POTUS’ says can be trusted at face value”.  Without that disclaimer FIRST, the unspoken message of repetition is: “Trust these words, they’re True”.

We all can see the same evidence that Trump ADMITS he violated the Constitution.  This should not – cannot – be a question.  Therefore every story, every question the Press asks should START from that point.  Donald Trump stands outside the Constitution.

Either the Press recognizes how that impacts them or it doesn’t.  There’s no middle ground. 

Ball’s in YOUR court, MSM.  Saving the Constitution survives will take a collective effort.  We know what the Democrats are doing.  How about you?

Want to do your jobs as Constitutionally mandated?  Great!  Start by kicking “Both Sides Do It” completely to the curb.  Both sides DO NOT betray the nation with Russia.  Only Republicans do that.

Both Sides do not put children in cages or side with oligarchs over sanctions or obstruct justice on behalf of a man who ADMITS to obstructing the same Constitution those pirates swore to uphold.

Stop asking idiotic “But, what if…?” questions that give credence to bullshit, lies and treachery.

Stop giving the benefit of the doubt to people who consistently demonstrate how much they DON’T deserve an ounce of that benefit. 

Open your eyes.  Buy some perspective.  Steal it if you have to but GET SOME.

The Constitution and We The People are counting on it.