Dear Rich Guys: Learn From History! If You Kill Off Too Many Workers, The Workers Will Control The Labor Market!

The current crop of Republicans would have felt right at home in Feudal Europe — all of them vassals to corrupt king Donald who, himself, sold out the Kingdom to the Kingdom’s chief rival, King Vlad The Impaler.

Feudalism relied on having lots of peasants to work the lord’s fields. The Black Plague gutted Europe, killing 60% of its population. In the aftermath, when it came time to plow again, there were now far fewer peasants to do the work. That was true for pretty much every lord around — they needed a hundred plebes, they had twenty. Next thing you know, the lords are fighting over laborers, trying to “grab” their neighbors’ peasants by offering them better deals. Bigger plots of land. A better percentage of whatever the peasant farmed to keep for himself and his family.

For the first time, maybe ever, labor sat atop the seesaw.

The economic system that Europe had lived under for hundreds of years disappeared virtually overnight — because the next harvest had to come in. People were starving. That change in the balance of power killed feudalism dead.

The Trump White House aches to send America “back to work” even as our numbers shoot upward alarmingly. The Trump WH’s own projections call for horrifying numbers that should make the idea of opening the country unthinkable. Yet here we are.

Trump needs to restart the economy because it’s the only argument he (thinks he) has for re-election. It was never a good argument to begin with. It’s even more laughable now. You simply can’t make people want to spend money and buy things when they’re in fear for their lives and the lives of their loved ones. You’ll bankrupt them all first.

Trump doesn’t care about killing Americans. He cares about remaining POTUS.

If he loses this election (he’s going to lose it), he’ll stop being POTUS and the moment THAT happens, his legal problems begin. And once they begin, they may never stop. And the moment Trump’s legal problems begin, so do the legal problems of everyone around him. Right now, that pretty much includes the entire Republican Party.

The Republicans aren’t working toward any grand vision here. They’re on a Permanent Minority Rule Or Bust trip. It’s all or nothing now. When they threw in with Trump, they threw in with Russia (which some of them, it turns out, had already done via Maria Buttina or the NRA). The GOP is in it to win it. There’s no other option for them.

They will go down with this ship — the SS Trump-tanic.

On the other side of this crisis — eighteen months from now, give or take — the RW will get the thing they feared most. Their greed and lust for power is now being revealed. There’s no way to pretty up what the Republicans did and are doing. But there’s also no conservative way out of this. We can only go deeper into the shit by listening to them.

We can fall into a deep, deepening depression that takes longer from which to recover.

THAT’S the conservative way out. Everybody dies except them and their money — they hope. That’s not hyperbole. What else does “There’s more to life than living” mean?

We will emerge from this far more socialized. Of necessity. We must expunge profit incentive from our health CARE system. We need to turn our health CARE system into a care system instead of the health INSURANCE system it now is. As the pandemic makes crystal clear, we are only as healthy as the least healthy person among us.

We will also emerge far more unionized. What the meat packing workers and Amazon workers and others being “essential worker-ed” into the coronavirus’ maw have to endure is horrifying and (if it’s not, it should be) illegal. The Republican Party piling on by insisting that workers refusing to work because of the threat to their lives cannot collect any benefits — in addition to being expected, it’s disgusting.

The lag time between a person’s initial infection with coronavirus and the symptoms it gave the person covid-19 can be about two weeks. Or longer. It’s like when people drink but don’t feel tipsy or happy or drunk right away. They think, “Hey, the booze didn’t work this time — what’s up with that? I better have a lot more right now!”

The issue isn’t the booze, it’s the lag time. Now, in addition to being regular drunk when the lag time finally ends, you’ll be extra drunk because of the chaser you threw down. Ah, but Republicans never learn anything. That’s because they don’t want to. What’s in it for them to learn things? They’re conservatives, remember? They want to conserve — keep things as they are now or, better yet, make them how they were back when white people ruled everything.

Conservatives always have a great sense of history — in that there’s a time in history they want us all to return to. They don’t see history as a teacher of anything. That’s why they keep repeating it.

Dear CNN & MSNBC – “Previously On” The Donald Trump Story – He Was A Traitor & A Criminal… Oh, Weren’t You Watching?

Every TV show now begins with two words: “Previously On”.

Bravo to Julien Coppola who put together this excellent video.

On the one hand, it’s a nod to any newbies who might be watching. These are the basic story threads you need to know about. But, on the other hand, the “Previously On” part of a show is where the storytellers get to remind the whole audience about certain important, key details from the story’s past that are about to become very important to the story’s future.

The point is, “Previously On” begins with a very clear concept: THIS IS WHAT WE KNOW.

This is what the story — and its characters — have revealed and revealed about themselves so far. This is our accumulated, aggregated knowledge. This is our STARTING POINT going forward.

Why, I’d like to know, can’t journalists — well, our most of our video journalists for sure — do this simple, storytelling thing? Why can’t they aggregate a story before reporting on it? Why can’t they start from what we know so far instead of what we knew back then (whenever “then” was)?

It’s like watching a TV show where the audience is always miles ahead of the storytellers because the audience has been keeping track of the story while the tellers keep going back to “fade in”.

If America’s journalists had been keeping track of Donald Trump — adding to what we know about him and then basing all new reporting off of that — Donald Trump would never have been president in the first place. That is, he would never have gotten close enough for his pal Vladimir to vote suppress & cheat “wins” out of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan in 2016. That’s because even before Trump ran, we knew — meaning the information was available in the public domain if only one went looking for it (journalistically) — that Donald Trump was a criminal.

In 2017, before the Democrats re-took the House and the Republicans were going after the Steele Dossier (because they knew it was damning and damaging to them), they hauled Fusion GPS’s co-founder Glenn Simpson (formerly a writer for the Wall Street Journal) before the Senate Judiciary Committee (August 27, 2017). Before Fusion went to work for Hillary Clinton’s campaign, its oppo research on Donald Trump was financed by the Washington Free Beacon — backers of Jeb Bush at the time.

What motivated Fusion to sub-contract out to Christopher Steele, was the question. Steele had been The Guy running the MI6’s Russia Desk. He had the best sources inside Russia of anyone outside Russia. Steele’s rep was solid top to bottom. When the FBI went after FIFA’s Sep Blatter for corruption, they hired Chris Steele to do a lot of heavy lifting for them. He’s good.

But, WHY did Fusion feel the need to sub-contract anything out to Chris Steele? Simpson testified that, upon the hire, Fusion did what they always did — what any reputable research company would do: their due diligence. In Fusion’s case, it got its hands on every PUBLICLY AVAILABLE newspaper article, magazine piece, radio interview, TV appearance — anything and everything about Donald Trump. They researched online. They bought things from Amazon. They listened to Howard Stern. They went to old book stores and combed the shelves. They even went to the public library.

Simpson testified that what Fusion found there — in publicly available material — convinced them that Donald Trump was very possibly a criminal. A shitload of evidence pointed to Trump laundering Russian mob money through the buying and selling of condos in Trump properties and (especially) through his (now bankrupt) Atlantic City casinos. Regardless of whether Trump humiliated himself sexually with Russian hookers on video or humiliated himself by being overtly racist (on video) while Russian hookers pissed all over the bed in Moscow where the Obamas slept, Trump laundered Russian mob money. As much as Trump and those around him insist that “Trump’s a germaphone! He would never consort with hookers!” no one has yet asserted “And he would never launder money for Russian mobsters”.

Strange that, don’tcha think?

You’d think, in the story we’re all bingeing on because it’s our lives, that THAT kind of detail — that no one denies Trump’s a money launderer for the Russian mob — would make it onto the “Previously On” somewhere somehow. And yet, between CNN & MSNBC, no one seems to grasp how stories and storytelling works. They certainly don’t grasp that, in a sense, ALL stories begin with a collective sense of “Previously On”.

If our MSM had “Previously On-ed” this story from the beginning, here’s (a little of) what that “Previously On” would contain…

PREVIOUSLY ON “The Trump Shit Show”:

A family history of racism.

A personal history of racism.

A personal history of involvement with organized crime and criminals.

A further personal history that Trump insists remain hidden from view including his school records, health records and tax returns.

Did we mention that Trump still refuses to show us his tax returns?

A history of sexual violence.

Admissions to acts of sexual assault.

An ex-wife who accused him of raping her.

Fraudulent use of his beauty pageant.

Accusations of walking in on underage beauty pageant contestants so he could ogle them.

Accusations — and VIDEO — of inappropriate touching and outright assault.

A history of making wildly inappropriate statements about having sex with underage girls including his own daughter Ivanka.

A long, sordid history with Russia and Russians (including money laundering and likely recruitment by Russian intelligence).

A long and consistent string of business failures and bankruptcies.

A long and consistent pattern of abusive litigiousness.

A long history of dubious hiring practices.

A complete and utter lack of taste.

A history as an adulterer.

He paid off Stormy Daniels (and other women) before Election 2016 — specifically to keep those stories from coming out before the election.

He accepted illegal campaign donations.

He openly conspired with Wikileaks and Russia throughout the election.

Mitch McConnell refused to let We The People in on the secret that Russia was actively trying to make Donald Trump POTUS. At the September “Gang Of 8 Meeting” in the White House, McConnell told Obama that if he made that fact public, McConnell would accuse Obama of politicizing the intelligence. In point of fact, Obama was trying to tell America the truth.

Mitch McConnell got the sanctions lifted on Russian spy Oleg Deripaska in order to score $300 million for a Russian aluminum factory in western Kentucky. Deripaska was sanctioned BECAUSE HE HELPED THROW THE 2016 ELECTION to Trump.

He openly admitted to racism: “Mexicans are rapists“.

He openly admitted to rape-behavior (“pussy-grabbing“).

He openly admitted to more racism: “There are decent people on both sides“.

He violated his oath of office the moment he took it. He has violated the Constitution’s Emoluments clause every second of his presidency.

His political party openly broke every established norm that allowed for bi-partisan governance. Mitch McConnell denying Merrick Garland a hearing was a Constitutional crisis all by itself because one branch of govt was denying another its Constitutionally mandated role. We The People voted for Barack Obama. THAT was his authority to nominate judges.

The Republican Party KNEW that members of their party were taking money from Russia.

The NRA took shitloads of money from Russia.

The NRA — and lots of Republicans — were compromised by highly skilled, highly trained Russian Intelligence Officer Maria Butina.

Everyone at the July 2016 Trump Tower meeting knew exactly what they were doing.

The Mueller Report does not exonerate Donald Trump. In fact, it does the opposite.

Donald Trump has behaved not just “strangely” toward Russian president Vladimir Putin (and every Russian), he’s behaved TREASONSLY.

Donald Trump tried to extort Ukraine — which is ILLEGAL.

Donald Trump asked China for help on Biden — which is ILLEGAL.

Trump has clearly conspired with Saudi Arabia’s MBS to cover up the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Trump’s tax cut for the rich screwed the economy. Everyone agrees.

Donald Trump has put children in cages. He’s separated families possibly forever and traumatized literally thousands of children.

Trump has lied an extraordinary number of times for a human being never mind the President of the United States.

Trump has called the press “The Enemy Of The People” and treated them that way.

Trump’s pandemic response is directly responsible for killing tens of thousands of Americans.

The only reason Trump hasn’t been indicted yet is because of a bizarre Department of Justice rule (meant to keep Spiro Agnew from pardoning Nixon). At present he is “UNINDICTED CO-CONSPIRATOR #1” in the Michael Cohen case.

Donald Trump has obstructed justice every day of his presidency. Bill Barr is not behaving as the country’s chief law officer.

Bill Barr OPENLY LIED about what the Mueller Report says.

Donald Trump has gutted the federal government. One of the agencies he gutted would have been actively engaged early on at mitigating coronavirus’ impact on us, our health, our economy.

Tune in tomorrow. You know there’ll be lots more…

Coronavirus Has Revealed All The Things America Sucks At — Health Care, Food Supply, Emergency Response; We Can Officially Add CAPITALISM To The List

The coronavirus pandemic has ripped the bandage off a thousand flaws in how Americans do things.

Health care was the first thing we were destined to slam into because we don’t HAVE a health CARE system, we have a health INSURANCE system. Not the same thing. As I’ve often said here, when people walk in the door of any part of our health system, the first question we ask isn’t “How can we fix you”, it’s “How’re you gonna pay for this?” Can’t pay? Sorry, pal.

That’s not health care speaking, it’s profit incentive. And while having profit incentive in our health care system may be profitable (the capitalism part), it was deadly to a staggering number of Americans before coronavirus. Think of all those Americans who couldn’t even think of getting tested — if they felt like shit — because they feared that if covid-19 didn’t kill them, the hospital bill surely would.

That’s the crony part.

Watch Mitch McConnell. He is dead set against doing anything even remotely “socialistic” to save America. The idea of UBI is anathema to him — even if it means saving ordinary Americans from ruin. Mitch even thinks letting New York or California go broke is the way to go. Never mind the fact that states like NY & CA are the economic ENGINES of the economy. The consumers in those states — they POWER the consumer demand that fuels the engines. People with actual expertise in economics are already saying that what Mitch is thinking wouldn’t just drive us into an economic depression, it will plunge us there. What part of capitalism is that good for?

It turns out America is especially bad at capitalism. There’s nothing inherently wrong with capitalism in the abstract. If we accept the fact that — if humans are involved — there are no perfect ways of doing anything — then one can argue that compared to everything else humans have tried, capitalism can give more humans more opportunities to enjoy a decent standard of living. The “social democracy” brand — where the commonweal always has a good seat at the economic table — makes capitalism fairer (though never ever fair enough).

Crony capitalism — what America calls capitalism — is bad for everyone ultimately — as the coronavirus is demonstrating relentlessly. It set us up for failure and damn if we’re not failing.

While the pandemic was descending upon us, Donald Trump and Jared Kushner were selling OUR supplies for profit and cornering the market on everything that was left. Rather than taking profit out of the picture — because this is a national emergency — Trump made profiteering and even outright price gouging part of the process!

Trump and the Republican Party don’t care if opening the economy kills hundreds of thousands of Americans (so long as it’s not them — then they’ll care plenty). Their bottom line, as always, is the money. And the power.

They have no idea how much rage against them is building outside their bubble. It was already building because of three years of lawlessness and treason. Throwing a daily death list into the mix is not going to expand Trump’s base. In fact — because it’s mostly Trump voters who are refusing to social distance or in any way behave safely — two weeks from now, it will be Trump voters who start dying in droves.

And Trump — as I said — won’t be adding voters. He needs every voter he can get. Or keep from dying.

As we know, Donald Trump is a horrible president just like he was a horrible businessman, a horrible father, a horrible husband, a horrible son, a horrible friend, a horrible associate, a horrible citizen, a horrible human.

He’s also a horrible capitalist. Just like every other Republican.

Failure Of Imagination Is A Very Real Thing; We Should Know — It’s KILLING Us

Some of us saw Donald Trump coming. Some of us didn’t. Those who did see it didn’t perform magic. We used our imaginations. We asked ourselves “Hey, what if Donald Trump actually became president — what (do I imagine) would actually happen?”

What we imagined was massive corruption — the merging of Trump’s business with our politics — with our government. That is exactly what happened. We imagined (because we were already mindful of Trump’s bizarre relationship with Russia) Trump betraying us more and more as Vladimir Putin gained more and more access to our Holiest of Holies — our secrets. We didn’t realize that a few other countries (Saudi Arabia especially) also had their hooks in Donald.

We imagined Trump’s corruption destroying the Republican Party — literally driving it into extinction. What happened is far worse. Turned out the GOP was already deeply corrupted by Russia who’d been gaming them for eons through lap dogs like Dana Rohrbacher.

Our news media have been particularly lacking in imagination. They can’t seem to get their Normalcy Bias Blinders off. Though “Mexicans are rapists” should have been the end of Trump’s campaign, our news media let it pass. “Pussy grabbing” had reared its head. Our news media let that pass too. There were “her emails” to worry about.

When those of us on the loony left first shouted “Russia!”, we were told how crazy we were. How “conspiracy theory” we were being regardless of our receipts. That’s the most frustrating thing. The Loony Left brings receipts. We don’t, as a rule, talk out our asses. We let facts, data, reality do the talking instead.

Remember back — before the Democrats re-took the House — when the Republicans ran everything and they were determined to undermine the integrity of the Steele Dossier at all costs? The Senate Judiciary Committee called Glenn Simpson before them in August 2017. Simpson, a former (respected) Wall Street Journal reporter co-founded a company called Fusion GPS. They did research on people. Oppo research. In 2016 Fusion got hired by the pro-Jeb Bush Washington Free Beacon to do oppo research on Donald J Trump.

Simpson testified that before they began their work, they did their “due diligence” — they got their hands on every single thing they could that had in any way been written about, said about or reported about concerning Donald Trump. They listened to Howard Stern episodes. They went to used book stores. They searched Amazon. They even went to the library. In short, they got their hands on just about everything that had ever been written, said or even thought about regarding Donald John Trump.

What Fusion found — in publicly available material (that is, material every last one of us can get access to and read if we’d only just put ourselves out a little) convinced them that Donald Trump had used his failed Atlantic City casinos to launder Russian Mob Money. That’s why Fusion sought out and then hired Christopher Steele. The former MI6 intelligence officer had run MI6’s Russia desk. It was understood that Steele’s contacts inside Russia were unmatched.

Want to know anything about Russia? Ask Chris Steele to run it down. That’s what Fusion and Glenn Simpson did. To not see Chris Steele in that simple context is to fail in imagination. To see him as nefarious in any way is to fail in imagination. Rather, it’s to have all the wrong kinds of imagination.

Problem solving demands imagination. It will take a staggering amount of imagination to get us out of what the coronavirus has done.

Ironically, it wasn’t “failure of imagination” on Donald Trump’s part that got us into this hyper-mess. It was greed. And treason. And culpability. Trump can’t ever stop being president. The moment he does — and he knows this — he stops being a potus protected from prosecution by the bizarre interpretation of a bizarre DoJ rule originally aimed at stopping Spiro Agnew from pardoning Richard Nixon and becomes “Joe Indictable Citizen”.

Hell — according to the SDNY, Trump’s already “Unindicted Individual #1”. He stops being POTUS? He’s now INDICTED individual #1.

I’m old enough to remember when using the word “treason” in any way to describe Trump or anyone in his White House was like calling them Nazis. Remember when THAT was poo-poo’d? Now we simply ASSUME that they’re all Nazis.

You can’t solve a problem without first admitting you have a problem. It takes no imagination to say “I’m not an alcoholic!” and lots to say “You know, if I think about it, I might have a problem.” It doesn’t mean you have a problem — but until you’re willing to entertain the idea, you can’t do anything about it.

Getting to the other side of the coronavirus will demand a shitload of imagination. Same thing — whole mountain ranges of outside-the-box-thinking will be vital to “fixing” what Donald Trump & his Republican co-conspirators have done to our democratic systems. When people violate the Rule Of Law to win an election, it means — according to the Rule Of Law — they didn’t win. Nothing they took as the “spoils” of victory was actually theirs — including money, legislation & especially judges.

You cannot legitimately nominate judges (to the SCOTUS say) if you do not have the authority to do so. You may think you have the authority. You may pretend you have it. But that authority is vested in We The People. We “give” that authority just like we give the authority to spend our tax dollars. Just as we “giveth”, we can “taketh”.

It was a failure of imagination that kept slavery alive in our Constitution. It’s been an on-going failure of imagination that has kept Donald Trump in power.

Donald Trump’s failure of imagination (he has none of course) to see what a pandemic could do to his political fortunes is now killing thousands of Americans every day.

That’s not hyperbole.

If I’m Coronavirus, Donald Trump Is The Best POTUS Evah!

Think of this pandemic from the coronavirus’ point of view. It has one, ya know.

Coronaviruses have been around — infecting humans — for at least 10,000 years. Possibly longer. Ironically, most life on earth may have started out with viruses — simple strands of RNA that, eventually, evolved into us — an incredibly complex, DNA-based organism susceptible to something as simple as a virus.

On the one hand, viruses aren’t exactly “alive” as we humans define it. But then, humans always see things from our limited point of view and assume that’s all there is to see. We see and hear limited light and sound spectra while lots of other light and sound pinballs all around us regardless of how oblivious we are to them. Viruses may not be “alive”, but they have a very specific purpose “in mind”. They don’t exist simply to “be here”, they have an imperative — a purpose that drives them. They need to reproduce.

But, in order to reproduce, viruses need a host. They need some other creature’s DNA. They need to sneak in to their host completely uninvited. Not wanted, in fact.

Once inside, their goal is to make as many copies of themselves inside your cells as they can. They don’t care if they kill you because they can still spread via your dying tissue and ooze. You, the host may die, but the virus will not. It will simply live on in your festering, rotting remains. Viruses are like zombies — brainless and yet single-mindedly driven to turn you into them.

If ever a human being bore all the qualities of a virus, it’s Donald Trump. As former Republican Rick Wilson so aptly put it in his book title — Everything Trump Touches Dies. Trump invades space like a virus. He needs to turn any space he walks into into a celebration of him. He’s remarkably adept at adapting. That’s the advantage to always lying about everything. You can switch directions on a dime without fear of people calling you a hypocrite. Of COURSE you’re a hypocrite. It’s not even worth mentioning anymore!

The moment the press accepted “Mexicans are rapists” and “pussy-grabbing”, we were well and truly infected. Trumpism took out most of the press and it took out the entire Republican Party. Looking back now, all those Republicans running to Trump are a lot like Stay-at-home protestors. They’re incredibly cynical and lot of them are more infected than they know. Worse, they’re spreaders — spreading it to their own.

If I put myself inside a coronavirus’ perspective — I look at those Trump-loving protestors in their protesting clumps with a smile that never quits. It’s not just proximity that’s a problem but duration. Spend a few moments in the presence of an infected person — you may get away with it (so long as you didn’t inhale any of their droplets). Spend an hour in an infected person’s presence — in a confined space — and you’re playing Russian Roulette with a gun with one chamber in it. And the chamber’s loaded.

The reason so many health care front-liners are getting hit and getting hit hard is because in addition to the proximity that allows coronavirus access to them and their bodies, there’s the size of the viral load hitting the front-liners. It’s massive and sometimes relentless. It’s like water pouring into a boat. You can bail and keep the boat from sinking. But if the water coming in is more than the water going out, you won’t keep the boat from sinking for very long.

If I’m a coronavirus, I look at China’s initial reaction (lying about me) with glee. But I look at what Donald Trump did with outright delirium. That’s how happy Donald Trump makes me. China eventually got its shit together and locked its citizens down in a way America couldn’t ever. A third of Americans don’t “do” selfless. They need their haircuts and bars. They need everyone else to know that we’re not the boss of them. If they want to get sick from a pandemic-strength pathogen, that’s their business, not ours.

If WE get sick though, because THEY infected us?

Sounds kinda “viral” in its thinking, no?