Dear Democrats And The News Media: One Cannot Be “Bi-Partisan” With Pirates, Perverts And Traitors

Our news media’s absurd obsession with “bi-partisanship” is a direct outgrowth of their absurd obsession that “both sides do it”. Once you’ve convinced yourself that the only thing separating Democrats from Republicans is the letter affixed to their last names, you’ve already false equivalenced yourself into a corner. The problem with “both sides do it” brand journalism (other than the fact that it’s complete BS) is that, by its nature, it can’t aggregate information — including its own reporting. Our news media insists — in the face of its own reporting — that Republicans are entirely honest actors. In fact, it’s not at all unusual for our news media to turn from a story about how the Republican Party — as a whole — is doing everything it can to make voting hard as hell for everyone not white, not voting Republican to a story about the January 6 Commission and which Republicans should be on it — as if the Republicans GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy is considering as his five selections aren’t themselves guilty of helping PLOT the insurrection the Commission will be tasked with investigating. See the problem there? Good. Our news media doesn’t.

How much imagination does it take to connect dots like Missouri Senator Josh Hawley entering the Capitol building on January 6 with this particular salute —

— with what Trump was doing outside the White House (telling the crowd — some of whom had trained for and helped plan what they were about to do) that he would be “right there with them!”?

How much imagination does it take to connect all those Republican attempts to restrict voting rights after an election where the voting was as secure as it could be with the Republicans refusing to acknowledge that Joe Biden won the election fairly and squarely (unlike Donald Trump)? How could a treasonous, sexual-assault-enabling toadstool like Ohio’s Jim Jordan — who, as of this morning, has volunteered to sit on the Commission — sit on such a Commission when he insists that Trump is the actual POTUS? That’s not a guy with “a different opinion”, it’s a seditionist committing open acts of sedition when he should already be sitting in a prison cell BECAUSE he’s a seditionist. But then, it’s “funny” in America what white people get away with. Literally.

Every Republican politician who has taken money in any way, shape or form from Charles Koch, the Koch Brothers (when there was two of them still), or Koch Industries understands what’s being asked of them. Money in politics always comes with strings. Or, in the case of Republicans, rope.

What that means is that, on some level, every single Republican in Congress understands that their Party has now openly committed to seizing power and asserting permanent minority rule whatever it takes. There’s no grey here. One either IS or ISN’T faithful to our Constitution and the oath taken to defend it from all enemies foreign and domestic. Imagine what America would be like if we actually punished people when they took huge, steaming craps all over their oaths of office. The GOP might already be extinct.

Republicans knew at least a month before they nominated Trump in 2016 that he was compromised by Russia. Think about that. It matters. It also matters that our media — having reported this fact — has forgotten the fact that they reported it. To this day, not a journalist that I’m aware of (I keep Googling it!) has asked Kevin McCarthy what he meant when he said “There’s two people I think Putin pays — Rohrbacher and Trump — swear to God!” That statement was recorded and played back for the Washington Post reporter who reported the story. It’s verifiable, you see? Hell — other newspapers like The Guardian picked up the story because it passed the smell test.

Over the course of four hard years, Trump laid waste to the very structure of our government, harmed or destroyed vital alliances that even our own armed forced begged him not to do, cozied up with authoritarians and did everything just south of giving Vlad Putin a happy ending in public. And, really, not a single Republican tried to stop him. Or questioned the fact that it was happening. Really, how much imagination does it take to connect this dot?

There is no justification for any Democrat to push bi-partisanship. One cannot be bi-partisan with people actively working against your interests. It’s not how bi-partisanship works. Ever. The reason garbage like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema push bi-partisanship is because they’re corrupt — owned by the very same money that owns the Republicans. One way or another, Koch money is doing both Manchin’s and Sinema’s talking.

We’ll know McCarthy’s “choices” shortly. Our news media insists that we’ll soon know McCarthy’s “intentions” going forward. Our news media are idiots because McCarthy’s intentions are crystal clear. Some of us have been aware of them for a long, long time — that’s because we actually read the news, (apparently) unlike most of the “journalists” cranking it out.

The GOP’s Ultimate Goal Is To Avoid Being Prosecuted As Traitors

Stone cold fact: we are in the midst of an undeclared cyber war, launched against us by Russia which, itself, is being aided and abetted by almost the entire Republican Party. Members of the GOP’s hierarchy suspected more than a month before they nominated Donald Trump that he was more than just corrupt, he was treasonously corrupt; they nominated him anyway. Walking into that strategy session, current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said out loud (it was recorded and the recording was heard later by a Washington Post reporter): “There’s two people I think Putin pays, Rohrbacher and Trump!” When that got a few uncomfortable chuckles (as in “Dude — you’re not supposed to say it out loud!”), Kevin doubled down: “Swear to God,” he added. Hindsight tells us it wasn’t just idle banter. Kevin really thought something that made everyone present uncomfortable. Good thing then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan was there to keep them all in line. Their secret would not leave the room. “That’s how we know we’re family,” said Ryan.

This moment matters. Especially in light of the four years that followed. “Putin pays Trump” (never mind Rohrbacher). Yeah, I absolutely buy that — just based on this photo from Norway. Putin OWNS Trump.

We already know from press reporting that Putin had his financial hooks into way more Republicans than just Donald Trump. Putin’s tried to get his hooks into a few Democrats, too. We know that he tried multiple times in multiple ways to compromise Bernie Sanders. Sanders (as far as we know) ultimately responded responsibly; he ended his associations with compromised individuals. The Republicans, on the other hand, have embraced those associations. Putin funneled money to Republicans via the NRA (and his brilliant, talented agent Maria Butina who, all by herself compromised countless Republicans), via Russian retirees living in America (they suddenly found their retirement accounts flooded with cash that they “donated” to Republican candidates, and via other benign-seeming entities who took advantage of Citizens United’s allowance for anonymity and poured money into who knows how many Republican PACS. Mitch McConnell could tell us all about it — under oath.

But for Putin, Trump would never have been president. That is the bottomest line of all. Russia MADE Trump president. Though the Republicans resisted Trump at first (the Steele Dossier exists because of the Republican money that started Fusion GPS on the oppo research that uncovered the likelihood that Trump had used his Atlantic City casinos to launder Russian mob money), when they ultimately did succumb to him, they succumbed willingly. The Kochs (both brothers were alive in 2016) KNEW that their goal to undermine our elections and Russia’s goal to do the same thing dovetailed neatly in Trump’s candidacy. That corruption would make both Russia and the Republican Party happy.

Cyber war IS war. Just because Russia hasn’t formally said “Hey, we’re at cyber war with you!” doesn’t mean they aren’t. Cyber war, by its nature, is quieter than normal “bombs-n-bullets” war. It’s way, way cheaper too. Its asymmetry levels the playing field; even little guys can knock out big guys. Putin uses both official channels (Russia’s various intelligence agencies and secretariats) and unofficial. All those malware attacks coming from Russia? They may not be official Russian government, but the Russian government thinks of them as “theirs”. Their work product is meant to support Putin’s work.

Bill Barr — we already know — deliberately lied to America about the Mueller Report’s conclusions. Team Mueller’s scope was deliberately limited. Acting AG Rod Rosenstein was responsible for that. He also was responsible for telling Team Mueller that the FBI was continuing the counter intelligence investigation into Trump’s relationship with Russia that had begun while Obama was POTUS. The FBI was doing no such thing. They believed that Team Mueller was picking up the counter intel investigation because that’s what Rosenstein told them. No more work on the counter intelligence investigation got done (as far as we know).

Guilty behavior is guilty behavior is guilty behavior. People unafraid of the truth are happy to shine a light on it. Criminals? Not so much. Criminals obstruct justice because it’s in their best interest. They KNOW they’re guilty of a crime but do NOT want to suffer any consequences. The longer they go unpunished, the more brazen they become. A Republican of one kind or another has interfered with We The People getting to the bottom of Trump-Russia from the get-go. That’s not a coincidence. It’s a clue.

I’m old enough to remember when associating the word “treason” with Trump was considered left wing craziness. Hell, I’m old enough to remember when invoking Russia got peoples eyes rolling at you. Or fascism. Remember when calling out Republicans for acting like Nazis was “no-go”? Yet, here we are. The same will go for “treason”. We WILL get there and maybe sooner than the GOP likes. The reason Republicans want no part of any January 6 Truth Commission is because they KNOW what some of that truth will be: that many, MANY Republican Congresspeople (and their staffs) had a hand in planning and executing the insurrection. People inside the White House also worked with the insurrectionists. Journalism professor and news media aggregator Seth Abrahamson has pointed to two meetings on January 5 that make it abundantly clear how deep Trumpian involvement was in the insurrection’s planning. Team Trump was intimately involved. So was Donald Trump himself.

And so was Russia. Hey, considering all the other ways Russia had its hooks set, it would be out of character for them to NOT involve themselves in the planning of an insurrection that — if it succeeded — would absolutely destroy American democracy for good? Of COURSE Russia’s fingerprints are all over January 6. While that’s not what scares the Republicans obstructing the investigations — they take it for granted — spotlighting Russia’s involvement will spotlight the GOP’s complicity in that involvement. Once that nut gets cracked (and it will be), expect the deluge to follow. Trump;s hard core followers won’t care that Trump betrayed the country. THEY are betraying the country. Just like the Kochs and their money, they’ve never been that “into” democracy since democracy’s never really been that in to them.

Our news media spends a lot of its days scratching its head over why Trump is/was so loyal to Putin and why the Republican Party is still so loyal to Trump. If you refuse to look out the window before walking outside, don’t be shocked if you get rained on. The information is out there; all anyone has to do is open their eyes. THEY reported Kevin McCarthy’s assertion about Putin paying Trump (and Rohrbacher) yet THEY seem incapable of taking in their own reporting and aggregating it into the larger narrative. The Republican Party’s treason shouldn’t be “Breaking News”. It’s been breaking the whole time Trump ran for POTUS, was POTUS and now seeks to be “reinstated” as POTUS.

The same goes for the GOP’s staggering corruption.

Our news media keeps telling itself — and its audience — that nothing criminal happened here. Have they cracked a law book to ascertain that or is that just the wind flowing from their asses? Treason is absolutely illegal. So’s conspiracy to commit treason.

“There’s two people I think Putin pays, Rohrbacher and Trump — swear to God!” should have been the end of Donald Trump’s presidential ambitions. In fact, THAT fact, was its starting point. If the treasonous shoe was on the other foot, the Republicans would already be howling for every Democrat’s head — and rightfully so. But then, Democrats aren’t as cynical as Republicans; Democrats are cynical but not the way Republicans are. Democrats are cynical because they fear Republicans always get away with everything — including treason.

That unbroken record ends now. Once We The People fully grasp not just THAT the Republicans are traitors but how many are traitors and how “creatively” they’ve betrayed us, the rage will build until every Republican gets what’s due them. In most cases, the cover up of the crime turns out to be worse than the crime itself. Treason will be the exception. Treason will fuel our rage. The Republicans know this. It truly scares them.

It should.

Conservatism And Corruption Have Always Been Fellow Travelers

No one ever seems to describe paradise as “just how things are, kid, sorry.” Perfection’s a high, high bar. We can accept the failure that occurs between aspiration and attempt, They gave it their best shot! It’s the failure that happens because of corruption that sticks in our craw. While the rest of us play by the rules — because there’s no other way to live successfully in a society — the corrupt always look for ways to cheat. And damned if their cheating and corruption don’t screw the pooch for everyone else. Corruption once it sets in begets cynicism. We can all feel corruption’s oily awfulness. We can smell it. Corruption’s knee jerk response when we go to eradicate it is to, like a cockroach caught on a kitchen counter when the light goes on, run for cover. Corruption wants to endure. That’s how conservatism works too.

Conservatism walks in the door with (what, to me,, is) a glaring problem: it wears its intentions on its sleeve and in its name. What does any conservative want? Why, he wants to conserve. Via legislation and judicial result, a conservative wants to conserve the status quo because right now contains as much of the future as any conservative wants and as much of the past as they can bear letting go of. What does any conservative long to conserve (considering as it’s impossible to conserve the future since it hasn’t happened)? They want to conserve the past, of course. The more conservative a conservative is, the more distant the past in their mind that they want to reproduce out here in reality. There are luddites who would happily take us all back to the stone age if they could.

Going back to Newt Gingrich, the Republican Party made compromising with Democrats a non-starter. Mitch McConnell has raised being a recalcitrant shit to a high art. Mitch also has raised being a traitor to a high art (as we will learn soon enough when Merrick Garland puts Mitch under oath and grills his Treason Turtle ass about his weird relationship with OLEG DERIPASKA. Mitch is the Poster Turtle for conservatism and corruption. He’s been working for the libertarian Koch Bros who’ve made no secret of their intent to use their money to reshape American politics to their liking — the majority be damned. The Kochs (now just Charles since David died in 2019) are white hegemonists. They believe absolutely that white people (of their social class) know best and that democracy is, at best, cute. The world the Kochs (like the Mercers and all the rest of the right wing money) aspire to enshrine in perpetuity isn’t some progressive paradigm; it’s the opposite of course: it’s a state of permanent minority rule where white men get to do all the real decision-making.

Conservatism lives by absolutes. How can it not? The world must be exactly how it must be. The reason conservatives can’t abide by any change is because change begets more change and once the process of change sets in motion — there’s no stopping it. Better, thinks conservatism, avoid change altogether. Moderate whatever gets through, strangle the rest in its infancy. Call it socialism.

We’re hearing and seeing more and more stories about cops being, shooting, murdering Black people. It’s not that it’s happening more, we’re suddenly woke about it — and realizing there’s evidence of it aplenty. Conservatism’s hold can be narcotizing. Hell, in America, conservatism has continued to nurture racism and bigotry. Think it’s a coincidence that the most racist Americans are also the most conservative? It’s all the same defensive posture, the same terror at losing its grip on power because of demographics.

That is what happened here. In the post Reagan years, conservatives realized their future was bleak because America was diversifying so rapidly. Republicans may talk about having a wide tent, they don’t. They can’t — because their core-most value is the perpetuation of white hegemony. Any non-white they do coax into the tent? They’re there to be used cynically. They’re the Clarence Thomases and the Herman Cains. The bright, self-starters whose drive to succeed was turned against them. Clarence Thomas and integrity have probably never met. And Herman Cain died of covid-19 because he foolishly believed in Donald Trump’s lies.

Republicanism is Trumpism and Trumpism is proudly racist. That, with conservatism, is the bottomest line there is. They may want to conserve values but those values are all white values as practiced by white people.

Conservatives know they’re in a minority position. They can’t sell their ideas successfully at the polls. Too few voters (especially if there are more of them) are buying. So — if you can’t win at the polls (in other words, win LEGITIMATELY) but you want to hold onto power — what’s a conservative to do? There’s only one answer: cheat.

Corruption becomes the only way to hold onto power — and thus corruption breeds more corruption. That sick feeling we all experienced election day 2016 when Trump improbably “won” the presidency? That was us reacting to what we KNEW in our gut was corrupt. The four long years of Trump’s presidency stank of corruption. Everything the Trumpanistas did or said or even thought was corrupt.

Over the course of American history, conservative corruption has brought us the Confederacy, the end of Reconstruction, the Teapot Dome affair (that brought down Warren Harding’s administration), the Great Depression, McCarthyism, The Vietnam War, Watergate, Iran-Contra and Trumpism. The biggest scandal you can throw at Democrats (or a Democrat) is Bill Clinton getting a hummer then lying about it.

Yeah… “both sides ‘do it’.”

The Republican Party, conservative to its core, has a corruption problem. AG Merrick Garland has just started to pull at the threads of the massive Republican Corruption Sweater left behind from the Trump years. The Republicans want to make that sweater a permanent part of our wardrobe. Merrick Garland will see to it that doesn’t happen. As he pulls at those threads — as he is now — the whole foul garment will fall apart in his hands. It will start with Matt Gaetz’s indictment which should drop any moment.

Do You Suppose, Down Deep, Mitch McConnell Is “Glad” Donald Trump Just Lost The Presidency?

One thing about Mitch McConnell: he may suck as a human being but he’s a very talented politician. If we consider Mitch from the Koch Brothers’ point of view (a little tricky since David Koch’s now dead), Mitch isn’t merely a great functionary, he’s a great one. Charged with hijacking the judiciary, Mitch delivered 300 lifetime federal judiciary appointments and the SCOTUS seat that should have been Merrick Garland’s.

Mind you, while Mitch appeared to be delivering all this extreme right wing goodness to Trump, Mitch’s actual client was the Kochs. And the Mercers and the rest of the RW money. To a cynical waste of carbon like Mitch, Donald Trump was merely a means to an end. And, now that he’s achieved his end — making a nine-member court hopelessly conservative for a generation and packed the federal bench with unqualified idealogues, Mitch would like to relax a little, settle in and enjoy his ill-gotten gains.

Alas, Donald Trump keeps opening his mouth. Or, that is, he used to anyway. Donald Trump is now officially an ex-employee of We The People. He failed his performance review spectacularly. When the counting finally does stop — because all the votes have indeed been counted — Trump will be on the LOSING END of the exact same 304-227 drubbing that HE proclaimed a “landslide”.

Also — when the counting stops (and California’s full totals are added in), it’s likely that Biden will have crushed Trump by close to 6 million votes.

It’s over. Let’s stick a pin in what happens between now and January 20 when Trump “officially” officially stops being POTUS. Trump won’t concede; no one expects him too. The transition period is a question mark because Trump has no intention of peacefully transferring power. He simply can’t afford to. Legally.

Now let’s look at it from Moscow Mitch’s point of view. You’ve just held onto the Senate despite a number of races where the polling said the Senate would flip. The polling reflected the way Donald Trump was dragging down you and your whole Senate team. If only there was a way to get rid of Trump, say by way of him losing an election you seem to “win”.

Trump losing the election to fall from power works perfectly for Mitch. Let’s be quite real — there is no love lost between Mitch and Trump. Trump makes Mitch’s job exponentially harder. Everything comes with stuff said out loud that shouldn’t have been. And that brings reporters and questions and, when you’re as corrupt as Mitch is, reporters and their questions are anathema to you.

I bet Mitch and the Republican Senate leadership actually looked each other in the eye and openly decided to do whatever they had to to protect themselves this election cycle, screw Trump. The mandate for Mitch going into this election wasn’t to get Trump re-elected, it was to hold onto the Senate so that Joe Biden and the Democrats couldn’t shove their agenda down the Republicans’ throats in the same way the Republicans had been doing it to Democrats forever.

What did Moscow Mitch do to hold onto power? Was the polling “off” again? Or, like in 2016, is there another, better explanation than mysterious “Trump voters” who lie to pollsters to explain how literally ALL the polls “missed”? Yes, Trump got out his vote. But keep in mind who we’re talking about. There is literally nothing Trump and the Republicans won’t do to hold onto power up to and including cheating — because of the alternative. It’s not just being out of power, it’s being out of power and having legal problems. That’s the stick.

There was nothing Mitch did that Trump didn’t undermine. If Mitch wasn’t such a racist, treasonous scumbag, I might feel a little sorry for him. Mitch’s problem is of his own making. He wants Trumpism without the relentless “chazzerei” (that’s the technical term in Yiddish) that’s baked into Trump himself.

Hmmmmm… what if Mitch figured out a way to “protect” himself and his own re-election along with the re-elections of all his most valuable (and vulnerable) foot soldiers: Susan Collins, Lindsey Graham, Tom Tillis? Keep in mind, Trump told his faithful NOT to vote by mail but to vote on the day via a voting machine. Now, from Trump’s point of view (assuming Trump was this smart), that would create the illusion of a red mirage — as all the live votes got counted while we waited for the more Biden-friendly early votes and mail-ins to get counted. The mirage, of course, was just a mirage once ALL the votes got counted. Still — Trump’s point of view is all chaos is good.

But, the problem with relying on voters to do your dirty work is they’re notoriously unreliable. Unpredictable, too — and if you need to “win” regardless of how the people vote, it helps to have friends who own companies that make voting machines (like Diebold, ESS, the McCarthy Group — companies in which you own an equity stake!) The only completely unhackable voting system is a paper, hand-marked ballot. The second any voting system connects to a phone or the internet, it becomes hackable. If it’s got programmable elements, those elements can be re-programmed and made to change or even transmit the votes it’s supposed to be tabulating as a neutral third party.

How hard would it be, Mitch must have wondered, to drop a little code into the the machines in, say Maine where Susan Collins was polling behind Sara Gideon or North Carolina where Thom Tillis was polling well behind Cal Cunningham. What if that code instructed the voting machine to add a second Republican vote to every fifth vote it counted. That way, every five Republican votes becomes six. Ten becomes twelve, fifteen becomes eighteen. Before long, a surprise wave of Trump voters has shown up — where none actually did.

And no one — unless they do forensics on the machine before its data can be wiped — would ever be the wiser. There would literally be no proof that a crime had been committed.

Would Mitch McConnell think such a thing about such an imperative? Do Treason Turtles shit wherever Treason Turtles shit? You’re damned right they do!

Here’s my bet: no one was happier to see Trump lose the election — while also being as duplicitous as Trump.

When Justice comes for Mitch, it might even stop for a moment to chuckle with Mitch at what he pulled off. Then it will pronounce judgment on Mitch and that will be that.

Men Who Think They’re God

We all know one. Or two or three. Men who’ve got it in their heads that they’re deities. They sure think their junk is. But I’m talking about a small subset of that set — the Bill Barrs of the world. The assholes di tutti assholes.

Bill Barr has made his religious views known. He’s not ashamed of his bizarre brand of Catholicism that is as far removed from Jesus as I am from getting a dinner invite from Donald Trump. Catholicism is just Bill Barr’s beard anyway. Bill doesn’t believe in Catholicism’s god. Bill doesn’t believe IN God at all.

Bill Barr believes he IS God.

Watch Barr’s performance before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. Watch his body language. Even a well-rehearsed liar like Bill Barr can’t control his body’s autonomous responses to stimuli.

Barr started the hearing his usual, arrogant self. It was there, gleaming in his eyes. But then the Democrats began to frustrate Barr. Every time Barr went to digress (his strategy — eat as much of the questioner’s five minutes as possible), the Democrats cut him off: “I’m reclaiming my time!”

Bill cannot tolerate being questioned. He hates being challenged especially by women

how he dodged. Deal with it. Except that didn’t happen today. Today, the Democrats weren’t so much asking Barr questions as telling him what he’s done.

Telling We The People what Bill Barr has done on Donald Trump’s behalf to dismantle the country the rest of us live in.

Bill Barr’s hardly the only Republican who honestly thinks he’s not just “a” deity but “the” deity.

Mike Pompeo is famously religious. He’s big into the end of days cos he thinks the Book Of Revelation should be taken literally. Mike’s proof that Karl Marx was wrong. Religion isn’t the opiate of the masses, it’s the angel dust. It doesn’t narcotize, it causes psychosis.

Mike Pence might be one of the phoniest Christians ever. He wouldn’t know Jesus if he stopped midway through nailing Jesus to a cross to spit in Jesus’s eye — which he absolutely would do. Mike comes by his sanctimony honestly — he really is sanctimonious. And make no mistake — when Mike Pence imagines the face of God? He sees himself.

Mitch McConnell doesn’t see himself as God, he sees himself as a dark Turtle Lord serving the Kochs. To Mitch McConnell, THEY are God.

Then there’s Donald Trump — except Trump’s the exception to the rule. Trump doesn’t see himself as God — he can’t imagine anything bigger than himself — except money. To Trump, money is God and Trump is its Jesus.

You’ll notice — all of these God wannabes aspire to be God. Not a one of them aspires to be Jesus. It’s like they see no advantage or gain in dying for anyone else’s sins.

Since “Republican” Is Now Toxic, What Should “New” Republicans Call Themselves?

From a purely branding point of view, it really sucks to be Republicans right now.

If you’re still a card-carrying member of the GOP, think of all the awful things your brand is now co-branded with — joined at the hip and head like the most freakish conjoined twins ever: overt racism, religious extremism, self-destructive intolerance, backwoods misogyny, Bond Villain corruption and the worst kind of treason — purely cynical treason without an ounce of ideology.

Wow. Pick a side of history and it’s guaranteed the Republicans will run toward the wrong side. That’s also the Republican Brand now: being wrong about everything. But then, this isn’t news to the GOP. Whenever it was that the Koch Brothers decided to use their money to alter American politics — the Will Of The People be damned — that’s really when 2016’s coup d’etat formally began. The extreme Right Wing Money saw demographic extinction on the horizon — white guys would become such a minority that even rich guys and their money couldn’t stop them from losing power. Rich white guys weren’t having it. They got the poor white guys riled up against all those “others”.

Been there, done this. Again and again and again.

The “Republican Party” is about to check into the sarcophagus in the History Of American Political Parties Graveyard right next to the Whigs’ moldy pavilion. I hear the view sucks.

It’s a “Republican Party” as a brand is finished. Its luster won’t improve between now and November 3. In fact, I’ll wager, the worst is yet to come.

Plenty of people with living, breathing consciences have shredded their Republican Party membership cards. In the media, there’s Nicolle Wallace, David Jolley, Steve Schmidt and Jennifer Ruben among others. They’ve all vocally disassociated themselves. They, somehow, can’t comfort themselves with the tax breaks they’ve gotten while the rest of the country is betrayed.

As much as those on the left might love to have a free ride here — where everything we want becomes a wish granted — that’s as unhealthy as letting the right run riot. We know what that feels like. This isn’t a question of compromising with lunatics. We’re talking to reasonable people after all. Even when we disagreed with them vehemently, they were still reasonable people.

This blog is called “How To Live Bullshit Free”. The trick to living bullshit free is understanding that each and every one of us has a mountain of our own bullshit to deal with before we even think about looking at anyone else’s. Some of us have whole mountain ranges of bullshit in front of us. And dealing with your own bullshit isn’t a “one n done” proposition. Bullshit’s like zombies: damned hard to kill. But if you don’t deal with your bullshit, your bullshit will deal with you.

No one wants to be at bullshit’s mercy. It has none. I don’t want to be at yours and, believe me, you do not want to be at the mercy of mine.

I wouldn’t recommend “conservative” because, like “Republican”, the brand’s been destroyed by the people who swore by it. We get it — as their name says, conservatives want to conserve. The problem is what conservatives want to conserve — America circa 1850 when white Christian men (especially those with money) did what they wanted to anyone they wanted.

We’re back to the America Republicans want us to be. Sucks that it’s an America the overwhelming majority of Americans reject out of hand. Throw in a stolen election and this is why even “Conservative Party” would just result in good people dealing with bad marketing when they should be defending their ideas and ideals.

What should these good people call themselves? Normally, I’d be brimming with “helpful suggestions”. Something about this assignment fails to inspire. “Moderate Party”? Sounds dull as dishwater — like a party that hates enthusiasm about anything. “Heal America Party”? Sounds too sanctimonious already — and the moment they craft a platform, they’ll contradict themselves because someone won’t feel “healed”.

What does one call modern “people without a country”? Immigrants.

Mmmmmm… Not seeing “The Immigrant Party”. Not that there shouldn’t be one — and not that such a party (if it really spoke from the heart of the immigrant experience) wouldn’t be a welcome addition as we attempt to make our politics more reflective of us. And it’s not to say that this new party couldn’t speak to or represent people wanting to come here and be new Americans.

This new party is more diverse than that. I bet guys like Michael Steele would join it (he used to run the RNC). If it was moderate enough, I bet a fair number of conservative Democrats would check it out — and feel a fair amount of camaraderie.

The truth is, plenty of older African American voters are “conservative”. That is, they’re skeptical first. They want change but they want to make sure it’s the right change; they’re willing to be patient. They, too, might like this new party.

The same is true of Latinos and Chinese Americans and pretty much every group I can think of. It’s this diversity thing. Politics wouldn’t divide along racial lines if racism hadn’t been one of the country’s founding principles. Not that we can ever completely vent racism’s stink, but now that we’re all staring at it, we stand a better chance of not succumbing to its poison.

You see what I’m seeing here? A party as diverse on the “right” as we’ll have on the “left”.

But I still haven’t answered the question I started with: what to call them?

Maybe it’s not on us to name them. Maybe that’s something they need to do for themselves — pick a word, a short phrase, an icon — that tells us who they are. That speaks from their hearts to ours.

That’s what they’re going to need above all — the capacity to speak to the rest of us because they relate to the rest of us. This new party, I suspect, will better understand that all Americans (minus the 30% – 40% who are Trumpian) understand that we’re pulling the cart in the same direction. The differences are far less than everything we have in common.

And often, our differences are more like “framing” issues. Perspective helps those.

Whatever this new party calls itself — whatever their mission statement — I look forward to sitting down with them and getting down to the hard, serious business of fixing what Donald Trump and the Republican Party did to America.

We’ve got a mountain ahead of us.

We Need To Make Corruption Public Enemy #1

We take “integrity” for granted. We take our own for granted — that’s for sure. We shouldn’t. Instead, we should be protecting our integrity like a mother protecting her babies. Integrity is the only thing standing between us and corruption.

Integrity and corruption are literal opposites. They gave literally nothing in common. The moment integrity even looks in corruption’s direction — as if to consider it? Can we really look at integrity the same way again, knowing that it was tempted? What about next time (when we’re not watching)? Will the lure be just enough to compromise integrity — even if just a little?

See the problem? There is no “just a little” where compromising one’s integrity is concerned. Integrity is an all or nothing proposition. You got it or you don’t.

I defy anyone to name a Republican with integrity.

You can’t. Now ask “why?”

The GOP’s integrity problem didn’t start with Donald Trump. In “Both Sides Do It” world, Democrats are just as capable of being corrupt. And Democrats have been and are now corrupt. But let’s talk scale.

Bernie Madoff is a thief. So is the character Jean Valjean from Les Miserables. One stole billions (albeit from billionaires) while the other stole bread to feed hungry people. Both Sides Do It, see? And yet, they don’t.

We’re talking minnows versus whale sharks. Let’s stop wasting our time, okay? Republican corruption goes deeper than just ordinary greed. The Republican money — the Kochs, the Mercers — made a calculated decision to control America’s politics so as to prevent it from reflecting who America really is and what America really wants. Their goal is permanent minority rule — make no mistake. To achieve this, with their hold on the Senate and a willing lieutenant in Mitch McConnell, the RW money (prior to 2016) set out to hijack the judiciary. They denied Barack Obama more than a hundred lifetime federal judge appointments, even denying Merrick Garland so much as a hearing.

Mitch wanted “the American People” to “choose the next SCOTUS judge while refusing to let the POTUS We The People overwhelming elected to do that very thing. This was bullshit. This was a power grab. And as we learned in Jane Mayer’s excellent piece on Mitch McConnell in the New Yorker, Mitch KNEW that lots of foreign players were actively engaged in altering the outcome of the 2016 election.

Mitch, don’t forget, refused to let Barack Obama tell We The People the truth in September 2016 about what Russia was up to. Mitch threatened to go nuclear, screeching about how Obama was “politicizing the intelligence”. No, Mitch, what Obama wanted to do was tell America the truth. What YOU wanted to do was be corrupt.

Now, here’s the deal — and we have to stick to it — but we have to acknowledge, going in, that it’s going to be hard. The Rule Of Law is or it isn’t. It plays by the same “rules” as Integrity. The instant we make an exception to the Rule Of Law (invariably for someone rich or powerful), it’s just a matter of time (and continuing corruption — because it follows as naturally as water running down a hill) before the whole structure collapses. Again.

No exceptions. For anyone Period.

That means the moment anyone tries to take advantage of anyone else or of the system itself, we investigate them, prosecute them (as warranted), sentence them, punish them and (if it’s in the cards) rehabilitate them — all fairly.

In the case of the Republican Party — all those people without an ounce of integrity — that’s going to hurt. A lot. Considering what they’ve done and the fact that every last one of them has at least something to answer for (even Mitt Romney has “inklings” of what Mitch McConnell is really up to and has not gone to the FBI or other “proper authorities”), the return of the Rule Of Law will dictate the end of the Republican Party.

Well, either it will be the “end” of the GOP or it will a null set as a political party — a party with literally no one in it.

Who would want to run for office as a Republican when the Republican Brand is the Corruption Brand? Going forward, it’s going to be hard enough finding Republicans who aren’t either dead or knocked down a few pegs by coronavirus. We all know what the investigations of the Trump response will turn up: a miasma of personal financial gain being used to leverage American foreign policy for even more personal financial gain — all in the middle of a catastrophe. And we all know that the Republican Party has enabled every last bit of it.

Just like integrity is all or nothing, so is corruption. Donald Trump may be the most corrupt human in history. That’s hyperbole. There’ve been plenty of corrupt assholes to equal Donald Trump. Our problem is none of those assholes ever stole the American presidency.

There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain from making “Anti-Corruption” one of the central themes of the Democratic Party’s 2020 campaign. Aside from the corrupt, no one wants corruption.

It Turns Out Mitch McConnell Is An Even Bigger Villain Than We Knew

Mitch McConnell is Evil Personified As A Treason Turtle

If you haven’t read Jane Mayer’s piece on Mitch McConnell in the New Yorker, do. Read it. Familiarize yourself with Mitch’s story. Understand who Mitch McConnell is — what he wants and why. If you want to understand how we got into this fiasco — a corrupt president chosen by a hostile foreign power unchecked by “The World’s Greatest Deliberative Body” (which is busily installing judges hostile to the majority) — you have to understand Mitch.

Not that there’s much to understand. Mitch believes in nothing except money and power. That’s it. Early on, he learned that what you say while running for office need not have anything to do with what happens once you’re IN office. Cynicism is baked in to Mitch’s DNA — as is corruption. He genuinely believes that the end always justifies the means — regardless of how corrupt those means are.

At no point in his life or political career has McConnell ever Jones’d for democracy. He’s never held a lofty ideal about public service or the commonweal. He couldn’t give a rat’s ass about his Kentucky constituents because, to Mitch, the hardscrabble white trash he grew up part of means nothing to him. He needs their votes come election time (when he’ll deliver a goody — like a Russian owned aluminum factory that required the lifting of sanctions to pull off). But, otherwise, Mitch happily shrugs off some of the lowest approval numbers among anyone in the Senate.

Nobody loves Mitch McConnell. Literally NOBODY.

His first wife doesn’t love him. Neither does his second wife, Elaine Chao. She and Mitch may appreciate each other — enabling each other’s greed the way they do — but that’s not love of “each other”. That’s love of the corruption the other makes possible.

Mitch’s three daughters don’t love him. They detest his politics.

Mayer tells the story of the first time Mitch ever ran for office — as high school student council president. Then as now, Mitch lacked the charisma to pull it off. He knew (as he told his mother) that “I don’t have a single friend”. Wonder why that was…

I bet it has something to do with what Mitch wrote on the blackboard during a class he taught at the University of Louisville what he insisted were the three essentials in politics and running for office: “Money. Money. Money”.

Belief in anything — a reason to use the money — a common purpose the money could be used for — is absent from Professor McConnell’s list. That’s because Mitch does not believe in anything except the getting of money for the getting of money’s sake.

Multiple people (of both political persuasions), all with experience of Mitch, agree: Mitch is easily one of the most corrupt politicians to ever sully the American stage. That makes Mitch happy (he still says out loud how his proudest accomplishment was denying Merrick Garland (and therefore Barrack Obama) so much as a hearing. Before that, it would have been keeping Obama a one-term POTUS (despite his popularity with the majority of Americans).

Mitch isn’t interested in what the majority wants. In fact, he’s made it his life’s work to deny the majority its voice and force the (rich) white Christian voice of his moneyed overlords (the Kochs especially) down the majority’s unwilling throat. That means Mitch has literally dedicated his whole career to undermining democracy. As President Coronavirus-Lover said: “If everyone voted, it would be very bad for Republicans”. Mitch, too, lives by that principle.

Mayer’s piece isn’t the final statement on McConnell. Like all good journalism, it asks as many questions as it answers. We need to ask: how much corruption has Mitch McConnell gotten away with over the course of his political career?

I’ll go out on a limb here and predict that the turnout in November (via vote-by-mail) will be so massive that even the GOP’s stepped up cheating and voter suppression operations can’t stop it or mitigate it enough to change the outcome: the near elimination in many parts of the country of even the semblance of a Republican Party presence. Republicans didn’t just hitch their wagon to Trump (and therefore Vlad Putin), they co-branded with him from top to bottom.

Republicanism is Trumpism is Corruption & Treason.

And Mitch McConnell was the lynch pin that held it all together. Some of us have seen McConnell for the villain he is from way back. When he snubbed Merrick Garland and Obama, he was really snubbing We The People. Every time McConnell tried to kill the ACA, we saw his villainy. When McConnell led Trump’s acquittal in the Senate — without allowing a lick of evidence to mar the proceedings — he took his villainy to a new level.

Who knew Mitch had even more cruel malevolence in him. Apparently the coronavirus did. Mitch doesn’t care if his own constituents live or die. He definitely doesn’t care if any other Americans die. The quickest, surest, fairest and best way to help America and Americans during this crisis would have been to cash flow every single American – with minimal questions asked — for the duration. Stay home until it’s safe. Spend the money on food and what you need. Kinda like what other countries have done.

Mitch wouldn’t dream of proving to everyone how much better and more successful a progressive policy would be than his own greedy need to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Remember — Mitch has no agenda other than serving his monied masters.

So, in addition to betraying every American by selling us out to his backers, Mitch has betrayed us by selling us out to Russia. And now he intends to starve us all.

When we get to the other side of this mess — when the Rule Of Law is back in force — when every single Republican is fighting the legal battle of their lives (and losing because their treachery and conspiracy are all well-evidenced already) — we will finally get to examine Mitch’s role. That won’t turn out well for Mitch. He’s guilty of a whole lot of wrong-doing. My bet is this: Mitch’s name will replace Benedict Arnold’s as what Americans call traitors.

For example: “Hey — you like Russia more than America, you Mitch McConnell!”

I’ve written here about my desire to see Mitch get all the rotten karma he deserves. Turns out, I was underestimating Mitch all along. He’s a villain all right. Just a bigger, badder, worse villain than even this storyteller could imagine.

How lucky for us that the one thing Republicans are good at is being corrupt.

Republicanism Is A Lethal Cocktail Of Smoke, Mirrors, Corruption & Bullshit

I’m old enough to remember when Republicans called themselves “the party of personal responsibility” without immediately laughing their asses off at the absurdity of calling themselves that. Even when they might have been personally responsible, there were always caveats. Republicans were responsible with everyone else’s lives, habits and sexual organs.

People who judge others so relentlessly are always hypocrites. Comes with the territory — and the DNA.

Republicans judge others because all those others aren’t Republicans. Even if they are “Republican” by political choice, the absolute truth is, if you ask a “real” Republican about “those” Republicans? They’re more “mascots” than “Republicans”. They’re what Republicans use to “sell” the idea that they’re diverse. The fact that there are so few of those “other” Republicans says a lot — about them. They’re not forward-thinkers, they’re sell-outs.

Republicans are the party of unmitigated, unrestrained, relentless greed. They’re greedy for money — but also power. The RW Money — the Koch Brothers especially — recognized a while ago that conservatism was facing demographic oblivion. A rapidly diversifying citizenry meant — over time — more power for the diverse citizenry and less power for the shrinking white minority.

White people were not going to let that happen without a fight. And here we are.

If Republicans are good at anything (and we know governing isn’t one them), it’s marketing. Being cynical shits who’d make Machiavelli blush at their soullessness, they have no compunction about lying to get a vote. In her excellent piece on Mitch McConnell in the New Yorker, Jane Mayer cites multiple examples of McConnell cynically telling voters he’d do one thing when he fully intended to do the diametric opposite. McConnell openly admitted to “pandering” for votes.

Republicans will say literally anything — not just to get elected, but to “stay” elected. If they thought they could get away with canceling the election right here, right now, they’d do it — because (as Trump himself said out loud) elections are bad for Republicans — especially when more Americans vote. If EVERY American voted as a habit, I bet Republicans would already be lying beside the Whigs in the graveyard of American History.

In 2016, Mitch McConnell knew he was serving America a bullshit cocktail. He KNEW for a fact what Russia was doing; he refused to let We The People in on the secret — that Russia was actively engaged in perverting the coming election in order to make Donald Trump and not Hillary Clinton POTUS. The Russians voted in our election — and McConnell knowingly let them.

To keep us in the dark, McConnell (and the rest of the Republicans — remember that even then Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and current Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy openly discussed their suspicion that Putin was paying California Congressman Dana Rohrbacher and Donald Trump) fed America a cocktail of lies. That was after McConnell had refused to allow President Obama — the guy who was elected and re-elected by significant margins — to nominate judges per his Constitutional responsibilities. “The American People should decide” was the bullshit McConnell topped up our drink with. But we ARE the People. And we had already decided. We voted for Obama.

Even as we teeter, McConnell continues to ply us with bullshit. Mayer points out that McConnell really believes in nothing other than money and power. Even his marriage to Elaine Chao is a cynical money grab (McConnell told an acquaintance after divorcing his first wife “One of the things I’ve got to do is marry a rich woman, like John Sherman Cooper did”.

Norman Ornstein — a political scientist at the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute — puts it bluntly in Mayer’s piece: McConnell “will go down in history as one of the most significant people in destroying the fundamentals of our constitutional democracy… There isn’t anyone remotely close There’s nobody as corrupt, in terms of violating the norms of government.”

McConnell long ago committed himself to bringing the Koch Brothers’ plan to take over America’s politics — that is how Mayer herself puts it — to fruition. To do that, once he achieved the power that Senate Majority Leader possesses, McConnell began to destroy the Senate as an institution, the judicary as a separate branch of government and America as the greatest experiment in self-government ever.

McConnell — and the Republican Party he effectively leads (Trump doesn’t lead the party) — have behave no differently than a rapist feeding a victim a roofie. Maybe that explains the strange, out-of-body feelings we’re all experiencing. Maybe that explains why we feel like we’re resisting as hard as we can yet nothing seems to stop the assault.

Time’s come to slap the drink from their hands.

Who Is Directly Responsible For The Shit-Show We’re In? THESE Guys…

While the whole world is now laser-focused on surviving Covid-19, it’s important to remember that this pandemic isn’t isolated. Yes, the original vector — whether from a live animal market in China or from bat guano that migrated from shoes to hands in a Chinese cave — would have presented regardless. But what happened afterwards — THAT would have been entirely different if, say, Hillary Clinton (or Barack Obama) was president rather than Donald Trump.

Trump’s reaction — as early as January, he was sacrificing rapid response for political appearances — was just Trump’s next step in dismantling the American government at the behest of Russia and his own raging ego. But the fact that Trump is in place — that he’s president to begin with — that, too, is part of our coronavirus problem. This really has been a perfect storm of authoritarian fuckery.

Authoritarians are great at wielding power, not so good at governing. And governing really isn’t about the good times — when things are running smoothly — governing is about the hard times — when citizens need help because of a natural disaster, a war — or a pandemic. And, one thing we know for a fact about republicans — when the hard times come, they won’t be the ones governing, they’ll be the ones profiteering.

So — why is coronavirus kicking the world’s ass? Because Donald Trump is president of the United States. And Donald Trump is POTUS because of himself of course but also because of THESE scumbags…

VLAD PUTIN

In Vlad Putin’s defense, he’s doing what we expect him to do. He’s a Russian nationalist, suckled by the dying Soviet intelligence state, a spymaster who also runs a criminal enterprise masquerading as a government. He has actively plotted against the West while dreaming of the return of a Greater Russia. Problem is, Vlad’s Greater Russia has a crap economy based entirely on oil. Sanctions are killing him — that’s why he needs them lifted. Putin recruited & nurtured Trump as early as the 80’s. Considering what his cyber war has cost him — pennies compared to a shooting war — Putin has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams and for virtually no money.

THE KOCHS/MERCERS/RW MONEY

While Putin was doing what Putin was doing, the Big Republican Money machine was busy too. As Reaganism peaked, the RW money saw something terrifying in the nation’s demographics — no them. America’s diversification (the source of our exceptionalism) was moving more rapidly. White people are going to become a minority. That’s just a fact. The Big Money Republicans (the Koch Brothers, David & Rebekah Mercer) saw that handwriting and resolved to DO something about it.

What the RW Money got was this: the presidency was pretty much out of reach for Republicans (take away Bush v Gore and Russia and there’d be a straight run of Democratic presidents). The House of Representatives is too mercurial to control — it is the Peoples’ House after all. Instead, Republicans focused on holding the Senate forever and using the power of confirming judges to control the most important part of their gambit: hijacking the judiciary.

That is the point of the exercise — lifetime appointments at the federal level especially SCOTUS seats. The goal — lock down the courts for another generation at least — making it hard for a Progressive House to get anything done or enact anything.

The ultimate goal, of course: Permanent Minority Rule.

MITCH MCCONNELL

One of the most corrupt people to ever serve in Congress. A weakling’s weakling who’s at his happiest abusing power for his patrons — the RW Money. And Russia.

Mitch’s greatest hits are well known — He’s taken gobs of Russian money into his PAC… he refused to let Obama tell We The People in September 20167 that Russia was actively attacking our election for the benefit of Donald Trump… He has enabled every anti-Democratic, un-American, pro-Russian move Trump has made… He got rid of the sactions on Oleg Deripaska (“former” Russian intelligence to whom Paul Manafort handed proprietary polling data on Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota before election 2016 — data which Deripaska weaponized and turned back on America as individualized propaganda appearing in individual Democratic voters’ Facebook pages. That most of those Democratic voters were people of color — and the ads were accusing Hillary Clinton of racism (in an environment where she was constantly under assault?) Oleg Deripaska is engaged in an info/cyber war against us.

That makes what Mitch did TREASON.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, listens during a news conference after a weekly GOP luncheon meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, July 11, 2017. McConnell said he’s delaying the Senate’s August recess by two weeks after divided lawmakers have been unable to agree on how to revise health-care legislation he proposed to replace Obamacare. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

BILL BARR

Trump wanted a Roy Cohn and he got one. Every Democrat who said yes to Barr has some ‘splainin’ to do. Barr’s lies about the Mueller Report weren’t his first time at the Bullshit Rodeo. Barr did that once before during Iran-Contra. Barr is a rabid Christo-Fascist who wouldn’t know Jesus if he stopped mid-way through nailing Jesus to a cross to spit in Jesus’s eye. Bar lied about the Mueller Report — completely mischaracterizing its conclusions. He tried to do the same thing with impeachment.

If Bill Barr were out of the equation? Donald Trump would already be facing prosecution for high crimes, misemeanors, low crimes, rape, election fraud and treason.

DONALD TRUMP

Every time the bloated orange jackal turd opens his anus mouth, he literally tells us how guilty he is.

If only we’d believe him…