The Problem With “Doing Nothing”…

Got a problem? Doing nothing will not solve it. That’s a stone cold fact. That’s not to say you can’t get lucky — and time resolves what your inaction didn’t. But that wasn’t you solving your problem, that was you hiding from it until a solution presented itself. Not the same thing.

One of the roadblocks Big Business regularly threw up early in the Climate Change conversation was the cost of cutting down our carbon output. Big Business was going to have to see its profits go down so it could help maintain the planet’s long-term health. That would be the long term health of Big Business’s marketplace.

Saving the planet for all the living creatures in it (it’s not just humans who get profoundly impacted by the mess we’ve made of the planet) won’t be cheap. But if you consider the alternative — from a cost-benefit analysis — doing nothing, it turns out, is a thousand times more expensive. Doing nothing about the climate already has resulted in appreciable sea rise.

Seen photos of Venice? Seen the mess Hurricane Dorian made of the Bahamas? Right now, those are the cost of doing nothing. Doing nothing isn’t “free”. Cleaning up and rebuilding is expensive as hell — if you can clean up (ask Puerto Rico what that’s like). Resources used for rebuilding can’t be used for other things. Same goes for the money. There’s a bigger hidden cost staring at us all. What if places like Venice simply can’t “be” anymore — because they’re under water? Imagine that THAT costs.

Doing nothing on the climate will produce tens of millions of refugees fleeing the coasts for safer refuge inland. The costs will be incalculable. Where are those people going to live? How are they going to feed themselves? More to the point, who is going to feed and shelter them — and where is that money going to come from (while we’re also paying for the cost of the destruction itself?)

Doing nothing in the face of climate change is a terrible idea.

Doing nothing in the face of what Donald Trump and the Republican Party are doing to America is equally terrible (and not unconnected). Yet that’s what plenty of people — politicians and pundits — still want us to do: nothing. They want us to wait for the next election — so the American People can have their say.

Lovely thought but fatally naive. The American People did not get their say LAST presidential election. 2016 was stolen from the American People — certainly from the majority. HRC won the popular vote by upwards of 3 million votes (lots more, I bet, if all the suppressed votes were counted). If we take Russia out of the equation — they’ve never even heard of Donald Trump — he doesn’t enter the race and he certainly doesn’t make it through the primaries.

Without Russia, Trump wouldn ‘t be POTUS. I have to wonder now (with retrospect and a year of meaningful oversight now under our belts) what Mitch McConnell knew about Russia’s efforts on Trump’s behalf when, at the September 2016 Gang Of Eight meeting at the White House, Moscow Mitch McConnell told President Obama that he’d accuse Obama of politicizing the intelligence if Obama told the American People the TRUTH — that Russia was actively engaged in trying to make Trump president. Was THAT why Mitch insisted again and again that “the American people” deserved to name Scalia’s SCOTUS replacement? Because Mitch knew the American People would have limited say in that election’s outcome?

Russia is engaged in a cyber war with us. It doesn’t matter if we accept it or even know it. It’s happening. We’re exactly like the residents of Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941 — in the minutes BEFORE the Japanese attacked. They have no idea a state of war exists — it absolutely does; they’re about to be attacked ffs! But war does exist — and it is coming for them whether they like it or not, whether they KNOW it or not.

Donald Trump isn’t just a corrupt POTUS, he’s a traitor. He’s been the most devastating active measure in the whole history of espionage. He and everyone around him are betraying us each and every day. How can we possibly let that stand for another moment — never mind till the next election which the republicans fully expect to steal just as they did election 2016.?

The cost of doing nothing is we lose our Republic.

Sorry. Not acceptable.

We are compelled not just to do “something” but to do EVERYTHING in our power to stop what the republicans are doing. We may survive the republicans decimating the greatest experiment in human self-government ever, but we won’t like what the republicans replace it with.

Doing nothing, ironically, will absolutely positively cost us everything.

Integrity Is An All Or Nothing Proposition

What Zero Integrity looks like — en masse

Nothing is funnier than a Republican drawing himself up, having just been asked a serious question about his integrity. He knits his brows, purses his lips and goes all “earnest” with his voice.

Mitch McConnell talking “patriotism” — having just lifted the sanctions punishing Oleg Deripaska for changing the outcome of election 2016, say. That’d be Mitch insisting he’d done something great for the people of Kentucky (while betraying them and everyone else in the country).

Your average Republican thinks THAT’S “Integrity”. Acting like you have it.

When you have no integrity, acting like you have it is as close to having integrity as you’re ever going to get.

What Republicans especially don’t seem to grasp — integrity while iron-clad at its core, is built of gossamer. It’s a soap bubble, easily punctured. And just like a soap bubble, once popped? It’s popped for good.

There’s a reason we don’t say things like “Ya know, that Kevin McCarthy — the GOP Leader — he may not have all his integrity, but 70%’s okay with me!” The moment Kevin slipped below 100%, that should have been the end of it. How can you trust someone almost completely but not completely? That means you DON’T trust them because even when you do, you really don’t.

That’s how integrity works. It is or it isn’t.

Can we all please, please, PLEASE agree? When it comes to integrity, if you still have an “R” next to your name? While Donald Trump’s a Republican? If you stand in any way, shape or form with him?

You can’t even spell “integrity”.

It ISN’T About Politics, Part II: Even For Republicans It Isn’t Always About Politics; Sometimes It’s About Criminal Conspiracy…

Dear MSNBC, CNN & The Whole Rest of The MSM:

Yesterday I ranted at you for ascribing everything the Democrats do to “politics“. It’s not true. Some people, when they take an oath of office, actually take their oaths seriously. To assume everyone does what they do for political reasons is to assume every one of those sincere oath-keepers is full of shit.

No, it’s not true. Both sides do not regularly violate their oaths.

For 3+ years now, we have watched Donald Trump and every Republican in Congress violate their oaths of office. The deal is, you take the oath, you uphold the Constitution. You don’t do it selectively like you do with your religion. Your religion is entirely make-believe.

Our Constitution doesn’t work that way (though, to be fair, we did make it up; we invented the Constitution and we can change it as needed).

When Mitch McConnell announced that he wouldn’t give Merrick Garland so much as a hearing, that was 100% political. It had no basis in the Constitution. When Democrats objected to Brett Kavanaugh, there was ideology at play — absolutely. But Kavanaugh’s political affiliation isn’t what Democrats believe makes Kavanaugh unqualified. It’s his penchant for sexually assaulting women and lying about it.

That’s NOT a political disagreement, it’s a moral disagreement. It’s disagreeing with the idea that a man, reliably and consistently accused of serial sexual assault does not belong on the SCOTUS.

When Republicans stand with Trump in the face of blatant criminality — behaviors and actions so terrible that Republicans can’t even argue facts; they have to argue process — they’re not standing with him out of pure political tribalism. No, when Republicans stand with Donald Trump, there’s something OTHER than politics at play — there’s criminal complicity.

That’s the MSM’s giant, economy-sized blind spot. They’re determined to ascribe the GOP’s rabid defense of Trump as Republicans defending their standard-bearer. Well… kinda yes but mostly no — it’s worse. Donald Trump, though not a lifelong Republican (he may have registered as a Democrat but that was political expedience at play, not political ideology), epitomizes Republican “thinking”. It’s all pig at the trough all the time. It’s a cynical approach to the Constitution.

Violating it is a given. The trick is to insist, when caught violating it, that you were following the letter of the law (even as you were raping it).

Republican “thinking” (such as it is) rests on conservative values. Conservative values — as the name says — want to CONSERVE. But conserve WHAT, you may ask? Conserve the future? That’s a contradiction of terms.

Save the present? Okay, we can freeze right now in place. Why would we want to do that? Why are we freezing now and stopping the future from happening? Hmmmmm… is there something in the past that conservatives actually want to conserve?

Indeed there is — there’s something in the past conservatives want to conserve: THE PAST. Conservatives want to make the past our new present and our eternal future. It’s right there in their name. And the past American conservatives want to conserve is the past where THEY — white, Christian men — were the ones in full, unequivocal control. THAT is what conservatives — and therefore Republicans — want to CONSERVE.

So — normally, for Republicans, it IS always about politics and the Republicans’ need to control even how we talk about politics. “Both Sides Do It” journalism is pure Republicanism. They know they’re intentions are corrupt. If they can paint the opposition with the same brush — even if the opposition’s version of corruption is at a fraction of the scale — then “Both Sides Do It”.

Bernie Madoff’s a mega thief who stole billions. Jean Valjean stole bread because of hunger. To the conservative way of thinking, both men are thieves. Both Sides Do It.

Look at how the Republicans are trying to undermine the investigators of THEIR crimes — “It’s the investigators who are criminals! Both sides do it!” Republicans insist. Oh, the irony (both sides don’t do irony by the way).

Trump’s defense of Putin’s criminal behavior? We do it too — Both sides do it!

Quid pro quo? Both sides do it — get over it!

No — both sides DON’T do it and never did. Both sides do NOT commit TREASON to hold onto political power. Both sides do not stand with a man they KNOW FOR A FACT is a traitor.

Republicans do however. And, for once — it ain’t entirely political. In this instance — it’s because they’re CO-CONSPIRATORS. To a whole host of crimes including election fraud, obstruction of justice and treason.

I’ll say it one more time: It AIN’T about politics.

Republicans Are The “Mission Accomplished” Party; That’s Great Until You Realize What Their “Mission” Is…

Who can forget W aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, May 2, 2003 – proudly proclaiming just what the banner behind him said: “Mission Accomplished”.

That image haunted W’s presidency.  It haunts him to this day because nothing had actually been accomplished.  The only thing they’d succeeded at, mission-wise, up to that point was successfully hanging that banner without anyone getting hurt.

Like everything else Republicans say, “Mission Accomplished” was marketing, no more honest or genuine than Mitch McConnell insisting Merrick Garland couldn’t get a hearing because “the American people needed to make the SCOTUS choice, not the president who they’d overwhelmingly returned to office”. That WAS what Moscow Mitch said with as straight a face as he could muster.

And yet – when it comes to “Mission Accomplished”, Republicans have actually succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.  The America being torn apart right now is the America Republicans want.  We are living in their “Mission Accomplished” – or, to be accurate, “Mission NEARLY Accomplished”.  Republicans can see Permanent Minority Rule from their house now.  They ache to get there.

This is how close Republicans are now to accomplishing their mission –

  • PACK THE COURTS — Moscow Mitch denied Obama dozens of lifetime court appointments.  How strange that all those vacancies started filling the moment Trump became POTUS.
  • How strange that Merrick Garland couldn’t get a hearing while Brett Kavanaugh skated despite overwhelming evidence he was unworthy to hold the judgeship he already held.

  • PROHIBIT NON-WHITE IMMIGRATION – Children in cages, anyone?

  • DESTROY THE ENVIRONMENT – We left the Paris Accords.  Ryan Zinke.  The end of clean water, clean air, National Parks.  Life as we know it.
  • MAKE THE RICH RICHER & THE POOR POORER – Tax cuts for the rich, bullshit & lies for everyone else.
  • INSTITUTIONALIZE RACISM – “Decent people on both sides”.
  • MAKE GERRYMANDERING PERMANENT – Twice as many Democrats as Republicans have to vote in order for their majority to actually feel like a majority.  The whole point of gerrymandering is to CIRCUMVENT the Will Of The People.  Welcome to Republicanism.  Can’t win on the law, can’t win on procedure, so pound the table into sawdust instead.
  • ENFORCE PERMANENT MINORITY RULE – Remind the class – how many more votes did Hilary Clinton get over Trump?  3 million plus, was it?  Remember – that doesn’t include all the uncounted, provisional, suppressed, flipped & tossed in the trash ballots.  Think any of those were Republican votes?
  • DESTROY OUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH ALL ALLIES – The knife-wound in the Kurds’ back is still fresh enough we can watch it bleed.
  • MAKE AMERICA A RUSSIAN SATELLITE STATE – How about that: “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED”!

This Should Be Simple — If You Took Any Russian Money In Order To GET Elected? You Did Not Legally Get Elected

The law is pretty simple: Political campaigns are PROHIBITED from receiving ANY kind of contribution from a foreign national.

That means any political campaign that takes ANYTHING from a foreign national is breaking the law. You cannot break the law to win political office. Breaking the law to win disallows your win. In fact, because you broke the law, you DIDN’T win.

We already knew that Russian money flowed into the NRA for distribution to Republican candidates. That means — any Republican candidate who took one penny from the NRA needs to PROVE that that penny didn’t flow from a Russian source. Can’t prove it? We will now assume that that money DID flow from Russia. And you TOOK IT.

We know that Russian retirees, living in America, saw their retirement check’s from Russia suddenly bumped from mere kopeks a month to thousands of dollars a month. That largesse wasn’t intended for the retirees, it was intended for Republican campaign coffers. The retirees were laundering money Russia wanted to donate to Republicans. Voila — “Mission Accomplished”.

We already knew that Russian money flowed into Mitch McConnell’s PAC — same as it did lots of other Republicans’ PACs. The way those dollars flowed was all within the letter of the law. But the spirit of the law will haunt them. Innocent foreign dollars one moment, Treason Cash the next.

Russia, we keep learning, waged a complex, multi-faceted, multi-pronged attack on our election and election systems. They pounded us with propaganda and disinformation. We don’t know yet if or how Russia flipped actual voting machines. It doesn’t matter. If Russian disinformation (gleaned via proprietary polling data, handed from Paul Manafort to Oleg Deripaska to Russian Military Intelligence for weaponizing back into personalized Facebook ads on individual voters Facebook pages) caused ONE African American voter to stay home when they intended to vote, then Russia changed the outcome of an American election on Donald Trump’s behalf.

One vote is all it takes to be election fraud. I don’t see where the Rule Of Law keeps a score sheet with a threshold.

If The Rule Of Law is back as “A Thing” then every Republican who received money from Russia broke the law. They broke it in order to WIN their elections — which means they didn’t win. You can’t break the law in order to become the law’s protector — that’s a contradiction.

If you steal something, it’s not actually yours. Regardless of how much you like driving around in a stolen car, the car STILL belongs to the guy you stole it from. In the case of election 2016, Trump, the Russians & the GOP stole the desired (voted upon) outcome We The People wanted and stole not only the Highest Office In The Land but every other electoral “win” below it.

If the Rule Of Law is really back then every last bit of Election 2016 must be voided. That means Donald Trump was never actually POTUS. He was never legitimately authorized to do the things he did — like pick judges. Every judge Trump picked was picked by someone unauthorized to pick judges. That means they must be voided — since, in point of fact, Hillary Clinton was the legitimate POTUS.

If we end up doing this right? This shit’s gonna get M E S S Y !

Corruption, Thy Name Is GOP

Politics is the art of compromise. Republican politics is the art of making compromise unnecessary because the other side is powerless to stop you.

To the GOP’s credit, they saw from a distance that they had a problem and actively did something about it. Post Reagan, as America’s demographics trended with greater rapidity away from old, Christian, white male power, the GOP — the party of old, Christian, white male power — made a conscious decision to undermine the growing majority’s political power.

Behind everything, of course, is The Money. Money always wants to protect itself — and make sure that whatever else happens in the world, IT always “is”. The rich intend to stay rich. To do that, they must retain power. To do that, GOP Money like the Kochs & the Mercers have invested heavily in politicians like Moscow Mitch McConnell. Mitch understands his role completely. If doing everything in HIS power to keep his real constituents IN power means the Republic itself dissolves into an authoritarian hellhole? That’s okay to Mitch.

It’s okay to entire Republican Party — because THEY get to hold onto power forever — regardless of how small a minority they become.

Mitch & the Republican Brain Trust understood that the Executive Branch was probably gone forever — unless the Electoral College could be more fully manipulated. Keep in mind — the whole point of the EC is to over-empower rural (slave-holding, conservative, white Christian) America while under-powering urban, populated, more diverse and therefore more progressive America. Republicans have been working to suppress black and Latino voters forever and ever and ever.

Ask yourself — if all those immigrants fleeing (American-caused) drug violence were reliably future Republican voters, would Republicans oppose their humane treatment as they do now? Of course they wouldn’t! If Republicans thought Puerto Ricans were reliable Republicans, Puerto Rico would have been a state yesterday.

For all the Republicans’ constant hang-wringing about election fraud, the only election fraud going on is perpetrated by Republicans.

Mitch & Team Treason knew — while the Executive Branch could always be within reach (via cheating), they couldn’t count on it.

They also recognized that the Legislative Branch was going to be hard to control. The Senate would be easier because, by design, it’s meant to empower the minority over the majority. Wyoming has the same power in the Senate as California does. That’s stupid. But, again, it was a system designed by white, Christian men who never imagined a modern Republican Party.

The House of Representatives was the Lost Cause. It is, after all, the Peoples’ House. Still, the Republicans had a tool in their belt — GERRYMANDERING. While Democrats also have been guilty (I grew up in Maryland), they’ve never been guilty to the extent the GOP’s been guilty. Not even close.

No, both sides don’t do it — not like this. The whole point of gerrymandering is to undermine the will of the majority by diluting it. That’s why we get districts that look like mindless doodles. They’re not mindless. They’re designed — to over-empower the Republican voters and under-empower the Democrats.

Again, to the GOP’s credit, they did their homework. Back during the Reagan years, they attacked local power structures all over the country. They ran for and won school boards and city council seats and statehouses. It wasn’t so much that they appealed to huge swaths of voters — they didn’t. They appealed to the voters who showed up — theirs. The ones who were motivated to show up — because they had a larger agenda.

The effects of minority rule are insidious. When the majority feels like their votes and their voices don’t matter, they stop voting and voicing their opinions. That’s the point — to make the majority feel powerless.

Republican Politics.

Between gerrymandering, indirect voter suppression (voter ID laws meant to make even getting ID hard) and direct cheating (working with Russia to win 2016), Republicans have taken corruption to places corruption probably never thought it would rise to. To maintain power, they’ve committed to destroying the Republic if that’s what it takes.

To maintain power, Republicans will do WHATEVER it takes. You can’t GET any more corrupt than that.

If Brett Kavanaugh Is Still Working As A SCOTUS Judge, That Means The Rule Of Law Is NOT Working

The Rule Of Law is kinda like a soap bubble made of iron. In and of itself, it’s incredibly solid — it’s made of iron, isn’t it? But it’s still got the delicacy of a bubble. There’s no “slightly popped”. There’s popped and not popped.

The Rule Of Law is a radical notion if you think about it — it survives only by our mutual agreement to follow it. The chaos consuming us now flows directly from the fact that while some of us still do follow The Rule Of Law, one of our two political parties has revealed that they don’t (and never really did). The Rule Of Law says if you break it, you pay.

It says everyone gets treated equally by The Rule Of Law. And everyone who breaks it — they, too, will be treated exactly the same regardless of how many zeroes there are on their weekly pay stub. Brett Kavanaugh was NOT treated equally at any point during his confirmation hearing. Brett, rather, was shown extraordinary privilege.

He was allowed to perjure himself in fact — and even get belligerent about it as if HE were the one who’d been sexually assaulted. It doesn’t get more (white) privileged than that.

The Rule Of Law says if you lie, cheat or steal to achieve something, you haven’t achieved it — rather, you’ve broken the law and should be punished for it. If you broke the law, say, to become president — it means you’re not actually the president. How could you be? You didn’t meet the basic requirement of “winning an election”. Cheating does NOT equal winning — EVER.

When we finally get to do a deep, deep dive into Mitch McConnell’s actions leading up to the election (especially Moscow Mitch’s refusal to let We The People in on the secret that Moscow was putting its thumb on our election scale for Trump), we’ll have to pick apart Mitch’s real reasons for denying Merrick Garland so much as a hearing. That unprecedented SCOTUS seat grab was DESIGNED to steal the judiciary as a means to force permanent minority rule down the country’s throat. Was it illegal? That will depend on what we nail Mitch on.

By all rights, Merrick Garland should be sitting where Neil Gorsuch sits. We The People voted for Barack Obama — and part of why we voted for him was so he could — while still in office — choose SCOTUS judges to the liking of HIS voters. Mitch’s bullshit about wanting the American voter to get to choose — one has to wonder if Mitch knew anything about the machinations Russia was gearing up to throw at us.

Then again — in Mitch’s “defense”, he did say that if Hillary had won, he’d have refused to fill any vacancies — even if every single justice suddenly dropped dead.

The Rule Of Law says thieves — after they’re caught, prosecuted and convicted — do NOT get to keep the loot. In the case of Brett Kavanaugh’s SCOTUS seat, you don’t get to gut the “advise and consent” part of the process — lying through your teeth every step of the way — and then KEEP the SCOTUS seat. It sets a terrible precedent otherwise.

When the whole point of the exercise is destruction of the judiciary in order to install permanent minority rule? It makes the thievery extra rotten.

As we learned from the NYTimes today, the White House killed the FBI’s investigation into Deborah Ramirez’s corroborated accusations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh. If the FBI had interviewed the 25+ witnesses and filed that report, Brett Kavanaugh would not be a SCOTUS judge today — that had to have been the GOP’s calculus.

If our highest court is tainted by corruption, it ceases to be viable. The only way to make sure it is and remains a bastion of fairness would be to expunge every bit of Trump or McConnell influence. In the end, it should be as simple as this: If Trump cheated to become POTUS — which he absolutely did — then he has no authority to “be” POTUS. Not being POTUS, he has no authority to nominate anyone for anything.

Not a single Trump nominee can stand because the man who nominated was not AUTHORIZED to do it. I know — chaos. I don’t give a shit.

The Rule Of Law is all or nothing.