Show Me An “Uber Christian” & I’ll Show You A Man Who Thinks HE’S “God”

A few days ago Attorney-General-From-Hell Bill Barr gave a speech to the Federalist Society — that bastion of soft, white, institutional bigotry — in which he (again) donned his full Cultural Warrior battle armor.

Barr has a history of stepping in and deflecting justice. He did it most recently by hijacking both the end of Robert Mueller’s investigation and Mueller’s written report. Barr’s gross mischaracterizations of the Report’s conclusions weren’t semantics or “differences of interpretation”. They were a blatant attempt to convince the American public (via its terrible at details news media) that Mueller’s work exonerated Trump — that it cleared him of “collusion” and came to no conclusions about obstructive behaviors.

That is NOT what Mueller’s report says. It says they couldn’t come to any conclusions about whether or not Trump conspired with Russia (via Wikileaks — Mueller’s purview wasn’t the entirety of Trump-Russia, it was a narrow, narrow slice) because they were met with so much OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE. To back up THAT assessment, the Report listed (with receipts) 10 specific obstructive acts.

Barr’s history of bamboozlement goes back to the Bush Administration (Junior’s). Bill Barr circumvented justice during Iran-Contra — insisting THEN that Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger was being treated unfairly by the people accusing him of being a corrupt criminal undermining the Rule Of Law.

Bill Barr’s never behaved this way on the behalf of a Democratic POTUS. I guess all that Unitary Executive Power actually works when the POTUS is Republican. I find it hard to believe that Bill Barr’s dick would get this hard on behalf of Barack Obama’s executive power.

Bill Barr calls himself a Christian. He ain’t no follower of Jesus — that’s for damned sure. Bill Barr wouldn’t know Jesus if he stopped mid-way through nailing Jesus to a cross to spit in Jesus’s eye. Bill Barr is a “churchist”. Bill loves the INSTITUTION that Paul created. Being a die-hard Catholic, Bill loves his church above all else.

Funny thing? Jesus preached AGAINST having churches. He taught that no one needed temples or priests; one could speak directly to “the father”. In other words — a follower of Jesus does not need a church. They don’t want one — because churches are antithetical to Jesus’s most core teaching.

In theory, Bill Barr should love Jesus because Jesus would tell Bill — “Hey, Bill — talk to God, why don’tcha!” But that’s not where Bill’s head is at. He’s still riled up about something. Just talking directly to his deity doesn’t satisfy him. He’s still yapping. Someone’s telling him — “Not good enough, Bill! Go further!”

Now, Bill would say “It was God telling me that”. But, as we know, Bill picks & chooses his articles of faith ever so carefully. He supports and follows and does the bidding of people Jesus would absolutely disprove of. And if Jesus doesn’t like them — what’s in it for God? Are God and Jesus not in agreement about something? Something basic?

No — it’s because the only voice in Bill Barr’s head is Bill’s. Bill doesn’t hear “God”, he hears BILL. Bill may say he “speaks for God” or “understands God” (better than YOU — that’s the suggestion. It’s remarkably arrogant. It’s remarkably arrogant for bullshit.

Bill Barr’s hardly alone in this freak show. Pick the name of any televangelist out of a hat and you have another extreme perversion of (never mind Jesus) Christianity’s most basic message — you have a money changer fooling the faithful. The way every one of these assholes struts — insists they speak for the Divine (and you don’t) — rakes in the cold, hard cash — it’s as far removed from Jesus as human decency or honesty is from a Trump.

What is a Catholic Pope except an attempt to create a “god” who hears God (better than you)? A pope becomes “infallible”. What does that even mean? Infallible in what sense? If we make him draw a perfect likeness of the guy standing next to him — and he fails — does that mean he’s NOT infallible or that we need to redefine “infallible” to include “this”?

It’s ludicrous. Worse — it’s bullshit. Anyone who says they speak on behalf of a deity thinks THEY are the deity.

Fact.

Picture of a man literally praying to himself…

Dear TV Pundits: Donald Trump Doesn’t Stop Being A TRAITOR Just Cos He Takes In A Ballgame

So, you’re watching the cable TV news. The on-air team smell blood in the water. Hard evidence keeps mounting that whatever drawer you put the Mueller Report into, Trump’s behavior toward Ukraine is impeachable on steroids. The really astute talking heads — the Malcolm Nances, the Natasha Bertrands, the Nancy Wheeler’s, the Lawrence Tribes, the Glenn Kirschners — they have no qualms about letting their moral outrage rage. Donald Trump isn’t some ordinary republican potus playing the executive over-reach card, he’s their end product brought horrifyingly to life.

Trump is republican corruption on steroids and too many taco bowls. He’s old, Christian white-guy-racism projected onto electronic billboards that reach across whole zip codes.

He’s a mash up of greed and cynicism and ignorance that every republican must have envied because they’ve all worked so hard to mimic it.

And then there’s his undying devotion to Vladimir Putin.

In the storytelling trade, that’s a set-up you can’t go away from. There’s no satisfying twist that will suddenly make a hero out of Trump. In our menu of choices — A) Trump’s completely innocent, B) Trump’s kinda innocent-kinda guilty, or C) Trump’s completely guilty, “Trump’s completely guilty” is absolutely one of the possibilities.

And yet — as the MSM and its pundits “pick through the bones of last week’s news” — that’s the one possibility they refuse to entertain.

It’s true. They’ll concede the middle easily (cos who knows until all the facts are out). But the middle isn’t as fuzzy as they wish it was. When the only ongoing defense against truly perilous charges is “it’s a hoax!”, you don’t have a defense. We all agree (even Trump’s supporeters FFS!) — Trump’s not innocent. So — let’s remove that empty pot from the table please.

That means Trump must be KINDA guilty at least.

But therein lies the problem — KINDA guilty? That sounds like things we used to call guilty are being normalized.

I keep going back to this fact: Fusion GPS was hired — famously now — to do oppo research on Donald Trump (hired originally by the Washington Free Beacon — Jeb Bush supporters). As Fusion’s co-founder Glenn Simpson testified before Congress, when they did their due diligence before formally commencing their oppo work, they found so much evidence that Trump had laundered Russian mob money through his failed Atlantic City casinos (a red flag itself since who goes broke running a casino?) that they hired Christopher Steele whose Russian contacts were the best in the West.

There should be no question that Trump is a criminal many times over. He was a criminal before he ran for president and his whole campaign — and presidency — have been literal crimes, too. Trump violated his oath of office even as he spoke it; he was knowingly and aggressively violating the emoluments clause.

The Rule Of Law doesn’t have grey areas. It either is or isn’t. Same as Integrity. Once one steps into a traitor’s shoes, those shoes become permanent fixtures on your feet.

I cannot count the hours I have spent either half-listening to or half-watching TV cable news pundits describe actions that — were they to remove them from a president doing them — they’d call ‘TREASONOUS” at the top of their voices. But their normalcy bias blinders are bolted so tightly to their heads — perhaps it’s cut off all the circulation.

They’re like the character in a joke we liked a lot on the bus going to grade school. Guy sees dog shit on the ground. But he’s not sure so he picks it up. Sniffs it. Tastes it even. Yup. It’s dog shit. He puts it back down — glad as hell he didn’t step in it.

How many times and in how many ways does one have to describe treason, traitors and treachery before one is willing to say “Yeah — there might be treason afoot here”?

How many notes from a meeting with Putin does Trump have to destroy before we allow there might be something a wee bit “unkosher” going on?

Technically, “treason” requires a state of war to “be”. We’re in a State of War — make no mistake. There aren’t any bombs or bullets (not here in America but ask Ukraine if that’s true; ask the Kurds — our abandoning our ally benefited one person above all others: Vlad Putin) but then, New Wars will be fought with Information across Cyber networks. Exactly like the war we’re engaged in now.

We will come to see in time that we’ve been living through World War Three. It ain’t just Russia after all that’s firing upon us.

And we aren’t Russia’s only target. And the war Putin’s waging goes back to how the Cold War ended — and his desire to undo the dismantling of the Soviet Union. For reference — the people who took part in the 14th century’s Hundred Years War (it actually lasted 116 years) had no idea that’s what they were involved in. Even as that war rolled through their lives, destroying them, they had no idea they were part of anything historical.

Donald Trump is a traitor. It’s a stone cold fact. He’s done everything except confess it himself. To go back to my earlier metaphor — he put on those shoes. When TV cable news shows turn from reporting a story about just how much of a traitor Trump is to a story about Trump’s re-election plans, they forget Trump’s even wearing shoes. Never mind Treason Shoes.

But he IS wearing them. That same presidential candidate they now glibly discuss — how much money he’s raised, where his base is strongest — is the exact same traitor they were apoplectic about two minutes ago. He didn’t stop being that guy just because THEY changed the subject.

When Donald Trump & his entourage of co-conspirators showed up to take in Game Five of the World Series the other night, he got booed BECAUSE HE’S A TRAITOR.

Everyone chanting “Lock Him Up” is chanting that because they’ve seen enough, heard enough to know — Donald Trump should not be potus for another second longer. BECAUSE HE’S A TRAITOR.

The internet went justifiably bonkers after Morning Joe’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski disapprovingly lectured America on not wanting traitors showing up & ruining their entertainment. Escapism is hard enough to come by in Donald Trump’s America. It’s infuriating to think he feels compelled to take over that space too.

Our TV punditry needs to get it through their heads: it’s dog shit. DON’T pick it up. DON’T sniff it — and whatever you do, DON’T EAT IT.

Trump is a traitor. It’s the only fact that really matters.

Dear MSM – Giving The Benefit Of The Doubt Is Not Journalism

It’s not a stretch to say that at least 90% of our Main Stream News Media has failed miserably in their reporting on Donald Trump.  From not doing their initial homework on Trump (as Fusion GPS did when first hired to do oppo research on Trump by the Washington Free Beacon – research that convinced them Trump laundered Russian mob money through his casinos) to regularly normalizing abhorrent, disqualifying behaviors (from pussy grabbing to calling Mexicans rapists), our MSM has consistently bobbled and dropped the most important ball to ever land in their hands.

It’s a stone, cold fact: If not for Russia’s direct influence on election 2016, Donald Trump would NOT be president today.  Literally everything about is candidacy & presidency is a criminal fraud – and treasonous to boot.  The evidence is massive.  Lots is right there in black and white in the Mueller Report. 

Even words seem too hard for our MSM to take in.  If you READ the Mueller Report – keeping in mind its context (Mueller was tasked with continuing a counter-intelligence investigation whose results we do not know yet and a limited-in-scope investigation into the Trump campaign’s relationship with stolen voter data and its movement to and through Wikileaks), you understand that the first question – was Team Trump complicit – is hampered by Team Trump’s relentless obstruction of justice.

And yet we STILL have “professional journalists” saying out loud that the Mueller Report DOESN’T nail Trump for conspiracy with Russia (on those particular accusations). 

It’s understood – the press wants to be “fair”.  Balanced.  They want to accurately present both sides of an argument.  Problem – that assumes all arguments have two sides.

What, I wonder, is the “other side” to the “Final Solution” argument.  What’s the “other side” to Pol Pot or Bashar al-Assad murdering their people?  What’s the other side to putting children in cages or poisoning Flint’s water?

There isn’t another side to those arguments.  Just like there’s no other side to rape or sexual assault.  There’s no other side to cruelty of any kind.  There’s no other side to deliberately undermining the greatest experiment in human self government ever. 

The core idea of trying to see the other side’s argument is completely valid – of course it is.  But there are limits.  Context dictates what those limits are.  A man who lies repeatedly, for instance, should be seen as a likely liar every time he opens his mouth, NOT as a likely truth-teller.  When the MSM presents everything Trump says without that context, they create the illusion that Trump could be telling the truth (when, in fact, he is deliberately flat-out LYING). 

“Yeah, but what if Trump believes he can make a deal with any world leader?”

Who gives a shit? And why are you framing the question from a traitor’s point of view?

Oh, that’s right.  The MSM is only just arriving at the word “treason” – and only because every Republican running against Trump in the “Republican Primary” such as it is, just accused Trump of TREASON on “Morning Joe”.

Think about that – it’s really remarkable: Three Republicans (Joe Walsh, Mark Sanford and Bill Weld) just got on a popular national news show (one they know Trump watches) and accused him of TREASON for trying to squeeze the Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter (for being a board member of a Ukrainian energy company).

It’s maddening that Trump could be so staggeringly guilty of so many crimes so staggeringly out in the open that our news media refuses to call out.  The instant they stopped asking about “Mexicans are rapists”, they normalized it.  Trump went from being disqualified to being “a different kind of candidate” who said disqualifying things yet endured.

It wasn’t We The People doing that.  It was Russia – and it’s most useful idiot, the American News Media.

Our MSM continues to carry Putin’s water to this day.  Every time they “Yeah, but what if…?” a Russia question or give the benefit of the doubt to a man who’s called THEM “the enemy of the people”, they are doing exactly what Putin wants them to do.  They’re giving credence to bullshit, lies and treason.

On the bright side though, when they get to the gulag reserved for the press, they can ask “Yeah, but what if I don’t mind sleeping on the top bunk here in the barracks?  What if I don’t mind being tortured or worked to death because America’s no longer a Democracy?”

Yeah, but what if…?

We Got Donald Trump All Wrong; As Horrible As We Thought He’d Be? He’s Way, WAY Worse

A lot of us anticipated the bad horror movie the Trump presidency would be. It wasn’t exactly rocket science.

Trump was a fraud who was given the maximum benefit of the doubt by a press both in love with Trump’s fraudulent audacity and in fear of his retribution.  Their inability to cover this story – from Trump’s overt racism (FFS, they still want to debate whether or not he even IS a racist) to his overt treason (they still want to go along with Bill Barr’s lie that the only thing in the Mueller Report are empty pages) should be a warning to us.  We see, hear and feel our country literally shrinking.

Trump has never run anything bigger or more complex than a Mom ‘n Pop Money Laundering Shop for the Russian mob.  There’s a reason Trump keeps everything crime family close. 

Fusion GPS noticed this fact while doing their due diligence after The Washington Free Beacon hired them to do oppo research on Trump (the Free Beacon’s owner liked Jeb Bush).  Fusion’s Glenn Simpson testified before Congress that what they uncovered about Trump – getting ahold of books, magazines, newspapers videos from everyplace thy could including the public library – motivated them to hire Christopher Steele, former head of the MI6’s Russia desk.

I remember not so long ago when our constant harping about Russia got annoyed looks even from friends.  It’s hard to get one’s mind around the enormity of this crime. 

I bet the folks living at Pearl Harbor felt kinda the same way as bombs exploded all around them.  How do you get your mind around being the unfortunate place where the spear tip punctures the body?  They went to sleep at peace, woke up at war.

Even now – with a shitload of solid evidence staring at us, we STILL refuse to call Trump the traitor he is.  Our news media will give him the benefit of the doubt till there’s no more left to give.  Then they’ll wonder which Democrat is the most “electable” against him.  FFS – a bucket of vomit with a D sharpie’d onto its side could beat Donald Trump.  The problem is, it’s Russia they’re running against.  Take Russia out of the 2016 equation and Trump never makes it past the primaries.

But Russia did make Trump the winner in 2016.  They made a lot of Republicans winners, too.  Those Republicans took a sledgehammer to the Rule Of Law.  That was my blind spot – the degree to which the whole GOP was well and truly complicit.  The Republican Party saw demographic extinction ahead of them.  They’ve had to steal the last two republican presidencies (W’s and Trump’s).  Without gerrymandering, the Republicans would lose the Congress, too.  The only co-equal branch available to them?  The judiciary.  Provided they stole it.

Which (Merrick Garland anyone?) Moscow Mitch McConnell absolutely did.  All those highly rated Obama judges held up and denied hearings, all those Trump Judges shoved down America’s throat. 

The result has been chaotic – of course.  But even chaos has advantages over what we’re being forced to endure.  I never saw children in cages coming. I never saw such blatant lying to Congress coming.  I never saw the love of depravity coming. 

I never saw the attrition coming – the way Trump’s constant lying (now compounded because EVERY Republican now lies) would wear us all down – and undermine our collective will.  Living in Trumpian times is exhausting. 

I never saw that  coming either.

Dear America — It Doesn’t Matter Whether We Know It Or Not — WE’RE AT WAR

We all know the story of December 7, 1941. At around 7:15 a.m. the Japanese Imperial Fleet attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Just like that — America was “at war”.

But, the Japanese had set their war machine in motion years before — designing it for just such a scenario. In advance of that date — December 7, the Japanese moved their war machine into place. We’re talking a naval fleet and a wide expanse of ocean. Then, once the order was given to attack, it still took the Japanese hours to reach Pearl Harbor so they could open the attack — and make the fact that they were at war with us “formal”.

Looking back at the timeline, December 7, 1941 didn’t just pop up out of nowhere. I wonder if anyone at Pearl Harbor asked themselves — as they ran for cover, the bombs exploding all around them — how was it they (we) were so horribly ill-prepared for a war they (we) should have seen coming…

Okay — the whole point of a surprise attack is that the guy getting attacked doesn’t see it coming. But, c’mon…

A deer happily walking through the forest thinks her life is going along just fine. If a hunter has her in his sights however, she’s fooling herself. Her life’s about to end abruptly. She’ll just be the last to know it.

America is a lot like that deer. We still have it in our heads that our Democracy works like it’s supposed to. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our voting systems are as compromised as a Trump because the makers of those systems are mostly Trump supporters. And one has to wonder why the makers of VOTING SYSTEMS don’t want to guarantee the INTEGRITY of their VOTING SYSTEMS by always creating a paper trail.

Quick Life Hack? Any time anyone tries to hide the truth — no matter the tap dancing they do? It means they’re lying. It means they’re a criminal violating both the public trust and (probably) the law.

Russia declared war on us eons ago. It has been their intention going back to at least the Cold War to compromise us or neutralize us. We used to be much better at fighting back. Republican greed — for money and power — seem to have warn down their “resistance”. Seeing demographic extinction in their future, the Republican Party (their money) made a conscious choice to hitch their wagon to Donald Trump — even though they KNEW, for a fact, that Trump was a traitor.

That’s just stone, cold fact.

Russia declared Cyber War & Information War against us (they’ve certainly behaved as if they were at Cyber/Info War with us) and the Republican Party conspired with them as a means to impose permanent minority rule upon the majority.

Want to know why the GOP won’t say a thing to stop Trump when clearly Trump’s uvula is spackled with Vladimir Putin’s DNA? Their uvulas are all just as coated. They’ve all taken Russian money. They knew or suspected what was happening and said NOTHING. Why, even back during the 2016 convention Paul Ryan was telling Mike McCarthy to keep his suspicions that Russia was paying Dana Rohrbacher & Donald Trump “in the family”.

They knew we were under attack — THEY SAID SO OUT LOUD. Yet, did nothing. Didn’t call the FBI, for instance…

Wake up, America — please? Anyone who thinks you need bombs and bullets to wage or win a war will lose every war they ever fight going forward. Russia (or some other player) could shut down our electrical grid today and we’d be forced to sue for peace. Imagine: winning a war without firing a shot. It is absolutely possible.

The fact that we don’t KNOW — for a fact — that we’ve been under attack all this time is a tell that we’re living inside a giant FALSE NARRATIVE. Every time a TV talking head says about election 2016 that America voted for Trump, they’re spewing a false narrative. 1) the majority of Americans did NOT vote for Trump and 2) in the three states that put Trump over the top — Pennsylvania, Michigan & Wisconsin, Trump won by a combined 77,000 votes in states where Russia used proprietary polling data acquired from Paul Manafort (per the Mueller Report) to DIRECTLY IMPACT the voting in those states.

By the way, no one has ever done any forensics on any of the voting machines in those states. We don’t (may never) know what could have been done (easily by a committed actor) to those machines. Of course, if you don’t accept that you’re at war to begin with, you’d never think to look deeply at voting machines. You’d probably think it was absurd, over the top conspiracy thinking…

A spouse who’s being cheated on lives inside a false narrative that their marriage is secure. We live inside a similar false narrative — and marriage — with the Republican Party. They haven’t just cheated on us, they’ve sold the house out from under us.

Remember that deer I mentioned, the one being hunted? That’s us. Right here, right now. History is pretty consistent on this point. Being the last to know anything always works out badly.

Donald Trump “Winning” The 2016 Election Is A Total Fiction; We Need To Start Treating It Like One

Let’s get this straight: without Russia MAKING him president, Donald J Trump would not BE president.

We felt it collectively on Election Night 2016 as the results went toward the unexpected. It felt strange — not just because it wasn’t going the way we expected. No, it felt strange on a whole other subcutaneous level, down in our guts where our animal selves live. Our animal sense got it immediately. This stinks.

Trump winning the election felt like a lie. I still cringe on hearing the word “President” when attached to Trump’s name. It doesn’t compute or add up. I wouldn’t want him as the president of my condo association never mind of the United States.

Trump’s “win” (quotation marking it feels totally honest) felt like a lie. Like the Truth had been compromised somehow. Marginalized. That would make sense — that Trump would come for the Truth first. Truth will always be Trump’s enemy. That and human decency.

Chapter One in Authoritarianism For Dummies makes it abundantly clear: Destroy the Truth first!

From the moment even his campaign started, Trump — like a good prodigal authoritarian — went after the Truth. If he lost, he insisted, the election was rigged. The trick wasn’t so much denying the Truth as getting the rest of us to buy into his version — and damned if the American Main Stream Media didn’t oblige. How long did it take to normalize “Mexicans are rapists?”

“Grab em by the pussy” normalized even further. To be fair, it grabbed pussies had to compete with “but her emails”. You can see how that’d be challenging…

Though he sucks at everything else, Trump excels at destroying things from the inside out. He’s like a virus, always trying to turn everything else into him. That includes America.

The Mueller Report did not deal with the totality of Russia’s interference in or impact on Election 2016. They didn’t deal with the totality of Trump’s multi-faceted criminality. They didn’t deal with all the other ways (aside from Wikileaks) that Russian actors & Trump actors played nicely together for the purpose of destroying American Democracy. It was never in their purview (as much as some of us hoped it would be).

The Mueller Report came back “smaller” than we expected in part because Team Mueller’s investigation was continually compromised and obstructed by everyone on Team Trump — even the ones Team Mueller thought were cooperating. This is no ordinary group of criminals up to no good.

These are traitors and seditionists. These are confederates and anti-American greedists who cannot abide that they are already a minority party representing a minority (shrinking minority) point of view.

Want to know why Mitch McConnell won’t protect our election infrastructure? It’s because he knows for a fact that without Russia literally STEALING election 2016 on Trump’s and the GOP’s benefit, Hillary Clinton would be president now. We shouldn’t be naive. A Clinton presidency would have been under constant siege from every one of these nefarious asshats — at Russia’s urging and behest.

But we wouldn’t be facing a moment of very real peril.

We’re getting the story now in dribs and drabs. Donald Trump has been a work in progress for Putin going back years. So has the Republican Party. Election 2016. Brexit was a dry run for Election 2016. Election 2016 succeeded beyond Vladimir Putin’s wildest dreams — not only did he put his own guy in the White House, he set in motion the means to keep us under his thumb forever via permanent (Republican) minority rule.

The Projector In Chief TOLD us this was so almost as soon as he “won”: He knew questions about his legitimacy were themselves legitimate. That scared the crap out of him — which he projected like the manic sociopath huffed up on powdered Adderall that he is.

I dare anyone to look at a SINGLE thing Trump’s done since “winning” that hasn’t looked like, felt like or sounded like he wasn’t compromised in every way imaginable.

Better yet, let a thousand words do the talking…

I’ll repeat: without Russia’s direct help, influence, money & ACTIVE MEASURES, Donald Trump doesn’t win the presidency of the United States. Hell, he doesn’t even get his corrupt, bloated orange ass through the primaries — which is followed by the Republicans coming up empty.

Donald Trump won nothing in 2016. It’s questionable if the GOP won much of what they claim they won. If a single dollar of money flowed from Russia into a single Republican campaign coffer (lots more than a single dollar flowed), every victory by every Republican has to be re-examined in the light of conspiracy to defraud the American electorate and commit Treason.

There Is Only One Answer – Election 2016 Must Be Completely Voided

It’s taken almost 3 years for the Main Stream News Media to broadcast things that, when loons like me used to say them, got eye rolls so hard they nearly burst out of the heads rolling them.

Russia — or any other bad actor — COULD ABSOLUTELY hack into voting machines — in real time even — and CHANGE THEIR TALLIES. That’s even after voters (all Democrats, don’tcha know!) have survived being hacked out of the voter rolls to begin with. Let’s not skip past that very important point: a vote suppressed (where the voter could not vote or was not allowed to vote or was “provisional or was dissuaded from voting via lies sent directly to their FB pages) is a vote stolen. It means the other side’s votes count more; we don’t know for certain what the ratio is — of Republican votes to suppressed or obliterated Democratic votes.

Ya gotta figure — if all those votes Republicans work so hard to suppress were guaranteed Republican votes? We would not be having this conversation. Hell — each of those voters would be limo’d to their polling place, fed, entertained (probably including hand release if they want it) then limo’d home and eased into bed. Same goes for every single Central American refugee trying desperately to get into this country.

Let’s be very clear about WHY all of this is happening. We are experiencing a perfect storm of greed, graft, gall & treachery. The greed, graft & gall all flow from Republicans recognizing that America’s demographics spell eventual doom form them. They are (and always have been — in modern times — we ain’t talking about “The Party Of Lincoln” here) the party of White Christian Male Privilege. Guys like Lee Atwater, Newt Gingrich and Mitch McConnell saw it and saw what they had to do to maintain that privilege for as long as possible if not forever: they had to break the system.

Republicans got that the executive branch was forever gone (take away the bullshittiest SCOTUS decision ever — Bush v Gore) and Al Gore is POTUS. Take away Russia and Hillary Clinton is POTUS. Take away the Electoral College and Republicans can’t even get within the DC City Limits.

They saw, the GOP did, that the House of Representatives was also likely a lost cause. Good thing the Senate is weighted so heavily toward rural states where all the white power lives. It doesn’t put the Senate out of reach for Democrats — it demands a whole other kind of politics however.

That left the judiciary — the one (theoretically co-equal) branch of government that Republicans could (using the Senate) seize, pervert & (using lifetime appointments) employ to circumvent the majority’s will (regarding birth control, climate change, voting rights, immigration). To that end and effect, Mitch McConnell refused to grant Merrick Garland so much as a hearing. He refused to process most of Obama’s other judicial nominees.

Can we all just agree, please — Mitch McConnell (Moscow Mitch as he’s trending now on Twitter) is among the vilest humans to ever walk the planet and – bonus points – one of the worst villains to ever turtle walk across the American political stage. Mitch — beholden to the Kochs & Mercers, beholden to millions of dollars of Russian patronage into his PACS, beholden to oligarchs and any number of other bad actors — deserves to be tried & punished for treason. That’s as factual as facts get.

Though the Republican Party may have resisted Trump at first, they got seduced easily. Having secrets (including emails stolen from the RNC, as yet unrevealed to the public but very much a fact) makes you vulnerable to blackmail. I present the pride of the Carolinas Senator Lindsey Graham who went from calling Trump a racist to proudly pointing to all the places on his uvula where Trump spattered his racist DNA. Once the GOP bought in to Trumpism, they bought in all the way.

The Mueller Report — in print and in Mueller’s unwilling oral presentation — made concrete points: Russia cyber attacked us, our election, our whole Democratic process — and Donald Trump and the Republican party knew it, accepted it and participated in it. When they feared being discovered, they lied about it and obstructed justice in every single way they could.

They’re still at it — just like Robert Mueller said. He was referring strictly to Russia but — he’d already suggested that Trump and those around him were complicit. I’m sure Robert Mueller knew — as he stared back at Republicans like sexual-assault enabler Jim Jordan, DUI-guy Matt Gaetz and scumbag-di-tutti-scumbags Devin Nunes — that each and every one was a flat-out traitor.

The Republican Party approached Election 2016 like a thief approaching the score of his life. He had lots of help but still wondered if they could all pull it off. Keep in mind what we’re talking about here. This isn’t some drunken fraternity prank — this is criminal. It’s aiding and abetting a foreign enemy hellbent on 1) undermining our whole system & 2) profiting from it via the lifting of sanctions. Russia’s efforts — active measures all — aren’t “war-like”, they’re WAR. Cyber War. Information War.

Anyone who thinks wars require bombs and bullets will lose every war they ever fight going forwards. The Russians (or Iran or North Korea or any number of others) could shut down our power grid — you better believe that’s do-able — and we’d sue for peace. Cyber War IS War. We’re under attack. Think of us like Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941 — 20 minutes BEFORE the Japanese Imperial Navy arrives and starts bombing, The war has already started, the Americans at Pearl Harbor simply didn’t know it yet.

That’s us, not recognizing an empirical fact — that the man occupying the White House was PUT there by a hostile foreign power as part of an act of outright WAR. That means the crimes being committed in concert with Russia are crimes being committed in war time. THAT makes them picture-definition treason.

Let’s be clear again. What the Republican Party did & keeps doing is treasonous. That’s not hyperbole. What Mitch McConnell is doing — refusing to beef up our election security IN ANY WAY is treason on the hoof and in plain sight. THAT is absolutely what the Republicans are up to now and what they were up to back when we all went to vote in 2016.

What happened on November 7, 2016 was neither free nor fair. The Republican Party collaborated with Russia to steal the election and pull off a soft coup d’etat meant to undermine The Rule Of Law and install permanent minority rule. THAT was the actual result of election 2016 — the Republican Party deliberately circumvented the Will of the American People.

Well how the hell can THAT possibly stand?

It can’t. Of course it can’t. If one dollar of Russian money flowed into Republican campaign coffers, that’s a crime. It doesn’t matter if it stopped there (it didn’t); the Rule Of Law isn’t proportional, it’s absolute. If one voter was denied their right to vote then the election was NOT entirely free & fair. Again — the Rule Of Law is not proportional; it is absolute.

You cannot — in the abstract — break the law to become president of the US. You cannot break the law in reality either. And you cannot claim to have “won” an election when the only reason you “won” is because a hostile foreign power MADE YOU WIN.

That means Donald Trump never won anything. Having not actually WON, he didn’t earn the right to take the oath of office or do anything he did after that. He never had the right or the privilege to name judges — including two SCOTUS judges. The authority was NEVER vested in HIM. He did it WITHOUT actual authority.

That means those two judges — hell, EVERY judge nominated by Trump (never mind that the AEI and the Federalist Society who did the actual choosing) are as illegitimate as Trump is. Every bit of legislation. Every executive action. Every statement. Every tweet. Every racist, misogynistic, bigoted, ignorant statement — it was Trumpian but it wasn’t “official”.

So — what do we “do with” all these illegitimate judges and laws (like the tax giveaway)? I heard former Republican David Jolley on MSNBC this morning saying that maybe we just have to let 2016 go — as a “life lesson” for our Democracy.

Ummmm, no, David. Absolutely not. That’s telling the rape victim to get over it. We were raped. Our Democracy was raped. How else would you describe the Republican party shoving themselves on us regardless of how long and how loudly we protest. They’ve “inserted themselves” into us, like it or not. The bombing at Pearl Harbor has begun.

See that pile of bodies over there? See the flames? It’s all real.

It is incumbent on We The People to void every last bit of Election 2016. How do we do that exactly? I’m not sure. We’ve never had to do it before. But then, we’ve never had a president — and his whole political party — sell us out to an enemy before. None of this is explicitly mentioned in the Constitution.

We may have look & think outside the box (and the Constitution) for answers and solutions. Let’s start by throwing every single Republican in prison where they belong and by repealing every last bit of 2016.

If we don’t do that, we’ll be setting ourselves up for failure. It’ll be “Slavery: The Sequel”.

Why Our News Media Sucks — Steve Kornacki Edition

I consume a lot of news — not so much for the news as because the storyteller in me hates watching the story of all our lifetimes get fumbled so completely by America’s Main Stream News Media. As I’ve blogged here, American journalism is infected with a number of diseases, “Both Sides Do It-ism” being the most pernicious. We live inside a false narrative that Donald Trump is a legitimate POTUS because our MSM keeps that fallacy alive.

Our problem isn’t so much Donald Trump being an asset of Russian intelligence — which he absolutely is; it isn’t a question — our problem is that the whole Republican Party is also a Russian asset — being fully bought & paid for both with cash & secrets kept. And, our other problem — the Fourth Estate, charged with being the final check on power has failed us miserably whether through failure of imagination or utter lack of journalistic talent. Or, the other possibility — they never had an ounce of integrity to begin with.

Look — I’ve made TV shows & feature films. I’ve auditioned and hired hundreds of actors. Whenever I can, I like to read with actors myself (giving them more to work with than our casting directors might do). Reporters are no different from actors. They’re just actors who’ve learned how to share a microphone because how they “act” can impact how an interview turns out or how they report a story. Trust me — they’re actors reading from a script, most of them. Which brings us to Steve Kornacki…

I’m sure Steve’s a lovely guy to work with. He seems upbeat, like he’d be a fun hang. But that ain’t what we’re here to talk about.

Most of the time, Steve works the numbers. His co-workers always seem amazed by the fact that Steve has all these numbers at his fingertips but Steve’s not compiling those numbers, he’s just reporting them — then adding a gloss of “analysis”. Steve’s great at pointing at the numbers. They seem to excite him like nothing else. And he can bore in deep on just about any number in front of him. But for all Steve can tell us about a grain of sand, what is made of, he can’t tell you where that grain of sand is. He has no idea whether it sits on a desert island or in the middle of the Sahara Desert.

Like a lot of numbers guys, Steve has no perspective about the numbers beyond the numbers themselves. That stunning lack of perspective is what makes Steve Kornacki so ordinary. He’s like a lot of modern American journalists.

The problem is this — Why can’t (why won’t) the Steve Kornacki’s report the Trump Russia story faithfully? Why do they insist on normalizing behaviors that should never have been normalized under any circumstances? Our MSM acts like they’ve only just stumbled over Donald Trump’s racism. Um, no, folks — Trump’s been racist since he dropped from Mary Trump’s rancid womb.

What does it take for a person in America’s Main Stream News Media — Steve, for instance — to accept facts as facts? Why would a reporter — Steve, for instance — make statements that reveal either 1) he hasn’t read the full Mueller Report or 2) he read it but was too stupid to understand it and too much of a male to ask questions? I offer this video as proof.

Here, Steve mixes it up with the always excellent Zerlina Maxwell. Steve literally leans in — the nice guy gets offended at being contradicted even though Zerlina brings nothing but receipts. Steve leaps in to inisist that the Mueller Report exonerates Trump of collusion — though (if ya read), that’s not even remotely what it says. Zerlina points out — she’s not voicing an OPINION about Trump’s complicity in stealing an election, she’s talking facts, evidence & a raft of serious-as-a-heart-attack accusations.

What, Steve Kornacki, is so hard about doing your damned job?

I Made A Terrific New Friend Yesterday — My Diametric Opposite

I am not making this up. I met my diametric opposite a few days ago. We kinda it it off. By yesterday, when we parted ways, I couldn’t get him out of my head.

Come the fall, my daughter will matriculate at UC-Davis. Despite the havoc Prop 13 wreaked upon California’s educational system, our state universities remain a shining example of what public education can be. For two days, we were both plunged into the University’s culture — my daughter off with the students, me off with the parents. As this isn’t my first time at the UC Rodeo, I was familiar with the tropes. The nuggets of good, UC-Davis-specific info were massively outnumbered by well-meaning-but-generic suggestions about dealing with our freshman angst and our own.

My new friend Gary and I started chatting — just because we were sitting near each other while waiting for one of the information sessions to start. We all wore badges with our names, our student’s first name and their intended major. That way, all the parents had a way to break the ice with each other — just by reading each others’ badges.

I’m not subtle in a room. Gary saw me immediately for what I was — a progressive. Gary did a little “lawyerly” poking around. He showed me a picture of a Remington rifle he was interested in buying. It was a nice-looking rifle. Not my thing but, still, my under-reaction surprised Gary.

The subject of marijuana had come up. I forget why. It seems to come up a lot around me. Gary had recently developed type 2 diabetes. When he and I and the two other hookey-playing dads sat down for an off-campus beer, Gary and I were the only non-drinkers. I asked if he ever used cannabis instead. Gary said he almost did once (at UC-Davis — he was a very proud alum) but hadn’t since — and really couldn’t because of his work.

Gary, ya see, is a judge. A very conservative judge from a very conservative part of California. The instant I heard Gary was a judge, I was captivated. I grew up a surgeon’s son. While I thought of my dad as “dad”, other people revered my dad because of what he did — and did for them. Working as I have in show business, I’ve seen people be revered because they can memorize dialogue and act it out on cue. But, perhaps because I grew up being unimpressed, I became immune to being impressed. Gary being a judge (never mind his politics) made him a guy with a job I wanted to know more about. The perfect basis for a friendship.

Now, I hope Gary will forgive me for this. I’m about to give away his secret. He’s a profoundly decent man. His care and compassion for drug addicts — his work on their behalf to keep them out of the penal system (but with the penal system’s threat very real) makes him a hero. There’s a saying in the Talmud: “Save one life, you save the world”. I told Gary that’s what he was doing. He downplayed it. The last laugh is mine — I’m shouting it from the rooftops here.

The truth is, because Gary isn’t a doctrinaire conservative — and I’m a pragmatic progressive — we found an amazing amount of, if not common ground, then ground where structures could be built where we both could live. It’s funny how when you put politics — even differing politics — inside decent people, one hears the differences but one also sees a way to get past them. Decency is a remarkable thing, I tell ya!

Decency means you have to listen sometimes — and wait your turn to counter. You have to argue facts and not feelings. You have to stay reasoned and reasonable.

I have a confession to make. I used what my new friend Gary told me about himself against him. And he let me. The subject of Donald Trump came up. The subject of Russia came up. The subject of Robert Mueller and The Mueller Report came up.

Gary said he hadn’t read the report, didn’t intend to, and thought it was a waste of time. That’s when I played dirty. I talked to my new friend Gary as the compassionate, law-abiding judge I knew he was — there was video, news reporting — testimonials from drug addicts who’d been saved from their own demons. Gary is especially fond of his time in drug court. He’s put more than a few demons to the sword there.

I put Robert Mueller into Gary’s courtroom,. Was Mueller a “good witness”? Purple Heart War Hero… Second longest-serving FBI Director… a man who’d spent his whole career as a public servant — whose reputation even now remains sterling. I asked — if the evidence presented in the 488 page Mueller Report was evidence presented in HIS courtroom, how would Gary feel about it?

I told you — Gary is a very decent man. He did not disagree that AG Bill Barr misrepresented Robert Mueller and his work product. The more we talked about the subject, the quieter Gary became. I don’t argue feelings. I argue facts (and I can back up everything with receipts if needed because I’ve learned the hard way — it sucks being humiliated by someone who does bring proof that they know whereof they speak). But feelings are part of the equation and depending on how intense those feelings are, the facts can easily get de-contextualized. A fact out of context is a statistic waiting to be abused.

Gary and I talked about the 2nd amendment too. We talked about how it’s worded. We talked about guns and gun culture. Though it pains me to say it, i don’t see how we’d ever make America a giant gun-free zone. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work toward it. My bet is the more women flood the political system, the tighter gun restrictions will be because mothers hate the thought of anyone’s baby getting shot.

Guns will be a series of conversations we’ll have over time, I bet. I believe we will have those conversations. And though we won’t see eye-to-eye, I believe we’ll begin to see ways to bridge the chasm. Decency, I believe, will make the chasm harder to maintain. I hope that Gary’s decency was a reflection of my own. Having someone listen to you — really listen — changes things.

I bonded with Gary. I found a compadre (and a partner in crime). I found someone whose world fascinates me — as my world fascinates him. I doubt we’ll ever have the same war stories.

As someone who rages against political opponents like a fool shrieking into the void, I found it incredibly satisfying to listen. To ask questions. To understand the perspective that made another person who they are.

I guess that’s what happened. I looked inside the heart of another person — and saw them beneath what they thought.

I can’t say for sure if this new friendship will endure. I want it to. I already come away from it enriched by it.

Some Perspective On Perspective

As much as I might want to see the world through another person’s eyes, it’s a physical impossibility. The best I can ever really hope for is to imagine what the world literally looks like as they see it. It’s a fact — we all experience “experience” differently.

Imagine a cube sitting alone on a vast, featureless plain. From the cube’s point of view, all one can see — turning 360 degrees — is plain. From the plain’s perspective however, there’s endless plain — and a cube. Differing perspectives see differing things. But one of the two perspectives saw everything (or more of everything) while the other failed to see a key detail.

As a Nation, we stand at a moment of existential crisis because we have lost perspective — and our perspective was dubious to begin with.

How is it that a criminal and traitor occupies the White House and we are seemingly powerless to remove him from office? How is that all this information about Donald Trump’s criminality — including 488 pages of Mueller Report — and we STILL can’t even officially accuse the man of what he’s demonstrably done?

It’s like the Truth is that cube sitting in the middle of vast, featureless plain — and we, living inside the Truth, can’t see it because we’re so “close to it”. If we could just get some perspective, we’d get it. Our news media has a related problem. They want to get at the truth — but don’t seem to realize that the deep dives they take — while detailed — aren’t adding significantly to our overall knowledge because they’re too focused on detail. Or on the wrong details…

A story (like Trump’s with Russia, for instance) is a mosaic. Each tile is significant. The problem is, our Main Stream News Media — while awfully good at boring into any particular tile — have a tendency (while boring in on the particular tile that’s drawn their interest) to forget all the other tiles in the mosaic.

Some of them even forget that the thing they’re looking at is part of a mosaic. They convince themselves that the piece they’re looking at IS the whole picture while the Whole Picture actually looks a lot like this

On a related note — and a similar metaphor — there are the numbers crunchers like NBC’s Steve Kornacki. Kornacki can tell you a lot of fascinating detail about the numbers themselves — how a district voted historically, how a particular candidate has fared with a particular group of voters. But Kornacki’s assumption that the past is prologue doesn’t apply to now. We’ve never had an actual traitor as POTUS — and we’ve never had one of our two political parties committed to keeping that traitor in power.

The details on the ground matter more than the fact that there’s “ground”. Put another way, Number crunchers like Steve Kornacki can wax rhapsodic about a grain of sand (how small it is — or big compared to other grains of sand, what kind of rock it came from, how old it is, what its future probably is) …

Yeah — Kornacki can show you the beauty in a grain of sand. But beyond that things get sketchy…

Almost as important as knowing about the grain of sand is knowing where the grain of sand lives. And that’s something Kornacki can only guess at — because he’s lost perspective (and maybe never had it to begin with). For all Kornacki knows, the grain of sand he’s fixated on comes from here…

But, for all Steve knows, it could just as easily come from the surface of Mars…

It’s lack of perspective that first fed the ludicrous idea that “both sides do it”. “Both sides do it” always functions without any sense of scale — or perspective. To the “both sides do it” crowd, Bernie Madoff and Jean Valjean (from Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables) are both thieves — never mind that one ripped off people to the tune of billions while the other stole bread to feed the hungry. The respective-less Both Sides Do It club says thievery is thievery is thievery (if poor people or people of color do it).

Storytellers need to be able to pull the camera back as far as it will go — and then further still. A storyteller with no perspective is a person to whom that story is being told.

They’re like a cube sitting on a wide open, featureless plain…