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”.

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If Russian Efforts Changed ONE Vote, They Changed The WHOLE Election

That is a literal Truth. Think about it. If Russia changed ONE vote — caused an African American voter in Wisconsin, say, from showing up at the polls on election day 2016 because weaponized Facebook ads (based on stolen voter data) propagandized them into believing HRC was racist — and if the Trump Campaign KNEW that was happening or encouraged it or (worst but most likely) PARTICIPATED in it — then we cannot say that Election 2016 was truly “Free & Fair”.

And if we know that Russian interference prevented America from having a free and fair election, we have to look at the Americans who aided and abetted the Russians. And we have to ask “WHY?” Why aid and abet a country who would benefit from our diminishment?

We have to assume — since the Republicans are working so hard to obstruct Justice — that they, too, saw benefits from aiding and abetting a foreign enemy. Donald Trump — having not been punished for conspiring with Russia to steal election 2016, saw a chance to not only steal 2020 but blame Ukraine for 2016 — thereby taking the onus off Vlad Putin and Russia. So much gymnastics when all you have to do to win an election (in theory) is have better ideas than the other guy.

Trump has consistently relied on outside help. He’s done it in our faces. He relied on Russian interference in 2016 and he’s relying on it now — BECAUSE THAT’S HOW HE “WON”.

Fact: Paul Manafort handed Oleg Deripaska proprietary polling data for four states: Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Trump won Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — four Hillary states — by less than 77,000 votes combined. No one’s ever done an official forensics analysis on the machines or their results. Unofficial analysis has turned up curious anomalies (repetitive results district after district) that only an official analysis can clear up or explain (if they can be cleared up or legally explained).

Fact: Voter suppression in Wisconsin was already pervasive before election 2016; it was exacerbated by its then governor Scott Walker and by some pretty egregious gerrymandering. We don’t know how many Democratic voters were culled from the voter rolls. Strangely, it’s ALWAYS Democratic voters who get culled.

I bet if all those refugees streaming north from Central American drug wars caused by American drug lust were reliably Republican? They’d all get limo’d across the border, first stop being an employment office where they’d get handed some featherbedded job and a passport. Too bad for all those people they’re not corrupt. Better luck next time, I guess.

We have a massive day of reckoning ahead of us. We see now — in real time — how Trump’s use of outside influence to interfere with an election works. We see the quid pro quo’s. We see the staggering corruption.

Fact: Russian money flowed (through the NRA and through citizen Russian emigres doing the Kremlin’s bidding via contributions to Republicans by way of their Kremlin-cash-flowed retirement accounts to virtually every single Republican. I’m kinda suspicious where traitors are concerned. I’m more inclined to demand every Republican prove they WEREN’T financed by Russia than I am to assume they’re innocent or oblivious.

Russians do love their useful idiots.

Either Every Vote Counts Or No Votes Count

We need to make up our goddamned minds about voting. Personally, I believe that literally EVERY VOTE counts.

In election 2018, according to the Washington Post, in 133 races out of the 4,137 run that election cycle, the winner’s margin of victory was under 100 votes. That’s 3.2% of all races.

That would mean that a successful voter suppression operation only had to stop 100 people from showing up across thousands of voting districts in order to accomplish its goal: changing the outcome of an election, not by selling better ideas but by tricking or lying voters into not voting.

In a close race — decided by fewer than 100 votes — each and every voter tricked into not voting is as good as a vote for the other guy. What part of that is either free or fair?

In 2016, Republicans, with Russia’s help, carried out the Mother of all voter suppression operations. What was Paul Manafort’s intention when he handed Oleg Deripaska proprietary polling data from Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota? Was it simply “Hey, Oleg, here’s some cool stuff you might want to peruse in your copious free time”? Or was it “Hey, Oleg, here’s proprietary American polling data. Weaponize it, please.

Next thing ya know? African Americans in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan are seeing ads on their Facebook pages raging about Hillary Clinton’s secret racist agenda. It’s absurd. But the point of the exercise isn’t swaying the great unwashed masses. Sway one voter — you COULD sway a whole election.

If Russia’s efforts changed one vote — just one — that means they could have changed that election’s entire outcome.

Either our elections are free and fair or they aren’t. There’s no middle ground. Elections — like integrity — are either 100% legit or they’re not legit at all. Ever meet someone with most of their integrity (say 95%)?

No, you haven’t. You have integrity or you don’t.

An election is free and fair or it isn’t.

Every vote counts — or none of them actually do.

Donald Trump Isn’t Just “Worse Than Watergate”, He’s Watergate’s “Unfinished Business”

On the one hand, Watergate was merely a cover up of a second rate burglary, the cover up being the crime that brought Nixon down.  But, on the other, Watergate was also a prosecution of the political culture that made the second rate burglary a viable political option – committing an actual crime to undermine your political opponents.

Paul Manafort, Roger Stone & Lee Atwater — in business together in 1980

That “Do ANYTHING To Win” mentality didn’t die with Watergate.  Guys like Roger Stone, Paul Manafort and Lee Atwater kept it very much alive.  So did Roger Ailes.  Ailes openly said that he created Fox News as a mechanism to prevent any future Watergates – that is, prevent the press from STOPPING the dark, authoritarian politics behind Watergate because the press (well, Fox News anyway) would be stoking the flames that made Watergate possible. 

Fox News was created to foster the culture of Republican political corruption.  And Fox News had an awful lot to do with the rise of Donald J. Trump.

Roger Stone, too, has never been shy about his love for Nixon.  FFS, the bastard even got a tattoo of Nixon on his back. 

The joke will be on Roger though.  I bet inmates are already lining up to meet Roger when he becomes a federal prisoner; they all want bragging rights.  They want to tell their pals that they looked Dick Nixon right in the eye while they shot a load.

The march toward impeachment during Watergate was much more of a slog – took longer – than most people remember.  Then, as now, Republicans dug in their heels, determined to protect their president.  It wasn’t until the reveal that there were tapes – irrefutable evidence that Nixon knew about everything and actively participated in the cover up – that Republicans like Barry Goldwater marched dutifully to the White House to explain to Nixon why he’d be resigning.  Impeachment and conviction were done deals.

We have “tapes” again now.  And, as before, it will be the cover up that brings a president down.  But that, pretty much, is where the similarities end.  Nixon and company were covering up a burglary – committed for political purposes.  Trump is covering up high crimes, misdemeanors and outright treason.  Whereas the rest of the Republicans were pretty much innocent of complicity back during Watergate (they may have suspected Nixon was guilty but they in no way participated in what Nixon did), that’s not the case today.

The reason most Republicans will not – and cannot – turn on Trump is because they themselves are completely complicit in all of the underlying crimes. 

All of the Republican leadership – Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy – knew or suspected that Russia was way up their ass during the 2016 campaign.  Kevin McCarthy famously entered a meeting during the 2016 convention and voiced his concern that “Russia is paying Dana Rohrbacher and Trump”.  Paul Ryan responded: “Let’s keep it in the family”.

Mitch McConnell has taken MILLIONS from Russia into his PAC. Innocent on the surface perhaps (we need to change those laws pronto), not even remotely innocent just below. Moscow Mitch made it his personal business to lift the sanctions on Putin Pal & GRU Guy Oleg Deripaska – the very person to whom Paul Manafort handed the proprietary polling data Russian military intelligence weaponized and turned on Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan – the tree parts of Hillary Clinton’s blue wall that Trump won by a combined 87,000 votes. Deripaska was sanctioned BECAUSE he interfered in the 2016 election.

We also know now that Russia infiltrated the NRA.  Using its skilled agent Maria Buttina, Russia used the NRA to spread money and influence – and the NRA knew goddamned well that that’s what Russia was doing.

Wayne LaPierre, too, is the right wing finishing what Watergate started.

It’s not a coincidence that the two most damaging assaults on our whole political system came from the right – from conservatives – from Republicans.  It’s not a coincidence because they’re connected.

Dear America: We Are Living Through World War III And Don’t Even Know It

Anyone who thinks it takes bombs and bullets to win a war will lose every single war they ever wage going forward. Right now, that would be us — still thinking that Donald Trump is anything other than a literal weapon, fully loaded and pointed directly at our heads.

If Russia wanted to (hell, a bunch of countries could probably do this — Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Israel), they could shut down our electric grid today — and leave us in the dark, disconnected from the internet and social media and our lives. We’d sue for peace in a heartbeat. That’s a whole war waged — successfully — without a single shot being fired.

We know for a fact (it’s in the Mueller Report and it’s part of the reason he eats prison dinner every night) that Paul Manafort gave Oleg Deripaska (oligarch & “Pal O’ Putin”) proprietary polling data for Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan & Pennsylvania. We know for a fact that that polling data was processed inside the GRU (Russian Military Intelligence) then weaponized — and returned to those states (PA/WI/MI especially) in the form of highly personalized Facebook ads that showed up (especially) on the FB pages of African American voters.

The point of the exercise is voter suppression — the use of propaganda to dissuade a voter from voting. Every voter dissuaded from doing their duty as a citizen (think ANY of these voters vote Republican?) is as good as a vote for their opponent. The fact that such activities aren’t already massively illegal is a testament to how much Republican corruption we’ve already normalized and how deeply institutional racism runs.

Like the skilled cold warrior he is, Putin knows how to make big plays in the secret realm that, strangely, never get any attention.

I’m not the first or only person to see us living in a second Pearl Harbor — in the hour or so before 7:15 when the Japanese Imperial Navy arrived and started attacking us. That however is a painfully ironic description of where we are. Putin & Russia have attacked us from the worst possible direction — from within.

Being unable to beat us economically or technologically — or even ideologically (since Putin’s only ideology is greed, power & corruption), Putin, calling on his mad intelligence officer skills, has declared war on us in the only way available to him — via espionage: info war, cyber war.

We don’t know yet the full extent to which our very perceptions of election 2016 were colored by propaganda, misinformation and disinformation originating from outside the country (Russia but also Saudi Arabia, Israel and who knows where else). How much Hillary Hatred was actually Russia?

As its first act of open war on us, Vlad Putin took the truth out back and busted a cap in its head.

It’s incumbent on us — if we want our Democracy back — to finally see the war that’s been declared on us in secret for the war that it is. More important? We need to see all the Fifth Columnists & outright TRAITORS who’ve thrown in with our enemies — because they saw that as a cynical pathway to permanent power.

I’m talking to YOU, Moscow Mitch McConnell.

That’s the other painful irony — it isn’t just enemies from without who’ve declared war on us, there’s an enemy within. The Extreme Christian Right and its money — Kochs, Mercers et al — saw that the demographics were going to mean an eventual end to their hold on this country. They declared cultural & political war on the majority — and, using gerrymandering & voter suppression, have done everything they can to install permanent minority rule — THEY being the minority.

That, too is undeclared war. It doesn’t make it any less real — or its effects any more painful and permanent.

Why Did OUR Bond Villain Have To Be Such An IDIOT?

You would think that a Great Nation deserves a great villain. Or villains even. America has villains by the bucket. It’s the word “great” that I’m bumping on…

Donald Trump is a villain. Even most of supporters think of him as a villain who’s THEIR hero. I bet most of Trump’s kids — if you read their therapist’s notes — also think daddy’s the cause of everything wrong with their lives. But for all his absolute, top-to-bottom, pound-for-pound, America-destroying villainy, you can’t look at Trump’s work product and say — honestly — “Great stuff, Donald — you’re not just a good villain, you’re a great one!”

Donald Trump is a booby prize villain. He ain’t Ernst Stavro Blofeld (James Bond’s most reliably persistent antagonist), he’s Ernst Schmo-feld. He’s the real villain’s idiot cousin.

This week alone has been a highlight reel of stupid SO stupid it needs its own zip code. Greenland FFS?

Perhaps the reason we got the Worst Of All Possible Bond Villains is because he stands at the head of the boardroom table of the Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight If Their Lives Depended On It — the Republican Party. It’s kinda transcendent when Republicans turn out to be the very women-hating, racist greedheads we always joked they were.

I don’t even have to quote certain Republican clowns. Their faces alone shout how flat out stupid they are…

Louie Gohmert – The Stupidest Carbon-Based Life Form In Congress
Republican Congressman – and sexual assault enabler – Jim Jordan
Republican Congressman – and drunk-driving expert – Matt Gaetz

I”m not making this up, am I? As Bond villains go, this crowd’s pathetic. Worse. But they’re all pikers compared to the man who leads them — the “man” who has a whole wing to himself at the Pantheon Of Bond Villain Mediocrity — Moscow Mitch McConnell.

Mitch is a burglar who steps in shit outside the house, tracks it all the way through — then all the way back home where you can find him — sitting in shit, counting the loot he stole. That’s how that Russian aluminum factory will play the more we understand what Mitch did and has done.

Mitch had to lift sanctions against Oleg Deripaska to get the $200 million to build the factory. Oleg Deripaska was sactioned because of the role HE played in STEALING ELECTION 2016 on Donald Trump’s behalf. Deripaska, remember, is an oligarch who’s very tight with Putin, has deep ties to Russian Military Intelligence, received proprietary polling data re PA/MI/WI from Paul Manafort and turned that data into weaponized Facebook ads that played on the computers of Democratic voters in — what a coincidence — PA/MI/WI. Oleg Deripaska is our enemy in every way, shape and form.

The impact on US though goes far, far beyond Mitch getting a factory that will employ 600 hard-to-employ Kentuckians. Russia now has a voice in Kentucky’s politics. They’ll EMPLOY people. They’ll pay their benefits including their health insurance. To hurt that factory in any way will be to hurt those Kentuckians. And Russia.

Another “not a” coincidence? Russia has already approached 8 other states with similar offers of similar factories. Mitch McConnell opened the door to even more Russian control of American LOCAL politics. To call Mitch McConnell a traitor would be an understatement.

But, again — this isn’t buried deep. It’s a cat turd in a sand box.

Mitch McConnell’s treachery is so out in the open the glare physically hurts. It’s that overtly stupid.

Ya know… now that I think of it — the fact that WE put up with clown car stupidity this screamingly over-the-top? Maybe we shouldn’t be laughing quite so hard…

Dear Moscow Mitch: I Despise You MORE Than The Man Who Sexually Molested Me When I Was 14. I’ll Explain…

Dear Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (AKA Moscow Mitch):

I know I am far from alone in hating you. I’m sure you learned long ago to ignore being hated — because so many people have hated you your whole life. Being an empath by nature, my impulse is to empathize with that version of you. I imagine you were bullied repeatedly in every schoolyard you ever stood in. You have that look…

This is hard to confess but I’m here to be honest — just like my blog says: No bullshit. If I had ever met you in a schoolyard, I would probably have bullied you, too. back in the day. I never physically bullied anyone — I was way too short to do that. I used sarcasm instead. I am not proud that I hurt people using that sarcasm. If I could go back in time, I would apologize to each and every person I did that to and ask if there was any way to make it up to them.

I would feel crushed if they said no. Crushed but deserving of that feeling. That’s why I feel okay about hating you, Mitch.

I think I’ve evolved from the short-of-stature, too-quick-to-open-fire-at-everyone schoolyard person I was. I’ve learned that hurting people is bad for them and bad for me, too. But there are exceptions — people who regularly hurt other people. I feel no obligation to be kind to their feelings whatsoever. I’m empathetic but a little pragmatic, too.

I believe in Justice.

And I believe, Mitch, that YOU have evaded Justice for far, far too long. If me being unkind can help to change that? I’m all in. So here we are…

I hate you, Mitch, first and foremost because of what you are actively doing to this country that I genuinely love. As flawed as my country is, I love being a citizen of it — because I believe that we can push it toward the better ideals on which it was founded (not all the ideals were good — we kept slavery alive and that terrible decision still haunts us). I hate you, Mitch because you epitomize conservative cynicism.

I hate you, Mitch, because you’re corrupt. I hate you because you’ve taken so much Russian oil money into your PAC — insisting it’s all legal; yes, it was legal, Mitch — but once the context changed to treason and election fraud, those donations became “extra-legal”, shall we say. The context forces us to question your loyalties, Mitch. We know you serve your Republican Money Lords (the Kochs). Do you also serve Moscow?

I think you do, Mitch. It makes me hate you even more.

I hate what you did to Merrick Garland. I hate the bullshit reason you gave — drivel to the effect of “the American people deserve to make this choice…” despite the fact that Barack Obama WAS popularly elected and by a significant majority. He was operating within the guidelines of his job — as mandated by the Constitution. I hate the fact that no one in our news media grilled your testicles to a crisp over that.

I hate that you held up every single Obama judicial nominee because you were on a mission to stack the judicial deck against the majority of Americans. I hate that you want to shitcan the ACA. On a personal note — having a history of bi-polarity and depression, your actions there directly affect me, my healthcare, my future.

I hate the sound of your voice, Mitch. I hate the fact that you get to stand there at the Senate lectern spewing the worst kind of lies.

I hate that you think you will get away with betraying this country. Molesting our Democracy… It brings back memories. Horrible ones.

I have come to understand the man who molested me when I was 14. I am not at peace with what he did to me on two separate occasions, but I see him in his context. I believe he was sexually molested as a kid and he was simply paying that molestation forward onto me as sexual molestation victims sometimes do. I believe I was being sexually assaulted, in essence, by the boys who regularly sexually assaulted my molester.

Context is everything. Your context defies explanation. Well, it defies reasonable explanation. Your context is pure, unadulterated, long-time corruption.

That’s why I hate the fact that you’re a hypocrite. I hate that you were probably discharged from the military over an act of SODOMY that YOU have been covering up. I hate that your wife’s as corrupt as you are and that she “…designated a special liaison to help with grant applications and other priorities from her husband Mitch McConnell’s state of Kentucky, paving the way for grants totaling at least $78 million for favored projects as McConnell prepared to campaign for reelection.”

I hate that you worked your ass off to lift sanctions against Oleg Deripaska — a “…powerful oligarch and close ally of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. Deripaska had been a major client of Manafort but had sued him over a failed business deal in Ukraine and was seeking to recoup almost $25m.” I hate that you worked your ass off to lift sanctions against him. I hate that Deripaska then took that proprietary polling data, turned it over to the GRU who weaponized it and turned it on the voters in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. I hate that THAT direct influence on specific voters effectively suppressed enough Democratic voters that Trump “won” by a combined 77,000 votes across three states (Michigan, Wisconsin & Pennsylvania).

I hate that at the meeting Barack Obama called at the White House in September 2016, BEFORE the election, YOU stood up — after our IC and the FBI presented hard evidence to you that Russia was going all in to try and elect Trump — and insisted YOU would label any attempt to inform We The People that Russia was cyber-attacking our election as “politicizing the intelligence”. I hate you, Mitch, because YOU wanted We The People kept in the dark.

Why was that, Mitch? Don’t bother answering. I know it’ll be a lie and I’ll just end up hating you more for it.

I hate you, Mitch for what you’ve already done to this country and our whole system of government. I hate that you destroyed comity in the Senate probably forever… well, it will be destroyed so long as Republicans sit in the Senate. I hate that you are the Senate Majority Leader.

I hate that you are alive, Mitch. I hate that you breathe. I hate that you ever experience a moment of pleasure or joy. I hate that I feel that way about you. I hate that you have made HATE so present in my heart and mind, Mitch.

I hate you for bringing me down to YOUR level.

Now let me tell you why, in spite of all that, I “love you”, Mitch. I love the fact that — as much as I make cruel (okay — bullying) jokes about how turtle-like you are, at the end of the day, you’re “human”. You’ll die. I love that fact about you. What I love even more — if I can manage to outlive you, I will get the chance to piss on your grave.

That’s how much I hate you, Mitch — and it pains me. I hate you so much that I actively dream of defiling your resting place.

For the moment, unfortunately, that means you’re winning. You’re more present in my head than I am in yours.

I hate that.

But there’s solace. This morning former Republican congressman & MSNBC host Joe Scarborough coined (or caused to go viral) “MOSCOW MITCH” which, as I write this, is trending big time on Twitter.

The world is on to Mitch. Finally. My hope — Mitch finds himself back in the worst schoolyard he ever had to negotiate. And a life of stolen privilege is about to get taken out of his soft turtle hide.