Cyber War IS War And WE Have Been Under A Cyber War Attack For Five Years Now

It sucks to be the second person to discover that you’re in a fight. Better to be the first. Especially when the first has attacked the second unexpectedly. Ask the folks who lived at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on the morning of December 7, 1941. As far as they knew — as they slept in on a Sunday morning or peacefully started their day — America (having so far successfully navigated the rest of the world’s growing hostilities) wasn’t at war with anyone. The idea that a modern armada was coming, the tip of its deadly spear pointed directly at them, would have seemed absurd paranoia. And then the zeroes plunged from the clouds and rained death and destruction on the naval base at Pearl Harbor, killing 2,403 U.S. personnel (including 68 civilians) and destroying or damaging 19 U.S. Navy ships, including 8 battleships. From the Japanese perspective? A state of war existed. From ours? It didn’t. Alas, our point of view became meaningless; the Japanese argument won. The next day, President Franklin Roosevelt told the country what the residents of Pearl Harbor, HI already knew: we were at war.

During World War II, if one country wanted to spy on another — or turn off its power supply — it had to do it practically. It would have to send actual humans into enemy territory, risking their lives against terrible odds. These days? A roomful of computer hackers can break into our power grid and put us in the dark unless we pay them ransom. The various Russian actors who’ve held our petroleum, meat processing, Information tech and transportation industries hostage may not “officially” be the Russian government, but that’s a nicety — “official”. Anyone operating a business larger than a borscht-n-perogy stand in Russia needs Vlad Putin’s approval. The smoking gun that Putin runs them is the fact that they exist.

Putin, let’s not forget, is a spy by profession. And a good one. He plays by intelligence agency rules where black and white really don’t exist. The end justifies all means including murder. Including mass murder. Think Putin doesn’t have a significant say in EVERYTHING that happens inside Syria? Putin has troops in Russia. He has air force bases. He has a naval base. The last one’s huge: Putin has a NAVAL BASE on the Mediterranean. Take that away? He’s still stuck in the Black Sea. Putin doesn’t think of Syria as “the country Syria”, he thinks of it as “Russia-South” with his pawn Assad minding the store. If Assad poisons or gasses his own people? It’s with Putin’s full and complete approval.

Putin famously drew up cyber war plans against us. We know who he is and we know what he wants. He’s a Russian nationalist who dreams of Greater Russia’s “glory days”. Though he was raised a “God-less Communist”, Putin’s connection to his Russian nationalism ran directly through a latent Russian Church Orthodoxy. As Steve Bannon can tell you, Putin is a religious man. That is, he believes in magic when it suits him (especially when it justifies or enables his criminality). He believes in Christian mythology just enough to see himself as a modern day crusader bent on re-taking the Holy Land from the infidels.

Anyone who thinks you need bombs and bullets flying in order for a real “state of war” to exist is going to lose every single war they ever fight going forward. While they wait to step onto a battlefield somewhere, the cyber warrior will have eaten their lunch, taken all their weapons and left them standing by a road side somewhere bare-assed naked. Building armies costs a bomb. Sic-ing a dozen computer nerds on another country’s power grid costs virtually nothing. If Russia were to do that? Shut off our power while threatening to keep it off indefinitely? We’d be forced to sue for peace — as the LOSERS — in a quick, cheap, nasty CYBER WAR.

If we think of Donald Trump as a Russian intelligence asset (you might as well — that’s what he is), then the mission he’s on has been staggeringly successful: easily the most successful intelligence mission ever in the whole history of the world. The biggest anti-democratic country managed to place its intelligence asset atop the biggest democratic country’s democracy with the express purpose of WRECKING it. Which that intelligence asset did with remarkable success! Trump repeatedly betrayed America’s interests out in the open — with Vladimir Putin visibly on the receiving end!

Trump has projected his guilt from the get-go. He’s told us he works for Putin with his words and demonstrated his fealty with his actions. Or lack of actions. Everyone knew Paul Manafort was dirty when Trump hired him to be his campaign manager in 2016. Those who really knew Manafort understood how craven he was: he owed Russian oligarch, Putin pal and Russian military intelligence agent Oleg Deripaska $17 – $20 million from a business deal that went sour. Manafort knew that he couldn’t outrun Deripaska forever and found a way to square things with his former client. Having manipulated his way into running Trump’s presidential campaign, he now had multiple ways to “pay back” what he owed Deripaska. Rather than money, Manafort offered something Deripaska could take to Putin and look like a hero: proprietary polling data from four blue states (Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania) that Russia’s military intelligence could turn into effective propaganda that they could focus with laser-like intensity on individual Democratic voters.

We don’t know whether or not Putin tried to do in Minnesota what he did in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, but in those three states, in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election, Putin’s military intelligence turned the valuable information Manafort had provided (ILLEGALLY!) into weaponized Facebook ads that popped up on the Facebook pages of actual Black Democratic voters. The ads painted Hilary Clinton as a closet racist who didn’t deserve any Black Democrat’s vote. Don’t lose sight of this key fact: THIS IS ILLEGAL. This action violates a ton of US law. If these criminal efforts resulted in just ONE Black voter staying home? It’s a crime. It doesn’t take a “certain number” of voters to be impacted by voter suppression tactics launched by a hostile foreign government aided and abetted by Americans to “become a crime”. One does it. And, we know, there was way more than one.

Betcha we could find those Black voters today — and interview them under oath. Betcha we could convince them to walk into a court of law and state unequivocally that the end result of Paul Manafort handing Oleg Deripaska (via Konstantin Kilimnik) proprietary polling data was them staying home instead of exercising their right. If you’re trying to blame the voter here for staying home? You’re already playing for the enemy. Stop.

Before the Republican Party even nominated Trump to be their presidential candidate, the Republican Party KNEW for a fact that Russia owned him. They talked about it OUT LOUD at a meeting a month before their convention. As reported (a year after the fact) in the Washington Post, current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy walked into a room of Republican leaders and said, “There’s two people I think Putin pays, Rohrbacher and Trump — swear to God!” No one in that roomful of GOP leaders reacted with surprise. No one said, “Whaaaaat? Kevin, dude — are you SURE about that? Jesus, what would make you say such a crazy thing?” We know this because the whole conversation WAS RECORDED and played for the Washington Post reporter.

Not only didn’t anyone wonder if it was true that Putin owned the man they were about to nominate to be their presidential candidate, no one thought to do anything about it. No one rushed from the room to call the FBI. No one slinked from the room later to do that either. Instead, everyone present — GOP leadership, don’t forget — agreed with then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan to keep this terrible secret to themselves. “That’s how we know we’re family,” Ryan said. “Family” as in “crime family”.

Even before that, Trump’s criminality and his vulnerability to being compromised by Vladimir Putin was a publicly available fact. Remember the Steele Dossier? Remember why a Steele Dossier even exists? During the 2016 primaries, the conservative Washington Free Beacon’s backers hired a company called Fusion GPS to do oppo research. Backing Marco Rubio, they wanted to get their hands on any information they could that would damage Trump. Nothing new about that in American politics. Fusion was started by two former Wall Street Journal reporters, Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch. On Tuesday August 22, 2017, Simpson testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee (then run by the Republicans who had the majority) that the first thing Fusion did upon being hired was their “due diligence”. Simpson was called to testify because the Republicans on the committee — at Trump’s behest — were doing everything in their power to undermine Fusion and the research they did.

As part of their due diligence, Simpson testified, Fusion got their hands on every piece of publicly available material about Donald Trump that they could. They got ahold of every book, magazine article or newspaper piece about Trump. They watched every video, listened to every radio broadcast. They went to physical book stores looking for it, and to the library even. They visited Amazon and every other web site that had anything whatsoever about Trump, his world, his businesses. What Fusion found, Simpson testified, gave them pause. There, in publicly available source material, was clear evidence that Donald Trump likely used his (now bankrupt) Atlantic City casinos to launder Russian mob money.

Wanting to pursue that lead further — but not having the Russia chops themselves — Fusion hired the best person in the world to answer those questions for them: an English company called Orbis which was run by a former British spy named Christopher Steele. Steele’s bona fides in the intelligence world were rock solid. Not only did Steele work for MI6, Britain’s equivalent of our CIA (their MI5 is like our FBI), he ran its Russia desk because no one outside of Russia had better contacts inside Russia. When the FBI, a few years prior, had gone after corruption at FIFA, they hired Chris Steele. Though by the time Steele got hired the Free Beacon was no longer paying for Fusion’s work (the tab had been picked up by Hilary Clinton supporters), Steele had no idea whatsoever who he was really working for. He was, really, a former intelligence player suddenly made aware of the biggest intelligence event of his life — the ongoing attempt by Russia to seize control of America’s government.

Cyber war doesn’t look like bombs n bullets war. It looks more like a TV show. It’s no less deadly to a democracy. But for Russia, Trump would never have become POTUS. That’s a stone cold fact. It’s the very bottom line to this story. Russia made Trump president. He knows it. Every single Republican (on some level) knows it. The important part is they ACCEPTED IT. Even though (to be kind) they “suspected” Trump was owned by a long-time enemy, they went along with it because they could merge their desired end result — permanent minority rule — with Putin’s — an America diminished.

Does it really matter if Putin never fired a shot to achieve his war’s objectives?

This fact sits at the core of everything the Republican Party has done in the “Age Of Trump”. This has always been about treason. Oh, sure — all along the way, each Republican, as they fell in line, probably wasn’t thinking “Well, here I go committing treason!” They had power in mind. How they got their hands on power or kept power — those were mere details. The bottom line is treason, treason, TREASON.

Want to know why the Republicans won’t abandon Trump? They can’t — because of treason. Because they’re all traitors and they know it. Donald Trump (and, by association Vlad Putin) remind them of this fact every single day.

Conservatism And Corruption Have Always Been Fellow Travelers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah… “both sides ‘do it’.”

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

“The Big Lie” And “The Giant Secret”

We all know what “The Big Lie” is — Donald Trump’s insistence that, despite literally all evidence to the contrary, he “won” the 2020 election. Stop for a second to savor the sheer lunacy of the fact that this is even a question. We have followed a criminal down a rabbit hole of his making by indulging him. Everything about this question — including the fact that I’m even writing here about it — is bullshit on steroids. FFS, Trump did not even win his first election, as we will absolutely learn — take that to the bank and count on getting rich. That’s where “The Giant Secret” comes in. Trump has to insist upon The Big Lie BECAUSE OF The Giant Secret. We know for a fact that the Republican Party’s hierarchy KNEW The Giant Secret at least A MONTH before the GOP nominated Trump to be their standard bearer. As THE WASHINGTON POST put it — “A month before Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination, one of his closest allies in Congress — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy — made a politically explosive assertion in a private conversation on Capitol Hill with his fellow GOP leaders: that Trump could be the beneficiary of payments from Russian President Vladimir Putin.” The assertion? “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump… swear to God!”

The WaPo reported this conversation, having listened to it because it was recorded! As far as I know, not a single journalist has revisited this story to ask anyone who was in that room – with the retrospect we’ve gained in four years – what exactly current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy meant by “I think Putin pays Rohrbacher and Trump… swear to God!” What made Kevin think such a thing — that Putin was paying Rohrbacher and Trump? Wouldn’t that be interesting to know? Even more interesting to know? Why NO ONE IN THE ROOM freaked out. Not a single person — according to the report — questioned Kevin’s outrageous assertion including then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan. Ryan, at the time, was one of the most powerful members of his party. Another important leader had just said — out loud — that their likely nominee for POTUS was financially compromised by a hostile foreign government — a government their very party had spent decades screaming about!

Instead, Paul Ryan made sure that everyone in the room — who’d heard this — would keep it “within the room”. “No leaks,” the Speaker Of The House told his fellow travelers, “This is how we know we’re a real family here.” A real “family”? Like an organized crime family?

Those same Republican leaders knew what Trump’s hiring Paul Manafort to run his campaign meant. They all knew Manafort’s resume. They knew who Manafort’s friends and associates were (including Roger Stone — a former business partner). They knew his relationship with Russia and with pro-Russian Ukranians because they were all on Paul’s resume! No one had a delusion about who Paul Manafort really worked for. They just didn’t want to know about it. Plenty of Republicans, it turns out, ALSO had relationships with Russia they preferred the rest of us not know about. Plenty had taken money from Russia through quasi legal means (into various PACS so as to distance candidate from illegal contribution). The NRA, we’ve learned, was deeply penetrated by Russian influence — a lot of it in the person of intelligence agent par excellence Maria Butina.

Manafort, as we’ve known for years, handed proprietary polling data (about Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota) to Konstantin Kilimnik which landed with Oleg Deripaska, Manafort’s former client (to whom Manafort owed $17 million!). Deripaska, like Kilimnik, was a Russian Military Intelligence agent. They turned that polling data (Paul handing it to the Russians was illegal) into weaponized Facebook ads that showed up on the pages of Black voters in PA, WI and MI, blue states where the polling had slipped to within the margin or error because of the Comey Letter. Additional voter suppression — via these Facebook ads — reduced Black voter turnout in those three states. That (and here, for the moment, I’m speculating) made spiking the Republican vote tallies (easily done through a line or two of computer code delivered via the internet to every ES&S electronic voting machine or tabulator whose back doors ES&S refused to shut. If, say, such malicious code told these ES&S machines (ES&S is the largest maker of electronic voting machines in America) to “for every ten republican votes add one”, Trump and the Republicans could have padded their numbers by just enough to “eek out” the victories they seem to have eeked out in PA, MI & WI.

Trump’s total winning margin for those three blue states was 77,000 votes!

If you don’t think that stinks, you’re probably a Republican.

From the get-go, Trump’s Justice Department went into overdrive to protect The Big Secret. They did everything they could to narrow the scope of Robert Mueller’s investigation then, it turns out, they (acting AG Rod Rosenstein) killed the counter intelligence investigation into The Big Secret that Trump’s campaign had broad ties to Russia. That Trump himself was… how did Kevin McCarthy put it? Being paid by Putin?

“See something, SAY something”. That’s how we’re all supposed to respond to hearing about someone else’s illegal behavior. Hear about criminals, report the bastards! No one in that roomful of Republican leaders called the FBI. Hell, they all VOTED FOR the man they KNEW was owned by Russia. They told the rest of the country to do the same thing. See something, SAY something? Not like that!

Our news media continues to scratch its head at the question: why, oh why, is Trump so tied at the hip to Putin? ASK THE REPUBLICAN PARTY — they know the answer to the question! Why, oh why, they wonder, are the Republicans still so devoted to Trump. Yes, yes — there’s racism in the mix. But that’s not what’s driving the criminal behavior. We ARE talking about TREASON here. And treason still carries the death penalty. The traitors in question KNOW what they’ve done. They KNOW what it will cost them — cost their families — should they get caught, prosecuted and punished. The rule of law stands completely against them. That’s why the GOP is doing everything it can to undermine the rule of law.

The Republican Party leadership knows the end is nigh. Mitch McConnell knows his time in the barrel is coming. Mitch also has a problematic relationship with Oleg Deripaska. Mitch personally interceded to get the sanctions we’d put on Deripaska lifted so Deripaska could stick a $300 million Russian aluminum factory in poverty-stricken Western Kentucky. Those sanctions, remember, were applied to Deripaska because he took that proprietary polling data from Paul Manafort. Talk about a vicious circle…

Mitch also, don’t forget, refused to let We The People in on The Big Secret when President Obama wanted to let us in — in September 2016 — TWO MONTHS before the 2016 election. Obama had called a Gang of Eight meeting because the intelligence community wanted to inform Congress (so they could inform US) that they had good, rock solid info that said Russia was actively engaged on multiple fronts to try and make Donald Trump president. Instead of allowing Obama to tell us what we NEEDED TO KNOW, Moscow Mitch got up on his Treason Turtle hind legs and insisted that if Obama tried to inform us of the truth, that HE would insist that Obama was “politicizing the intelligence”. Perhaps being overly sensitive to what was actually BLACKMAIL, Obama acquiesced and agreed to make a far less damning, LESS TRUTHFUL statement.

We The People remained in the dark about the cyber attack we were already under. Because the co-conspirators in this massive crime insisted.

“That’s how we know we’re family.”

There’s something even bigger behind The Giant Secret that terrifies the GOP. It’s what will happen AFTER We The People learn The Giant Secret. First, the Republicans fear for their own asses — as they absolutely should. They’ve all committed treason! But, strangely, they also fear for the large cause they’ve all committed to: destroying our democracy and installing a state of permanent minority rule that vaguely “looks like” a “democracy” while it’s really an authoritarian shithole. The Republicans have been marching in lockstep to try and make this happen, Republicans being really, really good at marching in lockstep (being authoritarians).

The Even Gianter Secret that terrifies every Republican is the knowledge that the 2016 election “victory” was fraudulent. But for Russia, Donald Trump would NOT have “won” the presidency and an awful lot of Republicans would not have “won” either. That cannot stand. Russia cannot make someone POTUS and if they do? That POTUS is — as Trump kept telling us he was — “illegitimate”. If Trump’s victory was illegitimate than the authority to govern us that flows from winning elections freely and fairly never, in fact, flowed to him. You cannot get our authority under false pretenses like, say, you’re doing it at the behest of a hostile foreign enemy engaged in cyber war against us. That is strictly verboten.

And a presidency “won” that way is not a “presidency”.

The RW money (the Kochs, the Mercers) are counting on keeping what they stole — the judiciary, those three SCOTUS seats especially. Gorsuch’s seat belonged to Merrick Garland. Kavanaugh’s seat was achieved via perjury during Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings (and that cannot stand!) Barret’s seat — formerly RBG’s — was stolen from Joe Biden and Kamala Harris — from We The People yet again. This was the whole point of the exercise. The GOP is hoping, praying, that their stolen SCOTUS seats will yet save them.

Here’s hoping prosecution of their crimes prevents that from happening. Oh, the irony… if Merrick Garland was sitting on the Supreme Court, he would not today be the newly confirmed Attorney General. The nation’s top law officer is an honest man who’s committed to making the rule of law a “thing” again. The “thing” about the rule of law? As AG Garland knows, you can’t kind of do it, you have to completely do it. And if applying the rule of law equally (for once!) means you do not cut ANYONE slack, then AG Garland will be obligated to not only pull every single Republican corruption thread, he’ll be obligated to pull those threads until the entire corrupt Republican sweater falls apart — which it absolutely, positively will.

White collar criminals may talk tough but they’re all soft white underbelly. They have everything to lose — and, as the cost of their criminality suddenly crashes down on them, each and every Republican co-conspirator will realize just how expensive this is going to get — and the evidence is going to bury them. The cost of defending themselves will threaten to bankrupt every Republican for a generation. They won’t want that to happen and will begin to cut deals — as the January 6 insurrectionists are starting to.

What will We The People do once WE know the Giant Secret? Will we let the Republicans keep their toys? I, for one, say no effin’ way! If a guy steals my car, he doesn’t get to keep after we catch him. He has to “give it back”. It doesn’t belong to him and never did. The same goes for what Trump and the GOP stole — the correct OUTCOME of the election — the officials we actually elected crafting the legislation we voted for and nominating the kinds of judges WE approve of. That’s the product of our Will — what the will of the majority should have resulted in. We got something else entirely and that cannot stand.

Every single judge Trump appointed must be tossed. Trump never had the authority to nominate them. That authority actually belonged to Hillary Clinton, the election’s actual winner. We may not be able to go back in time and make HRC president, but that doesn’t mean we have to accept what Trump did — and allow him to keep what he deliberately and with malice aforethought perpetrated against us.

If Russia Made Donald Trump President (They Did) Then Donald Trump Was NEVER The Legitimate POTUS

I’m not sure when exactly we got it into our heads that cheating to win was merely one more “way” to win. It’s not. The moment one cheats to win, one cannot win. One might appear to “win” at the time of the contest but if further examination reveals clear evidence of cheating — and that’s ANY cheating (where exactly would we draw the line between acceptable cheating and too much cheating?) then the contest is decided by default: cheaters can NEVER win; therefore the victory goes to the non-cheater. In 2016, that would have made Hilary Clinton POTUS. It is a profound understatement to say that Trump & the Republican Party cheated massively in order to “win” in 2016. Surely, the Republicans would not still be working their bloated butts off to hold onto power now if they hadn’t cheated to get that power four years ago. They did cheat — and for that they’re legally liable. But, as we know, the GOP did more than just “cheat”. They committed TREASON as part of their cheating. For that, they must pay a price.

As we’re learning finally — now that the Trumpanistas can no longer obstruct investigations into every rotten, corrupt, treasonous thing Trump did while in office — the Trumps, in fact, perpetrated a shitload of rotten, corrupt treason. We know now for a certainty that Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort handed Konstantin Kilimnik proprietary polling data for Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan for him to pass onto Oleg Deripaska. Both Kilimnik and Deripaska are oligarchs and long time friends of Vladimir Putin’s. Both are Russian military intelligence. Why on earth would Manafort hand sensitive data about American voters to a hostile foreign intelligence service?

As we know — have known for years now (it’s only our “news media” that’s finally getting hip to what’s been happening the whole time) — that proprietary polling data went straight to Russian Military Intelligence where they turned it into weaponized Facebook ads accusing Hilary Clinton of racism. Those ads — using the proprietary polling data as a guide — were then targeted at Black, Democratic voters, the intent; cause enough Black voters to stay home to further destroy Clinton’s electoral advantage in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. At the same time, other parts of Trump’s corrupt, treason machine had caused then FBI Director, the painfully out-of-his-depth Jim Comey to write the “The Comey Letter” which re-opened the whole “But, her emails!” discussion ten days before the election. On election day, Trump’s and Russia’s various ops had brought those three key states — PA, MI & WI — to within the margin of error.

That — put your money on it — is when ES&S and Diebold went to work. Most of the electronic voting machines in America are made by ES&S, a company run by Republican sympathizers who donate to Republican candidates and where Republicans sit on the Board of Directors. They have consistently refused to close internet-accessible back doors on their machines. Gosh, I wonder why…

We already know that but for Russia, Donald Trump would NEVER have been president. That means that Trump was never actually president since the power of the office flows from our authority — which we grant to the winner of free and fair elections. However — if the election isn’t free or fair then the authority that flows from it does not flow. We assume the authority flows — we certainly pretend it does. But the stone cold truth is Donald Trump NEVER had the authority to be president because We The People never granted it to him — because WE voted for Hillary Clinton.

Trump — always happy to project — told us from the start that his presidency was not legit. Our news media, of course, refused to listen to him.

But, we should. This will be a challenging revelation but we can’t just shrug it off as “something that happened”. How can we really go on as a sovereign nation if OTHER nations get to pick our leaders? We can’t. And the moment we prove beyond the shadow of a doubt — and we absolutely will — that Russia chose Donald Trump to be our POTUS, we’re going to have to confront what that means in practical terms. None of the judges Trump appointed can remain judges — Trump never had the authority to nominate them. None of the “hard” changes Trump made to the government — the ones requiring plenty of hoop jumping to put them back to normal — can stand. None of the legislation — including the tax break for billionaires — can remain on the books.

Throw into this growing tumbleweed of terribleness all the other corruption the Republican Party brought to the table the last four years.

Most damaging, of course, is what Trump (and Mitch McConnell) did to the judiciary. For years, McConnell refused to give Obama’s judges (including his SCOTUS nominee Merrick Garland) the time of day (never mind a hearing). The whole point of the Republican power grab was to use the Judiciary and the Senate to leverage their way to permanent minority rule.

Mitch also has “treason” vulnerabilities. Mitch needs to explain — under oath Benghazi-style — his relationship with oligarch, Putin Pal and Russian intelligence officer Oleg Deripaska. Mitch will insist he has no relationship with any Russians! But, Mitch would be lying again. Mitch refused to let We The People in on the big secret that Putin was behind a massive scheme to defraud American voters of their choice. At a notorious meeting of the Gang Of Eight in September 2016, Mitch got up on his little Treason Turtle legs and told Obama that if Obama told Americans that Russia was trying to make Trump president, he, Mitch, would drop that on America — that the Democrats were “politicizing the intelligence”.

In the election’s aftermath, Deripaska got sanctioned for his role in attacking the election. Mitch however saw to it that those sanctions on Deripaska got lifted so that Deripaska could “gift” Mitch with a Russian-owned aluminum factory in Western Kentucky. Something’s rotten in the state of Kentucky — and the stink is coming from Mitch McConnell’s turtle pond.

The reason the Republicans have fought so hard to obstruct all investigations into Trump’s involvement with Russia is because Trump was deeply involved with Russia. So is most of the Republican Party. A month before nominating Trump as their “guy” in 2016, current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy walked into a room of Republican leadership. “There’s two people I think Putin pays,” said McCarthy, “Rohrbacher and Trump — swear to God!” No one in the room dropped what they were holding and had to scrape their jaw off the floor. No one asked McCarthy why he’d say such a terrible, damning thing? No one said “Geez, guys, I feel like we ought to call the FBI!” Instead, per then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan insisted they were all family — meaning, all secrets stay secret.

It will take a long, long time for America to get over what Trump and his Republican co-conspirators have done to America. The instant we stop granting him — and anything he did — legitimacy? The faster we’ll get over Trump.

Hey, Democrats — Here’s Some Fun We Can Have With Mitch McConnell, The US Senate And America’s Future

It bears repeating: when this is all done and said, Mitch McConnell’s name will replace Benedict Arnold’s as the epithet Americans use when they want to call someone “a traitor”. “You Mitch McConnell, you!” people will scream at people like… well, Mitch McConnell. Because they’re traitors. Mitch McConnell IS a traitor. That’s not hyperbole. It’s not emotion speaking. Is it ironclad? Not 100%, no — we’ll need to put Mitch under oath to ice that cake. That’s about to happen. I bet it’s pretty top-of-the-list when Merrick Garland punches in finally. How did Russia gain so much traction inside our government? Hey, Mitch — got any ideas how that might have happened? Remember, pal — you’re under oath. I want to believe there are Democrats in power today who’d sell their families into bondage to get a chance to take down Mitch McConnell. Well, Democrats — you CAN do that — right now, in fact!

Let’s put this essential fact on the table first: Kentucky is one of those states where, should a sitting Senator be forced from office, the GOVERNOR gets to appoint a replacement until the next scheduled election. The governor of Kentucky right now is Andy Beshear — A DEMOCRAT. So, if we could find a way to take Mitch McConnell out of the picture, The Democratic governor of Kentucky could — legally — replace Republican Mitch with the Democrat of his choice.

That’s where Merrick Garland comes in. Among the questions in the soon-to-be AG’s head should be these: “Why did Mitch McConnell refuse Barack Obama when President Obama wanted to inform America — before election 2016 — that RUSSIA was actively engaged in throwing the election to Trump — and does Mitch’s relationship with Russian oligarch and former military intelligence officer OLEG DERIPASKA have anything to do with it?” That’s important because Deripaska got sanctioned for what he did in the 2016 election — he received proprietary polling data (concerning Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan) that was weaponized into personalized ads that showed up on the personal Facebook pages of Black, Democratic voters in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. Deripaska got sanctioned for the same reason Paul Manafort went to prison.

Deripaska committed a crime against We The People. And yet — not only did Mitch McConnell refuse to give us a “head’s up” that Russia was actively trying to do this to us, Mitch PROFITED from it! Mitch got those sanctions against Deripaska LIFTED — in January 2019 — so that Deripaska could “gift” western Kentucky with $300 million dollars worth of aluminum factory. When you consider, on top of that, Mitch’s resistance to election security, his refusal to question Trump’s odd relationship with Vladimir Putin and his participation in every last bit of Trump’s obstruction of justice, ya gotta believe Mitch McConnell has secrets.

Once AG Garland begins pulling threads on the “Mitch McConnell” sweater, that ugly, old thing will come apart like a Trump family reunion.

Now, here’s where the fun begins. Mitch knows he’s got secrets. The Democrats know Mitch has secrets. Mitch knows that once his secrets stop being secret, this will kill the Republican Party dead — because they hitched a cynical plan to assert permanent minority rule (by them) to Donald Trump despite KNOWING that he was even more corrupt than they were — because he was owned outright by Russia. Mitch KNOWS that the GOP committed TREASON at its very highest level in order to grab power.

This was entirely “do or die”. You can’t plan and execute an insurrection (Republicans both planned and executed this thing) and expect nothing to happen to you. Oh, sure — the Republicans “might still” think they’ll get away with it but then, Merrick Garland hasn’t been sworn in yet. People like Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley haven’t been subpoenaed and placed under oath. People like Matt Gaetz, Devin Nunes and Jim Jordan haven’t been “Benghazi’d” yet — grilled to the gills about all the strange things they’ve done the past four years. What do you think people like Lauren Bobert will say — under oath — when questioned about her real-time participation in an act of real-time sedition?

Mitch McConnell is now officially “low hanging fruit”. He’s there to be taken, Democrats — and all you have to do (well, all AG Garland has to do) is sit Mitch down for questioning. Once Mitch is under oath and backtracking furiously though, Democrats, that’s the time to finish Mitch. Use the court of public opinion. Ask the questions out loud about Mitch and his relationship with hostile foreign actors like Deripaska. Demand Mitch tell us where his loyalties lie. Who, Mitch, are your REAL constituents?

Fortunately for Mitch, his wife’s rich so the cost of defending him won’t bankrupt the family. The cost of defending Elayne Chao, his beard however…

How Mitch is on one side of being indicted will be very different from how Mitch is on the other side of being indicted. For Mitch, it will be akin to getting dragged — kicking and screaming — from his turtle shell, having to stand before us buck naked. For what it’s worth, that will be as hard on us as it will be for Mitch. Who the hell wants that image burned into their mind’s eye forever?

At some point, the physical cost of defending himself will preclude continuing on as Kentucky’s senior corrupt senator. He’s no spring chicken. More like an old dinosaur. He hasn’t looked well lately. Knowing what he knows about what he did and what the consequences will be, Mitch will be forced to step down. He really won’t have a choice.

Hey, remember Kentucky’s Democratic governor, Andy Beshear? This is where he steps to the plate — and flips Mitch’s long-time-Red Senate seat from red to blue. Even if it was only temporary, the only reason it’d be happening is because Mitch finally got caught being the corrupt Treason Turtle he is. But, Mitch’s seat flipping from red to blue might NOT be all that temporary. While we’re pulling the thread on Mitch’s corruption sweater, let’s pull the thread on how exactly Mitch keeps getting elected by huge numbers in a state where pretty much everyone hates his guts. That thread, count on it, will lead to a whole other corrupt sweater — the one that explains 1) HOW Mitch keeps cheating his way to re-election, 2) how Republican-owned electronic voting machine companies ES&S and Diebold use their internet-connected backdoors to pad Republican election totals, and 3) how that padding technique closed the deal and “won” Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan for Trump in 2016.

Nothing America’s about to learn about Trump and the GOP and the full, ugly extent of their seditious behavior will endear us to them. There will not be a single bit of good news. Nothing will suddenly make us all think “Oh, right — now we understand why you all did it — it all makes sense!” Instead, our disgust for Republicans, their party, their hypocrisy — it will compound like usurious daily interest. We will not hear any evidence that a single Republican had anything but malice in mind.

Hey, Mitch — caveat emptor, understand? Ya puts yer money down, ya takes yer chance! You bet on permanent minority rule. You bet on Donald Trump (despite what you knew). You bet on sedition and treason and, frankly, evil.

If I were governor of Kentucky instead of Andy Beshear, when that moment came to replace you, I would find an actual SOCIALIST and name them Mitch’s replacement. But — most importantly — before Mitch found out, I’d get a whole bunch of cameras on him. Mitch does “I lost” better than almost anyone. Remember this?

Remember how good this moment felt, Democrats? That was the warm up act to literal fireworks. Go after Mitch McConnell, Democrats. Do it now. Do it with justice in mind. But don’t forget to enjoy it, too. We’ve all earned it.

If Democrats And Republicans Were A “Married Couple”, What The R’s Just Did Would Get Them Thrown Out Of The House Forever

As anyone who’s ever been in a long term relationship knows, even the bad ones require work. The Constitution’s framers didn’t intend for there to be political parties but the rift between the Federalists and states’ rights supporters that arose at the framing — one way or the other — set our two party system in motion. And, while learning to compromise with a partner is essential to any couple’s, some compromises should never be made. For instance — compromises made with an abusive spouse or a serial cheater. The Democrats really are like a spouse in a long-running marriage who’s known all along how faithless their mate’s been. The Democrats KNOW the Republicans cheat. They KNOW Republicans don’t care one bit about any “relationship”. And now we know that our partner in this country’s governance, the Republicans, want pretty much all the Democrats dead.

On January 6, 2021, the Republican Party hired their angry, drunk friend to break into the House and try to kill the Democrats. They wanted their drunk friend to kill Mike Pence too because Pence had done the dishonorable thing: he stood up for the oath of office he took. Now, let’s not pat Mike on the back too quickly. Mike’s no boy scout. That’s why Paul Manafort brought him to the veep dance back in 2016. Remember: Manafort (then Trump’s campaign manager) was attempting a “make good” deal with Russian oligarch and intelligence agent Oleg Deripaska. He owed Deripaska over 17 million dollars (the kinda dough that’ll get you killed if you don’t start paying it off) and, so, was engaged in a scheme to make Deripaska whole. The LAST thing Manafort needed at that point was a veep candidate who’d rat them all out the second he got wind of the “Russian Secret”.

Everybody here is dirty. Everybody is corrupt. No one with an “R” next to their name EVER seems to do the right thing — not without being pressured into it.

I think of the Republicans sliding into bed with Vladimir Putin as clear cut evidence of treason. Why, that’s exactly like them cheating on us, isn’t it? Hey, Don, you adulterous asshole — what’s with the borscht & vodka on your breath?

As if Trump being disloyal with the Russian sleaze bag across the street wasn’t bad enough, then he goes and lies about it. He does everything he can to hide his actions. He’s called all his fancy-assed pals (the scumbags he philanders with) to tell them to cover for him. He’s used his other, “lesser” friends (people he doesn’t ever hang with and never would) to come after us to try and kill us. He came frighteningly close to doing it.

If we really were a couple, this marriage would be well and truly over. It would be inconceivable that we’d slide into bed ever again with the shit who tried to have us murdered — especially when he took so much friggin’ video of him doing it.

First of all, of course, we’d get ourselves the best lawyer we could — which, in fact, we’ve already done. We’d go after the bastard who did this, intent on taking him for everything he’s got. We’d insist, above all, that our mate take responsibility for their terrible actions if they really wanted our relationship to continue. They won’t. It’s not even a question.

That’s why, after we throw them out onto the street, we will proceed to prosecute the living snot out of them. We will not stop until they’re off the street and filling up many, many prison cells. That’s not political; it’s just crime & punishment working the way they’re supposed to.

The R’s have already started sniffing around for forgiveness. When they say “unity!” what they mean is “Hey, baby, you can forget I tried to have ya killed just this one time, now, can’t ya?” Um, no, assholes, we can’t. How about, instead, YOU find some deep, profound way to make it up to America?

They can all start by surrendering.

Mitch McConnell’s Impeachment Calculus Has Everything To Do With MONEY And Nothing To Do With Politics

Dear Mitch McConnell: Karma is a stone cold bitch, no? She laughs at sad little treason turtles like you. I bet you can hear her laughing now. Five years ago, you sat atop your Yertl-like throne, unequaled view of the swamp, lots of that Koch money warming your cockles (your wife’s cockles actually, you haven’t any). Permanent minority rule wasn’t in sight yet, but if it ever DID come in sight, you’d be ready, the judiciary already tucked into your turtle shell via all the lifetime appointments you denied Obama but jammed through under Trump — including three undeserving SCOTUS judges. Those were the good ol’ days, weren’t they, Mitch? Flush with money and power, all your secrets safely hidden away. But, the lure of Donald Trump — or was it the trap you’d already stepped into?

That’s the great mystery that putting you under oath will answer one way or another: WHEN exactly, Mitch, did you first climb into bed with Russia? You’ve been taking Russian money into your various PACs for years — legally. Ah, but that was THEN and this is about to be NOW — when that money stops being innocent because TREASON. I know this is a sore subject, Mitch (considering the consequences), but you will need to answer questions — UNDER OATH — about your odd relationship with Oleg Deripaska. And, even innocent-seeming dollars flowing from guys like Len Blavatnik will need to be examined. We need to know where EVERY CENT came from.

Not everyone’s as hip to the scam as you, Mitch. Some people can be “useful idiots”. Then there’s Oleg…

Deripaska’s an oligarch. He has direct ties to the Russian GRU, its military intelligence agency. The only person dirtier in this scenario would be Vladimir Putin himself — a guy, I bet, Oleg can get on the phone and whose calls Putin absolutely will return. We know — there’s proof — that Oleg played a direct role in Trump “winning” the 2016 election. We KNOW (cos there’s proof) that Paul Manafort — Trump’s CAMPAIGN MANAGER — put into Deripaska’s hands proprietary polling data focused on four states: Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. Already, we’re deep into CRIMINAL territory — handing polling data about Americans to a foreign intelligence agent. And one thing Manafort definitely knew about Deripaska? He was a FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE AGENT.

And — we also know — at this very same time, Russia is likely following the script for a CYBER WAR drawn up by Putin a few years before. Putin, don’t forget, is an intelligence agent by profession. He pretty much ran the KGB as the Soviet Union collapsed. It was Putin’s “insights” — gained from BEING a KGB agent — that gave him all the leverage he needed to take power in Russia. Putin comes from a “winner take all” world where losers usually get killed. He’s a Russian Nationalist whose wet dreamski is to restore “Greater Russia” to the world stage as a “playah!” That’s never going to happen.

This makes Putin nothing more than a schoolyard bully punching way above his weight. Take oil out of Russia’s economy and Putin goes broke. No money equals no power in Putin’s world. See? Even for Vlad Putin, it comes down to money.

Mitch’s goals are simple to understand. First, he needs to stay out of prison. That’s going to be out of his hands. Once a rejuvenated Department of Justice — running efficiently and in pursuit of Justice under Merrick Garland (such a deliciously ironic choice) — starts pulling threads on the vile Republican Corruption Sweater, people like Mitch are going to spend money on lawyers. Lots of money. The Republican Party is about to make a generation of lawyers fabulously wealthy from coast to coast.

All those seditionists the FBI’s now sweeping up? They have to LAWYER UP. Defending themselves against these charges will be staggeringly expensive — far, FAR more expensive than anything these yahoos have ever imagined. They’re about to be terrified by the words “billable hours” because they’re about to start piling them by the boatload. That will bankrupt their families for a generation at least. And even if they get through it all, scathed but not sentenced to prison? Think their job prospects are good? We’re going to learn things about them that most employers wouldn’t dare hire and wouldn’t want in their work forces anyway.

Expensive. Money. Hey, it’s America, right? YOUR America, Mitch…

And did you hear how corporate America is reacting to your party’s refusal to acknowledge that Joe Biden, the soon-to-be POTUS, won a free and fair election? I KNOW you know, Mitch. They’re fleeing you like passengers fleeing the Titanic as it sank. Trust me — no one’s climbing from their lifeboat BACK onto you. Your ship’s going down, Captain — and Karma’s riding shotgun — enjoying every moment.

Remember the agony you felt that night John McCain stopped you from ripping ACCESS to health care for MILLIONS OF AMERICANS (you weren’t ripping away their care, of course, because America doesn’t have a health CARE system thanks to greedy mf’s like you, we have a health INSURANCE system)? Sure ya do! I bet this is a kajillion times worse. And what makes it hurt even more? You know the spear tip has only scratched the surface. When Merrick Garland begins to wield that spear tip like a scalpel on your soft, treason-turtle underbelly?

Never mind all that corporate cash no longer filling Republican coffers, that corporate cash will stop filling YOUR coffers. Yeah, sure — Elaine’s got dough. But you don’t want to be a kept “man”, do ya, Mitch? Oh, you do… that’s right — you HAVE been kept up till now — mostly by all the corporate cash now abandoning your party because who in their right mind wants to co-brand with corruption, sedition and treason?

The following corporations have all formally announced that they will no longer give money to a political party living in a dream world — trying to force that dream world upon reality (where all the corporation’s customers live):

(The is list is non-exhaustive and was compiled using the committee’s publicly available IRS Form 8872s: 1-800 Contacts): 3M, Amazon, Anheuser-Busch, Autozone, Bank of America, Best Buy, Boeing, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Capital One, Charter Communications, Chevron, Citigroup, Coca-Cola, Comcast, ConocoPhillips, Deloitte, Dominion Energy, DraftKings, Ebay, Eli Lilly, ExxonMobil, Facebook, Farmer’s Group, FedEx, Freedom Financial, General Motors, GlaxoSmithKline, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Home Depot, Honeywell, iHeartMedia, Intuit, JPMorgan Chase, Juul, Kwik Trip, LegalZoom, LexisNexis, MasterCard, Microsoft, MillerCoors, Motorola, Mylan, Nationwide, Novo Nordisk, PayPal, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Raytheon, Reynolds American, Sheetz, SmileDirectClub, Square, Target, TIAA, T-Mobile, Tracfone, TruGreen, UnitedHealth, UPS, Visa, Volkswagen, Waffle House, Walgreens, Wal-Mart, Waste Management, Waymo, Wells Fargo, and Yum Brands.

Object lesson: Bill O’Reilly. Though The O’Reilly Factor generated more than $446 million in advertising revenues from 2014 through 2016 (according to one report), The 21st Century Fox board fired O’Reilly in April 2017, saying “After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel.” Those allegations had to do with sexual misconduct, predatory behavior and various forms of sexual abuse involving employees and co-workers — you know, stuff guys like Bill O’Reilly had gotten away with FOREVER!

But, as the Atlantic piece points out, the companies that advertised on O’Reilly’s show heard clearly from their customers — women mostly since women make the majority of buying decisions in American households — that they would no longer buy products advertised on O’Reilly’s show or in any way associated with O’Reilly. Regardless of how valuable O’Reilly was in the here-and-now, what corporations like Ford and Coca Cola understood was that O’Reilly’s value was about to plunge significantly. And, so, they bailed on Bill O’Reilly, the short term money be damned.

For corporations with long term strategies? This is how they MUST think in order to be around for any sort of “long term”. It’s just money.

What will Mitch do about trying Trump in the Senate? He needs to deflect some of the shitstorm coming his way. Should something else catastrophic happen now — when the power to remove Trump was in Mitch’s hands — that, too, will fall on Mitch. That will make it even harder for Mitch to ever, EVER convince corporate money to donate to him or his party EVER AGAIN. It’s just math. And money. And power.

Mitch also knows: to oppose Trump is to invite a literal threat of physical harm from absolute, flat-out lunatics. Bad enough Mitch is about to have the DoJ poking about his moldy, old turtle shell, he could also have loyal Trump soldiers out for his blood. The news media — always light years behind the story — still think Mitch is all about finding his way back to the majority leadership in 2022 in the usual mid-term slump for the ruling party. That is such pre-2016 thinking. That also forgets that after January 20, the DoJ will be functioning again and asking reluctant Republicans very hard questions under the glaring light of being under oath.

The tell? They’ll all start pleading the fifth — cos there’s soooooooooo much there with which to incriminate themselves.

And, hey — what about all those Republican legislators who CLEARLY have violated the oath they took to NOT take part in any seditious behavior. By their oaths and by the law they can no longer be part of any government anywhere in America. Ever again. Ask yourself — when Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley get EXPELLED from the Senate — doesn’t that mean THEY’RE NO LONGER SENATORS? Yes, it does. It also means the governors of those states will have to appoint temporary successors — which, in some states, also will initiate another election — in an environment where Democrats are surging and Republicans are losing — and more and more of them are literally going to jail.

We’re already learning how complicit Republican legislators were in the coup d’etat — literally giving them vital intel, some EVEN IN REAL TIME! Despite that fact — despite KNOWING that fact — 197 Republicans STILL voted not to impeach Trump. See where this is going? How are those Republicans going to pay for their next election campaigns? The RNC won’t be cash-flowing them — the RNC’s about to be broke with most of its members worried about legal bills.

Mitch must thread a needle here just to get from today to tomorrow. He really can’t strategize too much into the future because he has zero cards to play — and all the indications are, his hand won’t be improving.

What will you do, Mitch? My money’s on you “aspiring to conviction” without having to get your hands too dirty. I’ve noticed — you haven’t pushed for the whole Republican block to march in classical Republican Lock Step like you had them do during “Trump Impeachment Number One” because, well, you don’t wield anything like that power anymore. Because of Trump.

Also remember — to convict, one doesn’t need 60 votes, one needs 60% of the Senators present DURING the vote. If only 48 Democrats showed up while every Republican stayed home? The Democrats would only have to make sure that 60% of them voted to convict — which, of course, they would. These, too, are things you know, Mitch.

To your credit, Mitch, you’re an excellent politician. Can’t take that away from you — you know how to count. By tacitly allowing your people to “stay home” instead of voting? You could convict Trump without having done it yourself. In your mind anyway, Mitch, you would have a teensy bit of plausible deniability — the Republicans’ favorite operating principle. Considering your options? It’s all you have. I bet you take it.

Not that it will save you in the long run.

At the end of the day, Mitch, your “legacy” such as it is will be that your name will replace Benedict Arnold’s as the epithet Americans use when they want to call someone a “traitor”. In that way, Mitch, you will achieve the “immortality” you sought.

Just now the way ya pictured it.

Dear American News Media: Even Villains Do Things For A Reason — Like, Say, Republicans…

Never mind how many times Donald Trump lies, I want a running total of how many time American news people wonder aloud while scratching their heads why the Republican Party continues to march in lock step with him. I bet the journalists are winning.

If they scratch their heads any harder, all those journalists will have permanent divots in their skulls.

Imagine staring at the obvious for that long without seeing it.

Think of it in terms of storytelling. What if a storyteller told you a story where a lot of the characters did things “just because”. Why did that character screw over that other character? Just because. Why did this character murder that other character? Just because. Hey, one could write a story that took place entirely in a “just because” world where nothing seemed to have any purpose. In fact, one could create an entire genre — we could call it “existentialism” or “absurdism” — as we already did.

Except we don’t live in an absurdist world, absurd as our world is. People may do things for absurd reasons but they do have their reasons. That’s the point. Even if someone can’t articulate why they did something staggeringly stupid, down deep, there was something that triggered them to action. Even an animal impulse is tied to the rest of who they are — and they’re willingness to give in to animal impulses others teach themselves to ignore.

Storytelling can go wherever it wants but it has to follow one basic rule: it must mirror actual human behavior or we’ll turn on it. How many times have you been reading a book or watching a movie or TV show when one of the characters did or said something so completely out of character that the whole story suddenly felt weak? We demand satisfaction from our stories. Stories that try to deceive us about how human beings are do not satisfy us.

In storytelling, villains especially must have a purpose. Even if the audience can’t discern it (that can make a horror movie even scarier), the villain itself must have a reason for doing what it does. Because human beings do. And human beings understand from experience that when humans do rotten things, if they’re not genuinely deranged (a purpose unto itself), they’re doing that rotten thing for very clear reasons.

A Bond villain has a purpose — world domination. Granted, it seems kinda foolhardy (who’d want the agita?) and hard to enforce here in reality (the enforcement costs better be figured into the business model because those all by themselves are going to be astronomical and the money to pay for it has to come from somewhere), but you can’t say it’s not a purpose.

Darth Vader has a purpose. Lex Luthor has a purpose. Doc Oc has a purpose.

So does every stinking Republican.

Mitch McConnell had a purpose when he denied Merrick Garland so much as a hearing. He had a purpose when — in the Gang Of 8 meeting at the WH, September 2016 — he vowed to accuse President Barack Obama of “politiciziing the intelligence” if Obama let We The People in on the secret that Russia was actively engaged in perverting our upcoming election toward Donald Trump. Mitch had a purpose when he removed the sanctions against Oleg Deripaska — sanctions imposed because Russia made Donald Trump president — to get a Russian aluminum factory in chronically impoverished western Kentucky. The hundred or so newly employed hillbillies were a throw in bonus. Mitch’s real purpose was committing treason.

Well, to be more exact, Mitch’s Russian handlers compelled Mitch to commit treason. But that’s just technical stuff. It doesn’t change the bottom line about Mitch McConnell: he’s a traitor. He’s been a traitor since before the election — that’s why Mitch has behaved as he’s behaved. He’s not just being a “political master”. He’s being a criminal — a criminal behaving politically because he’s using our political system both to commit his crime and to cover up his crime. See how framing changes things?

Take note, American news media — Mitch McConnell (our example) — isn’t doing what he’s doing out of blind loyalty to Donald Trump. Mitch McConnell has a purpose. Stop scratching your heads please.

Now (that you’ve stopped scratching your heads), please look around. See all those other Republicans whose actions you can’t fathom? They’re just like Mitch. They’re complicit. We’ll find out in time how early more and more Republicans understood — even if only implicitly — that Donald Trump was not behaving legally — that he would never have “won” the presidency (or they their offices) without direct Russian meddling in the election’s results.

They all knew “something happened” election night. They knew damned well it wasn’t “undeclared Trump voters”. Those at the top definitely knew that Russia was deeply, deeply involved. They knew Russia had more than just a hand; at the very least, Russia had money in the game — and money in the game was strictly illegal. We KNOW the Republicans knew, it was reported on FFS!

Now GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, upon entering a meeting of GOP leaders during the 2016 GOP convention, said out loud “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump”. Did anyone in the room reply “What? Kevin — how do you know this? Quick, someone — get the FBI on the phone — we must report this likely criminal behavior!”? No, strangely, they did not. They did exactly as then Speaker of the House Paul Ryan insisted they do: “keep the conversation private, saying: ‘No leaks. . . . This is how we know we’re a real family here’.”

If Putin paying Rohrbacher and Trump was legal, do you really think Paul Ryan would have insisted they keep it in the family?

This is what’s called “consciousness of guilt“.

Now, I know it’s a can of worms, but here goes (and I’m talking to the media here) — Consciousness of Guilt” is a real thing. It can be used to convict real people of real crimes. That means when people whose stories you’re trying to tell exhibit clear consciousness of guilt? It’s incumbent on you (the storyteller) to make that part of the story too. They’re signalling to you that there’s more to them than you know. Storytellers — good ones anyway — like that sort of thing. It gives our stories somewhere interesting to go.

So much the better that it’s all 100% true.

From the get-go, Republicans have had a reason for suppressing Democratic voters. Donald Trump has a reason for saying vote-by-mail is corrupt. The instant Trump stops being president, not only will his legal problems begin (and probably never end), so too will the legal problems of every single Republican.

Good villains have simple desires (even if those desires were arrived at by a complex process). The Republicans may be bad people but — in their defense — they are excellent villains (mostly because they fill the role so completely). They do what they because they’re corrupt. They want to overturn all our democratic principles and processes to install permanent minority rule.

I ask you this, American News Media: would tell a James Bond story from Bloefeld’s point of view? You could; it would even be interesting. But it’s still from the villain’s point of view and our culture cannot survive by glorifying villainy. It’s just how culture is. To see a story from a villain’s point of view — without condemning that point of view — is to give that point of view credence. The villain might have a point.

No, he doesn’t. He may have a point of view but, ironically, he has no point: his argument cannot carry water.

That’s the problem our news media has — and they’re inability to see the problem they have is causing all kinds of ripple effect harm.

We know why villains do things — they’re corrupt. We also know why our news media fails us regularly — they’re mediocre.

It’s This Simple: Every Single Judge Trump Nominated MUST Be Voided (SCOTUS Included): The Rule Of Law DEMANDS IT

The Rule Of Law is coming back — one way or another. The storyteller in me can’t see a storyline where an extreme (and extremist) minority party like the Republicans forces a state of permanent minority rule on America (and — most importantly — AMERICANS) and gets away with it. We’re way too independent for that. We’re way to diverse to tolerate it (not enough herd uniformity to get enough of us to just “go along” — our very cultures won’t let us do it).

What also mitigates seriously against the GOP getting away with this soft coup d’etat power grab — that’s what election 2016 was actually — is how woke America’s women have become. And that’s women of every color, culture and creed in America. African American voters have always been woke — especially African American women. Their wokeness — their righteous indignation — their unbreakable will to endure in the face of the worst injustice — is flowing out into the collective psyche. Its time has come and it will not sit down again.

The Rule Of Law cannot be compromised. We’ve now learned that lesson the hard way. It simply can’t tolerate us applying the Rule Of Law to some citizens but not others — especially when those others have money. The Rule Of Law must be applied equally. And when people break it, they must all be treated the same — from start to finish. The Rule Of Law says quite explicitly how one can and cannot run for office.

The Rule Of Law spells out what corruption is — and what we MUST do at the least hint of it. If we see election 2016 from the Rule Of Law’s point of view, we do not see a free & fair election. We see massive voter suppression. We see a massive Russian incursion into the election at virtually every level. We see massive amounts of Russian money being poured into Republican campaign coffers — and every kopek of that Russian money comes with strings — or kompromat. We see the Trump campaign working hand in glove with Russia to coordinate the release of damaging stolen emails. We see Paul Manafort handing Oleg Deripaska proprietary polling data focused on MN/PA/WI/MI (an illegal act all by itself). Deripaska handed that polling data to the GRU who (skillfully — they really are good at this) turned it into weaponized Facebook ads. Personalized propaganda that showed up on the individual Facebook pages of actual Democratic voters (who the ads knew to go after because of the proprietary polling data) — almost all of them African American. The purpose? Dissuade them from voting by giving them the idea that Hillary Clinton was a closet racist.

That’s voter suppression. It’s illegal. The Rule Of Law says so. It’s not a question of “did the Trump campaign break the law?” Yes. They did. Then the Trump campaign broke more laws — by receiving something of value from Russia (who they aren’t allowed to accept anything of value from PERIOD) — campaign help in the form of advertising consultation & creation. And I bet we can prove — unequivocally — that the Trump campaign & the whole GOP also broke another law — outright election fraud. If one African American voter stayed home because of any of those Facebook ads? That — according to the Rule Of Law — is VOTER FRAUD.

We know for a fact that one vote can change the outcome of an election. The Rule Of Law does not draw a distinction about how close a race was in order to be applied. ANY violation is the same as a thousand violations. If we can prove it happened? Then the punishment phase of the Rule Of Law must be applied.

The Rule Of Law says you cannot violate it in order to win an election. The moment you DO violate the Rule Of Law? Your campaign stops being legitimate. For real. You are no longer a political campaign. From the Rule Of Law’s perspective, you’re now a criminal enterprise — throw in conspiracy if more than one person knows what’s happening. And anyone who even suspects something rotten is afoot? The Rule Of Law says they are OBLIGATED to say something or they, too, must answer to the Rule Of Law.

Russia set out to put Donald Trump in the White House. They set out to compromise the Republicans — and to use their own desire to destroy our democratic system in the name of permanent minority rule for their own purposes. This wasn’t a “plan” the way we might dramatize it in a feature film or TV series. There were — still are — a thousand moving parts. Putin would have been satisfied just causing all the chaos he caused. I wonder if he thought we’d catch how he literally STOLE the outcomes of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin (three blue states that Trump “won” — no one’s ever done any official analysis of any machines here — and we know now how very vulnerable just about every internet-connected voting machine is).

We need to press Paul Manafort way harder than we already have. He can tell us just how successful Russia was at flipping those three states red.

The Rule Of Law says we must question every single Republican campaign. Can they prove that Russian money DIDN’T flow to them? Can they explain why they said nothing despite their suspicions? Despite what they heard from other Republicans? For instance — when current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy told then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan during the 2016 Republican convention “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump”, “Ryan swore the Republicans present to secrecy”. The Rule Of Law says both men should have been on the phone to the FBI to report their fears & suspicions & knowledge.

Instead, Ryan swore everyone to secrecy. Why’s that?

This is treason. Very real treason. We know that Putin created a literal DOCTRINE to go after us via our elections. Whether acting as useful idiots or — per what they knew was happening — something more, something darker and more nefarious — the Republican Party — AS A POLITICAL PARTY — committed election fraud, treason & obstruction of justice.

The Rule Of Law says your presidential campaign — hell, EVERY CAMPAIGN YOU’RE RUNNING is no longer LEGAL. You must stop what you’re doing — because you no longer have LEGITIMACY. Your win cannot possibly BE legal anymore — since you clearly achieved it via ILLEGAL means.

That means Donald Trump was never elected legitimately. That means he never legally had the authority vested in him by We The People to do ANYTHING — propose laws, nominate judges, even live in the damned White House. It would be no different from one of us stealing some CEO’s identity and then making executive decisions with legal ramifications for their corporation. How can anyone be bound to the end result of fraud when we know it was fraud?

If a guy steals your car — then sits in it outside your house and honks the horn — he may say “It’s my car now!” as he speeds off, but per the Rule Of Law (and who holds the vehicle’s title — you), that just ain’t true. The car may not be in your possession anymore but it’s legally yours.

That’s how the majority of Americans feel. The car — our Democracy — belongs to us. But Donald Trump, his Russian pal & his Republican gang have hot-wired it, plowed through the garage door and taken the country out for a greedy joy ride toward a cliff. It is no more theirs today than it was before the election.

There’s tons of “paperwork” to back up our claim of ownership here. To back up our claim that a crime — multiple violations of the Rule Of Law — has been committed here.

The Rule Of Law doesn’t care what anyone’s political party is. It doesn’t care what color you are, what faith you believe in or don’t. It doesn’t care how much money you make or whether you vote even. It just cares that we follow it. To the letter.

When we put characters like Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy, Bill Barr, Mike Pompeo et al under oath — without the cover of corruption to shield them — we will learn just how pervasive and far-reaching this conspiracy goes. The Koch Brothers knew what they were doing. Same goes for the Mercers. They know what Cambridge Analytica — their damned company! — was doing. Facing demographic extinction, the RW money threw in with Donald Trump and Russia because all their corrupt efforts dove-tailed so nicely together.

The way the Rule Of Law works — if we catch the guy who stole our car? We get our car back. The thief never gets to KEEP what he STOLE.

As Republicans love to bray — “Elections have consequence!” Indeed they do. Stolen elections, we keep learning, have even worse consequences.

The Rule of Law demands we DO something about it.

Of Course Trump’s Not Prepared To Deal With Coronavirus — He Never Planned To Be President!

Donald Trump & his Republican co-conspirators remind us every day: elections have consequences; stolen elections have even worse ones.

Donald Trump is not now nor has he ever been the legitimate POTUS. Painful as it may be, let’s revisit election night 2016.

What made a shocking night all the more perplexing was that even Trump and his campaign were so utterly surprised by the results — in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan — and then the Electoral College. 77,000 votes across three states.

Paul Manafort notoriously handed Oleg Deripaska proprietary polling data for 4 states: Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. That act, in and of itself, was illegal — receiving something of value from a foreign interest in an American election. The fact that that foreign interest was Russia — and Russia was actively engaged in a cyber war against us makes this all treason on steroids. No one working with Russia thought “But, hey — Russia just wants what’s best for America”. Even without knowing that Putin literally “had a plan for that” — for infiltrating and undermining us especially via our elections. Their short long-term goal — corrupt and undermine all American elections so as to permanently pervert our democracy. For shits n giggles they pushed Trump.

Enough Americans were so far beyond hope that Trump became viable. Then it came down to gaming the Electoral College. Our system was INVENTED to be gamed — by slavers. There’s no genius in using the EC to subvert the will of the majority. There’s only naked cynicism, corruption and a will to impose permanent minority rule on the majority.

July 21, 2016 – Washington, District of Columbia, U.S. – UNITED District of ColumbiaS – JULY 12: GOP nominee Donald Trump, flanked from left by campaign manager Paul Manafort, and daughter Ivanka Trump, checks the podium early Thursday afternoon in preparation for accepting the GOP nomination to be President at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on Thursday July 21, 2016. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) (Credit Image: © Bill Clark/Congressional Quarterly/Newscom via ZUMA Press)

The truth is we don’t know yet how profoundly Manafort’s gift impacted the outcomes in PA/WI/MI. We don’t know for a fact how many African American voters were dissuaded by the personalized Facebook ads that turned up on their Facebook pages every day — ads based on that proprietary polling data that was now weaponized into propaganda, misinformation and disinformation.

If the Rule Of Law was back in force, we’d have to draw the line at Zero Tolerance. In other words, if just ONE African American voter stayed home because of what Paul Manafort did? That’s election fraud — right there. As we know, one vote can change an election’s outcome. If we don’t know how many other African American voters were similarly dissuaded from carrying out their right to vote, then we cannot say how much voter fraud occurred other than “it happened”.

The Rule Of Law says it can’t happen. Therefore any and all voter fraud has the same meaning. It’s illegal. Now let’s be real. It wasn’t just one African American voter. It was lots. And those Facebook ads weren’t the only game being played. Let’s be really real: the Trump campaign wasn’t just in bed with Russia, the Trump campaign was Russia’s sex slave — chained to a wall in the Kremlin basement — and loving it.

Lots of people bitched about Michael Wolff and his book “Fire and Fury: Inside Trump’s White House”, but no one’s contradicted what Wolff wrote. Per Newsweek: “A week before the election, Trump was sure he would lose the presidency. But still, according to Wolff’s book, he told Ailes that it was “bigger than I ever dreamed of. I don’t think about losing, because it isn’t losing. We’ve totally won.”

This is from New York Magazine’s excerpt of Wolff’s book (in their Intelligencer section):

“Not only would Trump not be president, almost everyone in the campaign agreed, he should probably not be. Conveniently, the former conviction meant nobody had to deal with the latter issue.”

It was as simple as THIS —

“Not only did Trump disregard the potential conflicts of his own business deals and real-estate holdings, he audaciously refused to release his tax returns. Why should he? Once he lost, Trump would be both insanely famous and a martyr to Crooked Hillary. His daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared would be international celebrities. Steve Bannon would become the de facto head of the tea-party movement. Kellyanne Conway would be a cable-news star. Melania Trump, who had been assured by her husband that he wouldn’t become president, could return to inconspicuously lunching. Losing would work out for everybody. Losing was winning.”

Which is why THIS —

Shortly after 8 p.m. on Election Night, when the unexpected trend — Trump might actually win — seemed confirmed, Don Jr. told a friend that his father, or DJT, as he calls him, looked as if he had seen a ghost. Melania was in tears — and not of joy.

And then THIS —

There was, in the space of little more than an hour, in Steve Bannon’s not unamused observation, a befuddled Trump morphing into a disbelieving Trump and then into a horrified Trump.

Becoming POTUS was not the point of the exercise. Creating Trump TV & more, bigger, better branding opportunities were.

But, once Trump won — once he realized what Vladimir Putin had done for him — he assumed the mantle of tin pot dictator. That’s tin pot dictator on a very short leash — about the length of that tin pot dictator’s ugly, badly-made, badly-tied tie.

Repeat — no one’s ever contradicted anything Michael Wolff said in his book. Liars denying a thing happened carries zero weight.

Every second that we refuse to put this on the table — own it all right goddamned now because pathogens like coronavirus don’t care about politics. We need full transparency right now. And once transparency begins for coronavirus? There’ll be no stopping it.

Suddenly all the other secrets Trump World has managed to hold onto will begin exploding into the light.

I blogged here about the similarities between HG Wells’ “War Of The Worlds” and our current situation — where a lowly pathogen could be the thing to take out a monster we mere Earthlings couldn’t lay a glove on. Even pundits who always get things wrong got this one right: at some point, a crisis will happen that Trump is ill-prepared to deal with.

All Trump’s other chaos has started with Trump and his innate corruption. He’s always been able to moderate the amount of insanity. He’s always been able to switch us to another outrage just as our outrage from the previous nonsense was waning. But, like a natural disaster, Trump can’t control coronavirus.

He got away with botching our response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. After all, Puerto Rico’s off shore. And it’s mostly brown people.

Coronavirus could come for any one of us. We’ll have as much skin in the game as we do coronavirus in our lungs and nasal passages. And if Donald Trump’s ineptitude, incompetence & corruption had anything to do with that (spoiler alert — it DID!), he may yet hold onto his most hard core devotees, but their numbers will be smaller than ever — and shrinking probably because they’re too damned stupid to protect themselves.

Trump may indeed have been able to shoot people on Fifth Avenue and not lose a single voter. He may NOT be able to infect people with coronavirus on Fifth Avenue and get away with that.