For Republicans, It’s All Or Nothing Now — They Will Destroy The Republic Or Go Down In Flames Of Treason And Infamy

If there was any doubt as to what Republicans are really up to — and how extensive the corruption is inside the GOP — Chief Justice John Roberts made it explicit Monday evening when the SCOTUS (in a 5-4 conservatives v progressives decision) sided with the Wisconsin Republican Party and forced Wisconsin to holds its primary yesterday — despite the health threat it posed — and while refusing to extend any vote-by-mail deadlines (regardless of the fact that many Wisconsinites had not received their mail-in ballots). The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court gave Wisconsin permission to throw out THOUSANDS of legal votes — the most egregious act of voter suppression by a party who suppress Democratic votes the way most people breathe.

The Republican Money — the Kochs, the Mercers early on — saw demographic oblivion in their future and decided the only way to prevent it was to destroy American democracy. Relying on We The People was going to result in extinction. We The People had to be either removed from the equation or limited in our voice if we did remain in the equation. With Mitch McConnell walking point for them, the RW Money began hijacking the judiciary during the Obama presidency. There was real long-term purpose behind McConnell refusing Obama so many life-time appointments to the Federal bench.

The GOP didn’t love Trump. He compromised them. Played even dirtier than they did. Being cynical, greedy and power-mad, they hitched their wagon to the bigger bully — fully aware that that bully was himself deeply compromised by Vladimir Putin. Seems just enough Republicans were already compromised themselves (Mitch himself has taken MILLIONS into his campaign coffers that came from Russia). Russia poured lots of cash into other Republican campaigns via the NRA and a network of Russian retirees living in America, their small pensions suddenly brimming with cash intended for donation to Republicans. How convenient.

GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy famously said to then-Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan during the 2016 Republican convention “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump” to which Paul Ryan famously (per the Washington Post), “… instructed his Republican lieutenants to keep the conversation private, saying: ‘No leaks. . . . This is how we know we’re a real family here’.”

Meanwhile, remember, convicted felon Paul Manafort was handing Oleg Deripaska (he of the GRU — Russian military intelligence) proprietary polling data from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. That polling data was weaponized by Russia and sent back to Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania as propagandized Facebook ads that showed up — exclusively — on the personal Facebook pages of Democratic voters — many African American or other People of Color. The ads wanted their readers to believe that Hillary Clinton was a racist on the down low.

The point of the exercise — make voters decide to stay home instead of voting. It’s election fraud — carried out with the direct assistance of a hostile foreign government. And it’s entirely illegal.

The GOP may not have known how Russia was going to pull off their theft of election 2016, but once the “win” was Trump’s? They did nothing to address the eight thousand pound gorilla sitting in the room — the total incongruity of Trump’s “win”. There are myriad reasons Trump and the Republicans have resisited every attempt to investigate election 2016. They all have to do with culpability.

Fact: the entire Republican Party is as guilty of election fraud, obstruction of justice and treason as Trump is. They all knew or at the very least suspected what was happening. They were all obligated — legally — to say something. That they didn’t made them guilty of conspiracy.

That means every single Republican has a legal problem. And that’s where America’s problem begins.

For Trump, it’s a matter of staying president forever or probably going to prison forever — his list of crimes is that long and that bad. Robert Mueller — in his team’s report — pointed out their obligation to follow a DoJ “rule” (not a law) created while Spiro Agnew was veep (to keep him from pardoning Nixon — per “The Bagman” — the very good, very deep dive podcast by Rachel Maddow) that would not allow them to indict a sitting POTUS. That’s why the SDNY couldn’t indict Trump along with Michael Cohen for paying Stormy Daniels to keep quiet. As we sit here today, Trump remains “Unindicted Co-Conspirator #1”.

Trump knows: the instant he stops being POTUS, he’ll become INDICTED Co-Conspirator #1. And that will be just the start of his legal problems. And Trump also knows — his legal problems are so deep and so far-reaching, he could lose every single property he owns to seizure. And have we mentioned “treason”? Trump cannot stop being POTUS. That’s his bottom line.

Because it’s Trump’s bottom line — it’s the whole GOP’s bottom line too. If Trump’s crimes get exposed, theirs will get exposed too.

And everyone’s crimes have just gone nuclear because of our coronavirus response. Republican criminality has now KILLED thousands of Americans. Literally. Talk about criminal!

Norms have not mattered for a decade now to the GOP. Mitch McConnell destroyed every norm while Obama was POTUS. The Republican Senate destroyed Congressional oversight when it refused to convict Trump on impeachment. Now Trump is taking a sledgehammer to the IG’s and all possible oversight to how he doles out billions of tax-payer relief dollars. We already know that Trump himself is PROFITING from the very (unproven) cure — hydroxychloroquine — that he’s been pushing during his daily “coronavirus briefings” even as Dr. Fauchi shakes his head in alarmed disapproval.

The Republican Party is so far beyond corrupt they can’t even “corrupt” from their houses anymore.

It’s time for us — for the NEWS MEDIA especially — to stop treating Republicans as honest actors. It’s time to start treating them as what they are: CRIMINALS intent on building upon a criminal act — the stolen 2016 election — to shove permanent minority rule down the majority of Americans’ throats. It’s a rape fever dream by a Party that understands rape intrinsically. If you can vote for a rapist, it’s because you approve of the rapist — and you approve of his raping whoever he likes.

That’s who the Republican Party are — rapists. And they will destroy America rather than face the consequences of their crime.

Here’s the hopeful part. There’s more of us than them. Way more. Way, way, WAY more. As a percentage of the electorate, Trumpanistas are a mere 16%. Fact. And what Trump has steadily done to the military (undermining their purpose in Northern Syria, betraying our Kurdish ally — that doesn’t sit well with “brothers in arms”, firing Brett Crozier, the captain of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt who went public to save his crew from a rising coronavirus threat onboard their ship) will not get him the loyalty he’ll need to turn the military against the American People. It only takes having a few balk at the audacity of a full-on military coup d’etat to make the whole enterprise fall apart.

Trump will try to further rip apart the very voting procedure he always uses: vote-by-mail. But once the Post Office is spared — and we make sure EVERY American GETS their vote-by-mail ballot — the real day of reckoning will begin for Trump & the GOP. It’s way, WAAAAAAY harder to suppress voters when they vote by mail. And if We The People can make vote-by-mail how most Americans vote this November?

As Trump himself said (out loud) this week — the more people vote, the worse it is for Republicans. Agree, Don-Don. Agree completely.

Let’s make that a stone cold reality.

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

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.

Let’s stick a pin in some facts for the moment. 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 — in part because it was part of a larger illegal action: the receiving of 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 — and success to them meant 1) corrupting our election and 2) corrupting our election enough to actually make Trump president.

Russia was open to either versions of success. Clever them — they got both.

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.

But, At The End Of The Day — It’s STILL A Damned Coup D’Etat!

Today is slated to be one of the very worst in American History. Today, the corrupt-to-its marrow Republican-controlled Senate will acquit the most corrupt POTUS in American History of charges he’s corrupting this year’s election.

Think about that. We stand poised at a Treason Trifecta — A treasonous president, a treasonous Senate and a judiciary MADE treasonous by the treasonous Senate. Keep in mind, We The People did not vote for this. We did not choose this. We did not want this. In fact, the majority of us voted AGAINST this. Our majority would have been significantly larger, of course, but for massive voter suppression efforts carried out by the GOP. Quick note — only one side EVER works to suppress the other side’s voters. That’s not a coincidence.

If not for Russia’s direct assistance, Donald Trump would not be president today. That is a stone cold fact. We don’t know yet exactly how impactful the proprietary polling data Paul Manafort handed to Oleg Deripaska was. Deripaska took that polling data — which should never EVER have been given to a foreign person let alone a foreign person with a well known background in spying & intelligence as Deripaska has — and converted it into propaganda that showed up as weaponized Facebook ads on individual Democratic voters’ Facebook pages. Especially African American Democratic voters. A lot of those ads spewed disinformation claiming Hillary Clinton was a closet racist.

We know — we’ve witnessed it — one vote can change an election’s outcome. ONE VOTE. That means EVERY VOTE COUNTS. You screw with one vote — you screw with the election’s outcome. The tolerance therefore for voter manipulation of any kind is ONE VOTE.

We know — because there’s reporting — at least one Democratic African American voter stayed home, successfully dissuaded from voting because of the propaganda. That means voter fraud happened. That voter fraud was part of a larger, coordinated effort to cheat the election. That voter fraud was a clear collaboration between Trump’s campaign & Russia.

You cannot cheat to become POTUS. It’s the law. Therefore, if you DO cheat to become POTUS, you are NOT POTUS. How can you be if you broke one of the basic rules of “how to become POTUS”? That means Donald Trump has never been the legitimate president. He’s been aware of that fact from the start; he’s projected it regularly — as he’s projected every last bit of his guilt. His party has known it all along, too. That’s why they’ve worked so hard to COVER UP THE TRUTH about how exactly Trump “won” — who was behind the “win” and what’s happened since to keep all that ugly Truth from seeing the sunlight.

This didn’t just “happen”. To a degree — but only a degree — it was planned. Mitch McConnell certainly had a plan. He’s been slowly hijacking the judiciary — denying Barack Obama lifetime appointments including Merrick Garland’s seat on the SCOTUS and then using his Senate majority to cram young RW nitwits & scumbags down our throats. Mitch has taken gobs of Russian money into his campaign accounts for years.

No doubt — because it was Mitch’s PAC and because the money all got laundered one way or another — it all seemed perfectly legal at the time. Ah, but context… We now know WHY Mitch was so open to Russian money. He saw Russia as an ally in his (and the RW Money’s) plan to deny the coming demographic Republican apocalypse. By partnering with Russia, Mitch & the RW money saw a way to keep from going the way of the Whigs into extinction — at least for a little while.

Mitch wasn’t the only one hip to the game. There’s that famous moment at the Republican convention in 2016 when now Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy walked into a meeting of GOP Muckety-Mucks and announced “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump.” Then Speaker of the House Paul Ryan “…immediately interjected, stopping the conversation from further exploring McCarthy’s assertion, and swore the Republicans present to secrecy.”

In theory, Paul Ryan’s response should have been “You think WHAT? Have you got any proof of that? Holy shit — somebody call the freakin’ FBI!” But, Paul Ryan didn’t say that. Instead, he swore everyone to SECRECY — as if there was a SECRET that needed keeping.

Hmmmmmm… A SECRET, ya say…

I’m willing to give the GOP this — rotten intentions aside, a lot of what’s happened over the last 3 years has been “seat of the pants”. The Republicans knew what they were involved with but they had no idea their Russian partner could pull off what they managed to pull off. As surprising as I’m sure it was to the Republicans — to find themselves the winners of an election even they were certain they’d lose — it was equally confounding. Their nominee had “won” the White House. The problem — the Republicans had just committed TREASON.

We can document that Mitch McConnell knew as early as September 2016 when Obama called a Gang Of Eight meeting so that our Intelligence Community could brief the rest of our political leadership about the very real, very grave threat that Russia was posing to the INTEGRITY OF OUR ELECTIONS. McConnell flat out refused to let Obama tell We The People that OUR election system was under threat.

Now, WHY, I wonder, would Mitch McConnell do that?

The instant Trump “won”, if Mitch McConnell — or ANY Republican — had had an inkling that Trump’s win might be tainted — by Russian influence FFS! — they should have said something. They did not. WHY?

Yeah, okay — it’s a loaded question. We know why. Mitch & Paul & Kevin were all playing ball with Russia. They’d been compromised already — each of them — and there was no way to stop what was now in motion — an illegal attempt to change the outcome of an American election. To deny the American electorate its will.

That’s the bet the Republican Party made — that they could get away with corrupting our elections permanently — to seize power and to hold onto power. That, by definition, is a coup d’etat. The illegal seizure of power. Most coups are military. Ours was special that way. The Republicans didn’t need the military — they needed the press. And the press — by not seeing what the Republicans were doing — spread bullshit legitimacy over clear corruption.

Today the Senate Republicans will deny evidence & witnesses to clear criminality — all bent on further subverting the will of the American People.

If Americans — and our news media — didn’t grasp how very real a coup d’etat this was, this must serve as their (and our) wake up call. Never mind Nancy Pelosi tearing up a copy of Trump’s lie-filled SOTU address. Trump’s whole SOTU was him shredding the Constitution.

We Live Inside A Giant False Narrative — That Donald Trump Is “Legitimate POTUS”

False narratives — creating them, living them, suffering the consequences of living them — it seems to go with being human. So, I’ll cut us some slack.

The unfortunate humans who live inside North Korea’s borders live inside a false narrative that Kim Jong-On isn’t a sociopathic madman at the helm of a hermitic dictatorship with nuclear weapons at his disposal. They think he’s a kind of god — just like his father and grandfather — because that’s what they’ve been told.

North Koreans have been deliberately fed a false narrative about how life and politics are. The point wasn’t to liberate them. One never creates a false narrative to do good things for people — despite what one tells oneself. You’re turning away from empirical truth — and choosing to walk toward fiction. Every step toward fiction is a step away from actual truth.

There may be lashings of truth IN your fiction — but, whereas facts won’t let you do with them what you want, with fiction? You can spin a story however you like. You’re bound by story logic — but not logic logic.

The biggest false narrative going, of course, is religion. The people who write religious texts — the Old Testament for instance — start out from a genuine place: they want to answer the big questions — what is life? How did we get here? Why are we here and what is the point of it all? Unless they’re wearing lab coats — with strict protocols for managing their experimentation — they’re going to pull the answers to those questions from their own heads. Or their asses.

If the men who wrote Genesis had access to the internet — if they had microscopes and telescopes available — if they knew about germ theory and plate tectonics — if they knew even that there were continents other than the one they lived on (they didn’t!) — would they have written the texts they wrote the way they wrote them? Of course not! Their worldview — even the questions themselves — would have been informed by their knowledge. They wouldn’t have written a Noah’s flood story they way they wrote it because the facts on the ground — literally — would have made such a story preposterous.

Sometimes — as with religion — the intention of the false narrative is to explain the world from the religion’s viewpoint. But, what if the starting viewpoint is wrong — or distorted. Or misinformed. What if monotheists are wrong and polytheists are right — there’s not one good, there are dozens, thousands, kajillions?

Who’s really to say? Got proof there’s only one “God”? Remind the class — who wrote that story? Oh, right — people who were “divinely inspired”. Another false narrative begins.

Even before he was sworn in, Donald Trump began signaling to us that he was not the legitimate president — that his win wasn’t what we thought it was. Take yourself back to election night 2016. Remember how it felt as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin went red? The story was just believable enough — the press had taken the “But her emails” ball and run wild with it. Doubts about Clinton could have been the difference — 78,000 votes spread between three states. It was just plausible enough for us to allow “Well, maybe…”.

That’s all it took. The truth is, to this day, we don’t know what happened in those three states. We don’t. But the stone cold fact is Paul Manafort handed Oleg Deripaska PROPRIETARY POLLING DATA for four states (the three mentioned plus Minnesota). That’s not nothing. That’s very sensitive data about Americans, who they are and how they vote — being handed to a man with deep ties to Russian Military Intelligence.

Russian military intelligence (for those slow on the uptake) is especially good at creating, disseminating and benefiting from propaganda. They’ve gotten very good at using social media to — say it with me — create false narratives. In those three states — we know this happened — Democratic voters (African American voters especially) found their Facebook pages inundated with ads disparaging Hilary Clinton — accusing her of being a racist on the down low.

Sure, plenty of those African American voters ignored those ads. But — we also know — some stayed home. That’s no different from a stolen vote. It’s election fraud — PERIOD.

Also — no one in an official capacity has ever done any forensics on the voting machines in those three states. As we’re learning more and more — any voting machine hooked up to the internet in any way is hackable. Anyone who denies that fact wants machines that are hackable in our elections. WHY?

Any voting process that isn’t hand-marked with a complete paper trail is bullshit.

People who want free and fair elections have no problems with oversight. They welcome it because it guarantees free and fair elections. People who want shortcuts — who are willing to take what election machine vendors (almost all Republican owned companies by the way — yes, it matters) say at face value — aren’t interested in Democracy, they’re interested in undermining Democracy. Not the same thing.

If the Rule Of Law is alive and well, then you cannot cheat to become president of the United States. You cannot ASK a foreign country to help you and you cannot ACCEPT THEIR HELP when offered. But that’s exactly what Donald Trump did — repeatedly and out in the open. The Mueller Report did not exonerate Trump in any way. Quick Reminder — the Mueller Report was not the be-all & end-all of “Trump-Russia” involvements. It addressed ONE — the Trump campaign’s relationship with Wikileaks. And the report said that it couldn’t ANSWER whether or not the Trump campaign conspired with Russia because of (Mueller Report Part Two) ALL THE OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE the Trump campaign were perpetrating.

All those SDNY investigations that Bill Barr slowed or blocked or snuffed? They would have begun exploring all the other ways Donald Trump, his campaign — and the whole Republican Party ultimately — had fallen prey to Russian intelligence. Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate is a non-stop reminder of just how corrupt the Republican Party is. Their defense didn’t rise to the level of “silly” it was so bad.

They don’t want to hear Bolton or any other witnesses because they KNOW what those witnesses will say. They KNOW what the evidence says — they’ve already heard what lots of it says. This is about keeping the truth about what happened out of the public record. WHY?

Most Republicans assume that once a lifetime judge is in place, he or she stays in place forever. Keep in mind — part of the point of this coup d’etat started years before the election. It took the form of Mitch McConnell hijacking the judiciary. He refused to let Obama appoint judges that he quickly filled once Trump was sworn in. He refused to grant Merrick Garland so much as a hearing. Hello, Neil Gorsuch.

But all that assumes we continue to accept the product of the false narrative Republicans created.

Let’s put this in terms even Donald Trump would understand. Let’s say the presidency was a beauty pageant. The winner gets lots of good things. They get to live in the White House. They get to tell the military what to do. They get to suggest and change laws. They get to appoint judges including Supreme Court judges.

That’s if they win — and they’re the Beauty Pageant WINNER.

But let’s say we find ample evidence that the Beauty Pageant Winner cheated. Let’s say the bribed judges — or threatened them. Let’s say the Winner conspired with people outside the pageant to pick a winner (outside the pageant’s rules). And let’s say these people succeeded. The Pageant’s real judges wanted Contestant X to win. That contestant reflected the Pageant’s values and hopes for the Pageant’s future.

But some of the judges, it turns out, were corrupt. The whole voting process, it turns out, was corrupted. When the judges voted — one of their votes was tallied the wrong way. Another judge went home sick and didn’t vote at all (food poisoning they think). From the moment the Winner was announced, lots of the judges — people in the audience, too — they knew something was wrong.

Okay — so the wrong person now wears the crown. They have all the power that comes with it — all the rights & privileges. But none of it actually belongs to them.

Now the Winner starts giving paying jobs to her friends. She fudges the books so no one can tell where the Pageant’s money is going. The Pageant starts co-branding with mobsters and criminals and all sorts of unsavory people the Pageant’s judges would never have agreed to. The Winner starts changing everything about the Pageant — despite the fact that they WEREN’T the actual winner and everything they’re doing goes directly AGAINST everything the judges ACTUALLY wanted and — this being democratic in theory — voted for.

But then, the judges discover evidence that PROVES the Winner cheated. They show it to the public because the public needs to know (while the Winner is doing things that directly impact them) — there’s a very good reason why the judges will now take away the Winner’s crown: it never belonged to them. EVER.

So — the Winner loses his crown. He can no longer claim to be the Winner because 1) he no longer is and 2) he never ever was.

Ah, but what of his “winnings”? What of the now-ex-Winner’s spoils? What of the laws they changed — though they had no authority to change them (only REAL winners have the LEGAL right to do that)? What of the lifetime judges they nominated THAT THEY HAD NO LEGAL AUTHORITY TO NOMINATE?

Remember all the judges Al Gore nominated? Exactly — he didn’t nominate any because he didn’t win — and was never given the authority. If he had tried to, we’d have laughed at him — “Dude, what’re you doing? You LOST. Losers don’t get to nominate anything.”

A cheater who’s been caught stops being “the winner”. A car thief has to give back the car he stole (provided it hasn’t been chop shopped into pieces already). He may have the memories of driving around in your ride, but all rights of ownership return to YOU, the rightful OWNER.

We The People “own” the outcomes of our elections. That is, we expect that our choice — if we’re in the majority — to be the basis for how our government will act. Provided our candidate followed all the laws in order to win the election, his or her actions are truly sanctioned by the electorate.

But, Donald Trump can’t say that about his “win”. He wasn’t sanctioned by he electorate. The majority of us voted not just FOR Hillary but AGAINST Trump and everything he stood for and wanted to do. We voted AGAINST destroying the government, AGAINST destroying our relationships with the world, AGAINST cozying up to Russia, AGAINST corruption in the extreme, AGAINST destroying the environment, AGAINST racism & misogyny & bigotry and judges who are FOR all those things.

The only reason Trump’s potus at all is because he manipulated the Electoral College. By literally STEALING Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania (for starters — we don’t know how pervasive the theft was), Trump robbed the American People of their actual choice. The victim of this crime is us, the American People.

What are we — crime victims in this — to do once the full depth of Trump (and the Republican Party’s) deep criminality gets revealed. Are we to shrug off the crime — and especially the part where the criminal gets to keep what he stole? Those judges — those laws — the dismantling of our system of checks and balances — that’s all stolen property. It belongs to US. It doesn’t belong to Donald Trump or the Republican Party.

They’re the car thief sitting in OUR CAR — in OUR DRIVEWAY — honking the horn at us at three in the morning.

What makes matters worse? Turns out the car thief has pals in the police department. Fact is, the thief knows the “chief of police”. That’s going to make prosecuting the car thief — and getting our car back — hard. But that doesn’t mean we don’t do it.

There’s a big “Come To Jesus” moment coming us by-and-by. We’re going to have to reconcile the false narrative we’ve been living in — that Trump’s the legitimate potus and everything he’s done is legit and inviolable — with the facts: Trump’s a criminal. He stole the outcome of election 2016 — and everything that goes with it.

Are we REALLY going to let him — and the Republican Party who benefited from it (that was the point, right?) continue to benefit when the benefits were never theirs to begin with?

If we do that — if we let thieves keep what they’ve stolen — we will not solve our problem. The criminals will continue to own us. They’ll continue to have a say in how we live our lives — and even run the Rule Of Law. If don’t recognize how stupid that will be?

We’ll deserve every bit of the horribleness that follows.

It’ll be “Slavery: The Sequel”.

You remember slavery, right? That’s the abomination we created a false narrative around — that it was acceptable for a Democratic Republic to have slavery.

Life In Trump’s America: The Political Thriller Of Our Lifetimes Is Also Theater Of The Absurd

Our inner animals knew it instinctively even as the tide was turning election night 2016. We were being told something that every fiber of our being knew was untrue — or knew was truth complicated by layers of deception, deceit and treachery — that Trump had “won” the presidency.

Ever read the details on exactly what happened chronologically on election night in the Trump campaign — especially between Trump and his flotus to be? Trump wasn’t just “surprised” that he won, he was shocked. And not because he had “pulled it out”. Trump knew better than anyone that THAT was not what happened election night. Trump knew better than anyone that “The Boss” — Vlad Putin — had suppressed, propagandized or — via internet-connected-voting machines — literally stolen just enough votes in three key states (Pennsylvania, Wisconsin & Michigan, three states for which Oleg Deripaska had received proprietary polling data from Paul Manafort) to GIVE Trump the EC victory.

Melania wept openly. She raged at Trump — who, per Steve Bannon, morphed from a “disbelieving Trump into a horrified Trump”. That’s disbelieving he could win to being horrified that he HAD “won”. Winning wasn’t part of Trump’s plan. Using a presidential run to platform launch a Trump-branded news network was. Winning — once victory was gettable (via cheating) — was absolutely Vladimir Putin’s plan. Putin saw a way to put Trump in the White House — the greatest intelligence coup in the history of intelligence — and he took it.

Keep in mind — Putin had already compromised enough of the Republican Party that he knew he could keep them in line. Take Lindsey Graham, for example. You can practically see the Kompromat Vlad’s holding over Lindsey play in Lindsey’s mind’s eye every time he speaks.

That’s where it starts crossing over from John Le Carre territory into Becket — from George Smiley realpolitik into waiting for a Godot who will never, ever appear. Our spy movie as real life beats anything any writer could possibly imagine — or get away with if they did imagine.

We’ve got intrigue and treason and cyber war and actual war and murders out the wazoo. We’ve got a handful of heroes and scoundrels by the bucket. And we’ve got a Main Stream News Media that makes an unsatisfying hash of the whole damned thing. We’ve got liars lying, rapists raping and con artists conning.

The feeling, watching this madness rush by on a daily basis, is a lot like watching an English pantomime (a Christmastime tradition in England). Based on old chestnuts like “Puss In Boots” or “Cinderella”, panto’s are very much the groundlings having a good time at their local theater — talking back to the characters on stage as if a fourth wall never existed.

One of the moments every panto must have — the villain (upstage) creeps toward the hero who’s downstage — while the audience tries to warn the hero. Every time the hero looks toward where the audience points — the villain ducks or disappears — then reappears the moment the hero has turned away again. It’s absurd, of course, because the truth is so apparent — and yet so impossible to hold onto.

It is numbing — by design — how far from “normal” we’ve shifted. It’s inconceivable that Donald Trump’s presidential bid didn’t end the moment he started it by telling us all how Mexicans were rapists. More absurdity compounded by pussy grabbing — compounded exponentially when “Mexicans are rapists” and “pussy grabbing” went back seat to “her emails” sitting in the front seat of the news media’s Scooby van.

Looking back today at “But her emails” — even Ionesco at his most obtuse couldn’t touch the absurdity of our news media obsessing over an abstraction over constant evidence of dubious, devious behavior. Despite three years of this madness, of Trump’s lying, deceitfulness and cruelty, our news media still wants to give him the benefit of the doubt — as if “this time”, Trump “could be” telling the truth.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve shouted far too often at the news “professionals” on your TV set — “FFS, don’t be absurd!”

Is it really asking that much to have our political theater be one thing and our theater of the absurd be something else entirely? Apparently so…

It Really Is This Simple: By LAW, You Cannot CHEAT To Become POTUS; Therefore Donald Trump Has NEVER Been POTUS

Now, that’s just The Rule Of Law talking and what does The Rule Of Law know? That’s how Republicans think these days apparently.

To be absolutely fair about it, they’re right. The Rule Of Law is a fiction that we invented for our mutual benefit. There are lots of places on Earth where the people don’t live by The Rule Of Law — so, The Rule Of Law is not some absolute, inviolable Law Of The Cosmos. The only thing actually keeping The Rule Of Law in place as our guiding principle as our faithfulness in maintaining it.

It’s like stamina, if you think about it. You can build your stamina. You can maintain it. But stop working on it and it goes away just like that. You can’t store it. Can’t bank it.

Part of our problem — here in America: we’ve taken The Rule Of Law for granted. Those following it always assumed that everyone was following it. Sure, sure — there are criminals outside The Rule Of Law but that’s why we HAVE a Rule Of Law — to isolate those people and handle them fairly but judiciously. We never imagined, We The People, that so many of those who swore an oath to defend The Rule Of Law (that’s what our Constitution is) were committed to overthrowing The Rule Of Law in a kind of soft white Christian male coup d’etat.

The Rule Of Law says foreign interests can have no say in American elections. The Republican Party violated the hell out of that throughout election 2016. Current GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy FAMOUSLY said to a roomful of Republican muckety-mucks “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump”. Pays for what, someone in the room should have asked. “Pays for what purpose?” even. Instead, then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan (per the Washington Post) “…instructed his Republican lieutenants to keep the conversation private, saying: “No leaks. . . . This is how we know we’re a real family here.”

According to The Rule Of Law, Speaker Ryan’s response should have been more along the lines of “Holy shit! Guys — get the FBI on the phone pronto! We’ve got a huge PROBLEM on our hands!” But Speaker Ryan didn’t say that. No one in the room even thought anything like it. Hmmmmmmm…

The literal instant we stop following The Rule Of Law to the letter, we compromise it. When we follow it for some people but not so much for other people — that violates The Rule Of Law’s core principle. Speaker Ryan knew he was violating The Rule Of Law — that’s why they all had to agree to “keep it in the family”. Another group of criminals would call that agreement an OMERTA.

It’s the kind of agreement people do when they’ve abandoned The Rule Of Law for their own set of laws. They just haven’t had the decency to tell the rest of us. You know — THE MAJORITY.

We don’t know yet the full extent to which the entire Republican Party was compromised by Russia (and, perhaps, other countries or bad actors). We can only imagine the kompromat Russia is dangling over Lindsey Graham’s pervy head. Even before this though, the Republican Party displayed a disdainful cynicism toward The Rule Of Law. They applied its full pressure whenever they could — while ignoring all the ways they were violating the hell out of it at the very same time.

We know that the Republican Money Machine turned its back on The Rule Of Law a generation ago when it saw the demographic writing on the wall: America was not going to be a predominantly white country for much longer. By 2050, it’s estimated, white people will cease being the majority of the population. Think that doesn’t scare the snot out of conservative white people?

The hard right in this country turned its back on The Rule Of Law the instant they saw it was going to STOP being their instrument of destruction. I don’t know if they feared retribution, but they certainly feared losing absolute power (and the money that goes with it). The Republican Party morphed into The Trump Party — and The Trump Party works for Russia. Russia made Trump POTUS (he did NOT win Pennsylvania, Wisconsin or Michigan legitimately — he couldn’t have after Paul Manafort gave Oleg Deripaska proprietary polling data on those three states). Even Trump’s reported behavior on election night speaks to a kind of guilty behavior. Ever since, no one has obsessed more than Trump has on his presidency’s legitimacy. Why’s that?

IF we really do believe in The Rule Of Law then Donald Trump’s presidency violates it. The fact of his presidency violates it and stands OUTSIDE The Rule Of Law. Trump’s presidency and The Rule Of Law cannot exist at the same time and in the same place.

There is no precedent for what’s happening to us. We have to stop looking to the past for guidance. If Trump violated The Rule Of Law in order to BECOME president of the United States then, by law, he never was president. Not being president, he never had the authority to do anything he did. He never had the authority to negotiate on our behalf or nominate judges.

Let’s use a metaphor that even Donald Trump would understand: A Beauty Pageant. An American presidential election is a lot like a beauty pageant. If, it’s learned after a winner is announced, that the winner wasn’t honest with the judges (as, say, Vanessa Williams was about some mildly erotic photos she’d been part of), the judges can take away the winner’s crown and give it to someone MORE deserving. Someone, say, who followed the pageant’s rules about not doing things that might undermine the pageant’s “brand”.

Vanessa Williams lost her crown — and everything that went with it. If the judges had known before GIVING her the crown, they would never have crowned her, right? They would never have given her the rights & privileges that went with it. In their minds, they were lied to. Vanessa Williams mis-represented herself.

If part of Vanessa Williams’ rights had been to negotiate branding deals on behalf of Miss America, the judges — the whole Miss America organization — would have voided every single one of them for the same reasons.

I know what I’m saying seems impossible to pull off. HOW would we undo the results of an American election? Well, as one of the wronged in this equation — as one of the MAJORITY whose rights are being threatened by a willful right wing minority — HOW CAN WE NOT? Why, I’d like to know, are we always fair beyond fair to conservatives while demanding Progressives explain themselves relentlessly. When did the press lose its mind demanding from conservatives how they were going to pay for Trump’s tax breaks for the rich?

There’s a stone cold reality staring us in the face: Donald Trump was never the legitimate president of the United States.

That fact ripples a thousand ways in a million different directions. We cannot simply ignore it. We can’t “agree to agree” to get past it. We won’t. It’s exactly like slavery — a gross insult to The Rule Of Law.

But then… The Rule Of Law is only what we say it is.

Ball’s in our court.

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.