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To impeach or not to impeach, that is the question

If this was a fair world, the answer would be crystal clear. We have never had a president who is more corrupt or willing to violate the constitution. If any other president had done 1/20th of what Trump has done, he would have been impeached after yesterday’s report.

And yet, the House of Representatives still hesitates. It hesitates because it knows that the Senate will never, never, never vote to convict. (Never say never).

That makes the whole impeachment procedure look like Team D vs Team R. I’ll leave it as an exercise for the reader to figure out why Team R, who is constantly wrapping itself in the flag, singing God Bless the USA and is addicted to security porn is so intent on protecting the least patriotic, most cowardly, ungodly, criminal sadist in the Oval Office. But that’s where we are. The perception is that we have two teams, ready to go to the mat over Trump.

You can almost imagine Vladimir Putin taking off his shirt and rubbing, well, whatever it is Russian mafia state leaders rub when they’re excited. What could be better than sowing even more division, enmity and chaos in your adversary’s country? It makes him tingle in places … ok, let’s not go there. You get the point.

It’s just one part of his plan to amp up the entropy. After all, his intelligence units are already making Bernie Sanders an inevitability. He probably likes Mayor Pete too. What better way to divide Democrats than to pit the white guys against all those women whose fury and drive managed to take back the House last year? Eggsellent, eggsellent.

Why impeach anyway? Do Democrats really need this? Do you think my congressman, Conor Lamb, wants to impeach Trump? He thinks he got in office based on the strength of his contingent of older, white guys. He seems to have completely forgotten about the slice of Mike Doyle’s District he got last year through redistricting that made the old white guy vote almost irrelevant. And anyway, are we saying that old white veterans have no concern for the honor and dignity of the country?

So that’s what Nancy’s dealing with. She’s got to make sure her contingent keeps the House next year.

I think there may be a little too much gazing into the crystal ball at this point.

One thing is for sure though. Trump has a history of getting away with things in the past and then doubling down on his worst instincts when he thinks he can get away with even more. You can look it up from the time he was fined by the feds for not renting to African Americans 40 years ago. He’ll do whatever he thinks he can get away with. That’s not forecasting. That’s just his nature.

And what does he want? Who knows but he’s got all his “acting” cabinet officials and Supreme Court justices all lined up. If he is a ruthlessly vengeful man who’s enraged by the damage to his image, I can easily imagine him deciding that if he’s going to go, he’ll take the whole place with him. You know, ship some DACA recipients to the desert in summer via cattle car, take all their stuff, dare anybody to make him stop as the death toll from heat exhaustion starts to climb. Maybe his Supreme Court will finally overturn Roe v Wade. That will cause anger, protests, and chaos. Maybe he’ll do something stupid on the financial front like refuse to pay our debts and watch our global credit rating plummet. Or allow Russia to have a free hand with the election next year, physically prevent African americans from voting, change the voting machines like they do in Minsk or East Bumfuck, Russia. Sure it’s unconstitutional but who’s going to stop him? Attorney General Bill Barr? Lololololol!!!!

He should be encouraged to resign. That would be the best scenario. The rest of us just want to get on with our lives and solve the healthcare issue, fix the consumer financial services problems, tackle global warming, make life more affordable and just and fair for regular people.

If we could strike a deal with Trump, pay him off to the tune of $10 billion and promise not to prosecute him when he leaves the White House, we would be saving ourselves money in the end. He could give some dorky speech where he makes it sound like a great sacrifice on his part and the networks would roll their eyes and read the prepared script that says what a hero of the working class he is who gave up his throne after the biggest inauguration crowd EVER blah blah blah. Then he could jump on his plane to a remote island and we’d all get back to business.

That’s the best scenario.

If I were Nancy, that’s what I’d be rolling around in my mouth with that Lifesaver as I contemplate my next move. Just pay him off for God’s sakes.

Or get rid of all of Trump’s droogs one by one until there is no one left to protect him.

Start with Bill Barr.

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Also…

That’s why she was hated. Relentless negative coverage works.

It worked in Ukraine with Yulia Tymoshenko too. She was the Russian test case. Falsely accused of multiple crimes, lots of negative propaganda. Eventually, she was thrown in jail to get her out of the way. She was eventually released and exonerated.

Lock her up indeed.

Why Republicans should take this report seriously: Chaos is a ladder

From what I’m hearing on my iPhone, the report is very, very damning for Trump. I guess the only bright spot in all of this is that so many of his underlings refused to carry out his illegal orders. So, yay, otherwise revolting Trump underlings with a smidge more honor than your boss.

Here’s the reason why Republicans should not dismiss the report: it could happen to your candidate next time. According to the report, it’s very easy to seed the public with propaganda so that an otherwise decent human being (not Jesus but better than most of us) can be cast as a completely corrupt politician with little to no redeeming value. It’s easy to hack into the IT systems of BOTH parties. If you’re curious about why Republicans are sticking with Trump in spite of his manifest corruption, it could be that the hackers found some tidbits they can use on people like Ted Cruz and Lindsay Graham.

It’s easy to target swing states with tailor made but wholly improbable stories about how your opponent has knocked of dozens of people. We don’t even know if the election was manipulated in the swing states but gosh, didn’t that crazy narrative about Wisconsin get a healthy airing the day after the election? Note, Wisconsin had no effect on Clinton’s loss. Pennsylvania had a huge impact.

Why did Russia try so hard to turn the election? Because there’s nothing better than instability to ruin your adversary. Chaos is the exact opposite of a smoothly running machine, which the US is (was) for the most part. But just imagine a world where the biggest superpower can’t get its shit together. If you wanted to invade another country or plow a path through the Middle East to give you access to a large body of water, it’s much easier when there’s no one big standing in your way. If you have billions of your people’s stolen assets, and there’s some asshole running around the globe getting an act passed so you can’t enjoy your ill gotten booty in Manhattan, you could make your problems all go away by getting your guy elected to not enforce sanctions.

The problem is, it’s your team that “won” this time. But it could be my team that “wins” next time. Or they could manipulate the system for some weird obscure third party. Sure, just manufacture support, hack some election machines, get the stooge to cooperate and voile! You could be looking at a Christian Socialist or Bernie Sanders in office.

It could happen. That’s what this report is saying. We are easily manipulated and the guy they got elected turned out to be onboard in every way. Just like President Jill Stein might be next time. I wouldn’t vote for her. But my ballot might say I did. And yours might too.

And once she’s in office, she can create all kinds of chaos because no one will be able to figure out how it happened.

It might be the Russians in 2016, the Chinese in 2020. Taking us down to the level of a bit player on the world stage has many benefits. Meanwhile, the taxes get even more uneven, infrastructure continues to disintegrate, social security deferred benefits become negligible and the whole country will be indebted to student loan companies and oil barons. We’ll start looking less like the US with every subsequent election and more like Greece.

That’s why you should care.

One more thing:

Trump and the Congressional Republicans have done nothing to secure the 2020 election or tighten cybersecurity. Maybe they think that they can use the Russian tactics to win and that the election will be in their favor.

Possibly.

But if Mueller’s report is accurate, there’s no guarantee of that. Tightening cybersecurity and securing the election could be a better strategy because there are only so many African Americans you can disenfranchise. It’s the other votes they have to be concerned about and which country or domestic actor is playing the part of Littlefinger.

Here’s the approved GOP talking point for today.

Yes, it doesn’t matter what Trump and his party have done or how many votes they have trampled on, we are all supposed to STFU today.

Without seeing all of the evidence.

Without knowing if Trump and his droogs perpetrated a coup on the rest of us.

Without Trump ever being held accountable for anything he’s ever done wrong including any national security violations.

The GOP must think that non-Trump voters are all a bunch of Democrats, Independents, non-voting, crunchy granola, highly manipulable Facebook addicted middle aged white working class whipkissers who are easily confused and can’t tell when a president and his party are lying, covering up and screwing us over with nimble hobnailed boot efficiency.

Hey, most of us have had teenagers in our homes. We have heard it all.

Good luck with that.

By the way, I usually refrain from giving advice but since Barr’s presser is likely to be some version of the GOP talking point shown above, and that it will have about as much relevant content as an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians, I’d just skip it altogether and wait for Preet Bharara’s debrief tonight on his Stay Tuned podcast.

Song du Jour:

Mueller Report Strategery

So, AG Barr is going to give a press conference where he massages the highly redacted Mueller report two hours before he hands it over to Congress. There is no question that what the report says is just the tip of the bad news for Trump. Can we all agree on that? It’s probably going to be embarrassing and describe unethical and corrupt behavior but in Barr’s hands, stop just shy of impeachment material.

The talking points are being written up now about how partisan Democrats are trying to stage a coup blah blah blah. In reality, the Mueller report is about the degree to which Trump propagated a coup against the rest of us who did not consider his character and behavior worthy of the honor of the office. Oh yeah, we were paying attention BEFORE the general election. There were a lot of hinky things going on that predicted Trump to be a dark stain on the history of our country.

Slightly off topic: Do Republicans hate Democrats and Independents more than they love their country? Sometimes, I think Nancy should have given him the money for his stupid wall. It would still be in the planning stage at this point and immigration fearful Trump voters would have had a lot less to be angry about. Maybe that could have freed their attention to actually watch what Trump is doing. And they might have asked themselves, if Jimmy Carter had done even half of what Trump has done, wouldn’t they have impeached his ass back to the Georgia peanut farm? The rest of us don’t have blinders on so challenging us on why Trump is a national security threat is easy. But what does it take for the Trump contingent to see it? Presumably, they are adamant about his innocence. And that might be a hopeful thought. Because innocence still seems important to them.

Anyway, all I ask is for the non-Trump voting Republican to maintain his dignity and decency. Siding with a man who is trying so hard to prevent the report to come out has the likelihood of tarnishing good Republicans someday. If you can have courage and are kind, why should you expect anything less from your president?

Back to the Mueller report. Mueller’s spokesperson reached out to the media to confirm that Mueller and his team will not be at Barr’s press conference tomorrow. Mueller’s team is literally saying that it is not standing behind Barr’s version of the report. And it’s clear now that the White House has been briefed on the contents because it is planning to issue a rebuttal. So, by this time tomorrow, the whole country will be flooded by Trumpian messaging that can’t be refuted because so far, no one, including Congress will have seen all of the evidence. Congress will subpoena the report and they will get it. No doubt about that. But the damage will be done because negative advertising works and the truth is just putting its shoes on while the lie makes it half way around the world.

Let’s just admit that’s what the plan is.

The only way around this is for the Mueller report to be leaked. About a week to ten days ago. And the people who actually have it are keeping vewy, vewy quiet.

The best time to release it would be about 7am. Just my humble opinion.

AG Barr and Michael Lewis: these things go together

If you are reading about the possibility that AG Barr has already divulged the contents of the Mueller Report to Trump (which would explain the 50 tweet storm he did the week before the summary), then you are probably already feeling that in today’s America “The authority of its referees is under attack”.

That last quote is from Michael Lewis’s new podcast, Against The Rules. Lewis is the author of best selling books The Big Short, Flash Boys and Moneyball. The first episode is about the NBA replay center in Seacaucus, NJ where every disputed play in professional basketball is analyzed within an inch of its life to keep the game fair and who disputes them anyway.

The metaphor takes awhile to get to the point but it gets to that point a lot more quickly today because Barr is a shining example of a bought ref who is dedicated to keep the game in Republican favor.

I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that Trump chose him for AG. He has a whole lifetime of picking his own refs. He’s richer than us and he’s had a lot of practice avoiding accountability.

Now, let’s go back and read those tweets from the week before Barr’s summary, shall we? I have a hunch that we will learn exactly what’s in Mueller’s report from them.

Worth repeating.

This is Donald Trump on immigration asylum seekers:

I’d call it security porn (there’s a category for everyone) but it goes much deeper than that. There’s a short YouTube video of Dominic Crossan (Jesus Seminar) who talks about Fundamentalism, the apocalypse and the language of pathology. If you skipped it the first several times you saw it, pay attention now:

It happened in Germany, it happened in Rwanda, it happened in Serbia and bosnia-hertzagovna. Now it’s starting to happen here. The evangelical right is impatient for an apocalypse and the MAGA crowd just wants to bash heads in.

The reason why Americans laugh this stuff off is because they think that it can’t happen here. This is wrong. It already has happened here. If you want a clear example, consider the Mountain Meadows Massacre on September 11, 1857. Brigham Young stirred up the Mormons to kill men, women and children who were just passing through Utah on the way to someplace better.

That massacre should be studied in detail because that’s where we’re headed. There are a lot of hot headed Trump supporters, fired up about government telling them what to do, they are afraid of immigrants stealing their stuff and they’ve got a leader who uses the language of pathology stir up their basest instincts.

And they have guns. A lot of them.

That doesn’t mean anyone has to be afraid of them or capitulate in any way just because they are menacing. Plus, as far as I know, there’s no law stopping the rest of us from buying a gun to defend ourselves- something you’d think the right wing nutters should have thought of.

They’re not the brightest bulbs in the pack. But they don’t really have to be to cause bloodshed.