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    • The Class War the Rich Won And the End Of NeoLiberal Capitalism
      Many years ago now, I wrote a post called “There Was a Class War And %he Rich Won.” Ironically, post the financial meltdown of 07/8, and thanks to Bush, Obama, Bernanke and Geithner both bailing them out and immunizing them from their crimes, that victory has accelerated. This chart, from Harvard, tells the story of […]
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Time to pay the piper.

Trump is going to go down. I think it’s going to happen quickly. I could be wrong. Maybe the Republicans will save him. But I think the sheer weight of all the criminal activities that he’s involved in is going to finally be too much even for the most determined Trumper. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a lot more to come. I just don’t see how he can continue like this. Now that Novartis and AT&T and who knows who else have been implicated in buying access and helping to pay off porn stars, he’s going to have to resign. Those two companies alone wrote checks for $600,000.00 combined. What did that get them? Elimination of Net Neutrality? A guarantee that the VA wouldn’t get too much of a break on pharmaceuticals?

And don’t forget that both Cohen and Broidy were on the Republican party’s campaign committee. So the whole party could be implicated. What does Devin Nunes want to hide for his buddies in the house?

It’s massive. It’s messy. It’s mortifying in some respects. It’s really hard to comprehend how someone so corrupt and compromised could end up president after getting just enough electoral college votes to edge out the most qualified presidential candidate we have ever had. She is a Girl Scout in comparison.

The whole country should look into its collective soul and make a earnest effort to understand it and let it never happen again. Trump ended an agreement with Iran today that makes the mullahs look sympathetic. He and Congress are planning to strip children of health insurance funds in order to cover the massive hole in the budget caused by those tax cuts. Health insurance companies are going to hike their premiums for Obamacare policies by something like 63% in some states. It’s all coming apart. He isn’t going to oust the swamp monsters. He is the biggest swamp monster of them all. And I suspect the monsters are all going to turn on their own.

Get used to the idea of President Pence. It’s only for two years.

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Holy Snot, I can’t keep up!

The details are starting to roll out about what is in Michael Cohen’s files and they are so over the top that there is speculation that Trump is committing as many crimes as possible so that the FBI don’t know what to charge him with first.

First up, that playmate model that the deputy chair of the Republican Finance committee allegedly knocked up? You know, the one that Eliot Broidy paid $1.6 million dollars to? According to this article in New York Magazine, that scenario doesn’t seem to fit Broidy’s MO. But it sure as heck fits Donald Trump’s:

While Broidy’s business dealings are the epitome of the sort of swampy sleaze that Trump promised to drain from federal government decision-making, his home life is by contrast extremely stable, and, to all appearances, quite conventional. Broidy is 60 years old, and has been married for over 25 years to a woman of about his own age, with whom he has had three children. His wife is an attorney who was previously a senior vice-president at 20th Century Fox (she has reportedly been involved in some of Broidy’s more questionable business dealings). While of course it’s not impossible that Broidy chose to pursue a dangerous liaison with Miss November 2010, his biography is not that of a man who has the appearance of a likely candidate to have an affair with a Playboy playmate several decades younger than himself. He is not, in other words, a thrice-married serial adulterer with an established record of sleeping with models, playmates, and porn stars.

There’s more very interesting details that lead away from Eliot Broidy and towards Donald Trump. Read the whole thing.

The second revelations is that Michael Cohen was receiving large sums of money from Russian oligarchs. I know, right? Who didn’t see that coming? But did you know who else he received checks from?

That money went to Essential Consultants, Cohen’s LLC set up to transfer funds to porn stars and playmates.

I could see it if Cohen was collecting that money as a member of the Republican finance committee, something he and Broidy have in common. So what happened to that money? What was it for?

And here’s a handy graphic of all these players and their connection to Trump:

Curiouser and curiouser.

What’s next? Rachel Maddow should stop planning her shows and just wing it from now on.

Roll on

I heard some cries of despair last night when Eric Schneiderman went down. From what I hear of his behavior, you shouldn’t be distressed. His accusers have contemporaneous accounts, they have pictures, they went to doctors. He hit women out of the blue with no provocation. And let’s be clear about this, the only time you have provocation to hit someone is if they come at you first.

The reporting is impeccable. It’s Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer. I don’t get the impression that they take any joy in doing this. They’re certainly not singling out anyone in the Democratic Party for punishment while ignoring the other side. Are you kidding? Farrow used to work at the Clinton state department. He knows what’s at stake in the political climate. This is not a case of political ratf*cking ala Roger Stone.

If anything, these women were willing to keep quiet for much longer than they should have in order to not jeopardize the investigations against Trump. Otherwise, Eric would have and should have been exposed right after Harvey Weinstein. They prioritized the greater good over their own #metoo moments.

But we have to hold men to a certain standard of behavior or things will never improve. Some of Schneiderman’s accusers say they feared retribution from him and they were particularly mindful of what his energy means to the investigations Schneiderman is pursuing. But a guy like this should lose his job. He should face the same kind of consequences as the women who are too afraid to come forward.

Yes, I feel badly about Franken. I don’t put any of the stuff flung at him in the same category. I would have preferred an investigation. But there is no mechanism in Congress now to hold any representative or senator accountable or give him a fair hearing. That’s the way the Gingrich contingent set it up in the 90’s. The only thing we can do at this point is hold our own accountable.

When it comes to NY AG, the bench is deep. Twitter was all a-twitter last night about appointing Preet Barhara to that office in the interim. That’s probably not a bad idea. But there are other worthy candidates including at least one woman. As long as Andrew Cuomo is governor of New York, there will be a suitable replacement for Schneiderman. We can’t rest of our hopes on one man.

So, don’t shed any tears for Eric, who reportedly strangled a woman after he smacked her face, threw her on the bed and pinned her down with his weight. Strangulation is very serious and is a leading indicator in murder of domestic partners. We can’t excuse it. Ever. He could have killed her.

And maybe we should look at what it is about the AG position in NY that attracts guys who think they will never have to answer for what they do. Remember Eliot Spitzer? What makes them so cocky? What kind of culture is in that department? Cleaning up shouldn’t end with Eric’s resignation. There’s something deeply unsettling going on there.

Now, let’s get the anger and frustration out of our systems, put the blame squarely on Eric, and keep our eyes on the prize this November.

Find a campaign to work for and do something to change this country while you still can.

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This picture in this tweet is unintentionally hilarious:

“Stop in the name of JEEEESUS, I say unto you. Go back to the fiery depth of hades, oh Pele, demon of fire, I cast you out!!”. That having failed, Doug turned and ran like hell.

I don’t feel too sorry for anyone who lost their houses to Pele. They chose to locate them on an active volcano. No one who built didn’t know the risks. It comes with the territory. Maybe the state shouldn’t allow building there. It would save everyone a lot of trouble.

I’ve been to Kiluea twice, once as a child and once in 2009 where I walked one of the craters. Volcanos are awesome. They are also hot and dangerous. Don’t build on them because you can’t count on an exorcism to turn the lava away.

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I’m fancying a walking vacation in Scotland. Is anyone out there interested in coming along?

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It’s nice in Pittsburgh today. Sunny, warm, a beautiful morning. The light is glinting off the river. The water just over the other side of the road meanders and makes its way to the Mississippi and connects us to the rest of the Midwest and the south. Enjoy.