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      One is not required to bomb hospitals, to torture, or to engage in mass killing of civilians when one is a chief of state. “My favorite war criminal did less war crimes than your war criminal,” is not a defense. That people feel the need to defend those who do such things when in power […]
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It’s got to be something big

That’s what journalists are saying about what it is that Donald Trump must be hiding. How else do you explain the tweetstorm he wrote this weekend?

Does anyone want to speculate?

************************

Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager, goes on trial today. Jury selection begins. The charges against him today appear to be auxiliary to the suggestions of conspiracy against the United States to interfere with a national election with the help of a foreign adversary (I’m sure that’s coming) Nevertheless, this is an impressive list. Paul has been a very busy guy:

************************

Walk to work music:

It’s HISTORY!

Two things

1.) There is an old saying that “it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission”.

That doesn’t apply to any conspiracy that Trump may have engaged in with the Russians to win the election. I have no doubt that the Republican Party will try to say that it’s all water under the bridge, you can’t roll back time and we just have to go forward from here.

I think we should resist that bs.

The 2016 election will go down in history as the most consequential election in a century. I don’t even want to think about the lives Trump has ruined, the tax money stolen from us, the judges who will have the final say over women, gay people, immigrants, working class people for decades and decades to come.

They have committed violence to the country. They have been extremely aggressive in pushing through their pro-fossil fuel industry, anti-environment, anti-science agenda. Trump has enriched himself at the risk of damaging our national security.

We can’t forgive. We have to demand that no effort is spared to make things right again once it is proven that Trump and the Republicans stole the election and they are illegitimately running the country into the ground. All of their actions need to be reversed ASAP.

We should plug our ears when they start trying to move on.

2.) The reason we are in this mess to begin with is that a succession of institutions and people in power let it happen because it was entertaining or because they had a spine made of jello. That includes the GOP who didn’t take him out early, the media who thought it was all so fun. President “lifeguard in chief” Obama who went to McConnell asking for a bipartisan statement and promptly threw up his hands when he didn’t get one (oh dear! what could I dooooo???). Then there was the electoral college who was SUPPOSED to be a backstop but turned out to be a rubber stamp.

All of these individuals had an opportunity to stop the madness and didn’t. My French colleague told me that Americans are way too optimistic. We force positivism on each other. It’s all going to turn out right. Lots of smiles all around.

That’s because we haven’t lived through world wars fought on our soil. We didn’t know what it was like to deal with a repressive regime before. But you don’t have to experience something directly to understand the danger of a dangerous thing. You don’t need to stick your hand in a furnace to know it’s hot. You can read or listen to the experiences of others. So, really, there was absolutely no excuse for what has happened to us. There were books written and studies available. Our imaginations were all that was required to figure this out.

That being said, if it turns out that there is sufficient proof to charge Trump and Co with treason, then it is inexcusable that we abide by some arcane rule that a sitting president prevents us from arresting and indicting him. Impeachment means removing him from office. Arrest him first, THEN impeach his ass.

I’m tired of pulling the fire alarm only to have the fireman not take the inferno seriously.

If it’s treason, he has to go. Immediately. To protect our national security. I don’t care how it’s done. Just do it.

So, he was onboard from the beginning.

Trump knew about the meeting with Veselnitskaya in Trump Tower and he knew it wasn’t about orphans. Can we all agree with that?

So? So what? Is that illegal??

If the discussion centered around getting illgotten booty that was hacked from the DNC by a foreign government, yeah, I think so.

Maybe it was a package deal. It came with hacked emails and Russian social media trolls. The Cambridge Analytica data mining was extra. Trump had to pull Steve Bannon onto his team for that.

I’m just waiting for the money part to come out. Was Michael Cohen involved in that too? Was Roger Stone the bag man? Curiouser and curiouser.

You know, Trumpers, we get why you are mad. Most of it is irrational and self destructive and nauseates us but we get it. That’s still no excuse to saddle the country with this ignorant, stupid, criminal guy as our president. And we get it that you really didn’t like Hillary. 🙄 By that I mean that you have said it over and over again so it must be true but we still have no idea why you can’t see what’s really going on here.

In any case, why does your crazy hatred carry more weight than what the majority of the country wants? You can use that electoral college bullshit until you’re blue in the face but it’s like winning a Super Bowl on a bad ref call. Everyone can see that your team didn’t deserve to win, especially when the other team scored a lot more points.

Now that we know that he couldn’t have won the presidency on his own, you’re going to have to put up with our fury. Because as bad as Trump is, the full impact of his ineptitude and the not so secret agenda of the Republicans is not going to be felt until they’re out of office and it’s going to affect all of us, even those of us who pleaded with you not to cut off our body parts and disfigure us in front of the whole world.

And who always cleans up after the Republicans ruin the economy? That’s right. The Democrats.

But don’t think we’ll ever forget how you shoved this monster down our throats when we could have had a grown up whose only sin was her email address.

********************

I think this tweet summarizes how the world sees us.

Hey, Lady, it’s just a FLAG. A piece of cloth. It is a thing. And I haven’t seen any foreigner disrespect a striped and spangled piece of cloth. I don’t even know how you do that. A piece of cloth has no feelings.

The American people do. And the only American people who are being consistently disrespected are the ones who didn’t vote for Trump. Are we saying we can give him a pass for all the other awful things he does because he hugs a piece of cloth?

That makes sense… how, exactly?

******************************

You people are always Gentle on my Mind😘:

Long Day Walk Home

Ahhtthfghjj! I can’t look at another PowerPoint deck today.

Catch me up. What did I miss?

Walking to the bus music:

I don’t want to alarm anyone but…

…I read some disturbing Tweets yesterday from people all across the country who report that their voter registrations have been cancelled. These are voters who have voted in recent elections. They are located in Georgia and Ohio but, let’s face it, you could be located anywhere. Most notably, they are not POC. They just happen to be Democrats.

Pretty soon, registration to vote in your state may be over. Make sure you haven’t been dropped. And this is especially important pif you are a woman living in a voter ID state. If your name has been changed due to marriage or unmarriage, make sure you have your marriage license or divorce decree with the page authorizing the use of your current name before you vote. I wouldn’t put it past the Trumpers in hardass states to challenge women at the polls.

And if all else fails, register as a Republican for the general. Try to not throw up. On New Year’s day, reregister as a Democrat.

How can we miss you if you won’t go away?

Maggie Haberman wrote a “good-by cruel world” op/ed piece in the NYTimes the other day explaining why she is leaving Twitter.

The evening before, I had complained to a close friend that I hated being on Twitter. It was distorting discourse, I said. I couldn’t turn off the noise. She asked what was the worst that could happen if I stepped away from it.

Twitter has stopped being a place where I could learn things I didn’t know, glean information that was free from errors about a breaking news story or engage in a discussion and be reasonably confident that people’s criticisms were in good faith.

I confess, I might have been one of those people who criticized poor Maggie. I asked her to atone in the last tweet I sent her. I hope it was my tweet that made her take a break. I got very annoyed that she continued to pop up on my feed when I wasn’t following her. I could have blocked her but then I would have missed out on the strange sense of exhilaration I felt when others scolded her for her 2016 election coverage.

But wait! There’s more:

The viciousness, toxic partisan anger, intellectual dishonesty, motive-questioning and sexism are at all-time highs, with no end in sight. It is a place where people who are understandably upset about any number of things go to feed their anger, where the underbelly of free speech is at its most bilious.

Twitter is now an anger video game for many users. It is the only platform on which people feel free to say things they’d never say to someone’s face. For me, it had become an enormous and pointless drain on my time and mental energy.

That sounds bad.

But imagine what it was like running for president and having a paper’s worth of flying monkeys emanating from Maureen Dowd’s butt attacking you day after day.

She shouldn’t have used a private email server.

She should apologize for using the email server.

She apologized but it wasn’t sincere.

She should read our minds about how we want her to address the email server and to grovel so we can humiliate her more.

She’s unlikeable.

Nobody likes her.

Her supporters aren’t enthusiastic.

Why is she running?

She is associated with the Clinton Foundation.

She is associated with Bill Clinton

She’s MARRIED to Bill Clinton.

WHY is she married to Bill Clinton??

She gave a paid speech to Goldman Sachs.

She won’t tell us what’s in the speech.

That means she sold out her voters. Her voters have a right to know what she sold them for.

Why doesn’t she ever talk about what she wants to do as president? She never talks about policy.

Everyone likes Bernie more.

Everyone likes Trump even more than Bernie.

Trump! Trump! Trump! He’s appalling but GOSH, People really like him!

Look! Trump can say anything he wants and we are in awe!

Why can’t Hillary do that?

And why doesn’t she talk about important things? Like her email server? Did you see Matt Lauer go after her on her email server?

She got so mad. She has no right to be mad. She’s running for President. We can beat her up as much as we want.

Maggie can’t understand why people on Twitter are so angry with her. For some strange reason, Maggie does not seem to join cause and effect. Maggie’s writing and the writings of the other members of her clique on The Paper of Record helped to reduce what should have been Hillary’s insurmountable lead to almost nothing.

Hillary and her campaign volunteers faced an uphill battle against gale force winds with chains around their legs all election season. We got NOWHERE with a very high number of undecided voters who told us again and again that they were primed to expect something bad on Hillary’s emails just before the election. Now, how did that email thing get to be such a big deal?

What Maggie has shown us is that a woman running for president can never be too perfect even if the worst thing she has ever done pales in comparison to the least corrupt thing her male opponent has ever done. Maggie shows us how to make a Mt. Everest in a blizzard out of the littlest thing and how she can normalize a man who is the most unfit for president. Maggie is a master of confirmation bias and only saw what she wanted to see, ignoring the 65 million people who voted for Hillary.

But isn’t that the point? The NYTimes has no interest in the great crowd of average Americans who just want stability and competence. Where’s the story in that?? Besides, the real target audience is the finance industry just down the road a spell. They think of themselves as too enlightened for Trump but they needed to send Hillary a message in case she decided to crack down on them. The message was “we will make your administration a living nightmare”. And Maggie was one of theirs.

Maggie doesn’t see the average Americans who are going to suffer under this presidency because she is paid not to see. To her, Clinton supporters are unenthusiastic, if they exist at all.

Except they do exist on Twitter. Lots of them. And they told Maggie exactly what they thought of her. I don’t think the comments were particularly sexist. At least she hasn’t had to put up with them for 10 years. And anyway, we Hillary supports grew a thick skin. Maggie is only getting a teensy taste of what it’s been like for the rest of us for the last decade. She can dish it out but she can’t take it?

A Pulitzer is not the same as a Nobel. And Maggie has done nothing to improve the human condition.

Buh-bye, Maggie.

Don’t write a book and go on a speaking tour talking about what you’ve learned from the 2016 election.

Just go away.

****************************

Oh SNAP! This is going to leave marks (read the whole thread. Devastating.)

Talking heads, don’t try to overthink this moment

Are Democrats all going socialist? No. Do we welcome Democratic Socialists into our party. Yes. Did we like Bernie Sanders ideas? Yes. Did we like the way Bernie Sanders let his inner narcissist out in 2016? No.

Do we like Conor Lamb? Yes. Do we like Doug Jones? Yes. Do we like Heidi Heitcamp? Well, her constituents do. We can count on her for some important votes.

We are not all going all “knit your own sandals”. Are some of us going more left and “let’s all go in this together because that way we have more negotiating power and can force bulk discounts”? Yes.

This is the God’s honest truth: there is the Democratic Party and then there is the Nationalist Republican Party. There’s more variety and spirit in the Democratic Party right now. It’s energized, it’s forward thinking and it’s pissed off and taking names.

I personally welcome our democratic socialist overlords as long as they are actual Democrats and want to bring new ideas to the table.

They aren’t going to take over the party but so what if there are more of them if what America really wants is Finnish baby boxes, Medicare for All, affordable higher education and giving working people more ability to control their lives?

That’s a bad thing?

“There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”

George Bernard Shaw

****************************

And now a reminder and Public Service Announcement to those of you who are playing whack-a-mole with those online harassers who want to intimidate you and drown out your voice:

They don’t know you. So what if they think you’re fat, ugly, <fill in the blank>. They only say that sh*t because women, especially, are conditioned to take it personally. So don’t. Because…

The internet is the great equalizer. You can say whatever you like and express any political opinion and get your own blog and no one can shut you up. You control the horizontal and the vertical. If some asshole troll starts to harass you, you can block them or vote them off the island or…

Play with them before you eat them. The great thing about the Internet is you have a grace period to come back with some devastating, humiliating, witty response that will make them run for their mommies. Double down on it and don’t let up. Channel your inner Michael Avenatti and take the MFers on. They think liberals are soft and squishy. Show them that you’re not and don’t be afraid because…

In the end, we’re all just little black pixels on a display. Their little black pixels cannot hurt you. They don’t have the energy to get off their sofas to come get you so don’t let them get under your skin. You have as much power as they do. Even more. Eat red meat, take some heads, roar, do it again and again and Don’t. Back. Down.

Now, I want each one of you go out there and bring me 100 scalps of some dissed Republican Nazis and Russian Vodka infused Bernie Bros.

Sound good?

(Amnesty to all the Trumpers who are coming out of their psychogenic fugue states and are wondering what the hell just happened to them. Give them some online chocolate and tell them they’ll feel better soon)

**********************************

I like where Brian is going with this:

**********************************

Noted

Don’t confuse McDougal with Stormy Daniels, the porn actress who accepted money through Cohen’s office to put the lid on her alleged affair with Trump in 2006, around the time that Trump’s third wife, Melania, gave birth to their son, Barron. Daniels is blond. Sure, McDougal describes a similar affair with Trump that overlapped with Daniels’, as well as Melania’s postpartum adjustment to new motherhood and of course Barron’s early infancy. But McDougal is a brunette.

We were warned

This is The Briefing that the Clinton campaign put out before the election in 2016:

I saw this at the time and I had read a lot of different sources to back it up. So, it didn’t seem far fetched or conspiratorial. They were pretty measured in their presentation, citing only the facts they knew and asking questions about things they didn’t know. Maybe they should have gone all crazy hyperbolic like the Republicans were doing. That might have gotten more attention. Probably Maggie Haberman would have written about how the unlikeable Hillary was desperately trying to deflect attention away from her emails or something like that.

I took this seriously but what if you aren’t a political junky?

It’s probably worse than we think. The handler for Mariia Butina laid out the scenario in 2015 assuming pretty confidently that Republicans would win in 2016.

My tin foil antenna were twitching after August 2016 when both Trump and the media tried to pin Hillary down on what she would do if’s she lost Pennsylvania. That was unlikely at the time, so why PA specifically? It made me think that Trump knew that PA was going to go his way so for it to go Hillary’s way would mean she was going to steal it from him. Like hacking the hackers.

More and more, I’m beginning to think that Hillary actually won the election and that vote totals were changed. It would explain the 3 million vote discrepancy. I can see how 2000 happened with Gore. The vote difference was minute. But 3 million more votes for Clinton and she still lost? Let’s just say I am a skeptic. It feels like PA should have gone her way. I’m just waiting for the evidence.

I think it’s out there. It will surface one way or another.

It’s not too late to turn against Trump, oh you lurkers out there. You can call your senator or congressman and express your discomfort. This is the best time to do it. In a few weeks, all the avenues to make your views known might be disabled to you and America as we know it will be no more.

I only wish I were crazy hyperbolic.

*******************************

And another thing:

Politico posted today about how 68% of Republicans still support and believe Trump after this week’s disasters. Wow, that sounds like a lot, especially to Americans who are as bad at math as I am. Fortunately, this is one problem I can solve.

Approximately 25% of the country’s voters are registered as Republicans. If 68% of them are still supporting Trump, that’s:

.68 x .25 = .17

Or 17% of Americans support Trump.

17%

Nixon resigned when he got to about 25%

The Republicans should have forced him out by now instead of doubling down because these numbers suggest that they’re definitely going to lose complete stranglehold of Congress in November.

Unless they allow the election to be hacked in their favor. That might explain why fixing the system keeps getting voted down by Republicans in the House. They don’t want to fix it because it’s not broken for them.

But think about it. If they retain Congress in November, that means our country will be governed by a tiny minority.

Amnesty, Trump voters, means that we accept you back. But it comes with responsibilities.

**********************************

Speaking of responsibility, PA Governor Tom Wolf is already on the election issue:

I don’t know how much it would cost and I am skeptical as to whether the Republicans who have a lock on the PA legislature will go along with it but I would like to see the state convert to mail in paper ballots. PA’s voting machines do not currently have a paper trail, making them a tempting target to the Russians in 2016.