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Mueller Friday on My Mind

There’s been a lot of hype leading up to this day. I hope it doesn’t disappoint. Mueller, Manafort and Cohen are expected in court today. Tonight, the Mueller junkies in the media and on twitter will be trying to see behind the big black horizontal redactions to figure out what’s going on. It’s like one of those cryptogram puzzles on the funny pages of the newspaper where you had to figure out what the sentence was from a few… huh?… what’s a funny page? Ok, never mind.

Let’s just read the expressions on everyone’s faces in the court room. Or have the artist sketch them. I guess we should feel grateful that there are no cameras in these proceedings. Too many selfies.

The bottom line is that shit’s about to get real.

To be honest, it’s been real for a long time now. It started getting real when Newt Gingrich enraged his base back in the 90s when the Republicans lost to Bill Clinton, who only won the plurality of votes instead of a majority (Thanks, Ross Perot!) Since then, it’s been hit after hit. The election debacle in 2000. The fact that George Bush was RE-ELECTED after 9/11 and that stupid Iraq War. The finance industry walking away with their bonuses after the Great Recession of 2008, the ubiquitous Gerrymandering post 2010 when the Obama DNC decided that nothing BUT Obama counted for anything and took its eye off the ball. The “election” of Trump in 2016. And now the GOP not recognizing simple things, like the voters don’t like it anymore and want to replace it. Republicans aren’t shoring up defenses. They didn’t win so they’re seizing power in any way possible.

Somewhere on Twitter yesterday I read that the GOP has become the main actor in our political theater. Everyone else is a supporting player. Republicans are the only ones with any agency, as written by the likes of the editors of The New York Times. The rest of us just react. It’s like reading The Lord of the Rings from Sauron and Mordor’s POV. How do the Orcs feel about what happened at the Battle of Pelanor Fields? Did they join the forces of Minas Morgul over economic issues?

Anyway, that’s the way it looks right now. But I don’t think Republicans should get too hygge about the fight they think they are winning. There’s a lot of pushback from the rest of us. The blue wave midterm is evidence of that. Sure the odds of reasserting our power are not in our favor. But we are beginning to see what we’re up against. It’s a ruthless, unprincipled party that is soaked in luscious donor campaign funds, doing whatever it thinks it can get away with in order to maintain power and separate the rest of us from the security and choice we thought we had all our lives.

The root cause is that Republicans did get away with it. We were told to be civil by an entrenched cohort of well heeled, embedded political pundits, to be gracious winners who lost, to let the baby have its way. And look where it got us to be nice. Wisconsin and Michigan voters are seeing their will overturned. North Carolina seemingly shreds absentee ballots, or has Republicans helpfully fill them out for the naive voters. And this is apparently O. K. because the justice system is willing to look the other way.

So now our fate is in the hands of a former FBI Director and a deputy AG who are fighting off Trump appointed zombies. The overall image of what is going on is coming into focus. There has been a coordinated effort to take over the country by power hungry guys from the south with the help of syndicates of the super rich and mafiosi posing as foreign governments.

The good guys are fighting valiantly. But maybe it’s time they stopped playing fair and just unredacted the court filings. Let us see the whole ugly thing so we are properly scared shitless.

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

And now for a little history lesson about our first Day of Infamy when we were attacked by a foreign power:

You learn something new everyday…

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Walk to Work Music. RD’s personal theme tune:

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32 Responses

  1. I cried.

  2. RD, Ezra Klein wrote yesterday Rs are much more to be feared for what they are doing than maybe trump. I am not sure why the party is not paying a bigger price for their nefariousness.

    • Who’s going to stop them? The House can vote to impeach but the Senate has to convict and it probably won’t. Let’s see what happens though. There will be some new senators coming in on the Republican side and Utah doesn’t like Trump.
      The justice system is the other problem. There are a lot of federalist judges who are cool with natural law.
      There are still some decent Republicans out there. The NC board of elections who decertified Harris is bipartisan and the vote was 9-0. Mueller and Rosenstein are Republicans. We were saved by Republicans in the justice department during Watergate.
      But I think what will really turn the tide against Trump, even with Republicans, will be more shocks to the economy. A lot of shallow, selfish Trump voters were fine with his horribleness when they were making money. Now that they’ve only broken even for the year, he might not look so strong and handsome.
      It’s always money.

  3. A taciturn corporatist has to school trump on what is legal and what is not! There must be more from where this came, right? There always is.

    • Which is worse: doing something you don’t know is illegal because you are a narcissistic ignoramus or doing something you know is illegal and doing it anyway for a buck? If memory serves, Exxon has done some pretty shady things on his watch. I’m not siding with dumpster here, just find it amusing that Tillerson says he took the high road.

  4. RD, thank you for the vid on the Pearl Harbor dead. I have four hard copy calendars in my home and only ONE identifies today as Pearl Harbor Day. WTF? The past is evaporating, the present is terrifying and the future has no place for me.

    On a lighter note, always loved Patty’s voice and The Warrior is still an anthem for many of us. Can you believe she and McEnroe are still happily married?

  5. The comment about the Republicans seeming to be the only ones with agency, was well observed. It is as if we are in some kind of stylized theater, or just a TV show, maybe about the mafia,, where the stars are the Republicans, and everyone waits to see what those appalling but always interesting people are up to now. Democrats are only allowed to react, and even then, they must adhere to strict rules about not reacting too much, and being good-natured about all of it. “Are Democrats going too far?” Republicans never go too far on this show; apparently the showrunners think that their audience would disappear if the show were mostly about the Democrats.

    I think that what is happening in WI, MI, NC, and every other state where Republicans have enough power to thwart the will of the voters, is one of the most monumentally awful things that has ever happened in our country. Just blatantly trying to get around the election results, and strip constitutional power from elected officials. This should be excoriated by the media, national officials, and everyone else, but it is apparently just another instance of, “Those bold Republicans employ a clever strategy, and Democrats are upset.” This is not a Punch and Judy show, though that is what the media wants to make it. And note that along with stripping power from elected officials, the Republicans have managed to pass strict voter ID laws in many states, with the only real purpose being to suppress votes. There is no impersonation election fraud, that has been the dupe narrative which Republicans have employed for the last decade or so, in order to have cover for making it much more difficult for people to vote, so that Republicans can win. It does not take a detective to always figure out what the Republican playbook is; they telegraph it, they pervade the media with a narrative; which always has an obvious design behind it, which anybody can figure out. But they have the power given to them by the media which simply will not show them for what they are, which is fascists who will gain and keep power by any means. If Trump were the only problem, we could surmount that, but it goes much deeper. We are a two-party country, where one of the parties has completely and probably forever abdicated any sense of fairness, decency, or democracy. And how does that ever get fixed?

    • The “mainstream” media are owned by the same kind of McDucks who own the wingnut media. McDucks want the GOP to keep power, because that means only trivial taxes on McDucks.

  6. And I definitely think that it’s time Democrats stopped playing fair, because, 1) we are in a war; and 2) fairness is really a transactional thing which shifts according to the situation, and the people you are dealing with. I’m all for ethics and empathy, but you cannot win a game or a war, where the other side continually cheats, lies, and steals, and all you will do in response is say, “Darn it, you cads!,”

    The master of mollification may have ruined the Democratic Party, though very few see it. I had a long argument with my brother, in which he insisted that Obama was by far the greatest president in his lifetime, and that “all the historians say it.” I told him that Clinton was better; and that while Obama was certainly a decent person, we are in this awful current position in large measure because he would not fight Republicans. The argument got nowhere, of course, but it did remind me of something I had forgotten: the “Grand Bargain” which according to many accounts, Obama wanted as a signature of his presidency; where Social Security and Medicare were cut, as part of a deal on deficits. I also brought up the point I often make here, about Obama not just putting Garland on the Court, and letting the Republicans be the ones who complained and sued. Not that any of this helps us now, but the legal question would be: How long can a Senate abrogate its constitutional responsibility to “advise and consent” with regard to a Supreme Court nominee? There would have to be some limit; otherwise the Senate could simply refuse to ever hold a hearing on a nominee coming from another party. The Supreme Court simply could not stand for that proposition. Taking something to an hypothesized extreme is essential in coming to a legal conclusion. But he did not want to test it out; it was just hoped that Hillary would win, which would avoid the immediate confrontation, and hand it off to her to deal with. We may never get the Supreme Court back, as the Republicans will make sure that all right-wing Justices will retire during Republican administrations. The only way out would be for the Democrats to win ten presidential elections in a row, and control the Senate during all of it. The Scalia vacancy was a crucial moment in American history; and in my opinion, President Obama failed it. If you are playing poker, and the other person cheats in hand after hand; you can’t wait until you are down to your last few chips, to start trying to do something about it.

    • Yes, Obama was Chamberlain when we needed Churchill.

      OTOH, no one else who mattered thought the Orange Traitor was going to win, either–including, by many accounts, Benedict Donald himself.

      • If only Obama really were this sharp.

        (He’s smart, but he’s not sharp. Not quite the same thing.)

      • Shouldn’t they have known that he had a real chance to win? Everyone knew that the voting machines have been compromised. Hell, Germany even banned the suckers. Obama did nothing. When they had both houses in Congress they did nothing. They did not take any proactive steps to put a stop to the corruption that was fomenting all around us. When push came to shove and they could have actually done something before the election what did they do? Nothing. They dithered around and let it all happen. All the guy cared about was pushing off the most right wing piece of legislation ever created and for his thanks the Republicans all hated it and used it as a tool to bludgeon Democrats with. Obama was a terrible President for a lot of reasons. The anti-Obama nutjobs are correct about that. They just don’t understand why he was terrible. They see his skin color and that is all they see. All of the stuff that actually matters they don’t have a clue about.

        • Gregory, couldn’t agree more. The gutting of the VRA also happened on his watch and as far as I know, he did nothing to counteract the blatant voter suppression that followed. To me, it was always about Obama, not the country, POC or even the party. He always got too much credit for what he said and did (media rarely criticized him) and his “legacy” got too much play in 2018. He was always a schmoozer, all talk, no action, but he was oh so likeable and inspirational. (Getting the Nobel prize before he did anything was insulting to those who earned their nominations and another example of his show horse persona.) I think Obama was surrounded with some really good people who did the hard work, but he was and is just a snake oil salesman who prepared the way for trump. I am getting the same vibe off AOC. She is being groomed, literally and figuratively, for higher office and greater political influence. Time will tell if she does more harm than good, as well. Personally, I am tired of pretty faces, sweet talkers and grifters.

    • I think that’s an understandable impulse, but if everybody’s decided to “stop playing fair” then who is going to defend what’s left of the constitutional order and what’s left of civil liberties?

      There’s a big difference between “playing hardball” and abusing authority. One of the advantages of a Classics background is having a pretty good idea what happens to republics and democracies when everyone decides it’s okay to cross that line and “stop playing fair”. It isn’t pretty.

      You’re absolutely right about Obama (and Reid for that matter).

  7. I always seem to post here just when RD is going to put up a new thread, so here, from last thread:

    • We don’t see what Hillary thought, but it was probably unprintable, anyway. 😈

  8. Why did Trump pick Barr to be new AG? Trump does nothing without some kind of purpose. Did Barr promise him that he would fire or rein in Mueller? And Barr provides cover for this, because he was AG under GHW Bush,and thus has some credibility? Barr has written editorials saying that Hillary should be prosecuted. Is he going to do that? There is no way that Trump picked him because Trump knew of his legal background or past AG work. Somebody gave him the name, and Trump certainly has demands for what his AG should do. Maybe he wanted someone whom he knew would be confirmed, and yet would do what he wanted. There is no way that Barr is going to do what we would call a creditable job in this role.

  9. OMG… is this why? And something suspicious about all these ex. Bushies in the trump WH. My speculation is that they are all playing the long game to protect the R party. Quietly move trump out after his 4 years and prevent the party from burning to the ground.

    • Makes you wonder exactly when did we lose our republic? Look at the people they destroy or try to. Look at who succeeds. Who ever makes the chess moves for the GOP, anticipates superbly, knows how to maneuver through the system, eliminates threats with surgical precision and masterfully markets individuals and manipulates psyches to advance the agenda. Most of us are just unwitting pawns. Who controls the board? Of two things I am reasonably sure: the Master(s) is/are male and white. Then again, maybe the GOP is but a tool of the Master(s) as well.

  10. 😛 😈 😆

  11. A hostile foreign government which is, itself, a criminal enterprise.

  12. Is trump guilty or guilty, that is all I want to know.

  13. 😈 😆

    • Thanks, IBW, for posting this article. I found this paragraph particularly important:

      “As the number of World War II veterans, Pearl Harbor survivors, Holocaust survivors and indeed any person who carries such rich living history with them continues to dwindle, the threat of losing perspective on critical events begins to surface. That’s why, experts say, it’s important to not only preserve that history, but also to realize how deeply events like World War II continue to reverberate in the present.”

      We must never forget the cost of war, the lives lost.

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