Showing posts with label Common Sense. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Common Sense. Show all posts

Monday, June 18, 2018

When Did You Figure It Out?

By RfrancisR

In a tweet, ABC News called Trump’s child concentration camps “shelters.”
When did you first realize that the Republican Party jumped the shark and began falling into a deep dark abyss of hostility to facts, reason, and empathy?

Was it when Nixon sent the National Guard to Kent State which resulted in that horrific massacre of anti-war protesters?  Maybe for some it was Nixon and Watergate?  Well, I get it. It would be fairly understandable to believe those were  just aberrations.

But why wasn’t it enough to come to that understanding when  Reagan decided to launch his 1980 campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi the city where some of the most brutal civil rights killings took place, but not to memorialize the dead and and send a warning to the future, but to embrace concepts like “reverse racism,” which was clearly a dog whistle to the “I will tell you who the REAL racists are”?

OK, maybe coincidence? What about his nomination of a deeply racist man in Jeff Sessions to a federal judgeship? Or the nomination of an equally racist man in Judge Bork to the Supreme Court who also called the Ninth amendment to the constitution an “irrelevant inkblot.”


What about Reagan’s press secretary cracking jokes about gay men dying of AIDS during an official White House press conference?

What about Reagan’s cynical invention of the racist “welfare queen” stereotype of poor black women?

What about what remains one of the most hateful political conventions in history in the 1992 Republican Convention?

No? Just a few bad apples?

What about Bob Dole’s return of donations to the Log Cabin Republicans as to avoid offending his right wing base because he did not want to be seen as affiliating himself with LGBT who agreed with the Republican Party’s platform on all but one measure?

What about the subliminal confession of an absence of compassion for the suffering of others among the Republican faithful when George W Bush felt a need to coin the term “compassionate conservatism.”

No? What about when the Republican majority on Supreme Court decided to take the unprecedented step of reviewing state election law to shutdown attempts to have a proper recount in Florida?

No? Not then either?

What about when the Bush administration fabricated an excuse to go into a preemptive war in Iraq? What about Colin Powell’s fake vial of anthrax at the UN? What about Condi Rice’s mushroom cloud scare tactics to grow support for that illegal war? And it was an illegal war.

What about Abu Ghraib? Guantanamo? Water boarding? “Enhanced interrogation? No?

What about the cult of personality surrounding Sarah Palin who ran a smear campaign against Obama so awful that her own running mate had to refute her claims?

What about the threat of martial law in the USA if Congress did not give $800 billion to the big banks?

What about lies about “death panels?” What about “do not ask what good you could do?”

What about tea party activists waving guns at protests outside of events featuring Obama?

When did you figure it out? Was it when Republicans booed Rick Perry from uttering that very politically incorrect term “compassion” at a Republican debate? Did you figure it out then? Did you figure it out when mass shooting after mass shooting Republicans refused to act to protect the citizenry for the sake of the gun industry that lined their pockets?

What about the enthusiasm for Trump’s overt racism, xenophobia, islamaphobia?

If you just figured out the Republican Party is deep into an abyss of darkness, lies, mendacity, racism, and bigotry when they got to ripping babies from their mother’s arms, and refusing to give those children back to the mothers after immigration proceedings were over, you figured it out too late.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Monticello Officially Recognizes The Rest Of Thomas Jefferson’s Children

Our founding father, my 6th great-grandfather, had 6 children with his slave Sally Hemings

Monday, June 11, 2018

After fleeing the G-7 in a pique, Trump the Russian spy traitor heads to Singapore

By Hunter

QUEBEC CITY, QC - JUNE 09:  US President Donald Trump leaves after holding a press conference ahead of his early departure from the G7 Summit on June 9, 2018 in Quebec City, Canada. Canada are hosting the leaders of the UK, Italy, the US, France, Germany and Japan for the two day summit, in the town of La Malbaie.  (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
The chicken and his spare ribs
The United States government is currently headed by a traitor. We should mention that before anything else, and keep mentioning it until it finally dawns on the nation that puttering around on the outskirts of that conclusion is doing nobody any good, and is doing a great deal of harm.

All currently available evidence supports this statement. We know from the emails released by Trump Jr. that the campaign orchestrated a Trump Tower meeting between themselves and Russian government go-betweens specifically for the purposes of receiving information about his opponent, during the midst of a Russian espionage campaign against that opponent. We know from the text of that email that the meeting was arranged as "part of" the Russian government's support for Donald Trump, making certain that Trump and his team knew their collaboration was with a foreign government. We know that as sitting resident Donald Trump, when confronted with the imminent public exposure of this meeting, ordered and orchestrated a statement intentionally designed to cover up its true purpose.

And we know the meeting was not isolated, but part of an ongoing effort by numerous members of the Trump campaign to seek out Russian "channels" during a period of time in which, according to the now-public determinations of our nation's various intelligence agencies, the Russian government was conducting both espionage and propaganda campaigns against the U.S. in order to throw that election to Trump's team.

So that makes Donald Trump a traitor to his nation, according to the dictionary definition of the term. What that makes Republican lawmakers still seeking to sabotage the government investigation of his acts–from the unsubtle Nunes to his consistent enabler, Paul Ryan–is open to debate.

At present, however, the traitor is in Singapore, likely getting a good long preparatory nap before meeting with a North Korean dictator who he has treated with more respect than he has mustered for the leaders of most of our nation’s allies. He has just left a summit with those allies in which he skipped out on some meetings, arrived at others late, badgered the other leaders about tariffs that appear to exist primarily in his mind, and scuttled whatever progress the rest of the group thought they were making with a cowardly statement released only after he had fled the scene because he is a gigantic baby.
Take a moment to absorb not how petulant, but how genuinely cowardly this man is. He had to flee the meetings before taking this bold new stand of … reversing himself on a largely meaningless diplomatic letter. He imagines himself a great negotiator, but every negotiation he has ever had, from his hotel business to international “diplomacy”, seems to universally consist of Donald Trump pouting, whining, and reversing himself on whatever he previously agreed to just as soon as the ink has dried. This is not genius. It is petulant tantruming, but of the sort that we revile in our children but celebrate in any sociopath with a few million dollars to play with.

Trump's only notable non-tantruming contribution to the G-7 summit, however, was to insist that the very nation whose espionage he has repeatedly publicly dismissed and whose aid he conspired with others to cover up be re-admitted to the elite group. His argument was that Russia did not invade Ukraine; past U.S. leaders, in their weakness, made them invade Ukraine. This logic is so self-evidently stupid that willful treason is, if anything, the generous interpretation. The ungenerous interpretation is incompetence, buffoonery, or dementia.

But we have still not come to terms with any of this, as a nation, in large part because each of Trump's failures is so foundational that the nation's press cannot grasp—or willfully refuses to grasp—its implications. His campaign indeed conspired, with full knowledge, with a Russian government plot against America. He has, as resident, sought to personally enrich himself and his family using the trappings of office—openly and repeatedly. He has, as resident, pardoned political allies and demanded investigations of, and imprisonment of, government officials investigating crimes committed by other allies. These are things that happen in other countries, in failing democracies and in authoritarian-minded kleptocracies; our press, largely dull-minded and self-captured by a mantra that suggests there is no true good or bad, in political acts, no truth-telling or lying, and when it comes down to it no true laws at all, only an infinite murk of partisanship that must be balanced, word for word and column for column, at all costs, continues to write about it as if every one of them has joined the celebrity gossip beat.

And so on the eve of a Trump summit with a North Korean strongman, the press is still full of cartoonishly silly hot takes on how the buffoonish, self-absorbed hotel magnate and gleeful traitor, on the heels of a summit with close U.S. allies in which he proved the clown at every opportunity, might somehow transform his mattress-buying and contractor-stiffing talents into Churchillian greatness.
When President Trump declared that he did not really need to prepare for his legacy-defining meeting with North Korea’s leader, he drew sighs or snickers from veterans of past negotiations. But he had a point: In his own unorthodox way, Mr. Trump has been preparing for this encounter his entire adult life.
This, by the way, may be the stupidest thing ever written in the New York Times, opinion or otherwise, ever. I challenge you to find a worse one.

We do not know how this new "summit" will go, and that is entirely because Trump is such a buffoon that any and all outcomes are possible, from the establishment of friendly ties to a rogue nuclear dictatorship to the child leaving in a huff because he does not like any given statement, decoration, or dessert. North Korea has accomplished what they set out to from the outset; within their nation, they will point to the summit as the arrival of their dictatorship as true world power, as the evidence that the rogue nuclear program for which their citizenry suffered innumerable hardships was indeed the path to national greatness their leader had promised all along.

Trump's desires are the same, and that should be more alarming than it is. He has no goal other than recognition of his own legitimacy and greatness; even the most dull-minded in the press are willing to admit that his motive for a North Korean summit is simply because he wishes to be perceived as doing something past American leaders could not, or would not. His motives are strictly self-promotional, yet again; his instincts are to coddle those leaders who have something he desires—the possibility for self-promotion or other personal gain—while dismissing those leaders who he perceives as being unwilling to offer such. As with his petulance towards U.S. allies like Canada and his obsequious toadying to his own personal ally Putin, whether the outcome is good for the nation or is bad is irrelevant; Donald Trump came into the office as a traitor to begin with. He does not give a damn what fires he starts in his quest for supposed personal greatness. But still, we will persist in pretending at some greater design; we will insist on pretending the traitor is something better than he is.

He is not, of course. He has never been. Donald Trump has been a cretin his whole life, a snide racist and a gleeful cheat, a man whose wee little empire has been built from petty grifts and exists in a fog of money-launderers and thugs. He is a traitor, but the press, his party, and his willing allies will still persist in not discussing that part it until he has either lost power, rendering such criticisms impotent, or he has done something so immeasurably worse that pointing it out no longer even rates as controversial.

Why is this traitor still in office? Send this mother fucker a message this November, and vote all of the Republican cocksuckers that support this moron out of office.  dlevere.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Note to Racists: It's Not Racist To Call You "Racist"

Posted by Rude One

Let's get this out of the way early here so you can determine if you want to continue: If you voted for Donald Trump, you are racist. If you still support Donald Trump, you are racist. You are racist because you are supporting someone who is not just personally racist but who wants the nation to have policies and laws that are racist. Even if you are a rich person who is just a greedy asshole and voted for Trump for the tax cuts, you are still a racist.

I am making this distinction not because I want to excuse Trump's racism on a personal level, but as a way of trying to explain to racist Trump voters why they are racists even if, in their hearts, they believe they have no issue with people of other races. That part doesn't matter if you helped put someone in office who regularly says racist things and regularly, deliberately does things that target non-whites, including the Muslim travel ban, the savage immigration policies, and the attacks on African Americans who protest violence against them. You can't say, "I believe that everything Trump is doing is making America great again" and then follow that with "But I'm not racist" because that's plainly a lie.

Are we clear then? I am calling you "racist" because you're racist.

Earlier this week, when I implied that Trump voters are racist because Roseanne Barr showed how racist they are, someone tweeted at me that racism is "Taking a group of people and bunching them up in assumptions and accusations." I've gotten this quite a bit, that because I say Trump voters are racist, I'm engaging in a type of racism. But that leaves out a crucial aspect about racism. Can you guess? It's that it's based on race. It's not simply any random "group of people" who have some unifying belief. If you take race out of "racism," then you don't even have the word.

You wouldn't think that would have to be explained, but this is the way we live now.

After Barr said that Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett looked like an ape, several people responded by pointing out how Bill Maher and many others have said that Donald Trump looks like an orangutan. Of course, that's because of his hair and weird tan, both things he chooses. Believe it or not, he wasn't born orange.

Still, if you don't understand how comparing a black person to any kind of monkey taps into an entire history of racial bigotry and degradation, then you're too stupid to understand any of this and should probably spend your time jacking off on r/The_Donald. The same thing goes if you don't understand how Samantha Bee calling Ivanka Trump a "feckless cunt" is different than what Barr said. It's not racism. And you have to struggle to make it sexist.

Calling you "racist" isn't political correctness run amok. It isn't an attempt to shut down debate. It isn't even really meant as an insult (even though, yes, it is one). It's a way of defining your beliefs. If you think that people should be treated differently because of the color of their skin or if you voted for leaders who believe that and act on it, then what else should you be called? I mean, "Republican" works, too, except that there are still one or two Republicans who aren't motivated by hatred of non-whites. So "racist" is just a shorthand way to describe an ideology. And, yeah, I do think racists are bad people because, well, they're racists. But that's not racism on my part.

You wanna call that prejudice? Fine. You're right. You've nailed me. I am prejudiced against racists. I don't think those people (yes, "those people") should have a voice in the public sphere. They should be treated as pariahs, mocked, and condemned until they are too ashamed to say those things out loud. You have free speech, sure, and the rest of us have the free speech to say that you are pathetic and have stopped the human race from advancing and that you should be accountable for the horrible things you say and do. Because, see, you're a racist.

The other thing that Trump's racists like to say is "What about Bill Clinton?" Or, as my tweeter accused, "You're putting people in a group and saying they all act/think the same? You're are a Democrat, so since Bill Clinton was as well, then you're a womanizing weasel. See how ridiculous that is?" Yeah, it is ridiculous, but only because of how false it is to even begin to equate the two. See, it's not just about the failings of two flawed men.

Calling out Trump and his supporters for racism is different than supporting Bill Clinton, who you can accuse of all kinds of things in his personal life but whose policies did not reflect whatever level of repugnant you think Clinton is. You might think Clinton is a rapist, but he did not try to pass laws to make it easier for rapists to rape nor did he pardon rapists. You might think Clinton was a serial sexual harasser, but he never tried to get legislation passed that would legalize sexual harassment. I'm not excusing Clinton. I was very clear back in the 1990s that Clinton should have resigned or temporarily stepped aside during the Lewinsky saga because of the massive distraction that it was and that fooling around with an intern was pretty fucked up.

But here is the difference, and it's subtle, so see if you can follow along:

When Donald Trump says or does something racist, you cheer. When he says, "Build the wall," you chant it. When he calls immigrants "animals," you scream your approval. When he called for a "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States," you shouted how much you love him. And when he issues executive orders that break up immigrant families or threatens to deport DACA recipients or calls places "shitholes," you say he's just doing what you elected him to do. That's because you're racist.

On the left, we never cheered for Bill Clinton's affairs or alleged harassment. At worst, we said it was a personal issue between him and Hillary. At best, we condemned him. If I recall, my exact quote in 1998 was "If you're gonna be president, keep your dick out of it." So, no, it's not comparable. Not even vaguely.

My advice, racists? Do like all of the overt racists are doing and own that shit. Or, if you don't want to be called "racist," if being called a "racist" makes you feel bad or ashamed, then stop being racist. And that would mean no longer supporting Donald Trump.

But you won't do that because you're a racist and you're too fucking dumb to get out of the pit of shit you love wallowing around in.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

First of all, Democrats are not responsible for Donald Trump.

By kentuck

It is the Republican Party that defends and protects him at the detriment of the country. They are responsible for what he does now and what he might do in the future. Although Trump may be a daily threat to the country and the world, he is where he is at, and where he will be tomorrow, because of the Republicans. They cannot hide in the shadows and refuse to take responsibility, or to blame his divisive rhetoric on the Democrats.

Democrats should wash their hands of this creep. People cannot worry about matters for which they have no control. The Republicans have all the control and they own all the responsibility and blame for whatever the trump might do. They own Donald Trump and the American people need to be reminded daily about who is responsible for what is happening in our country. It is not the politicians in Washington. It is not the liberals. It is not the media. It is the Republican Party.

They are the only ones that can do anything about Donald Trump.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Clapper Russia assessment calls Trump legitimacy into question

Rachel Maddow puts into perspective former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper's assertion that Donald Trump is only in office because Russia put him there, and what that means to current political events.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

'More Evidence Against Trump' Than Nixon: Ex-White House Ethics Lawyer Slams Congress For Letting Trump Obstruct Justice

Richard Painter says Trump's crimes are "well-beyond" Watergate.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Trump Supporters ‘Tricked by the Devil’ Are Now Facing Financial Ruin: ‘I Feel So Stupid’

Eddie Devine voted for Trump, but worries he may go out of business. Here's why.

Small business owners who supported Donald Trump are complaining about troubles hiring foreign seasonal labor the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.

The newspaper interviewed multiple landscaping business owners who claim they are unable to hire Americans for the same wages.

Eddie Devine voted for Trump, but worries he may go out of business if he is unable to continue hiring 20 foreign workers a season though the H-2B visa program.

“I feel like I’ve been tricked by the devil,” Devine admitted. “I feel so stupid.”

Devin says Trump's policies are more about race than economics, noting that Trump properties in

New York and Florida rely upon the H-2B visa program for 144 jobs a year.

“I think there’s a war on brown people,” he argued. “I want to know why it’s OK for him to get his workers, but supporters like me don’t get theirs."

“We live and die by these visas,” said Ken Monin, owner of Monin Construction. “Last year we about went bankrupt. The workers we were supposed to get in March didn’t show up until August because they couldn’t get visas.”

“Americans don’t want most of these jobs,” Monin claimed.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

“The evidence suggests Trump is a traitor”

David Cay Johnston; Donald Trump (Simon & Schuster/Bonk Johnston/AP)

Pulitzer-winning reporter David Cay Johnston: “The evidence suggests Trump is a traitor”

Investigative reporter who has covered Trump for 30 years dares to imagine impeachment — and President Nancy Pelosi

By Chauncey DeVega
April 23, 2018 9:00am (UTC)
The saga of resident Donald Trump consists of several parallel and intersecting stories.

There is the structural dimension. Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton was not entirely unpredictable or shocking. America's crisis in civic literacy, political polarization, rampant anti-intellectualism, deeply embedded sexism and racism, greed, broken schools and weakened democratic institutions, as well as a hollowed-out public sphere where people confuse celebrity with human worth, made the election of someone like Trump nearly inevitable.

There is Donald Trump the man, who seems to revel in the very worst human values. His closest family members -- including his father and grandfather -- taught him the "value" of unrepentant greed and ambition. He also displays the symptoms of malignant narcissism, as well as sociopathy. In all, Trump is a master of manipulation who leads a political cult.

How do these factors combine to form Donald Trump's residency and the type of society that he and the Republican Party want to create? Are matters actually worse than they appear, in terms of how we assess the political and social crisis of Trump's residency? What strategy should Democrats use to stop Trump and the Republican Party? If Trump is removed from office because of his increasingly obvious efforts to obstruct justice, how will his public respond? Will there be violence?

In an effort to answer these questions, I recently spoke with Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston. For 30 years, Johnston has covered Trump's life and career, as detailed in the bestselling book "The Making of Donald Trump." His new book is "It's Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration is Doing to America."

This conversation has been edited for clarity and length. A longer version of this conversation can also be heard on my podcast.

How was Donald Trump able to defeat Hillary Clinton and win the White House? 

Well, a series of events came together. First of all, Hillary Clinton had a lot of baggage, and as Donna Brazile's book “Hacks” shows, she ran a poor campaign and did not listen to the advice of people who told her she needed to pay attention to what Trump was doing.

Secondly, the Republican challengers were a clown car of utterly unqualified people, which meant his lack of qualifications was not so noticeable. The one qualified candidate in that field was John Kasich.

Next, Donald ran on an economic platform that, on the surface, spoke to inequality and frustration.

For example, in 2012, the bottom 90 percent of Americans reported a smaller income than in 1967.

Donald tapped into that problem, but he’s a con artist who promised to drain the swamp and then stocked it with swamp monsters.

Another factor was the utter failure of journalists to vet Donald Trump. You can read about Barack Obama's kindergarten playmates in Indonesia by name, the boys he smoked dope with in high school by name and some of the women he dated in college by name. But The New York Times, in the 16 months from Trump's [campaign] announcement to Election Day, had exactly four references that had "Trump" and "Mafia" in the same story, and they were all in passing and inconsequential.

They also didn't report on the two income tax fraud trials that Trump lost. There was just a lot of stuff about Trump that was never reported because his campaign was like looking at a car crash on the other side of the highway, but it had dancing girls and a marching band and so you couldn't turn away from it.

For 40 years, the Republicans have done serious work preparing for the day when, as a minority party, they wanted to still be in control. So they have reduced the franchise. They've passed laws like this horrible law in Michigan that lets you throw out ballots on the most bogus grounds, entire precincts. All that combined to help Trump win the Electoral College.

Why were so many journalists and pundits unable to understand the true power of Trump's campaign? So much of what he did and continues to do is political performance art drawn from professional wrestling and reality TV. It isn't complicated. 

Remember that campaign reporters cover the horse race. They focus on the sizzle and not the steak. Everybody was so taken by his unusual campaign that they just forgot about the basics.

You have studied and written about Donald Trump for three decades. What does the public need to know about his background, to understand his behavior as president?   

Here are the key things people should know about Donald Trump. He comes from a family of criminals: His grandfather made his fortune running whorehouses in Seattle and in the Yukon Territory. His father, Fred, had a business partner named Willie Tomasello, who was an associate of the Gambino crime family. Trump's father was also investigated by the U.S. Senate for ripping off the government for what would be the equivalent of $36 million in today's money. Donald got his showmanship from his dad, as well as his comfort with organized criminals.

I think it is very important for religious Americans to know that Donald Trump says that his personal philosophy of life is revenge. He has called anyone who turns the other cheek -- which is a fundamental teaching of Christ in the Sermon on the Mount -- a fool, an idiot or a schmuck. Trump is a man who says things that are absolutely contrary to the teachings of the New Testament. He also denigrates Christians. Yet you see all of these ministers endorsing him.

I've followed Donald for 30 years. I don't see any evidence that he has changed, and he certainly hasn't repented, which is a fundamental Christian obligation.

He is a racist through and through. He has been found in formal judicial proceedings to discriminate against nonwhites in rentals and employment.

It's important to understand that Trump is aggressively anti-Christian, despite claiming to be one. He is bluntly a racist. Most importantly, he is literally ignorant about almost everything.

Trump's voters will not abandon him under any circumstances. He leads the Republican Party and thus has its news media and other resources at his disposal. Some folks believe that there will be a "blue wave" of Democratic votes that will wash him and the Republican Party out to sea in 2018 and 2020. I don't see that happening. I think Trump wins in 2020. Am I being too cynical?

Well, he may win again in 2020. The November elections are the most important American elections since the Civil War, and I'm including 1932.

Based just on normal historic averages, the Republicans should lose control of the House by about four seats. They should lose control of the Senate as well, although the map is pretty awful for the Democrats. If Republicans retain control, then I believe what will happen over time is that someone who shares Trump's dictatorial and authoritarian tendencies but doesn't have his baggage -- someone who is a competent manager and just as charismatic -- will eventually arise and you can kiss your individual liberties goodbye. That will take time, but it's the trend we are heading towards.

On the other hand, if enough people go to the polls -- remember, roughly 100 million people did not vote in 2016 -- if the Democrats get organized, if they can persuade the public they have an agenda that goes beyond just getting rid of Trump and they get control of Congress, they will move to impeach him. They need a two-thirds majority in the Senate to convict him, but they will certainly move to have public hearings.

Is Trump an ideologue?

No. That's the whole point of the first chapter of my book, “Resident Like No Other.” The 44 previous presidents were all over the map. There were smart people and dumb people, there were people of impeccable integrity such as Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter, there were absolute scoundrels like Warren G. Harding. We had a murderous racist in the White House whose painting hangs in the Oval Office, now looking down on Trump. What distinguishes all those presidents, particularly Chester Arthur, the one closest to Trump, is that they tried in the context of their times to make America better.

Donald Trump is a man with this desperate need for adoration. He is an empty vessel, the exact opposite of Henry David Thoreau -- a "life unexamined." His only philosophy is the glorification of Donald.

If you were going to consult with the Democratic Party about how to defeat Trump and the Republican Party, what would you suggest?   

I think most of what Hillary said came across as "blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah." What I would say to the Democrats is, "Your first and fundamental mission is to tell people what you are for." Not that you're against Trump. Being against Trump doesn't get you very far. It will get you some people who hate Trump. But what are you for? What you want to say is: We will get the incredible burden of health care off the back of small businesses. We will make it so you don't have to stick with an employer because you have health care and you don't want to run the risk of switching or losing it. We want to relieve business of the burden of health care like every other modern country, and it will save everyone money.

We want to invest in the future of America. So we will put more money into education and basic science. Did you know that half the economic growth in this country since the end of World War II can be traced to taxpayer investments in science?

We want investments at home that will create jobs. Our country is falling apart in front of our eyes. That will create an enormous number of jobs, but it will also make the economy more efficient. We want to invest in that future, which will make us all much better off. We're about building a prosperous future. We're not about looking back, as Donald Trump is, to the past.

This is a crucial point. People who've been had by con artists are ashamed, and the world is full of cases, I've written about some of them, you see see it in movies and TV shows. They just can't face the fact that they were tricked. It makes them feel stupid and foolish.

Well, people who got conned by Trump -- it's painful for many of them and they will do anything to avoid it. You don’t want to confront them, you don't want to make them feel stupid.

What do you think will happen with the Mueller investigation? Trump is not acting like an innocent person.

Well, Mueller has assembled an extraordinarily talented team. Here is what Mueller is going to find. Mueller has the Trump tax returns. A competent prosecutor would have them by now. The Trump tax returns are the beginning point. You have to get the books and records -- Donald has a long history of hiding books and records when they're sought by auditors. As for the Russians, it is beyond dispute at this point that the Trump campaign was actively involved in a conspiracy.

He's not exactly what Putin wanted, but most importantly, Trump's not Hillary Clinton, who would have gone up to the edge of war to make Putin give up Crimea. She made that very clear in a campaign. He would be in severe pain if he didn't give up the Crimean peninsula in eastern Ukraine.

So he didn't want her, under any circumstances. Mueller is going to report on tax fraud, he's going to report on the Russians and he is going to show that the Trump campaign was knowingly being helped by the Russians. Remember that the Australian, Dutch and British intelligence agencies, and maybe others, went to the FBI, State Department and other contacts and said, "You folks have a problem. "

Where exactly Mueller will go beyond that, I don't know. His mission is the Russians, and the Russians are tied in with the tax returns. But remember this: The job of a prosecutor is not to bring the perfect case, it's not to bring the case that should be brought for political reasons. It's to bring the easiest, most solid case that wins. Mueller will do that. There is nothing that prevents indicting a sitting president, but it is an untested issue. Mueller is going to have to decide whether to indict him or to go to Congress.

If the overwhelming conclusion of the Mueller report is that the Russians put Trump in the White House, then you face a second terrible problem: What do you do about Mike Pence, who is also the beneficiary of Russian interference?

If the Congress impeaches and removes Trump and Pence, it will only be because the Democrats control Congress. So unless something else changes, we get President Nancy Pelosi. You can just imagine the people who will be in the streets screaming coup d’├ętat if she's president. I think the only way to address that is for her, or whoever is speaker, to announce they will be a caretaker president who is not going to do anything extreme.

There is no good ending to the story. America will survive this, we'll get past it, but whenever Trump leaves, there's no good ending. If Trump is removed by impeachment or by the voters, whether in a Republican primary or a general election, I know what he will do. He's already told us what he will do by his actions. Trump will spend the rest of his days fomenting violence and revolution in this country.

He's careful not to directly say "revolution," but he will call the government illegitimate. He might even call it criminal, since he called Democrats who didn't stand up during his State of the Union speech treasonous. If they're going to impeach Trump, I believe they have to have a plan to indict, try, convict and imprison him. But Trump will be a role model for some people, and there may well be violence over it.

As Malcolm Nance and others have warned, Russia's interference in the 2016 election and likely infiltration of Trump's inner circle could be one of the worst intelligence disasters in American history, a failure of Benedict Arnold or Rosenberg proportions.  

Let me be very clear and quotable about this. At an absolute minimum, Donald Trump has divided loyalties, and the evidence we already have suggests that Donald Trump is a traitor. In fact, I would say that the evidence we already have, the public materials such as emails for example, strongly indicate that Donald Trump is a traitor. However, I don't even think he understands what he's done.

Chauncey DeVega

Chauncey DeVega is a politics staff writer for Salon. His essays can also be found at He also hosts a weekly podcast, The Chauncey DeVega Show. Chauncey can be followed on Twitter and Facebook.

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Sunday, April 22, 2018

Earth Day Is A Reminder That Humans Have The Power To Change Our Planet

For nearly 50 years, Earth Day has provided an opportunity for people across the globe to come together and rally in support of the natural world. While the specific challenges have varied, the goal has remained more or less the same: to protect the rich, biological world that the current generation has inherited from being overwhelmed by the influences of humanity.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Lawmaker to Trump: Resign, it will get worse

Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA) says Resident Donald Trump should consider resigning because it's "becoming not a question if there was a crime, but how many."

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Paul Ryan Is The Worst House Speaker Ever

Lawrence O'Donnell argues Paul Ryan earned that title through unprecedented and unrelenting cowardice and by surrendering his powers to the Trump residency.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Maxine Waters On Impeachment: We Can't Wait For 2020

"We cannot wait" for the 2020 elections to do something about Donald Trump, says Rep. Maxine Waters. "It is too dangerous."

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Face it, people...a Russian spy traitor is in the White House!

Former CIA Director John Brennan says it is possible the Russians 'have something' on the resident, and he also believes the country's future is in jeopardy as Trump 'continues his antics.'

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., discusses the resident's phone call with Vladimir Putin and says there is no good reason why Trump won't confront Putin.

Donald Trump was infuriated after it quickly leaked that he had been directly instructed by his national security advisers in briefing materials not to congratulate Russian President Vladimir Putin on his recent election victory during their call, a source familiar with the resident's thinking said.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Russia and Putin are fiercely dangerous to our democracy. Putin has something very big on Trump, which has rendered him an impotent toady. These two facts are obvious. This is the biggest, scariest story in the world. Let’s stop pretending it isn’t.

Tweet, minutes ago, from Tony Schwartz, who wrote The Art of the Deal for Trump:

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Former Assoc. Dir. of National Intelligence: "it was entirely possible votes were tampered with."

There has been extensive discussion of Russian efforts to hack into US voting systems (for example, see the report of the Director of National Intelligence from January of last year), and it is no longer in dispute that Russia was successful in ‘compromising’ a number of voting systems. Nor is it in dispute that many elements of our voting system (not just the voting machines themselves) are vulnerable to cyberattacks, and old-fashioned tampering, as explained in the excellent diary from yesterday by DKos contributor Leslie Sazillo, which highlights the work of Dr. Barbara Simons, an expert in computer security and voting systems.

For all the efforts Russia engaged in over the course of years to attempt to determine the outcome of the 2016 election, and install their preferred candidate, and all that is publicly known of their multifaceted operations to penetrate our voting systems, there are still many here and elsewhere who hold onto the contention there is no direct evidence that any votes, or vote totals, were changed.

That contention relies on the notion that Russia did everything in its capability to capture the election, from hijacking social media platforms to recruiting Americans to assist them, and they breached various voting systems in dozens of states, but the one the one thing they held back from doing, was change votes themselves (even though, as the work of Dr. Simons and other experts show, they could do so ‘invisibly’). Why would Putin hold back in this one instance, when he has shown no such restraint in any other way?

The answer is, in all likelihood: he didn’t hold back. Claims that votes were not changed to ensure the election of Putin’s tool, are looking less plausible by the day.

An article by Dr. Eric Haseltine (in, of all places, Psychology Today) from last month, explicates why this is the case.

First, who is Dr. Haseltine? From his website:
Eric joined the National Security Agency to run its Research Directorate. Three years later, he was promoted to associate of director of National Intelligence, where he oversaw all science and technology efforts within the United States Intelligence Community as well as fostering development innovative new technologies for countering cyber threats and terrorism. For his work on counter-terrorism technologies, he received the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal in 2007.
A little more background on him, from Wikipedia:
Haseltine spent 13 years at Hughes Aircraft, where he rose to the position of Director of Engineering. He then left for Walt Disney Imagineering in 1992, where he joined the research and development group, working on large-scale virtual-reality projects. In 1998, he was promoted to senior vice president responsible for all technology projects.[1] In 2000, he was made Executive Vice President. Haseltine was head of research and development for Walt Disney Imagineering[2] by the time he left in 2002 to join the National Security Agency as Director of Research. From 2005 to 2007, Haseltine was Associate Director for Science and Technology, Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)—that organization's first—a position he described in a 2006 US News and World Report interview by stating: "You can think of me as the CTO [chief technology officer] of the intelligence community"…
Eric has 23 patents in optics, special effects and electronic media, and more than 150 publications in science and technical journals, the web, and Discover Magazine.
Seems reasonably qualified, and from his years at NSA, reasonably informed.
Here’s his take on tampering with vote totals:


After the last presidential election, I heard one expert after another reassure voters that the Russians could not have hacked voting machines or state vote tallying systems on a scale large enough to tip the presidential election…
As much as we’d all like to believe such confident pronouncements, my experience in the intelligence world, where I served as Associate Director of National Intelligence, has lead me to one inescapable conclusion—the optimistic “experts” are probably wrong, and all of us should acknowledge that our unconscious (or not-so-unconscious) need to believe that our democracy can’t be subverted by foreigners, blinds us to powerful evidence to the contrary. And, after embracing this scary possibility, we should do a lot more to secure our voting systems than we are doing now…
The case for Russian tampering with the vote
Let me start by explaining the way intelligence professionals would approach the question of whether the Russians, or other skilled actors, could change the outcome of a U.S. election by tampering with voting. Then I’ll show why intelligence-style analysis leads to uncomfortable conclusions.
In making assessments about a state actor, such as the Russians, intelligence analysts ask two questions: what are the intentions of this actor and what are their capabilities?…
So, do the Russians intend to elect American candidates they prefer over those that we, the voters, prefer?
In a word, yes. In a rare display of unanimity, last year the U.S. Intelligence Community assessed that Putin, acting through his intelligence services, had indeed tried to tip the presidential election. One of the Russian Intelligence’s scariest accomplishments was to break into voter databases in 21 states (up to 50 states if you believe some sources). This success alone could have influenced the election by dictating who could and could not vote. In one target of Russian hacking, North Carolina for instance, some legitimate voters (in a “blue” precinct, as it turns out,) could not vote because the e-poll registration system used to allow voters to vote erroneously asserted that some legitimate voters weren’t registered…
One more thing. You might be wondering whether, despite their motivation to subvert our national elections, Russian leadership might still hesitate to alter vote tallies out of fear of getting caught. Whereas the U.S. Congress responded to voter registration hacks and email leaks from the Clinton campaign with sanctions—a mere slap on the wrist—the U.S. just might view outright alteration of vote counts an act of war and respond accordingly.
Sadly, I think the Kremlin views getting caught as more of a good thing, than a bad thing, because the net result would be favorable to Russia. Based on the way we responded to Russian behavior in 2016, Putin knows that a sizable portion of America—members of whichever major party the Kremlin favored—would, by and large, accept the inevitable Russian denials about vote tampering because we all believe what we want to believe, particularly when believing Russia committed an act of war could lead to armed conflict with a superpower…
In other words, if Russia were caught changing vote counts, America would be even more divided than today: exactly what the Kremlin wants. And the national will to respond to Russia’s provocation as an act of war simply wouldn’t be there.
Russia wins if they don’t get caught and Russia wins if they do get caught; what’s not to like? (emphasis added)
Note that Dr. Haseltine makes reference to information that, rather than the 39 states we know were in some way compromised, it may be the voting systems in all 50 states the Russians accessed.

Dr. Haseltine goes into detail about the vulnerabilities of voting systems, covering much of the same territory as Leslie’s review of Dr. Simon’s work, so I won’t go through it here, but Dr. Haseltine’s summary is well worth the read.

For our discussion, it’s his ultimate conclusion that warrants attention:
Adding up what we know about Russian intentions and capabilities, and factoring in the vulnerabilities just listed, I believe that it was entirely possible votes in the 2016 election were tampered with, and that attempts could be made to compromise future elections.
Why hold onto the notion that Russia didn’t try to change votes? (And if they tried, there’s no reason to think they wouldn’t be ‘invisibly’ successful.)

Dr. Haseltine suggests it is simply not wanting to believe it to be true: “the optimistic “experts” are probably wrong, and all of us should acknowledge that our unconscious (or not-so-unconscious) need to believe that our democracy can’t be subverted by foreigners”.
Charles Pierce, at Esquire, echoes this view:
The last outpost of moderate opinion on the subject of the Russian ratfucking during the 2016 presidential election seems to be that, yes, there was mischief done and steps should be taken both to reveal its extent and to prevent it from happening again in the future, but that the ratfucking, thank baby Jesus, did not materially affect the vote totals anywhere in the country. This is a calm, measured, evidence-based judgment. It is also a kind of prayer. If the Russian cyber-assault managed to change the vote totals anywhere, then the 2016 presidential election is wholly illegitimate. That rocks too many comfort zones in too many places.
Putin isn’t playing.

Saturday, Mar 10, 2018 · 8:21:45 AM EST · ian douglas rushlau
DKos member Hudson Valley Mark in a comment stressed the importance of communicating clear policy goals to address the vulnerabilities of our voting systems, and his point is well-taken.

The Verified Voting Foundation has created principles for making voting as secure as possible, which are as follows:
Any new voting system should conform to the following principles:
1. It should use human-readable marks on paper as the official record of voter preferences and as the official medium to store votes.1
2. It should be usable by all voters; accessible to all voters, including those with disabilities; and available in all mandated languages.2
3. It should provide voters the means and opportunity to verify that the human-readable marks correctly represent their intended selections, before casting the ballot.3
4. It should preserve vote anonymity: it should not be possible to link any voter to his or her selections, when the system is used appropriately. It should be difficult or impossible to compromise or waive voter anonymity accidentally or deliberately.4 No voter should be able to prove how he or she voted.5
5. It should export contest results in a standard, open, machine-readable format.6
6. It should be easily and transparently auditable at the ballot level. It should:
export a cast vote record (CVR) for every ballot,
in a standard, open, machine-readable format,
in a way that the original paper ballot corresponding to any CVR can be quickly and unambiguously identified, andvice versa.7
7. It should use commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware components and open-source software (OSS) in preference to proprietary hardware and proprietary software, especially when doing so will reduce costs, facilitate maintenance and customization, facilitate replacing failed or obsolete equipment, improve security or reliability, or facilitate adopting technological improvements quickly and affordably.8
8. It should be able to create CVRs from ballots designed for currently deployed systems9 and it should be readily configurable to create CVRs for new ballot designs.10
9. It should be sufficiently open11 to allow a competitive market for support, including configuration, maintenance, integration, and customization.
10.It should be usable by election officials: they should be able to configure, operate, and maintain the system, create ballots, tabulate votes, and audit the accuracy of the results without relying on external expertise or labor, even in small jurisdictions with limited staff.