The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘2016 Election’ Category

Well hello there, Widdershins. Apologies for the long absence, and thanks to DYB and Fredster for keeping our posts going!

Am I the only one who heard about the New York Times’ report about the FBI investigation into Drumpf being a #RussianAsset last Friday and, far from being shocked or excited, could only ask, “And?”

As I have posted and commented repeatedly, there is no innocent explanation for what has happened in full view of the American people. None, zero, nada mucho. No other candidate has ever had contact with a hostile foreign government during an election; it has previously been unthinkable because all of our other candidates for President have been loyal to America. I mean, duh! That’s the lowest possible threshold to meet when running for a country’s Presidency! The Mango Moron, by contrast, is up to about 100 known contacts, folks. One. Hun. Dred. And it’s only now that the Times report came out (most likely based on leaks by Democrats, as House testimony from 2017 was quoted) that the media is starting to come around to a common sense point of view.

What took them so long?

Let’s do a bit of a thought exercise, shall we? Imagine the 2016 election is reset, and the feces-throwing baboon doesn’t run. Instead of the Dicktater, we have a typically odious Republican nominee (like Ted Cruz) and Hillary Clinton is running against him. At the same time it’s becoming known that Russia is interfering in the election on her behalf, the FBI suddenly discovers that Our Girl had just ONE contact with ONE Russian during the 2016 campaign.

It would have been extremely suspicious, of course. Republicans and Democrats alike would have had meltdowns, and the media would have (rightfully) tried and convicted her of corruption and treason prior to the election. (We all know they spent every day hammering her for a faux national security scandal, so what would they have done with a real one?!) If this imagined contact were known before the nomination were decided, there is not a chance in hell she would have become the nominee. If she had become the nominee before the imagined contact were discovered, she would assuredly have lost the election, and the Democrats would be a disgraced Party for decades to come. “Democrats in disarray,” a constant Beltway narrative no matter what the circumstances actually are, would be playing on every channel. The follow-up questions would have been obvious. How could they have allowed this to happen? Who else in the Party knew, and when did they know it? How far into the Democratic Party has Russia reached?

Now let’s come back to reality. Up till now, despite mounds of publicly available evidence that Russians, Trump and the GOP are all hand in glove, der Drumpfenfuhrer has been given the benefit of the doubt to a degree that I, as a human being with a functioning brain, simply cannot understand. Trump admitted to obstruction of justice to Lester Holt on national TeeVee, I have always believed; and according to the story, the FBI thought so too.

Agents and senior F.B.I. officials had grown suspicious of Mr. Trump’s ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign but held off on opening an investigation into him, the people said, in part because they were uncertain how to proceed with an inquiry of such sensitivity and magnitude. But the president’s activities before and after Mr. Comey’s firing in May 2017, particularly two instances in which Mr. Trump tied the Comey dismissal to the Russia investigation, helped prompt the counterintelligence aspect of the inquiry, the people said.

Where has the media been? Why are they still inching up to the real questions that need to be asked…what did the GOP know about Trump’s being a #RussianAsset, and when did they know it?

Maybe because they already know the answer?

As the indispensable journalist Sarah Kendzior wrote in December of 2017, the GOP is not going to get electoral power from their support of the Siberian Candidate. Yet Lindsey Graham has become one of his strongest supporters. Why?

Given that some of Graham’s worst fears about Trump’s Kremlin ties and mental state have been legitimized, what accounts for the senator’s changed attitude toward the president? There are a variety of possible rationales available for conjecture, many of which apply to the GOP at large. Opportunism may play a role, as Graham complies with Trump in order to pursue right-wing extremist economic policies and war. Blackmail may also be an issue, given that Graham has admitted his email was hacked, as was the RNC’s, by Russia. Trump has derided and threatened members of Congress and private citizens, and it’s not a stretch to imagine him unleashing his fire– publicly or privately–on Graham.

Opportunism. Blackmail. Intimidation. Those are three good reasons. But what about corruption? The New Republic had the right take on this in May of 2017. Yes, they knew and they let it happen. They did. not. care.

The basic nature of the [Russian] pro-Trump subversion effort was known to GOP leaders before the parties’ conventions last year: The above conversation took place on June 15 [2016]. Several weeks after the GOP officially nominated Trump in mid-July, in a secure setting with Obama administration officials and other members who receive classified briefings, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed to politicize any effort on the part of the government to reveal that Russian intelligence was intervening in the election to help Trump. “According to several officials,” the Post reported, “McConnell raised doubts about the underlying intelligence and made clear to the administration that he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics.”

Despite Ryan’s clear awareness of the truth, we can infer that he sided with McConnell, tacitly or otherwise, because the Obama administration backed down in the face of McConnell’s threat. An official government assessment that Russia was helping Trump in the election didn’t reach the public until after the election, as Trump was transitioning to the presidency.

So where has the rest of the media been? Even after the massive trouncing at the mid-terms, the media has failed to pronounce the doom and disgrace of the GOP as a Party. “GOP in disarray” is not a narrative I hear or see. Steve Bannon, somehow, continues to escape all blame and scrutiny; the latest major stories on him are from a year ago. How is he not as guilty as Manafort? And although this has not been noted anywhere other than Twitter, there is evidence that Mueller is looking into the media as part of his investigation. For example: Faux News has not tweeted since 11/8/18. Seriously. Isn’t this big news?

As the inevitable downfall of Drumpf draws near, I hope the impending Mueller report includes some insight into why the media has been so reluctant to call out Drumpf for his treason, and the GOP for their knowledge of treason.

We deserve and need the truth about what has happened to the right-wing half of our two-party system. And one of the pieces of the puzzle is, what did the media know, when did they know it, and why are they still so unwilling to admit the truth?

This is an open thread.

 

 

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Merry Christmas Widdershins! Haven’t done one of these in a while – I hope you enjoy it.

THE SCENE: Christmas Morning at the McConnell mansion in Kentucky. MITCH MCCONNELL, the Republican Senate Majority Leader, is lounging in his four-poster bed, dressed in Trump gold pajamas (100% polyester!) with the Trump logo on his chest. His wife, ELAINE CHAO, is lounging next to him. Her pajamas match, of course.

MCCONNELL (stretching comfortably): What a great night’s sleep! (to ELAINE) You know, I was a bit worried I might get three, um, “visitors” overnight. Well, Merry Christmas to us!

There’s a knock at the bedroom door.

MCCONNELL: Come in, honey!

SENATE AIDE #1 enters. She is young, blonde and Fox News friendly.

MCCONNELL (startled): Oh! I thought you were one of my daughters. Uh, how’s it going, uh…Maggie?

(Her name is Mary.)

MARY (deferentially): It’s Mary, sir.

(ELAINE, frustrated, lightly smacks MCCONNELL on the arm.)

MCCONNELL: Ahem, yes, of course, Mary. How can I help you? And a Merry Christmas to you, my dear.

MARY: Merry Christmas, sir. Sir, I wanted to let you know that I’ve just received word. The Washington Post has another scoop. It’s…it’s bad, sir.

ELAINE: Oh no. What has that orange idiot done now?

(MARY is shocked, then giggles a bit))

MCCONNELL (repressively): ELAINE!

ELAINE (repentant): Sorry, darlin’. I forgot we weren’t alone. (to Mary) Go ahead, dear.

MARY: Well, um, it looks like he made fun of a child. See right here? He said that at 7 years old, it’s “marginal” to believe in Santa Claus.

ELAINE (muttering to herself): Jesus f*cking Christ.

MCCONNELL: Elaine! (to Mary) Thanks for telling us, uh, Marjorie. Now scoot along. Go have some eggnog or something.

MARY (rolling her eyes a bit): Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.

(Mary exits, closing the door)

ELAINE (sitting up in bed): For heaven’s sake, Mitch. That f*cking moron can’t even talk to a child properly! Why don’t you do something already? I’m almost embarrassed to be a Republican these days.

MCCONNELL: (placatingly) Now, Elaine, I know it’s hard to take sometimes.

(He gets out of bed, pacing…the audience can see his Trump slippers)

MCCONNELL: But look – LOOK at all the power we have! And money…soooooo much money. That tax cut was very, very good to us. So what if the guy tweets every once in a while. We are still in great shape. It’s never been a better time to be a Republican!

(There’s another knock at the door.)

MCCONNELL: Come in, honey!

(SENATE AIDE #2 enters. She is interchangeable with Mary, but is wearing a different color mini-skirt.)

MCCONNELL: Darn it, when will Porter get here? (to AIDE #2) Uh, excuse me, sweetheart. Merry Christmas! What can we do for you?

SENATE AIDE #2:  Sir, the AFP is reporting that Erdogan has invited President Trump to Turkey. It sure looks like he and the President are doing some kind of deal together, especially since Turkey is moving into Syria already. There’s also a lot of negative press about the General Mattis thing. I’ve checked the latest Presidential approval ratings, and they are, um, not good. 39%!

(ELAINE screams into a pillow) 

MCCONNELL: ELAINE! (to SENATE AIDE #2) Uh, thanks, my dear. There’s some mulled wine in the kitchen, please help yourself!

SENATE AIDE #2 (puzzled by the lack of reaction): Uh, yes sir. Thank you, sir. Merry Christmas!

(SENATE AIDE #2 exits, closing the door.)

ELAINE (picking up where they left off, crossing to MCCONNELL): “It’s a great time to be a Republican?” Are you serious? All those Never Trumpers are having a field day! That Jonah Goldberg, ooh, I could smack him. Even the MAGA morons are starting to wake up. And the liberals, well – clearly they feel vindicated. (sarcastically) You DID notice the 2018 election, didn’t you? Did you see how many seats the Democrats gained in the House? That Pelosi woman —

MCCONNELL (interrupting superstitiously): She Who Must Not Be Named?

(ELAINE and MCCONNELL spit three times through their fingers)

ELAINE (continuing): ANYWAY, Ms. P is going to come after you with everything she’s got. That Elijah Cummings has already sent over 50 letters about various new investigations he’s planning on opening. You think Trump can survive all of this? Why are you still sticking by him?

(Another knock at the door.)

MCCONNELL and ELAINE (exasperated): Come in!

(SENATE AIDE #3 enters. Yes, she is interchangeable with Mary and #2, wearing yet another color mini-skirt.)

ELAINE (frazzled): What is it, Monica? Oh, Merry Christmas, dear.

MONICA: Merry Christmas, ma’am, sir. I’m sorry to disturb you, but it looks like another child has died in U.S. custody. (pointedly) That makes two.

MCCONNELL (showing the first signs of distress): Oh my goodness. That’s very bad indeed. Uh – what happened, do we know? (eagerly) Can we blame the Democrats?

MONICA (dubiously): Well sir, it’s not clear yet. If there’s a particular border patrol agent who’s responsible, I suppose we could find out how he voted in 2018?

MCCONNELL (wagging his finger): And 2016! If he voted for Hillary, we’re home free. (more cheerfully) Thanks, darlin’! Go stand under the mistletoe in the great room, maybe you’ll get lucky! (smacks her on the ass)

MONICA (shocked, rubbing her ass): Uh, thank you? (exits quickly, closing the door)

(ELAINE glares at MCCONNELL, shaking her head.)

MCCONNELL (dismissively): Oh whatever, she loved it. Now, where were we?

ELAINE (sighing): Mitch, honey. (taking his hand) Let’s not fight. Just please tell me, for once and for all, what is going on? I am ready to quit tomorrow. Just say the word. This is the worst job I’ve ever had! I don’t even think Trump knows my name. He keeps calling me “my Chinese friend.” “Where’s my Chinese friend?” he asks me. I’m from Taiwan, for heaven’s sake!

MCCONNELL (coming to a decision): Elaine, I’m gonna come clean. The Russians gave me a lot of money to back that orangutan. I’m just not going to go against them, okay? That Putin is no joke. He kills people! Besides which, we can keep the Democrats in check with our increased majority in the Senate. They’ll never get the votes to impeach him. We can stay on the Trump train and finally privatize Social Security and Medicare. Imagine, all the money pouring in! And, he’ll get re-elected in 2020. Our Russian friends will take care of that!

(ELAINE shakes her head in disbelief.)

(MCCONNELL’S phone dings. He reads it, then throws it across the room.)

MCCONNELL: No, no, no!

ELAINE (concerned): What is it now?

MCCONNELL: MUELLER!

(ELAINE and MCONNELL spit through their fingers again)

MCCONNELL (pacing): Hannity tells me that Mr. M has got me – ME! on his Christmas list. He’s going to  find out about my special friendship with Russia! (realization slowly dawning) Oh my Lord. Who’s going to protect me? Trump will throw me under the bus faster than you can say “Michael Cohen!” He’s never liked me, never! And Pence, he’s useless. He’s going to get indicted before summer comes.

ELAINE (taking him by the shoulders): Mitch, look at me. (he looks up, in deep distress) You cannot go to jail. You hear me? Daddy would be furious! (commandingly) You know what you have to do.

(ELAINE hands him her phone. MCCONNELL slowly takes it and dials.)

MCCONNELL: Hello? Special Counsel’s office? Yes, Merry Christmas to you too (ELAINE puts her hand on his shoulder). This is Majority Leader McConnell. I’d like to speak to the Special Counsel, please…

(LIGHTS OUT.)

THE END

Trump-Locker-Room-Cartoon-58b8fdb25f9b58af5cc8205d.jpg

It has been 189 years since You Know Who became president*. There seems to finally be some sort of progress in the Bob Mueller investigation: the Michael Cohen indictments suggest some serious hanky panky and directly implicate Trump. Mueller wouldn’t have mentioned any of that – and Cohen wouldn’t be pleading guilty – if there wasn’t some serious evidence. It is also safe to assume that Mueller didn’t show his entire hand in those filings. But we have no idea what Mueller has or doesn’t have. More importantly – we can’t predict what will happen when he finally reveals the information. We can presume the entire GOP will stand behind Trump. Just look at how they are reacting to the revelations that Trump used campaign money to pay off porn stars:

Orrin Hatch: “I don’t think he was involved in crimes, but even then, you know, you can make anything a crime und the current laws; if you want to you can blow it way out of proportion, you can do a lot of things… President Trump before he became President, that’s another world. Since he’s become President this economy has charged ahead… And I think we ought to judge him on that basis, other than trying to drum up things from the past that may or may not be true.”

Chuck Grassley: “They based it on what a liar says, so it hurts the credibility of it.”

John Kennedy: “Well, let me say this about Mister Cohen: Jesus loves him, but everybody else thinks he’s an idiot. I think most Americans think he’s a sleazoid grifter. I can’t imagine basing any kind of prosecution on the word of Mister Cohen. Do I support violations of the campaign finance act if that indeed happened? Of course not. But the President says it was a private transaction, and it would appear to me that the only evidence is coming from Mister Cohen, whose credibility can be questioned. Duh.”

Do you remember how Hatch and Grassley opposed the impeachment of Bill Clinton for lying about an extramarital affair that came to light during an investigation into a 1970’s land deal? Oh wait a minute, they wanted Bill Clinton impeached and removed from office… Their inconsistency seems odd! But it does tell us that GOP will never ever ever ever turn on Trump. I keep seeing pundits claim that some miraculous event will finally make GOP turn: it’s been 3 years of that and we have seen zero cracks in the facade. The GOP will never turn on Trump. Ever. It’s not because he’s blackmailing them. It’s because they fully support everything he does and stands for. They want more of that. They will support a more extreme candidate next. I remember at CPAC shortly after the election, Kellyanne Conway declared from the stage that when CPAC ends, the GOP will be Trump’s party: she was right about that. GOP and Trump crawled out of the same womb.

One issue that is not only far from being resolved, we have seen no attempt to even try to figure out what happened, is the issue of FBI NY office and the role they played in the 2016 election. Charles Pierce points to a section of Comey’s most recent testimony to the House where he finally explicitly states that the reason he decided to go public with his letter was the leaking of the FBI NY office and his inability to stop them.

“I was concerned that there appeared to be in the media a number of stories that might have been based on communications reporters or nonreporters like Rudy Giuliani were having with people in the New York field office. In particular, in I want to say mid October, maybe a little bit later, Mr. Giuliani was making statements that appeared to be based on his knowledge of workings inside the FBI New York. And then my recollection is there were other stories that were in the same ballpark that gave me a general concern that we may have a leak problem — unauthorized disclosure problem out of New York, and so I asked that it be investigated.”

In a previous testimony I recall Comey said there was an attempt to look into his matter when he was still FBI director, but that investigation seems to have died. Certainly no news has come out that references it in any way. I am surprised (not really!) that no media outlet has pursued this story in any meaningful way. There is a Pulitzer out there for an investigative journalist that digs into this; it doesn’t appear as if anyone is interested though.

This is an open thread!


I’m going to repeat something that every Widdershin already knows: There is no significant voter fraud in America.

The Brennan Center’s seminal report “The Truth About Voter Fraud” conclusively demonstrated most allegations of fraud turn out to be baseless — and that of the few allegations remaining, most reveal election irregularities and other forms of election misconduct. And numerous other studies have reached the same conclusion. In a recent report, “Noncitizen Voting: The Missing Millions,” the Brennan Center debunked President Trump’s claim that millions improperly voted in the 2016 election.

Yet, the topic of voter fraud always seems to be at the tip of Republican tongues, whether they be mouth-breathing MAGAs or petulant white, male, wealthy underachievers outraged that uppity wimminz and minorities would dare to vote against them.

Here’s what Democrats should do every time a Republican shitbird starts talking about this long, long debunked fairy tale in which everyone loves him, he is married to June Cleaver, who vacuums in pearls and pumps, and no black people exist anywhere:

“It’s not voter fraud that’s the problem. It’s Republican election fraud.”

Then sit back and watch the exploding heads, because no. one. ever. calls. them. on. this.

Ever.

The way I see it, we have not had an honest federal election in this country since 2000, when Gore won the popular vote by 500,000 votes, but still did not become President, because, Florida. Remember Florida, where Dubya’s paid operatives stormed down there in their Brooks Brothers shirts and demonstrated against the recount? And a Republican Secretary of State and Republican Supreme Court colluded to ensure that Bush won even though his margin was 537 votes?

Once that snarling weasel and his psychopathic VP took office, all bets were off. Electronic voting machines with no paper trails that switched votes to Bush from Kerry; gerrymandering and massive voter suppression became their M.O. And let’s not forget the Republican-controlled Supreme Court, which gutted a critical portion of the Voting Rights Act, opening the door to election fraud that was previously illegal, but now could be considered to fall into a grey area.

Shelby County v. Holder, 570 U.S. ___ (2013), is a landmark[1] United States Supreme Court case regarding the constitutionality of two provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965: Section 5, which requires certain states and local governments to obtain federal preclearance before implementing any changes to their voting laws or practices; and Section 4(b), which contains the coverage formula that determines which jurisdictions are subjected to preclearance based on their histories of discrimination in voting.[2][3]

On June 25, 2013, the Court ruled by a 5-to-4 vote that Section 4(b) is unconstitutional because the coverage formula is based on data over 40 years old, making it no longer responsive to current needs and therefore an impermissible burden on the constitutional principles of federalism and equal sovereignty of the states.[2][3] The Court did not strike down Section 5, but without Section 4(b), no jurisdiction will be subject to Section 5 preclearance unless Congress enacts a new coverage formula.[4]

Five years after the ruling, nearly a thousand polling places had been closed in the country, with many of the closed polling places in predominantly African-American counties. Research shows that the changing of voter locations and reduction in voting locations can reduce voter turnout.[5]

But even with all of the storied examples of Republican election fraud, all of which continued in 2018, our current pResident took it to a level never seen in American history when he conspired with a hostile foreign government to steal the Presidential election of 2016. Let’s face it, the Mango Moron did not win legitimately. Russia viciously attacked our election, influencing tens of millions of voters through fake news and bots on social media, hacking into Hillary’s and Podesta’s emails and leaking them for months, and invading voter databases, “not changing results.” Sure, if I were an evil tyrant roaming around voter databases for months uncaught, and I wanted one candidate to win, I absolutely would not change a thing!

So the Democrats should start talking about this, loudly and often. Perhaps some already are.

This is an open thread.

 

Have you all seen this video of Lady Gaga on Stephen Colbert’s show? It’s gone viral. For the words about the Kavanaugh confirmation, start around 3 minutes in.

A bell rang deep within me when Gaga said that trauma changes the brain; that the brain puts the pain in a box and shuts it, so we can survive. I realized that, since the day Drumpf stole the Presidency, I have been living with the pain of that day, and that box, while shut, has had some leaks.

Since November 8, 2016, I have lost some of my sparkle, my joie de vivre. My writing has become more direct, more bland, more generic. Satire is impossible; nothing is more absurd than the fantasy world the Republicans are trying to force down our throats. The plays I used to write don’t come out any more, as I have trouble finding humor in almost anything.

My brain functions more slowly now…I struggle to form sentences quickly and speak smoothly, as I used to. I lose focus at work, because my full heart isn’t in it. I am more prone to depression, to tears, to anxiety.

I’m a natural extrovert; yet, I’ve become more retiring, more reluctant to meet new people. I’m afraid any new person I meet may have voted for the Mango Moron, and I just don’t want people like that in my life. I don’t want to speak to them; I don’t want to sympathize with them; I don’t want to hear their excuses for voting for a racist, misogynist, authoritarian thug.

I have been changed, while the box strained and bulged and the pain and sorrow leaked through.

When the story about Dr. Ford broke, that box opened for me. All the psychic trauma of the past two years came rushing out, along with the memories of my own experiences with threatening men and sexual harassment. Online, I read countless, horrifying stories of women and men, recounting their own #MeToo moments.

Yet as terrible as this was to go through, something unexpected happened after Kavanaugh was confirmed.

I felt better. No, not just better: I felt my brain start to work again. The pall over my emotions lifted. I suddenly realized what was wrong, and that clarity gave me the strength to deal with it.

I was changed again.

Make no mistake, we are living in dreadful times. Drumpf now says he won’t fire Rosenstein. Why should he? Rosenstein helped rig the sham FBI investigation that Flake and Collins used as an excuse to vote for Kavanaugh, and Kavanaugh is the guy Trump thinks will fix any consequences of the Mueller investigation for him and his children. More than that – he will help get all of Drumpf’s dreadful, un-American initiatives past court challenges that have, so far, held them up. The Muslim ban. The transgender ban in the military. Family separation. Babies in jail. Overturning Roe v. Wade. Killing the Affordable Care Act. Deporting legal immigrants back to their “shithole countries.” Etc., etc., etc.

But there’s nothing we can do about that now. We all did everything we could, and we caused a lot of “good trouble,” as John Lewis called it. In the end, the Republicans narrowly managed to elevate their pet sociopath to the Supreme Court.

Now, we focus like lasers on getting out the vote on November 6th. Because if we can get control of Congress, impeachment will be on the table – not just for Drumpf, but for Kavanaugh.

I’m sharp, I’m feeling everything, and I’m ready to work hard for the #BlueTsunami.

How about you?

This is an open thread.

Today is September 11, the 17th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. that had such a devastating impact on our country and our world. (Of course our petty f*cktard-in-chief is going to Pennsylvania – because it’s the state that *allegedly* voted for him in 2016 – instead of New York or DC, because he is despised in both locations.) This day is always one of remembrance of those that were lost, sharing our personal stories, and talking about how our friends and families were affected by the tragedy.

But in 2018, there is never just one dramatic event in 24 hours. Today, we have a second-rate reality TeeVee star in the White House, and the thrills, chills and roars of outrage never stop. Today, besides the attacks by Al Qaeda on that fateful day, there is another disaster to consider: the possible co-opting of the Supreme Court by an illegitimate, traitorous President and his complicit Congressional enablers.

Based on his history and record, there is no doubt that Kavanaugh is in line with the typical racist, sexist Republican judicial appointee. In addition, the guy appears to be an operative from wayyyyyy back, in like Flynn with today’s high-profile right-wing politicians and pundits. As former wingnut David Brock wrote for NBC:

Call it Kavanaugh’s cabal: There was his colleague on the Starr investigation, Alex Azar, now the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Mark Paoletta is now chief counsel to Vice President Mike Pence; House anti-Clinton gumshoe Barbara Comstock is now a Republican member of Congress. Future Fox News personalities Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson were there with Ann Coulter, now a best-selling author, and internet provocateur Matt Drudge.

At one time or another, each of them partied at my Georgetown townhouse amid much booze and a thick air of cigar smoke.

This massive conflict of interest and obvious partisan agenda should immediately disqualify any jurist from ascension to the highest court in the land. (Remember conservative fauxrage about “activist judges”?) But what we have seen from this appalling travesty of a Republican government is a commitment to covering their asses at all costs. And Kavanaugh is just the guy to do it.

I agreed with DYB that it is very likely that Kavanaugh will be confirmed. That was, until Senator Cory Booker released just a few of the records George W. Bush and his partisan enablers were hiding from the American public. No help from Russia needed!

There are many ways in which the emails could be a problem for Kavanaugh. First of all, they confirm that dear soccer dad Brett is, in fact, in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade. (Sorry girls, Daddy doesn’t trust you to control your own body!) This means that Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, Republican Senators who take pro-choice positions to protect their credibility as moderates, cannot vote for him without that credibility. Will they take the hit, and if they do, why?

Kavanaugh’s racism is so virulent that it presents another, possibly even more urgent, quandary for Murkowski.

Alaska Natives were a key to Murkowski’s re-election, when she ran a successful write-in campaign against Joe Miller. There is little evidence that they encountered problems voting when they helped Murkowski become the first U.S. senator in more than 50 years to win an election with a write-in campaign. In fact, with Alaska’s absentee ballots, Permanent Fund automatic registration, and early voting locations, Alaska is a “no excuse” voting state.

Tlingit-Haida Central Council President Richard Peterson wrote to Murkowski and said that the 30,000 tribal members his organization represents would be endangered by Kavanaugh’s confirmation, “because of his erroneous views on indigenous rights and tribal sovereignty.

“We are concerned moving his nomination forward due to his unsound views and the potential injury that his misperceptions would wreak upon your Native Alaskan constituents, our Native Hawaiian friends and fellow indigenous peoples. I write to you, asking you to vote no, and oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination,” Peterson’s letter stated.

Who knows what motivates these ladies…they may still decide to vote yes. In particular, there is more to Collins, Kavanaugh and Russia than the media is reporting.

Even if all these red flags are ignored by the #complicit Republican Congress, the real reason the emails were hidden is the most damning: Kavanaugh participated in the theft of Democratic strategy emails when he worked for our last horrific illegitimate Rethug President, George W. Bush. Then, he lied about it. UNDER OATH. This may be beyond the pale even for today’s morally bankrupt GOP.

And with the latest poll numbers showing worse and worse news for Drumpf and his political influence, what is their motivation for sticking with him? Aren’t there any who are free from NRA Russian influence?

17 years after a devastating Al Qaeda attack on our country during a Republican administration, all we need is two Republican Senators to stop this devastating Russian attack on American democracy.

Call your Senators.

This is an open thread.

 

 

 

“The damage inflicted by President Trump’s naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate. But it is clear that the summit in Helsinki was a tragic mistake,” McCain said in a statement. “President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin. He and Putin seemed to be speaking from the same script as the president made a conscious choice to defend a tyrant against the fair questions of a free press, and to grant Putin an uncontested platform to spew propaganda and lies to the world.”

Time Magazine, July 16, 2018

On August 25th, 2018, Senator John McCain passed away at the age of 81. Not only did he handle his fatal illness with characteristic bravery and flair, but he also survived long enough to ensure that his legacy was exactly what he wanted it to be. He helped save the ACA, along with Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, and as noted in the quote above, was quite vocal after the #TreasonSummit in Helsinki.

I have only voted for two Republicans in my life: Rudy Giuliani and John McCain. (I am sure you are all surprised that I voted for Giuliani…but you have no idea what a terrible mayor David Dinkins was, he had issues with Jewish people, and Giuliani was a lot more moderate back then. Sigh.) I regret my vote for one, but not for the other – I think McCain would have been a decent President, and Obama truly didn’t earn my vote in 2008, although he certainly got it in 2012 (after the 2010 wave swept all the moderates out of the GOP).

I do think that McCain is benefiting from a bit of wishful thinking in terms of his record. He did vote with Republicans quite a bit, supporting Drumpf about 83% of the time. However, the chart below shows that he truly was more independent than most.

While the nation mourns, we also wonder what will happen now with Arizona’s Senate seat. This article in FiveThirtyEight breaks the options down, and unfortunately, it looks like the Governor of Arizona is likely to pick someone a lot more Trumpy.

A new occupant of McCain’s seat is good news for McConnell, Trump and Republicans who want the party to largely follow the edicts of those two GOP leaders. McCain was largely absent from public life while he was receiving treatment for brain cancer, and during that time, the Senate was split 50-49 in favor of the GOP. That meant one Republican defection could kill any bill. With 51 active Republicans, one defection still left room for Vice President Mike Pence to cast a tie-breaking vote in favor of McConnell and the president. With 50, Pence’s vote isn’t enough as long as one Republican sides with the opposition.

With the addition of a reliable McConnell ally, the Senate’s partisan breakdown returns to 51-49, giving Republican leadership some breathing room. Retiring Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, a Trump critic who occasionally bucks party leadership, will have less power to stall Senate GOP initiatives. That could help the party get more federal judges appointed, a big priority for Trump and McConnell. (I don’t think the return to full strength in the Senate will mean much for other issues, because the Republicans aren’t really trying to push through major initiatives before the midterms.)

Ack, I really hate reading that…but, this of course assumes that Drumpf will keep being President till 2020. I think that is a rather risky assumption; like DYB, I believe something has changed, as so many of the Trump insiders are making plea deals and being convicted of felonies. I also refuse to assume the Rethugs will keep the Senate. Look at Doug Jones in Alabama…who expected that?! Who really knows how many people will vote blue in November? I think we have not yet begun to show our strength.

Whatever happens next, nothing can take away from the fact that Senator John McCain was a brave and honorable man, and he accomplished a great deal in his long life of public service. I thank you, Senator, for helping save ACA and being a strong voice against #TrumpRussia. My heart goes out to your family, friends and colleagues in the Senate…the Democratic ones, anyway.

This is an open thread.


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Kellyanne Conway’s new job

Take the kids to work? NO!

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph

“The” Book

Nice picture of our gal

Time till the Grifter in Chief is Gone

Hopefully soonerJanuary 21st, 2021
24 months to go.

Mueller Time!

Wise Words from Paul Ryan

B-I-N-G-O!

Only the *best* politicans bought by the NRA

Marching for their lives

Perfect Picture

Rudy: oh shit the pee tape IS real!

Need Reminders?

Never too early to shop for Christmas

“Look this way”

Manafort’s Jail Photo

Indeed who?

Trump spam

IOW Dumb = Happy?

Simply Put

Ironic

Awrite! Here’s your damned wall

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