Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Alabama: the Greatest Victory Changes Our Future!

Last night the stunning result in the Alabama senate election did two things. First, it marked big changes in the social landscape of our country. One example: it showed that the historic curse of separatism between blacks and whites can be overcome.

At least five other major changes also occurred, including:

.... the end of Trumpism's rule by fear,

.....the advance of the women's movement,

.....the blacks' discovery of how to harness their political power,

.....the freeing of campaigns from the grip of big money,

..... the restoration of grass-roots campaigning after 40 years of neglect.

The second major thing the Alabama victory produced was a stunning "how-to" on the nuts and bolts of running a winning campaign. Indeed, this is a playbook for the ages!

I will be writing these analyses as soon as I can, given I'm still recovering from the hip surgery.  So watch for them!

And — yes! — the recovery from surgery is going great! Nothing like a dose of Trump eating crow to bring rapid recovery to the old mama, right?

Sunday, December 10, 2017

A Promise of Good News

I'm still recuperating but will be posting some good news this week. Part of the good news is the latest — and really heartening! — poll numbers on Trump. For now just be glad to know that Trump has gone down again even with his hard-core groups. 

I'll also be posting a catch-up on Mueller's latest moves and what they indicate. He's now such a threat to Trump that the GOP in Congress and the far-right media are trying desperately to smear him. The GOP Congress can shrug off its duty to impeach but can't stop a criminal prosecution even if Mueller is fired. Once a prosecution has officially started, e.g. with indictments, it will proceed even without Mueller. 

Ours is indeed a system of laws and not of persons. So be of good heart. Our long nightmare will come to an end.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Recuperating Even From Trump

I had a second hip replacement operation on November 29. Two days later I left the hospital and went home. I'm 81 years old and live alone, so this might seem like a brave decision. But the hospital is jammed with sickies, some even on cots in the halls. The post-surgery nursing homes are similarly overflowing with the sick. The staff at these institutions are also sick.

I'd rather be home struggling than get sick.

But when I decided to go home I didn't know about the tsunami of illness that was about to strike the post-op facilities.

Something just told me to go home.

Sort of like with Dorothy of Oz.

I've been home a week now and seem to be doing quite well. Walking is slow and somewhat painful, really hard work.  But as I do it, I get stronger. Each day there's some improvement; some days there's a big glob of improvement.

As for Donald Trump, he is collapsing and thereby providing much encouragement to me. It's good to see one's predictions come true. You'll remember our talking about Trump's inability to grab hold of government. He thought all he had to do was want something and it would happen. That's a dictatorshp, Mr. Trump, not democracy.

You'll also remember the articles I posted that showed his pre-campaign business criminality. It is this criminality that Robert Mueller has now begun to investigate.  As was said at the time of Watergate, "Follow the money!"

As for the Russian connections and Russia's interference in our election, a very big and very ugly picture is emerging, with one of Trump's top men, Michael Flynn, having pleaded guilty to telling lies to the FBI. (This is a minor offense but tells us Mueller is holding the big offenses as a way to maintain leverage over Flynn.) A business friend of Flynn states that within minutes of Trump being sworn in, Flynn was messaging a business partner to the effect that their nuclear project could go ahead because the  new Trump administration would tear up the anti-Russian sanctions that had been blocking the project.

Flynn started out as part of Trump's new administration but lasted only 21 days.

Sort of a prototype for the Trump longevity?

I'll keep recuperating, and you keep on being well. Plus enjoy the Trump administration's slide toward oblivion. And orange jump suits.

Monday, November 20, 2017

We Should Still Do These Anti-Trump Things

I'll be gone about a month to six weeks with recuperating from a second hip replacement on November 29. So I leave you this post I did right after the election. It's still relevant and still necessary. Please heed its call to save our country.

Together, yes we can!

Here's the link:   Now What Do We Do?

One change to what that posting suggests: Instead of spending time trying to get the Democratic leadership to adopt better procedures and a better focus, just elect new Democrats to office and get them to make the changes needed. As Donna Brazile's book "Hacks" makes clear, a serious clean-up of the DNC is needed. Among other things, it let the Hillary Clinton campaign swipe for its own use most of the money donated to the DNC for state and local campaigns. That was a waste of the money and a terrible strangulation of the Democratic party state-to-state. No wonder we have few Democratic governors and few state legislatures. It was also probably an illegal transformation of soft money into hard money, i.e. allowing contributors to effectively give Clinton more than legally allowed.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

At Last! The Smoking Gun! From Trump Sr's Hand to Yours!

This week the smoking gun of Donald Trump's election felony has at last emerged. Further, this smoking gun definitely has Trump's very own fingerprints on it, and —oh, the irony! — it exists because he can't control his compulsion to tweet.

The smoking gun turned up this week in a pile of material Donald, Jr.  submitted  to one of the Congressional committees investigating Russian aid to the Trump campaign in the 2016 election. We know that the Russians had feloniously interfered with our 2016 election. "On October 7th.... the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the National Intelligence Director had issued a joint statement, saying, 'The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations.' Referring directly to WikiLeaks, the statement went on, 'These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process.”'Donald Trump's Trump, Jr., Problem -

What the Russians did was a felony, and the feds are now preparing to arrest six of them, but a greater concern is whether the Trump organization was involved in the crime. The nexus of the felony is a foreign government giving "something of value" to one of our campaigns.  We know the Russians were involved as the giver of the hacked emails because our intelligence community has so concluded. These are hard-headed prosecutors who clearly believe they have a case.

Until this week two questions have nevertheless remained. Most basically, was there a gift in the legal sense? Giving Trump the hacked Clinton campaign materials certainly looks like a gift, but to be a gift in the legal sense there must be "acceptance".  

Until now there has been no clear evidence that Trump or his campaign accepted Russia's offers of help. The Russian-Trump email exchanges during this period are frustrating because, while Donald, Jr., says he "loves" the  "dirt" material on Hillary Clinton, the campaign doesn't seem to openly agree to using it.

That has just changed. Finally, the missing acceptance has been provided. It occurred as the result of a message exchange between Donald, Jr., and Wikileaks on October 12, 2016. As quoted in the New York Times, Wikileaks says to Donald, Jr., "[G]reat to see you and your dad talking about our publications. Strongly suggest your dad tweets this link if he mentions us." The link in question is to the emails hacked by Wikileaks or the Russians from the Democratic chair of the Hillary Clinton campaign, John Podesta. Donald Trump Jr. Communicated With WikiLeaks During Campaign ...
Julian Assange,founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks. (Axel Schmidt/Reuters)

Only fifteen minutes later, like a bolt of lightningDonald Trump Senior leaps into tweeting his millions of followers: “Very little pick-up by the dishonest media of incredible information provided by WikiLeaks. So dishonest! Rigged system!”

In his compulsion to tweet, Trump has handed us the smoking gun. By availing himself of the Russian &/or Wikileaks materials he has "accepted" it. Thus there is a gift proffered and accepted. Trump has joined in the commission of a felony. 

Further, he can't push the culability off on his hapless dim son or some other campaign underling. Trump the candidate holds the gun.

He is also criminally complicit in another way.  He has aided and abetted the commission of the felony. By tweeting a boast about the Wikileaks material he has arguable heightened its circulation and increased its impact. And if that isn't aiding and abetting, what is?

Compounding Trump, Sr.'s aiding and abetting, just two days later Donald, Jr. tweeted to his followers the link to the Russian/Wikileaks hacked material, prefaced by this: “For those who have the time to read about all the corruption and hypocrisy all the @wikileaks emails are right here:”
One more issue: Had the Trumps accepted the gift from just Wikileaks, or were they accepting the hacked materials as a gift from Russia as well? It's important because if it was just Wikileaks then there's an issue of whether Wikileaks is a "foreign government"for the purposes of the federal statute.

Not to worry. For purposes of this case and this statute, the Russians and Wikileaks are virtually one, i.e. united in "a common enterprise". Since June 2016 the Russians had been promoting this material to the Trump folks and identifying Wikileaks as the immediate source for delivery to the campaign. Wikileaks and Russia were two hands washing each other. Luring in Trump and attacking our election was  their "common enterprise". 

Under another legal theory Wikileaks was Russia's "agent" in these transactions. Wikileaks either did the hacking itself and provided the results to Russia, or Russia did the hacking and then used Wikileaks as the distributor. 

 No matter the labeling, we are dealing with a Humpty-Dumpty, like your kids ganging up on you to swear you promised ice cream. These are two parties that are so close in motive, so united in purpose, and so conjoined in action that they are one. And please note that this theory of agency gets us out of having to  argue over whether Wikileaks itself is a foreign government. It's enough that Russia is.

Why did Trump do such a brash thing as to leap into this self-incriminating  twittering with no time to consider the possible result or to get advice from his attorney?  Because he is a brash and foolish man. He genuinely believes that everything he does is right.

But it isn't. In one reckless twitter he has scuttled the issues that might have saved him from being deemed in cahoots with Russia/Wikileaks.  He has demonstrated the moment that he and his campaign joined the Russians in attacking our election system. He has wronged us voters and his party. But most of all he has betrayed our system of government. He is in fact a traitor.

"Traitor" is a heavy word. It carries with it the thudding footstep of the executioner. And it should.

For treason is the one crime established in the Constitution as a capital offense. 

Sometimes I could almost support capital punishment. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Hurrah! America Has Kicked Trump Hard! We're Taking Our Country Back!

I'm not allowed to sit long at the computer until after my hip surgery at the end of the month. So this will be brief. (Look for me to be back in January.)

Just want to say a BIG HURRAH! And a big thanks to the voters of VA, Montana, Washington State and elsewhere for kicking Trump into the weeds this past Tuesday. He and his kind lost virtually every contest! The voters said no to racism, homophobia, scare tactics, and all the other vile things he has used to attempt to divide our people.

America is still here. And it's still a great place.

In fact, one-third of the voters in VA who voted for the Democrat for governor instead of the Trumpish Republican told pollsters they voted that way in order "to send a message to Donald Trump."

Next year let's send lots of these anti-GOP messages so as to remove the Congress from the control of Trump's cohorts and enablers. Let's finish taking back our country!

Meantime Tuesday's results have made this 83-year-old Mama one happy kid!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Trump's Forces Rebel Against " Man Behind the Curtain."

The current rebellion in Washington against Trump is because most Americans understand our system, even if he doesn't. They also understand about climate change and other issues of the day that elude Trump in his ignorance.

   Burning of forest in Wildwood California last year. Large number of fires are attributed to climate change. Hottest Era in All of Civilization, Because of Man, U.S. Says
Trump is not a president. He is grossly inadequate and probably in deep legal trouble. Those around him have noticed. Trump's staff, his GOP allies in Congress, department heads, attorneys, and spokespersons are therefore just tuning him out. He seems to have ceased being president. I can't remember such ever happening in the presidency in my 80 years nor reading of it in American history. The closest is Woodrow Wilson's fade-out after his stroke.

Trump still goes through some of the steps of being president. But his cloak of authority has been pulled away. Remember that scene in "The Wizard of Oz"? A little black doggie from Kansas reveals The Mighty Wizard to be just a charlatan peddler. In vain the Wizard cries out,"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain"?

We all knew quite a while ago that this Trump fellow isn't presidential material. He publicly lies on average seven times a day, exaggerates like a four-year-old, has no noticeable train of thought, has no principles, has no policies. He has no dignity but screams out on Twitter like the demented peddlerman he actually is. He is crude, vulgar, self-absorbed and quite ignorant.

Now, in just one week, his staff, his party, his attorney, and his federal agencies have joined in disavowing his authority. They have quietly removed his cloak of authority by just ignoring it. As far as I recall, it began this past week with his own attorney — the improbably named Ty Cobb of the improbable mustaches. Mr. Cobb advised the world to ignore Trump's harsh remarks about Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, who is investigating for any Trump/Russia conspiracy. Last Monday Mueller let the first shoes of his investigation hit the floor. Score to date: indictment of Trump's campaign manager and the latter's assistant, plus a confession by a campaign worker. There were not, as far as we can yet tell, revelations of a conspiracy, but the legal work showed the Trump campaign poised to go through that door.

Trump screamed, "NO COLLUSION!" (The capitals are his.)  He screamed other anti-Mueller, anti-investigation stuff over Twitter, but his attorney quietly maintained that Trump's remarks have nothing to do with the investigation and that Trump was cooperative with Mueller.  He isn't, but he would do well to be so because the public strongly supports Mueller. The public sides with Mueller - The Washington Post

Ty Cobb, the poor sod of an attorney, actually kept a straight face while announcing that Trump wasn't talking about Mueller. Cobb is trying to save Trump from roaring his way into yet another charge of obstruction of justice, one already looming from his firing of FBI Director James Comey, who began the investigation now in Cobb's hands.

Cobb's line was then taken up by Trump's press secretary, the smug and annoying Sarah Sanders.  She too kept a straight face while announcing that Trump's attacks on the Mueller investigation had nothing to do with Mueller and the investigation.

The Republicans in Congress this week also treated him like the man who wasn't there. Determined to get some kind of tax law enacted — no laws having been enacted all this year —  the GOP Congress gave only a cursory nod to Trump's urging they add a provision to the tax law so as to repeal Obamacare. As you'll recall, all year this Congress repeatedly failed to do anything about Obamacare.

Now, after several days of resounding silence from Congress, one chairman tentatively said they might consider including a repeal of the requirement that everybody get insurance. He was clear about this not being his idea:  “The president feels very strongly about including this at some step before the final process.” The Congressman soberly noted, however, that "the Senate has yet to produce 50 votes on anything related to health care that I’m aware of.”   G.O.P. May Repeal Health Mandate as Part of Tax Bill

So much for presidential authority in GOP law-making these days.

As if that weren't a slap in the face of presidential authority, look at the outright mutiny this week in thirteen federal departments.  "Directly contradicting much of the Trump administration’s position on climate change, 13 federal agencies unveiled an exhaustive scientific report on Friday that says humans are the dominant cause of the global temperature rise that has occurred since the start of the 20th century, creating the warmest period in the history of civilization." Hottest Era in All of Civilization, Because of Man, U.S. Says

The federal prosecutors also have walked out on Trump, turning a deaf ear to him on sanctuary cities, immigrant bans, etc. Their job is to follow the law and the Justice Department rule book. Obviously it would be wrong for them to heed his bellowing of his prejudices. As for meting out justce, "Obviously, prosecutors don’t like to see people in positions of authority — including the president — commenting on possible penalties.’’ Mary McCord, a former senior national security official at the Justice Department, notes that “tweets and off-the-cuff statements make the jobs of career Justice Department people challenging. " When Trump speaks on legal matters, prosecutors try not to ...

In fact such commenting backfired on Trump this week when the ruling judge in the Army's Bowe Bergdahl desertion case refused to sentence Bergdahl to any jail time, taking into account that Trump had spent two years screaming that Bergdahl should be shot.  Trump just doesn't understand that demands by a high-placed office-holder can be seen as prejudicing the rights of an accused. In his persistent ignorance, Trump helped the man he considered a traitor!  Bergdahl Avoids Prison; Trump Once Urged Death Penalty

Words count, Mr. Trump. Learn that or no one who counts for anything will resume listening to you. Only your lonely little 33%. 

You can't govern with 33% and the ill will or disdain of everybody else, including your own federal staff.