Wednesday, March 27, 2019

CONGRESSIONAL REPUBLICANS: A PROTECTION RACKET FOR PARLIAMENTARY CORRUPTION AND GENERAL BUFFOONERY

Headline of the week ...

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Here's the primary problem with the GOP's demand. Those calling for Adam Schiff to resign are the same idiots who had no problem with Trey Gowdy wasting years and millions of dollars on a Benghazi Easter Egg hunt that went nowhere. Schiff's working with real indictments, real convictions and real jail time, and he's only getting started. 

Congressional Republicans have become a protection racket for parliamentary corruption and general buffoonery.

- Mark

A DARK CLOUD HANGS OVER TRUMP'S AMERICA ... THE RULE OF LAW IS BECOMING WILDLY CORRUPT AND EVEN NON-EXISTENT


"Trump, like all despots, has no ethical core." (Photo: coolloud/flickr/cc)

A few thoughts from my friend Patrick McAleenan ...

A hypothetical - Let's say there's a man named Donny, who is suspected of murder... and Donny is allowed to appoint the district attorney who will prosecute his case. He searches around for a DA he thinks will be the right man for the job... and one prospect stands out. Donny finds a prospect named Billy who has written an unsolicited 19 page letter that is highly critical of the case against Donny, so Donny appoints Billy to be his prosecutor. As prosecutor, Billy announces that he's reviewed the case and determined that there isn't enough evidence against Donny to indict him and declines to prosecute... and then Billy allows Donny to see ALL of the evidence against him and allows Donny to decide what evidence the public can or can't see. 
This is what the rule of law looks like under Donny. Somewhere between wildly corrupt and non existent.
Here's the point. Donald Trump has surrounded himself with several increasingly corrupt political forces in America. First we have a political party, the GOP, that is more interested in operating like a racketeering gang, focused on protecting parliamentary corruption while ignoring the general buffoonery coming out of the White House. They believe their only role today is to protect Donald Trump, while promoting the interests of the mega-rich in America. They have turned a blind eye to Russian meddling in our elections, and have chosen to downplay a string of indictments, trials and prison sentences that were a product of a broader cover up designed to protect the criminality coming out of the Trump White House. 

The Republican Party is so far gone they continue to ignore what our nation's intelligence agencies have told us since Day One: Russia meddled in our elections, with the goal of using social media to create division, sow hate, and rile up conservatives and independents so that they would go out and vote for Donald Trump (or at least vote against Hillary Clinton).

(Russia's goals here are quite clear. They want a geo-strategic shift that includes reducing the U.S. presence and stature around the world, which includes breaking up long-standing western alliances and institutions. Simply put, Putin's long game hinges on American decline, and Donald Trump is obliging him.)

And let's not forget the cackling conservative media machine that operates like a propaganda arm of Trump's White House. From Fox Entertainment to the assorted right-wing media clown shows, our airwaves and social media platforms are flooded with all kinds of lies and misinformation about both the Trump White House, and anyone who happens to disagree with the right-wing noise machine's twisted interpretation of events.

Then we have Attorney General William Barr, who made it clear long ago that he thought Mueller's investigation was bogus. Now AG Barr (in his 4-page summary report) and the GOP are arguing there is no need for the general public to have access to the thousand page Mueller Report because AG Barr's reading of the report tells him - surprise, surprise - that the president and his team are not guilty of anything. 


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One thing's clear after reading AG Barr's summary of the Mueller Report: No one is going to confuse him with being a constitutional scholar, or a learned student of literature. He's a party hack who did the job Trump hired for, plain and simple. 



AG Barr will go down as a punchline in American history, and deservedly so (Richard Nixon's lawyer, John Dean, believes AG Barr is hiding something 'fairly ugly').

My friend Patrick is correct. With Congressional Republicans acting like racketeers and common thugs, AG Barr running interference on the Mueller Report, and a right-wing propaganda machine that would make Goebbels proud, the rule of law under Trump is moving somewhere between "wildly corrupt and non-existent." Worse, it could be argued that congressional Republicans have become little more than Praetorian Guards, focused on protecting Donald Trump, even if that means corrupting the checks and balancing role that our Founders intended Congress to play.  

And America is worse for all of it. 

MAGA? Hardly. The world is laughing at us and our Idiot Prince. 



They're also afraid, and drawing some scary comparisons.



Sigh ...

- Mark

Monday, March 25, 2019

MUELLER REPORT MUSINGS


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If you want to read something of substance on the Mueller Report, check out Seth Abramson's Twitter post(s) by clicking here. In a few words, we're not in Kansas anymore.

And now, a recap of all the people who were indicted during the course of Robert Mueller's investigation ...


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- Mark

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

GERMANY WANTS PRO-NAZI TRUMP AMBASSADOR OUT OF GERMANY?

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"Trump's Ambassador Finds Few Friends in Germany," Spiegel Online.

"German politicians call on U.S. to withdraw ambassador," Politico.

"New ambassador to Germany under fire for rightwing support," The Guardian.

"Is Trump's envoy to Germany sabotaging Angela Merkel?", Vanity Fair.

"The new U.S. ambassador to Germany just made himself the least popular diplomat in Berlin," Brookings.

- Mark

Monday, March 18, 2019

YES, AMERICA WANTS TO TAX THE WEALTHY


Guess what? Americans want the wealthy and corporations to pay more taxes, and we have the surveys to back it up. The most popular proposal is Senator Elizabeth Warren's 2 percent wealth tax on holdings above $50 million, and three percent on holdings worth more than $1 billion. 

You can read the results of the Brookings Institute surveys by clicking here ...



- Mark

THIS IS A REAL PUZZLER ... IF WE ONLY HAD A CLUE, JUST ONE CLUE


You can read about the details by clicking here.

- Mark

AN EMERGING PATTERN

Image may contain: text that says 'The mail bomber mentioned Trump. The Synagogue shooter mentioned Trump. The Coast guard white supremacist mentioned Trump. The New Zealand terrorist mentioned Trump. It's almost as if there's some sort of pattern.'

- Mark

Friday, March 15, 2019

NEW ZEALAND REELING FROM TRUMP EFFECT

Benito Trump Mussolini

After an Australian white supremacists went on a killing rampage against two mosques in New Zealand, murdering over 40 in the process, we've learned that the killer was an admirer of Donald Trump. Specifically, in his "manifesto" (i.e. his crazy logs) he praised Donald Trump as a "symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose."

So let's call call what happened in New Zealand what it is: a product of the Trump Effect.


No one should be surprised. Words from the President of the United States matter. Today, after two years of Trump in the White House, we know that every extremist killing in the United States in 2018 had links to right-wing extremism.

What's worse, two-thirds of terror attacks in the U.S. last year were carried out by like-minded zealots and bigots. This didn't come out of nowhere. Remember Trump's campaign rhetoric?


Here's the point. Words matter. Trump's been upping the ante on divisive speech ever since he entered the White House. Just this week, Donald Trump said that his "friends" in the military, police and biker groups might have to get "tough" on Democrats and his political opponents in the future.

Where does that come from?

And, yeah, that was a dog whistle.


If you need to know about the limits on free speech - and why Trump is dangerously reckless and, yes, should be held liable on the issue - click here.

- Mark

Oh, I forgot to put this in the post ...



Wednesday, March 13, 2019

HOW COME OUR CHRISTIAN FRIENDS DON'T CARE ABOUT USURY?

Image result for jesus money changers

Where's our are Christian friends when it comes to usury and human exploitation? Oh, wait ... many (most?) of our modern Trump-supporting Christians are Fake Christians. They don't care about what the money changers do to exploit human need and suffering.


- Mark

Monday, March 11, 2019

TRUMP'S PROFANITY-LACED CPAC SPEECH SHOWS HE'S A LUNATIC

I wasn't going to post anything about Trump's CPAC speech, but then curiosity got the better of me and I decided to watch some of it. What did I learn? It's actually worse than we thought. We have a foul-mouthed talk show host running the country. 


Unfortunately, yes, with Trump, the absurdly low bar we have for Trump can and will be lowered even more by his followers. What an embarrassment.

- Mark

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

TRUMP'S GIVING RUSSIA AND NORTH KOREA A STAGE THEY DON'T DESERVE - AND WILL ABUSE

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You can read about it by clicking here.

- Mark

INVESTING IN OUR HUMANITY

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And, yes, "this" costs money.

- Mark

WHY AMERICA IS SWIRLING THE DRAIN OF CORRUPTION AND SYSTEM FAILURE ...


This is actually pretty good. You'll learn about this (or should learn about this) in any introductory course on American Government.


For those of you debating whether to watch this 12 minute clip know this: The role of public opinion in making laws (not very strong), how state & local laws lead to changes in federal laws (a lesson on federalism), alliance building and the role of personal responsibility in the American experience (the principle of self governance) are all discussed here.

So, again, watch this clip if you can. It's actually quite short given the amount of time it usually takes to explain all of this in a class (granted, most of the time we need to lay a foundation before discussing some of these topics).

- Mark

IN THIS CASE, SIZE MATTERS

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- Mark

Friday, March 1, 2019

TRUMP'S WALL IS NOW COMPLETE

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- Mark

YET ANOTHER REASON WHY FOX IS A JOKE


- Mark

SIGN OF THE TIMES ... LOOKING PAST WHITE SUPREMACY

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And, for the record ...

* "White supremacists committed most extremist killings in 2017, ADL says," NBC News.

* "Killings by white supremacists in US more than doubled last year, says new report," Independent.

* "Hate crimes against Jews rise by 37%, FBI reports," Jewish Telegraphic Agency."

* "Whit Supremacist Pleads Guilty to Killing Black Man in New York to Start a 'Race War'," NY Times.

* "The Resurgent Threat of White-Supremacist Violence, " The Atlantic.

* "Hate crimes in America spiked 17 percent last year, FBI says," NBC News.

* "FBI: Hate crimes in U.S., CA surge in first year of Trump's presidency," SF Chronicle.

* "Black American Still Are Victims of Hate Crimes More Than Any Other Group," Public Integrity.

- Mark

THE DRIP OF HYPOCRISY

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- Mark