Georgia demoted McConnell; what comes next?

Joe Biden will begin his presidency with a legislative majority in both the House and Senate for the first two years of his presidency.

Democrats need to take a lesson from the Republicans who have proven themselves wholly unfit to govern, and use that majority to its full effect to put out a full and complete repudiation of McConnell and Trump’s legislative policy.

First priority, after correcting the COVID Vaccination rollout, should be appointing an Attorney General who will investigate and prosecute the crimes committed by the Trump administration.

Second priority should be addressing their assault on the judicial branch of government through impeachment, where possible, of his appointments and by adding seats to the Supreme Court bench to eliminate the Republican majority and the power of the three Trump appointed Justices.

While all that is happening, rebuilding the CDC, reconnecting with the WHO and UN, treating white supremacy militias as domestic terrorism cells, releasing the caged immigrants and returning their abducted kids back to them, rejoining the Paris Accords, police reform, and ending funding to the border wall should all be taken care of.

Improving the ACA and working toward a single payer health care system needs to begin. 

A national minimum wage that provides a living wage, tied to inflation rates needs to be established.

And, the government needs to make a massive commitment to national infrastructure including job training and placement programs to create and fill the jobs necessary, not just to repair and maintain the current infrastructure, but to also upgrade it for the future.

Biden may not be the progressive I wanted, but he is an improvement over Trump, he will assemble a competent cabinet and empower them to lead without heavy handed micromanagement, and he will sign the bills put in front of him by a Democrat majority congress.

This means he will be as progressive as the Congress we, as voters, give him.

So, while we expect him to get to work on repairing the damage of the McConnell/Trump era, we need to get to work on the 2022 midterm elections to provide him an even stronger congressional support system to write the policies and create the budgets we want signed by the President.

The incredible work to drive record breaking voter registration and turnout to defeat Trump and flip the Senate was just the first step, not the end game. Don’t sacrifice the momentum. This is our opportunity to truly start checking and correcting our #Culturalinertia.

A Field Guide to Changing the #Culturalinertia – Part 1

This is not about the candidates for President this election cycle, but the people voting in the election.

Over the years, this blog, and the accompanying Facebook discussion page, have contained an ongoing theme of identifying and discussing ways to address the aspects of our culture we cling to consciously or subconsciously to hold us back. We have been calling this our Cultural Inertia.

An evaluation of the current election results so far has proven to me that I need to approach discussing our #Culturalinertia a bit differently. Over the next several months, I will be posting an ongoing, and cumulative guide on how we need to start dealing with this. Each post will give us the next step to begin working on to make dramatic overall shifts.

As of the time of this writing, 68.6 million people, and counting, have voted for at least four more years of malevolent incompetence, lies, criminality, fascism, racism, sexism, religious bigotry, and weaponization of faux (and real) Christianity through legislation. That’s over 5.5 million more than voted for Trump in 2016.

We can’t not have a serious talk about this.

We cannot truly have freedom in a multicultural society while any of these people remain in positions of power and influence over the lives of others and adhere to these belief systems. Whether that power and influence comes from the office of the presidency, elected or appointed members of government, judges, doctors, nurses, police, first responders, loan approval officers, Neighborhood Watch groups, Home Owners’ Associations, or anywhere else is irrelevant. What matters is that the power to oppress must be removed from the people that would take advantage of it.

Which brings us to:

Step 1

Stop watching what’s happening and passively saying and thinking that “This isn’t America” or “This isn’t my America.”

Because this is America.

This is the America we have always had.

Trump didn’t change the hearts and minds of half of American voters. He simply gave them permission to be open about it to others.

Some still cannot bring themselves to openly admit their believes, so they lied to the poll takers, and their friends, and their family and said they would vote against him. Then they went in the voting centers and pulled the levers, punched the tickets, placed their mark, and pressed the buttons to select his name on the ballot anyway.

As Jim Wright of Stonekettle Station recently stated:

This is the America people of color have been telling us we were part of since its founding.

What Trump has done for the rest of us is remove the blinders so we can no longer pretend we don’t see it happening all around us.

We now know we have neighbors and family members who are among those who adhere to these abhorrent ideologies.

So, what can you do about it?

Start telling yourself, “This isn’t the America I want in the future,” and start actively working to change it by aggressively standing up and calling it out every single time you see it.

No matter who is doing it.

Be Bold. Be relentless. Be uncompromising.

Do not back down.

Do it online and offline, in public and in private.

Don’t fall into the trap of maintaining negative peace. Don’t avoid the necessary conflict to resolve a problem at the expense of allowing the problem to fester, spread, and worsen.

Do not agree to disagree on matters of human and civil rights.

Do not accept that we are all entitled to our opinions when challenging an opinion that is harmful or detrimental to others.

“Get in good trouble.” ~U.S. Rep. John Lewis

Focus on that step for a while, and then I’ll give you Step 2.

A Deep Dive Into the Numbers

My nephew, who turns 16 this year, is a math wiz, and loves statistical analysis, he has also taken a strong interest in modern politics.

Last week he took on the task to analyze polls and historical data to predict how the electoral college plays out. This is his work…

DC, Vermont, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Maryland, California, New York, Rhode Island, Delaware, Washington, Connecticut, Maine’s 1st District, New Jersey, Oregon, and Illinois are very safe for Biden, with current polling averages by FiveThirtyEight showing him up 15 points or more. These states combined are 183 electoral votes.

On the other hand, Nebraska’s 3rd District, Wyoming, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Idaho, North Dakota, Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Dakota are very safe for Trump, with current polling averages by FiveThirtyEight showing him up 15 points or more. These states combined are 63 electoral votes.

Likely Biden States:

New Mexico and Colorado haven’t always been blue, but these last 3 presidential elections they certainly have. With some positive polling for Biden in these states this election, it seems very unlikely that these states go to Trump.

Virginia is a red state, right? Wrong. Much like New Mexico and Colorado, Virginia has gone blue the last 3 presidential elections. While in 2016 Clinton’s vice president pick Kaine was from Virginia, it is hard to truly know how much of an effect that had. Whatever the case was, Virginia is polling strong for Biden this year.

Maine has voted Democrat for the last 7 presidential elections, and doesn’t seem to be stopping this year, with Biden having an apprixmately 14 point lead over Trump in the polling averages.

New Hampshire seems relatively solidly in Biden’s favor, even with it having been considered a swing state in the past, and being relatively close last year.

Minnesota went to Clinton last election, and this election it doesn’t seem likely that that story will be different. Biden leads Trump by over 9 points in this state, and with Clinton having won this state in 2016, it seems very likely Biden will keep this state.

Michigan and Wisconsin are part of a group of 3 key states that will likely help decide the election, along with Pennsylvania. In this prediction, they will be called the rust belt. Michigan and Wisconsin certainly are the most blue of the rust belt, and were extremely close states (especially Michigan) in the 2016 election, even though they had gone to Trump in the end. This year, Biden has an 8 point lead in these states, which makes it seem likely Biden will win these states.

Likely Trump States:

Nebraska has voted red for many years, and is unlikely to change this year. This state would likely be safe if it weren’t for FiveThirtyEight showing Trump up by only a bit under 10 points.

Tennessee is likely to go to Trump, as Trump has a solid lead of just under 13 points.

In Utah, Trump is ahead by under 11 points. As with many of the other red states in the likely column, this state has been solidly Republican for many elections.

Nebraska’s 1st district does not have a lot of info around it. However, there is one poll listed on FiveThiryEight showing Trump up 2 points. However, last election Republicans won Nebraska’s 1st district by over 20 points. Therefore, this district will be considered likely in this prediction.

Kansas is also a reliable vote for Republicans, having voted for them in the last 13 presidential elections. While it doesn’t seem likely it will flip, it is up only just over 10 points for the Republicans.

Indiana mostly votes red, although they did vote blue in 2008. Granted, Republicans did win Indiana by a bit under 20 points in 2016. Either way, Trump is up nearly 10 points over Biden in Indiana.

Even with the Republicans winning Missouri by almost 20 points in 2016, the polls show it surprisingly close in comparison at an approximately 7 point lead for Trump.

Montana is a surprising case, having the Republicans win by over 20 points in 2016, to leading in the polls by just under 5 points, and it’s been narrowing up recently.

South Carolina, unlike their neighbor to the north (more on that later), is still likely to go red this election, with Trump up around 7.5 points.

Alaska is an interesting case, as this is one of Trump’s best times in the polls over the last few months, with a bit under an 8 point lead. Yes, a nearly 8 point lead is good compared to the rest of Trump’s polls this year in Alaska, the state that went to Trump by over 25 points in 2016.

It is amazing to see many of these likely Republican states not safe. It really goes to show Biden’s power this election. States like Alaska or Nebraska shouldn’t be this close, but they are.

Lean Biden States:

Pennsylvania is the other state in the rust belt. This state is considered by many to be the key state, and is shown to be the most likely tipping point state by FiveThirtyEight. This is good news for Biden, as he is ahead nearly 5 points in Pennsylvania polling.

Nevada was a swing state that went to Clinton last election, and this election seems fairly favorable for Biden, with nearly a 5 point lead over Trump.

Arizona has actually become more blue over the years, with only an approximately 3.5 point victory for Trump in 2016, whereas it was much larger for Republicans in 2012 and 2008. This year, Biden is actually polling ahead of Trump in Arizona, with a lead of nearly 3 points. This state seems like it will go to the Democrats, but it could go either way.

Ah yes, Florida, home of close elections. Trump won it by just over a point in 2016, Obama won it by just under a point in 2012, Obama won it by just under 3 points in 2008, Bush won it by 5 points in 2004, and let’s not discuss the 2000 election. In general, Florida tends to be a close state, and it seems like it will continue that tradition this year. Currently, Biden is leading by around 2 points in the polls in Florida. With Florida’s history, it wouldn’t be surprising to see it go either way, but for the moment it seems to be going to Biden.

North Carolina is another one of those states that have classically tended to be Republican, but now seem to be Democrat. Admittedly, North Carolina did go to Obama in 2008, although barely. This year, Biden has almost a 2 point advantage over Trump according to polling. This still isn’t enough to overcome the polling error from 2016, but this year isn’t 2016.

Georgia has swung back and forth in the polls this election, but currently Biden, surprisingly enough, is ahead over a point in polling data. In the last few elections, Democrats have lost by about 5 or more points in Georgia, so it is impressive to see Biden ahead this year.

Biden seems ahead in Maine’s 2nd district (he has a 3.2 point lead), but due to less polls it’s harder to say for certain. What can be said for certain is that in 2016 Trump won by nearly 10 points, while in 2012 Obama won by over 8 points.

In Nebraska’s 2nd District, it also seems like Biden will win, with a 4.5 point lead.

Lean Trump States:

While Texas has been going more and more blue over the last few years, it seems unlikely that this election is the year that it fully goes blue. Trump has an admittedly low 1 point lead over Biden, but it still seems likely it will go Republican. Given current trends, maybe next presidential election will be the one where we see Texas go blue.

Tilt Trump States:

Ohio’s prediction is honestly tragic. For the last 14 presidential elections, Ohio has voted for the winner of the election. However, this year, it seems to have shifted too far to the right. Currently Trump is ahead 0.8 points in the polls in Ohio, although in general it seems like Biden will win the election, which would break Ohio’s streak. We will see though, as it is a close race in Ohio.

Iowa has been the weirdest state to watch during the making of this prediction. It has been fluctuating back and forth between the 2 candidates for the last month. It has settled to be Biden territory for most of October, but now it has jumped up into being a Trump state. This state is really hard to call either direction, but as Election Day is just around the corner, and Trump has a lead of 1.6 points, it seems it will go to Trump. That being said, early voting was occurring while Biden was in the lead in the polls, so it could swing to Biden. It seems likely this will be the closest state of them all.

And that has been every state! Based on this prediction, here are the predicted results: Biden 351, Trump 187. However, as this prediction does list states based on their likelihood to go to each candidate, included below is what would happen if certain levels of change from the prediction would happen.

To clarify, the wave scenarios outlined below are based on what would happen if various levels of change in the prediction happened, with a blue wave meaning Democrats win tilt Republican states, a blue tsunami meaning Democrats win lean Republican states, and a blue blow-out meaning Democrats win likely Republican states. This also goes for the red waves, but in the favor of the Republicans. This is why the red wave has no change, as there are no tilt Democrat states in this prediction.

Blue Blow-Out: Biden 475, Trump 63


Blue Tsunami: Biden 413, Trump 125


Blue Wave: Biden 375, Trump 163


Standard Prediction: Biden 351, Trump 187


Red Wave: Biden 351, Trump 187


Red Tsunami: Biden 252, Trump 286


Red Blow-Out: Biden 183, Trump 355

Some of the sources:


FiveThirtyEight Forecast: https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2020-election-forecast/


FiveThirtyEight Polls: https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/polls/president-general/


FiveThirtyEight 2016 Data: https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-election-forecast/


Historical Results:

https://www.270towin.com/historical-presidential-elections/

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_United_States_presidential_election#

(and various other Wikipedia articles)

If you wish to see a map form of this prediction, go to this link:

https://www.yapms.com/app/?m=4frs

Looking To The Future Through A Hindsight Filter

We are now in our 8th month of dealing with COVID-19 in the US and the 11th month since China first began publicly acknowledging their outbreak and taking large scale preventative measures.

While we don’t, yet, have a cure or reliable vaccine ready for mass distribution, we do have a pretty clear understanding of the science outlining how we can minimize its infectious spread.

This along with the material leaked by various congressional and White House staff members (current and former), the rhetoric and sources being disproved by those leaks, and the physical confessions of criminal intent Woodward suppressed for half a year offer us the wisdom of hindsight.

What is clear to anyone looking at the whole picture is that Republican politicians bet big on the hope that refusing to allow the proper steps to be taken in time would kill off a massive segment of the already elderly, infirm, impoverished, and marginalized minority community members in a natural biological warfare eugenics scheme before it could reach their cloistered and fortified ranks.

They weaponized the willful ignorance of their racist supporters to hasten the process and used #StochasticTerrorism to whip them into a frenzy.

They did this while accelerating their long term efforts to strip access to health care away from the millions they want to eliminate.

They even managed to fabricate an economic crisis that escalated the risk to those lower income workers in societally essential, but underappreciated and underpaid jobs. Making them choose a death by pandemic illness or homelessness due to loss of income.  And they created an imbalanced stimulus package to benefit the employers and companies that were abandoning their workers by the 10s of thousands.

All to eliminate a huge segment of their opposition voting base and protect their dying grasp on the levers of power in our nation.

Horrifically, they were largely successful. A quarter of a million Americans died, millions more fell ill – many permanently, and tens of millions dropped further into poverty and face homelessness in their near future.

But they weren’t successful enough. The people were galvanized instead of broken. We began using social media to organize large scale resistance and defeat the propaganda spin. They prepared en masse to reclaim democracy.

This increased resistance threatening the decades of work the Republicans spent gerrymandering and redlining districts and suppressing votes by every legal and illegal means possible, forced them to take larger, faster, more obvious steps toward establishing a fascist kleptocracy under the influence and control of an adversarial foreign power.

If they had managed to kill more, and crush the resistive spirit of enough of the rest of us, faster, they would have immediately adopted the necessary protocols to stop the spread of the disease to save themselves.

But, we persevered for too long, and the illness reached them before they could secure victory over their own citizenry and constituents. Now it is too late to admit their intent openly without their own violent supporters being forced to realize how they were being used and being disregarded and discarded along with everyone else in the process.

So they have to maintain the lie at any and all costs, even as they begin to suffer the same detrimental health effects and possible deaths within their own gilded halls sequestered from the masses.

And that is where we are now.

The only way we begin to recover is to sweep everyone who has supported, protected, enabled, and emboldened this presidential administration from every level of our federal, state, and local governments.

Then we can work on passing some new laws, abolishing some old ones, and begin correcting the course of our #Culturalinertia. It will be generations before we are done, especially if Trump and McConnell secure a 6-3 imbalance on the Supreme Court.

We will never complete the journey unless we decide right now to take every possible step necessary to begin it.

The first step is making sure your ballot is properly submitted between now and November 3rd.

No Excuses

It is imperative that, this November, you remember that the first reported case of COVID-19 occurred in China in mid-November of 2019. A few months prior the Trump administration had terminated the position of the CDC doctor embedded with China’s version of the CDC to provide us with an early warning of any outbreaks there. This was after disbanding all of the people and protocols that President Obama had put in place to deal with such pandemic outbreaks during the early states of the Ebola epidemic. It was also after cutting funding to the CDC and diverting much of it’s remaining funding toward an idiotic border wall.

U.S. Intelligence officials were aware of the outbreak in China and began briefing Trump in December of last year, but he; himself, admits that he doesn’t give credence to their agencies nor does he read all of their briefing reports.

You can be sure that when Trump was briefed, so were the House and Senate intelligence, foreign affairs, and commerce committees. Yet the Republicans on those committees continued repeating Trump’s lies and dismissals to conservative media audiences.

In January, major American retailers began taking note of the situations developing with their supply chains in China. H.E.B, one of our nation’s leading grocery chains, began preparing then for what they expected to become a national shelter in place order similar to the regional quarantines already starting in Wuhan and other regions of China at that time.

The first case of COVID-19 was reported in the U.S. on January 20, of this year.

Still our government would do nothing.

Trump would spend the following two months downplaying it and decrying it as a hoax and partisan diversion instead of handling it.

As Americans continue to suffer and die due to this illness, and others experience loss of income and economic devestation due to our delays in responding appropriately as well as the malevolent incompetence of our presidential administration, Trump is playing games with their lives, demanding fealty from opposition party governors before helping the citizens of the nation as a whole.

First he told them to get their own medical supplies, then he outbid them for those same supplies with federal funds so he could control which states could and could not get them based on whether their governors openly support or oppose his politics and policies.

Now it is March 29th, and this is where we are at:

Source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

The fact that New York is home to nearly half of the United States’ reported COVID-19 infections is not so much an indication of them as a “hot spot” of illness but of testing.

Realtime states at: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

With that lack of testing across the rest of the nation, the U.S. is still averaging 374 infections per million people of population and 7 deaths per million. And those are just with the cases we have tested and reported.

The respective global averages are 86.9 and 4.1.

We are nearly double the global average death rate and quadruple the global average infection rate based on available testing data.

Realtime stats at: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

That is a failure of both a populace that refuses to comply for the common good and a for profit health care system.

Dealing with it doesn’t have to tank our national economy, that is a failure of a system we have accepted despite being based on feudal lords and Robber Barons.

This pandemic, and our response (or lack thereof) to it, is trying to teach us some important #Culturalinertia lessons.

Will we be willing to learn them and change direction as we come out of the stall, or will we just start ourselves right back down the same path, racing blindly and unprepared toward the next preventable crisis?

As a start, if you are still alive in November of this year, you better damn well find a way to vote. Not just for the office of president, but for every position at every level of government. Everyone involved in protecting, enabling, or participating in this malevolent incompetence must be removed from any positions of power over the lives of the rest of us.

The Trump/DeVos Illusion of Choice

There was a moment in Trump’s 2020 State of the Union that specifically deeply bothered me as a parent concerned for the future of our nation.
I have until this point refrained from discussing it because I wanted to fully evaluate and organize my thoughts on the situation prior to putting them forth here.

sotu
With the additional information presented in this article I have the final piece I need to give you a more informed explanation of why I took issue with it.
“Janiyah and Stephanie are in the gallery this evening,” Trump said. “But there is more to their story. Janiyah, I am pleased to inform you that your long wait is over. I can proudly announce tonight that an Opportunity Scholarship has become available, it is going to you, and you will soon be heading to the school of your choice.”
During the speech Trump used the moment to create the optics of granting a young girl of color an educational scholarship with the pretense of proving he is not racist and that the government is helping people of color, just prior to giving one of our nations most infamous and politically influential racists the Medal of Freedom.
We now know; however, that it truly was just manufactured optics and not anything to actually benefit this young woman or anyone else. That was the final piece I was missing.
Trump stood there as part of his state of the union attacking the public school system which he called “Government schools.” Instead of putting five billion dollars into the federal funding of those schools, the quality of which the government is directly responsible, he announced that they would put that money toward selectively helping certain kids opt out of the public school system for privatized schools.
They are not going to help this young girl get a quality education nor are they intending to use the selective government funding (created to undermine the governmental educational system) to pay for what they did offer her.
Instead the Secretary of Education is going to personally pay for a single year of her education after which she and her family will have to find a way to continue paying on their own or she will have to return to those underfunded “government schools.” All this, while funneling a significant portion of that aforementioned five billion dollar government program into the private school system in which DeVos is personally, privately invested.

charter
Source: New York Times

Trump and DeVos are not offering a choice of education. They are taking direct steps to continue under-funding and devaluing public school education in order to pilfer the government funds they created under the pretense of offering a choice. In order to do so they are putting their racism on open display by using a false display of helping a youth of color with the intent of discarding her once her usefulness has been served. The end result is creating an educational system where all funding and quality is out of the reach of the masses and available only to those with the money and resources to buy their way in and the favored few they personally select to elevate and separate from the rest. They are making every effort to keep the rest of those masses they consider undesirable and unworthy under-educated so they won’t have the ability to develop the resources needed to rise up, resist, demand and force change.

Voting Is Imperative, And Not Enough.

What I am having the hardest time grasping isn’t why the Republican leadership is supporting Kavanaugh.

That is, sadly, entirely within character for the party leadership and not at all surprising. They need this man on the bench, more than any other, because they know he’ll protect them at the highest levels of our court system from repercussions for their actions in support of this administration even if the balance of power in Congress shifts.

It isn’t why the die hard Trump supporters are either, they’ve already demonstrated that they’re willing to screw over themselves with their votes and campaign donations as long as they think they people they hate are getting screwed over more.

What I don’t get are all the parents out there of teen and pre-teen children. The ones with those kids just starting to become aware of political discourse as their school social studies classes turn to current events. The ones with kids in the early years of high school that will be voting in the fall of 2020.

I don’t get how they can watch these discussions of what it ultimately means to be male or female in our society with their kids, and remain idle, apathetic, or worse supportive of those that strive to keep it this way.

Discussions of why young men shouldn’t be held accountable for their actions, especially if those actions are a result of reckless underage drinking.

Discussions of why young women need to have a stricter dress code than men so they don’t tempt boys to treat them poorly. Why young women have to be more careful at parties and never leave their drinks unattended in case someone might drug them. Why women should always travel together, even to the bathroom in public spaces, so they have strength in numbers. Why young women shouldn’t make accusations of assault against their attackers because we don’t want to ruin a young man’s promising future. Why women shouldn’t make accusations against their assaulter because we don’t want to ruin a man’s career or reputation. Why women should expect if they come forward about an attack to have every aspect of their life — attire, attitude, past history, other sexual experiences, sexual identity, sexuality, friendships, social circles, drinking habits, recreational drug use/experimentation, and more — ripped to shreds in order to find an excuse for the way her assaulter treated her so we don’t have to actually blame him. Why women shouldn’t be allowed the choice to have an abortion even if their pregnancy is the result of a non-consensual sexual assault. Why women who have kids before they’re ready, even as a result of such attacks shouldn’t be provided aid and assistance as single parents.

Discussions of why no man should have to bear the hardship of being accused unless the woman can provide physical DNA evidence, at least 2 eye-witnesses, and preferably a video recording of the incident (which the court and jury will be shown to further traumatize her) and even with all of that, why she’ll still have to endure all of the crap mentioned above being done to her just to give her accuser a couple months jail time and possible registration on the sexual offenders list if he can’t plead his way out of it.

How do they look at their daughters, and say “This is what you’ll have to endure the rest of your life, and I’m not going to try to do anything to fix it.”

How do they look at their sons and say “No matter what we’ve tried to teach you about manners, etiquette, moral and ethical conduct, this is what society will accept and expect of you, and I’m not going to do anything to try to fix it.”

Yes, voting is essential.  It is a moral imperative.  Please vote.

But voting is not enough.

We must change our culture. We must break free of the #Culturalinertia that has us mired in the acceptance of this. In the use of the terminology and mindset that allows it to continue even as we talk about how unfair and not right it is.

These people that condone this and profit off it and remain in power through it need to be removed. Those people that stand idly by and allow it to continue need to be corrected and/or removed.

We need to get off our asses and force the change that needs to happen. Because it isn’t going to happen without us.

Ask yourself “Who has to be victimized before I have had enough?”

Then ask yourself, “Am I really willing to wait for that to happen?”

Because honestly, statistically the odds are, no matter who you named in that first question, it’s likely begun to happen already.

If not us, then who?

If not now, then when?

Can We Trust An Amoral Source To Lead The Resistance Against An Amoral President?

All right, bear with me here.
Discussions on the Tim’s Timely Topics Facebook Page and elsewhere over the last two days have led me to better shape my thoughts on the New York Time’s Op-Ed from the “White House Resistance.” I’d like to share those thoughts with you here, in one message. I am also including this link to the original piece to allow you easy access to full context of any quotes I pull out.
I do not think the decision to release a statement exposing the President’s incompetence to be cowardly.   This president has a long and well documented history of using whatever power available to him to personally and professionally destroy anyone who dares to defy him.   And he currently has access to a considerable amount of power to use toward such goals.
I do not think writing this letter was an act of bravery either though.   No proof of the claims made is provided to be used by us, the readers, to force correction.   No specific incidences of wrong doing are given.
The author, and whatever group is working with him/her, are showing the worst of both aspects here.  They refuse accountability or responsibility while complaining of problems and providing no means to address them.
They do this because they want the problems to continue.  It is to their advantage to create more chaos within the White House, as long as they are suspicious of everyone, they won’t zero in on anyone.   This allows them to keep doing exactly what they are doing.    Which is no better than the president himself.
My original thought, and I still believe it to be the best guess available, is that it was authored by the Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats. I also believe that it does matter who wrote it, beyond whether it was legitimately written by a member of the White House staff.
1200px-dan_coats_official_dni_portrait
Let me start by saying that I am grateful to know that there are members of the staff that see the problem with Trump’s dangerous lack of morality.
“The root of the problem is the president’s amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making.
 
This is absolutely a problem, and we need people to buffer the world from the damage it could cause while we work to remove him.
But, there’s the rub.
This so called resistance isn’t really attempting to protect the people from the President as it claims.

 

“That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.”
This is not at all what they are doing.

 

What they are doing is protecting themselves and their corporate donors from the President’s complete lack of understanding of economic and ecological policy and foreign and domestic diplomacy needs.

 

 

They are willing to not only overlook but help obstruct the investigation into his conspiracy with adversarial foreign powers to usurp the Executive Branch of government, and they are willing to overlook and even participate in his stocking of racial hatred and religious bigotry to achieve their party line goals.

“Don’t get me wrong. There are bright spots that the near-ceaseless negative coverage of the administration fails to capture: effective deregulation, historic tax reform, a more robust military and more. But these successes have come despite — not because of — the president’s leadership style, which is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective. From the White House to executive branch departments and agencies, senior officials will privately admit their daily disbelief at the commander in chief’s comments and actions. Most are working to insulate their operations from his whims.”
They even went so far as to consider invoking Article 4 of the 25th Amendment to declare him unfit for the office in order to bypass impeachment and remove him.
“Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president. But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.”
To sum it all up, this man operating from the shadows for fear of retaliation from both sides, has told us there is a faction in the White House Presidential Administration working against the both the people and the President.   They are overlooking the worst aspects of this president and all the damage he is doing to the American people, economy, and geopolitical power structure, for as long as possible solely so that they can force their own agendas through without us knowing it was them.
They are using the President to shield themselves from accountability to us, and they are protecting him from his own accountability to us to do so.
If they believe that we have a dangerously amoral, incompetent, ignorant, Commander-in-Chief n office then they are duty-bound to do everything within their considerable power to remove him, not to use him to their advantage.
The most truthful, and self-aware, passage in the entire Op-Ed essay is this one, where they tell us they recognize the problem, and have specifically chosen to abdicate themselves from responsibility to fix it at as long as it continues to benefit them:

 

“The bigger concern is not what Mr. Trump has done to the presidency but rather what we as a nation have allowed him to do to us. We have sunk low with him and allowed our discourse to be stripped of civility.”
They have the power to fix this, and they have chosen not to for personal gain.
What could be more amoral than co-opting amorality to further a personal agenda?
There is no moral high ground for them to claim here.
If they want our respect and gratitude, they must fulfill their duty to the people, and make the hard decisions.
Step forward.  Step up.

Is There, Really, A Case For Impeachment?

The question keeps coming up about whether a president can be charged, or maybe even be investigated, while in office.

The Constitution has clear instructions on what to do if a president is removed based upon conviction of certain crimes, which could not happen without such an investigation being held and charges being filed.

Article II Section 4 of the Constitution of the United States reads:

 

Article 2 – The Executive Branch
Section 4 – Disqualification

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

 

Bribery and other high Crimes and Misdemeanor charges are no doubt already forthcoming from the Mueller staff based upon everything we have already seen, especially the developments from this last week.

Mueller is now up to 192 indictment charges, nearly thirty people and three companies are among those charged already and the indictments clearly indicate charges against more as yet unnamed conspirators coming soon.

Roger Stone openly admitted that not only was he likely the unnamed “U.S. Person” serving as the conduit between a Russian operative and the President’s campaign but that the only person on that campaign he had contact with during that time was Donald Trump.   Thus, openly confessing live on CNN not only his own guilt but that of President Trump.

 

According to the indictment: “The Conspirators, posting as Guccifer 2.0, also communicated with U.S. persons about the release of stolen documents. On or about August 15, 2016, the Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, wrote to a person who was in regular contact with senior members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump, “thank u for writing back…”

“In initially denying that this passage referred to him, Stone stepped in it, bigly. He told CNN (emphasis mine) that he didn’t think he was the unnamed person in the indictment because, ‘My contact with the campaign in 2016 was Donald Trump. I was not in regular contact with campaign officials.'”

And then, “I think I probably am the person referred to,” he said on CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time.

 

The Mueller investigation has already documented quite a few different ways the Russians were funneling money to the Trump campaign, including through the NRA, so bribery has easily been established.

Each of these by itself is grounds for impeachment and conviction, which would then invalidate the placement of the entire administration under the Constitutional article referenced above.

Now, after the Helsinki Summit, we’re hearing talk of Treason.

Under Article III, Section 3, of the Constitution, any person who levies war against the United States or adheres to its enemies by giving them Aid and Comfort has committed treason within the meaning of the Constitution. The term aid and comfort refers to any act that manifests a betrayal of allegiance to the United States, such as furnishing enemies with arms, troops, transportation, shelter, or classified information. If a subversive act has any tendency to weaken the power of the United States to attack or resist its enemies, aid and comfort has been given.

However, the Treason Clause applies only to disloyal acts committed during times of war. Acts of dis-loyalty during peacetime are not considered treasonous under the Constitution. Nor do acts of Espionage committed on behalf of an ally constitute treason.

It is also important to note that under Article III a person can levy war against the United States without the use of arms, weapons, or military equipment.

In 2012, the Pentagon concluded that computer sabotage by another country could constitute an act of war.

 

The officials emphasize, however, that not every attack would lead to retaliation. Such a cyber attack would have to be so serious it would threaten American lives, commerce, infrastructure or worse, and there would have to be indisputable evidence leading to the nation state involved.

 

Saundra McDavid, Faculty Member of School of Business at American Military University, explains:

Actions that would qualify as acts of war are 1) the disruption or destruction of a nation’s financial institutions and nuclear command and control systems, and 2) computer-induced failures of power grids, transportation networks or financial systems that might result in physical damage or economic disruption of Department of Defense (DoD) operations. These events would rise to the level of cyber attacks that could prompt a declaration of war.

We have linked the cyber attack to Russia, both through social engineering, through hacking efforts against the DNC and Clinton campaign, through manipulation of our voting machines, and our voter registration databases.

We have established links for the funding of it through the NRA.

We have linked both the Russian operatives and the the NRA operatives to the Trump campaign and directly to the President through Roger Stone, at the very least.

The result of these actions is the destruction of American environmental protections by Trump appointed EPA chief Scott Pruitt.

The near complete undoing of Civil Rights by Jeff Sessions and Betsy DeVos in the Justice and Education departments respectively.

The stoking of racial and religious hate crimes by the President himself.

The threat of abandoning our allies in the United Nations along with the agreement to pull back from North Korea leaving all the former territories of the U.S.S. R. unprotected and ripe for re absorption by Putin’s Russia.

Starting trade wars that are detrimental to American farmers and businesses, and our allies, but beneficial to Russia who will fill the gap in product loss on the international markets caused by the tariff wars.

Trump is dismantling our government from the top of every organization downward.   He is destroying long standing economic alliances.   He is putting American jobs at risk while claiming the corporate profits are rising.  He is putting American lives at risk by removing environmental protections of them and stoking violent hate crimes.  His administration is committing crimes against humanity at our southern border, by actively abducting and trafficking in immigrant children while extorting their families for political purposes.

No matter what issue is raised about this president, and his administration, it all boils down simply.

 

We need to remember that we are fighting against a small group of kleptocrats put in power by an adversarial government with the purposes of dismantling America’s democracy and its international influence, and they are using willful ignorance, racism, misogyny, religious bigotry, and divisive partisan politics to accomplish it.

 

When viewed in that light, every single thing he has done, and everything others are doing to defend him, makes perfect sense.

The president of the United States accepted bribes from a hostile foreign government and conspired to assume power and put that government’s interests in advance of Americans to the determent of American lives.

The attack on our elections was an act of war directly resulting in the disruption or destruction of a nation’s financial institutions and nuclear command and control systems and financial systems that might result in physical damage or economic disruption of Department of Defense (DoD) operations.

It has threatened American lives, commerce, infrastructure and worse, and there is indisputable evidence leading to the nation state involved

This is treason.

This is every single issue the founders said could individually result in not only the removal of the President, but also his Vice President and every civil service member of his administration.    This should invalidate any appointments or laws executive orders issued by such a president as well.

Any member of congress who, knowing all of these things, continues to obstruct Mueller’s investigation is just as guilty as those already convicted of these acts.

There will be pressure, very soon, from Republicans on Trump to resign, as Nixon did, to prevent impeachment.  If this happens, and the investigation stalls as a result, the rest of the Trump administration and cabinet will be allowed to remain in place.

There is enough evidence already to impeach and remove them all.

Barring that, absolutely no further appointments should be confirmed until the investigation has completed, especially not life long judicial appointments.

Is Accountability Really What You Want?

Remember that the Republicans devoted more than a two-year investigation, encompassing 33 hearings held in congressional investigations and four public hearings, at an estimated cost of $7 million and counting, to the involvement of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the events related to the attack on Benghazi.

 

Ultimately, while the conclusions drawn by the competing reports are in sharp contrast with each other, neither place blame directly on Clinton for her actions during the Benghazi attack. The Republicans’ report alleges that “the response to the attacks suffered from confusion and miscommunication circulating between agencies,” NBC News reports. The Democrats’ report concludes, “the U.S. military could not have done anything differently on the night of the attacks that would have saved the lives of the four brave Americans killed in Benghazi.” Both, undoubtedly, are correct to some degree. Perhaps now, after four years and eight separate investigations that all failed to find evidence of a cover-up, the G.O.P. can move on.

 

We can all rest assured that if the Republicans — who spent nearly three decades campaigning against the possibility of a Hillary Clinton presidency — had found a single actionable item with enough merit to convene a grand jury or allow them to bring charges they would have done so.  If for no other reason than to be able to say she was on trial during the 2016 campaign cycle.

 

But they didn’t, because their own investigations always led back to the same conclusions.   That the blame for the incident lied solely with Republican forced budget cuts to the State Department’s security funding, and that as a result, no support troops were in range to respond within a time frame to have prevented the outcome that occurred.

Recently the Republican President added the African nation of Chad last month to his most recent installment of travel restrictions, and everyone from the Pentagon to Chad’s leaders to the French government was perplexed. The U.S. has praised Chad’s cooperation on counterterrorism, especially its campaign against a vicious Boko Haram insurgency spilling over from Nigeria.

 

All because Chad had simply run out of passport paper to issue new passports.

 

Instead of allowing those with proper passports to enter, Trump decided to add everyone from the nation to his ban of all travelers to the U.S. 

 

At a crucial moment, the Trump administration has caused unnecessary friction with Chad, whose military is the strongest in the region.

 

As a result, Chad’s leadership withdrew their soldiers that were the primary fighting force against ISIS and Boko Haram in Niger from the region.

 

This allowed for an immediate resurgence of enemy forces that led to the deaths of four American Army special forces personnel who were on a mission in unarmored non-military vehicles with no planned air support.

 

The French military provided air support within 30 minutes of being called, but refused to open fire because they could not identify a specific target without the risk of hitting U.S. and Nigerian forces also.

 

The extraction of this team was farmed out to a French “contractor,” Berry Aviation., which failed to recover one of soldiers during the extraction effort.

 

The Republican president’s administration covered up the incident for several days until that last body could be recovered.

 

Then the president diverted attention from the actual incident by redirecting it to his mismanagement of the contact of family members and subsequent obvious lies about that.

 

He then had his Chief of Staff publicly attack the integrity of a Black Congresswoman with fabricated accusations to create more diversion from the original incident in retaliation of her exposure of the lies.

 

Anyone still screaming “Lock her up!”, or “But Benghazi!”, and not equally incensed about the details of the deaths in Niger, were clearly never interested in achieving accountability, in protecting or saving American lives, or in identifying the issues that led to these deaths and preventing them from happening again.   They are simply desperate to “Lock her up” on whatever Trumped up charge they can get to stick.

 

Shouldn’t this newest incident, and these four new deaths, warrant the same level of diligent investigation as the first?

 

If you think not; why not?

 

Please show your work.