27 June 2018

Fight Back, Fight Dirty

With the announced retirement of Kennedy, the OTHER horrible SCOTUS news today (not unexpected) is the Janus decision, sealing the 40 year long Right Wing legal campaign to eviscerate the power of organized labor by making required dues illegal for public employee unions. Time to fight back and fight dirty. As soon as Democrats have control of both houses, pack the damn court. To 13. It's NOT in the Constitution. First, make them eliminate the filibuster forever in order to get any Trump nominee on the court. (ANY nominee... THEY set this precedent, let them live with it). THEN, by simple majority vote, change the Supreme Court's make up to 13 justices. Look it up. This can be done by STATUTE. It does NOT require a Constitutional amendment or supermajority vote of either house.   

No Democrats must ever vote for a Trump nominee to the Supreme Court. EVER.

  Democrats in Congress have no real choice; the battle lines are drawn and THEY MADE THE RULES. Absolutely no Democratic vote for any Trump nominee to replace Kennedy. EVER. If Schumer had any guts at all, he'd say that RIGHT NOW.

Malcolm Nance: The Plot to Destroy Democracy

 • Just heard a long interview by John Aravosis and Cliff Schechter (Unpresidented Podcast, $), with MALCOLM NANCE, author of new book The Plot to Destroy Democracy. Nance is a counter intel expert and his book is scary shit. Our nation, and small-l small-d liberal democracy are in deep trouble. We must find common ground with all who will oppose the "Axis of Autocracy," as he calls it, because an all out, real-thing existential struggle with the forces of NeoFascism is already upon us. And what's really scary is the case he makes that Putin is "running" Trump like a "direct action asset". Remember, this guy isn't ex-KGB. He is the KGB, and he's running Russia pretty much the way Stalin ran the Soviet Union, except he understands information warfare and is waging it very, very successfully against US.

Wake up, fellow Americans. We got a fight on our hands, and close to 40% of our country has been brainwashed to be on the wrong side.

26 June 2018

Bellwether Primary in the Democratic Congressional races

I hope "Establishment" Democrats, who are unwilling to embrace the spirit of progressive change that is sweeping the party and shaking it to its foundations, will take a lesson from the defeat of "machine" politician Joe Crowley, in Queens, NY today, by a young, female, nonwhite Sanders-supporting progressive candidate, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Crowley was supposedly in line to be the next Speaker, when the Democrats take the House, and assuming Pelosi steps down at some point. But now, I hope, there will be some recognition that there needs to be some serious re-thinking of what the Democratic Party stands for, and who should lead it. 

Musica lætitiæ comes medicina dolorum.  

13 June 2018

What Trump is after

Posted on FB today by someone who I usually, but don't always, agree with. 

" I suspect that Trump was bailed out in 2006-2007 by Russians when he was going bankrupt. He owes them a lot. But in the process of all of that, he came to realize that Putin is the richest man in the world. He wants that for himself. He realizes that the way to do it is an authoritarian route. The Clintons only amassed about $150 million. Trump wants more. Indeed, if you look at his emoluments violations to date, he and his family members are up to at least $1 billion in benefit just in the first year.

That is what this is all about, IMO."


I would like to say this is hyperbole. But I don't think it is. And I have seriously come to the conclusion that this administration has put our republic in the most threatened and precarious political position it has been in since 1861. And Vladimir Putin can hardly contain his glee. 


12 June 2018

Nothing accomplished

Sure looks like Trump, the great deal maker, was played by Kim Jong Un. A meaningless "we'll keep talking" in exchange for a lot of prestige, and, now, it seems, a commitment to walk back military exercises. 

Look, I'm a believer in unilateral tension reduction. I've been saying for years (only half in jest) that we should just FedEx a signed peace treaty to Pyongyang, declaring the Korean War over and announcing that we have no intention of attacking or undermining the North Korean state, deplorable as it may be. It's clear that their main interest is survival of their regime, which is not really our issue to resolve. If the Korean people want to be rid of the Kim dynasty, they will have to do the long, hard, nonviolent resistance work that it will take, because there is no external military solution. Every thinking person knows that. 

But just handing Kim a big diplomatic victory in exchange for nothing is not helping, either. I give Trump pretty much no credit... he infused the crisis at least as much in the first year of his administration as he has now defused it, and where are we? Acceptance of a nuclear DPRK. We probably didn't really have much choice, but I do not see this as any kind of achievement. 



Doing "What he's seen done"

So, Trump tells us Kim Jong Un's brutality is OK, because he's "doing what he's seen done." So if Admiral Dönitz had managed to hold on to power for a few months after Hitler's suicide and kept the concentration camps going, we'd have to just say, "Ooop! Mulligan! You were just doing what you'd seen done!"

This usurper-president (calling him what I really believe he is) is the most craven, disgusting piece of work ever to hold that office, and more and more I fear that what he is presiding over is the final dissolution of the American Republic.



Hayden: Attack on Intelligence

Reading Michael Hayden's Attack on Intelligence I am repeatedly reminded of just why I held this man in ... well, contempt is too strong a word, as someone who, despite (or because of ) a thoroughgoing military and historical education and piercing intelligence, managed to convince himself that waterboarding was justified and the wholesale violation of the Fourth Amendment without even notice to the American people was likewise justified by circumstances that followed 9/11. However, his case that the current attack on our body politic, partly internal and partly emanating from Russia, is an even more serious threat, is totally convincing and well supported by the evidence he cites.