Passing and Impeachment…

I guess one can’t write about politics without mentioning the passing of George H. W. Bush, aka Bush 41 so…

One down, one to go…

The truth is, I suspect Bush 41 was the last President of the United States from the old order.  Reagan began the coup but 41 failed to follow through.  Reagan initiated the government-strangling tax cuts for the wealthy.  41 used the policy to get elected but when he saw the damage that was already starting, he raised taxes again.  BAM!  One term President.

But Clinton returned to the plan, finalizing the destruction of independent media, and each “President” since has moved forward with the Oligarch-supporting arrangement.  (Republicans do it nakedly, aggressively.  Democrats have to pretend to “lose the fight” but the result is always the same: comfort the comfortable, afflict the afflicted…)


SO…Paul Manafort is playing both sides of the fence, is he?  It will be interesting to see if the so-called “President” (or, in this case, Trump) will try to give him a pardon.  If he does, it will certainly set up a Constitutional crisis.  See, Article II, Section 2, subsection 1 of the Constitution of the United States grants the President the power of pardons “…except in Cases of Impeachment.”

I suppose those trying to defend this train-wreck of a human being will argue that since Trump hasn’t been impeached he still has full authority to grant pardons to anyone.  Sure, that would be stupid but that doesn’t mean his apologists won’t argue the point, like, forever.  The reason it’s a stupid argument is that it takes time to build a case for impeachment.  If the President (or in this case, Trump) can just pardon people for participating in impeachable crimes as they occur, it would become literally impossible to impeach any President (or even Trump).  Cons would only acknowledge this, though, if the President in question had a ‘D’ after his name…

BUT…if Manafort is being prosecuted for crimes like money laundering and other white collar crimes that have nothing to do with the President (or in this case, Trump), then Trump should, by rights, have the authority to pardon Manafort.

Also, what if it’s an impeachable offense but nobody it planning an impeachment?  I suppose the newly Democratic House can draft Articles of Impeachment even knowing the Senate won’t ever follow through.  That could stop Trump from pardoning his cronies willy-nilly.

Does the United States have a President or a dictator?  The whole world waits with bated breath…


I’ve noticed a fairly new trend: Democratic party members are starting to inhabit faith-based politics in a way previously seen only in conservative circles.  The Dems have been selling a story about what happened in the 2016 “election” and insisting that everybody agree with the tale.  Progressives, who prefer facts and therefore reject the party line, are written off as “purists.”  If you want to be a mainstream Democrat today, you’ve GOT to subscribe to the ‘Russia-did-it’ story.

I’ve even seen loyalist Democrats in social media gleefully declaring “Fuck the WWC!”  (‘WWC’ is ‘White Working Class.’  In context, they actually mean non-college educated white working class because of their beliefs about who voted for Hillary and who didn’t.  It’s part of the faith message and helps them protect themselves from the reality that many (most?) of those with degrees qualify as ‘white working class’ as well.)  The message they seem to be trying to convince themselves of is that college-educated, party-loyal Dems no longer need the support of independent Progressives.

I’ll tell you this: I suspect they’re trying to press the message because they’re planning on running Hillary again.  I guess time will tell how well that works out for them…

Thanks, Dems…

Well, that’s that, then.  I’ve been listening to Democratic loyalists deride supporters of Bernie Sanders for…quite awhile, now.  The 2016 Democratic primary, they insist, was the purist, most perfectly fair electoral process that has ever occurred in the history of electoral processes and so-called “Bernie Bros” were just sore losers.  I’ve felt all along that the narrative is false but the argument has been limited to the speculations of loyalists versus the speculations of Progressives.

But then, Donna Brazile put out her book, ‘Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House,’ and confirms that the DNC was, in fact, working FOR Hillary and against Bernie.  Berners, of course, seized on the revelation and claimed vindication.  As it happens, Progressives were right.  The loyalists were wrong.

Of course, the Democratic Party issued a bit of push-back against the charges, sending out their talking heads to opine that the deal that gave Clinton control of the DNC only applied to the general “election.”  The push-back only lasted about a day, though, as it was revealed that the agreement was signed in August, 2015 – nearly a full year before she became the nominee.

…and then, in Willie Brown’s Chronicle column dated November 4, 2017, he wrote this:

Former Democratic Party Chair Donna Brazile told the truth about how Hillary Clinton’s operation took over the Democratic National Committee and used it to help her beat Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential primaries.

And guess what? There was nothing wrong with that.  Nothing corrupt or dishonest.

Like it or not, political parties are private businesses.  The DNC was broke, and Clinton bailed it out.  And like any investor in a business being saved from bankruptcy, Clinton had the right to do what she wanted to do with the operation. After all, she was paying the bills.

She not only took over the operation, she turned it into an extension of her campaign-fundraising machine, through which millions of dollars could be collected over and above the usual limits on presidential candidates.  That was smart – and legal.

She did what Barack Obama should have done a long time ago – try to put the Democratic Party in a position to be of assistance to the top candidate.

Yes, Bernie Sanders was the loser in the play, so now his followers are screaming. But Bernie is only nominally a Democrat. He’s always held himself apart from the party operation, and the party owed him nothing.

The real loser in the Clinton party takeover was then-Vice President Joe Biden, who realized too late that the game was tilted and decided not to get into the race.

It’s too bad for Joe, but he was asleep at the switch.

The fact that the Democratic Party was almost bankrupt was common knowledge in the Obama camp.  the fact that they didn’t do anything about it was also common knowledge.

Clinton offered to do something about it – and as a result, she got something out of it.

That’s politics.

True, that.  But why let someone run in the Democratic primaries if you’re not really going to simply facilitate a fair process?  I imagine the Democrats thought Bernie would come and go – flash in the pan kind of thing.  Then it turned out HE was the more popular candidate – SO popular the DNC had to resort to…machinations to get Hillary the nomination for which she had already paid.

Party loyalty.  SO loyal, in fact, that by the time Hillary fainted with Pneumonia in September of 2016, Brazile feared the Clinton campaign had taken on “the odor of failure.”  Brazile considered trying to replace Clinton as the nominee.  She writes that she considered Joe Biden.  Party first, you see.  She set her sights on a party guy – not even a candidate – not the actual candidate she’d had to cheat to beat.

I like Biden but he hadn’t participated in the primary process.  I’m glad they didn’t do that.  Leapfrogging Biden over Sanders would have caused the Berners to actually throw the actual chairs the loyalists pretended had been thrown.  Anyway, we know now that Brazile couldn’t have made the switch.  Clinton had already bought the nomination…

The irony, here, is that Trump wasn’t elected because Progressives refused to align themselves with the group that had just so thoroughly screwed them (right along with the rest of the country) as the loyalists charge.  The ACTUAL problem was that the Democrats refused to align themselves with an independent who had always worked with the Dems but wasn’t a “party man.”
So…thanks to the Democrats – the official arm of the party along with the willfully blinded, lock-step loyalists, Trump is President.  None of these revelations will change that.  But I’ll tell you this: I’m glad I don’t have to listen to them pretend it was Bernie’s fault anymore…

How Can We Know Who Won?

I’ve been hearing a LOT since the most recent “election” about all the ballot stuffing going on in California and New York.  Common knowledge says Clinton won the popular vote but Trump won the Electoral vote.  Trump, apparently the most insecure person ever, insists – despite available evidence – he also won the popular vote.  It’s his way.  If he doesn’t get a result he wants he simply insists he DID get the result he wanted.  (It may be his way but it’s delusional…)

If you live outside of the conservative information bubble you see it as quaint – the idea that people are still using ballot-stuffing as the preferred method of rigging.  But if you live inside the bubble, as does 45, ballot stuffing is just a given.  After hearing this several times, I began to wonder why, as in, why would the corporate media feed ballot stuffing into the conservative bubble as the preferred method of election rigging?  Ballot stuffing is so…twentieth century.  But then I realized: so are conservatives.  Well, a huge swath of them, anyway.  Old people.  (I want to call them the ‘calcified brain’ set but I’m told I should be nice…)

Back in the day, if you wanted to rig an election you had to add ballots for your guy or “lose” ballots for the other guy.  These were physical, paper ballots you had to create or destroy accordingly.  Sometimes, this would include a guy voting in a blue hat, then coming back in and voting again in a red hat.  More commonly, it involved taking the five ballot boxes from the polling place and dropping all six off at the registrar’s office for counting.  Alternatively, one might simply switch one or two of the boxes with previously prepared boxes offering much more favorable results for your candidate than might be expected from actual turnout.

That’s the way it used to be done and it’s the way old people still understand, so that’s the way it’s presented.  The presenters even offer “evidence”.  Look, they say, at the number of people on the voter rolls who are a) registered to vote in two places or b) dead.  But I’ve moved house.  I’ve moved between districts, cities, counties, and states.  Never once have I included on my ‘things to do’ list “Update voter status in place I’m leaving”.  (Perhaps an oversight on my part…)  So far, I’ve never died but when I do, I’m guessing the people around me are going to be much more concerned with getting rid of the body before it starts to smell than making sure my voter information is updated and to-the-minute.

So, newsflash to my conservative brethren or, perhaps, to old people: that’s not the way it’s done anymore.  When one has to actually manipulate physical ballots there are significant problems to be worked out, namely, how to get “acceptable” fraudulent ballots into the system and/or what to do with the “unwanted” ballots.  But Diebold solved those problems for “election” overseers with the introduction of electronic voting machines.

Now all one need do is dial in, alter the results to those you prefer, and back out.  Internally, it’s just a spreadsheet.  Sometimes, they simply switch final tallies between candidates.  Sometimes, they add or subtract as needed.  The beauty part is, there’s no paper trail, no evidence of the tampering, no proof of the outcome and no independent way to verify the results.  Well, almost no way.  Around the rest of the world, elections are verified by exit polls.  In America, the land of “Alternative Facts”, we’re told exit polls are untrustworthy.

That’s comforting because when I look at exit polls vs results in America I see that Bernie beat Hillary in the primaries…but I also see that Hillary beat the Donald in the general.  For clarity, I’m saying Hillary should have won more electoral votes than Trump.  Look, I have a chart:


Clinton “won” in the exit polls in four battleground states (blue highlight) but the computer vote total went against her (red highlight).  There are enough electoral votes associated with those four states that had the official outcome matched the exit polls in any three of the four – as they should have done – Hillary would be sitting in the Oval Office.

Surely, the parties know the machines are vulnerable to hacking…no, built to be hacked.  My suspicion is that they count on it.  Rather than eliminate the machines and return to the days of paper ballots to ensure the integrity of the vote, I suspect each side tries to use the machines to their own advantage.  I have this image in my mind of a room full of geeks furiously hacking away altering results for the Democrats while another room full of geeks is furiously hacking away altering results for Republicans…and the best hacker group wins!

I can almost envision my conservative brethren reading this, seething, preparing arguments explaining exactly how and why I’m wrong while my progressive friends glom on as proof that Trump is not, in fact, a legitimate President.  Here’s the thing: either side could be correct.  The point is, nobody stuffs ballot boxes anymore.  It’s just too much trouble and the risk too great.

I’ll tell you this: as long as America uses these machines for “elections” no American – whether your “team” wins or loses – can actually be confident in the outcome of American “elections”…

Info Wars

It strikes me that the wealthy, privileged elite have used their control over the corporate media to pit left against right.  They do it by delivering different “information” – it’s actually Disinformation – to the two groups.  It only works because they managed to manipulate one of the two groups into isolating themselves into an information bubble.

They did it using the exact same technique some fundamentalist church groups use to isolate their congregation: “Disregard those ‘of the world’.”  “Trust us but not them.” “Protect yourself from the deceptions of the serpent.”  Sure, they replaced “serpent” with “main stream media” but the technique – and effect – were the same.  After that, it was a small matter to send disinformation to that one, self-insulated group and other “news” to the rest of the viewing public.

Over time, most people in the mainstream got used to the idea that the insular group was misinformed.  It created just the break between Americans it was intended to as the overall effect was name-calling and other insults, leading to bitterness and anger.  In turn, the anger caused the group to self-isolate even MORE.  Now people from outside the bubble just pretty much write off whatever comes from inside the bubble because it’s been provably false for so long it just becomes a time saver to ignore it.

But now I’m seeing a new trend.  Now, the corporate media is feeding false information to those outside the bubble.  Right now, it’s all about how the DNC didn’t cheat and damn those interfering Russians, anyway.  Every time you hear some talking head tell you about the Russian hacks, you’re being fed false information.  The corporate media is trying to wrap Hillary’s scandals into a single package – the “email hack” – and blame the Russians for the existence of the package.  The entire narrative falls apart with only a little examination – so they hope you don’t look too closely.  Let’s look anyway…

First, there was Hillary’s email servers.  Did you see the ‘s’ at the end of ‘server’?  That’s because she used several email servers.  None were properly secured.  Secret and even Top Secret information passed through them.  This is not speculation.  The FBI did an investigation, remember?  The FBI said they found Secret and Top Secret information on the servers.  NONE of this had anything to do with the Russians except for the possibility that her unsecured servers might have been hacked by the Russians.  But none of the information on the servers was made public by the Russians or anyone else…

Second, there was the DNC email scandal.  It had nothing to do with Hillary’s servers.  The only commonality is the word “email” but – according to Wikileaks, who provided the information – the DNC emails weren’t “hacked”.  They were leaked.  That means an insider.  Someone INSIDE the DNC gained access to the emails by working at the DNC, printed them out, and provided them to Wikileaks.  Again, no Russians involved.

So, that’s two out of three email scandals that didn’t involve the Russians.  That leaves the Podesta hack.  You know how you get an email from time to time warning you that some page has been violated and you need to go to such and such a site and re-enter your user name, password, and credit card information?  Those emails are scams and they have a name.  They’re called phishing emails.  Well, John Podesta fell for one of those.  It’s technically true those are “hacks” in the sense that someone now has access to things they shouldn’t but it’s not like some computer whiz had to sneak in and breach security protocols.  They just asked Podesta for his password and he gave it to them.  After that it was just a simple matter of printing email.

But there is a cadre of writers and broadcasters out there consistently pounding the message that the Russians hacked the election to create “the email scandal” and they’re feeding this non-stop stream of bullpucky to those of us OUTSIDE the self-imposed media bubble in order to deflect attention from their own missteps and misdeeds.  I see it as a new development.

I’m used to seeing fraudulent information coming from “the other team”.  It’s so common, it’s boring.  I’m NOT used to seeing fraudulent information coming from “my team”.  The corporate media has had time to iron out the wrinkles working within the insular group.  They’re very skilled at disinformation and can easily slip propaganda in unnoticed if one isn’t paying VERY close attention.  So pay attention.  Disregard broadcast media that originates inside the US borders.  Read, but check what you read.

I’ll tell you this: Lincoln warned that a house divided against itself cannot stand and the privileged elite have succeeded in dividing the house that is America to their own benefit for long enough…

Just How Crazy IS He?

I’ve long been a proponent of the idea that Trump isn’t really trying to run a winning campaign. Instead, he’s simply playing a role. His job is to be the crazy distraction from anything that might appear anti-Hillary. He’s doing a pretty good job, too. For example, when FBI Director James Comey made his oh-so-damning statement about Hillary, Trump praised Saddam Hussein’s ability to kill. The press stays on Trump’s insane statement until Comey’s statement fades into the past, Hillary is protected from the fallout…

Sure, it seems crazy but consider this: during the week Aug 15 through the 19th there have been no new charges, no new accusations against Hillary – and the Donald has been quiet…sane, even.

Here’s a rule.  No, a law: If a person can control when and how he or she is “crazy”, the person isn’t crazy…

The Trump Insane Game…

Okay, so by now any astute person paying even a modicum of attention has noticed that every time some new accusation comes out against Hillary, the Donald saves her by making some big “gaffe”.  James Comey makes his “she’s guilty but we’re not going to pursue it” statement and Trump praises Saddam Hussein’s ability to kill terrorists.  The corporate disinfotainment machine pushes Trumps comments to the forefront and keeps it there until Comey’s statement fades as quietly as possible into the background.  The DNC primary rigging emails come out, Trump praises Putin and invites foreign hackers to attack.  Clinton repeats the lie that Comey “cleared her” and Trump picks a fight with a gold star family.  There’s a pretty solid correlation.

Each time a new charge comes out about Hillary, Trump has to say something to distract.  But the accusations against Hillary just keep coming and, according to Julian Assange, they’re not going to stop any time soon.  If Trump is going to continue his successful distraction campaign, he can’t just keep repeating crazy things he’s already said.  He does, anyway, from time to time, just to keep those things going but we’ve all heard those crazy things.  They are, literally, yesterday’s news.  If he’s going to be certain to control a news cycle or two, he needs to come up with new and ever more crazy things.  But where can even the Donald go from ‘Second Amendment Solutions’ to his opponent?

He has attacked his own party.  He has attacked veterans and gold star families.  He suggested women seeking abortions should be jailed.  He threw a baby out of a rally!  He heaps praise on the likes of Putin and approves nuclear first-strike.  He suggested requiring all members of a given religion wear a visible symbol to identify them.  Each time, he dominates the news cycle and nobody is asking anything about Hillary.  In short, the plan, so far, has worked perfectly.  But where does he go from here?

That’s the game: where does Trump go with his NEXT “gaffe”?  Wikileaks seems determined to release information slowly – something of a steady drip of damage rather than a simple, single punch to the gut of the campaign.  This suggests we can expect some new, damning information about Hillary and the DNC in this coming week.  THAT means, the Donald is going to have to come up with some newer, crazier thing.  So what’s it going to be?  Will the Donald suggest blowing up the moon?  A hunting season on Muslims?  Hillary in collusion with Stalin?  Hell, it could be anything.  So what’s your guess?  How will the Donald distract from the next Hillary accusation?

Note: there is no prize.  You just get the warm fuzzy feeling of being correct should you name the actual distraction he chooses…