The GOP is a Crime Family

How did we get here, with foreign government interests intimately involved with at least one 2016 national candidate that we know about, now seemingly influencing or even controlling policy and that so-called public servant n the Executive Office? Since 2016, it’s been one link to Trump and associates, followed by one indictment and one plea deal after another, and all, so far, connected to Republicans who, in their usual, unison message, are defending it all. This political crisis in which we find ourselves is overwhelming, even to those of us who marinate in it. It’s stunning, the amount of treason right out in the open! And former FBI agent (and expert on Russia) Andrew McCabe, who Trump fired, said Trump openly touts his trust and faith in Russian President Vladimir Putin over our Intelligence Community. The Vietnam draft dodger just went on his second “Me and Kim” ego tour in Vietnam and Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov joined him. It’s like a James Bond movie only just with villains!

But I am going to set aside the fact that we have a traitor pledging allegiance to a foreign government over our own for now. I want to peel away why we have one of our two primary political parties protecting this guy. How is it we have one party, albeit imperfect, that consists of public servants and another that behaves like crime family, defending and shielding corruption in its extreme? Because that is, unequivocally, what we have. And that didn’t just happen in 2016. The Republican Party is wholly owned by the top .1%. Their only function is to enrich that heavy cream on the top of the country’s milk can and to keep themselves in power. No wonder Russia (and possibly others) went for the weak spots in our democracy, like how easily Republicans can be bought. FYI. Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell took $2.4 million from Russia in 2016, which was an off year of his re-election. Thank you, Citizens United.

Let’s be honest, greed is as old as the Old Testament. It’s not going away and neither is wine, women and song or sex, drugs and rock and roll, Netflix and chill, or other things that feel really good. And the Republican brand of crooks are hooked on their feel good greed. It goes back much farther than Nixon but Nixon’s impeachment hearings and subsequent resignation turned their cabal of crimes to eleven. And a big part of it was fueled by what is now known as the Powell Memo or how corporations became people in our modern times. Republicans have never been shy about aligning with the rich but that memo triggered the forming of right-wing think tanks, media control and pretty much every Republican move since. Their message is framed by folks like Chuck and Dave Koch, ALEC, the Heritage Foundation, Fox so-called News and the like. Republicans are not representing any Americans except the very wealthiest, while punking single-issue folk like gun and fetus nuts. 

You have to hand it to them, Republicans stay on message, like any other crime organization or cult. They vote in lockstep most of the time. After all, there’s money to be had everywhere for everyone who plays along. And it’s all coming together in an infuriating, existential democratic crisis with Trump. We have fraudulently “elected” a clown who is dismantling our brand of democracy, openly taking cues from Vladimir Putin and, more than likely, other adversaries to our nation, so long as they stroke his ego and enrich him personally, and the GOP and Trump’s poorly educated cult are fine with it. As Michael Cohen said in his public testimony this week before Congress, Trump saw running for POTUS nothing more than the greatest infomercial of all time. (Remember the look on Trump’s face when Obama invited him to the White House for the first time and he had that “oh sh*t” look on his face? Ya poodle, presidenting is super hard and the real ish.) But on January 20, 2017, this was no longer a joke.

Make no mistake, powers like Putin know our weak spots, which is why they likely convinced their debtor but lifetime Democrat Trump to run as a Republican, why they targeted at least three states with Republican governors (Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania) who were and are doing their own election fraud practices and would easily look the other way if foreign entities messed with counts in their favor. (I don’t have any proof of that but a year ago we didn’t have proof Russia was micro-targeting folks in those states through social media, either.)

Republicans set themselves and us up. Ever since Nixon tarnished their brand, they’ve attempted to dilute the seriousness of impeachment by trying to impeach every Democratic president or lead candidate since. Through normalizing investigations and impeachment by making it routine, it shields and dilutes the seriousness of what their criminals have done when Dems hold impeachment hearings, which hasn’t happened yet but will any day now, now that Dems are finally back in power in the House. (Voting has consequences, people.) Or sure, maybe Reagan (or those around him because he was sundowning big time after being shot) traded arms for hostages in the Iran Contra scandal and George H. W. Bush pardoned everyone involved, and sure, President Cheney and George W. Bush made war profiting cool again, but Benghazi!!! Yes, four people died at a consulate but how often do we hear it was the GOP Congress who wouldn’t fund making the consulate a more secure embassy? And Kevin McCarthy (R) of California openly admitted to Sean Hannity on Fox News the real reason they held hearings was to harm Hillary Clinton’s presidential run. This is what they do, intentionally. It’s petty and childish and crooked.

If you’ve bought the story that Bill and Hillary Clinton are some deep state, one world government, baby eating Satan worshiping monsters, then you are one of the Republicans’ cult members. A great documentary to catch how far back this insanity goes and why is The Hunting of the President or the 1996 piece in The New Yorker called Hating Hillary. The other day a Republican relative of mine said, “They’re trying to impeach him.” No, that’s what Republicans do to every Dem for no reason. Special Counsel Bob Mueller and SDNY are not “trying.” These crooks are making it pretty easy to convict Trump associates faster than Lucy can wrap chocolates at a chocolate factory. But that relie was only speaking the way Fox News has framed the 24/7 propaganda for the low information citizens or Republican voters who aren’t in the .1% of the wealthiest, or those “poorly educated” Trump loves. Besides begging the media to never normalize (#NeverNormalize) Trump, my other routine mantra is that propaganda is democracy’s greatest threat. Fox News is Republican media and now, because Trump is so stupid, they drive him! 

Republicans play the long game because their game is to shift power, dismantle social safety for the 99.9% of us and turn the country into a going-out-of-democracy sale to the uberist of the uber rich. The proof is in the open in their legislation and now with a cartoon villain grifter. And every GOP member has gotten in line and, I suspect, long before November 8, 2016. (Let’s see why Mitch McConnell so confidently denied a hearing for Merrick Garland or threatened President Obama about holding a bipartisan hearing into Russia’s meddling into the 2016 presidential campaign the fall before the “election.” That’s the same McConnell whose wife is a Trump Cabinet member.)

Trump isn’t doing anything the Republicans haven’t done at least since Nixon and that is blame Democrats for the very thing they are guilty of doing. Dems hold impeachment hearings on Nixon for breaking into Democrats’ headquarters and covering it up? Then impeach for sloppy consensual canoodling a president wants to keep from his wife. Bloody hell, Jeffrey Epstein and Donald Trump surrounded themselves with underage girls privately and in the open for decades but Hillary Clinton is behind some dark, international child sex trade. Like some skeevy pimp, Trump paraded the same women exploited by right-wing Charlatans and Ken Starr who accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct before a presidential debate. How galling is it that Ken Starr is Epstein’s attorney and Bret Kavanaugh was one of his Clinton investigation elves? To bastardize Woodward and Bernstein’s line, “Follow the really, really creepy dudes.”

It’s utterly terrifying when you count how many things Republicans have done and were found guilty to have done that they accuse the Democrats of doing with no merit at all. It’s almost quaint now to look back to the thrice married, serve wife divorce papers after her cancer surgery Newt Gingrich and convicted pedophile Denny Hastert days of Bill Clinton tarnishing. And it’s another example of accuse the Dems of that which you are guilty times a billion.

The Steele Dossier was the primer in this Trump era or horrors. It is why my sleep and concentration have been in the panic, pause, panic mode for about 27 months! We are in extreme peril. Even Michael Cohen ended his public testimony this week with the chilling remark that should Trump lose in 2020 (I echo your prayer he’s long gone to the hoosegow by then), he won’t give up power civilly. Bloody hell! And you know it!

I don’t think most members of the GOP knew all they were getting with Trump. I know I, the Democrats and certainly the flat-footed media certainly did not. I mean, I knew something was fishy when he won, I knew he was wholly unfit (morally, intellectually, psychologically) but I thought the win had more to do with red state cheating like Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004, but even I had no clue the depth of foreign meddling. I pleaded with the Electoral College to do what it was intended, prevent the unruly rabble from electing a dingbat. And January 13, 2017, a week before the “Inauguration,” I knew there was more to it when I saw Congressional members exit a closed-door meeting and Maxine Waters, John Lewis and others claimed the election was fraudulent and they would not be attending the “Inauguration,” and where now Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would pray for Trump. I knew there was something rotten in D.C. on that so-call Inauguration day when almost no one showed! But, honestly, who could have predicted all this?

For those of you who have turned off the Mueller and SDNY investigations and all the stories connecting others parties, here are some threads for you off the top of my head: The NRA, Deutsche Bank and Trump family loans, Deutsche Bank and retired Justice Kennedy’s son, Ken Starr’s minion Bret Kavanaugh, Kavanaugh’s debt that disappeared just before his nomination to SCOTUS, Facebook, Twitter, Cambridge Analytica, I work in my basement and ran Trump’s social media from my basement Brad Parscale,  WikiLeaks, Nixon’s boys Manafort and Stone, Falwell’s Evangelical mouthpiece Liberty University paying for fake polls and paying off a pool boy and even the National Enquirer. And these aren’t conspiracy theories like pizza porn. These are criminal investigations, charges and findings! If you want another good wormhole of possible things to come, check out Greg Olear (@gregolear) on Twitter. He gives a great thread to many of these connections that also include Russia and 9-11, Rudy Giuliani and the anthrax threats and the infamous National Enquirer safe. And if you want to feel sane but never sleep again, follow Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior), who knows all thing Russia. Stay tuned. No, I beg you, stay tuned. Being overwhelmed and tuning out is what they want!

And what keeps me up at night and distracted from more important matters of my daily life is the GOP is going along with all this. Trump’s a dangerous, unhinged figurehead. (What in history would ever give us the idea that an unstable leader with a cult following could have dangerous global consequences, after all?) So long as they get to stay in office, even if a hostile adversary (the enemy of my enemy is my friend) and their wealthy owners get what they want, democracy be damned. And now that most of the media is controlled by the same GOP owners, this cancer of greed and power can grow even in the bright sunlight.

The late Fredd Wayne as Ben Franklin on Bewitched, 1966.

At times, when thoughts of what may come overwhelm me, I will fantasize an episode of Bewitched where the Founding Fathers are conjured back and Ben Franklin or Thomas Jefferson open a can of whoopass on Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump. Then Endora turns them into newts or two Hillary pantsuits!

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Remember Me? The Return of My Blogging Self

This site has been blogless since the so-called election on November 8, 2016. Any submission seemed redundant to the ocean of writing covering the destruction of the country’s reputation and every single government department. Then there’s the nauseating aspect of Republican complicity, coupled with their indignation toward the Mueller and SDNY investigations, particularly in contrast with the mounting criminal indictments and more sides to this conspiracy than a myriagon (that’s a polygon with 10,000 sides). So I have been paying attention. It’s all just so terribly depressing. But I feel strength and renewed hope since the Democrats took back the House January 3rd. So I’m back, that one of you who wondered.

I got my start writing in journalism so, in as much as I want to avoid writing about a facet of the Russian coup that’s been done to death, I also like to be concise. So for that one of you out there, I submit this separate and brief explanation for my absence, in keeping with my journalism roots, rather than putting this personal prologue to the first post with legitimate content. I want to avoid resembling this guy I once had in a speech class who could not deliver one speech without first explaining in excruciating detail – like he was in his shrink’s office – his thought process for choosing his topic, what inspired him, what didn’t, his breakfast, his sock choice, route to class, and always punctuating these narcissistic prologues with failed stifles to laugh at something only he found amusing. (He’s so vain, he probably thinks this description’s about him.) One of his classmates always looked like there was a thought bubble containing a groan and eye roll overhead. OK, that was me. 

A lot has happened over the past two years, for me personally and professionally and in this world. Two years ago, who would have thought the Steele dossier would be mere Cliff Notes to the depth and breadth of the Drumpf (the original German) criminal corruption? Two years ago, who would have imagined the Mueller investigation would be ongoing, growing in indictments by the week almost and, so far, reaping tens of millions of dollars from the Manafort seizures alone? Two years ago, I would have sounded like a conspiracy nut if I said then what I believed and still do, like Hillary won, Drumpf is working against the nation’s interests or that he’s a global danger, due to his malignant narcissism and growing cognitive diminishment. Had I blogged about it then, I might have seemed prescient today. But I’ve been in a constant state of shock and outrage, like many of you. So I’ll try to offer something different and some historical framing with my blogs that may entertain, provoke or terrify. Or so I hope. I might even write about other stuff. So thanks for sticking around, that one of you!

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “Not Ready to Make Nice”

Still on that “why is Trump still seated” kick. He’s profiting off his office. He’s having us pay for it. He’s colluded with Russia and worse. And he’s nuts. I will never be ready to make nice. And I will never forgive the GOP for allowing this shameful episode in our history.

The Dixie Chicks wrote this song when the Republicans attacked them for opposing George W. Bush. It’s a little soft for this current dolt but it will do.

“I made my bed and I sleep like a baby
With no regrets and I don’t mind sayin’
It’s a sad sad story when a mother will teach her
Daughter that she ought to hate a perfect stranger
And how in the world can the words that I said
Send somebody so over the edge”

I’ve seen enough of this guy. He is vulgar and ignorant, the kind of guy my parents would never allow near our house. I am deeply ashamed he represents our nation. I beg my US Congress to act. Time is of the essence. Our president is wholly unfit.

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “Reconsider Me”

This song may not seem like the right one for post-inauguration Friday, but there’s a personal reason this one is playing in my head.

I was on an amazing holiday with a man some years ago. Suddenly, or perhaps not so suddenly in retrospect, he became surly towards me. We were out of the country and far from home so it was a sad, helpless and isolating feeling. Warren Zevon’s “Reconsider Me” gave me comfort. I even tried finding a CD at local music stores before we left one town. He said that was “stupid.”

So it’s hard to love someone when you see a side in them that is incomprehensible to the person you thought you knew. You feel to blame and so hurt. Perhaps this is where some of you can find a similar comfort, if your candidate lost. Or you will need it if you voted for the current being and you finally see who we see. “Let’s let bygones be forgotten.”

“If it’s still the past that makes you doubt, darlin’, that was then and this is now. Reconsider me. Reconsider me” (but not “PeeOTUS” #NotMyPresident #Resist).

Your Weekly, Sunday Interlude: “I Won’t Back Down”

The nightmare of the pending administration continues. There is no other story. It wakes me from my sleep every night. And the nightmare worsens with each passing day with a man who is clearly mentally ill and profoundly lacks any intellectual curiosity.

Songs are being written about this situation. And old protest songs seem almost quaint. But Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “I Won’t Back Down” has served as some comfort to me this week. I hope it does the same for you.

I’ll stand my ground and I won’t back down. I love this country too much. #Resist