Facing a Dying Nation

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Trump Maladministration

At the moment there doesn’t appear to be any way the GOP’s murder-suicide tax bill won’t become law next week. Bob Corker has flipped back to “yes”; another possible holdout, Marco Rubio, won’t be holding out.

This is going to be devastating to the nation’s economy, as even larger numbers of people will fall into poverty. And it’s bad enough already.

Meanwhile, Josh Marshall believes there’s about to be a purge at the FBI. Republicans and Right-wing news media has gone bonkers over an August 2016 text message between two FBI officials that seemed to suggest “Andy” (FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe?) was doing something so that “he” (Donald Trump?) wouldn’t get elected. And if so, it obviously didn’t work.

Josh Marshall:

You’ve seen the on-going pseudo-controversy about two FBI employees who sent texts to each other trashing now-President Trump. The two were having an affair at the time and Special Agent Peter Strzok was reassigned off the Mueller probe and in essence demoted over the texts. Public employees are allowed to have political opinions. Indeed, there are laws specifically protecting government employees from being disciplined or having their work affected by their political views. The only real infraction here seems to be that the two used government devices to discuss their private political opinions when they should have reserved those for their personal devices – hardly a major infraction.

Nonetheless, defenders of the President have leaped from these emails to saying the entire Clinton emails probe – Strzok was involved in both probes – and the Mueller investigation are irreparably tainted. Others are going so far as to say the DOJ and the FBI need to undergo a political purge. The head of one prominent right-wing legal advocacy group went as far as to say the FBI should be shut down. It is a stark reminder of how many will go so far so quickly to prevent the enforcement of the law and lawful investigations when it comes to Donald Trump.

I think a lot of ugly stuff is about to break loose.

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20 Comments

  1. c u n d gulag  •  Dec 15, 2017 @6:34 pm

    Theocratic Fascism, here we come!

    If you don't have jackboots, you'd better go and get some.

    And polish them to the point where you can see your reflection like it's on HDTV.  

    Then, practice goose-stepping.

    And get ready to Heil tRUMP.  

    If you're really good, you may become part of the TT – Trump's Troopers.   It'll be kind of like the SS, only without all of the style and majesty.  Trump will try for both, but he's a cretin without any sense of style or taste.

    Oh, and you'd better convert to Dominionist Evangelical Christianity.

    If you do the above, you may survive.

    But just in case, take a course on nature so you can find out which leaves and bugs are edible.

    Finally, don't bother to check if you're registered to vote.  They'll let YOU know if you can vote.  Because only certain people will be allowed to vote.  And while being white is a plus, being anywhere to the left of the John Birch Society makes you indistinguishable from minorities and non-"Christians."  So, no vote for you (or me)…

  2. aj  •  Dec 15, 2017 @8:40 pm

    We have to remember to thank  the Alabama naacp for keeping the Nazis andkkk from dancing in the streets. 

    But woe be unto he who makes enemies of the fbi cia . It will come back around.

  3. Swami  •  Dec 15, 2017 @8:53 pm

    I suspect that Mueller knows what he's up against in dealing with likes of Trumps and the protect at all costs mind set of the GOP.  I think and hope that he structures conditions so that if Trump decides out of desperation to pull the plug on him, Trump will be administering a deathblow to his own presidency. Like the proverbial misconception of a  scorpion stinging itself to avoid death from a predator. 

    Expose enough corruption to force the GOP to bail on Trump. Or come November force the public to bail on the Trump's enablers.

  4. Doug  •  Dec 15, 2017 @9:09 pm

    It's the most incredible damned-if you-do  – damned-if-you-don't scenario I have ever seen. Trump knows what his liability is since Flynn flipped. Mueller may have more than Trump suspects, but the damage from Flynn alone may be devastating. 

    Trump may have been convinced by his lawyers that Mueller can't be replaced – fired, etc. Even if Mueller is gone, the FBI will continue with the investigation. Unless Rosenstein is fired. GOP attempts this week in Congress with Rosenstein did not go well – the only guy who can pull the plug made it clear he's not gonna. 

     The FBI – or somebody with access – was leaking about Flynn before he was fired. The Mueller investigation files and documents may be duplicated where Trump can't destroy them. I would if I was Mueller and if they contain half of what I expect they do, if the FBI is closed down, the files will wind up in the hands of the Washington Post.

    Is there any way the GOP can survive? If they embrace Trump, they are you-know-what. If they reject Trump the lunatic fringe the base has become will revolt. The best the GOP leaders could hope for is a third party that breaks conservatism down the middle. The worst involves a bloody purge – these nuts have guns.

    Ya' can't make this stuff up.

  5. bernie  •  Dec 15, 2017 @9:13 pm

    So what did they learn from Alabama.  Like wearing a cross and a flag on your lapel pin is overkill?  Like riding a horse to vote is a little too retro?  All I know for sure is that people with learning curves that are flat lined learn poorly.

    Is this county dying?  Vital sighs are weak and getting weaker.  To misquote the prophet of doom, Sarah Palin, I can see the vultures from my house. 

  6. John M from Ct  •  Dec 15, 2017 @9:18 pm

    There's no doubt the president and his core supporters are not going to go gently into the good night.

    I was just remembering today how, as the 2016 election neared, candidate Trump made it perfectly clear that he and his people would not accept his defeat as a legitimate political event. Rather it would be evidence that the election was "rigged", and hence illegitimate. Everyone knew that President Hillary Clinton would be facing a realistic impeachment resolution in the House before she was even sworn in.

    Abolish the FBI. Right, like abolish the laws of physics regarding climate change, abolish the laws of physiology in declaring zygotes fully human beings, abolish the laws on foreign involvement in domestic politics, abolish the … oh, I can't go on. 

  7. grannyeagle  •  Dec 15, 2017 @9:44 pm

    I learned a long time ago not to put certain things in writing.  Today it's even worse with emails.

    Ugly stuff breaking loose sounds like the shit  hitting the fan.  I think I will stay inside.  I'm good at hibernating.

     

  8. Swami  •  Dec 16, 2017 @3:43 am

    Here's a little something that is a bit reassuring. Basically saying that when Mueller put Flynn on the hook.. it was or is a barbed hook meaning that a pardon from Trump won't have the effect that Trump would expect it to have. Also I'm hearing that if Mueller gets Flynn to testify before a Grand Jury that it will become protected from the reach of Trump trying to shut down or impede the investigation by issuing a pardon.

     http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/trms-law-school-understanding-mike-flynn-s-legal-situation-1117940291917

     

  9. goatherd  •  Dec 16, 2017 @8:23 am

    I live where the "Christian" right and the gun culture is very strong.  Life could get very nasty in short order, or it could get very short in nasty order.  Either one will do.

     Do you ever wonder how grasshoppers become locusts? It a question of numbers.  Their behavior changes when as the swarm builds.

    I might have posted this before, but, it's moderately funny.

    https://youtu.be/hn1VxaMEjRU 

  10. goatherd  •  Dec 16, 2017 @8:27 am

    Oh drat!  This new platform won't let me paste the old fashioned way, and I've got a dead link.
     

    It was Mitchell and Webb, "are we the baddies?"

     

  11. uncledad  •  Dec 16, 2017 @12:41 pm

    Swami: "Expose enough corruption to force the GOP to bail on Trump"

    Is that possible? It seems the GOP is just as if not more corrupt than tRump, I don't see a situation where they actually turn on him? Ryan, McConnell have all remained silent while this FAUX news led lynching of the FBI is carried out in plain sight, it seems tRump and his ilk can do no wrong?

  12. c u n d gulag  •  Dec 16, 2017 @1:28 pm

    uncledad,

    Waiting for the Republicans to do something – ANYTHING – about tRUMP is a fool's errand.

    Conservatives have no interest in governing – at least not in any sort of democracty – representative, or some other form.

    They want to RULE!

    So if the nation becomes some form of a dictatorship, then they'll do anything for power.  And they'll want it all!

    If  tRUMP does do something like forming his own security force with Eric Prince as his Himmler, I don't expect to hear a peep from the Republicans.

    They'll hope that when tRUMP dies, Prince and his storm troopers will swear allegiance to them.

    It'll be up to US to stop them.  And to push the Democrats into being the people's political wing.

    Street protesting may – probably will – lead to violence.  Not by the protestors, but by the security forces, who know the only way to truly control people, is through violence.

    Hopefully, other democratic nations will support us, the protestors.  Hey, Gandhi needed help from nations protesting Britain's brutality.
    Hopefully, some other nation will help us…

     

  13. Bonnie  •  Dec 16, 2017 @2:28 pm

    "Nonetheless, defenders of the President"–The fact that there are defenders of "this" president* is why the nation is dying.

  14. Swami  •  Dec 16, 2017 @2:43 pm

    uncledad , I believe it's possible. When the voice of the people gets loud enough in demanding that no one is above the law, then maybe the Repugs will respond, if only out of self preservation. It seems clear to me that as things stand now the Repugs guiding principle is party over country, but  political self preservation over party should/ would have a stronger hold over allegiances. 

    That might be wishful thinking on my part because I was raised to believe that you put devotion to country above self. But who knows?.. I could be an old dinosaur laboring under an archaic notion.

  15. csm  •  Dec 16, 2017 @6:33 pm

    There may be another method to the madness of the GOP passing this tax bill, other than the obvious enriching of their benefactors to keep their own lucre flowing.  

    What's the one scenario that history has shown us is always in existence and greases the slides towards authoritarianism?  A bad economy.  Yes, know nothingism is a feature of today's GOP, and a lot of House members, and those of the Senate truly are morons when it comes to the economy, e.g. some probably actually believe trickle down works as advertised, regardless of the fact that recent history shows it does not work, if by “working” it provides a boon to the middle class.  But they want to believe it. 

    But there are those who DO know and understand the effects this bill is going to have on the economy, and the resulting economic devastation may be the perfect environment and cover for the GOP and Trump to affect their unconstitutional takeover, beginning with the firing of Mueller and leading to the nullification of the parts of the Constitution that allows for the holding of the President accountable, by way of the refusal of a GOP congress to do its job as so prescribed.  Then there's the apathy, although VA and AL may be signs that people are waking up.

    In any case, what's happening now does have the unmistakable feel of the beginning of the end of the US as we knew it.

  16. uncledad  •  Dec 16, 2017 @8:38 pm

    Swami: "When the voice of the people gets loud enough in demanding that no one is above the law"

    The problem is the voters that the GOP cares about (tRumps base) only watch FAUX, read breitbart, drudge and listen to Limpballs. They are not going to demand anything because the right-wing echo chamber is telling them this whole thing is the “deep state” going after their new "conservative" hero Donald J. Trump.

  17. Doug  •  Dec 17, 2017 @3:03 am

    csm – The New Deal came out of the desperation of the Great Depression. About 15% of voters like the tax bill. They have been promised pink unicorns and rainbows – it won't happen and the 85% who saw the scam are going to know in a year that the only accomplishment of the GOP for a year was to reward the ultra-rich. The rate hikes from the repeal of net neutrality may impact rural areas first and hardest because there's less competition. Where the middle class may see some bump in the size of their tax refund – it won't happen until AFTER the mid-terms. 

    There's lots of time for the DNC to screw up the perfect storm that's brewing but there may be a democratic majority in a year – in the House AND the Senate. Depending on the evidence from the Mueller investigation, there may be grounds to bring Articles of Impeachment – the GOP in the Senate will block a conviction, but the process will allow all the evidence to be presented in the best entertainment format – a public trial in the Senate. Remember the caveat – if there is evidence from the Mueller investigation. 

    Trump will be wounded from the impeachment – he won't admit defeat and he'll run for re-election and the GOP won't abandon Trump and he will lose bigly in 2020. If the GOP hasn't distanced themselves from Trump, the Democrats should hold both ends of Congress AND the White House right after the census – unrig some of the gerrymandering perhaps? Or use the power of the majority to  put an end to gerrymandering and voter suppression. Yeah, that means giving up the temporary advantage of having the majority and the power of payback but permanent free and fair elections will doom the GOP unless they modify their platform. 

    It hasn't been a fun year and next year won't be better but the tide is turning.

  18. c u n d gulag  •  Dec 17, 2017 @10:47 am

    Doug,

    The New Deal was grudgingly accepted by the rich because the spectre of Communism was haunting them.

    If they didn't give some wealth and power back, and sign-on to the CCC and other "socialist" New Deal  programs, they were genuinely afraid of a Communist revolution in the US.  Hell, it's better to keep what you got, and a cut in what you're getting and will get, than to lose it all – and possibly your head, too.

    Today, there is NO opposing economic philosophy to threaten capitalism, sadly. 

    So, the only thing for the rich and their tools – the (mostly) Republican politicians – to fear is NOT another American Revolution, but the French, Russian, and Chinese ones, where countless wealthy/powerful people and their families lost their money, their power, their property, and even their lives.

    And that's why rRUMP's re-militarization of our police forces scares the hell out of me.

    If, or rather when, the next economic Recession/Depression hits – as it will, thanks to the poor and middle classes losing money so that it can go to the rich – it will be worse than the Bush/Cheney one.  Despite Obama's efforts, the conservatives blocked any real and meaningful reform and regulations.  Instead, we got weak regulations like  Dodd/Frank, which, while better than nothing, are nothing like the really strict ones passed after the Great Depression.  And after the initial hit(s), many of the same bad financial corporate actors not only stayed in business, but increased their power in the last 6+ years.  And because of that, the next economic downturn is likely to be worse than the one in 2007-2009.

    After these tRUMP tax "cuts," the only thing that will trickle-down is shit.  And frankly, a lot of people are getting tired of being shit on.

    And now, when that shit hits the fan, to protect the rich and powerful in case of violence (or the mere pretext of it), tRUMP can call-out the National Guard and regular military.  And locally, the rich use their own Eric Prince trained security forces, and call out for help from the newly re-militarized local police forces.

    I'm hoping for a peaceful "revolution."  But with the voter suppression efforts in so many states, people may feel that the election process is not only tainted, but completely corrupted, and that the only solution is violence.

    Hopefully, I'm wrong about this whole thing.

  19. csm  •  Dec 17, 2017 @1:17 pm

    Doug – yes, VA and AL are indicators that the tide is turning, however it does appear that the democrats are leading from behind.  This is not to take away from their successful GOTV work in those states.

    My point is the Trump/GOP is not just bumbling along on clownish idiocy; they clearly have goals, which involve maintaining power to continue to deliver for their wealthy supporters.  Even though Mueller may (or may not) gum up the works, we can see the outlines of their plans and approach.  Democrats are going to need to offer the voters more than just fanning the flames of disgust for Trump, they need to give them a reason to enthusiastically vote democratic by virtue of a platform of policies that support the needs of a majority of the voters.

    The problem, IMO, is the democrats have been running as the status quo, the "normal" party, the "adult establishment," when the voters said clearly in 2016 that they have lost faith in status quo or establishment.  I voted for Clinton because she was clearly the most qualified and would have been a good President, vs Trump who was a disaster any sentient being could have seen coming. But nothing said establishment and status quo more than Clinton did.  Her low approval rating certainly didn't help.  And truth be told, the democrats "centrism" is a scheme as well, since it allows a justification for their incremental approach, and shyness towards fully embracing things like $15/hr minimum wage, some form of universal health care, full throated support for expanding social security, and other such ideas, because that allows them to maintain the support of wealthy donors as well.  Sure, they came around to these positions being pushed from the left, but the voters could see their hearts weren't in it. 

    In 2016, a sizable number of the so-called "swing" and Obama low info voters went for Trump for the same reasons they went for "change" in 2008: they saw Trump the reality star as "different" and an outsider, and being a black man, Obama was the ultimate outsider.  Neither was perceived as status quo.  Obama was oversold, but Trump was just plain fraudulent and many fell for it.

    The democrats need to do three things: first, continue with the GOTV operations and commit the resources with a goal towards increasing turnout even more.  Secondly, abandon the centrism and embrace their base, by developing policy positions and messages around them that support the needs of the majority, e.g. the poor, working and middle classes.  And stop being shy about supporting unions. Lastly, build out fundraising methods to improve small donor donations so as to not have to rely on big donors, to unchain the next generation of leaders to speak freely to the needs of the voters.

    Finally, you could sum up the democrats dilemma with the simple question: do you want to win (and by virtue all of us to win, or do you want to just get paid, and keep the revolving door open?

     

  20. elkern  •  Dec 18, 2017 @10:22 am

    csm & all –

        I think the "democrats' dilemma" is that they think they can only get the $B they need to win elections by abandoning their base(s) & catering to rich donors.  They may be right. 

       Bernie did pretty well with crowd-funding, but he didn't really prove that he could get enough to win.   $B is a bunch of dough; at $27 each, that would require donations from 40 Million people.  That's a stretch, and again, the party [believes that it ] needs at least that much every two years.

       BTW, I recently realized a macro-economic effect which makes this even worse.  Jared Bernstein ( http://jaredbernsteinblog.com/ ) recently compared elections to auctions.  Every month brings news of crazy new prices brought by famous art at high-end auctions.  IMHO, this ( inflation only at the top end of the economy ) is a natural result of giving too much money to the super-rich.  Unfortunately, this inflation is likely to apply to the auction market for elections, as the 1% bids up the cost of purchasing our government. 

       So inside-the-beltway / inside-the-box Democratic party apparatchiks would expect to need ever more money each cycle.  A cycle like that can only be broken with imagination, and that's not their strong suit.



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