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Member since: Sun Jul 11, 2004, 07:58 PM
Number of posts: 39,405

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On Trump & Russia: divide & conquer

If those in DC are more concerned about the Trump half of the Trump/Russia relationship, I wonder if Russia wouldn't be willing to throw Trump under the bus in return for a written non-aggression pact that includes covert and overt means of destabilizing Russia's immediate neighbors (by us and them) and guarantees not to interfere in elections covertly or overtly by Russia in the US and vice versa.

To the degree that Russia meddled in our election, they were likely reacting to some of the belligerent actions we have taken since the end of the Cold War and Hillary's rhetoric and record seemed like it would lead to armed conflict between us and them at least in Syria.

Of course if Russia is the primary target and Trump is just a pawn for BOTH sides, then it wouldn't matter if Putin was willing to do this.

Poll question: who do DC insiders want to punish more, Trump or Russia?

Note: average Americans who oppose Trump care about the Russia stuff, but attacks on minorities and civil rights, cutting crucial government programs, and open corruption probably loom larger.

It aint a "purity test," it's a job evaluation

If the people with modest houses hire the same landscaper to take care of their yard as the massive mansions across the street, and notice that the landscaper hardly ever works on their yard, and half the time he shows up, he throws the trimmings from the big house on their lawn, it is not a purity test to say they are doing a shitty job.

It's a job evaluation.

Likewise, it is not a defense of the shitty job to say they are doing more for us than a gang of con men, who sometimes convince some neighbors to pay for lawn care, and then never deliver at all, or "take care of" their lawn with a flame thrower.

If elected Democrats and party operatives don't take criticism from the base of voters seriously--DEMOCRATIC PARTY voters, not swing or Republican voters, they will continue to struggle and just barely win.

Also, if you are not loyal to those working and middle class people who are members of your own party, why would swing and conservative voters expect you to take care of them?

The New Dem/DLC/Third Way wing of the party does push for some progressive change. The problem is, too often the progressive change is structured to give the financial sector or some other corporate interest a big chunk of the money that was supposed to go a program to help the rest of us, when the government itself could deliver the program more cheaply and effectively.

A good example is Obamacare. Many aspects of the private insurance part were huge improvements. But the Medicare portion is more efficient and costs are driven up by the avarice of spoiled trust fund babies. Those insurance companies don't even seem grateful that Democrats delivered tens of millions of new customers to them, and keep jacking up prices to pad their profits.

If the only consideration was delivering healthcare at a good price to average Americans, there should have been a timetable for all health insurance companies to rein in their overhead or Medicare would start expanding until it covered everyone.

That kind of accountability would make giving the private sector a role more palatable because it would make it clear that in "public private partnerships," the public part was in the driver's seat.

RALL: Long Before Trump, News Media Wallowed in Alternative Facts

I would add one more comment to the "fake news" analysis of Iraq War excuses: anyone old enough to remember the Cold War knew that we and the Soviet Union had THOUSANDS of nukes AND the means to deliver them and destroy the whole world several times over. But neither side did because it wouldn't matter who fired the first shot: both side would be wiped off the map.

Why then would a medium small country with a handful of nukes launch one at us, when the best that they could hope for was to take out a city or two before we turned their entire country into glass and a footnote in history?

Some in Congress did ask such questions, but if the media ever covered it, they didn't do it very often.

For the better part of a decade, American citizens paid good money for newspapers that purported to bring them the news from Vietnam. What those papers never told them was that the reason LBJ gave for entering the war, a 1964 attack on American ships in the Gulf of Tonkin, never happened. This isn’t controversial; liberal and conservative historians alike agree the war was sold on fake news.

Imagine if the media had begun every story about Vietnam with a Trump-era-ish reference to Johnson’s big lie? “Continuing Unprovoked Attack on North Vietnam, U.S. B-52s Rain Death on Hanoi Without Reason.” Significantly less than 58,000 Americans and 2 million Vietnamese might have died.


Afghanistan’s Taliban government had nothing to do with 9/11, but few Americans know that. Even the soldiers sent to fight, kill and die there thought they were avenging the attack on the World Trade Center — and why not? Thanks to the Bush-era fake news purveyors, few of even the best read and most informed Americans know that Osama bin Laden was already in Pakistan on 9/11, that the Taliban offered to arrest him and turn him over if the U.S. showed some evidence of his guilt, that Al Qaeda had fewer than 100 members in Afghanistan (the vast majority were in Pakistan, as were the infamous training camps), and that there wasn’t a single Afghan among the 19 hijackers.


That the media fell down on the job during the build-up to the Iraq War is well-documented. Yet, even after the WMDs failed to turn up in that country after we destroyed it, the media never applied the standard they now stick on Trump, e.g. “Continuing Unjustified Assault on Innocent Iraq, Marines Prepare For Battle in Fallujah.” Talk about fake news — even if Saddam Hussein had had WMDs, Iraq’s lack of long-range ballistic missiles meant it never could have posed a threat to the United States.


How cool would it be if every GOP legislator Trump tapped for cabinet were replaced by DEMOCRATS?

It would be worthwhile for the party to at least put up a good fight for some of those seats and cut into the GOP's victory margins, especially for people like Jeff Sessions.

So if FBI was wiretapping Flynn in Russia talks, why not Kobach & co on Cross Checkvoter purges?

Even without that section of the Voting Rights Act being enforced anymore, isn't it some kind of crime to intentionally disenfranchise people without just cause?

And what are the chances that those assholes didn't pat themselves on the back for keeping blacks from voting?

Sen. Rand Paul: It Makes No Sense For Republicans To Investigate Republicans

Source: Huffington Post

WASHINGTON — Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that probing the Trump administration’s ties to Russia after the resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn would be “excessive,” and that Republicans shouldn’t be wasting time investigating members of their own party.

Paul, speaking on Fox News’ “Kilmeade and Friends” radio show, took issue with calls by fellow Senate Republicans, including Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), for a thorough investigation.

“You know, I think that might be excessive,” Paul said. “I think that it looks like the president has handled the situation, and unless there’s some kind of other evidence of malfeasance, this sounds like something that was internal White House politics, and it looks like the president’s handled it.”


“I just don’t think it’s useful to be doing investigation after investigation, particularly of your own party,” he said. “We’ll never even get started with doing the things we need to do like repealing Obamacare if we’re spending our whole time having Republicans investigate Republicans. I think it makes no sense.”

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/rand-paul-michael-flynn_us_58a36eeee4b094a129efc452?

He's spilling their trade secrets.

after Trump, if Dems regain power, will they hold GOP bad actors accountable?

Trump is arguably a TWILIGHT ZONE episode designed to test the resolve of Democrats to NOT investigate or prosecute the misdeeds of Republicans presidents and VP's since at least Iran Contra.

Will this finally break them of giving that slack to Republicans that they NEVER get in return?

An answer to rebuild.democrats.org about future of Democratic Party:

Come up with a new definition of toughness.

Currently, you seem to share the same one as Republicans, who seem to think toughness is crapping on middle and working class people who vote for them and bombing the crap out small countries.

Real toughness is taking on the richest individuals, corporations, and banks who break the law and putting those criminals behind bars not in your cabinet. If Obama had done that one thing alone, Democrats would not have lost the Congress in 2010, and his reputation would be in the ballpark of FDR.

Likewise, after seeing what Wall Street did with the first half of the bailout money, mostly squirrel it away or spend it on lavish bonuses and parties, you could have put some pretty tight strings on the second half or better yet, redirected that money to average Americans they victimized, who were losing their homes, drowning under student loan debt.

The conflict of today is not necessarily between capitalism and socialism, but between capitalism and DEMOCRACY. You have to decide which is more important, the will and welfare of the people as a whole, or the right of the already very wealthy to do exactly as they please no matter who it hurts. Right now, Democrats seem incapable of doing anything unless the rich profit from it too or at least tacitly allow it.

Admit that the government does some things better than the private sector, especially things essential to the survival of all of us, including the poorest and weakest, like providing water, electricity, education, police protection, mass transit, health care, and a safe retirement.

Doing those things better makes it easier for people of talent to rise to the top and small businesses to get started.

Learn the right lessons from the right: people care about outcomes not process. Bipartisanship, comity, and "getting things done" only matters if they are things that help average Americans and not indirectly through trickle down, hypothetical side effects of giving more money to the already wealthy.

In some cases, like the privatization of public education, there's the opposite of "trickle down." You are doing real damage to poor and middle class kids by letting hedge fund managers, for profit companies, and the foundations of the wealthy dictate how our kids are educated. By doing so, you are also demoralizing some of your previously most loyal foot soldiers, teachers. Why should they donate, phone bank, and pound the pavement for you when Arne Duncan, Rahm Emanuel, Andrew Cuomo, Cory Booker, and countless other Democratic "leaders," pursue the same destructive privatization agenda as the Republicans?

Give up on incrementalism. Think big, and have some big, bold pieces of legislation ready to go when you regain control of Congress.

After 9/11, I don't think Republicans wrote the Patriot Act from scratch. They had it ready to go. Part of the problem with Obamacare was the prolonged sausage-making in Congress with the obscene spectacle of insurance and pharma lobbyists having a seat at the table and everybody else being locked out.

In some cases, the businesses effected NEED to be locked out. In particular, you need to return the power to print money to the treasury and take it away from private banks. This one thing would dramatically reduce our national debt and distortions of all policies in favor of the already wealthy.

Be honest about what's going on in foreign policy. We spend more on our military than the rest of the world combined. Russia and China are only a threat to us if we take the fight to their turf first. Lock out the neocons and keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t manipulate events to force the policies they want.

Likewise, more and more people are noticing that our government is most concerned about "terrorism" in countries that have a lot of oil or pipeline routes and governments that are too independent for our oil companies’ and banks’ liking. In many cases, our government is funding religious extremists and mercenaries to overthrow relatively stable secular governments, so groups like ISIS are of our own making directly and not just as an indirect effect of laying waste to countries like Iraq, Libya, and Syria.

A foreign policy that would be a lot cheaper and better for our national security would be to stop destabilizing and overthrowing other countries' governments because they won't put the interests of transnational corporations and banks ahead of the interests of their own people.

You also need to weld shut the revolving door between Wall Street and government, or at least make it a one-way trip. Members of Congress should be barred from being lobbyists, corporate lawyers, CEO's or do-nothing highly paid board members for at least as long as they served in Congress.

Presidents should end the obscenity of after office graft of privately funded presidential libraries and foundations.

As I write these things, I realize that today's Democratic Party may not be able to do any or even all of this. Too many profit from the way things are done now even when the Democratic Party loses.

But Democrats should take a look at the pre-Civil War situation. One party supported slavery, an institution that would be dead in a few years, and the other nominally opposed it. You would think the party on the wrong side of the issue would die first, but the Whigs dithered and appeased the slave-holders so much that those who saw clearly what needed to be done formed a new party in frustration, and the Whig Party died.

Democrats have one national election or maybe two to decide if they want to go the way of the Whigs.

If we win and elected Democrats govern the way you did after winning back the Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008, you won't get to decide.

We will leave you.

Trump presidency looks a lot like early Schwarzenegger governorship

In both cases, Republicans got their guy in office even though the vast majority of people didn't like the conservative policies they were about to enact.

In California, it some political machinations and sleight of hand that made Cirque du Soleil look like a slug crawling across the sidewalk.

With Trump, it was some combination of a political traffic accident and machinations.

Like Trump, when Schwarzenegger started governing like a hard right Republican, he was met with overwhelming opposition.

Ultimately, Arnold had to back down quite a bit, hired a Democratic consultant, and started governing like a conservative Democrat, so he could at least get re-elected and finish his time in office without ruining his brand so much he couldn't act anymore.

I'm not sure if Trump has that out.

He is either going to quit or be removed.

But the public pressure could make the Republican PARTY back down.

Wouldn't it be nice if the REPUBLICANS became the party of incremental change and DEMOCRATS made broad, sweeping reforms that lasted for decades?

One way to get Trump to withdraw Gorsuch: have a woman play him on SNL

Post some suggestions STAT!

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