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grantcart's Journal
grantcart's Journal
March 2, 2017

Trump finally gives a speech with limited crazy and Sessions crushes the next days news cycle.

When Sessions was nominated I predicted that it actually was a good thing because

There is an even bigger upside to Sessions. Unlike other positions like Perry in treasury where you can get the top lobbyists in the energy industry to give you a list of things to do the Attorney General needs to have a deep and sophisticated understanding of constitutional principles, precedents and complex legal strategy. . . Sessions will very quickly be over his head and will cripple the Trump administration

but that was based on basic logic. Only Nostradamus could have predicted that he would actually commit perjury in the hearings.

So lets count the ways Sessions has helped us "win":

1) Kills the only positive news cycle Trump has had since he took the oath.
2) Going to ruin the roll out for Muslim Ban 2.0
3) Elevates the Russian scandal and undermines every statement the administration makes about it.
4) Makes the selection of a Special Prosecutor almost certain.
5) Opens up Sessions to what is going to amount to a "Second Confirmation Hearing". I think it is clear that Sessions never developed a lot of friends in the Senate and there will be a whole bunch of Republicans who will be grateful for the opportunity to show how "independent" they are. That includes everyone of the Senators that ran for President who Sessions undermined by giving an early endorsement for Trump.

Just think how happy Graham is going to be to bash the archetypical typecast of the prejudiced Southerner, especially one that has been so bigoted to gays.

Sessions is about to discover that his family is in desperate need to have him close by for more frequent family time but I hope that he lingers because Sessions is the gift that will keep on giving us wins and I am not tired of winning.

February 26, 2017

If you are not smart enough to find your own backside with a map and GPS then . . .

how in the world do you expect to find the leakers in your own staff?

Spicer on the hunt for leaks within his own staff:

White House Staffers Leak News of Sean Spicer’s ‘Phone Check’ Targeting Their Leaks

New York Magazine

Spicer is on the hunt


Last week, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer conducted a surprise phone check on his staff in an effort to stamp out leaks, according to a new Politico report. Spicer, upset that information had leaked out of a previous meeting he had held with roughly a dozen members of his staff, ordered another meeting and had staff surrender their phones and other electronic devices when they arrived. The search — which applied to both personal and government-issued phones — was overseen by White House lawyers, and Spicer then warned staffers against using privacy-focused messaging apps like Signal and Confide, noting that doing so violates the Federal Records Act. He also, per Politico’s sources, “warned the group of more problems if news of the phone checks and the meeting about leaks was leaked to the media,” which it promptly was.

So while Spicer is doing an all out press to find the leakers, his staff leaks details of Clousseau's hunt for those that are leaking.

You laugh, you cry, you laugh some more and then you make sure that there are no sharp instruments in the house to put your eye out, ok laugh some more.
February 22, 2017

Neither Ellison nor Perez should be chair. It should be Jason Kander (or someone like him).

This seems rather obvious to me but there are two important reasons why the DNC leader should be viewed as a process leader and leave all ideological battles alone and concentrate on candidate recruitment and process issues like vote suppression and vote security. It seems equally obvious why ANY SURROGATE like Ellison or Perez should NOT be considered for chair.

1) If a surrogate is chosen then at lease half of the party is going to bear a grudge and feel that they were screwed.

2) The DNC chair really has zero impact on legislative issues. The job of the DNC is to boost involvement of Democrats in every area. The new chairperson should be seen as someone that will have no problem getting people more involved in Memphis, Salt Lake City and Tucson as they do in San Francisco, Seattle and Vermont.

We have people that can do this.

Here is my favourite, Jason Kander


Jason Kander (born May 4, 1981) is an American lawyer and politician. A member of the Democratic Party, he was elected Secretary of State of Missouri in 2012, serving from 2013 to 2017. He previously served as a state representative. He was an intelligence officer in the Army National Guard, achieving the rank of Captain. He was the Democratic nominee for the United States Senate, losing the 2016 Senate election to Republican incumbent Roy Blunt.[1] Kander is also the founder of an organization called "Let America Vote", a campaign dedicated to ending voter suppression and gerrymandering.

I fault Sanders for taking the first shot with his early endorsement of Ellison, especially galling that he continues to interfere in a party he refuses to join. I also fault Clinton/Obama forces for taking the bait.

Both Ellison/Perez have shown that they are poor choices for playing out the endorsement game. Each should have said that they are not surrogates for anyone and concentrated on process issues. If Ellison thinks that by becoming chairperson he will be in a position to advance his personal agenda then he is not very clued in to what the constraints of the DNC chairs is going to be and is going to find a lot of areas of the country that are not going to respond.

Kander is a Democrat who wins in a red state and founded an organization dedicated to stopping voter suppression and gerrymandering.

He also knows how to send a message

February 18, 2017

Update on the visit

My daughter has a demanding job and plays volleyball every day so getting her on the phone to get the details of the President's visit to the office she works at took some time. There was a lot of security.

Everyone was told that the President wasn't going to do any stop and greet this visit and everyone should just "act normally". When the appointed time was getting close people from the other offices seemed to have urgent matters to discuss with their colleagues that happened to be along the route that the President would be walking from the elevator to the principles office even though they never have any business with those folks.

When the President came in he went a few feet and stopped and said "Hi" to all the people that were rubbernecking to try and see him and at the same time continue the obvious ruse of trying to "work normally".

By chance he stopped two feet from my daughter's cubicle. The principle introduced the office and said that they had kept things going so that she could serve in the administration. The President thanked everyone for allowing the principle to work in DC for the last few years and turned and was standing next to my daughter and turned in her direction. She was a little flummoxed and said "Welcome" but coming after the President's gracious thank you was heard by everyone, including the President, as "Your welcome" responding to his "Thank you", which drew a big laugh from the President and everyone in the area.

The President shook her hand and a couple of others and went on to the meeting.

My daughter is short and has a very attractive and engaging appearance. Her Thai/American blend draws lots of looks when she is around.

She also has a very penetrating look that has caused many of her underlings to shake as they try to explain errors in their work while she just "looks" at them. When we went to her wedding their were a number of colleagues who told about times when they went in with what they thought was a good report only to find it blown apart in 15 seconds and faced with that "look". They laughed nervously as they told the story but their sweaty brow gave away the fact that the "look" had left a mark.

My daughter is known for this look from High School which starts out engaging and pleasant but slowly morphs into a very engaging and somewhat disturbing penetrating "look" if she is bothered by something.

On the email thread where her friends are commenting on the sequence of events was this priceless phrase that will cause me to chuckle the rest of my life:

"Whatever look she gave the President, his conclusion was that he better stop".

My daughter made this comment: "His presence filled the room and the energy that everyone got in an instant was how relaxed and happy he was. There wasn't a shade of difference between the relaxed man you see on the TV and the guy who showed up in the office and made everyone feel in a minute that he had noticed them and made each of them feel completely at ease."

He may be the only person beside her Dad who hasn't felt a little unsettled about being on the receiving end of my daughter's "look"!

February 16, 2017

Today will be remembered in our family for generations.

Today my daughter met the finest President this country has had since Lincoln.

She is an executive in a company that has been closely aligned with Democratic politics and a high profile supporter of the President in Chicago. The President has visited the office several times since she joined the company but this was the first time she was able to meet him.

I have felt such an affinity to Dr. Dunham who was working in Indonesia at the same time I was and we may have even crossed paths at the embassy or possibly at the Borobudur Hotel in Jakarta.

I had the feeling that many of us shared that when he was speaking about taking the country to a new place through relentless optimism, courageous reconciliation and strengthening those that are struggling that he was speaking directly to me.

I found it difficult to hang around DU when were being trolled by people who constantly tried to pick at the President and found that it contributed to a return of my bizarre but troublesome affliction of vertigo attacks and had to take drastic steps to step away. Fortunately changes were made so that I could return but I still have to temper my tendency to over commit my passion.

My daughter still lives in a normal world where people who lead like President Obama are the expected norm and so she casually sent me this text:

"I just shook Obama's hand. Busy now, have volleyball after work. Dad, I will call you tomorrow".

I just wonder if I will ever be able to return to a world where somebody like Obama is President and it is considered so commonplace that you could tell your Dad with a text and a casual "will call you tomorrow" after meeting the President. I am so glad that she still lives in that world. It seems like it has been a light year since we lived there. In the Granttribe it will be incorporated into our family history and passed on for generations.

February 15, 2017

Trump to Palestinians: Your Fired.

A radical turn against 30 years of consensus amongst all of the West and most of the Muslim Middle East was abandoned with a flippant and very Kardashian: Whatever.

If there is no 2 state solution then you are condemning millions of Palestinians to a colonial status. No besides Trump and Netanyahu believes that this is possible.

This goes beyond complicating the situation in Israel it means that when the US comes to an agreement, when it broker's a coalition among NATO and other countries and reaffirms it for decades, that it can all be reversed when a 31 year old son in law of the Nut in Chief tells his father in law that he should abandon central pillars of US international policy.

From here on out, for a considerable time, no other country will give the word of the US any value.
February 15, 2017

Here is the proof that the Trump campaign had early contacts with Russia Intelligence

They went to the mat at the convention for a radical and surprising reversal of sanctions against Russia. There was no electoral advantage in making the change. They were sending a signal that they would bring the bacon home after the election.


Trump campaign guts GOP’s anti-Russia stance on Ukraine

The Trump campaign worked behind the scenes last week to make sure the new Republican platform won’t call for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces, contradicting the view of almost all Republican foreign policy leaders in Washington.

Throughout the campaign, Trump has been dismissive of calls for supporting the Ukraine government as it fights an ongoing Russian-led intervention. Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, worked as a lobbyist for the Russian-backed former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych for more than a decade.

Still, Republican delegates at last week’s national security committee platform meeting in Cleveland were surprised when the Trump campaign orchestrated a set of events to make sure that the GOP would not pledge to give Ukraine the weapons it has been asking for from the United States.

February 14, 2017

No, younger Democrats, this isn't like Nixon. This is like Nixon on crack.

Edited to add:

This is what a President on crack looks like when he has a press conference

The speed of the collapse of the honeymoon and the level of infighting is moving at the speed of light

The break in at the Watergate was a single thread with a few side threads.

We are witnessing an exponential explosion of leads, gaffes, betrayal, perfidy, use of government for personal gain and possibly outright treason.

Take a look at this picture


It shows

1) Violation of security of classified documents

2) Use of government to advance personal assets

3) Potential violation of classified material by cyber malware: There is a very good chance that the "flashlight" download they are using for the country club guests to view the classified material has malware that is stealing the document and sending it out in real time (much greater violation than anything that Secretary Clinton did):

The Hidden Piracy threat of Flashlight Applications

4) Not to mention the general level of buffoonery that they are showing to the entire world

Nothing Nixon did was this haphazard and the truth is if he hadn't recorded it he would have gotten away with it.

Trump isn't just recording it he is charging people to watch him fuck it up while he is doing it and letting them record it.

February 12, 2017

Trump has erased the line that separated the US between President Obama and Dictator Putin

Thoughtful people watching Trump run for President realized that each time he would bellow some authoritarian populist pablum that he was either approaching or crossing some invisible intellectual line, but it would receive a huge reaction from the angry herd that he corralled into his rallies. We kept hearing from ‘normal Republicans’ that Trump would ‘pivot’ after he got the nomination, after the first debate, after this point or that.

When we watched in horror as Trump was soundly defeated in the election but had won one of the most improbable electoral college wins the part of America that thinks about the country an inch deeper than the most sentimental platitudinous tripe realized that the chances were good that our government would cross the line and eventually become an abuser of power that imposes the power of government to brutally destroy innocent lives.

That line was crossed on Thursday.

Eight years ago I was interviewing a Border Patrol Agent in Las Cruces New Mexico. He was angry that the Obama administration had drawn a line and that the Border Patrol, Customs and ICE would “no longer be able to enforce the law”.

I asked him what he meant and he said that they were ordered not to go into Las Cruces and arrest known illegals ( Border Patrol range of 100 miles next to the border put the city within their normal area of operations). “We know where they are, they are working on construction sites in full view of everyone, but we can’t go after them.”

I answered, “So you signed up for the Border Patrol so that you could be like Tony Soprano”. He had a shocked expression. He had told me that he had worked in construction in San Diego.

I asked him if, while he was working construction in San Diego, he had ever worked on a project an as it was approaching completion ICE would show up and arrest dozens of illegals. He said, “all of the time”.

I explained to him that the employer knew who the illegals were and had never paid their social security taxes and as they approached the end of the project missed a couple paychecks promising a big bonus ‘next week’. His face showed surprise as I explained that it was the contractor who had called ICE in order to cover up their own illegal actions and pocket hundreds of thousands of illegal profits. These criminal contractors didn’t even have to pay a “Tony Soprano” type, they could call ICE or the Border Patrol to do the job. “Is that why you signed up for the Border Patrol?”. He gave me a sheepish “No”.

President Obama drew a line of decency that put ICE/Border Patrol on the side of finding and removing real criminal aliens. Using those services to focus on dangerous criminals made all of us safer. Trump has erased that line to brutalize innocent families and all of us are more at risk because instead of chasing gangs ICE is now chasing mothers of US citizens.

Within hours of losing the appeal in District 9 on the Muslim ban Trump has showed that he is capable of matching Putin in using brutal state power.


Immigration officials deported a mother who had been in the U.S. illegally since she was 14 years old on Thursday, in what some activists say is the first deportation under the new immigration policies of President Donald Trump.
Guadalupe García de Rayos was removed from the country to Nogales, Mexico after authorities attempted to deport her late Wednesday. They were unable to move the van she was in because protesters were blocking it. One man wedged himself in the wheel well.

There is no doubt that Trump made the decision to erase the line that President Obama installed to use the forces of border security to concentrate on criminal elements and has now directed them at innocent undocumented workers who supporters of Secretary Clinton have worked for after losing in the courtroom in Seattle.

Erasing the line protecting the sanctity of Family Reunification

The one unifying principle for Republican and Democratic politicians on migration and refugee policies over the last 7 decades has been focused on “Family Reunification”. Trump has threw that away and instructed ICE to take the next undocumented person they could find and throw them out of the country and ignore President Obamas’ previous orders.

Republicans like to say “If you outlaw guns only outlaws will have guns” and there is an element of truth to that. It is also true that if you have ICE chase down law abiding undocumented aliens then they will get those who report in as instructed and the illegal violent aliens will be left alone. Trump’s actions were aimed at destroying an innocent family but it also means that the government’s resources are no longer focused on aliens with criminal records, and we are all less safe because of that.

I have no doubt that the actions against Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos and the hundreds that have been detained by ICE since then are a pique of revenge for losing his appeal on the Muslim ban. Trump has personalized the instruments of state power and is using it to concentrate his personal position. It is exactly how has Putin has ruled.

Right now the Department of Homeland Security’s ICE investigation unit is not looking at intercepts for the violent gang that was their objective. I guarantee you right now that DHS investigators have been instructed to find some connection with undocumented aliens and Nordstrom.

Tomorrow hundreds of law abiding families, many of them with US citizens in the family, will face the brutal force of government law enforcement officers that should be used to protect us. One of the reasons that they are being targeted is that we support them. It is Trump’s payback.

I know that this is a long post but there is one more element that needs to be pointed out. Guadalupe García de Rayos was arrested based on a raid by former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in 2008 when she worked at Golf Land in Phoenix. What triggered Arpaio’s raid? Maybe it was a competitor to one of his supporters. Maybe one of the customers were angry at how they were treated.

After she was arrested Guadalupe followed all the instructions that the court had given her. Why was she even instructed to go to the ICE office while others arrested were told that under President Obama’s instructions they were to be ignored? Because the AZ prosecutor had over charged her with a felony for using a Social Security number to get an ID. Because it wasn’t a violent felony she was safe behind President Obama’s line of reason.

All of the 7-10 million undocumented workers who show up to work have provided a fictional SS number so that they can work. What is the result or harm of this action? We have 7 million people contributing into the Social Security Trust fund who will never be able to claim for the benefits that they are paying for. It is one of the unspoken reasons why, even though Americans are living a decade longer and paying out much more than the original calculations anticipated, there is so much money in the Trust Fund. This is Guadalupe’s crime, she has been helping pay for our Social Security with no chance of getting the benefit.

Thousands of families in the US will be attacked this week but millions are now living in fear because Trump has crossed the line. It is the line that separated us from President Obama and the dictator Putin.
February 6, 2017

While everyone was reacting to "US murders like Putin" BS, Trump caved on taking on the ACA in 2017

The ACA was going to be done on the first day, finished, period.

In the O'Reilly interview Trump conceded that there isn't going to be any change this year and they are going to start with a new "replacement" sometime next year.


President Trump is giving an extended timeline for when his administration could be expected to roll out a new plan to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), former President Obama’s landmark healthcare legislation.

In an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly that aired Sunday, Mr. Trump made the vague assertion that it could take “’til sometime into next year.”

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