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grantcart's Journal
grantcart's Journal
December 20, 2018

He is lighting the Reichstag on fire (Syria, Afghanistan, Gov shut down, Mattis)

Roger Stone and Donald Jr are about to be indicted for lying to Congress.

Other top tier indictments are on their way.

In order to distract from the inevitable collapse from the Mueller investigation and the next round of indictments Trump is going to blow up everything he can to try and force everything off the front page.

The official transcripts for Stone's House testimony is going to the Mueller today and could be at the Grand Jury by tomorrow.

Trump is lighting the Reichstag on fire but what he doesn't realize is that he is locked in the building with no escape.

His reckless actions will destroy his remaining support among Senate Republicans.

December 14, 2018

Let's make a list and check it twice of all of the ignored/forgotten scandals

One of the most infuriating things about the scandal ridden Trump era is that the media is only able to focus on a couple of the scandals at a time. While the Russian Collusion scandal is one of the biggest the campaign payment convictions are like parking tickets compared to other known scandals that would have brought down any Democratic President in a week.

I suggest that we put together a comprehensive list and start emailing our Congress people daily to keep them focused on all of the major scandals.

Here are two that should be investigated and if true should result in criminal charges and convictions:

1) Trump intervenes to cancel FBI headquarters redevelopment plan that would have created a new retail development center with a hotel that would be a competitor to his DC property. The GSA administrator testified to congress that she never had any direct conversations with Trump about it and that it was driven by the FBI. Emails proved that she was lying and that not only did Trump personally order the project stopped but sent thousands of FBI headquarter jobs to Republican states; Idaho, Alabama and West Virginia. Intervening in a government development scheme to profit personally would be automatic impeachment for any other administration.


President Trump has become personally involved in plotting a new FBI headquarters in downtown Washington, an interest that for now has left the project in limbo and the agency stranded in a building that no longer suits its needs, according to officials and people familiar with the administration’s deliberations.

For years, FBI officials have raised alarms that decrepit conditions at its current headquarters, the J. Edgar Hoover Building, constitute serious security concerns. A year ago, federal officials had finally decided on three finalist locations in Maryland and Virginia, and Congress appropriated $913 million toward a project expected to cost more than $3 billion.

Six months after Trump entered the White House, his administration abandoned the plan, and it proposed in February that the government build a smaller headquarters to replace the Hoover building in downtown D.C. and move 2,300 other FBI staffers out of the Washington area altogether, to Alabama, Idaho and West Virginia. At the time, the decision baffled real estate experts and some members of Congress.

2) Wilbur Ross lies about assets in a blind trust and goes into business with Putin's daughter. Information from the Paradise Papers (remember those? what happened to all the reporting on the world elites hiding their assets?) purported to show that Wilbur Ross lied to Congress about his willingness to put his assets into a blind trust and alleges that he is in business with the Putin family.

As Commerce Secretary Ross is directly responsible for enforcing sanctions against Russia


Ross, a billionaire and close friend of Trump, retained holdings in Navigator after taking office this year. The relationship means he stands to benefit from the operations of a Russian company run by Putin’s family and close allies, some of whom are under US sanctions.

Corporate records show Navigator ramped up its relationship with Sibur from 2014, as the US and EU imposed sanctions on Russians. The measures followed Putin’s aggression in eastern Ukraine and annexation of Crimea. Navigator has collected $68m in revenue from its Sibur partnership since 2014.

Ross, 79, has apparently faced little official scrutiny over the arrangement. He told a US ethics watchdog that he was keeping a pair of obscurely named holding companies, but did not specify whether he would also retain their interests in Navigator and its lucrative contract in Russia.

The Ross interests appear in the Paradise Papers, a trove of millions of leaked offshore files reviewed by the Guardian, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and other partners. They join established links between Ross and Russian finance that have raised questions over his selection by Trump to head the US Department of Commerce.

The media bounces off all of these scandals and then flies off to the next outrage.

No one person can remember all of them

Lets put together a comprehensive list of those serious charges that are not rumour but have substantial proof already in public so that we can have a list and use it to pester our Congress people to do their oversight job.

Please add with links.
December 14, 2018

Donald Trump is on the verge of committing the ultimate political sin

The ultimate political sin in America, especially if you are running on the celebrity platform, is to become boring. A greater, more literate and more moral nation would have a greater incapacity to tolerate public immorality but this is America and the ultimate turnoff is not revulsion of character but an inability to be interesting. You can capture some with crass snake oil braggadocio but it eventually wears thin.

Trump's doubling down and then doubling down 4 more times is becoming tedious.

In one meeting he has gone from

-wall is already constructed
-wall is working great
-we need more wall
-Democrats won't let me build any war
-I will be like Sampson and if you don't let me have my wall and let me have all of the credit I will pull everything down.

And then the next day;

Mexico already paid for the wall.

On top of this mind numbing tedious mendacity, a grandiose structure that has so exhausted the ability to measure untruthfulness that the Washington Post has had to invent a new metric to measure it: "the bottomless Pinocchio.


It was President Trump’s signature campaign promise: He would build a wall along the nation’s southern border, and Mexico would pay for it.

Shortly after becoming president, Trump dropped the Mexico part, turning to Congress for the funds instead. When that, too, failed — Congress earlier this year appropriated money for border security that could not be spent on an actual wall — Trump nevertheless declared victory: “We’ve started building our wall,” he said in a speech on March 29. “I’m so proud of it.”

Despite the facts, which have been cited numerous times by fact-checkers, Trump repeated his false assertion on an imaginary wall 86 times in the seven months before the midterm elections, according to a database of false and misleading claims maintained by The Post.

He thought that once on the main stage he would be able to spin more and more fanciful promises but he just didn't understand complex issues "We are going to Mars", and he couldn't sell it so he kept coming back to the wall 86 times and it is wearing thin.

On top of this edifice of non reality he has added a level of hubristic meanness. Breaking up Muslim families with a Muslim ban, crushing the hopes of America's greatest class of over achievers - the Dreamers, turning law abiding folks from ravaged countries from Temporary Protection Status holders to illegals and now reaching back four decades to return Vietnamese refugees back to a country they will not recognize.

It seems that having been unable to strike up the imagination of people with his lies he is trying to grab interest with a level of meanness that Americans haven't seen for almost 75 years.

Splitting children from their families at the border and now a beautiful 9 year old who arrived yesterday with her father to beg for asylum at the New Mexico border died 8 hours after she got here from dehydration.

It is no longer interesting, provocative, or amusing (and never was for most of us) but is just tedious and mean.

Senator McCarthy had ignited a storm of fear and distrust and ran with it for several years until this moment in the US Senate:

As you watch Welch confront McCarthy with simple humanity the camera spans over to take in Roy Cohn. Cohn knows that there is no merit to McCarthy's attack on the young Fred Fisher (who would later become President of the Mass Bar Association) and tries to shake his head to stop McCarthy. Welch's simple question, "have you no sense of decency" answered itself with a resounding "no" and when Welch refuses to play their game the onlookers respond with thunderous applause and McCarthy was seen as the Senator with no clothes and his days were numbered.

Its interesting how circular these things are. Cohn would go to New York and work for the corrupt elite representing Trump and Murdoch. Trump idolized Cohn and wanted Michael Cohen to fill that role as fixer and fighter. Cohn was a closeted gay and came down with aids in the early 80s and would become an early victim of the terrible disease.

Roger Stone said this of Cohn

Jeffrey Toobin quotes Roger Stone: "Roy was not gay. He was a man who liked having sex with men. Gays were weak, effeminate. He always seemed to have these young blond boys around. It just wasn't discussed. He was interested in power and access."[45] Stone worked with Cohn beginning with the Reagan campaign during the 1976 Republican Party presidential primaries.

McCarthy would die less than 3 years from the clip above in disgrace. Cohen is a felon and Stone is about to be indicted. Trump is surrounded and cannot escape the trap he set for himself. He built a criminal empire and ran for President because he wanted to be adored and couldn't stand the fact that a black man had publicly ridiculed him.

And that leaves Rupert Murdoch.

Murdoch understands a good show and was never tied to any particular group. He made a big personal contribution in Senator Clinton's Presidential campaign in 2008. Trump has been very good for the Murdoch business but once the Murdoch family determines that Trump has become boring and that they can sell more tickets to watch the burning of Trump and all of the family dramas they will turn the switch.

In fact every day one more sliver of FOX turns on the Donald. Shep has been hitting him for a long time. Napolitano has basically said he thinks he is guilty.

And now Fox and Friends challenged Secretary of State Pompeo for being weak on the Saudi Prince for committing murder.

Once Murdoch pulls the pin and there is a shift on Fox Trump's approval numbers will start to sink and once they hit the low 30s you will see all kinds of Republican Congressmen and Senators start to get misty eyed and start talking about the "rule of law" and "no one is above the law".

The real law that they are concerned about is the law of public revulsion. America has low tolerance for boring repetition of lies but it will absolutely reject it when it is covered with abject meanness.

December 14, 2018

McSally appears to be out for Senate appointment

I, for one, never thought that she would be appointed for the simple fact that Ducey would like to get a placeholder so that he can run in 2 years. He is termed out for Governor and if he ran for Senate in 2020 he could do so while still holding his the Governor's office.


Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) “has lost enthusiasm for appointing fellow Republican Rep. Martha McSally to the Senate in recent weeks even as Republican leaders in Washington have championed her,” the Washington Post reports.

“Ducey has made no firm decision and McSally, who narrowly lost this year’s Senate race, remains a finalist to fill the seat that John McCain held for decades, should it soon open up as expected. But her stock has fallen in the eyes of the governor, according to two people familiar with his thinking, as Ducey approaches one of the most significant decisions of his political career.”

. . .

Democrats see an opportunity to expand their gains in Arizona in the coming years. Following the special election for McCain’s seat in 2020, there will be another election for the seat in 2022.

There are at least several potential Democratic candidates, including Mark Kelly, a former astronaut and husband of former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords; Rep. Ruben Gallego; and Grant Woods, a former chief of staff to McCain who served as state attorney general.

Mark Kelly would win in a landslide in AZ. He may be the only one that can defeat Ducey.

December 11, 2018

Dr. Maddow's Bagman podcast is unique and brilliant. (plus a couple of notes)

If you haven't listened to the Bagman podcast please do. It is of unusual quality in that it incorporates an unusual amount of original research.

For the younger folks Agnew was Trump before Trump except he was literate. He was picked by Nixon after only 2 years as Governor of Maryland.

In the middle of the closing days of Watergate the country was astonished to hear that Agnew was also being investigated for bribery, extortion and other crimes. A few days after the rumors surface Agnew resigns and is convicted. Ford becomes Vice President.

The Bagman has gone back an unearthed original documents and incorporated an unusual group to join in discussing the events. Not only are the prosecutors (one in his 20s at the time) included but Agnew's defense attorney gives candid remarks. The latter was able to be included because client/attorney privilege was pierced.

You know that you are listening to some outstanding research when the primary actors remark "we never knew that". None of the people who were involved have met each other in the 45 years. It is a heroic story of how young dedicated prosecutors saved the country from a second impeachment trauma by pursuing the case against Agnew.

I had 3 odd intersections with Agnew (none personal)

1) In 1968 a Gonzaga U student was the first to stand up to Agnew and yelled "Warmonger" at Agnew. I was there among 30 protestors and watched in astonishment as the police dragged him away. As a 14 year old it was the first time I attended a political protest.

You can read about Carl Maxey (Spokane's lone civil rights attorney and father of a classmate here)' He successfully overturned the conviction.


The city was represented by the brother of my next door neighbor who were active Democrats.

2) in 1972 I was asked to attend a meeting with Governor Evans who wanted to hear advise on whether he should cancel his vacation and escort Agnew around Spokane on his reelection campaign.

About a dozen people attended. Most were Republicans. Two Democrats, a union leader and myself were included. Everyone was polite until it came to me and I conceded that he would have to meet him but that Agnew was a despicable person. On the ride down in the elevator the Chairman of the County Republican Party asked me if I was a communist.

3) Its now 1981 and I am working for IOM as chief of operations for refugee resettlement in bangkok. A major part of what we did was arrange air transport and our Chief of Mission was French so we had our offices in the Air France building on Pat Pong which had two main businesses: Airline Offices and Go Go Bars at night.

One lunch I look out the window and exclaim "There goes Spiro Agnew". I have to explain to the Europeans who Agnew is and I wish I could tell you that I jumped up and shouted something great like "how did that whole warmonger business go for you?" but we just watched in astonishment as he walked into the only business of ill repute that operated during the day; the Thermador Massage Parlor.

One of the things that Dr. Maddow reveals is why Agnew needed the money, which is how this latter anecdote is related to chapter 6 in the Bagman.

The attorneys reveal that Agnew needed the money because he had multiple mistresses and also engaged in highly salacious behavior that is hinted at but not specified.

For those that think that Trump cannot be removed from office please remember that Nixon/Agnew had the greatest landslide in US history winning with 49 states. Two years later both Nixon and Agnew were out of office.

When the Presidential Approval Rating hits 30% and the Murdoch family decides that they have more to make with a Pence rehabilitation rather than the daily temper tantrum of Trump the bottom will fall out and Trump will be gone. Until then we must pursue the facts without favor or prejudice.

For anyone that knows Carl Maxey you will find this interesting:


November 27, 2018

Beto O'Rourke is going to run and Beto O'Rourke is going to win. We need a Beto O'Rourke (Group)

One of the known factors that ran against Sec Clinton that wasn't really discussed was the issue of voter fatigue. There is a reasonable chance that if Sec. Clinton's last name was anything but Clinton that she would have likely won the office. There is also the known voter fatigue factor that occurs after any party has held the White House for 8 years. People forget how bad it was when the Republicans left and the improvements under Obama were steady and incremental but after any party has the WH for 8 years about 20% of the population is highly likely to vote for the other party.

Without question the most refreshing alternative to the older generation of leaders on both sides is Beto.

Beto has reversed his previous statement that he was not available for 2020:


EL PASO – Beto O'Rourke, coming off a closer-than-expected race against U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is no longer ruling out a 2020 presidential run.

During his Senate campaign, the El Paso congressman declared he would "not be a candidate for president in 2020" regardless of the outcome. But on Monday, O'Rourke kept the door open to a White House bid during a town hall in El Paso and admitted his resistance to higher office was no longer as unequivocal.

During the town hall, an audience member asked O'Rourke if he was running in 2020. In response, O'Rourke said he is currently focused on spending time with his family and finishing his term in the House, which ends Jan. 3. "And then," O'Rourke added, "Amy and I will think about what we can do next to contribute to the best of our ability to this community."

While there are many outstanding leadership traits that O'Rourke showed in the Senate race including the ability to work hard and explain complicated progressive issues in a charming way what really stands out with O'Rourke is his ability to understand the interworking of social media, the internet and traditional media in a way that moved the masses as they felt a personal connection to him.

Moving at the speed of light he is going to make all of the other candidates look fatigued. He will not only visit every county in Iowa, he will live stream his engaging meetings with farmers on Facebook. He will out fox the Russian bots and leave Trump huffing and puffing.

All of the other good Democratic candidates will be tied to their jobs while he will be visiting and establishing sophisticated support infrastructure in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina where he excels at both retail politics and transmitting that enthusiasm to a larger stage.

He will also dramatically increase the participation of college age and post college age students and Spanish speaking Americans which will make him formidable in AZ, TX, FL.

If you are interested in forming a Beto O'Rourke (Group) please respond below. We will need a group of leaders to petition the admins and set up the hosts, my schedule prohibits me from doing it but the time has come for us to seriously consider O'Rourke as the next nominee of the party and to form a group that will promote his nomination.

November 15, 2018

Best of Enemies Gore Vidal vs William F Buckley Jr on Netflix

I thought it was well done and held my interest.

The last quarter is arresting.

I was surprised to learn that Vidal had never gone to college but went into the army instead. He showed enormous courage in a sexually repressed era and one that enshrined homophobic. Vidal's simple statement that homosexuality is as normal as heterosexuality is 5 decades ahead of its time.

There are many paradoxes revealed. Vidal is the epitome of the self made man who doesn't go to college but rises to become one of the most important writers of his time.

Both ran for office and failed. Both despised Robert Kennedy. Both pursued philosophical arguments but were imprisoned by their personal ambitions. And both were obsessed with each other.

Pause here if you don't want to read any "spoilers" and watch the documentary "fresh"

spoilers bridge

continue below

The key point of the debates is when Vidal and Buckley are in a heated point and Vidal refers to Buckley as a "crypto Nazi" and Buckley takes it personally, loses his cool and in overacting displays an unmasked level of hatred.

This of course reveals a betrayal of the essence of Buckley's Roman Catholicism and the essential teachings of Christianity and you can tell that it affects Buckley and continues to haunt him 30 years later.

I had a somewhat similar encounter with a Holocaust survivor who called me a Nazi when I was in my mid 20s and we were having a serious meltdown in our refugee medical screening division in Bangkok and it had become so serious as to threaten our success. The head of the mission had me do a review of the operation which was headed by his close friend who was a survivor at Auschwitz who had become a medical doctor and worked for our organization for decades.

I interviewed key staff and followed the handling of documents. It was completely inefficient and workers were working18 hours a day. I had nurses break down and cry in the interview because they were at the breaking point.

When I gave my report to the Head of Mission and the Chief Medical Officer the latter listened to me and when I finished he said "you remind me of the little Nazi underlings who use efficiency to destroy the soul". Which given the fact that he was a Holocaust Survivor in an organization dedicated for refugees should have been a devastating argument.

I laughed and looked him in the eye and said "That is a great line, how many times have you used to win bureaucratic arguments in the last 30 years ?" (they were both in their 70s). They looked at each other and both laughed because they knew it was true.

I didn't take it personally because I knew it wasn't true. I turned to the doctor and told him that I was actually his best friend. I had proof that he was in fact running a mid sized hospital and that 80% of his time wasn't doing medicine but doing administrative and even low level clerical duties and what we needed to do is to hire an experienced hospital administrator that could help run a bureaucracy to screen up to 800 people a day. He saw my point and that's what we did.

That Buckley couldn't laugh off such an outrageous claim showed that he was afraid that some part of it was true. His response confirmed some small part of it.

Vidal keeps his cool and wins the debate but later on is cynical about the whole thing but detests Buckley to the end.

Both Buckley and Vidal become obsessed about the debates. One visitor to Vidal talks about having to watch it over and over again and he discussed it every day during the visit.

At the last taping of Firing Line (33 years) Ted Koppel is interviewing him and he runs the clip and you can see Buckley deeply affected at seeing it and is rendered speechless.

And at about the 1:22:00 mark there is something that I found profoundly sad. Charlie Rose is interviewing him and asks him about regrets and Buckley says he wouldn't take a pill that would turn the clock back, he is "tired of life" and doesn't want to go back, he just wants to stop. His face is distorted and worn with something deeply troubling.

I think I know what has drained the life out of Buckley. He used his life to pursue a foundation philosophy of conservative philosophy (or more accurately termed "classical liberalism&quot that would promote a secular government that would enshrine the maximum amount of personal freedom that would allow a devout citizenry to both prosper and grow in a moral sense.

The charge "crypto Nazi" tagged him to the political movement of the Republican Party from Nixon on and he saw his contribution to keep it on the rails and away from the race based politics that far right wing European countries had devolved into that which eventually became fascist. He saw his efforts to keep the KKK and racists out of the Republican Party turned on its head by the "Southern Strategy" and could see that this marriage of convenience would eventually consume the Republican Party. Of course I could be completely off on this

The one happy note for me about William Buckley is that Buckley's only son Christopher Buckley embraces Barack Obama and leaves the National Review, ironically confirming Buckley's Catholic religion that redemption is possible.
November 13, 2018

Dear MSNBC, regarding that ass wipe Hugh Hewitt,


Regarding that ass wipe Hugh Hewitt you really have to reconsider having him as a regular on your network.

There are 5 reasons:

1)His Self Absorbed addiction to his own awesomeness.

While he tries to imitate the better informed and occasionally independent George Will and Charles Krauthammer who both actually got Pulitzer Prizes instead of wearing the pretence of one. They had some other independent basis of experience, Will with his obnoxious obsession of baseball and Krauthammer his legitimate standing as a Psychiatrist. Hewitt is simply obnoxious and in need of a Psychiatrist.

His belaboured soporific patronizing tone of a Chamber Commerce booster who has reached the pinnacle of his career promoting the wonders of the greatness of Walla Walla, Washington is only outdone by the extreme smarminess of his ingratiatingly insincere smile.

While he may dream that he is the eventual successor to William Buckley he isn't, he is just an ass wipe.

2) In Offering his political analysis he is almost always wrong.

He consistently predicted, promised and pimped Martha McSally as the tsk tsk tsk (why are we even talking about it) winner by a comfortable margin. Each time stuffing more egregiously stupid reasons that people should vote for her in the "sleeve" of objective political analysis:


But when you go in to vote, you go in to vote and you're in Arizona, you got to pick Martha McSally, who's surging. Did the Star-SpangledBanner at the ASU game. Do you vote to keep the economy humming, or do you vote against President Trump? And I think you end up voting--( for McSally)

3) He is no different than Sean Hannity he is a 100% in the tank and on the stage with right wing Republicans

What is the point of having Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell preach about the inappropriate endorsement of Sean Hannity jumping on the stage with Trump when Hewitt does the same thing on his radio show?


HH: I think you’ll get the LDS vote, because honestly, Kyrsten Sinema attacked stay at home moms. That’s like political suicide.

MM: I know. I mean, this is one of many, she called them leeches. . . .

. . . .

HH: And you would have voted for Justice Kavanaugh, and she would have been a no.

MM: Yes.

HH: Look, while you were defending America, she was protesting our troops.

MM: Amen.

HH: Martha McSally, all the way to the finish line. I look forward to calling you Senator-Elect McSally on Wednesday. Thank you for joining me.

Softball, let me kiss your ass, Amen and you are wonderful.

Then you dress him up as an objective political analyst. Shouldn't you at least introduce him as someone who has endorsed and embraced the candidacy he is now going to give an 'objective' statement on?

4) He is completely compromised on a personal basis. While he would take occasional hits on Trump and the malfeasance of his administration he had a particularly odd defense of Scott Pruitt.

In April 2018, Hewitt defended EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt amid controversy over his expenditures as Administrator and a conflict of interest over renting a condo at discounted prices from a lobbyist representing clients regulated by the EPA.[29] Politico described Hewitt as "one of Pruitt's staunchest defenders".[30] Hewitt described the numerous ethics scandals facing Pruitt as "nonsense scandals" and argued that Pruitt's critics were "just trying to stop the deregulation effort

. . . .

Hewitt has argued that media coverage of Pruitt has been "hyperpartisan".[31] In an interview with Pruitt, Hewitt said "I know you are not a climate denier"; Pruitt rejects the scientific consensus on climate change.[31]
After Pruitt resigned amid a dozen separate ethics investigations, Hewitt defended Pruitt, saying he "is a good friend and a very good man, caricatured by left and MSM. I hope he sets to work on a memoir ASAP and deals out a tenth of what he took."[32][33]

I mean god, man you are still holding Pruitt up when even they sycophants at FOX were getting the dry heeves.

And yet what neither MSNBC nor Hewitt took the time to explain is that Hewitt's son James Hewitt is a political appointee and protégé of Pruitt.

5) From a completely ontological perspective . . .

First to remind readers what ontological means

on·to·log·i·cal /ˌän(t)əˈläjək(ə l/

adjective: ontological

1. relating to the branch of metaphysics dealing with the nature of being.
"ontological arguments"

2. showing the relations between the concepts and categories in a subject area or domain.

So from an ontological point of view and based on both a clinical and laboratory examination there is little doubt that the domain that Hugh Hewitt is best configured is that of a "ass wipe" it isn't what he does, it is actually the nature of his being.

In conclusion this particular ass wipe diminishes your network every time he appears on it. He has a remarkable record of parading highly partisan positions that are laced with personal conflict and he wraps it up with a patronizing smarmy inauthenticity that is so revolting that it can only be watched with all sharp and pointed objects removed from the immediate area.

When it came to predicting the solid victory of Martha McSally, Hugh Hewitt was wrong for the 23,342nd time.

He is also an ass wipe of the first order.

November 10, 2018

The next Democratic nominee for President will almost certainly be

one of our great Senators or Congresspersons that rise to the top in a Senate or Congressional hearing.

We are in the middle of a great turbulence and everything is about to change.

Those old enough to see it know how the Watergate hearings completely redefined the political landscape in1973.

The President with the greatest landslide in history, winning every state but Mass, lost his mandate when one Senator asked a simple question, "What did the President know and when did he know it?"

You got a little hint of it with the Kavanaugh hearings but hearings held by the Democratic House will be considerably different, they will be like the Watergate hearings and we are going to have a lot of them because Pelosi is a genius at defining a message and keeping on message.

There are likely to be many important hearings besides open and public hearings on Russian interference, including a possible House hearing to consider the impeachment of Kavanaugh for perjury.

We have many who rise in these circumstances. Booker, Harris or Schiff are obvious possibilities but it could be someone like Klobuchar who rises to the top unexpectedly.

We should not spend much time trying to project candidates based on current realities and project where we are going to be in a year from now because everything will be different in a year (just see how they change week by week) and it is likely that the clash of power will be played out live on TV before the nation and unscripted one on one confrontations will reveal the grit and brilliance of our Senators and Representatives and that will be the pool for our next nominee.

November 10, 2018


Over and over again we have to re examine the very substantive problems that moves Bernie from being a great Senator to being a problem for the Democratic Party, one that has enriched him and created this permanent canyon between those that suspend critical thinking because of some of the things that they agree with and principles that we expect all Democrats to embrace.

1) He significantly undermined Secretary Clinton on two key issues that provided substantial ammunition to the GOP in 2016. His persistent harping about "speeches" and revealing the content of these mysterious speeches to the finance community endorsed the GOP completely false narrative that somehow Clinton was dirty and untruthful.

The irony of this is that Sec. Clinton released decades of tax returns while Bernie refused.

Secondly Bernie endorsed economic nationalism of the radical GOP right coming out against the TPP which was on track to increase workers income by $ 131 billion. But if a "progressive" endorses exactly the same thing that Trump is saying then it must be true. Sanders positions undermined the perception of Hillary's integrity and gave Trump's economic nationalism a boost.

Here's a clue: I care exactly the same for the people in that caravan, the poor farmer in Burma, and the worker in Pennsylvania. Any politician of any stripe that wants to push a policy that leverages our inherent advantages and exploit the weaknesses is not only NOT progressive but not pursuing a strategy of mutual advantage. The United States will be more prosperous and more safe with a Central and South America that is developing and prospering.

2) There are things that Bernie does that we would never accept from any other politician. We would never accept any Republican not showing his taxes so why do we make an exception for Bernie?

But there are other things that are very worrisome about Bernie that would never be acceptable from any other politician, some examples:

When Jane Sanders was President of Burlington College she funnelled $500k to her daughter's woodworking school. She also made disastrous $ 10 million land purchase that pushed Burlington into bankruptcy. This is a clear case of nepotism and the results were a calamity all the way around. If nepotism is bad for Republicans, its bad for Democrats.

But it didn't stop there. The Sanders Institute raised money for a "think tank" which is fine if it employs leading academicians who have advance degrees and publishes peer review material.

Apparently they didn't have to go far they hired Jane's son David Driscoll who makes a six figure income leading the Sanders Institute. I have found no information about David Driscoll, his education or background except that he used to sell snow boards at Burton Snowboards.

3) Bernie Sanders didn't keep his word. He promised that he was a "Democrat for Life"


“Well, he is a Democrat, he said he’s a Democrat and he’s gonna be supporting the Democratic nominee, whoever that is,” Weaver responded.

“But he’s a member of the Democratic Party now for life?” Halperin pressed.

“Yes, he is,” Weaver said.

Since that time he has joined and left the Democratic Party twice.

He continues to deny that he is a Democrat as forcefully as he can.

Here he is in January of last year:


Sen. Bernie Sanders put to rest questions about his party affiliation, telling a Fox News reporter he’ll continue to run as an independent.

“I am an independent and I have always run in Vermont as an independent, while I caucus with the Democrats in the United States Senate,” Sanders said Sunday after an appearance in Rollinsford, N.H. “That’s what I’ve been doing for a long time and that’s what I’ll continue to do.”

Except after this he rejoined the Democratic Party to tie up the nomination in Vermont and then left it again.

He talks about the Democratic in the third person (they, those, them) and never in the first person plural, (We US).

By staking out a separate brand Bernie continues to undermine the Democratic brand, and not help it. He could join the Democratic Party and state, like all Senators and Congresspeople do that they don't agree with everything in the party but he is proud to be a Democrat.

By continuing to push his "Independent" brand the "Our Revolution" brand he is stating, in neon signs, that The Democratic Party is better than Republican Party but only incrementally so.

Its like a star wide receiver who joins a team and they accept him because he has particular skills that help them and its better that he is inside the tent than out. But this player insists on wearing gold and blue jersey when the team wears silver and green. They go along. But then the WR complains about every strategy and every play. He eventually says that the only way to win is to make him quarterback. In fact they should just hand the entire team over to him and let him be the coach too.

4) This whole populism shtick is dangerous and counter productive.

It sells the idea that the only problem with the country is that a few people are destroying everything. (Sanders used to rail against the 'Millionaires and Billionaires' except that once he became a Presidential Candidate he saw his personal income increase by 500% and edited out the 'Millionaires')

I have lived in countries where I have witnessed it in detail and the damage and death that follows. Populism does 3 terrible things:

a) it sells the idea that in our highly complex technical society that things can be solved with solutions that can fit on bumper stickers. It creates social disharmony because it raises expectations that cannot be met and gives birth to deep anger when those expectations are not met.

b) it bankrupts the treasury. Whether it gives unrealistic subsidies or gigantic tax breaks to the rich the government becomes more insolvent until it cannot carry out its basic functions because of debt burden. Sanders advocated over a trillion dollars in additional benefit but never articulated where the revenue would come from.

c) it always ends up creating boogeymen of outsiders

Some of the central arguments of the 2016 presidential campaign emphasized growing American fear and distrust of globalization. Then-candidates Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump energized large portions of the electorate against existing free trade agreements

The problem is that it is gibberish which would be laughed off the stage anywhere outside the US. The direct labor that is in your Smart phones is 85% located in California where the hard ware is designed and the software made. The 15% of the direct labor which is involved in assembling, quality control and packaging is in Malaysia or Korea, etc.

I have sat in Qualcomm Stadium and listened to idiots talk about "an unfair trade system" without realizing that the company that purchased naming rights for the stadium gets a revenue stream from every phone in the world, that those repatriated profits and fees never appear on a balance of trade sheet and that janitors at Qualcomm drive $ 75,000 BMWs because they got their bonuses in stock.

5) I continue to be astonished that Sanders gets away with actions that would never be accepted by a regular candidate and that is because he holds an independent brand and he is in essence extorting the Democratic Party, if we hurt his feelings then he is going to walk out the door. No other Democratic candidate carries that kind of threat.

Now I will give you a list of qualities and you tell me what politician you think it represents

- never admits that any vote or any action he has undertaken is wrong

- refuses to release all of his taxes

- engages in populist rhetoric that is based on emotion

- involves his children in nepotistic schemes that funnel money to them

- doesn't submit to party norms and discipline but holds him out as being exceptional to the party

- makes promises to party loyalty and then walks away from them

If you think that many people at DU are not interested in him because of some superficial reason then I have to tell you that most of the Democrats I know are all too aware of the double standard that Bernie (and I would normally refer to him as Senator Sanders but you used the familial term Bernie) has gotten away with it and really would prefer to return to bring up the next generation of Democratic leaders and let Bernie continue with his independent brand.

Politics is not an individual sport, it is a team sport and team solidarity is a critical element to victory and Bernie does not share that solidarity with the Democratic Party although he wants all of the benefits that association with the Democrats brings.

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