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grantcart's Journal
grantcart's Journal
May 9, 2023

Professor Tribe has moved to the right position on the 14th Amendment/Debt Ceiling

That position being the one that I have bored anyone who would listen for the last 10 years. On Lawrence O'Donnell he explained how he has changed his position.

After the Civil War the 14th Amendment was passed to enforce equal protection of law to all citizens, clarify issues of citizenship and other issues. One of the side issues brought into the Amendment passed in 1868 is an affirmation of public debt as a Constitutional principle.

Why did they include a statement on public debt?

After the Civil War the Confederate States no longer existed and the European banks that had extended credit to them had no recourse. Europe worried that the US government would also walk away from its debt so the principle of US debt was enshrined into the Constitution.

It means that if the US ever defaulted on its debt that the Creditors could go to Court to enforce payment of debt.

As the Executive power has grown the Congress started the "debt ceiling" as a way to get another "bite of the apple" to renegotiate appropriations already signed into law.

The 14th Amendment guarantees public debt and I hope that President Biden will take the steps to challenge it at the Supreme Court and return to "normal order of business" which existed prior to 1939 when Congress invented this unconstitutional tool to "enhance" its position in the government system.

March 19, 2023

Very disappointing Sen. Kelly, very disappointing.

Clicking thru the channels and stopped when I saw Sen. Kelly on CNN

He answered questions about the border by stressing how he was working with Republican Senators to find answers and how he disagreed with Biden on some issues.

Fine, I understand the need to be independent in Arizona but then Tapper asked him about the 2024 Senate race he spoke warmly about how effective Sinema was (throwing up in my mouth) and refused to say he would support the Democratic Party nominee in 2024.

At some point leaders have to take a leadership position.

Just so disappointed.
October 16, 2022

Old Russian Parable

How to explain something that has been endemic to the Russian soul and seems to be guiding Russian decision making for the last 103 years as Russia has made one morbidly bad decision after another?

During my first day of Russian history the Professor, who was an expert on Soviet history and worked at the DIA, told this parable. He said, "Whenever you read something about Russian or Soviet history that appears to make no sense remember this parable and it will become clear

Two Russian peasants lived next to each other on identical plots in the desolate Russian steppes.

Everything that the two Russians had mirrored each other. Their ramshackle hut, their pathetic potato garden, their outside latrine, all identical except one had a miserable goat that provided a little milk that the one peasant made into cheese which he shared with his neighbor.

One day the other peasant was foraging for mushrooms when he found an ancient lantern. He took out the lantern and polished it up and a Genie appeared and told him, "I have been trapped in that lantern for more than a thousand years and for giving me my freedom you will get one wish." The peasant was quiet and said, "If I only get one wish then I want to make sure that it is the right one, please come back tomorrow and I will tell you my wish".

Exactly at noon the Genie returns and the peasant says, "I know my deepest desire. This is my wish. Do you see my neighbor tending his potato garden?"

"Yes", says the Genie.

"Do you see that old goat that is next to him? He gives him milk and companionship".

"Yes, I see the goat, what is your wish?".

"Kill the goat".

In this extremely moving thread https://www.democraticunderground.com/100217256858 DUer Blue-Wave tells us that the composer of the Kherson orchestra was murdered because he refused an order by the Russians to hold a concert.

It is in this one completely senseless crime that we see a tragic element that has come to dominate the Russian soul and explains the entire war.

There are geopolitical reasons for a Russian occupation of Crimea including the 500 year Russian ambition to have a good warm water port.

But the real reason is that Putin cannot stand to have a neighbor that is more righteous, more well liked, more respected and enjoys more freedom and democracy than Russia. And then Ukraine had the audacity to elect a President that is more of a leader, more respected and is bringing the country more to a European standard than Russia. He knows that as Ukraine flourished he would be found wanting.

Putin could have done many great things. In the end he just wanted to kill his neighbors goat.
February 24, 2021

Award for Excellence in Police Reporting

Last month I was at a stop light in Blythe CA. When I heard a loud bang looked up and saw the rear end of someone wearing jeans on my windshield. I described this individual (referred to as Person -1 below) to police as someone who looked like he was from the gang that Walter White took out at the end of Breaking Bad (the policeman referred to him as a well known local "tweaker" ) . I noticed lots of tattoos all over him. He had jumped on my car in order to avoid being hit by the car next to me.

Next to me was a little Smart Car that collided at slow speed into my car. Two very large gentlemen who looked like they could have been from Best Buy's Geek Squad had somehow been miraculously wedged into what now looked like a child's battery operated toy car.

Smart Car (Vehicle -2) backs up and P-1 gets off my car reaches into his pants and pulls out a nonexistent gun and proceeds to fire it into the Smart Car yelling "bang, bang, bang, I am going to fucking kill you". I notice that the two geeky looking people in V - 2 looked like they had just encountered that monster from Stranger Things, have lost all of the color in their faces, and push the accelerator and the Smart Car slowly goes around P-1. P-1 picks up an imaginary rock and throws it at V-2. P -1 runs up to the Smart Car and kicks the rear bumper as it "speeds away", then jumps into Vehicle 1 and they pursue Vehicle 2.

I am sitting in Vehicle 3. I put on my blinkers, exit the vehicle and walk into the donut shop which is adjacent to the incident sit down and call the police. This donut shop, like virtually all of the donut shops in CA is owned by a Cambodian refugee who I had talked to the day before and discovered that he was one of the hundreds of thousands of Cambodians resettled under a program I managed in the 1980's. Free maple bar while I wait for the police.

Today I called my adjuster who I hadn't talked to in a month. I said "Dee, I am not sure if you remember me but I had a small claim in Blythe". He responded without hesitation, "Mr. Grant everyone in my group knows who you are.".

He advised that everyone in his group knew who I was, that the seven page police report had been memorized by several of the staff and was quoted at the daily zoom meeting.

The officer did a remarkably good job in writing down all of the details and reading the 7 pages made me laugh until tears streamed down my cheeks. I include two paragraphs. The mixture of methamphetamine culture crashing into two huge guys trying to make a get away in a little Smart Car while catching up on the crimes of Donald J Trump created a Mel Brooks type juxtaposition worthy of Mel Brooks. That the policeman captured every detail deserves an award for police reporting.

Party # 2: P-2 was driving V -2 (Smart Car). Pinchbeck was in the front passenger seat.
P-2 saw V-1 (Chevrolet) stopped at the stop sign of Willow and Hobsonway, V-2 turned southbound on the 100 block of south Willow. P-1 (Singer was in the driver seat of V-1, P – 2 heard the horn from V-1 honking and saw P-1 flipping off P-2. V-1 left the area. P-2 saw V-1 was stopped at the intersection of Hobsonway and Main. P-2 saw P-1 exit V-1’s front passenger seat, walked towards V-2, act as if he removed a firearm from his waist band and point it towards P-2 and W-1 yelling, “I am going to fucking kill you!”. P-2 fearing for his and W-1’s safety drove away. V-2’s front passenger side bumper collided with P-1. V-2 fled the scene. P-2 saw V-1 was following after him. P-2 telephoned the Blythe Police Department to report this incident.

Party #3 P-3, Grant P-3 was driving V-3. P-3 was stopped at the stoplight at Hobsonway and Main Street facing eastbound. P-3 was on his cellular phone checking the news about President Donald J. Trump being impeached. P-3 heard “bangs” the P-3 saw P-1 on top of V-3, P-3 saw P-2 and W-1 in V-2 (Smart Car). P-2 and W-1 appeared to be in fear of P-1. P-1 did not appear to be injured. V-2 left the scene. P-1 picked up an unknown item off the ground and threw it at V-2. P-1 entered V-1 and drove after V-2. P-3 telephoned the Blythe Police Department to report this incident.
January 24, 2021

Trump working effectively to destroy the Republican Party in Arizona

Here is the synopsis of the WP story in the Political Wire

Trump Threatens to Start ‘MAGA Party’

January 23, 2021 at 6:57 pm EST By Taegan Goddard —526 Comments

“Former president Donald Trump threw himself back into politics this weekend by publicly endorsing a devoted and divisive acolyte in Arizona who has embraced his false election conspiracy theories and entertained the creation of a new ‘MAGA Party,'” the Washington Post reports.

“In a recorded phone call, he offered his ‘complete and total endorsement’ for another term for Arizona state party chairwoman Kelli Ward, a lightning rod who has sparred with the state’s Republican governor, been condemned by the business community and overseen a recent flight in party registrations. She narrowly won reelection, by a margin of 51.5 percent to 48.5 percent, marking Trump’s first victory in a promised battle to maintain political relevance and influence after losing the 2020 election.”

To understand the very unusual dynamics of what is happening you have to understand what a nut job Kelli Ward is.

She lost to Martha McSally in the primary to run against Sinema. It was a brutal primary and McSally's accounts were depleted and she narrowly lost to Sinema. One of the issues that came up was Kelli Ward's previous support of conferences to discuss how the government is using chemtrails to poison the population.

One of the reasons that McSally was appointed to the Senate was the belief that if they appointed anyone else then Ward would do another primary challenge and likely win.

How off the rails is Ward? During the primary she booked a ticket to Mara Largo and paid a hefty fee to have a one on one picture with Trump. They made her promise not to use it in campaign literature because they knew she would lose and they were endorsing McSally.

So now that Ward's antics have helped turn two AZ Senate seats blue which provided the coat tails to help AZ go Biden business/institutional/Mormon/regular Republicans banded together to defeat Ward as State Chair of the Party and Trump intervenes and barely, barely drags Ward over the finish line with 51.5%.

He also commits to the idea of a MAGA Party.

McConnell will be discussing this in depth with the Republican Caucus and they will face the realization that the Impeachment trial provides them a one time possibility to remove the man that is out to destroy them.

If Trump is convicted it will be because instead of just shutting up and sitting in silence he had to try and drag the AZ Republican Party into his corner.

January 13, 2021

How quaint, they are trying to bait the Master, the Master-bait-or.

The carefully orchestrated drip drip drip of key Republicans indicating that they intend to support impeachment and or removal of Trump reveals that Republicans with a long game are trying to grab the golden ring of today's Presidential GOP Merry Go Round; eliminate Trump permanently from future political office.

If they don't they will have to tolerate and participate in an increasingly delusional game of double down that has already pushed the Republican Party into a high wire act of chicken on a wire that is fully electrified, there is definitely fun in the set up but the finale is not going to end well.

The Democrats are providing a lifeline, one with costs. It will cost the Republican Party a lot in the short run as the Trumpsters will go wild and they will lose some elections but if they do nothing the Trumpsters are going to go wild and lose some elections so this allows a bounce back towards the end of the decade.

So what is it with the leaks, the constant "Donald there is more" drip drip drip "bad news"?

Axios is now reporting that there is a "better than 50% chance that McConnell will vote to convict". So the first thought I had was that they were trying to box in Trump and get him to resign to avoid embarrassment. Under normal circumstances with a normal person that would be a sound strategy but to paraphrase the great Bill Russell "they knew how stubborn Trump is and Trump knew that they knew how stubborn Trump is and they knew that Trump knew that they knew how stubborn Trump is" so they knew that he isn't going to resign (unless he could monetize it somehow).

So Cheney and McConnell, et al, are not trying to box him in, they are close to having the votes but need Trump to add more kerosene to the gasoline and so they appear to be trying to provoke Trump into making a spectacle of himself in such a way that it could push another 6-8 Senators to either vote for conviction or stay home (all that is needed is two thirds of those Present)

They are trying to bait him into a cry baby fit where he complains that none of the Republicans lifted a finger, that he did all of the work and now he was going to give them real pay back, you know the same tired crapola.

Trump has mastered one skill: baiting the media. When there is one outlandish lie discovered or one outstanding failure of competence Trump baits the media with another outrage so that the last one is forgotten. (Who, except the political addicts remember Trump's seditious call to the Georgia Secretary of State?

The thing is that the easiest person to bait is some one who is a "bait-or". Its like the easiest person to close is a salesman, they already buy into the structure of the conversation, you just need to land a hook.

And so it is with Trump. In order to give them just enough critical mass to pass a conviction they just need a little push of stupidity, aggression and narcissistic self delusion to get a couple of Senators to vote for conviction or even "self quarantine" during the conviction vote.

It is likely to work because if it is easy to bait a regular ole bait-or it is that much easier to bait a Master and as everyone knows Trump is a Master-bait-or

November 4, 2020

The Senate Solution

I went to bed last night with a confidence that the red mirage would fade but my stomach in knots because it was clear that our hopes in the Senate were not going to be achieved.

Mitch McConnell is going to do everything he can to prevent anything worthwhile getting passed. It would mean at least two years of no solution for legislation that is widely desired by the American public: DACA, TPS, Climate Change and on and on.

I believe that this is the most likely scenario:

Mitt Romney (who voted for impeachment) will pioneer a group of 8, 10 or 12 with equal number of Republican and Democratic Senators (Tim Kaine is the most likely leader on our side). This group will undertake to negotiate compromises with Speaker Pelosi. This "Gang of 10" will function like other gangs to break up intransigent back log by the Republican Leader.

The most likely members are Republican and Democratic Senators from purple states or states dominated by the other party. The disgusting Collins is an example on their side. Mark Kelly (who faces a re election in two years is an example on our side).

The members of this group will have immense power and their stature will be enhanced and their re election made easier.

It will allow Republican Senators who dislike McConnell to go around him.

It will also be good for President Biden because he will be able to bring home concrete legislation that Americans want.

I do not believe that the filibuster will be an issue because the compromises will be universally popular, they will start on issues that are widely supported and only sabotaged by McConnell. They will be resisted at great peril.

The overall impact would be to lower the partisan temperature and a wide majority of the people would welcome a more practical approach. I believe that this is a big win for the Democrats because if we can get to a rational discussion of the issues with less anger a large majority of the people will agree with Democratic proposals.

We won't get everything we want but we will be able to craft solutions, like accepting the ACA that will improve the quality of life for Americans and improve the quality of discourse.

Senator Romney clearly is looking for two things: a defining moment in history and exorcising Trumpism from the Republican Party. There is already a strong media constituency to promote this with the Lincoln Project folks.

Don't know if this is what is going to happen, it just seems the most sensible. President Biden is also finely tuned, with his experience and relationships to make this work.

October 24, 2020

If Trump sees the 1st time/youth vote moves of GA,TX, FL, and Iowa

and realized that he could lose those three along with more heavily reported swing states and realized he is looking at a humiliating defeat I predict he will fake a relapse so he can blame it on Covid.

The numbers in those states are staggering.

The Trump supporters are showing up but it is looking a lot more like Biden supporters are being under reported by 2-3%.

Trump has a hard ceiling and the higher the early vote the more disastrous for him

He has no capacity to take it like a grown up man and will manufacture any fiction to shift blame.

They are already putting together a media platform that will,among other things,fill in the void of the ailing Limbaugh.
October 21, 2020

They are all trending in the right direction. This one and FL are daggers into Trump campsign

Bloomberg really came through in FL. Not just $ 100 million but spent it smart.

Cook just moved 11 house seats towards Dems.

It's going to be a landslide
October 6, 2020

It simply isn't fair to say that the Republican Party has betrayed its principles.

For the last 4 years the Republican Party has adopted and been faithful to one single guiding principle

The Führerprinzip or the Fuhrer Principle


The Führerprinzip (German: [ˈfyːʀɐpʀɪnˌtsiːp] (About this soundlisten); German for 'leader principle') prescribed the fundamental basis of political authority in the governmental structures of the Third Reich. This principle can be most succinctly understood to mean that "the Führer's word is above all written law" and that governmental policies, decisions, and offices ought to work toward the realization of this end.[1] In actual political usage, it refers mainly to the practice of dictatorship within the ranks of a political party itself, and as such, it has become an earmark of political fascism.

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