Phil Nailer is a pseudonym for a former author of the National Intelligence Estimate, a document which analyzes threats to the United States, both domestic and foreign. Nailer says in no uncertain terms that “Donald Trump and his coterie of criminals have done more in two years to weaken the United States than the Soviet Union was able to achieve in decades.” The NIE categorized threats, ranging from the existential, such as nuclear war and global warming, to terrorism, to threats of nuisance value. The threats were then prioritized. Based on this model, Nailer has concluded that the number one threat to the United States is none other than the GOP. The Independent Let me say it again: the Republican Party is the biggest threat the United States is facing. And without proper attribution, recognition, and a well-articulated and implemented counter-strategy, it could be terminal. There is no other reasonable conclusion to be drawn from the facts. An enemy of the United States might seek to sow discord between ethnic groups, or to wage a disinformation campaign, or to highlight moral inconsistencies that weaken the standing of the United States on the world stage. An enemy of the United States might try and degrade the capacity and public trust within our intelligence apparatus. It might use propaganda and weaponised information. It might seek to engage in fraud or other criminal acts to sway an election in their favour. Does any of that sound familiar? The Republican Party has steadily embraced authoritarianism, suspect electoral tactics, and racism more and more over the past few decades. That process has been turbocharged with Trump at the helm of the party. We’re now seeing an explicit embrace of white supremacy. Denial in the face of climate change. Deliberate sowing of discord within the FBI and the CIA. Weakening of the rule of law. Brazen criminality. Removing funding for elections oversight. Blatant human rights abuses at the border. With Donald Trump at the helm of the Republican party, it has become increasingly toxic. Most of the Republicans who speak out against Trump are former members of Congress. They have no skin in the game so they can afford to be candid. Justin Amash is a total rarity, he actually resigned from the party and became an Independent. The rest of the GOP is behaving like a bunch of scared rats. They don’t want to run down the rope and jump into the ocean, because they’re hoping that Trump, their personal Captain Bligh, won’t actually sink the ship, and as long as they humor his madness, they might actually get reelected and sail into the sunset without consequence. However, if the plight of Susan Collins is any indication, siding with Trump might not be the way of political survival, but rather political seppuku. Estimates of Collins’ chances of being reelected are slim to none. Nailer makes the point that the Republican party is hell bent on reshaping the nation’s institutions to its will. There is no question that with Trump in charge, the GOP has become a corrosive and pernicious force in American politics. And you know what Lincoln said, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” His words, spoken during the worst […]
Nobody is going to confuse FOX News commentator Juan Williams for a flaming liberal. But he’s not an over-the-top, insane right wing firebrand in the Tucker Carlson-Ann Coulter camp either. Like Alan Colmes did in his gig with Sean Hannity several years ago on FOX, his role on The Five is to try to provide a […]
Ahhh, South Carolina. Land of southern beauty and hospitality. I’ve never had the pleasure of visiting the state, but all of the photos and video I’ve seen of it are charming and beautiful. But if I wanted to go there on the cheap, I’d declare myself as a Democratic candidate for President, and let my campaign coffers pay for the junket. With an ever growing list of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, South Carolina is about to become a very busy patch of southern political soil. Senators Corey Booker and Bernie Sanders are both holding events in South Carolina today, and as more Democrats declare their candidacy, visits to the state will ensue shortly thereafter. You want to retire in the summer of 2020? Start a business making placards, yard signs and bumper stickers today. There is a solid political reason why South Carolina is going to be such a popular political stomping grounds for Democratic candidates for the next year. Its demographic make up. Traditionally, the campaign primary season starts with the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primaries. Both of those are majority white states, with low minority populations. Next on the primary calendar is South Carolina, and as former SC Democratic chair Jaime Harrison puts it; ,Why is South Carolina important?” said Jaime Harrison, a former chair of the state Democratic Party. “It’s important because it’s the first state that these candidates will get an opportunity to vet their message with a population that reflects the heart of the Democratic Party, which is African-Americans and specifically African-American women.” Bingo. South Carolina is the first state in the primary calendar where the majority of Democratic primary voters are going to be African American, the portion of the Democratic base that was crucial in helping to drive the “blue wave” in 2018. The South Carolina primary will be the first test of these candidates mettle, not only holding out the possibility of gaining some early separation in the primary race, but gauging their potential strength or weakness with a base that will not only be important in the primaries, but critical in a general election. For potential candidates Corey Booker and Kamala Harris, the state is an early barometer of their popularity and viability. Not only against each other, although it will be a useful yardstick, but in general. If either one of them does well in Iowa and New Hampshire, and scores big in South Carolina, then their message is resonating across demographics. A middling to poor showing in South Carolina following poor performances in the two previous states may signal an early trip to the showers. But the state is critically important to white candidates of both sexes as well. In a crowded field, a strong showing in South Carolina can offer a candidate that precious separation from other poorer finishers, and the potential of more separation in the more industrialized states to come. For instance, it should have been a big, flashing, red “danger” sign for Bernie Sanders when he only captured 26% of the vote in 2016. In a field with only two major, serious contenders, that should have been an alarm claxon. In a field with potentially 10 times that number? It could be a death knell for several candidates. My guess is that as the summer […]
We are all just prisoners here, of our own device Hotel California The Eagles It’s a classic axiom, “Like a rat caught in a maze.” It’s a scary mental image, running blindly from corridor to corridor, bumping into dead ends, ceaselessly doubling back, desperately looking for an exit that doesn’t exist. Metaphorically, it normally means that someone has told so many lies, in such overlying juxtaposition, that they can no longer find their way back to the original point. Welcome to the Trump White House. Whether it’s about Russian interference and collusion, his taxes, Stormy Daniels, or his business, it has reached the point where Donald Trump can’t even tell the truth without it coming out sounding like bullshit. In a normal political world, this is about the time that Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, and a couple of other GOP Senators would take a stroll on up Pennsylvania avenue, walk into the Oval Office, and tell their president, “Buddy, it’s really been a slice. But it’s time for y’all to go on back to New York and play with your Lego’s again. We can’t take this shit anymore.” But they can’t. They can’t because the GOP crossed the invisible line between a political party and a cult. Every political party has a “leader.” And when the party is in power, that leader is the President. But when that president leaves, for whatever reason, a new leader takes over the party, that is the nature of the beast. But that metric has ceased to exist for the Republican party, there is only Glorious Bleater. The party no longer allows for dissent, or succession. Charlie Manson had lieutenants, but there was no one, specific Deputy Whack Job who would continue in his absence. And Jim Jones didn’t meed a successor, mainly because he took all of his sheep with him. Whether it’s in 2019, 2020, or 2024, the GOP has no viable path forward, simply because there is nobody for them to follow. But we don’t have to wait for Trump’s eventual fall from grace to sit back and enjoy the spectacle, that is about to play out before our very eyes, in real time, and very soon. Trump is in a maze, and thanks to their soulless subservience to Trump, there are many more main characters, each in their own maze, which they constructed by themselves. Let’s take a look at just a few of them, and notice how, at some point, they all share common walls with Trump, and with each other. Donald Trump Trump can’t lose in 2020. It’s just that simple. He can’t lose in 2020 simply because there are too many things that Mueller is investigating at the federal level that won’t have stale dated yet in terms of the federal statute of limitations. If Trump loses, that means that a Democrat won, and he can kiss a pardon goodbye.Even if he pardons himself, a Democratic president would simply refuse to order the Department of Justice to defend the almost immediate lawsuits, and the pardon(s) would likely be found unconstitutional. And he can’t afford to lose in 2020 because even a pardon won’t protect him from state prosecution in New York. Trump desperately needs to win reelection in 2020, to run out the clock on any state charges that […]
In the beginning, there was homo erectus. Then came homo sapiens. Now we have home MAGAt, and seeing is believing. They may not be the Best People, but they are the most stick, stone stupid ones. I feel sorry for the woozle. There’s no question that the woozle is smarter, it’s just debatable whether the poor beast can keep the fool in its charge from doing serious bodily injury to himself, and right now, it looks like the answer is no. They better put thorazine in the MAGAts KFC, doncha think? Or keep him tied up in the yard?
One thing is for sure, 2018 had something for everybody. Well, pretty much everybody who was a Democrat, if you’re a Republican, you were shit out of luck. Election night turned into election fortnight, what with Broward county being its usual stumbling-down-the-stairs-drunk self, and California’s pony express style of mail in balloting dragging out the results damn near to the start of the 2020 primaries. But with the media being focused on the more immediate and topical stories coming from the election, there were several smaller things that flew under the radar that could end up being major events in 2020. Here’s just a few that I found. Fill your damn dance card — How in the hell did the Democrats manage to flip 40 seats in the House, what with the evils of gerrymandering and all? Well, for one thing, they put a name on the ballot in every spot where there was an opening. The 2017 Virginia state elections should have been a canary in the coal mine for the GOP. In 2017, the Democrats flipped 15 seats in Virginia, and they did it by putting names on the ballot in districts where GOP incumbents hadn’t had a challenger since Christ was a carpenter. GOP incumbents who hadn’t had to write anything more than billboard slogans and victory speeches for years suddenly found themselves having to campaign again, and you know what? They sucked at it. They were only being reelected because there was nobody else on he ballot to vote for. Unlike Republicans, Democrats know how to spot a trend, and the DNC and DCCC took the “Virginia model” to heart, which was a very good thing, because’ Democrats owned the recruiting war of 2018 — There is another big difference between Democrats and Republicans. Democrats don’t believe in bullshit when a simple truth will suffice. The DCCC has admitted that the majority of the candidates that won in 2018 weren’t actively recruited by the DCCC, hell, they weren’t even on their radar. These candidates looked at the current politics, said “Screw this,” got some friends and family together, and knocked on doors to get petitions signed. In some cases, they ran against, and defeated, DCCC groomed and picked candidates. People are sick of “politics as usual,” and these candidates were fresh faces, with relevant life experiences, and local knowledge that constituents could relate to. In other words, they were likable. The Republicans had the polar opposite experience in 2018. Looking at the map for 2018, Mitch McConnell had originally planned on picking up 5-7 Senate seats. He quickly had to downgrade that assessment when he started trying to recruit candidates to run against vulnerable Democratic incumbents. Nobody with an eye cocked towards a career in GOP politics wanted their name on the ballot in the era of Trump. McConnell ended up with a bunch of second and third tier candidates, like Hawsey and McSally, which meant spending more money and resources than the RSCC should have, and cost him the chance to pick up seats in Montana and West Virginia. Trump was an albatross around the necks of GOP House incumbents too. A high number of incumbents in red districts, with the best chance of winning, people like Charlie Dent and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, retired rather than fight the headwinds. […]
Word of Michael Avenatti being arrested in Los Angeles for domestic violence broke via TMZ, a site known for celebrity gossip. The Associated Press confirmed that Avenatti had indeed been arrested, and now BuzzFeed has obtained a statement that would seem to exculpate Avenatti, from his ex wife, Lisa Storie-Avenatti’s, lawyer: “My client and I have reviewed the TMZ article alleging that my client, Lisa Storie-Avenatti, has been injured and that Michael Avenatti has been arrested as a result of some incident that occurred between them. This article is not true as it pertains to my client,” the statement said. “Ms. Storie-Avenatti was not subject to any such incident on Tuesday night. Further, she was not at Mr. Avenatti’s apartment on the date that this alleged incident occurred. My client states that there has never been domestic violence in her relationship with Michael and that she has never known Michael to be physically violent toward anyone.” “He hasn’t been officially booked. He is in the process,” LAPD Officer Jeff Lee told USA TODAY. In a tweet, the LAPD wrote, “We can confirm that today LAPD Detectives arrested Michael Avenatti on suspicion of domestic violence. This is an ongoing investigation and we will provide more details as they become available.” This is a developing story and will be updated. UPDATE: 7:00 p.m. PST 6. LAPD confirms that Avenatti was booked on a felony domestic violence charge. His bail is set at $50,000. — Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) November 15, 2018 Evidently, the person making the charge is not his ex wife. It is a girlfriend or other domestic partner. No details are forthcoming about that. Avenatti’s first wife, Christine Avenatti-Carlin, has also provided a statement tonight, via his office: “He has never been abusive to me or anyone else. He is a very good man.” pic.twitter.com/XM05v0M0p7 — Ruby Cramer (@rubycramer) November 15, 2018 New statement from @MichaelAvenatti via his law office: “I have never been physically abusive in my life nor was I last night. Any accusations to the contrary are fabricated and meant to do harm to my reputation. I look forward to being fully exonerated.” pic.twitter.com/f2fnThdt7O — Ruby Cramer (@rubycramer) November 15, 2018 More details as they become available.
Donald Trump acted out badly the day after the midterm elections. His firing of Jeff Sessions was not his most brilliant moment. Plus, Trump won’t have his lap dog, Devin Nunes, running interference for him as Chair of the House Intelligence Committee. Adam Schiff is in charge and Trump is going to find out what the word “oversight” means. He’s had a very cushy two years with a unified government at his beck and call. Now he’s going to find out what politics is really about. To receive articles of mine not published elsewhere become a patron on Patreon. Please follow me on Twitter @ursulafaw56
Political discourse has come such a far distance in only ten years, and tragically, the journey has taken us to a destination which was neither foreseeable, nor desirable. Alexander Soros, son of billionaire George Soros and deputy chairman of the Open Society Foundations, wrote feelingly in the New York Times today about the new normal […]
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