A sobering read brought by the undoubtable Digby will wake you up on a Monday morning more than a double shot of Adderall-laced espresso. Short-story long, the Republican party is beyond caring what the law says, which – admittedly, has been the case for some time. The new development is that the Republican party now no longer cares about even pretending to care about the law. They are tyrants, doing what tyrants do. Rule with an iron fist, until you stop them, which is dangerous to even attempt. Just a quick refresher course for those who have been asleep or living their lives the last three years: During the 2016 campaign, he proudly declared that he meant to torture, kill civilians and “take the spoils” of war if he wanted to. Today, he’s pardoning war criminals and bringing them up on stage at political events. While he does lie profusely and conspires with his henchmen, much of his alleged criminal behavior in the White House has been done right out in the open. He admitted he fired former FBI Director James Comey because Comey was investigating him. He dangled pardons and intimidated witnesses in public statements. Most recently he released a transcript of a phone call in which he tried to coerce a foreign leader to smear his political rival, calling it “perfect.” Ouch. That is quite the list. All of it true, and all of it humiliating. Try this exercise, pick a country with which we’re mostly unfamiliar, like “Peru.” I don’t know a thing about Peru other than it’s beautiful and they have badass telescopes. Pretend you just read that the president of Peru did all the above. We would conclude that Peru was ruled by a ruthless strongman, autocrat, dictator, correct? Except that’s the Republicans’ guy. But no one man can rule alone, he needs followers willing to do his every bidding: Now Republican leaders are following his lead. They don’t bother to pretend that they are following rules anymore, or make arguments based on a common understanding of what the Constitution requires. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced he has no plans to even feign seriousness with the Senate impeachment trial of Trump. He has said right out in the open that he planned to follow the president’s lead and do whatever Trump wants him to do. I doubt even we appreciate how big a change has occurred even since the beginning of 2018! Prior to 2018, Lindsey Graham had noted that there would be “hell to pay” if Trump fired Jeff Sessions (remember him?) as A.G. Think of Lindsey Graham saying anything of the sort today! This Lindsey Graham: Question: "Is it ever okay for an American president to ask a foreign leader to investigate a political rival?" Sen. @LindseyGrahamSC: "Yeah, I think it's okay to talk about this kind of stuff." pic.twitter.com/Qp9cWfnlQj — The Hill (@thehill) December 15, 2019 What the fck! And you haven’t heard the bad part yet! “This thing will come to the Senate, and it will die quickly, and I will do everything I can to make it die quickly.” When asked if he thought that was an appropriate thing to say under the circumstances, he replied, “Well, I must think so because I’m doing it. I am trying to […]
A cottage industry has grown around diagnosing just what the hell is wrong with the man who carries around the nuclear codes and decides who will be and won’t be prosecuted. One need not be an MD to know something ain’t right. But it never hurts to hear from someone who knows what they’re talking about. Dr. Jenn Mann, a psychiatrist that works with TMZ (make of that what you will) says that the outrageous behavior can be traced back to Trump’s childhood. It is entirely possible that the duckshit insane behavior we see on an hourly basis goes back to childhood, since media reports that Trump isn’t that different at all since his childhood. Regardless, the theory, via Rawstory and TMZ: “One, he’s someone who gets triggered easily,” she explained. “Two, he has terrible impulse control, very poor impulse control. Developmentally, his ability to control his impulses … he’s almost like a young child.” Almost? I have a twelve year old that might well be entrusted with nuclear codes over …, seems to handle the “triggers” fractionally better, sometimes way better, than the man in the White House. She can take constructive criticism. “Well look, it could be any kind of verbal abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, a lack of boundaries in a family,” she replied. “If you come from a family where it’s appropriate, you think, to insult a 16-year-old or pick on someone, you’re going to do it in your life and other areas,” she said, apparently referring to Trump’s attacks on Greta Thunberg. And not just any sixteen year old, but a girl, not yet a woman. But we all know that Trump holds a special contempt for females that challenge him. To be honest, there are many people who experience a rough childhood. Many of these people worried that the power might be shut off any day, worried dad might come home drunk again, or worried that he or she was not with the crowd that mattered. Very few of them grew up with the privileged childhood that never wanted for anything, material at least. And yet they become productive adults with some empathy and self-awareness. If I had to pick one overriding theme for Trump it is the utter lack of self-awareness. He isn’t aware of his impact on others, and when told, doesn’t care. Yes, he is without empathy and everything is about him. As he started giving the eulogy for his father, he earned gasps from those gathered. He began by noting he had been sitting in his suite at the top of Trump tower reading about how he’d had his best year ever. That takes a special kind of … dunno. In the end, it hardly matters. It is not like we have access to a time machine and can go back and change things. Additionally, I am not going to blame some unloving mother or driven father. Nope. I am going to blame the man who had to get feedback throughout his life; “You should get some therapy and …” ignored it entirely. He had nothing to learn. Like the phone call to Ukraine, he is and was perfect. And this nation (not us) elected him, though through a minority vote. Almost as unbelievable as starting a eulogy by noting ones […]
It was inevitable. And we knew it in the backs of our minds, and probably chose not to think about it too closely, because it was too horrific. But now it is front and center. This is what happens when the leader of the nation puts policy up for sale, and dictators want to buy-in. Axios says in a new report that China and Iran are about to join Russia in the effort to manipulate the 2020 “election.” Among other things, both Facebook and Twitter have uncovered phony social media accounts that are being used to both undermine protests in Hong Kong and interfere in elections in Taiwan. However, former CIA analyst Chris Johnson tells Axios that he doesn’t believe China will so blatantly interfere in the election on behalf of a candidate as Russia did with President Donald Trump in 2016, as it doesn’t want to risk the backlash that Russia has faced. Well, that’s nice of them, not wanting to be so blatant about it. So too, understanding that it comes with a damn serious risk if all doesn’t go well at least demonstrates that they know there is a limit in how much manipulation can be done. If they lose, some horrific sanctions might be levied, and there would be some calls for a “war” in every way but shooting. And then there is Putin’s proud puppet, Iran: When it comes to Iran, meanwhile, Facebook has discovered several fake accounts run by Iranians pretending to be American or European citizens. “Iranians pretended to be located in the U.S. and Europe, and used fake accounts that impersonated legitimate news organizations in the Middle East,” Axios reports. “The pages discussed politics in various regions, including the U.S.” Iranians might not have a legitimate choice in the matter, their security, especially this week, depends heavily upon assisting Putin in every way. My god. It is happening. Countries are now making war on what little is left of our nation’s democracy, and right to vote, It is happening with the blessing of the Republican President, and the Republican senate. That is terrifying. Think about the pressure on Facebook, a massive company with billions of accounts. In many ways, it is a nation unto itself, like many other massive transnationals. There is also reason to believe, given their intransigence, that they bend toward the Republican side in all of this, perhaps because it requires such a massive effort on their part to police themselves, and perhaps some real Republican partisanship exists at the very top, their tooofficers, and “the guy.” Axios also notes that there is a chance that China will interfere against Trump too, attempting to drive out the man imposing tariffs. They also might be tired of being blamed for every ill out there, including the country Trump always brings up as responsible for near everything “bad.” On the other hand, they need to hedge, because demonstrating a pro-Trump bias will help them tremendously should he win. It was inevitable. Trump, in cooperation with Putin, put this nation’s foreign policy up for sale, all for Trump’s personal benefit. If that is not the act of a dictator, I really don’t know what is. **** Peace, y’all Jason email@example.com, and on Twitter: @MiciakZoom
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