THIS MAY BE THE MOST IMPORTANT MOMENT OF OUR LIVES: Saturday’s Good News

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Hassan Shokeir / YouTube

Our beloved country can go in two directions and it is up to us to send it where it needs to be.  To save our democracy, we need to win in 2020.

And not just our country; the fate of the entire world is in our hands.  The beautiful experiment of government of the people, by the people, and for the people is being tested like never before.  To save liberal democracy as the dominant force worldwide, we need to win in 2020.

And not just the world we have made, but also the planet we made it on.  Our planet needs action, and for that action to happen, we need to win in 2020.

The fate of everything is in our hands.

And it isn’t just about defeating Trump.  It means voting in a sea of change.

Trump didn’t happen by accident.  He happened because a political party became enamored, not with helping the country, but with lining their own pockets and keeping money among them and their rich friends.

A party stopped caring about America and only cared about themselves.

There used to be good, well-meaning Republicans. Mr. Rogers was a Republican for goodness sake.

There are no “Mr Rogers” Republicans left.  Their party has chased them away.

The problems of the Republican party did not start with Trump.

Trump is the logical progression of a party that has so little desire to actually help Americans, that the only way they can win was to make people afraid of any other option.

Trump is the logical progression of a party that can only win when they lie and instill fear.  They can only run on fear because their policies don’t help most Americans.

Trump is the logical progression of a party that has to cheat in order to win. They have to cheat because we outnumber them.  To beat us, they need to keep us from voting.  And they have been doing that for years.

But the shit has hit the fan (and Trump is that shit). The party of fear, cheating, and lying eventually gave way to a president who is nothing but a fear inducing, cheating, liar.  He is the embodiment of every evil that Republicans have used to win.

The good news is America is waking up.  We see it at on the streets in protest after protest.  We see it in the voting booth in 2018 and now again in 2019.  We see it in every new candidate and every new voter and every new poll.

My friends, the tipping point has come.

The time has come to either take back our democracy or cede it to authoritarianism.

All it takes to win is our never ending hard work and dedication.

Heather Cox Richardson calls this the mechanics of how a political party collapses in a democracy

When a party finally loses the majority despite all its gaming of the system, its opponents take over, and they are in a position to undo all the machinations that have kept them from power. They will, for example, undo gerrymandering and restore the vote to those who have been disfranchised. Suddenly, all those people who have felt unrepresented and cheated again have a voice, and they will not be using it in support of those who continued to get more and more extreme after cutting them out of the process. The backlash creates a political tidal wave.

Either the GOP will double down on minority rule and destroy democracy altogether in order to stay in power, or their opponents will take power and reopen politics to voices that have been silenced by voter suppression and gerrymandering.

Either will create a sea change in America. It is, as Ronald Reagan said in the speech that rocketed him to political prominence, “A Time for Choosing.”

This is it, folks.  In lives filled with ups and downs and big events and little events, we have the biggest and most important event right ahead of us — we are going to save our country, our world, and our planet.

The waiting has ended. Now is the time to get involved.  Click here to find your local Democratic party.  Find out what they need and help them!

In the meantime, take heart in the data: we have every reason to believe that we can chase their lying, cheating, fear-mongering asses right out of DC:

They Are in Big Trouble

This week’s election showed what can happen when we are motivated and we work hard.  We win!

Republicans warn election results are ‘wake-up call’ for Trump

Senate Republicans are warning that this week’s Democratic victories in Kentucky, Virginia and Pennsylvania should serve as a “wake-up call” for President Trump and the rest of the GOP heading into 2020.

Democrats extend their dominance of the suburbs, with an eye to 2020

New flashes of Democratic electoral strength Tuesday from the outskirts of Memphis, Cincinnati and Philadelphia to the neighborhoods of Northern Virginia marked an advancement of the party’s dominance across America’s fast-changing suburbs.

The results underscored the profound electoral realignment that has been unfolding since President Trump’s ascent upended the nation’s political dynamics, marking the third time since his 2016 victory that Republicans lost ground in those communities while solidifying their hold on rural areas.

Democrats take control in Delaware County for the first time since Civil War

DELAWARE COUNTY, Pennsylvania — Democrats are taking control in a suburban Philadelphia county that’s been under Republican control since the Civil War.
Democrats declared victory in three races Tuesday night for Delaware County’s five-member council, sweeping Republicans entirely from what had been an all-Republican panel just a couple years ago.

Pennsylvania suburbs revolt against Trump

Kentucky and Virginia captured the national headlines, but the state that sounded the loudest alarm for President Donald Trump on Tuesday was Pennsylvania, an essential component to his reelection path.

The Republican Party’s long suburban nightmare entered another terrifying hour here: Democrats seized control of suburban Philadelphia’s Delaware County Council for the first time in history, knocking out what was once one of the most powerful GOP machines in the nation. And the GOP continued to lose ground in two other nearby suburban behemoths, Chester and Bucks counties.

“The anti-Trump sentiment in the suburbs hasn’t dissipated at all,” said Ryan Costello, a former Republican congressman from Chester County. “Democrats have won counties they never, ever, ever won. The trend from red to blue has accelerated in the last few years, and there’s only one reason for that.”

5 winners and 3 losers from Election Day 2019

Winner: Democratic enthusiasm. Loser: Donald Trump.

also:

Winner: Teachers in Kentucky

Winner: Medicaid expansion

Winner: Voting reform

Winner: Equal rights amendment

Loser: the NRA

Loser: Republican gerrymandering in Virginia

Virginia Democrats campaigned on their Green New Deal and fighting climate change. And won.

As part of its pre-election platform, Virginia’s Democratic party unanimously endorsed two major progressive environmental resolutions: They voted in favor of setting a target of net-zero carbon emissions for the state by 2050 and they endorsed the Green New Deal Virginia.

And almost every Democrat running for the White House in 2020 wants to ramp up action on climate change should any of them take office. So climate change is likely to remain a key campaign issue for Democrats in the coming elections.

Democrats Are Outraising Republicans In The Senate

In the 14 races deemed competitive1 by election forecasters at Inside ElectionsSabato’s Crystal Ball and The Cook Political Report for which we have FEC filings,2 Democrats outraised Republicans by $65.5 million to $51.4 million in total contributions through the third quarter of 2019.3

GOP senators hit by early wave of outside money ahead of 2020

Democrats spent years sounding the alarm on “dark money” as groups pummeled their senators. Now, the left is the side delivering the early blow.

A quartet of new nonprofit groups has already spent millions of dollars hammering four of the most vulnerable Republican senators on the ballot next year, sparking a wave of concern among strategists trying to protect the GOP’s slim three-seat Senate majority in 2020.

Outside groups in Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Iowa have already spent or booked over $1 million in each state — and in some cases much more, according to Advertising Analytics — on advertising criticizing the senators, more than doubling the spending from Republican-aligned groups trying to respond. And in one state, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) has faced the onslaught without any backup from Republican allies.

The early spending, combined with strong fundraising by Democratic Senate candidates, is a “wake-up call” for the GOP, said Scott Reed, the chief political strategist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Immigration helped Trump win in 2016. It could help spell his demise in 2020.

The president campaigned on bold immigration actions, but infighting, confusion and dysfunction have hampered his ability to follow through on those promises.

Key pieces of his agenda are stalled. Top aides are feuding. And there’s worry that the very issue that swept President Donald Trump into office in 2016 could help cost him his reelection in 2020.

Nearly three years into office, Trump’s attempts to match the lofty campaign promises he made on immigration are in disarray — the wall remains largely unbuilt, so-called sanctuary cities are still receiving federal money and birthright citizenship remains intact. And over at the sprawling Department of Homeland Security, a bitter dispute recently erupted over who should head the agency tasked with enacting Trump’s immigration policies, leading some frustrated aides to plot ways to circumvent federal law and push for the leader of their choice.

Election results reassure House Democrats as they pursue impeachment inquiry of Trump

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was not on the ballot Tuesday in state and local elections across the country, but she and her Democratic majority were among the biggest winners.

On Tuesday voters sent the same message outside Philadelphia, throughout Virginia’s suburbs and in parts of northern Kentucky, reassuring Democrats of the path they are on and strengthening their political spines as they grow closer to impeaching the president.

This Ain’t Bill Clinton’s Impeachment

There was a lot of worry when we stated the impeachment that it would make trump more popular or get his base so angry that they would do all they could to protect him.  So far: nope and nope.

The evidence is damning

Gordon Sondland just gave us this scandal’s smoking quid pro quo

To sum up: American officials, acting at the instructions of Giuliani, who was in turn acting at the instructions of Trump, held up military aid desperately sought by a vulnerable ally under Russian military attack to coerce Zelensky into carrying this whole scheme to fruition.

This testimony is especially damaging coming from Sondland. Nearly all the others who have given damaging testimony about Ukraine are career foreign policy and national security officials. Trump has derided them as “Never Trumpers.” Even if that allegation is a scurrilous one, he couldn’t say it about Sondland.

Sondland has now confirmed that Trump was using hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid appropriated by Congress to extort Ukraine into doing its part in this scheme, to falsify the corruption of the last presidential election and corrupt the next one, all to serve Trump’s nefarious ends.

this came out yesterday too:

Giuliani Associates Urged Ukraine’s Prior President to Open Biden, Election Probes

Months before President Trump pressed Ukraine’s newly installed president to investigate Joe Biden’s son and alleged 2016 U.S. election interference, two associates of Rudy Giuliani urged Ukraine’s prior president to announce similar probes in exchange for a state visit to Washington, according to people familiar with the matter.

and everyone KNOWS it is damning. The Rs all know Trump did this because they know him and know this is exactly the blend of stupid and unethical that he loves.

But they are defending him anyway.  They just are doing it really poorly:

Republicans want to out the whistleblower because they can’t defend Trump on the merits

Yet Trump and his Republican defenders are fixated on discrediting the whistleblower as some sort of partisan operative, as illustrated by comments Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) made during Trump’s rally on Monday evening in Lexington, Kentucky.

More broadly, however, Paul’s comments — which are in the same vein as comments made by other Republican Trump defenders such as Rep. Mark Meadows (NC) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC) — illustrate how Trump and his Republican backers are struggling to respond to ever-mounting evidence that the president abused his office by trying to leverage military aid to Ukraine into political favors.

Another option is turning on one another:

House GOP looks to protect Trump by raising doubts about the motives of his deputies

House Republicans’ latest plan to shield President Trump from impeachment is to focus on at least three deputies — U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, Trump’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, and possibly acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney — who they say could have acted on their own to influence Ukraine policy.

All three occupy a special place in the Ukraine narrative as the people in most direct contact with Trump. As Republicans argue that most of the testimony against Trump is based on faulty secondhand information, they are sowing doubts about whether Sondland, Giuliani and Mulvaney were actually representing the president or freelancing to pursue their own agendas. The GOP is effectively offering up the three to be fall guys.

why won’t that work?

Republicans are throwing Giuliani under the bus. But there’s a problem.

Here’s the problem, however: Trump himself flatly stated that Giuliani was his point man in carrying out his wishes with regard to Ukraine. On the July 25 call, right after Zelensky said Ukraine needs U.S. military help, Trump said, “I would like you to do us a favor though.”

Trump then explicitly demanded Ukraine investigate the 2016 conspiracy theory and the Bidens. After some back and forth, Trump praised Giuliani effusively.

“I will ask him to call you,” Trump said. “Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great.”

Trump added: “I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call.”

more evidence that trump was in the loop:

Trump himself suspended the military aid.

Giuliani publicly confirmed the whole plot, and that he was acting at Trump’s direction.

So, to recap thus far: We know Trump both froze the military aid that Ukraine desperately sought and was working directly with Giuliani to pressure Ukraine to pursue the “investigations” Trump wanted.

Those texts demonstrate the meaning of Sondland’s confession.

In Sondland’s statement, he concedes that on Sept. 1, he directly informed a top aide to Zelensky that “resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks.”

Those texts between Sondland and other ambassadors and Ukrainian officials show him negotiating, at the direction of Giuliani and the White House, for Ukraine’s “anti-corruption statement” to mention both the 2016 Ukraine-hack conspiracy theory and Burisma, the company where Biden’s son worked that’s central to a fabricated tale of Biden corruption.

So, to recap thus far: We know Sondland directly informed Ukraine that the military aid would not resume until Ukraine produced the statement Trump and Giuliani wanted and that this statement had to explicitly absolve Russia and target Biden and that Ukraine knew this.

And Giuliani has his own defense for Trump (that doesn’t involve throwing himself under a bus) and it is HILARIOUS because it is also illegal!!

Giuliani: Ukraine quid pro quo intended to benefit Trump personally

Here, the president’s personal attorney has conceded that he used formal diplomatic channels and the powers of the Oval Office to prioritize Trump’s personal gain over that of the people.

and that is super illegal.  Is Rudy really a lawyer?  I am starting to have doubts.

Some people have argued that we should be impeaching right now without the public hearings.  Here is why that is a mistake:

Why Democrats think the benefits of open impeachment hearings outweigh the costs

Why continue the probe and commit to days of open testimony that will almost certainly devolve into a partisan political circus? Especially when some Democrats involved in the inquiry say they already have enough to impeach Trump?

First, they believe that the process of impeaching a president requires a completed probe. 

Second, Democrats say they must hold hearings on camera so that the American people can see what investigators have already learned behind the scenes — and perhaps glean some new information.

But Democrats I spoke with said that outside of Washington and the politicians, political junkies, and journalists obsessively following the nitty-gritty details of the investigation, most Americans are far less up to speed on what the investigation has uncovered.

The public hearings will give Democrats a chance to change that.

Video and audio are powerful mediums for humans,” the staffer continued. “The facts of Watergate were well established, but it was the Nixon tapes that sunk him.”

Democrats have public witnesses lined up and are ready to go:

Here’s why George Kent is a star impeachment witness

Kent becomes a critical witness, and a good opening witness, because he can cover a lot of ground. There are a number of critical topics about which he can testify in public next week.

First, he can attest to the parallel foreign policy run by Rudolph Giuliani that was not a foreign policy at all, but rather a personal mission for Trump.

Second, Kent can attest that Giuliani was out to smear a distinguished diplomat, someone Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused to publicly support

Third, Kent suggests an effort in the State Department to be less than forthcoming in response to congressional investigators.

Fourth, Kent implicates acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.

Fifth, Kent echoes many other witnesses who point to the impropriety if not the illegality of what Trump was doing

Finally, we get a glimpse of how Trump is manipulated by Russian President Vladimir Putin and where he came up with this cock-and-bull story that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in our election.

Kent is a compelling witness who can cover a lot of ground. No wonder he is on the schedule for the critical first week of testimony.

oh and the Stone trial might provide more evidence for impeachment:

In the Roger Stone Trial, Trump Is Also in the Dock

“Roger Stone lied to the House Intelligence Committee because the truth looked bad for the Trump campaign, and the truth looked bad for Donald Trump,” the lead prosecutor, Aaron Zelinsky, said in his opening remarks to jurors on Wednesday.

It goes without saying that evidence suggesting that Mr. Trump knew of efforts to help his campaign by getting emails hacked by Russians won’t help him fend off impeachment sparked by evidence that he pressured Ukraine to aid his 2020 re-election effort. One of the favors that Mr. Trump asked of the Ukrainian president was to look into a debunked conspiracy theory blaming Ukraine rather than Russia for the 2016 election hacking.

and finally:

Elections have consequences

Go Virginia, go!  NYS turned totally Blue in 2018 so I can tell you from experience that a Blue state means lots of improvements are on the way!

Keep up the hard work everyone.  I remain so lucky and so proud to be in this with all of you ❤️ ✊ ❤️

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2 Comments on "THIS MAY BE THE MOST IMPORTANT MOMENT OF OUR LIVES: Saturday’s Good News"

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David Bishop
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David Bishop

No, election day 2016 WAS the most important day of our lives. We blew it and now it’s time to shuffle on.

chris whitley
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chris whitley

I knew that the evidence would speak for itself. Trump stepped over the line. And this one they can understand. He asked foreign power for help. And it didn’t hurt that old Joe was the candidate. He’s one of the good guys.