Monday, July 16, 2018

No Other Word But Treason Describes This

Just to refer to a few other people first.

John Cole at Balloon Juice:

...If Barack Obama had stood next to Putin and trashed the Republicans and John McCain after beating him in the previous election the Right-Wing would be calling for firing squads. He didn’t do that, but they called for firing squads anyway.
These people are fucking monsters. Trump, Pence, the whole god damned party have got to go.

James Fallows at The Atlantic:

I am old enough to remember Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon telling lies on TV, about Vietnam in both cases, and Watergate for Nixon. I remember the travails and deceptions of Bill Clinton, and of George W. Bush in the buildup to the disastrous Iraq War.
But never before have I seen an American president consistently, repeatedly, publicly, and shockingly advance the interests of another country over those of his own government and people...
For 18 months, members of this party have averted their eyes from Trump, rather than disturb the Trump elements among their constituency or disrupt the party’s agenda on tax cuts and the Supreme Court. They already bear responsibility for what Trump has done to his office.
But with every hour that elapses after this shocking performance in Helsinki without Republicans doing anything, the more deeply they are stained by this dark moment in American leadership...

David Frum at The Atlantic:

Russia helped Donald Trump into the presidency, as Robert Mueller’s indictment vividly details. Putin, in his own voice, has confirmed that he wanted Trump elected. Standing alongside his benefactor, Trump denounced the special counsel investigating the Russian intervention in the U.S. election—and even repudiated his own intelligence appointees...
The reasons for Trump’s striking behavior—whether he was bribed or blackmailed or something else—remain to be ascertained. That he has publicly refused to defend his country’s independent electoral process—and did so jointly with the foreign dictator who perverted that process—is video-recorded fact.
And it’s a fact that has to be seen in the larger context of his actions in office: denouncing the EU as a “foe,” threatening to break up nato, wrecking the U.S.-led world trading system, intervening in both U.K. and German politics in support of extremist and pro-Russian forces, and his continued refusal to act to protect the integrity of U.S. voting systems—it adds up to a political indictment whether or not it quite qualifies as a criminal one...

Rude Pundit:

...So I can say without equivocation that, today, at his press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump offered more aid and comfort to Russia than any victim of Joe McCarthy and HUAC ever did. When Trump blamed the United States for, in essence, not doing more to prevent Russia from hacking the DNC and electoral interference, when Trump declared the investigation into Russia's election fuckery a "disaster for our country" because "I think it's kept us apart, it's kept us separated," when Trump said of his own Director of National Intelligence, "My people came to me, Dan Coates, came to me and some others they said they think it's Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it's not Russia," he did more to undermine the United States than all the poor saps that McCarthy, Roy Cohn, and Dick Nixon accused of being spies and traitors combined...

As of right now, FIVE of the top things trending on Twitter in the Tampa region are these hashtags: #Treason, #TraitorTrump, #ImpeachTrump, Rand Paul (who recently defended trump's press conference performance), and Marina Butina (a Russian national just arrested today for illegally working as a criminal agent funneling Russian funds to the NRA's 2016 political fundraising, essentially further proof of Russian interference in our elections). Granted, Tampa is a relatively Blue region in a Red-tilting State, but this is covering a lot of Red suburban communities from Pasco, Polk, and surrounding counties. I've never seen the Tampa trends so virulently railing against a political figure/party like this.


If we are hoping for the modern Republican Party to wake up to this crisis and fix the damage done, forget it. Every solution to having trump subvert our foreign policy requires Republicans in Congress growing a collective spine they've never had before. Every solution to stopping Russian hacking into our electoral systems requires legislation and proactive efforts that undermine the Republicans' own efforts at suppressing voters they don't want (i.e. the ones who'll vote for Democrats).

Everything that Russia wants to do to break American democratic norms coincides nicely with Republican efforts to do the same thing. As a result, the Republican leadership may recoil at the optics of having trump sell this nation out to Putin, but they will not raise a goddamn finger to stop him.

The only solution right now is a mass voter uprising, where every Democrat and every Independent voter gathers together as one and vote the Republicans out of power. Granted, the GOP is trying every voter suppression trick in the books - removing registered voters from the rolls, forcing requirements to register that deny the right to vote from the poor the minorities and the youth, cutting back on precincts and early voting polls - but if voters overwhelm with a large turnout they can't stop that.

In the meantime, we are stuck with a traitor - there is NO OTHER WORD TO DESCRIBE trump RIGHT NOW - sitting in the White House, defaming our nation's intelligence agencies, selling us out to a foreign power in Putin's Russia that wants to turn us (and the rest of Europe) into their puppets, and desecrating every minute of every day the very Oath of Office - to DEFEND the United States - he is failing to uphold.


Quick Note: Are We Effed Yet? Are We Effed Yet? Are We Effed Yet?

Follow the hashtag #TreasonSummit online via the Intertubes to find out if trump has surrendered the United States without a shot in person to Putin.

We may not know until later just how bad the damage is. Maybe when trump decides on issuing an Article 13 against NATO. Right now everything is just guesswork and dread.


Friday, July 13, 2018

The Layers of trump-Russia Treachery

Treachery, though at first very cautious, in the end betrays itself.
-- Livy, Annales XLIV

The latest regarding our long descent down the Darkest Timeline: Mueller's Washington DC grand jury issued 12 indictments against Russian agents - at least one confirmed GRU (post-KGB) officer - involved in hacking various individuals and organizations tied into the Democratic Party.

We're talking actual criminal charges here, in which illegal acts were committed against Americans by a foreign power.

We're talking establishing evidence that the Russians managed a committed campaign to subvert our nation's electoral process.

Let's have Adam L Silverman from Balloon Juice talk a bit about this now:

Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein just announced indictments of twelve Russian intelligence officers for hacking the DNC, the DCCC, and others on the Clinton campaign, stealing data, and then weaponizing it on behalf of Putin’s active measures and cyberwarfare campaign to harm Secretary Clinton’s campaign in order to promote the President’s campaign. Rosenstein also made it clear that he briefed the President on this earlier in the week, which explains why he was at the White House before the President left for the NATO summit. DAG Rosenstein, in his announcement today, took a swipe at the GOP members of Congress, as well as conservative commentators, who have been trying to downplay Putin’s activities or outright trying to get the Special Counsel’s investigation stopped through a variety of means, by emphasizing that this was an attack on the US and the response transcends partisanship...

Unfortunately, as this week's Republican House attack on FBI agent Strzok proved, the Republicans are so sunk into their partisan Narrative that they will not rise to the challenge of fixing this catastrophe, they will in fact dive into the mire and revel in it. Back to Silverman:

First, if you’ve been watching what the Special Counsel has been doing, this makes sense. Simply put he has method, not madness. His first indictment of nineteen Russian nationals set up this indictment about who actually stole the information. This indictment, like the one that preceded it, is setting up the next one. Special Counsel Mueller is working methodically to build not just a set of related cases, but to have the indictments and the cases tell his narrative of what happened...

What Mueller is trying to do is create a Narrative as well, but one based on evidence where the foundations of the case are solid enough to handle the many layers getting piled onto it. No matter how trump and his Republican lackeys will try to shill their alternate fact-free version of events in the court of partisan media, Mueller has a reality-based version that will stand where it matters: the court of law.

As Silverman notes, having established the Russians had the means (operatives on social media performing psych-ops campaigns to mess with the public mindset) Mueller is now establishing opportunity (all the hacking attacks) and shades of motive (wanting trump to win). While these indictments haven't named any Americans actively engaged in the criminal acts - even with all the stories the news media have uncovered suggested there were a good number of Republicans who did - these indictments ARE creating links to them for the next round of indictments (depending on when trump/GOP tries one more time to shut the grand juries down).

In particular, there's a part of the grand jury evidence involving a still-unnamed person highly ranked in the trump campaign interacting with Russian hackers who operated under pseudonym Guccifer 2.0: Based on earlier reporting, that evidence strongly points at Roger Stone. The odds of being a target of the next layer of indictments is going up on Stone, because that's how these investigations work from the outside in. So far, trump has been able to bluff "no collusion" because Mueller hasn't come out with direct links between trump and Russian hackers. With Stone - a key trump ally for years, as well as a major dark figure in Republican politics - Mueller can create that direct link.

Another part of Mueller's indictments involves one of the key moments in the trump-Russia scandal: The day - July 27, 2016 - trump went public at a press conference openly asking Russian hackers to do him a solid and get Hillary's "missing" emails. While a good lawyer could argue coincidence, the fact that within that day Russian hackers intentionally broke into her email account looks very much like a smoking gun of collusion (or even conspiracy). trump's outburst could well have been a flag to his Russian buddies to do his dirty work for him.

One last thing to note about Mueller's indictments against the Russians: It wasn't just the trump campaign profiting from the illegal hacks. Investigators uncovered at least one Republican political operative - still unnamed, but there's strong hints about who it is - working with the hackers, and also one Congressional candidate (or his campaign) actively reaching out to the hackers to get stolen documents to use in dirty tricks campaigning.

When you add in the reports of a key GOP funding group - the goddamn NRA - funneling Russian money into Republican campaign coffers, you start seeing the shape of an entire party eagerly working with a foreign power to cheat and subvert our elections.

Mueller is adding the layers to this scandal. We're starting to see the shape of it.

And Gods help us, it's looking more and more like a lot of Republicans were in on this scandal than they would care to confess to... even as the Republicans double-down on their denials and evasions.

Quick Update, By Jove: trump Is Currently in London Embarrassing The Ever Loving Hell Out of the U.S.

Yeah, no surprise there.

So far, he's insulted the Prime Minister May, insulted CNN as "Fake News" and gave Fox Not-News a handjob, lied about his own interview with The Sun, and is probably en route to meet the Royal Family at which point he'll probably insult the Queen in some horrifying fashion.

I hope she puts on her World War II military boots and kicks him square in the groin.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

One Step Away From the End of the United States (w/ Updates)

(Update: Thanks again to Batocchio at for a link in Mike's Blog Round-Up! Please take the time to visit the rest of the blog, and hey you might notice I have a new short story published in the Strangely Funny anthology series!)

So, just to note, President Loser of the Popular Vote donald trump is now in Brussels - sorry, Europe - to partake in meetings with our North Atlantic Treaty allies (NATO)... and also to meet with Russia Kleptocrat/Autocrat Vladimir Putin for a one-on-one meeting that will not be attended by any other American present (not even an American translator). No Chief of Staff, no one from the State Department, nobody from the White House... The possibilities of so many things happening off-the-radar that could well threaten U.S. National Security cannot be ignored: The last time trump held an unsupervised visit with Russians, he gave up vital national security secrets involving our Israeli allies to where he fucked up a covert operation for them.

The man simply cannot be trusted on his own. At yet, he will be... with arguably one of the biggest threats to American national security to re-emerge after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

This isn't simple fearmongering on my part. A lot of foreign policy experts are dreading this as well.

Worse, they're worried that this particular trip - with trump railing against NATO more than before - will spell doom for American foreign policy: There is every likelihood trump will drag the United States out of NATO and kill an alliance that has held Western Europe (and recently all of Europe) together for 60-plus years.

Lemme link to Jonathan Chait at New York for this:

President Trump tweeted today that America’s NATO allies have been “delinquent for many years in payments” and should “reimburse the U.S.” That is not how NATO works...
One cannot rule out the possibility that Trump lacks the mental capacity to understand the basic form of America’s most important alliance. But it is at least as likely that Trump is choosing not to understand this, so that he can precipitate a fissure within the alliance.
Last week, Trump’s national security advisers, who have traditional Republican views toward NATO (good) and Russia (bad), and the allies both expressed their hope that Trump would use the NATO summit to declare victory. Trump has been calling for the allies to increase their defense spending, and indeed they have. The increase has been ongoing since 2014, when Russia invaded Crimea, but the allies signaled they would be happy to let Trump claim credit. “The European officials we’ve spoken to would love nothing more than for Trump to take a victory lap and claim credit for them boosting their defense spending,” reported Jonathan Swan last week.
Oddly for Trump, he is not taking the opportunity to claim a win. Instead he appears to be defining the terms of the disagreement such that it cannot be resolved. NATO’s allies can always try to spend even more on defense, but asking them to pay the United States back dues that they never promised and do not owe is an impossible demand...

trump is moving the goalposts on this so that he'll always have an excuse to do what he's likely about to do. Back to Chait:

Meanwhile, the Trump-Putin relationship is blossoming (or perhaps just coming out into the open). Putin reportedly has been telling Trump that “fake news” and the “deep state” are conspiring against them. (“It’s not us,” Putin has told Trump, according to an American source, summarizing his message, “it’s the subordinates fighting against our friendship.”) Trump has also reportedly expressed to Putin his desire for better relations, and called the advisers who tried to prevent him from congratulating the strongman on his reelection “stupid people.”
Compared to a week ago, it is now harder to imagine Trump will use the summit to leverage concessions that will make him appear like a strong negotiator, and much easier to imagine that he will use it to instigate a diplomatic crisis with NATO. By the time this is over, he may well have reoriented American foreign policy completely. It may seem bizarre that one man could do this, especially given that almost nobody in Trump’s administration or the ranks of the party’s political professionals share his goal of jettisoning NATO or closely courting Russia. Yet Trump has shown the ability to lead his base wherever he wants to take it. And where the base has gone, the party has eventually followed...

Under other circumstances, it would be hilarious to watch all the hardened foreign policy wizards of the Republican Party - all of them perfectly aware of how the U.S. has benefited in both military and political matters being united with the other Western democracies during the Cold War and Global War on Terror decades - suddenly switch their worldviews from "Europe good, Putin bad" to "OMG Putin is just the best BFF ever!" Under other circumstances, most of those intelligent, well-studied thinkers of realpolitik would argue against any ill-advised ignorant demolition of a stable, valuable alliance. But we no longer live in that world: This is the World of Fox Not-News, and if you can't help shill the Narrative of the hour/month/year which happens to be whatever is in trump's head that very moment, you are persona non grata to the GOP.

By the end of this week, everything we've ever known about the United States' place in the world could well be blown up and torn down like the Berlin Wall.

We will see a near-immediate end to foreign sharing of intel: What is the likelihood the UK or France is willing to share data with a nation that could easily hand it over to Russia without batting an eye? NATO's efforts to stop Russia from a full-out invasion of Ukraine falls apart. Half of Central Europe - bizarrely under the political sway of right-wing Nationalist governments more friendly to Putin than they should - could well cut out of any NATO or shared alliance with Western Europe and turn most of Eastern Europe back into a Russian playground.

Our own military situation won't improve. Any ongoing efforts in the Global War on Terror takes a hit when we lose all that intel. Half of our military preparedness and ability to deploy has been tied into our sharing of resources overseas: Our military bases in Europe will likely be closed.

The aftershock of trump shutting down NATO won't end there. Our other overseas alliances especially in Asia will come under scrutiny. How many of those nations would be willing to stay attached to a United States dominated by a bully in trump who keeps screaming for "reparations" on "delinquent payments"? South Korea is already scarred by trump's failures - yes, THAT already fell apart - dealing with North Korea. Central America is already pissed at trump's evil anti-immigrant policies. Africa's in no mood to give trump the time of day either.

Put on top of this trump's eagerness to wage tariff wars on multiple fronts - we're at four trade blocs and counting - and we're screwed. Every nation from Australia to Zimbabwe is going to consider their options in dealing with a crazed, unstable USA and take their chances without us.

The United States is one step away - one major temper tantrum by the world's biggest orange baby - from being a Superpower nation to a Third-World Nobody relying on Russia for handouts.

This isn't hyperbole. This can really happen. The North Atlantic Treaty - the basis for NATO - includes Article 13, which allows a NATO member to "denounce" its membership and gives that nation a year to cut all ties with the alliance. trump can issue a denouncement and we'd be out of NATO technically by 2019. In reality, the entire situation will go FUBAR within hours.

It would be up to the remaining pro-foreign-policy, pro-NATO people in the Republican ranks - likely Secretary of Defense Mattis, who has to be fully aware how serious a hit to our own military this will be, and Chief of Staff Kelly, and then various Senators and Congresspersons on the Foreign Relations committees - to do something to stop trump from nuking our strongest allied bloc from orbit. However, given the constant failure by these same "sane adults in the room" to keep trump on a leash, I doubt any of them will grow the collective spine necessary to call for a 25th Amendment solution to remove a clearly unstable and dangerous president for the sake of the nation.

To everyone especially the hard-core trump supporters who keep screaming there's no proof that trump colluded with Russia to hack/interfere with the 2016 Elections... here's your fucking proof. trump's own fucking actions selling the United States out to Putin, practically handing this nation over on a goddamn silver platter. Everything bad that can happen on this trip by trump will be EXACTLY what Putin wants. The second that trump pulls the United States out of NATO, Putin wins.

It had long been a plot point in political potboiler thrillers that somehow the United States would come under attack not from invasion but from subversion, of a group or an individual somehow grabbing the reins of power and surrendering the entire nation without a shot. To anyone who ever thought those books or movies were implausible, welcome to the Hell that is trumpWorld.

It had been a common political attack, usually from the Far Right and the Republicans who went after Democrats as being so liberal they were practically Commies. Think back to Nixon's first Congressional campaign when he attacked his Democratic opponent - a woman by the by - of being "Pink down to her underwear." Think about all the times the Republicans accusing Democrats of being in bed with the Soviet Union. Think about the Far Right fears about fluoride in the water.

And when Soviet Communism fell, the Far Right found other excuses to hate on Democrats. The Clintons were in cahoots with China. Obama was a Secret Muslim selling us out to ISIL. Anything to fearmonger their base into voting for the worst of the worst.

And now here we are. One step away from the likelihood of donald Shitgibbon trump cutting off our strongest international alliance all to curry favor with his favorite dictator Putin. One step away from the so-called Leader of the Free World surrendering without a shot to the latest Strongman of Russia.

But this isn't a conspiracy. This is no far-flung fantasy. This ain't a movie starring Frank Sinatra and Angela Lansbury.

Hail Fucking Hydra.

We are so very fucking royally fucked.

Update (7/11/18): This very morning trump accused GERMANY of being "a captive of Russia". The worst case of projection since that slideshow presentation at that boring seminar we all attend at some point in our lives.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Four For the Fourth 2018: Four Things To Note (w/ Update)

We are still in a precarious and devastating situation with donald trump sitting in the White House.

1) trump is making plans to visit with his boss Putin soon... and wants to do it alone without any other staffer or observer in the room with him. GODS help us with whatever mischief trump wants to do behind those closed doors.

2) trump keeps making noise about wanting to invade somewhere so he can get his war groove on (the need of a bullying autocrat to prove his manhood through the blood and sacrifice of others). he wants a war with Iran but no other nation will back us on that (other than Saudi Arabia and Israel, and there's no guarantee they'll be of any help). he wanted a war with North Korea but Kim Jong-un played trump like a fiddle, and now trump is deluding himself into thinking his overtures to Korea will earn him a Nobel Peace Prize. So now trump is rumored looking at Venezuela, a bankrupt and starving nation on the brink of civil war itself, as a great place to invade except for the fact that our current standing in South and Central America earns us NO regional allied support and we'd be going into a situation that can quickly devolve into a Vietnam-esque jungle hell.

3) Rumors now abound that trump is looking at shutting down the Mueller investigations in the bluntest way possible, with support from EPA director Scott Pruitt apparently dropping hints he'd be more than ready to take the Attorney General spot from the recused Jeff Sessions. If trump tries this - by abusing a loophole to avoid a Senate vote (since even the GOP Senate would balk at any attempt to fire Sessions) - Pruitt would then simply fire Deputy AG Rosenstein and order Mueller to shut down and hand all materials to himself (but really to trump). This move would not only have the effect of gutting and politicizing the Department of Justice and the FBI, it would also put the most corrupt sonofabitch in trump's Cabinet - Pruitt makes trump look like a fucking choir boy - in control of our federal law enforcement: This is akin to putting John Gotti in charge of the FBI's Racketeering division. There have been corrupt men in charge of the DoJ before - Ed Meese, John Mitchell, Harry Daugherty - Pruitt has the potential of besting all of them as the most corrupt bastard ever. Okay, disregard this. It turns out Pruitt's headaches weren't worth it for trump after all. But a plan like this is likely in the works. Except now I fear it involves Jared.

4) We are as voters facing the likelihood of massive voter suppression efforts by Republicans to ensure they retain control of Congress this Midterms cycle. There is a serious need by Americans who aren't registered to vote to get registered, and there is a serious need by registered voters to get the damn vote out, and there is a serious need by the majority of Americans who HATE trump to vote every goddamn cowardly Republican official out of office. The only way voter suppression fails is when there's too many of us voting to stop us.

So that's where we stand tonight, America.

Get the vote out.

Your vote is your power. Your power is your freedom.

Four For the Fourth 2018: Third Time's The Strikeout?

Hey, it's the Fourth of July and there's nothing more American than WATCHING SOME BASEBALL!

Hell yeah, let's see how the Tampa Bay Rays are doing today playing in Miami against the Marlins!


Well, yeah, the Rays aren't doing so hot this year...


Four For the Fourth 2018: Second The Motion With New York Abstaining


Here's the obligatory YouTube clip to one of my fave movies, 1776.

Four For the Fourth 2018: First Posting About My Country Tis of Thee

On this day, of all days, we Americans need a reminder that WE ARE A NATION OF IMMIGRANTS and that we are all sons and daughters of those who came to these shores looking for better opportunities and safety for their families. For us.

Home, don't it seem so far away
Oh, we're traveling light today
In the eye of the storm
In the eye of the storm

Home, to a new and a shiny place
Make our bed, and we'll say our grace
Freedom's light burning warm
Freedom's light burning warm

Everywhere around the world
They're coming to America
Every time that flag's unfurled
They're coming to America

Got a dream to take them there
They're coming to America
Got a dream they've come to share
They're coming to America

They're coming to America
They're coming to America
They're coming to America
They're coming to America
Today, today, today, today, today

My country 'tis of thee
Sweet land of liberty
Of thee I sing
Of thee I sing

-- Neil Diamond, "America"

Let us remember that Lady Liberty is not some prideful symbol of dominance or victory, but a signal beacon of hope:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” - Emma Lazurus, "The New Colossus"

This is the Immigrants' day as much as a Citizen's day. This is the Fourth of July. A day of Independence. A day of Hope.

Monday, July 02, 2018

The Second Civil War Will NOT Start Over Karen's Potato Salad

So fringe conspiracy nutcase Alex Jones - who sadly has far too many people paying attention to him - went out and tweeted a godawful plot twist for the ongoing Far Right Pity-Party Self-Oppression Narrative (via Adam L Silverman at Balloon Juice):

BREAKING: Democrats Plan To Launch Civil War On July 4th (I will not provide a direct link to anything by Jones if I can avoid it)

Yes, that's correct: Even with all the "Democrats In Disarray!" story lines floating around the screwed up Beltway Media, nothing can stop the wingnuts from convincing themselves those socialist libtards are one step away from violent global domination.

I haven't dived into Jones' full rant - mostly because I want to spare my brain cells from damage - but I can guess a lot of it revolves around getting minorities to riot in the streets and feminists kicking every white male in the groin until we white boys all surrender due to sympathetic pain-sharing.

I doubt it has anything logical to it, such as getting the U.S. military to the tune of 1,150,000 active servicepeople and 800,000 reservists to turn against their trumpian masters. I mean, that's a lot of Democratic libtards in all five branches of the military. I doubt most Republicans would believe there's that many Democraps among the ranks. Without enough military support, any civil war uprising is doomed to fail.

If the civil war planning has anything clever to it, the primary rule of seizing all means of communication would mean shutting down the likes of Fox Not-News, the entire Sinclair chain of local TV and radio stations, and also cutting off or crimping Internet across all 50 states. The logistics of such a move may seem simple in a movie (such as the Fire Sale of Die Hard 4.0), but in practice there's a lot of moving parts there and no guarantee of success. If anything, cutting the power on Fox would go a long way to disrupting trump's own methods of staying informed so... on this point alone it might be worth a go.

Look, here's the simplest reason why Alex Jones is just making noise about a goddamn civil war started by the Progressive(Libtard) Left on the 4th of July: There is no goddamn way it would work. Just consider that the 4th is a big holiday for people to go out and get drunk, meaning that every State Highway Patrol car is out on the major roads alongside County and City police just itching to pull suspicious drivers over. Would any librul risk the likelihood of getting pulled over by the cops? NO. End of argument.

If any group in this nation has shown the desire to make attempts to start any insurrection, it's been the gun-toting, Sovereignty-obsessed, white supremacist, wingnut Far Right. The real risk here is Jones stirring up that group into a fear-based froth, terrifying them into turning any public gathering on the 4th of July into a firearm-freakout bloodbath.

I have to admit I've been blogging here that we're already in a Second Civil War, but it's not a war in a conventional sense of battle lines and cities under siege. This has been a war fought over control of the political and media outlets running this nation. The fighting has less been open gunfights and more along the lines of street protests and attempts at voter turnout for this year's midterms. So far...

Jones is tweeting about Civil War for several reasons. Above all, it gets him attention and media traffic and mo' money. It keeps his audience terrified and ready for the worst if he ever finds the need to call an uprising of his own. And if a war in the streets finally does erupt, he's trying to position himself as the messenger/messiah leader driving his side of wingnuttia towards cultural purification and victory.

In the meanwhile, the Democratic Party of the United States is not planning a Civil War to be fought on the 4th of July.

They're trying to stop Karen from bringing her potato salad to the cookout. Raisins? AH HELL NAW...

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Families Belong Together Lakeland Rally w/Photos

As mentioned yesterday, I went to Lakeland's afternoon rally in support of the Families Belong Together effort that is protesting trump's inhumane policy of separating immigrant and asylum families (as well as throwing kids as young as NEWBORNS into chain-link-fence cages).

Most people I know in the area probably went to the Tampa rally - those tend to be bigger and more awe-inspiring - earlier in the day, but I heard via Twitter from Betty Cracker of Balloon Juice that it got interrupted by a late morning thunderstorm (welcome to Florida, lightning capital of the Northwest hemisphere (which should actually be a quadsphere not a hemi, but I digress)).

At our march it was mostly grey and threatening, ending up with a bothersome drizzle as we started walking through downtown Lakeland (all five blocks of it, sigh).

I figure we had around 100 people and between four to eight puppies.

I documented what I could with pics and video I am having problems downloading video off my phone damn the man below:

This fat boy looks familiar. I wore my Captain America shirt because it seemed appropriate.

I will work on getting the video uploaded.

I was too busy actually walking to get my smartphone out to record any of it, but we circled Munn Park a few times and performed a few chats.

Out of the car traffic that passed us, I would say we had 30-50 people honking their horns in favor and only 3 people being total jerkasses: one middle finger, one couple shouting pro-trump crap out the window, and one attempt at a Coal Roll exhaust blast. ALL THREE OF THEM were driving the oversized supertrucks most people shouldn't drive unless they really do haul 16 tons around work. I had to explain to a couple protesting beside me what Coal Rollers were and why they were the perfect example of deplorable trump voters. This is purely anecdotal on my part, but I figure we had a 10-to-1 balance of pro-family pro-immigrant support over the hater coalition.

I hope everyone else's marches went well. I am linking to updates that were posted at Balloon Juice over the weekend.

Keep marching. Keep protesting. Those kids need to be reunited with their families as soon as fucking possible. Our immigration policy needs to open up to asylum seekers and honest families looking for safe homes to raise their kids to go to college and contribute to our United States. We need to listen to the better angels of our nature.

Saturday, June 30, 2018