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Howdy, neighbors! I’m a Republican, and I’m a neo-nazi

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California, as you may have heard, is having a Senate election this November, and while there’s absolutely no doubt that the Democrat, Dianne Feinstein, will win a fifth term (Obama just endorsed her, by the way), we now know who her likely Republican opponent will be: Patrick Little.

Who’s that, you ask? Good question. I’d never heard of him either, until a few days ago, when a new Survey USA poll came out. It asked Californians, “If the primary for United States Senator were held today, and these names all appeared on your primary ballot, who would you vote for?” The statewide results were

Dianne Feinstein 39%

Patrick Little 18%

Kevin DeLeon 8%

with a number of other candidates showing in the low single digits, and about 19% Other/Undecided. (Kevin DeLeon is a Democratic state senator.) That sent me scurrying to find out who this Patrick Little is.

Here’s what he looks like.

Pleasant looking fellow, isn’t he? Young and clean-shaven, if a bit tight-lipped. The cute little pompadour suggests a certain fashion sense.

He has a blog. (Who doesn’t?) On May 4 he posted his official campaign song, entitled “The Naming of the Jew.” What are those names? “Shysters, crooks and shylocks: infiltrators, traitors too.” But wait, there’s more! “Kikes.” “Sludge.” “Slimy.” “Shameless bastards.”

 Well, you get the idea. Little doesn’t care much for Jews (which Feinstein is, by the way). The day before his campaign song post, Little wrote that he is running to resist “the lying jewish press” (note the absence of a capitalized J) and “the zionist bankers.” For good measure, he wrote, “[T]here is no proof that supports the ‘6 million jews got gassed by Germans in the second world war’ lie,” with the “evidence” of this so-called “holocaust” manufactured by “jews who are being paid for their lies.”

 Little (who’s been endorsed by the KKK leader, David Duke) also has a Twitter account. Here’s one of his more charming tweets: “Jews have no seat at the table in matters of white self-determination.”

Little’s shtick is tedious, but after Charlottesville, when Trump supporters (including Little, who was there) screamed anti-semitic slogans, we’ve come to understand that white supremacy and resentment of Jews and various “Others” (gays, Muslims, Mexicans) are integral components of the modern Republican Party, and particularly of Trump’s base.

So let this sink in: a neo-nazi will in all likelihood be the official Republican candidate for Senator in California, the nation’s biggest state. That should play well overseas, don’t you think?

The California Republican Party, caught in an embarrassing position, is pretending to be shocked, shocked. Mr. Little has never been an active member of our party. I do not know Mr. Little and I am not familiar with his positions,” Matt Fleming, communications director for the California Republican Party, told Newsweek. And then, on Saturday, the party wouldn’t let Little enter their annual convention, in Sacramento, with the Republican state executive director saying, “There is no room” for him in the party.

But of course, all this is public relations hokum. Little’s only crime, from a Republican point of view, is that he aired their pathology a bit too publicly. From Joe Arpaio to Roy Moore, from David Duke to Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani and Paul Nehlen (the Jew hater who is running in the Republican primary in Wisconsin to replace Paul Ryan, and whom Little admires), the modern Republican Party stands for intolerance, alt-right fascism, religious bigotry and racial and ethnic hatred. Patrick Little may be among the more extreme proponents of Republicanism, or he may just be saying things that Republicans think but are afraid to say out loud. Either way, Little is the new poster boy of the Republican Party.

As Bill Maher observed, “I would never say all Republicans are racist because that would be wrong. But let’s face it: If you are a racist, you are very probably a Republican.” This is the Big Tent the GOP has erected, a cozy little hate-fest in which Patrick Little feels—not only comfortable—but invited. Like the characters in Close Encounters of the Third Kind who felt impelled to get to Devil’s Tower, Little is merely responding to a Republican summons: Come join us. We welcome you. Here, you will find your own kind. Together, we march under the banner of Donald John Trump. We may occasionally have to make believe you’re not really one of us, but don’t take it seriously! We’re all on the same side.

 So, memo to Republicans: You can run but you can’t hide. Patrick Little IS the Republican Party. The Republican Party IS Patrick Little. No daylight between the two, no matter how much you say otherwise. Little feels comfortable in your party because your president, Trump, sent him an invitation SWAK.

By the way, if Trump takes the fifth with Mueller (as that increasingly freakish Giuliani said he might), I would expect Congressional Republicans to turn against him in droves. Am I overly optimistic? Maybe. But this is America, damn it, not some frigging banana republic!

 

 

 

 


Leaked! a call from Cohen to Trump, earlier this year

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Cohen: Boss, Sarah [Huckabee Sanders] really blew it at her presser the other day, when she told the reporters that Stormy’s allegations weren’t true.

Trump: Why? They’re not.

Cohen, Well, boss, they are. I mean, that’s why we paid her—Stormy—the $130 grand. To shut her up. Sarah really stirred the pot with that remark.

Trump: The Feds don’t know that we paid her anything!

Cohen: I think they do. At any rate, we have to come up with a story for when this [inaudible].

Trump: What do you propose, Mike?

Cohen: That I paid her out of my own personal funds. You didn’t know anything about it.

Trump. Hmm. Sounds good.

Cohen: You’re gonna have to deny it if one of those damned reporters asks you about it, though. Nobody can ever know that you reimbursed me.

Trump: Right.

Cohen: Because we pretty obviously broke campaign finance laws.

Trump: How’s that?

Cohen: Well, I gave her the money right before the election, so that proves it was a financial contribution to your campaign, not just a simple NDA.

Trump: Exactly what laws were broken?

Cohen: Boss, there’s a $2,700 limit on the amount an individual can contribute to a candidate in a federal election. Somebody could argue that I personally exceeded that limit—which I did.

Trump: Can’t you say that the money wasn’t a contribution but only a donation to Stormy?

Cohen: Nope. Federal election law specifically defines “donations” as “in-kind contributions” that count against contribution limits.

Trump: Could you say the money was a loan?

Cohen: Nope. Loans are considered contributions.

Trump: So, what if I come clean and admit I paid her? I mean, it would be messy, politically, but it would get me off the hook legally, right?

Cohen: Again, boss, no. Because you didn’t disclose it. You gotta disclose your own contributions to your campaign.

Trump: Wow. Fucking election laws. What’s the penalty for violating campaign finance laws?

Cohen: That’s the good news, boss. It would only be a fine—typically, a few thousand bucks. Trouble is, I could lose my license to practice law.

Trump: [silence]

Cohen: Boss? You there? Did you hear what I said?

Trump: Yeah, sure. Well, so what? You don’t really practice law anyway. I’d still keep you on the payroll.

Cohen: That’s good to know.

Trump: Provided…

Cohen: What?

Trump: Provided you protect me. Never, ever flip on me, Mike.

Cohen: Boss, you know I’d never—

Trump: I know, Mike. I know. And don’t forget this: If worse comes to worst, I have the power of the pardon. I’m not gonna let you go down, Mike—and you’re gonna protect me, too. Capiche?

Cohen: I do, boss. Meanwhile, what about Sarah? I mean, you’re sending her out there every day, telling lies.

Trump: So what? She’ll land on her feet. Get a cushy job at some evangelical outfit. That kid, Falwell, told me they’d love to hire her as chief counsel. I’m the best thing that ever happened to her.

Cohen: I know, but every time she gets caught in a lie, she loses credibility.

Trump: Look, Mike, leave the politics to me, okay? She’s in a no-win situation anyway. She could tell the truth from now until Doomsday and that goddamn D.C. press corps would still hate her.

Cohen: True.

Trump: Besides, this is all about me, Mike. Me, myself and I. Okay? It doesn’t matter who falls, who gets thrown under the bus, who goes to jail. As long as it’s not me. Or my family.

Cohen: Boss, we got another problem. Ivanka.

Trump: Explain.

Cohen: Well, she knows pretty much everything. The Moscow real estate. The Trump Tower meeting. Jared’s Qatar deals. Donald Junior’s lie. The Assange thing. The fake statement on Air Force One.

Trump: Are you saying you think my daughter will flip?

Cohen: Boss, I’ve seen mothers flip on their sons, and vice versa, when they’re threatened with hard time.

Trump: Ivanka’s a red line. A red fucking line. They touch her, they touch me. Mike, your job is to protect her. I don’t care what you have to do. That’s my baby you’re talking about. A beautiful girl. Hell, if she wasn’t my daughter, I’d make a move on her, know what I mean?

Cohen: She’s a babe, all right.

Trump: So just go out there and do your job. Lie if you have to. Deny. Insult our enemies. I do it all the time, and it works.

Cohen: You’re right about that, boss. One more thing.

Trump: Make it fast. I have a phone call to Putin.

Cohen: I’m glad that the Feds aren’t tapping my phone, boss, because these conversations we’re having are pretty incriminating.

Trump: They’d never do that, Mike. Sessions promised me. And I own his ass.

Cohen: Take care, Mister President. God bless.


Charter school money enters the California Governor’s race

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I have mixed feelings about charter schools, of which there are several here in Oakland. Our former Mayor, Jerry Brown (who’s now California’s governor), favored them. That had some influence on my thinking. On the other hand, I worry about their effect on public schools. My mom was a junior high school teacher in New York City. I am the product of public schools. Free public education, funded by taxpayers, has been a backbone of American democracy since the 1800s. Charter schools threaten that tradition, and there also are questions about the propriety of using tax dollars to fund what are essentially unregulated, or under-regulated, private entities.

So dire is the threat of charter schools to public schools that a recent academic paper warned: Unfettered expansion of the [charter] schools…could further drain the educational resources of these [Black and Latino] communities, creating conditions even worse than those in the Jim Crow-like era.” California already has given $2.5 billion in tax dollars and subsidies to charter schools for school buildings, “thereby drain[ing] these resources away from already underfunded traditional public schools serving poor minority students.”

Inner city schools are suffering from lack of funding for infrastructure, maintenance, books, equipment and teacher salaries. The wholesale transfer of public funds to private charter schools could bankrupt our public education system if it continues unchecked.

Charter schools may seem like an obscure issue to most people, but they’ve popped up into California’s increasingly bumptious 2018 Governor’s race. The few Republicans who are running generally favor charter schools over public schools, but it’s virtually impossible for any Republican to get elected in Blue California; and given the peculiarities of California election law, no Republican may even appear on the top two ballot slots this November (although that could change). Among Democrats, the race is boiling down to two contenders, Lieutenant-Governor Gavin Newsom and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villagairosa. Both men this week began airing T.V. ads. Newsom leads by a substantial margin, in both the polls and campaign funds.

The policy differences between Newsom and Villaraigosa are not stark, which leaves each trying to figure out how to distinguish himself from his opponent. One fault line that has opened up is charter schools. Villaraigosa has become the pro-charter school Democrat. His campaign has received a boost with millions in donations from pro-charter activists and independent expenditure committees working on their behalf; he says he supports “public charters” as a way to “incubate best practices.” Villaraigosa been “strongly endorsed” by the California Charter Schools Association Advocates, whose president recently warned that, if elected, “Newsom would…inflict major harm on our schools.”

Newsom, meanwhile, has been endorsed by the California Teachers Association, which views charter schools as a direct threat and has launched a vigorous campaign against them, accusing charter schools and “a group of billionaires” that owns or supports them of having “a coordinated agenda…to divert money from California’s neighborhood public schools to privately-managed charter schools.”

It’s not known exactly how much money either group—the charter school advocates or the teachers’ unions—is pumping into the campaign. And whatever it is, it will go up in the next months. The Los Angeles Times reported that Netflix owner Reed Hastings, a pro-charter school billionaire who has been on the board of the California Charter Schools Association, personally contributed $7 million to Villaraigosa, an amount Newsom called “a rather jaw-dropping amount of money.”

Newsom’s position on public education has been consistent over the years, but Villaraigosa himself has undergone such a radical transformation that the L.A. Times reported how he “went from a union organizer to a union target” when, after “launch[ing] his political career…as a union organizer,” he “blasted the city’s [Los Angeles] teachers union…as the largest obstacle to creating quality schools.”

 It’s an interesting discussion, and probably the answer to the charter-public school conundrum is to find the right balance between both—one that allows charter schools to experiment and innovate, while protecting public schools, especially in poorer neighborhoods, from being eviscerated.

Politically, I think Newsom has the momentum and talent to win this race, not only the primary in June, but the general election in November. But a ton of money is likely to be expended between now and then, with pro-teachers union and pro-charter school interests throwing millions of dollars into the campaign. As Capital Public Radio, in Sacramento, noted, Hastings’ $7 million gift to Villaraigosa is “the first sign that the big money is starting to move” in the election cycle.

With the backing of the teachers union, in addition to the California Nurses Association, the Service Employees International Union, the California Labor Federation and other large, powerful groups, Newsom’s fundraising lead and get-out-the-vote efforts appear to be secure. Moreover, he’s far better known statewide than Villaraigosa, and celebrated in liberal circles for his early championing of same-sex marriage when he was San Francisco’s mayor, 14 years ago. More recently, he’s cemented his popularity on the Left by strongly taking on the National Rifle Association.

If Newsom chooses to make supporting public schools a central issue of his campaign, he would do well to remind voters that, in siding with charter schools, Villaraigosa has aligned himself with the Trump administration and Betsy DeVos, Trump’s Education Secretary and a strong proponent of for-profit private charter schools. DeVos is one of the least popular of Trump’s Cabinet members; in a Politico poll, she scored 28% favorable and 40% unfavorable. Moreover, the recent wave of teacher strikes across Red states has demoralized and frightened Republicans, and encouraged not only union supporters but a wide swathe of the American public, who see public school teachers as selfless, underpaid public servants. A 2017 poll found that “among the general public, support for charters is down to 39 percent from 51 percent last year [2016],” with only 34% of Democrats supporting them. So it’s clear that, for Democrats, there are few political risks in limiting charter schools and supporting public schools, and rampant risks in inordinately supporting the charters.


HE’S GUILTY!

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Mueller’s 49 questions prove conclusively that Mueller knows that Trump is guilty of both collusion with the Russians and of subsequent obstruction of justice.

Mueller knows also that Donald Trump, Jr. and Jared Kushner are guilty.

The Special Counsel, in other words, has the goods on his ultimate targets.

The end game is here. The only question: What will the Republican Party do? My prediction: They will deny, obfuscate, and lie—just as their President does. The House of Representatives and Senate, currently controlled by Republicans, will do nothing. They will snuff out the rule of law.

When Mueller releases his report, the Constitutional Crisis hits, like an asteroid hurtling into the nation’s capital. What happens when the President of the United States is a criminal, and his majorities in the Congress—backed up by their constituents—don’t care?

They, too, are criminals–co-conspirators is an effort to overturn the Constitution.

I do know this: If Trump gets away with this, he’s unleashed. Fury and rage will erupt from him and sweep the country, igniting his armed followers. His powers will know no bounds; no Republicans will dare criticize him. If his health holds, he may well be determined to rule for many years, just like his heroes, Putin, Xi Jinping and Kim Jong Un. The Constitution will be garbage—unless the November elections give Democrats the power to stop him.

Poor John McCain, whom everyone is praying for, is kinda-sorta criticizing Trump, in vague, ambiguous words that don’t even mention Trump by name. Too late for your credibility, Senator Maverick. You could have done this a year ago—you didn’t. Your epitaph will be “Too little, too late,” a sad finale to a man who touched greatness, but was afraid to embrace it.

We’re headed into the most uncharted waters in our history. My devout hope is that every Democrat, every liberal, every lover of America will gird his or her loins and prepare for the coming ordeal.


Michelle Wolf: the followup

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Everybody’s upset about Michelle Wolf’s shtick at the White House Correspondents’ dinner, but not me. Yes, she was brutal, but you know what? She was an equal opportunity insulter, and that’s what standup comics do. If the White House Correspondents want vanilla, let them order ice cream!

As for Sarah Huckabee Sanders, well, she deserved everything she got. Sanders is a paid, monumental liar. Now, I know that all White House press secretaries are liars. Lord knows, Ron Ziegler told whopper after whopper for Nixon, and Democratic press secretaries are almost as bad. But Sarah Huckabee Sanders takes the cake.

Remember Josh Earnest? He was Obama’s press secretary. I’m sure he told his share of fibs, but he had a very good reputation for being candid, sincere and (as per his last name) earnest. Huckabee Sanders, by contrasts, is the worst press secretary I’ve ever seen—except for Kellyanne Conway, who set a new low bar for dishonesty and misrepresentation. But then, look whom both women work for: a pathological liar.

I couldn’t do it—stand up there day after day and lie, especially knowing that everybody in the room (the reporters) knows you’re lying, and you know they know, and they know that you know they know. What a horrible mental landscape that makes for. One of the worst aspects of this Trump presidency is the obliteration of trust in news reporting that Trump has deliberately fomented; and one of the most visible aspects of that destruction is the atmosphere in the White House daily briefings, one of cynicism and animosity. This rot is infecting our country, and it comes from the top down.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders didn’t have to take the job. Oh, I’m sure that, for a P.R. person, it’s pretty much the top of the food chain, and will lead to great income opportunities after she quits, or is fired (whichever comes first). But at what price would you sell your soul?

There are two ironies. The first is that Huckabee Sanders calls herself a Christian. I’m sorry, but real Christians wouldn’t do what she does. Not only does she lie routinely and defend a morally indefensible man, she does it with a snarky hostility that the T.V. screen magnifies. Sarah Huckabee Sanders seems to be a fundamentally angry person. Since Trump himself is an angry man, with massive, unresolved personal issues of resentment and insecurity, the two of them make a good pair.

The second irony is that when it comes to put-downs and insults, no one in America is second to Huckabee Sanders’ boss. Even his supporters know that he’s a vile, deplorable man, filled with rage. He’s said the most horrible things about everybody he doesn’t like: handicapped people, the Gold Star parents, the women he paid for sex, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Mexicans, Muslims, reporters, fat women, the Parkland students, patriotic liberals. The man is a walking smut machine. So anyone who claims to have been disturbed by Michelle Wolf’s jokes is just full of it.

Huckabee Sanders tweeted the other day, “I pity the fool who doesn’t love.” There are so many twisted things about this statement I hardly know where to begin, but here are two: (1) Sarah seems to know who “loves” and who doesn’t, and the people who don’t “love,” in her book, are Democrats and non-Christians. Christians, of course, are incapable of not loving, because they’re–Christians! (2) Sarah, look at your boss!!! A total narcissist, a pathological liar, a man who hates with volcanic ferocity, who can’t even sleep at night because he’s so filed with rage, a man who never, ever turns the other cheek, but hits back ten times harder (as his wife said), a man possessed by satanic violence. He’s about as Christian as your podium. Donald Trump may love a few things–money, power, prostitutes, junk food, possibly his kids–but he “doesn’t love,” in the way Sarah meant, and she knows it. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, by your own lights, you admit to working for a fool! Quit now, and save what’s left of your immortal soul.


Running scared in purple Texas

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Republicans are terrified of Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic candidate who’s only three points behind Ted Cruz in the Senate race down in Texas, which Trump won in 2016 by nearly ten points.

They’re coming after Beto on a variety of fronts. Some are direct frontal assaults, like this one from Cruz that accuses him of being a “left-wing liberal Democrat pushing an angry agenda that includes raising taxes and grabbing guns.”

“Grabbing guns”!! A huuge lie, albeit an alliterative one. But that’s all Cruz has–that, and doubling down on anti-Democratic hate. O’Rourke isn’t just a “liberal,” he’s “left-wing“! In Republican circles, that’s worse than serial adultery and child molestation a la Roy Moore.

Other Republican attacks are more subtle, such as this hit piece by a “writer based in Texas,” Kevin D. Williamson, entitled “Republicans Do Well in Texas, Except for Dallas, Houston, Austin…”. (The “…” ellipsis” in the header is because a fourth Texas city, San Antonio, also has turned blue, and the Lone Star State’s demographics are rather quickly making it viable for Democrats.)

I never read a political op-ed piece from someone I’ve never heard of without turning to Google to find out what that person’s agenda is, and in Williamson’s case, it’s not hard to figure out. The first hit for him is another op-ed piece he once wrote, called “The punishment I favor for abortion.” In that one, he said women who have abortions “should be punished by hanging,” a statement that got him fired from his then job at The Atlantic. An embarrassed and frightened Williamson later tried to walk back that awful remark by explaining, That isn’t my view at all,” a typically Trumpian lie.

Well, it is his view, because he said it, and he didn’t retract it until the merde hit the fan. Ten years ago that kind of inflammatory rhetoric might have ended his commentator career. Now, in the age of Trump, when lies, insults and threats are the lingua franca of the conservative movement, Williamson still has publishing opportunities, notably in the Wall Street Journal, where you can say just about anything, no matter how deplorable, as long as it’s well-written. His thesis, in the Beto O’Rourke piece, is predictable: Texas Republicans had better watch out (as if they need him to tell them that) because the Democrats are coming! Drive through the up-and-coming Winnetka Heights section of Dallas and it’s a sea of BETO signs, with not a whiff of Ted Cruz.”

 At least Williamson isn’t living in the Land of Denial, the way the purblind ammosexuals at Breitbart are. Having issued his warning to the GOP, Williamson must deal with O’Rourke, an attractive candidate whom even Williamson acknowledges as “a fresh face.”

How does he savage O’Rourke? “A stale agenda,” Williamson hisses, “offering up the familiar and bland welfare corporatism his party has been selling for 30 years.”

There they are, the buzzwords and dog whistles Republicans love: Welfare! Lazy slobs, usually colored, who refuse to work, suck up the taxpayer’s hard-earned money to buy booze and junk food for their illegitimate kids, ruin our neighborhoods, and are probably secret Islamic terrorists. Never mind that a centerpiece of O’Rourke’s campaign is to provide jobs “for Texas who are ready to work,” that he vows to “bring jobs to Texas,” that he wants to improve access to community colleges so that people don’t have to go on welfare in the first place, and that nowhere in his campaign has he uttered a word about “welfare” or “welfare corporatism,” a Republican euphemism for a stew of clichés concerning Food Stamps and Black welfare queens, of the sort Ronald Reagan elevated to notoriety. Beto O’Rourke is, in actually, more closely aligned with Bush-style Republicanism than with Bernie Sanders. If he were a Republican, the Wall Street Journal would endorse him.

But, you see, when Republicans can’t run on issues, they run on smears: “bland” is a particularly interesting choice of adjectives for Williamson to use. It telegraphs to Texas voters that O’Rourke is nothing more than a pretty face.

I’m glad that Texas is shifting its political allegiance. My mother’s people hail from that great state (and Oklahoma, too). Texas was LBJ country; the President who gave America Medicare, Medicaid and the Civil Rights Act was part of an honorable tradition of Texas Democrats that also included Sam Rayburn and the inestimable Ann Richards.

The switch in Texas is due—as Williamson points out—to the state’s increasing urbanization (86% of Texans now live in cities). City folk—better educated and more culturally tolerant than their country cousins—tend to be Democrats. This is great news for Texas, and for other deep red states, including Alabama and Georgia, where Democrats are slowly and inexorably becoming the majority, vote by vote, household by household, county by county. A new generation of enlightened, younger Americans is seeing right through the GOP’s lies; it’s a pleasure for an oldtimer like me to watch this exciting, dramatic transformation that, hopefully, will put the reactionary/evangelical right out of business, once and for all.

 

 


As the president goes insane, we watch it live on T.V.

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Like most of you, I was appalled and shocked by Trump’s meltdown yesterday on Fox & Friends, where he completely lost it. In any normal world, the Congress and the Cabinet would immediately invoke the 25th Amendment and place the President under some kind of quarantine. This is especially true in view of the last 15 months or so, during which we’ve seen Trump grow ever more unhinged with each passing news cycle.

But this obviously is not a normal world, and for that, you can place the blame upon the Republican Party. These fools—the Devin Nuneses and John Kyls of Congress, the Elaine Chaos and Steven Mnuchins of the Cabinet—are truly Trump’s co-conspirators. They know he’s insane. They have to know it. No responsible politician would behave the way Trump does, not even the merest Congressman from some Podunk little district, much less the frigging President of the United States of America. He sounds like some lunatic, opiate-addicted Breitbart commenter, not the leader of the nation and the free world.

Clearly, the Mueller investigation and all of its associated scandals are driving him out of his mind. For the first time in his life, Trump is unable to control, threaten, buy or kill an opponent. Mueller is relentless. And Trump—who will be 72 on June 14—is too old to adapt. He’s stuck between a rock and a hard place, and the result is the complete disintegration of his ego. He is going bonkers in public, and the whole world is watching.

It’s so amusing to hear him continue to insist he did nothing wrong, ever, to anyone. Concerning the Southern District of New York’s investigation into his lawyer, Trump ranted, “They’re looking at Cohen’s business. This has nothing to do with me.” Everybody knows it does have something to do with Trump. Everyone knows it has everything to do with Trump. But, in the Kubler Ross “stages of grief” timetable, Trump is stuck somewhere between the first two, denial and anger.

The third stage, bargaining, usually comes as the grieving person begins to understand that there’s no getting away from his inevitable fate. As the person realizes he can’t strike a deal, he succumbs to the fourth stage, depression, before settling into acceptance, which can actually be spiritually uplifting. The problem with Trump, sadly, is that he’s being enabled by his supporters to resist going beyond anger. They are stoking his rage, making it more and more impossible for him to evolve.

Among the most intransigent and irresponsible of his enablers is the evangelical Christian community. Their hypocrisy in defending the worst serial adulterer the presidency has ever known, the most pathological liar, the most dishonest bully, is, of course, well known. And the worst of the worst, in that Bible-thumping cult, has turned out to be Franklin Graham. This evil, corrupt religious huckster, whose father became fabulously wealthy by bilking credulous “believers” out of their money, just tweeted that Democrats “don’t believe in God,” and is egging his under-educated followers further and further into the most irrational, dangerous and un-American behavior. Sadly, there are enough of them out there to swing certain electoral districts, which gives them power.

The corruption and moral abandonment of this crowd is breathtaking; these people themselves are stuck in Kubler Rossian denial. To admit that they voted for this creature, Trump, and have remained committed to him despite all of his unnatural behavior, would mean they would have to admit to being the same: adulterers, liars, predators, bullies and rage-fueled haters. People generally take a kinder view of themselves: to recognize that oneself is a bad human being is very hard. That is the meaning of denial: “I may be surrounded by facts to the contrary, but I insist on believing that I’m a morally good, superior person.”

Those evangelicals can’t admit the truth. Trump can’t do it. Nunes, Kyl, Chao, Mnuchin and Graham can’t do it. Well, the good news is that what they say or don’t say no longer matters. It’s not our problem that dishonest people are at the helm of government. It’s our challenge to drive them out, to restore normalcy, to put American history back on track to making our country a “shining city on a hill.” That cannot be done until Trump is gone, which remains the utmost goal of The Resistance.

You know, these Republicans love to say that all we Resistance members are capable of is hatred of Trump–that we don’t give a damn about America, but are just pissed off because Hillary lost the election. As a Democrat, I want to state that this is a profound lie. I love America. My grandparents moved here from Russia because they knew that America was a land of opportunity. My forefathers fought for this country during World War II. I was enormously proud when America elected young, Catholic John F. Kennedy, and when Barack Obama won the presidency, I wept with profound tears of gratitude. And yet, when Reagan and the two Bushes were elected, I never went into Resistance mode. I accepted that Republicans deserve an equal shot at leadership every so often. But with this Trump regime, sane Americans cannot remain silent. Too much is at stake. Register! Vote! Urge your friends to vote!

Have a wonderful, safe, happy weekend!


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