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Name: Peg
Gender: Female
Hometown: New Jersey
Home country: USA
Current location: Tennessee
Member since: Sat Feb 6, 2016, 07:31 PM
Number of posts: 8,404

Journal Archives

Who Are We as a Country? Sally Yates Reminds Us Once Again

Sally Yates in a USA Today Op-Ed suggests we return to First Principles as a path forward in our current abnormal and alarming political climate. She directs our attention to a single sentence, the Preamble to the Constitution. With notes:

“We the people of the United States” (we are a democratic republic, not a dictatorship) “in order to form a more perfect union” (we are a work in progress dedicated to a noble pursuit) “establish justice” (we revere justice as the cornerstone of our democracy) “insure domestic tranquility” (we prize unity and peace, not divisiveness and discord), “provide for the common defense” (we should never give any foreign adversary reason to question our solidarity) “promote the general welfare” (we care about one another; compassion and decency matter) “and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity” (we have a responsibility to protect not just our own generation, but future ones as well).

Love this woman!

And I agree that in times of stress and genuine danger to the country, reminding ourselves of our core values and demanding those in power to respect and serve those values is of utmost importance. The means speaking out, getting politically engaged and supporting our democratic institutions, countering the caterwauling attacks on the free press, the FBI, our intelligence services, our diplomatic corps, our judicial system, our electoral system, etc. It means standing up for our immigrant neighbors and friends, pushing back against blatant racism, ethnic hatreds and sexism.

And our most fundamental principle must be protected: The Rule of Law.

It means becoming the Americans we want to be—never perfect but always better.

Kudos to Ms Yates. We need to be hearing more of this, daily reminders. Because there’s just too much to lose.

Full essay here:


Recipe for a Honking Constitutional Crisis

Lots of talk of late about whether or not Herr Trumpster will attempt to fire Mueller and his investigating team. Which is why I found the video of Norm Eisen of interest. You can find the vid on Susan Hennessey’s twitter site; she’s the executive editor of Lawfare. Norm Eisen is a senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institute and specializes in . . . ethics. Twitter site here:


Eisen prefaces his comments about the long-held tradition (since the time of Grant) of presidential investigations requiring a special counsel to be one-step removed from the acting executive and someone outside the Administration.

The big question: does the Trumpster have the authority to directly fire Mueller? According to Eisen, the manner in which the statute for special counsel is written the answer is no. However, Trump could demand that Rod Rosenstein, acting deputy AG, fire Mueller. If he refused, the Donald could go down the line until he found someone to do the dirty deed. In Nixon’s time, this period of refusals and firings was referred to as the Saturday Massacre. Nixon went through several deputies until arriving at Robert Bork then Solicitor General of the United States, who agreed to fire Archibald Cox, special counsel investigating the Watergate affair.

The rest is history that most recall or have read about. I recall distinctly the phrase ‘Constitutional Crisis’ leading most newspaper headlines and TV News Hours at the time.

However, since Richard Nixon ultimately resigned before being impeached two questions remain open and unanswered;

Can a sitting president be indicted and if not,
What remedies does a special counsel have if he/she finds wrong-doing?

Apparently, we do not have definitive answers to these questions. Which opens us up to the question of what constitutes a Constitutional Crisis? 538 took a stab at this very question with 4 examples:

The Constitution doesn’t tell us what to do.
The Constitution’s meaning is in question (vague),
The Constitution tells us what to do but it’s not politically feasible or,
Our Institutions Themselves Fail.

Personally, I’m concerned about number 4, particularly with Trump deliberately dumping and casting doubt on all major institutions at the moment. The damage he’s exacting is real and could have long-lasting effects.

In any case, both pieces are interesting and informative viewing/reads, a preparatory course in what we might expect in the coming weeks/months.

Forewarned, forearmed; to be prepared is half the victory (Cervantes).

Even for the unfolding craziness.

You can read the full 538 piece here:


Annihilating the Truth

A year ago, Gary Kasparov wrote the following:

The point of modern propaganda isn't only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.

The Trumpster and his band of sycophants have taken this idea and pushed it to the max, exhausting the public's patience and yes, sometimes exhausting the public's will to rear up and howl bloody murder.

The Trumpster's poll numbers have slipped into the low 30s but the far-right's mouthpiece, Fox News, is still churning out hit pieces on American institutions. The FBI, the DOJ, the Free Press, our Intelligence Community, our electoral integrity have all been under fire, not to mention Mueller's team of investigators and various State Attorney Generals. Anything and anyone who has not knelt to the greatness of The Trump, who has not bought into the daily lies and obfuscation has suffered the arrows of outrage, dismissal and harassment.

And now, the American public is being encouraged to see any questioning of the current Administration, its pandering to Putin, its proposed tax plan scam and/or its general incompetence and incoherence as an attempted coup . The sheer irresponsibility of this accusation is staggering because we know there are loose cannons living among us, people armed to the teeth just looking for a reason to push it to the max just like their cult leader. The irony of the accusation would be laughable if it weren't so dangerous. As more information becomes available on the 2016 election, the more credible the evidence that there was a electoral coup--the installation of a Putin-friendly scam artist by the name of Donald J.Trump. Old Vlad got his Christmas wish in 2016, the puppet he always wanted.

So the lesson learned the hard way by Gary Kasparov is to stay awake, stay involved and resist the deliberate denigration of American institutions and principles as well as the projection of false equivalencies. All things are not equal. There is no such thing as 'alternate facts.' Democratic institutions are superior to the rule of the autocrat.

This is how we save the country and ourselves. We extinguish the arsonist's fire; we re-establish truth as our Northstar. We never forget. Never!

If This is What Zero Tolerance Looks Like . . .

we should all be very concerned and prepare for an onslaught of accusations, particularly against those who strongly voice opposition to the Majority. I tip my hat to Senator Franken. He's going out as a gentleman, saving his scorn (that bitter irony) for Donald Trump's many accusations and Access Hollywood tape expose' and Roy Moore, accused of tweener/child molestation.

It's clear to me now that this decision was made before the Democratic pile-on yesterday, that Franken had telegraphed his decision earlier, allowing his colleagues to take the 'high road' of moral superiority. A poster suggested this earlier in another thread, a bit of political theater in the making.

My prediction?

This is going to come back and bite us in the ass. A public execution might be satisfying in the moment, give the True Believers a sugar high. We're so righteous! But there are sinister forces at play here, those that will do anything to tip the scales in 2018. The way the Dem leadership handled this was short-sighted at best IMHO.

Eating our own is never a good thing. This is a sad day.


Though this is not the result I would have hoped for--Senator Franken's resignation--I tip my hat to Al Franken and his speech on the Senate floor. Sad but inspiring.

We will miss this voice.

"The future belongs to those who are passionate and work hard."

If Al Franken still believes those words, I think we can, too.


Laughter is Good in Trying Times

This made me roll on the floor. Happy Turkey Day to everyone!


Update on Virginia Delegates

Though GOP leadership came out this morning claiming victory in the 4 close vote seats, we're likely looking at recounts before a final determination is made. None of these races have been conceded to date.

Again from Ballotpedia:

Election updates

November 9, 11:00 AM ET: According to Virginia law, recounts can take place if the official result of a race shows a difference of one percent or less between two candidates.[2] Official results will be determined by the State Board of Elections (SBE) later in November. Republicans still lead all four races that have not been called or conceded. The apparent loser of a race must ask the SBE for a recount.

November 8, 5:56 PM ET: Virginia House Republican leader says his party won a 51-49 majority in the chamber. Republican Speaker-designee Kirk Cox said the November 8 vote canvass showed that Republican candidates won seats in District 40 and District 94, meaning his party would retain control of the chamber.[3][4]

Update on Virginia Delegates

From Ballotpedia:

Election updates

November 8, 5:02 PM ET: An additional 83 votes for Delegate Tim Hugo (R) in the District 40 race were found in a vote canvass, increasing Hugo's lead over challenger Donte Tanner (D) to 115 votes.[2]

November 8, 1:30 PM ET: According to the Washington Post, the reported vote count for Delegate Tim Hugo (R) in the District 40 race was 100 votes lower than it should have been. With this 100-vote swing, Hugo took a narrow lead over Donte Tanner (D), who had previously led by 68 votes. Republicans now have leads in all four uncalled races that could go to recounts.[3] If Republicans win all four seats, they will have a 51-49 majority in the chamber.

This will be a squeaker. But the confirmed wins are still amazing. Stay tuned on those recounts!

Redstate is Having a Sad

I would assume this applies to other Republican/Conservative sites but Redstate was pointed out as a discussion point on last night's Democratic wins--Never Trumpers. Yes, that's right. It's the small but vocal band of Republican anti-Trump people who doomed Gillespie and other fellow GOP candidates. According to the spin, Rick Wilson, Jennifer Rubin, David Frum et al are secret, rabid wolves within the pack, quasi-Democrats who deliberately sabotaged the elections that swept Dems to victory.


I suppose we should be applauding this craziness; it works for us. But I think it also underscores the recalcitrant nature of people like Laura Ingram who holds fast to the notion that Republicans lost because they did not embrace Trump and his odious message hard enough. As I read online this morning, this argument is analogous to claiming a two-pack smoking habit will prevent cancer.

It won't. It doesn't. Because evidence and . . .

Everything Trump Touches Dies.

Someone had a clever headline this morning: Grab 'em by the mid-terms.

LOL. But it rings with truth. We ride this wave--and that's what it is--right into the mid-terms. We allow the far-right whackos set themselves on fire, rather than our lives, our futures. If the Trumpsters want to believe the foolish message that Trump and his God awful agenda is blameless, we let them, while rousing are own electorate and underscoring our message:

We Stand With All Americans.

And then, we win!

Love the Smell of Victory in the Morning

It was a good, good night, a night to reignite hope and renew a vision for the future, sans Trump and his enablers. Because make no mistake, Republicans lost last night because the stink of Trump's Administration has permeated the entire country, coast to coast. That and the hard work of Democratic loyalists, volunteers and voters of all demographics.

The doom and gloom of the last few months, weeks, days were kicked to the curb, so the incessant criticisms of all things Democratic should cease and crawl back under the rocks from which they came. Just yesterday I read a specious poll on how unpopular the Democratic Party was with average voters.


Meanwhile, the favorability of a generic Dem candidate to a Rep. candidate is in the range of 8-10 pts. This is tsunami territory and points to massive wins in the future, not simply for Dems but the country at large. That's what we're talking about, repairing the damage that's been done across the country and recharting a course for the positive change we expect and want for ourselves and our fellow citizens.

So what did we learn?

HEALTH CARE, people. This was the number 1 concern for the voters who came out yesterday. The referendum in Maine? Expand Medicaid for Maine citizens, a 60-40 split pro-vote. So, while the GOP lashes the wedge issues of Confederate statues and monuments et al, we now know people are paying attention to the issues that affect their lives in the most personal way--their health and their ability to access care.

Healthcare is but one takeaway (although a big one). Perhaps the most important is this: we win when we vote, when we don't give up, when we hold fast to what we believe. And cut the crap that Dems don't stand for anything. We stand for healthcare, voting rights, civil rights, workers rights, human rights, climate change, fair tax and trade policy, etc., etc., etc. We stand for and with all Americans.

We take that into 2018? We'll win again and again and again.
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