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Member since: Thu Dec 29, 2016, 11:41 AM
Number of posts: 6,039

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Re: Chauncey Devega's interview of Richard Painter regarding the DOJ's protecting of Trump

The interview appeared in this morning's Raw Story, republished from the original Salon article.

Painter said, in essence, that the DOJ is protecting Trump from prosecutions based on the notion that presidents, former and acting, cannot be subjected to the Rule of Law- for the principle reason that to do so would be a direct threat to the institution of the presidency. Presumably, that is why the DOJ is positioning itself to defend Trump in legal and civil proceedings, no matter how egregious his offenses.

Many of us are patiently waiting for AG Garland to exercise his job responsibilities AS WE SEE THEM. We've been reading of Trump's treasonous and felonious crimes for months and years. We are at times aghast that, month after month, Trump is still positioning himself to overthrow the Constitutional processes that preserve the peaceful transfer of power through free and fair elections. We sometimes feel assured that Biden's choice of AG, Merritt Garland, will fulfill his duties as AG by showing all of us that even a former president is subjected to the Rule of Law, and that the DOJ would LEAD efforts to bring him to justice.

Sure, I want to see it happen. It's common for anyone to adhere to a sense of justice and personal responsibility. We teach that to our kids. We tell them to behave and we insist upon it. But if they become president, they can abandon their values and murder, cheat, lie, and maim, and those who are subjected to a president's decisions and suffer get no recourse, no tort claim, no nothing. A "president" can destroy populations, bomb islands, commit genocide, and can sleep easy knowing that nothing will befall them. CHECKS AND BALANCES? Don't count on it.

There are still plenty of people in influential places who caution us and tell us to be patient, to wait for the wheels of justice to turn, and that the "new AG" Garland, will set the wheels of justice onto a relatively smooth road, and will prove that we can trust that the laws will be faithfully executed. But Garland, it appears, is choking. He will allow Trump to gain power once again. He will NOT intervene.

I'm writing this opinion as a warning of sorts. As a nation, our leaders make decisions. They make them by both their actions and by their inactions. The DOJ is making statements by doing both. By defending Trump's felonies, they are acting in defense of the indefensible. It's madness, but it's reality. And by turning away from directly prosecuting Trump's felonies, his treasonous behavior, his LEADING OF AN ATTEMPTED GOVERNMENT OVERTHROW THAT IS STILL ALIVE, the DOJ's inaction is also a comment on the dubious state of the nation.

It doesn't look good, folks.

Perhaps it's time for the press to step into the breach.

The press must do a few things, and quickly.

1. It must pursue interviews with Republican politicians.

2. In any interview, the subject must be asked these two questions:

a. "Do you support any kind of staging of a coup by Trump?"

b. "If you do not support any kind of coup, would you contact the appropriate authorities if you witnessed or heard of any plans for a coup?"

This issue must be dealt with straight-on. Republicans have been too quiet for too long. Someone will have to break the ice. It must be broken.

Is anyone on DU getting an invitation...

to Trumpy’s White House Victory Party? Please! Someone say, YES!

Oh, would that be a perverse joy.

GOP blew it with Barrett.


There is a large chunk of Trump supporters who are Christian, single issue voters.

They are perceiving that, after decades of longing and fighting for a rock-ribbed “conservative” USSC, they finally achieved their dream and their glory with tonight’s Barrett confirmation.

And now as they run their victory laps, they will find NO REASON to vote for Trump. They only put up with him so he would pave the way for packing the courts. As far as they’re concerned, they already got from Trump what they wanted. Now they’ll have to decide whether they want to spend hours voting in a meaningless election or doing their laundry.

McConnell should have held off on the confirmation until mid-November. Yeah, there would have been downsides for that maneuver, but not something that, in all likelihood, could contribute to the disintegration of the GOP. The Barrett confirmation will widen the Biden lead and decimate the Republican Party.

McConnell's folly:

Confirming ACB BEFORE THE ELECTION is a big GOP mistake.

There are perhaps millions of GOP voters who have been hanging on to their Republican loyalty only because they want the USSC packed with so-called "conservatives."

With ACB on the Court as of today, GOP voters nationwide can breathe their sigh of relief, THEN STAY HOME ON ELECTION DAY! So many will have reduced motivation to go to the polling places and vote. Why bother when they got everything they wanted already?

This may very well translate into a larger GOP defeat than they ever thought possible. If McConnell were strategic, he'd have held the vote off until after the election to ensure that as many GOP votes as possible would be cast. It may make the difference between a switch of 10 Senate seats rather than 5.

But McConnell, at least this time, tossed strategic thinking out the window. His lack of forethought will end his career. If Biden wins and the Senate turns Dem, McConnell will likely retire. AND... his reckless maneuver to confirm ACB will backfire.

Trumpy-Boy gave secrets of the US government to Putin. From Putin's POV, Trump is a useful idiot.

Trump is hoping that he's driving a bargain for money and property, and that his surrendering of US secrets to Russia is worth a fortune that Putin will return to him.

What Trump doesn't know is that Putin feels no such obligation for a transaction. He got from Trump what he wanted. He'll string Trump along with hints of riches for as long as Trump is in power, squeezing one classified nugget out of Trump after another. When Trump loses, Putin, howling with laughter, will discard Trump like a piece of used jet trash. His comment? "Stupid Americans."

Trump himself is the loser and the sucker. Putin will prove it.

Herd Immunity and its many fatal flaws.

On Maddow's show tonight, she "does the math", and projects that under Trumpy's apparent change in policy toward herd "mentality", or "immunity" (choose your own noun), and using a 3% fatality rate, the US would be looking at around 6 MILLION dead before the hypothetical herd immunity would cause a cessation of infections. Aside from the horrors depicted on Maddow's presentation, there are other horrifying issues. Here are a couple of them.

1. Trump's plan assumes that people will NOT try to prevent infection. For herd immunity to proceed in its idealized form, all US citizens would have to be completely accessible to infection. This means that NO ONE should try to social distance, and NO ONE should be wearing masks. This is because there must be an optimal rate of infection for the math to work and for the US to reach ONLY six million people dead. But we know that people are first interested in self preservation. And we then know that, no matter how enthusiastically Trump wants us to be infected, millions will resist and remain socially distant, and who will continue to wear masks. And there will end up being a correlation between the infection rate and the number of people who are resisting infection. The more that people will resist infection, the SLOWER the reaching of the optimal infection rate in the total population in the US, but the HIGHER the death number because the 70% infection rate necessary for the hypothetical herd immunity will take LONGER TO ACHIEVE.

2. Further, because so many millions will decide for themselves that avoiding infection is far better than getting infected, there may NEVER be the achievement of a 70% infection rate. This would necessarily mean that herd immunity will never occur while millions die for no reason whatsoever. Trump may try to OUTLAW any actions that promote the resistance to infection so that he can realize his fantasy of herd immunity, but even so, resistance will be very high. Can we imagine federal laws that prohibit social distancing and mask wearing? THAT will have to take place to reach herd immunity.

3. The unraveling of this "hypothetical" idea of herd immunity into a chaotic hodgepodge of policy changes and tweaks, none of which will satisfy the herd immunity enthusiasts, and none of which will produce the desired results, leads to a singular bottom line: the idealized death count will NOT be two million or six million. IT WILL BE FAR GREATER. It will be far greater because herd immunity will NEVER BE ACHIEVED.

While the nation's infection rate will sputter and stall, the deaths will not. It will continue to mount. The nation might reach 8 million, or 10 million, before the idea of herd immunity will HAVE to be abandoned. And when that happens there will be a reckoning. There will be a reckoning of people who forced this policy on the American people, who intentionally created situations that caused so many MILLIONS of deaths-- for no reason.

*All of this may never occur if Biden is elected. He'll likely put a quick stop to the herd immunity idea, and the subsequent policy implementation. He'll move quickly toward prevention and mitigation. And he'll examine the decisions that brought about so many unnecessary deaths. And he'll allow his Attorney General to go to work.

Gotta say this. It's not much of a thread topic in its simplicity.

I think it's important to use framing as a weapon in political communications.

Here's my frame:

It's not the Republican Party. It's not the Trump Party. It's the American Fascist Party.

People might be enamored with Trump, and there's nothing that can be done about that.

But they may not be enamored with fascism.

It's important to separate Trump from the method of governing he's proposing.

It's not important to frame the GOP as a Trump Cult. That gets us nowhere. But "fascism"? That's a different matter.

The Dems MUST stop reacting to a Trumpian narrative and make its own. It's fascism that's the issue.

And please, media pundits, stars, and anchors. STOP framing Trump's Administration as a would-be MONARCHY. That's not helpful. He's not a would-be king. He's a would-be fascist DICTATOR. There's a big difference between the two frames. Stop being gentle about Trump's coup. Stop with the "king" shit. That's not what's happening.

Putin's loyalty test.

Placing a bounty on US soldiers' heads, and killing 20 of our military personnel, won't win any world war for Putin. Putin knows that, as valuable as human life might be for US citizens who want protection for our armed forces, bounty murders are small potatoes. So why did Putin make this arrangement? Here's a very likely answer:

Putin did this not only to embarrass Trump, but to demand Trump's loyalty. This was a test for Trump. If Trump is with Russia and Putin, he'll say and do NOTHING about the murders. This PROVES Trump's loyalty to Putin. Trump was forced to choose. And not only did he choose loyalty to Putin, but he also INVITED Putin to the G7 conference. He doubled-down on a show of loyalty to Putin.

For those of you who may not recognize this tactic, it's typical of mob bosses to keep their underlings in the fold by making sure that they don't desert their boss. In this instance, Putin put Trump to the test. Will Trump be loyal to his country, or will he be loyal to Putin?

Trump answered the call: loyalty to Putin is more important than loyalty to the Constitution. Putin dared Trump to desert him, and Trump wouldn't do it.

This is PROOF that Trump is loyal to Putin, and that Trump is Putin's subordinate.

Tin Foil Hat Time once again!

Okay. You know how Trump always uses his FEAR-O-METER to point him in a political direction?

What does he fear the most, based upon his behavior?

I think that answer rests with fear of exposure about something. The more he fears exposure, the more he demands secrecy.

Of what we know about him, we know that Trump is absolute about his commitment to hide his tax returns and a full financial disclosure.

What would make Trump flinch? What would make him "obey a command"? It would be a person who holds Trump's most personal, and vulnerable information. The information is Trump's tax and financial records. And that person is Putin.

By now, we should be estimating that Putin's army of computer hackers have breached the security barriers of the IRS and copied Trump's IRS documents, enough of them to have Trump shitting donuts. Now that makes a little bit of sense. Trump's absolute hold on his tax records means that they are the most treasured and private documents he has. What's also true is that they hold information that's criminal in nature. (Just a humble opinion...) And that's why they're the perfect blackmail material. So why wouldn't Putin hold those records over Trump's head and dare him to jump for them?
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