The Most Important Story Right Now Is This

Update below:

In a very news heavy time, sometimes the big story goes under reported, or just under appreciated.  But Russia’s (read Putin’s) connection with Trump is more than just a conspiracy theory wet dream.

The FBI suspects that Russian government hackers breached the networks of the Democratic National Committee and stole emails that were posted to the anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks on Friday. It’s an operation that several U.S. officials now suspect was a deliberate attempt to influence the presidential election in favor of Donald Trump, according to five individuals familiar with the investigation of the breach.

The thing about this is that it’s not hard to understand at all.  Nor is any of it any sort of reach. It actually explains some things that kind of confound explanation otherwise.

Why would Trump’s people work to water down a GOP plank in favor of arming the Ukrainian forces against Russia?  Well, this answers that.

Why would an American candidate for President say anything nice about a murderous strong man like Putin?

Why would said candidate break with 70 years of tradition and question our commitment to our NATO partners sending all the previous presidents, living and dead, spinning?

Could it have something to do with Paul Manafort’s connections to Putin and Putin supporters?

Would it be hyperbole to say that this is how deals with the devil get done?  Ask Paul Manafort, who has made plenty of deals with devils.

Just for example, when Manafort worked for Reagan, he went to the Philippines and made deals with Marcos.  He denies it now, but he had told a story where Marcos gave him a suitcase with $3M in cash for Reagan, which would have been an illegal contribution. So Manafort just kept the money. Problem solved.

After largely disappearing from the U.S. political spotlight for the past 20 years to build to a portfolio of foreign clients, Manafort reemerged in late March as a key adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. He was quickly promoted to chief strategist and chairman, and has been working to put his international affiliations behind him (when POLITICO asked him to describe his relationship with Marcos, he laughed and said, “I’ve got to go”).

Suffice it to say, this is all quite disturbing.  The FBI is now investigating the hacking of the DNC, took them long enough to get to that. It will be interesting to see where that leads.

On MSNBC Martin O’Malley made the connection between this electronic robbery of the DNC and the break in of the DNC offices at the Watergate Hotel way back when.

With regard to the hacking, the burglary, albeit a digital burglary, of the DNC, let’s be really clear here. Virtually all of the experts who look at this say that this was, that these were not just leaks obtained by, or rather, e-mails obtained by Wikileaks. This was the intentional act of the Russian government, if we want to call it a government, of Vladimir Putin, who is trying to affect the outcome of this race and embarrass the Democratic nominee on the eve of our convention.

That, frankly, Thomas, outrages me far more than any petty chatter that was going on between DNC staffers. Look, they never write the rules in ways to make it easier for challengers in either party, but this is outrageous. This hasn’t happened since Watergate, that the DNC headquarters and communications have been burglarized, and this time it happened, not by people domestically, but it happened by the Russians, and it happened to affect the outcome of this race for their lapdog boy, Donald Trump.

I Do Understand Your Anger

I know I didn’t post anything about Donald’s speech, the end of the RNC. What else can anybody say about the second coming of Il Duce?

But after Day 1 of the DNC there’s much to say.  I’ll start with the pain of the Bernie Babies.

I get it.  I don’t share it, but I get it, and the way I understand it is to think back to the first time my heart got crushed.  It’s always about context, both political context and emotional context, and for young people what they lack is context. It’s the combination of youth and angst and having your emotions toyed with, without the context of having lived through it before to buffer the pain and allow you to accept the half a loaf and be satisfied.

For those of us who were Bernie guys with some tread on our tires, it was easy to move on when the outcome was inevitable.  It’s easy for me and Mrs. Polislice, almost everyone I know of my age group who lived through the 2000 debacle, and saw how Ralph Nader gave us President George W. Bush and Nader’s legacy was profoundly tarnished.

Even if you have the context of understanding that the stakes in November are way too high to just take your ball and walk away. That there is no real choice here – you have to support Secretary Clinton and get her elected to have even a glimmer of a chance to see the policies Bernie Sanders stands for get any sort of hearing. Even if you do register that the fight wasn’t completely lost, that Bernie won the platform fight. His voice was heard! Your voice was heard in the halls of power.  It really was!

Even if you do understand that, you may well still be suffering with a simmering anger and feeling of betrayal.  These Bernie Babies, like Bernie, did not start as Democrats. And they may well lack the historical context to have positive feelings towards the party. They just see it as the entity that screwed Bernie and screwed them, and Hillary was the beneficiary of the malfeasance and betrayal.

So I do understand the anger and the pain, even if I sound like I’m a little impatient with it. That’s just my crustiness speaking. Sorry, if I called you a brat last night.

However, if you’re there in the room heckling the people on stage, your anger does not excuse your boorish behavior.

If you’re there and you do not understand, like a few very young and naive people interviewed last night, that the roll call is Tuesday and the results are already known to all, then you need to get educated. You need to speak to people who do have context and not disrespect them. People who are trying to teach you are not  condescending to you, they’re helping you.

If you think they disrespected Bernie by giving him the last speaking spot of the night then you may be beyond teaching. Facepalm!

Likewise, if you listened to Bernie last night say “vote for Hillary” and you say “I’m not convinced yet,” it’s not about Bernie, it’s about you.

I’ll give you time to process your grief.  But understand that if in November you decide not to vote or vote for anybody other than Hillary, if it doesn’t work out, you will have to live with it just like the people who voted for Nader in Florida in 2000 have to live with the legacy of Iraq and Justices Alito and Roberts.  Your great intentions will not have mattered one jot.

Then, your voices and Bernie’s voice will have truly been silenced and irrelevant.

Texas is going blue, it really is, even george Will thinks so now

Watching Texas turn blue has been like watching the melting of the ice in Greenland, it’s happening, it’s just happening so slowly that it feels like it’s not, but global sea level is rising and Texas will… turn… blue.  Sooner or later this boy who cried wolf  will be able to point to a Democratic win in TX and shut up the nonbelievers (as if demographics was something you can choose to not believe).

George Will took notice because a very republican former GOP chairman in TX is alarmed, so George is also alarmed.  Because very simply, Texas is the only mega state safely in the red column.  As it is they’ve lost 5 of the last 6 elections in the popular vote and 4 of the last 6 in the electoral college. Texas doesn’t even have to go solidly blue to mortally wound the GOP as a national party.  Even if it’s just purple and up for grabs, forcing the GOP to spend money there and compete for its 38 (and rising) electoral votes, it changes the already tilted map so that the Dems could recreate the dynasty they had between 1932 and 1968, winning 7 of 9 elections.

State wide, Republicans haven’t lost since 1994, but their margin of victory has been shrinking and everybody recognizes that the fast growing Hispanic portion of the population could turn everything on its head today, if they just voted.

Texas is not wide-open spaces filled with cattle and cotton fields. Actually, it is 84.7 percent urban, making it the 15th-most urban state. It has four of the nation’s eleven largest cities — Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, and Austin. Texas’s growth is in its cities, where Republicans are doing worst.

Between urban college educated young people, the Hispanics and the Asians, Democratic groups are growing as Republican cohorts are dying off.

Republicans risk protracted losing in a center-left country, which America now is, and in a purple Texas, which soon could be.

Will admits what a lot of Morning Joe Democrats will not – that this is a center-left country based on what people believe about social issues and the place of government in people’s lives.  For better or worse though, a lot of those center-left people are not one issue voters.  Often they’re not voters at all.  So the parties and pundits treat America like a center-right nation because of the vehemency of angry white people, the NRA and evangelicals who do vote and will do so on single issues pushing a very clear agenda.

A motivated, engaged and registered Latino electorate in Texas could make 2016 competitive – but nobody is holding their breath.  By 2020 Texas will be in play and the GOP, if it still exists at all as a national party, will be even further behind the race even before it starts.

 

3rd Night of GOP Wake Gets Really Irish

Uncle Ted showed up at the wake and instead of being reverent to the deceased, forgetting all past trespasses and letting bygones be bygones, he could not hold his tongue.  Or if you want to go with a wedding analogy, he could not hold his peace on this marriage from hell. However you want to characterize it, Lyin’ Ted Cruz would not endorse, which given how acrimonious the campaign was, what Trump said about his wife and father, you could applaud Ted for keeping his balls intact.  Certainly Christie handed his balls over to Trump only to have Trump sit on them.  “Little Marco” Rubio didn’t exactly hand his over, with his tepid video endorsement, but he did put them in a blind trust to capitulate like that.

It surely was the only real excitement in the hall of the entire 3 days so far.  Amazing how angry people get when they’ve bitten off, chewed and swallowed shit and then somebody stands there and says, “no thanks, I will not partake.”

It really had a wrestling vibe to it, didn’t it?  With the two arch enemies, supposedly burying the hatchet, but NO! Ted, the villain betrays Don, the villain (no honor among villains, ya know).  Then Donald shows up in the hall glaring down at Ted, his family stretching their botoxed faces to capacity with their grimaces.  I just wish Ted had grabbed a chair and smacked Donald over the head with it starting a real donnybrook in the hall! Melania, clad in gold thong, pulls Heidi’s hair!

This was so easily avoidable that either 1. Trump and his people showed just how deep their amateurism and incompetency go in this national campaign thingy (completely believable) or 2. it really was a set up for the waking up a somnambulant convo and the publicity, as he’s said over and over there’s no bad publicity (also really believable given who we’re talking about).

Everything last night other that that drama was the usual, typical, bunch of predictable lies, half truth and obfuscations that pass for inspiring rhetoric from a group of people living in a bizarro world where a story being debunked is never a good enough reason to waste it.  If you ask these people we’re less respected in the world than when Bush was president, the budget deficit has grown, unemployment and crime are up, we’re at war and Isis was Hillary Clinton’s fault.  George Bush destabilizing the entire region doesn’t enter into it, even when you add in that it’s confirmed that much of the Isis commanders were Baathists in the Iraqi army who were tossed out on their ears in 2003.  But that was 13 years ago, you elites and their details.  We’re common sense working people who  are tired of your elite central planing being handed down from ivory towers.  You can keep your elitist facts, we’ve got our bullshit that we accept as common sense even though it’s not at all common and quite a bit nonsensical.

Mike Pence gave a speech that would have sounded great in 1984 when conservatives were ascendant and still had the Soviet Union to rail against. Before Reagan and Bush I and II’s policies showed how bankrupt their policy proscriptions really were.  Before California, Oklahoma, Kansas (and most of the South) were left scraping the bottom of the economic barrel by those policies and California rebounded after repudiating and reversing them.

“conservative principles work every time you put them into practice.”

It sounds good until you actually enumerate those principles: outsourcing, anti-tax, anti-union, anti-public employees, anti-equal rights, anti-voting rights. They make it sound pretty sunny, but it’s a long list of negatives.  And they never work, ever, unless your goal is to hollow out economies, then they work like a charm.

To Pence, whose re-election as governor was iffy although he claimed Indiana is in an unprecedented renaissance (it’s not), conservatism has never been wrong and is working miracles all the time.  He probably sees angels everywhere too. He claimed the largest tax cut in Indiana history, but that’s easy since there have only been two… in the state’s history!  And that best credit rating in the country he touted (actually one of 15 states with AAA) was achieved before he became governor.

Pence epitomizes conventional GOP thinking from 1984 and that’s why he’s on the ticket with Trump unifying a dysfunctional party, Cruz notwithstanding.

While Pence was saying how Trump would always stand with our friends and against our enemies (because Hillary would do the opposite, we all know) Trump had given an interview to the NY Times in which he alarmingly stated he would not necessarily stand with our friends. As The Atlantic states, Clinton is actually running against Putin because Trump is aligning himself with the Russian strongman in weakening NATO and softening a plank in the GOP platform about providing lethal aid for Ukraine in their struggle against Russia.

The Republican nominee for president, Donald J. Trump, has chosen this week to unmask himself as a de facto agent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, a KGB-trained dictator who seeks to rebuild the Soviet empire by undermining the free nations of Europe, marginalizing NATO, and ending America’s reign as the world’s sole superpower.

This interview is so disturbing and will be the story for the foreseeable future, stepping on Trump’s speech tonight. But that’s the way it goes with these people.  Let a businessman run the country, let an outsider take over for a change.

It’s like sending your just out of high school recruit up to bat in the World Series.  Even if you thought he was extremely talented, you would never do it, the stakes are too high. They don’t know what they’re doing.

Trump Does not intend to be president

He’s hinted at this before but he really does not want to muss his cotton candy hair on the heavy lifting of actually running shit.  He intends on being kind of sort of a figurehead like the Queen, while a Prime Minister in the form of Vice President actually runs things.

One day this past May, Donald Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., reached out to a senior adviser to Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, who left the presidential race just a few weeks before. As a candidate, Kasich declared in March that Trump was “really not prepared to be president of the United States,” and the following month he took the highly unusual step of coordinating with his rival Senator Ted Cruz in an effort to deny Trump the nomination. But according to the Kasich adviser (who spoke only under the condition that he not be named), Donald Jr. wanted to make him an offer nonetheless: Did he have any interest in being the most powerful vice president in history?

When Kasich’s adviser asked how this would be the case, Donald Jr. explained that his father’s vice president would be in charge of domestic and foreign policy.

Then what, the adviser asked, would Trump be in charge of?

“Making America great again” was the casual reply.

Let’s just imagine that Mike Pence would actually be creating foreign and domestic policy. Mike Pence.

If the Founding Fathers came back from the dead they’d never stop slapping us.

If that isn’t all chilling enough, the completely bereft of ethics Chris Christie is running Trump’s fantasy “transition” team.  And what does that mean to him?  What’s his priority? The De-Obamafication of government.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is counseling Donald Trump on plans to make it easier to fire President Obama’s appointees if he makes it to the White House, with Christie bragging in a closed-door donor meeting at the Republican convention that the campaign is hatching a list of staffers that would get the ax, Reuters reported.

This Trump administration promises to be worse than GWB in every possible way.  Sadly Trump/Pence is an even less principled, even more political version of Bush/Cheney.,

Firing appointees of the previous administration may seem like a typical political thing that every new administration does, but the fine print is that they’re expecting the Obama Admin. to make certain political appointees civil servants, who are harder to fire, for good reason.  They want to make it easier to lay waste to vast layers of such employees, which turns a hundred years of good government practices on their head. The transition from a Washington D.C. full of political appointees to a professional government run by civil servants that don’t cycle in and out every four years was a great step forward in governing.  Presidents and their parties have plenty of opportunities to put their stamp on just about everything, but there need to be limits in the name of efficient non-partisan governing.

The best recent example of an administration that tried to elide the civil service rules whenever possible was the Bush administration gutting the U.S. Attorneys Office, the nations federal prosecutors and replacing them with political buddies (like Chris Christie) who were then tasked with prosecuting Democrats and political enemies.

The dismissal of the U.S. attorneys is a more visible example of the same purgelike practices. Three of the fired U.S. attorneys—David Iglesias of New Mexico, Carol Lam of the southern district of California, and John McKay of the western district of Washington—were lauded by the Justice Department before they were fired. Bud Cummins, former U.S. attorney of Arkansas’s eastern district, was told that the only reason he was being pushed out was to make way for J. Timothy Griffin, a protégé of Karl Rove and a one-time Republican National Committee staffer known for his skill at opposition research, not his legal acumen.

Let’s not forget, along these lines, the ridiculous appointment of Michael Brown, former attorney for the International Arabian Horse Association as head of FEMA, as if FEMA didn’t matter.  His incompetent administration of disaster relief after Hurricane Katrina added pain to a tragic situation.

That’s the kind of administration Trump/Pence/Christie have promised.

It can’t happen.

 

 

GOP Sets sad Record

Merrick Garland has now waited 158 days for a hearing to take a seat on the Supreme Court, which is the new record.  Of course, they never intended to give him a hearing, as Mitch McConnell admitted, they believe it’s their job to obstruct Obama and the Constitution, not fulfill it.

Brandeis was the previous record holder.  Brandeis was to be the first Jewish Supreme Court Justice and was also a militant social crusader, neither of which were popular with the elites of 1916, explaining his delay at a time when justices were approved often within a month of naming.

The current situation is, once again, a very weird symptom of the total lack of scruples of the Republican Party and their willingness, nay eagerness, to put ideology and party above country and Constitution.

Our life time quota for the word “unprecedented” is quickly being approached because of these douchebags.

 

 

2nd Night of Last GOP Convention Ever

The lack of production values, imagination and enthusiasm continued on day 2 of the wake for the Republican Party.  The theme was Make America Work Again Make America Hate Hillary to Death, Burn Her!

Once again, it has to be said that the unprecedented weirdness is off the charts here. Almost nothing was said about the economy, jobs, economic policy, work, etc., the purported theme.

That time was spent hating Hillary, with Still Fat With No Prospects Chris Christie claiming to prosecute her for her supposed crimes, having the geriatric crowd get on their feet and yell guilty with their pitchforks and torches in hand.  Because he was a prosecutor you know.  Well, he got to be a prosecutor by bundling money for George W. Bush, so that’s all you need to know about his prosecutorial skills.  He didn’t so much “make a case” against her as read a bunch of RW internet site talking points and just pronounce her guilty of each one.  If he really thinks that’s how things work, then we now know why 4 of his closest aides and cronies are already under indictment or plead guilty and Christie will probably get indicted at some point as well.  The gall of somebody who deleted entire e-mail accounts and lost phones so he didn’t have to produce that evidence talking about anybody else’s e-mails is pretty darn rich!

Mr. Relaxation Ben Carson went off script and connected Hillary Clinton to Saul Alinsky and Lucifer, making a trifecta of the three most hated individuals in modern GOP minds.  Just as a side note, let us consider the mind boggling nature of the fact that every Fox News watching, RW radio listening conservative knows the name Saul Alinsky, and knows that he’s supposed to be leading the agenda for all Democrats/Socialists/Communists at all times, notwithstanding the fact that he died in 1972 and very few Democrats have even heard of him.  That’s your vast RW conspiracy right there.

Carson noted that Clinton admired Alinsky and Alinsky mentioned Lucifer in his book’s acknowledgments. What it proved is that Carson is insanely literal minded enough (no surprise) to believes in an actual Lucifer, and also that he does not get humor or irony at all.

Alinsky Capture

The highlight of the evening was the speech by Uday Trump Jr., whose speech got extra vetting I bet after last night’s Melania debacle that Mrs. Polislice believes was a set up to humiliate her.  But who would want to hurt a third wife?  Never heard of such a thing.  If this was “Game of Thromes” Melania and Barron would have been “Red Wedding’d” long ago.

So Uday Jr. gave a speech that sounded like he too has political aspirations. It would surprise me not at all if he ran for Senate in NY in the not too distant future (God forbid a Trump should aim small at some actual position in public service like Congress or City Council)!  Uday, born into the .1%, showed his touch for the common man by announcing how he despises elites and especially despises elite universities.

Uday Capture

The other thing everybody needs to know about that awfully nice Uday Jr. is that he likes hunting and mutilating animals for souvenirs.

Uday Capture Hunting

Looking forward to speech tonight by Mike Pence………………………….  sorry, fell asleep.