Daily Check-In 8/15/2017

There are some decades where nothing happens. And then there are weeks where decades happen. – Lenin

All you need is love. – Lennon

So, where to begin? Hmmm… oh, I know, the Nazi Sympathizer in the White House. No, the other one. No, that one. No, the OTHER ONE.

You'd think at this point we couldn't be any more shocked at President Trump's behavior, but then he opens his mouth.

There are three basic rules of government speeches. Nazi's are bad, Founding Fathers are good, don't play the victim after a national calamity.

Trump, moments after being very wishy-washy about whether or not what James Fields did was terrorism, promptly blamed the victims for the violence against them, tried to claim that they were the real threat, said that there were good people on "all sides", especially the Nazis, and attacked George Washington and Thomas Jefferson for owning slaves, then somehow turned it over to how he was a victim because he owns a winery in Charlottesville.

Let that sink in for a moment. Think about what I just wrote. Then, imagine for a moment on how hard it has to be to fuck up that big.

The President is, on top of being a traitor, a rapist, a criminal, and a complete idiot, a blatant racist and Nazi Sympathizer.

I'm wondering what the polls will look like next week. They were already trending to historic lows before Charlottesville.

More members of the Trump Manufacturing Board left today. Trump attacked the AFL-CIO, Merck, Intel, and Under Armour faster than the KKK.

More details are coming out about how the emails released yesterday tie the campaign closer to Russia.

So, back in the day, Trump tried to open a casino in Sydney. Our cousins down Under said "crikey no, you're all wallabalooed with the mafia." Ok, they probably didn't say that, but they refused to let him build a casino due to his mafia ties. More info Here.

The Rumor Mill had two bigger stories today. Take all of this with a grain of salt.

Claude posted a story earlier about how Mueller's team is looking into Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce, for connections to money laundering through Duetche Bank and the Bank of Cyprus.

Louise posted a long story going into about JetStreamer, or StreamJet, and their connections to Trump Modeling, Russian Mafia, and Putin. This was the airline that she claims was used to shuttle the women and girls from Europe to the United States. There were lots of shared web hosting, addresses, P.O. Box's, and contact information. There's a big, tangled web.

I'm wrapping this up before Rachel Maddow starts.

Good night.

EDIT: So, huge grain of salt with this one, but according to another twitter source that I need to check, Mueller served Trump with a subpoena yesterday. Two, actually. One as Donald Trump, and one as CEO of Trump Org. We'll see what happens.

Daily Check-In 8/14/2017

New week, next on the mechanical bull.

The big news of the day is Trump's utter clusterfuck of how he handled Charlottesville. While everyone else and their mother distanced themselves from racist domestic terrorists, Trump managed to spend three days avoiding any negative comments about the Alt-Right, read a weak-kneed response that he didn't want to read that didn't really condemn anything, and ended the day floating the idea of pardoning Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was recently convicted for violating court orders multiple times in his extremely racist persecution of hispanics in Arizona.

Condemning Nazis is a political gimme. It's the Empty Net Goal of politics. You say "Nazi bad, violence bad, America good" and call it a day. What Trump did was turn around, fire it at his own goalie, cross check him away from the rebound, shoot it in, then tomahawk slash everyone on his team.

Almost like Donald Trump is an actual, honest to goodness racist.

John Schindler released This Article going in depth about the ties between Russia and the Neo-Nazis. Very interesting.

It took Trump three days to release a half-hearted rebuke against Neo-Nazis, but about an hour to attack Kenneth Frazier, CEO of Merck, for stepping down from Trump's business group in defiance of Trump's inaction on Charlottesville. Ken is black. He also attacked the media and Democrats for the violence.

WaPo released this story About Staff Members Looking to Work With Russia. This shows intent from the Russians, as well as some staff being cautious. Keep in mind, these were emails released by the Trump Campaign. They'll try to spin it as if this is all there is. Interesting note is the date of some of these emails, April 27. The same day of the Mayflower Meeting with Trump, Sessions, Kushner, and Ambassador Kislyak, this particular staffer talks about how Putin wants to meet face to face with Trump. A little too particular for my taste.

Trump interrupted his vacation by returning to the White House for half a day in the middle of a renovation. Reddit was theorizing why. One weird one could be that he was in town for an interview with Mueller's team, or even testifying in front of a grand jury. I don't think it's likely, but Bill Clinton did so over a secured line from the Oval Office. Weirder things have happened.

North Korea was quiet today, but expect something later this week.

Anti-hate protests are heating up across the country. Stay safe out there.

The CEO for Under Armour, Kevin Plank, just joined Kenneth Frazier and Elon Musk in leaving Trump's manufacturing council. Let's see how long until Trump attacks the white guy.

Trump's approval ratings are slipping. Gallup has him at 34-61% approval vs disapproval. That is 34%, polled before Charlottesville and his cowardly response. This is record low territory in a good economy, low gas prices, no disasters, and no military action. Expect to see more Republicans distance themselves from him. If that rating hits 25%, the pressure to remove him will be smothering.

Mueller wants to interview people in the West Wing, including Reince Preibus. That could explain some of the noise.

Jared Kushner could be tied up in a bribery case in Israel. The billionaire he was working with was arrested today. Part of that includes money laundering via real estate.

Fuck, just Read this.

The last few items was basically a live blogging of Rachel Maddow. I highly recommend watching her program. She does what I attempt to do here, but she's much better at it.

That better be it for tonight.

Racism And Politics Today

Eventually, I will write the stories I had planned to write, but life has a funny way of preventing that.

Warning: This article will contain strong language. Sensitive subjects will be covered, viewer discretion is advised.

This weekend, a rally was held in Charlottesville, VA, originally to protest the removal of a monument to Robert E. Lee, the general in charge of the Confederate Army during the Civil War.

Was this rally attended by historians who objected to the statue’s removal under historical grounds? No.

Was this rally attended by the descendants of the statue sculptors? No.

Was the rally attended by the local chapter of the Robert E. Lee reenactment club? No.

Was it attended by neo-nazis, alt-right white supremacists, the white lives matter, all lives matter, and the KKK? Well, yes, actually it was.

A bunch of white racist assholes, bitching about how they’re being discriminated against, all the while chanting “blood and soil”, “White Power”, and a bunch of other disgusting crap that I refuse to type right now.

And they all voted Republican in the last election.

The Republican Party. The Party of Lincoln. The political party founded on the abolitionist principles of ending slavery, and fighting against racism, has officially become the Party of Trump and Racists.

How, for the love of fuck, did this happen? What does it mean that racism is acceptable in the White House today? And how do we fix this?

First, how did this happen? Back in the 1850’s, the Whig Party was falling apart. Out of its ashes, the anti-slavery wing of the Whig Party formed the Republican Party. They won the Presidency in 1860 when Lincoln defeated the current Vice President John C. Breckinridge and Stephen Douglas. South Carolina seceded shortly thereafter. The Civil War started.

The Republicans were the left wing party. They were the liberals and radicals. The Democrats were the conservative and reactionary party. The pro-slavery, pro-racism party.

Funny thing is, as times change, so do people and politics. Even the parties themselves undergo major changes. The largest change came in 1964, when Lyndon B. Johnson, a Democrat from Texas, signed the Civil Rights Act, which guaranteed equal treatment under the law for blacks. This pissed off the south, who had long fought against treating blacks like, well, people. Jim Crow, lynchings, segregation, these were all “traditions” deeply held by the descendants of Dixie.

How did the South respond to a Democratic president signing a law that treated black people like equals? They left the Democratic Party for the Republicans.  Classic “Blue Dog” Democrats like Strom Thurmond left for the Republican Party in retaliation to such an egregious political move like giving black children the same access to a quality education as their white counterparts had.

But, didn’t LBJ win reelection in 1964?  Yes, he did.  He was wildly popular at this time, having served as VP to John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1963.  But, by 1968, thing got weird.  George Wallace ran on a pro-segregation policy, and managed to carry 5 states and 46 electoral college votes, all in the Deep South.  Following that, the only times any of the Deep South states voted for a Democrat in a presidential election was either for Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter, both Southerners themselves.

Over the next couple generations, the party identities changed.  The Democrats quickly became the party of the minorities, while the Republicans would become, ever increasingly, the party for disenfranchised white people.  Or, at least disenfranchised in their own minds.  Evangelicals that would claim Christian Persecution because it became socially acceptable to acknowledge that other religions exist, and white racists would claim that because minorities were getting rights, they were losing theirs.

The GOP’s embrace of racial hate accelerated in 2016, with Donald Trump becoming the nominee, and later President.  He didn’t just implicitly accept the support of white supremacists, he explicitly embraced it.

I mentioned in 2016 GOP Primary on how Trump won the primary election partly on his adoption of the Alt-Right/Neo-Nazi/KKK/White Supremacists. I didn’t mention how Jeff Sessions, his Attorney General, reached notoriety in Alabama by pursuing “voter fraud” cases against black people in his home state, going out of his way to disenfranchise thousands of voters and wants to extend mandatory sentencing for drug crimes in African-American communities.  I didn’t mention Steven Miller or Seb Gorka, members of Trump’s White House, who both have extensive ties to the White Supremacist community.  Or Steve Bannon, Trump’s Chief Strategist, former CEO of Breitbart who basically wrote the Muslim Travel Ban that Trump signed as an Executive Order a week into his presidency.

So now, we’re in a fucked up situation.  The President of the United States is either a sniveling coward who’s afraid of upsetting his political base of racists and crazies and refuses to do something useful for this country, or he’s a racist who enjoys seeing blacks, Muslims, Mexicans, and any other non-white people suffer.  Or both.

Trump is a racist who employs racists.  His history of racism goes back a long way.  This article from the NYT goes into great detail about his past, when him and his father would actively turn away black people from renting apartments from them.  Later, he was sued by the Federal Government TWICE for violating racial discrimination laws in housing.  He would order black employees off the casino floors when him, his wife, or a “whale” would visit.  He maintained a campaign against the Central Park 5 for almost 30 years, said a judge couldn’t rule fairly against him because the judge was of Mexican descent, attacked Barack Obama with the Birtherism craziness for over 5 years, and attacked a pair of Muslim Gold Star parents.  HuffPo has a better list here.  And this Mother Fucker is President.

Anyone who thinks that this racist prick is becoming less of a racist hasn’t paid attention.  There have been about a couple dozen incidents of terrorism around the world since he became President.  A handful of them were perpetrated by Muslims, or other minorities.  Most of them were carried out by white people, specifically targeting other races.  How many did Trump speak about, or acknowledge?

None of them.  No message of condoning the violence, or how we need to reach out to each other.  On most of them, radio silence.

With the Minnesota Mosque Bombing last week, the White House did the unthinkable.  And that’s by 2017 standards.  Seb Gorka, Trump’s Deputy Assistant, claimed that the attack may be a fake attack staged by Liberals.  I shit you not.  This is coming from the White House as an official stance.

Then, a couple days later, Charlottesville.  A rally on Friday night with a bunch of racist white assholes carrying Tiki Torches chanting about “blood and soil”, that turned a little violent.  Then, the shit hit the fan on Saturday when the Racist Rally was met by counter protestors.  That got very violent, very quick.  Several people were injured, and as of this writing, one person died when a racist from Ohio, James Field, drove his Dodge faux muscle car into a crowd of protestors. He killed Heather Heyer, a 32 year old woman, simply there to speak out against hate.

Does the President condemn the racists for their actions? Does he call it what it is, an act of terrorism? Does he call the grieving parents to offer his condolences?

Fuck no.

Donald Trump comes up with one of the most cowardly responses ever, and dog-whistles against violence “on all sides.”  What a crock of shit.

Sorry, I’m starting to get a little upset.  More so than I usually do.  I hate racism, and the people who knowingly and willingly practice it.  I’m glad I moved out of Pennsyltucky, so I don’t have to deal with that shit as much.  I still hear the occasional relative drop the n-word now and then, but for the most part, I chalk it up to them being old, and they’ll die soon.

Now, where do we go from here?  How do we combat the racism in our politics and our culture?  Where do we go, what do we do, with a racist as President?

First, let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room.  Racism does exist, and most people have some level of prejudice based off of how someone looks and what culture they grew up in.  Let’s recognize that Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist.  It’s what we do with it that matters.

Second, realize that there’s a difference in levels of racism, and the self-appointed racism police needs to recognize this.  There is a world of difference between blowing up a church frequented by blacks or Muslims, and not having a black actor nominated for an Oscar.  The hypersensitivity of racism pushed a lot of otherwise non-racists, or low-level racists, into the waiting arms of the white supremacist movement.

Hate speech is protected speech, but there are limits.  Speech used to incite a riot or violence is not protected.

Next, name and shame.  I support doxxing the fuckers at that rally.  Each and every one of them gathered, in public, in full view of their neighbors, their family, and the Internet.  Find them and expose them.  Bigotry dies in daylight, and making these people accountable for their actions is the first step to ending it.

Finally, it’s time to take down the monuments, the statues, and the symbols these people rally around.  The monuments to soldiers who led an insurrection against their country.  The statues of the generals fighting for “states rights” to own people and treat them as glorified farm equipment and cattle, and the symbols of defeated armies.  Don’t be quiet anymore.  Let the person waving the “Stars and Bars” know that sure, they can cry about General Lee all they want, but you’ll assume that they’re a racist asshole who wants to fuck his own sister or cousin.  Have a swastika tattoo?  My guess is you did time in prison and were afraid of getting raped by a big black dick.

I’m ending this article on incest and big black dicks, cause,…. why the fuck not?

Daily Check-In 8/11/2017

Friday.

Trump is being Trump. Talking a big game about North Korea, and even Venezuela. Avoiding Putin like there's no tomorrow.

All bluster at this point.

Rachel Maddow is doing a special episode on Trump.

The Rumor Mill was rather quiet today.

After the bombshell of Manafort's FBI wake-up call earlier this week, everyone is holding their breath. There's a feeling that something big is about to happen, but it feels like the timing is off.

Everyone in the government is on vacation next week, so don't expect anything like an indictment or impeachment proceedings to start.

Instead, more stuff will leak out about financial crimes. Trump's, Manafort's, Kushner, the whole bunch. This will cause Trump to act even more ridiculous.

It's gonna be a long week.

Daily Check-In 8/10/2017

It’s Thursday.

Trump’s once again trying to pick a fight with North Korea.  There’s a lot of bluster and chest pounding involved, and this could end up in a shooting war if the grown-ups in the room don’t put him in timeout.  Personally, I think he’s trying to distract from how close and how big the Russian Investigation is getting, but I’m honestly not sure he has the ability to think ahead like that.  It’s more likely something is getting close, and he’s lashing out.

Trump suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  His NPD is to such a severe grade that he cannot self-actualize.  Why do his handlers treat him like a child?  Because he has the mental development of an infant.  Sure, he can process language and some other basic tasks, but he suffered some severe trauma at such a young age, that his mind split.  I’ll go into more detail later, but the short of it is that everything he does is about himself.  I’m not sure he can separate out his family.

But enough with my armchair psychology for today.

Robert Mueller has subpoenaed Paul Manafort’s banking records.  Reportedly, Paul’s son-in-law is cooperating with the feds.  Paul could use a really good lawyer right now.

Oh, that’s right.  Manafort’s lawyers from WilmerHale have left him, and he’s seeking new counsel.  They sited a “conflict of interest” as the reason, but it’s being reported that it could be that Paul wasn’t 100% forthcoming with this legal team.  Because of this, he put his legal team in some muddy waters, and they filed a motion to separate from their client.

Remember last week when Vladimir Putin expelled 755 U.S. diplomats from Russia last week.  The following is an actual quote from the President of the United States:

“I want to thank him because we’re trying to cut down our payroll and as far as I’m concerned I’m very thankful that he let go of a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll,” Trump told reporters at his Bedminster, N.J. golf club.

“There’s no real reason for them to go back. I greatly appreciate the fact that we’ve been able to cut our payroll of the United State,” he continued. “We’re going to save a lot of money.”

What in the actual fuck?  We’re well past the point of Trump possibly working in cooperation with the Russians.  We are in full-blown, Trump is a fucking agent of the Russians.  This is the kind of shit that if Obama or Clinton, or even one of the Bush’s said it, they would have a half-dozen investigations coming after them by the end of the week, and would talk of Impeachment would be the conversation of the day.

Speaking of Impeachment, I’m going to post an article soon about how that whole process works, but here’s the short version.  An Impeachment is like an indictment.  The House of Representatives submits a bill called Articles of Impeachment, which lay out the charges against the person.  This can be any member of government, not just the President.  But the articles are submitted to the House Judiciary Committee, who reviews and votes on them.  If they pass, the articles go to the floor of the House, where a vote is cast.  A simple majority on one charge in the Articles of Impeachment means that the person is impeached.

The confirmed charges then go to the Senate, where a trial is held, overseen by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.  The Senate serves as the jury.  The person is put on trial, there’s a prosecution and defense argument, then the Senate votes.  Two thirds of the Senators must vote Yea on at least one charge to remove the person from office.

Why did I just give an Impeachment 101 lesson in the Daily Check-In?  Because Trump is a dumbass and keeps attacking Mitch McConnell.

Mitch McConnell is the Senate Majority Leader, and quite possibly the most powerful person in a functioning government.  He controls the largest voting block in the Senate, and is a Republican.  The only way that Trump survives an Impeachment and doesn’t lose his office is if less than 19 of the 52 Republican Senators vote Yea to remove him from office.  Mitch could possibly deliver that.  Mitch is Trump’s lifeline.  And Trump keeps shitting all over him.

Trump’s career will likely be in Mitch McConnell’s hands sooner than later.

Daily Check-In 8/9/2017

HSIOW. Holy Shit, It's Only Wednesday!

Today's big story, the FBI executed a search warrant on Paul Manafort's home in Alexandria, VA., on July 26th. This raid was conducted at 02:frigging-early, before the sun came up. This was the day after he testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee. According to the report from the Washington Post, Mueller's team didn't trust that Paul would hand over all of his documents.

Yes, Robert Mueller's team executed the warrant.

The theory being thrown around is that Mueller's team is coming after Manafort for other crimes, and will use that leverage against Trump. This could be a possible Ponzi scheme involving his son-in-law, tax matters, financial disclosure issues, or just some unpaid parking tickets.

The National Enquirer attacked Paul Manafort. Why is that even a thing? The family that owns the NE? Kushner. Yep, that Kushner. On top of that, Trump uses the tabloid to attack everyone from HRC to Kim Jong-Un. What does this mean? I think it means that he's cutting Paul loose, letting him twist in the wind.

North Korea is still a thing. Following yesterday, that's a good sign.

Per Rachel Maddow, Trump is trying to fill Eastern New York US Attorney with a partner of Mark Kasowitz, and Southern New York with a partner of Rudy Giuliani.

Back to Manafort. The search warrant was executed on July 26th. That was the morning of the Transgender Military Ban tweets. Also that morning, Trump bitching about how Acting FBI Director McCabe should have been fired.

A couple nights ago, a story broke about how two Republican Congressional staffers were sent to Britain to find Christopher Steele. None of the Congress members on the Intelligence Committee investigating Russia knew about this trick. Turns out it was Devin Nunes. One of Special Agent Dipshit Cowpoke's staffers authorized the trip, using committee funds. Devin is making it Mueller's case on him pretty easy. These are the actions of a conspirator attempting to obstruct an investigation.

A major climate change article was leaked to NYT. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, let alone comment on it. I hope to soon.

A large chicken with a bad combover was inflated behind the White House.

Recently, Jeff Flake, the other Republican Senator from Arizona, released an op-ed lambasting the Republican Party and its embrace of Trump. Flake has been a constant target of Trump's bullying, and is up for reelection in 2018. Trump's team has already threatened to "primary" him. Flake could simply be doing the math about whether dealing with Trump's bullshit is worth it, or this could be the signal that the GOP needs to separate itself from the MAGA crowd.

Remember, it's only Wednesday.

Daily Check-In 8/8/2017

Tuesday

The big story today is all North Korea. A story came out about them being able to put a nuke on a missile.

I might be having a mini panic attack if not for Rachel Maddow. The same story came out in 2013 about NK. But this time they might actually have gotten there.

Two crazy people with nuclear weapons, engaged in saber rattling.

There's a good chance this is all bluster, trying to distract from some big shit coming down the pipeline. Then again, Trump is just crazy enough to do something.

Considering everyone in the government is on vacation, I wouldn't expect anything coming from Mueller's team until Congress is back in session.

Per Bloomberg, the Trump Campaign has turned over tens of thousands of documents to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

North Korea is ugly. There isn't a pretty solution in my opinion. They are a nation of racist midgets. Due to sanctions that have continued for generations, malnutrition has taken a toll on them. One quarter of their men are mentally challenged to the point that they can't serve in the military. They're so short that in most countries, the average North Korean would be classified as a midget. Most of their equipment is Soviet era, and not well maintained.

North Korea is like a short, drunk guy in a bar fight. Nothing too dangerous, and pretty funny to watch, but then he pulls out a gun.

I'm going to work on the UI on this site over the next week or two. I also want to fill out the Get To Know Your Government series. Let's see how that goes.