Tag Archives: fascism

Distraction barely accomplished in Syria

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Former “President” George W. Bush and current “President” Pussygrabber have a lot in common: Both are baby boomers who were born into wealth, both evaded the Vietnam War, both lost the popular vote and thus had and have no democratic legitimacy, and both believed and believe in using military action to fascistically help themselves politically, knowing fully well that, as has been the case their entire over-privileged lives, they themselves won’t bear any of the pain and suffering caused by their own actions and inaction.

“Mission Accomplished!” “President” Pussygrabber incredibly stupidly proclaimed (via Twitter, of course) after U.S., British and French forces struck what they said were the Syrian government’s chemical weapons sites.

Syria is no 9/11 or post/11 Iraq, but Reuters does remind us that

Trump’s message [of “Mission Accomplished!”] echoed the words of a banner that hung behind former President George W. Bush when he gave a speech in 2003 from the USS Abraham Lincoln during the Iraq War.

That visual dogged Bush’s presidency as the war dragged out, with worsening American casualties, for the remainder of his two terms in office.

Again, “President” Gee Dubya had proclaimed “mission accomplished” way too early. The U.S. had illegally, immorally, unjustly and unprovokedly invaded Iraq on March 20, 2003; on May 1, 2003, Gee Dubya gave his incredibly laughable “mission accomplished” speech (Wikipedia even has a stand-alone entry titled “Mission Accomplished speech”) — replete in a “Top Gun”-like flight suit (just like Pussygrabber, Gee Dubya himself never saw war, of course, his daddy very apparently having saved him from Vietnam by getting him into the Texas Air National Guard).

But U.S. involvement in the wholly bogus Vietraq War that the unelected* Bush regime had created didn’t officially end until December 2011.

There was plenty more death and destruction and pain and suffering to follow in Iraq after May 1, 2003, including the carnage in Fallujah in 2003 and 2004 and the wholly inexcusable Abu Ghraib House of Horrors that was exposed in 2004.

In October 2005, the Washington Post reported that 2,000 U.S. troops had been killed in the Vietraq War, more than 90 percent of them after the mission supposedly had been accomplished by May 1, 2003. Wikipedia similarly notes that “The vast majority of casualties [in the Vietraq War], both military and civilian, occurred after the [“mission accomplished”] speech.”

The unelected Bush regime had strong-armed only two European nations, Britain and Poland, into supporting its launch of the Vietraq War, and the French wisely refused involvement, for which the U.S. right wing ruthlessly excoriated the nation (even branding French fries as “freedom fries,” because we Americans are always mature and high-minded).

Germany and Russia, as well as Canada and Latin America, also refused their support of the launch of the Vietraq War, but for some reason these wise nations for the very most part escaped the excoriation that France received.

Again, Syria is no Iraq, of course; “President” Pussygrabber has had no 9/11-like event to try to use to justify the invasion of another nation, like the treasonous Bush regime had 9/11 to use to justify the invasion of Iraq even though none of the 9/11 hijackers was from Iraq and even though no connection between Iraq and 9/11 ever was found.

Attacks on U.S. soil and war against other nations (especially following the quite-rare attacks on U.S. soil) are great for presidential ratings. Here is Gallup’s graph of Gee Dubya’s approval ratings throughout his disastrous eight-year occupation of the White House:

George W. Bush's Job Approval Ratings Trend

Note the spike that Gee Dubya got because of 9/11, the biggest spike he ever got, and note that his second, much smaller spike came in and around March 2003, after he launched his bogus Vietraq War.

The trend was downhill from there — Gallup notes that Gee Dubya’s average approval rating in his first term was 62 percent and in his second term was 37 percent — but Gee Dubya managed to leverage the ongoing Vietraq War to get a second term, albeit narrowly (he got 50.7 percent to John Kerry’s 48.3 percent of the popular vote).

Can Pussygrabber do what Gee Dubya did — use bogus warfare to get a second term?

I don’t think so, not absent another 9/11-level event, which I highly doubt is going to happen.

And with an approval rating stubbornly stuck around only 40 percent, Pussygrabber wouldn’t have the level of support that he would need to launch a bogus war like Gee Dubya did.

But mostly, probably, Pussygrabber really would need 9/11 redux. (The American sheeple supported the Vietraq War because they just wanted what felt to them to be revenge for 9/11; they didn’t care that the unelected Bush regime was planning to invade the wrong nation. Some Arabs [albeit no Iraqis] had attacked us on 9/11, so we were going to attack an Arab nation, so help us God!)

So what the fresh strike on Syria has accomplished politically for “President” Pussygrabber is about zero. I expect his approval ratings to remain stuck around 40 percent for the foreseeable future. We Americans know “our” “president” well by now, and I see only tiny movement, if any, from the anti-Pussygrabber camp or even the somehow-still-neutral camp to the pro-Pussygrabber camp.

And Syria never struck the U.S., and so most Americans don’t give a shit about Syria, which the vast majority of them couldn’t find on a good map.

The unelected* Pussygrabber regime still has a litany of scandals and political problems, including the fact that the feds are investigating Pussygrabber’s personal lawyer, special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into the treasonous Pussygrabber regime’s treasonous ties to Russia is ongoing, Stormy Daniels just won’t go away, and one day (maybe even soon) that long-rumored pee tape just might emerge.**

Pussygrabber probably won’t get a second term***, and even if he does, impeachment in a second term, by which time the Democrats might control both houses of Congress, ever looms. (After all, Bill Clinton was a fucking Boy Scout compared to Pussygrabber.)

In the face of all of that, lobbing some missiles at Syria — and tweeting “Mission Accomplished!” — is as nothing.

P.S. Don’t get me wrong; absent an attack on U.S. soil by another nation, Pussygrabber began to brazenly falsely demonize the denizens of Latin America as a serious and growing “threat” to the U.S. even before he was “elected.”

Fascists always must have their scapegoats, from within and/or from without, to divert attention from their own treason and other criminality.

*Again, in my book, if you didn’t win the popular vote, as was the case with both Gee Dubya and Pussygrabber, you aren’t the legitimate president of the United States of America. And, of course, if you never legitimately were elected in the first place, your “re”-election is bullshit, too.

**If there were no pee tape, Pussygrabber wouldn’t have nagged former FBI chief James Comey to look into the matter. (I believe the imperfect Comey on this.) I mean, you don’t worry about the public emergence of something that doesn’t even fucking exist, do you?

***As I type this sentence, PredictIt.org has 57 cents on a Democrat winning the White House in 2020 and 43 cents on a Repugnican. That seems about right to me. I put Pussygrabber’s chance of being “re”-elected at about 40 percent, the same as his approval rating has been for months now.

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Waiting for President Bernie Sanders (and/or a rematch of the Civil War…)

New York Times news photo

Last week illegitimate U.S. Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III had the fucking gall to come to my city of Sacramento and proclaim that California may not “secede,” actually comparing California’s intent and desire to protect the most vulnerable among us to the South’s attempt to preserve the slavery of black people. (In his hateful little lecture-speech to California, the most populous state of the nation by a margin of more than 10 million people over the next-most-populous state, the Nazi elf brought up the pro-slavery John C. Calhoun but for some reason didn’t remind us that his first and middle names have very special meaning in the South.)

My regular readers (there are at least a handful of them) will have noticed that during the illegitimate reign of the unelected Pussygrabber regime* my blogging has dropped off considerably.

It’s that I can’t blog on every outrage. There are far too many of them these days (and weeks and months).

I will comment on one recent outrage, however: the Pussygrabber Department of “Justice” suing my state of California over its being, by state law since January 1, a “sanctuary state” and Pussygrabber regime Attorney General Jeff Sessions proclaiming that California may not “secede.”

(Specifically, Sessions proclaimed that “There is no nullification. There is no secession. Federal law is the supreme law of the land. I would invite any doubters to go to Gettysburg or to the tombstones of John C. Calhoun and Abraham Lincoln. This matter has been settled.” Yes, he went there.)

Funny: Nazi elf Sessions’ Southern ilk wanted to secede — and did secede, even before President Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated after his first election, for fuck’s sake — in order to be able to continue to mistreat human beings abhorrently (indeed, the pro-slavery white Southerners didn’t consider the black slaves to even be human beings).

Yet when California wishes to protect human rights, human dignity and human well-being, Jeff Fucking Sessions, a treasonous piss-ant piece of shit, has the fucking gall to actually liken California to the slave-owning Southern states that had their asses handed to them on a silver platter by us slave-liberating Northerners. (Yes, of course, California was a Union state, unlike Jeffy’s backasswards, treasonous state of Alabama.)

Here’s the deal on “sanctuary cities” in California (and the fact that by state law the entire state is a “sanctuary state”): One, these “sanctuary” jurisdictions have been around in California for decades now and so aren’t new. And two, no California elected official, whether on the city, county, state or any other level, wants to just allow violently felonious “illegals” (a.k.a. “bad hombres”) to murder and rape fine white California citizens on his or her watch. That’s what you call bad politics.

Therefore, no, “sanctuary” jurisdictions do not protect violent felons who are in the country illegally. (As the Los Angeles Times notes, “The [“sanctuary state”] law prohibits state and local law enforcement agencies from using personnel or funds to hold or question people, or share information about them with federal immigration agents, unless they have been convicted of one or more offenses from a list of 800 crimes.” [Emphasis mine.])

No, the idea of “sanctuary” jurisdictions is that law-abiding residents (those who haven’t committed serious crimes, anyway; almost all of us in the U.S., citizen or not, have committed at least misdemeanors during our lifetimes, whether we’re ever charged with those misdemeanors or not), whether they are here legally or not, don’t have to feel terrorized by storm troopers from ICE — a bunch of mostly right-wing, authoritarian, hypocritical white men with fascist tendencies if they’re not already full-blown fascists who get off on terrorizing others even for nonviolent legal infractions (such as merely existing where they’re “not supposed to” exist). This makes their fucking fascist day, you see.

And the idea of “sanctuary” jurisdictions also is that no resident in California, whether here legally or not, is too afraid to report a crime committed against him or her and/or against others because of his or her and/or the others’ citizenship status. Or is too afraid to testify or otherwise appear in a court of law. Or too afraid to seek medical care for himself or herself or another because of his or her citizenship status. Or to even to just go to school or to just take his or her child or children to school.

And the idea of “sanctuary” jurisdictions is that families (chosen families as well as biological families, in my book) aren’t ripped apart. It’s in society’s interests that that doesn’t happen. (The Repugnican Party is supposed to be all about the family, but of course that’s only white, Repugnican-voting families.)

Still, even being a “sanctuary state,” as Vox.com notes, “California, like any other ‘sanctuary’ jurisdiction, isn’t stopping Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents from being able to arrest, detain, or deport immigrants. In fact, ICE has already responded to the 2017 laws in its own way — by escalating raids in California and claiming that the state’s sanctuary laws force ICE to get more aggressive in its tactics.”

Indeed, the unelected and thus illegitimate Pussygrabber regime’s acting head of ICE, Thomas Homan — of course yet another stupid, fascist white man — in January proclaimed (of course) on Faux “News”/state television, “California better hold on tight. They are about to see a lot more special agents, a lot more deportation officers.”

This moronic fascist who heads ICE demonstrates the need for California to protect its most politically vulnerable residents. And I’d gladly trade one stupid white man like Homan for 1,000 “illegals,” the vast majority of whom are hard-working and law-abiding.

(Indeed, non-citizens are less likely to commit crimes in the U.S. than are U.S. citizens. This isn’t shocking, as the vast majority of those who are not here legally quite obviously don’t have the strong desire to draw negative attention to themselves, be that by voting illegally or murdering and raping and pillaging and plundering, although it’s awfully interesting that the traitors on the right proclaim that the “illegals” are interested in both murdering and raping and in voting, because, you know, our prisons are filled with felons — bad hombres — who put voting illegally at the top of their lists of their favorite crimes to commit. [“You just raped and murdered a beautiful young white woman! What are you going to do now?” “I’m going to go vote!”])

Since Nazi elf Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III went there first, I’ll say it again: The North acted to stop the South’s terrorizing of brown-skinned human beings there. Now, the South thinks that it’s going to invade the North to terrorize the brown-skinned human beings here.

A second fight with California and the rest of the North** is not a fight that the mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, MAGA-cap-wearing, Confederate-flag-waving fascists want to pick.

But, alas, as much as I often think that Abraham Lincoln’s No. 1 mistake is that he didn’t destroy the South entirely, but let way too many of the inbred traitors there live only to continue to drag down the entire nation to today, it most likely won’t come to that.

What’s more likely to happen is that the Repugnican traitors lose the U.S. House of Representatives in November. Then, “President” Pussygrabber is neutered. (True, expect him and his band of fellow traitors and criminals to do as much damage as they possibly can until then and even afterwards.)

Then, after November 2020, ideally we’ll have both houses of Congress controlled by the Democratic Party, as woefully imperfect as the Democratic Party is, and we’ll have President Bernie Sanders in the Oval Office.***

Maybe the red states will try to secede again between Bernie’s election and his inauguration, and they’ll get that rematch of the Civil War that they — and many of us on the other side — are itching for.

*Again, to me, if you did not win the popular vote, then you are not legitimately the president, as the majority of the American people did not select you. This is the case with “President” Pussygrabber as it was the case with “President” George W. Bush (whose “re”-“election” also was bullshit, since you can’t legitimately be elected again if you never were elected legitimately in the first fucking place). 

**By “North” and “South” and “Northern” and “Southern,” I sometimes refer not (only) to the regions (the blue states and the red states), but (also) to the fascist/anti-democratic/treasonous and non-fascist/democratic/patriotic mindsets of the South and the North respectively; of course a person could be in the North but be a Southerner at heart and vice-versa.

***PredictIt.org, as I type this sentence, has the Democrats more likely to take over the White House in November 2020 than Pussygrabber is likely to keep his job, and has Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden tied for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination.

I am not at all on Team Biden. I see him as a male Billary Clinton, a Democrat in name only (well, maybe he’s a little to the left of Billary, but she’s so far to the right that it’s a pretty insignificant distinction), and I don’t think that has-been, faux-progressive populist Biden will be able to overcome the enthusiasm that Bernie, a genuine progressive populist, generates.

Biden has, after all, run for the White House twice already. His plagiarism scandal of 1987 (which apparently wasn’t an isolated incident of plagiarism) speaks to his character, methinks, as does his mistreatment of Anita Hill in 1991.

Hopefully the changes that supposedly are being made within the Democratic National Committee after the fucking fiasco that was 2016 will mean that Biden won’t simply be coronated, like Queen Billary was.

Should anything like what happened to Bernie Sanders in 2016 repeat itself in 2020, what’s left of the Democratic Party can count the number of days that it has left; the Democratic Party already is on life support right now.

What support the party has now comes more from fear and loathing of the fascists who comprise the Repugnican Party than from real love and respect for the Dem Party, which lost its spine and veered away from progressivism no later than in the 1990s.

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No. 45 stuck in the low 40s and below

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In one of his many, many fine, presidential moments, “President” Pussygrabber mocks a disabled man during one of his KKK rallies in November 2015. I remain such a proud American on this President’s Day.

Ah, President’s Day.

It’s hard to celebrate the holiday when for the past year-plus it has felt like my nation has had no president at all. It certainly hasn’t had a legitimate one, not since noon on January 20, 2017.*

“President” Pussygrabber’s approval rating, however, probably will make him a one-term president, if he makes it through even this term.**

Earlier this month Gallup had Pussygrabber’s approval rating at a whopping 40 percent, but right now has him back down into the high 30s (at 37 percent, to be exact).

Indeed, during most of his hostile occupation of the Oval Office, Pussygrabber’s approval rating, per Gallup, has remained stuck in the 30s, only occasionally breaking into the low 40s.

The highest that “President” Pussygrabber ever garnered in Gallup’s regular presidential-approval polling was 46 percent — a high that he hit shortly after his inauguration and that he never matched again.

In December, Vox.com reported that Pussygrabber’s December approval rating in the mid-30s was the worst presidential approval rating at that point in a president’s administration since long before I was born:

(Keep in mind that Gee Dubya’s December 2001 approval rating was so high only because of the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Americans rallied behind him because they were scared and because they wanted revenge for 9/11.)

I might be more fearful of Pussygrabber’s fascism if his level of popular support weren’t so low. I don’t see Pussygrabber becoming Hitler 2.0 when he is lucky to hit even 40 percent in a nationwide approval poll (in no small part because Pussygrabber is an incredibly bumbling Hitler wannabe).

That said, this nation has serious problems and we couldn’t afford yet another lost year, but that’s what 2017 was, and the only thing that will prevent 2018 from being even yet another lost year entirely is numerous electoral victories this coming November; minimally, we need to take back the U.S. House of Representatives.

Finally, as it’s President’s Day, it’s appropriate to note that the 2018 Presidents and Executive Politics Presidential Greatness Survey (a survey “based on responses from 170 current and recent members of the Presidents and Executive Politics section of the American Political Science Association,” per Politico), which appropriately was released today, lists “President” Pussygrabber dead last among all 44 presidents.***

Yup.

The “presidential greatness” survey puts Abraham Lincoln at No. 1, George Washington at No. 2, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt at No. 3. (I put Lincoln and FDR in the top three, to be sure, but I’m not sure on Washington; I have the feeling that it largely if not mostly was because he was the first president that he’s so well-regarded.)

In case you were wondering, Barack Obama came in at No. 8 in the survey; he skyrocketed 10 points since the survey was done last, in 2014, when he came in at No. 18. He now sits at one spot above Ronald Reagan, who is at No. 9. (That’s gotta hurt the wingnuts…)

I long have surmised that because Obama was sandwiched between the two worst “presidents” of my lifetime (neither of whom even won the fucking popular vote), Obama, by comparison, would look significantly better than he actually was, at least in the short term.

We’ll see how Obama is regarded in the long term (my prediction is that he’ll drop in the presidential rankings over the coming many years), and yes, to be fair, Pussygrabber has had only one full year in office on which to be evaluated, but no sane person could believe that it’s going to get any significantly better.

*I have been critical of Barack Obama, for whom I voted in 2008 but not in 2012 because of his broken campaign promises (to name just one of them, in 2007 he had promised to support labor unions in person but he didn’t show up once in Wisconsin in 2011 when Repugnican Gov. Scott Walker & Co. decimated Wisconsin’s public-sector unions).

Despite his shortcomings, however, Obama at least won the popular vote in 2008 and in 2012. George W. Bush lost it in 2000 and thus could not legitimately have been “re”-elected in 2004, and, of course, “President” Pussygrabber lost the popular vote — bigly — in 2016, and therefore he could not legitimately be “re”-elected either, since he never legitimately was elected in the first place (even all of that help from Russia aside).

Compared to Pussygrabber, Obama indeed was the second coming of Abraham Lincoln, as he pretty much had portrayed himself to be when he announced his 2008 campaign for president in Springfield, Ill.

It seems to me that the view of Obama having been a great president comes at least as much from how abysmally bad Pussygrabber has been as it comes from whatever actual greatness Obama as president possessed.

**My best guess is that Pussygrabber will decline to run for “re”-election (especially if impeachment actually looks possible right around that time).

I surmise that Pussygrabber had thought that the office would bring him much more adulation than it actually has, and also, I surmise that because he was quite used to being the infallible, unchallengeable boy-emperor of The Trump Organization, he has been deeply disappointed that he couldn’t simply replicate that model as “president” of the United States.

Why serve in heaven when you can reign in hell? Again, I’d be surprised if Pussygrabber truly even wanted a second term.

***Grover Cleveland was president twice in non-consecutive terms. So there have been a total of 45 presidential terms, but a total of 44 individuals have been president.

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SHUT IT DOWN!

Yes, these human beings are worth fighting for.

In just a little more than three hours from now, as I type this sentence, the U.S. government might be shut down.

GOOD.

The “Dreamers” — those covered by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — are worth fighting for.

There are upwards of a million of them, and we need their talents and abilities.

DACA was instituted under former President Barack Obama in June 2012 and mean-spiritedly was rescinded by the far-right, fascist, racist, unelected Pussygrabber regime in September.

Wikipedia notes of DACA that

Research shows that DACA increased the wages and labor force participation of DACA-eligible immigrants, and reduced the number of unauthorized immigrant households living in poverty. Studies have shown that DACA increased the mental health outcomes for DACA-eligible immigrants and their children.

There are no known major adverse impacts from DACA on native-born workers’ employment, while most economists say that DACA benefits the U.S. economy.

To be eligible for the program, recipients may not have felonies or serious misdemeanors on their records. There is no evidence that DACA-eligible individuals are more likely to commit crimes than any other person within the United States.

DACA is win-win.

It is fittingly karmic that “President” Pussygrabber started his campaign for the White House by bashing those from Mexico — when those from Latin America for the very most part are hard-working, law-abiding people of good character, which we cannot say about Pussygrabber & Co., with their treasonous and illegal business dealings and collusion with foreign actors — and that now, the U.S. government faces shutdown over DACA.

The wingnuts keep crowing about how a shutdown would affect the U.S. military, when the bloated-beyond-belief military has gobbled up the lion’s share of our tax dollars for generations now. It’s long past time to put the U.S. military on a starvation diet and to put our tax dollars to use for the benefit of human beings and the planet.

Hopefully, a federal government shutdown will be the beginning of that return to sanity and basic decency, and it strikes me that a shutdown will benefit the Democratic Party more than the Repugnican Party.

After all, it would show that the Democratic Party might be getting its spine back, and that probably would energize the base.

And when people vote, they tend to vote for Democrats, which is why the Repugnicans are doing everything in their power to prevent people from voting — and why they want to keep immigrants out of the United States of America: because most of these future voters, voting in their own best interests, won’t vote for the treasonous Repugnicans.

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Let’s not become just like the fascist terrorists whom we oppose

Updated below (on Wednesday, August 16, 2017)

“No one should get fired for his [or her] political beliefs,” writes fellow leftist Ted Rall in his latest column, adding, “Not even a Nazi.”

“I am disturbed by the news that some of the white nationalists who attended the violent ‘Unite the Right’ hatefest in Charlottesville [this past] weekend are being outed on social media,” Rall continues. “Attendees have been on the receiving end of threats and doxxing. [The definition of doxxing, if you’re not familiar with the term, is here.] It was reported that a restaurant worker in Berkeley was canned after he was exposed on Twitter.”

Indeed, I also found it at least a little disturbing to read in the news that a guy who works (well, worked) at a hot-dog restaurant named Top Dog should lose his job (even if it’s a shit job, as it sounds like it is) not for any violence or other crime that he perpetrated, but for having been present and photographed at a political event.

“Firing a worker for [his or her] politics — especially when those politics are expressed outside the workplace — is McCarthyism. McCarthyism is wrong, McCarthyism is immoral and McCarthyism ought to be illegal,” Rall opines, and I tend to agree.

“Top Dog gets plaudits for firing a fascist; next time, the victim could be a garden-variety Democrat,” Rall reminds us and further reminds us that “Nothing in our outdated Constitution prevents an employer from firing you on account of your politics. In 2004 an Alabama company even fired a woman for having a John Kerry for president bumper sticker on her car.”

The difference, of course, is that someone with a John Kerry bumper sticker is much, much less likely to ever commit violence or otherwise violate another’s rights than is an avowed neo-Nazi, but, as Rall reminds us:

We live in a capitalist society. Except for those born rich, we must work or else starve. The U.S. is the only nation with at-will employment. And jobs are hard to find.

Under these conditions, without workplace free-speech protections, employees must think twice before they attend a rally, post a controversial memo, join a party or slap a bumper sticker on their vehicle.

Are you willing to risk unemployment, poverty and perhaps homelessness — not just you, but also your spouse and children? If the answer is “yes,” God bless you. History is made by people like you.

For many others, though, the answer is “no, I can’t afford free speech.” The upsides of free expression are intangible while the downside risks are terrifyingly brutal. …

The American workplace is a fascist state. It’s time to overthrow the millions of little Hitlers who think the fact that issuing a paycheck turns their employees into slaves subject to thought control.

Just don’t talk about this around anyone who knows where you work.

Rall acknowledges that “A business has the right to control its employees’ behavior in order to protect its image. Particularly in a liberal stronghold like Berkeley, but anywhere really, no one wants a waiter wearing a swastika tattoo or spouting racist views.

“But,” Rall continues, “if Top Dog restaurant can fire a racist dude for racist views he expresses thousands of miles away, there’s nothing to prevent Google from firing a software engineer for sexism — or [your employer from firing] you for whatever you happen to believe.”

We on the left do need to reflect upon our tactics beyond how good they might make us feel in the moment. Our gleefully gathering neo-Nazi scalps might come back to haunt us, as we are persecuted for our own political views in the tit-for-tat punish-people-for-their-political-views-by-making-them-unemployed environment that we have helped to create.

We on the left need to be careful not to become just like the enemy on the right. Firing left-wingers for not toeing the right-wing line long has been an evil tactic of oppression used on the right; they can’t just execute their left-wing employees, so how about trying to destroy them financially? It’s the next best thing!

All of that said, no one who appears in public has the right to privacy. If you participate in a march or protest or gathering of any size in public, there is a good chance that someone will take a photo or photos or video of you, and perhaps post them online, and you can’t claim that your right to privacy has been violated if someone does.

And then, of course, once an image or images of you have been posted online, online warriors on the right or the left can then identify you and out you, including post personal information about you that really is no one’s business.

Unfortunately, that is the risk that we take in a highly polarized political environment in which so much is posted on the Internet.

But still we must think about the long-term consequences of our actions. Because we can do something — and because others are doing it or because we figure that if we don’t do it, someone else probably will anyway — doesn’t mean that we should do that thing.

What of the young man who lost his probably-minimum-wage job? Has his job loss at the hands of the left taught him something valuable? Is it more likely that his job loss and public shaming will only entrench him further in his neo-Nazi views or that it actually will make him rethink his political views and how they might harm others?

Since the intention very apparently was not to induce him to see the error of his ways but only was to harm him in a retaliatory spirit and then to wave his scalp online for all to see — the person who outed him via the very presidential medium of Twitter bragged, “the first person I exposed no longer has a job” — I don’t see that the tactic will result in his rehabilitation.

Don’t get me wrong. I have a real problem with the neo-Nazis. The mere sight of the Confederate flag makes me viscerally fighting mad; my feeling is that that symbol of treason, oppression and hatred should not be displayed in public.

But many if not perhaps even most of these neo-Nazis are salvageable. Most of them are young and misguided and, let’s face it, frightened and socially awkward, and most of them are in the same boat as are most Americans, like the guy who probably wasn’t exactly getting rich working at a hot-dog restaurant.

When and if the neo-Nazis physically harm others, such as the young man who ran many people down with his car on Saturday, killing one young white woman who had been a supporter of social justice and of Bernie Sanders* — and the young man very apparently** has significant mental-health problems, as you very probably have to have to be able to mow people down in your car –– then we must process them as the criminals that they are, but if we can prevent them from getting to that point in the first place, then we should.***

And my best guess is that going after their livelihoods isn’t going to rehabilitate them, but is only going to make them worse.

P.S. The Associated Press reports that around the nation Confederate statues are being removed from public spaces, voluntarily and involuntarily, and that’s a great thing.

Again, these statues glorify hatred, oppression and treason, and tax dollars should not pay for that, and nor should anyone have to see these monuments to hatred, oppression and treason (or the Confederate flag, which symbolizes the same things) in public spaces.

Hate speech (including, of course, symbolic speech like flags and statues), speech that exists largely if not primarily in order to terrorize others (usually already oppressed minorities) isn’t, in my book, free speech. Hate speech isn’t speech that is meant to express ideas or used as artistic expression; hate speech is speech that is weaponized.

Update (Wednesday, August 16, 2017): The Associated Press reports:

The president of the University of Nevada, Reno says a UNR student who gained notoriety for rallying with white nationalists in Virginia will not be expelled or lose his university job.

Peter Cytanovic, who also goes by the name Peter Cvjetanovic, was photographed with a group of demonstrators on Friday carrying a torch on the campus of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where a rally turned deadly the next day.

UNR President Marc Johnson said Tuesday the school “unequivocally rejects the positions and ideology” espoused by the white supremacists. But he says UNR also stands for the basic principles of the Constitution, including free speech and the right to peacefully assemble. [Emphasis mine.]

He says campus police and the Office of Student Conduct concluded there is no legal reason to expel Cytanovic or terminate his employment.

Indeed, had UNR expelled Cytanovic or fired him from his university job, he probably would have had a great lawsuit against the university, as it would be the state government of Nevada firing him for having exercised his rights under the First Amendment.

(To my knowledge, while private employers have wide latitude in violating our free-expression rights — and routinely do so with impunity — with government employers it’s something else. However, every employer should have to recognize the rights given to us under the Constitution.)

To my knowledge, there is no evidence that Cytanovic participated in any violence or otherwise broke any law on Saturday, and therefore, as UNR concluded, there was no legal cause to punish him.

We don’t get to try to destroy someone’s life simply because we don’t like his or her viewpoints, although I’m guessing that Cytanovic is now a pariah among his fellow students at UNR.

*Bernie Sanders, unlike neo-Nazi enabler “President” Pussygrabber, whose first, knee-jerk reaction was to stupidly and inaccurately blame “many sides,” Bernie was quick to put the blame where it was due; on Sunday morning, Sanders tweeted, “Our condolences go out to the family of Heather Heyer, who was killed by a terrorist as she protested neo-Nazism and white supremacy.”

**Yahoo! News reports of James Alex Fields Jr., who long has had a fetish for Nazi Germany:

… [Samantha] Bloom, a single mother who is a paraplegic and uses a wheelchair, raised Fields on her own after a drunk driver killed his father, an uncle told the Washington Post.

Records from 911 calls reveal that Bloom had called police at least twice to accuse her then-teenage son of assaulting her and wielding a knife. Records from the Florence Police Department in Kentucky show that Bloom told police in 2011 that Fields, a young teenager at the time, had stood behind her wielding a 12-inch knife. During another 2010 incident, Bloom said that Fields had hit her head and locked her in the bathroom.

Bloom also told police Fields was taking medication to treat temper issues. …

***No, my viewpoint is not that we should coddle them. In fact, my own strong preference is to not have anything to do with anyone who I know is a white supremacist/white nationalist, and I don’t know anyone who is one.

But at the same time, I don’t have to try to identify people online and then ensure that they lose their jobs.

I don’t have to associate with these people, and I don’t, but I don’t have to try to go after their meager livelihoods, either, and I don’t.

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Pussygrabber Jr. met with Kremlin-linked lawyer, but Papa Pussygrabber assures us it’s ‘time to move forward’

Updated below (on Tuesday, July 11, 2017)

Getty Images photo

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Pussygrabber Jr., photographed above, met in Daddy’s tower with a Russian lawyer from whom he had expected to receive damaging information about Billary Clinton, he has admitted himself. Reuters reports that like all of the other swamp creatures in “President” Pussygrabber’s swampy orbit, Pussygrabber Jr. has lawyered up.

The unelected and thus illegitimate Pussygrabber regime’s ties to Russia continue to be exposed at the same time that “President” Pussygrabber assures us that it’s “time to move forward” and actually talks about the United States working with Russia on cyber security.

What is established and not in dispute is that in June 2016, during the presidential campaign, Pussygrabber Jr. met with “a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer” at Pussygrabber Tower in the hopes of getting politically damaging information about Billary Clinton for use by the Pussygrabber presidential campaign.

The New York Times reported yesterday (emphases in bold are mine):

President Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., was promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton before agreeing to meet with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign, according to three advisers to the White House briefed on the meeting and two others with knowledge of it.

The meeting was also attended by the president’s campaign chairman at the time, Paul J. Manafort, as well as by the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Mr. Manafort and Mr. Kushner recently disclosed the meeting, though not its content, in confidential government documents described to The New York Times.

The Times reported the existence of the meeting on Saturday. But in subsequent interviews, the advisers and others revealed the motivation behind it.

The meeting — at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016, two weeks after Donald J. Trump clinched the Republican nomination — points to the central question in federal investigations of the Kremlin’s meddling in the presidential election: whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians.

The accounts of the meeting represent the first public indication that at least some in the campaign were willing to accept Russian help.

While President Trump has been dogged by revelations of undisclosed meetings between his associates and the Russians, the episode at Trump Tower is the first such confirmed private meeting involving his inner circle during the campaign — as well as the first one known to have included his eldest son.

It came at an inflection point in the campaign, when Donald Trump Jr., who served as an adviser and a surrogate, was ascendant and Mr. Manafort was consolidating power.

It is unclear whether the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, actually produced the promised compromising information about Mrs. Clinton. But the people interviewed by The Times about the meeting said the expectation was that she would do so.

When he was first asked about the meeting on Saturday, Donald Trump Jr. said that it was primarily about adoptions and mentioned nothing about Mrs. Clinton.

But on Sunday, presented with The Times’s findings, he offered a new account. In a statement, he said he had met with the Russian lawyer at the request of an acquaintance from the 2013 Miss Universe pageant, which his father took to Moscow.

“After pleasantries were exchanged,” he said, “the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Mrs. Clinton. Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information.”

He said she then turned the conversation to adoption of Russian children and the Magnitsky Act, an American law that blacklists suspected Russian human rights abusers. The 2012 law so enraged President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia that he halted American adoptions of Russian children.

“It became clear to me that this was the true agenda all along and that the claims of potentially helpful information were a pretext for the meeting,” Mr. Trump said.

Two people briefed on the meeting said the intermediary was Rob Goldstone, a former British tabloid journalist and the president of a company called Oui 2 Entertainment who has worked with the Miss Universe pageant. He did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Mark Corallo, a spokesman for the president’s lawyer, said on Sunday that “the president was not aware of and did not attend the meeting.”

Lawyers for Mr. Kushner referred to their statement a day earlier, confirming that he voluntarily disclosed the meeting but referring questions about it to Donald Trump Jr. Mr. Manafort declined to comment. In his statement, Donald Trump Jr. said he asked Mr. Manafort and Mr. Kushner to attend, but did not tell them what the meeting was about.

Political campaigns collect opposition research from many quarters but rarely from sources linked to foreign governments.

American intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian hackers and propagandists worked to tip the election toward Donald J. Trump, in part by stealing and then providing to WikiLeaks internal Democratic Party and Clinton campaign emails that were embarrassing to Mrs. Clinton. WikiLeaks began releasing the material on July 22.

A special prosecutor and congressional committees are now investigating the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with the Russians. Mr. Trump has disputed that, but the investigation has cast a shadow over his administration. …

Again, this is a convoluted saga, but it boils down to the fact that Pussygrabber Jr. met with a lawyer from the enemy state of Russia in June 2016 on the premises of Pussygrabber Tower with the understanding that this Russian would give him usefully damaging information about Billary Clinton.

There is, methinks, a reason that Pussygrabber Jr. never mentioned Clinton in his first account of his meeting with the Russian lawyer in his daddy’s tower.

As The Times notes, “Political campaigns collect opposition research from many quarters but rarely from sources linked to foreign governments.” Indeed. That stench that you’re detecting is the whiff of treason.

I tend not to believe, by the way, Pussygrabber Jr.’s claim that the Russian lawyer “stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Mrs. Clinton.”

Not only did Pussygrabber Jr. not state this the first time, but this claim is a way-too-convenient reversal of the fact that, as The Times notes, “American intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian hackers and propagandists worked to tip the election toward Donald J. Trump, in part by stealing and then providing to WikiLeaks internal Democratic Party and Clinton campaign emails that were embarrassing to Mrs. Clinton.”

However, even if Pussygrabber Jr. were telling the truth — and as Papa Pussygrabber is a pathofuckinglogical liar, there is no reason to believe that the acorn has fallen far from the rotten tree — the fact remains that, again, what is uncontested is that Pussygrabber Jr. met with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 presidential campaign in the hopes of getting negative, damaging intel on Billary Clinton.

That Team Pussygrabber is claiming that Papa Pussygrabber had had no knowledge of any of this activity that happened on his own property — which I find hard to swallow — is indicative of how politically damaging it is.

Also indicative of how politically damaging this is are the fact that The Times (as I type this sentence) retains yesterday’s news story as excerpted above as its top story on its home page and the fact that Pussygrabber Jr. has now retained his own lawyer, like everyone else surrounding our swamp monster of a “president.”

(In a two-paragraph news story, Reuters reports today:

Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, has hired New York lawyer Alan Futerfas to represent him in connection with Russia-related investigations, the lawyer and Trump Jr.’s office said on Monday.

Futerfas, a sole practitioner who specializes in criminal defense, would not say when he was retained or whether he had any input into the statements Trump Jr. made over the weekend about a meeting with a Russian lawyer.)

As if all of this weren’t enough, yesterday Papa Pussygrabber not only proclaimed that he spoke sternly to Pootie about it and so it is “time to move forward” from all of this Russian collusion stuffeveryone who is under criminal investigation believes that is it “time to move forward,” of course — but he also surreally indicated that the U.S. and Russia can work together on cyber security. 

Pussygrabber’s tweet from yesterday read:

Putin & I discussed forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking, & many other negative things, will be guarded..

After The Universe roared in laughter, Pussygrabber later tweeted this:

The fact that President Putin and I discussed a Cyber Security unit doesn’t mean I think it can happen. It can’t-but a ceasefire can,& did!

Gee, hear that? Pussygrabber simply spoke “strongly” to Pootie about all of that election-meddling hoo-ha, and so “a ceasefire can,& did!” happen where Russian espionage on and sabotage of the United States and its elections is concerned.

I feel so safe and secure now; the whole Russian problem has been solved in one tweet!

I’d say that this shit can’t go on, but our long national nightmare probably will continue for some time to come. It’s a steady drip, drip, drip of a politically corrosive acid that probably isn’t going to take down the unelected Pussygrabber regime in one fell swoop, but that dooms it nonetheless.

Almost six months into this debacle, Pussygrabber’s approval rating doesn’t make it to even 40 percent in most reputable national polls, especially in Gallup’s.

He hasn’t hit even a 50-percent approval rating in any reputable national poll since he took office on January 20.

And traditionally, the strongest numbers that a president is going to get are in his first year in office. Terrorist attacks and the launches of wars, such as 9/11 and the Vietraq War, do produce spikes in a president’s approval rating* as a scared and/or bellicose nation wants to show its support for its imperious leader, but the general direction for a president’s approval ratings throughout his time in office is a downward slope.

Pussygrabber’s supporters are an obnoxiously vocal minority of Americans, but with his approval ratings mired at below 40 percent in most reputable national polls, I don’t see how Pussygrabber can get a second term, if he survives this one.

Update (Tuesday, July 11, 2017): As I’ve noted before, The New York Times and The Washington Post have been doing a bang-up job on covering the illegitimate Pussygrabber regime’s collusion with Russia. I have subscribed to both news organizations’ websites because not only do I want access to their reportage, but I wish to financially support it. Without such coverage, we would have the wholly fascist nation that Pussygrabber and his treasonous, fascist ilk want us to have.

The Russian collusion story isn’t going away because it’s true. If it weren’t, it would have dried up and blown away long ago. There is a shitload of “there” there.

The Pussygrabber regime’s collusion with Russia is in the top three blows to the United States’ so-called democracy in my lifetime; I put it up there with the treasonous, illegitimate George W. Bush regime’s blatant theft of the 2000 presidential election and the same regime’s illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked — and wholly bogus — Vietraq War.

(I was just a tot during Watergate, but even Watergate didn’t involve the wholesale theft of a presidential election like we saw in 2000, a wholly bogus war like the Vietraq War, or the collusion with an enemy nation by a presidential campaign to win the White House.) 

The New York Times reports today (emphases in bold are mine):

The June 3, 2016, email sent to Donald Trump Jr. could hardly have been more explicit: One of his father’s former Russian business partners had been contacted by a senior Russian government official and was offering to provide the Trump campaign with dirt on Hillary Clinton.

The documents “would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father,” read the email, written by a trusted intermediary, who added, “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

If the future president’s eldest son was surprised or disturbed by the provenance of the promised material — or the notion that it was part of a continuing effort by the Russian government to aid his father’s campaign — he gave no indication.

He replied within minutes: “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”

Four days later, after a flurry of emails, the intermediary wrote back, proposing a meeting in New York on Thursday with a “Russian government attorney.”

Donald Trump Jr. agreed, adding that he would most likely bring along “Paul Manafort (campaign boss)” and “my brother-in-law,” Jared Kushner, now one of the president’s closest White House advisers.

On June 9, [2016,] the Russian lawyer was sitting in the younger Mr. Trump’s office on the 25th floor of Trump Tower, just one level below the office of the future president.

Over the last several days, The New York Times has disclosed the existence of the meeting, whom it involved and what it was about. The story has unfolded as The Times has been able to confirm details of the meetings.

But the email exchanges, which were reviewed by The Times, offer a detailed unspooling of how the meeting with the Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, came about — and just how eager Donald Trump Jr. was to accept what he was explicitly told was the Russian government’s help.

The Justice Department, as well as the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, is examining whether any of President Trump’s associates colluded with the Russian government to disrupt last year’s election. American intelligence agencies have determined that the Russian government tried to sway the election in favor of Mr. Trump.

The precise nature of the promised damaging information about Mrs. Clinton is unclear, and there is no evidence to suggest that it was related to Russian-government computer hacking that led to the release of thousands of Democratic National Committee emails. But in recent days, accounts by some of the central organizers of the meeting, including Donald Trump Jr., have evolved or have been contradicted by the written email records.

After being told that The Times was about to publish the content of the emails, instead of responding to a request for comment, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted out images of them himself on Tuesday.

“To everyone, in order to be totally transparent, I am releasing the entire email chain of my emails” about the June 9 meeting, he wrote. “I first wanted to just have a phone call but when that didn’t work out, they said the woman would be in New York and asked if I would meet.”

He added that nothing came of it.

On Monday, Donald Trump Jr. said on Twitter that it was hardly unusual to take information on an opponent. And on Tuesday morning, he tweeted, “Media & Dems are extremely invested in the Russia story. If this nonsense meeting is all they have after a yr, I understand the desperation!”

At a White House briefing on Tuesday, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the deputy press secretary, read a statement from President Trump in which he defended his son. “My son is a high-quality person, and I applaud his transparency,” the president said.

But Ms. Sanders said she was “going to have to refer everything on this matter to Don Jr.’s counsel.” She said she did not know when the president had last spoken with his son.

The back story to the June 9 meeting involves an eclectic cast of characters the Trump family knew from its business dealings in Moscow. … [I suggest that you read the entire Times news article for that back story.]

As others have noted, it’s not “transparency” when you release information only after a media outlet has told you that it’s going to release it. And indeed, as The Times reports, Pussygrabber Jr.’s account of his June 9, 2016, meeting with the Russian lawyer about how to fuck over Billary Clinton has changed over time, with him admitting to extra, incriminating details only after they’ve already been reported by The Times.

For instance, initially he had said nothing about speaking about Billary Clinton with the Russian lawyer on June 9, 2016. Now, we have the e-mail chain that proves that Pussygrabber Jr. knew from the very first e-mail in the chain what the agenda was:

“The Crown prosecutor of Russia … offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father,” Pussygrabber crime family crony Rob Goldstone** wrote to Pussygrabber Jr. in the June 3, 2016, e-mail, adding, “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump…”

Without flinching — without a “What do you mean, ‘part of Russia and its government’s support’ of Daddy?” — and not even a half-hour later, Pussygrabber Jr. replied: “Thanks Rob I appreciate that. … Seems we have some time and if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer. Could we do a call first thing next week when I am back?”

So Pussygrabber Jr., in his own fucking words, welcomed the proposal of receiving potentially politically damaging and thus potentially politically useful intel about presidential candidate Billary Clinton from an agent or agents of the Russian government.

It is the intent that is the crime; whether it’s true or not that Pussygrabber Jr. never actually received any damaging intel about Billary Clinton (useful or not) from a Russian agent doesn’t matter. What matters is that he tried. Treason doesn’t have to be successful to be treason. It can be treason in the attempt.

Yes, Pussygrabber Jr. is “a high-quality person” — if by “high-quality person” we mean a traitor. Of course, Muscovite candidate Pussygrabber Sr. is a traitor, too, so it’s unsurprising that he would call his offspring “a high-quality person.”

And something that we have to annihilate right fucking now is the “argument” that Pussygrabber’s underlings are new to this whole politics thing, and so they are to be held immune from the laweven for fucking treason — because of their naivete.

The Hill reports that South Carolina U.S. Sen. Lindsay Graham said today, “Anytime you’re in a campaign and you get an offer from a foreign government to help your campaign, the answer is ‘no,'” and “We cannot allow foreign governments to reach out to anybody’s campaign and say, ‘We’d like to help you.’ That is a non-starter.”

The Hill added: “Graham acknowledged [that] he knows [that] Trump Jr. and the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who also attended the [June 9, 2016, meeting], are new to politics.”

So fucking what?

So we are to reinforce our two-tiered “justice” system in which you may commit treason if you are a rich white man — while the rest of us are told, unforfuckinggivingly, that ignorance of the law is no excuse?

Fuck. That. Shit.

If every person who has participated in the treasonous collusion with Russia, from the very top to the very bottom, is not punished to the full extent of the law — well, that would be the stuff of which bloody revolutions are made.

P.S. To be clear, I’m not a Democratic Party hack. I’ve been very, very critical of the Democratic Party here for years. And I’m registered with the Green Party. After what the pro-Billary weasels of the Democratic National Committee did to Bernie Sanders, I immediately switched my registration back to the Green Party, and I’m done with the Democratic Party establishment.

Initially, yes, the whole Russian collusion thing might have seemed like an attempt to explain away Billary Clinton’s “loss” in November 2016 (it’s not a loss when you actually won the popular vote by millions), but over time is has become clearer and clearer that the Russian government has been very, very involved in helping to put Pussygrabber into the White House so that he would do the Russian government’s bidding, and that should disturb anyone of any party. No one can be unperturbed by that and still call himself or herself a patriot.

Those on the supposed far left who still keep saying that there is no “there” there on the Russia collusion thing really need to stop embarrassing themselves by shutting the fuck up. The evidence of the Russian collusion mounts day by day, and they need to take their head meds. I share their dislike of the Democratic Party establishment, including, of course, the Billarybots, but let’s fucking face reality.

Finally, to be clear, I’m also no fan of Democrat in name only Billary Clinton, as I’ve written here for many years. I never cast a vote for her, in the primary or in the general, and I never gave her a penny. She’s an incredibly awful human being, if she is a human being.

But that is not what matters here; what matters here is that we have evidence that Team Pussygrabber at least attempted to collude with the enemy nation of Russia in order to put Papa Pussygrabber into the White House.

We are indeed a numbed-out, dumbed-down nation, but this some serious, serious shit.

*Yes, of course there is the possibility that Pussygrabber will fabricate his Reichstag fire like “President” George W. Bush had his 9/11, which he used as a bullshit pretext to launch his illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War for the war profiteers and for Big Oil, but I just don’t see Pussygrabber getting away with it like Gee Dubya got away with it.

Pussygrabber’s credibility already is nil and his approval ratings are too low for him to try to drag the nation into a distracting war, methinks.

I think he’d get pushback even from members of his own party, such as from South Carolina U.S. Sen. Lindsay Graham, who said this of Pussygrabber’s recent meeting with Putin, which he called “disastrous”: “You [Pussygrabber] are hurting your ability to govern this nation by forgiving and forgetting and empowering [Russia],” adding, “The more he [Pussygrabber] talks about this in terms of not being sure [about Russia’s espionage and sabotage], the more he throws our intelligence communities under the bus, the more he’s willing to forgive and forget Putin, the more suspicion [there is]. And I think it’s going to dog his presidency until he breaks this cycle.”

He won’t break the cycle. It’s all that he fucking knows, and as he and his henchswampcreatures are as guilty as sin, he has to keep the attempted diversions flying.

**The New York Times describes Goldstone as “a British-born former tabloid reporter and entertainment publicist who first met the future president when the Trump Organization was trying to do business in Russia.”

 

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States wisely resist fascist request for personal info on every voter in nation

Image

Washington Post news photo

“President” Pussygrabber meets with Repugnican Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach early in Pussygrabber’s illegitimate administration. Kobach, who never met a voter who isn’t a Repugnican whose vote he doesn’t want to suppress, is the “vice chair” of the so-called “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity,” which Pussygrabber himself in a tweet tellingly referred to yesterday as the “VOTER FRAUD PANEL.” The “VOTER FRAUD PANEL” sent a letter dated June 28 to all 50 states asking for extensive personal and sensitive information about all of their registered voters. With an approval rating persistently stuck below 40 percent, Pussygrabber is in no political position to ask for anything.

On the surface, it might seem like no huge deal: The “president’s” “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity” sent a letter, dated June 28, to all 50 states, asking them to turn over extensive information on all of their registered voters.

But this isn’t a normal “president” that we’re talking about. This is a “president” who already has pulled it out of his orange asshole that he only lost the popular vote in November 2016 because more than three million people (the margin of the popular vote that he lost by, very conveniently) voted illegally.

This is a claim for which Team Pussygrabber has offered no proof, of course, because no such proof exists — because it’s a wholly bogus, bullshit claim.*

At least half of the states thus far, including my great state of California, have refused to give any or at least some of the information to the “president’s” “commission” on “election integrity.” 

“Numerous states are refusing to give information to the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL. What are they trying to hide?” “President” Pussygrabber predictably tweeted yesterday, stupidly revealing what we already knew: that the “commission” isn’t set up to ensure “election integrity,” but is meant to “prove,” retroactively, Pussygrabber’s bullshit, bogus claim that he actually won the popular vote because of “voter fraud.”

I mean, in his tweet — in which he at least isn’t talking about some woman bleeding from somewhere — Pussygrabber calls the “commission” “the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL.” Pussygrabber himself tells us that the “commission” isn’t interested in “election integrity” but instead is interested in “proving” “VOTER FRAUD,” which he even puts in all caps, for fuck’s sake. This conclusion obviously already has been reached before the “very distinguished” commission (which isn’t “distinguished” at all, which is why the Pussygrabberian qualifier “very” is necessary) has even done any work.

Just as “President” George W. Bush — another fascist who lost the popular vote and who thus never was a legitimate president — ordered his underlings to find evidence of Iraq’s connection to 9/11 (to “justify” his Vietraq War), evidence that didn’t exist because Iraq had had nothing to do with 9/11, “President” Pussygrabber has ordered his “very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL” to find voter fraud that doesn’t exist.

It’s not, of course, that the states that wisely are resisting the fascist, illegitimate “president’s” demand for detailed information on every single voter in the nation are trying to “hide” anything; it’s that it’s fucking obvious that you don’t turn over highly sensitive, personal data for millions and millions of voters to a fascist, illegitimate, wholly untrustworthy White House regime that obviously intends to use the data only for evil.

(If you can’t get on board with “evil,” you at least have to admit that the “commission on election integrity” fucking obviously is not a non-partisan, neutral, disinterested operation that dispassionately, objectively and fairly would delve into the subject of “election integrity.”)

The actual wording of the “commission’s” June 28 letter to the 50 states, signed by the “commission’s” “vice chair,” Repugnican-of-course Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a real Nazi known only for his voter-suppression efforts** (and who is running for governor of Kansas, of course), is scary.

The letter reads, in part:

… In addition, in order for the Commission to fully analyze vulnerabilities and issues related to voter registration and voting, I am requesting that you provide to the Commission the publicly available voter roll data for [your state], including, if publicly available under the laws of your state, the full first and last names of all registrants, middle names or initials if available, addresses, dates of birth, political party (if recorded in your state), last four digits of social security [sic] number if available, voter history (elections voted in) from 2006 onward, active/inactive status, cancelled status, information regarding any felony convictions, information regarding voter registration in another state, information regarding military status, and overseas citizen information.

You may submit your responses electronically to ElectionIntegrityStaff@ovp.eop.gov or by utilizing the Safe Access File Exchange (“SAFE”), which is a secure FTP site the federal government uses for transferring large data files. You can access the SAFE site at https://safe.amrdec.army.mil/safe/Welcome.aspx. We would appreciate a response by July 14, 2017. Please be aware that any documents that are submitted to the full Commission will also be made available to the public. … [Emphases in bold are mine.]

“Please be aware that any documents that are submitted to the full Commission will also be made available to the public.” I interpret that line very broadly, because of the treasonous Nazi weasels with which we are dealing.

The letter does ask for other information besides individual voters’ extensive personal information, but I think that in order to be safe and not very, very sorry, we have to assume that the “commission” indeed would make all individual voter data stupidly submitted to it “available to the public.”

Imagine hordes of Orc-like Pussygrabber supporters poring over millions of voter registration records — provided to them by Pussygrabber’s “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity” — with the purpose of harassing, say, those who have Spanish or Arabic surnames or whose names suggest that they are black Americans.

And, of course, they would seek to harass all of those who are registered as Democrats (and maybe even also anyone who isn’t registered as a Repugnican; I, for example, am registered with the Green Party, and I would rather castrate myself with a pair of fingernail clippers than cast a vote for a Repugnican).

This harassment of voters could be illegal, classical harassment, such as by personally, directly contacting and harassing and trying to intimidate these registered voters whose contact information so helpfully has been made public by the “commission on election integrity,” and/or it could be bureaucratic harassment, such as by challenging the validity of individuals’ voter registration — challenging mostly or only Democrats or (perceived) Democratic leaners, of course. (These challenges almost always turn out to be bullshit, but local elections officials have to deal with them anyway.)

I am happy to live in a state whose laws wisely fiercely protect my voter registration information from those who would misuse it. Indeed, the verbiage in the “commission’s” June 28 letter, “I am requesting that you provide to the Commission the publicly available voter roll data for [your state], including, if publicly available under the laws of your state…,” apparently would exclude California, because a voter’s information isn’t publicly available under California state law.

In any event, on June 29, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla released this strongly worded press release:

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla today released the statement below in response to a letter from Kris Kobach, Vice Chair of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. The Commission was established through executive order by President Donald Trump after he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential Election. Because he lost the popular vote, Trump has falsely alleged that three to five million votes were cast illegally in the 2016 election. This, despite the fact that his claims of voter fraud are unsubstantiated and that academics and bipartisan leaders have confirmed that there is no evidence of large-scale, let alone massive, voter fraud.

“The President’s commission has requested the personal data and the voting history of every American voter — including Californians. As Secretary of State, it is my duty to ensure the integrity of our elections and to protect the voting rights and privacy of our state’s voters. I will not provide sensitive voter information to a commission that has already inaccurately passed judgment that millions of Californians voted illegally.

“California’s participation would only serve to legitimize the false and already debunked claims of massive voter fraud made by the President, the Vice President, and Mr. Kobach. The President’s Commission is a waste of taxpayer money and a distraction from the real threats to the integrity of our elections today: aging voting systems and documented Russian interference in our elections [oh, snap!].

“The President’s appointment of Kobach — who has a long history of sponsoring discriminatory, anti-immigrant*** policies, including voter suppression and racial profiling laws — sends a clear and ominous message. His role as vice chair is proof that the ultimate goal of the commission is to enact policies that will result in the disenfranchisement of American citizens.

“I will continue to defend the right of all eligible voters to cast their ballots free from discrimination, intimidation or unnecessary roadblocks.”

Absolutely.

And Padilla isn’t alone.

The Associated Press reports that at least 10 states (California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, South Dakota, Tennessee and Virginia) and the District of Columbia won’t give the “president’s” “VOTER FRAUD PANEL” any voter information at all.

Even Mississippi’s Repugnican secretary of state said that the “president’s” “VOTER FRAUD PANEL” “can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico, and Mississippi is a great state to launch from,” adding, “Mississippi residents should celebrate Independence Day and our state’s right to protect the privacy of our citizens by conducting our own electoral processes.”

The only states that are going to participate in Pussygrabber’s “VOTER FRAUD PANEL” sham are those red states that already are on board with voter suppression that helps the treasonous Repugnican Party, which is faltering so badly that to survive is has to cheat, such as to steal presidential elections (as in 2000 and in 2016), to engage in gerrymandering on crack, and to engage in the suppression of those voters it deems (correctly or incorrectly) aren’t supportive of it.

*As CNN reported at the time, “President” Pussygrabber’s own legal team claimed in a court filing in response to Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s quest for a recount of Michigan’s vote for president that “All available evidence suggests that the 2016 general election was not tainted by fraud or mistake.”

Clearly, it’s “fraud” only when it benefits Pussygrabber that it’s “fraud.” When it doesn’t benefit him, then it isn’t.

**Wikipedia notes of Nazi Kobach:

In 2015, [Kansas Secretary of State Kris] Kobach received from the [state] legislature and the governor the right to prosecute cases of voter fraud, after claiming for four years that Kansas had a massive problem of voter fraud that the local and state prosecutors were not adequately addressing. At that time, he “said he had identified more than 100 possible cases of double voting.” Testifying during hearings on the bill, questioned by Rep. John Carmichael, Kobach was unable to cite a single other state that gives its secretary of state such authority.

By February 7, 2017, Kobach had filed nine cases and obtained six convictions. All were regarding cases of double voting; none would have been prevented by voter ID laws. One case was dropped. The other two were still pending. All six convictions involved elderly citizens who were unaware that they had done anything wrong.

One of those prosecuted, Randall Kilian, thought he was expressing his preference about marijuana legalization as it affected his new Colorado retirement property after receiving a mail-in ballot in 2012. He didn’t want pot growing next to his home, so he marked that issue only, and mailed it in as instructed. The sheriff and county attorney of Ellis County, Kansas, learned of this and questioned Kilian. Both concluded he had not intentionally broken the law and decided not to prosecute. However, when Kobach got prosecutorial authority in such cases, a year later, he reopened the case. Trying to avoid the expense of a trial, Kilian pleaded guilty in 2016 and paid a $2,500 fine.

Critics of Kobach’s crusade say that he overreaches on cases that district attorneys deemed not worth prosecuting, and allege that he is motivated by racism. University of Kansas assistant professor of political science Patrick Miller includes voter intimidation as a form of fraud. “The substantially bigger issue with voter fraud has been election fraud being perpetrated by election officials and party officials tampering with votes.” “It is not the rampant problem that the public believes that is there. Kris Kobach says it is. Donald Trump says it is. And the data just aren’t there to prove it. It’s a popular misconception that this is a massive problem.”

A Brennan Center for Justice report calculated that rates of actual voter fraud are between 0.00004 percent and 0.0009 percent. The center calculated that someone is more likely to be struck by lightning than to commit voter fraud.

Indeed. The Brennan Center’s report is here.

***Indeed, this is a blow-up of the document that Kris Kobach had in his hand in the photo of his meeting with Pussygrabber above:

The document Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach is holding during a photo-op with President-elect Donald Trump on Sunday in Bedminster, NJ. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Associated Press photo

The meeting between Pussygrabber and Kobach was on November 20, 2016, at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse, in Bedminster, N.J, and Kobach was lobbying Pussygrabber to become the U.S. Department of Homeland Security secretary by showing his xenophobic, nationalistic chops.

His right-wing, anti-immigrant sentiment is clear just from the portion of the document that he stupidly left in view.

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