Stay the Course, #StandWithOurSpeaker- On Impeachment and Other Issues.

#StandWithOurSpeaker!

The long-awaited Office of the Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III‘s thorough and explosive Report on the Russian interference into our 2016 presidential election, and the obstruction of justice issues that arose during the subsequent investigations has raised like never before the question of whether or not to impeach Donald Trump for what clearly are extremely serious offenses against our democracy.

It should be understood going in that all of us will be going into the dark together, in what may well prove to be the most consequential decision of our lifetimes. In deciding the question of the fate of our current illegitimate, babyish president Trump, the Mussolini of our times, any discussion of the topic must begin and end with that.

There will be trouble in every last street and bar and coffee shop in the nation; brother will turn on brother. There will be a rage on both sides like nothing we have seen since the Civil War, exceeding by far what we saw in the 70s with Richard Nixon and Watergate. There will be more than one event like Charlottesville, where our sister the martyr Heather Heyer was run down by a cursed soul and dragged to her death behind his van. We’re pleased to report he’s now rotting in prison. But that too is one more link in the chain.

Elsewhere down South, where many people like the men below would rather be Russians than Democrats, internationally known televangelist Franklin Graham is literally telling his followers to prepare for civil war if impeachment proceedings against Trump go through. People listen to that guy down there. If they start giving orders to open fire, it is our opinion that they will do so. Without a doubt.

Red, sad, and confused Americans.
Red, sad, and confused Americans.

Anecdotally, we had one sick man named Rene Hollan visit our Facebook Page and say,

“Understand this Democrats. If Trump gives the order I will kill as many of you as I can.”

We gave that to the FBI the following morning.

There were hopes, in the beginning, that the likes of John McCain and Susan Collins and once strident Trump critic Lindsey Graham would eventually realize just how crooked he is when the Mueller Report finally came out and proved he’d benefited willingly from Putin’s help. But neither the voluminous document itself nor the subsequent comments of Robert Mueller that essentially proved Trump a criminal has proved to be the game-changer we had hoped for. This is not the Republican Congress of the 1970s that acted with honor during Watergate.

Insofar as Trump’s sleazy role in it all is concerned, it seems that a lifetime’s worth of doing deals with a wink and a nod allowed him to maintain plausible deniability- barely. On the question of obstruction, the case is far more straightforward, everything from trying to fire the Special Counsel Mueller to trying to get former White House counsel Don McGahn to change his story on a number of particularly ham-handed attempts at co-opting a good civil servant. The web of lies, untruths, and viciousness Donald Trump has spun around himself is like a leper’s shroud, hard to see through.

The common strand of corruption is the only thing obvious and unquestionable.

We all live in the madhouse as a result of trying to come to terms with it all, but at least about one thing, there can be no doubt at all. The man is deeply corrupt, we say again, and he’s been a real disaster for America.

But that is not quite the question we face.

Trump is an unworthy leader in every possible way, yes. He cheated and bullied his way into the White House. But although it was a blatant theft, the unpleasant fact remains. In the end, he did win the election, and his tenure in office is already a fait accompli. Nobody’s talking about the 25th Amendment and removing him due to insanity, more’s the pity. Given that, and from what we know for sure as of this minute, can we really say we’re certain he should be impeached? In lieu of all the chaos and the cost?

All this is to say nothing of the fact that any measure of impeachment we do try would at this time merely be symbolic. It will never, ever, ever pass a Republican-controlled Senate. Impeachment may well be getting considered by our strategists as a nuclear option of sorts, a last-ditch attempt to prevent him from running wild completely between next year and 2024 if the great tragedy strikes a second time. With a Democratic Congress, we could remove him if we had to. But unless we are patient now, that will never happen.

We’ve got to think strategically here, with our heads as well as our guts. Trump wants us to try and impeach him, because he knows it is the one thing we could do to turn him into a pitied figure, one the public might actually view sympathetically. The stakes of this are too high for premature attacks made for the sake of showy idealism.

It may well be that national honor will force our hand in the end, but we ourselves do not have all the facts yet. A vast amount of research and contemplation must go into formulating a workable strategy here, for all of us Americans are now dancing on the razor’s edge together. There’s no need to bother asking me what I’d like to see happen to Trump for all of this as a private citizen; just look around. But in terms of the law, things are somewhat different.

Fortunately, we’ve got the best legal minds in the vast United States of America working on it around the clock as we speak, and under the most competent leader we could ever want: Nancy Pelosi, whose talent for organizing her caucus and keeping track of time is unparalleled, and gave us Obamacare among many other a legislative score.

Having Nancy Pelosi back in the Speaker’s chair was the single most immediately crucial factor in the Blue Wave of 2018.

She got more important bills passed in her first six months in office back in 2008 than the Trump administration has in nearly three years. In short, she’s good. Really good. And that is good for us. Because whoever has to take this on had better be the best. To impeach or not impeach is largely her decision.

In April 1970, while in session, Congressman Gerald Ford raised an old rhetorical question: “What is an impeachable offense?” Ford at this time was the House Minority Leader (Pelosi’s job pre-Blue Wave 2016-2018), and his answer to the question was stark and illustrative.

An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.

That majority in today’s House of Representatives belongs to the Democratic Party. We definitely do have the right to start these proceedings.

That is why we are being so careful!

Impeachment is an utterly drastic step, a divisive and frankly tragic one, regardless of the outcome. They do not make the country look good, to say the ludicrous least. Lurid Ken Starr the pornographer wiped slime on the courts that will never come off when he painted his lurid fantasy tales about the sexual exploits of Bill Clinton, the second president to be tried for impeachment in the Senate. The Republicans were annihilated in the next Congressional elections- just as we Democrats were after Nixon.

The reason why? Both Clinton and Nixon were very popular among their respective camps, who judged themselves abused, whether or not this was the case. Retributive backlash in the form of division and strife swept the country twice and left rankling wounds in the hearts of members of both parties. It set the stage for a third one to be totally apocalyptic.

In closing, we must keep in mind going forward that impeachment is nothing to speak of lightly. It rips countries apart. It may well prove necessary to give it a try in the end- but not without first considering every option with meticulous care.

While it is not easy to be patient about this-for surely, We the People have never before had such a surreally egregious cause- it is vastly important to understand how high the stakes are and how dangerous the strategy would be. It’s an incredibly tough call given the circumstances, which is why we at Millennial Democrats haven’t weighed in on it hard either way. It is our opinion that Hillary Clinton’s recent suggestions involving televised hearings and utmost caution provide an excellent roadmap for the future.

This observation leads us to the primary thesis of the article. We have got to stand behind our Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, who is one of the smartest and toughest people in America today.

We have always held Pelosi to be strongest by far for this position of high power in Congress. Back last fall, everyone mostly did, and nothing has changed. Even the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was back then the sworn enemy of every moderate everywhere, ultimately decided not to oppose her on practical grounds. If you want to get anything done at all, you’ve got to have good leadership. We have the best, and most of us have known this all along. She is our Speaker of the House, and make no mistake.

This decision is all but hers alone.

In closing, Nancy Pelosi has been our choice to be our leader from the Trump era’s Day One. She is by far the person in the best position to make the call, and whatever way it goes, it is our firm opinion that she’ll have made it. We need to support her fully in any case and circumstance.

The one thing we cannot afford right now is for our coalition to dissolve into more fractious squabbling. The world needs our power now more than ever, and to bring it to bear, we must centralize and fully focus it. There is only one person in all of these vast United States of ours who can do it as God knows it must be done, and that person is Nancy Pelosi.

Whichever way this goes, #Stand WithOurSpeaker. 

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Democracy Must Defend- Russia Has Hacked Our Power Grids.

The cyber-war with the Russians may be about to enter a terrifying new phase. A series of highly sophisticated system penetrations at electric companies and nuclear plants this year has been discovered and traced back to a Russian hacking group.

Alternately called “Dragonfly” and “Energetic Bear”, this group has been involved in about 100 such breaches since the start of the year, half of them in the U.S., according to a new report from the system security firm Symantec.

This finding is worrisome in the extreme. Dragonfly is one of very few hacking groups with specific expertise in the power-grid systems that turn off and on circuit breakers.

A separate Russia-linked hacking operation has twice demonstrated the Kremlin’s ability and willingness to use that kind of expertise to cause electrical blackouts—once in December 2015, and a second time a year later, both in Ukraine.

Symantec believes the U.S. breaches may be moving into similar terrain. Simply stated, this means they can shut our power off and attack us, anytime they want.

“The original Dragonfly campaigns now appear to have been a more exploratory phase where the attackers were simply trying to gain access to the networks of targeted organizations,” the Symantec report concludes. Now, “the attackers may be entering into a new phase, with recent campaigns potentially providing them with access to operational systems, access that could be used for more disruptive purposes in future.”

Meanwhile, Russia has been holding a set of “strategic command exercises” called the Zapad war games that are looking an awful lot like a preparation for war this week, due to run until September 20. Moscow says almost 13,000 Russian and Belorussian service personnel are taking part.

NATO officials, however, have said they believe the exercises involve more troops than Moscow has disclosed. Complaints have been made about the lack of transparency regarding the exercise. It has long been feared that Russia has been planning to use virtual assaults on Western power-grids in order to pave the way for a sudden physical assault.

The world has been experiencing virtual assaults from Russia since April 27, 2007, the day known to history as the Estonian 9/11. They called it Web War One. The problem started over an old war soldier statue, like the Robert E. Lee statue that has caused so much trouble in Charlottesville. We have got to be careful when it comes to those old statues.

In the ten years that have followed, we have seen Russian attempts to disrupt and destabilize the affairs of other countries become more and more of a problem, culminating in their hacking of the United States 2016 presidential election. We have got to place a high priority on finding more effective forms of defense. 

In other parts of the world, most notably in Europe, they have been dealing with this problem a long time, and they have developed a number of systems we might look to as models.

The Czech Republic set up a team on Jan. 1. 2017.

The German Interior Ministry has proposed the creation of a “Center of Defense Against Disinformation.”

The Ukrainian organization StopFake.org has accomplished amazing results, tracking down and reverse-engineering Russian propaganda pieces. These have provided us key glimpses into how the Russian disinformation machine operates and what types of methods it uses. Incidents such as Brexit have ensured there will be no shortage of cases to study.

Russia has proven its ability to extend tentacles and roots with terrible speed, and it has done so all over the world in the wake of the massive disruption that has been Donald Trump. Its cyber-warfare apparatus is the digital upgrading of its Dezinformatsiya, or disinformation office, which was formed in 1923. Russia has been experimenting with campaigns of state-sanctioned lying for nearly a hundred years. This is a good thing to keep an eye on.

From the way Russia defines cyberwarfare, to its employment for strategic use, Russia has developed a big edge over its western counterparts. As James Wirtz, Dean of the Naval Postgraduate School in California, has noted, “Russia, more than any other nascent actor on the cyber stage, seems to have devised a way to integrate cyber warfare into a grand strategy capable of achieving political objectives.”

CIA chief Mike Pompeo recently said “It’s tough. You now have not only nation states trying to steal our stuff, but non-state, hostile intelligence services, well-funded. Folks like WikiLeaks, out there trying to steal American secrets, for the sole purpose of undermining the United States and her democracy.”

For all the trouble that Russia manages to cause, and for all its miles and hundreds of millions of citizens, it has an economy about as large as that of Italy. The state of California alone has an economy that is far more robust then Russia’s. In order to make Russia great again, Putin has to find a way to fix that. Redistribution of world wealth underneath his control is what he’s after.

The Russian cyber-warfare apparatus allows him an inexpensive and shockingly effective way to cripple, entangle, and do literal physical harm to the infrastructure of anything that opposes his will. 

To understand why these attacks on the rest of us are being committed by Russia, it helps to understand two factors. First, Russia’s domineering and abusive relationship with its former satellite stakes, most notably Ukraine, its largest neighbor to the west. Second, its need to develop a way to compete with NATO in a manner that doesn’t cripple its economy with excessive military expense. 

Nuclear deterrence is becoming obsolete, as mutually assured destruction is unpalatable even to the Russians, and new ways are being found to fight. The most ancient struggles for power and dominance are being played out in our very newest world. Cyberspace has become a very dangerous place, but it’s a place we all spend a lot of time in. Therein lies the crux of the problem. 

Donald Trump thinks that by not using email, he can protect himself from the dangers of a digital world. But no matter what he would like to think, the solution won’t be found by returning to the golden age of post-It notes and Rolodexes. The computer isn’t going away any more than the firearm.

It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that going toward the future, U.S. policy should include the immediate and thorough modernizationof the U.S. Cyber Command. After last year, we should take the offensive. An overt, popular, and well- financed American cyber- force would overtake the efforts of the Russians within months.

As soon as our highest office has been vacated by the impeachment of Donald Trump, a man that Putin has been cultivating for five years and is the property of, it will be a top priority to attain world preeminence in this area as well.

America created the Internet, and that makes its governance our responsibility. We consider this a sacred duty, and we will not shirk in its upholding.