#WeStandWithIlhan- This Time.

#IStandWithIlhan- this time!

Our illegitimate forty-fifth president on Friday gave us a sneak preview of his re-election strategy for 2020, when he went after Representative Ilhan Omar for the now-infamous remarks she made not long before during a speech on civil rights and Muslims in America. His tool was a visceral video of the burning World Trade Center towers taken back in 2001. He tweeted it to millions of his followers, which some have argued was an act that may have put her life in danger.

From where things stand today, it seems clear that the political momentum of America is going strong in favor of the Democratic Party. Donald Trump has been a complete disaster for the country, as everyone knew he would be, and it’s all but certain we’ll correct our mistake very soon.

It is, therefore, completely unsurprising to see him grab onto something one of our Democratic leaders have done and begin to fashion a weapon with it. Of course, he is doing this to try and deflect from his own endless blunders and crimes. But that doesn’t help us answer the central question.

What about what Ilhan Omar actually said?

In opening this discussion, we would like to make it clear that Representative Omar is someone we would like to support. She has not been a pest like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who really likes attention, and figures the best way to get it is to go out of her way to be an enemy to good Democrats. I have written good things about Omar since the day she was elected.

She isn’t one of the usual Bernie Sanders suspects, nor is she a socialist, or any of that. This isn’t about that. It’s that we’ve got to cut down on the amount of just dirt that can be slung at the Democratic Party, which means holding our leaders accountable when they start jumping off the deep end. Youthful errors happen. It is not too late for Omar to turn back.

But lately, there has been a lot of trouble.

Recently, conservative Laurie Cardoza-Moore, an Evangelical leader who hosts the popular Christian television program Focus On Israel,  said on Wednesday that “while she has already established her credentials as a vehement antisemite, Ilhan Omar is far worse than that.”

That has not been proven true, and we’re inclined to believe that it is not, although certainly that hasn’t been proved either. What is without question is that she’s a representative of our country now, a person at the highest levels of the government of the greatest superpower in the history of mankind, the United States of America, and she’s been giving Trump a lot of dirt against us. This has to stop and fast.

“Omar may be in violation of a federal statute for fundraising for two Muslim Brotherhood charities that seek to destroy America,” she claimed. The Jerusalem Post wrote an article entitled “Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is calling for the release of a terrorist.”

The Jerusalem Post is a highly reputable organization operating in the territories of one of our closest global partners, Israel. We deeply respect them. It’s the most commonly read newspaper for Jews who speak English and has been around since 1932. If they thought enough of it to publish an article of concern, it is going to be necessary to give the matter a good close look.

According to Cardoza-Moore, whose show reaches literally two billion viewers weekly, the recent revelation of Omar’s participation as a keynote speaker at events for Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated groups Islamic Relief USA and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) “suggests her support for subversive factions aligned to destroy America and Western civilization itself.”

From the article- “On her Twitter page last week, Omar demanded that US President Donald Trump push for the release of a senior member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Hoda Abdelmonem.”

That is a far bigger deal than what Trump is tweeting about, and that is what our issue is. This is not about Omar’s policies, or her religion, or her hijab, or her friends. Asking for leniency on behalf of that terrorist, even unofficially, is crossing a big line.

She will rapidly lose her support among Americans if she keeps on like this.

It is very important that she quickly correct her course. She must understand after this that she is now a Representative of the United States of America, the greatest country in the world and that as such, what she does will tremendously affect everyone around her. She did not quite use her position in an official capacity, she did it using her personal Twitter account, but just the same. It’s unacceptable, and she should have known better.

Her advisers should definitely have known better, and of course, they did. They knew exactly what they would be doing, and they knew it would put Omar at risk, and they still used it. She is mixed up with rough customers, and that’s the part that’s really troubling.

We have to make it clear these people are not her only option.

None of this is a conspiracy theory. Omar might not be a Muslim Brotherhood member, but she is spending a lot of time around CAIR, which has been found to have ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. Worse, it has close ties to Hamas and Hezbollah, who are downright terroristic.

As an aside, this is one of the dozens of things we’re objecting to in the case of Tulsi Gabbard.

Last month, Omar keynoted an Islamic Relief USA emergency fundraising dinner for Yemen in Tampa, Florida. Later this month she will be a keynote speaker at a CAIR fundraiser in Los Angeles. She’s hanging out with these people all the time, they constitute her biggest support.

Most of us will remember well the trouble over the Women’s March last year when it was found out that the person organizing it was foul-mouthed and anti-Semitic political activist Palestinian Muslim-American Linda Sarsour. She got ahold of the Women’s Convention and tried to make Bernie Sanders, who has a record on women right up there with Donald Trump’s, the keynote speaker.

When American women found out about that, there was an outcry unlike anything you have ever seen unless you were there, and St. Bernard the millionaire backed out as fast as his legs would carry him, but that too is another story.

Suffice it to say that after that incident, Sarsour and CAIR were on the radar, and not as friendlies.

At the same time, however, you’re not who your friends are, or at least, not completely. It seems important to point out that Representative Omar is not Tulsi Gabbard. Omar came up on her own. She does not come from a wealthy community of emigres, nor do her parents have money, back home in Somalia. Her mother died when she was two, and her father drove a taxicab-as do many of the smartest people ever met by this Millennial Democrats contributor. There’s just something cool about taxi drivers.

We consider it critical that we carefully monitor our own back yards, and take note of disturbing trends within them. And just as the Justice Democrats always say, it’s important that we hold our leaders accountable and ask that they explain to us their actions and philosophy.

The way that Donald Trump is going after her for this is wrong, but it’s a big exaggeration to say she didn’t make a mistake. She absolutely did make a mistake. “Some people did something” is not an acceptable way to address the most lethal terrorist attack in America’s history, something that has left a permanent scar.

If Omar wants our support, she needs to desist in this vein at once, and from this day forth utterly repudiate terrorism.

As a wise woman once said, we must react the same way as if we found evidence of one of our leaders supporting a white supremacist group.

It couldn’t be less important who the terrorist is, what they’re for, what color their shirt, skin, cause, it doesn’t matter. Civilization demands that we come together behind fighting this type of attack with a united resolve.  If we cannot come together behind not cutting slack to those who murder for shock value, then on what can we come together?

All of these factors caused us to conclude that this incident requires direct addressing. It is not enough to point out that Trump is trying to deflect from his wrongdoings and outright crimes using Omar, which undoubtedly he is.

We wish to state clearly that this is not an attack, it’s just the opposite. We do stand with Ilhan, it’s more than just a hashtag for us. She is a Millennial Democrat. She is also someone who rode into office on the Blue Wave that we fought so hard for, in the Year of the Democratic Woman that we lauded.

But even as we hold our hands out to Omar herself, we recognize the importance in a proper observation of this troubling new trend, and we wish to express our ardent hope that Representative Omar will awake to the harm she has done recently, to herself and to the cause, and turn around before it is too late.

At the end of this long discussion, our clarified message is this. In the name of giving somebody the benefit of the doubt, we are proud to concur with many of our fellow Democrats and say that we do indeed #StandWithIlhan. We stand with you, Representative Omar-
This time.
Our message for Ilhan Omar is this:
What Trump is doing is despicable, and we’re not going for it. You’re a Democrat and a Millennial Democrat, and we’re here for you. National leadership has been here for you, and we are going to follow suit with a full heart. But by that same token, do not play us for chumps, or take our support for granted.
We are not going to slither on your behalf or anyone else.
We’re not going to equivocate or change the subject endlessly. Do not put us in the position of having to become apologists for CAIR and Hezbollah, because we’re not going for that either. 9/11 was the greatest tragedy in the history of all America. Please pay credence to this fact, and show respect.
Six floors below Mr Reyher, James Logozzo watched with stunned colleagues from the Morgan Stanley boardroom. He recalled that it took three or four jumpers to flash past him before he realised they were people. Then a woman fell, lying flat on her back and staring upwards. ‘The look on her face was shock. She wasn’t screaming,’ he recalled. ‘It was slow motion. After she hit the ground, there was nothing left.’

For those down below, the bodies landed with sickening, almost explosive thuds. Many said it was raining bodies.

One fireman, Danny Suhr, was killed as he made his way to the South Tower after a jumper landed on him, ‘coming out of the sky like a torpedo’ and breaking his neck. Compounding the tragedy, the priest who gave him the last rites was later killed by falling debris.

Learn from this mistake, Ms. Omar. Take a few minutes to actually watch those videos Trump tweeted, horrendous as they are. Take in the sight of our beautiful Twin Towers falling, and take note of the girl around your same age who had to choose between burning to death and falling off the top of that vast skyscraper. More than two hundred people jumped to their deaths that day.
Watch carefully as she stretches her arms outward, acceptance on her face, and falls, a person, just like all of us.
Maybe she would have run for office someday. Unlike you or me, however, she never got the chance. Please let the real meaning of that sink in, and realize thoroughly the importance of being more sensitive. Terrorism is an unthinkable evil. Show us you are here to help us fight it.
Do this, and we will forever #StandWithIlhan.
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Trump Lies On Border as #TrumpShutdown Weakens America For Third Week.

#TrumpShutdown begins its third week, and America is hurting.

On the cusp of the twentieth day of what has now become immortalized as the #TrumpShutdown, Trump himself headed to the border to disgracefully lie to America and did so. Other than that, there is not a whole lot going on. How could there be? Everything is closed down, and as one walks around as an observer, there is a very real sense of being in the eye of the tornado.

Even West Virginian senator Lindsey Graham, a guy who has become progressively worthless as the Trump circus atmosphere corrupts him, came up with a plan to try and end the shutdown. Trump shot holes in it. He told Senate Republicans that he believes he is winning the fight”, leaving Graham shaking his head in despair, saying he has “Never been more depressed“.

On that point, at least, we are agreed.

On Friday millions of people will not get paychecks; things like food stamp benefits are only guaranteed through February. One man was on CNN the other night sobbing because he was so afraid he’s going to lose his house. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) asked the illegitimate president frankly why he doesn’t stop hurting people. His answer was right out of the spoiled child brat Trump playbook.

Because then you won’t give me what I want.

There’s no need really to point out how disgusted a sane human is bound to be at the sound of that, it speaks for itself loud and clear. Trump is calling it a humanitarian crisis, which it is. But the only one causing it is he himself, and he will not stop. That is something in between blackmail and terrorism.

Moving on the subject of terrorism, the Pentagon- who, earlier in the week, was actually reduced to having to go to Fox News and beg for their help in getting the moron in the Oval Office to listen to them regarding Afghanistan- has warned that it is concerned about the risk of a terrorist attack striking home in these conditions.

However, our guess is that they’re not going to feel like they need to do much at all. The worst thing they could do to hurt America right now is to simply leave us alone.

Another 9/11 would unify us. The way things are going we may collapse under our own weight, which is not completely a jab at Trump’s obesity. The most effective punch is the one you don’t have to throw, at the end of the day, but to an extent, this is wishful, hopeful thinking. We are exposed, of course. We have not been opened up like this to an attack since 9/11 happened.

It’s unreal how quickly we forget. Not even twenty years ago, terrorists smuggled boxcutters through airport security and took down the Twin Towers. Osama bin Laden believed that would be the end. Not all at once, of course, not that day. His belief was that once we had been hit that hard, we would not be able to take it. Our policies and justice would become undemocratic, and the idea of America freedom we espoused and intended to bring to the rest of the planet would be soiled irrevocably, a discarded relic like Soviet socialism.

I think a lot of people are waking up to what a bad situation we are in. And when you end up in a bad enough situation, one that makes you scared enough to forget about your pride or wants or ideas, you start to look around at how you got there.
Putin’s developing hypersonic nuclear missiles now. He could wipe us right out with them and there’s nothing we can do. We don’t have them. China and Russia both are winning that arms race viz. the US. From what we can tell, the only reason he doesn’t up and do it is for the same reason as the terrorists- because the worst thing he can do to us is to sit back and eat popcorn and watch as we self-destruct.
At the end of the day, a day in which no one went to work and time to reflect has been forced upon us, one question keeps ringing in American minds- How did it come to this?
Why is that big orange disgrace stumbling around on our border, looking dumb and talking dumber? How did he get the power?
There are three simple words that say it all.
#BernieOrBust! We pray with all our hearts they have managed to learn from their mistakes, and we think there’s a good chance of it. They might have been watching the news.

From the eye of a tornado, you can see the sky, but you can’t see what’s going on around you. There’s no way of knowing how severe the devastation is, and the reality of the situation is that there’s not much use in worrying about it. You batten down the hatches, you keep yourself in the cellar, and you hope and pray for the best with all your heart.

Along with the neverending task of raising awareness, that is what we must do now.

The Penalties of Perjury- Mueller Closes In on Trump’s Inner Circle

It is getting toward the end of a dizzying week in American history.

We started out with the indictments that christened the name #MuellerMonday. For Paul Manafort and his henchman Rick Gates, the inevitable had happened. But the bigger news was 29 year old Trump campaign official George Papadopoulos, an unlikely piker who may soon bring down a president.

Young George, who reportedly was considering a run for office himself, has already accepted a guilty plea. Looks like he told on everybody.

 Papadopoulos communicated with several senior campaign officials about his outreach to the Russian government over a period of months. His emails were favorably noticed by senior staffers such as Paul Manafort and Trump’s nominee for head scientist of the Department of Agriculture Sam Clovis,
Trump is actually on the record in an interview with The Washington Post in March 2016, calling Papadopoulos an “excellent guy.” This is because Clovis handed him a piece of paper with Papadopoulos’ name on it.

Later on Monday, an act of savage and cowardly terrorism was carried out in New York City’s Lower Manhattan district on Tuesday. The suspect was an Uzbekistan national. He conducted a truck attack “to inflict maximum damage against civilians” in Manhattan, near the World Trade Center. It was the deadliest terrorist attack New York has seen since 9/11.

A note found in the truck claimed the attack was for ISIS.

We differ with Trump’s personality and policies in nearly every regard, but the fact remains that he is the one who’s got to manage this situation. We are hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. Since Trump has chosen already to try and cash it in for an illusory political conquest, though, it isn’t looking good.
The Editorial Board of the Washington Post characterized this reaction as downright dispiriting. Millennial Democrats are inclined to agree.
On Wednesday Trump tweeted “The terrorist came into our country through what is called the ‘Diversity Visa Lottery Program,’ a Chuck Schumer beauty. I want merit based.” He adds in a subsequent tweet: “We are fighting hard for Merit Based immigration, no more Democrat Lottery Systems.”
But earlier in the month, on October 1, multimillionaire Stephen Paddock shot and killed 58 people at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas, while wounding more than six hundred others. It was the largest mass murder in modern American history.
It happened because someone with money can buy enough ordnance to level half the country if they’re left to reign unchecked. The outrage we’re seeing from Trump these last few days was completely lacking then. Nothing to gain from talking up a white terrorist.
Trump was repeatedly asked about the impact of the shooting on his administration’s legislative opening the door for possible future gun control measures. “We’re not going to talk about that today,” he responded. “We won’t talk about that.”
It’s popular to kick immigrants around. It’s hard to stand up to the NRA lobbyists who stuck him in office.
Chuck Schumer responded from the floor of the Senate, noting that after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, President George W. Bush brought Mr. Schumer and Hillary Clinton, then the other Democratic senator from New York, to the White House to demonstrate national unity. Nobody cared about what party they were from after 9/11. We were united in our sorrow by the sacrifice of four thousand of our people.

President Trump, where is your leadership?” Mr. Schumer asked. “President Trump, instead of politicizing and dividing America, which he always seems to do at times of national tragedy, should be bringing us together and focusing on the real solution — antiterrorism funding — which he proposed cutting in his most recent budget.”

A different kind of distraction was offered up Thursday as well, a very sad one. It’s always sad, to see someone turn on their own with vicious lies and slander.
We would like to thank Donna Brazile for the years of service that she gave to the Democratic Party. We are saddened and shocked beyond words at her slanders, and at her betrayal. And yet, she will be missed.
The Brazile bone was thrown to get Democrats squabbling over last year, rather than focus on what’s going on today. This is a continuation of the Uranium One strategy from last week. It was done in order to divert attention from a number of other events taking place today, events with actual significance.
This is what they do when they need to deflect attention. They manage, in one way or the next, to push a button they know will cause internal strife among the left.
It’s like when they made a big show out of announcing that Jane Sanders was being investigated by the FBI for fraud relating to her tenure as president of Vermont’s Burlington College. It was unfair, and it was not new. It had been an ongoing story for months.
But they brought it back up when they found it convenient, and threw it at us like a bone among dogs in the hopes that we’d start in on each other. That’s what’s going on today. It’s an attempt at distraction, and today, they have got a lot to distract us from.
For one thing, Jeff Sessions changed his tune again on what he knew about the campaign and Russians. Our Attorney General- the highest law enforcement officer in the country- is once again under scrutiny on Capitol Hill.
It appears his candor was lacking, on the subject of Russia and the Trump campaign. During his previous testimony, he swore up and down that he knew nothing about any attempts on the part of Trump campaign officials to meet with the Russians or to set up meetings with the Russians.
The revelation that he rejected a suggestion to convene a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump last year comes in direct contravention of that statement and opens the door on charges of perjury.
Senator Martin Heinrich, a New Mexico Democrat who sits on the Senate intelligence committee, said that despite Sessions’ testimony before the panel earlier this year, “it turns out he was at this meeting with George Papadopoulos. Papadopoulos proposed meeting with Putin and Trump. He didn’t disclose that to the committee.” That’s pretty cut and dry.
Trump’s son in law Jared Kushner has seen his fortunes falling as of late. A call on Tuesday with former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon heard Trump laying blame for the expanding scandal surrounding special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian election interference squarely on Kushner’s shoulders, former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg told Vanity Fair.
“Here’s what Manafort’s indictment tells me: Mueller is going to go over every financial dealing of Jared Kushner and the Trump Organization,” said Nunberg. “Trump is at 33 percent in Gallup. You can’t go any lower. He’s f—ed.”

“Jared is the worst political adviser in the White House in modern history,” Nunberg added.

Yet another of today’s torrential events involved billionaire Robert Mercer stepping down from his hedge fund and giving up his interest in Breitbart News, who he’s been bankrolling all this time. The ostensible reason for this, and maybe even the actual one, is that he doesn’t want to be called a racist anymore. It’s hurting him in his pockets. He is also cutting all ties with the repugnant Milo Yiannoupoulis.
There have been terrible things happening in America of every shape and size this past year. But Trump only cares about some of them. When the California wildfires ravaged wine country and ruined the lives of thousands, he gave a big smile, and offered us his “warmest respects”.
Puerto Rico was thrown under the bus completely. About the only help those Americans received, were the rolls of paper towels Trump threw to people lacking running water.
Florida and Texas, on the other hand, received all the help the federal government had to offer- from Obama-era FEMA holdovers, who did in fact largely save the day. Trump had not gotten around to firing them yet before the Congressional recess, and so the lives of many thousands were saved.
Not a day has gone by since Trump’s original travel ban, that hasn’t seen pandemonium breaking out somewhere. His pettiness and sloven has made this last year a time of great crisis, everywhere. The election was a year and three days ago. It feels like an eternity.
Trump has made it clear long ago where his priorities are. But somehow, knowing that never completely lessens the blow. Regardless of whether or not you agree with the current President of your country, or whether you voted for him, you expect to see him observe a certain decency. Good taste and kindness are not merely decorum. They bring honor to the highest office in the land. Trump doesn’t have any.
It’s a sad thought, to consider the impression he’s made on our children, the children of the millennial generation. When we were kids, we looked up to our presidents. What will our children have? All we can do is point to him as an abject example of everything we don’t want them to be.

Going forward, we’ve got our work cut out for us.

The APA has been conducting its Stress in America poll every year since 2007. The most recent provided an upsetting commentary on our collective state of mind. It found that 63 percent of Americans currently feel that the future of the country is a very significant source of stress in their lives.

59 percent of us said this is the “lowest point in our nation’s history that they can remember.”

People are in pain. They see confusion all around them. Economic challenges are getting worse. Disinformation and frustration have both taken a toll. We are going through it with everybody else because we are everybody else. However, it is precisely this shared sorrow that will allow us to make our voices heard.

We have a plan. We have specifics. We have continued to provide a sane and decent alternative to an increasingly messy ordeal. We will keep our noses to the grind and refuse to give in. And eventually, we will succeed.

Enough has happened today to keep analysts busy for years. What will happen next is at this point anyone’s guess. In the meantime, we stay tuned and stay focused. Things will come out all right, in the end. We’re all going to see to it.

Millennial Midterms- #SpreadTheWord.

The 2018 midterm elections are of huge and fundamental importance. There have never been such high stakes riding on anything. We have got a maniac in office. He just sabotaged our health care system. And he’s the worst possible person on the planet to be handling a nuclear crisis. There’s something we can do about it, though. We can put a Congress in power who is capable of fixing this.

The year after a presidential election is traditionally pretty quiet. Think back on 2001. Try and picture something you remember in between Bush’s inauguration and 9/11, other than My Pet Goat. Not much happening in 2009, either, except for the continuing housing market crash.

Donald Trump’s election altered terribly the usual state of things. Politics didn’t settle down for one day. It’s like the election never even ended. His incompetence and narcissistic tendencies have created a real crisis for the country, and nobody knows quite what to do. The only thing certain is the 2018 midterms, and with it the hope of a Congress that will lift this burden from the people of America.

It’s not certain Trump realizes that losing the House next year could put his presidency in peril. What is certain is that he knows most people don’t like him.

This is why he’s never stopped holding rallies– still usually referred to as “Campaign” rallies, although he’s been in office nearly a year- to keep in close touch with those who still do.

The whole thing has turned into a great big trip to Jonestown. It’s an unparallelled debacle. It is the absolute apex of disasters. It is so bad, in fact, that it has many people wondering- Does it even really matter much what Democrats do?

The answer to that question lands squarely in the affirmative. No one can afford to take anything for granted at this point. Trump has upended everything.

The key to our next moves will be to emphasize the strength of our economic message. Most everyone who can be convinced that Trump is bad for the country based on his personal characteristics already has been. He has given us all the help we could ever ask for, on that account.

We’ve had multiple wake-up calls. Everyone should be wide awake by now,” said Doug Heye, a former top aide to former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia. Personality politics will only take you so far, and our strategists know this. It’s on us to raise the confidence level of the people. That’s why we’re here.

The trick now, is to look closely at that most progressive of platforms ever assembled, the 2016 Democratic Presidential Platform, and understand that the answers have been there all along. We just have to help others see it.

Developing along these lines, Democratic strategy this year runs the way of positive persuasion and turnout. Black turnout, Latino turnout, and millennial turnout.

Turnout often drops off at midterms, even among those who voted in the presidential election, and the most important question is to how to keep our energy level high and our people united. That’s where we come in.

All this continues amid Trump’s worst decision yet. Although the president and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sought to project unity Monday, his recent decision to stab Obamacare in the back has made that impossible.

By defaulting on federal payments that breathe life into millions, Trump has fanned the healthcare wildfires to the point where it’s becoming an inferno. Ironically, he’ll be saving the residents of blue states all kinds of money, while murdering his own core base. This has got to be the stupidest decision ever made by any human being.

In contrast to that hellish spectacle, we will be showing people a plan that isn’t breaking their backs or taking away their health care.

The Republican Party’s fall agenda and midterm elections strategy is nonexistent. Their economic policy remains what it has been since 2009- a diametric opposition to any good the Clintons and Obamas have been able to do. That gives us an opening.

Steve Bannon, who since losing his job has been doing to the Republicans what Bernie Sanders and the WeWillReplaceYou (what a brazen slogan! Ugh!) outfit has been doing to us, has made himself a volatile ingredient to the unlikely mixture of Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

“I like Steve a lot. Steve is doing what Steve thinks is the right thing,” Trump said while standing next to McConnell. At Millennial Democrats, we think Steve is doing the right thing too, even if it’s for the wrong reasons.

All this disarray in the backyard of the GOP places them at risk of alienating further still all those people who are on the margins. People who voted for Trump, but have regrets. This is the group that will decide things for everyone, in the next few years.

No matter what, we have to make sure they do not get 60 seats in the Senate. Fortunately, on that account, we are doing well. For example, a poll just out from Virginia has former 2016 Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine up by 20+ percentage points over various Republican opponents.

Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight made the following statement, one that we can only pray isn’t a bit of foreshadowing taking place in our story. “Republicans aren’t going to get 60 seats — or even come close — unless there’s a Sept. 11-like event that makes Trump super popular.”

Eerie. Really eerie.

How The GOP Grew Gangrenous- From Nixon to Trump, Pt. 5

“Richard Nixon is a no good, lying bastard. He can lie out of both sides of his mouth at the same time.”
-Harry Truman

Is it fair to start with Checkers?

In 1952, a young Senator from California named Richard Nixon was tapped to become the running mate of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Muckraking columnist Jack Anderson and investigative journalist Drew Pearson wrote an article about money that Nixon might have taken from corporate interests during his tenure thus far in government, where he had served in the Congress since 1947.

In response to this claim, Nixon crafted and delivered his famous “Checkers speech,” in which he decried his opponents and stated that no matter what anyone said, he would not return his daughters’ dog, Checkers, which had been given to them as a gift. In Poisoning the Press: Richard Nixon, Jack Anderson and the Rise of Washington’s Scandal Culture, professional correspondent Mark Feldstein gives a useful analysis of how that went over with the people.

“That resonated emotionally with the public, and a huge base — particularly of hard-core Republican conservatives — swelled to his defense and pressured Eisenhower to keep Nixon on the ticket,” Feldstein explains. “Meanwhile, liberal Democrats were nauseated by it and thought it was a maudlin speech. And the polarization that Nixon’s career would have ever after was indelibly marked.”

Image result for nixon checkers speech
Richard Nixon with his daughter’s dog, Checkers.

Thus did Richard Nixon embark upon his road to the White House. Many books have been written as to how he spent his time there, and it is not our purpose to touch on it deeply. Our interest rather lies in what effect it had on our system, to have weathered an assault on its every parameter. The Nixon administration treated America like an old Commodore 64.

Nixon’s failings were tempered and intertwined with great political gifts and considerable vision. His judgement was uneven and delusional, but he had a keen and nimble mind. In penetrating to the core of our system, he was to lay bare the groundwork of it, and expose key vulnerabilities to the light. This paved the way for a systematic undermining and devaluing of truth and objectivity.

Nixon went down in something rather less than a blaze of glory. The affair that became known as the Watergate scandal was a major political fiasco that occurred in the United States in the early 1970’s. Several Nixon operatives were caught attempting a break-in at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C., on June 17, 1972.

Image result for watergate complex
The Watergate Complex

The articles of impeachment drawn against him did not consider the break-in itself to be of primary importance in the reason why Nixon had to go. They focused rather on the tyrannical and power-hungry way he’d tried to cover it up. The first two of them read as follows.

(1) Making or causing to be made false or misleading statements to lawfully authorized investigative officers and employes of the United States.

(2) Withholding relevant and material evidence or information from lawfully authorized investigative officers and employes of the United States

He was convinced to resign by the four-star general sent in to be his chief of staff toward the end of his tenure in office, Alexander Haig, who played the role that his fellow four-star general John Kelly is playing in the Trump White House now. As Nixon became increasingly paranoid and miserable, Haig ran the daily affairs of the White House, and was instrumental in effecting the president’s resignation. It can only be hoped that Kelly will have similar luck.

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Alexander Haig

The legacy of the deleterious effects of the Nixon era on our democracy cannot be overstated. He had his fingerprints all over the most fundamentally anti-democratic projects ever put together in America, such as the Enemies List. This was the roster of famous liberals targeted by Nixon for IRS audits and other forms of extralegal retaliation. His smear campaigns against his likely 1972 opponent, Senator Edward Kennedy, were reminiscent in many key regards to the fake news attacks on our people last year.

The elimination of the American people’s ability to think critically has had many an epoch. It is certain that a large one took place under Nixon, who in one famous speech toward the end, insisted to America that he was “not a crook.” That statement proved sadly untrue. Nixon was a crook, and his crookedness has reverberated clearly into our own times.

By now it should be getting pretty clear. This new GOP, the one that came to power after the death of John F. Kennedy, was not at all the same entity we’ve been looking at up until now. In the days of Eisenhower, much less in the days of Theodore Roosevelt, this kind of conduct would have been unthinkable. Even Warren Harding, corrupt as a Chinese eunuch, was a far more genial type of criminal. Nixon’s era was vicious.

That ferocity came directly from the fascist element that absorbed into America and Europe after World War Two. It values nothing, except the will to power. It values power as both the ends and the means. Ideology is unimportant to it, but is often employed as its tool.

G. Gordon Liddy, one of the Watergate burglars who went to prison for it, wrote an autobiography and named it WILL. It sings the praises of Hitler and the Nazis on every page. He presents an anecdote inside as to how he silenced an entire D.C. county jail pod, by standing around naked and singing the Horst Wessel song.

This is why they’re getting together with Russia. It’s the same group of guys. The Russia of the modern era is fascist in every regard. Like other fascists, they are intent on controlling the resources of the world. They have picked up and adapted these ratf*cking strategies, included them in their disinformation programs, and used them to destabilize us last year in the very same way the CIA once used to destabilize Third World countries like Haiti and Nicaragua. We have been systematically prepared for this, like Hansel and Gretel, by the dirty work done by Richard Nixon and others.

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Richard Nixon, enjoying his uncrookedness.

The Nixon era is also when the Republicans most directly involved in the 2016 Russian election hacking fiasco started crafting their modern mask in earnest. Guys like Roger Stone, the soon-to-be-indicted Paul Manafort, and Karl Rove all got their start during this time. Their mentors were the men who ran the Nixon administration, a place overflowing with competing monsters. All of these were deeply complicit in last year’s ongoings with the Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin.

Donald Segretti, the Nixon operative who coined the term “ratf*cking”, as in, “F*cking a DemocRAT”, played his role, did his prison time, and lived an unimportant life thereafter. However, Karl Rove, the GOP strategist whom George W. Bush referred to as “The Architect”, was a personal protege of his. Rove was already a deeply corrupt and ruthless person, even at nineteen. 

In 1969, posing as a volunteer at the Chicago campaign headquarters of Alan Dixon, a Democrat running for state treasurer, Rove stole official campaign letterheads, and sent out 1,000 invitations to people in the city’s red-light district and soup kitchens, offering “free beer, free food, girls, and a good time for nothing” at Dixon headquarters. A bunch of crazed alcoholics showed up at this important fundraiser for Dixon.

 Although Dixon still won the election, Rove succeeded in significantly disrupting it. Later, Rove said, “I got involved in a political prank.” Pranks of that nature made him useful to the Republicans all the way through the decades between Nixon and George W. Bush. The crimes and techniques of their generation were transmitted seamlessly to ours.

Policies such as the War on Drugs were developed and refined during these decades. Although this war on the American people is more commonly associated with Reagan, Nixon was the first to use the phrase. It was designed as a strategy to hamstring the lives of voters who Nixon saw as reliably Democratic, according to White House tapes.

Nixon domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman said, “We had two enemies- the antiwar left, and the blacks.  We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black. But by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs themselves? Of course we did.”

Reagan’s continuation of this so-called ‘war’ was meant to heighten racial tensions for the benefit of the Republican Party. This was a linchpin of the “Southern Strategy” conceived by Lee Atwater, whom most political observers of both parties rate as the dirtiest political strategist of the twentieth century. Voting rights, food stamps, and even madhouses were all taken away from the people. This was effective because the aforementioned white malcontents like to see other people get the shaft- at any cost. They’ve been taught to accept this as a substitute for a decent lot in life since before the Civil War.

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Lee Atwater’s Southern Strategy
The Republicans were able to use the McGovern-Fraser Commission ruling to their advantage, time and again. They became quite adept at handpicking their opponents. Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, and Michael Dukakis were all considered weak candidates by Republican National Committee officials. Although Carter did manage to unseat the incumbent, former vice president to Nixon Gerald Ford, Carter would not likely have been elected, had the GOP post-Nixon not been so hated that Christ himself could not have been elected on a Republican platform.
By 1980 they had significantly regrouped, behind Ronald Reagan, who handily won the presidential election. Many independents and a significant number of Democrats joined Republican voters in electing Ronald Reagan to be the fortieth president of the United States. He won the 1984 election in what was the biggest landslide victory since Cox-Harding, and his vice-president George H.W. Bush had little trouble succeeding him on the strength of that momentum. The very word “liberal” had become an epithet. The Republicans reigned supreme, and that showed every sign of continuing.
That all changed with the arrival on the scene of Bill Clinton. Lee Atwater said at a meeting of Republican leaders in Little Rock in 1989, “What scares me is a southern moderate or conservative Democrat, and the scariest of all, because he’s the most talented of the bunch, is Bill Clinton.”
In that sentence, lies the motive of the “vast, right wing conspiracy” that Hillary Clinton has spoken of, out there for one purpose- to destroy her and her husband.
The campaign to destroy the Clintons was launched in 1989 by none other than the good old Lee Atwater, who was named head of the Republican National Committee. He was a natural choice, having recently put together President Bush’s winning campaign in 1988, personified accurately by the “Willie Horton” TV ad, which attempted to portray the Democratic candidate as a defender of black rapists and black murderers.
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Willie Horton
His job this time was to re-elect George H.W. Bush, and he was worried. Bill Clinton was young, charismatic, and eloquent. Most of all, he was likeable. The reptilian Bush hardly made for a winsome figure to begin with. Next to Clinton, he seemed like a cyborg.
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In 1992, Republicans tried to make experience, character and trust the central issues. Voters indicated that the theme of change sounded by the Democrats was more important, but more important still was the personal power of Bill Clinton, and the amazingly effective duo that he and Hillary had made, ever since their college days.
Clearly, the opposition would have to come up with some new strategies. The techniques developed by Reagan had been skillfully snatched away from them. It became clear immediately that there was no one on the Republican end of the playing field capable of competing with the Clintons on level ground.
This fear and insecurity on the part of the Republicans was the reason behind the launching of what became known as the “Arkansas Project”. Funded by billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, this project was designed to damage and end the presidency of Bill Clinton. After wasting more than $25 million of taxpayer money to trump up charges against the Clintons on Whitewater, Troopergate, Travelgate and Filegate, the right had nothing better than to settle with the Monica Lewinsky affair, and the unjust vilification of Hillary Clinton.
Today it is not possible to determine how many millions have been spent by privately held companies like The Washington Free Beacon, America Rising, Burning Glass Consulting and Citizens United to discredit Hillary Clinton.
Back then, the Arkansas Project ended up a failure. In spite of innumerable attempts to force Bill Clinton out of office, he finished his term, and left office in a country that was in far better shape than it had been before his tenure.
Its legacy proved enduring, though. Last year, every one of those old slanders was unearthed and spread around with the greatest of zeal by the rabid supporters of Bernie Sanders, paving the way conveniently for Donald Trump’s Crooked Hillary attacks. The Arkansas Project cast its shadow over that entire chapter of last year’s debacle of an election. It has also provided a permanent and ever-growing repository of ammunition, used to effect by the revived partnership of mass media and fundamentalism, in the form of Rush Limbaugh and other celebrities of conservative talk radio in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.
Those radio shows, which provide daily lessons in the art of propaganda, have done as much to eat away at the fabric of democracy as any other single factor within the last forty years. They gathered in strength and reach across the nation all through the Clinton presidency. Combined with the entering of Fox News and Rupert Murdoch into the game, the conservative media provided the Republicans with a potent weapon, one they would use to clear effect in 2000.

The US 2000 presidential election was the triumph of media over mind and matter.

To an objective observer, two facts are clear: Clinton’s Vice-President Al Gore won the nationwide popular vote, and according to a recent Miami Herald analysis, he was also in all likelihood the favorite of Florida voters as well.

In a fair count, without cheating or election irregularities, and leaving aside Ralph Nader, the Miami Herald estimated Gore would have won Florida by 23,000 votes. The Bush strategy all along was to prevent a recount and run out the clock.

Jeb Bush, the brother of the Republican candidate for president, George W. Bush, was also the governor of Florida. He was a key component in the plot to steal the Florida election on behalf of his brother. If not for Jeb, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia would never have had the chance to cast that fateful vote on behalf of Bush.

The impropriety of that decision was obvious even to the members of the court.  That is why they passed a second ruling, that the decision used in the process used to block Gore’s final recount could never be used again, as a legal precedent for any future cases.

The Bush era is when most of us millennials entered the story. Many of us remember the new heights of indecency and state-sanctioned lying reached on nearly a daily basis. The disinformation campaign that’s been used on us by the GOP since the Nixon era was taking a terrible toll by this point. The people didn’t know who to believe, and they didn’t know who to trust. It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that this did a great deal to soften us up for the Russian disinformation machine.

The Republicans know that the only strength the people have is in their numbers. If they can make sure the left doesn’t work together, they can pick us off one by one. Karl Rove and the Republican Party know this very well. It has been a tactic of rulers since the days of Rome and before.

And so, both in 2000 and in 2004, the Republicans used a man named Ralph Nader, then the Green Party of the U.S.’s (G-PUS) candidate for president, to divide the left and hamstring the Democratic candidates.

We were to see those techniques again, as they were used to cheat Hillary Clinton from her rightful place in the White House. Jill Stein, the milkwater replacement of Nader in the G-PUS, and Paul Manafort were both attendees at that infamous meeting with Putin in Russia.

Al Gore was a highly principled and competent man, but he lacked the drive for victory that Bill Clinton had, and he lacked the necessary vigor to withstand the ferocity of Republican greed. Bush got into office, and spent his time there dragging his country so deeply through the mud that it still has yet to be seen whether or not we can recover.

The next four years changed everything for America.

When Bill Clinton left office, the country had a balanced budget and even a surplus. That was gone within ten months, nine of which had been very quiet. Bush hunted armadilloes, hung out at Camp David, and agreed to read My Pet Goat to some kindergartners.

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George W. Bush reads My Pet Goat

Then 9/11 hit.

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September 11, 2001.

The strange circumstances surrounding that cataclysmic and unlikely disaster will be debated for as long as people walk this earth, and it is not our purpose to look deeply into the mysteries surrounding. We will stick to what we know for sure. Regardless of its causes, George Bush used the biggest foreign assault our nation has ever been victimized by to pass some of the most invasive and insidious legislature ever conceived.

The War on Terror has mostly come and gone, but the domestic effects of the Patriot and Homeland Security Acts will be with us until the end. A war in Afghanistan was started, which we are still fighting. And then Bush used all the nation’s rage to finish a job that his father had started, the rousting of Saddam Hussein from the apex of the power structure of Iraq. By 2003, we were at war in Iraq. By 2004 it was clear we were in big trouble. Nothing else mattered in 2004, except getting George W. Bush out of office.

However, when the election finally came around, an election so crucial that a movie, Fahrenheit 9/11 was made about the slovenly evils committed by the Republican candidate Bush, an unbelievable amount of different things went wrong. Half of the six million people living abroad, for example, got their ballots too late to vote. Malfunctioning machines mysteriously failed to properly register a presidential vote on more than 20,000 ballots.

All in all, nationwide, according to the federal commission charged with implementing election reforms, as many as 1 million ballots were spoiled by faulty voting equipment – roughly one for every 100 cast. But what is most anomalous about the irregularities in 2004 was their decidedly partisan bent. Almost without exception they hurt John Kerry and benefited George Bush. Robert Kennedy Jr. wrote at the time, “After carefully examining the evidence, I’ve become convinced that the president’s party mounted a massive, coordinated campaign to subvert the will of the people in 2004.”

In 2008, the anti- Clinton machines to the right and the left geared back up for another battle. A lot of the same old smears were employed by the Obama campaign, as well as the new tactic of associating her with big business and Wall St. Hillary Clinton called at the time for higher regulations on Wall St. Their decision to side against her cost her the presidency.

As 2009 began, the same juggernaut of lies was employed consistently during her tenure as Secretary of State, most notably in the drumming up of unimportant nonsense like Benghazi and email servers. None of it did them much good with Obama in office. Romney was a joke in 2012. Obama’s reign, hateful as it was to the racist fascist network, was secure.

During the eight years of his tenure, the GOP was to reach heights of total desperation. Outlets like Breitbart and Fox News were a help, but on their own they would never have been enough. It’s only once you factor in RT and Sputnik and the Russians that you can see they had a chance, and this is what led to the devil’s bargain in 2016 that Robert Mueller is now closing in on.

The continuing radicalization of the GOP has now been amply documented for 120 years. Scholars, party insiders, and any human being who has ever set foot in Virginia can all bear witness to that.

The decent and moderate conservatives of the old school, who meant the word in the sense of conservation, who once played such a key role in the enactment of civil rights and environmental legislation, have gone the way of the dinosaur.

Rich and poor alike, the Republican Party of today, as in the 1920’s, is overwhelmingly reactionary. They are strongly opposed to doing business with their Democratic counterparts, and will hamstring them any way they can.

Republicans know perfectly well that when people vote for them, they are voting against their own interests. The day people realize that is the day the GOP stops winning elections. So they have developed an entire playbook of dirty tricks, with which to demoralize the Democratic base and suppress the vote as much as possible. Every time you hear someone say that they don’t vote, because their vote doesn’t matter, you have heard an example of their strategy working.

Republicans have fewer adherents every year, but they have two major factors on their side; a fanatical base willing to carry out the dirty tricks, and the greediest billionaires to finance them. They deceive good people by appealing to their worst instincts. raising the red flag of abortion and gay marriage to divert attention away from their arrogant and greedy policies which cause the poverty, war and pollution we are facing today.

2016 proved once and for all that there is no trick too dirty and nothing too low for the Republicans, who went so far as to collude with Russia, our biggest global rival, rather than see another Democrat in the White House.

In 2016, extremists on both ends of the political spectrum did a great deal to spread around the notion of a moral equivalency between the two parties. They say it doesn’t matter who you vote for, because the President doesn’t really run the country anyway. They say it doesn’t matter who you vote for, because all politicians are corrupt, They say the system is broken, that it can’t be fixed, and that the right thing to do is just stand back aloof from the whole mess until it collapses under its own weight.

Those ideas are paid for by the Republicans, who are only too happy to keep right along tightly controlling the “broken” system. Votes matter tremendously. They’re the only power we have. That’s why the Koch network and others spend so much money every year to keep us from being able to use them.

The new development is for the GOP to link hands with its ideological allies in Russia, who have developed the same sorts of ideas to their most logical conclusions. Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov, who is now an exile in London for the crime of having run against Putin in a supposedly democratic election, summed it up best by saying that comparing America’s approach to the management of its global affairs against modern-day Russia’s is like comparing the work a surgeon does to Jack the Ripper. Both of them cut people open, but that is where the similarity ends. Certainly that was true during Obama’s reign, but the future of everything has been thrown into uncertainty by the hacking of our election and the coming to power of Donald Trump.

Democrats have found ourselves beset on many sides, with no control in any branch of government and facing the most terrible international and domestic threats through the disastrous medium of Trump. Knowing the extent of our domestic paralysis, and encouraged by the failure of the West to respond when they annexed the Crimea from Ukraine, it is all too likely the Russians may attempt another seizure of formerly Soviet-dominated areas, daring the West to respond once again.

Last month, they moved tens of thousands of troops, plus accompanying artillery and air support, unsettlingly close to Baltic borders, in what they have labeled “strategic war exercises”, and given the name of the Zapad War Games. In the same week, it came out that over one hundred United States power stations are infected with the very same Stuxnet virus used to turn the power off in Ukraine in 2014, just before Crimea was taken.

In the meantime, the Syrian Civil War is winding down. Assad and the Russians won, while the rebels we were supporting were left to their fate. North Korea is firing rockets over Japan, and instead of entering talks with them Trump is exchanging schoolyard insults with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il on the floor of the United Nations. The rest of the world is watching. It’s become painfully clear that things with the Party of Trump have gone terribly awry.

Going forward, we have got to find a way to reveal and highlight the fundamental fact of this whole series. A tremendous amount of social illness in this country is directly attributable to an imported and organized fascist network that has infiltrated and radicalized the Republican Party.

The long road to tyranny is a slippery slope, and one without organized mile markers. None of this has happened overnight, and it won’t be fixed overnight either. It’s hard to dig your way back out of a hole, especially when that hole is 120 years deep. But it is incumbent upon us to undertake this task, nonetheless. This is our country, for better or worse, and stranger things have happened. Victories have been won against worse odds.

Recognizing the problem is the first step. The one positive of 2016 is that many people have awoken to the general plot. The Republican Party has become an impediment of colossal and vicious proportion. Ohio Governor and 2016 GOP Presidential candidate John Kasich said on Sunday that unless the Republican Party reforms, he can no longer continue to support it.

Hard as it may be for Mr. Kasich to accept, it’s too late to reform the GOP. But it’s not too late to learn from its example. We still have time to reform the country.

Over this series, we took a look at the hole the GOP has been digging for itself. We have learned why it is time to remove the Republican stumbling block from our path. Moving forward, we’ll be taking a closer look at the fascist network we’ve been making reference to, who they are, and where they came from.

By shining light on cockroaches, you make them skitter for cover. It’s the same with Nazis. We’re going to turn over the rocks they’ve been hiding under. By exposing their plots, networks, and strategies, we will truly #MakeNazisAfraidAgain. Fascism and democracy are incompatible, like mold and fungus. Democracy cannot live, where fascism is thriving. To save the  America that our ancestors lived and died in, we have got to see this through to the very end.