And We Must Defeat Trump’s Evil…As the second round of Dem debates have now commenced, I avoid getting into an analysis of the candidates. I do confess the local rep from Youngstown impresses me. There is an interesting divide between moderates & progressives, as progressives are probably better positioned for the primaries but moderates would be better for the general election. I will say their thoughtful & genuine comments (though often a bit too idealistic) are a refreshing change from the garbage Trump spews. But my bigger message is if Trump’s evil deeds don’t constitutionally force him from office prior to next year’s election, or if the economy doesn’t slow down & remains relatively steady, it’s imperative the Dems nominate the best candidate to beat the prez. That would necessitate a dynamic candidate who can take the fight to Trump & call out his egregious actions, plus offer sensible policy prescriptions that don’t go too far out on the left. By adhering to the walk & chew gum philosophy, a strong candidate must combine a powerful narrative on the dangers of Trump plus a vision on the best direction for America.
(By the way, we could use your help! In www.TheVORACS.com to end the week in our Part 3’s on the weekends, we focus on the economy. But in our Parts 1 & 2 we expose the real threats Trump poses, so please pass this info onto others as we share in this vital quest to remove this clear & present danger from the White House. There’s too much at stake for America to stay on the sidelines & not be active!)
There’s also the huge concern about another tainted election. It’s been proven Russia attacked our previous presidential election, they continue attacking us to this day, while other foreign adversaries are likely to follow their lead for 2020. Yet Trump & his GOP are basically not doing anything to stop it & don’t even seem to care. Instead of fighting Russia & building up our defenses to protect the integrity of elections, team-Trump is far more obsessed about targeting the Americans who engaged in this clearly justified Russian investigation. Their conspiracies are asinine, but they keep lying with preposterous counter-narratives since their base somehow believes them. And wouldn’t we think the outrage should be directed at the Russians who attacked us rather than the investigators who caught them? It’s so surreal!
And it’s incredibly dangerous! The power-hungry GOP is putting us in peril by concocting those crazy conspiracies to score cheap political points, more interested in advancing their extremist tribal talking points than they are in defending the security of our democracy. Bad foreign actors are becoming increasingly successful in playing on our divides & causing Americans to turn on each other, which is their strategy to irreparably damage our free society, yet a major American political party is just sitting back & letting them do it! They’re trying to deny the Russians attacked us since they also continue denying the Trump campaign’s associations with Russians, as the Mueller report shows repeated contacts & signs of collusion along with many instances of obstruction of justice.
Congress has oversight authority which we need them to exercise now more than ever. The House judiciary committee is subpoenaing witnesses & ordering relevant documents, as chairman Nadler wants all the underlying evidence from the Mueller probe including grand jury info. By stating they have started a preliminary impeachment inquiry to move the ball forward is a smart move, whereas they can reserve the formal declaration of an impeachment inquiry once more solid evidence of crimes is uncovered. Just the mention of the word impeachment could help their case in court to secure those important documents & witness testimonies, plus potentially sway public opinion into becoming more accepting of the idea. Plus this more aggressive posture helps move the ball forward without the need for now of holding a floor vote. If bombshell news of more serious crimes comes out of the current investigations, we could ride that wave for an impeachment push which may sweep up a surprising number from the GOP. Depending on the seriousness of fresh new evidence of criminality, I would assume some conservative congresspeople could finally reach their breaking point.
Three months ago, Special Counsel Robert Mueller completed his investigation into Russian election interference and President Donald Trump’s obstruction of justice. When the redacted report finally became available to Congress and the American people, it painted a damning picture of a corrupt president who welcomed and encouraged an attack on our country, capitalized on it, and then tried to cover up what he had done. During his press conference announcing the end of his investigation, Mueller pointed out that the Department of Justice believes “the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal-justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing.” He was referring, without using the word, to impeachment—a process by which the U.S. House indicts, and the Senate convicts, a sitting president. Congress has patiently tried to work within traditional means to get to the bottom of this extraordinary situation. Committees have called witnesses and requested evidence, only to be stonewalled by Trump and his associates. The president’s refusal to comply with the Constitution, statutes, and established congressional oversight defies the rule of law.
Mueller’s testimony before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees was a watershed moment. At this point, it is up to Congress to act on the evidence of multiple counts of obstruction of justice committed by the president, and to continue our investigation into whether he has committed other high crimes and misdemeanors. Despite assertions to the contrary by the president and his allies, the special counsel’s report and testimony are not the end of our investigations. We have now filed a petition in court to obtain the grand-jury documents referenced in the special counsel’s report. In that filing, we have made clear that we will utilize our Article I powers to obtain the additional underlying evidence, as well as enforce subpoenas for key witness testimony, and broaden our investigations to include conflicts of interest and financial misconduct. While many people believe that beginning an impeachment investigation can begin only with a vote of the full House of Representatives, this is not true. Article I authorizes the House Judiciary Committee to begin this process. As members of the House Judiciary Committee, we understand the gravity of this moment that we find ourselves in. We wake up every morning with the understanding of the oath that binds us as members of Congress, and the trust that our constituents placed in us to uphold that oath. We will move forward with the impeachment process. Our investigation will seriously examine all the evidence as we consider whether to bring articles of impeachment or other remedies under our Article I powers. Our Constitution requires it. Our democracy depends on it.
More articles about the preliminary impeachment inquiry are here:
Not just the Russians doing it, but America is Now Under Attack by Our Own President & His Cult!
As to the concern the whole impeachment question has been taking too long & is running into the presidential campaigns, there were certainly some unfortunate factors at play that have dragged this whole thing out. As we waited two years for Mueller’s team to finish their probe, there was an implicit assumption they would get to the bottom of the Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russia, conducting a thorough counterintelligence probe while following all pertinent money trails. That Mueller’s mandate was far narrower than we realized had a lot to do with following DOJ protocol from an OLC opinion that a sitting president cannot be indicted. And it’s very possible DOJ chiefs overseeing the probe deliberately restricted the investigation’s scope & duration, perhaps at the behest of the president?
But the bigger challenge our nation must now deal with is this extent our current leader has honed his skills for decades from deceiving, cheating & using people, so he’s evolved into this monster who’s a master con man. He has expertly managed to co-opt & inspire a massive movement based on hardcore extremism inside an alternative-facts bubble, which I regularly refer to as a cult in servitude to a corrupt demagogue. It is supported/authenticated by echo-media & Russian propaganda disinformation, which Trump is accepting of & even amplifies. No wonder he doesn’t lift a finger to stop foreign adversaries from attacking our democracy by tainting the sanctity of our electoral process, which in essence means we currently have an American president working in cahoots with the Russians! The Russian attacks are still going on today much like Trump’s illegal obstruction still continues. Trump’s evil seems to have no bounds!
The prez has a way of bullying his state-run media (the echo) into submission while manipulating the real media. An example can be seen from over the weekend after the Friday headlines delivered bad news for Trump. The Q2 GDP numbers dropped to around 2% & a strong economy is the one bedrock Trump is basing his reelection on, while House reps announced an impeachment investigation which could uncover more of his crimes. So Trump responded with an irresponsible, vile, racist tweet attacking Elijah Cummings & his Baltimore district (see Baltimore Sun editorial at the very bottom). So while the weekend news expressed outrage at his disgusting words, it took attention away from the other news damaging to the prez: mediaite.com/tv/jerry-nadler-rips-trumps-disgusting-and-racist-cummings-slams-hes-trying-to-distract-from-mueller-hearings. Plus irresponsible, vile, racist comments still play well with many Trumpeters in his base.
But the attack on our democracy by Trump, his corrupt loyalists & the Russians is now a national crisis, quickly evolving into a constitutional crisis & national emergency! Whenever throughout history a country is taken over by a fascist dictator, it doesn’t happen in a vacuum as a rogue tyrant always elicits the support of loyal henchmen. The appointment of William Barr to head the Justice Dept. looks like a cross between Trump’s unethical lawyer from the 1980’s (Roy Cohn) & the right-hand man who helped give rise to fascism in 1930’s Germany (Heinrich Himmler). Trump is even authorizing Barr to do whatever he wants with highly classified materials, really scary stuff since the AG could use to disguise criminal actions from the administration while potentially framing political opponents, plus put important intelligence sources at risk. Barr’s actions so far have run roughshod over the rule of law with the intent to consolidate absolute power in the executive branch, which we must adamantly defend against his abuses targeting our free society, hallowed institutions & time-tested separations of power. These links expose a bad Barr:
If We’re Not Watching, the Evils of Fascism can Sneak Up on Us
For those who can’t see what’s going on here, try connecting the dots! As part of Trump’s evil purge of quality civil servants to replace with acolytes who’ll serve him unconditionally, National Security Director Dan Coats is being forced out to be replaced by a puppet. Coats’ sins were him being honest about our security threats, while Trump’s nominated choice of John Ratcliffe lacks the necessary national security experience. As a radical far-right extremist known for his gaslighting attacks on Mueller in last week’s hearings, he is someone shown to be a crackpot conspiracist who favors investigating Obama for make-believe crimes instead of the real crimes involving Russia. Even Devin Nunes was under consideration for the position, one of the most wimpish Trump worshipers of all. This position requires a non-partisan voice to speak truth to power based on objective intelligence assessments, not some yes-man to the president who’ll advance those nutty conspiracy theories.
Ratcliffe’s confirmation in the Senate won’t be rubber-stamped due to his obvious shortcomings, but he could still sneak through since way too many GOP politicos are terrified by Trump. The prez could assign his new director the role of someone like Hermann Goering, renowned for his pivotal actions in 1930’s Germany in helping give rise to their fuhrer. In no way am I suggesting these Trump lapdogs could go onto a murderous genocide as what happened in Germany to spark WWII, but there are similar patterns in the way an autocratic leader’s accomplices are looking to hijack the levers of power to gain unbridled authority over a nation’s governing institutions, channeling their leader’s race-baiting & ethnic-cleansing type nationalism that plays to angry tribal grievances.
So as I’ve repeatedly warned, don’t think fascism couldn’t come to America. In usurping control by installing his cronies at the highest levels which is straight from a dictator’s playbook, Trump has corrupted his own party to serve his wishes in the legislative branch, packed the courts with judges making decisions on his behalf rather than the law, & elevated his state-run media as the lone authority in feeding slanted news to his base. Check back here in a couple days when our Part 2’s always zero in on Trump’s evil commanding influence over the right-wing echo-media. The prez constantly discredits the real media & along with this recent power-grab over the intelligence community, he is bringing power to bear against his political opponents as he tries to rewrite the Constitution.
So Trump’s evil intent is assigning his personalized gestapo to suppress, attack & even bring charges against their most renowned political opponents the echo keeps demonizing. He constantly smears the opposition with false allegations since legally this lawless prez can’t defend himself, so he directs his ire at Obama & his officials including Hillary, plus anyone who had anything to do with the Russian investigation including top FBI officials. With this newly-indoctrinated police state, our president seeks to relentlessly punish people for simply doing their jobs while he also wants to shackle free speech. We even have links below where our current prez really steers off into a crackpot delusion by somehow surmising Obama writing a book must be a crime. Of course all Trump’s bombasts are pure lies which are often just plain nuts, but in order to cover up his own criminal activities, Trump is doing everything he can to blame the accusers, which features giving positions of authority to those he has complete control over. And anyone in a high position who dares question or criticize the president, his gestapo is coming after you. These many links are pertinent articles on the topics from this section, as much like Barr, Ratcliffe looks to be a bad egg:
The Threat is Real which We Ignore at Our Own Peril
The Mueller report was overloaded with concrete evidence of criminal obstruction of justice. There was also enough evidence of collusion/conspiracy contained within the report, so there is plenty we still don’t know & need to find out. That’s why Congress is ramping up their oversight authority by declaring this informal/preliminary impeachment inquiry, while going to court for securing important documents & witnesses. The Constitution & rule of law must be preserved, which most definitely includes the fact nobody is above the law, no matter what stunts AG Barr tries to pull. Apparently obstruction & breaking campaign finance laws can’t penetrate the impervious Trumpian cult, so the investigations are going to need to hit them squarely over the head with even more serious crimes committed by their leader. For impeachment to gain any traction, it’s going to eventually take at least a modicum of bipartisan support, which would require solid evidence of major crimes yet to be discovered. There’s plenty of circumstantial evidence so the crimes are likely there beneath the surface, & it’s going to take investigating in the right places to find them. More relevant thoughts on this topic are seen inside these links:
Important We Look at the Substance over the Show Optics
The Mueller hearings weren’t exactly made-for-TV drama, but the substance behind it is where the focus should be. Some media reports opined Mueller’s reluctant appearance with very abbreviated responses had crippled the prospects for impeachment, but the actual facts showing substantial crimes along with the likelihood more will come out, has actually seemed to give a boost among non-Trumpeters that the perception of high crimes & misdemeanors were real. Here is most of the article taken from nytimes.com/2019/07/25/opinion/robert-mueller-hearings.html:
Cooler heads in Congress and the news media are pressing forward on the material presented by Mr. Mueller’s team, especially the possibility that the president attempted to obstruct justice. But there’s something else to keep in mind: There’s a lot more to the case against Mr. Trump and his associates than what came up in Wednesday’s hearings. First, while Mr. Mueller’s inquiry generated 37 criminal indictments and has secured at least seven guilty pleas or convictions, some of these cases, including the prosecution of the longtime Trump associate Roger Stone, are ongoing, and were not fully addressed in the redacted Mueller report. Second, the extent of Mr. Trump’s past or continuing business dealings with Russia remains a mystery. Mr. Mueller confirmed that it was outside the scope of his investigation to address whether Russians laundered money through Trump businesses, and declined to discuss whether he reviewed Mr. Trump’s tax returns. And third, the special counsel has referred numerous cases to other law enforcement authorities — including at least one involving alleged misconduct by the president regarding campaign contributions.
The Roger Stone chapter may seem like a sideshow, but it raises the question of how much advance knowledge the Trump campaign had of WikiLeaks’ release of Democratic emails hacked by Russians, and how Trump associates used that information in their campaign strategy. Elements of this saga are part of the public record. Mr. Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen stated in sworn congressional testimony that in July 2016, he heard Mr. Stone inform Mr. Trump that he had spoken with Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, and that Mr. Assange planned to release emails that would “damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign.” And according to the Mueller report, Rick Gates, the deputy Trump campaign head, said that by the late summer of 2016 the campaign was planning “a press strategy, a communications campaign, and messaging based on the possible release of Clinton emails by WikiLeaks.” Mr. Mueller confirmed in testimony yesterday that the campaign devised its strategy around documents stolen by Russia and covered this up.
However, the public is still in the dark about much involving the WikiLeaks releases, and specifically how much Mr. Trump knew about or participated in the arrangement. For example, the Mueller report heavily redacts the text surrounding its references to conversations Mr. Trump had with Mr. Cohen, Mr. Gates and his campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, after the July 2016 WikiLeaks release — including the discussion Mr. Gates reported, in which he said Mr. Trump told him “more releases of damaging information would be coming.” Congress needs to examine whether the extremely convenient coincidence of the leak of more emails on Oct. 7, 2016, just one hour after an “Access Hollywood” tape revealed Mr. Trump bragging about assaulting women, was in fact just that, a coincidence, or was instead another act of coordination by the Trump campaign or the candidate’s associates.
Mr. Mueller’s testimony and report also do not resolve questions about the extent of Trump financial dealings with Russia. Congress needs to examine closely whether the president or his associates are compromised in any way by those relationships. Then there is the matter of additional referrals. According to the special counsel’s report, Mr. Mueller referred no less than 14 separate matters to other law enforcement authorities on the grounds that they were outside his jurisdiction. While the report entirely redacts its discussion of 12 of these cases, it makes clear that at least one involved the president’s conduct: the case handled by the Southern District of New York that led to the conviction of Mr. Cohen for campaign-finance violations involving payments he said he made on Mr. Trump’s behalf. It is critical to understand the full scope of Mr. Trump’s participation to ensure accountability and evaluate whether current laws on campaign finance address and deter misconduct.
Finally, Congress should examine why the president refused to sit for an interview with Mr. Mueller, and whether that is indicative of any additional wrongdoing by him or his associates. The president instead gave written responses in which, on more than 30 occasions, he said he “‘does not recall’ or ‘remember’ or ‘have an independent recollection,’” Mr. Mueller said. When asked on Wednesday whether he thought the president’s written answers to Mr. Mueller’s questions “showed that he wasn’t always being truthful,” Mr. Mueller agreed. Whatever the press and pundits are saying in the aftermath of Mr. Mueller’s testimony, Wednesday’s hearings were not the end of the road; they were not even the beginning of it. Examination of the questions concerning President Trump’s actions and other misconduct identified by Mr. Mueller should be the highest priority for every member of Congress, no matter their party affiliation. Public accountability requires nothing less, because no one in this country, no matter how high, should be above the law.
Deficit Don & Moscow Mitch
In our Part 3 post over the weekend, we alluded to a new nickname for Trump of Deficit Don. Well, another creative nickname has lately hit the rounds for McConnell, that being Moscow Mitch, since he’s blocking election security bills & inviting Russian interference again. Most in the president’s party have succumbed to & now willingly do the bidding for the leader of their cult, as evidenced in these articles:
Human Rights taking a Big Hit
Trump is ceding our nation’s leadership authority over to countries like China & Russia. That comes at a huge price:
Trump said after the Singapore summit last year that North Korea was no longer a nuclear threat. He’s being played like a fiddle:
Trump & his minions always seem to be selling out America’s interests for personal gain. In these links, their corrupt actions could start a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, which I can’t think of anything more dangerous for the future of the world:
More Random Shootings
White supremacists & their extremist attitudes keep resulting in violence. We should also have that debate on the legal sale of assault rifles:
Racist Baltimore Slurs
With false narratives coming from & supported by the far-right media echo, GOP political leadership & the base, they’re allowing Trump to get away with such deplorable rhetoric: bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-07-29/trump-s-baltimore-elijah-cummings-racism-is-fine-with-republicans. The rest of us, patriotic Americans with ethical standards & human compassion, must call him out. Our nation needs to recapture its soul & reject abhorrent abominations that could wind up destroying our civil discourse, which in turn undermines our free society. The president’s Baltimore comments have resulted in tons of articles from the newsfeeds, which are pulling the scab off & exposing Trump’s evil racism, as he has assumed the role of president of the divided states. America must find a real president for all the people:
Lies, lies & more lies, absurd lies that are so far off base they don’t even square with pseudo-reality:
This is a president who will happily debase himself at the slightest provocation. And given Mr. Cummings’ criticisms of U.S. border policy, the various investigations he has launched as chairman of the House Oversight Committee, his willingness to call Mr. Trump a racist for his recent attacks on the freshmen congresswomen, and the fact that “Fox & Friends” had recently aired a segment critical of the city, slamming Baltimore must have been irresistible in a Pavlovian way. Fox News rang the bell, the president salivated and his thumbs moved across his cell phone into action. As heartening as it has been to witness public figures rise to Charm City’s defense on Saturday, from native daughter House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, we would above all remind Mr. Trump that the 7th District, Baltimore included, is part of the United States that he is supposedly governing. The White House has far more power to effect change in this city, for good or ill, than any single member of Congress including Mr. Cummings. If there are problems here, rodents included, they are as much his responsibility as anyone’s, perhaps more because he holds the most powerful office in the land.
Finally, while we would not sink to name-calling in the Trumpian manner — or ruefully point out that he failed to spell the congressman’s name correctly (it’s Cummings, not Cumming) — we would tell the most dishonest man to ever occupy the Oval Office, the mocker of war heroes, the gleeful grabber of women’s private parts, the serial bankrupter of businesses, the useful idiot of Vladimir Putin and the guy who insisted there are “good people” among murderous neo-Nazis that he’s still not fooling most Americans into believing he’s even slightly competent in his current post. Or that he possesses a scintilla of integrity. Better to have some vermin living in your neighborhood than to be one.