The reality is it’s the steady state, not the deep state…From the big NY Times story which hit the headlines Wednesday, the writer refers to themselves as part of the “resistance” & “steady state,” not the deep state as they’re being accused of.  And I don’t understand this insistence the author be revealed, so I find myself mostly hoping that anonymous senior administration official whomever they are remains a secret, so like Deep Throat of Watergate fame they may need to go under deep cover.  If the writer can avoid being discovered, saving our democracy is more effectively done on the inside, not after resigning or being fired.  Our president may indeed be an unhinged psychopath (see song at bottom of part 3), whether people are willing to admit that or not, & we need people in place to rein in his many zany moments & tantrums.  These strange times do require rather bizarre, out-of-the-box thinking.  

But a raging president is on the warpath to find that unnamed author.  So we now see Trump is on a real witch hunt, demanding a pledge of loyalty from senior staffers in trying to weed out whoever ratted him out.  But Sen. Bob Corker said the biggest problem in finding the culprit is the sheer number, since who in the White House wouldn’t have written a letter like that?: gop-senator-who-wouldnt-write-anonymous-op-ed-against-white-house.  Although it sounds like their suspect list has been narrowed down to a dirty dozen, as Trump the master distractor does what he routinely does, go unrelentingly after the accuser.  The real focus for the rest of us should not be on who said it, but what they’re saying: stop-looking-for-the-anonymous-writer-start-looking-at-trump.

And that letter writer isn’t a lone ranger, as a whole group of them are working together to save us from Trump’s worst instincts.  These staff members all took an oath to their country & are bravely trying to save it.  So this steady state, which the far-right echo derisively calls the deep state, reportedly has “dozens and dozens” of insiders keeping a watchful eye: trump-administration-white-house-leaks.  Some critics have referred to this whole scenario as something of a soft coup, but that’s better than leaving Trump to his own devices.  We’ve got to hope they can try keeping him out of trouble until we can get him out of the White House.  If we’re not currently in a national emergency, it’s got to be close!: donald-trump-white-house-crisis-new-york-times-anonymous-op-ed-column.  The letter does serve as a warning to all of us & also a call to action for Congress, but that GOP Congress has already been shown to be as feckless as they are partisan.  We need to share our message with as many Americans as possible (which TheVORACS can be an important part of the narrative), so Trump’s base shrinks enough that GOP politicians won’t be so terrified of their own party’s voters & start doing the right thing.  

Word is Trump’s mood was “volcanic” after hearing of this letter, raising the risk of him doing something cataclysmic, but that risk is always present for as long as he’s still the president.  Let’s brace ourselves for a possible Trump mass purging of their concocted boogeymen, the deep state, as a means to restore his authoritarian cred while running roughshod over the rule of law.  I find it a relief so much of this disturbing info on Trump is being revealed, creating doubts about his leadership even among some of his supporters, so his nefarious attempts to stage a complete takeover of the instruments of power in DC will be met with stiff resistance, ultimately squashing his dictatorial intent.  The Resistance has great momentum & we’re winning!  I truly believe with the presidency mired in an overwhelming & unprecedented state of chaos, divisiveness, buffoonery, stupidity, rage, scandal & also throwing in the Mueller report(s) soon to likely reveal criminal conduct, the question is becoming not so much if this president will be removed, but when (or as the letter states, until one way or another – it’s over.)  He’s unfit for office to be sure, but his proper removal must be based on constitutional grounds.  

Even as this threat to our constitutional democracy is put down with the help of the blatant incompetence & ignorance coming from the White House’s current occupant, we still have the sinister echo to fight.  It’s a profitable industry for these far-right, nihilistic talking heads, so they’ll keep lying to their bubble-puppet audiences & likely prop up their next charismatic demagogue, willing to embark on a full-frontal assault on our governing institutions’ balance of power & pillars of our democracy.  The evil echo has no scruples, since ratings are given priority over the truth.  That entire messaging community of extremist knuckleheads will keep attacking their enemy, that so-called deep state, but Americans need to be informed that although the establishment deep state is far from perfect, it still remains one of our last lines of defense against fascism.  For the umpteenth time I say this about a fascist state, don’t think it could never happen here.   

I just wish those administration officials who have already exited the White House, of whom there are many, would say more about what’s really going on.  Maybe they’re hopeless Trump sycophants.  Or worse, as Omarosa pointed out, maybe they’re being paid hush money or abiding by an original signed NDA.  We need more in DC with the courage to speak out.  Jerry Springer commented Trump has managed to bring Springer’s TV show to the White House.  Here are excerpts from that NY Times bombshell story inside i-am-part-of-the-resistance-inside-the-trump-administration which has really captured the headlines this week:

President Trump is facing a test to his presidency unlike any faced by a modern American leader. It’s not just that the special counsel looms large. Or that the country is bitterly divided over Mr. Trump’s leadership. Or even that his party might well lose the House to an opposition hellbent on his downfall. The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations. I would know. I am one of them.

To be clear, ours is not the popular “resistance” of the left. We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous. But we believe our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic. That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.

The root of the problem is the president’s amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making. Although he was elected as a Republican, the president shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives: free minds, free markets and free people. At best, he has invoked these ideals in scripted settings. At worst, he has attacked them outright. In addition to his mass-marketing of the notion that the press is the “enemy of the people,” President Trump’s impulses are generally anti-trade and anti-democratic.

From the White House to executive branch departments and agencies, senior officials will privately admit their daily disbelief at the commander in chief’s comments and actions. Most are working to insulate their operations from his whims. Meetings with him veer off topic and off the rails, he engages in repetitive rants, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back. “There is literally no telling whether he might change his mind from one minute to the next,” a top official complained to me recently, exasperated by an Oval Office meeting at which the president flip-flopped on a major policy decision he’d made only a week earlier.

The erratic behavior would be more concerning if it weren’t for unsung heroes in and around the White House. Some of his aides have been cast as villains by the media. But in private, they have gone to great lengths to keep bad decisions contained to the West Wing, though they are clearly not always successful. It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room. We fully recognize what is happening. And we are trying to do what’s right even when Donald Trump won’t.

This isn’t the work of the so-called deep state. It’s the work of the steady state. Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president. But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over. The bigger concern is not what Mr. Trump has done to the presidency but rather what we as a nation have allowed him to do to us. We have sunk low with him and allowed our discourse to be stripped of civility.

Senator John McCain put it best in his farewell letter. All Americans should heed his words and break free of the tribalism trap, with the high aim of uniting through our shared values and love of this great nation. We may no longer have Senator McCain. But we will always have his example — a lodestar for restoring honor to public life and our national dialogue. Mr. Trump may fear such honorable men, but we should revere them. There is a quiet resistance within the administration of people choosing to put country first. But the real difference will be made by everyday citizens rising above politics, reaching across the aisle and resolving to shed the labels in favor of a single one: Americans.

Lots of Articles about that Anonymous Writer & their Mission

In keeping with my vow not to exceed my quota (by too much) on live links, here are news articles from various sources about the NY Times piece.  So if you want to read some of these, you’d need to look them up yourself, copying & pasting into the search bar.  These first few are from the Washington Post:

the-sleeper-cells-have-awoken-trump-and-aides-shaken-by-resistance-op-ed

bob-woodward-hostages-serving-trumps-white-house

were-in-a-constitutional-crisis-only-voters-can-save-us-now

the-unnamed-op-ed-writer-cant-be-pleased

obama-just-delivered-his-answer-to-trumps-authoritarianism

GMA: nyt-op-ed-anonymous-trump-admin-senior-official

LA Times: trump-feels-amazingly-alone-and-increasingly-the-world-sees-it

NY Times: opinion/trump-illegal-protests-justice

The Hill: this-new-york-times-op-ed-should-be-a-wake-up-call-to-the-president

The Hill: psychiatrist-trump-admin-officials-contacted-me-because-president-was

The Hill: ny-times-publishes-op-ed-claiming-to-be-written-by-senior-trump-official

The Hill: anonymous-attack-on-trump-rattles-white-house

USA Today: president-trump-blasted-erratic-amoral-anonymous-times-op-ed

AP: Times-grants-anonymity-to-administration-official-for-essay

AP: Trump-rips-searing-Times-op-ed-from-unnamed-senior-official

Reuters: senior-trump-official-describes-resistance-inside-administration-ny-times-op-ed

The Guardian: donald-trump-oped-white-house-resistance

The Guardian: white-house-anonymous-nyt-op-ed-woodward

The Independent: trump-op-ed-new-york-times-nyt-anonymous-white-house

Bloomberg: trump-s-white-house-reels-after-blows-from-woodward-times-op-ed

Huffington Post: trump-official-resistance-anonymous-op-ed

Business Insider: trump-25th-amendment-cabinet-nyt-op-ed

Vox: new-york-times-trump-op-ed-treason

Vox: trump-official-new-york-times-op-ed-25th-amendment

The Atlantic: theres-no-coup-against-trump

Slate: anonymous-trump-official-writes-new-york-times-op-ed-about-thwarting-trump-from-within

Time: trump-new-york-times-reveal-anonymous-op-ed-writer

Vanity Fair: new-york-times-anonymous-trump-official-op-ed-dropped-jaws

Mediaite: dana-perino-i-dont-blame-nyt-for-anonymous-op-ed-fox-news-wouldve-done-same-to-clinton

Investigate Russia: anti-trump-op-ed-addresses-russia-stance

Trump nirvana is to squash journalism

Among the president’s attacks on the First Amendment & free press this week are threats to revoke media licenses: trump-hits-cnn-and-nbc-urges-look-at-their-license-tweet, plus clamoring for stronger libel laws & demanding the NY Times reveal their source.  It’s stuff routinely sought by totalitarian regimes.  Another article on Trump threatening NBC’s license came from this article I found on News Corpse from Mark NC:

To be sure, there were some problems with how the network dealt with the allegations Farrow unveiled. NBC’s brass did not seem to be especially supportive of his efforts. Farrow charges that they tried to prevent him from proceeding with his investigation. NBC, however, claims that they just didn’t think the story was sufficiently documented. But the network didn’t try to interfere with Farrow taking the story to another publisher. In fact, according to Farrow, they suggested it. Subsequently, Farrow’s story ignited the #MeToo movement that has brought accountability to dozens of cretinous characters in the media, business, and politics. And it isn’t over. What makes this so unbelievable is the shocking obliviousness on Trump’s part to reignite the Weinstein scandal. Of all the people to traffic in the sewer of sexual harassment and assault, Trump would be at or near the bottom of the list. After all, there are still outstanding allegations of the most repugnant misconduct by Trump from at least sixteen women (see video below). These charges have never been properly investigated and Trump has not been held accountable, as others in public life have.

When the President of the United States is credibly charged with actual sex crimes, it ought to be addressed in the press, the Congress, and especially the courts. But Trump has been given a free pass for his assaultive acts. For him to raise the matter of similar behavior by others is an Olympic-grade feat of suppression of self-awareness and shame. And to make matters worse, Trump adds to the remarkably amoral mindset that led to this tweet by using it as reason to punish NBC via what he calls a “Look at their license.” What exactly does he intend to look at? There is no government authority that grants licenses to news organizations permitting them to engage in journalism. In fact, the Constitution explicitly prohibits it. Perhaps Trump was aiming at the licenses of local broadcasters. But even Trump’s own FCC chief, Ajit Pai, rebuked Trump’s prior license revocation fantasies saying that “The FCC does not have the authority to revoke a license of a broadcast station based on the content.” So Trump is, once again, just mouthing off in total ignorance as he attempts to threaten the media and chill any effort to criticize him. That isn’t going to work any better now than it has worked in all of his previous attempts at censorship. It just certifies that he is a wannabe dictator who aspires to silence any dissenting voices, much the way his heroes, Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, and Kim Jong Un, have done in their countries, where free speech is a crime against the state. Consequently, Trump will have to be satisfied with his version of State TV, aka Fox News.

And despot leaders from around the world are gladly using Trump’s attacks on the media as justification for suppressing reporters in their own countries: two-journalists-jailed-myanmar-most-journalists-imprisoned.  Whatever messages sent by the leader of the free world always has a resounding impact on leaders of all nations throughout the world.  It’s quite apparent from Trump’s tweets & bombastic rhetoric at his rallies, his dream come true would be controlling whatever journalists say, penalizing those he believes get out of line.  Trump acts like he’s above the law with comments worthy of a leader from a banana republic: republican-senator-slams-trumps-doj-attack-us-not-some-banana-republic.  The prez envisions himself a de facto dictator with the levers of power at his disposal to go after opponents, where all public servants should unconditionally bow to him while being at his beck & call: trump-sessions-justice-department-hunter-collins.

Dems have to Win the Midterms for the sake of our Nation

When we look at these excerpts below from why-trump-is-so-frantic-right-now, it puts into focus why it’s so critical the Dems win at least the House in November, since it’s not such a stretch to say our constitutional democracy may be on the line!  More on the midterms & polling are at the bottom of part 3.  If a GOP-majority Congress is retained, Trump will be even more emboldened to fire Sessions & replace him with a subservient puppet as the new AG, which in turn would likely pave the way for firing Mueller or crippling his investigation.  That in turn would set the precedent for a president to abuse his power & give himself impunity for whatever egregious criminal acts he may have committed.  Such a chain of events could indeed start America on the slippery slope into fascism.  This pivotal moment in our nation’s history requires those of us who clearly see the risks to do what we can in informing our fellow citizens, so they too understand the importance of electing Dems to Congress as a critical check on this reckless demagogue in the White House:    

President Trump’s incoherence grows to keep pace with his desperation. These days, he makes less sense than ever — a sign that this malignant presidency has entered a new, more dangerous phase. I can’t be the only one who thinks he sounds less like an elected official than like the leader of some apocalyptic cult. Look at the way he rails against the news media at his revival-style campaign rallies. Trump has been able to get away with the political equivalent of murder largely because the Republican-led Congress protects him, refusing to do its constitutional duty. It won’t call him on his many lies; it won’t investigate his financial conflicts of interest; it won’t hold his Cabinet members accountable; and with the exception thus far of the Senate Intelligence Committee, it won’t even seriously investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election. House committees led by Democrats would do all of these things and more. The most immediate threat to Trump from the election is not impeachment, though we may eventually reach that point. Rather, it is the prospect of genuine oversight and serious investigation. Scrutiny is Trump’s kryptonite.

The other thing Trump fears, of course, is the Robert S. Mueller III investigation writ large. The probe by the special counsel has now metastasized to involve the Southern District of New York, the New York state attorney general and the Manhattan district attorney. Trump’s former campaign chairman was convicted on eight felony counts, and his former personal lawyer pleaded guilty to eight felonies — on the same day. Trump’s longtime accountant and a tabloid publisher who kept Trump’s secrets locked in a safe are talking to prosecutors under grants of immunity. Nothing in Trump’s history suggests he is going to sit back and let this process unfold — and perhaps destroy him. Everyone should assume this will get ugly. Trump desperately wants an attorney general who will shut Mueller down. The incumbent, Jeff Sessions, cannot do so because he is recused from the matter. Republican senators who once warned Trump not to dare fire Sessions now seem resigned to the fact that Trump will do just that. It makes sense for Trump to make his move after the election. If Republicans still control Congress, he’ll get away with it. If Democrats take charge, he won’t. If anyone asks you what’s at stake in November, tell them democracy and justice.

More Fascist Signals

He does have all the instincts & personal traits possessed by dictators throughout history, which our prez vividly displays to us practically every day.  More signs of that risk come from this post seen inside trump-dictator-authoritarian-wannabe_us:

President Donald Trump threatens to crack down on the news media ― just as the Venezuelan strongman has done. He urges his top prosecutor to arrest his political enemies ― just as the autocratic ruler of Russia does. He tells his citizens that he is the only source of truth ― just as the dictator of North Korea does. And most recently Trump berated his Justice Department for prosecuting two Republican members of Congress who are “very popular” and thus risking his party’s hold on those seats in the next elections. “It’s the kind of thing we see where a leader is trying to have an authoritarian state,” said Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a New York University professor who studies authoritarianism. “What’s incredible about it is that the accusation of incompetency is because the DOJ is following the law.”

Trump on Monday ridiculed his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, for permitting California’s Duncan Hunter and New York state’s Chris Collins to be indicted in federal corruption investigations, putting their otherwise safe House seats in peril. “Two long running, Obama era, investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department,” the president wrote on Twitter. “Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff……” To Ben-Ghiat, the president’s repeated attempts to humiliate Sessions into either quitting or changing his behavior is typical for an authoritarian-minded leader who is stuck in a political system where he is not all powerful. Where Russian President Vladimir Putin can simply have political opponent Alexei Navalny arrested on invented charges, Trump is left complaining that no one has arrested his 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, or any of those working on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team.

“Trump engages in a lot more bluster because he’s operating in a democracy,” Ben-Ghiat said. On Tuesday, Trump complained about reporting from NBC News, ending with this idea: “Look at their license?” In fact, it’s unclear what, if anything, the president could do to yank broadcast licenses from all of NBC’s individual stations and affiliates. Six weeks earlier, in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Kansas City, Missouri, Trump told his audience that nothing being reported by the news media could be trusted. “Just stick with us. Don’t believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news,” he said. “Just remember, what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.” That idea, Ben-Ghiat said, is common among autocrats, who all have some version of that claim. “Mussolini’s was ‘Mussolini is always right,’” she said of the Italian dictator who allied that country with Adolf Hitler’s Germany during World War II. “We can expect more of this as the midterms approach. Trump’s very sensitive to optics.” But Ben-Ghiat said that just because Trump has not successfully imposed authoritarian rule on this country does not mean there is no cause for concern. “Hate crimes are up. The press is being maligned,” she said. “Propaganda works.”

More on that topic of our current president possibly bringing the curse of fascism on our land, this next article are-the-politics-of-incivility-paving-the-road-to-an-american-fascism-part-1-of-2 is an in-depth discussion on where Trump might fall on the fascist continuum.  These excerpts are the conclusion which offer up a divergence of opinions:  

Historians of fascism such as Timothy Snyder and Robert O. Paxton have argued that Trump is not comparable to Hitler, but that there are sufficient similarities between them to warrant some concerns about surviving elements of a totalitarian past crystalizing into new forms in the United States. Paxton, in particular, argues that the Trump regime is closer to a plutocracy than to fascism. I think Paxton’s analysis overplays the differences between fascism and Trump’s style of authoritarianism, and in particular under-emphasizes Trump’s militarism and his embrace of the neoliberal state, which goes much further than endorsing only the rule of free-market capitalism toward an extreme version of the corporate state. If Trump has his way, traditional state power will be replaced by the rule of major corporations and the financial elite. We have already seen that the social cleansing and state violence inherent in totalitarianism has been amplified under Trump.

Both Hannah Arendt and Sheldon Wolin, the great historians of totalitarianism, argued that the dangerous conditions that produce totalitarianism are still with us. Wolin, in particular, insisted (in his book “Democracy Incorporated”) that the United States was evolving into an authoritarian society. In contrast, other historians and pundits have downplayed or simply denied the association of totalitarianism with the United States. With respect to Trump, they argue he is either a sham, a right-wing populist or simply a reactionary Republican. One notable example of the latter position is cultural critic Neal Gabler, who argues that Trump is mostly a self-promoting con artist and pretender president whose greatest crime is to elevate pretentiousness, self-promotion and appearance over substance, all of which proves that he lacks the capacity and will to govern.

A more sophisticated version of this argument can be found in the work of historian Victoria de Grazia, who has argued that Trump bears little direct resemblance to either Hitler or Mussolini and is just a reactionary conservative. Certainly Trump is not Hitler, and the United States at the current historical moment is not the Weimar Republic. But it would be irresponsible to consider him a clown or aberration given his hold on power and the ideologues who support him. What appears indisputable is that Trump’s election is part of a sustained effort over the last 40 years on the part of the financial elite to undermine the democratic ethos and hijack the institutions that support it. Consequently, in the midst of the rising tyranny of totalitarian politics, democracy is on life support and its fate appears more uncertain than ever. Such an acknowledgment should make clear that the curse of totalitarianism is not a historical relic and that it is crucial that we learn something about the current political moment by examining how the spreading darkness of authoritarianism has become the crisis of our times, albeit in a form suited to the American context.

History, once again, offers us a context in which a global constellation of forces are coming together in ways that speak to tensions and contradictions animating everyday lives, now transcending national boundaries and for which there is not yet a coherent and critical language. What these tensions and contributions do is create fear, angst, paranoia and incendiary passion. Drawing upon Hannah Arendt, it would be wise to resurrect one of the key questions that emerges from her work on totalitarianism, which is whether the events of our time are leading to totalitarian rule. Whether or not Trump is a fascist in the manner of earlier totalitarian leaders somewhat misses the point, because this would then suggest that fascism is a historically fixed doctrine rather than an ideology that mutates and expresses itself in different forms around a number of commonalities. The undeniable truth is that Trump is the product of an authoritarian movement and ideology with fascist overtones.  

To date, Trump’s ascendancy has been compared to the discrete emergence of deeply reactionary nationalisms in Italy, Germany, France and elsewhere. I would like to broaden the lens with which we view the events happening in the United States in a way that allows for a deeper historical understanding of the international scope and interplay of critical forces that characterize 21st-century globalization. We are seeing both coherent and incoherent responses, of which ultra-nationalism is one, to the shifts and contradictions arising from the global domination of neoliberal capitalism, which is now the single greatest factor affecting a world increasingly brought to the brink of catastrophe by technological disruption, massive inequities in wealth and power, ecological disaster, mass migrations, relentless permanent warfare and the threat of a nuclear crisis. In the United States, shades of a growing authoritarianism buttressed by neoliberal values are present in Trump’s eroding of civil liberties, the undermining of the separation of church and state, health care policies that reveal an egregious indifference to life and death, and his attempts to shape the political realm through a process of fear, if not, as Snyder insists, tyranny itself.

Judge Kavanaugh a flawed choice

Even as a pro-lifer, I’m against the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh & the haste the GOP Senate are rushing it through.  As the hearings began early in the week, 42,000 documents were dumped on the Senate Judiciary Committee the night before, not providing the necessary time to review.  Another 100,000 documents are being hidden away as if there are plenty of things to hide.  But what we’ve seen about Kavanaugh’s opinions show a legal mind sold out to big corporate interests without regards to the plight of the working class: kavanaugh-would-prioritize-corporations-over-everyday-americans.  And here’s an incident on day one of hearings where Kavanaugh certainly came across looking like a jerk: kavanaugh-hearings-day-1-protesters-focus-on-roe-attempted-handshake-goes-viral & also brett-kavanaugh-fred-guttenberg-parkland-handshake. 

But I’m convinced the reason Trump picked Kavanaugh in the first place was his views that executive powers could be so sacrosanct, that the judge might favor a president being shielded from being subpoenaed, plus even above the rule of law in that a criminal president could be immune from indictments.  Some of his writings on that are terrifyingly radicalized.  There’s plenty of pro-life judges who could have been picked who aren’t such extremists on other matters.  So Trump’s choice of Kavanaugh plays right into his larger strategy of prevailing over evidence of his crimes & setting up his autocratic dictatorship, requiring not just usurping control over Congress, the DOJ/FBI & the media, but also taking over the courts which Kavanaugh could become a key peg.  

Under different circumstances perhaps I would view Kavanaugh as a fine appointment to the Supreme Court, but in light of the president’s true motives & this unique moment in our nation’s history, he was chosen under false pretenses.  GOP Senators waited several months on the Merrick Garland appointment without giving him so much as a hearing, & with Trump’s legitimacy as president under question based on what we already know of his mental state & the Russian probe, the prudent step would be delaying the Kavanaugh confirmation until the extent of the Trump campaign’s potential collusion with the Russians can be determined.  And by his stated refusal to recuse himself over issues of Trump’s liabilities, that should be an immediate disqualifier for putting Kavanaugh on the highest court.  

Kavanaugh’s answers are very vague, disguising this unholy autocratic alliance.  So while Rubin recommends his recusal on important matters concerning Trump: why-kavanaugh-must-recuse-himself-from-trump-related-matters, it’s apparent Kavanaugh has no intentions of doing so: kavanaugh-stumbled-over-two-critical-tripwires & also kavanaugh-president-trump-above-law-pardons-subpoenas-leahy-feinstein & also kavanaugh/supreme-court-nominee-dodges-questions-on-trumps-presidential-power.  And the judge really hemmed & hawed around when asked if he ever discussed Mueller with Trump’s lawyers.  This pick seems like a set-up!  It’s a power-grab defiling our traditional checks & balances.  So under the category of Trump corrupts everyone he touches, it’s unfortunate the Dems don’t have the numbers to block this tainted choice, especially with the Mueller probe looming which the high court may be asked to rule on: mueller-probe-shadows-kavanaugh-as-democrats-press-questions.  

For more articles on the Kavanaugh hearings, these titles were pulled up from the newsfeeds which you could look up the ones you’d like to read.  Many of the articles describe an inability to properly vet this judge based on secretly hiding away valuable documents containing Kavanaugh writings & records, while the GOP tries to rush through this confirmation process before damaging disclosures are found.  The seat on the highest court is too important, so before making a decision that could have an impact for a generation, let’s give Senators time to access & review ALL the documents!  This first group all come from the Washington Post which may require subscribing to read:

kavanaugh-hearing-john-dean-to-warn-of-a-pro-presidential-powers-supreme-court

kavanaugh-hearing-trumps-supreme-court-nominee-faces-senate-grilling

support-for-republicans-and-for-kavanaugh-crumbles

trump-and-questions-of-presidential-power-dominate-third-day-of-kavanaugh-hearings

at-kavanaugh-hearing-gops-contempt-for-democracy-is-on-full-display

trump-no-longer-cares-to-execute-the-laws

grassleys-gavel-is-no-match-for-all-these-angry-democrats

its-about-time-democrats-refuse-to-play-by-disingenuous-rules

republicans-are-rushing-kavanaughs-confirmation-what-are-we-losing-in-the-process

daily-202-trump-shows-fresh-disdain-for-the-rule-of-law-as-the-kavanaugh-confirmation-hearing-begins

congress-has-decided-self-neuter-one-senators-compelling-theory-why-kavanaugh-hearings-are-so-ugly

NY Times: evangelical-brett-kavanaugh-civil-rights

NY Times: kavanaugh-supreme-court-partisan

Slate: brett-kavanaugh-white-house-withholds-more-than-100-000-pages-of-documents-relating-to-supreme-court-nominee

Esquire: brett-kavanaugh-bush-white-house-mole-judicial-nominees

Salon: whats-brett-kavanaugh-hiding-republicans-are-clearly-worried-about-nominees-hidden-records

NY Mag: brett-kavanaugh-doesnt-want-his-secret-documents-seen

The Atlantic: a-judge-who-cant-be-vetted-shouldnt-be-confirmed

Think Progress: brett-kavanaugh-john-yoo-did-not-tell-truth-nsa-wiretap-program

Daily Kos: We-don-t-need-an-anonymous-op-ed-to-tell-us-Trump-is-nuts

Rubin talks new party

After the McCain memorial services, Rubin wrote an article about what a newly created political party should be based on once the GOP soon self-implodes & disintegrates into oblivion, which from there the GOP can be rebuilt or we start a brand new party.  Based on McCain’s ideals, she points out it should be patterned after these 5 principles & virtues:

American leadership based on American values

Defense of the rule of law and civil liberties

Truth in all things

Public virtue, public service

Shared prosperity

All 5 principles are indispensable & interrelated to each other.  If you’d like to see the whole article, you could do a search for WaPo under the title If the GOP isn’t McCain’s party, why not build a new one?  Another Rubin op-ed along those same lines is You can only reform a party that loses.

Fight the Echo

The posts below come from its-time-for-the-press-to-stop-complainingand-to-start-fighting-back, which I fully agree with the overall premise of the article, that there is an urgency to fight back harder against the evil echo.  As they keep lying regularly to their audiences, a huge portion of the population are buying into this crazy alternative reality, from which a nation can’t survive for long when a society can no longer agree on basic provable facts, since the far-right keeps gaslighting us with their nonsense:

Bashing the media for political gain isn’t new, and neither is manipulating the media to support or oppose a cause. These practices are at least as old as the Gutenberg press. But antipathy toward the media right now has risen to a level I’ve never personally experienced before. The closest parallel in recent American history is the hostility to reporters in the segregated South in the 1950s and ’60s. Then, as now, that hatred was artificially stoked by people who found that it could deliver them some combination of fame, wealth, and power.

Some of the wealthiest members of the media are not reporters from mainstream outlets. Figures such as Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge, and the trio of Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and Laura Ingraham have attained wealth and power by exploiting the fears of older white people. They are thriving financially by exploiting the very same free-press umbrella they seem determined to undermine. Much of the current hand-wringing about this rise in press bashing and delegitimization has been focused on the president, who—as every reporter in America sadly knows—has declared the press the “enemy of the people.” But, like much else in the Trump era, Donald Trump didn’t start this fire; he’s only spread it to a potentially more dangerous place.

Fox & the delusional echo

As far as the fake media, represented by Fox & the rest of the radicalized rightwing echo, in the following articles we see Chuck Todd is correct: chuck-todd-limbaugh-drudge-fox-hosts-exploiting-the-fears-of-older-white, Rubio is correct: marco-rubio-scolds-media-after-his-scuffle-with-alex-jones-were-making-crazy-people-superstars, & every once in awhile even Fox News commentators get it right: fox-news-kurtz-on-trump-attacking-cnn-nbc-chiefs-imagine-if-obama-went-after-ailes-like-that.  And Fox’s Chris Wallace said this (which I found from Daily Kos):

But Fox News host Chris Wallace points out that the recusal of Sessions is not the reason for Mueller’s special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. “Remember though, that the recusal of Sessions did not lead to the special counselit was the firing of Comey, of James Comey the FBI Director that lead to the appointment of the special counsel,” Wallace said in a segment on Fox News on Friday. “The only person the president can blame for that is himself,” Wallace added.

But unfortunately, most show hosts on Fox still dish out the distorted garbage, as seen in these next articles: trumps-top-tv-advisers-keep-telling-him-fire-the-shill-jeff-sessions-now & also trump-wants-blatantly-politicize-justice-department-and-his-fox-news-allies-are-trying-help & also fox-friends-hosts-visibly-deflated-legal-analyst-says-trumps-latest-tweets-give-fodder-muellers-probe & also fox-news-trump-interview-rally-montana-propaganda.  Fox lies even more than Trump since they’re on the air round-the-clock.

And this schmuck in the next link who just got subpoenaed by Mueller, is really a deranged conspiracy nut much like Hannity & Alex Jones: jerome-corsi-robert-mueller-investigation-subpoena.  And the tools used by these crackpots to deceive are only going to get worse: fake-news-is-about-to-get-so-much-more-dangerous.  Here’s the latest on the loony Jones: alex-jones-business-infowars-conspiracy.  I did find a Palmer Report opinion piece on Hannity interesting, titled Sean Hannity’s time in the barrel.  Posted here is just the opening paragraph, but the rest of it goes onto say Hannity is nothing but a delusional shill for Trump that does attract tons of gullible Fox viewers through fear mongering, but in the Cohen/Mueller probe he has his own legal jeopardies: 

While Donald Trump is certainly to blame for much of the difference in opinions between those who currently identify as Democrat or Republican, those still supporting Trump would never have been so accepting of him or his policies if not for hearing years of lies and propaganda repeated daily by Fox News. With so few hosts on Fox still refusing to completely capitulate to Trump, the channel resembles State Run Media more every day. Tucker Carlson, Lou Dobbs, Jeanine Pirro, and others of that ilk have become nothing more than a propaganda machine to push Trump’s conspiracy theories. None are more overtly readying the viewers for Trump’s attempted firing of Special Counsel Robert Mueller than Sean Hannity.

Drinking the Kool-aid

By clicking on this next article, a lot of it sounds like mumbo jumbo to me, as I can’t really follow their moral theories & psychological profiles.  But it’s the title that has caught my attention, since by all appearances some of the more unhinged Trumpeters could be both evil & wrong, which is never a good combination: are-trump-supporters-evil-or-just-wrong-political-scientists-struggle-with-morality.  Speaking of crazy supporters, this article how-many-republicans-would-actually-stick-by-trump-if-he-shot-guy-fifth-avenue tries to estimate what percentage of them really would give Trump a pass if he did shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue.  And there are a lot of them (more crazies were on display in the Montana rally last night), so they must all be heavy drinkers (of the Trump kool-aid).  Here are excerpts but click on that Fifth Avenue link to find out how he arrived at his numbers:

That reference, of course, is to Trump’s famous 2016 campaign claim that his supporters would stick by him even if he pulled out a gun and shot someone on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The implication was that Trump could do pretty much whatever he wants and his devotees wouldn’t blink. It doubles as an ego trip for Trump and a handy way for journalists and pundits to describe how Trump skates past controversies, no matter how jaw-dropping they are, because his base shrugs. (Rudy Giuliani rekindled it somewhat in a different context.) Which got me thinking: How big is the “shoot someone on Fifth Avenue” caucus in America? The answer I arrived at as anywhere from 1 in 8 to 1 in 5 Americans — between 12 and 20 percent, around where Miller pegged it. These are the people who seem prepared to justify and/or forgive pretty much anything Trump has done or even has threatened to do. It represents half or less of Trump supporters. Here’s how I arrived at that number.