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September 15, 2018



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Back, Early September

About me: background, credentials etc.

Sept. 25, 2018

Kavanaugh Was ‘Aggressive And Belligerent’ When Drunk, His Yale Roommate Says

Sept. 24, 2018

Update: Nothing until Thursday when Trump comes back from the UN meeting in NYC. 

From what I am hearing on MSNBC, and what makes sense, is that he will not resign and will force Trump to have Kelly fire him. If that happens this WaPo headline will have been proved to be wrong.

Commentators on MSNBC are also saying that this could be an "air clearing" meeting and that nothing will change for now.

What I haven't heard is the chance that Kelly set this up on his own and something far more drastic is in the works if it turns out that, as one person has speculated, Kelly was the author of the anonymous letter to the NY Times.

Kavanaugh case:

Wash. Post Quotes

The Kavanaugh confirmation is a festival of misdirection and ugliness - E.J. DionneGOP pushes for swift hearing as Kavanaugh accuser discusses terms for testimo

Although many of the Supreme Court’s decisions have been contested and even condemned, its justices have been remarkably successful in performing the role Alexander Hamilton assigned them in Federalist No. 78: to be “an essential safeguard against the effects of occasional ill humors in the society.” What Hamilton didn’t count on was that the “occasional ill humors in the society” would infect how members of the court are chosen.

Ah. We had wondered what the hurry was, and now it all makes sense. It turns out that Graham and other in-the-know Republicans were likely in a rush because they were hoping to get out ahead of a second female accuser, to ram through a confirmation vote before any new potential roadblocks could be brought to light. It was “imperative.”
Here's Why You Call the FBI by Jennifer Rubin
Republicans’ argument against investigation is so flimsy and absurd that one is tempted to believe Republicans think voters are dolts and/or that there’s no harm in putting Kavanaugh on the court even if he did what he is accused of. Nevertheless, in the wake of the “mistaken identity” fiasco, the line for Republicans now seems to be that we shouldn’t call in the FBI to investigate distant events in a nominee’s past.

Why Is Michael Avenatti Involved Now?
The lawyer for Stormy Daniels and 2020 presidential hopeful inserted himself into the Kavanaugh story late Sunday after he tweeted that he’s representing a woman who has “credible evidence” against the nominee. Avenatti said he and his client will “be demanding the opportunity to present testimony to the committee” and added that he’s aware of “significant evidence” that Kavanaugh targeted women with alcohol in order to allow “a train” of men to take advantage of them sexually. So far, his client is unnamed. Daily Beast

A far-right PR firm helped conservative legal activist Ed. Whelan stoke half-baked Kavanaugh alibi that the person who assaulted Dr. Ford was another student and Orin Hatch probably was involved

But Whelan was in communication with at least one Republican member of the committee this week, and that member told associates he was aware Whelan’s theory involved the home of a Kavanaugh classmate near the Chevy Chase Country Club.  
Matt Whitlock, deputy chief of staff to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R.-Utah), directed people to Whelan’s Twitter feed on Wednesday in a tweet of his own and later deleted his tweet.
“Keep an eye on Ed’s tweets the next few days,” Whitlock wrote 
After Whelan unveiled his theory Thursday evening, Whitlock deleted the tweet, explaining that he “didn’t want to promote” anything that “dragged an unrelated private citizen into this unfortunate situation.”  
“I had no idea," Whitlock added, "what Ed was planning.”
About where Orin Hatch is coming from:

Donald Trump, Brett Kavanaugh and “hostile sexism”: A concept that shapes our moment - Chauncey DeVega

Republican elites are also defending Kavanaugh, with Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, going so far as to say that even if the rape allegations were true they might be excusable: "I think it would be hard for senators not to consider who he is today". Once again, per America's tradition, culture and habit, elite white men are protected from the consequences of their behavior. Toxic white masculinity is encouraged in America. White men are infantilized, while black and brown men and boys are pathologized. Salon  

Party like it’s 1991: Conservatives reboot the Anita Hill “nutty and slutty” counterattack

Smearing Anita Hill as “nutty and slutty” worked wonders in the ’90s, so conservatives are doing it all over again

That formulation — "a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty" — sounds even more offensive and out of touch in 2018, with the #MeToo movement exposing, day by day, how many men in power have serious issues with self-control. But for conservatives desperate to find some way to make the accusations of attempted rape against Brett Kavanaugh go away -- well, they're going to party like it's 1991. Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh's accuser, hasn't been in front of a camera yet, but the usual suspects are already dead certain that she is both "nutty" and "slutty" and not worth listening to.
But what this all makes clear is that the "nutty and slutty" strategy is not something born out of reading a specific situation or information about a woman's character, much less about actually trying to get to the truth of the allegations. As in 1991, the whole effort is about dialing into old, ugly stereotypes about women and hoping those can be grafted onto a given situation in order to distort and obscure the facts -- and to scare away any other women who may be considering stepping forward with their own tales.

Sept. 23, 2018

No surprise who Trump liked to pal around with: 

New book excerpt: Trump urged (football player and accused sex offender) Roethlisberger to escort Daniels to room instead of bodyguards

Sept. 22, 2018

Sept. 21, 2018

Not to miss: Trump just walked back his controversial order to declassify Russia investigation information 

Rendered speechless with this news: 
Is this insane or what department? Big bucks for new but worn out looking sneakers!

Sept. 20, 2018

It's a good thing Trump doesn't read. I doubt anyone will let him look at this Salon article. Why? Hmm... take a look yourself.

Sept. 19, 2018

When I readthis Washinton Post storyI thought “what if what is happening in the United States was happening in Russian?” What if Putin was in charge of theRussian spy agency equivalent of the CIA or FBIand he had a president of Russia who was a doppelganger of Donald Trump”

“The Apprentice: Trump, Russia and the Subversion of American Democracy” by Greg

The chapter from “The Apprentice” by Greg Miller (about the author) published in the Washington Post describes how on his second day in office Trump went to the CIA and stood in front of the hallowed wall of stars for fallen agents and gave unscripted remarks. Consider what Putin as a head of the Russian equivalent of the CIA would have thought about this in a new president came to his headquarters and this happened: 
Absorbed in self-adulation and grievance, Trump was blind to a stunning array of problems, some in plain view from the CIA stage: the failings of a national security adviser he’d insisted on hiring despite warnings; the existence of a larger agency workforce beyond this clapping, self-selected crowd that would be profoundly disturbed by his vainglorious performance; the fragments of intelligence being assembled several floors directly above him in Russia House that would help expose a web of connections between his campaign and Moscow, and feed into investigations that would threaten his presidency.
Trump’s ability to see these perils was impaired by his own unfamiliarity with the norms of governance, his insecurity and self-regard. Other presidents had varying levels of these traits, but none had ever possessed such a concentrated combination. These qualities had been on display from the start of his campaign. But now, against a backdrop that symbolized the profound burden of presidential responsibility, his shortcomings seemed suddenly and gravely consequential.
Of course, if Putin was really in charge of one of the primary Russian intelligence agencies he would have been compiling intelligence about all the possible politicians within his own government who could end up as the president. It may not be our way, but I am sure it was the Russian way before Putin became president.  
Let’s say Putin decided to give the new president the benefit of the doubt and wait to see how he governed.
Then over time the new president attacked the intelligence community run by Putin repeatedly and relied on the Russian equivalents of Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, and Jeanine Pirro (not that there are any Russian counterparts to these people) who told him that the Russian spy agencies were part of a deep state out to undermine his authority. 
What if the Russian president demanded that top-secret documents which could compromise investigations and put agent’s lives in danger? 
What if, in an interview with the media he said“I hope to be able revealthe corruption of the Russian intelligence community and make this one of my crowning achievements by exposing something that is truly a cancerin our country.” (see Interview with The Hill)
Finally, after an exhaustive investigation, what if Putin decided that he could prove that the president of Russia had conspired with the United States?
What would Putin have done?

President Trump should thank his lucky stars that he is the president of a constitutional democracy. 

The master of distraction is trying to turn attention away from the #KreepyKav hearing with this:

Sept. 18, 2018

Not a Link

Sept. 17, 2018

My Daily Kos story is about somene whose name everyone will soon know: Christine Blaisey Ford research alcoholism, addiction, post 9-11 trauma, and more
Link above

Sept. 16, 2018

Here's an article wth a manure truck load of profanity:
One could plausibly argue that nobody has done more for the anti-Trump #resistance than Trump himself.
Sept. 15, 2018

One Russian insider whom I cannot name has emphasized that Trump is merely a tool to Putin’s determination to cause chaos in America. 
As long as America stays locked within its domestic political turmoil, its role on the world stage is diminished and, reciprocally, Russia’s is enhanced. This analyst suggests that, if Democrats win the House of Representatives in November, Putin will release such damning information on Trump that the new Democratic House will be forced to draw up articles of impeachment. 
With a Senate that may still lack a two-thirds majority to convict given the Republicans are expected to hold onto more than a third of the seats, such a release would tie up the United States in domestic knots for at least a year and a half, perhaps two — right up until 2020. 
This political immolation would be Trump’s last service as a stooge of Putin’s.
Under the Radar:  The CEO of retail conglomerate L Brands, which owns Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, announced at a leadership summit in Columbus on Thursday that he “won’t support this nonsense in the Republican Party” anymore. Ohio billionaire and longtime Republican donor Les Wexner says he is officially done with the party, and was prompted to leave after former President Barack Obama visited the state.
Sept.14, 2018
What with Trump and Florence in the news, here's a story to be aware of that may turn out to be very significant:

Letitia James wins the New York attorney general primary. She could be the first black woman ever elected to the job (and possibly take on Trump).

Sept. 13, 2018
My Daily Kos story for today

Sept. 12, 2018
This was my original story. I wrote it last night but thought of a better subject (above)

Not online - I posted the editorial below instead 

By a “real wife” I mean a wife who would give him wise counsel and rein him in from acting on his worst impulses, someone like Edith Bunker. Can you imagine how horrible Archie would have been without her?
A real wife, a good wife, is a helpmate, a life partner who knows your foibles and can keep you from acting like an asshole. She would protect her husband from his worst angels by functioning as his better angel.
Yesterday was a perfect example.
If Trump had a real wife:
  • he never would have made those obnoxious insensitive Tweets
  • he would have allowed her to help him craft what would be seen as a heartfelt presidential Tweet, a somber sincere testimonial to the lives lost and the heroes of 9-11.
  • he wouldn’t have made the spectacle of himself when he raised his fists after disembarking from Marine One in Spartanburg. If one photo, this one which has gone viral, could bring down a presidency it might be this one.
  • he wouldn't have made that outrageous statement about how well he handled the aftermath of the hurricane in Puerto Rico (watch the infamous video of Trump throwing paper towels to victims of the hurricane in a disaster relief distribution center at Cavalry Chapel in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Oct. 3, 2017)
That is just from yesterday.
He also would have totally ignored the anonymous NY Times OpEd. I could go on, and on, and on.
If Trump had a real wife he wouldn't be proving that he has the empathy of a garden slug. Instead, she would be giving him guidance and his behavior wouldn't demonstrate that all the things being said about him are true.
Perhaps if Trump had a real wife he would never wonder whether she married him for his money and stays with him for the sake of appearances. They would be sleeping in the same bed and maybe he wouldn't be acting out his sexual frustration by rage Tweeting early in the morning. If he felt loved physically and emotionally he might not feel compelled to brag about how great he was all the time.
We’re lucky Trump doesn’t have a real wife.  All he has is Melania. She’s not going to say “Oh, Archie!” when he’s about to go “Archie Bunker” and he now to say affectionately "You know somethin', Melania? You're a pip. You know that? A real pip.

U.S. President Donald Trump throws rolls of paper towels to a crowd of local residents affected by Hurricane Maria as he visits a disaster relief distribution center at Cavalry Chapel in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Oct. 3, 2017. Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
A real life would just make him better at feigning empathy. We’re lucky there’s nobody in his orbit to stop him from acting like a vain uncaring blowhard, not a real wife, not a first daughter, not even a second daughter.
This is good for us. He will keep acting like someone who is better at throwing paper towels than at being president.