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Friday, January 26, 2018

Unpredictability and the dotard

We all knew that the dotard would be a disaster.  Who could have predicted, however,  the sheer volume of horrible things he could accomplish. So let's look forward to guess at what 2018 will bring.  
       At the beginning of 2017,  I was totally pessimistic about the future of our country.  The  pessimism started to erode with the women's march  I have never seen such energy in a political movement  I was at the massive DC march.  That night the media showed massive marches not only in the United States but around the world.  This was the beginning of hope for the future.  My hope was buoyed by this year's marches.  The energy is still there.  
      Many of the horrible things Trump did were predictable.  Those include. dismantling  the ACA, nominating Gorsuch, passing  tax cut for the wealthy, and dismantling regulations that protect the air, water and workers' safety. n the other hand, I can't come up  with  a list of big ticket disasters  he can go after in 2018.
       But lot's of good things can happen.  I believe Mueller is going to drop a sledge hammer on Trump and his band of bandits.  There is already plenty of information in the public domain to charge Trump, Don Jr. and Jared with obstruction of justice. It will have to be a slam dunk case, but it  can well happen.  Maybe Sessions as well.  What we don't know is how much evidence Mueller has accumulated on Trump and Company's work with the Russians to interfere with our elections.  I suspect there is a lot of evidence.   This begs the question of why has Trump been so ridiculously  close to the Russians.  In my view there can be only one reason.  He is being blackmailed because of his dirty money dealings with Russians.  There may be other bases of blackmail, but Mueller will certainly be following the money trail.  And there is plenty of criminal activity in the money pit.
       While just about every Republican in Washington has sold his or her  soul to the devil, maybe a detailed report on the most corrupt president in U.S. history will get them to abandon him.  Not that they will put country before party, but they will be worried about their own survival
       Which brings me to the second reason for optimism.  The energy displayed by the women's marches will be seen at the ballot boxes.  Republicans in solid Republican districts are being challenged like never before. And they are plenty worried. Close to home, Elissa  Slotkin is running an incredible campaign against Mike Bishop. If quality matters, Elissa wins. 
           David Trott saw the handwriting on the wall and announced he is not running.  I am supporting Haley Stevens for that seat.  Haley has an incredible resume'.  She is running in the primary against quality opponents.  On the Republican side there is Lena Epstein among others.  She proudly supported and continues to support Trump. Whether it's Haley or another Democrat, that seat can be won.  And this is happening around the country.
           I am supporting a candidate running against Paul Ryan.  But guess what, it looks like Ryan is not going to run for reelection.  For the first time, he is facing a real challenge to his seat.  Similarly the racist Steve King from Iowa is facing a very strong challenge.  In California, several Republican congressmen are in trouble.  Obviously not every challenger will win, but many will.  If the  house flips it will be huge.  If the Senate flips, it will be a tsunami.
         Make no mistake, the elections in Virginia  caused panic in the halls of Republicanism.  Democrats did far better than anyone could have expected.  The most interesting aspect of that election was that about 17 women displaced about 17 men.  The women were of  diverse backgrounds and ethnicities.
         So I am optimistic about the 2018 elections even  though Republican legislatures across the country have gerrymandered  electoral maps to greatly favor them.  This may change.  Yesterday the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that the State's districts were unconstitutionally gerrymandered. That ruling is similar to rulings from several other States.  There is a real possibility that the U.S Supreme Court will greatly limit gerrymandering. Such a decision may be hard to implement in time for the 2018 elections.  But if it happens,  this will be huge.
          I have a third reason to be optimistic, although there is a downside.  We have seen a record number of people leaving the administration.  If I had to bet,  I would bet that neither Kelly nor Tillerson will be in the administration by the end of the year.  These two men supposedly keep the dotard in check.  Maybe it would be a good thing for them to stay.  On the other hand I think that chaos in the White House may further alienate some of his voters and will energize his opponents.
        As I have said before, every day without a nuclear war is a good day.  Hopefully the 2018 elections will start the long process of damage repair.  Take care all.


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2017 and 2018 My take

    It is impossible to summarize all that happened in 2017.  Chump does and says evil things multiple times a day.  Yesterday the Washington Post had an article about Chump's 30 minute interview with the New York Times.  The article laid out 24 pure falsehoods. It is not easy to lie that often in such a short time.  Many of the lies were breathtaking. In my view, he is more than a pathological liar.  I think he's delusional.  Please let me know if you want me to forward the article.
      I was struck by Bret Stephens' op ed piece in yesterday's NYT.  Stephens is a thoughtful conservative.  He started by describing how many of his conservative friends and colleagues  who held their noses while voting for Trump are now happy.  This is primarily because of the massive tax cuts.  Also Gorsuch is high on their list of happy things.  
     Then Stephens went on to say why he was and still remains a never Trumper.  He says that character matters.  Then he gave the following description of Chump:  "Trump's personality- the lying, narcissism, bullying, bigotry, crassness, name calling, ignorance, paranoia, incompetence and pettiness."  Stephens' description is perfect, although not entirely complete.
  All news organizations have their lists of top  stories from 2017.  If I did my list it would be book length.  so I am going to limit my list to just two things.  I would ask you to give me your list.  I will be happy to publish them.  So here are the two images from 2017 which stay in the forefront of my brain.  First is the Women's March.  Kathryn and I were part of it.  We witnessed first hand how much larger it was than the inauguration the day before.  The photographs of the March were breathtaking.  This was a lifetime experience equaled only by the Obama inaugurations.
        The second image etched in my brain is Chump throwing rolls of paper towels to Puerto Ricans  who had lost everything.  He thought it was cute.  I thought it encapsulated the very sick mind that occupies the White House.  He has zero empathy, a classic sociopath.
       Now to 2018.  I am very optimistic.  There is a debate going on within the Democratic party as to whether they should run on traditional Democratic values of social and economic justice, or should they run on anti Trump messages.  I say both.  I think the amount of anti Trump energy is huge.  The women's march proved it.  So did the incredible election results in Virginia.  So did the Roy Moore defeat.  So did the other elections where Democrats barely lost in overwhelmingly Republican districts.
       Democrats across the country are mobilizing like I have never seen.  I received a call from a Leann Jacobson  in Iowa who is running against Steve King, one of the most evil, bigoted  people in Congress.  That's a low bar and he slithered beneath it.  I received another call from Cathy Myers.  She is running against Paul Ryan.  Both are longshots.  But they are not as longshots as was Doug Jones. Here in Michigan we have several outstanding candidates who have excellent shots at knocking off Republicans. (You will be hearing more about them  in the coming year.)  My point is that I have never seen such energy as has been displayed across the country since the Women's march.  Pundits, both Republican and Democrat, say that Democrats have a good chance of flipping the house.  And those pundits are assuming congressional maps stay as they are.  There is a very good chance that the U.S. Supreme Court will require remapping in heavily gerrymandered states.
       I have heard many pundits talk about the political forces in play in 2018,  None of them talk about the possible indictments and scandals which might come out of the Mueller investigation.  Mueller will deal in facts,  not in the lies which come from Trump whenever he opens his mouth.  I predict there will be more indictments and maybe even more guilty pleas.  Would anyone be surprised if Kushner is indicted?  All of the talking heads are focused on the Russia investigation.  I believe that Mueller is looking into Trump's, and Kushner's and Wilber Ross's  financial dealings.  They are loaded with dirty money.  In my view, this may be more explosive than the Russia investigation.  And finally, this may never be proven, but I am convinced that Russia has something on Trump.  That is the only possible explanation for his bizarre relationship with Putin.
      So, we can't predict the damage that Chump can do in the coming year.  We can only hope he does not start a war.  Assuming he doesn't, the winds of change are blowing at our backs.  There is a lot of cause for optimism.  Happy and healthy and peaceful New Year.

                                                                             Richard L