Why I’m Worried About America’s Future

Our Founding Father’s worried about the future of the Colonies. King George had to balance his checkbook, and the Seven Years War had put the British Empire deep into debt.

Although six European powers had been involved – and the war stretched over the whole of the Empire – George and his Parliament leaned heavily on the American colonies to pay off their debt. After all, the French and Indian War had been a part of this global conflict.

So Mother Britain looked to the Colonies to pay down the debt.

A series of laws flowed out of Parliament – where the colonists had no representation – placing heavy burdens on the Colonies. For many, the Stamp Act was the final straw.

The Stamp Act placed a duty (tax) on virtually every legal document produced in the Colonies. And on newspapers, playing cards, pamphlets, calendars, and more.

Want to place an ad in the local paper? His Majesty gets two shillings. Are you printing pamphlets of less than one whole page? That will be one penny. Each. Want to play dice? Not till you’ve paid the King’s ten shillings tax on them.

Taxation without representation triggered a rebellion. And, so, our nation was born.

Fast forward 244 years…

Once Again, Liberty Stands at a Crossroads

The election of 2020 was messy. America is polarized. Though he’s wildly unpopular, Donald Trump’s base is solid. His opponent is a respected Washington insider: Joe Biden. Biden’s last job was serving as V.P. under the charismatic Barak Obama.

Trump and his allies did all they could to sway the election. Many GOP-controlled states made early and mail-in voting as difficult as they could.

Key states fell, one after another, to Biden. Trump refused to concede.

Trump’s campaign and his allies mounted dozens of legal challenges. The courts slapped down all but one. Even judges appointed by Trump himself deemed some cases meritless.

Trump’s personal lawyers floated conspiracy theories. Votes were changed while being counted in Spain. Catering vans delivered fake ballots to counting locations. A dead Venezuelan dictator had voting machine software sabotaged. Each claim was crazier than the last. All have been disproved.

State after state certified the results. Even swing states controlled by Republican administrations. Trump’s own Depts. of Justice and Homeland Security noted there’s no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

Still, Trump and his cronies continue to claim fraud. And they’re turning to ever more desperate ways to overthrow a duly elected government. Even before that government has been seated.

Meet the Party From Crazytown

In Arizona, Trump supporters chanted, “Count those votes!” in hopes of Trump gaining an advantage. At virtually the same time, in Michigan, Trump’s minions were chanting, “Stop the count,” as Biden pulled ahead.

Some GOP-controlled legislatures blocked counting mail-in ballots before election day… meaning millions of votes were counted after in-person votes. Since Democrats were far more likely than Republicans to vote by mail, this led to large last-minute gains by Biden.

Their own party created this situation. But that didn’t stop many Republicans from claiming this predictable situation proved election fraud.

Seventeen Republican attorneys general signed on to a Texas lawsuit trying to deny four swing  states the right to count mail-in ballots received according to those states’ laws. Laws that are strikingly similar to the laws in some of the states that joined the suit.

Consider what Trump’s lawyers are saying in court.

Rudy Giuliani and Trump’s other minions are quick to claim massive fraud in front of the media. But in front of a judge? Not so much.

  • In a PA case, the judge asked a Trump lawyer if he was claiming voter fraud. The response was, “To my knowledge at present, no.”
  • In an AZ suit, a Trump campaign lawyer said, “We are not alleging fraud in this lawsuit.”
  • And, in federal court, Rudy Giuliani himself told the judge, “This is not a fraud case.”

Why? Maybe because lying to a judge has serious consequences.

More Word from Crazytown

Texas Rep. Louis Gomert tried to overthrow the Constitution by suing V.P. Pence over Pence’s role in the counting of Electoral College votes. This suit was such a stretch, Pence and the Dept. of Justice both asked the court to dismiss the case. Which it did.

And still GOP operatives try to overthrow the will of the people.

Freshman Senator Josh Hawley (R- MO), says he will challenge Biden’s victory when the Electoral College count comes up in the Senate on Jan. 6. He joins more than 100 GOP members of Congress.

Hawley’s challenge will trigger debate in both Houses… but should have little effect. First, all the evidence points to Biden winning by over 7 million votes. Second, the grown-ups in the House and Senate are generally opposed to undermining our democracy.

So, Hawley and his co-conspirators appear to be doing this just for political points. And you really have to be from Crazytown to risk our Republic for personal political gain.

But that’s exactly what Donald Trump did when he called Georgia’s Secretary of State, Republican Brad Raffensperger.

Trump spent an hour begging and bullying Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to turn the election his way. After the votes had been counted and recounted… twice.

Trump offered a list of already-disproven rumors as excuses. But it all came down to this:

“All I want to do is this,” Trump said. “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.”

Flattery, threats, pleading… Trump tried it all. It was pitiful, but there it is.

What About the Aftermath?

Here’s where I really worry. Because the only effective solution is a painful one. It’s tempting to “let bygones be bygones.” But that teaches a destructive lesson:

If you get away with it long enough, they’ll let you off scot-free.

To preserve our Democracy, Trump and his cronies must face the music. All the lies… the ethics violations… the crimes. They have to be laid bare. And they must have consequences.

Robert Mueller found 10 instances of Trump possibly obstructing justice. Prosecutors should evaluate each. The Georgia phone call. Profiting from his lease on the Old Post Office in DC. The list goes on and on.

Plus the state investigations. Did the Trump Organization manipulate values for favorable loans and tax rates? That’s potential bank and tax fraud. Why did Deutsche Bank loan Trump so much money when nobody else would? And why did the executives in charge of Trump’s accounts suddenly resign on Dec. 22, 2020?

We need a full accounting and a resolution to these – and many other – questions before we can move on as a nation.

America’s future hangs in the balance. The resolution lies in laying bare all of Trump’s antics. And that’s why I’m worried.

Because it will involve exposing all Trump’s cronies in Congress.

Can it happen? Yes. But only if Joe Biden’s Department of Justice is ready to yank the bandage off a particularly nasty scab.

Sources:

Peters, C., “The Supreme Court rejects Texas’s undemocratic election lawsuit,” msn(dot)dom. Dec 12, 2020.

Kruzel, J., “GOP lawmaker sues Pence in bid to overturn Biden win,” TheHill(dot)com. Dec 28, 2020.

Berenson, T., “Donald Trump And His Lawyers Are Making Sweeping Allegations of Voter Fraud In Public. In Court, They Say No Such Thing,” time(dot)com. Nov 20, 2020.

Scannell, K., “Trump’s private bankers resign from Deutsche Bank,” CNN(dot) com. Dec 22, 2020.

Once Again, the GOP Denies Reality

The Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General (IG) just released his long-awaited report on the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s Russia ties.

The IG found the investigation was justified. The procedures followed were largely proper. And there was no political bias involved. Case closed, right?

Hardly. The ink was barely dried on the paper when both the President – and his Attorney General (AG) – attacked the report. Just weeks after AG Barr sang the IG’s praises, he went on the attack.

Barr questioned the IG’s report and suggested his own hand-picked investigator would find different results. Except that man, federal prosecutor John Durham, has already said he can’t dispute this key finding of the IG report.

Neither the inspector General, nor Barr’s hand-picked investigator, can find any evidence of a “set-up.” In other words, the GOP “deep state” theory is dead in the water.

Case closed… maybe? If you thought so, you don’t know the GOP.

This Is Your “Independent” Attorney General?

In late November, AG Barr praised the DOJ Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, for his independence and abilities. Then, in December, Barr completely misrepresented Horowitz’s findings.

“The Inspector General’s report now makes clear,” Barr claimed, “that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken.”

“It is also clear that, from its inception,” Barr wrote, “the evidence produced by the investigation was consistently exculpatory.”

Former federal prosecutor Mimi Rocah called Barr’s statements “wildly inappropriate” referring to them as “political spin.”

This should be familiar ground. Robert Mueller wrote to Barr about Barr’s summary of the Mueller Report. And it wasn’t flowery praise.

“The summary letter the Department sent to Congress and released to the public late in the afternoon of March 24,” Mueller wrote, “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this office’s work and conclusions.”

Barr, in other words, is spinning findings to favor his boss. And he’s doing so at the expense of reality. Even to the point of calling the investigation “completely baseless.”

Even though his own Inspector General found this wasn’t true.

Barr denies the facts to favor his boss. Just as many of Trump’s GOP allies do…

Stand by Your Man

Trump has called the Horowitz’s report “a disgrace,” “an embarrassment to our country,” and “Far worse than I would have ever thought possible…”

Not surprising, since the report basically justified the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign.

Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Ronna McDaniel, and Stephanie Grisham all had their own twisted takes on the report…

  • Cruz claimed the report showed the DOJ “spied on” an opponent of the current administration
  • Graham called the FBI’s actions “criminal”
  • The report, according to McDaniel, showed the FBI “spied” on Trump’s campaign
  • And Grisham said the report proved an attempt to “overthrow the president.”

Of course, the report supports none of these claims.

But the GOP is closing ranks. Denying reality once again. To defend a man who’s siphoned off millions of dollars of taxpayer funds for personal gain… defended racists… handed billion to the rich – at the expense of ordinary Americans. A man who’s told over 40,000 lies since his election.

Once again, Trump’s apologists are closing ranks. The IG’s report clearly exonerates the FBI. Yet, once again, Trump’s allies are attacking our intelligence services in favor of a proven liar. And, in the process, furthering the efforts of the Russian government to destabilize our democracy.

This is no mishap or sideshow. It’s a key battle in the effort to save the Republic. If we don’t stand up to the GOP’s assaults on this report, we’ll be one step closer to a Russian-style oligarchy.

**************************************************************************************************

“AG Barr’s handpicked prosecutor says he doesn’t have evidence Russia probe was a setup, per report,” kgun9(dot)com. Dec 4, 2019.

Lemieux, M., “Former Federal Prosecutor Blasts AG Barr’s ‘Political Spin’ of IG Report: ‘So Wildly Inappropriate’,” Newsweek(dot)com. Dec 9, 2019.

Corn, D., “William Barr’s War on Reality, Truth, and the Law,” MotherJones(dot)com. Dec 10, 2019.

Benen, S., “Republicans turn to gaslighting in response to Justice Dept report,” msn(dot)com. Dec 10, 2019.

Trump Drops the “C Word”

No… not that C word. This is a man who said “grab ‘em by the p*ssy” without hesitation. You can probably guess he uses that C word all the time.

In this case, we’re referring to “coup.”

Yes, Trump claimed the Mueller investigation was an attempted coup. He even tossed in the word “overthrow” for good measure.

At the same time, he claims to support the rule of law… and to defend the Constitution. So that must mean he believes the proceedings against Bill Clinton were a coup as well… right?

Yeah… right.

What’s Good for the Goose…

Trump hasn’t exactly been consistent when it comes to the treatment of women. In 2016, he criticized Hillary Clinton for how she “destroyed” some of her husband’s accusers.

In almost the same breath, he claimed, “There is nobody that has more respect for women than me.” Yet, in 2008, he called Bill Clinton’s sexual peccadillos “totally unimportant.”

Trump also criticized President Clinton for lying to Congress. (Over an affair, of all things. You know: The totally unimportant stuff.)

This from a man who has uttered over 10,000 falsehoods in barely two years in office. If lying counts, Trump has set a new low. You’d have to tell more than 14 lies per day – including weekends – to match Trump’s record.

Compared to Trump, Clinton was an amateur. And a poor one, at that.

But Trump has forged onward.

“We have nothing to do with Russia.” Trump claimed.  “Except that we have been tougher on Russia than any administration in 50 years.”

Is this the same guy who said after Helsinki he had no reason to believe Russia had anything to do with the 2016 election?

Yes. And he called the FBI’s investigation. “the greatest political scandal in the history of our country.”

Yep. The President of the United States said Russia’s President was probably right… and the US intelligence community was wrong.

Sure; he reversed it a few days later… but do you really believe him?

You shouldn’t. Because the Trump campaign had multiple ties to a foreign government.

From Russia, With Love

“Within a week of the (WikiLeaks) release, a foreign government informed the FBI about its May 2016 interaction with Papadopoulos and his statement that the Russian government could assist the Trump Campaign.”

Then there’s Carter Page, Jeff Sessions, and – of course, Don, Jr., Jared, and Paul Manafort – the Moe, Larry, and Curly of campaign staffers.

No to mention Michael Flynn, and Roger Stone.

And – oh, yes – one other guy involved in the campaign. A Mr. Donald J. Trump.

According to golf reporter James Dodson, Eric Trump once told him, “We have all the funding we need out of Russia… We’ve got some guys that really, really love golf, and they’re really invested in our programs. We just go there all the time.”

And, as we later learned, the Trump Organization was angling to build a Trump Tower in Moscow well into the campaign season. Though Trump lied about that, too. And even instructed his personal lawyer – Michael Cohen – to lie about it to Congress.

All of these interactions were with our nation’s chief rival on the world stage. And virtually everyone lied about their involvement. (Don’t forget Trump eventually admitted to dictating Don Jr.’s B.S. “adoption” memo.)

So… About That “Illegal” Investigation Run by “Traitors”

The Mueller investigation – and any parallel inquiries – followed US government guidelines. That’s not a coup… or anything like it.

Here’s what Anthony Clark Arend, a professor of government and foreign service at Georgetown University, has to say on the subject:

“By using the term ‘coup,’ the president is suggesting that Mueller, and – by extension – his own Justice Department, are acting outside the law,”

Yet Mueller, Arend continued, “was appointed and supervised by Rod Rosenstein, the president’s chosen deputy attorney general.”

So, if the investigation was illegal, the blame should fall on the person who initiated the scheme. That would be one Donald J. Trump.

Plus, Trump’s actions have been anything but what you’d expect from an innocent man. At every step he has lied, interfered, and directed subordinates to do the same.

Finally, he appointed William Barr as attorney general. A man who “auditioned” for the job by releasing a memo claiming the president – by virtue of his office – can’t obstruct justice. And since his appointment, Barr has acted more as a Trump apologist than a law enforcement officer.

Barr misrepresented the Special Counsel’s report… “absolved” the president without even reading the report… and lied to Congress. His behavior has been so bad, the normally quiet Mueller wrote a letter saying Barr misrepresented the report’s findings.

So here we are with Trump claiming the Special Counsel’s investigation is a coup. But the only coup attempt is the one launched against our democracy. And the man behind that is Donald J. Trump.

Egan, L., “Trump refers to Mueller probe as attempted ‘coup,’ says ‘I didn’t need a gun’ to fend it off,” NBC News. Apr 16, 2019.
Bradner E. and Diamond, J., “Trump invokes Clinton impeachment in latest attack,” CNN.com. May 7, 2016.
Sheth, S., “Eric Trump: ‘We have all the funding we need out of Russia’ for Trump golf courses,” Business Insider. May 7, 2017.
Lutz, E., “Report: Trump Directed Cohen to Lie About Moscow Tower Project,” Vanity Fair. Jan 18, 2019.