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Gender: Male
Hometown: Maryland
Member since: Sun Aug 17, 2003, 11:39 PM
Number of posts: 76,856

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We should be outraged by this GOP suggestion to 'purge' the FBI

...anyone selling this anti-democratic treason should be run out of the country.

Here's an agency that moved to discredit Hillary Clinton in the election by 'reopening the email investigation,' and these republican clowns want us to believe the FBI was some kind of anti-Trump cabal.

Worst is the way republicans (and the administration) are outdoing Russians in their efforts to remove anyone from government who isn't loyal to Trump. It's bad enough to have this open, ongoing campaign to criminalize his political opponent in the last election, but this talk of a 'purge' is one of the most anti-democratic notions ever embraced by national political leaders.

If we're to assume people in government who supported Hillary are unable to do their jobs fairly and objectively, we'd be free to assume the governmental actions of supporters of Trump are also biased and tainted. It's absurd, yes, but it's also tyranny in action.

The FBI agent who sent anti-Trump text messages to a friend, did so with a reasonable expectation that those expressions were private. It's not as if there was some open display of bias, on Twitter, for instance. More importantly, there's no process (thankfully) to determine the private conversations and opinions of anyone else at the FBI and make a similar judgment that they're unfit to serve.

This is an open assault, a witch hunt, on anyone who dares hold a different political view from the party in power. That's as dangerous a proposition as anything I've ever heard in politics. It's a direct assault on our democracy, our constitution, and our freedom from tyranny.

FDR in '36 DNC speech:

"In 1776 we sought freedom from the tyranny of a political autocracy - from the eighteenth-century royalists who held special privileges from the crown. It was to perpetuate their privilege that they governed without the consent of the governed; that they denied the right of free assembly and free speech; that they restricted the worship of God; that they put the average man's property and the average man's life in pawn to the mercenaries of dynastic power; that they regimented the people.

And so it was to win freedom from the tyranny of political autocracy that the American Revolution was fought. That victory gave the business of governing into the hands of the average man, who won the right with his neighbors to make and order his own destiny through his own government. Political tyranny was wiped out at Philadelphia on July 4, 1776."

Political tyranny was reborn on January 20, 2017. We are in a fight to regain any reasonable expectation that we can control government against a craven republican party determined to deny representation to all but their narrow political base of supporters.

'Constitutional crisis' doesn't even begin to describe this perilous moment in our history.

Happy Christmas, DU!

...it's a cold and windy holiday this year without any snow, but it's still a perfectly picturesque Christmas day.

I do miss snow on the holidays, though. I dug up a poem I wrote here last year for a bit of a dusting... Merry Christmas, y'all!

When You Smile at the Falling Snow

When you smile at the falling snow,
You're likely remembering joy and beauty,
Experienced over a lifetime.

From the very first time your parents,
Bundled you up with layers of long underwear;
Woolen trousers and several pairs of socks;
Oversized sweater over a turtleneck;
All crammed inside that impossibly small snowsuit.

You remember that first misshaped snowman,
Mixed with dirt and grass, and snot;
More brown than the white ground surrounding it,
Well-dressed in Mother's good scarf you borrowed
And perfectly natty in Father's old cap.

There's hastily erected snow fort on the front lawn,
Fully fortified with a neat pile of perfect snowballs,
Smoothed over by stiffening, soaked mittens,
Too precious, maybe too deadly to actually throw.
The fort is everything; only room for friends, and you.

Was there ever a truly safe hill for sledding;
One without the sharp drop into the half-frozen creek?
A sledding hill without that fence at the end,
Or that busy street with cars whizzing by past the curb,
Threatening to drown, decapitate, or drive over you?

Soaked to the bone, soaked through seven solid layers,
Stubbornly ignoring frostbitten feet and swollen hands,
Struggling with your sled back up to the top of the hill,
Standing in line behind the big kids, you spot your sister,
Shivering from the cold; you're suddenly shivering, too.

I was able to recreate all of that winter magic, as an adult;
My own sons, layered and stuffed into impossibly small snowsuits.
We made our own dirty snowmen; sturdy snow forts;
And sledded down unsafe hills; scraping swollen knuckles;
Stubbornly shivering as we stayed too long.

It's snowing, and there's a family of deer in my suburban yard,
Taking refuge on the softer ground deliberately layered
With the trees' fallen debris and evergreen litter.
There's spirit here; they know it's safe from predators,
A perfect place to digest their food and nibble a bit more.

They startle when I open the door to scatter birdseed,
Standing perfectly still once more, when they hear my voice
Softly reassuring them there's no reason to run away.
They're covered with snow, and one is trying to lick flakes off of the other.
The snow is falling fast, and I'm smiling again.

Alabama is a turning point

...if Democratic voters can rally to win in Alabama, they can rally and win anywhere.

We had an inkling that the tide was turning against the republicans with the upset in Va., but there was still a lingering risk that republican voters would overcome the nationwide rejection of Trump and republican policy and, nonetheless, show up in numbers large enough to beat us at the polls.

Alabama is a major repudiation of the media's insistence that Trump's 'base' is fireproof and inviolable. You can bet there are more than a few republican pols quaking in their boots today, worried that their dwindled approval ratings are irreversible and can't be overcome by tried-and-true right-wing, dog-whistle appeals to their bigoted, racist electorate.

What's more, black voters are fully realizing the power of their participation at voting time. That's icing on the cake to have such an influential and loyal base of Democratic voters energized and active at such a pivotal point in our history.

These are politicians making political judgments about Franken, not necessarily moral ones

...and dirt-dumb political strategy, at that.

'Zero-tolerance' is being used here as a slogan, not a responsible policy which will judge accusations on merit and degree. There needs to be some system in place in which there are clear, defined guidelines for behavior and consequences which are mindful of the degree of the offenses or allegations.

Moreover, there needs to be more than just some semblance of due process, especially when making judgments about anonymous or unsubstantiated accusations. Due process isn't some dodge, it's an integral function of our system of justice.

Then there's still the matter of the precedent set for this forced resignation from Franken's own party members rushing to protect their political selves without regard to the almost certain exploitation by republicans of some Democratic pols' reflexive need to self-immolate, and their timidity in demanding accountability from their republican counterparts.

This isn't a 'line drawn in the sand' as some have mused, unless it's applied to more than just our own party, and unless it's applied with fairness, based on clear evidence of actual harm to someone, not just a bruise on a party's political profile.

They took down one of our best fighters against Trump with mostly anonymous complaints

...mostly unbelievable complaints, at that. At the very least, this should have been buttressed by a dual call for the resignation of the POTUS for his own 'admitted' crimes against women.

What happens next should be obvious to all. Republicans will continue to deny wrongdoing and evade accountability, still in power, still crafting legislation and advancing Trump's dismantling of democracy.

The right-wing has to be overjoyed. This is a formula that has worked since Iran-Contra failed to bring down Reagan-Bush, and has been a standard of republican politics since Democrats failed to hold Bush Jr. accountable for tortures, renditions, and for his lies leading the nation to war in Iraq (the consequences, a continued war).

We paid with 'Benghazi' investigations, and a phony email investigation which were allowed to mushroom as Democrats allowed both undue legitimacy, and even encouragement from some of our quarters, in the case of Hillary's emails.

If this latest self-immolation isn't part of a larger strategy of zero-tolerance for more than just our own party members, it will turn out to be a dagger in the back of every other attempt to hold republicans and their WH accountable, at least for the foreseeable future.

Whether or not Trump camp committed a crime, it was direct, covert action against interests of U.S.



Asha Rangappa‏ @AshaRangappa_
7. I explain all this to give some context to how extraordinary and serious the sanctions that the Obama admin took last December were. This was not just one diplomat, but *35*. And it was done very publicly.

Asha Rangappa‏ @AshaRangappa_
8. The idea was to send a VERY strong message that the U.S. knew that Russia had meddled in the election, and that there were going to be consequences. Clearly both the CIA and State were on board with this.

Asha Rangappa‏ @AshaRangappa_
9. For an incoming admin to covertly, and against the explicit request of the Obama admin, to send messages directly contradicting the official US stance is crazy. Apart from making the US look weak and impotent, it essentially was telling Russia that what it did was OK.

Asha Rangappa‏ @AshaRangappa_
10. Whether or not these actions amounted to a crime, it was a coordinated, covert effort directly against the interests of the United States. It threw off what was likely a lot of planning and analyses and contingencies that various agencies had prepared.

Asha Rangappa‏ @AshaRangappa_
11. I think when we focus exclusively on the criminality aspect, we (continue to) miss how these efforts essentially aided and abetted a hostile foreign state who attacked our country. That is the big picture.
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