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grantcart's Journal
grantcart's Journal
November 4, 2020

The Senate Solution

I went to bed last night with a confidence that the red mirage would fade but my stomach in knots because it was clear that our hopes in the Senate were not going to be achieved.

Mitch McConnell is going to do everything he can to prevent anything worthwhile getting passed. It would mean at least two years of no solution for legislation that is widely desired by the American public: DACA, TPS, Climate Change and on and on.

I believe that this is the most likely scenario:

Mitt Romney (who voted for impeachment) will pioneer a group of 8, 10 or 12 with equal number of Republican and Democratic Senators (Tim Kaine is the most likely leader on our side). This group will undertake to negotiate compromises with Speaker Pelosi. This "Gang of 10" will function like other gangs to break up intransigent back log by the Republican Leader.

The most likely members are Republican and Democratic Senators from purple states or states dominated by the other party. The disgusting Collins is an example on their side. Mark Kelly (who faces a re election in two years is an example on our side).

The members of this group will have immense power and their stature will be enhanced and their re election made easier.

It will allow Republican Senators who dislike McConnell to go around him.

It will also be good for President Biden because he will be able to bring home concrete legislation that Americans want.

I do not believe that the filibuster will be an issue because the compromises will be universally popular, they will start on issues that are widely supported and only sabotaged by McConnell. They will be resisted at great peril.

The overall impact would be to lower the partisan temperature and a wide majority of the people would welcome a more practical approach. I believe that this is a big win for the Democrats because if we can get to a rational discussion of the issues with less anger a large majority of the people will agree with Democratic proposals.

We won't get everything we want but we will be able to craft solutions, like accepting the ACA that will improve the quality of life for Americans and improve the quality of discourse.

Senator Romney clearly is looking for two things: a defining moment in history and exorcising Trumpism from the Republican Party. There is already a strong media constituency to promote this with the Lincoln Project folks.

Don't know if this is what is going to happen, it just seems the most sensible. President Biden is also finely tuned, with his experience and relationships to make this work.

October 24, 2020

If Trump sees the 1st time/youth vote moves of GA,TX, FL, and Iowa

and realized that he could lose those three along with more heavily reported swing states and realized he is looking at a humiliating defeat I predict he will fake a relapse so he can blame it on Covid.

The numbers in those states are staggering.

The Trump supporters are showing up but it is looking a lot more like Biden supporters are being under reported by 2-3%.

Trump has a hard ceiling and the higher the early vote the more disastrous for him

He has no capacity to take it like a grown up man and will manufacture any fiction to shift blame.

They are already putting together a media platform that will,among other things,fill in the void of the ailing Limbaugh.
October 21, 2020

They are all trending in the right direction. This one and FL are daggers into Trump campsign

Bloomberg really came through in FL. Not just $ 100 million but spent it smart.

Cook just moved 11 house seats towards Dems.

It's going to be a landslide
October 6, 2020

It simply isn't fair to say that the Republican Party has betrayed its principles.

For the last 4 years the Republican Party has adopted and been faithful to one single guiding principle

The Führerprinzip or the Fuhrer Principle


The Führerprinzip (German: [ˈfyːʀɐpʀɪnˌtsiːp] (About this soundlisten); German for 'leader principle') prescribed the fundamental basis of political authority in the governmental structures of the Third Reich. This principle can be most succinctly understood to mean that "the Führer's word is above all written law" and that governmental policies, decisions, and offices ought to work toward the realization of this end.[1] In actual political usage, it refers mainly to the practice of dictatorship within the ranks of a political party itself, and as such, it has become an earmark of political fascism.

October 4, 2020

St. Thomas Aquinas on Tyrannicide: "one who liberates his country by . . ."

Since Harmodius and Aristogeiton killed Hipparchus of Athens in 514, a minister of the last Peisistratid tyrant Hippias, there has been a long and deep philosophical and theological tradition of supporting the death of a tyrant to advance democracy. In fact it was the killing of Hipparchus that led to a golden age of Athenian Democracy.

St. Thomas Aquinas gave a vibrant defense of Tyrannicide in his commentary on "Sentences" and praises the Christian who "liberates his country by killing a tyrant".

As you can imagine the Theological calculus of Tyrannicide is both complicated and very simple. German Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer is widely accepted in Christendom as a saintly martyr for actively organizing an dying in an assassination attempt of Adolf Hitler.

It gets complicated when you move from mass murdering Tyrants to consider who in the leadership circle should be considered a target. It is also complicated by the record that Tyrannicide often doesn't deliver the result that was intended. Instead of delivering a country from tyranny it frequently intensifies it.

Fascinating to watch Democrats suffer with the calculus of Donald Trump's suffering. Is it right to cheer the suffering from a man who has been a non stop generator of suffering from his campaign for President that was based on such gems as organizing a modern lynch mob to execute 5 innocent teenagers known as the "Central Park 5"?

Republicans would not face the dilemma that Democrats at DU and else where face in this moral crossroads. Donald Trump would be doing cartwheels on the White House lawn if Vice President had Covid 19. If Senator Harris had it they would be quoting scripture evoking evidence of a providential action.

For Democrats compassion is our central organizing value. We can and do have conflicting spheres of interest but at the core of our complex Venn diagram is compassion. It is informs our principle on true equality, climate change, health care, regardless of what policies each Democratic faction advocates for a particular policy.

Democrats have compassion. Republicans give lip service to "thoughts and prayers".

So the cheering of Trump's suffering and the dark humor of morbidity possibilities appear to run counter to our core values. It is not, it is a cathartic response, an emotional release that in 4 weeks the country and the world is likely to step away from a despotic ass who embraces nihilism to advance shameless self promotion even it it were to draw the country into war, even nuclear war. It is only natural to look forward to that transition with glee.

So turning to the question of Tyrannicide based on Theological or Moral grounds I embrace it and wish that I had been with Bonhoeffer or had taken out Pol Pot.

In our circumstance we should understand that Trump is not the Tyrant.

Trumpism is the tyrant and is what must be killed.

Here is where Tyrannicide gets tough. While there are hardcore racist evil doers that are beyond the pale among the 40 million in his base there are also tens of millions who are just low information people who have been trapped in a con.

Here is how we kill Trumpism. When you have a relative or friend or a work colleague that may now question their allegiance in Trump, embrace them. Don't gloat and refrain from reminding them that you told them so.

Target one or two people and don't fact check every thing they are saying but find an "off ramp" where they can depart from the highway of hate. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s great gift to the country was creating an off ramp for millions of people on the edges of bigotry so that they could take the burden off.

So to kill Trumpism, the terrible Tyrant of our time, we need a 20 point landslide. We need to build off ramps for those that we know that might be weakening.

Ironically history often gives us an icon at an iconic moment. Joe Biden may not be the greatest example of Democratic Political Leadership of our generation but he is the Iconic symbol of Democratic compassion.

Yesterday I had the chance to do an act of Tyrannicide. I was meeting an elderly client who voted for Trump and was a Republican all of her life. Politics hadn't come out but as I was leaving she thanked me for visiting her and wearing a mask and said, "be safe".

I said I am very careful and she said I wish the President was careful and she was rather disappointed that he was careless. I asked her if I could play a 2 minute video and I showed her the video of Brayden Harrington, Biden's friend who stutters.

She teared up and thanked me for showing her such an uplifting message during such a dark time and a little act of Tyrannicide diminished a little bit of Trumpism.

All we have to do is to talk to people the way Joe Biden does and we will vanquish Trumpism as a viable political national strategy, like the "Know Nothing Party" that pre shadowed it forever. It is the Tyrannicide we can all participate in.

September 30, 2020

Trump was 100% successful in meeting his strategic goals yesterday. Again the media falls for it.

To be sure Trump has a losing hand and made it worse.

He probably will lose 3% in the polls and it is looking like a 57% to 43% popular loss in 5 weeks.

And yet, at this point Trump would be happy with that.

So now the media is talking about how rude, chaotic and racist Trump is.

Everyone already knew that.

This wasn't the "beginning of the end of the Trump campaign" it is very near the end of the Trump campaign.

Trump knows that and that isn't his main concern at this time.

On Sunday the New York Times outlined specific facts that outlined

1) An elaborate criminal conspiracy to commit tax fraud
2) The greatest national security danger in the history of the United States
3) Trump's overwhelming failure as a business leader
4) A complete con perpetuating a series of flimsy PR images that are no longer credible
5) Paying lower taxes than the lowest salaried members of his base.

Paying taxes is the most personal interaction most Americans have with the federal government. There is a widespread perception that it is basically unfair that people that work the hardest pay an unfair share.

It is the one and only thing that can split his base. It is likely that if the charges were widely documented and proved that Trump wouldn't lose 3% but 15 to 20%.

But more importantly, much more importantly is that it would become the dominate theme in the close out of the election and a call for a Special Prosecutor would become a major theme in the last weeks of the campaign and would be confirmed with a landslide loss.

So Trump is going to do everything to get the criminal tax story off the front pages.

He did that yesterday. The media is outraged and distracted.

And guess what, all of the Republican Senators running for re election are not being asked about their opinion of $ 70,000 hair cut deductions, and the clearly illegal $ 70 million refund on a debt where he retained value (which is clearly not allowed).

There are no published stories today about Trump's former campaign manager who appears to be a central figure in a $ 140 million scheme to skim money from the campaign. Oh and by the way this same individual was threatening to commit suicide and is under custody.

So yes it was a revolting shit show.

But it wasn't criminal, it distracted from a much more devastating story.

Yes the NYT will reheat the story but the momentum will not be the same. There is something about the life of an expose that has an organic heat when it starts that can reach a boiling point but if it is interrupted and reissued seems contrived and less powerful.

Yes Trump lost politically, yes he is going to lose by a landslide.

But what he was able to do was to take the clearly criminal charges off the front burner and right now that is his over riding concern.

In the meantime Trump still thinks he has a chance to win the election because there could be some terrible Biden gaffe or some outlandish rumor that takes off. But even if he loses his main concern is too try and minimize his criminal exposure.

All of his shit stirring is simply repeating what he did with his bankruptcies: He created such chaos that he could force the banks to accept his terms because to fight him would see him burn down the assets (figuratively) and cause further losses. Trump is trying to generate widespread violence and civil unrest so that he can negotiate a peaceful transition with a global "no prosecution" agreement.

People think that Trump is stupid. He is not. He understands numbers. His projections on the morbidity of Covid 19 to Woodward (about 5 times a flu season) is pretty much on the mark. He knows he is almost certainly going to lose but he wants to be able to lose without having any criminal prosecution for the crimes he knows he has committed.

A chaotic racist debate performance is much better than a detailed discussion of his criminal tax history and a listing of ridiculous payments on haircuts (and the rest) that even much of his base will start to question.

September 15, 2020

Sorry George Takei but you are wrong on one key point

Mr. Takei is one of the great prophets of our age, he really is and his writings are thought provoking, humorous and kind.

Today Nevilledog posted this excellent thread which recounts his family's internment and the need for solidarity in opposing this administration. If you missed it please read and rec it.


But he is dead wrong on one point:

Today, I have no doubt that if something similar happened to one group of people, there would be massive protests and an upswell of support. From this I understand thatwWe have learned much as a country. But it’s also very easy for us to forget, to be misled, to diminish. /6

Today something very similar to the internment of 112,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese residents of three states (WA OR and CA) has happened.

Nearly 600,000 legal residents of the United States holding social security cards, living legally in the US for over 20 years will have their legal status taken away and can be forced out of the US without any further legal recourse.


A federal appeals court has upheld President Donald Trump’s decision to take away legal protections for 400,000 immigrants, who could be deported next year if he wins reelection — despite having put down roots in the US over years or even decades.

Citizens of El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan have been able to stay in the US through Temporary Protected Status (TPS), a protection typically offered to citizens of countries experiencing natural disasters or armed conflict that allows them to legally live and work in the US. Against the advice of senior State Department officials, Trump tried to end TPS for those countries starting in November 2017, arguing that conditions have improved enough that their citizens can now safely return.

The TPS system was initiated under the Bush Administration and continued and extended under the Obama Administration. The legislation was repeatedly passed by near unanimous bi partisan support. The reasoning was clear, if a country was destroyed by an earthquake, hurricane or civil war it was fruitless to try and send undocumented workers back where an economy didn't exist.

In the first case we need these workers. I know one TPS worker whose boss told me that if he were to leave he would have to hire 3 workers to replace him because he had over the years (he was hired when he was 16) gained a combination of skills no other worker has.

Beyond that it was good for rebuilding the broken economies because these workers send money back to their families.

They enrolled in the program under draconian, but fair, restrictions. You can't break any rule or you go home. I knew one fellow who went with friends to visit relatives in Toronto. He could not return to the US and was returned to El Salvador where he hadn't been in 15 years and had no connections.

I was walking with one TPS fellow near midnight in an urban area and with no cars within miles crossed the street. Reaching the other side I turned to see him waiting patiently for the "do not walk" sign to turn. Another fellow went to play soccer with some Mexican friends. When he saw that after the game they all had a single beer he refused the ride and walked 8 miles home because he didn't want to be in a car that might be pulled over for a DUI.

They have married American citizens and they are parents of American citizens.

They lived here legally for decades. Only one politician targeted them.

One of the elements that they agreed to was that they agreed that they would have no legal standing to sue if the TPS was revolked so today's ruling was not a surprise.

Over the years I have arranged to be added to the speakers list for the demonstrations for DACA or immigration reform. I got myself added to an AFL CIO state round table discussion of immigration issues (at least they knew about it at the AFL CIO). I have badgered a few TV appearances but there is no traction. These folks from Haiti, El Salvador, Nepal and elsewhere have no profile.

So today, George, a group of people 5 times larger than the odious internment of Japanese Americans and Japanese Residents just lost all of their legal standing. If one of them is involved in a traffic accident (like the SD Attorney General) they will be taken to jail and handled to ICE even though they never committed a crime and returned to a country they have not seen for decades, many leaving when they were children.

They will never appear before an Immigration Court.

Fascism doesn't require mass murder and ovens. It can be done with cages for children or by simply moving one group of people from the legal side of the ledger to the illegal side. Their lives can be destroyed in the same way that Dredd Scott's was with just a movement of a pen on paper.

So, I love you to death George and my daughter's initiative in getting your autograph consists of my entire collection of autographs but today 600,000 legal residents lives were put into jeopardy and there will be no demonstrations. It will not rise to be noticed even on MSNBC and even caring communities like DU will hardly notice.

This is how great countries are made into mean trivial pathetic embarrassments, one petty but devastating injustice at a time.

And no unfortunately the massive protests will not result in bodies in the streets but there might be some very eloquent tweets and facebook postings.

September 7, 2020

Its just a billboard

Background: Trump and McSally ads have vanished from the airwaves in AZ. We see lots of Kelly ads (very well done) and some Biden ads (also very well done). I think it is wise that both Trump and McSally save their money and not run ads because they were just terrible.

Now we know why Trump is going dark and not just in AZ:



“Money concerns are very real for President Trump’s campaign — an unusual predicament for a sitting president, and one that worries veteran Republican operatives, with Trump so far behind in swing states as the race climaxes,” Axios reports.

“The campaign’s view is that Trump will get his message out, and he depends less on paid media than normal politicians. But the number of states Trump has to worry about has actually grown, and Joe Biden’s massive August fundraising haul has given his campaign a lift as early voting begins.”

The AP reports the Trump campaign had pulled most TV ads over the previous week, ceding the airwaves to Biden, who was outspending Trump by more than 10 to 1.

New York Times: “The light television spending and advertising blackouts in some key states have mystified allies.”

Also gone are the ads on the electronic billboards.

So driving on freeways in Phoenix last week I was struck by a beautiful electronic ad that had a single word "BIDEN" against a deep blue background framed by the beautiful iconic sunset colors on the AZ state flag. Its a pretty standard format for candidates of both parties but when it is done on an electronic billboard it just projected a simple and surprisingly beautiful message. There were a couple of lines in small print but I couldn't read it but could see the simple message a couple of miles away.

It would rotate off the electronic billboard and then we get dozens of personal injury attorneys all with the same messages. No I didn't have a wreck but I still need a check and yes I know that you don't get paid until I get paid.

Eventually the Biden sign would rotate in view but now I was at an angle and couldn't see the small print.

Curious no other political advertising on the billboards but over the last week or so I kept my eye out for it.

Yesterday I was close enough and at the right angle that I could see the smaller print.

Its just a billboard but damn it, it choked me up.

I found a yard sign that has the same message and design but doesn't do justice to how it looks on a gigantic electronic billboard.

This is AZ and some Republicans here are financing their own campaign of hope and unity. President Biden will be able to bridge across America and build bridges and consensus with a sensible non Trump Republican remnant on the many things we do agree on, like NATO, refugees and the environment.

If AZ Republicans can join Democrats to elect Joe Biden President and send Mark Kelly to the Senate then we have reason to hope that this agonizing nightmarish experiment in authoritarian nihilism is coming to an end.
July 15, 2020

Oh by the way President Fuckhead

Yesterday was the first day your niece's book was released and based on your sleep deprived Rose Garden melt down you were kept up all night having the worst parts read to you which consisted of pages 1 through 240.

Now we know why Dr. Maddow was off for a few days, Ms. Trump will be on Dr. Maddow's show tomorrow night and you will be so fuck brained after that you won't be able to say things beyond the complexity of "choo choo good, I like red choo choo".

So before you become 100% diminished please issue that Executive Order granting DACA children a legal right to stay here with a path to citizenship.


“One of the aspects of the bill is going to be DACA. We are going to have a road to citizenship,” Trump told Daiz-Balart.

Trump added that “one of the aspects of the bill that you will be very happy with and that a lot of people will be, including me and a lot of Republicans by the way, will be DACA.”

There are three possible options why you would, after 3 1/2 of neglect you now talk about this:

1) Your internal polling is confirming the Dallas/UT poll that you are behind and going to lose in Texas. Out of desperation somebody told you that DACA could save Texas for you.

2) You suddenly realized that you were talking to a Mexican/American Journalist on a Spanish speaking network and "DACA" popped into your brain.

3) Number one happened last week and then the last guy you talked to before going on stage said "Mexican guy, DACA" and that's all you remembered.

So before you fry the last 18 brain cells that are still operational in your head tomorrow night when you watch Dr. Maddow and become permanently disengaged from reality do the right thing for once in your god forsaken life.

Of course he isn't going to. If he had there would have been a dozen leaks and guys like McConnell would have been prepping the Senate and House Caucus to take credit for it.

So this is really for the WH Press Corp. Yell "When is the DACA Executive Order going to be signed" every time you get within 30 feet of him.

July 9, 2020

A little background on Dr. Amish Shah Dem AZ Rep Dist 24, increasingly seen on MSNBC, the real deal

My housemate is also our precinct chairperson and for the last few months I would sit in the living room during their leadership zoom meetings, pretty ho hum until this burst of personality would electrify the meeting, pretty hard to do in a zoom setting.

Who is that guy?


A couple of weeks ago my friend emailed the NBC national reporter and asked why aren't you guys going to Dr. Amish Shah for updates on Covid 19 in Phoenix given that he is an emergency room doctor and a state legislator?

About 10 days later he started appearing frequently on MSNBC including Lawrence tonight.

He is the only politician that I would say is really "Obamaesque" in his intelligence, commitment to serve, charisma and ability to articulate complicated problems in a simple way.

Look at some of the bullet points of his background:

Born and raised in Chicago
BA Northwestern in Economics cum laude
Northwestern University Medical School Honors
International Medical Consultant
Master's in Public Health with full Merit Scholarship at UC Berkeley
Residence in Emergency Medicine at NYC busies Level I trauma center
Won American Academy of Emergency Medicine National Resident Research Competition in
inventing new methods for treating the critically ill.
Full time faculty member Mount Sinai Medical Center NY
Helped NFL improve their emergency management through the NFL Physicians' society
Graduated from U of A Sports Medicine Fellowship
Board Certified in Emergency and Sports Medicine
Founded Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival
Flies small plans
Has a cat named Taylor

He became our Rep in 2015 when he challenged the incumbent Democrat in a primary by knocking on every door in the district. Got almost twice as many votes as one of the incumbents and three times as the other.

Haven't met him but he is so genuine and friendly when I have seen him on the TV I feel like I have known him for years.

This guy would do great at a cabinet level position in the Biden administration and would be a great candidate for high office. I found this passage on his campaign bio very endearing:

Between all the bullying and an unpredictable family situation, I had a pretty rough childhood. There were times I would go to my room and pray that God would just take my life, because there seemed to be no safe place for me. But somewhere around 6th grade, the unexpected happened. Two teachers, Mrs. Weber and Ms. Meres, took an interest in me, not just as a good student, but as a good person. They saw I needed support, and gave me kindness, generosity and encouragement.

Eventually, I paid my own way through medical school, allowing me to build an independent and fulfilling career as an ER doctor. I became a faculty member, educator, researcher, and even worked for the NFL. You see, this story would never be possible in other places like India where my parents grew up. But I was born in America, and the American people cared for me and invested in me.

I know how our kids need our full support and encouragement to reach their potential, especially here in Arizona where we have an underfunded and broken system. So I will fight harder than anyone to make sure every kid gets a real shot like I did. I will demand that teachers get paid well and treated with respect. And anyone who messes with an American kid will have to mess with me.

Just imagine returning to a time when a guy with a funny name, great education and a desire to serve was laser focused on fighting for the principle that every American kid gets a solid chance to participate in the American Dream.

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