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Hometown: Green Mountains
Home country: US
Member since: Tue Feb 5, 2013, 04:27 PM
Number of posts: 9,957

Journal Archives

Bloomberg: Brett Kavanaugh Is Cursed Either Way

This is an exceptionally strong piece. I hope it presages the future.

If he makes it to the Supreme Court without being cleared, his ordeal won't be over.

One way or another, Brett Kavanaugh will have to pay.


He will not necessarily pay explicitly for whatever it was he did or didn’t do on that contested night long ago. Although if Christine Blasey Ford appears to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and if she acquits herself credibly, then Kavanaugh is unlikely ever to sit on the Supreme Court – no matter what Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says.

Kavanaugh can wait to see if Ford’s allegations fall apart under questioning. It’s possible she’ll prove a jumble of contradictions. But from what we know so far, it’s hard to imagine she would. Ford doesn’t have to be sure of the color of paint on the wall 35 years ago. She only needs to be sure of the details of the attack as she has already described it.

Conservatives viewing her actions as a product of Democratic skulduggery fool themselves. Her allegations were problematic for Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, who first received them in confidence. If Democrats had plotted to weaponize the allegations for best effect, this late-inning muddle would not have resulted.

If McConnell is correct and Republicans manage to push Kavanaugh through to the high court, no matter what, Kavanaugh won’t be out of the woods.

This is not 1991, when Anita Hill accused soon-to-be Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. And Kavanaugh, the beneficiary of virtually every privilege that status and education can afford, is not Thomas.

Democrats in 1991 were already the party of feminists. But many of the Democratic men in Congress – Barbara Mikulski was the lone Democratic woman in the Senate – were just as doltish toward a female accuser as Republican senators are today.

That’s no longer the case. Democrats have four women on the Judiciary Committee, and the men are so different from the cast of 1991 that Senator Chris Coons of Delaware has publicly mused that maybe he should cede his committee time to his two female colleagues who are former prosecutors and superior interviewers.

More important, the Republican Party of 1991 is not the party of 2018. The party leader then was George H.W. Bush, a war hero with pronounced social graces. The current leader is a habitual liar and crude demagogue who has been accused of sexual predation by more than a dozen women while continuing to behave as cad-in-chief.

The GOP of 2018 views the Supreme Court differently as well. Republicans were not facing electoral attrition in those days, desperately trying to sabotage the future. Republicans had held the presidency for three terms and were on the verge of a historic victory in the House over a corrupt and complacent Democratic majority.

Now, Republicans are investing in a partisan court to deliver partisan outcomes to advance partisan goals that are insulated from democratic accountability, such as elections and popular opinion, which Republicans increasingly fear.


I figgered it out! Trump and the repuglicon leaders are really trying to kill the party!

Everything they are doing is obviously to set the train down the track to self-destruction.

They were planted as saboteurs after being instructed at ivy-league and other schools.

I hope it works!

Trump is deliberately trying to incite a civil war in the US.

I know this is a topic in several threads but I'd like to posit how I see it.

The timing is likely before the mid-terms. The purpose is to tear at the fabric of society and weaken the rule of law. A state of emergency would need to called. Alliances such as NATO will feel the pressure and Putin is already building it up on them.

The benefactors are dump-like criminals including oligarchs from this country and abroad.

The military (including National Guard) is an unknown but I think they can be nullified for the most part.

Putin and others will feel much more comfortable loosing their dogs of war on a country that is in internal turmoil.

There won't be enough hospitals, morgues, cemeteries to hold the results of the carnage.

Thanks, repuglicons!

Top Trump administration immigration official to appear at hate group event


The head of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is scheduled to appear next week at an event hosted by an anti-immigrant hate group that’s part of a network of organizations founded by white nationalist John Tanton.

The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) announced today that Lee Francis Cissna would participate in its “Immigration Newsmaker conversation” at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 15.

“It’s disgraceful that Francis Cissna would agree to put the weight of his office – and the U.S. government – behind a hate group that exists solely to vilify immigrants,” said Heidi Beirich, director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project.

“But none of us should be surprised. It’s just one more example of the strong bond between this administration and far-right extremists who will stop at nothing to fuel rage and resentment against immigrants of color.”

They have become blatant in their intent to turn the US back to its all-white background. Oh, wait - it wasn't white to start with and has never been lily-white.

Trump golf resort wrecked special nature site, reports reveal

Source: Guardian

US president’s broken promises have ruined a fragile dune system in Aberdeenshire

The spectacular dunes system picked by Donald Trump for his golf resort in Aberdeenshire has been “partially destroyed” as a result of the course’s construction, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act have revealed.

Scottish Natural Heritage, which has been under pressure for years to speak out on the issue, now acknowledges that serious damage has been done to the site of special scientific interest (SSSI) at Foveran Links on the Menie estate, north of Aberdeen, since the course opened in 2012, the documents show.

As a result, Foveran’s SSSI status – given because of its unusual shifting sands and diverse plant life – now hangs in the balance.

“Construction of the new golf course involved earthworks, planting of trees, greens and fairways, drainage, irrigation and grass planting,” states one of the reports released by Scottish Natural Heritage inspectors. “This has affected the natural morphology of the dunes and interfered with natural processes. Most of its important geomorphological features have been lost or reduced to fragments. Nearby marine terraces have also been reduced to fragments.”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jul/29/donald-trump-golf-environment-sssi-damaged-broken-promises

This on the heels of the post today (https://www.democraticunderground.com/1017503747) about the movie "You've Been Trumped" (full version in the post.

A historian surveys the wreckage of the Trump-Putin summit


I found this a good exposure of how some experts can be wrong. I do agree with the closing.
Here’s a headline that hasn’t aged so well: “The Surprising Promise of the Trump-Putin Summit.”

In Foreign Affairs, a mere week ago, the historian and former diplomat Michael Kimmage made the case that the real action at the Helsinki meeting would quite likely occur behind the scenes, in unglamorous conversations among midlevel diplomats, who would begin much-needed exchanges about thorny issues including Ukraine and Syria.

Then President Trump stepped up to the mike. In a now-infamous press conference, he cast doubt on the US intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia hacked Democratic politicians and generally interfered in the 2016 election. (He subsequently backpedaled, unconvincingly.)

Trump “has destroyed his credibility on Russia even with people who might be Trump voters on other issues,” said Kimmage, who teaches at the Catholic University and who served, from 2014 to 2016, on the policy planning staff at the State Department, focusing on Russia and Ukraine.


What Trump just did in Helsinki is pull the rug out from under his feet in terms of dealing with Russia. I think he destroyed his credibility as a president on this issue. He merged the cheapest of campaign rhetoric with issues that relate to America’s standing in the world, that relate to America’s security, in ways that are grossly irresponsible.

I think in retrospect, what one can say about this meeting is that it was way too soon given the level of preparation, and probably it was just a bad idea to begin with.

If the president genuinely cared about improving the US Russian relationship, it is he who just killed the chance of that, by appearing so untrustworthy and so ill-prepared. You can’t blame Putin in this case; you can’t blame the media. It the president that has put himself in the place he is in.

Major Defense Contractor to Investigate Violent White Supremacist on Its Staff

Source: ProPublica

Defense contractor Northrop Grumman said it will investigate an employee identified as a member of a violent white supremacist group in a recent report by ProPublica and Frontline.

The employee, Michael Miselis, a 29-year-old aerospace engineer, works at the company’s facility in Redondo Beach, California, and holds a government-issued security clearance of the sort required for personnel assigned to classified military projects. Outside of his professional life, Miselis belongs to the Rise Above Movement, a racist Southern California group whose members have physically attacked their political foes in at least four different cities.

Read more: https://www.propublica.org/article/northrop-grumman-defense-contractor-to-investigate-michael-miselis#146678

This "doxxing/outing" of these creeps needs to continue. ProPublica has done an incredible job of research hate and other interpersonal crimes in the US.

Requiem for the Soul of the Republican Party


Today is the United States’ traditional birthday, and pollsters are scrambling to take the patient’s pulse even as we feebly attempt celebration amid record heat induced by unchecked fossil fuel consumption, and try not to notice the cries of refugee mothers and their children separated by “baby jail.”

According to CNBC, which could never be mistaken for a liberal source, less than half (47%) of U.S. adults call themselves “proud to be American.” That number has dropped 10 percentage points in just the last five years.

That’s despite our supposedly booming economy and all the “greatness” Donald Trump insists he is bringing back to the nation.

A CNN poll reports that half of all Americans view Donald Trump as a racist. Is it any coincidence that, also according to recent surveys, close to 90% of Republicans approve of the policies of Donald Trump while almost no one else does?

One can not resist reflecting on the other half of Americans who apparently do NOT see him as a racist. In order to subscribe to that position, one must either have never read any of his own comments on brown and black people; or must themselves be racist. Both possibilities are inescapably damning for the future of the democracy we attempt to celebrate today.

Every single day since and including his inauguration, another demonstration (or three) of his willful ignorance, epic narcism, unabashed dishonesty or pure unadulterated abuse of power has turned the nightly news into a spectacle not for the faint of heart.

Even today, as the Senate Intelligence Committee finally delivered its verdict in agreement with all of the nations intelligence agencies, that Putin’s Russia did indeed interfere in the 2016 election for the purposes of getting Donald Trump elected; Republicans, from Mitch McConnell on down to the last man standing, are doing all they can to avoid acknowledging the truth.

Such a demonstration of unquestioning allegiance to a complete scoundrel like Donald Trump pretty much confirms for me that they share all of his most odious positions, and that includes racism.

He’s their sick puppy; whether he plots to invade Venezuela, sleeps with our enemies, chokes our allies, maintains the most corrupt and incompetent cabinet in recent history, and ultimately destroys ten years of economic growth; he is aided and abetted by the party of Lincoln. Now isn’t that the greatest irony?

Let it henceforth be agreed that the Republican party is not only the party of Baby Snatchers and liars, but it is also the party of racists. Sorry, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and John McCain. I appreciate your heroic efforts to save the soul of your party, but if you lie down with dogs, you’re going to wake up scratching.

Happy Fourth of July.

Baby Jesus 'detained' in US immigration protest

Source: BBC

A US church has placed statues of baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph in a cage on its lawn to protest against the Trump administration's immigration policy.

The Episcopalian Christ Church Cathedral in Indiana, Indianapolis, put the display up on Monday night, saying the Biblical family were refugees too.

The church said it was in response to the US justice department's separation of migrant children from their parents.

Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44704580

"I voted for Trump"

Tom Evslin: I voted for Trump


This commentary is by Tom Evslin, an entrepreneur, author and former Douglas (Vermont governor) administration official. This post first appeared on his blog, Fractals of Change.

Didn’t want it to be that way. During the primary season Mary and I and some friends wrote and paid to run full-page anti-Trump local ads on the day of his campaign stop in Vermont. We criticized his protectionism, misogyny, apparent racism, praise for Putin, and his practice of leaving investors and suppliers clutching the empty cloak of bankruptcy while he slipped profitably off into the night.

We were astonished as it became apparent that he really could and then did win the primary. We were equally surprised at Bernie’s strength in the other primary. Like many members of the establishment, we underestimated and under-respected the rage of people who are suffering from miserable schools, stimulus programs aimed at saving bankers, and – from their point of view – diminishing opportunity.

But he did win his primary and Hillary won hers. Now what to do? At first I thought I’d vote for Hillary; I would’ve voted for her over Obama if I’d voted in a Democratic primary; I’m not constrained by party loyalty. I admire assertive people, including women. But Bernie sucked her further and further to the left on one issue after another. She radiated insincerity. The day I decided I couldn’t vote for her was the day a reporter asked if she’d wiped her email server. “You mean with a dishrag?” she smirked. The intentionally ditsy reply was an insult to women. The smirk was more than I could stomach. It seemed to cover everything from Whitewater to the Clinton Foundation to the fortunes Bill Clinton got for speaking in Russia while the sale of American uranium assets to Russia was in the hands of Hillary’s State Department. Throw in Benghazi, too.

I looked at the platform of the Libertarians. Too naively pacificistic for a dangerous world.

I thought about not voting for president. Mary convinced me that was a cop-out, not that my vote in Vermont was going to make a difference. I filed an absentee ballot, hesitated but voted for Trump, and headed to Houston on business. Didn’t think he had a chance. The rest, of course, is history.

Why am I writing this now? Because a very intelligent and principled friend said, “No use arguing with Trump voters; they’ll never change their minds about their man.” That made me realize that many intelligent and principled people are making the intellectual and political mistake of assuming that the 63 million Americans who voted for Trump are a mindless monolith. Certainly some supported Trump from the beginning. Some are racists and white supremacists. Others were Sanders supporters appalled at the treatment their candidate got from the Democratic establishment or just angry at the establishment in general. Most Republicans had originally supported some other candidate in the primaries until Trump wore them all out. I think many people were like me; they chose what they perceived to be the lesser of two evils. Except for Trump, Clinton had the highest negatives of any major party presidential candidate in modern polling history. Trump wouldn’t like this theory, but I’m not sure he could’ve beat anybody (well, almost anybody) else.

That brings us to the next election. Suppose you want Trump outta there. I agree – and I promise you many Trump voters agree – we should do better than a petulant bully with a Twitter addiction. But, if you want Trump out, just attacking him won’t do it. Didn’t work for me or others. There needs to be a credible alternative. The ballot is set up to vote for somebody. Whom do you think should be the candidate? Whom are you working for? What are you doing to assure that the many legitimate grievances that became Sanders and Trump votes get the attention they deserve? How are you helping the establishment reform and regain the credibility it has squandered?

In the May 29 New York Times Thomas Friedman sounds a code red urging all and sundry to vote for any Democrat they can find to check Trump in Congress. That may happen; Obama had a disastrous midterm but still go re-elected two years later. Voting by party label is hardly a good idea in any circumstance.

But far down in the article https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/29/opinion/midterms-trump-democrats.html Friedman makes much more sense:

“… Democrats can’t count on winning by just showing up. They still have to connect with some centrist and conservative voters — and that means understanding that some things are true even if Trump believes them: We do have a trade issue with China that needs addressing; we cannot accept every immigrant, because so many people today want to escape the world of disorder into our world of order; people want a president who is going to grow the pie, not just redivide it; political correctness on some college campuses is out of control; people want to be comfortable expressing patriotism and love of country in an age where globalization can wash out those identities.”

I’d add to the list that the Iran agreement was bad for America and that China needed to be threatened with the trade weapon to get it to pressure North Korea.

I’m not sorry The Donald is president instead of Hillary; I would like to see us do better. I’ll change my vote once I have an alternative.

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