God bless the tweetistocracy!

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The enduring lesson of the 21st century; oligarchs be oligarchs. Regardless of race, religion, nationality or geography there exists a small subset of human beings that value power, wealth and adoration above all else. That will ignore tradition, precedent or moral boundaries to advance their own self-serving agenda. Superegos that will go to any and all lengths to amass, consolidate, grow and preserve their privilege.

Beyond their core materialistic values these amorphous chameleons share other key traits. To maintain their disproportionate share of power and wealth requires a willingness to negotiate, to change positions and engage in the art of the deal, at whatever cost. An egocentric transactional view of the world in which there is always a winner or loser. Moral, collaborative, value driven servant leaders need not apply. The objective of an oligarch is never the “collective good.” A win/win solution is a loss in the eyes of the side that needs to be the recognized winner.

A meritocracy a similar flawed result. Equal opportunity for all only invites competition and levels the future playing field. Power is to be maintained, not shared. Love of country, party, or people be damned. Flags, beliefs and alliances are transferable. Pawns to be traded in pursuit of the player’s true objective. Commodities that gain and lose value in accordance with current market conditions.

The one true threat this cabal of corruption faces is that posed by the “power of the people.” A coordinated collaboration of the masses designed to upend the rigged game and remove the systemic rot within it. For the world will be turned upside down once the majority of humanity recognizes their shared objectives in life and coalesces around their common democratic values. Unity and an end to tribal divisions is what the autocracy fears most and will do anything to prevent.

The greatest weapon these obstacles to progress possess is the power of information. Once you control the dissemination of information, you alone possess the power of the Gods. The ability to create new worlds and rules of the universe. To define truth. To present alternative facts, only now without the alternatives. Lies then become truth, and perception reality.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrel

“Those who willingly accept being conned are as corrupt as those who con them.” – Tom Robbins, Villa Incognito

Friends, deplorables, countrymen, lend me your ears;

Listen, I get it. It sucks to be duped. To get your hopes up believing that someone is the real deal. That they are going to fight the rigged system they got rich off of to level the playing field for the common man.

It’s easy to believe in hope when it’s packaged correctly. Don’t feel bad. Young and old, rich and poor, black or white all of us are susceptible to a good con. It’s truly one of life’s great equalizers that knows no prejudice.

As for Trump, well he is the ultimate con man. He identified a weakness and took advantage of it. Spun a yarn and sold America a big heaping turd of a promise to make us great again.

Now is the time to face reality though. To open your eyes and judge a person on the truth of their action. To tune out the sound bites and instead trust in the leaked recordings. It may sting a bit, but suck it up buttercup.

We’re at that point of the show where the buffoonish villain has overstayed his welcome. Pull on your big boy pants and get out of the grift now. Before we lose everything.

Understand Donald Trump is not on your side. He’s never been on your side. He’s not even a real Republican. Without regards to morality or values he simply follows whatever path he believes leads to the most power and money. #LockHimUpNow

Pawn of the Rich and Putinful

All Americans must understand who Trump is and what we as a nation are up against. We must come to grips that Trump has never been more than the paper tiger king in this battle. The Joe Exotic of American politics propped up by a supporting cast of deplorable characters.

Trump of course is the perfect rube. A literal caricature of every villain of every film ever made. A billionaire product of affluent affirmative action who sells himself as a man of the people. A self proclaimed tycoon who was placed directly at the top of the business pyramid. Never understanding what it means to actually lead. To advance on merit, not name. Able to skip the lessons of middle management, the art of empathy, humility, accountability and communication. A genius only in his own mind who was so poor at business he literally bankrupted both casinos and real estate conglomerates at the height of the economy.

Donald Trump is a man of flawed character. The embodiment of the 21st century American dream. A child of the 1% with no discernible talent, skills or virtue beyond that of self promotion. A self aggrandizing narcissistic sycophant with an unhealthy obsession for celebrity and fame. A self hating man child who overcompensates for his shortcomings by bullying, intimidating and surrounding himself with “yes men.”

A man in constant need of validation because deep down he fears he will never live up to daddy’s expectations, never be truly loved. A man with an ego so fragile he can’t deal with dissent or opposition. Who spent a lifetime avoiding accountability and consequences by silencing critics with bribes, quid pro quos and empty promises. Who justifies his deplorable behavior through incredible displays of cognitive dissonance; scapegoating, and otherwise shifting blame to the underprivileged, the disenfranchised, and those less able to defend themselves.

Like most bullies Donald stands for nothing. He is driven by vengeance, looking only for the next score to settle, fight to win. All he knows is how to marginalize, belittle, conflate, de-legitimize and, when necessary, squash dissent and opposition. Each Trump rally allows him to continue to present alternative facts, only now without the alternatives. Lies then become truth, and perception reality.

Donald Trump is not the cause of America’s ails. He is simply its most recognizable symptom. The dry cough of the national pandemic that is the Republican Party. Each day they spread their poison and choke what little life remains of our system of checks and balances until soon all that will remain is the virus itself

Tales of a Boiling Frog

There’s a story about boiling frogs. According to lore if you place a frog into a pot of boiling water it will jump right out, but if the frog is put in a pot of warm water and then brought to a slow boil it will not perceive of the danger until it’s too late. The poor frog is cooked to death.

The lesson of the story isn’t found in the frog’s death, but in it’s life. It’s that the frog never thought to escape as the water approached its boiling point. Freedom was a simple hop away but the frog chose to remain passive because it couldn’t even perceive of the danger that lay ahead. Welcome to America’s democracy.

The warning signs are all there. The erosion of checks and balances between legislative and executive branch. The partisan judiciary that serves God or dollar before constitution. The integration and influence of church upon state. The war on the free press and mainstreaming of Tucker Carlson and the Fox News Ministry of Propaganda. The reckless wag the dog foreign policy.

The takeover of state legislatures and passage of laws that restrict voting rights. The gerrrymandering of constituents to predetermined results. The enactment of artificial barriers to entry that exclude and limit full representation. Safeguards of the status quo that will enable enable sycophants to overturn the will of the people, even election results in the absence of evidence of fraud or malfeasance.

These, and other successful efforts already erode the power of the individual. When you further implement legislation that grants and bestows individual rights upon amorphous corporate conglomerates. Then you truly tip the scales of influence so that the barons of Wall Street and the lobbyists who enable them enjoy far greater political representation than the individual store clerk, call agent or working class Main Street laborer.

America’s democratic institutions, her standing as the beacon of hope and freedom to the world’s oppressed and underprivileged, is dimming. The vision of our founding fathers compromised by the rise of a global oligarchy. The interests of the few prioritized over the dreams of the many. The majority of us understand this and are able to see through the false equivalents and whataboutism. We recognize that today’s GOP is nothing more than the Guardians Of Putin. A party of extremists who seek only the consolidation of power, wealth, and religious virtuosity within their own privileged tribe. No longer advocates of a representative democracy their entire agenda is to secure the status quo. To do whatever necessary, trade whatever freedom, and betray whatever alliance necessary to secure their privileged place in society long past the point demographics of a representative democracy will otherwise allow.

It’s time for the majority to wake up. We must not allow past experience to lull us into a false sense of security. Trump may be out of office but the same cabal of corruption that lit the stove are still in positions of power and influence. Are continuing to raise the heat on the proverbial pot in anticipation of their next course. Prepping the next January 6th in the hopes of a more satisfactory conclusion. The water is getting mighty warm. It’s time to jump out. Recognize what is at stake. Traditional checks and balances do not apply to unconventional threats.

If the majority of Americans wish to preserve the American political system, we cannot afford to sit back passively and wait for future Election Days to voice the will of the people. The stakes are too high and the future too nebulous. We need to engage in bold and direct action. National strikes, sit-ins, daily demonstrations and other disruptive but non-violent methods. We need to leave our comfort zones and make proactive sacrifice.

We must not wait to remove from positions of influence those who knowingly do not serve America’s interests before all others. The demands for swift accountability to eliminate the threat that corrupt elected officials pose to the very safeguards meant to protect our political system must be heeded. Those dregs of our society who conspired in the orchestration of the January 6th insurrection, or otherwise participated in, aided in, or served as an accessory after the fact to those who sought to interfere with the peaceful transition of Executive power, must be pushed to the shadows and extremes of political debate.

We must insist our leaders collaborate across party lines to restore American democracy. Reestablish accountability and the equal application of the rule of law. Lean into our democratic values, the individual freedoms we often take for granted, and act with the urgency the situation demands. Before the water boils and it becomes too late to otherwise react.

American Traitors

The revelation that Donald Trump Jr texted then Chief of Staff Mark Meadows ideas of how Trump will retain residence at the White House despite losing the election is hardly a surprise. We all know that Trump and his corrupt cabal of coconspirators, consiglieres and accessories after the fact were plotting a coup. The story is important though as it does confirm another thing that has also been evident for some time.

The Republicans are not a legitimate political party. They do not believe in a representative democracy. Do not abide their constitutional responsibility. Do not honor their oath of office. All who remain align to them are enemies of the American system of governance. Earn their moniker as the Guardians Of Putin (GOP), allied with the enemies of freedom and democracy.

The truth is America is a single party country. That is the root of all problems. We are no longer a representative democracy. Democrat or Republican is no longer a choice of social principles, fiscal policy or foreign diplomacy. It is a choice of authoritarian rule or democracy. Americans refusal to acknowledge this basic premise. By continuing to treat an enemy of our founding principles as a legitimate equal. It is undermining our democracy.

Republicans do not believe in our system of governance. Their oath to the constitution is meaningless because they don’t believe in it. They openly seek to preserve the status quo long past the point the demographics of a representative democracy would otherwise allow. That is their prime objective. It is the opposite of the land of opportunity. Their mission is to preserve only THEIR privileged status amongst our citizenry.

Democrats need to make a stand. Refuse recognition of the Republican party. Hold to account and use traitorous terms to describe any sitting Senator, Representative, or Judge or other official known to have either aided in, or who served as an accessory after the fact in Trump’s effort to subvert the will of the people and undermine our constitution.

Americans need to unite in defense of democracyp. Push the Trump Republicans towards the extreme; to the fringe where they belong. Out of the spotlight and away from the fragile china and nuclear secrets. Doing so will allow for the rise of a legitimate new opposition party. One comprised of conservative leaning ideology within the constraints of the democratic republic our founding fathers envisioned and memorialized.

Two Americas

The time for cognitive dissonance, for denial, is past. It turns out that Barack Obama was wrong. We are two Americas. It is true we are not separated by red and blue states. The contrast is far greater than that; more divisive and permanent. We are two hands. Two ambidextrous fists that keep slamming into each other. Unable to recognize that we are attached to the same body. One hand tattooed with the word “hate” across its knuckles. The other “love.”

We have denied the obvious for far too long. Handicapped our nation by alternately tying one hand or the other behind our back. Hiding it from view for long stretches of our history. it is time to make a choice. To amputate an appendage and choose our country’s identity once and for all. To advance the dreams of our fathers requires we now pick a dominant side.

This is not a choice that can be prayed away. There are no alternative facts. One hand reflects the audacity of hope and dreams of our ancestors. It appends to those outraged by the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner and the countless other lives lost. Clenches in silent protest with those who kneel in defiance of the institutionalized racism that caused their senseless deaths. Points in condemnation of the prejudice rendered by Lady Justice that renders their deaths hollow.

It is the fist we used to smash through the bonds of slavery and defeat the grasp of Nazi facism. The hand extended by Franklin, Susan, Martin, Margaret, John, Ruth Bader and Barack as they took on world leaders and espoused the virtues of American exceptionalism. The fist we raise in pride for our immigrant heritage and in our standing as the beacon for hope and liberty to the world’s oppressed.

The other hand is no less powerful or prevalent in our nation’s history. It is the hand that draws false equivalents between those who protest for equality and freedom, and those who espouse hatred, ignorance and exclusion. The one we use to point at, slap and dehumanize people. The hand extended by those who kneel at the heels of Confederate statues and on the necks of our most vulnerable minorities. That hand that guides the whip and rips the refugee children from the arms of their exhausted mother. As if they are “animals,” unworthy of the basic inalienable rights bestowed upon all men.

It is the fist that holds the tiki torches, burns the crosses, and straps the nooses and assault rifles to their bodies to intimidate. The one that targets our sons and daughters in their crosshairs and acts as if they are of no more value than an avatar. The hand extended by Andrew, Robert E, Cheney, Anton and Trump as they alienated world leaders and preached the virtues of “America first.” The fist we raise in acknowledgement of white power and to loot the halls of our nation’s Capital.

These two fists can no longer coexist. Our identity crisis must end. Love or hate? Empathy or apathy? Progress or status quo? What’s it going to be America? It is time to choose a dominant side and embrace it. The future demands it.

The Paper Tiger King

The dog whistles turn into bugle calls as the noose tightens around Deranged Donald’s neck. All Americans must understand who Trump is and what we as a nation and the vast majority of our citizenry are up against. We must come to grips that Trump has never been more than the paper tiger king in this battle. The Joe Exotic of American politics propped up by a supporting cast of deplorable characters.

Trump of course is the perfect rube. A literal caricature of every villain of every film ever made. A billionaire product of affluent affirmative action who sells himself as a man of the people. A self proclaimed tycoon who was placed directly at the top of the business pyramid. Never understanding what it means to actually lead. To advance on merit, not name. Able to skip the lessons of middle management, the art of empathy, humility, accountability and communication. A genius only in his own mind who was so poor at business he literally bankrupted both casinos and real estate conglomerates at the height of the economy. In every way the opposite of a man who embodies the original American dream.

As if it wasn’t obvious before, Trump’s lack of response to the global pandemic that is the Coronavirus has stripped the emperor of all remaining undergarments to expose that Donald Trump is a man of flawed character. The embodiment of the 21st century American dream. A child of the 1% with no discernible talent, skills or virtue beyond that of self promotion. A self aggrandizing narcissistic sycophant with an unhealthy obsession for celebrity and fame. A self hating man child who overcompensates for his shortcomings by bullying, intimidating and surrounding himself with “yes men.”

A man in constant need of validation because deep down he fears he will never live up to daddy’s expectations, never be truly loved. A man with an ego so fragile he can’t deal with dissent or opposition. Who spent a lifetime avoiding accountability and consequences by silencing critics with bribes, quid pro quos and empty promises. Who justifies his deplorable behavior through incredible displays of cognitive dissonance; scapegoating, and otherwise shifting blame to the underprivileged, the disenfranchised, and those less able to defend themselves.

Like most bullies our so called President stands for nothing. He is driven by vengeance, looking only for the next score to settle, fight to win. All he knows is how to marginalize, belittle, conflate, de-legitimize and, when necessary, squash dissent and opposition. Each evening press conference allows him to continue to present alternative facts, only now without the alternatives. Lies then become truth, and perception reality.

Donald Trump is not the cause of America’s ails. He is simply its most recognizable symptom. The dry cough of the national pandemic that is the Republican Party. Each day they spread their poison and choke what little life remains of our system of checks and balances until all that remains is the virus itself

Lifetime Recusal

The constitutional crisis is here. Calls for Justice Thomas to recuse himself from any case involving the January 6th Commission are not sufficient. Democratic leadership must demand that Justice Thomas resign or be removed from the Supreme Court.

This is not some mere pretext of impropriety or potential conflict of interest. Ginni Thomas, his wife, took part in a COUP. A brazen attempt to overturn the results of what was known to be a legitimate election, with no evidence of widespread fraud. The very separation of powers her husband is charged with defending she sought to destroy. The checks and balances upon which our republic depends, she sought to neuter.

It is not as if Ginni was a periodic advisor or passive participant in these efforts. She was a central figure. She coordinated legal strategy with the Executive Branch and members of Thomas Clerk World, a private listserv that is *exclusively* used by former Thomas judicial clerks, in furtherance of the plot to keep Trump in power* (see Seth Abramson Twitter for more details).

In a text exchange with Mark Meadows, Ginni thanks him for his support in the “fight of good versus evil!” I’m paraphrasing now but she goes on to note that between his pledge of support and the recent news she got from her “best friend” she’s feeling like her efforts to preserve the status quo may just pan out.

The idea that a Supreme Court Justice may view a political divide as a fight between “good and evil!” That to remain a nation of “good” will require half of our citizens be eradicated and removed from positions of power. That perception of Democrats vs Republicans is exactly how one comes to believe that the “ends justify the means.” It’s the kind of belief that allows a judge to rationalize setting aside Constitutional safeguards for the “greater good.” This possibility alone is enough to justify a lifetime recusal for Thomas.

To turn a blind eye to the obvious. To proceed as if our Constitition is not on fire is a dereliction of duty by the very elected officials who swore an oath to defend it. To restore our credibility. To once again be a nation of law and order there can be no doubt of the independence of our Judicial Branch. Conservative or liberal each justice is beholden to the Constitution and how the facts of each case before it relate.

Lock Him Up!

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Donald Trump finds safety and opportunity in the chaos he stokes. The divisions he sews. He is a clear and present danger to our very way of life. A direct threat on the very freedoms and ideals that define the American experience.

The damage being done to this country cannot be overstated. Each day he remains free serves as an affront to the majority of Americans who believe in the rule of law. Each #TrumpRally feeds the cynicism that fertilizes our apathy. So long as there is even a possibility that Trump may again seek the presidential office this country will be unable to unite.

Traditional checks and balances are not effective against unprecedented risks. The reality is that the Republican Party conspired across the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary branches to overturn the results of what was known to be a lawful election. In a desperate attempt to preserve the status quo and their privileged place within it long past the point demographics would otherwise allow, GOP representatives (and their spouses – looking at you Ginni T). sworn to protect the laws of our Constitution engaged in a coup attempt.

Problems do not get better over time. We cannot continue to pretend that all is well. That our political system has not been infiltrated by a party of extremists. The longer we play this dangerous game of Russian roulette. Ignore the obvious. The more likely a fatal bullet will fire at the very heart of our Democratic Republic.

It is time #LockHimUp

The Big Lie

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That the Guardians of Putin (GOP) still exist as a major national party is an indictment of Democratic leadership. Their failure to understand branding and fear at offending any potential constituent, even ones with loaded guns pointed back in their face.

The “big lie” is an example of this. Why not call it what it was intended to be? It was not a “big lie.” It was a failed coup. Had Trump succeeded in overturning the legitimate election results it would have redefined our entire political system. America would no longer function as a Democratic Republic. The constitution rendered as worthless as a degree from Trump U.

When one’s intent is the overthrow of a democratically elected leader it cannot be called a “big lie.” It is a failed coup by an enemy of the state. Whether an individual truly believes voters got it wrong or will suffer with a change in command is irrelevant to the analysis. As Barr himself now attests, all evidence shows that Trump and his merry bannon of criminal accomplices knew there was no legitimate claim of fraud. That information in and of itself should be enough to charge and arrest him pending trial.

So long as there is even a possibility that Trump may again seek the presidential office this country will be unable to unite. Problems do not get better over time. The threat to our democracy still exists and must be removed. So long as the face of the coup is free he remains an enemy of the state and a danger to our Republic #LockHimUp