Trump’s lizard brain

Sadly this brain of his, the former chief strategist for the former president, worked for his billionaire patron Robert Mercer’s first and second choices in 2016, before throwing his support behind Lyin’ Ted and finally the last right-winger standing, Honest Donnie. Mercer also provided the GOP nominee with Kelleyanne Conway. The rest, as they say, is history.

The former president, always determined to be the smartest man in the room (he described this as part of his business genius while campaigning at wild rallies — surround yourself with loyal idiots to look smart) soon got sick of people giving Bannon credit for Trump’s victories. Trumplethinskin [1] fired Sloppy Steve a few months into his administration.

When it came time to overturn his election loss, Trump turned to a true strategist of chaos, anarchy and autocracy. You need a ruthless pragmatist like that in your War Room at the Willard Hotel as you implement your audacious plan and unleash your enraged mob.

Clearly, an insatiably ravenous reptile needs a cagey brain.

[1] tip of the cap to Stephanie Miller

It’s Common Sense

There’s a real reason that Trump and people like him consider journalists the enemy of the people. Everything we know about the planning, funding and execution of the Stop the Steal riot at the Capitol comes from journalists. You can stonewall Congress without consequence because the courts can be used that way in this country by wealthy, powerful people. But the fucking press … the lying media… der lugenpresse! … enemy of the people!

In a new tape recording of an interview with Trump, released by journalist Johnathan Karl, the mad former president says it’s “common sense” that people who believe there was massive election fraud and Pence refused to do anything about it would rightfully want to lynch the motherfucker.

Shades of Christian Dominionist provocateur William Pelham “Bagpiper Bill” Barr with his sneering “it’s obvious!” when asked for proof that mail-in voting would lead to massive electoral fraud by antifa, enraged colored people and others who unaccountably hate authoritarianism.

What is truly common sense is that when dealing with a bully who has always backed down whenever confronted with a real counterthreat (elevating Jeffrey Clark to AG, quitting GOP, etc.), to not confront him is to empower a sadist without boundaries to take a shit in your mouth and tell you to swallow.

Bon appétit, hesitant Democrats.

Trump scores AGAIN!

Federal Judge Tanya Chutkan yesterday ruled against Trump’s attempt to conceal all presidential papers relating to the planning and implementation of the January 6 Stop the Steal rally and subsequent MAGA riot at the Capitol. All quotes are from the Newsweek edited version of Judge Chutkan’s decision.

Plaintiff does not acknowledge the deference owed to the incumbent President’s judgment. His position that he may override the express will of the executive branch appears to be premised on the notion that his executive power “exists in perpetuity.”

But Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President. He retains the right to assert that his records are privileged, but the incumbent President “is not constitutionally obliged to honor” that assertion.

That is because Plaintiff is no longer situated to protect executive branch interests with “the information and attendant duty of executing the laws in the light of current facts and circumstances.”

And he no longer remains subject to political checks against potential abuse of that power. Moreover, contrary to Plaintiff’s assertion that President Biden’s decision not to invoke executive privilege is “unprecedented,” history is replete with examples of past Presidents declining to assert the privilege.

Trump’s lawyers. doing their best with an extremely weak legal hand, argued there is no legitimate legislative purpose to justify release of Trump’s plans to overturn the election. In attacking Congress’s legitimate legislative purpose in obtaining these documents, they were skating on very thin ice. Judge Chutkan clarifies that Congress does not need to specifically announce its intended legislative purpose, particularly if the Executive Branch agrees that Congress has a legitimate purpose. Then she helps Trump out in understanding what those purposes likely include:

The court has no difficulty discerning multiple subjects on which legislation “could be had” from the Select Committee’s requests. Some examples include enacting or amending criminal laws to deter and punish violent conduct targeted at the institutions of democracy, enacting measures for future executive enforcement of Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment against any Member of Congress or Officer of the United States who engaged in “insurrection or rebellion,” or gave “aid or comfort to the enemies thereof,” U.S. Const. amend. XIV, § 3, imposing structural reforms on executive branch agencies to prevent their abuse for antidemocratic ends, amending the Electoral Count Act, and reallocating resources and modifying processes for intelligence sharing by federal agencies charged with detecting, and interdicting, foreign and domestic threats to the security and integrity of our electoral processes.

Several times in her decision Judge Chutkan states the obvious, making a public record:

The Select Committee appears to be operating under the theory that January 6 did not take place in a vacuum, and instead was the result of a months-long groundswell.

Defendants argue that to identify effective reforms, Congress must first understand the circumstances leading up to January 6 and how the actions of Plaintiff, his advisors, and other government officials contributed or responded to that groundswell.

The court notes that the Select Committee reasonably could find it necessary to investigate the extent to which the January 6 attack on the Capitol may have been an outgrowth of a sustained effort to overturn the 2020 election results, involving individuals both in and outside government.

But the “very nature of the investigative function—like any research—is that it takes the searchers up some ‘blind alleys’ and into nonproductive enterprises. To be a valid legislative inquiry there need be no predictable end result.” Eastland, 421 U.S. at 509.

See, for example John Durham’s so far two and a half year investigation of alleged left wing traitors behind the Mueller investigation. Compare: five day, extremely limited FBI “investigation” into allegations (witness tips forwarded directly to Kavanaugh’s sponsor, fellow Federalist Society all-star Don McGahn) against Justice Boof Kavanaugh.

The Committee could reasonably expect the requested records to shed light on any White House planning and strategies concerning public messaging about the election, any efforts to halt or delay the electoral count, and preparations for and responses to the January 6 rally and attack.

Such information would be plainly material to the Select Committee’s mandate to discover and report on “the facts, circumstances, and causes relating to the January 6 [attack],” H.R. 503, § 3(1), and to pass remedial legislation in any number of previously identified areas within their legislative purview.

Court: Trump’s claims fall, release the records, Trump loses this one. Trump: Judge Chutkan is fake, smelly and a liar who does disgusting things when she goes to the bathroom! I have already appealed this bullshit decision, will win AGAIN 6-3 in my Supreme Court!

Nice subpoena

[The House January 6 Select Committee] also subpoenaed John McEntee, a young Trump loyalist who had been the former president’s baggage handler before Trump installed him as the White House personnel director, in charge of hiring for the executive branch. McEntee was reportedly present for many of the key conversations around trying to overturn the 2020 election. 

An article today in The Atlantic by Jonathan D. Karl, the chief Washington correspondent for ABC News, calls “Johnny” McEntee “the man who made January 6 possible.” McEntee purged the administration of anyone he did not consider sufficiently—that is to say, totally—loyal to Trump.

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John McEntee, I’ve been waiting for more news about this promising young man. He had MAGA greatness written all over him, think of Matt Gaetz with athletic ability.

When is preventing the administration of justice by every possible means officially Obstruction of Justice?

My friend, after taking my recommendation and reading Jason Stanley’s great short book about the rise of fascism, which follows an identical path everywhere it takes hold, called the book a bit hyperbolic. Two years later, after an angry mob of violent “patriots” overran the Capitol, at the urging of their leader, he laughed when I described a cartoon of us I’d like the discipline and talent to draw. He and I are emaciated, dirty, dressed in striped pajamas, skeletal hands on the barbed wire fence in front of us, staring ahead with dead eyes. The caption: “still think Stanley’s book was hyperbolic?”

Our democracy is like the famous frog, comfortable in the warm, then hot water, until he begins to boil and learns it’s impossible to leap with boiled legs. When something awful happens by degrees it can slip by unnoticed until it’s too late to do anything about it.

Biden’s earnest Attorney General Merrick Garland will not convene a grand jury to investigate the now well-documented plot to overturn an American presidential election. Even though there is a federal statute directly on point.

Garland doesn’t want, God forbid, to look political so he takes no action, even knowing there was a coordinated, multi-pronged plan, involving the former president, members of Congress, several lawyers, a grimly effective fascistic political strategist/podcast host, at least one former military officer, several talking heads of extreme right-wing media, plus the wealthy donors who paid, in dark money, to finance what we now nonchalantly refer to as The Big Lie and the MAGA riot.

Even knowing there was a January 6th election overturn command center, paid for by Trump’s campaign, at a hotel a block from the White House, where several conspirators huddled before and during the violent assault and breach of the Capitol to prevent certification of the 2020 election, Garland’s principled passivity is as supine as the famously supine passivity of the idealistic democratic leaders of the Weimar Republic, during the final days before the Thousand Year Reich.

So scrupulous is Garland about appearing nonpartisan that he won’t even indict Steve Bannon for openly telling Congress, the Department of Justice and the rest of the administrative state he despises to go fuck themselves, stick their subpoena where the sun don’t shine. Nineteen days after the House made the contempt referral to DOJ (Glenn Kirschner’s counting it down), Garland continues to agonize over how to apply the facts (legal subpoena, Bannon “fuck you”) to the law (willful defiance of legal subpoena without legal grounds = contempt).

The recent subpoena for pardoned asshole, admitted perjurer, QAnon promoter and former general Mike “Lock Her Up!” Flynn brings us full circle on Trump’s endless merry go round of obstruction of justice.

When, weeks into the Trump administration, Flynn lied about illegal contacts with Russians, and forgot to disclose, while getting top security clearance, that he was on the payroll of Turkey and likely other foreign governments, Trump was forced to fire him. Then the big guy cornered the FBI director, problematic anti-hero James Comey, and one on one, over dinner, asked him to drop the Flynn thing, Flynn being a good guy and a valued member of Trump’s team. Comey refused, was fired. Flynn was prosecuted, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. This was all normal DC politics and the law, playing out pretty much as it always had.

Then as Flynn watched other Trump operatives play coy in legal proceedings, counting on the quid pro quo pardons that Trump continued to dangle for self-proclaimed political ratfuckers like Manafort and Stone, encouraging them to obstruct their own trials, intimidate witnesses, change their stories, playfully threaten a federal judge or two, he realized how stupid he’d been to plead guilty, just because they had the proof of his lies and it would have been worse for him to go through a full trial.

Flynn hired the insane, well-connected right wing attorney Sidney Powell who argued that Flynn had been tricked into his guilty plea by the cunning canards of a cabal of cannibal pedophile cucks. The Department of Justice worked closely with Flynn’s new attorney, a true right wing Kraken superstar (at that time), and they hastened to dismiss all charges against Flynn, claiming now that Trump’s FBI had been compromised by treacherous partisan Democrats who hated Trump and that Flynn had been suckered into lying and then lying about lying.

Trump’s gunsel, Bill Barr, took the extraordinary step of arguing against his own Department of Justice, who had successfully prosecuted Flynn. He did this behind the scenes, as well as publicly.

At the same time, he loudly appointed a Special Counsel to start an investigation into the Mueller “witch hunt” with an eye toward a propaganda coup, that could be announced with great fanfare right before the 2020 election, like Comey’s 2016 game changer about Hillary Clinton. It turned out Durham had turned up an irregularity in a FISA warrant for Trump associate Carter Page, the apparent lie being the omission of the pertinent fact that Page had been a CIA asset or something of that nature. Barr ran with this — if the Page warrant was obtained based on a lie, the whole Mueller investigation was based on pure hatred of Christian Dominionists by Satan worshipping secular cuck anarchist antifa liberals.

Trump successfully obstructed justice during the Mueller investigation, in at least ten separate counts that Mueller could not exonerate him for. He successfully obstructed justice again by having Barr bury the whistleblower complaint about Trump’s shakedown, two day’s after Mueller’s shambling testimony left no doubt that the Mueller investigation had failed to nail him, of the new Ukrainian president for dirt on Joe Biden. Trump was “acquitted” in two separate witness-free impeachment trials, run by his own party, working closely and openly with Trump’s demented defense team.

After lying for months, now a year, about his election loss and conspiring with a cast of pathetic but energetic characters, he fomented a riot to Stop the Steal. He also had a plan to subvert the constitutional order, sought to replace an acting AG intent on following the law, tried to strong arm his loyal vice president to go along with a mad plan to keep control of the government, and when he refused, incited a mob to string the fucking cowardly traitor up.

If you were writing a novel about a corrupt leader obstructing justice, you might be afraid to put this much detail into it, for fear of straining the readers’ willingness to suspend disbelief.

If I were an Australian, with a deep stake in American democracy, Jim Jefferies, for example, I would probably at this point call Merrick Garland a cunt, though I realize that’s not a word we can use here, in the USA, where words fucking matter.

Garland may well be a very principled, judicious, deliberate man, but he’s not a wartime Attorney General ready to deploy the law boldly against seditious conspirators, making them actually obey subpoenas from Congress — for starters, to end the GOP’s seamless obstruction of justice and ensure that fascism is not our immediate fate here in the land of the free and the home of the highly principled.

Mike Flynn is laughing his autocratic ass off now, as the far-right’s Steve Bannon continues to bray from his basement, basking in his open contempt of Congress and law, and the good citizens shudder, wondering when they will finally just take over, put troops and angry mobs of armed vigilantes in the street and the Enemies of the People, and bigmouths like me, into harsh, airless, stinking, sun-baked Joe Arpaio-style prison camps.

Three faces we should all know

John Durham

John Durham, Special Counsel appointed by Bill Barr to investigate and root out the “traitors” who brought the “baseless, lying, partisan witch hunt” investigation into collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians to the Department of Justice. Durham has now been at his work longer than Mueller was. He recently issued a third indictment, arresting a man who allegedly did the same kind of thing Mike Flynn did — lying to conceal the fact that he was lying.

In Flynn’s case the lies were eventually deemed ‘immaterial’ by Barr. In the case of the indicted Clinton-supporting alleged liar who gave unfounded rumors to the author of the anti-Trump Steele Dossier (a document which was not, in fact relied on by Mueller – the definition of ‘immaterial’ lies when investigating the oringes of the “Rusher thing”), and allegedly lied about it to Durham’s investigators, he will face justice.

Durham’s face (and this seems to be his official DOJ photo) says a lot about him — he is fierce, implacable, deeply conservative, a devout Catholic (like fellow Christian dominionists [1] Bill Barr, former White House Counsel Pat Cippolini, Mick Mulvaney, Mike Pompeo) and a dogged ratter.

So as not to appear “political” Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland has authorized Durham to continue hunting for the partisan liars who brought the fake and embarrassing “Rusher thing” in an attempt to compromise and humiliate the honest and never the least bit corrupt or “transactional” Donald Trump.

Presumably the same fear of appearing partisan has restrained Garland from convening grand juries to indict any of the people we now know conspired with the defeated former president1 to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Not Rudy Giuiliani (who brought numerous baseless post election lawsuits promoting Trump’s Big Lie and, prior to the election, played a key role in the smearing and ouster of US ambassador Marie Yavonovich, so as to promote a fake Ukrainian investigation into Hunter Biden), not either of the two lunatic fringe Federalist Society lawyers, Jefferey Bossert Clark and John C. Eastman, who energetically served the mad former president in his mission to remain in office after losing the election.

Jeffrey Bossert Clark

Clark is the ambitious Trump appointed weasel [2] who wrote a letter based on Trump’s lies and tried to pressure the acting Attorney General into signing the letter to top Georgia officials falsely claiming there had been massive voter fraud in Georgia, that there was an ongoing DOJ investigation into that fraud. Both claims were false, knowing lies, in Barr’s phrase “bullshit.” Clark gave it his best shot in the days immediately before the January 6 riot, he was ready to step in as acting AG, sign the lying letter himself, if Trump said the word. Trump backed down under pressure from DOJ officials and his own White House Counsel.

On January 14th Clark resigned his post at the Department of Justice and immediately went to work for a far right nonprofit that brought lawsuits against mask and vaccine mandates and abortion providers. The latest on this fucker, who cited a vague privilege instead of testifying before the January 6 Committer on Friday:

“The Trump taint is sticking to Jeffrey Clark,” Business Insider reported Thursday. “In the 10 months since the would-be Justice Department coup, Clark’s name has been scrubbed from the conservative legal group where he’d landed his first post-Trump job. He lawyered up in the face of congressional scrutiny. But, just days before his Friday interview with the House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol, Clark parted ways with the defense lawyer Robert Driscoll, Politico reported late Wednesday.”

Clark is just the latest attorney to suffer repercussions for their relationship with Trump.

“In the eyes of several former colleagues, Clark has joined the ranks of once respected conservative lawyers — including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the former prosecutor Sidney Powell, and the constitutional scholar John Eastman — who have been burned flying too close to Trump,” the report noted.

After Clark stonewalled the January 6 Committee last week he should have been found in contempt and locked up pursuant to Congress’s power of inherent contempt, until he agreed to testify truthfully. Unfortunately, while legal, it would appear as “political” as the prosecutions Merrick Garland is thus far not pursuing. To the party that honors rules and norms, and places a quaint reliance on empirical facts, this kind of hardball tactic is apparently inconceivable.

Which brings us to another Federalist Society stalwart and former dean of a presumably right wing law school, John Eastman.

This jackass, who spoke at the January 6th Stop the Steal rally and subsequently lost his job, turns out to have authored a battle plan for Mike Pence to defy the Constitution, and more than 200 years of precedent, on January 6th and insist that since there were alternate slates of electors from each swing state Trump lost (there were no alternate electors — every state had certified its electors a month earlier) he was invoking his (imaginary, counter-factual) Twelfth Amendment power to disqualify the electors in those disputed states, call the election undecided for lack of an Electoral College majority and send it to the gerrymandered House for a straight party-line vote (that would, under the rules for deciding a deadlocked election, bypass the actual majority in the House) where Trump could be declared president by the loyal members of his own party, who enjoyed a majority in the House for this purpose only. You can read this braying jackass’s short, to the point, memo to Pence HERE.

Under Eastman’s learned constitutional analysis, the Vice President who loses a re-election bid, under powers arguably (but only by someone insane) granted by the convoluted, procedural 12th Amendment, has the absolute final say on whether or not he lost his re-election bid. Clearly the intent of the Framers, no?

The absurdity of this claim aside, Eastman provided step by step instructions for how Pence needed to proceed, to sidestep constitutional and procedural objections and silence Democrats when they “start to howl”. Eastman was in the war room at the Willard Hotel, taking the short walk over to exhort the crowd to go to the Capitol, shortly before the January 6th Stop the Steal rally unaccountably turned into a violent assault on the Capitol. His hotel bills, we learned recently, were paid by the Trump/Pence 2020 campaign.

Of course, indicting him for anything — and how can you indict a lawyer for a good faith argument for illegal actions to overturn a certified election? — would only play into the hands of the really hardcore right wingers who want a violent overthrow of democracy. And so, in Biden and Merrick Garland’s judgment, you dig, we must avoid the appearance of being overtly on the side of not overturning US elections, because, you know, it would only infuriate powerful American Nazis.

Makes me wanna holler.

[1]

Dominionism, or Christian Dominionism is a term coined by social scientists and popularized by journalists to refer to a subset of American Christianity that is conservative, politically active, and believes that Christians should, and eventually will, take control of the government. The term is sometimes used as a “catch-all” by bloggers to describe any politically active Christian, but not every conservative, politically minded Christian is a Dominionist.

Christian Dominionists believe that God desires Christians to rise to power through civil systems so that His Word might then govern the nation. The belief that “America is a Christian nation” is sometimes called “soft dominionism”; the idea that God wants only Christians to hold government office and run the country according to biblical law is called “hard dominionism.”

Dominion theology’s beliefs are based on Genesis 1:28, which says, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (emphasis added).

This verse is taken by Christian Dominionists as a divine mandate to claim dominion over the earth, physically, spiritually, and politically. However, this is taking a large step away from the text, which only says to have dominion over the creatures of earth, and to “subdue” the earth. It is likely that this verse simply means for humanity to a) multiply and expand over the face of the earth instead of staying in one place and b) keep and take care of all other living things. There were no political entities in Genesis 1.

However, dominion theology goes even further with this verse, leading to two other philosophies: Christian Reconstructionism and Kingdom Now theology. Christian Reconstructionism is an intellectually high-minded worldview, most popular among the more conservative branches of Christian faith. Reconstructionism says that dominion will be achieved by each Christian excelling in his or her individual field (Christian artists taking dominion of the art world, Christian musicians taking dominion of the music world, Christian businessmen taking dominion of the business world, etc., until all systems and fields are “subdued”).

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[2] From a January 24, 2021 story in the New York Times

WASHINGTON — It was New Year’s Eve, but the Justice Department’s top leaders had little to celebrate as they discussed Jeffrey Clark, the acting head of the civil division, who had repeatedly pushed them to help President Donald J. Trump undo his electoral loss.

Huddled in the department’s headquarters, they noted that they had rebuked him for secretly meeting with Mr. Trump, even as the department had rebuffed the president’s outlandish requests for court filings and special counsels, according to six people with knowledge of the meeting. No official would host a news conference to say that federal fraud investigations cast the results in doubt, they told him. No one would send a letter making such claims to Georgia lawmakers

When the meeting ended not long before midnight, Acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen hoped that the matter was settled, never suspecting that his subordinate would secretly discuss the plan for the letter with Mr. Trump, and very nearly take Mr. Rosen’s job, as part of a plot with the president to wield the department’s power to try to alter the Georgia election outcome.

It was clear that night, though, that Mr. Clark — with his willingness to entertain conspiracy theories about voting booth hacks and election fraud — was not the establishment lawyer they thought him to be. Some senior department leaders had considered him quiet, hard-working and detail-oriented. Others said they knew nothing about him, so low was his profile. He struck neither his fans in the department nor his detractors as being part of the Trumpist faction of the party, according to interviews.

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You can’t blame Trump supporters for being mad

They came to Washington D.C. in the days before January 6 to fight like hell against a stolen election. Trump and his dark money allies had spent $50,000,000 on ad buys hammering home the infuriating message that, like the lying Black guy before him, Biden was an illegitimate lying bastard fake presidential cuck. Trump himself tweeted this invitation:

On the morning that a Black pastor and a Jewish journalist replaced two die-hard Trumpist senators from Georgia, giving the illegitimate Sleepy Joe a razor thin majority in both houses of Congress, Trump’s most passionate people were there, fired up and ready to be wild and Stop the Steal.

What most in that large MAGA crowd did not know was that Trump had been meeting with a group of elected GOP representatives and senators, working the phones to state officials, threatening and cajoling state election board members, including a few he summoned to be his guests at the Trump Hotel.

They also probably had no idea he’d been working tirelessly to convince the DOJ to release a statement indicating widespread voter fraud, even though none was found, had considered replacing the acting AG with an American Eichmann-type, an ambitious weasel named Jeffery Bossert Clark willing to do whatever it takes, had wildly right-wing lawyer (John Eastman) writing a literal script for Pence to nullify Biden’s victory under bizarre, even absurd, constitutional claims.

They didn’t know Trump’s inner circle, Steve Bannon, Rudy, felon Bernie Kerick, John Eastman and others were in a war room at the Willard Hotel, paid for by the Trump Pence 2020 campaign, providing tactical support while the Stop the Steal rally and the MAGA riot were taking place.

They knew Mike Flynn, Rudy and Sidney Powell were in and out of the Oval Office, along with the MyPillow guy, in the days leading up to the Capitol riot, that Trump was capable of any lie that could possibly benefit him. Many in Trump’s crowd may even have known there was no evidence to establish any detail of Trump’s lie about a stolen election, a conspiracy in which Democrats and treasonous Republicans, including Federalist Society judges he had appointed for lifetime tenures on the federal bench, had worked together to victimize Trump.

If they had known all that, it would have made no difference to people eager to fight for the higher truth. Trump may be a compulsive liar, but he also knows exactly what his audience wants to hear to fire ’em up.

On the Opposition side, the Democratic party, we have incomprehensibly spineless leadership. The party’s hand-wringing leaders have been in deadly embrace with corporate titans and their legions of lobbyists, in spite of almost half of its shaky House majority Progressive Caucus members. This collective lack of spine and corporate dependence was accelerated by Bill Clinton, a people pleaser and the greatest Republican president of the twentieth century, under whom the corporate donor grip on the party was cemented. Clinton and the DNC were handsomely rewarded for the party’s unapologetic move to the political right, in terms of corporate generosity. Obama opted out of public financing of his first presidential campaign since he had out raised McCain by a good margin, largely from the financial sector.

In the swamp that is Washington D.C., where a coal lobbyist like Joe Manchin III, as chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee, freely casts the deciding vote on whether to mitigate looming, easily observable Climate Catastrophe, the Democratic party has had the same corporately beholden leadership for decades. Leadership that, while making sure corporate donors are never alienated, has allowed the GOP to exercise almost total control over framing public debate, legislation, judicial appointments, war making and every other function of government, whichever party is in power.

Do the Democrats have a problem with messaging? They certainly do, with the excuse that their message, like their policies, is nuanced, takes complicated realities into consideration. Do Americans understand that we are the only wealthy nation that provides no paid family leave to new parents? Do Americans know that we pay the highest rates in the world for prescription drugs made by our own pharmaceutical companies? Do Americans know that the world is on the edge of literal destruction, mass extinctions and the destabilizing dislocation of millions made homeless by rising sea levels caused by global warming? That our billionaires, required to pay less tax than their counterparts elsewhere, can easily evade most tax on their income and wealth? The some of our largest corporations not only pay no tax, but receive generous government handouts, funded by tax dollars?

On the GOP side you have the dozens of well-funded academic and policy initiatives by the Koch network amplified through Rupert Murdoch’s relentless media blitzkrieg, using simple, enraging arguments, often based only on strong opinions, to convince half the country that the Democrat [sic] party is a bunch of radical Communist puppets who work for, as Florida senator Marco Rubio accused them the other day, Marxist corporations here in the USA. Last week Little Marco told a conservative group:

“They are the product of decades of anti-American indoctrination at our elite universities and they feel no obligation to America or its national interest,” the Florida senator said of America’s corporate leaders. “I’m not here to tell you big business is the enemy. But I’m here to tell you big business is not our ally in the fight against socialism.” . . .

. . . “The real fight isn’t about the tax rate on billionaires,” Rubio said. “The real fight is about a small, radical, but incredibly powerful minority that wants to… erase our culture and traditions, throw away our values, and walk away from a free enterprise economy that is still the envy of the world.”

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We all know the real enemy here, don’t we?

So, like I said, don’t blame MAGA nation for being good and goddamned mad.