Love

If it's what you say, I love it.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

We're Not Crazy!!!

Nearly a year ago, I wrote this:

I've been watching cable news way too much lately...Why do I bother? It's not like I'm going to learn anything there I'm not going to lean on the internet. In fact, cable news is, for the most part, months behind. I mean, it's been pretty apparent since late 2016 that Trump's campaign had colluded with Russia to steal the election, and we knew in October 2016 that the New York branch of the FBI was conspiring against Hillary. Most of the news hasn't even gotten that far. But that's why I watch CNN. I learn just how far the press has gotten in their willingness to call a particular spade a spade. In the case of Trump/Russia, the press would barely acknowledge it at all until Buzzfeed published the Steele "dossier." They were skeptical about it for a long time, but hookers and pee make for good TV. The next big milestone was probably the Comey firing, when the talking heads could start musing about obstruction of justice. However, almost no one would actually discuss WHY Trump obstructed justice. As more Russia news came out, such as the Trump Tower meeting, much of it was discussed as more or less as a series of isolated incidents.
Things are changing now. Trump's attacks on Mueller, particularly the revelation that Trump tried to fire him, is starting to elicit talk of Trump actually covering up crimes, and sometimes, the TV personalities will even allude to those crimes being Russia related. Occasionally, they'll discuss whether or not a sitting President can be indicted.
But they haven't gotten to where we were (though that could've changed tonight; I haven't gotten my nightly Lemon fix yet) in December of 2016. We knew that Russia had meddled in the election, with the help of the Trump campaign, and that the election was stolen.
I don't know whether they'll get there, but I'd say the next steps are for the CNN types to acknowledge, on air, that Trump cheated. Then they'll need to discuss what the consequences should be for stealing an election. Finally, and I don't think this'll happen, CNN panelists and perhaps hosts will call for an overturning of the election. That's what I'm watching for.

How many of you have felt like you're out-of-control conspiracy-mongers while trying to explain #TrumpRussia to a friend or family member that doesn't pay attention to what's going on in the news obsessively? Virginia Hefferman suggests that we're in the clear now:

Perhaps in those days the story of Trump-Russia was too terrifying for media organizations determined to keep their professional cool. Or too far-fetched.
[David] Corn says he felt “lonely,” even as his stories about about the Russia affair gained traction. Others who reported early about curious Trump connections in Moscow — Franklin Foer in Slate, for example — have said the same thing.
But they’re not lonely now. And this is mostly because even while some media organizations sidelined, or cautiously framed, the Trump-Russia story, a much more important group of commenters were far less timid. Let’s give a round of retweets for the concerned citizens of the United States.
Take one look at Twitter: swelling numbers — initially thousands, then tens and perhaps even hundreds of thousands — gather now to raise their voices to undo Trump’s constant gaslighting about the Mueller investigation, which is decidedly not a witch hunt.
From all quarters, these citizens have kept the Trump-Russia story front and center for the electorate, and provided analysis and even scoops that clarify and help to remedy the global catastrophe that is Trump’s presidency.

Think about that. People ask me why I spend so much time reading about this topic, and here's why -- it's cliched, but knowledge is seriously powerful right now. We've all been learning what we've been learning and getting the word out. In the same way the Republicans and the Russians spent years fertilizing the ground to take out Hillary Clinton through endless talk of e-mails, and Benghazi, the Clinton Foundation, Hillary's health, and more, we have all spent the last two years pushing back -- for me, almost to the day:

We must be getting closer to the Democrats really doing something. From what I've read so far tonight, Trump (and by extension, probably Pence), McConnell, Ryan, Comey, and others could be implicated. Can Obama cut a deal to kill the investigation in exchange for a Clinton Presidency? Probably not, so we really need a new election.
It's gonna be an interesting next few days... I don't think this story is going anywhere.
I wrote that on December 10th, 2016, and that was the first day I engaged in Twitter activism. It seemed silly, yet important at the time. And while those "interesting next few days" didn't amount to much, our days certainly are getting interesting now, and our country is still mostly intact to see it.

Working together, we've kept this story alive, and it finally feels like it has legs. I mean, Olympic squat champion (is that a thing?) legs. This was an actual, non-opinion, headline in the New York Times today:



And parts of the story that weren't getting enough play before now are starting to come out:




The changes in media coverage the last month or so have been nothing short of seismic. And people are starting to figure things out. I had a copy of Seth Abramson's Proof of Collusion sent to a friend last week, and if I'd done something like that a year ago... well, forget that, I just wouldn't have done it. But I was totally comfortable doing that now, and I received an e-mail from that friend saying:

"When I received the Proof of Collusion this am, [his husband]'s response, was 'Jason is really an exceptional young man' - I agree."

Trump cheated to steal an election -- and people are finally starting to understand.


Thursday, November 29, 2018

My FINAL Take on 2016



Now that the evidence of the Trump-Russia relationship is so in the open that even Chris Cillizza has to acknowledge it, I think I'm ready to firmly stand on this take that I've found myself having to defend every time I've floated over the last year or two.

Once we can finally all admit that Trump and Russia stole the 2016 election, we need to also begin to understand that everything we thought we learned from that election is completely wrong.

Yes, Trump's base is racist. The Republican base has been racist for a long time. But the few million who changed their minds from Hillary to Trump or third party in the last month did so because they were duped by the Russians and Trump into thinking Clinton was crooked.

Going into the 2016 election, I thought our electorate looked more like the 2018 one than what we saw on 11/8/16. It's been hard to say that because it bucks widespread conventional wisdom, but I think it's OK to say now. Hillary was a fine candidate. Her campaign was quite good.

We all remember how amazing and optimistic we felt during the 2016 DNC (Russian-encouraged Bernie supporters notwithstanding). We all remember how she kicked Trump's ass in all three debates. We remember that she had a good ground game and he had none (though it turns out under the radar the Kochs had put together some semblance of one). We remember she had a more or less stable team while Trump's whole campaign was a dumpster fire.

This was all true all along and we let ourselves get gaslit (very much in Russian style) into thinking "Oh shit, Hillary didn't go to Wisconsin!" or "The Democrats need to cater more towards racist white voters in the exurbs!" We came to believe that people like Brad Parscale, Jared Kushner, and Steve Bannon were secret geniuses all along. It was bullshit.

At the end of the day, the story is that we're always within a 5-10 point margin of either party being able to win a Presidential election because there are enough established Republicans and Democrats, and that in 2016, a substantial number of the 15-20 percent of undecideds broke hard for Trump because the floodgates of an international conspiracy against Hillary Clinton (and probably would've been the case with any other Democrat) that had had wave after wave after wave thrown at it for a year crashed through due to a perfect storm of pre-arranged factors -- Wikileaks; the Republicans pressuring Comey into conducting an investigation he had absolutely no rational reason to conduct in the first place; Giuliani and diGenova working retired FBI agents and agents into a frenzy to pressure Comey to reopen said investigation at the last minute; illicit Facebook and Twitter campaigns aimed at swing voters with stolen data -- happened in the month before an election that was comfortably in the blue column until October 2016.

The polls weren't wrong; they tracked it happening even though it seemed unbelievable at the time. This also probably cost the Democrats the Senate in 2016. THAT, in a thready nutshell, is the story of the 2016 election. And I'm sticking to it.

NOW we need to figure out what that means for the future.

Mueller Can Blow It Up

What a massive day...

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Thread of the Day -- Jen Kirkman on Ocasio-Cortez

For months, I've been wrestling with the primary victory of congresscritter-elect Alexandria Ocasio Cortez:

ME: "Wow. That's an impressive victory."

"How dare she challenge a sitting leader of the Democrats during a crisis?" :EM

ME: "But she fits her district better than Crowley did, and she's who her constituents wanted."

"But she's an ardent Berniecrat who seems to want to upend the status quo and might intentionally or unintentionally elect Republicans." :EM

ME: "Come on, you're overreacting. And her policy goals are pretty good."

"Dude, her first major interview was with the goddamned Intercept." :EM

ME: "She's new. She doesn't know any better."

"Bernie's 72. He knows better." :EM

ME: "But she brings a great new energy to the Democrats"

"Look at her protesting Nancy Pelosi!" :EM

ME: "That doesn't really look like a protest to me."

"The media certainly is describing it as a protest." :EM

ME: "Well, Nancy is handling it well. I'm sure she'll teach her. Oh, and look! there's a thread on Twitter which explains that AOC wasn't even protesting her at all!"

"She's saying out loud that she's going to be primarying goddamned incumbent Democrats around the country." :EM

ME: "Hmmm... let me read that. Oh, huh. And who are the Justice Democrats?"

"They're a group started by CENK FUCKING UYHUR!" :EM

ME: "But she's still young and she just doesn't know better.

:EM



ME: Oh, bloody fuckguts.


Jen Kirkman helps sort the whole thing out in the most lucid way I've seen:


Read the whole thread.

Oh, bloody fuckguts.

My Read of Seth Abramson's Proof of Collusion -- Chapter 7



This is part of a series. You can find Chapter 6 here.



On to Chapter 8.