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Friday, December 9, 2016

Normal

Hot off the presses from TPM...

Republicans apparently aren't going to be satisfied with phasing out Medicare. They're going to try to pass huge cuts to Social Security this year too. Not Bush-style partial phaseout but just big, big cuts. And you're out of luck even if you're a current beneficiary.
More shortly. (JASON'S UPDATE, 12/9/16, 5:02 PM: Here's the more)
I'm about to lose my lunch. They need to be stopped cold.

And here's a reason to do it.

President Barack Obama has directed U.S. intelligence agencies to conduct an investigation into hacking attacks related to the U.S. election and issue a report before he leaves office next month, White House counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco said.
The report, which will be provided to Congress but not necessarily made public, will examine what impact hacking by Russia may have had on the election last month, Monaco said Friday at a breakfast in Washington hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.
Reiterating what I said yesterday, only now 100X so:

This cannot be about "grace," or "hashtags," or "the burden of being the President of the United States." Donald Trump doesn't give a shit molecule about your "concerns" or "fears." It can't be about a "Sincere and Inspiring" farewell speech. It can't be about crossing our fingers and hoping Mitch McConnell doesn't end the filibuster or begging three Republicans to stand on the side of good on some issues when there is not a single issue or nominee on which the other side is pushing abject evil.
We need to hear more from how the top of our party plans to handle this and what we should be doing, because we're fighting the top of theirs. This is a state of emergency. No more words. Plans. Actions. Barack, Hillary, Joe, Tim, Nancy, Chuck... do something. 
Back to the Bloomberg story:

"We may be crossing into a new threshold and it’s incumbent upon us to take stock of that," Monaco said. The report will “impart lessons learned,” she said.

This also cannot be about "imparting lessons learned." This has to be about stopping history from repeating itself. All of the times the Republicans have gotten away with treason. Treason. No exaggeration.

Nixon and Vietnam:

President Johnson had at the time a habit of recording all of his phone conversations, and newly released tapes from 1968 detailed that the FBI had “bugged” the telephones of the South Vietnamese ambassador and of Anna Chennault, one of Nixon’s aides. Based on the tapes, says Taylor for the BBC, we learn that in the time leading up to the Paris Peace talks, “Chennault was despatched to the South Vietnamese embassy with a clear message: the South Vietnamese government should withdraw from the talks, refuse to deal with Johnson, and if Nixon was elected, they would get a much better deal.”

And Johnson let him off because:

Though the basic story of Nixon’s involvement in stalling the Vietnam peace talks has been around before, the new tapes, says the Atlantic Wire, describe how President Johnson knew all about the on-goings but chose not to bring them to the public’s attention: he thought that his intended successor, Hubert Humphrey, was going to beat Nixon in the upcoming election anyway. And, by revealing that he knew about Nixon’s dealings, he’d also have to admit to having spied on the South Vietnamese ambassador.
And Nixon became President for the next two terms.

Reagan's "October Surprise":

In January 1992 I published my first journalistic article ever. Published in Puerto Rico’s Claridad weekly newspaper, it was titled “The October Surprise”. In it I affirmed that the 1980 Reagan-Bush campaign bargained secretly with Iranian radicals for the postponement of the liberation of 52 Americans that they were holding hostage. These hostages were employees of the US embassy in Iran’s capital city of Teheran, which had been stormed by militants loyal to the Ayatollah Khomeini in November 1979. This secret deal, known as the October Surprise, frustrated the attempts of US president Jimmy Carter to obtain the hostages’ release in time for the elections in November. This failure cost Carter his reelection, and swept Republican candidate Ronald Reagan into the presidency. Polls carried out before the election showed that the hostage issue was of top importance in the minds of the American electorate.
The Republican campaign’s main negotiators in this deal were George H. W. Bush, vice presidential candidate and former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director, and William Casey, the campaign’s director and veteran spook who spied for the Office of Strategic Services during World War Two. Once elected, president Reagan appointed Casey to direct the CIA.
The hostages were freed the same day Reagan was sworn in as his nation’s fortieth president on January 1981. What was in it for the Iranians? Weapons, tons of them. Iran needed them badly in order to repel an invasion by Iraq.

This one's not confirmed like the others, but given the context of the others, particularly the next one, is pretty damned likely. And Reagan ended up President for two terms.

Iran-Contra:

The Iran–Contra affair (Persian: ماجراي ایران-کنترا‎‎, Spanish: caso Irán-Contra), also referred to as Irangate,[1] Contragate[2] or the Iran–Contra scandal, was a political scandal in the United States that occurred during the second term of the Reagan Administration. Senior administration officials secretly facilitated the sale of arms to Iran, which was the subject of an arms embargo.[3] They hoped thereby to secure the release of several U.S. hostages and to fund the Contras in Nicaragua. Under the Boland Amendment, further funding of the Contras by the government had been prohibited by Congress.
The scandal began as an operation to free the seven American hostages being held in Lebanon by Hezbollah, a paramilitary group with Iranian ties connected to the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution. It was planned that Israel would ship weapons to Iran, and then the United States would resupply Israel and receive the Israeli payment. The Iranian recipients promised to do everything in their power to achieve the release of the U.S. hostages.[4][5] Large modifications to the plan were devised by Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North of the National Security Council in late 1985, in which a portion of the proceeds from the weapon sales was diverted to fund anti-Sandinista and anti-communist rebels, or Contras, in Nicaragua.[4]
While President Ronald Reagan was a supporter of the Contra cause,[6] the evidence is disputed as to whether he authorized the diversion of the money raised by the Iranian arms sales to the Contras.[4][5][7] Handwritten notes taken by Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger on December 7, 1985, indicate that Reagan was aware of potential hostage transfers with Iran, as well as the sale of Hawk and TOW missiles to "moderate elements" within that country.[8] Weinberger wrote that Reagan said "he could answer to charges of illegality but couldn't answer to the charge that 'big strong President Reagan passed up a chance to free the hostages'".[8] After the weapon sales were revealed in November 1986, Reagan appeared on national television and stated that the weapons transfers had indeed occurred, but that the United States did not trade arms for hostages.[9] The investigation was impeded when large volumes of documents relating to the scandal were destroyed or withheld from investigators by Reagan administration officials.[10] On March 4, 1987, Reagan returned to the airwaves in a nationally televised address, taking full responsibility for any actions that he was unaware of, and admitting that "what began as a strategic opening to Iran deteriorated, in its implementation, into trading arms for hostages".[11]
Several investigations ensued, including those by the U.S. Congress and the three-person, Reagan-appointed Tower Commission. Neither found any evidence that President Reagan himself knew of the extent of the multiple programs.[4][5][7] Ultimately the sale of weapons to Iran was not deemed a criminal offense but charges were brought against five individuals for their support of the Contras. Those charges, however, were later dropped because the administration refused to declassify certain documents. The indicted conspirators faced various lesser charges instead. In the end, fourteen administration officials were indicted, including then-Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. Eleven convictions resulted, some of which were vacated on appeal.[12] The rest of those indicted or convicted were all pardoned in the final days of the presidency of George H. W. Bush, who had been vice-president at the time of the affair.[13] The Iran-Contra Affair and the ensuing deception to protect senior administration officials including President Reagan has been cast as an example of post-truth politics.

And we ended up with three terms of Bush presidencies.

There are others that are less talked-about, like Dana Rohrabacher's adventures in Afghanistan and his support of Russia in Crimea. And he's rumored to be up for Secretary of State.

So checking back in with "Cheeto Benito" (TM Rick Wilson),

“Why not get along with Russia?” Trump said, adding the Russians can help defeat Islamic State. On the perpetrator of the cyber attacks, he said, “it could be Russia, and it could be China, and it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey.”

This is what Trump sounds like when he's doing what Chez Pazienza calls acting like "the kid in their class who never studies and forgets to do his homework and so basically just wings it." We know very well by now that if he's doing it in reference to something where the truth has been totally established, he's lying. Just like Rudy Giuliani lied about his contacts with the FBI, which fit in perfectly with all of the above, and meanwhile using the following projection over and over about Clinton:

Giuliani, who said that he prosecuted and jailed thousands of people for doing a fraction of what Hillary Clinton did, said the Wikileaks emails prove the Clinton camp intended to break the law.

Which Trump also did regarding Donna Brazile (and about Hillary other times on the stump):

“She should be fired from the DNC. By the way, could you imagine if I did that? Bobby what would happen to me if I did that?” Trump said, turning to Knight, who was off to the side. “Electric chair, I think. The electric chair. If I did that, can you imagine?”
And Qusay Trump took to the absolute lowest level with this:

"The media has been her number one surrogate in this. Without the media, this wouldn't even be a contest. But the media has built her up. They've let her slide on every indiscrepancy, on every lie, on every DNC game trying to get Bernie Sanders out of the thing," Trump Jr. told Philadelphia-based conservative talk radio host Chris Stigall on Wednesday.
"I mean, if Republicans were doing that, they'd be warming up the gas chamber right now. It's a very different system -- there's nothing fair about it," Trump Jr. added.

Let's call them on it. Hillary did nothing wrong with her e-mails and they made references to gas chambers and execution. They are traitors and all of them should at least be in jail. LOCK THEM UP!

So, you know what? I'm not going to say this isn't normal, and I'm not going to say it's the new normal. It's been normal for 50 years, and we have to end it. Now. Democrats, are you listening? For all of our sakes, I really, really hope so. President Obama, call a State of Emergency, and sort this out. It may seem dictatorial, but we've got precedent.