STAY CALM / BEAT TRUMP

Aquarian Weekly
7/17/24
 
Reality Check
 
STAY CALM / BEAT TRUMP
 
“The ‘what should be’ never did exist, but people keep trying to live up to it. There is no ‘what should be,’ there is only what is.” 
― Lenny Bruce

Never in its 27 years of existence has the title of this column been more aptly applied. It is time for a Reality Check, folks.

Let me begin by saying, if the goal of most of the country is to keep it out of the hands of a criminal, racist, misogynistic lunatic game show host with the force of a Christo-Fascist Project 2025 movement behind him (read it), then President Joe Biden is your best bet. Maybe your second-best bet, but by no means as effective, is Vice President Kamala Harris. Every other fantasy posed by pundits, celebrities and the whining liberal panic mob is doomed to failure. This is a political absolute. Period.

I understand that Biden shit the bed in that debate a couple of weeks ago. But I took a silver lining from the manic response to it, which has exploded into a phalanx of madness since, both in print, on the airwaves, and especially on that regurgitating treadmill of bile, Twitter. It appears the supposed “Democratic enthusiasm gap” is a myth. People freaking out for two-plus weeks for the president to “get out of the race for someone else” in an avalanche of the craziest, surrealistic, and ill-conceived plots known to modern political thought proves that people REALLY WANT TO BEAT Trump. A lot of people. People who heretofore had been on the sidelines doing lord-knows-what.

These people will be there in November for Biden. Trust me. People this nutty are not going to not vote for the president because he’s old or might not finish a second term or isn’t the sexy candidate they want. They will do it like they did in 2020, to stop the psycho. My theory of the Empty Gatorade Bottle is strong. Keep it in your heart. Learn it. Rince and repeat.

This is true of Independents, of which I am one. That 19-percent that ran from even considering Trump since his 34 felony convictions, is not easing back to him because Biden has a stutter or forgets names. This changes none of that. This has always been about Donald Trump. Either you vote for him and open the United States to an assault on its very foundation or not. Everything else is a distraction. Getting into these hypothetical piss fights is only shifting the attention to peripheral nonsense, like complaining about the rain during the massacre at Gettysburg. The goal has not changed, no matter who is on the other side: Trump is an existential threat to our democracy.

Also, it is important to point out that the hair-on-fire brigade needs to come to grips with the lateness in which they proffer these fantasy-football-like notions of pulling in the always enticing and mysterious “someone else” from the maw of their fertile if not skewed imaginations. That time has passed. And whether it is because the Party saw fit to stick with their unpopular incumbent or just the normal political respect shown for the sitting president to try for a second term (especially one who had the best mid-terms as any since I’ve been on the planet, and that’s over six decades), there was a primary. And Biden got nearly 90-percent of those votes – millions of votes. And those voters have heard for years how Trump and the Republicans don’t care about democratic norms or the sanctity of the vote or the primacy of the voter – and they are right, they don’t, 2020 proved that. You don’t want to alienate those voters. That would be far more damaging to the chances of beating Trump than people not loving Biden and desiring someone fiercer to bash a lying sack of feces every time he opens his rancid yapper.

And that’s the crux of this: people never really loved Biden. He is this generations’ Richard Nixon – not in comportment, moral turpitude or ideology – but that he is an avatar for the “against.” Republicans didn’t want Nixon in 1960, 1968 or 1972, but he hung around and won (he likely won in 1960, but lest we digress, I shall move on). He routinely had low approval ratings and there was never a groundswell of excitement around him. But conservatives were afraid of hippies and Blacks and kids burning draft cards and Commies and women burning bras, so they voted for him anyway. Fear is the great equalizer in elections. Biden is the bulwark, the cudgel to keep the barbarians from the front door and that has not changed at all since late June.

And you can see it in the polls. They have moved maybe one to two points to Trump for now, which has been static for months – two points either way. Even that movement has begun to subside. Moreover, Biden has put Arizona and Georgia back in play (within the margin of error) in the last two months – two states I thought were lost to him in April. There are still a ton of “undecided” voters out there, many whom are staying on the sidelines and keeping Biden at 44-45 percent because they are hoping for that “someone else” thing. Trump is in his usual 45-47 range. I believe the vast majority of those wavering will come home when this braying subsides and it is a binary choice between an old codger or the architect of January 6, who has been convicted of massive business and campaign fraud, and sexual assault.

What has also not changed since late June is Biden’s incumbency, which is a huge part of this. The mysterious “someone else” has no record, and Biden’s record is good – economic (while I write this, we have another record high in the DOW and inflation was down again in May), foreign policy, and non-wacky daily craziness of the last administration. People prefer calm over bedlam. They may want cheaper eggs but not 10-percent tariffs and using the Comstock Act to prevent abortion pills from being shipped interstate (both on Trump’s agenda). Status quo appeals to a great many voters historically. Which is why the only alternative, if you must go down that wild card road, is Kamala Harris.

If it is not Harris, you lose the most loyal and important voting block of either party – Black women. You cannot just push Harris aside and shove in a young governor. Plus, Harris, as mentioned, technically carries with her the incumbency tag. As recently as George W. Bush, who was, let’s face it, over his head and a gaff machine that would make both Trump and Biden look like scholars, won a second term on “stay the course,” despite shitty approvals and two badly orchestrated wars in which American lives were lost. Also, Harris gets to keep most if not all the money the Biden Campaign has pulled in – including a whopping $34 million the week after the crappy debate performance. I always say, follow the money, ignore the blather. 

I get that everyone is scared. But while there are no atheists in fox holes, neither should there be feckless vacillators.

Harris would trample the barely coherent, rambling lie-machine in a debate, sure, but she is still an unknown. She did not get 80-million-plus votes in 2020 or have an historically great midterms. But she can claim that staying the course is preferable to what looks to be a rather dark and chaotic alternative should Trump get in and fill the government with his gangster cronies who only pass loyalty tests and pull out of NATO, handing Eastern Europe to Putin and the Russians on a silver platter in a Chamberlain-esque appeasement-fest. 

Harris is also on the ballot in all the states, much of which have passed deadlines for getting on, which, if mystery candidates emerge, will cause lawsuits that will be tied up in courts until after November 5 and keep them off the ballot. The court route has been an unmitigated disaster in stopping Trump thus far, also an avenue I have been saying for years is a dead-end fantasy that the panic-mob insisted would work. 

And now these same people want to blow this thing up, as if this was a backup quarterback scenario. Put anyone else in! Force a contested convention, let the electors vote their conscience, and turn this into the kind of circus that handed the White House over to Nixon in ‘68 for a grim six years before he resigned in shame covered in massive federal crimes that the supposed “conservative” Supreme Court now considers simply “the job of the executive branch.”

I get that everyone is scared. But while there are no atheists in fox holes, neither should there be feckless vacillators. We are in a fight. A true war for the soul of this nation. Donald Trump is a dangerous idiot. We have already seen what he did with the Covid crisis, how his leadership led to death and destruction. After January 6, the Republicans should have gone somewhere else, (Lenny’s “what-should be” versus “what is”), but they stuck with their guy. Time to do the same for his opponent: right now, the best one who can keep this pestilence out of the White House, Joe Biden. That is the job before us. Win this election… or else. Not what happens in 2027. No one was thinking about the Marshall Plan when they were conceiving and enacting the D-Day Invasion. First things first. 

And think this through – if for whatever reason, Biden can’t finish the next term, well then, the only viable alternative Kamala Harris will do it. She is on the goddamn ticket already. Simple as that.

Stay calm. Beat Trump

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AGE v LIES

Aquarian Weekly
7/3/24
 
Reality Check
 
AGE v LIES
First Ever June Presidential Debate Reveals 

Having followed politics since the early 1970s, becoming politically active in the mid 1980s and professionally writing about it since the mid-1990s, I have learned to do two things at once – parse the immediate reaction to an event and then (the tougher of the two) frame its consequence to the larger effect on campaigns and the eventual election. Both are not to be ignored. There can be a tendency to prize one over the other, especially in the last three decades when the immediacy of gaff, scandal and apparent victory can linger for a few days or even weeks but tend to skew the larger picture. This doesn’t happen sometimes; it happens every time.

Let me explain in the context of what may have been the worst showing of either candidate in a debate I have seen this side of Putnam Country dog catcher and its not-so hidden implications for the fall.

What transpired over 90 minutes during the first presidential debate of the 2024 race was exceedingly less ideal for the current president and frighteningly alarming for the last guy to hold the job. The former, Joe Biden, got the worst of it. Only because expectations were so low and his opponent so nakedly vulnerable on nearly every issue offered by the CNN “moderators.” I put the term in quotations merely because it seemed neither were inclined to moderate anything. They tossed up serious issues into the ether and watched silently as Donald Trump bloviated incoherently with a deluge of spectacular lies and the president mumbled disjointedly as he meandered into several competing subjects at once. 

The other reason this “performance” was more injurious to Biden’s campaign is because he had one job to do on that stage and that is to quell fears he is way over the hill and prove he is still sharp and able to fight against the domestic terrorist that stood across from him. Neither transpired. If anything, the opposite happened, and it scared the living shit out of Democrats from every corner of the political spectrum.

And for those of us who know that a repeat of the disastrous Trump presidency would be far worse for the nation than the productive current one, this was very bad. As I wrote last week, and these 90 minutes did nothing to refute its core principle, an empty Gatorade bottle would be better than another Trump presidency. The economic numbers (high GDP, lower inflation, increased jobs, wages, and a manufacturing boom) and legislative accomplishments (Chips Act, Infrastructure investment, codifying Marriage Equality) don’t lie. But I have already said my piece on that.

Yet, in a debate the candidate with a majority of the American electorate behind many issues – women’s reproductive rights, climate change, gun safety, support of Ukraine and NATO, etc. – should be able to easily articulate this. Biden could not. At all. And that is the very problem his campaign came in with and left with, the narrative that he is not up to the challenge to deliver this message.  

What happened Thursday was that Biden fucked up and Trump showed he was insane, both negative narratives equally on display, but one is getting the preponderance of backlash and furor, President Biden. And this gets us to the second part of the political equation – the long-range reverberation and overall effect of an event like this.

No one, and I mean even Trump, because it was the one thing he has ever apologized for, believed that the “grab them by the pussy” Access Hollywood tape that emerged three weeks from Election Day would not sink Trump in 2016. He won. When the Paula Jones sexual harassment scandal came out during the ’92 campaign it was pretty much written in stone that Bill Clinton was doomed. He won. In both cases, as in many others, there was a visceral explosion of fear and loathing in the support system of the candidates. We didn’t notice the larger picture that came to fruition on Election Day because we were focused on the immediate event. The deranged pitching of “Biden needs to step aside for a younger candidate” after this mess tells me more about the level of support for the president than any time before the debate. 

You want enthusiasm? You got it.

The one thing that has remained steadfast among the majority of people – many of them undecided because they are disillusioned about two old white guys we’ve already seen being the choice this November – is that they are quite apparently wanting, hoping, cringing, praying they can feel good about voting for someone than against the other. When people ask, “If Trump lied every time he opened his mouth (over 30 according to CNN’s fact checks) and said dangerous and crazy things in that debate, how come only Biden is getting shit for sounding and looking feeble?” It’s because more people than not want Trump to be humiliated and beaten. It’s the old, “Flip a coin to decide what you want… then as the coin is in the air ask yourself if you are rooting for one outcome over the other… that is your choice.”

Biden fucked up and Trump showed he was insane.

Democrats, clear thinking Independents and people who watch a convicted criminal, twice-impeached morally bankrupt and wildly fascistic Donald Trump bluster nonsense like a maniac at every turn want someone on the other side to smack him down. This is what I get from this panicked reaction, because it’s not the media or the moderators or the pundits or the pollsters to accomplish, it’s the guy on the other side, and that guy failed miserably to do that. This is why we have the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments on one side while the other just shrugs.

It appears more people would like to defeat Trump than want to have a reason to hold their noses and suspend their conscience to vote for him. And Biden let that majority down. 

To wit: When Trump said he had a better economy than Biden, the president failed to give blatant numbers that could easily shut him down. Even when the numbers in the topic question – highest national debt under Trump (over eight percent) and now Biden (four percent) – Trump just said Biden’s was higher. All the president had to do was simply say, “The moderator just read the numbers, my deficient is half yours.” Instead, he appeared flummoxed it was even uttered, as if he had never met this walking bullshit machine. When Trump blathered on about infanticide being legal in blue states (it is illegal in all 50 states) Biden went back to a question four minutes earlier. When Trump somehow twisted his blatant crimes against the state on January 6 into some weird takedown of then Speaker Nancy Pelosi and claimed he was asked to speak that day when he not only planned the event, tweeting, “Come to D.C. it’s going to be wild!” after telling the domestic terrorists that their election was stolen for months, Biden just mumbled some poorly reasoned shit.

This upset more people than not, reenforcing the notion that those people still do not want to vote for the guy who after four chances did not say he would accept the very election he is embroiled in. They were clearly and openly rooting for Biden to fight back when Trump claimed he didn’t create mask mandates in 2020 (when Trump was president, not Biden) or slashed prescription drug costs (a popular Biden accomplishment). In the same debate, Trump simultaneously claimed to have the widest deregulations ever while also being best president in history on the environment and got away unscathed. This was on Biden. So, they come on cable news to ask for someone else. 

The question before us today and for the next four months remains: Do those upset people now turn around and vote for the guy they wanted to do better at this debate or the guy they clearly from this reaction want to defeat? I don’t have the answer to that, no one does, except the voters, who will make that choice on November 5, but it still doesn’t change the evidence that the conundrum – debate or no debate – tells us more about what might happen that day than we can see now.

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RE-ELECT THE EMPTY GATORADE BOTTLE

Aquarian Weekly
6/19/24
 
Reality Check
 
RE-ELECT THE EMPTY GATORADE BOTTLE
Does Less Harm Than Donald Trump

In 2020, with the world in a tailspin, locked down with people dying everywhere from Covid-19, hospitals jammed with too many patients to tend to and the economic fallout epic, someone had the gall to ask me for whom I was voting for president. There happened to be an empty Gatorade bottle sitting on the table next to us. I pointed to it, and said, “I would vote for this empty Gatorade bottle rather than put Donald Trump back in charge.” My reasoning was that the bottle would do less damage. And so, my answer was Joe Biden.

As it will be again.

Not because I adore the president or his presidency, but this narrative that he is a walking shell of a human at 82 is overblown. Agism at its worst – have you guys seen Mick and Keith on tour this Stones summer? I mean, this ain’t 1972, but shit, no one reading this can do what they’re pulling off in their 80s for nearly three hours over the course of months, no matter your age. Yeah, Biden’s old, and I considered that someone younger might be better, but then I thought, would they? Assuming he is shot, the numbers sure don’t indicate the “walking shell” is a problem. In fact, he’s killing it. 

There are issues (there are always issues) but things could be and should be waaaayy worse (not the least of which the recession that was predicted for three years as we’ve pulled out of the pandemic’s economic disaster – better than any nation in Europe – especially when you consider what catastrophic condition the Trump Administration left us in. People have amnesia about that mess. Like in the early aughts when it was chic to say, “George Bush kept us safe,” conveniently forgetting the first nine months of his administration that ended with the worst attack on this country since Pearl Harbor. Some people choose to remember pre-2020, which was one crazy fuck-up after the next anyway, ignoring that Trump’s “leadership” killed thousands of citizens and plunged us into the worst economic crisis in nearly a century in his final year in office.

So, let’s say Biden is a shell, or in my thinking, the empty Gatorade bottle; had that shell been president from 2017 through the Covid crisis, there would have been a National Security Council directorate for global health, security and bio-defense, which was in charge of preparing for the possible outcome of a national pandemic. But Trump dismantled it. The Gatorade bottle wouldn’t have. Better result.

Pushing my Gatorade bottle analogy further, right now, as stated, the United States has the most robustly powerful recovery and growth of any industrialized nation on the planet. Inflation is down from nine percent from its worst after the pandemic subsided two years ago to 3.3 percent, and that is without a predicted recession. Sure, the price of groceries and other goods remain high and will likely stay that way because that is how the blessed free market works. Once they raise prices, they’re not bringing them down – by a little, maybe (which they are). But if they did come down hard that would be what they call “market deflation,” and that is very, very bad, leading to rising unemployment and wages to plummet.

Prices of goods, of course, have zero to do with the executive branch of the government, as is the interest rate (the Fed handles that) and should. Like the stock market (record highs under the Gatorade bottle) and for the most part, gas prices (also down) are independent factors. This is called the free market. This is what people who are not Marxist dig, and in that paradigm this economy is fucking humming. 

The numbers sure don’t indicate the “walking shell” is a problem. In fact, he’s killing it. 

The leading indicator of this is the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the growth rate of which illustrates the general health of the economy. Assuming Biden is a shell and/or an empty Gatorade bottle, the U.S. is enjoying consumer spending growth of 2.3% in 2024, supported by solid early-year momentum, following a 2.2% advance in 2023. Residential investment surged 13.9% – its third consecutive quarterly gain and the third largest in a decade. A wild man like Trump would only screw this up with tariffs and mass deportations and personal vendettas against booming industries. The empty bottle is the safer bet.

Most importantly in all this boom, wages are up above the rate of inflation for the past calendar year. People make more money based on the cost of living, and according to the US Index of Consumer Sentiment, it was up to 77-percent last month, a tick-up of 17-percent from April. 

Going “up,” to be clear, is a sign of things are moving in the right direction. Travel is up. Recreational activity is up. Non-discretionary spending is up. When wages don’t match or exceed inflation we have Stagflation, which is not happening. The opposite is, and it is damn good. Better than at any time under Trump, in fact.

Unemployment too is down from when Trump left office from 6.3-percent to about four percent, which has risen slightly from the past two years where it hovered at 3.7-percent. In fact, for the past two years we have seen historic sustained job growth. Just last month the country produced 272,000 jobs, above expected 180,000.

Chock all this up to the Gatorade bottle or the “old man,” because if Trump, who is busy going around erroneously painting this country as a hellhole, gets back into the White House he is promising to flip the narrative, and the other side of all this good news will be bad news. Period. 

The Empty Gatorade Bottle (capitalizing it because it’s a thing now) has also managed to watch the national crime rate plummet 15-percent, especially violent crime, which is way down across the country. Why? Because the economy is cruising. I see it. Roads are packed with travelers and workers heading to their gigs. Cities are flourishing (I go to NYC every week and there are more people walking around, attending shows, concerts, shopping, filling parks and packing the bars, than I have seen in years). Under the noisy, sloppy goofball human who last held office, crime rates skyrocketed. His repeated violent rhetoric at rallies and from the bully (emphasis on bully) pulpit didn’t help matters. The Empty Bottle… well, you get it. 

Biden is too old? Considering these stellar economic numbers, (not to mention keeping NATO together – which Trump wants to eradicate – during the Russian invasion of Ukraine) and the fact that he is the only candidate standing between a national abortion ban and a religious take-over of the federal government, then maybe we need someone older! Did someone say centenarian?

Without getting too much into the weird hypocrisy of framing the president as an evil manipulator of the DOJ to weaponize against his enemies after stealing a national election at the same time they say he is a doddering old fool who can’t spell his name, let’s just say that whatever that creaky fella is doing is working on every indication of how we’ve measured presidents for the past two centuries. I didn’t come up with these parameters, but if you do the homework like I do, you come up with the truth: Things are good and getting better. Not worse. Anyone who doesn’t understand this is either misinformed or just wants to believe what they believe, like Trump won in 2020 or whatever propaganda the fascist media tells them. 

Assuming we have an Empty Gatorade Bottle in the White House, and things keep rocking, he has my vote.

Worked out fantastically last time.

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GUILTY!

Aquarian Weekly
6/5/24
 
Reality Check
 
GUILTY!
Donald Trump’s Former Criminal Playground Finally Nabs Him           
 
 
The presumptive Republican nominee for president of the United States is a convicted felon.

Roll that around your brain for a moment.

Never has this happened before in a republic over 240 years old.

Was it Confucius who said, “May you live in interesting times”?

Donald Trump makes sure of that.

For the former embattled president, despite a penchant for alluding justice time and again, this was inevitable. Like his being impeached, twice, another presidential first. Once he became president, no one from NYC who knew the Donald believed he could get through four years as the country’s chief executive without doing something illegal. I mean, it’s his thing. 

For decades beginning in earnest in the 1980s, breaking the law and flouting it with court-clogging counter-lawsuits, media-humping bluster, and blaming everything and everyone else but himself was the foundational principle of the Trump playbook in and around the Big Apple, like not paying contractors, repeatedly and openly cheating on his three wives, developing that interesting hair configuration, and calling up the NY Post pretending to be someone else praising Trump as a genius.

Earlier this year Trump’s business was found guilty of and fined $355 million for years of financial fraud, the first chink in his armor.

This ignoring of legal norms is nothing special, really, no matter where you live. The rich trampling on laws that would send us all away for a long time is part of the fun for them. And like most privileged effete frighteningly illiterate and deeply sociopathic children of the rich, Trump believes laws are for the great unwashed. There’s “the law” and then there’s “Trump’s law.” This is what he would like to do on a national level should he win back the presidency in a few months, and what he rehearsed in the weeks after he was defeated in the 2020 election – denied it happened, made a big stink, riled up people who were pissed it happened (supporters he suckered into thinking he was infallible) and then perpetuated an “event” wherein violence, death and destruction ensued. All of it to soothe his fragile, rich kid ego.

More on what’s ahead if he is re-elected in a moment.

But let’s deal with the convicted felon.

Trump’s four-decades-plus uninterrupted parade of malfeasance and mendacity ended in this conviction on a mind-numbing 34 guilty counts delivered by twelve jurors of his peers, fair and square. Despite his rich kid whaaaa! bitching, (“It’s cold in here!”) he was granted lawyers, a presumption of innocence, more leeway than any other American would get, especially for a domestic terrorist who tried to upend the constitution by trying to stop the ratification of our vote while serving in its highest office. This wide-ranging fairness granted him is something he felt should have been denied the infamous Central Park Five in 1989 when Trump took out a full-page ad in the NY Timeswith the headline, “BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY” proclaiming their guilt before a single piece of evidence was presented. Turns out those railroaded Black kids never raped anyone and were exonerated in 2002 with not only refuting evidence but a confession from the actual rapist. Learning this, Trump, living in Trump Reality, still believed they were guilty. He knew nothing of the case. They were guilty. Period.

Fast forward: I lost the election? No, I didn’t. 

Like most privileged effete frighteningly illiterate and deeply sociopathic children of the rich, Trump believes laws are for the great unwashed.

For the past four years, amidst lawsuits, recounts, cable TV blather, and riots people were living in the rich kid’s infallible fantasy. And now Donald Trump is the pick of the former law-and-order, family values, personal responsibility, socially conservative Republican Party to run for president again, meaning everyone running down ballot as a Republican must wear the shame of a criminal at the top of their ticket, despite the crocodile-tears whining from shills like Ted Cruz, Lindsay Graham, J.D. Vance, and the Speaker of the House. Trump may lose in November, he may win. But he is still a convicted felon. A criminal could lead this country. A man who cannot vote in most states, own a gun, or have anything to do with the military might be commander-in-chief.

That part is up to us. 

And so, let’s discuss November, shall we?

When we make our choice this fall, this is what we know for certain: Everything and everyone Trump comes in contact with is either destroyed personally or financially, humiliated publicly or goes to jail. Ignominious defeat awaits. Ask the people who were left holding debt after his six (SIX!) bankruptcies. Ask those lawyers and sycophants who went to bat for the fake elector schemes or the scores of people doing time for picking up his damaged mantle on January 6. Ask the USFL, which Trump infiltrated by owning the NJ Generals before muscling into the commissioner’s office and summarily tanking the league within months. Ask those who went to the skuttled Trump University or all those Trump-related “charities” that were determined in courts of law to be fraudulent fronts for money laundering. 

All the usual schemes over decades of sauntering through public life as Teflon Don were on display these past weeks in downtown New York, stripped bare of the myths Trump perpetuated. But it is always the same, Trump, the con man and now a convicted criminal, finding new ways to profit from his bullshit. Within seconds of the conviction, he crowed about his innocence like every other sad sack felon but then strategically pivoted to fund-raising while painting his plight as somehow a commentary on the death of America. Yeah, America is fucked. No, it’s not. Your fucked. I’m doing fine. My 401K is blossoming, crime is down everywhere, and so is inflation, gas prices, and the GDP and wages are up. I’m doing A-okay, pal. For one, I’m not a convicted felon. And I assume neither is anyone reading this. 

Don’t let the scoundrel drag you into his mess. Did you fuck a porn star while your wife was nursing your newly born son? Did you pay her off after the Access Hollywood tape revealed that you sexually assault women as a personal philosophy a month before the 2016 election? Did you falsify documents to hide those payments as campaign contributions to get elected? 

America didn’t do any of that. Donald Trump did. And he was convicted for it. Not us.

When Ted Cruz called yesterday a “dark day in America” he is implicating you in the actions of one man’s fucked. The feckless Cruz, who in a sad twist to his bootlicking was noted in the trial as Trump and the National Enquirer accused his father in planning the assassination of JFK, is glad to be part of fucked. That is his phobia. Leave the rest of us out of it. America is not in bed with criminals, Cruz is. The Republican Party is. 

The Republican Party, another thing Trump has wrecked, is in shambles. Trump’s daughter-in-law is running the RNC, a dozen party chairs in states across the country are dead broke. All the candidates Trump has endorsed since his 2020 loss have been defeated, even in ruby red states. He’s done to the GOP what he did to Atlantic City and the USFL and everything else he runs into the ground. He ran Roe v Wade into the ground. He almost ran America into the ground for four years. He left us sick, dying, mired in recession and debt, a laughingstock of the world. He wants to finish the job. But we decide that. Not him.

A convicted felon is the Republican presumptive nominee aiming to be the chief executive of this nation, your nation, not a de facto Trump Enterprise bolstered by religious lunatics who have conjured Project 2025 in which America turns into a Christian Fascist White Supremacy stronghold that will treat women as nothing more than baby containers, brown people are deported, and all enemies are eradicated, including a free press, the State Department, the FBI, and the Justice Department. But right now, that sounds like a “them problem.” Let’s not make it ours in 2025. One man’s misery, his own prison of misdeeds, are not ours. 

Let’s avoid hitching America’s wagon to fucked.

It took over 40 years of civil suits, pay-off settlements, fines, expulsions, and bankruptcies for New York City to topple its demon rich, spoiled brat. Don’t let America have to suffer for that long, because after 2020 if you think Trump is leaving office once he’s in, you really are stupid. This November we need to end this once and for all and when Trump’s three other trials – for far more egregious felonies – finally begin, then we’ll see if he wins or loses. Only then will we find out if he walks free or rots in prison as an enemy of the state. 

Or… we could put him in charge of America.

Your call.   

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ABOUT THESE PROTESTS

Aquarian Weekly
5/8/24
 
Reality Check
 
ABOUT THESE PROTESTS

No one supports the idea of waving a fist and shouting random musings in large groups against aggression, suppression, and general bullshit more than me. This is what this space has been about since August of 1997. I’d prefer, of course, to keep it to the words and not risk getting tear-gassed or hit with a projectile in a mob of submentals, but you get the gist: I’m into protests. The First Amendment is king around here. And even if the occasional thing gets wrecked, it happens, you deal. But as I watch these recent campus protests against Israel’s military campaign in Gaza or what some are calling “Pro-Palestinian” fervor or “Genocide Joe” outrage against President Biden, I can’t help thinking there is a theoretical disconnect in America’s role in this.

This is not Viet Nam where hundreds of American kids are coming home weekly in boxes for a nonsensical and morally corrupt war based on a lie or even Iraq, another hoax-induced military faux pas, which turned into a clusterfuck of corporate malfeasance wrapped up in vengeance and ad hoc world-building that lasted two decades. This is more than a half-century of fiduciary and ideological commitment to the Middle East’s only democracy that has spanned fourteen presidents. What we’re dealing with here is proxy complaints that need some nuance to deconstruct.

Ahhhh… nuance.

kay, so details matter little in the fine art of the protest. The overarching theme is the key. Nuance is not the bailiwick of someone in a ski mask heaving a brick through a window, I get it. But to be fair, if you are going for red-faced righteousness and morally impassioned voice-shredding, it’s important to know what you are protesting.

Now, I do not wish to see a country, especially one bankrolled by us, murdering women and children arbitrarily in what appears to be some half-assed terrorist campaign. I didn’t dig it in Afghanistan or Iraq, which, again was primarily a U.S. operation instead of a foreign investment. And there is no one more dedicated person to the idea of making the clearly insane Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu go away. I was in Jerusalem in the spring of 1996 when he was first elected and there was more than a little concern that he would wreck things. So, let’s say I was quite shocked to see his return to the position in 2009. He’s a lunatic hardliner, who’s now become that nation’s George W. Bush. – asleep at the wheel this past October when all of this started with Hamas’s attack and capturing of hostages and has only worsened things by taking what used to be the world’s most efficient fighting machine, the Israel Defense Forces, and turned it into an armed thug-fest.  

And I think the protestors need to understand that President Biden and our State Department have endeavored to put pressure on Netanyahu, but this is his country and his tactics. Pulling aid is not the answer here, just as the former president’s maneuver of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a religious hotbed of madness for well over three millennia from the innocuous Tel Aviv, was not the best decision to avoid inciting the violence we see today. Also, decades-long support of Israel by corporations or universities being personally responsible for what has happened in the last six months seems pushing it, even for young, privileged kids, who want to re-enact the 1960s. I get that they want some recognition of this abject violence, and the events on the ground are indeed horrific, but, again, there are degrees to which Columbia University is directly connected to the IDF’s war crimes.

And to address the “I don’t want to pay taxes to bomb children” argument. I pay federal taxes to a nation that currently enslaves the bodies of women to which I am less thrilled, but ya know, how taxes go: If you’re going to worry about blood on your hands by proxy, we’re all going to hell, so chill out. Shit, I’m typing this on a device, and you’re likely reading this on one, that was made by Chinese children in a sweatshop for half a dollar an hour. 

It’s good to have some idea what you’re protesting and, most importantly, have an end game: What do you want?

Finally, I think it’s important to point out that anyone who refers to the January 6 domestic terrorists that sacked the Capitol motivated by Trump’s Big Lie as “hostages,” as the current Republican nominee does, cannot weigh in on how “out of control” college students are. That afternoon’s activities and your dismissing it as “a tour” eliminates your credibility on this issue, and you should shut the fuck up. (I am aware of the ironic shift in my “First Amendment is king” eight-paragraph’s ago claim, but although it’s not illegal to be stupid, I nevertheless wish the purveyors of it would go away). This goes for the Speaker of the House calling these protests “nonsense.” Not a good look for the man two heartbeats from the White House and the most powerful Republican in D.C. shitting on the most sacred right we have – but again, he also calls the January 6 people who wanted to violently stop our other sacred right, voting, from occurring. So… there’s that.

Listen up; everyone supports a cease fire. Maybe not Trump, who appears to be all for razing Gaza to the ground, so you can go ahead vote against Biden and elect him, if you wish. Or cast your vote for that loon, Robert Kennedy Jr., who’ll just help get the game show host back in the White House, so he can sign a national abortion ban. Your call. Just know, that way before Netanyahu, and long after he’s gone, the United States must support Israel. As mentioned, it is the region’s only democracy. It’s bad enough we hang with nations like Saudi Arabia that are human rights abominations for diplomatic and financial reasons – a good subject to check out if you’re into all the protesting – this is truly the lesser of two evils situation. Also, it’s good to have some idea what you’re protesting and, most importantly, have an end game: What do you want?

Figure that out, and get back to me.

Meanwhile, it’s not the greatest balancing act to protest violence and oppression by violently oppressing fellow students and faculty and wasting our tax money sending police in there to stop you while you’re busy deciding on a plan. 

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MR. JOHNSON GOES TO WASHINGTON

Aquarian Weekly
4/24/24
 
Reality Check
 
 
MR. JOHNSON GOES TO WASHINGTON
Speaker of the House’s Jimmy Stewart Hollywood Mythmaking
 
 
For the past six months the United States has not had the funding needed to stem the tide of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine after two years of bloody and heroic defiance. This is because the Republican-controlled Congress and its newest Speaker of the House Mike Johnson has taken orders to hold off on a vote at the whims of one man, Donald Trump. The Republican nominee for president has a childish beef with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for not making up shit about his 2020 opponent, the current American President Joe Biden, not to mention the former president’s weird allegiance to Russia’s tyrannical lunatic president, Vladimir Putin. 

As insane as this sounds, the future of western civilization rests on a man currently sitting in a NYC courtroom defending himself from hush payments he made to a porn star illegally using campaign funds in 2016 and then covering it up with falsified documents. For reasons only known to the GOP Cabal, Speaker Johnson, who is supposed to be the third most powerful person in the nation and not a Trump organization lacky, is hamstrung. Flanked on the far right by House members that use their unchallenged positions – thanks to Republican gerrymandering – to hang over his head the same fate as former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, the dreaded “motion to vacate,” Johnson has kept the House of Representatives in a state of inertia.

If the Speaker merely puts the measure to fund the Ukrainian effort to a vote, he risks his gig. Putting the world on notice for a third world war or be ousted as Speaker and endure the wrath of the MAGA crazies, who routinely threaten the lives of people and their families who oppose the fascist Trump at every turn* has been Johnson’s choice.

*By the way, it is important to note that if Trump becomes president again this kind of violent, unchecked, lunacy is a glimpse into what life is going to be around here.

But I digress.

Johnson must let thousands of innocent women and children in Ukraine be massacred and hand over Ukraine to Russia, who will geographically threaten NATO and thus the United States, or risk becoming a political footnote. But in a dramatic Hollywood-esque shift, this week Speaker Johnson has undergone a Saint Paul on the road to Damascus moment. For months he has enthusiastically done Trump’s bidding and avoided being on the chopping block, despite Georgia Representative and resident goofball, Marjorie Taylor Greene incessantly threatening to kick him to the curb. He even whisked on down to Florida to kiss Trump’s ring. But somehow, amid this pathetic genuflecting, Johnson has floated the idea of getting a vote together, blathering something about “doing the right thing”… eventually. Six months later. Better late than never.

The cynical among us must ask why.

The political landscape has not changed. Trump is still trying to get elected. He still hates Zelenskyy. Silly right-wing punditry and media poofs continue espousing Russian-fueled ant-Ukrainian propaganda. The speakership still hangs by a thread. Assuming Johnson hasn’t suddenly dumped a lifetime of right-wing stupidity and chucked his worship of Trump, and hasn’t lost all sense of survival instincts, what changed this week? 

I have a theory!

Clearly, the Speaker feels this is a moment for him to either fade into obscurity – no one on the precipice of history wants that – or become “someone.” He sees daylight to significance and, most importantly, has found a buffer, Democrats. Nearly in the majority due to the lack of Red Wave in 2022, they want to save Europe from being overrun. Dems, unlike Trump and the MAGA isolationists, see the historical worth of NATO for the protection of democratic ideals in Europe. So… a deal has been struck. 

Maybe the 118th Congress, for the first time since being sworn in, can do something other than whorish media stunts and feckless political shenanigans.  

Unlike McCarthy, who Democrats pegged as a two-faced hack, Johnson seems, for now, politically malleable. This means they won’t lineup to oust him, as they did to the former Speaker. And the way some “moderate” Republicans have been crowing lately – many of them supporting the defense of Ukraine – there doesn’t seem to be the votes to send Johnson packing. If so, he can finally get a vote to fund Ukraine and other foreign aid to the floor, which he apparently and quite suddenly decided was now important.

Why is it important?

The Republicans, and particularly Johnson, see that if not for Israel’s horrific invasion of Gaza after Hamas’ heinous attack in October, President Biden might be crushing Trump in the polls. The pullback from the youth and minority vote from Biden over what they consider genocide in Gaza has been a political loser for the preseident.* 

*Somehow the lives of Ukrainian women and children are not as significant as Palestinians. Go figure.

Hence, Johnson’s quick trip to Trump-land to convince the former president this is a wise political move to keep his name out of events in Europe and lay them on Biden. This may, and this is just me riffing here, lead to Johnson taking up the recently rejected Republican-penned bi-partisan border security bill Trump killed to keep that crisis raging in a ham-fisted and terribly cynical attempt to hurt Biden on the issue. Johnson, like most Republicans, believe this is an existential crisis and should not be used as a political tool for Trump. They also see this as a growing political loser for Trump, who now shares the blame for the migrant issue that should have been all on Biden. 

If Johnson is emboldened by this vote, it gives him momentum and gravitas to actually do his job. He becomes “significant” instead of a bystander to history. He rises to the moment and doesn’t just ride out whatever time he has left in this powerful position as a MAGA doormat. 

It is a wise move, and, yes, it is the correct and moral one. But my guess is that if someone wasn’t so sure this was the “right thing to do” as Johnson now professes, for the past six months, and all of-a-sudden makes this kind of ballsy move, it is rarely done for the good of anything or anyone but himself.

Regardless, looks like the “right thing” will be done. The U.S. will continue to arm Ukraine against Russian aggression. We’ll keep our military out of this, which it could come to if NATO is threatened. No one, except Trump, who despises NATO and will likely pull us out of it if he is unfortunately elected in November, wants that – Republicans or Democrats. Apparently, with his own kid in uniform, Johnson has a personal stake in avoiding that outcome. 

So, while I think Johnson is auditioning for his Jimmy Stewart Mr. Smith Goes to Washingtonmoment – one man against the system – I’m thinking he’s already secured his safety net. And just maybe the 118th Congress, for the first time since being sworn in, can do something other than whorish media stunts and feckless political shenanigans.  

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PRO-CHOICE RISING

Aquarian Weekly
4/17/24
 
Reality Check
 
 
PRO-CHOICE RISING
The Rapid & Continued Ascension of the 2024 Election’s Primary Issue
 

The egregious, unconstitutional, and highly partisan Supreme Court decision to strike down the Roe v Wade protections for women’s bodily sovereignty in this purported democratic republic 22 months ago has been a voting bonanza for Democrats, the only party supporting its return as the law of the land, and a death knell for Republicans. The GOP spent decades appointing judges, filing lawsuits, raising money from evangelical groups, running ads, holding rallies, and giving speeches to strip women of rights, and now with its horrid realities being perpetuated by Republican-run states (currently 14) across the union, and the audacity (or stupidity) to run a candidate for president who appointed the corrupt justices that caused this has put Reproductive Rights squarely in the crosshairs of the 2024 presidential campaign. 

Since the terrible “Dobbs Decision” in June of 2022 the bottom has fallen out of Republican election politics. Between the disastrous midterms that historically should have sunk Democrats (What happened to the Red Wave?) and the ensuing special elections victories with abortion rights on the ballot (six in 2022 – a record – and one last year), the ascension of this issue in electoral politics is staggering. So much so I floated a lifeline for Republicans to come to the table for at least a national 20-week moratorium (99.9 percent of all abortions occur before 20 weeks) with non-negotiable exceptions for the woman as a negotiating ploy to save the party from themselves but mostly to free women in red states from government bondage. 

But, alas, since my rare display of empathy for fascist scum, the Republican-run House of Representatives has continuously introduced legislation for a complete eradication of women’s rights federally and red states keep passing draconian laws to jail women (the most recent, Arizona) or deny travel rights to leave to find suitable 21st century health care (Texas), and in Alabama one conservative judge banned in vitro fertilization (IVF), which even stunned Republicans.

This is what not having the national guard that Roe provided.

The outrage has been palpable and quantified in poll after poll, and certainly in its unbeaten record in ballot-measure voting. This has also led to an undefeated record for pro-choice candidates in both red and blue states. In a recent special election in New York’s Third District out in Long Island, which a Republican won by six percent less than two years ago, Democrat Tom Suozzi flipped it with a decisive seven-point win mainly due to his leaning into the reproductive-rights issue. 

Today 70-percent of Americans (a new high since Roe was instituted in 1973) want reproductive rights protections back. Only 22-percent support the heinous six-week bans that are all the rage in most red states. These numbers in a highly partisan electorate that is seemingly 50-50 on all issues is astonishing. Pro-choice is on a roll, and it is showing no signs of slowing. In fact, it has gained steam beyond any issue we have seen since 9/11. We can’t even get Americans to agree with any semblance of sanity that armed lunatics smashing into the Capitol to halt the sacred democratic rights to the vote is bad. But allowing the government access inside the bodies of 51-percent of the populace is a monumental loser.

And those straddled with the loses are Republicans.

Good news is they are finally aware of it, or at least some of them are, which means it’s reached its saturation point.

This has always been the plan since Dobbs was enacted. Hang losses, shocking in red states and conclusive in blue ones, on Republicans time and time again until they buckle, cut the shit, and join Democrats in instituting federal protections for women’s rights or suffer extinction. And as written here, either one is fine; it still gets us to the same place. And the buckling is happening. Sure, some fanatical Republicans continue to dig their own political graves, but the fact that many are flip-flopping to survive reveals the end game is afoot. The tide has indeed turned.

Elections, as they say, have consequences.

The best evidence that the issue is electoral gold for Democrats and a steaming turd for Republicans is found in formally staunchly Pro-Life politicians now running in the other direction. GOP legislators, governors, and candidates for state and federal positions are in a mad scramble to crank out statements and post tweets distancing themselves from their previously zealous part in this national calamity. Even its architect, Donald Trump, wholly and proudly responsible for killing Roe (he can’t help touting himself as its architect) with his hand-picked litmus-test SCOTA justices, recently put out a video statement forgetting his recent call for a 15-week national ban he’s proposed for months in a pathetic attempt to remain neutral, lauded the states’ rights aspect of his actions.

This retreat, while speciously entertaining, has gone badly.

No less than 24-hours later Republicans in the battleground state of Arizona, which incumbent president Joe Biden flipped from red to blue in 2020, put into effect an 1864 law which bans all abortions at any time with criminal penalties for women and doctors. A law that was enacted years before Arizona was even a state by slave owners when Abraham Lincoln was president, the country was embroiled in a Civil War, and women, never mind all Black people, had no rights, is on the books. 

If Republicans are not defeated this year they will be emboldened, they will continue to escalate their attacks on our freedoms, and far, far worse will be in store for the good people of the United States. The stakes in this election, somehow, got much, much higher in the past week.

Simon Rosenberg

“Leave it up to the states,” Trump heralded. Apparently, he is okay with this. Although he was quick to denounce it, a cynical ploy to deflect from the truth. This raised the cockles of his most ardent supporters, evangelicals and his former vice president, Mike Pence, whom he nearly got killed on January 6, 2021, and has come out against his re-election. They are just another in a long line of suckers Trump has grifted for his own gain. But in his feckless wake the growing chasm inside the Republican Party, already embroiled in their own civil war between MAGA extremists and former “normal” Republicans of Reagan and Bush, has widened.

Divide and conquer. That’s the ticket.

And all this lunacy is on the heels of midnight secret laws banning abortion passed by North Carolina’s legislature after its Democrat governor vetoed it, and thousands of women in health crisis fleeing Texas and Florida – Texas’s historically horrifying laws have inspired Florida, which is one month from having a six-week ban go into effect that has forced a ballot measure this fall. These states are injuring and killing women, not in some post-apocalyptic world, but right now.

Let’s face it, leaving it up to the states didn’t work for civil rights or gay rights and it ain’t working for women’s rights. It is quite frankly working against women.

And so, here we are, a little more than seven months out from a presidential election and the decision is clear. If you wish to have the very real threat of a national ban on reproductive rights in all 50 states, then vote for Donald Trump and Republicans. You might want this. It is your right to do so. If not, you must vote for Joe Biden and Democrats. Sorry, but this is the choice. Tossing your vote away now to go Independent (and this is an Independent, who has voted that way in far more elections than not talking) puts women in jeopardy of being wards of the state. And while Trump is busy shouting in videos at two in the morning in front of a bay flags, orange caked makeup melting down his cheeks, Joe Biden is promising to return sovereign rights back to women.

I’ll let Democratic strategist, Simon Rosenberg sum it up for us: “If Republicans are not defeated this year they will be emboldened, they will continue to escalate their attacks on our freedoms, and far, far worse will be in store for the good people of the United States. The stakes in this election, somehow, got much, much higher in the past week.”

And those stakes are real and not going away until we make it go away.

Regardless of what shenanigans Trump and his cabal conjure to eradicate the Constitution and democratic protections, this is how the system works. 

Choose wisely.

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RIP GOP

Aquarian Weekly
3/20/24
 
Reality Check
 
 
RIP GOP
Trump Family & Election Deniers Raze Republican Party 

With the firing of former Republican National Committee Chairman Ronna McDaniel this past week, and make no mistake it was a sacking, and presumptive presidential nominee, Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law and election denying Michael Whatley inserted in the role, the final death rattle of the Grand Old Party is upon us. The Party of Lincoln and Reagan is now Trump Enterprises, with former cable news hosts, who spread lies of a “rigged” 2020 election, using resources not already assigned to pay for the candidate’s legal bills to set up potential lawsuits in case of a 2024 loss.

This has been coming for some time. The Republican Party of the 1980s, the last time it was a majority Party, is alien to the MAGA crowd now. Geo-politics, free trade, personal sovereignty, debt reduction, law-and-order, and less government interference were tossed the second Trump won the 2016 election. It was how he governed, and if he is elected again, he will simply take a blowtorch to the country as he’s done to the Party. He promises this. Out loud. Daily.

“If I don’t get elected, it’s going to be a bloodbath.”

Donald Trump, March 18, 2024

Republicans have brought this on themselves, even those who might not support fascism, because they could have convicted the impeached Trump and disqualified him from taking their nomination three years ago. Their future Speaker of the House didn’t have to fly down to Florida to rehabilitate his damaged brand after the horrors of January 6. They didn’t have to cast doubts on a free and fair election he got skunked in to save his little-boy ego. But they chose to do all that and, in essence, chose this mess, and here we are, three years later with the crazies cleaning house to distribute resources usually used to further the Party’s health down-ballot and across the states for a one-stop, singular top-down operation.

How much longer before Trump sneakers are sold on the RNC homepage or Republicans are inundated with his son’s Little League scores?

It is the TNC, the Trump National Committee, that runs things now. This will please the MAGA wing, but the dwindling rest of the Party, and its candidates, cannot fail to see this as an issue. Where do they get their financial and systemic support? National Committees are the reason there is a two-party system and look no further than Trump choosing one instead of going the independent route ala Ross Perot initially. Ground game. Local offices. Money and resources allocated to races across the Party, which work in tandem to…

What the fuck am I doing?

MAGA doesn’t know what any of that is. Never did. Not sure why I’m even trying to explain the importance of not using the Party’s national committee as a defense fund or to simply cater to a rich asshole to these merchandise-festooned, toothless goobers.
I am not a Republican and couldn’t give a shit, but as stated before in this space, it is important that the nation have two healthy ideological poles – not some half-assed game-show fuck-around that funnels funds to porn stars, televangelists, and land barons.

But, alas, the second Trump lost in 2020, and unleashed the January 6 coup along with the fake electors and the racketeering of state attorneys’ generals and governors to “find me votes” there was a good chance we’d end up here. Republicans knew this was coming and, again, allowed it. They can quit congress and write books and bitch all they want on CNN, but it’s beyond them now. Trump will turn what’s left of the GOP into a failed Atlantic City casino or the doomed USFL, two things he killed by his very presence. It is left up to us to make sure this shit show doesn’t smear onto the national scene come January of 2025 when the promised “dictator from day one” will slash Social Security and Medicaid, place a ten-percent tariff on all imported goods, build camps to imprison undocumented workers and migrants, institute a national abortion ban, pardon all the January 6 domestic terrorists, use the Justice Department to nix his many criminal trials, and then weaponize it against his political enemies – oh, and pull all aid from Ukraine so Russia can roll right up to the edge of NATO and put our troops on alert.

All of these, again, Trump has promised publicly. Easy to find anywhere. Look it up.

Fun times.

Pretty sure there will be no more things like elections should Trump win in November, but win or lose, the first casualty of this bad craziness is the GOP.

Rest in Peace.

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IMMUNITY & THE SECOND AMERICAN REVOLUTION

Aquarian Weekly
3/13/24
 
Reality Check
 
 
IMMUNITY & THE SECOND AMERICAN REVOLUTION

Now that the stage and the candidates have been set for the 2024 presidential campaign, let me go beyond economics, immigration, reproductive rights, and foreign wars, and even take us past politics with one word that should rouse the American spirit – immunity. Right now, the Republican nominee for president, Donald J. Trump is arguing before the Supreme Court that he seeks total immunity from the law. It is in writing: Presidents should be unbound by and refute the oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States. I believe this disqualifies him from seeking the office. The American Revolution was fought to not only take down a king, but the concept of kings forevermore.

Immunity.

On December 7, 1896, in his address to Congress, the first President of the United States, George Washington stated that “Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness.” In less than a year, he would step down, when everyone in the government begged him to stay on until his death – like a king. Washington did not stay and began the “peaceful transfer of power” tradition that every president until Donald Trump provided the nation. The central critique of Trump’s attempts at a coup through false electors and demanding the vice president not ratify the electors as proposed by the will of the people through the vote originates from Washington’s grand humble gesture. Trump did not, and does not now, believe in votes. He believes he should have remained president, despite the people, and therefore, for all intents and purposes a monarch. And he is back again to seek the throne. He will argue this before the highest court in the land at the end of next month. Listen to him. 

Immunity.

It’s Merriam-Webster definition: Protection or exemption from something, especially an obligation or penalty.

Protection from obligation.

Protection from penalty.

Donald Trump sees no obligation to the office, or a penalty if he commits crimes. 

Immunity.

Like a king.

In January of 1776, seven months before the Continental Congress drafted and signed the Declaration of Independence from King George III, which was an unpopular sentiment among the colonists, Thomas Payne, the true farther of this nation, wrote in his brilliant, Common Sense, “Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent; selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance; and the world they act in differs so materially from the world at large, that they have but little opportunity of knowing its true interests, and when they succeed to the government are frequently the most ignorant and unfit of any throughout the dominions.”

Ignorant.

Unfit.

Payne was the first colonist, the first American to put into words that the infallibility of the king, the idea of one voice being above all the other voices engendered by a patriarchal God was total bullshit. This shook the foundation of the “belief” in one voice as the voice of the people. Until those words, there was one set of rules for the body politic and another for the ruler. Listen to those who support Trump. They only want one voice, his voice. No compromise. No solutions. They say he is anointed by God to become our leader, which is the literal definition for how the King of England gained his power. The Republican National Committee, which is now run by the woman currently sleeping with Trump’s offspring (very king-like), does not have a platform – a list of policies, agenda, and ideologies reflected in the Party. In its place is Whatever Trump Says.

No plan. 

Immunity.

Monarchy.

That is the plan.

“Common sense will tell us, that the power which hath endeavored to subdue us, is of all others, the most improper to defend us.”

– Thomas Payne

Why do you think Trump praises the despot Vladmir Putin and supports his invasion of Ukraine? It is understandable that a narcissistic lunatic wants total power, but for those to openly give it to him, or sit idly by while he takes it, should not be conceived of in America, much less enacted. That is a Russian ideal. Their revolution traded in one form of monarchy for another ideological one. The few deciding for all. It is embarrassing to even have to write this, but it needs to be said: We don’t do kings here. 

The fact that this already exposed politically compromised Supreme Court is wasting five seconds listening to arguments from a candidate to be king is beyond prosperous on its face and is antithetical to the entire American Experiment. This should enrage us. By taking this case, the Court proves it cannot save democracy. Democracy will come down to what it always comes down to – as it did in 1776 and 2020 – the people. This should galvanize us. We must see immunity as what it is, a plea to rule without parameter, without recourse, without constraints from our Constitution. And we must stop it in its contemptable, what did Washington say, “licentious” tracks.

If you vote for a king, then you wish to change the concept of America. And I, as great French philosopher, Voltaire once said, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,” do not begrudge your decision. If you want a king, then vote for that. A lot of decent people I know have and will vote for Donald Trump, but they need to know this is his aim – Total Immunity. And there is a very good chance this will be their last vote, because, you know, kings don’t need your vote. 

Whether Trump gets a thumbs up on his egregious immunity plea from this wacky SCOTUS is unknown, probably not, but by merely asking for it, quite publicly and proudly, should send him packing, not to the fucking White House.

Immunity.

This election is not about anything but this, really. One candidate wants to be king, the other merely president. Agree or disagree on policy or politics, whether Republican, Democrat, or Independent, you can choose whatever semantics you’d like, but all of it matters little in the shadow of this monumental threat. 

Immunity.

The second American Revolution has commenced.

I’ll let Payne take it home: “Common sense will tell us, that the power which hath endeavored to subdue us, is of all others, the most improper to defend us.”

Amen.

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HOW CONGRESS & POLITICS SHOULD WORK

Aquarian Weekly
2/21/24
 
Reality Check
 
 
HOW CONGRESS & POLITICS SHOULD WORK
A Simple Primer for the Uninitiated
 
Two events have recently occurred that prompts me to propose solutions to and from both. It’s what I do in my spare time, occasionally discuss these random theories with friends, and then pass them onto you. You’re welcome. Or… sorry.

The first is the current untenable situation with a skuttled border security bill in the Senate and a refusal by Speaker of the House Mike Johnson to even put it up for a vote. We discussed the tanking of the Republican-pitched, eventually bipartisan Senate border bill at the behest of current GOP presential candidate frontrunner, former president Donald J. Trump last week. With dwindling reasons why anyone should vote for this walking disaster with 91 indictments and the usual circus-like atmosphere surrounding him, the growing migration crises is his best argument. Thus, even though the Right has deemed it an existential threat for years, Republican members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate are willing to let it slide until November to help him out.

Although it is petty, hypocritical, and stupid – all hallmarks of this current Republican party – it is understandable politically. They want to win something, anything. Since 2016, Democrats have slaughtered Republicans in nearly 80-percent of elections and are undefeated in special elections and any vote that combats the Party’s continued attack on women’s reproductive rights across America. They believe, and current polling doesn’t refute this, that Trump is their best shot. But that’s all well and good for Trump, but what of these very same members of Congress that don’t hail from cushy gerrymandered, non-competitive districts in Arizona, California, New York, and New Jersey, all of which were won by President Joe Biden in 2020?

This brings me to my second event; the taking back of a House seat in New York’s 3rd District this week by Democrat Tom Suozzi, who did so by outperforming his polls by five points, which while impressive in a growing conservative Queens/Long Island area that elected detestable lunatic Republican George Santos by eight points in 2022, is still is not as impressive as what Democrats have done almost everywhere else – outperform polling by ten points on average.

Regardless of the spread, Suozzi’s win, buoyed by his embracing of the fucked border bill fiasco, should send shivers of abject fear down the spine of fellow congressmen and women who hold seats in similar Biden-friendly places from 2020. By my count, there are ten. Right now, Republicans hold a razor-slim five-seat majorly in the House, thanks to shitting the bed in ’22, a year they expected a “Red Wave” that didn’t materialize. If they want to pass the border bill – supported by sane conservatives and border security, et al – then all they have to do is make congress work as it is intended: Compromise and aisle-crossing temperament.

If just half of these vulnerable House members flip to supporting the bill, then they can have the numbers to pass it, assuming all Democrats follow suit, which is a gamble, since the far-left wing of the Party could not be happy with this Draconian thing the Senate whipped up that doesn’t even address their core immigration issue of Dreamers – undocumented people born in this country to illegal immigrants. But for the sake of argument, let’s say Democrats could play smart politics too and support the passing of a possible law that would ease tensions at the border, give their president a much-needed win on the issue, and remove it from a Trump talking point in the campaign going forward.

Since 2016, Democrats have slaughtered Republicans in nearly 80-percent of elections

None of this matters, of course, if the Speaker doesn’t bring it to a vote, but thanks to the insane wing of the Republican caucus, which negotiated a “one-vote to vacate” rule for the previously ousted former Speaker Keven McCarthy, one of the ten aforementioned congressmen/women could simply move to vacate, seconded by another one, and then join together with Democrats in having the votes to oust Johnson. Then, once this vacuous theocratic dink is toast find a moderate, compliant speaker to bring the damn bill up for a vote with the same numbers.

Bingo! Working congress! Much needed bill turned into law, and the crazy contingent sent packing with their goofy cult leader.

This not only helps the country, which is a sidebar here, but it makes perfect political sense – the only reason Republicans, many of whom abhor the boorish idiotic mess that is Donald Trump, kowtow to his MAGA contingent in the first place. Pure politics. These people have no ideology (there hasn’t been a Republican platform since 2016) nor leadership, (Trump is about to hand the Republican National Committee over to the woman currently sleeping with his son). So, it’s survival or nothing. I am offering these doomed congressmen in blue districts a way to govern and give them a victory, not hand a life-preserver to Trump. Fuck him. They need to defend their positions in the fall. 

At this point you might rightly point out, “But James, the Senate already killed this bill.” Yes, but there are enough moderate, clear-thinking politicians in the Senate, who must win state-wide elections, not fixed, gerrymandered district jokes, who might be inclined to take the House’s bold move as permission to take care of a national issue that is purportedly important to them. But remove the guesswork by taking the temperature of the votes in the higher chamber before making any moves. They’re all in walking distance of each outer. 

Let them figure it out.

I can’t do everything.

And so, if you are among the nearly 90-percent of Americans on both ends of the political spectrum who would like to see less theatrical voting like impeaching a homeland security chief, and more lawmaking from your Congress, this is the answer to your bitching.

Now, if only someone beside a columnist from a pop culture weekly could give this some traction across the social sphere, we might have something here.

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