“Two Ashli Babbits . . . “

So far, Trump is not getting the response he wants, as nobody is putting their body on the line and protesting in the streets. Even III Percenter,  Oath Keeper, and Proud Boy leaders are saying they are “retired” from protesting.

All they are doing is griping and whining on social media, which is not what Trump had in mind.

Perhaps it is because the whiners know that any violent protests would be over, as one tweeter put it, “in two Ashli Babbit’s”.  (That is, two Trumphumpers shot dead and all protests will end.)


A walk in the woods

After her election loss, Hillary Clinton:

  • went for a walk in the woods,
  • wrote a book,
  • started a podcast and
  • produced a docuseries.

She did not commit any crimes.
She did not obstruct any investigations.

And tomorrow, unlike the guy she warned us about, she is not going to be arrested.

We have ignored the crimes of Republican presidents for decades . . . it’s time to put one in jail

It’s dizzying: in this one week we learn that there’s a witness to Reagan’s 1980 treason to seize the presidency, and that Donald Trump, who gave the Russians a spy in his first week in office (among other treasons), will be indicted for the crime that helped him avoid losing to Hillary Clinton. This is on top of Nixon’s well-documented treason with Vietnam and Bush’s explicit lies about Iraq.

It’s now a certainty that the last legitimately elected Republican president who wasn’t a traitor to the United States was Dwight D. Eisenhower. In aggregate, this should be the biggest story in the media.

On Saturday, the New York Times published a bombshell report that former Texas Speaker of the House of Representatives and Lieutenant Governor Ben Barnes has confirmed that he and former Nixon Treasury Secretary John Connally told the Iranians in 1980s if they held onto the American hostages until after the election, they’d be rewarded by Reagan with weapons and spare parts.

Also on Saturday, Donald Trump whined on his Nazi-infested social media site that he was going to be arrested this week for paying off Stormy Daniels and thus stealing the 2016 election (with help from Putin).

Republican candidates for president committing treason to get into or stay in the White House has been the norm since 1968: it’s time to seriously discuss the five-decade-long problem we have with treasonous and illegitimate GOP presidents.

It started in 1968, when President Lyndon Johnson was desperately trying to end the Vietnam war. It had turned into both a personal and political nightmare for him, and his vice president, Hubert Humphrey, who was running for President in the election that year against a “reinvented” Richard Nixon.

Johnson spent most of late 1967 and early 1968 working back-channels to North and South Vietnam, and by the summer of 1968 had a tentative agreement from both for what promised to be a lasting peace deal they’d both sign that fall.

But Richard Nixon knew that if he could block that peace deal, it would kill VP Hubert Humphrey’s chances of winning the 1968 election. So, Nixon sent envoys from his campaign to talk to South Vietnamese leaders to encourage them not to attend upcoming peace talks in Paris.

Nixon promised South Vietnam’s corrupt politicians that he’d give them a richer deal when he was President than LBJ could give them then (just like Reagan would later do with the Iranians).

The FBI had been wiretapping South Vietnam’s US agents and told LBJ about his effort to prolong the Vietnam War. Thus, just three days before the 1968 election, Johnson phoned the Republican Senate leader, Everett Dirksen, (you can listen to the entire conversation here):

President Johnson: Some of our folks, including some of the old China lobby, are going to the Vietnamese embassy and saying please notify the [South Vietnamese] president that if he’ll hold out ’til November 2nd they could get a better deal. Now, I’m reading their hand. I don’t want to get this in the campaign. And they oughtn’t to be doin’ this, Everett. This is treason.
Sen. Dirksen: I know.

Those tapes were only released by the LBJ library in the past decade, and that’s Richard Nixon who Lyndon Johnson was accusing of treason.

At that point, for President Johnson, it was no longer about getting Humphrey elected. By then Nixon’s plan had already worked and Humphrey was being wiped out in the polls because the war was ongoing.

Instead, Johnson was desperately trying to salvage the peace talks to stop the death and carnage as soon as possible. He literally couldn’t sleep.

In a phone call to Nixon himself just before the election, LBJ begged him to stop sabotaging the peace process, noting that he was almost certainly going to win the election and inherit the war anyway. Instead, Nixon publicly said LBJ’s efforts were “in shambles.”

But South Vietnam had taken Nixon’s deal and boycotted the peace talks, the war continued, and Nixon won the White House thanks to it.

An additional twenty-two thousand American soldiers, and an additional million-plus Vietnamese died because of Nixon’s 1968 treason, and he left it to Jerry Ford to end the war and evacuate American soldiers.

Nixon was never held to account for that treason, and when the LBJ library released the tapes and documentation long after his and LBJ’s deaths it was barely noticed by the American press.

Gerald Ford, who succeeded Nixon, was never elected to the White House (he was appointed to replace VP Spiro Agnew, after Agnew was indicted for decades of taking bribes), and thus would never have been President had it not been for Richard Nixon’s treason. He pardoned Nixon.

Next up was Ronald Reagan.

During the Carter/Reagan election battle of 1980, then-President Carter had reached a deal with newly-elected Iranian President Abdolhassan Bani-Sadr to release the fifty-two hostages held by students at the American Embassy in Tehran.

Bani-Sadr was a moderate and, as he explained in an editorial for The Christian Science Monitor, successfully ran for President that summer on the popular position of releasing the hostages:

“I openly opposed the hostage-taking throughout the election campaign…. I won the election with over 76 percent of the vote…. Other candidates also were openly against hostage-taking, and overall, 96 percent of votes in that election were given to candidates who were against it [hostage-taking].”

Carter was confident that with Bani-Sadr’s help, he could end the embarrassing hostage crisis that had been a thorn in his political side ever since it began in November of 1979.

But behind Carter’s back, the Reagan campaign worked out a deal with the leader of Iran’s radical faction — Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini — to keep the hostages in captivity until after the 1980 Presidential election. Khomeini needed spare parts for American weapons systems the Shah had purchased for Iran, and Reagan was happy to promise them.

This is the story that was finally confirmed just this past weekend with The New York Times’ reporting that we now know how the deal was conveyed to the Ayatollah and by whom.

This was the second act of treason by a Republican wanting to become president.

The Reagan campaign’s secret negotiations with Khomeini — the so-called “October Surprise” — sabotaged President Carter’s and Iranian President Bani-Sadr’s attempts to free the hostages.

As President Bani-Sadr told The Christian Science Monitor in March of 2013:

“After arriving in France [in 1981], I told a BBC reporter that I had left Iran to expose the symbiotic relationship between Khomeinism and Reaganism.
“Ayatollah Khomeini and Ronald Reagan had organized a clandestine negotiation, later known as the ‘October Surprise,’ which prevented the attempts by myself and then-US President Jimmy Carter to free the hostages before the 1980 US presidential election took place. The fact that they were not released tipped the results of the election in favor of Reagan.”

And Reagan’s treason — just like Nixon’s treason — worked perfectly.

The Iran hostage crisis continued and torpedoed Jimmy Carter’s re-election hopes. And the same day Reagan took the oath of office — to the minute, as Reagan put his hand on the bible, by way of Iran’s acknowledging the deal — the American hostages in Iran were released.

Keeping his side of the deal, Reagan began selling the Iranians weapons and spare parts in 1981, and continued until he was busted for it in 1986, producing the so-called “Iran Contra” scandal.

But, like Nixon, Reagan was never held to account for the criminal and treasonous actions that brought him to office.

After Reagan — Bush senior was elected — but like Jerry Ford — Bush was really only President because he served as Vice President under Reagan. And, of course, the naked racism of his Willie Horton ads helped boost him into office.

The criminal investigation into Iran/Contra came to a head with independent prosecutor Lawrence Walsh subpoenaing President George HW Bush after having already obtained convictions for Weinberger, Ollie North and others.

Bush’s attorney general, Bill Barr, suggested he pardon them all to kill the investigation, which Bush did.

The screaming headline across the New York Times front page on December 25, 1992, said it all:


And if the October Surprise hadn’t hoodwinked voters in 1980, you can bet Bush senior would never have been elected in 1988. That’s four illegitimate Republican presidents.

Which brings us to George W. Bush, the man who was given the White House by five right-wing justices on the Supreme Court.

In the Bush v. Gore Supreme Court decision in 2000 that stopped the Florida recount — and thus handed George W. Bush the presidency — Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in his opinion:

“The counting of votes … does in my view threaten irreparable harm to petitioner [George W. Bush], and to the country, by casting a cloud upon what he [Bush] claims to be the legitimacy of his election.”

Apparently, denying the presidency to Al Gore, the guy who actually won the most votes in Florida and won the popular vote nationwide by over a half-million, did not constitute “irreparable harm” to Scalia or the media.

And apparently it wasn’t important that Scalia’s son worked for a law firm that was defending George W. Bush before the high court (with no Scalia recusal).

Just like it wasn’t important to mention that Justice Clarence Thomas’s wife worked on the Bush transition team — before the Supreme Court shut down the recount in Florida — and was busy accepting resumes from people who would serve in the Bush White House if her husband stopped the recount in Florida…which he did. (No Thomas recusal, either.)

More than a year after the election a consortium of newspapers including The Washington Post, The New York Times, and USA Today did their own recount of the vote in Florida — manually counting every vote in a process that took almost a year — and concluded that Al Gore did indeed win the presidency in 2000.

As the November 12th, 2001 article in The New York Times read:

“If all the ballots had been reviewed under any of seven single standards and combined with the results of an examination of overvotes, Mr. Gore would have won.”

That little bit of info was slipped into the seventeenth paragraph of the Times story so that it would attract as little attention as possible because the 9/11 attacks had happened just weeks earlier and journalists feared that burdening Americans with the plain truth that George W. Bush actually lost the election would further hurt a nation already in crisis.

To compound the crime, Bush could only have gotten as close to Gore in the election as he did because his brother, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, had ordered his Secretary of State, Kathrine Harris, to purge at least 57,000 mostly-Black voters from the state’s voter rolls just before the election. Thousands of African Americans showed up to vote and were turned away from the polls in that election in Florida that Bush “won” by fewer than 600 votes.

So, for the third time in 4 decades, Republicans took the White House under illegitimate electoral circumstances. Even President Carter was shocked by the brazenness of that one. And Jeb Bush and the GOP were never held to account for that crime against democracy.*

To get re-elected, Bush used an old trick: become a “wartime president.” In 1999, when George W. Bush’s family decided he was going to run for president in the 2000 election, his parents hired Mickey Herskowitz to write the first draft of Bush’s autobiography, A Charge To Keep.

Although Bush had gone AWOL for about a year during the Vietnam war and was thus apparently no fan of combat, he’d concluded (from watching his father’s “little 3-day war” with Iraq) that being a “wartime president” was the most consistently surefire way to get reelected and have a two-term presidency.

“I’ll tell you, he was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999,” Herskowitz told reporter Russ Baker in 2004.
“One of the things [Bush] said to me,” Herskowitz said, “is: ‘One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief. My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of (Kuwait) and he wasted it.
“[Bush] said, ‘If I have a chance to invade Iraq, if I had that much capital, I’m not going to waste it. I’m going to get everything passed I want to get passed and I’m going to have a successful presidency.’”

This week is also the 20th anniversary of Bush lying us into that war, an act of treason against America that cost 900,000 Iraqi lives, over 7,000 American lives (on the battlefield: veterans are still committing suicide daily), and over $8 trillion added to the national debt.

Which brings us to the first Republican president who may actually be held accountable for the crimes he committed to get into the White House.

In 2016, Trump ally Kris Kobach and Republican Secretaries of State across the nation used Interstate Crosscheck to purge millions of legitimate voters — most people of color — from the voting rolls just in time for the Clinton/Trump election.

Meanwhile, Russian oligarchs and the Russian state, and possibly pro-Trump groups or nations in the Middle East, are alleged to have funded a widespread program to flood social media with pro-Trump, anti-Clinton messages from accounts posing as Americans, as documented by Robert Mueller’s investigation.

It was so blatant that it provoked the U.S. Intelligence Community’s assessment of their similar actions during the 2020 election (done while Trump was still president but released in March, 2021) pretty much declaring him a “Russian asset.”

It was a repeat, in many ways (albeit unsuccessful this time) of the Russian efforts in 2016. Then, you’ll remember, Republican campaign data on the 2016 election, including which states needed a little help via phony influencers on Facebook and other social media, was not only given to Konstantin Kilimnik by Paul Manafort, but Kilimnik transferred it to Russian intelligence.

Trump had recently been wounded politically by the “grab ‘em by the pussy” comment he’d made on the Access Hollywood videotape, and if the Stormy Daniels affair (just 4 months after Melania had given birth to Barron) had become public Hillary Clinton would have wiped the floor with him.

But he paid Stormy off to keep quiet, a check delivered by Michael Cohen who was then sentenced to three years in prison (and served one) for corruptly violating campaign finance and tax laws with that check to help Trump get into the White House.

Donald Trump still lost the national vote by nearly 3 million votes, but came to power in 2016 through the electoral college loophole designed to keep slavery safe in colonial America.

If the news about Stormy Daniels had gotten out in the weeks before the election, there never would have been a January 6th; 300,000 Americans wouldn’t have died unnecessarily from Covid; Iran would still be in compliance with the nuclear deal; Putin wouldn’t have invaded Ukraine; and our country wouldn’t have given the morbidly rich another $2 trillion in tax cuts while gutting the social safety net.

Thus, New York DA Alvin Bragg is about to prosecute the crime that set the stage for all of Trump’s other crimes in office.

One can only wonder how much better off America would be if six Republican Presidents hadn’t stolen or inherited a stolen White House and used it to put rightwing cranks on the Supreme Court and other federal benches while cutting taxes on the morbidly rich, destroying unions, and offshoring over 16,000 factories and 15 good-paying union million jobs.

Now, finally, there may be an opportunity for some accountability for our most recent criminal Republican president.

The depth and breadth of Trump’s involvement in the January 6th attempt to destroy our form of government and replace it with single-party strongman rule is becoming more and more obvious. As a result, the pressure is building to hold him and many of those in his administration to account.

America has ignored GOP crimes to seize and hold the White House long enough. The immunity Ford gave Nixon has echoed down through the decades, leading to a packed Supreme Court and two unnecessary and illegal wars (not to mention tax cuts for billionaires that have gutted our middle class).

It’s time, at long last, to put this one in prison.

Trump is about to learn a hard lesson

Trump is about to learn — the man who stirs the shit eventually is the one who licks the spoon.

Donald Trump took to his social media site on Sunday for another all-caps rant detailing what he’s thinking about as a possible indictment looms.

This time it was Trump being arrested by the New York Police Department, which he claimed would never happen because they were friends of his. He thinks that the NYPD is willing to break the law to protect him.


Over the weekend, Trump falsely claimed that he was going to be arrested on Tuesday. He begged his supporters for help “protesting.” Since then, there’s been a significant uptick in conversations about weapons preparation.

One thread on Reddit Saturday, shared by a Daily Beast reporter, began by talking about the “patriot mote,” a circle around Mar-a-Lago that would protect Trump. Someone then asked what they would do if the police used helicopters. A reply said that they would shoot the police down.

The Daily Beast called both the Palm Beach Police and the NYPD. while the former wouldn’t respond, the NYPD said that their officers were “closely monitoring social media as well as intelligence from federal authorities and other police departments to assess the size of any protests.”

There is a plan in place that would allow the NYPD to deploy about 700 officers in a “disorder control” from the Strategic Response Group. They would also deploy a Level 4 alert, which would ensure eight officers and one sergeant that would be on alert in every precinct.

They didn’t say whether the NYPD officers were willing to quit their jobs instead of arresting the former president.

On MSNBC Sunday, Dr. Mary Trump, the former president’s niece, said that she’s not as worried about New York or Washington, D.C., but in places that aren’t prepared for events like this.

About half an hour following the first post, Trump put up another all-caps rant, falsely claiming that somehow D.A. Alvin Bragg was breaking the law because he interviewed Michael Cohen. Prosecutors can interview anyone they want for cases they’re working, as can grand juries. He went on to call for Bragg to be “held accountable,” claiming it was part of a crime. That crime, he claimed, was “interference in a presidential election,” something that Trump is, ironically, very familiar with.

White “christian” evangelicals are fading away and this is why they cannot recover

You might find it strange that a large segment of the Republican base thinks Whites are the true victims of racism and that Christians are under attack. After all, America’s biggest racial group is still Whites; the most common religious affiliation remains Christianity. Whites and Christians dominate elected office at all levels, the judiciary and corporate America. What’s the problem?

Well, there is a straightforward reason for the freak-out, and an explanation for why former president Donald Trump developed such a close bond with white Christian nationalists.

This group feels besieged because they are losing ground. “The newly-released 2022 supplement to the PRRI Census of American Religion — based on over 40,000 interviews conducted last year — confirms that the decline of white Christians (Americans who identify as white, non-Hispanic and Christian of any kind) as a proportion of the population continues unabated,” writes Robert P. Jones, president of the Public Religion Research Institute. “As recently as 2008, when our first Black president was elected, the U.S. was a majority (54%) white Christian country.” By 2014 the number had dropped to 47 percent, and in 2022 it stood at 42 percent.

The group that has declined the most is at the core of the MAGA movement, the group most devoted to Christian nationalism. “White evangelical Protestants have experienced the steepest decline. As recently as 2006, white evangelical Protestants comprised nearly one-quarter of Americans (23%). By the time of Trump’s rise to power, their numbers had dipped to 16.8%,” Jones explains. “Today, white evangelical Protestants comprise only 13.6% of Americans.”

And that decline may yet accelerate, because they skew older than the population as a whole. Put differently, there are far more baby boomers in this group than Generation Z members. White evangelicals are “losing” people with each successive generation. (“White Christian subgroups have each lost approximately half their market share just across the generations who are alive today,” according to Jones.) If your business had lost half its market share, you would be panicking, too.

With those kind of numbers, the responsible thing to do would be to think about “fixing” what’s wrong by adapting to a changing market. Instead, many in this cohort have doubled down, becoming the foot soldiers in the red-hatted MAGA movement. The decline isn’t going to be reversed by angry, gray-haired folks demanding abortion bans and “don’t say gay” bills.

Instead, White evangelicals might look at former “customers” who are abandoning organized religion in droves. “Nearly four in ten Americans ages 18-29 (38%) are religiously unaffiliated, an increase from 34% in 2021,” the PRRI census said. “As the cohorts age, the growth in religiously unaffiliated Americans has started to show up more in the 30-49 age category, which is up to 32% unaffiliated from 26% in 2016.”

In some sense, White evangelicals’ desperate efforts to cling to political power and demand adherence to a set of outdated cultural norms only make the problem worse. Not many 20-year-olds (part of the most diverse, inclusive generation in history, one steeped in climate science and tech) would leap at the prospect of living in a state where abortion is unattainable, gays are ostracized and secularism is bashed.

If Christian evangelicals really want to slow their decline, they might consider getting out of the unpopular political ideas market (e.g., abortion bans) and stressing values that could win back alienated young people (e.g., reverence for conserving the planet, ministering to the poor and the weak). That might put more seats in the pews, although it likely wouldn’t do much for the aging, mostly White, reactionary GOP.

The reality is that the convergence of the declining population of White Christians with the rise of Trump has been bad for both evangelicalism and American politics. Trump came along, telling the shrinking band of white Christian nationalists that they are victims. He reveled in nostalgia for a time when they dominated (demographically and politically) and blamed immigrants, elites and “wokeness” for their ills. They were the group most susceptible to a message that reinforces their feeling they have “lost” something or something has been “taken away.”

That “something” they felt had been stolen may have been as concrete as the 2020 election, or as all-encompassing as white Christian supremacy. However they define that sense of loss, it fuels their anger and binds them to Trump.

But the demographic clock cannot be turned back. No one can claim to be patriotic defenders of democracy when they decide their declining numbers justify anti-democratic voter suppression or even violence. In short, MAGA White Christians have painted themselves into a corner where the majority rejects their outlook and anti-majoritarian tactics cannot keep them in power forever.

A dramatic transformation would need to happen for this movement to return to pluralistic politics. The MAGA crowd would have to recognize America’s complete history, reflecting our full experience, not just the story of people like them. And most important, they would need to rediscover the principles on which the United States was founded. (“All men are created equal…”) They would have to abandon the myth that America is the domain of one race or religion.

Unimaginable? Maybe so, but what other choice is there? To thrive in the future, they eventually must appeal to America as it is, not as they imagine it was in the past.

Proud Boys in NYC protesting drag queen story hour get the shit beat out of them . . . and that’s a good thing

Clashes between Proud Boys and counter-protesters led to at least one arrest on Sunday.

The incidents occurred on 7th Avenue in New York City at the Drag Queen Story Hour with Attorney General Letitia James event.

Videos shared online showed some protesters wearing gear and colors associated with the Proud Boys.

Members of the far-right group were seen clashing with counter-protesters in the street.

One video shows a man in Proud Boys colors being arrested.

In another video, a group member appears with blood on his face.

Proud Boys bloodied and jailed during NYC drag queen story hour protest

“I came here to protest but I got the shit beat out of me” So FAFO; now go home and cry about it.

This is a warning to all you Trump worshipers out there who plan to protest his arrest

This is a warning to all you Trumphumpers who are thinking about protesting his arrest or his conviction, regardless of whether he is arrested or convicted in NY, GA, or DC.

First, read this article.

During an appearance on MSNBC’s “The Sunday Show,” GOP political advisor Lucy Caldwell expressed alarm at the prospect of street protests following Donald Trump’s claim that he will be arrested on Tuesday and then pointed to reports of online chatter that hints at violence.

Speaking with host Jonathan Capehart, Caldwell was asked about the Trump Truth Social post about his imminent arrest as well as his announcement that he will be holding a rally in Waco, Texas, the site of the Branch Davidian siege in 1993.

“Am I reading too much into Donald Trump’s rally in Waco given that history?” host Capehart asked.

“I don’t think you’re reading too much into that at all,” Caldwell replied. “He knows exactly where he is going, he has savvy strategists around him, this is not coincidental.”

“And I think that what was just said was right,” she continued. “He has been setting up this narrative this whole time; what he said at CPAC a couple of weeks ago, where he said ‘I’m your retribution.’ When he talks about ‘we’ he uses the first person pronouns to describe ‘we’ the collective being under attack, what ‘we’ must do what they’re doing to us.”

“He is using typical classic cult leader language to bring these people into the fold and they’re responding,” he elaborated. “In between when he announced that is that he expects to be arrested next week, and when he announced that cult rally in Waco, investigators have seen that actually his supporters did go online and start organizing to buy protective gear, to stock up on weaponry. To do all the things that people do when they’re reacting to a cult leader.”

“It’s a very grave and dangerous situation, but I think Jonathan, you are not over-reading the tea leaves at all here,” she added.


“Street protests” are fine.  You have a Constitutional right to protest, to petition the government for redress.

You DO NOT have the right to smash things.  You DO NOT have the right to threaten or attack people with firearms, knives, pepper spray, clubs, or anything else that can kill, maim, or injure a person.

Because, IF YOU DO threaten or attack people with firearms, knives, pepper spray, clubs, or anything else that can kill, maim, or injure a person, you need to know there are a lot of us armed liberals — many of us combat veterans of Vietnam, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan — we own guns, we shoot, we have been in the midst of combat, we are not afraid of you lardassed wannabees, and we are mightily pissed off  at what happened on Jan 6 and we will NOT LET IT HAPPEN AGAIN.

If the cops do not stop you, we will.

I am an armed liberal, veteran of three tours in Vietnam. I have two gun safes full of guns including AR-15’s and StreetSweeper shotguns.  I have stocked up on ammo for just such an event.  Another Jan 6 WILL NOT HAPPEN, not in DC, not in small towns, not in big cities, not on country roads.   If you think what happened to Ashli Babbitt was terrible, you had best prepare yourself for things to be a lot worse.