Monday, July 10, 2017

We All Know Trump Is For Sale And Putin Is The Richest Man On Earth. Is Trump His Sock Puppet Now?


Sunday morning everyone who loves making fun of Señor Trumpanzee's Adderall-fueled tweet storms, had a field day. The one above was a sensation-- at least among those who enjoy mocking the imbecile Putin helped install in the White House. Did anyone imagine Trump's excursion to Hamburg and his opportunity to pay homage to the Russian dictator in person wouldn't be a farce? Probably my favorite response to the numbskull tweet du jour came from the Trump-Putin allies at Wikileaks.

The election system in Georgia was hacked, likely at Putin's command, in time for the Ossoff-Handel race. The Georgia Republican Party was absolutely complicit, if not in advance, then certainly afterwards when they categorically refused to allow paper ballots. Now there are many people converned that Trump has given Putin the green light to hack the 2018 midterm elections, something the Democrats will never be able to prove and probably-- in fear of discrediting electoral democracy even further-- will never accuse them of. James Clapper, former head of the Director of National Intelligence, was on CNN's Situation Room last week said that he believes Russia is preparing for the 2018 electoral "battleground."

I bet even some Trump supporters would be concerned if Trump made moves to turn Alaska back to the Russians-- after it, it was once part of the Russian Empire, just like Crimea and the Donesk region of Ukraine-- even if they're not concerned about Trump turning our democracy over to Putin to finish it off. Last week Ari Berman wrote about the Trump Regime's domestic initiatives against democracy-- it's unprecedented attack on voting rights, not something Trump supporters care about at all, unless you consider cheering a sign of "caring about." In his report for The Nation, Berman cited 4 specific Regime actions that are causes for concern:
1. The House Appropriations Committee voted to defund the Election Assistance Commission, the only federal agency that helps states make sure their voting machines aren’t hacked. The House Administration Committee previously voted to kill the EAC in February, but yesterday’s vote makes it one step closer to reality-- practically inviting Russia to try to hack our elections again. Russian hackers targeted election systems in 21 states in 2016, according to intelligence officials. The $4 million funding request for the EAC is less than the cost of two trips by Donald Trump to Mar-a-Lago.

2. The Department of Justice sent a letter to all 50 states informing them that “we are reviewing voter registration list maintenance procedures in each state covered by the NVRA [National Voter Registration Act]” and asking how they plan to remove voters from the rolls. While this might sound banal, it’s a clear instruction to states from the federal government to start purging the voting rolls. “Let’s be clear what this letter signals: DOJ Civil Rights is preparing to sue states to force them to trim their voting rolls,” tweeted Sam Bagenstos, the former deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights in the Obama administration. There’s a very long and recent history of Republican-controlled states’ purging their voting rolls in inaccurate and discriminatory ways-- for example, Florida’s disastrous purge of alleged ex-felons in 2000 could have cost Al Gore the election-- and it’s especially serious when the Department of Justice forces them to do it.

3. The White House commission on election integrity, led by vice chair Kris Kobach, also sent a letter to 50 states asking them to provide sweeping voter data including “the full first and last names of all registrants, middle names or initials if available, addresses, dates of birth, political party (if recorded in your state), last four digits of social security number if available, voter history (elections voted in) from 2006 onward, active/inactive status, cancelled status, information regarding any felony convictions, information regarding voter registration in another state, information regarding military status, and overseas citizen information.” While Kobach asked for “publicly-available voter roll data,” much of this information, like someone’s Social Security number or military status, is, in fact, private. Never before has a White House asked for such broad data on voters, and it could be easily manipulated by Trump’s commission. Kobach has a very well-documented record of making wildly misleading claims about voter fraud and enacting policies that sharply limit access to the ballot in his home state of Kansas. He’s been sued four times by the ACLU for voter suppression and was sanctioned by a federal court last week for “deceptive conduct and lack of candor.”

4. The Trump administration named Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation as a member of the commission, who’s done more than anyone other than Kobach to spread the myth of voter fraud and enact suppressive policies. Von Spakovsky was special counsel to the Bush administration’s Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Brad Schlozman, who said he wanted to “gerrymander all of those crazy libs right out of the [voting] section.” It was a time when longtime civil-rights lawyers were pushed out of the Justice Department and the likes of Schlozman and von Spakovsky reversed the Civil Rights Division’s traditional role of safeguarding voting rights. When von Spakovsky was nominated to the FEC, six former lawyers in the voting section called him “the point person for undermining the Civil Rights Division’s mandate to protect voting rights.” My favorite example of von Spakovsky’s ethical lapses is the fact that he published an article praising voter-ID laws under the pseudonym “Publius” at the same time he was in charge of approving Georgia’s voter-ID law at DoJ. With the likes of Kobach and von Spakovsky on it, Trump’s commission has nothing to do with election integrity and everything to do with suppressing votes ahead of the 2018 and 2020 elections.

All four of these actions would be disturbing on their own, but taken together they represent an unprecedented attack on voting rights by the Trump administration and Republican Congress. The actions by Kobach, in particular, appear to mark the beginning of a nationwide voter-suppression campaign, based on spreading lies about voter fraud to justify enacting policies that purge the voter rolls, and make registration and voting more difficult. has done a great deal of work laying out the record of Trump's lies about Putin's hacking. This isn't Trump's typical bullshit but the systematic, well-planned out conspiracy that's a far cry from just the bungling of an imbecile.

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At 7:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We'll never be able to believe the results of elections until we get rid of all the voting machines and go back to paper ballots. But neither major party wants to do that because they both rig the machines--Democrats in the primaries, and Republicans in the general elections.

At 9:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, the violations of the emoluments clause are obvious and many... yet the constitution is just a fucking piece of paper... not to be given any weight at all.

I like Colbert's line best. Trump's open mouth is putin's cockholster.

At 2:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The GOP "attack on voting rights" is NOT "unprecedented."

Those who call it such are cynically covering for decades of their own inattention, inaction and, after the Dem 2016 primaries, conversion to use of the same "tool" of election fraud by DOMESTIC actors.

What is occurring now in congress is the logical progression of the GOPs strategy to destroy the voting system evident since, at least, the mid-1980's court order against the RNC to no longer engage in voter "caging." So the task was relegated to individual state actors like Florida Sec State (2000) and KKKansan KKKris KKKobak who is now only being rewarded for his previous work that started long before His Hairness came on the scene.

The Dems are the responsible party for having failed to expose, denounce and indict for the decades of GOP election fraud. And, as if to highlight their dismal, spineless failure, the Dems used their own internal election fraud to nominate a candidate with egregious, historical unelectability issues not to mention an insipid, irrelevant, self-defeating ("deplorables" = "the 47%"), tin-eared campaign based on "the Obumma legacy" ... the visceral reaction against which was THE force behind the "unexpected" rise of His Hairness.

The result is total GOP control of government. After the GOP blocking of Obumma's SCOTUS nominee (and, to the point, his doing absolutely NOTHING about it) what did Dems expect from the goose-stepping GOP if it got control, as it now has, of the entire federal government ... along with that of 60% of the states?

John Puma


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