Category Archives: Politics

Elizabeth Warren’s Native American Heritage

In the early days of the 1972 election, President Richard Nixon, seeking re-election, faced a number of potentially tough challengers, and the strongest one may have been Senator Edmund Muskie. Among all the possible Democratic candidates emerging at the time, Nixon wanted to run against the one he saw as the weakest, George McGovern.

So he arranged that.

The Nixon dirty tricks team (which included at least one person active in recent years on the Trump dirty tricks team) fabricated a letter supposedly written by Muskie that served to discredit him as a candidate. That was one of several different fraudulent moves made against Muskie and other candidates.

The Democrats dutifully tossed Muskie and all the other candidates under the bus and ran George McGovern against Richard Nixon.

1972 election results:

47,168,710 votes, 520 Electoral votes: NIXON
29,173,222 votes, 17 Electoral votes: McGOVERN

The following presidential election was won by outsider Democrat Jimmy Carter. It is generally recognized that Carter’s win was in large part due to the country being tired of cheating Republicans, following the Watergate affair. The hit job on Muskie and other candidates was not forgotten, but had been absorbed into the larger array of illegal and unethical activities by the Republicans.

Owing largely to the Iran Hostage crisis, the country lost faith in Carter, and elected Ronald Reagan in 1980. Another significant factor was a third party candidate, Anderson, who took away mainly Carter votes.

Reagan was re-elected in 1984.

The 1988 election required that the Democrats get a strong candidate to run against Reagan’s vice president, George Bush. They did. The up and coming, popular, and highly qualified Gary Hart was the obvious candidate, and from early on was assumed to be the nominated one, and a likely next president.

But then something bad happened. Gary Hart was taken out of the running. The National Enquirer ran a story placing Hart in the company of a loose woman on a suspicious boat called “Monkey Business” in the Caribbean. There was even a photo of the woman, Donna Rice, siting on Hart’s lap.

The Democrats quickly tossed Hart under the bus, and put forward Mike Dukakis as their candidate. Let me note that Dukakis was a very good governor of Massachusetts, and would have made a good president.

This may or may not be a side story: When Dukakis was running, there was a famous photograph taken of him in a tank wearing a too-large helmet, looking goofy. This appeared to disqualify him as president to a lot of voters.

Also during the primary, came the “Willie Horton” affair, a racist ploy to make Dukakis look like he was weak on crime.

This led to further weakening of Dukakis’s campaign.

We now know that the Hart Monkey Business monkey business business was a setup by Lee Atwater, a Republican dirty tricks guy. We also now know that the racist and inaccurate Horton attack ads were Atwater work as well. (See Was Gary Hart Set Up?)

48,886,597 votes, 426 Electoral votes: BUSH
41,809,074 votes, 111 Electoral votes: DUKAKIS

Then a few other elections happened.

The 2016 election was probably won by Republican Trump in part because of the discrediting of the Democratic candidate, Clinton, using lies and misdirection. There are also some who would argue that Sanders should have been the candidate, but efforts to keep him out of the race caused Clinton to win the primaries. I’m pretty sure that is not true, but if you happen to think it is true, do check on the possibility that Sanders’ campaign was damaged at least in part by outside nefarious forces of Republican or Puto-Russian origin. Just in case.

Anyway, you can imagine how different the world would be today if Muskie had been elected president. Or Hart. Or Dukakis.

Today, we are seeing this happening again, I think.

Elizabeth Warren, the most viable current candidate to represent the Democratic Party in 2020, according to many, had made a reference in the past to her own heritage. Her heritage, her right.

The Racist Republican Don the Con Trump used that opportunity to attack “Pocahontas” Warren. Democrats thought this was despicable.

Much more recently, just now, Warren happens to have done a DNA test of her heritage, and found out the interesting, quaint, and largely unimportant fact that what her family had been telling her all along, that many generations back she had a Native American ancestor, is likely true given the genetic markers in her DNA. As is her right, she made this public.

What Senator Warren did is this: She challenged a made up, racist, insulting accusation made by Don the Con Trump, with a fact.

The result? Repeated outcries BY DEMOCRATS that this was not a good communications move, and therefore ELIZABETH WARREN IS NO LONGER QUALIFIED TO BE PRESIDENT.

Excuse me, fellow Democrats, but I have something for you:

FELLOW DEMOCRATS JUMP THROUGH THIS HOOP AND ELECT TRUMP IN 2020

To the people who are jumping on this Never Warren She Did DNA OMG!!!!! bandwagon, many of whom are friends or colleagues whom I truly respect: Please think about the damage you are doing, and fucking stop doing it.

Thank you very much, that is all.

US Senate Will Be Republican Controlled or 50-50

According to me. And, I quickly add, that this is NOT a formal analysis. This is just my gut feeling combined with looking at the polls and stuff. Bottom line: Missouri and Nevada are the key states to watch.

Montana is considered a toss-up state, but I do not regard it as one. Tester is well established and has been ahead in polls, including good polls. Democratic incumbent senator John Tester will pass the ultimate test and put his challenger on the mat.

Nevada is a tossup. Democratic challenger Jacky Rosen has had a strong showing in several polls, and was gaining on incumbent Dean Heller. It is possible that there is a Kavanaugh effect. In my first iteration of an an analysis across the Senate, I’d put Nevada in Heller’s pocket. But there if urban labor can get organized, and if the Kavanaugh effect blunts over time, I can see Rosen clear to a victory. So, I’ll put Democrat Jacky Rosen in the win column in my Plan B analysis.

Arizona is going to be interesting. Democrat Kyrsten Sinema was strong through the summer, but McSally’s campaign sallied forth and caught up in September. One could see the last month in Nevada as a volatile horse race. What looks like a last minute Kavanaugh backlash may wear off. I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that Sinema will win in Arizona.

I hate to say it, but Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp, in North Dakota, is going to lose, and the Republican Kramer is going to win. This race is considered by many as a tossup, but it is more of a toss-out.

If Beto O’Rourke wins in Texas, I’ll eat my cowboy hat. He never really had a chance of beating Cruz. Texas is an asshole state, and everything is Texas is extra big,and Cruz is a the biggest asshole of them all. Too bad.

Some analyses put Senator Tina Smith in an uncertain column for her return to represent Minnesota. I would have done so a couple of weeks ago as well, but the North Star state is coming together. Probably a Kavanaugh effect in favor of the DFL. Smith will win in Minnesota.

In Missouri, incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill seems to be losing. But if there is a race the Democrats can pull out of the ditch by doing things like sending lots of money, allowing Mich McConnell to ram through 16 right wing judges so the Dems could go home and campaign, and that sort of stuff, it is this race. I will not underestimate McCaskill. She’ll be returned. And, no, there was no Kavanaugh effect there.

Democrat Donnelly is solid in Indiana.

Democrat Nelson is taking off in Florida and will win there.

All of the other races are going as they are going. There will be Democrats in Wisconisn, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Republicans in Mississippi, Tennessee, and the other usually Republican states.

The only uncertainty is Nevada. Leaving Nevada out of the count, there will be 49 Democrats and 50 Republicans. If Nevada actually goes, as currently seems likely, to the GOP, the Party of Hate will have two more Senators than the Democratic Party. But, it is distinctly possible that Nevada will send a Democrat to the Senate instead, which will cause the Senate to break 50.

Of those I’ve assigned, obviously, Missouri is the most uncertain. Everything seems to depend on Missouri and Nevada.

The Kavanaugh Fight Will Dampen The Red Wave

Why? Because everything that can possibly happen, anything of any sort, will dampen the Red Wave. Why is that? Because Democrats are unorganized, weak, lack knowledge about how the electoral process works, and more self centered than ideology centered. Not all Democrats, but plenty of them.

But that’s just me talking. All I have to offer is experience in campaigns since the 1970s. What you really want to do is listen to Rachel Maddow, who has a whole staff and a big brain. She says different. I hope she is right and I am wrong. (For the record, we rarely disagree.)

The Presumption of Innocence

If I own a cookie store, and you come to my store for a job interview, and I see you stealing cookies, I will not hire you. To me, you are a crook, and I will act on that belief, and I can do that. But, if I turn you into the cops, and you enter the criminal justice system, you have a presumption of innocence, which applies to what happens to you in that system. At no point does the presumption of innocence that is part of our criminal justice system seep out into my cookie business. I caught you with your hand in the cookie jar, and you still can’t have that job.

This rule of justice comes down from the Romans, Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat, and it is widespread, though not universal in legal systems. But it does not apply to my cookie shop.

The presumption of innocence is not a logical requirement or even guideline for how humans think. It is, rather, the baseline from which the process of proving guilt begins in many of our legal systems. “Presumed innocent until proven guilty” (a phrase coined by William Garrow) refers to a stage in the legal process of acquiring or convicting someone. It is not the logical starting point for deciding, as a human being, if another human being did something wrong.

I do think something like presuming innocence is a good thing to do, and I tend to do it. But when as citizens we do that of each other, or of people in the news, or others, we are not engaging in the legal principle of Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat. We’re just trying not to be dicks all the time.

Kavanaugh is unfit for the bench because of the arguments he made today

Today, Judge Kavanaugh made the argument in sworn testimony, and this argument was backed up by the Republicans in the room, that all the accusations against him are a Democratic conspiracy. He also made the assertion that this conspiracy has permanently and irreparably destroyed his life, his family, his relationship to his children, his career and his reputation. This places a huge dark cloud over the Democratic party in his mind.

The Supreme Court of the United States is often the place where US laws meet their final and ultimate challenge. The Supreme Court Justices have to listen carefully and in an unbiased fashion to arguments that a current law is constitutional, vs. not constitutional. The Supreme Court does other things, they look at other kinds of cases, but this is a very common and critically important mode of operation for SCOTUS.

The lawyers charged with arguing in favor of the standing US law are part of the executive branch. They are part of the President’s team.

If Kavanaugh becomes a justice of the Supreme Court, he will have to recuse himself in any case where a plaintiff argues against the constitutionality of a standing US federal law. He has demonstrated a powerful, permanent, and indelible bias.

He won’t make much of a judge if he can’t really do his job.

Full Disclosure by Stormy Daniels

I swear, the Trump administration is going to produce more books during (and I assume just after) Trump’s term than Abraham Lincoln’s presidency produced in a century.

And the latest volume is Full Disclosure by Stormy Daniels.

If the use of the term “Full Disclosure” sounds familiar to you, it could be because you are a West Wing fan. I wonder if Stormy is a West Wing Fan?

She was already well-known in some circles before March 6, 2018, but that’s probably the first time you heard the name Stormy Daniels. That’s the day she filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump over a nondisclosure agreement negotiated before the election but never signed.

How did Stormy Daniels become the woman willing to take on a president? What is it like to be reviled by some, held up as a beacon of hope by others, and to be an object of fascination to all?

In this book, Stormy Daniels tells her whole story for the first time: about how she came to be a leading actress and director in the aderlt film business, the full truth about her journey from a rough childhood in Louisiana onto the national stage, and everything about the events that led to the nondisclosure agreement and the behind-the-scenes attempts to intimidate her.

Stormy is funny, sharp, warm, and impassioned by turns. Her story is a thoroughly American one, of a girl who loved reading and horses and who understood from a very young age what she wanted—and who also knew she’d have to get every step of the way there on her own.

People can’t stop talking about Stormy Daniels. And they won’t be able to stop talking about her fresh, surprising, completely candid, nothing-held-back book.

Minnesota Bigfoot Finds Waldo!

You may not know this, but Minnesota is one of the centers of activity for Bigfoot. Most of the Bigfoot activity actually occurs not to far from Amanda’s family cabin is located, and that is also where the Bigfoot researchers are clustered.

I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, “Greg is joking us around again.” But no, I’m serious. Bigfoot is real, lives in Minnesota, and recently … has gotten involved in politics! Like this: Continue reading Minnesota Bigfoot Finds Waldo!

How to force Senator Susan Collins to do the right thing

I find it astonishing that Senator Susan Collins isn’t going to do the right thing on her own, and that we have to force her, in this case, to vote against Trump Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. But, I suppose I should not be surprised. Susan Collins is one of those Republicans people often look to do “do the right thing” but I can’t remember the last time she actually did the right thing.

One way or another, we’ve got to throw her out of office and replace her with a Democrat. But, in the meantime, there is an interesting project going on at Crown Pac.

Promise to donate money, at leat $20.20, if she votes Yes on Kavanaugh. The money will be used to fund the endorsed Democrat who ends up running against Collins in the next election.

A typical Maine Senate seat costs, I think, about $6 million to run for, if you are a well established incumbent like Collins. If this program raises about 3 million or so, that’s enough to knock her off her game if the Democrats can find a well liked candidate that knows how to run a campaign. There must be somebody in Maine like that.

The goal of the campaign is to raise $1.5 million. Obviously I think they should double that goal. So far, just under 50,000 people have pledged just over $1.3 million.

A good amount of that $6 or so million you need to run a campaign in Maine, may be one million bucks worth, maybe more comes from corporations, and probably, some of those corporations are boycottable. They include General Dynamics, DLA Piper, Elliot Management, the Cohen Group (different Cohen, I hope), and Lion’s Gate Entertainment.

Here’s what the good people of Maine are saying to Susan Collins:

CLICK HERE TO GET RID OF COLLINS

Manafort flips

Yesterday we learned that Trump campaign manager and Russian stooge Paul Manafort had decided to plead guilty to charges for which he was about to be tried. This morning, we learn that Manafort has agreed to cooperate and possibly be a witness for Robert Mueller’s special investigation of Russian government involvement in US elections and related things.

I’m not sure how much Manafort’s cooperation will actually help the special council’s investigation. I would guess that there isn’t much he can add to what must be a huge iceberg of evidence already gathered.

But there is a more important outcome here, and it is social and political. The absurd position held by Trump supporters, both in the Trump inner cantos and in the deplorable swamps, that there is nothing to see here has lost yet another crutch. Not only is Manafort guilty, but he has something to say to Mueller. About something.

Manafort cops a plea?

It appears that felon and Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort has struck some sort of plea deal with Marine Veteran and Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller.

This would get Mueller out of going through another trial.

It may be that Manafort has simply pleaded guilty on the charges he is up for, or it may be that he’s cooperating in some way in order to get a reduced sentence for the eight felonies he was found guilty of last month and a good deal on the upcoming charges. In theory, we will find out Friday when the deal is read in court. Or sooner if it leaks.