Tuesday, August 29, 2017


     I've been listening to C-Span's call in program, National Journal, for the past few days. The topic each day has been the disaster in Texas, as you'd expect, and a lot of Texans have called in. Funny thing, not a single one has advocated secession. In fact, the calls expose the great conservative hypocrisy. One consistent thing about conservatives, they're only self-reliant until they need help.

Friday, August 18, 2017


     Don the Con is planning to hold a campaign-style rally at the Phoenix Convention Center next Tuesday.  The Mayor’s asking him to cancel, but Trump is so far unwilling to comply. So, will his racist-right supporters also make an appearance, banners unfurled? And how large will the anti-Trump demonstrations be? The stakes are high on all sides, the potential for violence extreme.

     Hitler’s Brownshirts, formally called Sturmabteilung (Storm Detachment), originally functioned to protect him at rallies and intimidate opponents in the years prior to his political success. He made no public appearances without them. Although he had its leaders murdered (the Night of the Long Knives) after he got control of the German military, the Brownshirts were essential in the early days, fighting off anti-Hitler demonstrators, intimidating opponents, engaging in massive street fights with the usual collection of Communists, socialists and anarchists. At its height, just after Hitler came to power, Sturmabteilung claimed to have 3,000,000 men under arms, more than 30 times the size of the German Army.

      I believe the racist-right organizations who carried those torches in Charlottesville are waiting for Trump to call. I believe they’re convinced that he’s certain, at some point, to order them into action. The Southern Policy Law Center keeps directories listing America’s hate groups. One such directory, of groups who fought in Charlottesville, contains photos of 18 flags, representing 18 organizations. Each of these hate groups believes in a violent revolution to come, a race war they’ve already armed themselves to fight. The photos of armed participants from the racist-right at Charlottesville are chilling, men in full military regalia carrying assault rifles with extra magazines in pouches attached to their bullet-resistant vests. Virginia’s governor, Terry McAuliffe, later claimed that the State Police were outgunned and intimidated by dozens of armed men. Leaving aside the pathetic element to that claim, what’s clear is that our open carry laws have created tensions that cannot be defused until after the first trigger is pulled.

      Modern assault rifles are generally fitted with 50-round magazines. They can be fired as fast as you can pull the trigger.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017



      OK, so I’m watching a gaggle of talking heads on MSNBC review a Vice News clip from an interview with Christopher Cantwell, the white supremacist, conducted by the fearless Elle Reeve, a woman with the face of an ingenue and the instincts of a crocodile. Reeve at one point, asks Cantwell about the death of Heather Heyer.

     “I think,” Cantwell unhesitatingly replies, “a lot more people are gonna die before we’re done here, frankly.”

      The MSNBC pundits were shocked by this news, as if anything else could have been meant by the “blood” part of “blood and soil.”

      The Brownshirts are coming.

Monday, August 14, 2017


   Twice during last year's presidential campaign, Donald Trump threatened to call his supporters into the streets, just before the nominating convention, then again just before election day. There would be, he declared, a violent response on the part of his supporters if he was cheated in any way. I think it useful, therefore, to point out that armed militia types were on the streets of Charlottesville over the weekend. I can say this with absolute assurance because photographs of these armed men and women are easily uncovered by a Google-Image search.

   Assault rifles, sniper rifles and shotguns. In this case, as in prior cases, the appearance of these militia types amounted to little more than posturing. Will that continue? If, perhaps, Trump's presidency is threatened? If, perhaps, he calls his supporters into the streets as he's already threatened to do?

   Never forget, Don the Con's every instinct is totalitarian.

Saturday, August 12, 2017


   Is there anyone out there who still denies that race is at the heart of the rise of the Republican Party in general, and Donald Trump in particular? Anyone?

   In a previous post, I included a list of white supremacists supporting Trump. I think it useful to re-post that list. First, however, let me provide a two-part working definition of white supremacist. One, the belief that race is a valid concept, which, in fact, it is not. Two, that one or more races is inherently superior to another race or races.

         A few days ago (during the campaign), I did a simple search for “white supremacists supporting Donald Trump.” I expected to uncover five or six fully-committed types, but found dozens instead. A short list follows, only enough to make the point, but it's important to remember that these individuals jumped onto the Trump bandwagon before he was nominated.

Rocky J. Suhayda: head of American Nazi Party: We have a wonderful OPPORTUNITY here, folks, that may never come again at the RIGHT time.”

Andrew Anglin: Runs the Daily Stormer: “The biggest story in the filthy kike media has been a few lines from Melania’s speech which these Jews claim she stole from Monkey Michelle.”

David Duke: the only white supremacist Donald Trump formally disavowed.

Alex Linder: National Alliance (Neo-Nazi group) “Only Trump can turn back the brown tide and white folks know this.”

Don Black: former KKK Grand Dragon: “Trump resonates with many of our people, of course….”

August Kreis III: former Aryan Nations Minister of Information and Propaganda: “I will always hate the Jew.  This government is run by an evil group of people, and please vote for Trump.”

Rachel Prendergast: national organizer for the Rights Party (KKK affiliated): “Trump is one example of the alternative-right candidate Knights Party members and candidates are looking for.”

John Ritzheimer: Anti-Islam strategist who participated in the Oregon Occupation: “We will level and demolish every mosque across this country.” Showed up at Trump rally with a bullhorn.

Gerald DeLemus: Chief of Security for Cliven Bundy: Co-Chair of Veterans for Trump in New Hampshire: “At least Donald Trump is offering a solution. I know who gets my vote.”

Michele Fiore: formally endorsed Trump: “I am not OK with terrorists. I am not OK with Syrian refugees. Just put a piece of brass in their oracular cavity and end their miserable life.”

James Edwards: founder of white supremacist website VDARE.com: “Our people just needed a viable candidate and they’ve identified Trump as that man.”

Brad Griffin: founder of white nationalist website Occidental Dissent: “The signal has gone out to join the Trump campaign and to openly organize in the mainstream….”

Mathew Heimbach: leader of Traditionalist Workers Party: “Hail, Emperor Trump. Hail, victory.”

Richard Spencer: head of the National Policy Institute: “Do you think it’s a coincidence that everybody like me loves Trump and supports him?”

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


      So, maybe you think it can’t get worse? Maybe Trump’s Obamacare-repeal failure has you giddy and you’re looking forward to another victory over the Republican’s tax cut (please don’t call it tax reform) plan? Well, you need to stop looking at the trees, entrancing as they may be. Look at the forest, instead, specifically at the grove tucked behind that hill. We call that particular grove the Senate Judiciary Committee and it’s a busy, busy, busy place.

      Thus far, Don the Con has appointed 34 individuals – 27 men and 7 women – to positions on the Court of Appeals or the District Court. With 100 to go, he will, before he finishes his first term, have appointed 15% of the judges who sit on those courts.

      Let’s take a look at three of these appointees.

      Kevin Newsome, nominee for the 11th Circuit. In 2000, Newsome’s law review article likened Roe v. Wade to Dred Scott vs. Sandford. Decided in 1857, Judge Roger Taney’s opinion in Dred Scott included his belief, which became law when the decision was announced, that “a black man has no rights that a white man is bound to respect.” Newsome served for a time as Alabama’s Solicitor General, where he expressed his disappointment with a Supreme Court decision (Roper vs. Simpson) that made it unconstitutional to execute juveniles like George Stinney, who was electrocuted at age 14. Stinney deserved every volt, of course, because he murdered two little white girls. That no corroborating physical evidence existed was a mere technicality. Alabama, by the way, is one of only a few states that doesn’t provide free lawyers to its death-row prisoners. You wanna appeal? Read a law book.

      John Bush, nominee for the Court of Appeals: John Bush has an easily-accessed history. Under the pseudonym, G. Morris, he maintained a blog entitled Elephants in the Bluegrass. On October 7, 2008, G. Morris posted the following:

      “The government of Kenya is holding WND (World Net Daily) staff reporter Jerome Corsi in custody at immigration headquarters after police picked him up at his hotel just prior to a scheduled news conference in which he planned to announce the findings of his investigation into Barack Obama’s connections to that country.”

      Want more?

      “The two greatest tragedies in our country’s history – slavery and abortion – relied on similar reasoning and activist judges on the Supreme Court.”

     If this posting was about slavery, I’d explain that the right to own slaves was protected in our founding document, specifically by the three-fifths clause, the fugitive slave clause and a clause that secured the continuation of the international slave trade for a minimum of twenty years. But this posting is not about slavery or the Constitution. I move on.

      Amy Coney Barrett, nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals. Barrett clerked for Antonin Scalia and worked for a time at the law firm of Miller, Cassidy, Larocca & Lewin, which merged into Baker, Botts. From private practice, she migrated to Notre Dame’s law school. She is now a full professor.

      Barrett’s time in private practice was short, but in the main she represented white collar defendants on the hook for defrauding the government. She was also on the team that represented George Bush in Bush vs. Gore. Neither activity condemns her, of course. You’d hardly expect Donald Trump to appoint the lead counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. But there is one element of her background that should give us pause.

      As conservative overall as Alito, Thomas and Gorsuch, Barrett has taken her jurisprudence to a new extreme. Neither prior decisions (stare decisis) or even the law itself, as written, should take precedence over a judge’s religious beliefs. In an article entitled “Catholic Judges in Capital Cases,” she condemned William Brennan (a fellow Catholic) for writing, “There isn’t any obligation of our faith superior” to the judicial oath. “We do not,” she added, “defend this position as the proper response for a Catholic judge to take with respect to abortion or the death penalty.”

      Handpicked by the Federalist Society and Heritage Action, the rest of Trump’s nominees all fit neatly into a circle of judges who view the post-Civil War period as the golden age of American jurisprudence. The Federalist Society is packed with similar thinkers. They will describe this era, if you should run into one at a cocktail party, as a time when the court defended liberty as the framers understood it. That may be true, but the liberty was only for the rich and powerful – as the rich and powerful were the only Americans represented at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Yes, the Field Court, named for Stephen Johnson Field, voided nearly all attempts to regulate the workplace, but liberty for individuals was hard to come by. Censorship of every kind prevailed, along with laws against blaspheming the Sabbath, public indecency, interracial marriage, sodomy, illegal assembly and the union shop. And then there’s vagrancy. Throughout this period, which lasted from the end of the Civil War until, at the earliest, the start of the New Deal, you could be imprisoned for not having a job. What kind of liberty is that?

      That, my friends, is the kind of liberty the Supreme Court had in mind when they defended the sacred right of corporations to back their speech with cold, hard cash. The more, the better.

Friday, August 4, 2017


     They’re not at it again. They never stopped.

     Many of us are familiar with the illegal voter purge in Florida that put George Bush in office, a criminal action on the part of his brother, Governor Jeb Bush, and Florida’s Secretary of State, Katherine Harris. Acting in concert, they purged 57,700 names from the voter rolls despite federal and state court orders to cease and desist. Among other atrocities, they obtained a database of Texas felons, ostensibly to identify felons who’d moved from Texas to Florida and remove them from voter rolls. Convicted felons were not allowed to vote under Florida law, but the law, in this case, was a mere fig leaf to cover the overall goal of eliminating Democratic voters. Felons were allowed to vote in Texas and no state can override the laws of another. The purge was illegal from day one.

      Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris had to know this because they were informed of the fact by a federal court. They forged ahead, nonetheless, all scruples conveniently suppressed.

      The State of Florida, in an effort to keep its fingerprints off the theft, contracted the actual work to a company named ChoicePoint, awarding the company a $2,317,700 no-bid contract. Later, dragged into a congressional hearing by Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, ChoicePoint admitted that when comparing names on the Texas list with Floridians, it did not use Social Security numbers, did not verify addresses, did not conduct a single interview and added a name to the purge if a comparison of two surnames provided a 90% match.

      Take a second to absorb the implications. Florida removes 57,700 voters from its registration files. George Bush wins Florida and the presidency by 537 votes. Bush appoints John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. Bush engineers a tax cut that doubles the national debt. Bush lies us into a war in Iraq, fundamentally upsetting the balance of power between Shia and Sunni in the Arab world.

      Are we having fun yet?

      Voter ID laws have drawn a lot of attention over the past few years, but the stakes, in the case of voter ID requirements, are very small compared to what Republicans are trying to accomplish through voter registration purges.

      Kris Kobach is Secretary of the State of Kansas and Chairman of the Republican State Party. Like most Secretaries of State (like Katherine Harris), he supervises all elections in Kansas, including federal elections. At the same time, as if he didn’t have enough to do, Kobach is the co-chair of Trump’s Commission on Election Integrity and the driving force behind a consortium of Republican-dominated states, 27 in all, who participate in the Interstate Crosscheck System.

      Never heard of the Interstate Crosscheck System? You’re not alone.

      In North Carolina, the chief of the Board of Elections, using numbers generate by ICS, testified that 35,750 voters registered to vote in North Carolina were also registered in another state. How many prosecutions resulted from this revelation? None. But that didn’t stop the State of Virginia from purging 41,637 names from its voter rolls, using the same bogus identification techniques that Bush used in Florida, with no middle name match, no Social Security match and no personal interviews.

      More than 850,000 individuals residing in America bear the surname Garcia. If your last name is Washington, there an 89% likelihood that you’re African-American. This is how the game is played. The targeting of minorities by the Republican Party, acting in concert, is two-pronged: Voter ID laws that make it harder for minorities to vote and voter purges that remove minorities from voter rolls, often without notification. Trump’s Commission on Election Integrity, headed by Kris Kobach, is currently demanding voter-registration data from every State in the Union. Surely, its aim cannot be to prove that massive voter fraud exists. If it did, the Interstate Crosscheck System would have already produced thousands of arrests. No, Republicans mean to extend the sort of voter purges already happening in Republican-dominated states, using techniques developed by Jeb Bush in Florida, to the entire nation. I mean, why steal thirty or forty thousand votes when you can steal millions?

      Russia conducts regular elections, as do China and Turkey, but it doesn’t make them democratic. If Republicans have their way, the United States will soon join them. Welcome to the New World Order.