Monday, February 20, 2017

Not So Brave; Not So Free

Image result for aleppo children        Image result for aleppo children

Image result for aleppo children        Image result for aleppo children

I'm ashamed of my president and ashamed of my country for electing him and the Republicans. I'm ashamed of how mean so many of us are in 2017. What gutless cowards we have become in our irrational fear of Muslims and Mexicans and anybody else that differs from us. 9/11 totally broke our spirit. We are not the country we used to be or the people we used to be. Our determination to help the world become a better place is all but gone. Our dedication to helping struggling people has all but disappeared.

We've become a nation that loves walls now. Common folks want a wall between the U.S. and Mexico ('cause don't you know, Latinos are taking all those lovely dishwashing and tomato picking jobs we are clamoring for). But can't you see, it's no different than the walls the rich put up around their gated communities to keep us out? We are no better than migrant workers to them.

If you cannot find as much compassion in your heart for the brutalized refugee children of Aleppo as you can for a fertilized egg, then I don't want to hear about how you revere the sanctity of life. If you would deny South American children fleeing the death and destruction in their homelands the opportunity for food and a safe place to sleep and medical care, then don't give me any bull about what a loving, motivated Christian you are. If you piss and moan about the amount of your taxes that go to food stamps and Medicaid but you're fine with Donald Trump spending a gazillion dollars a month flitting around in Air Force One, then you're a hypocrite in the first degree. (Remember how you complained about Obama's vacations. Trump has spent almost as much in a month as Obama spent in a year but I guess it doesn't seem so bad now, huh?)

My God is not your God. I'm not sure I even have a God but if there is a Creator, the one I envision does not divide his children up between black and white and brown and red. I think he would feel agony at seeing babies mute from fear and loss. I think he would feel even more agony at those of us who could help but choose not to.

Our president sits in his gilt-encrusted penthouse or his fabulous beach front resort consorting with the rich and power and issues orders that will rip people lives apart without, apparently, giving it a second thought.

He has a rally and tells his followers how happy he is to be among them - his people. But when the rally is over, does he eat with them or sleep with them? No, he flies back to Mar a Lago to the soft beds and fine foods and the uppercrust of our nation and they plot how to sell our national parks and refuse to raise the minimum wage and kill off the endangered Species Act and allow coal companies to once again dump their sludge into our rivers and streams and rescind the regulation that puts a ceiling on how much the banks charge us poor schlumps who sometimes overdraw our checking accounts and repeal the Transparency Law that mandates that corporations must report payments they get from foreign governments and cut school breakfast programs and food stamps. (Yeah, that'll show those lazy bums...most of whom work, incidentally, but don't make enough to support themselves).

We love that his cabinet has almost no experience with the agencies they are expected to oversee and in fact, most likely are hostile to those very organizations. The Education Secretary who hates public schools. The EPA Secretary who despises the EPA. The Health and Human Services Secretary who detests Medicare and Medicaid. The Energy Secretary who sits on the boards of Energy companies. The Labor Secretary who, until he withdrew his name, had nothing but contempt for workers.

So, tell me, Republicans, what about any of this do you find supportive of working people?

Or of any people, really, except those you used to call The Swamp - the Goldman Sachs honchos and the multi-million dollar donors and the lobbyists and the Putin apologists.

We have become people who'd rather believe lies than the truth, people who look down on the poor and adore the rich, people who believe being selfish and hateful will make America great again.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Stolen Election - Illegitimate President

                                                          Image result for general michael flynn russia

I think our election was stolen, plain and simple. Stolen by Russia and the Trump campaign.

We have known for quite some time that Russia hacked our election to favor Donald Trump. We know that they fed "fake news" about Hillary to publications and programs such as the Enquirer and Info Wars and others. Stupid stuff like her failing health and the child sex ring she ran out of the basement of a D.C. pizza parlor. Stories so crazy that no one with a semi-rational mind would believe them...except Trump supporters did. We know that Russia passed on information to WikiLeaks, who then released it into the public...and that Donald Trump used this information frequently to criticize and excoriate Hillary. We know that high Russian officials toasted themselves and high-fived each other at the news that Trump had won. We know that Mike Flynn (now Trump's national security adviser), Paul Manafort (former campaign director) and Roger Stone (casual adviser and long-time Clinton hater) all had close ties to the Russian government.

All these things have been known.

But we have more recently learned that there was way more to it than that. After we put sanctions on Russia for their hacking, we expected paybacks because that's always the way it is with Russia. But nothing happened. Putin, that ever-laid back dictator, said no big deal and invited American children in Russia to attend a Christmas party at the Kremlin. Wasn't that sweet?

As you might imagine, this made our own government go hmmm. Why the turnabout from Russia's usual modus operandi when they feel they've been disrespected? Our intelligence services began an investigation.

Now both the Washington Post and New York Times have reported (with deep sourcing from multiple national security officials who've read the transcripts) that General Flynn had been in contact with the Russian government and essentially told them to let the sanctions go because it would all get fixed after Donald Trump was sworn in.

Now mind you, this was before Trump was president - a private citizen, Michael Flynn, consorted with a foreign power to undermine our own government's foreign policy decisions. I'm not a lawyer but if this isn't against the law, it should be. In fact, it seems close to treason to me.

The Post and Times further reported that this wasn't the beginning of a new, wonderful relationship between the Trump administration and Putin but rather, it was on-going and had been since the campaign. Well, of course. Who is surprised about that? Trump sometimes got the WikiLeaks information before anyone else. It has always struck me as a joint effort.

But Flynn denied, denied, denied. He'd only called Russia to wish them Merry Christmas and extended sympathy for a downed plane.

And Reince Preibus, Mike Pence and Sean Spicer all swore to the truthfulness of Flynn's statements. Now that we know they weren't true, we have to decide whether Flynn lied to them or they lied to us. Which do you think it is? Faced with so much evidence from people who've actually read the transcripts, Flynn now allows to how, maybe he just forgot.

Lastly, there is the matter of the dossier compiled by a former British M-16 agent. Some of it has now been verified. Not the slimy stuff about ugly sex acts but the more serious part. The accusation that the Trump administration worked in concert with a foreign government, one of our main enemies, to sabotage our election to get the Russian's pet politician placed in the White House.

Now the question is: what do we do about it. This is the kind of story a top novelist might write. A movie could be made out of it. America's election stolen by Russia. Do we just let it pass and pretend it didn't happen.

My guess is that is exactly what we will do. We'll make the calculation that the harm done to our democracy if we flat out admit we were snookered by the Russians would just be too great to accept. We'll decide that the chaos and uproar, hell, maybe revolution, caused by the Trump true believers would be intolerable.

And so, we'll go along with our illegitimate president.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Bottom-Feeders Are Us

                                                             Image result for bottom feeder

I've always lived the life of a bottom-feeder. Oh, maybe, not the very bottom-est. I never had to sleep under a bridge or visit a soup kitchen. In fact, I've never been on any kind of assistance but that was because I was lucky about having parents who were both able and willing to help.

I guess what I mean about being a bottom-feeder, is that life for us is always insecure. We can go along okay for a while but it only takes a small catastrophe to plunge us into disaster. An unexpected lay-off is almost life or death, or at least eviction or repossession. It takes us three or four months to bounce back financially after the auto insurance premium is paid. Our heart sinks when we need to buy a new tire (bottom-feeders usually buy their tires one at a time)

We're are at the low end of the trickle-down scale of economics. After the fat cats get their fat chunk and the medium cats get their medium chunk, we are down here here waiting for the crumbs that sometimes drift our way (or not).

If you've never lived our lives, you have no idea how much the deck is stacked against us by society and the powers that be.

At one time or another, as a single Mom, I experienced most of the humiliations of being a bottom feeder. I've bought cars from "buy here-pay here" places, knowing I was probably purchasing a piece of previously wrecked junk that would be lucky to last much beyond the 30 day warranty. And knowing, I'd probably still have to pay because the car dealers have lawyers write up those contracts so the sellers have every advantage. I've known people who had their wages garnished or had their taxes attached paying on cars that blew up long ago, but what choice do they have? You have to have a vehicle to work. (The owners of cheap apartment complexes are notorious for this as well). And you know, if they take you to court, they can pile on a whole bunch of interest and penalties for "defaulting".

I've written bad checks in my younger years. Yep, I knew it was going to cost me a stiff overdraft fee but I had to balance that with letting the electricity get shut off and the even stiffer re-connect fee they'd charge. Overdraft fees have continued to go up and up (and so have re-connect fees). I think it is about $35 to bounce a check today. I have over-draft protection now that I don't need it. You still have to pay through the nose if you overdraw. The only difference is that they don't send out those letters that made you feel ashamed and worthless (even though you knew you'd probably be doing it again

Because, yeah, I know what it's like to have this or that utility turned off. Once my gas was disconnected when my son was a baby. My Dad happened to come in to see John and I dressed in snowsuits. He was furious and immediately went and paid my bill and said to never let it happen again. I knew I could go to him or Mom but I just hated to look like such a loser.

Of course, there are late fees for every kind of bill - utilities and house payments and car loans and credit cards. The more you struggle to pay, the more they charge you...and if you're habitually late (even if you pay every month), they'll probably raise your interest rate and you'll pay through the nose even more.  Because, you know, you have to be punished for being a dead beat and you'll never get ahead of the system.

Did you know that if you let your car insurance expire, even for a short while, then go in to have it re-instated, you'll have to carry expensive high risk insurance until you prove you're a solid citizen again?

Did you know that if you owe the I.R.S. $10,000 or more, they'll make a deal with you but if you owe under $10,000, you have to pay back every penny? Why is that, do you suppose? I knew a man once who owned a restaurant and got behind on his taxes. He hired a tax attorney and settled for 10 cents on the dollar. He paid $8,000 on an $80,000 debt. When I got in trouble with the Department of Revenue, I owed $7,000. They put a lien on my house and my in-law's house (because we'd given them an acre in a life estate). I sold the house to get out from under that debt.

A few months later, they returned $700. They said I'd paid too much. I called them to ask if they were sure and they said yes. Several weeks later, they informed me that unfortunately, I did  owe that $700 after all - plus penalties and interest. They told me I could appeal the ruling. I lost. I was furious and told them if they wanted that money to steal it like the thieves they were. Within 48 hours, they'd sent a wage garnishment to my job.

It is easy to get discouraged when you're a bottom-feeder because it seems as if the people who make the rules have a boot on your neck and the more you struggle to crawl out of the hole you're in, the harder they press.

So, honestly, I can see the appeal Donald Trump had for some of the kind of people I'm talking about. He called them forgotten. He told them he was on their side and he was going to help.

I think they were conned by a charlatan. I think he enjoys pressing his boot on people's necks even as he pretends to care. Not one thing he's done so far will help the bottom-feeders, in fact, their lives will be worse.

But I do understand why they want to hope.

Friday, February 3, 2017

A Merger of State and Corporate Power

                                                         Image result for fascism

Every morning when I wake up since the election, one of my first thoughts is: "oh, my God, we put Donald Trump in the White House". This thought is immediately followed by a sick feeling in my stomach.  

I've heard so many talking heads try to analyze Trump's strategy for governance when it comes to foreign policy but I have yet to divine any method to his madness. To me, it seems that he simply shoots from the hip with no forethought and very little advice from experts. He fights with Mexico and Australia (Australia! Seriously!). He meets with Therese May, then undermines her as soon as she's out of his sight. He threatens Iran and China. His foreign policy appears to be all over the map. I can't make heads or tails of the overarching theme of it and people a lot smarter than me don't seem to be able to either.

In fact, in my view, Trump isn't especially interested in foreign policy except for building his reputation as a tough guy. He doesn't appear patient enough to do his due diligence regarding his Presidential Daily Briefs. From what I've read, he didn't have a top level meeting regarding the disastrous Yemeni attack. Instead, he and a few of his top level honchos discussed it over dinner. He signed off on it and then didn't bother coming to the Situation Room to see how it turned out. I believe he leaves it to his advisers, then signs whatever is put in front of him.

Because he really isn't that interested. His real agenda, his passion, revolves around business and money. That's where his heart and his mind are. He is all about giving business everything it wants and getting handsomely rewarded in return. (We won't know the extent of that since he's never released his taxes).  Luckily, that dovetails perfectly with what the Republicans have always wanted as well. How can business pay less and rake in more?

Look at his cabinet nominees. His pick for Education Secretary, billionaire, is all about removing funding from the public schools and sending it to for-profit schools. His nominee for Labor Secretary, billionaire, looks for ways to take pay and benefits from workers. He's been sued several times for cheating his own employees. Ideally, they could replaced with automation. Human beings can be so irritating and demanding, don't you know?  His choice for Health and Human Services wants to repeal Obamacare and privatize Medicare and Medicaid. His HUD selection believes poor people should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. He has six ex-Goldman Sachs executives (millionaires and billionaires) in his cabinet. You remember Goldman Sachs, right? That's the bank he excoriated Hillary Clinton for even speaking to. Back then he called them a "global cabal". 

That's only part of them but do you see a pattern here? His administration is all about business. I think some of the crazy foreign policy stuff (the wall, immigration) is simply a distraction from his real goal, which is to make his cronies and himself pots of money while he's president.

How ironic is it that so much of the working class came to see this charlatan as their savior?

One of his very first Executive Orders was one to allow the Keystone XL pipeline and the Dakota pipeline to go forward. Oh, well, Native Americans are used to getting shafted, they'll probably take it in stride. When he had a come to Jesus meeting with the biggest CEOs in the country, it was mainly about Donald promising to give them big league tax relief and even bigger league reduction of regulations. He recently had a get-together with Big Pharma. He was going to go in there and by God, get the costs of medicines reduced. Instead, again, he promised to lower their taxes and lessen their regulations. 

And meanwhile the Republicans are busily working on the other end to reach the same end point. They've written legislation that will gut Dodd-Frank and once again, allow the big banks to work their will even if it risks our economy. They removed the rules for transparency that used to guide Big Oil. They gleefully talk about turning our parks, rivers and mountains over to the miners, the drillers and the frackers. What's an earthquake....or 50....a day? Of course, they are still working on a way to repeal Obamacare and leave millions without healthcare. 

So this is what I think Trump is really all about...and the Republicans too - a merger of state and corporate power, which is what Mussolini called fascism.

We have sold our country down the river.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

This Way Be Monsters

                                     Image result for women's march

One of the criticisms I've heard about the women's marches is the inability of many to articulate exactly what it is they are protesting.

That's because for most of us, there is not a single over-riding issue that drives us. Rather it is an amorphous atmosphere of concern and fear that includes so many disagreements with the Trump administration that is difficult to narrow it down to a couple of clear-cut matters. It is sort of like dealing with a snowstorm. You can't see every individual snowflake, you just know you're in a dangerous blizzard.

Yes, it is reproductive rights and women's health but beyond that it is the general view of women as second-class citizens that this administration seems to hold. They dismiss Planned Parenthood as if that organization hadn't helped millions of us obtain vital health care over the years. They put only two women in top slots in the cabinet (one being the wife of the Senate Majority Leader). There are a few others in lower positions, mostly ex-members of Fox. And, of course. the inimitable Omarosa, a choice so laughable you have to wonder if Trump picked her purposefully to show us our standing in the scheme of things.

On Trump's very first day in the Oval Office, he signed a ban on federal money going to international groups that perform or provide information on abortions which shows his priority. The picture of him signing this order regarding women's health, surrounded by men only, went viral. It said very clearly - "we will control your behavior."  

According to their plans, the administration is planning eliminate all 25 of the Department of Justice's Violence Against Women grant programs.

Repealing Obamacare will hurt women in many different ways. They would go back to paying more for insurance simply for being female. It would put an end to free contraception. Unless the Republicans manage to maintain it without the funding that comes from the individual mandate, the pre-existing portion of the law would disappear.

He has promised a Supreme Court Justice who would vote to overturn Roe v Wade.

And all this simply applies to generic women. There are special stresses for African-American women and Muslim women and Latina women and gay women. Will the DACA Dreamers be deported back to Mexico despite being promised safety if they played by the rules and revealed themselves? Will their families be deported? What particular discriminations will Muslim women face in this new Trump era? For black women, is the hope of criminal justice reform gone? Will it be even more likely that their sons will be "profiled" as criminals? Are the marriages of gay women safe? Are their adoptions safe? Will their civil rights protections be eliminated in the name of "religious freedom"?

And what about the economy? Trump promised to drain the swamp but his cabinet choices are the swampiest of the swamp dwellers. He excoriated Hillary for giving speeches to Goldman Sachs. Now he has six of their ex-employees in his inner circle. More millionaires and billionaires than any cabinet ever, most of whom detest the very agencies they've been hired to lead, and don't have a clue how "the other half (well, actually, other 90%) live.

One of Trump's very first moves was to make home mortgages more expensive. Was this what he meant by "defending the workers"? His plan for the infrastructure is not the typical funding we've seen in the past (the one the Dems tried to get passed for 8 years but were stonewalled by the Republicans). Rather, it is specially designed as multi-million dollar breaks for the companies involved.

Trump tells half of every story. He crows about taking on the corporations and forcing them to bring their jobs to the United States. ("Buy American, Hire American" is his motto, he says, but so far he hasn't taken his own his advice. His own products are still made overseas and he bought foreign steel for his own hotels. And he applied to hire foreign workers for Mar a Lago and his resort in California.) Do as I say and not as I do? But for every action, there is a equal and opposite reaction. Does he think no company or country will retaliate in a tit for tat payback? What if China put a 35% surcharge on the products we buy from them? Would they continue to buy our grain as they do now? Would a trade war really make us more prosperous?

The environment looks to be a huge loser in the Trump administration. Climate change has been purged from the EPA's website. The new president announced plans to move forward with the Keystone XL pipeline and Dakota Pipeline (though it is rumored he has an investment in the firm that is building it). His buddies are licking their lips over opening our mountains and waters and national parks to oil and chemical and mining companies. Who do we think will benefit from this? Will it be us or will it be the bigwigs in these corporations? The Keystone Pipeline ships tar sand oil for sale to China, not to America. Will wildlife have a prayer against cattle interests?

One of Trump's first actions was to institute a federal hiring freeze, even at the V.A., although it is already understaffed. Who do you think will bear the brunt of the loss of these jobs? Do you really believe it will be the upper echelon? No, I assume it will be the janitors and the clerks and the electricians and the painters and the laundresses.  Is this what he means by creating more jobs for those who've been left behind.

The administration has also moved to diminish the influence of the media. They are going to allow the press pool to stay in the White House but Trump will choose who gets to be there (in the past, it was the White House Correspondent's Assn.)  In his first press conference, he refused to take a question from CNN, declaring them "fake news". Four of the first seven questions went to Rupert Murdoch writers. In fact, it is anyone who doesn't parrot his opinions who he considers fake news...when it is actually he and his staff who deal in "alternative facts". The new president appears to be a pathological liar and Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway defend him vigorously regardless of what how untruthful he is.

Whether we like all of them or not, whether we always agree with them or not, a free media is a foundation stone of democracy. No president should be able to shape the media to suit himself and dictate to us what is truth. Has Trump been taking media-managing lessons from Vladimir Putin?

The administration has placed gag orders on several agencies - no communication with the public in the form of press releases, emails, tweets, policy papers. I expect this will change when he gets his own people in place who know what it is allowable to say. When that will be, we don't know. He's been slow off the mark in naming people for his team because he's too busy railing about inauguration numbers and millions of illegals voting for Hillary (else he'd have won the popular vote, dontcha know?)

I didn't mean for this post to be so long and I haven't even talked about foreign policy and his sometimes lunatic pronouncements in that area. I only meant to hit the high points but this is what happens when you lay out your concerns about Trump....there are so many they all run into one another and they finally coalesce into an all-encompassing dread of what the future holds for your country. He is the president. He can force us to go down this road with him....but some of us will be kicking and screaming all the way.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

What Went Around Is Coming Around.

                              Image result for karma

I've seen so many pleas since this election to just let it go. Accept the way it is. Give Donald Trump a chance. We need to come together. Can't you just move on?

Well, actually, no, I can't. Do these very same people who are asking this of me now not remember all the times they called Obama names like Obummer and Bobo and Michelle, Moochelle? Do they not remember telling me and others that Obama was a Muslim, not even an American (first among them, their own president-elect), hell-bent to destroy America? Do they not remember all their vile posts on Facebook - Obama as an African witch doctor, Michelle as a chimpanzee?

Did they never think that eventually their viciousness might come around to bite them? They have their president now and whatever happens is on them. I think he will be a disaster. I think he is an egomaniac who cares for no one but himself. I think he is a bombthrower who will happily uproot every tradition our democracy has cherished for over two hundred years. I think he is a sexist who debases women. Kellyanne Conway may think she's won but he's debased her too. I think he is a racist. But I don't think these are the attitudes that drive him. Honestly, I don't think he respects anyone who isn't as rich and powerful as he is himself, regardless of gender or ethnic background. I think he sees people like those in his new cabinet as the elites above, living in America's penthouses, so to speak, and the rest of us as peons.

I think he would sell out this whole country for his own self-aggrandizement and maybe he already has.

I don't believe he has a moral core. That part of his soul is just air blowing in a wasteland.

Well, the election is over and he will be President and I don't think any of us really knows what will happen next, not even his true believers.

But that doesn't mean I have to like it. It doesn't mean I have to shut up about it. It doesn't mean I won't rub it in if I can. It doesn't mean I won't call him names, like the Obama haters did. Don the Con is my favorite right now but that may change.

And I'm not usually that way. I didn't care for Bush but I didn't try to de-legitimize him or undermine him even when I vehemently disagreed with his policies (although his election too was not on the up-and-up and he lost the popular vote.) Still, I did accept him as the president. I didn't called him names. I wasn't nasty about a good woman like Laura Bush or the Bush twins. I had a line of criticism below which I would not fall.

After going through eight years of Obama Derangement Syndrome and seeing all the poisonous things said about Hillary during the campaign, that line has disappeared. I will go as low as I think I need to go.

As terrified for my country as I am of Trump, I am equally horrified by the Republicans who finally have all the naked power they always wanted. Almost no one really wants them to repeal Obamacare. Only 18 percent of Americans do. The medical community has begged them not to do it. The insurance industry has begged them not to do it. They haven't a clue what to do about replacing the ACA but they are so driven by their hate-lust that they can't help themselves.

I thought holding a Supreme Court seat open for a year was beyond the pale but this is what Republicans do when they can. There's no thought for the country's welfare but only their own. And McConnell dares to tell us the American people won't tolerate the Dems refusing to nominate a Supreme Court Justice. Are you freaking kidding me, Mr Hypocrisy?

The very first night of their new term, they tried to do away with the Ethics Committee. How blatant is that? They were forced to retreat but does anyone doubt they'll keep trying when we're not watching so closely. Now when head of the Ethics Counsel for the executive branch declares that Trump's resolution of his conflict of interest problem is not acceptable, they call HIM to a panel to explain himself. The oh-so-pure Mr. Chaffetz, who would hound Hillary unto infinity over Benghazi, is upset with the Counsel instead of the soon-to-be president with so many conflicts of interest no one can even begin to keep track, especially since he reneged on revealing his taxes, after he promised he would.

For myself, as a Democrat, I want my party to fight Trump and the Republicans every step of the way, I want the repeal of, and replacement of, to be a 100% Republican effort. Don't help them with anything.

Everyone always acts as if the Democrats are the nice party. We'll always fall in line. We'll help anyway we can if it will be good for the people. We'll accept the people's judgment (except Trump wasn't the people's judgement was he?) We won't throw around phrases like Libtards and Dumbocrats.

Karma can be a bitch and I'm tired of being the nice one.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

A President Elected By Russia

                                               Image result for trump and putin

All the reporters and pundits make sure, when they are telling us about the Russian hacking, to insist that there's no proof that it impacted the election. They rush to assure us that despite Russia's influence, the election is a done deal and Trump will be our new president. Even politicians on the left echo the same. "We're not trying to de-legitimize the election, heaven forbid!"

Bullshit! They are all lying. Of course, Russia's actions impacted the election! Only Trump's most besotted fanatics believe it didn't impact the election.

 Day after day, Hillary had to face stolen emails dumped into the campaign. Day after day, Trump harped on the WikiLeaks revelations that weren't so revelatory. They were mostly just the mundane, everyday, sometimes petty and spiteful e-mails of a typical campaign. My guess is that the RNC's own communications would have been much juicier. But to Trump, they were like manna from heaven, a constant flow of information to mischaracterize Hillary the Crooked.

And then, there were the fake news stories, also, we now know, planted by the Russians. She was practically on death's door; she sold weapons to ISIS, blah, blah, blah - it was a stream of sludge and muck on the internet and the front pages of the National Enquirer.

Prior to this election, I would have thought there wasn't 10 percent of the American people who could drink enough conservative koolaid to believe this kind of totally unbelievable nonsense but it's funny what hate can do. There was a huge group of people who hated Hillary so much, they were willing to believe anything negative about her.

Including Putin himself, who blamed her for saying, back in 2011 when she was Secretary of State, that his own election was "rigged", an assessment with which every poll watcher agreed, along with tens of thousands of protesting Russians. (You can imagine what happened to them.)

According to our intelligence services, Putin set out with malice aforethought, first just to cast doubt on the election process and then, Hillary herself, if she became president. Later, he came to believe that he actually could make a real difference in helping Trump get elected....and he did. Afterwards, the Russian command shared high fives and cheers for contributing to getting their man in the White House.

So, why are our information-sharers lying to us? Because they are terrified of what would happen if it was recommended that the election results actually be overturned because of Russia's interference. Can you imagine the chaos and violence that would follow as crazed Trump supporters took to the streets. They'd be like babies having their candy taken away. It would very likely tear the system apart.

But the pundits and pols know that good old liberals, they'll swallow their bitter medicine in the name of peace and citizenship, just as we did back in 2000. Like kids giving into the schoolyard bully, we just shrugged our shoulders and let the process go forward, unfair as it was. "Oh, let them have their way because they'll cause so much trouble if we don't". And the right learned a lesson from that: if you push us hard enough, we'll cave.

And they are counting on us to do the same thing now in the face of a president elected by one of our worst enemies. And Trump, naturally, insists none of this is true, despite the overwhelming evidence offered by all the intelligence agencies, not his good buddy, good pal, Vlad. And we don't know why Trump is so enthralled with Putin. Maybe if we'd seen his taxes, we'd know. Maybe if we knew how much he owed Russian bankers and Russian businesses, we'd be able to understand the appeal. Maybe it's simply hero worship on Trump's part. Maybe it's a quid pro quo - "you help me get elected and I'll drop the sanctions against you".

Well, I'm sick of liberal pussyfooting. I'm sick of always being the good guy and letting the assholes have their way because they'll throw themselves on the floor and hold their breath until they turn blue otherwise. This is many degrees of seriousness beyond 2000. That was vicious politics. This is letting an enemy foreign power pick our president for us. It is unacceptable.

So, I'll say it. This election was not legitimate. It should be overturned. We should start all over.

Let the chips fall where they may.