It’s the Russia, Stupid

Yesterday’s New York Times article (“Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence”) is deeply disturbing, but (unfortunately) not at all surprising. Remember, we knew about — or at least had grave concerns about — Russia months ago (back when Trump was insisting “No puppet. No puppet. You’re the puppet.”).

Among other things, it seems increasingly clear that Trump and his associates colluded with senior Russian official in tampering with the US presidential election. Others can dicker over whether that’s “treason” or not (certainly smells like it), but these are arguably impeachable offenses.

russianflagTax returns matter, because they would show the depth of foreign business dealings and entanglement, but forget the Flynn “resignation,” forget the Trump dossier and the potentially-embarrassing urine-soaked kompromat, and focus on the thing itself. Russia. Trump. Ties. Collusion. Election tampering.

We must push Congress to show some spine and investigate further. We must let proper journalists dig. We must play upon the patriotic nationalism of the right and apply constant pressure on this particular point of failure. And we must do it now.

Have a look at a site like All Sides, where stories are best seen from multiple viewpoints/graded news sources. It is very telling — if not damning — that the sole take from the right this morning is a 115-word “story” that relies exclusively on the tweets of single, fabulously unreliable source who tends toward ungrammatical hyperbole, and exclamations like “UNFAIR!” and “SAD!”

In other words, momentary spin vacuum.

The right will certainly backpedal, crank up the spin machine, and respond. We need to hit them hard now, before they have time to find their footing. Now is the time to focus. Now is the time to pounce.

Ask your senators, ask your representatives to support a proper independent investigation of Trump’s ties to Russia.

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Fighting the Executive Order on Immigration

BREAKING: The ACLU has just won in federal court a national stay against the executive order on immigration (refugee/muslim ban)!

That said — and legal judgements being what they are — all of those looking to do something helpful in light of Trump’s executive order should follow up with these actions:

  • Call your Republican Senators and Congressmen and ask them to publicly denounce and oppose the President’s executive order on immigration. (Very few [Charlie Dent, Justin Amash, Jeff Flake, Ben Sasse] have done so yet.) Tell them that basic human rights should never be “agree to disagree” territory, and history will judge the Republicans very harshly for holding to party lines here. “The New Colossus” text on the Statue of Liberty is not meant for whites only and we must — in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. — honor the “sacred obligation” of our Constitution. (For info on contacting your legislators, see our state-by-state resources.)
  • Get out there — at the airports and on the streets — and protest. We need to make our united voices heard on this, and we need to be loud. List of known protests available here, via ThinkProgress.

Get busy, folks. Our country has a petulant, erratic, reactionary child at the helm right now, and this is not a drill.

We Begin

November 9, 2016:

Having a very difficult time working today. I will get out and run shortly, but I really just wish we had a heavy bag in the gym here, so I could hit it until it hurts to lift my arms.

September 11, 2001 was the saddest day of my life. Today, is the most disappointing.

September 11th was plotted and carried out by haters outside the U.S. Last night’s idiocy was carried out by haters within the U.S.

This morning, all three kids and I cried. They are scared, and quite honestly, so am I.

I explained that though our state and our city voted the way we had hoped (which means we live in a good place for us), there are a lot of people in other places the U.S. who are scared of folks who don’t look like them, or act like them, or who pray to a different god than them, or who wear pantsuits and believe in things like science.

We talked about how we will not move away, and we will not let intolerance win. We will be sad for a while, and we should, and that’s OK. But then we will come out of our sadness and start working again. And we will have to work harder than before. For kindness. For tolerance. For education. For facts. For the things that we think are important and will always think are important.

It was not exactly Henry V rallying the troops at Agincourt. But it was what I could muster through tears. And I hope it was some of what they needed to hear.

When I dropped the girls off at school, I told them to be kind, and to hug their friends, and that I love them.

Free hugs today, and as long as you need them, friends.

—BK