March 18, 2018

Irish people try American breakfast cereal.

Happy Day-After-St. Paddy's Day. Hopefully, you're not too hungover, because I have a feeling today's shows are going to tough on a delicate stomach. The news of Andrew McCabe's firing sent more than a few of my friends reeling. One of my neighbors sent my husband and I an email asking for advice as to how to prevent Trump from sending the country straight into fascism. And I'm going to share with you what I wrote to him:

First things, McCabe is going to be fine. He doesn't need a GoFundMe. He's already retained Michael Bromwich as his attorney (former IG for the Justice Dept.) and a couple of Democratic congresspeople have offered him jobs to allow him those two extra days necessary for his full vesting of his pension. Plus his inevitable book deal will end up making more money than his pension anyway.

Implicit in all of your rightful anger is that there are no consequences to Trump turning the US into a banana republic. But if we had a Democrat in office, that wouldn't be true. Impeachment proceedings would have started already. So what does that tell you? The Republican majority in congress are abdicating their responsibilities. THEREIN lies the pathway to dictatorship.

So your efforts are well spent in working to register voters and get out the vote for the November mid-terms. It will also be helpful to work with individual State Elections Boards to ensure paper ballots, since we know that Russia did hack into 39 different state voter rolls. If we want to restore integrity to this republic, the ONLY answer is to vote out Republicans and to give the Democrats a filibuster-proof majority. We have to keep reiterating over and over that it is the Republican congress--BY THEIR INDIVIDUAL NAMES, not the generic label-- who are failing the American people and letting Putin effectively run our country as well as his. They can't keep hiding like snakes in the grass. Say "Paul Ryan is weak and unable to protect American people, why isn't he saying something as Trump acts like a tin pot dictator?"; "Devin Nunes has shown himself to be criminally complicit and should be indicted, not re-elected." "Kevin McCarthy KNEW that Putin had Trump on his payroll and he does NOTHING to protect Americans." "Why isn't Mitch McConnell (not up for reelection, but doesn't matter) saying anything about Newt Gingrich purging our Justice Dept employees?" etc, etc.

Democratic Party voters are usually pretty complacent in mid-term elections. But they can't be this time around if we want a democracy in 2020. Getting out the vote has never been more important.

As mean-spirited and petty as McCabe's firing is, in a way, both of us see it as a silver lining. This should galvanize people more than had Trump been smart enough to leave well enough alone. Already, we've seen incredibly strong statements from Gen. Barry McCaffrey, John Brennan and James Comey. More will come. As will more indictments from Mueller. What we have to do is draw the clear distinction that Mueller is successfully investigating a hostile foreign entity interfering in our government and how the congressional Republicans are allowing the Russians to embed deeper and destroy our fundamental institutions, all for the sake of giving billionaire donors tax cuts and taking money away from seniors and the disabled by cutting into Social Security and Medicare to pay for those tax cuts.

I'm not sure if this gives you comfort, but I was chatting with several political consultants and journalists the other day over Bannon speaking in Europe, telling the alt-right neo-fascists in the audience to embrace the "racist" label, and admiring Mussolini. I mentioned that I thought it was curious that Bannon and his cohorts never seem to remember that openly embracing fascism has never really worked out well in the end, as Mussolini's violent demise should prove. This is what one of them responded:

"Not only did it not turn out well; there’s a decent argument that the most direct path to a strong social democracy leads straight through a bad experience with fascism. By the time people finally throw off their local fascist dictator, right-wing ideas and leaders are so badly discredited that they get no hearing from anyone again for a very long time. Everybody’s just desperate not to go back there. It clears the path for something new and better. Ask Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Denmark…."

So take heart that all of these moves of Trump may actually shake Americans up out of their Fox News coma and fight for democracy. Thank you for doing your part.

I can't emphasize it enough. The single most consequential election of our lifetime truly is the 2018 election. If the Republicans retain control of both houses of Congress, I think we've collectively lost any hope for the country to be the United States of America ever again. We'll just be a straight-up banana republic with Trump in charge.

So keep that in mind as you watch how the news shows frame the events this weekend.

ABC's "This Week" - Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.; Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla.; Human Rights Foundation Chair and Russian dissident Garry Kasparov; and Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans. Legal Panel:Pierre Thomas and Dan Abrams of ABC and former Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J. Political Panel: Republican strategist Sara Fagen, Roland Martin, American Conservative Union Chair Matt Schlapp and Katrina vanden Heuvel of The Nation.

NBC's "Meet the Press" - Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas; Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. Panel: Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report, Eliana Johnson of Politico, Jonah Goldberg of National Review and Jose Diaz-Balart of NBC News.

CBS' "Face the Nation" - Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Angus King, I-Maine; Marc Short, White House legislative director; and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha. Panel: Dan Balz of The Washington Post, Susan Davis of NPR and Mark Landler of The New York Times.

CNN's "State of the Union" - Sens. Paul, Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. Panel: former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa.; Nina Turner, president of Our Revolution; Jen Psaki, CNN political commentator; and Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis.

CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" - Zanny Minton Beddoes, editor-in-chief of The Economist; Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations; and David Miliband, president of the International Rescue Committee; Anne Applebaum, columnist with The Washington Post and professor at the London School of Economics; William Browder, CEO of Hermitage Capital Management; and Luke Harding, foreign correspondent for The Guardian; and Ksenia Sobchak, opposition candidate for president of Russia.

CNN's "Reliable Sources" - Alicia Menendez, contributing editor at Bustle; Jeff Greenfield, political analyst; Ben Shapiro, editor in chief of The Daily Wire; Brennan Gilmore, plaintiff in case against InfoWars and Alex Jones; Andre Mendrala, attorney for Gilmore; Rene Marsh, CNN correspondent.

"Fox News Sunday" - Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. Panel: Karl Rove, former Bush White House senior adviser; Marie Harf, former State Department spokesperson; former Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah; and Charles Lane, of The Washington Post.

So what's catching your eye this morning?

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