Kevin McCarthy Sold Us Out!

When I first read that Kevin McCarthy had given Tucker Carlson of Fox ‘News’ unlimited access to 44,000 hours of video from every camera and every location in the Capitol on January 6th 2021, I was stunned and furious.  Who the hell does he think he is, and why would he provide such access to one of the most dishonest conspiracy theorists in the media today?  That footage is NOT McCarthy’s to give, and doing so poses a breech of security that will almost certainly lead to disaster.  McCarthy says that he “promised” his followers … but it was not his promise to make, not his data to give!!!  My idea in that moment, and still today is that McCarthy is not to be trusted and what next … will he give away the country’s nuclear and military secrets, or perhaps sell our social security numbers to the highest bidder?  Get. Him. OUT.  Robert Reich shares my views, but in a bit of a calmer manner than I can manage, so I’ll let him speak …

A second attempted coup?

The McCarthy-Trump-Fox-complex

Robert Reich

24 February 2023

This week we learned that House Speaker McCarthy turned over more than 40,000 hours of internal U.S. Capitol footage from January 6 exclusively to the conspiracy theorist and authoritarian propagandist Tucker Carlson of Fox News.

You’ll recall that Carlson called the vicious mob attack on the Capitol “a footnote” in history and “forgettably minor.” At the same time, Carlson magnified Trump’s lies about a stolen election and voter fraud in 2020.

He’s still at it — repeating baseless theories that the federal government instigated the attack. He even gave airtime to former Trump strategist Stephen Bannon hours after Bannon was convicted of contempt. Carlson has also produced a three-part documentary, “Patriot Purge,” advancing a false claim that FBI operatives were behind the assault and arguing that the Jan. 6 rioters were innocent.

New revelations from the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuit against Fox News expose the depth of the cynicism and greed behind Carlson and his Fox News colleagues. Emails from Carlson and the others reveal that they knowingly put guests on their shows — including Trump lawyer Sidney Powell — to make false claims to the viewing public about fraud in the 2020 election. Carlson and the other hosts knew that their guests were lying. “Sidney Powell is lying by the way. I caught her. It’s insane,” wrote Carlson in an email.

Why did Carlson and the other Fox hosts do this? Not only or even primarily to promote Trump and fuel public anger at Democrats and the so-called “stolen election,” but to maintain their ratings lead over Trump’s more extreme rightwing media outlets (such as Newsmax and OAN) — and therefore the value of their Fox stocks and stock options.

In a text chain with Ingraham and Hannity, Carlson referred to a tweet in which Fox reporter Jacqui Heinrich fact-checked a message from Trump and concluded there was no evidence of voter fraud from Dominion. “Please get her fired,” Carlson said, adding: “It needs to stop immediately, like tonight. It’s measurably hurting the company. The stock price is down. Not a joke.” By the next morning, Heinrich had deleted her tweet.

Having earned a fortune by getting their Fox viewers (and the ad revenue that came with them) revved up over false claims of election fraud, Carlson and his Fox colleagues feared losing those same viewers (and revenue) to even nuttier networks.

What will Carlson do with the 40,000 hours of videotape that Kevin McCarthy just turned over to him? Based on his history, he’ll probably use it to rev up Fox viewers (and ad revenue) to new heights of outrage and money.

How will he do this? By picking and choosing portions of the videotape, and presenting them out of context to create a misleading narrative that will discredit the Jan. 6 investigators and absolve Trump and the insurrectionists.

The reason McCarthy turned over the videotape to Carlson was to appease the most extreme rightwing authoritarian elements of his narrow House majority — such as Marjorie Taylor Greene, the bonkers congresswoman from Georgia who pressured McCarthy to give Carlson the tapes.

Greene has now become a close advisor to McCarthy. She has already suggested that January 6, 2021 was a false-flag operation created by the U.S. government and that the rioters were patriots who got ensnared in the plot. Should anyone be surprised if Carlson’s narrative supports Greene’s view?

Carlson’s goal is not just to reward election deniers in the House, like Greene, nor to help Trump or a Trump-like candidate become President. It’s also to make lot of money for himself in the process — as Carlson and his colleagues did when fueling Trump’s big lie in the months after the 2020 election.

McCarthy’s Republican House’s mission is to attack President Biden along with law enforcement and intelligence agencies, discredit and attack the findings of the Jan. 6 investigations and the likely upcoming indictments, and undermine the public’s confidence in our democracy and in any election results that don’t go their way. McCarthy has even named Greene to the House Homeland Security Committee.

McCarthy and his House Republicans need Fox News to amplify their bizarre views, hearings, and conclusions. Trump needs McCarthy’s House Republicans and Fox News to fuel his candidacy. Fox News needs them both to fuel its ratings and revenue.

The McCarthy-Trump-Fox-complex is internally consistent — connecting authoritarianism, rightwing Republican hackery, GOP political fundraising, Trump-boosting ratings outrage, and greed. It’s a vicious cycle designed to sow anger and distrust while advancing the power and wealth of McCarthy, Greene, Trump, Carlson, and Fox News.

This is the same combination that fueled Trump’s presidency and led to his first attempted coup. Will it lead to a second?

What’s Wrong With The Right?

Most of the mid-term focus has centered on the Senate races, and with good reason.  The Senate is currently evenly divided at 50/50 and if Republicans can net just one new seat, they will take a majority and all bets for anything worthwhile coming out of Congress are off.  But we also shouldn’t ignore the House of Representatives, where all 435 seats are up for grabs and most predictions are that the Republicans will gain a majority there.  That supposition might not be so discouraging if there were normal human beings, educated people with the best interests of the nation at heart, running for House seats, but as Dana Milbank shows us in his column today, that ain’t the case!

Think you already know crazy? Meet the House GOP Class of ’22.

By Dana Milbank

7 October 2022

Can we have order in the House?

Not if this crowd takes over.

Much of the public focus in the midterm elections has been on the, er, exotic nature of the Republic nominees in Senate and gubernatorial races, and understandably so. There’s Mehmet Oz’s crudite, Doug Mastriano’s white supremacists, and Herschel Walker’s … well, pretty much everything he says and does. But GOP nominees for the House are no less erratic — just less well known.

There’s the woman from North Carolina who was accused of hitting one husband with an alarm clock, trying to hit another with a car (and also menacing him with a frying pan) and punching her daughter. She denies that, though she also invoked a conspiracy belief that alien lizards control the government.

There’s the man from Ohio who lied about his military record, lavishly promoted QAnon themes, acknowledged bypassing police barriers at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and with 120 gallons of paint turned his entire lawn into a Trump banner.

There’s the man from Michigan who claimed that Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman participated in a satanic ritual, who once disparaged women’s suffrage, and who, though Black, raised concern about Democrats “eroding the white population.”

Then there are: the Texas woman accused by her estranged husband of cruelty toward his teenage daughter; the Colorado woman who backed an effort to secede from her state; the Virginia woman who speculated that rape victims wouldn’t get pregnant; and the Wisconsin man who used campaign funds from his failed 2020 race to come to Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, where he apparently breached Capitol barricades.

What they all have in common is that they’re in competitive races, which means they could well be part of a Republican House majority in January. And that’s on top of a larger group of GOP nominees in deep-red congressional districts who are a motley assortment of election deniers, climate-change deniers, QAnon enthusiasts and Jan. 6 participants who propose to abolish the FBI and ban abortion with no exceptions, among other things. Some won nominations despite efforts by party leadership to stop them and continue without financial support from the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Maybe this is why Kevin McCarthy, the man who as House speaker would have the task of leading this rogues’ gallery, calls his agenda a “Commitment to America.” Many members of his new majority might be good candidates for commitment.

J.R. Majewski, a Republican running to represent Ohio’s 9th Congressional District, at a campaign rally in Youngstown, Ohio, on Sept. 17. (Tom E. Puskar/AP)

J.R. Majewski, the Trump-backed lawn painter from Ohio, has a different agenda: He wants to “abolish all unconstitutional three letter agencies,” including the CIA. He has said he’s willing to fight a civil war, and he made a campaign video in which he carried a rifle and said he would “do whatever it takes” to “bring this country back to its former glory.”

Sandy Smith, a Republican seeking to represent North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District, speaks at a rally in Wilmington, N.C., on Sept. 23. (Chris Seward/AP)

In North Carolina, Sandy Smith is folding into her plans for the country the domestic-abuse allegations against her: “I never ran over anyone with a car and I never hit anyone in the head with a frying pan. … I am bringing a frying pan to DC, though,” she tweeted in May. (Disclosure: My wife, a pollster, is a consultant to Smith’s Democratic opponent.) Smith also wants “executions” of those who, she falsely claims, stole the 2020 election from Donald Trump.

Republican House candidate John Gibbs speaks with reporters in Byron Township, Mich., on Aug. 2. (Sarah Rice for The Washington Post)

Maybe this is what John Gibbs, the Michigan Republican who questioned women’s suffrage, had in mind when he wrote as a Stanford student that women don’t “posess [sic] the characteristics necessary to govern” because they rely on “emotional reasoning.”

McCarthy will surely have to put down many an uprising from what might be termed the Insurrection Caucus. Wisconsin nominee Derrick Van Orden, like Majewski and a few other GOP nominees, was outside the U.S. Capitol that day — and was photographed inside a restricted area, though he says he left when things turned violent. And Kelly Cooper, a nominee in Arizona, wants “the prisoners of January 6th … to be released on day one.”

George Santos, left, is a Republican running for New York’s 3rd Congressional District, while the GOP’s Zach Nunn is running to represent Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District. (Bloomberg News; AP)

George Santos, a nominee in New York, claimed he was the victim of election fraud in his failed 2020 bid. Sam Peters, a nominee in Nevada who has used the “#QArmy” hashtag and embraced being called the “male” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, characterized those facing charges for the insurrection as “civically engaged American citizens exercising their constitutional freedoms.” And Iowa nominee Zach Nunn, who found it suspicious that Capitol Police couldn’t “stop a bunch of middle-aged individuals from walking onto the floor,” argued that “not a single one” of the defendants was charged with and convicted of insurrection. (That’s because the charge is “seditious conspiracy.”) Madison Gesiotto Gilbert, a nominee from Ohio, was precocious in her false claims of election fraud: She claimed in 2018 that a voting machine had switched her vote in the Ohio Senate race from Republican to Democrat.

GOP candidate Monica De La Cruz, left, is seeking to represent Texas’s 15th Congressional District, while Bo Hines, right, is running as a Republican in North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District. (AP; Getty Images)

Overlapping with the Insurrection Caucus are those with qualifications that might, at best, be called unconventional. Monica De La Cruz, a Texas nominee and top GOP recruit, was accused in a court filing a year ago of “cruel and aggressive conduct” toward her then-husband’s 14-year-old daughter, including pinching the teen to stop her from crying; she denies the claim. In Colorado, nominee Barbara Kirkmeyer once led an attempt by 11 counties there to secede and become their own state. In North Carolina, nominee Bo Hines (who wants a 10-year moratorium on immigration) spoke of a “banana republic” as though the common term for flailing democracies was actually referring to the clothing store of the same name.

Of course, the People’s House has always attracted the eccentric, and even the shady, from both parties. But the would-be Republican Class of ’22 is extraordinary in the number of oddballs and extremists in its ranks. This is no accident: The trend in Republican primaries, accelerated by Trump, has favored those with the most eye-popping tapestry of conspiracy theories and unyielding positions. GOP primaries are dominated by a sliver of the electorate on the far right.

That’s why they produce figures such as Erik Aadland, a Colorado nominee who claims that the 2020 election was “absolutely rigged” and that the country is “on the brink of being taken over by a communist government” and who has followed various extremist groups, including the Proud Boys, on social media. In New Jersey, Frank Pallotta is again a Republican nominee, after declaring during his 2020 run for the same seat that he stands by the Oath Keepers, a group whose leaders are now on trial over Jan. 6.

Republican Karoline Leavitt, left, is seeking to represent New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District, while Yesli Vega, right, is running as a Republican in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District. (AP; The Washington Post)

Starting in January, a likely narrow Republican majority might have to find consensus among a freshman class that can’t agree on basic facts. Karoline Leavitt, a nominee in New Hampshire, claims that “the alleged ‘existential threat of climate change’ is a manufactured crisis by the Democrat Party.” In Virginia, nominee Yesli Vega argued that it was less likely for a rape victim to become pregnant because “it’s not something that’s happening organically.” Also in Virginia, nominee Hung Cao asserted that more “people get bludgeoned to death and stabbed to death than they get shot,” which is wrong by an order of magnitude.

Republican Robert Burns is running for Congress in New Hampshire. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)

But these nominees have offered unique policy ideas! Robert Burns of New Hampshire said in 2018 that he would allow abortion only to protect the “life of the mother” — but “we would need a panel in this sort of situation” to decide whether the ailing woman can get the lifesaving procedure.

A real-life death panel! Challenged recently on this position, Burns replied last month: “In response to the death panels, I believe women of color and low economic status deserve second and third opinions before being forced into abortions.” Put another way, a woman would need a second and third opinion before she’s allowed to save her own life.

The House Republican Class of ’22 will be many things, but “boring” is not one of them.

Couple of Things You May Have Missed …

Stepping away from the chaos that has everybody mesmerized, I find that there are other things happening that nobody seems to have noticed.  I am determined to write about something other than Trump, Mueller, Barr and others for at least one post.  It’s already causing my blood pressure to be through the ceiling and my mood to be pitch black.  But, do you know how hard it is in the U.S. mainstream media to find anything that does not even mention Trump?  Damn. Near. Impossible.  Anyway, here are a couple of things you may have missed …

Free Press endangered …

Reporters Sans Frontières, or Reporters Without Borders, issued their annual report last week, and predictably the United States did not fare well.  Oh sure, our reporters are safer than those in, say, Saudi Arabia, but we have lost ground and gone from being considered “satisfactory” to “problematic”.  Out of the 180 countries ranked by the group, the U.S. dropped to #48 this year.

“Never before have US journalists been subjected to so many death threats or turned so often to private security firms for protection.”

Ten journalists have been physically attacked so far this year, and 89 since Trump took office in 2017.  When Trump called the media “the enemy of the people”, he opened a can of worms. reporters-safety.pngIn January, reporter Tina-Desiree Berg was interviewing people outside of a regional meeting of the California Democratic Party when a woman upset by her questions stole her phone and hit her.  Just this past Tuesday, Tennessee Highway Patrol threatened several reporters with arrest and blocked them from continuing reporting while they were covering a sit-in protest outside Governor Bill Lee’s office in Nashville.

Then there was the pastor of Relentless Church in Greenville, South Carolina, who threatened …

“I cut people. I got a knife right in that pocketbook. Greenville News, come on. We done went through this. I’m still here, and guess who else is still going to be here?”

Apparently, she failed grammar in school.  Relentless Church’s new leaders, pastors John and Aventer Gray, had recently been the subjects of investigative reporting by Greenville News, which wrote in January 2019 how John Gray lives in a nearly $2 million home funded by the church. In another piece, Greenville News covered lavish personal purchases he made for his wife.Capital Gazette killingsAnd then, of course, there was the mass shooting on June 28, 2018 at the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland, where five people, four of them journalists, were killed and two others injured.  The gunman, Jarrod Ramos, was upset with the paper’s reporting of his court case, among other things.

We live in troubled times, times when we cannot trust our federal government, for there is more corruption among the nation’s leaders than at any other time in history.  Our last bastion of defense against the top leaders seizing power and taking our voice away is the free press.  You may not always agree with them, and there are times they don’t get everything right, but they are what keeps this nation relatively free from oppression and dictatorship.  Honour them, respect the job they are doing, and yes, call them on the carpet when they screw up, but always … always support our free press

Vigilantes, not ‘patriots’ …

The man’s name is Larry Mitchell Hopkins. He has been operating under the alias of Johnny Horton, Jr., and has a FaceBook account under that name, used mostly to spread hate and collect donations.  He is the self-professed ‘leader’ of a band of vigilantes who operate under the name of “United Constitutional Patriots (UCP)”.  This group, based in New Mexico and denounced by the ACLU as “racists and armed vigilantes”, has been seizing children and their parents in a stretch of the New Mexico desert near El Paso, then handing them over to Customs and Border Patrol.  They are not operating under the authority of any department or agency of the United States government, but merely have taken it upon themselves to terrorize migrants crossing the border in New Mexico.

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, as well as the state’s two democratic Senators, Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich have condemned the group and its actions, saying it is unacceptable and must stop immediately.  However, republican Gavin Clarkson, a former Trump administration employee who now happens to be running for the U.S. Senate next year, met with masked members of the group in March and praised their efforts. UCPThe group claims to be sanctioned and working closely with Border Patrol, which if true, is in violation of the law.  Border patrol agents deny that such a relationship exists, but … border patrol agents are seen in the periphery of several videos the group has uploaded.  The group also claims to be a 501(c)(3) non-profit.  They are not.  However, that doesn’t stop them from soliciting donations.


Larry Hopkins

Back to the ‘leader’ of this group, Larry Hopkins.  He has three previous felony convictions dating back to 1996. In 2006 he was convicted for impersonating an officer and felony firearm possession.  He is a conspiracy-theorist who claims to be in direct and frequent contact with Donald Trump.  Yesterday, Mr. Hopkins was arrested by the FBI on charges of firearms possession by a felon.  Further charges are expected to be brought.

The FBI began investigating Hopkins after receiving reports that the United Constitutional Patriots were targeting Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton and George Soros for assassination because “these individuals’ support of Antifa.”  If no other charges are brought, Mr. Hopkins could face up to 10 years in prison.  Think about it … ten lousy years for terrorizing small children and their parents seeking asylum in the U.S.  Ten lousy years for promoting hate and plotting to murder prominent and innocent U.S. citizens.

The group, UCP, meanwhile remains active, refusing to break camp.  According to the spokesman, Jim Benvie, they have no intention of stopping their activities.  PayPal and GoFundMe have both banned the group, making it harder for them to collect donations, and Union Pacific railroad has stopped them from trespassing on their land.  I don’t understand why only Hopkins was arrested … they are all operating outside the law and should be stopped, one way or another.

And that’s all I have for this morning, folks.  Here’s a thought for you, though …human-spirit

A Shutdown Hiatus …

So, Trump has “magnanimously” agreed to open the government for three weeks sans the $5,7 billion he has demanded for his atrocious border wall.  And he is hailed a hero … for doing what he could have done 35 days ago and saved this nation both mega-dollars and many, many headaches.  I, for one, have no praise for him … he’s a day late and a dollar short.  His reasons for finally agreeing to a very short-term truce?  His ratings in the polls were plunging and … La Guardia International Airport in New York was closed, with others sure to follow suit since workers were largely done working without pay.

Don’t get me wrong … I am thankful that the government will re-open for 21 days, at least.  However, a solution seems unlikely to be worked out during that time, and then what?  Trump didn’t capitulate … he is still demanding his ego-toy aka border wall … he just figured he better appease his base before he woke up one morning to find his approval ratings in the single digits. And, as I said, he could have stopped the bleeding long before, but didn’t care enough about the citizens of this nation to do so.  So no, folks, don’t applaud him or pat him on the back … he is still the same vulgar, self-serving Donald Trump.

Now, you would think that everyone would be breathing a sigh of temporary relief at the news, right?  Wrong.  Remember Q-Anon?  Back in August, I posted a re-blog of Gronda’s explanation of the group.   In a nutshell, it is a group of Trump-supporting conspiracy theorists who believe that Trump, at some unspecified point in the future, will declare martial law and that Special Counsel Robert Mueller will hand down hundreds of sealed indictments against Deep State “traitors” like Hillary Clinton, George Soros and President Barack Obama. The group had their 15 minutes of fame last summer and have rarely been heard from since.

Today, Q-Anon crawled out from under their rock to express their outrage at Trump for, as they so succinctly put it, ‘caving’ on the border wall.  Sheesh … a bunch of nuts!  There is, however, reason to be concerned, for this is a radical, gun-toting group who, though lacking depth or organization, know no bounds.  Last June for instance a man with an AR-15 drove onto the Hoover Dam in an armored truck, demanding the government release evidence validating Q-Anon.  Already I have seen some tweets by Q-Anon members calling for the group to “Take the situation into our own hands.”

Surprisingly, the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus Mark Meadows praised the agreement to pause the shutdown until February 15th, although he said that Trump promised him he would not back down on his demand for the border wall funding.  He indicated that if the democrats don’t agree over the next three weeks to fund the border wall, he expects Trump to use “executive action”, in other words declaring the state of national emergency he has been threatening for weeks now.

And oh yeah … a few of the Fox ‘News’ pundits – the same ones who goaded Trump into this catastrophic shutdown 35 days ago – are not happy either!  Awwwww … poor babies …coulter-tweet

cernovich-tweetAgain, folks, this isn’t the end of the shutdown, but merely a deferment.  On February 15th, it is quite possible that the whole mess will begin anew.  Trump deserves no praise for finally doing what he should have done more than a month ago, and his motives are his own, not our best interest.

Nothing To See Here, Folks …

It was only a tweet … no more than 140 characters, and not much different than many others he has thumbed over the past two years, but it sent a shockwave through the media and the thinkers in the nation.

“Why Isn’t the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!”

I have used the terms ‘authoritarian’ and ‘autocrat’ in the same sentence with ‘Trump’ more than a few times over the past two years.  Some thought I was being a bit alarmist, others overlooked it as ‘writer’s hype’.  Whatever meaning my readers chose, I meant it as seriously as I have ever meant anything.  I am given to deep thought, not hyperbole, so when I say Trump is a ‘wannabe king’, I am calling it as I see it.  And now others are seeing it as I have for months … years.

The tweet was one of those early morning ones … we all picture him sitting on the potty, his handlers not yet having arrived to wash and dress him.  Understand that by “fake news”, Trump means news that does not praise him, news that … GASP … has the unmitigated gall to actually criticize him.  The truth — as hundreds of fact checks have shown — is that the biggest purveyor of fake news in the country right now is Trump. According to The Washington Post’s Fact Checker blog, Trump has made 1,145 false or misleading claims in his first 232 days in office. That’s 4.9 false or misleading statements per day.  Think about that one for a minute.  Even the biggest fibber I have known couldn’t top that record.

Trump has praised Alex Jones, the purveyor of imagination-based conspiracy theories, saying things such things as, “Your reputation’s amazing. I will not let you down.” His favourite network for news is the unquestionably biased Fox News.  And he licks the hand of Breitbart’s Steve Bannon.  Yet he calls the most reliable news outlets in the nation “fake news”.  All of which we have learned to live with, learned to take with a grain of salt, else simply tune out, as the bratty child who goes around all day long whining the same whine. This, then, is the danger … that his rhetoric, his lies, become the norm and we adapt by tuning them out, by ignoring him.

But a threat, however vague, against the Fourth Estate, is a threat against us all, and it rings as loudly of authoritarianism as did the sound of jackboots on the cobbled pavement of the Nuremberg parade grounds where Hitler held his propaganda rallies.

Virtually every president has had issues with the press … it is the nature of the beast.  But none before have been so convinced the media is comprised primarily of liberals trying to push their agenda behind the guise of neutrality. Does Trump actually believe what he claims, or is it more rhetoric, the sole purpose of which is to keep his followers riled?  Who knows?  It doesn’t matter, for either way, it is a dangerous game and one that needs to end before this travesty results in more unfettered power for Trump and less transparency for We The People.

As I typed that previous sentence at 12:50 a.m., the following banner flashed across my screen …

DOJ demands Facebook information from ‘anti-administration activists’

And the ‘developing story’ thus far …

Trump administration lawyers are demanding the private account information of potentially thousands of Facebook users in three separate search warrants served on the social media giant, according to court documents obtained by CNN.

The warrants specifically target the accounts of three Facebook users who are described by their attorneys as “anti-administration activists who have spoken out at organized events, and who are generally very critical of this administration’s policies.”

The information requested … nay, demanded … would include any and all who have visited their pages or interacted with them via post, chat, comment, etc.  Think about that last post you commented on yesterday, the one criticizing Trump for _________________________ (fill in the blank).  Perhaps it originated by one of the three activists being investigated.  You are now on the radar.

On the campaign trail last year, Trump said …

“I’m going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We’re going to open up those libel laws. So when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they’re totally protected.”

I found that chilling then … I find it even more so tonight.  This is a man who wanted the job of president for one reason only:  power.  But, as he settles in, if he can be said to be doing so, he is finding that the power he envisioned has limits, that he is not a king, but rather an elected official who answers to the citizens of this nation.  The citizens, with the exception of his lemmings, are not happy.  He really doesn’t care that we are not happy, except … in our unhappiness, we are petitioning our members of Congress, and we are speaking out loud and clear.  His dilemma, then, becomes how to ensure that we do not have access to the goings-on in his administration.  How best to do that?  I leave that to you to answer for tonight, for I am tired. Think about it.