Let’s Embrace The Lincoln Project-For Now

Our friend Jeff over at On the Fence Voters has written an excellent post about the Lincoln Project, their work, and how they are helping to oust the current Madman-in-Chief. Please take a look, and especially be sure to watch the videos … especially the first one! Thanks, Jeff!

On The Fence Voters

Many of you may not know who The Lincoln Project is, or what they’re all about. But the fact is, the group is currently producing some of the most scathing political ads now airing against the current president. It’s gotten his attention, as well as the rest of the Republican hierarchy.

For some background, the group consists of former Republicans who are self-described “Never Trumpers.” Many of the individuals in the group include former Republican campaign operatives like Steve Schmidt and Rick Wilson. They cut their teeth in the political world, working for previous candidates such as John McCain and George W. Bush. George Conway, an attorney who’s married to White House advisor Kelly Anne Conway, is also a group member.

Anyone who has seen Schmidt or Wilson on the various talk shows know that they are two of the most anti-Trump spokespersons. Schmidt, for one, is perhaps the most…

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Neither Snow Nor Rain Nor…

Louis-DeJoyLouis DeJoy is the new Postmaster General for the United States Postal Service.  His qualification for the job?  He bought the position by donating $360,000 to Donald Trump’s campaign fund, and another $70,000 to the Republican National Committee (RNC) just since January of this year.  In total, since 2016, he has donated over $2.5 million to Donald Trump and the RNC.  I have not been able to verify his net worth, but he lives in a $5.9 million mansion, if that tells you anything.  He is not a man who really needs that tax refund check or social security check to be delivered in a timely manner.

Oh, and an aside … DeJoy’s wife, Aldona Wos, has also been given a cushy job in the administration as U.S. Ambassador to Canada, with an annual salary of somewhere between $125,000 and $187,000.

Donald Trump has made clear his intent to privatize the post office since his inauguration. In 2018, Trump issued an executive order to create a task force to investigate the operations of USPS because it “was on an unsustainable financial path and must be restructured to prevent a taxpayer-funded bailout.” This “restructuring” involved a variety of measures including multiple increases in postal rates and the slashing of labor costs.

DeJoy moved into his position as Postmaster General in June, and since then has quietly been making changes that de-emphasize getting the mail out on time.  I have personally experienced several delays in receiving my mail, including one that caused me to be without crucial medication for a brief period.  I can only imagine what others have gone through.

mnuchin-2

Steve Mnuchin

I’ve written before about some of the troubles the USPS has had, particularly since the coronavirus pandemic hit, causing a loss of revenue, mostly from first-class mail and advertising mail.  While it’s nice to get less junk mail, I don’t like knowing what that means for the much-relied-upon postal service. Over two months ago, Congress approved a bi-partisan bill authorizing a $10 million loan to the USPS, but Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has refused to release the money!

Enter Louis DeJoy, who should be standing by the USPS motto, who should be fighting Mnuchin and Trump tooth and nail to get the much-needed funding released by the Treasury Department, but instead he has cut all overtime for postal workers, and has said that if delivering some mail will cause them to be delayed on their routes, they must leave it behind and deliver it another day!usps-2There are two major concerns here.  First, that check or medication you were counting on to arrive today may not arrive until next week, leaving you in a lurch or worse.  Of equal concern, though, is that with just over three months until what is arguably the most important election of our lifetime, and many states offering mail-in voting in this time of pandemic, will we receive our ballots on time, and will they be received at the polling stations on time?  I have voted by mail for several years now, find it a great convenience, and have always had confidence that it was an efficient process.  This year?  I’m not so sure.usps-1My best guess is the issue of mail-in ballots is the main reason that Mnuchin, surely under Trump’s orders, is refusing to release the already-approved loan to the USPS.  In so doing, he is putting lives at risk, and putting our right to vote at considerable risk.  If the USPS has been ordered by its new Postmaster General to “leave mail lying on the floor” in some cases, then how can we possibly have confidence that our mail, our all-important votes, will be delivered?usps-3


Here’s one of the latest ads by The Lincoln Project, a group of republicans who have seen what Donald Trump is doing to this nation and are putting the good of nation ahead of party loyalty.

From the mouth of Steve Schmidt, Republican presidential campaign manager

I find it encouraging to find some republicans are seeing Trump for the malignancy that he is, and hope they can convince more among their rank and file. Our friend Keith brings to our attention the comments of one lifelong republican … thank you, Keith!!!

musingsofanoldfart

This is courtesy of a CNN article called “This is the most succinct — and brutal — Republican rejection of Donald Trump that you will ever read,” which transcribes Steve Schmidt’s comments. Schmidt is a lifelong Republican, who was the campaign manager for John McCain in 2008 and Lamar Alexander in 2000. He is one of the founding members of The Lincoln Project, which is organized to help defeat Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

“Donald Trump has been the worst president this country has ever had. And I don’t say that hyperbolically. He is. But he is a consequential president. And he has brought this country in three short years to a place of weakness that is simply unimaginable if you were pondering where we are today from the day where Barack Obama left office. And there were a lot of us on that day who were deeply skeptical…

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Snarky Snippets … Back On Track

Whatever would I make of this blog if I didn’t have Trump and his band of thugs to write about?  Hmmmm … I might have to go back to reading whole books and writing book reviews, or perhaps shut the blog down and go back to knitting scarves and afghans for my friends (yes, I do know how to knit and used to spend many an evening so occupied.  A year or two ago, I gave my stash of yarn and supplies to my daughter, who is now knitting me a sweater with a wolf on it and wolf paw prints on the sleeves!)  Anyway, I do have Trump and the rest of the jerks to write about, so …


The Planet vs Trump … 

Since taking office on January 20th 2017, Donald Trump has had several goals, all of them intended to destroy the U.S. But one, the one he calls his “crowning achievement”, is to destroy the planet, making it uninhabitable for all life forms.  His deregulatory moves have had a terrible effect on all life forms, but they are moves that he has said will “save lives, lift the economy and help the auto industry.”  Frankly, if I cannot breathe, if the bees who pollinate our food are dying, if species are dying out … who gives a royal f*ck about the auto industry … or the economy, for that matter?  And save lives???  What a crock.

During the administration of President Obama, a fuel economy standard was put into place that would lower CO2 emissions, save us all money at the pump, and help with restoring cleaner air to every country in the world.  Given that these standards were put in place under Obama, naturally Trump had to destroy them, just as he destroyed his friends’ toys as a child.  Even the auto industry was not fully behind Mr. Trump’s deregulation and today, four of those automakers are standing firm in their commitment to the people and the environment.

On Wednesday, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, leading a multistate coalition, filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration’s disastrous final rule rolling back the nation’s Clean Car Standards.  Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia. The battle is expected to reach the Supreme Court.

Ford, Honda, BMW and Volkswagen, while not a part of the lawsuit, have split from the other automakers, declaring that they will continue to follow the lead of California and 13 other states that are upholding tougher standards than those set by the federal government.

By the Trump administration’s own calculations, changing the rule increases the emissions of greenhouse gases, the primary cause of global warming, by at least 867 million metric tons relative to the standards being rolled back. That is greater than the amount many midsize countries put out in a year.  It will also cost the average car owner an additional $500 over a three-year period in fuel costs.

Yet another test for the Supreme Court to ultimately decide whether they place more value on the planet and human life, or whether they are Trumpies above all else.


Pushing the boundaries … or are there any boundaries for Trump?

Since beginning his battle with Twitter a few days ago over his false tweets that Twitter put a fact-checking message on, Trump seems determined to show us just how utterly nasty he can be.  Folks, you can go to your local landfill, dig around all day, and I don’t think you will find anything as ugly, decayed, and downright nasty as the person who sits in the Oval Office today.

Until yesterday, I had never heard of “Cowboys for Trump”.  My supper would have settled better if I had never heard of them.  ‘Cowboys for Trump’ is a right-wing organization founded by a former street preacher named Couy Griffin.  Griffin is also a country commissioner for the county of Otero, New Mexico.  Apparently, the people of that county don’t much care about such things as education or qualifications.  Hmmmm … seems that 40% of the people in the U.S. don’t much care about those things, either.

Griffin has led a number of protests against the closing of the nation’s businesses and stay-at-home orders … no surprise there … he fits the prototype.  But, this week he overstepped his bounds.  In an interview with the Daily Beast on Tuesday, he called for the execution of at least two democratic governors, Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia.  Why?  He claims they are ‘traitors’ for the restrictions they have imposed in their states, trying to keep their populace safe in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

“You get to pick your poison: You either go before a firing squad, or you get the end of the rope.”

What a bastard, yes?  But wait … it gets even worse.

Earlier this week, a video surfaced of Griffin at some event with his ‘cowboys’ giving a speech whereupon he said …

“The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.”

Okay, so the man is a bloody idiot … we can ignore that, right, although he frankly should be behind bars in Otero Country tonight for that is hate speech and incitement to violence in 8 short words.  But wait … that’s not all …

So pleased and inspired by that video was Donald Trump that he re-tweeted the video on Twitter, with a comment …

“Thank you Cowboys. See you in New Mexico!”

If I said on Twitter, “The only good Republican is a dead Republican”, do you know how fast my account would be closed … forever?  And do you know how long it would take for the cops to show up at my door?  And yet some jackass in Podunk New Mexico can say it in a public venue, tweet it on a public forum, and the fool who calls himself a ‘president’ (and I use the term loosely) can re-play it, again on a public forum, with impunity!  How utterly … unprofessional, demeaning, and downright NASTY is this sorry excuse for a ‘man’?  What’s next … what new low will I be writing about tomorrow?


On a brighter note …

There are many republicans in Congress who I’d like to see ousted, who should have been ousted long ago, but while the list is long, one man is always at the top of the list:  Mitch McConnell.  Mitch gave his all to ensure that President Barack Obama had to fight tooth and nail for what few proposals he got by during his eight-year tenure in office.  He ensured that our Supreme Court has the least integrity of any in the history of our nation.  And he rules the Senate with an iron hand, threatening and bullying just as Trump does.  Mitch long ago forgot to whom he owes his allegiance and is naught but a high-paid bootlicker for Donald Trump.

I was happy to see this new ad by The Lincoln Project, the political action committee formed in late 2019 by several prominent Republicans with the goal of preventing the reelection of Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

Above The Law???

Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court has one final chance to do the right thing, to stand for truth and justice instead of simply pandering to Donald Trump. On Tuesday, the Court is scheduled to hear one of the most consequential cases ever considered on executive privilege. Trump v Vance concerns a subpoena issued by the Manhattan district attorney to President Trump’s accountants demanding the release of tax returns and other financial documents to a grand jury. What is at stake is no less than the accountability of a president to the rule of law.

Attorney General William Barr has said that Trump, so long as he remains in office, is above the law.  We the People disagree.  This case may be the deciding factor.  That Trump has fought so hard to keep his tax returns a big secret when every other president since 1968 has released multiple years’ tax returns, and even Trump’s Vice President, Mike Pence, has released 10 years’ worth of returns.  So, what is he hiding?  Some say only the fact that he is far less wealthy than he claims, but I personally think he is hiding something far more important.

Kellyanne’s husband, and co-founder of The Lincoln Project, George Conway, has written an OpEd for The Washington Post that sums it up quite well …

George Conway: No one in this country is above the law. The Supreme Court is about to teach that lesson.

ConwayBy George T. Conway III 

Contributing columnist

May 8, 2020 at 6:50 p.m. EDT

Twenty-six years ago, I published my first op-ed. Entitled “‘No Man in This Country … Is Above the Law,’” it addressed news reports that President Bill Clinton planned to claim an immunity from having to respond to Paula Jones’s sexual harassment suit. “In a case involving his private conduct,” I wrote, “a President should be treated like any private citizen. The rule of law requires no more — and no less.”

The piece led to my ghostwriting briefs for Jones, including a Supreme Court brief two years later. The Supreme Court agreed unanimously that Jones could proceed, and, like the op-ed, quoted from the Founders’ debates about the status of the president: “Far from being above the laws, he is amenable to them in his private character as a citizen, and in his public character by impeachment.” Which meant that while a president could be impeached for official misconduct, he “is otherwise subject to the laws” — and therefore could be sued — “for his purely private acts.”

I couldn’t have imagined then that another president would challenge that proposition. Then again, I couldn’t have imagined President Donald Trump.

But here we are. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear telephonic arguments in three cases addressing whether Trump can keep his tax and financial information from being disclosed, whether from Congress or criminal prosecutors. In Trump v. Vance, which involves a New York state grand jury investigation, Trump’s lawyers argue that, even when it comes to purely private conduct, the presidency insulates him from the legal process.

The case arises from a criminal investigation into the Trump Organization, and it seems there’s plenty worth examining: whether, as suggested by extensive reporting in this newspaper and other outlets, Trump’s businesses may have dodged taxes. And whether Trump’s hush-money payments, made through his lawyer Michael Cohen to porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, violated state law. (Cohen pleaded guilty to federal crimes arising from those payments, which the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan said were made “at the direction of Individual-1” — Trump.)

The state grand jury subpoenaed the Trump Organization and Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars, seeking tax returns and financial records. Trump sued to block the subpoena to Mazars — on the ground that he’s president. The lower federal courts rejected his pleas, and now he’s in the Supreme Court. Where he will lose — or should.

To say Trump’s argument is frivolous demeans frivolity. Clinton v. Jones dictates the result: The subpoenaed documents have nothing to do with Trump’s presidential duties — zip. That alone does it.

But Trump’s case is even weaker than Clinton’s. At least Clinton was being sued personally. He ultimately had to give evidence himself, which he did (infamously) at a deposition. But because the suit had nothing to do with presidential duties, the Supreme Court said it could proceed.

Here, Trump hasn’t been charged with or sued for anything. He’s not being required to do anything. The subpoenas have been directed at his company and his accountants. They don’t require his time or attention.

Trump’s position stupefies. In essence: Authorities can’t investigate anything touching his personal affairs — including, ahem, payments to pornographic actresses — because he’s president. Think of the logic: Not only does the president enjoy a personal constitutional immunity — his businesses do, too.

It doesn’t matter that Trump challenges a criminal inquiry, while Jones involved a civil suit. Whether a sitting president can be indicted remains unsettled, but Trump hasn’t been charged. In fact, presidents have given evidence in criminal matters many times — including ones touching them personally. Chief Justice John Marshall ordered President Thomas Jefferson to produce documents in Aaron Burr’s treason case. A unanimous Supreme Court ordered President Richard Nixon to turn over the Watergate tapes, and rejected a claim of presidential privilege — in a case in which Nixon was named an unindicted co-conspirator. Clinton provided grand jury and criminal trial testimony in the Whitewater and Lewinsky investigations — matters in which he was potentially a target.

Trump complains nonetheless that letting 50 states conduct investigations involving presidents would endanger the presidency, as well as federal supremacy. A short answer is one the court gave in Jones, where Clinton raised the specter of countless private plaintiffs bringing meritless suits: Courts can address vexatious litigation case by case, and if that doesn’t suffice, Congress can legislate a fix.

A more fundamental answer, though, may be found in an amicus curiae brief in the Vance case, a brief submitted by the Protect Democracy Project and joined by me and 36 other conservatives: “The Constitution is concerned with the supremacy of federal law, not the supremacy of federal officials.”

Likewise, the Constitution is concerned with protecting the presidency, not the person who happens to be the president. That’s because no one in this country is above the law. The Supreme Court is now called upon to teach that lesson once again — even if Trump will likely never learn it.

When this case is decided, we will know two things once and for all:  1) Do we still have an independent, non-partisan Supreme Court that decides cases on merit?  2) Do we have a president, or have William Barr, Mitch McConnell, and now the Supreme Court turned the presidency into an autocracy?  Stay tuned …

Mourning In America

If you haven’t seen this latest advertisement by The Lincoln Project, a group of Republicans with consciences, it speaks for itself.  And it must be working, for Donald Trump wasted his time at 12:46 a.m. writing a series of mindless tweets in a rambling, incoherent response.  The day after this ad was released, The Lincoln Project saw their biggest fundraising day to date, so apparently some people are listening, perhaps opening their minds.  Thumbs up for the Lincoln Project, and I sincerely hope they can make a difference.

“Country Over Party” Say These Republicans …

The Lincoln Project is a political action committee formed in late 2019 by several prominent Republicans. The goal of the committee is to prevent the reelection of Donald Trump in the 2020 US presidential election.    Members of the advisory board have written an OpEd in The Washington Post that I think is worth sharing here.  Remember, as you read, that these are all Republicans who clearly see what Trump is doing to this nation and want something better.


We’ve never backed a Democrat for president. But Trump must be defeated.

By

George T. Conway III, Reed Galen, Steve Schmidt, John Weaver and Rick Wilson

April 15, 2020 at 2:35 p.m. EDT

The authors are on the advisory board of the Lincoln Project.

This November, Americans will cast their most consequential votes since Abraham Lincoln’s reelection in 1864. We confront a constellation of crises: a public health emergency not seen in a century, an economic collapse set to rival the Great Depression, and a world where American leadership is absent and dangers rise in the vacuum.

Today, the United States is beset with a president who was unprepared for the burden of the presidency and who has made plain his deficits in leadership, management, intelligence and morality.

When we founded the Lincoln Project, we did so with a clear mission: to defeat President Trump in November. Publicly supporting a Democratic nominee for president is a first for all of us. We are in extraordinary times, and we have chosen to put country over party — and former vice president Joe Biden is the candidate who we believe will do the same.

Biden is now the presumptive Democratic nominee and he has our support. Biden has the experience, the attributes and the character to defeat Trump this fall. Unlike Trump, for whom the presidency is just one more opportunity to perfect his narcissism and self-aggrandizement, Biden sees public service as an opportunity to do right by the American people and a privilege to do so.

Biden is a reflection of the United States. Born into a middle-class family in coal-country Pennsylvania, he has known the hardship and heartbreak that so many Americans themselves know and that millions more are about to experience.

Biden’s personal tragedies and losses tested his strength, his faith and his determination. They were enough to crush most people’s spirit, but Biden emerged more compassionate toward the suffering of others and the burdens that life imposes on his fellow Americans.

Biden did what Americans have always done: picked himself up, dusted himself off and made the best of a bad situation. In the years since he first entered office, Biden has consistently demonstrated decency, empathy and humanity.

Biden’s life has been marked by triumphs that didn’t change the goodness in him, and he is a man for whom public service never went to his head. His long record of bipartisan friendship and cross-partisan legislative efforts commends him to this moment. He is an imperfect man, but a man who loves his country and its people with a broad smile and an open heart.

In this way, Trump is a photonegative of Joe Biden. While Trump has innumerable flaws and a lifetime of blaming others for them, Biden has long admitted his imperfections and in doing so has further illustrated his inherent goodness and his willingness to do the work necessary to help put the United States back on a path of health and prosperity.

Unlike Trump, Biden is not an international embarrassment, nor does he demonstrate malignant narcissism. A President Biden will steady the ship of state and begin binding up the wounds of a fractured country. We have faith that Biden will surround himself by advisers of competence, expertise and wisdom, not an endless parade of disposable lackeys.

For Trump, the presidency has been the biggest stage, under the hottest klieg lights in a reality show of his making. Every episode leaves the audience more shocked and divided. Trump’s only barometer is his own ego. The country, our values and its people do not factor into Trump’s equation.

Biden understands a tenet of leadership that far too few leaders today grasp: The presidency is a life-and-death business, that the consequences of elections have real-world effects on individual Americans, and that all of this — all of the struggle, toil and work — is not a zero-sum game.

The coronavirus crisis is a terrifying example of why real leadership looks outward. This crisis, the deaths and economic destruction are immeasurably worse because Trump and his administration were unwilling to do what was necessary to mitigate its worst effects and bring the country back as quickly as possible.

We asked ourselves: How would a Biden presidency handle this crisis? Would he spend weeks lying about the risk? Would he look to cable news, the stock market and his ratings before taking the steps to make us safer? The answer is obvious: Biden will be the superior leader during the crisis of our generation.

We’ve seen the damage three years of corruption and cultish amateurism can do. This country cannot afford to be torn apart for sport and profit for another term, as Trump will surely do. If Biden takes office next January, he won’t need on-the-job training.

We are in a transcendent and transformative period of American history. The nation cannot afford another four years of chaos, duplicity and Trump’s reality distortion. This country is crying out for a president with a spine stiffened by tragedy, a worldview shaped by experience and a heart whose compass points to decency.

It is our hope that when the next president takes the oath of office in January, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. will be the president for a truly united America. The stakes are too high to do anything less.