Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Complicit GOP Leadership



All of the GOP leadership will be indicted; Pence, McConnell, Ryan, etc...they were all complicit in one way or another. 

That's how the 'compromat' strategy works; compromise as many as possible so that all are implicated and at risk. The underpinnings of this reasoning are coming to light slowly, drib following drab. Robert Mueller is playing everything very close to his vest - as he should. 

However, there are many journalists, professional and aspiring, who are investigating this very question - who of the administration knew and when did they know it.  It's the traditional tact, but this time their investigation includes the questions, "Who are complicit and how?"

In April the New York Times reported that Senate leader, Mitch McConnell, knew about the CIA report of Russian intervention in the 2016 election. He put the brakes on any active investigation by pooh-poohing the report. McConnell went so far as to issue a watered-down letter (link below) to electoral officials which never even mentioned Russia but indicated un-named 'malefactors'. 

Link to letter to the National Association of State Election Directors
https://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000157-7606-d0b2-a35f-7e1f2aac0001
(Full disclosure; the letter was signed by Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell.)

Before leaving office the Obama administration warned the incoming Oval Office occupant of the CIA and FBI findings of evidence that Russian operatives had acted to derail the electoral process.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/world/national-security/obama-putin-election-hacking/?utm_term=.04a56dfebd45

The leadership of the transition team (Drumpf, Pence, Nunes, Gowdy, Flynn, et al) well-aware of the confiscation of the two compounds used by Russian diplomats, the deportment of Russian Embassy officials and the sanctions on the Kremlin in response to the seizing of the Crimea and the aggression against the Ukraine. They were aware of the tensions between the US and Russian. To claim to be unaware of the fragility of relations between these two nation would be to declare that you are a moron of monumental proportions and completely unqualified to have any government position. The transition leadership most assuredly knew about Obama's intelligence briefings regarding the Russian interference.  

The notion that these jamokes (Drumpf, Pence, etc) did not see the national security problem they were inheriting is, quite simply, preposterous.  So, why did they do nothing, say nothing, take no action except to down-play the very idea that Russia interfered with the 2016 election? Why did Drumpf demean the idea with his '400 pound guy on a bed someplace' caricature? Why has Pence held to his lie concerning being unaware of Flynn's sinful transgressions - those which Congressman Elijah Cummings  and the out-going presidential team warned him about? Both Pence and Drumpf and the rest of transition leadership knew about Obama's warning. They all knew that Flynn had been fired by Obama.

My answer to these and other questions is this: they all knew to some degree and are therefore complicit in the crimes for which Mueller issued indictments for the 13 Russian nationals and the 3 Russian companies.   

Since the release of those indictments, there has only been a bit of shadow-play from Senator Grassley coaxing the Drumpfen-duffer to take action (between disco parties and golf). The GOP have gone mum - probably distracted by their fervent thoughts and prayers. 

More indictments will follow as Mueller moves up the 'food chain'.

I Call B.S.

I call BS...
Gov Bevin, of Kentucky, has given interviews recently in the wake of the Parkland murders whereby he tries to shift the narrative away from guns and onto other societal causes (specifically video games!)for the plethora of multiple homicides by gunshots in the USA.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/16/17020768/video-games-violence-shootings-kentucky-governor-matt-bevin

During one informal interview I watched, (sorry, still looking for the link) Gov. Bevin took an apocryphal jaunt down a false memory lane relating happy stories about kids bringing Christmas guns to school to show them off to friends. This is disingenuous  twaddle at the very least and a red herring. Moreover, he cites a  false 'fact' that Americans had more guns in some by-gone age. This, again,  is ludicrous. According to the Congressional Research Service, there are roughly twice as many guns per capita in the United States as there were in 1968: more than 300 million guns in all.
https://www.npr.org/2016/01/05/462017461/guns-in-america-by-the-numbers

Since 1972, there has been no appreciable change in the number of households which have guns in America. However, 3% of Americans own the vast majority of guns.  And the preponderance of those gun owners live in Red States which went overwhelmingly for the Drumpfen-shite.

http://bigthink.com/paul-ratner/a-minority-of-americans-owns-most-of-the-guns-and-drives-gun-agenda-studies-show


Gov. Bevin, who is endorsed by the NRA and has spoken at the NRA-IRA Leadership Forum, is a yet another NRA-purchased moron; ignoring the multitude of nations where access to guns is limited, highly regulated and where there is a vastly smaller incident of mass-shootings and murder.  After the Las Vegas mass-shooting last year that left 58 people dead and 851 injured, Bevin publicly shot down calls for gun control legislation, saying: "You can't regulate evil."
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/02/16/violent_video_games_guns_florida/

Thankfully, he's already facing a serious back-lash for his obtuse stance on guns in the wake of the Parkland murders.
http://www.kentucky.com/news/state/article200251909.html

There are plenty of statistics to parse regarding gun ownership, types of weapons owned and their relationship and relevance to gun deaths. Lots of cherry-picking is done by the NRA spokes-people and self-styled 2nd Amendment fanatics who try to deflect away from guns being the cause of gun-death(!) by citing deaths by other means; disease, opioids, hammers, poisons, etc, (ad nauseum, ad absurdum). A prevalent one is the brutal murders in China perpetrated by knife-wielding mad-men. Somehow, in the minds of these cherry-pickers, the fact that people die of other causes than gun-shot wounds removes the onus from the weapons themselves. They recite the NRA talking-point; "Guns don't kill people; people kill people."

Legislation restricting availability of semi-auto firearms is not a panacea. There is no 'magic bullet' to solving this horrific situation but there are clear steps to be taken; other nations have provided examples. The USA should follow those examples.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Ammosexuals



It must be said...
Anyone who fetishes or humanizes their firearms has a mental health issue. Preferring to protect the availability of guns to other gun fetishists over the gun-deaths of children is a very serious mental health problem and a dire societal one.

(Ironically, many ammosexuals objectify women but humanized their little sweetheart, Glock 9... or AR-15 or 'Ol' Betsy' of whatever calibre.) 

Contrary to what the NRA and their ammosexual cultists espouse, America was not always one of enraptured and enthralled by their firearms. There was no 'gun culture' - a particularly loathsome oxymoron.

People didn't have guns back in the late 18th century - too expensive. They had knives and short swords  and sling-shots but not many guns. Unless they were needed - as they were on the Frontier - regular city folks didn't have them. Why lug a gun and ammo around when a short sword or a walking stick would offer personal protection on the mean streets of Boston and Philadelphia. 

That was one of the reasons, perhaps the main reason, for the 2nd Amendment. The US Constitution doesn't provide for an army - the thought of standing armies was repugnant to most of the Founders as being a tool for tyrants. So, to provide for the Common Good, and national defense, they relied on militias. 

Citizen soldiers who needed musketry, some of whom didn't have a firearm or had one in poor condition. The amendment could be read as meaning that the gov't could not infringe upon the arming of the militia - those were tumultuous times.

Guns didn't proliferate in the general populace until after the American Civil War when the citizen soldiers of both armies kept their weapons. Many of whom headed out into the western frontier. Gun design and manufacture made considerable progress because of the war; repeating rifles, revolvers, brass cartridges, breech loading all made firearms more accurate, more reliable and much easier to use.