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Trump

The Final Days (Ep. 292)

Joined by a Gen Z public policy student at American University in D.C., the gang looks at the final days of the Trump Administration and what to expect from the coming senate impeachment trial and Biden’s first hundred days.

 

Seditious Minds (Ep. 291)

This episodes looks at the Capitol Hill riot and what it portends for the Biden administration and beyond.

 

Inside The Biden-sphere (Ep. 284)

 

This week, Greg and Kevin look possible Biden Cabinet appointments, why Bernie would be a poor choice at Labor, the national embarrassment of the Trump legal team, and what TV commercials for Coronavirus vaccines might look like.

 

Election Afterglow (Ep. 283)

In this week’s podcast, the gang looks at Trump’s continuing effort to contest the election and the list of Republican senators who could be drafted into the Biden cabinet, thereby allowing their state’s Democratic governor to pick their replacement.

The Republican Party Is Now Anti-American

by D.J. McGuire

For 25 years, I called myself a Republican, proudly. That ended in 2016 when it became clear the primary voters decided they preferred Donald Trump instead of actual policies that would advance America. Over the next four years, I saw the Republicans continue to devolve into a personality cult. So it shouldn’t have surprised me that nearly all of the party would refuse to acknowledge that Joe Biden is President-elect and will replace Trump on January 20th.

Yet somehow it did – and in the process, the Republican Party attacked our democracy, put forth wildly ridiculous accusations of “voter fraud,” and did more damage to America’s reputation than her enemies could have even dreamed was possible.

One Russia expert – Michael McFaul – put it far better than I could:

To those Trump supporters ranting falsely about a stolen election, you sound exactly like Putin’s media outlets, exactly like the kinds of Putin proxies with whom I used to refute as US ambassador to Russia when defending our nation’s honor & integrity. Stop it.

I would also note that chief among the very few leaders who have not congratulated President-elect Biden were Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. The tyrants of the world are seeing yet another chance to deal a crippling blow to the democratic world…

… and the Republican Party is helping our enemies to do it.

Putin and Xi also looking to force America into retreat around the world and to damage our alliances with our fellow democracies. They know greater instability here at home helps their agenda abroad …

… and the Republican Party is helping them to do it.

A fellow who in previous times would be called a “confidence man” spun up a false story about the USPS backdating

Finally, our enemies know that our greatest source of “soft power” has been our efforts to support democracies around the world. Watching Trump move away from that has been a god-send to them. The only thing that would have been better was spreading misinformation that would question the integrity of our democracy itself …

… and the Republican Party is doing it for them.

There is no escaping this truth. By indulging Trump’s fantasy of a “stolen election,” the Republicans are damaging America’s reputation, advancing the interests of our enemies, and corroding support for democracy around the world. These are not the actions of a party that supports America.

In fact, no one who supports Trump’s “stolen election” narrative should be able to call themselves an American in good standing. As far as I’m concerned, they are agents of a foreign, tyrannical power (in particular, the Kremlin).

It hurts me to type these words. I still look back at my time in the Republican Party fondly. However, I cannot escape the logical conclusions of the actions of the overwhelming majority of elected Republican officials. The Republican Party is no longer interested in democracy. It is no longer a bulwark against authoritarianism. Indeed, it is an enabler of authoritarianism.

The Republican Party is no longer an American party, but rather an anti-American party. It is the fifth column, the enemy within, Tokyo Rose writ large. No American who loves their country could give it their time, their funds, or their votes.

Furthermore, as far as I’m concerned, no one who supports Trump or his enablers is allowed to call themselves an American in good standing.

Trump Routing ‘Election Integrity’ Money to Retire Campaign Debt

by D.J. McGuire

About an hour after voting ended in Alaska on Wednesday morning, President Trump sauntered to a podium and made the laughable claim that he won the election. Within hours, the fundraising parts of his operation let the truth slip out via the fine print: the claim was just another chance to bleed the marks dry.

Julie Bykowicz has the details in The Wall Street Journal:

Starting early Wednesday, the campaign and the Republican National Committee have been sending dozens of daily text messages and emails saying they need financial support to challenge voting procedures.

“We must PROTECT the Election!” says one campaign text Friday signed by Mr. Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. “My father’s calling on YOU to help bolster our critical Election Defense Fund.”

Clicking through to the donation page, potential givers can review a disclaimer that 50% of any contribution will be used for general election campaign debt retirement and 50% for the campaign’s recount account.

Other Trump fundraising pitches in recent days ask for help to “protect the integrity of this election” but lead to a donation page for Mr. Trump’s “Make America Great Again” committee. The fine print on those solicitations says 60% of a contribution helps the campaign retire debt and 40% goes to the Republican National Committee.

Under normal circumstances, a losing campaign asking for help to pay off its debts isn’t a problem. However, “normal circumstances” and the year 2020 have not exactly been good neighbors.

In this case, the campaign is pretending it hasn’t lost – and indeed it is claiming it needs money to “protect” the election, when in fact at least half of the funds will be for anything but. Given the opaque nature of the Trump campaign’s finances (ABC News), one has to wonder whose pockets are getting lined by the campaign addressing its accounts payable. Pulling a bait-and-switch on small Republican donors does nothing to remove suspicion from that.

Moreover, of all the lawsuits Trump’s campaign is putting forward, only one has any serious chance of success – the case against Pennsylvania counting ballots mailed in after November 3. The problem for Trump is this: there aren’t nearly enough of those votes to make the difference. In fact, none of them were being counted when Biden took the lead on Trump in the Keystone state on Friday morning – nor when he was projected to win it. The roughly 5,000 ballots that did make it between the 4th and the 6th would barely make a dent in Biden’s current lead, which is over 45,000 as I write this.

However, the court case can give Trump a “victory” that he can use to advance his real agenda: the grift. Indeed, Trump’s entire career – from real estate to television to politics – has been about nothing else. He takes what he can no matter the lie; he avoids paying no matter the bill.

If I were one of Trump’s lawyers, I’d be really worried about my invoices right now.

As for the rest of us, we can prepare for the Biden Administration to begin in January. Trump’s presidency will come to an end, but the grift will go on, because that’s Trump’s top priority.

Nothing gets in the way of the grift. Nothing.

Biden Boogaloo (Ep. 282)

This week, the gang looks at the 2020 election results, how the world responded to Joe Biden’s win, and do a deep dive into what it means for the nation and the Democratic party. Toward the end, DJ and Kevin hit on a brilliantly devious way that Joe Biden can flip the senate blue even without winning the runoff elections in Georgia.

 

BONUS ‘BIDEO BOOGALOO’ VIDEOS:

Leslie Jones video:

https://twitter.com/Lesdoggg/status/1324807523556192256

Michael Rapaport video:

 

Mr. Borat Goes To Washington (Ep. 280)

This week’s podcast looks at the final presidential debate, the panic among Democrats about GOP post-election shenanigans, the panic in the media about Jeffrey Toobin’s Zoom shenanigans, the feud between Lou Dobbs and Lindsey Graham, and how Sacha Baron Cohen may have just helped make Joe Biden president.

Staying-Sane 2020

by Kevin Kelton

As we count down to election night and then a week or two of uncertainty following it, it’s important that everyone take a step back and settle in for the possibility of BOTH outcomes. With that in mind, here’s a few tips on how to survive the next two weeks:

1) Remember that no election is ever a sure thing. It’s okay to like your chances and feel optimistic. Just remember that no matter which way the polls are leaning, either candidate could win. It’s when you go in to an election night thinking the outcome is certain, that you come out devistated.

2) Realize that history is longer than you and me, and America isn’t falling apart due to any election or presidency. Even given another four years, this guy can’t undo 240. America survived James Buchanan (barely), Andrew Johnson, Grover Cleveland, Warren Harding, Herbert Hoover (barely again), Richard Nixon, and two Reagan terms. (And believe me, plenty of us thought he was pretty awful at the time.) If you don’t know much about these infamous stains on the presidency, listen to a few episodes of the Very Presidential pocast. You’ll learn that Trump is just the latest in a long history of crazy, narcisistic, incompetent a-holes who somehow fooled enough voters to get to the Oval Office. Sure, Trump is worse by far, and a second term would be dreadful. But he won’t dismantle America. He’ll just reset the bar a few notches lower.

3) Know that we’ve had conservative SCOTUS courts before. But a somewhat sane middle tends to emerge. Look at John Roberts. Look at Anthony Kennedy, who was a conservative appointee. Look at Sandra Day O’Connor (a Reagan appointee), David Souter, John Paul Stevens, Earl Warren. All Republican appointees who moved considerably left over time.

4) Read some history to get some perspective. American presidential politics tend to swing to extremes, from Coolidge and Hoover to FDR… from Eisenhower to JFK… from Nixon-Ford to Carter… from Carter to Reagan… from Reagan-Bush to Clinton… from W to Obama… from Obama to this guy. I suspect it will swing again in 2020. But if it takes until 2024 or even 2028, a progressive Democrat will occupy the WH eventually and there will be a new progressive era, with a progressive congress to help move this country in the right direction. Shifting demographics and the arc of history dictate it. You can take that to the bank. (Even to a Chinese bank account.)

5) Reset your priorities. Our job in life is not to obsess over D.C. and MSNBC/FOX all day. All you can do is volunteer in campaigns, donate, advocate, and vote. Then you have to let your representatives (loathesome as some may be) do their jobs while we return to our lives. As everyone in Open Fire knows, I love politics. You probably do too or you wouldn’t be reading this. But it’s not healthy to become obsessed with it. Live you life! Eat good/bad food. Play golf, or travel, or see a show. Make love. Enjoy your kids and grandkids. Do great things at work and build a nest egg. Find Facebook friends you genuinely like go meet them in person to make new real-world friends (as I did recently). Politics – like work, sex, family, sports, and cleaning up your dog’s poop – need not dominate your mind and soul. You don’t have to live every day under Trump’s spell.

6) Finally, take heart. Because I promise you this: this man you detest, he will get his comeupance. He’s too vulnerable and too crazy not to. And because of who he is, it will be gnawing and painful. His marriage is vulnerable. His children are (very) vulnerable. His business is vulnerable. And there will be legal consequences. Nixon fell. Weinstein fell. Cosby fell. OJ fell. Epstein fell. This guy will too. He’s a walking timebomb and his mouth is the lit match. So sit back and wait for the fireworks.

Because THAT show, whether it’s in 2021 or 2023 or 2025, will be freaking awesome!

Kevin Kelton is a cohost of The More Perfect Union podcast and founder of Open Fire Politics.

 

October Surprise (Ep. 279)

This episode covers the Trump and Biden dualing townhalls, the state of the race with two weeks left, and everything that’s wrong with the “October Surprise” of the Hunter Biden faux email scandal.

The Regenerator (Ep. 278)

This episode looks at the president’s return to the campaign trail after his Covid vacation, the Amy Coney Barrett confirmation hearings, and whether Donald Trump can revive his sinking re-election campaign.

The Oval Covid Ward (Ep. 277)

This episode covers Trump’s Covid-19 diagnosis, the first presidential debate and how SNL parodied it, and whether sente candidate Cal Cunningham’s sexting scandal could doom the Democrats’ chances for control of the senate.