Lazy Saturday Reads

Cuban-Americans celebrate upon hearing about the death of longtime Cuban leader Fidel Castro in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, Fla., on Saturday. AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Cuban-Americans celebrate upon hearing about the death of longtime Cuban leader Fidel Castro in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, Fla., on Saturday.
AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Good Morning!!

The big news this morning is the death of Fidel Castro. From the AP via the NYT: Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Who Defied US for 50 Years, Dies at 90.

Former President Fidel Castro, who led a rebel army to improbable victory in Cuba, embraced Soviet-style communism and defied the power of 10 U.S. presidents during his half century rule, has died at age 90.

With a shaking voice, President Raul Castro said on state television that his older brother died at 10:29 p.m. Friday. He ended the announcement by shouting the revolutionary slogan: “Toward victory, always!”

Castro’s reign over the island-nation 90 miles (145 kilometers) from Florida was marked by the U.S.-backed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 and the Cuban Missile Crisis a year later that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. The bearded revolutionary, who survived a crippling U.S. trade embargo as well as dozens, possibly hundreds, of assassination plots, died 10 years after ill health forced him to hand power over to Raul.

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Castro overcame imprisonment at the hands of dictator Fulgencio Batista, exile in Mexico and a disastrous start to his rebellion before triumphantly riding into Havana in January 1959 to become, at age 32, the youngest leader in Latin America. For decades, he served as an inspiration and source of support to revolutionaries from Latin America to Africa.

His commitment to socialism was unwavering, though his power finally began to fade in mid-2006 when a gastrointestinal ailment forced him to hand over the presidency to Raul in 2008, provisionally at first and then permanently. His defiant image lingered long after he gave up his trademark Cohiba cigars for health reasons and his tall frame grew stooped.

“Socialism or death” remained Castro’s rallying cry even as Western-style democracy swept the globe and other communist regimes in China and Vietnam embraced capitalism, leaving this island of 11 million people an economically crippled Marxist curiosity.

The Times also has a lengthy obituary: Fidel Castro, Cuban Revolutionary Who Defied U.S., Dies at 90.

Fidel Castro, the fiery apostle of revolution who brought the Cold War to the Western Hemisphere in 1959 and then defied the United States for nearly half a century as Cuba’s maximum leader, bedeviling 11 American presidents and briefly pushing the world to the brink of nuclear war, died Friday. He was 90….

In declining health for several years, Mr. Castro had orchestrated what he hoped would be the continuation of his Communist revolution, stepping aside in 2006 when he was felled by a serious illness. He provisionally ceded much of his power to his younger brother Raúl, now 85, and two years later formally resigned as president. Raúl Castro, who had fought alongside Fidel Castro from the earliest days of the insurrection and remained minister of defense and his brother’s closest confidant, has ruled Cuba since then, although he has told the Cuban people he intends to resign in 2018.

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Fidel Castro had held on to power longer than any other living national leader except Queen Elizabeth II. He became a towering international figure whose importance in the 20th century far exceeded what might have been expected from the head of state of a Caribbean island nation of 11 million people.

He dominated his country with strength and symbolism from the day he triumphantly entered Havana on Jan. 8, 1959, and completed his overthrow of Fulgencio Batista by delivering his first major speech in the capital before tens of thousands of admirers at the vanquished dictator’s military headquarters.

A spotlight shone on him as he swaggered and spoke with passion until dawn. Finally, white doves were released to signal Cuba’s new peace. When one landed on Mr. Castro, perching on a shoulder, the crowd erupted, chanting “Fidel! Fidel!” To the war-weary Cubans gathered there and those watching on television, it was an electrifying sign that their young, bearded guerrilla leader was destined to be their savior.

Much more at the link.

Meanwhile, we’re in the midst of a shocking revolution here at home. Our government has been essentially taken over by a hostile foreign state, and it appears that no one in power is doing anything about it. It looks like we are going to be ruled by billionaires–are we really going to allow our country to become a Russian oligarchy?

The Washington Post: Americans keep looking away from the election’s most alarming story, by Eric Chenowith.

In assessing Donald Trump’s presidential victory, Americans continue to look away from this election’s most alarming story: the successful effort by a hostile foreign power to manipulate public opinion before the vote.

U.S. intelligence agencies determined that the Russian government actively interfered in our elections. Russian state propaganda gave little doubt that this was done to support President-elect Trump, who repeatedly praised Vladimir Putin and excused the Russian president’s foreign aggression and domestic repression. Most significantly, U.S. intelligence agencies have affirmed that the Russian government directedthe illegal hacking of private email accounts of the Democratic National Committee and prominent individuals. The emails were then released by WikiLeaks, which has benefited financially from a Russian state propaganda arm, used Russian operatives for security and made clear an intent to harm the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.

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From the Russian perspective, the success of this operation can hardly be overstated. News stories on the DNC emails released in July served to disrupt the Democratic National Convention, instigate political infighting and suggest for some supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — without any real proof — that the Democratic primary had been “rigged” against their candidate. On Oct. 7, WikiLeaks began near dailydumps from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s email account, generating a month of largely negative reporting on Clinton, her campaign staff, her husband and their foundation. With some exceptions, there was little news in the email beyond political gossip and things the media had covered before, now revisited from a seemingly “hidden” viewpoint.
Russian (and former communist) propaganda has traditionally worked exactly this way: The more you “report” something negatively, the more the negative is true. Trump and supportive media outlets adopted the technique and reveled in information gained from the illegal Russian hacking (as well as many “fake news” stories that evidencesuggestswere generated by Russian intelligence operations) to make exaggerated claims (“Hillary wants to open borders to 600 million people!”) or to accuse Clinton of illegality, corruption and, ironically, treasonous behavior.
Does anyone in the Obama administration have serious concerns about this? And what about possible connections between Russia and factions in FBI? I can only hope that efforts to deal with the situation are going on behind the scenes, but it sure doesn’t seem that way. Instead, it looks like the Obama administration is focused on making things easier for Trump and his Russian oligarch pals.

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NYT: U.S. Officials Defend Integrity of Vote, Despite Hacking Fears.

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration said on Friday that despite Russian attempts to undermine the presidential election, it has concluded that the results “accurately reflect the will of the American people.”

The statement came as liberal opponents of Donald J. Trump, some citing fears of vote hacking, are seeking recounts in three states — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — where his margin of victory was extremely thin.

A drive by Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, for recounts in those states had brought in more than $5 million by midday on Friday, her campaign said, and had increased its goal to $7 million. She filed for a recount in Wisconsin on Friday, about an hour before the deadline.

In its statement, the administration said, “The Kremlin probably expected that publicity surrounding the disclosures that followed the Russian government-directed compromises of emails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations, would raise questions about the integrity of the election process that could have undermined the legitimacy of the president-elect.”

That was a reference to the breach of the Democratic National Committee’s email system, and the leak of emails from figures like John D. Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.

“Nevertheless, we stand behind our election results, which accurately reflect the will of the American people,” it added.

I don’t get it. So President Obama really isn’t that interested in fighting for his legacy anymore? And there’s this from The Hill: Obama urged Clinton to concede on election night.

obama-on-the-phone

President Barack Obama called Hillary Clinton to persuade her to concede the White House on election night, according to a forthcoming book on Clinton’s defeat.

Authors Amie Parnes, The Hill’s senior White House correspondent, and Jonathan Allen cite three Clintonworld sources familiar with the election-night request in the unreleased book from Crown Publishing.

“You need to concede,” Obama told his former secretary of State as she, her family, and her top aides continued to watch results trickle in from the key Rust Belt states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. The latter state, called after 1:30 a.m. by The Associated Press, was the clear tipping point for the White House race, ensuring Trump would crest over the 270 electoral-vote threshold needed to win.

Clinton ultimately heeded Obama’s advice and called Trump to acknowledge her defeat in the early morning hours Wednesday….

Obama’s call left a sour taste in the mouths of some Clinton allies who believe she should have waited longer, and there’s now a fight playing out between the Obama and Clinton camps over whether to support an effort to force the Rust Belt states to recount their votes.

Meanwhile, efforts to get recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania are moving forward. The Wisconsin Election Commission: Wisconsin Elections Commission Receives Two Presidential Election Recount Petitions.

MADISON, WI – The Wisconsin Elections Commission today received two recount petitions from the Jill Stein for President Campaign and from Rocky Roque De La Fuente, Administrator Michael Haas announced.

“The Commission is preparing to move forward with a statewide recount of votes for President of the United States, as requested by these candidates,” Haas said.

“We have assembled an internal team to direct the recount, we have been in close consultation with our county clerk partners, and have arranged for legal representation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice,” Haas said. “We plan to hold a teleconference meeting for county clerks next week and anticipate the recount will begin late in the week after the Stein campaign has paid the recount fee, which we are still calculating.”

The last statewide recount was of the Supreme Court election in 2011.  At that time, the Associated Press surveyed county clerks and reported that costs to the counties exceeded $520,000, though several counties did not respond to the AP’s survey.  That election had 1.5 million votes, and Haas said the Commission expects the costs to be higher for an election with 2.975 million votes.  “The Commission is in the process of obtaining cost estimates from county clerks so that we can calculate the fee which the campaigns will need to pay before the recount can start,” Haas said. The Commission will need to determine how the recount costs will be assessed to the campaigns.

recount

The state is working under a federal deadline of December 13 to complete the recount. As a result, county boards of canvassers may need to work evenings and weekends to meet the deadlines. “The recount process is very detail-oriented, and this deadline will certainly challenge some counties to finish on time,” Haas said.

A recount is different than an audit and is more rigorous, Haas explained.  More than 100 reporting units across the state were randomly selected for a separate audit of their voting equipment as required by state law, and that process has already begun.  Electronic voting equipment audits determine whether all properly-marked ballots are accurately tabulated by the equipment.  In a recount, all ballots (including those that were originally hand counted) are examined to determine voter intent before being retabulated. In addition, the county boards of canvassers will examine other documents, including poll lists, written absentee applications, rejected absentee ballots, and provisional ballots before counting the votes.

Haas noted that the Commission’s role is to order the recount, to provide legal guidance to the counties during the recount, and to certify the results.  If the candidates disagree with the results of the recount, the law gives them the right to appeal in circuit court within five business days after the recount is completed.  The circuit court is where issues are resolved that may be discovered during the recount but are not resolved to the satisfaction of the candidates.

The Detroit News: Mich. readies for presidential recount as cutoff looms.

Lansing — Elections officials are preparing for a possible presidential election recount in Michigan that could begin as soon as next week, state Director of Elections Chris Thomas said Friday.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has indicated she plans to jumpstart a recount in the Great Lakes state over fears that Michigan’s election results could have been manipulated by hackers. Republican President-elect Donald won the state by 10,704 votes over Democrat Hillary Clinton, according to unofficial updated resultsposted Wednesday.

By Friday afternoon, Stein had raised more than $5 million of her $7 million goal to cover the cost of a recount in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan “to ensure the integrity of our elections” because “there is a significant need to verify machine-counted vote totals,” according to her campaign website. Stein finished nearly 2.3 million votes behind Trump in Michigan and received 1.1 percent of the vote.

Michigan’s deadline for initiating a recount is Wednesday. “We have not heard from anybody,” Thomas said about a Stein recount request. “We’re just trying to be proactive, make sure we have plans.”

Thomas said officials “could probably begin by the end of the week,” although it will be “a huge undertaking in a very short period of time” if it happens.

That’s all I have for you today. I admit that I’ve been sinking into depression and despair over the past few days. I don’t know how to deal with this nightmare. I’m not giving up; I’m just in a state of extreme confusion and not sure how to come out of it yet.

Take care Sky Dancers! I love you all.


77 Comments on “Lazy Saturday Reads”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    I hope you all have a nice weekend. Take care.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      You might not realize it but you’re already doing something to replace your worry with action. This blog is action! Speaking the truth everyday is action! Taking part in civil peaceful civil disobedience, even if it’s just encouraging others to that, is action! I’m determined not to be silenced by this, or cowed by this or frightened into acceptance by this. We all are called to action and to my mind YOU and Dak and JJ are doing us all a great service by posting and sharing your concerns and observations every day.

      Just my 2 cents. Onward, Upward!

      • Delphyne49 says:

        I agree, Mouse. All of the actions we take – this blog, demonstrations, prayer/meditation, humor, shaming, artwork, encouraging others, etc – add up to a mighty push back. I like to think of it as creative guerilla warfare, diverse in its tactic and coming at surprise intervals. It’s our way of saying to the fascists/Nazis “I’ll keep you in suspense.”

        All of us who protest this coup have something to offer and all of it is necessary, is important. None of it should be thought of as useless and we should remember that no one way is the only way – the ways are as diverse as our country and should be celebrated, never dismissed.

        So, let’s act up and as you said, Mouse: Onward, Upward!

        • bostonboomer says:

          Thanks, Mouse and Delphyne.

        • Beata says:

          Beautifully said, Delphyne.

          Each of us have our unique way of being in the world and our form of non-violent action will reflect that. For some, action may mean participating in demonstrations with groups out in the streets; for others, it may be a quiet action done in private such as writing a poem. All forms of non-violent action are of value. Each of us can contribute to this effort in our own way.

      • NW Luna says:

        Agree!

        This is a place to share information, reactions, resources, — and to help strengthen each other. Thank you so much, BB for being a strong voice and heartening us! And thank you dak and JJ.

      • dakinikat says:

        I’m just happy to have a safe place with folks with similar concerns. It helps to feel less isolated and despondent. Dr Daughter and I talk a lot about our worries. I feel it worse when I see the littlest kids. What a hateful and frightening country we appear to be. Our arms need to protect them and our will needs to build them up.

  2. Beata says:

    Thank you for the post, BB. I love you and it breaks my heart to see you suffering.

    I just don’t understand what is going on. Why are we looking to Jill Stein of all people to save us from Donald Trump? Why isn’t Obama strongly speaking out on Russia’s interference in our election? Why is Hillary’s camp so silent? I am very confused and having a concussion is not helping my thought process at all. I need a long break to heal, like maybe 4 years. I hope the country will survive.

    • Enheduanna says:

      Beata – I am so sorry you are having to endure this with a serious health issue. I hope you will take care of yourself and try and hope for the best. From the sounds of it we are all still suffering from shock and depression and it will take some time to get right. For myself – I am counting on the pendulum to swing back hard again to counter this extreme lurch to the right. I think when they start messing with SS and Medicare that will happen.

      • Beata says:

        Thank you for your kind and reassuring words. Making myself sicker by worrying is not good. Hoping for the best is better.

  3. bostonboomer says:

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  4. Beata says:

    I’m bringing this up from the last thread. I don’t know if the NPVIC bill is a good idea or not but it is something to consider.

    The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact ( NPVIC ) bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It has been enacted into law in 11 states possessing 165 electoral votes ( NJ, IL, NY, CA, MD, MA, WA, RI, VT, HI ) and DC. It has passed at least one legislative chamber in 12 other states possessing an additional 96 electoral votes. The NPVIC has the support of Common Cause and other democracy reform organizations.

    From the National Popular Vote website:

    “The shortcomings of the current system of electing the President stem from state winner-take-all statutes (i.e., state laws that award all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate receiving the most popular votes in each separate state).

    Because of these state winner-take-all statutes, presidential candidates have no reason to pay attention to the issues of concern to voters in states where the statewide outcome is a foregone conclusion. Two-thirds of the 2012 general-election campaign events (176 of 253) were in just 4 states (Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Iowa). Thirty-eight states were ignored.

    State winner-take-all statutes adversely affect governance. “Battleground” states receive 7% more federal grants than “spectator” states, twice as many presidential disaster declarations, more Superfund enforcement exemptions, and more No Child Left Behind law exemptions.

    Also, state winner-take-all statutes have allowed candidates to win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide in four of our 57 presidential elections—1 in 14 times. A shift of 59,393 votes in Ohio in 2004 would have elected John Kerry despite President Bush’s nationwide lead of over 3,000,000 votes. A shift of 214,393 votes in 2012 would have elected Mitt Romney despite President Obama’s nationwide lead of almost 5,000,000 votes.

    The U.S. Constitution (Article II, Section 1) gives the states exclusive control over awarding their electoral votes: “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors….” The winner-take-all rule was used by only three states in 1789.

    The National Popular Vote interstate compact would not take effect until enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—that is, enough to elect a President (270 of 538). Under the compact, the winner would be the candidate who received the most popular votes from all 50 states (and DC) on Election Day. When the Electoral College meets in mid-December, the national popular vote winner would receive all of the electoral votes of the enacting states.

    The bill ensures that every vote, in every state, will matter in every presidential election.

    The National Popular Vote bill preserves the Electoral College and state control of elections.”

    http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/written-explanation

    • bostonboomer says:

      That’s what Lawrence O’Donnell has been talking about since the election. The problem is that it may be too late. Once Trump gets control, we could be living in an oligarchy/autocracy if Republicans disallow all dissent.

      • Beata says:

        I haven’t been watching O’Donnell. I think it is already too late.

        They are going after Medicare and Social Security very soon. The articles about it are out there. I’m too tired to link to any. Trump said he would protect Medicare and SS but Granny-Starver Ryan will be running this show. He’ll get the legislation he wants. Trump will be a weak President with no agenda beyond his personal Twitter vendettas and promoting his brand.

        • bostonboomer says:

          I really don’t think they will succeed in privatizing Medicare or repealing Obamacare. There hasn’t been any discussion of cuts to Social Security that I’ve seen yet. If Republicans did this, they would never win another national election.

          • NW Luna says:

            Social Security age for full benefits has already been pushed back for some years, so you have to be older and older. Maybe that’s fine for CEOs, but for anyone working in a more demanding real-life job, let alone a job using one’s body, it’s not so good.

            Born 1943 or later, wait one more year to get full benefits: age 66
            1957, wait one and one-half years: age 66 & 6 mos.
            1960 or later, wait two years: age 67

            How soon until you have to be 70 before getting full benefits. Social Security is not an entitlement — we pay into it!

            Anyone who’s been a caregiver usually has to reduce work hours to do so, and thus take a reduction in Social Security benefits. And Hillary had a plan to credit caregivers for this time so their SS wouldn’t be cut.

    • NW Luna says:

      The NPVIC is a good idea. I remember when it first was proposed and then haven’t been following its progress. Good news that so many states have already passed it!

      I also worry that a Drumphf administration would spell the end of any efforts to change the EC system. All the Republicans are sucking up to the P-E Loser now.

  5. bostonboomer says:

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  6. Beata says:

    “Going Home” adapted from Dvorák’s “From the New World”:

  7. polculture says:

    In case anyone was wondering about the mental health of KT McFarland, Trump’s new Deputy National Security Advisor:

    March 25, 2006 — EXCLUSIVE

    ALBANY – A Republican challenger to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is bizarrely claiming that the former first lady has been spying in her bedroom window and flying helicopters over her house in the Hamptons, witnesses told The Post yesterday.

    Former Reagan-era Pentagon official Kathleen “KT” McFarland stunned a crowd of Suffolk County Republicans on Thursday by saying:

    “Hillary Clinton is really worried about me, and is so worried, in fact, that she had helicopters flying over my house in Southampton today taking pictures,” according to a prominent GOP activist who was at the event.

    “She wasn’t joking, she was very, very serious, and she also claimed that Clinton’s people were taking pictures across the street from her house in Manhattan, taking pictures from an apartment across the street from her bedroom,” added the eyewitness, who is not involved in the Senate race.

    Suffolk County Republican Chairman Harry Withers, who hosted the reception in East Islip, confirmed McFarland’s paranoid statements.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20060821095830/http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/65930.htm

  8. Enheduanna says:

    So here’s some hypocrisy on steroids:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2016/11/24/george-soros-blamed-unseen-hand-behind-trump-protests/94334844/

    These hard-right racists who think we need an even harder right SCOTUS think money in politics is bad.

    • NW Luna says:

      Of course! It’s the ol’ “it’s what I say, not what I do” act. And fits right in with Drumpf accusing Hillary of doing what he was doing.

  9. Beata says:

    I find singing along to this song to be very soothing.

  10. Enheduanna says:

    Clinton campaign counsel says they will participate in the recount:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/hillary-clinton-recount_us_5839ad95e4b09b605600a69b

    I think the recount is important although I do not think it will unseat Trump. I shudder to think what would happen if that came about. I just want to know if the results are being tampered with by GOPers counting them.

    I also heard Stein being accused of doing this to embiggen Green Party contact ists – which might explain a lot. Regardless I think it’s the right thing to do and pundits criticising it just prove how irrelevant they are to democracy.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Here’s the post from the Clinton attorney. They don’t expect this to overturn the results.

      In the coming days, we will continue to perform our due diligence and actively follow all further activities that are to occur prior to the certification of any election results. For instance, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania conduct post-election audits using a sampling of precincts. Michigan and many other states still do not. This is unfortunate; it is our strong belief that, in addition to an election canvass, every state should do this basic audit to ensure accuracy and public confidence in the election.

      Beyond the post-election audit, Green Party candidate Jill Stein announced Friday that she will exercise her right as a candidate to pursue a recount in the state of Wisconsin. She has indicated plans to also seek recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan.

      Because we had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, we had not planned to exercise this option ourselves, but now that a recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides. If Jill Stein follows through as she has promised and pursues recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan, we will take the same approach in those states as well. We do so fully aware that the number of votes separating Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the closest of these states — Michigan — well exceeds the largest margin ever overcome in a recount. But regardless of the potential to change the outcome in any of the states, we feel it is important, on principle, to ensure our campaign is legally represented in any court proceedings and represented on the ground in order to monitor the recount process itself.

      The campaign is grateful to all those who have expended time and effort to investigate various claims of abnormalities and irregularities. While that effort has not, in our view, resulted in evidence of manipulation of results, now that a recount is underway, we believe we have an obligation to the more than 64 million Americans who cast ballots for Hillary Clinton to participate in ongoing proceedings to ensure that an accurate vote count will be reported.

      • janicen says:

        This was a patriotic thing for the campaign to do. People, including myself, were convinced that there was something very wrong about this election. The campaign is reassuring us that the result is valid. It may not be, but I think they know they can’t win by disputing the results and it will be destabilizing if they do. They are signaling us that it is time to move on and get to work on the next election.

  11. jackyt says:

    The tongue twister/ear worm “Betty Botter bought a bit o’ bitter butter” has been roiling in my cranial cavity. Now, though, it ends “You bet I’m bitter Betty Botter!”
    Today, I’m changing my email signature from:
    “The Creator created diversity; that is what life is all about. Take a hint from the Creator, get with diversity.” Sacheen Littlefeather
    to:
    b-b-b-but Hillary was Fla-a-a-a-awed!!!

  12. roofingbird says:

    This darkest hour we have survived before, and though the pain is real and we cannot stuff it down, we left ourselves breadcrumbs on the dew soaked trail.

  13. bostonboomer says:

    This is really good.

    What you–yes you–can do to save America from tyranny.

    http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2016/11/21/learning-history-can-save-america-tyranny

  14. I, too, have been fighting depression and dejection; I am close to tears all the time. But this blog helps immensely. Thank you all for posting and commenting here.

  15. NW Luna says:

    I’m extremely disappointed in the Obama administration’s statement that he’s OK with the election results.

    “Nevertheless, we stand behind our election results, which accurately reflect the will of the American people”

    No they don’t! The election winner is determined by the EC, but the majority of the American people voted for the other candidate.

  16. joanelle says:

    So as we watch and listen while the recount takes place, what if the pundits are all surprised again, and Hillz comes out of it with a win after all. What happens then. The Donald has been on top of it by making some wild choices for his administration. The Electoral Collage can determine that Hillz is the winner because based on the definition to stop the inauguration if one does not meet the qualifications necessary or is corrupt or cannot represent the will of the people.
    So my grandson asked how would things be handled? Does everything Trump’s put in place get deleted? I honestly didn’t know, so grandma said she’d find out and let him know.
    Perhaps, William do you or other lawyers here know.

    • William says:

      Joanelle, this most unfortunately is not going to happen, though it should. If we are stuck with the electoral college because of 225 year old “founders’ intent,” then the EC should work as it was intended, particularly to save the republic. But yes, if Hillary were picked, then she is president. There is no Trump cabinet or appointees. One wishes that there were two alternative universes. Trump’s group of bigots, science deniers, people who game the system and destroy lives for their own ends, would have him. We would have Hillary. Unfortunately, no one has yet found any access to alternative worlds, except in imagination.

    • Enheduanna says:

      I have no idea Joanelle – but it’s a good question. I don’t imagine his “appointments” would matter – he’s not in office. But we’re already spending millions on security for him and his family.

      If the EC overturned this election it would be scary. His hard-core supporters are the Bundy types – highly armed with explosive temperaments. I’d be afraid to leave the house and I suspect the hate crimes we’re seeing now would pale in comparison to what would happen if the EC put Hillary in. She would also become a target even more so than before.

  17. dakinikat says:

    Picked this up from one of my Facebook secret Hillary groups and now I can’t find the author’s name but it seemed appropriate given the Trump Twitter meltdown on the recounts yesterday …

    “I want to talk a little about narcissistic personality disorder. I’ve unfortunately had a great deal of experience with it, and I’m feeling badly for those of you who are trying to grapple with it for the first time because of our president-elect, who almost certainly suffers from it. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

    1) It’s not curable and it’s barely treatable. He is who he is. There is no getting better, or learning, or adapting. He’s not going to “rise to the occasion” for more than maybe a couple hours. So just put that out of your mind.

    2) He will say whatever feels most comfortable or good to him at any given time. He will lie a lot, and say totally different things to different people. Stop being surprised by this. While it’s important to pretend “good faith” and remind him of promises, as Bernie and others are doing, that’s for his supporters, so *they* can see the inconsistency. He won’t care. So if you’re trying to reconcile or analyze his words, don’t. It’s 100% not worth your time. Only pay attention to and address his actions.

    3) You can influence him by making him feel good. There are already people like Bannon who are ready to use him for their own ends. The GOP is excited to try. Watch them, not him. President Obama, in his wisdom, is treating him well in hopes of influencing him and possibly averting the worst. If he gets enough accolades for better behavior, he might continue to try it. But don’t count on it.

    4) Ultimately, he will betray anyone who tries to get close to him. It might take a while, though, so we can’t count on that.

    5) He only cares about himself and those he views as extensions of himself, like his children. (People with NPD can’t understand others as fully human or distinct.) He desires accumulation of wealth and power because it fills a hole. (Melania is probably an acquired item, not an extension.) He will have no qualms *at all* about stealing everything he can from the country, and he’ll be happy to help others do so, if they make him feel good. That is likely the only thing he will intentionally accomplish.

    6) It’s very, very confusing for non-disordered people to experience a disordered person with NPD. They do not observe social conventions or demonstrate basic human empathy. It’s very common for non-disordered people to lower their own expectations and try to normalize the behavior. DO NOT DO THIS AND DO NOT ALLOW OTHERS, ESPECIALLY THE MEDIA, TO DO THIS. If you start to feel foggy or unclear about this, step away until you recalibrate.

    7) People with NPD often recruit helpers, referred to in the literature as “enablers” when they allow bad behavior and “flying monkeys” when they perpetrate bad behavior on behalf of the narcissist. Although it’s easiest to prey on vulnerable or malicious people, good people can be unwittingly recruited. It will be important to support good people around him if and when they attempt to stay clear or break away.

    8) They like to foster competition for sport in people they control. Expect lots of chaos, firings and recriminations. He will probably behave worst toward those closest to him, but that doesn’t mean (obviously) that his actions won’t have consequences for the rest of us. He will punish enemies. He may start out, as he has with the NYT, with a confusing combination of punishing/rewarding, which is a classic abuse tactic for control. If you see your media cooperating or facilitating this behavior for rewards, call them on it.

    9) Gaslighting — where someone tells you that the reality you’ve experienced isn’t true — is real and torturous. He will gaslight, his followers will gaslight. The GOP has been gaslighting for 30 years. Learn the signs and find ways to stay focused on what you know to be true.

    10) Whenever possible, do not focus on the narcissist or give him attention. Don’t circulate his stupid tweets or laugh at him — you are enabling him and getting his word out. (I’ve done this, of course, we all have… just try to be aware.) Pay attention to your own emotions: do you sort of enjoy his clowning? is this kind of fun and dramatic, in a sick way? You are adding to his energy. Focus on what you can change and how you can resist, where you are. We are all called to be leaders now, in the absence of leadership.

    Much love and I’ll post something fun for the holidays too, I promise.

    [Edited to add, since many have asked and this is spreading far beyond its original audience: I am not a professional making a diagnosis, and this is not intended to persuade anyone or provide a comprehensive description of NPD. No one can be diagnosed without an in-person assessment. I am speaking purely from decades of dealing with NPD and sharing strategies that were helpful for me in coping, as PEOTUS displays many of the same behaviors. Thank you."

    • dakinikat says:

      Nell Ziehl wrote this

    • Enheduanna says:

      You can definitely see him in all of those points. The media has touched on the “competition for sport” in the choices of people he’s toying with for cabinet positions (no. 8). They’ve commented on it being a “knife fight” behind the scenes.

      This morning on MSNBC (I know I know) Alexandra Wit had two GOPers on, one of whom remarked Trump might not reinstate the Cuba embargo because he probably wants to do business there. Nobody so much as blinked (see no. 6).

    • jackyt says:

      This is invaluable! Thank you for posting and thanks to Nell Ziehl for writing it. The disorder is so ‘crazy making’ for those of us being pressured to knuckle under. (A parallel situation is occurring within my family, and I am cast as the villain for not ceding power to the abuser.)

      • NW Luna says:

        Don’t cede! If it feels crazy-making, stay away.

        • Thanks, NWL. I’m holding tight to my demand that I will have no contact until joint counselling with a qualified family therapist. Since the ‘cede gene’ didn’t germinate in my DNA, I’ll bide my time as long as it takes.

    • Ron4Hills says:

      How do you get yourself added to one of those secret Hillary groups? I want in.

    • Beata says:

      Thank you for posting this, Kat. It is very helpful.

      In my personal life, I have tried to cut all ties to people with NPD that I know. It isn’t always possible if they keep showing up, which they tend to do in one way or another. When someone with NPD is our President, “breaking away” is going to be a constant effort.

      • contrask says:

        I’ve been thinking we have to not validate his attention-getting tactics. He’s on a Twitter rant as I type this. Lord, can’t people see how childish and abnormal this is? Our PRESIDENT!! I need to study above article more

    • roofingbird says:

      Yep, yep and yes! And, above all they are often very smart. With few moral distractions they can have you corraled before you blink.

  18. contrask says:

    I miss my campaign update emails. Never thought I’d say that

  19. NW Luna says:

    dak — I hope things are OK for you. Just saw news of yet another mass shooting with 9 wounded and 1 dead in the Bourbon district, N.O. Gun control is going nowhere but bad over the next 4 yrs.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38123165

    • NW Luna says:

      I’m more than ever convinced that Trump planned his claim in the debate just to get Hillary to say she believes in playing by the rules so he — who does not play by the rules — could use that against her.