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2017 Year in Review

I’m not such a New Years fan. I often find the demarcation between the years to be somewhat artificial. But this year has been so momentous, with Trump’s rise to power, that it’s worth taking stock of where we are and how far we’ve come. At the beginning of the year I was pretty despondent, now I’m rather hopeful. And here’s why.

DEMS WILL TAKE BACK THE HOUSE IN NOVEMBER

I really believe Democrats are going to take back the US House in November 2018. We also have a good shot at taking back the Senate. Now, that’s looking at the numbers, and Democratic momentum, today. That can all change in a year. But, RIGHT NOW we are in a great position to take back the House especially, and that’s something we didn’t necessarily anticipate a year ago.

Democrats, progressives, assorted folks on the left are ticked, and motivated. Alabama, and Virginia before it, showed that Democratic voters are turning out, while GOP voters are not. Not only is the momentum on our side, the enthusiasm is as well. While many in the media want you to continue to be worried about Trump’s “base,” the real numbers show that even Trump’s base is losing energy. In Alabama, the Democratic base — black women and young people in particular — turned out in record numbers for an off-year election. On the GOP side, the numbers were anemic. I also think of a recent poll showing that Trump’s support is plummeting among Fox News viewers — there is no base any baser than that.

So all of Trump’s excesses are catching up with him. Now, we can’t get haughty about it. In 2016, we thought that Trump was so OBVIOUSLY unfit for office that he could never win, and he did. So the point is not to count our chickens before they hatch, but rather, to recognize that victory is within our grasp — and that’s something a lot of us didn’t think when 2017 started.

TRUMP-RUSSIA IS GOING TO HEAT UP

Having said that, we’ve still got challenges (and defeats) ahead of us. One need look no further than the recent tax bill that repealed the individual mandate (though not until 2019), and so screwed up the tax system that no one knows whether they’re even getting a tax cut at all (but we do know that Trump just gutted a huge property tax and state income tax deduction a number of us in the middle class used). But there’s hope. First, the Trump-Russia investigation…

Trump is in deep water on this one. The recent NYT story was a game-changer — it showed that Trump senior foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos was the person who got the entire FBI investigation rolling, rather than, as the GOP claims, it being due to the Steele (pee-pee tape) dossier. As the NYT reported, Papadopoulos was informed in late April, 2016 that the Russians had stolen “thousands” of Hillary Clinton’s email. Rather than reporting this to the FBI, Papadopoulos bragged about it over drinks with a senior employee of the Australian Embassy in London. The Australian reported it to his bosses, who then told the Americans, who then launched an FBI investigation of the Trump campaign’s growing, and troubling, secret contacts with Russian intelligence.

So the entire Trump-Russia investigation was started by Trump’s own campaign staff.

And it’s worse than that. Are we really to believe that Papadopoulos bragged about what he knew to an Australian diplomat but didn’t brag about it to his own bosses on the Trump campaign? Not credible. So who on Team Trump knew, and why didn’t anyone call the FBI? And why did Trump and his campaign keep claiming publicly that: A) They had no contact with the Russians; and B) The Russians weren’t responsible for hacking Hillary et. al.’s emails, when Trump’s campaign already knew it was true because Russian intermediaries told them, and perhaps even offered them the emails?

There is a whole lot of lying going on here, a whole lot of cover up, and a whole lot of conspiracy. Innocent people don’t act like this. They don’t secretly meet with the Russians, they don’t NOT tell the FBI when they find out about foreign espionage, and they don’t then lie about it in an effort to cover up the crimes of a foreign enemy of the United States. Also, real Americans don’t conspire with a foreign power to undermine our democratic elections. Only traitors do that.

Unless, they were involved.

WHY TAKING BACK THE HOUSE CHANGES EVERYTHING

So, we keep an eye on the Russia probe; but the prize this year is Congress. We have to take back the House, and/or Senate, next November. If we do, everything changes. First off, when that happens, Devin Nunes’ effort to undermine the Mueller probe ends immediately. Second, Democrats in the House will have subpoena power to investigate all the scandalds, from Russian election intererence to all the Trump corruption, including Trump’s efforts to use the FBI and Dept of Justice to investigate his political opponents. There’s also the small fact that Trump’s legislative agenda is dead in the water if the Democrats take back either house of Congress. I cannot emphasize enough how important this coming election will be.

For that reason, I’m devoting a lot of time this year to fundraising for Democratic congressional candidates. We did amazing work together helping Doug Jones beat accused-child-molester Roy Moore in Alabama. And if we can win in Alabama, we can win almost anywhere.

WON’T YOU PLEASE SUPPORT MY WORK THIS YEAR?

So, that’s my year in review, in a nutshell. As many of you know, I moved back to DC this year from New York City so that I could redouble my efforts to take on, and down, Donald Trump. I’ve formed an LLC, AMERICAblog Action, to help with those efforts, and have been growing my email action list with the express purpose of turning the Congress blue in November. If you can support my efforts with a generous donation, I would very much appreciate it.

Please support my work with a $ 25 donation.

Also, our new podcast, the UnPresidented Podcast, is doing really well in just these few short months since we launched. We’re asking folks to subscribe for a minimum $ 5/month donation, but you can still check out our free episodes (which are more or less every other episode). Here’s a particularly good snippet from our most recent episode about Trump’s disastrous recent interview with the NYT, in which he claimed nearly two dozen times that he didn’t collude with Russia.

If you like that snippet, you can hear the entire episode here for a $ 5/month premium subscription. I really want to build the podcast this year, and we have some big-name guests coming soon, so please do subscribe and help support progressive media.

Stay strong. I really think we’ve turned the tide, and 2018 is going to be a much better year than we expected.

Thanks, JOHN

PS For those who read this far, check out my interview, from 2008, with Star Wars goddess Carrie Fisher. It’s only 5 minutes long, and on video, and it’s pretty funny. She was an amazing lady.

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You can listen to the free snippet here:

Source: AMERICAblog NewsAMERICAblog News

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