Tuesday, August 23, 2022

"Secret Engine" Update #2 (8/23/22): What You Need to Know As We Hurtle Toward 1st of 3 Doom-Defying Deadlines

 

I live in the Real World. And I fight for the Future. Many among us do. 
We fight for our country, and for all of humanity, for all of the other species and for Gaia Herself.
We live in the Real World. We fight for the Future.


This is not a transcript. These are my notes for the talk. I post them here in the hope that they might be useful to you for your own clarity and in your efforts to engage other voters. 

All of the images included in the first of these five presentation were from tweets related to Russia's genocidal attack on Ukraine. The images I selected were all of women, women journalists, women in the military, civilian women casualties. Why? Because victory in this war is vital for the future of the West and of democracy and because the leadership of women is vital for the future of all life on this planet. 

The images included in this second presentation are also all of women (except for two slides, lol); the women whose images I share in this presentation are all agents of the Ascendant Feminine, whether in the  United States, or Ukraine, or Belarus or Russia itself. 

Yes, it is all one struggle, one great conflict, one shining portal to step through into a real future.

1st of 3

These five talks are focused on this year's mid-term elections in the United States, the first of the three deadlines I outlined in "Secret Engine of the World." These three deadlines are either doom-defying or doom-defining, depending upon outcomes. It is truly up to us, by us I mean what I call the United Front for Sanity and Decency (Left, Liberal, Center and True Conservative). 

For SCIENCE. For HUMAN RIGHTS. For GAIA. For SANITY and DECENCY.

Three Deadlines -

  • 2022: U.S. Mid-Term Elections
  • 2024: U.S. Presidential Elections
  • 2031: Climate Apocalypse?

Facts on the Ground

  • Planetary Emergencies - 
    • Climate Collapse
    • Pandemic
  • The Big Lie, 1/6
    • & Beyond
  • Ukraine
  • Guns  & Abortion
When I spoke to you in July, Biden's poll numbers had fallen, precipitously, into the mid-thirties. Furthermore, the "conventional wisdom" among political "pundits" was that the Democrats would almost certainly lose control of both the House and the Senate. In my presentation, I articulated four factors that were driving his numbers down. No, not inflation, not gas prices, not baby formula, not trans rights, not "Critical Race Theory," not his age, no. Four other factors. Well, over this last month, as if the Universe Herself had responded directly, three of these four factors were turned inside out and right side up.

Lo and behold, the poll numbers began to rise rapidly, for Biden and for the Democrats.

DoJ Running Silent, Running Deep

One of the negative factors I cited was the "understandable, depressing assumption" that Trump and his co-conspirators would get away with their brazen but failed attempts to disrupt the peaceful transition of power and mount a coup. I said I believed the Garland DoJ would deliver, that the rule of law would be upheld, there would be accountability. Well, less than a week later, DoJ activity suddenly started accelerating or perhaps more accurately, DoJ's activity started to become more visible ...

  • Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw), 7/20/22: If you still think AG Garland doesn’t fully intend to have DOJ prosecute EVERYONE responsible for trying to overturn the 2020 election, you need to listen carefully to what he said today: “For people who are concerned as I think every American should be about protecting democracy, we have to . . .hold accountable EVERY PERSON who is criminally responsible for trying to overturn a legitimate election.”
  • Politico, 7/25/22: Two top Pence aides appear before the Jan. 6 grand jury - Marc Short and Greg Jacob have both testified recently, according to two people familiar with the matter.
  • Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins), 8/8/22: The FBI executed a search warrant today at President Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, the former president confirms to CNN in a lengthy statement. Trump says the raid was unannounced and adds, "They even broke into my safe."

But this renewed confidence in the Justice Department isn't just related to the pursuit of 1/6 coup plotters:

#BlackLivesMatter
  • Ahmaud Arbery’s murderers sentenced to life in prison for federal hate crime - Guardian, 8/8/22
  • Saying "Breonna Taylor should be alive today," Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Thursday that four current and former Louisville Metro Police officers have been federally charged in Taylor's March 2020 slaying that touched off a firestorm of protest in the city and across the nation. - Louisville Courier Journal, 8/4/22
#BansOffOurBodies
  • Carrie Johnson (@johnson_carrie): First big action from the Biden administration task force designed to protect reproductive freedoms: DOJ sues Idaho over that state's near total abortion ban, as it applies to women suffering medical emergencies.
  • Carrie Johnson (@johnson_carrie): The reproductive rights task force led by Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta is evaluating other state actions with possible legal responses in mind, AG Garland says.

Resusicating Our FDR(ish) Moment

Another negative factor was the Democrats' failure to deliver on Biden's $1.75 trillion Build Back Better (BBB) package. Biden was going to go big. It was going to be our FDR Moment, but Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WI) robbed us of that bold step forward. Repeated attempts to strike a deal on a streamlined version failed. It seemed hopeless, but then seemingly out of nowhere, Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced a deal with Manchin, for a $740 billion version. Yes, less than half of the original proposal, nonetheless it delivered in some big ways -- on the Climate Emergency, on pharmaceutical drug prices, on corporate taxes. Hurtling toward the mid-terms, we got an FDR(ish) moment after all.

The legislation's title, "Inflation Reduction Act" (I.R.A.), is gimmicky and doesn't do it justice. 

  • Now signed into law, the I.R.A. will reduce U.S. emissions by 40% and take us two-thirds of the way to our Paris Accord goals
Is it enough? Of course not. Paris itself, in toto, isn't enough. We know that, we've known that. But what we need to do in this country, which is still the most influential on the planet, is get ourselves on tract, inexorably, we need to establish a new baseline, we need the debate to shift from whether or not this is real (after all, climate denialism has always been a deceit), we need to shift from the debate about whether or not it is a hoax, we need the debate to center around "Are we doing enough? Are we moving fast enough?" The climate upon which civilization itself has been predicated for millennia is collapsing. So the answers will be "No, no we are not doing enough, we are not moving fast enough," and then we can lean in. We need to move boldly forward, and we need to accelerate, we need to gain momentum. 

The passing of the I.R.A. is a profound good, a profound blessing. We must build on it.

This is a great victory for Biden and the Democrats and for Sanity and for Gaia Herself.

  • "we're disappointed that some of the things we put in this package originally aren't there, we're going to continue to fight for child care, it's important, people need it, we're going to fight for elder care, we're going to fight for more housing, all the things that aren't part of this package are still very, very important to the President. But make no mistake about it, this bill is a history-making bill for two reasons: first of all, these historic investments in fighting climate change, Sen. Schatz' ... said not only is it this most significant climate legislation enacted in the United States, it's the most significant climate legislation enacted in the world ... but there's a second reason ... for thirty years we were trying to defeat the drug industry on this Medicare pricing thing, and we've never been able to do it, we've been trying to defeat the climate deniers on climate legislation but never been able to do it, trying to defeat the big corporations who have a minimum tax so that billion dollar profit corporations have to at least pay some taxes, these are long-standing, generational fights against special interests, and the President and the Democrats have come together and found a way to win those fights for the first time, and I think that is also a very historic pivot here." - Ron Klain, White House Chief of Staff, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, 8/9/22

"What's the Matter w/ Kansas?"

In 2004, journalist historian Thomas Frank published his "What's the Matter w/ Kansas: How the Conservatives Won the Heart of America." It spent 18 months on the NYT bestseller list. The book explored the rise of a populist (posturing) anti-elite (funded by billionaires lol) conservatism (misnomer, radicalism, really). It documented that mind-warping ideology's impact on the politics of Kansas. 

A year later, in 2005, while Frank's book about the radical right indoctrination of Kansas was still on the NYT bestseller list, George W. Bush appointed Samuel Alito to SCOTUS. Yes, Alito, the deeply disturbed author of the hateful, delusional decision overturning Roe v. Wade. (Farewell, stare decisis). 

Ironically, future herstorians may look back on Kansas and its overwhelming rejection of an abortion ban ballot initiative as the beginning of the end for all of this madness.

  • The overwhelming defeat of the anti-choice referendum came despite a very heavy Republican thumb on the scale going into Election Day. Republicans scheduled the vote at an odd time of year when way more Republicans would turn out than Democrats. The language of the ballot initiative was confusing, clearly meant to trick people who wanted to protect abortion into voting the wrong way. Advocates of the ballot initiative lied about the initiative, blasting voters with texts that falsely claimed a "yes" vote supported "choice," when in reality, a "yes" vote was to ban abortion. They ran ads with the misleading claim that a "yes" vote does not ban abortion. Due to all of that misinformation, polls as recently as a couple of weeks ago suggested this would be a nail-biter ... Six out of 10 voters who showed up voted against the abortion ban. It probably would have been more, if not for all the misleading ads and the election timing heavily favoring Republican voters. People may say they're "personally" against abortion or parrot ugly stereotypes about women who get abortions. Americans love to judge the sex lives of strangers. But when it comes to their own sex lives and those of their friends, they tend to be more forgiving — and therefore interested in keeping the option to abort unwanted pregnancies on the table. -- Amanda Marcotte, Salon, Kansas abortion win is a wake-up call: Americans do not want GOP bans, Republicans did everything they could to keep pro-choicers from the polls, yet the abortion ban went down in flames, 8/3/22
  • Organizers mobilize voters to send message on abortion rights (MSNBC): The high turnout in Kansas where voters overwhelmingly protected abortion rights is the work of organizers. Zerlina Maxwell talks to two young organizers, Yazmin Bruno-Valdez, who knocked on doors advocating for abortion in Kansas, and Olivia Julianna, activist and strategist for "Gen-Z for Change" who raised over two million dollars for abortion rights in response to Rep. Matt Gaetz, about their efforts to make change by galvanizing voters for abortion rights.


Changing the Narrative in Spite of Beltwayistan Media Bias

As soon as Trump left the building, the Beltwayistan news media wanted to return to the familiar, boiler-plate narrative of Republicans versus Democrats. But this isn't a horse race. Not now anyway.

The reality is that a pathology (anti-science, anti-women, anti-Gaia, anti-BIPOC, anti-LGBTQ) has taken control one of the two major political parties in this country. This is a very dangerous time. Moving forward, it doesn't matter if the Republican Party is led by Trump. or some other depraved successor, DeSantis for example. This election cycle is a struggle for national sanity and survival, and the next election cycle will likewise be a struggle for national sanity and survival.

So yes, another one of the four factors driving down poll numbers for Biden and the Democrats was our dysfunctional news media's compulsion to ignore the facts, to pretend that reality is somehow up for debate, to "both sides" it all, to pretend the genii was put back in the bottle, to pretend we're off to the races. Circumstances had forced mainstream news journalists to be tough on Trump now they would bend over backwards to show that they could be just as tough on Biden, even if "there is no there there."

But the mainstream news media's desperate attempt to return to its hackneyed horse race framing was up-ended by the over-turning of Roe v. Wade, the cruelty of the ruling, the horror of it, the hatefulness of it. 

Alito's radical right-wing SCOTUS majority went too far (yes, it's Alito's court, Roberts has lost control).

Now it's not going to be so easy to deep-six the Biden and the Democrats, the corporatist media might not be able to save the billionaires above us from paying their fair share of taxes after all.
  • Republicans against Trumpism (@RpsAgainstTrump): Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight forecast for the first time this election cycle that the Dems will keep the Senate: “It seems clear that there’s Something Happening Here and movement toward Democrats in recent polls isn’t just statistical noise.”
There are more of us than them. Most Americans support mask and vaccine mandates. Most Americans opposed the overturning of Roe v Wade. Most Americans know that Climate Change is an emergency and much more should be done. Most Americans support term limits, an age cap and a code of ethics for SCOTUS. Most Americans support expanding SCOTUS.

We're not split down the middle. It isn't close on these issues (unless you don't vote). 
  • Hard to overstate how wrong the red wave take was. Look at the Senate races. Fetterman, Warnock, Kelly, Cortez Masto, Hassan all have public polls at 49/50. There are polls w/Rubio, Abbott, Kemp, Grassley in the 40s, and Johnson, Vance, Oz, Walker are in low to mid 40s. - Simon Rosenberg (@SimonWDC), 7/30/22
Poll numbers can change overnight. Trends can shift over these long weeks and months. I've added dates and sources to all the numbers I've cited here. Of course it can turn against us. Attempts will be made to blow it all up. BUT this is where we are right now and we're winning, it is possible to hold the House and expand the Senate, and we must, we really must prevail.
  • Larry Sabato (@LarrySabato): Big change: Americans want term limits for Supreme Court justices by 66% to 21%, and favor expanding the Court by 55% to 36%. (Morning Consult poll for @politico) When I tested public appetite for Court reforms in 2007 (part of "A More Perfect Constitution") resistance was great.

A Survey of Critical Races

Here is glimpse into a few of the critical races for Senate seats and Governorships in 2022.

It's just a collection of damning revelations concerning those to vote against, inspiring utterances from those to vote for and encouraging poll numbers for this United Front for Sanity and Decency.

We will check back in on these and other important campaigns in each update from now until November.

Michigan
  • “And then about 45 minutes later, we started to hear the noises outside my home. And that's why my stomach sank. And I thought, it's me. And there — and then it's just we don't know what's gonna — the uncertainty of that was what was the fear. Are they coming with guns? Are they going to attack my House? I'm in here with my kid. You know, I'm trying to put him to bed. And so it was — yeah, that was the scariest moment just not knowing what was going to happen.” - Joycelyn Benson, House Select Committee on January 6th, Hearing #4, 6/21/22)
Pennsylvania
  • John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman): If you were horrified by what you saw on January 6, 2021 understand that 35 Senate Republicans voted against a bipartisan commission to investigate that day. Flipping PA blue + protecting our Democratic majority has *never* been more urgent.
  • Duty To Warn (@duty2warn): Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) said he's confident Lt. Gov. John Fetterman will flip the seat this fall. "Republicans have no answers ... no economic agenda ... no jobs plan or health care plan. They're bankrupt as a party. And they accommodate and embrace loopy and racist theories ... "
  • Josh Shapiro (@JoshShapiroPA): When asked about his stance on climate change, Doug Mastriano said: "it's fake science." And yes, that's a real quote. We can't afford to elect a conspiracy theorist to serve as Governor of Pennsylvania. He's too extreme. He's too dangerous.
  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Associating with Gab — paying it for services, palling around with its CEO, posting on it knowing that doing so will generate anti-Semitic backlash against one’s opponent — is a slap in the face to Jewish communities around Pennsylvania, especially in Squirrel Hill. It’s beyond unbecoming. It’s heinous. Mr. Mastriano paid $5,000 to the company, and now every new user automatically follows his account. He has also posted at least 60 times on the site; during the primary he gave an interview to Gab CEO Andrew Torba, who insists his social media platform is dedicated to radical free speech. The Anti-Defamation League, however, rightly identifies Gab as a "haven for extremists, conspiracy theorists and misinformation."
  • In a poll commissioned by Pittsburgh Works Together and conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, John Fetterman and Josh Shapiro held commanding 18 and 15 point advantages, respectively, over their GOP opponents in the chase for the U.S. Senate and Pennsylvania governor’s mansion. - Poll: Fetterman, Shapiro Extend Leads, Politics PA, 8/17/22
Wisconsin
  • Olga Lautman (@olgaNYC1211): How is a senator allowed to work with Russian operatives to attempt to take out Trump's opponent? @SenRonJohnson is literally working with Putin's operatives in Ukraine and disseminating Russian intel created crap. This is unbelievable.
  • Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES): You are a disgrace. You are a US Senator who is laundering Russian misinformation incepted by Russian Intelligence Services through the US Senate Committee you chair. @ProjectLincoln 
Ohio
  • Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw): Excellent news. But Dems supporting Tim Ryan against the reactionary and dangerously extreme J.D. Vance mustn’t take anything for granted. These ghouls are determined to win by any means necessary, and they won’t hesitate to commit crimes to do it.

Georgia 
  • Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams): In Georgia — where 82 counties don't have an OB/GYN — women have not only lost their right to choose, they could be investigated for having miscarriages. Brian Kemp has made it lethal for women to live in the state of Georgia with his extreme and dangerous six-week abortion ban.
  • Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett): Stacey Abrams and grass-roots groups registered 800,000 voters in Georgia in an off year (2019/2020) which flipped the balance of power in the senate making historic changes in climate and health care possible. I can’t think of a better example of how activism changes the world.
  • Political Polls (@PpollingNumbers):Georgia General Elections:
    #GAGov: Brian (R-inc) Kemp 47% Stacey Abrams 47%
    #GASen: Raphael Warnock (D-inc) 49% (+3) Herschel Walker (R) 46%
    @RA_Insights/@charlie4georgia (D) Internal Poll (7/26-8/1)
Arizona
  • Steve Schmidt: “Our politics is producing some of the worst people ever to stand for office. They’re running to burn it down. Kari Lake & Blake Masters affirm that. They should be sent packing in November. If not, it won’t just be Arizona that pays the price in 2024.” 
  • Adam Cohen Lawyers for Good Government (@axidentaliberal): For his entire life, Mark Kelly has made life and death decisions to protect this country The only decisions Blake Masters makes are which antisemitic quotes he will use and how can he do whatever Peter Theil orders him to do Arizona-this is a no-brainer Vote for Mark Kelly
  • Democratic Governors (@DemGovs): Kari Lake is a diehard MAGA extremist who has centered her campaign on promoting far-right conspiracy theories, peddling the Big Lie, talking about banning abortion without exceptions for rape or incest, and pushing fringe views on gun safety. She’s way too extreme for Arizona.
  • Rémy Numa (@remynuma): Fox News Poll - Arizona
    Choice for Senator: Kelly (D) - 50% Masters (R) - 42%
    Choice for Governor: Hobbs (D) - 47% Lake (R) - 44%

Texas
  • Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke): First, Abbott enacted America's most extreme abortion ban. Then, his GOP said they'd strip women of the freedom to travel out of state to get care. Now, they want to prosecute businesses for providing health benefits. This is Abbott’s Texas, but we won’t let it be our future.
  • Duty To Warn (@duty2warn): Beto O’Rourke was speaking to a small crowd of people and when he mentioned Uvalde, an idiot heckler in the crowd laughed. Beto stopped and looked right at the heckler, and without missing a beat, loudly said: "It may be funny to you motherfucker, but it's not funny to me!"
  • “Most of us here in Texas … do not want to see our friends, our family members, our neighbors shot up with these weapons of war,” he said. “So yes, I still hold this view.” O’Rourke was responding to a question Bash posed about whether he maintains a position he shared in 2019 while expressing support for mandatory buybacks for semiautomatic weapons. He said: “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47, you’re not going to be allowed to use it against your fellow Americans anymore.” - Huffington Post, O’Rourke: Military-Style Weapons, Permitless Carry Prevent Responsible Gun Ownership, 11/21/21
  • No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC): The Republican Party of Texas’ new platform: — Declares Biden was “not legitimately elected” — Declares “homosexuality” an “abnormal lifestyle choice” — Declares that schools much teach that fertilized eggs are humans A vote for Greg Abbott is a vote for these platform planks.
  • Champagne (@lacjap): Texas Governor Greg Abbott is trying to hide this photo he took with the Proud Boys leader who just got indicted for Seditious Conspiracy against the United States… Let’s make sure he can’t keep it hidden.

Florida
  • EMILY’s List — a national group supporting pro abortion rights candidates — released a poll showing Democratic U.S. Rep. Val Demings and Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio tied in Florida’s 2022 U.S. Senate contest. The poll, done by Change Research, a Democratic polling firm out of California, finds both candidates drew 46% in a survey of likely Florida voters, with 7% saying they are unsure and 2% saying they would not vote. - Florida Politics, 8/11/22
As one of the Impeachment Managers in the Senate trial (2019, Trump's first of two impeachments) -
  • U.S. Representative Val Demings (@RepValDemings): "I come before you tonight as an African American female. I come before you as a descendant of slaves, slaves who knew they would not make it, but dreamed & prayed that one day I would... in spite of America's complicated history, my faith is in the Constitution"
On the campaign trial, in the race to defeat the shameless, seemingly soulless Marco Rubio -
  • Val Demings (@valdemings): I served when it wasn't ordinary to see a woman on the force - let alone a Black woman. I never tired, and became the 1st woman to lead as chief of police. I’m running for the U.S. Senate with the same principles, never tire. I will never tire of putting the work in for Florida.

"They Want to Kill Americans"

On Monday, August 8th, the FBI executed a Federal search warrant on Trump's lair at Mara-Lago.

On Thursday, August 11th, one of Trump's cult followers attacked the FBI office in Cincinnati.

He was chased down and killed in a stand-off.
  • Mike Rothschild (@rothschildmd): Ricky Shiffer: just another antivax, Musk-worshipping, antifa/BLM hating, trans-panicking stolen election truther. These guys are your neighbors, your coworkers, and your extended family. And many of them want to kill you.
  • Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@QasimRashid): In a 6 hour gun fight, Police have killed the terrorist who attacked the FBI in Cincinnati. His name is Ricky Walter Shiffer, he’s a MAGA Trumper, & he was a Jan 6 insurrectionist. No need to wonder where he was radicalized—a reminder of the CPAC banner a few days ago.
On Saturday, August 13th, as CNN reports: "Armed Trump supporters gathered outside the Phoenix FBI office after what they call the 'unlawful search of Mar-a-Lago."

FBI and DHS have issued "a Joint Intelligence Bulletin" warning of "the potential for domestic violent extremists to carry out attacks...in reaction to the FBI's recent execution of a court-authorized search warrant in Palm Beach, Florida." 

So as Trump sinks deeper and deeper into the consequences of his attempted coup, his brazen abuse of national security and whatever else of a criminal nature that sticks to him, will the threat intensify or dissipate? It could go either way. We don't really know. What we do know is that there is no alternative. Trump and his made-men must be held accountable. For their misdeeds. We must walk through this fire. If we don't, it will only be worse down the road. If we don't, we might not survive as a nation. Seriously.

That's why the great Malcolm Nance's latest book, "”They Want to Kill Americans: The Militias, Terrorists, and Deranged Ideology of the Trump Insurgency" is profoundly well-timed. Just as "The Plot to Hack America: How Putin's Cyberspies and WikiLeaks Tried to Steal the 2016 Election" was profoundly well-timed in OCTOBER 2016! On cable news, on Twitter, and on the frontline against Putin's genocidal war in the Ukraine, Malcolm has been "a Force of Nature" in this, the "great battle of our time."

Recently, he returned from the Ukraine (he's since gone back) to do some promotion for the new book, and raise spme money for the cause. I was honored to attend his event at the CommonWealth Club of San Francisco. Watch and share the full video embedded below.

What he fleshes out in "They Want to Kill Americans" is the worst case scenario, but it is also may be the most likely scenario. And so we must work for the best, pray for the best, and PREPARE for the WORST.


I urge you to heed Malcolm's warning:
  • “I call this gathering movement the Trump Insurgency in the United States (TITUS). The people who support TITUS look like your neighbors, because right-wing violent extremist terrorists, insurrectionists, & insurgents are your neighbors. And they want America to take a hard right turn away from democracy toward authoritarianism ... ‘They Want to Kill Americans” shows how the last five years have, to varying degrees, transformed 74 million Americans into advocates for dictatorship & enemies of democracy … The urge to return to ’normalcy – to forget about Trump & his followers – though emotionally understandable, is the worst possible response we can have to potential future dangers. – Malcolm Nance, ”They Want to Kill Americans: The Militias, Terrorists, and Deranged Ideology of the Trump Insurgency"




Grimly Confident
  • 2018: #MeToo, 2020: #BlackLivesMatter, 2022: #BansOffOurBodies
  • Polls Are Encouraging
  • In Its Madness, GQP is Devouring Itself w/ In-Fighting
  • Voters are Turned Off By GQP’s Toxic, Extremist Agenda
  • Demographic Shift, Evolutionary Arc Continues to Align
-- Richard Power, Yoga & Meditation Teacher, Writer, Speaker, Global Intelligence & Security Expert. "Secret Engine of the World: Further Insights into Primal Reality, Gaian Politics & the Arc of Human Evolution" (2021) is available from Amazon.com