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Trump Resistance Plan: It’s time to demand a 9/11-style commission on the Russian hacks

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Stay on message. The Trump Resistance Plan focuses on two messages that are central to our democracy: “Russia interfered” and “Presidential corruption matters.” This installment covers the first one: “Russia interfered.”

In a joint interview with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Jan. 7, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) described the stakes: “What Putin did poses a threat to the very fundamentals of our democracy…”

Sen. Graham emphasized that this is not a partisan issue: “We should get to the bottom of all things Russia when it came to the 2016 election, period. Wherever it leads in whatever form…”
Trump and Russia

Putin engaged successfully in a sophisticated cyberattack on a cherished American right — voting. Among other methods, Russia used WikiLeaks to distribute emails that it had hacked from the Democratic National Committee. The public record is incomplete, but the relatively few known facts paint a disturbing big picture. Roll the tape:

Other characters lurk in the background. After the election, Carter Page — an early foreign policy adviser to Trump — was in Moscow to “meet with business and thought leaders.” Rick Gates was involved with Paul Manafort in Ukraine and a deputy on the Trump campaign.

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Find All Dots and Connect Them

The known data points cluster to create a clear impression: Putin helped Trump win and Trump welcomed the assistance. Why?

Trump’s admiration enhances Putin’s status on the world stage. If he can get Trump to lift economic sanctions imposed after Russia’s annexation of Crimea, so much the better. Those sanctions are crippling Russia’s economy. Meanwhile, Trump’s persistent questioning of US intelligence findings undermines those agencies’ credibility while emboldening Putin to continue flexing his cybermuscles in European countries’ democratic elections.

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What does Trump get in return? The presidency and who knows what else. His refusal to release comprehensive information about his business connections to Russia — or anywhere — leads to ugly inferences. Trump should want to dispel them, unless he can’t because they’re correct. Whatever Putin knows — and he may know a lot — might give him enormous leverage over the president.

Now add Trump’s comment to The Times of London on Jan. 15, 2017: “We should trust Putin.”

Expressing once again his skepticism about NATO, Trump lambasted German Chancellor Angela Merkel. That would have pleased Putin. The Western alliance contributed mightily to the collapse of the Soviet Union, which he called the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.” Putin seeks to destabilize the West and restore Russia’s lost sphere of influence.

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Send the Message

Congress must authorize a special independent 9/11-type commission. Step 2 of The Trump Resistance Plan offers contact information and language for messages that concerned citizens can send to Republicans and Democrats in Congress, especially senators. Phone calls, written letters and office visits are even better.

Americans possess another potent weapon: The power of peaceful protest. Keep using it. And keep expanding the ranks.

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The Women’s March succeeded because it also included husbands, fathers, brothers and sons. To be sure, issues affecting women affect everyone. But with new executive orders every day, Trump will generate additional protests on the environment, health care, civil rights, immigration and more. Divergent individual motivations for public demonstrations on any such issues need not undermine a united collective purpose.

To the contrary, they can complement it. The Revolutionary War was the first model for diverse Americans uniting to achieve a common objective. In the 1960s, the combined force of the civil rights and antiwar movements created a whole vastly greater than the sum of its parts.

Here’s the key point: Every patriot can join any anti-Trump demonstration. In addition to posters expressing concerns about particular issues, anyone can bring a banner that unites us all: “Russia interfered” and, as the next installment in this series explains, “Presidential corruption matters.”

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Woody Allen said, “Showing up is 80 percent of life.”

Stay on message and keep showing up.
This is Part 5 in a series by Steven Harper. Read the other posts in the series: Trump Resistance Plan.


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‘Nickel and Dimed’ for the sharing economy: Inside the hellish new reality of low-wage work

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In 2001, journalist Barbara Ehrenreich's investigative book "Nickel and Dimed" revealed to those who weren't on low-wage payrolls how expensive it is to be a member of the working poor in America. Some things haven't changed since Ehrenreich's experiences working as a Walmart clerk, a restaurant server and a maid, among other jobs. Housing can still be prohibitively expensive on low hourly wages, and high turnover remains a constant. Workers still risk their health — mental, physical and emotional — every precarious day.

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Dear NeverTrumpers: Either help or STFU

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Bill Kristol Max Boot David Frum
Over the past few weeks, you may have noticed that the NeverTrumpers — repentant Republicans and conservatives — have been offering up lots of advice for how the Democrats can win the next election. Their jackhammer advice has basically been limited to urging the party to disavow its activist, progressive members in order to secure the contrarian swing voters who cast ballots for Barack Obama twice, then switched to Donald Trump in 2016.

Before I offer up a come-to-Jesus moment for the NeverTrumpers, let me say that as many of you know, I’ve defended members of this exiled faction in the past, and continue to stand by the idea that we need to form a coalition to close the loopholes exposed by Donald Trump’s malfeasance as a means of preventing another, perhaps more dangerous monster from sashaying through the Trump-shaped hole in the wall. To be clear: I’m not talking about conceding on policy or platform planks. I’m merely suggesting a detente between voices who all agree that Trump is a menace and his presidency is an existential national crisis.

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