Posted in commentary, latest posts

From Russia With Love Podcast Wrap Up

Back Talk returned with a new episode of Chopping It Up with Matt to discuss the latest in #RussiaGate plus the Presidential Records Act and why violations of it matter.

We are living in historical times, some of it good and some of it bad. The resignation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn a mere 25 days into this new administration is historical, in a bad way. Participation in the democratic process by average Americans is one of the lone bright spots.

The Russia connection with the current administration should be concerning to everyone but we live in times where partisan politics trump all else for far too many (okay sorry).That Russia interfered in our country’s 2016 presidential election no longer seems debatable and that certain high ranking officials in the White House were at least complicit.

The question remains as to the identity of those individuals and the extent to which they were involved, or did nothing to stop it.

Russia is a problem worldwide and the United States isn’t the only country where it is middling in national elections. Russian aggression in the Ukraine, and elsewhere, remains a problem too. Destabilization, along with the close ties between certain high ranking governmental officials, are ways to make certain this aggression gets lost in the crossfire.

Combine all this with violations of the Presidential Records Act and obstructionism from those in positions of power toward an investigation of Russian interference and you get an authoritarian cocktail that is deadly to democracy. You can listen to today’s podcast here.

Advertisements
Posted in commentary, latest posts, Sports

Transformation Podcast Wrap Up

Hello Resistance! We are 21 days into the Bannon Administration and there has been progress even though it might be slight. There is no time to let up however. So let’s celebrate some successes but also look at areas where we need to pay attention.

There are several notable victories as Vox Media notes here via @blowticious and they are important. The 9th Circuit dealt a small blow to the Muslim Ban in a victory for the states of Washington and Minnesota but no court to date has addressed the merits of the ban. Last, but certainly not least, we are seeing engagement from our citizenry on a widespread and thus far sustained level.

The level of involvement is important but so also is maintaining that level of commitment. Town hall meetings are important, phone calls are important but so also is staying focused and committed. There will be misdirection, progress and setback. Vigilance and longevity will be key to lasting change.

The list of things to watch is long but of great concern right now is what @ICEgov might be doing. Reports continue to circulate that agents are going into communities looking for immigrants. While widespread operations have not yet been seen, but it certainly bears some watching.

Finally, Congress is being asked to look into the numerous conflicts of interest surrounding the White House. President Donald Trump vowed to divest himself of his assets prior to taking the oath of office. He has not. Representative Jerrold Nadler has filed a resolution of inquiry seeking information so Congress can take a look at the issue. For a good primer on possible White House conflicts, see this piece by Jeremy Venook at The Atlantic. 

All politicians bear watching and now more so than ever. It is incumbent on citizens in a representative democracy to actively engage in the process. Oversight is important and so is participation on a fundamental level. We are seeing more average citizens declaring they will run for office. That, perhaps, might be the lasting legacy of #TheResistance.

You can listen to today’s podcast here.