Snarky Snippets Is Baaaaack …

A few things are on my radar this afternoon … several actually, but three that are jumping up and down screaming, “Pick me!  Pick ME!”  And so, the choice has been made for me, it would seem.

Who could’a seen it coming?

This in this morning’s The Guardian

Despite Donald Trump’s claims that the spread of coronavirus is dropping around the US, new infection hotspots are cropping up across Republican heartlands, including in Texas and Alabama. Many of the new hotspots are in states where governors refused to instruct residents to stay at home, or are following Trump’s advice to relax lockdown restrictions.

These figures could be seen as the realisation of a warning from Dr Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the president’s long-suffering right-hand man on coronavirus, on Tuesday.

In his latest contradiction of the president, Fauci warned the virus would not go away on its own, and that reopening the country too quickly could result in a surge in “little spikes that might turn into outbreaks”.

I wonder how those gun-totin’ fools who stormed statehouses brandishing their big guns and displaying their Nazi insignia feel now that they’ve gotten their way?  I wonder how many more have to die because of fools like them?

Will justice prevail?

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard arguments from Trump’s lawyers concerning the release of his tax and other financial records, as subpoenaed by Congress.  Trump’s lawyers contend that he should not be so constrained by Congress and cannot be prosecuted while in office.  However, at least four on the Supreme Court feel differently …

  • “There is a long, long history of Congress seeking records and getting them” from occupants of the Oval Office. – Justice Sonia Sotomayor
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Steven Breyer brought up requests for documents during the Watergate and Whitewater scandals, which occurred under Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton and were decided unanimously against the president concerned.
  • Elena Kagan told Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow a “fundamental precept of our constitutional order is that the president is not above the law”.

The case in a nutshell:

Every president since Nixon, who was elected in 1968, had released tax information. But there is no legal compunction to do so.

Democrats in Congress are attempting to establish whether Trump is breaking ethics laws and constitutional safeguards against profiting from the presidency.

The New York prosecutor Cyrus Vance Jr wants to find out if hush money payments to women who claimed affairs with Trump involved illegal business practices.

Trump is asking the justices to put an end to subpoenas for tax, bank and other financial records which seek information from Deutsche Bank, Capital One and the Mazars USA accounting firm.

Trump’s lawyers, supported by the justice department, contend that he should not be so constrained by Congress and cannot be prosecuted while in office.

Opponents of the president say he is simply not above the law.

Appellate courts in Washington and New York have ruled that the documents should be turned over. Those courts brushed aside the president’s broad arguments, focusing on the fact that the subpoenas were addressed to third parties asking for records of Trump’s business and financial dealings as a private citizen, not as president.

Chief Justice John Roberts asked Trump lawyer Patrick Strawbridge: “Do you concede any power in the House to subpoena personal papers of the president?”

The Trump attorney said it was “difficult to imagine” a situation in which that would be justified.

However, in 1974 the justices acted unanimously in requiring Nixon to turn over White House tapes to the Watergate special prosecutor. And in 1997, another unanimous decision allowed a sexual harassment lawsuit to proceed against Clinton.

What makes Trump different than Nixon or Clinton?  What is it that makes Attorney General Barr proclaim him to be ‘above the law’ in all things?  Trump is only a flawed human, just as were Nixon and Clinton.  He has already been proven to be more corrupt than even Nixon.  Per the U.S. Constitution, Congress is tasked with the oversight of the Executive Branch of government.  So why … why should he be given carte blanche to hide his possible misdeeds, to keep his dirty secrets from the people of this nation?  If he had nothing to hide, he wouldn’t be hiding behind Bill Barr’s very wide coat, now would he?

I hope that Chief Justice Roberts finds that he still has a conscience when it comes time for a vote on this case.  There is far more at stake here than whether Trump is allowed to keep his dirty little secrets, for this case will set a precedent for all future presidents.  A ruling is expected within a matter of weeks.

Not so fast, Billy Barr …

Remember last week when the Department of Justice under William Barr announced that it would be dropping the charges against Michael Flynn?  Most non-trumpies were incensed, as was I.

Bill Barr auditioned for the role of Attorney General by writing a lengthy memo arguing in favor of a fringe legal theory that a President could not obstruct justice, no matter what he did. From the very beginning, Barr has made it clear that he would be Trump’s man in the Department of Justice, and that his loyalty would always be to the President — not the rule of law, not the people of this nation.

But this time Barr may have to answer to a higher authority … the federal courts.  Judge Emmet Sullivan has put the Justice Department’s decision on hold – opening the door for legal experts and other outside parties to oppose the administration’s motion to exonerate Flynn of lying to the FBI.

Critics, including Barack Obama and hundreds of former FBI and justice department officials, have questioned whether William Barr was orchestrating favors for Trump. Flynn, guilty of far greater crimes, pleaded guilty to the single charge of lying to the FBI as part of a plea deal arranged in exchange for testimony to Robert Mueller in his investigation into Russia’s interference on behalf of Trump in 2016.  Conspiracy theorists will tell you that Flynn did nothing wrong, that he was set up, but the hard evidence says differently and in fact, had he not agreed to the plea deal, he would have been charged with far more crimes, possibly up to and including treason.

It is interesting to note that within the Justice Department, only Barr argued in favour of dropping the charges against Flynn.  None of the line prosecutors supervising the case signed the motion and one withdrew from the case.  That, to me, speaks volumes.

When Flynn was forced from the White House, Vice-President Mike Pence said he was disappointed the national security adviser had misled him about his talks with the Russian ambassador. Donald Trump called the deception unacceptable.

Now Pence says he would welcome Flynn back to the administration, calling him a “patriot”, as Trump pronounces him exonerated.  Ask yourself … ‘Why?’  There’s a reason, and I suspect it pertains to the role Flynn could play as a liaison between Trump and Russia in the upcoming election.  Just an educated guess on my part, of course.

I cannot begin to guess at this point how this will end, but it’s good to know the judge isn’t taking his responsibility to truth and justice lightly.  This one will keep me on the edge of my seat!

38 thoughts on “Snarky Snippets Is Baaaaack …

  1. for a while there, chief roberts seemed to be trying (horribly unsuccessfully) to get mr sekulo (sic) to change the reasons for a refusal to provide information. He kept plugging away at the “are you sire’s” and Jay kept sticking to his guns…poor schmuck, wandered in circles and didn’t even seem to notice..while the justices seemed completely disgusted. let’s hope the LAW prevails.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, let us indeed hope that the law prevails this time! Trump will have a hissy, which is almost as much fun to think about as thinking about what his financial records will reveal!


  2. The whole point of democracy is that all persons are equal before the law. I know it’s hard to agree Trump is an actual person, not some malignant spirit passing himself off a person, but even if he is only pretending, no one can declare him–or anyone else–above the law.
    As for Barr, having declared himself a toady, is not fit to be a prison guard, let alone call himself an Attorney General of a democratic government. When the person he is guarding is a self-declared criminal. The funniest thing, he looks like a toady (my apologies to all toady-type animals).
    Then Mike Flynn. He agreed to his plea bargain. If for any reason he does not complete his sentence, all pleas become null and void, and all charges should be reinstated as soon as can be arranged. Having already pleaded guilty, all he should get is a new sentencing appearance. If I were him, I would refuse the pardon and stay put until his time is up. He will be considered to have paid his debt to society, as if he ever could.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I fully agree with all you say. Trouble is, this nation has lost the democratic foundation on which it was built. The Constitution to this bunch of thugs is naught more than something to spend billions of hours of lawyers’ time trying to find ways to circumvent it, and if that fails, re-interpret it to make their actions seem to be within the boundaries. This nation can no longer even be called a democracy … it is a plutocracy + oligarchy. So, the old rules where every person is accountable for their actions and words no longer applies. Now, it becomes … a government ruled by those who have money and connections, the upper .1%, and the rest of us are pawns to feed their big machine. If we die, it matters not, if we starve, it matters not. Will the people of this country finally say, “ENOUGH!!!” and physically rise against the corrupt bastards in D.C.? I doubt it, but even if they tried, I suspect they would be plowed down within a matter of minutes.


  3. We have a new fun TV reality show in the UK. Watching Johnson squirm as he faces Starmer at PMQ. It’s like watching a cheap conman face a top lawyer in court. Which is exactly what is happening. Even one the main government supporting newspapers described the process as – Boris being surgically dismantled by the leader of the opposition. Without a baying crowd of his supporters- the emperor has no clothes.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I saw a headline, but haven’t gone back to read the story yet, about Starmer confronting Boris about care home deaths and data keeping. I must read that article. From what little I have read, I’m impressed with Starmer, whereas I’ve never been impressed with Boris from the first time I saw him.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. One of the funniest things being argued by Trump’s lawyers is that he’s simply “too busy” to respond to every subpoena. After all, “he’s the president.” Give me a break. The tweeting/golfing do nothing president? He’s got plenty of time. These guys continue to have no shame. I fear the court will decide in his favor though, Jill. Of course they will.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hah! Too busy playing golf, or playing on Twitter to do his bloomin’ job??? If you’re bored one day, count all his tweets for a month, time/date/etc. I bet he spends more time tweeting than I spend sleeping! Yeah, I figure the court ruling is a long shot, but … it’s hope. It says that Trump’s corruption has not gone unnoticed. It says that we’re not the only ones who see there’s a problem. Fingers crossed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve seen so many days where the media releases his schedule for the day, and it’s like one meeting at noon, and nothing else the rest of the day. Besides being the worst president ever, he’s also the laziest….by far.

        Liked by 1 person

          • You cannot explain the unexplainable But, I’m thinking it might be because many people are sick and tired of all the restrictions. Since Trump is touting getting back to work and getting things back to normal, regardless of not being ready, people are agreeing with him. I think that may be it Jill. But, who knows?

            Liked by 1 person

            • To a large extent, you are right. Americans are a stubborn lot, if nothing else, and we do not like being told what to do. Make it seem like our own idea, and it might work, but make it an order, and there will be all sorts of resistance. I know that the longer this goes on, the more comfortable I become with staying home all the time, and in fact these past two weeks I find I have to really psyche myself to even make my weekly trip to the grocery store. All the people in their masks send me into a panic attack, so I have to studiously keep my eyes pointed at the floor, hurry through and get only the things on my list, then get the heck out. I’m happy at home … sigh.

              Liked by 1 person

              • I hear you Jill. We opened up 33 of 36 counties out here in Oregon, partially that is. We went to a favorite restaurant. The staff had masks on, tables were about 10 feet a part. Seemed to be working ok. Fingers crossed!!!

                Liked by 1 person

                • Keep safe, my friend. I am not ready to venture into a restaurant yet, and won’t until masks are no longer worn. I told daughter Chris the other night that it may well be the case that I’ve eaten my last restaurant meal ever. Sigh.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Yeah, it’s going to be how we all feel personally. As a sidebar, I noticed that Gov DeWine was a little concerned about the lack of social distancing at some of bars this weekend. I saw a pic where everyone was crammed pretty close together. That won’t fly, of course. But people are people and when you give them a chance at a little more freedom…well, this will be the result. We got a long way to go Jill.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • So true … if people exercised common sense, why we wouldn’t even need laws and government! We’ve a long ways to go, and while we can’t give up the fight, I despair that we will never get there.

                      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have too hope that Bill Barr is frustrated in his attempts to get Flynn’s charges dropped. Each new thing Barr comes out with is like a complete rewriting of the rules. He has to be stopped from circumventing the rule of law.I’d like to hear from the one line prosecutor who chose to withdraw from the case when the others just didn’t sign.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I hope so, too. Not sure how all that would work, and I still have to look into it. I think it’s probably a long shot, but heck, I’ll take whatever shot we’ve got at this point. Flynn is as guilty of treason as any, but he comes walking out with a shit-eatin’ grin on his ugly mug. Somebody pulled some strings. I have that prosecutor’s name and am going to dig into that a bit more. Meanwhile, tomorrow afternoon’s post is more about the Flynn case, in light of Trump’s screeches of “Obamagate”. Sigh. It’s never-ending.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks Jill. A few random thoughts. Quoting Donald Trump is officially a waste of time. We should just say Trump said some stuff, but needless to say it was untrue.

    Also like trying to hold back rising sea levels with a force of personality, one cannot stop a pandemic by saying it is a hoax.. A poll said 58% of Republicans say Trump should wear a mask.

    Finally, 1,900 former justice officials have signed a petition calling for Bill Barr’s resignation. Throwing his reputation away for a someone like Donald Trump is not worth it. By the way, people lose sight of the fact what Michael Flynn did was illegal. They settled on lying, but he made promises to Russia before he had the authority to do so, then lied about it. Keith

    Liked by 3 people

    • You’re 100% correct on the first two … Trump has yet to tell the truth on anything that matters, or really, things that don’t. And the pandemic has already proven the naysayers wrong … 85,000 deaths and counting, an average of 1,000+ per day … and still they call it a hoax.

      But to your third point, I wasn’t aware of the 1,900 who have signed the petition calling for Barr’s removal! GOOD for them!!! Barr will get what he deserves, and I haven’t a shred of empathy for him after the “above the law” and the Flynn deals. He and Mitch McConnell can get run down by a speeding freight train and I will applaud. My p.m. piece tomorrow covers more about the Flynn case and Trump’s claims of “Obamagate”. Sigh. It never ends, does it?


      • Jill, after the Attack commercial on Joe Biden, we see a picture of the president and hear “I am Donald J. Trump and I approve this message.”

        My resonse is “so what?” Trump is known to be untruthful and simply making things up. So, his approving a commercial actually lessens the credibility of the message. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

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