Still More Never-Ending Snarky

The snark-o-meter is still running high and needs a release … fasten your seat belts!


Does free speech cover incitement to violence?

Justice Clarence Thomas is apparently upset about social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook banning the former guy from their platforms.  Oh REALLY, Clarence???  He, along with your nasty wife Ginny set a marvelous example for the youth in this country, teaching them that violence is the way to solve the problems of the world!  For any who may not be aware, Thomas’ wife endorsed the attacks on Congress and the Capitol on January 6th.  She later, no doubt as the Justice was coming under some fire as a result of her actions, apologized to the Court saying she had no right to “impose [her] passions” on them.  So, her ‘passion’ is to overthrow the government, killing police officers and others in the process?  Where the hell did he find this ‘wife’ and why isn’t she in jail with the rest of them?

Justice Thomas (whose salary we pay) had nothing better to do with his time than to write a 12-page diatribe about the power of social media firms like Twitter.  Thomas’ opinion amounts to an invitation to Congress to declare Twitter, Facebook and similar companies “common carriers,” essentially requiring them to host all customers regardless of their views.  Note, please, that it wasn’t the former asshole’s views that got him in trouble, but his inciting a riot, inciting a takeover of the legitimate, elected government by white supremacist madmen for his own nefarious purposes!

While I don’t always agree with nor appreciate the lax and uneven attitude these social media sites take toward hate speech and destructive verbiage, I do see that they are at least making an effort.  If Thomas has his way, then we will also have to make it legal for a person to scream “BOMB” on an airplane or “FIRE” in a crowded theater … both currently crimes under the law.  Justice Thomas apparently believes there should be absolutely zero limits on free speech.  So, if I call for somebody to please shoot the former guy, then that’s okay, right Clarence?

Funny, isn’t it, that Justice Thomas supported the Masterpiece Cake Shop’s right to refuse service to a LGBT person, but he doesn’t support Twitter’s right to refuse ‘service’ to a person who is inciting violence.  Methinks the Justice has his priorities skewed a bit.


A brief pet peeve …

We all use acronyms … a set of letters that stand for something, such as EPA for Environmental Protection Agency, FBI for Federal Bureau of Investigation.  In common vernacular, there is WTF for What the F**k, SOB for Son of a Bitch, etc.  I get it, I grew up with most of those, and the ones for governmental agencies are so well-known that we rarely think twice about them.  But people!  Draw a line somewhere!!!

I popped into Twitter tonight and saw a post about the recent ruling of the Senate Parliamentarian that will give more leeway in the Senate to avoid a filibuster, but the tweeter said it was BFD.  So, I was confused as to whether he was pro or con … what the Sam Hell is a BFD???  Pretty soon, our speech is going to consist of nothing more than acronyms!  HhaymniJ (Hi how are you my name is Jill).  BFD … Balanced Feeding Development?  Bored Fireman’s Dance?  Bring Food Down?  I commented on the man’s post that while I am grateful for the fact that more legislation will be able to pass through the Senate sans filibuster, I am nearly 70 years old and for the sake of the people in my generation, might he possibly use whole words.


Infrastructure, anyone?

Everyone, even congressional Republicans, agree that the nation’s infrastructure is crumbling and badly in need of an overhaul.  Yes, even Republicans such as Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, Governor Tate Reeves of Mississippi, and Senator Roger Wicker also of Mississippi have expressed their state’s dire need for money to repair roadways, bridges, water supply lines and more.  But, of course, anything that is proposed by President Biden will get a red light from these same people.  I’m tempted to say, “Fine, let the whole damn thing fall down around our ears and then see what happens to that damned economy you’re all so worried about.”  But of course, the people who would suffer if that were to happen are not those rich dudes in Washington but the poorest among us out here in the field.  Which is at least part of the reason they can sit on their fat posteriors and do nothing about anything – it doesn’t affect them.

So, do you know why the Republicans claim not to like President Biden’s infrastructure bill?  C’mon … take a wild guess.  Yep, you got it … because it would mean a tax increase on their big corporate donors, and probably hit their own pocketbook as well.  If you spend money to repair an Interstate highway or run new water lines to Flint, Michigan, then that money has to come from somewhere, right?  Right now, corporations and rich assholes are paying almost nothing … some actually pay nothing … in federal income taxes.  President Biden seeks to change that and let the rich pay their way for a change.  The Republicans in Congress have no doubt been warned by their big-money donors not to vote for this.

Biden’s proposal actually leaves them with nearly half of the tax cuts they received in 2017, raising their effective tax rate to only 28%, rather than the 39% it was in 2016 and years prior.  The current federal tax rate for corporations is only 8.84% … far less than most middle-income earners pay!

Despite corporations receiving huge tax cuts in 2017, I did some quick and dirty calculations on a per-item basis the other day and the price of food has increased between 25% and 40% since 2017.  Now … ‘splain that one, Lucy!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

The States Racing to Copy Georgia

Our friend TokyoSand reminds us that Georgia isn’t the only state that has passed a restrictive voting law this year.  Some 43 states are working on or have already passed voting laws that will strictly restrict voting by minorities, the poor, the elderly and the young.  In other words, they only want fat, old men to vote!  Read Tokyo’s post to learn which states are coming up on Georgia’s heels …


The States Racing to Copy Georgia

I’m happy that the media is covering the travesty that is the new Georgia law that restricts all kinds of voting rights for its citizens. But, that coverage is drowning out other, similarly important stories.

First and foremost, the media barely covered the Iowa governor signing a voter suppression bill a few weeks before the Georgia bill was signed. The Republicans in the state House and state Senate pushed their bill through, using the tired, old GOP talking point that it was all about “guarding against voter fraud,” even as they admitted that “Iowa has no history of election irregularities and that November’s election saw record turnout with no hint of problems in the state.”

Continue reading …The States Racing to Copy Georgia

The Week’s Best Cartoons 4/3

Once again, TokyoSand has found the best selection of political cartoons from the hundreds out there.  This week’s biggest topics have been Matt Gaetz (who, in my book, deserves to be consigned to the annals of idiocy and forgotten), the trial of Derek Chauvin, the man who murdered George Floyd, and the horrendous voter suppression bill signed into law in Georgia by Governor Kemp.  Thank you, TS, for all your hard work putting these weekly cartoon posts together!

See All The ‘Toons!

Bring Back The Pony Express!

It was 161 years ago today that the first Pony Express riders set out to deliver the mail.  From History.com …

On April 3, 1860, the first Pony Express mail, traveling by horse and rider relay teams, simultaneously leaves St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. Ten days later, on April 13, the westbound rider and mail packet completed the approximately 1,800-mile journey and arrived in Sacramento, beating the eastbound packet’s arrival in St. Joseph by two days and setting a new standard for speedy mail delivery. Although ultimately short-lived and unprofitable, the Pony Express captivated America’s imagination and helped win federal aid for a more economical overland postal system. It also contributed to the economy of the towns on its route and served the mail-service needs of the American West in the days before the telegraph or an efficient transcontinental railroad.

The Pony Express debuted at a time before radios and telephones, when California, which achieved statehood in 1850, was still largely cut off from the eastern part of the country. Letters sent from New York to the West Coast traveled by ship, which typically took at least a month, or by stagecoach on the recently established Butterfield Express overland route, which could take from three weeks to many months to arrive. Compared to the snail’s pace of the existing delivery methods, the Pony Express’ average delivery time of 10 days seemed like lightning speed.

The Pony Express Company, the brainchild of William H. Russell, William Bradford Waddell and Alexander Majors, owners of a freight business, was set up over 150 relay stations along a pioneer trail across the present-day states of Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California. Riders, who were paid approximately $25 per week and carried loads estimated at up to 20 pounds of mail, were changed every 75 to 100 miles, with horses switched out every 10 to 15 miles. Among the riders was the legendary frontiersman and showman William “Buffalo Bill” Cody (1846-1917), who reportedly signed on with the Pony Express at age 14. The company’s riders set their fastest time with Lincoln’s inaugural address, which was delivered in just less than eight days.

The initial cost of Pony Express delivery was $5 for every half-ounce of mail. The company began as a private enterprise and its owners hoped to gain a profitable delivery contract from the U.S. government, but that never happened. With the advent of the first transcontinental telegraph line in October 1861, the Pony Express ceased operations. However, the legend of the lone Pony Express rider galloping across the Old West frontier to deliver the mail lives on today.

You might be wondering why I’m making a big deal over this, but bear with me.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) was actually already in existence when the Pony Express came onto the mail delivery scene, having been established in 1775 with Benjamin Franklin as its first Postmaster General.  So, why the need for the Pony Express nearly a full century later?  Because the USPS wasn’t doing such a great job, apparently.

Now, the reason I bring up the Pony Express is that once again, the USPS is doing a pretty lousy job under the leadership of the highly unqualified Louis DeJoy.  DeJoy just announced a new “10-year plan,” which is one way to describe the largest rollback of consumer mail services in a generation. His plan includes longer first-class mail delivery times, reduced post office hours, and higher prices.  It seems to me that his ’plan’ is already in action, as the last card I sent took 15 days to arrive at its destination.

Last year DeJoy crippled the Postal Service. He banned employee overtime, decommissioned mail-sorting machines, and removed drop boxes. He did this during a deadly pandemic that had millions of Americans relying on the mail for their medications, businesses, and safely voting by mail in November’s election.

Speaking of medications … my insulin sat in the Post Office from last Saturday until this past Wednesday … unrefrigerated and undelivered.  Why?  Good question, and one I fully intend to ask Mr. DeJoy!  Although … he hasn’t answered either of my last two letters … perhaps the USPS hasn’t managed to deliver them yet?  Funny that they sit on my insulin, but manage to deliver all the junk mail that goes straight into the trash bin.

President Biden has nominated three members to the USPS Board of Governors with the intention of removing Mr. DeJoy and hiring someone qualified to do the job without costing us an arm and a leg and ensuring that our mail is delivered in a timely fashion.  But of course, the Senate must have much more important business to attend to, for they haven’t yet gotten ‘round to confirming these three.

So, I’m wondering if it might be a good idea to re-instate the Pony Express?  We would, no doubt, get our mail quicker and for about the same price.  Given the volume of mail in this country, there’s no doubt they could upgrade to faster horses and think how many jobs would be created!  We could leave the USPS in place for the time being, a service for those who seem to like being ripped off by our own government.

A Bit Of This … ‘N That

I receive a number of emails each week alerting me to newly-published, or about-to-be-published books of all genres.  Most I simply skim, usually find one or two that I look more closely at, but only rarely buy one, for I have a backlog of books on my TBR (to-be-read) list already and little time for reading these days.  This week, however, there was one that caught my eye, in the least likely genre:  children’s picture books!

Curiosity stirred, I read the brief description …

From an award-winning team, a tale about a cat and a dog who discover that even though they don’t look at things the same way, they can still be friends.

In today’s divisive climate … isn’t this just brilliant?  Teaching children at a young age to work through their differences, to overcome them and move on, remaining friends.

The author, Anna Kang, deserves a Nobel Peace Prize! A slightly longer description on Amazon …

Hudson and Tallulah may be neighbors, but the fence between their yards isn’t the only thing that divides them. They can’t see eye to eye on anything. One day they venture out, and after nonstop disagreement, they realize something surprising: they don’t always have to agree to be on each other’s side.

Inspired by a story their daughter Lily wrote in the second grade, the author and illustrator of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winner You Are (Not) Small have created a tale of finding common ground when you least expect it—and using it as a stepping-stone to friendship.

This book is a must-read for every child … heck, I think it should be required reading in schools, and maybe every member of Congress should be forced to read it and report on it!  In fact, you and I should read it!  I downloaded a free copy to my Kindle that I will be reading tonight … how ‘bout you?


Yesterday, the Capitol was under lockdown for over two hours after a person attempted to ram his car through a barrier in front of the Capitol, hitting two Capitol Police officers, killing one.  Officer William F. Evans was an 18-year veteran of the force who was part of the First Responder’s Unit.  The other officer, who has not as of this writing been named, is in serious but stable condition.  The attacker was shot dead by police.

Not for one solitary minute did I believe that the attacks on January 6th were to be the last, and especially after they were applauded and excused by so many after-the-fact.  Yesterday’s attack was … well, obviously there was no planning and it was a single perpetrator, not a well-planned action by the likes of “Proud Boys,” “Oath Keepers” or other domestic terrorist groups.  Thankfully, else far worse damage and loss of life might have occurred.

Is this to become our new ‘norm’ then?  Has the door been opened and the dogs let out to kill and maim those whose job it is to protect our elected officials?  Is it likely that at some point, there will be another serious breach and our lawmakers themselves will be killed or injured by people whose rage against our government has been fueled by the likes of Roger Stone, Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, congressional newbies Boebert/Greene/Cawthorn/Hawley, and the former guy, to name only a few?

Is this the nation you want to live in?  A nation where our legislators’ lives are in danger every single day, where our very government is being threatened by freaks like this one …

How do we end this madness?  There is a continued threat from many of the major white supremacist groups to attack the Capitol again when President Biden addresses a joint session of Congress.  Must we hold our collective breaths, not knowing for sure that we will still have a government at the end of that day?

I don’t know about you folks, but I’m sick and damn tired of what’s happening in this country.  I don’t see an end in sight but see only more chaos and madness.  If We the People are stupid enough to elect fools and idiots like Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Greene, then how … HOW can we ever hope to end the chaos?  I have no answers … if I did, perhaps I wouldn’t lie awake nights worrying, pondering, wondering where we go from here.  But we damn well better be finding a way out of this mess, for many of us won’t survive this decade, perhaps not this year, if we don’t.

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

I have only two snippets tonight … one is great news, the other a horrid example of man’s inhumanity to man.  One warms my heart, the other breaks it.


Let me begin with the good …

While Georgia Governor Brian Kemp was signing a bill into law that would effectively disenfranchise over half the population of Georgia so that they will find it almost impossible to vote in next year’s election, just two states to the north, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam was preparing to sign into law a bill that does the exact opposite … ensures that every person over the age of 18 is able to vote.

The Voting Rights Act of Virginia aims to eliminate voter suppression and intimidation in the state. Virginia is the first state to enact its own version of the federal Voting Rights Act, while 43 other states are working diligently to keep minorities and the poor away from the polls.  Says the governor …

“At a time when voting rights are under attack across our country, Virginia is expanding access to the ballot box, not restricting it. With the Voting Rights Act of Virginia, our Commonwealth is creating a model for how states can provide comprehensive voter protections that strengthen democracy and the integrity of our elections. I am proud to support this historic legislation, and I urge Congress to follow Virginia’s example.”

The legislation would require local election officials to get feedback through public comment or pre-approval from the attorney general’s office in order to make any changes in voting regulations, according to a release from Northam’s office.

It also requires that local election officials provide voting materials in foreign languages as needed. Individuals who experience voter suppression will also be allowed to sue, where any civil penalties awarded will go toward a newly established Voter Education and Outreach Fund.

The bill comes after Northam restored voting rights to 69,000 former felons through executive action earlier this month.  I realize this is a controversial topic, but in my view, the former felon has paid his dues with a prison sentence, and once he gets out, he is a taxpayer and a citizen just like you or me.  If he’s going to pay taxes in this country, then he must have a voice, a vote.

My hat is off to the Virginia State Legislature and to Governor Ralph Northam for doing everything they can to protect the U.S. Constitution and the people of Virginia.  THIS is a fine example of democratic principles at work.


Now for the bad and the ugly …

Byong Choi died on February 24th at the age of 83 as a result of bone marrow tuberculosis.  He had been a hard-working accountant and restauranteur in Orange Country, California for most of his life.  Due to coronavirus restrictions, his funeral was delayed until March 19th.

The following Monday, Byong Choi’s wife, Yong, 82, received a handwritten, cursive letter at her Leisure World Seal Beach retirement community home postmarked the same date as the funeral …

Read that letter again, please … go ahead, I’ll wait.  What do you feel when you read those hate-filled words?  Broken-hearted?  Enraged?  I felt both, as I’m sure most people with an ounce of human kindness did.

The Seal Beach Police Department in the county has launched an investigation into what it calls an anti-Asian hate crime, but I have doubts the letter-writer will be caught, and if he or she is, they’ll get naught more than a slap on the wrist.  I have no doubt that this was written by one of those white people with a false sense of entitlement who believes their ugly white skin makes them somehow superior, more deserving.

This letter came just days after the shooting in Atlanta, Georgia, where 8 people were murdered, six of them women of Asian descent.  And why … why all of a sudden have fat white people taken a dislike to those of Asian heritage?  Because one person called the coronavirus the “China virus” and the “Kung Flu”, thinking he was being cute or funny.  What he did with those words were to set off a chain of events that has targeted Asian-Americans such as the Choi family, the women in Atlanta, and many others.  What he did was criminal.

People … read the damn words on the plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty …

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

And yet today, hate crimes against those of Asian, Hispanic, or Middle Eastern descent are at an all-time high.  Those people are vilified by a portion of the country’s white population.  Why?  What the hell makes them think they are better than the rest of us?  I regret to inform you that the United States is no longer the nation it once was, is no longer a port in the stormy sea for those seeking asylum or refuge.  It is time we send the Statue of Liberty back to France, for we no longer deserve it.

The Week’s Best Cartoons 3/27

As she does each week, TokyoSand scoured the internet for the best of last week’s political cartoons.  Needless to say, mass shootings and guns led the way, followed by the attempts to overthrow the right of We the People to vote, to have a say in our government, who runs it and how.  These days I wish I had some shred of artistic talent, for I would love to be able to opine in a ‘toon!  But alas, a cracked egg shell is about the extent of my talents!

toon-1toon-2toon-3toon-5

See All The ‘Toons!

Ponder On This …

Robert Reich’s opinion piece in The Guardian today is especially relevant … he covers a number of topics, all of which point in the same direction … the destruction of the democratic principles that were once the foundation of this nation.


Republicans have taken up the politics of bigotry, putting US democracy at risk

Robert Reich-4Robert Reich

There is no ‘surge’ of migrants at the border and there is no huge voter fraud problem – there is only hard-right attack

Republicans are outraged – outraged! – at the surge of migrants at the southern border. The House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, declares it a “crisis … created by the presidential policies of this new administration”. The Arizona congressman Andy Biggs claims, “we go through some periods where we have these surges, but right now is probably the most dramatic that I’ve seen at the border in my lifetime.”

Donald Trump demands the Biden administration “immediately complete the wall, which can be done in a matter of weeks – they should never have stopped it. They are causing death and human tragedy.”

“Our country is being destroyed!” he adds.

In fact, there’s no surge of migrants at the border.

US Customs and Border Protection apprehended 28% more migrants from January to February this year than in previous months. But this was largely seasonal. Two years ago, apprehensions increased 31% during the same period. Three years ago, it was about 25% from February to March. Migrants start coming when winter ends and the weather gets a bit warmer, then stop coming in the hotter summer months when the desert is deadly.

To be sure, there is a humanitarian crisis of children detained in overcrowded border facilities. And an even worse humanitarian tragedy in the violence and political oppression in Central America, worsened by US policies over the years, that drives migration in the first place.

But the “surge” has been fabricated by Republicans in order to stoke fear – and, not incidentally, to justify changes in laws they say are necessary to prevent non-citizens from voting.

Republicans continue to allege – without proof – that the 2020 election was rife with fraudulent ballots, many from undocumented migrants. Over the past six weeks they’ve introduced 250 bills in 43 states designed to make it harder for people to vote – especially the young, the poor, Black people and Hispanic Americans, all of whom are likely to vote for Democrats – by eliminating mail-in ballots, reducing times for voting, decreasing the number of drop-off boxes, demanding proof of citizenship, even making it a crime to give water to people waiting in line to vote.

To stop this, Democrats are trying to enact a sweeping voting rights bill, the For the People Act, which protects voting, ends partisan gerrymandering and keeps dark money out of elections. It passed the House but Republicans in the Senate are fighting it with more lies.

On Wednesday, the Texas Republican senator Ted Cruz falsely claimed the new bill would register millions of undocumented migrants to vote and accused Democrats of wanting the most violent criminals to cast ballots too.

The core message of the Republican party now consists of lies about a “crisis” of violent migrants crossing the border, lies that they’re voting illegally, and blatantly anti-democratic demands voting be restricted to counter it.

The party that once championed lower taxes, smaller government, states’ rights and a strong national defense now has more in common with anti-democratic regimes and racist-nationalist political movements around the world than with America’s avowed ideals of democracy, rule of law and human rights.

Donald Trump isn’t single-handedly responsible for this, but he demonstrated to the GOP the political potency of bigotry and the GOP has taken him up on it.

This transformation in one of America’s two eminent political parties has shocking implications, not just for the future of American democracy but for the future of democracy everywhere.

“I predict to you, your children or grandchildren are going to be doing their doctoral thesis on the issue of who succeeded: autocracy or democracy?” Joe Biden opined at his news conference on Thursday.

In his maiden speech at the state department on 4 March, Antony Blinken conceded that the erosion of democracy around the world is “also happening here in the United States”.

The secretary of state didn’t explicitly talk about the Republican party, but there was no mistaking his subject.

“When democracies are weak … they become more vulnerable to extremist movements from the inside and to interference from the outside,” he warned.

People around the world witnessing the fragility of American democracy “want to see whether our democracy is resilient, whether we can rise to the challenge here at home. That will be the foundation for our legitimacy in defending democracy around the world for years to come.”

That resilience and legitimacy will depend in large part on whether Republicans or Democrats prevail on voting rights.

Not since the years leading up to the civil war has the clash between the nation’s two major parties so clearly defined the core challenge facing American democracy.

AAAARRRRROOOOOOOOO

Just one short snippet for this Sunday morning, for I am both exhausted and discouraged and most anything I write is going to come out surly at best.


Mr. Greg Gianforte first popped onto my radar in May 2017 when he beat up a reporter … yes, physically beat up Ben Jacobs, a reporter from The Guardian during a campaign event.  The fools in Montana elected him to the U.S. House of Representatives anyway, and last year they went one better and elected him as the governor of Montana.

Beating up a reporter who was simply trying to ask a question is a serious crime, one worthy of some prison time and certainly not one to be taken lightly, as the people of Montana have apparently done.  Gianforte had a history of abusing and damning the press even before the 2017 event, and he does not, obviously, have the temperament to be in government … in any position.

But what he did last month is, to me, worthy of a life-long prison sentence.  He committed murder.  Yes, murder … for no good reason whatsoever, he trapped and killed a black wolf in Yellowstone National Park.  Now, I’m in a rage because of what he did to the wolf … a collared wolf, meaning he was under the protection of the park.  Others, however, are only upset that Gianforte didn’t take a mandated trapper education course before murdering the wolf.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.  He was given a warning, no fine, and is being allowed to keep the beautiful victim’s head and hide for … bragging rights?  The wolf, No. 1155, was born in the park, was estimated to be 6 or 7 years old and had been collared by park biologists in 2018.

wolf-Yellowstone

This wasn’t Gianforte’s first murder, either, for in 2017, the same year he beat up Ben Jacobs, he murdered a bull elk and was given only a warning and a $70 fine.  Okay, as far as I’m concerned, we can cut Montana out of the United States map, if people there are stupid enough to first send this evil idiot to Congress, then elect him to the governorship, and not care that he murders beautiful, defenseless animals.  Gianforte, by the way, received a written warning.  He better hope that when I come back to earth as a wolf I don’t land in Montana!


And now I shall go howl myself to sleep …

howling wolf

A Time For Justice: Bannon Et Al

A presidential pardon does not mean the person being pardoned is innocent.  Quite the contrary, if he/she were innocent, they would have proven so in a court of law.  Only those who either have been found guilty or whose trial is pending but it is expected they will be found guilty, are pardoned by a sitting president.  Think about that one for a minute … the innocent do not need presidential pardons.  Or, as U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, who dismissed Michael Flynn’s prosecution after Flynn was pardoned by the former guy said …

“… [the former guy’s] decision to pardon Mr. Flynn is a political decision, not a legal one. Because the law recognizes the President’s political power to pardon, the appropriate course is to dismiss this case as moot.  However, the pardon does not, standing alone, render [Flynn] innocent of the alleged violation.”

Steve Bannon is a criminal in many senses of the word, and if he were charged for every time he has broken the law, the indictment would take a full ream of paper.  But the charges for which he was pardoned by the former guy stem from a fundraising scam for the ‘border wall’ on the southern U.S. border.

Bannon and another organizer, Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage, lied when they claimed they would not take any compensation as part of the campaign, called “We Build the Wall.” Bannon received more than $1 million through a nonprofit entity he controlled, sending hundreds of thousands of dollars to Kolfage while keeping a “substantial portion” for himself.  The We Build the Wall campaign, publicly supported by several of the former guy’s allies, raised more than $25 million through hundreds of thousands of donors.  This is the same border wall, by the way, that the former guy kept telling his supporters Mexico would pay for, even though most of us were well aware that was never even a remote possibility.

Bannon and Kolfage along with two others — Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea — routed payments from the crowdfunding campaign through the nonprofit and another shell company, disguising them with fake invoices to help keep their personal pay secret.  All four of these men were arrested in August of last year, and all except Bannon are awaiting trial, for the other three did not receive presidential pardons.

Bannon’s case, however, does remain pending.  This week, Bannon asked a judge to follow others in New York and elsewhere who outright dismissed cases after the former guy issued pardons, citing the post-pardon dismissals of charges against Michael Flynn and rapper Lil’ Wayne.  Not so fast there, Stevie …

Presidential pardons do not cover charges filed by states, and the New York attorney general’s office has partnered with Manhattan’s district attorney to investigate Bannon’s fundraising scam.  If New York finds evidence enough to file charges, then all bets are off for poor li’l Stevie Bannon.  Meanwhile …

Steve Bannon, along with Roger Stone and Michael Flynn, played an indisputable role in the attack on Congress and the Capitol on January 6th.  While none of the three actively participated in the events of the 6th, all three operated behind the scenes in an attempt to stage a coup and steal the voices of the voters, overturn the election, and install a dictator in the Oval Office.

Bannon previously served as a prominent sponsor of the group “March for Trump”, co-organizers of the January 6th attacks.  Shortly after Trump lost the 2020 election, Bannon’s “War Room” podcast was banned from Twitter for suggesting Dr. Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray should be beheaded …

“I’d put the heads on pikes. Right. I’d put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats. You either get with the program or you are gone.”

If I made a statement like that, I would be writing this blog from the inside of a jail cell.  Make no mistake … Steve Bannon is a very nasty man whose crimes are numerous.  He may have been ‘pardoned’ by another nasty ‘man’ for one of those crimes, but the rest will eventually catch up with him.  The same, I hope, will be true for the likes of Michael Flynn, his brother Charles, and Roger Stone the ultimate conspiracy theorist.  The nation … the world … does not need people like this.

When Richard “Tricky Dicky” Nixon left office under a cloud of shame in 1974, he was soon pardoned by his successor, Gerald Ford.  No doubt an agreement had been worked out beforehand that kept Nixon out of the courts and out of prison until his death twenty years later.  The former guy and his associates such as Bannon et al will get no such reprieve from President Biden.  These men – Bannon, Flynn, Trump, and more – are criminals and must be treated as such, else how can we claim to be a nation that values fairness, equality, a nation of laws, of justice?