I’m not sure if this post can legitimately be called one of my Snarky Snippets pieces, for there really isn’t any snark involved, just anger and disgust. So, we’ll consider it to be just a Bits ‘n Pieces post, for lack of a better name. I’m suffering mind bounce and exhaustion, so I was working on a longer piece but kept losing focus, and all these little things were weighing on my mind, so how could I not share them with you, my friends!
Poetic Justice …
David Berry, Jr. along with his father and brother are the most despicable of all people. What did they do? They are murderers. They are serial poachers, convicted of killing not one, not two, but hundreds of deer, taking the deer’s heads, and leaving their bodies in the woods to rot. The case is reportedly one of the biggest poaching cases in Missouri’s history. So far Berry’s father and brother have not been sentenced, although both have lost their hunting and fishing licenses for life. But last week, David Jr. was sentenced by Judge Robert George. His sentence was only one year in prison, along with another 120 days for firearms violations. Not nearly enough … but there was a caveat that I rather liked. Berry Jr. is to watch the Disney animated movie Bambi prior to December 23rd, and again once every month for the rest of his one-year sentence. The judge likely thinks that seeing the scene where Bambi’s mother is shot and killed by a hunter will induce some empathy, perhaps even instill a conscience. I sincerely doubt it, but I rather liked the sentence. I would like it better if it accompanied a 35-year prison sentence.
Above the law???
Article I, Section 9, Paragraph 8 of the United States Constitution reads …
“No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no person holding any office or profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.”
This short clause is known as the Nobility Clause, or the Emoluments Clause. In short, the clause prohibits federal officeholders from receiving any gift, payment, or other thing of value from a foreign state or its rulers, officers, or representatives. The intent at the time the framers were drafting the Constitution was to ensure that the country’s leaders would not be improperly influenced, even unconsciously, through gift giving, then a common and generally corrupt practice among European rulers and diplomats.
That seems laughable in this, the Reign of Trump, for it is obvious he has no qualms about making profit from foreign entities. Today, there is a lawsuit against Donald Trump, brought by the District of Columbia and the State of Maryland. The suit alleges that Trump has violated the emoluments clause, in part by accepting payments from foreign governments that patronize the Trump International Hotel, just blocks from the White House.
A trial court judge has ruled that the case may proceed and has authorized some 38 subpoenas for Trump’s financial records, including tax returns. Needless to say, Trump is fighting against providing the information. He claimed, erroneously, that ‘emoluments’ referred only to outright bribes. Wrong.
And so yesterday, the Department of Justice asked a federal appeals court to throw out or at least temporarily halt the lawsuit. Don’t you just love it when they say “The Justice Department asked …” or “The administration says …” The Justice Department is comprised of a number of humans, as is the administration, and likely one specific individual is responsible for that request, but we are not told who … only that the department requested. I could make a good guess, and I’m sure you can too … the ‘acting Attorney General’ Matthew Whitaker who is naught but a boot-licker planted in the position for this very reason.
In asking that the case be thrown out or delayed, Trump is, via the voice of the Department of Justice, claiming that he is above the law. He is claiming that he is superior to you, to me, to any other individual in this nation. If, in fact, the rule of law does not apply to Donald Trump, then he is no longer the president, but rather the dictator. Let us hope that the courts have more of a conscience, more concern for the laws of this nation than the boot-lickers at the Justice Department. Stay tuned …
Freedom of Speech vs Donald Trump
You’ll remember long ago when Trump said …
“We are going to take a strong look at our country’s libel laws, so that when somebody says something that is false and defamatory about someone, that person will have meaningful recourse in our courts.”
Instead, he decided early in his tenure to simply discredit the media by calling them “fake news” and worse, “the enemy of the people”. Unfortunately, the 40% or so of people who actually think Trump has legitimacy, believed him and turned, instead, to state media outlet Fox News. But Trump never tires of finding ways to heckle the press. It was just last month that he pulled the press credentials of CNN reporter Jim Acosta when Acosta repeatedly asked Trump a tough question that he didn’t want to answer. The court overruled him and Jim now has his press creds back.
However, this week the thin-skinned ‘man’ in the Oval Office is taking up the issue once again, for he was offended by a Saturday Night Live sketch depicting what life might be like had Donald Trump never been elected, in the style of the 1946 film, It’s A Wonderful Life. (Sounds like a winning scenario, don’t you think?) Take a look … I promise it is worth the few minutes …
On Sunday morning, Trump tweeted …
“A REAL scandal is the one sided coverage, hour by hour, of networks like NBC & Democrat spin machines like Saturday Night Live. It is all nothing less than unfair news coverage and Dem commercials. Should be tested in courts, can’t be legal? Only defame & belittle! Collusion?”
In response, a number of people took to Twitter to remind Trump of that little part of the Constitution that we refer to lovingly as the First Amendment, that thing that separates a democratic republic from a dictatorship. Yes, he’s blowing hot air … again … and no, he isn’t going to be successful in taking Saturday Night Live or CNN or The Washington Post to court. But it’s the fact that he keeps doing this that is wearing thin, grating on our nerves.
After the horrendous murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi and Trump’s nonchalant response, I think most thinking people in this nation, most people possessed of a conscience, are sick and tired of Trump’s juvenile rantings against the press. His attacks against the media are dangerous and it’s time to put a stop to them. Words have consequences, even for the ‘man’ who considers himself to be above the law.
And on that note, I bid you ‘adieu’.