Is The Teflon Wearing Out?

Even Teflon eventually gets old, wears out, and is no longer able to keep things from sticking.  The former guy has long been referred to as “Teflon Don” because he has lied, cheated, and stolen for the entirety of his adult life, yet has never had to pay a price.  In 2016 when he said, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters,” most of us scoffed and took it as just more of his hyperbole.  Since then, however, he has committed numerous crimes and treacheries against the nation, against We the People, and the Republicans continue to cheer and support him.  It seemed for a while that he was right, that he was somehow able to escape unscathed where the rest of us would be in prison, probably for life!  But this week, the tides seem to be turning.  Dan and Elliot sum it up rather nicely …

Trump Had a Day

And it might get worse

Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner

21 September 2022

NY Attorney General Letitia James announcing that her office is suing former President Donald Trump and three of his children. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Well, well, well. Let’s just say that Donald Trump has had better days.

This could be one of his worst, but there may be far worse ones coming down the line if today turns out to be a preface and not a denouement.

This morning started off bad enough.

New York Attorney General Letitia James made it known that she was going to issue a “major announcement.” And she did not disappoint. The lawsuit she filed in state court is in essence a guided missile aimed right at the heart of the Trump family business. Calling the level of fraud she uncovered “staggering,” James outlined a list of facts that could have been a plotline in The Sopranos.

And it isn’t just the patriarch in her legal crosshairs. The three children who have been foisted upon the American public — Don Jr., Eric, and Ivanka — also earned starring roles in the court papers.

While this is a civil suit, that’s because James is limited from bringing criminal charges. She did refer her findings to federal prosecutors in Manhattan, but if they choose to press forward, they will likely have to get in line.

That’s because as rough as this morning’s news cycle was for Trump, more pain was in the offing.

This evening, the 11th Circuit ruled on the outrage that has been festering over the investigation into the classified documents the former president took (for still unknown reasons, at least publicly) to Mar-a-Lago.

If Trump was hoping that Trump judges at the appellate level would fall in line like Judge Cannon (the district judge who’s done legal backflips well beyond the bounds of precedent or prudence to accommodate Trump), he was sorely mistaken. Two Trump judges sided with an Obama appointee to issue a stinging rebuke of the lower court’s ruling — a ruling that most judicial experts had felt was about as serious as an episode of Laugh In.

I will leave it to legal scholars to parse the specifics of the lawsuits and rulings, but some big things are clear. One, Trump is in trouble. Big trouble. And not the kind of trouble that he can squirm his way out of by bloviating to Sean Hannity or browbeating Mitch McConnell. He’s on the defensive, and pressure is closing in from all directions.

The timing of these quickening drumbeats of scrutiny overlap with the final stretch of the midterm elections — into which Trump has vociferously inserted himself according to the only metric he knows: what benefits him. November thus is shaping up to be a referendum on Trumpism, to the dismay of many Republican officials. But those same Republicans have made a decision en masse to embrace Trump, at least publicly. From a cynical political calculus one can understand why. The Republican base is the Trump base, or maybe it’s more accurate to put that the other way around.

It is also clear that the core of this base is not enough to power Republicans to majorities in Congress. And yet, if the base stays home, Republicans also will lose.

With so much at stake, the unknowns hanging over Trump and his legal jeopardy are very consequential. How bad might this get for Trump and those who have fastened themselves to him? Will more be revealed? Will any Republicans decide that they need to separate themselves from Trump? Will that lead to disarray within the party as election day approaches? All of this is possible. But it is also possible that Trump skates by once again, at least for now. It is possible that Republicans take back Congress, and they frame their victory as a validation of Trumpism, nevermind what it means for the health and security of the country.

Right now it looks like a close election, but tides can shift, sometimes drastically. Support can crumble. What once looked like strength can be recast as weakness. Just ask one of the few people having a rougher go of it of late than Trump — Vladimir Putin.

Oh, and in other late-breaking news, the January 6th committee has come to an agreement to interview Clarence Thomas’s wife Ginni Thomas. Can’t forget about that investigation.

One imagines all is not quiet tonight in Mar-a-Lago.


The word ‘unprecedented’ has been used more in the past week than at any other time, I do believe.  Yes, a search warrant served on a former president was without precedent until last Monday, but then … the entirety of Donald Trump’s ‘presidency’ was without precedent!

No other president had been involved in more than 5,000 lawsuits before taking office.  No other president had been elected despite some 25 sexual harassment claims against him.  No other president would have or could have been elected after having said that “when you’re famous, you can do anything … you can grab them by the #####.”  No other president fired a top level bureaucrat (FBI Director James Comey) for refusing to swear an oath of fealty to him … not the nation, but him.  No other president denigrated our allies while cozying up to authoritarians and dictators.  And the list goes on, but you get the picture … the entire four years was jaw-dropping and unprecedented.

And then the year and a half of his post-presidency has been entirely unprecedented.  Most presidents after either terming out or being defeated in election go quietly and with dignity, moving on to the next stage of their lives.  Trump, however, continues to claim he won the election, continues to hold rallies and call himself “president”, continues to endorse conspiracy theorists and only those people who still, after a year-and-a-half, go along with his ‘big lie’ that he won the 2020 election.  Now seriously, folks, does this sound like a normal person?  I could go on and on about the ‘unprecedented’ things he did, like threatening to withhold military aid that had already been approved by Congress unless Ukraine agreed to make up lies about a private citizen.  Or the time, just a few months after his inauguration, that he met with Russian diplomats (Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak) and relayed highly classified information to them.  And no president in the history of the United States has told so many lies that they were tracked on a daily basis (he averaged 14.8 lies per day).

And let’s not forget the big one:  No other president has plotted and incited an attempted coup to overturn a fair and honest election, to overthrow the duly elected government.  NONE.  EVER.

There has, in short, been absolutely nothing ‘normal’ about the Trump era, and the fact that he removed highly classified documents from the White House upon his exit is just one more in a string of abnormalities, or unprecedented behaviour over the past 6 years or so.  It is, perhaps, the straw that broke the camel’s back, the last straw.  When anyone … a politician or private citizen … puts the entire nation, indeed the entire world at risk by his own stupidity, it may well require ‘unprecedented’ actions to mitigate the damage.  The search warrant and removal of highly classified documents was fully right and proper, was completely justified.  My only question is … how did he manage to get out with some 27 or more boxes of documents to which he had no right in the first place?  Was his keeper asleep on the job?  And … perhaps most important of all … has our national security been breached beyond repair?

Keep in mind that literally everything was unprecedented once upon a time.  This is how societies and nations grow.  Once upon a time, it was unprecedented for Black people or women to be allowed to vote in this country.  Once upon a time, it was unprecedented to have a Black president.  Once upon a time, automobiles, planes, cruise ships, electric appliances, computers and more were unprecedented, but today they are a part of everyday life.  ‘Unprecedented’ need not necessarily have a bad connotation!  In this case, it simply means we are moving forward to remedy a potentially dangerous situation.  Period.

I would hope that adults on both sides of the political spectrum would act like adults, drop the hyperbole, and look at the facts, rather than calling for and engaging in violent activities.  Donald Trump is no longer the president, he is a civilian just like you and I, subject to the same laws we are.  He has gotten by with far too much, in part because of his bluster and in part because he instills fear of retaliation into the members of his party.  It’s time for it to stop.  It’s time for justice to be served, for his nearly-unfettered romp through our political systems to come to its logical end.  Unprecedented?  Every single thing about him and his ‘presidency’ has been unprecedented, and now it’s time to finish the job, to ensure that he steps back, steps down, and is relegated to the annals of history … a history which, unless I miss my guess, will view him as the most horrible, unprecedented of all the presidents we have had.

The Week’s Best Cartoons: FBI Seize Sensitive Docs from Mar-a-Lago

The big news … almost the only news this past week was the search warrant executed by the FBI for classified documents Trump stole from the people when he left the White House in disgrace.  No doubt other news happened, but there was little reported on it, so naturally, the weekly political cartoons reflect that.  As she does every week, TokyoSand over at Political Charge has culled some of the best ones from the week.  Sometimes it’s hard to find the humour, but the political cartoonists are pretty damn good at it!  Thank you, TS, for your hard work!

The week started off with a big win for Joe Biden (the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act) and ended with the bombshell that the FBI seized a trove of extremely sensitive documents from Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago. Here’s how editorial cartoonists covered that story.

Click here to see ALL the ‘toons!!!

Humour In The Snippets!

Sometimes snarky snippets can be humorous, too.

A bit of a disappointment, I guess

A man named Shahram Poursafi started planning to murder former national security advisor John Bolton in October in likely retaliation for his involvement in a drone strike that killed Qassem Soleimani.  Poursafi, a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, attempted to pay people in D.C. or Maryland up to $300,000 to carry out the murder, but was thus far unsuccessful and the FBI is currently attempting to locate him.

John Bolton was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s “Situation Room” on Wednesday.  Blitzer asked …

“The suspect put a $300,000 price tag on your head.  What goes through your mind, ambassador, hearing the details of this plot, as explained today in great detail by the U.S. Justice Department?”

I don’t know what sort of response I might have expected, but it wasn’t this one …

“Well, I was embarrassed at the low price. I would have thought it would have been higher. But I guess maybe it was the exchange rate problem or something.”

Okaaaay …

A costly – but funny – venture

In Miami, Florida, a dude named Thomas Kennedy and his friends spent $1,800 to commission a plane to fly over Mar-a-Lago for three hours with this banner …

Says Kennedy …

“It brought me a lot of joy to do so. I would do it again.”

Kennedy said the message was for Trump and his supporters who had gathered on the Southern Boulevard Bridge near the property for a third day this week.

“Honestly, go do something better with your time.”

I wouldn’t have spent $1,800, but I have to admit I got quite a kick out of this!

The drama ‘king’

Oh the drama!  If you ever doubted that Sean Hannity of Fox is an actor, not a newsman, wonder no more.  After the search warrant was executed at Mar-a-Lago, Hannity went on a tangent, saying …

“The FBI is blatantly targeting our fellow Americans for their political beliefs. The bureau’s reputation has been shattered. My faith in an organization — I’ll be honest, I had two family members. They were a deity in my family because they worked for this organization. I revered this organization for decades of my life. If you listen to my radio show, watch this show, you know my love of law enforcement, it has now been pretty much utterly destroyed.”

As dramatic a speech as any I’ve heard!  Grow up, Sean … pull up those big-boy pants and get over yourself, ‘k?

Well, folks, that’s all the humour I could find in the news tonight, so will you settle for a few cartoons to round things out?

Still More Snark Keeps Rollin’

I’m sure you’re surprised to hear that I have still more angst that must be relieved in the form of snarky snippets, right?  I mean … what could possibly be causing me stress in these peaceful, calm, dog days of summer?  Well, let’s see … let me count the ways …  By the way, before I forget, a special thanks to Scottie of Scottie’s Playtime for the header image of the Aunty Acid meme … he sent it to me and it pretty much perfectly describes the ‘me’ I’ve become of late!  Thanks, Scottie!


I remember when my children were little … the two eldest were only 16 months apart in age and a world apart in temperament, which could result in some pretty raucous battles!  What I see happening within the U.S. today is reminiscent of those battles, only on a much larger, more dangerous scale.

Violence, or the threat of violence, is NEVER the solution to problems!  NEVER!!!  And yet, I hear that right-wing groups such as the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, Three Percenters et al are telling people to “Pick up arms,” and they don’t mean the two that are attached to your body.  The culmination came with the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago on Monday, which those on the far right are claiming is justification for massive violence across the nation.  It isn’t, but these people are so blinded by their own hatred and prejudices that they cannot or will not see that.

I’ve read of some calling for the assassination of Attorney General Merrick Garland, and I’m told that the judge who signed off on the warrant to search Trump’s domicile has been receiving death threats. Others are calling for ‘civil war’, as if they knew the meaning of that phrase.  The most popular search term yesterday was “lock and load”, which means “lock your safety and load a magazine into your weapon.”  Welcome to America where there are more guns than people, and every nutcase owns an arsenal!

Politicians like Kevin McCarthy and Jim Banks who, without having knowledge of what the FBI was looking for at Mar-a-Lago, jumped immediately and began disparaging and not-so-subtly threatening Merrick Garland and President Biden, do a disservice to the very people they are supposed to represent.  Their voices matter, unfortunately, and some people will take their words, build on them, and claim they are “saving the nation” by taking up arms against … who?  The FBI?  The president?  Or perhaps you and I get caught in the crossfire some day as we go about the business of grocery shopping or taking our children to school.

I repeat, my friends … VIOLENCE IS NEVER THE ANSWER!!!

And I am not alone …

Richard Haass has been president of the Council on Foreign Relations since July 2003, prior to which he was Director of Policy Planning for the United States Department of State and a close advisor to Secretary of State Colin Powell in the George W. Bush administration.  In the preface to his upcoming (January 24, 2023) book, The Bill of Obligations, Haass writes that he’s often asked: “‘Richard, what keeps you up at night?’  Some suggest China?  Russia? North Korea? Iran? Terrorism? Climate change? Cyberattacks? Another pandemic?”  To which Haass replies …

“The most urgent and significant threat to American security and stability stems not from abroad but from within. The threat is from political divisions that for only the second time in U.S. history have raised questions about the future of American democracy and even the United States itself.”

Exactly.  Y’know … all living things have an expiration date, so to speak.  Nothing lives forever.  Nations are living things, and perhaps the United States, such as we have known it, is about to reach its expiry date.

Tell me why you want the job

When candidates begin throwing their hats in the ring for the 2024 presidential election, the one question I would pose to each and every one is:  Why do you want to be the next president?

Hmmmm … I can hear some of the answers now …

  • To find Hunter Biden’s laptop
  • To ‘make America great again’
  • To put ‘America first’
  • To make this a Christian nation
  • To defeat Democrats

And of course the unspoken answer in many cases would be:  To make this a white, Christian, male-dominated autocracy.

In my mind, the one correct answer would be:  To restore integrity and compassion to our nation, to our government.  To begin closing the gap between right and left, to heal the damage, the divisiveness, the bigotry, and the hatred that exists today.

Who, I wonder, would give that answer?

I leave you with just a few cartoons …