They Walk Among Us

Thomas Edward Caldwell, age 65, from Berryville, Virginia, is a U.S. Navy veteran.  Caldwell, once a lieutenant commander in the Navy, also had a top-secret security clearance and served as a section chief for the FBI after leaving the armed forces in 2009.  After leaving the FBI, Caldwell founded a consulting firm that has done business with the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Coast Guard and the Army Personnel Command.

Thomas Edward Caldwell has now been indicted on federal conspiracy and other charges in connection with the January 6th attack on the U.S. Congress and U.S. Capitol.  As a member of the right-wing group calling themselves the “Oath Keepers”, Caldwell was involved in planning and coordinating the attack on the Capitol.  On social media, in the days leading up to that fateful day, Caldwell reached out to another right-wing group known as the “Three Percenters”, in order to arrange plans to “transport weapons across the Potomac by boat.”

On January 1st, Caldwell wrote on Facebook …

“I swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. I did the former, I have done the latter peacefully but they have morphed into pure evil even blatantly rigging an election and paying off the political caste. We must smite them now and drive them down.”

During the attack on the Capitol, Caldwell received a text message from a cohort saying …

“All members are in the tunnels under capital seal them in. Turn on gas.”

And later that evening, after the National Guard had secured the Capitol, Caldwell sent a Facebook message to another cohort, saying …

“We need to do this at the local level. Lets storm the capitol in Ohio. Tell me when!”

This gave me chills.  Yes, it’s been over a month ago, and yes, we now have a President, with a capital ‘P’, and yes, over 230 of the perpetrators of that monstrous event have been arrested and charged with a variety of crimes.  But some roam free on bond, and … let’s face it folks, the 230+ who have been arrested are a drop in the bucket.  There are more people out there with these warped notions and diabolical intentions.

Dawn Bancroft is 58 years old and lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania where she owns a gym.  She, too, was part of the attack on the Capitol, and her words are as chilling as Caldwell’s, perhaps more so …

“We were looking for Nancy to shoot her in the friggin’ brain but we didn’t find her.”

They walk among us, my friends.  They are the lady who asked you where she could find pizza crust in the grocery store, the man you saw on the corner waiting to cross the busy street, the guy who gave you a friendly smile while he was waiting to pick up his prescription at the pharmacy yesterday.  They don’t, in everyday life, go about half-naked with horns sticking out of their heads so that we can identify them as certifiable nutjobs.  They look and act normal, for the most part.  How many like Caldwell and Bancroft are there in your city?  I’d bet money there are some, probably living within a few miles of you.

What’s my point, you ask?  My point is that in order to deter such future attacks, we must make an example of these people.  We must find as many as possible, and they must be charged, tried, and convicted, then sentenced to the maximum allowed by law, in order to deter any who might be thinking to do the same.  And those like the former guy who inspired and incited these people, must also be charged and punished, preferably with a very long prison sentence.

The people mentioned above are the ones I have often referred to as the snakes that came slithering out from under the rocks when the former guy was campaigning for the 2016 election and basically told them that it is okay to be a racist, that white people, especially white ‘Christian’ people, are superior and have the right to denigrate and even kill ‘others’.  These snakes slithered out from under their rocks, and now they have no intention of going back, of accepting that this is a very diverse world, that Black people are just as deserving as any others, that Muslims are not terrorists, and that LGBT people have the same rights as anybody else.  That is not the world they want, and not one they will readily accept.

I call on every judge and jury in this nation to hold these people accountable for their actions on that day.  I call on the FBI to diligently root out those who remain free, to find them and prosecute them.  These people do not belong in our society … not now, not ever.

I hear there are ‘events’ planned for March 4th, and I can only hope that federal law enforcement agencies are on high alert and far better prepared and more effective at preventing a repeat of what happened on January 6th.  And given that social media has proven to be the venue through which these terrorists communicated and planned their attack, I would have no problem with Facebook, Twitter, and the rest being shut down for several days prior to March 4th.  Freedom of speech?  Sorry, folks … it’s time for some checks on unlimited 1st Amendment ‘rights’, if people do not also accept the responsibility that accompanies those rights.

Never-ending Snarky Snippets

Remember a day or two after President Biden’s inauguration when I mused that perhaps ‘snarky snippets’ would soon be retired?  Hahahahahahahaha.  What was I thinking?  I must have been drugged or something at the time!  Never fear, folks, I still have plenty to snark about!


Another example of profit over people

The J. Edgar Hoover Building on Pennsylvania Avenue is home to FBI headquarters.  The building, completed in 1975, has become inadequate for the needs of the FBI, and is notable for its crumbling facade, inadequate security, antiquated infrastructure, and inadequate square footage.  Back in 2015, the decision had been made to look for suitable property to house the FBI somewhere in the suburbs, as the CIA has already done, then raze the Hoover Building.  A search was already on for finding the right location, taking bids from contractors, etc., when in 2017 Donald Trump took office and called a halt to the project.  Why?  Because the Hoover Building is across the street from his hotel.

Hoover-bldgTrump feared that if the Hoover Building were torn down, another hotel might be built in that spot, taking business away from his own hotel.  Yes, folks, a government decision for an agency that protects this nation was made based on a personal profit motive by the person sitting in the Oval Office.  What a surprise, eh?  I suspect there’s even more to it, such as out-of-town visitors to the FBI might stay in Trump’s hotel because it’s close and convenient, and who knows what other monies the hotel gets as a result of being across the street from the FBI.

Thousands of bureau employees, for whom there is no space at headquarters, are scattered in office buildings around the D.C. region, at significant cost to taxpayers. The danger to pedestrians posed by falling chunks of concrete is such that netting has been installed on the building’s east facade.  While not the highest priority the Biden administration has to deal with, a new building in a new location is likely to be built sometime in the near future, and frankly I hope somebody does build another hotel there and puts Trump’s gaudy monstrosity out of business.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department’s Inspector General has launched an inquiry to review the reasons for the plans to relocate were scuttled.


And speaking of Trump …

The impeachment trial for Donald Trump is scheduled to start in just over a week, on February 9th.  This past weekend, his legal team walked off the job!  It is reported that he insisted that the lawyers focus on his continuing false claims that he actually won the election and that due to widespread voter fraud it was ‘stolen’ from him.  All of this is a fantasy cooked up in his own mind, and not one iota of evidence has been produced to support his claims.  In fact, we the taxpayers have footed the bill for numerous recounts, for signature verifications and more, but no voter fraud at a level that could have changed the results in even a single state has been found.  Trump lost, but apparently he’ll go to his grave claiming that he won, ‘bigly’.

toon-trump-lawyer I suspect it is to the point that no reputable lawyer wants to be any part of Trump’s legal team for fear it would cast a long shadow on their reputation.  The lawyers had initially planned to center their strategy on the question of whether the proceedings were constitutional and on the definition of incitement, but Trump was having none of that.  Remember, he has always falsely believed that he was far more intelligent than anybody else, so this should come as no surprise.

He has apparently hired two new lawyers, one from Georgia and one from Pennsylvania.  Interestingly, David Schoen, from Atlanta, also served as Roger Stone’s defense attorney in his case of lying and witness tampering in a congressional investigation, so perhaps Trump has found one this time who doesn’t have any values or integrity.

Unfortunately, it likely doesn’t matter who his attorneys are, or even if he has attorneys, for the Senate Republicans appear to have already decided to acquit Trump no matter what.  One has to laugh when hearing the Republican Party referred to as the ‘Law and Order Party’.  Bullshit.


Just say ‘NO’, Joe

Jeff and I were in a Twitter ‘discussion’ with a man who was calling President Biden a ‘liar’ because he hadn’t received his $2,000 stimulus check yet.  We both tried to explain that nothing happens overnight in Washington, and further that Biden had done his part, now it’s up to Congress to pass the bill, but the man would have none of it and was determined to blame Biden.

The Republicans in Congress have come up with their own, greatly reduced, version and a group of ten Republicans, led by Ms. Wishy-Washy Susan Collins, are meeting with President Biden today.  The total amount of the Republican proposal is a mere 31% in total of Biden’s proposal, and the payments to individuals is reduced from $1,400 to $1,000, and also greatly minimizes the number of people who would qualify.  But the thing that concerns me most is that the Republican proposal requires abandoning the minimum wage increase that has been planned – and much-needed – for some time now, and which Biden plans to push Congress to pass.

The more things change, the more they stay the same, and in this case, the Republicans in Congress seem determined to ensure that the 99% continue to suffer, while the 1% continue to profit.  I’m sure there must be a few Republicans in Congress who have a conscience, but they are a paltry minority, for the rest are without conscience, without concern for the people of this nation.  I hope that President Biden tells them to put their ‘counter-proposal’ where the sun doesn’t shine.


Not right bright

eric-trumpThe Trump children, like their father, are not known for being the brightest bulbs in the pack, but Eric Trump is apparently lacking even basic brain function.  Eric, in the early hours of November 3rd, before the polls were even open, made a wager … we’re not sure how much … that his father would score 320 electoral votes!

Personal Destruction-The Trump Doctrine

Never in my 68 years have I heard a president of this country mock and name-call people in the way that Donald Trump does. His demeanor is that of a 13-year-old spoiled brat, certainly not that of a ‘man’ holding the highest office in a nation of 330 million people. He uses and tramples people, and who knows how many lives he has ruined with his targeted rancor. One of those people is former attorney for the FBI, Lisa Page, who has waited two years to tell her side of the story. Thanks to our friend Jeff for writing a post about Ms. Page and what she has gone through.

On The Fence Voters

Lisa Page has had enough. The former FBI employee, forced to resign due to the current President and his cult’s rampant character assassination, decided to tell her side of the story finally. Once again, another person’s life and career—ruined by Trump and his rabid base of followers. It’s a long list, and they’re adding to it all the time.

Page, a lawyer and former special counsel to then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe(he’s on the list), worked on the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails during the 2016 campaign, then transitioned into looking into the possibility of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

Eventually, Trump’s abrupt firing of FBI Director Jim Comey led to an investigation by the DOJ Inspector General’s Office into Page’s so-called ‘political’ text messages. The texts were then maliciously released to the public, even though the DOJ assured Page it wouldn’t happen.

The text messages…

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An Overflow Of Snarky Snippets …

Today is your lucky day!  I have far more to do than I can possibly accomplish, nearly everything in the news sets me off on a grouse or a grumble, and my family has long since tired of listening to me, telling me to “go write a blog post or something”.  And so you are the beneficiaries of today’s snarkiness!  Thrilled, aren’t you?


I have lost count of how many times I have said we need to overturn Citizen’s United, need to remove money from the equation of elections.  The utterly obscene amounts of money that are spent by corporations and lobbyists to promote candidates come with a hefty price tag … one that We The People always pay.

On November 6th, Americans spoke loud and clear when we sent a number of women and minorities to the House of Representatives.  We said, “We are sick and tired of being left behind.  We are sick and tired of our voices not being heard, of only those people who have millions, or billions of dollars being listened to.  We are sick of our government representing only the top 1% and to hell with the rest of us.”  And so, we elected new blood, people who are not yet so jaded that they cannot see the forest for the trees.  And they will do the jobs they have been elected to do, despite pressure from others to ‘conform’ to the old ways.

On Tuesday, the incoming freshman lawmakers attended an orientation event sponsored by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics.  The event was billed as a bipartisan event and on its website the school says the sessions are designed to help incoming House members “forge bipartisan relationships and learn practical skills of lawmaking just one month prior to taking the oath of office.” Uh-huh.

Who were the speakers at this event?  Corporate CEOs and Corporate lobbyist groups.  Guess who else was there?  Donald Trump’s former chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn.  Hold on to your hats … you’re going to love what he told the newbie members-elect …

“You guys are way over your head, you don’t know how the game is played.”

Say WHAT???  This, Mr. Cohn, is not a game … this is people’s f-ing lives!!!

Goldman Sachs, the financial behemoth where Cohn was CEO before joining Trump’s administration were at the event.  The heads of General Motors, Johnson and Johnson and Boeing were there. There was not a single labor leader or community activist, nobody who represented the average citizen.  Only people who represent that all-important upper echelon, the infamous 1%.  And we wonder why we have the most corrupt lawmakers ever in the history of the nation?  Wonder no more.


The FBI has changed its mind and decided that one of the currently most radical white supremacist groups in the nation is not, after all, an extremist group.  What, they’re just a bunch of kindergarten kids going around the country promoting political violence?

According to the Proud Boys website …

Proud boys.jpg

Lovely looking bunch of “proud boys”, don’t you think?

“The basic tenet of the group is that we are “Western chauvinists who refuse to apologize for creating the modern world.” Like Archie Bunker, we long for the days when “girls were girls and men were men.” This wasn’t controversial even twenty years ago, but being proud of Western culture today is like being a crippled, black, lesbian communist in 1953. Our group is and will always be MEN ONLY(born with a penis if that wasn’t clear enough for you leftists)!”

The group claims not to be white supremacist, however according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) …

“Their disavowals of bigotry are belied by their actions: rank-and-file Proud Boys and leaders regularly spout white nationalist memes and maintain affiliations with known extremists. They are known for anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric. Proud Boys have appeared alongside other hate groups at extremist gatherings like the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville. Indeed, former Proud Boys member Jason Kessler helped to organize the event, which brought together Klansmen, antisemites, Southern racists, and militias.”

In November, the FBI categorized the group as an “extremist group with ties to white nationalism”.  That was actually fairly mild, if you ask me, for I would categorize them as a bunch of bigoted, chauvanistic, murderous white supremacists.  But yesterday, for reasons unbeknownst to anyone of good sense, the FBI recanted, saying they did not mean to designate the whole group, rather to characterize the potential threat from individuals within that group.  Would somebody please explain to me what the Sam Heck the difference is?  Nobody would join the group for any reason other than to follow their violent, bigoted ways, so … why is it only certain unnamed individuals and not the entire group that pose a threat?  Oh wait … perhaps one of Donnie Trump’s family is a member and that is why the designation had to be changed!  I call B.S.


On November 6th, We The People spoke.  We spoke loud and clear.  We made clear that we are not all a bunch of bigoted louts as some would like us to be, and we made clear that we value substance over form.  We elected to the U.S. House of Representatives two very qualified women who are of the Muslim faith.  Why?  Because they are the best qualified to make laws that are in the best interest of the people of this nation … that is, ALL the people, not just the wealthy few.

Ilhan Omar (left) and Rashida Tlaib

The two, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan are both Democrats and both well-qualified for the jobs to which they were elected.

However, there is one man, Earl Walker Jackson a protestant minister and wanna-be politician, who doesn’t think these two women should be in Congress. Why?  Because he claims …

E.W. Jackson

E.W. Jackson

“Folks, I’m still trying to get over this whole issue of Nancy Pelosi allowing these women — these Muslim women — and apparently other women in Congress are now going to start, if this movement takes root, are going to start wearing the hijab on the floor of Congress. So what are we now gonna do? We’re going to turn Congress into an institution of Sharia law? I mean, folks, this stuff is just crazy … Lord help us. Floor of Congress is now going to look like a, it’s going to look like an Islamic republic.”

Mr. Jackson, by the way, is African-American and a disgrace to his race, for he has often made statements that were derogatory to gays, blacks, and Democrats and other minority groups.  However, he is outdone this time, for representative-elect Omar had the best imaginable response to Jackson’s bigoted statement …

“Well sir, the floor of Congress is going to look like America … and you’re gonna have to just deal.”

clappingYes indeed, folks, we’ve got some new blood coming into Congress!


And now I hope I have gotten enough of the snarky out of my system so that I can proceed with the weekend, for I have much to accomplish this weekend and little enough time and energy with which to do it.  Have a great weekend!

A Knock …

wakingI awakened this morning, a bit confused as usual, and wondering if the pounding on the door downstairs was part of a dream or if some fool was actually beating on my door at … 8:39 a.m.?  It took less than five seconds before my question was answered … it was really some fool who didn’t know I had slept only a scant two hours at that point.  Mental checklist:

  • Am I decent? Sweatpants, sweatshirt, socks … oops, only one sock, but still good enough.
  • Glasses?  Check.
  • Who could it be? UPS?  Nah, our regular UPS driver is John, who used to have a crush on my daughter … he’s a cool guy and knows better than to bang on my door.  The mail carrier?  Nah, that’s my friend Lisa and she knows better than to bang on my door.  That leaves FedEx, who never send the same driver twice, so I haven’t come to know them.

You’re probably wondering why I don’t take the 5 steps to my bedroom window and look out, solving the mystery once and for all, right?  But that is not how my mind works.  I am an analyst, and thus I have to analyze everything first, then look out the window to verify the conclusion I drew as a result of my analysis. FedExOnly thing was, they banged on the door again before I got to the window and damn near stopped my heart, so instead of peeking through the blinds to see the FedEx truck in front of the house, I ran to the bedroom door, flung it open and called out at the top of my lungs, “I’m coming, you moron!!!”

And then I trotted down the 15 stairs (I know there are 15 because I count them every single time I ascend or descend them.  Been doing it for more than 20 years now. What?  No, I’m not OCD … I just need to make sure nobody snuck an extra in on me!) and peeped through the peekie hole in the center of the door.  Only, all I saw was the evergreen branches from our Christmas wreath.  Sigh.

Unlocking the door and opening it, fully expecting a smiling FedEx driver on the other side holding anywhere from one to thirteen packages (remember I did all my Christmas shopping online last week), you might imagine my surprise … nay, utter shock … to see a local yokel (our affectionate name for the country sheriffs and deputies) accompanied by two men in dark suits and dark glasses.

heart stopsHeart stops … begins re-boot process during which time all I can do is stare and say … huhhhhhhh?

I’ve been telling a few friends for a while now that this was inevitable, but … thing is … I was joking!!!  I never really believed that me, a nobody, would come under scrutiny of … gulp … the Men In Black!  As I had been trotting down the 15 stairs just seconds earlier, it had briefly occurred to me to run into the kitchen right quick and grab my solid wooden 18-inch long rolling pin, but so convinced was I that it was only the FedEx driver … oh, how I wished I had listened to that little voice!

The bells in my head were subsiding, my hearing, what little is left of it, began to return, and ‘coherent’ thought began to return.  I could see that the shorter of the two men in black was saying something … either that, or convulsing, for his lips were moving.

“Ma’am … is your name Jill Dennison?”

“Um … could you repeat the question?  I just got up, you see … heh heh … late night.”  (Oh how f***ing brilliant!!!)

“What is your name, ma’am?”

“Um … Grannie”

And at this point, the deputy standing slightly in front of and to the right of the men in black, rested his hand on his gun and said …

“What is your name?  Are you Jill Dennison?”

“Yes, and you are … ?”

“I’ll ask the questions here.  Do you live here alone?”

By this time, I was getting my bearings and had decided I wasn’t taking any guff from the local yokel, for I knew him from another encounter many years ago.  So, I turned to the first man in black and … he had disappeared!  The second, the taller of the two, was standing next to his empty spot.  Grinning.

“May I see some I.D.?”

He seemed taken a bit aback, and just then I noticed his partner coming around the back of their car carrying … a cage!  No way were they putting me in that!  Heck no!  It was only about 18-inches by 24-inches at most … I am 5-foot 6-inches and weigh 140.  They ain’t squishing me into that!!!

“Ms. Dennison … is this your cat?”

And inside was Princess Nala who, it turned out, had escaped when Chris left for work earlier that morning, was found by a neighbor who called the Humane Society.

“I just have one last question”, I said, once the confusion was all straightened out and we all had a slightly strained chuckle over it.  “Why are you wearing dark glasses?”

“The glare of the sun, ma’am.”

What you have just read is fiction, just a figment that came to me earlier this evening, hopefully humour, although it wouldn’t surprise me some day to awaken to find ‘Men in Black’ on my front stoop, given my well-documented aversion to Trump.  Frankly, I think I’m not quite important enough to set off any alarm bells, but you never know.  And for the record, Princess Nala is safe and sound, lying atop her pizza boxes in the kitchen!  And please forgive my brief detour from my norm … I promise to get serious after a few hours’ sleep.  Assuming, that is, that I don’t awaken to a pounding on the door!nala-pizza-boxes.jpg

Blockbuster News: President’s Former Campaign Manager Cuts Cooperating Plea Deal With FBI

This is the news we have all been waiting to hear. I hope this is the beginning of the end of the Trumpian Reign of Absurdity. Many thanks, Gronda, for being on top of this and keeping us informed!

Gronda Morin

Image result for photos of manafort PAUL MANAFORT

I’ve been waiting to post on the news of the republican President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort until more information was available as to whether he was cutting a plea deal with cooperation or with non-co-operation with the FBI.

It is pretty much a consensus that Mr. Manafort is most likely counting on a presidential pardon sometime in the future which is a reasonable expectation as President Trump has hinted that he would be willing to do so.

It is my hope the the FBI’s Special Counsel Robert Mueller III, head of its Trump-Russia probe would not cut a plea deal without this reality being a consideration.

I suspect that Mr. Mueller would not consider a plea deal without co-operation unless he has determined that he doesn’t need Mr. Manafort’s assistance to build a strong case and without accounting for a possible future pardon.

It is…

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DOJ’s IG Horowitz Releases 18 Month Investigative Report Into FBI’s Handling Of Clinton Email Case

Two days ago, the Department of Justice released the anticipated Inspector General’s report summarizing the investigation of the FBI’s handling of Hillary Clinton’s emails. I have not the stomach to delve deeply into the report, nor to watch the games Trump will play for the next several weeks, but thankfully our friend Gronda can always be counted on to do the deep digging, and so I am sharing her informative post today. The conclusions? Read Gronda’s post and find out! Thank you Gronda, for covering what I cannot, and for this highly informative post!

Gronda Morin

Image result for photos of michael horowitz

The Inspector General of the US Department of Justice (DOJ), Michael Horowitz has just formally released his 500 page report based on his 18 month long investigation surrounding the FBI’s actions regarding its management of the Hillary Clinton’s email mishandling case while she acted as US Secretary of State between 2009-2013.

The report  is highly critical of the FBI’s Director James Comey’s part in how he acted inappropriately by saying anything publicly about the Hillary Clinton’s email case when he knew she would not be criminally charged which is totally against FBI’s internal rules. But, it was determined that his actions were not politically motivated.

The final determination is that the FBI did not act with bias either for or against the Hillary Clinton’s email case. The investigation was fair.

In fact, any actions taken did damage to the Democratic Party’s Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Nothing was shared by…

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Above the Law?

The headline in the New York Times reads:

Trump Tweet Asserts an ‘Absolute Right’ to Pardon Himself

“Trump declared Monday that the appointment of the special counsel in the Russia investigation is “totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL!” and asserted that he has the power to pardon himself, raising the prospect that he might take extraordinary action to immunize himself from the ongoing probe.”

The first thing that comes to mind, of course, is that his very statement is an admission of guilt.  If he were not guilty, if he had nothing to hide, then why not sit down and shut up? Why even stir the already-muddy waters with such a foolish, bombastic statement?

Two things last week set the tone for this morning’s tweet and gave every indication that, no matter what evidence Robert Mueller’s investigation turns up that Donald Trump broke the law, that he knowingly and willingly colluded with the Russians to affect the outcome of the 2016 election, he will not be found guilty of a crime.  The first was a 20-page letter by Trump’s team of attorneys, the second an interview by Rudy Giuliani on This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

Both of these could be viewed as just more of the same rhetoric that we have been hearing for a year now, but I sense something more ominous.  If, as I believe, there is ample evidence that Trump and his campaign advisors did collude with Russia, did break the law, then Donald Trump ought to be removed from office.  But, if he isn’t, if Congress allows his team of lawyers to spin it in such a way that the president cannot be convicted of a crime because the president has unlimited power, then the United States will no longer in any sense of the word be a democratic republic.  If, as Giuliani suggests, the president can simply pardon himself of any and all crimes against the nation, then we will have become a dictatorship without recourse.

First, a bit about the letter.  Apparently lawyers are poor communicators, for it should not have required 20 pages to say what they had to say.  I actually did read the letter in its entirety on Sunday morning, and for some reason it took me a couple of hours, for I kept falling asleep.  I have included the link to the entire letter, if you’re interested, but there are a few salient points.  First, the position that the president cannot break the law, simply because he is the president – he IS the law …

“It remains our position that the President’s actions here, by virtue of his position as the chief law enforcement officer, could neither constitutionally nor legally constitute obstruction because that would amount to him obstructing himself, and that he could, if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon if he so desired.”

Then an attempt to delegitimize the investigation …

“This encumbrance has been only compounded by the astounding public revelations about the corruption within the FBI and Department of Justice which appears to have led to the alleged Russia collusion investigation and the establishment of the Office of Special Counsel in the first place.”

They place Trump above the law, hinting that he cannot be subpoenaed …

“As you know, under our system of government, the President is not readily available to be interviewed. The records and testimony we have, pursuant to the President’s directive, already voluntarily provided to your office allow you to delve into the conversations and actions that occurred in a significant and exhaustive manner, including but not limited to the testimony of the President’s interlocutors themselves. In light of these voluntary offerings, your office clearly lacks the requisite need to personally interview the President.”

There is an attempt to justify Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, which Trump already admitted was an attempt to shut down the FBI investigation into collusion …

“As you know, and as Mr. Comey himself has acknowledged, a President can fire an FBI Director at any time and for any reason.  No President has ever faced charges of obstruction merely for exercising his constitutional authority.”

And then they come to the point, that Trump has the right to shut down any investigation at his own will (or whim) …

“A President can also order the termination of an investigation by the Justice Department or FBI at any time and for any reason.  We remind you of these facts simply because even assuming, arguendo, that the President did order the termination of an investigation (and the President, along with Mr. Comey in his testimony and in his actions, have made it clear that he did not) this could not constitute obstruction of justice.”

Discrediting Comey …

“The circumstance in which this memo arose — several months after the conversation and only after Mr. Comey was fired in disgrace — raises serious doubts about its veracity, if indeed it even exists.”

And finally, 20 pages later, these verbose lawyers conclude with …

“As recognized by the Framers in Article II and as articulated in jurisprudence, the President’s prime function as the Chief Executive ought not be hampered by requests for interview. Having him testify demeans the Office of the President before the world.”

Allow me to correct that last statement.  Having him IN the office demeans the Office of the President before the world.  (I’ve been trying to hold back the snarky … really I have!)

As you can see, the entire tone of the lawyers’ letter is that Mueller is wasting his time, Trump is too important to be bothered with such a silly little thing as testifying, and that if he chooses, he can call off the entire investigation and give himself a blanket pardon.  But then came Rudy Giuliani’s interview on This Week, and it became even more clear that the goal of the legal team is to discredit and disavow the investigation and the evidence.

If you wish to watch the segment, it is just over 14 minutes, or you can read the transcript.

Rudy’s answers were long-winded and sometimes confusing, but the gist of what he said was that he doesn’t think it’s right for Trump to have to testify before the Special Counsel, but if they promise to be fair and keep it short, to about 5-6 points, then maybe.  He also said he’s pretty sure that if push came to shove, Trump could simply pardon himself.  And there is one snippet I must include here, for it is mind-blowing:

“Look, for every one of these things he did, we can write out five reasons why he did it. If four of them are completely innocent and one of them is your assumption that it’s a guilty motive, which the president would deny, you can’t possibly prosecute him. Or recommend impeachment.”

To me, Rudy’s tone came off in two ways:  1) Heh heh heh … boys will be boys … heh heh heh.  2) Let’s hurry and get this over with so we can go back to subjugating the American people!

Giuliani said he wants Mueller to wrap up this investigation by September 1st so that it doesn’t interfere with the midterms and so “to get this long nightmare over for the American public”.  The American public is not the one having the nightmare … we support the investigation fully, for we want the truth, and we want all those, including Donald Trump, to pay for their crimes against us.  And I hope it does interfere with the midterms, for Congress has too long been protecting a criminal, licking his boots, at the expense of We The People, and we need to be reminded of that as we head to the polls on November 6th.

Legal experts appear to have no definitive answers for us either, for this entire fiasco is without precedent.  Neal Katyal, a former acting solicitor general, said, “The idea that a president can’t obstruct justice died with King George III, with a brief attempt at revival by Richard Nixon.”

Jed Shugerman, a Fordham University Law School professor, said, “There is a real practical consequence for the republic if Trump is able to win the silence of other defendants with the use of these pardons,” Shugerman said. “If he’s making an implicit threat that he could escalate this with pardons, there’s nothing in the letter to indicate that he’s not willing to pardon himself.”

I could go on, but this post already exceeds what I consider an appropriate length, so I leave you with one thought:  If Donald Trump is above the law, if he cannot be punished for crimes against the nation, for election-tampering, for collusion and obstruction of justice, then can we still call ourselves a ‘democracy’?  I think you all know the answer.

There Was An FBI Informant Asking Questions Of President’s Campaign Team In 2016

For several days, Donald Trump has been claiming his campaign was spied on, infiltrated, by the FBI. To what end? Who knows. It is a paranoid delusion from the mind of a madman, if you ask me. As always, our friend Gronda is on top of the story with a nice summary of what is true and what isn’t, and what Trump’s likely goal is — to shut down the Mueller investigation. A man who is innocent does not act guilty, as Trump is doing. Please take a minute to read Gronda’s summary, for it clarifies the issue nicely. Thank you, Gronda!

Gronda Morin

Image result for cartoons of fbi informant trump

The FBI has been resisting providing the name of one of its confidential informants to GOP members in the White House and the US Congress because this would risk the informant’s life. But the GOP who are doing the president’s bidding could care less.

President Trump and his supporters including the US House Intel chair, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) are convinced that finding this man could derail the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe being led by the Special Counsel Robert Mueller III.

Image result for cartoons of fbi informant trump

As per a May 17, 2018 Washington Post report, “President Trump’s allies are waging an increasingly aggressive campaign to undercut the Russia investigation by exposing the role of a top-secret FBI source. The effort reached new heights Thursday as Trump alleged that an informant had improperly spied on his 2016 campaign and predicted that the ensuing scandal would be “bigger than Watergate!”

The fact is that there was an informant…

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Rule – of Law

There is something chilling in blogger-friend Erik’s post today, and yet at the same time, it leaves me feeling that there is a chance that the right people are in the right places to save the day. I also learned some things from this post that I was not aware of … or at least picked up some food for thought. Please take a few minutes to read Erik’s post — you won’t regret it. Thanks, Erik!!!

Barataria - The work of Erik Hare

On a Friday the 13th when the sky hangs grey over what should be Spring, the world appears on the edge of catastrophe. The Trump debacle descends into the kind of madness that Shakespeare made a living out of, careening into the end of the second act when the stage goes dark.

Hollywood, for its part, depicted days like this as slasher movies, their idea of scary. There was never a cop to be found as people traipsed through a hellscape, dark and throbbing in surround sound.  There was no order, only survival – for a few.

Yet here we are, waiting for something. And into it comes James Comey’s book, “A Higher Loyalty.”  The former top cop appears to doing what we have so far been unable to do ourselves, coming in to rescue us all. But it’s still scary, and more in the Shakespearean way, because…

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