Lookin’ Good, Merrick Garland!

Merrick-GarlandYesterday was the first of the two-day confirmation hearings for Merrick Garland, President Biden’s choice to head the Department of Justice.  I have felt for weeks that Garland would be confirmed by the Senate, for he is both liked and respected by those on both sides of the aisle.  According to an article in The Washington Post …

“… there was little acrimony and many Democrats and Republicans on the panel appeared to treat his confirmation almost as a foregone conclusion.”

Several Republicans seem certain that Garland will be confirmed …

“I believe so. There were people that weren’t totally satisfied with his answers, but i didn’t hear anybody get really irritated. … For the most part, he answered pretty well.” – Senator Chuck Grassley (republican) from Iowa

“That certainly seems likely. I thought he did fine. It was frustrating in that he answered very few questions. He approached it more like a judicial nominee dodging every question.” – Senator Ted Cruz (republican) from Texas

“Judge Garland is about as sure a bet as you can have in the Congress these days that he will be confirmed. He has navigated these questions with extraordinary adroitness and aplomb.” – Senator Richard Blumenthal (democrat) from Connecticut

To be sure, there were contentious lines of questioning, especially from the likes of Senator John Neeley Kennedy, a republican from Louisiana, and the ignoble Josh Hawley who cheered the attackers on January 6th, and did everything in his power to try to overturn our votes on that day.  But, Garland remained cool and his answers brought no rebuttal.  For example, Hawley arrogantly twirled his pencil while attempting to goad Garland into a conversation on defunding the police, and on what constitutes ‘domestic terrorism’.

Garland, who prosecuted the Oklahoma City bombing perpetrators before becoming a federal judge,  looked Hawley straight in the eye and responded …

“As you no doubt know, President Biden has said he does not support defunding the police, and neither do I. We saw how difficult the lives of police officers were in the body-cam videos we saw when they were defending the Capitol.  The use of violence or threats of violence in an attempt to disrupt democratic processes.  So an attack on a courthouse while in operation trying to prevent judges from deciding cases, that plainly is domestic extremism, domestic terrorism.”

Lindsey Graham, who would not allow Garland’s hearing to take place earlier this month, reared his typically ugly head, quizzed Garland on whether he thought James Comey, who was fired by the former guy early in his administration, was a good FBI Director.  Garland calmly replied that the question was not useful and that he didn’t intend to get into critiquing other directors.  Then Graham responded churlishly with …

“Well, you’ve been very political, and appropriately so, at times. I just find it pretty stunning that you can’t say, in my view, that he was a terrible FBI director.”

However, at the end of the day, Lindsey told Garland, “I think you’re a very good pick for this job.”  Even Senator Kennedy, one of the more obnoxious among republican senators, said “You’ll be a good attorney general.”

Perhaps Garland’s most powerful statement, at least in my eyes, was when he said …

“I am not the president’s lawyer, I am the United States’ lawyer.”

Quite the contrast from previous Attorney General William Barr who saw himself and the entire Department of Justice as tools at the former guy’s disposal.

No doubt there will be some Republicans who will oppose the nomination, likely Tom Cotton, Mike Lee, and Josh Hawley among them, but the general consensus is that Garland will win senate confirmation when the vote is taken on March 1st.  Score one for justice.

Billy Is Out And Biden Is In

Just two thoughts tonight … well, okay, I actually have more than two, but I’m going easy on you tonight since it’s only Tuesday with another long week ahead.

Bye-Bye Billy Boy

I don’t watch junk television, so I never watched Mr. Trump’s show where he apparently took pleasure in screeching, “You’re Fired” to contestants on the program.  But from the early days of his term in office, it has been obvious that he does like to fire people without cause, but he’s a coward and doesn’t do it face-to-face, but rather FBI Director James Comey found out he was fired from television, and others have found out via Twitter or been forewarned through the grapevine.  The latest is William Barr who, although he technically wasn’t fired, resigned yesterday rather than give Trump a chance to tweet his termination.

I have neither respect nor empathy for Attorney General William Barr, since he has used his office to condone corruption and criminal activity to the detriment of this nation and its people.  However, the reason for his resignation is that he, like Chris Krebs before him, fully expected to be fired … for doing his job!

Mr. Trump fired Chris Krebs on November 17th because Mr. Krebs had the audacity to actually do his job and, after two weeks of investigations, announce that there was no evidence of the sort of widespread voter fraud Trump was claiming, and that the election was the most secure in the history of the nation.   Trump fired Krebs that very same day, saying …

“… recent statement by Chris Krebs on the security of the 2020 Election was highly inaccurate, in that there were massive improprieties and fraud.”

A month later, and still Trump & Co have not been able to produce a single shred of evidence to support their claims, but are still bleating nonsense nonetheless.

And now, William Barr was about to be fired for the exact same thing.  After weeks’ of investigation by the FBI and Justice Department, earlier this month Barr declared that the U.S. Justice Department has uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the 2020 election.  And Trump was furious.

Even before Krebs and Barr, firings have been ‘without cause’, such as Mark Esper, who was terminated from his position as Secretary of Defense because he would not commit to using active-duty troops to help quell mostly peaceful Black Lives Matter protests in Washington, D.C.

Anywhere else, such unconscionable terminations would be cause for lawsuits, and in fact Chris Krebs has filed suit against the Trump campaign, NewsMax, and Trump campaign lawyer Joseph DiGenova who called for Krebs to be “drawn and quartered. Taken out at dawn and shot”.  When I hear these things, I shudder and wonder if our federal government at the highest levels is run by the Mafia.

Any business manager can tell you that you simply don’t fire people because they did their job, told the truth, though it happened not to be what you wanted to hear.  I spent over 20 years in management level positions and was sued twice during that time for “wrongful discharge”, though in the end the plaintiffs both lost their cases.  This is why companies have Human Resource departments, to keep managers from terminating employees unfairly or without cause.  WHERE is the H.R. department in the White House???  Sleeping?  Or were they fired, too?

Again, Bill Barr was a man who had sold his conscience, who did not consider his loyalty to be to either the Constitution or to We the People, and as such, he deserved what he got, however he was forced out for all the wrong reasons.  The main person that I can see who needs to be fired was just officially fired yesterday by the Electoral College, and will leave his position at noon on January 20th, at which time you will hear a collective sigh of relief.

In other news …

Ohio Senator Rob Portman finally, a month late, acknowledged in a short public statement that Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States, though not without a certain amount of rancor …

“In accordance with the Constitution and federal law, the Electoral College cast their votes for President today. The Electors met in their respective state following certification of the results. I think we need to respect this process the Founding Fathers established, and we must respect the will of the voters. As I’ve said previously, the Trump campaign had every right to pursue recounts and legal challenges. That has now happened over the past six weeks, and although there were instances of fraud and irregularities, it has not been shown to be widespread enough to change the result of the election. States must take seriously the proven examples of fraud and irregularities, prosecute anyone who engaged in it, and review voting systems to maintain the integrity of our elections. The transition process and briefings for the Biden team began three weeks ago at the direction of President Trump, and I commend him for that. The orderly transfer of power is a hallmark of our democracy, and although I supported President Trump, the Electoral College vote today makes clear that Joe Biden is now President-Elect.”

McConnell?  Gaetz?  Graham?  Did you guys get the memo that the Electoral College has officially declared Joe Biden the winner of the November 3rd election?  Speak up … I can’t quite hear you.

And for a bit of humour, here is a MeidasTouch video I found rather humorous …

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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I Feel A Snarky Snippet Coming On

Yep, friends, I know it’s hard to believe, but I have still more snarky snippets in my pack!  There’s just so much material … sigh.  I am working on a piece about Stephen Miller that I started last week, but frankly I’m not sure when it will see the light of day.  I can only wallow in the muck that is Mr. Miller for so long before I am physically ill and have to step back out for a while.  Stephen Miller is perhaps the most evil person I’ve encountered in many years, perhaps ever.  Anyway, to release some of the pent-up angst, I found plenty to snark about …

Loyalty … to the country, not the prez

The representative for my district is Warren Davidson, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, therefore a radical right-wing republican.  Last evening, he posted on Twitter:

“Executive Branch employees swear to faithfully discharge the duties of their office. If they disagree with #POTUS they should resign, not join in a ‘resistance.’”

He was referring, of course, to Acting Ambassador to the Ukraine William Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, both of whom testified before the House impeachment inquiry that Trump’s attempted extortion to force Ukrainian President Zelenskyy to open a false investigation of Joe Biden and his son, Hunter in exchange for military aid that was already approved, was disturbing, was wrong, and potentially damaging to the national security interests of both the Ukraine and the U.S.  He referenced an OpEd in The Hill that claims, in a nutshell, that Trump can do whatever he pleases and that none of the people in his administration have a right to protest or to speak against his actions.

Bullshit.  People who work in government do not work for the president.  They work for We the People, and their loyalty is to the people of this nation, not the president.  I well remember that Trump asked James Comey, former Director of the FBI, to sign a loyalty oath … an oath not to the country, but to Donald Trump.  Comey refused.  How many in the administration have signed such documents, though, that we don’t know about?  This, my friends, is unconstitutional, plain and simple.

Mr. Taylor and Mr. Kent were acting appropriately and were courageously putting the best interests of this nation before the megalomaniac in the Oval Office.  They were concerned with the manner in which foreign policy is being conducted, more like mafia tactics than respectable government negotiations.  Not to mention, they were legally obligated to honour the subpoena by the House, which some in the Trump administration seem to have forgotten.  My hat is off to both of these gentlemen.  As for Mr. Davidson … I will work diligently to help people in his district see that he is a greedy, manipulative authoritarian who deserves to be given the boot next year.

Pardon Me?

When due process of law takes place, it should not be overridden by the ‘man’ in the Oval Office.  Let’s get something straight here … Donald Trump is, for better or for worse, the president, but he is not the king, of the United States.  Most presidents use their power as needed, but try not to abuse it, and try to act in the best interest of the country.  Donald Trump is the polar opposite.

  • Major Matthew Golsteyn of the Army Special Forces was awaiting trial on charges that he murdered an unarmed Afghan in 2010.
  • Army First Lieutenant Clint Lorance was convicted at trial in 2013 for ordering the shooting of a group of civilians in Afghanistan, an order he then tried to cover up.
  • Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher of the Navy SEALs was charged with the murder of a captive in Iraq but was acquitted this summer of all charges except for the minor charge of posing for a photo with a corpse.

Last week, Donald Trump used his pardon pen to pardon these three war criminals, one of whom had not yet even been convicted.  This is a bit different from your run-of-the-mill pardon.  These pardons were issued against the advice of top defense officials and are largely seen as a sign of disregard not only for the decisions of military juries, but for the judicial process itself.

Oddly, the majority of the military’s rank-and-file are supportive of Trump.  This surprises me, for he has done nothing for them, has done nothing for veterans, and even attempted to rip off veterans when he promised a donation from his charity, then attempted to renege.  So … what’s the allure?  But, the top brass are less enamoured with Trump, especially after these three pardons.  Privately, many worried that Trump’s actions could erode discipline by sending a message to troops and commanders that in some cases the laws of war would not apply.

He doesn’t understand, he doesn’t think, he doesn’t care.  Speculation is that he will also pardon Roger Stone … what a farce this government is becoming.

Sometimes it backfires!

You have to love this one.  U.S. House representative Elise Stefanik played a role in last Friday’s impeachment hearings, accusing Democratic committee chairman, Adam Schiff, of trying to silence her and other members of her party, “simply because we are Republicans.”  She also rather contentiously questioned the former United States ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch, who was testifying before the committee.

Donald Trump was pretty pleased with her, tweeting …

“A new Republican Star is born. Great going @EliseStefanik!”

I had to chuckle, though, for this one actually helped Ms. Stefanik’s opponent in next year’s election, Tedra Cobb!  Ms. Cobb’s campaign received more than $1 million in donations over the weekend!  One such contributor was none other than Kellyanne’s hubby, George Conway, who donated $2,800.  Others included George Takei and Mark Hamill.

And, just because I sense you guys need a few laughs, I give you … Seth Meyers as he summarizes last week with humour for us!

More Head-Shaking Moments …

I considered not writing a post for this morning.  My mother used to caution me: “Si no puedes decir algo bueno, entonces no digas nada.”  Translation:  If you cannot say something nice, then say nothing at all.  And thus, I considered skipping my morning post, for I knew I could not say anything nice.  But, sigh, I then remembered something else my mother used to say: “Siempre comparte con tus amigos.”  Translation:  Always share with your friends.  So, grab a stick (to bite on to keep from screaming and scaring the neighbors), a box of tissues and sit down while I regale you with the latest …

Say WHAT???

“If I did one mistake with Comey, I should have fired him before I got here. I should have fired him the day I won the primaries.  I should have fired him right after the convention, say I don’t want that guy.” – Donald Trump, interview with John Solomon and Buck Sexton of The Hill, Tuesday 18 September 2018

Excuse me, but last I knew, a candidate … which is all Trump was after winning the primaries, after winning the nomination … does not have any more right to fire the Director of the FBI than you or I!!!  Is his ego truly so bloated that he thinks he had that ability?  And if so, then what else does he believe he can do, that he cannot … or can he?

And then there was this, from the same interview …

“You know, I took that test when I got my last physical, and the doctor said that’s one of the highest scores we’ve ever seen. I did that not because I wanted but I did it, I was always good at testing. But if there’s anything great about me it’s stability, and I’m a good manager. Always been a good manager, but you know, I have a vision.”

When I read that, I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry, so instead I choked on a bite of celery. Fortunately, daughter Chris is a nurse and certified in the Heimlich maneuver.

But wait … it gets even better … or worse, actually.  When speaking of his decision earlier this week to release to the public certain classified materials relating to the FBI’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election despite serious national security concerns, Trump credited …

“I have been asked by so many people that I respect, please — the great Lou Dobbs, the great Sean Hannity, the wonderful great Jeanie Pirro.”

Donald Trump … the leader of the United States of America … responsible and accountable to some 328 million people … is jeopardizing national security … based on the advice of … three radical, right-wing, conspiracy-theorist, television talk show hosts?!?!?!?!

I don’t care if you are a democrat, republican or independent, if this doesn’t make you see red, then you seriously need an education.

If you have the stomach for it, and have somebody with you who knows the Heimlich, feel free to read or watch the entire 1:32 long interview.

Ethics, Schmethics …

The September 3-9 Gallup poll asked how Trump’s ethical standards compare with those of seven of his eight predecessors.  Take a look at the results …ethics poll.pngTrump’s ethics were considered to be even lower than Richard I-am-not-a-crook Nixon!!!  Nixon, who was charged with obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and contempt of Congress as a result of his involvement in the Watergate scandal, is the only U.S. president to resign from office, which he did in 1974, before his near-certain impeachment.

Yet more than eight in ten Republicans still approve of the job he is doing.  Shoot me now!

He should’a stayed home …

It is generally appropriate and expected for the president to visit and tour areas of the nation after a natural disaster, such as a hurricane.  So, it was no surprise that Trump visited New Bern, North Carolina, hard-hit from floods as a result of Hurricane Florence last week. Trump-Florence.jpgLooking at the remains of a yacht that had washed up against the back of a brick home, Trump asked the homeowner …  “Is this your boat?” The man shook his head and said “No”. Trump turned with a grin and replied, “At least you got a nice boat out of the deal.”

gaspWas there a more inappropriate remark he could have made?  Other presidents have treated natural disaster tours as dignified, solemn affairs.  After all, people have lost homes, possessions, cars, family pets, and in some cases even the lives of loved ones. They need both practical help and compassion, understanding.  With Trump, they get off-key attempts at humour, and as the New York Times states it, “pep-rally enthusiasm”.  Frankly, had I been that homeowner I would have spit in his face.  What an embarrassment he is to us all, only some 36% of the nation cannot see it.  Perhaps if he mocked their own misfortune they would begin to understand.

sad-turltleOkay, folks … that’s all I’ve got … well, actually I’ve got lots more, but that’s likely enough to start your day off on the wrong foot, so I’ll leave off here.  Have a great day, my friends … try to step away from the train wreck for a bit and go outside, enjoy nature, remind yourself that ‘this too shall pass’.  I think that’s my new motto.

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.

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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Republicans Lied About The Conditions Of FBI’s Andrew McCabe’s Firing

If you had any doubt that our government has completely lost any and all integrity … you need to read Gronda’s post. We The People have been so duped that I almost hope for an invasion of Canadians to come take us over! Thanks Gronda!

Gronda Morin

Image result for photos of trump andrew mccabe TRUMP/ MCCABE

What else is new! “We the people” know that the republican President Donald Trump and his republican cronies will stoop to just about any low brow action including resorting  to outright  fabrications to cover for the Trump team. Unfortunately, this includes setting up a 21 year competent, dedicated civil servant, the former FBI acting director, Andrew McCabe to be fired just hours before he was scheduled to retire with his pension benefits, intact.

Here is the rest of the story…

On March 30, 2018, Frank Vyant Walton of the DailyKos penned the following report, “Andrew McCabe has emails proving the Republicans have lied about him”


After Jeff Sessions decided to fire Andrew McCabe just hours before his scheduled retirement which denied him his full benefits package, Republican Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Mark Meadows (R-NC) claimed the FBI’s disciplinary office found that McCabe lied to then-Director James Comey about leaking…

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Biggest Spider Web Ever …

Is there one, single person in Trump’s administration, family, or inner circle who is honest?  In a word, the answer would seem to be a resounding NO!  Just in the past 48 hours, there have been new tales of scandal surrounding son-in-law Jared Kushner, long-time confidante Roger Stone, and close advisor and communications director Hope Hicks. That’s just in the past 24 hours!!!  Never … NEVER in the history of the United States has there been a more corrupt, nastier group of people in a single administration than today.  Trump & Co. make Nixon & Co. look like a bunch of bloomin’ angels!  And this was the man who promised he was going to “drain the swamp” in Washington?  Looks to me as if all he did was bring in a whole lot more, uglier and more lethal crocodiles!  Let us, briefly, take a look at each of these most recent abominations …

Jared Kushner

Kushner-4Jared Kushner’s company, Kushner Companies, is in trouble.  Deep trouble to the tune of $1.2 billion.  Yes, that’s billion.  While Kushner officially divested his interest in the family business when he accepted a job in the Trump administration, he did not stop seeking funding to stop the bleeding in the business.  To that end, he was a liability from day #1, for at least four foreign interests, fully aware of Kushner’s company’s financial woes, considered ways to manipulate him, to use his troubles to their advantage.  United Arab Emirates, China, Israel and Mexico viewed Kushner as likely to be easily influenced.  And that doesn’t even touch on his meeting with Sergey Gorkov, the head of a state-owned Russian development bank in December 2016.

Kushner’s firm has sought investments from the Chinese insurer Anbang and from the former prime minister of Qatar.  Kushner’s company has also received loans from Apollo Global Management, whose co-founder Joshua Harris has met numerous times with Kushner in the White House, and CitiBank, whose CEO Michael Corbat also met with Kushner in early 2017.  There is obviously no clear line of demarcation between Kushner’s role in the White House and his business interests, despite the fact that he supposedly stepped away from Kushner Companies.

Add to that his omissions on his security clearance forms that he has been forced to revise numerous times, his attempt to establish a ‘secret communication channel’ with the Kremlin, and his breaking protocol by not coordinating foreign contacts through the National Security Council, and you have one very smelly situation.

Roger Stone

roger-stoneI can always tell when Roger Stone is back in the news, for the piece I wrote about him and his wife in July 2016  starts getting views, even though that piece is nearly two years old.  This week, it has already received 69 views, so I knew Stone was back on the radar.

On March 17, 2017, WikiLeaks tweeted that it had never communicated with Roger Stone, a longtime confidante and informal adviser to President Donald Trump. In his interview with the House Intelligence Committee last September, Stone, who testified under oath, told lawmakers that he had communicated with WikiLeaks via an “intermediary,” whom he identified only as a “journalist.” And then came evidence of the lie:  Private Twitter messages show that Stone and WikiLeaks communicated directly on October 13, 2016, and that WikiLeaks sought to keep its channel to Stone open after Trump won the election.

While not officially a part of the administration, Roger Stone has been a close friend and confidante of Donald Trump’s for years and served as Trump’s lobbyist for more than a decade.  There is no reason to believe that the two are not still closely allied.  WikiLeaks was, in part, responsible for releasing information that made public the emails of Hillary Clinton and others during the 2016 campaign.

Hope Hicks

hicksWhite House communications director Hope Hicks announced her intention to resign on Wednesday, the day after she refused to answer questions during an appearance before House investigators looking into Russian interference in the 2016 election.  Add to that, the fact that she was the mistress of ousted Staff Secretary Rob Porter, who resigned amid accusations of domestic violence that were known by the administration long before becoming public knowledge.

Setting aside her lack of morals, I prefer to concentrate on her refusal to answer questions under oath.  Being possessed of a naturally suspicious mind, I almost always assume that somebody who refuses to answer questions in this sort of an investigation has something to hide and is protecting either themselves or somebody else.  This situation is no different.  Hicks has been one of the handful of people that have been closest to Trump since the very beginning of his campaign three years ago, so she is certain to know almost everything there is to know. And then to announce her resignation the very next day?  Nope, nothing innocent about this woman, folks.

During her testimony, if one can even call it that, Hicks acknowledged she has had to tell what amounted to ‘white lies’. She pointedly and repeatedly declined to answer questions about the presidential transition or her time in the White House, telling investigators that she had been asked by the White House to discuss only her time on the campaign.

Hicks’ testimony is … or would be if she would give any … relevant, for she has been close to the Trump campaign and administration almost since day #1, plus she was involved with the firing of FBI Director James Comey, as well as that infamous 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between Russians and top Trump campaign officials.  I would like to see her subpoenaed, for her refusal to answer, coupled with her admission to telling lies and subsequent resignation are ringing very loud alarm bells.

And there you have it, folks, the latest filaments that are to be found in that huge spider web known as the Trump administration.  And he called Hillary Clinton ‘crooked’?????