I Tried To Be Nice … It’s Hard!!!

Let me start by saying that today is National Say Something Nice Day.  I may struggle with this one … let me try, though … … … … … …  🤷

Well, okay, that one didn’t work out so well, did it?  Perhaps I’ll try again later, but for now I’ll stand by that old adage “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.”  Have a nice day!

Oh wait … that qualifies as saying something nice, doesn’t it?  I mean, it even has the word ‘nice’ in it!  So now, I’ve fulfilled my obligation to say something nice and I can carry on with my normal grumbling and grousing!


In case you hadn’t heard, QAnon, the conspiracy theory group, held a ‘conference’ in Dallas, Texas, over the weekend.  QAnon must surely require that its members have an IQ under 50 in order to join, for there was, from what I’ve read, not a single bit of intelligence uttered at any point.  Reporters were largely banned from the event.  For starters, there was the infamous Sidney Powell, the attorney who filed multiple phony lawsuits on behalf of the former guy attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election that President Biden won by over 7 million votes.  Ms. Powell lost every single one of those cases.

At the QAnon conference, wearing a leather biker vest covered in Trump stickers, she spouted more nonsense, saying of the former guy …

“He can simply be reinstated. A new inauguration date is set, and Biden is told to move out of the White House, and President Trump should be moved back in. I’m sure there’s not going to be credit for time lost, unfortunately, because the Constitution itself sets the date for inauguration, but he should definitely get the remainder of his term and make the best of it.”

She’s a lawyer???  She must surely have gotten her JD out of a box of Cracker Jacks, for any sane person who ever took a course in Constitutional Law knows that what she said is pure bullshit.  But she received lots of applause and cheering for her words … there were a whole lot of fools in Dallas this weekend!

And then there was there was Louis Gohmert, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas … a man who should be held to a higher standard than to attend a meeting of a bunch of fringe lunatics!  Gohmert spent his time on stage denigrating House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and claiming that the attack on Congress on January 6th was really no big deal, that no investigation is necessary, and that it wasn’t just right-wing extremists, but also the left – a theory that has been disproven multiple times.

Gohmert also suggested that the insurrection shouldn’t be a serious concern because the United States has weathered worse, including foreign attacks.

“Some of us think Pearl Harbor was the worst attack on democracy, some of us think 9/11 was the worst attack. Some of us think that those things were worse attacks on democracy.”

Pearl Harbour and 9/11 certainly took more lives than January 6th, however … they were not attacks from within, not attacks attempting to overthrow our government.  Gohmert has once again shown that he is not fit to be a member of Congress, perhaps not even fit to walk among us!

But perhaps the must heinous, most inhumane comments came from none other than Michael Flynn, the former National Security advisor who lasted only 22 days in the position before being forced to resign as a result of lying about his role in helping Russia interfere in our 2016 election.  Flynn is a former Lieutenant General in the U.S. Army and former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency … not someone you would expect to encourage a military coup, but that is precisely what he did at the QAnon conference last weekend.

During the Q&A session, Flynn was asked this question by a low-IQ attendee …

“I want to know why what happened in Myanmar can’t happen here?”

To which the traitorous Flynn replied …

“No reason. I mean, it should happen here.”

Michael Flynn would be in prison today if he had not been pardoned by the former guy.  Instead, he is spouting dangerous rhetoric to a group of people who are too stupid to have a clue what is happening in Myanmar.  Despite his response being recorded on video, Flynn later tried to weasel out and say it wasn’t what he said … or what he meant … or who knows what the man meant.

And lastly, what would a QAnon conference be without the deplorable Roger Stone?  Although I don’t think Roger showed up in person, his ‘social media advisor’, Jason Sullivan, made quite a stir.  Referring to Hillary Clinton as that “god-awful woman,” Sullivan then made a noose gesture around his neck, which was greeted with wild applause by the audience.

The real danger in all this lunacy is that there are a large number of people who actually believe the conspiracy theories.  A recent poll shows that 15% to 20% of Americans believe in tenets central to the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory movement — a minority, but not an insignificant number.  Fifteen percent of all Americans and 23% of Republicans said they agree that “the government, media, and financial worlds in the U.S. are controlled by a group of Satan-worshipping pedophiles who run a global child sex trafficking operation.”  As we saw on January 6th, these people are willing to act on their beliefs, to attempt to overthrow the government, to burn the Constitution, and fools like Sidney Powell, Mike Flynn and others are encouraging them, are pouring fuel on the fires of hatred.

A Time For Justice: Bannon Et Al

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michael Flynn’s Fall From Grace Complete

Before reading the following post by our friend Jeff, I strongly suggest you do three things: 1) sit down, 2) pour a strong drink, 3) hold your jaw so it won’t drop to the ground. All set … then read what our friend has written about none other than the #$%&@ Michael Flynn! Thanks Jeff … I think. 😉

On The Fence Voters

In their Oval Office meeting two days after the 2016 election, President Obama warned then-President-elect Trump about including Michael Flynn in his new administration. New Jersey Governor Chis Christie also lobbied against hiring him.

But while initially considering those red-flag warnings, the new president decided instead to reward Flynn for his loyalty and hard work on the campaign by naming him National Security Advisor. It must have been too hard to resist rewarding the former 3-star Lieutenant General, especially for the constant “lock her up” chants he liked to lead at MAGA cult rallies.

His tenure as Trump’s top national security guy, as we now know, was short-lived. Soon, Flynn was fired after it came out that he lied to Vice-President Mike Pence about the nature and content of his communications with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak.

And it was within that context that Flynn was…

View original post 1,063 more words

Just A Little Bit Of Snarky

countdownI can barely remember a time when we could go to bed at night without losing sleep wondering what the latest atrocity from the person in the Oval Office would be when we wake in the morning.  I look forward to seeing such a time again soon.  Why … I might even have to retire Snarky Snippets!  Just 49 days to go …


Take Away The Pardon Pen!

Last week, Trump gave the ignoble Michael Flynn an early Christmas gift … a pardon.  Flynn, you may remember, pleaded guilty to a felony count of “willfully and knowingly” making false statements to the FBI.  Flynn was involved in Russia’s interference in our 2016 presidential election and should, like others, be sitting in a prison cell today.  Instead, he is a free man.

With Flynn’s pardon, people began to speculate about who else Trump might pardon before he leaves office at noon on January 20th.  Let’s start with this headline …

Trump Has Discussed With Advisers Pardons for His 3 Eldest Children and Giuliani

Hmmmm … now why would his three eldest children need pardons?  Obviously, they have committed crimes and Trump knows about it, else he would have no reason to even consider pardoning them.  So … as they say, “inquiring minds want to know,” and this inquiring mind is now determined to find out just what Ivanka, Junior and Eric might have done that would send them to prison if not for daddy’s pardon pen.  Oh, he’s also considering a pardon for his son-in-law, the atrocious Jared Kushner.

Typically, a presidential pardon is issued when a person has been charged with a crime.  Thus far, none of Trump’s children have been charged with a crime, so any pardon would be a pre-emptive one covering crimes for which they might be charged in the future.  How the Sam Hell does that work?

Junior had been under investigation by Robert Mueller’s team for his role in dealing with the Russians for damaging information against Hillary Clinton, but he was never charged.  Probably should have been but wasn’t.

What all of this says to me is that there has been a great deal of criminal activity taking place behind the closed doors of the White House that is highly likely to be uncovered by the Justice Department once it is no longer led by toady William Barr.  I can guarantee you that none of it was in the best interest of this nation and its people, but rather served to profit Trump and his businesses.

According to the New York Times …

Such a broad pardon pre-empting any charge or conviction is highly unusual but does have precedent. In the most famous example, President Gerald R. Ford pardoned Richard M. Nixon for all of his actions as president. President George Washington pardoned plotters of the Whiskey Rebellion, shielding them from treason prosecutions. And President Jimmy Carter pardoned thousands of American men who illegally avoided the draft for the Vietnam War.

I think that it’s time to put some restrictions on the presidential pardon pen.  Right now, there are none except that the president can only pardon federal, not state crimes.  I think no president should be able to pardon a murderer who has not been proven innocent, or a family member for any reason.  And I certainly don’t approve of this pre-emptive pardoning, where the person is pardoned for crimes that we don’t even know about yet!  This is just ridiculous.


Speaking of Attorney General William Barr …

It seems he might be having second thoughts about having been Trump’s toady, now that Trump has obviously lost the election and will soon be on his way out the door, taking all his minions with him.  For the first time since he took office in February 2019, Barr disagreed with Trump in a move that likely infuriated the child in the Oval Office.

Barr’s comments, in an interview with the The Associated Press, contradict the concerted effort by Trump, his boss, to subvert the results of last month’s voting and block President-elect Joe Biden from taking his place in the White House.

Barr told the AP that U.S. attorneys and FBI agents have been working to follow up specific complaints and information they’ve received, but “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”

Apparently, Trump’s attorneys were none too happy with Barr’s statement, as Rudy Giuliani and his political campaign issued a scathing statement claiming that, “with all due respect to the Attorney General, there hasn’t been any semblance” of an investigation into the president’s complaints.

Other administration officials who have come out forcefully against Trump’s allegations of voter-fraud evidence have been fired.  Would he fire Barr, with only 49 more days in office?  Sure he would!  He’d fire just about anybody, but at this point, I doubt he would find anyone willing to take the job for a period of less than two months.


Speaking of Trump’s attorneys …

Respected and respectable lawyers shy away from working for Donald Trump, for they would be risking their reputation, and potentially their license to practice law by working for him.  So, his legal team is not the best and the brightest, but one of his lawyers, Joe DiGenova is beneath even pond scum.

On Monday, DiGenova made an appearance on NewsMax, the latest in right-wing propaganda media, and said this …

“Anybody who thinks the election went well, like that idiot Krebs who used to be the head of cybersecurity, that guy is a class A moron. He should be drawn and quartered. Taken out at dawn and shot.”

Seriously???

Chris Krebs, you may remember, is the former head of election security in the Department of Homeland Security, who stated in no uncertain terms that there was no widespread voter fraud, and that the 2020 election was the most secure in the nation’s history.  He was fired a few days later on November 17th, by an irrational person who has no conscience, no ability to discern fact from fantasy.

Condemnation of Joe DiGenova’s remark about Chris Krebs was swift, including calls for his disbarment and the charge that he was behaving like a “mob attorney”.  No word on Trump’s response, but no doubt he will praise and approve of DiGenova’s comments.

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Fodder For Da Snarky

One good thing about not being able to go out these days is I have lots more time on weekends to peruse the news, stay on top of things, and feed my snarky side.  This weekend there is much fodder for that snarky side …


Well, no surprise that Trump commuted Roger Stone’s three-year sentence.  The only surprise was that he commuted the sentence rather than issuing a full pardon, but apparently that was at Stone’s request, so he can return to the courts and continue trying to plead his innocence.  Make no mistake, Roger Stone is not innocent … he is a criminal, has been engaged in criminal activities most of his adult life, and the only thing he’s innocent of is being a decent human being.  Roger Stone is guilty of breaking the law in order to help get Donald Trump elected.  He has the blood of this nation on his hands, and it is my belief that he will once again be complicit in working to alter the election of 2020. Roger-StoneStone was to have reported to prison on Tuesday, after being denied a delay.  He claimed he has health conditions that put him at risk for contracting the coronavirus and possibly dying.  At the risk of sounding like a cruel person, to this I say, “Oh well … one less festering sore on the body of humanity.”

Stone stands a seven-times convicted felon, a record that will remain with him for the rest of his life.  He should be spending the rest of his life in prison, but instead he will no doubt be back to his dirty tricks by next week.   In fact, he told NBC News he plans to celebrate his freedom by writing a book about his experience, possibly filing a complaint against federal prosecutor Aaron Zelinsky, and helping “exonerate” his felonious friend, former national security adviser Michael Flynn.  Birds of a feather …


blm-bannerOn main street in the small town of Clifton, Virginia, there is a banner that reads, “Welcome to Clifton where Black Lives Matter”.  Most people are supportive of the sign, applaud its message.  But this woman took umbrage …

ginny-thomas

She said, in an email …

“BLM is a bit of a dangerous Trojan Horse and they are catching well-meaning people into dangerous posturing that can invite mob rule and property looting. Let’s not be tricked into joining cause with radical extremists seeking to foment a cultural revolution because they hate America.”

Do you recognize the woman?  Her name is Ginny Thomas, and she is the wife of Clarence Thomas, the only African-American on the U.S. Supreme Court.

ginny-clarenceOh, the irony!


It seems that our own “leader”, and I use the term very loosely, isn’t the only one who is clueless on how to address the coronavirus pandemic and keep the people in their countries safe.  Boris Johnson, aka BoJo, has come up with a novel idea for combatting the virus … put everyone on a diet!

According to The Guardian

Downing Street is planning what has been billed as a “war against obesity”.  As well as longer-term proposals to reduce the incidence of obesity, government officials are having urgent discussions about how to persuade people to lose weight in the next few months, before an anticipated resurgence in coronavirus cases in the autumn.

The UK has experienced the highest death rate from coronavirus in Europe, and one potential factor may be high rates of obesity and associated lifestyle-linked conditions such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, which are strongly associated with worse Covid-19 outcomes.

There is logic to people getting into shape, becoming healthier and therefore better able to survive a case of the virus.  However, a few things should be noted.  First, weight loss doesn’t happen overnight, or even over a summer.  Second, exercise is every bit as integral to a healthy lifestyle as better eating habits.  And thirdly, this doesn’t do a thing to address stopping the spread of the virus, only perhaps its intensity.

Ah well, at least BoJo isn’t suggesting that citizens of the UK ingest bleach!


In a comment to my piece about the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi, I noted that there was a video with a number of clips showing Trump’s personal financial involvement with the Saudi’s both before and during his presidency.  One reader asked me to share that video, which is well worth the 4 minutes it takes to view …

A Man Of Honour & Integrity Speaks

I have wondered lately about Robert Mueller.  I understood why he was keeping a low profile … to an extent.  His work was done, he did it well, and while I wish he had done more, I also realize that he was prohibited from doing so by the abominable U.S. District Attorney, William Barr.  However, I was surprised that with all Trump’s recent blathering about the Mueller investigation having been a ‘witch hunt’, after the Department of Justice dropping the charges against Michael Flynn, and now Trump commuting Roger Stone’s sentence, Robert Mueller remained silent.  Trump and his henchmen have used every trick in their books to attempt to override the indictments the Mueller team made, and to attempt to convince the public that the Mueller investigation was a sham, naught but an attempt to bring Trump down.  I thought surely it must eat at Mueller, surely he must be itching to speak out, to defend his work, if not his own integrity.  Well, the Roger Stone episode was, apparently, the straw that broke the camel’s back, and Robert Mueller has spoken.  His words are far more important and more intelligent than any you’ll hear from Stone, Flynn, Barr, or Trump.  Mr. Mueller has something that none of them has:  honour and integrity.


Robert Mueller: Roger Stone Remains a Convicted Felon, and Rightly So

By Robert S. Mueller III

JULY 11, 2020

Robert-Mueller

The work of the special counsel’s office — its report, indictments, guilty pleas and convictions — should speak for itself. But I feel compelled to respond both to broad claims that our investigation was illegitimate and our motives were improper, and to specific claims that Roger Stone was a victim of our office. The Russia investigation was of paramount importance. Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so.

Russia’s actions were a threat to America’s democracy. It was critical that they be investigated and understood. By late 2016, the FBI had evidence that the Russians had signaled to a Trump campaign adviser that they could assist the campaign through the anonymous release of information damaging to the Democratic candidate. And the FBI knew that the Russians had done just that: Beginning in July 2016, WikiLeaks released emails stolen by Russian military intelligence officers from the Clinton campaign. Other online personas using false names — fronts for Russian military intelligence — also released Clinton campaign emails.

Following FBI Director James B. Comey’s termination in May 2017, the acting attorney general named me as special counsel and directed the special counsel’s office to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The order specified lines of investigation for us to pursue, including any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign. One of our cases involved Stone, an official on the campaign until mid-2015 and a supporter of the campaign throughout 2016. Stone became a central figure in our investigation for two key reasons: He communicated in 2016 with individuals known to us to be Russian intelligence officers, and he claimed advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ release of emails stolen by those Russian intelligence officers.

We now have a detailed picture of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. The special counsel’s office identified two principal operations directed at our election: hacking and dumping Clinton campaign emails, and an online social media campaign to disparage the Democratic candidate. We also identified numerous links between the Russian government and Trump campaign personnel — Stone among them. We did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government in its activities. The investigation did, however, establish that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome. It also established that the campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts.

Uncovering and tracing Russian outreach and interference activities was a complex task. The investigation to understand these activities took two years and substantial effort. Based on our work, eight individuals pleaded guilty or were convicted at trial, and more than two dozen Russian individuals and entities, including senior Russian intelligence officers, were charged with federal crimes.

Congress also investigated and sought information from Stone. A jury later determined he lied repeatedly to members of Congress. He lied about the identity of his intermediary to WikiLeaks. He lied about the existence of written communications with his intermediary. He lied by denying he had communicated with the Trump campaign about the timing of WikiLeaks’ releases. He in fact updated senior campaign officials repeatedly about WikiLeaks. And he tampered with a witness, imploring him to stonewall Congress.

The jury ultimately convicted Stone of obstruction of a congressional investigation, five counts of making false statements to Congress and tampering with a witness. Because his sentence has been commuted, he will not go to prison. But his conviction stands.

Russian efforts to interfere in our political system, and the essential question of whether those efforts involved the Trump campaign, required investigation. In that investigation, it was critical for us (and, before us, the FBI) to obtain full and accurate information. Likewise, it was critical for Congress to obtain accurate information from its witnesses. When a subject lies to investigators, it strikes at the core of the government’s efforts to find the truth and hold wrongdoers accountable. It may ultimately impede those efforts.

We made every decision in Stone’s case, as in all our cases, based solely on the facts and the law and in accordance with the rule of law. The women and men who conducted these investigations and prosecutions acted with the highest integrity. Claims to the contrary are false.

Short, Snarky, And To The Point

Yesterday, after the second highest number of new cases of the coronavirus in one day in the U.S., the head-in-the-clouds vice president, Mike Pence, told republican lawmakers to “focus on encouraging signs”.  Never mind that there really aren’t any such encouraging signs.  Pence, like far too many others whose salaries we pay, is naught but a Trump sycophant hoping for a few bits to be thrown his way as long as he rolls over when told and is a good doggie.

Meanwhile, the reality is that cases are on the rise in about 20 states, proving that the push to open businesses back up against the advice of experts was a huge mistake.  Two of those states are the two most recently visited by Trump, Oklahoma and Arizona.  Please, Donnie, stay the hell out of my state!  Nobody wants you!


The three ‘men’ who murdered Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia in February have each been indicted by a grand jury on nine counts, including malice murder, four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment.  If convicted on the murder charges, the defendants face a minimum of life in prison and potentially could face a death sentence.3-assholesLook like a real bunch of winners, don’t they … especially the one on the far right.  This is a positive step, considering I predicted early on that they would receive no more than a slap on the wrist.  However, I am always amazed when I hear someone say this is “justice for Arbery”.  NO … this is justice, yes, but not for Mr. Arbery who is still dead!  It may be a satisfactory ending, if these three assholes are convicted, for Ahmaud’s family, but it is in no way justice for Ahmaud himself.  Justice for him would have been if someone had stepped forward and stopped the heathens from killing him in the first place.


William Barr, undoubtedly on orders of his ‘boss’, has put the U.S. Marshalls on alert and instructed them to be ready to guard national monuments from protestors who might deface or topple them.  So … just to be clear here … a piece of stone representing a man who fought for the right to own other people, aka slaves, is to be protected at all costs, but when it comes to human lives, our government is indifferent.  Remember that, folks … to Trump, Barr and the rest of the regime, you are worth less than a piece of stone, and less than a long-dead racist.  It’s always good to know where we stand in the grand scheme of things. toon


We’re coming into wildfire season out west where rain is scarce this time of year.  Since 2010, there has been a ban on any sort of fireworks at Mount Rushmore, since in years prior to that, wildfires had cropped up as a result of July 4th celebrations that included fireworks.  But, again … lives matter less than show to Donald Trump, and he is determined to hold a celebration at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota this year and he is further determined that it will include a pyrotechnics show.  Mount Rushmore is surrounded by 1,200 acres of forest and lies next to the Black Hills National Forest’s Black Elk Wilderness.Mount-RushmoreTrump has wanted to do this for the past two years, but until this year, his advisors were able to talk him out of it.  This year, most of the adults have left the room and his advisors seem to be all ‘yes-men’, so … the show will go on.  People will be exposed to the coronavirus and new cases will rise in the days following July 4th.  And there is a very real possibility that a devastating forest fire will be started.  All to assuage the ego of a megalomaniac.  I have no idea what this circus act will cost We the Taxpayer, but you can bet it will be a pretty penny.


Well, it looks like the ignoble, criminal Michael Flynn is a free man and likely to stay that way.  A federal appeals court ordered U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan to accept William Barr’s move to pull the plug on the case against Trump’s first national security adviser.  Flynn is guilty, even pleaded guilty, and now he walks free.  But what bothers me most about this is the reason the appeals court gave in its opinion, saying that allowing the case to continue would intrude on the executive branch’s prerogatives to control criminal prosecutions.  WAIT just a damn minute here! toon-flynnThe majority opinion, written by Trump appointee Neomi Rao, went on to say that even scheduling a hearing — as Sullivan had done for next month — was improper under the circumstances because there was no good reason to doubt the government’s decision to reverse course.  No reason to doubt the government???  Seriously???  There is every reason in the world to doubt anything that comes out of either Trump’s or Barr’s mouths!  And since when is it proper for the executive branch to control criminal prosecutions???  The Judicial branch of government is intended to be independent of the executive branch!  What part of the U.S. Constitution does Ms. Rao fail to understand???

How far does this go?  So, if Kellyanne murders her husband, Trump and Barr can order the murder charges against her to be dropped?  Justice?  There is no justice in the United States of Chaos!


And on that note, I shall go try to stop the steam coming from my ears.steam-venting

Just A Little Bit Of Snark …

These days, I typically am not even out of bed before I have a lovely buildup of snark.  Perhaps I should stop reading the headlines on my phone before my feet even hit the ground?  Today is no exception …


A new idiot on my radar … this one a Democrat!

This morning, a new abomination crossed my path and left me (nearly) speechless.  And this one, my friends, is a democrat!  Meet Rubén Díaz Sr., a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from the 15th District of New York, South Bronx.

Ruben-Diaz

Mr. Díaz was born and raised in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, served in the U.S. Army from 1960-1963, and moved to New York City in 1965, the same year he was found guilty of marijuana and heroin possession charges and was sentenced to probation.  The following year he became an evangelical Christian and eventually an ordained minister.  But those are not the reasons I call him an abomination.

Mr. Díaz is both a homophobe and a misogynist … not to mention that he enthusiastically supported Donald Trump in 2016!  Let’s take a look at just a few of his political stances …

  • In 1994, while on the Civilian Complaint Review Board, Díaz was critical of the city hosting the Gay Games, claiming that doing so would lead to an increase in AIDS cases and to wider acceptance of homosexuality by young people. Díaz wrote that hosting the Games would lead children “to conclude that if there are so many gay and lesbian athletes then there is nothing wrong, nor any risks involved.”

  • In 2002, Díaz was elected to the New York State Senate. He represented the 32nd district in the New York State Senate from 2003 to 2017, during which time he attempted, along with two other state senators, to use his leverage to ensure that the Senate would not vote on the issue of same-sex marriage.

  • In 2017 Díaz was elected to the New York City Council, representing the 18th district. Last year, Council Speaker Corey Johnson called for Díaz’ resignation after Díaz claimed that City Council was “controlled by the homosexual community”.

  • He is strongly against a woman’s right to choose an abortion, saying, “Abortion is the American Holocaust…. The comparison is plain: six million Jews were exterminated by Hitler in Germany; Almost 48 million babies have been exterminated in the abortion clinics of America. We have simply been in the killing for a longer period of time than Hitler.”

  • Most recently, he claimed that he would not “rat” on fellow council members if he saw evidence of sexual harassment. “I’m not gonna rat my people out! This place is full of rats! So we’re supposed to be rats?”  He later claimed his comment was misinterpreted.

Interestingly, Mr. Díaz’ own granddaughter is a member of the LGBT community, and during one of his rallies, he called her on stage and proceeded to say how much he loved her.  Her reply …

“You cannot tell someone that you love them and stay silent when people call for their death. ‘Love’ is empty when you say someone’s life isn’t natural.”

Díaz’ support of Trump, much like most evangelicals, is based on Trump’s promise to nominate Supreme Court Justices who would, given the chance, overturn Roe v Wade and Obergefell v Hodges, thus returning the nation to the dark ages where women and LGBT people were treated as second-class citizens.  Sadly, Mr. Díaz is polling high in his district.  There are some 12 democratic candidates running for the congressional seat, but only one, Ritchie Torres, who seems to stand a chance.  Let us hope the people in his district wake up and smell the coffee before the primary election on June 23rd.


There’s a price to pay for listening to Trump …

Today, the New York Times reports that in at least 21 states, the number of coronavirus cases is on the rise.  The only thing that amazes me about this is that people are amazed by it.  The health experts all warned this was what would happen, but … to our government, it seems that the economy is of greater importance, greater value, than our lives.  Florida is one of those 21 states that have seen an increase in cases, and the RNC has tentatively scheduled their national convention in Jacksonville, Florida, where they plan to hold a “large-scale event” in August, further endangering thousands of people.  What could possibly go wrong, eh?


Michael Flynn – it ain’t over yet!

Last month, after the Department of Justice, without cause, dropped all charges against Michael Flynn, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan asked former federal judge, John Gleeson to weigh in on the matter.  Flynn had, after all, entered into a plea agreement, pleading guilty of charges of lying to Congress, while being let off the hook on numerous other charges in exchange for his guilty plea.  And then, suddenly, almost certainly under the orders of Donald Trump, William Barr announced that the charges were being dropped.  As I said at the time, I smelled a very large rat.

Well, former Judge Gleeson also smells one, and he has recommended that sentencing should proceed.

“The facts surrounding the filing of the Government’s motion constitute clear evidence of gross prosecutorial abuse. They reveal an unconvincing effort to disguise as legitimate a decision to dismiss that is based solely on the fact that Flynn is a political ally of President Trump.

Everything about this is irregular.

President Trump today has the unreviewable authority to issue a pardon, thus ensuring that Flynn is no longer prosecuted and never punished for his crimes because he is a friend and political ally. But the instant the Executive Branch filed a criminal charge against Flynn, it forfeited the right to implicate this Court in the dismissal of that charge simply because Flynn is a friend and political ally of the President.”

Gleeson recommended that Judge Sullivan not pursue new charges of contempt of court, but rather that he instead proceed to sentence Flynn on the original charge, to which he pled guilty two-and-a-half years ago.  We will see where this goes, but I think we can all make an educated guess.  Sigh.

The Facts, Folks … Just The Facts

Okay, folks … it’s getting really old, don’t you think?  I’m sick and damn tired of listening to Trump blame every damn person he can find to blame for everything under the sun in order to deflect attention from his own corrupt, heinous behaviour. Never any facts, just speculation, just made up grievances, contrived situations in the tangled mind of the ‘man’ in the Oval Office.  ENOUGH!!!

There is no bloomin’ Obamagate, folks … it is a fantasy made up in the deranged mind of the Oaf in the Oval Office.  It doesn’t exist.  If you even remotely believe a single word of this made-up tale by Trump, his lawyers and his cronies, please do us all a favour and seek psychiatric counseling immediately!

The Facts:

Fact:  Russia interfered on behalf of Donald Trump in the U.S. 2016 election.  That is not disputable nor disputed and there is sufficient evidence to prove the fact to the blindest partisan.

Fact:  Michael Flynn is guilty of contacts with a Russian official, a series of high-profile leaks, blatant lies to the public and to the FBI, potential blackmail and almost everything in between.

Fact:  The Mueller investigation offered Flynn a plea deal whereby he would only be charged with lying to the FBI and not the rest of his crimes, in exchange for his testimony in the Russian investigation.

Fact:  Flynn was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2012 to run the Defense Intelligence Agency, the top military intelligence service in the country.

Fact:  In 2014, Flynn came under suspicion as having too many close ties with Russians such as GRU chief General Igor Sergun, and a close Russian ‘associate’.  Because of his questionable associations, after two years on the job, Flynn’s contract was not renewed and he left the Defense Intelligence Agency and retired from the military.

Fast forward to 2016 …

Fact:  Flynn launched a consulting firm and reemerged in 2016 as a Trump adviser. He became a prominent campaign surrogate and gave a polarizing speech at the GOP convention calling for Hillary Clinton to be jailed. On what grounds is anybody’s guess.

Fact:  During 2016, President Obama planned to impose a series of sanctions against the Russian government for their interference, by then well proven, in the 2016 election.  He planned to oust 35 Russian diplomats from the country in December 2016.

Fact:  Flynn, by this time having been named to be Trump’s national security advisor, was privy to this information and had numerous conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, whereby he made certain promises to reverse the sanctions as soon as Trump took office.  Because of Flynn’s past history with Russian agents, the calls were intercepted by US intelligence, the FBI and the Justice Department.

Fact:  President Obama, well aware of the conversations between Kislyak and Flynn, warned Trump that Flynn was a danger to the nation and warned him against making him his national security advisor.

Fact:  Days after Trump took office, the FBI questioned Flynn about the calls, and he told four distinct lies, according to court filings.  The lies were about a series of calls Flynn had with Sergey Kislyak. The calls were about two distinct events: a controversial vote at the United Nations about Israel and President Obama’s decision to punish Russia for meddling in the 2016 US election.

Fact:  Justice Department officials soon warned the Trump White House about Flynn’s dishonesty, and how Vice President Mike Pence and others had publicly repeated Flynn’s lies, making them vulnerable to Russian blackmail. Flynn was fired in February 2017 after three weeks on the job, and Trump said at the time that Flynn had to go because he had lied to Pence.

Fact:  Michael Flynn and Robert Mueller reached a plea agreement in December 2017. Flynn agreed to help the probe and eventually provided evidence against Trump. Mueller let Flynn plead guilty to one count of lying to the FBI and agreed not to bring charges on Flynn’s other lies or on the illegal lobbying.

Fact:  Last June, Flynn fired his lawyers and brought on an aggressive team of right-wing firebrands. Instead of letting the case wrap up as planned and proceed to sentencing, Flynn’s lawyers started accusing the FBI of bias and misconduct, and he later asked to withdraw his guilty plea.

Those are the facts, they are proven, documented, and not disputable.

Listen to lawyer Bradley Moss respond to the question of “Obamagate” on Fox ‘News’ …

Now this month, Trump’s toadie Attorney General William Barr announced that the Justice Department would be dropping the single charge against Mike Flynn, he would be a free man, and both Trump and Pence announced their willingness to have him back on their team.  So … what happened?

My educated guess is that in mid-2019 Trump decided that Flynn, with his pre-established Russian connections, and given that the intelligence community has already verified that Russia is once again playing a role in our election, might be a useful tool, a liaison as it were.  So, Trump advised Flynn to fire his lawyers, withdraw his guilty plea, and he promised him a full pardon.  Then this spring, as Trump saw his polls tanking as a result of his shoddy response to the coronavirus pandemic, Trump sought the help of his sycophant sitting at the head of the Justice Department … if one can still refer to it as the ‘Justice’ Department.

So, just where did Trump cook up his “Obamagate” conspiracy???  The first thing to remember is that Trump’s ego was damaged by the fact that he lost the popular vote, in essence lost the election, to Hillary Clinton.  His ego was further damaged by the facts uncovered by Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Russian interference into our election that did, regardless what anyone says, play a role in helping Trump get elected.  Would he have been elected even without Vladimir Putin’s assistance?  We’ll never know for sure, as there were other misdeeds afoot that also gave Trump an unfair advantage, but it’s a fact that Russia did help him in more ways than one.

Trump cannot, when his ego is prodded or poked, let sleeping dogs lie, cannot be the gentleman and realize that this, too, shall pass.  No, it is his nature to find someone to blame, someone to call names, someone to say “Lock her/him up!”  This time it happens to be President Obama.

When asked by Philip Rucker of The Washington Post just exactly what crime Trump was accusing President Obama of when he decried “Obamagate!”, Trump responded …

“You know what the crime is. The crime is very obvious to everybody. All you have to do is read the newspapers, except yours.”

And that is really about all Trump has, folks.  A non-answer for a non-issue.  It was no different than when he called Bob Mueller’s investigation a “witch hunt” over and over again, ad nauseam.  It’s no different than his constant and annoying habit of referring to all the legitimate media as “fake media”.  It was no different than when he started the “Lock her up!” chant against Hillary Clinton, over and over again, ad nauseam.  It is a rallying cry, a ploy to turn the attention of the public from his own crimes to some imagined crimes by an imagined enemy.  Must be working, for I just spent two hours digging into the facts and writing this post in an effort to enlighten and clarify.

Don’t, however, let it fool you and don’t even dignify the questions and “whaddabout” queries by your republican friends. Smoke and mirrors.  Trump is a snake oil salesman and his act plays well with about 40% of the people in this country.  He deals in grandstanding, smoke & mirrors, and gaslighting.  He is not a politician, he is not a leader of people.  President Obama was a leader of people, a uniter, and a damn fine man … Trump is none of the above and he feels the lack … he retaliates in the only way he knows how … nastiness, name-calling and vicious lies.

I end where I began … there is no crime, no illegal act, by either President Obama or Vice President Joe Biden.  There is no Obamagate.  The crimes all lie with none other than Donald Trump, the worst, most corrupt president in the history of this nation.  Please, friends, help us get him out of power before he finalizes the destruction of the United States of America.  I’m begging … please.

Snarky Snippets Is Baaaaack …

A few things are on my radar this afternoon … several actually, but three that are jumping up and down screaming, “Pick me!  Pick ME!”  And so, the choice has been made for me, it would seem.


Who could’a seen it coming?

This in this morning’s The Guardian

Despite Donald Trump’s claims that the spread of coronavirus is dropping around the US, new infection hotspots are cropping up across Republican heartlands, including in Texas and Alabama. Many of the new hotspots are in states where governors refused to instruct residents to stay at home, or are following Trump’s advice to relax lockdown restrictions.

These figures could be seen as the realisation of a warning from Dr Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the president’s long-suffering right-hand man on coronavirus, on Tuesday.

In his latest contradiction of the president, Fauci warned the virus would not go away on its own, and that reopening the country too quickly could result in a surge in “little spikes that might turn into outbreaks”.

I wonder how those gun-totin’ fools who stormed statehouses brandishing their big guns and displaying their Nazi insignia feel now that they’ve gotten their way?  I wonder how many more have to die because of fools like them?


Will justice prevail?

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard arguments from Trump’s lawyers concerning the release of his tax and other financial records, as subpoenaed by Congress.  Trump’s lawyers contend that he should not be so constrained by Congress and cannot be prosecuted while in office.  However, at least four on the Supreme Court feel differently …

  • “There is a long, long history of Congress seeking records and getting them” from occupants of the Oval Office. – Justice Sonia Sotomayor
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Steven Breyer brought up requests for documents during the Watergate and Whitewater scandals, which occurred under Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton and were decided unanimously against the president concerned.
  • Elena Kagan told Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow a “fundamental precept of our constitutional order is that the president is not above the law”.

The case in a nutshell:

Every president since Nixon, who was elected in 1968, had released tax information. But there is no legal compunction to do so.

Democrats in Congress are attempting to establish whether Trump is breaking ethics laws and constitutional safeguards against profiting from the presidency.

The New York prosecutor Cyrus Vance Jr wants to find out if hush money payments to women who claimed affairs with Trump involved illegal business practices.

Trump is asking the justices to put an end to subpoenas for tax, bank and other financial records which seek information from Deutsche Bank, Capital One and the Mazars USA accounting firm.

Trump’s lawyers, supported by the justice department, contend that he should not be so constrained by Congress and cannot be prosecuted while in office.

Opponents of the president say he is simply not above the law.

Appellate courts in Washington and New York have ruled that the documents should be turned over. Those courts brushed aside the president’s broad arguments, focusing on the fact that the subpoenas were addressed to third parties asking for records of Trump’s business and financial dealings as a private citizen, not as president.

Chief Justice John Roberts asked Trump lawyer Patrick Strawbridge: “Do you concede any power in the House to subpoena personal papers of the president?”

The Trump attorney said it was “difficult to imagine” a situation in which that would be justified.

However, in 1974 the justices acted unanimously in requiring Nixon to turn over White House tapes to the Watergate special prosecutor. And in 1997, another unanimous decision allowed a sexual harassment lawsuit to proceed against Clinton.

What makes Trump different than Nixon or Clinton?  What is it that makes Attorney General Barr proclaim him to be ‘above the law’ in all things?  Trump is only a flawed human, just as were Nixon and Clinton.  He has already been proven to be more corrupt than even Nixon.  Per the U.S. Constitution, Congress is tasked with the oversight of the Executive Branch of government.  So why … why should he be given carte blanche to hide his possible misdeeds, to keep his dirty secrets from the people of this nation?  If he had nothing to hide, he wouldn’t be hiding behind Bill Barr’s very wide coat, now would he?

I hope that Chief Justice Roberts finds that he still has a conscience when it comes time for a vote on this case.  There is far more at stake here than whether Trump is allowed to keep his dirty little secrets, for this case will set a precedent for all future presidents.  A ruling is expected within a matter of weeks.


Not so fast, Billy Barr …

Remember last week when the Department of Justice under William Barr announced that it would be dropping the charges against Michael Flynn?  Most non-trumpies were incensed, as was I.

Bill Barr auditioned for the role of Attorney General by writing a lengthy memo arguing in favor of a fringe legal theory that a President could not obstruct justice, no matter what he did. From the very beginning, Barr has made it clear that he would be Trump’s man in the Department of Justice, and that his loyalty would always be to the President — not the rule of law, not the people of this nation.

But this time Barr may have to answer to a higher authority … the federal courts.  Judge Emmet Sullivan has put the Justice Department’s decision on hold – opening the door for legal experts and other outside parties to oppose the administration’s motion to exonerate Flynn of lying to the FBI.

Critics, including Barack Obama and hundreds of former FBI and justice department officials, have questioned whether William Barr was orchestrating favors for Trump. Flynn, guilty of far greater crimes, pleaded guilty to the single charge of lying to the FBI as part of a plea deal arranged in exchange for testimony to Robert Mueller in his investigation into Russia’s interference on behalf of Trump in 2016.  Conspiracy theorists will tell you that Flynn did nothing wrong, that he was set up, but the hard evidence says differently and in fact, had he not agreed to the plea deal, he would have been charged with far more crimes, possibly up to and including treason.

It is interesting to note that within the Justice Department, only Barr argued in favour of dropping the charges against Flynn.  None of the line prosecutors supervising the case signed the motion and one withdrew from the case.  That, to me, speaks volumes.

When Flynn was forced from the White House, Vice-President Mike Pence said he was disappointed the national security adviser had misled him about his talks with the Russian ambassador. Donald Trump called the deception unacceptable.

Now Pence says he would welcome Flynn back to the administration, calling him a “patriot”, as Trump pronounces him exonerated.  Ask yourself … ‘Why?’  There’s a reason, and I suspect it pertains to the role Flynn could play as a liaison between Trump and Russia in the upcoming election.  Just an educated guess on my part, of course.

I cannot begin to guess at this point how this will end, but it’s good to know the judge isn’t taking his responsibility to truth and justice lightly.  This one will keep me on the edge of my seat!