Roger Stone Strikes Again

I have long been against the death penalty, but I think I could make an exception in the case of Roger Stone. On July 10, Trump commuted a 40-month prison sentence that was handed down to Stone after he was convicted of lying to Congress and tampering with witnesses as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into 2016 election interference. Namely, Stone lied to Congress about his contacts with WikiLeaks, which released hacked emails with the aim of boosting Trump’s prospects. In the weeks leading up to the commutation, Stone made a number of media appearances where he asked Trump to grant him clemency and said that in exchange, he could be a more effective campaigner for the president’s 2020 reelection efforts.  Well, he is living up to that promise.roger-stoneLast Thursday, Stone made a video appearance on Alex Jones’ conspiracy theory program, InfoWars.  Stone declared that the only legitimate outcome to the 2020 election would be a Trump victory. He made this assertion on the basis of his entirely unfounded claim that early voting has been marred by widespread voter fraud.

Stone argued that “the ballots in Nevada on election night should be seized by federal marshalls and taken from the state” because “they are completely corrupted” and falsely said that “we can prove voter fraud in the absentees right now.” He specifically called for Trump to have absentee ballots seized in Clark County, Nevada, an area that leans Democratic. Stone went on to claim that “the votes from Nevada should not be counted; they are already flooded with illegals” and baselessly suggested that former Senator Harry Reid (a democrat from Nevada) should be arrested and that Trump should consider nationalizing Nevada’s state police force.

Are you growling yet?  Just wait … it gets even better.

Stone recommended that Trump consider several actions to retain his power. Stone recommended that Trump appoint former Representative Bob Barr, a republican from Georgia, as a special counsel “with the specific task of forming an Election Day operation using the FBI, federal marshals, and Republican state officials across the country to be prepared to file legal objections and if necessary to physically stand in the way of criminal activity.”

Stone also urged Trump to consider declaring “martial law” or invoking the Insurrection Act and then using his powers to arrest Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook, “the Clintons” and “anybody else who can be proven to be involved in illegal activity.”  Apparently, Stone defines “illegal activity” as anything that is not supportive of Donald Trump!  In essence, I am engaging in illegal activity by his definition simply by writing this post. roger-stone-3Now, it’s easy enough to write Stone off as the nutcase he is, but the danger here is that in the past he has been one of the people Trump listened to.  Is he still?  Are there saner heads in the Trump administration who would … or could … talk Trump out of following Roger Stone’s clearly unconstitutional advice?  Would the republicans in Congress finally grow a pair and understand that this behaviour is in essence burning the U.S. Constitution, breaking the highest law in the land?  Would the military refuse to do Trump’s bidding, should he decide to follow Stone’s advice?  Would William Barr finally decide to do his job instead of toadying up to Trump?

Yes, I hear you saying, “It’s not possible.  Even Trump wouldn’t act in such an irresponsible dictatorial manner.”  Think again.

The ‘norms’, the restraints on presidential power that are built into the Constitution, the checks and balances we once believed would ensure that we would not lose the democratic principles on which the nation was founded, have all been shattered in the past three years.  You also never imagined a president would turn on the people of this nation, calling them anarchists and criminals, simply because we don’t agree with him.  You also never dreamed a president would have so little regard for our lives that he would keep the secret of a deadly virus and encourage us to go out and be exposed, and if we die, well, “it is what it is”.  Think back … there are hundreds of things he has done that you never thought possible.

I told you this morning how the Trump administration is once again playing Russian roulette with our lives, altering and manipulating CDC data so as to not “make Trump look bad”.  The agencies we have always counted on to protect us are now agents of Donald Trump and are diligently seeking to undermine our freedoms, our Constitution, our alliances, and in fact our very lives.  So, is it really such a stretch to believe that Trump might impose martial law, or break the law to devalue our election?  Are we really so sure the safeguards are strong enough to hold against a corrupt president and his band of boot-licking sycophants?  Think about it.

How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?

At first glance, I could not believe what I was seeing.  No!  Please tell me she didn’t!  But alas, sigh, she did.  And I am shaking my head and really, really wishing she had not done that.  I am speaking, of course, of Hillary Clinton barking repeatedly at a rally in Reno, Nevada earlier this week.  She was trying to make a point … I get that.  But Ms. Clinton already has so much extra baggage to carry that she did not need to add more.  Silly though it is, I have a feeling that this may be the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back” for the Clinton campaign.

Ms. Clinton was trying to make a point, and it may have been a valid point, about lies that the republican candidates have told.  Okay, we all know that to be true (we also know that an equal number of lies have probably been told by the democratic candidates as well), however there were much more professional ways she could have made that point.  But nooooooo … she had to join in the low-brow, circus-like atmosphere that has been pervasive during the entire election season, as started by the guy on the other side with the bad hairpiece!  I can see where this will lead … Ms. Clinton has already been referred to as a (another word for) a female dog enough times as it is!  Surely she has advisors who could have warned her against barking in front of an audience of a few hundred and live television cameras.  It has already started … a Google search for “barking Hillary” returned 5,240,000 results just one day after the event.

The pundits are having a ball with this.  There is even a spoof of the YouTube video of “Who Let The Dogs Out” (Baha Men, 2000) featuring Hillary. .  Watch it … it made me laugh, even though I am annoyed and disgusted by this whole thing.

Hillary’s barking is no worse than much of what other candidates, or at least one other candidate, has done during this election season, but it is disappointing.  I like to have fun, to find humour in politics as much as the next person, as you have probably noticed from previous posts on this blog.  However, this year has gone beyond humorous and is rapidly descending to the level of a train wreck.  Did anybody wonder why I didn’t write about the last republican debate?  I couldn’t finish reading the transcript.  It was pathetic, it was annoying, the candidates … all of them … were just downright insulting and rude with no purpose behind their speech.  They spoke … loudly … only to hear themselves talk.  I read through about a third of the transcript, made a few notes, and was feeling so ill and angry that I could not continue.  I don’t know how those who watched it managed to sit through the entire experience. I expected better out of both Clinton and Sanders who, thus far in the process had both shown a certain level of restraint, of professionalism.  I am disappointed.

The job of President of the United States is no laughing matter.  Certainly we can all have a few chuckles and the candidates can be humorous at times, but in good taste and within certain parameters.  I do not want to elect a president who is a bigot, who screams and throws a tantrum to get his way, who takes pleasure in being vulgar, much as a hormonal pre-teen boy.  And I do not particularly want to elect a president who barks.  I am not yet ready to completely give up on Hillary Clinton.  I still believe she is well-qualified for the job, but I think she made a big mistake, one that she could ill afford at this stage.  I am disappointed.