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.

Trump Taints Even Susan B. Anthony? GASP!!!

I don’t know about you guys, but it’s been a rough week for me, and I am feeling a need for a bit of humour in my life this evening. 

Donnie Trump has done some really stupid things in his 74 years on this earth, many in just the past 44 months.  But this one is truly without any purpose that I can see!  He said on Tuesday that he would announce yet another of his infamous ‘pardons’ … this one to the famous suffragette, Susan B. Anthony!  WHY??? 

“She was never pardoned! Did you know that she was never pardoned? What took so long?”

Because, Donnie, she did nothing for which she needs to be pardoned!  It is highly likely that she would  be offended by such a pardon that suggests wrongdoing on her part!  Even Deborah L. Hughes, executive director of the National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House in Rochester, New York, has taken umbrage at this insanity!

“Objection! Mr. President, Susan B. Anthony must decline your offer of a pardon. Anthony wrote in her diary in 1873 that her trial for voting was ‘The greatest outrage History ever witnessed.’ She was not allowed to speak as a witness in her own defense, because she was a woman. At the conclusion of arguments, Judge Hunt dismissed the jury and pronounced her guilty. She was outraged to be denied a trial by jury. She proclaimed, ‘I shall never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty.’ To pay would have been to validate the proceedings. To pardon Susan B. Anthony does the same.”

I certainly agree with all Ms. Hughes says here.  It is rather like pardoning Martin Luther King or John Lewis for their heroic roles in the Civil Rights movement!  But, while Ms. Hughes said it well, New Yorker humourist Andy Borowitz has yet another take on it …


Susan B. Anthony Begs Trump Not to Pardon Her: “I Don’t Want to Be on a Wikipedia Page with Roger Stone”

borowitz-andyBy Andy Borowitz

August 18, 2020

HEAVEN (The Borowitz Report)—In a rare utterance from beyond the grave, Susan B. Anthony on Tuesday begged Donald J. Trump not to pardon her, stating, “I don’t want to be on the same Wikipedia page as Roger Stone.”

Noting that an entire Wikipedia page had been created to record the people to whom Trump had granted executive clemency, Anthony said, “It wasn’t exactly my dream to wind up on the same list as a guy with a Nixon tattoo on his back.”

Susan-B-AnthonyIn a further expression of horror, Anthony told Trump, “Plus, pardoning me would mean that you would now be on my Wikipedia page. I am physically shuddering up here.”

Anthony noted that it was “super ironic” that Trump planned to pardon her on the same day that he blasted Michelle Obama. “It would be cool if you were as nice to historic women who are still alive as you are to dead ones,” she said.

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.

Grumpy

Don’t you just love it when you wake up grumpy?  Good thing I wrote Saturday Surprise last night, else it wouldn’t have been written.  So, how about I share my ill humour so you guys can be grumpy, too?


Personae non grata …

European Union (EU) officials have compiled a list of countries whose residents can visit the EU when it reopens its borders next week and guess what?  The U.S. is not on that list.  Nothing political about the decision, simply common sense.  The United States has failed to get a handle on the coronavirus, new cases are surging, and the EU doesn’t welcome us because of the high risk involved.  Russia and Brazil are also excluded.

Despite Mike Pence’s assurances that everything is under control, the daily new case tally keeps breaking records.  Yesterday’s new case total was 47,341 … nearly 50,000!  Until the past week or so, the death toll in the U.S. was over 1,000 people daily.  It has dropped slightly to around 600 per day, but it is only a matter of days before it is back in the thousand range.

Foolishly, Trump demanded that businesses re-open, even against the advice of the experts, and equally foolishly, the people of this nation felt their right to go out and have fun superseded safety.  This is the result … we are now banned from traveling to the EU, and if Boris Johnson & Co in the UK have any sense, we will also be banned from travel to the UK.  We have already been banned from traveling to Canada.  We are, essentially, stuck in this virus-infested, fool-driven nation with a clown running the show, a ship of fools controlling our well-being … or lack thereof.


And the real terrorists are …

A new study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) last week titled “Escalating Terrorism Problem in the United States”, determined that the problem of domestic terrorism in the U.S. is primarily from the far right.  The report says “the majority of all terrorist incidents in the United States since 1994, and the total number of rightwing attacks and plots has grown significantly during the past six years”, with the far right launching two-thirds of attacks and plots in 2019, and 90% of those in 2020.  Surprised?  You shouldn’t be.  All that talk about ‘antifa’ is just that … talk.  Or perhaps an effort to distract from the real threat of white supremacy.

The report also shows the far left has been an increasingly negligible source of attacks since the mid-2000s.  Those of us on the left fight our battles with our voices, not our guns.

In February, a report by the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism reported that cases of circulated propaganda by white supremacist groups in 2019 had more than doubled from the previous year, and the 2018 figures were 180% higher than 2017.  About two-thirds of the total propaganda incidents in the new report were traced back to a single white supremacist group, Patriot Front, which the ADL describes as “formed by disaffected members” of the white supremacist organization Vanguard America after the Charlottesville rally in 2017.

Is it purely coincidence that these groups have expanded only since Donald Trump took office?  I think not.


Justice?  We’ll see …

Well finally ol’ Roger Stone is going to prison … or is he?  Stone, convicted on charges of repeatedly lying to Congress and intimidating a witness to impede the House’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, was sentenced to 40 months back in February.  Stone had already received one delay on reporting to prison when he was first sentenced, and last week he requested yet another delay … until September 3rd.  He cites the coronavirus as his reason.  However, Judge Amy Berman Jackson has had enough of the Stone/Trump show and ruled that Stone must report to the federal correction institution in Jesup, Georgia, on July 14th.

But, unfortunately for the cause of justice, Donald Trump appears to have his pardon pen fully inked and ready to go.  Just this morning, he tweeted …

“IT’s TIME TO #PardonRogerStone”

So, if I had to lay odds, I’d say that Stone will, just like another corrupt Trump crony Michael Flynn, be a free man by the middle of July.  Stone has been a nasty piece of work since he was a very young man and has only gotten more insidious as he grew older.

Sadly, ‘justice’ is no longer defined in the United States as it once was.  Today it does not matter if you are guilty or innocent, corrupt or not … it only matters what Trump thinks of you.  I never thought I’d live to see the day when the United States became a banana republic, but that day is here.


Y’know … it’s really hard to stay grumpy when there is an adorable little squirrel just outside your window eating the bird seed and every now and then looking right at you.  It’s funny, but the birds don’t seem bothered by him in the least … they just go right on eating, perfectly willing to share their food, even though he doesn’t quite look the same as them.  Is there a lesson for us in that?squirrel

Snarky-Inducing Things On My Radar

You would be surprised if I said I didn’t have any snarkiness built up and just waiting for an outlet, wouldn’t you?  Just when we think it’s gotten as bad as it can get here in the U.S., fate (or Donald Trump) steps in to prove to us that no, it can get much worse.  Which has me lying awake nights wondering … what’s next?  But, for today, here are a few of the things on my radar …


The press must do better!

I am fully supportive of our free press, I realize that they are the only thing standing between us and a dictatorship, but sometimes I get frustrated with them.  One example … the headline reads:

The president’s convention speech will be moved from Charlotte, N.C., after Republicans clashed with Democrats over virus concerns.

Makes it sound as if it were just more political fighting … democrats vs republicans, round 2,114.  But that was not the case at all!  North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper refused to allow a full-fledged, packed stadium style convention to take place in light of the precautions the state is taking due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Yes, Governor Cooper is a democrat, but his decision was not an attempt to stifle the Republican National Convention on political grounds, but rather to protect the people of his state.  That is, after all, his job!

Now, the republican leadership and Donald Trump may choose to view it as a political move, but the free press should be neutral, should be above the petty grievances of political parties.  I am disgusted and disappointed that the New York Times stoops to such cheap tactics.  Governor Cooper did offer a compromise, a smaller convention with safety measures in place, but Trump and the GOP said, “All or nothing at all.”  So fine, let them have it elsewhere — it looks like Florida’s Governor DeSantis is eager to invite more coronavirus cases to his state.  North Carolina may lose a bit of bar and restaurant revenue, but they may also save a heck of a lot of lives.  Thumbs up to Governor Cooper!


One bit of good news …

Representative Steve King of Iowa has been on my radar for several years.  He is a blatant racist and doesn’t care who knows it.  He even earned the Idiot of the Week award back in 2017.

In the past year or so, his rhetoric has become even more offensive, so much so that last year his own party stripped him of all his committee assignments.  But on Tuesday, Steve King got what he deserved!  He lost the Iowa primary by ten points to his contender, Iowa State Senator Randy Feenstra.

King claims that his loss came from an effort to “push out the strongest voice for Christian conservatism”.  He then went on to claim that the “spirit of America is being fractured by anarchists in this country.”  Yep, he’s still as much an idiot as he was in 2017!

Thumbs up to the people of Iowa for finally removing this ugly racist wart from our Congress!


Another good bit of news …

Donald Trump has been throwing his weight around (and there surely is a lot of it to throw around!) these past few days, and one of his threats has been to send the military into our cities to quell the protests, most of which are peaceful, that are a response to the continual racism in this nation.  Turns out that his Defense Secretary, Mark Esper, doesn’t agree with him.  Esper actually found his cojones and said in no uncertain terms that he opposes sending active-duty troops into U.S. cities to deal with violent protesters.

“The option to use active-duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire situations. We are not in one of those situations right now.  I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act.”

Is it possible that even some of Trump’s sycophants are beginning to see what sort of tyrant they’ve aligned with?  We can only hope.


About damn time …

Finally, more than a week after the brutal murder of George Floyd by police in Minnesota, the other three officers involved who stood watching while Derek Chauvin choked Mr. Floyd to death, have been charged with “aiding and abetting murder.”  The three former officers are Thomas Lane, 37, J. Alexander Kueng, 26, and Tou Thao, 34.  Thus far, Thao is the only one who has been arrested, though there are warrants out for Kueng and Lane.

Tou Thao has faced six prior misconduct complaints in his career with the Minneapolis Police Department. He also was the subject of a lawsuit that claimed he and another officer punched, kicked and kneed an African-American man, leaving the man with broken teeth and bruises.

In addition to the charges against the three, charges against Chauvin were upgraded to 2nd degree murder on Wednesday, charges that carry a potential maximum sentence of 40 years.  I really hope he serves every single day of those 40 years.  And, since these are not federal charges, Trump won’t be able to pardon him!


And speaking of pardons …

On Tuesday, Charlie Kirk, the founder of the conservative group Turning Point USA, wrote on Twitter (do any politicians actually communicate in more than 280 characters anymore?):

“Roger Stone will serve more time in prison than 99% of these rioters destroying America All because he supports Donald Trump. This isn’t justice. RT for a full pardon of Roger Stone!”

Trump went on to share the tweet Thursday morning, writing in his own accompanying message:

“No. Roger was a victim of a corrupt and illegal Witch Hunt, one which will go down as the greatest political crime in history. He can sleep well at night!”

roger-stoneRoger Stone … a lifelong criminal with a list of crimes longer than my arm, can sleep well at night as Trump will pardon him, ensuring he doesn’t pay for his crimes. Meanwhile the rest of us lie awake worrying about the state of our nation with a madman at the helm.  See the irony here?


TrumpThe answer is “EVERYTHING!”

The Week’s Best Cartoons ⚡ 2/22

And, to break the darkness of my last post, here is TokyoSand with the best cartoons of the week! Thank you, TS!

Political⚡Charge

Here are some of the best editorial cartoonists in the country with their visual opinions about this week’s news:

Trump Pardons / Roger Stone

By Steve Sack, Star Tribune

By Lalo Alcaraz

By Ann Telnaes, Washington Post

ByJim Morin, Miami Herald

Russia’s Back

By Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By Bill Bramhall, New York Daily News

The Primary

By Signe Wilkinson, Philly Daily News & Philly Inquirer

ByDavid Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Daily Star

By Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch

And Other News

By Nick Anderson

By Ed Hall

By Marc Murphy, Louisville Courier-Journal

ByDavid Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Daily Star

By Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Want an email with the political cartoon roundup every Saturday? Subscribe today!

Can’t wait until Saturday to see cartoons? Follow me on Instagram at @DHStokyo!

You can also find my…

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Revenge

Alexander Vindman is a decorated war hero.  In addition to overseas deployments to South Korea and Germany, Vindman is a combat veteran of the Iraq War, and he served in Iraq from September 2004 to September 2005. In October 2004, he sustained an injury from a roadside bomb in Iraq, for which he received a Purple Heart. He was promoted to the rank of major in 2008, and to lieutenant colonel in September 2015.

Donald Trump is, in essence, a draft dodger who, while men were dying in Vietnam, had his father pay a doctor to say he couldn’t serve because he had blisters on his feet (too much time in golf shoes?)  Donald Trump does not like war heroes … perhaps they make him uncomfortable because they did their duty while he languished in the lap of luxury.  Remember his remarks about John McCain, who received daily beatings at the hands of the North Vietnamese for nearly six years, refusing early release unless every man taken before him was also released?  Trump said he didn’t like people who were captured.  McCain’s plane was shot down … not much he could have done to prevent that.  While Trump was schmoozing with the likes of Jeffrey Epstein, playing with whatever woman he chose on any given night, John McCain was suffering unimaginable pain and horror, yet Trump didn’t like him.  Just as he doesn’t like Alexander Vindman.

Vindman, as you recall, testified under oath before the House impeachment hearings in October.  Vindman told the truth, and for his courage, his honesty, he was punished with the loss of his job.  His twin brother, also a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army and ethics lawyer for the National Security Council, was also fired … presumably only because his last name is Vindman.  Bad enough … but it doesn’t end there.  Now, Trump is calling for Alexander Vindman’s head, as well.

Trump has expressed his desire for the military to investigate and invoke “disciplinary action” against Alexander Vindman.  Disciplinary action???  So, is it a crime now to tell the truth in the dis-United States of America?

In a press conference, Trump said of Vindman …

“The military can handle him any way they want.”

When asked what he meant by that, he replied …

“That’s going to be up to the military, we’ll have to see, but if you look at what happened, they’re going to certainly, I would imagine, take a look at that.”

Would somebody please teach this man to construct a sentence that makes sense?

With not one shred of evidence, Trump claims that what Vindman reported about Trump’s criminal phone call, the one that Trump says was a “perfect” call, is different than what he actually said.  Of course he says that … he’s the liar in chief, the ‘man’ who wouldn’t know the truth if it smacked him in the ass!

We expect such from Donald Trump, the fat man with a very slim mind, but what’s worse is that others are supporting and defending his actions.  The ignoble Senator Lindsey Graham said, in an interview on Fox News’ American Newsroom …

“I think FBI agents had a political agenda during the investigation of President Trump and they acted on it. I think CIA operatives have been out to try to get the president since he was elected. I think there are people in uniform that can’t accept this result. Because you wear the uniform doesn’t mean you’re exempt from being asked questions. When a military officer engages in a political bias in uniform, they need to be held accountable.”

Political bias???  Lieutenant Colonel Vindman reported, under oath, what he had seen and heard.  Period.  Where’s the ‘political bias’?  Graham, like so many other republicans in Congress, has stopped doing his job and instead is following the Trump agenda.

The Vindmans and Gordon Sondland weren’t the only ones Trump has gone after since the Senate gave him carte blanche last Wednesday.

Jesse K. Liu was, until recently, a U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.  As such, she inherited certain cases from the Robert Mueller investigation, including those of Rick Gates, Michael Flynn, and … Roger Stone.  Last December, Ms. Liu stepped down from her position, as Trump nominated her for a high-ranking position in the U.S. Treasury Department.  Yesterday, after Trump learned that prosecutors were recommending a sentence of 7-9 years for the facinorous Roger Stone, threw a fit, and caused the “Justice” Department to lower their recommendation, Trump withdrew Ms. Liu’s nomination.

The Vindmans, Sondland, Liu … all cases of pure petty revenge on the part of the person who holds the highest office of the land.  These are only the beginning.  Last Wednesday, 53 U.S. Senators handed Mr. Trump the keys to the kingdom.  They told him that whatever he does, they “have his back”.  This is only the beginning of what will likely become the darkest period in the history of this nation.revenge-4

An OUTRAGE!

Roger Stone … he’s a nasty piece of work.  He’s part of the reason we are in the mess we’re in today, with a president who thinks he’s king, with the wealthy calling the shots while the rest of us are lied to and our rights diminished on a daily basis.  But let’s go back a little further …For many years in the 1980s and ‘90s, Stone was a lobbyist for Donald Trump on behalf of his casino businesses.  Stone has been involved in so many scandals that I’ve lost count.  Stone is also associated with Proud Boys, a far-right, fascist, white supremacist group.  He has been affiliated with Alex Jones’ Infowars, Breitbart, and the conspiracy theory that claimed President Obama was born outside the U.S.  Stone has linked his fortunes with so many nasties that it would take me the whole day to tell you about them all.  But his most recent crimes landed him, finally, in very hot water.stone-angryRoger Stone was largely responsible, along with Russian operators and Julian Assange, for hacking into Hillary Clinton’s emails during the 2016 election.  On January 25, 2019 Stone was arrested on seven criminal charges in relation to Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election:  one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements, and one count of witness tampering.

On February 18, 2019, Stone posted on Instagram a photo of the federal judge overseeing his case, Amy Berman Jackson, with what resembled rifle scope crosshairs next to her head.Amy-Berman-JacksonAfter a week-long trial in November 2019, the jury convicted Stone on all counts.  His sentencing hearing was originally scheduled for February 6th, but his attorneys requested a delay until sometime after March 9th.  Stone’s attorneys have argued for no jail time, but only probation.  Yesterday, prosecutors recommended a sentence of between 7 and 9 years.  Immediately Donald Trump tweeted inanely …

“This is a horrible and very unfair situation. The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!”

And now I come to the part of this story that should horrify you.

Stone-orange-suitThe Department of Justice plans to reduce its sentencing recommendation.  No word yet on whether they will recommend only probation, or perhaps a sentence of only a few months.  But think about this one, folks.  The man is a criminal, has been a criminal all his adult life, has been proven to have broken countless laws including lying to Congress and threatening a witness, and he is a large part of the reason that Donald Trump is sitting in the Oval Office today, though not through legitimate means.  And yet, because Donald Trump threw a hissy fit, the Department of Justice, under Trump’s lackey William Barr, is going to actually override justice to please the “president”.  In other words … we have no Department of Justice and Trump is now calling the shots.

Think about it … it can work in both ways.  Say I’m arrested outside the White House for protesting something that Trump has done … if Trump told William Barr he wanted me put away for life, no amount of arguing by my attorneys would change the verdict.  Is this what we’ve allowed to happen in this nation? Paul Manafort is serving a 7 ½ year sentence for his crimes … why should Stone get any less, for his crimes were every bit as serious as Manafort’s?

broken-justiceJustice.  It’s a funny word, for it’s open to interpretation.  There are grey areas, for sure.  But, when the ‘man’ sitting in the Oval Office can literally override the courts, can decide what he wants and the Department of “Justice” will accede to his whims and wishes, then … there is no justice.  If the court gives Roger Stone no more than a slap on the wrist for his very serious crimes, then this nation is in deep trouble … the last bastion of hope for salvation from a cruel dictator will have crumbled.

Time For ‘Toons!

I thought it was about time for a ‘toon post … a bit of humour to dull the pain of the 24/7 news cycle where we are always being bombarded with some new abomination.


There was one bright spot last Friday, when Roger Stone was convicted on all seven felony counts with which he was charged.  Now, if ol’ Roger had been charged and convicted for every crime he’s ever committed, according to my calculations, he would be serving a 2,347 year sentence.  The truth of the matter is I won’t be surprised if Trump pardons him, but let’s enjoy his downfall while we can.

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Only trouble with this one is they made Trump look slim … 

Roger-Stone-3Who will where it best?


The thing that is on everybody’s mind, of course, are the ongoing impeachment hearings, and the cartoonists on both sides are having a field day.

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Rather than either shutting up, or having some logical rebuttal to the witness testimonies, the republicans, most notably Jim Jordan, Devin Nunes, and Trump himself, are engaging in a smear campaign.  Why, Trump even tried to blame former Ambassador Marie Yovanovich for the Civil War in Somalia!

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And speaking of Jim Jordan …

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Some in the GOP seem to be having a hard time these days.  It must be difficult to have to give full support to a ‘man’ who has no values, no integrity, lies, cheats and steals.  Surely some of them are considering whether Trump is worth them throwing away their own careers.

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The foundation for our government is the U.S. Constitution.  Presidents take an oath to protect and uphold the Constitution.  The document has withstood many challenges over the past 232 years, but I have to question whether it can stand up to the constant shredding and burning it is being put through under Donald Trump and his cadre of oafs.

ConstitutionConstitution-2Tom Toles Editorial Cartoon - tt_c_c191106.tifcorruption-3


And just a few miscellaneous ‘toons …

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crazy-TrumpTrump-witch


Remember when the worst thing the opposition could find to criticize the president for was wearing a tan-coloured suit?  I long for the good ol’ days.Obama