The Demagogues Are Having a Field Day

Our friend Annie has touched on a number of hot topics today, from General Milley’s response to the little wuss, Matt Gaetz, to the fools over at Fox News, to the Big Lie, to voter suppression efforts by Republicans! Her post is well worth the read, and she ends on a more positive note, telling us about some of the efforts being made to counter the Republican’s efforts to promote ignorance and take this nation back 100 years … or more. Thanks, Annie!

annieasksyou...

American flag image from Renan Kamikoga, found via unsplash.com

Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, drew a lot of flack last year when he accompanied then-President Trump on what was widely condemned as a “photo-op” in which Trump stood in front of a church holding a Bible during Black Lives Matter protests outside the White House.

Milley, a much-decorated general whom Trump had appointed, subsequently apologized for allowing the military to be politicized. Apparently, behind the scenes, he was doing even more.

According to a new book written by Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender (Frankly, We Did Win ThisElection), as demonstrations were held in a number of cities, Milley repeatedly stopped Trump from demanding that the largely peaceful demonstrators (more than 93% of the demonstrations were peaceful) be met with violence.

From CNN Politics:

“’That’s how you’re supposed to handle these people,’…

View original post 926 more words

A Basket Of Deplorables

Remember back in September 2016 when Hillary Clinton, while running for president, was speaking at a fundraiser when she made her world-famous gaffe …

“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?  The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it. And unfortunately, there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.”

Not the smartest thing to say when you want these people to vote for you!  She wasn’t at all wrong, but her comment was likely the very thing that may have cost her the electoral college vote.  (Note to readers … she won the election by more than 2.8 million votes, but lost the electoral college vote, primarily due to gerrymandering.)  The reason her comment was a defining moment in her campaign is simple:  many people saw themselves in what she said and believed she was pointing her finger at them, calling them ‘deplorable’.  And, of course, her opponent had a field day with it, never let it out of people’s minds for a single minute, and at the end of the day, it was likely the single most important thing that cost her the presidency.  Twenty seconds, forty-five words, was all it took to doom her candidacy.  Sure, there was Comey’s October surprise, and the fact that Hillary was … GASP … a woman, but I think those could have been overcome had she not uttered those 45 words.

So, you wonder where I’m going with this, don’t you?  Asking yourselves why I’m digging up nearly 5-year-old news.  Well, several things regarding Republicans in the news these past few days have immediately brought the word ‘deplorable’ to mind, and about the third time this happened, the light bulb came on and I remembered what Hillary had said, and I thought, “Y’know, she was spot on in her assessment, not only of Trump supporters, but today’s Republicans as a whole.”  Here are a couple of examples …


The glaring hypocrisy

Nikki Haley, former governor of South Carolina and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is considering a run for … wait for it … president in 2024.  Now, I respected Nikki as governor of South Carolina, but once she threw her lot in with the former guy, I lost any respect I had for her.  In my book, she sold her soul to the highest bidder.

Nikki does, however, have a conscience somewhere under all the rot, for after the January 6th attacks on the Capitol and on Congress, she seemed to push away from the former guy, even outright criticizing him the next day …

“He was wrong with his words in Charlottesville, and I told him so at the time. He was badly wrong with his words yesterday. And it wasn’t just his words. His actions since Election Day will be judged harshly by history.”

She went on to say in an interview a few weeks later that he had “lost any sort of political viability” and that she didn’t think he was “going to be in the picture” any longer, before adding: “He’s fallen so far.”

But, once she figured out that he IS still in the picture as far as the Republican Party and who they support, she changed her tune … not just a little, but by one hell of a lot!  Here’s what she said earlier this week when addressing a crowd at the Iowa Republican Party dinner …

“Thank goodness for Donald Trump, or we never would have gotten Kamala Harris to the border.”

And that statement is so utterly ridiculous that I cannot even dignify it with a response.  She went on to heap undeserved praise on him, saying that she “saw firsthand as ambassador to the United Nations that Donald Trump put America first” and telling a humorous story about Trump’s decision to label North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un “Little Rocket Man,” saying it showed how the former president had “a way of getting people.”

Oh yeah, she’s licking some big boots there, and there’s no guarantee she’ll be able to lick the stench off anytime soon, for the former guy rejected her request to visit him at Mar-a-Lago not long ago.  Hypocrisy?  Oh yeah … oozing from her pores.  Deplorable.


Rudy, Rudy, Rudy … what have you done?

Rudy Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York, is another who I used to have tremendous respect for.  In the harrowing days following the 9/11 attacks, Rudy held not only New York City, but the rest of the nation together.  But just like Nikki Haley, he sold out, he threw We the People to the lions when he cast his lot in with the former guy.  Rudy became one of many attorneys defending Trump in numerous legal areas, and he followed Trump’s lead … lie, cheat, and steal, do whatever it takes.

All Rudy’s lies finally came home to roost yesterday when a New York court ruled that he made “demonstrably false and misleading statements” while fighting the results of the 2020 election on behalf of Donald J. Trump.  Rudy Giuliani was once the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, was once known as a law-and-order crusader and whose creative courtroom tactics against mob bosses turned him into a fixture on national television.

The New York State appellate court temporarily suspended Mr. Giuliani’s law license on the recommendation of a disciplinary committee after finding he had sought to mislead judges, lawmakers, and the public as he helped shepherd Trump’s legal challenge to the election results.  In part, the 33-page court decision read …

“The seriousness of respondent’s uncontroverted misconduct cannot be overstated. This country is being torn apart by continued attacks on the legitimacy of the 2020 election and of our current president, Joseph R. Biden.”

How low Rudy Giuliani has sunk.  I don’t expect he’ll ever have his law license re-instated, nor should he, for he is naught but a liar, a boot-licker, and a puppet.  Deplorable.


I could go on, for there are many more, such as Matt Gaetz, Kevin McCarthy, Lauren Boebert, Margie Greene, Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis … so many deplorables all in one party.  So yes, Hillary Clinton hit the nail on the head when she called them a ‘basket of deplorables’ … she paid the ultimate price for her honesty, but at least she was honest, something that is not to be found anywhere within the Republican Party today.

What The GOP Looks Like In The 21st Century

Is there a single member of the former guy’s inner circle who isn’t in deep legal doo-doo?  First, there’s Giuliani whose home and office were raided by the FBI last week and who is in more than one pot of boiling water.  Then there’s Jared Kusher whose apartment company has been charged with repeatedly violating state consumer protection laws by collecting debts without required licenses, charging tenants improper fees and misrepresenting the condition of rental units.  Former Attorney General William Barr is being investigated for a possible conflict of interest in the case against heavy-equipment manufacturer Caterpillar Inc., and the list goes on.  Hopefully, at the end of the day, charges and indictments come down against the former guy himself, for he is undoubtedly at the helm of most of these issues.  It is my fondest hope to see the former guy in an orange jumpsuit and behind bars for the rest of his life.

And yet, the GOP goes on, producing more, nastier criminal types like Kevin McCarthy, Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, Margie Greene, Matt Gaetz and more.  In my mind, I can almost hear Richard Nixon loudly asserting that, “I am not a crook!”  In truth, Nixon was no more a crook than some 90% of today’s GOP … but he paid the price, while today’s lot are applauded.  The difference?  Probably the likes of Fox ‘News’, the New York Post, and other Murdoch-owned outlets that wouldn’t recognize truth if it hit them in the patootie, and the influence of social media.  Compared to Nixon in 1973, today’s liars and crooks have nearly unlimited coverage ‘round the clock … Twitter, Fox, Newsmax, Facebook … they are all complicit in giving voice to the lies, to giving the crooks a megaphone with which to make their meritless case.  To be a star on Twitter or Facebook, you needn’t be honest or intelligent … you only need to have a huge number of followers, which you can get by being off-the-wall outrageous.  Integrity?  Not necessary.  Honesty?  Not a requisite.

You’ll hear, from many on all sides of the fence, that “both sides do it”.  No, my friends.  While the Democrats are not beyond party loyalty, and while no doubt they tell a lie or two here and there, they are in no way the accomplished Pinocchios that today’s GOP is home to.  One single example:  The GOP and its right-wing media arm have put out the completely baseless lie that Joe Biden is “coming to take your beef burger”!  Biden has never, to the best of my knowledge, even mentioned cutting beef consumption, and he’s a smart enough man to know he’d find his head on the chopping block if he did.  Now personally … my family and I eat beef maybe once a month, so I really don’t care if the powers that be stop slaughtering cows, but that’s just me.

But you’ll hear it on Fox, you’ll hear it out of the mouths of the Republican fools … and there is not a single element of basis in fact for that outright lie.  It bears as much merit as if the Democrats put out the lie that Republicans are going to force every person over the age of 18 to own a gun.  But see, we don’t need to make up lies about the Republicans, for they make themselves look bad every day without our help!  They think we sit around trying to find ways to make them look like idiots, but they’ve done that job for us!

But let us talk about substance … if the Republicans don’t like President Biden’s ideas, why don’t they come up with alternate policy proposals, meet at the table, and give a little, take a little, ending with a compromise that benefits the nation?  Why don’t they propose ways to ensure that everyone, regardless of employment, gender, ethnicity, or religion has affordable health care?  Why don’t they give us their ideas for how to repair the damage done to the Earth’s environment by humans?  Why don’t they propose ways to meet the challenges that face us in the 21st century?  Why?  Because they have none, because they are too busy being the party of racism, of negativity, of conspiracy theories, to actually propose meaningful, useful, legislation.  Does anybody doubt that they have spent more time promoting the Big Lie than thinking about how to help the people of this nation?

Republican Representative Anthony Gonzalez, when asked about the beating of Representative Liz Cheney by other Republicans because she stood by her beliefs in voting to impeach the former guy, replied …

“If a prerequisite for leading our conference is continuing to lie to our voters, then Liz is not the best fit. Liz isn’t going to lie to people. Liz is going to say what she believes. She’s going to stand on principle. And if that’s going to be distracting for folks, she’s not the best fit. I wish that weren’t the case.”

And that, folks, sums it up in a nutshell … if you have a conscience, if you are honest and a person of integrity, then you are “not the best fit” for today’s Republican Party.  Need I say more?

The Week’s Best Cartoons 5/1

For our viewing pleasure this afternoon, our friend TokyoSand has waded through the internet in search of the best, most relevant editorial cartoons from last week.  Topics include President Biden’s speech last Wednesday night, Rudy Giuliani’s legal woes, Republican lies, the vaccine, and more.  Thank you, TS!

See All The ‘Toons!

Father And Son … Corruption x 2

Let’s talk about the Giuliani family for a minute.  There was a time when I had the utmost respect for Rudy Giuliani.  In the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was the perfect leader.  He offered heartfelt empathy, he was the voice of reason, he so obviously cared what the country, and more specifically New Yorkers were going through.

Unfortunately, that man disappeared shortly thereafter, never to be heard from again.  He was replaced by a Rudy Giuliani who attached himself like a leech to the most corrupt president this nation has ever had, he lied and cheated on behalf of that ‘man’, and he lost every ounce of respect he had ever earned.

Giuliani helped incite the attacks by domestic terrorists, white supremacists, on the Capitol and Congress on January 6th, but that was only the culmination of all his dirty deeds. The New York State Bar Association is investigating his role and it could ultimately lead to his disbarment.

Giuliani is under investigation with the Department of Justice for his dealings with a shadowy cast of characters in Ukraine, attempting to find and distribute material about the relationship between a scandal-plagued Ukrainian energy company and President Biden’s son, Hunter.  Trump famously told Ukraine’s new president Volodymyr Zelenskyy in July 2019 to get in touch with Giuliani …

“Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great.”

And then it came out that the former guy had actually threatened to withhold military aid that had already been approved, unless Ukrainian President Zelenskyy promised to publicly announce an investigation of the company in question.  This, of course, led to the former guy’s first impeachment.

I don’t know what will come of the investigation into Rudy Giuliani and his efforts on behalf of the former guy to help incite an insurrection, but time will tell, and personally I won’t shed a tear if Rudy is disbarred and relegated to the annals of history.  But let’s talk about Rudy’s son, Andrew, for a minute.

When Rudy Giuliani took his oath of office to become Mayor of New York City in 1994, it is said that his son Andrew ruined the moment by repeating parts of the oath along with his father. Andrew was exuberant on the podium beside his father, as he blew kisses to the cameras, mimicked every hand gesture of his father, and shouted out: “It should be so and it will be so!”  Of course, since he was only 8 years old at the time, I guess we can overlook that.

Fast forward to 2017 when the former guy gave Andrew a job at the White House … his official title was Special Assistant to the President and Associate Director of the Office of Public Liaison.  Don’t ask what, exactly, he did, but his starting salary in 2017 was $77,000 and within two years had been increased to $95,000.  Remember, folks, that we paid this salary and as far as I can discern, the only thing he did to earn it was contact sports teams to get them to come to the White House for a photo op with the former guy.

Initially, he was given ‘unescorted access’ to the West Wing, but when John Kelly became Chief of Staff, that was rescinded, then re-instated when Kelly left and was replaced by Mick Mulvaney.  That tells me that his position was largely … nothing more than a favour to his father.  He floated around for his own ego.  Oh … one more thing he did was he golfed with the former guy much of the time!  He was a regular golf partner of Trump, and traveled with him for the sole purpose of playing a round or two of golf with him.  In January 2020, the Irish Times called him “Trump’s most regular playing partner”.  Never forget that We the People paid for this!

Fast forward again to present day when Andrew Giuliani is considering a run for … wait for it … Governor of New York!  He has higher aspirations than his father, and only about one-fourth as much intelligence!  It is reported that he’ll be flying to Mar-a-Lago next week to meet with the former guy to finalize his plans for his campaign.  Says Andrew …

“I will be down there next week for a two to three-day swing where we’ll be meeting with donors, interviewing potential staff and speaking to the former President. From a self-interest standpoint, I want the President to be as involved as he wants to be …”

Oh, my aching head!  He seems to be one of the delusional mass who has forgotten that the former guy is just that … former.  But the good news is that New Yorkers are too smart to be snowed by this young punk-in-a-suit!  At least, I hope they are.  I hope they send Andrew G packing, send him back to the playground, the golf course, or the Ukraine … I really don’t care as long as he never enters the Governor’s mansion!  I strongly suspect he has his eye on the Oval Office somewhere down the road, in which case I would jump off a tall building!

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.

countdown

Rainy Day Snarky Snippets

It seems that there is a correlation between gloomy, rainy days and my level of snark.  Today, it is pouring, grey and dreary, and my snark-o-meter is at about 80%.  Now you might think that with the good news that Trump’s attempt to overturn the will of the people in this month’s election has failed … an epic failure … would lower my snark, that I would be sitting here grinning and typing about happy things like … um …

Raindrops on roses
And whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings

But I am not Julie Andrews and my singing is nearly a criminal offense, so instead, as I watch the pouring rain create a river in my backyard, I shall share my snarkiness with you, my friends!


Living in a bubble …

The pandemic continues to rage, and yesterday we broke yet another record with 2,194 deaths, bringing our recorded death toll to 266,311.  Mike Pence, who is allegedly the head of the coronavirus task force but has not spoken of it since July, finally broke his vow of silence last Thursday.  Despite record high new cases, hospitalizations, and more than a quarter of a million deaths, he had this to say …

“America has never been more prepared to combat this virus than we are today.”

From what I can discern, ol’ Mikey has been living in a bubble somewhere underground for the past ten months!  That death toll … those are people, not just numbers.  Those are our grandparents, our siblings, our children, and our friends!  Just what the Sam Hell has this ‘task force’ even done besides waste time and money?


Two new records

More Americans voted in the 2020 election than in any other in more than 100 years.

voting-record

This is encouraging, but I’m still disappointed … yeah, I know … give a mouse a cookie.  But seriously, 65%?  Where were the other 35% of eligible voters?  This year, most every state made mail-in voting available due to the pandemic, some states even allowed voters to register online.  Yes, some states throw up roadblocks, especially in areas where there is a significant percentage of minorities – it’s called disenfranchisement, and is a republican ploy to keep Blacks, Asians and Hispanics away from the polls.  But even with that in mind … why isn’t the number 85%?  Yeah, yeah … I know all the excuses, have heard them a million times before.  I just wonder what we have to do to convince people … all people … that voting is a responsibility, as well as a right.  You owe it to every person in this country to make your voice heard, and most of all you owe it to yourself to feel that you aren’t just a bystander, but an actual participant.  Turnout in Minnesota reached nearly 80% … if they can do it, why can’t the rest of the nation?

But there’s even more good news … President-elect Joe Biden is now the first ever to win more than 80 million votes!  Ever.  Think about that one … that sends quite a message, doesn’t it?


Good for a laugh …

I had to laugh when I read that Trump thinks his legal team (led by none other than Rudy Giuliani) is made up of “fools that are making him look bad.”

Giuliani

As if he ever needed help in looking bad???  No president in the history of the nation has ever looked worse than Donald Trump on a good day!  Whatever will we do for humour once this bunch of clowns has packed up their circus show and left?


And speaking of humour … let’s see what Jimmy Kimmel has to say about the latest developments.

The Week’s Best Cartoons 11/21

I thought a bit of humour might be in order this afternoon, so I’m sharing with you TokyoSand’s weekly assortment of the best political cartoons from the past week.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and the political cartoonists surely prove that.  I do find, though, that I don’t find as much humour in them these days as I once did.  Hopefully, a year from now we will be shed of both the diseases that are crippling the nation … the pandemic and Donald Trump … and then we can once again look outward and see what’s happening in the rest of the world, can laugh over the little faux pas that make the news. 

Anyway … thank you TS for doing such a great job finding the best of the best!

pol-toon-1pol-toon-2pol-toon-3

View more ‘toons on original post

More Dirty Dealings

Trump and his cronies sure do love their Friday night surprises.  Last night, Attorney General William ‘the toad’ Barr announced the resignation of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman.  Trouble is … Mr. Berman did not resign.BermanBerman has overseen a number of investigations involving Trump and members of his political campaign, including Michael Cohen and Rudy Giuliani.  Apparently, this was to be the next step in the purge that has been taking place since February, when the republicans in the Senate grew feathers and were so afraid of offending Trump that they refused to do their jobs and convict him of the crimes on which he was impeached.

Barr’s press release stated …

“I thank Geoffrey Berman, who is stepping down after two-and-a-half years of service as United States attorney for the Southern District of New York. With tenacity and savvy, Geoff has done an excellent job leading one of our nation’s most significant US attorney’s offices.”

Berman’s office has prosecuted a number of Trump associates, including Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, who served a prison sentence for lying to Congress and campaign finance crimes, and has also been investigating Giuliani and his associates. Federal prosecutors in New York are investigating Giuliani’s business dealings, including whether he failed to register as a foreign agent.

According to Barr, Trump intends to replace Berman with Jay Clayton, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), who has virtually no experience as a federal prosecutor.  Another interesting coincidence is that one of Clayton’s former clients is Deutsche Bank that has had some highly questionable (read ‘criminal’) dealings with Donald Trump and Jared Kushner.

The Southern District of New York is considered one of the top — if not the top — federal prosecutors’ offices in the United States, due to its handling of significant criminal cases involving terrorism, financial institutions and high-profile criminal defendants.

Replacing Berman … especially in this way … sounds alarm bells and sets off red flags.  Preet Bharara, whom Berman replaced after being fired by Trump, in a tweet asked …

“Why does a president get rid of his own hand-picked US Attorney in SDNY on a Friday night, less than 5 months before the election?”

Why indeed?

U.S. Representative Ted Lieu posed the question …

“Wow, not only is US Attorney for SDNY Geoffrey Berman not resigning, he went out of his way to say that SDNY’s investigations and important cases will continue unimpeded. Was Bill Barr of @TheJusticeDept trying to obstruct an investigation or case by attempting to fire him?”

Not a doubt in my mind.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler …

“America is right to expect the worst of Bill Barr, who has repeatedly interfered in criminal investigations on Trump’s behalf. We have a hearing on this topic on Wednesday. We welcome Mr. Berman’s testimony and will invite him to testify.”

And Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer …

“This late Friday night dismissal reeks of potential corruption of the legal process. What is angering President Trump? A previous action by this U.S. Attorney or one that is ongoing?”

Probably both, Chuck.

Interestingly, among the tidbits that have been released from John Bolton’s new book that will be released on Tuesday, is that Trump assured Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that he would intervene to stop the SDNY’s Halkbank investigation.  Perhaps he wasn’t able to coerce Berman to drop that investigation?

It is reported that there has been recent tension between Berman and Barr over the handling of the indictment of the Turkish state-owned bank Halkbank. Turkey spent millions of dollars lobbying the White House, Congress, and the State Department to ask the Justice Department not to investigate the bank.

Last year, Barr “personally spearheaded” an effort to shield Halkbank from prosecution and negotiate a settlement with the bank that would have allowed it to avoid being indicted. The SDNY ultimately charged Halkbank in federal court for its alleged participation in a multi-billion dollar Iranian effort to sidestep sanctions.

Trump was impeached for attempting to blackmail Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in order to ‘dig up dirt’ on his political opponent, Joe Biden.  Certainly that was enough to convince us that Trump is not honest (as if we didn’t already know that), but the latest dealings, culminating with this one, are proof that Trump, Barr, and the entire administration are as crooked as any in any banana republic.  Even Richard ‘Tricky Dicky’ Nixon was damn near a saint when compared to Trump and his band of thugs.

Thumbs up to Geoffrey Berman for refusing to go down without a fight.  Technically, William Barr cannot fire Berman … but Trump can.  If he does, it’s one in a long line of people being fired for the ‘crime’ of doing their jobs properly, taking their oath to the people of this country seriously, unlike Trump, Barr, and the rest.

Filosofa Is Ranting … AGAIN!

Last evening, Donald Trump crossed a line in my book.  He’s crossed many before, but this, taken in conjunction with his statement a few days ago that he had “total authority”, is the final straw.  I hold every person who voted for, and still approves of Donald Trump responsible for handing the ‘keys to the kingdom’ to a cruel and evil tyrant determined to have his way at all costs, determined to destroy the United States.

Why am I ranting, you ask?  Believe me, I toned it down a lot from my first draft!  Let me tell you …

According to the U.S. Constitution, we have three equal branches of government, but yesterday … Donald Trump threatened to trash the Constitution in order to have his way.  Oh sure, he’s been trashing it, shredding it, trampling it and burning it for over three years now, but this is beyond any of his previous abominable moves.

Yesterday, Donald Trump threatened to shut down both chambers of Congress to allow him to fill vacancies in his administration without Senate approval.  This is unconscionable … this is the action of a strongarm dictator, determined to get his way … or else!  This is the exact sort of tyrant the Founding Fathers worried about, the reason they built checks and balances into the Constitution so that no one person could hijack the democratic principles on which this nation was founded.

He spent much of his daily campaign rally (disguised as a coronavirus briefing), railing against democrats for blocking his nominations when in fact, the nominations are awaiting Senate approval and the Senate is controlled by the republicans … his own bootlickers!

He ended his little tirade with …

“They know they’ve been warned and they’ve been warned right now. If they don’t approve it, then we’re going to go this route and we’ll probably be challenged in court and we’ll see who wins.”

The Constitution grants the president the authority to adjourn Congress if leaders of the House and Senate can’t agree on whether to adjourn.  However, in 233 years of governance under the Constitution, that authority has never once been exercised.  And furthermore, there is currently no disagreement between the two chambers — they have already agreed to adjourn on Jan. 3, 2021.

In 2014, republican senators challenged some of President Obama’s recess appointments in the Supreme Court and won their case.  The Supreme Court ruled that only the Senate — not the president — can decide when it is in session.  Seems cut and dried to me, but this is the era of Trump, when nothing follows any logical pattern, when he can browbeat and bully to get his way, when children are thrown into cages by order of Trump, and when justice as we once knew it no longer exists.


And in other news …

Well isn’t that convenient?

The criminal trial for several associates of Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has been postponed until well after the November election.  How very convenient!

parnas-frugmanA federal judge in New York on Wednesday ordered that the trial of Lev Parnas, Igor Fruman and two other men on campaign-finance-related charges be postponed from this October to February of next year.

Parnas and Fruman worked closely with Giuliani on several efforts related to Ukraine, including a successful drive to oust the U.S. ambassador to that country, Marie Yovanovitch. She was removed from her post last May. An indictment returned against the businessmen last year charged them with violating U.S. campaign finance laws by funneling funds from abroad and hiding their source. In the indictment, Yovanovitch’s ouster is discussed as one of the goals the conspirators were allegedly seeking to achieve.

The reason cited for the delay was logistical problems related to the pandemic … my guess is that money or favours changed hands to push it to after the election so that it wouldn’t be ongoing, or fresh in people’s minds on election day.  Amazing how this pandemic that is killing the rest of us has played right into Trump’s hands in a number of ways, isn’t it?


Profit over people

In a 24-hour period ending on Wednesday everning, the U.S. recorded more than 4,500 deaths as a result of the coronavirus, an all-time daily high.  And yet Trump stands firm that he is re-opening the country, possibly even before May 1st.  Later today, he plans to “unveil” his plan for opening the economy.  Likely his plan will be disregarded by most, except the republican governors who care far more for the wealthy industrialists in their states than the working people.  We, the poor and middle class, are expendable, you know.

Turns out that yesterday Trump attempted a conference call with bankers from such institutions as Goldman-Sachs, JP Morgan, Bank of America and others.  First, it was a fiasco, as he didn’t give much advance notice and most of the CEOs he planned to touch base with already had other commitments for the time he specified.  One of the executives involved in the call referred to it as a ‘shit show’, if that tells you anything.

Trump’s intent was to talk with the bankers about how to re-start the economy, and apparently he expected them to be eager to get back to ‘business as usual’, but he was in for a bit of a surprise.  One of the CEOs complained …

“I really don’t understand how they are communicating on this. He’s got to stop talking about turning the economy back on and start talking about making people feel safe, things that are happening around testing and the health care system. That’s the only way you will really get the economy reopened over a period of time.”

Now, as a rule I have little or no respect for bankers, considering them to be a greedy lot concerned more about their own investment portfolios than our lives, but this is one case where I will give them a thumbs up for saying just what the rest of the nation is saying (except money-grubbing industrialists and the politicians in their pockets).


I would like to remind the people of this country that we did not elect Donald Trump to lead this nation.  We elected Hillary Clinton by nearly 3 million votes more than Donald Trump.  Through corrupt machinations primarily by the republicans in certain states, he was placed into the Oval Office and has been destroying this nation since the first day he took office.  But today, in a crisis of astronomical proportions, we are stuck with a person at the helm who does not have a clue what he is doing and does not care, but is determined to claim absolute power, to lead not as a president representing the people, but as an authoritarian who puts his own interests first.  Remember all these abominations on November 3rd, please, or we may very well find ourselves in the same situation the German people found themselves in 1933.  Think about it.