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.

There is a reason the US president does not want people reading evidence

There have been new developments in the impeachment case against Donald Trump, and our friend Keith has summed them up nicely for us. It is to be hoped that the testimony of Lev Parnas will be heard in the trial and that perhaps it will open the eyes of some of those republicans who have been wearing blinders. Thank you, Keith!

musingsofanoldfart

In an editorial by Neal Katyal and Joshua Geltzer yesterday in The Washington Post called “Lev Parnas and Rudy Giuliani have demolished Trump’s claims of innocence” (see link below), it lays bare false reasons of the US president using strong-arm tactics in Ukraine. Per the editorial:

“Americans who have been wondering why President Trump has taken the extraordinary step of trying to block every document from being released to Congress in his impeachment inquiry need wonder no longer. The new documents released Tuesday evening by the House Intelligence Committee were devastating to Trump’s continuing — if shifting — defense of his Ukraine extortion scandal, just days before his impeachment trial is likely to begin in the Senate. These new documents demolish at least three key defenses to which Trump and his allies have been clinging: that he was really fighting corruption when he pressured Ukraine on matters related to the…

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Impeachment Inquiry-Day Five

There is so much to write about that I simply cannot keep up … I need more than 24 hours in a day! Thankfully, our friend Jeff over at On the Fence Voters has written about yesterday’s testimony in the impeachment hearings by Gordon Sondland. I would only add that somebody needs to take Devin Nunes and Jim Jordan back to pre-school and let the adults get on with the business at hand! Thank you, Jeff, for this great summary of yesterday’s events!

On The Fence Voters

Another tough day for the POTUS

We’re now on day five of the impeachment inquiry, and once again, the current President of the United States is having another tough day. His million-dollar donor, Ambassador Gordon Sondland, not only through him under the bus, but also just about anyone else who’s involved in this fiasco.

I guess when a few years in prison might await, the generous donation to the President for an Ambassadorship doesn’t seem all that important. In the end, instead of pleading the fifth as many in the media had speculated he might do, Sondland decided to come clean–kind of.

After his first deposition Sondland came to the realization that based on testimony from others such as Ambassador William Taylor, his recollection was a bit hazy, which led him to amend some of his original statements. Then today, the Ambassador decided that the President, Secretary of State Mike…

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Questions … And More Questions

As most of you know, one of my favourite journalists is Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times.  Kristof has received two Pulitzer Prizes, for his coverage of China and of the genocide in Darfur.  He is often out and about covering humanitarian crises around the globe.  But, his political views back here at home are typically spot-on … his is the voice of calm, of reason amidst all the chaos.  His OpEd yesterday is no exception, as he weighs in on … what else?  Impeachment and Trump’s abuse of power.  His words are sound and well worth the read.

Mr. President, a Few Questions

nicholas-kristof-thumblargeBy Nicholas Kristof
Opinion Columnist
SEPT. 27, 2019

“Shall any man be above justice?” George Mason asked in 1787 at the Constitutional Convention. “Above all, shall that man be above it, who can commit the most extensive injustice?”

That was a central question for the framers of the Constitution — to what extent should impeachment be a check on a president? — and it’s the central question for our political system today.

President Trump’s bullying of Ukraine to target Joe Biden is parallel to the kinds of abuse that the framers discussed when they adopted the impeachment clause. What they fretted about was a leader who abused power — by colluding with a foreign country, James Madison suggested — and threatened the integrity of our system.

So, guided by those concerns of abuse of power, let’s see what the impeachment inquiry turns up. Among the areas that merit further investigation:

What was Russia’s role? Did Trump discuss Ukraine with Vladimir Putin in their June meeting in Osaka, in their Paris or Helsinki meetings last year, or in their July 31 phone call? Did Putin plant misinformation that Trump acted on?

In his July 25 call with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump raised the bizarre conspiracy theory that it had been Ukraine rather than Russia that had hacked Democratic emails. Doesn’t that sound as if it was translated from the original Russian?

Likewise, Trump’s distrust of his ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, and his faith that a trove of dirt about Biden corruption was sitting in Ukraine waiting to be dug up — why, all this resembles what a skilled K.G.B. officer might say to manipulate a naïve American acolyte.

Certainly Putin benefited from Trump’s hold on nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine, from the American coolness toward Zelensky and from the sidelining of Ukraine experts such as Ambassador Yovanovitch.

There are whispers of this in the intelligence community, but let’s be clear that these are questions rather than allegations. Unfortunately, the Kremlin came out on Friday against releasing phone transcripts, and Trump has generally concealed details of his conversations with Putin — even taking away notes from an interpreter after one meeting.

Was there a substantial cover-up? The whistle-blower alleges a cover-up, in a complaint that the administration then tried to cover up. Hmm.

The rough transcript of Trump’s call with Zelensky was placed in an unusually secure system. Why?

Ukraine is a longtime Trump fixation, with the president tweeting as early as July 2017 about “Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump campaign.” Rudy Giuliani rode roughshod over policymakers in an attempt to hijack foreign policy formation, and the White House has never convincingly explained its hold on military assistance.

Did administration officials try to hide all of this? Did they impede Congress from providing oversight? Was there a cover-up of not just a call, but of a long-term pattern of abuse?

What were the roles of Vice President Mike Pence, Attorney General William Barr and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo? Pence dropped out of the delegation that attended Zelensky’s inauguration, seemingly as a way to pressure Zelensky to investigate the Bidens. Did Pence agree to this?

As for Barr, why did Trump repeatedly suggest him as a contact for Zelensky? And why did the Justice Department try to quash the whistle-blower complaint? Why does Barr regularly act as Trump’s cleanup man rather than as the nation’s lawyer?

Was Pompeo complicit in Trump’s efforts to shunt aside the State Department so that Giuliani could oversee relations with Ukraine? What role did Pompeo play in the recall of Ambassador Yovanovitch?

There’s much debate about whether Trump should or shouldn’t be impeached, but for now that seems to me to be premature. Before any impeachment vote, we need a substantial inquiry to determine facts.

Cass Sunstein, a Harvard Law School professor, has a smart book, “Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide,” in which he advises people to think about whether they would favor or oppose impeachment if they felt the opposite about this president. In that spirit, I approach it this way: How would I feel about impeachment if these Ukraine revelations were about Barack Obama?

There’s a danger that Democrats rush this process in ways that antagonize swing voters, particularly when polls show that a majority of the public both disapproves of Trump’s conduct and does not favor impeachment.

In the end, Mitch McConnell may not even permit a Senate trial after an impeachment. Or if McConnell convenes a trial, he could immediately have the Republican majority vote to dismiss the case.

That makes it all the more important that the House impeachment inquiry meticulously gather information by a process that — to the extent possible in our polarized age — is perceived by the public as fair, deliberate and legitimate. The backdrop must be the question that George Mason properly posed more than two centuries ago: “Shall any man be above justice?”

Snarky Impeachment Snippets!

Y’know … I really wanted to write about almost anything except impeachment, Ukraine, Trump, Biden … the whole wacky mess.  Yes, it is probably the single most important thing happening in the U.S. today, and yes, I will continue writing about it, but I had hoped for a break tonight.  I was working on something else, but … it wasn’t going well, and the news of the moment kept distracting me and breaking into my beam of focus.  So, here I am with a couple of “Impeachment Snippets”!


Score one for the media …

I am not a fan of MSNBC, they are not among my lengthy list of ‘go-to’ resources, and I’ve never actually watched the network except for an occasional clip relevant to my topic at hand.  But, I must give them a thumbs-up for what they did yesterday afternoon.

Trump conducted his version of what passes for a press conference, scheduled at 4:00 p.m. yesterday.  The usual television media crowd was dancing attendance, and the major networks broke into their regularly scheduled programming to carry the event.

In the first seven minutes of his speech, without evidence, he alleged that former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son had profited from dealings in Ukraine (it should be noted that this has been investigated and debunked ad nauseam). He insulted journalists and accused The Washington Post of publishing a “fake article.” He asserted without evidence that Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut had “threatened” Ukrainian officials and claimed that Democrats had timed their impeachment inquiry to disrupt his trip to the United Nations.  Not a single fact to be found amongst all the lies.

It was at this point that MSNBC made the decision to tune out and turn off.

“We hate to do this, really, but the president isn’t telling the truth.”

Those were the words of anchor Nicole Wallace as MSNBC cut the video as Trump was mid-sentence.  Now, you might argue that the public has a right to know what Trump is saying, that this was censorship in some form.  Another time, I might agree with you.  But, Trump thrives on the attention of the very media he calls the “enemy of the people”, and frankly, if he cannot tell the truth, then I don’t wish to hear what he says anyway.  And, there is no doubt that his words will be repeated ad nauseam on every other network and in the print media.  The public has a right to know … truth and facts.  When all we hear is lies … of what value is it?  None, it is merely a waste of our time.

Other networks handled the lies in different ways.  Wolf Blitzer of CNN told viewers at the end that “The president leveled several distortions, falsehoods in the course of that 45 minutes.”  His colleague, Jeffrey Toobin, was more direct, saying it was a “torrent of lies”.  ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos appeared onscreen halfway through the event, informing viewers that there was “no evidence” to support Mr. Trump’s claims about the Bidens. Andrea Mitchell, on NBC, said the accusations against Mr. Murphy were “contrary to any information we have.”

The networks are, each in its own way, trying to inform viewers of the facts, and I applaud them for that.  I still think MSNBC has the right idea, if for no other reason than … can you imagine Trump if he suddenly realized that the cameras had all stopped rolling?  He needs to be held to account for his words, and if the media gives him a free pass, they are pandering to him and doing We the People a great disservice.  So, in my book, MSNBC gets a thumbs-up for this one.  👍


A man of honour?  Maybe — the jury is still out.

Today, acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Joseph Maguire, will testify in both open and closed hearings before Congress about the report filed with his office by the unnamed whistleblower who provided the information about Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, among other things to which we are not yet privy.  Now, Maguire was somewhat unexpectedly thrust into this position last month when former DNI Dan Coats resigned.  You may remember that it was rumoured in White House circles that Coats was about to be fired because he was taking the matter of election security a little too seriously to suit Trump.

Knowing that in the past, those who testified before Congress were given strict guidance by the White House, i.e. Trump & Co., regarding what they could and could not discuss.  Maguire, it was reported by The Washington Post, threatened to resign over concerns that the White House might attempt to force him to stonewall Congress when he testifies.  Since that report yesterday, Maguire has denied that he threatened to resign, but after consideration, the Post stands by its story, which indicates a high probability of veracity.

It is said that Maguire pushed the White House to make an explicit legal decision on whether it would assert executive privilege over the whistleblower complaint.  My opinion?  If he cannot speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, then why waste time and money?  Thus far, every single person with the possible exception of Michael Cohen, who has testified before Congress as regards investigations into Trump’s likely crimes, has been stifled by Trump’s lawyers.  Is there any reason to believe that this time will be different?  I doubt it.


And about William Barr …

The Attorney General of the United States has proven time and time again that there are no boundaries to his corruption, no lengths to which he will not go to protect Trump from … well, Trump!  But this latest might well become his undoing, and frankly I hope it does, for he has proven he has no conscience, no dedication to right vs wrong, and no respect for the law of the land.

Among the recent eyebrow-raising issues …

  • Per the transcript of Trump’s call with the Ukraine president, he indicated that Barr was involved, or would be, with the attempt to dig up dirt on Joe Biden, saying “I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. I will ask [Rudolph Giuliani] to call you along with the Attorney General.”
  • The Justice Department, i.e. AG William Barr, gave the DNI a written legal opinion demanding his refusal to turn over the whistleblower’s complaint, as the DNI was required by law, to do.

At this point we should remind ourselves that the entire reason Barr is Attorney General is that he made clear that, unlike his predecessor Jeff Sessions, he would make protecting Trump his highest priority.  Think about that one for a bit, my friends.


Well, I have exceeded my self-imposed word limit, and I need to get busy on my music post, so I will now return you to your regularly scheduled activities … that is, if I haven’t already put you to sleep.

A Good Deal!!!

I don’t know about you guys, but I could use a little humour at Trump’s expense today.  Andy Borowitz is always good for a few laughs.  This column of his is from 24 January, six days ago, but it’s still funny.


borowitz-andyWASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In a bold initiative aimed at ending the shutdown, congressional Democrats on Thursday agreed to fund a border wall and reopen the government if Donald Trump leaves the country forever.

Calling the deal “a huge win for America,” the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, said that Trump would get the wall he wanted plus the opportunity to do something “incredibly patriotic” for his country.

Pelosi brushed aside criticism of the offer’s 5.7-billion-dollar price tag, telling reporters, “When you consider what we are getting in return, nine trillion dollars would be a bargain.”

But, even as Pelosi touted the offer, some details remained unresolved, such as finding a country willing to accept Trump.

Although Russia has a practice of providing country houses to former leaders such as Nikita Khrushchev and Boris Yeltsin, it is unclear whether Trump’s two years of service to the Kremlin qualify him for such accommodations.

The White House offered no official response to the Democrats’ offer, but Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani gave it a full-throated endorsement during an appearance on CNN.

“He should absolutely take this deal,” Giuliani said. “I mean, if he stays in the country, he’s probably going to prison.”


And in case that didn’t quite bring a smile to your face … try this!  I call it “My Dream”

From Hero To Laughingstock …

I am quite certain that I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating.  I once had tremendous respect for New York’s former mayor, Rudy Giuliani.  Nothing can or should take away from the fact that he, more than any other single person in the U.S., brought calm in a stormy sea, brought reason into chaos, and earned the respect of New Yorkers in the days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  His was the voice of reason, he was the one who said, “Calm down … BREATHE … we can do this … we can get through this.  Yes, we have been hurt, but … we are NEW YORKERS and we will be okay.” Nothing can take that away.  However, at some point between September 11th 2001 and August 19th 2018, the man lost his bloody marbles!!!

Giuliani frequently appears on the Sunday morning news shows to lie for defend Donald Trump, and yesterday was no exception.  Appearing on Meet the Press with Chuck Todd, Giuliani proved once again that “Yes, I am an idiot”. After a question from Todd regarding the Mueller investigation …

“No, it isn’t truth! Truth isn’t truth!”

Say … huh???  Truth isn’t truth?  Kellyanne warned us some 19 months ago that there would be alternative facts, and later she even proved there is an alternative history, when she spoke of the “Bowling Green Massacre” that never happened.  So, it follows that if there are alternative facts, and alternative history, there must also be an alternative language, right?  Up is down.  Black is white.  Left is right.  Candy is healthy, and broccoli will cause your teeth to rot.  Truth is lies and lies are truth.  Donald Trump is wonderful, and Barack Obama was a lying, dirty scoundrel who was born in Kenya.  Applause, applause, applause …

They had fun with this on Twitter, of course …Tweettweet-2

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And then, naturally, Andy Borowitz writing for the New Yorker got in on the act …

Putin Reportedly Close to Firing Giuliani

MOSCOW (The Borowitz Report)—Vladimir Putin is reportedly “very close” to firing Rudolph Giuliani as Donald J. Trump’s attorney, a source close to the Russian President confirmed on Monday.

According to the source, Putin allowed Trump to hire Giuliani in the first place because “it’s important to let Trump think that he has some autonomy from time to time,” but now the Russian President has apparently determined that “enough is enough.”

Over the next few days, the source indicated, Putin is likely to replace Giuliani with a handpicked successor, Arkady Lubetkin, a criminal-defense attorney who has represented several prominent Russian Mob figures.

After hearing anecdotal reports of Giuliani’s appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Putin initially theorized that the nonsensical nature of Giuliani’s utterances had to be chalked up to “an error in translation,” the source said.

After reading an official transcript of Giuliani’s statements, however, the Russian President was apparently “flabbergasted.”

“Pravda is not pravda?” Putin reportedly said. “What is this bullshit?”

Today, Giuliani attempted to extricate himself from his own words …

“My statement was not meant as a pontification on moral theology but one referring to the situation where two people make precisely contradictory statements, the classic “he said,she said” puzzle. Sometimes further inquiry can reveal the truth other times it doesn’t.”

Sometimes it is best just to learn when to keep one’s mouth shut, Rudy.

It is rather a sad statement on our present situation that 99.5% of our humour comes from our own government.  Equally sad when a man who was once a hero is now a laughingstock.