OBSTRUCTION!!!

Donald Trump is playing games with our lives.  Today, in a strictly retaliatory move against Congress and We the People, he played that tired old “executive privilege” card.  Congress had made known earlier this week its intent to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress for failure to answer the subpoenas they were issued by the House Oversight Committee to release certain documents.  Trump threatened that if they did so, he would invoke ‘executive privilege’ on the documents the committee had requested regarding how a citizenship question came to be added to the 2020 census form.  Just a few hours ago, Trump acted on his threat and invoked that ‘executive privilege’ that he has so often used and abused.

Congress has not only a constitutional right, but a constitutional mandate to investigate, to find the truth. That truth is being hidden, kept from Congress, purloined from the public.  This move reeks of dictatorship, of an authoritarian government, one where the ‘man’ at the top considers himself to be a supreme leader, rather than a democratically elected public servant.

Trump’s refusal to allow documents to be released, his threats and bullying key witnesses to keep them from testifying before Congress is nothing less than obstruction of justice.  The Mueller report laid out nearly a dozen proven instances in which Trump had obstructed, or attempted to obstruct, the ongoing investigation. Nothing has changed … he is still obstructing justice and has become even more blatant about it, for nobody and nothing to date has stopped him.  His minions, his boot-lickers both in the cabinet, the White House staff, and in Congress have lied and covered for him, have pointed the finger of blame in every direction except the right one, and thus we now have a dictator who believes that he has the right to hide the truth, to trample the Constitution for his own purposes.

Trump is a ‘fake’ president and is leading this nation down a dark path.  Yes, folks, he most definitely IS guilty of obstruction of justice, as recently as five hours ago!  We the People are being increasingly kept in the dark, being given only the tidbits that Trump wants us to have.  Do you know when was the last time Sarah Huckabee Sanders held a White House Press Briefing?  March 11th … 92 days ago!  More than three months.  During that time, she has been a regular on Fox News, but has disappeared from the legitimate press.  Not, mind you, that she ever told the truth anyway, but still …

As for William Barr and Wilbur Ross … I would like to see them both cited for contempt of Congress and given 24 hours to comply, else be arrested and put in jail just as you or I would be in similar circumstances.  As for Trump … he claims the Mueller report exonerated him.  It did not.  He claims “no collusion, no obstruction”.  He lies … he is guilty of both, but Mueller’s hands were tied, so he tossed the ball to Congress.  Now Trump and Co are trying to tie Congress’ hands.  If that isn’t obstruction, I don’t know what is.

Chris Britt / Illinois Times

R.J. Matson / Roll CallNick Anderson cartoonAdam Zyglis / Buffalo NewsJeff Danziger cartoon

Timely Advice From Morning Joe

Yesterday, I found myself completely overwhelmed by the amount of news … tariffs, Trump’s trip to the UK, anti-trust investigations, impeachment, gun control, anti-abortion laws, etc., etc., etc.  Where to start?  My mind spun, then bounced as I read article after article, most somehow involving Donald Trump.  I think we are all beginning to feel as if we are on a carousel that is spinning faster and faster while we try to hold on for dear life.

This morning I happened upon an OpEd by former member of Congress, now host of Morning Joe on MSNBC with Mika Brzezinski, Joe Scarborough that I think makes a lot of sense.  Mr. Scarborough offers us some timely advice about keeping our eye on the ball, so I decided to share it with you.

Disregard Trump’s ground noise. Focus on the signal.

By Joe Scarborough, June 3 at 4:08 PM

Joe-ScarboroughMy first year in Congress was spent absorbing attacks from a local newspaper unimpressed by the fact I was the first Republican elected in my area of Florida since Reconstruction. They appreciated my lectures on small government conservatism no more than does the current collection of Big Government Republicans in Washington.

During my freshman year on the Hill, I tried to respond to every charge from every article, political cartoon or editorial page. After one particularly stem-winding speech that I delivered at the downtown Rotary Club in Pensacola, Fla., three-star admiral Jack Fetterman took me aside and gently offered advice that I carry with me a quarter-century later. He put his arm around me and said, “Joe, you have to learn to separate the ground noise from the signal. And here’s the secret, son: It’s almost always ground noise.”

I thought of the admiral’s words this weekend as I glanced at the news feed coming in over my phone.

Video from the Sun, a British tabloid, showed that President Trump called a princess “nasty”; then he denied calling her that; then Trump had his team release a tape that showed he called her that; then Fox News hosts attacked those quoting the Trump manuscript that showed he called her “nasty.”

Trump then dismissed reports of him calling her “nasty,” waving off the Sun’s transcripts as “fake news.”

I also learned from my news feed that Trump staffers told the Navy to keep the USS John S. McCain out of Trump’s line of sight; Trump then denied that request was ever made; Reporters proved that request was, in fact, made. Trump staffers admitted to the request.

Trump then dismissed the reports as “fake news.”

It is easy to be blinkered by the ground noise generated by from the president’s Twitter feed, or from his ministers of propaganda, or from his quivering quislings on Capitol Hill. It is difficult to brush aside the steady stream of lies and half-truths that insult our intelligence. But the good admiral would tell you that you have no other choice unless you want to fly your fighter jet straight into the side of a mountain.

Ignore the ground noise and search for the signal, instead. That may seem difficult but, after three years of Trumpian madness, it is imperative.

The signal is the Mueller report. Read it. The evidence inside is both impeachable and indictable. It also documents that the Russians tried to undermine U.S. democracy and that the president and his team, rather than reporting the interference, welcomed our enemy’s help.

William P. Barr is ground noise. The attorney general has been caught lying to the American people with his letter, lying to Congress with his testimony and lying to the media in his interviews. Maureen Dowd of the New York Times accurately labeled Barr as Trump’s minister of disinformation. She is right. His words are now as meaningless as Kellyanne Conway’s or Roger Stone’s.

The signal is the United States’ $22 trillion debt; record deficits; a fading bond market; trade wars with Mexico and China; a $16 billion welfare scheme for farmers; tariff taxes; a bloated defense budget that funds military-industrial complex programs that the Pentagon does not even want; a Middle Eastern war taxpayers are underwriting for the benefit of a bloodthirsty Saudi prince; and rising tensions in the Persian Gulf also aimed at mollifying that same leader, who had a Post contributing columnist tortured and killed.

Focus also on the pattern of behavior. After the economic crisis, Donald Trump endorsed the Wall Street bailout and praised the feds for giving billions of dollars to bankers whose greed had crushed middle-class workers. A decade later, the populist plutocrat championed tax cuts for multinational corporations and millionaire members inside his clubs. As Trump told a group of wealthy Mar-a-Lago Club members the day he signed the tax bill into law, “You all just got a lot richer.” In this one respect, Trump was right. His Palm Beach buddies did make millions from “tax reform,” but as with the tariffs he keeps touting, it is working-class Americans who will ultimately pay the tab.

Ignore the noise and focus on the signal coming from North Korea, where the building of a nuclear program continues unimpeded. The president’s bewildering response to this growing threat has been to adopt the party line of North Korea’s Communist Party and profess his love for the dictator who tortured and caused the death of a U.S. college student for trying to bring a poster home. A strong warning signal also gets sent every time Trump chooses to accept the word of a former KGB agent over the professional conclusions of the FBI, CIA, the director of national intelligence and Homeland Security leaders that the president, himself, appointed.

That signal may lead us back to the Mueller report as well as Trump’s personal pursuit of riches. And focusing on that signal may lead us to better understanding why the president has been so willing to sell out American democracy to Russian dictators and Saudi Arabian sheikhs.

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Da Snarky Snippets Keep On Coming

Believe it or not, just a few years ago I was a mild-mannered person who rarely engaged in being snarky, or bouts of temper … yeah, right, who do I think I’m kidding?  Anyway, today I find that I have plenty of little snippets upon which to unload my snark.


Trump vs CNN – round #14

On Monday, little Donnie took umbrage … again … over CNN’s coverage of his _____________ (fill in the blank).  Could have been his proposed tariffs on imports from Mexico, could have been his meddling in the affairs of the UK, or perhaps his juvenile criticisms of London Mayor Sadiq Khan, or any number of other things he has done or said.

CNN is not alone in critiquing Trump’s words and actions, and they are not alone in drawing Trump’s ire, for he has frequently called out the New York Times and The Washington Post, calling them ‘fake news’, ‘failing’, and more.  But, he seems to have taken a particular dislike to CNN, and today he crossed a line.  Well, in truth, he has crossed many lines in the past and I’m inclined to say that every time he opens his mouth, he crosses a line.  However today, he called on the U.S. public to boycott AT&T, the parent company of CNN.  This, my friends, is unconscionable.

It is neither the job nor the right of the president to attempt to bring down a company simply because they don’t agree with him.  And it is damn sure not his right to attempt to manipulate the press … the FREE press.  Hell, the majority of people in the nation don’t agree with him … what’s he going to do … call on his shrinking base to ‘de-friend’ us on Facebook? In the opinion of historian Jon Meacham, who has written biographies of several presidents …

“For a president to call for punitive action against a corporation in an effort to shape news coverage is, to say the least, highly unusual. It’s the kind of behavior more commonly associated with authoritarian regimes, not democratic ones.”

More commonly associated with authoritarian regimes … what have I been saying for two years now?


Get em, Tiger!

“Unfortunately, your actions are part of a pattern. The Trump administration has been engaged in one of the most unprecedented cover-ups since Watergate, extending from the White House to multiple federal agencies and departments of the government and across numerous investigations.”

The above is an excerpt from letters written to both Attorney General William Barr and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross yesterday by Elijah Cummings, Chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee.  Both Barr and Ross have defied the panel’s subpoena for information about efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

Last week, we learned of a plot, if you will, to redistrict (gerrymander) political maps that would be “advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites”, based on answers to a proposed citizenship question on the upcoming (2020) census form.  The information came to light following the release of documents belonging to the late Thomas Hofeller, a major republican strategist.

The republicans, from Donald Trump down to the lowliest cabinet member, are engaging in a dangerous game of cat and mouse in order to preserve their “dominance” in our government.  I hope that if Barr and Ross do not turn over the requested information, they both land behind bars in orange jumpsuits.  The same goes for Mnuchin, Trump, and all the others who think they are above the law.  It’s time to restore law and order to this damn country!


Jared Kushner deserves a medal … for ignorance

KushnerThere is likely a reason why Jared Kushner, son-in-law and boot-licker of Don Trump, doesn’t do many interviews … his utter ignorance and stupidity come out … in spades.  On Sunday, an interview he did with Jonathan Swan of Axios was aired.  A couple of snippets …

The first was about the false claim by Trump that Obama was not born in the U.S.

Swan: Was birtherism racist?

Kushner: Um, look, I wasn’t really involved in that.

Swan: I know you weren’t! Was it racist?

Kushner: Like I said, I wasn’t involved in that.

Swan: I know you weren’t! Was it racist?

Kushner: Um, look, I know who the president is, and I have not seen anything in him that is racist. So, again, I was not involved in that.

Swan: Did you wish he didn’t do that?

Kushner: Like I said, I was not involved in that. That was a long time ago.

Then when asked about his father-in-law’s ‘values’, or lack thereof …

Swan: Has your father-in-law ever challenged your values?

Kushner: Um, in what regard?

Swan: Well I mean when you were on the campaign you had Access Hollywood? There’s been other things you’ve had to deal with since then. I mean, like, it’s a sensitive question, but I mean it in the sense of you’re a son-in-law, you’re a husband, you’re a senior advisor. Does it make it sometimes harder to, to tell him the truth?

Kushner: No, I think he, he respects people who are willing to be honest with him. When I do disagree, you’ll never read about it in the press and I won’t say it publicly but I will say there’s a lot more things I agree with him on than disagree.

Swan: So you agree with him on economics and foreign policy. Where do you stand on abortion?

Kushner: Again, I was not uh the person who was elected.

Such brilliance, yes?  No wonder he has been put in charge of a Middle-East peace plan!  If you’re interested, you can find the full transcript in .pdf form here.


A royal welcome …

Donnie is over in the UK this week, sure to cause more problems than he solves.  But the Brits know how to make a guy feel welcome.  The baby blimp will fly later today, but here are a few pictures from yesterday’s many protests …

protest-1protest-2protest-3protest-4protest-5protest-6protest-grassProtest Against Donald Trump's State Banquet in LondonProtest Against Donald Trump's State Banquet in LondonProtest Against Donald Trump's State Banquet in London

I guess that proves how much everybody loves him across the pond, eh?


Well, I think that’s it for this morning.  Have a great Tuesday!

A City Of Two Tales …

Saturday Surprise is on hiatus this week for mysterious, undisclosed reasons.  Mis disculpas.

Washington D.C. … so much goes on there these days that it sucks the air out of the rest of the nation.  Every day there are more and more stories of lies and corruption.  Today I bring you two tales from that city … one encouraging, one discouraging.


There are conscionable republicans?  Who knew?

In Thursday’s Snarky Snippets post, I mentioned an organization, Republicans for the Rule of Law (RRL) who are planning a 30-second ad calling for Trump’s impeachment (the ‘I’-word) that will be aired on none other than Fox and Friends, Trump’s favorite show, next week.  Curiosity piqued, for I had never heard of this group, I went in search of more information about RRL.

On the “About Us” section of the group’s website, they state …

“Republicans for the Rule of Law is a group of life-long Republicans dedicated to defending the institutions of our republic and upholding the rule of law. We are fighting to make sure that the laws apply equally to everyone, from the average citizen to the president of the United States. We believe in fidelity to the Constitution, transparency, and the independence of prosecutors from politics.”

On Thursday, RRL announced that it would hand-deliver a copy of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report to every lawmaker in the republican party.  In a letter to lawmakers, the group said …

“As Republicans and conservatives, we consider an uncompromising commitment to the rule of law in the best interests of both the Republican Party and the United States. With this pre-highlighted copy of the Mueller report in hand, all Republicans in Congress will have an easy defense against charges of not having read it.”

Along with the letter and highlighted report, Republicans for the Rule of Law released a video with three GOP-appointed federal prosecutors claiming Trump would have been indicted if he were not president.  These three men, all republicans, all having worked under republican administrations, make a clear and concise case that Donald Trump is, in fact, guilty of obstruction of justice.  Take a look …

Chris Traux, legal advisor and spokesman for Republicans for the Rule of Law, said …

“The rule of law has always been a nonnegotiable principle of the conservative movement and the Republican Party. These veterans of the Reagan and Bush Administrations are reminding us that the law applies the same to everyone — even the president. Republicans and all Americans need to listen.”

The 30-second ad to be aired on Fox and Friends is said to be a clip from the above video.

I find it encouraging that there are republicans who are willing to put country first, for it seems that with the lone exception of Representative Justin Amash, none of the republicans in Congress are willing to do so.  My hope is that this group and their actions can stir the consciences of at least a few of the republican members of Congress so that we might proceed with the impeachment of Donald Trump, for it is increasingly obvious that he is taking our nation down a path of destruction.


But … it’s a court order, for Pete’s sake!

In early May, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ordered that the Justice Department make public various materials related to the case against Michael Flynn, Trump’s first National Security advisor. The order included transcripts of any audio recordings of Flynn, such as his conversations with Russian officials, specifically Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, as well as unredacted version of portions of the Mueller report related to Flynn.

These requests by Judge Sullivan were not subpoenas from Congress but were a direct order by a court of law.  And guess what, folks?  The United States Department of Justice under Attorney General William Barr refused to comply with that court order.  Prosecutors Brandon L. Van Grack and Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah Curtis of Washington provided little explanation as to why they were not turning over the transcripts but indicated that the judge had asked for material that was not relevant to Flynn’s eventual sentencing.

The Justice Department did provide one of the items the Judge ordered … a full transcript of a voice mail that John Dowd, a private attorney for Trump, left for Flynn lawyer Robert Kelner in November 2017.  But guess what?  It was fully quoted in Mueller’s report anyway.

So, let’s recap here.  The House of Representatives is conducting an investigation as is not only their right, but their constitutional duty, and as such, they are issuing requests and subpoenas for information, but the Trump, Barr, Mnuchin and others are flat out refusing to provide such information.  Michael Flynn, who served only 24 days as Trump’s national security advisor because it was proven he had lied to the FBI about the nature and content of his communications with Kislyak, has been tried, found guilty, and is awaiting sentencing.  The judge in the case asks for relevant information, but Trump’s hand-picked, corrupt Attorney General refuses the order.

Law.  Either we have one or we do not.  What do you think would happen if you were subpoenaed to court and didn’t show up?  What do you think would happen if a policeman pulled in behind you, lights flashing, and you kept going?  That’s right, folks … the law applies to us.  Obviously, at this point, it does not apply to the officials in the federal government.  Can there be any doubt that this is the most corrupt government in the 230+ year history of this nation?


Now go forth and have a lovely weekend!

Open Letter to Members of Congress

 

26 May 2019

Dear Representative/Senator,

In the last single week, a mere seven days, Donald Trump has trampled our Constitution and made a mockery of the office of president multiple times.  Let me note just a few …

  • He has bypassed Congress in order to sell military weapons to Saudi Arabia, a nation who has been attacking Yemen for more than three years, killing more than 10,000 people, mostly civilians, and pushing millions more to the brink of starvation. Both chambers of Congress voted on a bill to end U.S. military support to Saudi Arabia in April, but Trump vetoed the bill.  Now, he chooses to illegally continue sending arms to the Saudis with which they will kill more innocent people.  His rationale is to claim, falsely, that there is an ‘emergency’ with Iran.  There is not, though not for lack of trying on his part, but facts do not seem to matter.  He continues to pander to strongman Mohammad bin Salman, despite the fact that bin Salman ordered the brutal murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a fact that seems not to bother Trump in the least.

  • He has delegated to Attorney General William P. Barr the authority to access and declassify the intelligence community’s most closely held secrets as Barr investigates the investigators who tried to stop Russian penetration of the Trump campaign. Have you ever heard anything more ridiculous?  First, it is well-documented that the Russians did interfere in our 2016 election and why would we not want an investigation?  I don’t know about you, but I expect to have a fair and honest election where my vote is properly tallied, and where I have not been fed falsehoods.  We did not have a fair and honest election in 2016, and Trump is well aware of that.  Second, and perhaps most importantly, the de-classifying of national security information puts this nation at risk, and it risks blowing the cover of the men and women who have risked their lives in service to this country.  Even Donald Trump does not have that right.

  • He has threatened a private citizen, intimidating former White House counsel Don McGahn with the sole purpose of keeping him from testifying before the House Judicial Committee that is investigating already-proven cases of obstruction of justice by Trump. He is stopping Congress, a separate and equal branch of the United States government, from doing their job.

  • He has given notice that as long as the various committees in Congress are investigating his corrupt activities, he will not work with Congress on any legislation, such as infrastructure. In other words, he has stated in no uncertain terms that he will not do his job, but instead will jaunt off to Japan for a round of golf!  At our expense!

  • He has viciously attacked the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, referring to her as “crazy Nancy”, saying she is “a mess”, and falsely claiming that she does not know how to do her job (she has decades more experience than he and a significantly higher I.Q.), and he even assisted in spreading a digitally manipulated video of Ms. Pelosi that attempts to make her appear intoxicated. Is this how we expect a president to behave???  Is this the behaviour of an adult???  No, it is not!

  • He has claimed, with ZERO evidence, that a number of people including former FBI Director James Comey, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, President Barack Obama, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch are guilty of treason, and further that they “deserve to be executed”. No evidence, only the wild imaginings of a lunatic, and he speaks of execution.  Does this not bother you?  Frankly, it sends chills up my spine.  This is the United States, not Saudi Arabia, not Russia, not Turkey!

These are only a few of Trump’s abhorrent behaviours in the past week.  The purpose of my letter is to inform you that as a citizen, a taxpayer, and a voter, I want Donald Trump removed from office by whatever means is most expedient.  This is not, or at least should not be, a partisan issue, but one of national security.  This nation has become seriously imperiled ever since he took office, but just in the past month, he has done terrible things that threaten both our national security and the very basis for our freedom, the U.S. Constitution.  If you continue to pussyfoot about him, if you continue to allow him to break the law and turn the Oval Office into a three-ring circus, I and others will do everything in our power to see that you are not re-elected when your term is up, and I will campaign vigorously to ensure that the public knows you are naught but a Trump boot-licker.

Now go, Representative/Senator, do your job … act like a human being, act like you have courage and a conscience.  Help rid this nation of the pimple that is festering on its hindside!

Sincerely,

Jill Dennison – Citizen, Taxpayer, Voter

Just A Few More Snarky Snippets

My friends … I don’t even know where to begin today.  When they say, ‘truth is stranger than fiction’, they aren’t kidding!  Nobody, in their wildest dreams, could have written the script for the madness and mayhem that is the federal government of the ‘United’ States today.


Good grief …

good griefFirst on the agenda is the fact that Trump’s approval rating has climbed.  He still hasn’t hit 50%, but according to the latest Gallup poll, he is at 46%, while according to the FiveThirtyEight aggregate of polls, he has climbed to 42.7, a 1.5% jump since last Thursday.  Why?  The only thing I can figure out is because his base, who largely do not bother to investigate facts, believe him when he says the Mueller report “completely exonerated” him.  It didn’t, and in fact it pointed out at least ten instances where he was guilty of obstruction that would have landed him in jail if he were not president.  But, Trump supporters don’t read the report.  They also don’t question why he is going to so much trouble to keep Mueller, McGahn and others from testifying if he believes he is exonerated.  They don’t ask why he isn’t encouraging those testimonies that would show us mean ol’ liberals just how innocent he is.

What’s even more concerning is that the jump in his approval rating is not necessarily among republicans but rather democrats and independents!  Among Democrats where Trump’s job approval has improved the most month-to-month, just 4% approved of the job he was doing in March compared to 10% who said the same in April. Independents went from 33% job approval for Trump in March to 39% in April.  Now, I don’t put much faith in the numbers of the polls, for each is biased in its own way, but it’s the trend that is relevant.  What the Sam Heck has he said or done that has democrats swaying in his favour?  Anybody?


Can he do that?

President-Elect Donald Trump Holds Meetings At Trump Tower

Judge Napolitano

Second, let’s talk about freedom of the press, shall we?  Remember a week or so ago Gronda wrote a piece about Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, Senior legal analyst for Fox News, who wrote an OpEd whereby he opined that Trump is, in fact, guilty of obstruction of justice and should be charged as such.  Trump, needless to say, was not happy with the man who he once referred to as a “very talented legal mind”.  I made a comment at the time on Gronda’s post that I wondered how long it will be before he is relieved of his duties at Fox.  And now, Trump is hinting at just that just that to happen.

Trump retweeted an obscure Twitter account on Sunday morning …

trump-re-tweetIf Trump were just anybody, one might overlook it and say he was just blowing off some steam.  But, for better or for worse … mostly worse … he is the president of a nation of some 330 million people and thus is to be held to a higher standard than Joe Blow. This one bears watching, my friends, for this is about more than a difference of opinion or a dispute between Trump and the judge … this one may set a precedent in terms of freedom of the press.


And about those pesky subpoenas …

Last Thursday, Trump said he did not believe he would allow former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify to committees in Congress, saying McGahn had already spoken to the special counsel on the Russia probe.

“I would say it’s done. I’ve had him testifying already for 30 hours.”

I am not a lawyer and hesitate to make a proclamation about what can or cannot be done, but I’ve done a bit of research and as best I can tell a private citizen, which McGahn is and Mueller will soon be, does not have to take orders from the ‘man’ in the Oval Office.  Now, if he were being asked to testify about state secrets or the location of nuclear weapons stashes, that would be a different story.  But, McGahn is being asked only to clarify and elucidate his previous testimony before the special counsel.

Trump is also attempting to keep Mueller from testifying.  It was assumed that Mueller would resign from the DOJ in April, and I have no idea why the delay, unless it is for this very reason, to keep him from testifying.

And Attorney General William Barr has both ignored the summons to testify before the House Judiciary Committee last week, and refused to release the unredacted Mueller report as requested by subpoena by the deadline yesterday.

Mick Mulvaney, acting as White House Chief of Staff, said in early April that the democrats would never see Trump’s tax returns.  This was in response to a subpoena for six years’ worth of returns, something that every other president since Reagan has submitted voluntarily.  Then yesterday, Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin refused to allow the Internal Revenue Service to release Trump’s tax returns.

ENOUGH!!!!!!!!

Either Donald Trump wants to be the president or he does not.  He cannot be considered the leader of this nation if he cannot even be held accountable to We the People who are paying his salary.  And before any of you say, “but he doesn’t take a salary” … yes, he does receive a salary.  If he donates it somewhere, that is his choice, but he does receive a salary of $400,000 per year.  As comedian Seth Meyers said, Trump should pay his taxes instead of donating his salary. And what are we getting in return?  Obstruction of justice, corruption extraordinaire, destruction of our environment, an average of twelve blatant lies each day, incited divisiveness of our nation, and a ‘man’ who believes himself to be above the law of the land.

Imagine what would happen if either you or I simply ignored or willfully defied a subpoena? Anybody know how to bake a cake with a saw in it? We do not have a president, folks, we have an autocratic wanna-be dictator who has trampled our Constitution, has trampled our democracy, and is trampling on our lives.


And now that I have managed to raise your blood pressure by at least 30 points, I shall leave you to ponder while I go clean my kitchen.  I had a bit of a cooking mishap this evening and there are grease and rice sticks all over the place!  Ever deep fry rice sticks?  I’ll tell you all about it later.

Time For ‘Toons!

‘Tis time for a few ‘toons to lighten things up, don’t you think?  I sometimes wonder, once Trump is gone and hopefully out of our lives forever, will half of the political cartoonists be in line at the unemployment office?  For today, though, they have plenty of fodder for the grist mill.

Starting, of course, with Attorney General William Barr …

Bruce Plante Cartoon: Mueller's letter to BarrBarr-2barr-3

This week, Trump hit the 10,000 mark on the lies he has told since taking office.  Now, we all know he’s told more lies than that, but those are just the ones that are confirmed by The Washington Post’s Fact Checker.

trump-liestrump-lies-2trump-lies-3

Also this week, Trump announced that he plans to change the rules for asylum seekers.  He plans to charge them money that they don’t have, and limit their rights to work to earn money — in other words, he is essentially halting any migrants from seeking asylum in this country.  It is, in my book, an illegal move, but when has legality ever been a problem for him?

migrant-1migrant-2

Robert Mueller’s investigation confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt, that which we already knew — that Russia did interfere with our 2016 election for the purpose of getting Trump elected, knowing he could be played like a puppet.

trump-russiatrump-russia-2

I’m retired now, but back when I worked, this was always how I felt among my coworkers …

me-at-work

I’ve made the point numerous times in the past few weeks that Trump is trashing the rule of law in this country.  He and William Barr, among others, seem to feel that the laws of the land do not apply to them.

rule-of-lawrule-of-law-2Question of impeachmentrule-of-law-4

And finally … just a few bits ‘n pieces I found …

trump-assholetrump-kimtrump-nraunfit-to-vote

I Just Couldn’t Resist …

… Concluding the week with a few little tidbits.  A couple may border on being ‘snarky snippets’, but I did not start out with that intent.


Another one  😞

Another synagogue shooting.  Another death.  More injuries.  Why?  Because we are becoming a nation of haters.  We are becoming a nation of people who think that the lighter their skin, the more worthy and deserving they are.  We are becoming a nation of “Christian” vs everybody-else.  We are becoming a bunch of jerks.  The latest in the long series of jerks is John T. Earnest, age 19, who entered Chabad of Poway synagogue north of San Diego, California, on Saturday while about 100 people were inside celebrating the final day of Passover.  He opened fire, killing Lori Kayne, age 60, and injuring four others.  One of the injured was Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, who was leading the service, and bullets penetrated both hands, shattering the bones.  Among the others injured were Noya Dahan, age 8, and Almog Peretz, age 34.

What possessed John T. Earnest to do this horrific thing?  John Earnest posted an anti-Jewish screed online about an hour before the attack. He described himself as a nursing school student and praised the suspects accused of carrying out deadly attacks on mosques in New Zealand last month and at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue Oct. 27 last year.

I. Don’t. Get. It. What the Sam Heck makes a Jew or a Muslim any less worthy than a Christian? What makes a black man less valuable than one with lighter skin?  What makes a man more important than a woman?  What makes people hate based on nothing more than superficial differences?  We may be African, Israeli, French, or Iraqi … it does not matter!  We are all a part of the human race!!!  Isn’t it about damn time people wake up and realize that???


Update on the migrant children …

I haven’t written lately about the migrant children who, upon crossing into the U.S. at the U.S.-Mexico border, had been separated from their parents.  Other things have occupied space in my mind and on my blog.  But, last night I decided it was time to check in and see what, if anything, had been happening since my last post on the subject, the one where I reported that the government had said it would take up to two years to reunite these children with their parents.  Quite by accident, my timing was good.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw, the same one who ordered the children be returned to their parents in June of last year, gave the administration exactly six months, not one day more, to straighten out the mess they have made.  I really like Judge Sabraw!

“It is important for all government actors to have a time frame, a deadline. You tend to stand on it.”

I will make a note to re-visit this one each month, for this is too important for us to let it fade into the background.  Trump claims there is a ‘crisis’ at the border.  Yes, there is a crisis … a humanitarian crisis in the form of potentially 2,800 children who cry for their mamá every night.


Finally, a bit of justice

The song, Too Much, Too Little, Too Late comes to mind.  Trayvon Martin’s murderer got off scot-free.  Philando Castile’s murderer got off scot-free.  Alton Sterling’s murderer got off scot-free.  Samuel DuBose’s murderer got off scot-free.  Freddie Gray’s murderers got off scot-free.  And more.  What did these have in common?  The victim was an unarmed black man, and the killer was a white police officer.

On Thursday, however, the tables turned for once.  Former Florida police officer Nouman K. Raja was sentenced to 25 years in prison for each of two counts:  manslaughter by culpable negligence and attempted first-degree murder with a firearm in the shooting death of Corey Jones.

On the night of Oct. 18, 2015, Mr. Jones was on the side of an Interstate 95 exit ramp in Palm Beach County at about 3:15 a.m. calling for a tow truck, as his vehicle had broken down. Mr. Raja, an officer with the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department who was on duty in plainclothes, approached Mr. Jones’s SUV in an unmarked van.  Mr. Raja did not identify himself as a police officer. Within moments of approaching Mr. Jones, Mr. Raja fired six shots and struck Mr. Jones three times, killing him.

Mr. Raja’s defense team tried to invoke the infamous “Stand Your Ground” law, but after listening to a recording of the incident by the tow-company’s dispatcher, that argument held no water.  This is the first time since 1989 that an officer has been sentenced for an on-duty killing in Florida.  It’s about time.


And just a few mini-snippets …

  • Attorney General William Barr is scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, May 2nd, regarding the Mueller report in general, and also over those portions he, Barr, chose to redact.  But apparently Mr. Barr did not like the format that committee chairman Jerry Nadler plans, and is now threatening to ignore the hearing.  Mr. Barr seems to think that, just as he believes the president is above the law, he himself is also above the law.  I hope he is proven wrong, and quickly before his ego has a chance to grow any bigger.

  • It is just possible (highly unlikely, but possible) that in some states next year, Donald Trump’s name will not be on the ballot!  Fourteen states are attempting to pass legislation that requires every candidate to make public their tax returns in order to qualify to be placed on the ballot.  If the legislation passes in those states, and if Trump continues to hide his tax returns, he might find himself out in the cold in states like North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Arizona, all states he won in 2016.  Just thinking about this makes me smile.

  • As our friend Gronda noted in a recent post, Fox ‘News’ commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano wrote a piece earlier this week that was fair and honest, therefore not kind to Donald Trump.  Napolitano opines that Trump is, in fact, guilty of obstruction of justice which we know to be an impeachable offense.  He concluded by saying, “… ordering obstruction to save himself from the consequences of his own behavior is unlawful, defenseless and condemnable.”  As you might guess, Trump didn’t take kindly to his own personal media venue allowing such a voice to be heard, and he came back with … what else?  Tweets, of course!Trump-tweet-1

Well, that’s a wrap, folks.  Enjoy the last few remaining hours of your weekend, and I’ll be back with Jolly Monday in the morning!

Game Over? I Think NOT, Donnie Boy!

The republicans are, once again, dancing in the streets and pouring champagne over each other’s heads.  Party hearty, republican friends, but guess what?  The game isn’t over, but has just begun.  The redacted report that we were given is only part of the story, but even that part is proof that Trump & Co are guilty of having conspired with Russian agents to rig the election in 2016 and put Trump in office.  What more there is, will eventually be discovered.  But … republicans?  Let me ask you a question.  Why, if Trump had nothing to hide and was guilty of naught, did he make this statement when apprised of the hiring of Special Counsel Robert Mueller …

“Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I’m fucked.”

And then he proceeded to berate the bearer of the news, then-Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. Why, guys?  Doesn’t that sound like the voice of a guilty man?  Sure does to me.

Now on to the present.  Yesterday morning, as I noted in my snarky snippets yesterday, Attorney General William Barr felt it prudent to give us his version of the Mueller report.  Unnecessary and unwanted, but here are a few of the proven lies he told in that event:

  • … We now know that the Russian operatives who perpetrated these schemes did not have the cooperation of President Trump or the Trump campaign – or the knowing assistance of any other Americans for that matter.
  • … The Special Counsel’s report did not find that any person associated with the Trump campaign illegally participated in the dissemination of the materials.
  • … The White House fully cooperated with the Special Counsel’s investigation, providing unfettered access to campaign and White House documents, directing senior aides to testify freely, and asserting no privilege claims. (This one damn near caused me to choke to death!)

Even Fox News’ own Chris Wallace criticized Barr, saying …

“The attorney general seemed almost to be acting as the counselor for the defense, the counselor for the president, rather than the attorney general, talking about his motives, his emotions.”

Let us consider, for a moment, that even if Mueller’s investigation did not turn up indictable criminal activity on the part of Trump, it damn sure did turn up improper behaviour, especially toward the investigation itself.  According to the Associated Press …

Donald Trump tried to seize control of the Russia probe and force Mueller’s removal to stop him from investigating potential obstruction of justice by the president. Trump was largely thwarted by those around him.

Mueller laid out multiple episodes in which Trump directed others to influence or curtail the Russia investigation after the special counsel’s appointment in May 2017. Those efforts “were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests,” Mueller wrote.

I ask you … is this the ‘man’ you want to lead this nation?  Seriously?

Jerry Nadler, Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary, has appropriately determined that the committee needs to hear directly from Mr. Mueller, and as such sent him this letter …Nadler-letter-Mueller

This should make for some real interesting conversations in the White House.

Of course, the republicans are reading into the report what they wish to see … or more likely, are simply accepting Barr’s version, for that is what they want to believe.  Take the blinders off now, people … time to wake up from that little nappie.

“The report is one-sided, it has an incredible standard of proof. It’s that ‘we couldn’t be convinced that he didn’t obstruct justice,’. Can you prove that he did? That answer is, no they can’t. That is like a cheap shot, but if they can’t prove it, why don’t they just regurgitate all the garbage that they have? It’s all one-sided, a lot of it not true, a lot of it exaggerated. Even if it’s all true, which it isn’t, he didn’t commit a crime. He didn’t do anything wrong.” – Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is preparing a rebuttal to the Mueller report

I liked what Jim Wright had to say, and I fully concur at this point …

Impeach Trump.

There is more than enough reason to begin impeachment proceedings. We impeached both Nixon and Clinton for far less than is in the Mueller Report.

So, impeach Trump.

Impeach him in the House. Take up the investigation, one he CANNOT stop or obstruct or redact, one his pet Attorney General and his cronies cannot impede, one that Trump himself has NO control over whatsoever, and impeach him if that’s where the evidence leads.

THEN if the Senate refuses to convict, if Mitch McConnell refuses to take up the impeachment, refuses his duty and the Senate stands by him, hang it around their dirty cowardly necks like a fucking albatross.

Make them own it in 2020. Make them own it forever.

Surely, if they can read, even the republicans in Congress must now agree that Donald Trump has committed, if not indictable crimes, certainly impeachable offenses.  He does not operate in the best interest of this nation.  He is a president in name only.  Game over, Mr. Trump?  Far from it.

Chuckles …

Good afternoon, folks.  I have been bouncing about the ‘net for a bit, while waiting for the .pdf version of the Mueller report, and I thought this might be a good time to enjoy a bit of humour.  So, let’s take a bit of a break from the news to see how those talented cartoonists are viewing the events of the week, shall we?

The fire on Monday that destroyed parts of the historic Notre Dame Cathedral is certainly nothing to joke about, but I came across a few cartoons that I thought tastefully paid homage to the great landmark …

Bruce Plante Cartoon: The Easter LilyNotre-Dame-2Notre-Dame-3

Last week, Trump threatened to relocate immigrants to sanctuary cities, specifically in Speaker of the House Pelosi’s district, as a retaliatory measure for failure to provide funding for his border wall.  Thus far, he has been stopped from doing so by slightly cooler heads who question both the cost and illegality of such a childish measure …

MigrantsMigrants-2

Those who follow sports celebrated Tiger Woods’ comeback moment last week …

Tiger-Woods

Monday was the deadline to submit your taxes to the IRS.  Remember that little box on the first page …

taxes-billionairetaxes-billionaire-2

Many of us see that the entire system of checks and balances, of democracy, indeed the Constitution itself, is being eroded under the current administration, and the ‘toonists haven’t let that one slide …

democracy-U.S.democracy-U.S.-2democracy-U.S.-3

trump-constitution

And, of course, the main topic on the minds of us all this week is the release of the Mueller report and Attorney General Barr’s boot-licking antics surrounding the release …

BarrBarr-2Barr-3Barr-4barr-5MuellerMueller-2Mueller-3

Last but not least, scientists have taken a picture of a black hole.  Not being a science-minded person, I didn’t get as excited about this news as some, though if we could find a way to toss our current administration into that black hole, I might manage a bit of joy …

Trump-black-holeanti-vaxxer

And that’s a wrap for today, my friends!