Liberty In Peril

                                                                                              formerly,

                                                                                       The Llano Ledger

'President' Trump 19                          3-1-19 And Continuing  ©2019 All Rights Reserved

3-15-19

No end to aggressive stupidity in the Trump regime.  ... Or, bottomless corporate greed.  The Washington Post reports:

"A hearing on the threat seismic testing poses to North Atlantic right whales was plodding along Thursday when, seemingly out of nowhere, Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-S.C.) pulled out an air horn and politely asked if he could blast it."

LOL.  Go for it.

"Before that moment at a Natural Resources subcommittee hearing, Cunningham had listened to a Trump administration official testify, over and over, that firing commercial air guns under water every 10 seconds in search of oil and gas deposits over a period of months would have next to no effect on the endangered animals, which use echolocation to communicate, feed, mate and keep track of their babies. It’s why the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration gave five companies permission to conduct tests that could harm the whales last year, said the official, Chris Oliver, an assistant administrator for fisheries."

Nothing quite like aggressive stupidity, is there?  To say nothing of bottomless corporate greed.  As life, we are all ultimately interdependent on one another (fellow species) for survival.  Ever take a biology class?

"As committee members engaged in a predictable debate along typical party lines — Republicans in support of testing and President Trump’s energy agenda, Democrats against it — Cunningham reached for the air horn, put his finger on the button and turned to Oliver. “It’s fair to say seismic air gun blasting is extremely loud and disruptive ... is that correct?” the congressman asked. “I don’t know exactly how loud it is. I actually never experienced it myself,” Oliver replied."

Then, how the f--k do you know whether or not its damaging the whales?  You're too goddamned stupid, hopelessly ignorant to be an assistant administrator for fisheries.  ... Or, worse, you're bought and paid for.  A turd of the not-so-highest order.

Gets more instructive:

"So Cunningham gave Oliver a taste of the 120-decibel horn. An earsplitting sound filled the small committee room. An audience of about 50 gasped and murmured.  “Was that disruptive?” Cunningham asked."

LOL.

“It was irritating, but I didn’t find it too disruptive,” Oliver said."

Jesus Christ.  Proof positive 'can fix ignorant, can't fix stupid.'

"It seemed disruptive to at least one person in the room. Subcommittee Chairman Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) broke into the debate to say an aide, who is pregnant, informed him that when the air horn sounded, her baby kicked."

Can't confuse a jackass with the truth.

"Cunningham, who represents Charleston and other coastal cities, pressed on. What if it happened every 10 seconds for days, weeks and months, he said. He asked Oliver to guess how much louder commercial air guns are than his store-bought air horn. When Oliver didn’t bite, he told him the sound from air guns is 16,000 times that of his air horn."

Further proof positive Republicans couldn't care less about the environment.  Only corporate profits.

"Five companies are awaiting final permits from the Interior Department to begin testing between New Jersey and Florida. An estimated 400 North Atlantic right whales, hunted to the brink of extinction, survive. A birth among the 100 mating pairs is so rare that seven calves spotted recently were celebrated as a tiny glimmer of hope."

Doesn't matter to most Republicans, -- or their corporate masters.

"Every governor from Massachusetts to Florida, Republicans and Democrats, stands in opposition to the Trump administration’s proposal to offer federal offshore leases along the Atlantic coast, where beach tourism thrives. The governors are backed by state attorneys general and legislators."

How about that?  Proof positive, as well, not all Republicans are jackasses, -- or aggressively stupid.  Comforted?  LOL.

"Although Cunningham’s stunt was the highlight of an ordinary hearing, Democrats could not shake the administration’s argument that there is no evidence showing that seismic testing has ever killed or significantly hurt a right whale in the Gulf of Mexico or Pacific Ocean, where testing has happened recently."

Proof positive, as well, Republicans can't, won't be confused by the truth when that truth interferes with corporate profits.  ... Got it?  LOL.

"Oliver said right whales are more commonly killed by boat strikes and getting entangled in fishing nets, and that NOAA Fisheries is focused on stopping that. He emphasized that studies have shown some adverse impacts from seismic testing but that those “are sublethal.”

How does he know?  His corporate masters instruct him so?

Wake up.  Here's the truth:

"But that testimony was followed by testimony from whale experts who described what sublethal means. Scott Kraus, a vice president and senior science adviser for the New England Aquarium, said the tests will stress out an animal that’s already struggling from lack of disease resistance. “Many right whales now have poor body scores that are just above the threshold of reproductive success, suggesting that any additional stressors ... will push them below any ability to reproduce," Kraus said. Christopher Clark, a senior scientist and research professor at Cornell University, said there is nowhere for animals to hide from seismic noise. It travels efficiently underwater, radiating for thousands of miles from where it starts. The bowhead whale, a close relative of right whales, reacts to extremely low levels of seismic noise from far away. “It continues reacting until it totally stops communicating,” Clark said. “For right whales, such changes will increase the likelihood of mother-calf separations.” It’s not physical harm to a single individual, he said, but “this is the cost to a marginally surviving population as a result of chronic noise from seismic air gun surveys.”

Can't confuse a Republican national socialist, fascist, nazi with the truth.  Forget?  Corporate profits come first.

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-15-19

Once in awhile, Sen. Warren gets something right.  LOL.  NBC News reports:

"Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts on Friday called for the government to break up Facebook, Google and Amazon, offering a plan to re-categorize the companies and reverse some major tech acquisitions. Warren, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, has been a part of a growing faction within the party that has called for greater regulation and antitrust enforcement of major tech companies."

She's right about that.  Major tech companies remain out of control.  Present an exigent threat to life, liberty, all civil and constitutional rights and liberties.

"Twenty-five years ago, Facebook, Google, and Amazon didn’t exist. Now they are among the most valuable and well-known companies in the world," Warren wrote in a post on the blogging platform Medium. "It’s a great story—but also one that highlights why the government must break up monopolies and promote competitive markets."

Indeed.  No question.  Not going to happen, however, with a Senate and Oval Office owned by Republican national socialists, fascists, bona fide nazis hell bent on forcing their perverse ideological and religious views on all.

"Warren's call also comes as Democrats have begun to plan for increased oversight of tech companies after taking control of the House. On Wednesday, House and Senate Democrats introduced legislation to establish strong net neutrality protections that would look to prevent major service providers from using their power to manipulate how users experience the internet."

Good luck.  Too little, much too late.

"Few Democrats, however, have actively called to break up tech companies, as Warren did on Friday."

Too gutless.  Too afraid of Republican national socialists who remain intent on lining the pockets of their corporate masters.

"Warren said in her post that the consumer experience of most internet users is dominated by Facebook, Google and Amazon, which can then "use the Internet to squash small businesses and innovation, and substitute their own financial interests for the broader interests of the American people."

Indeed, she's right about that.  Precisely, why this writer does not do Facebook, Google and others.  -- Have bought on Amazon but through a friend who is not concerned with privacy.

"Warren's plan calls for legislation that would feature a new business category for companies with more than $25 billion of global revenue that also "offer to the public an online marketplace, an exchange, or a platform for connecting third parties." These companies would be called "platform utilities" and be prevented from owning the platform and any of its participants, as well as be required to "meet a standard of fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory dealing with users." They would also not be allowed to share data with other companies."

Can't have that, can we?  Forget?  Corporate management suite has sold us out.  How they line their pockets.

"Warren pointed to Amazon's operation of its marketplace and its sale of Amazon "Basics" as an example of a violation of the proposed legislation. She also said that Google's various businesses would need to be separated, including its ad exchange and its search engine. Warren also said that she would be looking to federal regulators to undo some recent mergers, including Amazon's ownership of the grocer Whole Foods and e-commerce website Zappos, Facebook's ownership of WhatsApp and Instagram, and Google's ownership of the navigation app Waze and home device company Nest. "Unwinding these mergers will promote healthy competition in the market — which will put pressure on big tech companies to be more responsive to user concerns, including about privacy," she wrote."

Good luck.  Think they won't fight back with everything they've got?

"Facebook declined to comment on Warren's plan. Amazon and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment."

What the f--k could they say?

"Luther Lowe, senior vice president of government relations at Yelp, which has repeatedly claimed that Google uses its search engine to scuttle competitors, said Warren's plan was "refreshing and ambitious." "I think Senator Warren really understands how these markets work, and I think this type of proposal would inject some much needed oxygen into the consumer internet markets, which today are calcifying as a result of dominant firms like Google stifling innovation," Lowe said."

No question.  Certainly, true.  Google has grown old and stale.

"Warren is not entirely alone in proposing serious changes to how tech companies are regulated. Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., who heads the House antitrust subcommittee, recently suggested in an interview with the Financial Times a similar idea in which tech companies would be forced to split up their platform from their customer data business."

All talk.  No action.  Not easy to do, regardless.  These firms have nearly unlimited resources.  Can easily fight back.  We, the people, have allowed this.  Only ourselves to blame.

"Dipayan Ghosh, a fellow at Harvard University's Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, said that while Warren's proposal is in the "right direction," Cicilline's plan targets the heart of the power of big tech companies to use consumer data in conjunction with their platforms to control their markets. "The reason I like Cicilline's argument is that one really does get to the meat of the way that these companies have been constructed," he said."

Need to have a multi-pronged approach.  Makes far greater sense.  If one approach slacks off, another could take up the slack.

"Ghosh, who previously worked at Facebook as a privacy and public policy adviser, said big tech companies have already been preparing for regulation efforts. He pointed to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's announcement on Wednesday that the company would be moving to make it so users can communicate across its various apps. Ghosh said these kinds of efforts will make it hard to break up tech companies. He predicted that this is the start of a cat-and-mouse game between tech companies and regulators that will go on for years. "I think what these companies are trying to do. especially Facebook, is figure out ways to really unsettle the competition policy arguments that are taking shape by doing strategic things with their companies," Ghosh said."

Have only ourselves to blame.  Allowed this to happen.  Will take gifted lawmakers to come up with creative legislative solutions to solve this problem.  If not, hear the rumble?  An unwanted dreaded second American revolution catastrophically looming, as our bought and paid for lawmakers 'fiddle while Rome burns.'

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-15-19

No justice.  Not in a fascist police-state, -- masquerading as a democratic republic. The Washington Post reports:

"The sentencing of Paul Manafort, former chairman of President Trump’s campaign, was highly anticipated, capping a significant chapter in Robert S. Mueller III’s special counsel investigation. But it was an unlikely candidate to become the latest example of a conflict that has vexed legal professionals and activists for decades: systemic inequality in the criminal justice system. Yet, as a federal judge handed down his sentence in jam-packed Alexandria, Va., courtroom Thursday, and observers digested the judge’s decision — 47 months — Manafort’s case was immediately perceived as a high-profile instance of the justice system working one way for a wealthy, well-connected man, while working in another, harsher, way for indigent defendants facing lesser crimes."

... Hear the rumble?  An unwanted dreaded second American revolution catastrophically looming.

“Paul Manafort’s lenient 4-year sentence — far below the recommended 20 years despite extensive felonies and post-conviction obstruction — is a reminder of the blatant inequities in our justice system that we all know about, because they reoccur every week in courts across America,” said Ari Melber, a legal analyst for NBC News, in a Thursday-night tweet."

This continues?  Revolution will become all but inevitable.  There is no justice.  How revolutions spawn.

"Under federal sentencing guidelines, Manafort faced up to 24 years in prison for bank fraud and for cheating on his taxes, yet U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis said that calculation was “excessive.” Manafort’s crime’s were “very serious,” Ellis said, but they didn’t warrant a punishment that could keep the 69-year-old imprisoned into his 90s."

Horse shit.  Had he been 69 and robbed a bank, delusionally believe he would not have spent the rest of his life in prison?  Two systems of justice.  One for the top of the food chain, the other for the rest of us.  Again, how revolutions spawn.

"Duncan Levin, a former federal prosecutor and expert in financial crimes, said Manafort’s sentence was very light “by any stretch of the imagination.” Manafort, who once agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors but then was found to have lied to them, got a sentence that resembled someone’s who did not renege on their cooperation agreement, Levin said. “His crimes went on for an extremely long time, at the very highest levels of our government and deeply affected our democracy,” Levin told The Washington Post. “To get away with it for such a short sentence is something that is absolutely mind-boggling.”

It's how business is conducted in a fascist police-state.  Two systems of justice.  The judge clearly sympathized with the thieving bastard in front of him.  Saw himself in Manafort.  ... There but for the grace of God go I.  Wake up.  No equal justice.

"However, he said, federal judges are not required to adhere to sentencing guidelines, which serve only as recommendations to judges. Ultimately, they are free to depart from the guidelines and come up with any number they see as appropriate. "It seems pretty light to me, and to a lot of people,” Levin said. “But that is squarely in the purview of the judge to do.”

The 'judge' must have seen himself in Manafort.  LOL.

"The sentencing inspired a flood of lawyers to dig through news clips and their own recent cases. What they found was dozens of examples of defendants who, in their view, were nowhere near as fortunate as Manafort."

Precisely, how revolutions spawn:

"Scott Hechinger, a senior staff attorney at Brooklyn Defender Services, an organization that provides legal representation to defendants who cannot afford it, used one of his recent clients, who was just offered a 36-to-72-month sentence, as an example. The crime? Stealing $100 worth of quarters from a residential laundry room. Hechinger’s client may wind up doing more time than Manafort, a man who defrauded the Internal Revenue Service out of $6 million."

Nazi justice.  No justice at all.  We've lost our country.  Have only ourselves to blame.  Should have been resolved by Baby Boomers fifty years ago.  Instead, most of us gutlessly caved in.

"For context on Manafort’s 47 months in prison, my client yesterday was offered 36-72 months in prison for stealing $100 worth of quarters from a residential laundry room.

— Scott Hechinger (@ScottHech) March 8, 2019"

That does not, however, justify or excuse stealing a hundred bucks worth of quarters.  Has to be a price paid for the crime, but needs to be proportional.  The Manafort nazi effectively got a free ride.  No problem with that?

"Hechinger listed a half dozen more examples. Among them were a Brooklyn teenager who got a 19-years-to-life sentence for burning a mattress in the hallway of his apartment building, resulting in the smoke-inhalation death of an officer who responded to the scene. He also cited the case of Crystal Mason, an ex-felon who was sent back to prison for five years after voting in the 2016 presidential election while on probation — an act she says she didn’t know was illegal."

How about that?  Nazi justice.  Without question, unless you're Paul Manafort and at the top of the food chain, the dream is clearly dead.

"Other lawyers argued that Manafort’s sentence underscores “a broader problem: white collar crimes (e.g. fraud, money laundering) just aren’t taken seriously,” wrote Louis Laverone, an international financial crimes attorney."

That's right.  Precisely, why if this does not change, our formerly great country will not survive.

"Laverone cited the case of one Turkish banker who was charged with participating in a multibillion-dollar scheme, violating U.S. economic sanctions. In that case, guidelines called for a possible 105-year sentence. The banker got 32 months."

How about that?

"Judge Ellis is a Reagan appointee, known as tough and no-nonsense. But, in recent years, he has publicly complained about laws that impose cumbersome sentences, as Politico illustrated in a 2018 profile. In one striking example from that report, Ellis sentenced a 37-year-old to a mandatory minimum of 40 years in prison for dealing methamphetamine. “This situation presents me with something I have no discretion to change and the only thing I can do is express my displeasure,” the judge said. “I chafe a bit at that, but I follow the law. If I thought it was blatantly immoral, I’d have to resign. It’s wrong, but not immoral.”

Jesus Christ.  Your head remains securely lodged up your sorry ass, 'Judge.'

"In that man’s case, the crime’s mandatory minimum sentence forced Ellis’s hand. But for Manafort, Levin said, there was no such requirement, no mandatory minimum."

Nazi justice.

Insult to injury?  Get this:

"Because Manafort has already spent nine months in jail, his sentence could end in fewer than three years. But he still faces sentencing next week for a conspiracy charged in D.C. federal court, which could result in up to an additional 10 years."

Needs to spend the rest of his life in prison.

"In a tweet, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), a former prosecutor and presidential candidate, also denounced what she characterized as a lenient sentence. “Crimes committed in an office building should be treated as seriously as crimes committed on a street corner,” she said. “Can’t have two systems of justice!”

Exactly, what we have.  De facto fascist police-state since 9/11.

NBC News reports:

"Paul Manafort getting such little jail time for such serious crimes lays out for the world how it’s almost impossible for rich people to go to jail for the same amount of time as someone who is lower income.

In our current broken system, “justice” isn’t blind. It’s bought. https://t.co/1UgBXmR8bl

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 8, 2019"

She's right.  Nazi justice.

Insult to injury?  Get this.  NBC News reports:

"Both the Judge and the lawyer in the Paul Manafort case stated loudly and for the world to hear that there was NO COLLUSION with Russia. But the Witch Hunt Hoax continues as you now add these statements to House & Senate Intelligence & Senator Burr. So bad for our Country!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 8, 2019

"But that's not what the judge overseeing the case said. Before announcing Manafort's sentence Thursday, Judge T.S. Ellis reminded the court that the longtime political operative's crimes were not related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s chief mandate — Russian election interference and whether Trump campaign officials colluded with the Kremlin."

NPR reports:

"Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort received a total sentence of about 7 1/2 years in federal prison on Wednesday following the guilty plea in his Washington, D.C., conspiracy case. Judge Amy Berman Jackson effectively added about 3 1/2 years in prison to the sentence Manafort received last week from a different judge in the Eastern District of Virginia. Jackson said Manafort could serve some of the prison sentence at the same time he was serving in prison for his other case. But the judge in Washington ultimately increased the total amount of prison time. A federal judge in Virginia had sentenced Manafort to just under four years in federal prison and ordered that he pay $24.8 million in restitution and a $50,000 fine. Separately on Wednesday, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced that a grand jury in New York City had returned an indictment of its own against Manafort. Vance's statement described "a yearlong residential mortgage fraud scheme through which Manafort and others falsified business records to illegally obtain millions of dollars."

No justice.  Nowhere near.  Special treatment for the top of the food chain.

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-15-19

Chelsea Manning stands on principle.  NBC News reports:

"Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning was jailed on Friday after refusing to answer questions from a federal grand jury in Virginia looking into the release of documents to WikiLeaks. U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton told Manning that she would remain in federal custody “until she purges or the end of the life of the grand jury” a statement from her representatives said. Earlier in the day, Manning told reporters that she was prepared to go to jail following the closed contempt hearing for her resistance to provide testimony because she doesn't believe in the grand jury process. On Wednesday, Manning appeared before the same grand jury, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, but refused to answer any questions. "I responded to each question with the following statement: ‘I object to the question and refuse to answer on the grounds that the question is in violation of my First, Fourth, and Sixth Amendment, and other statutory rights," Manning said in a statement. "All of the substantive questions pertained to my disclosures of information to the public in 2010 — answers I provided in extensive testimony, during my court-martial in 2013," the statement said.

"Manning's support committee, Chelsea Resists!, called the grand jury system "dangerous and undemocratic." "Grand juries operate in secret, allowing the government to retaliate against activists and dissidents behind closed doors," said a statement from the committee released by Manning's lawyers. “Donald Trump and his administration have publicly declared their disdain for Chelsea, and for President Obama’s decision to commute her sentence," the Chelsea Resists! statement said. "Chelsea has stood by the testimony from her 2013 court-martial, and this subpoena serves no legitimate purpose. It is a punitive effort to reverse Obama’s legacy, exposing Chelsea to legal hardship and possible imprisonment."

Got to give her credit for standing on principle.  Be interesting to see how long she resists.  Liberty is far, far more than having the 'right' to do what you're told.

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-15-19

Apples and oranges.  Never ends.  Hypocrisy rules.  Forget?  From the Conaway Chronicle, Rep. Mike Conaway opines:

"Anti-Semitism, racism, white supremacy, and hateful speech have no place in the House of Representatives."

Since when?  Wake up, Congressman.  No more than disingenuous bullshit.

"When a Member of Congress violates these principles, appropriate action must be taken. As recently as January, that included a resolution unequivocally condemning the Member of Congress and his comments and removal from all committees."

Forget?  He was tolerated quite some time.  Not equivalent to the Congresswoman you now criticize for totally different reasons.

"Now, we have a Member of Congress who continually chooses to use anti-Semitic rhetoric, and House Democrat leadership refuses to directly acknowledge the problem. Instead of strict condemnation, they have hemmed and hawed over the intent of the statements made. Democrats have handed out allowances for inexperience and youth, adding insult to injury for millions of Jewish Americans. Worse yet, Nancy Pelosi has allowed this Member of Congress to remain on the House Foreign Affairs Committee."

More disingenuous horse shit.  Don't you Republican national socialists, fascists, bona fide nazis understand the difference between criticism of the Israeli national socialist, fascists currently running the Israeli government and anti-Semitism? They're not one and the same.  You don't know that?  Too hopelessly ignorant to understand?

"This week's watered-down resolution included the Democrats' kitchen sink, but did not lend support to Christians, Mormons, and many other groups that face regular discrimination in this country and abroad."

Disingenuous bullshit.  ... Can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, Mike, baffle 'em with bullshit?  Give me a break.  The Israeli aggressor has been out of control for decades.  What is happening to the Palestinians since 1948  is unconscionable.  Who the hell were the United States, the United Nations, and Europe to bequeath Palestine to survivors of the Holocaust at that time?  Without first consulting the Palestinians.

Forget?  The Israelites had lost that land generations ago due to their excesses.  The Israeli aggressor has been emulating its German Nazi oppressors circa 1933 at the very beginning of the Third Reich.  Too clueless to understand?  That ignorant of history?  Ignorance of history is precisely why that region has suffered war after war since 1948.  Why it clearly became the hotbed of modern terrorism.  You Republican nazis too stupid, too ill-informed to understand this?

"House Democrats must take bigotry of all kinds seriously, not just instances that fit their progressive liberal agenda."

'Kettle calling the pot black,' Congressman.  You Republican national socialists, fascists are no better than the Democrats.  Just at the opposite political extreme.  Both parties present an exigent threat to life, liberty, all civil and constitutional rights and liberties.  For totally different reasons.

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-15-19

Judiciary again sticks it to the Trump nazi.  The Washington Post reports:

"In a legal blow to the Trump administration, a federal judge ruled Friday that all migrant families separated during the government’s border crackdown should be included in a class-action lawsuit. But he stopped short of immediately ordering the Justice Department to track them all down."

Why not?  Had it been his kid a different story?  No equal justice?

"U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw in California said the universe of separated families should extend beyond the 2,700-plus children taken from their parents last spring, and include families forced apart as early as July 1, 2017, and the months afterward, when the Trump administration was denying that it had a policy of separating families."

Trump and his henchmen are congenital liars.  So what else is new?

"Sabraw said a government watchdog report in January that potentially thousands more families were separated than the Trump administration had admitted publicly compelled the court to look into the matter."

No kidding.  Function of judiciary to serve as check and balance against the executive.  To date, did a piss poor job of doing so.

“The hallmark of a civilized society is measured by how it treats its people and those within its borders,” he wrote in a 14-page ruling. “That Defendants may have to change course and undertake additional effort to address these issues does not render modification of the class definition unfair; it only serves to underscore the unquestionable importance of the effort and why it is necessary (and worthwhile).”

Need to do far more, Judge.

"The ruling dramatically expands the scope of the class-action lawsuit that compelled the Trump administration to reunite the separated families and prolongs a political tangle for the president that had been nearing its end."

Better than nothing, but nowhere near good enough.

"Sabraw said he would hear arguments later this month to decide whether to require the Trump administration to locate the rest of the families. But he said “the Court has an obligation to resolve that question,” especially for parents who may have been deported without their children, and although it “may be burdensome, it clearly can be done.”

Too much talk, not enough action, Judge.

"Otherwise, he wrote, parents may have been deported without their children, creating the “very real possibility of a permanently orphaned child” because of the “questionable” actions of government officials."

You think?  Again, too much talk, Judge.  Not enough action.

"The American Civil Liberties Union, which represents the parents in the lawsuit, cheered the decision and said it would ask Sabraw to order the Trump administration to provide the names and contact information of all the separated families, as it did for the ones split up last spring. “The court powerfully stated that there’s a lot at stake here and that it was not prepared to let the government escape responsibility simply because it might be burdensome to track the families down,” said Lee Gelernt, lead attorney in the family separation lawsuit and deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project."

Imagine that.

"More than 2,700 migrant children were separated from their parents from May 5 to June 20 in a controversial attempt to deter rising numbers of illegal border crossings, particularly of families, most of whom were released in the United States because of what the Trump administration called legal “loopholes.”

Trump and his henchmen need to be held accountable.  Not given a free ride.

"Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions opted to criminally prosecute all adults who crossed the border illegally, even if they were with children. Adults were detained, and their children were shuttled to shelters across the country. Trump rescinded the crackdown on June 20 amid widespread protests, including from Republicans, that the separations were harming children. Days later, Sabraw ordered the administration to put the families back together, which required combing through handwritten and electronic files to find children as young as babies and nearly 500 parents who had been deported without them."

How does something like that happen?  Why hasn't Trump been held personally responsible?

"Almost all the families had been reunited when the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services issued the report in January that surprised Sabraw and the ACLU. The report estimated that “thousands” of other children may have been taken from their parents, including from July 1, 2017, to November 2017, during a trial run of the crackdown in west Texas and New Mexico. Until then, the ACLU had heard of only a few such cases. At a hearing last month, Justice Department lawyers said most of those children were probably with a parent or a close relative who had been vetted by the government, and expressed concern that contacting the families could traumatize the children. They suggested having parents file individual lawsuits to get their children back. Sabraw, a Republican appointee in the Southern District of California, said in his ruling that such a requirement would make it “virtually impossible” for deported parents to get their children back."

Up to you, Judge, to force the issue.

"The ACLU has noted that many parents hail from remote villages in Guatemala and other Central American nations and would face severe difficulties in finding their children. In his ruling, Sabraw noted that lawmakers and government inspectors have been looking into the family separations, but he said that did not diminish the court’s obligations in the case. “Clearly,” the judge wrote, “the matter of determining the ‘number and status of separated children’ who have entered [government] care at any point in time because of the Administration’s family separation policy is not going away.”

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-15-19

Trump has lost his mind. The Washington Post reports:

"President Trump is releasing a $4.7 trillion budget plan Monday that stands as a sharp challenge to Congress and the Democrats trying to unseat him, the first act in a multi-front struggle that could consume Washington for the next 18 months. The budget proposal dramatically raises the possibility of another government shutdown in October, and Trump used the budget to notify Congress he is seeking an additional $8.6 billion to build sections of a wall along the U. S.-Mexico border."

That's insane.  Won't get it.  Certainly, not in the House.

"The budget also calls on increased military spending, another in a string of proposals that prompted Democrats to label the budget a non-starter that will not win congressional support. If lawmakers and Trump don’t reach a spending agreement by the end of September, many government operations will ground to a halt."

So be it.  Our formerly great country spends more on defense than reportedly the next five countries combined.  How much is enough?

"Trump’s “Budget for a Better America” also includes dozens of spending cuts and policy overhauls that frame the early stages of the debate for the 2020 election. For example, Trump for the first time calls for cutting $845 billion from Medicare, the popular health care program for the elderly that in the past he had largely said he would protect."

Surprised?  Why?  The 'President' has proven to be a congenital liar.

"His budget would also propose a major overhaul of Medicaid, the health care program for low-income Americans run jointly with states, by turning more power over to states. This would save $241 billion over 10 years."

At expense of recipients.  ... While the Trump nazi and his henchmen laugh their asses off all the way to the bank.  -- How unwanted dreaded second American revolutions spawn.

"Other agencies, particularly the Environmental Protection Agency, State Department, Transportation Department, and Interior Department, would see their budgets severely reduced."

Translation?  The public takes it hard in the ass without the Vaseline.  Forget?  The Republican national socialist, fascist,  nazi way.  So what else is new?

“With severe cuts to essential programs and services that would leave our nation less safe and secure, the Trump budget is as dangerous as it is predictable. It has no chance in the House,” House Budget Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) said ahead of the document’s release."

While the Democrats leave much to be desired, who the hell else will stand up for the citizenry?  Certainly, not the goddamned Republicans.  Forget?  Too busy lining their pockets off their corporate masters.  Unbridled greed.

"More broadly, Trump’s budget would impose mandatory work-requirements for millions of people who receive welfare assistance while dramatically increasing the defense budget to $750 billion next year, a 5 percent increase from 2019."

Trump's head remains figuratively, securely lodged up his ass.

"Trump and other Republicans have said the federal budget is full of waste and bloat, and that many federal agencies could still perform their functions with less taxpayer assistance. And even though they have proposed budget cuts before, only to be rejected by Congress, his top advisers want to dig in on the cuts this year, convinced Americans will support them."

There is tremendous waste and bloat in the defense budget.  Yet, Trump and his henchmen ignore both.  Forget?  Their corporate masters call the shots.

"Still, according to Trump’s budget, the spending cuts would do little to reduce what is shaping up to be a colossal deficit in the next several years. The budget would spend much more money than it brings in through revenue, and that gap is called the deficit."

Further proof positive the Trump nazi and his henchmen don't know what they're doing.  Worse?  Don't care.  Anything to line the pockets of the corporate management suite.  Unbridled greed?  Rules.

"The budget foresees a $1.1 trillion deficit in 2019, 2020, and 2021, and a $1 trillion deficit in 2022."

Not sustainable.

"These deficits will add to the existing $22 trillion debt and put further strain on the budget. For example, the White House now projects the government will spend $482 billion on interest payments for the debt next year, more than the entire budget for Medicaid, which provides health care benefits for millions of people. Republicans have long called for taking steps that shrink — or even eliminate — the deficit, and putting forward a plan that would create $4.3 trillion in new debt over four years could give Democrats fresh targets on the campaign trail."

The only sustainable way to reduce the deficit is to rein in defense.  Forget?  We spend more on defense than ostensibly the next five countries combined.

"There is a crowded field of Democrats seeking to win their party’s primary to challenge Trump next November. While Trump has called for boosting the military, cutting taxes, and cutting the budgets of domestic agencies and social welfare programs, many of the Democrats have proposed something much different. Several have called for raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans, expanding access to Medicare, and providing more benefits that help pay for college. White House officials believe Trump’s economic agenda has proven very successful so far, leading to job growth, higher wages, and economic growth. But critics have alleged that he achieved this in part through huge levels of fiscal stimulus, including tax cuts and spending increases, that have widened the deficit and adding several trillion dollars to the government’s debt."

That's a problem.  Growing worse with passage of time.  Not sustainable.

"The budget does reflect the changing nature of Trump’s agenda since taking office. He has continued to try to pump more money into the military and border security programs, and the budget provides funding for the creation of a “Space Force,” and a U.S. Space Command, ideas Trump has personally pushed even while he ran into some resistance from military leaders and congressional Republicans."

For damned good reason.  What he proposes is not sustainable.  Remains undoable.  Will lead to an unwanted dreaded second American revolution.

"While his Democratic rivals for the White House next year ramp up their attacks on his policy agenda, Democrats in Congress are planning to challenge him in the coming months on his budget plan. In addition to the Sept. 30, 2019 deadline to reach a spending agreement, lawmakers believe they will also need to reach an agreement to raise the debt ceiling around that time. The debt ceiling is a borrowing cap established by Congress, and it prohibits the Treasury Department from issuing more debt. The government is bumping up against the debt limit now, and the Treasury Department has begun emergency steps to buy more time so Congress can eventually vote to raise it. Several lawmakers have said they expect the debt ceiling to be raised as part of a broader budget deal this summer or fall. But if budget talks bog down later this year amid a fight over border wall funding, it could force lawmakers to rethink this timeline and their entire approach."

None of this is sustainable.  Unchecked will lead to the unthinkable.  An unwanted dreaded second American revolution.

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-15-19

A pig is a pig.  Care to argue?  The Washington Post reports:

"Tucker Carlson refused to apologize Sunday after audio surfaced of him degrading women and airing controversial opinions about statutory rape and underage marriage on a radio program between 2006 and 2011. Instead, the Fox News host plugged his prime-time show and urged his detractors to come on as guests."

Jesus Christ.  Nothing quite like aggressive stupidity, is there?  That is, the gross, concerted determination to embrace stupidity.

"Carlson was widely criticized on Sunday following a report from the nonprofit Media Matters for America that compiled and transcribed more than a dozen instances of the host appearing on the “Bubba the Love Sponge Show,” a popular radio program broadcast from Tampa. In the segments, Carlson suggested underage marriage is not as serious as forcible child rape, called rape shield laws “totally unfair” and once said he would “love” a scenario involving young girls sexually experimenting. He also described women as “extremely primitive,” and used words such as “pig” and the c-word."

Jesus Christ.  Couldn't be Carlson has exposed Republican national socialists, fascists, nazis for precisely whom and what they are, could it?  LOL.

"In a statement emailed to The Washington Post on Sunday, Carlson took a defiant stance. “Media Matters caught me saying something naughty on a radio show more than a decade ago,” he said. “Rather than express the usual ritual contrition, how about this: I’m on television every weeknight live for an hour. If you want to know what I think, you can watch. Anyone who disagrees with my views is welcome to come on and explain why.”

Proof positive aggressive stupidity remains alive, well, determinedly, concertedly stupid.  Can't, won't be confused with the truth.  Hopelessly, ignorant.

"Carlson, who was employed by MSNBC before being hired by Fox News in 2009 as a contributor, reportedly spent about an hour a week calling in to the show hosted by “shock jock” Bubba the Love Sponge, born Todd Clem, according to Media Matters. During his appearances, Carlson and the show’s hosts discussed a wide range of cultural and political topics, including sexual abuse. On at least two separate occasions, Carlson voiced opinions on underage marriage and Warren Jeffs, the former leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who is currently serving a life sentence for child rape."

An opinion is like an asshole.  Everyone's got one.  The asshole, however, serves a useful purpose.  An opinion does not.  LOL.

"In September 2006, just months after Jeffs had been added to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Top Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, Carlson slammed the criminal charges, calling them “bulls---.” “Now this guy may be ... may be a child rapist,” Carlson said. “I’m just telling you that arranging a marriage between a 16-year-old and a 27-year-old is not the same as pulling a stranger off the street and raping her.”

Jesus Christ.  You Republican nazis agree?

"Three years later in another segment on the radio show, Carlson clarified that he was not defending underage marriage but added, “I just don’t think it’s the same thing exactly as pulling a child from a bus stop and sexually assaulting that child.”

Jesus Christ.  Think this f--ker in possession of all his marbles?

"Carlson went on to say that if he had made the laws, “Michael Vick would have been executed, and Warren Jeffs would be out on the street.” Vick, a former NFL quarterback, was sentenced to 23 months in 2007 for dogfighting. “I’m not for child rape,” he said. “I’m just saying, if you mistreat dogs like that, we’re going to have to execute you.”

Jesus Christ.  Nothing quite like 'enlightenment,' is there?

"In other segments, Carlson called for the elimination of rape shield laws, which are intended to protect the identities and histories of victims of sex crimes and engaged in a conversation about young girls and their sexual behavior. On the laws, he said in May 2006: “So if I’m alleging rape, I have the protection of anonymity. I can say whatever I want while hiding behind anonymity, while the person I accused, whether he’s guilty or not, has his life destroyed. That’s totally unfair.” Then, in an October 2009 show, Bubba the Love Sponge launched into what appeared to be a hypothetical description of the young girls at the boarding school attended by Carlson’s daughter experimenting with each other sexually. “I ain’t got my mom and dad here telling me that they love me and tuck me in bed,” the radio host said. “So, here’s Trixie, she wants to explore my body a little bit, so hey, let’s go crazy.” Carlson responded: “If it weren’t my daughter, I would love that scenario.”

Jesus Christ.  Gets worse.  Get this:

"Over the years on the show, Carlson also repeatedly spoke about women using language that many found to be offensive. He once said, “I love women, but they’re extremely primitive, they’re basic, they’re not that hard to understand.” In another appearance, he implied that women like being instructed by men to “just be quiet and kind of do what you’re told.” His criticism of women extended to prominent figures, such as Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, HuffPost’s former editor in chief Arianna Huffington and TV host Alexis Stewart, Martha Stewart’s daughter. In May 2010, Carlson said he felt sorry for Kagan, then a Supreme Court nominee, who was “never going to be an attractive woman.” “I feel sorry for unattractive women,” he said, adding that the “problems” with Kagan’s physical appearance were “fundamental.” He called Huffington “a pig” and used the c-word when discussing Stewart, noting that he wanted to “give her the spanking she so desperately needs."

This hopelessly ignorant f--ker certainly meets the classical definition of 'pig.'

"The audio from Media Matters swiftly went viral. By early Monday, a video shared by the nonprofit to Twitter had been watched more than 2 million times and Carlson was trending with tens of thousands of mentions, many slamming the host as “sexist” and condemning his views. “Shame on you,” actress and activist Alyssa Milano tweeted, tagging Carlson. “You have daughters."

"Hey, @TuckerCarlson. Shame on you. You have daughters. https://t.co/HX5ePEMgCN

— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) March 11, 2019"

Public reaction from the celebrity community goes on and on.

"Amid the backlash, some flocked to defend Carlson, including prominent conservatives such as Donald Trump Jr."

Surprised?  Why?  Could it be he's a chip off the old block?

"For comments made on the “Bubba The Love Sponge” show. Obviously a serious policy show where no satire would be made.

"The left is not going after @TuckerCarlson for any reason other then he’s effective at destroying their agenda. That’s what they do. https://t.co/ExtAY86q5i

— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 11, 2019"

... Hey, Donny boy?  Delusionally believe sexual assault is not a criminal problem?  That f--king stupid?  ... Or, just a chip off the old block?

The Washington Post reports:

"A day after releasing audio of Tucker Carlson making numerous misogynist remarks, Media Matters for America published a new video with clips of the Fox News host using racist and homophobic language to describe Iraqi people, African Americans, gay people and immigrants while speaking on a radio program between 2006 and 2011, according to a report published Tuesday by the nonprofit. The self-described watchdog of “conservative misinformation in the U.S. media” published the audio from Carlson’s appearances on a Tampa-based radio program, the “Bubba the Love Sponge Show,” just 25 hours after releasing similar recordings in which he’s heard flippantly using sexist language to express his views on child rape, rape shield laws, underage marriage and other sensitive topics."

In the best tradition of the Republican Party?  LOL.  Delusionally believe the Democrats are any better?

"The new audio highlights about a dozen instances of Carlson using racist language on the “shock jock” show, which he apparently called into for about an hour per week. In 2008, Carlson lamented that “everyone’s embarrassed to be a white man,” before stating that white men deserve credit for “creating civilization and stuff.”

Pathetic, isn't it?

"In another instance, Carlson is heard saying that Iraq is a “crappy place filled with a bunch of, you know, semiliterate primitive monkeys,” adding, “That’s why it wasn’t worth invading.” That follows a 2006 segment on the show in which Carlson said he had “zero sympathy” for Iraqi people and their culture because they “don’t use toilet paper or forks.” “They’re just so awful. Just awful,” Carlson said. A co-host on the show replies: “They’re animals, dude. They are." In what appears to be commentary on when the United States should remove troops from Iraq, Carlson says, “The second we, I mean they, can just shut the f--- up and obey, is my view.” “The second we leave, they’re going to be calling for us to return because they can’t govern themselves,” he adds."

Goes on and on.  In the best tradition of the Republican Party?  Not that the Democrats are any better.  Clearly, we've lost our country.

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-15-19

Think the following an answer to the Trump nazi's stacking of the judiciary with Republican national socialists, fascists, nazis?  The Washington Post reports:

"The once-remote idea of adding more justices to the Supreme Court to change its ideological bent is prompting growing discussion within the Democratic Party, creating a new frontier for presidential candidates looking to display their liberal credentials."

Think so?  ... Or, is it no more than unadulterated bullshit perpetrated by an increasingly desperate Democratic Party that has clearly run out of gas?

"Former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr., who recently decided against running for president, became the latest figure to embrace an expansion of the nine-member court in recent talks at Yale Law School and Columbia University. He questioned the validity of the current court, given Senate Republicans’ refusal to vote on Judge Merrick Garland after President Barack Obama nominated him to the Supreme Court in March 2016. The seat was ultimately filled by President Trump’s nomination of Justice Neil M. Gorsuch."

He's got a point:

“Given the Merrick Garland situation, the question of legitimacy is one that I think we should talk about,” Holder said. “We should be talking even about expanding the number of people who serve on the Supreme Court, if there is a Democratic president and a Congress that would do that.”

Would certainly set off a firestorm.  Forget?  Republicans have been eminently successful driving the Supreme Court to the Nazi Right since Richard Nixon was sworn in January 20, 1969.

"His comments come as activists launch an organized effort to prod the presidential contenders to say publicly they’re open to such ideas. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) has called adding justices — or imposing term limits on them — “interesting ideas that I would have to think more about.” Pete Buttigeig, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., who is exploring a presidential campaign, has responded to questions by inviting consideration of either adding justices or rotating them on and off the court. He has also discussed a new 15-justice structure for the court — five Democratic appointees, five Republican appointees, and five chosen by the other 10."

Think Republicans will go along after enjoying fifty years of successfully loading the Supreme Court with their fellow nazis?

"Conservatives have long been galvanized by the promise of moving the Supreme Court to the right, making it a sometimes significant factor in their voting decisions. Now liberals, angered by the aggressive GOP push to remake the federal courts, are becoming equally impassioned, prompting the discussion of far-reaching ideas for remaking the nation’s highest legal body."

The Supreme Court needs to be in the Center politically.  Certainly, has not been  the last century or so.  This needs to change.  Alternative?  An unwanted dreaded second American revolution catastrophically looming quite some time.

"The concept of expanding the Supreme Court, like the phrase “court packing” itself, fell into lengthy disrepute after 1937, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt — frustrated that conservative justices were blocking New Deal programs he considered to be crucial for the country — sought to add six friendlier justices, prompting an outcry even from allies."

Proof positive, a nazi-leaning Court has been a problem for decades.  LOL.

"Some liberal activists and scholars say the idea now merits a new look. They view the GOP’s refusal to consider Garland as tantamount to stealing a Supreme Court seat, and they contend that the Senate paid insufficient attention to the sexual misconduct allegations against Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh in last year’s confirmation hearing, which he forcefully denied."

Outrageously fascist Republican shills for the Trump nazi in the Senate certainly deliberately ignored Kavanaugh's 'indiscretions.'  -- No kinder way to put it considering the circumstances.

"Republicans, these activists fear, have in essence created a judicial buffer against any future liberal agenda if Democrats recapture the White House and Congress. “Democrats cannot sit back and accept the status quo of a partisan Republican five-seat majority for the next 30 years,” said Brian Fallon, a former adviser to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and to Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), who now runs the advocacy group Demand Justice. “We don’t consider those two seats that Trump has filled to be legitimate.”

They're not.  Certainly, don't reflect the thinking of the majority and/or will of the people.  Worse?  Republicans successfully lined the Court with two illegitimate GOP nazis.

"Fallon has been in contact with a new group, Pack the Courts, which seeks to inject the idea of restructuring the court into the presidential campaign. Supporters of the group were responsible for publicizing Holder’s recent comments and for prompting Buttigieg’s response, and they have reached out to other campaigns. “The strategy is to make the 2020 candidates understand that if they don’t come up with an agenda to deal with the courts, everything they are talking about is going to be dead on arrival,” said Aaron Belkin, executive director of Pack the Courts and a professor at San Francisco State University."

Hopefully, that strategy is viable.  If not, the pending alternative is not acceptable.  An unwanted dreaded second American revolution catastrophically looming.

"Leaders of the grass-roots network Indivisible, which helped organize for Democrats in the 2018 campaign, have also voiced support for changes in the court. Ezra Levin, the group’s co-executive director, said the idea comes up regularly in the group’s meetings. Activists like Levin say that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has warped the judicial nomination process by using unprecedented tactics to confirm young, far-right judges."

These judges are bona fide nazis.  Highly reflective of where the German Nazi element stood in 1933 at the beginning of Hitler's Third Reich.

“Indivisible is strongly against packing the courts — which is why we think we need to expand the courts, to undo all the packing that has been done in recent years,” Levin said."

Good luck.

"McConnell, for his part, says Democrats are merely upset at Republican success in putting qualified conservative judges on the bench despite Democratic obstructionism. The new interest in court-packing, he says, reflects liberal extremism."

Like other Republican nazis, McConnell's head remains figuratively securely lodged up his ass.  His party presents a direct threat to life, liberty, all civil and constitutional rights and liberties.  Has so the last fifty years.  Fascism, nazism, national socialism defined as the pernicious blend of government, business, and religion. 'Justified' by perversion and bastardization of the latter.  ... Not that the Democrats are any better, however.  Just as f--ked up but in the opposite partisan direction.

“Some left-wing publications are already trying to lay the groundwork for, you guessed it, literally packing the court with more justices,” McConnell said on the Senate floor after Kavanaugh’s swearing-in ceremony. “That’s right, the far left has gone scrounging through the ash-heap of American history and they’re bandying about that discredited fantasy from the 1930s.”

... And you current Republican national socialists, fascists, bona fide nazis are reflecting your German Nazi mentors circa 1933 when Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Nazi Germany.  Precisely, why an unwanted dreaded second American revolution catastrophically looms.  You don't know that?  That hopelessly ignorant?

"Members of both parties, however, decry the fact that Supreme Court confirmation fights, including Kavanaugh’s, have increasingly degenerated into drawn-out battles featuring personal attacks, bitter recriminations and charges of bad faith."

That's so because it is now the truth.  As our formerly great country nazifies under the Republican Party.  As Democrats become increasingly ineffective combating this nazi scourge.

The following is a good idea.  Should be carefully considered:

"Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) has endorsed a proposal from Bruce Ackerman, a professor at Yale Law School, to end lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court and instead shift justices onto lower courts after stints of 14 or 18 years. Under this plan, presidents would appoint new justices at regular intervals, arguably lowering the temperature and the stakes for each confirmation. “There is something that is wrong in our country when our Supreme Court hearings are becoming the high-stakes affairs that they are, almost like presidential elections,” Khanna said. “The Founding Fathers never intended that.”

The Founders did not intend what is currently going on in our formerly great country.  Likely spinning in their graves.

"Legal scholars say it’s not clear if the Constitution allows term limits for justices if they remain on the federal bench after leaving the high court. The Constitution says federal judges “both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour,” which has generally been interpreted to mean lifetime appointments."

That needs to change.  By constitutional amendment if necessary.  Status quo is not sustainable.  Our formerly great country is coming apart at the seams.

"The Constitution is also silent on the size of the Supreme Court. There were six justices after the Judiciary Act of 1789 and 10 under President Abraham Lincoln, and there have been nine since 1869."

Fascinating, isn't it?  Needs to change.  By constitutional amendment if necessary.  Again, status quo is not sustainable.

"The current debate comes as the Supreme Court, and the judiciary more broadly, is increasingly a focus of impassioned political debate. Both major party presidential candidates in 2016 outlined explicit litmus tests for their nominees. Trump has repeatedly attacked federal judges as political actors when they rule against his interests, sometimes calling them “Obama judges.”

Trump remains no more than out of control Republican national socialist, fascist, nazi.  Presents an exigent threat to life, liberty, all civil and constitutional rights and liberties.

"That prompted Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., a defender of the judiciary who was appointed by President George W. Bush, to take the rare step of publicly pushing back. “We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” Roberts said last November. “What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them.”

While the substance of his assertion remains in question, have to give the Chief Justice great credit for at least stating the ideal.  Not only that, Roberts is nowhere near as nazi in his rulings as his four other Republican cohorts on the Court.

"For some proponents of court packing, the current effort could bring benefits even if Congress never votes on it. Activists say the threat alone could pressure the justices to avoid decisions that would inflame partisan fury by undoing legislative or presidential actions."

Wouldn't count on that.  Conveniently, forget?  The four other Republican nazis on the Court can't be trusted to do the right thing.  Remain sorely out of control.  An exigent threat to life, liberty, all civil and constitutional rights and liberties.

“If Roberts is genuinely looking to preserve his institution, he has some runway here,” said Ian Millhiser, a columnist at the liberal website ThinkProgress who wrote a recent article defending court packing. Millhiser and others say they’re particularly concerned about potential court decisions on gerrymandering, voting rights and other matters that directly affect the democratic process and could make it harder for Democrats to win elections. “It’s the existential democratic issues that provide the most principled basis” for a change to the Supreme Court, said Todd Tucker, a political scientist at the Roosevelt Institute."

The following is also undoubtedly true:

"Some legal scholars warn, though, that the debate over court-packing risks weakening the court’s credibility further, since it suggests that the court is irrevocably political in its current form. “The risk is really, one way or another, undermining the ability of the court to play the role it has played in American democracy,” said David Strauss, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School. “People have to be willing to go along with what the court does.”

Most of us no longer do.  That alone at the very least presents a challenge to the authority of the Court.

"Roberts has made clear over the years that he is sensitive to the danger of politicization. In a 2015 address to the Historical Society of the New York Courts, he praised former chief justice Charles Evans Hughes, who successfully worked to defeat Roosevelt’s plan to add six justices to the court. “It fell to Hughes to guide a very unpopular Supreme Court through that high-noon showdown against America’s most popular president since George Washington,” Roberts said. He also praised Hughes for working “under the radar” to allow time for Congress to realize the harm that would come from Roosevelt’s proposal."

No question, there is a down side to any and all change.  But change we must.  Alternative?  Unacceptable.  An unwanted dreaded second American revolution catastrophically looming.

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-15-19

Things don't look good for Trump.  NPR reports:

"There's already sufficient evidence to support an indictment of President Trump even before the conclusion of the special counsel investigation, California Rep. Adam Schiff said Tuesday."

Couldn't be, could it?  LOL.

"The chairman of the House intelligence committee pointed to the case of Michael Cohen, the president's former personal lawyer, in which the government described how "Individual 1" directed and coordinated a campaign fraud scheme. "Individual 1" is Trump, and Cohen is set to begin a three-year prison sentence in part because of those crimes.  "It's very difficult to make the argument that the person who was directed and was coordinated should go to jail but the person who did the directing and did the coordinating should not," Schiff told reporters at a breakfast on Tuesday organized by the Christian Science Monitor. The evidence therefore already in place argues "very strongly in favor of indicting the president when he is out of office," he said.

"Current Justice Department guidelines prohibit indicting a sitting president. But Schiff believes that the department should reconsider this position, or indict Trump if he loses re-election in 2020. "The Justice Department policy against indictment is the wrong policy, particularly when there is any risk that the statute of limitations may allow a president to escape justice," the chairman said. Schiff stopped short of saying he thought Congress should impeach Trump and remove him from office in order to prosecute what he called these offenses. The chairman echoed the position of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from her interview on Monday and said that without buy-in from congressional Republicans — who control the Senate — embarking upon the process today would be "doomed for failure." "I see little to be gained by putting the country through that kind of wrenching experience as I've often remarked in the past," he told reporters. "The only thing worse than putting the country through the trauma of an impeachment is putting the country through the trauma of a failed impeachment." Democrats have been careful not to close the door entirely, however. Pelosi and others argue that Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller or other investigators could uncover evidence of wrongdoing by Trump so egregious that it may compel a bipartisan case for impeachment."

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-15-19

Yet again, the Israeli Prime Minister has callously demonstrated his embrace of national socialism, fascism, nazism.  Think not?  Wake up.  NPR reports:

"Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Arab citizens have equal rights under the law but that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people — and only them. Soon after, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said Israel "has complete equality of rights for all its citizens."

Does it?

"Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is drawing criticism for saying that Israel is "the national state, not of all its citizens, but only of the Jewish people." The comment prompted many people — including Israel's president and the star of Wonder Woman — to defend Israel's Palestinian Arab minority. Palestinian Arab citizens are about a fifth of Israel's population and often face discrimination and accusations of disloyalty."

Raw nazism, circa 1933, when Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Nazi Germany.  Worst was yet to come.  Wake up.

"The prime minister's comment set off criticism, debates over Israel's true nature — and observations that with Israel's legislative elections now less than a month away, Netanyahu's provocative language might be calculated to help his Likud Party at the polls. Netanyahu and his party are warning that if they lose upcoming elections, the new government could include Arab political parties."

So what?  They're Israeli citizens.  Netanyahu is behaving like a nazi.  That's a problem.  A big problem.  Why is the United States providing financial aid to a country that is now emulating its German Nazi oppressors shortly after Hitler became Chancellor?

"The saga began when Israeli actress and TV host Rotem Sela posted an Instagram story about comments that Culture Minister and Likud member Miri Regev made during a news interview. Sela questioned why Regev's statements about what she called the dangers of Palestinian Arab citizens taking part in a governing coalition went unchallenged. "When the hell will someone in this government tell the public that Israel is a country of all its citizens," Sela wrote."

Goddamned right.  Good question.  Needs to be answered by the Netanyahu nazi.

"Much of the dispute that followed played out on Instagram, where Netanyahu responded to Sela, "Dear Rotem, an important correction: Israel is not a state of all its citizens." Referring to a hotly contested law adopted last year that defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, the prime minister said Arab citizens have equal rights under the law, but that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people — and only them, Ynet News reported."

That's f--king nazism.  No more.  No less.  The Prime Minister has disgraced himself.  Why is the United States backing this nazi?  Why?

"Israeli movie star Gal Gadot, who plays Wonder Woman, weighed in, backing Sela and calling her an inspiration. "Love thy neighbor as yourself. This isn't an issue of right or left. Jew or Arab. Secular or religious," Gadot said on Instagram, according to The Associated Press. "It's an issue of dialogue." On Monday, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said on Twitter that Israel "has complete equality of rights for all its citizens," adding, "There are no first-class citizens, and there are no second-class voters. We are all equal in the voting booth. We are all represented at the Knesset." Rivlin did not refer to Netanyahu directly, saying in a tweet, "Recently, when political thinking is turning all reason on its head, we hear entirely unacceptable remarks about the Arab citizens of Israel."

That's right.  Netanyahu and those who think like him are emulating Hitler's Third Reich at the beginning of their reign of terror.  Wake up.  This is unacceptable.  The United States cannot continue to financially support Israel under these conditions.

"For political observers in Israel, the story has echoes of 2015, when Netanyahu posted a last-minute video on the day of a national election, claiming (falsely, it turned out) that right-wing rule of Israel was in danger because large numbers of Arab voters were heading to the polls in buses provided by left-wing groups. The tactic was widely criticized — but it was also credited with helping to sway the election result."

Netanyahu has betrayed his people.  Remains unfit to be Prime Minister.

"Earlier this month, the Anti-Defamation League issued a statement in which it "called on Israeli political leaders across the spectrum to stop delegitimizing Israeli Arab political parties and vilifying the Arab minority population of Israel." In that statement, Carole Nuriel, the director of ADL's Israel office, said recent incidents of politicians using anti-Arab rhetoric were "a deeply troubling trend that, if it continues, could undermine Israel's vibrant democracy."

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-15-19

Women are beginning to fight back.  Against the Republican nazis who are doing all they can to dictate to women what they can and cannot do with THEIR uterus.  CBS News reports:

"A representative in the Georgia Statehouse is drafting a rather blunt response to legislation that would dictate when a woman could get an abortion. It's called the "Testicular Bill of Rights," and state Rep. Dar'shun Kendrick said her legislative package is all about turning the tables on her male counterparts seeking to impose laws on a woman's reproductive rights."

Stick it to the nazi bastards.  What took so long?

"The move comes after a Georgia House committee approved legislation last week to outlaw abortion after a fetus' heartbeat can be detected, which is before many women know they are pregnant. Women in Georgia can currently seek an abortion within the first 20 weeks of a pregnancy. A heartbeat is generally detectable by medical professionals at around six weeks. "HB-481 [The 'Heartbeat Bill'] inspired me to see what the reaction would be from some males and male legislators if the tables were turned and we started to talk about their reproductive rights and organs," Kendrick told CBS News on Tuesday."

Go for it.  LOL.  Stick it to the bastards.

"Ggggooooodddd morning! Introducing my "testicular bill of rights" legislative package. You want some regulation of bodies and choice? Done! pic.twitter.com/5E8HBRSc9l

— Dar'shun Kendrick (@DarshunKendrick) March 11, 2019

"Kendrick announced her "bill of rights" package on Twitter Monday. It includes, among many male-focused proposals, legislation requiring men to obtain permission from their sex partner before they get a prescription for any erectile dysfunction medication, allowing men who have sex without a condom to be charged with aggravated assault, and imposing a 24-hour "waiting period" for men who want to purchase any pornography or sex toys in the state of Georgia."

LOL.  Way to go.

"While the bills are currently being drafted and have not yet been officially proposed, Kendrick said that her overall objective was met. "It has started the conversation about the absurdity of regulating women's bodies and right to choice and instead focused on men and their rights," she said."

Force the the bills into law.  Do it.  Republican nazis have been getting away with this shit for decades.  Time to stick it to the Aryan arrogant fascist bastards.

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-8-19

Highly reminiscent of our outrageously bought and paid for judiciary, Llano County prosecutors, Sheriff Bill Blackburn and his criminal SS jackbooted bastards in black who continue to egregiously disgrace themselves and the badge, do as they please regardless of the law and Constitution, carefully consider the following.  It's appalling.  Runs against the grain of everything our formerly great country once stood for.  No longer.

The following is well beyond ironic.  It's goddamned hopelessly Aryan arrogant.  The Washington Post reports:

"It’s not every day that a police chief publicly scolds lawmakers who oversee his department. But in January, and again last month, D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham unceremoniously rebuked two D.C. council members who had the unmitigated gall to look into actions of his department. The objects of Newsham’s scorn were Charles Allen (D-Ward 6), chairman of the council’s Judiciary Committee, and Brianne K. Nadeau (D-Ward 1), who chairs the Human Services Committee."

Imagine that.  Couldn't be, could it?  LOL.

"In an interview with The Post on Jan. 4, Newsham bluntly charged that drug dealers in a trouble spot in Northeast D.C. had “become emboldened by the hearing” conducted by Allen’s committee that, in Newsham’s view, conveyed “the suggestion the police had acted inappropriately there.” Think about it: the police chief chastising the council for conducting oversight of policing strategies and tactics in a troubled neighborhood — a major concern of residents. In fact, Allen’s committee was acting properly, in keeping with the council’s mandate."

Jesus Christ.  Unbelievable, isn't it?  The Chief wants no oversight.  Won't be accountable to Congress or the public that pays his salary and that of his jackbooted goons.  ... Right, Sheriff?

"This week, Newsham, in a letter to the editor, accused Nadeau of spreading “misinformation” about the police department’s use of stop-and-frisk tactics. Nadeau said during a telephone interview that she rejects “Newsham’s characterization.” Her Feb. 15 opinion piece in The Post did call for the police to end stop-and-frisk tactics until the Neighborhood Engagement Achieves Results (Near) Act, which the council unanimously passed in 2016, is fully implemented. The Near Act mandates an approach to violent crime that focuses on diversion, counseling and violence interruption. The act also requires data collection on stop-and-frisk tactics, which Nadeau said she will use to evaluate the practice. Nadeau was within her rights as a lawmaker to question the use of stop and frisk and to criticize Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) and the chief for, as she wrote, “not complying with the Near Act and all of its requirements.”

The jackbooted bastards have no probable cause to stop and frisk.  None.  F--k these out of control jackbooted assholes.  ... Right, Sheriff?

"Newsham, of course, should defend his department where a defense is due. Reprimanding city lawmakers for doing their jobs, however, is way above his pay grade, and out of line. Policing in the District, including the use of stop-and-frisk tactics, is very much in the council’s bailiwick. And for good reasons. Consider the experience of M.B. Cottingham, an African American ice cream vendor and father of three who has lived in Southeast D.C. all his life. Excerpt from an ACLU lawsuit against D.C. police Officer Sean Lojacono: “Late in the afternoon of September 27, 2017, in a peaceful encounter with D.C. police concerning an open container of alcohol, Mr. Cottingham gave Officer Sean Lojacono permission to frisk him. Ranging far beyond what should have been a limited pat-down for weapons, Officer Lojacono jammed his fingers between Mr. Cottingham’s buttocks and grabbed his genitals. Mr. Cottingham physically flinched and verbally protested, making clear that this highly intrusive search was not within the scope of the frisk to which he had consented. Officer Lojacono responded by handcuffing Mr. Cottingham and returning to probe the most sensitive areas of his person — two more times."

Jesus Christ.  Called repeated sexual assault.  By a criminal jackbooted bastard in blue.  ... Right, Sheriff?  -- How law enforcement gets its cookies off, Bill?

“No warrant, probable cause, reasonable suspicion, or consent justified the scope of these probes, which were conducted in broad daylight in public and with no other discernible reason than to humiliate and degrade Mr. Cottingham and to display the officer’s power over him.” In December, the District and Lojacono reached a settlement that involved the city forking over an undisclosed payment to Cottingham."

Why isn't this jackbooted piece of shit in prison?  ... Right, Sheriff?

"Allen’s public hearing last summer — for which Newsham reprimanded him — covered the same turf: aggressive police tactics in troubled neighborhoods."

Hear the rumble?  An unwanted dreaded second American revolution catastrophically looming.  As the assholes in government do nothing to remedy the abuse.

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-8-19

Trouble in Trump paradise. The Washington Post reports:

"GOP opposition to President Trump’s emergency declaration at the border grew in the Senate Thursday [2-28-19], even as Trump warned that fellow Republicans who vote to overturn it are putting themselves “at great jeopardy” politically."

Think so?

"Two Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, joined two Democrats in introducing a disapproval resolution identical to one that passed the House earlier this week. Collins and Murkowski had already announced plans to support a disapproval resolution when it comes to a vote in the Senate, which is expected sometime in the next two weeks. Another Republican senator, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, delivered a floor speech proposing how Trump could get the money he wants to build his U.S.-Mexico border wall without use of a national emergency. Alexander said that his suggestion, which involves transferring larger sums from a Pentagon account that can be accessed without a national emergency declaration, “avoids the constitutional crisis of separation of powers.” And Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), who is typically a staunch Trump supporter, said that if he determines Trump’s emergency declaration would jeopardize military construction funds, he would be inclined to vote to overturn it. “I think it’s probably good that the president, if he has to get this done, go ahead and do it on an emergency — but not at the expense of the military,” Inhofe said. “And if it ends up at the expense of the military, that it’s going to inflict damage on the military, then I have to act accordingly.”

Moreover:

"Along with Collins and Murkowski, Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) has also announced plans to support a disapproval resolution to nullify Trump’s emergency declaration. The disapproval resolution requires only a simple majority vote to pass the Senate, meaning only four Republicans would have to break ranks to ensure passage, given unified Democratic support for overturning Trump’s move. Supporters of the disapproval resolution remained one vote short of the threshold for passage Thursday, since Inhofe said he was still waiting to determine whether and how the military construction funds would be tapped, and Alexander refused to say how he would vote, saying it was a hypothetical question because the White House still has time to pursue a different course of action."

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-8-19

Think Trump isn't doing all he can to nazify the judiciary?  NBC News reports:

"The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to advance the nomination of Neomi Rao to replace Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The committee voted along party lines, 12-10, to send the nomination to the full Senate despite concerns from members of both parties about her past writings on gender equality and sexual assault as well as her record as a regulatory official."

This woman is not qualified, nor fit to be a judge.  Will determinedly, concertedly, psychotically legislate her outrageously perverse ideological and religious views from the bench.

"Rao, 45, is currently President Donald Trump’s “regulatory czar” at the little known but powerful Office of Informational and Regulatory Affairs. The top Democrat on the committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, said she opposed the nominee because of her “troubling and aggressive record” at unwinding environmental, labor and Title IX protections. The D.C. Circuit often hears cases involving regulations and federal agencies — and can be a springboard to nominees for the Supreme Court."

Precisely, why the Trump nazi wants this fellow fascist on the court.

"Ultimately all 12 Republicans on the committee voted in favor after Rao met privately with two who had expressed reservations about her past writings."

Jesus Christ.  These national socialist, fascist, nazi Republicans clearly place party before the United States Constitution, all civil and constitutional rights and liberties.

"Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa had expressed concerns with Rao during her confirmation hearing last month over Rao’s writings about women and sexual assault as a student at Yale University. Ernst said she had “hesitations” about the vote, calling Rao's college writings “abhorrent.”

Yet, voted for this piece of crap.  Worse?  Get this.  Abject bullshit:

"Ernst said she had decided to support Rao because of her “unique perspectives on administrative law.” But she offered a warning shot should Rao ever be nominated to the Supreme Court: “My decision and my vetting process may be very different.”

Jesus Christ.

The following is sheer insanity:

"The other Republican to meet privately with Rao, Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, raised last-minute concerns about her position on abortion, saying he was concerned that the nominee was not sufficiently opposed to abortion rights."

Clearly, this piece of human excrement believes he can dictate to a woman what she can and cannot do with HER uterus.  Raw nazism.

"Rao met Hawley in his temporary office in the basement of a Senate office building on the eve of the hearing, and Hawley announced Thursday morning at the committee meeting that he would vote to advance the nomination, calling his meeting with her “particularly instructive.” He said that she had assured him that she believes that the text of the Constitution is “fixed.”

Translation?  It's what this insane piece of shit and his fellow nazis conveniently define it to be.

"While attending Yale, Rao often wrote about date rape, sexual assault and the responsibility of those involved. At times, she placed the onus on women to “accept responsibility.” At her confirmation hearing, Rao insisted that “no one should blame a victim” of sexual assault, but she also said some of what she wrote amounted to “common sense observations” that would make women less likely to be victims of assault."

Called talking out both sides the ass.  --  The national socialist, fascist, nazi way.  Forget?

"She later wrote a letter to the committee attempting to further distance herself from those writings."

Surprised?

NPR reports:

"Days after its official publication, a new Trump administration rule dramatically overhauling the federal Title X family planning program is facing multiple legal challenges. Several medical and reproductive rights groups, as well as 21 state attorneys general, have filed lawsuits challenging the rule, which bans any organization that provides or refers women for abortions from receiving funds through the program to provide services such as contraception and STD screenings. The latest lawsuit, filed Wednesday by the Center for Reproductive Rights, aims to block what abortion rights advocates are describing as a "gag rule." CRR is filing the suit on behalf of Maine Family Planning, the sole Title X grantee in Maine."

Who the hell is this fascist asshole to force his perverse ideological and religious views on the rest of us?

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-8-19

Amazing how two sides can so differ in both perception and rendition of reality.  ... Then again, with two lunatic dictators involved, what else can be expected?  NPR reports:

"As President Trump headed home dealless from Vietnam following his aborted summit with Kim Jong Un, North Korean officials held an impromptu middle-of-the-night news conference at a Hanoi hotel, offering an account about the failed talks that differed from Trump's."

Surprised?  Why?  Forget?  Truth's indeed a moving target.  Especially difficult to discern with two congenital liars at the center of the dispute.

"What we proposed was not the removal of all sanctions but the partial removal," Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said through an interpreter in Hanoi. He said North Korea sought relief from five U.N. sanctions imposed in 2016 and 2017 that hurt the country's economy, out of a total of 11, in exchange for disabling its main nuclear complex. But earlier, Trump said at his own news conference from Hanoi that Kim, North Korea's leader, "wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn't do that."

Somebody's lying.  LOL.  ... Shall we flip a coin?

"Trump sought to emphasize his comity with Kim, saying that the meeting was filled with "warmth" but that he opted to leave with no deal rather than agree to a bad deal."

Called bullshit.  -- What the Trump nazi remains quite adept at.  Proficiency, -- second to none.

"I could have 100 percent signed something," Trump said. "I'd much rather do it right than do it fast."

Jesus Christ.  Who'd 'a 'thunk' it?  Insufferable blowhard lies yet again.  LOL.

"He said he hopes to meet with Kim soon to try for negotiations again, although he has no current plans."

No more than a bogus reality show anyway.

"Ri, however, indicated that another meeting may well be fruitless as the North will not budge. "Our proposal will never be changed."

So what else is new?  Same old, same old.  Forget?  Bullshit reins.

"He said that in exchange for partial sanctions relief, North Korea was willing to "permanently and completely dismantle all the nuclear material production facilities in the Yongbyon area, including plutonium and uranium, in the presence of U.S. experts." In addition, Ri said the North would also put a "permanent halt" on nuclear and long-range missile testing "in order to lower the concerns of the United States." He said that given the "current level of confidence" between North Korea and the U.S., the proposal "was the biggest denuclearization measure we could take."

All bullshit.  The North Koreans won't give up nuclear weapons.  Why would they?  Remains their trump card.  -- No pun intended.

"But North Korea has long resisted giving a full accounting of its arsenal or giving total access to inspectors — moves that experts say are necessary to verify it is giving up its weapons."

Why would they when they have no intention of disarming?  All a ruse.

"Trump said at the news conference in Hanoi that the U.S. brought up other threats it knows about during negotiations, saying, "I think they were surprised we knew." Secretary of State Mike Pompeo added that even if Yongbyon is disabled, it "still leaves missiles, still leaves warheads and weapons systems, so there's a lot of other elements that we just couldn't get to." "They have to give up more," Trump said."

Not likely to happen.  Why would it?  The dictator has an iron fist, strong grip on power.  Not threatened with overthrow.

"The president made a pit stop Thursday at Alaska's Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson to refuel on his way back to Washington, D.C. And while he did not directly address Ri's remarks in his address to troops there, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said he was aware of them. But after Trump left his second summit with Kim, with North Korea no closer to denuclearizing, the U.S. president sought to underscore American military might in his remarks to the troops. "America does not seek conflict, but if we are forced to defend ourselves, we will fight and we will win in an overwhelming fashion."

Hard to believe past presidents haven't made quite clear to North Korea their country would be quickly turned to glass should they ever use their nuclear weapons.

CBS News reports:

"Ri said the North had also offered the prospect of getting its one-year-plus halt to nuclear and ballistic missile tests cemented in writing. Mr. Trump had said ahead of the Vietnam summit that, "as long as there's no testing, we're happy." North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Choe Sun Hui said Mr. Trump's reaction to the deal offered up by his country surprised Kim. He said Kim "may have lost his will (to continue) North Korea-U.S. dealings." A senior State Department official confirmed to U.S. journalists that the North Koreans had sought the lifting only of United Nations Security Council sanctions imposed since March of 2016. The concession would have removed sanctions on a wide range of goods, but not weapons. The State Department official said it would have amounted to "many billions of dollars in sanctions relief," which would, "in effect put us in a position of subsidizing the ongoing development of weapons of mass destruction."

"Mr. Trump alluded to the changing characterization of why the talks broke down in a tweet on Friday morning, lauding the discussions as "substantive," and proclaiming "we know what they want and they know what we must have."

"Great to be back from Vietnam, an amazing place. We had very substantive negotiations with Kim Jong Un - we know what they want and they know what we must have. Relationship very good, let’s see what happens!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 1, 2019"

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-8-19

More fallout from the failed summit.  NBC News reports:

"The parents of Otto Warmbier issued a blistering statement Friday saying Kim Jong Un and his government "are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity" after President Donald Trump asserted that the North Korean dictator had been unaware of the harrowing treatment the student endured while detained there. "We have been respectful during this summit process. Now we must speak out. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son Otto," Fred and Cindy Warmbier said in a statement. "Kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity. No excuses or lavish praise can change that."

That's right.  Trump's out to lunch.  Disgraced himself and our formerly great country.

"Warmbier was arrested for taking a propaganda banner from a hotel while on a visit to Pyongyang in January 2016. The University of Virginia student from Ohio was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor, but was released after 17 months. Warmbier, 22, died shortly after he returned to the United States. His parents were told he had been in a coma since not long after he was sentenced. When he was brought back to Cincinnati after his release, his father said he "was jerking violently, making these inhuman sounds.” “He was blind, he was deaf," Fred Warmbier had said."

The 'president' again disgraced himself:

"Trump said Thursday that Kim was not responsible for and had no knowledge of the horrific treatment Warmbier suffered while he was detained in that country for 17 months. "Some really bad things happened to Otto — some really, really bad things. But he tells me that he didn't know about it, and I will take him at his word," Trump said, referring to Kim."

Unf--king believable.  Trump's not fit for office.  Out to lunch.

"I really don't think it was in his interest at all," he added at a press conference following the collapse of a nuclear summit in Hanoi. Kim "knew the case very well, but he knew it later," Trump said. Trump's comments were a glaring reversal from those he made during his first State of the Union address in 2018, which the Warmbiers attended. "After a shameful trial, the dictatorship sentenced Otto to 15 years of hard labor before returning him to America last June, horribly injured and on the verge of death," Trump said at the time. He asked the emotional Warmbiers to stand up for applause, and called them "incredible people." "You are powerful witnesses to a menace that threatens our world, and your strength truly inspires us all. Thank you," he said to them."

Disgrace to himself and our formerly great country.

"Trump's remarks Thursday were met with backlash from both sides of the aisle."

Talk.  No action.  Gutless.  Un-American.

"Last year, an American judge ruled Warmbier's parents were entitled to more than $500 million in damages from North Korea's government."

Good luck trying to collect it.  ... A thought...the billionaire in the Oval Office can certainly bankroll his bosom buddy, the North Korean dictator.

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-8-19

Trump continues to lie vis a vis the trade deficit.  Did so recently during a news conference in Hanoi after talks broke down between the U.S. and North Koreans. The Washington Post reports:

“You saw trade deficits went down last month and everyone’s trying to figure out why. Well, we’re taking a lot of tariff money. And it has reduced the trade deficit.”

— President Trump, remarks in Hanoi, Feb. 28

"The president really, really, really wants trade deficits to decline. But reality keeps biting. During his news conference in Hanoi after the collapse of summit talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trump made the observation above. It reminded us of the time in mid-2018 when he repeatedly claimed the quarterly trade deficit had declined $52 billion and complained that “nobody reports it.” Well, that’s because it was not true. He stopped making that claim after our fact check appeared. But now he highlights a one-month decline in the trade deficit — and says it’s because “we’re taking in a lot of tariff money.” But this is also not correct."

Doesn't stop the Trump nazi from continuing to lie, however.  LOL.

"Regular readers know that we frequently say that Trump’s obsession with trade deficits is misplaced. A trade deficit simply means that people in one country are buying more goods from another country than people in the second country are buying from the first country. Americans want to buy these products from overseas, either because of quality or price.  The trade-deficit numbers are also shaped by underlying factors, such as an imbalance between a country’s savings and investment rates. A bigger federal budget deficit — caused by, say, a large tax cut or more government spending — can boost the trade deficit because the country saves less and borrows more from abroad. The booming economy can also be at fault — the more money people have, the more they can spend on goods from overseas. And a strong currency means those foreign goods are cheaper for a particular country and its goods are more expensive for foreign consumers."

No more than Economics 101.

"Nevertheless, the president keeps citing trade deficit figures, so we will have to keep fact-checking him. The day before the president spoke in Hanoi, the Commerce Department released an advance report of the December trade deficit. It showed the deficit for trade in merchandise — the figure Trump often refers to — was $79.5 billion in December, up $9 billion from $70.5 billion in November. We presume Trump was not paying attention to trade data while he was involved in high-level diplomacy. So it’s safe to assume he was referring to the November figures. (We did not get an explanation from the White House.)"

Surprised?  LOL.

"Indeed, the earlier report shows that the goods deficit decreased $6.7 billion, to $71.6 billion. But, as we have just shown, the deficit went up the next month — to what turns out to be a record high (before inflation) for the goods deficit. Actually, a better measure would be to compare November 2018 to November 2017. That shows the trade deficit increased year over year."

Trump, his henchmen, sick sycophants can't, won't be confused with the truth.

Report goes on and on.  Here's the bottom line:

"The Pinocchio Test

"The president keeps seizing on scraps of data — a month here or a quarter there — to falsely claim the trade deficit is being reduced. But over the course of the year, it kept growing. Attributing a small one-month shift to tariffs is especially silly.

"It would be better for the president to end his focus on the trade deficit, because whether it grows or shrinks is largely beyond his control. But in the meantime, he earns Four Pinocchios."

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-8-19

More of the same.  Lies.  Deception.  Deceit.  NBC News reports:

"President Donald Trump overruled concerns of security officials and his own White House counsel and ordered that a top-secret security clearance be given to Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and senior adviser, The New York Times reported Thursday. According to the account, the president ordered John Kelly, then his chief of staff, to give Kushner a top-secret security clearance in May 2018, a move that upset some senior administration officials and led Kelly and the White House counsel at the time, Donald McGahn, to each write internal memos about the incident. McGahn's memo laid out concerns raised about Kushner and the fact that McGahn had recommended against giving him a clearance that high-level."

For damned good reason.

"We don’t comment on security clearances," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told NBC News Thursday when asked about the Times report."

What the hell could she say?  No justification for how this went down.

"Reaction to the report from some Democrats was swift. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted that "the mystery" of how Kushner was granted a top-secret security clearance has been solved. "His father in law ordered it."

"The mystery of how Jared Kushner was granted a top secret security clearance despite myriad financial entanglements and undisclosed foreign meetings has been solved:

"His father in law ordered it.

"It’s called clearance by nepotism and a serious abuse that endangers our security. https://t.co/XMt8HmlvuU

— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) March 1, 2019"

No question.  Abuse of power for a self-serving agenda.

"Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., chairman of the House Oversight Committee, issued a statement saying that his panel last month began an investigation of the White House security-clearance process. "To date, the White House has not produced a single document or scheduled a single interview," he wrote."

Unbridled Aryan arrogance displayed by the Trump nazi and his henchmen.  Force the issue.  Subpoena the material.

"NBC News reported last month that two career White House security specialists rejected Kushner's application for a top-secret clearance after a FBI background check raised concerns about potential foreign influence on him, but they were overruled by their supervisor, according to two sources familiar with the matter. Kushner's FBI background check identified questions about his family's business, his foreign contacts, his foreign travel and meetings he had during the campaign, sources told NBC News. The supervisor, Carl Kline, is a former Pentagon employee who was installed as director of the personnel security office in the Executive Office of the President in May 2017, though he is no longer in that position."

Imagine that.

"Kushner's was one of at least 30 cases in which Kline overruled career security experts and approved a top-secret clearance for incoming Trump officials despite unfavorable information, the two sources said. They said the number of rejections that were overruled was unprecedented — it had happened only once in the three years preceding Kline's arrival. The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information, said the Trump White House attracted many people with untraditional backgrounds who had complicated financial and personal histories, some of which raised red flags."

Moreover:

"Kushner is also among dozens of staff members in the administration who previously held an interim SCI clearance. SCI, sensitive compartmented information, is classified material that gets more detailed than top-secret information and can include sources and methods. As chief of staff, Kelly outlined an overhaul to the processing of security clearances and to discontinue any interim clearances for staff in the Executive Office of the President, NBC News reported last year."

The Washington Post reports:

"President Trump early last year directed his then-chief of staff, John F. Kelly, to give presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner a top-secret security clearance — a move that made Kelly so uncomfortable that he documented the request in writing, according to current and former administration officials. After Kushner, a senior White House adviser, and his wife, Ivanka Trump, pressured the president to grant Kushner the long-delayed clearance, Trump instructed Kelly to fix the problem, according to a person familiar with Kelly’s account, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal discussions. Kelly told colleagues that the decision to give Kushner top-secret clearance was not supported by career intelligence officials, and he memorialized Trump’s request in an internal memo, according to two people familiar with the memo and the then-chief of staff’s concerns. It is unclear how Kelly responded to Trump’s directive. But by May, Kushner had been granted a permanent security clearance to view top-secret material — a move that followed months of concern inside the White House about his inability to secure such access. Kushner’s attorney publicly described the process as one that had gone through normal channels, a description that Kelly did not view as accurate, according to a person familiar with his reaction. The former chief of staff, who left the administration at the beginning of this year, did not immediately respond to a request for comment."

Chickens are finally coming home to roost.  ... Or, so it seems.

"House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) said in a statement late Thursday that his panel, as well as the House Oversight Committee, will continue in their investigation of the White House’s security clearance process. “The revelation that President Trump personally intervened to overrule White House security officials and the Intelligence Community to grant a Top Secret security clearance to his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is the latest indicator of the President’s utter disregard for our national security and for the men and women who sacrifice so much every day to keep us safe,” Schiff said. “There is no nepotism exception for background investigations.”

Somebody's lying:

"Both Trump and his daughter, Ivanka, have publicly denied the president was involved in securing a clearance for Kushner. The president told the New York Times in a Jan. 31 interview that he did not direct Kelly or similar officials to grant a clearance for his son-in-law, and Ivanka Trump told ABC News earlier this month that her father was not involved in the process."

Report goes on and on.  Convoluted, highly complex.

NBC News reports:

"The White House is refusing to hand the House Oversight Committee documents that the panel has requested in its probe into the administration's security clearance process, including for President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner. The committee chairman, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., blasted the White House on Tuesday for asserting that his panel has not properly justified its requests for documents in investigating the matter, setting up a possible subpoena battle. "There is a key difference between a president who exercises his authority under the Constitution and a president who overrules career experts and his top advisers to benefit his family members and then conceals his actions from the American people," Cummings said in a statement. "The White House’s argument defies the Constitutional separation of powers, decades of precedent before this Committee, and just plain common-sense," Cummings wrote. "The White House security clearance system is broken, and it needs both congressional oversight and legislative reform. I will be consulting with Members of the Committee to determine our next steps.”

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-8-19

In follow up to the last edition vis a vis the Cohen hearing, NBC News reports:

"Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen uncorked many disturbing allegations in his seven hours of congressional testimony this week, but only one that could be crucial to the future of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Cohen testified he was in the room when Republican strategist Roger Stone called President Donald Trump and told him about an impending Wikileaks’ release of stolen Democratic National Committee emails. Stone and Trump have not only denied that claim — but also done so in a coordinated way that may shape what Mueller ultimately does. The consequences here are simple. If Cohen lied to Congress, he could be indicted for it and the world would soon find out. If Cohen told the truth, then Trump is in trouble. The allegation could be pivotal because Trump and Stone have been united in denying it, not only in public statements, but also in legally binding assurances to the government. Lying in public is legal. Lying to the government is a crime. That is why this part of Cohen’s allegation poses such serious legal risks to both Stone and Trump. Unfortunately for the White House, Cohen’s account has extra corroboration, which provides more supporting evidence than his other new claims that could be dismissed as a “he said/he said” dispute."

Fascinating, isn't it?  Above assessment courtesy of a most gifted, insightful writer, Ari Melber.

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3-8-19

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y certainly aggressively went after the Trump nazi during questioning of Cohen.  Not bad for a rookie just getting started in what has turned out to be a game of extreme hardball.  Certainly, took no prisoners.  NBC News reports:

"If President Donald Trump’s family and finances were some kind of red line, no one told Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. During the final hour of Wednesday’s hearing with former Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen, Ocasio-Cortez calmly pursued a line of questioning that puts the Trump family and Trump organization directly in the House Oversight Committee’s line of fire."

Exactly, where it belongs.  Certainly, complicit.  Hat's off to the Congresswoman for executing what no other interrogator did quite so well.

"The Republican committee members used much of their time to launch transparent obstruction attempts — or to obsess over whether Cohen wished to write a book. While such rhetorical theatrics may impress Donald Trump, they will have little impact on the committee’s investigative track. By refusing to engage on substance, Republicans have, by default, conceded that many if not all of Cohen’s statements about Trump’s conduct are indeed factual. In contrast, the Democrats seemed much more prepared. In particular, Ocasio-Cortez’s line of questioning should prove invaluable as the committee’s work continues. Because while Robert Mueller’s investigation may be winding down, Congress is just getting started, especially when it comes to the president’s financial integrity."

The rookie Congresswoman came out firing.  Has quite a future despite the socialism and a Democratic Party that seems to have lost itself somewhere along the way..  Then again, we already live in a national socialist, fascist, nazi police-state quickly transitioning to the Trump nazi's Fourth Reich, -- courtesy of the Republican Party.

"The freshman from the Bronx asked Cohen if “the president ever provide inflated assets to an insurance company.” Cohen’s one word response? “Yes.” She followed up by asking: “Who else knows that the president did this?” Cohen shared the names of three executives of the Trump organization: Allen Weisselberg, Ron Lieberman and Matthew Calamari. Then Ocasio-Cortez pointedly asked “where would the committee find more information on this; do you think we need to review his financial statements and tax returns to compare them?” Cohen’s response was again in the affirmative, adding that the information she apparently sought should be at the offices of the Trump organization."

Ocasio-Cortez clearly understands interrogation needs to be sharp, pointed, aggressive, extremely probing, -- to be effective.  Again, not bad for a rookie.

"Trump family's massive tax con job has been hiding in plain sight for years. And it could cost them millions. The exchange was brief, almost understated. And yet, Ocasio-Cortez was able to elicit information from Cohen that will help doubtless the committee as it continues down a legitimate investigative path towards the president’s tax returns. The questions also opened the door to further inquiries into whether or not the president engaged in insurance fraud. The officials within the Trump organization named by Cohen are a new batch of breadcrumbs for Democrats to follow."

Certainly, Ocasio-Cortez was brilliant.

"Contrast this longterm strategy with the tactics employed by Republicans on the panel. The conservative representatives used the bulk of their time, not to challenge the substance of Cohen’s testimony or the Democrats’ questions, but to insult and clumsily attack the witness."

Without question, appeared to be the case.  Republicans blew a chance to get at the truth they clearly wished to avoid.  -- At all costs.  Called aggressive stupidity.  Certainly, not in their long term best interests to continue to back a nazi fuhrer who appears to remain in increasing legal jeopardy.

"Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., used his time to ask Cohen about his documentary evidence, “where are those boxes that contain documents worthy of evidence and why have they not been turned over to investigative authorities?” Higgins went so far as to claim a warrant should be issued to seize the boxes. The problem is, the authorities seized these documents back when they initially arrested Cohen and have since been returned to him. In other words, Higgins was calling for the authorities to seize documents they had already seen and returned."

Called aggressive stupidity.

"Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., used her time to try and get Cohen to pledge under oath that he would never pursue a book deal, political office, or a TV commentary gig. Never mind that the last two Republican chairmen of the committee, Trey Gowdy and Jason  Chaffetz, have signed TV pundit deals with Fox News."

How about that.  Called hypocrisy.

Republicans remained asleep at the wheel, -- slovenly, sloppily.  Place partisanship ahead of exposing truth.  At best?  Aggressive stupidity at its very worst.  Why?  Truth is unquestionably in the best interests of any dying major political party.  Ultimately, always is.  Provides final opportunity for desperately needed change.  Forget?  Neither party is worth a shit for diametrically opposed reasons backed by decades of conflict.  Into hardened positions.  Both have clearly run their course.  Starve for gas.  Status quo unsustainable.

"Meanwhile, Ocasio-Cortez’s line of questioning will presumably give Democrats all the justification they need to legitimately expand their investigation into the president’s finances. The committee will doubtless want to conduct a forensic accounting investigation into Trump’s financial statements and returns."

Wisely, follow the money trail.

NPR reports:

"Michael Cohen, former attorney and fixer for President Trump, has been talking to lawmakers about his own wrongdoings and those he alleges Trump has committed. But he is not the only Trump associate lawmakers probably want to interview. President Trump's former personal lawyer named names when he testified before the House oversight committee on Wednesday. He told the panel about Trump Organization personnel with knowledge of what Cohen alleged are criminal or questionable actions within the business. Cohen's knowledge about the inner workings of the Trump Organization is expansive. The former lawyer, now disbarred in the state of New York, once maintained an office close to Trump's in New York City's Trump Tower. Now congressional Democrats are turning their attention to other figures in the Trump Organization. Here are the names you need to know:

"Felix Sater. Sater is scheduled to testify before Congress on March 14. Sater is a real estate developer and longtime Trump business associate who was involved in the Trump Organization's efforts to build a Trump Tower project in Moscow. He is scheduled to testify in an open hearing before the House intelligence committee on March 14. Sater is notable for his previous connections to organized crime and the work he also has reportedly done on behalf of the U.S. government as an undercover informer.

"Allen Weisselberg. Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg (center) stands behind then-President-elect Donald Trump and his son Don Jr. on Jan. 11, 2017, at Trump Tower in New York. The chief financial officer of the Trump Organization has been a key player in all of Trump's business and other dealings. Weisselberg and Donald Trump Jr., for example, signed one of the checks repaying Cohen for the money Cohen paid adult film actress Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet ahead of Election Day in 2016. Weisselberg is so important to the investigations of Trump that prosecutors in Manhattan have reportedly offered him immunity in order to get his cooperation with their efforts. So it may be some time before the Justice Department could authorize him to talk to Congress — but that isn't stopping lawmakers from asking for him.

"David Pecker, Barry Levine and Dylan Howard. Trump enlisted a number of people to help with his alleged dirty work, including those who didn't directly work for him, Cohen said. Trump's friend David Pecker, for example, CEO of American Media, Inc. (AMI) which publishes the National Enquirer, would have AMI "catch and kill" stories that might be embarrassing for Trump by paying people involved for the exclusive rights to them — then never publish them.

"But there was evidently a great deal more to the relationship between Trump and Pecker/AMI than the McDougal case, Cohen said. Pecker's company worked many times to buy embarrassing stories about Trump, even ones that weren't true, which enabled AMI to compile a "treasure trove" of potentially damaging material. Cohen was so interested in what AMI had accumulated that when Pecker was negotiating to potentially take another important publishing job, Cohen wanted to buy the Trump archive on behalf of his client to ensure it was kept safe. Who else would know about the "treasure trove" and these practices? Former National Enquirer editor Barry Levine would, he said, as well as a vice president of AMI, Dylan Howard, Cohen responded.

"Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, seen at President Trump's January 2017 inauguration, were both briefed repeatedly on a potential Trump Tower Moscow project, according to former lawyer Michael Cohen. The president's three oldest children are among his top advisers and have been a part of all the family's major business dealings, Cohen told lawmakers. That includes the potential Trump Tower Moscow real estate project. Ivanka Trump and her brother, Donald Trump Jr., both were briefed about it repeatedly, Cohen said.

"Ron Lieberman and Matthew Calamari. Matthew Calamari, an executive vice president with the Trump Organization, is seen at Trump Tower in New York on Jan. 12, 2017. Lieberman is an executive vice president in Trump's company who's responsible for managing many of its subsidiary enterprises, according to his Bloomberg bio. That includes modeling agencies, real estate and golf courses, and it was in discussing these operations that his name came up in Cohen's testimony, along with that that of chief operating officer Calamari."

All the above will likely be figuratively under the gun in Congress.  ... As the noose figuratively tightens around the Trump nazi.

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3-8-19

House Democrats demand documents from the Trump nazi and his henchmen.  The Washington Post reports:

"House Democrats sent more than 80 letters Monday demanding documents from family members, business associates, political confidants and others with connections to President Trump, opening a sprawling investigation of whether he and his administration have engaged in obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power."

About time.  What took so long?

"The farthest-reaching request since Democrats took control of the House underscored lawmakers’ determination to hold Trump and those around him accountable for controversies that have dogged the president during his first two years in office — and perhaps lay the grounds for impeachment proceedings."

Would certainly tie up Trump the rest of his term.  Unlike "The Donald," his replacement is not insane.   Making him far more dangerous to life, liberty, all civil and constitutional rights and liberties.

“We will act quickly to gather this information, assess the evidence, and follow the facts where they lead with full transparency with the American people,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said in a statement. “This is a critical time for our nation, and we have a responsibility to investigate these matters and hold hearings for the public to have all the facts. That is exactly what we intend to do.”

Again, what took so long?

"But the sweeping document requests also raised immediate questions about House Democrats’ strategy for probing the administration. The inquiries touched on everything from the president’s business dealings with Russia to multiple controversies regarding the firing of former FBI director James B. Comey and hush payments made to women. Many of those very issues are already being looked at by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and prosecutors in the Southern District of New York — not to mention other committees in the House.  House Democrats also appear to be grappling with a question of whether to focus their energy on Trump’s actions as president, or probe alleged past misdeeds before he ran for office, too. Judiciary Committee staff argue there is a constitutional question about whether the party can hold the president accountable for any illicit or morally questionable activities Trump may have committed before he became president."

Expose it all to the light of day.  The public has a right to know.

"While extremely broad, Nadler’s inquiry focuses on abuse of power, public corruption and obstruction of justice since Trump became president, though some of the inquiries also deal with the campaign and the presidential transition."

All of it remains fair game.  No matter the party.

"At an event at the White House later Monday with the North Dakota State championship football team, Trump was asked if he plans to cooperate. “I cooperate all the time with everybody,” he said, adding: “You know the beautiful thing — no collusion. It’s all a hoax.”

Think so?

"Those receiving letters from the House Judiciary Committee include the president’s two eldest sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump; his son-in-law, Jared Kushner; his former personal secretary Rhona Graff; Allen Weisselberg, the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization; and former top White House aides Hope Hicks, Sean Spicer and Stephen K. Bannon."

Sounds like a good start, doesn't it?

Better yet, the following:

"Other demands for documents are directed to institutions including the White House, the Justice Department, the Trump campaign, the Trump transition team and the Trump Organization."

Bet there won't be considerable stonewalling?

"In a statement Monday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders acknowledged receipt of Nadler’s letter and said officials “will review it and respond at the appropriate time.” She did not comment further. Recipients have two weeks to comply with the requests. Should they not do so, the Judiciary Committee will subpoena the documents, panel staff members told reporters on a call Monday morning. "

No further waste of time.  Go for it.  Cut the shit.

"Trump and Republicans have pushed back, arguing that Democrats are on a fishing expedition designed to undermine the president and cripple his reelection effort ahead of 2020. During a two-hour, campaign-style speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday, Trump mocked Democrats for the scope of their investigations. “[T]hey don’t have anything with Russia. There's no collusion,” Trump said. “So now they go and morph into, ‘Let's inspect every deal he's ever done. We're going to go into his finances. We're going to check his deals.’ …. These people are sick. They’re sick… Where did that come from?"

Aren't you talking about yourself, Mr. 'President?'

"The committee also said Monday’s tranche of requests would not be the last, suggesting investigations by House Democrats could become broader still with time. The panel says it will seek not only Mueller’s final report but also documents used in the grand jury. Nadler’s request is significant not only because he is seeking an expansive amount of material but because his committee has jurisdiction over impeachment. Any hearings exploring whether Trump committed “high crimes and misdemeanors” would take place before the panel."

Be careful what you wish for.  Forget?  Pence is far more dangerous since he's not insane.

"The panel is seeking communications between former White House counsel Donald McGahn and the president relating to Michael T. Flynn, Trump’s fired national security adviser, as well as Flynn’s statements to the FBI about contacts with Sergey Kislyak, then Russia’s ambassador to Washington. Nadler is also seeking to learn about communications regarding Trump’s firing of Comey as FBI director, as well as what occurred at a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in New York. That meeting included Trump Jr., Kushner, then-campaign manager Paul Manafort and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who had “dirt” to offer about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, according to an email that was made public. Nadler has also asked American Media Inc. and its chief executive, David Pecker, a longtime Trump ally, about hush payments or “any payment” that Michael Cohen, then Trump’s personal lawyer, made to assist Trump during the campaign."

All valid unanswered questions the last two and a half years or so.

"The documents Nadler requested are a first step in the committee’s effort to explore possible obstruction of justice by the president in connection with Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign and whether Trump or anyone close to him coordinated with the Russians during the campaign."

Valid concern despite Trump's denials.

"The committee staff coordinated the document request with Mueller’s office, federal prosecutors in Manhattan (SDNY) and other committees conducting their own investigations, a House counsel said. Committee counsel said the chairman is requesting materials that in many cases already have been furnished to Mueller or federal prosecutors in Manhattan or to other congressional panels. Many of the recipients’ lawyers have already been contacted and are expected to provide the materials, the counsel said."

Get a move on.  Quicker the better.

"Though the document demands are sweeping and appear to track over Mueller’s probe, a committee counsel said the panel’s jurisdiction squarely covers obstruction of justice and abuse of power issues. The House Intelligence panel, by contrast, is investigating Russian interference and counterintelligence matters, the counsel noted. But there inevitably will be some overlap. And Judiciary will share documents it receives with other committees, the counsel said."

Anything that facilitates and/or expedites the process is a good thing.

"Aides said the panel is exploring two other broad issues: public corruption and abuse of power. The investigation of public corruption includes potential violations of the emoluments clause of the Constitution, which prohibits presidents from accepting gifts from foreign states, as well as possible campaign finance violations. Potential abuses of power include attacks on the news media and the judiciary, and the use of presidential pardon power, Judiciary Committee aides said. Nadler’s requests come as House Democrats are ramping up numerous investigations of the president, their first steps in a months-long effort that could lead to impeachment proceedings."

No president in his right mind would so blatantly, wantonly abuse power.  A sane Chief Executive would do all in his or her power to make it far less obvious.  In comparison to Trump, Richard Nixon looks like a choir boy.

"The House Oversight and Reform Committee received testimony from Cohen last Wednesday in a high-profile hearing where the president’s former lawyer accused Trump of lying to the public about his business interests in Russia, his role in silencing women who alleged sexual encounters during the 2016 campaign and his knowledge of WikiLeaks’s hacked material that was damaging to Clinton."

Got to give Cohen credit for doing what he could to right the wrong he was engaged in all those years under the Trump nazi.

"The oversight panel also has given the White House until Monday to respond to document requests surrounding its clearance process, some of which panel Democrats have been seeking for months."

Why waste any more time?  The bastards are clearly stonewalling.

"The latest letter — what House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) warned was his “final” request for voluntary compliance — followed news that Trump had personally instructed his then-Chief of Staff John Kelly to give Kushner a security clearance. At the same time, the House Ways and Means Committee has created a framework for requesting Trump’s tax returns. Although the tax panel has not asked for the documents yet, lawyers for the committee have instructed other panels to help make the case to the public about why the forms are essential to investigating the president."

Why shouldn't the nazi incumbent release his tax documents?  All his predecessors in recent history have done so.

"Nadler’s letter to the Justice Department seeks a wide variety of documents that go to the heart of Mueller’s work, even as senior department officials have publicly and privately expressed a reluctance to share those kinds of investigative documents."

Congress is entitled to this material.  Remains constitutionally responsible for investigating the president, then impeaching him if warranted.

"The list, which asks for materials concerning possible obstruction of justice by the president, or possible conspiracy between Trump associates and Russian officials, marks the opening salvo of what some expect to be a fight between Congress and the Justice Department over Mueller’s files."

Congress is entitled to this material.  So are the American people.  Forget?  Government works for the people, -- not the other way around.

"Nadler’s requests include information about some well-known episodes, but also cover some incidents that have received relatively little attention, such as an effort in 2016 by Peter Smith, a now-deceased Chicago-based Republican fundraiser, to reach out to Russian hackers to get copies of Clinton’s deleted emails. It sent a request to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been living in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London under a grant of asylum, seeking information relating to its alleged receipt of hacked Democratic emails from the Russian government as well as any contacts with members of the Trump campaign or Trump Organization during the 2016 campaign."

A valid concern, -- especially in light of the following:

"Cohen alleged last week that in July 2016, he overheard a phone call between Trump and longtime adviser Roger Stone in which Stone said he had just spoken to Assange, who within “a couple of days” would release “a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign.” Stone has repeatedly denied that he conspired with WikiLeaks."

The battle is on.  CBS News reports:

"The White House Counsel's Office is refusing to release documents requested by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform related to its issuance of security clearances, teeing up a potential subpoena battle between Capitol Hill and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue."

Get a move on.  Too much time has been wasted already.

"In a letter addressed to Chairman Elijah Cummings on Monday, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone said the White House will not provide "unilateral concessions without any offer of accommodation" by the committee. Cummings launched an investigation into the White House's process for granting security clearances in January, including the circumstances surrounding Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner's clearance. "We will not concede the Executive's constitutional prerogatives or allow the Committee to jeopardize the individual privacy rights of current and former Executive Branch employees," Cipollone wrote in Mondays' letter. Cipollone said an offer to brief the committee on the clearance process and allow them to review certain documents still stands."

Not good enough.  Not at all.  Called stonewalling.

"Cummings wrote to Cipollone on March 1 demanding the White House provide documents and make witnesses available following a New York Times report that Mr. Trump had overruled White House officials and ordered Kushner be given a top-secret clearance. In a statement Tuesday, Cummings strongly disagreed with Cipollone's assessment and said he will consult with committee members on what to do next. "The White House appears to be arguing that Congress has no authority to examine decisions by the Executive Branch that impact our national security — even when the President's former national security adviser has pleaded guilty to lying about his contacts with foreign government officials," Cummings said. "There is a key difference between a president who exercises his authority under the Constitution and a president who overrules career experts and his top advisors to benefit his family members and then conceals his actions from the American people."

No question.  Subpoena the bastard.

"When reporters asked Mr. Trump about the security clearance investigation on Tuesday afternoon, the president decried the growing list of congressional investigations as a "witch hunt." The White House response on the security clearance investigation comes as the House Judiciary Committee sent letters to 81 individuals and entities seeking documents for its own probe. "The witch hunt continues," Mr. Trump told reporters at the White House Tuesday. "The fact is that I guess we got 81 letters. There was no collusion. That was a hoax. There was no anything. And they want to do that instead of getting legislation passed. Eighty-one people or organization got letters. It's a disgrace. It's a disgrace to our country. I'm not surprised they're doing it. Basically they've started the campaign. So the campaign begins. But the campaign — their campaign's actually been going on for the last two and a half years.  So it's a shame and the people understand it. When they look at it, they just say presidential harassment. But that's OK."

You're the disgrace Mr. 'President.'  You.

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-8-19

Trump and his henchmen continue to shamelessly load the judiciary with Republican national socialists, fascists, nazis who have no respect, no regard for life, liberty, all civil and constitutional rights and liberties.  The Washington Post reports:

"Seattle attorney Eric Miller was confirmed as a judge on the country’s most liberal appeals court this week without the consent of either home-state senator, abreak from tradition that Democrats say Republicans will come to regret. Historically, senators from the state where a federal judiciary nominee lives may submit opinions, known as “blue slips,” or choose not to return them. Before this week, a nominee had never been confirmed without the support of at least one home-state senator, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif), the ranking Democrat on the judiciary committee, said in a statement on Wednesday. But neither Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) nor Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) returned blue slips on Miller’s nomination to serve on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals."

For damn good reason.  This national socialist, fascist son of a bitch will legislate his outrageously perverse ideological and religious views from the bench.

"Nonetheless, Miller was confirmed Tuesday on a 53-46 vote, allowing Trump to continue to move toward a more conservative federal judiciary, one of his key campaign promises. The vote to confirm Miller’s lifetime appointment followed a brief hearing, which took place during a congressional recess and with only two Republican senators present."

Imagine that.  Raw nazism.

"Murray called the confirmation “a dangerous first.” “Abandoning the blue slip process and instead, bending to the will of a president who has demonstrated time and time again his ignorance and disdain for the Constitution and the rule of law is a mistake,” she said on the Senate floor. Cantwell similarly called the decision “a damaging precedent” and, among other things, opposed Miller’s opposition to Native American interests and sovereignty."

Jesus Christ.  When are you gutless Democrats finally going to do something about this abomination other than engage in meaningless rhetoric?  Impeach the goddamned nazi.  While he'd never be convicted and removed from office in the Senate, would certainly tie him and his henchmen up for most of the remainder of his term.

"In July, Oregonian Ryan Bound’s nomination to the 9th Circuit proved equally controversial. Neither of his home-state senators, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, both Democrats, returned a slip in support of the Oregon assistant United States attorney. The White House ultimately withdrew the nomination after Bounds, 45, faced widespread criticism over failing to tell the judicial review committee about articles he wrote in the Stanford Review where he ridiculed multiculturalism, The Post’s Karoun Demirjian reported."

Democrats are certainly not doing all they can to effectively confront the nazi in the Oval Office.  Will certainly live to regret it as our formerly great country continues to deteriorate as fascism continues to overtake what remains a democratic republic in name only.

"Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has pledged to transform the judiciary and praised Trump for successfully pushing a record-breaking number of federal judges through the Senate. “Confirmation is a political decision based on who controls the Senate,” McConnell told hundreds of conservative and libertarian attorneys at a November Federalist Society gathering. “My goal is to confirm as many circuit judges as possible."

... As the unwanted dreaded revolution doomsday clock strikes ever closer to midnight.

"In a statement to The Washington Post on Wednesday, Feinstein said: “It is regrettable and likely will result in more ideological nominees who don’t reflect the values of their home states. It’s hard to not see this action coming back to bite Republicans when they’re no longer in power in the Senate.”

Delusionally believe Democrats won't do the same?  They will eventually retake the Senate.  When that happens, think these bastards won't do all they can to load the judiciary with judges who oppose the Second Amendment?  Wake up.

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-8-19

Trump and his henchmen continue to take a raucous hard dump on the environment.  The Washington Post reports:

"The Senate on Thursday approved former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler to head the Environmental Protection Agency by a vote of 52 to 47, elevating a veteran of Washington political and industry circles who has advanced President Trump’s push to rollback Obama-era environmental regulations."

In favor of the corporate management suite, at expense of the environment.  The Republican national socialist way.

"Wheeler, who began his career at EPA during the 1990s but spent years on Capitol Hill before heading to the private sector, has won praise from Republicans for his deregulatory agenda but criticism from Democrats for his refusal to take action on climate change and several public health priorities. He has been running the agency since Trump’s first administrator, Scott Pruitt, stepped down in July amid multiple scandals surrounding his management and spending practices. Trump said in November that he intended to nominate Wheeler for the top job, saying he had done a “fantastic job” in his interim role."

Lining the pockets of the corporate management suite at expense of the environment.  Raw nazism.

"At his confirmation hearing in January, Wheeler highlighted dozens of significant rules that the EPA has begun to roll back during the past two years, and he made clear to lawmakers that he intended to continue the Trump administration’s reversal of environmental regulations."

At expense of the environment.  To line the pockets of the corporate management suite and the rest at the top of the food chain.  Unadulterated greed.

“Through our deregulatory actions, the Trump administration has proven that burdensome federal regulations are not necessary to drive environmental progress,” Wheeler said at the time."

Absolute horse shit.  Simply untrue.  Blatant lie.  Deceit.  A ruse.  Courtesy of a charlatan.  All to line the pockets at the top of the food chain.

“Certainty, and the innovation that thrives in a climate of certainty, are key to progress.”

Raw unabashed, unabridged nazism.  Meaningless double talk.

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-8-19

Surprisingly, a national socialist, fascist, nazi Republican U.S. Supreme Court recently reinforced the First Amendment Separation of Church and State.  Imagine that.  Couldn't be could it?  NPR reports:

"The U.S. Supreme Court let a ruling stand Monday from the New Jersey Supreme Court ruling that said Morris County, N.J., may not give taxpayer funds to help preserve religious buildings, such as synagogues, temples, churches and mosques. The county has a program for giving preservation funds for all local buildings. But New Jersey law, as recently interpreted by the state Supreme Court, prohibits counties from awarding grants to preserve religious buildings. Those representing the religious institutions argued the state Supreme Court ruling amounted to unconstitutional discrimination against religion. But the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear this particular case, though indicated it should take this kind of case and the facts seemed murky in this one. Conservative justices Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito dissented."

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-8-19

Think the Trump nazi and his henchmen are not determinedly, concertedly, deliberately increasing tensions in the Middle East?  NPR reports:

"When the United States closes its Jerusalem Consulate on Monday, it will not only be winding down a 175-year diplomatic mission. The move also represents another major downgrade of the Trump administration's relations with the Palestinians. The Consulate General in Jerusalem is the U.S. government's de facto representative office to the Palestinian Authority. The diplomatic mission, first established in 1844 and housed in a historical stone estate in downtown Jerusalem, will be downgraded to a Palestinian Affairs Unit and will merge with the new U.S. Embassy to Israel. Consul General Karen Sasahara, who has served as an unofficial ambassador to the Palestinians, is leaving Jerusalem and won't be replaced. A lower-ranking foreign service officer will head the new unit. U.S Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, a longtime supporter of Israel's West Bank settler movement whom Palestinians see as their ideological opponent, will oversee diplomatic relations with the Palestinians and Israelis both. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the move, which he announced in October, will "improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our operations." Palestinian officials view it as a hostile move."

It is, indeed, precisely that.

"The U.S. administration had a choice to build constructive relations with the Palestinian people and leadership. Instead, it chose bullying and arrogance," Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Maliki said in a statement."

Exactly, right.  An aggressively stupid move by the Trump nazi and his henchmen.  Guaranties there will be no peace any time soon in the region.

"A U.S. official told NPR that at least one dissent cable opposing the consulate closure had been sent to senior officials in Washington. The official was unauthorized to speak to the media about the internal diplomatic matter, and spoke on condition of anonymity. State Department officers use the practice of sending dissent cables in rare cases to discreetly protest major policy decisions. Since the mid-1990s, the Consulate General has served as the U.S. diplomatic mission dealing directly with the Palestinian leadership, while the embassy has worked closely with Israel. U.S. officials viewed the dynamic as providing diplomatic symmetry amid Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts. "Historically the position of Washington has been, the two should not be merged," said Ed Abington, a former U.S. consul general in Jerusalem. "Now they're merged. The effect on our ability to deal with the Palestinians is being greatly damaged."

Intentionally, by the Trump nazi and his equally clueless henchmen.  Sadly, tragically, the U.S. will grow to regret this.  Will only exacerbate an impossible situation made worse by the jackass in the Oval Office.

"The mission merger is the latest contentious U.S. step regarding the Palestinians. Last year, the U.S. moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, endorsing Israel's claims to the city but enraging Palestinians who also have claims there and drawing international criticism. Palestinian authorities cut off ties with U.S. officials in protest. Then the U.S. closed the Palestinians' diplomatic office in Washington and cut hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian and development aid for Palestinians. Lara Friedman, a former U.S. foreign service officer in Jerusalem and president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, called the consulate closure "a massive shift" in U.S. policy. "At this point we are saying to the Palestinians and the world — we do not see the Palestinians as a people to engage directly. They are now a minority and a subset to our relationship with Israel," said Friedman, who is not related to the ambassador."

Outrageous.  Particularly so, since the Palestinians were NOT consulted when Europe, the United States, and the United Nations chose to bequeath Palestine to survivors of the Holocaust in 1948.  Triggering war after war in the region, birth of modern terrorism.

"Israel's Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the consulate closure. But Zalman Shoval, a former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., called it positive. "I would have no objections for the U.S. to have a consulate in Ramallah, for instance, for the Palestinians," Shoval said, referring to the West Bank city where the Palestinian Authority is headquartered. "But to have a separate consulate in another part of Jerusalem creates a certain fact of splitting Jerusalem into two parts, something which Israel is opposed to."

Tough shit.  It is Palestinian territory the Israelites lost generations ago due to their excesses.

"Scott Lasensky, former adviser to the U.S. ambassador to Israel under the Obama administration, said there were "gross inefficiencies and convoluted lines of authority" with the consulate general and embassy working separately. But he added that the merger "will be widely perceived as a dismantling of previous U.S. policies that positioned Washington as the lead peace broker and advocate for a two-state solution."

The United States has never, in effect, been a peace broker in the region.  Never.  A ruse.

Get this:

"The consulate closure is subject to a congressional review period, according to U.S. officials, but it is unclear if any Congress members registered any formal objections to the mission merger. House Foreign Affairs Committee staffers did not return NPR's requests for comment. Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy's office said he objected to the move, but his office was not aware of any congressional review process. "It downgrades our diplomatic posture with the Palestinians at a time when the Trump administration is cutting aid and tightening the screws on the Palestinians, and restricting our engagement with them, apparently believing they can be pressured into supporting the White House's yet to be revealed Middle East peace plan. To the contrary, it has only increased the Palestinians' desperation and distrust, widened the gap between us and them, further damaged our credibility as a mediator, and made the prospects for peace more elusive," Leahy's office said in a statement to NPR."

Guaranties increased terrorism.  Aggressive stupidity at its very worst.  Then again, what else can be expected from our nazi fuhrer in the Oval Office and his equally clueless fascist henchmen?

"White House adviser Jared Kushner says the administration will present its still-secret Israeli-Palestinian peace plan after Israeli elections in April."

How the hell is this achingly biased, outrageously fascist Trump family member qualified to force any peace plan on the Palestinians?  How?  The son of a bitch is part of the problem.  Not the solution.

"Aaron David Miller, a former U.S. Mideast negotiator, said the consulate-embassy merger offers a clue about how the Trump administration approaches the question of creating a Palestinian state alongside Israel, which was longtime U.S. policy. "The administration seems to view Israel-Palestine as more or less one and the same," Miller said, "and that they're thinking not of a two-state solution but something along the lines of a Palestinian state-minus."

Delusionally short-sighted.  Guaranties there will be, cannot be, peace in the Middle East.  Certainly, no time soon.  Indeed, a step backwards.  Aggressive stupidity at its very worst.

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-8-19

Netanyahu may finally be getting his.  The Washington Post reports:

"As Israelis digested the charges of fraud, bribery and breach of trust leveled against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the question on the minds of many Friday was whether it may spell the beginning of the end for Israel’s long-serving leader. Polls have indicated that although Netanyahu will be hurt by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit’s decision to indict him, pending a hearing in which he can present his defense, the prime minister still has a fighting chance of being reelected on April 9, when the country votes in legislative elections. However, calls for him to stand down have sharpened. Netanyahu has shown no sign of being prepared to do so voluntarily."

Sounds like the Trump nazi, doesn't it?  LOL.

"In a televised speech Thursday evening, after news of Mandelblit’s decision emerged, Netanyahu made an embattled vow to “continue serving you and the state for many years.”

Jesus Christ.  Like the narcissist Trump nazi, remains a master serving himself.

"He told the public not to let a “witch hunt” by bureaucrats, commentators and reporters cause confusion and promised that the “house of cards” built around three corruption cases against him would soon come tumbling down."

Sound familiar?  Where have we heard this before?  Where?

“Do not believe the spin,” he said. “I intend to serve you for many years. It all depends on you and not on the officials or the TV studios.”

Jesus Christ.  Give me a break.  Sounds like Trump reincarnated, doesn't it?  LOL.  Forget?  This bastard serves himself.

"For Netanyahu, now that Mandelblit's letter outlining the charges against him has been sent to his legal team, a date will be set for a hearing so the accused can rebut the allegations. Netanyahu's lawyers told Israeli networks Thursday that they have witnesses and documents that would prove his innocence in all three criminal cases. In a televised speech following Netanyahu’s address on Thursday night, main political challenger Benny Gantz said it was impossible for Netanyahu to continue to govern. The former army chief of staff, whose newly formed Blue and White Party is polling neck and neck with Netanyahu’s ruling Likud faction, called on him to step down. “Benjamin Netanyahu, I turn to you this evening — wake up, think about the national responsibility and resign,” said Gantz. “If and when you prove your innocence, you can return to the public arena with your head held high.”

Think Trump, should he lose the election, would voluntarily leave office?

“This is a sad day for the State of Israel,” said Yair Lapid, who merged his Yesh Atid (There is a Future) party with Gantz’s last week. “Netanyahu cannot continue to serve as prime minister. He knows that. He knows that better than anyone.” Indeed, when he was leader of the opposition and his rival Olmert was indicted, Netanyahu argued that the prime minister should step aside because he would be too distracted by the legal case to govern."

Same kind of contradictory, achingly hypocritical double talk we constantly hear from the Trump nazi.  ... Partners in crime, -- so to speak?  LOL.

Report goes on and on in great detail.  Be interesting to see how the Israelis resolve this.  To say nothing of how we, as Americans, resolve the Trump nazi catastrophe.  What webs we weave.

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-8-19

Think the following can't, won't happen in our formerly great country?  Should Republican national socialists, fascists, bona fide nazis ultimately be successful?  That is, in their outrageously perverse attempt to dictate what someone can and cannot do with HER uterus?  Wake upThe Washington Post reports:

"An 11-year-old rape victim gave birth in Argentina on Tuesday after she was apparently denied an abortion by authorities, infuriating women’s rights advocates in the country who have fought to legalize the procedure. The girl, referred to as “Lucia” to protect her identity, underwent a Caesarean section Tuesday in the 23rd week of her pregnancy, the Guardian reports. Lucia, whose baby is not expected to survive, had previously begged officials to “remove what the old man put inside me.”

Wake up.  Gets worse:

"That man is the 65-year-old partner of Lucia’s grandmother — who took custody of Lucia and her siblings in 2015, after her two older sisters were reportedly abused by their mother’s partner, the Guardian reported. Lucia attempted to commit suicide twice upon learning of her pregnancy Jan. 23. She was hospitalized and later placed in state care as a result of apparent self-inflicted lesions, the outlet said."

This, what you goddamned Republican nazis want here?  Where are the Democrats?  Why are they allowing these fascist bastards to eviscerate abortion rights?  Freedom?  What's that?  'Liberty' to do what you're told?  What the nazi element in our formerly great country dictates?

"The birth of Lucia’s child Tuesday was widely condemned by women’s rights activists in the country, who say Lucia and her mother repeatedly asked for her to have an abortion — a request that was delayed by nearly five weeks, according to the BBC. Debate over who the girl’s guardian was complicated the planned abortion, and several doctors refused to perform the procedure because of their personal beliefs, the outlet said."

Why haven't their licenses to practice medicine been revoked?  A license to practice medicine is not a right.  It's a privilege.  Can't provide a desperately needed medical procedure?  Then, get the hell out of the profession.  You have no business being there.

"As The Washington Post has reported, Argentine law allows abortion in instances of rape, when the mother is mentally disabled or if there is a serious risk to her health. In any other instance, a woman could be imprisoned for up to four years for undergoing the procedure."

Raw nazism.  Are you Republican national socialists, fascists, nazis aware abortion was illegal in both Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy?

"In Lucia’s case, officials ordered a hospital director to “continue with procedures necessary to attempt to save both lives” — a mantra also used by antiabortion advocates — citing a decision made by a family judge, according to the BBC. That court has since indicated it gave no instruction to save two lives. Moreover, the Guardian reports, a doctor warned in court that Lucia faced “high obstetric risk” if her pregnancy was allowed to continue."

NOT YOUR UTERUS.  Belongs to her.  Who the hell are you fascist bastards to dictate to her what she can and cannot do with HER uterus?

"A doctor who performed the procedure said she managed to save Lucia’s life after the girl had been “tortured for a month by the provincial health system.” “For electoral reasons they [the authorities] prevented the legal interruption of the pregnancy and forced the little girl to give birth,” Cecilia Ousset told reporters, according to the Guardian. “My legs trembled when I saw her, it was like seeing my younger daughter. The little girl didn’t understand completely what was going to happen.” Women’s rights advocates agreed with Ousset’s assertion that Juan Manzur, governor of Tucuman, used Lucia to push his political agenda. Journalist and self-described feminist activist Mariana Carbajal wrote in a tweet that Tucuman had treated Lucia “like a receptacle, like an incubator,” according to the Guardian."

Precisely, what Republican nazis are attempting to impose right here, right now, in our formerly great country.  If there is no reproductive freedom, there is no freedom at all.  Reproductive freedom is far more than a woman keeping her panties up, legs crossed; a man keeping it in his pants.

"Soledad Deza, of the Women for Women Association, reminded news outlets that Lucia’s abortion would have been legal, considering health risks and the fact she was sexually abused, the Guardian reports. She likened the girl’s experience to “the worst type of cruelty.”

What it is is raw nazism.

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-8-19

Another sad day in our formerly great country.  Particularly so, since it appears an owner of an NFL franchise may have inadvertently supported human trafficking.  NBC News reports:

"New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has pleaded not guilty to charges of soliciting prostitution at a Florida massage parlor, court documents show. Kraft, 77, was charged earlier this week with two counts of soliciting a prostitute in connection with his allegedly paying the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida, for a sex act on two separate occasions in January, prosecutors said. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in state Circuit Court in Palm Beach County, Florida, a court filing shows. His attorney, Jack Goldberger, requested a nonjury trial for the billionaire, the court document shows."

Fascinating, isn't it?  What are his plans?  Buy the judge?

"Kraft was arrested Friday on the accusation that he paid for a sex act at the spa once on Jan. 19 and again on the morning of the 20th, hours before the Patriots won the AFC Championship that sent them to the Super Bowl, according to court documents. Investigators allege Kraft was seen on surveillance video with a spa worker on both days. The powerful NFL team owner was one of at least 25 people arrested on allegations of soliciting prostitution at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa, one of several spas investigated by authorities in a monthslong human-trafficking probe, police said."

Has been alleged  the workers at this spa are victims of human trafficking.  No more than sex slaves.

"Kraft is not alleged to be involved in human trafficking, and he has denied engaging in illegal activity. "We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity," a spokesperson for Kraft said in a statement Friday. "Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further."

Police claim they have video.

"The NFL said in a statement Monday that owners as well as players are subject to the league's personal conduct policy. "We will handle this allegation in the same way we would handle any issue under the policy. We are seeking a full understanding of the facts, while ensuring that we do not interfere with an ongoing law enforcement investigation," the statement read. "We will take appropriate action as warranted based on the facts." Kraft faces up to one year in prison if convicted on the charges, as well as a $5,000 fine, 100 hours of community service and mandatory attendance at a class on the dangers of prostitution and human trafficking. Kraft is scheduled to be arraigned on March 27."

If you're indeed a horny, elderly billionaire, why reportedly try to do it on the cheap?  Courtesy of what appears to be slave labor?

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-8-19

Think the following isn't criminal?  NBC News reports:

"The former head of sales for an opioid manufacturer took the stand in federal court here Friday to describe how he followed directions to recruit and bribe doctors for years to increase sales of the company's highly addictive drug. The testimony of Alec Burlakoff, the former vice president of sales for Insys Therapeutics, closed the fifth week of a trial of five former company executives. The group was charged with multiple conspiracies in October 2017, including racketeering, kickbacks and fraud, along with two other former executives who pleaded guilty and have become cooperating witnesses. The first cooperating witness, former CEO Michael Babich, testified last month. Burlakoff is the second. Their testimony against their former colleagues is part of a mountain of evidence prosecutors are bringing to build a groundbreaking case to hold pharmaceutical executives accountable. It is the first federal trial involving executives of an opioid manufacturing company, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for Massachusetts, which is prosecuting the case. Expected to last around three months, the first five weeks have already included a series of revelations about the company's conduct. The former executives, including founder and former billionaire John Kapoor, were accused of defrauding insurance companies and bribing doctors to prescribe a highly addictive fentanyl-based pain drug when it wasn't needed."

Report goes on and on.  Sad, isn't it?  ... Think we haven't lost ourselves?

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-8-19

Voter suppression.  NPR reports:

"A federal judge in Texas ruled that state officials "created a mess" when they questioned the citizenship of about 98,000 voters and mistakenly concluded that many of those voters were not eligible to cast ballots. The sharply written ruling by U.S. District Judge Fred Biery of San Antonio ordered Texas officials to halt the removal of any registered voter from state voter rolls. "The evidence has shown in a hearing before this Court that there is no widespread voter fraud," Biery wrote. In late January, Texas Secretary of State David Whitley issued an "advisory on voter registration list maintenance activity." He claimed that nearly 95,000 noncitizens were registered to vote and said that about 58,000 had voted in one or more Texas elections. Whitley also said going forward his office would cross-reference data from the state Department of Public Safety and voter registration rolls. If a noncitizen is discovered, local county officials will be notified. He also said that the suspect voters would be contacted and told that their registration status was under review."

There was strong opposition:

"Whitley's action was met with immediate opposition. Civil rights groups said the list was largely made up of naturalized citizens who had applied for driver's licenses or state IDs when they were still legal permanent residents. As Ashley Lopez of member station KUT in Austin reported, state officials were forced to step back from their claim of possible fraud. In a hearing Monday, Keith Ingram, director of elections in the Texas Secretary of State's Office testified that more than 25,000 people on the list are in fact citizens. In his ruling, Judge Biery said that the search for illegal voters "appears to be a solution looking for a problem." "Notwithstanding good intentions, the road to a solution was inherently paved with flawed results, meaning perfectly legal naturalized Americans were burdened with what the Court finds to be ham-handed and threatening correspondence from the state which did not politely ask for information but rather exemplifies the power of government to strike fear and anxiety and to intimidate the least powerful among us," the judge wrote."

Our national socialist, fascist, nazi Attorney General would have none of it:

"Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, in a statement, said the federal judge was "improperly assuming control" over the state's voting system. "While we appreciate the court's acknowledgment that the Secretary of State took his actions in good faith, no state official violated any applicable law and there is no need for a federal court takeover of state activities," Paxton wrote. "We are weighing our options to address this ruling and to continue making our case that ineligible voters should not vote and counties are free to continue to follow the law and keep their voter rolls clean."

Wake up, Mr. Paxton.  You continue to disgrace yourself and the state you supposedly serve.  What ever happened to those charges pending on you, sir?

"Biery ruled that Texas county election officials may still investigate whether a registered voter is not a citizen, but they may not contact them directly through notices. Civil rights groups applauded the ruling. "Today's court order plainly indicates that the state of Texas must clean up its act," said Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund in a statement. "Over-the-top pronouncements of widespread voter fraud without a shred of evidence only serve to broadly deter voter participation. Sending ominous letters to intimidate individual voters based on information known to be incomplete and faulty directly threatens democracy."

Indeed.

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-8-19

Think Wells Fargo will ever clean up its act?  Even capable of doing so?  CBS News reports:

"Insurers for Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan, former chief executive John Stumpf and 18 others will fork over $240 million to shareholders over the scandal involving the creation of millions of phony accounts."

Why the f--k aren't these thieves in prison?

"Subject to court approval, the settlement resolves suits accusing current and former directors and officers of breaching their fiduciary duty for "their alleged failure to detect and prevent sales practices issues," Wells Fargo stated in a regulatory filing on Wednesday. The officials denied wrongdoing. Lawyers for shareholders who sued on behalf of the bank called the agreement the largest insurer-funded cash settlement in a U.S. shareholder derivative lawsuit, according to Reuters. The accord is higher than the $139 million paid by News Corp. in 2013 over how it dealt with a phone hacking scandal in Britain, the wire service noted."

Their sorry, thieving asses belong in prison.  Why weren't they criminally prosecuted?

"The San Francisco bank has been plagued by investigations into its sales practices since Wells in September 2016 agreed to pay nearly $200 million to settle government claims it defrauded millions of consumers by creating accounts in their names without their knowledge. The public outcry over the bank's handling of the scandal paved Stumpf's exit. Wells then faced subsequent bad press as other consumer abuses emerged dealing with its mortgage lending and auto insurance businesses. A Wells Fargo spokesperson said the bank would have no further comment beyond its filing, which stated the bank might face up to $2.7 billion more than anticipated as of Dec. 31 to settle legal issues."

A criminal culture.  ... Right, Amanda?

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-8-19

States suing Trump over abortion rule.  CBS News reports:

"California and 20 other Democratic-led states announced they were challenging the Trump administration's effort to set up obstacles for women seeking abortions, including barring taxpayer-funded family planning clinics from referring patients to abortion providers. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Monday that the state filed its own federal lawsuit in San Francisco that aims to block a new family planning rule from the U.S. Health and Human Services Department. Opponents of the rule say it would shift millions of dollars from Planned Parenthood to faith-based family planning organizations. Twenty states and Washington, D.C., said they would sue separately Tuesday. The states are: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin. Washington's Democratic attorney general also previously said the state would challenge the rule."

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-8-19

Nothing quite like hypocrisy, is there?  Get this.  It's laughable.  The Washington Post reports:

"2011, days after Donald Trump challenged President Barack Obama to “show his records” to prove that he hadn’t been a “terrible student,” the headmaster at New York Military Academy got an order from his boss: Find Trump’s academic records and help bury them. The superintendent of the private school “came to me in a panic because he had been accosted by prominent, wealthy alumni of the school who were Mr. Trump’s friends” and who wanted to keep his records secret, recalled Evan Jones, the headmaster at the time. “He said, ‘You need to go grab that record and deliver it to me because I need to deliver it to them.’ ” The superintendent, Jeffrey Coverdale, confirmed Monday that members of the school’s board of trustees initially wanted him to hand over Trump’s records to them, but Coverdale said he refused. “I was given directives, part of which I could follow but part of which I could not, and that was handing them over to the trustees,” he said. “I moved them elsewhere on campus where they could not be released. It’s the only time I ever moved an alumnus’s records.”

Jesus Christ.  Give me a break.  LOL.

"The former NYMA officials’ recollections add new details to one of the allegations that Michael Cohen, the president’s longtime personal lawyer and fixer, made before Congress last week. Cohen, who told the House Oversight and Reform Committee that part of his job was to attack Trump’s critics and defend his reputation, said that Trump ordered him “to threaten his high school, his colleges and the College Board to never release his grades or SAT scores.” Trump has frequently boasted that he was a stellar student, but he declined throughout the 2016 campaign to release any of his academic records, telling The Washington Post then, “I’m not letting you look at anything.”

Wonder why???  LOL.

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-1-19

Highly reminiscent of our outrageously bought and paid for judiciary, Llano County prosecutors, Sheriff Bill Blackburn and his criminal SS jackbooted bastards in black who continue to egregiously disgrace themselves and the badge, do as they please regardless of the law and Constitution, carefully consider the following.  It's appalling.  Runs against the grain of everything our formerly great country once stood for.  No longer.

The following is pitiful.  Gross injustice to our best and brightest.  -- Courtesy of the Trump nazi and his henchmen.  NBC News reports:

"The American Civil Liberties Union released records Monday that it says show a police officer racially profiling a U.S. citizen and Marine veteran who was detained for deportation and mocking his disability. Jilmar Ramos-Gomez, a former Marine who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, was held for three days in an immigration facility in Michigan in December for possible deportation until his attorney intervened, according to the ACLU. He was born in Michigan. The ACLU said in a statement that the documents it released show Grand Rapids police Capt. Curt VanderKooi “racially profiling” and mocking Ramos-Gomez in his interactions with Immigration and Customs Enforcement."

Goddamned f--king racist jackbooted nazi.  Piece of human excrement.  ... Right, Sheriff?

“Here is an officer who sees someone who is Latino, who has a Latino sounding name, and contacts ICE,” Miriam Aukerman, senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Michigan, told NBC News."

'Best' in law enforcement, right, Sheriff?

"Ramos-Gomez was arrested on Nov. 21 after he allegedly set a small fire, pulled an alarm and trespassed on a heliport at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, according to police. A timeline of events provided by the ACLU said that Ramos-Gomez’s U.S. passport was in his bag at the time he was arrested. "They took a photograph of his passport when they logged his property into evidence. They knew he was a U.S. citizen," Auckerman said. Police later interviewed Ramos-Gomez and realized “he has mental health issues,” according to the timeline. Midmorning on Nov. 21, a police sergeant sent a text to an FBI agent saying the case involves a “Vet, PTSD, But not a FBI issue,” according to the timeline and an image of the message included in the ACLU’s statement. Later that evening, VanderKooi watched a news report about the arrest and emailed Derek Klifman, an ICE officer, according to the timeline and the documents. “Could you please check his status?” the email began."

Unf--king believable, right, Sheriff?  An American citizen.  Born here.  Combat veteran suffering PTSD.

Gets worse:

"A separate ICE officer emailed VanderKooi on Nov. 23 and said he interviewed Ramos-Gomez and determined “he is a foreign national illegally in the U.S.,” according to the documents. The ICE officer said Ramos-Gomez would be brought into custody when he was released from his criminal case. ICE has said in a statement that Ramos-Gomez claimed he was in the U.S. illegally during the interview and lodged a detention request with police based on his statements. Vanderkooi emailed back on Nov. 26 with the subject line “Spectrum Helicopter Pad Loco,” using the Spanish word for crazy. “It is not clear what mad intent was involved in this breach of hospital security but here is the report,” the email said, according to the documents. Another police officer forwarded that message to a prosecutor, who responded: “I am confused. Didn’t his property have a U.S. Passport in it? And he was a veteran?!” “Who knows, not sure it was a US passport. … I am not sure about the vet thing,” the officer responded."

Unf--king believable.

"Ramos-Gomez pleaded guilty to trespassing and was released on his own recognizance on Dec. 14, according to the ACLU. He was then taken into ICE custody, where he was held until Dec. 17 when his family’s attorney intervened, according to the ACLU. ICE said it reviewed documents provided by the lawyer suggesting Ramos-Gomez was a citizen and authorized his release. Auckerman said VanderKooi's mocking of the veteran showed "disrespect for our men and women in uniform as well as for people with disabilities."

Goddamned right.  Our formerly great country has clearly lost itself.

"The Grand Rapids Police Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment. In a statement Friday, police said the officer who contacted ICE “did so solely on the nature" of Ramos-Gomez's actions."

Clearly, too stupid to be an officer.  ... Right, Sheriff?

"Contacting ICE is not a routine part of our investigative process. Rather, we did this in light of the potential risk to the public’s safety, specifically through a possible act of terrorism," Interim Police Chief David Kiddle said in the statement. Kiddle added the investigation determined the officer used “unprofessional language” in his interactions with ICE, which was addressed with the officer."

Jesus Christ.  The goddamned Interim Chief is just as stupid.  How does an hopelessly ignorant asshole like this become Interim Chief?  How?  How does that happen?

"Aukerman said the response shows "police can't police themselves." "What you see is even when you have blatant discrimination, blatant racial profiling, the officer involved is not held accountable," she said."

Our formerly great country is hopelessly lost.  ... Right, Sheriff?

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-1-19

The following is appalling if true.  A great disservice to the LGBTQ community, people of color, as well as all Americans.  Especially, at a time our formerly great country is coming apart at the seams.  CBS News reports:

"Chicago's top police officer expressed anger and frustration Thursday over what he called Jussie Smollett's "shameful" attempt to fabricate a hate crime for a "publicity stunt." "When we discovered the actual motive, quite frankly, it pissed everybody off," said Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. He said police were treating Smollett like a victim until then. Smollett's story that he was attacked January 29 by masked assailants who yelled racial and homophobic slurs, poured bleach on him and hung a rope around his neck unraveled when two of Smollett's acquaintances, brothers Ola and Abel Osundairo, told investigators the actor paid them $3,500 to stage the attack, said Johnson. Johnson said Smollett, 36, choreographed the attack because he was dissatisfied with his salary. He castigated Smollett for putting the national spotlight on Chicago for something "that is both egregious and untrue," and said bogus police reports harm legitimate victims by wasting valuable police resources."

Not only that, makes it far more difficult for the LGBTQ community, people of color, to say nothing of the rest of the community truly victimized by out of control law enforcement. Won't be believed.

"The "Empire" actor turned himself in on a felony count of filing a false police report. He appeared in court Thursday afternoon where a judge set his bond at $100,000 and ordered him to turn in his passport. Smollett soon walked out of jail after posting the necessary $10,000 and headed to a black SUV as a horde of reporters swarmed the area. He went to the "Empire" set later in the day, 20th Century Fox confirmed to CBS News late Thursday. Johnson said Smollett hasn't made any statement to police since his arrest."

No matter what, this man is entitled to his day in court, presumption of innocence until convicted.

"His legal team, which now includes famed criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos, defended him in a statement after he was charged Wednesday night. "Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked," the statement said. "Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense." According to The Associated Press, Smollett's lawyers said Johnson's detailing investigators' findings about the alleged attack amounted to an "organized law enforcement spectacle," and said they had no place in the American legal system. The statement described Smollett as a man of "impeccable character and integrity" who fiercely and solemnly maintains his innocence."

Has every right to presumption of innocence, vigorous legal defense, and his day in court.

"Johnson gave credit to his detectives for a "patient and deliberate" investigation that he said began with giving Smollett the benefit of the doubt and eventually uncovered the truth after weeks of combing through video evidence and following up on leads. He called Smollett a "troubled young man who resorted to both drastic and illegal actions." "I'm offended by what's happened, and I'm also angry," Johnson said. "I love the city of the Chicago and the Chicago Police Department, warts and all. But this publicity stunt was a scar Chicago didn't earn and certainly didn't deserve."

Chicago's top cop goes on and on.  Certainly, expresses profound frustration.  May turn out to be a mistake, however.  Could be construed and used by the defense as an attempt to unduly influence the jury pool.

"Johnson said Thursday he spoke not only as the police superintendent, but as a black man who grew up in Chicago and understands the city's racial divide. He said Smollett "took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career" and said he was baffled as to why anyone, especially an African-American man, "would use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations." "How could someone look at the hatred and suffering associated with that symbol and see an opportunity to manipulate that symbol to further his own public profile?" Johnson said. "How could this individual who has been embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in this city in the face by making these false claims?"

Think there isn't indeed a serious systemic problem in Chicago law enforcement as well as throughout the country?  NPR reports:

"When a fellow officer dies, Chicago police wear black bands around their badges as a sign of mourning. At least five Chicago officers have taken their own lives since July."

Think that isn't a serious problem?  Indicative of massive systemic failure within law enforcement?  This remains of great public concern because we as a society cannot live without law enforcement.  Someone has to haul in the criminal element, hold them accountable.  The problem occurs when law enforcement becomes the criminal element.  Does so on a massive scale.  As we are now experiencing throughout our formerly great country.

The increasing number of officer suicides is certainly indicative of a growing cancer within law enforcement.  The following is an extremely tragic example of this:

"In September 2017, Chicago Police Officer Regine Perpignan was hospitalized for depression, relatives said. Perpignan was a 26-year veteran of the department. She was 54, with two daughters and a granddaughter. Her brother and sister-in-law said Perpignan got counseling through the department and was taken off the street while she was getting help. Perpignan's sister-in-law Rochelle Perpignan said Regine went back to policing near the end of 2017. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi would not confirm the timeline. "They put her back on duty too fast," her brother, Roland Perpignan, said. "Someone who's been having mental issues and you know is not well should not be going back to duty ... and given a gun." In September 2018, in the parking lot of the Calumet District police station on the far South Side, before she was scheduled to begin her workday, Perpignan killed herself, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. She used her service revolver. "To think how much she must have been suffering to get to that point," Roland Perpignan said. "You know you gotta be suffering a lot and be in a lot of pain to [think that's the only way out]."

That's right.  No question.  We have to do something about this.  It's unacceptable.

"Perpignan was one of at least five Chicago police officers to kill themselves since July. What's more, she was one of three officers to do so while on duty or on police property, an exceedingly rare occurrence, according to experts. The police department is unable to provide historic numbers on officer suicides, said Guglielmi, the police spokesman. But the U.S. Department of Justice found that between 2013 and 2015, CPD had a suicide rate up to 60 percent higher than the national average for law enforcement officers. Those numbers are spurring action by officers, police officials and mental health experts. They said the suicides are a sign of deeper problems with the mental health and well-being of Chicago police officers."

Moreover, there is a reason why police suicides are increasing across the country.  Much of it has to do with what this publication and others have been covering for decades.  Abusive law enforcement.  Yet, there is no change.  Certainly, no meaningful change.  Precisely, why this problem will grow worse before things improve.

"If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting 741741."

Don't put it off.

"The U.S. Department of Justice and other experts say addressing those issues is also essential to the success of mandated police reform in the city and to a better relationship between police and community members."

It's a question of which came first.  Chicken or the egg.  After years of covering this issue, strongly suspect egregious abuse of authority, unnecessary violence including needless killing while on and off duty has contributed to the increase of mental health issues within the police community.  The public reacts to this negatively.  Can't, won't trust law enforcement.  For damned good reason.

"Police department leaders said they're taking big steps to address the issue, but former officers and some mental health professionals are asking whether the city is doing enough, and whether it's focused on the right problems."

That's right.  Good place to start?  Clean up your act.  When you're getting your cookies off harassing the innocent, killing and/or beating the living shit out of both the guilty and innocent for no valid reason, otherwise abusing authority to exert power for the sake of exerting power, guess what?  You've got mental health issues.

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-1-19

The carnage has begun. The Washington Post reports:

"Venezuelan soldiers opened fire on a group of civilians attempting to keep open a segment of the southern border with Brazil for deliveries of humanitarian aid, causing multiple injuries and the first fatalities of a massive opposition operation meant to deliver international relief to this devastated South American country, according to eyewitnesses and community leaders.  At 6:30 a.m. on Friday, a military convoy approached a checkpoint set up by an indigenous community in the southern village of Kumarakapay, on the main artery linking Venezuela to Brazil. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on Thursday ordered the closure of Venezuela’s border with Brazil. When the volunteers sought to block the military vehicles by standing in front of them, soldiers began firing assault rifles. At least two people were killed and a dozen wounded, at least three of them seriously. The dead were named as a woman, Zorayda Rodriguez, 42, and a man, Rolando Garcia."

Sadly, the chickens are finally coming home to roost.  While the situation in Venezuela is extremely complicated, the United States bears responsibility for profound and growing unrest in Central and South America.  Has intervened for decades.

"The Trump administration, which opposes Maduro, promptly denounced the shooting. “The United States condemns the killings, attacks, and the hundreds of arbitrary detentions that have taken place in Venezuela,” a State Department spokesman said. “We stand with the victims’ families in demanding justice and accountability.”

People in the Center and Left in our formerly great country are demanding the same here in Nazi America, Mr. 'President.'  Law enforcement remains out of control.  Conditions in our jails and prisons are unacceptable.  To say nothing of how you and your henchmen are treating those seeking asylum, sir.

"In tweets, opposition leader Juan Guaidó — who was en route to the Colombian border — said: “In the community of Kumarakapay, 2 soldiers shot against Pemones that were at a checkpoint. The result of this crime is 12 people wounded and one dead. Our solidarity is with them. It will not go unpunished.” In a separate tweet, he added, “To soldiers: between today and tomorrow you will define how to be remembered. We know you are with the people, you have made it clear to us. Tomorrow you can demonstrate it.” At least 30 neighbors took to the streets following the shootings, kidnapping three soldiers, according to Carmen Elena Silva, 48, who had joined the roadblock, and George Bello, a spokesman for the indigenous community. “The majority of the people support the entrance of humanitarian aid, and we want to keep our border open,” Silva said. “This is help, not war. ... Every day more children die.” Jorge Perez, a local councilman in Gran Sabana, the district in which the town is located, said he was present when the soldiers opened fire. “I ask the armed forces, is it constitutional for them to fire against unarmed indigenous people?” he said. “Is it constitutional to kill indigenous people?”

NPR reports:

"When President Trump spoke in Florida this week, he issued a stern warning about Venezuela: Members of the armed forces who continue to support President Nicolás Maduro "will find no safe harbor, no easy exit and no way out," he said. "You will lose everything." The White House says it wants a peaceful, multilateral approach to removing Maduro, but all options are on the table — suggesting the possibility of military involvement. Tensions between Maduro and the movement to unseat him are expected to come to a head this weekend, as members of Venezuela's U.S.-backed opposition push to carry into the country tons of humanitarian aid and medicine that Maduro's security forces have blocked. U.S. officials have repeatedly threatened Venezuelan forces who stand in the way and have described the aid as part of a strategy to compel the military to "disobey orders."

Here's the problem:

"But even for some of Maduro's enemies, Washington's efforts to oust the Venezuelan leader raise concern because of the history of U.S. intervention in the region. It is "a long history that starts in Mexico," says Enrique Krauze, a noted Mexican historian. The Mexican-American War, the brutal two-year conflict in the mid-19th century, ended with Mexico losing — or as Krauze says, being robbed of — half its territory. "It would be hard to name a country where the United States didn't have an intervention," he emphasizes. The United States participated, directly or indirectly, in Latin American regime change more than 40 times in the last century, according to historian John Coatsworth. That figure doesn't include a number of failed missions like the 1961 Bay of Pigs assault in Cuba. Some of the more stinging U.S. moves included its roles in ousting democratically elected governments in Guatemala in 1954, in Brazil a decade later and in Chile in 1973. Chilean President Salvador Allende was deposed in a violent coup by CIA-backed opponents, and the U.S. government long supported his replacement, the dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet."

Wake up.  Raw imperialism by what is ostensibly supposed to be a democratic republic, but no longer.  In name only.

"In addition to covert support for insurgencies, the U.S. has invaded its southern neighbors numerous times. For instance, the U.S. launched invasions of the Dominican Republic (1916), Grenada (1983) and Panama (1989). The motives were varied and are often still debated. Writing in Harvard University's ReVista magazine, Coatsworth says, "two factors seem to have been crucial in tipping decision makers toward intervention: domestic politics and global strategy." Much of the interference occurred while America was competing against the Soviet Union for influence around the world, even as U.S. leaders sought to shore up political support at home. One bloody chapter that recently re-entered debate is the U.S. government's roles in Central America's civil wars in the 1980s, including support for death squads in El Salvador and Contra guerrillas in Nicaragua. The Trump administration's special envoy for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, was convicted of withholding information about the Iran-Contra scandal from Congress but later received a pardon from President George H.W. Bush. This month, Congress members grilled Abrams and questioned whether he would speak truthfully. In 2002, the U.S. government allegedly had prior knowledge of an abortive coup against Venezuela's then president, Hugo Chávez, although President George W. Bush's administration denied any involvement. Abrams was a senior White House official at that time as well."

A sordid history.  Rife with duplicity.

"The United States is playing a difficult balancing act. It cannot be seen as leading the charge in Venezuela, says John Feeley, who resigned as U.S. ambassador to Panama last year, later citing differences with Trump. "Precisely the history of U.S. intervention in Latin America is such that it always seems to engender a worse backlash than the original issue that mattered to American interests," he says.

"Yet, with speeches like the one in Miami, Trump was working to "Americanize the crisis," according to Greg Weeks, a University of North Carolina professor who edits the journal The Latin Americanist. "The more you Americanize the situation, the worse the eventual result for the average Venezuelan," he wrote on his blog on Tuesday. "It badly undermines whatever government comes next and increases the chances of armed insurrection." With Trump campaigning for re-election, Weeks assessed from the speech that U.S. domestic politics are a strong force behind the president's push to oust Maduro."

On Saturday, 2-23-19, The Washington Post reports:

"The first truck with international aid relief has entered Venezuela from the south, via the Brazilian border, according to Miguel Pizarro, coordinator of the opposition’s aid operation. Brazil was the site of a clash between opposition supporters and Venezuelan soldiers on Friday that left two civilians dead.

"Opposition leader Juan Guaidó and Colombian President Iván Duque spoke to the press from the Tienditas bridge — one of several bridges connecting Colombia to Venezuela. Trucks carrying humanitarian aid inched toward one bridge while protesters on foot tried to form a human chain on another in a bid to move the aid across. “While we are here trying to bring tons of aid, some are trying to block us using generalized violence,” Guaidó said. “To the military, stand on the right side of history.” Thousands of opposition supporters had amassed at the Tienditas bridge waving Venezuelan flags and clutching white roses.

"Violent skirmishes were ongoing in the Venezuelan town of Ureña on the Colombian border, where civilians were engaging in running battles with tear-gas wielding border guards. A group of opposition supporters stormed a school and chased out pro-government supporters who were holed up there overnight. The opposition shouted “traitors!” at the fleeing loyalists.

"Border guards who turned against President Nicolás Maduro rammed barricades at the Simón Bolívar bridge. Afterward, four Venezuelan military men defected. The opposition planned to use the bridge as one artery for getting U.S. and other foreign aid from Colombia into Venezuela. Opposition leader Juan Guaidó was in meetings nearby, on the Colombian side of the border, where 14 trucks loaded with aid were awaiting orders to try to move across the border and challenge Maduro’s blockade.

"In Santa Elena de Guairen on Venezuela’s frontier with Brazil, four people died from bullet wounds on Saturday after irregular pro-government militias known as colectivos opened fire. The violence also left 24 injured, according to Foro Penal, a legal non-profit group that tracks violence in Venezuela. “We’ve been told colectivos shot at people at the border and the situation is grave,” said the group’s director, Alfredo Romero, who said the organization had a team on the ground.

"Maduro declared that he is breaking diplomatic relations with Colombia, which has called for his ouster and thrown its support to Guaidó. Maduro ordered Colombian diplomats to leave Caracas within 24 hours.

"The sound of rapid gunfire echoed near the Simón Bolívar bridge, where Venezuelan authorities also shot volleys of tear gas. Medics near the bridge were treating dozens of people from tear gas inhalation and the stampede that retreated when canisters were fired. Sporadic gunfire could be heard in other zones near the western border. Opposition leaders on the Brazilian border also reported the live fire by security forces."

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-1-19

Another egregious violation of the First Amendment Establishment Clause by the Trump nazi and his henchmen. The Washington Post reports:

"The Trump administration took aim Friday at Planned Parenthood, issuing a rule barring groups that provide abortions or abortion referrals from participating in the $286 million federal family planning program — a move that is expected to redirect millions from the women’s health provider to faith-based groups."

Clear, determined, concerted violation of the Establishment Clause, that is, freedom from religion.  Who the hell are these goddamned nazis to force their outrageously perverse ideological and religious views on the rest of us?

"Under the long-expected change, federally funded family planning clinics can no longer refer a patient for abortion and must maintain a “clear physical and financial separation” between services funded by the government and any organization that provides abortions or abortion referrals. Recipients of grants under the Title X program, which serves an estimated four million low-income women, were already prohibited from performing abortions with those funds."

Outrageous.  Who the hell are these Republican national socialists, fascists, nazis to impose these perverse religious beliefs on the rest of us?

"Health and Human Services Department officials have said the new requirements, which opponents have vowed to challenge, were necessary to ensure transparency and the legal and ethical use of taxpayer funds."

Unadulterated horse shit.  Raw nazism.

"The changes were celebrated by social conservatives who oppose abortion and helped elect Trump."

These clueless assholes are not 'conservatives.'  They're national socialists, fascists, nazis.

"The move represents “decisive action to disentangle taxpayers from the big abortion industry led by Planned Parenthood,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, an antiabortion group, said in a statement."

Horse shit.  What it is remains no more than a group of nazis determined to force their outrageously perverse ideological  and religious views on the rest of us.

"Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said Planned Parenthood and other abortion centers now have to choose between shuttering their abortion services and moving them if they want to continue to receive federal funds. “Either way, this will loosen the group’s hold on tens of millions of tax dollars,” he said."

You're outrageously perverse religious views are not shared by a majority of Americans.  Who the hell are you and your fellow nazis to force them on the rest of us?

"Critics, including 15 governors and the American Medical Association, decried the change as a “gag rule” that would undermine the physician-patient relationship and threatened legal action to block it from taking effect. They have also described it as an indirect way to defund Planned Parenthood, which has long been a target of antiabortion activists as the nation’s largest provider of reproductive care services, including abortions."

Sue.  Drag their sorry national socialist, fascist, nazi asses into court.

"New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) tweeted that the new rule is “dangerous & unnecessary,” putting millions of Americans at risk, and that the state would take legal action.

"These new rules are dangerous & unnecessary.

New York will not stand by as this administration puts New Yorkers' & millions of Americans at risk.

We will take legal action.

— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) February 22, 2019
Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen called the rule “unconscionable and unethical.”

That's right.  Sue.

“Imagine if the Trump administration prevented doctors from talking to our patients with diabetes about insulin,” she said. “It would never happen. Reproductive health care should be no different." Wen has said the group could not accept funds under the rule because it would compromise its ethical obligations to patients. The women’s health-care provider serves about 41 percent of Title X patients and receives about $60 million from the program."

Report goes on and on.  These goddamned nazis must be challenged in court.  They remain an exigent threat to life, liberty, all civil and constitutional rights and liberties.  Un-American.  Right Wing Fascism.

Fascism, nazism, national socialism defined as the pernicious blend of government, business, and religion. 'Justified' by perversion and bastardization of the latter.

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-1-19

Noose figuratively tightens.  Pressure to release pending Mueller report in its entirety will be ferocious. The Washington Post reports:

"The Justice Department and Democratic lawmakers are bracing for a fight over access to the evidence uncovered by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III during his nearly two-year investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether President Trump obstructed justice. Mueller’s investigation is winding down, according to people familiar with the matter, and Justice Department officials expect to receive a report from him in March. Democrats on Friday demanded that the report be made public."

No question.  Anything less would be considered obstruction, no more than a cover-up.

"The agency’s regulations call for Mueller’s report to be a confidential account of who was charged, as well as who was investigated but not charged. Then, according to the regulations, the attorney general — William P. Barr — will summarize the work for Congress."

Not good enough.  Nowhere near.  Barr is no more than a shill for the Trump nazi.  Has no credibility.  Past statements by this piece of human excrement covered in this publication and elsewhere offer proof positive.

"Lawmakers already are pressing for the Justice Department to turn over any additional underlying investigative documents produced during Mueller’s investigation."

As well they should.  Moreover, the public is entitled to this information.  Forget?  These bastards work for the American people, -- not themselves.

"The task of wresting those materials away from the Justice Department is likely to fall to the House, where Democrats are in the majority. On Friday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) joined the chairs of five other House committees in stressing to Barr, “in the strongest possible terms, our expectation that the Department of Justice will release to the public the report Special Counsel Mueller submits to you — without delay and to the maximum extent permitted by law,” according to a letter lawmakers sent to the attorney general."

No question.  Should go without saying.  Yet, Barr will likely do all he can to protect his lunatic fuhrer, the Trump nazi.  -- If his past remarks are any indication.

"Democrats said they are watching for how quickly Barr delivers his summary to Congress after he receives Mueller’s findings, warning that any delay could be interpreted as a reason to fear that Barr is covering up certain revelations. Democrats also plan to instruct the Justice Department to preserve all records related to Mueller’s probe, telling Barr in their letter that he should be prepared to furnish information upon request “regarding certain foreign actors and other individuals who may have been the subject of a criminal or counterintelligence investigation” plus other investigative materials, “including classified and law enforcement sensitive information.”

Seems Democrats are doing what they can to protect the integrity of the investigation, provide proper oversight of the Trump nazi and Executive Branch.

"The House committee chairs also asked Barr to detail his reasoning for withholding any sections of Mueller’s report that the attorney general might choose to omit from the summary he submits to Congress."

Should Barr not release the report in its entirety, would likely trigger a constitutional crisis.  Certainly, likely lead to massive public unrest.

"Justice Department officials have worried that they will have a weak argument for withholding such materials, given how much information was turned over to Congress after the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state."

Indeed.  No question.  Rightfully, so.  What's good for the goose is good for the gander, -- so to speak.

"When that investigation ended in 2016, then-FBI Director James B. Comey made public the reports of agents’ interviews with witnesses, gave public briefings to Congress and supplied additional information to lawmakers in private meetings."

Same should happen here.  The public is entitled.  -- While Clinton indeed had her problems, turned out to be nothing compared to what we've experienced under the lunatic Trump nazi during the last two years.

"Justice Department officials who cringed at that level of information-sharing and the disclosure of sensitive investigative documents did much the same after Trump fired Comey in May 2017. When Republican lawmakers demanded additional materials about both the Clinton and Russia probes, the White House squeezed the agency to comply. At one point, in early 2017, then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) refused to allow the nomination of Rod J. Rosenstein for deputy attorney general to go forward unless Grassley was provided a detailed briefing from the FBI about the Russia investigation. Grassley got the briefing."

There is desperate need for transparency in government.  Precisely, why this information needs to be released whether or not there were or are indictments.  No matter who is and is not indicted.

"The trend continued after Rosenstein became the Justice Department’s second-in-command. For instance, when the president declassified a sensitive surveillance warrant, a redacted version of the document was made public. That was unprecedented, and it could affect how the notoriously tight-lipped Mueller deals with future demands for information."

As well it should.  A government that is not transparent is no longer a democratic republic.

“The rules for what the department turns over to Congress are based almost exclusively on precedent, and now that Republicans have established these new precedents, they’re about to find themselves hoisted on their own petard,” said Matthew Miller, a Justice Department spokesman during the Obama administration. The department, he said, “just has no good argument why it shouldn’t provide the same transparency for the Mueller probe that it did for the Clinton investigation.”

Exactly, right.  What's good for the goose is good for the gander.  Transparency.

"Senior Justice Department officials, however, do not think that the path set by Comey after the Clinton probe is one they should follow when Mueller completes his work. Barr said as much in his confirmation hearing. “If you’re not going to indict someone, you don’t stand up there and unload negative information about the person,” Barr said during his Senate hearing. “That’s not the way the department does business.”

Ordinarily, that's true, -- or should be.  These circumstances are diametrically different, however.  Involve the right of the public to know whether or not their government is engaged in criminal activity, abusing power, deliberately f--king over the public its sworn to serve.

"That raises a challenge for the Justice Department, which has long held the view that a sitting president cannot be indicted."

That view is horse shit.  Assumes a sitting president is above the law.  No one is above the law in a democratic republic.  No one.

"Miller said the Justice Department must turn over to Congress any incriminating information Mueller found about the president. “The Justice Department has made very clear that it is not the arbiter of presidential criminality — that is Congress’s job,” he added. “If that’s true, that means any evidence of presidential misconduct or potential criminality, they need to turn over to the branch of government they have said polices that conduct.”

No question.  Should go without saying.

"If Barr were to resist such requests, lawmakers have a few options in how they respond. They can subpoena everything, from Mueller’s full report to the FBI’s summaries of their witness interviews. They can call Mueller to testify about the substance of his probe and fill in any gaps."

Should certainly do all the above, -- if the Barr nazi stonewalls on behalf of his fuhrer, the Trump nazi.

"House Judiciary Committee Democrats believe no information from Mueller’s probe should be concealed. But for now, they are shying away from committing to a court fight for every last document, saying they want first to see whether Barr is planning to withhold anything."

Should wisely be prepared, however, to quickly do so if Barr stonewalls.  Article goes on, but the following sums up what is likely the bottom line for Democrats and Independents:

"What Democrats will be looking for most closely in Mueller’s report, aides said, is any hint he uncovered evidence that could have led to an indictment of Trump. In their letter to Barr on Friday, the House Democratic leaders warned of “the particular danger” of withholding any evidence of misconduct by Trump. “To maintain that a sitting president cannot be indicted, and then to withhold evidence of wrongdoing from Congress because the President will not be charged, is to convert Department policy into the means for a cover-up. The President,” they wrote, “is not above the law.”

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-1-19

Not all Republicans are on board with the Trump nazi's Emergency Declaration stunt.  The following is an open letter directed to current GOP members of Congress courtesy of POGO:

"An Open Letter to Republican Members of Congress
As Republican Members of Congress, each of us started with one central understanding of our party’s overarching commitment: to honor our pledge to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. After each election, when our constituents granted us the privilege to again represent them in Congress, we renewed that pledge. It has always been a Republican fundamental principle that no matter how strong our policy preferences, no matter how deep our loyalties to presidents or party leaders, in order to remain a constitutional republic we must act within the borders of the Constitution. Our oath is to put the country and its Constitution above everything, including party politics or loyalty to a president.

We who have signed this letter are no longer Members of Congress but that oath still burns within us. That is why we are coming together to urge those of you who are now charged with upholding the authority of the first branch of government to resist efforts to surrender those powers to a president.

We offer two arguments against allowing a president—any president, regardless of party—to circumvent congressional authority. One is the constitutional placing of all lawmaking power in the hands of the people’s representatives. Article 1 of the Constitution, which vests the legislative branch with specific powers, states in section 9: “No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.” The power of the purse rests with Congress because it is comprised of 535 representatives of the taxpayer and is the most direct connection between those being governed and those governing. If you allow a president to ignore Congress, it will be not your authority but that of your constituents that is deprived of the protections of true representative government.

The second argument goes directly to the question each of you must face: how much are you willing to undermine both the Constitution and the Congress in order to advance a policy outcome that by all other legitimate means is not achievable? The current issue—a wall on our southern border—has gone through the process put in place by the Constitution. It has been proposed by the President, it has been debated by Congress, and the representatives of the people allocated funding at a level deemed appropriate by Congress. We understand that there are many Members of Congress who disagree with the final funding compromise reached by a bipartisan group of legislators. To you, we ask this question: what will you do when a president of another party uses the precedent you are establishing to impose policies to which you are unalterably opposed? There is no way around this difficulty: what powers are ceded to a president whose policies you support may also be used by presidents whose policies you abhor.

Like us, you have taken an oath of office. You were elected to Congress to carry out the constitutional duties and responsibilities of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate. You were sent to Congress to be the voice of the people. That is an awesome burden and it may require you to exercise restraint to protect the constitutional model—that which is the root of American exceptionalism—and to keep it from being sacrificed on the altar of expediency.

We who have served where you serve now call on you to honor your oath of office and to protect the Constitution and the responsibilities it vested in Congress. We ask that you pass a joint resolution terminating the emergency declared by the President on February 15, 2019.

Steve Bartlett
United States House of Representatives (R-TX), 1983-1991

Douglas Bereuter
United States House of Representatives (R-NE), 1979-2004

Sherwood Boehlert
United States House of Representatives (R-NY), 1983-2007

Rodney Chandler
United States House of Representatives (R-WA), 1983-1993

William Clinger Jr.
United States House of Representatives (R-PA), 1979-1997

Tom Coleman
United States House of Representatives (R-MO), 1976-1993

John Danforth
United States Senate (R-MO), 1977-1995

Mickey Edwards
United States House of Representatives (R-OK), 1977-1993

David F. Emery
United States House of Representatives (R- ME), 1975-1983

Chuck Hagel
United States Senate (R-NE), 1997-2009

Gordon Humphrey
United States Senate (R-NH), 1979-1990

Nancy Johnson
United States House of Representatives (R-CT), 1983-2007

James Kolbe
United States House of Representatives (R-AZ), 1985-2007

James Leach
United States House of Representatives (R-IA), 1977-2007

John LeBoutillier
United States House of Representatives (R-NY), 1981-1983

Richard Lugar
United States Senate (R-IN), 1977-2013

Pete McCloskey
United States House of Representatives (R-CA), 1967-1983

John R. McKernan, Jr.
United States House of Representatives (R-ME), 1983-1987

Thomas Petri
United States House of Representatives (R-WI), 1979-2015

Claudine Schneider
United States House of Representatives (R-RI), 1981-1991

John J.H. Schwarz, MD
United States House of Representatives (R-MI), 2005-2007

Christopher Shays
United States House of Representatives (R-CT), 1987-2009

Peter Smith
United States House of Representatives (R-VT), 1989-1991

Olympia Snowe
United States Senate (R-ME), 1995-2013
United States House of Representatives (R-ME), 1979-1995

Alan Steelman
United States House of Representatives (R- TX), 1973-1977"

The above 25 are proof positive not all Republicans are national socialists, fascists, nazis.  Took great courage for the above 25 to stand tall, buck the insanity currently going on in the GOP.  Hat's off.

NBC News reports:

"Fifty-eight former U.S. national security officials told the Trump administration in a letter on Monday that they are aware of "no emergency that remotely justifies" diverting funds to build a border wall."

Consider the following:

"JOINT DECLARATION OF FORMER UNITED STATES
GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS
We, the undersigned, declare as follows:
1.
We are former officials in the U.S. government who have worked on national security and
homeland security issues from the White House as well as agencies across the Executive Branch. We
have served in senior leadership roles in administrations of both major political parties, and
collectively we have devoted a great many decades to protecting the security interests of the United
States. We have held the highest security clearances, and we have participated in the highest levels of
policy deliberations on a broad range of issues. These include: immigration, border security,
counterterrorism, military operations, and our nation’s relationship with other countries, including
those south of our border.
a.
Madeleine K. Albright served as Secretary of State from 1997 to 2001. A refugee
and naturalized American citizen, she served as U.S. Permanent Representative to the United
Nations from 1993 to 1997. She has also been a member of the Central Intelligence Agency
External Advisory Board since 2009 and of the Defense Policy Board since 2011, in which
capacities she has received assessments of threats facing the United States.
b.
Jeremy B. Bash served as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Department of Defense from
2011 to 2013, and as Chief of Staff of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2009 to 2011.
c.
John B. Bellinger III served as the Legal Adviser to the U.S. Department of State
from 2005 to 2009. He previously served as Senior Associate Counsel to the President and
Legal Adviser to the National Security Council from 2001 to 2005.
d.
Daniel Benjamin served as Ambassador-at-Large for Counterterrorism at the U.S.
Department of State from 2009 to 2012.
e.
Antony Blinken served as Deputy Secretary of State from 2015 to 2017. He
previously served as Deputy National Security Advisor to the President from 2013 to 2015.
f.
John O. Brennan served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2013
to 2017. He previously served as Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security
and Counterterrorism and Assistant to the President from 2009 to 2013.
g.
R. Nicholas Burns served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from
2005 to 2008. He previously served as U.S. Ambassador to NATO and as U.S. Ambassador
to Greece.
 h.
William J. Burns served as Deputy Secretary of State from 2011 to 2014. He
previously served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 2008 to 2011, as U.S.
Ambassador to Russia from 2005 to 2008, as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern
Affairs from 2001 to 2005, and as U.S. Ambassador to Jordan from 1998 to 2001.
i.
Johnnie Carson served as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 2009
to 2013. He previously served as the U.S. Ambassador to Kenya from 1999 to 2003, to
Zimbabwe from 1995 to 1997, and to Uganda from 1991 to 1994.
j.
James Clapper served as U.S. Director of National Intelligence from 2010 to 2017.
k.
David S. Cohen served as Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and
Financial Intelligence from 2011 to 2015 and as Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence
Agency from 2015 to 2017.
l.
Eliot A. Cohen served as Counselor of the U.S. Department of State from 2007 to
2009.
m.
Ryan Crocker served as U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012, as
U.S. Ambassador to Iraq from 2007 to 2009, as U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan from 2004 to
2007, as U.S. Ambassador to Syria from 1998 to 2001, as U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait from
1994 to 1997, and U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon from 1990 to 1993.
n.
Thomas Donilon served as National Security Advisor to the President from 2010
to 2013.
o.
Jen Easterly served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for
Counterterrorism from 2013 to 2016.
p.
Nancy Ely-Raphel served as Senior Adviser to the Secretary of State and Director
of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons from 2001 to 2003. She
previously served as the U.S. Ambassador to Slovenia from 1998 to 2001.
q.
Daniel P. Erikson served as Special Advisor for Western Hemisphere Affairs to the
Vice President from 2015 to 2017, and as Senior Advisor for Western Hemisphere Affairs at
the U.S. Department of State from 2010 to 2015.
r.
John D. Feeley served as U.S. Ambassador to Panama from 2015 to 2018. He
served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the U.S.
Department of State from 2012 to 2015.
s.
Daniel F. Feldman served as Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan
at the U.S. Department of State from 2014 to 2015.
t.
Jonathan Finer served as Chief of Staff to the Secretary of State from 2015 to 2017,
and Director of the Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. Department of State from 2016 to
2017.
u.
Jendayi Frazer served as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 2005
to 2009. She served as U.S. Ambassador to South Africa from 2004 to 2005.
v.
Suzy George served as Executive Secretary and Chief of Staff of the National
Security Council from 2014 to 2017.
w.
Phil Gordon served as Special Assistant to the President and White House
Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf from 2013 to 2015, and
Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs from 2009 to 2013.
x.
Chuck Hagel served as Secretary of Defense from 2013 to 2015, and previously
served as Co-Chair of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board. From 1997 to 2009, he
served as U.S. Senator for Nebraska, and as a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations
and Intelligence Committees.
y.
Avril D. Haines served as Deputy National Security Advisor to the President from
2015 to 2017. From 2013 to 2015, she served as Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence
Agency.
z.
Luke Hartig served as Senior Director for Counterterrorism at the National
Security Council from 2014 to 2016.
aa.
Heather A. Higginbottom served as Deputy Secretary of State for Management
and Resources from 2013 to 2017.
bb.
Roberta Jacobson served as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico from 2016 to 2018. She
previously served as Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs from 2011
to 2016.
cc.
Gil Kerlikowske served as Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection from
2014 to 2017. He previously served as Director of the Office of National Drug Control
Policy from 2009 to 2014.
dd.
John F. Kerry served as Secretary of State from 2013 to 2017.
ee.
Prem Kumar served as Senior Director for the Middle East and North Africa at the
National Security Council from 2013 to 2015.
ff.
John E. McLaughlin served as Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
from 2000 to 2004 and as Acting Director in 2004. His duties included briefing Presidentelect Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush.
gg.
Lisa O. Monaco served as Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and
Counterterrorism and Deputy National Security Advisor from 2013 to 2017. Previously, she
served as Assistant Attorney General for National Security from 2011 to 2013.
hh.
Janet Napolitano served as Secretary of Homeland Security from 2009 to 2013. She
served as the Governor of Arizona from 2003 to 2009.
ii.
James D. Nealon served as Assistant Secretary for International Engagement at the
U.S. Department of Homeland Security from 2017 to 2018. He served as U.S. Ambassador
to Honduras from 2014 to 2017.
jj.
James C. O’Brien served as Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs from
2015 to 2017. He served in the U.S. Department of State from 1989 to 2001, including as
Principal Deputy Director of Policy Planning and as Special Presidential Envoy for the
Balkans.
kk.
Matthew G. Olsen served as Director of the National Counterterrorism Center
from 2011 to 2014.
ll.
Leon E. Panetta served as Secretary of Defense from 2011 to 2013. From 2009 to
2011, he served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
mm. Anne W. Patterson served as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs
from 2013 to 2017. Previously, she served as the U.S. Ambassador to Egypt from 2011 to
2013, to Pakistan from 2007 to 2010, to Colombia from 2000 to 2003, and to El Salvador
from 1997 to 2000.
nn.
Thomas R. Pickering served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from
1997 to 2000. He served as U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1989
to 1992.
oo.
Amy Pope served as Deputy Homeland Security Advisor and Deputy Assistant to
the President from 2015 to 2017.
pp.
Samantha J. Power served as U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
from 2013 to 2017. From 2009 to 2013, she served as Senior Director for Multilateral and
Human Rights at the National Security Council.
qq.
Jeffrey Prescott served as Deputy National Security Advisor to the Vice President
from 2013 to 2015, and as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Iran,
Iraq, Syria and the Gulf States from 2015 to 2017.
rr.
Nicholas Rasmussen served as Director of the National Counterterrorism Center
from 2014 to 2017.
ss.
Alan Charles Raul served as Vice Chairman of the Privacy and Civil Liberties
Oversight Board from 2006 to 2008. He previously served as General Counsel of the U.S.
Department of Agriculture from 1989 to 1993, General Counsel of the Office of
Management and Budget in the Executive Office of the President from 1988 to 1989, and
Associate Counsel to the President from 1986 to 1989.
tt.
Dan Restrepo served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for
Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council from 2009 to 2012.
uu.
Susan E. Rice served as U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations from
2009 to 2013 and as National Security Advisor to the President from 2013 to 2017.
vv.
Anne C. Richard served as Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees,
and Migration from 2012 to 2017.
ww. Eric P. Schwartz served as Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees,
and Migration from 2009 to 2011. From 1993 to 2001, he was responsible for refugee and
humanitarian issues at the National Security Council, ultimately serving as Special Assistant
to the President for National Security Affairs and Senior Director for Multilateral and
Humanitarian Affairs.
xx.
Andrew J. Shapiro served as Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military
Affairs from 2009 to 2013.
yy.
Wendy R. Sherman served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from
2011 to 2015.
zz.
Vikram Singh served as Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and
Pakistan from 2010 to 2011 and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Southeast Asia
from 2012 to 2014.
aaa.
Dana Shell Smith served as U.S. Ambassador to Qatar from 2014 to 2017.
Previously, she served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs.
bbb. Jeffrey H. Smith served as General Counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency
from 1995 to 1996. He previously served as General Counsel of the Senate Armed Services
Committee.
ccc.
Jake Sullivan served as National Security Advisor to the Vice President from 2013
to 2014. He previously served as Director of Policy Planning at the U.S. Department of State
from 2011 to 2013.
ddd.
Strobe Talbott served as Deputy Secretary of State from 1994 to 2001.
eee.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield served as Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African
Affairs from 2013 to 2017. She previously served as U.S. Ambassador to Liberia and Deputy
Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration from 2004 to
2006.
fff.
Arturo A. Valenzuela served as Assistant Secretary of State for Western
Hemisphere Affairs from 2009 to 2011. He previously served as Special Assistant to the
President and Senior Director for Inter-American Affairs at the National Security Council
from 1999 to 2000, and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Mexican Affairs from
1994 to 1996.
 

 2.
On February 15, 2019, the President declared a “national emergency” for the purpose of
diverting appropriated funds from previously designated uses to build a wall along the southern
border. We are aware of no emergency that remotely justifies such a step. The President’s actions are
at odds with the overwhelming evidence in the public record, including the administration’s own
data and estimates. We have lived and worked through national emergencies, and we support the
President’s power to mobilize the Executive Branch to respond quickly in genuine national
emergencies. But under no plausible assessment of the evidence is there a national emergency today
that entitles the President to tap into funds appropriated for other purposes to build a wall at the
southern border. To our knowledge, the President’s assertion of a national emergency here is
unprecedented, in that he seeks to address a situation: (1) that has been enduring, rather than one
that has arisen suddenly; (2) that in fact has improved over time rather than deteriorated; (3) by
reprogramming billions of dollars in funds in the face of clear congressional intent to the contrary;
and (4) with assertions that are rebutted not just by the public record, but by his agencies’ own
official data, documents, and statements.
3.
Illegal border crossings are near forty-year lows. At the outset, there is no evidence of a sudden or
emergency increase in the number of people seeking to cross the southern border. According to the
administration’s own data, the numbers of apprehensions and undetected illegal border crossings at
the southern border are near forty-year lows.1 Although there was a modest increase in
apprehensions in 2018, that figure is in keeping with the number of apprehensions only two years
earlier, and the overall trend indicates a dramatic decline over the last fifteen years in particular.2 The
administration also estimates that “undetected unlawful entries” at the southern border “fell from
approximately 851,000 to nearly 62,000” between fiscal years 2006 to 2016, the most recent years for
which data are available.3 The United States currently hosts what is estimated to be the smallest
number of undocumented immigrants since 2004.4 And in fact, in recent years, the majority of
currently undocumented immigrants entered the United States legally, but overstayed their visas,5 a
problem that will not be addressed by the declaration of an emergency along the southern border.
4.
There is no documented terrorist or national security emergency at the southern border. There is no reason
to believe that there is a terrorist or national security emergency at the southern border that could
justify the President’s proclamation."

Report goes on and on. Wake up.  There is no national emergency.  The Trump nazi is a congenital liar.  Continues to bamboozle his sick sycophants.

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-1-19

Wisconsin Governor doesn't buy Trump nazi's bullshit.  NPR reports:

"Gov. Tony Evers recalled Wisconsin's National Guard troops from the southern border, making him the third state leader to challenge the Trump administration's claims of a national emergency along the U.S.-Mexico line."

Finally, sanity rules.

"There is simply not ample evidence to support the president's contention of a national security crisis at our southwestern border," Evers, a Democrat, wrote in a tweet on Monday afternoon. "Therefore, there is no justification for the ongoing presence of Wisconsin National Guard personnel at the border," the newly sworn-in governor added. A statement about the executive order, signed Monday, offers a bit more detail: 112 Guard Soldiers and Airmen, under the command of  then-Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, were deployed to the Arizona border on June 21, 2018, to assist with border security. Now, Evers is revoking that order."

About time.

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-1-19

Cohen's testimony before the House Committee was indeed explosive.  Before getting into the testimony, the following is his opening statement courtesy of The New York Times:

"TESTIMONY OF MICHAEL D. COHEN

COMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND REFORM U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

FEBRUARY 27, 2019

Chairman Cummings, Ranking Member Jordan, and Members of the Committee, thank you for inviting me here today.

I have asked this Committee to ensure that my family be protected from Presidential threats, and that the Committee be sensitive to the questions pertaining to ongoing investigations. Thank you for your help and for your understanding.

I am here under oath to correct the record, to answer the Committee’s questions truthfully, and to offer the American people what I know about President Trump.

I recognize that some of you may doubt and attack me on my credibility. It is for this reason that I have incorporated into this opening statement documents that are irrefutable, and demonstrate that the information you will hear is accurate and truthful.

Never in a million years did I imagine, when I accepted a job in 2007 to work for Donald Trump, that he would one day run for President, launch a campaign on a platform of hate and intolerance, and actually win. I regret the day I said “yes” to Mr. Trump. I regret all the help and support I gave him along the way.

I am ashamed of my own failings, and I publicly accepted responsibility for them by pleading guilty in the Southern District of New York.

I am ashamed of my weakness and misplaced loyalty – of the things I did for Mr. Trump in an effort to protect and promote him.

I am ashamed that I chose to take part in concealing Mr. Trump’s illicit acts rather than listening to my own conscience.

I am ashamed because I know what Mr. Trump is.

He is a racist.

He is a conman.

He is a cheat.

He was a presidential candidate who knew that Roger Stone was talking with Julian Assange about a WikiLeaks drop of Democratic National Committee emails.

I will explain each in a few moments.

I am providing the Committee today with several documents. These include:

• A copy of a check Mr. Trump wrote from his personal bank account – after he became president - to reimburse me for the hush money payments I made to cover up his affair with an adult film star and prevent damage to his campaign;

• Copies of financial statements for 2011 – 2013 that he gave to such institutions as Deutsche Bank;

• A copy of an article with Mr. Trump’s handwriting on it that reported on the auction of a portrait of himself – he arranged for the bidder ahead of time and then reimbursed the bidder from the account of his non-profit charitable foundation, with the picture now hanging in one of his country clubs; and

• Copies of letters I wrote at Mr. Trump’s direction that threatened his high school, colleges, and the College Board not to release his grades or SAT scores.

I hope my appearance here today, my guilty plea, and my work with law enforcement agencies are steps along a path of redemption that will restore faith in me and help this country understand our president better.

***

Before going further, I want to apologize to each of you and to Congress as a whole.

The last time I appeared before Congress, I came to protect Mr. Trump. Today, I’m here to tell the truth about Mr. Trump.

I lied to Congress about when Mr. Trump stopped negotiating the Moscow Tower project in Russia. I stated that we stopped negotiating in January 2016. That was false – our negotiations continued for months later during the campaign.

Mr. Trump did not directly tell me to lie to Congress. That’s not how he operates.

In conversations we had during the campaign, at the same time I was actively negotiating in Russia for him, he would look me in the eye and tell me there’s no business in Russia and then go out and lie to the American people by saying the same thing. In his way, he was telling me to lie.

There were at least a half-dozen times between the Iowa Caucus in January 2016 and the end of June when he would ask me “How’s it going in Russia?” – referring to the Moscow Tower project.

You need to know that Mr. Trump’s personal lawyers reviewed and edited my statement to Congress about the timing of the Moscow Tower negotiations before I gave it.

To be clear: Mr. Trump knew of and directed the Trump Moscow negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it. He lied about it because he never expected to win the election. He also lied about it because he stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on the Moscow real estate project.

And so I lied about it, too – because Mr. Trump had made clear to me, through his personal statements to me that we both knew were false and through his lies to the country, that he wanted me to lie. And he made it 6 clear to me because his personal attorneys reviewed my statement before I gave it to Congress.

****

Over the past two years, I have been smeared as “a rat” by the President of the United States. The truth is much different, and let me take a brief moment to introduce myself.

My name is Michael Dean Cohen. I am a blessed husband of 24 years and a father to an incredible daughter and son. When I married my wife, I promised her that I would love her, cherish her, and protect her. As my father said countless times throughout my childhood, “you my wife, and you my children, are the air that I breathe.” To my Laura, my Sami, and my Jake, there is nothing I wouldn’t do to protect you.

I have always tried to live a life of loyalty, friendship, generosity, and compassion – qualities my parents ingrained in my siblings and me since childhood. My father survived the Holocaust thanks to the compassion and selfless acts of others. He was helped by many who put themselves in harm’s way to do what they knew was right.

That is why my first instinct has always been to help those in need. Mom and Dad…I am sorry that I let you down.

As many people that know me best would say, I am the person they would call at 3AM if they needed help. I proudly remember being the emergency contact for many of my children’s friends when they were growing up because their parents knew that I would drop everything and care for them as if they were my own.

Yet, last fall I pled guilty in federal court to felonies for the benefit of, at the direction of, and in coordination with Individual #1.

For the record: Individual #1 is President Donald J. Trump.

It is painful to admit that I was motivated by ambition at times. It is even more painful to admit that many times I ignored my conscience and acted loyal to a man when I should not have. Sitting here today, it seems unbelievable that I was so mesmerized by Donald Trump that I was willing to do things for him that I knew were absolutely wrong.

For that reason, I have come here to apologize to my family, to the government, and to the American people.

Accordingly, let me now tell you about Mr. Trump.

I got to know him very well, working very closely with him for more than 10 years, as his Executive Vice President and Special Counsel and then personal attorney when he became President. When I first met Mr. Trump, he was a successful entrepreneur, a real estate giant, and an icon. Being around Mr. Trump was intoxicating. When you were in his presence, you felt like you were involved in something greater than yourself — that you were somehow changing the world.

I wound up touting the Trump narrative for over a decade. That was my job. Always stay on message. Always defend. It monopolized my life. At first, I worked mostly on real estate developments and other business transactions. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Trump brought me into his personal life and private dealings. Over time, I saw his true character revealed.

Mr. Trump is an enigma. He is complicated, as am I. He has both good and bad, as do we all. But the bad far outweighs the good, and since taking office, he has become the worst version of himself. He is capable of behaving kindly, but he is not kind. He is capable of committing acts of generosity, but he is not generous. He is capable of being loyal, but he is fundamentally disloyal.

Donald Trump is a man who ran for office to make his brand great, not to make our country great. He had no desire or intention to lead this nation – only to market himself and to build his wealth and power. Mr. Trump would often say, this campaign was going to be the “greatest infomercial in political history.”

He never expected to win the primary. He never expected to win the general election. The campaign – for him – was always a marketing opportunity.

I knew early on in my work for Mr. Trump that he would direct me to lie to further his business interests. I am ashamed to say, that when it was for a real estate mogul in the private sector, I considered it trivial. As the President, I consider it significant and dangerous.

I knew early on in my work for Mr. Trump that he would direct me to lie to further his business interests. I am ashamed to say, that when it was for a real estate mogul in the private sector, I considered it trivial. As the President, I consider it significant and dangerous.

But in the mix, lying for Mr. Trump was normalized, and no one around him questioned it. In fairness, no one around him today questions it, either.

A lot of people have asked me about whether Mr. Trump knew about the release of the hacked Democratic National Committee emails ahead of time. The answer is yes.

As I earlier stated, Mr. Trump knew from Roger Stone in advance about the WikiLeaks drop of emails.

In July 2016, days before the Democratic convention, I was in Mr. Trump’s office when his secretary announced that Roger Stone was on the phone. Mr. Trump put Mr. Stone on the speakerphone. Mr. Stone told Mr. Trump that he had just gotten off the phone with Julian Assange and that Mr. Assange told Mr. Stone that, within a couple of days, there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Mr. Trump responded by stating to the effect of “wouldn’t that be great.”

Mr. Trump is a racist. The country has seen Mr. Trump court white supremacists and bigots. You have heard him call poorer countries “shitholes.”

He once asked me if I could name a country run by a black person that wasn’t a “shithole.” This was when Barack Obama was President of the United States.

While we were once driving through a struggling neighborhood in Chicago, he commented that only black people could live that way.

And, he told me that black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid.

And yet I continued to work for him.

Mr. Trump is a cheat.

As previously stated, I’m giving the Committee today three years of President Trump’s financial statements, from 2011-2013, which he gave to Deutsche Bank to inquire about a loan to buy the Buffalo Bills and to Forbes. These are Exhibits 1a, 1b, and 1c to my testimony.

It was my experience that Mr. Trump inflated his total assets when it served his purposes, such as trying to be listed among the wealthiest people in Forbes, and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes.

I am sharing with you two newspaper articles, side by side, that are examples of Mr. Trump inflating and deflating his assets, as I said, to suit his financial interests. These are Exhibit 2 to my testimony.

As I noted, I’m giving the Committee today an article he wrote on, and sent me, that reported on an auction of a portrait of Mr. Trump. This is Exhibit 3A to my testimony.

Mr. Trump directed me to find a straw bidder to purchase a portrait of him that was being auctioned at an Art Hamptons Event. The objective was to ensure that his portrait, which was going to be auctioned last, would go for the highest price of any portrait that afternoon. The portrait was purchased by the fake bidder for $60,000. Mr. Trump directed the Trump Foundation, which is supposed to be a charitable organization, to repay the fake bidder, despite keeping the art for himself. Please see Exhibit 3B to my testimony.

And it should come as no surprise that one of my more common responsibilities was that Mr. Trump directed me to call business owners, many of whom were small businesses, that were owed money for their services and told them no payment or a reduced payment would be coming. When I advised Mr. Trump of my success, he actually reveled in it.

And yet, I continued to work for him.

Mr. Trump is a conman.

He asked me to pay off an adult film star with whom he had an affair, and to lie to his wife about it, which I did. Lying to the First Lady is one of my biggest regrets. She is a kind, good person. I respect her greatly – and she did not deserve that.

I am giving the Committee today a copy of the $130,000 wire transfer from me to Ms. Clifford’s attorney during the closing days of the presidential campaign that was demanded by Ms. Clifford to maintain her silence about her affair with Mr. Trump. This is Exhibit 4 to my testimony.

Mr. Trump directed me to use my own personal funds from a Home Equity Line of Credit to avoid any money being traced back to him that could negatively impact his campaign. I did that, too – without bothering to consider whether that was improper, much less whether it was the right thing to do or how it would impact me, my family, or the public.

I am going to jail in part because of my decision to help Mr. Trump hide that payment from the American people before they voted a few days later.

As Exhibit 5 to my testimony shows, I am providing a copy of a $35,000 check that President Trump personally signed from his personal bank 14 account on August 1, 2017 – when he was President of the United States – pursuant to the cover-up, which was the basis of my guilty plea, to reimburse me – the word used by Mr. Trump’s TV lawyer — for the illegal hush money I paid on his behalf. This $35,000 check was one of 11 check installments that was paid throughout the year – while he was President.

The President of the United States thus wrote a personal check for the payment of hush money as part of a criminal scheme to violate campaign finance laws. You can find the details of that scheme, directed by Mr. Trump, in the pleadings in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

So picture this scene – in February 2017, one month into his presidency, I’m visiting President Trump in the Oval Office for the first time. It’s truly awe-inspiring, he’s showing me around and pointing to different paintings, and he says to me something to the effect of…Don’t worry, Michael, your January and February reimbursement checks are coming. They were FedExed from New York and it takes a while for that to get through the White House system. As he promised, I received the first check for the reimbursement of $70,000 not long thereafter.

When I say conman, I’m talking about a man who declares himself brilliant but directed me to threaten his high school, his colleges, and the College Board to never release his grades or SAT scores.

As I mentioned, I’m giving the Committee today copies of a letter I sent at Mr. Trump’s direction threatening these schools with civil and criminal actions if Mr. Trump’s grades or SAT scores were ever disclosed without his permission. These are Exhibit 6.

The irony wasn’t lost on me at the time that Mr. Trump in 2011 had strongly criticized President Obama for not releasing his grades. As you can see in Exhibit 7, Mr. Trump declared “Let him show his records” after calling President Obama “a terrible student.”

The sad fact is that I never heard Mr. Trump say anything in private that led me to believe he loved our nation or wanted to make it better. In fact, he did the opposite.

When telling me in 2008 that he was cutting employees’ salaries in half – including mine – he showed me what he claimed was a $10 million IRS tax refund, and he said that he could not believe how stupid the government was for giving “someone like him” that much money back.

During the campaign, Mr. Trump said he did not consider Vietnam Veteran, and Prisoner of War, Senator John McCain to be “a hero” because he likes people who weren’t captured. At the same time, Mr. Trump tasked me to handle the negative press surrounding his medical deferment from the Vietnam draft.

Mr. Trump claimed it was because of a bone spur, but when I asked for medical records, he gave me none and said there was no surgery. He told me not to answer the specific questions by reporters but rather offer simply the fact that he received a medical deferment.

He finished the conversation with the following comment. “You think I’m stupid, I wasn’t going to Vietnam.”

I find it ironic, President Trump, that you are in Vietnam right now.

And yet, I continued to work for him.

Questions have been raised about whether I know of direct evidence that Mr. Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia. I do not. I want to be clear. But, I have my suspicions.

Sometime in the summer of 2017, I read all over the media that there had been a meeting in Trump Tower in June 2016 involving Don Jr. and others from the campaign with Russians, including a representative of the Russian government, and an email setting up the meeting with the subject line, “Dirt on Hillary Clinton.” Something clicked in my mind. I remember being in the room with Mr. Trump, probably in early June 2016, when something peculiar happened. Don Jr. came into the room and walked behind his father’s desk – which in itself was unusual. People didn’t just walk behind Mr. Trump’s desk to talk to him. I recalled Don Jr. leaning over to his father and speaking in a low voice, which I could clearly hear, and saying: “The meeting is all set.” I remember Mr. Trump saying, “Ok good…let me know.”

What struck me as I looked back and thought about that exchange between Don Jr. and his father was, first, that Mr. Trump had frequently told me and others that his son Don Jr. had the worst judgment of anyone in the world. And also, that Don Jr. would never set up any meeting of any significance alone – and certainly not without checking with his father.

I also knew that nothing went on in Trump world, especially the campaign, without Mr. Trump’s knowledge and approval. So, I concluded that Don Jr. was referring to that June 2016 Trump Tower meeting about dirt on Hillary with the Russian representative when he walked behind his dad’s desk that day — and that Mr. Trump knew that was the meeting Don Jr. was talking about when he said, “That’s good…let me know.”

Over the past year or so, I have done some real soul searching. I see now that my ambition and the intoxication of Trump power had much to do with the bad decisions I made.

To you, Chairman Cummings, Ranking Member Jordan, the other members of this Committee, and the other members of the House and Senate, I am sorry for my lies and for lying to Congress.

To our nation, I am sorry for actively working to hide from you the truth about Mr. Trump when you needed it most.

For those who question my motives for being here today, I understand. I have lied, but I am not a liar. I have done bad things, but I am not a bad man. I have fixed things, but I am no longer your “fixer,” Mr. Trump.

I am going to prison and have shattered the safety and security that I tried so hard to provide for my family. My testimony certainly does not diminish the pain I caused my family and friends – nothing can do that. And I have never asked for, nor would I accept, a pardon from President Trump.

And, by coming today, I have caused my family to be the target of personal, scurrilous attacks by the President and his lawyer – trying to intimidate me from appearing before this panel. Mr. Trump called me a “rat” for choosing to tell the truth – much like a mobster would do when one of his men decides to cooperate with the government.

As Exhibit 8 shows, I have provided the Committee with copies of Tweets that Mr. Trump posted, attacking me and my family – only someone burying his head in the sand would not recognize them for what they are: encouragement to someone to do harm to me and my family.

I never imagined that he would engage in vicious, false attacks on my family – and unleash his TV-lawyer to do the same. I hope this committee and all members of Congress on both sides of the aisle will make it clear: As a nation, we should not tolerate attempts to intimidate witnesses before congress and attacks on family are out of bounds and not acceptable.

I wish to especially thank Speaker Pelosi for her statements in Exhibit 9 to protect this institution and me, and the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Adam  Schiff and Chairman Cummings for likewise defending this institution and my family against the attacks by Mr. Trump, and also the many Republicans who have admonished the President as well.

I am not a perfect man. I have done things I am not proud of, and I will live with the consequences of my actions for the rest of my life.

But today, I get to decide the example I set for my children and how I attempt to change how history will remember me. I may not be able to change the past, but I can do right by the American people here today.

Thank you for your attention. I am happy to answer the Committee’s questions."

The above is devastating for the president.  Devastating for Cohen himself who certainly appeared to take full responsibility for his participation in Trump's alleged criminal activity.  Will likely set off a firestorm.  So will all subsequent testimony.  The following happens to be analysis of a few of the high points of that testimony.  Much more to come as the full impact of all this develops, becomes clear.

The Washington Post reports:

"10:23 a.m.: Cummings warns Cohen: Lie and I will refer you to DOJ

In fiery opening remarks, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, warned Cohen not to lie to committee members, or Cummings would refer him to federal law enforcement.

“I have made it abundantly clear to Mr. Cohen that if he comes here today and he does not tell us the truth, I will be the first one to refer those untruthful statements to DOJ,” Cummings said, using an abbreviation for the Justice Department.

He added later: “He does have a lot to lose if he lies.”

The warning is notable because Cohen already has been convicted of lying to Congress, and even Democrats concede there are questions about his credibility. But Cohen came to the hearing Wednesday armed with evidence to support some of his testimony, and Cummings said the testimony he will present is “deeply disturbing and it should be troubling to all Americans.”

“We will all have to make our own evaluation of the evidence, and Mr. Cohen’s own credibility,” Cummings said.

10:25 a.m.: Initial Republican salvo: Lanny Davis’s orchestrated dishonesty

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the ranking Republican on the House Oversight Committee, has opened with a fiery start. He called Cohen a “fraudster, a liar and, in two months, a federal inmate” and suggested history will look unkindly on Democrats’ decision to hold their first oversight public hearing after taking over control of Congress in January with Cohen.

Jordan asserted that the hearing may be the first time in history that a person convicted of lying to Congress, as Cohen was in November, has appeared before Congress again so quickly to once again offer testimony.

And he alleged that the hearing--its timing, its topics, its audience--had all been orchestrated by Lanny Davis, a longtime friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton and now a lawyer for Cohen. Jordan told Cohen that he was acting as Democrats’ “patsy” at the hearing.

“They’ve got to find somebody somewhere to say some thing to remove the president from office,” he said, before adding wryly, “Actually, they didn’t find him. Lanny Davis did.”

Davis is seated directly behind Cohen, just over his right shoulder.

10:40 a.m.: Cohen releases threatening letter to Fordham University

Among the documents Cohen has provided to the committee is a letter to the president of Fordham University in New York, where Trump studied for two years before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania. In the letter, dated May 5, 2015 — about a month before Trump declared his candidacy for president — Cohen noted that media outlets had been asking for the release of Trump’s college records. Cohen wrote to the university president that federal law requires the permission of a former student before the release of college records--and made clear that Trump’s permission would not be forthcoming.

Releasing the records, Cohen wrote, would open the school “to both criminal and civil liability and damages including, among other things, substantial fines, penalties and even the potential loss of government aid and other funding.”

“The criminality will lead to jail time,” Cohen went on to threaten, adding, “We will hold your institution liable to the fullest extent of the law including damages and criminality.”

He concluded by asking that the university contact him to confirm that Trump’s records had been “permanently sealed.”

In his opening remarks, Cohen told the committee that he was instructed to write the letter to Fordham and Trump’s other educational institutions by Trump. And he will note the irony: Trump was secretly instructing Cohen to bully and threaten people to ensure Trump’s records, after engaging in a years-long campaign to press President Barack Obama to release documents about his background, including college transcripts.

10:45 a.m.: Trump exaggerated his financial position, according to Cohen documents and testimony

From 2011 to 2013, Trump exaggerated his financial position and the value of the properties he owned in order to obtain financing from lenders including Deutsche Bank, according to testimony and documents submitted to Congress by Cohen.

The “statements of financial condition” for Trump that Cohen submitted to Congress depict Trump as having between $170 million and $346 million in cash and marketable securities on hand. Trump attempted to use the documents to try to obtain a Deutsche loan to purchase the Buffalo Bills, Cohen said in his testimony, and to improve his ranking among lists of wealthy Americans.

“It was my experience that Mr. Trump inflated his total assets when it served his purposes, such as trying to be listed among the wealthiest people in Forbes, and deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes,” Cohen said.

10:50 a.m.: Did Trump Jr. tell his father about the famous Trump Tower meeting?

Trump and his son, Trump Jr., have repeatedly said that the latter never told his father that he accepted a meeting with a Russian lawyer in June 2016, after he was informed that she would bring dirt about Clinton.

Cohen’s testimony provides tantalizing hints of the possibility both have been lying—but nothing exactly definitive.

Cohen recounted a conversation he alleges he observed “probably in early June 2016.” He said that he was in Trump’s office when Trump Jr. came in and walked behind his father’s desk. Cohen said this was notable because people rarely walked behind Trump’s desk. He testified that he heard Trump Jr. lean down and whisper to his father, “The meeting is all set.” He alleged that Trump responded, “Okay good…let me know.”

Cohen testified that when news of the meeting broke in 2017, he remembered the incident and decided it was likely a reference to the Trump Tower meeting. Bitingly, he added that he believed this was likely the case because “Mr. Trump had frequently told me and others that his son Don Jr. had the worst judgment of anyone in the world. And also, that Don Jr. would never set up any meeting of any significance alone and certainly not without checking with his father.”

Cohen’s testimony finally provides a direct account from Trump’s former lawyer of what he claims he knows—and doesn’t know—about Trump’s knowledge of the meeting. This became a major issue this summer, when CNN reported that Cohen had told investigators that he had evidence Trump Jr. informed his father of the meeting.

Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, was later identified as the source of that information. But Davis was forced to later revise his claims and said he’d gotten things wrong about what Cohen knew. “It’s a major mistake for which I am 100 percent sorry. Period. I never should have done it unless I was certain and could prove it,” he told NBC News."

Ramifications of all this will certainly take time to fully develop.  Will likely spawn further congressional investigation at the very least.

Coup de grace?  Cohen's closing statement.  NBC News reports:

"I'd like to say directly to the president: We honor our veterans — even in the rain. We tell the truth even when it doesn't aggrandize you. You respect the law and our incredible law enforcement agents. You don't villainize them.

"You don't disparage generals, Gold Star families, prisoners of war and other heroes who had the courage to fight for this country. You don't attack the media and those who question what you don't like or what you don't want them to say and you take responsibility for your own dirty deeds.

"You don't use your power of your bully pulpit to destroy the credibility of those who speak out against you. You don’t separate families from one another or demonize those looking to America for a better life. You don't vilify people based on the god they pray to and you don’t cuddle up to our adversaries at the expense of our allies. And finally you don’t shut down the government before Christmas and New Year's just to simply appease your base.

"This behavior is churlish, it denigrates the office of the president and it's un-American and it's not you."

More to come.

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-1-19

Think the following may indeed be positive indication of some desperately needed change vis a vis racism in Alabama?  NPR reports:

"The publisher of a small local newspaper in Alabama penned an editorial calling for the Ku Klux Klan to "ride again." After massive outcry, he's stepped down, and a black woman has taken the job."

Imagine that.  Couldn't be, could it?  About time.

"The new publisher and editor of The Democrat-Reporter, Elecia R. Dexter, took the reins on Thursday, after Goodloe Sutton doubled down on his incendiary comments. "If we could get the Klan to go up there and clean out D.C., we'd all been better off," Sutton told the Montgomery Advertiser. "We'll get the hemp ropes out, loop them over a tall limb and hang all of them." The original editorial, published without an author named, claimed that Democrats and Republicans were "plotting to raise taxes in Alabama." It stated: "Seems like the Klan would be welcome to raid the gated communities up there." Sutton confirmed to the Advertiser that he wrote the piece.

"In a statement, the newspaper said it "has provided the community of West Alabama with quality news for over 140 years and you may have full confidence that Ms. Dexter will continue in this tradition as well as moving the paper into a new direction." It noted that Dexter's family "has strong roots and a rich history in Marengo County." "Everything has been a little surreal, and there's a lot going on," Dexter said in an interview with The Washington Post. "I'm grateful for this opportunity." She told the Post that she had been working at the paper for about six weeks as a front office clerk when the editorial was published. She said she felt disappointed and talked to Sutton about it. "[He] took a group that has a lot of negativity associated to it, especially for people like me, of color," Dexter said, according to the Post. "There are different ways to communicate you wanted Washington to be cleaned up without using that particular reference."

This lady is certainly more than qualified to take up the reins:

"According to the Democrat-Reporter, Dexter holds a bachelor's degree in speech communication from Eastern Illinois University and two masters degrees: one in human services from Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies and another in Counseling from Argosy University. "Over the past 10 years, she has been a strategic leader with expertise in human resources, operations and change management," the paper said. Dexter told NPR in an email that Sutton remains the owner of the paper. Alabama lawmakers celebrated the change in editorial leadership. "His dangerous views do not represent Alabama or the small-town papers in Alabama that do great work every day," Sen. Doug Jones, a Democrat, said in a tweet. "The good people of Linden deserve so much better than these racist rants and I am confident they will get it with new editor, Elecia Dexter." Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., called Sutton's stepping down "the right thing to do." She called for Sutton to apologize."

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-1-19

One must truly wonder whether the vetting process for medical personnel is indeed sufficient.  Consider the following.  CBS News reports:

"A former Ohio doctor is under investigation for allegedly prescribing "significantly excessive and potentially fatal" doses of a highly potent drug, fentanyl, to dozens of patients who later died. Dr. William Husel was fired in December, and Mount Carmel Hospital reported at least 27 of the patients were near death and receiving intensive care. Twenty-three caregivers, including 14 nurses, six pharmacists, and three managers were placed on leave."

Obviously, multiple personnel were out to lunch.  Clueless.  ... Or, willingly complicit.

"Attorney Gerald Leeseberg represents nine families whose loved ones died, including the five in our interview. "It happened for years and years, and it happened with multiple people who had to have been getting red flags or warnings that the orders that Dr. Husel was making were inappropriate." Leeseberg said. "How does this go on for three years, and nobody notices?" Werner asked. "Well, that's the $64,000 question," Leeseberg said. "We have so many questions, we don't know why he did it," Bellisari said. "You go to the hospital to get well, hopefully walk out, not die." "That man shouldn't be allowed to be in medicine at all," Young said. "He needs to be prosecuted for real, 'cause look what he did to these people." Husel's attorney, as we said, denies there was any intent on the doctor's part to kill anyone. But the Franklin County prosecutor's office said they are investigating. The hospital said in a statement that the way this was finally brought to their attention was that an employee spoke up. But officials have not explained why they did not take action sooner."

The above only scratches the surface of the article.

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-1-19

The following is highly indicative of the Aryan arrogance of a Democratic incumbent who has been in office way too long.  Indeed, poster woman for term limits.  CBS News reports:

"Sen. Dianne Feinstein had a heated exchange with a group of middle and high school students who asked her to sign the Green New Deal in a clip that went viral Friday. Activists from the Sunrise Movement, a youth climate-change advocacy group, posted video on social media of the confrontation, where Feinstein said, "I've been doing this for 30 years, I know what I'm doing."

Think so?  This is not about veracity of the Green New Deal or lack thereof.  It's about the Senator's inability to handle dissent.

"You come in here and say 'it has to be my way or the highway' and I don't respond to that," Feinstein told about 15 students at her San Francisco office. "I've gotten elected, I just ran, I was elected by almost a million-vote plurality, and I know what I'm doing."

Do you, Senator?  That sure of yourself, madam?  Can't even properly handle a group of kids who challenge your views.  Allowed them to get under your skin.  Temperament?  What's that?  Been in office way too long.  Do the right thing.  Give someone else a chance.

"Feinstein told the students she is opposed to the Green New Deal for several reasons, including "we can't pay for it" and she doesn't agree with what it says. The Green New Deal, championed by Democrats Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Alexandria Ocasico-Cortez, aims to convert the entire U.S. economy to renewable energy within 12 years, while also sparking a massive burst of job-creation and technological innovation."

Veracity or lack thereof of this program is beside the point.  You lost your cool when a group of young people challenged your views.

"When the students told her "some scientists say we have 12 years to turn this around," Feinstein answered "Well it's not going to get turned around in 10 years." This is how @SenFeinstein reacted to children asking her to support the #GreenNewDeal resolution -- with smugness + disrespect.

"This is a fight for our generation's survival. Her reaction is why young people desperately want new leadership in Congress. pic.twitter.com/0zAkaxruMI

— Sunrise Movement (@sunrisemvmt) February 22, 2019"

These kids are entitled to their views.  Right or wrong, they are the future.  Their elders have miserably failed.  What part of all this don't you understand, Senator?  You sound more like a Republican national socialist, fascist, nazi, -- than a Democrat.  Where did you lose yourself, Senator?  Sound too old and tired for the job.

"An edited clip was posted on Twitter but a much longer exchange was posted on Facebook. In the full version, Feinstein explained why she believes her own climate-change legislation is better than the Green New Deal. At the end, she offers one of the students an internship. When the students told her she has to listen to them because they voted for them, Feinstein challenged one student on her age until she admitted she was 16. "Well you didn't vote for me," Feinstein answered. About 100 people had rallied outside Feinstein's office Friday, including students from Oakland Unified School District, where classes are canceled due to a teacher strike this week. In a statement hours after the clip went viral, Feinstein said she welcomed the "spirited discussion."

Doesn't appear to be the case, Senator.  -- While the kid who disingenuously insinuated she was a voter had an excuse, her lack of experience, what the hell is yours?

"Unfortunately, it was a brief meeting but I want the children to know they were heard loud and clear. I have been and remain committed to doing everything I can to enact real, meaningful climate change legislation," Feinstein said."

After your lackluster performance, madam, rings hollow.  Your unbridled Aryan arrogance, on the contrary, rings loud and clear.

"Feinstein's liberal challenger in the 2018 election, Kevin de Len, did not mention Feinstein directly after the video spread across the Internet, but tweeted "Climate change is real, and we won't survive what's coming unless EVERYONE is part of the conversation."

No matter veracity or lack thereof of the Green New Deal, and regardless, -- massive, virtually unlimited, unbridled corporate interests would likely ultimately torpedo it.

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-1-19

Finally, some true bi-partisan agreement.  ... At least, at the state level.  LOL.  The Washington Post reports:

"Since the start of a months-long investigation into evidence of election fraud in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, Republicans and Democrats have been as divided as they are across the country — disputing facts, accusing each other of political games, unable to agree. Then something unexpected happened in Raleigh this week. The State Board of Elections — three Democrats and two Republicans — voted unanimously to call for a new election. It might have been the first recorded instance of a federal election being thrown out over fraud."

Imagine that.  LOL.  Gets better:

"But it wasn’t the evidence of fraud that made it happen. It was a heart-wrenching drama between an evangelical minister, who badly wanted to serve in Congress, and his lawyer son, who came forward with evidence that contradicted his father’s testimony. Republicans and Democrats agreed that something went right compared with how partisan conflict often plays out in the country’s hyper-polarized political environment. But it almost didn’t, despite voluminous evidence that a political operative had led an illegal scheme to tamper with absentee ballots on behalf of Republican Mark Harris of Charlotte. And that worries those who see a massive threat to the integrity of elections in what happened in the 9th District — and believe it could easily happen again if nothing is done to prevent it. “Without focused commitment by prosecutors and advocates, the stakes will remain unacceptably high,” said Josh Lawson, the state board’s general counsel. “Our unanimous vote only begins to set things right.”

"Scrutiny of the fraud allegations is not over. On Saturday, Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman told The Post that she plans to begin presenting evidence regarding the 2016 and 2018 elections to a grand jury within 30 days. There may have been no better illustration of Harris’s plight than his abrupt departure from the hearing. After announcing his belief that a new election was in order, he stepped off the dais and walked out of the room with his wife Beth. His lawyers, still in the midst of the proceeding, stayed behind — leaving the Harrises to fend off a phalanx of television cameras alone. His shoulders stooped and his head down, Harris, in footage captured by WBTV, walked about a  half-block to a waiting car, climbed in and drove away."

What webs we weave.

NPR reports:

"The Republican candidate at the center of a months-long investigation into election fraud in a North Carolina congressional race now won't be a candidate for the upcoming new election that was ordered last week.  In a statement, Republican Mark Harris cited health concerns and upcoming surgery as one reason he won't run again in the yet-to-be-scheduled race. After last November's election, Harris appeared to have a 905-vote lead over McCready. But then the state declined to certify the race after allegations surfaced that an operative Harris had employed, McCrae Dowless, was illegally collecting absentee ballots. Voters came forward to say that Dowless or people working for him had picked up their absentee ballots, which is illegal in North Carolina, and that they worked to avoid the State Board of Elections from finding out. Harris had maintained since Election Day that he didn't know about any wrongdoing. But after emotional testimony from one of his sons during a four-day hearing of the State Board of Elections last week cast doubt on his denials, the former Baptist pastor finally acknowledged a new election was necessary. The board subsequently voted unanimously to hold redo the race — the only congressional contest still undecided from the 2018 midterm elections when Democrats already flipped 40 House seats. Harris's decision to step aside will likely help Republicans in the election re-do — they won't have to defend a scandal-plagued candidate. But Democrat Dan McCready has already raised over $500,000 for a new election that is sure to draw outsized national interest and money.

"Mark Harris may have seen the writing on the wall but that won't save the eventual Republican nominee from being tainted by the Republican Party's efforts to steal an election," North Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin said in a statement. "The entire country watched investigators lay out piece by piece how North Carolina Republicans committed an elaborate election fraud scheme, and that investigation will follow whichever Republican runs for this seat."

The Washington Post reports:

"Harris, an evangelical minister from Charlotte, had led by 905 votes in unofficial returns. His decision not to run follows four days of hearings last week revealing voluminous evidence that a political operative had led an illegal scheme to tamper with absentee ballots on behalf of Harris’s congressional campaign last year. Evidence also surfaced that Harris had structured his campaign so that he wasn’t paying the operative, Leslie McCrae Dowless, directly and to avoid public disclosure of those payments. Through most of the hearing, Harris claimed no knowledge of Dowless’s methods and said there had been no red flags. That changed last Thursday, after Harris falsely characterized a conversation with his son, Matthew, about whether emails in which he suggested that Dowless’s tactics were questionable and was warned by another son, John, not to hire him, would become public. Facing potential perjury charges for that testimony -- and days of potentially damaging cross-examination about his own role in the ballot scheme — Harris abruptly called for a new election and declared that ballot fraud had sufficiently tainted the outcome in November to warrant a new election."

Clergy don't lie, cheat, or steal, do they?

NPR reports:

"North Carolina prosecutors have announced that Leslie McCrae Dowless, the political operative accused of illegally collecting absentee ballots in that state's 9th Congressional District, has been indicted on charges of obstruction of justice and possessing absentee ballots."

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.


3-1-19

Once again, the Roman Catholic Church has miserably failed to police its own.  NPR reports:

"Wrapping up an unprecedented Vatican summit, Pope Francis denounced the abuse of minors and called for an end to the Catholic Church's long history of covering up the scandal. In a Mass on Sunday, he made an appeal for an "all-out battle" on clergy sex abuse but offered few specifications, reflecting broader criticisms that the four-day meeting had not produced concrete actions to hold church leaders accountable."

That's right.  More of the same old tired bullshit, failure to hold perpetrators accountable, to say nothing of the hierarchy.  The hypocritical bastards continue to protect and coddle their own.

"Francis told church leaders that most sexual abuse of minors occurs in the family and talked about abuse in relation to online pornography and sex tourism across the world. But he added that the universality of abuse "does not diminish" the harm done within the church, and he called those who had abused children "instruments of Satan" and "ravenous wolves." The presence of abuse within the church, Francis said, is more scandalous because of its incompatibility with the Church's "moral authority and ethical credibility." "Indeed, in the people's justified anger, the Church sees the reflection of the wrath of God, betrayed and insulted by these deceitful consecrated persons," the pope said."

Then why isn't he defrocking and excommunicating all offenders?  Readers should understand the Pope is a Jesuit.  The Jesuits are the intellectuals of the Church.  The Pope's comments certainly are no reflection of this.  Far from it.  The Pope continues to protect and coddle the bastards responsible, including the hierarchy.

"Critics called the speech lukewarm, saying that it brought no new intensity or specificity to the issue. Becky Ianni, who was sexually violated by her family priest as a child, says the pope just reiterated points he had previously put forward before. "He talked about prayer and penance," Ianni, a board member of Survivors' Network of Those Abused by Priests, told NPR. "While those are nice sentiments, none of those things are going to protect children right now. And that's my number one concern as a victim of clergy abuse."

What is called for here is immediate defrocking and excommunication of priests who sexually abuse.  Reporting abuse to law enforcement authorities promptly.

"She says SNAP has asked the pope to take specific actions, including firing bishops or cardinals who cover up abuse and turning over church records to secular authorities."

The Church has failed to do this.  In fact, has destroyed records in an effort to protect itself and offenders in its ranks.

"Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, told The New York Times that the pope's Mass was a "catastrophic misreading" of the grief and anger within the Church. "As the world's Catholics cry out for concrete change, the pope instead provides tepid promises, all of which we've heard before," she said."

No more than unadulterated bullshit.  More of the same old, same old.  No real change.

"Francis had invited 190 Catholic bishops and religious superiors for a summit to discuss how the institution would address the clergy sex abuse crisis. It was the first time the pontiff had gathered church leaders from around the world for such a purpose, raising hopes that it might mark a turning point in the institution's slow track record of responding to the issue. But the Vatican dampened expectations early on, calling the summit a "meeting characterized by prayer and discernment."

The Church has forfeited all semblance of moral authority quite some time.

"On Sunday, the Vatican announced that it would publish an edict from the pope and rule book on the protection of minors, in addition to forming a task force. Rev. Federico Lombardi, the moderator of the summit, said Vatican leaders would meet Monday to reflect on propositions and needs brought up at the gathering."

Not good enough.  Nowhere near.  Offenders continue to be protected and coddled.  Not exposed for whom and what they are.  Where is desperately needed cooperation between the Church and law enforcement to properly and fully adjudicate offenders?  Since crimes have indeed been committed, this is without question a law enforcement matter.

"Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and editor-at-large of America Magazine, said the summit was a necessary step for the Catholic Church. "The concrete actions will come later in what's called a 'motu proprio,' which is a document that they said the pope is going to issue later on," he told NPR. "That will spell out, from what I understand, more rules and regulations. I think this was more of a reflection on what happened, and a kind of encouragement for a change of culture."

Jesus Christ.  No more than unadulterated bullshit.  The turds in the hierarchy fail to understand the extent and severity of the criminal problem within the Church.

"In one concrete step, Francis said he wanted to change church law on child pornography, so that the act would be considered a "grave delict" if it involved children under the age of 18, not just those under 14. That means all cases involving minors would be handled by the Vatican office that processes sex abuse cases.Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, a top Vatican sex crimes investigator, said the pope had expressed the need for a "change of heart." "This is obviously theological language, but it is a very important language for us," Scicluna told NPR's Weekend Edition. "The pope actually put the abuse of kids and the cover-up of that abuse on the same level of gravity."

Called bullshit.  Proof positive the jackasses within the hierarchy fail to understand the cancer within the Church.

The above was written prior to disclosure of the following:

CBS News reports:

"Cardinal George Pell, the most senior Catholic cleric ever charged with child sex abuse, has been convicted in Australia of molesting two choirboys moments after celebrating Mass, dealing a new blow to the Catholic heirarchy's credibility after a year of global revelations of abuse and cover-up. Pell was Pope Francis' top financial adviser until late last year and technically remains the Vatican's economy minister. Pell faces a potential maximum 50-year prison term after a sentencing hearing that begins Wednesday. He lodged an appeal last week against the convictions. CBS News correspondent Seth Doane reported that the Vatican was standing by Australia's efforts to hold Pell to account through its justice system. Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti confirmed on Tuesday that Pope Francis had subjected Pell to "precautionary measures" when he first returned to Australia to face trial last year, including forbidding him from any "public exercise of the ministry" or any contact "in any way" with minors. Those measures would remain in place until Pell's appeal process was complete, Gisotti said. The victim who testified at Pell's trial said after the conviction was revealed that he has experienced "shame, loneliness, depression and struggle." In his statement, the man said it had taken him years to understand the impact the assault had on his life. Lawyer Lisa Flynn said the father of the second victim, who died of a heroin overdose in 2014 at the age of 31, is planning to sue the Church or Pell individually once the appeal is resolved.

"The senior cleric bowed his head but then regained his composure as the 12-member jury delivered unanimous verdicts in the Victoria state County Court on Dec. 11 after more than two days of deliberation. The court had until Tuesday forbidden publication of any details about the trial because Pell had faced a second trial in April on separate charges that he assaulted two other boys as a young priest in the late 1970s in his hometown of Ballarat. Prosecutor Fran Dalziel told the court on Tuesday that the Ballarat charges had been dropped and asked for the suppression order to be lifted. The lifting of the suppression order on Pell's case was welcomed by SNAP, a U.S. support group for victim of clergy abuse. "We hope that his conviction will not only bring healing to his victims in Australia but hope to survivors across the world who are yearning for accountability at the top levels of the church," SNAP said in a statement. "We believe today's conviction will make Australian children safer and parents and parishioners better informed about how to prevent sexual abuse."

Cowardly fail to financially and/or materially support those fighting for all civil and constitutional rights and liberties at great personal cost and risk?  Get what you truly deserve.

Tim Chorney, Publisher
Liberty In Peril



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