“Justice” for all …

There’s no shortage of opinion online. This is mine. I want to focus on the positive for just a moment: most of the planet agrees Nazis are evil. There really wasn’t all that much equivocation on the point, save from those who allow their personal politics to trump personal morality. From their perspective, all the so-called baby-killing, Marxist-loving, tree-hugging liberal hippies are the ones without a moral compass. There is no middle ground in America — the entire country has become a no-man’s land. Unfortunately, it is not demilitarized.

Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia noted with justifiable alarm that the militia members who invaded his commonwealth were better armed than the state’s police. Every other day comes a new threat of armed insurrection if, and only if we can believe Donald Trump when he said, “We are equal under the law. And we are equal under our Constitution.”

This president has major legal issues waiting on his newly refurbished “dump” of a doorstep. His supporters say they’ll quash this legal dilemma and Trump’s possible removal from office with bullets (or, if unavailable, an automobile). There wasn’t much ambiguity in the statement Trump’s staff insisted he read — but the subtext was chilling. While he’s in charge, anyone resisting hatred and bigotry is every bit as suspect as the Nazi preaching hate, anti-government militias clutching their phallic blankets, or your basic, everyday, garden-variety bigot. Trump will pull out all the stops to make sure that citizens on the streets remain orderly — and obey.

“To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence, you will be held fully accountable. Justice will be delivered.” ‘Punch a Nazi in the face? Go to jail — I promise you — I’m going to give you the best justice … so much justice you wouldn’t believe.’ It’s a pretty carefully crafted bit of intimidation for any American still brave enough to take to the streets of their city and bar the gates against intolerance, isn’t it? “Anyone,” perhaps “from many sides,” is liable to be arrested.

On delivering justice: “We will spare no resource in fighting so that every American child can grow up free from violence and fear” sounds good. Seems clear he’s going to throw federal money and resources at local police departments (who needs another surplus tank?), further militarizing the force. Add to this toxic stew of “policy,” Trump telling cops “we’d like to get them out a lot faster, and when you see these towns and when you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in, rough, I said, please don’t be too nice.”

Maybe it’s me. Maybe the president of the United States didn’t just say, ‘when the KKK comes KKKalling, you’d better be on your best behavior — or else!’ I believe he did. He read that statement as if he’d survived months of beatings inside the Hanoi Hilton and was dragged in front of the cameras. He couldn’t help himself, either — setting aside the small issue of standing up to Nazis and bigots — leading his remarks with an informercial starring Donald Trump’s imagined greatness at presidenting.

He buried the lede. He did it on purpose. And the official White House reaction to Charlottesville is clear: we will spare no expense to maintain order on the streets. When the Klan and the armed militia arrive in your city … don’t get your panties in a twist or Trump’s troops might have to deliver some good old-fashioned “justice” to your face — and it won’t “be too nice.” You’ve been warned.

You’re welcome.

President “So What if I Did?”

Donald Trump

Admitting guilt in past financial dealings with Russian partners just doesn’t matter to the Trump administration. Why? Glad you asked. As it turns out, any past financial deals with Russia “are well beyond any statute of limitation imposed by the United States Code.” ‘Let’s all just move on, shall we? Nothing to see here, folks. Move along now, Director Mueller, we’ll take it from here.’ Not so fast.

Is Trump guilty of shady deals with mobbed-up Russian oligarchs? ‘So what if he did’ is the legal defense strategy offered by Trump attorney John Dowd. It’s his “Turd Blossom” moment — Shrub’s nickname for Karl Rove — who famously said, “We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.” He wasn’t wrong, either — I recall it seemed like the entire planet came together to tell the Bush White House that striking a match in Iraq was not only an international crime, but a really lousy idea to boot. It happened anyway.

Take heart. Trump’s nothing but a bully. See, it’s not that he’s “anti-science,” it’s that trying to understand sciencey-sounding-stuff gives him an ice-cream headache behind his right eye. It exposes his major weakness: he’s not a smart man. Trump’s just like every other jackass from high school who’d pick on the smart kids, because the nerd reveals the dullard’s inherent intellectual incuriosity. For Trump, ‘these aren’t crimes — they’re political hijinks — everyone does it.’ Actually, they don’t. At the end of each day I honestly think Trump must be truly bewildered. He’s enjoyed a lifetime of getting exactly what he wants, at the moment he wants it. Do what I say — or else — is all he understands. Once again — not so fast.

Trump doesn’t grasp one of our country’s most basic precepts: Congress doesn’t work for the president, Congress works for us. Take a moment, boss, to attend a town hall, state fair, shopping mall ribbon-cutting — WHEREVER your representatives might be while they’re home. All politics is local. These people are your neighbors, who give your ideas voice in D.C. — go introduce yourself. Do not, however, take a pie to share.

You’re welcome.

Chris Christie is Stoned

Chris Christie

Governor Chris Christie, the former prosecutor, sent a message to the Centennial State yesterday: “If you’re getting high in Colorado today, enjoy it.” Whoa, thanks man. Far out.

Before everyone getting high in the Mile High city gets the wrong idea, Christie went on to say: “As of January 2017, I will enforce the federal laws.” Except, of course, he’ll never be POTUS — so have another toke.

Christie is famous for his persecution (and prosecution) of pot smokers — and has bent over backwards to justify his position: “Other states that have gone down the path of that experiment — mostly in pursuit of tax riches — have shown unless the federal government changes their mind on this, that it becomes a cash business.” Um, thanks for supporting their argument? I don’t get it. Continue reading

Autopsy of a Smear Campaign

Edward Snowden

I saw the first headlines in my Twitter feed, as news broke of the Sunday Times assertion that encrypted files stolen by Edward Snowden had been “cracked” by Russian and Chinese intelligence services. Classified information identifying covert operatives was “out,” sending MI6 scrambling to “pull agents out of live operations in hostile countries.” Not so fast.

There’s just one small problem with this “reporting” — much of it seems to be conjecture or hearsay (or just flat out lies). There is no credible source to corroborate the Times’ allegations. It’s also littered with blatant falsehoods. Glenn Greenwald has penned a lengthly dissection in THE INTERCEPT of “serious retraction-worthy fabrications.” He also makes the larger point: relying on anonymous sources with baseless accusations isn’t reporting. That’s how we entered into an illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. Remember? Continue reading