Saturday, January 14, 2023

We Better Get Used to It: America is at War... With Itself

As predicted the New Year brought in absolute chaos when the Republicans reclaimed the House of Representatives.

After another weary week of political bombshells Americans are once again under siege with misinformation and outright lies.

A cultural chasm has opened up further this year dividing Americans into two separate warring camps where compromise is impossible. 

Both sides are seeking political retribution against the other for past and present grievances... to the detriment of governing the nation.

We found out that having classified documents in private homes after leaving office is almost a common occurrence in Washington. 

After discovering a trove of secret government documents in Trump's Florida retreat, we found out last week Biden had at least one top secret document and 10 other classified documents in his private garage.

Which makes me wonder if other prior presidents have classified documents that they shouldn't have? Either out of intent, or unknowingly because staffers accidently put them in with other files while packing up for their departure from the White House?

And what about The National Archives roll in these displaced government documents? They're also guilty for apparently not doing their job assuring their security. 

To be clear, Biden has cooperated with the DOJ and FBI in the resulting investigation from the start, unlike Trump who has been obstructing his investigation daily for over a year and will likely be criminally charged for it by the Special Counsel and AG Garland.

It's a false equivalent. Right-wing media is muddying up the facts of Biden's investigation with a landslide of lies that have been imported to the Republican House where they quickly launched their own investigations into the president's role in having classified documents.

That despite the fact that AG Garland has appointed a Special Counsel to investigate why Biden had them in the first place.

The one thing we can bet on is this new twist in the handling of classified documents (that now appear to be an ongoing situation for years) is going to be the basis for whataboutism when it comes to sentencing Trump.

Biden's case will be forever etched in right-wing mythology - regardless of whether it's true or not.

It helps to bear in mind this is a war between MAGA nation and the rest of the country. The stakes are high enough to threaten our republic's existence. 

As it stands, we're only halfway through the first month of 2023 and it feels like a full year of chaos already.

Friday, January 13, 2023

When the Penalty for Felony Convictions is Not a Real Penalty Something is Wrong

Big news!

The Trump Organization was fined $1.6 million for running a decade-long tax fraud scheme.

A New York judge handed down the penalty for 17 felonies, including tax fraud and falsifying business records today.

What a farce! 

Fining the Trump Organization, a measly million bucks is chump change. Even worse, political pundits point out that Trump may be able to write the fine off on his income taxes!

In other words, this penalty (if you can call it that) isn't going to cost Trump a penny. It'll be a push on his books. Not to mention that Trump himself suffered no consequences for his own company's criminality.

This is not justice.

The prosecutor Joshua Steinglass admitted that the penalty will have minimal impact on a multi-million-dollar company.

If that's a fact, why was this investigation ever launched? It cost taxpayers millions to convict the Trump Crime family only to see a ridiculously small penalty and no accountability for Trump and his corrupt children.

New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg told reporters after the court's decision that the fine wasn't big enough.

"I want to be very clear - we don't think the fine was appropriate. Our laws in this state need to change in order to capture this type of decade-plus systemic, egregious fraud," Bragg told reporters.

What we now know.

--Trump's real estate business is not at risk of being dismantled because there is no mechanism under the law to dissolve the company. 

--Trump and his family were not charged with any crimes.

--The Manhattan district attorney's office is continuing to investigate the company's business practices.

--The biggest threat to the Trump Organization is currently New York Attorney General Letitia James $250 million-dollar civil lawsuit against Trump and his children.

--James is seeking to permanently bar Trump and his offspring from serving as director of a business registered in New York State. 

She's also seeking to cancel the Trump Organization's corporate certificate, which if granted by a judge, could effectively force the company to cease operations in New York state. 

--The trial won't be until October.

It appears James's case against the Trump crime family will have more teeth to the possible penalties for conviction.

But there's still one glaring omission... Trump and his family aren't personally going to suffer for their crimes. No jail time. Just some hits on their finances which we now know can be written off on their tax statements.

As it stands, when will Teflon Don actually be held accountable for his serial state and federal crimes? It sure doesn't look like it's going to be soon.  

Thursday, January 12, 2023

America is Exporting Fascism Instead of Freedom

Once upon a time - before the Trump era -America was known for exporting freedom.

We we're considered the beacon of Democracy across the planet. People from every country wanted to come to America, the land of the free. They still do.

But now we have domestic terrorists working with other countries like Brazil to install authoritarian regimes. Leading the charge is Steve Bannon, a Trump-pardoned criminal who helped the former president get elected.

When Brazil's leader Jair Bolsonaro recently lost his election he ran to Miami, Florida.

His son Edwardo went straight to Mar-a-Lago to consult with seditionist experts Trump and Steve Bannon on how to stage a coup. They both had ties to the Bolsonaro family that go back for years.

Bolsonaro and Trump had one thing in common. To install a fascist-style government with themselves as lifetime leaders. Bannon's mission was to help them and any other insurrectionists around the world achieve their goals. Burn baby, burn.

That bond was never more apparent than when Bolsonaro minions stormed Brazil's government buildings demanding the new president step down because he rigged the elections, recently.

It was a Latin American replay of Bannon and Trumps attempt to disrupt a legal election with lies and dark money on Jan.6th.

The coup playbook penned by Bannon as a blueprint for insurrection is circulating among other countries where democracies are under fire even as you read this.

Between Bannon's global efforts to burn down democracies and the rising numbers of White Supremacists in the nation exporting violence and racism, America has become a breeding ground for right-wing ideologies intent on exporting hate and fascism.

The world is watching the creeping chaos with concern about how it will eventually affect them. Lady Liberty's torch is dimming more every day.

With the House takeover by Republicans, we're seeing a litany of frivolous investigations spring up from the sewers of QAnon and traitor lawmakers who tried to overturn our electoral system in 2020.

We don't have a united Congress. What we do have is a war between a Democratic Senate and the Republican House of Representatives that's threatening the very foundations of our republic.

As it stands, we must reestablish our reputation as defenders of freedom and democracy by not voting for right-wing insurrectionists in the next election.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

GOP House Members Assault Democracy: Meet the Insurrectionist Protection Committee

When Republicans narrowly took over the House it was a guaranteed shitshow.

The public now has a front row seat to all the upcoming attempts to dismantle our government by MAGA minions who put McCarthy in their pockets.

With ultra MAGA minion Jim Jordan chairing the Judiciary Committee it was no secret he was not only going to protect Trump in any way possible, but that he would be sending heat-seeking missiles at the Democrats and established rules of law.

As Jordan puts together a subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government their mission will be to attack President Biden, the FBI, Merrick Garland, and the Department of Justice.

The opening salvo is putting insurrectionists like Scott Perry on the committee to oversee their own criminal cases being investigated by Special Counsel Jack Smith.

To no one's surprise Jordan is also protecting his ass because the Jan.6 committee was investigating him.

The House resolution authorized the 13-members to allow Jordan to subpoena the Justice Department about its inquiries into Trump's fail coup attempt and handling of classified documents.

If this doomsday committee is granted access to records normally restricted to Congressional intelligence committees, the GOP-majority panel could potentially have the authority to investigate the Justice Department, even as the department investigates lawmakers' actions concerning Jan. 6 insurrection.

That will never happen. They might as well pound sand. Despite MAGA fever dreams to the contrary the MAGA rats are going to be up against reality.

That reality is they'll lose every court challenge to the FBI and DOJ because their dealing in facts and evidence and the Insurrection Protection Committee is pushing lies and conspiracy theories.

The DOJ has spent decades resisting similar attacks. In 2000, the department issued a response to congressional inquiries, known as the "Linder Letter" that outlined its staunch position against sharing information related to criminal matters.

After four years of Trump and his administration seeking to cripple the Justice Department the die was cast. The feds aren't going to fold. They didn't when the GOP had both the House and Senate and they won't now.

The political flotsam that surfaces during the upcoming court battles will undoubtable dismay mainstream America. 

As it stands, watching traitors trying to destroy our Justice system in the next two years is going to be very difficult. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

McCarthy Pleases Right-Wingers by Passing a Bill to Defund the IRS - Too Bad It's Not Going Anywhere

What a sad picture.

A gaggle of House Republicans hugging each other after passing a bill to defund the IRS.

McCarthy and cadre of election deniers were seen gloating after their imaginary victory.

Back in the real world.

There's no way in hell the Democratic majority in the Senate will approve McCarthy's move to please his base. The White House quickly announced that Biden would veto it if it came to his desk.

McCarthy knew that but agreed to push it through the House along with a list of other MAGA fantasies he granted to get the speaker of the House seat. 

No doubt some of the mega GOP donors demanded he pass the IRS defunding legislation allowing them to continue to cheat Americans by not paying their share of taxes.

The most disgusting part of McCarthy passing the bill is that it's based upon lies and MAGA conspiracies.

Republicans falsely claimed that the 87,000 new IRS employees who would be added over the next decade, would be agents. 

A blatant lie.

The fact of the matter is the funding for the IRS came out after last year's Inflation Reduction Act that included tax reforms, health care and climate issues.

Furthermore, only a small portion of the money for the 87,000 IRS employees would go to agents.

The rest accounts for other workers such as customer service representatives and computer scientists as well as replacements for the 52,000 employees expected to retire or resign with the next six years.

It all comes down to this, we have proof that House Republicans are there to serve Trump and not their constituents.

The new order in the House is a minority that can shake the majorities will off with relative ease. So far.

To lather on some irony the bill is terrible for middle-class families and small businesses despite what the GOP called it, the "Family and Small Business Taxpayer Protection Act"

As it stands, the day is going to come when the majority of Republican House members get tired of not seeing any legislation get passed into law because they've been passengers on the Clown Train Caucus. 

Monday, January 9, 2023

Hints of Spring This Winter: Trump Indictment(s) Thawing Out Soon

There's something in the air this winter that hints at spring. Renewal. A clean start. A renewed sense of hope

Justice is blooming in the record high winds buffeting the country from coast to coast. Can you smell it? It's accountability.

Powerful political high winds are increasing for Trump and cronies as Georga state officials move forward towards filing criminal charges.

The special grand jury that was appointed to investigate charges released a full report to Fulton County District Attorney Fanni Willis today. 

What does that mean?

A big step towards Trump being criminally indicted.

It contains a summary and recommendations of indictments for those involved in trying to overturn Georgia's voters will.

Willis then must present evidence to another, regular grand jury that has the authority to indict.  

Meanwhile.

Mark Jan. 24th down on your political calendar.

That's the day a judge will hold a hearing to allow relevant parties - including the Fulton County Attorney's office that advised the jury, news outlets, and those investigated - to present their case as to whether or not the grand jury's report should be made publicly available.

One way or the other it sounds like the report will eventually be made available to the public even if it has retractions.

Another point to be aware of. If the judge chooses to keep the report private until the case is closed, the public won't know the results for months, or even years.

Meanwhile.

Stormy weather ahead after today's announcement that a lawsuit filed by advice columnist E. Jean Carroll against the former president is going to get real embarrassing,

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled that Trump failed to reply with his testimony, as required, to explain why the 34-page excerpt should not be released to the public.

Carroll has accused Trump of sexually assaulting her in the 1990s in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room. With the passage of a New York law last November victims are now able to sue over sexual abuse dating back decades.

As usual Trump's lawyer Alina Habba played the dummy and claimed she didn't know there was a time period to turn in his deposition. It's uncertain what the judge will rule and when.

As it stands, I can almost smell accountability on every breeze. It's a refreshing scent this winter day.

Sunday, January 8, 2023

GOP Right-Wingers Burn House Down: Now Who's Going to Rebuild It?

The House Chamber still smells like smoke after 21 of its craziest members set it on fire last week challenging the majorities pick McCarthy for Speaker of the House.

In an attempt to rebuild the ruins, the majority of Republicans don't want to see the House torn down from within every time they start to make legislative progress.

The first big challenge is getting the new House rules certified today. When McCarthy caved into the crazy of the craziest, he agreed to add some House rules that don't necessarily coincide with the majority's wishes.

There may be unexpected resistance to some of the more wacko rules proposed. Keep your eyes on the moderate Republicans during the voting process. 

I suspect there will also be multi-pushbacks from the crazies' fever dream rules of the road if they hit a roadblock... or two. Or three, and on and on. 

Beyond that initial governing challenge, the pathway is perilous with potholes for the next two years. Americans need to buckle up because there's a treacherous highway ahead.

As for rebuilding and rebranding the House, I don't see the next two years of chaos being popular with the majority of Americans when no meaningful legislation gets passed and every day brings a new embarrassment.

Instead, Americans will have a front row seat to a Congressional clown show 

until the 2024 elections when they're ran out of the House like arsonists.  

As it stands, watching this new era for the House is a lot like watching the inmates take over an asylum.

Blogger Hits Pause Button

I know.  I just came back from a blog break and now I'm taking another one. Some readers may be saying, "Hey Dave! What's with...