Saturday, September 16, 2023

Judge Considering a Gag Order for Trump - What Would That Entail?

How do you get the former president to stop "inflammatory attacks" on the courts?

If federal prosecutors get their way Judge Tanya Chutkan will issue a "narrow" gag order that would prohibit Trump from making statements "regarding the identity, testimony, or credibility of prospective witnesses" and "about any party, witness, attorney, court personnel, or potential jurors that are disparaging and inflammatory, or intimidating."

I suspect Judge Chutkan will grant Special Counsel Jack Smith's request to reel in the out-of-control twice impeached former president.

One caveat. Don't expect the judge to throw Trump into jail despite the fact that if it was anyone else in the USA who did what he's doing they'd be staring out from a jail cell already.

For starters Trump is getting special treatment and considerations as evidenced by how hard he's pushing back against the entire judicial system and its rules yet he's still walking around free to attack our democracy.

A lot of people are afraid of Trump. Especially Republican lawmakers in Congress who are following him like sheep ready to be sheared.

Prosecutors noted that Trump's attacks on social media have previously endangered the subjects of his wrath, sometimes leading to violence. 

Judge Chutkan is aware of this. She even warned him last month, "I caution you and your client to take special care in your public statements about this case. I will take whatever measures are necessary to safeguard the integrity of these proceedings."

As a matter of record the gag order request Friday came on the same day that unsealed filings that Twitter, now known as X, gave prosecutors at least 32 of Trump's private messages.

It's also important to note that Trump was cautioned by the judge in the Georgia trial that he was being released on the condition that he would not intimidate co-defendants, witnesses and others. Trump has ignored that caution and it's just a matter of time before that judge gets tired of his antics and seeks a gag order too.

The burning question today is:

What would Judge Chutkan's gag order involve?

Frankly I don't believe he's going to go to jail. Too many people are concerned it would cause major riots when his cult followers find out.

The next step involves putting him above the law (again) and letting him continue to attack everyone under the guise of the First Amendment by giving him a slap on the wrist.

I've heard political pundits say Trump could be confined to one of his estates and wear a tracking device. Honestly. Who really believes even that would happen?

It's tough watching Trump get away with mocking our judicial system and flagrantly defying everyone with no apparent consequences thus far.

Our system of government counts on judges treating everyone equally, but sadly that not what the reality is today.

As it stands, I hope Judge Chutkan (and the judges in the other three jurisdictions) don't make political decisions that will enable the most corrupt president in American history. The need to stick with the law and let the dice roll for the sake of the republic.

Friday, September 15, 2023

My Longtime Dream of Amsterdam-Style Cannabis Cafes is Coming True in California

Back in the 1970s when I lived and went to college in Humboldt County, California, I knew a lot of cannabis growers, mostly Vietnam veterans with plantations hidden throughout the Emerald Triangle.

I remember sitting in pot-infused roundtables of growers talking about what we hoped would happen in the future with their fancy marijuana strains.

The number one subject was having legal Amsterdam-Style Cannabis cafes. We all looked with envy at what was happening in that progressive country where tourists could have the ultimate marijuana experience.

The day has come.

California's Gov. Gavin Newsom has Assembly Bill 374 - passed by a wide majority of 33-3 in the Senate and in the Assembly in a final vote 0f 66 to 9 - sitting on his desk today awaiting his signature. 

Here's what the bill allows:

* Preparation or sale of non-cannabis food or beverage products (such as pastries and coffee).

* Live musical or other performances on the premises.

However, there are restrictions the state has put on the bill. They include:

* Access to the area where cannabis consumption is allowed would be restricted to people 21 or older.

* The pot consumption can't be within view of a public area.

* Sales of alcohol or tobacco won't be permitted on the premises.

When Newsom signs the bill, it will go into effect in January 2024.

I should note that the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network opposes the bill and is urging Newsom to veto it.

Still, I think he will sign it as his administration has passed other progressive pot bills and promoted marijuana since he came into office.

As it stands, there's a small irony in my delight at legalizing cannabis cafes in California... I've lived in Oregon the past 10 years! It's okay. I can still drive there!

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Hunter Biden Indicted on Gun Charges

After five years of constant harassment of President Joe Biden's son Hunter, Republicans are seeing some of the fruits of their pursuit today.

Special Council David Weiss charged Hunter with three counts in connection to a gun he purchased in 2018.

The charges include making a false statement on federal firearms form and possession of a firearm as a prohibited person. The original plea deal collapsed for a multitude of reasons.

For five years Weiss (a Trump appointee) investigated the president's son for money laundering, felony tax evasion, illegal foreign lobbying, and other matters tied to Hunter's overseas business deals.

And this is what they're going after him for? Lying on a federal gun form and having a gun when he was prohibited from owning one due to his mental condition. I should point out coincidently (or not) that the stature of limitations for these charges was set to expire in early October.

The real damage is the fact Hunter made history as the first son of a president charged with felony counts. That's a smear that Joe is going to have to carry for the rest of his political career.

While corks are being popped in MAGA world right now they're far from done with him. The crazies in congress smell blood on the waters now as they ramp up a campaign with Hunter as the poster boy for the corrupt Biden crime family.

Again, coincidently (?) attorneys for Hunter Biden filed a civil lawsuit against former Trump White House aide Garrett Ziegler, alleging illegal hacking in violation of federal computer privacy laws.

The suit, filed in federal court in California, accuses Ziegler of "accessing, tampering with, manipulation, altering, copying and damaging computer data that they did not own and that they claimed to have obtained from hacking Hunter's iPhone data and from scouring a copy of the hard drive of what they claim to be Hunter's "laptop" computer.

MAGA morons please note that there is NO LAPTOP. Their talking about a hard drive. You'll have to ditch the evil laptop bullshit.

As it stands, one of the many things about this pursuit that really galls me is the fact that the Trump family grifted Americans for years (in and out of office) and yet none of the former president's kids were investigated for their crimes.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Republicans Pre-Emptive Strikes Against Laws Shows What Losers They Are

An increasing trend among GOP lawmakers is setting up their agendas with pre-emptive strikes.

Gov. Greg Abbott and Gov. Ron DeSantis are two blatant examples of what extremist Republicans can do with the help of MAGA legislators to enact their corrupt agendas.

The one big thing they have in common is they cover their asses with GOP legislatures that slowly eat away at people's rights. 

Take Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders latest example of how these MAGA minions protect themselves by withholding information from constituents.

She's colluding with her Republican cronies to create massive gaps in the Freedom of Information Act by trying to pass a bill that would shield her from public exposure on her actions.

The plan was to close off all access to her records, including any "reflecting communications" between the governor's office and her cabinet secretaries. 

It also would have created an attorney-client privilege exemption from the open-records law and change the standard for awarding attorney's fees in lawsuits over open records.

But Sander's first attempt to weaken government transparency was watered down when Arkansas lawmakers voted to NOT go lockstep on the scheme and ditched the more far-reaching proposals.

She is still getting her way to a lesser extent because legislators narrowed the bill down today to just shielding her travel and security records in a House vote. A final vote is set for Thursday. Local politicians say it's a done deal.

The issue isn't going to go away for long. The plot to hide all transparency of GOP lawmakers who dominate the state is now underway with the opening of this pre-emptive strike against Arkansas citizens freedoms.

Abbott and DeSantis have perfected the early strike scheme to a science. They're both turning their states into undemocratic banana republics.

Look no further for pre-emptive strikes than the crazy caucus in the House who are busy with fake investigations against President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

They're throwing up flak for their leader the disgraced former president who is losing his battle with the courts which intend to hold him accountable for his coup attempt and stealing top secret documents (to name a couple of the 91 felony charges against him in four jurisdictions).

To be sure, Trump is a loser. He's proved that since losing the 2020 election by trying to destroy our republic, the constitution, and to form a fascist government with him as leader for life.

Trump's campaign of grievances and martyrdom is playing well with his base, but more importantly it's not stopping the courts from pursuing him with evidence regardless of his sob stories and lies.

As it stands, the Republican party is history and now conservatives/MAGA morons have chosen to cast their lot with a loser.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Deep Sea Fishing: GOP House Dives into Impeachment Inquiry of Biden

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy took the much-anticipated deep dive today and announced his goons will head committees to try and find dirt on President Joe Biden.

Anything Democrats do looks fishy to MAGA morons who live in a perpetual state of multiple conspiracies and fear.

Quick quiz - what does inquiry mean in Trumpese?

A. A fishing expedition. 

B. Another way to say they don't have facts but by gosh they'll keep looking.

C. A way to run interference for their great orange whale Trump.

D. All of the above.

Watching the visibly shaken McCarthy telling the press he authorized a full-scale fishing expedition was like looking at a person with Stockholm Syndrome.

He didn't have a choice.

If he didn't genuflect before the crazy caucus and open a major fishing expedition into Biden, they would have made him walk the plank. 

The reality is any one of the 35 hardline representatives could have called for his impeachment if he didn't go along with the charade.

But the coward isn't out of the doghouse yet with his crazy cohorts. They have other demands that McCarthy must somehow make happen. To keep his job, he'll plumb the depths of every red herring that the poorly named Freedom Caucus casts out.

As for the rest of the confused Republicans in the House they're acting like a school of pilot fish following a shark and hoping they don't get eaten.

I think the real irony in McCarthy caving into the right-wing fringe that lurks around the House like barracudas, is the fact the whole exercise is a futile attempt that will backfire in the polls by motivating Democrats, Independents, and moderate Republicans to turn on them at the ballot box.

As it stands, the ship of fools wallowing in Congress is headed for turbulent waters with their fact-free accusations against President Biden and his family. 

Monday, September 11, 2023

The House Will Not Be in Order: Returning GOP Members Making Sure It Won't Be

They're back!

Once upon a time in the distant past members of the House of Representives came back from their summer break and addressed the nation's challenges. 

This year returning Republicans are ready to shut down the government and take another vacation. The only thing holding them back is they're waging a war among themselves on how draconian they will go to achieve their undemocratic goals.

House Speaker, and Trump lackey, Kevin McCarthy is in the middle of the hot mess between the Freedom Caucus and the Mainstream Caucus (I just discovered there is actually a group of Republicans not gulping down Orange Trump Aid although some do take frequent sips).

The confused and angry Republicans in the House may try to kick McCarthy out, although that's not a given...yet.

McCarthy's challenges seem insurmountable at the moment. It's going to take some real wheeling and dealing to avoid a government shutdown at the end of this month.

The bitterly divided majority GOP members don't want to send more aid to Ukraine, and they want a Biden impeachment inquiry. And that's just for starters.

Imagine what it must be like trying to navigate a deal with extremists who don't give a damn about the country in their corrupt attempts to undermine our democracy?

McCarthy's office is pushing for a short-term continuing resolution, or spending stopgap of a few months in order to give Republicans more leverage in the spending negotiations.

It's a sensible position but probably will be rejected in the inter-party cage fight atmosphere hanging over the House right now.

Scott Perry, the leader of the roughly 35-member Freedom Caucus doesn't think any GOP spending bills could pass this week without getting rid of McCarthy. 

The chances of successfully sending McCarthy down the road with empty tin cans trailing behind him depends on multiple actions. It's not clear how much support he does have if the ultra-MAGAs attempt to take him down.

As it stands, it appears that Republicans in the House are already bracing for a shutdown that they know will happen regardless of McCarthy's efforts to avoid it.

Sunday, September 10, 2023

MAGA Assault on Wisconsin Voters Part of a Sick Pattern

Maga Republicans aren't even waiting until a newly elected democrat judge has her first case.

They went on the attack just five days after Supreme Court Justice Janet Protasiewicz took her seat on the court.

The plan, part of a national war on democratic lawmakers, is to cancel her. They want to stop her from doing what the majority of Wisconsin voters elected her to do.

This effort to sideline a duly elected judge is part and parcel of what's happening around the country. It no longer matters to conservatives that they are thwarting the will of American voters. They just don't care.

Their scorched earth policy being carried out springs from Trumpism and the denial of reality if it's not convenient for the right-wing.

Impeachment is the latest threat Trump minions are raising against elected democratic lawmakers even when there's absolutely no evidence to do so.

Look no further than their fevered attempts to impeach President Joe Biden. It's obviously a blatant partisan attack because they've been trying for years to get something on him, including pursuing his son Hunter like honey badgers.

Doesn't matter. It's looking like that weak-kneed jellyfish House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is going to bow before the crazy caucus and carry out an "Impeachment inquiry" like there's ever been such a thing, especially without any evidence to warrant it.

What we see in Wisconsin is part of a hateful agenda designed to weaken our freedoms and laws. Wisconsin Republicans know Protasiewicz hasn't committed any impeachable offenses but that doesn't matter. 

The real reason the MAGA lawmakers are afraid of her is because her overwhelming election victory gave the liberals a majority on the state Supreme Court. That translates into throwing out a gerrymandered state legislative map and legalizing abortion in Wisconsin.

Our country has never seen a political party that is carrying out such bold assaults against our basic liberties and rights. And doing it with impunity.

There's only one political party fighting for the majority of Americans - Democrats. They don't want fascism to take hold in our republic. Voting democrat in 2024 will save our democracy against Trump and his homegrown terrorist cult. 

As it stands, in the next year we're undoubtably going to see more calls for impeachments of democratic lawmakers because MAGA Land is growing more desperate every day as Trump faces 91 felony criminal counts in four different jurisdictions.

GOP Governors Unite in Fight to Stop Unions in their States

Six Republican Governors have gathered to warn their residents against the evils of unionization which they claim would threaten their jobs...