Essential Reading: The Chickenshit Club

Why we shouldn’t count on the Courts to save us.

chickenshit

“The book is as alarming as it is comprehensive, but it’s also gripping. The unfolding of the financial crisis makes for thrilling drama in Eisinger’s hands, heightened by the anxiety still felt by all who survived it. He’s even able to make white-collar courtroom proceedings and investigations into tax shelters sparkle.…This book is a wakeup call, delivered calmly yet with no shortage of well-reasoned urgency, to a nation whose democratic traditions are being undermined by backroom dealing, deregulation, and the consolidation of corporate power. It’s a chilling read, and a needed one.”—NPR.org

 

Just a few questions I have this morning

alex acosta

Why is Alex Acosta still in charge of the Labor Department?  

Why did Alex Acosta go to so much trouble and risk to protect Jeffrey Epstein?  What did he get in return?  Why was part of the agreement never to make public the other men thought to be involved with the sex trafficking ring?  Who are these men?

The journalist, Sarah Kendzior has pointed out that Trump has and had a number of pedophile friends – Jeffrey Epstein, Roy Cohn, John Casablancas, George Nadar, Tevfik Arif.  What the hell is this about?

Dissing Bernie Sanders

juanita tolliver  Just pointing out yet another pundit, Juanita Tolliver, taking the opportunity on Ari Melber to diss Bernie Sanders tonight.  When asked about the incredible amount of money Sanders raised in the first few hours of his candidacy, Tolliver remarked that he’s been building “that email list” over several candidacies and she’d be surprised if he didn’t raise that much money.  So, according to Tolliver, let’s write off Sanders’ fund raising abilities and obvious popularity.  And, according to Tolliver, the voters see other candidates who “look like them” they would rather vote for.  This, of course, completely ignores any of Sanders’ policies – just advocates voting for people who look like you.  I would like to point out that Maggie Thatcher looks like me in a sense and I’d rather eat my left arm off than vote for her.  Second, Tolliver, hastened to point out that Bernie Sanders somehow insulted Stacey Abrams by giving a response to the State of the Union address, something he has done for years.  I’m tired of this folks.

I’m tired of folks complaining that Sanders isn’t a Democrat.  You should be kissing Sanders’ ass that he’s running as a Democrat and not an independent.  And, if it weren’t for Bernie Sanders, the Democrats would still be telling us that they had to accept corporate money to win.  I’ll say it again, the Democrats should be kissing Sanders’ ass instead of taking every opportunity to ridicule and dismiss him.

I have to hand it to Ed Rendell, on Ari Melber, for refusing to go along with the crowd and refusing to talk about Sanders with contempt.  When Rendell pointed out that Sanders was making a point that people shouldn’t discriminate against other people because of their age, Tolliver scoffed and smirked on a split screen.  When Ari Melber asked if Sanders’ shouldn’t be credited with moving the party to the left, Tolliver did the same thing.  This makes me really mad.

You know, people wonder why Sanders’ supporters had a hard time swallowing their bile and voting for Hillary Clinton.  This is why.  The smirking, condescending, ridiculing is just so reprehensible.

 

I

Podcast World: Unpresidented, an Interview with Garrett Graff

garrett graff  The more the Corporate News Media descends into triviality, the more essential Podcasts become.  This one, Unpresidented, is one I hadn’t listened to before even though I was subscribed to it for a long time.  This interview with Garrett Graff attracted my attention and I may well have to go to Patreon.com and subscribe.  You can get the full hour-long interview for a $5 monthly subscription.

Graff wrote a biography of Mueller, “The Threat Matrix” in 2011.  And, he is described as an expert on the Trump/Russia relationship.  In the first 15 minutes of the interview, I found several of his observations to be noteworthy. 

  • Graff maintains that the initial counter intelligence investigation started by the FBI was to protect the Trump campaign.  Graff says that when it was observed that there were all these Russians trying to weasel themselves into contact with the campaign, the FBI started both warning the Trump people and watching more closely.  The real panic set in when they discovered that not only did the Trump people not pick up the telephone and notify the FBI when Russians contacted them, the Trump people made it clear to the Russians that they were “open for business.”
  • This is somewhat different from what I had understood before.  I thought that it was the suspicious behavior of Trump and the people around him that triggered the investigation.
  • The most interesting statement, however, by Graff was at the end of the interview.  The interviewer asks him if he thinks that justice will ever be done.  Graff says: “over some period of time, yes.  And, then he adds:
  • “…ultimately the question here doesn’t need to be is justice done, the question is can the United States move forward?  Can we rebuild our democracy and rebuild some of the foundations of some of these institutions after the damage that Trump has done to them…There may very well end up being some compromises along the way to ensure that America’s able to move forward at the end of this, short of sending everyone to jail.” 

Now, I think that UNLESS everybody guilty in this scenario goes to jail, the country can’t move forward at least not in a way that will be an improvement.  If this is swept under the rug in the name of “moving forward,” or if we have people in the Congress and the government deciding that the American people can’t take the truth (as they evidently did in the Iran/Contra affair), we will never be able to move forward in a meaningful way.

I have been listening to pundits for months laying the groundwork for a less than satisfying resolution to this whole Trump/Russia affair.  It makes me furious.  We have an elite class in this country that is all but above consequences for illegal and immoral behavior now.  If white collar and corporate crime were actually prosecuted the way they should be, we wouldn’t even have to be dealing with people like the Trump family, Roger Stone, Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen.  They would already be in jail.  If we let this slide, let these people get away with subverting what democracy we have in this country, we will not have it much longer.