Essential Reading: The Chickenshit Club

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


“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.”—


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.



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 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. 







They Ruined Their Party and Now They’re Trying to Ruin Ours

Shermichael Singleton

Shermichael Singleton – Vox

Just adding another name to the list of journalists (this one a Republican) who are on national television arguing that the Democrats should nominate a candidate that will please disaffected Republicans.

This phenomenon reminds me of an incident that occurred years ago when I was traveling across the country with my late husband. We had stopped on a freezing cold and very wet morning at a filling station in the middle of nowhere.  I was sitting in the car waiting for my husband and noticed a young man weaving back and forth trying to dial a number on the outdoor pay telephone (yes, this was before cell phones).  He was obviously drunk.  He had obviously been drunk for a substantial length of time.  His clothes were filthy and looked like he had slept in them for three days and I could see what looked like a stain of vomit running down the front of his shirt.  He kept wiping his nose with the back of his hand.  He stood there, holding the phone, weaving for a few seconds and then he screamed so loud I could hear him though the closed windows of our car: “You neeeeeeeeeed me.”  He then took the receiver and pounded it on the telephone box until he smashed it to pieces.  I could only imagine some woman on the other end of the line  saying to herself: “Like a fucking hole in the head.”

That’s just about how I feel about all these lapsed Republicans who now feel that the Democratic Party owes them a candidate suitable to their discerning tastes.  These guys spent decades laying the groundwork for Trump – stoking racism and homophobia and sexism, legitimating every obstructionist Congressional move in the book  – like denying Obama a Supreme Court Justice and passing tax laws designed to gut the ACA.  They turned lying into a party practice, and supported propaganda television news on Fox TV.  Now, after doing all that and ushering Donald Trump into the Oval Office and putting him in control of the nuclear codes, they think we need to find a candidate they can approve.  Well, I don’t think so.

They ruined their own party (not that I’m mourning that fact) and now they think they should be given veto privileges over ours.

Make no mistake about it – most of these Republicans who are now the darling of CNN and especially MSNBC support most of the policies of Trump, et. al., they just don’t like the manners.  If you put another rabidly right wing white man in office who didn’t tweet and wasn’t quite such a moron, they would all be into it like a rat up a drainpipe.

It was interesting to see Steve Schmidt who for all intents and purposes was morally outraged by Trump and everything he stood for, defect to the rich Coffee Man as soon as he announced his candidacy.  And, the Starbuck’s oligarch recently announced that he will get out of the race if the Democrats nominate someone in the center – read a corporate Democrat who knows how to play the game and who won’t make waves by trying to bring about fundamental change.





Podcast: “Why Is This Happening” “The Chickenshit Club”

chris hayes

Why we can’t get the rich to pay taxes – The Republicans

If you haven’t listened to the podcast “Why Is This Happening” by Chris Hayes, you should.  This episode on the wealthy and taxes is fascinating and infuriating.  If you wondered why people like Paul Manafort were able to flagrantly avoid paying taxes on millions, this podcast helps explain.

Hayes interviews Jesse Eisinger, author of The Chickenshit Club, about changes in enforcement in the IRS especially in the last 10 years.  Briefly, the Republicans conducted an all out assault on the budget and the enforcement abilities of the IRS along with a public smear campaign.  The result is that IRS enforcement and audits are done much less on wealthy people and more on the working poor.  Audits on corporations and wealthy people are complicated and take much more resources than audits on those making around $20,000 a year.

We have to ask ourselves some serious questions when we consider the proposals popular among the Democratic candidates to more fairly tax the wealthy.  Taxing them will solve nothing if we can’t enforce the law.



More Morning Misogyny: Mika and Joe

pressley  This is Ayanna Pressley the first black Congresswoman from Massachusetts.  Have you ever heard her speak?  This is one of the women who (according to Mika Brzezinski) need to take advice from their elders (read from the dreadful and opportunistic Mika).  On Friday, the panel of Morning Joe had a little hair-in-fire segment about the “socialists” in the Democratic Party, and the young women who needed to listen to their more experienced elders (who have done so much for us).

This from people (Joe and the horrid Mika) who gave Donald Trump millions of dollars of free air time during the election, people who asked Trump’s permission to confront him with certain questions, were celebrating at Mara-Lago with Trump after the election, who broke with Trump only because he threatened them.

But, the Democrats need advice from Joe about who to nominate, and these young whipperty-snapperty women need the pathetic Mika’s advice.

Just to remind you, Donnie Deutch called AOC “dangerous” Friday morning.  And, Joe was on Twitter last night trying to say that he didn’t say the things he said about the freshman women.  I am so sick of these people.

In case you didn’t notice, last night the disgusting Matt Schlapp issued a tweet glorying in the fact that Trump finally had his own Attorney General and that Barr was going to get rid of Mueller soon.  Anybody who sat on television and argued that Barr was a principled person and that he would do the right thing is a fool, and blind.  Guys, these institutions are not going to save us.  Barr was behind the pardoning of 7 people after the Iran /Contra scandal.  You think he’s not going to do that here?  Watch this space.

And yes, I’m still cranky.  My hair has been on fire for over two years and my scalp is beginning to burn.