Things I’m Thinking About: Rachael Brand, Joe Scarborough, and the NRA


rachael brand

Things I’m Thinking About This Morning

Trump’s former bodyguard, Keith Schilling, is being paid $15,000 a month by the RNC.  Why?

There are people on Twitter attacking a CNN reporter for tracking down a woman who participated in a Russian organized demonstration for Trump in Florida.  I watched the clip and I don’t understand what the fuss is about.  The woman is the one who is overly aggressive and asserts repeatedly that she doesn’t “believe” that the Russians were involved.

Rachael Brand has given an interview to Fox News in which she tries to defend herself against the perfectly logical conclusion that she quit the Justice Department because she wanted to avoid being put in charge of the investigation of the Russian involvement with the 2016 election.  She says that she had no reason to ever believe that the Russia investigation would come to her.  Well, if she didn’t, she’s an idiot and I suspect she is just lying.  There has been a notable reluctance on the part of commentators to take her on about this.  Rachael Maddow is the only one I’ve heard comment that Brand might well have made the firing of Rosenstein easier by quitting.  Most of the people commenting on her resignation have said that they couldn’t blame her.  She was in a difficult position and being in charge of the investigation might well be bad for her career.  Her career?  Her career?  What happened to concern about the country?  People just assume that if something might be bad for your career you are perfectly justified in avoiding it.  Who cares about the Constitution?  The country?  Democracy?  The Rule of Law?  Marlene Dietrich was once asked whether she missed the war.  She said she missed what people were like when they were trying to be brave.  I do too.  Rachael Brand is a member of the Federalist society, an ultra conservative group that works to get extremely conservative judges and lawyers appointed to important positions.  So, who would expect integrity, courage, morality?  Not me.

Wayne Lapierre of the NRA, and that Lash woman are lunatics.  It says everything that needs to be said about the Conservatives that they were invited as speakers.  They are dangerous people and make no mistake, when Lapierre says that we should “harden schools” he means that we should sell more guns and security equipment.

On Morning Misogyny, Joe Scarborough fawned over Trump and Rubio for actually talking to and listening to (or pretending to) their constituents.  It’s their job, not a favor they do for us.  Trump hasn’t given a press conference in over a year.  He participated in a show with selected students and parents who were screened to make sure they wouldn’t confront him.  Rubio couldn’t even hold up his end of a debate with a teenager.  As someone else said: Rubio’s never brought anything to the  political scene except his ambition.


Things I Was Thinking About Yesterday

  • Robert Reich pointed out in a tweet that with the $18 billion they are talking about spending on the wall, we could end homelessness for 500 thousand Americans.
  • Christopher Steele briefed reporters about his findings regarding the Trump/Russia scandal before the election.
  • It has been reported that a person died due to the release of the Steele documents. Who was this?
  • Is Steve Bannon just the first to try to distance himself from an administration riddled with corruption?  Everybody in the White House is going to be pointing and saying: He’s Spartacus.
  • Why hasn’t Rosenstein recused himself? The memo he wrote was used as a cover story for firing Comey.  Rosenstein will be a witness regarding the firing of Comey.  Some have argued that Mueller et. al. are just conveniently ignoring the conflict here.  Others have mused that Muller isn’t going after obstruction.
  • Why can’t Nicole Wallace stop talking? She’s getting to be just like Chris Matthews.  Every question she asks is four paragraphs long.
  • What difference would it make if the investigation had been initiated by the Steele memos? Why are the Democrats trying so hard to argue that the investigation was not initiated by the Steele memos?  What difference does it make?  They are so intimidated by Republican arguments.
  • Joe Scarborough and others are repeatedly advancing the argument that Trump is suffering from dementia. This argument (that Trump has changed, deteriorated) seems especially self-serving coming from Scarborough.   He can try to justify his own slavish support for Trump up until Trump dumped him as an advisor.  Also, the danger of this argument (aside from the face that it’s probably untrue and almost impossible to prove) is that it forms a convenient out for Trump.  He can resign, claim that he if suffering from dementia, and get to keep all his ill-gotten gains and cover up his criminal, and (if we were in a war) treasonous behavior.
  • Why is everybody in the media constantly apologizing for calling out Trump’s behavior? You don’t have to be a psychiatrist to see that somebody’s behavior is erratic, impulsive, out of the ordinary.  You would say that about your neighbor if he behaved like Trump.   You don’t have to have a formal medical diagnosis to know that somebody is off-kilter (to put it mildly).  Just say it and stop wringing your hands.
  • Diane Feinstein has released the Senate Judiciary Committee testimony of Fusion GPS founder, Glenn Simpson. Let’s hope this is an indication of Democrats growing some kind of spine.

Just saying…

Things I’m Thinking About This Morning


  • The Hill is reporting that Nancy Pelosi’s son partied with the Trumps at Mar-a-lago on New Year’s Eve. These folks in the Democratic Party are going to have to decide which side they are on.
  • Morning Joe and Mike started off talking about how the country was going to survive the Trump Administration, how institutions are going to hold and save us from the threat to democracy. This only reinforces my notion that we are not going to survive at least not as a democracy.  My bet is that it’s going to be a spiral toward autocracy from here on out.
  • Scarborough is also talking about the dementia defense for Trump. He has been pushing this one for months.  At least one journalist has proposed that this is likely to be the out for Trump and his minions – claim dementia and then resign and therefore be allowed to get away with treason, money laundering and god knows what else.
  • The hypocritical pair (Joe and Mika) also were talking again this morning about “poor” Hope Hicks, and “poor” Reince Priebus. There was also comment on what a decent human being Priebus is.  These people are adults, they have been part of one of the most corrupt administrations in history.  I have no, I repeat no, sympathy for any of them.
  • Steve Bannon is now trying to say his comments about treason were not about Donald Trump Jr, they were about Manafort.

Things I’m Thinking About Tonight

jimmy carter

Jimmy Carter, the Republican Tax Bill and Citizen’s United

This is a quote from an interview with Jimmy Carter after the Supreme Court decision in Citizen’s United

“As the rich people finance the campaigns, when candidates get in office they do what the rich people want. And that’s to let the rich people get richer and richer and the middle class get left out. All the statistics show that the middle class are stagnant or going down in their income for the work that they do.”


A discussion of politics, law, justice, and crime.