All you have to do is read this book to see how Robert Mueller was either a Chickenshit (See book by Eisinger) or part of the project to cover up the Trump/Russia collusion. Neither alternative is a good one.
All you have to do is read this book to see how Robert Mueller was either a Chickenshit (See book by Eisinger) or part of the project to cover up the Trump/Russia collusion. Neither alternative is a good one.
I am at impeachment battle stations this morning, surrounded by cats. One of them is already snoring. I miss my little Burmese who died recently. He had watched 21 years of CSPAN and news shows and was a kitty genius. He appreciated and would have schooled the other cats on the historical significance of this event.
Jonathan Turley will read a statement this morning which is longer than the statements of any of the other lawyers appearing. He will finish with a hilarious (I’m not serious) narrative about how even his dog is angry, but we don’t need to rush into impeachment. Isn’t that just so cute?
Turley used to be a principled analyst and commentator. Then he was hired by the Republicans to destroy the ACA. Jonathan Turley fought AGAINST providing health insurance for low income people. This is the kind of scum he became after the Republicans bought him off.
Turley will say that there is no “statutory crime” here. But, the Constitution doesn’t require a statutory crime to impeach. That’s just how shameless Turley has become in terms of advancing nonsense as legal reasoning.
Brian Williams (why does he still have a job) is telling us that it is understandable that nobody will read the House Intelligence Committee Report because it’s 300 pages. Is he talking about himself? I read 300 pages regularly and know other people who do. The mediocrity that fills the corporate news is just so tiresome.
House Intelligence Committee Report
The House Intelligence Committee has released their preliminary impeachment report.
Included are phone records that document phone calls between Giuliani and OMB, made from the White House. This makes it impossible to maintain the fiction that Giuliani was conducting a “rogue operation.”
Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz told The Miami Herald on Wednesday that he does not believe investigating the outcome of pedophile multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s case is a wise move, saying it would set a “dangerous” precedent of second-guessing prosecutorial decisions.” The Intellectualist.
If you don’t know just how outrageous this plea deal was, you need to do some reading. The plea deal immunized not only Epstein, but anyone associated with him, unnamed.
Seth Abramson pointed out on Twitter that the Trump/Ukraine story is far worse than the Democrats are presenting. They are conducting a concerted attempt to dumb down the impeachment inquiry to the most elementary story hoping that then, people will understand it.
Abramson writes: “It’s much worse than we’ve been told.”
Trump, Pompeo, Giuliani, Nunes, Solomon, Parnas, Lutsenko and Fruman, Abramson notes began their plotting much earlier than is being considered. (Note: Schiff referred to this in his statement today after the report was released).
The plotting began at a time when the participants didn’t know if Mueller would take down Trump. It started when Trump learned he was being investigated over Russia.
Trump, Abramson argues, believed that Mueller would take him down. The push towards Ukraine was a defense to allegations he knew were being made against the Kremlin, which he believed were going to be connected to him via Manafort.
This was not a plot against Biden. Biden was just the icing on the cake.
“This was a plot to exculpate Trump, Putin and the man who connected them: Manafort. It was a plot to end sanctions and pave the way for Trump deals in Russia.”
The key events started before anyone knew that Biden was going to run for president.
Duncan Hunter and Sentencing
Duncan Hunter is going to be allowed to plead guilty to corruption charges he vehemently denied for years. Hunter claimed the charges against him were politically motivated and a (sign) “witch hunt.” He refused to admit his wrongdoing, publicly claimed that he was being persecuted and still holds his position in the congress, but he is being allowed to plead guilty to one charge. Even though he has been charged with multiple crimes, and potentially faces five years in prison, the reporting is that he will most probably get a little over a year.
There is no functioning criminal justice system for white collar, corporate and state criminals in this country. That’s why Trump and Manafort and others like them were running around free to engage in political campaigns. This must stop or we will have no democracy left.
The Corporate Media
At this extremely serious time, Nicolle Wallace has Donnie Deutsch on her show as a member of the panel. Deutsch is a “marketing expert.” This, folks, is where we are as a country, and where the corporate media is.
“A …report by the Justice Department’s inspector general is expected to sharply criticize lower-level F.B.I. officials as well as bureau leaders involved in the early stages of the Trump-Russia investigation, but to absolve the top ranks of abusing their powers out of bias against President Trump…”
As Nick Confessori (NYT) pointed out this morning, the very investigation of FBI “spying” or wrongdoing in the investigation of the Trump campaign, is a victory for Trump.
Donald Trump made a wild accusation at a campaign rally, based on nothing, and the Justice Department devoted time and resources investigating it. So, even though they now say that there was nothing untoward in the investigation we have devoted serious attention to a wild accusation.
This is exactly what the corporate press does every day. A substantial part of “Meet The Press” on Sunday was handed over to John Kennedy to propagate Russian propaganda, arguing that the “earth is flat” and that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election in the same way as did the Russians (who have been indicted). Everyone knows that’s fiction, propaganda, so why does Chuck Todd book this liar and give him a platform?
The world is moving toward authoritarianism, and corporate media darlings like Nicolle Wallace laugh and joke and just have a wonderful time talking about the minutiae of Trump’s intentions and mind.
This is the way a country moves into authoritarianism without realizing it. If there was something serious going on, wouldn’t the news anchors be talking about it as if it were a serious matter? That’s what most people think, whether consciously or unconsciously. When they see Nicolle Wallace having a high old time and Chris Hayes turning the news into a comedy show, they are relieved that they don’t have to take what is a move to a one-party authoritarian state seriously.
The corporate media repeatedly presents “both sides” and allows the right to vomit up endless streams of propaganda, treating it as if it were a reasonable narrative.
Just as the corporate media presents “both sides” the rational and the bat- shit crazy, Mueller and now the Justice Department Inspector General create a world of legal “bothsidesism.”
“The early accounts of the (Inspector General’s) report suggest that it is likely to stoke the debate over the investigation without definitively resolving it (Sound like Mueller?), by offering both sides different conclusions they can point to as vindication for their rival worldviews.”
We can’t let them get away with this.
Quotes from NYT article: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/22/us/politics/russia-investigation-inspector-general-report.html
Reviewer of Cheating Justice:
Not then, and not now.
Perhaps I missed it, but I don’t remember this book getting a lot of play in 2013. It should have. And, it should be getting a lot of play now in the context of the take-over of the government by a transnational organized crime group otherwise known as the Trump administration.
Elizabeth Holtzman has been on numerous news programs in the past three years, but I cannot remember once, once, hearing her asked about this book, which every news pundit needs to be reading and talking about.
I remember being 20 years old and watching Elizabeth Holtzman on television as a member of the House Judiciary Committee. I stayed home from work to watch her vote for articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon in 1973.
Years later, Holtzman became an outspoken advocate for impeaching George W. Bush.
In this book, Holtzman points out that legal accountability (for Bush and Cheney, et. al.) could have come many years after the president and his staff were out of office. when she wrote the book, it wasn’t too late.
But, accountability didn’t come. There was no legal accountability for Bush and Cheney and others who conspired to deceive the American people about the need for a war against Iraq, who broke surveillance law against wiretapping, and who authorized and used the form of torture known as waterboarding.
I live in fear that this is exactly what will happen with Trump and the rest of his chronies, Barr, Mulvaney, Bolton, Sondland, Conway, Bannon…
As Holtzman’s book clearly illustrates, the Trump administration is not the first to use the Office of Legal Counsel as a mechanism to create the impression that their illegal behavior is legal. The Bush Administration used the Office of Legal Counsel to craft opinions so absurd that they then made the decisions classified so people couldn’t see how rationally tortured they were. So, this is not the first time the OLC has been an essential part of Executive law breaking. The OLC is a tool in the kit of unscrupulous authoritarians.
I don’t hear anybody, though, pointing this out. I don’t hear any discussion of the long history of using the OLC as a weapon. I don’t remember anyone having Holtzman talk about the OLC and Mueller’s use of the opinion preventing presidental indictment as a dodge to hold him accountable. I don’t hear anyone having Holtzman talk about the centrality of the OLC in the Republican campaign to install a one-party state in which authoritarian government rules.
This is not the first rodeo for these folks (the Barrs, the Mulvaneys, the McConnells). They know how to play this game and are playing it for all it’s worth. Nobody in the corporate media is talking about it. Instead, the corporate media is mired in the ins and outs of what amounts to Trump psycho babble and hours of analysis of polls they themselves admit are no longer accurate because of changes in technology. There is endless discussion of the minutia of legal reasoning, whether criminal intent can be established in white collar and corporate and government cases without a verified videotape of the offender committing a specific crime and confessing to it.
There is no discussion of why the laws regarding state, corporate and white collar crime have been rewritten to make them almost impossible to convict on. There is no discussion of the cowardice of state and federal prosecutors to go after the crimes of wealthy people and the loss of expertise to prosecute complicated cases. (See Jesse Eisinger’s “The Chickenshit Club.”) Where is this discussion?
The Republicans have been laying the groundwork for this take over of democracy for decades. William Barr has been intimately involved in crafting the mechanisms of state to accomplish this purpose. He saw that Trump could be the man they could use to achieve this end, and he auditioned for the job.
These guys aren’t playing. They have been at this for decades and they are not going to give up. People need to stop deluding themselves that this is politics as usual. It is not.
The Chris Coons of the world will sell us out. While congratulating themselves and having the corporate media heap them with praise for “bipartisan” effort, the Coons will make deals and compromises. Coons did just that and helped Kavanaugh onto the Supreme Court. The Joe Bidens of the world just want to go back to business as usual – the regular corruption with good manners. The corporate news pundits like Nicolle Wallace will laugh us through normalizing the end of democracy, having a grand old time doing it. The Chuck Rosenberg’s of the world will sooth us and tell us that there’s nothing to be alarmed about, the professionals will save us. They will not. And we must not let them fool us into thinking so.
The leadership of the Democratic party is culpable as well. George W. Bush should have been impeached. He should have been put in jail along with Cheney. The man knowingly lied us into a war where almost 5,000 Americans were killed and God knows how many Iraquis. But he is now treated like a sweet, dottering old fool. The fact that he is spending his time painting the faces of dead servicemen isn’t even considered weird as hell.
And, we have Nanci Pelosi publicly joking that people wanted her to impeach Bush. She makes this statement and waits for people to laugh. How stupid, how naive that people wanted her to impeach Bush. This is where we are.
“Cheating Justice” is a book that is essential reading for anyone who thinks Trump is different, that Trump is not the logical culmination of Repubican starategy launched decades ago. It is essential reading for anyone who believes that Republicans have been led down an immoral rabbit hole by Trump. It is essential reading for anyone who believes (as Biden purports to) that the Republicans will go back to being rational and honest people after Trump is gone. THEY WILL NOT.
Republicans were corrupt before Trump and they will be corrupt after Trump.
Comments on Cheating Justice:
The crimes of the Bush/Cheney Administration were exposed but unpunished. “Extraordinary rendition, warrantless wiretapping, torture: we cannot live with this legacy, but neither can we seem to escape it. No one is better qualified than Elizabeth Holtzman—prosecutor, congresswoman, member of the Watergate committee—to confront this legal and moral conundrum and show the way forward. Cheating Justice, like its author, is fierce, bold, and unflinching. A powerful, necessary book.”—Mark Danner, author of Stripping Bare the Body
Gloria Steinman: The Bush/Cheney administration “subverted civil liberties, human rights and the law itself and then used”… 9/11 to cover it up.”
JohnConyers, Jr.: Holtzman’s book could provide us important insights into “how we can prevent those (actions) from recurring.”
One of the main reasons we are in such a disastrous position politically in this country is the corporate media. The corporate media gave Trump tens of millions of dollars of free airtime in the 2016 election, did not cover (and have still not adequately covered) Trump’s extensive criminal financial background and associations, and continues to normalize his criminal behavior and that of his minions.
Tuesday night, I tuned in to watch part of Nicolle Wallace’s program and found her and her panel constructing a narrative that US Ambassador to the EU, Gordan Sondland was basically a good guy who had wanted to be an ambassador for years. As they spun the story, Sondland had worked so hard to get the job as an ambassador. Sondland was just so thrilled to have been appointed, he wanted badly to please the Trump administration. The poor inexperienced man was caught between Trump and Giuliani and was just trying to do the right thing for Ukraine. Poor soul. It was all just another example of how good people get ruined when they associate with Donald Trump.
There are so many things wrong with this narrative, I don’t know where to begin. First, there is no evidence to support this fiction. Sondland didn’t work hard to get appointed ambassador. He bought the position with a $1 million contribution to Trump’s campaign. There is no evidence in the text messages and cables that Sondland cared one whit about doing the right thing for Ukraine. He cared about assisting the “drug deal” that Trump, Guiliani and the rest of them were putting together. Sondland knew what he was doing was wrong because he tried to cover it up by asking Volker to communicate with him over the phone rather than in writing about the plot. Gordon Sondland is not a good person who got caught up in a criminal enterprise. He was chosen because he was and is just the sort of person who would happily get involved in a criminal enterprise.
But, corporate media stars like Nicolle Wallace, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski will white-wash all the major players in this running transnational scandal. They have done so for years.
Scarborough and Brzezinski were called “supporters” by Trump himself and were celebrating at Mar-a-lago after the election. They only broke with Trump after he outed their adulterous affair. Nicolle Wallace spent months castigating all the Trump administration members who didn’t quit their jobs in the White House. She, however, worked for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney who lied us into a war that killed almost 5,000 American and God knows how many Iraqis. Wallace was on television just after Bret Kavanaugh delivered a contrived temper tantrum at the end of his confirmation hearings. Wallace felt sorry for him, fell for it hook-line-and sinker. Scarborough spent months before the Mueller report came out telling us that our “institutions continue to hold.” This morning, Brezezinski told the MSNBC audience that Sen. Kennedy (sucks being this dumb) was a “good guy” and had allowed himself to be drawn into Trump’s sleaze.
These people are not good people who have been drawn into anything. Most of them were chosen because they were the same sort of sleaze Trump is. Others went into this with their eyes open, so craven they didn’t care what they were agreeing to. They all deserve contempt, ridicule, impeachment, many of them prosecution, and shunning.
These people were immoral scum before Trump even thought about running for office and they will be immoral scum after he leaves. People like Mitch McConnell and William Barr are not “good guys.” They are dangerous men, willing to do anything, anything to maintain this shot at permanent power they have carved out around Donald Trump.
When people like Wallace and Scarborough and Brzezinski try to absolve them of guilt and weave fictional narratives explaining their behavior, they become enablers of this attempt to overthrow and crush democracy.
The past week has convinced me once again that the corporate media is worse than useless. The only reason for watching CNN and MSNBC is to collect examples of outrageous normalizing and insider smugness, examples of how the corporate media has sold us out, is selling us out and will get Trump re-elected.
The Joe Scarborough and dreadful Mika lecture about booing Donald Trump just did it for me. I cannot watch anymore, not even to record the media’s subversive ushering-in of the take over of democracy by authoritarianism.
But, like a partner in a bad relationship, I thought I’d listen to Ari Melber, for a minute, while I looked for my copy of Elmer Gantry. I was so wrong to do this.
When my television records a program, it starts early, so I must watch at least a few minutes of the amazingly obnoxious, arrogant and over-rated Chuck Todd.
There he was with one of my least favorite people in the world, Adrienne Elrod, one of the Clinton entitled jerk women (like Neera Tandem). These women helped lose the 2016 election for the Democrats but will never, never forgive Bernie Sanders for exercising his political right to run for election. They are bitter, nasty and never pass up an opportunity to trash Sanders.
The panel was talking about Joe Manchin’s decision to give an interview to Fox News in which he announced that if Bernie Sanders was the Democratic candidate, he would vote for Trump. This video clip just made me sick and enraged me. Joe Manchin is such a disgrace to the Democratic party. Why they support him I don’t know. He votes with the Republicans but still the leadership protects him. Why would we want this jerk?
I phoned Manchin’s office earlier in the day to express my outrage that he had made such an announcement. The staffer who took my call, said with obvious contemptuous disdain at the end of the call: “Have a nice day.” “Oh you too.” I answered back. “You should be ashamed to work for this man.”
Elrod, however, predictably pronounced that Manchin’s statement that he would VOTE FOR A REPUBLICAN CRIMINAL AND MADMAN over Bernie Sanders wasn’t a problem at all. If anyone in the party had said that they would vote for Trump over Clinton, people like the dreadful Adrienne Elrod would have been all over television talking party treason and accusing them of sexism. Why these programs continue to have her on just escapes me. They do a story about Bernie Sanders and then have ADRIENNE ELROD on to comment on it, or Neera F…ing Tandem. Jesus.
Then, after Elrod was finished saying that Manchin’s statement really wasn’t a problem, this other guest – a smirking, arrogant somebody said that “everyone in Washington” understood Manchin as a Democrat from West Virginia and that only Bernie would have called Manchin on his statement. The panel nodded their heads.
It is the contempt, the insider smirk, the “real players understand that you always sell your soul for political advantage” people that just make me sick. I hate their satisfaction, their smug confidence that the real players all understand that this is just a game for power and they laugh at the rest of us who take it seriously, have to take it seriously because it means our lives.
I don’t know who this guy is. But, after he said that Bernie was the only rube who would be so unsophisticated not to know that real cool people sell their souls every day, he said that Bernie should have just been quiet for the “good of the party.”
Joe F…ing Manchin should be quiet for the good of the party and not make a public statement (on Fox News) that he will VOTE FOR A REPUBLICAN MEMBER OF AN INTERNATIONAL CRIME SYNDICATE rather than vote for Bernie Sanders, the Democratic nominee.
Joe Manchin makes a cynical, self-interested statement that he would rather support a man who doesn’t believe in democracy rather than his party’s supposed candidate and they are blaming Bernie? Bernie should just be quiet?
But, the arrogant F… and Chuck Todd bent over laughing at the idiocy of Sanders calling Manchin out. To them it is laughable idiocy to believe in integrity, in morals. They are what we need to get rid of – people who think selling their souls is such an ever day occurrence that they think the rest of us are stupid for objecting.