Can I just say that Sam Nunberg is an imbecile. He was in an important position in the Trump as a “campaign advisor” because he is an imbecile and now CNN is interviewing him as if he is this expert on anything.
Nunberg at one time faced prosecution because of his role in the Trump campaign and he is saying about Trump: “He is not a perfect man.” Nunberg, says that he has no regrets about working to get Trump elected. This fruitful line of discussion was cut off by the CNN anchor. But, Nunberg continued: “I don’t regret the Supreme Court. I don’t regret …Israel.” “He (Trump) did a service to the forgotten men and women…” “I am happy he beat Hillary Clinton…”
Tony Schwartz, who was also on the CNN panel broke in to confront Nunberg. Schwartz said it was “sad to hear somebody say I don’t take any responsibility.” “Come one Sam.” “It’s time to say the truth about this man.”
But, Nunberg, growing visibly angry, just continued to defend Trump.
While CNN cut this discussion off, it is an important one. What it demonstrates is that these people around Trump (even those who have been left out to dry in terms of prosecution by the Trump administration) have learned nothing. To the extent that Nunberg is willing to criticize Trump and those around him it is because they didn’t step in to legally protect Nunberg.
On to another topic raised by the CNN coverage this morning. Tony Schwartz said that this might be his last public statement about Trump because everything that can be said has been said.
I agree with Schwartz. I am completely disgusted with this continued cheap psychoanalysis of Trump that takes up hours and hours on corporate news. I don’t care what Trump thinks. I don’t care what is “inside Trump’s head” as CNN purported to cover this morning. I care about what Trump does and what he represents and what the complicit group of people around him are fomenting. This is a movement and make no mistake, Mitch McConnell is as much a part of it as is Donald Trump. Getting rid of Trump (if we even can) is not going to solve the problem.
This is one of the reasons why people in my intellectual territory of the Democratic Party shudder every time Biden or his cohorts starts to talk about “healing” or “unity” or (to repeat Obama’s line) “moving on.”
McConnell may have decided that he has gotten as much out of Trump as he can, and is now ready to kick him to the curb. But, moving on means McConnell and the Koch’s will find somebody else, smarter, cleaner, more devious, and more palatable to carry on the fight to establish an authoritarian one-party Christian nationalist state. That’s where they have been going for decades and where they will continue going, with Trump at the head or not.
Mitch McConnell (and McConnell’s wife), Bill Barr and others are making self-serving statements, so that they can live to fight another day. And, the corporate media is already complicit in laundering the reputations of prominent Republicans. Joe Scarborough is a prime example of someone who will happily criticize Trump (who threatened to out his adulterous affair, and who called Scarborough a murderer) and then turn around and laud Republicans who are complicit in advancing Republican goals while making superficial criticisms of Trump.
“I don’t regret the Supreme Court” should be tattooed on the foreheads of Mitch McConnell, Steve Schmidt, Joe Scarborough, Elise Jordan, Nicolle Wallace, Mitt Romney, Pat Toomey, Ben Sasse, John Bolton, George Conway, Bill Kristol, Michael Steele, Jeff Flake, Justic Amash, David Jolly?, John Kasich, Tom Cotton, Marco Rubio, Susan Collins, Richard Burr, James Lankford and many others.
Folks, these people are not our friends. They cannot be our allies. They have worked for decades to bring this situation about. They established the groundwork for this situation. They cannot plead ignorance and innocence now.
Just note the phrases of submission, of deliberate non-threatening language in the opening statement of ACB. The play here is: Look, this is a soft-spoken, non-threatening, non-intellectual mom, home, apple pie person. How could you be afraid of this? But, make no mistake about it, this woman is the handmaiden of oppression.
“I thank the President” “my family” “I thank” “I am especially grateful” “it has been a privilege” “my family” “my husband” “have been married” “he has been a selfless” “marriage” Marriage “is easy.” “far luckier in love than I deserve.” “parents” “wonderful children.” “parents” “her parents’ “love” “liberal arts” “brought him home” “happy-go-lucky” “kind” “our delight” “loves watching movies” “mom” “siblings” “dearest friends” “happy” “so grateful” “my parents” “my parents” “life of service, principle, faith and love.” “grade-school spelling bee” “Dad sang” “devoted teachers” “high school” “literature class” “my first presentation” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” “feared I had failed” “my professor” “filled me with confidence” “mentor” “degree in English” “passion for words” “legal mentors” “my first job” “continues to teach me” “he is cheering me on” “from his livingroom” “taught me” “devoted to his family” never let the law define my identity” “discussed the issues with my colleagues” “remain mindful” “I read every word from the perspective of the loosing party” “one of my children was the party””I would understand” “fairly reasoned” “deeply honored” “sacrifice, particularly from my family” “believe deeply” “humility” “with appreciation” “I was nine years old” “grace and dignity” “When I was 21 years old” “just beginning my career” “forever grateful” “honor of a lifetime” “valued colleague” “I might bring a few new perspectives” “first mother of school age children” “only sitting justice who didn’t attend law school at Harvard or Yale.” “Maybe I could even teach them a thing or two about football.” “I would like to thank” “reached out with messages of support” “I believe in the power of prayer” “so many people are praying for me.” “I pledge faithfully”
The Supreme Court is a nightmare.
Women, just think about where we are. This statement was not an exposition of brilliant legal reasoning. Instead, it was a woman displaying stories about her children, her husband and how wonderful he is, how she might teach men on the Supreme court something ABOUT FOOTBALL. What a f…ing embarrassment. Disgraceful.
I despise the celebrity culture that has taken over this country. The Democratic National Convention was nothing other than a cheap, vacuous, celebrity infomercial devoid of policy and full of “cult of personality” programming. It was an embarrassment.
Somehow, we were supposed to believe that because Joe Biden is a nice guy and has lost family members, he should be president of the United States. Somehow, we were supposed to pat ourselves on the back and glory in the fact that we had nominated an African American, Asian woman to be vice president. Never mind the policies of these two people. Never mind their histories. It is supposed to be enough that these two are telegenic, just as nice as they can be, and fit certain categories of human beings.
That is evidently where we are.
After the convention we were treated to more infomercials. In one of them, Kamala Harris had a charming, laughing, conversation with Barak Obama about Biden liking ice cream and wearing a certain kind of sunglasses. This was seriously intended to get us to vote for the Democrats – the fact that the party elite could chat on television and laugh about the personal foibles of the candidate. This is what they think of us. This is nothing but insulting.
In the true fashion of this celebrity worship culture we have going on, the corporate media is this weekend, endlessly talking about the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We are in the middle of a war for a democratic society, and we are engaging in celebrity worship.
As Elie Mystal pointed out writing in the Nation, we don’t have time for this, and Ginsburg would be the first person to see that we don’t have time for this.
Ginsburg occupied a pivotal position on the U.S. Supreme Court and her death has created a crisis that just illustrates the dysfunction of the government and the society. The death of a judge, one judge, shouldn’t throw the country into a crisis. The appointment of one judge shouldn’t mean the difference between democracy and authoritarianism. But, it does. It hands to the Republicans the opportunity to conclusively warp this society into an authoritarian kleptocratic state devoid of rights for regular ordinary human beings.
This is where we are. We have to fight this authoritarian take-over with everything in our beings. But, tonight, on CNN they are hosting Scalia’s son to discuss (out of all the other things about Ginsburg’s life) the beautiful relationship between Ginsburg and one of the arch enemies of law and therefore democracy, Antonin Scalia.
I’m sorry but I just can’t stomach this. I suppose there is somewhere, something laudatory about being able to be friends with people who are sitting at the peak of privilege and wealth and power and working to destroy democracy and the rule of law for the rest of us, but I just don’t see it.
If we have to sit through this eulogizing of Ginsburg, the last thing we need is to have right-wing Federalist Society zealots to talk about her. The last thing we need is to try to convince people that what we need is more bipartisan cooperation. No, we need less, and we need to fight for democratic law and democratic institutions.
The corporate Democrats who have much more reason to talk about Ginsburg, are bad enough. Last night, Nina Totenberg was on Rachael Maddow talking about her friendship with Ginsberg. She said wistfully that Ginsburg had planned to retire in 2016 and have her successor named by the first woman president. Isn’t that special? I might plan to have thoroughbred horses fly out of my ass, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.
This story was presented as if it demonstrated something positive about Ginsburg, and it has been retweeted today by people who obviously think the same thing.
To me, it just demonstrates what was wrong with the Democratic Party elite in 2016 and what is still wrong with the Democratic Party elite today.
Barak Obama declined to tell the American people the truth about something crucially important to them. He refused to tell them that Russian operatives had intervened in the 2016 election to the extent of penetrating the voting systems in 50 states.
Obama made this decision, as far as I can tell, because first, he was afraid of the reaction of Republicans if he came out and told the American people without bipartisan support. He was so afraid of appearing partisan he lied by omission, lied about something vital to the functioning of democracy. Mitch McConnell refused to join Obama and make a public, bipartisan statement and Obama didn’t have the guts to do it alone.
Second, Barak Obama was afraid of tarnishing his cherished legacy by appearing to be “partisan” in the 2016 election. He was more concerned with his legacy (to people who despise him) than his country.
Third, Barak Obama was so sure Hillary Clinton was going to win, he decided he wouldn’t have to tell the truth to the American people. Clinton could solve the problem after she was elected.
All three of these excuses stink to high heaven and again illustrate something characteristic about the Democratic corporate elite.
This professional class of Democrats think they know better than the American people how to run the country. They think that their judgement is better than everybody else’s.
They can handle, among themselves, an unprecedented intrusion into the election process. Why tell the unwashed masses?
Obama reportedly thought that telling the truth would shake the confidence of the American people in the election process. He’s not the only member of the Democratic elite to think this. There are an astounding number of people out there who will react like vicious dogs if the integrity of the election process is even questioned.
The logic of this position just amazes me. It goes something like this. The election process has been corrupted but we mustn’t tell the American people because it might shake their confidence in an election process that because of corruption can be no longer relied on. So, it’s better to have the American people believe a lie, continue to trust an election system that can’t be trusted. It’s better because we (the Democratic elite) can deal with it ourselves, behind closed doors. That worked out really well.
This same kind of hubris evidently led Ruth Bader Ginsburg to think she could continue (in ill health and advanced age) to sit on the Supreme Court and have Clinton name her replacement. Having the first woman president name her replacement made a good story, a fitting end to her career. And, like Obama, she was convinced (so convinced she was willing to risk our future) that Clinton was going to win. Even with a compromised election process (which they all knew about), Clinton’s baggage and low approval ratings and an e-mail scandal, Clinton was going to win. Why? Because they wanted her to.
I’ve got news for these people. They don’t get to determine what’s going to happen. They don’t control events. What kind of delusional hubris leads one to stay in a position at the Supreme Court, a crucial position, a history changing pivotal position, counting on the fact that they are going to waltz out with the first woman president because that’s what they want to happen?
I’m sorry. Ginsburg appears to have been a wonderful person, lawyer, activist, but someone genuinely concerned with and committed to the struggle, with the future of the country for ordinary people, would have resigned during Obama’s administration to make sure that the ideals she believed in and fought so hard for, had a chance of continuing.
And, I fault not only Ginsburg but Obama and his administration for not pushing her resignation. I ask you: What is wrong with these people?
I keep going back to a film quote. As Yankees are overrunning Atlanta, Aunt Pittypat is concerned about Scarlet having a chaperone. Dr. Meade, in utter and complete frustration yells: “Good God, woman, this is a war, not a garden party.”
But, this Democratic elite – the politicians, the “strategists,” the pollsters, the pundits – all of them are so filled with pride and smug assuredness that they can’t see what is happening around them.
Even now, after all the mistakes of 2016, the Democratic corporate elite seems to be waltzing off an electoral cliff supported by their own delusions.
Ginsburg wasn’t a healthy 50-year-old. They knew she was ill, had known for years. If they couldn’t convince her to resign when Obama could nominate a successor, they should have had a strategy for what they were going to do if she suddenly died during Trump’s administration. They should have hit the ground running on Friday night, not sat stunned, grief stricken, and still counting on the Republicans to “do the right thing.”
I mean, Jesus F…ing Christ. Anybody who is now, four years into this administration, relying in any way on the Republicans to do the right thing, is just brain dead (I include Cory Booker in that category).
For the first time on Friday night, I heard Chris Hayes interview somebody (Rebecca Traister) who sounded like I and a lot of other people have felt for four years. Traister was and said she was terrified and furious. She sounded like somebody who was terrified and furious, not like the stable of “calmers”, the “institutions are holding” gang on MSNBC who have been interviewed today. Cory Booker, Klobuchar, the presidential historians, Hirono (as much as I love her), Capehart, Jarrett.
I swear I think that part of the deal to convince all the corporate democrats to drop out of the race and endorse Biden was an agreement by MSNBC to interview them every fifteen minutes.
Last week, Cory Booker was on Ari Melber’s (also disgustingly celebrity laden) show claiming that what we needed was a “return to civic grace.” That’s Booker’s answer to an authoritarian take-over, a return to “civic grace.” I’m sure Mitch McConnell will take that “return to civic grace” and stuff it up Booker’s nose.
I would like to mourn her. But even Ginsburg herself realized there would be no time for that.
McConnell has already removed the filibuster rule for Supreme Court appointments, which means he needs only 50 votes to confirm a new justice (since the vice president breaks any ties), and he has 53 Republicans.
It’s not hard to see how McConnell will control his caucus. Remember, while some Republicans will occasionally furrow their brows in performative outrage at the latest Trump tweets, almost all of these people are in favor of the hardcore conservative legal policies Ginsburg spent her life opposing.
Republican senators might not like Trump’s handling of the coronavirus, but they love taking health care away from millions of people; they love the deregulation that leads to environmental destruction; and they consider it a moral imperative to reduce a pregnant woman to the legal status of a medical incubator…
Obama either didn’t anticipate McConnell’s unprecedented maneuver to block his nominee or thought that Garland’s moderate stances would cause other Republicans to resist McConnell’s gambit to block him.
These are people who support “…the right to bear shoulder-launched grenades…”
It would now seem like the list of potential Supreme Court nominees Trump produced last week was released with some kind of inside information about Ginsburg’s failing health
McConnell has proven that the composition of the Supreme Court is a function of raw political power.
We must do everything we can to stop McConnell from filling Ginsburg’s seat and, however that turns out, we must retake political power and reform a Supreme Court that has been irrevocably broken by McConnell’s ongoing hypocrisy.
Trump in a news conference (or whatever that things is he does when he comes out and lies for an extended period of time) is preparing the population for a “disaster” on election day. He keeps repeating the scenario and thereby painting the picture for his supporters of total confusion. Today he said that the Republicans are appealing to the courts who he hopes will “see this clearly and stop it.” He called the sending out of ballots to citizens as “the scam of all time.”
The reporter for CNN falls for the head fake and says: Mail in voting is safe. There is no fraud and there are no missing ballots as Trump accused.
So, once again, just as in 2016, the Republicans scream rigging, the Democrats and the media yell, no rigging. The Republicans rig and the Democrats and the media are left stunned.
Election Security: Stealing the Election
Jennifer Cohn is tweeting that the DeVos family company Amway partnered with Russia’s Alfa Bank in 2014. It was Alfa Bank that was pinging both Trump Tower and Spectrum Health thousands of times in the summer of 2016. This has never been explained.
Run, don’t walk to get a copy of Jonathan Simon’s “Code Red” 2020 edition.
Trump is tweeting that the Governor of Virginia (where early voting starts today) “wants to take away your guns,” and “is in favor of executing babies after birth.”
According to Jennifer Cohn, (relying on Woodward), Russians installed malware in the voter registration systems of “at least two” Florida counties. The malware was designed to erase voters. (Twitter)
Precinct ballot scanners in Michigan, Wisconsin and Florida include wireless modems that connect scanners and county central tabulators to the internet. (Twitter, Jennifer Cohn)
Texas, Tennessee, Indiana, Minnesota, Illinois, and Rhode Island also have modems that need to be removed before the election. (Cohn, Twitter)
Information on voting of Interest:
Zetter, Kim (8/8/19) “Critical U.S. ElectionSystems…” Vice
Other Information of Interest
Podcast on 9/11 Blindspot.
102 of 140 inmates at a women’s prison in South Dakota have tested positive for Coronavirus. (AP)
I am still watching the Biden town hall on CNN, but I just want people to hear the bullshit answer Biden just gave to a woman in the audience. She made the statement that times had changed since the Clarence Thomas hearings, and asked Biden how he had changed and how he would answer people who were still unsatisfied with how he handled the hearing.
I just want you to read the answer he gave.
“I opposed Clarence Thomas (unintelligible) beginning. I believed Anita Hill from the beginning. And I tried to control the questions under the laws that exist for the Senate. And I was unable to do it. Just like the last hearing…they were unable to control, keep people from being able to ask questions. What I did was I made a commitment; I made a commitment never again would the Judiciary Committee only have men on that committee. So, I went out and I campaigned for two people, Carol Mosley Brawn, an African American senator from the state of Illinois and Diane Feinstein…on the condition that if they won they would join the committee….I kept that commitment. And secondly I made another commitment, that I was going to get the Violence Against Women Act passed which…I wrote myself, the Violence Against Woman Act. Number three, I’ve spoken with Anita Hill and I apologized for not being able to protect her more. I’m trying to think, and I raised the question for example, I raised the question, should we in fact have those hearings in camera….when, because you’re gonna always be subject to being vilified no matter who comes and says he said she said this happened, and so here’s the deal….and she said, and I think she’s right, she said No, it’s better not to do that. We should have it in the open, so we gotta find a way to change the rules as to what can be asked, but in a hearing….it’s impossible to say you can’t ask the question…I won’t go into more detail…I wish I could have protected her more. I publicly apologized, apologized then and I was able to…we owe her…a lot…because what she did by coming forward, she gave me the ability to pass the violence against women act. We owe her a great deal of credit.”
“…no one in our government has the backbone or balls to do the right thing.”
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.
It’s been a bad few days, a shocking few days, a disorienting few days.
First, late last week, the story broke that Bill Barr had launched a criminal investigation into the 2016 FBI probe of Russian attacks on the election. In doing so, the Justice Department became an authoritarian enforcement arm for the White House. The clear purpose of this criminal inquiry is to harass and punish people in the FBI and the intelligence communities who dared to investigate a transnational criminal who was running for, and then became president, Donald Trump.
But, no sooner had the story broken than the corporate news normalizers (Chuck Rosenberg, et. al.) hit the air waves to tell us that this wasn’t what it was – the use of the Justice Department to prosecute Trump’s enemies.
“It’s only a diversion from the impeachment inquiry,” we were told. “Barr’s co-conspirator John Durham is a man of integrity, an adult in the room. He would never be involved with anything improper.” “The investigation is going nowhere.” “They haven’t even said what crime they were investigating.” “Let’s wait and see what they come up with.”
There’s a fundamental kind of disorientation you experience when what is right in front of your eyes is denied by others looking at the same thing. I am used to it from the corporate media, but the past few days have just been crazy-making.
Sunday morning, I turned on the television and before I had a chance to take the first sip of coffee, I was confronted with Donald Trump’s ugly face staring out of the television screen, making some sort of announcement. I felt like the deer in the headlights. My partner and I sat propped up in bed, speechless, and listening first to a dead-toned reading of a prepared statement about Bathdadi’s death and then to a totally unhinged Trump wet dream about the actual killing.
When Trump talks about violence he does so with relish. He draws out the phrases and words almost as if he were tasting them on his tongue. Sunday, he was visibly savoring the details of Baghdadi’s death. He was enjoying the video of the man’s humiliation, his crying, his whimpering, his terror.
I have listened to Trump enough to know when he’s pulling shit out of his ass. I knew even then he was making this up. What we were listening to was a violent wet dream inside the diseased head of a man who controls the nuclear codes. I felt nauseous.
Donald Trump’s brain is filled with sick-making fantasies. Some of these fantasies are of the terrorizing, humiliation and utter destruction – in slow motion and in technicolor – of his enemies. What we were listening to Sunday morning was what he would like to do to anyone who opposes him. What we were listening to was what he would do to anyone who opposes him if he thought he could get away with it. What we were listening to was what he will do to anyone who opposes him if we don’t stop him.
By the time Trump finished and I got to the study to turn on the computer, the corporate media was doing its job.
I sat and stared with disbelief into the face of a young woman reporter who had listened to the same public statement I had. “Trump” she said “is a vivid storyteller.” He has an “unconventional style.”
What the corporate media then did throughout the day was transform an obscene display of crassness, mental illness and sadism into a question of style. Donald Trump is not a vivid storyteller. Donald Trump is not unconventional. Donald Trump is a madman.
I tried to spend most of the day dealing with cats, Naan, and working on a seminar about the 1960 film, Elmer Gantry.
Monday morning, I hadn’t even turned on the television when my Twitter feed went wild. Reaching over to get the Mini, I read a stream of comments that made me groan out loud.
The two worst people in the entire world (Joe Scarborough and the dreadful Mika) were evidently on air lecturing the rest of us and calling us “unAmerican” for booing Donald Trump and chanting “lock him up” at a ball game. These two narcissistic, self-promoting, vacuous and disgusting examples of what this society has become had the audacity to scold and shame American citizens for exercising their First Amendment rights.
These two people helped get Trump elected by giving him millions in free air time. Trump himself referred to them as his “supporters.” They got his permission before they asked him difficult questions in an interview, and they were partying at Mar-a-Lago after the election. They saw themselves in the White House. Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski turned on Trump only after he threatened to (and eventually did) out their adulterous affair.
Morning Joe is usually good fodder and provides such delicious examples of wretched corporate media coverage (not to mention obsequious butt kissing from the panel), but I couldn’t even turn on the television. I knew I would throw something and I enjoy that television.
By mid-morning my Twitter feed was telling me that the most hypocritical, sanctimonious and compromised of all Democrats, Chris Coons, had joined the Joe and Mika team admonishing Americans for spontaneous political expression. Coons, while presenting himself as being “bi-partisan” and oh such a good guy, helped arrange a sham “investigation” of Bret Kavnaugh that helped him get to the Supreme Court.
The one true point of all this is that the Club of Elites (including the corporate media and the political establishment) wants to handle the Trump fiasco itself. They do not want the American people empowered. They do not want legitimate outrage, protests, boos, chants, action. They are terrified that people in this country might realize they have the power to throw the bastards out whenever they choose to. They are terrified that people might realize that they have the power to provide themselves with adequate health care, good public schools, living wages and jobs, a fair criminal justice system. They have the power to demand that the white collar, corporate and political criminals be put under the goddamn jail for their blatant thievery and gutting of the American economy.
The sheer fact of the matter is that the Joe Scarboroughs, Mika Brzezinski’s, the Chris Coons, the Nancy Pelosis, the Ellens, the Danny Deutschs of the world have more in common with each other than they do with us.
They want Trump out because he’s upsetting the game, but they want to handle it themselves. That way, the polite in-house corruption, cheating, self-dealing and graft can continue.
The corporate media is not even remotely on our side. They will debate minutiae, trivialize political division, suppress radical expression, flood the air waves with normalizers. They will never, unless they are forced to by the American people, admit that what we are experiencing is a disaster, a terrifying crisis, the transformation of a once proud democratic country into an authoritarian state. For as long as they can get away with it, they will tell us to “move along.” “Don’t freak out.” Go enjoy yourselves, look the other way.
We must not let them get away with it.
A discussion of politics, law, justice, and crime.