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Gender: Male
Home country: USA
Current location: PA
Member since: Wed May 11, 2005, 09:48 PM
Number of posts: 10,619

About Me

I love spending time with my grandchildren and gardening.

Journal Archives

Where is George W. Bush-- the sensitive painter of humanity-- when Biden needs him?

Ending a Debacle Is Not For the Faint of Heart
The Ex-President In The Shower

Where is George W. Bush — the post-presidential, sensitive painter of humanity — when Joe Biden needs him? As chairman of the board of the US Constitution Center in Philadelphia, on Veterans’ Day 2018 Joe Biden arranged for Bush and his wife Laura to receive the coveted Liberty Medal for their work with veterans. Biden, for certain, did this out of his famous instinct to work across-the-aisle; in this case, he seemed to want to make a warm and friendly public gesture to a Republican ex-president who clearly needed a life ring.

Of course, one of the reasons Mr. Bush needed a political life ring was that it was he who made the two fateful decisions that involved the United States in two disastrous foreign wars that quickly turned into classic quagmires. The man is branded.

I’ve been a Biden critic in the past and could be in the future, but the criticism over his messy exit from Afghanistan is either partisan nonsense or fear of the inevitable Republican backlash. The biggest strike against Biden in the military violence department is that he’s a Democrat, which means whatever he does will be fodder for relentless Republican “gotcha!” attacks.

After 241 Marines were blown up in a 1983 terrorist bombing in Beirut, Ronald Reagan somehow fled Beirut with his tail between his legs and got away with it. He was a Republican. George W. Bush, of course, was re-elected after ignoring a lot of very wise opposition (most of it from the left) and setting in motion two foreign policy disasters. Now, many of the very same people who let these Republicans get away with their military fiascos and all the dead young soldiers on their watch are now piling on President Biden. If it was a thriller it’d be titled The Benghazi Protocol.


I can hear the ex president’s conscience in the shower bemoaning his fate:

Woe is me. I was a two-term President! Now, everybody thinks I’m a fool. After 9/11, I tried to sell myself as a war president. What was I thinking? All I ever really wanted was to be liked and to play with my dog. I did like owning a baseball team. But I had to do something. I’d been caught like a deer in the headlights reading “The Pet Goat.” I had to show gravitas. The war president thing came naturally. It worked for a while. But then it didn’t work any more. I read a bio of LBJ, but I realized other than escalate, he didn’t know what to do, either. Everything led to more confusion, more violence, more horror, more lying to the American people. Shakespeare was right. Ohhhh, woe is me!”


If George W. Bush is an honorable man, he might consider paying Joe Biden back for awarding him that Liberty Medal on Veterans’ Day 2018 in Philadelphia. Having the guy who started the debacle defend the messy exit would be helpful. As for the Veterans Day Liberty Medal event, I was able to get inside and, by phone, help direct the Iraq veterans and Gold Star mothers outside so their chant of “Shame! Shame! Shame!” could be heard by Biden and Bush inside.


Our worst terrorist enemies are now home grown.

Permit Me -- or Rather, Them -- to Ruin Your Day

Permit Me — or Rather, Them — to Ruin Your Day


America is in the grip of an accelerating coup; a systematic, methodical upending of its constitutional — and constituted — fundaments; an interlaced collapse into brigandry and "official" lawlessness orchestrated by a relative handful of right-winging Robespierres and their rank-and-file lackeys. Everything is at stake, everything is at risk — and so far, everything is going to hell.


The ruling came from a Court tilted in its heinous majority by a U.S. president of unrelenting criminality but never removed from office by a crimes-sanctioning U.S. Senate led by the presidential crime family's enforcer who had earlier shredded the U.S. Constitution in denying a legitimate president his entitled choice of a Court appointee. Three national crimes ruthlessly compounded in one day.


Why? Because the lawful, "reasonable" and majority opposition in Congress is fucking AWOL. Two-thirds of a year have passed since a small minority staged a violent assault on the very heart of American governance — the majority's home — and yet sedition's principal engineers and chief defenders remain untouched, with some of them actually sitting in Congress and openly advocating yet another violent insurrection. Hence a felonious minority leader is a trifling.

Plus — and again — eight months now and the Justice Department still has not announced a weighty investigation into a blatantly criminal presidency and post-presidency which, by the way, is still instigating and inciting rebellion against the United States government. Oh my, such an investigation would look political — for Christ's sake, isn't rescuing our politics the whole point? — and it might displease the rebellious minority and bloody insurrectionists. Can't have that!

So we have an indictable House minority leader and a Constitution-ripping Senate minority leader quite comfortable with a lackadaisical congressional majority; a former president steeped in constant criminality and yet free as a bird; more post-presidential insurrections to come; and, above all else ...

we have Republican state legislatures rigging future federal elections — to be condoned by a runaway, fascistic Supreme Court presently occupied with assaulting 51% of the U.S. population — which will promote both minority leaders to majority leaders in 2023 and guarantee Orbánlike authoritarianism in 2025.


A very good article about "court stripping"

Could the “Monarchs” on the Supreme Court Tank Democracy?
Get ready for the Supreme Court & a handful of GOPers to put Trump, DeSantis, Scott, Cotton or Hawley into the White House regardless of the 2024 election outcome - unless they are stopped now


"[T]he supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.”

Exceptions? Regulations? Congress can do that? Can Congress tell the Supreme Court what it can and can’t rule on? Really?


This process of writing “the Supreme Court may not rule on this law” into controversial legislation had been done many times in American history, but never in such a big way that it was tested by the Court itself. It’s called “court stripping” or “jurisdiction stripping.” And it has never been tested.


A number of Senators and members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus have recently been discussing limiting the Court, while the Biden Administration has empaneled a group to examine specific “regulations” that could or should be imposed on it, ranging from changing its number of justices to require its members to abide by the federal code of judicial ethics (something from which the Court has exempted itself).

This Court has gone way over the line, from blowing up a Voting Rights Act that passed the Senate unanimously, to endorsing multiple Republican voter suppression efforts, to opening the floodgates for billionaire- and corporate-money to flood elections and end up in the personal pockets of politicians

And if any more justices join Thomas, Roberts and Alito in arguing that the Court can throw the 2024 election to whomever they please with a little help from Republican-controlled state legislatures the issue becomes even more urgent.

Now is, therefore, an essential time to add to that discussion the power of Congress to not only pass legislation that limits money in politics, Supreme Court interventions in state-based elections, racialized voter suppression and partisan gerrymandering, but also unambiguously prevents the Supreme Court from blowing up congressional and presidential efforts by ruling against them.


Chuck Todd pulls another Todd ...same old nonsense

Chuck Todd Channels Rudy Giuliani
Meet The Press host Chuck Todd used the most odious right-wing meme to attack President Biden's decision to withdraw from Afghanistan

Meet The Press host Chuck Todd used the most odious right-wing meme to attack President Biden's decision to withdraw from Afghanistan.

Traitor Trump negotiated a deal with Taliban in 2020 that put the United States in the position that we're in, so President Biden chose to rip off the Afghanistan bandage, while owning the consequences

It was never going to be pretty, unfortunately. But the Beltway media has an obsessesion for US dominance and when the pictures ("optics" ) don't look good - they pounce.

“You’ve got to ask: the orderly part of this, what went wrong?” Todd mused.

Then he switched on his inner Giuliani and went right to Biden's mental capabilities.

"Joe Biden’s greatest strength against Donald Trump in the campaign was the idea that he has been around the block, he knows what he’s doing, we’re facing this crisis with COVID, we need some basic competency back in government, no more chaos. He’s lost the competency high-marks he was getting at one time, and that’s tough to get back." Todd said with a straight face.

The idea that Trump was not competent is not an idea but an actual fact.


Jeffrey Toobin is a special kind of moron

I mean what possible reason or purpose could he use an excuse for writing such a piece of drivel? Unless he has completely gone over to the alternative reality world of right wing quackery after his zoom embarrassment. CNN shouldn't have even thought about publishing such nonsense.

Attorney General Merrick Garland, don't prosecute Donald Trump
By Jeffrey Toobin, CNN

(CNN)Did Donald Trump commit federal crimes in his final, desperate attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election?

The latest revelations about Trump's final days in office demonstrate that his behavior was, at a minimum, outrageous. He pressured his acting attorney general, Jeffrey Rosen, to open an investigation of purported fraud in the vote count in Georgia, even though there was no evidence of such wrongdoing. In one call, Trump apparently directed Rosen to "just say the election was corrupt, [and] leave the rest to me

Trump also allegedly engineered the departure of the United States attorney in Georgia when he refused to pursue Trump's false claims. In addition, Trump's statements at a rally in Washington, DC, on January 6 are said to have led his supporters to storm the Capitol later that day. For some distinguished lawyers, this evidence provides a roadmap for Merrick Garland, the attorney general, to direct a criminal investigation of the former president.

To which I'd respond: not so fast. It's one thing to describe the former president's behavior as disgraceful and wrong -- and I'd share that view -- but quite another to argue that Trump should be criminally prosecuted. Based on the available evidence, there is no basis to prosecute Trump and little reason even to open a criminal investigation.


The Supreme Court's Conservatives Have Laid the Groundwork for the Devastation to Come

The Supreme Court’s Conservatives Have Laid the Groundwork for the Devastation to Come


Look a bit closer at the court’s two bitterly divided voting rights cases this term, and we can see where this Supreme Court is headed next. Back in October, before Barrett joined the bench, the justices split 4–4 over the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s modest extension of the deadline for mail ballots. At the time, it was easy to see what the four hardcore conservatives were teeing up: A postelection Bush v. Gore–style case in which the Supreme Court handed itself the power to nullify thousands of legal ballots. To do so, they tried to stop state judiciaries from protecting voting rights under their state’s constitution—a notion that was too radical even for the Bush v. Gore majority and constituted a direct assault on states’ rights to set their own election rules. They also floated Trumpian conspiracy theories designed to undermine public confidence in the integrity of the election. And they even suggested that Democratic election administrators were meddling with ballot.

But the Four Horsemen lost, and Donald Trump lost much too decisively for them to get a rematch. In the months that followed, Republicans flooded the courts with frivolous lawsuits attempting to overturn the election. These challenges, it cannot be stressed enough, were meritless nonsense—a symptom of the rot at the heart of the conservative legal movement that never stood a chance in court. Yet when the Supreme Court predictably turned them away, the conservative justices received praise for staying out of the election. Even Justice Stephen Breyer lauded the court for staying out of the conflict. But the Supreme Court did get involved in the 2020 election. The conservative justices fought hard to disqualify a huge number of valid mail ballots in swing states like Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Just because they did not succeed, and declined to hop on Sidney Powell’s crazy train to Kraken town afterward, does not mean they didn’t try.

Now fast-forward to Thursday’s 6–3 decision in Brnovich v. DNC mangling what remains of the Voting Rights Act beyond all recognition. As Justice Elena Kagan wrote in dissent, the majority opinion is a “law-free zone.” It rewrote the VRA to strip protections from racial minorities who are currently being targeted by voter suppression laws around the country. Roberts and Barrett sided with the rest of the conservatives to ensure that a substantial number of minorities will struggle to access the ballot in 2022 and beyond—if they manage to cast a vote at all. There was no compromise here, as in Fulton, no 3-3-3 split that divided the conservatives. When it came to eviscerating the VRA, the Republican-appointed justices spoke with one voice
Decisions like Brnovich hedge against the necessity of a future Bush v. Gore. Why wait until the eve of an election to disenfranchise voters when you can do it in the middle of the summer of an off year? If we pluck out these two major voting cases and examine them side by side, we see an alarming trend: an overt hostility to democracy and to equal access to the ballot. If we look at Brnovich sandwiched in between compromises like Fulton, by contrast, it might not seem that bad—a conservative victory, yes, but one of just a few decisions that fractured the court along ideological lines.

Decisions like Brnovich hedge against the necessity of a future Bush v. Gore. Why wait until the eve of an election to disenfranchise voters when you can do it in the middle of the summer of an off year? If we pluck out these two major voting cases and examine them side by side, we see an alarming trend: an overt hostility to democracy and to equal access to the ballot. If we look at Brnovich sandwiched in between compromises like Fulton, by contrast, it might not seem that bad—a conservative victory, yes, but one of just a few decisions that fractured the court along ideological lines.





Yes, there are Republicans who oppose Donald Trump's assault on democracy. But how many of these Republicans -- how many Republicans anywhere -- oppose the assault on democracy in GOP-run state legislatures, and in the courts?


There's no Liz Cheney or Adam Kinzinger for legalized suppression of the Democratic vote -- no Republican in D.C. has a problem with this, and objectors in the states are rare. As I keep telling you, all Republicans oppose democracy, but "mainstream" Republicans want to tilt democracy in the GOP's favor in ways that maintain the appearance of legitimacy. S

So they won't say anything about these suppression laws (or they'll express support for them, as Cheney did in May after the Georgia law passed), and they won't object in the future when GOP-run states purge voter rolls of Democrats, close precincts in Democratic strongholds, and close motor vehicle offices in areas where Democrats need to obtain photo IDs for voting.

Opposing Trump is good, but it's not the same as favoring democracy. No nationally prominent Republican appears to be genuinely in favor of fair elections.






Now that we know about the Rudy search in November 2019, the effect of this memo is clear: it limited the SDNY investigation to the scope of the investigation as it existed at that time, into the Lutsenko attempt to fire Yovanovitch (which was included in the original Parnas indictment), but not Rudy’s meeting with a Russian agent to help Trump win re-election.

Instead, EDNY presided over all the Ukraine goings-on during the election, during which time they could have done something about ongoing tampering. Indeed, after Geoffrey Berman succeeded in ensuring that Audrey Strauss would replace him after Barr fired him to try to shut down ongoing investigations (including, undoubtedly, the one into Rudy and Barr’s friend Victoria Toensing), Barr and Rosen replaced Donoghue with another trusted flunky, Seth DuCharme. Under DuCharme, then, EDNY sat and watched while Derkach interfered in the election and did nothing until — per yesterday’s NYT story — “the final months of the Trump administration.” According to the public timeline, it appears that they just let a known Russian agent play around in our democracy.

There is plenty of risk for Rudy in the existing SDNY investigation. But what Rudy did in response to Lutsenko’s entreaties amounts to lobbying, and so is probably most likely be charged as a FARA case (though Foreign Agent charges are on the table).

With Derkach, however, Rudy was affirmatively attempting to launder Russian-backed disinformation to affect the election. There’s no way that can be charged as lobbying. Plus, the government understood Derkach to be a Russian agent when Rudy attended that meeting (though Rudy claims he was not warned in advance). If Derkach were part of the SDNY investigation, in which Rudy is a subject, then treating Rudy as the Russian agent he has served as in recent years would be on the table.


Google, Deloitte, and Citigroup quietly collaborate with GOP group pushing voter suppression

Google, Deloitte, and Citigroup quietly collaborate with GOP group pushing voter suppression

Several large corporations that have recently issued public statements supporting voting rights — including Google, Deloitte, and Citigroup — are also funding and collaborating with a top Republican group advocating for new voter suppression laws. Internal documents obtained by Popular Information and Documented reveal the corporations participated in a "policy working group" on "election integrity" with the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC), a party organization that is actively supporting new voter suppression bills. Participation in the roundtable required a minimum annual contribution of $15,000 to the RSLC.

For example, on March 31, Google's SVP for Global Affairs, Kent Walker tweeted that the company is "concerned about efforts to restrict voting at a local level" and "strongly support[s] the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act."

A week later, Google's State Policy Manager, Joe Dooley, was listed as a participant in a private RSLC policy working group led by the organization's "Election Integrity Committee." The April 6 presentation, obtained by Popular Information and Documented, details an array of proposals to suppress voting, including purging of voting lists, more stringent voter ID requirements, and targeting of voting centers. The RSLC also opposes any federal action to protect voting rights. The meeting was run by Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill (R), who has embraced Trump's lies and conspiracies about election fraud.

The RSLC presentation deck makes clear that the purpose of restricting voting under the guise of "election integrity" is to elect more Republicans. One slide asserts that Republican control of state legislatures is the "last line of defense for the Republican Party." The RSLC argues that Republicans must act "now" because "2022 is just over the horizon — election integrity is likely to have a major impact.

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