The Most Dangerous Man in America

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Trump is a flawed vessel for God’s will.  You’ll get no argument from anyone on that score.  His flaws, including an inability to refrain from constant lying and self-aggrandizement, are endlessly on display.  We see this tic constantly because one of his other flaws is a childish need for attention, a need to be the center of attention. Another is his seeming incapacity for the demanding duties he has assumed as the world’s most powerful man.  

William Barr, on the other hand, is a highly skilled flawed vessel for God’s will who controls federal law enforcement in the United States of America.   He has shown a zeal to defend the president, no matter what, comparable to the zeal of the fierce zealot lawyers, Defenders of the Faith, who argued to the death the right of the Church to torture and kill heretics in the name of Jesus Christ.   He has no hesitation to make bold, strong, authoritative-sounding pronouncements that are not strictly supported by actual facts.   Because of his power, his zeal, his lawyerly chops, and his Scalia-like devotion to carrying out “God’s will”, he is the most dangerous man in Donald Trump’s revolving, mostly incompetent, crew.

The Department of Justice, created after the Civil War to enforce the rights of newly freed slaves, opened an investigation into the origins of the investigation of the Trump campaign’s entanglements with Russia regarding the 2016 election.  The DOJ, in the Mueller Report, found Russian efforts on behalf of Mr. Trump were “sweeping and systematic”, and though there were many points of contact, even open invitations for Russian help from candidate Trump (jokes, jokes!), Mueller’s team was thwarted in getting sufficient evidence of a chargeable criminal conspiracy between Team Putin and Team Trump.   Several top Trump aides are in prison, or awaiting sentencing, in part over their roles in making sure the DOJ never received sufficient evidence of widespread “collusion”.

Former Attorney General and Trump loyalist Jeff Sessions made the fatal mistake of following DOJ ethics attorneys’ advice and recusing himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation.  After Sessions was publicly humiliated by his boss and forced to “resign”, a snorting weightlifter was inserted into the post temporarily until Trump was able to get his new Roy Cohn confirmed by the Senate. Barr was as good as his promise to Trump during his audition for the job — I will protect you no matter what, so-called damning facts be damned.

“Insufficient evidence” to establish every element of the crime of criminal conspiracy became, after Barr’s authoritative, deliberately misleading public spin in the weeks before he released the redacted Mueller Report, “complete exoneration”.   Mueller immediately protested this distortion, in a letter to Barr. Barr waited a month to disclose Mueller’s letter, giving time for his authoritative counter-narrative to become cemented in the public mind.  The ten instances of obstruction of justice described in detail by Mueller, America was told by the always certain Barr, were irrelevant because the actual crime of obstruction of justice hinges on intent, in this case the intent of an innocent man clearly within his rights to be understandably enraged by an unfair partisan investigation against him and to do whatever was within his considerable powers to stop it.

The zealous defender of  Trumpism is at it again.   The recently released report concluded the DOJ investigation (begun under Obama) into Russian influence in Trump’s campaign was not motivated by bias or political animus against candidate Trump.  It also noted at least 17 “significant inaccuracies and omissions” in how the FBI obtained the original FISA warrants to surveil four Trump aides.  It should be noted that the investigation, once it was pursued by the Independent Counsel, ultimately led to numerous convictions of top Trump aides and a raft of indictments of Russians beyond the reach of American law.   Of the four initial targets of the FBI investigation that the DOJ Inspector General  investigated, three have pled guilty or been convicted of related crimes. 

Barr announces that the DOJ report concluded that the investigation was opened on the “thinnest of evidence” and “completely baseless”.   He is not buying the conclusions of Inspector General Michael Horowitz until Barr’s own investigation of possible criminality by investigators and other members of Mueller’s team is concluded.  

For sheer shamelessness, this might have been his best comment:

“From a civil liberties standpoint, the greatest danger to our free system is that the incumbent government used the apparatus of the state, principally the law enforcement agencies and the intelligence agencies, both to spy on political opponents but also to use them in a way that could affect the outcome of the election,” he said [of Obama’s “spying” on the Trump campaign –ed.].

source

Barr  said, among other things:

“I think our nation was turned on its head for three years, I think, based on a completely bogus narrative that was largely fanned and hyped by an irresponsible press, and I think that there were gross abuses of FISA and inexplicable behavior that isn’t tolerable in the FBI,” Barr told NBC News.

Fake news,   completely bogus narrative.  [1]

“[Horowitz’s] approach is to say, if I get an explanation from the people I’m investigating that is not unreasonable on its face, then I will accept it as long as there’s not contradictory testimonial or documentary evidence… And all he said is people gave me an explanation. And I didn’t find anything to contradict it. So I don’t have a basis for saying that there was improper motive. But he hasn’t decided the issue of improper motive,” Barr said.

(emphasis mine)

source for both quotes

Barr dismisses the findings as the easy conclusions of a cursory and inconclusive look into what he considers possible, even likely, “bad faith” by the FBI.  It matters not a whit that, as he frankly concedes, he has no basis for saying there was an improper motive for the FBI probe, he just knows it because… God told him.

Indeed.  Remarkably, Trump says exactly the same thing about the latest baseless, sick, illegal witch hunt against him.  Who are you going to believe, a dense 435 page report by a partisan bureaucrat intent on letting his suspiciously error-prone colleagues off the hook or the clear words of the unambiguous leader of the Free World and his top law enforcement official?

If only the Democrats had the spine to impeach Mr. Trump for his seamless pattern of obstruction of justice as well as his many other misdeeds as America’s Top Executive.   Why are the findings of the Mueller Report a dead letter?   Barr said so, unequivocally.   The Democrats, it seems, made a political calculation about the uphill nature of that fight against America’s top lawyer and the impossibility of getting Americans to tune back into that “old news”.  

Too bad impeachment of Barr is off the table, that would be a great show, watching the most dangerous man in America wrestling other lawyers like the snarling, heavyweight, snarling alligator he is.   I’d watch that shit show gavel to gavel.

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[1]  Inconvenient facts?  Easily disposed of:

Barr also reiterated his opinion that the FBI did not have enough evidence to open up a full investigation into the Trump campaign in 2016 — which diverges from the conclusion reached by Horowitz.

According to the Horowitz report, the FBI investigation — codenamed Crossfire Hurricane — was opened exclusively on a tip to the FBI from an Australian diplomat that George Papadopoulos, then a foreign policy aide on the Trump campaign, had displayed knowledge of a possible plan by the Russians to release information damaging to Hillary Clinton.

In the interview, Barr dismissed Papadopoulos as a “28-year-old campaign volunteer” and suggested that the information he communicated could have been conflated with contemporaneous news reports about Russian hacking.

source

 

SAD!

The saddest part, I think, is how “alternative fact” turns everything to mud– no facts, no facts!!!  The resulting no-holds-barred mud wrestle and shit flinging contest makes all but the strongest of stomach turn away from an impeachment inquiry every American should be following closely.

I wish these were in the articles of impeachment, under the president’s ongoing campaign to undermine American’s faith in the essential fairness of our own democratic institutions, the Department Of Justice and Congress among them.  This is the final bit of Trump’s April 19th tweet storm after Barr confidently and incorrectly announced that Mueller’s report exonerated the innocent president:

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“Very sick and dangerous people who have committed very serious crimes, perhaps even [capital offenses]”   These menaces are DOJ employees, these very sick and dangerous criminals, perhaps even traitors, people who, perhaps even need to be executed for their sick and very serious crimes. 

Note the display of the president’s high-minded due process concern for the presumption of innocence for these dangerous (if un-indicted) criminals he has already marked for punishment, perhaps even execution.

This is what the president told a reporter at the NATO summit last week when asked about the newly released House Intelligence Committee report on its impeachment inquiry:

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Leaving aside the obvious projection of these comments — What the FUCK?   Seriously, are we actually fine with this kind of response from the president of the United States?  Every time you think we have come to the bottom, there is a new bottom under that one. 

If you have any doubts about whether Trump is right about Shifty Schitt, FOX star Tucker Carlson will set you straight.    In dismissing the impeachment farce he calls Adam Schiff a “bug-eyed lunatic.”  Great minds think alike!

A few words about the Ukraine and the involvement of the president’s top men there (personal lawyer/bagman Rudy Giuliani is currently, unaccountably, in Ukraine, reportedly working on a “documentary” about how Ukraine illegally helped Hillary Clinton narrowly defeat Trump in 2016 while hiding Biden’s open corruption):

The Ukrainian presidential candidate that Paul Manafort advised, groomed and put into power in 2010 over a gigantic deficit in the polls (32%, I think), was a Rusnsian-backed thug named Viktor Yanukovych.  Yanukovych, by the way, is currently in exile in Russia and wanted by Ukraine for high treason [1].  

Manafort was paid $60,000,000 for his valuable polling, campaigning and PR advising help, before the unpopular, corrupt Yanukovych was overthrown and ousted by Ukrainians in a democratic coup in 2014.   Manafort (long time partner of convicted felon and self-proclaimed “political dirty trickster” Roger Stone in their lucrative lobbying/consulting/campaign management and PR business) is in prison for tax evasion (he hid $30,000,000 from Yanukovych in some Cayman Island tax dodge using a shell corporation and got caught) and lying to federal prosecutors to protect Trump — in addition to a bit of witness tampering in his own trial. 

In the months before the 2016 election “former unpaid campaign manager” Manafort gave polling data to a Putin connected oligarch (also indicted by Mueller), that included polling research on the key swing states Wi. and Mi. that Trump won by a combined 0.9% or 33,500 votes (see below, email I sent to my sister a few weeks back).   

The mountain of damning facts, first-hand witness testimony (in addition to numerous key fact witnesses blocked from testifying), the numbingly seamless regularity of Trump’s corruption —  overwhelming, sickening and, in some odd way, complicated.  That odd way is the constant lying spin FOX, Barr and Trump himself are always spewing– the constant invocation of conspiracies, no matter how ridiculous and debunked, hardens already inflexible minds to hate instead of reason.  In the war of pure hate and pure reason… well, history is not much consolation there.    I still cling to my belief that Americans are not, by far, the stupidest and most grievously manipulated populace in history… you know what I’m sayin’?

A note on the 2016 electoral mandate that sick, dangerous, unprincipled traitor Democrats are trying to unethically overturn using a fake, illegitimate, illegal, foul-smelling, inferiority complex-fueled, insane, corrupt, conspiracy-based partisan impeachment:

According to the final tallies, Trump won Pennsylvania by 0.7 percentage points (44,292 votes), Wisconsin by 0.7 points (22,748 votes), Michigan by 0.2 points (10,704 votes). If Clinton had won all three states, she would have won the Electoral College 278 to 260.

These figures, and that stunning second sentence, are from the conservative weekly rag Washington Examiner which recently wrote that impeachment has caused Trump’s popularity to soar to 48% and cites a poll showing he beats each and every one of the Democrats in 2020 with the exception of Bernie.   They have Bernie beating Trump 50-49, which they point out is well within the margin of error.   Everybody else, Trump whips handily, according to the trusty Washington Examiner.

I’ve seen the same numbers (the 2016 margins) in more reputable sources, but even these John Birch assholes report the accurate, paper thin margin of Electoral College victory, which calculates to a margin of 0.000609375% of the 136,000,000 votes cast in 2016.   Trump won Florida by a whopping 1.2 percent, six times his margin in Michigan.

Build that wall!   Build that wall!!!

 

[1]   the skinny on Viktor Yanukovych:

In February 2014, Ukraine appeared to be on the brink of civil war, as violent clashes between protesters and special police forces led to many deaths and injuries.[12][13][14] On 21 February 2014, Yanukovych claimed that, after lengthy discussions, he had reached an agreement with the opposition.[15] Later that day, however, he left the capital for Kharkiv, saying his car was shot at as he left Kyiv, and travelling next to Crimea, and eventually to exile in southern Russia.[16]

On 22 February, the Ukrainian parliament voted to remove him from his post, on the grounds that he was unable to fulfill his duties.[17] Parliament set 25 May as the date for the special election to select his replacement,[17][18][19][20] and, two days later, issued a warrant for his arrest, accusing him of “mass killing of civilians.”[21] After his departure, Yanukovych conducted several press conferences. In one of these, he declared himself to remain “the legitimate head of the Ukrainian state elected in a free vote by Ukrainian citizens”.[22] On 18 June 2015, Yanukovych was officially deprived of the title of President of Ukraine by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.[23] On 24 January 2019, he was sentenced in absentia to thirteen years’ imprisonment for high treason by a Ukrainian court.[24]

Fucking Bagpiper Strikes Again

I had hesitated to post this bit I wrote the other day, because, you know, we’re all overdosed on the inescapable partisan poison, the piece could seem to put my Catholic brothers and sisters in a bad light (because of a few supremely ‘bad apples’) and everyone knows what a shameless, smug, provocative contrarian piece of shit Trump’s personal AG is — so, I decided to leave it be.  

Then I heard Barr’s comments today about “communities” (black and brown people) having to show more “respect” for law enforcement or they’d find police turning their backs on them when police protection was needed.   You have to love the way this self-righteous pig-faced fuck just continues doubling down in his righteous assholishness, tirelessly carrying the president’s piss bucket, including, it now appears, POTUS’s  most racist urine (which is champagne to some of the finest in his 39% base).  

Barr tells an audience of law enforcement officials that  THEY (complaining urban communities of brown people) have to show “more respect” to police or the ungrateful bastards will “find themselves without the police protection they need”.  You don’t have to read between the lines here:

“They have to start showing more than they do – the respect and support that law enforcement deserves,” Barr said. “And if communities don’t give that support and respect, they might find themselves without the police protection they need.”

 Read all about it.

So, yeah, fuck that fawning lapdog of American autocrats.  Here’s the post.

Once again, as before his cunningly orchestrated slow-motion release of the “exonerating” Mueller Report, AG Bagpiper Bill Barr gets out in front of a DOJ report on an investigation to impose his counterfactual spin on it for the sharply divided public.   He initiated a criminal investigation into partisan traitors in Obama’s DOJ who allegedly used the infamous Steele Dossier as a pretext to launch a campaign of illegal “spying” on candidate Trump and after his election started a baseless partisan witch hunt against the innocent president-elect.   The new report, apparently, does not confirm this anti-Trump conspiracy.   Barr comes out swinging, a week before he releases the report, giving a spin that will dominate and muddy the public discussion until the conspiracy-debunking report is released and long afterwards.   FOX will have the AG’s Trump-vindicating soundbites to play to Trump’s beloved low-information voters through the 2020 election.

Barr is a partisan, a reactionary and a shameless front man for a shameless president.   A conservative religious Catholic who went to all the finest private schools (he graduated from Roy Cohn’s alma mater, Horace Mann), during a time when radical social changes were being demanded by organized activists, he was raised by a father who seethed against the erosion of morality.  As reported recently in the Vanity Fair piece about Barr and his father Donald Barr, Bagpiper’s beloved father Donald used his influence as imperious headmaster of the Dalton School to energetically, sometimes unscrupulously, fight the winds of social change blowing in the late 1960s.  The elder Barr hated the pot smoking, libertine young anarchists irrationally intent on bringing down the system, trying to swing the pendulum away from discipline, class and tradition toward chaos.  Donald Barr was never shy about being a provocative right-wing  contrarian, even when it eventually cost him his job as headmaster at Dalton.  

Donald Barr’s son Bill apparently feels the same way as his tough as nails dad.  What we need is morality, good, old-fashioned Christian piety and a government led by a powerful and unchallengeable CEO who will do God’s will here on earth.  It continues to amaze me when a religious Christian endorses someone like Donald Trump in the name of Christ, though, really, at this point, why should it amaze anyone?     As a Jew, admittedly, I have only the most fleeting understanding of the teachings of Jesus.   I always thought Jesus’s message had to do with humility, modesty, protecting the weak, loving one’s neighbors, being eternally ready to forgive.  Then again, what the hell do I know about it?

Still, it’s hard not to notice, in addition to the many devout Evangelical defenders of the Flawed Vessel of God’s will that is Mr. Trump, the several prominent, very conservative Catholics who have risen to the top ranks of government under the magnificently Imperfect Orange Vessel.   We have the two Jesuit educated Georgetown Prep alumni Trump appointed to the Supreme Court, Messers Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.   We have Barr.  We have the incomparable Mick Mulvaney.   We have, it emerges, current lead White House counsel, Pat Cippolone, a Catholic so impressively pious he influenced Fox’s Laura Ingraham (Cippolone’s wife worked for Fox, that’s how they met) to convert to Catholicism.   Cippolone, we note, is a pitbull for the president, in the same league as blustering bulldog Barr.

God only knows why I am even writing this…