In just the last few days there have been a string of small news items that directly contradict the narrative that our country has already descended into totalitarianism. It’s worth a moment to consider a few of Mr. Trump’s recent legal setbacks. Mr. Trump clearly would like to be a dictator, and his third Attorney General seemingly has no problem with that desire, but there are some safeguards here in the US that are still intact. The rule of law is one.
I mentioned that the full DC federal appeals court vacated the unusual 2-1 order in the Michael Flynn matter, a case the majority wrote was “not the unusual case that merited special scrutiny” before automatically dismissing it. There will be a new hearing, on August 11, before the full court, where Flynn’s lawyers and the DOJ have been asked to make the case that Mr. Flynn has no other remedy at law (he does, an appeal, like anyone else).
Trump’s (and the always independent Barr’s) theory, of course, is that if Flynn’s prosecution is dropped as baseless, it proves the entire Mueller investigation was an illegal witch hunt, predicated only on lies, spying and irrational hatred of the new president-elect who did nothing wrong.
This theory would be stronger without the several close associates of Trump’s who were successfully prosecuted for actual federal felonies, without the finding of “sweeping and systematic” Russian electoral intervention on behalf of the Trump campaign, the many contacts his campaign had with Russia, the numerous instances of perjury (for example Roger Stone’s and Paul Manafort’s) intended to hide disclosure of these connections, the several detailed instances of active presidential obstruction of justice that Mueller was unable to exonerate him for. Aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln, total political hit job!
A.G. Barr said, under oath on Tuesday, that he knew nothing about the re-imprisonment of former Trump fixer Michael Cohen (which a court found was in retaliation for Cohen refusing to give up his first amendment rights regarding his upcoming tell-all book). Barr claimed no knowledge of what the “Probation Department” had done. Then, within two days, the United States (when that party is mentioned in a legal case it means the Department of Justice) quietly dropped its suit to block Michael Cohen from making public comments about his upcoming book. Perjury, Mr. Barr?
The federal reign of terror in anti-Trump cities seems to be shutting down. Trump’s threatened “surge” of overwhelming federal force in “Democrat” cities supposedly overwhelmed by American Carnage, rioting and lawlessness, had a set-back when the Department of Justice negotiated to remove unmarked, unwanted federal troops from Portland.
Unmarked federal troops in unmarked rented cars cannot legally abduct non-violent citizens off the streets of American cities, particularly if they are not making an arrest — especially blocks from the federal site they are supposedly defending. Camo-clad Federal Border Patrol, Homeland Security and Bureau of Prisons agents were snatching nonviolent protesters off the street, into unmarked rent-a-cars, off the streets of Portland. Although a federal judge threw out the Oregon Attorney General’s request for a temporary restraining order (for her “lack of standing”) as a legal matter, defending unconstitutional practices could not have ended well for Trump, as much as he would love to violently clamp down nationwide in the run up to his “law and order” second term.
That the president is generally incoherent has not deterred his diehard base, that solid thirty-something percent. In fact, they love his rage against those who stand against “making America great again” by turning the clock back to 1953, before the hated anti-segregation ruling by that activist court in Brown v. Board of Education. Rage is one thing, coherence is another, and actually making good on his enraged, incoherent threats is another. Here’s a short recent list:
POSTPONING THE 2020 ELECTION???
One of the nation’s top ultra-conservative ideologues, co-founder of the ultra-conservative legal fraternity The Federalist Society, a man who supported Trump, railed against Mueller, defended Trump against impeachment, wrote (in the hated New York Times, no less) that this attempt (???? remember the mainly exculpatory question marks in the president’s hortatory tweet) to postpone the election is an impeachable offense that merits Trump’s removal from office.
ASSIGNMENTS FOR AG BARR:
Shut the Flynn case down (ongoing, not so easy, apparently), stop Michael Cohen’s fucking book (the book will come out, Cohen may talk, tweet, facebook about it as much as he likes), defend use of federal force against protesters (a draw at the moment), argue that in some cases a presidential campaign may accept foreign help (a few seconds later Barr was forced to admit this is illegal in every instance), defend the commutation of Roger Stone’s sentence after what Barr called a “righteous prosecution” (fairly weak job, Bill), defend why the president is not being investigated for the quid pro quo of rewarding the silence of a convicted perjurer who protected Trump with his lies and a pugnacious refusal to talk, something you told the Senate at your confirmation hearing would be a criminal act (eh… “why should I?”)
Disclaim federal responsibility and blame governors for not controlling covid-19 pandemic (many did much, much better than the president on this, Trump loyalist governors consistently do the worst).
The Red Zone, where the virus is raging out of control, is comprised of mostly Red States, oddly enough. US number one worldwide, by a wide margin, in covid-19 infections, rate of spread and deaths.
Anti-maskers (like our president) are winning political arguments among Trump’s base (they can’t lose arguing among their base), but are also spreading the pandemic. Co-founder of Blacks for Trump, Herman Cain, died of covid-19 almost certainly contracted at Trump’s maskless indoor Tulsa Rally. See also, Louie Gohmert. See also Georgia governor Brian Kemp’s lawsuit against Atlanta’s female, black mayor for mandating the wearing of masks in the city she’s responsible for.
Trump, while touting victory over the virus and calling for defunding any schools that do not reopen, recently cancelled planned maskless Republican National Convention.
He also made a sheepish pronouncement that maybe wearing masks is patriotic, who knows???
CONDEMNING LAWLESSNESS and the “radical left”:
Ignore the actual reason for the nationwide protests, longtime police murder of unarmed civilians, mainly “nonwhite” citizens, pretend they’re riots, the work of violent outside agitators. Claim that “if the governors won’t control antifa, anarchists and violent left-wing fascist mobs the federal government will!” Give some illegal orders, threaten much worse, claim victory, then back down.
The only people we know of prosecuted for fomenting violence at protests seem to be White Nationalists intent on spreading Trump’s message that angry, scary Negroes and their insane radical leftist supporters are OUT OF CONTROL! Where are the arrests and prosecutions of all these left-wing agitators we keep hearing about?
VOTE BY MAIL
The position that mail-in voting results in massive fraud is a Trump talking point only, debunked by every actual study of voter fraud (extremely rare by any voting method). Trump’s active suppression of mail-in votes is a real concern, and there’s no way to paint it otherwise.
Trump has appointed an unqualified Trump donor ($2,000,000 to Trump and other Republicans since 2016), Louis DeJoy, to be Postmaster General. The already hobbled Post Office (forced ince 2006 by Republican lawmakers to fully fund its retiree health insurance 75 years into the future– wiping out modest profits and putting the USPS in debt) is now run by a man who will do whatever is necessary to limit the effectiveness of mail-in voting. You can read more about this peach of a man in the Chinese Communist mouthpiece FORBES.
I decided to take a break and learn a bit more about jazz guitar. Here’s what I got.
I have only one question. WHY THE HELL HASN’T SHE BEEN LOCKED UP YET????!!!!
As General Michael Flynn chanted from the stage at the 2016 Republican National Convention: “LOCK HER UP! LOCK HER UP!!!” What are we waiting for, America?!!!