Retribution is Trump’s mantra for his enemies

Full disclosure: I believe Donald Trump is corrupt, a compulsively lying deadbeat with open contempt for the law, rules and norms, and the most dangerous president in American history. I won’t be voting for him. Mr. Trump’s supporters, I suspect, love the fact that their president only respects the law and order that helps him. They love that he protects his risk-taking friends and humiliates his enemies, when he gets the chance actually killing them. Here is a recent example of a hit squad doing the vindictive president’s business, plucked from a news story updating the narrative of what seems to be the execution of a suspect by federal officers.

An armed right-wing counter-protester in Portland was killed during an altercation by someone identified with Antifa. Soon afterwards, on September 3, 2020, the suspect was rolled up on by federal marshals, who jumped out of their cars and opened fire, killing him on the spot.

Attorney General William P. Barr trumpeted the operation as a “significant accomplishment” that removed a “violent agitator.” The officers had opened fire, he said, when Mr. Reinoehl “attempted to escape arrest” and “produced a firearm” during the encounter.

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It turns out that the “violent agitator” had not attempted to escape, unless you consider his staggering several steps after being shot, seconds before the fatal fusillade killed him, an escape attempt. Turns out that he had not produced a firearm, an unfired gun was found in his pocket after he was killed.

It now appears, from evidence presented in today’s New York Times (too discreet to say the words that follow) that he was executed by a rapidly moving firing squad of federal marshals sent to get the job done.

The U.S. Marshals Service declined to comment for this article, citing the pending investigation. The agency previously said that it had attempted to “peacefully arrest” Mr. Reinoehl and that he had threatened the lives of law enforcement officers.

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The peaceful arrest apparently could not be effected in the few seconds between when the marshals sped up in their cars and when the marshals leaped out and began shooting the suspect. Extrajudicial killing in America. What the hell? Who needs a trial when the guy is guilty, a man who clearly hates America?

That this particular dead guy identified himself as antifa, (even if he attended the protests to protect peaceful protesters from intimidation by armed counter-protesters), plays beautifully into the Barr-Trump narrative: the country is in extreme danger from dangerous, violent left-wing radical criminals claiming America is a systemically racist society and trying to destroy it.

As the president framed it, with characteristic simplicity:

“This guy was a violent criminal, and the U.S. Marshals killed him,” the president told Fox News. “And I will tell you something, that’s the way it has to be. There has to be retribution when you have crime like this.”

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Just to underscore how fair and impartial the administration of justice is in Donald J. Trump’s America, compare the summary execution of this antifa suspect with the Trump administration’s treatment of killer Kyle Rittenhouse. Rittenhouse is the teenager who shot two protesters to death with an illegally possessed long gun, after his mother drove him across state lines to take up arms against those protesting racial injustice.

Meanwhile, at the Department of Homeland Security, federal law-enforcement officials were instructed last month to express sympathy for Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old Illinois resident who traveled to Kenosha, Wisconsin, with an (illegally possessed) AR-15 to defend law and order in that city — and ended up shooting two people dead. Specifically, in internal documents obtained by NBC News, DHS officials were advised to respond to any questions about Rittenhouse’s case by noting that Rittenhouse “took his rifle to the scene of the rioting to help defend small business owners” (curiously, the document simultaneously advises the officials to say that they could not comment on an ongoing investigation, before offering comments sympathetic to the subject of an ongoing investigation).

Officials were further counseled to describe Rittenhouse’s alleged actions as an object lesson in the importance of suppressing urban chaos. “This is also why we need to stop the violence in our cities,” the talking points read. “Chaotic and violent situations lead to chaotic, violent and tragic outcomes. Everyone needs law and order.”

To this point, DHS officials have largely ignored these messaging cues. But the department may provide Trump’s campaign with a more brutal form of aid later this month. As the Washington Post reported Tuesday:

The Trump administration is preparing an immigration enforcement blitz next month that would target arrests in U.S. cities and jurisdictions that have adopted “sanctuary” policies, according to three U.S. officials who described a plan with public messaging that echoes the president’s law-and-order campaign rhetoric.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation, known informally as the “sanctuary op,” could begin in California as soon as later this week. It would then expand to cities including Denver and Philadelphia, according to two of the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive government law enforcement plans … Two officials with knowledge of plans for the sanctuary op described it as more of a political messaging campaign than a major ICE operation, noting that the agency already concentrates on immigration violators with criminal records and routinely arrests them without much fanfare.

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Fair is fair. To recap: money is speech, as the 5-4 Supreme Court recently declared. If you have more money, you deserve more freedom of speech, obviously. If you do something that looks bad but no specific law prevents the exact thing you’re doing, how is that wrong? If you have the votes not to be put on trial for misdeeds, who would not use them? If you can fire enemies and protect friends, why not? Losers who are angry about any of this — well, they get what they deserve if they ever become too angry. Fair is fair, unfair or not. That’s the way the rigged game is played, by winners!

Check out the AD!

Ladies and gentlemen, your monetized internet at work!

The all-powerful algorithms, delivering a Trump-themed ad, from one of the very outfits Sheldon Whitehouse is describing in his presentation. Want to know why this ad? Click the link, I didn’t, but you can when it plays.

The main thing is: Sign the petition! Pay no attention to this partisan hater ranting against fake “bad guys,” supposedly obsessed with power, not letting the good, Christian judge get a word in edgewise. The problem is not an ideologically committed, dark money-funded, politically biased 6-3 Supreme Court, or the brazen effort to cram another unappealable lifetime justice down the throat of American democracy in the days before a presidential election (something never in our history done after July) it is that caravan of rapists coming from South of the Border! The highly successful wall ain’t stoppin’ ’em, they’re coming to rape us all!!! Keep your eye on the ball!!

Whitehouse’s presentation is worth taking in. Won’t change any votes, or help stop what McConnell and his 51-49 Senate majority is going to do, but important information well presented and very much worth knowing.

Court-packing

Brett “Boof” Kavanaugh, Mr. Trump’s previous extremist pick, to fill the Supreme Court seat Anthony Kennedy gave up after negotiating the terms of his retirement with Trump’s lawyers, snorted indignantly and literally cried to the Senate Judiciary Committee about “millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups” [1] deployed by rabid partisans to unfairly sink his nomination and viciously destroy his life.

In fact, millions of dollars have been spent by outside right-wing groups to make sure committed Federalist Society ideologues like Mr. Kavanaugh, like today’s nominee Amy Coney Barrett, get confirmed for lifetime judicial positions. That these lifetime judicial nominees may sometimes be deemed too inexperienced, or outright unqualified, or show themselves to lack judicial temperament (see Kavanaugh’s snorting “rebuttal” to charges that while drunk in high school he did things to a younger girl against her will) — no matter, the American Bar Association is a well-known Communist front group and liberals blindly hate good, honest, God-fearing conservatives. And besides, 51-49 wins every time.

Extreme right-wing billionaire Charles Koch, never shy about spending to promote his belief in libertarianism — a dream world where government leaves the rich and their property alone and harshly polices everyone else — is on the verge of victory with a long dreamed of 6-3 ideologically pure corporatist majority on the Supreme Court. He and his Kochtopus network of wealthy right-wing fellow travelers have spent untold, untraceable millions on this project in the last four or five decades. Nice op ed in the NY Times today on the subject. Here’s a taste:

Judge Barrett’s nomination is the latest battleground in his decades-long war to reshape American society in a way that ensures that corporations can operate with untrammeled freedom. It may be a pivotal one.

Since the early 1970s, Mr. Koch has sought to dismantle most federal regulatory institutions, and the federal courts have been central to that battle. In 1974, Mr. Koch gave a blistering speech to a libertarian think tank, called the Institute for Humane Studies, in which he outlined his vision of the American regulatory state, and the strategy he would employ over the ensuing decades to realize that vision. On the list of government interventions he condemned were “confiscatory taxation, wage and price controls, commodity allocations programs, trade barriers, restrictions on foreign investments, so-called equal opportunity requirements, safety and health regulations, land use controls, licensing laws, outright government ownership of businesses and industries.” As if that list were not exhaustive enough, he added, “… and many more interventions.” In short, Charles Koch believes that an unregulated free market is the only sustainable structure for human society.

By the way, speaking of “humane studies,” every time I listen to a podcast on my phone app, I have to first close an ad from Charles Koch’s favorite “think tank”, the mischievously named Institute for Humane Studies. I see their ad for paid graduate school fellowships, featuring two young black scholars, a male and a female, not 90% of the time, mind you, it is there every single time I open the app to listen to Democracy Now! Somewhere indomitable octogenarian Charles Koch is cackling.

Keep in mind, Koch has an army of paid activists, marshaled by Americans for Prosperity and like groups, tirelessly promoting libertarian dogma among the American citizenry. They were active in the sustained effort to get Kavanaugh confirmed, an effort that cost “seven figures”. They are very active in this final Trump appointment in progress. It is do or die– they have only weeks to do what generally takes months to accomplish. Of course, in the end, it’s 51-49 suck it.

Today, historian Heather Cox Richardson wrote a thorough short history of the largely successful conservative project to create a permanent one-party conservative government, through court packing with ideological true believers they have been grooming in law schools since 1982. As she points out, they’ve bizarrely managed to put Biden on the media spot about his charged “court packing” when the side Mr. Trump currently leads has appointed 15 of the last 19 Supreme Court judges, McConnell has packed the federal bench with young true believers and is making history by forcing through a nomination days before an election. Plus, of course, adding justices to the court is legal and may be proper at this point,the Constitution is silent on the number of judges who shall sit on the court anyway.

This is from her important piece, which I highly recommend you read in its entirety (it’s not very long):

… And yet, today the chair of the Republican National Committee, Ronna McDaniel, told Margaret Brennan on CBS’s “Face The Nation” that she would not talk about Trump’s financial scandals because “You have a Democrat running on the biggest power grab – the absolute biggest power grab in the history of our country and reshaping the United States of America and not answering the question. That’s all we should be talking about.” The media seems to be taking this distracting bait.

What makes this so especially bizarre is that it is Republicans, not Democrats, who have made the courts the centerpiece of their agenda and have packed them with judges who adhere to an extremist ideology. Since the Nixon administration began in 1969, Democrats have appointed just 4 Supreme Court justices, while Republicans have appointed 15.

The drive to push the court to the right has led Republicans under Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to take the unprecedented step of refusing to hold a hearing for Barack Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, the moderate Merrick Garland, on the grounds that it was wrong to appoint a Supreme Court justice during an election year. There have been 14 justices confirmed during election years in the past, but none has ever been confirmed after July before an election.

Obama nominated Garland in March 2016, but now, in October, McConnell is ramming through Trump’s nominee Amy Coney Barrett.

Americans are worried that the increasingly conservative cast to the court does not represent the country. Four, and now possibly five, of the current justices were appointed by presidents who lost the popular vote, and have been confirmed by senators who represent a minority of the American people: Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate support represented just 44% of the country.

So there is talk of increasing the size of the Supreme Court. This is legal. The Constitution does not specify the size of the court, and it has changed throughout our history. But the current number of justices—9— has been around for a long time. It was established in 1869. Nonetheless, in 2016, when it looked like Hillary Clinton was going to win the presidency, Republicans announced that they would not fill any Supreme Court seats during her term, and if that meant they had to reduce the size of the Supreme Court, they were willing.

Instead, with Trump in the White House, the Republican Senate has pushed through judges at all levels as quickly as it possibly can.

This is no accident. Since Nixon, Republicans have made control of the nation’s courts central to their agenda. But while most voters tend to get distracted by the hot-button issues of abortion or gay rights, what Republican Supreme Courts have done is to consolidate the power of corporations.

And here is the single best question to ask this impartial jurist who seeks to cement the permanent right-wing majority on the Court for many of our lifetimes. Posed by a comedian, it is a seriously perfect question to put to the highly moralistic Trump-appointed federal Judge Amy Coney Barrett:

Looky here (you learn something every day):

Comedian (and lawyer) J-L Cauvin asks the question Senate Democrats must ask of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett

[1]

the heart of Kavanuagh’s tearfully delivered demonstration that he lacks the judicial character and nonpartisan fairness to be on the Supreme Court. He dismissed the un-investigated accusations of a woman who credibly testified (in the face of death threats) that Kavanaugh traumatized her decades earlier as part of:

the typo is mine: it should read “pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election”

Res Ipsa Loquitur

“The thing speaks for itself”

“Here’s how they got it wrong,” opines the know-it-all New York Times. Of course they’d attack a conspiracy they’re part of!

Another opinion: Look at Mark Zuckerberg, lifetime CEO of Facebook. Who looks and acts more like the personification of the monsters Q is exposing and fighting than that creepy, greedy bastard? Who has more motivation to crush the horrific truth, in all its forms, than Zuck?

I hope you know I am being arch here. QAnon is a recycling of the old antisemitic myth about Jews who control the world and live forever by drinking the blood of Christian children. The fuckers richly deserve to be prevented from spreading this horse shit in every public forum.

On the other hand, hard to disagree about Zuckerberg, I think.

825% Campaign Donation Match to fight Lying, Treasonous, Cannibal Satanist Child SEX Traffickers!

Mr. Trump calls for Joe Biden, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to be locked up. LOCK THEM UP! LOCK THEM UP!! He’s not happy with his Attorney General, very disappointing fixer! Just bring the charges already… there’s more than enough proof. Of course, it goes without saying that Kamala Harris is a “monster,” a “communist” and a “smelly pirate hooker.” It’s not like 1,000 women have accused Trump of gross sexual assault, like that animal Bill Cosby, this latest liar is only the 26th to accuse the unfairly attacked president. Women love Trump!

Of course, the lying, despicable, desperately corrupt New York Times gleefully piles on, on top of the disappointing Barr and the weak Mike Pompeo, and ran this headline:

Trump Lashes Out at His Cabinet With Calls to Indict Political Rival

… The president castigated his own team, declaring that Attorney General William P. Barr would go down in history “as a very sad, sad situation” if he did not indict Democrats like Mr. Biden and former President Barack Obama. He complained that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had not released Hillary Clinton’s emails, saying, “I’m not happy about him for that reason.” And he targeted Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director. “He’s been disappointing,” Mr. Trump said.

“Unless Bill Barr indicts these people for crimes, the greatest political crime in the history of our country, then we’re going to get little satisfaction unless I win and we’ll just have to go, because I won’t forget it,” Mr. Trump said, referring to the investigation into his 2016 campaign ties with Russia. “But these people should be indicted. This was the greatest political crime in the history of our country, and that includes Obama and it includes Biden.”

Mr. Trump has often argued that his political antagonists should be prosecuted, but in this case, he went further by indicating that he had directly pressured Mr. Barr to indict without waiting for more evidence. “He’s got all the information he needs,” the president said. “They want to get more, more, more, they keep getting more. I said, ‘You don’t need any more.’”

and

During his hourlong morning call with Maria Bartiromo [at FOX-ed.], he seemed to suggest he may have been infected by the Gold Star parents of soldiers killed in battle at an event honoring them last month at the White House, although a spokeswoman later denied he meant that.

The president’s phone interviews were his first time answering questions since he was infected with the virus and flown to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he stayed for three nights. He said he was no longer taking the experimental drugs used to treat the virus, but he added that he was still taking a steroid that doctors say can produce bursts of energy, euphoria and even a sense of invulnerability.

“I felt pretty lousy,” Mr. Trump said. But, he added, “I’m back because I’m a perfect physical specimen and I’m extremely young.” He once again played down the severity of the disease. “Now what happens is you get better,” he said. “That’s what happens, you get better.”

(emphasis mine)

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For the Trump haters who smirk to read that the president suggested he’d been infected by Gold Star parents of suckers, er, soldiers, killed in the line of duty, and the White House spokeswoman denying he meant what he said– how about a moment of honesty, of personal humility? Everyone knows by now that the president doesn’t mean what he says or say what he means, unless he means to say something that is the opposite of what he said, if what he said causes a publicity headache, which happens. It happens to everybody!

Anyone can say “I don’t see why he would” when talking about a geopolitical adversary accused of meddling in your election when what you actually meant to say was “I don’t see why he WOULDN’T”. Two tiny letters, and one of those marks that look like a misplaced comma– Jesus, any of us could make the same little mistake, sound like we just said the opposite of what we actually said. Fucking libtards, man, brutal bunch.

On the other hand, it’s hard to disagree with the president’s assessment of the ethically challenged William P. Barr. His tenure as America’s top law enforcement official will go down in history “as a very sad, sad situation.” SAD!

Awesome Dexamethasone High

My friend was on a steroid as treatment for something his body was fighting, maybe before a medical procedure of some kind. Early in the morning his wife woke up in an empty bed. Looking out the window she saw him up on a ladder, tirelessly scraping at the wall. They reported that before breakfast that day he did the work of five men.

I read this account just now, from a guy who took dexamethasone in the lead up to surgery for an acoustic neuroma:

I can’t imagine that anyone took me seriously during those weeks of higher-than-hell discombobulation — and if they did, they shouldn’t have. After all, I was a sick man on the brink of a life-changing operation, feeling a false sense of invincibility thanks to a flush of steroids. So I get where Trump is coming from, and I can somewhat understand the misguided, Chuck Norris-worthy level of bravado that comes with dramatically walking up a set of steps, defiantly tearing off your mask, and saluting a military helicopter as it flies into the sunset. He probably feels like the hero in his own action movie right now, and maybe he deems it necessary to communicate that sense of strength to the rest of the world.

The problem is, it’s not real strength. It’s a steroid. It’s a drug. And, judging by my personal experience, dexamethasone may be giving him the same false feeling of stability and empowerment that it gave me.

The difference? I was a touring musician singing songs about my wife; Trump is the leader of the free world with literally millions of lives in his hands.

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Dexamethasone is a cheap and widely available corticosteroid that is used to head off an immune system overreaction and treat inflammation. 

The drug has risen to prominence as a COVID-19 treatment after a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in July found it significantly improved the chances of survival for seriously ill COVID-19 patients.

Researchers behind the study found the drug reduced deaths by 35 percent for patients on ventilators and by 20 percent in those only needing supplemental oxygen, although the steroid did not appear to show any benefit to COVID-19 patients who didn’t require ventilation or oxygen.

The announcement that Trump was being treated with dexamethasone raised concerns about the severity of his condition as the drug is typically reserved for patients with severe COVID-19 and not prescribed to patients in the early stages of infection as it can suppress the immune system’s capability to fight off the virus. 

The National Institutes of Health’s treatment guidelines recommend against the use of dexamethasone for the treatment of patients who do not require supplemental oxygen. 

Trump’s doctors said the president received oxygen on Friday following a temporary drop in oxygen level. On Saturday morning, Trump’s oxygen saturation dropped to 93 percent, prompting the decision to initiate the steroid therapy. Healthy blood oxygen levels range from 95 to 100 percent. 

Dexamethasone can cause a range of side effects, from blood clots, headaches and blurred vision to aggression, agitation, anxiety, irritability and depression. 

“It can cause psychosis. It can cause delirium. It can cause mania,” Megan Ranney, an emergency physician and associate professor at Brown University, told CNN Sunday.

“I would never want to say the president is experiencing steroid-induced psychosis, but it is certainly concerning to see some of his actions today in the wake of this potentially deadly diagnosis and infectious disease.” 

Peter Bach, director of the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, told The Washington Post a well-known effect of the drug is euphoria and the tendency to over-exaggerate how well they feel. 

Dexamethasone is also a banned performance-enhancing drug, according to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s 2019 list of prohibited drugs. The drug is listed under “glucocorticoids,” which are prohibited when administered by oral, intravenous, intramuscular or rectal routes. 

Prior to the recent presidential debate, Trump demanded former Vice President Joe Biden take a drug test, suggesting Biden had used drugs to bolster his performance during the Democratic debates. 

“I will be strongly demanding a Drug Test of Sleepy Joe Biden prior to, or after, the Debate on Tuesday night. Naturally, I will agree to take one also,” Trump tweeted. “His Debate performances have been record setting UNEVEN, to put it mildly. Only drugs could have caused this discrepancy???” 

Trump tweeted Tuesday he plans to move forward with the second presidential debate scheduled for Oct. 15 in Miami.  

Trump, who is still infected with the virus, was discharged from Walter Reed Monday evening and returned to the White House determined to show the public he had gotten the better of the virus. He walked up the stairs of the South Portico upon his return, removed his mask and posed for photos while looking over the balcony above the South Lawn. 

In a video posted to Twitter following his return, Trump said he “felt better than 20 years ago” and urged people not to be afraid of the coronavirus or let it “dominate” their lives. 

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Trump 2020

The message of these ads is pretty clear, I suppose. Biden coddles criminals and hates the police, and so you will live in violent chaos if he’s elected — cops won’t do their jobs under a president who hates them, because they have a higher loyalty than enforcing the law.

Martin Luther King is either with us or, more likely, a precise illustration of the existential threat posed by such men, and the reason we need to keep fighting against lying, Jesus-quoting troublemakers who claim we’re a materialistic, violent, racist nation, placing greed for money and lust for war above human life.

And, while we’re on the subject of never surrendering, the glorious Confederacy, which only fought against American tranny, after all, and only when provoked beyond human endurance, and who fought not for slavery but for “states rights” and “home rule” (whatever those articles of secession might have supposedly stated) never lost the Civil War. The proof of this commitment to the “Lost Cause” is the Republican party we have today, the party of Trump and the most extreme of our billionaires — and millions of loyal citizens who will not take the evidence of their own eyes for an answer, not without a fight.

Stay strong, Karen Pence (only person at the Vice Presidential debate yesterday, outside of debaters and the moderator, not wearing a mask.)

“Courts cannot hold private citizens’ decisions to stay home for their own safety against the State.”

The quote above (reported HERE) was a cornerstone of the Republican argument in the U.S. Supreme Court, defending enforcement of a South Carolina law that requires a legally prescribed witness statement to be included with every mail in ballot — in order for the vote to be valid. South Carolina enacted this law because of the claimed danger of runaway voter fraud, incidence of which has been documented (by well-paid voting fraud conspiracists like Hans von Spakovsky) at less than ten thousandths of one percent: 0.00004%

It begs the obvious question in a democracy: how is the State different than the will of the voters who elect their representatives? How is the safety of citizens different than the safety of the State?

Here is how CNN reported on the Republican effort to limit mail-in ballots in a state where Republican Senator Lindsey Graham is running neck and neck with his Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison.

Republicans argued to the Supreme Court that more than 150,000 absentee ballots “have been mailed out already, and each passing day increases the risk that ballots will be returned, that, in mistaken reliance on the district court’s injunction, do not comply with the witness requirement.”

They said, “Although COVID-19 might make in-person voting less desirable, courts cannot hold private citizens’ decisions to stay home for their own safety against the State.”

Justice Brett Kavanaugh explained why he had voted in favor of the Republicans. He said a state legislature’s decision either to “keep or to make changes to election rules to address COVID-19 ordinarily should not be subject to second-guessing by an unelected federal judiciary” and that the court has repeatedly emphasized that federal courts should not alter state election rules too close to an election.

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“Although COVID-19 might make in-person voting less desirable,”

Presumably the possibility of catching a serious and sometimes deadly disease is less desirable than staying out of an infectious indoor space where you are likeliest to be exposed to this dangerous pathogen. This phrasing is an example of why lawyers are so hated.

courts cannot hold private citizens’ decisions to stay home for their own safety”

Courts can’t elevate the selfish desire of private citizens to protect themselves against the inconvenience of some flu-like disease above the right of the…

“against the State.”

As for Justice Boof Kavanaugh’s explanation: it makes perfect sense — in a nation with no history of persistent and widespread voter suppression and intimidation — or in a nation that was not forced to make a number of laws to stop these anti-democratic practices and to enforce those laws in the courts (until the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013)or in any nation in the middle of a deadly pandemic that rages most uncontrollably in indoor, crowded spaces, like polling places, particularly the few open in “underserved” areas.

But — come on, now. Crimes against the State, y’all.

How Would We Know?

Someone close to me is close to someone who routinely lies to her. It is very uncomfortable for me to see her in this position, since if you can’t trust somebody you rely on, how can you trust them — or rely on them? The lies have not been small or infrequent, they are regular, big and sometimes about things of great importance.

Once, trying to be supportive, a few years back, I asked how this person (who I can’t stand) was doing.

“How would I know?” she said, wearily.

Point taken. I no longer ask her how the untruthful fellow is doing.

I’ve been watching the often excellent legal analyses of former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner on youTube. I began to notice his insightful take on law and justice during Mr. Trump’s attorney, General Barr’s, attempt to finally do what fired FBI Director James Comey would not do — make the “Flynn thing” go away.

Mr. Trump’s former National Security Advisor General Mike Flynn, we recall, was fired by Mr. Trump after it came out that Flynn had lied about illegal contacts with the Russian ambassador, lies that VP Mike Pence then repeated as true on television. Flynn then lied to the FBI about lying, eventually pleading guilty as part of a plea deal that involved admitting other lies (involving payments from Turkey and Saudi Arabia).

Trump was outraged at the persecution of this good, loyal man (Flynn had led the “Lock Her UP!” chant at the RNC) and made his outrage known, in speeches and via twitter. Eventually, AG Barr decided that the crimes Flynn had pleaded guilty to were not actually crimes after all — and that he’d been trapped into lying by liars and likely criminals — and Barr now seeks to dismiss the DOJ’s case against Flynn outright.

Kirschner has been fiercely following every detail of Judge Emmet Sullivan’s principled stand to get a coherent explanation for this seemingly politically motivated DOJ reversal — the highly unusual dismissal of a prosecution after a guilty plea. Naturally, Judge Sullivan is vilified on FOX as an “abjectly biased” politically corrupt judge persecuting the wrongfully prosecuted, innocent General Flynn out of political animus, something Ronald Reagan surely never suspected of Sullivan when he appointed him to the federal bench in 1984 [1].

Anyway, good people, on all sides, one supposes. Back to Glenn Kirschner — he has been questioning whether the president even has the coronavirus at all or whether it is merely a stunt to refocus and change a political narrative that is going very badly for the president lately in the weeks that will decide if he is re-elected or becomes a criminal defendant at more than one trial.

Kirschner keeps insisting that he won’t believe Trump is sick unless he hears it from a reputable source, like Anthony Fauci. He has been pointing out the many contradictions and abrupt changes in the official reports of how sick the president actually is. Many of these constantly shifting comments from the president’s spokespeople have been ridiculous, even in the age of Trump.

What we know is limited: Mr. Trump took no test Tuesday night before his debate with Joe Biden, his close associate Hope Hicks, who he’d been campaigning with, had symptoms and tested positive Wednesday, he then met with big money donors on Thursday, shortly before (or possibly after) his positive covid test result came back. When was his last negative test? When did his symptoms start?

I didn’t really get why Kirschner was so exercised on this point — or what the upside of Trump pretending to be very sick could be– until yesterday. I kept wondering what Trump has to gain by claiming to have been felled by the coronavirus he has been downplaying for months.

Kirschner explained yesterday, after Trump checked himself out of the hospital, pulled off his mask and stood on the White House balcony in his bare-chested Putin on horseback moment. Trump smiled his infectious smile, or a game attempt at his infectious smile, no less infectious for being less than 100% convincing. He looked tired in that short appearance for the cameras; haggard, his eyes smaller than usual and red.

The first part of Kirshner’s point about Trump’s actual medical condition was the obvious “how would we know?” There is nobody of any credibility remaining around the president, outside of Dr. Fauci.

The second part, which I just got, is the strongman propaganda value of an indomitable president refusing to be dominated by a deadly disease. If Trump is hospitalized with serious enough COVID symptoms to need steroids, oxygen, experimental monoclonal antibody treatment, then — in only three days– has a miraculous recovery, shouldn’t we all believe in miracles just a little more than we already do? The miracle is much easier to pull off if the recovery was after a non-illness, it stands to reason.

Just because somebody has lied many times, by long habit, by reflex, and insists that people lie constantly on his behalf, that doesn’t mean that they can’t be telling the truth now.

Call it a miracle if you want. Some people will call “bullshit!” — others will see the will of God, working in divinely mysterious ways, through this most imperfect of imperfect vessels.

[1]

They discuss the politically corrupt Flynn case on FOX