persistent terrible twos . VERY PAINFUL!
persistent terrible twos . VERY PAINFUL!
I am starting to notice that people, in general, are getting quite emotionally frayed, which is not surprising, given what we are all up against. The emotional strain from our fear and anxiety comes out in a variety of ways as we are cooped up and isolated from each other and from most of our habitual pursuits and distractions. Do not underestimate the effect of having our habits disrupted, particularly having our most beloved distractions taken away from us.
I am expecting the acting out of frayed nerves to hit the public sphere in a big way soon — understandably desperate people doing increasingly crazy things. As worrisome as death from COVID itself is, these sometimes twitchy attempts to cope with pressures virtually no-one alive has ever had to deal with, these changes to our perceptions of the word around us, are another cause for concern.
This already scary, disorienting situation is much more upsetting because we have a terrible two year-old and his hand-picked loyal henchmen spouting an endless fountain of counter-factual … whatever it is that comes out of their “mouths”.
We Americans live in a very competitive society, divided into winners and losers. It is more divided now than at any time since the Gilded Age that followed the great economic devastation in the decades after the Civil War. Our greatest winners have spent fortunes over decades to convince significant numbers of the losers that the most important thing in life is freedom from the tyranny of a coercive government that wants to seize your liberty. It is an easy myth to promote, easy for the average citizen to relate to, since interactions with government bureaucracies are almost always frustrating. I found myself snarling at the screen when I logged on to the IRS website for a couple of simple answers last night.
If you are wealthy you don’t need any help from the government. You need the government to leave you and your wealth alone. If you are threatened by a flood, a fire, an earthquake, an angry mob, lose your home, get cancer — and you are not wealthy — you will reasonably want help from the government you pay taxes to.
We have had a social safety net in our wealthy nation for almost a century. Before we had the New Deal social programs there was no tax-supported retirement system (Social Security), no limits on child labor, no limits on the hours employers could demand of workers, no minimum wage, no protections against sudden impoverishment (Welfare) and so on.
You can argue that having such things, and a much better public health system, are net goods for society. People are less afraid, less insecure, feel more supported and connected when they operate in a system that has some kind of safety net to catch the many who sometimes fall. These social protections would seem a good thing for the wealthy as well: people who are not desperate are much less likely to take to the streets in violent mobs.
Of course, this is all communistic poppycock to most inheritors of vast fortunes, to the outliers who acquire billions by their own initiative. To them the only value is liberty, freedom from coercion. We are fine, just leave us alone. Just do what we do– dream big, work hard and be successful.
Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared are good examples of this winner work ethic. They work hard, are super-confident, and aggressive in pursuing their dreams. It doesn’t hurt that both started with millions of dollars from their parents, and up-and-running business empires to run, but don’t discount their genius! Do not dare discount their genius.
Knowing that great people like Ivanka and Jared are working hard to make sure we’re all safe should be a comfort, if you are an idiot — or insane.
Looking back in history, with that keen vision hindsight sometimes provides, it’s often easy to find the moment when the deal was sealed, the signal event that made what happened next appear inevitable. In Nazi Germany, I’d say that moment was eighteen months in, when Hitler sent out goon squads to kill his enemies all over Germany on the last night of June 1934. One of the dead, in that Night of the Long Knives, was General Kurt von Schleicher, Hitler’s predecessor as chancellor, the German equivalent of a more right-wing Colin Powell. The initial claim in State media was that the “traitor” was shot dead in a gun battle while resisting arrest for his crimes. Within a very short time they dropped the lie, the Fuhrer was nonchalantly telling Germany about the night “when I had Schleicher shot.” Of course, the whole point of that coordinated, murderous purge was to demonstrate that even a popular right-wing celebrity politician wasn’t safe from summary execution if Hitler perceived disloyalty or threat.
So it is with this lawless, insecure, bullying reality-TV con-man president we have up at the podium now. He also uses fear of angry reprisal, demonstrated in consistent threats and public acts of vilification and revenge, to rule by fear. Riding the ample ass of his deeply religious, fanatical Attorney General who believes, and always has, that the ends justify the means, he would appear infallible. The ends, for Bagpiper Bill Barr, are a moral nation-state as Jesus would have wanted it (as Barr fervidly imagines his messiah would want it, anyway). Barr wields the law as a righteous sword, the way the original Jesuits, Defenders of the Faith and lawyers for the Spanish Inquisition, did.
You fervently want justice, God’s justice on earth. To get Divine justice, to be righteous instruments of His will, you must put heretics to the flames, to the sword, the strappado, the water-board, the rack. It’s just what the Prince of Peace would wish for us sinners here on this troubled earth, to bring Jesus’s mercy to mankind by any means necessary. So, as a lawyer for God’s representatives on earth, you reason backwards from the result you want, and craft your legal rationale to make the practice legal, permissible, and even highly moral, no matter how perverse or obscene what you are advocating might otherwise seem.
Barr has always been supremely creative this way, an innovator, really. He crafted the first-ever preemptive presidential pardon on the eve of a felony trial (Caspar Weinberger’s) that would have spilled the toxic beans on lame-duck president HW Bush and destroyed his legacy. He substituted his overbearing and demonstrably false interpretation for the damning facts of a careful report that explicitly did not exonerate his boss of a seamless (and ongoing) pattern of Obstruction of Justice, smearing a highly respected Eagle Scout colleague, and political fellow-traveler, in the process. Since exonerating his guilty boss he has empaneled a zealous criminal investigation into the “HOAX” investigation of what both parties have concluded in official reports was massive Russian interference in the 2016 election, with the active connivance of Trump’s campaign, and on and on. Thus:
Granted, I should not have clicked on the NY Times at 4:13 a.m. — one of the dangers of having a phone next to your bed. Hell of an hour to get the bracing news that I was now living in the Fourth Reich. I read the Grey Lady’s analysis the next day, measured, well-written, a range of experts expressing dismay, alarm, a hint of outrage. You can read it here, nicely done, I suppose, as far as it goes.
You will not get what you need from the New York Times, of course. It’s not their job to get you into the streets, mobilized against the subjugation of our legal system to advance the corruptions of the most evil among us. That is the job of the millions of professional and freelance canaries in the coal mine  — to raise the alarm.
The Department of Justice was created under the Fourteenth Amendment, enacted after the Civil War. The Fourteenth Amendment was the needed improvement to the Constitution that now guaranteed the rights, privileges and immunities of citizenship to the recently freed slaves, to ensure that outfits like the Ku Klux Klan could not continue to impose their enraged will through brutality and terror, that former slaves and their defenders would be protected from mob violence. In the antebellum days when you could own other human beings as chattels, you didn’t need a Department of Justice to enforce the rights of these human mules, cows, goats — such persons had no rights under our laws.
The Department of Justice has been at the center of every important advance in social justice, certainly in terms of enforcing federal laws against in-your-face racism and other hate crimes. It has also been a bulwark against government corruption and a protecter of those who risk exposing government corruption. It is no longer in those businesses anymore.
The Department of Justice is currently in the hands of a zealous, angry man who believes that Abuse of Power, when the righteous wield it, or when it is expedient to righteous goals, anyway, is neither a crime nor a vice. The ability to vastly expand his existing powers, even abuse them (if you want to quibble) is a gift he no doubt believes he has received directly from Christ Himself, that His will may be done here upon the earth as it is done in heaven.
Heaven help us all here in the Fourth Reich. The Third one did not go well for millions and millions of people. If these power-worshipping fanatics wind up in power again after November 2020, and they certainly have a puncher’s chance to be there, no matter how much more they fuck up (a far from stellar first term didn’t hurt Bush and Cheney in 2004) when you and I get to the camp, after that long, crowded train ride, remind me to ask you again if you still believe I’m being hyperbolic in my concerns about these Nazi-emulating motherfuckers.
 Kurt Vonnegut compared creative types to the canaries British coal miners used to carry into the mines to detect odorless poison gases like carbon monoxide. When the tiny-lunged bird keeled over in his cage the miners knew it was time to get out of there. (This practice was apparently stopped in 1986 when electronic sniffers replaced the wee birds). Vonnegut meant by this comparison that those who fret and worry about communicating to others are often more prone than the rest to succumbing to the invisible deadly gases that are looming to kill everyone.
A cautionary tale about conservative, industry-drafted half-measures to protect all citizens from death due to lack of health care, a human right, particularly in a country as wealthy as ours. 
I had a call from my nephrologist’s office yesterday. Due to the pandemic, the doctor is doing telephone visits only. Would I like to keep my appointment for next week? If so, I’d need to take a blood test two or three days before. We made the arrangements, since it is a good idea to keep an eye on a potentially fatal kidney disease that seems to be in remission.
An hour later I got a call from the Insurance Verification Unit of the hospital the doctor works for. The woman informed me that I came up as uninsured. As we spoke she ran my Healthfirst ID number again — insurance inactive. That’s not possible, I told her, I had a hassle with the insurance company in January, but that’s all been straightened out, no gap in coverage, premiums paid through June. She told me to check with them and call her back with the update, or else I’d have to pay the full uninsured price for blood tests and the telephone visit with the doctor (non-negotiable retail prices nobody can tell you in advance, of course).
I called Healthfirst. After a rocky first start where I antagonized an agent named Cat by brusquely instructing her to call my doctor’s office and tell them my insurance was in effect, resulting in being placed on hold for fifteen minutes, I called back. The second rep, a pleasant woman named Annie, responded immediately, in her heavily accented English, to my gentler query. “No,” she told me within a few seconds, “your insurance was cancelled on March 31. We didn’t do it. It was the New York State of Health, you have to re-enroll with them.”
Annie informed me that a month earlier, on March 11, 2020, days before the pandemic epicenter where I live went into lock-down due to the public health emergency, The New York State of Health, sole purveyors of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act insurance in New York State, sent Healthfirst a notice that my insurance would be cancelled effective March 31, 2020. No reason was given. I was paid in full and she could see I’d re-enrolled for 2020 prior to the original December 15 deadline, having done so on December 6. Annie told me I needed to call New York State of Health and immediately try to re-enroll.
“Why didn’t Healthfirst notify me three weeks before my insurance was cancelled that I’d better get busy if I wanted to remain insured in April, during a pandemic?”
“It was not Healthfirst, it was the New York State of Health, you have to call them, we cannot call them for you,” said Annie, helpfully. She explained that it was a law, she didn’t know which one, or maybe a policy, that prevented Healthfirst from being able to help me keep the insurance I’d paid them to provide me. She just knew that, unfortunately, Healthfirst couldn’t do anything to assist me, it was up to me to work it out with The New York State of Health.
I called the New York State of Health Marketplace, the most opaque, overwhelmed and incompetent bureaucracy I have ever encountered (and I spent years dealing with Adult Protective Services and NYCHA two infamous paragons of overwhelmed inefficiency) . This is what I heard:
Thank you for calling the New York State of Health, for English press “1”
New York State of Health is experiencing high call volume. Because of the public health emergency we are extending the due date for people who are expected to renew before April 15. You will receive another notice of the new due date before any changes will be made to your coverage. You do not need to take any action at this time.
Also, because of a new federal law, no person who currently has Medicaid coverage will lose their coverage during this emergency. If you are enrolled in Medicaid and get a notice from New York State of Health telling you that your coverage will end after March 18, 2020, you can disregard this notice. You will have no gap in coverage. If you have Medicaid you do not need to report any changes to your account except a permanent address change.
If you need assistance applying for coverage or have a question about your individual marketplace account, press “1”
If you are an in person assister, which includes navigators, brokers, certified application counselors and health plan facilitated enrollers, press “2”.
All other callers, or callers that have pressed one, please continue to go fuck yourself. After only a few hours on the phone today you will have the opportunity to have a quasi-judicial arbitration of the decision against you that will be decided (probably in your favor) within three or four months , possibly more because of the unprecedented public health crisis that is quickly killing thousands . Please continue to hold.
The next few hours were spent making a lengthy telephone log for Healthfirst, including my recorded, at times learned, lectures on the routine mistreatment of low-income healthcare customers, the incentives for corporations to cull the rolls of people like me, 63, low-income, “takers” who force the insurance company to spend way more than they take in from my premiums. I described the abolition of the Department of Insurance and the Commissioner of Insurance position back in 2011, when NYS was an early adopter of Obamacare. I compared the decision to merge oversight of health insurance with regulation of all financial services in New York State to the Supreme Court’s cynical conclusion that since we had a half-black president we were now “post-racial” and since racism is dead there is no need for federal enforcement of the Voting Rights Act Martin Luther King had fought for. I brought in Justice Tawney’s “no rights that a white person is bound to respect” in the context of the rights of low-income patients protected under secret laws that nobody is entitled to see.
I described the troll bureaucrat at the NYS Department of Financial Services, the man assigned to locate and send me the citation to the law that had overturned Healthfirst’s illegal termination of my insurance. He wrote to tell me I had my insurance back so what is my problem? Why do I even need to know the law Healthfirst had allegedly violated when allegedly illegally terminating my insurance? He’d research the law I’d asked about when he got the time, but I needed to be patient, it had only been two months– AND WE’RE IN THE MIDDLE OF A PANDEMIC. No response to my letters to Healthfirst CEO Pat Wang or the office of the NYS Attorney General.
Eventually a sympathetic Healthfirst supervisor named Monique, who I spoke to for perhaps an hour, put me through to “Legal”. This department, presumably, would at least be able to tell me the law they had reconsidered in reversing the “mistaken” termination of my insurance in January. By the time Monique patched my call through, of course, their office was closed. I heard a message about making a request for your records, with an email address I very much wanted to have, but I was too slow to jot it down. I was told to leave a message and they would call me back. I have been told numerous lies by Healthfirst in recent weeks, so I am a bit skeptical about this promise being kept, but I left what I hope was a relatively calm-sounding message.
“They will definitely call you back,” said the optimistic rep I called next, to ask for the direct line to the law department. Of course, he didn’t have it, or the email contact for them, but he assured me that if you leave them a message they “have to call you back.” I smiled a bitter smile he could probably hear over the phone, took a breath and told him my recent history with untrue promises from Healthfirst. I didn’t bother to quote the Arbeit Macht Frei  lines from the end of the absurdist word salad I’d received last month from Healthfirst:
Healthfirst takes grievances seriously and wants to assure you that all issues are thoroughly investigated. Healthfirst sincerely apologizes for the miscommunication and any inconveniences it may have caused you. Our mission is to provide Healthfirst members with high-quality health care. Your satisfaction and well-being is our number one priority.
My best guess as to why an agency all NYS consumers who buy Obamacare health insurance are forced to deal with only once a year at renewal time for everybody, in the hectic days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, would intervene in March to summarily cancel a valid insurance contract between a consumer and a private corporation (making a sham of our vaunted “free market” where business contracts are sacred) is the standard functioning of bureaucracy.
Perhaps when Healthfirst told me they’d cancelled my insurance back in January, before apologizing a few days later for their “mistake”, somebody at Healthfirst — during the two or three business days this mistaken cancellation was in effect — conveyed this erroneous cancellation, as mandated by law, to The New York State of Health. True to form, this crack outfit got right on it, irrevocably and without explanation (or notice to the insured) canceling my insurance two months later.
A paranoid thought enters my head in the absence of a rational, or even irrational, explanation: I’m being retaliated against. Who is retaliating?
Perhaps the director of the overwhelmed New York State of Health, a politically adroit woman named Donna Frescatore, a political appointee who has been running the New York State of Health Marketplace since its inception, a public servant to whom I have been unkind, here and in numerous emails, when critiquing her opaque, cumbersome, asshole mechanisms for administering healthcare justice, or correcting the many mistakes made by her overworked, undertrained staff.
When I asked for her name years ago I was told that it was NYSOH policy not to allow reps to divulge her name or contact information, they’d all been read the order. Admittedly, they admitted, NYSOH is not a private corporation where such secrecy is routinely guarded, it’s a state agency, a public agency, but still, they had their orders. At the time public servant Ms. Frescatore, now also in charge of Medicaid in NYS, was difficult to locate. Not anymore. Here she is, first google hit:
“NY State of Health continues to meet the strong demand for comprehensive, affordable health insurance coverage,” said NY State of Health Executive Director, Donna Frescatore. Feb 20, 2020
It probably didn’t help matters that I included a few snide, angry, intemperate couplets like this one, toward the close of my second letter to the CEO of Healthfirst:
A corporate “person” is an appetitive psychopath, without conscience or remorse, driven to devour and only constrained by the rare regulation in place to restrain the gnawing impulse to maximize profits, a corporation’s only legal imperative.
Of course, this kind of viciously overwrought snideness, defensible or not, is understandably infuriating and never yields a good result. Who am I to express such unrestrained anger to the head of a corporation that has already had someone call to apologize verbally for accidentally fucking me? Who am I to demand to know the law under which my arbitrary denial of health insurance was overturned?
Who knows who eventually read these words, addressed in an electronic supplement to the Department of Financial Services complaint that forced Healthfirst to overturn it’s final determination that I’d have no health care in 2020 (unless I paid full sticker price for it)?
I am wondering why:
1) there is no notice requirement before a health insurance company can terminate health insurance. (I had absolutely no notice of the “ten day grace period” they suddenly waived after my DFS complaint)
2) NYSOH Marketplace, sole provider of ACA health plans in NYS, does not inform consumers of the practice of insurance companies abruptly (and “mistakenly”) terminating insurance for failure to pay during a “grace period” nobody is informed of
3) there is no provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or NYS law, that requiress notice of termination policies and fair access to the new NYSDFS complaint process that can force compliance with the law.
Is there someone I can talk to at DFS for more information about these questions?
I was eventually referred to the aforementioned troll. A few days later I got a letter from the NYSDFS instructing me that since my insurance is a form of pay-as-you-go Medicaid (my income being 167% over the official poverty line) I may not use their handy on-line complaint form, the one that restored my insurance within two business days.
Because of the low-cost insurance I have, a kind of pay-as-you-go Medicaid created by the ACA, I must wait on line with the rest of the poor people at another state agency, where the newly promoted Donna Frescatore is also deputy director of Medicaid in NY State. This agency, the New York State Health Department, has no on-line form, or on-line help, or anything else (it’s designed for the poor, after all), but, stay positive and have a nice day, Dude!
Remember, stress is very bad for your immune system, particularly during a plague! Please continue to hold, just pretend your life doesn’t depend on it!
 When the law protecting low-income patients is designed by the conservative Heritage Foundation, whose mission is to protect the profits of private enterprise, you get more deaths during a health emergency than would generally be considered acceptable in a civilized nation. The business of America, after all, is business.
 One year I was denied health insurance for three months while I waited for a determination from a NY State of Health arbitrator that the NY State of Health had mistakenly denied me coverage. Another year it was about six months before the premium subsidy I was entitled to was applied, retroactively, to my account, which I’d been paying full price for pending the decision in my favor.
 The German words meaning “Work Liberates” were worked in wrought iron on top of the gates to the infamous Nazi death camp where slave laborers for German industry (including Bayer) were worked to death.
It is a challenge to get a coherent and reasonable view of the whole sickening death spiral most of us, and all other living things on the planet, are up against. If we can’t see it, how do we take action? We are all soaking in this perilous status quo solution because a few people, determined to have everything at any cost, wake up on fire to get more every day, no matter what the price to the most vulnerable among us. Nazis and klansmen are always on point, ready to serve their masters. They know exactly who they want to kill at every moment, in a way that ordinary people don’t.
We are so well marinated in this corporate/fascist moment (where mass death of our most vulnerable “losers” is vastly preferable to even a momentary loss of profits for the most successful winners among us) that it’s impossible for most of our fellow frogs to even see what we are neck deep in or to even imagine that there are alternatives to it.
So effective has Rugged Individualist advertising/propaganda been that even very intelligent and politically progressive friends have come to feel (notice “feel”, not reason or decide) that doddering compromiser Joe Biden is our best hope against Trump/Bolsinaro/Putin et al. Frustrating. The Democratic party has sold out to corporatism to the extent that a gif of a saucy Nancy Pelosi snarkily wagging her finger at an uncheckable Hitler-wannabe seems to be the best we can hope for.
We live by corporate rules, and many more millions will die worldwide because of it. We cannot escape the merciless logic of these rules. Random example:
I’ve been resisting doing the update on my phone for months, hating every update I’ve been forced to do over the years. Yesterday and today the corporation that made my phone began disabling my phone randomly, middle of a call– screen black, $800 device rendered useless. They just did it four or five consecutive times as Sekhnet called to verify that my phone, set to ring at top volume, no longer rings when she calls me. Sekhnet urges me to just do the update for my phone while I scream about Korean fucking fascists (Samsung) and the perfect unbeatable BIRD WINS mindfuck of surveillance capitalism.
How do we get out of this almost boiling pot when the vast majority of our fellow sodomized citizens can’t even see the problem? How do we fucking organize to fight back? Any ideas? You, in the back…
Donald Trump, as part of the unsolicited expert advice he gave to businessmen while he was campaigning for the presidency in 2016, advised would-be titans of industry to surround themselves with people less intelligent than themselves. This way, he pointed out, you can always literally be the smartest man in the room, an important advantage for the boss. Particularly if you’re the boss of a family business given to you by a demanding and ruthless father who never really had faith in your smarts.
In office, Trump’s been as good as his word, if we add the important caveat that if you are smarter than the smartest man in the room, you must hide your intelligence behind heroic loyalty to even the boss’s most idiotic and indefensible whims and policies.
This caveat, obviously, does not apply to people like Betsey DeVos. It applies directly to the most dangerous man in America: Bagpiper Bill Barr. Follow the chain of events:
When, on May 17, 2017, after lawfully firing FBI director James Comey to end the Russia thing and the Flynn thing, and, obviously, the Comey-loyalty thing, the president was confronted with the awful news that traitorous Acting A.G. Rod Rosenstein (who stepped into the role after AG Sessions followed the advice of DOJ ethics lawyers and correctly recused himself from the Russia investigation — his recusal was seen by most lawyers and legal observers as mandatory) had appointed a Special Prosecutor, Trump was beside himself.
“Oh my God,” a note-taking witness quoted Trump as saying, “This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I’m fucked.” He became angry and lambasted A.G. Sessions “How could you let this happen, Jeff?” Trump said “Everyone tells me if you get one of these independent counsels [sic] it ruins your presidency. It takes years and years and I won’t be able to do anything. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me.” source
To grasp the full weight of these words, here is John Lithgow’s excellent dramatic reenactment.
The Mueller Report, Volume Two, details the undeviating pattern of presidential actions intended to obstruct the investigation into presidential obstruction of justice. Don McGahn, Trump’s White House counsel, refused to fire Sessions, as he was asked to do by the president, and refused to write a knowingly false letter for the files at the president’s request, a letter denying that Trump had ever asked him to fire Sessions. Trump pressured Sessions, accepted Sessions’ resignation letter, refused the resignation, but held on to the letter for leverage against his disobedient but very loyal AG.
He called on several other people, including the pugnacious Corey Lewandowski who was not in the government at that time (a “back-channel,” just like unofficial Rudy in Ukraine), to deliver coercive messages to Sessions about his refusal to “unrecuse” and to fire the Special Counsel. That his servants did not carry out his orders was later used by the president’s defenders to justify the lawfulness of Trump’s actions under the absurdist rationale that mere attempted crime is not a crime. After all, as every schoolchild knows, there’s no such crime as attempted murder.
Trump later lawyered up and (following new AG Barr’s advice in a letter that was published) asserted a ridiculously broad and audacious privilege (one that would require a major 5-4 Supreme Court reversal of strong unanimous precedent if Trump’s claim was to be upheld) against ever, under any circumstances (including during his impeachment), allowing testimony or evidence that could be adverse to his interests in remaining the Unitary Executive and the businessman most well-shielded from investigation in the world, as long as he remains POTUS.
Volume Two of the Mueller Report was a catalogue of the president’s seamless pattern of guilty-looking actions to obstruct an investigation into his obstruction of justice, a pattern that contained all the elements for sustainable obstruction of justice charges. Take a few moments to go watch a bit of that marvelous dramatic reading of the Mueller Report, Volume Two. Mueller famously wrote that he could not exonerate Trump of obstruction of justice, even as he was prevented, by an OLC legal directive, from charging him with a crime, regardless of the seeming weight of the evidence that Trump had actually done what the sworn witnesses said, as long as Trump was the sitting president .
Enter Bill Barr, the new AG, the man who took the AG job just in time to make the Mueller findings disappear, as he’d promised to in his published audition for the job. There were calls for Barr to resign the other day after some public, transparently partisan presidential DOJ ass-licking on Barr’s part (no judgment, Barr clearly just likes the taste). 1,100 former federal prosecutors had signed a letter calling for his resignation, citing his unfitness to oversee all federal law enforcement. I went on-line to read their letter.
The letter that came up first was another letter signed by more than 1,100 former DOJ prosecutors,dated May 6 2019. It was a reaction to Barr’s lies about the findings of the Mueller Report as well as at least one lie to Congress, That letter, which will be familiar to many, is here.
As for lying to Congress, Barr famously pretended, under oath, not to have received the politely indignant letter Mueller sent him immediately after Barr publicly, and deliberately, mischaracterized the findings of Mueller’s report. Barr claimed he had no knowledge of how Mueller felt about Barr stating that Mueller’s report had, basically, completely and totally exonerated the president, an innocent man whose innocence completely justified all the lawful actions he took to try to end the baseless investigation into his obstruction of justice. Mueller had written Barr with his strong objections to Barr’s mischaracterization immediately after Barr’s public dismissal of Mueller and his findings. So?
Barr’s successful obstruction of public knowledge of what Mueller’s report actually contained about Trump’s obstruction of justice made the contents of the report a dead letter in the public mind. Nothing to see here. Just angry, loser partisans going after an innocent and all-powerful man, based on their own crippling loser inadequacies.
Mueller’s fully-redacted summary of Volume Two, which was made available to Barr along with the report itself, was withheld by Barr for a month while Barr’s own “summary” publicly substituted its far-fetched story-line for the one Mueller’s sworn witnesses had told under oath.
Mueller, by all accounts a good and honest man, a Boy Scout who believes in the rules, is said to have shit the bed by writing his report with the prissily ornate disclaimer-laden legalistic prose that requires a law degree to parse (read the report, counselor!) , and in a real way he certainly did.
At the same time, as was his charge, Mueller also preserved a trove of eyewitness testimony and other evidence, indicted and secured the convictions of several of the president’s closest associates (Flynn, Manafort, Cohen and Stone come to mind). In a functioning participatory democracy, one whose chief law enforcement officer is not an unprincipled God-fearing toady, Mueller’s report would have performed the duty that had been entrusted to Mueller’s team, by turning over an impressive pile of evidence and letting the facts speak for themselves to the American people and the branch of government responsible for checking a president who abuses the powers of his office.
Barr’s disinformation campaign to squash Mueller’s findings to protect the president was so successful it convinced iron-willed Nancy Pelosi, the most powerful Democrat in the country, that most Americans are already too brainwashed, too stupid, or both, to understand the immense gravity of the facts Mueller set out, the ones Barr successfully made to disappear. She made a political calculation and restricted the impeachment to very limited, much weaker grounds, although there was the planned benefit of a relatively straightforward, easy to follow story, Trump’s shakedown of the new president (of a country nobody in America can find on a map ) to get dirt on a political rival.
In my mind, Pelosi used her outsized power (which I compare to Moscow Mitch’s awesome power in the Senate — in neither case does it speak well of democracy to have a single strongman in each House speak for the will of the People) to silence the voices of anyone who argued for a third article of impeachment — Obstruction of Justice, a federal crime-in-progress by our untouchable, lawyered up Boss-in-Chief. In the context of a three year continual process of obstruction and abuse, of court processes as well as subpoenas from Congress and attorneys general all over the United States, the president’s actions in Ukraine actions could be seen in their proper perspective, as part of an ongoing pattern of the president committing the federal crime of obstruction of justice. Pelosi made a strategic decision to play a weaker, but arguably more straightforward, easily understandable, number card instead of the most powerful face card in her hand to play. Oh well.
In December 2019, at the end of the Inspector General’s investigation into the sordid origins of the what, unaccountably became the vicious partisan Mueller Witch Hunt conspiracy against Mr. Trump, the Bagpiper sucked his own bagpipe, as follows:
The “intrusive investigation” started on the “thinnest of suspicions,” suspicions in Barr’s view “insufficient” to start the Mueller probe (and, of course, in fairness, the investigation only only led to the conviction of a mere six (6) of Trump’s many close 2016 campaign associates for crimes related to a cover-up of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign and other improprieties. Just yesterday the innocent, unfairly persecuted Roger Stone was unfairly sentenced for several arguable non-crimes, including jail time for the non-crime of “Obstruction of Congress.” Horrible and very unfair, according to our nation’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer, Donald Trump.
The country’s other, secondary Chief Law Enforcement Officer, Bagpiper Bill Barr, continues to stand by his arguably untruthful positions. The conclusion by Mueller, our intelligence agencies and even in McConnell’s own Senate Report, that Russian efforts to sway the outcome of the 2016 election in favor of Donald John Trump were “sweeping and systematic” — SO? That the efforts are ongoing and absolutely planned for the 2020 election, in progress now, urgent, danger, Will Robinson. No action whatsoever needed to protect the integrity of the American electoral system, according to no less an authority than Moscow Mitch … puzzling, isn’t it?
The February 16, 2020 letter from 1,100 ex-DOJ officials calling for Barr’s resignation (that number is now over 2,000) the one I was actually looking for is here. The outcry came about when Trump whined on twitter that his friend Roger Stone was facing a long prison sentence for his numerous so-called crimes to protect the president, totally SAD! horrible and very unfair! After the tweets DOJ withdrew its sentencing memo, a memo that asked for the seven to nine years prescribed by law for those serious crimes of lying and corruption to advance a corrupt scheme. Not to mention witness intimidation (pretend I didn’t mention it) and defying a judge’s gag order. (The charges in that case were based on Stone’s repeated lying and obstruction in connection with Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election. Talk about grounds for twitter recusal, Mr. President…)
The lawyers formerly employed by the Department of Justice make another excellent case in their recent letter calling for Barr’s resignation. It is a case that the DOJ should really look into. Whoops. (ROTFLMAO!)
When Trump was in his moment of political and personal agony, on May 17, 2017, when he cried out to his inner circle that he was “fucked”, in his anguish, he cried out rhetorically for his Roy Cohn. The evil and self-hating Roy Cohn, among his other destructive life achievements, was, for years, the unbeatable attorney to all five major organized crime families in the United States. The Trump family business was a long-time client of Roy Cohn’s.
Cohn was the man who taught Trump how to use the law as a sword and a shield. Countersue audaciously, when you lose, appeal, drag it out, make them go bankrupt, break their balls with motions, kill them with process, make ’em spend millions if they want to try to beat them, make them pay while at the same time destroying them in the press. Cohn’s taught Trump that unscrupulousness was no vice, if your aim was to keep a guilty person out of prison. He showed Trump how to use the mass media to influence public sentiment, introduced him to friendly contacts at the tabloids, showed him how to publicly bully foes real and imagined and how to lie confidently (Trump probably didn’t need tutelage in that, he’s a Hall of Famer in that category). In the end, when Cohn was disbarred, indicted, dying alone of AIDS he swore was cancer because everyone knew he hated fucking fags (don’t ask…) Trump, a man known for loyalty and his many deep friendships, turned his back on his longtime mentor.
But in that moment of agony, on May 17, 2017 when Trump cried out for his Roy Cohn, the unprincipled Bill Barr’s ears pricked up. Opportunity was knocking, history was knocking, Barr’s destiny was knocking. Barr presented himself, a fatter, slicker version of Roy Cohn. You an picture his courtly bow “at your service, my liege.”
Barr, the president’s current Roy Cohn, is a long believer in the infallible authority of the powerful and well-connected. He is ever mindful of his own righteous version of truth and justice. His public credibility (among the credulous) is bolstered by his sober demeanor: judicious in his pauses, utterly certain in his pronouncements, his cynical but authoritative-sounding use of legal chicanery.
He argued to the American public, during a live appearance after he told America what Mueller’s report had actually concluded (while concealing Mueller’s actual summary for weeks), without betraying the slightest hesitation or irony, that Trump’s innocence was apparent, from the report itself. Barr said that the crucial element of corrupt intent, necessary for proving the crime of “obstruction of justice” could not be established. Barr said, without breaking expression, that the president was simply understandably angry and frustrated at the persecution by Mueller and so did what any of us — knowing we were 100% innocent victims of a vicious conspiracy — would have done– used every one of his legal, self-defending powers to intentionally protect the rights of an innocent man.
Barr looked at the camera calmly, feeling no need to add at that moment what a weaker person would have blurted out: so suck it!
Barr is Trump’s Roy Cohn, not much more to say about that. Truth, particularly if potentially incriminating, will not be allowed to stand in the way of carrying out God’s will on earth, and God, clearly, demands a Unitary Executive to rule over these corrupt and evil generations. Without vast powers to enforce the will of God, the soul of America will be lost to the invading haordes and wicket “social justice warriors”.
 It’s fair to say Mueller punted in his noncommittal report, turning the ball over to the Congress for impeachment, after he performed an insanely legalistic ballet that enabled him to remain civil, polite and scrupulously unbiased, even when his investigation was documenting clearly very bad behavior by the president and his inner circle.
 Not to get too far afield here, but Paul Manafort made tens of millions in Ukraine using his brilliant campaigning techniques to help get a Russian-backed thug named Yanukovich elected president of Ukraine. (Unfair to call him a ‘thug”, I suppose, it was decades before his election, the convictions and two prison terms for assault) Manafort’s efforts succeeded and Yanukovich was elected president of Ukraine, only to be ousted a few years later by a popular uprising. After Yanukovich fled to Russia he was tried in absentia in Ukraine and found guilty of treason. Manafort’s next client was Donald Trump, for whom he worked for free and on whose behalf he gave polling data to Russian agents. Just sayin’… Nothing to see here!!!
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.”
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…
I wake up thinking that the most famously unscrupulous, inept, attention-craving and litigious man born to great, unearned wealth in the United States became the most unscrupulous, inept, attention-craving and litigious president in history. He uses the courts, as he was taught by his surrogate father, the disbarred Roy Cohn, to exhaust opponents, bankrupt them, play out the clock on statutes of limitations, extract favorable settlements with no admission of guilt. This is what I wake up thinking on Thanksgiving, a day I should be thinking about tomorrow’s fabulous sales.
Instead I’m thinking “Jesus, he successfully obstructed justice in the Mueller probe.” Key witnesses to his campaign’s collusion with Russians, at his urging, with pardons dangled, lied to investigators and destroyed evidence — resulting in a finding of “insufficient evidence” of a criminal conspiracy with Putin, although there was substantial evidence showing repeated coordination between the parties and that Putin exerted great influence in his useful idiot’s 78,000 vote Electoral College mandate. Mueller and the Republican-controlled Senate both concluded there was massive Russian election interference in favor of Putin’s preferred candidate, the guy who won in spite of losing the election by 2.9 million votes.
He is successfully using an absurdly broad blanket claim of “protective immunity”, conjured by his corrupt AG Bill Barr, to silence fact witnesses and prevent the disclosure of evidence in his own impeachment. I say successfully because, although he keeps losing in court he is able to appeal each time and he only has to run out the clock on these claims for a few more months in order to successfully obstruct the impeachment of history’s most openly unscrupulous, inept, attention-craving and litigious president. Roy Cohn lives!
Many of us have a lot of reasons to be thankful on this Thanksgiving, but having this brazen sociopath in the world’s most powerful position (outside of the Kremlin), using the Department of Justice and the American judicial system, the appeals courts in particular, to subvert the lawful administration of justice, defy legal process and pervert all democratic norms sure ain’t one of them.
I’d be thankful for a day I don’t wake up hearing the list of who this sick puppy has attacked on twitter while I was sleeping. As a citizen of the world’s still most powerful country, and also one of its multitude of famously powerless consumers, I wake up praying for the serenity to not get angry as hell just thinking of the fucking serenity prayer.
Publicly calling a fellow American a Nazi is generally considered out of bounds in today’s America. It’s as bad as calling someone a nigger, a kyke, a faggot, a cunt or a motherfucker. It’s kind of a credibility destroying deal-breaker here, to call a political opponent a Nazi, no matter how obnoxious, irrational or lawless that political opponent might be.
It’s true that the current president famously compared the FBI and the CIA, U.S. intelligence agencies, to Nazis, but he just says things in anger and nobody gets too excited about his puffery, exaggeration, distortion, lying. He’s a salesman and he’s always selling the one product he has to sell: himself. He’s sui generis, you know, and that’s putting it as elegantly as I can. His evangelical supporters call him a flawed vessel for God’s will, he is definitely that too, I suppose (if you imagine God’s will as those who support Trump do). He routinely gets away with things no past presidential candidate or president ever imagined surviving politically.
But for more responsible public actors, comparing fellow Americans to Nazis is generally out of bounds. After all, the Nazis were directly responsible for the deaths of many millions of people, probably more than 20,000,000  during one of the darkest periods in recent history. The Nazis set up mechanized death camps where they mass-murdered millions on industrial assembly lines. The Nazis were fucking Nazis, the historical gold standard for evil operating under cover of state action. Josef Goebbels said if they won the Nazis would be remembered as history’s greatest benefactors, if they lost– history’s greatest criminals. They lost, kind of, though their fighting spirit fights on in the hearts of those filled with righteous rage for their holy cause.
In limited contexts it’s fine to compare people to Nazis in American politics. In a pinch, to convince Americans to go to war for no reason anyone can comprehend, you can compare Manuel Noriega to Hitler, or Saddam — another “modern-day Hitler” — that’s fine, though it’s generally out of bounds for one American to call another a Nazi. But call a dictator a Nazi, Hitler, then the choice is simple: do you stand up to this Hitler or do you bend your knee like the cowardly Neville Chamberlain?
Beto O’Rourke recently compared the Trump administration to Nazis. He meant they are ruthless, blindly loyal to their unhinged leader, obstructionist, they routinely lie, they incite violence and hatred, they have utter contempt for anything but “winning”, maintaining their grip on power O’Rourke was challenged on the comparison. He had a good response: give me a better comparison.
Personally, I don’t have one. Reading about the Nazi regime, the cult of personality built around the infallible Mr. Hitler, I am reminded over and over of how the Trump administration operates and what it is trying to do, in many cases succeeding in doing. If Trump survives impeachment and is reelected in 2020, American democracy is pretty much over. He will have vindicated the principle that one man, if he is great enough, may flout every law and ethical norm to instill his vision, by force of his will, on the nation he rules. Let’s take a quick stroll through the familiar terrain of his rise and his rule.
Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III was the first U.S. Senator to openly endorse Donald Trump’s candidacy. He stood on stage with Trump, at a time when Trump still was an unthinkably clownish long-shot candidate, and introduced him as the next president of the United States. As a reward for his great loyalty Trump made Sessions, a man too racist to be confirmed to the federal bench, Attorney General, the nation’s top law enforcement official.
Once confirmed, Sessions got busy talking about God, and how he’d crack down on marijuana using the draconian federal laws Nixon wrote, and how Trump answers to a higher power than ordinary politicians and how he must be obeyed, how there was absolutely no racist pattern to voter suppression schemes after the Supreme Court curtailed the Voting Rights Act and so on. He spouted a lot of crap. But when he was called out, in open testimony, under oath, for having been untruthful about his contacts with Russians during the campaign and transition, he listened to ethics advice from the professionals at the Department of Justice and recused himself from the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Now the story kicks into another gear. Trump was enraged by this “betrayal” by Sessions. Sessions, according to Trump, had not taken a principled stance as required by law and professional ethics, he’d acted like a weakling, instead of being like Roy Cohn, a powerful Pit-bull who’d do whatever was necessary to win, including taking an open, greasy dump on the law (Cohn was eventually, years too late, disbarred for his corruption, but that’s a trifle). Trump humiliated Sessions regularly, mocking him publicly as a wimp, imitating his southern accent, his squeamish fealty to weak-ass “liberal” things like so-called law and ethics.
Then, to be concise in hitting just a few highlights of the way Trump goes about his business, Trump fired FBI director Jim Comey when Comey wouldn’t declare his personal loyalty to Trump and “let the Flynn thing go”. When Deputy A.G., Rod Rosenstein, overseeing the probe into Russian interference in the closely contested 2016 election, was forced to appoint a Special Prosecutor, Trump went ballistic, blaming and eventually forcing Sessions to resign, after making repeated attempts to get Sessions to “unrecuse” and limit the scope of Mueller’s investigation.
Mueller wound up writing a whole volume of his report detailing and analyzing Trump’s many efforts to obstruct justice, though Mueller refrained from drawing any prosecutorial conclusions, pursuant to a DOJ directive and for reasons of bending over backwards to appear scrupulously fair.
Mueller’s investigation resulted in numerous indictments and several convictions of close Trump associates and found “sweeping and systematic” Russian election interference on behalf of Trump. The Republican senate recently released a report coming to the same conclusion: Russians had done everything possible to tilt the 2016 presidential election to the candidate who won.
What to do? Find an Attorney General who will act like Roy Cohn, do whatever is necessary to protect the leader/client. The A.G., after all, in Trump’s view, is the president’s most important body guard. He’s in charge of all law enforcement on a federal level. He says what’s a federal crime and what’s pure commie bullshit and a conspiratorial partisan witch hunt against a totally innocent man. Enter the pathetic porcine puppet of this puerile president , a debased lawyer of the Antonin Scalia school, with a God-driven worldview based, perversely, on what he believes Jesus would do — if Jesus was a xenophobic privileged white seventy year-old.
How do you defend a president as apparently corrupt and incapable of not lying as this Donald Trump character? You take his lead, the boss has genius marketing instincts. Trump repeatedly said the Mueller probe was a partisan witch hunt that would totally exonerate him. Barr agreed, made the counter-factual call that the report exonerated Trump of everything. Trump said the vicious partisan “Deep State” traitors who initiated the “politically motivated” investigation (that came to the same conclusions about Russian interference the Republican senate did) to overturn the will of 78,000 strategically perfect voters and their Electors, should be criminally investigated and punished for treason, for being spies! Barr agreed and now Barr’s Department of Justice has initiated a criminal investigation into the Department of Justice.
During Hitler’s “Thousand Year Reich” not a word of the liberal Weimar Constitution was ever changed, once Emergency Powers were invoked pursuant to a Patriot Act-style vote in the German parliament. No change to the democratic blueprint was necessary, everything was down to enforcement by Nazi police, the decisions of Nazi judges in Nazi courts. German law enforcement was headed by Hermann Goering for a while, when he wasn’t too whacked out on drugs, then more sober men like Heinrich Himmler stepped into the void. There is never a shortage of supremely ambitious men to step into fateful roles next to the most powerful men in the world.
Barr starting a criminal investigation of his own agency, in what universe does that seem remotely impartial, fair or just? Only one that I can think of off-hand, though one is, of course, reluctant to call even these lawless motherfuckers Nazis.
 World War Two fun facts:
 tip of the yarmulke to Laurence Tribe for that apt, alliterative aspersion.
We live in an age of emotion. The facts, increasingly, are ignored as strong opinion, fanned by sensationalism and spread by the wildfire of instant “social media”, reigns. If something happens once or twice, a wide range of plausible sounding reasons can be advanced to explain it. It’s often hard to know which explanation is closer to the truth. When a strong pattern emerges it becomes much easier to rule out doubtful excuses. Look at the pattern of behavior then apply Martha Kavanaugh’s judicial maxim, her jury instruction to fact-finders: ‘Use your common sense. What rings true? What rings false?’
One of the techniques Trump (and the right) got from Roy Cohn, a notoriously evil and self-loathing man, is to accuse the enemy of exactly what you are doing. If you are accused of being homosexual (at one time a powerful and damaging, career and even life-destroying charge), deny it strongly and threaten enemy homosexuals with public outing and shaming. If you are charged with corruption– the person making the charge is obviously corrupt! If there is an investigation into you, or people in your administration — investigate the investigators! If anyone close to you is called on to resign– tell them to fucking resign! Like so:
A ‘seditious conspiracy’ — that means treason and hangings, make no mistake. And of course Nancy Pelosi should resign– she’s in the middle of this sinister cabal of death-worthy traitors. What else is Trump’s 2020 campaign manager going to say? Come on. He’s a loyal guy with a very important product to sell.
There is a clear pattern in the Trump administration, an appearance of winking at corruption, being above the law and a pattern of protecting wrong-doers. A number of Trump’s cabinet appointees had to leave under investigation for illegal or unethical misuse of their powers. Point this large number out at your peril. Whenever he feels attacked, the President hits back harder, as he learned to do from his mentor Roy Cohn.
This unalterable pattern of behavior speaks to Trump’s singleminded motive, as set out in volume two of the Mueller report, which his defenders attack as an unfair partisan hit job that nonetheless, and against all odds, completely exonerated him. When he learned he was under investigation for obstruction of justice his first words were “I’m fucked…” Then he quickly recovered his fighting spirit. When he feels attacked, the president fights back, hard, a practice his supporters, like Bagpiper Bill Barr, find completely appropriate in any situation. If you’re innocent, scream it loudly, angrily and attack anyone questioning it!
It is fair to point out that only three close Trump administration associates have actually been convicted of any real crimes — his long-time personal lawyer, his first national security advisor and his 2016 campaign manager– and that he only fired two FBI directors and one Secretary of State — and has so far only had two appointed, and one acting, Attorneys General.
The Communists at Business Insider have compiled a list of all the resignations and firings of top Trump officials (as of September 10, 2019) a long list in the less than three years of his administration, but, take that list with a grain of salt and a shot of penicillin. Fake news is everywhere and it is easy to accuse rich political appointees who allegedly use their government positions to enrich themselves further of being corrupt. As Trump himself might reason: who among us would not take a $120,000 trip to Europe on somebody else’s dime? Duh!
The New York Times reported that Trump’s father was a tax cheat who engaged in a decades-long pattern of fraud to increase his wealth and enrich his children while avoiding taxes. Trump’s attorney threatened to sue the Times when the story was being reviewed for publication (as reported in the Times)
but no law suit was ever brought. This means the NY Times had evidence to prove that facts of the story were beyond dispute and no defamation suit could be credibly brought against the Times. You know Trump would have sent his lawyers after the Times if he could have. The New York Times later reported that Trump lost over a billion dollars during a decade as the result of bad business decisions, and also that he had received the 2018 equivalent of $400,000,000 from his father. Trump did not sue the Times over this fake story, though he angrily dismissed it.
Corrupt. Look up the word in the dictionary and you will find Trump’s face next to it. What? Nothing to see here! Nothing whatsofuckingever to see here! Lock her up! Lock her up!