The man is a kind of genius

Fani Willis, the district attorney for Fulton County, Georgia, has asked a judge to let her convene a special grand jury, one dedicated solely to deciding whether Donald Trump violated the Georgia criminal statute against interfering with election results by attempting to enlist state officials to change certified election results. You can hear the entire phone call between Trump and Raffensperger, and their lawyers, as Trump tenaciously badgers Raffensperger with ten different appeals for those stinkin’ 11,780 vote he needed, “one more than we had”.

It’s online, you can hear the whole coversation right now, from the horse’s mouth, judge for yourself how innocent or guilty he was in that eighteenth call to change the election results on Georgia. To me, he checked every box, violated that venerable old Georgia law every which way. I can’t conjure a single nonfrivolous legal defense for the former president. This special grand jury will allow DA Willis to move forward with criminal charges after they’ve heard all the evidence.

So here’s the genius, himself, truly one of a kind, you gotta give it to the vuggin’ guy.

Intent?

All my years as a lawyer still do not allow me to understand how a person’s willfully delusional belief can insulate him from having the clear intent that his actions continually demonstrated. First, a bit of context from today’s Washington Post.

Jennifer Rubin, in an op-ed in today’s Washington Post, chose Merrick Garland as the “distinguished pol of the week” for his long-belated speech about following the facts and the law and prosecuting everyone involved in the insurrection that culminated in the riot at the Capitol on January 6th. Rubin, a lawyer by training and, in my opinion, an astute political analyst, was encouraged by Garland’s newly announced determination to follow the facts and the law and hold everyone accountable for the insurrectionist riot (we can now officially call it that, after DOJ charged a bunch of militia leaders with seditious conspiracy), whether they stormed the Capitol on January 6 or not. Her op ed was written to encourage us to be encouraged too. If you believe Garland’s resolve, and trust his ability to get investigations and prosecutions done, and irreversible convictions, before the short window of two party democracy closes, you should be encouraged.

A top headline on the front page of the same Washington Post reads: Justice Dept’s January 6 conspiracy probe doesn’t seem to directly pursue Trump. The article details the lack of DOJ investigation into Trump, his inner circle at the very end, including anyone who was in the Willard Hotel Command Center on January 6. Pleader of the Fifth Amendment John Eastman, author of the legal memo on how Pence could brazen it out on January 6th, using a crackpot 12th Amendment legal theory, to keep the Biden election result in doubt and throw the election to the Republican (for purposes of an electoral tie only) House, was never contacted by DOJ. Neither was disgraced former NYC police commissioner and convicted felon Bernard Kerik (imprisoned in the same new jail complex that until his conviction bore his name — pardoned by Trumpie) who told the Post he had “no DOJ contact”. Neither was Rudy, Sloppy Steve, American Eichmann Jeffery Clark, Mark Meadows. Mike “Good guy” Flynn or anyone else involved in the Trump dead-enders’ hydra-headed plan to overturn a US presidential election based on repeated allegations of massive voter fraud by Black urban voters.

We read that the DOJ has not contacted Brad Raffensberger, whose recorded call with Trump. released publicly more than a year ago, has the desperate former president ticking off every offense and sub-offense in the Georgia criminal law about attempting to corruptly influence an election outcome. Between the lines we find ourselves reading “what the fucking fuck?”

Perhaps most concerning is this fucking trope, which recurs in the article and, as I wrote up top, I have no idea how to understand, even after three years in law school and practicing law for a decade.

How is this different than Alan Dershowitz’s demented argument at one of Trumpie’s impeachments that if the president sincerely believed he was acting in the best interests of the nation, even if he was incorrect in his belief, as when he asked the new Ukrainian president to announce a fake fraud investigation to smear his political opponent (on the grounds that it was best for his country that he alone be left in place to fix it) that he could not have committed a misdemeanor, let alone a high crime? It is a close variation on the classic Nuremberg defense: if the Fuhrer commanded me to do it, and his word is law, and I was bound by an oath to obey, how was I to know he was an insane, mass murdering maniac ordering me to commit massive war crimes, let alone crimes against humanity, when I merely did what I to this day believe was my lawful duty?

Intent can be established by showing a pattern of behavior that demonstrates it. Trump intended to stay in office, no matter what. His intent was clear and every act he undertook, before and after the 2020 election, was in furtherance of what he intended to do. He continued to do these things after being shown he was mistaken in his belief that the election had been stolen by bipartisan fraud. He fired and replaced any official who served at his pleasure who told him the truth about the election he still refuses to concede he lost.

He was told, unequivocally, by his loyal gunsel Bill Barr, by Barr’s successor who refused to participate in a plan to enlist the DOJ in the fraudulent claim of voter fraud, by Pat Cippolone, his White House Counsel, by HSA cyber specialist Chris Krebs [1], by Raffensberger, by many others loyal to him, that there had been no evidence of massive, or even appreciable, voter fraud found. This was confirmed by numerous recounts and “audits” in every swing state Trump lost. It was reaffirmed when every lawsuit brought to challenge the election results was thrown out of court for failure to make a legal case.

Are we to believe that if Trump argues that he genuinely believed these people all lied to him, that the recounts and audits were all wrong, that the courts acted out of mere spite and irrational hatred of him, and that his lie was actually the truth, that he lacked the intent, and the premeditation, to commit the crimes he seems to have committed (hard to explain events otherwise, unless you get all of your information only from FOX, OANN, Newmax or Breitbart)? Seems to me the claim might be useful as part of an insanity defense, but how does it show a hard to overcome lack of intent on Trumpie’s part?

Hard to keep the top of my skull from blowing off my head, sometimes. We are living in times so interesting they make the old Chinese curse “may you live in interesting times” really pop.

[1]

Trump fired Krebs, Trump’s Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in the United States Department of Homeland Security, immediately after Krebs publicly stated that the 2020 election had been the most secure election on record. Evidence of the Orange Polyp’s Intent? Nah…

The incriminating info has long been public…

Frustrating that Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice, scrupulous about avoiding the appearance of political motivation, has been so reluctant to even investigate anti-democratic criminal activity we all saw play out in front of us, that we see playing out in front of us now as our democracy hangs by a thread, amid the threat of further, better-organized mob violence.

The belatedly formed House Select Committee on January 6 is doing an excellent job investigating and laying out the case, as two teams of impeachment managers also did, clearly setting out a case that could have been proved beyond doubt by testimony and other evidence withheld, for the benefit of Mr. Trump who never, ever obstructed justice. Of course, the impeachment trials were pure politics, the foreman of the jury pledging to work closely with the defense team to acquit each time. The outcome would have been far different in a court of law. Now it’s Garland’s moment to step up. Step up, my man.

Garland famously followed Barr’s lead when he appealed the judge’s decision not to let the Department of Justice stand in for Trump as defendant in E. Jean Carroll’s defamation suit, on Barr’s ridiculous theory that the president calling someone who accused him of rape a fucking liar he wouldn’t fuck with Mike Pence’s dick was acting in the scope of his “official duties”. It’s true that the DOJ leaped into action to try to challenge the Texas anti-abortion law that cleverly circumvents court review (DOJ appeal dismissed by Supreme Court) and to protect parents at school board meetings (quickly weaponized by the GOP as Garland’s partisan war against people giving totally legal Nazi salutes to show their hatred of commie school boards who hate our freedom) but, Jesus Christ.

Bending over backward to appear impartial and apolitical, the Biden DOJ let Don McGahn finally testify behind closed doors about what he told Mueller (Trump asked him to fire Mueller, then, when McGahn refused, asked him to write a memo stating they’d never discussed firing Mueller– you know, as one does while not corruptly abusing one’s power…) not under oath (the honor system again), after the court belatedly found McGahn’s defiance of a subpoena under Barr’s ridiculous blanket protective privilege claim not supported by law. You can read the transcript of McGahn’s boring, two year-delayed interview, but nobody else ever did, I won’t even bother you with a link. (OK, fine, click this one link to transcript halfway down, above graphic.) A cold, legalistic transcript is nothing like damning testimony, delivered under oath, with skilled cross-examination, on live TV.

Equally tellingly, the Biden administration has done nothing to combat Trump’s favorite tactic of weaponizing court delay until the underlying issue becomes moot. No inter-branch dispute court has been created, no changes to the judicial docket in DC have been made, let alone the assignment of special judges for expedited rulings on urgent matters of national security, things that can currently be tied up indefinitely by unscrupulous litigants employing toothless appeals to waste additional months or years. Oh, well.

As for the detailed information that is already out there, here’s a bit from the November 6, 2021 New York Times, all undisputed (except by a compulsively litigious serial liar with millions in donated legal funds) and supported by sworn testimony and documentary evidence:

WASHINGTON — Even by the standards of President Donald J. Trump, it was an extraordinary Oval Office showdown. On the agenda was Mr. Trump’s desire to install a loyalist as acting attorney general to carry out his demands for more aggressive investigations into his baseless claims of election fraud.

On the other side during that meeting on the evening of Jan. 3 were the top leaders of the Justice Department, who warned Mr. Trump that they and other senior officials would resign en masse if he followed through. They received immediate support from another key participant: Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel. According to others at the meeting, Mr. Cipollone indicated that he and his top deputy, Patrick F. Philbin, would also step down if Mr. Trump acted on his plan.

Mr. Trump’s proposed plan, Mr. Cipollone argued, would be a “murder-suicide pact,” one participant recalled. Only near the end of the nearly three-hour meeting did Mr. Trump relent and agree to drop his threat.

Mr. Cipollone’s stand that night is among the new details contained in a lengthy interim report prepared by the Senate Judiciary Committee about Mr. Trump’s efforts to pressure the Justice Department to do his bidding in the chaotic final weeks of his presiden

The report draws on documents, emails and testimony from three top Justice Department officials, including the acting attorney general for Mr. Trump’s last month in office, Jeffrey A. Rosen; the acting deputy attorney general, Richard P. Donoghue, and Byung J. Pak, who until early January was U.S. attorney in Atlanta. It provides the most complete account yet of Mr. Trump’s efforts to push the department to validate election fraud claims that had been disproved by the F.B.I. and state investigators.

The interim report, released on Thursday, describes how Justice Department officials scrambled to stave off the pressure during a period when Mr. Trump was getting advice about blocking certification of the election from a lawyer he had first seen on television, and the president’s actions were so unsettling that his top general and the House speaker discussed the nuclear chain of command . . .

. . . Republicans have sought for months to downplay reports of Mr. Trump’s pressure campaign, arguing that he simply cast a wide net for legal advice and correctly concluded that it would be a mistake to replace Mr. Rosen with Mr. Clark. Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, echoed those sentiments on Thursday with the release of a report by committee Republicans, which called Mr. Trump’s actions “consistent with his responsibilities as president to faithfully execute the law and oversee the Executive Branch.”

But Mr. Rosen, Mr. Donoghue and Mr. Pak — all Republicans — testified that Mr. Trump was not seeking their legal advice, but strong-arming them to violate their oaths of office, undermine the results of the election and subvert the Constitution.

The report is not the Senate Judiciary Committee’s final word on the pressure campaign.

Link to article

Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, echoed those sentiments on Thursday with the release of a report by committee Republicans, which called Mr. Trump’s actions “consistent with his responsibilities as president to faithfully execute the law and oversee the Executive Branch.”

Of course, they did. Merrick?

As for Barr:

The report recommended that the Justice Department tighten procedures concerning when it can take certain overt steps in election-related fraud investigations. As attorney general, the report said, Mr. Barr weakened the department’s decades-long strict policy of not taking investigative steps in fraud cases until after an election is certified, a measure that is meant to keep the fact of a federal investigation from impacting the election outcome.

The Senate panel found that Mr. Barr personally demanded that the department investigate voter fraud allegations, even if other authorities had looked into them and not found evidence of wrongdoing. These allegations included a claim by Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer and a prime force behind the unfounded election fraud allegations, that he had a tape that showed Democratic poll workers kicking their Republican counterparts from a polling station and fraudulently adding votes for Joseph R. Biden Jr. into the count.

Fucking bagpipe playing bastard.

Merrick?

Some very sick and dangerous criminals

Hitler supporters called the democratically elected German officials who signed the punitive armistice that ended the First World War “the November Criminals”, traitorous cowards who stabbed the victorious German army in the back. Criminalizing your opponents is a great way to underscore for your people that this is an existential war between morality and Evil. It did not hurt the German rightwing narrative that some of the November Criminals were Jews, who, you know, no need to say more.

Isn’t that right Adam Schiff?

A Prayer for My Mother

A friend sent me an interesting tale just now about being recruited, as a teenager in Israel, by some aggressive yeshiva types. After he caught a ride with a young, slightly hipsterish rabbi while hitchhiking back home, a carful of rabbis arrived at the kibbutz where he lived to try to convince him to join up with them.   There was a nice plot twist, when his communist father, also a traditional Jew in some sense, learned of the session in the car and got very worked up that his son would even give those bearded crackpots a hearing. He issued a stern warning about not letting them into his head.

Which reminded me of this story about my mother, and prayers.

My mother hated going to synagogue, which she found to be an empty exercise in conformity. Her funeral, which I conducted, was in a chapel at the Jewish Center in Peekskill, NY, the small town where my poor father was raised.   So it was natural to point out, to those assembled, (we were in that sanctuary because of my late father’s burial decisions [1]) the irony of ths memorial to my mother taking place in a setting she always avoided.   I told them about the last time my mother was in shul, a place I’d seen her maybe five times (if that) in my life, always for a bar mitzvah or wedding

There was a liberal firebrand rabbi in her area in Florida.   She was in a fairly liberal voting county but there were still plenty of jackasses who at that time supported Cheney and Bush, a “kinder gentler” (Bush’s father’s sales pitch for the new American Nazis) version of these outright klansman that run the Republican party now, and she was always pissed off about it and had no tolerance for her bigoted, shit-talking neighbors.   This rabbi wrote a column in the local paper that ripped Florida and national Republicans a couple of new assholes every week.  She loved the guy, he was witty and fierce and told it like it was, a clever, angry, intelligent breath of fresh air in a nation that was increasingly embracing jingoistic stupidity — and Florida seems to have a higher percentage of reactionary morons than most places she’d been.

A neighbor, a hateful old hag and fellow widow, knew of my mother’s admiration for this rabbi and showed her an item in the local paper that announced he was going to be speaking at the local synagogue at Friday night services.  So they went to the nearby synagogue on Friday night.  I hadn’t heard any follow up on her rabbi’s speech so I asked her about it.

“Oh, God, it was terrible!   They introduced him, he waved, and he just sat on the bima the whole time, never said a word.  There was no speech.  It was sickening, false advertising just to get people to go on Friday night, and, of course, they did every fucking prayer in that goddamned prayer book!”

At which point there was a loud collective guffaw from those assembled in the solemn First Hebrew Congregation of Peekskill chapel.  It was Evelyn to a tee.

[1]

My father, raised orthodox by a religious fanatic psychopath mother, gradually saw the religious aspect of his life fall away.  In the end he tasted pork in a Chinese restaurant (Szechuan shredded pork, a one time favorite of mine) and he liked it (though I think it was a one off) and as he was dying told me, when I asked him, that he didn’t care if I said kaddish for him or not.  I actually mumbled that solemn Aramaic poem for 30 days, though not in a minyan (the ten who constitute a quorum for traditional Jewish prayer), usually just standing around with Sekhnet who said it in unison with me.

Life ain’t nothing but a funny, funny riddle.  Thank God I’m a country boy!

Just sayin’

As you will recall from the two impeachments of America’s Greatest Compulsive Liar, the mere attempt to do something, if done by or on behalf of the sitting president, is not a high crime or even a misdemeanor. Ukrainian president Zelensky never actually went on CNN to announce an investigation into Hunter Biden, so… no crime, no quid pro quo. On January 6, a mob may have tried to stop the certification of the election, at Trump’s strong suggestion, even succeeded for a few hours, but an ATTEMPTED coup is not the same as a successful coup, which is why Pence, Pelosi, AOC, Liz Cheney, Kevin McCarthy and company are all still alive to talk about it.

We need to recall this principle, even though it might seem objectively absurd, and the above purely academic definition, as we march toward authoritarianism.

William Pelham Barr

You can look him up:

Barr has been angrily pushed by Mr. Trump in recent days to use the power of the Department of Justice to DO SOMETHING! After weeks of blessed silence, Barr eventually produced a carefully worded memo of instruction to federal prosecutors to investigate substantial allegations, credible, evidence-based claims of voter fraud or electoral irregularity (there are very, very few out there) cautioning the reluctant dogs he’d unleashed to “exercise appropriate caution and maintain the department’s absolute commitment to fairness, neutrality and nonpartisanship.”

Barr also wrote, as if it needed to be emphasized: “Specious, speculative, fanciful or far-fetched claims should not be a basis for initiating federal inquiries” and “Nothing here should be taken as any indication that the department has concluded that voting irregularities have impacted the outcome of any election.”

Yesterday sixteen of Barr’s assistant federal prosecutors formally denounced Barr’s weak, politically motivated memo (apparently written solely to placate his seething boss), complaining of Barr’s politicization of the DOJ and noting that, as Barr himself suggests in the memo, there are no credible, evidence-based voting or vote counting fraud allegations to investigate.

Remember Barr’s fearsome, internationally sourced Durham investigation that was going to lay bare the illegal, baseless, partisan conspiracy among Mueller and his Democratic operatives, to claim that the president knowingly accepted campaign help from Vladmir Putin in 2016? There were going to be public announcements of the indictment of traitors right before the election, in the name of justice.

Recall that Barr, as AG, after nullifying the Mueller Report, also made a good faith effort to prevent the credible and urgent whistleblower report on the Ukraine quid pro quo that formed the basis for the president’s impeachment from reaching Congress, as required by law.

Barr has been at this shit for many years, since long before he was a pugnacious teenaged supporter of the Vietnam war (in which he declined to serve), bringing coffee to policemen and duking it out with protesters on his college campus.

Conservative columnist William Safire dubbed Barr, then George H. W. Bush’s Attorney General, the Coverup General. Safire bestowed this name with ample cause — Barr had just successfully covered up his president’s likely role in the Iran-Contra scandal, a role that would have been revealed in the defendant’s copious notes that would become public evidence, had Barr not engineered the daring pre-trial dismissal of Casper Weinberger’s indictment. Barr has proved the aptness of the title Coverup General over and over as Trump’s Attorney General.

He has always been this way, he acts in accordance with his deeply held religious conservative beliefs:

Drug wars, eh? The fault of the victims of the drug wars, no doubt, made dangerous criminals by the random prohibition of certain intoxicants and the harsh punishments for the breaking of such laws. Law and Order at its finest and most just.

After the videotaped public police murder of George Floyd, Barr insisted there is no systemic racism in American law enforcement, claiming that very few unarmed blacks, a mere twelve or so, are killed by police every year. Earlier in his term as Trump’s Attorney General Barr had made this provocative statement, aimed at recalcitrant blacks.

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

The highly religious Barr makes no attempt to disguise his objective, morally justified, highly combative culture warrior stance. He told a fellow traveler on a conservative talk show recently:

“The Left wants power because that is essentially their state of grace and their [he laughs] secular religion, they want to run people’s lives so they can design utopia for all of us, and that’s what, you know, that’s what turns them on.”

People on the Left need a secular religion, you understand, because Christ fucking hates them.

Make a bowl of popcorn, sit back, and watch this amusing, educational, not specious or speculative segment about a tremendously despicable culture warrior who was, until the election, probably the most dangerous right winger in America:

An anxiety-ridden nail-biter election, somewhat explained by historian Heather Cox Richardson

We are told by the mass media that this election is too close to call right now, very few votes separate the candidates in several “key” “battleground” states. It is not really that close an election, one candidate is about 4,000,000 votes behind the other.

It is only “too close to call” because of a brilliant device, the Electoral College, created, in large part, to preserve the Great Compromise with slaveholders in less populace states (at the time slaves were not considered humans, though a political deal decreed slave men counted for 3/5 of a man — recall the Three-fifths Compromise — for purposes of representation in Congress and Electoral College votes. Slave majority states like South Carolina got a great boon from this deal.). The Electoral College keeps the final decision about the presidency out of the hands of the riffraff, particularly the descendants of former slaves. It should be gone, for many reasons, but it is still the law of the land, as the Framers designed it as part of their Great Compromise with the beneficiaries of the Peculiar Institution (presumably, according to a pious Originalist like Antonin Scalia or Amy Coney Barrett, after direct consultation with the Old Testament God and Jesus Christ Himself).

The night of Election Day, Heather Cox Richardson laid out a bit of our history of the best, most accomplished and most well-born of us keeping the final say in our democracy out of the hands of the crude, dumb majority, entrusting democracy, instead, to the best people, our most refined people.

I have to admit I was not surprised to learn that quintessential American hypocrite Thomas Jefferson, Author of Liberty and enlightened Renaissance Man, played an outsized role in creating an ugly, unintended invitation to future tyranny. Too soon to know if Trump’s lawyers will, against all the odds, find a way to use the Original Intent of the Framers as the last word on who wins and who loses the presidential sweepstakes, no matter how many votes are cast. The facts might make you scream, but, today, a little screaming is probably good for you.

In 2018, for example, people in Florida voted overwhelmingly to restore voting rights to felons. This would have added about 1.5 million people back to the rolls, many of them African Americans. But the Republican legislature passed a law saying the former felons could not vote unless they had paid all their court fines and fees. A federal judge said that law was essentially an unconstitutional poll tax, but an appeals court overturned that decision. Five of the six judges who upheld the law were appointed by Trump.

Today, as well, there are problems with ballots. This summer, the Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, a major fundraiser for the Republican Party and a key ally of Trump, changed the rules for mail delivery, slowing it significantly. It turns out that more than 300,000 ballots were checked into the USPS mail system but not checked out of it. U.S. District Judge Emmett G. Sullivan ordered the USPS to sweep 27 processing centers for the missing ballots, but USPS officials refused, saying they already had a system in place and that changing it would be disruptive. Sullivan has called the parties in tomorrow morning to discuss the issue.

The problem of voter suppression is compounded by the misuse of the Electoral College. The Framers originally designed delegates to the Electoral College to vote according to districts within states, so that states would split their electoral votes, making them roughly proportional to a candidate’s support. That system changed in 1800, after Thomas Jefferson recognized that he would have a better chance of winning the presidency if the delegates of his own home state, Virginia, voted as a bloc rather than by district. He convinced them to do it. Quickly, other state officials recognized that the “winner-take-all” system meant they must do the same or their own preferred candidate would never win. Thus, our non-proportional system was born, and it so horrified James Madison and Alexander Hamilton that both wanted constitutional amendments to switch the system back.

Democracy took another hit from that system in 1929. The 1920 census showed that the weight of the nation’s demographics was moving to cities, which were controlled by Democrats, so the Republicans in control of the House of Representatives refused to reapportion representation after that census. Reapportioning the House would have cost many of them their seats. Rather than permitting the number of representatives to grow along with population, Congress then capped the size of the House at 435. Since then, the average size of a congressional district has tripled. This gives smaller states a huge advantage in the Electoral College, in which each state gets a number of votes equal to the number of its senators and representatives.

These injuries to our system have saddled us with an Electoral College that permits a minority to tyrannize over the majority. That systemic advantage is unsustainable in a democracy. One or the other will have to give.

source

History is always written in blood

History is always written in the blood of the powerless.  Famously written by the “victors,” it casts the suffering and deaths of those who wound up on the short end of things as somehow necessary, a historical necessity for a greater good.   “You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs,” some winners are prone to saying, by way of expressing minor regret about the inevitable — that some “eggs” had to be “broken” so we could enjoy what we have on the table in front of us now.

We watched the public lynching of an American man recently, under the knee of a cop who kneeled on him for 8 minutes and 46 seconds — the last almost 3:00 of which the dying man was already unconscious.  We know the exact time frame because of an uninterrupted video of the slow-motion murder by suffocation. 

The video, taken by a high school girl who filmed the entire 8:46 without flinching, left no doubt that we were watching a lynching, a brutal murder committed with, at minimum, depraved indifference to human life.   The man who was killed was handcuffed, subdued, lying face down on the ground begging for his life, in the end calling for his mother.   

George Floyd’s public murder woke people up.   With a serial scofflaw as president, condemning those who took to the streets to protest this lynching as “antifa” extremists (being anti-fascist was until recently a mainstream American value), invoking police violence against peaceful protesters as “law and order,” the time was past due for an accounting.    America has never had a reckoning of any kind with our murderous history of enforced inequality at law.   

That’s an uncomfortable thought for the powerful (and even more so for the powerless, I dare say).   You cannot have forgiveness without some kind of process of reconciliation, some remorseful acknowledgement by the perpetrator that it was wrong to — say, tolerate lynching for hundreds of years.     The symbols of American racism are all around us.  The Edmund Pettus Bridge, where the recently departed John Lewis had his head split open by police while peacefully protesting, in fact, kneeling to pray, in 1965, was named for a Confederate officer, US Senator and Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.   Very uncomfortable!!!

Mike Pompeo, to the rescue.  The Koch Brothers’ former personal congressman from Witchita, one of America’s most powerful religious Evangelical Christians, did a little history writing of his own the other day.   With supreme confidence, he made the following remarks at a recent meeting of the Commission on Unalienable Rights.    Note the several sleights of hands Mr. Pompeo employs to make history right.

“These days, even saying that America’s fundamentally good has become controversial… They want you to believe that America’s institutions continue to reflect the country’s acceptance of slavery at our founding.   This is a dark vision of America’s birth.  I reject it.” 

“They want you to believe…”– how ominous!    Pompeo, Trump’s Secretary of State, went on to single out and flay a favorite right-wing whipping girl, the New York Times. 

“The New York Times’s 1619 Project, so named for the year that the first slaves were transported to America, wants you to believe that our country was founded FOR human bondage.   They want you to believe that America’s institutions continue to reflect the country’s acceptance of slavery at our founding.     They want you to believe that Marxist ideology that America is only the oppressors and the oppressed.”

You understand the logic here:  only a Marxist (godless Commie) could see any connection between our centuries of race-based chattel slavery, a bloody Civil War followed by a hundred years of unchecked, violent Ku Klux Klan rule in the former Confederacy, racist laws nationwide well into the twentieth century [1], a punitive criminal justice system singling out people of color for incarceration and destroying countless lives for non-violent “drug crimes”, the murder by police, without legal consequences, of unarmed civilians, mostly people of color.   This is clearly a strictly Communist-only reading of our great history.  Only a godless Marxist could see it in that hateful way, real Americans understand that, says Pompeo.  

“The Chinese Communist Party must be gleeful when they see the NYT spout this ideology.   Some people have taken these false doctrines to heart.  The rioters pulling down statues thus see nothing wrong with desecrating monuments to those who fought for our unalienable rights, from  our founding to the present day.  This is a dark vision of America’s birth.  I reject it.”

Reject away, sir.   Historical facts, documented and recited, equal Communist-approved “ideology,” nicely done legerdemain, Mike.  Great men, including men who took up arms against our nation, heroes like Edmund Pettus and Nathaniel Forrest Bedford, daring Confederate general and founder of the Ku Klux Klan (photo below) must be remembered in monuments to their greatness, whatever lawless, godless, Marxist, America-hating  rioters might feel about it.

nathan-bedford-forrest-gettyimages-515298300.jpg

“It’s a disturbed reading of our history, it is a slander on our great people.  Nothing could be further from the truth of our founding.”

That the first slaves arrived on these shores before the Mayflower brought the families of our founding fathers here, false!   A disturbed reading, a slander.  Nothing could be further from the truth!   

What the hell do you actually mean by these fighting words, Mike?

I’m tempted to simply say “fuck that fucking pig-faced puto,” but that will change no hearts or minds.   Assuming hearts and minds are still involved, once this kind of angry, determined erasure of history is forcefully undertaken by powerful men.

Do you have a duty to forgive someone who has badly hurt you and then tells you to just fucking get over it, asshole?   Kneeling on your neck until you’re dead — your problem, jerkoff, not mine.  Critical “history” — a bunch of deliberate Commie slanders, NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.  Who are you going to believe, the lying New York Times or my unidentified riot-geared federal troopers and their tear gas, truncheons and blanket immunity from prosecution for breaking your head?

Ah, fuck that fucking pig-faced puto.  America is better than his ilk.

 

 

[1]  Bill Moyers: Let me read to you. Here’s a quote from a Maryland statute in 1957 — 1957! — that you include in the book:

All marriages between a white person and a Negro, or between a white person and a person of Negro descent, to the third generation, inclusive, or between a white person and a member of the Malay race or between a Negro and a member of the Malay race, or between a person of Negro descent, to the third generation, inclusive, and a member of the Malay race, or between a person of Negro descent, to the third generation, inclusive, and a member of the Malay race or between a Negro and member of the Malay race, or between a person of Negro descent, to the third generation, inclusive, are forever prohibited and shall be void; and and any person violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of an infamous crime and be punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary for not less than eighteen months or more than 10 years.

That was Maryland law. 

[not ruled unconstitutional until 1967]

and

Moyers:  Bilbo [powerful racist Senator from Mississippi, Theodore Bilbo] said, “One drop of Negro blood placed in the veins of the purest Caucasian destroys the inventive genius of his mind and palsies his creative faculty.” Is it true that the Nazis thought the one-drop rule too extreme?

Whitman: They did indeed. They never proposed anything nearly as extreme as the one-drop rule.

(source– an excellent, if chilling, rundown of some of America’s racist laws and their influence on racial law in the Third Reich)

Of course, as every real American knows, Bill Moyers, long time PBS talk show host (PBS… yo), who, as a young man, worked for and applauded LBJ for his Civil Rights legislation, is a freedom hating old Marxist who spreads slanders against our great, white, Christian nation.