What Fresh Hell Is This?

April 19, 2019

More From The Mueller Report

The Trump-loving Post-Gazette Editorial Board sez:
According to a redacted version of the report, released Thursday by the Justice Department, Mr. Mueller found no evidence that President Donald Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia on election inference. Mr. Mueller was unable to determine whether the president tried to obstruct his investigation, although Mr. Trump said and did things during the probe that looked bad.
And yet from the report itself we can read:
Because we determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment, we did not draw ultimate conclusions about the President 's conduct. The evidence we obtained about the President's actions and intent presents difficult issues that would need to be resolved if we were making a traditional prosecutorial judgment. At the same time, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him. (p. 393)
Take a look - they could not not state that Trump did not commit obstruction of justice - not, as the P-G board clearly wishes that they were "unable to determine whether the president tried to obstruct" the investigation.

More to come, obviously.

April 18, 2019

From The Mueller Report

This is all we need to know if we want to understand how AG Barr s the Mueller report.

Remember that 4 page letter "summarizing" the Mueller report?

This is what Barr took from it:
[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
The brackets around the "T" mean that it was not capitalized in the original. So this is a fragment of a sentence.

This is what the original sentence was:
Although the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts, the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.
I bolded and italicized what Barr used from the sentence to show the skew. 

More to come, of course.

Some Things To Keep In Mind Before Today's AG Press Conference

The Fix Is In, as they say.

Consider that Trump's DOJ has already briefed The White House (but not the Congress) on the Mueller Report and that this was done while Barr's team was busy redacting it. The report itself (or what's left of it) will only be released to the Congress after the press conference - thus denying any of the reporters who'd be asking questions any chance of reading it before hand.

And as you're considering all that you should be asking yourself this question: If the report is, in fact, a "total exoneration" of Trump, then why is any of Barr's framing necessary?

Or

Don't you think that if it were a "total exoneration" of Trump, then they'd just simply open up the damn thing for everyone to read and go, "See?"

The Fix is in.

April 16, 2019

Thinking About The Fire In Paris



My HUNDRED AND FOURTH Open Letter To Senator Pat Toomey

I'll be dropping this letter to Senator Pat Toomey in the mail today:
Dear Senator Toomey:

It's me, again - the constituent who writes for the local Pittsburgh-based political blog, "2 Political Junkies."

Senator, despite the fact that the IRS Code section 6103(f) clearly states that the IRS "shall furnish" any return upon written request and despite the fact that there as been, in fact, been a written request from the House Ways and Means Committee regarding Donald Trump's tax returns, the administration has so far stonewalled the turnover of these legally requested documents.

I'd like to ask you what you are doing, as part of your Constitutionally mandated role a check on the Executive Branch, to guarantee that Donald Trump simply follow the law in this matter.

Thank you and I await your response.
And I will be posting whatever response I get from him or his office.

Follow-up:

April 15, 2019

SEE?

Remember yesterday, when I said that Trump's tweets are going to get someone killed?

And now:

April 14, 2019

He's Going To Get Her Killed.

Trump is going to get someone killed.

With this:
Let's make no mistake. Her words (however clumsy) were taken out of context. From The Atlantic:
Last month, Representative Ilhan Omar attended a banquet hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, where she delivered remarks for roughly 20 minutes.

A major theme was prejudice against Muslims. “Here’s the truth,” she said. “For far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen. Frankly, I’m tired of it. And every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it. CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”

Omar’s meaning was clear: Many Muslims felt collectively blamed for something that was indisputably perpetrated by a tiny fraction of their co-religionists and marshaled new resources to protect their civil rights in response. (CAIR was actually founded in the 1990s, but expanded significantly after 9/11.)
And if you're wondering about the "inciting violence" part take a look at something that happened before the Trump-shit hit the Fox-fan:
On March 21, 2019,at approximately l2:20p.ffi., a telephone call was received by a staff member for United States Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a representative from the 5th Congressional District in Minnesota, at Congresswoman Omar's offices in Washington, D.C. During the telephone call, an individual who eventually identified himself as PAT CARLINEO stated to the staff member, "Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood? Why are you working for her, she's a fucking terrorist. I'll put a bullet in her fucking skull."
And in his interview with the FBI:
CARLINEO stated that he was a patriot, that he loves the President, and that he hates radical Muslims in our government.
Now, I wonder where he got his news? and how many more Trump-loving, Muslim-hating Pat Carlineo's are there out there?

Trump's gonna get someone killed and anyone who refuses to condemn him for this will shoulder some responsibility for it.

April 12, 2019

April 12 Birthday - Herbie Hancock

Happy Birthday to one of my favorite musicians - Herbie Hancock, born today in 1940.

Have a listen:


And here he is playing some Gershwin:


And then there's this:


Yes, that's all the same guy.

April 11, 2019

More On Trump Corruption

Hey, remember this?

The Time report begins with:
President Trump participated in dubious tax schemes during the 1990s, including instances of outright fraud, that greatly increased the fortune he received from his parents, an investigation by The New York Times has found.
And included this:
The most overt fraud was All County Building Supply & Maintenance, a company formed by the Trump family in 1992. All County’s ostensible purpose was to be the purchasing agent for Fred Trump’s buildings, buying everything from boilers to cleaning supplies. It did no such thing, records and interviews show. Instead All County siphoned millions of dollars from Fred Trump’s empire by simply marking up purchases already made by his employees. Those millions, effectively untaxed gifts, then flowed to All County’s owners — Donald Trump, his siblings and a cousin. Fred Trump then used the padded All County receipts to justify bigger rent increases for thousands of tenants.
This triggered an investigation into one of those siblings:
Maryanne Trump Barry, President Trump's older sister, has resigned as a federal appellate judge, ending a judicial investigation into apparently fraudulent tax schemes that could have theoretically led to her impeachment by the U.S. House, The New York Times reports. Judge Barry, 82, stopped hearing cases after her brother was inaugurated, but she was still a senior inactive judge on the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals, one step short of retirement.

Barry, a federal judge since 1983, had been notified Feb. 1 that complaints filed last October about possible violations of judicial conduct rules were "receiving the full attention" of a judicial conduct council, the Times reports. She filed her resignation papers 10 days later. Retired judges are not bound by the conduct rules, and the people who filed the complains were notified last week that the inquiry had been dropped without a finding on the allegations' merits, the Times reports.
You'd think that if the allegations were false, she'd fight them, right?

No. She retires, slinks away with the fraudulent millions and:
Barry did not respond to requests for comment from the Times, which notes that as a retired judge, she is entitled to between $184,500 and $217,600 a year.