Democracy Has Prevailed.

June 26, 2024

Thou Shalt Not...And Another

We'll start in the same place as Friday:

Gov. Jeff Landry signed legislation on Wednesday requiring the display of the Ten Commandments in every public classroom in Louisiana, making the state the only one with such a mandate and reigniting the debate over how porous the boundary between church and state should be.

And from the legislation we read that this is one of the Commandments commanded to appear in all school rooms in Louisiana:

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
So what does "bearing false witness" even mean?

  1. knowingly state as fact that which is untrue; begin or perpetuate a rumor by lying about a person, thing, or event:


  2. knowingly give untrue testimony, as in a court of law; commit perjury


Outside the context of the courts, it is termed slander.


Starting lies about someone or spreading them is bearing false witness, a terrible offense in the sight of God.
That was an excerpt from a book by Pat Robertson, BTW.

So we have a pretty good idea of what the Commandment means.

So do I need to remind anyone of this:

Former President Donald Trump must pay $83.3 million in damages for defamatory statements he made denying he sexually assaulted the writer E. Jean Carroll, a federal jury ruled Friday, handing down a stunning verdict after less than three hours of deliberation.

The jury awarded Carroll $18.3 million in compensatory damages, and $65 million in punitive damages. The compensatory amount included $11 million for repairing her reputation, and $7.3 million for emotional harm.

Donald Trump broke that Commandment, too. 

In other news, Donald Trump is a convicted felon, a criminal.

June 23, 2024

Thou Shalt Not...And Here's Another One

We'll start in the same place as Friday:

Gov. Jeff Landry signed legislation on Wednesday requiring the display of the Ten Commandments in every public classroom in Louisiana, making the state the only one with such a mandate and reigniting the debate over how porous the boundary between church and state should be.

And from the legislation we read that this is one of the Commandments commanded to appear in all school rooms in Louisiana:

Thou shalt not steal.

Does everyone know about Trump University (to be more precise Trump "University")? 

From ABCNews in 2018:

A federal judge in the Southern District of California on Monday finalized a $25 million settlement to be paid to attendees of the now-defunct real estate seminar called Trump University.


New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman called the settlement a victory for Trump U. "victims."

"Judge Curiel's order finalizing the $25 million Trump University settlement means that victims of Donald Trump's fraudulent university will finally receive the relief they deserve," he said in a statement, adding that the amount surpassed the initial number the class-action suit initially negotiated.

"This settlement marked a stunning reversal by President Trump, who for years refused to compensate the victims of his sham university," the statement added. "My office won't hesitate to hold those who commit fraud accountable, no matter how rich or powerful they may be."

Donald Trump stole from all those people who "enrolled" in Trump "University." 

It was a scam - a "massive" one, according to this article in the conservative National Review.

The NR called it a bait and switch, quoting the NY State lawsuit:

The free seminars were the first step in a bait and switch to induce prospective students to enroll in increasingly expensive seminars starting with the three-day $1495 seminar and ultimately one of respondents’ advanced seminars such as the “Gold Elite” program costing $35,000.

At the “free” 90-minute introductory seminars to which Trump University advertisements and solicitations invited prospective students, Trump University instructors engaged in a methodical, systematic series of misrepresentations designed to convince students to sign up for the Trump University three-day seminar at a cost of $1495.

 Trump stole money from people who wanted to learn how make money in real estate.

June 21, 2024

Thou Shalt Not...Pass A Law Respecting An Establishment Of Religion...

From The NYTimes:

Gov. Jeff Landry signed legislation on Wednesday requiring the display of the Ten Commandments in every public classroom in Louisiana, making the state the only one with such a mandate and reigniting the debate over how porous the boundary between church and state should be.

Setting aside the question of the legislation's constitutionality (it's not, but given the Trump SCOTUS, all bets, sadly, are off), let's look at the Commandments themselves, as spelled out in the legislation.

It contains (of course) this Commandment:

Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Do I need to remind everyone that convicted felon Trump:

  • Cheated on his first wife with the woman who became his second wife
  • Cheated on his second wife with the woman who became his third
  • Cheated on his third wife with an adult film actress.
  • Sexually assaulted another woman and then lied about her.

And that's only one broken commandment (with a bit of "Thou shalt not bear false witness" thrown in").

June 19, 2024

Hey, Look! Pennsylvania Is Mentioned TWICE

Doug Mastriano at about 1:25 in and Dave McCormick at about 5:50.

Hey, did you know that God sent Trump's mob to storm the Capitol?

Today's GOP.

June 17, 2024

Meanwhile, Outside

Science, from the climate scientists at NOAA: 

The May global surface temperature was 1.18°C (2.12°F) above the 20th-century average of 14.8°C (58.6°F), making it the warmest May on record. This was 0.18°C (0.32°F) above the previous record from May 2020. May 2024 marked the 48th consecutive May (since 1977) with temperatures at least nominally above the 20th-century average.

And, of course, the chart:

There was also this from down the page:

The January–May global surface temperature was the warmest in the 175-year record at 1.32°C (2.38°F) above the 1901-2000 average of 13.1°C (55.5°F).

It's getting warmer out there.

I was also going through my old stuff and found this from 2009 (that's 15 years ago): 

A comprehensive review of key climate indicators confirms the world is warming and the past decade was the warmest on record. More than 300 scientists from 48 countries analyzed data on 37 climate indicators, including sea ice, glaciers and air temperatures. A more detailed review of 10 of these indicators, selected because they are clearly and directly related to surface temperatures, all tell the same story: global warming is undeniable.[Emphasis added.]

Undeniable. 15 years later, still undeniable.


June 14, 2024


Of course if you replace the words "Mitch McConnell" with the words "The GOP" you get this:

[The GOP] knows Trump provoked the violent attack on our Capitol and then “watched television happily” as his mob brutally beat police officers and hunted the Vice President. [The GOP] knows Trump refused for hours to tell his mob to leave and “even then with police officers bleeding…he kept repeating his election lies and praising the criminals.” [The GOP] knows Trump committed a “disgraceful dereliction of duty” and is a danger to our Republic. Trump and his collaborators will be defeated, and history will remember the shame of [The GOP] who enabled them.
Just a little tweak - but still absolutely true.

June 11, 2024

Justice Alito, In A Nutshell

This, from Rolling Stone:

[Lauren Windsor, a liberal documentary filmmaker] goes on to tell Alito: “People in this country who believe in God have got to keep fighting for that — to return our country to a place of godliness.”

“I agree with you. I agree with you,” replies Alito, who authored the Supreme Court’s 2022 Dobbs decision, which reversed five decades of settled law and ended a constitutional right to abortion.

In the event you were wondering how she got the quote:

Windsor attended [the Supreme Court Historical Society’s annual dinner on June 3] as a dues-paying member of the society under her real name, along with a colleague. She asked questions of the justice as though she were a religious conservative.   

Back to Justice Alito. It's not his job to "return our country to a place of godliness." What sort of place would that be, anyway?  Which definition of "godliness" is the right one? Who decides on that?

Justice Samuel Alito should not be deciding cases on the US Supreme Court.

June 10, 2024

Today - What's In Store For Felon Trump

From The NYTimes:

Former President Donald J. Trump, who was convicted last month on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, is expected to have a virtual interview with a New York City Probation Department official on Monday, three people with knowledge of the matter said.

Convicted on 34 felony counts.  I will never get tired of writing that.

Anyway, here's a bit more from the AP:

The usual purpose of a pre-sentencing probation interview is to prepare a report that will tell the judge more about the defendant, and potentially help determine the proper punishment for the crime.

Such reports are typically prepared by a probation officer, a social worker or a psychologist working for the probation department who interviews the defendant and possibly that person’s family and friends, as well as people affected by the crime.

So there's that.

But then there's this from MSNBC (this summary from Huffington Post):

One of the questions that Trump will be asked is “whether he is associating with criminals,” Weissmann, a legal analyst for MSNBC, told former Biden White House press secretary-turned-network anchor Jen Psaki.

“It is sort of remarkable,” he declared.

Trump will have to “discuss whether he still coordinates with Roger Stone, Paul Mannafort, Steve Bannon,” Weissmann pointed out. “Remember, all of those people have been found guilty by a jury and are felons themselves so that’s another area where the probation department could ask questions and it’ll be interesting to see what Donald Trump has to say about that.”

Yea, it'll be very interesting. 

Donald Trump is a convicted felon, a criminal.



June 7, 2024

Steve Bannon is Going To Jail - July 1

From The NYTimes:

A federal judge on Thursday told Stephen K. Bannon, a longtime adviser to former President Donald J. Trump, to surrender by July 1 to start serving a four-month prison term for disobeying a congressional subpoena.

Mr. Bannon was sentenced in October 2022 on contempt of Congress charges after he refused to give testimony to the House committee that investigated the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

Judge Carl J. Nichols, who has overseen the case, allowed him to remain free while he appealed. Last month, however, Mr. Bannon lost the first round of that challenge as a three-judge panel of a federal appeals court in Washington decided that his guilty verdict on charges of ignoring the House committee’s demand for his testimony was proper.

Bannon's going to jail.

Hmm. I wonder: Are there any Pennsylvania connections to Bannon?

Of course there are - ah, the joys of an old blog.

There's this.

On the night that The House of Representatives voted to hold Bannon in contempt, he was guest of PA the Adams County Republican Committee at their annual Eisenhower Banquet. 

PA State Senator Doug Mastriano was there as well.  Did they discuss the contempt vote?  Why won't anyone ask Doug this?

But wait, there's more.

From the York Daily Record

Before the event, Bannon spoke with Adams County GOP Chair Charlotte Shaffer for his "War Room" news show.

The pair spoke about the 3 November movement, a Trump-centered Republican movement seeking to prove election fraud.

“One of the reasons I accepted the gracious invitation of Charlotte Shaffer, the chairman, was that this was the railhead of where 3 November started, the counter reaction, the great conference,” Bannon said on War Room.

Bannon was referring to an event in Gettysburg at which former Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani publicly protested the election results. Mastriano organized that event as a member of the Pennsylvania Senate Majority Policy Committee.

Rudy Giuliani was at that event in Gettysburg. He's now facing disbarment for having "violated Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct" representing Trump in a case in PA that sought to overturn Trump's 2020 election loss.

BTW, Rudy told many many lies at Doug's Gettysburg event.

Can't someone (anyone??) ask Doug about Rudy's current tough times?

Then there's this.  Mastriano was on Bannon's podcast:

Senator Mastriano is speaking with Steve Bannon. Bannon is currently under indictment (two counts) for Contempt of Congress. He was also indicted for wire fraud. The case was dismissed because he was pardoned by Donald Trump on the latter's last day of office.

And as we all know, PA State Senator Doug Mastriano has been subpoenaed by the same committee that issued the subpoenas that led to Bannon's contempt indictment.

Hey, remember when PA State Senator Doug Mastriano was subpoenaed?  I certainly do. 

In any event, Dougie and Stevie discussed Trump's one-time SecDef, Mark Esper and how he would have committed treason by not following Trump's order (were Trump to give one) to have members of the military to shoot protesters in the legs. 

Can someone please ask Doug Mastriano for a comment regarding Steve Bannon's upcoming jail time?