Category Archives: Law/Justice

Merrick Garland’s Time

We all hoped that Merrick Garland’s time was in 2016 when President Obama appointed him to the Supreme Court. It was not to be. I still hold a grudge over the way the Turtle killed his nomination. He snuck into the judicial nursery and smothered the nomination with a pillow, then claimed it was an act of principle. The hollowness of that claim was confirmed last fall with the Barrett nomination. It’s always about power with Mitch McConnell.

At the time of the nomination, people were fixated on the labels applied to Judge Garland. People on the left fretted because he was dubbed a moderate by the punditocracy. A reminder: Ruth Bader Ginsburg was called a moderate upon her nomination. Labels have a way of peeling off when a nominee becomes a Supreme. That’s neither here nor there in the case of Merrick Garland as we’ll never know if he would have morphed from a moderate to liberal Justice a la Bill Brennan. It’s why I hate labels. They’re almost as invidious as stereotypes.

Merrick Garland’s time is now. The job is different but it’s one for which he’s perfectly suited: Attorney General. Word of Biden’s choice came the day after the Georgia runoff handed control of the senate to Democrats. It was also the date of the Dipshit Insurrection.

After serving as a line prosecutor, Garland became a deputy assistant attorney general in the criminal division during the Clinton administration. He found himself supervising two of DOJ’s most important criminal cases ever: the Oklahoma City bombing and the Unabomber. That’s right, Merrick Garland’s remit was the battle against domestic terrorism. That’s why his time is now.

There’s a must-read piece in the WaPo about the impact the McVeigh-Nichols OKC bombing case had on the next Attorney General:

The truck bomb leveled a section of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, killing 168 and injuring hundreds more in one of the deadliest domestic terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. But as Merrick Garland huddled with the lead prosecutor on the case, he urged caution in presenting the massive amount of evidence from the wreckage.

“Do not bury the crime in the clutter,” he said.

Garland, then a top Justice Department official, was encouraging prosecutors to speed the trial along and jettison superfluous findings in their case against Timothy McVeigh, who was convicted of carrying out the 1995 attack and executed in 2001, said Joe Hartzler, the team’s lead attorney. Hartzler said he found the advice so compelling that he wrote the words on a sheet of paper and hung it on an office wall as a rallying cry for his team.

More than two decades later, Garland, 68, is preparing to lead the Justice Department as attorney general and facing a domestic terrorism threat that has metastasized, with white supremacists and conspiracy-minded anti-government types emboldened by their acknowledgment from former president Donald Trump.

I commend the entire article to your attention, but I posted the first four paragraphs to not bury the article in clutter.

Judge Garland has pledged to make the fight against domestic terrorism his top priority. He’s a man of his word so I eagerly await the end of decades of ignoring right-wing extremists.

Judge Garland has another important task: rebuilding the morale of the Justice Department after four years of political hackery during the Trump regime. It wasn’t just Bill Barr, it was Jeff Bo Sessions and the acting AGs, which sounds like the name of a jug band.

Judge Garland has promised to be “the people’s lawyer, not the president’s lawyer” and I take him at his word. White House meddling was an endemic epidemic in the bad old Barr days. It ends now.

The Garland confirmation hearing was characterized by much bad faith tut-tutting by Republican senators. Tailgunner Ted and Senator Cornhole were particularly sanctimonious in discussing political influence at DOJ. It’s why I could only watch snippets of it. They’re afraid that Trump will be prosecuted by the incoming administration. That’s the politicization they fear. Charges against the Impeached Insult Comedian are a distinct possibility but that will be up to Merrick Garland, not Joe Biden. The president has quite rightly vowed to stay out of it.

There’s been much hand wringing about how hard it will be to restore the apolitical culture at DOJ. Rachel Maddow devoted an entire show to the issue. I love Rachel but she’s the quintessential liberal worry wort, especially on this issue.

Will it be easy? No, nothing worthwhile ever is.

Is it doable? Absolutely.

Why? It’s been done before in 1975 in the wake of Watergate and two Attorneys General going to the hoosegow.

The best appointments made by Gerald Ford during his brief presidency were these two bow-tied Chicagoans:

You probably recognize the guy on the left: Justice John Paul Stevens. The man on the right is the one who turned DOJ around and urged President Ford to appoint Stevens to SCOTUS. His name was Edward Levi.

Like Edward Levi and John Paul Stevens, Merrick Garland hails from the Chicago area.

Like Merrick Garland, Edward Levi was a modest unassuming man.

Like Merrick Garland, Edward Levi faced a difficult task. He did the job, then returned to the University of Chicago where he had previously served as dean of the law school and president of the university.

Like Merrick Garland, Edward Levi was Jewish. He was the first Jewish AG; Garland will be the third. Garland has always been reticent about his background, but Cory Booker worked his magic on the judge:

Senator Booker also elicited this strong statement on racial injustice from the next AG:

Back to Jerry Ford’s attorney general.

Edward Levi is one of the most underrated figures in American history. He not only had to clean up the DOJ, but he also had to reform the FBI, which J. Edgar Hoover had turned into his private police force. He accomplished both in two years. It can be done again.

1975 was Edward Levi’s time.

2021 is Merrick Garland’s time.

The last word goes to Bill Withers:

The Two Andys

Andy Taylor

Barney I told ya to stop messin’ with those Antifa fellas

Andy Sipowicz

Yeah, that ain’t gonna happen

The no longer failing New York Times has an article today about how police departments across the country are making attempts to weed out “political extremists” (the rest of us call them Fascists) from their ranks.

Imagine that, far right wingnuts patrolling our streets, armed and pretty much impervious to judicial oversight. Who could have imagined?

The article centers on an Oklahoma sheriff who was part of the mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6. He claims he was just there for the donuts…er…I mean the rally, but information obtained by other law enforcement officials and passed on to the FBI show that he was making celebratory phone calls from within the building.

We all know, or at least we should all know, that any police force is going to be riddled with those who tend to the conservative side of things. They see the world as good and evil, with themselves as the good and everyone else as at least potentially evil. The good cops know they are there to enforce the laws and protect the citizenry regardless of their own personal views. Unfortunately too many bad ones forget to check their views at the station door, patrolling the streets with the attitude of doing it to them before they do it to you.

But in the age of Trump those who send out George Floyd “You Take My Breath Away” Valentines Cards are outnumbering the ones who take seriously their admonishment to “Protect and Serve”. They publicly advocate their political positions even while on the job with little if any consequence. Only in the most extreme cases, and it’s rare this happens, are officers dismissed. Klan members, white supremacists, Nazis (neo and full bore), and other antigovernmental actors attend rallies, post on social media, and advocate with impunity and with imprimatur from their stations as law enforcement officials.

In most any company anywhere in this country if an employee openly advocated a political position, no matter if it was conservative or liberal, they would be told by their boss to knock it off or face dismissal. In police and sheriff departments there seems to have been a refusal to admonish even the most incendiary of political positions. Our boy in Oklahoma and as many as 30 other KNOWN police officials took part in a violent uprising with the intention of overthrowing the legally elected government of the United States. All they seem to be getting are the “well boys will be boys” treatment from their departments.

It goes even farther though.

Sometimes groups opposed to the government emerge within law enforcement itself. Hundreds have joined the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, for example, which claims that sheriffs have the last word on whether any U.S. or local law is constitutional and should be enforced or not.

Or in other words, we believe in America, we just don’t believe in anything it stands for.

In many cities and towns the police are looked upon as an occupying force, not the least bit because of all the military hardware they now deploy. Armored personal carriers, high tech mobile command centers, even tanks, are to be found on Main Street or Broadway as surely as they are to be found in Afghanistan. Even ordinary squad cars are filled with anti-personal weaponry. They will tell you all of that is needed to keep the streets safe. It’s not. It’s just making the problem worse, especially when the fingers on the triggers of all those lethal toys belong to people who believe the guy in the gunsight is a lesser human being then themselves.

The way to end this plague is with education and training. We need to institute national standards for law enforcement officers. These standards should include at a minimum mandatory college level courses in criminal justice, de-escalation training, some psychology training, full scale fire arms training, and an expansion of police academy training time which currently averages less than six months. It takes two years to become a CPA, it should take at least that long to be handed a weapon and pointed out onto the street.

By the way, if you think these standards are overly onerous, keep in mind they are the minimum standards of most western European countries.

But most of all it needs to be drilled into those in law enforcement that their personal beliefs have to be put aside not only when a badge is pinned on their chest but for as long as they continue to be employed by law enforcement. Yes, even off duty they can’t be spouting political rhetoric and it doesn’t matter whether that rhetoric is Stop The Steal or Black Lives Matter. If we as the citizens of a community give to them the enormous power that police officers have and the enormous protection that police officers receive in the furtherance of their duties, then police officers have the obligation to at ALL TIMES refrain from getting involved in political discourse. Nothing in the station house, nothing in the squad car, nothing in the locker room. No joining political groups or even signing petitions. Their position has to be one of extreme neutrality. In exchange they receive a guaranteed paycheck, a job for life that’s almost impossible to lose, and most importantly the respect and admiration of those they are mandated to protect. It will probably even make their job easier as tensions between the police and the policed will decrease.

In other words, more Andy Taylor and less Andy Sipowicz.

The last word, as it so often does, goes to The Clash

Shapiro Out

The Slow-Motion Reckoning

I wanted to let the dust settle before writing my detailed thoughts about the second impeachment trial. I dispensed hot takes during the five days of the trial. It’s time for reflection.

I’m disappointed but not surprised by some of the reactions to how the final day of the impeachment trial played out. As always, some Democrats are lost in the weeds. Details *do* matter but so does the big picture. I consider the 57-43 vote to be both a rebuke to Republicans and a moral victory. In an election, 57% is a landslide. For example, in the 1984 Reagan landslide he received 58% of the popular vote. Saturday’s vote is only a devastating loss if people allow it to be.

The “always blame Democrats” group is apoplectic about the witness kerfuffle. They say the managers should have stuck to their guns. Many of them were among the most ardent proponents of a second impeachment. They knew, or should have known, that the Senate would vote to acquit. The final vote was no surprise. The current GOP is the party of selfishness and cowardice.

The fact of the matter is that none of the potential witnesses was willing to come forward voluntarily. Subpoenas would have to be issued. That could have delayed the trial indefinitely. The House Intelligence Committee ordered Don McGahn to appear before them in April, 2019. That’s 22 months ago. It’s still in the courts. I am not making this up.

The House managers threw a Hail Mary pass on witnesses; it was not entirely a flop: they got Congresswoman Beutler Herrera’s statement into evidence. It would have been posturing for them to press on without the voluntary cooperation of witnesses, not to mention Senate Democrats. I’m not a member of the “heroes and villains” caucus, I’m a member of the “get shit done” caucus.

Delivering on the Biden agenda is the most important thing Congressional Democrats can do. When the Senate is in impeachment session, it cannot conduct any other business. In a 50-50 Senate that could have resulted in a prolonged deadlock. People are suffering: the COVID relief bill cannot wait. If Democrats don’t deliver, the 2022 mid-terms could be an undeserved windfall for the GOP. They deserve to be beaten like a drum.

It may not feel like it, but a reckoning is on the horizon. This was the most bipartisan presidential impeachment vote in American history. Senate GOPers relied on a procedural fig leaf to justify their cowardly vote. Defenses of Trump’s conduct were rare after the vote. Mitch McConnell’s speech was another attempt to have it both ways, but he denounced Trump’s actions before, during, and after the Dipshit Insurrection. He made it clear that his defense of Pennywise was over.

After the first impeachment, most Republicans defended the Impeached Insult Comedian’s “perfect phone call.” This time, they’re trying to split the difference and looking ridiculous in the process. They’re all Lamar Alexander this time.

The Kaiser of Chaos remains in serious legal jeopardy. There are criminal investigations in Georgia, New York, and the District of Columbia. There will be civil lawsuits from those harmed during the Twelfth Night White Riot. The reckoning will not come as quickly as we would like but it’s coming. A slow-motion reckoning is better than no reckoning at all.

Notice the difference in Trump’s “celebration” this time. He issued a written statement. As of yet, he hasn’t called into Fox & Friends or Hannity. His profile remains low because he’s frightened of what is to come now that he’s out of office. He incited an insurrection for purely selfish motives: to save his worthless ass from jail and/or penury.

While he’s not disqualified from running for president again, Pennywise will spend most of the next four years in court as a defendant in civil and criminal cases. The slow drip of revelations will damage his standing among his supporters. They’re not all QAnon shamen and Proud Boys. Many of them will want to get on with their lives. Donald John Trump is the past, not the future.

A reminder of why I started calling him President* Pennywise in 2019:

We recently watched the 2017 movie IT, which is based on the Stephen King novel. I wasn’t terribly familiar with that terrible tale except for the sinister clown Pennywise. I loved the movie and realized that it was remade for two possible reasons: the popularity of Stranger Things and the rise of Trumpism.

Pennywise the evil clown (is there any other kind?) thrives on fear. He gets stronger the more he fearmongers. It’s what emboldens him to get out of the gutter and come into the open. The Insult Comedian never leaves the gutter BUT he too thrives on fear. That’s why I mock him: he feeds off our fear and recoils from our scorn.

He wants his enemies to fear him. He feeds off that fear. It’s time to eject him from your heads and turn him into the joke that he is. He tried but failed to destroy our country for base and selfish reasons. Don’t let him do it again.

His transformation into the Kaiser of Chaos is complete. He’s an old man in exile at Mar-a-Doorn. He’ll spend the rest of his life bitterly complaining about his mistreatment. He has much to complain about but so do we. He’s a coward who threw his own Veep under the proverbial bus on that fateful day. The betrayals will keep mounting and his support will erode. Will it be as fast as we would like? No, but it’s already happening.

A slow-motion reckoning is not the most desirable outcome, but it will have to do. It’s time for the legal system to deal with Trump and for Congress to do the work of the American people.

Repeat after me: former President* Pennywise is a pussy. He should grab himself.

Day Five, The Final Act: If You Make Yourself A Sheep, The Wolves Will Eat You

More quasi-crypto-pseudo live blogging.

Closing Argument By The House Managers:

The post title is a quote from Hundred Dollar Bill Man Ben Franklin that was used in Jamie Raskin’s opening. It clearly applies to the Senate Republican caucus. They’ve dug their grave, now they can lie in it.

House Managers opened strong with Raskin and Ciccilline. Then shit happened.

Mike Lee pitched a fit. He claims that Coach Tubs did not get a call on his phone. It’s the White House’s fuckup, not the House managers. Talk about a shitty Mormon, most LDSers are almost eerily polite. He’s an asshole he can go fuck himself.

Lee’s intervention was a way to distract attention from the power of the closing argument. That meant they were scoring points with the American people. I, for one, do not care about senate Republicans. They’re the sheep who will be eaten by Trumper wolves.

Lee withdrew his tantrum. Back to the House Managers case.

Madeline Dean was interrupted by Trump’s lawyers. Big mistake on their part. She was stronger after the objection failed.

The youngest manager Joe Neguse appealed to the senate’s history and to the better angels of the senators. Hopefully, some Republicans still have them. I think they knocked them off their shoulders four years ago.

Raskin: Trump also betrayed his followers, the insurrectionists.

The managers emphasized uplift, patriotism, and the best of human nature, which the defense is incapable of. They’re as nasty as their client.

Closing Argument For The Defense:

Van der Veen began with another rant denouncing his opponents. VDV still thinks this is a regular trial. He’s in over his red-faced head. Schmuck.

VDV blew his intro by attacking the other side instead of mounting a positive defense.

He made a ridiculous claim that Pennwyise has denounced the rioters. He’s done no such thing.

At least VDV isn’t shouting. Yet.

I wonder if VDV was a projectionist before he worked for Trump. This shit wouldn’t work in a prdcuct liability or medical malpractice case.

VdV repeated the lie about Rand Paul being attacked by a leftist mob. That was only one of his egregious lies. It was the second incarnation of the American Carnage speech.

VdV is fond of saying the attack was “pre-planned and premeditated.” Too bad his defense was not.

The entire argument was dishonest, disingenuous, disgusting and Trumpier than Trump. It’s unworthy of further commentary. In in the immortal words of Garth Algar of Wayne’s World fame, “I think I’m gonna hurl.”

Raskin rebuttal was fiery and forceful. He’s my new hero.


Holy moral victory, Batman. 7 Republicans  voted to convict with 2 surprises Burr and Cassidy.

I am thrilled to be wrong about Cassidy. He did the right thing. Thank you, Senator.

Day Five, Act One: Can I Get A Witness?

A quick note about Friday’s Question Time. Shyster Van der Venal is the Trumpiest lawyer this side of Rudy. He was sneering and contemptuous towards all concerned. The Impeached Insult Comedian loved it, but the Pennsylvania Bar Association will not. VDV lied repeatedly, He’s not under oath but he violated ethics rules right and left. If he does not apologize he will face suspension or loss of his license.

Once again, this will be a highly impressionistic, time delayed live blogging. Live, live, live I’m staying alive. I may, however, break the sucker in half.


The Witness Interregnum was fascinating, The Incredible Mr. Lindsey wants to gum up the works but the other GOPers showed their hand so there *should* be  54 votes to convict. I’m not sure what’s up with Pat Toomey. Perhaps he’s been shamed by his homey VDV’s horrible performance.

VDV is officially a joke. His Saturday tantrum and bizarre pronunciation of Phillydelphia has made him a laughingstock. He’s the sort of Philly guy who booed Julius Erving, Mike Schmidt, and Donovan McNabb. To be blunt he’s an asshole, a typical ambulance chaser. BOOOOOOOOOOO.

Today’s MSNBC morning anchors are a joke. They’re taking Republicans literally. They’ve forgotten the Maddow Doctrine:

I’m pining for Brian Williams and Nicholle Wallace to take over. Please make it so. My ears hurt from Stephanie Ruhle’s yelling but not enough to watch CNN and the dread Wolf Blitzer.

The exception to the above lament is former Senator Claire McCaskill who has been a rock star. She’s close to some of the major senate players so she’s been invaluable. Legal analysts Goodman and Weismann have done well as well. Well, well, well…

The question of witnesses and retaliatory witness features classic Trumper bluster. The issue is what the Kaiser of Chaos said to K-Mac on the phone. It goes to the facts and his state of mind. Apparently, K-Mac has been blabbing about the Trump call to other members of his caucus, That makes it harder for him to lie about his imperfect call. So far he hasn’t denied the story.

After a break, the senate came to an agreement. Interestingly enough, the Turtle stayed on the floor during the down time. He may be voting to acquit but he’s not helping Trump’s lawyer.

The statement is coming in and the trial continues. I will post again later about the rest of the day’s proceedings.

The last word goes to Marvin Gaye:


Day Four: Defending The Indefensible

In a brazen display of arrogance, the senators depicted above Mike Lee, the Incredible Mr. Lindsey, and Tailgunner Ted met with Trump’s lawyers last night. They have contempt for propriety and decency, so I’m not surprised. It was, however, fun to put letters in front of Graham’s big fat bazoo since he never closes it.

Once again, this is the moral equivalent of live blogging or something like that.


It was hard to watch, impossible to analyze. They weren’t as clownish as on day one. Lawyer Vander Veen is marginally competent but kept setting up straw men and knocking them down. I should have said straw women because the video clips involved women and people of color saying fight, fight, fight. There was never any follow-up. No mob. No riot. No nothing. No incitement.

If you’re a fan of whataboutism, lies, and false equivalency today’s first act was for you.

The most memorable phrase came from Vander Veen, “Constitutional cancel culture.” I said memorable not good or even coherent. I believe it’s called bunkum.

Lawyer Schoen channeled his client by discussing fake evidence. It’s called film editing, asshole. He claimed the House managers didn’t share the “new video” with the defense. They did. Schoen lied.

It’s a good thing that none of the Trump lawyers are under oath. Like their client they’ve been making shit up for the entire time. It’s more painful than having your head nailed to a table. Make it stop.

Then there’s the cavalry cavalry thing:

Senate Democrats were just as confused by David Schoen’s explanation of the “calvary” tweet as you were.

Schoen claimed House managers had misrepresented what Trump was signaling when he retweeted a tweet that promised “The calvary is coming” for Trump on Jan. 6. The tweet, in Schoen’s telling was not a reference to armed supporters, i.e. “cavalry,” but, “Calvary, a public display of Christ’s crucifixion, a central symbol of her Christian faith, with her, to the president’s speech, a symbol of faith, love, and peace.”

Within the chamber, according to the Hill pool, the explanation for the tweet left some Democrats “aghast.”

Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) started talking. The pooler observed Whitehouse saying, “Oh my God.” 

I think the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers meant the guys who rode to the rescue in Westerns. Oy Just oy.

The defense argument amounts to a loyalty oath to Trump and all that he has wrought. You can see Pennywise’s hand in today’s argument. He was a perfect president* who made perfect phone calls.

I survived act one. Onward.

Some soothing music to keep us going.


You get what you pay for. Or in Trump’s case, what you don’t pay for. This is some mighty bad lawyering. When you’re losing, you argue that the prosecution is bad, very bad. No wonder Cruz visited them on the break.

Everett McKinley Dirksen Bruce Castor kicks off the second act. Aw shucks. Golly gee wiz. Heck.

Thus far he hasn’t said anything as weird as “they’re some judicial thinking people in Nebraska.”

Castor argued Trump’s law and order rhetoric, not the reality of his conduct on Twelfth Night 2021. Then it was back to the red meat videos. I think Mike Lee got a law and order boner. I don’t think playing the same videos over and over is a good way to reach these “jurors.” A word that should always been in air quotes. Oy just oy.

Castor seems to be better prepared but he’s just as folksy. He’s trying too hard: he’s already got John Neely Kennedy’s vote.

I’m tired of the defense acting as if all the protections given to criminal defendants should apply to this trial. That’s ahistorical nonsense. Of course, they work for the Kaiser of Chaos.

I wish Castor would “peacefully and patriotically” stop saying “peacefully and patriotically.” Enough, Mr, Folksy Pants.

If they say fight again, I’ll fight them.

It’s Brad Raffi, not Ben Raffi, Bruce, baby. FYI, one-party recording is allowed in Georgia, dickweed,

I found Castor’s disquisition on the word fine in the “perfect Georgia” call to be less than fine and dandy.

It’s rich for a lawyer making political arguments to denounce politics. The impeachment process is inherently political.

Next up are questions for both sides from senators. Stay tuned.

The last word goes to Robbie Robertson with a song from his Storyville album. The video was filmed in New Orleans:

Day Three: History Will Never Forget

I rarely agree with the Impeached Insult Comedian, but he was right when he said: “History will never forget.” We have different interpretations, he said it in praise of the Dipshit Insurrection, and I use it in condemnation. So it goes.

Once again, I wrote this post over the course of the day in dribs and drabs and bits and bobs. The tone is a bit lighter and the writing looser than yesterday’s installment. There were no beard jokes on Day Two. This entry is more or less live blogging that’s not live. I hope that’s lively enough for you.

FYI, I had manifold technical problems starting with Act Two. Oy, just oy.


Today’s first act began with a look at Trump’s lack of remorse and refusal to express regrets over the loss of life. As far as he was concerned his conduct was “totally appropriate.” Yeah, right.

We saw a medley of Trump’s greatest stirring up violence hits. There’s nothing worse than someone who incites violence but is unwilling to participate. It’s called cowardice. He’s much like World War II draft dodger John Wayne who was a rabid hawk during the Vietnam conflict. There’s a word for this: Chickenhawk.

As far as the insurrectionists were concerned, they were following orders from their hero. He invited them to walk to the Capitol, so they did. The responsibility should rest at the top with the former president*.

Neither Ted Lieu or Diana DeGette are as compelling as some of their colleagues BUT her section about the cost and long-range impacts of Trump fueled white nationalism scored points. She quoted the head of Cowboys for Trump who channeled General Phil Sheridan, “The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.” After making that statement, he met with Trump and was one of the Twelfth Night rioters. Nice.

I wonder if Willie Nelson wants to retract this:

I’m joking. Right-wing hero John Wayne was a phony cowboy too. He hated and feared horses. Some cowboy. Some he-man.

The act one finale was a presentation by David Cicciline about the devastating personal effects of the insurrection on staff and support personnel.  Yet many want us to move on. Why? Where? Like history, I will never forget.

The abuse of Capitol police was vitriolic, racist, and obscene. They were called traitors and one woman even spouted this nonsense: “1776, bitch.”

Was she talking to herself?


Joaquin Castro kicked off the second act with a discussion of the impact of the Trump mob on our national security. The mob stole a laptop from the Speaker and documents from the Turtle’s desk. The whole thing was a blatant violation of Pennywise’s oath of office. Of course, the only oath he honors is one to himself. He has no interest in protecting us from “all enemies foreign and domestic.” We need protection from his running in 2024.

I’d like to thank Mr. Castro for having a goatee so I can tell him apart from his brother, Julian. Very thoughtful unlike Eric Swalwell who shaved off his pandemic beard for the trial.

Even better was the quote from Marco Rubio, a man who used to tell dick jokes about Trump but has become as sycophantic as the Incredible Mr. Lindsey.

As always, Trump’s actions and non-actions have helped our adversaries and puzzled our friends. Anyone surprised?

At this point I had cable issues and had to switch to an audio live stream. Holy electrical storm, Batman.

According to Joe Neguse, Team Trump has a warped view of the First Amendment. Nothing unusual there, they have a warped view of everything.

Neguse argued that Trump “lit the match and aimed it at the Capitol.” Incitement speech is NOT protected even when it comes out of Trump’s big fat bazoo. Once again, they have their own set of facts, which are misaligned with reality. No surprise there.

I had more electrical issues, so I moved to the radio as Jamie Raskin hit the stage. It felt like 1940 at Adrastos World HQ.

Raskin stressed that there is NO first amendment defense to impeachment. It’s bunk, crapola, and bullshit. My words not Raskin’s.

Raskin quoted Scalia: “You can’t ride with the cops and root for the robbers.” That applies even more when you’re POTUS. He definitely rooted for the robbers on Twelfth Night. Schmuck.

Raskin made a forceful case for banning Trump from office based on his conduct. I gave him a sitting ovation.

In his dry manner, Ted Lieu focused on Trump’s claims of due process claims. They’re without merit much like my AV issues this afternoon.

The Closing:

The managers brought out their heavy hitters: Raskin and Neguse.

Raskin posed the ultimate question: if this is not an impeachable offense, what is?

Neguse recapitulated the evidence that the managers maintain proves that Pennywise should be convicted. I concur. The man is a helluva lawyer. He’s got a promising future in public life.

Raskin closed with an ode to democracy. He reminded us of the rarity and fragility of democracy and how the Impeached Insult Comedian and his mob stomped all over the system.

He went on to remind Trump’s lawyers that the constitutionality of this impeachment has already been decided. To do so is “frivolous and wrong.” He then posed a series of questions for Team Trump to answer. Talk about painting your opponents into a corner.

Just as importantly, Raskin ran such a tight ship that they came in under time without making major mistakes. The entire country is grateful for your brevity.

The prosecution rested.

The managers factual and legal case was clear and convincing. They were well organized at every stage. They had a more compelling and dramatic case to argue than the Ukraine/perfect phone call impeachment. But Adam Schiff’s closing in that case remains the gold standard: “He will do it again.”

He did.

It’s Not A Horse Race, It’s A Crime

Charlie Pierce calls the dispensers of inside the beltway political punditry “the cult of the savvy.” They provide the conventional wisdom that Newsweek watched in its heyday. Do they even do that anymore? Do I even care? Newsweek is on life support; they should pull the plug.

I alluded to my concerns about the MSM coverage of the second impeachment trial yesterday:

The MSM needs to stop focusing on the vote count/horse race aspect of the trial. The focus should be on Trump’s guilt. He’s as guilty as sin of this atrocity against American democracy.

Allow me to expand on that point. The cult of the savvy has long treated *every* political event as a sporting event. They’re forever asking who’s up or who’s down. My response to that in this context: who gives a shit? The second impeachment trial is about the existential threat Trumpism poses to our democracy. Head counting in that context is obscene.

The MSM’s focus on the horse race aspects of the trial leads people to wonder: “Why are they even doing this if they can’t win? He’s out of office. He didn’t storm the capitol and torture police officers. It’s not his fault.”

Nothing is ever the Impeached Insult Comedian’s fault. It’s time for him and his enablers to take responsibility for all they’ve done to damage the country and our body politic. One way of holding them responsible is this trial.

I agree that it’s unlikely that enough Republican senators will vote to convict their lord and master. But that’s beside the point.

The point of this trial is to establish a historical record about what happened in the aftermath of the 2020 election and on that fateful day in January. The audience for the trial is outside the senate chamber, not inside. People need to know how Trump and his minions whipped up their supporters into such a frenzy that they stormed the Capitol. To focus on the vote count is to minimize the damage caused by the BIG LIE of electoral fraud. It needs to be exposed and examined or it will surely happen again.

The House managers have done a brilliant job in linking the lies told about election fraud to the Dipshit Insurrection. Those lies led to a riot, which turned into what Charlie Pierce called a “hunting party.”

Does anyone doubt that the Trump mob would have killed any politician they got their hands on? The Turtle is likely to vote to acquit, but the mob would have killed him for insufficient fealty to the Kaiser of Chaos. It was all or nothing with that mob. Not that they apply that standard to Pennywise: he lied about walking to the Capitol with them. Of course he lied. It’s what he does.

It’s also time for the cult of the savvy to kick their GOP addiction. The Republicans have been the dominant political party since the Reagan landslide in 1980, but Reaganism died on Twelfth Night 2021.

In his first inaugural address, Reagan delivered an ode to the peaceful transfer of power:

To a few of us here today this is a solemn and most momentous occasion, and yet in the history of our nation it is a commonplace occurrence. The orderly transfer of authority as called for in the Constitution routinely takes place, as it has for almost two centuries, and few of us stop to think how unique we really are. In the eyes of many in the world, this every 4-year ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle.

In 2021, egged on by their dear leader, the Trump mob turned our national miracle into a nightmare. They must be held accountable as many times as possible and in as many ways as possible.

I don’t care what Republicans do. They long ago forfeited the right to any respect. In 2017, the GOP controlled all three political branches. In 2021, they control none of them. The senate Republican caucus has been reduced to a quivering mound of gelatin fearful of being primaried. The MSM has enabled and made excuses for them. The second impeachment trial is not about the Republican party, it’s about the country.

I have some unsolicited advice for the GOP as they cower in contemplation of confronting a primary challenge or a Trump mob outside their residences. It’s a quote from my favorite president:

FDR was also Ronald Reagan’s favorite president. He hated the welfare state but lionized its founder. It’s one of the quirks of history.

In contrast, Donald Trump’s favorite president is himself. He hates everything about our democracy, especially the peaceful transfer of power. There’s nothing conservative about Trumpism, it’s nihilism pure and simple.

The cult of the savvy should cease and desist calling today’s GOP conservative, they’re radicals hell bent on doing to the country what the rioters did to the Capitol. But I know the MSM won’t call them radicals. They’re addicted to the GOP. The madness won’t stop until they kick the habit.

Democrats used to be the fearful party. That changed in the last few years; one of the few good things about the advent of Trumpism. Cowardly politicians would not twice impeach a president knowing that they were unlikely to prevail in the senate. This impeachment is an act of principle. In the long-run it will benefit the principled and damage the cowardly. The first impeachment caused the MSM to dismiss out of hand Team Trump’s attempt to make the 2020 election about Hunter Biden. They declined to be sidetracked. They should try it again.

Repeat after me: It’s not a horse race, it’s a crime.

Day Two: Is This America?

This post was written in bits and pieces as I watched the trial. Hopefully, it’s coherent but what’s a little incoherence between friends?


I was bowled over by the first two hours of the House managers presentation. They have methodically built a case starting with tweets and public comments made months earlier. It was drummed into his dimmer supporter’s head: RIGGED, RIGGED, RIGGED. That’s, of course, a LIE, LIE, LIE. The Dipshit Insurrection was a, CRIME, CRIME, CRIME.

Jamie Raskin has become a Democratic superstar this week. He is clearly the team leader and referred to as such by his colleagues. The post title comes from his presentation. It was a comment by a black capitol cop who was repeatedly called the N-word by the mob. He tearfully asked a colleague, “Is this America?”

A question I’ve asked myself. How can anyone sit through this searing presentation and vote to acquit? Only the soulless and unscrupulous, which includes a majority of senate GOPers, alas. The Turtle has purportedly told his members to vote their consciences. I’m skeptical: the field of political combat is littered with the bodies of those who believe Mitch McConnell. The only time he isn’t lying is when his mouth is closed.

Josh Hawley was spied in the gallery, with his feet up, reading unrelated papers like the insurrectionist fellow traveler that he is. He should do his fucking job and listen to the mounting evidence. He might learn something. That was a joke: people like Josh Hawley never learn. It’s what happens when you’re a walking resume calculated to impress older, powerful men. I’m glad that at least two have bailed on him.


In the first afternoon session, Reps Dean and Lieu discussed Trump’s attempt to steal the election by going after state and local officials. It should serve as a reminder to Republican senators that the Impeached Insult Comedian’s loyalties are only to himself. He will abandon and betray his current allies whenever it suits them. He doesn’t care who you are as long as he gets his way. If it could happen to Bill Barr and Mike Pence, it could happen to anyone.

Speaking of stars, Stacey Plaskett has the right stuff. She did a superb job tying online activities to real world violence. She’s on the way to becoming the most famous Virgin Islander ever. I’m also glad I googled her: initially, I called her Plunkett like former football great, Jim. Stacey is, however, every bit as tough as Jim.

I saw Rep. Madeline Dean on MSNBC not long after the Capitol siege. She was asked if she felt safe at work. She did not. Today, she was in charge of dissecting Trump’s incitement speech. Trump said fight 20 times in his speech and mentioned Pence 9 times with increasingly ferocity. The crowd was ready to rumble. Pennywise threw his Veep to the wolves. Make that rabid wolves.


Reps Plaskett and Swalwell presented unseen video in the day’s third act. The footage was dramatic and deeply disturbing. I am shaken to the core. We learned that Senators Romney and Schumer were nearly grabbed by the Trump mob. They might not know who many members of Congress are, but they know those two guys. They barely escaped with their lives as did Mike Pence.

The MSM needs to stop focusing on the vote count/horse race aspect of the trial. The focus should be on Trump’s guilt. He’s as guilty as sin of this atrocity against American democracy.

It’s also time for Senate Republicans to cease and desist claiming that they honor the police and are the party of law and order. Unless they vote to convict, they are the party of anarchy and insurrection. We saw the extreme bravery of the capitol police today; some paid with their lives, others were seriously injured but they did their job and protected lawmakers. The mob was out for blood.

That’s all I have for now. I’m gutted.

Day One, Act Two: Oy, Such Bad Lawyering

You’re probably wondering about the featured image. Trump lawyer Bruce Castor got oily and tried to flatter the senate. You know it worked with the Impeached Insult Comedian. Anyway, he cited former Senate GOP leader Everett McKinley Dirksen and the records his family played for fun. Not my idea of fun but I’m not a Republican.

The irony of the Dirksen soliloquy is that he was a genuine conservative as well as LBJ’s partner on the Civil Rights Act. That’s right, the Illinois windbag worked closely with LBJ and Hubert Humphrey to pass that landmark legislation.

Enough history. Back to Team Trump’s lawyers. They were terrible in different ways: Castor was all folksy and shit and David Schoen shouted a lot. Neither made any salient arguments on substantive matters but they had 44 seconds to prepare. Pennywise changes attorneys like most of us change our underwear: 9 times in four years. I change mine daily,  but a joke is a joke is a joke.

Folksy Bruce Castor *was* a joke. A bad one. Here are a few tweets from some smart ass on Twitter:

Do people still drink castor oil? I would hope not. It’s nasty but my usually sensible Norwegian mother thought it was healthy. Pretty much the only thing she was ever wrong about.


David Schoen (pronounced Shane) spoke longer and louder. He reminded me of Gym Jordan with a jacket. He talked so LOUDLY that I shushed him a few times. Here are his Tweets; two of which contains jokes about one of my favorite movies.

Brandon de Wilde of Shane fame wouldn’t have liked him. I can see why Roger Stone loves him: they both shout incessantly.

Neither Castor nor Schoen made any solid constitutional arguments. It was gibberish, a mish-mash, a muddle. Ugh.

Things went so poorly for Team Trump that Rep. Raskin waived his rebuttal time. Wise choice.

There was a big surprise from the Gret Stet’s senior senator:

That’s 56 votes including 6 GOPers. I think we’ll get 4 or 5 Republican votes from old school conservatives like Romney, Sasse, Toomey, and Murkowski. Runaround Sue Collins gonna do her thing and may land on the right side. I still think Double Bill votes to acquit the Kaiser of Chaos.

That’s it for tonight. The last word goes to the Edgar Winter Group with Rick Derringer on lead guitar:


Day One: There Is No January Exception

I didn’t expect day one of the second impeachment trial to be so emotionally gripping. Debates over standing and jurisdiction rarely are but they were today. Between the video of cosplay patriots storming the Capitol and Jamie Raskin’s powerful closing, I was shaken and moved.

All three House managers were outstanding. They argued the law, the facts, and the constitution and argued it well. Joe Neguse emerged as a star today with a brilliant disquisition of the history of impeachment, but it was Raskin who conveyed the fear and terror felt by members. They thought they were going to die in their workplace. Is there anything worse than that?

The phrase that stuck with me is part of the title of this instant analysis post. Trump’s shysters want to carve out a January exception to the rules governing presidential conduct. If it happens at the end of their term, it’s okay. None of this was okay. Murder, mayhem, and madness are never okay. If Trump is not somehow punished for this atrocious conduct this will happen again and again. It looks as if the only punishment will be the vote of the House but his presidency* will forever be associated with lies and violence.

As I said earlier, the video presentation was overwhelming. It evoked the use of George Stevens’ concentration camp film at the first Nuremberg trial. Some of the defendants were defiant, others were devastated, still others accused the prosecution of Hollywood fakery. It’s unclear if Senators reacted in any of those ways but I’m sure many Trumpers will react like the Nuremberg defendants.

I don’t feel like writing about Team Trump’s presentation today. I’m too raw to do so with even a scintilla of objectivity and fairness. They can go fuck themselves. They’re going to lose this round in any event. I may chime in about them later. Bruce Castor is droning on about how awesome senators all are. He claims to like his senators. I don’t like mine.

Republican senators have a lot of nerve calling themselves conservatives. Genuine conservatives would take a stand against the Dipshit Insurrectionists and the loudmouth president* who incited them to riot. Not the current crop of GOPers. They’ve sold their souls to the Impeached Insult Comedian. Here’s hoping that some of them have the decency to vote to convict. A conviction remains unlikely but I’m glad that the House managers are playing to win.

Repeat after me: There is no January exception.


Testify, Donald. I Double Dog Dare You

Image by Michael F.

Lead House impeachment manager Jamie Raskin wrote a letter to the Impeached Insult Comedian yesterday. He asked Trump to testify either live or on video in his senate trial. The tone was a bit too polite for my taste. I would have subpoenaed the evil fucker. That would have taken more time so Raskin cut to the chase with his missive. Have you ever wondered who Chase is? Is it baseball dirtbag Hal? Silent comedian Charley? Or Sopranos creator David?

Trump’s new mouthpieces rejected Raskin’s proposal as a PR stunt. Since when did Pennywise scorn PR stunts? His entire life is a prolonged PR stunt. One could even call him a PR stuntman. I should stop the stunt jokes. I don’t want them to stunt my growth…

One thing I’ve noticed about the Kaiser of Chaos since he left office is that his minions refer to him as “the 45th president.” It’s technically true but it comes with more than a hint of denial. Does he still think he’s president? I have nothing but questions today. I’m not sure if they’ll add up to 13 but I’ve always liked this obscure old song:

That brings me to the point, such as it is, of this post. I’m calling Donnie from Queens out. I did it once before and absent a pocket self-pardon he paid no attention. I guess it’s a bit much to expect the stupid bastard to read anything.

I hereby call 45 out about testifying. I thought you were a swinging dick and a manly he-man. A real man would testify instead of cowering at Mar-a-Doorn. You nearly showed up at the impeachment vote, why not testify and tell your side of the story.

That’s the tone Democrats should adopt right now. Taunt Trump. Challenge his manhood, such as it is. His shysters don’t want him to testify because they know he’ll lie. Perjury thy name is Pennywise.

You’re “the 45th president,” Donnie baby. Defend yourself. I dare you. In fact, I double dog dare you and I know how much you hate dogs.

If you don’t testify, you know what that makes you? A chickenshit, lilly-livered, wussy-hearted coward, that’s what.

Repeat after me: Donald Trump is a pussy. He should grab himself.

Typo Or Freudian Slip?

The answer is typo. It’s in the very first line of Team Trump’s legal submission to the “Unites States Senate.” Anyone with an ounce of sense knows that running a spellcheck is not enough. The proof is always in the proofreading, which is something none of Trump’s lawyers seems to get. This isn’t the first typo in a document submitted by a Trump shyster, and it won’t be the last. One word they know how to spell is, L-I-E.

The content of the pleading is almost as ridiculous as the typo. It advances three claims each more specious than the next.

First, a former president cannot be impeached. The problem with this argument is that he was IMPEACHED while in office. The timing of the senate trial was solely at the discretion of the former majority leader. To allow this argument to prevail is to invite future presidents to flout the law in their final days in office. It was bad enough that a drunken Tricky Dick spoke to portraits of dead presidents in the waning days of his administration.

Speaking of Dead Presidents:

Unlike them dead presidents in the song, Trump’s mug will never appear on coins or currency. Make that real money, there’s bound to be some counterfeit MAGA bucks floating around the internet already.

Second, Pennywise did not lie or do anything wrong whatsoever on Twelfth Night 2021. This is, of course, laughable on its face. He told and retold the BIG LIE that there was election fraud and that he won in a landslide. There’s mountains of evidence to disprove this point as well as a Stevie Nicks song to refute these claims:

Yeah, I know it refutes nothing but it’s a helluva song. Beats the hell outta YMCA.

Third, FREEDOM, MAN. The Impeached Insult Comedian’s shysters argue that his Twelfth Night rant is protected by the First Amendment. FREEDOM, MAN.

There is, of course, an exception to this rule: incitement speech. Here’s how the Supremes dealt with it in the landmark case of Brandenburg v. Ohio:

“The constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit a State to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.”

I seem to recall a certain orator urging his followers to march on the Capitol after whipping them into a frenzy. And he claimed that he’d walk with them. Another lie that the MAGA maggots should regard as a betrayal, but gullibility is par for the course in the Trump cult. They’ve given Pennywise a mulligan on everything else…

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, if this were a legal, not a political proceeding, Trump would be convicted on this evidence. Instead, 45 senators are on the record as thinking that Trump’s behavior was acceptable. He’s never taken responsibility for anything in his life, why start now?

The upcoming trial may seem like an exercise in futility, but it makes an important point: NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW. It’s a point lost on some contemporary observers, but history is a sterner taskmaster. Of course, the essence of Trumpism is short-term thinking and amnesia. Their Dear Leader lies so often that he doesn’t bother to keep track of the lies. That’s up to the WaPo and Daniel Dale.

Finally, I’ve come up with a new Fog of History photo meme thing for Trump’s second senate trial. It didn’t seem fair to lump Bill Clinton in with the two worst presidents in history since his offense was lying about a blow job as opposed to blowing up the country.

Lawyer Quest 2021

I’m writing hurt today. That’s why Shapiro took the prime morning spot with his Jewish Lasers post. It’s good to have him aboard: I’m just an honorary member of the tribe, he’s the real deal. Hopefully, it will lead to more Yiddish usage here at First Draft. Thus Spake Shecky.

There’s turmoil at Mar-a-Elba as Pennywise shuffles his legal team like a deck of marked cards. His South Carolina lawyers seem to care about their reputations and future livelihoods. That’s why they quit: he wanted them to argue election fraud in his senate trial, which amounts to an affirmative defense of the Dipshit Uprising. They were unwilling to face disbarment or worse in order to list lawyer to the former president* on their resumes and Linked-In profiles.

The Impeached Insult Comedian’s new lawyers are beauts, I believe that’s the technical term. I can’t find my Black’s Law Dictionary. It must be under a pile of books somewhere. I know, I know, I could look online but I have to feed the running joke beast about my untidy home office.

Back to the new shysters. The headline on a WaPo piece says it all:

One of Trump’s new lawyers declined to charge Bill Cosby. The other maintains Jeffrey Epstein was murdered.

It’s good to see that the Kaiser of Chaos hasn’t lost his touch when it comes to hiring weird mouthpieces. I’m waiting for their first press conference. It’s a pity it won’t be at Four Seasons Landscaping. It wouldn’t surprise me if Rudy and Sydney Powell showed up and heckled the new hires. I can dream, can’t I?

Senate Republicans are prepared for a constitutional argument as to whether a former Oval One can be tried. The good news is that was voted down in a procedural move attempted by Aqua Buddha. The bad news is that 45 senators voted to bury their heads in the sand and pretend the Capitol wasn’t sacked by Trumper barbarians.

A better defense would be that Pennywise’s speech did not directly incite the riot. It’s unclear if Trump will go along with it. He seems to want to go big and justify the whole mishigas. In any other courtroom in the land, that would lead to a conviction, but this is a political, not a legal proceeding. After briefly showing some gumption right after the riot, there’s been a sycophancy relapse among the manly he-men of the Republican caucus.

What Pennywise really needs is a mob lawyer who’s willing to stand up on his hind legs and lie like a rug for him. (Apologies for the double cliche, I told ya I was writing hurt.) Once again, he needs his Roy Cohn but will have to settle for Roger Stone’s lawyer and the bozo who sued a Cosby victim after he lost his race for DA in Montgomery County Pennsylvania. I am not making this up.

The Kaiser of Chaos will once again be poorly defended but it doesn’t matter: Senate GOPers are his sheeple. The spell remains unbroken even after an insurrection, which left five people dead. All they care about is their base who are, for some mysterious reason, okay with the storming of the Capitol.

Oy just oy.

The last word goes to Lou Reed with a legal term that does not apply in this case. I just felt like using it:


Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – The Godfodder edition

Yeah – yeah. I know I was going to take a short break from Freeperville, but…


Let’s make it a short one, anyway – starting with “I sowwy.”


Capitol rioter Garret Miller says he was following Trump’s orders, apologizes to AOC for threat ^ | January 25, 2021 | Dan Mangan

Posted on 1/25/2021, 7:30:00 PM by lowbridge

A Texas man charged with invading the Capitol and threatening Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Monday that he was effectively following then-President Donald Trump’s orders when he joined a mob that stormed Congress on Jan. 6.

Garret Miller also apologized to Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., for writing “Assassinate AOC” in a Twitter post. He said he would be willing to testify to Congress or in a trial about the riot.


MIller is one of dozens of people charged with participating in the riot, which began shortly after Trump held a rally outside the White House, where he urged supporters to pressure Congress to reject the election of Joe Biden as president.

In a statement released by defense attorney Clinton Broden, Miller said he had been motivated by Trump’s false claims about having been cheated out of reelection by ballot fraud and said, “I am ashamed of my comments.”

U.S. could be headed for an era of increased political violence: Hayden Center

“I was in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021, because I believed I was following the instructions of former President Trump and he was my president and the commander-in-chief. His statements also had me believing the election was stolen from him,” Miller said.

“Nevertheless, I fully recognize Joe Biden is now the President of the United States and that the election is over. Donald Trump is no longer president and I would not have any reason to continue to follow his lead.”

“While I never intended to harm Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez nor harm any members of the Capitol police force, I recognize that my social media posts were completely inappropriate. They were made at a time when Donald Trump had me believing that an American election was stolen,” he said

1 posted on 1/25/2021, 7:30:00 PM by lowbridge
To: lowbridge

This is like those in the USSR under Stalin when they would “spontaneously” shout out how terrible they were and how socialism had saved them.

4 posted on 1/25/2021, 7:32:28 PM by frogjerk (I will not do business with fascists)

Nice tagline you have there. Does that mean you’re “antifa”?
And WTF is it with you nitwits and Russia, anyway?
For the last four years you’ve been praising The Darnold for fellating Vladimir Putin, a KGB tool who murdered and lied his way to the top, but when you think it makes sense (it doesn’t) you refer to the things he did on a regular basis as bad.
Make up your fucking minds.
To: lowbridge
I smell BS from this one.


That’s the smell of your post.


President Trump never said or suggested any such thing.


He was just joking about “if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

Also about having the mob go to the Capitol. What a kidder


Perhaps he meant Madonna, or one of the other liberal celebrities, or that play in New York, that suggest violence against President Trump.

6 posted on 1/25/2021, 7:33:04 PM by freeandfreezing

He wanted Madonna to go to the Capitol and “fight like hell”? Or a “play in New York”?   That’s quite a commute.

Must have missed that in the transcript.

To: lowbridge

This scumbag will now get a pass.

7 posted on 1/25/2021, 7:33:07 PM by Mariner (War Criminal #18)

I know – I know you like scumbags who don’t get caught.
To: lowbridge


Need more be said?

14 posted on 1/25/2021, 7:35:18 PM by Da Coyote

So he didn’t say that at his hearing? Interesting rationalization. You can stop shooting the messenger now, I think.
To: lowbridge

Seems to me FBI and media are planting evidence. This is the second person who has claimed they were “following Trump’s orders” on Jan 6.

Maybe because it’s only the second one they tracked down and caught? Hmmmm….


We will see this used as evidence in the sham impeachment trial.

18 posted on 1/25/2021, 7:36:30 PM by cockroach_magoo

Is the sham wow guy going to testify? Or is he in the adjacent cell?
To: Eagle of Liberty

“ Learn up on this guy now…false flag brewing. Probably a plea deal in there somewhere…”

False flag or Quisling. One of the two.

40 posted on 1/25/2021, 7:45:17 PM by jdsteel (“A Republic, Madam, if you can keep it.” Sorry Ben, looks like we blew it.)

See? These mental defectives are incapable of blaming The Darnold for anything. Even when it has his grubby fingerprints all over it.
To: Mariner

This guy was probably a plant in the first place .

42 posted on 1/25/2021, 7:47:38 PM by katykelly

Plants are more intelligent.
To: lowbridge

QAnon Shaman following Trump’s orders.Insurrectionists were following Trump’s orders.

Now this guy was also “following Trump’s orders.”

Think we just found the House Democrats’ prosecution strategy.

44 posted on 1/25/2021, 7:47:48 PM by cockroach_magoo
Ya think?
To: lowbridge

I had a friend once who told me minimum security prisons are no laughing matter.

He said on day one, either become someones (girlfriend) or kick someone’s (Romney).

58 posted on 1/25/2021, 7:58:15 PM by Eddie01

Oh dear.
To: lowbridge

Fake, fake, fake. Why would a Trump supporter want AirheadOCommie dead?

65 posted on 1/25/2021, 8:28:24 PM by bray (Pray for fake President Biden)

Why indeed? Preposterous!

More stupid below the fold :

Continue reading

Saturday Odds & Sods: Circle Back

Blue Night by Edward Hopper.

Today is supposed to be the Krewe du Vieux parade. It was cancelled because of the pandemic. The timing was good for me: last year was the worst Carnival season I’ve had since coming to New Orleans in 1987. I wrote about some aspects it in a piece called The Cursed Carnival?

Shorter Adrastos: I needed a year off from Carnival so I’m not as unhappy with the situation as most people are. Some of the Krewe du Vieux sub-krewes including Spank are presenting art installations instead of marching. Since I wasn’t feeling it, I did not participate. So it goes.

John Hiatt wrote this week’s theme song for his 2003 album Beneath This Gruff Exterior. It’s one of his fatherhood songs as it describes taking his daughter to college. It also rocks much harder than the cradle ever should.

We have two versions of Circle Back for your listening pleasure: the studio original and a live version. Both feature Sonny Landreth and the Goners.

I mentioned Hiatt’s fatherhood songs. Here are two more:

Now that we’ve rocked the cradle, let’s jump to the break before we get too dizzy.

Continue reading

Shapiro: Pardon Me, Do You Have Any Get Out Of Jail Free Cards?

I’m not the only one at First Draft with pardons on their mind. Shapiro has a modest proposal for President Biden.


Pardon Me, Do You Have Any Get Out Of Jail Free Cards? by Shapiro

There’s a joke going around the internet. A Rolls Royce pulls up next to Biden’s presidential limo. The back window rolls down and Donald Trump sticks his head out. Biden rolls his window down. Trump says “pardon me, but do you have any Grey Poupon?” Biden looks at Trump for a minute then says “I’m not pardoning you for anything” as he rolls up the window and has the driver take off.

OK, the joke’s not very funny but it gave me an idea:

Joe Biden should pardon Donald Trump.

You heard me right. And before you get all up on your high horse or want to string me up as the enemy of the people Trump once said the media was, hear me out.

Pardon Trump with three conditions.

First, he must admit it was all a scam. Everything.

The Muslim ban? Hey, they weren’t staying at my hotels so why should I care.

The Ukraine call? I thought that was how diplomacy works, you want from me you gotta do for me.

The Russian investigation? Bobbie Three Sticks was right all along.

Putin was giving you orders to carry out? Duh, da.

Downplaying the seriousness of COVID so you could get re-elected? Actually he already admitted that on tape. (Jeez how dumb can one guy be, admitting to THE Watergate reporter who told him he was taping the conversation that it was all about re-election.)

Did you incite the mob that attacked the capitol? Of course, autocoup was the last chance I had and besides, it always works in those shithole countries.

Did you make those deals with the Mob to get your buildings built? Jeez of course I did, how do you think real estate in NYC works? Same as in Moscow, only the Mob there is called the Putin regime or the Middle East where it’s called the House of Saud.

On a side note this pardon will allow Trump to keep Secret Service protection but still he’d better get fitted for a bulletproof suit so one of Putin’s or bin Salman’s guys doesn’t go all Hyman Roth at the end of Godfather II on him.

In addition Trump needs to admit to everything we have always suspected no matter how bizarre or outlandish.

The pee tape? Absolutely true.

Did you sleep with Ivanka? You bet.

Is there more than one Melania? Absolutely how could you not have seen that before.

Were you grinding up Adderall and snorting it? How do you think I could stay up all night Tweeting and watching TV?

Was Stormy Daniels right when she said your dick looked like a little mushroom? Yeah, well, whatcha gonna do, genetics.

Oh and he’s gotta admit to sexually assaulting and/or raping all those women. E. Jean Carroll, Ivana, the Miss Teen USA contestants, the Fox News correspondents, all of them. That includes the girls Epstein got for him. Speaking of which Donny John you gotta fess up you had him whacked.

But most of all he has to admit that everything he said about the 2020 election was a lie. He will have to stand up and say there was no fraud, Biden won the election fair and square, all the lies he told after the votes were counted were just in a vain hope of overturning the outcome. He will have to tell the American people the truth, even if it’s for the first time in his life, that he didn’t win, there weren’t 11,800 votes in Georgia to be found for him, that Cindy McCain was right and he pissed off Arizona Republicans by trash talking her dad, that all the bluster and all the prevarication was just so much hogwash. That it all came down to this: Donald Trump just couldn’t stand the thought of being branded a loser.

The second condition of the pardon is no takebacks. No turning around and saying, “oh I just said it to get the pardon”. Nope. He’s gotta admit it all in a joint interview with Sean Hannity and Rachel Maddow broadcast on every network in the cablesphere. Hell, let Nickelodeon do a version like they did with that NFL playoff game, complete with him getting slimmed. He’s gotta tell the entire sordid story, come clean about anything and everything. Look at the bright side Trumpy, you always wanted to be the biggest star on TV so here’s your chance. The ratings would be better than any Super Bowl, any Olympics, hell they’d beat the final episode of M*A*S*H.

The third condition I’ll admit this one is just for my own personal perverse pleasure. We’ll call it the Sophie’s Choice condition. Donny John you have to pick one of your kids to get a pardon with those same two conditions as yours. But only one. So decide if Vanky, Jr., or the dumb one gets to skate and which two must learn how to make friends with their new cellmate. I’d love to see the backbiting, groveling, pathetic cloying they’d all do to get that pardon. I wouldn’t even mind if Mark Burnett gets him big upfront money for a one shot special so we can all watch. Hell if it goes well, Burnett could turn it into a series starring all of the supporting characters from the last four years. The Kushner, Bannon, Miller episode would make delightful holiday viewing.

Now why would I put this proposition out to the world? 81 million plus people in this country want Trump’s hide hung high. 74 million people think he’s the cat’s meow and had a second term stolen by evil Demoncrats. It’s obvious to me that the only way these two extremes can meet in the middle, the only way this nation will heal from the four years of divisiveness Trump stoked with his angry, insipid, malevolent words and actions is for the people who fell for it to understand they were lied to and for the people who always saw through it to get the vindication they deserve. The American people need to be told by the person who lied to them that he did it only for the power and the money and that he never really cared about them or their problems. That for the last four years they were nothing but the toys a narcissistic man-child pulled out from the closet to play games with, even when playing with those toys meant sadistically pulling them apart limb from limb. This is the way we can begin to heal. I have no delusion his doing this causes everyone to join hands around the campfire and sing Kumbaya, but if we can at least get the temperature down to 2012 level when political discourse was sharp but not stick a knife in your neighbor sharp then maybe we can get on with solving some really big problems this country and the world face.

If we’ve learned anything over the last four years, it’s that Trump and his family are all about pay for play. So here it is, the biggest payday. Refuse it and you will face the remainder of your life as defendant, bankruptee, and inmate. On the other hand accept this pardon with all its conditions and you skate away from all responsibility for the harm you have done and kickstarted the process of healing. And for the first time in your life you will have done a service to your country.

That’s my proposal to President Biden. I submit it in the hopes he will give it all the due consideration it deserves.

Shapiro Out

PS: If you clicked on the link for the Grey Poupon commercial and happen to be a fan of British television, yes that’s the guy from Yes Minister and the guy from the original House Of Cards.

Pocket Pardons?

You’ve probably heard of pocket vetoes, but even I hadn’t considered the possibility of pocket pardons until recently. Others call them secret pardons but I like alliteration so we’re calling them pocket pardons. It’s also a tribute to one of my favorite Dickens characters, Herbert Pocket. Not really, but I have a lifelong obsession with Great Expectations so why stop now?

There’s nothing in the Constitution’s pardon clause that requires publication. Article II Section 2 keeps it as simple as the President* Pennywise’s brain; all it says is that the president “shall have the power to grant reprieves and pardon offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.”

Vague language such as that is why I am not an Originalist. The Constitution is a structure that needs fleshing out. That’s why I’m an adherent of Justice Brennan’s notion of the Living Constitution.

As far as I can tell, a pocket pardon has never been issued. The Impeached Insult Comedian regards his presidency* as an exercise in disruption so it’s possible that today’s pardon list will be incomplete. He may hold back announcing any preemptive pardons for his kinfolk and/or Rudy so they can use them like an immunity idol on Survivor or a get out of jail free card in Monopoly. Trump has treated the presidency as a game so it would be perversely appropriate.

The pardon watch continues as does the countdown until we have a asterisk-free president:

More On The Dipshit Insurrection

It’s only been 12 days since the Twelfth Night White Riot, but the arrest toll keeps mounting. The arrestees are a hodge-podge of superficially respectable citizens and raging monster looneys who aren’t affiliated with the satirical British political party of that name. They’re just lunatics.

One thing the arrestees have in common is this:

But one group of people has already come forward and directly implicated Mr. Trump in the riot at the Capitol: some of his own supporters who were arrested while taking part in it. In court papers and interviews, at least four pro-Trump rioters have said they joined the march that spiraled into violence in part because the president encouraged them to do so.

In the past few days, a retired firefighter charged with assaulting members of the Capitol Police force told a friend he went to the building following “the president’s instructions,” according to a criminal complaint, and a Texas real estate agent accused of breaching the building told a reporter that by protesting in Washington, she had “answered the call of my president.”

A Virginia man has told the F.B.I. that he and his cousin marched on the Capitol because Mr. Trump said “something about taking Pennsylvania Avenue.” And a lawyer for the so-called QAnon Shaman — who invaded the building in a Viking costume — said that Mr. Trump was culpable, and he planned to ask the White House for a pardon.

“Does our president bear responsibility?” the lawyer, Al Watkins, told The New York Times. “Hell, yes, he does.”

The so-called QAnon Shaman is the dipshit in the featured image above. I rarely use the tern cultural appropriation as I love eclectic fusion cuisine and eclectic multi-cultural music, BUT this case is an exception. An exceptional exception. He’s not a shaman, he’s a dipshit in a cheesy costume that would be mocked on the streets of the Marigny on Mardi Gras day.

The so-called QAnon Shaman is a jerk named Jacob Chansley whose Q moniker is Jake Angelli. He’s anything but angelic. He’s the Dipshit Insurrectionist who left a note threatening Pence then demanded a vegan diet in jail. I don’t give a shit about the latter, but the former is some serious shit.

Another Disphit Insurrectionist of note is a blonde realtor from Frisco, Texas named Jenna Ryan. She’s the poster girl for white privilege: she took a private plane to participate in the sack of the Capitol. She called it one of the best days of her life. She’s now whining about her arrest and demanding a pardon from President* Pennywise.

Here’s how the Daily Beast’s Pilar Melendez described Jenna’s participation in the Dipshit Insurrection:

Ryan went on a PR offensive after the riot, telling Spectrum News that she “answered the call of my president” and proudly stormed the Capitol because the election was rigged. “It’s not necessarily about taking over the Capitol, it’s about, ‘We the people own this building,’” she said.

According to a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Ryan diligently documented her participation in the mob—starting from her flight on a “small private aircraft” on Jan. 5.

The next day, she posted a bathroom mirror selfie on Facebook with the caption: “We’re gonna go down and storm the capitol. They’re down there right now and that’s why we came and so that’s what we are going to do. So wish me luck.” She added: “This is a prelude going to war.”

In a since-deleted video, she filmed herself going into the Capitol through the Rotunda. She walked past broken windows, up some stairs, and said, “We are going to fucking go in here. Life or death, it doesn’t matter. Here we go.”

Then, she turned to the camera and added, “Y’all know who to hire for your realtor. Jenna Ryan for your realtor.”

By the time Ryan made it to the door of a building “clearly desecrated, with broken glass windows shattered, and security alarms sounding,” she yelled “U-S-A! U-S-A!” and “Here we are, in the name of Jesus!,” the complaint says.

Patriot or dipshit? Clearly the latter. At best, the Jenna Ryans of the world are cosplay patriots.

Team Trump has tried to fob off the blame on Antifa and “the Democrat party,” but the rioters keep undermining those preposterous claims. The Dipshit Insurrection is not a false flag event, it’s a Trump flag event.

The Kaiser of Chaos’ Twelfth Night speech makes him morally culpable for the Dispshit Insurrection, but whether he’s legally responsible is another matter. I think he should be charged but Con Law experts offer differing opinions on whether his speech falls under the 1969 SCOTUS decision, Brandenburg v. Ohio. That’s why continuing the impeachment process is so vital. Stay tuned.

Back to the Dipshit Insurrectionists. It’s cute that they think the Impeached Insult Comedian cares about them. He only cares about himself. The associates he’s pardoned thus far had something on Trump. The vague claim that they were following Trump’s orders when they vandalized and looted the Capitol is not enough to secure a pardon. Sorry, Jake. Sorry, Jenna. You’re morons who wouldn’t get the pun in the post title.

The Incredible Mr. Lindsey was on Fox News yesterday whining about national disunity. He claims that continuing the impeachment process will further divide the nation and that it’s up to Democrats to fix the shit that Republicans have broken. There’s a simple thing Republicans can do to unite the country: admit that the election fraud claims were all a lie and that Joe Biden won fair and square. You won’t be risking a mean tweet since Trump is banned from his favorite platform. Try telling the truth for once. A novel approach for the party of Trump but it might feel good.

Finally, it’s John Hiatt month on Saturday Odds & Sods. Hiatt wrote a song in 1995 about the “militia” types of the Clinton era, Native Son. The chorus is still relevant 26 years later:

Take your wife
Take your family
Take your gun
Running through the woods
And the burned out neighborhoods
Looking for someone
A member of your tribe
A Place you can hide
‘Til the war has begun
‘Cause in the fields before the flood
You’ll be spilling blood
Like a native son

John Hiatt gets the last word:

Disbar Hawley & Cruz

Josh Hawley’s pasty white fist is one of the indelible images of the Dipshit Insurrection. I’ve promoted it from uprising to insurrection since hearing reports of how violent it was. Heckuva job, Hawley.

There’s much discussion about how to punish the ringleaders of the attempted electoral college negation: Senators Hawley and Cruz who doubled down on their assholery after the sack of the Capitol. I suggested that the senate censure them yesterday since the chances of an expulsion are slim and none and slim is hiding out with the dipshit rebels.

A friend sent me a link to a petition that is circulating in legal circles urging me to urge my lawyer friends to sign it. It has a delightful name: Petition To Disbar Senators Hawley and Cruz:

In leading the efforts to undermine the peaceful transition of power after a free and fair election, Senators Hawley and Cruz attacked the foundations of our democracy. Nearly 160 million Americans exercised their right to vote in the November 2020 election. Dozens of courts rejected unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud, and the Electoral College formally ratified President-elect Biden’s victory on December 14, 2020. Despite these clear expressions of the will of the people—and with full knowledge of the implications of their actions—Senators Hawley and Cruz publicly announced their intentions to object to Congress’s certification of the Electoral College’s votes set for January 6, 2021.

In doing so, Senators Hawley and Cruz directly incited the January 6th insurrection, repeating dangerous and unsubstantiated statements regarding the election and abetting the lawless behavior of President Trump. A violent mob attacked the U.S. Capitol. Five people have died. The nation and the world watched as rioters took over the very halls and chambers that embody our democracy. Yet after the violence and terror of the day’s events, Senators Hawley and Cruz still chose to stand in the chamber of the U.S. Senate and persist in their baseless objections to the will of the people.

I originally didn’t plan to sign it as I’m on the Louisiana Bar Association’s inactive list but decided to go for it after disclosing my current status. I’ll let the folks behind the drive decide how to handle it.

Any lawyers reading this should sign even you’re not admitted in Missouri, Texas, or the District of Columbia. This hits Hawley and Tailgunner Ted where they live. Both are fond of bragging about their Ivy League legal bona fides. Yale or Harvard cannot rescind their law degrees, but this would be a kick in the ego for both men.

Try as they might they cannot wash off the insurrection stink.