566 Comments

Morning, all!! Morning, Dr. R!! Can't speak directly to the Flynn Flam of today's Letter.

But to revisit the Senate Judiciary's hearing on September 15 regarding the FBI's botched investigation of Larry Nassar, the convicted pedophile Olympics doctor, my eyes widened upon hearing this:

"Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said Congress must 'demand real change, and real accountability, and we will not be satisfied by platitudes and vague promises about improved performance' from federal law enforcement." Wow, "accountability." He knows that word!

Wouldn't it be nice if he invoked it in the direction of, well, Loser 45 and his insurrection gang.

And Senator Whitehouse (D-RI) has not finished with the Kavanaugh debacle.

"Whitehouse invokes Dr Christine Blasey Ford in his questions to Wray.

'It strikes me very strongly as we sit here today, and as we heard the powerful testimony earlier this morning, that the last time a woman came forward in this committee to testify to her allegations of sexual assault in her childhood, the witness was Christine Blasey Ford,' he says. 'It appeared to me then, and it appears to me now that her testimony was swept under the rug in a confirmation stampede. It is very possible that the FBI investigation of her allegations was just as flawed, just as constrained, just as inappropriate, as the investigation in this case.'

"He notes that repeated requests for answers in the Ford case have been ignored repeatedly for two years until a letter dated yesterday ('Not coincidentally I suspect on the eve of your appearance today,' he notes) that promised the requested information would be forthcoming.

He concludes: 'Let’s just make sure there’s wasn’t also a botched handling of another allegation in this committee with regard to Dr Ford.'” Love this guy!

https://www.fox2detroit.com/news/biles-former-gymnasts-testify-on-fbis-mishandling-of-larry-nassar-case

Oh, heck, let's beat up on SCOTUS some more:

“'My goal today is to convince you that this court is not comprised of a bunch of partisan hacks,' the newest Supreme Court justice, Amy Coney Barrett, said Sunday. Good luck with that. When the court’s hard-right majority stops acting like partisan hacks, maybe we’ll believe her, writes Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post. https://wapo.st/3EsGyEs

Eugene is a class act. He didn't go into the legitimacy of her appointment.

Expand full comment

Justice Clarence Thomas who rarely does public speaking came out of his bunker this week and lectured the audience with the same spittle as Barrett. Throwing down the gauntlet against “packing the court”.

I say let’s have another convo about Anita Hill. I doubt, though, that Thomas’s wife would allow that. If she’s not too busy arranging buses for this Saturday’s “rally” supporting the “political prisoners” of January 6th. Another bus day for her.

Uh-oh. I’m edging into snark land.

Expand full comment

With both Barrett and Thomas speaking out, it’s clear to me that the Supreme Court knows full well that they themselves have damaged their standing. This is damage control. Come on Dems, have at the Court!

Expand full comment

Morning, Kathy!! Even though this hearing was focused on FBI's treatment of these women in the Nassar case, I was so glad to hear Whitehouse invoke Christine Blasey Ford's treatment as well in regard to the Kavanaugh hearing. I thought of you immediately when I heard what he had to say. Sure hope something comes of it, something like justice.

Expand full comment

Sen. Whitehouse is a gem. He’s so knowledgeable about the Court, and is so smart and articulate. I’ll have to look for that - I didn’t see it. And good morning to you, Lynell!

Expand full comment

Here's the excerpt of Whitehouse remarks:

And Senator Whitehouse (D-RI) has not finished with the Kavanaugh debacle.

"Whitehouse invokes Dr Christine Blasey Ford in his questions to Wray.

'It strikes me very strongly as we sit here today, and as we heard the powerful testimony earlier this morning, that the last time a woman came forward in this committee to testify to her allegations of sexual assault in her childhood, the witness was Christine Blasey Ford,' he says. 'It appeared to me then, and it appears to me now that her testimony was swept under the rug in a confirmation stampede. It is very possible that the FBI investigation of her allegations was just as flawed, just as constrained, just as inappropriate, as the investigation in this case.'

"He notes that repeated requests for answers in the Ford case have been ignored repeatedly for two years until a letter dated yesterday ('Not coincidentally I suspect on the eve of your appearance today,' he notes) that promised the requested information would be forthcoming.

He concludes: 'Let’s just make sure there’s wasn’t also a botched handling of another allegation in this committee with regard to Dr Ford.'”

Expand full comment

Oh, I did see that! Thank you for the reminder. He’s wonderful.

Expand full comment

Morning, again, Christine!! Since when is truth to power snarking? Just sayin'.

Expand full comment

Ha!! Slide away to Snarkland.

Expand full comment

Darlin', I'm the mayor of "snark land" these days! Y'all wouldn't believe the stuff that goes through my head but which is NOT said out loud or printed anywhere. Safer that way. It's my way of fighting back against the insanity and I believe a little "snarkiness" is good for the soul. And when you have people who are such huge targets, as well as being complete and total idiots...well, I admit I can't resist. Christine, you GO gurl!!

Expand full comment

You may be the mayor of Snark City, but Christine is the Queen of Snarkland.

Expand full comment

Well, my oh my Mr. TC. Flattery just takes me to the moon and back.

😂😂😂

Expand full comment

Are you snarking at Mr. Christian a/k/a Brad Raffensperger over Cathy Woolard, and Shotgun Kemp regarding his plan to adopt the Texas abortion law to supplement his heartbeat law? I blasted Raffensperger, but not Shotgun, yet. Be sure to tell them to have a blessed day, if you haven't already done so.

Expand full comment

I heard this morning that MY representative, Butch Miller (a candidate for Lt. Governor, BTW) will be the one introducing an anti-abortion bill in the GA House that will be almost a carbon copy of the one in Texas. The fun never stops. Gov. Clueless day before yesterday, referring to Biden's mask/vaccine mandates, pretty much intimated that people might riot or revolt when saddled with such tyranny. Okay, OBVIOUSLY trying to play to the Trumpsters in the state--with whom he is NOT popular--ahead of his re-election efforts. However, such not-so-subtle rhetoric, implying a threat of violence, is the degree of hyper-partisanship we're at right now. Columnist Jay Bookman:

"With such words, Kemp and many of his fellow Republicans aren’t issuing warnings, they’re issuing permission slips for a repeat of the type of violence we saw on January 6. They, as leaders, are telling their followers that revolt and mutiny and insurrection are justified, when they ought to be telling them to go get a vaccination and quit their damn whining.

"Why, if government can go so far as to strong-arm our children into getting vaccinated, what else can it do? Force us to wear seatbelts? Not smoke in public places? Tell us how fast we can drive, and require us to have car insurance?"

I'll gladly tell them to have more than a f***ing "blessed day".....sorry, that slipped out.....

Expand full comment

I know about Gov. Clueless (love it) planning to adopt the Texas abortion law to "supplement" the existing heartbeat law, but didn't know that Miller was the one who'd introduce it. These morons might want to wait to see how quickly the Texas law is eviscerated. On the other hand, as you aptly pointed out, he's pandering to the Trumpsters, who hate him and Christian Brad. Everyone should know that we already have mandatory immunizations, and they have been in place for years.

Bruce, please don't hold back on my account. I've invented some pretty raunchy words, and use them while screaming at the TV and reading the AJC (although I'm pleased with the AJC's fairness). Let's just hope that the GA Rethuglicans and those from TX have overplayed their hand and will be crushed like the bugs that they are.

Expand full comment

"From your lips to God's ears", as they say.

Yeah, I heard about Miller this morning on "Political Rewind" on GPB, a show I really enjoy. Miller runs, or used to run, the Milton Martin Honda place here--where, sadly, I bought my car--and the Martin clan (I was in high school with Milton) here are far right-wing Evangelicals. A fun bunch. Though he pretty much agrees with T***p ideologically, Miller hasn't gotten any endorsement from him, as there's another candidate for Lt Gov T***P is supporting. That's one of the things they were discussing on the show this morning (there were 3 professors of politics and Constitutional law from Emory on), the Texas law and its potential legal and political effects in Georgia. I love that show, but if it's on while I'm driving I have to watch out for sudden onsets of road rage.

Expand full comment

All of them deserve your snark, but it appears that their protestations that they're not "political hacks" stems from their palpable fear that the court just might be expanded.

Expand full comment

Snark away, Christine....and good morning to you.

Expand full comment

Go for it Christine! Jump right into snark land!

Expand full comment

😂😂😂

Expand full comment

🤣🤣🤣

Expand full comment

Republicans would like nothing more than to discredit the FBI as investigations into their role in the 1/6 insurrection close in. When you have no defense, discredit the accuser. Sadly the FBI has given them ammunition.

Sexism has been with us longer than racism and like racism infects every human institution. The heartrending testimony of our Olympic superstars, reveals that even elite women aren’t safe. It reveals that even the FBI, one of our most elite law enforcement institutions, doesn’t respect women enough to take their abuse seriously.

Sexism is so deeply woven into the human fabric that we simply don’t see it. It takes a situation too flagrant and outrageous to be ignored to force us to actually see what’s right in front of us.

We elect and promote serial abusers. Donald Trump, Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas are not outliers; they are more the norm than we want to believe.

Expand full comment

Interesting commentary regarding racism/sexism. I harken back to the 2008 Democratic Primary, where our choices were, essentially, a Black man and a woman.

It was during that time that I had some interesting conversations with my Republiqan friends about why they'd never vote for either one of them (at that heady time, you could actually have almost a reasonable conversation with them, and not get too much spew from Faux talking points, but I digress). I commented to one of these guys that both Clinton and Obama received their right to vote via amendment to the constitution and asked if that might have anything at all to do with his reticence about either one of them. Oh. My. The bleating.

Expand full comment

Excellent point, sharp enough to spear him with right through the beer gut.

Expand full comment

You make a disturbing point, Diane, in regard to discrediting the accuser. As well, sexism is so "deeply woven into the human fabric" that many women even don't see it as something that needs unraveling.

Expand full comment

It’s heartbreaking. This is the 21st Century and yet women are still pushed aside, abused and trodden on!

Expand full comment

Lynell, YOU are a class act. And so are Whitehouse, Robinson, and a whole bunch of people up there. It's not over yet....we need to honor them by working against the bad people in our states, like you are. There's more than enough bad people to go around!

Expand full comment

Well, you know, Gus, I just love this classy comment of yours!😊

Expand full comment

Gus knows that "flattery will get you *everywhere*!"

Expand full comment

Yes, I do. But I really do mean it! This time.

Expand full comment

I remember you saying that in the past, TC. I didn't want to commandeer it, a/k/a, steal it out from under you!

Expand full comment

It's "open source." :-)

Expand full comment

Great, thanks, TC. You're da best. BTW, You put out some "Fine Mess," though I wish it was fiction.

Expand full comment

“Confirmation stampede” could also apply to Coney Barrett. Maybe more so.

Expand full comment

and the FBI fired an agent for failing to properly investigate the allegations against Nassar:

https://twitter.com/NBCNews/status/1438454129614069763?s=20

Expand full comment

Well, here's what Blumenthal had to say about that! (Below is taken from the Guardian):

Connecticut senator Richard Blumenthal, a former prosecutor, is pressing Wray on why they have not encouraged a criminal prosecution of Abbott or Langeman.

“I hope you won’t misinterpret any of my questions indicating disrespect for the FBI or for your position in the FBI and your background as a law enforcer, as a professional career prosecutor,” Blumenthal says. “You say you’ve run out of adjectives, but you haven’t run out of that actions. The gymnasts who testified earlier, really, with all due respect to all of us on this committee, they don’t want more adjectives. They want actions. And part of that action is discipline and deterrence. And you and I both know, cause we both prosecute, we look at action by prosecutors as deterrence is changing culture, whether it’s in corporations or other institutions like the FBI.”

Blumenthal confirms with Wray that Langeman (the FBI agent who interviewed Maroney in 2015 and didn’t follow up) was fired “early last week”, then asks why Langeman wasn’t fired any earlier.

Wray’s response: “We waited until we had the inspector general’s report, so we had all the facts, so we understood the totality as independently investigated of his conduct. And then we followed our disciplinary process because one of the things that is in keeping with my insistence that everybody in the FBI do things in the right way, includes making sure that we follow our disciplinary process in the right way. And we did that and he’s been fired.”

Blumenthal then makes a shrewd implication: “Someone perhaps more cynical than I would have perhaps concluded that it was the hearing here staring the FBI in the face that prompted that action, but I’m not going to go there because I think what’s more important than the firing is, in fact, the criminal prosecution. And here, I think there are really fundamental issues of fairness and law enforcement.”

Now Blumenthal arrives at the main point: Why haven’t the now-former FBI agents faced criminal prosecution?

He says: “For someone who has been a federal prosecutor to put into a 302, a false statement, by a potential witness is so blood-curdling that I can well understand your criminal referral. And in fact, as you say, the false statement inserted by that FBI agent could have been used in a false defense by Larry Nassar.”

Blumenthal continues to Horowitz: “And in addition, separately, Jay Abbott lied to you. People get prosecuted for making false statements when they apply to a federally insured bank for a mortgage, and here is a federal agent, the former special agent in charge of the Indianapolis office, making a material, false statement to you in your investigation.

“Now, Director Wray, put aside adjectives. If I were in your shoes, I would be walking across the street to the attorney general of the United States, and I would be saying, ‘You need to prosecute.’ Why aren’t you doing that?”

“I don’t want to get into my discussions with the attorney general,” Wray responds. “I have a lot of respect for him and for the privacy of our conversations. I will say that in this particular instance, the case agents responsible for the investigation, as is appropriate were the inspector general’s offices’ agents.”

Blumenthal doesn’t accept Wray’s passing of the buck, saying: “I’m well aware, but you’re respectful of your role. The FBI doesn’t make decisions about prosecution, you investigate, and then you refer cases. But we both know it very often, even at the lowly level of the US attorney – I’m being somewhat facetious because I was a US attorney – FBI agents compounding on my door and say, we’ve got to go after this guy. He’s dirty. He’s a bad guy.”

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2021/sep/15/simone-biles-and-aly-raisman-testify-before-senate-on-nassar-investigation-live-updates?page=with:block-614229b18f08001fa2d1aaa9

This Guardian link should have been posted instead of the Fox2detroit link I submitted by mistake.

Expand full comment

Lynell. Morning friend. Stellar posting. Had not heard the complete court press on Wray. Thank you. The women, these gymnasts who most people still think of as little girls…their voices at this moment in time representative of the deluge of woman’s voice that comes with a force now. What happened in Texas law regarding complete trashing and reckless regard of women’s choice and voice will not sit with any of us. Women are speaking up everywhere.

October 2nd. Women’s March across America. Our voice will be heard.

Expand full comment

Morning, Christine!! October 2nd will be epic.

Expand full comment

The numbers of locations for the marches has expanded greatly over the past couple weeks. Thank heavens there's now one in my town. When I first started a couple weeks ago, looking there were practically none in New England.

Expand full comment

Sharon Dequaine: THANKS for posting about the March. That made me recheck the March Website and found and immediately signed up!

Expand full comment

And yet, as I posted just a bit earlier, I have yet to find one other friend to go to DC to march with me on 10/2. Most have marched in the past but are concerned about Covid in the crowd. 😞

Expand full comment

Like a dog with a bone, Blumenthal wouldn't let go. Good dog!

Expand full comment

Yes, indeed, Nancy, he was impressive...morning!!

Expand full comment

I can't figure out why any FBI field agent, let alone an agent acting for the inspector general's office would unilaterally decide to enter a false statement by a potential and viable witness/victim. Sexism is not a reason that rings true to me. What about the response of the inspector general's office? This report must have mentioned that the parties involved were the US Women's Gymnastic team, their gymnasts and primary trainer - a high-profile and potentially horrible crime. How could they accept that without further investigation? Don't know about you, but I would have picked up the phone and made calls to the team, and asked around. Hey, what this I hear about your trainer sexually abusing one of your gymnasts?

Sorry, I know I'm cynical when it comes to government, but this doesn't pass the smell test. And, viewed in the context that the FBI were shackled in the investigation of Kavanaugh for political reasons, I don't understand how or why the FBI thinks they can pass the buck or minimize the crime. Apologies aren't going to cut it!

Blatant and horrendous sexual abuse!! No way this has a chance or should have a chance to be swept under the table. The politicians that screw this up will or should be unelectable going forward. And, they better not give a whiff of willingness to move on without profound consequences to all those involved. Relative to the crime, firing is a slap on the wrist.

Expand full comment

Don, we should all keep in mind the vast amount of money surrounding the Olympics, as well as, I'm sure, political influence with regard to which country or city gets future opportunities to host the games. That seems to me to be a possible explanation - a few co-opted agents who know that a huge scandal involving abuse of the most beloved athletes could very well bring down a cash cow.

Expand full comment

Agree!! This is why I mentioned Kavanaugh. Two agents going rogue to protect future opportunities to host the games is less likely than sexism. My point is that this goes far up the food chain and probably to some greedy and mendacious politicians - hopefully, no Democrats are involved.

Expand full comment

You're correct. There's a lot of rot, and, certainly in the case of Kavanaugh, it is obviously connected to politicians. However, although sexism is rampant, I still believe that a politician whispering in the agents' ears about loss of capital would be more of a hook, and the implication would be that a politician would have their backs. Their sexism would be secondary.

Expand full comment

The Olympics are so completely, totally, and irredeemably corrupt. The modern version needs to be DESTROYED. Replace it with a show in the country of origin, with the rest of the world contributing financial support.

Expand full comment

That was the sentiment when the games were held in Atlanta. Of course, we were proud, and it was fun. We were criticized for having vendors in tents, but the upside of that was that we didn't have crippling debt. Still, the IOC (and no doubt many of the local promoters) got no points for admirable principles.

Expand full comment

Bring down the cash cow…AS IT SHOULD. If nothing else, it should be held accountable and restructured with protection of the participants at the top of the structure.

Expand full comment

There's a reason why some of us use the words "Fools & Buffoons, Inc." to describe that organization. They may not be as bad as they were in the days of J. Edgar Fruitfly, but they're still not an organization to take at face value. I can remember the personal hounding I got from these "defenders of truth, justice, and the American way" for my crimes of believing in the 1st Amendment during the years 1965-72.

Expand full comment

“J. Edgar Fruitfly”???

Hahahahahahaha. Damn gnat of a man.

Expand full comment

While they're removing Confederate monuments, his name should be removed from FBI headquarters. Monster.

Expand full comment

I had a brief friendship with a retired FBI agent who turned out to be a blatant racist and fervent Trump supporter. From our discussions, many of his FBI coworkers were cut from the same cloth. The FBI is far more political than we want to believe.

Expand full comment

I am not in the slightest bit surprised that a male investigator misstated a woman's (girl's) testimony. Men will go to far lengths to protect men, no matter what the crime against women. I have seen this in the court system. Women's allegations of abuse are disregarded, pushed under the rug, misstated, until one of them dies. And then men notice for a little bit, then quickly revert to their old policies of denigrating women.

Expand full comment

I've seen that sort of behavior also. Many (not all) men are dismissive of women, characterizing them as overly emotional, not trustworthy, unintelligent, etc. You have only to read the Biblical story of Adam and Eve to realize that it's baked into our culture - the temptress, among other things. I can imagine a macho agent picturing scenario where a nerdy doctor is led astray by a young woman, and so it really wasn't his fault, or she's making it all up. . . .

Expand full comment

The irony is, in my experience, men are more emotional and irrational than women. They are more prone to violent outbursts that result in crime, or prone to defining their masculinity by their vehicles or some other thing . . .

My thought of the macho agent was that he wished he was in Nassar's shoes, possibly envied him, so couldn't prosecute him. I got that from the look in his eyes as he spoke.

Expand full comment

Thanks for posting this. I cannot help but think a certain representative from Ohio might be watching this with a great deal of.... interest.

Expand full comment

He's my guy! (CT!)

Expand full comment

Pardon my manners. I forgot to say, "Morning, Ellie!!"

Expand full comment

If Coney Barrett weren't a hack, she would have rejected being shown off by 45 at a super spreader event, and really, she would have rejected being appointed in the midst of an election. She is the epitome of a partisan hack.

And, yes, Eugene Robinson is definitely a class act.

Expand full comment

Twitter was full of what you say about her. I agree 100%

Expand full comment

Flynn Flam!!! I’m last to the party two days in a row now. 🙃

Expand full comment

Whitehouse in the White House? I truly ❤️ Whitehouse.

Expand full comment

I have an actual older man crush on him. 💙

Expand full comment

Yeah, Marcy, he's real pretty...and smart, too😉

Expand full comment

I agree. Jamie Raskin showed himself to be incredibly able as Impeachment Manager for the second impeachment. I think he'd be a very capable president.

Expand full comment

Morning Lynell. I'm travelling today so will get back to the issues later.

Expand full comment

Morning, Stuart!! We'll be here. Safe travels!

Expand full comment

Notice that those whose charges of sexual abuse/attempted or actual rape were essentially ignored are all female. And the Fibbies, all male. Hmmmm....

Expand full comment

Yes, I wondered why they didn’t task a female FBI agent to do these interviews. We do HAVE female agents, don’t we??? Perhaps because the higher ups realized a woman would get the job done!

Expand full comment

Morning, Lynell! Thanks for this post, and the links in it and following it.

Expand full comment

Ditto, ditto.

Expand full comment

Morning, Ally!!

Expand full comment

I try to keep up with all of you but it ain’t ez!

Expand full comment

From what I can tell, you're doing mighty fine, Sharon. Not sure what time zone you're in, so I'll say...Afternoon!!

Expand full comment

Eastern time zone…VA also. Just down the coast on Gwynn’s Island! Good Night Lynell…!

Expand full comment

Gwynn's Island looks beautiful! I'm in western Loudoun County, near the Potomac River across from Maryland to the north, and also close to the West Virginia border to the west.

Expand full comment

At what point are attempts to overthrow the government of the United States Government treason?

From my middle school history, maybe grade school, we learned about Benedict Arnold. Every traitor tried and punished have aid and comfort to our enemies.

After the Civil War, instead of trying and punishing Confederate leaders and their military leaders, the US welcomed them back. Over time, some of the more openly treasonous Confederates regained offices in the US government that enabled them to establish Jim Crow policies and politics that endangered the US.

If military dictatorships and authoritarianism is contrary to our democracy and Constitution, then why don't we have more clear and operable laws to protect us?

Expand full comment

I equate traitors to cancer. If you don't eradicate the cancer, it can, and sometimes will come back to kill the host. I'm all for individual human rights, but the lessons of history are clear that when the peril is the future of mankind, the human rights of the many should always outweigh those of the few. If you fail to defend basic human rights against those who seek to strip them from you, one day there will be nothing left to defend. Every war that has ever been fought had at its core the defense of basic human rights against those who seek to overpower, constrain, and control for their sole benefit. Unfortunately, it is far from a given that good will prevail over evil.

Expand full comment

This is a form of cancer on the body politic. It could destroy everything good about the U.S.A. Maybe we collectively deserve that for allowing these malignant simpletons a platform from which top spew their toxic trash.

Expand full comment

If we could shut down the FOX (NOT) NEWS it would be an excellent start!

Expand full comment

That would be a severe punishment simply for not knowing how bad things would become. Nobody knows the future. We just do our best every day. Sometimes looking back we think we should have done differently. Then we try to do better.

Expand full comment

Well, Becky, I was one of the people observing the "antics of the "pussygrabber" in 2016 and I stated that he represents fascism. That his rallies and propaganda are baby Hitler rallies. That his constant repetition of lies are brainwashing techniques and the media thrived on him, never thinking he would be so dangerous. Is it only because I have studied fascism and cults that it was so easy to see through his fakeness and narcissism. And perhaps being in the field of psychology I study people deeply and he was an easy study, because there is no depth. He is just a seething, revengeful empty shell of a corporate nothingness. And the republicans planted him to carry out their much bigger plans. I find it almost impossible that people did not see through this con man, unless they were brainwashed.

Expand full comment

I wrote a paper about Donald Trump quite awhile ago and from his incredible business failures, to his malignant narcissism, I concluded that the only thing he was successful in was being a conman. He had not a drop of shame and will do and say ANYTHING if it means money in his pocket. I remember in the 80’s , he was pretty broke, but his father paid him a million a year to “look rich.” Looks, and no substance. People assumed he was wealthy and successful simply because he “looked the part.” People didn’t ask for details, they thought he was a God of sorts. Sickening. He sells his name to hotels and makes money - he doesn’t have anything else because every business he has opened went bankrupt, and the banks never got their money. He always used other people’s money because he probably figured if he loses, no skin off his teeth! He blamed a dead “partner” for his own mishandling of his casino. Who loses money with a casino? He really is a nobody, no talent, no interests, no hobbies, hates reading, has no interest in history, art or science and definitely lacks much knowledge of the sacredness of our democracy. He doesn’t understand government and couldn’t care less. How he was able to run for president with his ties to the Russian mafia and other criminals smacked of pay-offs and lies from the get go. We now know his campaign team were filled with criminals and conmen, just like him!

My paper became part of my professor’s class - “The dangers of a malignant narcissist.” I think Mary Trump would appreciate it!

Expand full comment

Donald Trump is a moron in addition to being a malignant narcissist. You are absolutely correct that the only thing he has done successfully is con people. Unfortunately, evangelicals are the most susceptible group in the United States when it comes to being conned. They already committed to one giant con so they fall for others too because the cognitive dissonance is so strong.

We must change our political system to include mental health criteria for politicians.

Expand full comment

I would like to read it. Can you post it here?

Expand full comment

Hey wait . He likes playing with his little white balls ! Tag Ur it ! LOL ! I could not resist.

Expand full comment

Tina, one word was missing from your excellent description of thechump, perhaps intentionally:

LOSER

It is his own word, used to describe everyone else. And I would submit that he is a loser conman as well. The T University, the T. Foundation, the over 60 attempted lawsuits to overturn the election, etc. etc.

I would love to read your paper as well! Is it posted anywhere?

Thanks.

Expand full comment

The best label for him is malignant narcissist. People see what they want to see, and it has always been so. What is different now is the reach and impact of the media, and platforms like Facebook that give poorly educated people the idea that they can "do the research" and know more than those who have spent their entire lifetimes developing science based on data-driven, evidence-based actual research rather than one long night on Google.

Expand full comment

Absolutely agree with your comment! Only one thing to add, however....I'm not sure that those "armchair researchers" spend one long night on Google. It's doubtful that they possess the attention span needed to do so.

Expand full comment

Honestly, I thought he was running to help Hillary win.He had made himself the brunt of many jokes for yrs.Would have never dreamed or imagined we are where we are at due to him. I think there is someone(s) badder behind all this ? I think the price was right.I do believe he was in over his head Debt wise. But this, I didn’t see coming.

Expand full comment

I agree, Marcia. There's something "badder" behind him. And it's something the R senators & representatives are going along with because they have their own R agenda which can best be gained by using Trump to get votes. Do you think they are the "badder" behind him and they are just using him to further their own agenda?

Expand full comment

Many of us thought the same but underestimated the amount of trouble he would cause. And there were some, like my best friend, who voted for him in 2016 (but not in 2020) because she had always voted Republican and thought the Republicans would rein him in.

Expand full comment

Penelope, Your comment brings to mind a marvelous book written in 1940. It is "The True Believer", by Eric Hoffer. It brings to light the formation of a cult and the patten that is visible in all cults. When reading this book, it is not possible to see the formation of the Maga cult and their adherence to trump; The will follow him to the death by covid. They drank the same Koolaid as the Jonestown followers.

Expand full comment

Thank you for the book recommendation! And, I couldn’t agree more. Your thoughts are educated and refined. Mine are pedestrian: How Hitler? gets asked. The answer? How Trump. Zero difference. In fact APATHY AND INDIFFERENCE are the indicators of a successful cultic influx.

Expand full comment

Exactly! Thanks, Penelope. I'm not in the field of psychology but I could also see all those signs although at the time I didn't label them fascist. One other salient characteristic was his lack of sincerity. His words of "patriotism" ring so hollow, even his body language is of one who has no real passion for what he is doing. He seems to be acting a part somebody else chose for him. Do you see that, too?

Expand full comment

I can't wipe the vision from my brain of iDJT hugging the American Flag with that smirk on his face! Ugh!

Expand full comment

As I read this, I remembered a clip of trump fondling the flag and mouthing the words”my baby”. You can’t make this stuff up.

Expand full comment

Yes, the Yeti does not really believe in anything but what he sees in the mirror and money. He spouts things and later spouts something totally the opposite. He is like a member of our family in the UK that my husband described as "A Person who always has the impression of whomever sat upon them last." In the Yeti's case, that last person would be who made the art of the deal with him.

But do not cross him, because the revenge of a narcissist is pretty evil. Richard Branson (Virgin Air ) said the Yeti called him to have a meeting many years ago. A very puzzled Branson described a man who wailed the entire time about all the vengeance he was going to inflict on others. Branson, tired of being his audience, finally excused himself and left. He never knew why the Yeti called to meet with him. I will wager it was one thing: Branson = fame and wealth. It is that deep. It is also nice to see a normal, intelligent human not persuaded, mesmerized, or taken in by a shallow, self-intoxicated, screaming me-me. (Sorry, I had to delete and edit this as spellcheck went awry).

Expand full comment

I completely agree.

Expand full comment

If only that were a universal truth! I'm talking to the Mitch McConnells, Jim Jordans and all those other power hungry evil types wearing a Republican label. The party of evil.

Expand full comment

They do seem so evil, and I have trouble understanding that.

Expand full comment

To become evil all you have to do is throw away principles, abandon reality, spit on human equity, worship a cult of personality, and cannibalize your own values while claiming the whole time that is the opposite of what is happening.

Expand full comment

Really? What basic human rights were being defended in, say, World War I, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, and probably many more? Most wars are really about resources, power, territory, and money.

Expand full comment

"Every war that has ever been fought had at its core the defense of basic human rights against those who seek to overpower, constrain, and control for their sole benefit. " I believe wars are principally instigated over ideology - be that religion or nationalism or some other -ism. I look for the details of a "just war" but they are hard to find.

Expand full comment

To be fair, Benedict Arnold was not tried for his treason. I believe that the name of Donald Trump, like that of Arnold, will become synonymous with treason and betrayal. That is, if we ever do find out just how great his dereliction of duty was.

Expand full comment

The man BETRAYS EVERYONE.

Wives, mistresses, brothers, cousins, underage girls, partners, banks, workers, his execs...

...Women, men...

Expand full comment

It's due to his inability to get outside his own head and genuinely relate to others. His malignant narcissism and psychopathic tendencies make it impossible. Add his extreme paranoia to the mix, and you have a real nutcase.

Expand full comment

And most of all, we the citizens of these United States.

Expand full comment

We must demonstrate. Government is never your friend.

It doesn't "look out for you" unless pushed to do so.

Expand full comment

Government is not GOVERNMENT. It is a collection of people we elect. It's job is to provide for the common good and all that implies. It is dependent on the quality of people we elect at the local, state and national level. And yes, we sometime need to raise our voices to provide "direction." But government is neither good nor bad. It is a reflection of the people who elected it.

Expand full comment

Thank you janjamm. I’ve pushed back on this attitude before. “Our” government is what we make it. Until we stop blaming it’s imperfections on others and accept responsibility for what we make of it the greedy bturds will exact their will on us

Expand full comment

Have you read Professor Richardson's Letters from an American?

Expand full comment

I agree we must demonstrate and yet I’m very frustrated as I cannot find one friend to march with me in DC on 10/2 for the Women’s March. I understand their hesitancy over Covid concerns but still … not ONE??

Expand full comment

Some of us are worried about Covid and some are worried about violence from anti-democratists. I decided to stay in my own state and march at our Capital which is only 2 hrs away as opposed to 9 hrs. to DC.

Expand full comment

I've got a sprained foot, wearing a pretty clunky boot. But maybe I can do something else to help? Please let me know!

Expand full comment

The opposition has done most of the demonstrations as of late.

Expand full comment

I don't know where I've been, but this is the first I've heard of it!?

Expand full comment

I think the name Donald Trump will end up simply fading from people's awareness and memory, which, of course is the worst possible fate for a narcissist - to be forgotten.

Expand full comment

Exactly! Is Flynn going to be subpoenaed by the Select Committee? Someone needs to investigate his connection to Putin and expose it to the light of day. From where I sit, the man is literally on a Russian payroll.

Expand full comment

This is such a good and IMO fair question, David

Expand full comment

Justice for J6! Lock them up and throw away the keys. That includes the big orange pumpkin who was going to lead the march. That’s the justice we need ASAP.

Expand full comment

It’s amazing yet not surprising how poorly American history is taught. VP Andrew Johnson was a Tennessee Democrat who assumed the Presidency after Lincoln’s assassination. In short he was highly sympathetic to the institution of slavery. Johnson believed, as did many Southern Democrats, that the Constitution protected private property, including slaves, and thus prohibited the federal and state governments from abolishing slavery.

You can believe that a lot of Union sympathizers were not in the least bit of a hurry to welcome a viper’s pit of slave loving seditionist back to finish the job they started.

One reason Reconstruction failed was largely to the efforts of Johnson and his slave symp buddies.

Hope this helps.

Expand full comment

This is nicely laid out on Dr. Richardson's book "How the South Won the War".

Expand full comment

Excellent questions.

Expand full comment

Is it the lack of laws or the will to enforce?

Expand full comment

The real problem is the 74 million voters who prefer white autocracy to a democracy with fair treatment for Americans with non-European ancestors.

Expand full comment

😡

Expand full comment

I’m never sure how to interpret responses like this, do you intend to express anger about my comment or about the situation it descrbes? Just curious.

Expand full comment

Sorry Rex. No I wasn’t intending to express anger toward your comment. My anger is toward the 74 million voters you referred to. My bad for using a meme!

Expand full comment

I agree. Why are none of these traitors being held accountable?

Expand full comment

Flynn is still subject to the UMCJ and at the very least his military pension should be pulled for his treasonous remarks. His sympathy toward Russia is right out in the open. This is textbook treason.

Expand full comment

When does the first amendment go too far? Freedom of speech to insight a government coup? Where are the people hired and elected to protect the constitution? I just can't believe what's going on in our country. I'm so worried about the future of the United States for my grandchildren, nieces and nephews. The 2022 and 2024 elections are going to tell us a lot about how things are going to go forward. We have to get a handle on these coup inspired trump loyalists. They need to pay for their treasonous activities and they need to pay soon!

Expand full comment

I don't think we need to wait until 2022 or 2024 to find out how things are going to go. It is completely obvious, today. Every day that passes that any and all of these people aren't punished or don't pay for their treasonous actions, is a day lost in the fight for democracy and preserving the common good.

Expand full comment

This is my fear also. No consequences means it becomes matter of fact and this is how it goes.

Expand full comment

This is how the Roman Republic fell.

Expand full comment

(P.S. I am almost halfway through 'Talk to Me'! You are fabulous!)

Expand full comment

Flattery will always get you *everywhere* Cynthia. :-)

Expand full comment

Right on point! Flynn is retired. So he falls under jurisdiction of the UCMJ, Article 2. If he is making contemptuous speech he can be prosecuted under Article 88. He will defend under 1st Amendment right to free speech. The decision for the convening authority is whether his speech crosses the line. If so, he could be court martialed and perhaps sent to prison. If convicted, perhaps the penalty includes loss of pension. I am not a military lawyer but was married to one (🤣) for 25 years and learned a bit about the UMCJ. Take my comments for what they are worth. Would love to hear direct from the community of military lawyers. My comments focus on what's included in HCR's letter today and doesn't go down the path of Flynn's insurrection activities! I'm out of my baliwick here (which is health care law).

Expand full comment

Thanks for this information, Kelly. Hopefully we can get more info from another expert in JAG law. Where is Colonel Harmon Rabb when you need him? (for you old JAG fans).

Expand full comment

Call Lindsay Graham. He’s a real JAG-off.

Expand full comment

I actually Lauighed Out Loud at that.

Expand full comment

After I read KellyS' comment, I thought of JAG, too. I think Sarah MacKenzie could be a better choice.

Expand full comment

BTW: It's UCMJ--Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Expand full comment

The people ELECTED aren’t even protecting our constitution! How can they remain in office when they aren’t doing their PRIMARY job of protecting the Constitution?!?!

Expand full comment

One of the many problems of democracy.

Expand full comment

Exactly.

Expand full comment

I absolutely agree!

Expand full comment

When something said results in immediate harm. I know what you’re gonna say next.

Expand full comment
Comment deleted
Expand full comment

I DO!!!!😡😡😡😡😡😡

Expand full comment

I do

Expand full comment

UMCJ. The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) is essentially a complete set of criminal laws. It includes many crimes punished under civilian law (e.g., murder, rape, drug use, larceny, drunk driving, etc.), but it also punishes other conduct that affects good order and discipline in the military.

Expand full comment

Thank you Bonnie.

Expand full comment

Uniform or United Military Code of Justice? Is that right, Christopher? So even if retired, military people always will answer to military court or rules? Who makes up the military courts? And all these literally stupid people calling for Gen Milley to resign rather than receive a medal, are those resignations decided by military courts? Obv I need to brush up on military justice.

Expand full comment

Can it be that the military courts have been infiltrated too?

Expand full comment

As with all prosecutorial decisions, from deciding to fine a shoplifter to deciding to indict and try a traitor, the question of "can we make it stick?" is always determinitive in the decision. The higher up you go with a crime, the higher the bar for that answer. I can say that I have a good friend who is in a position to know about what is being thought on the topic inside the military, and he tells me that Flynn has been a "hot topic" for being called back to active service to face a court-martial for what he does. The problem with doing so, as it is with all the other traitors, is that right now half the country would see the act as illegitimate - a "political hit" - which makes it a super-high bar.

Expand full comment

TC, honestly. You know the scariest sh*t. Your connections are amaze.

Expand full comment

We can’t rule out anything but aren’t they looking at trying to eliminate these people from the military?

Expand full comment

The convening authority (judge) chooses the members (jury) that will hear the case against the accused. The military has historically skewed Republican although that appears to be changing among younger service members and women of all ranks. "Infiltrated" is not the description I'd use but, IMHO, there would be a thumb on the scale in favor of Flynn since the members (jury) must be higher in rank than he. Not many of those guys, likely mostly white, around.

Expand full comment

Actually, Flynn is highly disliked by many of "those guys." They're the ones who got him fired when he started going crazy.

Expand full comment

Uniform Code of Military Justice, ftr.

Expand full comment

Wiki is not the best source but this provides an overview.

The following categories of service members are subject to the UCMJ as indicated:

Retired members of the Regular Component who are entitled to retirement pay, per Article 2(a)(4) of UCMJ, regardless of the authority under which retired from active service and transferred to the Retired List of their respective Service's Regular Component,

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniform_Code_of_Military_Justice

UCMJ, Article 88 info:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contempt_toward_officials

Article 88 Contempuous Statements

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contempt_toward_officials

While it has been over 100 years since a Retired Officer was charged with contemptuous statements, how long in history since the country has seen the likes of Flynn?!

Expand full comment

The charges are brought forward by an officer called a "convening authority", and the convening authority also personally selects each of the members (jurors) who will try the accused.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_jury

Expand full comment

I believe that his brother will eventually be revealed as impeding the call for military to respond to the January 6th insurrection. I'd like to see both of them, plus TFG arrested.

Expand full comment

Praying this happens.

Expand full comment

Let's not get the cart before the horse. First they have to be indicted.

Expand full comment

Yes! I didn't realize he was still receiving his pension!

Expand full comment

😡😡😡

Because he was pardoned,

Expand full comment

But if he is now encouraging overturning the government, I believe that would be a totally different kettle of fish. He was pardoned for lying to the FBI in the Russia scandal.

Expand full comment

?

Expand full comment

It seems he could be tried for sedition, as encouraging overthrowing the government.

Expand full comment

One would think, but if that's true it would have happened by now.

Expand full comment

Looking at the 2016 pay scale, an 0-9, would be receiving at least US$133,000/p.a.

https://ec.militarytimes.com/static/pdfs/Pay-Center-2016-Retirement-Pay.pdf

Expand full comment

Well, that would smart!

Expand full comment

It's amazing how you get some bit of good news, like the win in California, and then you get a report on the absolute insanity of Flynn - that he has any role at all in American politics, let alone enough influence to be courted for an endorsement, is truly mind-boggling.

I was talking with a friend yesterday and said I hoped what we were witnessing was a period like that between Pearl Harbor and Midway - black news, deep despair, hanging on by fingernails, and then a turnaround that literally changed everything. I noted that sales of my book that deals with this have remained really high and he opined that people might be taking inspiration. I only hope so.

Reading today of the way things are flailing in DC - one wonders how they can get through all that, especially with people allegedly on our side like Manchin and Sinema, and the three Pharma stooges in the House. And if it all doesn't go right, it will be a disaster in 2022, which will lead to the unthinkable in 2024. I ended up going back to my book and reading the part about my old friend Dick Best, and remembering him telling me that all they could do was not think further than the next step, because everything was so dark. That's what I try to do, and this newsletter is a big help on that.

Expand full comment

Taking comfort from your comment. I tell myself: Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep doing something every day to contribute to standing up against these bullies and criminals. Put good energy out into the world. Resist. Don’t cave. Don’t say “whatever”. Maybe together we can turn the tide. From my time in South Africa, I offer this quote. “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness.” (Desmond Tutu) ❤️🤍💙

Expand full comment

We all need to consider that there is a tremendous amount going on behind the scenes that could make all the difference - SDNY, the Select Commission, even the rape charge against TFG, and more, and it could totally change the landscape. Add to that two always-silent SCOTUS justices trying to convince the world that they're never partisan, and you have to wonder whether they're seeing attitudes changing in the country.

Expand full comment

They spew the darkness and hopefully we spark the blue flame that burns them out. I’m certain we have more than one “dark” blue politician in the barrel but we have so many more fighting for the everyday citizen and democracy. I want to believe the pendulum is swinging toward the light. The majority is fired up about TX and also about the GA and FL anti-voting laws. If the Freedom to Vote act passes I’ll feel an extremely satisfying exhale. If it doesn’t pass, I feel the pendulum will simply break and God help us all.

Expand full comment

I share your cautious optimism. I fired off a nasty email to Brad Raffensperger yesterday, as he's threatening to remove the entire Fulton County (Atlanta) Election Board because Cathy Woolard has been named its Chairperson. She's highly qualified, is a past Chair of the Fulton County Commission, ran for mayor in 2017, and - this is the sticking point - she has worked with Stacy Abrams on FairFight Georgia. That's Raffensperger's "reason" for claiming that Woolard is "blatantly a political appointment," and can't be counted on to be unbiased when supervising elections. Imagine that - a Democratic career office holder being called biased by a REPUBLICAN. Really? After what we've witnessed these last five years, and now Mr. The Elections Were Fair And There Was No Fraud and his boss, Shotgun Kemp have enacted a vote nullification law, aimed at removing the Fulton County Election Board and replacing it with Republican legislators who can toss votes and send their own hand-picked electors to the Electoral College.

Expand full comment

That is such a good mantra for these hard days, Deborah!! Thanks. And deep breathing to balance the heart and brain after reading dark news. Keeps the blood pressure down while we continue the battle.

Expand full comment

“I've got to keep breathing because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?” - #castaway As said by Tom Hanks’ character (somewhat less cerebral than Desmond Tutu but no less profound!) in the film when reality did seem hopeless. What trumpsters have and continue to say and do is an ongoing dumpster fire and those who have the power to put them before the judicial system need to step up now before it is too late (which it well might be).

Expand full comment

Thank you for that quote. ❤️

Expand full comment

TC, that was so much more polite than what I am feeling about Flynn and prosecuting his behind, immediately. Schist.

Expand full comment

See, TCinLA can be a "nice guy." :-)

Expand full comment

You sure can! But sometimes I need you, TC, as my alter ego, to just pounce, without regard for the guardrails or PC-nes,s on the vampires against Truth and Justice. You sort of shocked me this morning..."I can't get no relief" today!

Expand full comment

What is to be done?

The will of the majority is severely subverted; power and representation is being diverted into the hands of a clique minority of fear filled, immoral, antidemocratic, lying, sociopathic divorcées from reality. They are fuelled by unjustifiable hatred, and imagined attacks on their freedom. They are dissidents with no enemy.... so they invent enemies. POC, LGBTQI, lefties and liberals, feminists, pro- choice people, health care for all, the person next door who isn’t flying a Trump flag. You cannot fight this level of ignorance, self-deception and manufactured hatred with compassion, logic and evidence.

What is to be done?

They see themselves as patriots, as defenders of the constitution, as soldiers of democracy, and are fuelled by the ambition of weak, cowardly, greedy politicians.

They don’t see themselves as the racist, bigoted, hate riddled, ugly , entitled folk that others see. Nor as the destroyers of democracy, the shredders of the constitution, lambs being led to slaughter by their GOP shepherds. They don’t see that they are the greatest threat to the American experiment than any external force could ever be.

How do you deal with that?

How does the majority take back the power of the voting booth?

I see this as the central dilemma for the Biden government. Because if they don’t seize the reins in this administration....it will be all over. Bye bye the American dream.

There is no room for politeness. For bipartisanship. For compromise. The Democrats have to wrest back the rule of law, parliamentary process. They have to slam the gate on the McConnells and the Taylor-Greens and all the other lying cheating bastards who are running roughshod over majority rule democracy

Expand full comment

To add to your list of their contrived enemies: science, vaccines, and masks.

Expand full comment

Yes...! The list is long

Expand full comment

The Republican Party; a domestic terrorist organization. Good choice of words.

“Kurt Bardella, a Democratic congressional campaign committee adviser, said: “After what we saw in this country on January 6, ‘civil disobedience’ is code word for violence and acts of terror when it comes to the Republican party. So many in this party are trying to whitewash the events of January 6, have referred to those behind it as ‘patriots’ and have gone so far as to suggest that those who have been incarcerated for their crimes should be released.

“The only conclusion that one can draw from their ongoing rallying cries for what they call ‘civil disobedience’ is that it is a call for more violence, more mayhem, more destruction, and solidifies the reality that the Republican party is a domestic terrorist organisation.”

Expand full comment

Absolutely. We need to show Constitutional and Federal muscle, immediately. Now. This is so frustrating to watch unfold. Where the hell is Batman and Batwoman? Gotham is really in trouble. I am uneasy about Sept. 18.

Expand full comment

I think tomorrow will be a complete nothing burger. This whole grievance thing is losing steam quickly.

Expand full comment

Well, I never dreamt all the atrocities that have happened over the past five years would happen. So, I tend to be on the side of Great Caution and hope we are prepared.

Expand full comment