From Deception to Destruction…

I don’t think they’re being honest…
I describe it as a lie of omission. The Proposition 27 ad campaign is one of the largest ad buys I’ve ever had to endure. Only Toyota Sell-a-thon Days has more spots on any given day. Listening to the ads, I’ve been told Prop 27 is going to solve homelessness and drug addiction. That’s pretty much the subject of EVERY pro-Prop 27 ad – all the good it’s going to do.

Proposition 27 is about allowing huge online gambling companies to operate in California. The money being promised by the gambling companies to “solve” homelessness is only a side issue, the selling point of the proposition, and not likely to materialize at all. Even if it did, money alone won’t solve the homeless crisis. If we don’t stop institutional investors from buying single family homes – AND force them to divest in those they already own – the homeless problem is going to get worse. Period.

As it happens, online gambling is one of the more insidious forms of gambling. Apparently, it’s one of the most addictive forms of gambling possible. So…how does gambling away the rent money help solve the homeless problem? EVERY thinking person should ask themselves WHY the backers of Proposition 27 are avoiding the main topic – online gambling – in favor of the alleged sweetener? From MY point of view, I’d say the reason is a false promise of curing a social ill is FAR easier to sell than the destruction associated with gambling addiction and these gambling companies know it. Of course they do. But focusing on the side issues the proposition is likely not going to do in order to avoid having to mention the damage the proposition is likely to do is just, plain dishonest.

I hope you’ll join me in voting ‘No’ on Proposition 27…


Violence based on conspiracy theories…
When is the last time you tried to have a conversation with a conservative about current events? It’s kind of eye-opening. It never makes sense in my mind that such a large group of people could be SO completely unaware of things going on. I find the exchanges with cons enlightening. If they try to back up their unfounded assertions with citations – AND one takes the time to read the articles they cite – it becomes clear that these are, by and large, perfectly reasonable people simply repeating the false information they’ve been given by their preferred outlets.

I DO have to admit, I’m often stunned by how easily they’re fooled, though. It’s quite clear that one trait the cons share is that they never took a logic or critical thinking class. They know nothing about manipulative and/or deceptive broadcasting. They THINK the information they’re receiving is true and correct and they simply operate from that point – just like everyone else. I know people on the left who take the position that the cons have an obligation to double-check the information they get. But those same people aren’t checking in with Fox “News” to see if THEIR information squares with the conservative orthodoxy. Why would the cons check in with the left?

The thing is, it doesn’t matter if they have good information or bad. They’re GOING to act on it, just like I do. The problem is, the information they have is anti-American. I mean, they ALL scream and shout about how much they love their country but simultaneously, they complain about EVERYTHING that defines America – at least as far as the U.S. Constitution is concerned. As one example, recently it was suggested that the right is supporting fascism. They all got appropriately upset, right on cue. But their actions? The things they support based on the false information they consume? They ARE, in fact, fascist positions – assuming one takes, say Mussolini’s definition of Fascism: the marriage of the corporation and the state.

That’s actually a pretty simple concept. Most definitions, these days, include references to authoritarianism and nationalism but those aspects aren’t required for fascism. They become de facto features because that’s the way businesses are run – top down. It was one of the first falsehoods the cons were sold on their road to fascism: America should be run more like a business. They think, because both government and business use the term “budget” the two entities are the same. They also believe, falsely, that corporations never make mistakes and government never does anyone any good. THAT, in turn, means that putting a businessman in charge of the country should be a good move. Generally, it isn’t a good move at all. Successful businessmen issue orders and expect them to be followed. That isn’t the way our government works.

The thing that bothers me the most about all of this is that anger is a daily staple of conservative media. The cons are told constantly that they’re being cheated and robbed by the left. The cons ARE being cheated and robbed – just not by the left. But since they likely realize they’re being robbed and their information sources assure them it’s from the left, they believe it’s from the left – and they get angry about it.

We saw on January 6th that they’re angry enough, already, to physically assault the country they claim to love so much. With a bit of careful management, the manufactured outrage they’ve grown so accustomed to can be turned to furious action with only a little nudging. We all watched Trump maneuver his acolytes into attacking Congress that day – and it didn’t take much to whip them into that frenzy. For it’s part, conservative media downplays and/or ignores the actual events of the day so the rank-and-file cons think it was just an “unauthorized tour.”

Recently, Trump suggested that if he’s indicted for the crimes he commits, there will be rioting in the streets and violence from sea to shining sea. (I’ve paraphrased.) The SAME people who decry protests when cops murder unarmed, contained suspects will, themselves, be out in the street burning and destroying and they’ll never even understand they’re doing the exact same thing as ‘Black Lives Matter’ protestors. The difference? Black Lives Matter protests usually include at least one, actual dead body. The cons are going to come out fighting over conspiracy theories and stories.

I wonder how many of the January 6th assailants now understand they had been misled into the actions that are now sending them to prison. I suspect some but not all. Many will cling to their falsehoods. The same will happen once they take to the streets in defense of the Trump crime family. Of course, they think Trump is as pure as driven snow but after the destruction and death they’re currently threatening? Will they understand they killed (and died) over a fraud?

I’ll tell you this: we can’t let the threat of violence from people who don’t understand things be an impediment to taking action against Trump or his allegedly criminal organization. The right wants to destroy America but if the left stands down for fear of what the right might do, it will be the left bringing this once-great nation down, not the right…

She Heard Her Master’s Voice…

Flunky Fail
Well, Trump’s toady Aileen Cannon seems to have failed in her quest to help the dumbass avoid responsibility for his crimes. She really DID try, though, demonstrating that her loyalty to Trump FAR exceeds her loyalty to jurisprudence. The lackey Cannon tried to block the DOA from doing their jobs, she really did. But a three person panel from the Eleventh District Appeals Court – two of whom were appointed by Trump – overturned that…um…”ruling” and put the investigation back on track.

To recap, Trump tried to get a “Special Master” to review papers seized during the warrant execution. The concept was to slow everything down and give the dumbass time to come up with…something. The Trump team knew, though, that no competent judge was going to participate in such shenanigans so they went to Cannon. SHE was all on board, trying to protect her hero. She shouldn’t have had the case at all but she kept that part of it anyway. The DOJ uses a “taint team” to discover any improperly held documents BEFORE the papers are passed to the active investigators so the idea of a Special Master was a waste of time and money anyway. But Judge Cannon doesn’t CARE about laws – her job was to protect Trump. He wanted the Special Master, he GOT his Special Master.

THEN, his Special Master, Raymond Dearie (a person suggested by the Trump team), told him he had to produce proof that Trump had, in fact, declassified all those papers – mostly an irrelevance since he STILL couldn’t legally hold them. The Trump team has…resisted the request. It’s one thing to spout lies at a political rally. It’s a whole different kettle of fish to lie to a court. Even Trump’s ‘D’ list lawyers aren’t going to do that. THEN Dearie said he wanted proof of Trump’s lie that the FBI planted all those classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. (He STILL hasn’t explained why – if the FBI planted those papers – does he think he should get them “back.”) They have until September 30 to produce a list of the planted documents.

In the meantime, New York State has filed a lawsuit against the Trump crime family Organization. It doesn’t seek jail time…yet. For now, it hits Trump MUCH closer to home: the money. Oh, and it ALSO seeks to bar them from doing any business whatsoever in New York State. I don’t think the CheetoJesus will do any time behind bars over his tax fraud, insurance fraud, or bank fraud – sadly, the US has special rules for rich people and, so far, NEVER jails ex-presidents – but Ivanka, Don Jr, and Eric are each likely quite…focused right now…

Also in the meantime, the investigation into election interference in Georgia continues as well. It’s moving a bit slower but the Georgia prosecutor investigating the allegations is openly talking about jail time for members of the Trump team who participated and we KNOW that includes Giuliani and Trump, himself – we’ve heard parts of the recording! Thus far, all the criminal participants are claiming they had nothing to do with anything and the whole thing is a witch hunt. You know, sticking to their lie in the hopes that someone, somewhere might believe them. Hey, the MAGAts do! What more do you need?

I guess it’s just a shame Trump can’t get ALL of his legal woes presented to the disgraced Aileen Cannon for disposition but it sure seems like the walls are closing in on him. I’ll tell you this: I don’t know how this thing will play out but I’m enjoying the show, for now. Pass the popcorn…


Now, where are the spices?
Okay, so the move is done. Well, the relocation of the personal belongings from one location to another is done. NOW it’s time to unpack and “the move” isn’t complete until the boxes are unpacked. I don’t know which part is more difficult, packing up and moving out of a house I lived in for 9 years or unpacking and setting up a house I’ve lived in for 9 days.

It’s a morass of “What goes where?” “How can I make THAT work?” “Oh, man, what’s in THAT box?” and “Crap, what the hell happened to THIS?”

Priorities, people. The rules were followed. Beds first, kitchen second, bathroom – all “functional,” if not yet fabulous. I have a quiet, safe place to sleep. I can make a meal, although I have yet to find the box with the spices in it so everything’s a bit bland. I can shower at the end of the day, so I don’t stink at night. But an improperly hung towel rack has already fallen off the wall so I’ve already got repairs to do.

The kitchen I left was small. The kitchen I’ve arrived at is even smaller. That part is befuddling. I have high confidence I’ll figure something out but for right now, it looks like I’ll have a place to prepare a meal or a place to put small appliances, but not both. Not much of a problem for a blender but the coffee pot is critical!

Anyone who has ever moved house knows the challenge. There are too many things to do and not enough hours in a day to do them. So? One just keeps plodding along, one step at a time until everything is out of boxes and has some new place to shine. Of course, THAT’S when one realizes, “Oh, THAT should have gone THERE!” and the re-arranging begins. That’s thinking too far ahead, though, and I’m not ready for that. I’ll stick to baby steps, one day at a time, one box at a time.

Right now I’m just focused on trying to find the spices…

Defend the Indefensible…

John Roberts is out trying to defend his Supremely Kangaroo Court. He says he thinks it’s dangerous to connect the stupid decisions being handed down with the legitimacy of the court. The court, he says, has always engaged in controversial decisions and he doesn’t understand the connection between decisions people disagree with and the legitimacy of the supreme court.

But the court isn’t making only “controversial decisions,” is it? These are cruel and destructive “choices” based on personal whims of religious and conservative nut-balls – who committed perjury to be in a position to DO their damage in the first place – that harm millions of people. They’ve made it harder for millions to vote. They’ve stolen all women’s control over her own body. They’ve made it easier for polluters to pollute. They’ve damaged the separation of church and state. They uphold discrimination – at least, they uphold discrimination that “works” for them, personally. (They hate gays. They rule against gay rights…)

I think Roberts is trying to defend the indefensible and it appears I’m not alone. Young women from sea to shining sea are registering to vote and what I assume is an alarming rate to the GOP. The whole country was once convinced, say, nine months ago (coincidentally) that the Republicans were going to take back Congress in the 2022 mid-terms. They still have a better than average chance of doing so since they cheat so prolifically what with voter suppression and gerrymandering and now, apparently, hacking voting machines. Pretty much EVERY charge they throw at Democrats? Yeah, it’s not the Democrats, it’s the Republicans – and it always has been the Republicans.

So, suddenly, because of the Roberts court of rulings based on personal preferences, the mid-terms are going to come down to women and men who support women vs cons who want to take away as many rights from as many people as possible. (I’m certain that statement would be challenged by the cons. I’ve just gotten comfortable with the idea that when a con protests something, it’s projection, not concern and it seems to be ALWAYS the case.)

The cons have been told – and so they actually believe – they outnumber the left, meaning Democrats and progressives. I’ve never believed that. Like the GOP, the Dems vote as instructed by their party. The progressives vote their conscience. The two don’t always converge and it may make it appear as though the right outnumbers the left. But from time to time, the two groups come together over something (usually, the Dems take on some progressive position and it becomes easy for progressives and Dems to work together) and when that happens, there are CLEARLY more on the left than on the right. The Roberts court has brought the true goals of the right into crystal clear reality and that has created a revitalized coalition between the Dems and the Progressives. If this holds through to November – and I think it will – the cons will have difficulty even hanging on to what they’ve got, let alone making gains – even in the face of their election rigging.

If so, we’ll ALL have to raise a glass to the corrupted Roberts Supremely Kangaroo court for putting such a blunt and brutal face to GOP goals. Special side note: Lindsey Graham didn’t help matters for the right when he blurted out the GOP’s intent to pass Federal legislation banning abortion rights nationwide just as soon as they get the chance. I suspect even some right-leaning women might vote against the GOP (secretly, of course) over this. It’s one thing to mouth the words. It’s another to be forced to go through, or watch your daughter or grand-daughter, be forced to go through with an unplanned, unwanted pregnancy. Or worse, to lose that beloved family member to rulings that prevent abortion in the case of the loss of life.

I’ll tell you this: I hope Roberts and the GOP keep hammering away on their message that they fully intend to remove as many human rights as they possibly can. It will help them get hammered in the next election(s)…


It’s a bit short today, this post. I’m moving house and don’t have time to put together everything I wanted to cover – which is a drag because there’s been so much of it recently. We’ll get back on track next weekend, though…

Prevarications and Passings…

Cons pretend to oppose activist judges
Well, the cons finally got the activist courts they used to bitch about endlessly. At the time, they pretended they were upset about activist judges who did things for political reasons that have nothing to do with – indeed, undermine, the rule of law. They said they thought that was a bad thing. It would have been, too, had it been happening when they were whining about it. But, like all things conservative, now that the activist judges have actually arrived – and now that they’re actively working FOR conservative ideology against democracy – oh, the cons are all over it. They LOVE it. They’ve never been happier to see activism from the bench.

I’ll tell you this: It’s going to be weird, having to check the political loyalties of judges to see if they’re loyal to the law or loyal to a political position but that’s the world the cons want and that’s the world they – along with the rest of us – are getting…


But Cons love THIS activist judge…
Remember the useless, nothing-but-a-stall-tactic Special Master Trump was granted by his toady, Aileen Cannon in a craven attempt to gum up the investigation into Trump’s criminal activities? According to legal experts from sea to shining sea there was no basis for the appointment in the first place. Apparently, this partisan “judge” used some rather…unusual interpretations of law to work around the problem that there was no legal basis for the request to be granted. In THIS case, she elevated Trump to some special class because he had once been, ostensibly, President. So…no longer a citizen among citizens, I guess. Now the President, excuse me, their “President” is in a special class all by himself. Don’t believe me? The cons (wrongly, of course) believe Obama got away with something like 30,000 documents. Do you think they’d be cheering if a special master was appointed to protect him based on the notion that he had been President? I’d bet not.

But Trump got his special master. The DOJ is appealing, of course, but they have to face down the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals – a court ALSO corrupted by Trump appointee “Federalist” judges. If they fail there, the only option is the Trump-corrupted Supremely Kangaroo Court. It’s looking like a rough ride for the law these days. But, in fairness, we’ve seen other Trump appointed judges nevertheless uphold the law and not Trump’s whims when ruling. MAYBE the 11th Circuit has some of those. We’ll see. Integrity is becoming increasingly rare in the MAGA bubble.

So now Trump, who demanded, then sued to get, the special master doesn’t want to PAY for the special master he demanded. As it happens, the GOP has been paying many of Trump’s legal bills. This is the quid-pro-quo for asking him not to officially announce his Presidential run until after the mid-terms but even at that, they’ve quietly backed away from paying in his stead and they’re not paying for the special master so Trump has to. Cue the whining. Asking Trump to actually PAY for something is considered a sin in MAGA world…

I’m pretty sure the accused should pay. I’m pretty sure that when one is facing criminal charges, experts brought in to defend the accused do so at the expense of the accused. (That’s part of the reason poor people get such unfair trials in this once-great nation.) One of Trump’s more questionable claims is that he’s a “billionaire.” One thing for certain is that Trump has fleeced his oh-so-gullible followers out of hundreds of millions of dollars. (His victims don’t mind.) Trump can easily cover the cost of his own legal defense, which would not have been necessary if he hadn’t committed crimes by stealing and mishandling all of those classified “documents” in the first place. (Sidebar: Have you noticed? Cons LOVE to feel self-important by calling papers in folders “documents” and “dossiers” but they’re still just papers in folders…)

I’ll tell you this: Trump should pay the price for his crimes and his defense. And I mean, he should pay the full price, all by himself…


Can’t call fascism fascism?
On a related note, the cons have recently pretended to be upset over the suggestion that the conservative movement is, at it’s core, a fascist movement. They put on that faux-outrage mantel they’ve mastered through the years, offended on cue about whatever they’re told to be offended about, and get “angry” or “hurt.” Uh-huh.

I’ll tell you this: If you don’t want people saying you support fascism, stop supporting fascist policies and ideas. Pretty simple, really…


Speaking of passings
I’m sorry the Queen of England has passed. I’m not sure why. It’s not like I knew her. I’m not a royal follower. I don’t even support the royal house. It’s a bit…anachronistic. Also, I know she was the face of many harsh and hard things that happened in colonies around the world during her reign. There are a LOT of people out there with legitimate grievances against the Brits. But I see those things as government and politics and the Queen, herself, seemed quite…personable.

I heard a guy on the radio say that there are many queens on the face of this planet but people referred to Elizabeth II as ‘The Queen’ and IF one simply referred to ‘The Queen,’ Elizabeth’s face was the face they pictured. I know that was true for me.

So, offers deepest condolences to Britain’s royal family. The world lost a queen but the family lost a mother and grandmother and, normally, it’s hard to lose one’s mom…er…mum…

Reagan’s Damages…

There’s a thing happening on the left. People are starting to refer to Joe Biden as ‘Dark Brandon.’ I like it. If you missed it, there was an interview going on at a racing event in which the winner – a guy named Brandon – was being interviewed. Conservatives, being the way they are, took the opportunity to embarrass themselves on national television by shouting “Fuck Joe Biden” loudly enough to be heard by the microphones. The interviewer tried to cover the invective by pretending the crowd was shouting “Let’s go, Brandon.” They weren’t. In conservative world, Joe Biden became “Brandon” and a right-wing “smear” was born. (Truth? I never understood the “smear” of not knowing someone’s name…)

Recently, Biden has been pushing back against right-wing crazies who show up at his speeches just to try to heckle him. He’s taken to offering zingers that allow him to attack conservative ideology in general. In the past, he has stuck to less aggressive comments like, “They’re entitled to be outrageous, this is a democracy.” In the most recent go-round, though, he upped the ante a bit. During a speech in Milwaukee, some con heckler started in. Security starting moving toward the miscreant but Biden said, “Let him go. Look, everyone’s entitled to be an idiot.”

The man was tossed out anyway but the crowd loves Biden’s rhetoric. I do, too. As this has happened more and more, the left is taking back the “Brandon” slur by calling Biden “Dark Brandon” and Dark Brandon seems to be embracing the moniker. Biden is out giving speeches denouncing authoritarianism and autocracy and talking up democracy. He’s attacking some of the basic tenets of extreme conservatism and I say, it’s about time. I, for one, have had enough.

When Ronald Reagan first introduced the fraudulent concept known as “Supply Side Economics,” more commonly known as “trickle down economics,” I thought it didn’t make any sense. So did another candidate in the 1980 election, Reagan’s eventual Vice-President, George Bush (this would be Bush 41), who coined the term “voo-doo economics.” If your party is your faith, you STILL likely believe that Reagan was some kind of sage but based on evidence and reality, Reagan was a blithering idiot and Bush 41 and I were right. I know…words and numbers can be boring so I’ve got some pictures!

I didn’t make them. Some group out there – the ‘Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ made them. They took something like 75 years worth of economic data comparing economic outcomes between countries. They put Reagan’s face to show when Reagan started HIS big lie and then let the actual data tell the rest of the story. It’s quite enlightening. For example, one showed economic gains between the “classes” of the United States through the years.

See Reagan’s face and the arrow? That’s when Reagan was elected. See how the lines run roughly together before Reagan and diverge more and more dramatically after Reagan? THAT is the direct result of trickle down economics, a conservative policy. Oh, but wait, there’s more:

In this one, the blue line is the National Debt and the red line is the debt’s percentage of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. The national debt was declining steadily – until Reagan. Now it’s a conservative talking point and a concern for everyone, thinking and non-thinking alike. Even the conservatives, rank and file, anyway, don’t like the results of their own policies so they’re always on about how terrible is the national debt but oppose the necessary steps to correct the problem, taxing the wealthy.

I like this one. It’s sort of a close up of the public debt as a percentage of GDP. ANYONE can see how the debt has skyrocketed since Reagan. Cons, though, will close their eyes and refuse to look. But the rest of us really ought to know.

This one shows the increase and decrease in the share of national income between the 1% vs the bottom 50%, both in the US and Europe. The Western European model seems to be better for the largest number of people, yes? Based on data, of course, yes. The self-deluded will STILL shout “NO!” They’ll still be wrong, though. Okay, one more:

This one is a bit different, a bit more personal. This one shows life expectancy vs healthcare spending over time between the once-great United States and the first world nations that offer national health care in one form or another. One little line shows that US health care costs more than anywhere (thanks to Capitalists) with a far worse outcome. All that “Ain’t US health care the best in the world?” No, apparently not. Oh, sure, you’ve got a slogan but you don’t have decent health care.

So…have YOU had enough, too?

Fascists Behaving Badly…

I guess they would say they’re only airing their grievances. It doesn’t sound like that to me, though. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a whinier group than today’s modern conservatives. Everything is either insult and injury or persecution and paranoia. Everyone is out to get them. Go ahead, just ask them, they’ll tell you. Simultaneously, they attack – and have pretty much destroyed – everything about this country I once thought made it a worthwhile effort. Technically, I believe it’s called projection. I accuse you of doing the things I am, in fact, doing. The cons do this so often, I don’t even have to list examples. Anyone who has ever listened to them for any length of time sees it in short order. Then, if you challenge them, they’re deeply wounded – followed closely by fury.

Listening to the Dumbass on his “Poor Me Tour” or his supporters trying to offer defenses is a little detestable. IS the whole world out to get you? No. The world doesn’t care about you enough to take the time to target you for anything. But, my gods, how they howl. And the farther from provable reality the currently held position, the louder the howling.

I’ll tell you this: I don’t feel sorry for them. In fact, I find it kind of disgusting…


You may have noticed, I don’t have many positive things to say about today’s modern conservative movement. Many of the conservatives, themselves, I like very much. But the movement they represent and support? Abhorrent. I reconcile the two quite easily. I honestly believe the cons are being manipulated and deceived in their conservative bubble. They watch what they think is the “news.” (It isn’t, of course. It’s opinion, often outright lies, dressed up as “news.”) They believe themselves informed and they respond to the information they have accordingly – just like me. By the way, I believe this about Trump, too. One of the defining features of Trump is that he famously LOVES to watch television and we KNOW he was loyal to Fox “News” for a long time. Fox “News” has destroyed more minds than crack cocaine.

Most of my now conservative friends were once solidly blue. They became red only after a solid, sustained dose of Fox “News” or, these days, whichever outlet they get drawn into. Literally, the only difference between them and me is that I’m better at discerning the difference between facts and fictions. Not perfect, mind you, but better. Perhaps it was the critical thinking and logic classes. Maybe it was that history speaks to me so I paid attention in that class, too. It’s true, history DOES repeat…


One of the falsehoods held by a large segment of this once-great nation is that government is bad and has no place in people’s day-to-day lives. But the government’s proper role in any transactional society is to act as referee between the have’s and the have-nots. The problem is, business exists for one reason: profit. Big businesses are amoral. That is, they don’t make moral or ethical choices. They choose profit. Always. But I continue to hold that any person or entity that acts amorally will, inevitably, act immorally. Business should, by rights, do any and every legal thing it can do to create profit. It’s up to the people in the society in which the business operates to define the limits of that behavior and we’re supposed to do that via our government.

Recently, one of my conservative friends complained to me that libs are calling cons “Fascists.” He was upset but I think it’s true. See, I’ve always accepted Mussolini’s definition of the word: “the marriage of corporation and state” – very much the America we live in today. (The rank and file cons have been handed a FAR more convoluted definition – one that conveniently frees them of the possibility they might be Fascists.) Mussolini was, after all, the original frontman of Fascism. He must have a voice in it’s definition, right? Fascism abdicates the proper governmental responsibility, creating, instead, an environment where government and corporations work together – with government taking it’s cues from the corporations.

But if business is to be the conscience of government, government will inevitably act immorally, too. (I mean, just look around you. It’s everywhere.) It’s not that either group SEEKS to behave badly. It just becomes the de facto outcome. When the government “marries” business, there is no more guardian watching out for the people.

Of course, the team that is supporting our current nightmare are, in fact, the cons. The rank and file don’t set the policy. They don’t even understand that’s what they’re advocating.

But I’ll tell you this: the conservative policy makers at the top don’t need the rank and file’s understanding. They need their support – and they have that…

The Trump Papers…

I really do wonder what happened to the contents of the folders, the 90 empty folders labeled as ‘Classified’ or ‘Return to Staff Secretary/Military aide’ the FBI found at Mar-a-Lago during the warrant execution. Are the contents hidden away? Have they been destroyed? Have they already been passed to his Russian handlers?

The details of the things seized during the warrant execution are coming out pretty quickly, now, and every day it looks a little worse for the former President. Normally, the DOJ is quite circumspect in it’s revelations about ongoing investigations. Normally, there are privacy issues that prevent them from disclosing details, even if they want to. But, of course, nothing about Trump is “normal.” The moment he demanded a Special Master to oversee management of the documents and that the information be revealed, the DOJ stepped up and started revealing pretty much everything it could.

No in-depth details, of course. These are national secrets. One does not just casually handle national secrets. Well, okay, ONE does…but most of us know better. The Trump-appointed judge in the case, Aileen Cannon, will rule on the request of a Special Master but the DOJ says he waited so long to file his motion, they’ve already gone through everything looking for potential attorney-client privileged documents. The judge seems inclined to grant the request. “What’s the harm?” she reportedly asked the DOJ.

As it happens, I have managed to maintain some of my friendships with conservatives. Mostly, we just avoid politics but, occasionally, we’ll dabble. I had one-such conversation recently with one of my more conservative friends. I told him I wasn’t trying to start a debate and I didn’t intend to argue. I just wanted to know what he thought about Trump’s papers. I explained that once he told me how he felt on the topic, I would know how the right is presenting the matter to it’s consumers in the conservative bubble. He answered pretty much the way I thought he would.
“Joe Biden!” he said. “Hunter! Hillary! George Soros!”
“Yes,” I agreed, “those are all good topics but for right now, I just want to know how you feel about the ‘Trump’s papers’ thing.” By that time, he had run out of “whataboutisms” and started to answer me.
Well, okay, he had ALMOST run out of whataboutisms. The right believes that when Obama left office he took thousands of documents with him and nobody ever raided his home. I explained that those documents had not been taken by Obama. Instead, they had been sent to an archive repository in Chicago and were still under complete control of the National Archives and Obama has no say or control over them. He looked at me as though he pitied my simplistic naivety.

But then he started. “The FBI overplayed it’s hand. They executed an open-ended warrant and those are illegal.” I’m not sure what that means, but I was listening, not challenging, so I didn’t ask.) “There was no need to raid Mar-a-Lago, since Trump was cooperating. Trump had declassified all of the documents. Everything he had belonged to him.”
“Thank you,” I said. “I just wanted to know what they’re saying on your side of the aisle.”
“What are they saying on your side?” he asked.
“Well, on my side, it’s being presented as far more serious than you’re being told.”
“Uh-huh,” he kind of grunted.

The thing I noticed is that as he spoke he became increasingly angry. It’s like he (and, presumably, other cons) had been primed to anger on the topic. It strikes me that it’s a common tactic. The less strength there is to a conservative position, the more anger is stoked. It took me a bit to settle him down so we could get back to what we were doing.

Part of the reason I didn’t argue is that it’s useless. These guys believe the things they believe as a matter of faith. They don’t need no stinkin’ evidence. As a well established lefty, he wouldn’t be able to receive my words anyway. But then Bill Barr, of all people, weighed in on the entertainment channel called ‘Fox “News.”‘ On Friday, Barr said the ex-president had no legitimate reason to hoard classified material at his Florida resort. He also defended the Justice Department raid on Mar-a-Lago, saying the DOJ had been “jerked around” by Trump’s team. He called the request for a Special Master a “red herring.” He pointed out that even Trump’s lawyers hadn’t identified any privileged communications in the documents and that everything else appeared to be “seizable” by the FBI.

He said that the documents “belong to the government. Even if they’re classified, even if they’re subject to Executive Privilege, they still belong to the government.” Then, for good measure, he added that any other things taken, like news clippings or other innocuous things were “seizable under the warrant because they show the conditions under which the classified documents were being held.” Oh, he also said this: “People say this was unprecedented, well it’s also unprecedented for a president to take all this classified information and put them in a country club, okay?” Then, in response to the idea that the DOJ could have just gotten another subpoena, he added, “And how long is the government going to try to get that back? They jawbone for a year, they were deceived on the voluntary actions taken, they then went and got a subpoena, they were deceived on that, they feel, and the facts are starting to show, that they were being jerked around and so how long, you know, how long do they wait?!”

It’s just a guess, here, but MY bet is that Barr will NOT be returning as Attorney General under a second (or third, to hear them tell it) Trump administration. Also, by this afternoon, every hard-core Trumpster is going to know, without question, that Bill Barr is, and always has been, a RINO and never once helped Trump the way he was supposed to. (Clearly…)

It’s just a peek into the bizarre workings of the conservative media bubble. These people seem really ready to go to civil war – over fantasies. It would be like if Tolkien fans started killing people for real in defense of Middle Earth. Or, perhaps, killing people for real on the orders of their invisible super friend – which happens at far too common a rate.

I’ll tell you this: the reasons for their civil war will be fantasy, but the damage and killing will be all too real. I say, prosecute the criminal Trump, anyway. If the price to be paid is in blood, at least we will have done the right thing…