Saturday, December 7, 2019

Jason Miciak

Jason Miciak is an author and attorney who splits his time between the Mississippi Gulf Coast and the Pacific Northwest. He has a wife, daughter and the most self-centered and smug dog to ever walk the Earth. Miciak's novels use science fiction to explore themes of morality and our current political environment.

Danger: Trump Celebrates Republican “Unity”

I find this terrifying. The Republican Party has NEVER been so united! This Impeachment Scam is just a continuation of the 3 year Witch Hunt, but it is only bringing us even closer together! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2019 This is an American president who has never polled above 50% approval. At best, this president knows that only half the American people support him in not being removed from office. At best. He is celebrating that among “his” party, there has never been greater “unity.” (Obviously, we are not appraising whether the assertion is true or not, I don’t know, nor care how Trump measures that “unity.” The point is that he values it so highly). This is the language and behavior of a tyrant, one who is looking to deepen divisions among Americans. This is someone who is only interested in surviving personally, not someone interested in the country. Of course, were Trump not consumed by his own personal fate, he would not have been attempting to bribe Ukraine into investigating Biden and wouldn’t be in this position. So, it is kind of a chicken and egg type of thing. Trump is celebrating that the “hoax” is bringing his people closer together. He is celebrating that the definition of being a “Republican” is getting wholly subsumed into “loyalty to Trump,” that quality he always wanted in everyone around him, the only quality any dictator cares about. This is how fascists speak, they speak of loyalty, unity, strength and division. It is all about the leader and the leader’s grip on power, not support of the people as citizens. This country has cooperated, as increasingly we categorize ourselves by our allegiance or lack of allegiance to Trump. It is just how Trump – the wanna be dictator – likes it. Trump now defines who has power in America’s executive branch (and judicial, increasingly), and increasingly even defines who is charged with crimes, and who is punished. If you align with Trump, he will use his power to assist you. Everything else is “extra.” More proof? Sure. Trump’s tweet thanking Sen. Neely Kennedy, Oxford University graduate, who debased himself and the entire senate by going on Meet the Press to highlight Putin’s talking points, directly to Chuck Todd: Thank you to Great Republican @SenJohnKennedy for the job he did in representing both the Republican Party and myself against Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd on Meet the Depressed! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2019 Look at Trump’s words: “Represented me” and “the Republican party.” Trump did not say Kennedy “represented” the United States or people of Louisiana. Nor could Kennedy have gone to Meet the Press to speak for himself as a United States Senator. Trump took Kennedy’s own identity, too. Trump took control of the narrative by defining for whom Kennedy spoke, and of course, Kennedy spoke “for” Trump. This is tyrannical language, it is all about personal loyalty and “whom” one values, not “what.” Remember when Trump first spoke to Comey? “I need loyalty.” Comey promised to always bring Trump the truth. Trump didn’t want “the truth,” he wanted personal loyalty. A normal president would fire an FBI director that pledged “personal loyalty” over truth. Not Trump, he demanded it. Kennedy lied, outright lied, putting out propaganda […]

On Cue, Trump Whines About “Fairness” of Process After Declining to...

My gosh, certainly no one saw this coming! This is the president of the United States of America, who awoke early this morning because he is no longer grounded from using his phone, and he wants you to know that he finds this all to be terribly terribly unfair!! The Do Nothing Democrats get 3 Constitutional lawyers for their Impeachment hoax (they will need them!), the Republicans get one. Oh, that sounds fair! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2019 Look, we can disagree on a lot but I think we’ll all accept that Trump is always laser-focused on “fairness” as a guiding principle … pffft. Ask Merrick Garland about “fairness,” Trump. And have your “one lawyer” object if you have a problem … wait, your particular lawyer won’t show up because it might legitimize the process. This is the same man whose lawyers stated yesterday that because they couldn’t know if the process would be fair, they wouldn’t participate at all, which is exactly what they teach us in law school; always run away holding your eyes and ears if it appears the government is doing something you question. Nadler’s offer to allow Trump to testify and participate worked beautifully. Nearly every retort on Twitter is some form of: “Just go and testify!” There are fewer Trump love-bots replying. Most of Trump’s Twitter followers are letting him know that playing the same song over and over isn’t working. — Carl Alban (@CarlRAlban) December 2, 2019 I like this one: This is Trumps defense…. — whamish2.0 (@wisconsinvotes1) December 2, 2019 Of course, everyone responding is doing so with a giggle, because I suspect that even his followers know that Trump cannot testify. He lies constantly, he lies even when telling the truth might be easier and safer. He would also likely divulge further criminality, stuff of which we’re still unaware. Of course he will not testify or participate, because he is guilty. This response stopped me in my tracks: — ⚖️ Frank GoBell ⚖️ (@Frank_GoBell) December 2, 2019 Lincoln did give his life to save this nation. He declared war while living in a city across the river from enemy lines. Had the North lost the Civil War, does anyone have much doubt what would have happened to Lincoln upon being captured? Imprisonment, at best. Ultimately, Lincoln saved the country and paid with his life anyway. Trump is knowingly tearing the country apart over his own support, with no effort to represent all Americans or bind us all together in something greater. He wants to punish anyone who doesn’t support him. Have no doubt, he relishes the opportunity, probably fantasizes about it. Anyway, big plans for today, as Trump has a long planned trip to attend … — Carl Alban (@CarlRAlban) December 2, 2019 Nah, he’s heading off to the U.K. for the NATO anniversary and, perhaps – funeral, depending on his mood, I suppose. Wait! Chopper-talk!! The “do nothing Democrats” are to be criticized for scheduling the impeachment hearing while he goes to London for the NATO anniversary. He won’t send lawyers to the hoax. Republicans have never been more united, so that is a great thing, but it is a disgrace what is happening. The meeting with the NATO countries promises to have […]

Trumps Declines Opportunity to “Participate” in Impeachment Hearings

I think that House Democrats need to start giving serious thought to granting each Republican request with respect to impeachment, because I seriously doubt that Republicans have any plans to actually do anything if invited to participate in the process. They only want to use denials as ammunition in the process. After Trump spent the last two months complaining about the “lack of due process” in the investigation phase (we generally don’t allow defendants to participate in investigation), Representative Gerry Nadler, head of the House Judiciary Committee, offered Trump and his lawyers a role in the hearings on drafting articles of impeachment. Trump and his lawyers just said “no.” Rawstory has a brief summary: “We cannot fairly be expected to participate in a hearing while the witnesses are yet to be named,” Cipollone complained in a letter. “It remains unclear” whether the Judiciary Committee “will afford the President a fair process” through more hearings. Sure, right on, sport – we sure can’t see through that. After all, when lawyers are confronted with “unclear processes,” the first thing we do is decline the invitation to participate and be there to register objections or question the evidence. If you would like to read this letter, it is here: Cipollone accuses Nadler of deliberately scheduling Wednesday’s hearing while Trump is at a NATO summit in London. He also says Dems are withholding information about who will testify & other details. — Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) December 2, 2019 The “bluff” was so easily called that I think the Democrats need to give serious thought to calling out each and every future one. Today on Fox News, GA Rep. Doug Collins demanded that Adam Schiff be the first to testify. Yes, it is crazy. However, I am assuming that Schiff has not done anything wrong. Perhaps have Rep. Schiff sit there and answer their questions. Indeed, because I believe that the Democrats actually have the evidence and the constitution on their side, they might well want to consider using each demand as yet another opportunity to argue their case and the evidence. No, it won’t work in every context, but it is getting to the point where I would strongly consider it. Paint an even bigger contrast between the two sides. One side is open, unafraid to be asked questions, will not be bullied and can explain all its actions and plans. That same side will sit at the microphone and produce documents while answering questions. The other party is attempting to keep everyone from testifying, including the people closest to the matter, and will do all it can to change the subject. It needs to be strongly considered. By the way, when one hears complaints about “due process,” do note that eight of the jurors, all Republicans, spent July 4, 2018 in Moscow attended closed door “meetings.” How very symbolic. That doesn’t seem like “due process” to the House managers, who will be attempting to prove that Trump is doing Russia’s bidding. Perhaps these jurors should recuse themselves? **** Peace, y’all Jason and on Twitter @MiciakZoom    

Trump’s Recent Behavior Raises New Health Concerns

If you have spent much time on the net over the holiday, you know that questions swirl about Trump’s current health status. Purportedly, Trump went thirty days between rounds of golf. I have no idea whether someone actually saw Trump golf this weekend, though it was on his schedule. He also near stopped tweeting over the weekend, going from four to three to one on Saturday. That was unusual. Of course, this all comes two weeks after Trump was rushed off to the hospital without real explanation. Given Trump’s secretive nature and trouble with “truth,” it would be negligent to not speculate as to all that is happening.   Indeed, Newsweek has a new article focusing upon revelations contained in the new book “Anonymous; A Warning.” Anonymous states that though he/she is not competent to diagnose any issue, normal people around Trunp do see an issue, quickly: “He stumbles, slurs, gets confused, is easily irritated, and has trouble synthesizing information, not occasionally but with regularity,” What we see as covering criminal behavior may often be just a person declining in mental acuity, or a person with declining mental acuity also covering criminal behavior: “Americans are used to him denying words that have come out of his mouth,” the senior official writes. “Sometimes this is to avoid responsibility.” However, they say it often “appears Trump genuinely doesn’t remember important facts.” Moreover, we are not talking about someone who had a lot of brainpower and judgment from which to diminish, according to Anonymous: In addition to questioning Trump’s ability to recall basic terms that he has said or heard, the anonymous author also accuses the president of an “astounding” level of “intellectual laziness.” and was “bewildered how anyone could have run a private company on the empty mental tank President Trump relies upon every day to run the government.” At this point, this ought to relieve us. After all, the only thing worse might be a president Trump staying up all night reading about how he might more effectively dismantle NATO. But it isn’t just declining memory or intellectual laziness. There do appear to be some physical symptoms. Don’t take too much from any one video, nor any one person’s interpretation of any one video. But this Tweet did seem to catch some odd physical symptoms in Trump: Trump in Afghanistan displays an odd gait. Here in slow motion, note the odd twist & drag of his right foot. Also note the left side. There appears to be some type of shock absorber heel on his shoe as he scrapes his foot on the downswing. He's probably receiving physical therapy — Tom Joseph (@TomJChicago) November 29, 2019 I don’t know what to make of it. My daughter swears she sees that “shock absorber” on the left foot and she believes Trump is covering a limp. I put far more evidentiary weight onto the fact that Trump went thirty days without golfing, a huge gap in his normal routine. The leading Twitter diagnosis (and that is ALL it is) is TIAs, “Transient Ischemic Attacks” or what are commonly called “mini-strokes,” tiny blockages in the brain. These can cause diminishing neurological function. Others speculate (because that is all this is, speculation) that Trump had a small stroke on the day he was rushed to […]
Morning Joe / Flickr Chuck Todd...

Chuck Todd Catches Sen. Kennedy Again Making Putin’s Argument

As Charlie Pierce noted on Twitter, “woke” Chuck Todd arrived in the Meet The Press studios this morning to greet Senator Kennedy from Louisiana. Remember that it was Kennedy who said last week that he didn’t know if it was Russia or Ukraine that interfered in 2016? Todd seemed better prepared to handle the right-wing talking points today. It started out well enough, with Kennedy walking back what he had said last week on Fox: “Well, Chris Wallace was interviewing me and he asked me a question. I answered it. I thought he had asked me if Ukraine had meddled in the 2016 election,” the Republican senator replied, reiterating previous excuses he had given. “He didn’t, he asked me if Ukraine was responsible for hacking the DNC computer, which is, of course, a form of meddling. I went back and looked at the transcript and I realized Chris was right and I was wrong so I said I was wrong.” Kennedy is full of shit, of course. He tried to come across as some country-bumpkin who got confused by the wily Chris Wallace. Kennedy is a Rhodes Scholar, folks. He wasn’t confused or fooled by anyone. (As we prove here in a moment) Kennedy was attempting to get away with obfuscating the truth and conflating Russian interference with Ukrainian action. Fully believing that he’d redeemed himself, Kennedy then went and … did the exact same thing as last week, perhaps worse! Kennedy: “Russia was very aggressive and they’re much more sophisticated, ”But the fact that Russia was so aggressive does not exclude the fact that President Poroshenko actively worked for Secretary Clinton … Here comes Todd! “Actively worked for Secretary Clinton?! My goodness, wait a minute, Senator Kennedy,” Todd shot back. “You now have the president of Ukraine saying he worked for the Democratic nominee for president. C’mon. You realize the only other person selling this argument outside the United States is this man, Vladimir Putin!” Slow clap. “The only other person selling this argument outside the United States is Vladimir Putin.” Clap. Clap. Clap. This needs to become a much more common retort among journalists: Weakening NATO? “The only other person selling this argument outside the United States is Vladimir Putin.” Pulling out of Syria? “The only person selling this argument outside the United States is Vladimir Putin.” Not spending money to fight for election security? “The only person selling this …” How many Republican talking points could be rebutted with the retort: “Congressman, you know that outside the United States, the only people in favor of this policy are the Russians, correct?” A lot. One could spend an entire day noting how Republican positions have aligned completely with Vladimir Putin’s plans for the world, and it is not the Democrats’ fault that “pointing it out” seems “partisan.” Nice job, Chuck. **** Peace, y’all Jason and on Twitter: @MiciakZoom

Trump Deepens Feud With Pentagon

Yesterday my Twitter feed contained four pictures taken from the evidence at Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher’s trial. It showed a sick sick guy grinning over the body of a dead 14 year old boy. It also showed other boots on the ground around him, witnesses, from his squad. It sent waves of disgust down my spine and rid me of whatever last remaining “tolerance” I might have been able to find for Trump and his apologists on the Right. Today, the New York Times published a long report on the entire matter, including the murder: Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher and other Navy SEALs gave the young captive medical aid that day in Iraq in 2017, sedating him and cutting an airway in his throat to help him breathe. Then, without warning, according to colleagues, Chief Gallagher pulled a small hunting knife from a sheath and stabbed the sedated captive in the neck. The Fox News hero stabbed a prisoner, one who was sedated already, and fourteen years old. There are signs out there that pardoning Gallagher may end up hurting Trump far more than his attempt to extort Ukraine. Trump’s inability to understand morality, ethics and law, coupled with his willingness to reach in and micro-manage any organization as the one who “knows better,” has put Trump into an acute showdown with “his” own military brass according to story in the Times: “The case of the president and a commando accused of war crimes offers a lesson in how Mr. Trump presides over the armed forces three years after taking office. While he boasts of supporting the military, he has come to distrust the generals and admirals who run it. Rather than accept information from his own government, he responds to television reports that grab his interest. Warned against crossing lines, he bulldozes past precedent and norms.” “Distrust the generals and admirals who run it.” That is because the admirals and generals who run the Pentagon are more like Jim Comey in their approach to government than say … Lindsey Graham. These admirals and generals are the most loyal people on Earth. The problem for Trump is that the Pentagon’s loyalty is to the constitution and nation, not Trump personally. So, the fact that Trump would come to “distrust” the military is the most predictable aspect of the Trump presidency. Trump cannot handle  any dynamic where there exists a loyalty to anything above him personally. Said one expert: “As a result, the president finds himself more removed than ever from a disenchanted military command, adding the armed forces to the institutions under his authority that he has feuded with, along with the intelligence community, law enforcement agencies and diplomatic corps.” Note that list. The intelligence community, law enforcement agencies, and diplomatic corps, all agencies with which Trump is “feuding.” Each agency has a “higher calling” that transcends the political aspirations of any president that may come along. These are the areas of government most impervious to a strict “loyalty test” of the type that Comey failed. Thus, rather than be less “political” with them, or accept that these agencies must operate differently, Trump chooses to feud with them. In the end, Trump must have his loyalty or the person or agency will feel his wrath. So why might this matter so much? […]

Trump Re-emerges to Tweet His Latest Impeachment Defense

In case you didn’t hear, 53% of Republicans believe Trump is a better president than Lincoln. Any president with an ounce of grace and/or humility, one who hears that half his party ranks him or her above Lincoln, responds with: “Well, I find it endearing that my supporters are enthusiastic. But I think perhaps maybe this poll has some snags in its methodology, or is disinformation to suit a political agenda. I know that my vote goes to the man who saved the Union.” That was so easy even a moron sitting in the middle of the sticks could do it. Trump, on the other hand, couldn’t resist promoting the poll, and using it as justification to save himself from impeachment. Were that not enough, he spoke in third-person to do it. And the Do Nothing Democrats want to impeach President Trump? — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 30, 2019 Dude. That poll says far more about your supporters than it does about you. Here, see if this helps you understand: — Ibrahim Hassan (@Ibrahim18539926) November 30, 2019 I cannot imagine how difficult it must be for real political staffers whose job it might be to help Trump, or even Republicans sitting on the sidelines wanting for Trump to broaden his appeal. That poll presented the perfect opportunity to deliver a surprisingly elegant and humble rebuke. I wrote my response in less than 30 seconds, and it sucked. But it is in a higher existence than Trump’s tweet, which managed to reinforce his most loathsome qualities. Would a normal person even want to be seriously compared to a founding father like Lincoln? No normal person wants that kind of adulation. Even most rock stars get over it at about age forty and start having families and become “people.” Actually, the saddest aspect of the response is Trump’s palpable need to be adored by his followers. This is a man who doesn’t object when someone like Rick Perry says Trump is “the chosen one.” I guess it is a little much to expect “humility” from a man whose followers see him as above humanity. Franklin Graham says it is “near Demonic” to oppose Trump. If Graham is right, and it is demonic to oppose Trump, what does that make Trump? I don’t know. Not Lincoln, on that I am certain. Happy Saturday night everyone. **** Peace, y’all Jason and on Twitter @MiciakZoom  

Over Half of the “Republicans” Polled Believe Trump is Better than...

Meth! Nah, just kidding. I think. I mean they didn’t ask that question, so … Over half – 53% – of Republicans polled say that Trump is a “better president” than Abraham Lincoln, according to a poll reported on by Rolling Stone. I showed the headline to my daughter who said nothing. Instead she gave me the best subtle Picard facepalm and a gentle sigh. Other responses are perfectly acceptable. 53% of Republicans apparently don’t even know who Abraham Lincoln was… — Billy Baldwin (@BillyBaldwin) November 30, 2019 Don’t worry, though, it’s not like most Republicans think that Trump is the “best president ever.” No, they’re not that delirious. However, the never-ending love from party loyalists for former president Ronald Reagan could not be toppled even with the seemingly unshakeable support for the current president. Reagan still bests Trump 59 percent to 41 percent as their favorite. Normally you might point out that Lincoln won the civil war and abolished slavery, whereas Reagan … but normally we’re not left to choose between a president who put the United States ahead of Russia (Reagan) versus one who operates the United States on Russia’s behalf, as in Trump. So, if more Republicans believe that Reagan is the best president ever, good for them, at least they’re putting the United States ahead of Russia. For now. Still. Jesus Christ giving an address at Rotary, Lincoln? Trump is a “better president than Lincoln?” Go to school, Republicans! Ha, sorry. Had they gone to school, they wouldn’t be Republicans. **** Peace, y’all Jason and on Twitter @MiciakZoom    

Matt Gaetz Goes to War With Georgia Governor, and Friday Pick...

Matt Gaetz knows that daddy knows best, indeed Gaetz owes his station in life to adhering to the principle. Representative Gaetz did  not like the fact that Georgia Governor Brian Kemp   has chosen to ignore Trump’s directive on whom to nominate to the U.S. Senate, and will make the choice himself. Trump wanted Doug Collins because of course he did. Trump wants the most loyal Trumpers in place. “Loyalty” is the only quality Trump values. Matt Gaetz is loyal and went after Kemp on Twitter. We can get to the heart of the action by including three tweets in one here just below: So Matt Gaetz thinks trump is a God. — Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) November 29, 2019 Nice, huh? Just to make it slightly crazier, Gaetz had to “go at it” with some responders on Twitter and did it with typical Gaetz “dignity.” PS – I adamantly deny wearing jean shorts or anything acid-washed after 1998, but that isn’t the real point. I do own some jeans on the tighter side, which is nothing to be ashamed about. — Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) November 29, 2019 Holy shit, dude. Grip yourself. Maybe just have a beer or two, instead of thirteen, maybe? Okay, even though it doesn’t “feel” like a Friday, it is, and so we’re going to keep up with traditions even on a holiday weekend and open up our Thanksgiving edition of the Friday Pick Six. WHAT YOU SHOULD PICK TO CLICK I’m posting Coldplay, because I am, that’s why. That and because it’s my daughter and I’s song, sue me (bad idea, for many reasons). “Yellow” BEST FOOTBALL GAME OF THE WEEKEND The big game: 1 Ohio State v. 13 Michigan ABC 11:00 a.m. CST BRAINFOOD TO IMPRESS NICOLE What it would take to terraform Mars:   BEST THING ON THE INTERNET: Low level flying!   BEST THING ON THE NET THAT INVOLVES A DOG A dog meeting a service member, owner, happy Thanksgiving: She was on duty for 2 years, her dog Murphy doesn't recognize her but what happens later is truly amazing ❤️ — 🌊Fras🌊 ppl's🌊 Choice (@fras99) November 28, 2019 And bonus best thing on the net that involves a monkey. My heart… This little monkey was injured & nursed back to health by a Veterinary Centre in South Africa. When he was rescued, his family followed him to the centre & waited on the roof for weeks. Checkout their reactions…❤️😭 — FierceWarriorNStilettos (@InactionNever) November 28, 2019   YOUR WEEKLY REAL PRESIDENT, PRESIDENT BARLETT: About to nominate the nation’s first woman Chief Justice:   Happy Friday, all, gotta run. **** Peace, y’all Jason and on Twitter @MiciakZoom

BUSTED: Evidence Shows Trump and Sondland Are LYING About Second Call

I know it’s a bit dicey, but get down in the weeds with me for a bit and I will help you understand how it is that the White House and Gordon Sondland have had their legs wiped out from under them in the Ukraine “defense.” You likely know that Ambassador Sondland testified to two phone calls with Trump about the quid pro quo, two days apart, one on September 7th and one on the 9th. We all sort of assumed that Sondland told the truth about everything because he had sold Trump out so badly in his “indeed their was a quid pro quo.” But remember, this man had to “re-remember” many things, and he either kept a few “good parts” in for Trump, or just go so crosswise he couldn’t remember what he was doing. The important thing to note is that the Republicans used his “remembered” second phone call on the 9th as a big part of their defense. iThe Trump administration believed this purported “second phone call” helped it a great deal in the Ukrainian scandal. The problem however is that the second phone call never occurred, according to an analysis of the evidence done by Just Security. Indeed, not only did the second call not occur, upon analyzing the “only call” in a proper light, it shows Trump was directly involved in negotiations about the quid pro quo and personally vetoed an option offered by Ukraine. First, let’s set out the purported two phone calls for clarity. The first phone call supposedly took place on September 7: The call occurred on September 7th. In this call, Trump did say there was “no quid pro quo” with Ukraine, but he then went on to outline his preconditions for releasing the security assistance and granting a White House visit. The call was so alarming that when John Bolton learned of it, he ordered his’ deputy Tim Morrison to immediately report it to the National Security Council lawyers. So, no matter what Trump might’ve said about “no quid pro quo,” the September 7th call had enough “conditions” on what Zelensky needed to do (a quid pro quo) that Bolton panicked and had it reported. According to Sondland and the White House, Trump had a second phone call with Sondland on September 9th. Sondland has testified there was a call on September 9th in which Trump said there was “no quid pro quo,” but that he wanted President Zelenskyy “to do” the right thing. A close reading of the publicly available evidence shows that the latter call was actually the very one that sent Morrison to the lawyers, and that Ambassador Bill Taylor foregrounded in his written deposition to inform Congress of the quid pro quo. To the extent that the White House has a defense, it is that no one testified directly to the president doing any of the acts constituting a quid pro quo on the aid money or a Zelensky trip to the White House. The defense relies heavily upon the “September 9th phone call as proof. Sondland testified that he had a quick call with Trump on September 9th: I asked him one open-ended question: What do you want from Ukraine? And as I recall, he was in a very bad mood. It was a […]

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