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Blurbs and Bits
Salman Rushdie’s not doing so well after an attacker tried to kill him.
"Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged," his agent said.
House Do-Nothing Margie Taylor Greene did something that is all show, filing impeachment papers against Merrick Garland. She’s largely known to talk shit, take actions to rile people up but like everything else she’s done since being elected, nothing changes or gets better for anyone. But she does get the attention she was apparently denied by her parents when she was just an asshole baby.
Lauren Boebert’s husband, another mouth, got in a tiff with a neighbor, who called the cops, fearful because he’s armed. It sounds like one of the Boebert’s kids was racing up and down the street on a Razer at excessive speeds and Mr. Boebert, the failed restaurateur got pissed off because someone told the kid to slow down. He took out a mailbox or two, threatened a couple of neighbors, one of whom indicated he was probably drunk. The local sheriff - a friend of the Boeberts, was diosmissive about the altercation. An audio of the two calls to the cops is at the link.
Meanwhile, back in Congress, it’s no surprise that Arizona Rep. Kyrsten Sinema is still on the take from hedge fund investment firms, which her forced changes to a major bill make clear. But the real problem is that campaigns aren’t publicly financed, so members of Congress can do this legally while pretending they’re votes aren’t for sale. Such reforms remain unlikely because it would weaken the hold of the ultra-wealthy on policymakers, so they’d fight any reform effort tooth and nail, just like they did with the campaign finance bill co-sponsored by another Arizona lawmaker, the late John McCain. (Note: as a writer and citizen, I’m nonpartisan in my efforts to eliminate the corruption of public officials in any party.)
Speaking of unethical actions, there’s always the carpetbagging Dr. Mehmet Oz doing something. In this case, he’s pissed off his new Pennsylvania neighbors by getting a huge property tax break intended mostly for farmers.
There’s a new report out critical of Facebook for promising to clean out hate groups, then profiting from some of them. Despite FB claiming they’re doing more, the report indicates FB even auto-generates pages for some hate groups. I doubt we’ll ever see them fully correct the problem which is yety anothe argument for breaking up big tech companies via antitrust legislation.
The Mexican drug cartels in several areas have launched a fresh wave of violence. It caused the US embassy to provide this warning last night:
The U.S. Consulate General Tijuana is aware of reports of multiple vehicle fires, roadblocks, and heavy police activity in Tijuana, Mexicali, Rosarito, Ensenada, and Tecate. U.S. government employees have been instructed to shelter in place until further notice.
Baja California is also being threatened.
And this final word - for now - on the Mar-A-Lago document seizure. Donald Trump has not been indicted. Nobody outside of the DOJ even knows whether any indictment will follow. As predicted, his misleadingly named Truth Social site has exploded with threats of violence against the FBI and civil war against us all.
The verbal defense from Trump & his staff has been and likely will remain that he has the power to declassify anything or at least he thought he did, so therefore no malicious or criminal intent existed. In reality, if it contained documents about nuclear weapons, it takes several NSA officials to declassify. So I’d expect the DOJ to continue to question his administration officials to determine what Trump thought or did and whether he was warned about that proper declassification process.
If anything, he’s been granted much broader leeway to date because he was the president than any other US citizen would get. He certainly was not fully cooperating with investigators by withholding documents that were repeatedly requested. And claiming all the documents had been returned, which could put him and one of his lawyers in jeopardy. And it’s certain that the DOJ awareness of the documents came from an insider informant, not from Trump. But what if the insider was one of his lawyers, trying to stave off an indictment?
The point is, there’s still many gaps in our knowledge.
What’s clear is our nation has already been damaged by his actions, well before this document situation came to light. He’s physically shoved aside at least one official of another nation (on camera), courted the favor of several ruthless foreign leaders, met privately with Putin (denying access to others who typically record the topics discussed), defended both Putin and Kim Jong Un who have recently threatened us with a nuclear attack, created doubts about the integrity of our election system that’s composed of Republicans and Democrats alike and is among the most secure and accurate in the world, is doing the same to our justice system - including grand juries composed of ordinary citizens - and much more.
Other allied leaders have mocked him and it’s not hard to see why. And with his ongoing lies and words of provocation, we continue to see some of his supporters using or threatening violence, which he’s obviously okay with.
But we do not know if the numerous legal inquiries and investigations will lead to criminal indictments. The odds are high he’ll face civil penalties for some of his law violations, particularly his financial games where he’s already got a long history of penalties assessed. He’s an embarrassment, we’re already weaker because of his crude, intemperate, racist, sexist, fake Christian and violence-prone ways. His politicizing about covid with anti-science crackpot claims, cost us hundreds of thousands of lives. Only politicians who caused the secession in 1860 have similar blood on their hands, though Trump has cost more lives than they did.
Beyond that, it’s still too early to predict. And with most of the Republican party still fully enabling him, the greatest defense we have against his ongoing efforts to destroy our democracy via lies and division and crimes is not hard. Vote. Vote against him and each of his enablers.
That’s your superpower. Use it wisely at every opportunity.
And a good friend passed on this bit of fun.
Have a good weekend.