Verdicts Galore as the Old Dog starts running out of New Tricks
Plus the success of the Fran Plan
Upon review of the polls and the unscientific sampling of responses heard on Thursday, Vivek Ramaswamy was voted Most Annoying. He also won the WTF Award for his proposed Canadian Wall.
The two South Carolina candidates, Haley & Scott, favor abandoning NATO and Ukraine, to appease Vladimir Putin.
Ramaswamy & DeSantis favor Israel killing off Palestinians.
Haley & DeSantis were voted by the media to be the GOP frontrunners if Trump suddenly disappears or dies.
The winner of the debate is Joe Biden, although Bigmedia Election Experts insist he has old guy cooties still.
Hunter Biden filed a defamation lawsuit against former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne yesterday accusing him of publishing false statements in June that Biden had sought a bribe from Iran in the Fall of 2021, offering to have his father “unfreeze $8 billion in Iranian funds” in return for $800 million.
His lawyers said Byrne’s statements were “completely false and that Byrne knew them to be false.”
The lawsuit says Byrne reposted the lies on October 8th after the HAMAS attack on Israel on October 7th, implying Hunter Biden’s secret deal with Iran had “led to the deaths of more than 1,400 innocent civilians.”
Hunter has previously filed similar lawsuits against Rudy Giuliani, former Trump WH aide Garrett Ziegler and the IRS. And he’s asked the top federal prosecutor to investigate a prior business associate he’s accused of lying to the FBI.
House Republicans have inspected Hunter Biden’s bank records and income from foreign companies for months, claiming Joe Biden committed an impeachable offense tied to his son’s and brother’s foreign business deals. The claims about Hunter go back to 2016 - seven years ago - but no evidence has yet been provided and the supposed witnesses to Hunter’s ‘deals’ have also failed to provide hearsay claims that any crimes were committed.
Biden is guilty of using illegal drugs he was addicted to and he owed back taxes which have been paid. He reached a plea agreement with DOJ prosecutors to plead guilty to purchasing a gun illegally, but the DOJ pulled that deal off the table because of the GOP claim that he’d received favored treatment.
For 30 years, the GOP has made claims about the ‘crimes’ of Bill & Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Bill Clinton made the ethical breach of having sex with a subordinate and lying about it brought a perjury conviction. Hillary’s been the most investigated woman in US history but wasn’t indicted for anything. Obama and Biden have no indictments either.
The GOP is guilty of spreading rumors, innuendo and conspiracy theories for three decades. Now it appears some have crossed the line of legality by making the claims against a private person in violation of libel laws.
In the latest bit of irony, House Oversight Committee Chair Comer has issued subpoenas to Hunter and his uncle, claiming the $200,000 loan paid by the uncle to his brother Joe was fishy. Yet it was revealed yesterday that a similar sized loan was paid back to Comer by Comer’s brother.
And Comer is also being blasted for one particularly misguided subpoena to a terror victim.
Everyone knows that the investigations into the Biden family are political theater and propaganda designed only to spread lies and suspicions. And nothing more.
Steve Bannon’s attorney argued in federal appeals court yesterday that Bannon shouldn’t have to go to jail for his 2 count conviction of contempt of Congress because he was only following legal advice. He also claimed Trump asserted executive privilege over everything Bannon was asked to testify about.
The three appeals court judges weren’t buying the privilege argument, indicating it’s not directly relevant to the appeal and privilege doesn’t necessarily excuse ignoring a subpoena without other legal action.
Prosecuting attorney Elizabeth Danello: “Bannon deliberately chose not to comply in any way with a lawful congressional subpoena, not to provide a single document, not even to show up for his deposition. That was contempt of Congress, and he was properly convicted.”
The court he was convicted in had ruled Bannon’s “good faith” arguments were invalid, and Danello emphasized this: “The Supreme Court and this court have held that the mens rea element for contempt of Congress requires only that the defendant acted deliberately and intentionally” (aka: criminal intent) “Good faith, including advice of counsel, is not a defense. Intentional violation is sufficient to constitute guilt,” she said, citing Supreme Court precedents.
If this court rules against him, he’ll likely pursue an appeal to the SCOTUS and will likely lose again. Because losing is what the Fraud Boss and most of his mooks do.
U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon ruled this morning against Trump’s legal team, which had sought to delay the classified documents trial till post-election.
She dismissed their motion “without prejudice” against taking it up again in the future. The trial’s start date could be reconsidered at a scheduling conference March 1, she wrote.
She did move back some pre-trial deadlines but the trial is currently scheduled for next May 20th. He’s been charged with Espionage Act violations and obstruction of justice after the FBI discovered 300+ classified documents Trump had hidden at Mar A Lago for more than 18 months.
Via The Hill:
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) filed a judicial ethics complaint against the New York judge overseeing former President Trump’s civil fraud trial Friday, claiming the judge has shown “inappropriate bias and judicial intemperance” toward the former president and calling on him to resign.
Judge Arthur Engoron has displayed a “clear judicial bias” against Trump and broken “several rules” in the state’s judicial conduct code, Stefanik wrote in a letter to the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct.
“This judge’s bizarre behavior has no place in our judicial system, where Judge Engoron is not honoring the defendant’s rights to due process and a fair trial,” Stefanik wrote, asserting that those “serious concerns” are amplified by Trump’s status as the front-runner in the 2024 GOP presidential primary.
Her lawsuit simply parrots what he and his attorneys have argued because that’s what cult handmaidens do. The prosecution has rested its case in the trial and Trump’s attorneys will begin his defense on Monday.
Tech billionaire Peter Thiel claimed yesterday that he’s pulling away from political donations in 2024 because of Trump’s actions.:
“There are a lot of things I got wrong,” he said.
“It was crazier than I thought. It was more dangerous than I thought,” Thiel continued. “They couldn’t get the most basic pieces of the government to work. So that was — I think that part was maybe worse than even my low expectations.”
In the most alarming news, warning letters were sent to election offices in Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada and Georgia. Four contained powdered fentanyl.
Markings on the letters and/or envelopes suggested the anonymous sender had anti-fascist beliefs, though that could easily be faked. Since the Georgia one was sent specifically to Fulton County Georgia and all were sent to states Trump lost in 2020, the suspicion that a rightwing domestic terrorist was the author is justified. (I note that one was received by my county’s election office).
”Pierce County [WA] Auditor Linda Farmer released images of the envelope and letter her office received. The letter contained a warning about the vulnerability of “ballot drops” and read: “End elections now. Stop giving power to the right that they don’t have. We are in charge now and there is no more need for them.”
The letter featured an antifascist symbol, a progress pride flag and a pentagram. While the symbols have sometimes been associated with leftist politics, they also have been used by conservative figures to label and stereotype the left, and the sender’s political leanings were unclear.”
Whatever the political beliefs that provoked the mailings, I repudiate them as the actions of an anti-American criminal.
1) Most election offices nationwide recruit retirees to work elections and the threats some have faced due to the hundreds of claims of 2020 election fraud already have plenty of them on edge. This will frighten more, making future recruitment more difficult. That is the textbook definition of terrorism.
2) But one criminal idiot doesn’t define all Republicans, all Democrats nor all anti-fascists. It’s also a relief to note that medical experts say touching or breathing the fentanyl powder is highly unlikely to cause any to be poisoned.
The letters did cause delays in ballot counting at several of the election offices targeted.
For those who believe Trump is being persecuted by political opponents for his criminal actions, there’s fresh evidence that it’s certainly not true for his election lawbreaking. Yesterday a FEC appointee filed this statement:
After the amazing outcome of the SAG-AFTRA strike, the Hollywood Reporter spoke with Fran Drescher, president of the 160,000 member union. Here’s an excerpt:
We’ve reported that the studio side seemed taken aback by your negotiating style, including the plushie and saying inspirational quotes. Do you think you were breaking from the traditional negotiating patterns they’re used to, and do you think that helped SAG in any way?
I am a very authentic person and I think that they were disarmed by the fact that I wasn’t playing a corporate game and I wasn’t trying to emulate masculine energy. And I think that the typical attempts to discredit the woman in leadership did not work because I turned it into a women and girls empowerment movement that said, “I don’t have to emulate male energy.” I can lead with intellect and empathy and compassion and morality, and I can be me and I can still rock a red lip. And I think that that’s very liberating for women because that’s the lowest hanging fruit, let’s discredit the woman leader. She’s either too much or not enough.
Countdown to the Shutdown of Our Government: With one week to go, the new House Speaker refuses to do the hard work of negotiating.
"I don't think the Lord Jesus himself could manage this group," said Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas. He added that he would pray for the new speaker as the House adjourned for a long weekend.
"We’re still dealing with the same divisions we always have had," said another House Republican. "We’re ungovernable."
When the House reconvenes Monday, they’ll have 4 days left to try and avoid the shutdown though it’s starting to look like they intend to shut it down, no matterr who gets hurt or how much extra it will cost taxpayers.
Special Note To Readers: Between now and Tuesday, one of my newsletters will be serious, with a fresh commentary about the HAMAS- Israel war…. and its critics.
A second one will be a thorough respite from the serious stuff. It’ll contain photos, art, silly memes, humor for the intellectual (poseurs!) and my compulsive output of sad, terrible puns. And good music!