THE SHINBONE STAR – REBLOG ON WHAT’S FUNNY AND WHAT’S NOT

IT’S NO JOKING MATTER WHEN TRUMP SPEAKS FROM THE WHITE HOUSE LAWN

by MACinelli
Donald Trump stands on the White House lawn and asks China to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter

Donald Trump stands on the White House lawn and asks China to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
Put a sock in it, Jim Jordan.

It wasn’t a joke — as you suggested — when Donald J. Trump while standing on the White House lawn, called on China to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a potential rival in the 2020 presidential elections.

But just to be fair, let’s look at exactly what Trump said on live TV as he prepared to leave Washington late last week for another round of golf in Florida.

“China should start an investigation into the Bidens because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine.”

The request came just moments after he discussed upcoming trade talks with China and told the same gaggle of reporters, as cameras rolled, that “if they don’t do what we want, we have tremendous power.”

Trump has never been a Jerry Seinfeld. Nor has he ever had the chops of a Ray Romano or Billy Crystal. He might come close to Pee Wee Herman, but that’s another story.

Jordan, a Republican congressman from Ohio and staunch defender (read lemming) of Trump, ran out the “joke” defense over the weekend when asked Sunday by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” if Trump’s suggestion to China was appropriate.

“I’m just telling you what the statement is. You asked me about the statement,” Jordan responded. “I don’t think anyone in America really believes — except people may be in the press and some Democrats in Congress — really believe that the president of the United States thinks China is going to investigate.”

That wasn’t the question, Mr. Jordan. Answer the question: Do you think Trump calling on China to investigate a political rival is appropriate?

Jordan dodge the questioned again. “You really think he was serious about thinking that China is going to investigate the Biden family?”

Not the question, congressman. Answer the question: Do you think it was OK for Trump to violate the rule of law by calling on a foreign government — one that in this case is a sworn enemy of our country — to launch a probe of a political rival and his family?

Jordan’s response — after 10 minutes of ducking and dodging: “Well, I don’t think it’s going to happen. . . . I just don’t think that’s what the president was really saying.”

It’s not important what you think will or won’t happen, or what you think Trump “really” was saying.

Here’s what matters: Are you — an elected official of our government sworn to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States — supporting Trump’s thumbing his nose at laws that form the foundation of our republic?

This is not a joking matter. This is not a time for Republicans or any other elected official to ignore the obvious — Trump believes he can get away with being lawless because that’s how he has operated all his life.

And you, Mr. Jordan, and your GOP brethren in and out of office are enabling this man-child, this wannabe dictator, to run roughshod over a democracy that is meant to protect all of us and provide a quality of life that for most of the 240 years of its existence has been the envy of the world.

For nearly three years now Trump and his minions have used the “joke” defense when his blathering results in showcasing his lifelong battle with foot-in-mouth disease. Remember the Russian request back in 2016? Trump said:

“I will tell you this: Russia if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

What a knee-slapper that one was, right? No collusion with Russia. Just joking. He even went further in a written response to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s question about that ask. Trump’s explanation was that he “made the  . . .  statement ‘in jest and sarcastically, as was apparent to any objective observer.’ ”

No, it was made as part of a political smear effort against his Democratic opponent in the upcoming general election, Hillary Clinton.

Jokes from a president, any president, are allowed and often times can be quite funny in the proper forum, such as the annual White House Correspondent’s dinner. Let’s flashback to 2011 when then-President Barack Obama dropped a few funnies on then-citizen Trump, who at the time was questioning Obama’s citizenship. Said Obama from the lectern:

“Donald Trump is here tonight. Now I know that he’s taken some flak lately. But no one is happier — no one is prouder — to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald. And that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter: Like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?”

That was funny stuff. The crowd cracked up. Everyone, that is, except Trump, who sat fuming at his table. But Obama wasn’t through cracking funny, as is the privilege afforded a sitting president at this event:

“All kidding aside, obviously we all know about your credentials and breadth of experience. For example . . . no seriously, just recently, in an episode of ‘Celebrity Apprentice,’ at the steakhouse, the men’s cooking team did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks. And there was a lot of blame to go around, but you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership, and so ultimately you didn’t blame Lil Jon or Meat Loaf, you fired Gary Busey. And these are the kinds of decisions that would keep me up at night. Well handled, sir. Well handled. Say what you will about Mr. Trump, he certainly would bring some change to the White House. Let’s see what we’ve got up there.”

Laughter erupted across the dining hall, but unfortunately for our country, the jibes by Obama angered Trump so much that he not only decided to mount a presidential campaign but managed to secure Russian assistance to steal the Oval Office for a four-year term.

The difference between Obama’s jokes at a news media event and Trump’s calls on live television for investigations of political opponents is blatantly obvious. Obama delivered his punches at a time and place where humor was expected and is often entertaining. Trump’s attempt at “jokes,” as Jim Jordan would have us believe, were delivered on the White House lawn in front of television news cameras as part of his never-ending political campaign.

No joke, Mr. Jordan, you are supporting illegal activity by a president who considers himself above the law, a person who thinks that as president he can do anything he wants, to anyone he wants, at any time he wants, and he won’t suffer the consequences.

DIETING WITHOUT DIGNITY – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango – Dieting Without Dignity

While Wearing Hand Cuffs, Leg Irons,
an Electronic Ankle Bracelet and a Muzzle

So I open Daily Kos this morning and read this:

Wednesday morning, Trump followed it up with a series of tweets thanking Wayne Allyn Root for praising him, quoting Root as having said that “President Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America, he is the best President for Israel in the history of the world…and the Jewish people in Israel love him… ….like he’s the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God…But American Jews don’t know him or like him. They don’t even know what they’re doing or saying anymore. It makes no sense!”

Like he’s the King of Israel. Like he is the second coming of God. Trump heard someone say that and instead of rolling his eyes, he tweeted it like these rantings were something we all needed to hear. And who’s Wayne Allyn Root? He’s a conspiracy theorist who, like Trump, spent the Obama years as a birther. He pushed Seth Rich conspiracy theories. He said that the Las Vegas mass shooting, which turned out to have been committed by non-Muslim white guy Stephen Paddock, was “Clearly Coordinated Muslim Terror attack.” So at least we have a clear guide on how reliable Root’s assessment of Trump is. 

If you wonder how in the world people who call themselves Christians could be following Trump, by now you have got to realize you are probably not delusional. It’s those so-called fake Christians. The crazies have taken over the asylum, but we are all living in it.

I don’t even know where to start. I’m pretty sure Saul was the last “King of Israel” and there hasn’t been any since. And Trump’s special Christians worship him as if he is the second coming of God.


The King of Israel. Second Coming of God.
Trump really IS the antichrist. One of a small troop!

Doesn’t that make someone else’s hair stand on end? Does he think he is the antichrist or is that just one of his many goals? Has his mental vacuity and derangement gone over the wall and dropped into Nevernever NEVER Land?

I’m not even sure who he thinks he is attacking at this point. I am pretty sure that this isn’t the way to any White House I’ve heard about — and if it is, we deserve what we get because we really are too stupid to run a country.

I don’t know whether I’m insulted because I’m a Jew, insulted because I’m a human being with normal intelligence without a bump-stock AR-15, or just insulted because we have a president who has the IQ of an earthworm.  That’s probably an insult to earthworms.

For a man who has never taken a risk for his country, never taken up arms, has insulted the military, the FBI, the CIA, not to mention all of our national security, and refused to protect the country he was supposed sworn to serve  — and now he’s mad at Denmark because they are disinclined to discuss selling Greenland to Trump (he’d bankrupt it anyway plus he’d never pay Denmark the money he owed).

If he wasn’t causing so much damage to animals, humanism, the Earth’s climate while refusing to protect America from its enemies it’s own terrorists, he would be hilarious. He is hilarious. It’s just my sense of humor isn’t working as well as it used to.

He may be the greatest president ever because I think he’s going to be the only one who managed to disassemble the country leaving only a pile of ashes and plastic straws by which to remember us.


By the way, did you know that ashes are very good for getting water stains off wood surfaces? If you rub it on the damaged wood, it will lift the watermark. You might as well get some useful information out of this.

So you see? He isn’t worthless. He could be a housemaid. In handcuffs and leg irons with someone following him around with an AR-15, bump stock and all, just to make sure he doesn’t try to run away. Should we also add one of those electronic leg bracelets? Maybe include a micro-identifier under his skin so, like a dog, he can be scanned by the local veterinarian?

I bet my dogs would bite him and they don’t bite anyone who isn’t holding a hamburger.

He can be our very first slave. Since he seems sure we never had any slavery, he can be the first and surely the only one with orange hair.

My house needs a very thorough cleaning. Send him my way. After he gets done with the dusting, floor washing, laundry, and tidying up, he can do some of the neglected yard-work.

While we are at it, we’ll put him on a diet. I’m sure it will improve the state of his gigantic ass.

FROM THE WASHINGTON POST, A REALLY IMPORTANT POST THAT EVERYONE SHOULD READ

Trump would have been charged with obstruction were he not president, hundreds of former federal prosecutors assert


From left, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, President Trump and Attorney General William P. Barr. (From left: Charles Dharapak; Jabin Botsford; Bill O’Leary/AP; The Washington Post)

May 6 at 2:00 PM


More than 450 former federal prosecutors who worked in Republican and Democratic administrations have signed on to a statement asserting special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s findings would have produced obstruction charges against President Trump — if not for the office he held.

The statement — signed by myriad former career government employees as well as high-profile political appointees — offers a rebuttal to Attorney General William P. Barr’s determination that the evidence Mueller uncovered was “not sufficient” to establish that Trump committed a crime.

Mueller had declined to say one way or the other whether Trump should have been charged, citing a Justice Department legal opinion that sitting presidents cannot be indicted, as well as concerns about the fairness of accusing someone for whom there can be no court proceeding.

“Each of us believes that the conduct of President Trump described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report would, in the case of any other person not covered by the Office of Legal Counsel policy against indicting a sitting President, result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice,” the former federal prosecutors wrote.

“We emphasize that these are not matters of close professional judgment,” they added. “Of course, there are potential defenses or arguments that could be raised in response to an indictment of the nature we describe here. . . . But, to look at these facts and say that a prosecutor could not probably sustain a conviction for obstruction of justice — the standard set out in Principles of Federal Prosecution — runs counter to logic and our experience.”

How Barr appeared to misrepresent Mueller’s findings

Attorney General William P. Barr repeatedly appeared to misrepresent or misstate special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s findings on May 1. 

The statement is notable for the number of people who signed it — 375 as of early Monday afternoon, growing to 459 in the hours after it published — and the positions and political affiliations of some on the list. It was posted online Monday afternoon; those signing it did not explicitly address what, if anything, they hope might happen next.

Among the high-profile signers are Bill Weld, a former U.S. attorney and Justice Department official in the Reagan administration who is running against Trump as a Republican; Donald Ayer, a former deputy attorney general in the George H.W. Bush Administration; John S. Martin, a former U.S. attorney and federal judge appointed to his posts by two Republican presidents; Paul Rosenzweig, who served as senior counsel to independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr; and Jeffrey Harris, who worked as the principal assistant to Rudolph W. Giuliani when he was at the Justice Department in the Reagan administration.

The list also includes more than 20 former U.S. attorneys and more than 100 people with at least 20 years of service at the Justice Department — most of them former career officials. The signers worked in every presidential administration since that of Dwight D. Eisenhower. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a federal prosecutor before he became a lawmaker, joined the letter after news of it broke, and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), chair of the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted his support for its premise .

The signatures were collected by the nonprofit group Protect Democracy, which counts Justice Department alumni among its staff and was contacted about the statement last week by a group of former federal prosecutors, said Justin Vail, an attorney at Protect Democracy.

“We strongly believe that Americans deserve to hear from the men and women who spent their careers weighing evidence and making decisions about whether it was sufficient to justify prosecution, so we agreed to send out a call for signatories,” Vail said. “The response was overwhelming. This effort reflects the voices of former prosecutors who have served at DOJ and signed the statement.”

What’s in the Mueller report?

A redacted version of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report was released to the public on April 18. Here’s what’s in it. 

Weld said by the time he reviewed the statement, it already had more than 100 signatures, and he affixed his name because he had concluded the evidence “goes well beyond what is required to support criminal charges of obstruction of justice.”

“I hope the letter will be persuasive evidence that Attorney General Barr’s apparent legal theory is incorrect,” he said.

A spokesman for the special counsel’s office declined to comment. A spokeswoman for the Justice Department referred a reporter to Barr’s previous public statements on the subject.

Many legal analysts have wondered since Mueller’s report was released whether the special counsel believed he had sufficient evidence to charge Trump and was just unwilling to say it out loud.

By the report’s account, Trump — after learning he was being investigated for obstruction — told his White House counsel to have Mueller removed. And when that did not work, according to Mueller’s report, Trump tried to have a message passed to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to limit the scope of Mueller’s authority. Of that episode, Mueller’s team wrote there was “substantial evidence” to indicate Trump was trying to “prevent further investigative scrutiny” of himself and his campaign.

“All of this conduct — trying to control and impede the investigation against the President by leveraging his authority over others — is similar to conduct we have seen charged against other public officials and people in powerful positions,” the former federal prosecutors wrote in their letter.

They wrote that prosecuting such cases was “critical because unchecked obstruction — which allows intentional interference with criminal investigations to go unpunished — puts our whole system of justice at risk.”

Mueller’s team, though, wrote that it decided not to make a “traditional prosecutorial judgment” in part because of the Justice Department opinion on not indicting sitting presidents and because the evidence obtained “presents difficult issues that would need to be resolved” if they were to do so.

“At the same time, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state,” Mueller’s team wrote.

After receiving Mueller’s report, Barr said he and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein reviewed the case themselves and determined the evidence was not there. He offered a robust defense of that decision at a recent congressional hearing, detailing for lawmakers possible defenses Trump could have raised in each episode.

“The government has to prove things beyond a reasonable doubt,” Barr said. “And, as the report shows, there’s ample evidence on the other side of the ledger that would prevent the government from establishing that.”


I do not usually reblog items from the Washington Post, but this article is so important, I felt it deserved the bigger airing. I am a subscriber and I find it frustrating that I can’t make some of these posts available, but usually, I assume someone else will post the same material. I’m sure someone else will post the material, but nobody writes it better or with more clarity than the Post. 

This is a completely non-profit blog (I wish it were a little less non-profit) so this is truly public service!

ENMITY? NO THANKS – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Enmity

I saw this and I thought about writing to it. Except aside from how I feel about Trump, I don’t think I’ve ever felt enmity towards anyone.

Anger? Absolutely. Very, very angry? A lot more than once. Even rather furious and enraged? Uh huh. But nothing that lasted longer than the event. Nothing long-term, permanent, or unforgivable.

So unless I’m going to write about the president and how much I really hate the man — and is “hate” the same as “enmity”?

Junco with our sundial

Regardless I felt that writing about this was going to ruin my day which has been going pretty well, all things considered. Garry vacuumed and dusted — without my asking, which has to be a first in our very long relationship. I took a few bird pictures that I think are kind of cool.

Do I need to write about enmity?

No, I don’t. So instead, please accept this lovely photograph of a Junco having an emotional moment with the toad and our sundial.

STEADIER THAN ANY ROCK – Marilyn Armstrong

STEADY AS HE GOES


Trump will never abandon Russia. He can’t afford it. And he might not live long if he tried.

From highly reliable sources.

Putin’s got the goods on Trump’s massive money laundering with the head of the Russian Mafia in the US. The head who is #1 on the FBI’s most wanted list. His headquarters is a social club in little Russia in Brooklyn that was until very recently co-owned by Michael Cohen. Trump’s fixer. You can’t make this shit up.

If you think about it, it makes sense. Follow the money. Forget “sex scandals” because Trump doesn’t care and neither do his people. But huge amounts of illegal money being laundered by the Russian Mafia? Through a club that was recently co-owned by Trump’s now indicted fixer? That might make a big dent.

That is why, despite his behavior sitting on the knife-edge of treason, Trump is quite literally owned by Putin and his fellow oligarchs. For Trump, there’s not pulling away from this. There’s no safe way out. There’s a giant trail of money leading to his tippy toes.

Owned and operated by the Russians.

So talk about steady? Trump is as steady as you can get because he is owned and operated by Russia. He will continue to be O&O by the Russians, no matter what anyone in any party or department says about it. That is, until they finally put the cuffs on him.

High crimes and misdemeanors? You think?

AMIBIGUITY – Marilyn Armstrong

The Ambiguity of Our Times

Ambiguity. That’s when you say “I love you,” but pause afterward and think (out loud) that you used to love other people and you don’t love them anymore, so maybe loving you doesn’t really mean very much.

That’s how I feel about “Our Power President.”

He is making America great. Again. Because our previous greatness wasn’t “his” kind of great.

He has solved all our problems, yet somehow, none of them seem solved. But that’s only because the press lies all the time and refuse to admit all the important fixes he has made in the world.

Trump and Putin

Meanwhile, the kids are still living in baby jails. Kim Jun Un has a lot of rockets and no intention of giving them up. Russia is taking over the United States and our Chief Moron doesn’t seem to notice. We are going to be a new — and really BIG — satellite of Russia. Cool!

Russia is very good at taking over other countries. It’s one of their “things.” At one time, they dominated more than half of Europe and were working on Asia and Africa, until the Chinese beat them to it.

We used to be pretty good at it ourselves, but now, we bow and suck up to Putin.

Dave Granlund / politicalcartoons.com

I’d like to know why this is true. What does Putin have on Trump? It can’t just be something sexually embarrassing. It’s got to be something seriously illegal in an international kind of way. Will we ever know what it is?

Thoughts on the matter?

SKEWED LIBERTY (THIS COUNTRY FOR SALE) – Judy Dykstra-Brown

DSC00967

 SKEWED – Judy Dykstra-Brown

Everything is tilted. Slightly unaligned.
The constitution set askew. Liberty maligned.
Some of the well-heeled citizens think that this is fine.
They cannot see that everything is slightly out of line.
All the pretty Philistines queue up at their tees
while their flunky lawyers determine what to seize.
Contracts with the Russians. Schemes to sell off national land.
Cronies helping cronies. Off-shore drilling by demand.

Rivers being sullied and oceans compromised
while insuring rights to bear arms are exercised.
Certain pious preachers line up behind the svelte,
proclaiming to the masses that they know what Jesus felt.
Indeed, the smallest sparrow  no longer matters much
so long as all the mighty increase their greedy clutch––
all the money-changers, corrupt to the core,
filling all their pockets with the money of the poor.

Surely it is clear that at ruling they’re inept,
and if he was watching, surely Jesus wept
as all the pearls of liberty were cast before the swine
with each self-serving libertine declaring  what is “mine.”
What is true no longer matters. What “they” say is now what now counts.
They say it’s holy scripture as they settle their accounts.
People, take off your blinders. Consider what is real.
One nation, under God, was not set up for them to steal!

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