Tag Archives: Ryan

Banana Republicans or Keystone Konspirators

Well, they released the memo–what a dud! The Keystone Kops were an early 20th century comedic farce. Fox News, Breitbart, Jim Jordan, Paul Ryan and the star of the Keystone Konspirators–Devin “Oleg” Nunes (AKA, numbnuts), couldn’t even conspire sensibly after months of preparation!

As James Comey, former FBI director tweeted,

That’s it? Dishonest and misleading memo wrecked the House intel committee, destroyed trust with Intelligence Community, damaged relationship with FISA court, and inexcusably exposed classified investigation of an American citizen.

Yes, months of preparation. The Konspirators have been attacking the Steele dossier for most of last year. They brought in Glenn Simpson, head of Fusion GPS (that hired Steele) for 21 hours of testimony by House and Senate committees. Did that disprove any of the findings by Steele? NO! The research was initially funded by an unnamed REPUBLICAN (presidential primary?) opponent of Trump and only later by Democrats. The dossier, unlike the Konspirator’s memo, wasn’t a piece of fiction, it came from interviews with sources by Steele.

As you know by now, the memo alleged bias on Steele’s part–he was desperate that Trump lose. Why? As Glenn Simpson’s testimony revealed, it was because of what he found in his investigation–the amazing number of connections by Trump with Russian mafia, Russian officials and oligarchs, etc.

The memo stupidly alleges that the FISA warrant against Carter Page was based, if not exclusively, at least primarily on the dossier. No, it undoubtedly wasn’t–given that the FBI had been interested in Steele since 2013 when Russian agents attempted to recruit him–two of which fled when charges were filed in 2015 and one remained and was convicted.

The memo, even more stupidly, confirms that the entire counterintelligence investigation of the Russian intervention and the connection to the Trump campaign began in July of 2016. The FISA warrant against Carter Page came in October of 2016. Why in July? That’s when Australian intelligence officials alerted the US to George Papadopolous’s drunken comments to an Australian diplomat a few months later.

The memo, supposedly, is intended to serve as a pretext to fire Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General and Special Counsel Mueller’s boss. Rosenstein apparently signed off on one of the RENEWALS of the FISA warrant. Since Rosenstein wasn’t sworn in as DAG until April of 2017, he couldn’t have had anything to do with the original–only the SECOND renewal! The renewals are granted based not on the original application, but on what activity and evidence has been gleaned since.  Yes, a Keystone Konspiracy.

More revealing, is that MSNBC showed tape of an appearance by Carter Page himself from October 2017, during which he expressed gladness that Paul Ryan would be releasing information on the “FISA warrant” and the “dodgy dossier.” So this memo had been in the works for some time AND to the knowledge of Page! So it’s not all just Nunes in the Keystone Konspirator Kadre, it’s Paul Ryan too!

As John McCain tweeted about the Konspirator’s actions,

The latest attacks on the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests – no party’s, no president’s, only Putin’s.

Both Steve Schmidt (Republican strategist) and Jonathon Alter (journalist and author) recently called those in the GOP attacking the FBI, the Justice Department and the US intelligence community “Banana Republicans.”  (The term was used in 2004 as a book title by John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton).  An apt epithet–implying the creation of a banana republic–where a dictator controls law enforcement, the legislature and the news media. Trump isn’t quite there yet, but he’s trying and his Banana Republican friends are doing the best to make it happen.

James Comey also recently tweeted,

American history shows that, in the long run, weasels and liars never hold the field, so long as good people stand up. Not a lot of schools or streets named for Joe McCarthy.

Senator Joe McCarthy was eventually censured by the US Senate and died in disgrace after a few years of claiming that Communists could be found everywhere in the US government. During the early to mid-fifties, McCarthy held a series of hearings on his claims, during the height of the Cold War. His chief counsel was Roy Cohn. Years, later, despite the association with McCarthy, Cohn became a fixer and power broker in New York City. He also became Donald Trump’s mentor and person attorney for some number of years in the 1970s and early 80s. Cohn did have his own legal problems and was disbarred in 1986, shortly before dying of AIDs.

In the spring of 2017, after AG  Sessions recused himself from the Russian investigation, Trump reportedly called out, “Where’s my Roy Cohn.”  Trump learned at the hands of a master manipulator in fighting back hard when attacked. Perhaps we should read between the lines of Comey’s comments about McCarthy?

Eventually, we can hope that Trump and many current and former members of his administration will be indicted and spend time in jail. It’s entirely possible that some of the Keystone Konspirators and the Banana Republicans will join them. Quite likely in numbers exceeding the members of the Nixon administration in the aftermath of Watergate.

Money laundering, obstruction of justice and conspiracy with foreign powers to subvert the American democracy are craven and reprehensible offenses. Perhaps “reprehensibles” should replace the Clinton term “deplorables” to describe Trump supporters–at least the ones that exert the power of office or media to destroy American institutions in support of Trump’s Banana Republic.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2018 John Maberry

The Greedy Old Plutocrats (AKA GOP) and Alan Dishwasher

Putingate never stops, does it? It’s kept me from the bulk of this post until now. I promise to catch up on Kushner, et al next time. For now, it’s mostly about the reverse Robin Hood policies of the GOP and Trump. But scroll to the end for a brief legal analysis of the potential senility of Alan Dershowitz, hereinafter Alan Dishwasher–his sophistry and that of all the Trump surrogates on CNN is what has vaulted MSNBC well past CNN in the cable news ratings.

Here’s the nutshell before the bullet points: The GOP could stand for the Greedy Old Plutocrats.    AKA Party of Scrooge, whose members are affectionately known generically as “Ebenezers.”

Mocking Paul Ryan's Scrooge-like cheapness

 

  • CBO score says 23 million will lose health coverage over 10 years
  • Young, healthy people will pay less
  • Older, sicker and disabled will pay more–LOTS more
  • Big savings ($836 BILLION) will come from cuts to Medicaid
  • Smaller savings ($276 BILLION) will come from cuts in premium subsidies
  • Wealthy/high income individuals/couples will get HUGE tax breaks (rob from the poor and give to the rich)

At a National Review interview with Rich Lowery, Paul Ryan recalled a college kegger Lowery put on. Here’s what Ryan said about Medicaid and other Federal programs for the poor.

“We’ve been dreaming of this [capping Medicaid] since I’ve been around—since you and I were drinking at a keg,”

[W]hen asked by Chuck Todd whether he believed health care is “a right or a privilege”, Ryan said no. “Not from the government,” he responded. “So if you say that health care is a government-granted right, then we as citizens are giving the government too much power over our lives.”

What then of the Trump budget, released in more detail Wednesday? It cuts MANY Federal “safety net” programs. Including making even larger cuts to Medicaid. It also double counts a $2 trillion savings and posits an extraordinarily unlikely 3% growth rate (the GDP). It’s much worse than the AHCA. So much so that no less than John McCain and Lindsey Graham say it’s “dead on arrival.”   Other Republicans, as well as Democrats, had similar reactions. Too much bad to even bullet here. Instead, let’s just consider more reasons why “compassionate conservatism” is an oxymoron and the GOP is no longer the Grand Old Party but is really the “Greedy Old Plutocrats.” Paul Ryan, unlike Trump and his progeny is only worth a few million–but others have far more.  Here’s what Mick Mulvaney, OMB Director said about some of Trump’s draconian budget cuts. This comes from the same Vanity Fair piece above.

“We can’t spend money on programs just because they sound good,” in cutting Meals on Wheels (food delivered to homebound seniors) funding. Rather than being hard-hearted, he said, “I think it’s probably one of the most compassionate things we can do.” He was referring, of course, to the compassion showed to taxpayers who pay for the program.

Then there’s Ben Carson (aren’t you glad neither you, nor any friend or family member ever had surgery performed by him? That could have been disastrous given all the nutty things he’s said in the past two years!). Wednesday, Carson said in response to questions about the $6 billion cut in housing aid (he’s the HUD Director):

“[P]overty to a large extent is also a state of mind.”

 Ryan, Trump and many of the GOP are in agreement. Let me digress to mention my own childhood. Like many, I didn’t realize how poor we were until much later. My father died of cancer, after a long illness, when I was seven. My mother initially worked at a school cafeteria–with her 8th grade education (this was in the 50s). She had to stop due to crippling rheumatoid arthritis in her hands. Thereafter, she and I lived on Social Security spousal and dependent benefits–which were far from generous. Neither Medicare nor Medicaid existed then; they began in 1965. We had no health insurance. Doctors who formerly treated asthma and other problems stopped when the money stopped. Hospitals were required to offer treatment, but it was subpar. Things were tight enough that scavenging for bottles to return for deposit was a means that I undertook to supplement the meager money. Fortunately for me, by older brother and his wife took me in when my mother died around my 16th birthday.

So no, Ben, our poverty was NOT a state of mind you f—ing idiot. Nor is it for many others. Others who would suffer or simply die–without any number of Federal programs that the Greedy Old Plutocrats would like to cut for the benefit of the Trumps, the Kochs, the Adelson clan and other uber rich. 

On to Alan Dishwasher (what he’s now, possibly, best suited for). A couple nights ago, he opined on CNN that Jared Kushner’s lawyer should demand to know what crime it is that Special Counsel Robert Mueller wanted to question him about. Otherwise, such inquiries could violate Kushner’s civil liberties. Let’s be clear, neither the media’s reference to Kushner being a “person of interest” or a “focus of investigation” are legal terms. They’re popular on crime procedurals on TV and on news media. In legal terms, the focus is on one of three categories–witness, subject of investigation or target. Since it’s been stated (up until yesterday’s news) that Kushner is neither a subject nor a target, that leaves him as a witness. If there’s a crime, it’s somebody else’s. It’s not a violation of anyone’s rights for law enforcement, for example, to ask about a traffic accident, a burglary or an assault they witnessed.

Dishwasher also asserted that Mueller’s only focus is on prosecuting crime. Not so. Before anyone is charged with an offense, an investigation must be conducted. Only after an investigation determines a crime has been committed, will a prosecution potentially occur. Mueller is directing an investigation by the FBI–both into financial crimes and into espionage-related crimes by the FBI’s counterintelligence division. He has a broad mandate, because all the facts are NOT known as yet. There’s is plenty of suspicious activity–as former CIA Director John Brennan said in referring such things to the FBI before he left office.

Finally, Dishwasher said “collusion is not a crime.” BULLS**T! Being generous, we could call this sophistry. Yes, there is probably no statutory offense listed in the US Criminal Code (Title 18) titled “collusion.” Nonetheless, colluding with others to do a “pump and dump” stock scheme is a crime. Conspiring (colluding) with others to rob a bank, commit a terrorist act, etc., is a crime. With knowledge of an upcoming theft, colluding with the thieves to accept stolen merchandise is a crime.  Being an accessory after the fact is a crime. Aiding and abetting is a crime. Any or all of which can result from “collusion.” Hence, BULLS**T.  CNN should drop Dishwasher from their “expert” or analyst list–whatever legal reasoning he might once have possessed is not being demonstrated today.

To be clear–with respect to the Russian meddling with the US election of 2016, the “collusion” in question most certainly could entail any number of crimes. Just a few: conspiracy, accessory, espionage, treason, etc. All of which requires investigation to prove. Which brings back the “fairytale,” “FAKE NEWS” and other surrogate apologist protests about the investigation into the Trump campaign. There is “no evidence” of collusion BECAUSE the investigation is NOT OVER! Only the Red Queen of Lewis Carroll’s Alice adventures concludes guilt or innocence before hand. 

Again, MSNBC is cleaning CNN’s ratings clock because in their effort to provide balance by putting up Trump apologists, they are viewed as fools.

 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2017 John Maberry