Barr’s Playbook on honesty, memos, press conferences


“I’ve summarized the principal conclusions”

❝ On Friday the thirteenth October 1989…news leaked of a legal memo authored by William Barr. He was then serving as head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). It is highly uncommon for any OLC memo to make headlines. This one did because it was issued in “unusual secrecy” and concluded that the FBI could forcibly abduct people in other countries without the consent of the foreign state. The…implication of the legal opinion at that moment in time…appeared to pave the way for abducting Panama’s leader, Gen. Manuel Noriega.

❝ Members of Congress asked to see the full legal opinion. Barr refused, but said he would provide an account that “summarizes the principal conclusions.” Sound familiar?…

Barr withheld the full OLC opinion in 1989 and said to trust his summary of the principal conclusions…When the OLC opinion was finally made public long after Barr left office, it was clear that Barr’s summary had failed to fully disclose the opinion’s principal conclusions. It is better to think of Barr’s summary as a redacted version of the full OLC opinion. That’s because the “summary” took the form of 13 pages of written testimony…this 13-page version omitted some of the most consequential and incendiary conclusions from the actual opinion. And there was evidently no justifiable reason for having withheld those parts from Congress or the public.

He’s certainly had beaucoup practice prior to everything he’s done so far as Attorney General to protect the scumbag playing at Fake President in the White House.

I’ll be going about my usual day…the highest priority being fitness and sound nutrition. Even old leftwing geezers need to keep the physical plant in shape if the engine is going to offer useful products over a long period of time. 🙂

Over the day, I’ll catch up with the news. I doubt we’ll get to see the report as constructed by those entrusted with the research, analysis and conclusions until some time after this fake president and his obedient pimps are long gone. Yes, I’m cynical as ever about the American electorate as currently constituted and manipulated by thugs slightly sharper than the average mid-level drug dealer. If circumstances aid the cause and course of honesty in the months before the next election, that may come about sooner.

I ain’t holding my breath.

DHS Secretary Nielsen says, “We don’t use cages for children”


Click to enlarge

❝ for the first time since President Trump declared a national emergency over illegal immigration, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was grilled about administration’s family separation policy — at one point telling House Homeland Security chairman Bennie Thompson…: “Sir, we don’t use cages for children.”

This is a photo of what might euphemistically be termed “chain-link partitions”.

New charges could put Manafort away for 25 years


Carlo Allegri/Reuters

❝ On Wednesday morning in a D.C. courtroom, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort engaged in what we assume was, for him, a deeply humiliating act: he expressed remorse, presumably for the first time in his 69 years on earth. Or, at least, he tried to. “I am sorry for what I’ve done and all the activities that have gotten us here today,” he told Judge Amy Berman Jackson, claiming that he shouldn’t get more jail time for the copious federal crimes he committed because he is his adult wife’s “primary caretaker,” and the two of them need each other…

While that reasoning might have worked on Judge T.S. Ellis, who strangely argued last week that Manafort had led a “blameless life” outside of all the crime, Jackson wasn’t having it, sentencing him to an additional 43 months on federal conspiracy charges, and letting him know she saw right through his act: “Saying I’m sorry I got caught is not an inspiring plea for leniency…”

❝ And, somehow, it’s unlikely that that was the worst part of Manafort’s day! Because literal minutes later, this happened:

New York prosecutors Wednesday announced criminal charges against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chief, Paul Manafort, only minutes after his sentencing in a federal case. The indictment, unveiled by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, charges Manafort with 16 counts related to mortgage fraud, conspiracy, and falsifying business records. . . . Crucially, Trump does not have pardon power for state charges.

❝ …Last week, a grand jury moved to charge the guy who ran the president’s campaign with residential mortgage fraud, conspiracy, falsifying business records, and a handful of other crimes. If he’s convicted of the most serious charges, he could spend up to a quarter of a century in prison

Nice start to another piece of potential justice for one of Trump’s assistant creeps. If we’re lucky, we’ll live long enough to see Manafort and, eventually, the creep-in-chief spend some well-deserved time in the slammer.

Kim — Not Trump — Was Right About Summit Ending

❝ North Korea had the more accurate take on what happened at the summit with President Donald Trump before talks failed, according to an official with the U.S. State Department.

❝ The president claimed Thursday that he had walked away from negotiations in Hanoi after Kim Jong Un demanded that all sanctions against the nation be lifted…“Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn’t do that,” Trump said. “We had to walk away from that…”

But Pyongyang representatives called a late-night news conference later that day to correct Trump’s statements, saying that Kim wanted only economic sanctions imposed since 2016 lifted — and not any concerning weapons. In exchange, Kim offered to shut down the nation’s main nuclear complex — and was prepared to offer in writing a permanent halt to the nation’s nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests, according to his officials

❝ North Korea’s account of the sanction issue was accurate, a State Department official said Friday in a briefing to the media. The Associated Press reported that Kim had sought the lifting of only United Nations Security Council sanctions imposed since March 2016 — not sanctions going back decades. The concession would have removed sanctions on a range of goods, but not weapons.

But, then, Trump might not have returned home in time to address the Freedom Floggers Whip and Chain Society in Maryland.

Them furriners at the BBC have been charting the fake president’s progress at wall-building


The Federalist

❝ In the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, Mr Trump promised to build a wall along the border’s entire 2,000-mile length.

He later clarified that it would only cover half of that – with nature, such as mountains and rivers, helping to take care of the rest.

❝ But, since Mr Trump entered the White House, although some of the already existing barriers have been replaced, no construction on any extension to the wall has yet been started…

Just over 40 miles of replacement barriers have been built or begun. Construction is expected to start on 61 more miles of replacement barrier in 2019. This equates to new sections of about 15% of existing structures.

❝ The first construction on any extension to the existing structures – what could be termed new barrier – will start in February in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas.

The twin projects will cover a total of 14 miles – one barrier stretching six miles and the other eight miles.

OK. We know the petrified politics of those who choose Trump over anyone this side of Peter Sellers in DR. STRANGELOVE. Still, we can only hope the remainder of sane Americans of good will learn from the example of Trump and send a new occupant to the White House in 2020 who will actually work towards the health and welfare of the United States.

We Could Fund the Border Wall Or…


Trump lied and we get the bill

❝ According to Department of Homeland Security officials (and Fox News)…Trump’s goddamn-no-good-very-f**king-stupid border wall—which, if it happens, either the American taxpayers or these idiots on GoFundMe are going to pay for—will consist of 215 miles of a “wall system” on the southern border. This “wall system” will supposedly include some fencing, some border patrol agents, and some cameras for the low, low price of $5 billion up front and up to $25 billion later on…

Here are some other ways we could spend the $5 billion:

• Pay the annual salary of 125,000 teachers

• Pay the annual salary of 71,428 nurses

• Provide a year of housing for 500,000 homeless people

• Fund 250,000 domestic adoptions

• Fund the annual treatment of 250,000 people living with AIDS

• Pay off 134,509 average student loans…

• Buy 25 million ounces of weed

Buy 2 billion tacos…

❝ What do we need more, a border wall or 2 billion tacos? One is going to hurt immigrants, property owners, butterflies, jaguars, and the ecosystem, and the other tastes great with salsa and sour cream. I know which one gets my vote.

Har! Ditto.