Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Good Cop, Bad Cop


(By American Zen’s Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)

(Disclaimer: The proprietor of this blog and Mr. Wilson have an ongoing years-long friendship, in which the former has benefited on several occasions by the generosity of the latter. However, that in no way, shape or form has influenced the blog owner’s decision to post an article about his case nor the content of what is written below.)

Introduction
We need police. That’s the long and the short of it.
     Whatever your view of the very real problems our society faces in bad juyucops who shoot unarmed African Americans or the mentally disabled when sent to the scene of a medical emergency, the simple fact is that those cops take a lot of oxygen from the honest, dedicated law enforcement professionals whose good to society far outweighs the bad we incessantly hear about on the news and social media.
     The need for some law enforcement was understood in the days of the Roman Empire and in AD 6 answered in the form of the vigiles urbani. And 1823 years later, Sit Robert Peel well understood the need for a professional police force and that’s how Scotland Yard was created, with the passage of the Metropolitan Police Act, in 1829.
     So obviously, there will always be the need for “the thin blue line” because where there are laws, there will always be criminals. And latter day human society is always in desperate need of good cops to make up part of that vital buffer between civilians and lawlessness and disorder. But what happens when cops forget whatever high-minded ideals that led them to apply to the Academy when they turn on their own, when pensions and reputations are at stake?
     We all remember what had happened to Serpico. And Serpico was an exception that gradually became more of a norm than an exception. And today, I will write at length about the bizarre case of Antone Raneo Wilson, a good cop who got railroaded by his own. Not only his own, but lazy, collusive, avaricious attorneys (including three who were suspended), a famously corrupt Boston political power structure and virtually every principal involved. It’s a case that is so intensely radioactive that no mainstream media journalist or attorney will touch it with the proverbial 10 foot pole. (Most recently a reporter with the Boston Globe looked into it then, like Homer Simpson or Sean Spicer, slowly melted into the bushes). That was when I was contacted by former Mass State Trooper Antone Wilson.

The Beginning
It began on a miserable, wet rainy day in December of 2000 in Franklin, MA. It wasn’t even a routine traffic stop. Franklin, in Norfolk County in southern Massachusetts, is generally a friendly city, one of just 14 granted a charter to run a city government. It’s the kind of place where, when you hear a car backfire, you assume it’s a car back-firing and Honor Roll high school graduates bound for college make the front page of the local paper.
     However on this day, off duty State Trooper Antone Wilson was driving through Franklin and ran into a detail manned by three officers from the Franklin Police Department. He stopped long enough to ask for directions and one of the young officers, perhaps resenting his posting on a foul day, was immediately surly. The situation quickly escalated and when Trooper Wilson was asked for ID, he produced his State Police creds.
     Rather than de-escalating what was already a needless confrontation, the Franklin Police essentially detained Trooper Wilson as they wouldn’t hand him back his badge and ID for upwards of 20 minutes. At one point, one of the young officers even deliberately nudged Trooper Wilson’s shoulder with his own in order to manufacture an escalation. Trooper Wilson was by this time already 39 years-old and didn’t bite on the bait.
     It ought to be mentioned that despite Franklin’s lowkey reputation and outward gentility, at this exact same time the Franklin Police Department was already under federal investigation from the Chief on down for corruption. Even 16½ years ago, the allegations went back three decades.
     Ironically, even though Trooper Wilson was the one being wronged, it was the Franklin Police Department who’d fired the first salvo in the form of a complaint against Trooper Wilson for assault and verbal abuse. They almost surely did this to cover their own asses as a pre-emptive counter suit to protect itself from what they expected to be Trooper Wilson’s own complaint. However, Trooper Wilson never filed that complaint.

Can We Spell Conflict of Interest, Boys and Girls?

     As if tempting the Fates into bringing about a self-fulfilling prophecy, the Franklin PD had filed a complaint that had brought about an investigation into Trooper Wilson for misconduct, specifically regarding physical assault and verbal abuse. As if that wasn’t enough, the Massachusetts State Police had saddled him with an attorney who was jurisprudence’s answer to a canvasback club fighter on the take.
     Without immediately making full disclosure to his client, this attorney represented not only the MA State Police union but also the Franklin PD’s union. Almost immediately, as if trying to sweep it under the rug, Mr. Wilson’s representation was, in his own words, “increasingly strident” about getting his client to admit to some guilt in the interests of speedy resolution. Attorney/client privilege is intended to protect the client from prying outside parties, not the attorney from his own client.
     Deeply suspicious of his own lawyer’s intentions and motivations, Mr. Wilson then asked him, repeatedly, if he also represented the Franklin PD’s union and his concerns about collusion were dismissed. Eventually, as the investigation gained traction, Trooper Wilson was in the absurd and very unenviable position of watching growing evidence proving his innocence rebuffed by his own attorney. Yes, Antone Wilson’s own attorney was working in concert with investigators to ensure some responsibility for misconduct would be proved or admitted to. Finally, after confronting his lawyer by asking him if he was indeed working for the Franklin PD’s union, he answered in the affirmative, albeit vaguely. As much as honest individuals hate to use the word, Trooper Wilson realized his concerns about a conspiracy were well-founded. Putting a cherry to this revelation was his attorney’s ominous caveat: “(Y)ou’d better not be telling state secrets.”
     Several days before Trooper Wilson’s disciplinary hearing, two officers who’d been on the board were replaced, to Mr. Wilson’s satisfaction. Still (inexplicably) trusting his attorney, Mr. Wilson informed him (remember the quaint notion of attorney/client privilege?) this decision met his approval because he’d regarded the replacements as impartial and their insertion would force a negotiated settlement that would force the sworn testimony of the accusing officers of the Franklin PD. By this time, the state trooper was convinced his own attorney was abusing his trust by sharing confidential, privileged information with the same party (the Mass State Police) that was attempting to get nonexistent dirt to stick on him.
     Then at last his plainly useless union-appointed attorney was recused from the case. A fair-minded person would construe this as good news. But it was just the beginning of an ordeal that is now in its 17th year…

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Good Times at Gotham City, 6/24/17

Friday, June 16, 2017

Trump Administration, Government Hires All the Attorneys, Imports More From Russia

President Donald J. Trump arrives at Edwards AFB with his lawyered up lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Washington --- The Trump administration and United States government has hired so many attorneys in recent months that the nation is "perilously close" to running out of lawyers, making it all but a certainty that the government will have to start importing attorneys from Russia.
     President Trump himself began the lawyer-hiring frenzy after firing former FBI Director James B. Comey on May 9th, forcing Deputy DOJ Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to hire Robert Mueller as Special Prosecutor into the FBI's Russia investigation. Since then, Mr. Mueller has hired an astounding 13 attorneys to assist him in his ever-expanding investigation, with more expected to be hired.
     Just weeks after setting up a Super PAC of his own, Vice President Mike Pence has also hired an attorney. In order to avoid the appearance of impropriety, the Vice President has set up a GoFundMe account to pay his legal fees. "So far, after just a day, we've collected $410 from 41 donors," the Vice President said before the Naval Observatory, "so I'd say the campaign is going swimmingly well. Plus, I've added an incentive to anyone kicking in $10,000 that I'll go to their gay neighbor's house and personally heckle them on their front lawn for one hour."
     The lawyer hiring frenzy has reached such proportions, even Mr. Trump's own lawyer, Michael Cohen, has hired his own attorney. "Admittedly, this is going to be awkward," said Mr. Cohen. "I mean, suppose the President testifies before Mr. Mueller as he's promised and he asks me for advice? Will I have to ask my own attorney for advice before giving the President my advice?"
     Obviously, this has resulted in a backlog of legal cases from coast to coast, with litigants not having their scheduled cases tried because their attorneys are now working for either Mr. Trump, Mr. Mueller or other members of the administration. "Seriously, this is like something out of the Twilight Zone," said Travis County Judge Martin Wexler. "We've all fantasized about how happy the world would be without attorneys. Well, it's time to reap the whirlwind, folks."
     Consequently, law schools have accelerated their curricula in order to fast track law students toward graduation so they can take their state bar exams. Critics of the "lawyer drain", as it's called, have likened it to accelerated military basic training in order to get raw, untrained recruits into the battlefield that much faster. Says New Mexico attorney James "Slippin' Jimmy" McGill, "Pretty soon the legal landscape will be filled with idealistic 20-21 year-old attorneys with outdated notions about truth, justice and the American way. It makes me want to go out and kill Superman with a kryptonite dagger."
     However, even the accelerated law school curricula isn't enough to keep pace with the Trump administration's and Justice Department's hiring frenzy. This has forced the President to sign an executive order allowing Russian attorneys into the United States while waiving the usual State Department regulation of work visas. The first C5A transport plane that is expected to import 1000 Russian attorneys is slated to touch down at Edwards AFB by July 1st.
     "The fake news will scream bloody murder about these fine Russian attorneys not knowing American law. But who cares if they're not qualified? That's never stopped me before," said the President on Twitter.
     Thus far, the administration has failed to release the list of names of these Russian attorneys but Wikileaks is about to release documents that suggest at least 677 of the 1000 Russians either have ties to President Vladimir V. Putin, US Amassador Sergey Kislyak, several billionaire oligarchs and Politburo officials.
     "There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that the President is hiring Russian attorneys... yet," said Press Secretary Sean Spicer in a statement released through his attorney's attorney through their own spokesman's attorney.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Ballots Then Bullets

     I am so sickened right now.
     It's a noteworthy day even in this bullet-riddled republic of ours when two mass shootings take place within hours of each other. The first was in Alexandria, VA when a practice was being held for the annual Congressional baseball game that's held for charity. A random and lone gunman from Michigan showed up with an AR15 and began spraying fire, eventually hitting four people. One of them was House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who's in critical but stable condition. Another victim was a lobbyist who's also in critical condition. The shooter, James Hodgkinson, later died at the hospital.
     The next incident happened in San Francisco at a UPS sorting facility. Six UPS workers were shot and three were killed before the gunman turned the gun on himself. Two mass shootings in one day, Flag Day. And we will soon forget these and await the next ones. Nothing will change.
     Of course, the right wing nut jobs who accuse the left of politicizing everything because heaven forbid they would ever stoop to such levels will be short-stroking the fact the VA shooter was a Democrat and a Bernie Sanders backer without ever once touching on two crucial points: That their own are far more often responsible for mass shootings and terrorist attacks than the left and the need for strict gun control laws. One of their own Congressmen is now in critical condition after getting his hip shattered by a 5.56 slug. But, hey. Freedom!
     And I can perfectly imagine Trump saying this on Twitter:
     But the plain fact is Congressmen are getting shot while playing baseball. You have to wonder what went through Scalise's mind as he fell from second base, his hip shattered, and began crawling away from the gun fire toward the outfield. Was he thinking of every single vote he ever cast against gun control measures? If he was, who could blame him?
     But today's shootings are all of a piece. The harsh, nasty tone struck by the Trump administration, when they deign to come out of their hidey holes, is inspiring a lot of hatred. Shooting Congressmen and others is obviously not going to fix what's wrong with this country. The gun nuts keep calling for more and more and more guns and ammo then everyone acts surprised when mass shootings escalate.
     We're living in enough fear as it is. We have to remove our shoes, submit to invasive body searches and having our naked bodies scanned. We have to consent to our bags being checked before walking into a ball park or a courthouse or a school. And still this sort of shit keeps happening, now at the rate of two a day.
     I wonder if Alex Jones will promote another conspiracy theory that Alexandria didn't happen and that Scalise was fooling us the whole time?
     And now right wingers are realizing for perhaps the first time (or maybe they're not, since they're inherently stupid) that the 2nd Amendment applies to those of both sides of the political spectrum. Yes, we should have a substantive debate about gun control. The problem is, we're not yet mature enough to have that discussion.

Friday, June 9, 2017

"Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?"

     This was more than a casual reference to a 53 year-old movie. James Comey uttered this phrase to Senator Angus King in yesterday's testimony for some very good reasons.
     First and most chillingly, it underscored how literally a ruler's most casual comment can be taken by those beneath him. According to British legend, the monarch Edward II said it in a fit of pique at the end of his contentious relationship with the Archbishop of Canterbury. The line passed into popular usage with the 1964 film, Beckett starring Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole. The very next day after the king's casual command, as the ironically-named Sen. King reminded us, four knights confronted Thomas Beckett at Canterbury and eventually assassinated him.
     Of course, Edward's grievances with the Archbishop of Canterbury were vastly different than Trump's with Comey. But the parallels are irresistible and Comey made a very telling observation with the quote.
     Indeed, Trump's entire administration from Day One has more resembled a despotic monarchy than a modern day democratic administration in a free republic. As with all despots, he demanded a loyalty oath from Comey during their private dinner together last winter. With Trump, loyalty is everything and those who are not loyal are enemies, or, as Eric Trump recently said in his eliminationist rhetoric to Sean Hannity, "not even people."
     Trump, dullard though he is, was barely smart enough to glean that Comey didn't swear fealty to him. This was proven when Trump learned Comey was spearheading an investigation into Michael Flynn's dealings with the Russians. While Trump may not have been the exact focus of the investigation, he nonetheless knew many in his administration, past or present, would lead directly to him. The fat spider in the center of the web sits in the center in case any of the outer strands are pulled.
     It's hard to believe that there's still debate on whether what Trump said to Comey constituted obstruction of justice. Comey flatly said he interpreted Trump's troubling comments as such- That his hamfisted attempts at discretion came off sounding like baleful edicts. Listening to Comey yesterday, one actually felt pity for him, especially among women who'd been powerless secretaries or subordinates who knew what it felt like to be pressured into doing something they didn't want by a more powerful male figure.
     And Trump's entire attitude toward governance more closely resembles a dictatorship or a despotic monarchy that considers the land one rules to be one led by men, or a single one, and not by law. And of course, at least in theory, the United States is run by, in the words of John Adams in the Massachusetts Constitution, "a government of laws and not of men."
     It's a distinction Trump has never understood (nor needed to in the corporate world), doesn't now nor ever will.

Question:

      OK, so let me get this straight:
      The former Director of the FBI called the President a liar on national television, said he took detailed notes on his meetings with Trump because he thought he would lie about those meetings. Then today Trump claims Comey gave him "total and complete vindication."
      John McCain then asks Comey during the hearing about the Trump-Russia investigation about... Hillary Clinton's emails. Then repeats the question to Comey in written form.
      Theresa May attempted a power grab by ordering a snap election, thinking her Tories would win 100 seats in Parliament and wound up losing a dozen, giving Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party 18 more, ended up in a hung Parliament and, in the process, seriously eroded her power, forcing her to reach across the isle to the DUP in Northern Ireland for cooperation for her disastrous Brexit move.
      And now Alan Dershowitz is splitting hairs and trying to get us to believe there's a division between actual crimes and "political sins."
      What alternate universe did some cruel and capricious gods find these people and why did they inflict them on us in ours?

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Infantilism of Donald Trump

      Over 20 years ago, a neighbor of mine once told me a story about a middle school-aged boy who'd brought a knife to school. When caught with the clearly prohibited weapon and questioned by school officials, the boy explained that he knew the knife was outlawed on school property but that breaking the law was OK because he hadn't intended on using it. My friend's intent in relating this anecdote was this was the perfect delineation between the juvenile and the adult mind.
     Not concerned with consequences, the more insular juvenile mind will happily break laws and rules because they honestly believe good intent makes them immune to punishment. And this is really one of the hearts of the matter: the civic infantilism of Donald Trump, an infantilism he inspires in his voters and supporters.
     Former FBI Director James Comey's highly anticipated and heavily-watched testimony before the US Senate today underscores that peculiar brand of political infantilism in Donald Trump that we've never seen in any other president. And Director Comey even attempted to cover for Trump up to a point by saying his peculiar brand of obstruction was rooted more in ignorance than criminal intent.
     A future jury, hopefully, will literally be out on that one. However, the statutes (such as 18 U.S. Code § 1505 and 1512, for instance) regarding obstruction clearly do not make distinctions of intent. Obstruction is obstruction. Even Major League Baseball understands that- If the batter (Ed Armbrister aside), however unintentionally or accidentally obstructs the catcher as he's trying to throw to a base, it is still obstruction and the runner is automatically out.
     In a civic sense, Donald Trump is palsied or infantile. What he thought was clever, sophisticated methods of persuasion were, in fact, criminal. Director Comey said in no uncertain terms today that Donald Trump was not the focus of the Russian investigation. But in light of the Director expanding upon his now famous notes of a January meeting with Trump (after which the 6'8" former Director asked Jeff Sessions not to leave him alone with Trump again) in which the latter hoped the investigation would end, it should be all but obvious to anyone, regardless of party affiliation, that Trump, if he isn't already, ought to be included into the main thrust of such an investigation.
     Ana Navarro, the Republican CNN commentator and Trump gadfly, made an excellent distinction when she'd said on TV that when a private citizen hopes for something and the President of the United States hopes for the same thing, it is two vastly different things. She nailed it.
     And in Trump's Mr. Bill/Sluggo mentality, intent is everything. He should have known, as had his 44 predecessors, that Presidents shouldn't even broach federal investigations, especially when that same President is even tangentially involved in such a probe. And Trump telling Director Comey in that winter meeting that he hoped the latter would make the investigation go away already skirted, if not outright fractured, the laws prohibiting obstruction of justice.
     And then, there was this:
“He told me repeatedly he had talked to lots of people about me, including our current attorney general and had learned that I was doing a great job and that I was extremely well-liked by the FBI workforce, So it confused me when I saw on television the president saying that he actually fired me because of the Russian investigation and learned again from the media that he was telling, privately, other parties that my firing had relieved great pressure on the Russian investigation.”
     Those "other parties" were, of course, Russian diplomats he entertained in the Oval Office after kicking out the US media. Trump was also quoted as calling Director Comey "a nut job" and that firing him "eased the pressure" the Russian investigation was exerting on his administration.
     Calling an FBI Director who's well-respected and well-liked on both sides of the aisle a "nut job" reveals more about Trump's tenuous grasp on how government actually works than on how it does Mr. Comey. And a month ago, in a now-infamous interview with NBC's Lester Holt, Trump actually admitted he fired Comey because of the Russian investigation, despite the furious denials by his flacks and that he crossed the line by asking the FBI Director if he was under investigation.
     Of course, anyone in such a position, and one personally spearheading an investigation of such enormous import, would never answer that question (Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe reminded us and the US Senate that it is not the FBI's or DOJ's policy to discuss ongoing investigations with those involved or not in such inquiries).
     Former Director Comey's statements to the US Senate today contradict almost radically with Trump's personal statements, his tweets and the public pronouncements by his surrogates. In fact, Comey even admitted that he was so concerned that Trump would lie about the dinner meeting and the phone calls (which he did), that he was inspired to take more detailed notes than to which he was accustomed.
     And one of the biggest takeaways from the three hour-long testimony was when Comey was asked by Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) if Trump had ever asked him if the federal government was doing anything to prevent Russia from meddling in our electoral process and Comey simply answered, "Never."
     What Trump did instead ask him, improperly if not illegally, was if he was the focus of the investigation regarding Russia's role in the last elections. Which is quite believable and even expected from someone trying to quash an investigation into a hostile nation's meddling in our sacred electoral process, someone who enormously benefited from such interference.
     And these were just some of the revelations, some surprising, some not, that were brought to light during the open hearing. I'm sure that everyone who has a stake in this, meaning every American citizen, would give anything to be a fly on the wall for today's closed session.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Backlist

     Hi, all. Sorry for the lack of posting since the latest Assclowns went up on the 2nd. I've been a little busy wheeling and dealing on Facebook and with publishers since last April and trying to get a book contract with an outfit that doesn't expect a fee in return (Yeah, I've run into a few of them.). Plus, I've been working with a new beta reader out of Chicago who's doing a serious rewrite of THE TOY COP. But rest assured, I'll be back in full pit bull mode when Comey testifies before the Senate the day after tomorrow. Until then, if you haven't already, please take the time to review my available titles And if you buy a copy of anything, please remember to leave behind a review. Reviews are almost as good as money and sales to an author.
     My Kindle titles:


     Links to the paperback versions:

https://www.createspace.com/6782677 (Bridge of Tarnished Angels- Short stories)
https://www.createspace.com/5609260 (The Kid- Scott Carson short story)
https://www.createspace.com/4220601 (The Misanthrope's Manual)

Friday, June 2, 2017

Assclowns of the Week #105: Blame it on Paris or Putin edition

"Therefore, in order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord -- (applause)" -Donald Trump
     Greetings, global cooling deniers, and welcome to a long, long overdue Assclowns of the Week. And it has been a busy week with Z list comedian Kathy Griffin (3) having Daniel Pearl fantasies about Donald Trump, Trump (1) jerking us off the Paris Climate Accord, Jared Kushner (6) being Vladimir Putin's back door man and Debbie Wasserman Schultz's (10) experiment in voice acting. So let's put on our water wings and as we paddle in the rising water review this week's top 10 assclowns and much, much more.

10) Debbie Wasserman Schultz
     Democrats used to be the smart ones. They were so smart, in fact, that for decades Republicans had accused them of being elitists. But gradually, establishment Democrats began moving in Republican and corporate circles in a highly successful attempt to hedge against charges of intellectual elitism. To wit:
     Last Thursday, an odd phone call came into Elizabeth Lee Beck's law office. Ms. Beck's law firm is the one litigating the DNC fraud lawsuit. The caller used a voice synthesizer so that it sounded "robotic and genderless." The voice made an inquiry: How's it going with the lawsuit? The receptionist gave the caller all the publicly available information then hung up. But apparently the caller forgot about a decades-old innovation known to the rest of elitist, tech-savvy people as caller ID.

     Oops. Looks as if the call came from Debbie Wasserman Schultz' Aventura, FL congressional office. Think they could be a little shaken up by the lawsuit and what the investigation will dig up? This is actually one step stupider than Donald Trump calling People Magazine and pretending to be a publicist named "John Miller." Or maybe this is evidence of Putin striking again.

9) EPA Director Scott Pruitt
     Just hours after Donnie Dumbo decided to pull us out of the Paris Climate Accord, the usual army of flacks took to the airways and did the talking head circuit, particularly climate change denier and EPA head Scott Pruitt. Trump making Pruitt the head of the EPA was on a par with making Ted Nugent the head of PETA. On CNN, Pruitt was grilled by Jake Tapper and this exchange took place:
Tapper: "Does the President believe climate change is a hoax?
Pruitt: "This is not about whether climate change is occurring or not."
     For once, Pruitt is right, albeit accidentally. The Paris Climate Accord was never about whether or not global warming is a hoax but acknowledging it is not and taking all the appropriate steps to curb the emission of greenhouse gases on a global scale. Late last month, Pruitt said satellite data proves global warming is slowing down, even though virtually every climate scientist on earth had confirmed the opposite. Hell, what did you expect from a guy who once tried to sue 13 times the same regulatory agency that he now heads up?

8) Rep. Darrel Issa
     Either Darrel Issa is preparing for his next career as a roofer for when he gets thrown out of Congress next year or he's too scared to face his own constituents. On Tuesday May 30, Issa showed up at his Congressional office in Vista, CA and was met with a knot of constituents who were angry about being excluded from a fake Town Hall Issa had recently held that admitted only Republican-friendly voters. Issa immediately ignored the small crowd, where he then did a creditable job of Michael Scott from The Office and hid on the roof. In a baleful move, Issa then took pictures of the protesters below. This knocks us down to just half a notch above a pitchfork and torch-wielding banana republic and after this I don't see how Issa can overcome a challenge from Democrat Mike Levin, who was savvy enough to quickly jump on this.
     At least Sean Spicer had the sense to hide in the White House bushes on ground level. And, oh, speak of the Devil's jester and he will come...

7)  Donald Trump and Sean Spicer
     Donald Trump recently took to Twitter just after midnight and seemed to drunk-text the world about the "constant negative press" and "covfefe". Then the day after, Trump made the mistake of trotting out Sean Spicer to explain what he meant. When asked by the press what Trump meant in his latest semi-coherent tweet, Spicey answered with, "The president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant." Obviously, not included among that small elite group are the editors of Merriam Webster, Oxford and the New American Heritage dictionaries.
     Meanwhile, White House groupie Sarah Palin is immensely grateful to Mr. Trump for making most of us forget about her coining the word, "refudiate."

6) Jared Kushner
     A week ago (at the very end of the news cycle as it was not broken until after five PM last Friday). it was reported that Donald Trump's son in law Jared Kushner had conspired with Russian officials to set up a secret back channel to Moscow as far back as last December. This was backed up by five officials knowledgeable of the meeting. This marked a radical departure for US policy because this was a case of a private citizen working with diplomats from a hostile state to reach the highest levels of Russian political power behind the backs of the 17 intelligence agencies.
     On a very abstract level, this is not unprecedented. However, Professor Richard Moss, author of the book, Nixon’s Back Channel to Moscow: Confidential Diplomacy and Detente, recently said that such informal back channels are meant to supplement, not supplant official policy. Kushner's harebrained scheme was to use Russian equipment in Russian embassies to contact the highest echelon of Russia's political hierarchy (presumably Putin). And it's impossible to think Kushner would've even broached the subject behind Trump's back rather than Trump using his son in law as an envoy.
     But, hey, Michael Flynn was at that same meeting that Kushner failed to report on his SF86 form when he applied for his top secret security clearance and later he met with a powerful Russian banker (a meeting neither wants to talk about). Sounds legit to me. And I'm sure at the GOP National convention last summer, Trump, Flynn, Sessions and the rest of his mafia spoke with Kislyak (then failed to mention it) about Russia's cute little dancing bears and what a shame it was that Ted Nugent hasn't been entered into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

5) Donald Trump
     I'm sure when Fox host Kimberly Guilfoyle revealed today that Donald Trump actually called her to ask her how to do his job, she was bragging and wasn't at all horrified that he was soliciting advice from a talking head on how to run the most powerful nation on earth.
     Yes, if you're looking for suspects for who made Donnie Dumbo walk away from the Paris Climate Accord as well as what will surely be a huge raft of disastrous policy decisions, you can add to right wing nut jobs Steve Bannon and Scott Pruitt a walking brain stem attached to two legs named Kimberly Guilfoyle.
     Imagine the outrage that would've ensued if it had come out that Obama had conspired with MSNBC for advice on policy matters...

4) The White House
     June is National Pride Month. It is set in June in commemoration of the Stonewall riot that took place in June of 1969. Since his first year as President and straight through until last year, President Barack Obama had designated June Pride Month. But things have changed considerably since January 20th. After proclaiming things such as National Homeownership Month and other pseudo month-long holidays, Trump failed to name June Pride Month. No doubt, his baleful hangeron Mike Pence (who by now must be measuring the Oval Office for racks and Iron Maidens), had some influence with this "oversight."
     Pence, you might remember, as Indiana's governor, signed into law the "It's OK to Discriminate Against Teh Gays Because I'm Giving You a Get Out of Free Jail Card Named Religion" bill. Pence was also the piece of shit who'd made it legal to siphon funds from HIV research to fund, instead, gay conversion therapy outfits. And still, reconstituted Log Cabin Republicans and big gay donors cling to this guy like he's the Second Coming of Harvey Milk. Their reason? See lead image above.

3) Kathy Griffin
     It's one thing to lampoon the President of the United States, whoever it is, and even call for their impeachment when circumstances warrant it. But part-time celebrity Kathy Griffin took herself a bit too seriously and was videotaped holding up a fake, blood-drenched Donald Trump head as if she was some ISIS terrorist with a new trophy. Despite how absurdly easy it is to ridicule Donald Trump, the Office of the Presidency, if nothing else, needs to be respected and this plainly sends out the wrong message to anyone with too much time and ammo on their hands. As a result of this stupid stunt, Griffin lost her one night a year gig on CNN plus at least one commercial endorsement.
     However, Griffin's tastelessness aside, it was amusing to see the right wing nut jobs (such as California Patriot, my latest stalker and troll), lose their shit over it while remaining silent about all the burning lynchings in effigy we saw over the last eight years (Sasha Obama was also 11, as is Barron Trump, when an effigy of her father was hung and burned in 2008.). What was funniest was Trump himself whining about how his kids were having a hard time dealing with the gory imagery .

     Like these kids, for instance?

2) Hillary fucking Clinton
     Yes. Her again. For those about to stick their faces in barf bags, we salute you.
     Showing that she'd learned absolutely nada through the countless mistakes made by her Tammany Hall 2.0 campaign, Hillary fucking Clinton took to Codecon and essentially blamed her campaign's failure despite massive backing from women, the establishment Democrats, the MSM, Wall Street and the DNC on everyone who wasn't married to the 42nd president.
     The newly-rebranded radical centrist also sorta half-joked that Trump's word of the day "covfefe" was a code to the Russians. Yes, it was Vlad Putin who orchestrated her ignoring an important union just before election night, alienated Hispanics with her "taco bowl outreach" and "abuela" comments and shoved her into bed with every banking and corporate scumbag within 100 miles of Wall Street.
     Oh, and she's writing a new memoir that'll crystallize these conspiracy theories for public consumption because the consolation of a high seven figure advance is exactly what Hillary fucking Clinton deserves after perhaps the most embarrassing defeat in US political history.

1) "President" Donald Trump
     Also late this past week, the Koch brothers' latest temp worker (aka US President Donald Trump) did as many of us predicted and pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord like his father Fred should've done from his wife's snatch back in 1945. That's right, this was in defiance of the skepticism of withdrawing from the Accord by business leaders, champion polluter Rex Tillerson, Gary Cohn and even the First Lady Ivanka. This was bad enough, as the Paris Accord has 194 other participating nations (including North Korea). This puts us in a tiny, elite community with Syria and Nicaragua (which won't be joining in for very good reasons).
     But Trump, inevitably, made it much worse by taking to the Rose Garden and explaining his reasons, all of which were horseshit that could benefit only the flowers behind him. In the World According to Trump, if we ever violated the Accord, they could sue us (No, they can't.) Meaning the Accord would legally bind us (No, it wouldn't). We could renegotiate it later as if it's another bankruptcy settlement (No, we can't).
     Essentially, as if he hadn't during his Hindenburg of a foreign trip last month, Trump is isolating us from the rest of the planet save for Russia in every conceivable way and this is the icing on the cake. German Chancellor Angela Merkel took the extraordinary step of saying the rest of the world could no longer rely on the US. French President Macron has been in Trump's grill ever since his decision (which Trump blamed on the latter's "aggressive handshake"). And at least three governors of big states (CA, NY and WA) have decided to sign on to the climate accord. Meaning, far from Trump distancing himself from the rest of the planet, the planet's moving on without him.
     Fellow billionaire Elon Musk and Disney CEO Bob Iger are among them.

Dishonorable Mention


     In a silly yet tragic reprise of Get Shorty, last March Oklahoma state senator and Trump backer Ralph Shortey was caught in a motel room with an underaged boy whom Shortey had solicited for sex via text message. To show how unbelievably stupid Republicans are, the day after he was busted for "engaging in child prostitution, prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church, and transporting a minor for the purposes of prostitution", he posted the above picture of himself on Facebook with Donald Trump, Jr, which I'm sure must've absolutely thrilled the First Family. To show what a craven piece of shit Shortey is, police found him hidden behind the door just opened by the underaged boy (Maybe he should have called Darrell Issa for tips on evasion). Oh, I'm sorry, did I refer to Shortey as an OK state senator? He's a former state senator now. He resigned his post so he can spend more time with NAMBLA.

KindleindaWind, my writing blog.

All Time Classics

  • Our Worse Half: The 25 Most Embarrassing States.
  • The Missing Security Tapes From the World Trade Center.
  • It's a Blunderful Life.
  • The Civil War II
  • Sweet Jesus, I Hate America
  • Top Ten Conservative Books
  • I Am Mr. Ed
  • Glenn Beck: Racist, Hate Monger, Comedian
  • The Ten Worst Music Videos of all Time
  • Assclowns of the Week

  • Links to the first 33 Assclowns of the Week.
  • Links to Assclowns of the Week 38-63.
  • #105: Blame it on Paris or Putin edition
  • #104: Make Racism Great Again Also Labor Day edition
  • #103: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Toilet edition
  • #102: Orange is the New Fat edition
  • #101: Electoral College Dropouts edition
  • #100: Centennial of Silliness edition
  • #99: Dr. Strangehate edition
  • #98: Get Bentghazi edition
  • #97: SNAPping Your Fingers at the Poor edition
  • #96: Treat or Treat, Kiss My Ass edition
  • #95: Monumental Stupidity double-sized edition
  • #94: House of 'Tards edition
  • #93: You Da Bomb! edition.
  • #92: Akin to a Fool edition.
  • #91: Aurora Moronealis edition.
  • #90: Keep Your Gubmint Hands Off My High Pre'mums and Deductibles! edition.
  • #89: Occupy the Catbird Seat/Thanksgiving edition.
  • #88: Heil Hitler edition.
  • #87: Let Sleeping Elephants Lie edition.
  • #86: the Maniacs edition.
  • #85: The Top 50 Assclowns of 2010 edition.
  • #(19)84: Midterm Madness edition.
  • #83: Spill, Baby, Spill! edition.
  • #82: Leave Corporations Alone, They’re People! edition.
  • #81: Hatin' on Haiti edition.
  • #80: Don't Get Your Panties in a Twist edition.
  • #79: Top 50 Assclowns of 2009 edition.
  • #78: Nattering Nabobs of Negativism edition.
  • #77: ...And Justice For Once edition.
  • #76: Reading Tea Leaves/Labor Day edition.
  • #75: Diamond Jubilee/Inaugural Edition
  • #74: Dropping the Crystal Ball Edition
  • #73: The Twelve Assclowns of Christmas Edition
  • #72: Trick or Treat Election Day Edition
  • #71: Grand Theft Autocrats Edition
  • #70: Soulless Corporations and the Politicians Who Love Them Edition
  • Top 10 Things Donald Trump Said to President Obama
  • Paul Ryan's Top Ten Conditions on Running for the Speakership
  • Top 10 Reasons Why Mitt Romney Won't Run for President in 2016
  • Top 10 Results of the NYPD's Work Slowdown
  • Top 10 Secret Service Security Breaches
  • Top 10 LA Radio Shows That Are Rated Higher Than Rush Limbaugh's
  • Top 10 Reasons Operation American Spring Went Flat
  • Top Ten Facts of the MH370 Air Disaster
  • Top 10 Tips for GOP Congressmen Running Against Women
  • Top 10 Signs Walmart's Mistreating its Workers
  • Top 10 Diversions John McCain Found During Syria Hearing
  • Top 10 George Zimmerman Excuses for Speeding.
  • Top 10 Reasons Paula Deen Got Fired by the Food Network
  • Top Ten Ways Pope Francis is Deviating From Convention
  • Top 10 Reasons For the Pope's Resignation
  • Top 10 Emails Hacked From the Bush Family's Email Accounts
  • Top 10 Lies Told by Mitt Romney at the 2nd Debate.
  • Top 10 Examples of How Hard the Campaign Trail is on Ann D. Romney.
  • Top 10 Ways to Tell The Boston Red Sox Are Finished.
  • Top 10 Things Mitt May be Hiding in His Tax Returns.
  • Top 10 Events at the Romney Olympics.
  • Mitt Romney's Top 10 Wild & Crazy Moments.
  • Top Ten Reasons Why Dick Cheney Got a Heart Transplant.
  • Top 10 Facts About Tonight's New England/Denver Game.
  • My Top 10 Resolutions.
  • Top 10 Rejected Slogans of the Romney Campaign.
  • Top 10 Reasons Herman Cain Suspended His Campaign.
  • Top 10 Trending Topics on Twitter During #OWS Eviction.
  • Top 10 Herman Cain Pickup Lines.
  • Top 10 Changes Since Anthony Weiner Decided to Resign.
  • Top 10 Inaccuracies re bin Laden's Death.
  • Top 10 Ways to Prevent a TSA Patdown.
  • Top Ten Things Not to Say When You're Pulled Over.
  • Top 10 Reasons Why Donald Trump Bowed Out of the Presidential Race.
  • Top 10 Ways Evangelicals Will Prepare for the Rapture II.
  • Top 10 Revelations in Today's Parliament Inquiry into News Corp.
  • Top 10 Reasons Why There Was No Vote on the Debt Ceiling Last Night.
  • Top 10 Revelations in Dick Cheney's Upcoming Memoir.
  • Top Ten Ways Americans Will Observe the 10th Anniversary of 9/11.
  • Top Ten Advances in Women's Rights in Saudi Arabia.
  • Top Ten Inaccuracies in Bill O'Reilly's Book About Lincoln.
  • Top Ten Suggestions From the Cat Food Commission.
  • Top Ten Worst Moments in George W. Bush's Presidency.
  • Top Ten Facts in George W. Bush's Memoir.
  • Top Ten Reasons Terry Jones Postponed His Koran Burning
  • Top 10 Causes for Dick Cheney's Congestive Heart Failure
  • Top Ten Ways That Jan Brewer Will Celebrate Cinco de Mayo
  • Top Ten Demands in Sarah Palin's Contract
  • Top Ten Whoppers in Karl Rove's New Book
  • Top 10 Items Left Behind in Rush Limbaugh's Apartment
  • Top Ten Things Barack Obama said to Rush Limbaugh in the Hospital
  • Top Ten Bizarre Promos Offered by the New Jersey Nets
  • Top 10 Bush Executive Orders Labor Wants President Obama to Repeal
  • George W. Bush's Top Ten Lesser Achievements
  • Empire Of The Senseless.
  • Christwire.org: Conservative Values for an Unsaved World.
  • Esquire's Charles Pierce.
  • Brilliant @ Breakfast.
  • The Burning Platform.
  • The Rant.
  • Mock, Paper, Scissors.
  • James Petras.
  • Towle Road.
  • Avedon's Sideshow (the new site).
  • At Largely, Larisa Alexandrovna's place.
  • The Daily Howler.
  • The DCist.
  • Greg Palast.
  • Jon Swift. RIP, Al.
  • God is For Suckers.
  • The Rude Pundit.
  • Driftglass.
  • Newshounds.
  • William Grigg, a great find.
  • Brad Blog.
  • Down With Tyranny!, Howie Klein's blog.
  • Wayne's World. Party time! Excellent!
  • Busted Knuckles, aka Ornery Bastard.
  • Mills River Progressive.
  • Right Wing Watch.
  • Earthbond Misfit.
  • Anosognosia.
  • Echidne of the Snakes.
  • They Gave Us a Republic.
  • The Gawker.
  • Outtake Online, Emmy-winner Charlotte Robinson's site.
  • Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo
  • No More Mr. Nice Blog.
  • Head On Radio Network, Bob Kincaid.
  • Spocko's Brain.
  • Pandagon.
  • Slackivist.
  • WTF Is It Now?
  • No Blood For Hubris.
  • Lydia Cornell, a very smart and accomplished lady.
  • Roger Ailes (the good one.)
  • BlondeSense.
  • The Smirking Chimp.
  • Hammer of the Blogs.
  • Vast Left Wing Conspiracy.
  • Argville.
  • Existentialist Cowboy.
  • The Progressive.
  • The Nation.
  • Mother Jones.
  • Vanity Fair.
  • Salon.com.
  • Citizens For Legitimate Government.
  • News Finder.
  • Indy Media Center.
  • Lexis News.
  • Military Religious Freedom.
  • McClatchy Newspapers.
  • The New Yorker.
  • Bloggingheads TV, political vlogging.
  • Find Articles.com, the next-best thing to Nexis.
  • Altweeklies, for the news you won't get just anywhere.
  • The Smirking Chimp
  • Don Emmerich's Peace Blog
  • Wikileaks.
  • The Peoples' Voice.
  • Dictionary.com.
  • CIA World Fact Book.
  • IP address locator.
  • Tom Tomorrow's hilarious strip.
  • Babelfish, an instant, online translator. I love to translate Ann Coulter's site into German.
  • Newsmeat: Find out who's donating to whom.
  • Wikipedia.
  • Uncyclopedia.
  • anysoldier.com
  • Icasualties
  • Free Press
  • YouTube
  • The Bone Bridge.
  • Powered by Blogger