LOCK THEM UP DAMMIT, said Wonkette, after reading some things Adam Schiff said.
Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, who spent years investigating Donald Trump and all his accomplices in the House Intelligence Committee's Russia investigations and who sits on the House's January 6 committee that voted last night to hold Steve Bannon in contempt, is expressing some of the same frustration we expressed in our last blog post. He is very damn ready for there to be some damn accountability for Trump and everybody who surrounds him, and he sounds like he's running out of patience.
Michael Isikoff reports that on the "Skullduggery" podcast Tuesday, Schiff specifically called out Attorney General Merrick Garland for his apparent reluctance to investigate Trump too deeply for literally trying to overthrow America in front of all of our faces.
"I think there's a real desire on the part of the attorney general, for the most part, not to look backward," Schiff said in response. "Do I disagree with that? I do disagree with that, and I disagree with it most vehemently when it comes to what I consider even more serious offenses. For example, a taped conversation of Donald J. Trump on the phone with Brad Raffensperger, the secretary of state from Georgia, trying to coerce him into fraudulently finding 11,780 votes."
"Because I think if you or I did that, we'd be under indictment by now," Schiff added. "In my view, you don't ignore the crimes that have been committed by a president of the United States. They need to be investigated. You may reach the judgment once you've investigated something that the public interest in not prosecuting a former president outweighs the interests of justice. But I don't think you could ignore the crimes."
There's a lot of talk about norms, how they've all been violated and destroyed the past several years, and how to get them back, if such a thing is possible. And there are a lot of people who, in our personal view, have been rushing to condemn Attorney General Merrick Garland for doing nothing, when the truth of the matter is that we don't really know what he's been doing. However, we do feel a need to be very clear that you don't get normalcy back by spinelessly giving deference to a former president who committed crimes against the country brazenly and repeatedly and out in the open, out of some misguided desire not to set a precedent where new presidents always end up investigating their predecessors. (As if the modern-day fascist Republican Party would give Democrats the same consideration.)
There has to be a clear message that this shit will not fly. So if Garland is doing what his critics claim, he needs to get over it.
Schiff said maybe he's wrong, and maybe Garland's DOJ is doing a whole lot, specifically investigating what Trump did to overturn the election in Georgia. But he's clearly worried they're just relying on Fulton County, Georgia, DA Fani Willis to do their homework for them, and also their jobs:
He said that "maybe I'm wrong" and that Justice is secretly collecting evidence from a grand jury into Trump's efforts to pressure state officials in Georgia to overturn the election results in that state, which favored Biden. But he fears Garland and his top aides are relying on Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis, who has publicly confirmed her own investigation into the matter.
"I suspect that they're counting on the Fulton County DA to do justice, and I don't think that is how we ought to view the magnitude of that effort to overturn the election."
We hope he's wrong.
Schiff would also like to know what the Southern District of New York is doing, because remember that time Donald Trump was an unindicted co-conspirator who directed Michael Cohen to commit porn peener payoff crimes for which Michael Cohen had to go to prison but nobody else did?
"There's also an indictment in the Southern District of New York, in which individual No. 1 directed and coordinated a campaign fraud scheme in which the Justice Department argued that the guy who ... coordinated and directed, Michael Cohen, needed to go to jail," Schiff said.
"So, what's the argument that the guy that did the coordinating and did the directing gets a pass? My view in light of Nixon being pardoned, the Justice Department taking a position you can't prosecute a sitting president, which I also disagree with — to say now that as a practical matter you can't prosecute a former president would make the president above the law.
"And that's a dangerous proposition in the abstract. Given that Trump is, I think, already running for president again, it's an even more dangerous prospect for the future."
One gets the sense Schiff has fucking had it.
Schiff is optimistic that the Justice Department won't ignore Congress's criminal referral of Steve Bannon for contempt, though:
"I think the indications are strong that the Justice Department will take this seriously, as they should," he added. "There's not even a colorable claim of privilege in Bannon's case. He was long gone from the administration by the time of the events that we're talking about. And what's more, he can't just say, 'I'm gonna refuse to appear.'"
That would be a start.
Again, we [by we, Evan means Evan — Editrix] haven't been down with the reflexive condemnations of Merrick Garland. But the clock is ticking, and when somebody like Adam Schiff is starting to talk about it out loud, we start paying attention.
LOCK THEM UP, LOCK THEM ALL UP.
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How dare you expect law enforcement officers to obey the law!
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that New York police, firefighters, and other municipal workers have until November 1 to get vaccinated or placed on unpaid leave. This should go over like 99 lead balloons with the city's cops, who like enforcing rules but aren't so thrilled with following them.
New York police often walk around with their faces uncovered on public transport, despite the mask requirements. Tuesday, a couple officers manhandled commuter Andrew Gilbert for repeatedly asking them to wear a mask on a subway platform. They bum-rushed the guy and shoved him through the emergency exit at the 8th Street station in the Village. Presumably, the law they chose to enforce here was Never Piss Off The Cops.
#NYC #NYPD harassing this subway rider for having the nerve to ask them to put on masks! #notabovethelaw @NYCMayor https://t.co/iEK8qKh0MF— ekki spyrja mig að því (@ekki spyrja mig að því) 1634648344.0
The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) has pleaded with cops to consistently wear masks in the giant petri dishes they call subway stations and on trains, but the police don't seem interested.
"Eighty percent of the time they make some lame excuse or put the mask on," [Gilbert] said. "I really wish that we had a police department that was dedicated to public safety… They're just standing there, doing nothing, spreading COVID, and flouting the rules as a show of force. They can just do what they want and there's no accountability for it."
Cops across the country are resisting public health measures related to COVID-19. As of Friday, Chicago's public employees must provide either proof of vaccination or undergo twice-weekly testing. John Catanzara, the head of the Chicago
protection racket lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, has encouraged rank-and-file officers not to comply with the new rule. He claims the public isn't entitled to know the vaccination status of the cops breathing all over them. He predicts at least 50 percent of officers won't follow this basic request, which would make them ineligible to work. He promises the union will sue on behalf of all cops who lose pay because of their obstinance.
Friday, a Cook County judge barred Catanzara from making these public statements because they amounted to a “concerted effort" to defy the order — effectively promoting an illegal strike. Catanzara said his cops would never go on strike! But the city would effectively put them on strike if they weren't allowed to work despite refusing the order. Catanzara is a scumbag.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, whom the police treat like crap, wasn't having it:
This notion that individual officers get to be insubordinate … if that's the police department they want to be in, they should walk to another police department.
It's an honor to be a Chicago police officer … And anyone who says 'we get to do what we want when we want it, we get to have the kind of policing that we want when we want it,' that has happened in our city for far too long. And that's why our residents don't trust the police.
The police have collectively revealed themselves with their tantrums over vaccine and mask mandates. In Seattle, the police union claims the city's staffing shortage will only worsen if cops aren't allowed to infect themselves and others. Former Washington state trooper Robert LaMay quit his job over the vaccine mandate and declared in a pouty video that Governor “Jay Inslee can kiss my ass." He shared his sad story last night with professional terrible person Laura Ingraham. He complained that Seattle streets are filled with dirty homeless people who aren't masked or vaccinated. But he's not homeless and was until recently gainfully employed, so his argument is apples and something stupid that's not even a fruit.
LaMay also smiled and nodded along with Ingraham when she grossly suggested Democrats weren't concerned about the vaccination status of undocumented immigrants. Man, if only cops with their cushy union jobs had it as well as the homeless and desperate migrants.
Washington State police trooper Robert LaMay, who said "Jay Inslee can kiss my *ss" as he quit his job, speaks out… https://t.co/krnoi2tULh— The Post Millennial (@The Post Millennial) 1634697434.0
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who appears in constant disbelief at Americans' willful ignorance, said during a Fox News interview that it doesn't make sense for cops to refuse to at least protect themselves and their own colleagues. More than 460 cops have died from COVID-19 this year, and that's more than four times the number of deaths from gunfire.
"Things like mandating, be they masks or vaccinations, they're very important," Dr. Fauci said. "We're not living in a vacuum as individuals. We're living in a society, and society needs to be protected. And you do that by not only protecting yourself but by protecting the people around you, by getting vaccinated."
This simple concept seems alien to the police.
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Don't we all want to meet Jesus sooner than later?
As some rightwing figures are encouraging people to own the libs by actively seeking infection with the coronavirus, the folks at the Federalist yesterday reminded good people of faith that, as the headline puts it, "For Christians, Dying From COVID (Or Anything Else) Is A Good Thing." Joy Pullman, the executive editor of the site, chirpily explains that it's really a shame that so many Christians have bought into the secular, and wrong, idea that death during a pandemic is a bad thing. After all, only heretics would believe that "life is over once a person stops breathing," or indeed that humans can actually prevent death at all.
In fact, if you're a Christian and you think the best way to handle a pandemic is to try to keep people from dying, then you probably ought to "repent for the way we and our institutions responded" to the pandemic, although Pullman downgrades it to an "outbreak" and carefully avoids mentioning that it's killed 728,000 Americans so far.
Pullman bizarrely describes the pandemic as "a catchy virus," as if it were a Top 40 hit — possibly "Don't Fear the Reaper," which is certainly catchy. She's also very aggrieved that the press has taken to blaming unvaccinated people for the continued pandemic, simply because they "decided their risks from taking the vaccines outweighed their risks from catching the disease," which is an objectively terrible risk assessment that is not based in reality. Or at least according to secular medicine, which admittedly has a bias toward keeping people on the still-living side of things.
From there, it gets even weirder, as Pullman complains that we shouldn't be "shaming people for dying by accident" simply because they decided to fuck around with a deadly lung infection and find out. Then she lists a whole bunch of headlines about unvaccinated people who accidentally died, as if dying were all that big a deal. Well, she wants you to know that real Christians reject such paganism!
Christian teaching diametrically opposes the underlying theology pushed in such articles and in many other popular COVID narratives. That's true despite the appearance generated by the majority of Western churches prioritizing obedience to men instead of to God by shutting themselves down over COVID-19. Doing so contradicts numerous clear commands of scripture.
We can only assume Pullman would prefer headlines with better theology. Instead of "Unvaccinated husband and wife die of COVID-19 leaving 5 children behind," why not "Unvaccinated Husband and Wife Meet Jesus, Can't Wait for Kids to Join Them in Heaven"?
And yes, in October of 2021 she's still preaching resistance to lockdown orders that haven't been in place in the US for over a year. It's a recurring theme in the piece, and in fact led us to re-check the publication date to make sure it really did go up on Monday of this week.
Pullman then goes on to expound on her thesis that we mortals have no business at all trying to prevent COVID infections, since that's an offense to God Almighty. She explains that "For one thing, Christians believe that life and death belong entirely to God. There is nothing we can do to make our days on earth one second longer or shorter."
She goes on to explain that "for Christians, death is good," which is, yes, fairly standard theology about how the saved will go to be with Jesus, eternal life and all that, but it's still a bit jarring to see her sum it all up by condemning "the heathen idea that death is to be avoided at any cost."
And when it comes right down to it, Pullman seems deliberately vague on the concrete details here, apart from another lengthy rant about the idea that Christians can attend church online, because they absolutely must "gather together in His name," presumably even when they're coughing infected respiratory droplets all over their brethren to share the joy.
But for other measures — masking, social distancing, vaccination — Pullman holds off from specific recommendations, possibly for the sake of avoiding litigation. Wouldn't want to be accused of encouraging any of those "accidental" deaths, after all.
She certainly doesn't come right out and encourage people to chase "natural immunity" by seeking out a potentially lethal infection, so hooray for that, at least, but she also doesn't suggest it's a bad idea, either.
Pullman's suggestion that it's sinful to take any action at all to prevent sickness and death, because those are up to God, could be read as a call for relying solely on faith healing. Are antibiotics or vaccinations against childhood diseases in the Bible? They are not! Healthcare of any kind might, in this light, be sinful.
That's the beauty of a vague prescription like her citation of Philippians 1: "Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain." You can draw the line at refusing the COVID vaccine (but eating horse paste), or you can go full Let Your Baby Die While You Pray, because either way, you're justified.
As Paul said in his Letter to the Pedestrians, "Trust God and walk into traffic."
And if you spread disease to your own family, well they'll either get better or they'll go to heaven because they're saved. If your kid spreads the virus at school, no problem; maybe some heathens will die, but that's their problem for not getting right with God. It's way better than bowing to worldly authority and wearing a mask, or getting vaccinated, now isn't it?
And they'll know we are Christians by our permanently scarred lungs, by our permanently scarred lungs, Amen.
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No trash here, we promise.
Hey, it looks as if Maggie Haberman at the New York Times is not pleased with Wonkette. We hope she wasn't a regular subscriber. Perhaps not fully appreciating the Streisand effect, Haberman tweeted this to her 1.7 million followers:
I admit I'm flattered. Haberman's tweet makes me feel like a cast member on Saturday Night Live (regardless of the season), who's always considered worse than anyone on the show 20 years earlier.
But I firmly stand behind my trash post, which is arguably the nicest thing I've written about Haberman. For those who came in late, Haberman downplayed the fact that Donald Trump keeps calling himself “your president." This is the same Donald Trump who refused to concede the presidential election he lost and still claims it was "stolen" and Joe Biden isn't the legitimate commander in chief.
Apparently, there's nothing to see here, folks, because as Haberman noted, "Bill Clinton's office calls him President Clinton too. Of things they do, this doesn't seem that odd." However, Clinton never incited an insurrection against Congress and tried to make himself dictator for life. Details.
I am glad Haberman called me out, because it provides me the opportunity to offer a small correction. I neglected to mention that Miss Manners had addressed this issue back in December 2003. A reader's son had met Jimmy Carter on an airplane and greeted the former president, peanut farmer, and nuclear physicist (not, really) as “Mr. President." The reader was frankly appalled and embarrassed by her son's boorishness. According to her etiquette books, while close friends and former staff might humor a former president this way, that's not the appropriate form of address, even if Carter had won two terms.
Miss Manners agreed:
Who should be president is a matter on which the citizens are supposed to exercise their opinions. Etiquette is not.
[ ... ]
What Miss Manners can give you is the correct information. But it comes with a warning that most people not only don't know or believe it, but turn indignant with the notion that it is disrespectful.
This is because we suffer from title inflation. Our Founding Fathers, including the ones to whom this question applied, established American protocol to be simple and unpretentious -- and thus antithetical to the modern taste.
Nevertheless, the rule is that titles pertaining to an office that only one person occupies at a time are not used after retirement. A former president can use a previously-held, non-unique title, as the first one did by reverting to Gen. Washington in retirement, or the plain citizen's title of "Mr." The third president preferred to be known as Mr. Jefferson rather than Gov. Jefferson. Thus, the gentleman your son met would be addressed as Gov. Carter or Mr. Carter.
So, Miss Manners has spoken. There's only one president at a time, and, despite what I wrote, you shouldn't call Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, or Barack Obama “Mr. President" even if you're just being nice. Instead, you should say "Gov. Clinton," "Gov. Bush" (or turd blossom), and "Senator Obama." Hmm, Michelle Obama's Squeeze seems a more impressive title than “senator," which is a job we'll apparently give any asshole.
We don't expect Trump to stop calling himself “president." He's an empty shell of a man who publicly insulted Colin Powell the day after he died. Unlike Swedish-made penis enlargers, etiquette's not his bag, baby. (Allegedly)
However, the media should hammer Trump's Republican sycophants on this point, as they keep referring to “President Trump" while never using that title to describe Joe Biden, who is actually president. (Sometimes, as a very funny joke, they will pointedly call him "former Vice-President Biden.") This isn't an issue of respect or etiquette but rather the GOP committing sedition in plain sight.
Thanks for the shout-out, Maggie Haberman. We'll keep the clever trash coming.
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