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Aileen! This Was a Slam Dunk!

Aileen! This Was a Slam Dunk!

Summary: Why a Loose Cannon Should Be Removed

It’s not like Judge Cannon is getting paid by the hour or anything. Trump’s attorneys are, however, which would justify making all these insane, frivolous motions. Judge Cannon, I am not an attorney, but I can read, have a higher-than-average IQ, and know if a duck looks, smells, and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. Let’s look at the right-wing talking points one at a time, or you can see an overview of the timeline of the efforts the United States government made to retrieve these documents here.

Hundreds Of Classified Documents Belonging to the US Government are “Stolen Property”

The Presidential Records Act (PRA) of 1978 establishes that Presidential records automatically transfer into the legal custody of the Archivist as soon as the President leaves office. 

“The term ‘classified information of the United States’ means information originated, owned, or possessed by the United States Government concerning the national defense or foreign relations of the United States that has been determined pursuant to law or Executive order to require protection against unauthorized disclosure in the interests of national security.”

If you want to see what the FBI found, you can find the entire inventory here.

Think of It as Possession of Stolen Property and Let That Sink In

Now, because the United States government owns these documents, the former President essentially stole them. Even in Florida, that’s still a crime.

We’ve Established It Was Stolen, and It’s Classified. Now What?

Even if it wasn’t stolen (but it was), it wasn’t stored or safeguarded properly. The purpose of a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) is to establish policies for accessing, safeguarding, and storing classified information and material. From the many descriptions we have seen, read, or heard about where the classified information was retrieved at Mar-a-Lago, none of them was a SCIF. Unless you count a golden outhouse as a SCIF.

Obstruction of Justice

If Trump really believed the classified docs were his, as he has said, why did he order Walt Nauta to move them just before the Department of Justice came to look for them? And why did he throw his former attorney, Evan Corcoran, under the bus, falsely telling him it was all right to sign a document certifying that there were no more classified documents in Trump’s possession?

“Federal prosecutors have claimed that lawyers for Trump certified in June 2022 that a ‘diligent search’ of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate turned up just 38 classified documents stored in a secured storage room. But two months later, when FBI agents raided the premises, they found more than 100 additional documents marked classified — some of which were located outside of the storage room, including in Trump’s office desk, prosecutors said.”

It Wasn’t a Raid; The FBI Was Executing a Search Warrant.

They didn’t block all the exits and charge in with guns blazing, shouting, “Everybody down! Nobody moves, and you won’t get hurt!”

The FBI got a search warrant from a Florida Justice after showing probable cause. After confirming that Trump was in New Jersey, they coordinated with the Secret Service at Mar-a-Lago and wore no clothing that would identify them as the FBI to avoid embarrassing the former President. Really? Embarrass Donald Trump?

It Was NOT a Plot to Assassinate Trump

“The FBI followed standard protocol in this search as we do for all search warrants, which includes a standard policy statement limiting the use of deadly force,” said the FBI. Again, confirming that Trump was in New Jersey at the time, they proceeded.

When asked at a press conference to comment about the FBI statement, Speaker Mike Johnson stared blankly for a few seconds, then turned and walked away muttering something that sounded like, “Damned stupid piece of sh*t.” according to those closest to him.

The Constitutionality of a Special Counsel

Really? Really! Are you holding hearings for arguments on this issue? While you are the Judge here, it took me less than 15 minutes on Google to find the answer to the question the Trump MAGAts are posing here.

Grounds for appointing a Special Counsel.

“The Attorney General, or in cases in which the Attorney General is recused, the Acting Attorney General, will appoint a Special Counsel when he or she determines that criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted and—

(a) That investigation or prosecution of that person or matter by a United States Attorney’s Office or litigating Division of the Department of Justice would present a conflict of interest for the Department or other extraordinary circumstances; and

(b) That under the circumstances, it would be in the public interest to appoint an outside Special Counsel to assume responsibility for the matter.”

No Gag Order Against the Biggest Liar on the Planet?

Even Ty Cobb, Trump’s former lawyer, points out the fallacy of Cannon’s reasoning as shown in Court filings.

The judge said Smith’s team failed to meaningfully reach out to Trump’s attorneys on the gag order request.

Cobb pushed back against Cannon’s reasoning and accused the federal judge of bias.

‘Conferring doesn’t require, you know, doing it in a proper form or in a way that meets whatever her standard is,’ he said. ‘It requires talking to the other side, and they did and they mentioned it in the papers that they had conferred and Trump’s team didn’t agree.’”

Both Judge Merchan and Judge Engoron found it necessary to gag the “Mouth that Roared.”  Could the real reason Judge Cannon doesn’t feel that need is because Trump hasn’t attacked her? And why would he? She is clearly his favorite.

For all the reasons above, Aileen “The Loose” Cannon must be removed, not only from this case, but from the Bench.

Loose Cannon

Image via Flickr by edwin.bautista

If Ron DeSantis Has His Way, My Granddaughters Won’t Be Educated Enough to Get Into College

If Ron DeSantis Has His Way, My Granddaughters Won’t Be Educated Enough to Get Into College

Is reading such a bad thing that we
actually have to ban books?

Education is taking a big hit in Ron DeSantis’ Florida. In January of this year, the Governor appointed six new people to the board of trustees of New College of Florida to free the students and faculty from an ideological “hostage situation.” Heavens to Betsy, let us not burden the kiddies with thoughts they can’t handle or make them think at all!

When I was in the fifth grade, while everyone was dreading moving on to Mrs. P’s class because it was well-known that we had to write 50 book reports a year for her, I was excited. On average, I read about a book every day anyhow and relished the challenge ahead. I read books about Buffalo Bill, Wild Bill Hickock, and Calamity Jane. Then pressed on to books like Animal Farm, 1984, Peter Pan,  Hawaii, Moby Dick, the Sherlock Holmes series, and the entire Burroughs Tarzan series. I think I wear glasses today because of all those nights reading by flashlight under the covers when I was supposed to be sleeping. If you don’t think someone would find something to ban in those books today, you’re not paying attention. Think about: fairies, child molesters with hooks for hands, bare-breasted native women, drug addiction, and blatant racism.

A small public liberal arts college, New College of Florida ranks as the #5 Public liberal arts college in the nation. I’m afraid all that will end with DeSantis and Company. In about ten years, when my oldest Floridian granddaughter starts looking for a college to attend, I don’t think there will even be a public college in Florida worth attending.

Under the guise of Parent’s Rights, our Florida legislature is considering a bill that would ban any book in schools statewide if even only one parent objects to the book.

Unfortunately, the point at which the government tells us what we can read and bans that which we cannot read is only the beginning. The Nazis burned books in Germany in 1933, and the signs are in place that this cycle of intolerance is starting again.

DeSantis won his last election by more than 20 points and has a rubber-stamp legislature, so who can blame him for his blatant rule-by-fiat approach to governance? The “Stop W.O.K.E” Act was passed last year. It prohibits teaching or having classroom discussions where “he or she (a student) must feel guilt, anguish, or other forms of psychological distress for actions, in which he or she played no part, committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.”

During his second inaugural address this past January, he decried wokeness this way: “We will never surrender to the woke mob. Florida is where Woke goes to die.”

So, what exactly does “woke”  mean? At a recent dinner, my daughter-in-law asked me that very question, and I tentatively replied, “Enlightened?”

As it happens, it was originally used as a call to action for Black people dating back to the early 20th century. Today, it’s accepted as a compliment by the left but used as an insult by the right. A USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll recently found that fifty-six percent of the people asked defined woke as “being informed, educated on, and aware of social injustices.”

How do we counter social injustice, bullying, and disinformation?

We do it with knowledge and a worldview that is based on curiosity rewarded. Imagine the thrill of a little high-five after being excitedly told something (s)he learned in school today. Or being read to and watching the progression of words getting more difficult, yet mastered, week after week. With a lifetime of knowledge gained by reading, watching integrated classrooms, and knowing that racism is taught, not inherent, wondering if these kids will become suspicious of each other because the sins of the past are being swept under the rug.

Reading gave me knowledge and perspective and stirred my curiosity. Curiosity forces us to question the knowledge we have been given. If it doesn’t seem reasonable, continue reading, questioning, and searching until the truth is found.

Interestingly, the “truth” can, and has, changed if critical thinking is fostered and nurtured. Yesterday’s truth is only as good as the informed minds that found it. More informed minds refine the truth.

Can you imagine where the world would be if people simply accepted the “facts” that were given to them? Would we know the truths about the past? Would the great thinkers of yesterday be able to
build on the ideas of past generations to create new and improved medicines or machines?

Please. Ignore the politicians who would keep you rooted in the past. They are afraid you won’t vote for them if you know the truth because they. only. want. power. The more you know, the more you see they don’t work for your best interests.

Read. Anything and everything. Then vote them out so your kids and my granddaughters can get a decent education in Florida.

The End of an Era?

The End of an Era?

I doubt it. The Trumpster fire smolders all across the country, just waiting for the right opportunity to burst into flame again. While El Presidente slinks off to Florida, let us remember that as we watched and listened to him for over five years, 74 million of our neighbors drank his Kool-Aid. He told us to our faces what he was doing. Labeling the free press the “Enemy of the People” and calling their reporting “Fake News,” he gathered an army so drunk with the power he lavished on them, they stormed the Capitol in a coup attempt intent on arresting Members of Congress who opposed him.

“We have about 30-40 of us. We are sticking together and sticking to the plan,” co-defendant Jessica Watkins, 38, a U.S. Army veteran, said while the breach was underway … “You are executing citizen’s arrest. Arrest this assembly, we have probable cause for acts of treason, election fraud,” a man replied, according to communications recovered from her phone, the FBI alleged.

After all this, one hundred and ninety-seven members of the House of Representatives failed to see the need to impeach the Mad King Donald. One hundred and forty-seven members of the House and Senate voted to overturn the election results.

Oh yes, Trumpism is alive and well. The author of the feast is gone, but not forgotten. Not by a long shot.