SoINeedAName

Aug 112017
 

Undoubtedly we all had a smile on our faces this past Wednesday when Taran Singh Brar inflated a 30-foot tall chicken that eerily looked like Trump on The Ellipse just south of the White House.  And of course it was no fluke that the bird, nicknamed “Don the Chicken”, sported a shiny gold bouffant, cartoonish angry bushy eyebrows, a bright red wattle and hand gestures that all perfectly mimicked The Donald.

Singh Brar, a documentary filmmaker, had spent weeks analyzing the angles of the numerous permanent cable cameras that are aimed at the White House so they include the Washington Monument in the background to decide on the perfect location that would keep the bird visible to the camera.

Then it took him months of negotiation with the National Park Service and the Secret Service to get the necessary permits to put up the giant chicken on The Ellipse.

And it took Brar days to transport the inflatable chicken from his home in Orange County, CA to DC in his U-Haul that he calls a “mobile hatching facility”.

He arrived at The Ellipse at 8:45 on Wednesday, and by 10:00 AM it had gained its own hashtag: #TrumpChicken

And people couldn’t resist the opportunity to weigh in at mocking The Donald via Don the Chicken – so let’s enjoy a few.

I think this Twitter person is feeling pretty cocky, don’t you?  Or maybe she has been cooped up too long and decided to just wing it.  I thought for sure she’d comment about the perpetrator running afowl of the law.

But now that I’ve tossed the Pun Gauntlet down, I’m sure she’ll be hatching up a few more to best me.  But I’m not going to get my feathers ruffled about it.

(You really didn’t think I was going to pass up an opportunity like that, did you?  Feel free to add a few more in Comments.)

This isn’t the first time the inflatable Trump Chicken has made an appearance.  The 30-foot one was at the Chicago Tax Protest Day back in April, while a smaller 10-foot version was at the Capitol.

In fact the original inspiration for the bird was to mock Trump for being a chicken to release his Tax Returns.  It was designed by a Seattle-based artist and originally used to commemorate this as the Chinese Year of the Rooster at a shopping mall in Taiyuan that I wrote about last December.

Here’s Singh Brar explaining what currently inspired him (At least that’s what an article said – there’s no Closed Caption):

Singh Brar setup a GoFundMe page to raise the $1,500 needed to purchase the bird ($1,300) and buy its insurance.  If you would like one of your very own, you can get the shorter 10-foot model (not counting shipping) on eBay for $500.

And of course you knew someone was not going to let this ready-made pun go by …

And another Tweet riffing on Trump’s “Fire and Fury” incendiary rhetoric …

And I did find what may be the ultimate inspiration from an appearance Trump made in SNL skit way back in 2004 – now try unseeing this!

But Taran Singh Brar is not going to rest on his laurels.  He’s already working on a bigger project involving multiple blow-up chickens reviewing Russian military weapons around the Washington Memorial to mock Trump’s fondness for both Putin, rallies and military parades.

As Singh Brar notes:

“Trump causes so much stress and chaos in people’s lives, something cute like this that resonates brings a lot of joy.”

AMEN to that, and a hearty “THANK YOU for MAKING OUR DAY BRIGHTER!”

 

 

 

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Aug 042017
 

Anthony Scaramucci enjoys the distinction of being the shortest-serving White House Communications director in the history of that position, which was first created during the Nixon administration.

Some contend that Jack Koehler actually had the shortest tenure, serving as Reagan’s director for only one week after being forced to resign when it was learned he had belonged to the Deutsches Jungvolk, a Nazi youth organization.  But although “The Mooch” announced his acceptance of post on 21st – his official start date wasn’t until the 25th.  So his six days of “service” makes his the shortest tenure.

Many folks were actually floored that Mooch would even take the position.  In fact it was so rare that it marked the …

@Regrann from @haroldpolitics – The Mooch!!!! #AnthonyScaramucci #TheMooch #TrumpTeam #MAGA – #regrann

A post shared by AGirlHasNoPresident (@agirlhasnopresident) on

One of the main reasons he got the Communications Director post is he has a huge fondness for Trump, as is plain to see in how he imitates his mentor’s mannerisms:

Based on his demeanor and past history, it’d be reasonable to conclude that The Mooch actually wanted to be Trump’s Mini-Me

Plus he himself is a braggart and very wealthy ex-hedge fund manager who made his fortune via shady deals (starting to sound like anyone else you know?) who not only had a way with … hmmm … colorful foul language like Trump, but also enjoyed a special bond with The Donald

So let’s do a brief review of how he got off on the wrong foot when HE called Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker and unloaded a expletive-laden rant, the likes of which will not be seen for a very long time – if ever.

For the record, he dropped the “F-Bomb” five times in his brief phone call, and used a vulgar reference to the male anatomy three times – one in reference to Bannon’s … hmmm … lack of yoga skills.  But only said “shit” once – and never made any references to female anatomy, unlike Trump.

And although Trump was initially very pleased with his vulgar phone call language, that waned when that story started to eclipse Trump, who must ALWAYS be the center of attention.  So when Gen. Kelly came on board as Chief of Staff this past Monday, Mooch was history before lunch, joining Sean “Spicey” Spicer and Reince Priebus on the street.

And it reaffirms what has been a hallmark at Trump’s White House: a revolving door policy when it comes to his staff.

At least Mooch will now be able to spend more “quality time” with his newborn baby boy and family.  Oh, wait … I forgot that not only did he miss the birth of his son a week ago, but his wife Deidre has filed for divorce.

Oh well, at least he’ll have time to buckle-down and work on that juicy tell-all book article paragraph of all the White House secrets he learned during his very, very brief stay.

But it did make Mooch the poster-boy of how FUBAR the Trump White House actually is when you realize that son-in-law Jared Kushner, who was put in charge of bringing peace to the Middle East (quit that laughing), encouraged Trump to bring Scaramucci on board because he thought Mooch would be a great hire.  (That kind of character assessment skill by Trump’s crew will make you sleep better at night.)

Obviously the Mooch fiasco was just too rich of a drama at the “NO CHAOS – Trust Me” White House for the Internet to ignore.  So let’s enjoy some of the better takes on the ongoing saga of serious self-inflicted snafus.

And to burnish Trump’s own renown for being a disloyal, self-centered SOB, just remember how he has “embellished” Mooch’s resume:

But at least Mooch won’t leave empty handed:

And there is some other good news for the rest of us:

It’s understandable, given how embarrassing this whole episode has been, if Mooch wants to go incognito for a while …

(•_•)

( •_•) <–  ⌐■-■

(⌐■_■)

Bottom line, I think we can all agree that since Trump is incapable to demonstrate a “pivot” and actually act ”Presidential” (or even like an adult), Scaramucci’s firing from the most dysfunctional White House EVAH amounts to Mooch ado about nothing.

 

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Jul 272017
 

It’s not so far-fetched to fear we are headed for a “Saturday Night Massacre Redux” only with a different cast of characters than Nixon brought us.

So how did we get to this sad, disturbing juncture in our history?  Clearly it all pivots around one Donald J. Trump, our minority-vote president and his desire to end Robert Mueller’s investigation as Special Counsel.

[BACKGROUND: Although the terms “special counsel”, “special prosecutor” and “independent counsel” tend to be used interchangeably, they actually are not.  Following the constitutional crisis caused by Nixon’s malfeasance, the Office of Independent Counsel was established by law in 1978 with the Ethics in Government Act.  That law directed a three-judge panel from the US Court of Appeals in Washington, DC, to appoint the counsel or special prosecutor.

[That special prosecutor was typically given plenary powers with no checks or balances to contain it which led to far-afield investigations best exemplified by Ken Starr’s obsessive persecution of the Clintons that began as an investigation of a real estate deal, but exponentially exploded and segued to a stain on a little blue dress.

[There was bipartisan agreement those powers were too broad, and so the Independent Counsel Act was not renewed, and it expired in 1999.  This led to the enactment of the Special Counsel Regulations, which empowers Robert Mueller’s investigation.  Those regulations are spelled out here: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2001-title28-vol2/pdf/CFR-2001-title28-vol2-part600.pdf ]

 

HOW CAN TRUMP GET RID OF MUELLER – OR AT LEAST STYMIE HIS INVESTIGATION

There are three broad forces that can interfere with Mueller’s investigation resulting in it either being terminated outright, or having it stymied to the point of futility: [1] Trump; [2] a high-ranking Justice Department official (generally the Attorney General, but since Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III has recused himself, it falls to the Deputy AG, Rod Rosenstein) or [3] Congress.

 

[1]

So, the main question is can Trump fire Mueller?  The short answer is “Yes”.  Under Article II of our Constitution, the president is given full plenary prosecution power, therefore all federal prosecutors work for the president.

But the special counsel regulations are very precise on how he or she can be removed:

The Special Counsel may be disciplined or removed from office only by the personal action of the Attorney General. The Attorney General [or acting Attorney General] may remove a Special Counsel for misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or for other good cause, including violation of Departmental policies. The Attorney General shall inform the Special Counsel in writing of the specific reason for his or her removal.

Of note is that if Rosenstein were to invoke that authority, the regulations also require him to notify the House and Senate Judiciary Committees as well as the ranking minority member of those committees.  It’s prescient that that the authors of the Regulations included that proviso, which was specifically added to address the possibility that the majority party Chairpersons would be of the same party as the president, and either spineless enough or unwilling to act.  Sound familiar?

And Deputy AG Rosenstein testified he would do so only for “good cause”.  Based on his testimony, the possibility that Trump could convince him that Mueller had acted in such a manner to justify his removal was not only off the radar for Deputy AG Rosenstein, it wasn’t even conceivable to him.

Not only does Mueller enjoy an impeccable, bipartisan reputation and has not engaged in any inappropriate behavior that would justify his removal for “good cause” – but he was also granted a waiver by the Justice Department to lead the investigation despite a possible conflict of interest stemming from the fact that members of his law firm represent some of the people that are a focus of the investigation, including former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser.

And although the Trump team is actively digging to try to find dirt on Mueller and his team, it’s universally agreed that Trump’s whining about campaign donations given by investigators to Democrats does not constitute a “conflict of interest” – and there’s case law to support that.  Sorry, Donnie!

So, if Trump were to direct Rosenstein to fire Mueller, just as Nixon directed AG Elliot Richardson to fire Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox, Rosenstein would most likely resign like Richardson did, or Trump would fire him, like Nixon did with William Ruckelshaus, the next in line at the DOJ – which he has the power to do.  And then just like Nixon, Trump could work his way down the chain of command to try to get to a toady like Nixon’s Robert Bork, who did fire Cox (and then that night was promised the next seat on SCOTUS by Nixon).

Or Trump, under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, could appoint an interim attorney general – but it would have to be someone who was previously confirmed by the Senate for a Federal position.

(As noted, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D) has made it clear that Democrats will not allow Trump to use a recess appointment to insert a lackey AG to his liking, as Democrats will use the pro forma session option to prevent the Senate from going into the 10-day recess required to permit recess appointments.)

Or Trump could be brazen enough to actually repeal the Special Counsel Regulations and then fire Mueller himself.  Back in 1999 when the regulations were put into place, that scenario was so unthinkable that is was not even addressed.  But today with Trump, who has no moral rudder, it’s a distinct possibility.

 

[2]

This is the actual “Appointment of Special Counsel” statement by Deputy AG Rosenstein addressing Mueller’s appointment: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/appointment-special-counsel

And the actual enumeration of Mueller’s mandate:

https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/967231/download

It is widely believed that Mueller will broadly interpret the phrase “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”  Sorry, Donnie!

But it must be remembered that under the Special Counsel Regulations, the AG (or Deputy AG) retains the power to not only limit the scope of the investigation, but the Justice Department alone retains the right to either pursue the findings from Mueller’s investigation and bring criminal charges – or not.  It’s hard to believe that Rosenstein would turn a blind eye if Mueller’s findings were compelling, but I no longer rule out any possibility.

 

[3]

Congress itself could seriously interfere – or prevent – the pursuit of criminal charges resulting from Mueller’s investigation by granting immunity to individuals in exchange for testimony.  As you know, former national security adviser Michael Flynn has actively sought such immunity, and that could well make Flynn’s prosecution impossible.

If you recall, Oliver North was criminally convicted by an independent counsel during Reagan’s Iran-contra scandal.  However, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit threw out his conviction because Congress had granted him immunity.  And even though that immunity didn’t directly cover action by the independent counsel, the court found that the special prosecutor could have benefited from “the fruits” of his testimony before Congress.

 

 WHAT HAPPENS IF TRUMP SUCCEEDS IN GETTING RID OF MUELLER

The two most likely ways that Trump could get rid of Mueller is if he were able to find his “Bork” (now I know you’re thinking, given his anatomical … hmm, constraints related to his teeny, tiny hands, he already has problems finding his “Bork” – but let’s move on) in some form, and have him or her fire Mueller.  The other is that he actually revokes the Special Counsel Regulations (which he theoretically could do) and fire him outright by himself.

One would hope that Rep. Adam Schiff (D) is correct that Congress would immediately enact an Independent Commission to investigate the same area that Mueller was pursuing.  The problem is that it would not have the power to press criminal or civil charges – that still remains the domain of the Justice Department.

It’s also possible that Mueller could file a lawsuit seeking to vacate his firing, arguing that the Special Counsel Regulations are pointless if there’s no way to enforce them.  But clearly that, like so much of what Trump is churning up, is unchartered waters.

But assuming the worst-case scenario and Mueller is removed, then what?

We need to remember that the FBI has already launched a formal counterintelligence investigation of its own into the meddling by Russia in the 2016 elections, and it’s over a year old.  It will continue and there’s nothing Trump can do to stop it.

The FBI investigation is focused on “if any American citizen acted in concert with the Kremlin to commit acts of espionage, obstruction of justice, interference with the federal election process and other crimes.”

Clearly the aspect that has Trump the most worried is the money trail, and Mueller has the power to obtain his income tax returns.  Just as Deep Throat advised concerning Nixon and the Watergate investigation, “follow the money” that still holds true today.

Mueller’s firing would definitely impede the progress of the investigation, because as Special Counsel he has broad investigatory powers including access to the Treasury Department’s FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) that concentrates on money laundering, as well as the IRS and other executive departments.  So, Mueller’s team has focused on federal criminal acts, while FBI has focused more on espionage.

No doubt Mueller and his team have given some thought to contingency plans if he were to be terminated, as his position largely stems from a political rather than legal aegis.  It depends on how far Trump is willing to ignore not only the rule of law, but the traditions of his office.  If past is prologue, this is not an encouraging sign.

Mueller’s team has surely documented everything they’ve done, creating a large body of work product which Congress could demand in the event he was removed.  It’s highly doubtful that Trump, or even a bevy of his lackeys, would – or even could – destroy all that evidence.

And even then, Mueller and his team could be called to testify before Congress to share what they had found to date.  So there are mechanisms in place to protect and see that their findings are disseminated to people who could act on that information.

The main concern is that if somehow Mueller were removed, that Congress would continue in its current format of facilitating Trump’s endless outrages and make no effort to take proper action and impeach him.  The fact that it’s very possible that Republicans will continue to put party before country is the real risk our nation faces.

 

RESOURCES

 

https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2001-title28-vol2/pdf/CFR-2001-title28-vol2-part600.pdf

http://www.businessinsider.com/can-trump-fire-special-counsel-robert-mueller-pardon-2017-7

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2017/live-updates/trump-white-house/sessions-to-testify-before-senate-intelligence-committee/how-trump-could-have-mueller-ousted-as-special-counsel/

http://theweek.com/articles/713648/what-happens-trump-fires-mueller

https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2017-07-24/what-happens-if-donald-trump-fires-special-prosecutor-robert-mueller

http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/the-administration/343149-what-will-happen-if-trump-fires-mueller-or-pardons

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/07/impeach-donald-trump-if-he-fires-robert-mueller/534585/

http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/13/opinions/what-would-happen-if-trump-tried-to-fire-mueller-callan/index.html

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-mcmanus-mueller-fire-20170723-story.html

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-20/trump-move-to-fire-mueller-likely-would-trigger-purge-at-justice

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-sessions-scenarios-idUSKBN1AA2U9?il=0

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/interrogation/2017/07/what_happens_if_mueller_s_axed_an_interview_with_tim_weiner.html

 

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Jul 142017
 

Trump’s SOP on how he deals with his unending lies is Deny, Discredit then Dismiss.  And the sad thing is his 35% base buy into this “Nothingburger” approach.

Well, dear Trumpkins, Junior finally has provided a red-hot Smoking Gun with his forced release of his “chain of emails” proving he colluded with a “Russian government attorney”.  (Sorry Twitler – it’s right in the body of Junior’s email.)

Time magazine agrees that the emails’ “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump” and Junior’s “I love it” response proves he’s been caught Red-Handed!

And it’s plainly a piss-poor defense for the Trump gangster clan to go with

“Well, we tried to collude, but we were so incompetent we got nothing from it”

So let’s enjoy some of the reactions to this remarkable revelation …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bottom line:

 

 

 

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Jul 072017
 

No doubt you probably have seen most – if not all – of the fun photos from Chris Christie shamelessly enjoying New Jersey’s Island Beach State Park as his own private paradise for the Fourth of July weekend, while denying access to other Jerseyans.  (I Googled it – that’s what they’re called.)  But I felt it’d be good if we preserved that meme for posterity.

To remind you what the Christie Klan clan decided they – and they alone – were entitled to …

[NOTE: You can right-click or scroll-click a photo to open it as a full-sized photo in a separate Tab]

 

Of course you knew it would give rise to some great memes, so let’s enjoy a few:

Keying in on his role in Bridgegate, here he is blocking a couple lanes of traffic on the George Washington Bridge

Since it was a holiday, he felt entitled to take time for some fun.  Here he is clearly enjoying listening to Elvis

It appears he really does like going to the movies …

Sound of Music

 

From Here to Eternity

 

Planet of the Apes

 

Jaws

 

Up

Forrest Gump

But it wasn’t all fun and games.  He was busy keeping an eye on developments at D-Day

And helping out in the Oval Office (I’m sure he figured that if Kellyanne Conway can put her feet up on the couch, he can bring a beach chair in)

But that wasn’t the only the only time with Twitler.  He “grabbed” some more time with him, along with Billy Bush and Arianne Zucker, during that infamous X-rated Access Hollywood interview (no doubt loaded down with plenty of Tic Tacs)

And he was there in the Situation Room helping Pres. Obama and Hillary when they masterminded the removal of Osama Bin Laden.

Not surprising that most Jerseyans were NOT pleased that he had created a private island paradise for just him and his family – so they took to the air to share their displeasure

And you would think that being such a shameless, self-absorbed A-hole would make Christie feel repentant …

But you’d be wrong.  Just like Twitler, this is how he sees himself

But Jerseyans had the last laugh when The Bikini Boys did a great sand sculpture of him on July 4th

There’s an Instagram by them doing a 360 degrees around the sculpture.  And apparently the link to it embeds Instagram stuff – never tried it before:

 

THE END

Off Topic: I really enjoyed how the wife of Poland’s Pres. Duda “handled” greeting Twitler yesterday.  Just look at that face after her great maneuver.  That was  NOT the face of a Happy Camper on our “Dear Leader” afterwards …

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Jun 302017
 

This will be very short bits and pieces because my pseudo-uncle (my aunt’s brother) just got released from the hospital and needs to have someone stay with him.  His son is a head pharmacist of the oncology section at a large teaching hospital here in KCMO and has to be at work (and his other three kids live out of town).  So my pseudo-aunt (his other sister) and I are going to stay with him today.

We’re all aware of the Tweet storm Twitler set off – AGAIN – with another misogynistic series against Mika Brzezinski.   I think today’s front page of the New York Daily News aptly summarizes how the huge majority of Americans view Twitler’s toddler behavior.

It’s time for Melania to take notes from her predecessor on how to deal with this.

But I did get a kick out of Mika’s trolling rejoinder to the insults

And if you’re as tired of seeing Twitler’s mug – and happen to use Chrome as your browser – you can install an extension that will change the news sourced pictures he’s in to cute little kittens.  But it doesn’t work with social media sites.

Background story:

http://www.businessinsider.com/make-america-kittens-again-google-chrome-extension-replaces-donald-trump-with-kittens-2016-12

Chrome Extension Link:

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/make-america-kittens-agai/klchnmggepghlcolikgaekpibclpmgcm

And you’ll get a huge kick from the former president of Mexico, Vicente Fox, giving Twitler some sound advice on how to avoid starting a nuclear war.  The entire five minutes are well worth it!

But let’s end on an upbeat note and enjoy a symphony orchestra concert in Turkey.  If you’re lucky, you can grab a front row seat just like this dog did …

It’s pretty clear that …

His Bach was worse than his bite.

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