Saturday Report 12/16/23 - Crazy Alert! The Pizzagate crowd has a crazy new conspiracy theory about Etsy - it involves photos of pizza being clever messages…you can’t make this stuff up!
The Best of the Rest of the News
— Are conservatives trying to clean up “Tricky Dick” and convince you that Watergate was a set up because it helps Trump and other Republican con-men and look less extreme? The rush is on in GOP circles to normalize Trump’s lifelong criminal behavior, his incompetence and malice in office that unnecessarily killed over a half-million Americans and plunged the nation into debt, and his recent rhetoric about becoming a dictator “on day one.”
The first and most visible part of their strategy is to come up with any excuse they can find to impeach Joe Biden, and I’m more than willing to bet there will be an impeachment vote a few months down the line, so Trump can go into the 2024 election saying he’s not the only guy who’s been impeached for “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
The second and more subtle part is to try to rehabilitate former criminal Republican presidents. Yesterday morning on MSNBC, for example, former corrupt Republican Ohio Governor John Kasich lied to that network’s audience about Caspar Weinberger, saying he hadn’t committed any crimes and Iran/Contra was a sham, politically-motivated prosecution. In fact, Weinberger was facing years in prison for his role in helping Reagan and Bush Sr. cut a deal with the Iranian mullahs to hold the US hostages and then pay them off with illegal US weaponry. President George HW Bush, on the advice of his Attorney General Bill Barr, pardoned Weinberger on Christmas eve, 1992, to avoid being prosecuted himself, as you can read in detail here.
But this goes way beyond Kasich’s pathetic efforts to rewrite the history of the Reagan and first Bush administration’s criminal activities. Now young conservatives are trying to reinvent Tricky Dick Nixon, who was busted for taking cash bribes in the White House from Jimmy Hoffa and the milk lobby, organizing and covering up a break-in at the DNC, wiretapping and sending the IRS against his enemies, and prolonging the Vietnam war (killing an additional 20,000+ Americans) just to get re-elected in 1972.
As Ian Ward writes for Politico, the movement is being led by hardcore rightwing crazies like Vivek Ramaswamy, who said in a speech at the Nixon Library, “He is by and away the most underappreciated president of our modern history in this country — probably in all of American history.” Calling themselves the “new Nixonians,” these younger people who are comfortable with criminals occupying the White House are all-in on redefining Nixon as a great president, particularly his criminal foreign policy decisions like illegally bombing and killing millions of civilians in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.
I wrote an article some time ago wondering out loud how different America would be if four of the last six Republican presidents hadn’t committed treasonous felonies to become president or get re-elected to office. It’s still a damn good question. We’ve lost so much human potential and so badly damaged America’s reputation around the world…
— Where is the missing binder filled with top-secret super-highly-classified intel including the names of our spies in Moscow, last seen on Trump’s desk? CNN is reporting that for the past two years the national security agencies in our government have been going nuts trying to find the binder of information — including raw intelligence directly from our spies in Russia — about how Putin helped Trump get into the White House in 2016. Trump had demanded it be brought to him a week or so before he left the White House in January, 2021 and it hasn’t been seen anywhere since.
Keep in mind, the Mueller Report, contrary to the initial lies told about it by Bill Barr, found that Putin had manipulated our election on Trump’s behalf and that there were ten specific areas they wanted to investigate more thoroughly that looked criminal but in each of the ten they were blocked — criminally — by Donald Trump himself or his agents and family members. Mueller identified these ten instances of obstruction of justice so, he said, government prosecutors could use them for prosecutions when Trump was out of office, but Merrick Garland hasn’t shown any interest in finishing the job.
When the FBI searched Mar-a-Lardo, the binder of raw intelligence was one of the things they were most vigorously looking for, but it’s gone. Did Trump enlist Rand Paul for a second run, flying a second secret packet of documents from DC to Moscow on Trump’s behalf like he did in 2017 shortly after Putin gave Trump his marching orders at Helsinki? Did Mark Meadows burn it, because it was the only set of originals showing that Putin put Trump into office? Is it buried in Ivana’s weed-overgrown grave at Bedminster? Did Trump hand it off to a Putin agent while going to a rally or other event? Inquiring minds want to know.
— Morbidly rich billionaires in America haven’t just been buying Supreme Court justices — they’ve also purchased over 100 federal judges... Lever News is reporting on research that discovered over 100 federal judges have been getting lavish vacations and trips around the world, fully paid for by some of America’s most politically aggressive billionaires and their companies and foundations. We thought the corruption was limited to Clarence Thomas, Sam Alito, Neil Gorsuch, John Roberts, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett but now it appears the rot is much deeper. The story is truly grotesque and explains why so many Americans are losing faith in our nation’s institutions. When five corrupt Republicans on the Supreme Court legalized political bribery with Citizens United in 2010, they apparently also legalized the bribery of judges up and down the line, including themselves. Never ones to miss an opportunity, several billionaires and their foundations have stepped forward to pick up their very own federal judges while they’re still going for cheap. Invest a few million in luxury vacations, make billions when the regulatory or tax laws are struck down or changed by the judges who took the vacations: buying judges and politicians is the best investment available in America today.
— How Trump screwed working people to pay for his tax cuts for the rich... When Republicans were putting together Trump’s massive tax cut for himself and his billionaire buddies back in 2017, they wanted to squeeze an additional few billion out of average working people to pay for some of Trump’s billionaire tax cuts. So they ended, from 2017 to 2025, the deductability of “personal casualty” losses: things like money lost to scams, or homes destroyed by weirding weather. The result has been a wave of middle class people being wiped out after being scammed out of their life savings because now they can no longer deduct those stolen funds from their tax obligations but instead have to pay taxes on them as if they’d “stolen” the money themselves.