…It's "Bribery," pure and simple, says Tony Piel:
“Quid Pro Quo” is NOT the term to use when describing President Trump’s current Ukraine fiasco. The correct term is “Bribery,” pure and simple. It makes a Constitutional difference.
“Quid Pro Quo” is a first-year law school term to describe when a supposed agreement is or is not a legally enforceable “contract.” It is a short-hand way of saying that something is to be given or received, and both parties expect to be legally bound by “performance” of contract. For larger sums or values, a legally enforceable contract must usually be written, signed and dated by both parties. Without “Quid Pro Quo” there is no contract. In the Ukraine fiasco, no one has suggested that Presidents Trump and Zelensky had intended, made or signed a legally enforceable contract. Contract law is not what it was all about.
“Bribery,” by contrast, means offering something (a “bribe”) in order to solicit or influence the actions (i.e. misbehavior) of an official or other person in violation of law or public duty. Bribery is itself a crime, and even if it fails it’s still the crime of attempted bribery. In the Ukraine fiasco, Bribery is exactly what is alleged, namely Trump’s withholding of $ 391 million worth of Congress’ appropriated military aid (intended to protect Ukraine from invasion by Putin’s Russia) in order to influence Zelensky to make a public announcement of a (frankly non-existent) Ukrainian investigation of (equally non-existent) “corruption” by Trump’s personal campaign opponent, Joe Biden, in the upcoming 2020 presidential election. Soliciting (by Trump) or making (by Zelensky) such a false statement violates international as well as US national election law. It’s a perfect example of “Bribery.”
Article II of the US Constitution anticipates the problem and provides the clear solution: “A President shall be removed from office on impeachment and conviction of Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes.” There’s nothing about “Quid Pro Quo.” It’s all about “Bribery.” The remedy: Removal from office. If not by impeachment, then by vote. Why ? (1) For unsuitability for high office, (2) for abuse of presidential power, and for violation of US law and the US Constitution. It’s that pure and simple.
By now the idea that I had planted only a moment before had become completely his. It’s always a treat to watch a sociopath at work. For a man like Thurman Boucher, memory as the rest of us understand it just doesn’t exist. The past is rearranged and reinterpreted every second, to satisfy the organism’s changing needs. So once the idea had started to look good to him, it became his.Thurman is a newspaper publisher, and the quote is from a 1995 mystery Kill Story, by my favorite author, me.
For the full article and video, go here.
“They are conducting the first ever female spacewalk to replace an exterior part of the space station,” Trump said. After a lag (there was a four second delay according to someone in the room), Meir chimed in to offer a correction.
“First of all, we don’t want to take too much credit, because there have been many other female spacewalkers before us,” Meir said from a location Trump accurately described as “a very high altitude.”
“This is just the first time there have been two women outside at the same time.”
It is at this point in the call, as video evidence clearly shows, that Trump raises his middle finger to the bridge of his nose, strokes his T-Zone, edges the aforementioned derisive finger along the outside of his eyebrow, and then uses it to curl some stray hairs behind his ear.
From the New York Times:
William B. Taylor Jr., the top diplomat in Ukraine, gave “damning” testimony Tuesday about President Trump and the effort to pressure Ukraine’s government for political gain, according to a Democratic lawmaker and another person familiar with the opening statement Mr. Taylor delivered behind closed doors in the ongoing impeachment inquiry…
The State Department tried to block Mr. Taylor from appearing for Tuesday’s deposition, or to limit his testimony if he did, according to an official working on the impeachment inquiry who insisted on anonymity to describe the negotiations. So early Tuesday morning, in keeping with a pattern that has allowed investigators to extract crucial information from numerous administration witnesses, the House Intelligence Committee quietly issued a subpoena to compel Mr. Taylor to testify, and he complied.
I urge you to read this New York Times article to the end. The story it tells is squalid almost beyond belief. “Almost” because we know by now that nothing is beneath the soldier-sniffing, draft-dodging little prick in the White House — a specimen so cowardly that he hides behind Twitter to do his firing.
Here we see him hoping to look brave by sucking up to the most sadistic bully boys in his schoolyard. But the only one seen to have any actual balls in this story turns out to be a girl: Rear Admiral Bette Bolivar. Unfortunately her next promotion will have to wait until Elizabeth Warren chases Bone Spurs out of the White House.
Does this apply to us? You could argue that Deep Tan Don’s America suggests the opposite. What think?
The upper and middle classes in Germany during the 1920s-1940s were almost twice as likely to join the Nazi party than those with lower social status. So it may be that those who have the most to lose and/or are keen to climb the social ladder are particularly likely to conform. And, of course, if other members of your social circle are conforming, you may think it’s the “appropriate” thing to do.
More than 2 million Americans are in the country’s prisons and jails now, giving the United States both the largest number of prisoners and the highest per-capita incarceration rate in the world. For the U.S., the rate is well over 700 prisoners for each 100,000 of population. According to a recent BBC report, the only close contender is Russia, with an imprisonment rate of over 600 per 100,000 population.What did I tell you.
In case you missed this back in 2002. They seem to have in Florida, in North Carolina — well, you get the point…
One of every seven people in Brazil is illiterate, voting is obligatory and every office from president down to state representative was on the ballot. Yet less than 10 hours after the polls closed on Oct. 6, and again in last Sunday's presidential runoff vote, all of the more than 90 million votes cast had been tabulated.
There was no muss, no fuss and no hanging chads, thanks largely to a new computerized voting system that experts describe as perhaps the most advanced and efficient in the world…
The heart of the Brazilian system is a plain $420 computer with a keyboard much like that of an automatic teller machine. Voters punch in the number of the candidate they want to vote for, wait for the candidate's picture and name to appear on the screen, confirm their choice or correct any error by pressing another button, and then move on to the next office on the list.
Brazilian officials said the new system also makes tallying the vote easier and more reliable once the polls have closed. Instead of relying on election judges who are vulnerable to error or political pressures, the results are transmitted on a secure line to the state capital and then to a national center in Brasília.
Fears that the system would be vulnerable to fraud appear to have been unfounded.
From the New York Times:
There’s a suspicion in Washington that a lot of Senate Republicans would be happy to turn on the president if there were some kind of super-secret impeachment ballot. This is probably true. How many of them would even want to have lunch with Donald Trump if he were, say, a school custodian. Not even Lindsey Graham.
…you don’t need an enemy. Tony Piel explains:
As the American people have now learned, an (unnamed) whistleblower,” that is, a concerned US intelligence officer, has filed an official complaint that President Trump & Giuliani, in violation of several US laws, have been repeatedly calling and putting pressure on a foreign leader, believed to be President Zelensky of Ukraine, in order to get him to find “dirt” on potential 2020 Presidential rival candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter, in return for the reputed US release of some $ 250 million worth of military arms shipments. (???)
If true, then Trump and Giuliani have conspired (a) to violate US election laws, (b) to abrogate the US Constitution’s ban on foreign source “emoluments” (meaning something like money or information “of value”), (c) to engage in criminal corruption, and, in short possibly (d) to commit treason against the US, putting personal political and financial interests before the policies, principles and interests of the US and the American people. So much for duty, integrity and patriotism. Trump, of course, is asserting his imagined “executive privilege” to do “whatever I want,” including the blocking of whistleblower material being forwarded to the US Congress as the law requires. So, what is the actual (not imaginary) law governing this situation ?
The accusing whistleblower in this case is rightly relying on the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1998 which requires intelligence employees to submit such complaint to the Inspector-General (which he did), and then, if found “credible” and “urgent” (which it was) then it is to be forwarded to the Director of National Intelligence, not for final decision, but to be sure the material does not contain other national security secrets that should be “redacted” before on-sending.
The Act then states (i.e. requires) that within seven days the Director of National Intelligence shall forward the material to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees of the US Congress. There is no wriggle room left here to escape this law, unless the words “shall forward” no longer mean “will forward” in the age of Trump. Is a sitting or lying President no longer subject to the rule of law ? Or to plain English ?
When Rudi Giuliani now steps forward to defend Trump with words and actions even more outlandish and stupid than Trump himself could “think” up, you know that the White House is in a “deep state” of trouble.
From Charles Mann’s history of the Pre Columbus Americas, 1491:
Carried on a golden litter, Thupa Inka appeared with such majesty that “people left the roads along which he had to pass and, ascending the hills on either side, worshipped and adored him by pulling out their eyebrows and eyelashes.” Minions collected and stored every object he touched, food waste included, to ensure that no lesser persons could profane these objects with their touch. The ground was too dirty to receive the Inka’s saliva, so he always spat into the hands of a courtier. The courtier wiped the spittle with a special cloth and stored it for safekeeping. Once a year everything touched by the Inka — clothing, garbage, bedding, saliva, feces — was ceremonially burned.
…says the headline on a recent New York Times investigative report that I just got around to reading. I was reminded of half-time years ago at a Harvard football game when I had zipped right into the men’s toilet past a huge line of women lined up outside the ladies room. Before I could unzip, a young co-ed passed me on her way to one of the two stalls standing empty at the end of the long line of urinals. I waited till she came out and married her on the spot, except that I was already married. But still…
…from Anthony Piel, former General Legal Counsel of the World Health Organization.Dear Senator Elizabeth Warren,
You and your campaign are doing a great job fighting for all Americans and correcting a decidedly “rigged” political, economic and taxation system. We admire and support you in this fight.
However, you are taking two counter-productive and unnecessary risks that you can readily avoid, while still getting the job done :
(1) Fair Taxation of the Uber-Wealthy. You have proposed a yearly wealth tax of 2 % on net worth above $ 50 million, and 3 % on over $ 1 billion. A majority of Americans, however, consider it “un-American” to tax pre-existing wealth. Nevertheless, they could accept taxing annual increases in wealth as a form of tax on annual income. This would be compatible with the language of the US Constitution’s Sixteenth Amendment which asserts that: “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived.” Proposal: You should consider adjusting your wealth tax rate upwards, but apply it to annual wealth gain only.
(2) Single Payer Health Care System. You have joined others in supporting a “Single Payer” National Health Care System, but you have perhaps moved too quickly to adopt Bernie Sanders’ proposal for “public ownership” of the drug and insurance companies. A majority of Americans will not accept this extreme version of what Bernie calls “socialized medicine.” But it is unnecessary. Because, for all intents and purposes (of patients, hospitals, insurers and other providers), you can have the convenience, effectiveness and cost saving of a standardized “single payer” system by “partnering” with private insurers. There is no need for governmental public takeover of private health insurance.
How can this be done ? Here are two actual examples that deserve study :
(1) Under the National Health System of Germany, which appears to patients, providers and insurers alike as a pure “single payer” system, the national system claims and payments are “mediated” by over 100 private health insurance companies and funds. (2) The World Health Organization (WHO) Staff Health Insurance Plan (SHI), which is operating effectively (and “in the black”) in over 200 countries, is for all intents and purposes a “single payer” system, and here in the USA is “partnered” with AETNA International, a private US insurance company. Results ? Better health outcomes at lower cost.
In any event, these policy and strategy details can be worked out after Democrats and other responsible Americans have taken back the Presidency and both Houses of the US Congress --- but NOT before. We have to win in the voting booth first.
…from “President” Trump’s shithole countries. Mary Mbugua, for instance:
Tuition was due. The rent was, too. So Mary Mbugua, a university student in Nyeri, Kenya, went out in search of a job. At first, she tried selling insurance policies, but that only paid on commission and she never sold one. Then she sat behind the reception desk at a hotel, but it ran into financial trouble. Finally, a friend offered to help her break into “academic writing,” a lucrative industry in Kenya that involves doing school assignments online for college students in the United States, Britain and Australia…
Cheating in college is nothing new, but the internet now makes it possible on a global, industrial scale. Sleek websites — with names like Ace-MyHomework and EssayShark — have sprung up that allow people in developing countries to bid on and complete American homework assignments.
…except that Reagan had a nicer smile and read his lines better.
The quote is from W. Lance Bennett’s News: The Politics of Illusion, published in 1988:
Beginning in his first months in office, Ronald Reagan built a coalition that successfully dismantled nearly forty years of government social protection programs. The cuts in every social service and public protection area were awesome. Yet there were no headlines proclaiming “Reagan coalition dismantles Forty Years of Government Reforms.” Instead the dismantling of each program was announced separately, often days apart, and frequently was dwarfed by the ongoing crises of state and economy. In looking at The Wall Street Journal coverage of just five of the dozens of Reagan dismantling efforts, we find that only two received front-page coverage (Social Security cuts and the termination of the CETA jobs training program). A proposal to close the Consumer Product Safety Commission was given about four inches on page five in one issue, and a longer article on page 48 in another. A plan to cut off welfare to families of strikers was relegated to page six. The decision to stop tracing the owner transcripts of firearms was covered on page 131. The impact and linkages among these issues were further diminished by the fact that the stories were spread over a period of two months.
…only the one on the right forgot his hairspray.
Whatever gave you that idea? (The tiny writing reads, top to bottom: white, power, Racist Hand Signs.)
…laments my neighbor Tony Piel, former director and general legal counsel of the World Health Organization:In this new age of global war on democracy, it’s best first to silence your political opponents, and then be “free” to do as you like. Everyone is doing it, some more successfully than others. But warning: You too may be targeted.
If, as a “progressive” activist, you find yourself “accidentally drowned” in your own bathtub, or victim of some other form of “suicide,” a U.S. agency or team probably did it. That’s what happened to democratically elected former Guatemalan President Arbenz Guzman and former Chilean President Salvador Allende, to name two. They were deemed too socially democratic to continue in office, let alone in life. Of course, these happenings may just be deniable “fake news.” We wouldn’t really do something like that, would we ?
The U.S. has an impressive past history of political assassinations, usually carried out by passionate, self-righteous or demented individuals, almost always by gunshot, thus re-affirming our inalienable Second Amendment right “to bear arms” (and use them). The four best-known examples of this predilection for guns are: (1) the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln in 1865 by John Wilkes Booth using a .44 Derringer, (2) the assassination of President James Garfield in 1881 by Charles Guiteau using a Bulldog handgun, (3) the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901 by Leon Czolgosz using a .32 revolver, and (4) the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963 by Lee Harvey Oswald (and others) using a Mannlicher-Carcano rifle (or so the Warren Commission believed).…Read on
It's basically the same thing, as my son Ted explains in this article from The Hill
Here’s a yes or no question that most Americans, including those running for president get wrong: Is Medicare run by the government? Before I started working at Medicare after a decade in health care, I would have said so. But after several years at the agency, I came to realize that the better one-word answer is actually no — Medicare in truth is run by private industry.…Read on
Sure, the relatively tiny number of employees at the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) play a key oversight role, but they don’t in any real sense deliver Medicare to the American people. The principal job of CMS’s 6,200 employees is to manage contracts with hundreds of private companies, both small and large, that together provide Medicare to us all.
I am not only talking about the relatively well-known Medicare Advantage plans, whereby about one-third of Medicare recipients choose to get their benefit directly from a health insurance company like Cigna or Aetna.
Medicare Advantage just happens to be one area of CMS’s operation where the agency allows the companies that are delivering Medicare to use their own names, logos and limited provider networks.
Interesting speculation by Bob Cesca in Salon. Can he be right? Can Fat Donny’s uniformly disastrous economic policies be nothing more than market-rigging for his own profit? The ultimate insider, trading? Why not? It makes sense when no other explanation does, not even stupidity. A total moron would stumble now and then into sound economic policy.
…Worst of all, Trump has clumsily staggered beyond the ludicrous economic policies of the Bush years to further destabilize financial markets, including your 401k accounts and the future security of your employment. Specifically, the president’s trade war of choice against China has turned a steadily rising Dow Jones average, through 2017, into an unstable sawtooth pattern with massive single-day declines that are now tempting a full-on 2008-style collapse.
If you don’t believe me, check out the markets from January to March of 2018, during the months immediately following Trump’s tax cut. Normally, a tax cut would drive the financial markets upward. But in March of 2018, just a few months after the bill was signed, Trump stupidly launched his trade war by announcing 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent tariffs on aluminum, applied to all of our trading partners. From those months onward — including today, as I write this article — the Dow, S&P and Nasdaq have been unstable messes.
At risk of burying the lede, I have a theory that Trump and his cronies may be manipulating and shorting the markets, reaping vast profits off the declines. Every time Trump tweets or blurts new tariff threats or economic bellicosity aimed at China, the market takes a dump. As we all know, Trump hasn’t divested from his business interests. We also know that Trump has manipulated the markets before, based on a massive investigation in the New York Times indicating that Trump engaged in a scheme with his dad, Fred Trump, known as “greenmailing…”
Do you know what a mudshark is, or a midshark? Me neither. We must have been hanging around with the wrong groid. So educate yourself with this exchange, from a site called Stormfront.
It has been my rule since i was a teenager to never date a woman who has ever been with men who were not white. They are forever tainted. The mere thought of it disgusts me.Guitarist replies:
Sucks for the younger generations though. White women who’ve never slept outside their race is getting to be slim pickings. Add to the fact that you don’t 100% know everybody’s sexual history anyway. Many are going to have to take one for the team and get with a mudshark. Many are with midsharks and don’t even know it. There’s not enough classy white women to go around. It sucks, but we can’t let a white women’s past keep us from having a future.GenXwarrior demurs:
You have your standards, I have mine. The knowledge that some groid had once been grunting and pumping away on the woman i am with is too much to endure. We had an unwritten rule among my peers in high school; once you go black, you can’t come back. I have lived by that rule ever since.
These poems come from a site called Stormfront. Prose selections will follow.
the color of my skin
the only shape I'm in
with me through thick and thin
not any other color than that
with me through times lean and fat
it fits me like a hat
White is Light,
It gives us Sight
To see the past and the future,
To know that Nature
(or God, if I might)
Its creatures transformed
(fundamentally, if I might)
To secure those features
that made beasts into humans.
It is becoming increasingly evident from recent investigations by the likes of “Bellingcat” and from leaked witness statements by U.S. corporate executives, that a network of interlocking billionaire-owned “shell companies” has been taking a cut of at least five percent every year on most US military technology and equipment export sales to Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East. The take could be on the order of $4 billion, a loss to buyers, sellers and US taxpayers. These anonymous “shell” companies do not report to anyone or government their ownership, investors, partners, sources of funds, taxable income, or where the money goes. One thing is sure: A Saudi named Adnan Khashoggi was among the network founders. There is also (as yet unproven) evidence that the Trump and Kushner enterprises may be among the anonymous “investors.” ( Frankly, I have long suspected this, as reflected in my 2018 article below.) — Tony Piel…Read on
Tweet of the day: “Dems always play the race card when they are unable to win with facts. Shame!”
Don’t you just hate it when somebody does that?
…or Russian cyber warfare against the West, by Tony Piel, a former Director and General Legal Counsel of the World Health Organization:
You may or may not know about “Bellingcat.” An independent investigative association based in Leister, England, Bellingcat (name derived from the fabled question: “But who will bell the cat?”) has been for several years pursuing and reporting on clandestine Russian operations to undermine Western democracy, by carrying out weaponized cyber-hacking, spying, assassinations and other criminal acts around the world.
Most recently, for example, Bellingcat has unveiled the true identity of the world traveling Russian “Sergey Fedotov” as really senior GRU officer, Major-General Vyacheslavovich Sergeev. By tracing Fedotov/Sergeev’s mobile phone, it is revealed that “globe-trotter” and supervisor Sergeev has shown up again and again at the time and place of assassinations (such as the Novichok nerve agent poisonings of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury, England on March 4, 2018) and cyber-hacking of major institutions (such as the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in Lausanne, Switzerland, as revealed in 2016, showing that Russia seeks to use performance-enhancing drugs to undermine the integrity of the International Olympics.)
Thanks to Bellingcat and other reliable sources, there is now overwhelming evidence that Putin’s Russia is developing and testing the technological means of using cyber-weaponry to invade election systems and to plant disinformation in Western countries, and even to shut down nuclear facilities and the electrical power grid in these countries, including the USA.
So, what is the current US administration and its supporters, inside Congress and out, doing about this existential threat ? Essentially nothing. How shall we call it ? Call it as it is: Call it Treason.
The Trump circus marches on, dauntless and unbloodied. It ’s going to keep doing so right to reelection, when the Democrats discover, too late as always, that while the Biden/Harris ticket made the Beltway thrill, it left the rest of the country totally cold. Empty rhetoric about making America moral again and calling Trump a racist meanie might make you feel virtuous, but it doesn’t put any meat on the table. Once again, the Democrats will have fallen for the siren song of centrism, assured by all The Right People that it was a sure winner, and once again, all The Right People will have been proven wrong. They’ll blame Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein and Vladimir Putin, and resume collecting six figures and opining on MSNBC, no skin off their backs.
There is a very simple point about Trump that needs to be acknowledged: People like his racism. They like it when he smears brown people. Every American Legion Hall in the country erupts with joy when he tells brown-skinned female Representatives “go back to their own country.” Every ape in MAGA land chortles with glee when he calls Mexicans rapists and serial killers. Trump pisses off all the people they hate and they love him for it. This is why no evidence of criminality will ever bring him down. If Trump was videotaped having sex with a box turtle in the White House basement over a dead body and a pile of cocaine, they’d still stick with him. He’s their boy and they’ll never quite him, and as long as that’s the case, the entire Republican party will fall in line and support him.…Read on
At the bottom of their hearts the great masses of the people are more likely to be poisoned than to be consciously and deliberately bad. In the primitive simplicity of their minds they are more easily victimized by a large than by a small lie, since they sometimes tell petty lies themselves but would be ashamed to tell big ones.Wrong. It was Adolf Hitler, in Mein Kampf.
…when Madison Grant published his runaway bestseller, The Passing of the Great Race:
As in all wars since Roman times, from a breeding point of view, the little dark man is the final winner. No one who saw one of our regiments march on its way to the Spanish War could fail to be impressed with the size and blondness of the men in the ranks as contrasted with the complacent citizen, who from his safe stand on the gutter curb gave his applause to the fighting man, and then stayed home to perpetuate his own brunet type.
This same Nordic element, everywhere the type of the sailor, the soldier, the adventurer, and the pioneer, was ever the type to migrate to new countries, until the ease of transportation and the desire to escape military service in the last 40 years reversed the immigrant tide. In consequence of this change our immigrants now largely represent lowly refugees from quote “persecution” and other social discards.
In most cases the blood of pioneers has been lost to the race. They did not take their women with them. They either died childless or left half breeds behind them. The virile blood of the Spanish conquistadores, who are now little more than a memory in Central and South America, died out from these causes. This was also true in the early days of our western frontiersmen, who individually were far finer type than the settlers who follow them.
(Ed. note: To Silicon Valley, a lot of them. Look at Jeff Bezos for instance. His adopted father was Cuban.)