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Wednesday, June 14, 2017


I will be back with (I hope) a fairly major piece later today, but right now, I'd like to offer a quick note about the testimony offered by Jeff Sessions. It all comes down to one basic question: How the hell does he get away with it?

The dimwits who frequent rightwing sites like Gateway Pundit seem to be under the impression that every conversation with Donald Trump is automatically classified -- at least, that was their argument against Comey. Although one has come to expect such idiocy from the rightists, our Congressfolk should know better. And yet they allowed our law-breaking Attorney General to refuse to divulge any of his private conversations with Donald Trump.

The A.G. made no claim that the material under discussion was classified. There was no claim of executive privilege. Sessions, when asked to reveal what he said to the "Predisent," simply fell into an imitation of Bartleby the Scrivener: "I prefer not to."

Apparently, Trump is Sacred. Those who come face-to-face with the Sacred One in private are like the ancient High Priests of Israel who made offerings in the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur. No one must ever know what transpires in the secret places of God.

As everyone has heard by now, Sessions lied during his confirmation hearings about meeting with Russians. Sessions lamely tried to excuse that lie by claiming that Al Franken's "rambling" question had confused him. Oh really? Franken had spoken with his characteristic lucidity, and Sessions did not ask for a clarification. Besides, Trump himself is such a classic rambler that his horn goes beep beep beep.

Here's the really damning part: Sessions had offered the exact same denial in writing.

So during his confirmation, Sessions lied to Franken and he lied to Senator Leahy. Later, he lied when he said that he was confused by Franken's question.

But it gets worse. I am quite sure that he lied when he said that he was following longstanding Justice Department policy in not disclosing what he said to Donald Trump. I'd love to see proof that such a "historic policy" exists.

(Can you imagine the howls of outrage from Republicans if Hillary Clinton, during the Benghazi hearings, had refused to divulge any discussions she had had with Barack Obama? We never would have heard the end of it!)

Janet Reno never referred to such a "historic" policy of silence when -- giving testimony before Congress -- she detailed her conversations with Bill Clinton. Eric Holder never referred to such a "historic" policy when he was questioned during the Obama years.

Holder was cited for Contempt for allegedly lying about Fox News reporter James Rosen -- an alleged infraction which was far less weighty than the almost daily outrages we've seen from Trump's team. A look back at that case offers a compelling view of the double standards on display here. Holder had testified that he had never been involved in the prosecution of a reporter. Desperate for any excuse to scream "Liar!", the Republicans proved that Holder, as part of a leak investigation, had signed off on a search warrant of Rosen (who was never indicted). Holder's counterargument was simplicity itself: There's a difference between a prosecution and an investigation.

And that was it. That was the so-called "lie" which had the Republicans screaming bloody murder. These same Republicans are now giving Jeff Sessions a free pass, even though he has clearly fibbed under oath on multiple occasions.

Sessions even tried to revive the debunked claim -- debunked by Trump himself! -- that FBI Director James Comey had been fired because the so-called "Comey letter" (the one about emails on the Wiener laptop) was "inappropriate." During the campaign, Sessions had lavishly praised Comey for that very deed.

The hypocrisy on display here is beyond outrageous.

So why does Congress allow Sessions to get away it? He clearly merits a charge of contempt.

A member of the House of Representatives should begin the official process of impeaching Jeff Sessions. Even iIf the attempt is unsuccessful, it will demonstrate that this nation has not completely forsaken morality and the rule of law.

By the way: I was surprised by the large number of "I don't recall" answers offered by Jeff Sessions. Why is his memory so bad? Has he been smoking pot?
Kamala Harris certainly rattled the AG's cage. And was called on it, once again. Sessions, poor dear, was made nervous by an aggressive woman. How impolite and unfair!

Sessions took the amnesia route and Carter Page strategy: I cannot recall. I really don't remember. I have wracked my brain. Then again, there may have been a conversation but even if a meeting, conversation took place, nothing inappropriate was discussed.

Really? The CYA approach to the nth degree.

Sessions appeared to shrink in stature and presentation during the course of the hearing. The Incredible Shrinking Man routine did not play well for the cameras.

Someone should ask him (and others) if he had signed a non-disclosure agreement in order to accept his position. It is, after all, Trump's modus operandi.
I think the best analogy here is spousal privilege. Sessions was in effect asserting that all Executive branch employees are the spouses of the President and hence cannot be forced to give testimony against him. Never mind that spouses can waive that privilege if they choose. No, Sessions asserts -- we are all Brides of Trump.

As for me, I never knew that menu rules apply before a Congressional Inquiry. "I'll answer those questions and none of the others." The Committee Members may as well go home if that's the standard. They should have knocked this garbage on the head from the outset.
I think he's cute and has an adorable accent, which more than compensate for his innumerable gross inadequacies and criminal tendencies. (In American Southern English 'Jeff' has two syllables, as 'jay-eff'.)
off-topic in that this is re the next brou-haha story, the shooting. Just wanted to note how comical I found President Puny Paws suddenly calling on us to remember we're all Americans. He was stammering through the catch-phrase stolen from Hillary "we're all stronger...." Stronger Together, Nimrod? "stronger....when we're united " ?Imagine how proud the asswipe was who rephrased Hillary's slogan for the Loser in Chief.

Report from Britain.

The British state may postpone the government's presentation of its legislative programme to parliament, known ridiculously as the "queen's speech". Why?

The first reason given was that talks between Tories and Ulster loyalists caused some delay. As if the state isn't prepared for a hung parliament after an election! The second was that the landowning billionaire queen needs to read it on special goatskin parchment on which the ink takes several days to dry. Funny nobody thought of telling the bitch to read it on a bit of ordinary white A4, or of using blotting paper. Then a fire in a block of flats in London was cited as a reason for delaying the conclusion of the oh-so-inevitable agreement between the Tories and the DUP. As if! Maybe there will be a car crash on a motorway tomorrow and they can delay it some more. Meanwhile, Sinn Fein MPs will meet Theresa May tomorrow.

Ever get the feeling you're being lied to?

Fuck knows what's really going on.

Maybe the monarch wanting to attend a gambling and horseracing event where women from the social elite like to wear fancy hats ("Royal Ascot") - as they rub shoulders with billionaire Russian gang bosses - has something to do with the delay. That's probably not the only reason though.
The Orange Order has asked the DUP to try to get the Tories to lift the ban on their beloved Drumcree march. For twenty years, they have been legally prevented from walking along their preferred route, which runs through a mainly Catholic area.

Let's not call Orangemen gay, OK? They're just middle-aged men who enjoy stomping along the street in unison, all wearing the same clothes. Yes, they like to wear orange scarves, always with both ends pointing toward their cocks. Yes, they like to wear insignia covering their left and right nipples. And of course they are known for "playing the flute". But never mind that there aren't any "Orangewomen". Orangemen only prefer male company for reasons of tradition :)

BTW Joe, did you ever read Richard Leigh's essay "Ireland: Mythic Logic"?
OT notice on a matter previously written about here. I heard a teaser on WBUR (a Boston NPR station) this morning that their 3:00 public affairs show, Radio Boston, would be reporting on whether Tamerlan Tsarnaev had had previous dealings with the FBI as a paid informant. It seems to be posted already at
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