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Barr Fires Justice Department's Inspector General; Trump on New Miss Universe, and His Choice for Next SCOTUS Vacancy
Today, Michael Horowitz, the Inspector General of the Justice Department, issued his long-awaited report on the FBI’s 2016 investigation into Russia’s blatant interference in our 2016 presidential election (https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/09/politics/takeaways-doj-ig-report/index.html).
This, after Donald Trump repeatedly vilified the FBI.
And the entire Intelligence Community.
Because he doesn't trust anybody except a few misguided people in his family, and his numerous sycophants.
The Office of Inspector General has several hundred employees, and the Inspector General is a presidential appointee, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
Inspector General Horowitz was nominated by President Obama, and has served faithfully in that office since 2012.
Because FBI Director James Comey wouldn’t promisie complete subservience and loyalty to his every whim, Trump fired Comey because Comey wouldn’t go easy on Trump’s first National Security Advisor, General Michael Flynn, who is awaiting sentencing. His sentencing has been postponed, and Trump, according to associate solitary reporter Johanna Jones, will pardon Flynn shortly after Trump is nominated by the GOP next year, so he can boast about his pardon of a seasoned general.
Trump also bitterly lambasted his first Attorney General, Jeff Sessions of Alabama becasue he wouldn’t unrecuse himself from the Russia investigation.
Sessions was Trump’s first supporter in the Senate, and now he wants his job back representing the Heart of Dixie State, only Trump ain’t too happy about that. Ditto McConnell.
Never cross the Man Who Would Be King.
In no uncertain words, Inspector General Horowitz, in his four hundred page report, released today, said there was no political conspiracy to undermine Trump’s 2016 campaign. He also criticized some mistakes which were made, as cogently explained today on NPR by Comey.
Trump’s personal attorney, Attorney General William Barr, wasn’t any too pleased with Horowitz’ report, so Barr’s waiting for Trump's United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, John Durham, to figure out how to make things better for Trump.
Our chief investigative reporter, associate solitary reporter Susanna Sherman, visited Barr today in his office on Pennsylvania Avenue, and asked him point blank what he plans to do about Horowitz.
“Don’t ask me dumb questions like that, Sherman. Get the hell out of here.”
At the White House, Trump was incensed when Zozibini Tunzi, of South Africa, was crowned Miss Universe.
In her acceptance speech, Tunzi spoke with great animation about the changing views of beauty in the world (https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2019/12/09/786312377/miss-universe-2019-is-young-gifted-and-an-outspoken-believer-in-black-girl-magic).
But Trump told Daughter-in-Law-in-Chief Ivanka that when he owned the Miss Universe Competition, Tunzi would never have been considered.
Trump’s eagerly preparing for his meeting tomorrow with Vladimir Putin’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov.
When Trump and Lavrov (a key architect of Putin’s continuing war against Ukraine) first met, Trump openly bragged about how he had fired Comey, a clear impediment to his goal of becoming Commander in Chief for Life, just like Xi Jinping (https://www.npr.org/2019/12/09/786530149/trump-to-meet-russias-lavrov-at-white-house-tuesday).
Oh, how could we forget? Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney just told Barr and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that as soon as there is a vacancy on our Supreme Court, he’ll nominate Jonathan Turley, the constitutional law professor called by House Judiciary Rankling Member Doug Collins (R-Georgia),
Collins was one of the many GOP Congressmen who badgered Judiciary Committee Counsel Daniel Goldman today, at the urging of Badger State Congressman James Sensenbrenner. Sensenbrenner, a Republican, has represented Wisconsin’s 5th Congressional District since 1979. His District is 86% white.
Collins also got a lot of help from Congressman Jim Jordan, who represents Ohio’s 4th Congressional District, which is known as the Duck District because of its obviously gerrymandered shape.
We wrote this post the day after Pearl Harbor, and we are very pleased that since the end of the horrible Second World War, Japan has been a firm and true ally of these here United States.
The GOP doesn’t believe in diversity, especially after Haitian American Mia Love, the first Republican black woman to be elected to Congress, narrowly lost her race last year to keep her seat in Utah’s 4th Congressional District (that may have something to do with the fact the Republicans are always narrow-minded).
Ever since former Maryland Congressman John Delaney jumped into the Democratic race for president, the question of whether old white guys should be in the race has been a hot hot topic for the pundits, including all our associate solitary reporters here at AP.
Delaney’s only 56, but he’s bald, which in our view makes his candidacy problematic.
But more to the point, he was the first Dem to jump in, in July 2017, and since then, he’s virtually taken up residence in the Hawkeye State, which is what you have to do if you have virtually no nationwide name recognition.
Your solitary reporter’s neighbor, former Colorado Gov John Hickenlooper, is done; so is Montana Gov. Steve Bullock; Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s finished, and he has taken up permanent residence high atop Mount Rainier.
Tulsi Gabbard, a young Samoan American and thus a woman of color, is still in the race, but we here at AP, especially according to associate solitary reporter Sam Leonard, a longtime resident of the Aloha State, think she’s really running to be Trump’s Secretary of Defense.
You’re still reading this, but, of course, what you really want to know is, why are we writing this?
That’s easy. Bernie’s 78 and he’s not even a Democrat, and if by sheer chance he should gain the nomination, Trump would McGovern him, or pretty close.
Then there’s short Michael Blumberg, 77, with a $54 billion pot of gold to self-fund his campaign (note that Donald Trump, though not so rich as Bloomberg, could’ve self-funded in 2016, but he skillfully used his celebrity status to turn Trump Rallies into, well, uh, er, um, how he got to sit in the Oval Office for four years, after Hillary turned out to have a lot of baggage and she forgot all about Wisconsin.
And we haven’t even yet mentioned Uncle Joe Biden, 76, and still leading in the polls.
There is no more seasoned Democratic politician these days than Joe Biden, only Nancy Pelosi, 79, is an even better politician than President Obama’s Vice President.
So if Uncle Joe, propelled by a certain primary victory in South Carolina, should win the nomination, whom would he pick for his Veep?
Remember what happened to the late John McCain, in 2008, when he was forced to pick young and unschooled and very unsmart Sarah Palin? Cost him the election!
First let us say that your solitary reporter, who is almost as old as Bernie, is not interested, but our choice is obvious: it’s associate solitary reporter Johanna Jones.
You have to be at least thirty-five years old to run for Vice President, and that causes us here at AP a slight problem, because we’ve been consistently telling you about Johanna: she’s twenty-five, African American, and gorgeous, which, at first blush, means that at the tender age of 25, Biden wouldn’t be able to choose her for his Number Two.
No worries, friends. This is an apocryphal newspaper, and our editorial board, consisting of associate solitary reporters Susie Kendrick, Susanna Sherman, Keith Coleman, Sam Leonard, Foma Kheroshonsky, Ko Il-sun, Larry Theis, Lewis Thompson III, and Edmonton Mayor Gary Zeman all met here in Denver immediately after the previously hapless Denver Broncos pulled off a surprise win, in Houston no less, with dazzling youngish rookie QB Drew Lock.
The decision was unanimous: ASR Jones is now 35, but, taking a cue from Edward Bellamy’s spectacularly successful 1888 novel, Looking Backward, 2000 to 1897, we can, in the twinkling of an eye, easily change her age to 35, and, whether 25 or 35, she’s still gorgeous.
All of this rampant speculation on our part was fueled by today’s CNN report on the significance to our politics of two bigtime movies: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and The Irishman (https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/08/politics/the-irishman-joe-biden-michael-bloomberg-bernie-sanders/index.html). Both films explore what it’s like for old white guys to deal with what’s inevitable for everyone who’s lucky enough to make it into their seventies.
We here at AP are often asked whom we prefer for President.
At the moment, we like Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, because she, unlike her Senate colleagues Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, has not bought into “Medicare for All,” because if the Democrats adopt that in their platform, or if they nominate Sanders or Warren, Donald Trump will easily keep his Oval Office next year.
In London, Pompeo Tells Very Wealthy GOP Donors That He's Running for the Senate; More on Nunes and Giuliani
Kansas’ senior senator, Republican Pat Roberts, is not seeking re-election next year.
So there’s been a lot of buzz to the effect that Donald Trump’s Secretary of State and former CIA Director, Mike Pompeo, will run to succeed Roberts.
Pompeo used to represent Koch Industries, as a member of the Tea Party, and he’s not a little guy, and he’s real quick on his feet, and he gets along with Trump far better than former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson.
Big Mike was in London recently helping Boris Johnson leave the EU, while Trump was, as usual, dissing other world leaders, including Canada’s Justin Trudeau.
While Pompeo was in London, he nimbly sprinted from one room to another in his hotel and managed to evade very diligent CNN reporters, who learned that he had met with very conservative and very wealthy donors, right there in Queen Elizabeth II's backyard (https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/05/politics/pompeo-secret-donor-meeting/index.html).
Our London-based associate solitary reporter, Danielle Packwood, was in the room.
“My friends,” Pompeo began, “the Democrats are gonna take back the Senate next year, so Moscow Mitch is gonna need my help bigtime. That’s why I’ve already told Mr. Trump that I’ll leave Foggy Bottom in the spring.”
Pompeo received a standing ovation, but he failed to say hi to Packwood, who promptly texted DNC Chair Tom Perez, and us.
On another newsfront, associate solitary reporter Melissa Smith, who covers Congress for us, conferred this morning with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal.).
For quite some time, the two of them have had their eye on Trumpite Devin Nunes (R-Cal.).
Nunes is the Rankling Member of the House Intelligence Committee.
Nunes has been impertinently, and obnoxiously, rankling every Democratic Member of the House Intelligence Committee during the Impeachment Hearings, with considerable help from Attack Dog Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) (a state which will vote for the Democratic presidential nominee next year by at least 60%).
Before Americans voted, virtually en masse, to rebuke Trump in last year’s midterms, Nunes was the Chairman of that Committee.
Phone records subpoenaed by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee indicate that Nunes was in contact with Trump's blustery, shadowy Secretary of State, Rudy Giuliani, and his indicted associate, Ukrainian American Lev Parnas, at a time when they were soliciting damaging information about Hunter and Joe Biden from Ukrainian officials.
Giuliani, who’s in Ukraine now, worked very closely with Trump to pressure Ukraine's sorta boyish (and former comedian) Volodymyr Zelensky into announcing an investigation into the Bidens. Along the way, Giuliani and Nunes publicly promoted many of the debunked theories about Joe Biden.
For example, McConnell’s close personal friend, senator John Kennedy (R-La.), has recently been on the airwaves saying that it was the Ukrainians (and not Vladimir Putin’s expert Russian hackers), who interfered with our presidential election in 2016.
Now that Articles of Impeachment are certain to be voted on before the end of the year, we asked ASR Smith to ask Senator No (a.k.a. "Moscow Mitch") how he and Chief Justice John Roberts feel about Nunes being called as a witness in the soon to be convened Senate trial starting early next year.
McConnell’s words cannot be printed in this family-friendly newspaper.
Chief Justice Roberts (who greatly irked RNC Chairlady Ronna Romney McDaniel and McConnell by saving the Affordable Care Act) had no comment.
While in Federal Prison, Congressman Duncan Hunter Will Have His Pet Rabbit with Him, to Comfort Him
Donald Trump is in London at the NATO meeting, as French President Emmanuel Macron fact-checks him in real time, https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/nato-summit-2019-gbr-intl/, at the same time as far-right Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter is in federal court in San Diego, copping a plea.
An early and enthusiastic supporter of Trump, Hunter holds a solidy Republican seat in inland San Diego County — the same seat his father held before him.
Hunter was notably eloquent when he said, in late August 2017, addressing Riverside County Young Republicans, speaking of Trump, “He’s just like he is on TV…He’s an a**h*le, but he’s our a**h*le” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duncan_D._Hunter).
Hunter and his wife, Margaret, have been charged with 60 violations of federal campaign laws. They were running out of money, so they took $250,000 in campaign contributions to pay for personal expenses, including dental bills, foreign trips, paying off five women with whom he had extra-marital affairs, and — this is the really important part — flying their pet rabbit across the US.
Hunter has been negotiating with federal prosecutors to plead guilty to one count, which will land him in prison, and Margaret agreed to testify against him (https://www.npr.org/2019/12/02/784207042/gop-rep-duncan-hunter-to-plead-guilty-to-campaign-finance-charge-may-resign).
Our chief investigative reporter, associate solitary reporter Susanna Sherman, checked in with the prosecutors, and learned that when Hunter goes into the slammer, he’ll have his pet rabbit with him, to comfort him, at the request of Trump’s personal lawyer, Attorney General William Barr. The Federal Bureau of Prisons is part of the Justice Department.
ASR Sherman asked Hunter what name he had given to the pet rabbit.
“Susanna, I'm so glad you asked me. My rabbit’s name is Donald Trump, a man I deeply revere, and when I’m in prison, I’ll pray every day for a pardon from the man I adore.”
“After all, Trump is, like me, well-known for expecting women to do for him whatever he wants, so that’s yet another thing that he and I have in common.”
A spokesperson for the American Veterinary Medical Association told Sherman that while Hunter should spend the rest of his life in prison, it would be cruel and unusual punishment for Pet Rabbit Donald Trump to be held in the same prison cell as Hunter.
Hunter also told Sherman that now that Kamala Harris is pulling out of the Democratic presidential race, he’s demanding that she resign her seat in the Senate so he can jump into the Republican primary to succeed her.
Former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev is 88. He’s living in Russia, and CNN sat down with him just the other day.
In Russia, Gorbachev is not popular, because his name is associated with the collapse of his Soviet Union (https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/01/europe/gorbachev-russia-us-cold-war-intl/index.html).
But us folks in the West consider him to be some version of a hero, because when he was President of the USSR, and Bush One was still our President, he could tell that his Union was badly frayed, which is why former Soviet “Republics” like Uzbekistan, according to associate solitary reporter Sheryl Keniston, have been able to visit there so they can marvel at how much nicer everybody there is compared to most members of the political party which Donald Trump has hijacked.
Trump is 73, fifteen years younger than Gorbachev, and the world leaders he admires The Most are China’s President for Life, 66-year old Xi Jinping, and Perpetually Youthful North Korean Dictator Kim Jongun (35), so by the time Trump gets to be as old as Gorbachev is now, he will have completed his third term, but he’ll want to keep going, just as FRD did.
In the CNN interview, Gorbachev appropriately worried about the increasingly grave prospects for a new Cold War, even a Hot War (such as he and Ronald Reagan prevented) between Vladimir Putin’s Russia and Trump’s version of the USA.
Putin illegally grabbed Crimea, his mililtias are fighting a Hot War in the Donbass Region of Eastern Ukraine, and Trump continues to give Putin all kinds of goodies — as he did in Helsinki in July 2018.
That's when, standing right next to the physically diminutive (but much more sophisticated in international relations) Putin -- Trump said he had asked Putin whether he had interfered in our presidential election in 2016 — and Putin said "of course not" — and Trump swallowed Putin’s Big White Lie completely, thus humiliating our Intelligence Community, which knew conclusively what Putin had done to insinuate himself into our democracy.
We must never forget where Putin came from: the KGB, where he started in 1975, when Trump was very busy settling a 1973 Justice Department lawsuit against Trump buildings in Gotham where he and his dad, Fred, had blatantly discriminated against people of color. To settle that lawsuit, true enough, Trump lied, but if you work for a Russian intel agency like the KGB, you are much more accomplished at lying than you are in telling the truth.
The KGB was succeeded in 1991 by the appropriately named Слу́жба вне́шней разве́дки Российской Федерации (Foreign Intelligence Service).
It was our Moscow-based associate solitary reporter, Foma Kheroshonsky, working closely with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who identified Putin’s Foreign Intelligence Service as the entity that helped Trump receive fewer popular votes than Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Shifting nimbly to other topics, should anybody feel sorry for Williiam Barr?
He’s the Trumpite who (last time we looked) holds the position of Trump’s Attorney General.
Numerous pundits (including your solitary reporter, https://www.apocryphalpress.com/2019/08/28/william-barr-ain-t-nothin-but-a-republican-party-boy/), have repeatedly said that Barr acts more like Trump’s personal attorneys, Rudy Giuliani and Jay Sekulow, than as what he’s supposed to be, namely, an independent Attorney General.
Consider what Mimi Rocah, a former Assistant U S Attorney for the Southern District of New York said just yesterday: “We [in the SDNY] have done investigations based on a lot less than what we’ve heard already [about the deeds and misdeeds of Team Trump] (https://www.politico.com/news/2019/12/01/justice-departmentelection-year-trump-074408); also https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2019/11/30/trump-impeachment-elie-honig-cillizza-the-point-vpx.cnn).
So we couldn’t help asking our vast staff of associate solitary reporters here at AP whether there might be any conceivable comparisons we could make between William Barr and William the Conqueror (c 1028-1087). After all, William the Conqueror, the first Norman King of England, spent his entire adult life as an expert swordsman, consolidating his power, both in Normany and in England.
Problem for Little Willie Barr, however, is that the Justice Department, which he nominally heads, includes the traditionally independent FBI; and the Department of Justice is/was also traditionally (until Jan. 20, 2017) independent of interference from the White House, and even in the Trump Era, there are career professionals who are demonstrably more dedicated than craven political appointees like Barr, to the institutions which they have served faithfully during the Administrations of numerous Oval Office occupants.
And as Yahoo News recently reported, some interesting things might happen in connection with the numerous investigations which have ensued after a brave CIA official blew her whistle (https://news.yahoo.com/fbi-seeks-interview-with-cia-whistleblower-121637359.html).
So we asked associate solitary reporter Kheroshonsky to speak directly with Gorbachev for his best prognostication of who The Whistleblower is.
“Foma,” Gorbachev responded quickly, “that’s so easy. Of course, it’s you."