Friday, June 30, 2023

QOTD -- Profoundly Wrong


Excerpt from Justice Sonia Sotomayor's dissent in 303 Creative LLC, et al., where the Republican Supreme Court supermajority ruled that discrimination against LGTBQ people is allowed in a public business:

... Today, the Court, for the first time in its history, grants business open to the public a constitutional right to refuse to serve members of a protected class. Specifically, the Court holds that the First Amendment exempts a website- design company from a state law that prohibits the company from denying wedding websites to same-sex couples if the company chooses to sell those websites to the public. The Court also holds that the company has a right to post a notice that says, “no [wedding websites] will be sold if they will be used for gay marriages.” [snip]

And not just at the Court. Around the country, there has been a backlash to the movement for liberty and equality for gender and sexual minorities. New forms of inclusion have been met with reactionary exclusion. This is heartbreaking. Sadly, it is also familiar. When the civil rights and women’s rights movements sought equality in public life, some public establishments refused. Some even claimed, based on sincere religious beliefs, constitutional rights to discriminate. The brave Justices who once sat on this Court decisively rejected those claims. 

Now the Court faces a similar test. A business open to the public seeks to deny gay and lesbian customers the full and equal enjoyment of its services based on the owner's religious belief that same-sex marriages are “false.” The business argues, and a majority of the Court agrees, that because the business offers services that are customized and expressive, the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment shields the business from a generally applicable law that prohibits discrimination in the sale of publicly available goods and services. That is wrong. Profoundly wrong. As T will explain, the law in question targets conduct, not speech, for regulation, and the act of discrimination has never constituted protected expression under the First Amendment. Our Constitution contains no right to refuse service to a disfavored group. I dissent...

Expect the bigots in our midst to continue to chip away at the rights and freedoms Americans have enjoyed for decades, and for those bigots to be supported and enabled by the 6 lying, Republican pols- in- robes on the corrupt Supreme Court.  

There are no precedents, there are no super- precedents.  In the future, that should also apply to Supreme Court justice tenure and number of justices.  The dam has been breached.

Today's Cartoons


(click on images to enlarge)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(John Deering, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

(Lalo Alcaraz, LA Weekly)

 (Christopher Weyant, Boston Globe)

(Benjamin Slyngstad, @SlyngCartoons)

(Chris Britt,

(Ward Sutton, @WardSutton)

(Mike Smith, Las Vegas Sun)

(Andy Marlette,

(Steve Stegelin, Charleston City Paper, SC)

(Pedro Molina, Counterpoint)

(Drew Sheneman, The Star-Ledger, Newark, NJ)

(David Horsey, The Seattle Times)

(Guy Venables, @godfreychurch)

Tweets Of The Day

The "not normal" Republican Supreme Court --







Republican hypocrite cites the one MLK Jr. quote she knows, gets pwned --


If their lips are moving, they're lying (cont.) --



Fascist Bootsie addressing fascist ladies / uses "invasion" language --




 A big swipe left for Russia  --


Bon appetit! And Happy Friday! --




Republican Crime Blotter: Ohio Racketeer Sentenced

The former Republican speaker of Ohio's House of Representatives Larry Householder was sentenced yesterday to 20 years in Federal prison for directing a $60 million bribery scheme involving an energy provider and a former chair of the Ohio Republican party Matt Borges. The two were convicted earlier this year on a single racketeering charge. The Associated Press reports:

"Jurors found that Householder orchestrated and Borges participated in a $60 million bribery scheme secretly funded by Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. to secure Householder’s power, elect his allies, pass legislation containing a $1 billion bailout for two aging nuclear power plants owned by a FirstEnergy affiliate and then to use a dirty tricks campaign to stifle a ballot effort to overturn the bill.

Federal prosecutors had recommended Householder receive 16 to 20 years, holding in a sentencing memo that he 'acted as the quintessential mob boss, directing the criminal enterprise from the shadows and using his casket carriers to execute the scheme.' That strategy, they said, gave Householder 'plausible deniability.'” (our emphasis)

He checks all the boxes for leadership in the MAGA cult party: hypocrisy, greed, dishonesty, lawlessness, betrayal of trust, etc. At sentencing, U.S. District Judge Timothy Black saw through Householder's pretense of being a good family man with some potty-mouth quotes from him:

".... Black threw back at Householder evidence counter to the family man image he had presented. He quoted Householder’s own statements, presented at trial, saying: “If you’re going to f—- with me, I’m going to f—- with your kids,” “we can f— with him later” and “f—- him ’til he’s dead.

Black called Householder 'a bully with a lust for power' whose scheme marked an 'assault on democracy, the betrayal of everyone in Ohio.' That included the Ohioans who donated to, campaigned for and voted for Householder, the judge said.

'That wasn’t their way of just saying I like you or I support you. What they were saying is I’m choosing to trust you,' said Black. 'They trusted you to do right by them, and you betrayed their trust.'”  (our emphasis)

There's every reason to believe that Householder will appeal the sentence, because as a MAGA cultist, he also believes rules and laws are for other people.

(photo: Republican racketeer Householder/ Nick Swartsell, WVXU)


Weekend Music


Slowdive, a band formed in Reading, UK, in the 1990s, took a roughly 20 year break, reforming in 2014. One of the original dream pop/ shoegaze bands, they count as their influences groups as varied as Pink Floyd, The Cure, The Byrds, the Rolling Stones, and David Bowie.  They recently completed work on a new album, "Everything is Alive," which is to be released in September.  At the just- finished Glastonbury Festival the band performed their new single, "Kisses," which we now give to you.  Hope you enjoy.

More Charges For Trump As Rats Leave The Ship?


There's been a flurry of stories recently about new developments in both the classified documents case and the January 6 investigation, featuring Malignant Loser insiders who may provide testimony under penalty of prosecution.  Earlier this month, it was revealed that former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows had testified on both the classified documents case and the attempt to overturn the 2020 election. Now, we're seeing more rats possibly leaving the good bad ship SS Trump.

The Department of Justice is prepared to seek indictments against multiple figures in former president Donald Trump’s orbit and may yet bring additional charges against the ex-president in the coming weeks, The Independent has learned.

According to sources familiar with the matter, the department has made preparations to bring what is known as a “superseding indictment” — a second set of charges against an already-indicted defendant that could include more serious crimes — against the ex-president in the Southern District of Florida.

But prosecutors may also choose to bring additional charges against Mr Trump in a different venue, depending on how they feel the case they have brought against him in is proceeding.  [snip]

The team of federal prosecutors working under Special Counsel Jack Smith is currently prepared to add an “additional 30 to 45 charges” in addition to the 37-count indictment brought against Mr Trump on 8 June, either in a superseding indictment in the same Florida court or in a different federal judicial district. In either case, they would do so using evidence against the ex-president that has not yet been publicly acknowledged by the department, including other recordings prosecutors have obtained which reveal Mr Trump making incriminating statements.

Additionally, it is understood that Mr Smith’s team is ready to bring charges against several of the attorneys who have worked for Mr Trump, including those who aided the ex-president in his push to ignore the will of voters and remain in the White House despite having lost the 2020 election.

"Attorneys" like Rudy "Toot Toot" Giuliani:

Mr Giuliani, whose law license was suspended in New York and Washington as a result of his allegedly making multiple false representations while seeking to help Mr Trump overturn his 2020 election loss to Joe Biden, reportedly participated in a voluntary interview with prosecutors working under the supervision of Mr Smith, the Justice Department special counsel whose office brought charges against Mr Trump earlier this month.

It is further understood that Mr Giuliani’s cooperation with prosecutors was undertaken as part of what is known as a “queen for a day” deal, under which the ex-mayor can avoid indictment for anything he tells prosecutors about during the interview.

This will allow the disgraced former federal prosecutor to avoid some charges, but a source familiar with the matter has said Mr Smith’s office will “most definitely” bring some charges against Mr Giuliani for his work on Mr Trump’s behalf in the weeks between the November 2020 election and the 6 January 2021 attack on the Capitol.

The Independent has also learned that Mr Giuliani’s “proffer” session with prosecutors dealt mainly with Mr Trump’s machinations during that time period as he sought to find a way to remain in the White House for a second term, even against the will of the voters who’d handed Mr Biden the keys to the White House by way of majorities in key swing states, including Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona.

It was earlier reported that the Special Counsel has also identified the person in the blockbuster tape of the Malignant Loser showing them a classified document he had no business having, and then proceeded to show them to that person, who didn't have security clearance:

One of the top advisers on Donald Trump's 2024 campaign is among the individuals identified but not named by special counsel Jack Smith in his indictment against the former president for allegedly mishandling classified documents after leaving the White House and obstructing the government's efforts to retrieve them, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

Susie Wiles, one of Trump's most trusted advisers leading his second reelection effort, is the individual singled out in Smith's indictment as the "PAC Representative" who Trump is alleged to have shown a classified map to in August or September of 2021, sources said.

Trump, in the indictment, is alleged to have shown the classified map of an unidentified country to Wiles while discussing a military operation that Trump said "was not going well," while adding that he "should not be showing the map" to her and "not to get too close."...

She and others the Special Counsel has identified in that meeting will be called to testify under oath.

Then there's this guy:

A top official in Donald Trump's 2020 campaign team who was a key part of the fake elector scheme to overturn the results in favor of the former president is cooperating with federal prosecutors, according to reports.

Mike Roman was director of Election Day operations for Trump's campaign. He has spoken to Special Counsel Jack Smith's office as part of the expansive criminal investigation into attempts to overturn the last election and into the events that led up to the January 6, 2021 attack, reported CNN.

Roman reportedly spoke to prosecutors under what is known as a proffer agreement. This means he can share information with investigators on an understanding that the statements will not be used against him in future criminal proceedings. Roman also may not have to appear before the grand jury as part of the agreement. It is unclear what precisely Roman was asked about during his meeting with prosecutors, or what information he may have provided...

So many rats...

(Cartoon: Dave Whamond, , from December 2020)

Jan. 6 Insurrectionist Arrested Near Obama Home


Yesterday, Metropolitan D.C. police arrested Trump cultist Taylor Taranto, a January 6 insurrectionist, near the home of former President Obama, discovering firearms and materials for making an explosive device in his van. His hometown paper in Washington state identifies him as a former Franklin Co., Washington Republican Party official. He is also the subject of a multi-million dollar civil suit from the wife of Metropolitan D.C. police officer Jeffrey Smith, who suffered a concussion on January 6 and committed suicide nine days after the coup attempt. From the linked CNN coverage:

"Taylor Taranto, who had an open warrant for his arrest related to the January 6, 2021, US Capitol attack, was arrested by the Metropolitan Police Department and federal law enforcement. He has been charged with being a fugitive from justice.

'Arresting officers requested MPD’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team to perform a vehicle sweep of the individual’s van near the location of the arrest,' the MPD said in a statement to CNN. 'There is no active threat to the community and this incident remains under investigation.'

According to law enforcement officials, firearms and materials to make Molotov cocktails were found in Taranto’s car. There is currently no indication of a direct threat to the Obamas, law enforcement officials told CNN. [snip]

Taranto is also a defendant in a civil suit filed by the estate of former MPD officer Jeffrey Smith, who died by suicide in the days following the January 6 attack.

In court filings related to the ongoing suit, Taranto admitted to being inside the Capitol during the attack, but denied any wrongdoing.

The lawsuit alleges that Taranto aided in the attack of Smith during the Capitol riot by handing a cane or crowbar to another rioter, who allegedly used the weapon to attack Smith. Taranto’s actions contributed to Smith’s death, the lawsuit alleges.

The allegations, Taranto wrote, are 'made up.'”  (our emphasis)

The lawless loser faces several charges stemming from the insurrection, and has refused to admit responsibility. According to reports, he's been camping in his van near the D.C. Jail, showing support for many of his fellow January 6 seditionists jailed inside.

He was initially identified by the cyber sleuths at Sedition Hunters in 2021, which has been successful in tracking down insurrectionists through applying facial recognition software to social media sites and passing the information to the FBI and other law enforcement. This piece of garbage needs to be put away in prison for a very long time.

(photo: Taranto with cardboard cutout of his master/  Franklin Co. WA GOP)


Thursday, June 29, 2023

Judge Denies Trump Motion To Dismiss Second Carroll Defamation Case


The Malignant Loser's legal losing streak continues:

A federal judge denied Donald Trump’s motion to dismiss E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit, finding the former president’s legal arguments are “without merit.”

Trump filed a motion for summary judgment to dismiss Carroll’s original defamation lawsuit filed in 2019. He argued he was entitled to immunity because he was president at the time he made statements denying Carroll’s rape allegation and that his statements were not defamatory.

Judge Lewis Kaplan denied Trump’s motion and his request to amend his answer to argue immunity as a defense in the case, noting that Trump already waived that as a possible defense and allowing it now would unfairly prejudice Carroll.

“There is no basis to risk prolonging the resolution of this litigation further by permitting Mr. Trump to raise his absolute immunity defense now at the eleventh hour when he could have done so years ago,” the judge wrote.

There are additional legal motions outstanding. The case is set to go to trial early next year.   [snip]

This case is separate from the 2022 battery and defamation lawsuit that went to trial earlier this year. A jury awarded Carroll $5 million in compensatory and punitive damages and found Trump sexually abused and defamed her. Trump this week filed a counter claim against Carroll alleging she defamed him when she appeared on CNN the day after the jury verdict and said, “Oh yes he did” rape her.

Don't be shocked if that counter suit the Malignant Loser filed is summarily dismissed, too. 

(Photo:  Carroll and the Malignant Loser / Kena Betancur/Agence France-Presse, via Afp/Pool/Afp Via Getty Images)


Today's Cartoons


(click on images to enlarge)

(Jack Ohman, Sacramento Bee)

(Jeff Darcy, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

(Jeff Stahler,

(Frank Hansen,

(Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer)

(Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune)

(Clay Jones,

(Walt Handelsman, The Times-Picayune, New Orleans)

(Chris Britt,

(Steve Breen, San Diego Union-Tribune)

(Pedro Molina, Counterpoint)

(Andy Marlette,

(Dan Misdea, The New Yorker)

Tweets Of The Day

SCOTUS strikes down affirmative action for college admissions -- 





Bidenomics should be key focus of 2024 campaign --



RFK Jr., and the Malignant Loser:  mutual admiration society -- 



"Detained" Russian general's hostage-like performance. Do Svidaniya and avoid windows --


Ron "Bootsie" DeSantis will leave no footprints in the sand --  

Words of wisdom --  



QOTD: Trump's Insecurity Led To Docs Crime


From Alex Shephard in the New Republic, summing up the Malignant Loser's reasons for illegally hoarding and handling classified documents:

"Trump is hanging onto this information not just as a revenge plot but as a kind of prop: There’s an idea that he needs this information to prove that actually, he’s right about everything and the world is out to get him. His own aide, he seems to fear, would have believed that he wanted to attack Iran if not for the documents in his hand. He needs these documents to exonerate himself from the slings and arrows the world hurls at him—even though by doing so he is literally and openly committing a federal crime

It goes beyond that, however. The documents are there as vestiges of his presidency: They’re accouterments that prove that he was once a powerful man who could change the fate of the world with a word or the push of a button—or that he could simply push a button and get a Diet Coke, something he now has to shout for. Trump has always been incredibly sensitive to the appearance of power and prestige, usually in gaudy and self-defeating ways. He likes to look and seem important and influential, even if most of his adult life was spent as a laughingstock. The documents for him are 'cool' because they prove that he really was important. Now he’s bragging about it to anyone who will listen—even an aide who’s paid to follow him around."  (our emphasis)

His extreme narcissism, lawlessness and sense of entitlement made this situation inevitable, and his fanatic cult enabled his reckless criminality by blindly supporting him.

Shephard's entire article is well worth reading.




Throwing the Republicans' disparaging use of the term "Bidenomics" right back at them, President Biden and his administration are embracing it as they tout the significant economic gains of the past two and a half years.  While the lies will continue to emanate from Republican lips, there are facts that point to a healthier economy, one that is going in the right direction, and one that is outperforming every other major economy in recovering from the Covid era.  Here's some of what the administration wants people to understand:

President Biden and Vice President Harris came into office determined to rebuild our economy from the middle out and the bottom up, not the top down—and that strategy is working. Even as they faced an immediate economic and public health crisis—with a raging pandemic, elevated unemployment, snarled supply chains, and hundreds of thousands of small businesses at risk of shuttering—the President and Vice President understood that it wouldn’t be enough to simply go back to the economy we had before the pandemic. That economy was saddled with longstanding challenges that held America back—including rising inequality and disinvestment from communities across the country.

President Biden recognized that some of those challenges were rooted in a failed trickle-down theory that supported slashing taxes for the wealthy and big corporations, shrinking public investment in critical priorities like infrastructure and education, and failing to safeguard market competition.

The President took office determined to move beyond these failed trickle-down policies and fundamentally change the economic direction of our country. His plan—Bidenomics—is rooted in the recognition that the best way to grow the economy is from the middle out and the bottom up. It’s an economic vision centered around three key pillars:

  • Making smart public investments in America
  • Empowering and educating workers to grow the middle class
  • Promoting competition to lower costs and help entrepreneurs and small businesses thrive
While our work isn’t finished, Bidenomics is already delivering for the American people. Our economy has added more than 13 million jobs—including nearly 800,000 manufacturing jobs—and we’ve unleashed a manufacturing and clean energy boom. There were more than 10 million applications for new small businesses filed in 2021 and 2022—the strongest two years on record. America has seen the strongest growth since the pandemic of any leading economy in the world. Inflation has fallen for 11 straight months and has come down by more than half. And we have done it all while responsibly reducing the deficit...

The poll numbers showing public dissatisfaction with Biden's handling of the economy are, to us, not based on a clear knowledge of what's going on nationally, but rather on negative stories they see and hear in the media, which has a "If it bleeds, it leads" operating philosophy.  For example, as Republicans, media, and people with short term memories complain about gas prices, here's a look at what's happened to retail gas prices over the last year (click to enlarge):

(Source:  Y Charts)

But, getting through the media chaff and constant Republican lying and gaslighting will always be a challenge. This Bidenomics push can't be a one- month, one- off.  Democrats need to be disciplined in all their messages (economy, democracy, gun control, abortion rights) and continue to pound them into the electorate until November 5, 2024.

Russian Insurrection Fallout: Top General Arrested


The failed insurrection led by Russian war criminal Yevgeny Prigozhin against Russian war criminal Putin seems to be leading to consequences for some in the Russian military:

Russian General Sergei Surovikin has been arrested, The Moscow Times' Russian service reported Wednesday, citing two sources close to the Defense Ministry who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The Defense Ministry has yet to comment on the alleged arrest of Surovikin, who has not been seen in public since Saturday, when Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin launched an armed rebellion against Russia's military leadership.

"The situation with him was not 'OK.' For the authorities. I can't say anything more," one of the sources said.

According to the second source, the arrest was carried out "in the context of Prigozhin."

"Apparently, he [Surovikin] chose Prigozhin's side during the uprising, and they've gotten him by the balls," the source said.

When asked about the general's current whereabouts, the source replied: "We are not even commenting on this information through our internal channels."

The sources did not specify whether he was detained as a suspect or a witness.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Thursday declined to comment on Surovikin's whereabouts, instead advising journalists to refer their questions to the Defense Ministry.

Earlier Wednesday, pro-war military blogger Vladimir Romanov said Surovikin was detained Sunday, the day after Prigozhin's aborted mutiny.

Romanov claimed that Surovikin is now being held in Moscow's Lefortovo detention center.

Alexei Venediktov, editor-in-chief of the shuttered Ekho Moskvy radio station, wrote on Telegram that Surovikin has not been in contact with his family for three days and that his guards are not responsive.

The New York Times reported Tuesday, citing unnamed U.S. officials, that Surovikin had prior knowledge of Prigozhin's plan to instigate a rebellion against Russia's military leadership.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Wednesday dismissed the report as “speculation” and “gossip,” suggesting that Putin had not given in to Prigozhin’s demands for an imminent reshuffle of the Russian military's top brass.

Wagner’s uprising set off Russia's most serious security crisis in decades before Prigozhin agreed to stand down Saturday night in exchange for immunity in exile, as part of a deal brokered by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

Surovikin commanded Russia’s forces in Ukraine for three months between October 2022 and January 2023 until he was replaced by Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov.

Gerasimov, along with Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu, was a target of the failed insurrection. He's disappeared from public view since Saturday.

Stay tuned as the pot continues to boil under the despotic, but possibly short- lived reign of war criminal Putin.

(Photo:  Gen. Surovikin /Mikhail Klimentyev / Russian Presidential Press and Information Office / TASS)


Wednesday, June 28, 2023

QOTD -- Lack Of Imagination


"...  Trump left office, federal prosecutors now assert, with some of our most precious intelligence assets in his pocket. I know too many people risked far too much to get that information for it to be stacked in boxes, unsecured, in a ballroom of a Florida resort.

"This is not something I imagined could ever occur. Nor do I believe our system accounts for not being able to trust a former commander in chief to feel the same responsibilities and live with the same burden that others who have access to that information do. If it did, we would have individual intelligence officers deciding what information to safely give a president while in office, and that would be an abysmal situation. Our system assumes that swearing to uphold and defend the Constitution creates mutual trust for each party to do their assigned job..."--  former principal deputy director of National Intelligence under the Malignant Loser Sue Gordon.  Beyond being an indictment of the Malignant Loser, this lack of imagination on the part of a top intelligence officer is an indictment of her own analytical and observational skills.  Who, when observing the Malignant Loser over the past decade, could have missed the fact that he was a sociopathic narcissist who cared only about himself?  Or that he wouldn't take oaths seriously? Or that he even knew what was in the Constitution?  Millions of us certainly didn't miss any of that. But apparently the National Intelligence directorate was staffed with some people imbued with wishful, magical thinking and an inability to stand up for the country's interests.  We can only hope they've found a new line of work outside of government by now, like Ms. Gordon.

Today's Cartoons


(click on images to enlarge)

(John Deering, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

(Rob Rogers,

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(R.J. Matson, CQ/ Roll Call)

(Ted Littleford, The New Haven Independent)

(Matt Davies, Newsday)

(Martyn Turner, Irish Times, Dublin)

(Jeff Danziger, The Rutland Herald, VT)

(Jack Ohman, Sacramento Bee)

(Joe Heller,

(Phil Hands, Wisconsin State Journal)

(Harry Bliss, @blisscartoons)

Tweets Of The Day

"It was just bravado" (no it wasn't) --


Disqualifying --


The banality of evil, and backing by the blue --



But, Nazis and Fascists, y'all come! --


Bootsie is Robo-MAGA!  --


Republican Stolen (Infrastructure) Valor  --




Russian war criminals, cont. --



Gov. Pritzker's brilliant commencement advice --


Happy Birthday, Mel!  --