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Trump Nominates Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court

Donald Trump held a live ceremony today nominating Amy Barrett to the Supreme Court. She has been a judge on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals since 2017 when Trump nominated her. She is a former law clerk to Anton Scalia.

She and her husband have seven children, one of whom has Downs syndrome and two of which are adopted from Haiti. She is the first mother of school age children to serve on the Supreme Court.

Trump says, "Amy will decide cases based on the text of the Constitution".

In July, Barrett was part of a three court panel that unanimously ruled against the Republican Party in a lawsuit it had brought against Illinois Governor Jay Pritzger, seeking a Temporary Restraining Order against coronavirus restrictions he had ordered. The suit was based in part on freedom of religion. The 7th Circuit opinion includes this: [More...]

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Trump Trumpets His Toothless Executive Orders

Trump held a signing ceremony Saturday to sign four executive orders he claimed provide COVID-19 relief. Not one of them does what he says it does.

The Order on evictions: It doesn't reinstate the band the expired in July. It doesn't prevent evictions. It doesn't authorize or fund assistance with mortgage or rent payments. It merely "makes suggestions to federal agencies."

Trump's executive order on unemployment benefits takes $50 million from FEMA to pay states to provide $400 a week (instead of the $600 per week the feds provided from March through July) -- which according to experts will be used up in just 5 weeks. Plus, the order requires states to create new programs, which will take time, so it's anyone's guess when anyone will receive any of this money. For those who need money now, it's no help at all. [More...]

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New York DA Suggests Trump Under Criminal Investigation

On the court case over the release of Trump's tax returns, the New York Times reports today:

The Manhattan district attorney’s office suggested on Monday that it has been investigating President Trump and his company for possible bank and insurance fraud, a significantly broader inquiry than the prosecutors have acknowledged in the past.

The office of the district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., made the disclosure in a new federal court filing arguing Mr. Trump’s accountants should have to comply with its subpoena seeking eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns.


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Guilfoyle,Trump Jr. 's Girlfriend, Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Kimberly Guilfoyle, girlfriend of Donald Trump, Jr. who also has a position in the financial department of the Trump re-election campaign, has tested positive for coronavirus. Trump, Jr., so far, does not. The news is filled with video of her speaking (passionately or shrilly, depending on your point of view) at a Trump rally. She did attend the Tulsa rally.

I wonder if she'll give it to Lara and Eric or Brad Parscale (I'd be surprised if Jared or Ivanka give her the time of day). The couple is driving back from South Dakota to New York.

Several secret service people and many Trump campaign staff tested positive in or after Tulsa.
Days later, Mike Pence had to delay a trip to Arizona because more secret service agents became infected. [More...]

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Trump Claims He's Taking Hydroxychloroquine

Donald Trump said today he is taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure to ward off COVID-19.

First question: Is he telling the truth? If not, he's putting people in danger by encouraging use of a drug that has not been proven to be effective in treating COVID-19, let alone preventing it. And Second question: If he is telling the truth, why would he take this drug given his advanced age and it's unproven benefit to coronavirus patients.

Trump is 72, and has elevated cholesterol for which he takes rosuvastatin(Crestor). It is risky to take both of them because irreversible nerve damage can occur. [More...]

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The Inanity of It All

I'm tired of repeating what Donald Trump says. It's so pointless. I don't think he believes any of it, it's all for effect, just a re-election campaign ploy and a futile attempt to change how the history books characterize his abysmal reign of terror in the White House. His modus operandi is so transparent by now. Every lie he tells is carefully planned to distract us from the critical issues facing the country, in a desperate attempt to hide his personal failure as a leader and a human being. While he doesn't believe his own lies, he does harbor the futile belief that we won't find out till long after he's gone that he was the most inept person ever to occupy a desk in the oval office.

Latest case in point: His attempt to blame his administration's failures on Barack Obama. Anyone with a television set knows that 80,0000 Americans have now died from Covid-19. Yesterday alone, 985 deaths were recorded. So today Trump pretends the subject of the day is Barack Obama. And the senseless mediaactually reports on this.

One word in the dictionary (and its antonyms) is all you need to tell Donald Trump from Barack Obama and realize there is absolutely no reason to even discuss, let alone debate Trump's claim: Inanity [More...]

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Trump's Shameful Press Conference on Coronavirus

Why does the media continue to carry Trump's press statements? He is a dangerous, dishonest demogogue that should be frog-marched out of office, not given a daily platform for his reelection campaign.

He is consumed by self pity. He fingerpoints at everyone and takes no responsibility. He calls the Times story fake news. He plays a powerpoint with selected clips praising him. He denies he wanted Fauci fired. Fauci comes up to distinguish what he said earlier from being a criticism of Trump. How so? It was a "hypothetical". Trump flounders when asked about why he re-tweeted "#FireFauci" if he didn't want him fired. He says he was just retweeting someone else's opinion.

Astonishingly, Trump says the Governors elected not to get ventilators. (They should have had their own stockpiles). "We've done this right," he claims.

Trump says he, not the governors, has the ultimate authority to order the country to re-open. He says he's close to doing so, and it may happen ahead of schedule. "We're ready to rock". [More...]

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White House Sunday Presser on Coronavirus

The White House is holding a press conference today on the coronavirus. If you are online now, you can watch it live here.

Trump begins with what he calls great news and he's very happy, the Federal Reserve has lowered the treasury rate to 0.

He wants to thank Google because they substantiated what he said on Friday (it was fake news that Google denied it.)

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Coronavirus Explainers

This is quite an explanatory multi-media graphic from the South China Post on the beginning and evolution of the Coronavirus. It is updated daily.

Also interesting, again from the South China Post, is an article on the search for "Patient Zero" who authorities now believe contracted the disease on November 17, 2019 (rather than December as previously believed).

According to the government data seen by the Post, a 55 year-old from Hubei province could have been the first person to have contracted Covid-19 on November 17.

...While the government records have not been released to the public, they provide valuable clues about how the disease spread in its early days and the speed of its transmission, as well as how many confirmed cases Beijing has recorded.

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Pandemic Grows, Trump Tests Negative

Donald Trump says he did not contribute to the coronavirus pandemic by removing the office created to deal with such things that had been established under Obama.

To the suprise of no one, the coronavirus is spreading around the globe. Now that three people Donald Trump shook hands with or was otherwise close to at Mar-a-Lago have tested positive, Trump changed course (yet again) and announced he has been tested. (Update: His results were negative according to his personal White House physician, Sean P. Conley, reports his tests were negative. (This is after yesterday when he said Trump didn't need to get tested.)

Spain and France have announced partial shutdowns. France has ordered all restaurants, bars, and shops closed (except grocery stores). Here is how it has been growing. [More...]

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The Unfortunate Trail Trump Leaves Behind Him

During Donald Trump's SOTU I mentioned a few things I thought would backfire big time. First, his spotlight on his guest, Juan Guaidó, who is an opposition leader in Venezuela.

Trump called Guaidó the “true and legitimate” leader of Venezuela and said President Nicolas Maduro is a “tyrant” as lawmakers applauded.

“Mr. President, please take this message back to your homeland,” Trump said to Guaidó. “All Americans are united with the Venezuelan people in their righteous struggle for freedom.”

Here's the result of Trump's welcome of Guaidó:

Six American oil executives under house arrest in Venezuela were rounded up by police hours after President Donald Trump met Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s chief opponent at the White House, according to family members of the men.


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Trump's SOTU

Donald Trump sounds just like Alec Baldwin.

Is anyone listening to this bubbe meise?

If he touts Kushner's peace plan, I bet he neglects the direct threats ISIS made in response via an audio message released this week. ISIS is promising a world boom, not just a blue-collar boom.

Update: Trump claims great credit for the First Step Act -- a bill that excludes relief for deportable immigrants. What kind of reform is that? It's really not a progressive bill at all . (Trump's son in law Jared Kushner knows only slightly more about federal criminal justice than he does about Middle East peace solutions. [More...]

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Donald Trump's Staged Peace Plan Announcement

Donald Trump must be desperate to misdirect the world's attention from his impeachment trial. Today he upstaged his defense counsel by holding a presser with Benjamin Natanyahu to announce his middle-east peace plan.

He called it a two party solution but it is not.

Via the New York Times:

Rather than a serious blueprint for peace, analysts called it a political document by a president in the middle of an impeachment trial working in tandem with a prime minister under criminal indictment and facing his third election in a year in barely over a month.

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Adam Schiff Superstar

It is hard to think of enough accolades for Adam Schiff's many presentations at the impeachment trial of Donald Trump. Update: An hour after writing this I have to take him to task for his cheap dig at criminal defendants in general. ("We all know if a defendant says he didn't do it, he didn't do it." (/snark)). Many who say they didn't do it in fact did not do it. Check the stats of the Innocence Project.) A much better way to make that argument is "It is true that some criminal defendants who insist they didn't do it in fact did not do it. Donald Trump would not be one of them."

Added: One other quibble: Schiff ended with the concept of a fair trial and said "Give America a fair trial." Sorry, but the Sixth Amendement guarantees a fair trial to the accused, the defendant on trial -- not crime victims. In fact, almost all of the Bill of the Ribhts is for the protection of the accused, not to protect crime victims.)

Republicans are too scared for their own hides to buck the Republican Party line. So Donald Trump won't be impeached. If they had an ounce of integrity they would vote to find Donald Trump's impeachment charges are high crimes and misdemeanors and have been proven. The penalty is not up to them, it's written in the Constitution. He shall be removed from office.

There can be only one way to make up for this, and that is for a Democrat to win the presidency in 2020 and appoint an attorney general who will seek and obtain an indictment against Donald Trump and Rudy Guiliani for the actions they undertook with respect to the Ukraine.

One small consolation: Donald Trump will never overturn the moniker that will forever be attached to his name: Donald Trump, impeached by the House of Representatives.

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Trump on Trial: Day One

Donald Trump's impeachment trial begins with arguments about the rules. Here is the House Manager's Statement on McConnell's rules. The New York Times reports that McConnell made two modifications after objections: there will be three rather than two days of opening statements and all the documents and evidence from the House proceeding will be entered in the Senate proceedings. The amended version of Sen. Res. 483 is here.

The House Brief and Statement of Facts is here. It's reply to Trump's trial brief is here. [More...]

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