On August 11th Mike Pence at an Iowa state fair spoke about how Biden was responsible for the immigration problem at our southern border, which of course ignores the decades long bipartisan failure to enact regulations to address the surging numbers of undocumented migrants.
I mention this typical example of campaign rhetoric to lead into US Attorney General Merrick Garland’s 8/11 appointment at the request from Delaware Prosecutor Weiss to be elevated to the Special Counsel to pursue the Hunter Biden case.
Garland defended DOJ's 5 investigation of Hunter Biden, forcefully rebutting claims promoted by House Republicans that he blocked prosecutors in Delaware from expanding the inquiry to encompass a greater range of crimes.
— Michael S. Schmidt (@nytmike) June 23, 2023
Hunter is trying to escape a felony conviction as Weiss will now continue his investigation, perhaps finding President Biden somehow guilty of getting Hunter cushy jobs.
I favor investigating this fully. If the President did directly get Hunter connected to high paying sinecure jobs, that’s sad.
While if true, it is perhaps somewhat forgivable on the grounds of trying to assist his errant son to reset his miserable life story.
The specific Hunter charges are income tax evasion and carrying a gun while under the influence of drug addiction. You can read the various levels of felony and misdemeanor in the prompt below.
Let the chips fall as they may! Does Hunter deserve jail time?
Let the court decide.
This seems like the right move.
But it’s pretty wild that there are credible accusations that Jared Kushner nearly stated a war to pressure a foreign government to bail out his failed real estate investment, and everyone just kinda’ shrugged. https://t.co/DknbLKljJZ
— Radley Balko (@radleybalko) August 11, 2023
On Friday, August 11, 2023, Attorney General Merrick Garland gave US Attorney Weiss broader power as Special Counsel to continue seeking charges against Biden’s son.
The WSJ article said,
The appointment, which allows Weiss to prosecute Hunter Biden in any district he deems appropriate rather than solely in Delaware, came the same day Weiss said in a court filing that plea talks with Biden were at an impasse and prosecutors expected the case against him to go to trial.
Weiss asked the Delaware judge to dismiss a previously filed tax case against Hunter Biden, saying prosecutors needed to try the case elsewhere, including in California, where Biden lived during the years at issue in the case.”
Garland said Weiss had told him on Tuesday that his investigation had “reached a stage at which he should continue his work as a special counsel, and he asked to be so appointed.” Garland, who had previously insisted Weiss had all the necessary resources and autonomy, said the move “reaffirms that Mr. Weiss has the authority he needs to conduct a thorough investigation and continue to take the steps he deems appropriate independently, based only on the facts and the law.
A lawyer for Hunter Biden, Chris Clark, said Biden’s legal team still believed they could resolve the case without a trial. “We are confident when all of these maneuverings are at an end, my client will have resolution and will be moving on with his life successfully,” he said.
This won’t eliminate the ultra-right’s attempts to attack Biden, but the fact that the matter is being pushed by Biden’s Attorney General should be read by many as gaining transparency.
You can read the full story here.
— Ken Thomas (@KThomasDC) August 11, 2023
By any sane comparison, Hunter’s or even his father’s alleged offenses if any when considering the multiple charges against Trump make any alleged or actual Biden crimes seem minor.
Read here an article on the various levels of penalties for felonies and misdemeanors. Hunter could get jail time but that would be a tough call!
This impasse and the further investigation by Weiss certainly raise the possibility of a trial for Hunter Biden and thus for making his father’s election campaign more complex.
What are NOT tough calls are the Mar-a-Lago documents case and the January 6th coup case. There are also other possible indictments pending.
Hunter’s charges compare in seriousness to the NY case against Trump involving Stormy Daniels; that case should be dropped.
Then late in the afternoon on Friday August 1th, the NY Times reported that “during a 90-minute hearing in Washington, Judge Tanya S. Chutkan also warned the former president against any attempt to intimidate witnesses or prejudice potential jurors.”
Trump, now under a Federal indictment, as the Judge,
concluded the hearing with a blunt warning to Mr. Trump, and an unmistakable reference to a recent social media post in which he warned, “If you go after me, I’m coming after you!” — a statement his spokesman later said was aimed at political opponents and not at people involved in the case.
“I do want to issue a general word of caution — I intend to ensure the orderly administration of justice in this case as I would in any other case, and even arguably ambiguous statements by the parties or their counsel,” she said, could be considered an attempt to “intimidate witnesses or prejudice potential jurors,” triggering the court to take action.”
“I caution you and your client to take special care in your public statements in this case,” she added. “I will take whatever measures are necessary to protect the integrity of these proceedings.”
This will be interesting to follow, but you can read the full Times piece here.
“He is a criminal defendant,” Judge Chutkan said. “He is going to have restrictions like every other criminal defendant” — adding that she was not going to “allow him any greater or lesser latitude than any defendant in a criminal case.”https://t.co/Kw4B2AIaZ8
— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) August 11, 2023
The frightening possibility of Trump’s election to a second term in 2024 was dramatically presented by Former Obama Labor Secretary Robert Reich’s video showing the comparison of Trump’s actual statements to his MAGA devotes with what dictators use as their pathway to power.
This is Reich’s text:
Is Donald Trump a Fascist?
I want to talk to you about the F word. No no — not that F word.
I’m talking about fascism.
Is Donald Trump really a “fascist,” as some would claim?
Is “authoritarian” adequate?
To fight these ideas, we need to be aware of what they are and how they fit together.
Let’s examine the five elements that define fascism and what makes it distinct from, and more dangerous than, authoritarianism.
1. The rejection of democracy in favor of a strongman
Authoritarians believe strong leaders are needed to maintain stability. So they empower strongmen, dictators, or absolute monarchs to maintain social order through the use of force.
But fascists view strong leaders as the means of discovering what society needs. They regard the leader as the embodiment of society, the voice of the people.
2. Stoking rage against cultural elites
Authoritarian movements cannot succeed without at least some buy-in from establishment elites.
While fascist movements often seek to co-opt the establishment, they largely depend on fueling resentment and anger against presumed cultural elites for supposedly displacing regular people. Fascists rile up their followers to seek revenge on the elites.
They create mass political parties and demand participation. They encourage violence.
3. Nationalism based on “superior” race and historic bloodlines.
Authoritarians see nationalism as a means of asserting the power of the state.
For fascists the state embodies what is considered a “superior” group — based on race, religion, and historic bloodlines. To fascists, the state is a means of asserting that superiority.
Fascists worry about disloyalty and replacement by groups that don’t share the same race or bloodlines. Fascists encourage their followers to scapegoat, expel, and sometimes even kill such “others.”
Fascists believe schools and universities must teach values that glorify the dominant race, religion, and bloodline. Schools should not teach inconvenient truths about the failures of the dominant race.
4. Extolling brute strength and heroic warriors.
The goal of authoritarianism is to gain and maintain state power at any cost. For authoritarians, “strength” comes in the form of large standing armies that can enforce their rule. They seek power to wield power.
Fascists seek state power to achieve their ostensible goal: achieving their vision of society.
Fascism accomplishes this goal by rewarding those who win economically and physically, and denigrating or exterminating those who lose. Fascism depends on organized bullying — a form of social Darwinism.
For the fascist, war and violence are means of strengthening society by culling the weak and glorifying heroic warriors.
5. Disdain of women and LGBTQ+ people
Authoritarianism imposes hierarchies. It’s about order.
Fascism’s idea of order is organized around a particular hierarchy of male dominance. The fascist “heroic warrior” is male. Women are relegated to subservient roles.
In fascism, anything that challenges the traditional heroic male roles of protector, provider, and controller of the family is considered a threat to the social order.
Fascism seeks to eliminate homosexuals, nonbinary, transgender, and queer people because they’re thought to challenge or weaken the heroic male warrior.
These five elements of fascism fit together and reinforce each other.
Rejection of democracy in favor of a strongman depends on galvanizing popular rage.
Popular rage draws on a nationalism based on a supposed superior race or ethnicity.
That superior race or ethnicity is justified by a social Darwinist idea of strength and violence, as exemplified by heroic warriors.
Strength, violence, and the heroic warrior are centered on male power.
These five elements find exact expression in Donald Trump. His uniquely American version of fascism is rooted largely in White Christian Nationalism. It is the direction that most of the Republican Party is now heading in.
It’s not enough to call Trump and those promoting his ideas authoritarians when what they are really advocating is something far worse: fascism.
Watch this video presentation here:
“What Can Be Done Now to Save Habitable Life on Planet Earth?”: https://t.co/fHuh0CG6JD
“We Humans Overwhelm Our Earth: 11 or 2 Billion by 2100?”: https://t.co/TA4j7cp1tE
“From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013”: https://t.co/lkC2t3E1A9 pic.twitter.com/bQsL2mLBcO
— Church and State (@ChurchAndStateN) November 1, 2021
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