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If Ron Johnson Keeps This Up, Trump Could Be in Leavenworth by Christmas
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=11104"><span class="small">Charles Pierce, Esquire</span></a>   
Sunday, 06 October 2019 13:06

Pierce writes: "If you have been concerned, as any thinking person would be, by the conservative project of salting the federal courts with specimens from the various wingnut welfare terrariums, then Friday was one of the days that you've been properly dreading."

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) listens to testimony during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on December 6, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) listens to testimony during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on December 6, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)


If Ron Johnson Keeps This Up, Trump Could Be in Leavenworth by Christmas

By Charles Pierce, Esquire

06 October 19


The Wisconsin senator is not helping Dear Leader in his public appearances.

f you have been concerned, as any thinking person would be, by the conservative project of salting the federal courts with specimens from the various wingnut welfare terrariums, then Friday was one of the days that you've been properly dreading. The Supreme Court agreed to hear a case from Louisiana challenging that state's restrictions on reproductive rights, a case that leaves open to destruction at least the "undue burden" standard present since 1992 in the Court's Casey decision, if not the entire structure of reproductive rights that has been under assault ever since the Court ruled in Roe v. Wade. From NPR:

Like the Texas law that the court previously struck down, the Louisiana law requires any doctor performing an abortion to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital; it also requires that clinics that provide abortions be, in effect, mini-hospitals, with everything from wide corridors to expensive equipment.
The Supreme Court said in the Texas case that neither was needed to protect women's health and that both requirements imposed "a substantial burden" on a woman's right to abortion. Louisiana has conceded that its law is virtually identical to the Texas law. The difference between then and now is that Justice Anthony Kennedy, who cast the decisive fifth vote in the 2016 Texas case, has retired and been replaced by Trump appointee Brett Kavanaugh, who has indicated his willingness to undermine or discard the 2016 decision.

And thereby hangs the decision. It's Justice Boof's big chance, and it's one of the primary reasons people fought so hard for his confirmation. His vote to uphold the Louisiana law is as predetermined an outcome as any in the history of the Court. If the law is upheld, then states will be emboldened to demolish a woman's right to choose by degrees, as many states already are doing. Roe will not be overturned. It will be completely cored out and useless as practical law. This is another part of the conservative project that will not stop if and when this administration* is sent packing. And Brett Kavanaugh is 54 years old.

What's the latest and greatest from Camp Runamuck? Well, the top CIA lawyer is talking about a criminal referral based on the whistleblower's complaint. From NBC News:

The move by the CIA's general counsel, Trump appointee Courtney Simmons Elwood, meant she and other senior officials had concluded a potential crime had been committed, raising more questions about why the Justice Department later closed the case without conducting an investigation. In the days since an anonymous whistleblower complaint was made public accusing him of wrongdoing, Trump has lashed out at his accuser and other insiders who provided the accuser with information, suggesting they were improperly spying on what was a "perfect" call between him and the Ukrainian president.
But a timeline provided by U.S. officials familiar with the matter shows that multiple senior government officials appointed by Trump found the whistleblower's complaints credible, troubling, and worthy of further inquiry starting soon after the president's July phone call. While that timeline and the CIA general counsel's contact with the DOJ has been previously disclosed, it has not been reported that the CIA's top lawyer intended her call to be a criminal referral about the president's conduct, acting under rules set forth in a memo governing how intelligence agencies should report allegations of federal crimes.

And then, ah, there is Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, ol' Shreds of Freedom himself. Who thought he'd wind up not merely in the middle of the Ukraine scandal, but also that he would be one of the guys who gives the entire game away? From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson was blocked by President Donald Trump in August from telling Ukraine's president that U.S. aid was on its way amid accusations Trump was withholding it until the eastern European nation investigated his political rival. Trump rejected Johnson's request after also refusing in May to back new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the Oshkosh Republican told reporters Friday.

“I was surprised by the president’s reaction and realized we had a sales job to do,” Johnson said during a constituent stop in Sheboygan. “I tried to convince him (in August) to give me the authority to tell President Zelensky that we were going to provide that. Now, I didn’t succeed."

With his comments Friday, Johnson made clear that he was aware of allegations Trump was withholding aid to Ukraine for political reasons weeks before the public knew of the accusation. Trump, who faces a fast-moving impeachment inquiry over the matter, has denied the claim and Johnson has defended the president.

Ron is in a bit of a tizzy. The current White House bullshit spin is that there was "no quid pro quo." While defending the president*, Johnson clearly was not with the program. From the Wall Street Journal, via Axios:

President Trump denied that he had linked military aid to Ukraine with a commitment by Kyiv to investigate the 2016 presidential election when pressed on the matter by a Republican senator in August, according to the lawmaker. In an interview, Sen. Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) said he learned of a potential quid pro quo from the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, who told him that aid to Ukraine was tied to the desire by Mr. Trump and his allies to have Kyiv undertake investigations that the president has sought.

And all of this was after it was revealed that Johnson had signed onto a letter with a bipartisan group of senators supporting then-Vice President Joe Biden's attempts to remove the corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor—which the president* insists was part of a corrupt deal that Biden struck to benefit his son, Hunter. If Johnson keeps helping this way, the president* may be in Leavenworth by Christmas.

Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click: "Ice Cool" (Yockamo All Stars): Yeah, I pretty much still love New Orleans. Sorry, no link available. If you find one, drop it in the comments.

Weekly Visit To The Pathe Archives: Here is the Song Of The Harvesters from Ukraine in 1935. This is filmed, of course, a mere two years after the conclusion of Josef Stalin's program to deliberately starve the Ukrainians to death between 1932 and 1933. That makes the narration almost laughably amoral. (When he talks about how independent governments in Ukraine failed, he doesn't mention that the deliberate famine brought them down.) History is so cool.

Is it a good day for dinosaur news, Guardian? It's always a good day for dinosaur news!

In the heart of Queensland, palaeontologists have found the fossilised partial skeleton of a new pterosaur species capable of flying across continents. The pterosaur, with a four-metre wingspan, may have lived about 90m years ago.“It would have been a sight to see,” said Adele Pentland from Swinburne University, the lead author of a study published in the journal Scientific Reports. “It has a wingspan of about four metres, which is pretty big compared to our modern-day birds. “Even though we didn’t find the entire skull, we found most of the skull and we also found 40 teeth and two fragments at the site. To see it walking around on the ground it would have walked on four legs and looked really different to any kind of animal we have today. “It’s kind of scary when you think their heads are disproportionately large, it would have had a skull maybe 60cm.”

Pentland said elements of the find had surprised researchers. Based on unique crests on its upper and lower jaw, researchers identified it as genetically close to a previous find in England. “We found out that this pterosaur is more closely related to material which has been found in England [and] that was a bit of a surprise. We are seeing that pattern because they could disperse across the ocean pretty easily.”

It seems to me that a lot of the most recent dinosaur news concerns new species of flying dinosaurs. The skies must have been crowded, and now we hear that they might've beaten Lindbergh across the Atlantic by hundreds of millions of years, speculation that leads us to believe that dinosaurs lived then to be happy now.

Top Commenter Jeff Lodge scored big with The Committee by responding to Eric Trump's massacre of Marcus Aurelius by summoning up a later philosopher, Virgil Starkwell, of Take The Money And Run.

To quote the great Virgil Starkwell from The Take the Money and Run, "That looks to me like . . . two elephants making love to a men's glee club."

Not to cast any asparagus, but that sounds like the reports that emerged concerning Eric Trump's famous Icelandic bachelor party. In any case, enjoy your 81.11 Beckhams, Jeff. And take them, because I have a gub.

I'll be back on Monday. Or sooner. Who the hell knows? This is like being a fireman in hell. Be well and play nice, ya bastids. Stay above the snake-line, and hold fast. The seas are building.

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Last Updated on Sunday, 06 October 2019 13:53