Will he end up in cuffs and leg irons?

When I hear this chatter from a former president’s lawyers that the ex-POTUS could serve time in prison, my thoughts turn immediately to a friend I haven’t seen in more than two decades.

His name is Peter and he lives in Australia. He has been saying ever since the crap hit the fan on the former president that he truly envisions the sight of the former president being hauled away in handcuffs and leg irons.

That he committed such egregious crimes as president and as an immediate past president that the feds will have no choice but to indict him, put him on trial and then, if convicted, haul his overfed backside off to the slammer.

Peter and I communicate often, discussing the affairs of our respective governments. I concede openly that he is more dialed in to what’s happening here than I am with what is occurring in Canberra. Indeed, the stakes involving the former president would send shock waves worldwide if he is convicted of felonies.

For us, the notion of sending an ex-POTUS to prison is all but anathema. For those around the world, in other democratic nations, it’s happened already.

France has imprisoned a former president; so has Peru. Other leaders of less-free governments have faced criminal charges and have served time as well.

Such a thing would be unfathomable — in many Americans’ eyes — if the criminal defendant is a former president of the United States.

Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a hard-nosed seasoned prosecutor to take over the twin probes involving Donald Trump’s role in the 1/6 assault on our government and the squirreling away of classified documents he took from the White House as he was preparing to leave office.

The smart money seems to suggest that the special counsel, Jack Smith, has wrapped up his documents investigation. He is going to indict the ex-president soon on serious federal charges that could — if he’s convicted — put the ex-POTUS behind bars possibly for the rest of his life. I mean, he is 76 years of age.

What’s more, none of this involves the state prosecutors’ investigations into his trying to overturn election results in Georgia and his indictment on charges that he misspent campaign funds to keep a porn star quiet about a fling she alleges the two of them had in 2006.

I hope my friend reads this blog. So, to him I want to say: It looks more possible than ever that your wish well could come true.


See ya in the slammer, Stewart Rhodes

Stewart Rhodes, the North Texan who helped mastermind the 1/6 insurrection, is now going to get to spend 18 years in federal prison.

How many ways can I say I applaud the sentence that came from the federal judge?

Rhodes remains defiant, of course! He calls himself a “political prisoner” even though a jury convicted him of seditious conspiracy. Let us look at what sedition entails.

It is to “incite rebellion” against the government. Which is what occurred on 1/6. Rhodes, a one-time lawyer, is the founder of the Oath Keepers organization, a right-wing mob of goons who believe that Donald Trump should have remained president even though he lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden.

The Oath Keepers, led by Rhodes, sought to engineer a coup on 1/6. They failed.

Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes gets 18 years for Jan. 6 seditious conspiracy – POLITICO

Eighteen years in the slammer is a long time. My fond hope is that Rhodes serves every damn bit of it. Rhodes is the latest 1/6 ringleader to be held accountable for his disgraceful behavior on that day.

I’ll leave it to the presiding judge to put a cap on this commentary: “You, sir, present an ongoing threat and a peril to this country, to the republic and to the very fabric of our democracy,” said U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta, who described Rhodes as a uniquely powerful threat to democracy on 1/6. “You are smart, you are compelling, and you are charismatic. Frankly, that is what makes you dangerous.”

Lock him up!


Trump wants to meet with AG?

Donald J. Trump’s lawyers, apparently feeling the fire burning under them, have reached out for a meeting with Attorney General Merrick Garland.

They want to meet with the AG to discuss the investigation that reportedly is being wrapped up by the special counsel whom Garland appointed to investigate the 1/6 assault on our government and the classified documents that Trump took from the White House to Mar-a-Lago, Fla.

OK, now. Here’s a quick answer to Trump’s legal team: Merrick Garland is not going to meet with you.

Why do you think he appointed special counsel Jack Smith to complete the probe into the insurrection and the document grab? He did it to remove himself from the probe, removing any suspicion that might come at him if a grand jury indicts the former POTUS.

It looks to me as if special counsel Smith is closing in on some indictments. Moreover, we now hear from lawyers who used to work for Trump who tell us they believe Trump is going to serve prison time if he’s convicted.

Donald Trump’s life is about to get so very messy.


AG Paxton is getting some serious heat … finally!

Well now, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton — who’s been under felony indictment nearly for as long as he has been in office — is facing even more trouble.

This time it’s coming from his fellow Republicans who serve in the Legislature.

Can it be that finally the AG is going to get his long- and well-deserved comeuppance? You may count me as one Texas resident who wants to see it happen to the former legislator who has disgraced the office he has occupied since 2015.

The Hill newspaper reports:

On Wednesday, four former state prosecutors commissioned by the state House publicly unveiled the results of their sweeping investigation into years of alleged misconduct by Paxton.

Headlining those allegations: charges that the attorney general took bribes from an Austin real estate developer, then fired four deputies for reporting it to law enforcement — and then leaving taxpayers on the hook for a $3.3 million settlement with the whistleblowers. 

Paxton is also accused of seeking a sweetheart job for a woman he was having an affair with and who had worked in his wife’s office. 

The House General Investigations Committee, which recommended the ouster of former state Rep. Bryan Slaton of Royse City, is now looking into Paxton’s conduct. The allegations against Paxton “curl my mustache,” said Committee Chairman Andrew Murr, R-Junction.

Paxton has managed to avoid a trial since a Collin County grand jury indicted him for securities fraud. That he has been re-elected twice as the state’s chief law enforcement official has been enough to make me question the wisdom of Texas voters. But he has and I accept the voters’ verdict, even if I disagree with it.

Still, the guy needs to go.

I have been alarmed at the notion of Paxton rising to call for the resignation of House Speaker Dade Phelan after a video emerged showing Phelan slurring his words at the end of a long day at the podium in the House chamber.

That such a call would come from an indicted public official is laughable on its face … except that I ain’t laughing.

Battle rages in Texas between AG Paxton and GOP-controlled House | The Hill

So, what can come from the House committee’s probe of the AG? Let’s say it out loud: He could be impeached and then put on trial in the Texas Senate.

I can’t stop shaking my head.


Language gets complicated

Man, oh man, how the lexicon has evolved from the day when certain words were never spoken unless spit out as an epithet.

Take the word “queer” when referencing someone’s sexual orientation.

Once upon a long time ago — when I was a kid — one used that word to describe homosexuals. One did so with a huge dose of derision.

These days? It’s now part of what has become a term comprising letters in the alphabet, as in “LGBTQ.” The “Q” stands for “queer.”

I saw an obituary today about a playwright who died at age 96. The opening paragraph of the obit described him as “queer.”

I am having trouble understanding the evolution of our language. Black people toss the n-word around only because they are entitled to do so, given that they were called the n-word as a venomous epithet. The term “colored people” has evolved into “people of color.” OK. I get it.

This “queer” thing has me baffled. For that matter I don’t know we no longer use the term “gay” simply to refer to anyone whose sexual orientation leads him or her to be intimate with people of the same gender. Now it’s LGBTQ, which I have to think for a moment before I even say it, fearing that I’ll get the letters mixed up. Besides, don’t the terms “lesbian” and “gay” — as well as “queer” — mean the same thing?

Speaking and writing the English language is difficult enough. Hey, I’ll just have to adapt.


‘Something has to change’

Brett Baier, one of the propagandists who works for the Fox Propaganda Network, said this week, “Something has to change dramatically. There may be events that we don’t know. There may be other legal challenges that he faces” in order for Ron DeSantis to secure the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

OK, here’s a dramatic change for you to ponder. GOP voters have to come to their senses if they have any hope at all for their party to defeat President Biden next year.

By that I mean the Republican core of fanatics must abandon any thought of nominating a twice-impeached, indicted former POTUS for another go-round that is assuredly going to end in defeat for him and for what once was known as the Republican Party.

On second thought, if GOP primary voters are stupid enough to hang with Donald John Trump, they will deserve the shellacking they are going to get come Election Day.

And, yes, Trump is going to face “other legal challenges” along the way. You are welcome to take that straight to the bank. It’s gonna happen.


Mr. Speaker, for whom do you work?

Kevin McCarthy clearly needs a lesson on public service, because the House speaker is listening to the wrong “bosses” as he digs in against efforts to raise the national debt ceiling.

Mr. House Speaker, you work for the people of south-central California, who sent you to Congress to do their bidding, not the bidding of the MAGA crowd that is pulling your strings.

McCarthy appears to be resisting President Biden’s effort to reach common ground because the MAGA cabal that comprises the vocal minority within the GOP House caucus is demanding it of him.

What will happen, then, if the nation defaults? If it fails to pay its debts by the June 1 drop-dead date established by the Treasury Department?

A lot of folks in McCarthy’s home district are going to go without Social Security or military benefit checks, they will watch their mortgage interest rates skyrocket, they will lose their jobs.

Do you think that will piss a lot of ’em off?

The House once had a Republican leader named Eric Cantor of Virginia who listened too closely to the GOP leadership and didn’t listen enough to those who sent him to Congress. Cantor ended up getting booted out of Congress when the GOP primary voters cast their ballots for someone else. Cantor was deemed out of touch with the home folks.

Mr. Speaker, you had better pay attention to who is going to feel the harm of a national default on our debt.


DeSantis: new nice guy?

I keep hearing these stories about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis seeking to increase his likability factor as he prepares to run for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in 2024.

Good luck with that one, governor.

The “nice guy” DeSantis has declared war on the Disney Corp., the largest employer in his state and the home of the nicest people — and fictional characters — on this Earth.

I’ve been to two of Disney’s properties three times. I went to Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., twice, the first time as a teenager and the second time as a young parent with two rambunctious sons. My wife and I rode every ride we could in 1982, until our boys literally couldn’t go any more.

My wife and I ventured to Walt Disney World much later; our boys had moved out and we were on our own. It was a different experience than Disneyland, given that the Orlando, Fla., exhibit is much larger.

They both had plenty in common. Chief among was the niceness we felt, from Mickey, Minnie and Donald to the staffers who sold us tickets to all the rides. That and the cleanliness of both places.

Why does the Florida governor want to pick a fight with the merchants of niceness? All he’s doing is affirming his reputation as an a**hole.


Nazis would spur Dad to action

My father wasn’t an overly political individual, in that he didn’t wear his politics on his sleeve or bellow his views out loud.

However, if there is a cause that might spur Dad into action, it well could be the emergence of these Nazi groups showing up at rallies to protest things like drag shows or those who are accused of mass shootings in schools, shopping malls or churches.

Dad was a proud Navy veteran who fought the Nazis from 1942 until 1945 in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations. He endured 105 consecutive days of aerial bombardment from German and Italian warplanes.

He enlisted on Dec. 7, 1941, the day the Japanese bombed our fleet at Pearl Harbor; he wanted to join the Marine Corps, the USMC office in Portland was closed that Sunday, so he walked across the hall and joined the Navy.

Dad didn’t boast about his service to the nation or the role he played in ridding the world of tyranny, but he did speak easily about that time — when someone asked him!

I have been thinking of Dad lately as I see these stories about Nazis rearing their ugliness across the country, seemingly feeling comfortable and “mainstream” in spewing their vicious hatred.

This was the kind of monstrosity that the Greatest Generation suited up to fight after the United States entered World War II.

Dad was one of the 16 million Americans who answered the call.

And this non-political American patriot — the late Pete Kanelis –would be aghast at what he is hearing from the mouths of those whose forebears sought to kill him.


Paxton calls on speaker to quit? Huh … ?

Wow! That’s all I should have to say on this matter, but of course I’ll add a couple of cents’ worth.

Of all the elected officials serving in this great state of mine, it falls on an indicted Texas attorney general to call for the resignation of the speaker of the Texas House.

What in the world is wrong with this picture?

AG Ken Paxton, who’s been under criminal indictment almost his entire time as the state’s chief law enforcement officer, said this week that Speaker Dade Phelan was drunk while presiding over the House. Paxton said Phelan should resign at the end of the current session of the Legislature.

For the life of me I cannot fathom what in the world is happening to this state.

A Collin County grand jury indicted Paxton in 2015 of securities fraud, stemming from an allegation that he failed to notify investors of his relationship with a securities firm. Eight years later and the case hasn’t gone to trial … yet!

Then we have allegations of corruption within the AG’s office. There has been a settlement on that matter, but several top lawyers in the office resigned after blowing the whistle on what they said were improper relationships between Paxton and a key political supporter and donor.

Paxton is a joke! Actually, he needs to resign his office.

Now he declares that Dade Phelan has been sipping the sauce. A video of Phelan has gone viral, showing him slurring his words a bit while conducting the House’s business.

“After much consideration, it is with profound disappointment that I call on Speaker Dade Phelan to resign at the end of this legislation session,” Paxton said in a statement posted on Twitter. “His conduct has negatively impacted the legislative process and constitutes a failure to live up to his duty to the public.”

Ken Paxton calls on Dade Phelan to resign, citing apparent intoxication | The Texas Tribune

I suppose, of course, that Phelan’s resistance to some of Paxton’s top legislative priorities has nothing to do with the AG’s call for the speaker to resign. Texas’s top Republican officeholders have been squabbling a good bit of late. They can’t agree on some of the priorities being pushed by, say, Paxton, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Gov. Greg Abbott.

Now it has come down to this, with the state’s indicted attorney general offering an armchair medical diagnosis of the House speaker.



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