What’s Going On With Rudy?

What’s Going On With Rudy?

Rudy Continues His Nosedive

By William Jones and D. S. Mitchell

Confiscated

In recent years, the image of Rudy Giuliani has sunk to lows unimaginable  two decades ago.  His legacy has been severely damaged by his connection to Donald Trump.  In his pursuit of  Trump’s approval, and every cent he could get his hands on, Rudy may have broken the law while trying to help the former president overturn the 2020 election and line his own pockets.  The FBI thinks there is evidence of crimes and they just confiscated Rudy’s personal and business devices.

Rudy’s Bio

Rudolf Giuliani was born on May 28th, 1944, in Brooklyn, New York; U.S.A. He attended Manhattan College as well as New York University. For over 50 years, Rudy Giuliani has served, city, state and national government in multiple capacities. Giuliani has also had a private law practice.

Giuliani’s entry into politics

Giuliani is a long time Republican. In 1993 he was narrowly elected Mayor of New York City.  Giuliani immediately began cracking down hard on petty criminals. He always urged police to take aggressive stances against even minor violations of the law. Giuliani was often referred to as “the Nanny of New York.” He claimed credit for reduced crime rates stating that civilization had found its way into the city.  Critics disregarded Giuliani, stating crime rates had decreased nationwide.  They also added that Giuliani was contributing to police abuse and corruption. Rudy was expected to run for the U.S. Senate in 2000, but due to some negative personal events he decided not to run.

High Point Amidst Disaster

On September 11, 2001, New York was attacked. The attack brought down the twin towers of the World Trade Center leading to the death of over 2800 people. Giuliani received praise for his handling of the situation, and the aftermath. He even was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his conduct. In 2007 he announced that he would seek the Republican Party presidential nomination in 2008. However, in late January 2008, Giuliani withdrew from the race after finishing a distant third in Florida.

Tied To Donald Trump

Rudy Giuliani was an early enthusiastic supporter of  Donald Trump in his 2016 run for president. After Trump’s election, Giuliani jostled for several cabinet positions but was overlooked. He was later chosen as an ‘unofficial adviser on cyber security.’ In 2018 Giuliani was part of the legal team that represented President Donald Trump in the Special Counsel’s (Mueller) Investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections.  After the Special Counsel declined to file charges against the then-President Trump Giuliani continued as the president’s ‘personal attorney’.

Ukrainian Mischief

In search of “dirt” on Trump’s anticipated rival in the 20220 election, Joe Biden, Giuliani became  involved in what was referred to as a backchannel between President Donald Trump and some not so kosher former Ukrainian officials. The allegations indicate that Giuliani engaged in efforts meant to pressure current Ukraine officials into launching multiple investigations into corruption by Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. The quid pro quo allegations and the firing of Ukrainian Ambassador Marie Yovanovich brought Trump and his associates, including Giuliani, under intense scrutiny.

The First Impeachment

An impeachment was launched by the House of Representatives against President Trump. Giuliani was portrayed as a key player in the scandal during the House proceedings. In December 2019, after being impeached, the door of hope opened for Trump in February 2020 when the Senate acquitted him. Time was not in his favor as Joe Biden defeated him by 7 million votes in November.

2020 Election Challenges

Following Trump’s defeat in the 2020 presidential election, Trump picked Giuliani to head his legal team  challenging the election results. Giuliani’s failure was notable, losing every case in every jurisdiction. The process was a total failure.

Giuliani’s Raided by the Feds

On Wednesday, April 28th, 2021, under the authority of a duly authorized search warrant Federal Agents raided Giuliani’s Manhattan home and office. Various gadgets were seized, including computers and cell phones.  It looks like the business dealings of Rudy Giuliani are under investigation. The Feds look serious. The FBI doesn’t execute search warrants on high profile individuals, especially lawyers, unless they are confident they will find incriminating evidence. Leaks indicate Giuliani may be under scrutiny for illegal money transfers, campaign finance fraud, and acting on the behalf of a foreign government, etc, etc, etc.  According to the prosecutors, the warrant, which required approval from the top levels of the judicial Department, and a federal judge, signifies that the government is convinced Giuliani has committed a federal crime(s).

Look Over There

Mr. Giuliani, in a statement after the seizure, denied any wrongdoing and argued that the search warrants demonstrated a “corrupt double standard” on the part of the Justice Department. Giuliani said he was being persecuted while the DOJ/FBI are ignoring  “blatant crimes” by Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and President Biden. He even stated the Feds refused to take evidence of crimes by Hunter Biden that Giuliani has in his possession.

Victoria Toensing
There was a third search warrant issued at the same time for the cell phone of  Washington lawyer Victoria Toensing.  Toensing is a former federal prosecutor and a close associate of Rudy Giuliani and former President Donald Trump. Her law firm issued a statement saying Toensing is not a target of the federal investigation.
The Evolving Situation
The full scope of the investigation is still  not clear.  On Thursday 29th April 2021, Donald Trump told Fox business that Giuliani was “the greatest mayor in the history of New York and a great patriot”. The White House press secretary said on CNN that the White House was given no heads up about the raid prior to its execution.
Orange Jumpsuits

Many of Trump’s allies have been trapped in federal investigations, and there are likely to be more on the horizon.  The big question becomes will Giuliani pull a Michael Cohen and ensnare the former president in criminal charges. Time will tell. Of course, these guys are all as old as dirt. Any could drop dead at any moment. Hopefully the AG gets them sentenced first.

https://www.calamitypolitics.com/2019/05/11/rudy-guilliani-moments-great-small/

Speaking To History Not Re-Election

OPINION:

Liz Cheney: Speaking To History Not Re-Election

OPINION:

Liz Cheney: Speaking To History Not Re-Election

Liz Takes a Stand as Republicans Move to Force Her Out

By D. S. Mitchell

Deep Trouble

Elizabeth Lynne Cheney 7/28/66 is an American attorney and Republican politician.  Liz Cheney is the House Republican Conference chair, the third-highest position in the House Republican leadership.  Cheney is the daughter of former Vice-President Dick Cheney. She is the sole (at-large) Representative from Wyoming and she is in serious political trouble.

Trump For Elise Stefanik

Cheney serves on two powerful House committees, the Armed Services Committee and Natural Resources. It is believed Ms. Cheney will be removed as the 3rd ranking Republican  sometime within the next week when the House reconvenes. Donald Trump has come out against Cheney and has thrown his support behind New York Representative Elise Stefanik. Since Trump’s announced support, both Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy (CA) and Minority Whip Steve Scalise (LA) have come out to publicly support the Stefanik for Cheney swap.

Naughty Girl
McCarthy claims the reason Cheney is losing her leadership role is because, “she isn’t the best policy messenger for the party. ” I see it as strange, considering Cheney is one of the most consistent conservative voices on everything. In fact, she has voted more with Trump than Stefanik has, by nearly 20% of the time. What is going on here is that Liz  has a conscience and she is willing and seemingly eager to speak out against former President Donald J. Trump. And of course there was her vote to impeach Trump over his part in the capitol riot on January 6, 2021.
Rising Star
The move to replace Cheney is proof that Stefanik, who was elected to a fourth term from New York state, has seen an ascendancy in her career since she began her ardent public defense of Trump.  Sources say that Trump first noticed Stefanik during her interrogation of witnesses during the House Intelligence Committee hearings on the alleged Ukraine quid pro quo. That performance gave Stefanik a place in Trump’s PR efforts during the Senate trial. In February 2020 Trump praised Stefanik in a speech celebrating his acquittal in the Senate, “she looks good, she looks like good talent.”
The Message
Stefanik opposed the second impeachment of Trump earlier this year for his role in the January 6 insurrection.  She claimed the House action was a “partisan ploy with no basis in the Constitution.. ..The Democrats’ decision to impeach the President with one week remaining in his term further fuels the divisions in the country during this very trying time.” Total B.S. I say.
McCarthy Kisses Trump Ring
Trump and McCarthy are keeping in regular contact over the Cheney issue.  “They’ve definitely spoken recently” said Trump aide Jason Miller. Master puppeteer has McCarthy and Scalise singing his song. The Heritage Group confirmed Cheney’s lifetime vote score is 80%. Stefanik’s is 48%. And even when it comes to votes in support of Trump  Cheney voted 92.9% of the time while Stefanik backed him 77.7% of the time.
GOP Faces Divide Over Trump’s Big Lie
This battle has nothing to do with conservatism. Or, according to the data, about supporting Trump’s agenda while in office. Sadly, Scalise, McCarthy, Stefanik and others have higher ambitions. Each hoping to rise in a GOP that is controlled by former President Trump despite his two impeachments, lawless abuse of power, alleged sexual assaults, failed re-election bid, false claims of voter fraud,  failure to effectively handle the pandemic, with more than 441,000 deaths during his tenure in office.  I’m sure a lot of GOP politicians wish the Orange One would just go quietly into retirement, but why should he, the Republicans keep feeding him red meat, and kissing the ring.
 They  Spoke Up Once
Kevin McCarthy, Liz Cheney, and Mitch McConnell have each harshly criticized Trump’s role in the capitol insurrection. McConnell and McCarthy made the bet that criticizing Trump’s reaction to the insurrection once would allow them a quick return to the Trump umbrella in a party that still embraces Trump. But Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, and Mitt Romney all  said, “hell no,” and drew a line in the sand over the 1/6/2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol, as well as the run up to that day and its aftermath, all centered on Trump claiming, despite all evidence, that the 2020 election was “stolen”.
Ideology

The once holy Republican foundational creed has been thrown overboard as the Republicans have moved to a cult of personality around Donald Trump. The version of the GOP that Romney, Kinzinger, and Cheney embraced  no longer exists. The Republicans have replaced the old party with a Trump dominated party focused on populist, autocratic, anti-free trade, and deficit blind budgets. Trump appears to be the Republican favorite for the 2024 presidential nomination.  Hopefully, the country has had enough of Donald J. Trump. If we haven’t had enough we need to prepare ourselves for a totalitarian future if  Trump’s increasingly radical authoritarian behavior is sent back to the White House.

A Lonely Defense

Liz Cheney has been on a lonely defense of the truth, (1.)last year’s election was not stolen, (2) that Donald Trump incited a riot at the Capitol in an effort to overthrow the 2020 election, (3) a bipartisan commission should be convened to understand the insurrection, (4) continuing the big lie is an ongoing threat to democracy.  In a 5/6/2021 Washington Post Op-Ed Liz Cheney made the case that the GOP may be irrevocably harming itself in the eyes of Americans by ignoring Trump’s offenses against the basic democratic principles that underpin the country. She made it clear that the GOP is “at a turning point.” The party must choose truth and fidelity to the Constitution, or blind fidelity to the Trump scam.

The Future? 

The message is clear, Liz Cheney is about to be voted out of her leadership position, Mitt Romney the Republican presidential candidate in 2012 was booed at a recent GOP function, and Adam Kinzinger is being primaried.  Donald Trump will continue as a driving force in the Republican Party for an unknown period of time. Traditional conservatives like Liz Cheney, Mitt Romney, and Adam Kinzinger’s are defending a vision of the Republican Party that is gone, if it ever did exist.  These few crusaders have put principle over personal loyalty to an ex-president, but I personally think they will be left to wander in the wilderness until Donald Trump’s hold on the party is broken.

David Shadrick “Ponders The Future Of The GOP”

David Shadrick “Ponders The Future Of The GOP”

Dave is ba-a-a-c-c-k-k! In this week’s videocast Dave takes a look at the GOP. The GOP has over the last several years identified itself with white supremacists, big money, voter suppression,  and an anti-government movement. How much longer can a political party supporting such an offensive platform continue as a viable force in U.S. politics.

It Is More Than Just Politics In 2020

It Is More Than Just Politics In 2020

D. S. Mitchell

The Blogosphere

Writing for Calamity News and Politics gives me a platform to discuss headline events and political policy. It also provides me a place to vent and fume. If somebody doesn’t like the drum I’m beating, they are fully able, and encouraged to move on; to a site that better satisfies their social view of the world.

My Son

“Don’t get so wound up, it’s just politics”, my son recently told me.  Well, whether I’m saying it to my son, or to a potential reader, or to a neighbor, that is the wrong attitude. In the end, politics is policy, and policy effects everything in our lives. Schools, hospitals, parks, highways, airports, waterways, international trade, health care, military defense and social justice to name just a few.  Nearly every part of our daily life is effected in someway by the policies that our elected officials enact in Washington, D.C., or our state capitols. Got it?

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OPINION: Rules For Thee, Not For Me

OPINION:

RULES FOR THEE, NOT FOR ME

By Trevor K. McNeil

Power Of Perception

Perception can be powerful. As Mark Twain said, give someone a reputation as “an early riser” and he can stay in bed until noon. Though, as with most things powerful, such perceptions can also be exceedingly dangerous. Like the “honest man” who turns out to be a con man or thief. Or the “quiet guy” who turns out to be a serial killer. Perceptions, especially unverified ones, make it very easy to deceive, particularly ourselves. Such is the case with American Isolationism.

Divided We Stand

The idea of American independence goes back to the beginning. Not only in terms of the country but with the individual states. At the time of founding, the United in United States was more wishful thinking on the part of the founders than expectation. The reality was less a nation than a loose collection of essentially independent British colonies, each with it’s own local government, and usually a militia group, the British being absentee landlords at best.

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OPINION: Watching Democracy Die

OPINION:

Watching Democracy Die

By D. S. Mitchell

Wisconsin Outrage

Television images captured thousands of voters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin standing in three block long lines, face masks in place, showered intermittently with hail and rain, risking exposure to COVID-19; to exercise their right to vote. This did not need to happen. This should not have happened. Voting should not be an obstacle course. Voting should be one of the easiest things, we as citizens, ever do. It should be as easy as licking an envelope. The vote by mail push is meeting stiff resistance from the far right, particularly from Donald Trump. The politicians fear it would endanger their grip on power. Republicans in Wisconsin, and other states have used voter suppression to shrink the electorate and limit access to the polls for decades.

Anger

I was disgusted at the sight of what was happening in Wisconsin. Furious to my core. So angry, I was crying. Tears are not always shed in weakness, or defeat. Some tears are a physical manifestation of a rage so great that when held back can lead to plate smashing, door slamming, and window breaking. At other times tears are shed because the injustice of events is beyond the understanding of the human heart. In 2018, according to the Brennan Center For Justice “17 million Americans, or 8% of the nation’s electorate, were removed from voting rolls.” The clear intent was to deny particular segments of the population the right to vote.

The Whigs

In the first days of our country there was no such thing as voter registration; white men just showed up and voted. In the mid 1800’s voter registration laws began to emerge. These laws, were designed to limit participation, not encourage involvement.  One of the first voter registration laws in the country was written by New York state Whigs. The Whigs wanted to limit the voting power of Irish Catholic voters in New York City. The Irish were mostly Democratic party voters. But, the Whigs had a plan, and the legislative power to suppress the power of the growing Irish Catholic vote.

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OPINION: “The Least Among You”

OPINION: “The Least Among You”

The Bible and rosary

By Trevor K. McNeil

Misinterpretations

There have long been instances of disagreement when it comes to the interpretation of religious texts. This has happened more with the Bible than most texts, not least because of the multiple translations. One of the oddest interpretations of the story of Jesus so far, aside from  polygamous Mormons and the Snake-handlers who intentionally handle poisonous snakes as an act of devotion, are the Fundamentalist Christian Evangelicals. The fundamentalist groups emerged in the American South in the early 1900’s, and have tried to sway every federal election since. To the point that no one who didn’t at least claim to be Christian has ever had a chance at becoming president.

God in Office

Going back many years there have been American Presidents of a distinctly Christian persuasion. Most were Republicans oddly enough, who have claimed that God chose them to be president. These are also the presidents who have gotten the most Christian support. The most recent leader to make this claim being George W. Bush. While not quite making such claims, a rare instance of humbleness, Donald Trump has a shockingly high level of support from Evangelical Christians. This despite many Republican policies that are in direct conflict with Christian principles. Many so-called Christian Republicans oppose abortion rights on the grounds of “Thou Shalt Not Kill”. Oddly, they support the Death Penalty. The “right to life” apparently ending after one turns 18.

A New Low

Despite often getting a lot of things wrong the Evangelical Right out did themselves with their support for President Trump. It is not an exaggeration to say that Trump is the most sinful president in American history. From a purely religious perspective Trump has almost no redeeming qualities. Trump has never been seen going to church. He avowed no particular religion until starting to get support from the Christian right. The president has been married more than once, a big no-no if one actually takes the Bible literally, and is a serial adulterer.

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Lies About Medicare For All

Lies About Medicare For All

By D. S. Mitchell

 

Drop The Labels

Honest health care policy experts know that the solution to fix the American health care system is staring us in the face, and it is single-payer. Whether dubbed “Medicare-for-All” or an “expansion of Medicaid” through ObamaCare. The solution is easy when labels like “socialism” “liberalism” “progressivism” are ignored. Trump and his DOJ is in court at this very moment trying to invalidate the ACA (ObamaCare). It seems that the more resistance Republicans arouse over destroying ObamaCare the voices for Medicare-for-All grows louder.

Health Care As A Right

The evidence is clear, Americans believe that every person has a right to health care, irrespective of their ability to pay. We as a people, believe that we have an obligation to take care of each other. In fact, there is more momentum for the adoption of a single-payer health care system than at any time in our history.

Scuttle Safety Net

Despite its enormous popularity and unparalleled record of success Republicans are neck-deep in their war against the nation’s health care safety net, whether it is Medicare, Medicaid or the ACA.  New Republican proposals have emerged since the 2016 election that would slash benefits for the elderly and leave older Americans at the mercy of the “for profit” insurance industry.

Voucher Plans

When Paul Ryan was Speaker of the House he was extremely vocal in his attacks against both Medicaid and Medicare. He supported a voucher program that would transfer more costs on to seniors and leave them at the mercy of the private insurance industry.  Just because Ryan is gone, doesn’t mean that the Republicans have jettisoned that philosophy. The actions to undermine Medicare and Medicaid are ongoing and must be stopped.  It is not just about protecting our existing Medicare system, it is about ensuring that every citizen has access to excellent health care as a right. In such a system it definitely works best when “everybody is in, and nobody is out.”

An American Tragedy

It is believed one hundred Americans die everyday from the lack of health insurance. That is over 30,000 unnecessary deaths each year and that number is expected to grow steadily over the next decade. This is an American tragedy.

Republican Tax Scam

The Republican tax scam was hard on American health care. Millions remain uncovered and millions more are losing coverage due to increased cost for insurance brought on by the elimination of the ACA insurance “mandate”. The insurance mandate was a device used by the ACA plan to expand the pool of healthy people in the system to keep prices down.

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The Electoral College Problem

The Electoral College Problem

By D. S. Mitchell

Losing While Winning

I believe whoever wins the most popular votes should become president of the United States. Unfortunately, with the Electoral College system that is not what happens. Twice in the last five elections the candidate that became president of the United States lost the popular vote. Donald Trump, won by less than 80,000 votes in four key electoral college states. He simultaneously lost the national popular vote by nearly 3 million votes.

The GOP Solution

The Electoral College system has become a tool for the Republicans in their effort to lock in one party control of government. Elie Mystal in a recent editorial in The Nation magazine wrote the GOP solution to changing demographics is to “forge a new theory of government where the rule by a white minority can withstand the popular will”. The nature of that effort was clear during Trump’s recent impeachment trial. Republicans desperate to acquit Trump wrapped their arms around a group of discredited legal theories. The Senators embraced a view of executive power and privilege, that ultimately denies our democracy and anoints a king.

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Our Primary Responsibility

Our Primary Responsibility

By Wes Hessel

We Have A Choice To Make

The run up to the presidential election, this year on November 3rd is two tiered. The last pair of events in the process are the conventions of the two main political parties, where they nominate their candidates for president. Interestingly, the delegates to those conventions are chosen by a system of state primaries and caucuses.

Primarily Choosing Or, Caucus Talk-ups

To clarify the nominating process; most states hold primary elections,  a few others hold caucuses. Presidential primary elections are held by the states that have them, with primary elections for state, county or municipal offices. Caucuses however, are “private” events, run by the party whose delegates are being chosen.

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