No, Bill Clinton did not commit perjury

“You damned liberals complaining that Trump needs to be impeached! Why didn’t you want Bill Clinton impeached when he committed perjury — a felony!”

Look, I’m aware that conservatives have a reputation for ignoring facts when they get in the way of their world view — evolution and climate change aren’t real, trickle-down economics works, sexual orientation is a choice — but not only was Bill Clinton not convicted of perjury, he couldn’t be.4571618_orig

Yes, the House impeached him, because he lied about a consensual sexual affair he had with another adult. “Lying under oath is perjury!” they all scream. But no, it isn’t.

Perjury requires lying under oath about something relevant and material to a criminal investigation. If under oath you say your favorite color is blue when it’s really yellow, you’ve lied — but if your favorite color has nothing to do with a crime, then you haven’t committed perjury.

Adultery is not illegal. There was no “criminal investigation.” Republicans investigated both Clintons, over and over again, trying to find something — anything — they could get them on, and this was the only thing they could come up with. And impeachment doesn’t require anything more than enough politicians willing to impeach you.

Bill Clinton was never charged with perjury. No DA would file such frivolous charges, since clearly he hadn’t committed a crime. Is he a liar? Oh, absolutely. But he lied about something that really isn’t our business.

Meanwhile, Trump pretty much admits to Obstruction of Justice — an actual, real crime that has huge impact on our legal system — and Republicans yawn.  Since the GOP controlled the House under Clinton and Trump, and since they happily went after Clinton for his alleged non-crime, then surely they should be bringing impeachment charges against Trump for something much more severe right?

What? They’re not? Why, that would mean that they’re a bunch of lying hypocrites who are placing party above country!

(NOTE:  I know Bill Clinton is old news, but people keep bringing it up to distract from Trump. So feel free to bookmark this and send it to your Republican friends when they bring it up.

Not that it will matter. As we know, facts never convince them.)

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Kathy Griffin, Hypocrites, and the First Amendment

Comedian Kathy Griffin recently posted a picture of herself holding a severed bloody Trump head.

In comparison to all the crap conservatives posted about Obama — including actual death threats — it was mild, but still provocative. screen_shot_2017-05-30_at_1.47.48_pm_-_h_2017

Of course, that was the point, wasn’t it? Provocative? Isn’t that what comedians sometimes are like?

Immediately, GOP members without any sense of irony screamed about how inappropriate it was. “But the children may see it!” they yelled. Griffin lost some jobs, was criticized all over the internet, and many said she should be arrested for this.

Because, you know, if there’s one thing conservatives love, it’s America. They just hate what it stands for — you know, like that damned First Amendment, which is meaningless if it only protects speech we all agree with.

Then — and here is where you roll your eyes — GOP members who complained that the photo would harm children are now running that photo in campaign ads on prime time TV.

Why, it’s almost as if they really don’t care about the children at all and are merely blatant hypocrites!

“We must have universal healthcare”

With Democrats once more calling for a “medicare for all” plan instead of the terrible Trumpcare plan, one turns to the words of a famous politician — clearly, a socialist — who said this in one of his books:

17492709_1295588670523738_3509627591843698950_o

Man, I bet Trump must hate this person, with those liberal views. Who would dare argue that universal healthcare is necessary? Hmmm.  It seems that this is from a best-seller called “The America We Deserve” by that radical socialist Donald Trump.

The moral of this story isn’t that Trump actually feels this way. It’s that he has no positions whatsoever, says whatever gets him the most attention, and lies constantly.

Sean Spicer’s Training

“Mr. Spicer: As the President’s Press Secretary, what you say carries a lot of weight. So let’s try this again.  Just read the release.”

“President Trump’s budget proposal cuts funding for Meals on Wheels. Muahahahaha!”

“Right, but remember what I said — please try to read this without adding the evil laughter at the end.”Badman

“Okay, I’ll try again. Hmmm. President Trump’s budget proposal cuts funding for Meals on Wheels.  Hrmmmmm. How was that?”

“Better, but the wringing of your hands and the hunched over posture don’t really convey trust. Here — stand up straight, don’t laugh, and try putting it into your own words.”

“Thanks to President Trump, we will no longer help starving poor old ladies since there is no financial benefit to us in return.”

“Yes. Well. That certainly summarizes the Trump position perfectly, but maybe we should move on. Go to the next talking point.”

“All right. Let’s see.  Funding for the Arts has been reduced as well as funding for PBS. How was that?”

“When did you grow a mustache?”

“The Environmental Protection Agency’s budget will be cut by almost a third, effectively killing its power to accomplish anything.”

“And the top hat?  Where did that come from?”

“Education funding is slashed unless you’re a rich kid going to a private school in which case we’re going to give all sorts of tax credits to your rich parents.”

“Stop twirling your mustache while you talk!”

“No more science! Cut! Transit? Forget it. Anything that helps people who aren’t already rich? Muhahahaha! Deal with it, suckers! We know you didn’t vote for us, but we don’t give a shit! Widows, orphans, the sick? When was the last time you contributed to the Republican party? Fools! Feel our wrath!”

“You’re really freaking me out now! I’m out of here. This isn’t working. Oh, but one final comment.”

“Yes?”

“At least you’re finally being truthful.”

Can Obama sue Trump?

Trump is usually the one randomly suing everyone, but lately people have been asking if Obama can sue Trump for the lies he’s been telling about him.

The short answer is “No.”

The long answer is “Noooooooooooooooooo.”

Defamation includes libel (written) and slander (spoken). In order to win a case, you have to prove three things:

First, that the statement was false. This is usually the easiest thing to prove, but sometimes the thing being said is merely an opinion. trump-liar“Joe is a jerk” is not true or false. “Joe is a pedophile” is a lie.

But there’s even more to it than that — you have to show that the person who made the statement knew that it was false or said it with reckless disregard as to whether it was true. (If it actually was true, then we stop there. Truth is always a defense against libel and slander).

In this case, the argument would be that no matter how much Trump believes it to be true, it just isn’t. Just like his belief that Obama wasn’t born in America, or that millions of people voted illegally, or practically anything else that pops into his brain that he tweets out that have no correlation to reality. Trump has a reckless disregard for the truth, and that means that he can’t use as a defense that he reasonably thought it was true.

And to make it even more difficult, the standard for celebrities and politicians is even higher than it is for a private citizen. You have to show that not only was the statement false and that the person knew it was false, but that they said it with malicious intent — they wanted to harm the other person, and weren’t just repeating some rumor or something. (Since almost everything Trump says has malicious intent, this requirement may be meant.)

So if you can show that the statement was a lie, you still have a ways to go.

The second thing is to show that other people believed it. If someone calls you a martian, then that’s clearly a lie. But if no one believes them, then what’s the point? The lie has to be believed by others, and by lots of others. The fact that a bunch of idiots who watch Fox News believe a lie doesn’t mean much — those people believe anything.

Finally, you have to show that you were seriously harmed in some way and not just insulted. You need to show that because of the lie, you lost your job and people are throwing bricks at your house and spitting on you as you walk down the street. You have to prove damage.

So if someone says “Joe is gay” and it’s not true and the person who said it knows that it’s not true, you’ve met the first burden. If everyone believes it, then you’ve met the second burden. But if no one cares and you aren’t harmed in the slightest other than perhaps being upset or embarrassed or insulted, then you have no case.

I don’t think Obama was harmed in the slightest by the latest Trump lie. The people who hate Obama still do, and those of us who have a brain still don’t believe anything Trump says.

So let me clarify:  Can Obama sue trump? Sure, anyone can sue anyone. Does he have a chance of winning?  Nah.

 

 

The post-factual world

You know what is the most depressing thing about politics today? It’s that facts don’t matter.
 
I spent my life and career learning how to debate using facts and logic as my weapons and none of that matters any more.
 

The President and his followers lie and state what they believe even when it is blatantly false, when it can be shown clearly and without a doubt to be false, and no one cares. They believe anyway.

The unemployment rate is 42%. The murder rate is higher than it’s been in 40 years. 3 million illegals voted in the election. People believe the shit coming out of Trump’s mouth!

 trump-liar
cartoon by Bill Day

This is why we can’t win arguments with them, and why we have to learn a new way to win in politics.  Clearly, being honest and true doesn’t work any more.

This is also why I keep saying we need to stop being so damn nice. We have to stop being the smart kid who gets beaten up by the bully. Sure, we’re right, but we keep losing.

And the sad thing is that there are intelligent conservatives out there who know perfectly well this is all bullshit but they let Trump get away with it so they can accomplish their own personal goals of dismantling the EPA or destroying the public schools or getting rid of regulations on Wall Street. They’re not stupid like Trump and the rubes who believe his lies. They’re just plain evil for allowing it to happen.

Now, I’m not saying stoop to their level. Don’t be evil. Don’t lie. I’m saying hit them back hard, laugh at them (they hate that) and fight them every step of the way.

Don’t let the bullies win.

President fails Civics 101

Yesterday’s angry Trump Tweet showed clearly that the man whose job it is to oversee our government is completely unqualified for the position.

trump-tweet-judge-visa-ban

Yeah, how dare a judge (or in this case, six of them so far) declare that what Trump was doing was unconstitutional? Where does that judge get such an absurd idea — the Constitution?

Our President couldn’t pass a fifth grade civics course. If he were one of the refugees fleeing terrorism, he would fail the basic US citizenship test. As many of us said throughout the campaign, the man is the most unqualified person ever to run for President, and now he is the most unqualified President ever.

And it’s not like this is some left-wing spin against the man, with fake news. He proves it himself, every day, as he posts his angry tweets and speaks on things he has no knowledge of or even a desire to learn about. Just ask Frederick Douglass — I’m sure he’s around to tell you.

The fact is that Trump does not have the power to just ignore US laws (not to mention US treaties) and unilaterally decide our immigration policy, nor can he limit it to one religion. (Oh, come now, don’t give me that argument that it’s about countries when these are all Muslim countries and Trump himself has referred to it as a “Muslim ban” — he even uses the word “ban” in the tweet above. And I’m not even going to spend time showing that none of the countries chosen have been the source of terrorism in the US, while the countries that have are not part of the ban — remember, those other countries do business with Trump.)

Our so-called President is mad at this “so-called judge” (to use his words) who was appointed by that mad liberal George W. Bush. Then again, let’s remember the words of George W. Bush here: “The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don’t represent peace. They represent evil and war.”

But expecting our current so-called President to understand that? Why, that would require him to know something. And he clearly has no desire to learn.

By my count, there’s been six rulings already on this (and an appeal late last night), and not one has gone Trump’s way. Can all the judges, both liberal and conservatives, be completely wrong about the Constitution that they’ve spent their adult lives studying — or can Lord Dampnut be correct? You choose!