Thursday, February 16, 2017
Another Despicable - Andy Puzder-- Bites The Dust As Trumpies Go Ape Shit Over Leaks
Tens of thousands of actual hard working people rejoiced today as the second cabinet level pick in three days went down n flames: the despicable turd named Andy Puzder. This is the asshole Trump had named as Labor Secretary who was anything but friendly to labor, and who paid millions for cheesy ads with half clad chicks when he could have paid higher wages to his Carl's Jr. workers. He is also the character who said he'd rather have robots working for him because they never get sick, or take time off and you wouldn't have to pay overtime or benefits.
Puzder, Donald Dump's controversial choice to run the Department of Labor, withdrew his nomination as questions about his byzantine business interests, details about his acrimonious divorce and revelations that he employed an undocumented immigrant as a housekeeper mounted.
Interestingly it wasn't Dems who scuttled Puzder’s nomination (they didn't have the numbers) but the Republicans, who grew increasingly concerned about his background and business record. Especially after a 27-year old tape from an Oprah show surfaced on Politico, featuring his wife at the time describing how Puzder dragged her around, beat her severely (leaving her with two ruptured cervical discs) and warned if she got uppity he'd "see her in the gutter". Jeez, maybe the son of a bitch was practicing for how he'd like to treat his future workers at Carl's Jr. Yuh think? (Note: his ex wife recanted but the tape remains as fairly good evidence that what she was relating wasn't just made up. Readers ought to check it out for themselves.)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren had this to say after viewing the tape:
"I have watched the episode in which she appeared and I believe every Senator should. I found it extraordinarily troubling alongside his company's poor record of treatment of female employees, his highly explicit and sexualized ads and his snide comments about sex discrimination. There is ample evidence that Mr. Puzder is a terrible choice ."
Puzder, the chief executive of CKE Restaurants, the billion-dollar parent company of the fast food chains Carl’s Jr and Hardee’s, was due to appear before the Senate health, education, labor and pensions committee on Thursday- after a series of delays. However, in a statement issued on Wednesday afternoon Puzder said he was withdrawing his nomination: “While I won’t be serving in this administration, I fully support the president and his highly qualified team.” Right, a highly qualified team dedicated to destroying the agencies to which they've been appointed by president Dump.
Much of the basis for Pudzy's withdrawal can be traced to activist protests across the nation - featuring many workers from Hardee's and Carl's Jr, including some dressed up as robots. Others carried signs of protest that provided horrific optics for the putative backers in the Senate, e.g.
It also didn't hurt that cause that Sen. Elizabeth Warren sent a blistering letter to Puzder Monday in which she charged him with "a sneering contempt for the workers in your stores and a vehement opposition to the laws you will be charged with enforcing." Indeed, workers say that wage theft, discrimination, and sexual harassment are rampant at Puzder's chains. Those allegations are backed up by publicly available data . But again, it was his wife beating antics that got him to finally pull out, confirming he's as despicable as the two other female assaulters, Steve Bannon and pussy grabber Trump himself.
Incredibly even the conservative magazine the National Review published an editorial titled “No to Puzder”. The magazine railed against Puzder’s support for “comprehensive immigration reform” and argued that in light of the series of unflattering revelations, “his case for confirmation had diminished to the point of disappearing."
Who'd have thought?
Meanwhile, Trump and his lackeys and media whores (like former BushCo toady Fran Townsend) are now trying to portray the intel leakers as the criminals. The zany fake news Breitbart -style media are also spinning that Mike Flynn was some kind of upstanding citizen - as opposed to a felonious rat who violated the Logan Act- and blamed "leakers" for the whole fiasco. Trump himself, now evidently suffering from Alzheimer's scale memory loss on top of his other mental deficits, also blamed "the intelligence agency leakers, the fake media, and Hillary supporters" for Flynn's demise. Evidently forgetting that only a day earlier he asserted Flynn had lost his trust and so was removed.
But let's understand that nearly all criminal administrations (like Nixon's) start out by laying the blame on the leakers, then go too far and end up snaring themselves in their pursuit of the leakers. As John Dean (fmr. Nixon attorney) pointed out last night on 'All In'
"Watergate itself was very much born in leaks. It was the setting up of the so-called plumbers unit that was investigating leaks for Nixon that had Howard Hunt and Gordon Liddy - the two principal guys that organized it, that led to the eventual exposure.. The reason the White House was involved in Watergate was because of the things they were involved in while working at the White House, mainly breaking into Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office trying to find out if he was up to more leaks.
It all started with the White House obsession with stopping leaks. Now we have another President who seems equally obsessed. Hopefully he's learned something from history if he's old enough to remember Watergate, and he'll avoid the kind of leak cures used by Nixon."
"Presidents have to be very open about what they are going to do. They can't have secret squads looking for leakers, or have enemies that they want to punish because of their leaks. It's part of the territory. With Trump it was inevitable because of the way he's been approaching his presidency. He was planning to shake things up, but there are going to be bureaucracies in the White House, National Security Council, permanent staff, Office of Management and Budget. Those people aren't going to like it so this is going to be a very leak-prone presidency. Not to mention what will happen out in those departments and agencies with these cabinet members who want to take apart the agencies they're going to be running. So it's going to be a leak prone presidency. If there's anything that Nixon has taught it is just let it flow."
But, of course, Trump and his minions are too stupid to do that - so they will likely overreach in trying to plug the inevitable leaks like Nixon did. Hell, they can't even adopt which reality they will accept - with Trump blaming "fake media and unfair leaks" when merely 30 hours earlier he laid the blame on Flynn's own untrustworthiness. WTF can't this ass wit make up his mind? Oh wait, he doesn't have one! It's easier to blame the "conspiracy theories" on the intelligence community - the guys watching his back - when HE is the one who has plenty of 'splainin to do. After all, Donald Jr. stated flatly in 2008 to a real estate conference that "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross section of our a lot of our assets...We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia". So why not keep the Russians happy including with collusion to ensure a friendly guy is elected who can keep the dollars pouring in?
Now with the report Trump campaign aides were cozying up to the Russians over the campaign, there's not only smoke, but some hints of fire. After all the Steele dossier exposed a well developed conspiracy managed on the Trump side by Paul Manaforte and Carter Page. To quote Peter Wahner, Senior Fellow at the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center :
"There's smoke here and there's fire, we just don't know the nature of the fire. If there was collusion going on it could lead to the ruination of the Trump presidency"
Hence can only hope that those patriot intelligence officers doing the leaks will continue - placing country over cynical laws, like Snowden did.
Make no mistake those of us who want to get to the bottom of the Trumpian snake pit that passes for a White House, want the leaks to continue unabated - to press further investigation as occurred in Watergate. A recent column in the Columbia Journalism Review was even titled 'Flynn Resignation Shows Leaks Under Trump Are Working - Keep 'Em Coming" The author argued, and I totally agree - as does John Dean- that "leaks to the press are vital to democracy". Indeed they have the same import and value as whistle blowing on the power mongers, especially when they are acting without any transparency.
Even conservative Joe Scarborough on his show commended whoever leaked the information, He said:
"The only reason we're finding out about it now is because a patriot did leak this to the Washington Post. Did get this information out there or else we wouldn't even have known about it."
Of course, the Republican Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee - careful to keep his aide in Trump;s favor to further a despicable agenda - says he will ask the FBI to investigate "the recent rash of leaks". Well, good luck, buddy! But there are some in this land who remain true patriots and will not be deterred by the threats. These leakers, whether from the intel agencies or Trump's own NSC, are freaking PATRIOTS and deserve as many medals as Edward Snowden.
Lastly, the Senate Intelligence Committee led by Sens. Charles Grassley and Dianne Feinstsin have sent a formal letter to the Dept. of Justice requesting transcripts of all of Flynn's Russian communications the FBI has in its possession. The problem? The FBI is now under control of Jess Sessions who used to work in the Trump campaign. The bastard has failed to recuse himself and it is quite evident any guy who worked in the Trumpy campaign is not going to go after it now. I doubt this Johnny Reb from Alabama can be an independent voice for the law - as most of us feared when he was approved.
Fortunately, European Intelligence services have transcripts of all Trump campaign communications dating from August last year. This according to Kurt Eichenwald speaking last night on MSNBC. Thus, even if Sessions' DOJ tries to destroy the key evidence showing collusion, it is bound to turn up from other venues, agencies and still sink the Trump Imperium.
All the signs now point to the need for a totally independent Special Prosecutor, such as we had in the Watergate case. We simply cannot trust Jess Sessions to be independent.
See also :'Let's Consider the Evidence Trump Is A Traitor'
"Trump’s presidency has many of the traits of a criminal enterprise and a financial shakedown operation, masquerading as a democratically elected government."