Drunk & Disorderly

On the Docket of a Colorado Criminal Defense Attorney

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Cabinet of Adorables

 

I’m just a plainspoken Colorado criminal defense lawyer, but the way I see it…

Near as I can tell, these are the key things to know about the new Republican President’s members of the Cabinet (with thanks to NBC News):

Vice President Mike Pence

  • Master of the steely-eyed gaze, though CNN and other top fake news outlets report it’s probably the result of a medical condition.
  • Persuaded Syrian refugees they’d like Illinois much better than Indiana.
  • Treats gays no better and no worse than any other lesbian, bi, or transgender pervert.
  • Converted to Republican Party after listening to Ronald Reagan, though because he was only a teenager when he heard Reagan say, “By golly, I’m the richest man in six counties,” he might not have understood Bedtime for Bonzo was only a movie.
  • Never did become a billionaire anyway.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

  • Personal friend of President Putin, so knows his way around presidents.
  • No government or public service experience, so he knows his way around our President.
  • Only half a billionaire (though who knows how much he’s got in Russia).

Secretary of Defense James Mattis

  • Marine general, but retired, so isn’t sure it’s “Oorah!” or “Rahoo!”
  • Wishes President Trump would call him “Mad Dog” maybe only every other time.
  • Agrees with Congress that civilian control of military just a silly old cornerstone of American democracy.
  • Disagrees with President and Tillerson that Russia isn’t really a threat but more of a business opportunity.
  • The “Warrior Monk” is a mere millionaire.

Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin

  • Knows almost as much about going bankrupt as his new boss.
  • Said he would make sure any issues about the President’s foreign debts would go away as soon as possible.
  • Gained a lot of good experience by foreclosing on loads of active-duty military families.
  • Hopes that will make up for otherwise no government experience.
  • Barely worth three hundred million dollars.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

  • Can’t understand those Democrats who think he won’t defend minority groups just because he never has before.
  • Thinks LGBTQ folk already have way too many protections and letters.
  • All those racist comments he made when running for judge were just because he didn’t really want the job.
  • Another near pauper with six million bucks to spend.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo

  • Not really in favor of waterboarding, though might bring it back for old times’ sake, but would like to hear more about those “other torture things” the President mentioned.
  • Agrees Russians interfered with U.S. election, but how else you gonna explain what happened?
  • Support for mass surveillance of everyday Americans made him the perfect candidate for top spy.
  • Keeping his net worth a secret, just to prove he can keep a secret.

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross

  • When asked about his public service, asked, “What’s public service?”
  • Never met a subprime mortgage he didn’t like.
  • Perfect for overseeing bankruptcies.
  • Billionaire, natch.

Secretary of Health & Human Services Tom Price

  • Would implement Republicans’ Obamacare replacement plan, if only they had one.
  • Says the health care industry legislation he sponsored or co-sponsored during alleged insider trading deals were just forty-four lucky coincidences.
  • Promises to give everyone access to health care, even if they can’t actually get any.
  • Two-figure multimillionaire.

Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao

  • Already been in Labor, time to get moving.
  • Is there no one who doesn’t like this person?
  • Oh, wait…she’s married to Mitch McConnell.
  • This person is a saint.
  • She’s got twenty-four million dollars, but it’s not her fault: her dad was a shipping magnate — another reason she’s perfect for Transportation.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos

  • Already agreed to do the job before learning it had something to do with public education.
  • Felt better when realized she’d be able to get the public to pay for private schools.
  • Felt even better when somebody suggested she might even de-fund public schools altogether.
  • Came perilously close to a principled stand the other day.
  • Yup, billionaire.

Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly

  • Retired Marine four-star general.
  • Goes where no military man has gone before.
  • Must keep straight face while implementing the President’s immigration proposals.
  • Don’t tell Trump, but thinks the idea of walling off Mexico hilarious.
  • Millionaire.

Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin

  • Promoted from Undersecretary of Veterans Affairs.
  • First Trump guy unanimously approved.
  • Actually a real doctor, if not a real veteran.
  • A millionaire, but only just.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley

  • Pledged to speak up when she disagrees with President Trump, but then heard he’s going around firing people who disagree with him.
  • Relieved to learn the President doesn’t really talk much with his Cabinet anyway.
  • Would have warned him about that two-state Israel/Palestine thing if Trump really did talk much with his Cabinet.
  • Doesn’t support a Muslim registry, but may have thought they were talking about a wedding registry.
  • Not even two million dollars.

Administrator of the EPA Scott Pruitt

  • Sued the EPA more times than Elizabeth Taylor sued for divorce.
  • Promises to reconsider his crusade to destroy the EPA.
  • Believes the climate changes, but people can’t do anything about it.
  • Loves oil.
  • Really, really loves oil.
  • Five million dollars at best.

Budget Director Mick Mulvaney

  • Tea Party guy, welcome to the T Party.
  • Would rather shut down the government than increase the budget, and brother, shutting down the government sounds good to me lately.
  • Forgot to budget pesky payroll taxes for the nanny, but promises to do better with the national purse.
  • Three million Washingtons.

Administrator of the Small Business Administration Linda McMahon

  • Literally the only appointment the President has wrestled over.
  • Been trying to get to Washington for years, but failed in two Senatorial bids.
  • Donated five million dollars to the Donald J. Trump Foundation, millions more to Republican candidates.
  • Co-founder of World Wrestling Entertainment — fake sport.
  • Ten years ago, her husband, Vince, “wrestled” Donald Trump, using seconds, the winner of the match to shave the loser’s head. Because it was a fake sport, Donald won.
  • They called it the Battle of the Billionaires.
  • They’re all still billionaires. There are more to come.

If only Vince had won, and shaved Donald’s stupid orange hair, who knows?

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Human Rights Redux

 

I’m just a plainspoken Colorado criminal defense lawyer, but the way I see it…

The Amnesty International Annual Report on human rights followed hard on the heels of the similar work by Human Rights Watch I wrote about last month.

“2016,” says Amnesty International, “saw the idea of human dignity and equality, the very notion of a human family, coming under vigorous and relentless assault from powerful narratives of blame, fear and scapegoating, propagated by those who sought to take or cling on to power at almost any cost.”

In case you spent all of 2016 prepping your appearance on “Dancing with the Stars,” as Hillary Clinton apparently did, they’re talking about places like Aleppo, “pounded to dust by air strikes and street battles;” Yemen; Myanmar; mass murder in South Sudan; Turkey; Bahrain — and the rise of hate speech in the United States, contributing to a world that in 2016 “became a darker and more unstable place.”

It takes Amnesty International’s four-hundred-nine-page report all of three paragraphs to get to the foremost cheerleader of vile vocalization.

It marks the election of Donald Trump following a campaign of frequent deeply divisive misogynistic and xenophobic statements, of promises to roll back established civil liberties and introduce policies “profoundly inimical to human rights.”

In other words, Amnesty International won’t be invited to any White House press briefings anytime soon.

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Fake Out

 

I’m just a plainspoken Colorado criminal defense lawyer, but the way I see it…

I recently heard the new Republican President describe himself, with the degree of humility to which he if not the nation has grown accustomed, as the most Presidential of heads of state in history, with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln.

And so it was heartening to read these words of Lincoln, possibly even more Presidential than his party successor, urging the electorate to give him four more years in the midst of civil war:

While the people retain their virtue, and vigilance, no administration, by any extreme of wickedness or folly, can very seriously injure the government, in the short space of four years.

So how bad can it be when the leader of the Free World labels the media — specifically the New York Times, NBC News, ABC, CBS, and CNN (isolating those fakes from their more distinguished brethren Breitbart News and Alex Jones) — the enemy of the American people.

You know what we do with the enemies of the American people.

Maybe one, or two, reporters will be assassinated as a direct result of criminal incitement to violence by the President of the United States. Half a dozen, tops.

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Declaration of Independence

 

I’m just a plainspoken Colorado criminal defense lawyer, but the way I see it…

I rarely write of purely political things in this blog, except to the extent they touch on criminal justice and human rights.

I’m not a Democrat, I’m not a Republican; I’m not any kind of ‘crat or ‘can, other than an American.

But we hold these truths to be self-evident:

  • That no woman is created to be the involuntary plaything of a wealthy boor.
  • That old men in Washington neither have dominion over young women’s bodies.
  • That old men in Washington who also by chance are wealthy boors have even less unwanted access to young women’s bodies.
  • That religious affiliation is not the test of a patriot.
  • That Americans don’t build walls; we tear them down.
  • That torture is the tool of the terrorist.
  • That the value of a human life is not related to the value of his, or her, or zir financial portfolio.
  • That a Supreme Court held hostage by a political party is no longer supreme.
  • That the White House is not a Green House of greed.
  • That men and women did not sacrifice their lives for this country so that their President could boast of the size of his crowds, or the size of his anything else.

The new American president is a pig who isn’t worth his own droppings.

I happen to be reading Bob Dylan’s memoirs. Dylan has a particularly fine version of his own hero, Woody Guthrie’s, anthem to America. It’s on the Bootleg Series 7 album, the soundtrack from Martin Scorsese’s Dylan performance film, “No Direction Home.” It’s on Apple Music, probably Spotify, almost certainly at your local library. It might even be closer to hand.

Find it. It may sustain you. Whoever you are, whatever you believe, whatever gender, color, sexual preference, this land is your land. This land was made for you and me.

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The Ugliest American

 

I’m just a plainspoken Colorado criminal defense lawyer, but the way I see it…

For the first time, Human Rights Watch warns a great threat to civil and political rights is a democracy and its leader — ours. “(M)any U.S. laws and practices,” it declares, “particularly in the areas of criminal and juvenile justice, immigration, and national security, violate internationally recognized human rights.”

Its World Report 2017 cites the “misogynistic, xenophobic, and racist rhetoric” of Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign, and “Trump’s embrace of policies that would cause tremendous harm to vulnerable communities, contravene the United States’ core human rights obligations, or both.”

Human Rights Watch decried Trump campaign proposals to deport millions of unauthorized immigrants, bring back torture, and “load up” Guantanamo Bay.

Those spoilsports.

President Donald Trump was elected by only a bare three million votes shy of a clear majority of voters, and by a landslide of Russian and Klan leaderships.

At six-three, two hundred thirty-six pounds, he is the smallest man ever elected President of the United States.

His inauguration was the strangest of my lifetime, probably yours too. The President-elect walked behind a ridiculously long tie: if his pants ever fell down his privates would still be protected from his public.

His was a graceless inaugural address, punctuated with cocaine sniffling.

“We assembled here today,” he sniffed, “are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, and in every foreign capital and in every hall of power. From this day forward it’s going to be only ‘America first! America first!’”

Those assembled there today included:

  • The first African-American President warmly greeting the first President enthusiastically supported — hell, even heiled — by the Ku Klux Klan and the neo-Nazi alt-right.
  • A dour/sour Hillary Clinton, for some reason refusing to answer shouted press questions about “How do you feel?”
  • The strikingly blonde Trump woman and boys — after eight hard years at last the Aryan nation again.
  • The eight members of the Supreme Court, one shy of a full set by malfeasance of the United States Congress.
  • The authentic Stetsoned war criminal Dick Cheney.
  • G.W. Bush, looking ebullient at the prospect he will no longer be remembered as the worst president in United States history.

“Now arrives the hour of action,” the new President tooted as though introducing a new season of “The Apprentice.”

President Trump assured us, “We will be protected by God.” Presumably God too is an America-firster. She’d better be.

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