Archive for the ‘government’ Category

Collectors of Classified Documents

January 25, 2023

Collectors of Classified Documents

When leaving the White House, everybody takes home some souvenir secret documents. It seems like that, anyway. Trump had 300. Ex-VP Biden had a few. Now it turns out that ex-Veep Mike Pence had some back home in Indiana, too. It’s a questionable hobby.

The federal government began the modern system of document classification in 1951, updating it in 1953 and 2009. Maybe the FBI also needs to search the homes of Harry Truman, Alben Barkley, Ike, Nixon, JFK, LBJ, Hubert Humphrey, Spiro Agnew, Gerald Ford, Nelson Rockefeller, Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Dan Quayle, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, George W. Bush,  Dick Cheney, and Barack Obama.

Kamala Harris, take heed.

More:

“Trump Angrily Orders Pence to Return All Classified Documents to Mar-a-Lago,” Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

Updates:

See? We told you.

“Classified records pose conundrum stretching back to Carter,” Zeke Miller, Farnoush Amiri, Colleen Long, and Jill Colvin, Associated Press

“US National Archives asks ex-presidents to check for classified papers,” Hugo Lowell, The Guardian

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Congress Moves From Comedy to Tragedy

January 12, 2023

Congress Moves From Comedy to Tragedy

The careening clown car of the House Republican majority has finally put Kevin McCarthy behind the wheel as Speaker, so the comedy ends, and the tragedy begins. Politico’s Jesús Rodríguez likens Rep. McCarthy’s positon to various Shakespearian princes, but it’s really really closer to Marlowe or Goethe; not Hamlet or Macbeth but Faustus. Mr. McCarthy has clearly made a secret pact with the Devil.

The 55-page House Rules Package is evil enough, but it turns out there’s a secret 3-page addendum that the GOP majority passed, sight unseen. Was it written it blood? Probably. It lists McCarthy’s specific concessions to the MAGA Freedom Caucus terrorists who spent a week blocking his speakership.

What’s in the secret addendum? No GOP rep will even concede that it exists; that’s the first rule of far-right fight club.

If Kevin McCarthy won’t live up to its unspecified terms, the Feedom Caucus cabal won’t steal his soul, but they’ll call a snap vote and remove him as Speaker. For Mr. McCarthy, that will be Hell enough.

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Image (based on paraphrase of UT football coach Darrell Royal) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,NotionsCapital.com

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Election Day, November 8, 2022

November 8, 2022

Election Day, November 8, 2022

If you haven’t already voted by mail, go to your local polling place. If you recieved a mail-in ballot but didn’t get around to sending it in yet, go to your state election board website to check the rules; see if you can mail it at a post office (to get today’s postmark) or put in a ballot dropbox near you. 22 states will accept mail-in ballots postmarked by today. Later, you’ll be able to track your mail-in or provisional ballot.

This is not a test. It counts. Vote.

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com.

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Trump’s 15 Boxes of Stolen Documents

February 10, 2022

Trump's 15 Boxes of Stolen Documents

The National Archives had to retrieve 15 boxes of presidential documents illegally stolen by former president Donald Trump. At least the archivists got a trip to Mar-a-Lago out of that. During his time in office, Mr. Trump continued his habit of ripping up paperwork and throwing it in the trash or on the floor, and the poor shnooks in the presidential records mangement office had to tape them back together to be forwarded to the National Archives. The Presidential Records Act requires the preservation of memos, letters, notes, emails, faxes and other written communications related to a president’s official duties.

From descriptions, it seems like Mr. Trump ripped up papers he didn’t like (such as a letter from Chuck Schumer), and stole the ones he did, like “love letters” from Kim Jong Un. On the other hand, maybe he destroyed the incriminating papers and swiped the ones that incriminated other people, to use as leverage. After all, Trump’s mentor was Roy Cohn.

More:

“National Archives retrieved 15 boxes of Trump White House Documents From Mar-a-Lago,” Kevin Breuninger, CNBC

“Could Trump be prosecuted for his serial Presidential Records Act violations?” Peter Weber, The Week

“National Archives asks Justice Dept. to investigate Trump’s handling of White House records,” Matt Zapotosky, Jacqueline Alemany, Ashley Parker, and Josh Dawsey, Washington Post

“Trump denies flushing documents down White House toilet,” Quint Forgey, Politico

“MyPillow Customer Finds Classified Documents Inside Duvet,” Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

“Trump’s document destruction isn’t something to paper over or shrug off,” Eugene Robinson, Washington Post

“Republicans Who Railed About Clinton Emails Are Quiet on Trump’s Records,” Lisa Lerer and Katie Rogers, New York Times

“Trump records at Mar-a-Lago clearly marked as classified, including documents at ‘top secret’ level,” Jacqueline Alemany, Devlin Barrett, Matt Zapotosky and Josh Dawsey, Washington Post

Updates:

“Archives Found Possible Classified Material in Boxes Returned by Trump,” Reid J. Epstein and Michael S. Schmidt, New York Times

“US House to investigate whether Trump broke law in handling of documents,” Hugo Lowell, The Guardian

“Trump: Return of documents to Archives viewed as routine and ‘no big deal,'” Joseph Choi, The Hill

“Trump Reportedly Clogged White House Toilet With Flushed Documents,” Inae Oh, Mother Jones

“Trump Flushed the Presidential Honor System Down the Toilet,” Jack Shafer, Politico

Related:

Presidential Records (44 U.S.C. Chapter 22), U.S. National Archives and Record Administration

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New Pentagon UFO Program

December 2, 2021

New Pentagon UFO Program

There’s a new UFO program at the Pentagon. The Navy’s Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force is out, and the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group (AOIMSG) is in. The new program will lead all federal Ufology efforts and “assess and mitigate any associated threats to safety of flight and national security.” This will all be led by an Airborne Object Identification and Management Executive Council (AOIMEXEC).

“AOIMEXEC” sounds like an archeological site in Yucatan. And “AOIMSG” is obviously named after a food additive.

More:

“Pentagon creates new group to monitor and ‘mitigate’ threat from UFOs,” Mike Snider, USA Today

“Pentagon silent on whether UFO tracking officials will wear black suits, sunglasses,” Jeff Schogol, Task & Purpose

“The Pentagon gave its new UFO task force the least sexy name possible,” Andrew Paul, Input

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Mitch McConnell Faces the COVID-19 Crisis By Going On Vacation

August 14, 2020
Mitch McConnell Faces the COVID-19 Crisis By Going On Vacation

Pennsylvania Avenue and 7th Street SE, Washington DC

On Thusday, the Senate Republican leadership decided to go on their paid summer vacation, euhemistically called “August Recess,” without agreeing on a new COVID-19 relief bill.

“”If the speaker of the House and the minority leader of the Senate decide to finally let another rescue package move forward for workers and for families, it would take bipartisan consent to meet for legislative business sooner than scheduled,’ Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday.

The reality is that any senator, including the roughly 20 members of McConnell’s own conference who are of the belief that enough action has already been taken to respond to the pandemic’s economic consequences, could block action before Labor Day.”

— “Senate breaks for August recess with no coronavirus deal in sight,” Niels Lesniewski, Roll Call

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Doc Retweeted By Trump Says Government is Run by Reptilians

August 3, 2020
Doc Retweeted By Trump Says Government is Run by Reptilians

Government Lizard People: seeing is believing.

President Donald Trump retweeted Houston physician Stella Immanuel last week, a fellow fancier of debunked “miracle coronavirus cure” hydroxychloroquine. The good doctor also believes there are Lizard People among us:

“In a 2015 video, Immanuel, who leads a religious group called Fire Power Ministries, said: ‘There are people ruling this nation that are not even human,’ describing them as ‘reptilian spirits’ who are ‘half human, half ET.'”

— “Aliens and ‘reptilians’: US viral video doctor’s odd beliefs,” France 24

That explains why Trump spokes-creatures like Stephen Miller focus our fears on ethnic minorities to distract us from their own space alien invasion.

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Image (“Government infested by Reptilians!”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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How to impeach a president

October 3, 2019

Impeachment: Liz Scheltens, Carlos Waters, and Nicholas Garbaty of Vox explain it all to you.

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Elvis & Corporate Welfare

April 18, 2019

The dirt-poor city of Memphis is giving tax breaks to Graceland.

“So why, you might ask, is a city that regularly ranks among the nation’s poorest giving several hundred million dollars in tax breaks to a long-dead rock star’s house museum where the cheapest ticket costs $41?”

— “This Has to Be One of the Most Ridiculous Corporate Welfare Deals in Quite Some Time,” Henry Grabar, Slate

 

Video: “Money Honey,” written by Jesse Stone, recorded by Elvis Presley, 1956.

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Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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