Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Friday that Democrats have had no contact with Senate Republicans or the Trump administration about stimulus negotiations, just days before the GOP is planning to release their draft bill.
“We have not heard a peep from (Senate Majority Leader Mitch) McConnell or the Republicans or the administration on any proposal, even though we’ve been asking for weeks and weeks and weeks,” Schumer said on a conference call with public workers and advocates pushing for significant state and local funding — a flashpoint of the looming negotiations.
Schumer decried McConnell’s decision to draft the proposal entirely within his own conference, noting that Democratic support will be necessary for any final package to pass the Senate.
“McConnell knows from the previous bills that passed in the Senate he’s got to work across the aisle,” Schumer said.
Citing the past negotiations that produced nearly $3 trillion in emergency federal funding to try and arrest the dual economic and public health crises created by coronavirus, Schumer said that when McConnell has sought to negotiate among only Republicans, “it fails.”
Pressure is mounting for Congress and the White House to pump money back into the American economy still suffering from the pandemic as the virus resurges around the country and many of the emergency measures, including enhanced federal unemployment benefits and the $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program, are set to lapse in the coming weeks.
McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, has taken a methodical approach to the next round of federal aid, in large part because his members have pushed to slow the process down as they watch how previously approved money is spent. Republicans have worked through the last two weeks to pull together the pieces of their legislation, which McConnell has repeatedly said will be focused on three primary issues: “kids, jobs and health care.”
Schumer said he has not seen the two-page summary of a central plank of the Senate GOP plan — liability protections for companies, schools and hospitals that McConnell has said must be included in any final proposal, but did tweak Republicans for its emergence. “I think it’s interesting that the first piece of the first proposal the Republicans are offering is something they negotiated with lobbyists that protects big corporations.”
The proposal, obtained by CNN, has been circulated inside the White House and among GOP senators. It would provide temporary legal protections for organizations that make reasonable efforts to comply with public health guidelines and don’t demonstrate gross negligence. Defendants would have the right to move suits to a federal court, according to the summary document, which would cover the period from December 2019 until 2024.
While Schumer didn’t lay out any red lines of his own specifically, he reiterated that Senate Democrats will push for the $3 trillion stimulus measure, known as the HEROES Act, passed by the House.
“The bottom line is we’re going to fight for the whole HEROES bill period,” Schumer said.
He told Senate Democrats on a private conference call this week there would be no negotiations without House Democrats in the room, according to a person on the call.
Margaret, if you want to know just how deplorable Trumpsters are, this week they elected two indicted criminals, a Nazi and a dead brothel owner. And the fact that most people reading this are asking themselves “which Nazi?” is just bat shit crazy. To be honest, it could have been multiple Nazis, but it’s getting harder and harder to tell the difference between a GOP Congressman and a Nazi these days. Some might be just your run-of-the-mill racists. You know what they say about old, white men standing in front of a flag, pledging allegiance to Donald Trump… they all look alike.
A dead brothel owner. I’m sorry. I just had to say that again. The party of family values elected a dead pimp. Bless their hearts but Republicans are nuttier than squirrel shit.
Now, I know that some of you Democrats out there, especially in Florida, Georgia and Texas, are filling a bit blue today and not in a good Blue Wave way. We’re feeling blue because we fell in love with Andrew, Beto and Stacey and hoped that racists in red states would be standing in line at a Cracker Barrel instead of a polling station. Damn you Cracker Barrel! What happened to your all-you-can-eat chicken fried opossum steak on Tuesdays?
Honestly, it was going to be an uphill battle and we got a bit ahead of ourselves. After all, this is Florida, Georgia and Texas we are talking about. They are GOP red mixed with a little scarlet, crimson, cardinal, ruby, magenta, brick, carmine, rose, vermilion, cerise, coral, and burgundy. The fact that Beto was even in the hunt and the other two are still too close to call is pretty amazing. Sure, it stung. But we really do have a great deal to celebrate. We took back the House. Our wave was big enough to overcome gerrymandering and voter suppression, sending several hundred state and federal members of the GOP packing.
If you are feeling a bit down, maybe this will pick you up. Here are a few of my favorite casualties:
Karen Handel. Remember her? This homophobic, she-devil in wolf’s clothing managed to destroy the otherwise stellar reputation of the Susan G Komen Foundation when she picked a fight with Planned Parenthood. Komen recovered somewhat but it never returned to its former glory. Well, now a Democrat in Georgia named Lucy McBath is my new favorite person and Georgia’s 6th Congressional District’s newest Representative. Kiss my ass Karen. The only organization I liked more than Komen was Planned Parenthood and you damaged one in order to attack the other. Don’t mess with Planned Parenthood. Ever. By the way, McBath ran on more gun control… in Georgia.
Kim Davis. This walking hairball in need of a hairstyle became famous in Kentucky for refusing to give marriage licenses to same sex couples, claiming Jesus told her to hate people. She then crashed a party pretending to be the Pope’s BFF and became the white trash darling for white trash religious nutjobs everywhere when she traveled to Romania to fight gay marriage there. Wait. What? Listen, folks. The cheese slid off this gal’s cracker years ago. Thank goodness that Kentucky Democrats dropped a house on Kim. To be honest, she lost by less than 700 votes, but that was to be expected considering she was related to, married to, divorced by and otherwise had children out of wedlock with a sizable percentage of the male voting population in the county. Hypocrisy is what the GOP now calls a family value.
Jason Lewis. I bet you don’t remember this asshat from Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District unless you’re a slut… I mean a woman… I mean a slut. Lewis complained that political correctness had gotten so bad that he couldn’t even call a woman a slut anymore without getting in trouble. He lost to Democrat Angie Craig. I don’t know you Angie, but I love you regardless of what Jason is most assuredly calling you at this moment.
Jack Phillips. He’s probably the most famous baker in Colorado, but not because his cakes taste good, bad or otherwise. Jack is the Colorado Baker who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple and took his argument all the way to the Supreme Court. He then tried to sue the Governor of Colorado because he didn’t want to bake a pink and blue cake for a transgender woman. Guess what? Jack now has a new Governor in Colorado. His name is Jared Polis and he’s gay. Please, please, please Governor Polis, order your inauguration cake from Jack if for no other reason than shits and giggles.
Kevin Yoder. I know nothing about this congressman from Kansas except he was a Republican in Kansas, which is rarely a good thing. He lost to a Native American woman named Sharice Davids. Now Sharice has a remarkable story and you should read about it. But I don’t want to talk about that now because I am being a little selfish. I just want to sit a minute and imagine Donald Trump watching Fox News on Tuesday when they gave a Democratic pick up seat to a woman who happens to be Native American and who also happens to be a lesbian and a mixed, martial arts fighter. Ah! Sweet mystery of life, at last I’ve found thee… Sharice honey, if you meet the President, please kick him where it counts.
Barbara Comstock. When Florida Parkland Students came to talk to her about gun violence, she refused to meet with them. Barbara lost to Democrat Jennifer Wexton. Bye, bye Barbara. Don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split you.
Listen. I was sad. I wanted Beto as much as anyone. I really did. But here in Texas we picked up so many down ballot Democrats because of Beto that I don’t think being sad is an appropriate way to remember Beto, or Stacey or Andrew. And maybe its not even over for Stacey who is still fighting the good fight. Good luck Stacey. Every vote counts. But no. We can’t be down. We have just too much to be excited about.
Chairman Elijah Cummings, House Oversight Committee
Chairman Adam Schiff, House Intelligence Committee
Chairwoman Maxine Waters, House Financial Services Committee
Chairman Richard Neal, House Ways and Means Committee
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the woman who gave us the Affordable Care Act the last time she had that title
That is huge. We took back the House and turned a huge section of the country blue, while Trump kept Georgia, Florida and Texas red… barely. We changed everything. He changed nothing.
Maybe the Blue Wave wasn’t as big in some parts of the country as others. As it swept from east to west across the country like an invading army of immigrants… no wait. As it swept from east to west, it hit patches of gerrymandering and mountains of voter suppression. But it indeed swept across the country no matter how large or small it seemed at times. One thing we know for sure, if left unchecked, Trump could bring out the worst in all of us. And sadly, he’s proud of that. But then again, he’s an idiot. The blue wave came, and it was big enough. I mean it. Really.
Yuanyuan Zhu was walking to her gym in San Francisco on March 9, thinking the workout could be her last for a while, when she noticed that a man was shouting at her. He was yelling an expletive about China. Then a bus passed, she recalled, and he screamed after it, “Run them over.”
She tried to keep her distance, but when the light changed, she was stuck waiting with him at the crosswalk. She could feel him staring at her. And then, suddenly, she felt it: his saliva hitting her face and her favorite sweater.
In shock, Ms. Zhu, who is 26 and moved to the United States from China five years ago, hurried the rest of the way to the gym. She found a corner where no one could see her, and she cried quietly. “That person didn’t look strange or angry or anything, you know?” she said of her tormentor. “He just looked like a normal person.”
As the coronavirus upends American life, Chinese-Americans face a double threat. Not only are they grappling like everyone else with how to avoid the virus itself, they are also contending with growing racism in the form of verbal and physical attacks. Other Asians-Americans — with families from Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, Myanmar and other places — are facing threats, too, lumped together with Chinese-Americans by a bigotry that does not know the difference.
In interviews over the past week, nearly two dozen Asian-Americans across the country said they were afraid — to go grocery shopping, to travel alone on subways or buses, to let their children go outside. Many described being yelled at in public — a sudden spasm of hate that is reminiscent of the kind faced by Muslim-Americans after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
But unlike 2001, when President George W. Bush urged tolerance of Muslim-Americans, this time President Trump is using language that Asian-Americans say is inciting racist attacks.
Mr. Trump and his Republican allies are intent on calling the coronavirus “the Chinese virus,” rejecting the World Health Organization’s guidance against using geographic locations when naming illnesses, since past names have provoked a backlash.
Mr. Trump told reporters on Tuesday that he was calling the virus “Chinese” to combat a disinformation campaign by Beijing officials saying the American military was the source of the outbreak. He dismissed concerns that his language would lead to any harm.
“If they keep using these terms, the kids are going to pick it up,” said Tony Du, an epidemiologist in Howard County, Md., who fears for his son, Larry, 8. “They are going to call my 8-year-old son a Chinese virus. It’s serious.”
Mr. Du said he posted on Facebook that “this is the darkest day in my 20-plus years of life in the United States,” referring to Mr. Trump’s doubling down on use of the term.
While no firm numbers exist yet, Asian-American advocacy groups and researchers say there has been a surge of verbal and physical assaults reported in newspapers and to tip lines.
San Francisco State University found a 50 percent rise in the number of news articles related to the coronavirus and anti-Asian discrimination between Feb. 9 and March 7. The lead researcher, Russell Jeung, a professor of Asian-American studies, said the figures represented “just the tip of the iceberg,” because only the most egregious cases that would be likely to be reported by the media.
Mr. Jeung has helped set up a website in six Asian languages, to gather firsthand accounts; some 150 cases have been reported on the site since it started last Thursday.
Tony Du, an epidemiologist in Howard County, Md., said that hearing government leaders call the coronavirus the “Chinese virus” had made him afraid for his son, Larry, 8.Credit…Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times Benny Luo, founder and chief executive of NextShark, a website focused on Asian-American news, said the site used to get a few tips a day. Now it is dozens.
“We’ve never received this many news tips about racism against Asians,” he said. “It’s crazy. My staff is pulling double duty just to keep up.” He said he was hiring two more people to help.
No one is immune to being targeted. Dr. Edward Chew, the head of the emergency department at a large Manhattan hospital, is on the front lines of fighting the coronavirus. He said that over the past few weeks, he has noticed people trying to cover their nose and mouth with their shirts when they are near him.
Dr. Chew has been using his free time to buy protective gear, like goggles and face shields, for his staff, in case his hospital runs out. On Wednesday night at a Home Depot, with his cart filled with face shields, masks and Tyvek suits, he said he was harassed by three men in their 20s, who then followed him out into the parking lot.
“I heard of other Asians being assaulted over this, but when you are actually ridiculed yourself, you really feel it,” he said the following day.
A writer for The New Yorker, Jiayang Fan, said she was taking out her trash last week when a man walking by began cursing at her for being Chinese.
“I’ve never felt like this in my 27 years in this country,” she wrote on Twitter Tuesday. “I’ve never felt afraid to leave my home to take out the trash because of my face.” Attacks have also gotten physical.
In the San Fernando Valley in California, a 16-year old Asian-American boy was attacked in school by bullies who accused him of having the coronavirus. He was sent to the emergency room to see whether he had suffered a concussion.
In New York City a woman wearing a mask was kicked and punched in a Manhattan subway station, and a man in Queens was followed to a bus stop, shouted at and then hit over the head in front of his 10-year-old son.
People have rushed to protect themselves. One man started a buddy-system Facebook group for Asians in New York who are afraid to take the subway by themselves. Gun shop owners in the Washington, D.C., area said they were seeing a surge of first-time Chinese-American buyers.
At Engage Armament in Rockville, Md., most gun buyers in the first two weeks of March have been Chinese-American or Chinese, according to the owner, Andy Raymond.
More than a fifth of Rockville’s residents are of Asian ethnicity, and Mr. Raymond said buyers from Korean and Vietnamese backgrounds were not unusual.But Mr. Raymond said he was stunned by the flow of Chinese customers — in particular green-card holders from mainland China — that began earlier this month, a group that rarely patronized his shop before.
“It was just nonstop, something I’ve never seen,” he said.
Mr. Raymond said that few of the Asian customers wanted to talk about why they were there, but when one of his employees asked a woman about it, she teared up. “To protect my daughter,” she replied.
For recent immigrants like Mr. Du who are in close touch with friends and family in China, the virus has been a screaming danger for weeks that most Americans seemed oblivious to.
Mr. Du is trying to remain hopeful. He spends his weekends training to become a volunteer with Maryland’s emergency medical workers. He is part of a group of Chinese-American scientists who organized a GoFundMe account to raise money for protective gear for hospital workers in the area. In three days, they raised more than $55,000, nearly all in small donations.
But he said he was afraid of the chaos that could be unleashed if the U.S. death toll rises significantly.
Already a gun owner, Mr. Du, 48, said he was in the process of buying an AR-15 style rifle.
“Katrina is not far away,” he said, alluding to the unrest in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. “And when all these bad things come, I am a minority. People can see my face is Chinese clearly. My son, when he goes out, they will know his parents are Chinese.”
For American-born Asians, there is a sudden sense of being watched that is as unsettling as it is unfamiliar.
“It’s a look of disdain,” said Chil Kong, a Korean-American theater director in Maryland. “It’s just: ‘How dare you exist in my world? You are a reminder of this disease, and you don’t belong in my world.’”
He added: “It’s especially hard when you grow up here and expect this world to be yours equally. But we do not live in that world anymore. That world does not exist.”
One debate among Asian-Americans has been over whether to wear a mask in public. Wearing one risks drawing unwanted attention; but not wearing one does, too. Ms. Zhu said her parents, who live in China, offered to ship her some.
“I’m like, ‘Oh please, don’t,’” she said. She said she was afraid of getting physically attacked if she wore one. “Lots of my friends, their social media posts are all about this: We don’t wear masks. It’s kind of more dangerous than the virus.”
A 30-year-old videographer in Syracuse said he was still shaken from a trip to the grocery store on Monday, when the man ahead of him in the checkout line shouted at him, “It’s you people who brought the disease,” and other customers just stared at him, without offering to help. That same day, he said, two different couples verbally abused him at Costco.
“I feel like I’m being invaded by this hatred,” said the man, Edward, who asked that his last name not be used because he feared attracting more attention. “It’s everywhere. It’s silent. It’s as deadly as this disease.”
He said he had tried to hide the details of what happened from his mother, who moved to the United States from China in the 1970s. But there was one thing he did tell her.
“I told her, whatever you do, you can’t go shopping,” he said. “She needed to know there’s a problem and we can’t act like it’s normal anymore.”
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This week began with Congressional Democrats proposing a $750 billion stimulus package to mitigate the damage being done to the economy by the shutdowns (soon to be, lockdowns) over COVID-19, the Coronavirus. A day later, President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin upped the ante […]
In January of 2017, little more than a week before Donald Trump’s inauguration, I wrote a diary comparing U.S. Presidential Administrations by the number of people arrested, convicted, and imprisoned since Richard Nixon’s Administration.
The original diary was written as a warning to Trump, who was quickly putting up Administration nominees with little vetting and before their ethical reviews could be completed. I warned that many of those candidates might find themselves in legal jeopardy if they didn’t disentangle themselves from their conflicts of interest. I really felt that a lot of his appointees would blunder their way into indictments.
The diary, which was based on Wikipedia’s list of federal political scandals in the U.S., is the closest I’ve come to having something go viral. DK’s counters show that 349 people recommended it and it was posted to Facebook 11,133 times. Since then, I’ve seen numerous people post screen captures of the table comparing crimes by Administration. And lately, I’ve seen a modified version that adds Trump Administration – but inaccurately, or at least with a different methodology.
My initial report covered number of people indicted, convicted, and imprisoned. The modified table floating around uses the total number of indictments and total convictions for each indictment, artificially inflating the already-burgeoning Trump figures compared to his predecessors.
I planned to update my analysis after the midterms to give a full two years to Trump’s portion. Given the misinformation that’s spreading due to differing methodologies, I decided to expedite the update.
Nixon’s Presidency remains the most criminal, with 76 different individuals charged with felony indictments and 55 of them convicted or pleading guilty. But Trump is hot on his heels. Though we aren’t even two years into his Administration, already 35 individuals (including 28 foreign nationals) have been indicted – more than any administration except Nixon’s. And seven have been convicted and/or pleaded guilty, more than every Democratic Administration in the past 50 years combined.
Read on for:
How the Trump Campaign provides unprecedented complications for this analysis.
A breakdown of felony indictments, convictions, and imprisonments for members of the Trump Organization, Campaign, and Administration.
How the Trump data compares with other Administrations over the last 50 years.
A review of my methodology.
Details of all of the people included in the Trump data. (Please refer to the original article for similar details for past administrations.)
Revisiting the data used for the previous administrations.
Including Trump’s Company, Campaign, and Administration
When I wrote the original diary in January 2016, I really thought the biggest legal issues Trump’s Administration would face would come from unvetted conflicts of interest. I really expected that if there were any arrests, most would come from his Administration itself.
I wasn’t quite prepared for how many people involved with his campaign would end up being arrested. We knew there was some funny business going on with Russia. The only thing the campaign changed in the GOP’s platform – written largely by members of the religious right – was its stance on the Russian invasion of Crimea. There was funny stuff with Paul Manafort, who was forced to resign as Campaign Chair in August. And we knew before the inauguration that Mike Flynn had made suspicious calls to the Russian Ambassador during the transition. But what we knew before the inauguration versus what we know now … whew!
(That could change…soon. Trump’s FEMA Director, William “Brock” Long, is under criminal investigation. Former Health & Human Services Secretary Tom Price could still face an insider trading indictment for crimes similar to Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY). Former EPA Director Scott Pruitt and many others remain under criminal investigation. And so many others remain under investigation.)
The unprecedented degree of foreign interference with our elections complicates this analysis different than any previous Administration.
Trump complicates things
Under previous presidents, it was easy to focus on criminal activities of officials who were paid employees of the federal Executive Brach or paid by the president’s election campaign. (As far as I can tell, Nixon was the only previous president whose campaign staff faced felony indictments. Those individuals were included in my original report.) But under Trump, everything is complicated.
A lot of people involved the Trump Campaign worked for “free.” Not just his family, but others also Paul Manafort and others who hoped to used their role in the campaign to grift or get compensation from foreign nationals. I’ve certainly included them if they had an official campaign title or played a significant role in the campaign.
But what about illegal foreign influence? So far, 28 foreigners have been charged by Special Counsel Robert Mueller or by U.S. Attorneys acting on Mueller’s referrals. Should they be included? If it’s demonstrated that the Trump Campaign knew about their activities and actively conspired with them, then yes, they should be. But what if it’s never proven that the Trump Campaign knew about their activities, and the foreign efforts were completely independent?
For now, I’ve separated the indicted individuals into groups. You can decide for yourselves which merit including.
Felonies by Presidential Administration
Donald Trump is continuing the GOP’s trend of being the party with the most corrupt Administrations. We can measure this with more that fevered tinfoil hat conspiracies of pizza parlor pedophile rings. We can actually use indictments, convictions, and incarcerations as an impartial, statistical measure.
Trump Campaign & Administration Felonies
To date, more people in the Trump camp – including foreign nationals – have been indicted for felonies than any administration in the last 50 years except Nixon’s. These include seven Americans and 28 foreign nationals.
Felony Indictments in the Trump Campaign & Administration (to date)
# of People Imprisoned: The initial number includes everyone whose sentence includes prison time, even if they have not yet reported to prison (e.g., George Papadopoulos). The +[number] represents other individuals who have been convicted and/or pleaded guilty, and whose sentences are expected to include prison time, but because they have not yet been sentenced, we don’t yet know for sure.
Trump Organization, Campaign, or Administration: For every previous Administration, this would be everyone: people who worked with the President before they ran, during their campaign, and after inauguration. For Trump, the loose affiliation of outsiders complicates how we identify these individuals. This section currently includes Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos, and Michael Cohen.
Outside campaign consultant (U.S. national): These are U.S. citizens were not an official part of the Trump Campaign, but who provided illegal assistance to the campaign (specifically, Richard Pinedo and W. Samuel Patton).
Foreign assistance to Trump Campaign: This includes 26 Russians indicted for hacking the DNC servers and for other U.S. election-related crimes. It does not include the three Russian companies that were also indicted.
Foreign, direct connection unclear: This includes Alex van der Zwaan, a Dutch citizen who has already served his prison sentence, as well Maria Butina, a Russian national who remains in U.S. custody. Both were arrested as part of the Mueller investigation, but it’s not yet clear whether they were involved in crimes relating to Trump, or got scooped up while investigating Trump’s corrupt associates.
For more details about the specific people involved, see People Included in the Trump Data below.
Comparing Administration Felonies
Number of Individuals with Felonies by Presidential Administration
Years in Office
# People Indicted
# People Convicted
# People Imprisoned
Convictions Per Year
2 (+3) [3 (+4)]
George W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
* Through September 17, 2018. ** Number in [brackets] includes foreign nationals.
This includes individuals associated with each President’s private business, campaign, or appointed executive office. For Trump, the top number represents Americans, while the second number in [brackets] represents both Americans and foreign nationals.
If you don’t include foreigners involved in the Trump Campaign, Team Trump already has more people indicted and convicted that any Democratic President in the last 50 years.
And if you do include foreign nationals, the Trump camp has more indictments than any other President regardless of party except Nixon. And we’re not even two years in yet.
Note that Trump’s figures currently skew heavily towards “Indicted but not yet Convicted” because of trials that are still pending, and because of the high number of Russians who may continue to evade arrest.
Note also that Clinton’s numbers have changed slightly since the last article. Please refer to Revisiting Past Administrations below for more details.
Comparing Political Parties by Felonies
Over the last 50 years, Republican Administrations have been far more felonious than Democratic Administrations, whether or not you include foreign influence.
# People Indicted
# People Convicted
# People Incarcerated
* The number in [brackets] includes foreigners arrested for crimes committed on behalf of the candidate or president. The first number only represents U.S. citizens.
Of course, Republicans have held the Presidency for 29.7 of the last 50 years versus 20 years for Democrats. But even if we normalize by averaging the numbers by year, Republicans still come off pretty bad.
# People Indicted
# People Convicted
# People Incarcerated
* The number in [brackets] includes foreigners arrested for crimes committed on behalf of the candidate or president. The first number only represents U.S. citizens.
Not all scandals are included, just those involving felonies.
This covers the total number of people indicted, convicted, and imprisoned. If someone is charge with 18 felonies, they are still only counted as one person indicted.
This only covers felony indictments, convictions, and prison sentences. It does not include misdemeanors.
Guilty pleas count as a conviction both in a legal sense and in my data. They also count as an indictment even if the plea is entered simultaneously (like with Michael Cohen).
Imprisonment only includes incarceration as a penalty for conviction. People who were held pending bail (or if bail is revoked or denied) are not included.
My data only includes individuals. The three companies that have been indicted as part of Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation are not included in these tallies.
This includes all crimes the individuals committed during their association with the President, even if the crimes didn’t involve that President.
This covers everyone involved in higher levels of the President’s election campaign and/or Administration.
Not all “scandals” are included
The term “scandal” can be subjective. When Clinton’s Surgeon General, Dr. Joycelyn Elders, said that masturbation could help avoid the spread of AIDS, it was a scandal in that it made headlines and ultimately forced her resignation, but it wasn’t criminal – and some would argue that she was right to say it. Benghazi was tragic, but was it really a scandal justifying ten separate investigations that may have cost upwards of $30 million?
In the end, I decided that the criminal justice system provided the closest thing to an impartial, empirical source. For that reason, only scandals involving indictments are included.
That means quite a lot of Trump Administration scandals are not (yet) included, like the abuse of funds by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, and Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin. Should any of them later be charged with a crime – Price’s insider trading activities similar to Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) make him a strong possibility – they will be included with future updates.
People indicted vs. total indictments
My data has focused on the number of people indicted, convicted, and imprisoned, not the total number of indictments or the total number of charges they were convicted for.
In the Nixon Administration, for example, Secretary of Commerce Maurice Stans pleaded guilty to five felonies. In my table, this counts as only one of the people indicted under Nixon as well as one of the people convicted under Nixon. (He paid a fine but was not incarcerated.)
I counted by number of people rather than number of charges for a few reasons. First, the number of indictments can change. If a person is indicted under a dozen charges, for example, but then makes a plea bargain where they plead guilty to two of the charges under a superseding indictment, does that now change the dozen indictments to two? Or should the table reflect initial charges, even those later dropped by prosecutors?
Keeping track of all of these changes would be hard enough for current events. It’s even more challenging to do that reaching back to the Reagan and Nixon Administrations. Focusing on individuals rather than charges was, in my mind, both easier and more illustrative of the breadth of criminal behavior by Administration.
The imprisonment data is only meant to include people who have been incarcerated as part of their penalty for conviction. It is not meant to cover people who are jailed while waiting to make bail, or for whom bail was denied or revoked.
Paul Manafort is included under Trump’s imprisonment stats. On June 15, 2018, his bail was revoked following additional charges of witness tampering. This would normally not count under my incarceration criteria. But following his convictions on August 21st in Virginia and his subsequent guilty plea on September 14th in D.C., he remains in custody pending his cooperation with Robert Mueller and subsequent sentencing. This time will count towards his total incarceration time, and I have therefore included him as one of the three people already imprisoned.
The imprisonment data also includes George Papadopoulos, who has been sentenced to 14 days but has not yet reported for custody. It also includes Alex van der Zwaan, a Dutch citizen who served 30 days before being deported. (See the Trump complicates things section for further discussion about including van der Zwaan and other foreign nations.) It does not yet include Michael Cohen, Rick Gates, Michael Flynn, or Richard Pinedo, who have all pleaded guilty but have not yet been sentenced.
Individuals, Not Corporations
Federal prosecutors almost always only indict individuals, not companies. Individual executives may be charged, but it’s rare for the company itself to be charged. Enron and its accounting firm, Arthur Anderson LLP, are notable examples where the companies were charged because of pervasive, willful corporate fraud and corruption.
In the Trump/Russia investigation, Special Counsel Mueller has indicted three Russian companies: Internet Research Agency LLC, Concord Catering, and Concord Management and Consulting LLC. These companies are not included in my charts, but the 13 Russian individuals simultaneously charged are included. (See Trump complicates things for more about the inclusion of foreign nationals.)
As a reminder, a guilty plea counts as both an indictment and a conviction. Sometimes the plea is concurrent with the indictments (e.g., Michael Cohen). Sometimes the indictments are sealed and kept secret from the public until a guilty plea is filed (e.g., George Papadopoulos). Sometimes the guilty plea comes long after indictments (e.g., Rick Gates) or even after conviction of some of the charges (e.g., Paul Manafort). But in any event, a guilty plea is always part of an indictment and counts as a conviction.
Crimes that don’t involve the President
Many of Trump’s defenders have tried to argue that so far, those indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices do not directly allege that President Trump has committed crimes himself. While that isn’t strictly true (Michael Cohen, for example, said that Trump personally ordered him to commit two of the crimes he pleaded guilty to), it’s also not relevant for this analysis. Quite a lot of the indictments included in the previous analysis had nothing to do with the President. The point was to try to show whether a culture of unethical and criminal behavior was fostered or allowed to fester in a campaign or Administration, and whether or not the President really did pick the best people and did a proper vetting.
Administration v. Campaign
My original article used the term “Administration” to include both White House officials as well as other Cabinet and Executive Branch officials (such as Mike Espy, Clinton’s Secretary of Agriculture). It was intended to be broad, but it was nevertheless imprecise because it did not explicitly state that it included campaign officials.
This was an oversight in terminology but not in data. The crimes under the Nixon Administration included several people involved with Nixon’s re-election campaign but not his administration, including Jeb Stuart Magruder, Herbert L. Porter, G. Gordon Liddy, Donald Segretti, and the Watergate burglars themselves. Note: Michael Cohen was employed by the Trump Organization and also served as Deputy Finance Chair for the Republican National Committee. He pleaded guilty to election-related crimes directly involving the candidate, and therefore counts as part of the campaign regardless of who paid his salary.
To my knowledge, Nixon was the only other president before Trump where members of the campaign were criminally indicted and convicted. Please let me know if you are aware of others.
Who isn’t included
The goal is to include people who committed crimes on behalf of the President, or whose crimes may represent a failure in the vetting process. This doesn’t include civil service or career federal employees, nor local and regional campaign workers unless they have a direct relationship with the candidate. Anne Aroste, a Social Security Administration employee arrested in June for embezzling $680,000 in benefits, doesn’t count towards the Trump Administration arrests. Nor am I counting Ralph Shortey, a former Republican state senator in Oklahoma and the Oklahoma state chair for the Trump Campaign, who just accepted a 15-year sentence in a plea bargain over a case involving child pornography and sex with a 16- or 17-year-old boy. In my mind, they’re too far removed from Trump himself, and including them complicates data collection for previous presidencies.
Nor do I include problematic family members unless their crimes directly involve the President’s business, campaign, or Administration. Jimmy Carter’s brother Billy, Bill Clinton’s half-brother Roger, and Neil Bush – the son of one President and brother of another – committed crimes that don’t seem to directly relate to the President. That said, if Donald Trump, Jr. ends up getting arrested over the Trump Tower meeting with Russian operatives, that would count as a campaign-related arrest. If Jared Kushner is arrested for using his White House position for personal enrichment, that would be a ding on the Administration. And the whole Trump family, including President Trump himself, is being investigated over the illegal actions of the Trump Foundation. Should arrests be made for family members relating to the President’s campaign, business, or Administration, they’ll be included. If Tiffany were to be arrested for shoplifting, it wouldn’t be.
I chose not to include Bill Clinton’s impeachment, as impeachment is an inherently political process. (Nixon’s wouldn’t be included regardless, as he resigned before the U.S. House completed impeachment proceedings.) This is discussed in greater detail under Revisiting Past Administrations below. If you disagree, add one more for Clinton under Indictments (as impeachment by the House is the equivalent of a Grand Jury indictment), but nothing else under Convictions, as the U.S. Senate failed to achieve the 2/3rds vote necessary convict him and remove him from office.
People Included in the Trump Data
The following individuals are included in the Trump portion of the table.
Paul Manafort — Office: Campaign Chair, Trump Presidential Campaign. Crime: 2 counts: conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice; 18 counts: filing false tax returns (×5), failure to report foreign bank and financial accounts (×4), bank fraud conspiracy (×5), and bank fraud (×4). Result: convicted and pleaded guilty, cooperating, not yet sentenced
Rick Gates – Office: Deputy Campaign Manager, Trump Presidential Campaign; deputy chair, Donald Trump Inauguration Committee; founder of pro-Trump America First Policies organization. Crimes: 2 counts: conspiracy against the United States and false statements; 23 counts: assisting in the preparation of false tax returns (×5), subscribing to false tax returns (×5), filing a false amended return, failure to report foreign bank and financial accounts (×3), bank fraud conspiracy (×5), and bank fraud (×4). Result: pleaded guilty, cooperating, not yet sentenced
George Papadopoulos – Office: Foreign policy Adviser, Trump Presidential Campaign. Crime: 1 count: false statements (negotiated before indictment). Result: pleaded guilty, cooperated, sentenced to 14 days in prison, a $9,500 fine, 200 hours of community service, 12 months’ probation
Michael Flynn – Office: Adviser, Trump Presidential Campaign; National Security Adviser. Crime: 1 count: false statements (negotiated before indictment). Result: Pleaded guilty, cooperating, not yet sentenced
Michael Cohen – Office: VP, Trump Organization; Special Counsel to Donald Trump; Deputy Finance Chair, Republican National Committee. Crime: 8 counts: tax evasion (x5); false statements; unlawful campaign contributions; excessive campaign contribution (negotiated before indictment). Result: pleaded guilty, cooperation agreement under negotiation, not yet sentenced
Outside campaign consultants (U.S. nationals)
Richard Pinedo – Operated Auction Essistance, a web-based business that brokered bank account numbers, enabling people who had been barred from websites like eBay and PayPal to return to those websites under a different identity. Crimes: 1 count identity fraud (negotiated before indictment). Result: pleaded guilty, not yet sentenced
W. Samuel Patton – American political consultant affiliated with Russian intelligence operative Konstantin Kilimnik. Crime: unregistered agent of a foreign principal. As part of his guilty plea, Patten admitted that he laundered a $50,000 contribution from Kilimnik to the Trump inauguration committee, by having the money transferred from a Cypriot bank to his company and from there to an unnamed American who sent it to the committee. Result: pleaded guilty, cooperation unclear, not yet sentenced
Foreign assistance to Trump Campaign
Dzheykhun Aslanov – 8 counts: conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft (×6). Result: Arrest unlikely (outside U.S. jurisdiction)
Gleb Vasilchenko – 8 counts: conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft (×6). Result: Arrest unlikely (outside U.S. jurisdiction)
Irina Kaverzina – 7 counts: conspiracy to defraud the United States, and aggravated identity theft (×6). Result: Arrest unlikely (outside U.S. jurisdiction)
Vladimir Venkov – 7 counts: conspiracy to defraud the United States, and aggravated identity theft (×6). Result: Arrest unlikely (outside U.S. jurisdiction)
Anna Bogacheva – 1 count: conspiracy to defraud the United States. Result: Arrest unlikely (outside U.S. jurisdiction)
Maria Bovda – 1 count: conspiracy to defraud the United States. Result: Arrest unlikely (outside U.S. jurisdiction)
Robert Bovda – 1 count: conspiracy to defraud the United States. Result: Arrest unlikely (outside U.S. jurisdiction)
Mikhail Burchik – 1 count: conspiracy to defraud the United States. Result: Arrest unlikely (outside U.S. jurisdiction)
Mikhail Bystrov – 1 count: conspiracy to defraud the United States. Result: Arrest unlikely (outside U.S. jurisdiction)
Aleksandra Krylova – 1 count: conspiracy to defraud the United States. Result: Arrest unlikely (outside U.S. jurisdiction)
Vadim Podkopaev – 1 count: conspiracy to defraud the United States. Result: Arrest unlikely (outside U.S. jurisdiction)
Sergey Polozov – 1 count: conspiracy to defraud the United States. Result: Arrest unlikely (outside U.S. jurisdiction)
Yevgeny Prigozhin – 1 count: conspiracy to defraud the United States. Result: Arrest unlikely (outside U.S. jurisdiction)
Konstantin Kilimnik – 2 counts: obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Result: Arrest unlikely (outside U.S. jurisdiction)
Boris Antonov – 10 counts: conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, aggravated identity theft (×8), and conspiracy to launder money. Result: Arrest unlikely (outside U.S. jurisdiction)
Dmitriy Badin – 10 counts: conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, aggravated identity theft (×8), and conspiracy to launder money. Result: Arrest unlikely (outside U.S. jurisdiction)
Nikolay Kozachek – 10 counts: conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, aggravated identity theft (×8), and conspiracy to launder money. Result: Arrest unlikely (outside U.S. jurisdiction)
Aleksey Lukashev – 10 counts: conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, aggravated identity theft (×8), and conspiracy to launder money. Result: Arrest unlikely (outside U.S. jurisdiction)
Artem Malyshev – 10 counts: conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, aggravated identity theft (×8), and conspiracy to launder money. Result: Arrest unlikely (outside U.S. jurisdiction)
Sergey Morgachev – 10 counts: conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, aggravated identity theft (×8), and conspiracy to launder money. Result: Arrest unlikely (outside U.S. jurisdiction)
Viktor Netyksho – 10 counts: conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, aggravated identity theft (×8), and conspiracy to launder money. Result: Arrest unlikely (outside U.S. jurisdiction)
Aleksey Potemkin – 10 counts: conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, aggravated identity theft (×8), and conspiracy to launder money. Result: Arrest unlikely (outside U.S. jurisdiction)
Ivan Yermakov – 10 counts: conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, aggravated identity theft (×8), and conspiracy to launder money. Result: Arrest unlikely (outside U.S. jurisdiction)
Pavel Yershov – 10 counts: conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, aggravated identity theft (×8), and conspiracy to launder money. Result: Arrest unlikely (outside U.S. jurisdiction)
Aleksandr Osadchuk – 11 counts: conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States (×2), aggravated identity theft (×8), and conspiracy to launder money. Result: Arrest unlikely (outside U.S. jurisdiction)
Anatoliy Kovalev – 1 count: conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States. Result: Arrest unlikely (outside U.S. jurisdiction)
Foreign, direct connection to Trump unclear
Maria Butina – 1 charge: acting in the United States as an agent of a foreign government (the Russian Federation), without prior notification to the Attorney General, a conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States. Result: held without bail due to be an extreme flight risk, trial pending
Alex van der Zwaan – 1 charge: making false statements to the FBI. Result: Fined $20,000 and sentenced to 30 days in prison
Revisiting Past Administrations
In revisiting this article, I noticed there are some changes in the original Wikipedia article that helped form a basis for my research. I have made a few adjustments as a result.
The original Wikipedia entry did not include (to the best of my recollection) any discussion of General David Petraeus’ leak of confidential information to his mistress/biographer. Because he ultimately pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor (see the Petraeus subsection in the next section), it still isn’t included as I’ve only included felonies. I will revise this if it appears that other misdemeanors have been included with the rest of my data, or if there’s strong sentiment that he should be included.
There’s a new entry for Darleen A. Druyen, Principal Deputy United States Under Secretary of the Air Force, that did not appear in the Wikipedia page when I accessed it more than 18 months ago. Druyen pleaded guilty of a felony for inflating contract prices for Boeing, her future employer. Since she served nine months in jail as part of her sentence, this adds one more to indictments, convictions, and imprisonments under the Clinton Administration.
Explaining methodology of original article
In the comments of my original article and subsequently on Twitter, some people have questioned a few items in my report. I want to address them here.
Some have questioned why I didn’t include President Bill Clinton’s impeachment. I went back and forth on this. The impeachment process is inherently political, and many Americans believe that Clinton’s impeachment was an overreach based on politics rather than the merit of the underlying criminal allegations. Other political but not criminal scandals weren’t included (such as appointees who resigned for misuse of helicopters, traveling first class, or other abuses).
Bear in mind that an impeachment by the U.S. House of Representatives should be considered to be the equivalent of an indictment. Treat the House as the equivalent of a Grand Jury deciding whether to grant the prosecutor permission to go forward with charging a defendant. The charges would then be tried before the U.S. Senate, with Senators serving as the equivalent of the trial jury.
In the end, I chose not to include it. If you disagree, add one more under the Clinton Administration for indictments. The Senate did not reach the necessary 2/3rds vote (which would have to be unanimous in a criminal trial), so Convictions and Imprisonments would remain the same. Nothing would change with the Nixon Administration. When Nixon was warned that his own party was defecting (nearly two-thirds of Republican Senators were already signaling that they would convict him and remove him from office, along with probably all of the Democratic Senators), he chose to resign before the U.S. House could finish their impeachment proceedings.
Some have questioned why Obama’s pristine record isn’t marred by General David Petraeus, Director of the CIA, who was accused of giving classified information to Paula Broadwell, his official biographer who was later discovered to be his mistress. Petraeus wasn’t included because (though I failed to make this clear in the original article), all of the data I included is about felony indictments and convictions. Petraeus pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, and therefore isn’t included.
(If I’ve mistakenly included misdemeanors elsewhere, please let me know and I investigate revising.)
Starting with Nixon
In my original article, I mentioned that I started with Nixon for a number of reasons. Nixon was elected about 50 years ago, and it seemed like a nice, round number to start with. In addition, not including the only president forced to resign due to his criminal behavior would be a bizarre choice.
I could have gone back farther. Many view the modern presidency as everything after World War II, which could have been a good place to start. But while there were resignations under scandal in previous post-war administrations, none of them involved anyone getting indicted. If we extend it back to the turn of the 20th century, there was one Executive Branch conviction under Franklin Roosevelt, one or two under Calvin Coolidge, three convictions under Warren Harding, and one under William McKinley. Eight other Administrations in the 20th century (Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, and Lyndon Johnson) did not have any Executive Branch indictments.
With that, I maintain that Nixon remains a logical place to start.
Using Wikipedia as a source
I know that high schools and universities would never allow Wikipedia to be cited as a primary source. I could track down all of the original sources in the Wikipedia entries. That would confirm the ones included, but wouldn’t necessarily validate any omissions.
I am not a professional historian. I welcome critiques that can provide citable data showing what I may have missed, and I will update this article again if need be.
Partial List of Sources
Faturechi, Robert, “Tom Price Intervened on Rule That Would Hurt Drug Profits, the Same Day He Acquired Drug Stock,” ProPublica, March 31, 2017.
Hakim, Danny, “New York Attorney General Sues Trump Foundation After 2-Year Investigation,” The New York Times, June 14, 2018.
Hsu, Spencer S., “Special counsel Mueller initiates sentencing process for 2nd cooperating defendant,” The Washington Post, May 29, 2018.
“List of federal political scandals in the United States,” Wikipedia, accessed most recently on September 18, 2018.
“Michael J. Hogan,” Wikipedia, accessed most recently on September 18, 2018.
Miroff, Nick; Wan, William, “Embattled FEMA chief Brock Long facing possible criminal investigation,” The Washington Post, September 17, 2018.
“Petraeus scandal,” Wikipedia, accessed most recently on September 18, 2018.
RoyalScribe, “Comparing presidential administrations by arrests and convictions: A warning for Trump appointees,” DailyKos, January 11, 2017.
Savage, Charlie, “The different ways Donald Trump Jr could be in trouble with the law,” Independent(UK), August 7, 2018.
Scotti, Ciro, “Investigating Clinton: How Many Millions Were Spent on Email, Benghazi Probes?” The Fiscal Times (found under Yahoo Finance), July 5, 2016.
Siegel, Benjamin; Katersky, Aaron, “Rep. Chris Collins arrested on insider trading charges,” ABC News, August 8, 2018.
“Special Counsel investigation (2017-present),” Wikipedia, accessed most recently on September 18, 2018.
Venook, Jeremy, “Is Kushner Companies Taking Advantage of Its Connection to the President?” The Atlantic, May 9, 2017
The Washington Posthas an article on the rise of the vocal atheist. It starts out with the story of a man who was a life long Anglican and who one day just decided he no longer believed. I’ve seen the same thing happen to other people. There is a clear increase in the number of individuals who identify as atheists. In recent years, among young people, the number of self-identified atheists has doubled.
Of course we don’t know the true number of atheists. Many atheists are aware of friends who put on the pretence of religion but privately admit to being atheists. Even some clergy fall into this category. What percentage of pews or pulpits are occupied by atheists is anyone’s guess.
In recent years polls in the US have shown that religious Americans are more likely to vote for a Muslim, in spite of the 9/11 attacks, than for an atheist regardless of their qualifications. The same sort of disdain for atheists carries into their private lives. All of this reduces the likelihood of an atheist speaking out. Many remain closeted but that doesn’t alter the fact that are atheists.
Yet in spite of this, the number of self-identified atheists is increasing rather rapidly. But that is only part of the phenomenon. The number of atheists who are being open about their atheism is increasing as well. And the number of atheists who are becoming vocal is also increasing. So, not only are the number of non-believers increasing, but those who do exist are becoming more militant and vocal.
The article discusses the rise of the Council of Ex-Muslims in Europe, which was founded in Germany a few months ago with several hundred members. It has created chapters in England and Holland as well. Maryam Namazie, the head of the English chapter said: “We are all atheists and non-believers, and our goal is not to eradicate Islam from the face of the earth.” Instead they are trying to make religion entirely private and strip it of the power to control the lives of non-believers.
The article quotes an academic who has studied the rise of atheism. Phil Zuckerman says: “Anytime we see an outspoken movement against religion, it tells us that religion has power there.” And one atheist is quoted saying: “There is a feeling that religion is being forced on an unwilling public, and now people are beginning to speak out against what they see as rising Islamic and Christian militancy.”
Strictly speaking, an atheist merely lacks a belief in a deity of any kind. It is not a rallying point, nor a particularly reason for social cohesion. Not being something is not something around which a common identity can be forged. The natural tendency, in my opinion, is for atheists to be a relatively unorganized because of this. Atheist organizations will generally contain only a very small percentage of non-believers. Atheists have no more in common with each other than do people who don’t believe in Santa Claus.
But recent world events has forced a rethink. Two things have happened. One is the 9/11 attacks, along with the rise of militant Islamists conducting other terrorist attacks. The second is that religious extremists — Muslims in Europe and Christians in America — have been demanding that more and more state power, meaning coercion, be used to further their agenda.
In both cases these militant fundamentalists are actively trying to impose their stilted world view on the rest of society. Witness the fits they go into over the gay marriage issue. Now if marriage equality is passed no fundamentalists will be forced to marry a same sex partner. They are free to shun the arrangement completely. They don’t want to be left alone, they want the law to prevent others from having the same relationships they can enjoy.
Fundamentalists complain if they are censored. But they are not against censorship. They favor it, provided they get to decide who shall be censored. Nor are they advocates of government leaving people alone. They want government to leave the religious alone and to actively harass others. And they have become increasingly vocal about such demands.
But the worst part for them was that they, and George Bush, entered in some sort of uncivil union. We saw the merger of church and state, the creation of the Theopublican movement. George Bush became their most visible representative. And for that, atheists should thank God.
The Theopublican agenda has been so closely linked to the Bush agenda that the dishonesty, viciousness and ineptness of the Bush administration now tarnishes Christianity itself. Whether that should be case is another question. Bush has been a PR disaster for the two things he is most closely tied to: the Republican Party and God.
On the other side of the world religious fanatics have unleashed their Dark Ages philosophy wherever they can. Islamists have killed thousands and thousands of people. Islamist governments kill people by the hundreds. And they do so in the most barbaric ways. The world is disgusted with Islam as a result. Even many Muslims have become disgusted with Islam.
The fundamentalists of the world, mainly Christian and Muslim, have breathed life into the atheist movement. In many ways they are creating a new, vocal atheist movement.
As I noted, there is no common ground for atheists. You can’t build a movement around a non-belief. But the fastest way to build a movement is to find a threat that intimidates people. Environmentalists know this, which is why they have an endless series of scare stories and have had then for decades now. H.L. Mencken noticed that political movements often succeed by “menacing” people “with an endless string of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” When people face a common threat, or enemy, they tend to unify. Republicans know this. That’s why they pushed the antigay campaign for several years. They wanted to build a fear campaign around homosexuals to unify the Religions Right. Now they are doing the same over immigrants.
If imaginary hobgoblins work well in creating a movement then real hobgoblins are even better. And rational people have felt threatened by Islamism and Theopublicanism. There it is — the reason for the rise of vocal, militant atheism. People are becoming atheists in larger numbers, or becoming more vocal and active atheists, precisely because the religious extremists have, or are trying, to seize power in order to inflict their agenda on the rest of society.
The moral majoritarians don’t merely want to avoid erotica. They want to force you to avoid it as well — regardless of your personal preferences. They want to burn the magazines, and some no doubt, the publishers as well. The Islamists don’t want the right to worship Allah. They want to deny you the right to not worship him. It’s not that these people want to lead lives abstaining from what they see as sin but that they want the state to punish you if you sin according to their religion.
I became an atheist over two decades ago. I remember sitting in my apartment one morning looking into the garden while reading a book on the logic of theism. I had been a Christian, attended Christian schools, was active in the church, and even attended Bible college. I had no doubts about a deity but then I never gave the matter much thought — something which is always conducive to faith. But that day I did give it some thought and concluded that a deity was a highly irrational assumption on my part and that the evidence was not there to support the belief I adopted. So at that point I abandoned it and haven’t looked back since.
But I was a quiet atheist for years. I did condemn the Moral Majoritarians and the like but pretty much ignored the religious impulses behind this new authoritarianism. But as time went by the nascent movement of theocrats in the 70s and 80s became increasingly shrill and illiberal and powerful. Their movement got uglier and more vicious. They were voracious for power. And then comes 9/11 with the praying fanatics who managed to kill 3,000 people in one day. I watched the second plane hit that tower as it happened on television. And I can’t escape the images of people leaping out of the burning building 100 floors above the ground, to their deaths. Watching these living human beings plummeting to their death was more than I could stomach.
And then I ran into some “orthodox Christians” who were pushing the theocratic agenda. And they felt I was an obstacle to them. So they engaged in a concerted hate campaign that turned my life into a living hell. And they enjoyed it. They relished it. They even bragged about it.
When I added all these things up in my head I concluded that I was obligated to not only reject the faith statements of theism, but that I ought to be more vocal about the threats and dangers as well. I was pushed into the position of being a “militant atheist” much against my own inclination. I’ve always been an adherent of the “live and let live” view of the world. But I realized that some people simply refuse to let you live and you have no recourse but to resist. So I went from quiet non belief to vocal atheism.
Apparently the same thing is happening in the educated nations of the world. Atheism is on the rise. The numbers of non-believers are escalating as people reconsider religion based on the results that they see around them. And those who, like me, were quiet atheists, have decided to put an end to their silence.
The massive sales of atheist books in the last year, works by Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, are the result of millions of people rethinking religion because of the actions of the religious. People are not buying these books because of Dennett, Dawkins and Harris. They are more likely to be doing so because of the Bushs and bin Ladens of the world. The real salesmen of atheism have been the theists not the atheists.
And when these theists started grabbing political power they gave millions of people the incentive to organize in opposition. If there were an Academy Award for atheism the recipients would have to get up and give a speech along these lines:
I want to thank all those people who made this possible. In particular George Bush and Osama bin Laden. Without you guys this just wouldn’t have been possible. Of course there are so many to thank. I should mention Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell as well but it was really the little people who deserve the thanks. All those people bashing on gays, bombing abortion clinics, closing down adult shops. And we can’t forget the guys who arrest people for selling dildos, or cut off the heads of infidels or slit the throats of sinners. And all those parents who murder their own children in ‘honor’ killings or let them die without medical care because medicine indicates a lack of faith. Your campaigns in the Shiavo case, to promote ‘faith based’ initiatives and to eradicate the separation of church and state, or mosque and state helped. All of you made this possible. Without your help we wouldn’t be where we are today. Thanks for making this possible.
Despite liberals frequently referencing God, the Bible, and Jesus, there is no “Religious Left.” It is an oxymoron because the two “sets of belief systems” are mutually exclusive. The Bible speaks of such people, Paul wrote, “They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for […]
Bible believing “Jesus” followers must not be “confused” merely by a person’s quoting of “Scripture,” remember Satan himself quoted Scripture to Jesus during the “temptation”and frequently twists it in today’s society to “deceive” Christians who do not yet have a “firm foundation in God’s word.”
AMR ResponseFunny isn’t it? How one of the first modes of attack against the Christian Left is to denigrate and dehumanize them? That is the first line of attack along with projection by the ChristoFascist Reich-Wingers of their actions upon the Christian Left. Blame the Christian Left for what the ChristoFascists of the Reich-Wingers do.
It is the same trick that Adolph Hitler and his Aryian White Supremacist ChristoTaliban “Positive Christianity” Nazis did during WWII.
It is the same line of attack the ChristoTaliban invaders of this country and put the original inhabitants the Native Americans to death in their mass genocide against us. They demonized us, projected all their evil upon us and then it made it easier for other Christians to slaughter us.
It is the same line of attack the ChristoTalibans used against the Pagans when they invaded their countries in their forced conversion programs.
It is the same line of attack the ChristoTalibans used to put to brutal deaths those they proclaimed as witches, heretics and our scientists whom proved the religious Reich-Winger ChristoFascists wrong in their teachings and theology.
It is the same line of attack the ChristoTalibans used to go to war against each other. Catholics calling Protestants not True Christians and Protestants doing the same to Catholics, each demonizing and dehumanizing each other which made it easier for them to get their brain-washed and mind controlled zombie Christian followers to go out and slaughter each other just because they worshiped the same God and Jesus Christ in different ways.
This is the same kind of attack against the Christian Left, of which? There are many more True Christians in their midsts than there ever will be in the ChristoTaliban Fascist Reich-Wingers like the idiots of Andelino’s Reich-Wing blog. And this is why the Fake Christians like Andelino attack the True Christians of the Christian Left.
ChristoTalibans like this fool always play the projection and dehumanization game to denigrate and defame their opponents.
Ahhhh yes, here we have the infamous Trumpanzee Repugnant Andelino spewing all kinds of shit about Nancy Pelosi in their Nancy Pelosi Derangement Syndrome, which is typical of Trumpanzees and their hypocrisy of lies.
But there is a cure for these Trumpanzees Nancy Pelosi Derangement Syndrome, as well as their President Barack Obama Derangement Syndrome and all their other Democrat and Liberal Derangement Syndromes. And that cure is a self inflicted, full frontal lobotomy. Just like their hero, Commander Bone Spurs should do to really Make America Great Again.
So lets look at the video of Traitor Trump shall we?
Trump mispronounces words in front of 100,000-strong crowd in India
Trump’s Best Words: 2018 Edition | The Daily Show
Trump’s mispronunciation in intel briefing stuns Brooke Baldwin
President Donald Trump Swears At Rally, Accusing Democrats Of ‘Ridiculous Bull—-‘ |
‘If you Google the word idiot, a picture of Donald Trump comes up’
Trump’s Vocabulary & Speech Deteriorating Rapidly
FUNNY WORDS TRUMP SAYS: TRY NOT TO LAUGH
Trump slurs his words and can’t say United States of America
Trump Can’t Say ‘Anonymous’
Drinking problem: Trump has awkward water moment
Melania Trump Hates Holding Donald’s Hand: Melania Trump has a really hard time holding her husband’s hand. Don’t believe it? Here’s the proof.
Trump gets corrected on his pronunciation of ‘Nevada’
Trump has testy exchange, insults female reporter: During a Rose Garden news conference called to highlight the revamped US-Canada-Mexico trade agreement, President Donald Trump insulted a female reporter telling her that she “never” thinks even before she had a chance to ask her question.
Things That Go “Bing” With President Trump: Donald Trump has a way with words — just ask him. During his campaign, Trump famously stated that he had “the best words.” And there are a few he likes to use a lot, like the onomatopoeic “bing.
Getting Worse: Trump Visibly Struggles to Speak: Donald Trump visibly struggles to speak in recent video from the long weekend, raising more questions about his cognitive state
Trump tells Howard Stern that he regularly drops by pageant dressing rooms: In an interview with Howard Stern, Donald Trump claims he is able to see naked beauty pageant contestants in their dressing rooms because he owns the pageants
Full tape with lewd Donald Trump remarks (Access Hollywood): This video was taken directly from the website of Access Hollywood, and it is longer than the version published by the Washington Post.
Donald Trump’s comments about daughter raise eyebrows: Donald Trump has raised eyebrows for comments he’s made and how he has acted towards his daughter Ivanka. CNN’s Deborah Feyerick reports.
Trump’s Awkward Moments With Ivanka: There are a lot of aspects of Donald Trump’s personal life that have made headlines during the course of his administration, but his ways of displaying affinity for eldest daughter Ivanka Trump may be the most unusual. Unlike his other children, Donald Trump has given Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner official positions in the West Wing, which means the scrutiny surrounding their personal history is even more heightened. Not only are there several photos of them together in positions that are not typical for a father and a daughter, but Donald Trump has also publicly spoken of her in terms that many find to be totally inappropriate. Here are just some of the times Donald Trump acted inappropriately when it came to how he treated Ivanka
Donald Trump Makes Lewd Remarks About Women On Video
Trump Talk: All Our Best Mashups In One Video
A running list of Trump’s demeaning comments on women since he ran for president
Trump defends crude language from 2005 as “locker room” talk
Language Expert: Donald Trump’s Way Of Speaking Is ‘Oddly Adolescent’
Prayer Breakfast Rant Shows Trump Doesn’t Understand What Love Is
Psychiatrist on Trump’s Dangerous response to the Coronavirus
Pelosi’s constant “brain freezes,stammering, stuttering, glassy looking wide eyes, wrong pronunciation of simple words” are all a result of all the “demons” she is hosting inside, which are trying to manifest themselves all at once, just like a computer that has to many tasks going on and freezes up.
At an appearance in San Francisco, Nasty Nancy Pelosi told her story that the “spirits of women’s of rights activists” Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Alice Paul…
The corruption of Barack Obama By J.B. Shurk The national media are “flabbergasted” that Americans won’t consent to President Trump’s “removal” from office. How can so many of his compatriots be “indicted” and so many government bureaucrats condemn his “behavior” without giving them what they desire: self-assurance that they are “on the right side of history”? […]
Ahhh yes, here we have another Trumpanzee going all psychotic over his President Barack Obama Derangement Syndrome while they defend the perverted, proven pathological lying, con-artist, thief, and overall Putin dick sucking Puppet. Yes, they bitch and complain about President Barack Obama and just patently lie about him, while they protect and defend and cover for all the shit that Traitor Trump spews on a daily basis.
They do not care that he has had his University and Charity shut down for theft and fraud. They do not care he grabs women by the pussy or is a pedo pervert to young girls and a sick and disgusting scumbag incestual pervert towards his daughters. They do not care he has been divorced twice and got caught in numerous adulterous affairs and paying off porn stars and Playboy models. They do not care about his bragging about walking into his Miss Teen USA pagaent dressing room to oggle naked underage girls.
Why? Because his Trumpanzees are just as sick, just as twisted, just as perverted, just as much a bunch of misogynist pigs who think they can rape women and young girls without penalty. Who think they can dress up as drag queen racist pig fuckers in their Nazi, KKK and White Supremacist outfits and that makes them oh so special. That these fat pig fuckers who huff and puff to their corner store to get their 30 packs of natty ice and Jim Beam are going to be real tough guys dressed in their camos walking around with their tiny penis substitues on their sholders being led by their Commander Bone Spurs to take back Merica for the white supremacist shitstains on the underwear of humanity.
Most of these Cocksuckers for Christ, these Treasonous Traitor Trumpanzees? Had to drop out of second grade home schooling cause they either knocked up their teachers or got knocked up by their teachers and had to marry them. But you know how much these Twisted Trumpanzees love their habit of generational inbreeding and farm animal mating.
These Trumpanzees should stick to what they are truly good for. Playing Dueling Banjos on their front porches, while they chew tobacco, swill their moonshine and fuck each other up their asses.
Awwww look. Here we have another mental midget moron Trumpanzee, playing with their Obama Derangement Syndrome. Of course? All this shows is how much a bunch of shitstains on the underwear of humanity these racist pig fucking Trumpanzees are.
Now? Let’s look at the reality of Traitor Donald J Trump.
Now? Let’s look at the reality of what Trumpanzees truly are shall we?
Don’t you just love all these Trumpanzees with their Obama Derangement Syndrome, their Hillary Derangement Syndrome and their Democrat Derangment Syndrome. But we have a cure for this for them. It is called a self-inflicted, full frontal lobotomy. All Trumpanzees with ODS, HDS and DDS should? Take the damn cure.
Wherever crowds gathered in the flat, lake-dotted swath of Florida between Orlando and Ocala, it seemed that Cheryl Hall was there: clad in red, white and blue, clipboard in hand, signing up new voters at the Mount Dora Arts Festival, the Ocoee Founders’ Day party, the Taste of South Lake fair in Clermont and more.
“She just seemed like a diligent, hard-working lady,” said Alan Hays, the supervisor of elections in Lake County, who appears in a photo on Ms. Hall’s Facebook page, his arm firmly clasped around her shoulder. “No one suspected anything was amiss until we got phone calls from people.”
Something was indeed amiss: Ms. Hall, a 63-year-old and very ardent Republican whose ranch house in Clermont sports life-size cutouts of Donald and Melania Trump and a MAGA poster in the window, was charged last week with 10 felony counts of submitting false voter registration forms. On at least 10 forms traced to Ms. Hall, officials said, the party affiliations of already-registered Democrats and Independents had been switched to Republican. More than 100 others that may be tied to her contained missing or bogus data such as wrong birth dates.
Ms. Hall was a canvasser for Florida First Inc., a recently created nonprofit that is financed at least in part by a dark-money group formed by Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign manager, Brad Parscale, and other Trump associates.
The Florida nonprofit group, which has filed more than 30,000 new registrations according to the Florida secretary of state, is part of a $20 million bid by the group, America First Policies, to register Republicans in battleground states before November. State officials have said there is no evidence so far of widespread fraud in Florida First’s voter-registration efforts.
But the improprieties of which Ms. Hall stands accused are hardly unheard of in voter-registration drives — particularly those that, like Florida First, have partisan backing. Signing up new voters is a low-paying temp job that requires few skills, and in states that allow it (Florida does not), workers have quotas or are offered cash incentives to sign up as many new registrants as possible.
The result is a small but steady trickle of fraudulent registrations, enough to demand added vigilance by election officials, but rarely to pose any serious threat to election integrity. Republicans have been most vocal about allegations of voter fraud, but Ms. Hall’s case is a reminder that neither party has a monopoly on virtue.
In north Florida’s Leon County, home to the state capital, Tallahassee, authorities are scrutinizing registrations by a liberal-backed nonprofit in which two voters have complained that their party registrations were switched and one newly registered voter was found to be dead, as first reported by the Miami Herald.
Lake County officials have said they still are not certain what prompted the bogus forms attributed to Ms. Hall, which contained such obvious errors that they were quickly caught.
Florida court records suggest her life has been checkered by both financial and legal problems, including a 2003 charge of unemployment compensation fraud, which resulted in probation, and a 2014 arrest for stealing donations from the Salvation Army. That charge was dropped after she entered a pretrial diversion program.
Ms. Hall was active in local Republican Party circles, and her Facebook page was festooned with photographs — some of which have been recently removed — of her posing with conservative luminaries, such as Donald Trump Jr., Sean Hannity, Roger J. Stone Jr. and the state’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis.
She was a member of the Lake County Republican Party county executive committee, in charge of getting out the vote in her precinct, said Walter B. Price, Sr., chairman of the county party. He said proceedings have begun to remove her from those posts.
Ms. Hall did not respond to requests for comment, including a note left at her house.
Mr. Hays, the Lake County election supervisor, said she helped file more than 500 registration forms in his county alone before being arrested.
“We already had extensive quality control measures in place that helped us assist the supervisor of elections in their investigation,” said Chris Gober, Florida First’s attorney, adding that there is no financial incentive for any canvassing employee to rack up additional voter registration applications. “Our mission is to register voters and ensure that every Florida resident has an opportunity to vote, regardless of ideology or political affiliation.”
Mr. Hays said Florida First traced the questionable forms to Ms. Hall because they included a number assigned to her for registration work. He said he hopes to meet with other election officials and voter groups soon to “find out what measures we can take to prevent this from happening again.”
The most cited example of registration irregularities involved the left-leaning community organizing group commonly known as ACORN whose registration drives became a target of fraud accusations by Republicans during the 2008 presidential campaign. The group said it had hired 13,000 registration canvassers and signed up 1.3 million new voters in 2007 and 2008; a handful of those workers were found guilty of fraud, such as registering children and nonexistent voters.
The group said most charges were politically inflated — in some cases, it maintained, workers were cited for bogus registrations that they actually had flagged for election workers. But it said in a statement in 2008 that “in any endeavor of this size, some people will engage in inappropriate conduct.” The controversy forced ACORN to shut down in 2010.
Other examples have occurred over time: a Los Angeles voter drive that paid $2.50 in 1992 for each new registration and enrolled a dead person and a baby; an Orange County, Calif., drive in 2006 by a Republican contractor that switched 65 voters from Democrats to Republicans; a 2010 campaign by a pro-Democrat labor union that filed as many as a thousand suspicious forms; a Pennsylvania college student who pleaded guilty in 2017 to creating 18 fake registrations to help a co-worker meet a quota.
While such fraud is a serious matter, it generally poses a less serious threat to the integrity of elections, said David J. Becker, the director of the Center for Election Innovation and Reform, who helped create a clearinghouse for verifying voter registrations that is used by election officials nationwide.
“Election officials have to be vigilant against such attacks, and in this case, they were,” he said in an email. “I think the likelihood of detecting an attack like this is very high, as is the chance to mitigate any negative impacts, even if it makes things more difficult for election officials. But in this era of foreign interference and win-at-all-costs partisanship, add this to the list of things that election officials are worrying about.”
The cases have often fueled a political divide between Democrats who have long relied on sign-ups of new voters to build their ranks and Republicans, whose supporters historically tended to be better educated and more likely to register without prompting.
Texas Republicans enacted perhaps the nation’s strictest curbs on voter registration drives. Florida’s Republican-dominated legislature crimped Democratic registration efforts in the 2012 campaign season by enacting such tough restrictions on signing up voters that some groups gave up. The law later was overturned in court.