Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for July, 2019

President Bone Spurs was positively euphoric this past weekend over the news that the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled that he may use $2.5 billion in military funds to build his BORDER WALL.

Trump was so thrilled over the 5-4 decision, that he spent the weekend sending out tweets which, instead of attacking political foes, boasted of his court victory.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Got the funs and we’re going to bild the wall! In fack, we’re going to bild severul wals!

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

I may drive the first steak. Just trying to prioriotise which wall gets bilt furst.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Starting in New Mexico with furst wall. All Mexicans their will be reqwired to remain behind wall. Any children who gets p[ass wall will be put in cages. Make Amurica Grate Again!

Informed that New Mexico is not part of Mexico, but one of the 50 states, the White House did not respond but Trump did have a follow-up tweet:

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Fake news! If it says Mexico, were walling it off! Very staple jenious POTUS Makeing Amurica Grate Again!

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

vMexico, Mane., Mexico, Pen., Mexico, Indiana., Mixico, Misssouri., Mexico, NY., Mexico BNeech, Florida. These peeple each voted dozens of times for crooked Hilary. Millions of cases of voter fraud their. Fences for all! No collusion! Make Amurica Grate Again!

The cities of Mexico in Maine, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Missouri and New York are all American cities. Mexico Beach, Florida, of course, was obliterated by Hurricane Michael last October, as evidenced by photos from Trump’s own personal network, FAUX NEWS.

Reminded that the city was completely destroyed by Michael, Trump promptly sent out yet another tweet:

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Grate news! That’s one less Mexico we have to bild a wall around. ICE will round up the people that lived their and ship them back.! No obstruction! POTUS exhonorated! Make Amurica Grate Again!

Outgoing White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement in which she said that claims that Mexico Beach was completely destroyed were inaccurate.

“There was ONE BUILDING that survived, so the town was not ‘completely destroyed,’” she said. “This is just another example of liberal media bias.”

Trump used the building as inspiration for still another tweet when he indicated illegal aliens might be hiding in the surviving building:

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

We have proof that 800 Mexicans are wholed up in that building. ICE is going in their toround them up! POTUS Making Ameerica grate again!

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Watch out Mexicans in Main, Penn, Ind, Misouri an New York. ICE is coming their next and the wals are going up! Mueller testimony proves POTUS Making Anerica grete again!

 

Advertisement

Read Full Post »

A couple of things caught my attention this past week, neither of which should be a sign of encouragement for Louisianans.

First, during Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Louisiana 8th District Rep. Mike Johnson, a Shreveport Republican, had the unbelievable gall to tell Mueller that Donald Trump had “cooperated fully” with Mueller’s investigation.

That’s simply a damned lie and Johnson and all the other invertebrate Republican enablers in Congress are as well—and they know it.

How can threatening—and attempting—to fire Mueller be considered cooperation?

How can President Bone Spurs’ refusal to provide his income tax returns be considered cooperation?

How can President Bone Spurs’ refusal to appear in person before Mueller for questioning be considered cooperation?

How can President Bone Spurs’ incessant tweeting about the so-called “witch hunt” be considered cooperation?

How can President Bone Spurs’ constantly insulting Mueller be considered cooperation?

How can the repeated lapses of memory from President Bone Spurs (who, by the way, has repeatedly claimed he had one of the “best memories in history”) in his written responses to Mueller’s questions be considered cooperation?

Mike Johnson, there simply is no nice way to say it: You are a liar and an embarrassment.

Mike Johnson, you may wish to read what a friend sent me that was written by Paul Thornton of the Los Angeles Times (a conservative, Republican-leaning newspaper, by the way):

At almost any other time in American history, a decorated Marine with a highly distinguished legal and law enforcement career vouching for his 400-page report detailing a president’s impeachment-worthy conduct would be greeted with (at least) deference or (at best) bipartisan gratitude.

But Robert S. Mueller III had the misfortune of explaining his life’s most important investigation to a bunch of Republicans eager to engage in character assassination on behalf of the most amoral president in U.S. history, and in front of a media that valued “optics” just as much as the details of Mueller’s report.

The other attention-getter was the TV ad campaign launched by businessman Eddie Rispone in his bid to unseat John Bel Edwards for governor.

The best thing that be said about Rispone’s CURRENT AD is that he is just John Neely Kennedy 2.0—without the weed killer. Both are classic suck-ups running off someone else’s popularity with nothing of substance to offer. Some might call them political whores, but I would never be so crass. They’re just your typical political opportunists, folks, plain and simple.

Other than pointing out that he placed a Trump sticker on his truck, Rispone does nothing in the ad to address Louisiana’s problems or to offer solutions. Two words: sound bites.

Rispone even has a YOU TUBE AD (it may also have run on TV, but I haven’t seen it there yet) in which he proclaims, “It’s time to drain the swamp.”

Sound familiar?

Any questions as to how well President Bone Spurs has kept his promise to “drain the swamp”?

To give you an athletic analogy, in gymnastics, judges score contestants on, among other things, creativity and originality, degree of difficulty and execution.

Rispone’s pathetic ad falls flat on each of those categories. It’s nothing more than a dog whistle, to those poor souls who think President Bone Spurs actually has their best interests at heart and that he is really working on their behalf.

If Rispone is so devoted and loyal to President Bone Spurs, then that must necessarily mean that:

  • He condones adulterous behavior, even encourages it;
  • He is a racist;
  • He believes, like President Bone Spurs, that one does not need real solutions if he has enough money to purchase his office.
  • He supports a draft dodger who now hides behind the American flag;
  • He supports embracing shady characters like Jeffrey Epstein until they become a liability and then he “barely knows them”;
  • He believes the end justifies the means—regardless of who gets hurt in the process;
  • He believes that if President Bone Spurs can spout the rhetoric that resonates with his cult, then everything else he does should be ignored, even applauded.
  • He supports ridiculing physically-handicapped reporters;
  • He supports placing children in cages;
  • He supports tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and corporations;
  • He supports Vladimir Putin, Kim Jung Un and Bashar al-Assad;
  • He would employ (but fail to pay) undocumented workers;
  • He would borrow (but fail to repay) hundreds of millions of dollars and would choose instead to stiff creditors by declaring bankruptcy—six times;
  • He supports increasing the national deficit by more than $1 trillion after promising to eliminate same;
  • He condones—encourages, even—serial lying;
  • He supports the idea of blaming others for everything bad and taking credit for all things good—like President Bone Spurs’ latest claim that the poor air conditioning in the White House is somehow the fault of his predecessor (really, he actually said that).

Rispone’s failure to publicly repudiate these suppositions should be considered affirmation.

Finally, there is THIS, and I think most of us can still remember the eight-year disaster that were the Jindal years.

So, if you liked Jindal, you’ll love Rispone.

If that doesn’t convince you that Rispone is about as phony as any political opportunist could possible be, then I have a mountaintop resort in Pierre Part to sell you.

 

Read Full Post »

Some people call me a liberal, but many of you may not realize I was once a Republican when it wasn’t cool to be one. When I first registered as Republican back in the mid-1970s, the Louisiana Republican Party could’ve held its convention in a telephone booth.

I left the GOP for two reasons: Bobby Jindal and the realization that the party no longer represented my viewpoint that all people should be treated equally, that corporations should not be given preference over the citizenry when it came to taxation, the environment, and jobs and that campaign contributions should not be the deciding factor in legislation affecting my life.

Now, I read that JIM BAKKER, formerly of the hilarious team of Jim and Tammy Faye, has predicted that Christian leaders and politicians “will be murdered” if Trump is not re-elected.

It’s that kind of idiotic rhetoric that serves as a dog whistle to Trump followers in particular and Republicans in general.

That said, a former Ruston High classmate forwarded the following anonymous text to me. I didn’t write it, though I wish I had. I am simply passing it along so that there can be no questions about where I stand.

Not every liberal is the same, The majority of liberals I know think along roughly these same lines, though there are those who would eagerly but unfairly paint us with a much broader brush:

1. I believe a country should take care of its weakest members. A country cannot call itself civilized when its children, disabled, sick, and elderly are neglected. Period.

2. I believe healthcare is a right, not a privilege. Somehow that’s interpreted as “I believe Obamacare is the end-all, be-all.” This is not the case. I’m fully aware that the ACA has problems, that a national healthcare system would require everyone to chip in, and that it’s impossible to create one that is devoid of flaws, but I have yet to hear an argument against it that makes “let people die because they can’t afford healthcare” a better alternative. I believe healthcare should be far cheaper than it is, and that everyone should have access to it. And no, I’m not opposed to paying higher taxes in the name of making that happen.

3. I believe education should be affordable and accessible to everyone. It doesn’t necessarily have to be free (though it works in other countries so I’m mystified as to why it can’t work in the US), but at the end of the day, there is no excuse for students graduating college saddled with five- or six-figure debt.

4. I don’t believe your money should be taken from you and given to people who don’t want to work. I have literally never encountered anyone who believes this. Ever. I just have a massive moral problem with a society where a handful of people can possess the majority of the wealth while there are people literally starving to death, freezing to death, or dying because they can’t afford to go to the doctor. Fair wages, lower housing costs, universal healthcare, affordable education, and the wealthy actually paying their share would go a long way toward alleviating this. Somehow believing that makes me a communist.

5. I don’t throw around “I’m willing to pay higher taxes” lightly. If I’m suggesting something that involves paying more, well, it’s because I’m fine with paying my share as long as it’s actually going to something besides lining corporate pockets or bombing other countries while Americans die without healthcare.

6. I believe companies should be required to pay their employees a decent, livable wage. Somehow this is always interpreted as me wanting burger flippers to be able to afford a penthouse apartment and a Mercedes. What it actually means is that no one should have to work three full-time jobs just to keep their head above water. Restaurant servers should not have to rely on tips, multibillion-dollar companies should not have employees on food stamps, workers shouldn’t have to work themselves into the ground just to barely make ends meet, and minimum wage should be enough for someone to work 40 hours and live.

7. I am not anti-Christian. I have no desire to stop Christians from being Christians, to close churches, to ban the Bible, to forbid prayer in school, etc. (BTW, prayer in school is NOT illegal; “compulsory” prayer in school is – and should be – illegal). All I ask is that Christians recognize “my” right to live according to “my” beliefs. When I get pissed off that a politician is trying to legislate Scripture into law, I’m not “offended by Christianity” — I’m offended that you’re trying to force me to live by your religion’s rules. You know how you get really upset at the thought of Muslims imposing Sharia law on you? That’s how I feel about Christians trying to impose Biblical law on me. Be a Christian. Do your thing. Just don’t force it on me or mine.

8. I don’t believe LGBT people should have more rights than you. I just believe they should have the “same” rights as you.

9. I don’t believe illegal immigrants should come to America and have the world at their feet, especially since THIS ISN’T WHAT THEY DO (spoiler: undocumented immigrants are ineligible for all those programs they’re supposed to be abusing, and if they’re “stealing” your job it’s because your employer is hiring illegally). I’m not opposed to deporting people who are here illegally, but I believe there are far more humane ways to handle undocumented immigration than our current practices (i.e., detaining children, splitting up families, ending DACA, etc.).

10. I don’t believe the government should regulate everything, but since greed is such a driving force in our country, we NEED regulations to prevent cut corners, environmental destruction, tainted food/water, unsafe materials in consumable goods or medical equipment, etc. It’s not that I want the government’s hands in everything — I just don’t trust people trying to make money to ensure that their products/practices, etc. are actually SAFE. Is the government devoid of shadiness? Of course not. But with those regulations in place, consumers have recourse if they’re harmed and companies are liable for medical bills, environmental cleanup, etc. It just kind of seems like common sense when the alternative to government regulation is letting companies bring their bottom line into the equation.

11. I believe our current administration is fascist. Not because I dislike them or because I can’t get over an election, but because I’ve spent too many years reading and learning about the Third Reich to miss the similarities. Not because any administration I dislike must be Nazis, but because things are actually mirroring authoritarian and fascist regimes of the past.

12. I believe the systemic racism and misogyny in our society is much worse than many people think, and desperately needs to be addressed. Which means those with privilege — white, straight, male, economic, etc. — need to start listening, even if you don’t like what you’re hearing, so we can start dismantling everything that’s causing people to be marginalized.

13. I am not interested in coming after your blessed guns, nor is anyone serving in government. What I am interested in is sensible policies, including background checks, that just MIGHT save one person’s, perhaps a toddler’s, life by the hand of someone who should not have a gun. (Got another opinion? Put it on your page, not mine).

14. I believe in so-called political correctness. I prefer to think it’s social politeness. If I call you Chuck and you say you prefer to be called Charles, I’ll call you Charles. It’s the polite thing to do. Not because everyone is a delicate snowflake, but because as Maya Angelou put it, when we know better, we do better. When someone tells you that a term or phrase is more accurate/less hurtful than the one you’re using, you now know better. So why not do better? How does it hurt you to NOT hurt another person?

15. I believe in funding sustainable energy, including offering education to people currently working in coal or oil so they can change jobs. There are too many sustainable options available for us to continue with coal and oil. Sorry, billionaires. Maybe try investing in something else.

16. I believe that women should not be treated as a separate class of human. They should be paid the same as men who do the same work, should have the same rights as men and should be free from abuse. Why on earth shouldn’t they be?

I think that about covers it. Bottom line is that I’m a liberal because I think we should take care of each other. That doesn’t mean you should work 80 hours a week so your lazy neighbor can get all your money. It just means I don’t believe there is any scenario in which preventable suffering is an acceptable outcome as long as money is saved.”

Read Full Post »

“History buffs, law enforcement junkies and readers with an affinity for entertaining stories about colorful elected officials and political scandals will enjoy this book about some of Louisiana’s most notorious Sheriffs. Tom’s meticulously researched book documenting the self-serving decisions, arrogance and greed that led to the downfall and political ruin of several Louisiana sheriffs is an enjoyable read for anyone but should be required reading for public servants everywhere.”

—Rafael C. Goyeneche, III, President, New Orleans Metropolitan Crime Commission

 

“Everyone enjoys reading Tom Aswell, so long as he is writing about someone else. Errant politicians who have featured in his investigative newspaper reports or the blog he has run in recent years have found it a chastening experience. Aswell has been the political conscience of Louisiana for decades, and his intimate acquaintance with the seamy side of our public life delightfully informs this survey of skullduggery on party of those mighty panjandrums—the sheriffs. Aswell’s subject could hardly be more serious – the malefactions of our sheriffs cover the criminal gamut – but he cannot help being an entertaining read as he relates the malefactions of such larger-than-life character as Cat Doucet of St, Landry Parish and Harry Lee of Jefferson. Sheriffs, with the wide authority they enjoy under the state constitution, are top dogs in most parishes and have been taking advantage for generations. Aswell covers the subject from Reconstruction, when the local sheriff played a leading role in the Colfax massacre, through the Kefauver hearings on the mob and gambling in the New Orleans area and gives us a full account of more recent sheriff looking out for number one. If you want to understand what makes Louisiana a law unto itself, you need to read this book.”

—James Gill, columnist, New Orleans Advocate

 

“Gambling, prostitution, racism, and garden-variety chicanery. That’s just some of the corrupt behavior of the worst Louisiana sheriffs through the years. In this entertaining and eye-opening book, Tom Aswell is an expert guide to the rogue’s gallery of Bayou State lawmen who ruled Louisiana parishes for too long.”

—Bob Mann, author

 

“Tom Aswell’s book about Louisiana Sheriff is entertaining to say the least! As a former Sheriff, I personally knew many of the deceased “legends.” and of course, most of the living. I should mention that I am ecstatic that I didn’t make the cut to be included in its cast of characters. The book is a good read and is thoroughly researched. I know that many of the players were “good old boys” who were great politicians but lacked education and quite often the advice of counsel.

“It has always been my opinion that the longer an office-holder remains in office, the greater the potential for committing absolutely egregious ethical or criminal violations. The aura of being untouchable and undefeated surrounding an elected official can lead to a tragic downfall and often prison. A vast majority of the men and women in uniform are dedicated to their profession, and the potential for becoming an on-the-job fatality occurs every time a uniform is worn! We should all be thankful for the jobs being done by a mostly underpaid group of men and women that needs the public’s support now—more than ever.

—Anthony G. “Tony” Falterman, former sheriff and district attorney

 

“Those of us who grew up in Louisiana know that local governments are run by the “courthouse gang” of local elected officials and state politicians still believe they need their support to win elections. Without question, the most powerful and independent member of that group is the sheriff, who is also a member of the most powerful political lobbying group in the state, the Louisiana Sheriffs Association. Not only do sheriffs hold considerable sway with lawmakers, but governors are known to take their recommendations for certain appointments, including the heads of state police and the corrections system. Our current governor comes from a family of sheriffs.

“Beginning with the Kefauver Crime Commission in 1951, Aswell traces actions by some sheriffs across our state that would, in the absence of the right connections, net most of us time in a parish jail or a state or federal prison. He details human rights violations, nepotism, favoritism, discrimination, racism, sexism, organized crime connections, ignorance (for a price) of gambling and prostitution, theft of public property and other actions anybody should clearly see as wrong – things that, as Lord Acton’s statement implies, indicate that as power grows, moral senses tend to diminish.

“Those familiar with Tom Aswell’s work will know he is meticulous in his research – For proof, pick up a copy of his earlier book, Louisiana Rocks. In Louisiana’s Rogue Sheriffs Aswell continues the diligence of his encyclopedic volume on rock music history and in his seminal book about our immediate past governor – Bobby Jindal: His Destiny and Obsession, coupling it with the courageous journalism reflected in his LouisianaVoice blog. Despite the serious nature of this book, he manages to work in humorous anecdotes from his personal experiences.

“I recommend this book to anybody seeking insight into our justice system, particularly the law enforcement side and specifically sheriffs. It represents years of work and documentation of facts and experts’ opinions. It is exhaustive and hard to absorb in one or two sittings. I recommend you read 3 – 5 chapters at a time to get the full effect.”

—Stephen Winham, Louisiana State Budget Director (Ret.)

“I’m gonna rip his head off and pour Drain-O down his throat.”

—Anonymous Sheriff

That last one’s a joke, folks—not to be taken seriously (I hope).

 

But in case it isn’t, you still have time to order your signed copy by clicking on the yellow Donate Button with Credit Cardsbutton in the column to the right of this post (don’t click on the one in the story; it doesn’t work. Go to the right hand column and scroll up) and pay by credit card.

If that doesn’t work or if you prefer not paying by plastic, you may send a check for $30 to Tom Aswell, P.O. Box 922, Denham Springs, LA. 70727.

Read Full Post »

Don’t forget to order your copy of my latest book, Louisiana’s Rogue Sheriffs: A Culture of Corruption. If you’ve ever wondered if sheriffs are really as politically powerful as all the pundits say, you need only read my book to find out.

Prostitution, profiteering, conflicts of interest, ethics violations, theft, drugs, even murder: it’s all there, from Plaquemine and St. Bernard parishes to Caddo and Bossier, from Ouachita to Iberia, from Jefferson to Jefferson Davis. From Jena to Jonesboro, from St. Tammany to St. Francisville, from New Orleans to Mansfield. Big, small, they’re all there. Many of the sheriffs are long dead but others are still alive and in office.

You can get your signed copy for $30 vis credit card by clicking on the yellow Donate Button with Credit Cards button in the column to the right of this post or by sending a check for $30 per copy to: Tom Aswell, P.O. Box 922, Denham Springs, Louisiana 70727. (Hey, you might just want to go ahead and get one for everyone on your Christmas list and get that pesky Christmas shopping out of the way for this year.)

My first book signing was delayed by Tropical Storm Barry and has been re-scheduled for 2 p.m. on Aug. 3 at Cavalier House Books in Denham Springs. There will be a simultaneous signing at Cavalier’s by Ruston author Johnny Armstrong of his book, Shadow Shine. It’s a very good book with a strong ecological theme that you’re certain to find entertaining and educational.

On Friday at 9 a.m., I will be on the Jim Engster Show on Louisiana Public Radio to discuss my book. You can listen to the live podcast by clicking on THIS LINK at 9 a.m., and then clicking on “Listen Live!”

Hint: because it’s a “listen live” link, it won’t work until the show starts at 9 a.m.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: