Thursday, December 31, 2020

"No One Would Believe This Is In The United States"
Record Number Of Hospitalizations (125,220) And Deaths (3,903) On Wednesday

It's an absolute horror show in the hospitals of the US's second largest city.

Hospital morgues are stuffed with corpses, there are not enough machines for every patient that needs one, patients are suffering heart attacks and seizures in ambulances while waiting for hours in long lines to offload, staff shortages mean patients who need to be monitored are not being watched, others with non-COVID-19 ailments are reluctant to seek care for fear of contracting the disease and then need critical care when they finally decide to go, a potentially more contagious strain of the virus is being reported in various parts of the country and we keep seeing photographs of groups of people gathering without masks . . .

On Wednesday, the US reported more than 226,000 new cases, a record 125,220 hospitalizations, and a record 3,903 deaths. (And that is with the possibility that some states are not reporting as regularly during the holidays.)

Los Angeles Times, December 31, 2020:

Los Angeles County's healthcare system was buckling Wednesday under the unprecedented surge of COVID-19 patients, with bodies piling up at morgues and medical professionals resorting to increasingly desperate measures as they brace for conditions to worsen in the coming weeks.

With hospitals overwhelmed by patients and no outlet valve available, doctors, nurses and paramedics are being forced to make wrenching choices about who gets care and at what level.

"No one would believe this is in the United States," said Scott Byington, a critical care nurse at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood. "Everyone is doing what they can do. It's not that anybody is slacking. It's just that it's too overwhelming for everyone."

Hospital morgues are so full that the National Guard is being called in to help county workers as corpses are moved into storage at the L.A. County Department of the Medical Examiner-Coroner. The overcrowded crypts at hospitals are a result of private mortuaries running out of space and staff to handle the unprecedented number of COVID-19 deaths.

The deteriorating conditions came as Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that a new, potentially more contagious variant of the coronavirus identified in the United Kingdom had been found in Southern California, though officials said the findings were not unexpected and should not cause undue alarm.

Los Angeles County on Wednesday tallied its 10,000th COVID-19 death. On the same day, it recorded 262 deaths, breaking the single-day record for COVID-19 deaths for the second day in a row. L.A. County is now averaging about 129 COVID-19 deaths a day over the past week, a figure that has never been higher. . . .

Dr. Christina Ghaly, the L.A. County health services director, said Wednesday, "There have been some unfortunate outcomes from patients in hospitals and ambulances across the county who couldn't be offloaded into an emergency department in a timely manner."

County officials have been concerned about patients suffering from things such as strokes, heart attacks and seizures waiting in ambulances outside hospitals, said Cathy Chidester, director of the county Emergency Medical Services Agency. "The early intervention, in some of these cases if you don't get it, may lead to worse outcomes," she said.

The crush of patients has led the county to allow certain types of ambulance patients to be offloaded into the waiting room instead of the emergency room, according to memos issued by the EMS agency.

Additionally, 911 patients who have a do-not-resuscitate directive will not be taken to acute-care facilities such as a hospital, nor will certain trauma patients whose hearts have stopped.

On a recent shift, Byington, the critical care nurse at St. Francis Medical Center, cared for 12 patients in crisis. On the overhead speakers, he heard near-constant calls of rapid response and Code Blues as patients crashed.

"I'm upstairs in a COVID room, he's coding, and then I go downstairs to a COVID room, he's coding, and then there's a problem and I go back and forth and back and forth," he said. "It's all night long — it's crazy."

Watching COVID-19 patients suffer is horrifying. Their eyes widen with panic as they struggle to take in enough oxygen and gasp for breath. It is a process much like suffocation.

"You hope for some of these patients who are not going to survive, that they actually become unconscious before this, because it's very scary," Byington said. "It's no different than probably drowning."

On a recent shift, there were more than 40 patients in the telemetry units — some with heart attacks and others with COVID-19 — but staff couldn't find technicians to watch their heart monitors, because employees also have fallen sick with COVID. . . .

Hospital staff are also dealing with non-COVID patients in crisis who have put off urgent medical care for fear of contracting the coronavirus at the hospital. A patient might have had shortness of breath and chest pain for a few days, but doesn't come into the hospital for treatment for a heart attack until it's nearly too late, Byington said. . . .

On a recent shift, seven patients died in the hospital within six hours, Byington said. The hospital morgue is often at capacity. There have been patients passing away who were in their 20s and 30s, he said. Recently, a sick patient was cared for in the ER hallway because there was no more space in the hospital.

The patient could not be saved, and died there, Byington said.

"When it came time for them to pass, they passed in the hallway."

Byington, who has worked at the hospital for nearly 30 years, said medical staff are trying as hard as they can. The situation is equally bleak at other nearby hospitals, he said.

"They give 110% and come back the next day to start all over," Byington added. "It's like a MASH unit, everywhere in the hospital. This is a situation where people come in and it's like rolling the dice."

At different times, the hospital has run out of high-flow oxygen as well as BiPap machines, a mask that helps push oxygen into the lungs, often a last resort before placing ill patients on a ventilator.

The choices are often grim. A patient might require a BiPap machine, and there may be only one left, just surrendered by a patient who died, Byington said. Once the machine is given to the patient in need, it could be just minutes before another might need one — but there aren't any left.

"You have to pick and choose," he said. "That's where we really are — we're really at that point."

That sentiment was shared by medical professionals across the region, who fear that as bad as the conditions are now, they would get worse.

"I have never been in the position in my career where I couldn't offer lifesaving care to someone who needed it," said Dr. Marc Futernick, a Los Angeles emergency room physician who also serves as regional medical director of VEP Healthcare. "That is literally what we are talking about. If there is no space, no ventilator and no oxygen. … We are going to have to sit on our hands. Just saying it out loud, it is so frightening. None of us want to face that." . . .

The rate at which coronavirus test results are coming back positive continues to climb. The daily positivity rate is now at 20% — five times worse than the comparable figure from Nov. 1, when the rate was less than 4%.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump, who is personally responsible for the needless deaths of tens of thousands of Americans, is busy tweeting that he was named Gallup's "Most Admired" man in the United States, toppling his nemesis, Barack Obama, from the top spot.

It's not all sunshine for Dolt 45, however. He is also angry at the lack of fealty shown by many Republicans. "Why aren't they just listening [to me]?" he is whining. One source said Trump "is keeping a running [mental] list of Republicans who he believes have wronged him since the election".

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Trump Delays Signing Relief Bill One Additional Day, So Millions Of Americans Will Lose Unemployment Benefits

Donald Trump could have signed the COVID Relief bill on Thursday, December 24. He refused for three days before "unexpectedly" signing it on Sunday, December 27.

However, his signature came "after two critical unemployment programs lapsed, guaranteeing a delay in benefits for millions of unemployed Americans". The New York Times explained more fully, though not until its story's 13th paragraph
While the legislation provides for expanded and extended unemployment benefits, Mr. Trump's delay in signing allowed two critical programs to lapse this weekend and guarantees a delay in benefits for millions of Americans who had relied on the income. The legislation provides for a weekly $300 federal benefit — about half the original benefit established in the March stimulus law — for 11 weeks, and extends the two programs.

With state unemployment agencies waiting for federal guidance on how to put the new legislation in place, it is unclear how quickly those programs could resume and whether the benefits would be retroactive to accommodate the delay. Because unemployment benefits are processed weekly and the legislation was not signed before the beginning of the week, it is likely that workers in most states will lose a week of benefits under the expanded program, as well as a week with the $300 supplemental benefit.

"They might get it at the back end, but there are bills tomorrow," said Michele Evermore, a senior policy analyst for the National Employment Law Project, a nonprofit workers' rights group. "It's just so frustrating that he couldn't have figured this out yesterday. One day of delay is catastrophe for millions."

A Democratic aide on Sunday said most states would need guidance from the Labor Department to see if they could pay benefits for the week of Dec. 27.

The delay also jeopardized the time frame for distributing the $600 direct payments to most American adults, which Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, had initially promised could be distributed as early as this week.

"For families wondering how they will pay January rent or buy groceries, a weekslong delay could have serious consequences," Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement Sunday evening. "While it's a huge relief that the bill is being signed, Donald Trump's tantrum has created unnecessary hardship and stress for millions of families."
Knowing Trump's sole concern is his personal well-being and having watched his obvious glee this year as other people have suffered terribly, it is impossible to see his delay as anything but intentional. People keep saying it, but it has not sunk in to the extent it should. The cruelty is the point. 

Also, Trump wanted to punish Republicans for their supposed "disloyalty", not agreeing to unconditionally support his efforts to overthrow November's election. Trump will likely then brag about the reduced unemployment numbers and the ensuing stock market bump.

The Washington Post reported (beginning in the 12th paragraph) that Trump's
delay in signing a law still raised the prospect that it could be a little longer before some of the money actually reached those that need it most.

The new stimulus offers critical help to roughly 14 million Americans, for example, who have exhausted their unemployment benefits. But it may take weeks for state agencies to implement the new policy — and boost other jobless workers' pay — leaving some workers facing the real prospect that they will not receive their checks for an extended period. Colorado, for example, warned its residents Monday that it cannot even begin to reprogram its computers until the federal government shares key policy guidance. . . .

Trump's refusal to sign the stimulus law before Sunday has raised the possibility that millions of Americans essentially may lose a week of pay for the period starting on December 27, since the $900 billion stimulus could not take effect in time.

* * *

Monday, December 28, 2020

Leslie West (1945-2020)

Leslie West died last Wednesday, December 23, at the age of 75.

West formed the band Mountain with bassist Felix Pappalardi in 1969. Mountain lasted for only three years, releasing three studio albums — Climbing! (1970), Nantucket Sleighride (1971), and Flowers of Evil (1971), though they regrouped a couple of years later (Avalanche (1974, live)) and played on and off for decades. Pappalardi was also a producer, with Cream's Disraeli Gears on his resume.

Mountain was versatile. They were one of the forerunners of heavy metal (Rolling Stone magazine called them "a louder version of Cream") and a song written by West and Pappalardi, "Long Red", from West's pre-Mountain solo album, featured a drum break that has been sampled on more than 700 hip-hop songs. They also featured two accomplished vocalists. Where West was gruff and forceful, Pappalardi was softer and soulful.

West was a large man (the name Mountain referred to his size and he later named a solo album The Great Fatsby), with a gruff, forceful voice and a thick, monstrous guitar tone to match. On their impeccably-produced albums, it was a perfect combination. (Corky Laing's frenetic, propulsive drumming was also a standout element.)

I didn't play fast — I only used the first and the third finger on the fingering hand. So I worked on my tone all the time. I wanted to have the greatest, biggest tone, and I wanted vibrato like somebody who plays violin in a hundred-piece orchestra.
Never In My Life


 Don't Look Around


You Can't Get Away


The Great Train Robbery


Flowers of Evil

Theme From An Imaginary Western


Mississippi Queen

The song's got three chords. Any idiot can play it. I just happen to play it better than anybody. [It] has just everything you need to make it a winner. You've got the cowbell, the riff is pretty damn good, and it sounds incredible. It feels like it wants to jump out of your car radio. To me, it sounds like a big, thick milkshake. It's rich and chocolatey. Who doesn't love that?

Trump, In Self-Glorification Video, Superimposes The Nobel Prize He Did Not Win (The Latest In A Long History Of Trump Making Up Awards And Giving Them To Himself)

Trump Cheats At Golf:

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Rudy Claims "Considerable Movement" On Gathering Election Fraud Evidence:
"Starting After Christmas, This Is Really Going To Blow Up. Because The Evidence [They] Have Been Giving You Is False. And You're Going To Find That Out All At Once. It's Going To Be Very Shocking To The Country. ... No Matter What The Crooked Media Tells You, It's A Real Case."

It turns out that the first 61 court cases, including one billed by Donald Trump as "The Big One", were merely a warm-up.

Evidence of election fraud is here . . . . . . . . starting . . . . . . . . now!

Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer who requested a fee of $20,000 per day and then held a press conference in a dingy parking lot next door to a porn shop at the exact same time "all the networks" called the election for Joe Biden, blew his nose into a handkerchief at another press conference and immediately rubbed it all over his sweaty face, had what appeared to be low quality hair dye leak down both sides of his face during yet another press conference, and loudly farted several times while speaking at a Michigan hearing, stated last week during his podcast that there has been "considerable movement" in both the gathering election fraud evidence and movement towards the decertification of the election results in not one, not two, not three, but four states - Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Starting after Christmas, this is really going to blow up. Because the evidence that all these crooked television networks*, newspapers, big tech, and the leadership of the Democratic Party, have been giving you is false. And you're going to find that out all at once. It's going to be very shocking to the country. . . . The numbers were wrong. Therefore they must be decertified.

* Giuliani told his listeners that ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox News have all refused to have him on as a guest. I doubt he explained why. (Spoiler Alert: He is batshit insane (and often drunk, according to some reports).)

Anyway, in most swing states, actual decertification would require support from several Democrats, which would be, to put it mildly, extremely unlikely. 

Campaign lawyer Sidney Powell has said: "We've got a number of smoking guns. … We have a lot of extremely solid evidence. It's beyond impressive, and absolutely terrifying." That's what Trump and his campaign say in public and on TV, but when they get inside a court room, where they could be guilty of perjury, they suddenly have no evidence at all. In fact, they have repeatedly stated that they are not claiming that any fraud occurred.

According to the Washington Post (December 10):

The Trump team has spent weeks asserting that it could prove fraud or has proved fraud. It hasn't — and in many cases lawyers like Giuliani have been forced to admit in court that they aren't alleging actual fraud in specific cases — so now the argument is that this is beside the point. The real point, it seems, is that fraud could have occurred but that we might never see it because elections officials made it that way.

Yes, Trump's lawyers are saying there may have been massive fraud, but it was undetectable. (That Hugo Chavez is one clever bastard.) This is in line with the Legal Genius who claimed during a TV interview (probably Fox) that the burden of proof was on the anti-Trump side to prove that fraud didn't occur!

Giuliani stated that next month would "probably [be] a more dramatic January than we've had in our history". On January 6, 2021, the Senate and House of Representatives will meet jointly to:

open and count certificates of electoral votes from the 50 states and the District of Columbia, in alphabetical order. The process is spelled out in great detail in the U.S. legal code, right down to the Jan. 6 date and the hour (1 p.m.) at which the joint session begins. The candidate who reaches 270 electoral votes is the winner. During the session, at which Vice President Mike Pence will preside, any member may object to the results from any individual state.

Giuliani claimed that at least nine members or members-elect of the House will contest electoral votes during the joint session.

That's what's going to go on now—going to state legislatures and go on [to] Congress. This is going to be pursued. No matter what the crooked media tells you, it's a real case.

Of course, it's not the "crooked media" telling us that these cases are nonsense and bullshit. 

It's the judges in 61 court rooms

Trump's campaign is 1-60 in its court challenges. The lone victory was that curing ballots in Pennsylvania got a six-day limit instead of a nine-day limit.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

14 Million Americans Lose Unemployment Benefits As Trump Refuses To Sign His Own Administration's Funding Bill And Goes Golfing

While in Florida Golfing, Trump Allows Jobless Benefits to Expire for Millions
The president, at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach for the holidays, left coal in stockings of the unemployed

Peter Wade, Rolling Stone, December 26, 2020

While President Donald Trump spends the holidays at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, millions of Americans will lose their jobless benefits.

Trump's refusal to sign the $2.3 trillion Covid-19 relief and government funding bill, which his own administration negotiated, means approximately 14 million Americans will see their unemployment benefits expire on Saturday.

With at least a partial government shutdown looming if not signed by Tuesday, the bill has been sent to Florida where it awaits the president's signature or veto.

Trump's attempt to upend the bipartisan compromise by leadership in the House and Senate, insisting on $2,000 stimulus checks instead of the current $600 in the bill, is as fraudulent as his rigged election claims. It's important to remember that although Trump is now saying, "Give our people the money!" his administration was involved in the negotiations, and it's his party that is insisting on keeping payments to Americans low.

According to the New York Times, since November an additional 398,000 people filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, one of two programs that will expire on Saturday night. And even if Trump signed the bill today, it could still take four to six weeks for people to receive their new benefits, and they will need to submit proof that they are eligible.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to hold a unanimous consent vote Monday on legislation for stimulus checks that would meet Trump's supposed desire for $2,000 direct payments, although that is unlikely to pass or get past the Senate. But the vote will put Republicans in Congress on the spot since they've balked at going above $600, following their rediscovered concerns about the deficit.

More Important Matters

Fake Melania Dusted Off?

Friday, December 25, 2020

As US Reaches 20 Million COVID Cases And Deaths Top 340,000, Trump Golfs And Whines: Why Hasn't Melania Been On More Magazine Covers?

New Cases:      2,160,159
COVID Deaths:      28,593

The "Rigged (For President) Election"

Trump Is "Confused": Why Can't Pence Simply Overturn The Election?

Slow News Day

Thursday, December 24, 2020

"Dead People, Landscaping, And Pornography:
It's Hard To Know What Counts As A Fuckup When You Work For Donald Trump"

It was November 7, and the president — on the verge of Electoral College defeat, with the whole country glued to cable news . . . — had been pissed for four consecutive days. . . .

[Trump's] mood is often sour, but multiple White House officials told me things were so volatile after Election Day that they were outright avoiding the president out of concern he might end up using any nearby staffer as a human stress ball. . . . On Election Night, [a senior White House official] said, they walked into the residence, saw the president screaming, then turned around and walked right back out. . . .

Scheduling surprises had been Trump's style from the earliest days of his first campaign, after all, and no half-conscious person who worked for him for longer than a day could maintain the belief that the operation would ever achieve or even aspire to orderliness. . . .

Trump followed up his announcement with a second announcement. Rather than the Four Seasons hotel, the press conference would be held at Four Seasons Total Landscaping — on State Road, in an industrial patch of Northeast Philadelphia, near an interstate and a few doors down from the Fantasy Island Adult Book Store and across the street from a crematorium. If you hit the Pentecostal church, you've gone too far. . . .

It's hard to know what counts as a fuckup when you work for Donald Trump. Looked at by the standards of a traditional campaign with a traditional candidate who possesses a minor-to-moderate capacity for traditional human feelings, like shame, what happened at Four Seasons Total Landscaping, or the fact that it happened at all, was a disaster. . . .

In setting and content, the event served for some campaign officials and presidential advisers as a representation of the brokenness of Trumpworld. . . . A proper advance team, for instance, would have gone to scope things out before securing the location, taking note of nearby landmarks like the porn shop and the crematorium. . . .

In the weeks leading up to that Saturday morning, advisers to Trump believed Rudy Giuliani was becoming more and more of a problem. He'd always been a problem, it was true, prone to butt-dialing reporters, or showing up on TV all out of sorts to divulge something at odds with what the president had already claimed to be true, or otherwise catching the attention of hostile foreign governments or domestic investigators or celebrity pranksters.

But in the final sprint to Election Day, managing the known unknowns of Giuliani's endless capacity to fuck up so much . . . was consuming time and manpower at campaign headquarters when there was little left to spare. "We were spending hours each day trying to prevent Rudy from creating a disaster," a senior campaign official said. "Hours and hours."

People who were supposed to be focused on winning a presidential race were instead focused on devising ways to distract the once celebrated mayor of New York City. In the office he was a nuisance, but out of sight he was a terror. To keep him busy but accounted for, he was sent on the road as a surrogate, including for a last-minute event in Philadelphia on Columbus Day to launch an otherwise basically fake initiative called Italian Americans for Trump. . . .

[After the election, there were] competing power centers, with the litigators and other serious people on the one side, who realized almost immediately that the president had no legitimate pathway to change the election results, and the conspiracy theorists and crazy people, led by Giuliani, on the other side. The second group won, even after multiple interventions staged by lawyers and family members and other advisers. . . .

What came out of the president's mouth, and through his Twitter feed, seemed a reflection of what went into his head via people like Powell, Giuliani, and fellow legal-team member Jenna Ellis. . . . Trump spent even more time on the phone, dialing up whomever he saw defending him most rabidly on TV. . . . 

[Daryl] Brooks describes himself as an activist, but it's more true to say that he's a man in search of a movement. . . . "He was basically a kook and a political menace," Reed Gusciora, the mayor of Trenton, said. "So he fit in really well with Giuliani." And then, suddenly, there he was: the first witness called by Giuliani to address the cameras at Four Seasons Total Landscaping. . . . After the press conference, Politico reported that he had served time more than two decades ago after being convicted of exposing himself to a minor . . .

"This is all very us," another campaign official said. "I'm not shocked or surprised at all." If luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity, this was the opposite. "That's how you get the Four Seasons fucking Total Landscaping bullshit." . . .

[S]orting out the truth is a complicated endeavor when it relates to Donald Trump. Everyone involved in anything, no matter the size, no matter how stupid, seems to lie as a first resort, or to know very little, or to lie about knowing very little, or to know just enough to send blame in another direction, and the person in that direction seems to lie also, or to know very little, or to lie about knowing very little, but perhaps they have a theory that sends blame someplace else, and over there, too, you will find more liars, more know-nothings, and before long, a whole month will have passed, and you still haven't filed your story about how the president's attorney wound up undermining democracy in a parking lot off I-95 on a strip of cracked pavement in a run-down part of a city that ordinarily would command no consideration from the national political class or the very online public or the equally online mainstream media, which, when forced to look, found lots of reason to laugh.

Bernie D'Angelo [owns] Fantasy Island, the adult book store he inherited from his parents . . . "This is reality," he said. . . . He gestured to the wall of dildos on his left.

That Saturday morning, D'Angelo said . . . "[W]e looked out and found it was Giuliani who made a big mistake." He laughed hard. "He was at the wrong Four Seasons hotel, the wrong one!" He paused to laugh with every few words. "'Cause that's a … landscaping! … And not a hotel! … A five-star hotel! … And that's … one-star … landscaping!" He could barely breathe. "So you've got dead people, landscaping, and pornography!" . . .

As one Philadelphia Republican official told me: "Duuuuuude! It's sooooo embarrassing! Oh my God! It's the height of idiocy!"

"Many Meetings And Calls"

* * *

When A Pardon For War Crimes May Itself Be A War Crime

"Defund The Police Military"


Math Is Hard

Pence Criticizes Democrats For "Want[ing] To Make ... Poor People More Comfortable"
This Self-Described Christian Said That Two Days Before The Celebration Of Christ's Birth

"White, Hot Rage . . . Furious To The Point Of Madness" (Bizarre Paranoia, Mental Decline, Insanity & Mayhem)

What he's feeling right now is rage. White, hot rage because he feels obliterated by this . . . he's furious to the point of madness.

Tony Schwartz, co-author of The Art of the Deal

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

The Men Who Murdered Ali Kinani (And 14 Others) Have Been Pardoned By Donald Trump

Ali Kinani was 9 years old when he was shot in the head by Blackwater guards on September 16, 2007 in Baghdad Iraq. @realDonaldTrump just pardoned his killers. I represented Ali's and five other families in a civil lawsuit against Blackwater and Erik Prince for the killings. 

Ali was sitting in the back seat of his father's SUV with two of his cousins. Blackwater riddled the car with bullets. Ali's father was driving. When the shooting stopped they thought they had experienced a miracle that they were safe.

One of Ali's cousins said that Ali had been shot. His father opened the door after seeing blood on the window - and Ali's brain fell out onto the pavement between his father's feet.

Nicholas Slatten, Dustin L. Heard, Evan S. Liberty, Paul A. Slough.
The Blackwater guards convicted of killing Ali Kinani and over a dozen other innocent Iraqi civilians were pardoned today by Donald Trump.
None of the victims had weapons. They were all shot and killed or wounded in their cars.

Blackwater had disobeyed a directive to stay in the Green Zone. Instead, they entered Nisour Square, blocked traffic, and began firing into the cars of innocent civilians.

The FBI investigated the shooting. It was the FBI's largest and most expensive criminal investigation since 9/11. The investigation was a joint effort by both the FBI and its counterpart in Iraq.

Dozen of witnesses were brought from Iraq to DC for the trial. The prosecution's first witness was Ali's father Mohammed Kinani. He testified for two days explaining the savage attack by the Blackwater men.

Nicholas Slattan was convicted of murder and sentenced to life. The others were convicted of manslaughter and weapons charges and sentenced to 20 years.

I deposed the Blackwater guard who confessed to being one of the shooters. Blackwater trained these men in Moyock, North Carolina. Blackwater paid these men - and Erik Prince made millions selling their services to the US government.

I was quoted in @WSJ the day of the convictions that my clients, who were still citizens of Iraq, were certainly pleased to know the men accused of killing their family members had been brought to justice. I am equally certain they feel the US government has let them down today.

@jeremyscahill's excellent documentary about Blackwater's Youngest Victim shows part of Ali's father's graphic description of the massacre.
Blackwater's Youngest Victim
On September 16, 2007, employees of the military contractor Blackwater, USA opened fire and killed at least 14 Iraqis in the infamous Nisour Square massacre. The youngest victim was Nine-year-old Ali Kinani, who died from a gunshot wound to the head. In this exclusive interview, produced for Democracy Now by The Nation's Jeremy Scahill and Richard Rowley of Big Noise Films, Ali's father Mohammed talks about his son, the shootings, and his struggle to win some justice for his son. Two and a half years after the shootings, Mohammed may be the one man standing between Blackwater and total impunity.

Abraham Al Mafrage was a 70yo farmer and father of 7. He was shot in the head in a public bus by Blackwater shooters. He was also killed on 9/16/07. Trump pardoned the four men convicted of the Nisour Square killings. There is no question the victims were innocent civilians.

Mahde Shamke was 25yo. He was shot in the back while driving a taxi. He supported his parents and siblings. He was killed by on 9/16/07.  Mahde died in the hallway of the hospital asking for water with a large exit wound in his chest. Trump pardoned the Nisour Square killers.

The US government provided Ali's family a small condolence payment. They donated ½ the payment to wounded US soldiers. Ali's mother delivered the donation to the US embassy. General Ray Odierno sent this thank you letter to Ali's family. Donald Trump just slapped her in the face.
Charles P. Pierce of Esquire writes that Prince now owes Trump a big favour.
Erik Prince is perhaps the most dangerous private citizen in the country. He created Blackwater to launder mercenary activities around the world, and then changed the company's name after some of his hirelings murdered civilians in Iraq, which we will get to in a moment. He held clandestine meetings in out-of-the-way places on behalf of the president's campaign, and the president* named his sister, Betsy DeVos, to be Secretary of Education, a job for which she was as qualified as I would be to fly a 747, and a job in which she did very little, and all of it badly. . . . 

Investigators for the military and the FBI later described the [Nisour Square] shootings, in which the contractors unleashed a blaze of gunfire and grenade explosions in a busy Baghdad square, as unprovoked and unjustified. Federal prosecutors said that many of the victims, including women and children, some with their hands in the air, "were shot inside of civilian vehicles while attempting to flee." . . .

The massacre in Nisour Square for which the four Blackwater guards were doing time was as bad an incident as can be found in the history of that godawful cluster of fck. . . . [O]ne of the Blackwater contractors kept firing into crowds of civilians even while the other contractors begged him to stop. But, as we have learned over time, the president* has a sweet-tooth for war criminals of one kind or another. All they have to do is to get someone to plead their case on Fox News, thereby guaranteeing the president*'s attention, and they're halfway home. . . .

The pardons to people who worked for him, probably doled out to keep himself out of jail, don't shock me. After all, this is the second Republican administration in which Bill Barr worked as attorney general that ended with pardons in order to protect the president*'s hindquarters. We all knew these were coming, just as we know a boatload of others are coming as well. But the Blackwater pardons are a different shade of equine. I am not afflicted with paranoid fantasies about militias coming to the president*'s defense as he chains himself to the Resolute desk, but doing business with Erik Prince is bad news, and currying favor with him by pardoning his war criminal employees is doing serious business with him. . . .

Pentagon Officials Are Worried About What Trump Might Do To Remain In Power

Manhattan District Attorney's Investigation
An Actual News Organization, As Opposed To A Sub-Literate
Propaganda Outlet, Either Knows Its Guests Or Verifies Their Identity
Rudy Is Being Investigated By Justice Department
(He Thinks An Army Of "Secret Police", Controlled By
Joe Biden, Who Currently Has No Control Over The US Justice
Department, Is Behind It All)

Rudy Is Too Crazy For Fox!