Monday, July 31, 2017

An Alabama newspaper asks, "What's next for Jeff Sessions?" and my answer is, "How about prison?"

Jeff Sessions and Sergey Kislyak
Are you likely to catch a break from the mainstream media (MSM) in the Deep South if you are a far-right, white Republican? Few semi-conscious Americans will be surprised to learn the answer is a resounding and disturbing "Hell, yes." But more than a few Americans should be disturbed by the brazenness and myopia with which an Alabama newspaper yesterday reported on an individual who might soon be known as one of the most unpatriotic political figures in U.S. history.

The newspaper in question is The Birmingham News (, and the politician is Trump attorney general and former U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL). Not content to write one favorable article about the sleazy Sessions, wrote two. Both were nonsensical puff pieces, indicating the Alabama MSM is nothing more than a water boy for the ugliest, most racist tendencies of the GOP.

First, published a story with the following headline: "What's next for Jeff Sessions? Senate, governor runs suggested." Someone apparently wrote that headline with a straight face, ignoring mountains of evidence that Sessions has committed federal crimes in the six months-plus that he has served as AG -- and possibly while during the 2016 presidential campaign. In other words, the obvious answer to "What's next for Jeff Sessions?" is "prison." At the very least, the answer should be "indictment."

If you are a white conservative with racist tendencies -- and such tendencies have been reported for decades about Jeff Sessions -- the Southern MSM thinks you are incapable of committing crimes. If you are a Democrat, especially one with dark skin, the MSM can barely contain its glee when you step in legal doo-doo -- and Southern prosecutors are likely to ignore similar crimes committed by white folks.

Just consider the case of former State Rep. Oliver Robinson (D-Birmingham), who already has been indicted and entered a guilty plea for accepting bribes in the Birmingham Superfund scandal. Various news reports point to Drummond Co. VP David Robertson, Balch Bingham partner Joel Gilbert and U.S. Sen. Luther Strange (Jeff Sessions' replacement) being involved in the Superfund scandal. Strange's one-time campaign manager and mistress, Jessica Medeiros Garrison, left her "of counsel" position at Balch and wiped out most of her social-media presence when "Big Lutha's" name surfaced in connection to the Superfund case. Have any of them been indicted? Nope. But Oliver Robinson, the former basketball star at UAB, is headed to the slammer.

On top of all that, Sessions himself is closely tied to the Balch firm, indicating he might be connected to the scandal -- or, at the very least, he is disqualified from taking part in the investigation.

Here is something curious about the article, which says Senate and governor runs are "suggested" for Jeff Sessions: It doesn't quote anyone who suggests Sessions should run for either job -- unless you count Mo Brooks, who is nuttier than a truckload of Snickers bars. The one political-science expert quoted, from Athens State University, says he doubts Sessions would run for either post. So this is a classic case of a story "with no 'there' there." Why run it then? The only conceivable answer is that is fulfilling its duty as a toady for the right wing, probably running the story at the request of Sessions or one of his associates -- perhaps Jessica Garrison or someone else with ties to the felonious Balch Bingham firm.

Is reporter Paul Gattis forgetting a few events regarding Sessions? As a matter of fact, yes:

* Sessions lied to Congress, in response to a question from U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) about meetings with Russian officials;

* Sessions revised his statement to Congress, and still lied about it;

* Sessions lied on his security-clearance application about meetings with Russians;

* Sessions' Department of Justice approved a dubious settlement in a money-laundering case, a deal that was overwhelmingly favorable to Russian interests;

* U.S. intelligence intercepts captured Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak telling superiors that he had discussed policy and campaign issues with Sessions in 2016. has forgotten all of that, which came to light in the past six months? This is the same "news organization" that repeatedly trumpeted the conviction of former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman for "crimes" that do not exist, in a case that was brought well after the statute of limitations had expired?

What about yesterday's second article favorable to Sessions? It's by the esteemed John Archibald, with the title, "Jeff Sessions makes America find its backbone again." Get a load of this, from Archibald:

Sessions, for those who thought he was just Alabama's Hermey the Misfit Elf, this week became the guy who allowed Republicans to see through the pea-soup fog of Trump town. He might just have helped his country find its backbone.

Who woulda thought?

Last week was a watershed week. Not just for the beleaguered attorney general who has been bullied by the president like a math club kid in gym class, but for the country.

Given the choice between the bully and the bullied, a lot of Americans -- big and small -- sided with Sessions.

That Jeff Sessions.

He may not be the hero America needs right now, but he's the hero America deserves.

Sessions didn't faint when Donald Trump went "boo," and that makes Sessions a hero? It means Sessions helped America "find its backbone"? Sheesh, can a story be any more overwrought and off target than this?

Luther Strange and Jessica Garrison
Let's interject a little reality here: By taking verbal abuse from Trump, and not stepping down (yet), Sessions has essentially said, "I went to the trouble of selling out my country to become America's 'top law enforcement officer,' and I'm not going to give up the job without pushing for a few more 'reforms' that take us back to the 1970s."

That gets us down to the heart of the matter. Polls consistently show the South is the most patriotic region in the country. But here you have a Southern newspaper supporting a politician who apparently sold out his country to -- not Paraguay or Denmark -- but Russia. He might have helped engineer the theft of an American election -- by foreign interests. If that proves to be true, one word to fit Jeff Sessions would be "traitor."

It's enough to suggest that Southern patriotism, in many cases, is phony. And the phoniest Southerner of all might be Jeff Sessions.

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