DEYAN RANKO BRASHICH was born in Belgrade, former Yugoslavia, and is an Op-Ed columnist for Connecticut's Litchfield County Times.  He writes the monthly Letter From America column for Romania’s Scrisul Romanesc, a literary magazine and is the Editor-at-Large for  The Country and Abroad, another literary/art magazine where he authors the Dispatch from Abroad column. He is a frequent contributor to Pecat, the Belgrade, Serbia weekly news magazine, Britić, a magazine published in the United Kingdom, Ekurd Daily, a multinational Kurdish news portal and Passport, a lifestyle quarterly. He resides in New York City and Washington, Connecticut.





Turn on the evening news and listen to legal pundits speak of “what to do with Donald Trump”. The comments make “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin” a no brainer. Legal scholars have a way of making simple answers complex, trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

The nightly gaggle of pundits is made up of eminent law professors. I love law professors because I was one once. We preen, pronounce and pontificate. Constitutional scholars like Harvard’s Larry Tribe and Alan Dershovitz are in demand, but not the likes of me - a guy who thought trial practice and procedure at a second-tier law school. Yet I am the one to ask what to do when you don’t know the answer, because I dealt with nuts and bolts of the law, not the philosophy behind it.  

What do you do if Donald Trump is found to have violated the law? Can you arrest him? Can you indict him? Can you try him before a jury of his peers? Can you jail him? Can he be subject to supervised release? Does he have immunity? Can he pardon himself? Can any sentence be commuted and if so, by whom? Can he be impeached and tried for a crime other than a high crime or misdemeanor?

You have as many answers as you have bobble head law professors asked – none of them on point or in full agreement. 

Click to read more ...



New Meridian Arts announces the publication of Dispatches by Deyan Ranko Brashich with illustrations by Daniela Kamiliotis

Dispatches, a collection of essays that have been published in art and literary journals in the United States and abroad, is a personal journal.  The author writes of art encountered in his travels across America and abroad. The essays describe art’s kaleidoscope - beautiful, sublime, crass and sometimes criminally corrupt that one meets in museums, cities, places and the evening news. Dispatches speaks of museums and monuments as diverse as New York’s Metropolitan Museum, the Parthenon in Athens, the “Big Ditch” Corinthian Canal in Greece and Daniel Chester French’s “barn” turned into an architecturally stunning visitor’s center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

The essays speak to the arts, warts and all, that makes us human. Some are laudatory, some are critical but all are informative. The essays are graced with images that illustrate the subject matter. The collection is enhanced by the whimsical artistic comments of his collaborator, Daniela Kamiliotis.                                         

Deyan Ranko Brashich, born in Belgrade, ex-Yugoslavia, is a columnist and essayist for newspapers, art and literary magazines published in the United States and abroad. He is the author of Letters from America and Contrary Views. A full biography is on his web site “Contrary Views” at He resides in New York City.

Daniela  Kamiliotis, a designer, painter and artist with many theatre and cinema credits, is Senior Vice President for Ralph Lauren Women’s Collection. A full biography is on her web site “Daniela Kamiliotis” at She resides in New York City.

New Meridian Arts is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to artistic, cross-cultural, multi media exchange of ideas through the publication of books, magazines and the production of visual and performing arts.  Today’s globalization comes with its own political and cultural challenges, and New Meridian offers solutions making multiculturalism a priority to better understand this new world and its diversity.

New Meridian Arts is dedicated to giving voice to original international writers of talent and scope, encouraging the translations of their works to and from English. New Meridian Arts focuses on artists who will enhance  and make a difference to the American cultural environment, in order to broaden and facilitate American access to the rich contemporary life of letters and arts found in other parts of the globe.


■     ■     ■     ■     ■




Detail from SF 86 Form – United States Office of Personnel Management


Jared Kushner, the alleged lynch-pin of the Trump Administration and its eminence grise, is an enigma. He is little known outside the confines of his self-imposed insular world made small by his adherence to the tenets of strict Orthodox Judaism. He has kept a low profile. Sphinx like his voice and words are not known. He has refused to talk to the press, even though aspiring to media control when purchasing New York’s Observer newspaper. He has made no public comment on any of the issues that have been stuffed into his vast portfolio. Jared, we hardly know you.   

Undisputed facts supported by the public record give guidance as how to explain his actions which are now subject of investigation by House and Senate Committees and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. While not in the public record Kushner graduated from the Frisch School where he was an honor student. It is undisputed that he matriculated at and graduated from Harvard College in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in government. What is in dispute is that it took a $2.5 million-dollar contribution to assure his acceptance. Be that as it may, it is a matter of public record that he graduated from one the nation’s most prestigious institutions.

He expanded his knowledge with a Doctor of Laws and a Master in Business Administration degrees from New York University, another far from shabby institution of higher learning. While the public records of the States of New York and New Jersey do not list him as licensed to practice law, he is in fact a lawyer by training. His disclosure forms, more on those later, confirm that he was an intern with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and was employed by Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, one of the nation’s premiere law firms.

The public record supports the fact that Jared is literate and that perforce he has had to complete a number of admission and employment applications and that he is fully familiar with the process.  

Anyone contemplating government employment is faced with having to complete seemingly endless number of forms - bureaucracy thrives on forms and paper records. The higher in government you go, the more extensive are the forms and more intrusive is the vetting process. Some fifty years ago when I last filled out a form for a United States government appointment, if memory serves, the form was some 10 pages long. Today the Standard Form 86 [SF 86] Questionnaire for National Security Positions is 127 pages long and is only one of the plethoras of forms that a high level White House appointee must complete.

Right of the bat in the instruction portion of the SF 86 form the applicant is cautioned and put on notice that concealing or omitting material facts is a crime:

"Penalties for Inaccurate or False Statements : The U.S. Criminal Code [Title 18, Section 1001] provides that knowingly falsifying or concealing a material fact is a felony which may result in fines of up to $10,000, and/or 5 years imprisonment, or both. In addition, Federal agencies generally fire, do not grant a security clearance, or disqualify individuals who have materially and deliberately falsified these forms, and this remains a part of the permanent record for future placements. Because the position for which you are being considered is a sensitive one, your trustworthiness is a very important consideration in deciding your eligibility for a security clearance." [emphasis supplied]

If that were not warning enough, immediately before starting to complete the form you are further cautioned: 

"Persons Completing This Form Should Begin With The Questions Below After Carefully  Reading The Preceding Instructions : I have read the instructions and I understand that if I withhold, misrepresent, or falsify information on this form, I am subject to the penalties for inaccurate or false statements [per US Criminal Code, Title 18, section 1001], denial or revocation of a security clearance, and/or removal and debarment from Federal Service.   □ yes   □   no " [emphasis supplied]

In completing form SF 86 Kushner was required to report all contacts with foreign government officials within the preceding seven years. Without belaboring the point or needlessly regurgitating information that has been widely reported he did not do so. He “omitted dozens of meetings, including ones with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the U.S., and Sergey Gorkov, the head of Russia’s state-owned Vnesheconombank.” 

Jared Kushner committed a separate and distinct felony in violation of Title 18, Section 1001 for each and every such omission. For context, had Jared won the $256 million jackpot in the multi-state Powerball Lottery on November 8, 2016 and in January, 2017 filed his 1040 Federal Income Tax return form failing to report his jackpot winnings as income he would have committed a felony in violation of Title 26, Section 7201 which provides that for failure to report income a felony and “shall be fined of not more than $100,000 … or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both…”

Jared Kushner’s education and training precludes a conclusion that his failure to disclose the many meetings with foreign officials including those with Ambassador Kislyak and banker Gorkov was inadvertent. On the contrary his education and training requires a finding that his actions were made with the intent to conceal materials facts in violation of law. Jared Kushner is too smart to be stupid, so arrest the stupid son of a bitch and be done with it! While you are at it, arrest General Michael Flynn, another over educated, stupid son of a bitch with three Master Degrees, for committing the very same felonies.





Illustration by Jorge Arévalo - Courtesy of The New Yorker It may surprise you to learn that the United States as of today has only two serving, Senate approved Ambassadors, Nikki Haley, the envoy to the United Nations and David Freedman, the Ambassador to Israel. All of the other 131 ambassadorial positions remain empty and unfilled. So, I was blindsided when Donald Trump nominated Callista Gingrich for the position of Ambassador to The Holy See, the Vatican.

Her nomination signals all that is wrong with politics as usual. Her nomination is not based on her accomplishments, which are nonexistent except that she blows, amongst other things, a mean French horn. It’s naked political payback, a quid pro quo, for Newt Gingrich’s unwavering and continued support of Donald Trump’s disastrous policies. What makes this nomination all the more odious is its sheer hypocrisy – the nomination of an open and notorious adulteress now married to a serially philandering husband to a religious city state that professes to be guided by the Ten Commandments which include the prohibition against adultery and coveting thy neighbor’s wife.

I am no beacon of moral rectitude. I have sinned mightily and I have enjoyed those sinful pleasures but never a hypocrite was I. I do not perform weekly with the Choir of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC as Callista proudly declares. I did not carry on an open and notorious affair with New Gingrich, a married man, as Callista admits, nor did I demand my married lover divorce his second wife who just happened to be dying of cancer.   

America’s long, robust history of misogyny is alive and well and resides temporarily in the White House. The current resident boasts of grabbing women by the pussy, using his fame to fuck them, groping them without consent, of doing whatever he wants. His lack of moral compass within and without his well-documented serial marriages and affairs is a matter of public record. His morals are in tune with Callista’s.

Click to read more ...




Steve Bodner Courtesy of The Los Angeles TimesAmerican politicians are like guppies – bottom feeding fish, seemingly aimless and thoughtless, of no socially redeeming value and of little economic worth. They are fungible and little if anything sets them apart one from the other, be they Republican, Democrat or Independent.

They swim aimlessly in schools with odd sounding names: the Tea Party, Republican Liberty Caucus, the Christian Coalition, the Coalition for a Democratic Majority, the Democratic Freedom Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus. They accomplish little if anything while on their meaningless and clueless meandering elected-to-office-to-govern rounds in the halls of Congress waiting for a photo or TV opportunity.

Yet they continue to survive election after election as voters continue to return them to Congress, notwithstanding their ineffectiveness, their cupidity, their corruptibility and their lack of moral compass.

But there come times when their survival is threatened, a time that galvanizes even gutless political guppies to action. It’s a random, totally without their control happenstance that makes them realize their vulnerability. Most often it’s another politician’s publicly eviscerated demise that catches their attention.

A visible public evisceration leaves blood in the water. The smell of blood could well make the electorate take to the streets and re-enact the French Revolution’s storming of the Bastille. Any revolution can make the loss of a House seat or a Senate office a real possibility.

The firing of acting Attorney General Sally Yates for refusing to defend and enforce President Trump’s Executive Order banning refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim countries was a bloodless public execution. Congress in Republican hands rallied around the flag and the President. There was no blood coloring the political waters.

After a flawed and compromised Attorney General’s recusal from the Trump/Russia investigation left a local United States Attorney free to pursue his own leads and investigations Donald Trump summarily fired Preet Bharara. After all, the Southern District of New York is where the Trump Tower is located and should be the locus of any investigation of misdeeds occurring there.

The story found little traction in the press and there was no blood on Fifth Avenue or in Foley Square. Congressional guppies were undisturbed and continued swimming without a goal or purpose in sight, marking time, creating photo ops until the next election.  

But the firing of FBI Director James Comey, the Tuesday Night Assassination, was a bloody public execution, a public evisceration that ran blood in the water. To all failed politicians of whatever stripe this was a call to arms in defense of their own sinecure.

The three political executions remind of Richard Nixon’s 1973 Saturday Night Massacre. The Watergate burglary resulted in the appointment of a Special Prosecutor to investigate and, if necessary prosecute. With the investigation about to unearth damning evidence the President ordered his Attorney General to fire the Special Prosecutor. The AG refused and resigned in protest. His replacement, the Deputy AG followed suit and was summarily fired.

Click to read more ...

Page 1 ... 4 5 6 7 8 ... 50 Next 5 Entries »