Trump is Driving Me Crazy and the Trip gets Shorter each Day

Not exactly, but with all the thoughts he prompts with his outrageous distortions, he produces  outrage fatigue, lying so often and changing his tune so frequently, everything blurs together.  He has taken us past a “post truth” politics to a post reality politics.

If you haven’t been driven totally nuts, you may have noticed how the boy who would be king said in an interview there was nothing wrong with receiving information from foreign agents, it just being more opposition research.

He changed his tune a couple of times at least, after even a couple of Republican senators gently chided Trump for basically saying to all the world, send us your dirt on my opponents.  The last version I heard was his claiming in front of the three nodding heads on Fox and Friends that of course he would notify the FBI, because no one loves America more than he does.

I could go on and on, but that would clearly get me closer to the loony bin and prevent me from writing at all.   I just want to make this point, a suggestion as to how to interpret Trump’s words.   Whatever he says, just flip it to the opposite.   So, when Trump says “no one loves America more” than he does, just switch the “more ” to “less”.

He cares so much about himself, there can’t be much love left for the rest of us.

And when he says “believe me”, as he often does, translate it into “don’t believe me”.  And if he says it twice, really don’t believe him.  When he says he has solved a problem, it really is he hasn’t solved the problem:  he just wants us to think so, like in the case of North Korea and its nukes.   Remember how he said after that first meeting with his bosom buddy Kim Jung Un that we could sleep easier because the nuclear threat was gone?

Not only is it not gone, it is undiminished, and is likely even stronger.  But no problem, president deranged Don still believes in Kim Jung Un, and his own ability to sway him.

I just can’t wait till he tells us how he has solved the Iran problem.

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Mueller Finally Speaks, Albeit not for Long

I watched Special Counsel Mueller’s 10 minute statement in a press conference this morning in which he told us nothing new.  But that doesn’t make it unimportant.

Many would point out everything he said today is in his 400 page report, but that totally misses the point.  For the many, many, many millions who didn’t read the report, including me, it was a needed, simple way to contrast with Trump’s narrative of innocence – “no collusion, no obstruction.”  Which I believe has been the takeaway for many.

Our politics has diminished to a battle of bumper stickers.  So the challenge is to shorten what Mueller emphasized today to licence plate size.  That there was “insufficient evidence” to charge conspiracy (hardly the same as “innocent”) and there was quite a bit of evidence to charge for obstruction (which he lays out in the report), but Mueller felt constrained by justice department policy preventing charging a sitting president with a crime (see bottom for more on that).

As you can see, the truth is a bit complicated, so turning the truth into a bumper sticker is hard to do, unless like Trump you distort the truth to fit your simple messages.  A powerful technique I have to admit.

How about Not innocent, just not guilty yet.


P. S. – A curious aspect to this report is Mueller’s insisting his actions were circumscribed by D. O. J.  policy disallowing indictments of sitting presidents.  That would suggest that he wouldn’t have indicted for conspiracy even if he had sufficient evidence.

This point has been brought up by both Michael Smerconish and Brit Hume, the former a  moderate CNN talk show host and the latter a conservative senior commentator on Fox.  If Mueller was restricted from indicting on evidence of obstruction, then wouldn’t he also have been restricted from indicting on conspiracy had they found sufficient evidence?

I’d like some congressman to ask Mueller about that, even if it is in a closed door session.

Deconstructing “Don the Con”. Why Nancy Pelosi is My Hero.

In my April 29 post I backed Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s approach of “one step at a time” regarding the possible impeachment of president Trump.  I continue to applaud her tight rope walking skills between Trump, media commentators and party activists who claim the moral necessity of impeaching him right now.  As a matter of principle.  Even Trump likes the idea, but for unprincipled reasons of course.

For those who do not recognize the wisdom of her ways, Speaker Pelosi knows it would be foolish to go the impeachment route right now because there is a lack of outcry from Americans for it.  It is not for the House to demand it, but the American people.   Right now the outcry is below 50%, with a plurality of those all important “independents” being against it in a May 9 poll.  To prompt more outcry a slow pealing of the onion  of Trump’s fabrications must take place.  A course we might title:  Deconstructing Don the Con.

As Speaker Pelosi has often asserted, Trump wants the Dems to launch impeachment hearings because that would fit his narrative of victimization which he could then cap off with Republicans in the Senate rejecting the measure.  One more rationale for Trump to proclaim his innocence and decry all that wasted time, as we approach the 2020 election.

Pelosi is not saying never move to impeachment.  Only move to it as a final act after all other avenues have been exhausted while educating the American public in the process.  Let’s hope Robert Mueller will testify soon.  And let the House committees finish their investigations and a number of Trump’s phony court cases get rejected.  Also let’s see what happens when the New York legislature directs Trump’s state tax statements to the House committees.   Whatever is useful to educate the American public.

Some anti-Trumpers would argue that at least an “impeachment inquiry” could be launched for a start.  It sounds good, but to the general public there is no difference between an impeachment inquiry and impeachment itself.  And the notion of impeachment only fires up the already fervent at this time.

That’s why Nancy keeps pressing the point of finding out the facts and going where they lead, rather than talking of impeachment.   The “facts” don’t have a negative connotation as “impeachment” has right now given the mental fatigue of living in “investigation nation”.

The goal is to keep marshaling facts until the picture becomes so clear that the balance of American political opinion shifts in favor of impeachment.   The American people need to demand it, not just the Democratically controlled House of Representatives.

This Crap of Reporters Allowing Trump to Mislead, Fabricate, or Just Plain Lie Must Stop!

Having posted yesterday, I was not eager to do so again so soon, but I’m so mad watching a Trump so-called press conference provide this morning a platform for Trump to spew his twisted narrative of events, I just have to.

PRESS PEOPLE:   You know that this is happening, that he bats your feckless questions away or employs them to bring up another distortion or lie.  Then after his “speech” you sit in groups and analyze much of what he says as if any of it can be taken seriously, as if he won’t come up with something completely different later today or tomorrow.  Depending on the wisdom of his gut.

The guy has no respect for the truth, so why believe anything he says.

What you are doing is providing this scoundrel with yet another platform for his fabricated narrative.   His propaganda.  Hey, I am empathetic.  I don’t have any marvelous suggestions.  I just know Trump has beaten you at the traditional journalistic game and you need to stop playing that game and create a new one.

Maybe like a labor union you can go on strike.  In your case making a group statement that you will not attend these charade sessions any more unless you can challenge Trump (and his mouthpieces) on his lies.   Of course, he wouldn’t allow that……………………

…..so what’s next?  I don’t know.  That’s your job to figure it out.

Still Waiting for Mueller to Testify to Congress

The Trump extravaganza of issues keeps expanding exponentially, but short of a noteworthy military conflict, I’m still most concerned if and when Special Counsel Robert Mueller will testify to Congress.  I’ve heard May 15 bandied about for a testimony date, but nothing from Mueller about that.

At the moment, my sense is Trump is winning the message game, asserting that the report’s lack of indictments clear the president.  From what I’ve gleaned from many who have read the report, the actual picture is much less flattering.  Even incriminating if you believe over 700 federal prosecutors who have signed a joint letter to that effect.

But we need Mueller to testify in order to substantiate that, as well as showing Attorney General Barr has misinterpreted the findings to the public.  Which in turn has allowed Republicans to parrot it’s a done deal.  Let’s move on.

Linked here is a story from CBS news that delve’s into the question of whether Trump can stop Mueller from testifying once he leaves office (no public date set yet).

I would say the basic conclusion is that while Trump might be able to limit Mueller’s comments to only what he said in the report on the basis of executive privilege, even that argument might not prevail.  In any case, it looks like it comes down to Mueller’s willingness to testify and I can only hope he wants to set the record straight enough to overcome his preference to remain out of the public eye.

Will McGahn and Mueller Testify Before the House?

Trump loves walls, so now he is trying to build another one sealing off his office from Congress.   He has told his people to ignore subpoenas from the committees in the House that are trying to fulfill their constitutional role of oversight, a role the previous Republican controlled House thought was optional.

Of course the Trumpeters are arguing that this is old news made ancient by the completion of the Mueller report, but there is a problem there:  The Mueller report does not come up with the clear cut conclusions the Trumpsters assert.   It is more complicated than that, requiring Mueller to clarify a number of things to Congress.

My first question would be:  Did you believe that you could not actually indict Trump because of a Justice Department policy against indicting a sitting president?  If Mueller did feel constrained it sheds much light on why no obstruction of justice charges were filed.  Not because Trump was innocent, but because Mueller believed department policy prohibited indictments of the president.

I do not know if Mueller is willing, but I certainly hope he is.  Otherwise the summation of the report made by Trump’s disappointing pick for AG, Robert Barr, may be allowed to stand in many a voter’s mind.  “No Collusion.”  “No Obstruction.”

The report is much more nuanced than that, but those nuances must be fought for in order to survive in a Trumptopia where nuances are ignored or blurred or lied about and in the process critical thinking deformed.  Despite all that he lacks, Trump has proved himself a genius at sloganeering and other tricks to fabricate a false world of “alternative facts.”  He has already gotten the jump on the latest Dem presidential candidate, Joe Biden, labeling him “sleepy Joe,” a guy who lacks the smarts to be president.

The Dems should hold a contest for just the right  label to nail Trumpty Dumpty with.   “Deranged Donald” isn’t bad, borrowed from tweets of conservative George Conway, once a backer of Trump and now one of his harshest critics and, YES!, also the husband of Trump’s Queen of Spin, Kelly Anne.  The perfect couple for a Loony Tune Land (see bottom).

Anyway, I’ve Googled around looking for an indication that 1) Mueller and/or former White House counsel Don McGahn are willing to testify before the House and 2) whether Trump can prevent them from doing so.  I can’t find anything clear cut about that.  However, since neither work for the president anymore and he has already allowed McGahn to testify fully to Mueller (without claiming executive privilege),  I’m thinking both will eventually testify to Congress.

Or should I say I hope to high heavens that is the case.   Ah, but yesterday I heard that Trump helped make McGahn’s testimony more likely, as the Trumpster has accused McGahn of lying to Mueller………..which would be a crime, so I would think McGahn would want to testify again under oath refuting Trump’s claims to the public at large.

Thanks for your help on this Mr. president.


P. S. – By now I would think most if not all of you are aware of how the Trump presidency has placed a lot of stress on the family life of George and Kellyanne Conway.   Both were Trump supporters at the beginning of his presidency, but while Kellyanne defends Trump’s actions daily, George has turned completely against the president, skewering him often on Twitter, even calling for his impeachment.  Want to know more?  Check out this piece from the BBC.

Impeachment is Warranted but What’s the Rush?

Elizabeth Warren has called for an impeachment of president Trump to begin immediately.  I think that idea, while seeming bold and momentarily separating her from the herd of other Dem candidates (about 20 now), is dumb.  Just like her push to disband ICE is dumb.   (Some government organization will be needed to deal with those issues, so what you are really calling for is a smarter, more moral and more gentle ICE, while giving Trump fuel for his lies about you wanting an open border).

That’s two strikes against you Elizabeth and the campaign has barely begun (I’m giving you a pass on the Native American fiasco).  How about just getting into office and reform what we already have?

This past weekend a number of arguments and innuendos on liberal political cable have basically called out Democrat House leadership for a lack of “intestinal fortitude” to fight for basic principles.   (Nancy Pelosi lacking intestinal fortitude?  Are you kidding me?)

In an editorial in the New York Times, Charles Blow makes his case for impeachment including this sentence  …….“once a president is impeached, he is forever marked. It is a chastisement unto itself. It is the People’s House making a stand for its people.”

First, the Mueller report is enough to forever mark Trump.   The issue is to get enough people to understand it and believe it.  Second, the people’s House is really just a Democrat people’s house at the moment.  The Republicans have no say.  So, let’s understand the statement made is from just Democrats, not wholly the “people.”  I don’t think the Democrats thought of it as the people’s House when Republicans were in control.

Hey, thank God the Dems won the House, without which we would really be in deep doo-doo as a nation, left with almost no power to thwart our Narcissist-in-chief, but I don’t care for all this principled posing.   Especially when acting on principles pushes us to do something really dumb.

Warren asserts this issue is a matter of principles above politics.   Not really.  As indicated in the previous paragraph, the issue is fully enmeshed in politics and because the Trumpubicans rule the Senate we all know how this story will end and I think it will end badly for Democrats.  Trump is too good at setting the story line and when the Senate fails to convict, Trump will convincingly add “no conviction”, to the other two mantras.

As for impeachment, as you might guess I am fully supportive of Nancy Pelosi’s “one step at a time” approach.   More Americans must first come to believe the Mueller report and it will take time and education for them to do so.  It will take time because at the moment Trump seems to be winning the narrative game.   “No Collusion”, “No Obstruction” is a more powerful message than “here’s a four hundred page tell-all you all must read to believe.”  Yeah, let me check my text messages and emails, respond to some of them and play my favorite on-line game first.  Maybe I’ll have some time for that report tomorrow.

Let’s keep working the various angles to educate Americans as to what the Mueller report really says, which might take a lot of work since so many have been turned off by these endless investigations.  People believe they have heard it all before, because they have heard most of it.

Also, Trump is a master at making the truth murky, so we have to make the obvious clear.  Yes Trump’s actions warrant impeachment, but we can only charge him now (in the House) and must wait for sufficient change in public opinion to make the process worthwhile.  In the mean time let Congressional committees call in Mueller and other key figures mentioned in the report for public hearings.  Let’s see what that brings.  And let’s see how some 14 other investigations go.

There’s no rush.