The Dem Judiciary Committee’s Lambasting of William Barr

After months of trying, the Dem’s get Attorney General William Barr to testify before the House Judiciary Committee and they muck it up.  At one point Barr captured the scene with words akin to this:  I thought this was a hearing.  Don’t I get to be heard?

Generally speaking, the Dem congressmen and women were only interested in tarring and feathering Barr and Trump, fine for speaking to the choir but what about that relative handful of eventual voters who still could go either way?

Those could be the deciders…..the ones still sitting on the tipping point.

It wasn’t a good omen to hear that the committee chair, Jerry Nadler, was late because of a minor car accident.  Maybe his senses were shaken up.  I can’t think of another reason for him to allow Republican Jim Jordan to show what was essentially an amped up campaign video as his opening statement.  It displayed a steady barrage of burning buildings and police under attack as if the whole country is in flames and the Dems are to blame.  You know what they say about an image being worth more than a thousand words.  I recall those images much better than anything spoken (besides:  “Don’t I get to be heard?”)

Another impact of imagery was the solid performance of Barr himself.  Seldom losing his cool, despite some understandably angry reactions to the Dem’s accusing Trump and him of all sort of crimes, while almost never allowing Barr to respond to their accusations.  Every time he tried, the Dem inquisitor called “reclaiming my time”, meaning they only had a few minutes and they weren’t going to waste it on what they assumed were lies.

To get a word in edgewise, Barr grabbed time from sympathetic Republican questioners.  Otherwise this was a political roast without the usual humor.

My point is not to defend Barr’s positions, but the fact he was seldom given much time to express them WHICH GAVE THE IMAGE OF AN UNFAIR TRIBUNAL, NOT A HEARING.  Despite weeks of advanced warning there seemed no preparation by the Dems for pinning down a very tricky character, which would have required something more organized than the scatter gun attacks by the Dem Representatives.

Oh, by the way, I am a never Trumper in case you haven’t read many of my posts.  My anger comes when I see Dems do things that I feel are detrimental to the cause, and this so-called hearing is one of them.  Frankly, I just don’t think Nadler is up to the task of dealing with a Barr (if you recall Adam Schiff was the Dem leader in the impeachment proceedings even though that role would more normally go to the Judiciary Chair, who was Nadler).

The “hearing” totally lacked fairness and that is the main message I believe it conveys to those relatively few who are still swaying in the wind.

It is a message unfavorable to the Democrats.

Trump’s Impeachment: Yesterday the House. Next Stop, the Senate

T’was the week before Christmas and all through the House the two parties argued as one might with one’s spouse……… Thank God, that’s over with.  The best news is the Senate won’t be taking up the articles until January and arguing some more, so we all get a reprieve for a few days to enjoy the holidays.

Just to be clear.  While there has been much anti-Trump sentiment (count me in), the Democrats were actually forced into impeachment mode by Trump’s regularly flouting the rule of law. The case of Ukraine finally being too much to tolerate, once the whistle blower blew the whistle on that July 25 phone call where Trump pressured the Ukraine president for a personal “favor” in exchange for military assistance (Of course Trump denies this, and I will return to the matter after Christmas).

I think the Dem’s have made a good case.  However, I have to give Trump’s minions credit for doing a great job of muddling the issue, making this all seem a matter of violating due process as opposed to whether selling out the national interest for personal political gain qualifies as a high crime.

And they probably helped Trump’s cause by dragging out the procedures through needless vote counts and repetitive accusations of how rotten the whole process was.  I say it probably helped Trump because I believe the tiresome nature of this endless hearing process will more likely be blamed on the Democrats who, one has to admit, have brought it all about.

The Republicans want us only to look at the flaws in the process and not Trump’s actual wrong doing.  If you’ve been paying attention, you know Republicans have done little to defend Trump’s actions per se, but instead incessantly attacking the impeachment process itself, its unfairness to him.

Since, except for a couple suggestions, the constitution leaves vague what might constitute a high crime, we the citizens can decide for ourselves.  I’d say one high crime for a president is to put his personal interests over that of the nation, as Trump has clearly done in regards to Ukraine.  That fits under the abuse of power article by common sense.  That abuse is a political crime not a legal one.

But the constitution does not insist on a crime in a legal sense be committed.  Even the Republicans who argue the impeachment is unfair and something the Democrats have wanted to do since the beginning of time, do not spend much time defending the president’s actions regarding Ukraine.

A few Republicans have dared to suggest it was bad judgement on Trump’s part, though not worthy of impeachment.  However, Trump has squelched that kind of talk, clinging to the notion that his July 25 phone call was “perfect”.

Actually, despite hours and hours of hearings, there has been very little defense of the president’s actions compared to attacks on the impeachment process and those who provided evidence unsupportive of the president, usually people with impeccable credentials like Maria Yovanovich, the ambassador to Ukraine who Trump removed, because she was corrupt according to Rudi Giuliani, which actually means she tried to thwart Giuliani’s corrupt efforts (another topic I will come back to later).

Finally, another article I would consider – which might just fit under the abuse of power article – is the steady dismantling and ignoring of our rule of law, and the pillars that support it, calling the press the “enemy of the people”, and labeling  our foreign service and intelligence communities, especially the FBI, members of the “deep state,” which apparently grows with each person who irritates him.

Don’t know how FBI director Chris Wray is doing, but Trump must still be stewing about his recent public statement that the FBI has no evidence that Ukraine impacted the 2016 election.   The president certainly must be contemplating a replacement, as that undermines his Ukraine conspiracy theory.

I could go on and on, but I’ll give you a break and stop now.

SEE YOU NEXT YEAR….if not before.

Sondland Testifies Tomorrow. And it Could get Very Interesting.

In case you aren’t aware of who Gordon Sondland is, let the Washington Post clue you in:

“A key figure in this week’s impeachment hearings will be Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union. His testimony on Nov. 20 will be highly scrutinized because his account, in small and large ways, has been contradicted by testimony of many other witnesses.

Already, Sondland has provided a supplemental declaration expanding on his initial deposition, saying his memory had been “refreshed” after reading the opening statements of others.”

As more conflicting testimonies have come to the fore, Sondland has even more to explain or to suddenly “recall” more clearly.  His squirming between his previous statements and what he might now say, sure seems likely to interest.  And may illuminate………….


P. S. – If you want a detailed explanation of Sondland’s inconsistencies, go to the Washington Post.  

P. S. 2 – Just a reminder that there is another Democratic game of candidate survivor Wednesday night.   There are still ten candidates on the stage and another two new ones in the wings, figuratively, so I won’t be watching.  With that many, there is not likely much debating to break out in the midst of the food fight.

I’ll eat up the crumbs on the news to follow.

I wish the Dem leadership would stop calling all these candidates an “embarrassment of riches.”  The fact that there are so many of them suggests none of them is a great candidate, as the recent addition of two more further implies.

If Trump is Abnormal, Why Do we Respond to him Normally?

In a press conference today prompted by a visit of the Finnish president, the TV press displayed their habitual fecklessness by asking a few questions which only set the stage for yet another Trump rant.

Given the opportunity, Trump just railed on about his conspiracy theories and his delusions of grandeur about his great accomplishments, greater than any previous presidents.  Only he, Mr. pipsqueak president could have accomplished so much.

Coverage-wise it’s time to do something radical.  Like pressing Trump to tell the truth about something, the truth about almost anything for a change.  Keep asking questions when you are not supposed to.  I realize that is likely suicidal career-wise, but, hey, you’re always pressing politicians to come clean, how about yourselves.

Be still your ecstasy at scooping another news source.  Often only by hours, if not minutes.  Only you, the news obsessed, preen for getting the news out first when it usually comes down to a matter of minutes.

It is time to start working together a bit.

Every day I hear someone comment on the abnormality of Trump shaped politics.  Well, if it’s abnormal, shouldn’t the coverage become abnormal as well in order to combat it.  What do I mean?  I don’t know.  You tell me.  It’s your job.  I’m not getting paid for this.

You are.

Trump Impeachment Finds New Life

Those who have been reading my posts for a few months know that I have disdained the frequent calls by the liberal left for the impeachment of Trump and have been thankful that Speaker Nancy Pelozi has resisted the idea.   When less than half the nation seemed to want impeachment, it was crazy to push the idea especially when we knew how the story would end.  The Republican controlled Senate would have given a thumbs down to the House’s decision and Trump would have used it as further proof of his innocence.

To all those who have argued that this is above politics and our national duty to “hold Trump accountable”, I say a Democratic controlled House voting to impeach is not above politics.  It is a fat part of it.  Here is what is most important:  Trump not being reelected. Anything that jeopardizes that goal is a misstep.  Talk about historians looking back?  If Trump wins there may be a cadre of his propagandists writing that history.

Those who have made it seem a duty to impeach despite the fact the nation is tired of complex investigations with little taste for more of the same, have been silly.  The duty of every citizen is to work at removing Trump from office, not going through the show of impeachment.

I was in favor of Pelozi’s approach of House committees continuing to investigate and seeing where they lead.   If the calls to impeach faded as the election loomed larger and larger, that was all right with me.  Again, winning the election is the goal.

Those months of investigations of the president and the liberal press’ never ending scrutiny,  while thrilling many liberals, has worn out most of the rest of us.  Like those oft repeated latest developments of that meeting in Trump Tower, with Donald Jr. and some Russians.  All things considered, it deserved only a fraction of the attention it got.  It really was kind of a “nothing burgher.”  But the liberal press kept gnawing on it like a dog in hopes of making that old bone more tasty.

Enter the whistle blower, a real game changer.  Suddenly this isn’t tired old stuff, but something new and shocking if the initial picture becomes substantiated.   And unlike the clutter of other investigations, this seems understandable by the normal brain.  If the seeming information pans out, Trump clearly put his own interests above those of the nation regarding the Ukraine.  And has been caught red handed, not just in the eyes of some of us but of a majority.

I believe Trump will not wriggle out of this and a large part of my optimism is that Speaker Pelosi is at the helm of this investigation.  Just as she skillfully kept the hot heads at bay when they were not in a good position to impeach, she will flip the switch and go full speed in the opposite direction.

Dear Lord, that is my prayer.

Trump’s Washington Bedlam Boogie

Hard to believe, but the rate of neurotic noise produced by Trump seems to have actually increased several more decibels this past week to the point my brain waves are almost completely jammed.  For starters Trump’s Inviting the Taliban to come to Camp David for peace talks around 9/11, to such a hallowed meeting place for world leaders and at such a remarkably bad time, unknown to the general public (meaning us) until he changed his mind.  Don’t ask why?  He gives a reason, but probably it can’t be believed.

Perhaps the oddest thing about this supposed meeting is we might have not heard of it, and its cancellation, had not Trump tweeted about it, as if he wanted credit for at least trying something new even though he backed out.  It is the appearance of doing something well that counts to him, not actually achieving it.

Or take his refusing to admit he was just plain wrong (or at best several days out of date, a danger in itself) about the hurricane threat to Alabama and then played innocent like a boy caught with his hand in the cookie jar when a reporter asked about what looked like an expansion of the hurricane zone made with a Sharpie like, ah, the one that sits on his desk…………..

I could go on, but I don’t want to. I tried yesterday and just got immensely frustrated grappling with it all.  I just want to repeat over and over the man is nuts.

Of course my walking around repeating Trump is nuts makes me look pretty nutty, too.  So, instead I have looked around in search of someone else to give some depth to this past week and found a piece by Tim O’Brien of Bloomberg Opinion which covers the ground much better than I could.

If you want my mutterings to be fleshed out Google:  Tim O’Brien, Trump,  Taliban, and you’ll see links to the article.  The site seems to be blocking my attempt to link you to it.


BREAKING BEDLAM!   Trump fired John Bolton his latest Director of National Security this morning.  Bolton is a hawk who hasn’t found a war he doesn’t like, to paraphrase someone I can’t recall.  Normally I would be happy to see him go, but at least Bolton has some sense of the difference between reality and a TV reality show.

……………..and Trump does not, or just does not care.   As long as he can make himself look good in the process.  Bolton at least challenged some of Trump’s delusions.  Now I can’t think of anyone in the administration who will.

That’s scary.

“Fox Isn’t Working for Us Anymore.” Tweets Trump.

Liberals have been calling Fox News Trump TV for months now.   What is surprising is to see Trump agree.  By complaining that Fox is no longer working for him, he is implying they once did.  A curious admission, but it fits the Trump world view that everyone should be working for him and the envy he often shows of those strong men in other countries who can more easily get things done.  Autocracy is so much more simple than democracy.

And Trump, despite his unpredictability, is a simple man.

What spawned that Trump tweeted complaint was a number of comments by Fox News hosts that Trump did not like, including Shepard Smith’s stating categorically that Trump is not telling the truth about new wall going up rapidly on the southern border.  In fact, there has been no new wall, only the replacement of about sixty miles of old wall.  Period.

Smith has also pointed out that Trump is not telling the truth about some 90 billion that supposedly went to Puerto Rico for disaster relief, of which they have actually received about 14 billion.

And Smith has called false Tucker Carlson’s claim that white supremacy is a hoax.  Tucker is one of what I’d call the Fox Views side of the network.  He, along with Hannity and Laura Ingraham, form the evening lineup that really goes to bat for Trump and vice versa.

Of course, liberal media have made the same points as Smith, but we expect that.  The more Fox News concurs with the other two major cable networks, the more possible is conversation based upon commonly recognized facts, without which there can be little conversation.

Here is my main point,  Trump TV is not Fox News, but those who constitute Fox Views, the big three mentioned above along with others who primarily state opinions, while usually critical of liberals and uncritical of Trump’s world of alternative facts.

As Trump continues to repeat and expand his fantasy land, my hope is that the Fox News side of the network will feel compelled to point out the lies as they have done for some time but not as frequently as recently.   The more lies, the more coverage of the worst of them?

Here is a link to Smith’s dismissing Trump’s wall claims among other things.  Scroll down to find the short video of Smith’s dismantling Trump’s lie.

Finally, I suggest you check out Smith’s one hour news program Mon-Friday, noon Pacific Time on Fox.

 

 

 

Donald Trump, the Chosen One?

I have written and rewritten and trashed several posts over the past two weeks, because things kept changing so fast in Trumptopia I couldn’t figure out where to land.  He has produced a record amount of gibberish, especially over these last two days, so I’ve given up writing about it and sought help.

I’ve looked around for something that gives an overall gist of Trump’s ever wackier state of mind.  I think this article in the Guardian, a liberal English news source, captures Trump’s general state of incoherence quite well for those who want a momentary big picture of our little president.

Thanks Guardian.

Get Mueller to Testify and Then Let’s Consider Impeachment

I still stick with Speaker Polosi’s insistence on a slow go to impeach Trump believing, like her, that first more Americans need to be persuaded of Trump’s unfitness for the presidency before they will favor impeachment.

Ari Melber, one of the sharper analysts at MSNBC, got to the heart of the awareness problem:  He has said:  “Mueller brought a book to a twitter fight.”  The four-word tweet has won the battle of narratives over the painstaking 448 pages of the book.  In a world of mind numbing information, we gravitate towards the simplest “truths”.

To combat Trump’s distorted mantra of “no collusion, no obstruction” it is essential for Special Counsel Mueller to testify before Congress.  Even if he just reads from his report.  Seeing him actually saying those words is a big step beyond hearing others restate them.  Fairly or not, Mueller’s integrity it rated much higher than the media who cover him.

A book cannot beat a twitter mantra, but TV, or a movie, can at least give the Dems a chance to square the narrative.  Americans want to see the movie rather than read the book.  That’s pretty much what we are as a nation now.  So many distractions, work wise or pleasure wise, that hardly anyone reads serious books anymore.   Including me (except for works of history that read like fiction.)

A TV show still can get our attention, thus the necessity for Mueller to testify on TV.  It would be best if he did so voluntarily, but he has been so adamant about staying clear of politics that he has yet to show that willingness.  He believes the report says everything needed.  He doesn’t seem to see that pointing to a book is no longer the right way to present the report.

The Democratically controlled  House Judicial Committee seems hopeful he will see the necessity for him to reiterate the message publicly, but he might need to be subpoenaed to do so.   I have no doubt he would comply with a subpoena, given his allegiance to law and order, just the opposite of the president.

It would help a lot if McGahn, Trump’s former White House attorney would testify, too.  He is quoted often in the Mueller report describing Trump’s attempts at obstruction and I’d like to hear his voice at least repeating some of it on TV, but so far he has fought a subpoena at Trump’s behest.   Odd, in that Trump has called his quoted statements lies.

Hope Hicks, Trump’s former long time personal assistant is actually supposed to testify to Congress tomorrow, Wednesday, in a closed door session.   But I think she will dodge questions where she can given her closeness to Trump.

Mueller, McGahn and Hicks would make a nice trifecta if they all fully testify, but Mueller is the most important.  Fortunately, he is also the one who can be most counted upon to testify.

I just hope it is sooner rather than later.

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.