The Ukraine Hearings: A Big Battle Over Truth Begins Soon

I ended my previous post by saying I planned on delving into the clash in narratives between Trump’s largely made up story of his glorious presidency and a historical analysis based more on facts and respect for the ideal of truth.

What was I thinking?   I soon realized that I was stuck in the view of Eli Stokols of the Los Angeles Times“I don’t know if America has the bandwidth to process everything that is going on.  I certainly don’t.”  

Me neither.

I can at least start out by saying Wednesday will kick off the public impeachment process, a major battle of the two narratives with open hearings before the Democratically controlled House Intelligence Committee.  To work through my writer’s block, I’m stealing a brief summary of what’s going on and all the TV coverage from Benjamin Kail of masslive.com.

In brief this is what is going on:

“Democrats and Republicans in the House have questioned current and former Trump administration officials and diplomats behind closed doors over the last several weeks. An anonymous whistle blower claimed earlier this year that multiple White House officials grew concerned that the president in July illegally leaned on the president of Ukraine, using military aid as leverage, to secure help in the 2020 election.

Deputy Secretary of State George Kent and Bill Taylor, a former ambassador and top diplomat in Ukraine, will testify together Wednesday, while Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, will testify Friday, CNN reported.”

You can reach the site which has more information and  TV networks and times here.

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.