Monday, December 30, 2019

Joe Biden is a Centrist


You can ignore anyone freaking out about this. Joe Biden is running as a centrist, and he's trying to appeal to as many people as possible without alienating anyone. This is called "trying to win the presidency" in a time of polarized political discourse.
Joe Biden told voters in New Hampshire on Monday that he would consider choosing a Republican as a running mate, but added, "I can't think of one right now." 
Biden discussed the possibility after a woman told the former vice president that if he is the nominee, he will "have to pull out all the stops." 
"Our 21-year-old son said the other night, 'I wonder if Joe Biden would consider choosing a Republican as a running mate," the woman added. 
"The answer is I would, but I can't think of one now," Biden replied. "Let me explain that. You know there's some really decent Republicans that are out there still, but here's the problem right now ... they've got to step up."
If that sounds out of touch, it is. If that sounds naive, it is. And if it sounds like Biden is pandering to as many people as possible in order to get them to vote for him, he is.

People on the left will hate him for saying it, but Biden really believes that there will be a core group of Republicans who will give him their votes if he wins in November. They won't, but he can believe it all he wants. He remembers the Senate from a decade ago, and he has forgotten how awful things are under Mitch McConnell. 

Biden should have said, "if you can find one that isn't crazy and doesn't support Trump and is willing to switch parties, I might consider it." This is a great way to respond to anyone in the press who asks, "what are you going to do to unite the country?" Biden can hold up his offering to the other side as reason enough to believe him when he says that he will work hard to bring Americans back together. 

In reality, he'll have to deal with whatever GOP opposition is out there, and he'll be hamstrung by Democrats in the Senate who will try to return the institution to normalcy if they take it back this fall. Democrats will bend over backwards to undo McConnell's vandalization of the Senate's rules. And that's the other mistake that might get made here. Biden shouldn't expect Republican support and Senate Democrats should just continue with McConnell's rules and practices in place.

Statements like this can be used to deflect criticism. Biden can say, "look, I'm trying to unite the country and reach out to the other side. Trump's not doing that. I'm reaching across the aisle."

In point of fact, Biden would only pick a Democrat who could deliver electoral votes. He would pick Beto O'Rourke if there was a shot at putting Texas in play (and there is, believe me). He would pick any Democrat from a southern or purple state who could help him (hello, Stacey Abrams). And he wouldn't seriously consider any Republican. This is just a way to float the idea that he's a centrist in comparison to Trump.

And, no, he won't pick a Republican. End of story.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Don Imus Was a Howling Bag of Shit


Don Imus is dead, and I have nothing good to say about him. They will cite his charity work as evidence that he was a good person, but, remember. Charities are hella good tax dodges when you work in the media and make millions.

Imus was a howling, hateful bag of irascible shit, poured through a cheap trucker hat and cut with trucker speed found in a bottle of urine. His outsized political influence gave corrupt Republicans a platform that they used to advance their soul-sucking agenda. He employed racists and nincompoops interchangeably. He used every ounce of influence he had to advance his own interests to the detriment of everyone else so, as far as 20th Century shock jocks go, he was just south of Glenn Beck and well north of whatever dickhead terrorized your mid-sized city until someone figured out how to make money off of a satellite program. He was unemployable for much of his career, and lived in the shadow of better broadcasters. He made people appreciate Howard Stern, for God's sake.

The legacy of Don Imus is this: he made one of a slew of racist jokes that punched down at the Rutgers University women's basketball team and ended up giving us Morning Joe with Joe Scarborough. For that, the devil himself has taken Imus into his bosom and given him a pitchfork and a flaming butt plug.

This is a better world now. Fuck him, fuck his anti-vaccine advocating wife, fuck his legacy. He traded on the need to punch down and kiss ass and tried to make it look like he was doing the opposite.

Good riddance.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Republicans Are Gullible Idiots


The conservative website Townhall is full of stupid people who are able to write things like this and not be taken out of polite society and given a 72 hour mental hold:
I consider Donald Trump one of the greatest presidents this country has ever known. He exudes love of America, boldly pursues excellence, and governs based on incisive common sense rather than nauseating political correctness. 
That said: 
1) Why are Roger Stone and Paul Manafort still languishing in legal purgatory? These men were pursued by the Justice Department – Trump's Justice Department – for one reason only: They helped Trump become president. Yet, so far Trump has let them hang out to dry. 
Democrat lobbyist Tony Podesta committed essentially the same crime for which Manafort was targeted. Yet, the Justice Department decided to grant Podesta immunity and go after Manafort. Why didn't it grant Manafort immunity and go after Podesta? You know the answer. Washington is a swamp. 
Roger Stone, meanwhile, had his home raided in the middle of the night by the FBI for lying during a sham investigation. He can’t even publicly speak about his case now because a totalitarian judge has so ordered. Amazingly, though, when asked on Tuesday whether he would pardon Stone, Trump replied, “I hadn't thought of it.” 
He hadn’t thought of it? Pray tell, why not? Stone is suffering because of his 40-year friendship with the president. If Trump is loyal to his friends – as I and so many other Trump supporters like to believe – he must pardon Stone and Manafort immediately.
This is an interesting "gripe" and it comes with a complete lack of self-awareness that only a Trump supporter could muster. How gullible do you have to be to think that Trump "cares" about the people who perform tasks for him? Buddy, you could save Trump's ass and the minute you're no longer providing something of value, he would sell you out, can your ass, and tickle your wife before the sun goes down.

I could have written this post in the early part of 2017, and, with the exception of Manafort and Stone being in jail, it would have had zero effect. No one actually understands what is happening, save the handful of people who might read this post. The media doesn't get it. The country certainly does not get it. I mean, come on. The fact that Trump uses people and discards them was known in the 1980s when he abandoned Roy Cohn.

We are three years into a "regime" that does not respect the rule of law. Not one, not two, but hundreds of otherwise unemployable people have been fired or disappeared from Trump's orbit because of insufficient loyalty and a lack of usefulness. Many languish in their own private hell, having to take Wingnut Welfare from people like Peter Thiel or the Sackler family in order to maintain a standard of living that resides between destitution and not being able to pay the bill at Red Robin. Some are giving hand jobs down at the bus station, or so we would be told if there was a reporter who was tracking that sort of thing.

Manafort has not been pardoned yet because he's tainted with criminality; Stone hasn't been pardoned because why would he? Paul and Roger know the drill. They don't get pardoned until Trump is reasonably convinced that there's something in it for him and for him alone.

I would have thought that Trump would have released a dozen or more pardons on Christmas Eve, just to give the media some catnip to chase around. But, no. The grifter knows that once people are no longer of any material use in his transactional world, leaving them high and dry is the best option. It keeps the remaining staff in line. It keeps the people who are about to go into the barrel from realizing that they can say things to the Feds and get away with their crimes. The reason why he hasn't already pardoned Stone is because Stone is no longer providing anything of value to Trump. He has moved on to other ratfuckers and toadies. Once Roger stopped being relevant, that was the end of him.

It's my opinion that Trump believes that Manafort and Stone talked to the Feds, even though there's virtually an avalanche of evidence that they protected Trump. That's the beauty of being paranoid--you can never go wrong withholding a pardon for someone who did the right thing by you and ended up in jail. It gives them hope, and it is something of value that you can wave around whenever it is useful.

Trump might still pardon him, though. But, really. Why bother? You put Roger out there and he'll just screech on the low-rent outlets and give shitty advice that has been overtaken by events. He'll get with that hyperventilating bag of human shit Alex Jones and they'll have a three hour pity party. Letting him rot in prison keeps him from cooperating further because it is the promise of a pardon that is withheld that keeps Stone quiet. If he thinks there's even the slightest chance of a reprieve in it for him, he'll stay in prison and not squeal.

Manafort will die in prison, and soon, and Trump does not care. He couldn't be bothered to care. I would be willing to bet you that when Manafort croaks, Trump will laugh and remember only the good times, when he got cheap labor and the nomination of the GOP out of having him around.

Any and all who show even the slightest loyalty to Trump know that this is their fate. They are going to be asked to ruin their own reputations and their own political viability in exchange for nothing beyond the immediate gratification that is found in licking Trump's shoes in public. It takes a person with no self-esteem and no belief in American virtues to spend more than a few weeks working in the Trump regime. This is what a tyrannical kleptocracy that is bereft of decency in the American style looks like, after all. The fact that there are so many people willing to debase themselves is sad but not a surprise if you've been paying attention.

It's old hat right now, laughing at people who are deluded enough to think that this hasn't been true from the start. Doesn't anyone pay attention?

Elliott Resnick would love to sell out and work for Trump. What a transaction that would be! But how useful would his service be to a man who already has hundreds of sycophants working long hours and are prepared to suffer endless amounts of abuse? Not very. You have to bring a lot more to the table than a self-serving plea for a Roger Stone pardon, Mr. Resnick. You should be writing post after post after post about something the president can use to fight his enemies. 

You know, Trump's real enemies. The truth, the American people, and the common good. Figure out how to give him something that he can use like a cudgel against these things and you might just have a shot at working long hours for nothing. It is always expected that you will flay away your very soul and everything you have in service to the king. You are the straw that is put on the road as his carriage passes over. You are insignificant and already forgotten.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Spoiler Alert


Tulsi Gabbard is going to work very, very hard to re-elect Trump:
Tulsi Gabbard has been slowly edging toward leaving the Democratic Party and, it now seems more likely than not, launching a spoiler candidacy to peel disaffected left-wing votes away from the Democrats. Her “present” vote on impeachment, followed by a disavowal of what she called the “zero-sum mind-set the two political parties have trapped America in,” sets the stage for Gabbard to play the role of 2020’s Jill Stein.
Left-wing anti-anti-Trumpism played an important role in the bizarre 2016 outcome. Die-hard Bernie activists, fired up with anger at the release of DNC emails stolen by Russians that purportedly showed the party had rigged the primary, demonstrated against the party outside its convention hall and tried to drown out the speakers inside with boos. Stein attacked Hillary Clinton from the left, then audaciously staged a grift-y fundraising scheme supposedly to hold recounts in the states she had labored to flip to Trump. Trump’s election appeared to deliver the same shock of reality that had vaporized Ralph Nader’s 2000 support.
But Gabbard’s emergence is another indication that the disaffection that drove these events has not disappeared. Anti-anti-Trumpism has maintained a small but durable intellectual infrastructure. The sentiments that first registered as dissent from the Russia investigation transferred to impeachment, and a chorus of left-wing voices is attacking the effort to remove Trump from office as at best a misguided diversion and at worst a deep-state coup.
Gabbard knows she can spend the next calendar year raising money from unsophisticated voters who were never going to give their money to a Democrat anyway. She knows that there is a segment of what the press calls "the left" that does not support Democratic Party candidates and actually leans more "socially liberal, fiscally conservative." These are people that will tell you that they want someone to do something about the housing crisis, but they better not do it in their neighborhood because they know someone on the County Board.

The Democratic Party has tried to appeal to these voters, and it always ends up going south on them. Contrary to what Twitter tells you, the Democrats get creamed when they move too far to the left, especially in a way that allows the Republicans to call them out on it. When Democrats find that sweet spot just to the left of center, they end up with Clinton and Obama. Yes, people do want the policies and governance that Democrats bring to the table. They just don't want you to tell them that they're voting for left wing policies.

Gabbard is one of those useful idiots who ended up getting elected because she could convince voters in Hawaii that she was one of them. In some part, yes, but in terms of being an actual Democrat, no.

Flash forward to the fetish that right wing nut jobs have for Gabbard and the rather useful segment of the electorate that pretends to be smart and doesn't know anything. These are people who are disaffected and don't trust the two party system. They may look and feel like liberals, but they draw the line at doing anything that would actually produce liberal policies for people in need. Think of anyone who acts in a contrarian manner, and can't stand the idea of actually being a part of something, and doesn't know a goddamned useful thing. They're not stupid enough to be libertarians, but stick around a week and they might.

That's your Gabbard/Sarandon/Stein voter, writ large.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Trump is an Abject Failure as President


It stands to reason that the media should report the facts of what has happened over the last three years. By every possible measure of what it means to be an effective, legitimate president, Trump has failed. He has failed to govern responsibly and he has been consumed by the corruption of his "administration."

Elect Republicans, expect criminal behavior.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Matt Bevin is a Terrible Human Being


It should be clear to every American that Republicans are putting the very worst human beings up for office in every corner of this country. In Kentucky, they gave us a monster named Matt Bevin.
In his final days in office, former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin issued hundreds of pardons and commutations to people he said he would not hesitate to welcome as neighbors, co-workers or members of his church.  
The pardons largely drew shock and outrage, not only because of the sheer number or apparent political motivations, but also because some involved violent criminals, including convicted murderers and rapists.  
Still, Bevin, a Republican, further enraged critics when he said during a radio interview Thursday with WHAS in Louisville that he pardoned a child rapist partly because the hymen of the 9-year-old victim was still intact.  
When WHAS host Terry Meiners asked Bevin about the pardon, the former governor focused on the lack of evidence from physical examinations of the victim and her sister.

"Both their hymens were intact," Bevin said. "This is perhaps more specific than people would want, but trust me, if you had been repeatedly sexually violated as a small child by an adult, there are going to be repercussions of that physically and medically."
We now live in a country where white men get to demonstrate their expertise on the hymens of little girls. Let that sink in for a while.

If this doesn't compel every decent person to vote against the GOP, then what the hell would? The rights of women and children are under vicious assault. Your health care is in mortal danger. The country is largely undefended and in the hands of compromised individuals. Money is flowing into the pockets of corrupt politicians. The environment is, literally, on fire. And people like Matt Bevin are in the mainstream of Republican politics. 

This is not by accident. This is the shit show they want every person to live in.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Impeach the Bum


Well, the hour approaches. A reluctant Democratic Party in the House is getting ready to impeach the worst president in American history. If there were even a shred of decency in the Republican Party, they would vote with the Democrats and make it unanimous.

Think of the impact it would have. Of course, there are a handful of batshit crazy cranks who wouldn't vote to impeach Trump. Those bastards need to be thrown out of office, too. Think of a GOP in the House that says, "yes, we will defend American democracy" and vote en masse to impeach Trump. Think of the psychological impact of 120 GOP votes from the House as the articles of impeachment land on Mitch McConnell's desk.

It wouldn't change the firewall in the Senate. There aren't even a dozen decent Republicans within a million miles of the place. They'll hold the line, and they'll maintain the status quo, which is sickening the entire country and introducing a poison into our collective bloodstream that will take generations to cure.

Impeach this goddamned bum. Impeach the living hell out of him. He has not one decent attribute, and it already planning his next series of crimes.

Impeach the bum.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Support Swing State Democrats


Representative Elissa Slotkin is going to put her political future in jeopardy and support the impeachment of noted criminal and stumblebum, Donald Trump:
Democratic U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin of Holly said Monday she would support articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, reducing the number of apparent undecided Michigan Democrats to two.

The first-term congresswoman and former Central Intelligence Agency analyst supported an impeachment inquiry this year but had yet to voice her position on two articles of impeachment for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. She decided to support the articles of impeachment over the weekend at her farm in Holly, she said.
During a raucous constituent meeting inside the Oakland Center at Oakland University, Slotkin said she would stick to her decision regardless of what happens politically "because this is bigger than politics."

The comments by the Holly Democrat were often drowned out by protesters, making it difficult for reporters and roughly 400 attendees to hear what she was saying. She opened her remarks — which were greeted with boos and applause — by saying she was glad to see such enthusiasm for civic engagement.
You're going to see more and more of this because the GOP is, frankly, out of ideas and has no way to defend the lawlessness of the Trump era.  There are only a relative handful of vulnerable Democrats in the House, and most of the Republicans holding seats that could lean Democratic have already announced their retirement. This is just their way of trying to staunch the bleeding.

Remember that Trump is extremely unpopular and has the worst approval numbers of any president in the modern era. Herpes and a day long excursion to the Department of Motor Vehicles are all polling higher than the idea of Trump remaining in his current position as the foolish master of a gangster administration that is well into using its own stash of brain-debilitating drugs. Democrats have to protect seats currently occupied by Elissa Slotkin, Abigail Spanberger, and Angie Craig of Minnesota

These Democrats are going to be the subject of ad buys and negative coverage. The GOP is going to use money against them that would otherwise defend Republicans in seats that could be flipped next year (again, they're abandoning the party and running for the exits).  We need to support them and protect them wherever possible. Every Republican who supports Trump needs to be thrown out of office in order to protect our democracy. Every damned one of them.


Sunday, December 15, 2019

Democrats Are Trying to Save America


Never forget that Trump is a bum. A cheating, lying, stealing bum. He's the kind of bum that gives actual bums (who are usually down on their luck and doing the best they can) a bad name. He's a bum on purpose, you see, and that's the kind of bum that the American people want to see thrown out of office. He's never going to be presidential because he's just a goddamned bum, you see.

But, sometimes, I think the media is worse:
As Washington braces for this week’s expected vote to impeach President Donald Trump, partisan battle lines hardened on Sunday, with Democrats defending impeachment even if Trump isn’t removed from office and Republicans denouncing the integrity of the constitutional process. 
The Democratic-controlled House planned to vote Wednesday on two articles of impeachment against the Republican president, and the decision whether to make Trump the third U.S. president in history to be impeached was expected to play out along party lines. There is some debate between the White House and GOP-run Senate about the contours of the Senate trial anticipated in January, but there seems little doubt the Senate would acquit Trump. 
But a seemingly predetermined result has not convinced Democrats that their impeachment effort, which was prompted by Trump’s push to have Ukraine investigate a Trump political foe, was in vain. Framing the matter as a national security issue, the chairman of the House committee that led the investigation insisted it was “not a failure in the sense of our constitutional duty in the House.” 
“This misconduct goes on, the threat to our election integrity coming up goes on,” said Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California, who heads the House Intelligence Committee. ``It’s a clear and present danger, I think, to our democracy, and not something that we can turn away from simply because the Republicans in the House refuse to do their duty, and continuing to put the person of the president above their personal obligation.”
For the media to suggest that this was partisan is ridiculous. If it was partisan, there wouldn't have been all that evidence of Trump abusing his power. If it was partisan, the actual evidence Trump released wouldn't have been so damning. If it was partisan, the multiple officials who testified on behalf of the country and not for or against Trump wouldn't have been so compelling.

There is only right and wrong, and Trump was so completely and utterly on the side of wrong it shocked people into risking their careers to stand up FOR THE COUNTRY. They stood up for the rule of law, the Constitution, and for the common good. They did it for you, and for me, and for future generations.

Framing this as a partisan thing is exactly the wrong way to approach what happened here. Trump is a bum who abused his power, see, and now he's going to be impeached for it. The day after they impeach Trump, he'll be back to committing crimes and abusing his power because Moscow Mitch is just fine with all of that. 

The media should frame this as what happens when a crime syndicate seizes power and holds it. The media should correctly identify the Republican caucus in the House and Senate as the enablers and the accomplices to an ongoing crime spree. And this is, by all means, just the tip of what we know and a sliver of what has leaked out. 

Think of all the crimes we don't know about yet that will shock future generations and will forever have people wondering why we weren't turning out by the tens of millions to lock down Washington D.C. and put a stop to all of this.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

You Can't Run as a Lame Duck


If you understand what happened the first and the second time that Joe Biden ran for president, you can't help but look at this story and shake your head in disgust:

Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden has denied ever discussing with his campaign whether he would only serve one term if elected in 2020.
"I don't have plans on one term. I'm not even there yet," Mr Biden said.
Politico earlier quoted four people "who regularly talk to Biden" saying it was "virtually inconceivable that he will run for re-election" in 2024.
In 2024, Mr Biden, now 77, will be 82. America has never had a sitting octogenarian president.
Kate Bedingfield, Mr Biden's deputy campaign manager, denied the claims in the Politico story.
"Lots of chatter out there on this so just want to be crystal clear: this is not a conversation our campaign is having and not something VP Biden is thinking about," she wrote in a tweet.
The right response is to fire the person who leaked that, if they can be identified, and to dismiss this as something out of left field. Barring that, you never set yourself up as a lame duck, one term president, no matter what. This is why Biden is not running away with the primary and it is why the Democratic Party is flailing right now. We need capable candidates, and I think we have a handful of those. We also need people to engage on the issues and think about why they would support someone like Biden.

If Joe wins the nomination, he'll have my vote. But I think he will be a weak candidate, and it is largely because of his age and his inability to win the nomination in previous attempts. He was given the Vice Presidency largely because of a perceived ability to deliver smart political analysis and votes in the Senate for the Obama presidency. I don't know that he ever really delivered on that in a way that supports the idea that he should be president.

Yes, he would be a million times better than Trump. But that's not the standard that should be applied. We need to find a candidate who destroys Trump's chances of winning as narrowly as he did when Russia helped him steal the 2016 election. We need a president who will repair and restore the country over the course of two solid terms. We don't need this bullshit.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

America's Worst Lawyer, Continued


File this under the category, "you're not helping."

The Republican Party has long been a cult made up of people who believe in nothing but grievances. The fact that they are awful people who hate democracy and demonstrate willful incompetence has nothing to do with it.

If you look at Rudy Giuliani, he is resplendent in his obesity, refusing to take care of himself and moderate his intake of food and bullshit. His ridiculous phone is begging to fall out of his ill-fitting white business shirt, and is liable to butt-dial virtually anyone when it hits the floor.

Trump's party is doubling down on the idea that they are going to be beaten in 2020 unless they cheat. And, if they cheat, and get caught, there will be no consequences. The pardons have likely already been written. The media has already let them off the hook.

Imagine if every news outlet were to reinforce the idea that Trump should be impeached AND denied a place on the 2020 ballot specifically because of what Giuliani is doing as we speak. Some people disqualify themselves from public life through their actions. If there was any shame left in these grifters, they would have left town years ago.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Endlessly Repeating Ourselves



If things were even remotely normal, none of this would be necessary to have to state in public:
"The Constitution says there can be no titles of nobility. So while the President can name his son Barron, he can't make him a baron."
The thing that runs through the impeachment hearings is that we are endlessly repeating ourselves and restating basic facts as if there's anything to argue about here. There really isn't anything to discuss--the admitted actions of Trump impeach him without the necessity of any kind of hearing or review. So, it's all a farce on the part of Republicans to pretend that they can argue their way out of the hole that has been dug here.

Trump's failed presidency is more than enough evidence that we should have impeached and removed him in the spring of 2017 when he fired James Comey. And I say that as someone who believes that Comey should have been fired long before Trump even took office.

So, if there's anything to be upset about, it's the fact that we have wasted the last several years pretending this was a normal presidency in the first place. It has been a fiasco that we sentenced ourselves to through our own inability to recognize what Trump was when he was busy telling us who he was. I'm glad that we have heard people speak out about Trumpism and the place where we find ourselves. This has been a reaffirmation of what it means to have a democracy, and we should be grateful for the fact that people like Professor Pamela Karlan have decided to put the country ahead of their own self-interest and testify before the least qualified bunch of Republicans that have ever served in Congress.


Tuesday, December 3, 2019

This Thing is On

Everything is fine. The migration to blogger is almost complete. Everything is still insane in American politics.

Meanwhile, there is this.


I used to walk by the Milam building every weekday. I miss it.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

What Did You Do During the War, Daddy?




The impeachment hearings have revealed that a good number of these men will avoid speaking of what role they had to play and many will flush their culpability down the memory hole.

Our worthless media complex can’t quit these people. They’ll get work if they can figure out how to be good on TV. It’s a shame.

Watching the Republicans behave during these hearings has been an exercise in watching human beings deny the very facts that they are being presented. They are not being willfully ignorant. They are hearing facts and processing them in a way that turns them into soup when they come out as words. It’s despicable and ridiculous at the same time.

I thought that some of them would be swayed, but that hasn’t been the case. I thought that some of them would just disappear and refuse to participate in order to avoid having to engage with the evidence. But, no. They’ve been ducking out whenever possible, but, really, they just can’t admit that their side is on the side of the Russians and the criminals that Russia put in power in this country.

During the “war,” which is best understood to be an American Interregnum, wherein the country was in the hands of a kleptocracy run by a shit-stained, incompetent petty crook and his idiot kids, these men helped Russia destroy our democracy. They’ll find a way to explain it away, but they’ll never wash the stain from their hands. They’ll stumble through lives like pariahs and no decent person should ever associate with them ever again.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Gordon Sondland is a Lovable Goof

 Matt McClain Matt McClain


European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland is the well-heeled donor that the Trump Regime deserves. I’ve never seen so many people who deserve to be destroyed with one another. 

You have the axis of evil in American politics and a fascist fanboy club that is bent on destroying our democracy on one hand and, on the other, you have a goofball who doesn’t understand anything about where he’s sitting or what he’s doing. They most certainly deserve to be lit on fire so that they can burn together in one massive dumpster fire, and this the thing thing that will purify this fetid, shitty swamp we now live in.

Sondland is so lovable and goofy that I think we’ll all have a good laugh when he ends up finding out his fate. Does he think he still has a job? Who would keep him in his job after today? Does he think he can smirk his way out of this?

The corruption turns out to be a feature, not a bug. The incompetence you get for free.

I’m listening to Representative Adam Schiff say, “they got caught.” This is the conventional wisdom of the moment. Sondland didn’t plead the fifth. He plead guilty before everyone.

He’s guilty. They’re all guilty. Jesus Christ, it’s all insane, and the entire narrative has been set ablaze. Only fools and Republican representatives would argue otherwise.

Monday, November 18, 2019

The Other Whistleblower Scandal




This is perfectly normal and an example of how we live now and yes, there’s more than one scandal to follow:

Two senators are looking into a whistleblower’s allegations that at least one political appointee at the Treasury Department may have tried to interfere with an audit of President Trump or Vice President Pence, according to two people with knowledge of the matter, a sign that lawmakers are moving to investigate the complaint lodged by a senior staffer at the Internal Revenue Service.

Staff members for Sens. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Wyden (Ore.), the chairman and ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, met with the IRS whistleblower earlier this month, those people said. Follow-up interviews are expected to further explore the whistleblower’s allegations.

It could not be learned to what extent the senators consider the whistleblower a credible source. Trump administration officials have previously played down the complaint’s significance and suggested that it is politically motivated.

The whistleblower, a career IRS official, initially filed a complaint in July, reporting that he was told that at least one Treasury political appointee attempted to improperly interfere with the annual audit of the president’s or vice president’s tax returns. In recent weeks, the whistleblower filed additional documentation related to the original complaint, which was given to congressional officials in July, the two people said. These people spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the complaint, which pertains to a confidential IRS audit that cannot be disclosed under federal law.

The contents of the additional information provided by the whistleblower were not known.

Everyone is paying attention to the Ukraine scandal, but maybe we should be paying attention to the IRS Audit scandal? Or the scandals that Robert Mueller uncovered? Or maybe the $50 million dollar scandal where Trump owes himself that much money through a phony LLC? Or the scandal where the Air Force has been forced to land their planes in Scotland so that Trump’s failing golf resort doesn’t collapse?

I don’t know anymore. If any Democrat ever had anywhere near this many scandals, the GOP would have burned the city of Washington DC to the ground impeaching that person a thousand times over.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Witness Intimidation in Real Time




I thought it would be useful to present the tweets in their proper order.

Are you tired of all of this winning yet?

Get Used to Days Like This




Hey, you mad, bro?

Roger Stone now has to wait for a president who, umm, can’t even pay his sub-contractors for a pardon. I suspect that pardon is already signed and ready to be dumped on Christmas morning, or something like that.

Stone has spent a lifetime avoiding consequences, and days like today, and it has now been brought to bear that he is a convicted felon. And a sack of human shit, too. Can’t forget that.

What this sad debacle tells me about our current politics is that if things are so bad that even Roger Stone can’t help but be convicted of felonies, then it has to be pretty bad for the Republicans. In past decades, Stone could operate with his usual alacrity and impunity and skirt the rules and get away with it. This time, his conduct was so desperate and egregious that he couldn’t escape accountability.

Isn’t the awful thing here the story of what brought us here? That the president was elected with the help of Russia is no longer an “opinion” or a “conspiracy theory.” It’s now established fact, and multiple individuals have been convicted of felonies related to the investigation of what happened. Stone was instrumental in the use of WikiLeaks as a weapon to defeat Hillary Clinton. The Russians used WikiLeaks as their cutout in this operation. We suspected these things in 2016. We cheered the investigation into those matters. And now, three years later, we are witnessing the country arrive at the fact that this really happened, the election was stolen, our democracy was subverted, and a shitty human being was at the heart of it, and now he faces prison.

Justice will not be served unless Stone is behind bars. He is a threat to this country.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Why Is This Man Screaming?




I haven’t written anything about the impeachment hearings, the latest outrage, or much of anything else because it is pretty evident to me that the establishment and the country as a whole are done with Trump. His presidency has failed, and his people are losing influence. He is operating in a very diminished capacity. It’s not 2017 anymore, and no one has to pretend that there are two sides anymore.

There’s the side of the rule of law, basic decency, human rights, and concern for the well being of the planet. And then there’s just this evil, deranged world view that operates out of Trump’s ass. It’s the side of dead-enders and people who know that, when Trump is thrown out of office, they’re never going to make an honest dollar in polite society anymore.

The conventional wisdom has decided to go against Trumpism, in other words, so you can follow this to a predictable conclusion. His side, the side of evil, will win some battles and do some awful shit to innocent human beings, and they’ll steal whatever they can before they leave. There will be pardons, there will be destroyed E-mail servers and wiped phones and shredders running morning, noon, and night. The end of Trump’s presidency will be an ugly affair, full of screaming and howling and white supremacy.

But, you know what? It doesn’t matter.

A Democrat will clean all of this up.

A Democrat will find the treasury empty and have to make do.

A Democrat will have to take the blame for everything that goes wrong.

A Democrat will serve eight years, God willing, and leave the country in better shape than they found it.

Life will go on. We need to vote like crazy in the primaries and in the general election. We need more Republicans to retire. We need to make a statement in November 2020. That statement should be a complete and utter rejection of Trump and a denunciation of all those who enabled him. They should be left dazed and blubbering, wondering what they’re going to do if they have to go home and make an honest living.

Everything we’re watching is just theatrics. Trump has impeached himself. He is a shabby man who wears bad suits and can’t find a moment of peace anywhere. He knows he has failed. Now is the time to grab that cash, motherfucker. Once your time is up, that’s it. The hellhound is going to come for you.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Roger Stone Has Always Been a Criminal




One of the things you need to know about professional ratfucker Roger Stone is that he was ratfucking elections and doing this sort of thing long before anyone was ready for Trump to get elected president:

Federal prosecutors in Roger Stone's trial told jurors they plan to call several high-profile witnesses to the stand, including Steve Bannon, and revealed new details about Stone's contacts with Trump campaign officials before and after the release of stolen Democratic National Committee emails in 2016, including several phone calls Stone had with then-candidate Trump.






On the first day of arguments in his trial on charges of witness tampering and making false statements, prosecutors said the longtime political operative spoke to Mr. Trump six times over the course of several weeks in June and July 2016, including on the day the DNC announced it had been hacked. The U.S. intelligence community determined the theft was the work of a sophisticated campaign by Russian intelligence operatives to boost Mr. Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton.

Prosecutor Aaron Zelinsky said the government plans to call several high-profile witnesses over the course of the trial in U.S. District Court in Washington, including former Trump campaign chairman Steve Bannon, deputy chairman Rick Gates and radio personality Randy Credico. Bannon is among the senior campaign officials who communicated with Stone about the hacked Democratic emails, prosecutors said. According to Zelinsky, Stone emailed Bannon that he knew how to win the 2016 election, but it "ain't pretty."

Steve Bannon, a noted hobo and practitioner of horrible things, has zero credibility so I don’t know why they’re going to put him on the stand. Is he afraid of prison? Do they have his nuts in a vise?

Old Roger was the original GOP ratfucker when few, if any, Americans could fully appreciate the job description. He has always been about dirty tricks, questionable morals, and taking the heat off Republicans who would otherwise end up in oblivion if they got caught telling Roger how much they loved his “work.”

I am afraid that the ultimate goal is to throw sand in the gears and make a spectacle out of this trial so that Stone ends up creating a situation where there is either a mistrial or a hung jury or some despicable piece of drama that emerges from all of this and makes a mockery out of the law. He seems to have said too much in all of those E-mails and he seems to have forgotten to cover his ass before they caught him breaking the law to help Trump get elected.

Where’s Julian Assange, by the way? Oh, he’s pretending to be crazy.

If things go south on Roger, look for him to faint in court or pretend to suddenly be too mentally ill to proceed.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Mike Pompeo is a Liar




Whenever Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is confronted by a knowledgeable member of the press, he falls back on a signature move that is intended to intimidate and derail the person questioning him. This is his squinting dickhead face, and it isn’t going to save his ass:

Former senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Michael McKinley, directly contradicted public comments made by the top US diplomat when he testified under oath last month as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. 

McKinley, who resigned amid the Ukraine controversy, raised concerns about former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch's removal, which was pushed by Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and has become a central part of the inquiry, according to a transcript of that testimony released Monday.

While Pompeo told ABC News last month that McKinley never raised the idea of issuing a statement of support for Yovonovitch, McKinley directly contradicted that statement while under oath, telling lawmakers he mentioned it on three separate occasions.

Specifically, McKinley who testified behind closed doors on October 16, said that he raised the Yovanovitch matter with Pompeo three times and proposed releasing a statement of support for the former diplomat, who was abruptly recalled from her post, but did not receive a response from the secretary of state, including when he told Pompeo he was leaving the department.

"I said: We've seen the situation that's developing outside. Wouldn't it be good to put out a statement on Yovanovitch? Since my impression is the Department, you know, at least tried to keep her in Ukraine. I had gotten that from the newspapers," McKinley said. "He listened. That was it. Sort of , 'Thank you.' That was the limit of the conversation."

McKinley told lawmakers that he raised the issue on two other occasions, including during a phone call to discuss his resignation.

"I spoke with the Secretary again when he called from Europe to discuss my resignation," McKinley said. "I was pretty direct. I said, 'You know, this situation isn't acceptable. We need to you know, I've already made my recommendation, but ... I am resigning.' And that was the conversation. Again, I didn't get a reaction on that point."

McKinley's testimony contradicts public comments that Pompeo made in an interview last month with ABC News after McKinley's testimony.

I love how they sugarcoat this. He was “contradicted.” No, he was full-blown caught in a massive lie. He is an inveterate liar. He knows he’s been caught. He knows he has no credibility. And yet, he wants the conservative movement that is clearly aligned behind Trump, and Trump only, to save his worthless career in government.

How do you feel sympathy for these people? They have been caught lying. The whole Ukraine thing has blown up in their faces. There are literally no options left. If there was an ounce of shame remaining, the entire Trump cabinet would have already resigned, en masse, in protest of this fiasco. And I still don’t understand why anyone would work for Trump. He will throw Pompeo under the bus if he thinks that will save him. Pompeo knows that Trump would sooner sell him out than help him fight for the collective good of the entire administration. He knows that Trump would just as soon destroy everyone else and leave them unemployable, broke, and incarcerated if he thought that it would buy him some time.

Hell, Trump would set all of them on fire just for the re-tweets.

They all know this! They know how this ends! They know that their own personal destruction is like a plaything in the hands of a screaming, diapered man-baby and yet they still persist in thinking that they’re smarter than the press, better than the Democrats, and that Trump is the right man to be president and lead the Republican Party.

It’s mind-boggling. Truly, it is a mystery as to why they insist on being destroyed. The only explanation is that the Kool-Aid tastes pretty good and that the Russians have something on them that is worse than the fate that awaits them.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

The NRCC Likes to Terrorize People




What you are looking at is a moving box that was sent to an unnamed Democratic Congressional office today after the impeachment vote. According to Matt Fuller, the National Republican Congressional Committee sent these boxes to Democratic members after the impeachment vote to symbolize how they will be voted out of office.



[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1536.0"]   Here’s what the labeling looked like on the packages that were delivered today. H/T Catie Edmondson.   Here’s what the labeling looked like on the packages that were delivered today. H/T Catie Edmondson. [/caption]


The problem is, no one really got that reference, so they called the Capitol Police out to investigate what appeared to be a possible act of domestic terrorism.

Let’s see, what was in the news about a year ago. Wasn’t there some crazy MAGA troll who sent bombs through the mail? Doesn’t that ring a bell here?

I mean, this whole thing seems to have gone down the goddamned rabbit hole:






The Florida man who authorities say mailed bombs to prominent critics of President Trump, leading to a five-day nationwide manhunt, pleaded guilty to 65 felonies Thursday before a federal judge in New York.

Cesar Sayoc, 57 years old, was arrested in Plantation, Fla., in October after manila envelopes containing bombs were sent to President Obama, Hillary Clinton and other prominent Democrats. 

Nobody in the GOP has any common sense anymore. Or decency, either. Here’s what you can count on - both sides do it, fuck your feelings, what are you crying about snowflake, it’s their right to terrorize people, get over it, blah blah blah.

Steer Clear of Rudy Giuliani




Rudy Giuliani is being ripped apart in public, and it has nothing to do with his inability to remember his iPhone pass code or follow the law or anything like that.

Tim Morrison, the top Russia and Europe adviser on President Donald Trump's National Security Council, told House impeachment investigators that he was advised by then-White House official Fiona Hill to stay away from the parallel Ukraine policy being pursued by Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, according to a source familiar with his Thursday testimony.

Morrison also told lawmakers that he was concerned the July 25 call transcript between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would leak and could have negative ramifications, according to multiple sources. But he made clear he saw nothing wrong with the July call, saying he was "not concerned" that "anything illegal" was discussed, according to one source.

Morrison, who will soon be departing the White House, was involved with discussions after the call about how to handle the transcript, the sources said. Ultimately, the call transcript was filed in a highly classified system, a decision that's among the issues Democrats are seeking answers about in their impeachment investigation into Trump and Ukraine.

Morrison, whose testimony is ongoing behind closed doors, has so far corroborated testimony by Bill Taylor, the top US diplomat in Ukraine, about interactions the two had regarding the President's efforts to press for investigations while US aid to Ukraine was held up. While he did deviate from Taylor on some details, Morrison testified that Sondland told him President would release the aid if the Ukrainian prosecutor general announced an investigation, according to sources.

So, this fellow Tim Morrison sounds like a helluva guy, doesn’t he? Just another mid-level bureaucrat being driven to an early retirement from government service because some Russians decided to hack the 2016 election. Hey, Rudy. These are the guys who are going to plant the steak knife in your back from here on out. They’re not going to jail for you, Mr. Mayor.

Today, Morrison made it clear that he’s going to discharge his legal responsibilities but he’s not going to be a hero. His head is in the sand as far as his assessment of the July 25th call between Trump and the new Ukrainian president. There is no weight behind his assertion that he was not concerned of illegalities. Clearly, other more knowledgeable people felt differently and acted on what they saw as an affront to the way this country should conduct foreign policy. I guess Morrison is vying for some future post in a Republican administration. Yeah, no.

This indicates to me that there are plenty of people within the Trump regime who are perfectly fine with breaking the law and savaging a domestic political appointment. The Democratic Party should be ready for this onslaught. They should be making plans to protect themselves from an unprecedented assault on our democracy. And they damned sure better be ready for people like Tim Morrison, who are serving in the United States government and are just fine with whatever it is Trump and his people are getting ready to do in order to hold onto power.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Trump is Easily the Stupidest Man Alive




This is absolutely unbelievable. If it were presented as parody, no one would laugh because it is so over the top:

The decorated Army officer who testified to House investigators on Tuesday told lawmakers that a close associate of Republican Rep. Devin Nunes “misrepresented” himself to President Donald Trump in an effort to involve himself further in Ukraine policy, according to two people familiar with his closed-door deposition. 

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council’s top Ukraine expert, told lawmakers that after attending Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s inauguration in May as part of a delegation led by Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Vindman had been looking forward to debriefing Trump and giving a positive account of Zelensky’s vision for Ukraine’s future. 

“The U.S. government policy community’s view is that the election of Zelenskyy and the promise of reforms to eliminate corruption will lock in Ukraine’s Western-leaning trajectory, and allow Ukraine to realize its dream of a vibrant democracy and economic prosperity,” Vindman said in his opening statement. 

But he was instructed “at the last second” not to attend the debriefing, Vindman told lawmakers, because Trump’s advisers worried it might confuse the president: Trump believed at the time that Kashyap Patel, a longtime Nunes staffer who joined the White House in February and had no discernible Ukraine experience or expertise, was actually the NSC’s top Ukraine expert instead of Vindman. 

Vindman testified that he was told this directly by his boss at the time, NSC senior director for European and Russian affairs Fiona Hill. 

Hill told Vindman that she and national security adviser John Bolton thought it best to exclude Vindman from the debriefing to avoid “an uncomfortable situation,” he said.

The shorter version of this is, “Trump is so goddamned stupid, they can’t have more than one person brief him on a subject because he gets confused.”

If this guy Patel was the fucking janitor, American foreign policy would actually be in better hands because then he would at least have a functioning skill and some real world experience.

Holy mother of God.

Jared Kushner is a Hero in His Own Mind




You have to admire the balls on this fucking guy:

Just when you were wondering whatever happened to Jared Kushner, the White House adviser who got his job because his father-in-law is President, he popped up on an Israeli TV station on Monday to jab at the Democrat who may be on the ballot opposing President Donald Trump in 2020. He said he's been busy cleaning up "the messes" that former Vice President Joe Biden was supposedly responsible for creating related to the Middle East and criminal justice.

Kushner's simplistic take sheds little light on the two issues he named, but illumination was not the point. No soundbite could ever help anyone understand the problems he pointed to. Instead, Kushner was obviously trying to distract us from the worsening impeachment crisis that has enveloped the administration, and to impress the Oval Office occupant.

Oh, there were lots of “messes” to clean up, I’m sure. As in, there were numerous American policy initiatives that were well underway and were subject to ongoing policy processes that Trump and his band of vandals dismantled and destroyed the minute they took control of the Federal government.

Kushner is so entirely out of his depth that it is impossible to overstate just what a travesty it is that he is involved in American foreign policy. The decision to hand him anything resembling a portfolio is a farce in and of itself. He is an incompetent dilettante and will be jailed like all the rest of them when the law catches up to Trump world. The term “lightweight” is simply not severe enough to accurately describe this wretched little man. Oh, and then there’s his wife, holder of numerous Chinese patents.

What a reliably awful family they make.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Everyone Must be Destroyed to Save Trump




There are no perfect witnesses, nor are there any saints walking among us. There are no pure, innocent people out there. And there damned sure aren’t any flawless bureaucrats to be found in any government anywhere.

But, honestly. The people who have lined up to accuse Trump of trying to shake down the government of Ukraine in order to get some dirt on Joe Biden are pretty damned good people:

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff objected to a line of questioning from Republicans, which Democrats contended was an effort to out the whistleblower during today's closed deposition, according to five sources from both parties.

The moment happened at today's hearing with White House official Alexander Vindman.

Republicans pushed back, arguing they were simply asking questions about who Vindman might have spoken with — and it was not an effort to out the whistleblower.

The back-and-forth led to a heated exchange between Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell and GOP Rep. Mark Meadows, according to multiple sources. Other members joined in.

I wouldn’t say that all of them are blameless for what went on, and I wish more of them had stepped up in 2017 and 2018, but I think we can put that down to the fact that, at least then, there were people around Trump that were able to hold back some of his more lawless and reckless moves. Those people are long gone, and they are too wary of the power of the conservative media to send flying monkeys and howling jackals into their living rooms.

The GOP game plan is as such - if someone makes a move against Trump, then that person must be destroyed. It’s not so much as a game plan as it is a desperate tactic, and it will continue to fall apart in the weeks ahead. The Republicans would rather trade their credibility, already in minuscule supply, for a chance to hold onto power for a few more years. They know that there is a demographic tsunami of voters that are ready to throw all of them out of office, even the heavily Gerrymandered ones. Their plan includes voter suppression, racism, violence, and toadying, so good luck with that.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Unpopular President Treated Like Pariah at the Old Ball Game




Joe Scarborough failed to note that Trump is exceeding unpopular and universally disliked in his predictable plea for civility. Our moneyed elites who work in the “professional” media are concerned that they will soon be tormented and eaten by rabid mobs, I guess. Their walled compounds are staffed with people who have questionable motives and poor decision making skills. I don’t know when the end will be, but perhaps Mr. Scarborough and his trusted blonde companion know how things are going to shake out. They probably have a place in the Bahamas all picked out when the balloon goes up.

He also failed to note that the crowd at the Washington Nationals game was primarily made up of people who, individually, had more than $800 in disposable income to spend on a World Series ticket. That translates to a really interesting breakdown of the demographic of people who hate Trump. I hope they have a bug-out plan ready as well.

First, these are not poor people.

Second, they are actually pretty wealthy and many probably benefited from the Trump tax cut.
Third, they can say whatever the hell they like because there is still a First Amendment in this country, whereby each person in the stadium can actually catcall the head of state and not face immediate repercussions for their actions.

This actually spells electoral disaster for Trump. A good number of the people who booed him were from Northern Virginia, a state that he has to win if he wants to be re-elected. These folks weren’t having it. Something about locking up babies en masse does that to an enlightened society.
I would say that there were more than a few suburban voters, and if they came from far and wide because their personal wealth allowed them to get tickets, then what does that say about Trump’s support as a Republican? If rich people hate him that much, I’d say that it means he’s in trouble.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Trump Has Ties to the Russian Mob




Unpopular scumbag is found to have deep ties to the Russian mob, and went so far as to have Russian mobsters working on his legal team to defend him from…wait for it…an investigation into his ties to Russian mobsters.

You can’t put too fine of a spin on this. As we learn more and more about Rudy Giuliani’s use of Lev Parnas to help with Trump’s defense as it relates to the Mueller Report, it should start to dawn on every Republican who wants to have a future in politics that they need to cut their losses.

A year or so of a President Pence would mitigate a lot of the damage, given the short attention span of the American people. Pence could never get elected himself, nor could he mount much of a defense against his association with Trump, but it would go a long way’s towards normalizing the two-party system to dump Trump now as opposed to waiting to see what a tornado-driven shit-storm the actual 2020 election will be if Trump is the GOP nominee.

This thing could be done quietly over Christmas. Oh, it’s January, and Trump is gone? He wrote himself and his associations a flurry of Christmas Day pardons and then a semi-truck backed up to the White House and took his belongings to Florida? Well, okay then.

Not that I believe that would actually happen. It will take three hundred men in body armor to remove Trump from the White House in January 2021. A Democrat will have to wait until the residence is cleaned out and restored to livable conditions. New toilets and all that, you know. But still.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Remember When They Would Deny This Even Happened?




There was a time when Trump and the people working for him would deny that this sort of thing even happened. There were always denials, and they have turned out to be complete and utter lies.
1. July 26, 2016: "I mean, I have nothing to do with Russia. I don't have any jobs in Russia. I'm all over the world but we're not involved in Russia," Trump tells CBS4.
2. July 26, 2016: "For the record, I have ZERO investments in Russia," Trump tweets.
3. Oct. 6, 2016: During the second presidential debate, Hillary Clinton says Russia is trying to help elect Trump, "maybe because he wants to do business in Moscow." Trump calls this assessment "so ridiculous," adding, "I know nothing about Russia ... I don't deal there."
4. Oct. 24, 2016: "I have nothing to do with Russia folks, I'll give you a written statement," Trump says at a campaign rally.
5. Jan. 11, 2017: Trump tells reporters that he has "no deals that could happen in Russia because we've stayed away," adding that he could "make deals in Russia very easily" but "I just don't want to because I think that would be a conflict."
6. Jan. 11, 2017: "Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA - NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!," Trump tweets.
7. Feb. 7, 2017: Trump tweets, "I don't know Putin, have no deals in Russia, and the haters are going crazy."
8. May 11, 2017: Trump tells NBC News that he has "nothing to do with Russia," other than the fact that he "sold a house to a very wealthy Russian many years ago" and hosted the Miss Universe pageant there once.
Each and every one of those denials was delivered over two years after Trump had his picture taken with Lev Parnas in 2014. These denials were used to deflect criticism from Trump and his campaign for the presidency. They were used to throw investigators and reporters off of his trail in the early months of his “administration.”

We take it for granted now that Trump has seedy and illegal ties with people from Russia, or from that part of the world, or from a vast underbelly of criminal contacts that has links to Russia and its kleptocracy. I guess we now have our own kleptocratic government, and it never seems to register with the American people.

Trump is a straight up dirty criminal gangster. He’s got his head buried in the Russia mafia’s ass. Hello, Trump has business ties with Russia that are being used to manipulate and control his behavior.

Is this thing on?

Hello?

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Trump is Committing Tax Fraud in Plain Sight




I guess he’s going to pardon himself for this, too:

Documents obtained by ProPublica show stark differences in how Donald Trump’s businesses reported some expenses, profits and occupancy figures for two Manhattan buildings, giving a lender different figures than they provided to New York City tax authorities. The discrepancies made the buildings appear more profitable to the lender — and less profitable to the officials who set the buildings’ property tax.

For instance, Trump told the lender that he took in twice as much rent from one building as he reported to tax authorities during the same year, 2017. He also gave conflicting occupancy figures for one of his signature skyscrapers, located at 40 Wall Street.

Lenders like to see a rising occupancy level as a sign of what they call “leasing momentum.” Sure enough, the company told a lender that 40 Wall Street had been 58.9% leased on Dec. 31, 2012, and then rose to 95% a few years later. The company told tax officials the building was 81% rented as of Jan. 5, 2013.

A dozen real estate professionals told ProPublica they saw no clear explanation for multiple inconsistencies in the documents. The discrepancies are “versions of fraud,” said Nancy Wallace, a professor of finance and real estate at the Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley. “This kind of stuff is not OK.”

New York City’s property tax forms state that the person signing them “affirms the truth of the statements made” and that “false filings are subject to all applicable civil and criminal penalties.”

The punishments for lying to tax officials, or to lenders, can be significant, ranging from fines to criminal fraud charges. Two former Trump associates, Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort, are serving prison time for offenses that include falsifying tax and bank records, some of them related to real estate.

I really hope that the State of New York is serious about going after Trump and his family. After Trump writes out pardons for everyone and leaves office, the only recourse that Americans will have is to watch New York prosecute Trump and try to stop all of the fraud that he’s been committing in plain sight. Trump will, of course, send a legion of incompetent attorneys into that fight, and they’ll spend years throwing sand in all of the gears.

The end game here is obvious. Trump is going to steal everything he can, foul every process and effort to hold him accountable, and leave nothing for his children to fight over. I would be shocked if his “wife” ever receives a dime.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Another Failed Bureaucrat Spills the Beans




Yet another State Department employee went before several House committees yesterday and unloaded on the Trump regime:

Fiona Hill, President Donald Trump's former top Russia adviser, raised concerns about Rudy Giuliani's role in US foreign policy toward Ukraine, telling lawmakers on Monday that she saw "wrongdoing" in the American foreign policy and tried to report it to officials including the National Security Council's attorney, according to multiple sources.

"She saw wrongdoing related to the Ukraine policy and reported it," one source said.

The same source told CNN that Hill testified that former national security adviser John Bolton referred to Giuliani -- Trump's personal attorney -- as a "hand grenade" who was "going to blow everybody up," as first reported by The New York Times.

Hill additionally told lawmakers about what she described as a rogue operation carried out by US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland and White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, which Bolton characterized as being like a "drug deal," that source said.

The entire Ukraine affair is a fiasco of epic proportions. It has snared dozens of officials in criminal wrongdoing. It failed to achieve even the most basic goals of a massive criminal operation—no one can keep quite about it, everyone knows they broke the law, and if we had an operating Justice Department right now, there would already be a Special Prosecutor lining people up for indictments, FBI interviews, and plea agreements.

At one point, Hill was described as being fully on board with what Trump wanted to do, which was fool the American people into thinking he wasn’t an asset of Vladimir Putin:

In that sense, she’s almost certainly not part of the “resistance” described in a recent op-ed in the New York Times by a senior member of the Trump administration, who praised the president’s national security team for countering Trump’s worst instincts, including his “preference for autocrats and dictators, such as President Vladimir Putin of Russia.” Hill was proposed by some, including CNN’s Chris Cillizza, as the author of the op-ed. But at least one person who knows her says that’s impossible. Little in her career suggests the kind of sly political maneuvering the Times op-ed represented.

Yet Hill and her peers have managed to craft a Russia policy that is, by any measure — sanctions, expulsions, military buildup — tougher than that of the Obama administration. Trump has not always championed this approach, but he apparently hasn’t hindered Hill and her colleagues on the National Security Council or in the State Department from doing their work. He has, in effect, sanctioned a Russia policy that is entirely at odds with his own pronouncements.

One person who knows Hill well and worked with her on the NSC says Hill is not a Russia “hawk,” a term that suggests a desire for war, but “a realist,” one who “doesn’t want to be duped by the Russians,” the former official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity in order not to jeopardize past or present professional affiliations. Hill, whom the NSC declined to make available for an interview, is also unlikely to be rattled by Trump’s tweets, or by the baroque shows of disloyalty that regularly emanate from the White House. “Her job is not to keep up with the craziness of D.C.,” the former official said. That may be why Hill has kept her job, even as many around her have lost theirs.

Everything in this article has turned out to be complete and utter self-serving inside-the-beltway bullshit, served with a dash of naïveté. The exposure of Hill as a wiling participant in one of the most ham-fisted and incompetent mob shakedowns ever attempted is just another day in America. Think of what we don’t know yet! It is probably monstrous and involves Trump doing monstrous things while the staff hides behind the drapes.

She should have resigned years ago. She should not have accepted the position working for Trump. Why are people so quick to make heroes out of people who stood by and watched all of this happen? The fact that she is spilling her guts now is all well and good, but the reason why we're here today is because of a systematic failure on the part of the elites in 2017 to stop the Trump administration from happening in the first place. If the GOP had said, after the first 90 days, "that's enough of that," we'd be in a far better place.

I’m not interested in rehabilitating these people. Anyone who went to work for Trump should be shunned. They are not heroes for testifying before Congress. They are witnesses to a debacle that they helped enable.