ChrisWeigant.com

Friday Talking Points [483] -- That's Your Stink, Mr. President, That's Your Swamp

[ Posted Friday, May 4th, 2018 – 17:18 PDT ]

Before we get to the fresh lies emanating from the Oval Office this week, we have to begin with a look back. Because not only has President Donald Trump now hit the milestone of lying over 3,000 times while in office, but apparently it's getting too much for even Fox News personalities to take.

Over the past 15 months, we've occasionally seen lists compiled of Trump's biggest whoppers, but these are usually posted as comments to other articles by fervent opponents of the president. That's where we've run into them most, at any rate. Which makes the following list all the more extraordinary, because not only is pretty comprehensive, it was broadcast by none other than Neil Cavuto, on his Fox News show. In other words, Donald Trump might just have had to sit through it. When even the Foxlandia cheerleaders are pointing out the mountain of lies Trump's been telling, you know we've reached some sort of tipping point (thanks, Rudy!).

We did a cursory search for a transcript of the Cavuto diatribe, but could not find one. So instead we present this summary list, compiled by Salon. Cavuto opened his show by first addressing the bombshell news that Rudy Giuliani revealed this week, that Donald Trump did indeed reimburse his fixer Michael Cohen for that $130,000 hush money payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels. Then Cavuto really gained steam, and began to list all the lies Trump has so far told -- all of which are easily disprovable. Here's the list, from the article:


  • Trump insisting that the Russian government hadn't interfered in the 2016 presidential election, even though many of Trump's fellow Republicans had to insist that they had.
  • Trump denying that he had claimed Russia hadn't interfered in the election, when he had.
  • Trump describing his tax cut as the biggest ever in American history, when in fact it wasn't.
  • Trump claiming that the tax cut would cost him a fortune, when in fact it will make him richer than before.
  • Trump saying his approval ratings aren't as bad as those of other presidents at this point in their administration, even though they're lower than those of his four immediate predecessors (George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama).
  • Trump telling the public that former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson wasn't on his way out, when in fact he was.
  • Trump saying that former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus wasn't going to leave the administration, when in fact he was.
  • Trump supporting his former Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn, even though he was on his way out.
  • Trump declaring support for his former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, even though he was also on his way out.
  • In reference to Trump's attorney general: "Swore by Jeff Sessions until you started swearing at Jeff Sessions."
  • Trump making it seem like his legal team was "locked in place" until lawyers John Dowd and Ty Cobb departed.
  • Trump denying that he had been thinking of firing special counsel Robert Mueller, even though he now says he's thinking of getting involved at the Justice Department.

Cavuto then apparently inserted some nice words for the president's overall agenda, but soon returned to listing some more of his many bald-faced lies:

"It is not that these exaggerations and omissions and misstatements are now and then. More like now and then something else. Always something else," Cavuto opined, before continuing with another list of Trump misstatements that included claiming he had signed more bills into law at this point in his presidency than any of his predecessors (he hadn't) and mischaracterizing the state of the national debt during his time in office.

Cavuto also pointed to erroneous statements that the president needed to correct but had not, such as arguing that there had been voter fraud in Virginia and New Hampshire, that millions of undocumented immigrants had voted in the 2016 presidential election or that he had won one of the biggest electoral college landslides in modern history (none of which are true). "You are right to say some of them [the press] are out to get you. But oftentimes they're using your own words to bash you. You probably might not care. But you should. I guess you've been too busy draining the swamp to stop and smell the stink you're creating. That's your doing. That's your stink. Mr. President, that's your swamp," Cavuto concluded.

Remember, this is from a Fox News personality, not from some raving lefty or anything. To state the painfully obvious: when the stink is so powerful that your own biggest fans are starting to notice, then you may be in serious trouble.

It's been that kind of week, in Washington. Another whirlwind that spins so violently quickly that all memory of what came before it is obliterated. Need proof? The White House Correspondents Association Dinner happened less than a week ago. But now it seems like it's been months since that particular tempest in a teapot happened. In fact, early in the week, we spotted what we thought was going to be a good candidate to open this Friday review. It's one of the snarkiest sentences we've read in a long time, so it seemed like a real winner, at the time. The New York Times did a puff piece about "Washington's Trump-Era 'It Couple'," Matt and Mercedes Schlapp. These ultra-conservatives attended the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, and then did some pearl-clutching afterwards, because the comedienne made some jokes they didn't like. Which led to the following snark (emphasis added, just because): "'It's why America hates the out of touch leftist media elite,' Ms. Schlapp tweeted from a limousine en route to an exclusive after-party organized by NBC/MSNBC." Oh, those dastardly elites! But, amusing as this sentence was, it now has to be seen as ancient news. Because the rest of the week happened.

Rudy Giuliani had his debut this week as Trump's right-hand-man legal attack dog. To say it didn't go well is an understatement. Now, Rudy and Trump are really two peas in a pod. They both love media attention (be it tabloid or otherwise, it doesn't matter to them), and they both love to make outrageous statements to annoy lefties. They pride themselves on their brash, no-holds-barred New York style, and think it serves them well in just about any circumstance. So it really wasn't a surprise to see Giuliani doing his schtick on television, as Trump's newest legal spokesperson. It was probably the biggest reason Trump hired him -- because he is supposedly so good at defending Trump on screen. Trump realized he was in a hole and instead of taking the advice of his legal team to "stop digging," Trump went out and hired the biggest, beefiest steam shovel he could find, in order to dig even faster. Because that'll surely solve the problem!

From all reports, it seems that Trump and Rudy had a meeting that nobody else knew about, and they decided to get out in front of certain aspects of Trump's increasingly-dire legal situation. Michael Cohen's records were raided by the F.B.I., so sooner or later it was going to come out that Trump did indeed foot the bill for the hush money payoff to Stormy Daniels. So Rudy casually dropped the bombshell in an interview with Sean Hannity. As well as a few peripheral bombshells, such as the real reason Trump fired James Comey and that North Korea was about to release three American prisoners.

Legal experts recoiled in horror. Giuliani, rather than protecting his client, had now laid Trump open to all sorts of legal pitfalls. The most amusing of these is ironic because of how annoyed Trump got over the F.B.I. not respecting attorney-client privilege in the Cohen raid. Attorney-client privilege is a fragile thing -- it disappears in certain circumstances. The first is if the attorney and the client are in any way conspiring to break the law. The second is if there is a third person in the room -- attorney-client privilege has to be between the attorney and the client and nobody else. Which brings up the third -- the one that Rudy Giuliani just stepped in. If either the attorney or the client talks about the discussion that was held with any other person then they have waived the privilege entirely. So if Trump and Giuliani just met to plot out his legal strategy, it would be covered. Right up to the point where Giuliani goes on television and talks about what was discussed in the meeting.

But, please remember, Trump only hires the best people. Nothing but the best for him! At this point, people in Washington are laying bets on how long Rudy will be around. You can almost hear someone chanting in the background: "One Scaramucci, two Scaramuccis, three Scaramuccis...." Heh. Trump also provided a bit of comedy himself this week, in trying to untangle the knot that Giuliani had tied him up in, admitting that: "virtually everything said has been said incorrectly." Well, yeah, but that could describe his entire term in office, really.

Of course, the chaos didn't end with just Rudy, this week. There was plenty of other chaos going on in the White House simultaneously. Former Trump doctor Harold Bornstein dropped his own bombshell on Trump this week, when he revealed that Trump thugs had shown up in his office last February, right after Trump became president. They demanded the original copies of all of Trump's medical records, as well as a photo of Trump and the doctor on the wall.

This was completely illegal. There is a federal medical records law known as HIPAA which spells out exactly how medical records are handled when a patient changes doctors. But there was no signed form from Trump, and even if there had been, what normally happens is that copies are made of the records, not that they are seized in a raid, which left Bornstein feeling like he had been "raped." Of course, Bornstein has his own problems with medical privacy laws, because what triggered the raid was him telling the New York Times that Trump uses the hair restoring drug Propecia. He still doesn't see anything wrong with telling a newspaper this ("And it certainly was not a breach of medical trust to tell somebody they take Propecia to grow their hair. What's the matter with that?"), which means he doesn't even have a fundamental understanding of patient-doctor confidentiality. Also revealed this week was the fact that that letter from Bornstein during the campaign that praised Trump's health to the heavens was actually dictated by Trump.

The Washington Post helpfully pointed out the gigantic double standard the media uses for Trump, stating "If Hillary Clinton had done that, we would be been apoplectic, and rightfully so." But when Trump does it? Eh, it's just Trump being Trump. The article goes further:

Yet at the very same time, the press not only treated Clinton's health as a matter of utmost seriousness; it also was quick to accuse her of being overly secretive and dishonest about it.

You may remember that in September 2016, Clinton had a bout of pneumonia. At a Sept. 11 memorial event on a hot day, she got lightheaded as she was headed toward her car, stumbling and being caught by aides. The reaction from the press was to treat it as an absolutely momentous event that not only raised profound questions about her fitness to be president but also showed how sneaky and deceitful she was for not announcing the illness to the press the moment it was diagnosed.

"Hillary Clinton Is Set Back by Decision to Keep Illness Secret" said the front-page headline in the New York Times the next day. On that day, the cable TV networks ran a total of 13.5 hours of coverage of Clinton's health. Fox News went into paroxysms of speculation about the varieties of brain ailments Clinton might be suffering from. Politico published a photo gallery entitled "Hydrated Hillary: 9 times Clinton quenched her thirst," just to show her bizarre water-drinking behavior that surely must have been concealing something.

But now? It's not even the biggest scandal of the week for Trump.

OK, this is way too long already, so let's just whip through what else was going on this rather exhausting week.

John Kelly may be on his way out of the White House, after a report that he's called Donald Trump "an idiot" on numerous occasions, as well as bragging that he's successfully keeping Trump in check.

The White House (or someone close to them) leaked 49 questions that Bob Mueller might ask Trump. It was later revealed that Trump's own lawyer wrote up this list of questions, proving that the leak happened on Trump's end, not Mueller's. In other Mueller news, it was revealed that he's already threatened to subpoena the president to appear before a grand jury.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been twisting in the wind with all these revelations on the Stormy Daniels payout. She was reduced to answering all questions about her own inaccuracies on the subject with: "We give the very best information that we have at the time" -- whether than information is true, slightly true, or just a bald-faced lie.

Stormy Daniels, meanwhile, is ratcheting up the pressure on Trump by filing a separate defamation lawsuit against him. This should increase the chances that her lawyer will get to depose Trump at some point, of course. In fact, it's such an obvious move that we have been wondering why more people haven't also sued Trump for defamation. All you have to do is comb through his Twitter account to find dozens of actionable instances.

Paul Ryan monumentally screwed up this week, by trying to fire the House chaplain. While we ourselves don't even believe this should be a paid position in our federal government, we have to defend the guy from Ryan's capriciousness. Apparently, Ryan was miffed that the Catholic priest dared to say something during a daily prayer about the poor during the days when the House was considering the GOP tax cut plan for billionaires. Because we suppose Ryan's Bible is one of those condensed versions that strips out all that stuff Jesus said about being nice to the poor, or something. The chaplain dutifully handed in a resignation letter upon request, but then had second thoughts when he saw how much support he had from other members of Congress (from both parties, and especially from Catholics). Ryan apparently doesn't even have the power to fire him, he'd have to be removed by a vote of the full House. So he rescinded his resignation, and Ryan had to sheepishly welcome him back in the end. So it's not just the White House that's incompetent these days.

And finally, some amusing notes to close with, as usual. When France's leader visited the White House recently, he and Trump planted a symbolic oak tree on the White House lawn. The sapling was from the site of a historic U.S. Marine Corps battle in World War I, Belleau Wood. But a week after Emmanuel Macron left, the tree disappeared. So where's the tree? Nobody knows. This would be a dandy thing for someone to ask Sarah Huckabee Sanders, at the next presser, in fact.

A middle-school girl successfully photobombed a staunch Republican member of Congress during his visit to her school, by flipping him the bird when he was taking a selfie. Mom was reportedly not amused, but we thought the picture was pretty funny!

And in the spirit of being nice to people who deserve it even across the aisle, for the first time ever we have some praise for Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. On a trip to a national park, Zinke's government vehicle was in a gas station when a woman approached the two security guys standing next to it and asked for a jumpstart.

Not only did they oblige the woman, but Zinke himself was the one who, after repositioning the vehicle, got out and hooked up the jumper cables. He didn't make a big deal of it, either, and the woman didn't even realize who he was until much later. This shows a basic humanity and selflessness rarely seen in such a powerful politician, we have to admit. What other cabinet member can you see personally helping you jumpstart your car? Steve Mnuchin? Scott Pruitt? Betsy DeVos? Not bloody likely. It'd be more likely they'd have their security guards arrest you for your effrontery than actively help you to get your car started. So we have to give Zinke some applause for how he handled it.

 

Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

We sincerely hope we're not making a big mistake by doing so, but we have to give the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week to our home-state senator, Dianne Feinstein.

Feinstein is not our most favorite Democratic senator, by a long shot. She's not even our most favorite Democratic senator from our own state. And we have more than a sneaking suspicion that she's making this move for purely self-protective purposes, since she is not only up for re-election this year but she has also drawn a strong progressive primary opponent (who might actually also be her only general election opponent, due to California's wacky election laws). She's being challenged from her left, so she's worried. Which is why we have a high degree of suspicion as to her motives.

Even so, Dianne Feinstein's announcement that she now supports state-level legalization of marijuana was pretty big news. As we detailed earlier this week, Feinstein has been not just against marijuana legal reform, she's been staunchly against legalization in particular. She was chair of both the "No" efforts for the two legalization ballot measures in California, for example.

But now she's apparently resigned herself to following the will of her state's voters, who approved legal recreational marijuana in 2016. This still leaves plenty of questions open about how deep her new-found support for legalization really is, which we listed in that previous article.

Still, no matter how politically crass her motives may have been, and no matter how she really feels about it, we have to welcome her to the ranks of Democratic politicians who are willing to fight for marijuana rights. The more the merrier, no matter how they got there, in other words.

Which is why we're awarding Dianne Feinstein this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week. Who knows, maybe she'll surprise us -- in religion, often the most fervent are the newly-converted, right? We'd certainly like to hope she surprises us in this fashion, but for now her reluctant acceptance is enough.

[Congratulate Senator Dianne Feinstein on her Senate contact page, to let her know you appreciate her efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

As with most such cases, a caveat is necessary before we present this week's Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week. This is just an accusation. It has been strongly denied. The accused has not had his day in court. So we could rescind this award later, if he manages to vindicate himself. But for the time being, we're handing the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week to Representative Tony Cárdenas from California, based on the heinous nature of what he's been accused of.

Here's the full story:

Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.) identified himself as the subject of a lawsuit in Los Angeles County claiming a local politician sexually abused a 16-year-old girl in 2007, and he vehemently denied the allegations through his attorney.

"My client is sickened and distraught by these horrific allegations, which are 100%, categorically untrue," Patricia Glaser said Thursday in a statement on Cárdenas's behalf.

"We respect victims who have found the strength to come forward and call out misconduct when it has actually occurred, but the type of baseless and reckless allegations that are contained in the complaint against my client can ruin the lives and careers of innocent people," Glaser said.

Cárdenas has been calling colleagues in recent days about the lawsuit and telling them he is innocent, according to a House Democratic aide. The three-term congressman is the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus's political action committee.

Two other House Democratic aides confirmed that Cárdenas has been contacting colleagues about the lawsuit. Filed April 27, it did not identify him because under California law, the names of defendants in child sex abuse cases cannot be disclosed without court approval.

The court filing, which was first reported by the Los Angeles Times, alleges that "John Doe" first met the plaintiff in 2005 at a golf tournament when she was 14 and subsequently became a close friend of her family's. Two years later, the document claims, he fondled her breasts and genitals while driving her to the emergency room after the two played golf at Hillcrest Country Club in Los Angeles.

The girl had "suddenly collapsed to the ground" during the golf game after John Doe gave her a cup of ice water that "tasted distinctly different from both tap and filtered water," the lawsuit states.

The suit claims the actions constituted childhood sexual abuse under California law because she was under 18 at the time. The plaintiff asked for unspecified damages and a jury trial.

Cárdenas has admitted he is the "John Doe" in this lawsuit. He has not admitted anything else. But if the allegation is true, it puts him squarely in a category with both Bill Cosby (drugging women to molest them) and Roy Moore (a penchant for underage girls). That is not the best company to be in, obviously.

So, again, we will revisit this case as it progresses and may decide to rescind it later, but just on the details of the allegation alone, we have to give Representative Cárdenas this week's Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week. If true, this is beyond shameful, it's downright criminal -- twice over.

[Contact Representative Tony Cárdenas on his House contact page, to let him know what you think of his actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 483 (5/4/18)

Before we get to this week's talking points, we have one item which didn't really fit anywhere else. We stayed out of the fray in the debate over the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this week, but we did note that one New York Times reporter tweeted out a perfect way to return the event to its roots and throw out all the glitz and nonsense (of what Washington insiders call "the nerd prom"). We find we totally agree with Nick Confessore's proposals:

Modest proposal for WHCA:
--lose the cameras
--lose the roast
--celebrate the best of WH reporting
--instead of sources & celebrities, invite reporters working without the blessing of the First Amendment
--every year, pay tribute to reporters overseas who were killed for their work

Couldn't have put it better ourselves.

OK, with that out of the way, let's get on with the talking points. This week is an early entry into midterm election season, and it is pretty much devoted to ridiculing the Republican strategy, so far. Which, as it turns out, it pretty easy to do.

 

1
   Criminals welcome!

A rather surprising new development in Republicanland.

"Remember when Republicans used to pride themselves on being the 'law and order' party? Those were the days.... Now we've got a Republican running for the Senate in West Virginia who was convicted of causing a mine disaster which killed 29 miners and spent time in prison. And a disgraced ex-sheriff running for Senate in Arizona who was convicted of contempt of court before the president pardoned him. Michael Flynn, a former Trump advisor who has already plead guilty to a felony, seems to be one of the most popular people to invite to Republican campaign rallies. A former congressman from New York is also a felon who hired undocumented workers, hid almost a million bucks from the tax authorities, and lied under oath is now running for his old office as well. Donald Trump has changed the Republican motto from 'Law And Order Party' to 'Criminals Welcome!' it now seems."

 

2
   Cocaine and racism

But wait, there's more!

"Speaking of that GOP Senate candidate in West Virginia, he's been running a rather bizarre campaign so far. Dan Blankenship began calling his party's Senate leader 'Cocaine Mitch' without any explanation, and he's accused Mitch McConnell's father-in-law of being a, quote, Chinaperson, unquote. Somebody really needs to tell him that changing 'Chinaman' to 'Chinaperson' is just not enough, in the twenty-first century. Blankenship, however, feels differently, as he stated in a recent debate: 'This idea that calling somebody a "Chinaperson," I mean, I'm an American person. I don't see this insinuation by the press that there's something racist about saying a "Chinaperson." Some people are Korean persons, and some of them are African persons. That's not any slander there.' That's in addition to being a convicted criminal responsible for the deaths of 29 miners, of course. No wonder McConnell's spending over a million bucks on ads against this guy -- because he soon could be the face of the GOP in West Virginia."

 

3
   Not funny

Meanwhile, other Republicans are busily putting their campaign ads together.

"Brian Kemp, a Republican running for governor in Georgia, just ran an ad that was supposed to somehow be funny, but in fact is not funny at all. In it, Kemp appears with a young teen next to him and reads the following: 'I'm also the proud father of three teenage girls. Here's the thing: If you want to date one of my daughters, you better have respect for women and a healthy appreciation for the Second Amendment.' While he's saying this, he's got a shotgun broken open on his lap, but by the end he readies it for firing and points it at the kid. Do Republicans really want a guy who jokes about shooting his daughters' boyfriends to represent them? Is there anyone out there who, after so many recent school shootings, still thinks this sort of thing is in any way funny?"

 

4
   Looking forward!

USA Today uncovered an interesting statistic.

"Almost 13,000 campaign ads have mentioned Hillary Clinton since the start of the year, according to USA Today. In fact, more than 5,000 ads have run in the Ohio Republican gubernatorial primary alone. West Virginia and Indiana saw their share of anti-Hillary ads as well. And the ads' other big target? None other than Barack Obama. Someone really needs to wake the Republican Party up and inform them that it is now 2018, and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have retired."

 

5
   Why not just bribe the voters?

Meanwhile, things are getting desperate, up north.

"Wisconsin's governor, Scott Walker, jammed through a thoroughly transparent attempt to essentially bribe the state's voters to keep him in office. These bribes come in the form of an extraordinary mid-year tax rebate where parents can get a one-time payment of $100 per child. Almost 700,000 Wisconsin families will be eligible. This is so ham-fisted as to be laughable. 'Here's a hundred bucks -- vote for me!' Here's hoping Wisconsin voters see through this pathetic attempt at bribery and that the blue wave Walker has been warning of sweeps him right out of office."

 

6
   Show me the door

Meanwhile, a few states southwards....

"The Missouri legislature is going to meet in special session for one solitary purpose: impeaching the Republican governor, who refuses to quit even after a sex scandal blew up in his face. The longer this situation drags on, the more the voters in the 'Show-Me State' are being shown how low the Republican Party has sunk. But there's some good news -- the longer this drags on, the better the chances are that Democrat Claire McCaskill will be returning to the Senate after the midterm election."

 

7
   Rubio lets the cat out of the bag

We wrote about this at length earlier in the week.

"Senator Marco Rubio really let the cat out of the bag this week, in an interview where he criticizes the Republican tax cut as doing little or nothing for the average worker. This is GOP heresy, folks. Here are Rubio's exact words:"

There is still a lot of thinking on the right that if big corporations are happy, they're going to take the money they're saving and reinvest it in American workers. In fact they bought back shares, a few gave out bonuses; there's no evidence whatsoever that the money's been massively poured back into the American worker.

"What makes this admission even more astonishing is that this is the only thing Republicans have to run on this year. Since they have accomplished nothing other than giving Wall Street and billionaires a big tax cut, they were planning on trying to convince all the voters that it was the answer to all their prayers. If I were a Democratic politician running for office in November, I would immediately start running ads featuring that Rubio quote. Because he is really admitting that his party has absolutely nothing to run on at all."

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground

 

26 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [483] -- That's Your Stink, Mr. President, That's Your Swamp”

  1. [1] 
    Paula wrote:

    After this week you really have to wonder what Emmet Flood is thinking, although I can't understand what a serious and respected attorney is doing even considering taking DT as a client. Blotus NEVER makes anyone look good. But I guess Flood thinks he may be the exception. (He won't be.)

    Re: why are we paying a priest for Congress? Yes, I don't think we need one either. Church and State should be separate. I'm quite sure our Representatives can find churches and clergy to talk to if they feel the need. With theocrats like Pence waiting in the wings I'm feeling EXTREMELY secular. However, for the time being I love that Ryan has been embarrassed for this ham-handed move and kudos to the Chaplain for calling his bluff.

  2. [2] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: Cavuto opened his show by first addressing the bombshell news that Rudy Giuliani revealed this week, that Donald Trump did indeed reimburse his fixer Michael Cohen for that $130,000 hush money payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels.

    What I think no one has figured out is that Trump pays Cohen a retainer, and Rudy has simply decided that the monthly payment of the retainer Trump pays Cohen will now constitute the repayment... which is utter bullshit. Trump is a hands on type of con. A con artist who insists on dictating his own doctor's letter and who dictated the fraudulent statement given to the press regarding the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower is not a guy who didn't know. He knew about the payment, and Rudy is claiming the monthly retainer is the repayment. Nonsense. Still more shoes to drop on this one.

  3. [3] 
    Kick wrote:

    That's your stink. Mr. President, that's your swamp," Cavuto concluded.

    I would have gone with "foul stench" in honor of May the 4th, but "stink" will do nicely too. :)

  4. [4] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: From all reports, it seems that Trump and Rudy had a meeting that nobody else knew about, and they decided to get out in front of certain aspects of Trump's increasingly-dire legal situation.

    I know, right!? No one consulted Mr. Trump's new lawyer... one Emmet Flood, Esquire... you know the guy Trump claimed it was "fake news" by the New York Times when they correctly reported the details weeks before. Speaking of which, this move to hire Bill Clinton's impeachment lawyer just confirms beyond rational objection what a lying phony whiny snowflake little bullshit con artist that Trump actually happens to be. How, you ask?

    Imagine... if you will... that Robert Swan Mueller III a.k.a. Bobby Three Sticks, had hired Mr. Flood in the same manner to work for the Special Counselor's office. There would have been no end to the crying and wounded whining spewing forth out of the Orange Blowhole that Mueller... lifelong Republican... had hired yet another Democrat Clinton supporter.

    Trump is a con artist, people. Please recognize that fact and that he just hired Clinton's impeachment lawyer and in one fell swoop proved without doubt his unequivocal hypocrisy and the fallacy of his own utter nonsensical whining drivel he spews out daily to the ignorant minions about Mueller's team. :)

  5. [5] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Trump walked Giuliani's new strategy/revalations back this afternoon with a reprise of Homer Simpson's first day on the job plea. Probably after a frank discussion from Trump's other, smarter, new lawyer. Too bad Trump couldn't walk back his Tweets supporting Rudy's revisionist history/testimony. It is very hard to keep 3000 lies straight. Trump seemed to enjoy twisting the knife as he remarked that R.G. would "get his facts straight." I don't think the two like other....I 'm going to go out on a limb and predict Rudy will either walk or get the bum's rush. Two massive egos pushing each other apart.

  6. [6] 
    Kick wrote:

    Paula
    1

    After this week you really have to wonder what Emmet Flood is thinking, although I can't understand what a serious and respected attorney is doing even considering taking DT as a client.

    In typical con fashion, Trump has promised to make Mr. Flood the future White House Counsel. McGhan has been looking to leave for months, you see, since Trump is angry with McGhan for being all too forthcoming with Mueller's team of questioners.

    You may remember that Mueller's team was in the process of questioning McGhan when the news broke that Flynn flipped and was on his way to court to enter a guilty plea... which was by no means whatsoever an accidental occurrence.

  7. [7] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    4 Kick..."Trump is a con artist, people. Please recognize that fact and that he just hired Clinton's impeachment lawyer and in one fell swoop proved without doubt his unequivocal hypocrisy" You're singing to the choir, mate...I suspect there's one thing we're all agreed on, Trump is a mountebank of the first water. What's astonishing is how casually he peddles his snake-oil and powdered water to the great unwashed. If this week is anything to go by, he's just getting warmed up for the grand finale, The torching of his Reichstag...look for Giuliani, he comes with a tinder box. Giuliani's sole function on this ship of fools is to be Trump's 'éminence grise' while he goes about his slow-motion political suicide.

    If anyone missed the 'swampy whiff' epiphany... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfN3etw7uyY jaw-dropping though it was, it was bound to happen, Trump's 'off the reservation' phone interview with FOX clearly rattled the hosts. I have to agree with the tipping point assessment and go one further for Cavuto, even a blind chicken gets a piece of corn occasionally.

    1, Paula..."why are we paying a priest for Congress? Yes, I don't think we need one either. Church and State should be separate." This American twist on antidisestablishmentarianism is unlikely to go away anytime soon, no democracy so interwoven with religion and backed up by evangelical zealotry can escape its ecclesiastical shackles. Next to the millennia long 'con-job' the Holy See has been running, Trump is but smear on the pages of history, ironic that they now feed off each other to maintain the status quo. More ironic still, the Founding Father's deliberately separated church and state as it symbolized everything they loathed about the old world and was the sole reason why the Pilgrims set out in the first place, to find a quiet place that they might pray in whatever manner they wished without the state telling them how, when and to whom.

    Life, Liberty and Pursuits.

  8. [8] 
    Speak2 wrote:

    Just got caught up on the week. No one commented on it at the time, but Shaggy (of Scooby Doo fame) has a last name? Rogers? Who knew? Is that real?

  9. [9] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    You can almost hear someone chanting in the background: "One Scaramucci, two Scaramuccis, three Scaramuccis...." Heh.

    Made me spit my coffee. Good column this week, CW. Funny and informative. Love the irony all over the place. See, this mess isn't a burden, it's an opportunity to crank up your wit! Glad to see you rising to the occasion.

  10. [10] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Paula [1]: I'm all in with you on 1st amendment grounds. While the NRA celebrates the 2nd amendment this weekend, it's a good time to remember that exceptions to the constitutional mandate like the chaplain thing, and invocation of 'god' on money are mostly outdated manifestations of anti-communist hysteria in the 1950's. "Under God" was added to the Pledge of Allegiance at about the same time, and I don't even want to get into all of the constitutional gymnastics it required to allow that at public events (at least the flag was demoted from 'sacred object' to 'logo' by the court some years ago, so it isn't all hopeless).

    But these days though, being on guard against theocratic creep is about more than the old religious squabble. Putin is using manipulable groups to to his bidding, and the US is stuffed with churches full of 'em and perpetually angry with the establishment, i.e., ripe for picking.

  11. [11] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Reminds me of an old comedians' line: "Our Lady of the Perpetual Scowl".

  12. [12] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Talking points 4 and 7 really say it all while at the same time not saying enough.

    The Republicans are campaigning for the votes of people that do not like Democrats. The Democrats are campaigning for the votes of people that do not like Republicans.

    It's all either party has to run on and wants to run on and it is why the stink and the swamp is a creation of both divisions of the Big Money Party. They both want people to think they have no other choice.

    The 2018 election is being run like every other off year election- try to turn out your base, hope the other side doesn't and hope that every body else stays home.

    In 2014 about 30% of citizens that voted in 2012 did not vote. The Democrats are hoping that 5% of those voters will vote in 2018 (5% voting, 25% not voting) and that will be enough increase in turnout for an off year election for Democrats to make significant gains that they can build on in 2020 and 2022.

    If they are successful it will be a return to normal providing no incentive for Democrats to live up to whatever promises they make during the campaign.

    But it doesn't have to be that way.

    We can put the pressure on the Democrats (and Republicans) to finally come around on running small contribution campaigns by mobilizing the 25% that will not vote in 2018 to instead participate in one Demand.

    Just 10-15% voting for small contribution candidates or when there are no small contribution candidates on the ballot writing in their own name to register a vote against the Big Money candidates to create and demonstrate demand for small contribution candidates in the next election cycle (5% voting for Democrats, 10-15% participating in One Demand, 10-15% not voting).

    This could total 12-20% of the vote in 2018. Then some of the 10-15% that didn't vote in 2018 would see what the 10-15% that participated in One Demand did in 2018 and they would also register to participate in 2020. Maybe even some of the 40% that don't vote at all would decide to participate in 2020.

    This could create an national organization to create and demonstrate demand and provide support for small contribution candidates to counter the national efforts of the Big Money interests. And the participants in One Demand will make their contributions DIRECTLY to the candidates rather than through One Demand to give the participants control of who they support.

    This would put pressure on the Big Money legislators to live up to their promises because it would create an alternative to flipping control between the Big Money Democrats and Republicans.

    Candidates might just feel they have no other choice but to make the small contribution commitment just like DIFI was forced to accept legalizing marijuana.

    Wouldn't this be a good thing?
    Why would you not want to inform citizens about this opportunity, much less address it instead of ignoring my comments?

    Why wouldn't you encourage citizens to vote and give them something to vote for rather than stay home?

    Why as a reality based blogger would you not address this reality instead of perpetuating the lie that there is no other choice?

  13. [13] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [12] One plus two things...your link leads nowhere, which is a pity because I'm always open to the ideas of others--I'm transatlantic, after-all.
    Secondly, and for two immediate reasons, but probably more...In this charged political climate Americans are less concerned about tinkering with logical democratic balloting as they are about playing power keep-away from their supposed political foe. That's a depressing thought, but historically it's where America has always been, ''vote as your father votes'' isn't endemic to the US, default political allegiance happens in all democracies (except in Canada, as we're smarter and our political parties are jammed together in the middle of the political spectrum ;), hopefully in this age of social media that will shift.
    Lastly, Trump has been deliciously true to form, this latest self-doomed venture of his is no different from all the others in his past. Trump has only two constants in his life, one is his belief that he's always the smartest person in the room, a belief belied by four decades of business debacles and bankruptcies (see what I did there...hehe.) The second is an offshoot of the first, Trump's only defense for his arrogance is to cast about for others to blame for his incompetence. Paradoxically , the second trait rears it's ugly head after the first trait, but it actually fuels the whole mess that is the Trumpian experience. Trump's personality is simple enough to understand, he's sees the world through a binary lens...I'm right, they're wrong, I'm smart, they're dumb, I'm persecuted, they persecute...etc. In short, Trump lacks the one basic human understanding that separates the sociopath from the society...pragmatism. I think Trump is again doomed to walk himself down his time-honored path of failure and denial of responsibility. I digress, in being Trump he's achieved the opposite of his intentions in politics, he's divided to conquer but has generated so much abhorrence for himself personally that he's doomed not only himself but the GOP in the process. Trump thinks he's consolidating the right wing, when in fact he's hardening the resolve of those that are center-left of society vehemently against him and his adherents. That will be the difference in this year's election cycle, the extremists of the spectrum are intractable, the only votes up for grabs are the center-right, and those poor buggers have the lamentable choice between the lesser of two evils.

    Now really isn't the time to change the American system, in the same way a surgeon wouldn't operate on an unstable patient. America would certainly benefit from a third party, three party systems tend to keep the ultra-partisans closer together, for the obvious reason that the majority of people in a democracy aren't political fanatics.

    Time for a Gin and it.

    LL&P

  14. [14] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Balthasar-11

    Our Lady of the Perpetual Scowl...

    that brings to mind:

    Our Lady of Perpetual Motion Marching Band.

    I'm betting at least one Weigantian can recall the mystical event that band is associated with AND it's sponsor. PLEASE NO GOOGLE SEARCHES!

  15. [15] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    TheStig [5]

    I don't think the two like other...

    I totally agree with ya on this! Like I asked in CW’s previous post, could Rudy’s performance this week be a form of “pay-back” for Trump not making him AG as he had promised?

    I just don’t see Rudy being willing to help Trump for very long. Honestly, Trump better hope Tiffany hurries up and graduates from law school; because she’s gonna be about the only person left who will be willing to represent him before long — and she might say “PASS!” as well!

  16. [16] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    TheStig[14]

    Our Lady of Perpetual Motion Marching Band.

    Didn’t they perform at George Carlin’s funeral or wake? I know he is the one who coined “Our Lady of Perpetual Motion”, but I am not sure about the marching band part.

  17. [17] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i googled it.

  18. [18] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    JTC-
    The website was working just now when I checked it. Maybe if I put it here it will take you to it:
    http://www.onedemand.org

    I really don't see what Trump has to do with the 25% that would not vote in 2018. The people upset about Trump are the Democratic base and the 5% of the 30% that didn't vote in 2014 that may vote for the Democrats in 2018.

    The 25% are upset about Trump and the Republicans but are also fed up with the Democrats. It is unlikely they are not voting because they are satisfied.

    So considering that this 25% would be wasting their vote by not voting in 2018, it seems like a perfect time to change the system by encouraging some of these citizens to use their vote they were going to waste in 2018 for a productive purpose that could lead to changing the system for 2020 and/or 2022.

    A surgeon would operate on an unstable patient if the operation might save the patient that would die without the surgery.

    Now is not time usually means never is the time. There is no time like the present.

    "The best time to plant an oak tree is fifty years ago- the next best time is today."
    -Famous quote

  19. [19] 
    TheStig wrote:

    nypoet22

    did you download the audio?

    LWYH-16 I'm going to guess no, at least not in this universe.

    Hint: Cincinnati Chili Float

  20. [20] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [18] Noted. I reject however the notion that America is ready for a viable, electable third party. Given that the electorate seems stymied by two choices at the moment, introducing a third at this point would doom it to failure, the Green Party being the example. No, no...given a few years to prepare, casting off some of its dead-weight (ie; leadership and name,) and a tweaking of its core goals, the Green Party has the closest thing to an established political machine the US can muster at present. One doesn't simply climb out of bed one day and decide to run a national campaign at every level of government, and have it operational by dinner time. Any serious attempt to insinuate a third party into US politics has to take itself seriously long before anyone else does, then it could court the candidates from the other parties who are disgruntled with their respective 'gangs'. When the dust settles, you'll find you have a viable party, moderately sourced and surprisingly more palatable for the bulk of the voting class. Imagine this; a party that staunchly protects the 2nd amendment, sane gun control, abortion, religious freedom (which sticks in my craw, but for the sake of the pipe dream...what the hell) legalized pot, universal healthcare, free dental care for the under 18's, regulated prescription costs, overhauled jail system with rehabilitation and trades learning at its core, federally mandated living wage minimum and affordable secondary education...And at the same time it stands for and proposes the dismantling of the political lobby, redresses gerrymandering, abolishes filibustering, eliminates super-packs, dissolves the archaic, useless and mindbogglingly pointless primaries (naturally, at the heart of this new party are people from every segment of society, and see no need to hurl pre-election shit at one-another in a public display of disunity in order to decide who runs in a district, that's what conventions are for) restructuring of the idiocy that is the electoral college so a popular vote actually carries the day in a democracy, and not a bunch of dimwits who fall for sloganeering and demagoguery, wants fair global trade and supports global climate initiatives...and this will be hard to swallow, but will make all the books balance and make everyone happy, slash the military budget by 3/4's and adopt a ''you want our help, ask for it and pay for it'' global military machine...five thousand ICBM's bristling with nukes is the only big stick you need to ensure the national safety.

    Throw in some logical immigration laws, lose the death penalty,initiate taxation based on an earning curve and re-educate the entire population to be more racially tolerant and you have a half decent place to live.
    A third party would only appeal to the pragmatic, learning to accept compromise just isn't the first trait I associate with Joe Blow...therefore, I would wait for Joe Jr to come of age, armed with his global appreciation and awareness, he might ''get er done''

    Addendum...Canada has its issues also, it's not all ''skatey-punch'' and ''tree sauce'' here. Behold http://www.thewhig.com/2018/05/04/rebellion-against-micromanaged-message

    LL&P

  21. [21] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Hint: Cincinnati Chili Float

    Ah, WEBN, once the most creative rock station in the country (before being sold to corporate radio).

  22. [22] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Balthasar-21

    We have a winner!!!

    Link below provides a thumbnail history of WEBN and a another link to audio from the 1976 parade (first and best Fool Parade IMHO). It's condensed, the original was interspersed with regular programming for a more authentic feel.

    Jerry Springer (yes, that Jerry Springer) had a regular editorial gig on WEBN, back when Springer was radical progressive and an elected member of the Cincinnati City Council-I think he was technically mayor for a while, the position rotated among council members in those days.

    After Springer was busted for writing a check to a bordello across the river, WEBN created a recurring character "JOE FROG" whose motto was "he pays in cash." WEBN had a tech subsidiary, Brute Force Cybernetics that created cutting edge products like "portable holes" and "negative calorie cookies."

    "Most Creative Rock Station In the Country" - Absolutely.

    Oh, almost forgot. Here's the master link:

    http://wvxu.org/post/webn-fools-day-parade-started-40-years-ago

  23. [23] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    JTC-
    Thank you for the discussion that is actually a discussion and not an attack. Refreshing.

    But One Demand is not a third party. It is (or it could be) an organization that citizens can use to influence all candidates from all parties.

    All citizens can use this to try to change the Current Major Parties and/or build support for an existing or new third party and all citizens can work together on one common goal whether they are ready to support a third party or not.

    The list of things you gave for a third party is just the problem- trying to get people to agree with the whole list is a lot harder than getting them to agree on one issue.

    Of course, it won't happen overnight- but it can be effective in just a few election cycles.

    The bottom line questions are:

    If the 25% stay home in 2018 will this do anything to either change the Current Major Parties or make it possible for a third party or independent small contribution candidate to be competitive in 2020 and/or 2022?

    If some of the 25% participated in One Demand in 2018 as described above could this put pressure on the Current Major Parties and create the possibility for either changing the CMPs or creating viable third party and independent competition for 2020 and/or 2022?

    It seems to me that with the 25% staying home there is zero chance of anything changing and any chance is better than no chance.

  24. [24] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [23] DH

    I couldn't agree more, in this day and age there's far too much vitriol and personal abuse in what should be sober discourse. I might toe-the-line on occasion, by I try to do it in a subtle kid-glove kind of way to see if anyone is paying attention, I suspect that's why Michale no longer darkens FTP's door, It could also be down to his pedantic ''what about them-ism's'' which is not a debating technique I would employ as it suggests a lack of viable fact's upon which to rely in furtherance of a cogent argument. One of the reasons I enjoy coming here is the fact-based and sober accounting of the week that was, and it helps that CW has a refreshingly acerbic style about his narrative. The link I posted discusses how convoluted and "erudite" media has become, and how in some small way some (not all) reporters express their disdain for politicians in a such a way that the average person hasn't a clue what they're talking about. I love the line in reference to Doug Ford, and by extension, Trump... "Minister for the Department of Redundancy Department." It sums up why the way people say something may not be as important as what they are actually saying and how it resonates in the ear of the individual.

    I get your drift, voter apathy is probably why we're here in this discussion, Americans were so appalled by the choice their system spat out for president that they they either flipped the bird and voted Trump or stayed home and didn't vote Clinton. Had the system not been hamstrung by that neolithic primaries idiocy, neither one of the two candidates would have passed muster. I know adherents of the primaries system squawk about how it's democratic for people to elect the people they want to run to get elected, but it's probably the single most obvious reason for voter apathy, it drags out the process to the point where when it's time to make the ultimate choice, everyone is so knackered they would vote for a strategically shaved Orangutan in a $5000 suit masquerading as 'the man of the people.' Until the voting process in the US is overhauled, that vital 25% won't touch the voting cause, they simply get worn down by an unnecessarily drawn out process that at it's conclusion gives them a lesser of two evils scenario, one that leaves them aghast that it took two years to arrive at.

    LL&P

  25. [25] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Stig [22] - I always liked the slogan for Brute Force Cybernetics: "Creating a need, and then filling it".

    Sounds so much like modern politics.

    I remember when Springer became a commentator for a local TV station, a gig he originated on WEBN when he was still a councilman. After Bart Giamatti, the Baseball Commissioner who banned local hero Pete Rose from baseball, died suddenly of a heart attack, Springer's commentary/eulogy that night included the memorable line: "Bart Giamatti was dead wrong: now he's just dead."

  26. [26] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    I can't remember if I posted this at the time, after the last few weeks, beginning with the Cohen raid and ultimate lateral of his case to the NY district attorney, this documentary by Zembla seems to be ahead of the reporting curve. It pretty much walks you through what is at the heart of Mueller's inquiries...behold https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqesw5kwEow

    LL&P

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