Showing posts with label Donald Trump's Presidency. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Donald Trump's Presidency. Show all posts

Saturday, February 03, 2018

The Memo Was A Giant Yawn

After a week of breathless hand wringing, the GOP and Donald Trump finally released the Congressional Memo that supposedly illustrates how biased the FBI is towards Donald Trump. Before it came out, I was most amused at the notion that this was some sort of smoking gun that Devin Nunes uncovered in the deep, dark bowels of the FBI on a super secret agent spy mission.


By this same measure, I could write a memo about how Donald Trump secretly formed ISIL back in 2011. Then I could release and claim that it was so. Sheesh...

After reading through the memo, I was please to see confirmation that the investigation into Donald Trump and his ties with Russia began with George Papadopolous and his drunken night of bragging. It did not begin with the FISA warrant on Carter Page based on the Steele Dossier. Carter Page was also under scrutiny long before the Steele Dossier.

So, the whole thing was full of sound and fury signifying nothing. Honestly, it's not surprising given the fact that Republicans are madly scrambling to somehow blunt what's sure to be coming this year: an indictment of President Trump for money laundering. 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Quote of The Day

“Most important, he is the first president to fail to defend the nation from an attack on our democracy by a hostile foreign power — and to resist the investigation of that attack. He is the first to enrich his private interests, and those of his family, directly and openly.

He is the first president to denounce the press not simply as unfair but as “the enemy of the American people.” He is the first to threaten his defeated political opponent with imprisonment. He is the first to have denigrated friendly countries and allies as well as a whole continent with racist vulgarities.”

--Sean Wilentz, The New York Times. 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Can We Ignore Trump Now?

Donald Trump's recent "shithole" comments serve to reinforce a theory I have regarding his candidacy and his presidency. It goes something like this. 

He never really wanted to be president. He only wanted to increase his brand and saw an opportunity to fleece the right wing blogger and commenter set for a monthly subscription to his TV network that he wanted to start. He saw that he had a solid 30% of the country behind him and knew exactly what to say in order to get them on his side.

Essentially, all he had to do was act like Archie Bunker and spout racist, xenophobic and misogynist nonsense. It made all those people thump their chest and shout "YEAH!" at the top of their lungs. Add in the icing on the cake: it makes liberal heads explode. Now, those right wing bloggers and commenters are ejaculating all over the place!!

He has carried this tactic into his presidency. He makes a dumb ass comment that is racially insensitive. Liberals go bananas. Conservatives love it. Nothing changes. Repeat.

I say we break the cycle. The next time he does this, ignore him. He's just a child, after all, with a failing brain. Leave him alone to be the demented fool that he is and trust that a few people around him will make sure the country won't totally fall apart as long he is in office.

Take the energy that comes from being pissed off about this and get more people registered to vote in key Congressional districts. Find the little league coach and urge them to run for office. Better yet, run yourself.

The only way that we stop this cycle is through the election process.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Time For A New Dear Leader

With the recent revelations from Michael Wolf's new book, Fire and Fury, I think it's time that conservatives jump ship. Folks, you need a new leader. Trump is more or less done. Consider the evidence.

-All the major players that were part of the Trump administration one year ago are gone. Michael Flynn, Trump's former National Security Adviser, is cooperating with the FBI.

-Steve Bannon, Trump's campaign manager that brought him to victory, has accused Trump's son and other Trump officials of treason. He recognizes where the political headwinds are blowing.

-Trump wanted to lose and was horrified when he won. As the book notes, "Once he lost, Trump would be both insanely famous and a martyr to Crooked Hillary. His daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared would be international celebrities. Steve Bannon would become the de facto head of the tea-party movement. Kellyanne Conway would be a cable-news star. Melania Trump, who had been assured by her husband that he wouldn't become president, could return to inconspicuously lunching. Losing would work out for everybody. Losing was winning."

-Trump doesn't read and grows bored when people try to explain things to him.

"Early in the campaign, Sam Nunberg was sent to explain the Constitution to the candidate. 'I got as far as the Fourth Amendment," Nunberg recalled, "before his finger is pulling down on his lip and his eyes are rolling back in his head.'"

-Trump is viewed with disdain by the people around him.

"For Steve Mnuchin and Reince Priebus, he was an 'idiot.' For Gary Cohn, he was 'dumb as sh-t.' For H.R. McMaster he was a 'dope.' The list went on."

-Gary Cohn, the leader of Trump's economic council, sent out an email last April that sums up the Trump presidency.

"It's worse than you can imagine. An idiot surrounded by clowns. Trump won't read anything - not one-page memos, not the brief policy papers; nothing. He gets up halfway through meetings with world leaders because he is bored. And his staff is no better. Kushner is an entitled baby who knows nothing. Bannon is an arrogant prick who thinks he's smarter than he is. Trump is less a person than a collection of terrible traits. No one will survive the first year but his family. I hate the work, but feel I need to stay because I'm the only person there with a clue what he's doing. The reason so few jobs have been filled is that they only accept people who pass ridiculous purity tests, even for midlevel policy-making jobs where the people will never see the light of day. I am in a constant state of shock and horror."

If you are someone who still supports Trump after this assessment, you are just as mentally ill as he is. It's time to find someone new to lead your cause. Anyone associated with Trump is now toxic. It's going to be a fucking bloodbath this year in the midterms. Trump is going to be indicted for money laundering and obstruction of justice...if he doesn't become incapacitated due to mental and physical ailments.

In short, you are on a sinking ship. Get off.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Final Thoughts of 2017

As 2017 comes to a close, it's very clear that we have a president with a deteriorating mental condition. His recent interview with Michael Schmidt of the New York Times betrayed an incoherence that hasn't been seen since Woodrow Wilson had his stroke. This is nothing new to me because his behavior is akin to the mentally ill people that follow him (right wing bloggers and right wing blog commenters). They've completely lost the capacity for rational thought.

Charles Pierce from Esquire had the following to say.

In this interview, the president* is only intermittently coherent. He talks in semi-sentences and is always groping for something that sounds familiar, even if it makes no sense whatsoever and even if it blatantly contradicts something he said two minutes earlier. To my ears, anyway, this is more than the president*’s well-known allergy to the truth. This is a classic coping mechanism employed when language skills are coming apart. (My father used to give a thumbs up when someone asked him a question. That was one of the strategies he used to make sense of a world that was becoming quite foreign to him.) My guess? That’s part of the reason why it’s always “the failing New York Times,” and his 2016 opponent is “Crooked Hillary."

Agreed. I saw the same thing in my grandmother. Ezra Klein from Vox had this to say...

Over the course of reporting on the Trump White House, I have spoken to people who brief Trump and people who have been briefed by him. I’ve talked to policy experts who have sat in the Oval Office explaining their ideas to the president and to members of Congress who have listened to the president sell his ideas to them. I’ve talked to both Democrats and Republicans who have occupied these roles. In all cases, their judgment of Trump is identical: He is not just notably uninformed but also notably difficult to inform — his attention span is thin, he hears what he wants to hear, he wanders off topic, he has trouble following complex arguments. Trump has trouble following his briefings or even correctly repeating what he has heard.

Right. Again, this is a sign of mental illness.

At the beginning of December, I wrote about four ways Trump could leave office early. Nikto added in some humorous possibilities. Perhaps both of us were wrong. Given this latest interview, I think it's possible that a mental meltdown could force him from office.

Our president is not well, folks. It's time for him to go.

Friday, December 22, 2017

2018 Will Be The Year Trump Goes Down

A few months back, a conservative friend of mine and I were discussing the probe into Trump's dealings with Russia. He asserted that nothing much would come of it. When he said it, he looked at me with a slight trace of pity in his face that sort of said to me, "Silly liberal...trying to look for some way to save yourself. How naive." This friend of mine is no Trump fan but he does get his news from Drudge, Fox and the like so it's not surprising that he thinks nothing will come of the Russian probe. They only talk about the Russian connection in terms of how it's fake news or something to do with Hillary Clinton.

Most Americans, however, would disagree. They approve of the job Mueller is doing with his investigation and think that Trump has largely been dishonest. There have been a variety of stories in the last few days on the Trump-Russia connection that have been overshadowed by tax overhaul news. Here are a few...


Short answer: YES

White House Counsel Knew in January Flynn Probably Violated the Law

There is your obstruction of justice. Right fucking there.

Trump -Russia investigation: Steve Bannon asked to testify before House Intelligence Committee

It's going to be entertaining to watch Bannon's ass go down...although after his embarrassing loss in Alabama one could argue that his time is done.

People can’t stop reading a professor’s theory of a Trump-Russia conspiracy — true or not

This one cracks me up mostly for its simplicity. From the post article...

After trying for many years to expand his business empire into Russia, Abramson asserts, Trump visited Moscow in 2013 to personally meet agents of Russian President Vladmir Putin, using his beauty pageant as cover. There, Abramson writes, a secret deal was struck: Putin agreed to open up his country’s rich real estate market to Trump, and Trump agreed to campaign for president while promoting pro-Russian policies. Simple as that. And everything that has happened since — the election hacking, Trump’s improbable win and a special counsel’s investigation into his campaign and administration — follows from that deal, in Abramson’s telling.

Here is the link with ongoing updates from Abramson.

Of course, let's not forget our very own Nikto Gravitas who put up this piece last summer, as he recently reminded me.

The Cast of Characters is Complete

Money laundering is where Trump is actually going to go down. This is going to happen whether the Democrats take back one or both chambers in Congress or not. If the Dems win in the fall of 2018 (and I think they will), it's going to happen very fast.

So, something is indeed going to come from the Russian investigation. I'm just sad and frustrated that conservatives will think it's fake news purely out of spite for liberals.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

The FBI Now Has Trump's Emails

Quora is awesome. The main reason why I dig it so much is that when I'm wondering about a particular issue, I can post a question and a whole bunch of people will leap into action and provide me answers. It's like having my own personal team of researchers.

Take the recent acquisition of Trump transition team emails from the General Services Administration (GSA). I wondered if the emails were obtained illegally as Trump's lawyers and Fox News have been asserting. Quora, what say you? 

-If proper warrants were obtained and/or if federal regulations were followed I’d say no. Seeing how Robert Mueller conducts business I believe he has nothing to worry about. It seems really comical and hypocritical for the current administration to claim its emails are “private and privileged.” Especially after beating the drum for Clinton emails and asking Wikileaks to produce them to gain an advantage in a presidential campaign. If you have done nothing wrong, you should have nothing to hide. This is how you really drain the swamp.

-The Trump transition team, like all previous transition teams is provided with facilities, IT (phones, faxes, computers, email etc..) and things like offices and furniture by the GSA, a federal agency. During the transition, the President Elect and his/her staff are provided with email addresses that end in and the President Elect doesn’t have “Executive Privelage”..yet so the team’s communications aren’t “protected” as confidential.

-No. The Trump transition-team emails the General Services Administration (GSA) provided to investigators were housed on GSA servers. The Trump transition team used GSA office space and computer facilities, including government email, during the transition. Transition team members signed waivers acknowledging that their government-provided email was subject to routine monitoring and auditing. They had no expectation of privacy. Yes, Transition lawyers are crying foul now. That's their job. They don't have a case. The Trump administration knows very well, however, that if they say something forcefully enough, lots of people will choose to believe them.

Answer: NO.

Did they honestly think that THEIR emails wouldn't be under scrutiny?

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Four Ways Trump Goes Buh-Bye

Yesterday, Michael Flynn, Donald Trump's former national security adviser, plead guilty to lying tot he FBI and named Jared Kushner and KT McFarland as two senior people in the Trump campaign as having directed him to do so. This comes on top of the New York Daily news report that President Trump's mental capacity is essentially gone. Michele Goldberg at the New York Times has a report that strengthens this assertion.

At this point, I think we see four clear ways the Trump era comes to an end. Here's my take on the likelihood of each transpiring.

1. Trump is indicted by Robert Mueller for colluding with the Russians to win the election in 2016. 

Right now I give this about a 70% chance of happening. It has gone up significantly since yesterday, obviously. If the Democrats take back either chamber next year, it's over for Trump. I predict that Kushner is going to be the next one to cave.

2. Trump resigns from office because he can't take it anymore.

Trump is a whiny baby just like all internet trolls. Taking his ball and going home has a lot of appeal. But he would be admitting defeat if he quit. He might quit if he feels the heat from Mueller and knows he's fucked, hoping that Pence will pull a Gerry Ford and pardon him. I give it about a 40% chance of happening.

3. Trump is indicted on sexual harassment/assault charges. 

Trump has already admitted that he's done this and nothing has happened. The "liberal" media has been too focused on bringing its own people down to notice that they are being jobbed by the right. It's time for them to focus on Trump and let loose the floodgates of every accuser he has ever had. Trump deserves the Bill Clinton treatment.

It is hard to prove this stuff, though, so I give it only about a 25% chance of happening.

4. Trump is removed from office because he is mentally unwell.

This has the greatest chance of happening. If you take a critical look at this behavior for the last 2+ years, it's obvious. He's batshit nuts. He believes every wackadoodle theory the internet has to offer. At this point, I think there is an 80% chance that the 25th amendment will be invoked at some point, likely by the military members of the cabinet, and that will be it. For example, Trump could order a nuclear strike against North Korea and Mattis, Kelly and McMaster all block him.

It's only a matter of time before one of these four things happen and I'm thinking it will be sometime in 2018 before the midterms.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Flynn Caves

Several of my conservative friends are under the ill suited to reality belief that nothing much is going to come from the Trump-Russia investigation. We here at Zombie Politics have covered this story quite well so if they aren't convinced now, well, it's likely that they are being too emotional about liberals being right about something again.

This is especially true now that Michael Flynn, Trump's former NSA adviser, is cooperating with Mueller. 

Two sources familiar with Mueller’s investigation said Flynn may be able to provide insight into three major areas of inquiry. These are: any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 campaign; money laundering and other possible financial crimes by Trump aides; and whether Trump sought to obstruct justice when he fired former FBI Director James Comey in May, as Comey was probing the Trump campaign’s dealings with Russia.

Conservatives need to understand that the rest of the political world, especially Democrats and liberals, don't do psychotic witch hunts as they do (projection). It wouldn't matter which party it was. Collusion is collusion.

And treason is treason. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Are Trump Supporters Ashamed of Themselves?

Michael Kruse wrote a piece last week for Politico magazine that highlighted Trump supporters in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The testimonials were filled with the usual irrational nonsense like this.

“Everybody I talk to,” he said, “realizes it’s not Trump who’s dragging his feet. Trump’s probably the most diligent, hardest-working president we’ve ever had in our lifetimes. It’s not like he sleeps in till noon and goes golfing every weekend, like the last president did.” 

I stopped him, informing him that, yes, Barack Obama liked to golf, but Trump in fact does golf a lot, too—more, in fact. Del Signore was surprised to hear this. 

“Does he?” he said. 

“Yes,” I said. 

He did not linger on this topic, smiling and changing the subject with a quip. “If I was married to his wife,” Del Signore said, “I don’t think I’d go anywhere.” 

He added: “Some of these things are like that thing he said to Billy, Billy Bob, Billy Bud”—searching, unsuccessfully, for the name Billy Bush—“on the bus, that comment he made.” Del Signore shrugged. “He’s a human male. I’m glad he wasn’t saying, ‘Hey, I like little boys.’ You know? So he’s not perfect.” 

Del Signore said he’s been following politics far more than before because of Trump. Trump, he said, is just “more interesting.” So now he likes watching the news. “Ninety-nine percent of the time I watch Fox,” he said. “Sometimes I’ll be sitting there listening to all this Fox stuff, and I’ll say, ‘Maybe they aren’t right, maybe I’ll flip to CNN’—but every time I’ve found that Fox has been correct, and CNN is definitely fake news.”

Pretty typical.

But I guess your typical Trump voters are an embarrassment to the leaders of Johnstown because they penned a response to Politico that was just posted today.

It’s too bad, but not surprising, that Kruse instead focused on specific comments by a few people who fit a narrative he created before arriving. We wish Mr. Kruse would have taken the time to understand the context of the entire community, rather than simply using it as the convenient backdrop for a preexisting storyline. For readers outside of our region, his story depicted a community that does not reflect who we truly are and what we believe.

Oh, really?

It seems to me, Mr. Janakovic et al, that you have some really awful assholes that live in your town. Worried a little that perhaps people won't want to do business there now that your political slip is showing? It seems to me that your already hard hit economy would sink even further if people found out that guys like Del Signore were hanging around.

I guess Trump supporters aren't to proud of who they are. It speaks volumes when they have to hide and pretend that they are really just good people, right?

Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Good Guy With A Gun Lie is Still a Lie

President Trump recently trotted out the good guy with a gun lie in relation to the Sutherland Springs, Texas shooting that was the worst mass shooting in the state's history. It's quite likely that he is completely unfamiliar with John Donohue's recent study that shows that states with right to carry laws generally have 13-15% higher gun violence rates.

Donohue uses additional statistical models than a similar report issued in 2004, and analyzes a further 14 years’ worth of data, from 2000-2014, during which 11 states introduced right-to-carry laws. He claims not only a statistical association between right-to-carry laws and increased violent crime, but a causal link. He uses statistical models to take into account other factors that could have an impact on violent crime rates to estimate what would have happened to those rates in various states if they had not introduced RTC laws when they did:

… [I]t might be the case that some states decided to fight crime by allowing citizens to carry concealed handguns while others decided to hire more police and incarcerate a greater number of convicted criminals. If police and prisons were more effective in stopping crime, the “no controls” model might show that the crime experience in RTC states was worse than in other states even if this were not a true causal result of the adoption of RTC laws. As it turns out, though, RTC states not only experienced higher rates of violent crime but they also had larger increases in incarceration and police than other states…RTC states did not have declining rates of incarceration or total police employees after adopting their RTC laws that might explain their relatively bad crime performance.

In short, the more guns, the more violent crime.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

An OK Night For The Democrats

Much hay is being made by the Democrats over their election wins last Tuesday night. There's a lot of headlines and stories about how much trouble Trump and the GOP are in blah blah blah. I think it was just an OK night for Team Blue. Why?

Trump still enjoys an 80 percent approval rating among conservatives. They are still the more reliable voter than liberals. That's why all this talk about Trump's sinking approval rating doesn't really matter. All of those polls suck except one: the Rasmussen poll. Take a look at the approve-disapprove as of today. Rasmussen is the only one that samples likely voters. That's why Trump is only underwater by 13 points. The likely voter skews more conservative.

If the Democrats want to crow up about something, they need to figure out a way to shift the likely voter more to the left and that means more people out to vote. The only thing conservatives have going for them is that their voters are more reliable. They don't have the numbers and they certainly don't have the solutions.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Trump's Justice

I think if Donald Trump had his way, the Department of Justice would be comprised of his own personal agents. His recent comments about the NYC attack and past comments about the Russian investigation reveal what I have always believed about him and his supporters.

They are closet fascists.

They essentially want to be able to act without consequence and those smug, liberal elites getting in the way. They know what's right and it's definitely not any of that liberal claptrap.

I'm wondering if they realize just how much of deep violation this is of the US Constitution. Do they really want us to become a banana republic?

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Reason Left This Country A Long Time Ago

Over the last few weeks, I have been watching Ken Burns' magnificent series entitled The Vietnam War. Like all of his films, his attention to detail and historical accuracy are truly remarkable.  The stories of each of the veterans of the Vietnam War had the most impact on me. I know several vets and nearly all of them have unanimous praise for the series. There is, however, one exception.

Along with Doctor Sean and Pastor Ed, Vietnam Vet Tim is a regular at the health club I go to for workouts. Like Sean and Ed, both of whom I have written about extensively on here over the years, Tim is very conservative. During the 2016 election, he foamed at the mouth about Hillary Clinton and wondered how I could look my daughter in the eye and support such a criminal for president. This was two days before the Access Hollywood tape was released. Oh, the sweet, sweet irony...

I ran into Tim a couple of days ago and asked him about Burns' series. His face immediately turned red and then went off about it being a hit job. I asked him if he watched the whole thing. He said that he watched part of one episode and then couldn't watch anymore more because it was so liberally biased. Anyone that was against the war was essentially a traitor and should be summarily punished. I then asked him about the Kent state shootings where four students lost their lives after the Ohio National Guard opened fire on a group of protesters.

"They all deserved to die," he said.

His view may sound completely irrational yet 58% of the country thought the same thing in 1970 when the shooting occurred. Protesters had burned down the ROTC building at Kent State the day before so people felt that killing unarmed students was completely justified. They were all a bunch of hippie fucking commies so why not cull the unwanteds. eh?

The only problem with this line of thinking was that not all of the victims were protesters. One of the four victims was a young man named William Knox Schroeder. Schroeder was an ROTC student who just happened to be walking by the protest between classes when a bullet from an M-1 semiautomatic rifle blew through his chest. Another, Sandra Lee Scheuer, was also merely walking between classes when she was shot.

I informed Tim of these facts but he got even worse. He stomped off after muttering something about insurgents and I really didn't want to continue a conversation with a Vietnam Vet who was still in very deep denial about what really happened. Not surprisingly, Tim is a die hard Trump supporter who refuses to accept any sort of fact that conflicts with his vision of reality.

I'm certain that there are many folks out there that are wondering how Donald Trump can be the representative of our nation. How can people be so unreasonable? The fact is that this has been going on a long time. A large swath of our electorate suspends logic when they vote. The very fabric of our country is woven with epistemic closure.

The 58% of the people that thought that killing student protesters was justified all share the same mindset of today's Trump voter. Facts don't matter. Only their anger, hate and fear matter. The truth is what we make it, not what those arrogant, elitist scum tell us is the truth. Only the other side is evil and our people are always in the right.

And people wonder why there are comparisons made to Nazi Germany...

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Pesky Press

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Unraveling of Donald Trump

Coming as a shock to no one, Donald Trump is unraveling.

Even before Corker’s remarks, some West Wing advisers were worried that Trump’s behavior could cause the Cabinet to take extraordinary Constitutional measures to remove him from office. Several months ago, according to two sources with knowledge of the conversation, former chief strategist Steve Bannon told Trump that the risk to his presidency wasn’t impeachment, but the 25th Amendment—the provision by which a majority of the Cabinet can vote to remove the president. When Bannon mentioned the 25th Amendment, Trump said, “What’s that?” According to a source, Bannon has told people he thinks Trump has only a 30 percent chance of making it the full term.

30 percent, eh? I put it at even less.

Trump's behavior of late reminds me a great deal of all those right wing bloggers and commenters that used to post on my site. Overly dramatic and emotional...offended by everyone and everything...touchy to the point of short, right wing snowflakes.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Quote of the Day

It's a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.