The Widdershins

Posts Tagged ‘Bob Mueller

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It has been 189 years since You Know Who became president*. There seems to finally be some sort of progress in the Bob Mueller investigation: the Michael Cohen indictments suggest some serious hanky panky and directly implicate Trump. Mueller wouldn’t have mentioned any of that – and Cohen wouldn’t be pleading guilty – if there wasn’t some serious evidence. It is also safe to assume that Mueller didn’t show his entire hand in those filings. But we have no idea what Mueller has or doesn’t have. More importantly – we can’t predict what will happen when he finally reveals the information. We can presume the entire GOP will stand behind Trump. Just look at how they are reacting to the revelations that Trump used campaign money to pay off porn stars:

Orrin Hatch: “I don’t think he was involved in crimes, but even then, you know, you can make anything a crime und the current laws; if you want to you can blow it way out of proportion, you can do a lot of things… President Trump before he became President, that’s another world. Since he’s become President this economy has charged ahead… And I think we ought to judge him on that basis, other than trying to drum up things from the past that may or may not be true.”

Chuck Grassley: “They based it on what a liar says, so it hurts the credibility of it.”

John Kennedy: “Well, let me say this about Mister Cohen: Jesus loves him, but everybody else thinks he’s an idiot. I think most Americans think he’s a sleazoid grifter. I can’t imagine basing any kind of prosecution on the word of Mister Cohen. Do I support violations of the campaign finance act if that indeed happened? Of course not. But the President says it was a private transaction, and it would appear to me that the only evidence is coming from Mister Cohen, whose credibility can be questioned. Duh.”

Do you remember how Hatch and Grassley opposed the impeachment of Bill Clinton for lying about an extramarital affair that came to light during an investigation into a 1970’s land deal? Oh wait a minute, they wanted Bill Clinton impeached and removed from office… Their inconsistency seems odd! But it does tell us that GOP will never ever ever ever turn on Trump. I keep seeing pundits claim that some miraculous event will finally make GOP turn: it’s been 3 years of that and we have seen zero cracks in the facade. The GOP will never turn on Trump. Ever. It’s not because he’s blackmailing them. It’s because they fully support everything he does and stands for. They want more of that. They will support a more extreme candidate next. I remember at CPAC shortly after the election, Kellyanne Conway declared from the stage that when CPAC ends, the GOP will be Trump’s party: she was right about that. GOP and Trump crawled out of the same womb.

One issue that is not only far from being resolved, we have seen no attempt to even try to figure out what happened, is the issue of FBI NY office and the role they played in the 2016 election. Charles Pierce points to a section of Comey’s most recent testimony to the House where he finally explicitly states that the reason he decided to go public with his letter was the leaking of the FBI NY office and his inability to stop them.

“I was concerned that there appeared to be in the media a number of stories that might have been based on communications reporters or nonreporters like Rudy Giuliani were having with people in the New York field office. In particular, in I want to say mid October, maybe a little bit later, Mr. Giuliani was making statements that appeared to be based on his knowledge of workings inside the FBI New York. And then my recollection is there were other stories that were in the same ballpark that gave me a general concern that we may have a leak problem — unauthorized disclosure problem out of New York, and so I asked that it be investigated.”

In a previous testimony I recall Comey said there was an attempt to look into his matter when he was still FBI director, but that investigation seems to have died. Certainly no news has come out that references it in any way. I am surprised (not really!) that no media outlet has pursued this story in any meaningful way. There is a Pulitzer out there for an investigative journalist that digs into this; it doesn’t appear as if anyone is interested though.

This is an open thread!

The Hump

Posted on: August 23, 2018

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Wednesdays are known as hump-days. Those dreadful days we suffer through between the terrible Mondays and much-anticipated Fridays. Something about the past few days has felt like a hump of the Dump presidency. We’ve been making our way to the top of the mountain – is it downhill from here? Of course, it is impossible to really tell. I certainly can’t predict anything; I have been wrong before. But with Manafort’s 8 guilty verdicts (or 10 mistrial verdicts, as Faux News and The Federalist like to point out) and Michael Cohen’s guilty pleas – and, more importantly, saying that the candidate for office told him to commit crimes, thus making Trump an unindicted co-conspirator – something feels different today. It’s not the actions of McConnell and Ryan. They are both trying to say as little as possible. Ryan’s office released a statement that they’re aware of Cohen’s plea, but need to see more information (LOL). So that hasn’t changed. Though the NY Times articles on how people in Ohio diners feel about these developments is still a few days away, I think we can safely assume they don’t care about any of it and Trump’s base remains very much intact. Orrin Hatch just told Jake Tapper that “I think [Trump] has changed a lot of his life once he was elected. I think Trump is a much better person today than he was then.” So Republicans in Congress won’t change their tune.

But something changed in how Democrats in Congress speak about Dump. Many have come out very strongly, directly and explicitly accusing Trump and his administration of being a “criminal enterprise.” Nancy Pelosi tweeted very direct attacks on Republicans in general and I don’t think I’ve ever seen that kind of language from her or most other Democrats. “The gross #CultureOfCorruption runs deep among Republicans in Washington,” – Pelosi tweeted. And then: “Michael Cohen. Michael Flynn. Paul Manafort. Chris Collins. Duncan Hunter. Vern Buchanan. Scott Pruitt and the Trump Administration. The Republican Party looks like a criminal enterprise.” This kind of directness has always been Republicans’ ammo and Democrats have largely tried being polite. We know how that’s worked out for us. It seems that Pelosi – and others – have finally smelled blood in the water and, thankfully, are not letting good blood go to waste.

Several people have now explicitly called Trump an illegitimate President. Democratic Senators have also now come out and said they will not even consider Kavenaugh for SCOTUS because Trump is an unindicted criminal and should not be allowed to appoint a SCOTUS judge. This is also different. Kamala Harris: “President Trump is an unindicted co-conspirator to a federal crime to influence an election for the office he now holds. He should not be allowed to name a Supreme Court Justice without resolving this accusation first.”

So something is different. Do you feel it? Or am I being too optimistic?

This is an open thread.

Blue Waves

Posted on: August 10, 2018

As I enter my 41st year on this planet I mostly regret that space travel isn’t possible yet. Nothingness.jpgBecause if it was I’d get the heck off this one. What a poopy show we are living through. While we know Hillary testified for 11 hours before Gowdy-Doody’s Benghazi panel, Dumpfuhrer has rejected Mueller’s latest request for testimony, via his attorney, serial adulterer and liar Ghouliani. Ghouliani also demanded that Mueller should end the investigation. Chances of that are on the low side. So Rethuglicans continue their diabolical plan to fire Mueller. Skippy Nunes revealed GOP’s plans in a private fund-raiser. (Politicians really need to stop being so candid in fundraisers…) In a tape leaked to Rachel Maddow, Nunes told the rich Rethuglican crowd that the reason they aren’t impeaching Rosenstein right now is that their priority is to confirm Kavanaugh; they can’t do both at the same time. Once Kavanaugh is confirmed, Rosenstein’s a goner. If Rosenstein’s a goner, so is Mueller. That’s GOP’s plan. Now we know and it makes the urgency to flip at least one house (the House) even greater. (In a fun tidbit, Adam Parkhomenko, the man who organizes the White House protests right now and who works for Hillary Clinton (as an aside within the aside, I’m surprised Parkhomenko’s connection to HRC hasn’t been blasting on every news channel and in every Dumpfuhrer tweet), anyway, Adam tweeted earlier today that he’s heard stories that there is something much bigger coming out soon about Nunes, bigger than these tapes. Something that will show that he is fully complicit in what’s happening with Trump. Adam did not expand on that and, to reiterate, it was something he heard about. Let us cross our fingers that it comes to pass…)

The one bright light on our horizon is that Hillary-backed candidates in special elections have been winning and Bernie’s have been losing. It also appears that in Michigan this past week the Democratic turnout was the highest ever. Maybe, just maybe, Democrats in Michigan have woken to the gravity of the situation and will also come out to vote in November. One interesting side-note to these last elections was the presence of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Alexandria won a primary in Queens against a powerful Democrat, which the Alt-Left embraced with special vigor. Certainly she deserves credit for taking on a powerful multi-term Democrat. (Though I have to note that I lived in Queens for almost 15 years and I never heard of this guy until he lost…) The media also embraced Alexandria with numerous glowing profiles. She was invited to many shows ocasio_cortez_msnbc.jpgand podcasts  to offer her thoughts on the Revolution (!) and Bernie (she was a Bernie delegate, though he did not endorse her candidacy). She was called the new face of the Democratic party. She felt emboldened enough to attack Tammy Duckworth. And then she decided that she was important enough to go to states like Michigan, Kansas and Missouri to endorse and campaign for candidates running in primaries. She joined Bernie Sanders on this tour of endorsements. Her face appeared on posters next to Bernie and, as an afterthought, the candidate they were endorsing. Each of those candidates were the “anti-establishment” candidates, but some in the Bernie tradition. White men, some of whom didn’t even live in the districts they were running in, one of whom was a Republican 4 years ago and proudly nearly voted for Jill Stein in 2016. These are the natural allies, of course, for Bernie and Alexandria. And then most of them lost. All of Hillary’s candidates won. Alexandria tweeted congratulations to some of the winners and praised some of her favorite losing candidates, but she pointedly did not congratulate Sharice Davids, the lesbian Native-American candidate who kicked Alexandria candidate’s ass. All the losing must have confused Alexandria because just days ago she was still leading the Revolution with Bernie against the establishment, and the media said she was the face of the Democratic party. As soon as Bernie and Alexandria failed to deliver results, the media made a sharp turn. “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s movement fails to deliver any stunners,” read a CNN headline. “Socialist pin-up Ocasio-Cortez sees four candidates FAIL,” read The Daily Mail in the UK. Suddenly Alexandria was a loser. The media does that. Alexandria fell for their bait and switch, and they pinned the losses on her – not Bernie. She thought a few glowing profiles meant she could leave Queens and still find herself relevant in Missouri. She took a wrong turn off Queens Blvd, let me tell you. People in Missouri really don’t give a shit what a lady from Queens thinks. Frankly, they don’t care what a white man from Vermont thinks either. Bernie will never learn this; it remains to be seen if Ms. Ocasio-Cortez ever humbles herself enough to realize that winning a single primary against a candidate who doesn’t even campaign does not make you a queen-maker across state lines. It doesn’t even make her a queen-maker across borough lines. How much success do you think she’d have endorsing in Staten Island? I wonder how she will react as a freshman representative in the House. There really is a powerful hierarchy. From what we’ve seen from Ocasio-Cortez so far she’s not into that. It’s a risky strategy. Let’s see how it works out for her.

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It will be here sooner than we think. Trump announcing his pick to replace Justice “I really don’t care, do you?” Kennedy on the Supreme Court. McConnell says he wants to schedule hearings in September. I suspect the process will be quick. McConnell wants this victory as much as Trump does. The ongoing degradation of America and a functioning government by Mitch McConnell is, well, ongoing and will keep going until he’s all dead. There’s nothing really Democrats can do to stop him. There are no secret rules that they can whip out. Josh Marshall published a letter he received outlining the danger of Trump’s pick, dangers outside of Roe v. Wade and whatever other established laws Republicans want to kill. The danger is Mueller’s investigation. I’ll just link to the article and you should read it in its entirety (it’s not very long.)

I think the only two options Democrats have going forward are 1) change the number of justice on the Court and pack it with liberals and 2) impeach and remove the justices Trump appointed because an illegitimate and criminal President should not appoint anyone. Of course chances of Democrats doing that are about negative 100%. They are always civil to Republicans. (Far more civil to Republicans than they are to fellow Democrats.) So what does it mean for the future? Does anyone know a really good psychic??

MadamaB is busy with her move (post move actually), work and is also sick! So this is an open thread (as always.)

 

33750_463348759760_4746600_nWe are slouching towards some kind of reckoning. The past 48 hrs have seen some notable activity by Bob Mueller. He revealed, in filings to counter Paul Manafort’s attempt to have charges against him dismissed, that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has given him the necessary permission to investigate Manafort’s collusion with the Russians. And if Manafort colluded – so did Trump. What that means in the long run is unclear. Mueller can’t impeach Trump and he can’t prosecute him. Mueller says he will write a report outlining his findings about Trump and Rosenstein will have discretion on what to do with the report. He has to provide both the chairs of the intelligence committees and the ranking members with the report – this is good news because ranking Democrats (certainly people like Schiff) won’t let the report disappear into the night (wanna bet Nunes will try?) But this doesn’t change the fact that Mueller has no power over Trump himself. And the current GOP will do nothing to control Trump. A blue wave in the midterms will be essential. Democrats may be able to impeach Trump, but removing him from office – requiring 2/3 of the Senate support – will probably fail even with Democrats in charge. There are simply no Republicans who would vote to remove Trump. So where does that leave us? I don’t know…

It leaves us with evil men like Mitch McConnell. McConnell just bragged to Kentucky Today that refusing to hold nominations hearings on Merrick Garland “was the most consequential decision I’ve made in my entire public career.” He is proud of this. It gets worse though. He is also very proud of keeping Obama from appointing judges to the lower courts.

McConnell cited the subsequent wave of Trump-nominated judges as a lasting legacy. Recounting a conversation with the White House counsel soon after Trump’s election to Kentucky Today, McConnell said he suggested Trump nominate young judges.

 “I said ‘we’ve got a chance to transform the country in a very significant way for the next generation if we can get our act together,’” McConnell said. 

If ever you feel like giving up from exhaustion – think about Mitch McConnell being proud of these things. And then go out and vote to erase Mitch McConnell and his cabal from our consciousness.

And now for some laughs:


Biden illustration: REBUILD WITH BIDEN

Nice picture of our gal

Madam Vice President

Our President

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