"I am proud to shut down the government for border security ... I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it." –Donald Trump
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
David Faris of The Week, reviews Trump's deplorable presidency so far:
"Today (1/20/2019) marks the two year anniversary of President Trump's ignominious reign over the United States. We are now at the midpoint of Trump's first, perhaps only, term as president of the United States, what we can now understand as our collective Trumpening.
It is natural to ask about the consequences of handing the office of the presidency to a friendless, joyless, violence-worshipping narcissist. Unfortunately, what we know about the repercussions of this period is vastly outstripped by the disasters to come. For all the many ignominious assaults that the country has endured over the past two years, we have not yet experienced even a fifth of the calamities this man and his misrule will ultimately inflict upon us. But we know a few things.
We know that President Trump has, perhaps permanently, transformed the presidency with his malevolence, ineptitude, and divisiveness. Donald Trump is by far the laziest and least informed person ever to inhabit the White House. In two years, he has defined deviance so far down that he may have forever altered the expectations of the office of the presidency itself. As we have learned from a thousand anonymously sourced news analyses, the president's time is largely unstructured, filled mostly with blocks of compulsive Fox News watching, an activity that he telegraphs to the public by live tweeting it. America's voters are constantly being told, by the president of the United States, to watch particular Fox programs and to applaud quotes by right-wing gadflies uttered without any serious pushback from other guests on what is now effectively Republican state television."
Monday, January 21, 2019
Saturday, January 19, 2019
MICHAEL HAYDEN AND NEAL KATYAL, Washington Post
"Neal K. Katyal was acting U.S. solicitor general from 2010 to 2011. Michael V. Hayden was director of the National Security Agency from 1999 to 2005 and the Central Intelligence Agency from 2006 to 2009.
We have been exceptionally reluctant to call for the impeachment of President Trump. Impeachment runs the risk of undoing an election and dividing the nation. But there is a big difference between calling for impeachment and calling for an investigation into whether impeachment is appropriate.
After careful review of the articles of impeachment for President Richard M. Nixon, we now believe it is appropriate for the House of Representatives to begin the process by launching an impeachment investigation. No legislator should rush to judgment one way or the other. The process should be designed to uncover the facts.
But if the facts show that Trump ordered or participated in the commission of crimes, in particular crimes that may have allowed him to win the election, we think it incontrovertible that impeachment would be warranted. So too, if the facts show that Trump ordered his personal attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress, as BuzzFeed reported Thursday night in an article that the special counsel is now disputing, he would be guilty of an impeachable offense. One of the Nixon articles was for “approving, condoning . . . and counselling witnesses with respect to the giving of . . . false or misleading testimony in duly instituted judicial and congressional proceedings.”
Separately, if evidence shows that the president has acted as an agent of a foreign power, impeachment would be a proper remedy.
Things might be different if there were a guarantee that Trump would face the consequences of any criminal activity. But many of the president’s defenders have embraced a broad view of executive power, including a radical view that the president cannot generally obstruct justice, as well as the notion that a sitting president cannot be indicted.
Every serious scholar who believes a sitting president cannot be indicted couples it with the need for impeachment in such circumstances — otherwise a president would be above the law. So it follows, from Trump’s own defenders, that the process of investigating whether impeachment is warranted must begin. Trump seeks immunity from internal criminal investigation — but if he is immune from such a process, he must then face a separate external one: by the House of Representatives in impeachment proceedings, as our founders specified in Article I, Section 2, of the Constitution.
On the intelligence side, a host of revelations simply in the past few days should cause all Americans concern. A president meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and taking control of all notes, as reported by The Post? An FBI investigation into whether a sitting president is a compromised Russian asset, as the New York Times reported? And then all the deceptions, denials and distractions by Trump, including shutting down the government based on a rather thin claim of national security. Congress must fulfill its constitutional duty to protect our national security.
More after the break.
Friday, January 18, 2019
House begins direct investigation into whether Trump instructed Cohen to lie
via Daily Kos:
Buzzfeed is reporting that Trump was in frequent communication with Cohen during the extended effort to make a deal in Moscow. Far from being out of the loop, Cohen directly spoke with Trump about the Moscow Project at least 10 times. Trump, Donald Trump Jr, and Ivanka Trump received regular and detailed updates about the project.
Those sources have also indicated that in his testimony to the special counsel’s office, Cohen insists that when he was called before Congress, Trump ordered him to lie to Congress. Specifically, Trump instructed Cohen to say that negotiations in Moscow had ended months before they were actually put on hold some time after the Republican convention.
Trump’s order to lie is supposedly supported by “interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents.”
"President Donald Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter. Trump also supported a plan, set up by Cohen, to visit Russia during the presidential campaign, in order to personally meet President Vladimir Putin and jump-start the tower negotiations. 'Make it happen,' the sources said Trump told Cohen."
Thursday, January 17, 2019
We never want to hear that Republican Senators Cruz, Cornyn, Ermst, Inhofe, Lee, etc. are tough on Russia. Their vote on Wednesday was a gift to Putin and Trump.
McConnell held a vote for Russian Oligarch to get paid, but he won’t hold a vote for TSA & FAA to get paid.
Now you know who he cares about, and it’s not the 800,000 Americans who aren't getting paid while they suffer under Trump's government shutdown.
Conservative David Frum:
Remember when b.s.er Trump bellowed to his cultists that the polls and election were rigged?
Always remember that Trump blames his opponents for the very things that HE IS AND DOES.
"No puppet. No puppet. You're the puppet."
Michael Cohen in a tweet Thursday morning more or less confirmed a Wall Street Journal report that he paid an IT specialist in early 2015 for rigging two online polls in favor of President Trump.