Sunday Morning and It Just Gets More Wierd

Trump’s lawyer in one breath says he is not under investigation and in the next says he is. I guess it depends on how you define investigation and the meaning changes with the context, at least in Trump reality.  But speaking of reality, it is coming knocking on climate change deniers as there was an “event” in Antarctica that tells us you had better get your waders on sooner than anyone thought.  And while Republicans live in denial about how dysfunctional the VicLic is, the people who do real work get it.  They can’t hire at the White House. Nobody wants the job when your whole career could end right there.

Megyn Kelly is interviewing the nut job Alex Jones who thinks Sandy Hook was a hoax.  Why?  Oh it’s a ratings ploy and she is going to make her chops by tearing into him is the media executive thinking at NBC apparently.  It is a travesty and legitimizing nuts.  It is a sad excuse for news that got us into this mess.  Considered the unfathomable tragedy at Sandy Hook, how can you give air time to someone who could be so hateful and hurtful?  Wasn’t the tragedy bad enough?  My heart goes out to the parents and hope on a Father’s Day, the memories aren’t too painful, which of course they are.

Meanwhile in VicLic land, the great spineless Floridian, Senator Marco Rubio, was on Meet the Press and told us two things that were flat out lies and distortions and he knows they are.  When challenged about Attorney General Sessions claiming that he had never been briefed on the Russia attack at any time and whether that concerned Marco that there seems to be total denial in the White House about the Russia interference with our election, he claimed you can’t have it both ways, having recused himself and be involved.  Umm…  First of all Sessions did not recuse himself till March so from January on, there was no interest?  Second this does not hold water at all.  While Sessions is recused from the Justice Department investigation, he is on the National Security Council which has nothing to do with a criminal investigation and yet still no briefings?  The NSC is not interested in getting to the bottom of possible Russian interference?

So MTP host Chuck Todd, seeing exactly what I did, followed up with the question that it seems the White House is totally uninterested in the attack and even though 17 intelligence agencies have verified it, Trump (the VicLic) is still denying it.  His response was astounding.  Basically the VicLic was entitled to his own opinion.  Now think about that one.  After 17 agencies verified the attack, the VicLic decides he is going to ignore reality.  He has his own set of facts which work fine in his alternate reality And you wonder why I call him the Village Idiot-in-Charge/Liar-in-Charge?  If Marco Rubio believes the trash he just put forward, he also is a danger to the country and himself.  But alas, he is just making excuses to try to normalize and Idiot-in-Chief so he can get his agenda done.  I guess that makes him even more a threat to the country.

Finally, Father’s Day.  I have some thoughts here.  Most of us muddle through being a father either taking lessons we learned from our own father and applying them, or desperately trying not to repeat his errors.  In my case, I had a wonderful Dad who like all Dads was human and made mistakes, but was always there for me.  I learned so very much from him.  You know when you look at most of the people out there who commit serious crimes or who are seriously troubled human beings, it usually can be traced back to their parents.

And we have a whole population of people who should never have been parents.  There is not much we can do about that.  But what we can do is take parenting seriously.  It is the hardest and most important job you will every have.  So here’s to all the guys (and the wonderful women behind them) who are working hard to get it right.  It is all we can ask of anyone and in many cases where you will find the real heroes.  So today take a moment and celebrate them.  All three of mine checked in today.  I could not be prouder of them.  Go forth and prosper.  You have all the tools you need whether you got them from me or not.  I would prefer to assume the former.  Happy Father’s Day.

Saturday Morning

Well we are approaching summer and just a couple days before the longest day of the year and then the days start to shorten again.  Kind of reminds you of life itself as you grow, stay up later and then at some point, it is never too early to call it a night. The VicLic is off to Camp David with his family which is probably the only thing saving us from a twitter storm and the firing of someone substantial.  My baseball team has taken to wins from the Yankees with another barn burner last night, and I still haven’t planted my tomatos but will get to it this weekend. Sunday is Father’s day and it should remind most of us males of the most important job we will ever do.

There are a couple of good reads this morning that might get you going:

  • The first is Brett Stephens, a conservative who wrote a tongue in cheek piece about mass deportation, pointing out that on his scale of productive, law bidding, and Christian people, you know, real Americans, immigrants score better than those of us who have been here for a while. Oh, those facts.
  • The second is a piece from Timothy Egan about the fact that France and Canada have elected young vivaceous leaders of the future while we have elected an old man with tired old failed ideas and are looking backwards
  • A study reported in the WaPo and CNN says that if you eat french fries more than twice a week, you are twice as likely to die younger.  Because I love french fries (although I rarely have them) all I can say is now I understand fake news.
  • The final one is from the editorial board of the WaPo explaining the reality of why Obamacare is failing, Republicans.

So I will leave you and go plant my garden with this.  As we claim we want to lower the level of rhetoric, Republicans lie to us about the basic unstable Obamacare that it is failing under its own weight.  Here is the WaPo on the real facts:

Another week, another insurance company deserting patients in a wide swath of the country. Last Tuesday, Anthem announced it would pull out of the Obamacare marketplace in Ohio, potentially leaving individual insurance-buyers in about a fifth of the state’s counties without Affordable Care Act coverage to purchase. 

The news came after insurers in various other states announced or threatened market exits or big rate hikes over the past several weeks.
Are these moves more evidence that Obamacare is fundamentally unworkable? Hardly. Of greedy insurance companies callously disregarding their customers’ health? Not that either. 

Anthem explained clearly what is responsible for its retreat: Republican sabotage of the health-care system.
The Trump administration has been serially unclear about whether it will keep funding a crucial subsidy program, known as cost-sharing reductions . Without them, insurers would have to jack up premiums to cover their costs or leave markets that would become deeply unprofitable to them. Just as experts and industry officials predicted, insurance companies have done both as the uncertainty about these subsidies has grown.

When one party reinvents reality to pass their agenda, how can you have a civil conversation with them.  It isn’t a difference of opinion.  It is a different reality where they lie to us to get their way.  Hard to respect that.

Prediction

 I think the VicLic will fire the DAG and or the special prosecuter this weekend or one very similar to it.  Here is why:  First Democrats (and mainstream Republicans) are telling him not to.  He hates being told anything.  Second he just made a trip to Florida to announce an insane Cuba policy surrounded by his sycophant base.  They give him that self-righteous feeling of empowerment and invincibility.  Third, the investigation is heating up and everyone is lawyering up.  There could be rats who desert a sinking ship to save themselves.  He feels super threatened. And finally, because he likes the sound of Saturday Night Massacre and it makes him fell macho.  See, he is the unconventional President who charts his own path (his vision of himself not mine which is a lunatic out of control).  So why not shake up the investigation and slow it down?  Republicans have shown no interest in trying to rein him in and do they really want to go up against his base?  Yep, this weekend or one very similar.

WTF Friday

Well hopefully the media is off their “both sides need to tone down their rhetoric” B.S.  It reminds me of the, “politicians just need to compromise” jag they went on a few years ago.  While the Republicans were just saying no, “politicians need to compromise” failed to name who were really the problem and it worked out splendidly as the Republican obstruction got recast as political dysfunction of both parties.  Democrats apparently had to cave totally in on any issue to get a compromise.  Now the Democrats have to quit calling the President crazy, dangerous, or the worst President in history.  So let’s review from todays newspaper:

  • It is reported by his staff that the VicLic (Village Idiot-in-chief/Liar-in-Chief) is obsessed with the Russia probe and inserts it in every conversation, states he is not under investigation, and then there are the tweets
  • Trump Transition Team orders aides not to destroy Russia related material
  • Pence and others hiring personal attorney (interesting to see whose dime that will be on. Can’t be tax payers so who is holding their hands?)
  • The VicLic is apparently going to Florida today to revoke our new Cuba policy and go back to the old failed policies of isolation before.  This one is interesting because this it flies in the face of business that wants access, and the Republican controlled Senate that has a bill co-signed by 55 members to remove all travel restrictions on Cuba
  • And finally note that if there was no there, there, in the VicLic investigation of Russia collusion why did the VicLic go out of his way to get himself investigated by firing the FBI director and trying to get the Intelligence agencies to release false reports about his involvement?  He is nuts.

So the noose is tightening and the man with the finger on the red button is not the most dangerous president we ever had?  He is taking failed policies, Cuba is just an example, and bringing them back, he has alienate most of the intelligence agencies, he has thrown the House under the bus on their healthcare bill, and now appears to be about to throw DAG Rosenstein under the bus, and he is not the worst president we have ever had?  Oh, did I mention sending more troops to Afghanistan?

So my point is simple, WTF are you talking about reining in rhetoric?  Most of the rhetoric from the Left is describing perfectly the present situation. Meanwhile the Red machine, click on any site, is busy feeding the base that the Democrats and the media caused the whole shooting incident.  When you have two alternate realities, and the Republican’s hold on to power depending on the fantasy one, bad things are going to happen.  If you really want to tone things down, we need one set of facts, not two.

I long for the days when Republicans were just clueless.  Now they are dangerous and have created a situation where extreme politics (theirs) will incite violence.  Sorry that the shooter was a Bernie supporter, but the ground work for violence in politics was not laid down by Bernie or his rhetoric which had to be raised up a notch because of the extremism of the Republican Party, it has been carefully crafted by a Right Wing that invents facts and feeds an ignorant and angry base.  The shooter attacked Republicans because they are in control.  Why shoot at Democrats who control nothing.  But make no mistake, had Hillary won, I would have expected many more shooters.  It is a world the Republicans created.  Let’s make sure everyone has a gun so we can protect our rights!  WTF!

Another Crazy Night As Republicans Continue to Make Excuses

The Deputy Attorney General (DAG) released a statement tonight that is right out of Alice in Wonderland, or more specifically, from the pen of the Trump minions:

Americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous ‘officials,’ particularly when they do not identify the country – let alone the branch or agency of government – with which the alleged sources supposedly are affiliated,” Rosenstein said. “Americans should be skeptical about anonymous allegations. The Department of Justice has a long-established policy to neither confirm nor deny such allegations.”

Huh?  So far we have found that the newspapers have been dead on, and what is the country thing?  What can I tell you?  It just gets weirder and weirder “Responsible” Republicans are counseling that Trump is his own worst enemy and if he would just get off twitter and let the investigation take its course there would be a lot less to investigate. That assumes there is nothing or little to find and based upon what we are seeing, there must be something very bad to find.  If you obstruct, there is a reason you obstruct.

And that raises the violent rhetoric issue.  Trump knows they are going to find a lot.  So he is feeding his base that the fix is in and they are after him.  So when he does get nailed, and he will, what he is doing is fomenting revolution.  All the bad people ganged up on Trump and his base has to do something to save him.  If you think that is voting you are missing all the hints.  And remember Bernie’s “overheated” rhetoric about the most dangerous and worst president we have ever had?  You should really worry what he will do when he thinks the whole situation is out of control.  He is as Bernie told us, the worst and most dangerous president we have ever had.  That is just a fact.

Here We Go Again (UPDATED)

UPDATE:  SEE BELOW  In the aftermath of the shooting we are getting the, “Heated rhetoric must calm down in this country,” argument (Joe Scarborough). Get the implication here.  It is the great peace making argument that both sides need to tone it down, but fails to really recognize the imbalance here.  It is a giant cop out by our media that wants to be “fair and balanced.” In another story, which points out that the attacker was a Bernie supporter, the article made this statement implying “overheated”rhetoric:

Their idol, the senator from Vermont, has called President Trump a “demagogue” and said recently that he was “perhaps the worst and most dangerous president in the history of our country.”

So when is telling the truth about the worst and most dangerous president in the history of our country overheated rhetoric?  It is not both sides, and President Trump is not normal.  The rhetoric about him and the danger he poses is the reality of the situation.  That has nothing to do with tolerating violence, which the Democrats have never done.  You have to dig very deep to find some extreme outlier to demonstrate a Democrat promoting violence as a political tool.  On the other hand, just run the tapes of the Trump campaign speeches where he threatened the press, or said he would defend a violent assault on a protestor.  Remember, he claimed the Democrats were paying people to incite violence at his rallies.  Here is a great video summary. Oh, and let’s not forget who just body slammed a reporter to cheers from his supporters.

Meanwhile the Right Wing Media, which has always incited racial hate, fear of immigrants, nativism claims the shooting of Scalise is because of violence prone Democrats.  It is what they have always done.  Hate and fear are the stock and trade of the Republican base and that is the seeds of violence for both sides.  What would you call using your Second Amendment Rights (Sarah Palin) to get your country back?  Tell me where are all those left wing radio shows spewing out hate?  Right Wing radio commands the radio dials.  Spewing hate and fear attracts listeners, spewing tolerance and equal rights puts people to sleep.  So where again is all the overheated rhetoric coming from?

And of course there is the final straw.  Where did all those automatic weapons come from?  There are going to be unhinged people always.  Would you rather they have a knife or an AK-47?  The Republicans would prefer the AK-47.  You know, to protect your rights from the government they disparage every day.  It is not Democrats who are threatening to take away healthcare, or are about to gut Dodd-Frank.  It is not Democrats who want to pass “religious freedom” laws to allow discrimination.  It is not Democrats who want to give away the treasury to the wealthy, or destroy the environment by tearing down our government institutions.

So Republicans have by far been the spewing of hate and fear party, put the weapons in the hands of the nutcases, and are now trying to further disenfranchise the little guy, and the problem is the Democrat’s heated rhetoric?  Bull puckey.  We have been building to this event for a long, long time.  The current President of the United States, is the result of intolerance and ignorance.  And we are surprised that some nut job got a gun?  Sure we can tone down our rhetoric, but that does not mean censor it.  Donald Trump is an ignorant, racist, liar, and that is not rhetoric, that is proven fact.  Click on the links. Run the tapes of his speeches.  We are in dangerous times because the Republicans refuse to reign him in.  So don’t give me any bull shit about both sides need to tone it down.  Look at how we got here.

This is not to condone the violence, but to condemn it.  But the latest rhetoric to tone it down is simply a bandaid on a serious wound, and if we don’t look at how we got here, the bandaid is insufficient.  Remember who has been disparaging government forever, and who is it that wants to use government to try to make things better.  Remember who has used hate and fear to get elected while the other party tries to represent the rights of gays and women.  Remember who wants to dumb us down so our minds are not confused about facts.  Remember who nominated and fell in line behind a racist, ignorant, liar who incited violence at his rallies.  Remember who makes sure the nuts have access to automatic rifles.  Yeah we have a problem, but our problem is remembering who is our problem.

UPDATE:  Does the hypocrisy never stop?  Here is from ThinkProgress:

Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI) told Fox News Wednesday afternoon that “the media is complicit” in acts of violence like the mass shooting targeting members of Congress “if they keep inciting, as opposed to informing.” Then he went on to say, “I agree with Rodney wholeheartedly in that the hateful rhetoric serves no positive purpose. In fact, today it served a negative purpose. But unfortunately, and I’m looking at all the media in the eye when I say this: friendships and cordial relationships don’t make good news. So I can tell you, especially as the president of the freshman class of Republicans, we are united along with our Democratic freshman counterparts to bring civility back to the 115th Congress.”

What a bunch of happy horseshit from the party that made saying outrageous things a way to campaign.  See the Liar in Chief or do you remember Joe Wilson and “You Lie”?  Lets go back to Michelle Bachman and her outrageous claims that always turned out to be untrue.  Didn’t Louie Gohmert just say, in speaking of Mueller, “This man had the FBI training materials purged. He did a lot of damage and a lot of Americans are dead as a result of the purging of their training materials.” and later told us Mueller is “Dirty”.

Look at my first link above, a Red Wing website, and then look at ThinkProgress or Media Matters, or any Progressive site and tell me they are equivalent.  If you do, “YOU LIE!”

Under Investigation

So from five sources, the VicLic* is now officially under investigation for obstruction of justice.  No there was not a leaker, think about it.  If you start interviewing people some of them are going to talk about it.  I wonder how little Jeffy Sessions will do in front of a grand jury.  Now you know why the VicLic was wanting to fire Mueller.  He got wind of who he was interviewing and what questions he was asking.  Now once again, the special counsel could “indict” him through a grand jury, but that is as far as it goes unless Congress acts.  Again we are at the mercy of those Republicans salivating over their agenda.  Only when there is no longer any doubt will the rats (Republicans) start deserting the ship.

Will he do it, fire Mueller**?  I think he will.  Remember that obstruction of justice is really part of the cover up, not the original crime, or if you want, investigation, colluding with the Russians.  If there is an obstruction of justice there has to be a reason he was trying to obstruct it.  That finding, obstruction of justice, since it really exposes the existence of the greater crime is a bomb for the White House.  Now if there is obstruction of justice, and I have no problem saying there is, aides in the White House could be co-conspirators especially if they withhold information.

There is just too much there, there.  When was the last campaign filled with aides who were meeting with the Russians?  None.  Why deny and lie about it until you got caught in the lie.  Sessions couldn’t remember any of them.  Does that not give you pause?  The timing of the firing of Comey makes no sense unless it was about the investigation. Here is the deal as I see it, and it is not complicated.  It’s about the money.  The VicLic got money to back his projects when no one else would and all you have to do is look at the source.  In some cases it was simply loans from Russian banks who now have their hooks in him.  In some cases it was really laundering money for the Russians and others.  I don’t know this, but in many ways it has been hinted at many times.

Now when the VicLic had a shot at President, the Russians were all in.  I don’t think the VicLic was stupid enough to meet with the Russians or their finance guys, but his team did.  So they were looking at a deal, remove the sanctions (for their incursions into Eastern Europe and into our election) and they would open up more business opportunities, and not mention his earlier dealings (for now).  It was just a deal to them, not doing the Russian’s bidding.  So there was collusion or so I believe.  I also believe, although with no facts to support it, that there was coordination on the leaks and fake news.  See the VicLic’s loose lips during the campaign encouraging the Russians to hack Hillary.

So, the fire is breaking out from the smoke and my guess is the next move is the firing of Mueller.  Then we see what the Republicans are really made of.  I think they will only desert their dreamed for agenda when they realize all that is left is to save their own skins.  We will see.

Oh, I would like to add one more thought.  If the VicLic really wants to get this behind him so he can work on his agenda, why aren’t they working on it now?  Nothing in the investigation is keeping them.  All we have is a secret repeal and replace Obamacare plan in the Senate because they are not foolish enough to vote for the one out of the House, and a repeal of Dodd-Frank out of the House that will also have real problems in the Senate.  Where are the jobs bills?  Where are the infrastructure plan?  Where is the Tax Reform Bill?  What is holding that up?  It isn’t the investigation.

*VicLic -Village Idiot/Liar in Chief

**Not the VicLic cannot fire Mueller, but he can order the Deputy Attorney General to do it, and when he refuses, fire him. It will be just a matter of time before he finds someone who will do itl

Shooting in Washington, Julius Caesar, North Korea, and Little Jeffy Sessions

I am not surprised.  Sadly sooner or later someone was going to go postal as the Republican Party did their damage to lives and our country.  Of course it will just make the situation worse, and like all or at least most Americans, hope no one was seriously hurt.  This is how one loses a democracy because as bad as I and others think Republicans are, violence just begets violence.  One of the representatives at the GOP softball practice that was not shot, who, according to reports, was helping the wounded said this:

“My adrenaline is raging. It’s not easy to take when you see people around you being shot and you don’t have a weapon yourself.”

Softball uniforms with guns.  Perfect.  They will never see the connection between their hard hearted policies and more guns for an answer to everything. We still don’t know who the shooter was or what was his motive so all of this is just supposition.  But the irony here is ripe.  If it is a disgruntled constituent, it was not the Democrats who were pushing violence and 2nd amendment solutions to take back their country.  We will certainly get the both sides do it argument again, but after this election, that is hard to justify.  

All of this again plays into the ongoing brouhaha about Julius Caesar in the park:

Delta Air Lines and Bank of America drew headlines this week for pulling their support from New York’s Public Theater in response to criticism about its production of “Julius Caesar,” in which the titular character — made up to look like Mr. Trump — is assassinated.

Apparently most people only got the scene where they killed Caesar, not how it destroy the democracy they were trying to save, and let slip the dogs of war.  It is a warning tale not a prescription.  Oh, and whether you remember or not, a few years ago they had an Obama like character play Julius.  Where was the false outrage then?  It is just a dramatic ploy to try to make the play more contemporary for those who can’t draw the obvious lines.  Also clearly as even Ross Douthat noted:

The theater goers who show up to watch a Shakespeare play in Central Park are — I hope — not high on the Secret Service’s watch list. And the play’s tragic arc does not exactly make tyrannicide look like the wisest of strategies…

Enough said.  It is nice to know that companies like Delta and BofA are looking out for our best interests by dumbing us down.  Let’s talk North Korea.  Again it is truly sad about young Otto Warmbeir, but, and a big but, what was he thinking going to North Korea.  I spent some of my young life flying reconnaissance along the DMZ and I was well versed in just who they were.  Otto learned the hard way.  I cringe when I see his sobbing plea for leniency which of course they will not grant.  One, if one could, should spit in their eye and die quickly rather than be used as a pawn in their games. At least that was my thinking back in the day. I cannot recommend The Orphan Masters Son enough.  It is fiction and a fantasy, but captures the inhumanity and insanity perfectly.

Finally, just some  thoughts about Little Jeffy Sessions.  Little because of stature and heart, he is very little.  I think Frank Bruni caught it perfectly when he said:

But as I watched him, a flustered Gump in the headlights, I saw a broader story, a dark parable of bets misplaced and souls under siege. This is what happens when you draw too close to Trump.

You’re diminished at best, mortified at worst. You’ve either done work dirtier than you meant to or told fibs bigger than you ought to or been sullied by contact or been thrown to the wolves.

One day, you’re riding high on the myth of Trump as a transformative figure and reasoning that some tweaking of norms and maybe even breaking of rules are an inevitable part of the unconventional equation.

The next, you’re ensnared in his recklessness, at the mercy of his tempestuousness and quite possibly the butt of his rage…

And we as a nation, thanks to those who did not vote, voted third party, or were stupid enough to believe his lies, are also diminished at best.  When will this nightmare ever end?

A Sniveling Liar

I admit it.  I was playing golf this morning and missed the early hearing, but what I saw should disturb everyone.  Could not remember, not to my recollection, and can’t answer that because of executive privilege (which he cannot claim).  What I got was the Southern slow talk walk, run the clock out, answer another question, not the question asked.  It will come back to haunt him, thankfully.

Meanwhile most Republicans either wanted to change the subject to leakers or find alternate scenarios for Sessions behavior.  It was almost like they had planned out their questions with him.  I would think that we have a very serious problem and we would all be working to get answers and instead the Republicans continue to circle the wagons.  We should have a special investigative panel installed so we can end the crap.

But the thing we ought to focus on is this refusal to answer a question because it was a privileged communication with the President is a whole new alledged exemption to telling the story.  Only the president can claim executive privilege and he did not.  Sessions, and Coates and Rogers before him, are basically telling Congress that all conversations with the President are off-limits because someday he might claim it or has the right to claim it.  Does Congress really want that to stand?  Either the President asserts executive privilege and takes responsibility for having his lackeys not answer questions  or not, but his minions can’t do it for him.

Even if you are much less biased than I am, if you watch what is going on, Sessions telling us (and he is on the security council) that there have been no Russian incursion briefings in the White House, they are trying to cover something up.  It is now approaching screamingly obvious.  Hopefully if Mueller lasts, we will get to the bottom of it.  If he doesn’t, at that point even I take to the streets.

Just When You Thought It Could Not Get Any Stranger

Trump is thinking about firing the special counsel?  Deja vu!  Of course he is not a student of even recent history so he probably thinks Deja Vu is some French dish.  Now reasons for the firing are being thrown out by his minions.  Mueller is a friend of James Comey and is therefore biased.  He was appointed after Comey released his notes and therefore was a plot by Comey.  He is a Democratic plant and many of the people he is hiring gave money to the Obama Campaign. And on and on.

None of it makes any sense.  Everyone agreed this former FBI director who was appointed by Bush II is a straight shooter.  The investigation will go where it will and the truth and facts are what will make a case and is what is important here.  And that is the real reason the ViLic (Village Idiot/Liar in Chief) is considering firing him.  He is doing the job and the obvious truth will out.  It will be interesting to see if the Republicans sense a sinking ship and like rats, desert the ship, or will they circle the wagons knowing that by hitching their wagon to this buffoon in the early going lusting after their “agenda” could crush their party if the truth does will out.

Tomorrow we have Attorney General Jeff Sessions to testify in an open hearing.  I believe we will see whether they are circling the wagons or deserting the ship.  I can’t believe he will not assert executive privilege.  On the other hand he could deny all of Comey’s testimony and then the game is afoot.  Or he could try to rehabilitate himself (if that is possible) and just tell the truth.  Only in my dreams.