Posts tagged ‘impeachment’

By George I Think They’ve Got It!

Frank Bruni, NYT columnist and liberal, had a long column this morning on my favorite topic, Cheeto-head isn’t shrewd or strategic, he is really just a petulant child:

For all of the negative news coverage that he receives, there has also been a strand of analysis that insisted on, or at least sought, a silver lining to the golden-haired huckster. It reflected all the rationalizations that I heard from Americans who had voted for Trump or were willing themselves to see some upside to his election:

The tweets weren’t merely splenetic. They were strategic, providing distractions when he needed them most. He was amoral, sure, but that was part and parcel of his craftiness, which could do the country some good. He was a liar, yes, but the best deals and the bent truth often went hand in hand — and he was a deal maker above all. He flouted norms, but that might be precisely the purgative our politics needed.

Commentators strained to spot and savor any flicker of something more dignified. Remember the accolades for his address to a joint session of Congress? All he’d done was the commander-in-chief equivalent of chewing with his mouth closed.

…And when I picture him at that Time magazine dinner, with a portion bigger than anybody else’s, I don’t see him on a throne. I see him in a highchair, keeping his audience guessing about just how much ice cream he’ll fling against the wall.

Frank is talking about the reporter dinner where Cheeto-head got served something better than anyone else including two scoops of ice cream instead of the one everyone else got on their dessert.  But the point is there is nothing strategic in his wild outbursts.  They are not to unbalance his opponent for strategic advantage.  They are just wild outbursts.  That ought to really work well when we have a real crisis not caused by Cheeto-head himself.

But wait!  Conservatives are also joining the wake up call.  Here is Ross Douthat, conservative columnist for the NYT:

The reaction to the sacking of James Comey is the latest illustration. Far too many observers, left and right, persist in being surprised at Trump when nothing about his conduct is surprising, persist in looking for rationality where none is to be found, and persist in believing that some institutional force — party elders or convention delegates, the deep state or an impeachment process — is likely to push him off the stage.

…Childish behavior can still lead to abuses of power, of which the Comey firing will not be the last. But liberals need to accept that the strongest case for removing Trump from office is likely to remain a 25th Amendment case: not high crimes and misdemeanors, not collusion with the Russians, but a basic mental unfitness for the office that manifests itself in made-for-TV crises and self-inflicted wounds.

Here is Charles Sykes, conservative talk show host, on what has become of the Republican Party to be able to support the unsupportable:

Rather than defend President Trump’s specific actions, his conservative champions change the subject to (1) the biased “fake news” media, (2) over-the-top liberals, (3) hypocrites on the left, (4) anyone else victimizing Mr. Trump or his supporters and (5) whataboutism, as in “What about Obama?” “What about Clinton?”

For the anti-anti-Trump pundit, whatever the allegation against Mr. Trump, whatever his blunders or foibles, the other side is always worse.

But the real heart of anti-anti-Trumpism is the delight in the frustration and anger of his opponents. Mr. Trump’s base is unlikely to hold him either to promises or tangible achievements, because conservative politics is now less about ideas or accomplishments than it is about making the right enemies cry out in anguish.

…As the right doubles down on anti-anti-Trumpism, it will find itself goaded into defending and rationalizing ever more outrageous conduct just as long as it annoys CNN and the left.

In many ways anti-anti-Trumpism mirrors Donald Trump himself, because at its core there are no fixed values, no respect for constitutional government or ideas of personal character, only a free-floating nihilism cloaked in insult, mockery and bombast.

By George, I think they’ve got it!  And on that note I will leave you with a link to Laurence H. Tribe’s call for Cheeto-head’s impeachment. Laurence Tribe is a Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School, so he ought to know something about the subject. Here is his conclusion:

It will require serious commitment to constitutional principle, and courageous willingness to put devotion to the national interest above self-interest and party loyalty, for a Congress of the president’s own party to initiate an impeachment inquiry. It would be a terrible shame if only the mounting prospect of being voted out of office in November 2018 would sufficiently concentrate the minds of representatives and senators today.

But whether it is devotion to principle or hunger for political survival that puts the prospect of impeachment and removal on the table, the crucial thing is that the prospect now be taken seriously, that the machinery of removal be reactivated, and that the need to use it become the focus of political discourse going into 2018.

I can’t help but think that if you buy Charlie Sykes’ description of the new Republican Party where there are no principles just anti left anything, then Ross Douthat may have our only way forward, the 25th Amendment.  The guy is bat shit crazy.

How Did We Get Here?

By here I mean a President who is ethically and morally challenged, ignorant of history or our fundamental values, and we try to normalize him.  He has so many conflicts of interest it boggles the mind.  He just fired the person who was investigating him and seems to want to put Republican yes-men in his place. Loyalty to United States means loyalty to Donald Trump.  The very basis of democracy, a trust in our institutions and processes are being undermined at a hectic pace and the people who could do something, “proud” Republicans, do nothing.  We put a known racist and liar in charge of the Department of Justice*, and ethically challenged and climate change denier in charge of the EPA, a non scientist and who once said we should abolish the Department of Energy in charge of it, and a public educating hating and totally ignorant person in charge of public education. How did we get here?

Well first of all, there are no more “proud” Republicans except some pundits whose mind is clouded by the past that doesn’t exist anymore. Now I have spent lots of time in this blog explaining how middle America and Red States got dumbed down by a lazy press in bed with those they cover, being falsely fair and balanced claiming both sides do it, and a 50 year plan by conservative ideologues to take over the country.   But what I am talking about here is what happen to the Republican Party that no longer exists as a moderate conservative approach to government.

If you really want to understand this, look at it from 30,000 feet. Republicans won in 2000 by stealing an election and that set the tone for our next 17 years.  The tone set was winning is everything, whatever it takes.  The problem with that win in 2000 was when Republican ideas were actually implemented, we blew up the deficit with tax cuts, and eventually blew up the economy by removing regulations on banks.  All that is masked by the Afghanistan/Iraq war, but there it was.  Republican ideas simply did not work in a world economy. So in 2008, the country tried Barack Obama (Yes We Can!).  In the famous inauguration night meeting, Mitch McConnell and his Republican boys decided that they would do whatever it took to make Barack fail (No You Can’t!).  That was the end of the Republican Party as we knew it and the finally end to two-party governance.

That agreement was the stake in the heart of democracy because it went after the implicit contract we all live under, that we will abide by the vote, that ideas compete, and when you win election you get to try your ideas. If they could not be in charge they would ensure that no one else could run government. Republicans even turned their back on their own ideas if they were offered up by President Obama.  It got to be quite a joke.  And while spinning all the hate toward President Obama, they created the Tea Party, a right-wing, racist, nationalistic party that hardened the ideology.  The Tea Party, although a minority of Republicans, held the key to getting elected and the party swung further right and ideological.

Here is the fact that most people who call themselves Republicans (not politicians) have yet to grasp evidence by the fact that they are still Republicans:  The Republican Party is no more the party of small government, low taxes, and few regulations, with the caveat that rational logic told them that sometimes one size does not fit all and they had to compromise.    They are the party of the status quo, the rich, and continuing growing economic inequality.

Those people who were principled are gone forever, and what is left is a sniveling group of politicians led by Mitch McConnell that is terrified of their base, trapped by ideological beliefs that are fundamentally flawed, and gave up principled thinking many years ago.  Their only goal is to stay in office and to take total control of government and ensure that when things go south, democracy no longer functions so they are sent home.

That is where here is.  The Republican Party holds both houses of Congress and the Presidency, sort of.  They can now finally implement their agenda**. But there is a fly in ointment.  Donald Trump.  It is clear there was Russian interference in our elections although just this week Cheeto-head raised doubts about believing that. It is also becoming clear that there was some sort of collusion with his campaign and maybe his administration.  He has left the normal ethics of conflicts of interest out in the cold.  He has done morally reprehensible actions, and now he is trying to kill the investigation into his administration.  And Republicans, those “proud” Americans who wear their lapel pins so proudly and wave the Constitution every chance they get, they do nothing.  And now you know why.

We have faced threats throughout our history from the British, to the Civil War, to Communism, the Cold War, and now terrorism, but who would have thought that the real threat to our country was going to be from within, from the “proud” Republican Party that is now just a bunch of fanatical ideologues who are tearing down our Constitution in the name of conservative ideas.  Yes Virginia, Republicans are evil. So are people who vote for them when the truth is for everyone to see if only they will look.

*Sessions want to clamp down on Mary Jane and get tough on drug offenders again.  Turn back the clock, forget what we have learned and do more stupid stuff.

**They had their first chance on healthcare and the answer is, there is no conservative, market place fix for Obamacare.  So they either consider a single payer or deny millions healthcare.  They still haven’t faced that reality yet and there is no Republican plan.

Any Questions?

Executive Summary:  We (they) elected a crass, ignorant, pathological liar who is debasing (Timothy Egan used debase this morning and I like the ring to it) our culture and assaulting the very foundations of our democracy and the Republicans do nothing, decrying partisianship and describing brave loyal Americans as political hacks.

All it took was Cheeto-head deciding to take over messaging (lying) from his professional White House communications (lying) staff and he spilled the beans for all of us to see.  I am talking about his interview with Lester Holt of NBC where he basically spilled the beans.  Even if you are heartless, don’t care about destroying the planet (pollution and global warming),want to throw people off healthcare, and lust for packing the court with conservatives (Republicans), at this point one would think they could not see their place in history rapidly catching up to those who enabled Hitler.

So what did he do?  Well first he threw everyone in the White House under the bus  and showed they were lying (maybe on his orders) by admitting that he fired Comey because of his handling of the Russia investigation.  He fired the guy who is investigating him::

“And in fact, when I decided to just do it [fire Comey], I said to myself, I said, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story,’ It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won…I was going to fire Comey — my decision. I was going to fire regardless of recommendation.”

So all the stories being told by the White House were made up lies including the Comey handling of Hillary’s investigation.  It was always about Russia from his own mouth.  Now a couple of things here.  We now have a White House Press corps who does not just try to spin the facts to put their guy in the best light, they lie repeatedly and have lost all credibility.  Forget the Hillary thing and the next lie, that Comey lost the respect of his troops.  We now have a White House who no one trusts a word they say.  Think about that.  The leader of the free world has a White House that looks like incompetent Keystone cops who lie as frequently as Russian Television (RT).

Second, we now have Cheeto-head admitting he fired Comey because of the Russia investigation.  He wants it to go away.  Let’s see, what is that called? Obstruction of justice?  This is not just “improper”, it is against everything we believe in.  It undermines the rule of law and our institutions.  It is an attack on the very foundation of democracy, trust and faith in our processes and institutions.  And they impeached Bill Clinton for lying about sex.  Seems kind of trivial now.  Cheeto-head lies about everything, is unstable, and tried to obstruct the investigation into the Russian connection and the Republicans are just “troubled”?

Then there was his description of the Comey meeting at a dinner where Cheeto-head described it as Comey pleading for his job:

Mr. Trump said Mr. Comey had reassured him first at a private dinner, and then during two phone conversations. He acknowledged that he had directly asked if he was being investigated.

“I said, ‘If it’s possible, would you let me know if I’m under investigation?’” Mr. Trump said. “He said, ‘You are not under investigation.’”

The admission raised questions on Thursday among reporters, who asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the deputy White House press secretary, whether it was inappropriate for the president to ask the F.B.I. director whether he was under investigation. “No, I don’t believe it is,” Ms. Sanders said.

The president said Mr. Comey requested the dinner early in his administration to ask to keep his job. That would be an unusual — and perhaps unnecessary — step for an F.B.I. director, who by law is appointed for a 10-year term. Mr. Comey was four years into his term when Mr. Trump was inaugurated.

“He wanted to stay on as the F.B.I. head,” Mr. Trump said. “I said: ‘I’ll consider. We’ll see what happens.’ But we had a very nice dinner and at that time, he told me I wasn’t under investigation, which I knew anyway.”

Imagine a gangster having a polite dinner with the chief of police and he says he can keep his job as long as he keeps his nose out of the gangster’s business.  That is exactly what was going on from this description.  There are no more ethical standards and the Republicans do nothing.  It started with Cheeto-head’s conflicts of interest and now we are down to raw thuggery and the Republicans do nothing.

Comey let it be know that this not how things went at all:

Comey has told associates, the F.B.I. director was summoned to the White House for a one-on-one dinner with the new commander in chief.

As they ate, the president and Mr. Comey made small talk about the election and the crowd sizes at Mr. Trump’s rallies. The president then turned the conversation to whether Mr. Comey would pledge his loyalty to him.

Mr. Comey declined to make that pledge. Instead, Mr. Comey has recounted to others, he told Mr. Trump that he would always be honest with him, but that he was not “reliable” in the conventional political sense.

Who to believe, the pathological liar or the guy who over moralizes everything?  And in either version we have the gangster to the politician basically saying forget your oath to the Constitution, be loyal to me and you can keep your job.  Welcome to the Trump Administration.  This morning Cheeto-head is tweeting that there might be tapes and warning Comey to not make anymore statements.  Free speech anyone, or is free and truth only defined by Cheeto-head.  I hope they do have tapes, but of course they don’t.  Either way, we will see Cheeto-head as the thug he is.

This morning Cheeto-head gave us this on twitter:

“As a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with perfect accuracy!”

“Maybe, the best thing to do would be to cancel all future ‘press briefings’ and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy???”

Free speech is what he says it is, not to mention what is truth.  How did we get here?  Oh, and he is forming a commission to look into voter fraud and suppression.  There isn’t any fraud and the suppression is an attempt to deny minorities the right to vote.  This is another attempt to further undermine our democracy and our institutions.

So we are back to my Executive Summary:  We have a moron and a thug as president undermining the very foundation of democracy and we are becoming the laughing stock of the world. Kiss your exceptionalism goodbye.  How low can we go.  Impeach the bastard. Oh, and Republicans are gutless evil bastards.

Supreme Court Rulings

Well women, you may be intimidated going to a perfectly legal medical procedure. I am sorry, this is not free speech and the ruling does not address the root problem which is violent intimidation. Do not women have the right not to have someone in their face? The buffer zone came from just such intimidating behavior, and yet the Supreme Court looked at this as having a quiet conversation. Do these people live in the real world? I guess the only response is for people who support these women’s right to choose to escort them in and confront the confronters.

On the Recess appointments, the Republicans may rue the day they did this (assuming there is ever again a Republican President). But the real problem is a very broken Senate and of course, obstructionist Republicans. Time to end the filibuster once and for all. Again, the Supreme Court took the easy road and limited the Presidents power without addressing the real problem, but in this case, there was no way they could. It is the rules of the Senate that is the problem and it is time Democrats sucked it up and fixed them.

The one thing I worry about is with the ruling on the President’s power, the door is now open to impeachment and the crazies will take it. Here is the President trying to find any way he can to appoint people to run the government and the Republicans doing whatever they can to make him fail, so now they want to impeach him. Our government is no longer functional. Oh, and Republicans are evil.

It’s Back!

Apparently the Heritage Foundation weighed in with the crazies and told them to gut Obamacare, so Boehner had to pull his already conservative hostage taking bill.  Now that should tell you one thing:  They want to crash the government.  The denial of any semblence of rationality should be gone.  Now there are only two options, put up the clean Senate CR and debt limit bill or crash the government.  Wonder what gutless Boehner will do?

As I noted earlier, their plan was probably always to crash the government, hope President Obama steps up to extend the debt limit under the 14th amendment, and then try to impeach him (and they have the crazy votes to do it).  Well hang on to your hats, here we go.

Are We Moving Toward A Violent Future?

I can’t help wondering this: Are the Republicans pushing the country toward violence? No, I am not talking about the right wing that has been talking subtle violence and revolution for years, I am talking about the liberals and progressives finally revolting. When a large majority of people lose hope that their government represents them or even the common will, then conditions become ripe for revolution and we may just be moving in that direction because of extremism on the right.

It is clear that the Republicans no longer represent the will of the majority of people. They have tried to destroy a legitimate presidency and the voting public through the use of the filibuster. When you look at the Senate, states with small populations elect the right wing nuts who have the same power as the Senators from populous states like California or New York. The House is controlled by Republicans elected by a minority of the people. There were 1.4 million more votes for Democrats than Republicans in the last election, yet they control the House. There is a minority of Republicans in the House pushing ever more extreme policies. The country is bifurcating into the urban and well educated coastal voters, and shall I say it, the stupids in the red states.

Add to this the disenfranchisement of most of our population as wealth migrates to the 1%. The economic inequality has developed into two interest groups, the wealthy and the middle class, and the power through money is focused in the 1%. One has to wonder why businesses support Republicans when much of what they are doing right now is hurting our economy. I think Paul Krugman nailed that in a blog last week:

But here’s the thing: while the modern GOP is bad for business, it’s arguably good for wealthy business leaders. After all, it keeps their taxes low, so that their take-home pay is probably higher than it would be under better economic management…

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