Friday, May 12, 2017

Trump's Big CON: The Beginning of the End

UPDATE:  Trump doesn't know it, but he is done.

"It’s the moment Stephen Colbert has been waiting for.

CBS’s “Late Show” host has spent months eviscerating President Trump on television, clearly trying to provoke a reaction.

It didn’t work. Until Thursday."

Read the Washington Post, Stephen Colbert gleefully responds to President Trump calling him a ‘no-talent guy’.

Better yet, watch it:

I got this from a Southern "conservative", who got it from social media:

In the past, when the President needed to be protected, the Secret Service would say "Get down Mr. President."

Now they say "Donald Duck!"

If conservatives, his core supporters, are telling jokes about The Donald, it's only a matter of time.

Watch for Republi-CONs to realize the utter seriousness of the situation and start to abandon The Donald.

Or it might be Hedgehog News.

In either case, it's the beginning of the end.

Trump's Big CON: The Comey Conspiracy and Russian Agent Coverup

UPDATE V: Trump must go!

Read the Washington Post, Trump reportedly sought a loyalty pledge from Comey. The FBI says this ‘leads to tyranny.’

UPDATE IV:  "Possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign was once little more than a conspiracy theory, but not anymore. The only way to make sense of this week’s stunning events is to conclude that there is something that President Trump desperately wants to hide. . .

Trump claims to have no business ties with Russia. But in the past, his sons have reportedly bragged about a flood of Russian money boosting the Trump Organization’s fortunes. Trump could settle the question by fully disclosing his finances, including his tax returns. Why the secrecy?

If Trump wanted to end this scrutiny by firing Comey, he may have had the opposite effect. Ask yourself one question: Have you ever seen a coverup with no underlying crime? Neither have I."

Read the Washington Post, Trump seems to be staging a coverup. So what’s the crime?

As I noted before, Trump is trying to hide that he is a Russian agent, he "may be an unwitting agent, but Putin has the kompromat to control Trump, and Trump knows it since he knows his own compromising financial and personal information."

And the more the FBI learns, the more it appears, there was nothing unwitting about it.

At the very least, Trump has been helping Russian mobsters launder dirty money.

UPDATE III:  "This was always the main question: Would President Trump go beyond mere Twitter abuse and move against institutions that limit his power?

By any reasonable standard, we now have an answer.

Trump’s official rationale for firing FBI Director James B. Comey — that the president was suddenly seized with outrage at the shocking treatment of Hillary Clinton by the FBI during the election — is false in a typically Trump-like way. It requires his supporters to demonstrate their loyalty by defending the indefensible. This is apparently the manner in which Trump identifies true believers. They must be willing, when instructed, to say that 2+2=5. On cable television.

In fact, according to media accounts, Trump has been in a spittle-flinging rage since Comey’s March 20 testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, in which he confirmed the existence of an investigation of Russian influence on Trump’s inner circle. On May 2, Trump tweeted that the 'Trump/Russia story' is 'phony.' On May 9, Trump fired Comey. The president removed a perceived threat, threw an active FBI investigation into chaos and raised the prospect of a Trump stooge being appointed in Comey’s place. (The correct answer is 4.)

All of this is consistent with — even mandated by — Trump’s contempt for institutions. He has called the FBI investigation process 'rigged.' If the system is dirty, only a fool would not play by the same rules. This is the logic of conspiratorial disdain for government. An independent, nonpolitical FBI? What a joke. It is all political. And politics is power. And power is making people do what you want, or destroying those who get in your way. The gospel according to Nixon. . .

Republicans often talk of judicial restraint; less, recently, of presidential restraint. Presidential limits are often found in norms, not laws — what Lord Moulton called 'obedience to the unenforceable.'

But Trump seems to take pleasure in throwing acid into the face of convention. In his calls to lock up his electoral opponent; in his wink and a nod toward violence at his rallies; in his groundless accusations of being spied upon by his predecessor; in his Twitter taunting of congressional leaders; in his bold and obvious lies; in his dehumanization of migrants and refugees. Grace, dignity, empathy, integrity and kindness are stripped away, leaving the emperor naked but incapable of shame. Trump is the spendthrift of our public character, squandering an inheritance he does not understand or value."

Read the Washington Post, The real test of our tolerance for Trump comes now.

UPDATE II:  Trump can't stop talking.

And since he's not very smart, it only means trouble.

Read the Washington Post, Trump said he was thinking of Russia controversy when he decided to fire Comey.

UPDATE:  Speaking of inconsistent explanation for firing Comey:

Read the Washington Post, Trump says he was going to fire ‘showboat’ Comey regardless of recommendation.

Read also the Washington Post, President Trump just decimated the White House’s entire Comey narrative, which stated:

"I wrote Wednesday that the White House’s explanations for firing James B. Comey were crumbling. Well, President Trump just exploded them.

In one fell swoop, Trump totally contradicted his three top spokespeople and offered a polar-opposite version of events than they had provided.

After they had spent the past 45 hours emphasizing that this was a decision Trump arrived at after receiving a memo and recommendation from Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, Trump just blurted out that he was going to fire Comey all along. Basically, he admitted the memo was a ruse and a political ploy. . .

It’s clear that the White House wanted to use Rosenstein’s credibility, built up over three decades in law enforcement, to make this decision look apolitical. This made it seem like it wasn’t just the president unilaterally firing the guy who was investigating his 2016 campaign's ties to Russia. This was actually a talking point and narrative that was intended to protect Trump.

But then Trump himself told us the truth."

"Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation. . .

[Yet] Sessions consulted with the president and coordinated the firing of James Comey. . .

Sessions may have some explanation for why he chose to participate in the firing of Comey. But the attorney general may now be in considerable legal peril."

Read the Washington Post, Jeff Sessions is in deep trouble, and here’s why.

Trump's Big CON: What's He Hiding: Is Trump a Russian Agent? (CONt., Part 2)

UPDATE IV:  During the campaign I sometimes wondered whether The Donald was a staged caricature of the Democratic imagination of the typically stupid and hypocritcal Republi-CON politician.

Now I'm beginning to believe Republi-CONs really are that stupid.

"The pictures from the Oval Office on Wednesday — published by a Tass photographer, as no U.S. media were present — are jolly and good-humored. President Trump, who fired his FBI director a day earlier, is grinning for the cameras and shaking hands with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, and the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov. They, too, smile and laugh, relishing the many ironies of the moment.

Have a close look at those happy faces; keep the images in your head. Then turn your attention just for a moment to the story of Ildar Dadin, an unusually brave young Russian. Dadin was arrested in Moscow in 2015, one of the first to fall victim to a harsh new Russian law against dissent. His crime was to have protested peacefully and repeatedly, mostly by standing silently in the street with a sign around his neck.

Dadin was sentenced to three years in prison in Karelia, the northwestern province that was once home to the White Sea Canal, one of the most infamous prison camps in Stalin’s Soviet Union. Far away from the capital, he discovered that torture, of a kind also practiced in Stalin’s Soviet Union, was still in use. In Karelia, guards throw a prisoner into an isolation cell as soon as they arrive, Dadin has written, 'so that he understands straight away what hell he’s got into.' Later, he was hung up by his arms, which were handcuffed behind his back. Others in Karelian prisons were beaten on the soles of their feet, drenched with water and left in the cold, beaten on the back and stomach. . .

Neither Trump, nor Lavrov, nor Kislyak is remotely interested in the fate of Dadin or Dmitriev, if they have even heard of them, which seems unlikely. Nor are any of them much interested in the fate of Dan Heyman, the West Virginia reporter arrested recently for persistent questioning of Tom Price, the health and human services secretary. Due process, rule of law, all of the dull rules and procedures that deliver justice are uninteresting to men who believe in personalized power unconstrained by traditions, institutions or constitutions. Look at how pleased they were to see one another — and compare those pictures with Trump’s stiff and awkward news conferences with democratic leaders such as Germany’s Angela Merkel or Britain’s Theresa May.

I know that investigations should continue, but let’s be clear: Russia would have needed no inducements or collusion to support Trump’s election campaign. His personality is the kind they understand, his cynicism and his dishonesty are familiar, his greed is the same as their greed. Above all, his lack of respect for the law is their lack of respect for the law. Trump fired the FBI director to get him off his television screen; Russian police lock up dissidents to get them out of public view. No, it’s not the same thing. But it’s not that different either.

Read the Washington Post, Don’t forget those smiling images of Trump and the Russians.

UPDATE III:  "Republicans wound up with Trump as their president by marinating themselves in a stew of half-truths, conspiracy theories and self-delusion. They are doing so again as they desperately grab for excuses and explanations to account for egregiously inappropriate behavior. When the Senate majority leader and the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal sound indistinguishable from Sean Hannity in their specious rationalizations, you know the right is intellectually and morally exhausted."

Read the Washington Post, Here are the three dumbest defenses of Comey’s firing.

Read also the Washington Post, The White House explanations for Comey’s firing are crumbling before our eyes.

Then read also the Washington Post, Mitch McConnell may be making the most important mistake of his career, which states:

"Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is one of the shrewdest politicians of his generation. But by speaking Wednesday on the Senate floor in defense of President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James B. Comey, McConnell made what is likely to stand as the most important mistake of his long political career.

The Kentucky Republican, who is measured and calculating about everything, should have known better. He chose to ally himself with a man who becomes unhinged whenever the subject of his campaign’s possible collusion with Russian interference in our election arises.

Removing the leader of the nation’s top law-enforcement agency while he was in the middle of an investigation that could touch the president should — no matter what your view — call forth seriousness, sobriety and thoughtfulness. When critics can legitimately wonder if it is part of an effort to obstruct justice, a president would do well to treat the matter in a reflective way."

UPDATE II:  "For all the talk about the unusual nature of President Trump’s decision to fire James Comey, it actually fits comfortably into a well-established pattern that has defined this presidency from its very first day. Trump makes an emotional, impulsive assertion or decision — and then his underlings are forced into a wild scramble to produce a rationale or justification for it.

In this pattern, the decision or assertion often originated in the same place — deep in the recesses of Trump’s entangled megalomania and sneaking dread of the illegitimacy of his presidency. And the Comey firing, it turns out, may not be an exception to this."

Read the Washington Post, The White House’s laughable spin about Comey now lies in smoking ruins, which notes Trump's pathological obsession with the manner and margin of his election victory, and Comey's failure to support him on that issue.

You might remember, during the election Trump's pathological obsession was about the size of  his hands.

Read also the Washington Post, Why Trump expected only applause when he told Comey, ‘You’re fired.’, which highlights examples of how:

"Donald Trump has always acted in the moment, with little regard for the past and proud contempt for the way things are usually done" . . . [and]

"His family coat of arms, a regal symbol featuring a lion and a knight’s helmet, carries this Latin motto: 'Numquam Concedere.'

'Never Concede.'"

UPDATE:  After all the inconsistent explanations by the The Donald and his sycophant, still confused?

It will all be perfectly understandable after you read the Washington Post:

Comey sought more resources for Russia probe days before he was fired by President Trump, officials say and

 With Comey’s dismissal, the Russia investigation will soon be run by Trump allies, which notes that:

The intelligence agencies’ directors will be Trump appointees . . .

The Justice Department leaders are Trump appointees . . . [and]

Trump’s party controls Congress

The Donald fired FBI Director James Comey, who was, among other things, investigating a connection between Trump's campaign and Russia.


Because as I noted before, Trump is a Russian agent, he "may be an unwitting agent, but Putin has the kompromat to control Trump, and Trump knows it since he knows his own compromising financial and personal information."

And the more the FBI learns, the more it appears, there was nothing unwitting about it.

Read the Washington Post:

From Clinton emails to alleged Russian meddling in election: The events leading up to Comey’s firing,

Firing FBI director Comey is already backfiring on Trump. It’s only going to get worse., which noted the "[t]o put it mildly, the optics of firing Comey are terrible. Trump looks like he does not actually want to get to the bottom of Russia’s interference in the U.S. election and the potential wrongdoing of his own staffers."

The weird moment on Colbert’s show that captured our political whiplash, which noted The Donald's freudian slip:

"It will go down in history as having a museum-worthy second paragraph: 'While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.' . .

It is rare for a single sentence to so thoroughly encapsulate one man’s current psyche, and to become such an immediate artifact of the time in which it was written. The letter was grandiose and insecure, highly specific but provided no checkable details. Trump used it to defend himself against Comey’s firing before anybody had asked for a defense."

Trump surrogates are trying to explain Comey’s firing. It’s not going well.

Trump has crossed a once-unthinkable red line, which noted that:

"Since President Richard Nixon forced the resignations of the attorney general and deputy attorney general in 1973 in protest to his order to dismiss a special prosecutor investigating the White House, all senior Justice Department officials have known that there could come a time when they would stand before history and face a defining test: Would they have the courage to say no to a president determined to subvert the bedrock independence of federal law enforcement?

On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein failed this test. By providing President Trump with the cover to fire FBI Director James B. Comey, they betrayed the Justice Department’s long-standing tradition of independence. In doing so, they sent a message to every career prosecutor and investigator working beneath them that they put the president’s personal and political interests ahead of the department’s integrity."

Did Trump already blow his own cover story about Comey’s firing?, which lists the inconsistent explanations for the firing.

Read also:

Trump's Big CON: What's He Hiding: Is Trump a Russian Agent? and

Trump's Big CON: What's He Hiding: Is Trump a Russian Agent? (Cont.)