trump 2020: never indicted!

Jesus suffering fuck. I’m already seeing folks declaring Comrade Trump is going to be re-elected because of AG Bill Barr’s summary of the Mueller report.

Take a breath, people. Remember who Bill Barr is. Last year he was a lawyer with Kirkland & Ellis (the firm that also employed Brett Kavanaugh, Robert Bork, Ken Starr, and several lawyers now serving in the Trump administration). Last June Barr wrote an unsolicited 19 page memo to Rod Rosenstein (who oversaw the Mueller investigation) arguing that Mueller’s approach to investigation possible obstruction of justice by Trump was ‘fatally misconceived’ and ‘legally insupportable.’ He said Mueller shouldn’t even be allowed to interview Comrade Trump.

And hey, what a surprise, Trump picked Bill Barr to be his new Attorney General. So having spent part of his weekend reading the report of Mueller’s two-year investigation, Barr concluded he was right last June. He agreed with himself; no obstruction of justice. In other words, Bill Barr did the job he was hired to do: he protected Trump.

Republicans toss confetti, set off fireworks, wear party hats. Democrats weep, rend their garments, cast themselves into the Pit of Despair. And the news media, bless their simple little hearts, repeat that narrative and cast it into the cement blocks Democrats will use to drown themselves.

Trump 2020: Never Indicted!

I totally understand why folks are disheartened and glum. We have a corrupt president supported by corrupt administrators put in place by corrupt senators. But remember this: we haven’t even seen the actual Mueller report yet. We don’t know what it says. But we know this:

  • in the course of the Mueller investigation, grand juries and federal judges approved 2,800 subpoenas, 500 search warrants, and 50 pen registers to gather evidence, which we haven’t seen.
  • that evidence resulted in 199 criminal charges against 34 individuals and three companies.
  • seven of those individuals were either members of Trump’s presidential campaign team or closely associated with Trump’s campaign — all of whom have either pled guilty, gone to prison, or are still awaiting trial.
  • at least six other individuals were referred to career prosecutors in the DoJ on related criminal matters; there may be other referrals that haven’t been made public.

Those facts would end any other administration. But there are other investigations still progressing out there. Comrade Trump may have dodged this particular bullet (and ‘may‘ is the operative term), but he’s still facing a whole lot of trouble.

For example, there’s the New York Attorney General’s Office, which is investigating:

  • allegations of illegal operations by the Donald J. Trump Foundation
  • allegations of tax fraud by the Trump family and the Trump Organization
  • allegations of tax evasion by the Trump family and the Trump Organization

And there’s the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, which is investigating:

  • irregular Political Action Committee activity by the Trump campaign and by Rebuild America
  • matters relating to Russian intelligence operative Maria Butina and her interactions with the National Rifle Association
  • allegations of violations of the Emoluments Clause of the US Constitution by Comrade Trump and the Trump Organization
  • irregular spending by the Trump Inaugural Committee

And there’s the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, which is investigating:

  • the Russian disinformation campaigns
  • improper Turkish influence in the Trump campaign and administration

And, of course, there’s the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which is investigating:

  • various violations of campaign finance laws
  • unregistered foreign lobbying

So even though Comrade Trump and his fluffers are celebrating the end of one investigation, there’s still a metric ton of ugly fetid shit hanging over his head. Some of it’s going to land on him. He may survive his first term, but he’s going to have a hard time convincing anybody but his most loyal supporters that Trump 2020: Never Indicted! is a winning campaign slogan.

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guilty af

Okay, so Robert Mueller has punched his time card. He’s done his job. He’s going home, he’s gonna kick off his shoes, crack open a cold one, and sit on the porch with his dog, and later catch up on Game of Thrones. Well done, Bobby Three Sticks.

But today we don’t know what’s in his report (and more importantly, what’s not in his report) and a whole lot of folks are freaking out. People need to follow Mueller’s example. Take off your shoes, have a drink, relax a bit. There’ll be work ahead and plenty of freaking-out time to come. But let’s not forget that regardless of what’s in/not in the Mueller report, there’s one thing we know with mathematical certainty.

Comrade Trump is guilty as fuck. Guilty of a wide range of crimes and misdeeds. Guilty in a legal sense, in an ethical sense, in a moral sense, and in a spiritual sense.

This is what we know:

  • For years Putin’s Russia has been cultivating right-wing, hate-inspired political groups in democratic nations. He’s done this with semi-legitimate business transactions with right-wing leaders, he’s funneled money to right-wing groups through illegal donations, and he’s used both traditional and social media to spread propaganda supporting right-wing leaders and to create division in opposition groups. He’s done this in France, in Italy, in Great Britain, and of course in the U.S.
  • Prior to the 2016 presidential campaign, most of Comrade Trump’s financial support came from Russian banks or banks with close ties to Russia. In addition, many of Trump’s most expensive condos and apartments were sold to Russian oligarchs and folks with ties to Russian organized crime–sales often made in cash.
  • Before and during the 2016 election season, Trump was negotiating to build Trump Tower Moscow. He also sought to build Trump Towers in the former Soviet Republics of Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. He lied when he said he had no business matters involving Russia.
  • Around the same time Trump announced he was running for POTUS, Russian hacker teams began phishing operations targeting the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Other Russian intel operations targeted social media in an effort to support Trump, suppress Democratic voting, and create dissent within the Democratic Party.
  • Many folks on Trump’s campaign team (Flynn, Manafort, Stone, Gates, Page, Ross) had major business interests in Russia during the campaign and after the election.
  • After Trump won the nomination, the only change his team made in the Republican Party Platform was to water down opposition to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and Crimea.
  • During the campaign and during the transition period, members of the Trump team met with Russian government officials and operative more than 100 times, and initially lied about–or failed to report–those meetings.
  • Since his election, Trump has revealed classified information to the Russians in the Oval Office, stalled the implementation of sanctions against Russia, denied Russian interference in the election, fired the head of the FBI who was investigating that interference, met privately (without staff and without any record) with Putin on at least three occasions, openly stated he believed Putin rather than the US intelligence community, defended the 1980 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, denigrated the NATO alliance (created to provide a collective defense against Soviet/Russian aggression), and continuously undermined the Special Counsel’s investigation.

That’s what WE know. That’s what’s in the public record. That’s what anybody who reads the news can know. Mueller knows more. The other investigations into Trump criminality and malfeasance will know more than we do as well. And that’s just the Russia stuff. Trump criminality is a LOT wider than that.

We also knew Mueller wouldn’t indict Comrade Trump. I mean, he basically said that at the beginning; he said he’d abide by the Department of Justice memorandum that said a sitting president couldn’t be indicted. So there’s no point in whinging about that. Still, Mueller has indicted, convicted or gotten guilty pleas from 34 people and three companies. That ain’t bad.

Again, it’s important to remember that Mueller’s investigation was limited to Russian interference in the 2016 election. Yeah, there was a provision for him to look into “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation,” but it seems he interpreted that as “I guess I’ll just hand the stuff that’s not directly linked to Russia to other prosecutorial agencies.” Which he did.

But here’s the thing: we’re not done. Mueller’s report is just one step on the path to restoring some semblance of normality and lawfulness to US politics. We’ve still got lots of other investigations churning away. We’ve still got a long, ugly way to go. There are a lot of Trumps and a shit-ton of Trump criminality to look at.

We probably won’t ever get real justice, but I firmly believe that eventually some of those fuckers will end up disgraced and shunned — and hopefully in orange jumpsuits. Because c’mon, they’re guilty as fuck.

[orders beer]

— I mean, this Chinese massage parlor sex thing?
— What about it?
— I mean, well, it’s an actual thing. It sounds like a bad movie, but there’s an actual Chinese massage parlor sex thing. Young Chinese women living in the US as sex slaves, what the hell, you know?
— I know.
— I mean, we’ve got President But Her Emails nattering like a nutjob about South American gangs bringing bound and gagged women over the border five or six at a time in the backs of vans, and ten miles north you’ve got actual real no-shit sex trafficking going on.
— Yep.
— I mean, it’s not just rub-and-tug wink-and-nod stuff, it’s actual sexual slavery. Also money laundering. On, like, a massive scale.
— Sure looks that way.
— I mean, the woman who started the massage parlor sex thing? She’s, like, an Asian MAGA queen or something. Donates money to President Witch Hoax, joins his golf club, takes selfies with every Republican big hat she can stand next to.
— I know.
— I mean, she actually runs a business that promises to sell access to President No Collusion to Chinese businessmen, some of whom may not actually be businessmen at all, if you know what I mean.
— I know what you mean.
— I mean, you know, Chinese intelligence agents. Operatives. Whatever they’re called.
— Yes, I already said I know what you mean.
— I mean, this is, like, a national fucking security issue. It’s not just your basic influence peddling, introducing businessmen to President I Never Paid Hush Money to a Porn Star, stuff like that. This could be some serious national security problems.
— It could.
— I mean, like, let’s say there’s an owner of a popular sports team who’s a buddy of President Did You See the Size of My Inauguration Crowd, and has been getting handjobs at a strip mall. Chinese agent, operative, whatever, says “Sure would be nice if IBM was allowed to share some tech secrets with China, maybe you should mention that to your buddy the president.”
— Does IBM still exist?
— NOT THE FUCKING POINT.
— Okay.
— I mean, that could happen. We know President I Won 380 Electoral Votes is easily manipulated by flattery, right? So it’s possible Chinese agents…
— Operatives…
— Whatever. I mean, it’s actually possible they could shape foreign policy just by leaning on some influential jamoke whose been getting his chicken choked down at the Flowers of Szechuan Spa, right?
— That’s what I’d do if I was a Chinese agent. Operative. Whatever.
— I mean, c’mon, shape foreign policy, peddle influence, AND make some serious coin all at the same time?
— It’s the Chinese version of the Russian model of the criminal American Dream.
— I mean, all it would take to work is somebody like President I Hire the Best People sitting in the Oval Office.
— And then there’s Russia.
— I mean, Russia, fuck me with a chainsaw. Russia. Let’s not even talk about Russia right now.
— [sigh]
— [deep sigh]
— [orders beer]

pants on fire

For a decade Michael Cohen was Comrade Trump’s fixer — the guy he went to in order to get ugly shit done. Pay off a porn star, bully a business partner, threaten a reporter, kill an unflattering story. If ugly shit needed to be done, Cohen was willing to do it. He was actually proud of his ability to ‘protect’ Trump from the consequences of whatever ugly shit Trump had done. By any moral or ethical standard, Michael Cohen is a flaming asshole.

But yesterday, through the magic of hypocrisy fueled by stupidity, the Republicans on the House Oversight Committee actually managed to make Michael Cohen look like a sympathetic figure. The Republicans, like Cohen for the last ten years, were hoping to ‘protect’ Trump from ugly shit. Unlike Cohen, they weren’t very good at it.

Their approach was flawed. It depended almost exclusively on 1) attacking Cohen’s credibility, 2) yelling at him, and 3) arguing the hearing itself was a waste of time. Here’s why that didn’t work. First, Cohen entered the hearing room and set his own pants on fire. He baldly stated Comrade Trump was a racist, a con man, and a cheater. Then he said, “And yet I continued to work for him.” Boom. The most effective line of the hearing. It was effective because it was in the past tense, because it implied “I’m done working for him.” You can’t damage a person’s credibility when that person openly shreds it himself and says, “Lies got me into this mess, lies can’t get me out of it, believe me or don’t believe me, all I have left is the truth as I see it, and here it is.” It was a raw admission by Cohen. But I don’t think it would have been as effective if the Republicans hadn’t been such dicks.

Second, yelling at Cohen was pointless and massively stupid. You yell at people to rattle them, to make them so upset they can’t think straight, to keep them off-balance. But c’mon, Cohen worked for Trump for a decade. He’s been yelled at by the best. The yelling only served to make the Republicans look more dickish.

Third, a number of Republicans used their allotted five minutes to claim the hearing itself was taking them away from more important matters. Instead of wasting valuable Congressional time talking to a known liar about the possible criminality of the President of the United States, they claimed the committee should focus on the gang members of MS13 who are storming the Southern border bringing in drugs and disease in an effort to weaken Americans by giving free late-term abortions to people who believe in climate change. Or something like that. Seriously, some of those people are off their meds.

There’s another reason the Republicans failed yesterday. They didn’t even try to claim Comrade Trump was innocent of any wrongdoing. They didn’t even try. Seven hours of testimony and questioning, and not once did the House Republicans attempt to defend their president. Not once.

Were the Democrats any better? Surprisingly, yes. I mean, sure, there were a few mooks trying to score political points or get in a soundbite they thought would play well on their local news station, but most of the Democrats were actually prepared and focused. Most of them asked at least one intelligent question.

Here’s something else to think about. Yesterday we only heard testimony about the stuff Cohen could talk about in a public hearing. There’s more stuff he can only discuss with members of Congress in closed sessions. Stuff he’s only allowed to discuss with the folks building a criminal case against Trump.

And in other news, Comrade Trump, the current President of These United States, is returning to the US after the failure of his second summit with Kim Jong-Un, the North Korean dictator who has been starving his own people, and who had his own brother assassinated using a nerve agent in a busy airport, and who ordered his uncle Jang Song Thaek (and his uncle’s aides) to be executed with a damned anti-aircraft gun (after which they were reportedly dismembered and fed to dogs), and who had his uncle’s children AND grandchildren executed (though not, apparently, fed to dogs), and who executed at least one of Jang’s supporters (O Sang-hon) with a fucking flamethrower. That’s how Kim does pants on fire.

Comrade Trump, who repeatedly says the free press is the enemy of the people, calls Kim Jong-Un ‘my friend’.

wish i was making this up

Seriously, just what in the fuck was that?

Let’s try that with inflection. Just WHAT in the fuck was that? Just what in the FUCK was that? What in the fuck was THAT? SERIOUSLY, JUST WHAT IN THE FUCK WAS THAT?

I watched…and I completely fucking gobsmacked that this is real…the President of These Semi-United States speak like an addled 12-year-old for 50 minutes, during which he claimed there was a national emergency because the US is being invaded.

“We’re declaring it for virtual invasion purposes.”

“We’re talking about an invasion of our country with drugs, with human traffickers, with all types of criminals and gangs.”

Virtual invasion purposes. I don’t even know what that means. I tried for a moment to figure out what it means, but it was like whacking myself in the forehead with a ball peen hammer. It was just pointless pain. If any other president in history had decided to declare a national emergency they’d 1) make sure they had an actual emergency, and 2) would get somebody to write them a coherent speech and not just stand in front of a podium and wing it.

Jesus suffering fuck. Okay, okay, deep breath. Right. Just to state the completely obvious, there IS no emergency. The number of immigrants showing up at the southern border (legally or otherwise) has been declining for nearly two decades. That fact is supported by data gathered and published by US agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, When asked by a reporter if he believed the data, Comrade Trump said:

“I get my numbers from a lot of sources, like Homeland Security, primary. And the numbers I have from Homeland Security are a disaster.”

Dude, the fact that you don’t like the data doesn’t make it an emergency. That DOES NOT MAKE ANY SENSE. None of this makes any sense. Aargh! And then…and I swear I am NOT MAKING THIS UP…then Trump says this:

“I didn’t need to do this. But I’d rather do it much faster … I just want to get it done faster.”

What sort of cretinous fuckwit says, “Guys, we got us an emergency! We got to build us a wall! We got to build it RIGHT NOW! Well, we don’t really have to build it right now, but I want to which makes this an EMERGENCY cofeve hamberder!!!” Aargh!

And guys, that’s NOT the craziest or stupidest thing Trump said. I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP. He also claimed President Obama (the Last Sane President of the United States) told him, while sitting in beautiful chairs, that he (Obama, the LSPotUS) was thinking about starting a war with North Korea. And he claimed the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan had nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize — which he’d earned because Obama got one after he’d only been in office for about fifteen minutes and he didn’t even stop rocket ships from flying over Japan like Trump did.

Trump abruptly left the podium and returned to the Oval Office, but I think we were only about seven minutes away from the moment when he would declare himself the Sun God, which would allow him to have sex with his daughter Ivanka Antoinette on a golden throne in a room scented with peaches.

Anyway, this morning Comrade Trump declared a national emergency. This afternoon he flies to Mar-a-Loco to play golf. I am not making this up.

ag-gh! help!

Tomorrow evening Comrade Donald Trump will stand up on his hind legs and bark at the American people. Afterwards, he’ll probably call it ‘maybe the greatest State of the Union speech ever given in history.’ I’m pretty confident it’ll mostly be bullshit.

I don’t say that because I dislike Trump (though I do — I really do — Jesus suffering fuck do I dislike Trump). I say that because the speech will be meaningless. Why? Two very fundamental reasons. Reason One: the state of the Union is Ag-gh Help! Reason Two: nobody really trusts or believes anything Comrade Trump says anymore. Last I heard, WaPo had Trump at just over 8000 lies since he assumed office (and really, that’s the best use of ‘assumed’ ever).

The state of the union is Ag-gh Help! largely because Trump is really bad at being president. Why? Because he’s ignorant of the functions of government, he has no interest (and probably lacks the capacity) to learn the functions of government, he seems incapable of putting the nation’s interests before his own, he’s incapable of establishing a coherent policy and abiding by it, and none of the other nations of the world trust him or believe him when he makes a promise (on account of all that lying). All of that is in addition to the fact that Comrade Trump is effectively a Russian intelligence asset. In other words, ag-gh help!

Yes, he IS giving a State of the Union speech.

This is how bad Trump is at being president. Right now the Trump administration doesn’t have a chief of staff, it doesn’t have an Attorney General, it doesn’t have a Secretary of Defense, it doesn’t have a Secretary of the Interior, it doesn’t have a Director for the Environmental Protection Agency, it doesn’t have Director for the Office of Management and Budget. The people who held those positions have all either resigned or been fired. All of those positions are in the hands of ‘acting’ directors. We don’t even have nominees for many of those positions. Ag-gh help!

Again, why? Because competent people don’t want to work for Comrade Trump. Nobody trusts him (there’s that lying business again, plus the fact that Trump has no concept of loyalty to his staff). The fact is, Trump treats being POTUS like it was a part-time job. Seriously. A member of the White House staff recently leaked three months of Trump’s private daily schedules. The very fact that his own staff is actively undermining him is evidence of how badly he sucks at his job. Worse, the schedules show that for the past three months, Trump has spent about 60% of his day engaged in ‘executive time’. Which is basically watching FoxNews and tweeting. (If you’re interested, you can look at those schedules yourself.) Ag-gh help!

So it’s really no wonder the state of the union is Ag-gh Help! When Trump bothers to actually attempt to do his job, he’s bad at it. He can’t say that in his speech, of course. Which means he’s pretty much limited to having to lie a lot. Which is what everybody expects. Which is why the speech is meaningless.

That said, Comrade Trump can count on his fellow Republicans to give him several standing ovations. Why? Why why why? Because they’re as responsible for the state of the union as he is.

Ag-gh help!

he that soweth discord

I declare, it’s like Comrade Donald Trump is a complete stranger to himself. He can say (or tweet) stuff that’s so absolutely contradictory to who he is that you’d wonder if he was being ironic — if you didn’t already know he was incapable of deliberate irony. Yesterday he tweeted this gem:

Numerous states introducing Bible Literacy classes, giving students the option of studying the Bible. Starting to make a turn back? Great!

Great! Here’s a little Bible literacy lesson for the preznet. (I’ma use the King James Version of the Bible on account of I like the way the language rumbles; it’s so much more rich than the anemic New International Version.) From Proverbs 6:16-19:

These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

In Trump’s favor, I don’t think his feet runneth all that swift, even toward mischief. But those other things? The proud look, the lying tongue, all that discord sowing? Comrade Trump is solid there. And that heart that deviseth wicked imaginations? Dude, just wrap your head around his ‘bound and gagged women in the backs of vans’ fantasy.

I believe this is where liars and sinners are supposed to end up.

While we’re doing this Biblical bit, let’s take a look at that deadliest of chapters, Leviticus. Leviticus doesn’t mess around; it flat out tells a person what to do and what NOT to do. Some of which Comrade Trump has totally done. Leviticus 19:13, ya’ll:

Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.

I’m not suggesting Trump defrauded his neighbors. I’m not sure he even has neighbors in his Trump Tower penthouse. But Lord knows (see what I did there?) he certainly defrauded lots of folks with a free hand. What I’m just focusing on, though, is that bit about wages. I think we can safely say ‘the wages of him that is hired’ abided with Trump for 35 nights and mornings during the government shutdown.

But here’s the kicker: Trump went all wage-abiding in pursuit of another violation of Leviticus. I’m talking Leviticus 19:33-34 here:

And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him.
But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

Comrade Trump was seriously vexing the holy shit out of strangers attempting to sojourn into the US with his wall. And all those strangers that dwelleth in the US under DACA? They are surely not as one born among Trump. He wants to toss their brown asses out, and he was willing to abide all night with federal employee wages to get that done.

I should note, if it wasn’t already apparent, that I’m not a Christian. Neither is Comrade Trump, for that matter. But only one of us is pretending.