The Train Wreck

And I cannot look away!

I have people ask me all the time just how I can watch/read about the politics of this country day after day….

It is just fascinating watching the conversation coming from the president change almost hourly…..Trump presidency is truly a train wreck in progress…..

In the corrosive and dangerous Trump presidency, the outrages fly so fast and the chaos mounts so thoroughly that it’s easy to pass off the entire unsettling phenomenon as one more made-for-TV-and-Twitter unreality show. New outrages drive the previous ones from our minds.

In recent days, two questions have dominated the discussion: Did he abuse his presidential power to boost his own political fortunes by pressuring Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter? And is he obstructing justice by not cooperating with an impeachment inquiry?

These two questions have such enormous consequences for the nation that they may overshadow other alarming actions and traits. But we must not disregard the many other actions that have led to the hollowing out of our institutions, the cheapening of our spirit, the undermining of our values. Faced with the challenge to unseat, indeed to repudiate, Trump and his pernicious program for America, it’s essential not to forget the true damage he has done, continues to do and threatens to continue.

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2019-10-20/trump-failures-outrages

Image

The nation’s government is looking like a tragedy….in 3 acts……

As the Ukraine scandal unfolds, President Donald Trump and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani are frequently compared to a Mafia boss and his lawyer. We should be so lucky, because that would certainly mean the end of the mob.

It’s difficult to put into words how inept Giuliani is. But we’ll try… by making him a character in one of the most iconic mob movies in history: The Godfather.

It is the story of Don Corleone, a Mafia boss portrayed by Marlon Brando. Trump is often compared to this character while Giuliani is seen as playing the role of Corleone’s right-hand man (consigliere) Tom Hagen.

A key difference is that, while Hagen is extremely capable and effective, Giuliani clearly isn’t. So we thought it would be fun to imagine a mafia film modeled after scenes from the Godfather trilogy.

Our version stars Don Trump and his trusty sidekick Consigliere Giuliani as they hatch a foolproof plan to get prosecutors in the Ukraine to dig up dirt on their hated enemy, Sleepy Joe. We call it “The Ukraine Scandal — a Tragedy (for Democracy) in Three Acts.”

A Tragedy (for Democracy) in Three Acts

This whole drama begs the answer to one outstanding question….Is The US Political System Beyond Repair?

Well is it?

Moving ahead with the impeachment of Donald Trump is a good idea. Indeed, the fact that it is moving forward is a sign of the deep fissures in the ruling class. They are very divided. Even if it is done within the limited parameters hoped for by Pelosi and other mainstream Democrats, the process should expose the criminality of one party of the ruling class and the venality of both.

Despite the claim by some, the impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump and others in his administration is not just cosmetic. Furthermore, because it is part of a process to ensure the government continues—to repair it, if you will—impeachment will not change the system.

Is the US Political System Beyond Repair?

Matters not if one is a supporter of Trump or not…..it is just fascinating watching the hole get deeper and deeper with every Tweet…..

So much happening and so little time…..we had better get this whole thing right or we could possibly kiss our way of life goodbye.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Rudy–Everyone’s Crazy Uncle Bob

Nudge nudge, wink wink, Bob’s your uncle.

No matter which side of the debate your are on we have to admit that Trump’s lawyer Rudy is acting and sounding like your crazy Uncle Bob…you know the one….he is the one that has an opinion on everything and is loud and usually wrong.

But is Rudy still Trump’s personal lawyer?  The question for the week……..

Rudy Giuliani remains in the hot seat over his dealings in Ukraine for President Trump, with a reported federal investigation into his lobbying and his role in undermining the ex-American ambassador to Ukraine. Now, President Trump is not only saying he doesn’t know the two Giuliani associates who were arrested this week for campaign finance violations—he doesn’t even seem 100% sure what role Giuliani still plays in his sphere. As the president left the White House Friday to head to a rally in Louisiana, a reporter asked him if Giuliani was still his personal attorney, and Trump waffled a bit. “Well, I don’t know, I haven’t spoken to Rudy,” he responded. “I spoke to him yesterday briefly, uh, he’s a very good attorney, and he has been my attorney, yeah, sure.”

That’s all he said on that, but the Washington Post notes Giuliani had a more definitive answer. “Yes. I am still his attorney,” the ex-New York City mayor texted to the paper’s Josh Dawsey. A source said to be close to Trump’s legal team tells CNN that Giuliani is indeed still the president’s lawyer, but that he won’t be handling anything involving Ukraine. Giuliani’s own words to the news outlet: “There are no Ukraine issues. I finished that in March. I’m still representing him.” The White House declined to comment on the whole matter. Meanwhile, sources tell Politico that others in Trump’s sphere want Giuliani out of there, his “long-winded monologues” and “freewheeling accusations” a liability to the president. “Rudy Giuliani needs to stop talking,” an ex-campaign official says.

But The Donald does not sound so sure of it……

I hear people say that Rudy has been driven to these antics because of his failed presidential attempt……he had put all the goodwill of being the mayor of NYC on 9/11 and it was not enough…he was rudderless after that….

But I do not agree…I think he has always been a nut case he just has the chance now to make it more pronounced…..and to display his nutcase wisdom.

And I am not alone in this thought…..

I will be the hero! These morons—when this is over, I will be the hero…. Anything I did should be praised.”

These are the words of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, speaking of the government operative who leaked information about the president’s conversations with the Ukrainian president that has led to impeachment proceedings. Out of context, they appear to be narcissistic ravings. In context, they are just another installment of the constant refrain Americans are used to hearing from the president’s lead defender. No matter how unhinged Giuliani sounds in one interview, the cameras go back to him again and again.

The regular media meltdowns have almost become a real-time comedy for US news consumers, although it has all taken a serious turn. He’s now the focus of the impeachment probes as well; two of his associates were recently arrested.

US media are asking: How could this happen? How did a two-term mayor of a major city, previously a famous federal prosecutor, and someone thought to be a future president, once lauded for reducing crime in New York City and serving as a rallying figure after the World Trade Center attacks, turn into such a primetime clown of the Trump era? How could a crime fighter become the center of criminal intrigue?

Actually, Rudy Giuliani Has Always Been Like This

He has always thought the country owes him something for being the mayor of NYC on 9/11……

We owe him NOTHING!  He is getting a feee ride on the taxpayer dime.  Debt paid!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Political Chaos Theory

It seems that the more chaos that is spread the more popular some politicians become…..I took a look at the chaos now being spread within our government back in May of this year……https://lobotero.com/2019/05/20/feeding-the-lord-of-chaos/

I then read a piece written The Bulwark on political chaos…..

“Chaos theory,” at least in the popular version, is the study of unstable systems that can rapidly reach a tipping point where massive and radical change occurs—the point at which a seemingly stable equilibrium careens toward dangerous extremes.

Both major political parties experienced a chaos theory moment over the weekend, in which the balance we have historically looked to as a steady state suddenly degraded, and we were reminded how fast a veneer of reasonable “moderation” can break down into dangerous fanaticism.

Political Chaos Theory

I do not necessarily agree with their conclusions….keep in mind the this publication is new and a replacement for the Neocon “Weekly Standard” that is now defunct.

Our Dear Supreme Leader is a master at creating political chaos…it may well work on his reality shows but it sucks as a governing style.

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Is This A Constitutional Crisis?

We hear a lot about the Congress and the president and the antics by each. My thought is there is a reason for a Committee called “oversight”…..and any time anyone interferes with the operation of that principle then they should be smacked down….matters not if it is a WH attorney, a child, the AG or the president himself…..we either live by the checks and balances or we start an imperial presidency.

I remember the calls for the impeachment of a president that got his wanker licked and those that called for such are now overlooking their “oversight” duties to massage the ego of a mental midget……

The conservative media is totally ignoring the crisis brewing and even are helping it destroy the democratic scheme we had before…..

As legal experts, historians, and Democratic lawmakers have sounded the alarm over President Donald Trump’s blanket obstruction of congressional oversight of his presidency — suggesting we have reached or are approaching a constitutional crisis — Trump’s conservative media allies are brazenly misrepresenting the arguments and suggesting everything boils down to a fight over the Mueller report, claiming Trump’s obstruction is normal, and ridiculing Democrats for speaking out.

https://www.mediamatters.org/research/2019/05/14/conservative-media-downplay-trump-administrations-unprecedented-stonewalling-congressional-oversight/223698

The media reports, if we may call it that, but it is sensationalism not anything but entertainment…..

So are we in a Constitutional crisis? Yes or No or what?

It is probably safe to say that this is not how we imagined America’s little fling with representative democracy would end. But on Wednesday morning, New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler described the battle unfolding between the Trump White House and Congress thusly: “The ongoing clash between congressional Democrats and President Trump over the Mueller report has turned into a full-blown constitutional crisis.” On Thursday morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi used the same turn of phrase, warning that the nation is now in a “constitutional crisis.”

In the totality of Trump scandals, this week’s is rather boring and technical. The problem at hand: The House Judiciary Committee seeks to interview William Barr, the attorney general of the United States, on the subject of the Mueller report. When he refused to show up, they voted to hold him in contempt of Congress for doing so. Meanwhile, the president has opted to assert seemingly boundless executive privilege in an attempt to shield the unredacted Mueller report from congressional scrutiny. The question at hand is basically: What happens in this standoff between Congress and the president? The stalemate, and immovable positioning, is certainly making it feel as though we are hurtling at high speeds toward a new precipice.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/05/trump-barr-constitutional-crisis-yes-no-or-wrong-question.html

To help you with the question…..there a 4 types of Constitutional crises……

People have been talking about the possibility of a “constitutional crisis” since before President Trump’s election. And in the wake of Trump’s executive order restricting the ability of people from seven predominantly Muslim nations to travel to the U.S., we’re once again hearing that term a lot. Rep. Don Beyer, a Virginia Democrat, used the phrase to describe reports of Customs and Border Protection officials snubbing members of Congress and refusing to abide by a judge’s ruling delaying the enforcement of the order. And the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake investigated whether Trump’s disparaging remarks about a federal judge who ruled against the administration could be considered a constitutional crisis.

So what exactly is a constitutional crisis? We should be clear about what does — and, more importantly, does not — merit this description. It’s possible to have a major political crisis even if the Constitution is crystal clear on the remedy, or to have a constitutional crisis that doesn’t ruffle many feathers.

Political and legal observers generally divide constitutional crises into four categories:

The 4 Types Of Constitutional Crises

Are we in crisis?  Is the Constitution still the law of the land?

As it is today I am not so sure any more.

This simple cartoon can answer the question better than I can…..

A Disinformation Nightmare

If you follow the news for last 2 years or so then you probably have an opinion on the reports of the massive disinformation campaign waged during the 2016 election.

If not then where the Hell have you been?

That said here is a brief history of the situation in 2016……

We’ve seen many types of efforts to abuse Google’s services over the years. And, like other internet platforms, we have found some evidence of efforts to misuse our platforms during the 2016 U.S. election by actors linked to the Internet Research Agency in Russia. 

Preventing the misuse of our platforms is something that we take very seriously; it’s a major focus for our teams. We’re committed to finding a way to stop this type of abuse, and to working closely with governments, law enforcement, other companies, and leading NGOs to promote electoral integrity and user security, and combat misinformation. 

We have been conducting a thorough investigation related to the U.S. election across our products drawing on the work of our information security team, research into misinformation campaigns from our teams, and leads provided by other companies. Today, we are sharing results from that investigation. While we have found only limited activity on our services, we will continue to work to prevent all of it, because there is no amount of interference that is acceptable.

https://www.blog.google/outreach-initiatives/public-policy/security-and-disinformation-us-2016-election/

Well the prediction is that the 2020 election could be even worse for disinformation…..an attempt to obfuscate the issues and the candidates…..

As the field of Democratic presidential hopefuls slowly takes shape, so do the contours of a massive social media disinformation campaign that appears designed to torpedo individual candidacies, confuse voters, and create a general sense of chaos and mistrust within the party. A Politico investigation found that Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Beto O’Rourke appear to be the “main targets,” but that no prominent candidate is exempt. In other words: If you thought the fake news sites and Russian Twitter bots of 2016 were harmful to The Discourse, it looks as if 2020 is going to be a lot worse.

The tools of the trade—eminently-shareable memes, scandalous-sounding questions, and incendiary hashtags—are standard-issue gross Internet fodder. One post, says Politico, pushed a “false narrative…alleging that a blackface doll appeared on a kitchen cabinet in the background of the senator’s New Year’s Eve Instagram livestream”; another “widely seen tweet employed racist and sexist stereotypes in an attempt to sensationalize Harris’ relationship with former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown.” The perceived distinctions between “centrist” candidates (you know who) and “progressive” ones (again, you know who) is also a popular pressure point. Many of the accounts in question were the same ones which, in the weeks before the 2018 midterm elections, tirelessly proclaimed that invading immigrant caravans would soon overrun the country if Americans didn’t vote as many Republicans as humanly possible into elected office.

https://www.gq.com/story/2020-disinformation-presidential-race

This will make access to true issues a bit difficult but will the voter try to cut through the crap to get to the heart of the candidate?

As the pool of candidates vying for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president continues to grow, so does a “sustained and ongoing” push to spread lies about them on social media—with one key aim being to sow division among progressive voters—according to an alarming Politico report published Wednesday.

Citing analyses by and conversations with data scientists and digital campaign strategists, the outlet reported:

Researchers and others interviewed for this story say they cannot conclusively point to the actors behind the coordinated activity. It’s unclear if they are rogue hackers, political activists or, as some contend, foreign state actors such as Russia, since it bears the hallmarks of past foreign attacks. One of the objectives of the activity, they say, is to divide the left by making the Dem primaries look as chaotic as possible.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/02/20/operation-divide-left-analysis-shows-2020-online-disinformation-campaign-already

Will the voter have access to “real” information?

My guess is NO!

They will have to hunt for the truth….are they up to such a task?

A DC Who Dunnit?

Hopefully this will be my last post on this fiasco, that is unless something really big breaks…..I must add my voice to all the analysis of the situation.

Reporters yelling questions at the president….TV pundits speculating on the author of this now infamous op-ed.

There is a list circulating that predicts a few that are the likely authors…..

Tucker Carlson of Fox News think he has a “pretty good idea” who wrote the anti-Trump op-ed now in wide circulation, but he’s awaiting confirmation before going public, reports the Hill. At the Weekly Standard, Michael Warren has narrowed it down to four likely suspects:

  • Larry Kudlow, chair of the National Economic Council, whose free-market views don’t always go over well in the White House.
  • Kevin Hassett, chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, whose views on issues from tax reform to the military generally line up with those of the op-ed writer.
  • Dan Coats, director of National Intelligence, who’s near the end of his political career and would have little to lose from the fallout.
  • Mike Pompeo, secretary of state and former CIA chief. “As someone fond of, and thought fondly of, by CIA agents, Pompeo could be particularly irked by the suggestion by Trump and his supporters that a ‘deep state’ is at work against the president,” Warren writes.

Slate rounds up those who’ve issued denials, including Coats, Pompeo, Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen, Treasury chief Steve Mnuchin, and VP Mike Pence, whose fondness for the term “lodestar,” used in the op-ed, has raised eyebrows. (See what Jimmy Kimmel and other late-night hosts think.)

Why?

Just about everyone knows exactly what is in the op-ed…there is nothing new in it.  What is the purpose of the op-ed?  If things are that fucked up why not resign instead of whining in the shadows?  Does the person want the 25th amendment to be invoke?  If so he/she will be sorely disappointed for their is NO spine for such a bold move.  What will change with this op-ed?

A reader of IST left a comment the other day…….what if Trump did this under one of his personas from the past…after all he loves seeing his name in lights and repeated ad nauseum plus it lathers up his supporters and helps FOX with ratings.  Is this in the realm of a possibility?

And the play continues.

Turn The Page!

Is It Internal Strife?

There is something for everyone……how much chaos can be generated by one op-ed?

The biggest news was not the hearings but rather the op-ed published in the WaPo about the subversion of the Trump White House….and as one might expect Our Dear Leader is raging mad and as usual taking to Twitter…..

There is a “quiet resistance” within the Trump administration that is working to curb some of the president’s “worst inclinations.” That’s according to the author of an anonymous op-ed published by the New York Times on Wednesday. The writer, identified as a senior official in the administration, counts himself or herself as a member of this resistance. But the writer notes that this is not the “popular ‘resistance’ of the Left” and goes on to praise the administration for achievements in areas such as deregulation, tax reform, and a robust military. “But these successes have come despite … the president’s leadership style, which is impetuous, adversarial, petty, and ineffective,” the writer concedes.

While seeking to assure Americans that there “adults in the room,” who are steering the administration “in the right direction until—one way or another—it’s over,” the writer also provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse into Trump’s presidency. The president is amoral and lacks guiding principles, the administration official writes. Meetings “veer off topic” as Trump rants—”his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed, and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back.” But most worrisome, according to the writer, is the loss of civility that has accompanied Trump’s presidency. Read the whole piece here. The AP describes it as “a striking anonymous broadside,” and says Trump responded by calling the editorial “really a disgrace” and tweeting, “TREASON?” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called on the “coward” author to resign.

Now would be a good time to read the op-ed in its entirety….

My readers know where I stand on this person….but now it is time for all the secrecy to end and these anonymous people to stand up and take their place in the resistance…..by the way it is NOT treason to criticize the president….however it is Treason to allow a foreign entity to invade our political process…….

Coward?  If anyone would recognize a coward it would be that Huckabee woman who takes lying to a new high.

Just a thought.

But sports fans there is so much more…..as always Trump went on his typical yada yada tour and told lie after lie…….

“TREASON?” tweeted President Trump after the New York Times published an op-ed from an anonymous administration official who described his leadership style as “impetuous” and “adversarial” and spoke of a “resistance” inside a deeply unstable administration. In a follow-up tweet, the president told the newspaper to reveals the author’s identity, if it wasn’t a “phony source,” the Guardian reports. “If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once,” Trump said, adding: “I’m draining the Swamp, and the Swamp is trying to fight back. Don’t worry, we will win!” More:

  • “I don’t like them.” Speaking at a meeting of sheriffs from around the country Wednesday afternoon, Trump described both the source and the Times as “failing,” CBS reports. “When you tell me about some anonymous source within the administration, probably who is failing and probably here for all the wrong reasons—and the New York Times is failing—if I weren’t here, I believe the New York Times probably wouldn’t even exist,” he said. They don’t like Donald Trump and I don’t like them,” he said of the Times.

People “stunned” within the Times. The Times‘ newsroom is separate from its opinion department, and sources tell Vanity Fair that people within the paper were “totally stunned” to read the “cry for help” from inside the administration. “It’s a parlor game. Everybody’s trying to figure out who it is, including the Washington bureau,” one senior journalist says. “It feels like a crazy moment.”

  • Sanders wants an apology. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told the Times it should apologize for the ” pathetic, reckless, and selfish op-ed.” She also said the source is a “coward” who should resign. “He is not putting country first, but putting himself and his ego ahead of the will of the American people,” she said.
  • “Volcanic” anger. In the White House, the hunt for the op-ed’s author is on, insiders tell the Washington Post. The sources say Trump reacted with “volcanic” anger to the op-ed and said he suspects the official either works in the Justice Department or on national security issues. Aides are analyzing language patterns in an effort to find the author, insiders say. They say aides have been texting each other the phrase: “The sleeper cells have awoken.”
  • The guessing game. The AP looks at the “guessing game” people are playing to determine the author. Among the clues: The word “lodestar,” frequently used in Mike Pence’s speeches; could the author be someone close to him, or was it used to throw people off? The Times says the author was described as a “he” by somebody unaware of the author’s identity, meaning it isn’t necessarily a man.
  • Defending anonymity. The Times is defending the controversial and “exceedingly rare” decision to grant anonymity to the author of the op-ed. “It was clear early on that the writer wanted anonymity, but we didn’t grant anything until we read it and we were confident that they were who they said they were,” says op-ed editor James Dao. He says the author set out a “very principled position that deserved an airing.”
  • Is Trump in his element? With the op-ed, the Robert Mueller investigation, and Bob Woodward’s new book, Trump may seem embattled, but his critics should remember that he has “skirted calamity” many times in his career before and gone on to brag about surviving the crisis, writes Michael Kruse at Politico. He says Trump ally Roger Stone told him the “fearless” president makes even Richard Nixon look like a “cream puff.” “Nixon was smarter,” he quotes Stone as saying, “but Trump is tougher.”

People talk about the number of “crises” this administration has had…..maybe it would be easier to keep up with the number of days that there has been no crisis.

0800 hrs…..Hi-ho, Hi-ho It is off to the Docs I go!

See ya seen….chuq