Monday, December 31, 2018

San Dimas Confidential: Local Area Tea Nutter Has A Mad Dog Mattis Dilemma

There is this Tea Nut guy in my neighborhood who lives in a Trumped out camper truck. His colorful shtick includes his rather large pet pit bull, which he has fallen afoul of the law for on several occasions by taking it on walks at the local kid park.

"Trump's Pit Bull," as he calls himself, occasionally likes to wrap that happy pup up with cop-style yellow crime scene warning tape, which in his overly active mind means everyone has been fairly warned.

Most of the children using that park are Hispanic, and probably believe this mad gringo has brought his dog there to eat them. The Sheriffs, who are mostly Hispanic themselves, usually run him off. The damned fool then scampers away to our beautiful mountainous national forest where he camps out alone and listens to a lot of AM talk radio.

TPB's biggest splash in the neighborhood, however, is with that truck. When driving around he will have a large blue Trump flag flapping from the back, with a clearly misused old glory by its side. Donald's fat orange head, emblazoned on one side, looks on menacingly in a Big Brother sort of way at anyone watching this spectacle from their lawns or cars.

But now TPB has a dilemma. On the doggier side of the crazy truck is testimony to his love of "Mad Dog Mattis." And as any Tea Nutter will tell you, you can no longer love Donald and Mad Dog Mattis at the same time. It just is not done.

An Orwellian requirement of true Tea Nutterhood is once fired by The Donald, that accursed person must be hated by all true believers just as much as the portly POTUS hates him.

Immediately and with no equivocation.

Today is Mad Dog Mattis's last day at the White House. We'll let you know if there are any changes to the truck.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Trump approved extra $129M to help House investigate Hillary. Now Pelosi has it.

Mod: I guess you could call this an unintended consequence. Trump's rather notorious mood swing management style has once again come back to bite him on his large rear end. Ouch!

Trump approved extra $129M to help House investigate Hillary. Now Pelosi has it. (Daily Kos link): 2019 is going to be great. 2020 even better.  Yeah, the shutdown sucks, but I imagine it can only last so long—Trump’s 54,000 border patrol agents are currently not getting paid, nor are the farmers who can’t get their bailout payments until the furlough ends.  Trump will cave, and its not going to get any better for him.

Several months ago, House leaders impressed upon the Donald the need to fix the damage done by Newt Gingrich. Back in the day, he took away staff from committee chairs to consolidate his own power. He figured he could outsource policy making to lobbyists and right-wing think tanks—which is exactly how the GOP runs Congress. The big problem here is that oversight and investigations are hard to run with limited staff, and Hillary Clinton is not going to investigate herself.

Back in late August, Donald—living in his ego-inflated bubble--kept insisting that there would be a “red wave” and listened to pundits who told him that not only would the Democrats not take the House, but the GOP was likely to gain seats. That was the selling point for Congress to get their staff funding. The extra staff would be critical for conducting hearings and investigations, which would be “handy for investigating Hillary Clinton’s emails.” Trump approved the extra $129 million for staff. DOH!

On the flip side, the GOP just closed their investigation into Hillary’s emails and had to admit they had absolutely nothing. However, during this same time period, with the GOP and Trump obstructing in every way, Mueller’s team has managed to get either indictments or guilty pleas from 35 people and 3 companies. Just imagine what the Democratic House is going to find, now that they have subpoena power, staff, funding, and a toothless GOP that can no longer obstruct.

It has also been pointed out that Nancy could even put some funding aside in reserve, just in case Trump tries to fire Mueller and his team.

It’s almost sad that Trumpy really did think that the shutdown would “distract” Nancy from focusing on his Russian collusion and multiple crimes. Wrong again. Nancy knows a thing or two about multi-tasking. Trump is a mentally impaired toddler who can’t concentrate on a single thing--hell, he can’t even drink out of a cup with one hand. It’s really not fair to pit these two against each other. But I’m already having so much fun watching.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Majority in poll want Trump impeached or censured

Mod: What makes this impressive is the Mueller report isn't even out yet. I expect Trump's impeachment numbers will only increase once the true depths of his treason and corruption are fully explained. Both articles are available in their entirety at the link.

Majority in poll want Trump impeached or censured (The Hill link): Nearly 60 percent of U.S. voters surveyed say President Trump should be either impeached and removed from office or formally censured, according to a new Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released exclusively to The Hill. The poll shows that a majority of voters polled think some kind of action should be taken against Trump, though they are divided on how far lawmakers should go as Democrats prepare to take over the House majority.

Asked whether Trump should be impeached and removed from office for his actions, censured by Congress or whether Congress should take no action, 39 percent of respondents said Trump should be impeached and removed from office.

Impeachment would require a majority vote by the House — a possibility with a Democratic majority, though leadership in the party have been cautious on the topic. Conviction in the Senate would require a two-thirds vote, something unlikely in a body that will have 53 Republicans.

Twenty percent of poll respondents said lawmakers should vote to formally censure the president.

The poll results come as Trump faces criminal investigations in both Washington, D.C., and New York related to whether his campaign coordinated with Russian officials and actors to help sway the 2016 presidential election.

At the same time, federal prosecutors implicated Trump earlier this month in a separate case related to payments made to two women to keep them quiet about affairs they say they had with him. In a memo recommending a prison sentence for Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, federal prosecutors said Trump directed the payments to the two women to ward off a potential sex scandal as he sought the White House in 2016. Those payments, prosecutors argue, amounted to illegal contributions to the real estate mogul’s campaign.

Donald Trump will be impeached in 2019, says 'prediction professor' ( link): The US president's basic conduct and politics are unlikely to change in 2019, but the new Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, coupled with the Russia investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, will lead to the impeachment of Donald Trump, predicts Allan Lichtman. "I think it's more likely than not he will get impeached," the American University professor told DWAfter previously predicting 30 years of presidential elections correctly, Lichtman became a media phenomenon when he — against mainstream wisdom — predicted early on that Trump would win in 2016. Now Lichtman is convinced that as of 2019, and for the remainder of his term, Trump will be engaged in a fight to remain in office — a fight he well may lose. 

That's because until now, Trump could rely on a Republican-controlled Congress to shield him from impeachment or removal from office proceedings — essentially a political trial process — which can be triggered by a single majority vote in the House of Representatives. That process has long been a hot topic among the president's opponents in the Democratic Party and, in the wake of the midterm elections that flipped the House, Democrats will hold a solid a majority in 2019. 

As soon as the new Democratic-run House convenes on January 3 next year, impeaching Trump moves from theory to reality. And while top Democrats have so far routinely downplayed calls for impeachment by the so-called anti-Trump resistance movement and by lawmakers demanding a more aggressive stance against the president, the pressure to act could force the party's leaders to pursue it. "If Mueller comes up with some devastating findings, the Democratic base will demand impeachment," said Lichtman. "I think [Trump] is in grave peril from the Mueller probe." 

He added that he believes that Mueller will issue more indictments and reveal even more damaging information linking people from Trump's inner circle to Russia, thus proving a conspiracy to rig the election and undermine democracy. 

Lichtman is not just convinced that Trump will be impeached. He also sees an increasing likelihood that Trump will actually be ousted from the presidency, which many other political experts stillconsider unlikely. If the House votes to impeach Trump, removing him from office requires a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate. Republicans still control that body by a 51-49 majority, meaning a substantial number of GOP lawmakers would have to vote to oust a president who is a member of their own party. 

Such a scenario is less unrealistic than it sounds, said Lichtman, pointing to the steady drip of incriminating information from the Mueller probe and Trump's conduct in office that is beginning to take its toll on Republicans — a sentiment backed up by the recent midterm results. With presidential and Congressional elections in which Senate Republicans face a much less favorable electoral map than this year just around the corner in 2020, the GOP may be ready to cut Trump loose.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Lying to Our Military: Trump Boasted 10% Raises to the Troops He Visited. The Actual Raise Is Much Lower

Mod: Trump lies constantly. Over and over again. This is clearly one of his most notable characteristics. 

Trump Boasted 10% Raises to the Troops He Visited. The Actual Raise Is Much Lower (Time Magazine link): For years, sitting U.S. Presidents have shared the tradition of visiting military members around the holidays in order to boost morale. Former President Barack Obama visited the Marine Corps Base in Hawaii throughout his two terms, former President George W. Bush visited injured troops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center from 2003 to 2008 and President Donald Trump visited Walter Reed in 2017.

After speculation that he might break the tradition in 2018, Trump made a secret trip to visit with military members at the Al-Asad Air base in Iraq on Wednesday. But while addressing troops, Trump shared some inaccurate details about the raises they have been offered under his administration.

“You protect us. We are always going to protect you. And you just saw that, because you just got one of the biggest pay raises you’ve ever received,” he said. “You haven’t gotten one in more than 10 years — more than 10 years. And we got you a big one. I got you a big one.

However, figures from the Department of Defense indicate military personnel have received at least a 1% raise each year since 2007, adjusted to resemble pay increases in the private sector.

Trump also suggested the sizes of the raises secured under his Administration have been larger than they actually were.

“They said: ‘You know, we could make it smaller. We could make it 3%. We could make it 2%. We could make it 4%.’ I said: ‘No. Make it 10%. Make it more than 10%.’”

But recent raises are nowhere near 10%. In fact, the increase in 2018 was just 2.4%, according to the Department of Defense figures. In 2019, it will be 2.6%, thanks to the Fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.

This isn’t the first time Trump has made this inaccurate claim.

“We just got you a big pay raise. First time in 10 years. We got you a big pay increase. First time in over 10 years. I fought for you. That was the hardest one to get, but you never had a chance of losing,” he told graduates of the United States Naval Academy in May, according to the Associated Press.

Although the raises offered under Trump’s administration are higher than those from 2011 through 2016 — which averaged at 1.3% per year — neither 2018’s or 2019’s represent the highest in the last decade.

Troops received a 3.9% boost in 2009.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Donald Trump Twitter Account Video Reveals Covert U.S. Navy SEAL Deployment During Iraq Visit

Mod: More grotesque and destructive incompetence from our worst president ever. 

Donald Trump Twitter Account Video Reveals Covert U.S. Navy SEAL Deployment During Iraq Visit (Newsweek link): President Donald Trump and the White House communications team revealed that a U.S. Navy SEAL team was deployed to Iraq after the president secretly traveled to the region to meet with American forces serving in a combat zone for the first time since being elected to office.

While the commander-in-chief can declassify information, usually the specific special operations unit is not revealed to the American public, especially while U.S. service members are deployed. Official photographs and videos typically blur the individual faces of special operation forces, due to the sensitive nature of their job.

The president’s video posted Wednesday did not shield the faces of special operation forces. Current and former Defense Department officials told Newsweek that information concerning what units are deployed and where is almost always classified and is a violation of operational security.

Trump flew to Iraq late Christmas Day after facing a barrage of negative headlines over the holiday season amid a partial government shutdown. The president and first lady Melania Trump posed for pictures with U.S. service members at al-Asad air base in Iraq.

The clandestine trip came a week after Trump ordered the Pentagon to begin planning the withdraw of roughly 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria and around 7,000 from Afghanistan over the next few months. The abrupt decision prompted the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who disagreed with the drawdown.

A pool report during Trump’s visit said the details of the trip were embargoed until the president finished giving his remarks to a group of about 100 mostly U.S. special operation troops engaged in combat operations in Iraq and Syria.

The pool report went on to say that Trump paused to take a selfie with U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Kyu Lee, who said he was the chaplain for SEAL Team Five, based out of Coronado, California. The chaplain said Trump told him: “Hey, in that case, let’s take a picture.”

After Air Force One left the Iraqi airspace, Trump posted a video to his Twitter account of his time spent with American forces during his visit to Iraq. Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA,” plays over the video and shows the president and the first lady posing for pictures with service members that appear to be from SEAL Team Five. The special warfare operators are dressed in full battle gear and wearing night vision goggles.

The video cuts to team members shaking the president’s hand before cutting to other special operations personnel and support troops.

Malcolm Nance, a former U.S. Navy intelligence specialist with experience in Iraq told Newsweek on Wednesday that posting the video was a break from traditional procedures that are usually strictly enforced and designed to safeguard the identities of U.S. special operation forces, especially when deployed to a combat zone.

“Operational security is the most important aspect of personnel deployments. The real names, faces, and identities, of personnel involved in special operations or activities, are usually a closely held secret in a combat zone,” Nance said. “Revealing them casually, through an unusual media exposure even if it’s the commander in chief, would prove a propaganda boom if any of this personnel are detained by a hostile government or captured by a terrorist group. There would be no denying who you are and what you do.”

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

CNBC: A potential Trump impeachment is a 'huge risk' for 2019, expert says

Mod: Businesses are just now beginning to bake impeachment into their 2019 plans. Personally I don't think the Democrats will make the big move until it appears that they don't have any other choice and are being forced by events to do so. Which will likely occur sometime around April. The full article is available at the link.

A potential Trump impeachment is a 'huge risk' for 2019, expert says (CNBC link): Investors and businesses may have overlooked one big risk that could come out of Washington next year: The possible impeachment of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Markets are bracing for a more difficult 2019, with risks such as interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve and an escalation in U.S.-China trade tensions at the top of many people's minds. But the possible impeachment of Trump has rarely been discussed, partly because it still isn't clear whether Democrats will go down that route when they take control of the House in 2019.

Being impeached doesn't mean being kicked out of office. On the U.S. federal level, it's a process whereby a simple majority vote in the House can accuse a civil official, including the president, of an "impeachable" offense. That accusation would then move to the Senate, which would decide whether to convict the official.

Whether or not the impeachment process gets underway, it's likely to feature highly in U.S. political discussions and cripple Washington's ability to get things done — that in itself is a big risk for businesses, said Steve Okun, senior advisor at U.S.-based geopolitical consulting firm McLarty Associates.

"Democrats will do something on impeachment next year," he told CNBC's Nancy Hungerford on Wednesday.

Okun noted comments by Jerry Nadler, the expected chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, that Trump may have committed "impeachable offenses" if he's found to have a hand in paying hush money to several women.

"Whether the Democrats will impeach Trump, he didn't say, but he said he committed impeachable offenses and that came with the hush money cover up and certainly can come with the obstruction of justice with the Mueller report comes out," said Okun.

Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly nearing the end of his investigation into whether Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential elections. He's expected to submit a report to the attorney general as early as mid-February, NBC News reported.

"Washington is going to shut down, literally ... because the president is not going to be able to focus on anything but that. I think that is a huge risk going into 2019," he added.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Trump Gets Into Holiday Spirit By Raging At Everyone On Christmas Eve

Mod: Poor Donald hasn't been able to go to Mar-a-Lago yet this Christmas break because of the government shutdown he initiated over his wall. Meaning he is all alone in the White House, and not in the least bit happy about it. You can imagine the hijinx. 

Trump Gets Into Holiday Spirit By Raging At Everyone On Christmas Eve (Huffington Post link): President Donald Trump spent Christmas Eve “all alone” in the White House railing on Twitter against just about everyone as financial markets plunged and the federal government shutdown appeared likely to stretch into January.

In a wild and misleading series of tweets on Monday, Trump lashed out at Democrats for opposing taxpayer funding for his proposed southern border wall ― which he repeatedly promised Mexico would pay for ― and said he was waiting at the White House for them to “come back and make a deal” on border security.

Most lawmakers have left town amid a stalemate on legislation to reopen the government, which partially shut down Saturday and forced hundreds of thousands of federal workers off the job. Democrats have ardently rejected Trump’s demands for $5 billion to build the wall, and anticipate more leverage once they take the House majority in January.

Even some top Republicans have become exasperated at Trump’s behavior. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the retiring Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, accused the president over the weekend of manufacturing the “juvenile” showdown so he “can look like he’s fighting” to please his core supporters. Trump shot back at “Little Bob Corker,” his derisive nickname for the senator,  on Monday, as well as Brett McGurk, the U.S. envoy in charge of defeating the Islamic State in the Middle East who announced he’s quitting over Trump’s abrupt decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria.

Both men, Trump tweeted, were responsible for President Barack Obama’s “horrific” Iran nuclear deal that he terminated earlier this year.

And, as television news continued to focus on the extraordinary resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who also quit in protest of Trump’s Syria pullout, Trump sought to reassert his worldview that allies are taking unfair advantage of the U.S. and its taxpayers. “General Mattis did not see this as a problem. I DO, and it is being fixed!” Trump tweeted on Monday, repeating his claim that the U.S. is “subsidizing” the militaries of other nations by remaining in Syria.

But what appeared to spook Wall Street most was Trump’s continuing tirade against Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, whom the president reportedly considered ousting over fed policy raising interest rates. After Trump bizarrely complained the Federal Reserve doesn’t “have a feel” for the markets and “is like a powerful golfer who can’t score because he has no touch” ― major indexes dove more than 2 percent in the worst Christmas Eve trading day ever, extending the worst plunge since the 2008 financial crisis. The tech-heavy NASDAQ lost more than 5 percent, continuing a nosedive of more than 20 percent since its Aug. 29 peak.

Trump’s Treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin, may have actually contributed to the mayhem. Mnuchin over the weekend announced he had called CEOs of major U.S. banks from his vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and assured them the markets had “ample liquidity available for lending to consumer, business markets, and all other market operations.” The unusual calls left the CEOs “totally baffled,” according to CNN, and Mnuchin’s perplexing statement injected a fresh dose of uncertainty into jumpy markets, The New York Times observed.

“It’s Christmas Eve and President Trump is plunging the country into chaos,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a joint statement on Monday. “The stock market is tanking and the president is waging a personal war on the Federal Reserve – after he just fired the Secretary of Defense.”

Mod: Apparently even Santa wasn't safe.

Trump asks 7-year-old 'Are you still a believer in Santa?' (CNN link): At what age do children wise up to the truth about Santa? President Trump would like to know.

In a Christmas Eve call with a young child Monday night, Trump asked a 7-year-old named Coleman whether he or she still believes in Santa Claus, saying that was a "marginal" age for knowing the truth.

"Are you still a believer in Santa? Because at seven, it's marginal, right?" Trump asked the child.

The call came around 6:30 p.m. as the President and first lady Melania Trump spoke on separate phones to children whose calls to NORAD had been patched through to the White House lines.

Monday, December 24, 2018

CNBC Survey: Wealthy Republicans lose faith in Trump, as nearly 40% say they wouldn't vote to re-elect him

Mod: It appears Trump is starting to lose the rich. Which would mean that all he has left are the crazy people.

CNBC Survey: Wealthy Republicans lose faith in Trump, as nearly 40% say they wouldn't vote to re-elect him (CNBC link): The 2020 race for the White House is just barely under way, but the latest CNBC Millionaire Survey shows some troubling signs for the incumbent President Donald Trump, including an energized base of wealthy Democrats and unsteady support from wealthy Republicans. Just 34 percent of America's millionaires say they would vote to re-elect President Trump if the election were held today.

Among Republicans, Trump has lost more than one-third of wealthy voters, with only 62 percent of Republican millionaires saying they would vote for the president if the election were held today. Thirty-six percent of the overall vote was scattered among 10 different possible Democratic nominees, while 22 percent went to other Republicans.      
The semiannual CNBC Millionaire Survey, conducted Nov. 7 through Nov. 19 by Spectrem Group, is representative of the affluent population in the United States. The survey analyzes the investment attitudes and behaviors of 750 investors with $1 million or more of investable assets. Respondents are required to be the financial decision-maker, or share jointly in financial decision-making within the household. In the survey, 39.9 percent of the 750 respondents identify as Republicans, 32.4 percent are Independents, and 25.7 percent are Democrats.

Twenty percent of respondents, including 18 percent of Republican millionaires, think President Donald Trump won't even be the Republican nominee for president in 2020. Eight percent believe outgoing Ohio Governor John Kasich will be the nominee, while 7 percent think it will be Vice President Mike Pence. That means that at least some Republicans believe the President could face and lose a primary challenge in 2020, or that he could be forced to leave office prematurely.

'Distressed' Republicans react to White House chaos: 'The wheels may be coming off' (The Week link): Thursday was a chaotic day in the Trump administration, and it left Republicans everywhere in a daze.

It all started with Trump saying he would not sign a funding bill passed by the Senate because it does not include the $5 billion he has requested for border wall funding, all but guaranteeing a government shutdown. This stunned Republican lawmakers, CNN reports. When she heard about what Trump said, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) remarked, "Ugh, are you ruining my life?" Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) observed, "This is not a good situation." Politico reports the chaos literally made Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) laugh out loud, saying, "You can't make this stuff up!"

The day went from bad to worse, with Defense Secretary James Mattis resigning in protest of Trump's foreign policy impulses. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in response that he was "distressed." Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said that with Mattis gone, "we are headed towards a series of grave policy errors which will endanger our nation, damage our alliances, and empower our adversaries." Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) tweeted, "This chaos, both foreign and domestic, is putting America in danger and must stop immediately."

There was also a report Thursday that the administration plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, which Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), normally a Trump ally, said could be "paving the way toward a second 9/11."

Off the record, the Republican reactions have been even less measured. A senior GOP congressman told CNN, "The wheels may be coming off." A former administration official told The Washington Post, "There's going to be an intervention." And The New York Times' Maggie Haberman reported that some conservatives who have worked for Trump or supported him are saying they "regret" doing so and that the administration is "off the rails," per Mediaite. She added that, considering Republican support would be required to impeach Trump, this "could be a critical moment."

Yeah, "priveledged."
Corker responds to Trump tweet: 'Alert the daycare staff' (The Hill link): Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) blasted President Trump on Sunday after Trump claimed that the Republican was forced to retire after not getting the president's support.

"Yes, just like Mexico is paying for the wall," Corker tweeted, before using the hashtag "#AlertTheDaycareStaff."

Corker has been repeatedly critical of the Trump administration, and has previously referred to the White House as an "an adult day care center."

The latest statement from Corker came after Trump ripped into the senator over an earlier Sunday show appearance in a pair of tweets.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Robert Reich: The End of Trump Is Near

Mod: I ran across the following conversation on Daily Kos. Apparently Robert Reich's confidant, a former GOP member of Congress, believes Trump is looking down the barrel at possible impeachment. Yet one more indication that many Republican officials have pretty much had enough of the madness, and may actually pull the plug.

Robert Reich: The End of Trump Is Near (Daily Kos link): This morning I phoned my friend, the former Republican member of Congress.

ME: So, what are you hearing?

HE: Trump is in deep sh*t.

ME: Tell me more.

HE: When it looked like he was backing down on the wall, Rush and the crazies on Fox went ballistic. So he has to do the shutdown to keep the base happy. They’re his insurance policy. They stand between him and impeachment.

ME: Impeachment? No chance. Senate Republicans would never go along.

HE (laughing): Don’t be so sure. Corporate and Wall Street are up in arms. Trade war was bad enough. Now, you’ve got Mattis resigning in protest. Trump pulling out of Syria, giving Putin a huge win. This dumbass shutdown. The stock market in free-fall. The economy heading for recession.

ME: But the base loves him.

HE: Yeah, but the base doesn’t pay the bills.

ME: You mean …

HE: Follow the money, friend.

ME: The GOP’s backers have had enough?

HE: They wanted Pence all along.

ME: So …

HE: So they’ll wait until Mueller’s report, which will skewer Trump. Pelosi will wait, too. Then after the Mueller bombshell, she’ll get 20, 30, maybe even 40 Republicans to join in an impeachment resolution.

ME: And then?

HE: Senate Republicans hope that’ll be enough -- that Trump will pull a Nixon.

ME: So you think he’ll resign?

HE (laughing): No chance. He’s fu*king out of his mind. He’ll rile up his base into a fever. Rallies around the country. Tweet storms. Hannity. Oh, it’s gonna be ugly. He’ll convince himself he’ll survive.

ME: And then?

HE: That’s when Senate Republicans pull the trigger.

ME: Really? Two-thirds of the Senate?

HE: Do the math. 47 Dems will be on board, so you need 19 Republicans. I can name almost that many who are already there. Won’t be hard to find the votes.

ME: But it will take months. And the country will be put through a ringer.

HE: I know. That’s the worst part.

ME: I mean, we could have civil war.

HE: Hell, no. That’s what he wants, but no chance. His approvals will be in the cellar. America will be glad to get rid of him.

ME: I hope you're right.

HE: He’s a dangerous menace. He’ll be gone. And then he'll be indicted, and Pence will pardon him. But the state investigations may put him in the clinker. Good riddance.'

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Christmas Presents For The Kremlin - Russia Gloats: ‘Trump Is Ours Again’

Mod: Everything Trump is doing benefits Russia. And the GOP Congress does nothing.

Russia Gloats: ‘Trump Is Ours Again’ (Daily Beast link): The Kremlin is awash with Christmas gifts from Washington, D.C. and every move by the Trump administration seems to add to that perception. On Wednesday, appearing on the Russian state TV show “The Evening with Vladimir Soloviev,” Director of the Moscow-based Center for Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies Semyon Bagdasarov said that the U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis is “struggling to keep up” with the flurry of unexpected decisions by the U.S. President Donald Trump. The news that Mattis decided to step down sent shock waves across the world, being interpreted as “a dangerous signal” by America’s allies.

Meanwhile, the Mattis departure is being cheered in Russia. Konstantin Kosachev, head of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Upper House of the Russian Parliament, has said that “the departure of James Mattis is a positive signal for Russia, since Mattis was far more hawkish on Russia and China than Donald Trump.” Kosachev opined that Trump apparently considered his own agenda in dealing with Russia, China and America’s allies to be "more important than keeping James Mattis at his post," concluding: "That’s an interesting signal, and a more positive one” for Russia.

Jubilation was even more apparent on Russia’s state television, which adheres closely to the Kremlin’s point of view. The host of the Russian state TV show “60 Minutes,” Olga Skabeeva asserted: “Secretary of Defense Mattis didn’t want to leave Syria, so Trump fired him. They are leaving Syria.”

President Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Sanders, remarked: “The idea that Putin is happy about this [Trump's decision to withdraw US forces from Syria] is ridiculous. It puts them at a greater risk, so I think that's just silly.” To the contrary, the idea of an American withdrawal from Syria is being widely perceived in Russia as “a total dream come true” if it truly takes place.

State TV host Olga Skabeeva surmised that Americans are “losers, since Putin has defeated them in every way.” With a theatrical sigh, her co-host, Evgeny Popov, added: “Trump is ours again—what are you going to do?” Every member of the sizeable audience enthusiastically clapped. While these statements are decidedly sarcastic, Russian opinion makers recount the Kremlin’s victories with unmistakable glee. Popov smirked: “It seems to Americans that we won on every front: the U.S. Secretary of Defense has been removed, we unquestionably secured a complete, unconditional victory in Syria.” Skabeeva chimed in: “They’re also planning to leave Afghanistan.”

Popov pointed out: “On top of that, Rusal sanctions have been lifted with Trump’s hands.” Panelists of the show, including Russian lawmakers, couldn’t hide their satisfied grins. The reference was to the announcement that Trump’s Treasury Department intends to lift sanctions against the business empire of Oleg V. Deripaska, one of Russia’s most influential oligarchs, sanctioned for Russian interference in the U.S. elections. 

Texas Representative Lloyd Doggett told The New York Times that the move to lift Rusal sanctions amounted to Trump “sliding another big gift under Vladimir Putin’s Christmas tree.” The gesture is certainly being interpreted that way in Russia. Deripaska’s attorneys are reportedly mounting an aggressive campaign to pursue the removal of personal sanctions from the Putin-linked oligarch as well.

Discussing the planned departure of the U.S. from Syria, state TV host Olga Skabeeva pondered why Trump suddenly decided to leave at this point in time: “Americans say, it’s because he is beholden to Putin. Is that logical? Yes, it is.”

Friday, December 21, 2018

Jim Bakker: God Chose Trump so Christians Could Prepare for the End Times

Mod: As crazy as Bakker is, there isn't much Trump does that disproves this.

Jim Bakker: God Chose Trump so Christians Could Prepare For the End Times ( link): Jim Bakker is a well-known End Times prepper in the Christian sphere. On one of his recent television broadcasts, he said that God told him that President Trump was elected in order to give Christians enough time to prepare for the return of Jesus Christ.

“Have you ever seen a time when we hate our president like the people do now?” Bakker stated. “Literally half the nation hates the president and would probably kill him if they got a chance.”

Bakker prayed to God and asked Him why the climate was turning into the way it was. He stated that God told him “you are in Revelation, Chapter 6,” which tells of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Furthermore, God told Bakker that the first horse of the Apocalypse had been released on earth.

While the “Antichrist spirit” has been let loose on America, “God has given us a man who is not afraid to fight. We have a president people think is crazy. They call him crazy, but he’s making peace treaties, he’s doing all the things to try to solve the world’s problems and God has put him on earth—God spoke to me the other night, He said, ‘I put Donald Trump on earth to give you time, the church, to get ready.’”

“This is what He told me,” Bakker claimed. “He said, ‘Donald Trump is a respite in this troubled times and I sent him in grace to give you time to prepare for what’s coming on earth.’”

Bakker isn’t the first person to believe that our current climate is showing signs that the end of the world is coming shortly. There are many other prominent Christians theorizing that problems between the nations, lack of faith, and the like are prophecies straight from the Bible.

What do you think? Do you believe Trump was sent by God to warn us of the End Times?

Trump is 'flipping out' and 'there's going to be an intervention' after Mattis resignation (Raw Story link): “Trump has been isolated in bunker mode in recent weeks as political and personal crises mount, according to interviews with 27 current and former White House officials, Republican lawmakers, and outside advisers to the president, some of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to offer candid assessments,” the report says. Things are likely to come to a head now that Mattis is resigning.

“There’s going to be an intervention,” a former senior White House official told the Post. “Jim Mattis just sent a shot across the bow. He’s the most credible member of the administration by five grades of magnitude. He’s the steady, safe set of hands. And this letter is brutal. He quit because of the madness.”

The situation inside the White House was dire Thursday night, the report said. A Republican close to the White House told The Washington Post that Trump was in “a tailspin,” acting “totally irrationally” and “flipping out.”

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Rudy Giuliani lied about a Trump Tower Moscow letter of intent. CNN has receipts. Trump personally signed it.

Mod: Most people are aware that Rudy will say just about anything, no matter how untrue. But it is still a whole lot of fun watching him get busted for telling this particularly bald faced whopper.

Rudy Giuliani lied about a Trump Tower Moscow letter of intent - CNN has receipts (Vox link): On Tuesday evening, CNN host Chris Cuomo announced that the network has obtained a letter of intent personally signed by Donald Trump to proceed with a lucrative Trump Tower Moscow project that would have provided his company with a $4 million upfront fee.

Cuomo brandished the document on his show and highlighted how it contrasts with what Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said as recently as Sunday, when he told CNN that Trump Tower Moscow “was a real estate project. There was a letter of intent to go forward, but no one signed it.”

Giuliani’s claim is incorrect. It turns out Trump himself signed the letter of intent, which is dated October 28, 2015 — five months after Trump launched his presidential campaign, and during a period in which he was lavishing praise on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump’s longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, told Congress last year that Trump signed the document. CNN has now published proof.

CNN reports that the non-binding letter of intent — also signed by Andrey Rozov, owner of the Russian firm that would have partnered with the Trump Organization on the project, I.C. Expert Investment Co. — outlined a deal that would have given Trump’s company “a $4 million upfront fee, no upfront costs, a percentage of the sales and control over marketing and design. The deal also included an opportunity to name the hotel spa after Trump’s daughter Ivanka.”

“I have no deals that could happen”

Even though he personally signed a letter of intent for Trump Tower Moscow, Trump repeatedly claimed during his campaign that he had “nothing to do with Russia” and “I know nothing about Russia ... I don’t deal there.” During a news conference held days before his inauguration, Trump offered a comment that now seems especially dubious in light of the signed letter of intent. “I have no dealings with Russia, I have no deals in Russia, I have no deals that could happen in Russia because we stayed away,” Trump said. “We could make deals in Russia very easily if we wanted to. I just don’t want to because I think that would be a conflict. So I have no loans, no dealings, and no current pending deals.”

Trump has already tried to rewrite this history. After Cohen agreed to a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller last month that acknowledged he made false statements to Congress about the Trump Organization’s dealings with Russia, Trump claimed “everybody knew” about his secret business dealings with Russia. In a tweet posted November 30, Trump even characterized his dealings as “very legal & very cool.”

“I talked about it on the campaign trail,” Trump said, falsely, before adding that he “Lightly looked at doing a building somewhere in Russia.”

During a question-and-answer session with reporters on November 29, Trump referred to the letter of intent but suggested he never signed it. “I don’t even remember it,” Trump said. In tweets posted that same day, Trump hinted at a line new of defense — that even if he didn’t tell the truth about his dealings with Russia, lying is not a crime, and therefore the Mueller investigation “is an illegal Hoax that should be ended immediately.”

The president has also emphasized that the deal didn’t end up happening in the end. “I didn’t do the project, I decided not to do the project, so I didn’t do it,” he said on November 29.

Indeed, the letter of intent Trump signed states that “The Parties agree that unless and until a License Agreement between the Parties has been executed and delivered, no party shall be under any legal obligation of any kind whatsoever to consummate a transaction hereby by virtue of the (letter of intent).” There’s no evidence that a License Agreement was ever consummated.

But as Cuomo highlighted during his show on Tuesday evening, legal defenses are one thing — lying to voters about your business dealings with a foreign adversary during a presidential campaign in which that adversary is interfering in the election on your behalf is another.

“Why are they doing this?” Cuomo said, referring to the disconnect between Giuliani’s comment that “no one signed” the letter of intent, and the document affixed with Trump’s signature. “This doesn’t matter legally, and that’s the point — they’re not preparing for trial. Don’t examine it that way. They are preparing for a PR campaign to convince you of what they want you to believe.”

Giuliani tries to walk it back

After CNN obtained the letter of intent signed by Trump, Giuliani told the New York Daily News that the letter is “bullshit because it didn’t go anywhere.”

“That was the end of it,” he added. “It means nothing but an expression of interest that means very little unless it goes to a contract and it never did.”

Giuliani also flatly denied saying what he said on Sunday, when he told CNN that “no one signed the letter.”

“I don’t think I said nobody signed it,” Giuliani said to the Daily News.