Monday 28th of May 2018

some journals are stirring the possum... but donald will hang on till the bitter end, 2020... I could be wrong.


a penny for your pence...

Not since the release of the Access Hollywood tape, in which Donald Trump bragged about groping women by the genitals, have some conservatives thought so seriously, if a bit wistfully, about two words: President Pence.

The scandals clouding Trump’s presidency — including, most recently, his firing of FBI Director James Comey, his alleged leak of classified information to Russian officials, and reports that he urged Comey to drop an investigation into a top aide — have raised once more the possibility that Trump could be pushed aside and replaced by Vice President Mike Pence.

“If what the [New York Times] reported is true, Pence is probably rehearsing,” one House Republican who asked not to be named quipped Wednesday. “It’s just like Nixon. From the standpoint that it’s never the underlying issue, it is always the cover-up.”

The still far-fetched proposition of removing Trump from office has increasing appeal to Republicans who are growing weary of defending Trump and are alarmed by his conduct in office. But such whispers are cringe-worthy for Pence and his aides, who have made an art of not upstaging the mercurial president. Pence’s press secretary declined to comment for this article.

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It's not going to happen for several reasons which we will go in detail one by one later on. I could be wrong but I don't think so. 



Slowly, he is grinding them down...


Read Rosenstein’s May 9 memo to the Attorney General detailing Comey’s failures. Rosenstein does not actually recommend firing Comey; he only provides the rationale. AG Jeff Sessions recommends the firing, and Trump executes it.

So Rosenstein knew that his reputation was being used to cover up something Trump intended to do anyway, for reasons that wouldn’t have flown politically had they been known. In other words, he let Trump’s dirty move conceal itself under his (Rosenstein’s) reputation for fairness. But Trump himself blew the story up when he told NBC’s Lester Holt that he had his anger over the Russia investigation in mind when he fired Comey. Now it’s clear from Rosenstein’s own admission that he knowingly participated in a charade.

And it’s clear (as if it weren’t already) that Donald Trump lies, and is pleased to corrupt those who serve him, to make them accomplices in his deception.

What Rosenstein did is not a crime, and for all I know, it may simply be a case of the public inadvertently getting a look at how the sausage is made. If you read Rosenstein’s firing memo, it is likely that everything in it is factually true. But if so, they were truths written down for use in the telling of a lie, for misleading the American people.

Where does Rod Rosenstein’s good reputation stand today? I wonder if anybody who works high up in this administration is going to come out of it with his reputation intact.

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So far, what Trump did is unfortunately legit. They can't get him for firing Comey... They can't get him on the non-existent "Russian" link with his campaign. So some journos on the right (at Politico) are trying a new venture by stirring the possum and presenting the illusion that "some" Republicans who feel that Trump has damaged the cosy "Republican" brand might like to replace him with Pence. There is absolutely no value in them changing horses, especially from a mad wild colt to a nag. My view and I repeat: the only place where Trump can be impeached is on his bombing (now twice) of Syrian and Assad allied forces without approval of congress. But this won't happen because everyone (except reasonable people like us) was in rapture over the deed.

Considering that the foreign policy of the US (Trump's) has gone back to the removal of Assad, will he manage to get the Russians on side by making an offer they could not refuse? Since the demise of the USSR, the Russians are a lot more cautious when making deals with the US, that till now have proven quite devious. We shall see...


tell them they're dreamin'...

To everyone dreaming of a quick and easy impeachment: What do you imagine happens the day after?

Passions subside. President Pence begins his orderly reign. Donald Trump retreats to Mar-a-Lago. Normalcy returns.

That’s about what you have in mind, right?

Dream on.

Here’s a likelier scenario: Trump goes to Mar-a-Lago to regroup, not retreat. Early in the morning, he tweets: “Join me on Day One of our campaign to reverse the most corrupt theft in political history and reclaim the White House in 2020.” His supporters vow to reverse the coup d’etat.

And the wars intensify.

Impeachment should not be ruled out. If special counsel Robert S. Mueller III gathers evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors, Congress should proceed, regardless of partisan advantage or political fallout.

But Trump opponents are kidding themselves if they think that sacking him will restore comity and peace to the nation. And they are dodging the work they need to do if they let a focus on impeachment or removal under the 25th Amendment keep them from offering solutions to problems that contributed to Trump’s victory.

Impeachment has been and should be considered a “drastic remedy,” as attorney Gregory Craig called it when he was defending President Bill Clinton before the House Judiciary Committee in 1998.

Trump was legitimately elected by Americans who knew they were voting for an inexperienced, bombastic, intermittently truthful, thin-skinned, race-baiting businessman. If Trump turns out to be an inexperienced, bombastic, intermittently truthful, thin-skinned, race-baiting president, that should not come as a surprise. Nor is it grounds for impeachment.

Even if Trump turns out to be worse than feared, a failure, a disappointment even to his voters, someone who would, say, boorishly disparage America’s FBI chief as a “nut job” while speaking to America’s adversaries — even that would not be grounds for impeachment. The remedy for poor performance is not to reelect. It is a decision for the voters.

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I would be surprised if special counsel Robert S. Mueller III finds anything about Russia's influence on the US Presidential elections...

losing his pants, either way...

The other day, from the Naval Observatory in Washington, you heard a howl of such volume and anguish that it cracked mirrors and sent small forest animals scurrying for cover. Vice President Mike Pence was furious. He was offended. Someone — namely, my Times colleagues Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns — had dared to call him out on the fact that he seemed to be laying the groundwork for a presidential bid.

Problem No. 1: His president is still in the first year of his first term. Problem No. 2: That president is Donald Trump, who doesn’t take kindly to any glimmer that people in his employ are putting their vanity or agenda before his. Just ask Steve Bannon. Or Anthony Scaramucci. They were too big for their britches, and Trump snatched their britches away.

The Times report put Pence in similar peril, so he pushed back with an operatic outrage that showed just how close to the bone it had cut. When a story’s actually wrong, you eviscerate it, exposing its erroneous assertions without ever breaking a sweat. When it’s a stink bomb at odds with your plotting, you set your jaw, redden your face and proclaim it “disgraceful,” never detailing precisely how.

That was Pence’s route. And his rancor, I suspect, reflects more than the inconvenient truths that Martin and Burns told. It’s overarching. It’s existential. On some level, he must realize that he’s in a no-win situation. Without Trump he’s nothing. With Trump he’s on a runaway train that he can’t steer or brake. If it doesn’t crash, Trump can scream down the tracks straight through 2020. If it does, Pence will be one of the casualties.

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