Sunday 27th of May 2018

the delayed memory syndrome of presidents...

beautiful lies

So … Donald Trump, who is a chronic liar, wants people to believe that he paid a six-figure sum to stop a porn star from making false accusations defamatory of his, um, character. Right.

And you know, by this point, nobody is going to care. I’m struggling to care. There was a time, pre-Trump, where the revelation that the President of the United States had had an extramarital affair with a porn star, paid her to be quiet about it during the campaign, then lied about it, would have been shocking. Now … it’s just Trump. He has no morals. He makes Bill Clinton look like Bernard of Clairvaux.

Please don’t start with the “but, but you conservatives, you’ll still vote for him because yadda yadda yadda.” Yeah, a lot of us will, because of the courts, and because we genuinely fear left-wing government; our curse is that Trump’s presidency is going to make it more likely that we will get a strong left-wing government. We’ll see. Anyway, there’s no point to indulging in whataboutism here. We’ve all been there a thousand times already. By now, it’s boring.

Instead, I want to reflect on this column by Elizabeth Bruenig in today’s Washington Post. The headline — “The Nation Is Mired In Bitter Impotence” — gives you a sense of the thing. Excerpt:

American democracy tells a certain kind of story about itself and its legitimacy: Our government derives its power and authority from the consent of the governed, which means that our government reflects, to some degree, our national character. Even if you look at the government and see nothing at all you approve of, the contractual story goes, you’re still following the laws and paying taxes, and that is sufficient proof of assent as far as we’re concerned. Thus we all toil under the suspicion that we really do have the government we deserve.

But that our government arises (as national mythology holds) from our own will says something about the government and something about us. If this is the kind of government we want and deserve — one permanently mired in controversy, much of it sordid and exploitative; one that never seems to operate with anything approaching full transparency or honesty; one that mercurially sets its sights on a rotating cast of enemies, blundering from one to another faster than it can dispense with its own personnel — then what kind of people are we?

But then there’s the clincher that turns a typical democratic concern into our current nightmare: You actually don’t have much control over what goes on in government, not because of widespread voter fraud or whatever fantasy but because a few wealthy donors and their underlings have the privilege of setting the political agenda, of selecting the choices you will be offered long before you have the opportunity to make them. A sense of bitter impotence underlies the political mood on both the left and right, I think, for precisely this reason. When you know that nothing you do matters very much, even victory is frustrating; defeat, meanwhile, feels like utter despair.

It is an unlivable paradox, knowing both that you’re implicated in the authority of your government and that you have little say in which decisions you will eventually be credited with, at least in part. Our condition is particularly tense at the moment because the scandals, intrigues and crusades of the Trump administration are so egregious, meaning that people are even likelier to be drawn into the question of: What binds me to this government, and it to me?

Read the whole thing.

Good question, one that most of us never think about, because we haven’t really had to think about it. In my house, we don’t talk a lot about politics, but my kids listen to and read the news like their parents. They see and hear what their president says, and how he carries on. They are learning to have contempt for the office, because the current president defecates on its authority almost daily. I don’t teach them this; Donald Trump does. He’s teaching it to me, too.

I’ve been there before, during the years of scandal in the Catholic Church, seeing how so many bishops made mockery of their holy offices by their own corruption, and by turning a blind eye to the sexual corruption, even criminality, that happened on their watch. Finally the day came when I was drawn as by a whirlpool into the question of: What binds me to this Church, and it to me? 

That did not end well. If Trump persists down this path — and nobody should expect him to do otherwise; this is who he is — people will start to lose faith in the institution of the presidency. Trust in the federal government overall is already hanging by a thread: polls show that only 18 percent of Americans trust Washington to do the right thing most of the time.

My point is this: authority — which is not the same thing as power — is much more fragile than people think. And not only authority, but also the ties that bind a people together as a polity — ties that, in a non-tribal nation like America, involve the Constitution and what it sets out for us. If the French cease to believe in their government, it will fall, and they’ll come up with a new constitutional order, the Sixth Republic. Nobody fears that France will become something other than France. But if Americans should lose faith in our form of government, what binds us to this nation, and it to us?

 

read more:

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/potus-trump-stormy-daniels...

that's very nice...

In a week where a White House lawyer confirmed the President had paid hush money to try and stop a porn star talking about their alleged affair, could the name Donald J Trump really be about to go down alongside Dr Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa and Nelson Mandela as a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize?

In these crazy times, it suddenly doesn't seem so crazy.

The sudden thaw in relations between North and South Korea, had crowds at a Trump rally in Michigan last weekend chanting "Nobel! Nobel! Nobel!" To which a beaming President Trump replied with unusual modesty: "That's very nice."

 

Read more:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-05/donald-trump-nobel-prize-barron/9719726

 

And by the way did we mention Clinton? And what about Marilyn Monroe and "Camelot"? And...

rumours...

US President Donald Trump's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, has said he would not rule out the possibility that payments were made to women other than porn star Stormy Daniels to get them to stay silent about allegations against Mr Trump.

Key points:
  • Mr Giuliani says he cannot rule out Mr Cohen making payments to other women
  • Mr Giuliani dismissed as rumour his own statements about Mr Trump's payment to Ms Daniels
  • President could plead the Fifth Amendment to ignore subpoena in Russia investigation

 

In an interview Sunday with ABC's This Week, Mr Giuliani said Mr Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen could have made similar payments to other women on the President's behalf.

"I have no knowledge of that, but I would think if it was necessary, yes," Mr Giuliani said.

Mr Giuliani dismissed his own statements about Mr Trump's payment to Ms Daniels as "rumour".

Mr Trump had previously denied any knowledge of the payment meant to quiet Ms Daniels about an alleged affair with Mr Trump prior to the 2016 election.

Last week Mr Giuliani upended the previous White House defence by saying the President did know about Mr Cohen's $130,000 payment to Ms Daniels and had reimbursed him.

"This is more rumour than it is anything else," Mr Giuliani said on Sunday regarding the President's knowledge of the payment.

read more:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-07/rudy-giuliani-confounds-stormy-dan...

should the donald get the nobel peace prize?...

YES! The SOONER the BETTER, so he can go and wage WAR on some poor country after that... 

 

The US withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Tehran on Tuesday is the first step in the American plan for a regime change in Iran carried out in accordance with the Iraqi scenario, Middle East expert Sami Ramadani told RT.

“If one listens carefully to what Trump was saying, really, the US is not only withdrawing from this multilateral international agreement unilaterally – scrapping it, but it’s also, actually, threatening a regime change in Iran,” Ramadani said.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/426206-iran-us-nuclear-regime-change/

 

Note that the USA has assembled the biggest firepower of warships EVER in human history, lurking in the Med and in the Gulf. This is not for a Sunday picnic.

see 

I would hate to be carthage...

who pays the taxes on hush moneys?...

Does Trump lawyer's ‘hush payment’ to Stormy Daniels break law?

The president's personal lawyer paid the porn star $130,000 just weeks before the 2016 election - one legal expert says the payment may count as an illegal campaign finance contribution.

Michael Cohen says he used his own money, while the White House has given shifting explanations of Mr Trump's involvement.

 

Read more:

http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-44008152/does-trump-lawyer-s-...

more rumours on those two...

 

...

During the interview, Daniels claimed that, shortly after she first told her story to In Touch magazine back in 2011, a man approached her in a Las Vegas parking lot and threatened her life, urging her to “leave Trump alone” and “forget the story.” The duo then released a composite sketch of the purported parking-lot assailant, with Daniels explaining that she didn’t go to the authorities seven years ago because she both feared for her safety and, as a newly minted mother, didn’t want her husband at the time to learn about the supposed Trump tryst. She did, however, concede that, “I always feel like you should stand up for yourself and you should report it.” 

On the other side of the country in sunny Los Angeles, Tasha Reign was tuning in to Daniels’ sit-down and couldn’t believe what she was hearing. 

“It’s very upsetting to see her speak like that and then I think, but I know the real you,” says Reign. “I was there. I saw what you did.”

I’m seated with Reign at a restaurant in West Hollywood. About an hour into our interview, one where she defended Daniels for “doing our industry justice” in her battle against the Trump apparatus (Reign is a liberal) and called out Jimmy Kimmel for his “disgusting” treatment of her during their late-night chat, the 29-year-old begins to tear up. 

“It’s tricky...” she says, her voice cracking with emotion, “because I don’t even like Stormy. I don’t like her at all.”

 

Read more:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/tasha-reign-i-was-assaulted-on-a-stormy-da...

 

Who does what is fascinatingly insane. But the women's mag are full of this extended rubbish like stretch marks after giving birth. The latest Woman's day or Weekly (I forgot) is about the war in the English Palace about the women fighting for the best spot for the incoming wedding... You can shake your head... Meanwhile Tasha should demand compensation... Sure.

slowly, remembering his bank draft...

US President Donald Trump has acknowledged for the first time he repaid his lawyer Michael Cohen for a payment of at least $100,000 made to a "third party" in 2016.

The revelation was in ethics disclosures signed by Mr Trump that were released by the US Office of Government Ethics on Wednesday.

Mr Cohen made a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, shortly before the November 8, 2016, presidential election in exchange for her staying silent about an alleged affair she had with Mr Trump.

Mr Trump's new disclosure statement did not describe the purpose or the recipient of the 2016 payment made by Mr Cohen.

But the acting director of the ethics office, David Apol, in a letter to deputy attorney-general Rod Rosenstein said it should have been disclosed in ethics documents that Mr Trump filed in June 2017. 

Mr Apol's letter was released with the Trump disclosures.

The ethics office is a government watchdog that provides oversight of the executive branch program designed to prevent and resolve conflicts of interest.

 

Read more:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-17/donald-trump-repaid-lawyer-michael...