Friday, November 15, 2019

Jason Miciak

Jason Miciak is an author and attorney who splits his time between the Mississippi Gulf Coast and the Pacific Northwest. He has a wife, daughter and the most self-centered and smug dog to ever walk the Earth. Miciak's novels use science fiction to explore themes of morality and our current political environment.

It All Comes Undone for Trump, Public Now Supports Impeachment By...

Yesterday, we noted that it appeared Trump’s debts were coming due, he looked to be forced into checking off a list of “favors” owed to foreign leaders, while facing maximum political pressure from Republican politicians at home. Today, Trump faces that same gripping dynamic, only now vastly intensified. New polls show support for the impeachment probe shot sharply up over the last week. The latest Washington Post poll shows that Americans now favor opening the impeachment inquiry by 20 points. Link: The poll finds that, by a margin of 58 percent to 38 percent, Americans say the House was correct to undertake the inquiry. Among all adults, 49 percent say the House should take the more significant step to impeach the president and call for his removal from office. Another 6 percent say they back the start of the inquiry but do not favor removing Trump from office, with the remainder undecided about the president’s ultimate fate. The results among registered voters are almost identical. In today’s typical 50-50 political divide, that 20 point opening gap is a blinking red-light flashing danger over every Republican politician considering whether to continue defending Trump at all cost. Voters at home are noticing. And we are talking about “Republican voters,” too, because it isn’t just that “support” for impeachment is up, it is up everywhere and among everyone, including Republicans. Support among Democratic voters for an impeachment inquiry rose by 25 points since July, but also by 21 points among Republicans and 20 points among independents, too. The GOP opposition to an inquiry is still 71%, with 59% feeling strongly about their position, but that’s an erosion nonetheless. Independents now favor an inquiry by a majority 57/38, with 40% feeling strongly about it. That is devastating. Those first cracks in the Republican wall that we noted over the last couple of weeks now have daylight peeking through. If twenty percent of Republicans are “open” to hearing more in the impeachment inquiry, they are not under the full Trump sway, and will not accept “it was the perfect call” as the perfect defense. Of course, the poll would be reverberating even more ominously had the poll found just one percentage point higher favorability over the ultimate question, removal. As of this weekend, the cut-off date for the poll, 49% of Americans favored “removing” Trump from office, and that is stunning. One wonders what the dynamic might “feel” like had the poll integrated Trump’s betrayal of the Kurds, the cut and run from ISIS, and the public having absorbed Sen. Graham’s anger and Mitch McConnell’s rebuke. What would headlines this morning be if the poll showed “54% of Americans favor removal …”? Speaking of the Senate, each Republican senator now must see the clear trend, with each passing week, new revelations send Trump reeling, reacting in unpredictable and bizarre ways, and polls moving in one direction, and one direction only, against Trump. It was the end of August that we noted the unsustainability of the administration, and the pace of “chaos,” (if chaos has a pace). In the time period between then and now, political “approval” ratings have danced up and down some, but support for the impeachment process appears to be headed in one direction only. This poll, with the jumps across all sub-categories, will […]
Trump TV Network / YouTube Mitch McConnell Press Conference on Trump...

Code Red: McConnell Turns on Trump Over Syria

Serving two masters sucks. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell publicly rebuked President Trump’s plan to withdraw U.S. troops from northeast Syria, saying that a supermajority in the Senate disagreed with the president’s abrupt announcement. “I urge the President to exercise American leadership to keep together our multinational coalition to defeat ISIS and prevent significant conflict between our NATO ally Turkey and our local Syrian counterterrorism partners,” McConnell said Monday in a statement. “Major new conflict between Turkey and our partners in Syria would seriously risk damaging Turkey’s ties to the United States and causing greater isolation for Turkey on the world stage.” Yes, Graham’s protest was more dramatic, but everything Lindsey does is drama-filled, one might call him a bit of a queen in that respect. More importantly, as critical as Graham remains as a Trumplican with respect to impeachment, Graham will always be a hawkish, foreign policy-oriented senator. But McConnell is the one who controls Trump’s procedural fate, every bit as much as Putin, if not more, he is the true political machine in the equation and generally prefers to keep his powder dry for domestic policy, where the money gets made. Yet here we are, McConnell clearly calling for Trump to reverse himself, again, and yield to a higher authority – Mitch. Trump has done this before. The last time Trump reversed his Syria policy, he “sort of” hid the reversal among other moves, and could cast it off as something that “upon further review” he – Trump alone – decided against pulling out. But, having done that once, if Trump reverses himself again this time, he will have signaled that he is no longer running the nation, McConnell is president in all but name. But if Trump doesn’t reverse himself, McConnell sees that Trump cannot always be corralled for team red. And if Trump cannot be corralled, that is a problem for that same red team, since no one – ever – needed a guiderail more than Trump. Senate Republicans have placed their fate into the hands of a man that will operate outside their parameters, and sell them out, if needed. Moreover, they all know they are risking everything by sticking with Trump even this far, never mind allowing Trump to proceed “alone,” unwilling to bend to their will. It would be clear to me that the only way that Senate Republicans will allow Trump to remain in office is if they know they control him. Then there is Putin, who may be the one who actually resolves this matter. Putin would weigh his options, and determine the role for each player going forward. We cannot know, Putin would have to get word to them, and that might be easier said than done. The stakes for getting caught would be awfully high. And perhaps Putin doesn’t hold quite the amount of power we think over McConnell, it is exceedingly difficult to tell. But here we are, the United States of America, and we citizens rather casually talk about Putin’s influence on our president and senate leadership in foreign policy decisions, amazing. But, no man can serve two masters, and no one knew the truism better than our Founding Fathers, who tried to preclude the issue by having everyone swear fealty to a document as “master.” Trump clearly never meant it, […] / YouTube Top 10 Crazy Donald Trump Moments...

Trump Continues Decompensating Under Pressure: “Pelosi Treason,” “Unmatched Wisdom”

Admittedly, no one would trade places with Trump right now. Trump has Vlad threatening to release tapes and records of god only knows what, the rest of the Republican caucus crying about betrayal of the Kurds, all while facing an impeachment inquiry with fresh new firsthand witnesses. It is not a good day to be Donald Trump. And it shows. Let’s start with projection, it is always safe for an aspiring dictator to threaten one’s opponents with the same crime for which one is accused. Except, perhaps do it with some circumspection? At least make it sound plausible? No, not Trump, he must accuse Nancy Pelosi of treason.  ….This makes Nervous Nancy every bit as guilty as Liddle’ Adam Schiff for High Crimes and Misdemeanors, and even Treason. I guess that means that they, along with all of those that evilly “Colluded” with them, must all be immediately Impeached! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2019 This is, of course, insane. “Every bit as guilty “for” high crimes and misdemeanors, and even Treason.” And then he calls for the impeachment of people who cannot be impeached. *Pro-Tip, Ace, yeah, you – Trump, if you think they committed crimes, your Attorney General is supposed to go and charge them. That is actually “okay” in the constitution. After all, your DOJ charged two Republicans in 2018 of corruption, that is the way to do it. Problem being, of course, neither Schiff nor Pelosi committed a crime and Trump knows it. So, this is even more insane than one might think on first brush. Then there is his defense of his betrayal with the Kurds. He is really in it this time, because he clearly pulled out to please Vladimir, and enraged Republican allies by doing it. So Trump tells us that his move is going to really piss the Russians off: I was elected on getting out of these ridiculous endless wars, where our great Military functions as a policing operation to the benefit of people who don’t even like the USA. The two most unhappy countries at this move are Russia & China, because they love seeing us bogged….. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2019 ….down, watching over a quagmire, & spending big dollars to do so. When I took over, our Military was totally depleted. Now it is stronger than ever before. The endless and ridiculous wars are ENDING! We will be focused on the big picture, knowing we can always go back & BLAST! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2019 We can always “go back and BLAST” ??? From the American president? And sure, everyone believes Russia is furious, because that’s what you do, Ace. And this will live right up there in infamy with “very stable genius”: As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!). They must, with Europe and others, watch over… — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2019 Getting away from the Kurds put Trump’s “mind” on his money, specifically, government records of his money – taxes. Trump took a 70 page judicial ruling up his rear this morning, […]

Darkening Horizon: All Trump’s Debts Come Due As Walls Close In.

Upon learning of Trump’s latest foreign policy change, pulling out of Northern Syria, one couldn’t help but fear that the move represented nothing more than the latest payment made to those dark figures around the globe to whom Trump owes his current position. Cutting and running from our duty to support the Kurds will allow Turkey’s autocratic leader to move quickly-into the gap, open up Russian options in Syria, and further inflame a Middle East already heightened with tension over Iran. The news followed upon a tumultuous two weeks in which we learned that Trump bent Ukraine’s elbow back just as the Ukrainian government transitioned into a clean, anti-Putin administration, already engaged in a warm war with Russia. It was always destined to play out this way. Much as Putin, the Saudis, Israel and others, might have liked to have quickly gotten their “due” for their necessary “help” to install our current despot, they knew that the U.S. required time to adjust to the dictatorial life. One doesn’t over-force dynamic change into a two-hundred and forty year old democratic superpower. It has to evolve properly. But, the international crime syndicate that worked so hard and took so many risks will get their due. They cannot wait any longer. Trump looks “weak.” Trump is polling double digits down to every major Democratic opponent. He is facing an impeachment inquiry which – on any given day – could result in a document springing loose to seal Trump’s fate, at least as president. And even the worst procrastinators won’t have a “to do” list with three to four major things left unresolved in the midst of an election year. No, the summer-fall season of “year three” was always going to be the point in time to watch for major action. Trump finds himself in a delectably awful position. He most needs political capital at home while his biggest international benefactors need the most “anti-American” things done. One can just imagine Putin whispering into Trump’s ear: “Donald, it is time to weaken the Ukraine, and get your troops out of Syria, you had promised …” And Trump whimpering: “But I am fighting this impeachment process, and if I am doing things that upset too many people, I won’t survive to get that done. You have to help me get to the point when I can …” To which Putin might giggle viciously; “Oh, Donald, don’t worry, I will help you with impeachment. I will just continue to hold all our loan agreements here and not put a stamp on this envelope to the New York Times. After all, imagine how badly the impeachment might go if those documents found their way out? I do need my list done, Donald.” Of course, whether such actual conversations exist (though they could) is wholly beside the point. The dynamic near surely does exist. Other explanations exist for Trump’s decisions of late, but Occam sneers at those. The real terrifying aspect of the above summation is that we haven’t seen the worst, yet. If you had near outright ownership of the U.S. president, and you are part of the world’s biggest, most ruthless crime syndicate, one that could ruin Trump, would you be satisfied yet? No. NATO still opposes Russia, Iran still sits in the Middle East, sanctions still cripple Putin’s buddies, […]
Congressional Quarterly / Flickr Lindsay Graham...

Lindsey Graham Lashes Out Against Trump for Telling His “Biggest Lie”...

Lindsey Graham displayed shockingly strong independence this morning when he tore into Trump about an evolving decision to abandon our Middle East allies, the Kurds, in their fight against ISIS and Turkish forces. Trump has ordered our troops in Northern Syria to stand down and allow Turkish troops to pour into the area, with the Kurds fearing they are about to become victims of the next regional genocide. You will recall that Trump ordered a withdrawal from Syria over a year ago, prompting Defense Sec. Jim Mattis’s resignation, stating that Trump will need to lose to ISIS with someone else as secretary of defense. Trump quickly reversed himself at the time, but not soon enough to keep Mattis. This time, however, the minders are gone, the betrayal seems imminent, and the implications horrific. According to former U.S. Special Envoy to the Islamic State Brett McGurk: “This appears to be another decision without any consultation, deliberation or process,” one that “will significantly increase the risk for our personnel who depend on the SDF for sustainment.” An International Crisis Group analyst said, ”For the U.S.’s regional allies, the lesson should be clear: This is a president and an administration that, in the breach, is not interested in fighting their battles for them.” If you recall the last time that Trump attempted to abandon the Kurds, we heard the same accusations, no one was consulted, no one knew it was coming, there was no plan for implementation. As always when we hear that Trump jumped to a secretive, unpopular decision – and Trump knew this would be controversial and unpopular – we look to alternative Trump motives, things beyond actual U.S. foreign policy. Turkish and/or Russian explanations will be examined in later columns, but for today’s purposes, know only that an appropriately massive pushback is coming Trump’s way. But Trump might not have anticipated the blowback coming from his most needed domestic allies. Lindsey Graham is heated enough to call out Trump’s rational, “ISIS is not defeated. This is the biggest lie being told by this administration.” Yes, Graham just referenced the administration as telling its “biggest lie,” and we’ll revisit the importance below. Graham wasn’t done: Lindsey Graham calls in to Fox & Friends & calls Trump's decision to abandon the Kurds "impulsive." "I hope I'm making myself clear how shortsighted & irresponsible this decision is in my view," he says. "This to me is just unnerving to its core." — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 7, 2019 And on his own: * Ensures ISIS comeback.* Forces Kurds to align with Assad and Iran.* Destroys Turkey’s relationship with U.S. Congress.* Will be a stain on America’s honor for abandoning the Kurds. — Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) October 7, 2019 Graham’s response might be the only glimmer of hope if you are a Kurd right now. As we noted, Trump has reversed himself on this decision once before, and Trump simply cannot go forward as president without Graham solidly behind him in every way. There can be no dividing line between “foreign policy” and “impeachment” over which the two determine the scope of their alliance. Even if it were politically possible (dubious), it certainly isn’t possible with Trump, one is either “loyal,” or not. Graham’s characterization of the ISIS assurance as one of the “biggest lies” leaves only […]
Fox Business / YouTube Rudy Giuliani is putting together a...

Giuliani Caught Attempting to Profit Off Same Ukrainian Company at Center...

First, there’s shock. And then, you hit yourself for not having seen this coming by an urban mile. All while working to drum up fake evidence of a fake conspiracy theory involving the Bidens and a Ukrainian gas company, Rudy Giuliani led a contingent of American business interests attempting to set up a similar business deal, access to the U.S. government for cash. Then he got caught, because he is Rudy Giuliani. We have the cliff notes from Rawstory: The Associated Press reported Sunday that Giuliani was trying to score major cash while manifesting a conspiracy theory to sink the Bidens. “Their aims were profit, not politics,” the AP reported. “This circle of businessmen and Republican donors touted connections to Giuliani and Trump while trying to install new management at the top of Ukraine’s massive state gas company. Their plan was to then steer lucrative contracts to companies controlled by Trump allies, according to two people with knowledge of their plans.” I ask again, how the fresh fffff .. did I not see this coming! The entire point of politics, to these “people,” and by “people,” I mean Republicans, is to profit, not “help people.” Dear dog above, how did I not … Meanwhile, Giuliani and Trump were trying to get Ukraine leaders to say the Bidens were the corrupt ones. The plan “hit a snag,” the AP reported, after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko lost his reelection to Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who ran on a campaign of ridding the country of its corruption problems. Zelenskiy, however, is now caught up in a corruption scandal with Giuliani and Trump. “Hit a snag” is now code for “a legitimate, uncorrupted politician got elected.” But, apparently, Zelensky’s honesty and refusal to play ball with Rudy and Trump eventually drove the need for “muscle,” the need to withhold, even temporarily, Ukrainian military aid, the extortion. Regardless, Rudy had put the legwork in, well before Zelensky got elected. The only potential “benefit” that Rudy seemed to bring to the company was access to a very corruptible United States’ administration. “This helped the relatively unknown entrepreneurs gain access to top levels of the Republican Party — including meetings with Trump at the White House and Mar-a-Lago,” reported the AP. “During the same period, they were pursuing the Naftogaz deal, the two were coordinating with Giuliani to set up meetings with Ukrainian government officials and push for an investigation of the Bidens.” The report is quite detailed, but there is little question that U.S. interests, tied to Giuliani, and through Giuliani – Trump, attempted to wrest some level of control over this gas company. (This is where Perry is going to come in as fall guy, Trump must have known this would come out eventually). Like the political shakedown that resulted in the original whistleblower complaint, this proposed “gas deal,” in and of itself, caused officials in the area to suspect U.S. corruption, and report it. “The Trump and Giuliani allies driving the attempt to change the senior management at Naftogaz, however, appear to have had inside knowledge of the U.S. government’s plans in Ukraine,” said the AP. “For example, they told people that Trump would replace the U.S. ambassador there months before she was actually recalled to Washington, according to three of the individuals interviewed by the AP. One […]

The Only Way to LOVE Hearing from Trump: Hilarious Snapchat

Point, the first, this is literally the coolest, funniest thing on the net, as it stands today. You will never want to hear or see Trump in any other way again. Turn up the volume, it is nothing without the sound: Hahaha – can’t handle Trump’s ugly mug spewing horseshit day after day? Try watching with this filter. — LiA (@LibsInAmerica) October 5, 2019 Point the second: One is so used to recoiling from Trump’s moronic utterances, that it is difficult to really appreciate the stupidity of his actual words and syntax. But not with the snapchat. “But China …” Sometimes little stupid things end up having disproportionate impact, even great beauty, according to the mathematical science of “Chaos Theory.” We never know what little things can end up turning the tide in a war for the country. This one isn’t quite as funny, but still full of awesome: Finally! Someone suggested a Snapchat filter to make the DOTARD tolerable and you know, they aren’t wrong! #trump #trumpwall #moot #moat #TrumpMeltdown — Colleen McNamara ☘️ (@cmcubfan) October 2, 2019 No one, I mean no one, takes greater pride in puffing himself up with faux-testosterone and glare, than Trump. No one goes to greater lengths to intimidate. Seeing his words projected into the little weasel-worthy sneak that Trump personifies, could – could – have an impact no one could have predicted. And it’s just so damn funny. Even without imagining the orange one cringing when checking his Twitter feed. **** Peace, y’all Jason  

The “New Defense:” Burn the Entire Damn Thing to the Ground,...

We noted weeks ago that Trump would take the entire country down if he believed it would save him. He will pull a gun and put it to the nation’s head, daring Democrats and legitimate Republicans to “try it.” Today, we see the trigger point. The most prominent Republican willing to come on the Sunday Talk shows – or at least Meet the Press – Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, took a single question to dive into the ultimate “defense” of Donald Trump: Burn the country’s legitimacy to ashes, all to protect one man. It was, one of the scariest scenes that I have seen on television in some time. It left Chuck Todd visibly shaken, it left Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut who came on after Johnson, palpably gut-punched. Without the slightest bit of hyperbole, it was horrific. I have only the little bit dribbling onto the net at this point: In a remarkably combative performance for Todd, he found himself shouting over the Republican and demanding he stick to the questions at hand. With Todd attempting to press the Trump defender on the president’s Ukraine phone call, Johnson instead rambled, “You’ve got [former CIA director] John Brennan on, you ought to ask director Brennan, what did Peter Strzok mean when he texted Lisa Page on December 15, 2016, quote—.” Todd had asked about an accusation that is all but “proven,” the Ukrainian shakedown, and Johnson brought-up Lisa Page and Peter Strzok. Yes, he did, and Todd had to angrily get Johnson to at least attempt to address the actual question. “I have no idea why Fox News propaganda stuff is popping up on here,” Todd insisted. “I have no idea.” “Because this is underlining exactly why President Trump is upset, and why his supporters are upset, with the news media,” Johnson exclaimed as both of their voices rose. It has nothing to do with Ukraine, nothing. It is apparent that the defense consists of: “If Trump is justifiably angry enough, he should be forgiven for doing whatever the fck he wants.” “Senator Johnson, please!” Todd snapped. “Cane please answer the question that I asked you, instead of trying to make Donald Trump feel better here that you’re not criticizing him?! I’m just trying to ask a simple question of what made you wince?” “Because I didn’t want those connected,” Johnson fired back, “When I asked the president about that, he completely denied it. He adamantly denied it. He vehemently, angrily denied it. He said, ‘I’d never do that.’” The term “gaslighting” is overused, but there is simply no other fitting description when one walks onto the most prominent TV news show in the country and spouts long-debunked conspiracy theories to defend the most earth-shattering impeachment accusation in our generation. A democracy cannot run on lies, and it cannot legitimately exist where there is no reality, no rules: The nation comes undone, it burns. Watch the match get lit. WATCH: @SenRonJohnson is asked why he winced & brings up a "conspiracy theory."@chucktodd: "I have no idea why we're going here. … Can we please answer the question I asked you instead of trying to make Donald Trump feel better here that you're not criticizing him?" #MTP — Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) October 6, 2019 There is a defense […]

Republican Party Reeling: Leadership No Shows, 2nd Whistleblower, #PerryMadeMeDoIt, Block Impeachment?

It appears that this Sunday dawns on a Republican-America without anyone sure who is in charge, or what to do next. Chaos seems to be the theme going into the official day of “rest.” The “Sunday Shows,” the old-school, once-weekly, sit around the kitchen table and pretend to talk like things are normal, episodes on the actual networks, have been unable to book a single White House official, or anyone from congressional leadership. And no one in House or Senate GOP leadership. — Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) October 5, 2019 We are still an hour from air time, but guests generally don’t magically appear within an hour, and they never do with a fully-formed plan. Knowing the critical timing, how the Republicans come upon a Sunday morning without a line-up to address the most penetrating questions in a generation is worth pondering. Perhaps the best thing available was ‘no plan” and sit it all out. Perhaps there was simply no one willing to defend Trump today, with all that is still unknown. Telling. Republicans are reeling, after all. Fox-talking head Tom Fitton suggested that Mitch McConnell “change the rules” so that the Senate doesn’t have to have a trial. Given that, in this case, “the rules” come from the constitution, apparently Fitton believes that McConnell can (and should) change the constitution to protect Trump. This is the Republican party, notice how readily they’ll give up the constitution? To keep Trump? They are on their heels in a way I haven’t seen them during this entire era. — Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) October 6, 2019 Meanwhile, we learned that a federal judge in Washington ordered the White House to preserve all presidential communications with foreign leaders. The order issued due to concerns arising upon hearing that the White House had preserved some phone calls on the “codeword” system that is not the system generally used to catalogue such calls. Jackson, an appointee of President Barack Obama, instructed the White House to preserve “all records of efforts by White House or other executive branch officials to return, ‘claw back,’ ’lock down’ or recall White House records” about dealings with foreign officials. ABC News reports that a second whistleblower who has “first-hand” knowledge of the events has filed his complaint and spoken with the Inspector General. There are inferences on MSNBC that this same law firm represents “multiple” whistleblowers, meaning there are more coming forward. BREAKING: Attorney representing whistleblower who sounded the alarm on Pres. Trump’s dealings with Ukraine tells @ABC News he is now representing a second whistleblower who has first-hand knowledge of events. — GeorgeStephanopoulos (@GStephanopoulos) October 6, 2019 Were all that not enough, we also have #PerryMadeMeDoIt trending on Twitter, mocking – before it really takes hold – the anticipated Trump defense, “I called Ukraine because Rick Perry asked me to do it,” probably cooked-up by Jared. Sold out my country for like, a couple cases of Sudafed, not my fault #PerryMadeMeDoIt — Kevin ALLsenault (@kevinidge) October 6, 2019 I wore white after Labor Day. I knew it was wrong, but… #PerryMadeMeDoIt — Jo (@JoJoFromJerz) October 6, 2019 I didn’t want to buy Greenland, but . . . #PerryMadeMeDoIt — Marq Goldbond (@MarqGoldbond) October 6, 2019 You get the idea. It would appear that everyone’s favorite Republican party is on […]

New Defense for Increasingly Desperate Trump: “It Was All Rick Perry’s...

This is almost too much. Despite the texts proving that Trump had been shaking Ukraine down for months, despite having an edited memo of the phone call describing the “favor needed,” and despite the fact that Energy Secretary Rick Perry could probably not care less what Hunter Biden might have been doing when, Trump is preparing all of us to hear that this is all some screwy plot hatched by Sec. Perry, who – conveniently – just happens to be the person who has announced he is leaving the cabinet by the end of the year. According to Axios: Per the sources, Trump rattled off the same things he has been saying publicly — that his call with Zelensky was “perfect”and he did nothing wrong. But he then threw Perry into the mix and said something to the effect of: “Not a lot of people know this but, I didn’t even want to make the call. The only reason I made the call was because Rick asked me to. Something about an LNG [liquified natural gas] plant,” one source said, recalling the president’s comments. 2 other sources confirmed the first source’s recollection. Was it a passing thought? Trial balloon? Senior moment? No. Another source on the call said Trump added that “more of this will be coming out in the next few days” — referring to Perry. This is how “not having a real defense team” starts to impact your impeachment defense. This is what happens, when you leave your defense to Jared. Perhaps a real lawyer, with real experience, who really knew what the hell a defense looks like, would point out to Trump that – as president – no one could force Trump to make the phone call, nor make the extortion threat to Ukraine. It is the old “buck stops here,” reality. Even if Trump did the entire thing as a “favor” to Perry, and the evidence backed Trump up, it wouldn’t help Trump in the least. But the evidence doesn’t back it up, which is another massive issue with the “Perry did it” defense. We have the text messages that led up to the phone call, not one text notes anything about Perry, or what his interest in the conversation might be. Moreover, the texts do not mention “LNG” or whether LNG might be an important point for the two presidents to discuss. The “Memo” issued by the White House, contains no mention of LNG, or any other “natural gas” reference. However, the fact that the memo (not a transcript) doesn’t contain a reference to liquified natural gas ought to make one pause for a moment, and wonder – again – whether the “memo” covers the entire conversation between Trump and Zelensky. Did Trump just shoot himself in the foot, again, by pinning his defense upon something that is going to prove he withheld critical portions of the phone call? We don’t know. Yet. But, we do know that everyone in Trump’s world is disposable. We know that nothing “wrong” in Trump’s world is ever Trump’s fault. We knew that Trump would find a lackey to lay this on. I suppose Perry, the guy on his way out the door anyway, was as good a flunky as they could find, in a rush. It doesn’t hurt […]

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