It has been pointed out that Mitt Romney did not fear Trump’s wrath for his vote to convict for the reasons that he’s more popular in his state than Trump is and he’s not coming up for reelection for another few years. The same could be said about Lisa Murkowski as well. However, she didn’t vote to convict. Perhaps this explains why. Thank you to @USDOT & @SecElaineChao for allocating a $20M Port Infrastructure Development Program grant to the Port of Alaska to help offset the 1st phase costs of the Port’s desperately-needed modernization program, enabling safe, cost-effective, & reliable Port operations. — Sen. Lisa Murkowski (@lisamurkowski) February 12, 2020 There are a lot of stories in the news lately about the Trump campaign buying votes. Maybe this is one more of them. Food for thought, in any event. McConnell knows how to keep his caucus in line. He’s found dark money for Susan Collins and it looks like he’s got his wife Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao on board to show Murkowski who butters her bread.
Life has a Valentine’s Day message for Donald Trump and that is “go screw” when it comes to his personal vendettas. Just this week the Army declared it was not going to do any “investigation” into punishment of Alexander Vindman, Andrew McCabe skated, and now, Trump will be furious to learn, his arch nemesis Mitt Romney is home free as well. The Utah legislature has announced that it will not consider any bills to recall or censure Romney for voting to convict Trump during the senate impeachment trial. Washington Examiner: Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson met with his Republican caucus on Tuesday to determine a plan of action for bills to censure or possibly recall Romney, after which he announced they would not seek to punish Romney, according to Deseret News. “Many people disagree with the conclusion Sen. Romney came to, and I think what we can kind of conclude from this conversation is we’re going to agree to disagree,” Wilson said. “We understand the thoughtful process Sen. Romney went through. Many people disagree with it, and we think it’s probably time to move on.” But Utah is going to pacify the Child in Chief, don’t want him nuking Monument Valley or anything — and certainly not the Mittens Butte. (That’s in Arizona, anyway.) Instead, Utah state legislators will move to pass a resolution supporting the president and thanking Trump “for all the great things he’s done for the state of Utah.” So Romney’s “half a vote” as Trump characterized it, continues to stand, and so does Romney, more popular than ever.
Welcome to the transition of the United States from the rule of law to Trumplaw, which is on it’s way to being the new law of the land, thanks to a complicit and comatose GOP and a corrupt Attorney General who isn’t bothering any more to even give the appearance of an independent Justice Department, or to pretend that he is a real attorney general and not just Donald Trump’s lackey and hatchet man. The key attributes of Trumplaw which have been established recently are: 1. If you testify truthfully under oath about Trump’s crimes, that is a firing offense and ratchets you and your family members to the top of the Enemies List, look out; and 2. Line-prosecutors following the guidelines and standards set by law will be ignored, and those law enforcement officers attempting to enforce same will be targeted by the president* and added to the Enemies List. I daresay that more basic tenets of Trumplaw will be further elaborated upon and codified in the days ahead. History will record that the post-acquittal period was when Trump decided he was omniscient and Barr decided to drop all pretense that the DOJ had a function other than to do Trump’s dirty work. But here’s the rub, and this is key: this isn’t about Roger Stone at all. This is about Trump sticking it to America. Daily Beast: Donald Trump’s public intervention in Roger Stone’s sentencing has little to do with Roger Stone’s fate, and everything to do with Trump’s effort to render every governmental authority except for his own a sham. That includes the authority, and fairness, of the justice system. The contempt is the point. There is every reason to expect that Trump will pardon Stone before he sets foot in prison, even if the dirty trickster receives a low sentence for his very serious crimes, which entailed obstructing inquiries into Trump’s own misconduct. Trump hardly appears interested in favorably influencing the judge who is about to sentence Stone. On the contrary, Trump has personally attacked her. In fact, it is a near certainty that Trump will pardon Stone before he sets foot in prison, even if he receives a low sentence for his very serious crimes, which entailed obstructing inquiries into Trump’s own misconduct. Trump all but declared as much today when asked about the prospect of clemency for Stone, responding: “I don’t want to say that yet.” But by inducing his attorney general, Bill Barr, to humiliate himself and the Department of Justice through the public repudiation of the DOJ’s own sentencing recommendation less than 24 hours after it was filed, Trump has demonstrated that the justice system is, finally, being molded to his will and whims. This is all that it’s about. And Bill Barr has played in totally to Trump’s whims in this regard. He has destroyed the credibility of the Justice Department in the past 24 hours, allowing Trump to not only show that he is above the law, he is the law. It is impossible to overstate the damage that was done Tuesday when Trump sent out his tweet complaining that Stone’s sentencing was “horrible” and “unfair” and Barr toadied right along in step and intervened. In doing so, he caused the four prosecutors who tried the case to walk away in protest and the effect […]
Do you recall the movie “Trial at Nuremberg?” There’s a tremendous scene where the Burt Lancaster character, a German judge who now sees the error of his ways confesses to the Spencer Tracy character, an American world court judge, what happened. “You have to believe me. I didn’t know it would get as far as it did,” says Lancaster. Tracy replies, “It got that far, Your Honor, the first time you sentenced a man guilty that you knew to be innocent.” Lancaster registers shock as the truth sinks in. This is a great moment in cinema. Today Donald Trump suggested that the military take action to discipline Lt. Col. Alexander Vndman. Trump says the military should look at disciplinary action against Lt. Col. Vindman, who gave testimony in impeachment hearings about the president pic.twitter.com/yX1ysfOMQ5 — Jeff Mason (@jeffmason1) February 11, 2020 Vindman didn’t do anything except tell the truth and put country and honor first, which, as an officer, he should be doing. But apparently Mad King Donald thinks that Vindman should be disciplined by the Army for some offense — probably treason. And why? Because the GOP has enabled this farce to continue, just like the bought-off judges in Nazi Germany enabled the atrocities that took place on their watch. When the GOP enabled Trump to get on the ticket in the first place, as their candidate, they took an irrevocable step towards the dark side of government, towards fascism and away from democracy. They all knew what he was, as well as the Democrats. We’ve all seen many clips of Ted Cruz calling Trump a liar, or Lindsey Graham calling him a “race-baiting homophobic bigot.” But they all decided to roll over for Trump, when it was suggested to them that Trump as useful idiot could do the party a lot of good. So they muzzled their true feelings and entered the Cult of Trump, sworn to do his bidding, above honor, and above country. Last week they ratified that position by acquitting Trump — a man that they knew to be guilty. They acquitted him because they felt it was in their interest to do so. Now, Trump believes that he is invincible and omniscient and he’s got a God complex. If he didn’t have one before, he’s got one now. So of course he wants to go after Vindman — some more — and of course he has already gone after Sondland. And he will go after many more people. He’s got an enemies list and he will tick through them one by one. Because he’s nuts. This is what the GOP hath wrought. I hope that they are happy with this monster of their creation. This is Three A.M. in America. Even in war time our plight has never been so dark as it is right now with this madman at the helm, empowered by the most corrupt and venal group of politicians ever to be assembled, the current iteration of the GOP. They created this monster and he knows that they won’t stop him. So he’ll go as far as he can, as unhindered as he is unhinged, a creature without morality, discernment or remorse. Wait and see.
This is one of those mornings, where if your head doesn’t explode from reading Donald Trump’s latest fantasy spin on what actually took place during the impeachment inquiry and senate trial, probably you’ll be good to go for the rest of the year. In defiance of all logic and mountains of documentation proving otherwise, here is what Trump said to his disciples in New Hampshire last night about impeachment votes. Trump: "Other than Romney, we got 52 to nothing. 52 to nothing. That's something." He was acquitted 52-48 on the article where Romney voted against him — 52-48, not 52 to nothing. — Daniel Dale (@ddale8) February 11, 2020 This is Trumpian math. You simply total up the votes you got in your favor, and eliminate the votes which were against you — those votes against you equal “nothing.” This is terrific. Sports fans, your team need never lose again. Just follow this formula. If your team gets six points and the other team gets twenty, no problem, the score is six to nothing and you win — always. Ain’t it grand? Life is just one landslide victory after another with this equation. It went on all night like this. If you want to follow Daniel Dale’s live fact checking thread, it’s all here. I especially liked this sequence. Trump tells his Steve Scalise story: "He took a bullet. He got SHOT. And he got up. He was gonna DIE that night. I tell the story all the time. His wife, she was crying so much." He explains how he told Scalise, "I know many wives that don't get too upset." — Daniel Dale (@ddale8) February 11, 2020 I’ve always thought that the Scalise story, which Trump has in fact told a lot, is one that he should bury, because if anything he has ever said shows how jaded and transactional a life he leads, it’s variations on this theme that “many wives” meaning “my wife” wouldn’t care if I got shot — and I know it. That really is something best left unsaid.
Susan Collins hilariously opined that Donald Trump learned from his acquittal — and actually she’s right. What he “learned” is that he can get away with anything and nobody is going to stop him — certainly not the corrupt GOP who put him where he is and who keep him there, despite the fact that to do so is selling democracy down the drain. So it’s pins and needles time in Washington, D.C. right now, wondering who Trump is going to lash out against next. And make no mistake, Trump is after both revenge and making an example of his victims, so others won’t cross him in the future. Shortly after being acquitted by the Senate and getting a lifelong get out of jail free car from the GOP, the President fired two men who did nothing other than their jobs. He's punishing them for not lying or turning a blind eye to wrongdoing. — Sam Vinograd (@sam_vinograd) February 7, 2020 That will impact recruitment and retention, and it may also impact reporting Presidential abuse going forward. — Sam Vinograd (@sam_vinograd) February 7, 2020 Globally, other democracies have good reason to fear that the President is stacking his policy team with political surrogates rather than policy experts. That likely won't engender as close working relationships — Sam Vinograd (@sam_vinograd) February 7, 2020 Alexander Vindman is a profile in courage. The GOP senators, with the sole exception of Mitt Romney, are profiles in cowardice. That’s the real tragedy of this. It stands to reason that one day a nut could get elected president, but for 52 senators to go along with his insanity is the real problem. It’s the death of checks and balances. The framers assumed that we were decent moral people, and with respect to this iteration of the GOP they unfortunately assumed wrong.
Whlle impeachment has dominated the news for the past six months, Robert O’Brien, the third National Security Adviser that Donald Trump has had in three years, has been busy gutting the National Security Council. He’s already eliminated 60 to 70 career professional positions, along with Alexander Vindman’s, obviously. This has all been done with the goal of Trumpifying the council and that doesn’t bode well for either the next president or for America’s place in foreign affairs, to say the very least. New York Times: More than simply ridding the staff of resistance to the president, Mr. O’Brien’s has locked Trumpism into the government’s bureaucratic hub. His restructuring prioritizes geographic policy (like, ironically, Ukraine policy) while cutting or combining teams in functional and transnational issues such as international economics, nonproliferation and global health. The council is now tailor made for a president who sees foreign policy in transactional, bilateral terms, as either decisions to make alone or deals to be cut with another head of state. But a Trumpian National Security Council is a terrible fit for today’s world. The coronavirus emerging from China is just the latest proof of how rarely global events cooperate with presidential preference, and how often they spread across continents and policy disciplines. Mr. Trump may not believe the whole world is interconnected or that it requires whole-of-government policymaking, but that does not make it so. Nor does it mean he can combat a potential pandemic armed only with talking points for a phone call with China’s president. Challenges like coronavirus demand the sort of dot connecting that had once been the métier of the National Security Council, and is now lost in Washington. At great risk to the country, Mr. Trump and Mr. O’Brien are finally winning the war at the council. But it’s the next president’s loss, and thus all of ours. Whoever replaces Mr. Trump will inherit a weaker and less worldly National Security Council, and learn the hard way it’s far easier to deconstruct a staff than rebuild one. As a result, even after Mr. Trump leaves the White House, Trumpism will continue to corrupt American foreign policy. The National Security Council grew in size and influence after 9/11. But Trump saw the Council as the agents of globalist policies — the irony there being that if anybody is a globalist, it’s Donald Trump. In any event, the Council had a large staff working on trade deals and alliances and Trump saw fit to curtail this immediately, so that he could reign supreme over foreign policy and forget about American foreign policy of the past, just like any other dictator. Mr. Trump certainly tried to conquer the staff, naming a loyalist retired lieutenant general, Michael Flynn, as his first national security adviser and his nationalist adviser Steve Bannon to a high-level committee within it. The message was, as a Trump hire told one member of the staff, “The president doesn’t care about the things you care about, and the sooner that you know about it, the better.” Domestic policy is difficult enough for a leader to deal with, but a nation’s foreign policy is crucial to that country’s standing in the world and ability to interact productively with other countries. Trump’s concept of isolationism is ludicrous in the 21st Century. We are a […]
It must be awful for Trump to have to fire every one who told the truth about his extortion plan with Ukraine. Emboldened by his victory and determined to strike back, Mr. Trump fired Gordon...
In June of 1934, Adolf Hitler decided that he didn’t have enough power, just being chancellor and dictator under the Enabling Act of March of that year, so he had 500 of his political adversaries and perceived enemies murdered on the night of the 30th. That massacre is memorialized in history as “the Night of Long Knives.” On Friday, Donald Trump took revenge on Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, for having the guts to come forward and testify in the House impeachment inquiry, by having Vindman escorted off the White House premises and he decided to have Eugene Vindman, his brother, also a Lt. Colonel and serving in the White House, fired as well. That was the warm up act, then Trump fired Gordon Sondland. Full statement from Sondland h/t @joshgerstein pic.twitter.com/ZThfLPREXf — Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) February 7, 2020 The Week: CNN’s Kaitlan Collins reports that although Trump has been complaining about Vindman and Sondland for weeks, his “aides advised him to wait until the trial was over” to fire them. The firings came two days after Trump was acquitted in the Senate. A Trump adviser told CNN’s Jim Acosta the president is “flushing out the pipes.” This is terra incognita for Americans. Brush up on your history, because this is Dictatorship 101 Trump style. The Vindman brothers and Sondland are not the only three heads going up on a pike. It may take Trump more than one night to do his purge, but this is the beginning. The man is totally Mad King Donald at this point, drunk with vainglory and power on what he perceives as the “total acquittal” and absolute support of the GOP. This is going to get ugly.
In a Fox News interview just hours after President Donald Trump was acquitted by the Senate on charges of abuse of power and obstructing Congress, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham on Thursday threatened...