Sunday, April 21, 2019

The tragedy of Notre Dame. A lesson and a question.

As an Irish Catholic, it broke my heart to see that magnificent spire collapse through the flames, and down to the floor so far below a few days ago. But you don’t have to be an Irish Catholic, or even religious, to feel the sadness and loss of an iconic symbol of peace, hope, and beauty destroyed before your eyes. Notre Dame cathedral is approximately 850 years old, and took decades to build. It began as a vision, and an article of faith, a monument to hope and good, and a vision of something larger than just ourselves. And when it was completed, its beauty and intracy far surpassed any expectations. And Notre Dame was almost a living organism. Over the years it was modified and updated, changes made to improve the structure, and keep it relevant, without removing from the original beauty and function. But 850 years is a long time. Everything gets old, even you and me. As Notre Dame aged, it required constant vigilance and care, both to protect it, as well as to keep it structurally sound. And while renovations and repairs were made when problems became obvious and dangerous, there were times when matters of economics, as well as political expediency, vigilance waned, and protective measures were ignored. Our democracy is 243 years old. Like Notre Dame, it began as a shining vision. A vision of hope and freedom, A shining vision of something greater and more noble than ourselves, a higher purpose for mankind. And like Notre Dame, our democracy has been a living organism, updated and mostly improved over the years, making it hopefully safer and more functional, without detracting from the original beauty of the structure. But like that other magnificent cathedral, the cathedral of democracy also required constant attention and care as it aged in order to keep it safe and functional. And like that other temple to a great and higher vision, as the years have gone by, economy, political expedience, and even avarice and corrosive agendas have led to a level of disrepair that weakened the structure. On January 20th, 2017, a fire strted in the cathedral of democracy. Despite the best and heroic efforts of all of those who instinctively understood how important this symbol and structure is to the nation and the world, the conflagration has destructively blazed, largely unabated. It seems as if everything that is good and right in this world is going up in flames, right before our eyes, while we can do nothing except to watch helplessly. Fortunately for France and the world, it has been determined that the basic structure of the great Notre Dame cathedral is structurally sound. French President Macron has already vowed that Notre Dame shall arise from the ashes within 5 years, and shall be every bit as magnificent as ever it was, and even safer and stronger than it was before. Billions of dollars are pouring in from around the world, and the nation is unified in its desire to restore its historic treasure. But what is to become of the cathedral of our democracy? Like Notre Dame, it is currently little more than a smoldering hulk. I honestly believe that thanks mainly to the independence of the judiciary, as well as a mammoth volunteer fire brigade […]

Is Trump Paranoid? Of Course He Is, Except Maybe Not Today.

You know, being an Irishman, I love irony. And being a Murphy, I love it twice as much, since we have that stupid law named after us. When they interview Trump supporters, there are a growing number of them that say that while they’re actually rather ambivalent about Trump, they loudly support him simply because it makes us libtards heads explode. That being said, what kind of pleasure don’t they think we get when every utterance from AOC or Nancy Pelosi, or Maxine Waters makes his head spin around like Linda Blair in The Exorcist? Trump’s rampant paranoia can no longer be disputed or denied. From his continued avowal that Obama had his wires tapped during the 2016 election cycle, to his crazed disavowal of all things Cohen, without even knowing what Cohen was blabbering about, to his insistence that the Mueller investigation was actually a failed “deep state coup,” Trump must be sleeping standing up, with his back against a wall, instead of in a box full of his native earth. If there’s one thing that His Lowness didn’t need, it was any more fuel for his already fevered brain. But that’s exactly what he got, from aides and advisers quietly telling him that maybe his victory lap over the Mueller report findings should have been around the house instead of around Central Park, to the flurry of subpoenas hitting everything from bis accounting firm to his insurance agency, to every bank he ever stole a pen from, Trump is in an almost literal frenzy. And while Trump may be unhinged, there are two areas in which I actually think that his raging paranoia may actually be well founded. The first area of concern would be his base. Since day one, Trump has been monolithic about his rabid base of Trombies. Everything he says or does is geared to keep them revved up and slavish. Trump’s base is to his ego what a double bacon cheeseburger is to his stomach. But there could be cause for concern there. Trump pulled out every trick in the slavish devotion playbook in 2018, everything from telling supporters that he really was on the ballot in a way, because a vote for incumbents was a vote for him and his agenda, to hyping a mythical caravan invasion from a caravan that wasn’t even expected to catch sight of his non existent wall until a month after the election. And what happened? The Democrats scored millions more votes nationwide, flipped 40 GOP House seats, as well as 2 GOP Senate seats, including one in a state that Trump carried in 2016. Even worse is a poll that needs to be watched, but hints at deterioration in his base. Trump’s popularity among GOP voters has consistently been between 84-88%.But in a poll that Lawrence O’Donnell showed last night of registered GOP voters, only 54% were committed to voting for Trump in a contested GOP primary, 20% more leaned Trump, but could be swayed to vote for Weld, and Weld owned 8% outright. The problem here is that even if you give Trump all of that wavering 20%, that still only takes him to 74%, 10-14 points shy of his long time average. And whatever the remaining unaccounted for 28% in that poll are, what they aren’t  is rabid Trump supporters, and […]
CBC News / YouTube Donald Trump talks possible impeachment Michael...

Only Trump can use “ancient history” to screw up today.

I’m sorry if this article comes off as just a wee incoherent, but I can literally feel the IQ points dripping out of my ears and nose as I try to digest what I just saw and heard. In yet another somber, serious, and yes, vaguely ridiculous pronouncement, Secretary of State Mike Pomapdour Pompeo stood behind a podium, and announced that the UA government will now allow Cuban refugees and their descendants to sure foreign companies operating businesses in Cuba for “damages.” A little historical perspective here. Upon completion of his communist revolution in Cuba in 1959, one of the first things that Fidel Castro did was to “nationalize” pretty much everything in Cuba but air, and that option was explored. Prosperous land owners and businessmen found their land and businesses being summarily seized, with little or no compensation. Foreign companies started, or rather continued doing business in Cuba, but now through the Cuban government. This left refugees who fled Cuba’s oppression feeling like they were left holding the shit end of the stick. In 1996, the Helns-Burton Act passed congress and was signed into law. One of the provisions of the law, but not a popular one, allowed Cuban refugees living in the United States to sue foreign companies doing or operating businesses in Cuba for compensation. Realizing the nightmare scenario that this set up between the US and its European allies, like Canada, Great Britain and France, every President since Bill Clinton has “suspended” that provision of the law from being used. But not anymore Donnie Dipshit has just lifted the suspension, making it possible for the first time for expat Cubans and their descendants to sue foreign companies doing business with Cuba. And like all things Trumpian, he’s doing it for the stupidest reason imaginable. He’s doing it in an effort to spank the Cuban government for their continuing support of the Maduro government in Venezuela. The lifting of this suspension may in fact have a negative impact in Cuba, but if so, it will be purely ancillary. The real impact will be on companies and entities in Canada and the European Union who operate businesses in or do business with Cuba. And they are already mickle displeased with the news. Both Canada and the EU have announced that they are ready to proceed wth economic sanctions against the US if Trump doesn’t restore the suspension, like soonest. Look, we just wandered our way out of a stupid tariff pissing contest with the EU over cars, and Canad over imported steel. If European companies start getting sued, it is going to start costing them huge legal fees to defend themselves in court, even before any possible judgements against them. If it hits them, dues are going to have to be paid, and we all know who Canada and the UE are going to look at to pick up the tab. And once they impose tariffs on the US in retaliation, it’ll be up to you and I to pay the higher costs to cover Trump’s foreign policy bar tab. Look, full disclosure here. I had to do a quick Google search for basic background on the Cuba nationalization mess, and the Helms-Burton Act of 1996, just so I could understand what I was talking about. But I’m just a lousy blogger,and if I make […]
CBC News / YouTube Does Robert Mueller have the goods...

“Little Things Mean A Lot”

A line a day when you’re far away, Little things mean a lot   Little Things Mean A Lot OK! *CLAP!* Everybody have their final walk through with the caterer for the menu for tonight’s “Mueller Report Watch Party?” Waiting in suspense for Lo-Barr to release the gobbledygook that will have to pass for the Mueller report is like sitting down with your friends to watch the 2001 Super Bowl on the NFL Network. It promises to be entertaining, but just barely. Besides, I stopped looking at coloring books when my youngest daughter went into first grade. But there will still be excitement and drama in the release of the Mueller report, even though you find yourself thinking you’re looking at one of those “Magic Eye 3-D picture b”books, staring at the colored bars, waiting for the picture of the motorcycle to pop up. The secret to success in de-ciphering the Mueller report isn’t in trying to guess what’s behind the bars, it’s in knowing what to look for in what you can actually see. Forget about even thinking about a “smoking gun” nuclear explosion, it ain’t there. If we take Barr at his word, Mueller found no solid evidence of criminal collusion or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, and not enough legally admissible evidence of obstruction of justice to convict in a court of law. And if, as expected, Barr is lying his furry little Ewok ass off, that shit is safely ticked away behind festive, Christmas card colored little bars.But think about that for a moment. Those were the two main pillars of the Mueller Temple of Doom. If that’s what the report will show tomorrow, why are White House aides and advisers wringing their hands that Trump took his victory lap too early, and too loudly, and why are current and former west wing staffers lining up to get into the witness protection program before it’s released? Because, as the title says, “little things mean a lot.” Even a craven legal prostitute like Barr knows that he can’t paint Trump as a Mona Lisa with this report. It doesn’t take 400 pages to reach the conclusion of “Dude didn’t do shit.” He’s going to have to let Trump have some warts, especially in the obstruction of justice category. After all, most of that evidence is already public, there are no sensitive national security interests in obstructing justice, and the report can’t “OK, here’s the 411 by Robert S Mueller III,” followed by 400 pages of semaphore code. And as with your cell phone service contract, the devil will be in the details. Iconic lawyer and prosecutor Vincent T Bulgiosi, the man who put Manson away, described the conflicting notion of guilt that lawyers used to explain to a jury in closing arguments thus; A defense lawyer compares the prosecutions case as a long chain. Each fact and statement is a link in that chain. If any single link breaks, the chain is broken,and the defendant must be acquitted. A prosecutor will instead tell the jury that the case is like a rope. Every fact, piece of evidence, and testimony is a strand of that rope. With each new strand the rope becomes stronger. And even if one strand breaks, the mass of the rope is still more than […]

Trump’s new lawyers sent a letter. And guess who got a copy?

For 17 months during the campaign, then candidate, and party clown for hire, Donald Trump assured all and sundry that he only hired the best. And nowhere was that more evident than in hiw high powered legal representation during the Robert Mueller investigation. There were Ty Cobb and John Dowd, who redefined the term SCIF by holding a long, loud conversation for strategies on burning Trump’s dirty laundry, on a public patio at a restaurant next door to the New York Times Washington bureau office. Then there was Jay “Call me Ichibod” Sekulow, w ose last paid gig prior to suckling up to the Presidential teat was as a skimming attorney for a fundamentalist evangelical group, who at first glance resemble the Home Shopping Network for bible thumpers, specializing in Jesus branded merchandise. And who can forget (try as we might) Rudy Giuliani, dressed in the same suit he wore as mayor, and who hasn’t seen the inside of a courtroom since the aforementioned Christ was a carpenter. But the jewel in this crown of thorns was, none other than Michael Cohen. A brash, scrappy New Yorker, who got into his mail order law school by bribing somebody to take his SAT’s for him. A real life legal Joe Pesci, which is unfair to Vinnie, since he actually won his case. But there is a new legal hurricane brewing on the Trump horizon, and Cohen figures to be tied up in the federal penal system for the foreseeable future. Trump’s long time accounting firm, Penn, Padz and Totl, recently received a subpoena from House Oversight committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, demanding every scrap of paper the firm has with the word “Trump” on it, even if it’s a 5 year old cocktail napkin from a Christmas party they held in one of his joints. Trump is not taking this assault on her personal and business finances lying down, he’s saving that shit for a tell-a;; book after his presidency, when the statuete of limitations runs out. So, Trump hired a brand spanking new law firm specifically to ensure that his sleazy financial secrets stay as buried as Captain Kidd’s treasure. The firm sent a letter to Penn, Pdaz and Totl, and through an anonymous source, I received a copy of the final draft that was sent to the firms legal office. I know, you all want to know how in the hell a journalistic shitkicker like me got such a scoop, but I’m sworn to the secrecy of my anonymous source, m matter how many cans f garbage she had to sift through to get it. And so, without further ado, here is the letter, in its entirety; dear Sir or Madam, By way of introduction, my name is Richard Grabb, Chief Litigation Attorney and Senior Partner of the prestigious law firm of Smash, Grabb and Skedaddle. We have recently been retained by the President of the United States, Donald J Trump, ro protect his legal financial interests while he pursues his full time job of Making America Hate Grate Great again. It has come to our attention that you have recently received, or will shortly receive, a subpoena from the United States House Oversight Committee, demanding that you turn over certain sensitive and confidential financial documents. It is incumbent on us, as President Trump’s duly appointed legal […]

With any luck, this weekend will be Trump’s worst one. Ever.

Well, we finally have something set in concrete. At least as concrete that the sandbox that is Trumptopia can get.Attorney General William Barr, the Ewok in a rumpled suit, has announced that the long awaited, chutes-n-ladders Robert Mueller report will be simultaneously released to both congress as well as the public on Thursday. This is pretty much what I always expected, and I know why, but I think that this particular time Barr and the GOP fornicated the canine. When I heard the news this morning, I rolled my eyes loud enough to sound like a roulette table, turned to my wife Teri, and said, “Typical dick move by Barr.” There’s a common term in politics for what Barr is doing, it’s called a “news dump.” It is normally associated with a Friday, the object being that if there’s something negative about you that has to come out, you try to do it at around 5 pm on a Friday night. Everybody is already en route to home or the bar, planning their weekend, and news will not be on the top of their list. With any luck, the story will die of indifference over the weekend, and by the time people tune in on Monday, it’s not even mentioned anymore.If there’s a holiday involved, all the better, since it gives you another day for the story to wither and die. That’s what Barr is doing here. Most people have Friday off for the Easter weekend, the kids are home from school, and people are beginning the planning and execution of their religious observances, or just kicking back. Add in the facts that His Lowness has already had three weeks to hammer home the bullshit “total exonoration” thesis, and the fact that congress is already on spring break, so the congressional response will be fractured and erratic, and this should be a wunderkind scenario for Trump and the GOP.But in this case, I think that the Hole-in-the-head gang miscalculated, badly. And it’s gonna come back to haunt them BIGLY! There are a couple of reasons that I think this. First of all, the content itself. Normally, on a Friday news dump, the information has been kind of percolating, and bubbling around the edges. But the basic news or scandal is normally not a politically life altering event, it’s a pain in the ass, and if you can gloss over the resolution, it drops from the topic of conversation quickly, especially when you can always refer to the resolution as “old news.” Not true in this case. By circumstances beyond his control, Robert Mueller has been the Mick Jagger of politics for the last 22 months. His movements have been tracked more closely than a dude prepping for a colonoscopy. The combination of sex, politics, money, corruption, and foreign intrigue have by their very nature hyped the release of this report to a degree higher than the “Who shot JR?” episode of Dallas. Releasing this report on a weekend only means that the networks will be able to devote prime time talent to it all weekend, instead of the bench warmers and stale stock programming that normally occupies time on the networks on weekends, and the fact that it’s a holiday weekend means it can be covered even more single mindedly, […]
CBC News / YouTube Donald Trump talks possible impeachment Michael...

Enough Already!

Call me crazy (it’s just an expression, don’t really do it), but I have this kind of like a rule that I live by. I kind of like to just shut up when I don’t know something. Take soccer for example, you never hear me talk about soccer, mainly because I never caught the bug, I know nothing about it. To me it looks like 22 guys, on a field about twice the size of the parking lot at Arrowhead Stadium, running around and kicking a ball back and forth. I’ve yet to determine the exact difference between a practice and a game, so I just shut up. Now politics I know quite a bit about, so I tend to spend a lot of time spouting various lines of pap about it. I really, really think that The Inglorious Basterd that we are forced to call Mr President should give my rule-to-live-by a try. Not about politics. No matter what you think of him, he is, by all measurement criteria, a politician now As such, he should be expected to have something to say about political matters. Hell, I make fun of all kinds of various politicians who don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground. Besides, politics is perfect for Trump, since he can’t sound much dumber than half of the people on news panel shows with poli-sci degrees under their belts. But on pretty much every other, single subject, El Pendejo Prsidente really needs to izp it. If not for his own benefit, then for ours. I’m actually glad that I don’t work for United Airlines anymore, because I would have to spray my face with asbestos powder every time I traveled to a foreign country, to contain the burning in my face as I desperately tried to explain away all the stupid shit that Glorious Bleater says. His supporters used to claim that he was “misquoted,” until the reporters started playing the video of his statements. Now, they’ve settled on a slipperier, “He was misunderstood.” If this is true, Donald Trump has to be the most misunderstood human since Charlie Manson. This is because, ike Manson, he proudly flies his freak flag right out there on his lapel. We have already had a twofer today, and it isn’t even dinner time on the east coast yet. In response to the tragedy of the Notre Dame fire in Paris, His Lowness imperiously tweeted out that the French should drop water on the fire from a tanker plane, like a forest fire. Which prompted me to my least favorite form of communication, Twitter, to point out the idiocy not only of dropping thousands of gallon on the roof of an already weakened structure, but also to point out the risk of dumping massive amounts of water on nearby ancient structures without laser guidance. But at least it would have given him something to show a foreign dignitary at Mar-A-Lago, over s slice of chocolate cake. And then, barely an hour ago, he publicly referred to the cathedral as a great “museum.” i hate to burst his FOX induced bubble, but it takes more than a gift shop to make a museum.Here’s one you may not have heard. A year or so ago, Dimwit Donnie and Melania, took […]

Two similar primaries. Polar opposite results. (Part I)

Trust me on this one, I know of which I speak. On that sunny June day in 2015, when The Grate Pumpkin clanked and wheezed his way down that schlock gilt elevator in Trump Tower,to the tepid applause of paid minions, and thrilled the racists and bed wetters of the far right, I donned my most wrinkled earnest journalist shirt, grabbed my laptop, hopped into Bennie The Cab, and careened down to Toontown to cover the GOP primaries.Those daily dispatches from the insanity front formed the genesis of my President Evil book trilogy. On the surface there are several striking similarities between the GOP primary field of 2016, and the current Democratic crop in 2020, especially at this early stage. In 2016, the GOP fielded 17 candidates right out o the chute to challenge for the Presidency, in 2020, the Democrats will at least match, if not surpass that number. In 2016, Barack Obama was finishing up his second term, and was loathed by the GOP base the way a 5 year old hates Brussels sprouts. In 2020, The Democrats are licking their chops over a first term President with historic lows in popularity, and a polarizing figure with terrible policies, but a cult like following. And in both 2014 and 2018, the President’s party had a midterm that spelled trouble for the future. But there the similarities end, and the exact, total, polar opposites begin. In 2016. GOP strategists gushed over their field with phrases like “The Dream Team (Moronic, since every candidate was a team of one), and “The deepest bench in history (True, if you’re coaching a tee ball team in the first game of the preseason). But lets look t the Opening Day lineup, shall we? Fourteen lily white, tried and true, political male hacks, a novelty wing nut African American, and an obligatory 2016 white woman who ran Hewlett Packard into the ground. Oh yeah, and a baggy pants comic that was a repulsive mix between Groucho Marx and Andrew Dice Clay. I haven’t seen a bench that deep since the softball scene in Ernest Goes To Camp. Already, at this early stage, the Democrats have 4 women candidates (I don’t count the phantom candidacy of Tulsi Gabbard), two African Americans, including a female, a Hispanic former Obama cabinet head, and an openly gay man. We have two septuagenarian, white haired, male candidates for those who prefer the grandfatherly Presidential figure. In baseball, you can’t stock your bench with sluggers, you need utility infielders, singles hitters, and pinch runners too. The Democratic 2020 bench is stocked like the New York Yankees of the glory days. In 2016, not only was diversity in the candidates lacking, diversity in messaging was almost non existent. For several years, the base of the Republican party had been growing steadily older, whiter, more evangelical, more racist, and more fearful of change. A modern, diverse message was not only unwelcome, it was shunned. Here I can speak from personal experience. Us creaky old farts don’t much like newfangled ideas shouted out to us over a microphone, it sounds too much like that rap music crap. And so the candidates in 2016 on the GOP side were reduced to earnestly promoting the same tired, old message, desperately trying to find the magic […]

Sadly, I think Lawrence O’Donnell finally missed one.

In one sense, it’s actually a pretty good thing that I’m practically a “shut in.” Every night, from 6-8 pm PDT, my dance card is full. From 6-7 it’s the national treasure that is Rachel Maddow, and from 7-8, it’s Lawrence O’Donnell, the only one in cable news that can run neck to neck. If for some reason I’m out, mandatory curfew is 9 pm to catch the reruns… On  a segment last night, Lawrence went into graphic detail of the increasing peril that both Treasury Secretary Steve Munchkin Mnuchin, as well as IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, are facing in defying Chairman Richie Neal’s written demand for Trump’s tax returns. Assisting Lawrence was income tax savant David Cay Johnson, who had found an even more obscure part of the tax code that called for the immediate dismissal or discharge of any government employee who interfered with the application of the tax code. This code section included possible conviction and up to a 5 year stay at the Crossbar Hilton. Absolutely nothing either O’Donnell or Johnson said last night was wrong. As far as I can tell, no one was misquoted, and the pertinent parts of the tax code were read verbatim for the audience to soak up. Where I feel that Lawrence O’Donnell slipped up was either an error of omission, or a simple miscalculation. Here’s why. Even if all of those things are true and applicable, and I have no reason to doubt that they are, there is still one practical roadblock. Of the many tools and powers that congress holds, especially committee chairmen and women, prosecutorial discretion is not one of them. If Donnie Redux lied to a committee, the committee can’t charge and try him for perjury, they have to refer him to the DOJ for criminal prosecution. Even if Neal passes a motion of contempt of congress charges against Mnuchin and Rettig, and it passes the House, Capitol Hill police can’t just wander on over to the Treasury Department and perp walk Mnuchin out the front doors, no matter how much the media and the general public may love it. Everything has to go through the DOJ. And anybody who thinks that that Trombie Ewok in tortoise shell glasses is going to lift a finger to expedite the release of Glorious Bleaters tax returns mat want to look at getting a little counseling. So, for whatever reason, I think that Lawrence’s assertion that there was a serious possibility of any of these things actually happening was off the mark, it did make for sweet dreams. And while I continue to lie prostate at the feet of the all knowing Lawrence O’Donnell, just this once I couldn’t resist looking up and pointing out the fact that I think he has some spinach caught between his teeth. Follow me on Twitter at @RealMurfster35
psbsve / Flickr Roger Stone to tell House investigators...

Roger Stone’s Life Has Changed and Guess Which Old Buddy Doesn’t Call? Hint: DJT...

There is always talk about how Trump is going to pardon Manafort, or he’s going to pardon Stone, or who knows who else who’s facing legal problems these days. There’s a group of Trump’s crooked cronies, all hoping for divine dispensation, engineered by Donald Trump. My theory has always been that Trump isn’t going to pardon anybody — not unless the situation is one where Trump will look good, and apparently he’s decided that Roger Stone’s case is not the right situation for that. Meanwhile, Stone is wailing about his woes. Orlando Sentinel: “I’ve lost my home, my insurance, what little savings I had, my ability to make a living because people pay me to write and talk, and of course the things they want me to write and talk about are the very things I’m not allowed to talk and write about. In the blink of an eye you can lose everything. “I have to pay everything I have to lawyers. And I could no longer pay the rent in the property that I was in. I moved from a nine-bedroom house to a one-bedroom apartment. Had to do the move myself with my wife renting a truck. On the last day of the move in kind of a freak accident the truck slips out of gear and rolls over my wife’s ankle, breaking it.” Stone and his wife, Nydia, lived in a $9,500-a-month house in the luxury Coral Isles subdivision, off Las Olas Boulevard between downtown Fort Lauderdale and the beach. It was the site of the dramatic, pre-dawn raid at which Stone was arrested in January. So, while Roger Stone is going through all this, you might wonder where Trump is? — Hasn’t spoken with Trump in nearly two years and “really” misses him. “I’ve known him for 40 years. We’re very good friends. I don’t agree with everything he does, I agree with a lot of what he does,” Stone said. Stone said Trump was at his wedding, and he at two of Trump’s weddings; he was at the funerals for Trump’s parents, and is friendly with his sister. “I do miss him.” They’re “very good friends” but they haven’t spoken in two years. Okey, doke. Guess I have a different definition of very good friend. I don’t think Trump is going to do squat for Stone. Stone recently tried to ingratiate himself to Trump when he dissed the late Barbara Bush, the same week that Trump did. Pundits wondered if siding with Trump publicly about Barbara Bush was a dog whistle from Stone to Trump to rescue him. If so, I don’t think Trump heard it. Time will tell. But with Assange now in the picture, and Stone’s relationship with Assange, my sense of it is that Trump is going to soon find both Assange and Stone too hot to handle. We’ve already seen a sign of that, when Trump said Thursday, that he “didn’t know anything about WikiLeaks” and that WikiLeaks “wasn’t his thing.” It was his thing in 2016. That much we know. Trump denying WikiLeaks does not bode well for Roger Stone. Wait and see.

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