Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Questions For Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Have you ever gotten tired of counting Trump’s lies?
Can you count that high? Have you even tried?
Are you bothered by his cabinet’s conspicuous corruption?
Are you happy that he’s been such a huge disruption?
Are you concerned he holds Putin in such high regard?
Do you worry he may get us in yet another war?
Do you trust a president who rules by tweets?
Do you feel for Melania on whom he cheats?
Can you tell us if Donald Trump should or ought’ta
Date a porn star and compare her to his daughter?
Can you ever see a day when it’s gotten so dire
You decide you will finally hold his feet to the fire?
And if you did crack down and spanked his butt with a ‘zine
Can you realistically expect that he’d ever come clean?


Anonymous said...

I usually refer to Donny as Golden Shower Boy. However, Spanky seems just as apropos.

Lord Poetry said...

Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal confirmed what Trump said on the Access Hollywod bus: There are women who will willingly have sex with a powerful man, even if they find him physically unattractive. Anderson Cooper and msm have almost completely misunderstood the impact of these women's stories. Their stories help Trump.

Melania struck a better deal with Trump than Stormy or McDougal. She's not complaining about these failed competitors. Her silence is Trump's silence. Appeals to Melania to play the aggrieved #metoo wife are absurd.

Democrats have a lot of faith that Nate Silver has learned his lesson and adjusted his opaque algorithms. Certainly voters will heed the New York Times in 2020. Trump's stands against the media, lawyers, China's trade policies, Amazon, and big data could never be popular, right? Democrats need only lecture working class voters on identity politics until the swing states vote for DNC-selected Kirsten Gillibrand out of pure shame! What could possibly go wrong?

Democrats will indeed take the House this fall, but their opposition will be a gift to Trump and Trumpism, the perfect foil. We saw a taste of 2018-2020 at the SOTU, where Trump's brand of divisiveness (citizens vs non-citizens) out-blustered Democrats' intersectional brand of divisiveness (men vs women, minorities against whites). The failed impeachment attempts will only highlight the fecklessness of effete Democrats while allowing coarse Trump to play victim, then victor. We're letting him grab it.

Charlotte said...

Not so fast, m'Lord.

I agree that the Gilli-brandism is a threat to national Democratic chances.

But Clinton would have overcome had blacks turned out in Milwaukee or Detroit. It's noxious to accuse Democrats of fomenting racial division, nor are we cynical if we channel anger into turning out our base. That's how democracy works.

Should Democrats take a more nuanced stance on trade than the elitist policies of Bushes-Clintons-Obama-Silicon Valley? Yes, time for real inclusion. Trump has stolen an issue that should been a unifying one for us. (Remember when Obama promised to renegotiate NAFTA?) There are Democrats who are already there, though, including Sherrod Brown and the AFL-CIO.

I think Democrats will unify around a progressive economic policy, including single payer, policies that will benefit everyone.

Clear plastic backpack said...

There is no Trumpism or Gillibrandism. Trump zigged "right" while Gillibrand zagged "left." They have no ideology or value, no helping women or workers, it's simply self-interested talking points. Both of these opportunists crawled out of the corrupt cesspool of New York State politics, but there are similar pools across the country.

Gen Z could turn the midterms and 2020 toward real issues. They see through the phoniness. While youth turn-out may help Democrats, thry also could be an energetic base for a sincere non-affliated candidate.

Anonymous said...

Mueller looks to be a worse disappointment than Stormy, if I'm reading his leaks correctly. Manafort will take the fall and wait for a pardon. Mueller will spank Trump with a bad report card. Nothing turned up in Trump financials? I find it hard to believe, but I've lost hope. We still can't get the tax returns?

The denouement will help Democrats in the midterm, maybe, but will be forgotten by 2020 in the maelstrom of ongoing Trumpian distractions.

I'm not so sure "Russian meddling" doesn't turn into backlash against tech, which mostly supports Democrats.

Trump's greatest weakness is probably his identification with the market.

Bright stormy object said...

So now Trump artfully says he didn't know about his lawyer's $130K payoff to Daniels, and the journalists and pundits have gleefully jumped down that rabbit hole.

Does Trump have any significant personal stake in the outcome of the Stormy Daniels lawsuit? If so, what is the evidence of a stake? If not, how is this story front page news, New York Times?

More likely, Trump wants to fill the front and opinion pages with distractions about this woman who consented to have sex with him and now wants more money.

The NDA was phony, but it is already history. She disclosed. He can't actually shut her up--and does not want to shut her up.

He's not seriously after 20 million. She's not really a sympathetic heroine. They both benefit from the drama.

Fake news.

Stormy Whether said...

If Trump has fallen to using Stormy as a distraction, that just shows how desperate he feels about Mueller.

Trump may have been a tool for capo Manafort, but Mueller will end this presidency.

Stormy Monday said...

Yesterday's editorial in the Washington Post showed the elites are finally understanding the Stormy case as blackmail. No more glib "smart business woman" or #metoo whitewashing.

Daniel's blackmail is well within the law so far, though some of Avenatti's threats have walked up to the line.

Wapo is right that leverage over the President is the public interest story here, and discovering source of the $130,000 is vital to understanding who actually holds that leverage.

Trump may be thinking ahead with his denial. If he doesn't know the source of the $130K, he can argue that the payer did not have leverage over him.

Trump may be looking beyond the hush money to a piercing of attorney-client privilege. An illegal campaign contribution would be relatvely small potatoes compared to money laundering or the politically explosive possibility of bad actors paying off Trump's mistresses.

If Russians reimbursed Cohen, the flimsiness of the poorly-drafted NDA may itself be reason for suspicion.

Much as we might better see Trump as Manafort's bitch, we might better see Cohen as the one throwing Trump under a bus.

Black Widower said...

If Trump's denial is a fourth dimensional chess move, then he is not only sacrificing his position in the Stormy Daniels case, but perhaps also jeopardizing his marriage and, again perhaps, a prenup.

The denial would then seem to be of a piece with his saber-rattling against Russia tweeted this morning. It could also explain why Trump may see talking to Mueller directly as less risky than following the advice of his attorneys. His attorneys either don't see the whole picture, or, in the case of Cohen, have interests in opposition to Trump's. Trump is caught in a web not entirely of his own making, and Mueller may actually look like an escape plan to him.

Seeing Trump as a tool, however, I think underestimates his intelligence. Trump may have trusted shady people who kept him partially in the dark, but I suspect even his ignorance was strategic. I see Trump as a more or less equal participant in a syndicate where players had distinct roles. He is one of the spiders.

Men's Rea said...

Avenatti's approach to business ethics and taxes is very similar to Trump's. His use of shellgame LLC entities is nearly identical to Cohen's. He tried to evade search warrants similar to Manafort's effort to suppress.

See Lewis Kamb's story on Avenatti and Tully's Coffee in the Seattle Times.

Guess it takes one to know one.

Women's Rea said...

That is interesting. The Daily Beast is reporting that Daniels is crowdfunding her legal costs:

"Donations will not go to her personally, but are in a trust controlled by attorneys—'in other words, I am not going to pocket any money,' she writes."

Well, maybe not Stormy. But your attorney Avenatti was specifically accused of misappropriating funds to prop up his bankrupt legal practice. See Kamb's article. Will Avenatti have access to donated funds?

Debellatio said...

Why donate to sleazy Avenatti when our tax dollars already pay for honest Mueller?

Mueller will inevitably target Cohen.

Or maybe he already has. Either way, once Mueller's involvement is public knowledge, the NDA, Stormy's suit, and Avenatti himself will suddenly have no future significance.

Trump already sees the destruction on the horizon--and is trying to flee the legal carnage.

Defellatio said...

But--Honest Mueller may want to allow sleazy Avenatti to depose sleazier Trump under oath?

Trump commits perjury or burns down his house with the truth -- or, pre-emptively flees into Mueller's waiting arms crying "Uncle."

Mueller can whisper "I can't indict a sitting President" as a lure. "You can be a hero, Donny, I'll even give you a badge."

Mueller is Trump's best option to unfuck himself.

Anonymous said...

It already went down, Def. Debellatio nailed it.

Check the news.

Deballatio said...

Yeah, kinda freaked my own self out.

I agree with Def's conclusion, though. Trump is in a typical reactionary rampage, but cozying up to Mueller really is his best option.

I fear he'll just go to war.

As far as Stormy Daniels: Trump must drop the 20 million claim, stipulate the NDA is dead, and offer a defamation settlement. He has no real choice. But who will do the necessary legal work, heh.

Cohen was involved in so many questionable deals, that there are months of possibilities ahead. Time to follow the money.

Gotterdammerung said...

No. Mueller is not an exit strategy. Mueller can not offer a get-out-of-free card to Trump, even if he wanted to make such a deal. Yes, Mueller can, and probably will, not indict a sitting president (again similar to Nixon). But Trumpgate is a far more complex web than Watergate, particularly in its international aspects. We are still just seeing the tip of an iceberg.

Trump could try for a blanket, premptive pardon from Pence, similar to Ford's pardon of Nixon. But while a Pence pardon is Trump's best option, it would be incomplete since it could only apply to federal charges. The governors of New York, New Jersey, and other states will not offer such bargains.

His allies in Congress are jumping ship, led by Ryan. Others are rediscovering their rule-of-law backbones. The courts are against him.

Trump is cornered like a sewer rat. He can only fight with executive power He will go after Mueller and Rosentein. But I'll wager he will start with Sessions.

Prepare for the worst Constitutional crisis since the Civil War.

And I feel fine said...

Isn't it more likely that an orderly and constitutional impeachment process will remove Trump from office, and perhaps sooner rather than later?

Ryan chose to announce his future resignation today, unusually far ahead of the midterms. He threw hints even earlier, as a warning. He is free now to follow his conscience, and I suspect he regrets his Faustian deal with Trump. What will be Ryan's place in history?

Faced with a choice between chaos and the rule of law, the Senate will choose law and order. I dislike Chuck Schumer, and I realize Senate speeches are usually so much wind and words delivered to an empty chamber, but his warning to Trump was entirely believable.

I agree Trump is cornered and will fight. He'll also fight Bashar al-Assad and who knows who else. If there is a constitutional crisis, it may ultimately center on war powers. But unilateral actions would just light another fire under congress, despite decades of capitulation to the CinC. This time is different.

Trump's power will continue to erode long before he is impeached, and a normal politician would resign. Trump is not normal, but the machinery of the consitution is more than a match for his narcissism and chicanery

Secretary of State/Chief Justice Marshall said...

I think Trump axes Sessions and Rosenstein in a single tweet, and takes his chances with Noel Francisco.

Nixon offered Bork a SCOTUS seat after Bork fired Cox, according to Bork's own memoirs.

Trump's pending Saturday night massacre may turn on Francisco's own SCOTUS aspirations.

Or maybe Trump just appoints himself AG. Or Ivanka.

Will congress again block Trump from recess appointments, as they did last August? And what if he ignores the block, and takes his case to SCOTUS.

Clinton appointed an Assistant Attorney General during recess. Heck, Thurgood Marshall first got to the Supreme Court itself as a recess pick. Trump may have a case against Congress for meddling with his constitutional powers.

My vote is maybe not crisis, but that some sort of constitutional oddity.

Fragile Filligree said...

My crystal ball is cloudy, except that the ultimate solution will be political not legal.

The lower courts will continue to follow the evidence and procedure, but the high courts will duck a US vs Nixon type showdown given the current lack of institutional will in congress to enforce a judgment against the executive.

Trump can fire Mueller directly. Mueller can indict Trump. The conventional barriers to either action are cobwebs easily swept away.

A parliamentary system might dispatch Trump at any time as an intraparty affair. Our divided powers system relies on the outcome of the midterms, still months away, and/or sustained popular unrest.

Fight Club said...

I don't like "cobwebs." The better metaphor might be that these conventions and departmental rules are the tendons and muscle that move the bones and knuckles of law.

Trump and Cohen are smirking punks. Mueller will smash their punchable mugs.

We the people have his back. Bring it on, Donny-Boy. Democracy is back.

Back bigly, ya craven bigot.