Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Trumpanzee-- More Henry Plantagenet Than Richard Nixon


The new poll from Morning Consult was released Wednesday but the survey was finished, May 6, 3 days before Trump tried to quash the Putin-Gate investigation by firing James Comey. The drop in Trump's approval reelected the anger of Americans about the passage of TrumpCare. Their polling, which usually shows Trump doing better than other national pollsters do, show him with a 44% approval and a 48% disapproval.
The ratings represent a net 7-point swing from the previous poll-- and it’s the second time Trump’s job performance numbers have fallen after a high-profile health care event on Capitol Hill. The president suffered a negative 10-point swing in late March after House GOP leaders pulled a previous version of the AHCA in the face of widespread opposition among its members.

Forty-nine percent of voters who say health care is their top issue when casting their ballots said they strongly disapprove of Trump, compared with 37 percent who said the same in the preceding survey. The share of voters prioritizing health care who approve of Trump also dropped, from 39 percent to 32 percent.

The public’s trust in the ability of congressional Republicans to handle health care ebbed following House passage of the bill that would repeal and replace parts of former President Barack Obama’s signature health law, the 2010 Affordable Care Act. Thirty-six percent of registered voters said they trust Republicans in Congress to handle health care, compared with 45 percent who said they trust Democrats.

...Underscoring that potential pitfall for the GOP is the newest generic ballot: If congressional elections were held today, 42 percent of voters said they would back a Democratic candidate, while 36 percent said they would opt for a Republican. The edge for Democrats is a 6-point swing from the previous week, when voters were split at 41 percent each over generic candidates.
click on the image to read the wisdom of Chairman Burr

On Good Morning America Wednesday, Tim Kaine said out loud what many of his colleagues on Capitol Hill are whispering: "We have a deeply insecure president who understands the noose is tightening." The editorial board of the NY Times reacted in much the same way, demanding an independent investigation of the Putin-Gate related scandals. "Mr. Comey," they wrote, "was fired because he was leading an active investigation that could bring down a president. Though compromised by his own poor judgment, Mr. Comey’s agency has been pursuing ties between the Russian government and Mr. Trump and his associates, with potentially ruinous consequences for the administration."
With congressional Republicans continuing to resist any serious investigation, Mr. Comey’s inquiry was the only aggressive effort to get to the bottom of Russia’s ties to the Trump campaign. So far, the scandal has engulfed Paul Manafort, one of Mr. Trump’s campaign managers; Roger Stone, a longtime confidant; Carter Page, one of the campaign’s early foreign-policy advisers; Michael Flynn, who was forced out as national security adviser; and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recused himself in March from the Russia inquiry after failing to disclose during his confirmation hearings that he had met twice during the campaign with the Russian ambassador to the United States.
Trump has been stewing over being investigated by "his" FBI for a long time. He hasn't been able to manipulate Comey the way he was able to dictate to Ryan and McConnell and to the congressional intelligence committee heads, Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Richard Burr (R-NC). According to Josh Dawsey at Politico he's been enraged and fuming and plotting how to get rid of Comey for at least the last week. I doubt Trump has a clue who Henry II or Thomas Becket were but perhaps Pope Francis can explain to Trump when he visits the Vatican May 24 why Pope Alexander II canonized Becket. What Henry actually said wasn't "Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?" but the more Trump-like "What miserable drones and traitors have I nurtured and promoted in my household who let their lord be treated with such shameful contempt by a lowborn clerk!" Sessions and Rosenstein-- not to mention the usual cast of lowborn characters like Conway, Spicer and Keith Schiller, his longtime personal thug-- stepped right up.

Putin's cockholster was angry Comey had asked for more money for the investigation

Dawsey wrote that according to 2 leaky advisors, Trump was "enraged by the Russia investigation, frustrated by his inability to control the mushrooming narrative around Russia. He repeatedly asked aides why the Russia investigation wouldn’t disappear and demanded they speak out for him. He would sometimes scream at television clips about the probe... Trump had grown angry with the Russia investigation-- particularly Comey admitting in front of the Senate that the FBI was investigating his campaign-- and that the FBI director wouldn't support his claims that President Barack Obama had tapped his phones in Trump Tower." Trump, an idiot with terrible advisors, seems to have expected the DC political class would applaud the firing and "the fallout seemed to take the White House by surprise. Trump made a round of calls around 5 p.m., asking for support from senators. White House officials believed it would be a 'win-win' because Republicans and Democrats alike have problems with the FBI director, one person briefed on their deliberations said. Instead, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told him he was making a big mistake-- and Trump seemed 'taken aback,' according to a person familiar with the call. By Tuesday evening, the president was watching the coverage of his decision and frustrated no one was on TV defending him, a White House official said. He wanted surrogates out there beating the drum. Instead, advisers were attacking each other for not realizing the gravity of the situation as events blew up... Trump had talked about the firing for over a week, and the letters [from Sessions and Rosenstein] were written to give him rationale to fire Comey."
Two White House officials said there was little communications strategy in handling the firing, and that staffers were given talking points late Tuesday for hastily arranged media appearances. Aides soon circulated previous quotes from Schumer hitting Comey. After Schumer called for a special prosecutor, the White House huddled in press secretary Sean Spicer's office to devise a strategy and sent "fresh faces" to TV, one White House official said.

By Tuesday night, aides were using TV appearances to spin the firing as a simple bureaucratic matter and call for an end to the investigation. "It's time to move on," Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the deputy press secretary, said on Fox News.
Fox, of course, was on board with the White House strategy, even running a deceptive chyron claiming Comey had "resigned."

The chilling take-away for the day comes from the highly-regarded Lawfare Blog. "Make no mistake," they wrote: "The firing of James Comey as FBI director is a stunning event. It is a profoundly dangerous thing-- a move that puts the Trump-Russia investigation in immediate jeopardy and removes from the investigative hierarchy the one senior official whom President Trump did not appoint and one who is known to stand up to power."
Spicer’s press release states that President Trump “acted based on the clear recommendations” of both Rosenstein and Sessions and that a search for a new FBI Director will start “immediately.” Likewise, Sessions’ letter refers the President to the memorandum by Rosenstein. Trump’s letter dismissing Comey, for its part, reiterates that he is acting on the recommendation of both Sessions and Rosenstein, declaring: “While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.”

Trump’s clumsy attempt to deny that his own conduct is at issue in the FBI’s inquiry is foolish. Comey testified just the other day that the FBI is “conducting an investigation to understand whether there was any coordination between the Russian efforts and anybody associated with the Trump campaign.” Splitting hairs over whether this does or does not mean that Trump is “under investigation” cannot obscure the fact that Trump just fired someone who is leading an investigation that deals with whether his aides, campaign, and White House staff had improper dealings with adversary foreign intelligence service.

Rosenstein’s memorandum bears the same date as the preceding three letters-- which is to say today, May 9. Note that Rosenstein was only confirmed as Deputy Attorney General on April 25, making today his fourteenth day in office.

The memo, which reads like a bad op-ed, is entitled “Restoring Public Confidence in the FBI.” It begins by expressing concern that “the FBI’s reputation and credibility have suffered substantial damage” over the past year, citing Comey’s handling of the Clinton email investigation. Rosenstein criticizes Comey’s decision to make a public announcement in July 2016 declaring his conclusion that the investigation should be closed: Even if, as Comey has stated, Attorney General Loretta Lynch had a conflict with respect to the investigation because of her conversation on an airport tarmac with former President Bill Clinton, Comey should have followed normal Justice Department procedure rather than announcing his conclusion independently. Furthermore, Comey’s July press conference violated the Department’s principle against releasing information on the subject of a criminal investigation that has been closed without prosecution, Rosenstein’s memo says. Notably, Rosenstein does not appear to have waited for the conclusion of a DOJ Inspector General investigation into the matter.

Rosenstein describes Comey as having “supplant[ed] federal prosecutors and assume[d] command of the Justice Department,” declaring, “[T]he goal of a federal criminal investigation is not to announce our thoughts at a press conference.”

...[T]he New York Times’ Michael Schmidt reports that, according to administration officials, “Senior White House and Justice Department officials had been working on building a case against Mr. Comey since at least last week … Attorney General Jeff Sessions had been charged with coming up with reasons to fire him.”

...Getting rid of Comey removes the guy who is running the Russia investigation. It removes the guy who can look Congress in the eye and say credibly that the FBI is investigating whether anyone in the Trump orbit was actively working with the Russians. It removes the guy who, in February, reportedly refused the White House’s request to publicly knock down stories about Trump and Russia while congressmen in key positions of investigatory responsibility allegedly complied. It removes the one person of stature (figurative as well as literal) in the government whom everyone knows will-- even when he’s wrong-- do what he thinks is the right thing and damn the torpedos. It removes, in other words, the essential person for a credible investigation.

It’s a neat trick: stymie the Russia investigation by siding with Hillary Clinton. Put another way, what if you had a Saturday Night Massacre and liberals cheered because they hated Archibald Cox?

The question before us now is whether Trump will get away with it. There is no question that the President has the legal authority to remove the FBI director. But there’s also no question that removing the FBI Director in the midst of a high-stakes investigation of Russian influence in the inner circle of the President’s campaign and White House is a horrifying breach of every expectation we have of the relationship between the White House and federal law enforcement.

What’s more, there is also no question that members of Congress, particularly members of the Senate, who are concerned about the integrity of that investigation and, more broadly, about preventing the gross political intervention in ongoing law enforcement and intelligence operations have tools at their disposal. We expect them to use those tools, as every American should.

The immediate concern is to ensure that the integrity of the Russia investigation, and all associated investigations, is preserved. We have not previously called for a special prosecutor, believing that Rosenstein was a person of integrity who should be given a chance to make a call on that question. His performance today, however, requires that he now step aside. Assuming that he acted with sincerity for the reasons he articulated, he has still participated in a tawdry episode that will—and should—raise profound questions about the administration’s commitment to a fair and independent investigation of matters that touch the deepest of national security concerns. He cannot credibly lead this investigation any longer, and leaders of both parties must make sure he steps aside for an independent prosecutor who can.

The broader concern is the protection of the FBI. Because removing one FBI director means installing another. Whomever Trump chooses for the role needs to go through the most exacting scrutiny to make sure that the director’s office-- and the Bureau more generally-- is not now the subject of White House control and a mere instrument of political whim.
And another poll just came out showing Trump's disapproval numbers going up again. He's going to go down as the most hated president in American history-- more so than Nixon, Bush II, Hoover, Harding or even Tyler, who joined the Confederacy.

Labels: , ,


At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

Trump will continue his autocratic behavior unless and until he is stopped. He is an immature child emotionally, and now his aides report that he is screaming at the television, venting his frustration about the persistence of the Russia angle. He is a sick and dangerous man who must be stopped. He appears to be a criminal as well as treasonous. His family is milking Trump's position for all they can get. His children are just like him - greed, greed, greed. (Hillary, you were WRONG about his children, they do not reflect anything good about their father.) It is all so disgusting. If Congress cares about maintaining democracy in this country, an independent investigator is essential. The Republicans, such as Mitch McConnell, are enabling this monster. McConnell has no leg to stand on to deny an independent investigation. The Republicans are just as despicable as Trump.

Given the history of facts (real facts) about Trump's associations with the Russians, going back many years, it is quite clear he is in deep with them. He has had very strong financial and business ties to Russia - this is well documented. He and his sons have had ties to Russian oligarchs, which they have even bragged about. Some of Trump's closest appointees have close ties to Russia. Given Trump's sexual proclivities, is is also extremely likely the Russians have blackmail material on him in this regard as well.

Really - this is all so BLATANTLY OBVIOUS. Trump is clearly compromised. And given he is dumb as dirt when it comes to reality, that much of what he has done and said is on record, and that he thinks he can get away with anything (so far he has, unbelievably), he has very likely left a trail a mile wide. Subpoenas are necessary. I'd love to see his school records, yet alone his tax returns. Where are the likes of Woodward and Bernstein? Get on it, reporters!

My concern is that Trump will drop some bombs or start a war real soon as a distraction. This is an AWFUL but very real possibility.

At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All together now:

"Woke up this morning...Papa never told you about right and wrong...Shame about it..."

That Fox chyron should be the new meme for nearly everything.


At 3:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nixon and the orange-utang? Both totally despicable hominids filled with paranoia and neuroses.

Nixon? Intelligent and was not a total failure as a president (EPA, first proposed universal health care... et al).

The orange-utang? Dumber than shit and his ceiling is the second worst president in our history. His floor is to be so bad that nobody could ever be worse... even hitler might look good after this mother/daughterfucker is finished.

At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a reference nobody will get:

Trumpanzee-- (much) more Mortimer Snerd than Edgar Bergen.


Post a Comment

<< Home