Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Not the guy

Joe Biden Drops His Biggest Hint Yet That He Is Running For President 2020

And how could he or anyone cope with America's built-in democracy deficit, the Electoral College that took the prize from the people's choice and gave it to Trump in 2016, he being the very demagogue from whom the Framers hoped the EC would save us?

A phenomenon that might actually become more common as blue voters concentrate in coastal and highly urban, deep, deep blue states while red voters are more spread out, only thinly dominating in their not much more than pink states.

And who says JB would even be the people's choice, anyway?

Who thinks he could mobilize enough support to beat Bozo or his replacement, next time out?

What would the PUMAs do?

What would the opinion leaders of black Democrats do?

What would the phony Democrats of the Sanders type do?

He's too old, too white, too male, and too Clinton.

He missed his chance.

He's past it.

The attack on institutions continues

The frightening contempt for our republican institutions characteristic of The Duce and the Trumpist mass media is growing more hysterical, reckless, and potent in DC, where baseless lies are increasingly echoed by so-called "establishment Republicans" whose top priority is not the safety of the republic but the safety of The Duce.

Being a Democrat is not proof an FBI agent or attorney is out to "bring down" the president by any means necessary, much less of claims they or the Russiagate investigation, headed by Bush Republican Mueller appointed by Bush Republican Rosenstein, are "illegitimate and corrupt".

The Times is right about the mendacity, irresponsibility, and point of these attacks.

Fox News v. Robert Mueller

But in Fox’s alternate universe, the investigation is “illegitimate and corrupt,” or so says Gregg Jarrett, a legal analyst who appears regularly on Mr. Hannity’s nightly exercise in presidential ego-stroking. 

“Mueller’s stooges literally are doing everything within their power, and then some, to try and remove President Trump from office,” Mr. Hannity said last Wednesday.

“What a total travesty! They should all step aside,” Ms. Ingraham said last week, almost gleefully, about the supposed conflicts of interest permeating the special counsel’s highly experienced team of investigators. “Including Bob Mueller.”

Perhaps the most inflammatory rhetoric has come from Ms. Pirro, the host of “Justice With Judge Jeanine” and a “presidential favorite,” according to The Times. 

“There is a cleansing needed in our F.B.I. and Department of Justice,” Ms. Pirro said Saturday, in her most unhinged rant yet. 

“It needs to be cleansed of individuals who should not just be fired but who need to be taken out in handcuffs.”

Ms. Pirro named, among others, James Comey, the former F.B.I. director (“so political, so corrupt”); Andrew McCabe, the bureau’s deputy director, apparently in the tank for Hillary Clinton; and Peter Strzok, a top counterintelligence agent whom Mr. Mueller removed from the investigation after learning of private text messages he sent in 2016 criticizing Mr. Trump and praising Mrs. Clinton.

Topping her list of outlaws was, of course, Mr. Mueller, who she said “can’t come up with one piece of evidence!” Maybe she just forgot about the indictments and guilty pleas? 

Ms. Pirro, a former New York prosecutor and judge, didn’t allege any actual crimes, just that Mr. Mueller and his people are guilty of “attempting to destroy Trump.”

It would be one thing if Ms. Pirro were only spouting off on television. 

But she is a friend of Mr. Trump’s and has met privately with him and his top advisers to sell her half-cocked theories. 

After Mr. Trump’s victory last year, she interviewed to be his deputy attorney general, a job that would have empowered her to fire Mr. Mueller on her own.

To put it mildly, this is insane. 

. . . .

When the propagandists say, “Get rid of Mueller,” it’s not the truth they’re trying to protect; it’s Mr. Trump himself. 

Any genuine interest in objective reality left the building a while ago, replaced by a self-sustaining fantasyland. 

If it’s hard to understand how roughly three-quarters of Republicans still refuse to accept that Russia interfered in the 2016 election — a fact that is glaringly obvious to everyone else, including the nation’s intelligence community and Mr. Trump’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson — remember that a majority of the same people continue to believe that President Barack Obama was born in Kenya.

There was a time not too long ago when Republicans in Congress seemed genuinely interested in protecting Mr. Mueller — who, it bears noting, was originally appointed to head the F.B.I. by George W. Bush and who was named special counsel by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, also a Bush appointee. 

But Fox’s alt-reality vortex has sucked in previously levelheaded members of the G.O.P. like Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina senator who said as recently as October that there would be “holy hell to pay” if Mr. Trump tried to fire Mr. Mueller. 

Last Friday, Mr. Graham tweeted in support of “a Special Counsel to investigate ALL THINGS 2016 — not just Trump and Russia.” 

On Monday night, according to Axios, Jay Sekulow, one of Mr. Trump’s personal lawyers, called for a special prosecutor to investigate … the special prosecutor. 

The tipping point? 

An article on Fox News’s website about a top Justice Department official’s wife and her work for Fusion GPS, the research firm behind the so-called Steele dossier.

None of these attacks or insinuations are grounded in good faith. 

The anti-Mueller brigade cares not a whit about possible bias in the Justice Department or the F.B.I. It simply wants the investigation shut down out of a fear of what it might reveal. 

But if your man is really innocent, what’s the worry?

No special counsel can be appointed except in case there is evidence of a crime, and nothing in the texts or emails to which the rightist loonies allude is evidence of anything like that.

Doug Jones by a nose in Alabama

Close to 23,000 Alabamans wrote in somebody else.

Mostly disgusted Republicans?

Anyway, that was more than Jones's margin of victory over that good Christian man, Roy Moore.

Republicans way outnumber Democrats in this state.

A lot of them must have actually voted for Jones.


A one term Democratic senator from Alabama.

Less, actually.

He will finish Jeff Sessions' term.

He will run for a full term in 2020.

Teachers Highland Cream

Smells medicinal, to me.

More so than whiskey generally, I mean.

Not much for Scotch, at all.

It does go down easy, though.

Makes my tongue feel somewhat stung.

Cutty does that, too.

A Scotch thing?

Some of the new Ryes are good.

Canadian Club and Wild Turkey, for instance.

Or Redemption.

Among dirt cheap Bourbons, Heaven Hill is nice.

And noticeably a Bourbon.

More character than Canadian Gold, whose chief virtue is having none.

Being cheap is its other virtue.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

What she says

Zephyr Teachout on the fate of Al Franken.

Is this the time to consider again how strange were the novel and the film, Lolita?

I’m Not Convinced Franken Should Quit

Zero tolerance should go hand in hand with two other things: due process and proportionality. 

As citizens, we need a way to make sense of accusations that does not depend only on what we read or see in the news or on social media.

Due process means a fair, full investigation, with a chance for the accused to respond. 

And proportionality means that while all forms of inappropriate sexual behavior should be addressed, the response should be based on the nature of the transgressions.

Both were missing in the hasty call for Senator Franken’s resignation.

. . . .

[H]ere’s what a fair system might look like: Congress should empower an independent arbiter to investigate complaints — like a Government Accountability Office, with trained experts in the field. 

Clearly understood mechanisms for reporting should be established. 

A timetable should be set that ensures complaints receive a prompt response. 

Both the accuser and the accused could submit questions and would have access to trained advocates and free legal consultation.

The independent arbiter would then make a nonbinding proposal addressing what happened and what should be done. 

It could include a call to resign or for censure, or a range of other responses tailored to the findings.

This isn’t just about Senator Franken. 

Other lawmakers have also been accused of harassment. 

We need a system to deal with that messy reality, and the current one of investigating those complaints is opaque, takes too long and has not worked to protect vulnerable women and men from harassment. 

And the current alternative — off with the head of the accused, regardless of the accusation — is too quick, too easily subject to political manipulation and too vulnerable to the passions of the moment.

Moore's Alabama defenders know exactly what they are doing and why

They defend him by saying he is innocent and the women are lying, yes.

But they also say that, apart from that, what matters to them is that he is a paladin of "Christian values," by which they do not mean to refer to his personal sexual conduct but to the place in the law of traditional Christian morality that he would defend and perhaps even seek to expand or restore.

They are perfectly clear that on abortion, gay rights, and anything to do with sexuality, he and the Democratic Party, and Doug Jones the Democrat running against him, are on completely opposite sides.

And that affects especially but not only how they would vote, for example, on The Duce's sociocon nominees for the federal bench.

(Steve Bannon has suggested that of greater concern to the DC Republican leadership is Moore's vote on the tax bill. He has claimed that after it is passed - assuming it is passed - they will dump Moore.)

Roy Moore and the Republican sociocons stand for Christian clericalism, what Andrew Sullivan calls "Christianism," legal enforcement of traditional Christian sexual morality and legal support for, even endorsement of, the tenets common to morally and theologically conservative forms of Christianity and the social importance of their widespread acceptance.

In contrast, the general run of Democrats are secularist and anticlericalist in their politics, firmly opposed to the legal enforcement of traditional Christian morals or legal encouragement or support for any form of the Christian - or any other - religion.

Moore's supporters understand all that perfectly well.

And that is why they voted for Trump and will vote for Moore.

Alabama Senate Race

If Mr. Jones wins, filling the seat left vacant when President Trump appointed Jeff Sessions as attorney general, Republicans would see their Senate advantage dwindle to a single seat, putting their majority in play next year.

But should Mr. Moore survive, it would illustrate the enduring limitations of Democrats in the South and suggest that the tug of partisanship is a forbiddingly powerful force.

. . . .

When Mr. Moore’s campaign held its final rally in Midland City late Monday, it was Kayla Moore, the candidate’s wife, who grabbed the headlines.
Fake news would also have you think that my husband doesn’t support the black community. 
Yet my husband appointed the very first black marshal to the Alabama Supreme Court, Mr. Willie James.  
When he first took office as chief justice many years ago, he brought with him three people from Etowah County; two were black, and one of them is here tonight.  
We have many friends that are black, and we also fellowship with them in church and in our home. 
Fake news would tell you that we don’t care for Jews.  
I tell you all this because I’ve seen it all, so I just want to set the record straight while they’re here. 
One of our attorneys is a Jew.  
We have very close friends that are Jewish and rabbis, and we also fellowship with them.
The author of the Times report and TV talking heads not at Fox News are, so to speak, rolling their eyes at those remarks, cashing in on the bizarre notion, no doubt created by liberal propagandists, that anyone protesting charges of racism or anti-Semitism by pointing out he has black or Jewish employees, associates, or personal friends must be a racist or an anti-Semite.

Which is not to say Moore or his wire are not racists or anti-Semites.

Bozo manages an innuendo especially vicious and even obscene, under the circumstances

Trump Attacks Gillibrand

She demanded Franken resign, and he has, effective at year's end so he'll be here for the big votes.

She demanded The Duce resign, and he has responded with exceptionally coarse insult and abuse.

President Trump forcefully entered the national debate about sexual harassment on Tuesday, again dismissing his own accusers as fabricating their stories and saying that a prominent Democratic senator, a woman, “would do anything” for campaign contributions and calling her a “lightweight.”

The president’s attacks came in early morning Twitter posts after several of the accusers had come forward on Monday to renew their charges that Mr. Trump had sexually assaulted them before he was president. 

His Twitter attack also came after the senator, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, had called for him to resign.

. . . .

Ms. Gillibrand was quick to fire back, saying she would not be silenced by a president whose comments she described as “a sexist smear.”

“It was a sexist smear attempting to silence my voice, and I will not be silenced on this issue,” she said. 

“Neither will the women who stood up to the president yesterday,” she added, referring to three accusers who spoke in Manhattan on Monday about their experiences.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Maduro threatens to bar the opposition from upcoming presidentials

Le chef d’État vénézuélien menace d’écarter l’opposition de la présidentielle

They boycotted municipals and he is now saying, after the fact, that parties that did not participate in them cannot participate in the presidentials.

The sort of authoritarianism our own beloved Duce so much admires.

Après une nouvelle victoire du régime chaviste aux élections municipales du 10 décembre, notamment faute de candidats d’opposition, le président Nicolás Maduro menace d’écarter ses principaux adversaires des prochaines élections présidentielles, en 2018.

Le scrutin qui s’est déroulé le 10 décembre pour l’élection de 335 maires a connu une conclusion sans surprise : le parti chaviste au pouvoir, le PSUV, aurait remporté 330 mairies, selon des résultats annoncés par le Conseil électoral.

Dimanche soir, dans la foulée du rendez-vous électoral, le président Nicolás Maduro a annoncé une nouvelle mesure qui s’attaque directement aux partis d’opposition : “Les partis n’ayant pas participé à ce scrutin et ayant appelé au boycott des élections ne pourront pas participer à d’autres élections”, rapporte El País. 

Le quotidien espagnol rappelle qu’en amont du scrutin du 10 décembre, les principaux partis de l’opposition avaient refusé de présenter des candidats à cette élection municipale.

Maduro quiere prohibir a las principales fuerzas de la oposición concurrir a las presidenciales

El presidente venezolano, Nicolás Maduro, amenazó este domingo, durante la celebración de las elecciones municipales, con prohibir a las principales fuerzas de la oposición concurrir a las presidenciales de 2018. 

"Partido que no haya participado hoy y haya llamado al boicot de las elecciones, no puede participar más", aseguró en una comparecencia, aludiendo a las organizaciones lideradas por Henry Ramos Allup, Leopoldo López y Henrique Capriles.

Scary enough as it is

Fearing the Worst, China Plans Refugee Camps on North Korean Border

Be glad they're not moving troops or arms up to that border.

They entered the Truman's and IKE's Korean War as soon as it looked like our side was going to finish off the Communist government of the North.

And to make it more scary, this.

North Korean Submarine Missile Threat Prompts U.S.-Led Military Drills

Totally baseless assumptions not at all likely to pan out

Treasury Defends Tax Plan in One-Page Analysis

The Treasury Department released a one-page analysis of the nearly 500-page Senate tax bill on Monday that suggested the $1.5 trillion plan would more than pay for itself, assuming the economy grows much faster than any independent analysis of the bill has projected.

The Treasury acknowledged that its analysis was based on optimistic economic forecasts that assumed a host of policy changes yet to be enacted, including increased infrastructure spending, further loosening of business regulations and changes to welfare programs.

The analysis left many tax experts scratching their heads and prompted criticism that the Treasury was offering misleading data.

When a party committed to bullshit is in power, the agencies it controls will also be committed to bullshit.

So Moore really is OK with slavery, but that's not a problem because he won't be voting on slavery in the US senate

So I guess Roy Moore is at least OK with "white supremacy" in a pretty strong sense of the term, if he doesn't plan on actually advocating it, is that it?

CNN Analyst Defends Roy Moore: He Won't Be Voting On Slavery

This was said by an "analyst" hired by CNN to defend Moore???

John Amato,

In a knockdown segment, Ed Martin, a CNN commentator and rabid Trump supporter defended Roy Moore's candidacy after he said America was better under slavery by claiming Jews still loved each other under Nazi occupation and Moore won't be voting on slavery.

. . . .

As I wrote earlier, David Frum is correct. Not only is CNN hiring and branding lying liars to defend Trump by spreading falsehoods, they are extending their tactics to suspected pedophiles like Roy Moore. All in the name of bringing "controversy" to cable news discussions.


And not to deflect, Ed Martin was despicable. Especially when confusing the issue of African slavery in Alabama with the Jews triumph over slavery in the Old Testament. Moore supporters in Alabama would know exactly how to read between the lines on Martin's argument -- Old Testament patriarchs like Roy Moore get to do whatever they want with young girls and have opinions about slavery.

Well, heck, both testaments are OK with slavery, actually.

And OK with some pretty shocking behavior on the part of their heroes.

But nothing gay, of course.

As to that, well, remember Sodom?

Separation of powers means it's not up to him, alone

If he thinks he's "the Decider," he's mistaken.

Judge rules transgender people can enlist in military, denying Trump bid to delay deadline

You have to wonder how that's going to work out in the barracks and the shower rooms.

Roy Moore and the Aroostook Watchmen

The hillbilly right in Maine.

They don't call themselves Mainiacs for nothing.

Read up on Moore and this crazy radio show in the granite state in this piece by Steve M.

A sample.

Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore appeared on a conspiracy-driven radio show twice in 2011, where he told the hosts in an interview that getting rid of constitutional amendments after the Tenth Amendment would 'eliminate many problems' in the way the US government is structured.

. . . .

Moore made his comments about constitutional amendments in a June 2011 appearance on the "Aroostook Watchmen" show, which is hosted by Maine residents Jack McCarthy and Steve Martin.

The hosts have argued that the US government is illegitimate and who have said that the September 11, 2001, attacks, the mass shooting at Sandy Hook, the Boston bombing, and other mass shootings and terrorist attacks are false flag attacks committed by the government.

. . . .

In Moore's June appearance, one of the hosts says he would like to see an amendment that would void all the amendments after the Tenth.

"That would eliminate many problems," Moore replied. 

"You know people don't understand how some of these amendments have completely tried to wreck the form of government that our forefathers intended."

You'd think the true blue white supremacist - white male supremacist - right would reject everything from 13 on.

Slavery ended, citizenship and voting rights for blacks, equal protection for all, votes for women, the income tax, popular election of senators, votes for 18 year olds - and a lot of fuss about the presidency including succession to that office and, oh yeah, prohibition in and then out.

But 11 and 12?

Really?

And those "Aroostook Watchmen" sound like just completely bonkers hillbilly loons.

Unbelievable.

Who the hell gave them a radio show?

Who are their advertisers?

Wow.

Good thing so many of them are klutzes

Pipe bomb explodes in NY bus station

A 27-year-old man set off a pipe bomb strapped to his body during the morning rush hour on Monday, deep inside one of Manhattan’s busiest commuter corridors, the police said.

The blast echoed through the subway tunnels just off Times Square, and filled parts of the Port Authority Bus Terminal with smoke as commuters fled into the streets to escape what the authorities quickly concluded was an act of terror.

A suspect, identified by the police as Akayed Ullah, an immigrant from Bangladesh who lived in Brooklyn, was in police custody. 

He suffered burns to his hands and abdomen, and was in serious condition at Bellevue Hospital Center, according to Daniel A. Nigro, the commissioner of the New York Fire Department. 

Four other people had minor injuries, he said.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Will someone please fire this pathological narcissist for his own countless and absurd lies?

Trump Wants Washington Post Reporter Fired Over Misleading Tweet

President Trump on Saturday called for a Washington Post reporter to be fired over a misleading tweet about the size of the crowd at a rally for the president on Friday in Pensacola, Fla.

The reporter, Dave Weigel, posted a picture of an arena with many empty seats. He deleted the tweet after learning that the venue had not yet filled up.

Narcissism.

This is how badly the "Bolivarian Revolution" has f***ed up Venezuela

For Older Venezuelans, Fleeing Crisis Means ‘Starting From Zero,’ Even at 90

In the past two decades, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans — by some estimates as many as two million — have migrated abroad, with the tendency accelerating in the past several years during the increasingly authoritarian rule of President Nicolás Maduro.

The vast majority have been younger Venezuelans in the prime of their working lives. 

Yet the huge flow of émigrés has also included a smaller number of older Venezuelans, driven abroad for many of the same reasons, including scarcities of food and medicine, soaring poverty and crime.

Many are following the steps of their children, nieces, nephews and grandchildren who have been imploring them to leave, too.

But for older migrants, the decision to leave is fraught with unique anxieties and uncertainties: about access to health care in destination countries, about the loss of social networks and the comforts developed over a lifetime, about starting from scratch in a brand-new place just when they expected to be enjoying retirement.

. . . .

Mr. Reyes, who spent his career running small businesses, has glaucoma. 

With medicine increasingly scarce in Venezuela, it has become a near-daily ordeal for him to visit as many as seven pharmacies in an often fruitless search for the eye drops he needs.

Ms. Reyes, a retired employee of Venezuela’s Education Ministry, was told by her doctor that the cancerous lesion on her forehead was probably the result of all the hours she was forced to stand in lines in the sun waiting to buy food or withdraw money from the bank.

As inflation has soared, the value of the couple’s pension has diminished. 

The last three-milliliter bottle of drops Mr. Reyes bought cost him more than half his monthly pension.

Frank Bruni goes out on a limb

Will our American Red Guards, our SJWs, have him issuing abject apologies in all directions within a few days or weeks?

An Abomination. A Monster. That’s Me?

This is his reply to a diatribe of racist hatred directed against whites in a college newspaper given its greatest publicity by Breitbart (of course) and Rod Dreher (ditto) at the end of last month and so extreme that at first I thought it was a hoax.

Imagine a college paper, somewhere, publishing excerpts from The Turner Diaries and you'll get the idea.

Bruni joins Dreher and Breitbart in deploring the violent anti-white hate rhetoric of the racist left, but while they exploit that racism to vindicate and even support the "circle the wagons" mentality that drives so many whites to the side of Trump and white nationalism he deplores exactly that use and that consequence.

If the people who feel that way about whites - and notoriously about white liberals, especially - find out where he lives, Bruni could easily find himself in physical danger.

He can be sure a great deal of vitriolic sewage will be spilt out over his head in coming days and weeks, and it may get so bad we see him, his self-respect shredded, in sackcloth and ashes.

PS.

Just as the right smears Democrats by association with these anti-white racists (and it is a smear, right? despite Ta-Nehisi Coates and maybe Charles Blow?), the left smears the Republicans and even the Trumpists by lumping everyone together from those who object to affirmative action to those who long for the extermination of nonwhites from the face of the Earth.

And we all pay for it as our politics are increasingly about our reciprocal racial estrangement and its ever worse and more frightening consequences.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

To be fair, the Republicans are a party of fraud to the bone

Krugman.

And he's not even writing about Bozo, whose total unconcern with truth has inured us all to discounting everything he says, regarding his words as contributing absolutely nothing to any discussion of reality.

Surveys done by the University of Minnesota and George Mason University have shown that the supposedly impartial “fact checking” news organization [PolitiFact] rates Republican claims as false three times as often as Democratic claims and twice as much, respectively.

Notice the implicit assumption here – namely, that impartial fact-checking would find an equal number of false claims from each party. 

But what if – bear with me a minute – Republicans actually make more false claims than Democrats?

Take a not at all arbitrary example: tax policy. 

The GOP is deeply committed to the proposition that tax cuts pay for themselves, a view that has no support whatsoever from professional economists. 

Can you find any comparable insistence on a view experts consider false on the Democratic side?

Similarly, the GOP is deeply committed to climate change denial, despite the overwhelming consensus of scientists that anthropogenic climate change is real and dangerous. 

Again, where’s the Democratic counterpart?

There are, of course, individual liberals who say things that aren’t true, on all sorts of issues. 

But huge falsehoods by major party figures – where by falsehood I mean something demonstrably false, not a view you disagree with – are far more common on the right than the left.

. . . .

Whatever the deep explanation, however, the parties are not the same. 

And trying to pretend that they are the same isn’t just foolish, it’s deeply destructive. 

Indeed, it’s one important reason Donald Trump sits in the White House.

Reminds me of people unwilling to absorb the fact that black people have more, and more unfortunate, interactions with the legal justice system than whites because and in proportion as they commit more crimes than whites, of the sort that actually might get noticed by the justice system.

(Nobody thinks they commit more white collar crimes than whites, say.)

This carnival barker is the perfect front man for the class war agenda of the standard, establishment Republicans

And they so know it.

Trump Rallies a Florida Crowd in Support of an Alabama Senate Candidate

Mr. Trump was about 45 minutes into his speech, though, before he even mentioned Mr. Moore. But when prompted to do so by a man in the crowd, the president quickly obliged.

“This guy’s screaming, ‘We want Roy Moore,’” Mr. Trump said. “He’s right. How many people here are from the great state of Alabama?”

Many cheered.

The president also highlighted a discrepancy in the story of one Mr. Moore’s accusers and said voters should be wary of her lawyer, Gloria Allred.

“The future of this country cannot afford to lose a seat in the very, very close United States Senate,” Mr. Trump said.

“We can’t afford to have a liberal Democrat who is completely controlled by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. His name is Jones and he’s their total puppet,” a reference to Mr. Moore’s Democratic opponent, Doug Jones.

“We need somebody in that Senate seat who will vote for our Make America Great Again agenda,” the president said, adding, “So get out and vote for Roy Moore.”

The MAGA agenda is a smokescreen behind which the Congressional GOP has gone bare-knuckle from the start, their massive tax cuts for corporations and the rich being only their most visibly outrageous and successful move.

The Donald is all showman, and everything about him and his presidency that Bannon, Buchanan, and the trailer-trash of the rust belt love, including his all over the map handling of race, is showmanship.

The only reality in DC is that the GOP Congress is fighting its class war while Bozo appoints a flood of standard-issue conservative Republicans, enemies of everything any progressive of any political party ever built or stood for, to the federal bench and a multitude of other positions throughout the government.

What they see and love and cheer is him, Bozo, The Duce, the reality-TV president.

What they and we get is them, the standard-issue, class warrior conservatives of the Republican Party in the Congress, and wherever else Trump can place them, all of them out to roll back a century of progressive changes in our society, our politics, and our government.

Only once in a while something that the president played by Donald Trump promised or demanded has to actually be made real, to maintain the conflation of reality and reality TV that is the beating heart of this presidency.

Travel ban.

End of DACA.

End of the individual mandate, and of government subsidies for purchase of health insurance through Obamacare.

Maybe a wall.

The reality TV president

I am one of those who think reality TV is an atrocity for morons, trailer-trash, and hopeless rubes.

Trump and Trump's people, in fact.

For him and for them, he is not the president, he's just playing one for the media.

Or, rather, they conflate the two.

But as reality TV is to reality, Trump's presidency, as he perceives it and acts it out, is to the real thing.

Trump's hour-by-hour battle for self preservation

Around 5:30 each morning, President Trump wakes and tunes into the television in the White House’s master bedroom. 

He flips to CNN for news, moves to “Fox & Friends” for comfort and messaging ideas, and sometimes watches MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” because, friends suspect, it fires him up for the day.

Energized, infuriated — often a gumbo of both — Mr. Trump grabs his iPhone. Sometimes he tweets while propped on his pillow, according to aides. 

Other times he tweets from the den next door, watching another television. 

Less frequently, he makes his way up the hall to the ornate Treaty Room, sometimes dressed for the day, sometimes still in night clothes, where he begins his official and unofficial calls.

As he ends his first year in office, Mr. Trump is redefining what it means to be president. 

He sees the highest office in the land much as he did the night of his stunning victory over Hillary Clinton — as a prize he must fight to protect every waking moment, and Twitter is his Excalibur. 

Despite all his bluster, he views himself less as a titan dominating the world stage than a maligned outsider engaged in a struggle to be taken seriously, according to interviews with 60 advisers, associates, friends and members of Congress.

For other presidents, every day is a test of how to lead a country, not just a faction, balancing competing interests. 

For Mr. Trump, every day is an hour-by-hour battle for self-preservation. 

He still relitigates last year’s election, convinced that the investigation by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, into Russia’s interference is a plot to delegitimize him. 

Color-coded maps highlighting the counties he won were hung on the White House walls.

Before taking office, Mr. Trump told top aides to think of each presidential day as an episode in a television show in which he vanquishes rivals. 

People close to him estimate that Mr. Trump spends at least four hours a day, and sometimes as much as twice that, in front of a television, sometimes with the volume muted, marinating in the no-holds-barred wars of cable news and eager to fire back.

A Trumpish provocation

Trump's visit to Mississippi Civil Rights Museum opening leads NAACP, civil rights leader to skip it

Mississippi's Republican Governor invited The Duce to the opening of the state's Civil Rights Museum, doubtless laughing into his beard.

Trump, doubtless chuckling, accepted.

The feathers flew to the hilarity of the alt.right types before the event.

Types like that same governor, who annually proclaims a Confederate Heritage Month to pair up with Black History Month, and a public holiday for Robert E. Lee's birthday to pair with Martin Luther King's, as reported by MSNBC.

Trump in Pensacola, Florida, yesterday called upon the folks to vote for Roy Moore, and will return to Florida after his public appearance at the museum, today.

The head of the NAACP and two black congressmen, including John Lewis, a leader in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, said they will not be present at Saturday's opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum because President Donald Trump will be there.

NAACP president Derrick Johnson announced in a press release that rather than attend the museum's opening in Jackson, he will unite with local leaders to hold a "separate event" at the Smith Robertson Museum in the capital city to "pay homage to those who have dedicated their lives to the civil rights of Mississippians, without the presence of President Donald Trump."

“We take this stand out of respect for our heroes and ancestors who, often at the cost of their lives, paved the way for the ending of segregation and racial discrimination in Mississippi,” Johnson said in a statement Saturday. 

“We honor that legacy by speaking truth to power and calling out this administration’s divisive policies and its pullback from civil rights enforcement.”

Trump begins his speech saying he just got there from the opening of the Mississippi State History Museum.

He praises both museums as he starts his speech.

By name, he honored Martin Luther King whom he said he has admired all his life.

His speech in praise of the Civil Rights Martyrs could on the whole have been made by Obama, apart from his lapses from dignity and from solemnity into the familiarities of an emcee at a wedding reception, inviting signal guests by name to stand for applause.

Friday, December 8, 2017

The horrible regiment of women

Cards on the table: I support legalization of all forms of voluntary sexual relations, including commercial ones, among persons above the age of consent, and oppose the waste of tax dollars policing any such activities while they remain illegal.

I felt that way about gays and lesbians when the police were still harassing gays in the park and raiding gay bars, for instance.

But such activities occur only after someone has made a suggestion to someone else, so I support legalization of making such suggestions, and oppose efforts to punish them while they remain illegal.

Meanwhile, in DC, the whole sex purge thing appears to have been taken over by blue-noses, dykes, victims of actual sex crimes, and women who seem to find that whole side of life - you know, sex - weill, with men, anyway - just totally unacceptable and icky.

So this happened.

And it just does seem to be rather a drastic punishment for being an insufferable nag, which of course I agree is extremely annoying.

It was both stupid and vicious to force Franken out, not just because he may have been innocent (I doubt it) but even if he was guilty.

At worst, he is a groper of grownups and a boor and a disgusting fellow.

But losing him makes it all the easier for the Republicans to get through their agenda of attacks on the achievements of progressivism and those attacks will do great harm to a great many, including very predictably deadly harm to some.

How many will die so the angry regiment of women can be placated?

How many will drop into poverty, how many will lose their health insurance, how many will lose their homes, and so on and so on, because idiot Al couldn't keep his hands of women's tits and asses and it just pissed them off so very, very much?

Why couldn't these oh so righteously irate women make that particular sacrifice of not stringing up the groper for the well-being and lives of so many, including many children?

They could always have primaried him next time.

Meanwhile, in their angry voices, they congratulate themselves and the Democrats for "taking the moral high ground".

Uh huh.

Letting their rage have its way, more like.

Is the two state solution dead?

If it is, the Palestinians have themselves to thank.

Arafat rejected the best deal they were ever offered, a deal so good they will never again see its like and have been clinging for the years since then to the hope they can get something not too much worse.

When you get down to it, there is more than a little justice in the comment made long ago that there already is an arab state in Palestine and its name is "Jordan".





And there is more than a little justice in the claim that those now called "Palestinians" have never really giving up making the Jewish state in Palestine as small as they can, preferably zero.

The so-called "one state solution" is a fantasy of American liberals for whom the Zionist dream of a Jewish State is nationalist and hence racist and hence unforgivable.

It would very quickly develop into just another majority arab state in Palestine with a large and beleaguered Jewish minority.

Jews in Israel and most elsewhere will never buy that.

Did Trump Kill Off a Two-State Solution? He Says No, Palestinians Say Yes

President Trump, in formally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Wednesday, declared that the United States still supported a two-state solution to settle the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians, provided it was “agreed to by both sides.”

For the first time in his 26 years as a peacemaker, the chief negotiator for the Palestinians did not agree.

Saeb Erekat, the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization and a steadfast advocate for a Palestinian state, said in an interview on Thursday that Mr. Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel “have managed to destroy that hope.” 

He embraced a radical shift in the P.L.O.’s goals — to a single state, but with Palestinians enjoying the same civil rights as Israelis, including the vote.

“They’ve left us with no option,” he said. “This is the reality. We live here. Our struggle should focus on one thing: equal rights.”

Mr. Erekat’s change of heart is unlikely to change Palestinian policy. 

The dream of a Palestinian state is too deeply ingrained in a generation of its leaders for the Palestinian Authority to abandon it now. 

Israel would be unlikely to accede to equal rights, because granting a vote to millions of Palestinians would eventually lead to the end of Israel as a Jewish state.

Hey, when was America last great, Roy?

Roy Moore Believes America Was Great During Slavery.

Rome, Greece, The Persian Empire, The Ottoman Empire, The Russian Empire before Alexander II - all were great during slavery (OK, serfdom. Six of one, half a dozen of the other.).

But was America great before the Civil War, or even shortly thereafter?

No.

America became great in totally conventional historic terms with its "rise to globalism" that began around the time of McKinley.

And has been great in the same terms ever since, though The Duce, the Bannonites, and the Buchananites are doing their best to diminish the global significance of our country.

Bozo by being the fool he is, and the others quite deliberately.

Anyway.

Back in September, one of the few African-Americans in the crowd asked the candidate when he thought was the “last time” America was great. 

“I think it was great at the time when families were united. Even though we had slavery, they cared for one another. ... Our families were strong, our country had a direction,” Moore responded, according to a Los Angeles Times report in September.

So the last time America was great was the last time families were strong, and the last time families were strong was before the Civil War?

Not the usual standard, and surely wrong on the facts about families, anyway.

Nothing was more hellish on families than slavery and the horrible conditions of the free working class in the early period of rising industrialism.

Moore’s comments resurfaced Thursday in a tweet by Eric Columbus, who served in the departments of Justice and Homeland Security during the Obama administration. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Franken denies it all, but quits

Sen. Al Franken Announces He Will Resign 'In The Coming Weeks'

Six or seven women, the last of whom had been a Democratic worker, made allegations, all of which he denied.

And even though nobody puts it past the activists of the right to sponsor phony accusations, nothing shows that is happening here.

To believe him you have to believe they are all lying or delusional, and that's less likely than that he is lying.

Tom Brokaw right now making a fool of himself on MSNBC because he is annoyed by Franken being forced out while, as Franken said, the president gets a pass and Roy Moore will be seated when elected.

He even argued these events deprived the voters of Minnesota of any say in whether he left office or not, sounding like defenders of Roy Moore.

Tom is joined by at least one woman on Andrea Mitchell's panel denying what happened to Franken was justice or fairness, though it serves the turn of the Democrats who now are free of taunts about a double standard.

And they point out that meanwhile, other lawmakers remain in their jobs though they are under investigation for more serious, but not sexual, offenses.

The girl in the famous photo of Franken pretending to grab her boobs has gone public that she has accepted his apology and did not want him to resign, and is not at all happy that he was forced to.

Quick. Check the Constitution.

By what authority do they do this, this party of soi-disant strict constructionists and limited government fans?

Talk about fake news.

Where in section 8 of Article I do they find the power to do this?

If they claim the commerce clause their readings are as broad and implausible as any liberal's.

And you know they aren't claiming either the general welfare clause or the necessary and proper clause.

They are allowing gun toters from Vermont where no actual permit is required, as concealed carry is lawful for everyone, to carry a little bubble of Vermont law with them, as regards this one particular matter, wherever they go in the US, in blithest ignorance of and unconcern for the laws of every state through which they may serenely pass, as regards gun rights.

Guns are just so special, you see.

If this is passed and is taken by state attorneys general to the Supremes and the conservatives among them defend it their hypocrisy will be evident and beyond laughable.

The Second Amendment does not have a finishing sentence, "Congress shall have power to enforce this amendment by appropriate legislation," even if we accept a version of incorporation that makes it binding on the states.

House Votes to Sharply Expand Concealed-Carry Gun Rights

The House on Wednesday easily passed a sweeping expansion of the right to carry concealed firearms virtually anywhere in the country, putting the fate of the National Rifle Association’s top legislative priority in the hands of a divided Senate.

To win over Democrats, House Republicans paired the measure, which would require all states to recognize any other state’s concealed-carry permit, with a more modest bipartisan fix meant to incentivize better reporting of legal and mental health records to the national background check system.

Together, the measures were the first gun-related bill to pass through the chamber since two of the deadliest mass shootings in the United States, in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, Tex., in the fall.

But the background check measure was not enough to win over most Democrats, nor did it persuade law enforcement officials in some of the largest cities, including New York, who say the legislation would force locales with strict gun laws to bow to places with few or no gun restrictions.

The final House vote was 231 to 198, with six Democrats in favor of and 14 Republicans against the bill.

Not the pottery barn rule

He breaks stuff and walks away crowing from the stuff he breaks.

For Trump, an Embassy in Jerusalem Is a Political Decision, Not a Diplomatic One

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Feminists: prudes, or just lesbians?

See the most recent Major Crimes, a very fine show when its disease level PC doesn't make you gag.

Conspiracy Theory Part 1, Season 6, episode 6.

She said, they said

Defense Calls Woman’s Account of Rape by Detectives ‘Patently False’

Absent determinative physical evidence, "he said/she said" brings it down to intrinsic credibility of the story and credibility of testimony on the stand.

Sure, it can support a pretty firm decision of more likely guilty than not.

But can it ever rise, all by itself, to showing the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt?

I don't actually see that.

A history can raise the likelihood of guilt, as can the sheer number of accusers alleging separate incidents.

But that's not there, in this case, neither any alleged history nor multiple accusations against the same people.

Frankly, I see it as a tossup.

I would vote to acquit.

What's up with all this pre-news?

Can't wait a couple of hours until it actually happens?

Or doesn't?

Trump Plans to Formally Recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

President Trump on Wednesday plans to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, reversing nearly seven decades of American foreign policy and setting in motion a plan to move the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to the fiercely contested Holy City.

Mr. Trump’s remarks will be the most closely scrutinized of his presidency on the Middle East, where he has vowed to broker the “ultimate deal” between Israelis and Palestinians but has yet to find a breakthrough to end the conflict.

The president’s recognition of Jerusalem, expected to be announced at 1 p.m., isolates the United States on one of the world’s most sensitive diplomatic issues. 

It has drawn a storm of criticism from Arab and European leaders, which swelled on Tuesday night after the White House confirmed Mr. Trump’s plans.

Pope Francis and the Chinese foreign ministry joined the chorus of voices warning that the move could unleash a wave of violence across the region. 

At a meeting in Brussels, Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson was sternly reproached by European allies.

Standing next to Mr. Tillerson, the European Union’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, made clear that Europe saw the president’s announcement as a threat to peace in the Middle East.

U.S. to Recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital, Trump Says, Alarming Middle East Leaders

President Trump plans to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the American Embassy there, upending nearly seven decades of American foreign policy and potentially destroying his efforts to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Mr. Trump’s decision, a high-risk foray into the thicket of the Middle East, was driven not by diplomatic calculations but by a campaign promise. 

He appealed to evangelicals and ardently pro-Israel American Jews in 2016 by vowing to move the embassy, and advisers said on Tuesday he was determined to make good on his word.

. . . .

More significantly, Mr. Trump is set to announce his formal recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital in a formal speech at the White House on Wednesday, when he will become the first American president to take that step since the founding of Israel in 1948.

. . . .

Mr. Trump, officials said, would make clear that the United States is not taking a position on whether, or how, Jerusalem is divided between Israel and the Palestinians. 

He will also not take a position on a disputed area of the Old City, known as the Temple Mount to Jews and the Haram al-Sharif to Muslims, which has been a flash point for tensions.

Pope Francis Voices ‘Deep Concern’ Over Trump Plan on Jerusalem

Pope Francis added to the growing global chorus of concern over the Trump administration’s intention to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and to move the American Embassy there, by praying on Wednesday that the city’s status as a holy place for Jews, Christians and Muslims be preserved and that needless conflict be avoided.

“I cannot remain silent about my deep concern for the situation that has developed in recent days and, at the same time, I wish to make a heartfelt appeal to ensure that everyone is committed to respecting the status quo of the city, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations,” Francis said during his weekly general audience at the Vatican.

“Jerusalem is a unique city, sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, where the Holy Places for the respective religions are venerated, and it has a special vocation to peace,” he said.

In especially strong language, the pope added, “I pray to the Lord that such identity be preserved and strengthened for the benefit of the Holy Land, the Middle East and the entire world, and that wisdom and prudence prevail, to avoid adding new elements of tension in a world already shaken and scarred by many cruel conflicts.”

The pope’s remarks seemed to be a clear warning, and an appeal, to President Trump, who is expected to announce on Wednesday at the White House a formal recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, breaking with American foreign policy that has been in place since 1948, when Israel was founded.

A history lesson about Jerusalem

Just in case, eh?

Chinese Newspaper Publishes Precautions for Nuclear Conflict

The official newspaper of a Chinese province adjoining North Korea published a full page of blunt advice on Wednesday about what to do in case of a nuclear explosion or radioactive fallout, from hiding indoors to bathing quickly with soap.

The newspaper, Jilin Daily, printed the advice as the United States and South Korea were conducting extensive military exercises this week, and after President Trump repeatedly threatened to take unspecified action if North Korea did not agree to halt its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. 

The publication came less than a week after Hawaii resumed testing of a Cold War-era warning system designed to alert residents of an imminent nuclear attack.

As would have been said in the army, bend over deeply, stick your head through your legs, and kiss your ass goodbye.

Who says the GOP is the stupid party?

GOP voters don't care all that much, as The Duce can witness and Roy Moore will, too.

Moore is accused of sex crimes with one 14 year old and numerous high school girls in later adolescence.

McConnell said this week that if Moore wins the senate will seat him.

Polls in Alabama show that is the most likely outcome of the special election to fill Jeff Sessions' empty seat.

The GOP senate will not eject him and will gladly welcome his vote.

The GOP has a thin majority in the senate which they very firmly want to protect.

Al Franken is accused of groping a number of adult women.

Certain Democratic women are demanding Franken resign, and I doubt the Democratic leadership will protect him.

A half dozen Senate Democratic women called for Senator Al Franken to resign Tuesday as a sixth woman came forward to charge that the Minnesota Democrat had made an improper advance on her.

“Enough is enough,” declared Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.

She was joined by Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Patty Murray of Washington, Kamala Harris of California and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, who issued statements in a coordinated effort that is likely to jeopardize Mr. Franken’s political future.

Horrors that didn't happen

If fewer than 9 states had ratified the Philadelphia constitution would there have been civil war, as Gouverneur Morris seemed to suggest?

Ratification, page 97, the first page of chapter 4, Simon and Schuster first trade pb, 2011.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

How The Times really feels

Yes, the President Can Obstruct Justice

Agreed.

Krugman lets the cat out of the bag

Republicans Are Coming for Your Benefits

Sometimes true history is written by the losers.

Republicans don’t care about budget deficits, and never did. 

They only pretend to care about deficits when one of two things is true: a Democrat is in the White House, and deficit rhetoric can be used to block his agenda, or they see an opportunity to slash social programs that help needy Americans, and can invoke deficits as an excuse. 

All of this has been obvious for years to anyone paying attention.

So it’s not at all surprising that they were willing to enact a huge tax cut for corporations and the wealthy even though all independent estimates said this would add more than $1 trillion to the national debt. 

And it was also predictable that they would return to deficit posturing as soon as the deed was done, citing the red ink they themselves produced as a reason to cut social spending.

Elections have consequences

U.S. top court lets Trump's latest travel ban go into full effect

But there are more than two liberals on the court.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to President Donald Trump by allowing his latest travel ban targeting people from six Muslim-majority countries to go into full effect even as legal challenges continue in lower courts.

The nine-member court, with two liberal justices dissenting, granted his administration's request to lift two injunctions imposed by lower courts that had partially blocked the ban, which is the third version of a contentious policy that Trump first sought to implement a week after taking office in January.

The high court's action means that the ban will now go fully into effect for people from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen seeking to enter the United States. 

The Republican president has said the travel ban is needed to protect the United States from terrorism by Islamic militants.

Monday, December 4, 2017

A coerced expression argument for religious refusal

A Baker’s First Amendment Rights

If good at all, surely it's good for any refusal, and not just religion-based refusal?

You need the First Amendment precisely when your ideas offend others or flout the majority’s orthodoxies. 

And then it protects more than your freedom to speak your mind; it guards your freedom not to speak the mind of another.

Thus, in classic “compelled speech” rulings, the Supreme Court has protected the right not to be forced to say, do or create anything expressing a message one rejects. 

Most famously, in West Virginia v. Barnette (1943), it barred a state from denying Jehovah’s Witnesses the right to attend public schools if they refused to salute the flag. 

In Wooley v. Maynard (1977), the court prevented New Hampshire from denying people the right to drive if they refused to display on license plates the state’s libertarian-flavored motto “live free or die.”

On Tuesday, the court will consider whether Colorado may deny Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, the right to sell custom wedding cakes because he cannot in conscience create them for same-sex weddings. 

Mr. Phillips, who has run his bakery since 1993, sells off-the-shelf items to anyone, no questions asked. 

But he cannot deploy his artistic skills to create cakes celebrating themes that violate his religious and moral convictions. 

Thus he does not design cakes for divorce parties, lewd bachelor parties, Halloween parties or same-sex weddings.

Colorado’s order that he create same-sex wedding cakes (or quit making any cakes at all) would force him to create expressive products carrying a message he rejects. That’s unconstitutional.

CNN and MSNBC didn't bite when ABC went with this.

In fact, they reported that ABC had made this claim but firmly dissociated themselves from it.

ABC Suspends Reporter Brian Ross Over Erroneous Report About Trump

Brian Ross, the chief investigative correspondent for ABC News, has been suspended for four weeks without pay after incorrectly reporting that Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser, would testify that President Trump had directed him to make contact with Russian officials while Mr. Trump was still a candidate, the network announced on Saturday.

Mr. Trump directed Mr. Flynn to make contact after the election, as president-elect, the network said.

ABC initially issued a clarification after Mr. Ross made the statement during a live broadcast on Friday but later called it a correction.

“We deeply regret and apologize for the serious error we made yesterday,” ABC said in a statement on Saturday. 

“The reporting conveyed by Brian Ross during the special report had not been fully vetted through our editorial standards process.”

Mr. Ross’s initial report, which he said was informed by a confidant of Mr. Flynn’s, would have been a bombshell revelation in the continuing investigation into whether Mr. Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to interfere in the presidential election.

The screaming would-be authoritarian Duce in the White House cannot defend Flynn, so he attacks Hillary (who else?) and our crucial republican institutions

Rigged system!

Double standard!

He alone, the best-known and most often exposed liar in American political history, can be trusted on all these things.

But our institutions are all corrupt and lying deceivers, out to betray him and the American people, who love him so.

That's his story, outright, and Breitbart's, and in varying mixtures of implicitness and explicitness it's the story of the Republican Party in the Congress.

President Trump defends Michael Flynn for lying to FBI by claiming Hillary Clinton did the same thing

Apparently the FBI never said so and even denied it.

President Trump defended his former national security adviser Michael Flynn on Monday for lying to the FBI – by bashing 2016 election opponent Hillary Clinton and claiming she did the same thing.

"Hillary Clinton lied many times to the FBI, nothing happened to her," Trump told reporters at the White House. 

"Flynn lied and they destroyed his life. I think it's a shame."

The Justice Department did not bring charges against Clinton over her use of a private email server while she was secretary of State, and law enforcement officials have said they do not believe Clinton misled investigators.

"We have no basis to conclude she lied to the FBI," then-FBI director James Comey said during congressional testimony in July 2016. 

Yet Flynn, who was forced out of the White House in February after less than a month on the job, pleaded guilty last week to charges of lying to the FBI about his pre-inauguration contacts with the U.S. ambassador to Russia.

But of course Trump and his defenders claim the FBI is full of Democrat hacks out to destroy The Duce and gave Hillary a pass.

[O]n Sunday, the president condemned Mr. Comey as a liar, saying that “I never asked Comey to stop investigating Flynn” and that Mr. Comey had harmed the bureau and its employees. 

He also accused the bureau’s agents of spending years pursing a “phony and dishonest” investigation into the email server of his 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton.

. . . .

As he sought to discredit the Russia inquiry, which he has long called a political “witch hunt,” Mr. Trump on Sunday seized on reports that Mr. Mueller had removed a veteran F.B.I. agent because he sent text messages that appeared to express views critical of Mr. Trump.

In several tweets, the president harshly criticized the agent, Peter Strzok, who had previously helped lead the 2016 investigation into whether Mrs. Clinton had mishandled classified information on her private email account. 

Mr. Strzok is considered one of the bureau’s most experienced and trusted counterintelligence investigators.

“Report: ‘ANTI-TRUMP FBI AGENT LED CLINTON EMAIL PROBE,’” Mr. Trump said in his 10th tweet on Sunday, which by the early evening had been retweeted more than 24,000 times. 

“Now it all starts to make sense!”

. . . .

The president retweeted a Twitter post urging Christopher A. Wray, the current F.B.I. director, to “clean house” at the agency. 

In a statement on Sunday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he had directed Mr. Wray to “review the information available on this and other matters and promptly make any necessary changes.”

. . . .

Mr. Trump’s efforts to shift attention away from Mr. Flynn’s guilty plea began Saturday night, when he assailed the Justice Department for its handling of the Clinton email investigation and questioned the department’s dedication to living up to its name.

“Many people in our Country are asking what the ‘Justice’ Department is going to do about the fact that totally Crooked Hillary, AFTER receiving a subpoena from the United States Congress, deleted and ‘acid washed’ 33,000 Emails?” he wrote, referring to messages that Mrs. Clinton’s lawyers had deemed unrelated to her government work. 

“No justice!”

In another tweet Saturday night, Mr. Trump accused the F.B.I. of destroying Mr. Flynn’s life for his lying to agents, while letting “Crooked Hillary Clinton” off easy for what he said were her own lies to agents. 

“Rigged system, or just a double standard?” he said.

So the small government, limited government party of law and order insists on this?

Trump lawyer: ‘The president cannot obstruct justice’

President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, John Dowd, revealed Monday a potential legal defense in the ongoing Russia probe, claiming that a president cannot obstruct justice.

"The president cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under (the Constitution's Article II) and has every right to express his view of any case," Dowd told NBC News Monday.

So your defense is that, sure, he fired Comey to stop the investigation into his own possible criminal activities and shield himself, his family, his friends, his campaign officials, and others in his entourage from legal action for their crimes, but when the president does those things it's OK?

So your defense of this president's actions is that when the president does such things, though it's flat out corrupt, abuse of power, and obstruction of justice in plain English, it's not technically illegal?

So we should all be OK both with what he and they did and with such a state of the law?

Same point about the idea floated by Trump partisans that he can at any time pardon himself, his family, his friends, etc., for any and all violations of the law that Mueller or anyone else may unearth.

Your defense of this president is not that he's not the most blatantly corrupt and shamelessly crooked bastard ever to sit in the Oval Office but that the constitution is so absurd that he can get away with all that without doing anything technically unlawful.

That's the best you can do?

And you're OK with all that?

Not everyone even believes it.