Notes on Trump 47 and liberals lessons from Brexit

My last post in this series:

https://c21stleft.com/category/trump/

was number 46 on 2019-04-19:

https://c21stleft.com/2019/04/19/notes-on-trump-46-breaking-news-flash-on-mueller-report-liberals-outraged/

I got absorbed in following Brexit around then and have not followed US news on Trump in any detail since. I am not planning to resume following Trump again now.

This note is mainly to suggest a possible solution to the puzzle of why Pelosi agreed to an absurd impeachment of Trump after successfully resisting the Democrat clamour for so long.

Given the alternatives of a conspiracy or a stuff up its usually safe to bet on a stuff up. But this one seems unusually absurd.

The official Republican theory is that the Democrats are trying to reverse the results of losing the last elections. That is obviously absurd. Not even the most deranged Democrat could possibly imagine that the result would be a two-third majority of a Republican dominated Senate to replace Trump, even if they would actually prefer to hand Trup that ammunition for re-election, just to enjoy a year or so under Commander in Chief Pence.

Here’s Biden’s theory, answering the following question:

Q. “Isn’t the President going to be stronger and harder to beat if (!) he survives this?”
A. “Yes, probably. But congress has no choice.”

That absurdity is also the official Democrat position. Trump’s high crimes and misdemeanours so threaten the Constitution that they had no choice but to help make him stronger and harder to beat.

Given the extremes to which Democrats appear to be willing to go to help Trump win, perhaps such grotesque stupidity really is the explanation.

But here’s another one (purely speculative) suggested by the emergence of Bloomberg as a potential candidate to replace Biden as the candidate of Pelosi’s wing of the Democrats. What if Pelosi’s target is Biden, just as Trump’s target was Biden?

As far as I can make out the Democrat tactics have set things up for Biden to be called as a witness by the Republican majority in the Senate. That could be just more Democrat blundering. Impeaching Trump for obstructing them for trying to impeach him is what they were rather more than merely itching to do over “the Russia thing”. That desperate obsession still needs scratching. But they didn’t even try to issue an arrest warrant, or persuade a Court to do so, for the witnesses that Trump prevented from testifying by claiming the usual Executive privilege.

Here’s the official argument for demanding that the Senate call witnesses from Senate Democrat leader Chuck Schumer:

“this is not a fair trial … because there are no witnesses and documents”

One might expect that argument from the defence rather than the prosecution, if there was some dispute about the facts. Only an idiot could regard the prosecution’s lack of witnesses or documents as a point to be highlighted by the prosecutor.

Is Chuck Schumer really that stupid? Quite possibly. But it does set things up for Republicans to allow witnesses on both sides, with Democrats neither surprising nor impressing anybody by indignantly demanding that the only witnesses called be hostile Republican witnesses called by Democrats and no hostile Democrat witnesses called by Republicans since that would be even more unfair than acquitting Trump in the absence of witnesses or documentary evidence.

Even succeeding in preventing Biden being cross examined damages Biden as a candidate by helping Trump hammer home that he got impeached for trying to get Biden’s corruption investigated. Failing to prevent Biden’s cross examination won’t shed any light on his or his son’s corruption or corruption in the Ukraine or on Trump, but it will spotlight Biden’s inability to defeat Trump.

Biden does badly in debates, let alone under cross examination. That could be the point.

Warren is already playing the loser’s card by pretending Sanders had told her privately that “no woman can win”. That echoes exactly what the Clinton camp did say publicly about the impossibility of a black candidate winning in 2016. It backfired because Obama’s threat that blacks would stop turning out to vote Democrat was very real and serious from a real and serious contender. Warren has no such stature and had to pitch her lack of credibility against Sanders who is now well ahead. Once she drops out there is a very real chance Sanders could beat Biden in the primaries.

Bloomberg could be the only realistic hope for Pelosi’s wing of the Democrats. Openly buying a primary does not strike me as a very promising hope. But I still prefer speculating about possible rational motives rather than simply accepting they are all utterly clueless.

The end of last year seemed an appropriate time to summarize a couple of conclusions after a very quick glance. I gave up, but here are the notes I made then.

  1. Trump is still polling very well at nearly 50% among those believed likely to vote:

https://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/trump_administration/trump_approval_index_history

The bias towards smaller states in the US electoral college means Trump needs far less than that to win another 4 years. The campaign has not yet started and the Democrats have not yet picked a candidate and anything could happen with the economy, but I see no reason not to expect another four years of Trump.

  1. In particular I see no sign that liberals/Democrats have learnt anything. In number 46 I thought Pelosi had successfully avoided the impeachment trap after the Mueller report spectacularly demonstrated the bankruptcy of their “Russia” conspiracy theories. Impeaching Trump for trying to get Ukraine to investigate Biden may be the best she could do to get the obsession dealt with as soon as possible rather than dragging on into the election. It could also be the result of tactical maneuvers either to rally the party around Biden as the one Trump wanted to stop, or highlighting his vulnerability to Trump’s accusations of corruption (or, perhaps, since both wings of the party have united on the current idiocy, each wing supports it for the opposite idiotic reason). I wouldn’t know and could not even guess. (But have now speculated above).
  2. What everybody does know is that the Democrats are reduced to purely symbolic gesturing against Trump, knowing full well that they are only uniting the Republican party around him and that the Senate trial will not help them win any votes. The idea that is it is an impeachable “high crime” for the President to conduct foreign policy with a view to maximizing his chance of re-election appeals only to the US foreign policy establishment which is no more popular in the US than elsewhere. The US constitution explicitly puts foreign policy under the direction of an elected President, precisely so that it will be conducted that way, and it always has been.

4When I say “everybody knows”, I do not mean the liberal media. Here’s a quick sample of today’s (December) Google news items on “Trump”.

  1. Here’s CNN comforting its readers with the thought that the absolutely certain outcome of a resounding acquittal by the Senate is bothering Trump:

“(CNN)President Donald Trump is showing signs of increasing frustration with the uncertainty surrounding his Senate trial …”

  1. WAPO actually has some serious analysis:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/12/27/trumps-quest-shatter-gop-economics-reached-its-culmination/

Explaining that Trump has basically reversed traditional GOP economic poliy to win voters away from Democrats.

On trade protectionism and isolationism Trump still cannot outdo the Democratsin bad populist policies except that he actually does what they only posture about. But on anything to create a temporary economic climate suitable for winning the 2020 election he has surpassed Democrat demands (which they chalk up as victories for their policies).

  1. Bret Stephens also has an opinion piece at the NYT with some insight:

“In a contest between the unapologetic jerk in the White House and the self-styled saints seeking to unseat him, the jerk might just win….

… Too much of today’s left is too busy pointing out the ugliness of the Trumpian right to notice its own ugliness: its censoriousness, nastiness and complacent self-righteousness. But millions of ordinary Americans see it, and they won’t vote for a candidate who emboldens and empowers woke culture.”

But of course the bizarre antidote proposed is a return to the old Democrat establishment with a candidate like Bloomberg or Biden – exactly what Trump demolished last time.

  1. Here’s a psychiatrist explaining that Peolosi should get rid of Trump by compulsory psychiatric examination:

” In this context, almost anyone who actively takes the side of the president is likely to have some degree of the “shared psychosis.” If you were unaffected, you would be repelled. And this is why we often see a clear split, much like the binary division in our country.”

https://www.salon.com/2019/12/27/pelosi-has-the-right-to-submit-trump-to-an-involuntary-evaluation-yale-psychiatrist-bandy-lee/

8. If a third party candidate was going to emerge from the GOP that could cost Trump victory I think there would have been some sign of it by now. There is likewise no sign of a split on the Democrat side. The electoral college is unlikely to be deadlocked. But if it was, the House would resolve the deadlock voting by state delegations and that would also be likely to favour Trump due to the concentration of Democrats in larger States.

9. I take comfort that in the US as in Britain the collapse is in illusions about “progressives”. Voters are staying home rather than backing them against the other side. It isn’t a right-wing resurgence so much as a collapse of the fake left. That still has bad consequences as the fake left merely postured against globalism while their opponents actually have the capacity to raise barriers against developing global solidarity. Nevertheless “the future is bright, the road is tortuous”.

Here’s a series of items from just one issue of The Guardian confirming that the complete inability of liberals to learn anything is not confined to the USA.

“The Guardian Weekly” v201 n2 2019-12-20

(p3) Introduces “The big story page 10” on UK general election:

“Two months ago Boris Johnson was penned in … and didn’t even have the numbers to call an election. Then, after three attempts, Johnson won out – with Labour and the Liberal Democrats confident they could do the PM more damage. Instead Johnson won the Tories their biggest majority since the Thatcher era…”

Simon Tisdall’s year in review has part 1 “Reasons to be fearful” (chaos everywhere, situation dreadful) and part 2 “Reasons to be cheerful”. (Greta Thunberg, Denmark did not sell Greenland, surge to far-right in Europe did not happen, Finland elected a 34 year old PM). By p25 we had a sub-head “America resists Trump” with this gem:

“…. the most serious damage was inflicted in Washington. First came the highly critical, albeit inconclusive, report by Robert Mueller into an alleged Trump campaign conspiracy with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election. Mueller refused to exonerate Trump and later testified the president had told untruths to his investigation.

“Then came the impeachment inquiry … suggested Trump tried to induce a foreign state, Ukraine, to help smear Biden, a potential re-election rival. House Democrats advanced articles of impeachment alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. With the public divided and the Senate unlikely to convict, it remains unclear how badly Trump has been hurt.

“The year was encouraging for what did not happen as well as what did… (No US war with Iran, John Bolton sacked for opposing Trump’s “irresponsible” Afghanistan peace deal (!). No war with North Korea. No war between India and Pakistan.)

p9 “Reach ‘peak meat’ by 2030 to tackle crisis, say scientists”

“The world’s scientists agree… Production of meat, milk and eggs has increased from 758m tonnes in 1990 to 1,247, tonnes in 2017, research shows.”

This is so obviously a VERY BAD THING THAT MUST BE STOPPED that there is no need to even provide a citation to the “scientists” who have “warned” about it.

p10-19 cover the election


p32 “Less than an hour after she accused Trump of ‘high crimes and misdemeanours’, Pelosi said that congressional negotiators had reached a trade agreement with the administration, a top campaign promise for the President…..’If [Trump] has collateral benefits, so be it’.

Privately, she crowed to her caucus ; ‘We ate their lunch'”.

p33 “The climate crisis is the most urgent threat of our time”. “Planting and protecting trees is a positive way that we can help…..give generously and help protect the planet we share.”

p58 An opinion piece from columnist Aditya Chakrabotty:

what “made me almost sure Labour was going to lose, … and in precise those areas … called its heartlands”. Briefly trends streched back decades, inherited not not created by Corbyn. Working class in heartlands marginalised politically and destroyed economically while patronised into apathy by careerist bureaucrats. “Meanwhile the big gap in the electoral market that opened up was for a party offering a welfare state with reactionary social policy. That was Nigel Farage; now it’s Boris Johnson. Some in Labour might well think they can win back seats by beating up on immigrants and tacking to the right: Johnson’s party can do both with far more gusto.”

“Corbynism … started as an anti-austerity movement… is now a melange of ideas, most of which look and sound utterly absurd on a doorstep on a rainy morning… Corbyn offered yet more direction from Westminster, with utilities run from the centre and hundreds of billions disbursed from remove state institutions…”

But solution offered is the classic Labourism that failed and died many decades ago:

“… providing advice to those whose benefits are being slashed, legal support to tenants under the cosh from their landlords. haggling with the utilities to provide better deals. Add to that: teaching political and economic literacy to voters, not just activists, and asking constituents what issues Labour should be battling on…. Labout needs to renew its contract with its base. The big question is whether it wants to.”

A more typical columnist is Rebecca Solnit from the US on “The young will save us”:

“We must expand our imaginations and act on that bigger understanding of our place in the world and our impact on the future. That means making radical changes like [wait for it!]

our homes and transit being powered by renewables, our governments not plotting more extractivism. It means leaving fossil fuels in the ground. We need to remind ourselves why these changes are necessary: that the earth is finite ;;;

“We must make sweeping changes by the end of the coming decade, (by all bowing down before the very Reverand Parson Malthus and joining in prayer to the almighty).

Ok I made up the last bit. The youth will indeed eventual rise up against this reactionary bilge but at present it is driving them into the arms of conservatives less virulently hostile to all human progress, such as Trump.

p60-1 Andrew Rawnsley considers what Johnson will do in power and wisely decides not to even hazard a guess.

p61 “The existential crisis that confronts Labour has no simple solution” (no byline).

“The coalition between middle-class professionals, often working in the public sector, and the traditional working-class communities fell apart last Thursday. Without it, the party has no route to power.”

“A rush to premature conclusions should be avoided at all costs.”

Conclusion (rushed and randomly inserted in the last para):

“A more subtle politics of place, in which the revival of local democracy is championed, will help Labour begin to reconnect in the years to come… This was once Labour’s natural terrain. It can be so again.”

Not sure what that means. Best guess is running for local councils since nothing to say about national, let alone global politics.

10. So much for the Guardian weekly. Back to other random items.

11. Cartoon John Spooner, The Australian 2019-12-24 p11 “Unimpeachable” shows Speaker Pelosi having tea with another Democrat politician in a suit:

“We funded a fake dossier so that we could fool the FISA court so that we could spy on Americans so that we could…”

Pelosi “Uphold our values…”

12. https://www.politico.com/news/2019/12/24/trump-liberal-snowflake-relatives-089714

With families coming together at the end of one of the most divisive years in recent memory, President Donald Trump‘s campaign has created what is intended to be a gift for supporters who might talk politics with a “snowflake” relative this Christmas.

Trump’s reelection campaign launched a new website Christmas Eve designed to help the president’s backers “win an argument” with liberal friends and family members.

“Nothing says Merry Christmas like hurling insults at relatives,” responded former DNC spokesman Mo Elleithee.

A 2018 Pew Research Center study found that more than half — 53 percent — of Americans thought it was “stressful and frustrating” to discuss politics with people they don’t agree with. That number was up from 46 percent in 2016.

Specifically:

“The change in opinions has come largely among Democrats: 57% now say that talking about politics with people they disagree with is stressful and frustrating, up from 45% two years ago.

By contrast, Republicans’ feelings about political conversations with people they disagree have changed very little. About half (49%) continue to find such conversations stressful and frustrating.”

The more liberal you are, the more stressful and frustrating it is to converse with people you disagree with.

“Among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, 63% of liberals say such conversations are stressful and frustrating, compared with 51% of conservatives and moderates.”

“As was the case in late 2016, Trump is a more frequent topic of conversation for liberal Democrats than for other Democrats or among Republicans. Currently, 42% of liberal Democrats say Trump’s presidency comes up in conversations very often; that is double the share of conservatives and moderates who say this.

Among Republicans, Trump comes up more in conversation among conservatives (23% very often) than among GOP moderates and liberals (15%). The share of conservative Republicans who say Trump comes up very often in conversation has slipped since 2016, from 30% then to 23% now.”

More Now Say It’s ‘Stressful’ to Discuss Politics With People They Disagree With

https://www.snowflakevictory.com/

13. China signing a trade deal now rather than after November might indicate they don’t hope for Trump to lose. More likely they don’t expect anybody else to be any less protectionist. They could be wrong either way if Bloomberg can buy the Democrat nomination. But I suspect that would drive large numbers of Democrat voters to stay home.

In short last year defies caricature, let alone summary or analysis.

Notes on Trump 46 – breaking news flash on Mueller report liberals outraged

It isn’t entirely clear what they are outraged about but the liberal media is heavily covering Democrat outrage about the Mueller report.

As far as I can make out they are particularly outraged that they won’t be able to convince even themselves that impeaching Trump would be a good idea so they are left spluttering about more Congressional investigations. It looks like Pelosi and the rest of the leadership will successfully avoid the impeachment trap but the sense of total deflation must be quite devastating despite the mutli-stage build down from peak Trump delusion syndrome.

The report is over 400 pages so I won’t be scanning it for any hints on whether Mueller’s team considered my theory that Trump was deliberately encouraging the lunacy. There are certainly no such hints in the two annotated guides I did read on what right minded people should think about the report but I don’t expect the media to be capable of noticing such an outlandish idea. I would be interested if anybody else has time to look for hints although it is only of historic interest now.

Here is a link to searchable pdf (via politico):

Above broken by WordPress. Here’s a working to download from CNN:

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/04/18/politics/full-mueller-report-pdf/index.html

Democrats look likely to switch to a focus on persecution of harmless intelligence agency officials for doing their party duty by trying to bring down a completely unacceptable President who could not possibly have won an election. That plus saving the climate by printing money looks almost as good an election strategy as Hilary Clinton saying it was her turn.

I won’t bother linking to the usual outrage.

Here’s politico’s key findings which pretty much confirm what has been known for many months and was announced in the four page summary by the U.S. Attorney-General a few weeks ago:

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/04/18/mueller-report-summary-key-findings-1280879

Here’s the New York Times moaning about the same:

[forgot link – fixed]

Even NYT does not seem to be complaining about the redactions that Democrats have been outraged about for several weeks now. Focus is on “obstruction” with not even an ongoing attempt to pretend that there was a crime to investigate in the first place other than the crimes of corrupt intelligence agency officials in leaking conspiracy theories to a corrupt media.

But the tone is one of defeat with lots of reminders about what a wonderful story they had told so many times that it really ought to have been proved true by now.

Notes on Trump 45 – now at 51% approval to 47% disapproval among voters

While following Brexit closely, I’ve only been scanning the headlines on Trump without reading the articles in the couple of weeks since the Mueller report confirmed “no collusion”, which coincided with the Brexit end game.

The headlines look like just a continuous stream of why people ought to hate Trump more. No sign of shifting to actual policy issues or aiming to communicate with people who don’t already agree with the liberal media. Basically unreadable.

Latest Rasmussen daily poll has Trump on 51% approval to 47% disapproval among likely voters. That may be an outlier but he needs much less than that to win in 2020.

Biggest danger for Trump is that the damage done by Democrat and media tactics is now so obvious that it would cause them to think again. He cannot reasonably expect to succeed in persuading them to just keep on ranting about Russia so his ongoing tweets about “Witchunt!” ought to be rather ineffectual with Democrats switching from conspiracy theory back to normal bourgeois politics.

But even though the focus seems to now be on some other “exposure” (sex with porn star, corruption etc), a lot of the conspiracy theorists are still so fixated on “Russiagate” that they just cannot let go and are hoping to keep it going when they get the “real” Mueller report.

I’ve only looked at this example but I assume it is a genre similar to the sects predicting end of the world on a specific date and then just revising the date with firmer conviction:

https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-trumps-washington/the-witch-hunt-lives-trump-and-the-investigation-that-just-wont-end

Here’s an initial defence of the media lunacy immediately after it fell to bits:

https://newrepublic.com/article/153408/russia-skeptics-committing-sins-despise

It took less than a couple of weeks for the New Yorker to fully return to the theme as above.

But its interesting the initial response actually links to a couple of dissident journalists it was responding to.

Both are well worth reading (even though their rejection of the mainstream enthusiasm for believing US intelligence agencies and authority figures is closely linked to their view of the Iraq war).

Here’s Matt Taibi:

https://taibbi.substack.com/p/russiagate-is-wmd-times-a-million

Nothing Trump is accused of from now on by the press will be believed by huge chunks of the population, a group that (perhaps thanks to this story) is now larger than his original base. As Baker notes, a full 50.3% of respondents in a poll conducted this month said they agree with Trump the Mueller probe is a “witch hunt.”

Stories have been coming out for some time now hinting Mueller’s final report might leave audiences “disappointed,” as if a President not being a foreign spy could somehow be bad news.

Openly using such language has, all along, been an indictment. Imagine how tone-deaf you’d have to be to not realize it makes you look bad, when news does not match audience expectations you raised. To be unaware of this is mind-boggling, the journalistic equivalent of walking outside without pants.

There will be people protesting: the Mueller report doesn’t prove anything! What about the 37 indictments? The convictions? The Trump tower revelations? The lies! The meeting with Don, Jr.? The financial matters! There’s an ongoing grand jury investigation, and possible sealed indictments, and the House will still investigate, and…

Stop. Just stop. Any journalist who goes there is making it worse.

For years, every pundit and Democratic pol in Washington hyped every new Russia headline like the Watergate break-in. Now, even Nancy Pelosi has said impeachment is out, unless something “so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan” against Trump is uncovered it would be worth their political trouble to prosecute.

The biggest thing this affair has uncovered so far is Donald Trump paying off a porn star. That’s a hell of a long way from what this business was supposedly about at the beginning, and shame on any reporter who tries to pretend this isn’t so.

The story hyped from the start was espionage: a secret relationship between the Trump campaign and Russian spooks who’d helped him win the election.

The betrayal narrative was not reported as metaphor. It was not “Trump likes the Russians so much, he might as well be a spy for them.” It was literal spying, treason, and election-fixing – crimes so severe, former NSA employee John Schindler told reporters, Trump “will die in jail.”

In the early months of this scandal, the New York Times said Trump’s campaign had “repeated contacts” with Russian intelligence; the Wall Street Journal told us our spy agencies were withholding intelligence from the new President out of fear he was compromised; news leaked out our spy chiefs had even told other countries like Israel not to share their intel with us, because the Russians might have “leverages of pressure” on Trump.

CNN told us Trump officials had been in “constant contact” with “Russians known to U.S. intelligence,” and the former director of the CIA, who’d helped kick-start the investigation that led to Mueller’s probe, said the President was guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” committing acts “nothing short of treasonous.”

Hillary Clinton insisted Russians “could not have known how to weaponize” political ads unless they’d been “guided” by Americans. Asked if she meant Trump, she said, “It’s pretty hard not to.” Harry Reid similarly said he had “no doubt” that the Trump campaign was “in on the deal” to help Russians with the leak.

None of this has been walked back. To be clear, if Trump were being blackmailed by Russian agencies like the FSB or the GRU, if he had any kind of relationship with Russian intelligence, that would soar over the “overwhelming and bipartisan” standard, and Nancy Pelosi would be damning torpedoes for impeachment right now.

There was never real gray area here. Either Trump is a compromised foreign agent, or he isn’t. If he isn’t, news outlets once again swallowed a massive disinformation campaign, only this error is many orders of magnitude more stupid than any in the recent past, WMD included. Honest reporters like ABC’s Terry Moran understand: Mueller coming back empty-handed on collusion means a “reckoning for the media.”

Of course, there won’t be such a reckoning. (There never is). But there should be. We broke every written and unwritten rule in pursuit of this story, starting with the prohibition on reporting things we can’t confirm.

There’s more and its worth reading to understand just how big a favour the media has done for Trump.

Here’s Glenn Greenwald debating one of the journos in denial, also worth reading to understand their complete inability to face the situation:

https://www.democracynow.org/2019/3/25/as_mueller_finds_no_collusion_did

I don’t watch TV but the brain rot suffered by liberal Americans who do must exceed the impact of the press. Here’s a random account of the main liberal cable channel MSNBC:

https://newrepublic.com/article/153435/msnbcs-wild-ride

This is far worse than the notorious Fox news channel and closer to “Infowars” whose anchor recently defended itself from a defamation suit by admitting he was “psychotic”.

Most of the media may shift focus to other “investigations” of corruption etc which is less lunatic than “Russia”. But it still looks like the Democrats will be running a campaign to change the climate by printing money, in which case we’ll be stuck with Trump for another four years.

Hopefully some of the damage will be mitigated by the collapse of Brexit.

Notes on Trump 44 – No collusion but keep ranting about obstruction

Here’s the four page summary of the Mueller report from US Attorney-General Barr:

https://www.apnews.com/f4f1ea3c16884b49ae853e12e78e42ad

Despite massive efforts the inquiry did not find that anybody in the Trump campaign either tacitly or explicitly agreed to coordinate with Russian interference in the election.

Despite continuous public attacks on the investigation by Trump, the inquiry could not come up with a plausible theory for “obstruction” and left that issue for Attorney-General Barr to resolve.

Barr notoriously did so before becoming A-G. Here is his 19 page memo dismissing any “obstruction” theory from 2018-06-18:

Click to access full.pdf

He and Deputy A-G Rosenstein, who initiated the inquiry, have already agreed and announced in the summary – no obstruction.

It’s “all over bar the shouting”.

The shouting may well intensify given the media and Democrat track record.

It would be hard for Trump to keep them on track blithering about this if they came to their senses.

But it looks like he will be able to easily keep them going on “obstruction”, especially if DOJ starts prosecutions of people like Comey, Clapper et al as it should.

Pelosi has wisely opposed impeachment by insisting that they wait for Mueller report.

But there’s no way to stop them from keeping on about sex with porn stars etc instead of actually developing saner policies than changing the climate by printing money.

Notes on Trump 43, Nazis and Brexit both sides losing

1   Brexit dramatization is still being scripted despite outcome having been done and dusted during the Ides of March. Current scheduling seems to be a pointless request for a delay till end of June on the basis of hypothetical successful third attempt at getting deal through Parliament that didn’t happen today. That seems to be intended to be postponed by the EU until an emergency meeting around the day before deadline expiry so as to maximize the number of Tory Brexiteers who might humiliate themselves by voting for BRINO in fear of the obvious alternative. That alternative seems to have been scheduled for April Fools day when  the UK gets offered a choice between spending the next two months actually preparing for “no deal” or agreeing to a referendum.

The EU will have been maximally cooperative with the UK Government seeking to get the deal approved. Only the usual suspects will keep claiming failure of Brexit is their fault rather than a British decision. May will have kept her promise to fight till the bitter end and will be able to blame the hard Brexiteers for forcing the long delay followed by no Brexit. Corbyn will have fought against a “Tory Brexit” still valiantly holding open some hypothetical unspecified alternative and only reluctantly accepted the referendum for no Brexit. But there will, as has been obvious for a long time, be no Brexit.

Here is quite a good analysis on the eventual referendum:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/mar/19/brexit-tensions-referendum

Key point is that the parliamentary maneuvering does not include a positive campaign to convince people in favour of European Union.

Opponents have been out-maneuvered but Corbyn would not fight in the first referendum and won’t fight now. It is tactically smart party politicking for him to let things drag out while the Tories discredit themselves without alienating Labour supporters that voted to leave or the large majority of Labour members who want to remain. Likewise Therese May is being denounced as hopelessly incompetent by the people she has been very competently isolating in the Tory party. But both sides are unprincipled. Resentment could still do long term damage even when Remain gets a large majority as a result of their opponents not bothering to vote for BRINO.

2. CNN has acknowledged that Trump’s tactics on the wall have worked out for him:

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/03/19/politics/trump-approval-rating-national-emergency-analysis/index.html

Also they have started paying attention to voters rather than polls counting everyone.

Their polling confirms Trump lost no support and is back to 43% approval among voters (42% including non-voters).

The preference for Democrats among non-voters is actually much more than the 1% they have noticed.

Rasmussen polls voters daily and is still running closer to 50% (today’s 47% approval, 52% disapproval)

3. This is also a good analysis on Democrat tactics against Trump from a right-winger helpfully explaininng Trump voters to CNN:

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/03/19/opinions/what-progressives-should-know-about-trump-voters-hanson/index.html

Fascinating that they are so far gone Trumpists feel no hesitation about telling them how to do better.

They are still rabbiting on about Trump’s imminent doom from the Mueller inquiry but my morbid fascination that led me to read past the headlines of “explosive” new revelations has faded.

4. This book has some useful background on neo-Nazi fringe lunatics in Australia and how they repeatedly promoted and encouraged terrorist acts with exactly the same mealy mouthed denials of doing it and the same liberal defence of their “free speech” right to keep doing it as we are seeing now.

https://nonstateactorblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/01/everyone-wants-to-be-fuhrer/ (58MB pdf book)

After a series of violent attacks on Vietnam and anti-apartheid protestors, and Communist bookshops – actively encouraged by the Special Branch of the police, and attacks on Jewish businesses permitted for recreation, they were forcibly shutdown in Melbourne in the early 1970s by joint action of the Worker Student Alliance and Jewish ex-servicemen. Their HQ was destroyed and subscription lists captured. Their sponsors were visited personally and advised that “we know where you live”. They left town.

The account in the book above is very garbled, and omits most of the facts about them being shut down. But it accurately quotes the denunciations in favour of “Free Speech” from “The Age” and hostility to the protests from Zionist dominated Jewish Board of Deputies.

Does not mention that the police started committal proceedings for riot. Eventually abandoned when they realized a jury would be unlikely to convict.

The terrorist violence nearly half a century ago did not extend to mass murder. It would have if they had been tolerated and “censured” as similar elements are being tolerated and “censured” today.

Twilight Zone Trump

Politics today frequently makes me think I’m in the Twilight Zone. The words were made famous by a television anthology series that I loved in the 1960s and continue to re-watch today (on DVD). It dealt with bizarre and fantastic themes, often in a social realist setting and with a twist at the end.

Rod Serling, the show’s creator and main writer, was a small ‘l’ liberal. He was progressive on some key issues in the 1950s and 1960s, such as civil liberties and opposition to racism, and opposition to the US war in Vietnam. I’ve read a few biographies about him and he was an internationalist, cosmopolitan, opponent of tyrants and supporter of basic democracy: all values that Trump opposes. Serling would be in the globalist camp today.

This meme is too good not to share…

Serling on Trump meme

 

Notes on Trump 41 – the shutdown

I’m still not following it closely enough to predict an outcome. But I’m not seeing anything that suggests I was wrong to expect the media and Democrats would continue to play into Trump’s hands as usual.

Here’s CNN celebrating:

“…Trump ultimately caved, telling Pelosi he will wait until the shutdown is over to deliver the traditional address.

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/01/24/politics/donald-trump-state-of-the-union-behind-the-scenes/index.html

That is the sort of “victory” that liberals celebrate.

The shutdown is not going to end with a two-thirds majority overiding a Presidential veto or replacing Trump with Vice President Pence.

Trump’s total focus on mobilizing his base regardless of wider unpopularity has paid off.

https://thebulwark.com/trumps-loyal-senate-republicans/

Only a handful of GOP Senators feel safe enough from being primaried to openly resist. Opponents of Trump simultaneously crowing and whining that this is costing them wider public support just don’t get it. Trump still has nearly 90% approval among GOP voters likely to turn up at primaries so few of his opponents will get to campaign for wider public support. Meanwhile he still has nearly two more years for the Democrats to demonstrate that Washington will remain completely gridlocked until there are less of them in office.

According to a WAPO oped the recent Senate votes confirming that situation means that Trump has lost a lot of leverage.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/01/24/trump-just-lost-key-leverage-shutdown/

I cannot even guess why a Democrat would believe confirmation of Trump’s grip on the GOP gives them “leverage”. Presumably if they actually got a funding bill to Trump’s desk for him to veto that would count as total victory.

The shutdown might end with Trump losing in which case they are celebrating having given him the optimum opportunity to pretend otherwise as usual.

It might end with the Democrats losing. They could not resist denouncing the offer of only a 3 year delay in deporting millions of “illegal” immigrants in terms that open up the possibility of agreeing to billions for border security as long as it isn’t called a wall in exchange for Trump ceasing to pretend he could deport millions of people. Even I doubt that they are that pathetically inept but they will certainly go for “strong” gestures like not inviting Trump to speak in the House rather than actually resolving their internal differences and mobilizing a fight on immigration.

Most likely it will end with some sort of compromise, with both sides claiming victory. Again, they are celebrating having helped Trump to present himself optimally as having stuck by his base to the bitter end.

Trump’s approval rating among likely voters has declined significantly (currently at around 44% to 55%). But he has the initiative and can land it in the courts any time he wants. His preposterous claim that he could divert funds appropriated to the military for disaster relief into building his wall would be immediately blocked by court orders. Whether or not the Supreme Court agrees there is no reason for them not to take their time about it.

Meanwhile Trump gets to continue fighting elections on “build the wall” while Democrats cement their enthusiasm for gestures and gridlock.

I’m still expecting the Democrats to start embracing “victories” by delivering bipartisan huge deficits, infrastructure programs and healthcare etc that will help maximize Trump’s chances of re-election. Nothing confirming that yet but gestures like not inviting him to speak are a suitable prelude for “forcing” him into such “defeats”.

 

 

Notes on Trump 40

I started this post a month ago and have not been monitoring news on Trump (or Brexit) much since so had better get it out now with just a bunch of links at the end but no explanation of them.

1. Recent developments seem to confirm my take on Brexit a month ago:

Brexit April Fool’s day joke could be nearly over

Ministers now openly confirming they will have to request a postponement until after April Fool’s Day to sort themselves out whatever happens now:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-news-theresa-may-deal-article-50-extend-parliament-commons-eu-withdrawal-a8723281.html

I’m not following the death throes, but May seems focussed on defanging the Brexiteers screams of “Treason” when Brexit fails by setting up a situation in which they take the blame for voting “No Deal” to the only deal available thus making “No Brexit” inevitable after initial postponement.

2. As predicted when focus was on campaign finance, the campaign about Trump is now back where Trump wants it – firmly focussed on Russia:

Insane version:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/here-are-18-reasons-why-trump-could-be-a-russian-asset/2019/01/13/45b1b250-174f-11e9-88fe-f9f77a3bcb6c_story.html?utm_term=.6a08d7dee4b4

Less insane version (“we already knew”):

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-trump-putin-revelations-are-nothing-new-why-are-people-so-excited/2019/01/13/a3ab6434-1775-11e9-88fe-f9f77a3bcb6c_story.html?utm_term=.b815ec58de7b

The less insane one sort of prepares readers for a Mueller report expected to not provide any way to get rid of Trump while not preventing them from continuing to bloviate about him being a Russian “asset” instead of developing actual policies.

I haven’t followed the latest “shutdown”. Trump approval currently down to 45% after near 50% late last year. Seems plausible that he will end it with a “State of Emergency” to be quashed by Supreme Court so he consolidates his base by having done everything he could to deliver on promises but was stopped by Democrats.

Meanwhile Democrats have gone out of their way not to actually fight on immigration issues but support border security. So support for “the wall” (now actually a fence) has RISEN from a year ago:

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-gop-blamed-shutdown-crisis-fewer-oppose-wall/story?id=60337670

Now the minority support is 42%/54% while a year ago it was 34%/67%.

So Trump takes the blame for fighting hard for his promises while winning greater support for his policies.

Not much sign of “bipartisan” moves to help relect Trump by delivering on infrastructure spending, healthcare and massive deficits yet.

But this item on prison reform actually delivered is a straw in the wind – especially relevant to reducing the black turnout for Democrats:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/12/19/trumps-prison-reform-win-great-trump-paradox-it-reveals/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.bcf87f0d94d8

3. I don’t know what’s going on with Syria policy.

Kurds and Turks clashing in northern Syria indicates increasing irrelevance of both Daesh and Assad regime, despite Daesh still existing and regime still holding ALL the cities.

Turkey seems to be stepping forward as the protector of Sunnis with a US withdrawal and Russian military police in areas that fighters withdrew from under cease fire agreements potentially able to hand over to them.

Al Qaeda is now the main threat to democratic revolution and has strengthened its position in Idlib embedded in close alliance with other Sunni forces, although now isolated from the opposition to regime in other areas. Interesting that Turkish tanks are being openly moved to the border of Idlib:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-turkey/turkey-reinforces-troops-on-border-with-syrias-idlib-anadolu-idUSKCN1P51MU

Some deal was arranged between Russia, Iran, Turkey and the more democratic resistance long ago, but I only know it could not be for long term occupation of Syria by Russian and Iranian forces and the other option of an Alawi enclave in Latakia has been foreclosed by the regime’s occupation of all cities. Media claims victory for Assad (and Russia and Iran). They are clearly wrong but I don’t know what is happening or when.

For an opposite view, here’s “Voice of America”:

https://www.voanews.com/a/arab-nations-inch-toward-rehabilitating-syria-president-assad/4741186.html

Meanwhile Trump’s focus is clearly domestic and his withdrawal announcement will be popular with the overwhelming isolationist sentiment in both his base and the Democrat base while the denunciations for “playing into Russian and Iranian hands” will only reinforce isolationist sentiment among Americans who might support democratic revolution but are rightly unenthused about maintaining imperial boundaries against other powers. As long as there are few US casualties it won’t matter much domestically whether the announced withdrawal actually happens or whether covert and air operations continue. Isolationist sentiment will still be strengthened and Trump will still benefit from the announcement. As for the impact in Syria, the Turks are far more important and the Kurds would be well advised to pull back and not turn towards the regime.

4. Now here’s what I started a month ago:

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/byron-york-sudden-shift-in-get-trump-talk-now-its-campaign-finance-not-russia

This summary of current Democrat theme looks about right to me. Only missing a couple of points.

1. They won’t drop Russia and are starting to convince themselves that Trump’s lawyer thinking about bribing Putin with an apartment at a hoped for Trump tower in Moscow could at last be proof the Kremlin has something on him that explains how they lost the election.

2. Trump benefits from Democrats impeaching him and splitting about such idiotic tactics.

But it does confirm they are headed straight for it, even on something as utterly pointless as trying to convince more than a third of GOP Senators to remove him from office (and later get removed themselves by GOP primaries), for using his own money to pay off people he had sex with not to talk about it during his campaign.

Sudden shift in get-Trump talk; now it’s campaign finance, not Russia

by Byron York

December 10, 2018 03:48 PM

Prosecutors investigating President Trump made big news Friday, but it wasn’t about Russia. Rather, in their sentencing recommendation for fixer Michael Cohen, lawyers with the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York wrote that in the final weeks of the 2016 campaign, candidate Trump directed Cohen to pay off Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, who wanted money to keep quiet about sexual dalliances. While such arrangements are legal, prosecutors argued that since the payoffs occurred during the campaign, they were violations of campaign finance laws.

Cohen, who is cooperating because prosecutors nailed him for tax evasion and bank fraud in his private business, pleaded guilty to two felony campaign finance violations. So no one has to talk about an “alleged” campaign finance scheme; there’s already a guilty plea. But what was really significant about the sentencing memo was that prosecutors specifically said Trump told Cohen to do it.

“With respect to both payments, Cohen acted with the intent to influence the 2016 presidential election,” prosecutors said. “He acted in coordination with and at the direction of [Trump].”

Those words caused a sudden shift in the debate over investigating the president. What had been a two-year-long conversation about Trump and Russia instantly became a conversation about Trump and campaign finance.
“Prosecutors are now implicating the president in at least two felonies,” said CNN.

“Federal prosecutors in New York say that President Trump directed Michael Cohen to commit two felonies,” said NBC’s Chuck Todd.

“At least two felonies,” said Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy.

“Implicated in two felonies,” said anti-Trump gadfly George Conway, husband of top Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway.
And so on.

“There’s a very real prospect that on the day Donald Trump leaves office, the Justice Department may indict him,” said Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, who will become chairman of the House Intelligence Committee next month, “that he may be the first president in quite some time to face the real prospect of jail time.”

Jerry Nadler, the Democrat who will chair the House Judiciary Committee, said the campaign finance charges “would be impeachable offenses because, even though they were committed before the president became president, they were committed in the service of fraudulently obtaining the office.” Nadler said he has still not determined whether the charges, even thoughthey could be the basis for impeachment, are important enough to actually go forward, at least yet.
Nadler’s public caution is understandable; his committee will have the responsibility of starting the impeachment process, if that is what Democratic leaders decide. But the fact is, a number of Democrats clearly believe they already have enough evidence to impeach.

One significant problem could be that the campaign finance charge against the president is a pretty iffy case. Back in 2010, the Justice Department accused 2008 presidential candidate John Edwards of a similar scheme — an alleged campaign finance violation based on a payoff to a woman with whom Edwards had had an affair (and a child).
Edwards said he arranged the payment to save his reputation and hide the affair from his wife. The Justice Department said it was to influence the outcome of a presidential election.

The New York Times called the Edwards indictment “a case that had no precedent.” Noting that campaign finance law is “ever changing,” the paper said the Edwards case came down to one question: “Were the donations for the sole purpose of influencing the campaign or merely one purpose?”

The Justice Department failed miserably at trial. Edwards was acquitted on one count, while the jury deadlocked in Edwards’ favor on the others. Prosecutors opted not to try again.

President Trump would point out that the accusation against him differs in at least one key respect from Edwards. Prosecutors accused Edwards of raising donor money to pay off the woman. Trump used his own money, which even the byzantine and restrictive campaign finance laws give candidates a lot of freedom to use in unlimited amounts.
So even more than Edwards, if the Justice Department pursued a case against Trump, it would be on unprecedented grounds.
But the political reality is, it doesn’t really matter if it is a weak case. And it doesn’t matter if Trump himself has not been indicted, or even that a sitting president cannot be indicted. Because now, Democrats can say, “The Justice Department has implicated the president in two felonies. Two felonies. TWO FELONIES!”

Politically, that’s as good as an indictment of Trump. Perhaps even better, since it does not give the president a forum to make a proper legal defense.

The last few days have seen a big pivot in the campaign against Donald Trump. For two-plus years, it was Russia, Russia, Russia. But despite various revelations in the Russia probe, the case for collusion remains as sketchy as ever. Now, though, prosecutors in the Southern District of New York have given Democrats a new weapon against the president. Look for them to use it.

A subsequent item indicates there is more solid grounds for eventually convicting Trump of a campaign finance violation than the Edwards case:

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/trumps-john-edwards-defense-further-dissipates

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/12/06/how-trumps-approval-rating-has-evolved-according-data-scientist-donald-trump/

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-12-06/trump-s-tariffs-could-clinch-electoral-college

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-12-06/huawei-arrest-gives-u-s-leverage-over-china-on-technology

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2018/12/07/latest-filings-show-that-nobody-can-save-trump-now/?utm_term=.2bf06befaf27

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/12/08/donald-trump-denies-wrongdoing-amid-accusations-prosecutors-mueller/2249001002/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/12/07/michael-cohen-sentencing-memo-key-takeaways/2243428002/

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/dec/08/donald-trump-mueller-investigation-cohen-manafort

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/dec/08/donald-trump-mueller-investigation-cohen-manafort

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/12/08/europe/russia-putin-trump-bromance-intl/index.html

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/12/07/opinions/mueller-is-putting-the-puzzle-pieces-together-on-trump-honig/index.html

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/12/07/opinions/mueller-is-putting-the-puzzle-pieces-together-on-trump-honig/index.html

https://www.newyorker.com/news/swamp-chronicles/the-michael-cohen-sentencing-memos-are-damning-for-trump

https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/trump-s-tweeting-veers-into-suspected-witness-tampering-territory-20181204-p50jzk.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/12/08/george-conway-blasts-trumps-claim-that-cohen-filing-totally-clears-president/?utm_term=.71abf94e1d8e

Assassinations of Raed Fares and Hammoud al-Jneid – the democratic revolution continues

Raed Fares best one

The assassination of Syrian democratic revolutionaries Raed Fares and Hammoud al-Jneid in Kafr Nabl was very bad and sad news. Raed was an icon of the people’s uprising, especially in Kafr Nabl, from where he ran an alternative anti-regime, anti-Daesh, radio station called ‘Radio Fresh‘.

It had received US funding until five months ago when President Trump stopped the US government’s $200 million in ‘stablilization aid’ to Syrian civil society organisations and humanitarian groups, including Radio Fresh. (Which must have pleased the anti-US-interventionist pseudo-left).

I followed Raed Fares on facebook over the years. Images of his satirical cartoons and political banners went viral. They had a distinct style and could be savage in their mocking of the regime and of the west’s failure to effectively support the revolutionaries.

There’s a lot of muck on social media but also great stuff, like the photos of Raed’s cartoons and banners, usually held up by groups of men in Kafr Nabl.

I’m republishing below a letter seeking support for Radio Fresh, to allow it to keep going.

Also, I’ve been gathering images of some of Raed’s work and share them here, after the letter below. My favourite is the one linking the Syrian uprising to the bigger picture of democratic revolution beyond Syria.

* * * *

46703909_2016080171818746_6291268078000930816_n

 

Dear friends,

I am still reeling from the news of Raed Fares’s assassination on Friday. The heartbreak and collective grief so many Syrians and people around the world share at his loss are almost unbearable. But with every hour that passes it becomes more obvious what we need to do. We need to keep his work alive, we need to keep Radio Fresh on the air and power the work of the hundreds of journalists and activists he trained.

As a prominent civil society leader and media activist, Raed knew his life was in imminent danger, especially in his last weeks. His work was always very dangerous and he knew that both the Syrian regime and Al-Qaeda’s thugs wanted him dead. However he was determined to stay in his hometown of Kafranbel and continue his work. Fearing he might be assassinated, he gave instructions to his loyal students about how to continue what he had built. Radio Fresh would continue. The United Revolutionary Bureaus he set up would continue.

I’ve had many conversations over the last couple of days with Raed’s kids and his team. No one is giving up. Everyone wants to continue what Raed started — he made it clear that that’s what he would’ve wanted.  

Raed launched a campaign to fund Radio Fresh three months before his death when international aid was cut to the project. His family and colleagues have called on us to do everything we can to continue the campaign, fund his work and keep Raed’s dream of independent radio alive.

Please donate now to keep Radio Fresh on the air, and share the link with all your friends.

Radio Fresh is an independent radio station in northwest Syria that resists both Assad and extremist groups. Raed considered Radio Fresh an essential service to the community – its brave reporters discussed local issues, investigated cases of injustice, and held authorities to account. They even warned the community of incoming airstrikes.

When he survived his first assassination attempt by an armed group in Idlib in January 2016, Raed posted this to Facebook:

“Freedom is an idea, and an idea cannot die

Fresh is an idea, and an idea cannot die

Ideas cannot die, people die, and we will stay here so the pain goes away

Oh my homeland, of sacrifices

I cannot thank enough those who stood in solidarity, and letters cannot do justice to my emotions, all I can say is: You are the Revolution, and the Revolution saved its children”

Let’s put our support now behind the hundreds of journalists and activists trained by Raed and let’s help continue their critical work. The extremists will not defeat his indomitable will.

Donate now to keep Radio Fresh on the air.

Raed’s death is huge loss to humanity, to everyone everywhere who believes in freedom, democracy and equal rights for all. The only way to honour him is to continue his incredible work.

Thank you.

Yours,

Kenan Rahmani

 

47102133_10155667190817676_5950903228441821184_o

 

download

skynews-syria-poster_4497328

0fc61fb4-62b4-4a02-b807-7f5e4de39244

9f664319-b06d-481e-b146-d2f89e199871_16x9_788x442

 

 

 

* * * *

Notes on Trump 39 – Democrats on about obstruction of justice and Russia again

I was wondering whether Trump getting Session’s resignation refuted my previous claim that Trump was deliberately playing up conflict with his Attorney General so liberal media would rally behind the Attorney-General that ends up prosecuting somebody. It was certainly strong evidence that I was wrong as the Democrats didn’t seem to make much of a fuss after having claimed any move to replace Sessions would be obstruction of the Mueller inquiry and a constitutional crisis.

Despite Trump’s best efforts the Democrats did not carry on much about Russia during the mid-terms and seemed resigned to the fact that the Mueller inquiry doesn’t look like delivering them from Trump.

But now it looks like they are falling for it AGAIN:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-22/donald-trump-jeff-sessions-mathew-whitaker/10517430

Scheduling acting appointments during vacations to avoid obstruction in the Senate is a long established practice. Obama needed it a lot because of a hostile Senate. If there was to be any replacement of the Attorney-General it was certain to be during the vacation after the midterms as even some GOP Senators had indicated they would hold up confirmation of any replacement. But I didn’t think there would actually be a replacement.

Now it turns out that Democrats have found a way to help Trump’s effortless maneuvers to get them to keep digging that hole.

There are over a 160 instances where a vacation appointment has promoted a replacement who has never been confirmed by the Senate for any office at all. So three Senators are asking the Supreme Court (which no longer has a liberal majority) to declare the latest such appointment unconstitutional.

If they succeed, they will have driven home the message that Jeff Sessions should be treated as trustworthy. That could be embarassing if he gets reappointed to fill the vacancy.

But there is little danger of them succeeding. The point is simply to make a fuss and carry on about the vital need to protect the Mueller inquiry thus further embarassing themselves when it winds up without saving them from Trump. Looks like they are committed to keeping the Trump obstructing justice “Russia thing” in the news just as Trump keeps begging them to. What I didn’t guess was that the way to ensure they kept digging that hole would be to follow up months of threatening to sack Jeff Sessions with actually doing it after merely repeating the threat had worn thin.