Saturday, April 14, 2018

Last Call For The Other Side

The Trumpies are in real trouble from the Cohen side of Mueller's probe, and they know it.  At this point the only thing keeping their side from complete breakdown is message discipline, and that's starting to come apart at the seams.  

The goofballs over at Power Line think Trump should pardon everyone and rip off the bandaid, as if it will end the Mueller probe or resolve any of the issues involving Trump, Russia, money laundering or obstruction of justice.

In “What is to be done?” I set forth the possibility that President Trump might shut down his entanglement in the Mueller probe (the Mueller Switch Project) by pardoning its criminal targets so far: Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and the Dutch lawyer. He could do so with the explanation that Mueller’s probe has come up dry on its supposed predicate of Russian collusion with the Trump presidential campaign. Rush Limbaugh argued the pardon option in “If you want to end this, Mr. President, start pardoning.”

As President Trump has said repeatedly, there was “no collusion.” Thus the never-ending detours of the Mueller probe. In this scenario President Trump would leave Mueller free to write up the results of his investigation into Russian interference in the presidential campaign and even the evidence of alleged collusion, if any. I have assumed the veracity of the president’s claim of “no collusion” from the outset. If it weren’t true, we would have heard about the facts that make it out by now and we haven’t.

The "Where's the smoking gun?" strawman is a fun one, as if somehow everything we've heard about Trump doing in the last 18 months doesn't disqualify him from office.  But here's the hysterical part:

Mulling this over a bit further, I have one final thought. If President Trump were to take up the pardon solution, I think he would be well advised to include Hillary Clinton and the entire Clinton circle in the pardons. He could explain that he is trying to put the controversies arising from the past election behind us for the good of the country. It might make him look magnanimous and would have the additional advantage of driving them and their friends absolutely nuts.

Can you imagine what the people baying for Clinton and Obama's blood at Trump rallies would do should LOCK HER UP become "Well we pardoned her"?  Start the RINO hunt!

This is what the "principled" defense of Trump looks like, folks.  Highbrow comedy at its finest.

Wag The Dog, Con't

Trump's efforts to get the Comey/Cohen stories off the front page may have worked for a day, but Syria, Russia, and Iran are already taunting the Tangerine Tyrant as last night's missile strikes against Syria were mostly intercepted by Russian air defenses.

Syria, Russia and Iran shrugged off strikes on Saturday by the United States and its allies against three Syrian chemical weapons facilities, which drew angry condemnations but no indication that there would be a wider escalation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced the U.S.-led strikes against Syrian chemical weapons facilities as an “act of aggression,” Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatalloh Ali Khamenei tweeted that the attack represented “a war crime,” and the Syrian Foreign Ministry described it as “barbarous aggression.”

But the pre-dawn volleys of cruise missiles launched by the United States, Britain and France were limited to three sites linked to Syria’s chemical weapons program and triggered no retaliation. Russia said they did little damage and that most of the cruise missiles targeting Syrian sites had been intercepted by Syrian air defenses, including all of those that were bound for the site from which last week’s alleged chemical attack originated.

World leaders sought to tamp down any tensions associated with the strike.

“This was not about interfering in a civil war and it was not about regime change,” Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May told a news conference in London. “We expressly sought to avoid escalation and did everything to avoid civilian casualties.”

In Damascus, there was defiance and relief as residents jolted awake by explosions at around 4 a.m. realized the strikes would be limited. Syrian state television broadcast scenes of citizens taking to the streets to celebrate and demonstrate their support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, waving Syrian, Russian and Iranian flags.

“The honorable cannot be humiliated,” said a post from the Twitter account maintained by Assad’s office shortly after the attack. A few hours later the account tweeted a video of him walking nonchalantly to work through the halls of the Syrian presidential palace.

The United States and its allies said three facilities associated with Syria’s chemical weapons program were targeted: a scientific research center in the greater Damascus area, a chemical weapons storage facility west of Homs, and a chemical weapons equipment storage facility and command post, also near Homs.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said they did little damage. In a statement the ministry said that of 103 cruise missiles fired in the U.S.-led airstrike, 71 were shot down by Syria’s Soviet-made air-defense systems. The intercepted missiles included all 12 of those bound for the Al-Dumayr military airfield near Damascus, where the chemical attack that triggered the crisis was allegedly launched.

If you want to know what Putin's retaliation was for being called out by both British PM Theresa May and Trump for last month's attempted assassination of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, you're looking at it, and once again Putin has won a near complete victory.

Yes, the chemical weapon attack by Assad a couple weeks ago was abhorrent, but it was also obvious in its intent to get under Trump's skin and show the world that the US and UK can no longer just launch cruise missiles with impunity.  The Russians still insist that Britian was behind the chemical weapon attacks both on their home soil and in Syria and the US is aiding and abetting in war crimes, and both Trump and May look like fools.

And remember, this is being done all while Trump's travel ban preventing refugees from war-torn Syria, who we've been bombing since day one of the Trump regime, from entering the US as the worst refugee crisis in recent history continues to unfold.  He fires missiles into their country, then when their people flee the hell he's brought to them, he calls them terrorists and leaves them to rot.

Trump is so predictable in his egomania that Putin is having a field day with it, and once again he's gotten the upper hand on proving just how easily he can make Trump his puppet, this time for all the world to see. And Russia is now promising retaliation.

And the trouble back here in the states?  That hasn't gone away just because a petulant man-child threw a $100 million military temper tantrum.  And what does Trump get for his troubles?  His most virulent supporters like Alex Jones and Michael Savage have utterly turned on him this weekend, vowing that Trump has given in to the "globalists".

On we go.

Meanwhile In Bevinstan, Con't

As if we didn't have enough news to process today, here in Kentucky things also took a turn for the worse, both ugly and bizarre.  GOP Gov. Matt Bevin vetoed the state budget, tax reform, and pension reform bills because they didn't punish state employees and Kentucky's poor enough earlier this week, so on Friday the state legislature overrode all three vetoes.

The Kentucky General Assembly on Friday voted to override vetoes by Gov. Matt Bevin on three key bills: the two-year, $22 billion state budget; changes to the tax code expected to generate several hundred million dollars in new revenue; and a measure that will give pension relief to local governments.

Although the House and Senate are overwhelmingly controlled by Republicans, lawmakers said they wanted to show their independence from the Republican governor, who early in the day criticized their budget and tax bills on Twitter.

“If you think siding with the governor and giving him the authority to control this budget is a good idea, then vote ‘No,’” Sen. Brandon Smith, R-Hazard, told his Senate colleagues, urging them to vote for the veto override on the budget bill.

Lawmakers return to the Capitol on Saturday for the last day of the 2018 legislative session. They said they expect to pass one or more measures to “tweak” inadvertent errors in their hastily assembled tax bill and deal with other problems brought to their attention in the past two weeks, including additional money needed for the statewide Kentucky Wired internet broadband project.

Bevin does have line-item veto power, but he scrapped all three bills in their entirely because his significantly deeper budget cuts, especially to education and infrastructure, were not included.  He sent the bills back this week and announced that unless his cuts were passed, he would call a special session and keep it open until he got his way.

When he didn't get what he demanded on cuts to education funding and teacher benefits and pensions, Matt Bevin showed who he truly is to the entire state, country, and world.

Gov. Matt Bevin, asked Friday about teachers leaving the classrooms to attend a protest rally in Frankfort, said, “I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky today a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them.”

Louisville’s WDRB-TV interviewed Bevin outside the Capitol Friday about the rally.

In the interview, Bevin said, “This is what’s crazy to me. Do you know how many hundreds of thousands of children today were left home alone?

He then added that consequently a child in Kentucky was sexually assaulted. He added that he guaranteed a child was “physically assaulted or ingested poison because they were home alone because a single parent didn’t have any money to take care of them.”

Kentucky Education Association President Stephanie Winkler said Friday night she was appalled at Bevin’s comment.

“There are no words,” Winkler said. “My mouth was hanging open and I don’t even know what I can tell you." 

Lawmakers in both parties called him out after Bevin exploded in rage on Friday.

“The disgusting comments by Gov. Bevin insinuating that a peaceful protest by teachers would lead to sexual assault are reprehensible,” tweeted state Sen. Max Wise, R-Campbellsville. “I don’t agree with these comments & I find them repulsive. I disagreed with his radio comments about teachers before & I disagree with these.”

In response to Wise’s tweet, Daviess County Superintendent Matt Robbins called for the Republican-led General Assembly — in Frankfort on Saturday for its last day of business — to censure Bevin.

“This is reprehensible and his own party needs to tell him enough is enough,” Robbins said.

Former House Speaker Jeff Hoover, who has been sniping with Bevin over his ethic hearing on sexual harassment had just two sentences on Twitter:

“Out of control. Unhinged.”

Another Republican senator, Whitney Westerfield of Hopkinsville, said on Twitter he was troubled, frustrated and disappointed by Bevin’s comments, “once again needlessly and unjustly demonizing a group of professionals who, like the eight I met with for an hour before we convened, were engaging with legislators peacefully.”

I've been telling people for years that Bevin is an asshole of the lowest order.  What Trump is doing to the country right now, Bevin's been doing since 2015.  If you still somehow had doubt that he wasn't a vile scumbag, now you know what Kentucky's had to deal with.

I expect that situation will be rectified next year.
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