Friday, May 4, 2018

Last Call For Trump Cards, Con't

As I've been warning people and especially Democrats, Trump fatigue has settled in and nobody gives a damn anymore about the banana republic we live in.  Trump at 40% approval no matter what happens is the new normal.

For ordinary Americans, observed Republican pollster Whit Ayres, "We've learned nothing new in the last 24 hours." Surveys taken before Rudy Giuliani disclosed that Trump paid the hush money – which he and attorney Michael Cohen previously denied – back up that assessment.

In a Quinnipiac University poll last month, six in 10 Americans said they believed Trump had an affair with Daniels and knew about the hush money. But seven in 10 said it wasn't important.

Quinnipiac has measured views of Trump's honesty since his term began. The proportion of Americans who consider him dishonest has never fallen below 54 percent.

Of two big targets he frequently accuses of lying, ex-FBI Director James Comey and the news media, Quinnipiac found that majorities trust them more than the president. Fully 55 percent overall – 16 percent of Republicans, 53 percent of independents, and 92 percent of Democrats – said Trump lacks "a sense of decency."

Those assessments have damaged the president and fellow Republicans. Fewer Americans approve his job performance than that of any recent predecessor at the same point, even with the economy humming and international affairs comparatively calm.

But views of Trump's character have largely lost their ability to change his current standing. As unflattering information keeps accumulating, the share of Americans approving of him has ticked up from slightly below, to slightly above, 40 percent.

After 16 months, Americans have grown accustomed to Trump in the White House. The longer he serves without economic downturn or war, the more inured they become to his behavior.

"People have concluded that he's a liar," explained Mark Mellman, a leading Democratic pollster. "He lies every day. People know it."

Dubya both got us into a decade-plus war and wrecked the economy in his first term and he still got a second.  Then he got us into another war and cratered the economy completely and we still almost handed the country over to John McCain and Moose Lady, and then tens of millions of white folks decided "OK, they had their black president, time to revert to status quo".

As long as there's gas in the tank to get Taylor to soccer practice and 2 for $20 dinner specials at Applebee's, America is largely content to let Trump be Trump.  "The Face-Eating Leopard Party isn't going to sic the leopards on me or anything, so whatever.  America sucks, what are ya gonna do, vote for the other corporate party?  That's a sucker's bet.  Just keep your head down and go into work on Monday like you always do."

Ten years ago when I started ZVTS, we cared.

That seems like a lifetime ago.

Three People Outside Jefferson City, Missouri, Con't

Missouri Republicans have possessed every opportunity to scrap impeachment proceedings against GOP Gov. Eric Greitens in the wake of his felony charges involving sexual assault and campaign finance violations, but they continue to play it straight given the overwhelming depth of evidence mounting against the embattled state chief executive.

Even with a more than two-thirds supermajority in both the state House and Senate, Missouri Republicans are now calling a special session later this month to impeach and possibly remove Greitens from office.

The Missouri General Assembly has taken the historic step of calling itself back into special session to decide whether to impeach Gov. Eric Greitens.

According to the petition signed by 138 House members and 29 senators — both more than the three-fourths required in each cahmber to call a special session — lawmakers will consider the findings and recommendations of a House committee investigating Greitens, “including, but not limited to disciplinary actions against Gov. Eric R. Greitens.”

The special session would begin at 6:30 p.m. on May 18, immediately after the legislature adjourns its regular session for the year. It will mark the first time in Missouri history that lawmakers have called a special session themselves instead of relying on the governor to do so.

House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, first proposed a special session last month after a special House committee investigating Greitens released a report detailing allegations of abuse, blackmail and sexual coercion made by a woman with whom he had an affair in 2015.

"Today's actions ensure there will be a conclusion to this process," Richardson said, later adding: "This path is not the one I would have chosen for Missourians or for my colleagues. I've hoped from the beginning of this process that the committee would find no wrongdoing. ... Unfortunately, this is where the facts led. We will not avoid doing what is right, just because it's hard."

House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty, D-Kansas City, agreed with Richardson.

"This is a necessary step," she said. "We have to make sure we do this right, and the best way to do that is to give the committee time to complete the investigation, and if they see fit, to file articles of impeachment."

She said some of her fellow Democrats refused to sign because they wanted impeachment to start immediately. Others thought impeachment should wait until after Greitens' criminal trial, which starts May 14.

Impeaching the governor would take 82 votes in the House. The Senate would then appoint seven judges to conduct a trial. If five agree he should be removed from office, Lt. Gov. Mike Parson would take over. Parson would serve until his term ends in early 2021.

This isn't like Bill Clinton's impeachment and trial 20 years ago, done by an opposition party to railroad a popular president.  This is Greitens's own party going to the unprecedented lengths of pledging to call a special session of the legislature to consider impeachment of a sitting governor.  They could have easily run out the clock on the investigation, they could have easily scrapped the investigation and waited for the courts to deal with it, they could have done precisely nothing and there wouldn't have been a thing Democrats in the state could have done in response.

That tell me that the evidence presented to the state legislature has been so overwhelmingly against Greitens that there's no question an impeachment vote is coming.  Remember, calling that special session without the governor requires meeting the ludicrously high bar of three-quarters of both chambers, and they are publicly proclaiming that they have that level of support.

Greitens should resign immediately.  In all seriousness, he should hang it up. 

He is done.  Not only will he be near certainly impeached, he will be more than likely removed from office in disgrace.

I don't know if the guy can take a hint, but it's over.

The Blue Wave Rises, Con't

Michigan GOP Gov. Rick Snyder has done tremendous damage to the state in eight years, and Democrats are trying to win the state back, but in the Trump Era, anything goes.  Ahead of an open primary season for both parties with voters going to the polls in August, right-wing Republicans are already attacking Democrats as terrorists in a state with a growing Muslim population.

The Michigan gubernatorial race took an ugly turn last week, when a Republican contender accused a Democratic candidate of being part of a “civilizational jihad” to take over America.

The Republican, state Sen. Patrick Colbeck, stands by his accusation that former Detroit health director Abdul El-Sayed has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Just one of Colbeck’s Republican rivals condemned the remarks; Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a Colbeck backer, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

What El-Sayed is going through happens to nearly every Muslim-American in public life: They face baseless questions about their patriotism and then are left in a no-win situation. If they deny the charges, they risk giving them credence. But if they ignore them, they might get even more traction.

“We have to spend the bulk of our time disproving negatives: ‘Prove that you’re not a radical Islamist. Prove that you’re not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Prove that you’re not trying to implement Sharia,’” said Wajahat Ali, a Muslim-American writer and co-author of “Fear Inc.,” a 2011 study of networks of anti-Muslim bigotry.

It’s a phenomenon that Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim-American civil rights group, calls a “type of neo-McCarthyism.”

If elected, El-Sayed, a 33-year-old physician, would be the country’s first Muslim governor. And there is no evidence that he has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. But thanks to Colbeck and the amplification he received on conservative talk radio, the allegations already show signs of staying power.

El-Sayed graduated with honors from the University of Michigan, where his classmates and teachers picked him to deliver the 2007 commencement speech. The remarks, peppered with inside-campus jokes, showcased an early flair for public speaking.

He was also vice president of the Muslim Students Association, which Colbeck believes shows El-Sayed has sympathy for the Muslim Brotherhood. Of course, just because they both have the word “Muslim” in them doesn’t mean they’re the same.

Unfortunately, that distinction doesn't matter to as many Michiganders as it should.  Rampant Islamophobia in the GOP in the Trump era is no surprise, it's what they want to push, the racism and hatred cards.

Both Colbeck and El-Sayed are long shots, the frontrunners are the state's current GOP Attorney General Bill Schuette, and the former Democratic state Senate minority leader, Gretchen Whitmer.

Both of them have significant competition however, Schuette from Snyder's Lt. Governor, Brian Calley, and Whitmer from pharmaceutical entrepreneur Shri Thanedar.  Where this all goes, we'll see, but with redistricting on the line in 2020, Democrats need as many 2018 gubernatorial victories as they can get.


Related Posts with Thumbnails