Crooks and Liars
The rule of law is collapsing in real time. Near the end of another Oval Office grievance session, Donald Trump said it perhaps isn't enough that he had Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman escorted from from his White House national security position, along with his twin brother, in direct retaliation for Vindman's testimony accurately describing what he knew of Trump's efforts to extort the Ukrainian government into providing or manufacturing anti-Biden "dirt."
"It turned out what he reported [of the Trump-Zelensky call] was very different. [...] And so we sent him on his way to a much different location and the military can handle him any way they want. General Milley has him now, [...] he can have him, and his brother also. So we'll find out what happened, we'll find out. But he reported very inaccurate things."
Trump was then asked directly by a reporter whether he was signaling, in his claims of Vindman's alleged wrongdoing, that Vindman should face "disciplinary action."
Late on Monday the DOJ filed their sentencing memo for Roger Stone, pushing for a prison sentence of between 7 to 9 years. Trump really didn't like that, tweeting this out:
This is a horrible and very unfair situation. The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice! https://t.co/rHPfYX6Vbv
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 11, 2020
Early Tuesday morning, this news broke that the DOJ was backtracking, probably in response to Trump's tweet (and maybe a call to Bill Barr):
Republicans for the Rule of Law is part of Defending Democracy Together, a group founded by Never Trumper William Kristol. Here's how they introduced this new ad:This is Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. He received a Purple Heart when he was wounded in Iraq, and later served on the National Security Council for the Trump White House. He was subpoenaed by Congress to testify about the Ukraine scandal, and he followed the law. As a penalty for telling the truth, President Trump fired him and his twin brother and had them escorted from the White House. No president should retaliate against anyone for following the law. This isn’t how the president is supposed to treat military heroes who obey the law. Our military deserves better. Our country deserves better. Lt. Col. Vindman deserves better.
Maybe someone should send it to Lou Dobbs!
Donald Trump lost.
A grand total of ONE registered Republican came out to the midnight vote (first in the nation publicity stunt) at Dixville Notch, New Hampshire.
That registered Republican did not vote for his party's incumbent president. Instead, that voter wrote in Mike Bloomberg.
Mike Bloomberg also "won" the Democratic side with two write-in votes. Yes, it pays to advertise in the multi millions of dollars.
But we may be looking more closely at what happens on the Republican side tonight as the entire state's votes are tallied. If Trump loses 20% of the PRIMARY vote tonight, that's a sign of disaster ahead for Republicans nationwide.
Too bad they didn't remove him from office when they had the chance.
BREAKING NEWS: In Historically Stupid Election Result, Michael Bloomberg, Who Is Not Contesting New Hampshire, Wins Democratic *and* Republican Primary Vote in Dixville Notch
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) February 11, 2020
San Francisco talk show host Chip Franklin blasted Rep. Devin Nunes for being a total "emasculated pissant."
Trump's favorite henchman in the House of Representatives told Laura Ingram on Fox News last week that one of Trump's biggest accomplishments was the outing of mainstream media for being the real enemy of conservatives.
Watch a sitting congressman whine like a baby below:
Devin Nunes accuses reporters of sending out “drunk tweets” about the President and other Republicans which he calls vicious pic.twitter.com/jH1S6uYvKz
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) February 7, 2020
The most important thing the President has done, of all the things he’s done are very important, but he’s finally outed the media. The media in this town has been corrupt, and it took somebody like Trump to finally bring them out of their shell where now they’ll just openly go out,” Nunes said.
He continued, “They’ll tweet about it late at night, they get drunk, send drunk tweets out. And they’re vicious to him and Republicans,” Nunes said.
He concluded by saying Republican elected officials should not be talking to the mainstream media because they are “assassins.”
Jeanine Pirro flipped out on her show this weekend, particularly against Mitt Romney, calling him "stupid."
It was perfect bookend to Seth Meyers and his "closer look" on Monday night.
SETH MEYERS: Donald Trump can’t stand watching anyone else get applause that’s why he does his weekly group therapy sessions in arenas across the country, where he rambles incoherently and sweats like he just did an hour on a Peloton bike. Donald Trump is incapable of imagining anyone doing anything out of any motivation other than self-interest. Like all authoritarians, he demands loyalty and retaliates against anyone who refuses to genuflect to him he’s subverting our democracy and the rule of law to his personal, political and financial will if you’re a Republican who can’t see that –
(Video clip) JEANINE PIRRO: You're stupid!
During this morning's live show from New Hampshire, Joe Biden responded to Joe Scarborough asking him about Bernie Sanders saying Biden has baggage.
Biden responded that Bernie's described himself as a democratic socialist and points out that has its own baggage.
"And so, look, it's a -- we're going to see, though. This is a marathon, man. I don't think anybody's predicted much of anything about who's going to win nominations in recent past," Biden said.
"James Carville and other Democrats recently put a finer point, saying we cannot nominate Bernie Sanders or we'll lose. People won't vote for socialism, he says. Do you agree if Bernie Sanders is the nominee, Cemocrats will lose?" Scarborough said.
"I refuse to suggest any Democrat can lose," Biden said, vehement.
"I think we could run Mickey Mouse against this president and have a shot."
He's right. There's no perfect candidate, and there's no candidate without baggage. By the time the Republican attack machine gets going, our nominee will look like a baggage factory!
We can't pick someone on the basis of what Republicans will do. We can only pick who we think is the best person to carry the banner.
Lou Dobbs, who never served in the military, has a lot of opinions about Defense Sec. Mark Esper. Esper's original sin? Not aligning 100% with Lou's hero Trump.
I bring up Dobbs' lack of military service because he has little understanding of or respect for the military's nonpartisan traditions. He's gone after Esper before for not licking Trump's boots and actually declaring himself in alignment with... Jim Mattis.
Remember when Trump was running, and voters were reassured by him saying "I would listen to the generals"? What a crock that was. Since the minute he got in, this inexperienced blowhard has made disastrous moves -- despite opposition from "his generals." Because hey, that's what dictators do, amirite?
Here, Dobbs is going off on Esper because he dared to give Lt. Col Alexander Vindman and his brother jobs after they were purged by Trump in his post-impeachment retribution, "giving Vindman a soft place to land."
"Just where the hell did Esper come up with a suggested threat of any kind of retaliation?" Dobbs huffed.
Gee, I don't know, Lou. Lemme think.
Most Democrats now seem to believe that the party is doomed and that President Trump is on a glide path to reelection -- which is why this Kyle Smith column in the New York Post is ridiculous:
Election Night 2020 is going to be like Groundhog Day for Democrats
... Get ready to see a lot of stuff you’ve seen before. First there will be denial: “Uh-uh. No way. Can you check the numbers again? That can’t be right.”
Desperate for evidence, the Dems will move on to the next phase: Voter fraud! Diabolical machine errors! Russian hacking! All of this will be given a thorough scourging. Any wisp of a rumor of a hint of a shred of evidence that any of these things happened, regardless of whether any of them happened on a scale sufficient to determine the outcome, will be the subject of screaming headlines and glaring chyrons.
Looks like Donald Trump sycophant and Nixon era Dirty Trickster, Roger Stone, may be spending many many years in prison, if federal prosecutors get close to the sentence they are recommending for the convicted felon. Stone actually faced up to 50 years in prison, but prosecutors are only recommended 7 to 9 years, a pretty substantial departure for a younger felon. But Stone is already 67 - so a sentence of 9 years could be a death sentence. Or close to it.
Stone was convicted of 7 counts, including charges of lying to Congress, witness tampering and other charges. For those keeping track, this is the sixth Trump associate convicted of a crime and the last person indicted following the Mueller investigation. The Washington Post is reporting that prosecutors who worked with Mueller were pushing for this longer sentence, but supervisors (who probably now report to Bill Barr) wanted a shorter sentence. In the end, the prosecutors got their wish and based on sentencing guidelines, the sentence of 7 to 9 years was the final recommendation.
Good morning! As I write this, the rough outlines of the new budget are being released, and the cruelty of Trumplandia continues apace. Tonight, New Hampshire votes and so all of our failed political press are busy at the horse track placing bets.
The Progressive Pulse says that North Carolina is in the crosshairs of environmental rollbacks and flooding.
Class Warfare Blog refuses to say, again, that Prznint Stupid lies.
You Might Notice A Trand notices that Prznint Stupid is even more unhinged.
Bonus Track: Billions of Versions Of Normal updates the Bible.
Round-up by Tengrain who blogs at Mock, Paper, Scissors. You can follow Tengrain on the Twitters, too. Send tips, requests, and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org (with For MBRU in the subject line).
Here's the full video, equally stupid:
Fox's Carley Shimkus: "'Workers Of The World, Unite' is a line from the Communist Manifesto ... I learned that yesterday through Twitter. I didn't know."
Steve Doocy: "Who knew?"
Shimkus: "Maybe she didn't know it was part of the Communist Manifesto." pic.twitter.com/XK1DCH9ioh
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) February 10, 2020
Open thread below...
Atlanta band Algiers recently released their 3rd album, There Is No Year. Like their previous releases, the album is a melange strange gospel and soulful post punk. It smolders at one moment and bursts into flames the next. The latter is appropriate way to describe a lot of the lyrics on the album as they examine and discuss a world that is becoming scorched with disorder, disinformation and distrust.
What are you listening to tonight?
There's never a bad day to stir up a little outrage online. I'm not a fan of Chuck Todd, I think he's a dreadful bothsider who doesn't really understand that politics is more than a horse race, and he has me blocked on Twitter because I am a rotten thorn in his side most of the time.
So when I saw that the hashtag #FireChuckTodd was trending, I went to see why there was such a fuss. If Twitter was to be believed, Chuck Todd had just called Bernie supporters online "brown shirts," which would be a dreadful thing to say to a person who was Jewish and had parents who survived the Holocaust. Dreadful.
Except, it turns out not to be true. There's a place to aim anger about this, but it's not at Chuck Todd, who merely read a quote in The Bulwark by Jonathan Last. Here is the entire quote in context, referring to what happened online after the Working Families Party endorsed Elizabeth Warren instead of Bernie Sanders:
This is, as everyone else has pointed out, not very different from Trump’s social network army.
By which I mean that it’s morally different, but functionally the same. Unlike Trump, Sanders does not encourage online bullying himself—he only employs some people who do. That’s a big difference in terms of the moral framework!
Nicolle Wallace's response to Lindsey Graham's explanation of how the Justice Department will verify Rudy Giuliani's wingnut gossip was priceless.
"What?" An incredulous Wallace asked. "Rudy writes crap on napkins and hands them to Lev Parnas. What the bleep was that?"
She asked Frank Figliuzzi what the crazy looked like from inside the FBI.
"First, I'd like the establish my own process. It's a conspiracy hotline. Please dial 1-800-UTTER-BS. Usual spelling for B.S.," Figliuzzi said.
"If you have a concocted conspiracy theory that's been proven wrong by our entire intelligence community and proven to be Russian propaganda, please call 1-800-UTTER-BS.
"Look, you mentioned the FBI. In seriousness, we don't know the extent, if any, to which the FBI is actually going to be involved in vetting this nonsense. We have an agency that investigates this stuff. It is the FBI. ln all seriousness, here's what's going on. The attorney general is saying 'I'm going to have my own investigation on the origins of the Russia case. I can't trust the FBI to vet what Rudy's doing. I've got this. Let's not trust our institutions.
"That's what's the most disturbing thing of all of this. The American public buying off on the fact that the AG's going to handle all this by himself because you know what?We can't trust our institutions with it," he said.
"And they confirmed what Lindsey Graham seemed to blurt out yesterday about Rudy Giuliani," Wallace said.
Hey Alisyn, i normally think you're a good solid reporter, but WTF? Here you are, rationalizing that having the Justice Department look over Rudy Giuliani's conspiracy tales is some kind of improvement. You are simply too trusting.
On the Monday morning edition of CNN’s New Day, co-anchor John Berman noted that “a number of Republican senators who voted against convicting the president said, ‘He's going to learn his lesson. The administration — surely, surely they're not going to engage in this kind of behavior again,’” in a clearly sarcastic allusion to Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME).
“Well hold on a second. How is this not learning a lesson?” Camerota said. “Isn't this what the lesson is from impeachment — which is, they now are going to see if Rudy's information is verified, now.”
John Avlon was having none of that:
“The most generous explanation is that the Justice Department is going to create a channel to try to make sure the information isn’t Kremlin propaganda,” Avlon said. “The bad news, that also means that also means that they are taking dirt, and they’re funneling it against the president’s political enemies, as he tried to do in secret the first time around. Just like Republican senators are trying to do by getting documents from the Treasury Department against Hunter Biden.”
Nice to see one of the Republi-Dems come out swinging against Trump. Hallie Jackson had Senator Joe Manchin on her show, and asked him about being the target of some particularly vicious tweets from His Highness because of his vote to convict Trump of both impeachment charges. Presumably, Trump knew single-cell creatures like Susan Collins and Lamar Alexander would vote to acquit, but apparently he also had hopes that the (technically) Democratic senator from West Virginia would also vote with the Republicans. Who could blame him? Sen. Manchin did, after all, vote to put alleged rapist and confessed beer-lover Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court.
Anyhow, Trump apparently reached deep into his well of cleverly-contrived zingers to call Manchin "Senator Munchkin." Har. Jackson asked him about this, and also about the accusation from Pres. Putinpoodle that Manchin was a huge disappointment to his constituents, and a puppet of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Sen. Manchin did not hold back, and hit Trump where it hurts.
Trump's presidential "adviser" joined state-sponsored TVs Fox and Friends on Monday. n
Kellyanne Conway tried to make believe Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman and his brother were just "reassigned" instead of being targeted for retribution by the Orange Julius.
Steve Doocy opened up the discussion by saying Vindman and his brother were fired.
Even Senator Lindsey Graham, Trump's Senatorial attack dog, said the Vindmans were fired... but not Kellyanne!
She said they didn’t get fired they just got "relocated."
Does she know she's disagreeing publicly with Trump's Saturday tweets, or does NO ONE in the White House remember 48 hours ago?
Kellyanne said, "This is very typical in the White House to have a detail for a temporary period of time and then return to work at their full-time job."
And then she hinted at the possibility many others will be ousted from the White House.
Her husband, George Conway, retweeted Trump's Saturday tweet and noted that there's gaslighting going on. From whom, George?