Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Courtesy POLITICO, Day 999 Assessment of This Dystopian Trump-World and its Endless Shit Show -OR- Niccolò Machiavelli Meets The Godfather as Performed by The Three Stooges


Far be it from me to post anything from that nihilistic publication POLITICO

… and, yes, you're supposed to CAPITALIZE the entire name -- itself the distilled essence of inside-the-Beltway "all knowing" circle jerking wankery that always naturally tends to favor the most amoral and oligarchical of factions (hence, the consistent GOP advantage in these matters).

POLITICO itself is the distilled essence of morally dead who's up/who's down political horserace reporting that arose, Milton's Paradise Lost-style, from the Lucifer-and-Sin incestuous offspring of the Washington Post with its "both sideserism" phony balance mindset and the Beltway Gang of 500 with its mid-20th Century (i.e., Lost World) origins.

However, in this case, I'd like to make an exception and feature excerpts of an interminably lengthy POLITICO piece on the "state of play" of the cartoonishly corrupt Trump kakistocracy, Republican cult-like facilitation of this regime, and Democratic efforts to impeach this deranged monster -- no matter what Mitch McConnell allows to happen in the Senate.

The occasion for this partial reposting is that it's Day 999, i.e., the Eve of the 1000th Day, of the Trump Era -- that grotesque Bizarro World Reality Shit Show that is, if can borrow and adapt an analogy in use, a Niccolò Machiavelli political primer in the cultural "key" of The Godfather -- but done in the performance style of The Three Stooges …


The images I'm using to break up the text come from various sources including a photo-montage contained in the MSN-reposted version of the POLITICO article available here. I'm not captioning them (except for my own commentary on some) but they are topically related to the entry.


So, having said all that, here we go …

Trump faces twin crises as Congress returns

Lawmakers return to work Tuesday with the impeachment inquiry and Syria debacle as top priorities.

(The photo that accompanies the article.)

By John Bresnahan and Melanie Zanona
Oct 15, 2019
POLITICO
Source here


Congress returns Tuesday to an impeachment inquiry moving into high gear and a rapidly unfolding foreign policy disaster in Syria that’s undermining President Donald Trump’s standing in his own party.

House investigators are scheduled to hear crucial testimony this week from several key witnesses in the Ukraine scandal, including Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union and a major GOP donor.


Fiona Hill, formerly Trump’s top adviser on Russia and Ukraine, testified for more than nine hours on Monday before members and aides of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees.

God, Mike Pence is a worthless, lazy POS. In keeping with his gameshow host appearance, he's also incompetent and surprisingly dumb. That said, he's up to his eyeballs in the Ukraine scandal.

*******

And a number of top Trump officials and associates — including Vice President Mike Pence, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney — are facing deadlines this week to comply with Democratic demands for documents related to the president’s efforts to persuade Ukraine to investigate the Biden family.

YOU GET A SUBPOENA! YOU GET A SUBPOENA! AND YOU GET A SUBPOENA! : Subpoenas for the entire "eco-system" that inhabits the open-sewer that is Trump-World.

Yet as Democrats enter the fourth week of their impeachment inquiry, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other party leaders are wrestling with a number of key decisions, including when — and how — to take their case to the American public. So far, polls show support rising for Trump’s impeachment, yet the public remains ambivalent about actually removing him from office. And the GOP base remains solidly behind Trump, as do Republican lawmakers.


For Republicans, Trump’s behavior is growing more unpredictable even as his reelection campaign moves forward, making it harder to defend the president even as their political futures are increasingly tied to his own.


Trump’s pullout from Syria, which has left the U.S.-allied Kurds to fend for themselves, has angered Republicans more than any action he’s taken since assuming office in January 2017, rattling the GOP national security and foreign policy establishments to the core.

Trump at his most recent Hillbilly Nuremberg rally in Minneapolis, where the President of the United States -- among other things -- simulated his idea of sex sounds between the two hapless former FBI agents who play a central role in the Fox News deep state conspiracy that inform his world view and, thus, in his syphilis-addled, cognitively impaired mind, are enemies to vanquish.

*******

His rhetoric on the campaign trial is increasingly raw and uncensored. Trump said Pelosi was "either really stupid or she's really lost it" during a Minneapolis rally last week, while repeating fringe right-wing conspiracies centered on Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). And even top Republicans will privately admit that the White House’s blanket refusal to cooperate in any way with Democrats on the Ukraine probe challenges the fundamental power of Congress to oversee the executive branch.

Let's rephrase this sentence: Trump is deeply mentally imbalanced -- and it's only getting worse -- and the cult-like party he leads will never find that objectionable because, as Esquire's Jack Holmes wrote, his supporters have made their moral suicide pact with him.

At the heart of the impeachment inquiry is whether Trump withheld military aid and a coveted White House meeting in exchange for Ukrainian officials investigating the Bidens.

Trump has denied an explicit “quid pro quo,” yet the White House’s own summary of the July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows Trump pressing the Ukrainians to move ahead with a Biden probe. Text messages released by former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Kurt Volker also buttress the Democrats’ case.

While congressional investigators are unlikely to make much headway in their quest for documents from the White House, Democrats got a boost last Friday when Marie Yovanovitch, the ousted former ambassador to Ukraine, defied the Trump administration’s noncooperation strategy and testified to Congress under a subpoena.


Her closed-door deposition has given new hope to Democrats that other current and former Trump officials may feel empowered to come speak to the committees.


“It’s clear we have plenty when it comes to the president’s admission of a crime. The challenge we have is that the public has to be part of this. And you saw things significantly change after the revelation of the Trump-Ukraine call,” said Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.). “We have to proceed at a pace that helps the public understand why we feel a sense of urgency.”


So far, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and other senior Republicans have attacked Democrats on procedural grounds, repeating the White House line that the probe is a “witch hunt” by Democrats angry over Trump’s 2016 victory.

“Impeachment is different than anything else you do. You literally are changing the course of an election,” said one senior GOP lawmaker.


The GOP has been ratcheting up pressure on Democrats to hold public hearings, formally vote to authorize an impeachment inquiry — as has been done in the past — and release the transcripts of their closed-door briefings, accusing Democrats of trying to shroud their impeachment investigation in secrecy.

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R - Ass Clown)

“What you’re seeing is a strategy by Adam Schiff and the Democrats to have closed-door depositions in his bunker here in the basement of the United States Capitol, and then to cherry-pick out facts that they think can be spun to best help make their case by also withholding other key facts,” Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) told reporters Monday ahead of Hill’s scheduled deposition.

Look at Gordon Sondland: "Major GOP donor"; U.S. Ambassador to the EU; And all-around pissant douchebag.

Trump and Republicans have seized on one text message that Sondland sent to another U.S. diplomat saying there were “no quid pro quo’s of any kind” with Ukraine. But The Washington Post reported that Sondland will testify this week that the president told him to deny that there was a quid pro quo, knee-capping one of the GOP’s chief talking points.


Democrats have thus far resisted calls to formally vote on opening an impeachment inquiry, saying Republicans are just trying to distract from the substance of the allegations against Trump and pointing out it’s not required by the constitution.


Another pressing issue for Democrats is securing testimony from the whistleblower who brought the Ukraine episode to light. Yet House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) signaled Sunday that the whistleblower may not even end up testifying, due to safety concerns. Some Democrats also believe they have enough evidence to move forward without the whistleblower. Trump has repeatedly called for the whistleblower’s identity to be publicly revealed while demanding the right to question his accuser.


“Our primary interest right now is making sure that that person is protected,” Schiff said on CBS’ “Face the Nation“ on Sunday. “We do want to make sure that we identify other evidence that is pertinent to the [investigation] — the withholding of the military support, the effort to cover this up by hiding this in a classified computer system. It may not be necessary to take steps that might reveal the whistleblower’s identity to do that.”


Democrats may also be tempted to expand the scope of their investigation as new revelations continue to pop up. But most members are preaching a tightly focused and disciplined message and appear to be coalescing around a limited number of articles of impeachment related to the Ukrainian scandal.


Fruman and Parnas mugshots: Fraud Guarantee, indeed.

While lawmakers were at home with their constituents during the two-week recess, Justice Department prosecutors arrested a pair of Giuliani associates who helped dig up dirt on Biden in Ukraine and accused them of campaign finance violations. And Democrats released a trove of text messages between U.S. diplomats who were trying to secure a public commitment from Ukraine that it would look into the Biden family.


The remainder of the article is about how upset Republicans are at Trump's Syria actions -- pulling out U.S. troops, thereby abandoning the Kurds to their horrible fate while enabling the Assad regime (and, hence, Russia), Turkey, and Iran to rush into the vacuum -- and efforts to overturn that action.


However, honestly, the entire Middle East fuck show is such that I long ago tuned it out. However ghastly this is (and, yes, I suppose I should care more), for the GOP evangelical lunatics who form the core of Trump's base, the Syria / Kurdish situation has something to do with the Books of Daniel and/or Revelations and their kooky American low Protestant eschatological notions.


That is, they want war to hasten their horseshit notions of Armageddon. And having the United States bogged down in an endless six-way Syrian civil war/war-by-proxy isn't exactly at the top of my must-do list.

OK, that ends this entry. And, yes, I didn't complete it until Oct 16th but I time-stamped the entry it so that it has an Oct 15th date.

--Regulus

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