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Politics, Trump Week in Review

WEEK #84 OF THE TRUMP ERA IN REVIEW, FRIDAY, 8/17/18 TO THURSDAY, 8/23/18

Never a dull with the crew, we have to give Trump and his maladjusted minions that much.

And Week #84 was a doozy, filled with unctuous revelations that beg the question, “Is there such a thing a Comedy Porn?” Because that’s pretty much where we are as nation, between media guys named Pecker and Bush yammering about odious things they know about the president, and a porn star and a Playboy Bunny emerging as pivotal figures in American politics.

The week began on Friday with the Manafort jury still out and Trump defending him, calling him a good man who was a victim of Robert Mueller’s Witch Hunt, and called on Mueller to release his report and end his investigation.

Then he threatened to strip the security clearance of a Justice Department official “very quickly,” opening a new front in his battle with individuals even peripherally related to Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation into his campaign and their alleged collusion with Russian election interference.

The DOJ official, former director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Bruce Ohr, is a longtime government prosecutor who up until this week had not been a household name. What made him a target of Trump’s rage was the fact that he passed along the infamous Steele Dossier to the FBI when it came to his attention, basically acting in accordance with his oath of office to administer justice and enforce the laws of the USA. Even though the FBI and American intelligence agencies were already in possession of and carefully studying the Steele Dossier, somehow in Trump’s mind Bruce Ohr is now responsible for the infamous dossier, in spite of the well-documented and widely known history of its origins.

Also on Friday, (speaking of Justice Department employees taking their oaths of office seriously no matter whose name attached to their investigations) First Daughter Ivanka Trump’s friend and former partner in her fine jewelry line, Moshe Lax, has been sued by the Justice Department for allegedly taking part in a massive fraud scheme to deprive the federal government of tens of millions of dollars, not a good sign for Ivanka or Daddy Dearest.

Then former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman revealed she has an extensive collection of videos, audiotapes, emails, texts and other records to corroborate the charges of gross incompetence, madness and open criminality in her explosive book about the Trump administration.

Also on Friday, a federal appeals court ordered the Trump administration to immediately implement an Obama-era chemical safety rule introduced in response to a 2013 explosion at a fertilizer plant in Texas that killed 15 people, putting a damper on Trump’s “MAYA” plan to Make Air Yellow Again.

Not exactly a stellar day to start off one’s 84th week in office, about a year’s worth of scandals to the average president in just 24 hours. Trump’s response to all this? He declared that he wants businesses to report their earnings semiannually instead of quarterly, making it easier for them to hide profits, avoid taxes and circumvent whatever regulations Trump’s minions have not managed to remove yet.

On Saturday Robert Mueller recommended 6 months in jail for minor Trump minion George Papadopoulos, who pled guilty to lying to the FBI about Russian collusion.

Then news hit of serious charges being prepared in Federal Court in New York City against former Trump lawyer, fixer and bagman Michael Cohen, inviting speculation that he would soon be cooperating with the Feds, while former CIA Director John Brennan accused Trump of being “drunk on power, abusing the presidency and endangering the nation,” and not sparing prominent Republican leaders either, whom Brennan called “Trump’s enablers,” waiting until disaster strikes before they have the nerve to speak out, if they can manage a whimper or two even then.

Worse yet, it was revealed that White House Counsel Donald McGhan has been cooperating with Robert Mueller, and has undergone 40 hours of interviews with Mueller’s Russiagate investigators, answering questions about what the president knew and when he knew it, and what he said and when he said it, filling in crucial timelines for potential Obstruction of Justice allegations against Trump.

The White House Counsel is not the president’s personal attorney, but the person whose role it is to advise the President on all legal issues concerning his Presidency, the Administration and every action undertaken by a sitting president. It is an important job, and Mr. McGhan had been instrumental in crafting some of the Trump Administration’s signature policies (in case anyone was mistaking him for a hero here).

Turns out the main reason Don McGhan cooperated with Mueller was to save his own skin, fearing he would become one more Trump scapegoat and an unwitting accomplice to high crimes, like his most famous predecessor in the job, a man named John Dean, who went to prison for his involvement in Richard Nixon’s crimes.

Trump’s response to all this was to accuse Robert Mueller of McCarthyism, and to claim that Don McGhan is not “a John Dean type of rat,” which catapulted the almost forgotten John Dean into prominence again, giving Mr. Dean a pubic forum to respond to Trump when he said “I am actually honored to be insulted by Trump,” and predicted (accurately as it turns out) that Cohen would become the new John Dean by testifying against the president.

That brings us to Sunday and the now-predictable Presidential Tweet Storms that day usually brings us as Trump desperately tries to spin events in his favor and create new bogeymen as a fear-mongering distraction from the unpleasant reality of the Trump Presidency.

Trump Sunday #84, however, belonged to Rudy “Please Don’t Do Me Any More Favors!” Giuliani and his Orwellian declaration about Trump’s potential testimony to Robert Mueller, that “Truth isn’t truth,” on national television. Of course he immediately tried to unring that bell with a series of indecipherable free association phrases when his flabbergasted interviewer Chuck Todd repeated his phrase back to him, but “Truth Isn’t Truth” was immediately etched in stone as a cornerstone of Trumpian Newspeak.

And speaking of the Opposite of Reality, on Monday First Lady Melania spoke at the Cyberbullying Prevention Summit in Maryland, shortly after her husband, The Cyberbully In Chief, tried to bully her into abandoning her Anti-Cyberbullying Campaign while he earnestly engages in cyberbullying his critics on Social media. Say that 5 times fast!

Monday also found Advanced Dementia Poster Boy Rudy Giuliani trying to explain once again, this time via a Tweet, that “Truth isn’t truth” really meant something else. At least the Twitter platform spared us all his usual harrumphing, blustery stammering and broad array of frightening grimaces.

Then came the news that Russia has recently tried to hack the Republican National Committee, the Democratic National Committee and several GOP “think tanks“ (a very generous designation in this era of low-info scaremongers masquerading as thinkers), and that the Microsoft Corporation thwarted 6 Russian attacks on American political institutions, including the United States Senate, and handed the information over to the FBI.  The Trump Administration respond by earnestly doing nothing about this, of course, what with them not wanting to seem ungrateful for their existence thanks to Vladimir Putin by biting the hand that bred them.

Next came yet another Black Tuesday for America, when the defecation really hit the ventilation device, soiling a nation already mired in the filth of the most corrupt president and administration in our history. So bad was the news for Trump that White House babysitters hustled him off to Air Force One by motorcade rather than face the usual phalanx of reporters that regularly attend his departures and arrivals via aircraft when he went to a scheduled political rally in West Virginia.

In the space of one hour on Tuesday, Trump’s Campaign manager was found guilty of 8 counts of fraud and tax evasion in a Federal courtroom in Virginia, while his erstwhile lawyer matched him with 8 guilty pleas to financial felonies in a New York Federal Court, merged with his unusually enthusiastic testimony that he committed fraud and election crimes at the direction of “Federal Candidate #1” (no points awarded here for guessing Federal Candidate #1’s identity).

In West Virginia, the President was presumably there to speak on behalf of Republican Senate candidate Patrick Morrisey, who he almost completely ignored. Morrisey did manage to get more mentions than either Paul Manafort or Michael Cohen (at 0 mentions apiece), with Trump instead going off on his usual litany of lies, insanity and unfounded accusations, this time adding a new wrinkle by waxing eloquent about how his Mother (!) “gestated” her Thanksgiving turkeys for 8 hours, giving us a mental image hard to un-imagine. Just to make sure we hadn’t heard him wrong, he repeated his brand new word proudly, “gestated!” Okaythen…

We would have to wait until Wednesday to be treated to Trump’s response to the beginning of the end of his illegitimate presidency, when he revisited his mob analogies about John Dean to praise Manafort for “not breaking” and violating the code of Omertà, hinting that a presidential pardon is waiting for him if he maintains his silence through the next criminal trials awaiting him.

And speaking of keeping silent, Michael Cohen won’t be, instead offering to fully cooperate with Robert Mueller and doubling down on his claim that Trump knew well in advance about, and was an active participant in, the Russian Collusion to steal the 2016 election on his behalf.

Trump of course Tweeted his usual denials and counter-accusations that others were responsible for his crimes, and multiple insults to Cohen about what a lousy lawyer he is, one who only “did small deals for me.” You know, little things like paying off porn stars and Playboy Bunnies hundreds of thousands of dollars in hush money, illegally using Trump Campaign funds to do so, violating not only election laws, but tax evasion statutes as well. Hardly worth mentioning, right?

Of course Trump alleged that Cohen acted on his own, stretching credulity to the breaking point when you realize that Mr. Cohen somehow would have to magically know which of Trump’s ex-lovers to pay off and when he did not know either Stormy Daniels or Karen McDougal before paying them off.

Unless you believe that Trump routinely filled in Cohen on all his extramarital affairs beginning in 2006, and which of them would potentially become a political liability 10 years in the future, since no one thus far has confirmed the sort of psychic abilities Michael Cohen would have needed to divine the names of Trump’s problem lovers without being told their identities and contact information.

No, Mr. Cohen’s innate talent seems to be self-preservation, and collecting all the information necessary to keep himself out of jail in case in case things go south. When New York State leveled fraud charges against him the day after his guilty pleas, Cohen embraced them with the same enthusiasm he displayed towards the federal charges, promising to sing for his freedom and letting everyone know he has a treasure trove of dirt on powerful people (again, no points awarded for guessing their identities).

And speaking of south, on Thursday the president went Full-Trump berserk on that Southern Gentleman he loves to torture, his own Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Somewhere along the line Trump somehow convinced himself that if Sessions had not recused himself from the Russian Collusion investigation that there would be no investigation, no scandal and no mortal peril to his presidency, once again confusing reality with his own invented scenarios.

He accused Sessions of “not taking control of the Justice Department,” and wondered during a televised interview “what kind of man is he?” For once Sessions fought back, forcefully rejecting Trump’s slander and defending his decision to recuse himself on legal grounds.

This naturally led to the speculation that Trump was all set to finally fire Sessions and appoint an Attorney General that will fire Robert Mueller and his immediate superior, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and bury the findings of the Russiagate investigation for good. And speaking of Trump’s enablers, his former Republican critics in the Senate, toadies like Lindsey Graham, immediately backed off their former position that firing Sessions and/or Mueller would be in their eyes an impeachable offense, leaving the rest of us to wonder what Russian Collusion dirt Mueller has on them.

Mueller countered Trump’s move by granting immunity for his crimes in exchange for testimony to one David Pecker, the publisher of the sensational entertainment tabloid The National Enquirer, who purchased the rights to Karen McDougal’s story for $150,000 and refused to publish it, or to allow Ms. McDougal to share the story of her and Trump’s six month-long love affair in 2006 with other news sources, or even mention it at all. The aptly named Mr. Pecker is supposedly sitting on “a vault full of damaging information on Donald Trump.” Let’s have little peek, shall we?

So there we have it, finally have some good news for Americans in the Trump Era, as Muller moved on Trump like a bitch, and is slowly closing the ring towards checkmate in a chess match that Trump still thinks is a game of checkers. Pass the popcorn, please…

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