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Humor, Politics, Trump Week in Review

WEEK #150 OF THE TRUMP ERA IN REVIEW, FRIDAY, 11/22/19 TO THURSDAY, 11/28/19


Quote of the Week; “Bullshit! Bullshit, Bullshit!” – Trump leading his crowd in a rousing chant at a MAGA Rally in Sunrise, Florida on Tuesday.

Trump opened Week #150 bright and early on Friday morning when he called up his favorite TV Trump Whisperers, the hosts of Fox & Friends, possibly the dumbest and most vacant trio on Cable TV, game show hosts in search of a lighting round. He was not calling in to be interviewed, however, or to make the case to the American people for one of his policies (Kidding. Again, that guy’s not President anymore.), but instead to deliver a stream of conscious rant that would have been more appropriate to deliver to a bartender at 3 in the morning. 

It was an embarrassing 53 practically uninterrupted minutes of whining, vicious insults, empty boasting and lies so breathtakingly stupid and crazy that even those fawning lickspittles were stunned at one point, asking him “are you sure about that?“ after he claimed an American-owned data company in the Midwest that counts the Republican National Committee as a client is in actuality a Ukrainian-owned company where the Clintons hid the Maltese Server that Rudy and his mysterious henchmen have been chasing all over Eastern Europe.

Speaking of Eastern Europe, he made up a vicious lie about Ambassador Marie Yovanovich refusing to hang his portrait in the Ukraine Embassy, the woman of stellar international reputation whose integrity stood in the way of Trump’s and Rudy Giuliani’s harebrained scheme to frame Ukraine and the Biden family, acting on information confirmed by all of our intelligence agencies to have originated in the Kremlin. 

But it gets better (far, far worse), as the week unfolded and the incontestable revelations kept pouring in. Leave it to those pesky enemy of the people journalists to ruin the party as they insisted on reporting these discoveries in real time just as they unfolded, without even the courtesy of giving the White House time to compose one of their trademark Alternative Explanations, including trying to explain away Secretary of State Mike Pompeo joining in Rudy Giuliani’s vicious smear campaign against one of his own top diplomats, the aforementioned Ms. Yovanovich.

The nation was, after all, going through Fionamania at that moment, after the sensational testimony of Dr. Fiona Hill, who not only demolished the Trump/Giuliani frame up, she detailed the Russian origins of this cockamamie swindle, and how and exactly where it was pitched to the right American useful idiots. The operation had all the earmarks of the sort of clumsy “counter narratives” (total pack of lies) common to Russian intelligence agencies that Russia experts like Dr. Hill on our National Security Council have been dealing with for decades. 

And speaking of all things Ukraine, Giuliani’s Ukrainian-born henchman, Lev Parnas, already indicted for election fraud and deeply implicated as the muscle in the Blame Ukraine con game, has offered to testify before Congress not only about representative Devin Nunes’ early involvement in the scheme, but about Giuliani himself. Trump’s response was to defend his use of the erratic Giuliani as his attorney even as he becomes a bigger and bigger liability, then calling the Counselor for Political Affairs at the Ukrainian Embassy, David Holmes, a liar for being a witness to the non-secure cell phone call between Trump and Ambassador Gordon Sondland in a Ukrainian restaurant, in spite of the fact that several other witnesses corroborated Mr. Holmes’ depiction of the call (as will Sondland’s cell phone bill also).

On Saturday, Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer threatened to resign over Trump’s interference in the Navy’s disciplinary decisions involving a Navy SEAL following his Court-Martial, stating that the usurpation of the military’s authority over its troops constitutes an unprecedented breach of the Code of Military Justice, an abuse of power and an erosion of the Chain of Command, the Holy Grail, and the essential operational creed of the military.

The next day the Secretary of Defense fired Secretary Spencer, and then we heard that Trump plans to campaign next year with (!) 3 accused war criminals. Apparently, President Trump prefers war criminals who don’t get captured. Sunday was a day we were to learn all manner of other interesting tidbits and new names being sucked into this Ukrainian Black Hole of a scandal.

Such as finding out that Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff who already admitted publicly to trading military aid for political dirt on Trump’s political rival and his son,  asking officials in the budget office whether there was a legal justification for withholding the military aid to Ukraine immediately following Trump’s July 25 call with the Ukrainian president. Such was the official panic following the call that an internal White House audit was launched immediately to investigate… wait for it… The White House!

Another Trump intimate, Representative Devin Nunes, was also at a loss to explain his actions after being implicated in Ukrainegate by Lev Parnas. It seems that Nunes met with the notorious former Ukraine attorney General Viktor Shokin, the corrupt prosecutor at the center of this false narrative. Shokin was indeed ousted from his job at the urging of Vice President Biden in 2016, but it was when Biden was speaking officially on behalf of not only the President of the United States, but the European Bank, the International Monetary Fund and every head of state in the European Union. It was an international, and ultimately successful diplomatic campaign to stabilize Ukraine by replacing a very destabilizing rogue prosecutor. 

In recent years and months, the disgraced Mr Shokin has falsely claimed he was ousted under pressure from Vice President Biden because he was investigating a company where his son Hunter Biden was a director. Unfortunately for Nunes, the facts and timing of Shokin’s claims prove them to be false. The investigation he mentioned was completed well before Hunter Biden joined the company in question, and the events in Ukraine relating to the Impeachment of Trump occurred after Shokin left office. He also jumped on board the Marie Yovanovich smear campaign by making allegations against the ambassador and publicly aligning himself with Donald Trump, a curious stance for a former prosecutor of a foreign nation who was forced from office for corruption.

None of which prevented Devin Nunes from seeking him out in 2018 with the assistance of Lev Parnas, something Nunes denied until he didn’t deny it anymore. When confronted by a reporter seeking an acceptable reason for his 2018 Ukraine trip and meeting with Alexander Shokin, Nunes tore a page out of his boss’s book and claimed he would gladly answer her questions (!) after Thanksgiving, but could not speak now because “90% of the media is totally corrupt.” So we never did get the name of the defense attorney Representative Nunes will be engaging very soon.

Then emails and documents were released by the State Department that support the testimony of State Department personnel stating that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was an active enabler of the Ukrainian pressure campaign at the center of the impeachment proceedings. On his direction, the State Department also sent members of Congress a deliberately misleading reply about Ms. Yovanovich’s departure after they asked about the unexplained pressure put upon her. Giuliani exchanged texts and emails on the topic with Pompeo, while Rudy and his associates encouraged news outlets favorable to the president to publicize these unsubstantiated claims about “Ms. Yovanovich’s disloyalty to Mr. Trump.” If only Hansel and Gretel had left as wide a trail of breadcrumbs as this bumbling gang, they could have saved themselves a lot of grief.

On Monday Lev Parnas made good on his threats to cooperate with authorities when he turned over documents, photos and videos pertaining to his recent activities in Ukraine and Washington to the House Intelligence Committee, at about the same time his former sidekick Igor Fruman was subpoenaed by Congress, presumably looking for more of the same.

There was a lot of backlash against the firing of the Secretary of the Navy on Monday, both from Congress and the military brass, on the day when war was re-declared in Syria as US troops and tanks prepared to mobilize against ISIS, the enemy that Trump swore he defeated before making an unbelievable mess of Syria last month, costing the lives of thousand of our Kurdish allies at the hands of our other ally, Turkey, handing large chunks of Syria to Turkey and Russia, and reincarnating ISIS from its ashes like some extremist Phoenix.

In Monday’s Presidential Court Hearing News (yes, that is a news category with this administration) a judge issued a passionate opinion saying that former White House Counsel Don McGhan is legally bound to obey the subpoenas of Congress and the courts, and has no implied or real presidential immunity, a far-reaching decisions affecting multiple potential witnesses in the Impeachment Hearings who are currently under orders from Trump not to cooperate with Congress. Court of Appeals Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s decision chastised Trump for assuming the powers of a king in a nation where no man is above the law, not even the president, a 124-page document leaving no stone unturned in demolishing Trump’s claims of umbrella executive privilege covering anyone he wishes to remain silent.

This issue will likely wind up in the Supreme Court very swiftly, as will the question of whether or not Trump can prevent the investigators who are building financial criminal cases against him from seeing his tax returns. The Court put a stay on turning over Trump’s taxes to the Southern District of New York District Attorney, an indication it will soon decide the issue once and for all, opening another potential Pandora’s Box the president has been nailing shut for over 3 years. Then we learned that Giuliani is also under criminal investigation by SDNY, the same office he once ran, for as yet unspecified crimes unrelated to Ukrainegate, and our Presidential Court Hearing News segment is complete.

Tuesday found Trump in the Oval Office for one of his favorite things, a signing ceremony complete with cameras, special guests and a proclamation in a fancy leather folder awaiting his scribblature in bold Sharpie. The event was the issuing of a Centennial Coin marking 100 years since women got the vote. All well and good and Women’s Suffrage is well worth celebrating. 

The “well and good” part, however, ended abruptly as soon as Trump opened his mouth, as is so often the case, this time when he boldly stated that “this should have happened a long time ago,” and “no other President would do this!” No one on hand had the heart to explain to the President how numbers and anniversaries work, or defend previous presidents for not jumping the gun on any premature 100th anniversaries.

Then Representative Jerome Nadler, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, invited Trump to participate in the next round of Impeachment Hearings starting the following week, when Congress debates Constitutional issues and draws up specific Articles of Impeachment. Nadler made it clear that Trump can retain legal counsel, call and question witnesses and testify himself if he so desires, an invitation so simple, transparent and fair that Trump was immediately suspicious. Nothing convinces Trump of another person’s bad intentions like being on the level. Where’s the angle in that?

We reopen the Presidential Court Hearing News briefly on Tuesday when a Federal Court reversed Trump’s Executive order rescinding Obama’s ban on oil drilling in Arctic Wildlife Reserves, then reopen the Resigned White House Employee File when we learned that 2 White House budget aides resigned in protest of the Ukraine money being held up “illegally,” potentially putting the budget employees in question in serious legal jeopardy.

Not a stellar Tuesday for Trump, so there was only one thing for him to do. Thats right… MAGA Rally time! This one was in Sunrise, Florida, where he raised the level of Presidential discourse to unprecedented heights by leading his minions in a chant of “Bullshit, Bullshit!” in response to the mounting evidence against him. Then he launched into crazy claims like “we beat Barack Hussein Obama and whatever the hell dynasty that is,” when he never ran against Obama, lied his ass off about whatever popped into his head, and repeated the threadbare Ukraine Frame-up Theory to the only people on Earth who don’t think he’s a crazy asshole, his beloved poorly educated.

And speaking of crazy assholes, you know that friend of yours who photoshops his head on other bodies for a laugh on Facebook? Trump gave us all a good laugh on Wednesday when he Tweeted an image of himself as Rocky Balboa, perhaps to illustrate how tough he is by signing legislation designed to irritate China by imposing sanctions on Chinese nationals responsible for the attacks on Democracy in Hong Kong, an actual incident of Trump doing something right for a change, even if he does it for all the wrong reasons.

Then Trump began the process of getting to not know Rudy Giuliani anymore, even as Giuliani backed off his public claim of having “a vault full of insurance” if he were to get arrested, presumably incriminating material on Trump that would insure him the pardon that has eluded Manafort, Cohen, Stone and all the other imprisoned Trump associates. It seems that while Rudy was working for the president in Ukraine, he sought payments of hundreds of thousands of dollars from multiple Ukrainian businesses, involving obscure and undefined “financial deals,” as he earnestly urged Ukraine to investigate the Bidens for soliciting unearned payments from Ukrainian businesses. 

Trump is making the usual “I hardly know him” noises about Rudy, pointing out “He had other clients in Ukraine” and “Rudy’s a warrior, he was operating on his own.” Whether or not this particular warrior is willing to fall on his sword for Trump remains to be seen. One day some brilliant Psychiatrist is going to win a Nobel prize figuring out this Telescoping Guilt Syndrome, or whatever it is they call it that drives Trump and Giuliani to accuse their rivals of the exact things that they do, often before anyone else even brings it up. That’s like accusing a guy of tunneling into a bank vault before anyone discovers anything is missing.

Trump weighed in on Representative Nadler’s invitation to participate in the Impeachment hearings  with (what else?) a boldface lie when he said he is considering it, something that will happen when Mexico writes him a check for his wall. Speaking of Mexico, President Obrador condemned Trump’s plan to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups, calling it a flimsy excuse to engage in Military Interventionism, something his country would oppose with deadly force.

Then that growing liability in a suit, Ambassador Gordon Sondland, was accused of 3 instances of sexual assault, pretty much guaranteeing his imminent exit from public employment, putting one more degree of separation between him and Donald Trump.

To end Week #150 of the Trump Era, Trump did his second real presidential thing of the week when he make a surprise Thanksgiving visit to the troops in Afghanistan, then announced he was reopening peace  talks with the Taliban. The fact that there are exactly no plans in place or even under consideration to reopen these talks took everyone by surprise, not only the Taliban, but his entire Administration and military too, all of whom expect the whole idea to be forgotten when tomorrow’s scandals hit the headlines, like the news that hit on Thanksgiving Day that Trump knew of the existence of the whistleblower before he released the Ukrainian Military aid, putting the kibosh on several of his lies about what he knew and when he know it. 

While the nation sat down to our Thanksgiving dinners with our near and dear ones, that familiar phrase from the 1970s echoed in the back of our minds, “What did the president know and when did he know it?” As Dr. Hill said, “And here we are.”

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