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General Interest, Politics, Trump Week in Review

WEEK #153 OF THE TRUMP ERA IN REVIEW, FRIDAY, 12/13/19 TO THURSDAY, 12/19/19


Quote of The Week: “Guilty on both counts.” ~ Reality

For once it can safely be said that Week #153 of the Trump Era will stand out as one of the most memorable of Trump Weeks, no matter what new outrageous stunt he pulls next week to distract attention from today’s scandal. For once, and for always, Donald Trump was impeached. 

Trump’s lifelong strategy has been, in a crude nutshell; doing outrageous and selfish shit, then doing worse shit so people forget about that shit, then doing something even more fucked-up to make you forget about the last thing he fucked up, and so on and so on, forever one step ahead of his creditors and a reckoning. But even for a master of disaster like Trump who thrives on the chaos he creates, he was finally found guilty of at least some of his bullshit in the most public forum on Earth, only the third Impeached American president.

He will of course be swiftly acquitted by Republican Senators who, instead of being the Constitutionally-mandated impartial jurors in a Senate Trial they are bound by oath to be, have already publicly joined President’s Trump’s defense team and pledged full cooperation with the White House, 5 days before the actual vote to impeach. On Friday Mitch Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate (the jury) would act in (!) full coordination with White House Counsel and the President (the defendant), in keeping with the Trump Administration policy to throw a monkey wrench into the works of every engine of democracy we have, from that antiquated “nation of laws” bit, to the confusing notion of “separation of powers,” to challenging the traditional definition of “giving aid and comfort to the enemy.” Historians have racked their brains coming up with a precedent for an American President inviting 3 countries to interfere in our elections, but have so far come up empty.

Week #153 led off on Friday with news of the results of Trump’s attempted enlistment of one of those countries dominating not only Congress and the world media, but the White House as well when Rudy Giuliani reported back to the White House on his “Ukraine investigations” (move over, Inspector Clouseau!) just in time to add rocket fuel to the fire, giving a grateful nation something to look forward to on the weekend political shows when he spills the beans on the latest developments of the hare-brained scheme on which the Congressional Impeachment Committee voted that day to send 2 articles of impeachment to the House of Representatives for final vote on the coming Wednesday, which of course was when McConnell acquitted Trump.

And what horrible Trump scandal would be complete without some poor foreign leader happening to be visiting the White House at the time and serving as a prop in a Trump diatribe? This time it was President Mario Abdo Benítez of Paraguay sitting in stunned silence beside Trump on Friday, listening to him lie a mile a minute, gamely enduring his rite of passage as a world leader, and who will now be able to trade wacky Trump stories with other Heads of State at the next UN cocktail party. 

Trump did act decisively to correct the controversial results of his Ukraine phone call, by (!) sharply reducing the number of people allowed to listen in on the President’s phone conversations or even to read transcripts of them, those pesky know-it-all “experts and analysts” always raining on Trump’s clown parade with their “laws” and so-called “facts.” 

The President also had reason to celebrate another 6-month reprieve in the criminal investigations into his business activities in New York State and in Congress when the Supreme Court agreed to hear his case that his tax and banking records are off-limits to Congress or criminal investigators, leaving us to wonder what crazy shit he will come up with next June if he loses in the Supreme Court.

On Saturday, while Trump was attending the Army Navy Game and promising to withdraw 4,000 troops from Afghanistan, Senator Lindsey Graham joined Mitch McConnell in publicly sabotaging any chance for a fair trial of Trump in the Senate with gems like “I’m not pretending to be fair” and “I will do everything in my power to put a stop to this.” That’s like the 2 grumpy old guys with bad prostates in the Juror Pool suddenly being given the power to put a swift end to their jury duty by refusing to see any evidence or hear any witness testimony before any trial gets underway. Case pre-dismissed! 

On Sunday we find the President maniacally Tweeting about Speaker Pelosi’s “teeth falling out” and other bratty adolescent ravings best left to professional psychoanalysts to interpret, which would be very funny if not for the fact that our entire government is run by Twitter these days. And speaking of adolescents, the First Lady announced an exception to her Anti-Bullying Campaign when she decided it was okay to Be Worst to 16 year-old Greta Thunberg because she crossed borders, made speeches and stole her husband’s Time Magazine cover.

Monday morning was another step in the impeachment process when the House Judiciary Committee released its 658-page Impeachment Report detailing Trump’s crimes, which were boiled down to 2 charges, Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress, which, after 3 years of this nonstop tornado of crimes, 17 accusations of sexual assault, a fraudulent charity and a university shut down as criminal enterprises, and heinous acts like locking children in cages, those 2 charges seem tame in comparison to the reality of President Donald J. Trump, in the eyes of many a criminal bully who has soiled the office and our nation.

And speaking of being a bully, Trump decided to wax eloquent about next years’s Presidential Debates, first threatening to skip them altogether, then declaring that as a sitting President he gets to set the rules for the debate and the conditions for his participation, explaining that the format last time around was designed to make him look bad. You know, fact-based policy questions that played right into Hillary Clinton’s bag of dirty tricks, “knowing stuff.” We can only speculate on what conditions Trump would set for his participation against next year’s Democratic opponent but, as usual, the jokes write themselves.

And speaking of jokes, Old Reliable Rudy Giuliani picked Monday to publicly admit he needed to get Ukrainian Ambassador Marie Yovanavitch fired and that he kept Trump constantly up to date on his campaign to dump her until the President summarily fired her for having the nerve to question a rogue interloper screwing up foreign policy by trying to frame the nation of Ukraine for Russia’s 2016 election crimes and 2 Americans for imaginary crimes that kept changing week by week. “I believed that I needed Yovanavitch out of the way,” Giuliani told a reporter. “She was going to make the investigations difficult for everybody.” 

On Tuesday we dealt with one of the remnants of the Mueller Report as defendant Rick Gates was sentenced to only 45 days in jail and 3 years probation as a reward for his extensive cooperation with investigators building criminal cases that have thus far seen a steady stream of Trump associates sentenced to prison terms, with General Michael Flynn scheduled to be sentenced by a less sympathetic judge on January 28, a judge who has repeatedly accused Flynn of all manner of dastardly deeds and ordered him to cooperate fully or pay the price with a long prison sentence.

A $1.4 trillion budget deal was passed that day as well, giving Federal workers family leave but chipping away at workers’ health care and adding to the nation’s debt with another astronomical but non-threatening Republican budge deficit, as opposed to the catastrophically irresponsible Democrat budget deficits the Republicans claim they were were elected to erase.

The Trump Administration also rejected the resolution of both Houses of Congress that recognized the Turkish killing of 1.5 million Armenians during Word War 1 to be an act of genocide, so as not to ruffle the feathers of Turkish President Recep Erdoğan, who continues his nation’s 100 year-old policy of denying a universally-recognized historical event.

Then George Conway, conservative Trump critic and the husband of close Trump aide Kellyanne Conway, announced the launch of Project Lincoln, a Republican Super Pac dedicated to defeating Donald Trump in the 2020 Election, at about the same time Trump was clearly illustrating why he needs to be removed by again endorsing Rudy Giuliani’s clandestine mission to Ukraine, which would be a hilarious piece of comedic performance art if not for the fact that Trump and Giuliani fully expect their crazy narrative to replace the reality that just got his fat ass impeached.

And speaking of attempts at forcing fantasy to replace reality, Trump sent a frantic last-minute 6-page letter to Speaker Pelosi demanding she put a stop to the scheduled vote on the 2 Articles of Impeachment in the House on Wednesday. It is a remarkable document, long enough to showcase most of Trump’s most striking character flaws and exhibiting all the presidential decorum of a wounded beast blindly lashing out at everything it sees. Nancy Pelosi immediately released the letter publicly, calling it “sick and disturbing” in a masterful exercise of understatement.

Trump’s Dubious Date With Destiny arrived on Wednesday as scheduled in spite of his frenetic letter, and once again the nation was treated to a whole day of partisan bickering and hallucinatory repetitions of the Giuliani Charade on national TV before the inevitable vote to impeach The 45th President of The United States for High Crimes and Misdemeanors on Wednesday evening.

Meanwhile, Trump, if not safe from history and the permanent stain of Impeachment, was at least safely ensconced in his Cocoon For A Day, a political rally in Battle Creek Michigan, called  “The Merry Christmas Rally,” where Trump surprised his crowd by instead celebrating Festivus a few days early with a marathon session of The Airing of Grievances, treating his loyal base to 2 hours of rambling attacks on everyone from (!) dishwashers to Democrats to a beloved dead Michigan Congressman who he literally consigned to Hell because his widow voted to impeach him (but no quid pro quo sought, right?).

Only for a moment did he seem to remember where he was when he called upon his personal mastery of water imagery by saying “I support the Great Lakes. They’re beautiful, they’re big, very deep,” (no argument to made against that statement!) and that they would be (?) “fully funded, $300 million for the Great Lakes,” never explaining what that figure represented, or if he was even aware of its meaning beyond the tossing around of astronomical numbers for their own sake to impress an audience hard-pressed to rub two nickels together.

Also on this history-making Wednesday, the same Republican-dominated Senate that vowed to acquit him before his trial even begins tempered their support of Trump by voting to prohibit this petulant man/child President from withdrawing from NATO without Congressional approval after his disturbing behavior in last week’s NATO summit, and to toughen Trump’s tepid Russia sanctions. While not wanting to lose the president who makes their calculating treachery look good by comparison, they are unwilling to grant him too much leeway or he will destroy even the things they don’t want destroyed. See, controlling the monster is always the problem with creating a monster, as Dr. Frankenstein so famously found out on his way to Morality Tale immortality.

Thursday, the final day of Week #153 of The Trump Era, was one of smoke clearing, excuse-making and straw-grasping in America, while the architect of so much of America’s current troubles was giving his annual end-of-year news conference 5,000 miles away in Russia.

President Vladimir V. Putin calmly parroted Mr. Trump’s Kremlin-provided talking points, mocking Wednesday’s impeachment vote as a partisan effort by Democrats to reverse their defeat in the 2016 presidential election, and listing several other key Republican/Russian counterarguments to the damning testimony against Trump at his impeachment hearings.

Both Trump and Putin are continuing 2016’s foreign assault on America’s presidential elections, never having even paused in their ongoing efforts to dominate American politics for the benefit of Russia (and now at the expense of Ukraine), according to every intelligence and law-eforcement agency in America, while Trump’s protector and ally, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, refuses to pass existing legislation to designed to put an end to foreign meddling in our elections, in essence asking Moscow Mitch to bite that hand that feeds him.

Not only are Republicans relying on Russia to help win the 2020 election, they are aggressively eliminating hundreds of thousands of Democratic voters from voting rolls in swing states, and supporting individual States in their decision to skip the Republican primary process to prevent more reasonable Republic candidates (who knew there were any left?) from challenging their party’s own Frankenstein’s monster for the 2020 nomination.

Trump has one last phony Exoneration Card to play as The Justice Department awaits the release of something called “The Durham Report,” another investigation into the investigation of the investigation into investigation of the president’s crimes, this one commissioned by Attorney General William “The Skeptic” Bar, scrutinizing the Russia investigation that his own Inspector general’s report just said was completely legit a week ago.

Not good enough for Barr, who had now rejected the findings of his own Department of Justice, Congress, the FBI and every other intelligence and law enforcement agency in the country, and won’t be happy until one of his minions captures that unicorn and drags it back to Washington in chains. Towards that end, we are hearing rumors of a prominent Trump critic being the target of Barr’s attack, the former C.I.A. director John O. Brennan, who is supposedly being implicated in wrongdoing concerning how the intelligence community assessed Russia’s 2016 election interference.

When the Durham report inevitably falls flat and fails to exonerate Trump, Barr may have to commission yet another Big Foot Hunt, maybe even enlisting OJ Simpson’s crack team of investigators assigned to his hunt for the “real killers” of his wife and her friend. The options are unlimited when you have the resources of the United States Department of Justice to write your screenplays, um, er, that us to say … indictments for you.

All that said, Impeach Navidad!

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