05DEC2018 – Grab-Bag of Interesting News Items

Plenty of interesting things are going on in the world.  Apparently  Never-Trumping isn’t as popular or lucrative as some might have thought.  The Weekly Standard, led by Bill Kristol and sticking to his NeverTrump platform seems to be going out of business.  Well, it’s hard to generate any sympathy for them.  I used to read their magazine about fifteen years ago but they never seemed interested in forwarding the goals of the conservative movement they claimed to represent.  Farewell Bill.

The Trump haters are starting to whine that Mueller’s investigation doesn’t seem to have much to show for all the blather that’s been done over the last couple of years.  It’s still too soon to tell but I’ll take it as a good sign if the true believers are feeling short-changed.

And word from France is that the yellow vest movement is getting bigger than just a revolt against the idiotic carbon tax on fuel.  It sounds like a full-fledged populist revolt is imminent.

These three news items are relatively unrelated.  But what they share is a pain for the Left.  The items about the Weekly Standard and the Yellow Vest revolt shows everyday people unwilling to support the leftist narrative.  Most conservatives aren’t going to pay to read Bill Kristol trash President Trump.  And the working and middle class French aren’t going to pay through the nose to support climate-change propaganda.

And the angst about the Mueller investigation shows that those in the know, know that there’s no there there.  (See what I did there?)

I’m still waiting to see if any swamp draining gets done this week.  I guess, to be fair, I can give them a week to make up for the GHWB funeral circus to end.  But if nothing comes of it I’ll be sorely disappointed in the President over what I’ll take to be a bluffing Tweet.

Sanity Check

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve allowed my enthusiasm to become unbridled.  Everything is good, the sun is bright and shiny and I’m whistling a happy tune.  All’s right with the world in this best of all possible worlds where Donald Trump is King.  And that tells me that it’s time that I should be, in the inimitable words of Fagin “reviewing the situation.”  What could go wrong?

Let’s walk through it.  The Mid-Term Elections are upon us.  The whole Blue Wave scare is just that, a scare tactic meant to produce FUD.  So, far from retaking the Senate, odds are very good that the Republicans will add at least a couple of seats and very likely a few more.  But the House is a very different matter.  Redistricting in Pennsylvania and elsewhere and retiring Republican incumbents mean that there are plenty of races that could go to the Democrats.  So, while there may not be any groundswell of Democrat sentiment it’s entirely possible that the Democrats could take the House by a slim margin.

And although he has been quiet for the last couple of weeks, the Mueller investigation may very well be sitting on a bombshell either of a direct or indirect nature to the Russia investigation.  He may be waiting to try and do maximum damage to the House races and thereby allow a Democrat House to vote for impeachment against the President.

Finally, there’s the X factor.  Things have been going along swimmingly.  The economy is growing at a phenomenal rate and all of the President’s trade and foreign affairs initiatives have been amazingly successful.  What if something changes?  Basically, the X factor is anything big going south.  Let’s say the stock market crashes.

Now, anyone of these three events is a major problem.  Losing the House or fighting a Mueller or dealing with a Wall Street meltdown is a serious situation.  But let’s assume the worst.  Let’s assume that a Mueller bombshell causes a Blue Wave that scares the Stock Market into a crash.

Well, that’s not such a bright and shiny day anymore is it?  In fact, that’s almost a replay of 2008.  The only difference is that the 2020 election would still be two years away and the President would be Donald Trump instead of George W. Bush.  And while I don’t trivialize the severity of such an onslaught I still think that who is performing damage control is more important than the exact details of the crisis.

And one more thing is different.  I am no longer invested in trying to win over the other side.  If they already have the numerical advantage in the voting population then the sooner I know the better.  Donald Trump has given us a breather with his success.  There’s even a chance that he can put together a coalition of people who want the traditional American way of life to survive.  But it’s far from a certainty that he can pull it off.  But I’ve come to terms with this situation.  I no longer depend on us winning.  In fact, adapting to a permanent underground status would be almost easier.  At least it would solidify my survival tactics and start me moving in the direction needed to protect myself from the consequences of that sadder but less uncertain world.

So that’s the worst case.  And you know what.  I’m still good.  I can deal with that.  I’ll adapt and thrive.  I’ll help those I care about to adapt and thrive.  And that’s the worst case.  Anything lesser will be even easier.  I’ll be even better.  So as far as my sanity check, my enthusiasm is still unbridled.

Bring it.

My Labor Day Weekend Prognostications

Several months back President Trump stated that Mueller’s investigation must end before September in order to avoid interfering with the midterms.  Well, there has been a little bit of back and forth about September 7th versus September 1st, but for all intents and purposes here we are.  There are all kinds of rumbling in the media.  The most tempting headlines come from politico and the New York Times so I skipped looking at those.  Instead I’ll use my own marvelous logic to analyze the situation.

Tomorrow is September 1st and it’s a Saturday.  Saturday is typically the perfect day to do something that you don’t want maximally covered in the news.  What better day to fire Mueller!  Do I think this will happen?  I give it a 20% likelihood.

What I do hear, is that Giuliani is compiling a report on the deficiencies of the Mueller investigation.  He is going to highlight the partisan decisions in the choice of targets.  This will allow him to characterize the investigation as biased and therefore illegitimate.  And this I assume will be the basis for pulling the plug on Mueller.  I figure it’ll take at least a few weeks to unfold this little passion play.  But I don’t imagine once it gets started that it’ll have to be much beyond September 15th before some definitive action will occur.  My take on this is that it’s a 50%  likelihood.  It’s as likely as not to happen within the next two weeks.

And finally, what is the likelihood that nothing will happen until after the election.  Well, previously I would have said very likely.  But I think things seem to be shifting.  That is reflected in a 30% likelihood.  I think Mueller has done a lot of damage and seems to be intent on poisoning the mid-terms.  President Trump recently said that Jeff Sessions will remain until after the mid-terms.  I no longer think that’s true.  I think it’s as likely as not that he’ll fire Sessions and begin a counter-attack against Mueller and company before the mid-terms.

Now what would that look like?  I assume that firing Mueller, Sessions and Rosenstein will be just the tip of the iceberg.  He must appoint a prosecutor to start actions against all the co-conspirators.  He must begin proceedings to appoint replacements in the Justice Department and FBI.  He must provide public information to the US citizenship and he must do all this without panicking the cowardly sheep in the Congress.

So, all of that’s fine.  Good stuff.  But look at the risk associated.  The screeching from the media could be enough to throw the mid-terms to the Dems, even the Senate.  So this is an enormous risk.  Then why do I think it’s more likely than not that he will move before the midterms?  Because Mueller is going to come out with a late October, maybe even early November surprise to absolutely sway the election.  And I think Trump is a risk taker.  I think he will roll the dice to prevent Mueller from calling the shots.

We definitely live in interesting times.  If you have an opinion, leave it in the comments.

Timing is Everything – Or So They Say

Previously I have alluded to the theory that President Trump was playing a very high stakes game of chicken with Robert Mueller.  Extending that theory to all the latest news on all the various swamp creatures being heard from in the last few days, I now think that the November Election is the crucial event around which all these machinations revolve.  And I think there are only a few scenarios that are likely.

 

  • President Trump and Robert Mueller reach the election day with nothing but more of the same type of low level revelations and rhetoric. Immediately following the election President Trump will terminate the Special Counsel mandate.  This will be followed by one of two actions:
    1. Mueller does nothing and slinks back into the shadows
    2. Mueller leaks some bombshell revelation and gives a press conference. A firestorm ensues.
  • President Trump doesn’t wait for the mid-terms but terminates Mueller and goes public with a series of allegations against the swamp and begins a series of indictments against them. This scenario would need to happen fairly soon to allow the public time to absorb the information he wants to get out before the November elections.
  • Mueller doesn’t wait but goes for an October surprise. He subpoenas President Trump in October and leaks damaging information to the press.  President Trump fires him and a fire storm ensues.
  • Mueller ends his investigation in early September as the President wants. No follow up action from either side.

These are my guesses as the most likely scenarios for where we are heading.  Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

Trump vs the Silly Season

Dramatis Personae: President Trump – (PT); Vice President Pence

Scene 1- 8am White House West Wing; Oval Office

 

PT – Mike.  Mike.  PENCE!!!!  Where the hell are you?

VPP – Right here Mr. President.

PT – Mike, I can’t take it anymore.  That rat Cohen talking to Mueller is the end.  I’ve got to pull the plug on that stiff.

VPP – Mr. President, that could be a disaster for the mid-terms.

PT – I don’t care.  I’ve had it with this nonsense.  Once I fire Mueller I’ll have him indicted six ways to Sunday for all kinds of crap we’ve already got on him and then I’ll be able to get going on important stuff like that bill to move the UN from New York to Newark.  It’s such a subtle difference in pronunciation that no one will notice until the carjackings start piling up.

VPP – But Jeff Sessions said he’d resign if you fire Mueller.

PT -Who cares?  He’s utterly useless.  I had to order him to discontinue Comey’s phone plan four times before he finally got around to it.  Besides I’ve got a great new Attorney General lined up already.  And he’s between gigs so we’ll get him cheap.  Steven Seagal.

VPP – But Mr. President, isn’t Steven Seagal under investigation for rape?

PT – He’s assured me that it’s fake news.  Besides he was a sheriff down in Texas so he knows about the law.  With him as the AG we’ll finally start cleaning out the swamp.  We’ve discussed what kind of prosecutions we can get against CNN reporters who try to ask questions without being picked by me to speak.  He figures that a ten-year sentence would be fair.

VPP – Wait, no!  You can’t do that.  Freedom of the Press is in the Bill of Rights.

PT – This has nothing to do with Freedom of the Press.  It’s about jumping ahead in a line.  No one likes a line jumper.  The American people hate a line jumper and they will applaud the punishing of line jumpers.  I’m hoping I can get that worm Jim Acosta to talk out of turn.  Seagal says he’ll personally make the arrest by body slamming Acosta to the ground and tossing him out of the ring, I mean the Press Briefing Room.

VPP – Mr. President, please trust me, there is no court in the country that would even consider prosecuting reporters for shouting out a question out of turn at a press conference.

PT – Mike that’s just the kind of defeatist thing that JEB! or Romney would say.  Now Seagal is due here in a couple of hours so be ready to brainstorm with us.

VPP – But I’m sure he’s about to be indicted.

PT – Fine.  I’ll just pardon him and we can move on.  Now we’re gonna want to decide whether to just fire the whole FBI or also terminate all those alphabet soup agencies, you know, the CIA, the NSA, blah, blah, blah.  You know clear out all those losers.

VPP – Mr. President, that’s impossible.  Those agencies are critical parts of the law enforcement and security apparatus.

PT – Mike, you sound a little hysterical.  I think you should take a few weeks off and see if this job is for you.  If you’re not up to the challenge I hear that Chuck Norris is between gigs, except for that infomercial for the exercise machine with Christy Brinkley and those other old losers.  We could probably get him cheap and he could help Seagal drag Acosta down to the lock-up.  I figure they could even rough him up a good bit before handing him over to the police.  Acosta has said some pretty mean things about me in the past.  It would serve him right if they tuned him up a little bit.

VPP – Sir, this is insane.

PT – Look Mike I’m bored.  Something’s got to give.  Either you figure out how to end this Mueller thing right away or I’m bringing in Seagal.

VPP – Very well, Mr. President.  Fire Mueller and accept Jeff Sessions’ resignation.  I guess we can trust to your luck to get us through the ensuing Impeachment Trial.

PT – That’s the spirit Mike.  After all Bill Clinton was impeached and it didn’t stop him did it?

VPP – Wow.  That’s a stunning sentiment.

PT – Cheer up Mike.  If worst comes to worst you’ll be President.  That won’t be so bad will it?

VPP – Actually Mr. President, after serving with you for the last year or so, I’m not sure I want to be President anymore.

PT – Suit yourself.  If Norris isn’t available there’s always Dolph Lundgren.  I hear he’s between gigs and we could probably get him cheap.  Oh wait he’s a russky that wouldn’t look good.

VPP – Actually he’s Swedish.  He just played a Russian in Rocky IV.

PT – Whatever.  Now get me Sly Stallone on the phone.  I hear he’s between gigs and we could get him to be FBI Director for almost nothing.

VPP – Oy vey.

Trump Takes the Next Step to Clean Out the Justice Department. More Chicken or the End Game?

The Conservative Treehouse has a pretty thorough treatment of what President Trump’s order to investigate political motivations in the DOJ’s Trump campaign spying effort means.  I have to say I thought Trump and Mueller were playing chicken with each other.  Maybe we’ve moved past that.  Maybe this now has to be resolved by someone going to prison.  Or several somebodies.  Unless Mueller has a smoking gun (which seems very unlikely) it looks like McCabe, Comey and company are about to be charged with criminal charges.  The thing that occurs to me is that at some point somebody is going to sing to save his own neck.  None of these guys wants to go to prison.  My guess is McCabe but I am only looking in from the dark outside.  Maybe it’ll be Comey or Bruce Ohr or Peter Strzok.  But whoever sings first will get the best deal.  We live in interesting times.  Let’s hope they don’t get much more interesting than they already are.

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/05/20/former-cia-director-john-brennan-quotes-cicero-while-doj-expands-ig-fisa-abuse-investigation/

 

 

07MAY2018 – American Greatness Post of the Day – Judge’s Warning in Manafort Case Could Spell Doom for Mueller By Julie Kelly

 

Federal Justice T S Ellis III is throwing serious sand into the gears of Mueller’s Manafort prosecution.  According to him Mueller is basically abusing his authority in a transparent ploy to leverage Trump’s associates as witnesses against him for basically any criminal activity regardless of relevancy to the Russian Collusion investigation.  Julie Kelly discusses how this could be the beginning of the end for Mueller’s “trumped up investigation.”  No pun intended?

https://amgreatness.com/2018/05/04/judges-warning-in-manafort-case-could-spell-doom-for-mueller/

 

Help Me Out Here

Over the course of the last year, the whole Mueller thing has been such a mystery to me that I confess (much to my shame as a pundit) that I have no clue how this whole thing ends.  I would appreciate anyone’s honest opinion on this crucial topic.  Pick as many as seem appropriate and if I’ve left out your favorite feel free to write it in.  The voice of the people is the voice of God.  Have your say.

 

Trump vs the Bad Boy Image

Dramatis Personae: President Trump – (PT); Vice President Pence – (VPP); Robert Mueller – (RM); Chuck Schumer – (CS), Melania Trump – (MT)

Scene 1 – White House Oval Office 8am Monday, President Trump is standing at the doorway shouting in his typical way.

 

PT – Mike. Mike, Mike!  Pence, where the hell are you?

VPP – Right here Mr. President! Now, how can I be of assistance?

PT – Mike, have you seen my popularity numbers? They’re through the roof.

VPP – Well, Rasmussen says you are up 5 points to 50%.

PT – Exactly. Don’t you see what this means?  They loved the porn star thing.  I’ve got to do something to capitalize on this.

VPP – Sir, didn’t that working over the First Lady gave your face and other areas suffice to deter you from any further extra-marital activities?

PT – Relax, Holy Roller, I’m not talking about the skirts. I mean real fun.  Don’t you see?  This 5% must be men all over America who never have a bit of fun.  They’re living vicariously through me.  Whenever I do something that they wish they could do but can’t, they get a kick out of it and like me even better.  So all I have to do is have a little fun and my poll numbers will be stratospheric.

VPP – And you don’t see how this can go wrong?

PT – Exactly.

VPP – Very well, I’ll call the legal team in today and have them start working up the cover stories.

PT – That’s the spirit little guy. Well, I’m off to give Chuck Schumer a hot foot.

VPP – God speed Mr. President, God speed.

 

Scene 2 – Same week; Up flash a series of whirling headlines on fake newspaper front pages; “Trump puts whoopee cushion under Pope,” “Trump teepees Jerry Brown’s Earth Day Observance,” Trump gives Shia LeBeof an atomic wedgey,” “Trump suspected of giving Robert DeNiro double noogies and a severe Indian Burn.”

 

Scene 3 – Inside Chuck Schumer’s Senate Minority Leader’s Office – Schumer behind his desk and Robert Mueller standing above him looking tall, grave and thin.

 

CS – I tell you Mueller you’ve got to put a stop to this reign of terror that Trump is inflicting on us. Nancy Pelosi would be inconsolable if she weren’t already completely incoherent.

RM – Mr. Senate Minority Leader Schumer, what can I do? None of these offenses in and of itself rises to the level of treason.   Only the House can bring impeachment charges up and the republicans, as gutless as they are, won’t do it because they’re more afraid of getting a swirlee from Trump than even of getting voted out.

CS – Well, I simply can’t take this anymore (beginning to tear up and sniffle), it’s too much.

RM – Please Mr. Senate Minority Leader Schumer, pull yourself together. I’ll do what I can.

CS – (sniff, sniff) Thanks Bob.

 

Scene 4 – White House Oval Office 8am Thursday, President Trump is leaning on his desk smiling and talking to the Vice President.

 

PT – Yeah Mike, my poll numbers are hovering in the low nineties. Even the Democrats are loving this stuff.  Look  (holding up some underwear) Maureen Dowd even sent me her laudary.

VPP – Oh, Mr. President, now really!

PT – Relax, Aunt Amelia, I had them steam cleaned and checked for polonium.

VPP – But where will this all end, sir?

PT – Who cares? I’m thinking of having the CIA kidnap Kim Jong-un, shave his head and paint it blue and tie him up naked inside the girl’s locker room.  And next week me and Putin are gonna steal Trudeau’s lunch money and tell him to stop hitting himself.

(just then the phone rings, President Trump puts it on speaker)

PT – Trump here, go!

MT – (her voice coming over the speaker) Schmoopey, what have you been up to this week?

PT – Nothing Schmoopey, I swear! That Dowd skank sent that laundry over to set me up, I swear!

MT – No Schmoopey, I don’t mean the Dowd panties. Those are not your fault.  I mean why have you been mean to the other children?  Crying Chuck’s Mom was over and she was very sad.  She said you were mean to her little boy and she wants you to stop.  And all the other moms called up and said the same thing.

PT – Schmoopey, you don’t understand. The world is a vicious horrible place where only the strong survive.  It’s kill or be killed.

MT – Well if you’re not going to play nice with the other kids then you’re not getting a story tonight.

PT – Oh, sure they tell on me and I get in trouble. You don’t think Cryin’ Chuck does bad stuff?  And what about Crooked Hillary and Dirty Bill?  Why don’t they get in trouble?

MT – Because they’re not my Schmoopey and they don’t get the best stories in the world.

PT – Fine I’ll stop. But ya know, now I probably will fall into the fifties in the polls again.  And the democrats will win the mid-terms.

MT – No they won’t. You are the best President Schmoopey.  You know you will win anyway.  Just play nice.

PT – Okay fine. Now that you’ve embarrassed me in front of Mike can I go?

MT – Oh, hi Michael Pence I did not know that you were there.

VPP – That’s okay Mrs. Trump, always a pleasure.

MT – Goodbye Mike, goodbye Schmoopey. (hangs up).

PT – Alright Mike. I guess back to the drawing board.  How about we just abolish the IRS?