Saturday, June 10, 2017

The End of the Beginning

"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end.
But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."
Winston S. Churchill
Leave it to Winnie. He had a quote for everything!
When I got the news in the wee small hours of Election Day that Donald Trump would be the next president of the United States, I predicted on this site that his administration would implode eventually. What surprised me more than any thing was the speed of that implosion. The way I figured, it would all start to come apart by the end of the summer. As it turned out, the clown car burst into flames at the starting gate, with flaming clowns running about the race track in every and all directions.
Ain't politics the livin' end???
One of my many guilty little pleasures is my daily check on what is happening over at Fox Noise. I equate it to watching an episode of Three's Company. It's so mind-bendingly awful that it can be an amusing experience - as it was on the morning after Jim Comey's riveting testimony in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Not to my astonishment, the hosts of that fest of misinformation and mediocrity were besides themselves over Trump's "vindication" (a word they actually used). It shouldn't surprise anyone the complete and utter cluelessness of so huge a segment of Idiot Nation when so many of them rely on Fox as their principle source of news and information.

The question being asked by those who bother to pay attention to these things is, quite simply: Why on earth would the Donald summon the head of the FBI to his office and attempt to put the old kibosh on an investigation that involved one of the heads of his own campaign? Is it arrogance or abject stupidity? It's got to be one or the other and the answer does not bode well for any of us. Incredibly, in addition to the knuckleheads over at Fox, Trump still has his defenders. The lamest defense of all was cheerfully offered yesterday by House Speaker Paul Ryan. In what has to be the funniest justification of sheer corruption heard on Capital Hill in a long time, Ryan told  the assembled press that the president has not been "steeped in protocol".


Richard Nixon resigned from the presidency exactly a week before my sixteenth birthday. If you had presented this same scenario to me at that moment, I could have told you that this was, indeed, a slam-dunk case of obstruction of justice. It's almost as if he's a not-too-bright fourth-grader who's never attended a party before and doesn't understand that pissing in the punch bowl is not a particularly good example of proper etiquette.

The GOP's desperation to deflect attention from the scandal that will eventually bring all of them down is almost endearing in its pathos. One of the things in  Jim Comey's testimony concerned a little matter regarding former attorney general, Loretta Lynch. When he remarked that, at one point in the investigation of Hillary Clinton's e-mail, she instructed him to no longer refer to as an "investigation" and that, henceforth, he was to refer to it as a "a matter". When the right wing SCREAM MACHINE got wind of this tasty little nugget, they went into freak out mode. This, they're trying to make us believe, is the real scandal! Nice try. While there might be some minor ethical issues with Ms. Lynch's action, it was not an obstruction of justice. She didn't tell Comey that she hoped he would "let go" of the inquiry. The changing of a verb does not a scandal make. Sorry.

All the king's horses and all the king's men
couldn't put Trumpty together again

A great fall indeed. No,  Donald J. Trump was not vindicated on June 9. In fact, Comey's testimony was more-than-a-trickle in a tsunami of sandal and corruption that is destroying an administration barely in its infancy. All of the signs were there, shining like a klieg light on a cloudless night. His presidency was doomed to failure. A CEO may be able to bark out orders to his whimpering underlings on a whim, expecting instant gratification, but thanks to our system of checks and balances, it doesn't work that way when one is the chief executive. The irony is that the American people are so completely dense when it comes to the subject of civics, enough of them believed that he could snap his gnarled little fingers and make all of those frightful Mexicans disappear. Maybe they will have learned a lesson when this catastrophe has mercifully ended - maybe. But, oh, the price of that lesson.

Isn't this amusing?

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


This Land was Made for You and Me
Performed by Bruce Springsteen
Written by Woody Guthrie

As I was walking that lonely highway
I saw a sign there, said "no tresspassin'"
But on the other side, it didn't say nothin'
That side was made for you and me

This song should be our national anthem.


At 8:07 PM, Blogger Majormajor said...

"My guess is that, as completely dysfunctional as things have become for Donald Trump at this late stage in the game, by this time next week it's going to be only a matter of time before his impeachment is a foregone conclusion."

Tom Degan 6/6/17

The way I figured, it would all start to come apart by the end of the summer.

Tom Degan 6/10/17
Keep guessing Tom, eventually you'll get it right, like in four years.

At 9:33 PM, Blogger Majormajor said...

Top 10 things we learned from Coney's testimony:
1. Trump was never under investigation.
2. Trump did not obstruct justice.
3. Trump did not collude with Russia.
4. Russia did not alter the election outcome.
5. Comey leaked his own memo.
6. Loretta Lynch pressured Comey to cover for Hillary Clinton.
7. There was ample evidence to put Hillary in jail but Comey chose not to pursue it.
8. CNN and other fake news outlets have been lying / making things up this entire time.
9. The Democratic Party no longer has the ability to scream "RUSSIA" every time Trump tries to do something.
10. The Russia story is dead - any democrat who continue to push it will look foolish and insane to the American people.

At 4:23 AM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Like I said before, if there is any solace in seeing our constitution flushed and the country sold to Russia, it's seeing people TRY and defend Trump, and when that fails deflect into some bizarre scenario that has nothing to do with the subject at hand.

The lengths they go to are hilarious. "Trump is too stupid to have obstructed justice" can't make this stuff up folks.

At 6:22 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

You're in serious denial, Chuck. It's both amusing and quite sad.

At 7:50 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Many of the numbered items Chuck cited as "learned", were not corroborated at all. We heard Comey's testimony, but there's a long way to go. This president has tweeted that he's agreeable to testifying under oath and under no restrictions -- unlike George W. Bush during the 9/11 investigation -- which should prove very interesting. Let's not hold our collective breath that he'll stay true to his word. We know his history.

Also, we still haven't heard from the Special Counsel Robert Mueller, yet, on the Russia probe. While Trump's personal lawyer was doing a victory lap after Comey's testimony, it is interesting to note that Mr. Mueller hired one of the nation's top criminal law experts, Michael Dreeben, to join his probe -- along with a formidable legal team of the best prosecuting attorneys in the country. Hmm...

Given Mr. Mueller's reputation, I'm confident he'll leave no stone unturned in his investigation. We've seen one day of testimony, which certainly doesn't decide or conclude any serious investigation. It might take another two years before we see the final product from this Russia probe.

One thing we can take confidence in is that Mr. Comey's leaked documentation content had the desired effect he had hoped -- the creation of a special counsel. This we do know.

At 9:05 AM, Blogger Rain Trueax said...

I get it that Democrats want to see Trump impeached; and if he didn't commit a crime, how about covering up the crime he didn't commit! I don't know anything about Mueller, but Comey is as bad in his own way as Trump in his. He said he was cowardly in not reporting to Congress what he wrote in the private memo. How about another reason-- he felt he could keep his job if he had something the president wouldn't want revealed. He manipulated and he did it with the Clinton investigation-- er make that matter. He deserved to be fired and sooner than later. As for Trump, maybe he does too for the way he is so easily manipulated by that king-sized ego-- something he shares with Comey from the sounds of it.

Comey may have believed the president was trying to stop his investigation but from what I've read on all of this, a president can tell the FBI to stop anything that might lead to an arrest-- i.e. dreamers who are in this country illegally, could be deported legally, but Obama said don't do it. Whether 'I hope you can let this go' is a crime, I can't say but intent was certainly what Comey said let Hillary off for things that others have done and been convicted of a crime for doing-- intent not mattering. How does someone even determine intent anyway? (I didn't intend to drive drunk-- is that enough to avoid a DUI?) The irony of intent is Clinton had been involved in politics her whole adult life, yet the poor little thing just didn't understand what she did.

I wish Dems would spend more time concerning themselves with what the country needs and less with 'hoping' they can get rid of Trump one way or the other. It's as bad as the Repubs who spent 8 years trying to block Obama from doing anything. Why anyone would want to belong to either of these parties is beyond me. And not like libertarians are any better or the green party.

It's past time for those who have real issues they care about to make their case for what would actually help the problems this country faces, and they are myriad, while distractions prevent real actions. It might be more fun to ridicule but it's not more effective.

At 9:54 AM, Blogger Majormajor said...


which of the ten itms listed were not corroborated

At 10:09 AM, Blogger Thetis said...

You must have listened to the hearing through a Fox News filter

At 11:32 AM, Blogger Rain Trueax said...

If you are addressing that to me, I did not listen to the hearing at all. I had a book to edit. Later, I read a variety of opinions from CNN, MSNBC, Politico, Intercept, Fox, etc. etc. Currently, how many see the power of the president is not so much constitutional as political. How someone saw that hearing (something I'd not have watched with or without work to do) probably would depend on how they went into it. For someone like me, who is down on both parties and does not like Comey or Trump, I don't have to defend either. I see this whole thing as negative for the country; and it's been that way for a number of years, where it's-- your guy is the good guy, and you defend him no matter what he does.

At 5:10 PM, Blogger Majormajor said...


Welcome to the dictatorship of the liberal of today, toe their line or fade the consequences.

Zero critical thinking.

At 5:19 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Like I said, it's fun to watch people TRY and defend Trump. Comey didn't "leak" anything (but it's the new scary catchphrase, so ANY documents turned over are now "leaked")

Comey WROTE the memos and they were his to do with as he pleased. nothing was classified. No "leak "occurred.

It's funny how Comey basically said Trump lied and at least attempted to obstruct justice. Trump could get impeached, indicted and convicted of TREASON and still claim "victory".

Get the popcorn.

Oh, and Rain, when a so called President commits TREASON along with 3/4 of the Republican party, IT'S A BIG DEAL, and yes THAT is bad for the country, not the very necessary investigations. Watergate was "bad for the country" but are you saying we should have let Nixon and his minions slide?

At 5:22 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Clucky must be watching an entirely different investigation, because Comey came out and said UNDER OATH that Trump lied and tried to get him to stop the Flynn investigation.

One does not empty the room and then ask you to stop a federal investigation unless they KNOW it's wrong to do so.

The Trump administration is falling apart, and if it were not so tragic to have an incompetent man child who the GOP admits is too stupid to do the job in charge of the launch codes, this would be funny.

Pass the popcorn...

At 6:48 PM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Trump just hung himself by guaranteeing he'll testify under oath. EVERYTHING that comes after for him is BAD.

1. He testifies and lies. --- Impeachment in a basket with a ribbon and a nice floral spray.

2. He testifies and actually tells the truth --- Admission of obstruction of justice, collusion, and who knows what the heck else, maybe even TREASON, --- Impeachment, possible indictment and conviction of multiple felonies.

3. He pulls a "Sessions" and chickens out. --- Another blatant public lie in the books and further evidence he's hiding something.

And people like Clucky will STILL support him. He did tell the truth at least once. He described his followers accurately.

At 10:25 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

DAY 144: "Donald Trump lists tax cut proposal not yet passed into law among his greatest achievements as President."

There may, indeed, be "fake news" as Donald Trump continues to claim, but I wonder whether he has ever given any thought to why it's fake. ;-)

We've survived 144 days into this "fake" presidency. Still, beside scandals and supposed coverups, there are not any major achievements to report.

At 7:24 PM, Blogger Majormajor said...

"He testifies and lies. --- Impeachment in a basket with a ribbon and a nice floral spray. "

Sure, just like Bill Clinton.

At 7:30 PM, Blogger Michael Stivic said...

James Hansen on the Paris Agreement:

“It’s a fraud really, a fake,” he says, rubbing his head. “It’s just bullshit for them to say: ‘We’ll have a 2C warming target and then try to do a little better every five years.’ It’s just worthless words. There is no action, just promises. As long as fossil fuels appear to be the cheapest fuels out there, they will be continued to be burned.”

Tom, I am upset that James Hansen who used to post here and was my hero of man made global cooling/global warming/climate change, made the above comment. I am now wondering if the Koch Brothers paid him to make the comment. Just Say'n.

At 7:47 AM, Blogger Clueless It Seems said...

Nice, as usual, but none of these "people" (and I use the term loosely) will see a minute of jail time. They'll all walk! Hey, this is amerika! It IS Idiot Nation but our century is over... Money (and lack of education) wins out everytime. EVERYTIME.

At 9:34 AM, Blogger Yellowstone said...

Jeff- When you look back at what has 'been accomplished' it appears that there has been a systematic suspension of all things Obama. Again, appearances seem to be that the current Senate and House are going along with this'fake' presidency until they finally get that pesky ACA R/R'd. Probably will be accomplished - let's say - never. I'll never forget the video of Norquist say all they needed for a presidential candidate was "someone who could hold a pen in his fingers and sign his signature. Folks you got what you paid for . . .

At 9:35 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Day 145: "Donald Trump is 'considering terminating Russia special counsel Robert Mueller'"

Against the advice of several of his top advisors, Donald Trump is considering firing the special counsel appointed last month to investigate the alleged meddling of Russia in this country's 2016 presidential election -- "among other things". Hmm...

Does he really believe this would take the dogs off the scent? ;-)

It seems this president is caught in a proverbial Catch-22. What a shame...

At 2:02 PM, Blogger Darrell Michaels said...

Trump should leave Mueller alone to run the investigation. He would create a firestorm if he terminated the investigation.

That said, maybe we can coax Trump to resign and go back to his empire so that Pence and the adults could govern instead. If only....

At 2:50 AM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

T.Paine, you are going to have to go down the line of succession about 20 or 30 places to find an "adult" that's not neck deep in the Russia scandal.

Trump needs to go to prison, not back to his ivory tower.

At 4:51 PM, Blogger Darrell Michaels said...

Mozart, with all due respect, sir, many on the left have been champions of Russia since the good old days of the USSR. Indeed, President Obama ("Tell Putin I can be more flexible after the election.") and Hillary have more unsavory dealing with Russia than the Trump administration ever has.

I freaking hate it when I end up sounding like I am defending that jackass, but for some inexplicable reason, many on the Left want to go after Trump for nonsense instead of actual issues. It absolutely baffles me.

At 8:25 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

T. Paine: "I freaking hate it when I end up sounding like I am defending that jackass..."

Then stop doing it, and start loving yourself, and all humankind, more.

At 2:45 PM, Blogger Rain Trueax said...

Mozart, you need to listen to less left wing news, which is pretty much all of it. Treason is not proven, and if it is someday, then that'd be good but as it stands, the accusations don't come down to treason except for extreme lefties. Not saying it won't be proven, I've heard the extreme accusations also, but fake news from those who leak supposed facts, without telling anyone who they are, is not evidence.

Comey himself said he leaked the memo using a friend. From what I've read, that memo was done as part of his job, which means the FBI/government owns it. Since only they have seen it, the media doesn't know what all was in it or even when it was written.

Throwing around words like treason, which the right used to throw at Obama, is not helping any reasonable discourse and neither are the insults. Time will tell about who Obama, Trump, and yes, Comey really are. It might not be in our lifetime as so much of this right now is doctrinaire partisan thinking.

For someone like me, who isn't a leftie or a rightie, as I said before, there are no good guys-- but the worst are those who try to foment violent responses by using words that lead to murders and executions.


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