Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Terms of debate recede like a desert mirage

Here's Martin Longman having a dispassionately reasoned debate with himself about whether the hush money payments constitute grounds for impeachment. Yeah yeah, they're crimes because Michael Cohen is going to jail for them and it isn't fair that the guy who ordered him to do it is not, but is this a high crime?

I dunno about that either, but listen folks, this is what it's come down to.

The malignant clown known as Individual 1  was installed in office by the machinations of a foreign adversary. The same foreign adversary that rescued him from bankruptcy by using him as a high throughput cash washer. The same foreign adversary for whom he is a toady. Is any of that grounds for impeachment? Apparently nothing can be grounds for impeachment unless it can be proved that he was a co-conspirator in the election rigging. Not anything, no matter what, including:

He launched his political career by aggressively promoting the absurd racist lie that Barack Obama was not born in the United States.

Shortly after the election, he settled a lawsuit for $25 million, over a fraud that victimized 6,000 people. Why the fraud was not criminal is unclear.

His campaign chair and campaign foreign policy adviser are both in prison. His National Security Adviser has pleaded guilty to felonies. His lawyer, as noted above, will soon be in prison. These would at least be minor embarrassments to  most presidents.

He continually spews lies, several times a day, including multiply repeating lies which have been fully debunked.

His charitable foundation was a fraud and a scam and has been forced to liquidate under court supervision. The investigation is continuing and may well result in criminal charges.

He employs undocumented immigrants in his  hotels. Funny thing, ICE has never raided any of them. Undocumented nannies have 86ed a couple of cabinet nominees over the years, BTW.

Here's a funny thing. A DoD official thinks he is making critical national security decisions in order to distract from scandals.

He is facing a lawsuit from a woman who who claims he sexually assaulted her and defamed her by calling her a liar. At least a dozen women have made similar allegations, and he has boasted of sexual assault in a recorded conversation.

We don't know what Robert Mueller knows, or what's in the National Inquirer files that are now in the possession of the Justice Department, or what indictments the Attorney General of New York is going to produce. We already know that Trump University and the Trump Foundation were fraudulent enterprises. Apparently that's not enough. But they could yet result in criminal indictments. What if we get definitive proof of the money laundering, of co-conspiracy with Paul Manafort to subvert U.S. foreign policy to the will of Vladimir Putin, indictments from the NY AG for Trump Foundation or University, more sex scandals from the bowels of American Media Incorporated? Will any of that be sufficient?

The answer is no, because the Republican party has long ago abandoned truth, basic morality, and democracy. Individual 1 is not actually the problem.


Mark P said...

It is utterly beyond comprehension. Everyone on Earth knows that if Obama had done half of what Trump has done, he would have been impeached and convicted, and the Democrats would have voted for it. He would have been the worst person on Earth and the worst possible president in history and into the future. It would have been the worst disgrace in American history. It's like we're living in an alternate world.

Don Quixote said...

Very, very well-stated.

Shitler (his own name is such a fraud--like the rest of him--that I refuse to use it. More and more, I see that words have MEANING) has been viewed as an asset by the Republican Party, which, as you note, "has long ago abandoned truth, basic morality, and democracy."

He is going down, and is no doubt viewed by this soulless party as a liability, and will increasingly become one. He will want to run in 2020 because he can only enjoy immunity from his crimes as a sitting president; but the Shitpublicans will not allow him to run because they will lose, lose, lose. And not just the presidency. The markets are already tanking, and of course the economy is going to suffer from the Republicans' treacherous policies. So he will either be bumped off or spend the rest of his highly unnatural life in prison (once he gets there).

That leaves us with the problem of the McConnells and Ryans and Pences and Hatches, etc., of the country. They are going down too, but it will be a defeat at the polls. It will be a defeat because people will vote against them in enormous numbers when they begin to suffer in earnest, in palpable ways felt monetarily, in poor health, from pollution, etc. A new day is coming but it always has to get worse first.

Don Quixote said...


Do you agree that, as you say, this "alternate world" we inhabit in the U.S. is the legacy of the the slave trade and slavery? In other words, it's as simple as this: it's a Caucasian man's country. That's just how I see it. Contrived, and, as Art Spiegelman said, founded on a genocide. The English settlers killed the natives and, when it was discovered that the natives couldn't withstand the European pathogens, it was decided to import people from Africa and enslave them--with perhaps 10,000,000 dying in transit.

Perhaps it is more complex than this ... but to me, as an aware Caucasian man, it's just this simple. In other words, the only thing besides Russia that has put Shitler in the White House is prejudice and the strange fruits of slavery in the U.S. I hesitate to call it "racism," because I see one race--Homo sapiens--and I tell my students, "No one is black, no one is white. There is olive, brown, tan, etc. ..."

We need new, accurate labels; then we need to work to eliminate the labels. So much confusion from misnomers, many of them intentional, I believe.

Robert Owen said...

A little OT, but well worth the attention:

BERLIN (AP) — An award-winning journalist who worked for Der Spiegel, one of Germany's leading news outlets, has left the weekly magazine after evidence emerged that he committed journalistic fraud "on a grand scale" over a number of years, the publication said Wednesday.


The German Journalists' Union DJU called the case "the biggest fraud scandal in journalism since the Hitler diaries" that Germany's Stern magazine published in 1983 and were later found to be forgeries.

Spiegel's revelations echoed past instances of journalistic fraud by reporters elsewhere, including Jayson Blair of The New York Times, Christopher Newton of The Associated Press and Janet Cooke, whose 1980 piece about a child addicted to heroin won The Washington Post writer a Pulitzer Prize before it was exposed as untrue.

Cervantes said...

It actually seems completely off topic but I see no reason not to publish it.

DQ, I agree that the legacy of genocide and slavery is a cancer in our political culture. But I would also say that the Individual 1 phenomenon has other important dimensions. Remember that the guy was a "reality" TV star. I think that's important. We no longer have a consensual reality.

Mark P said...

Don Quixote, I don't know whether the alternate reality is a result of slavery, but I do believe that slavery was the defining phenomenon for American culture, and that racism is the most significant characteristic of American culture to this day. Slavery and racism belie every good thing we have done and said since the American Revolution.

Anonymous said...

Did you catch that?

From that story in Der Spiegel it appears that not only in that publication, but fake news has infected NYT, Washington Post and even the Associated Press.

Why anyone would blindly believe everything they read in the MSM is a mystery to me.

Cervantes said...

There have been occasional cases like this before. The publications always fire the person and correct the record once they are caught. None of these fabricated stories have been about Individual 1, or even for the most part concerned politicians at all, as far as I know. They tend to be human interest type stories, made up person-on-the-street interviews, that sort of thing. It happens, but it's very rare.

The NYT, WaPo and AP have very high editorial standards and are very reliable when it comes to factual information, although the subjects they choose to focus on are often highly questionable (e.g., Clinton Foundation rather than Trump Foundation). Fox News, on the other hand, is a volcano of lies and distortions. Just so we're clear.