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Sunday, April 2, 2017

WHERE WE ARE

I think it is time to take stock of where we are.  There is an official FBI criminal investigation into whether the President of the United States committed treason.  Forget Nunes, forget Flynn [save as a willing witness], forget the blatant kleptocratic Trump family’s monetization of the Presidency.  There is an official FBI investigation into whether the President of the United States committed treason.  This is not a firing offence.  It is a firing squad offense.

Will Trump be impeached?  Oddly, that depends on the fate of the forthcoming tax reform bill, AKA tax giveaway to the rich.  The ACA repeal effort failed.  If tax reform fails also, as it well may, the Congressional Republicans will have no further use for Trump, and since they feel no loyalty at all to the man, they will be powerfully motivated to get rid of him and replace him with a reliable extreme conservative, Vice President Pence.  Trump seems not to have grasped that his choice of Pence makes his future considerably less secure.

As I have observed before, this is all unfolding at light speed.  It is difficult for me to see how Trump can survive into the Fall. 


Meanwhile, my efforts to sell my apartment are on hold.  My real estate agent scored tickets to the Final Four in Phoenix, and as anyone in Chapel Hill understands, that takes precedence over everything, up to and including open heart surgery.

11 comments:

howie b said...

Would Marlowe love Trump as a character? Or do the man's multiple vices disqualify him as an heir to Barabas and Tamurlaine et al?
More to the point, thanks for your read of the situation- it is nerve wracking and nail biting- but it might end, happily any ending being a happy one

Ed Barreras said...

So we should root for tax reform to fail, because that will hasten the demise of T***P?

But then that will only lead to President Pence, who as a reliable conservative stands better odds of ramming through tax reform. But then popular anger at tax reform, coupled with the rage of loyal T***pists, will ensure Democratic victories in the next elections, and maybe even a President Sanders.

Thesis-Antithesis-Syntehsis.

LFC said...

Worth noting that Trump has already managed to do some considerable damage despite his failure at health care reform, e.g. w/r/t environmental protection, climate, Keystone pipeline, gutting of regulation, cutting of humanitarian and development portions of State/AID budget, moves to cut U.S. funding (through State) for UN programs including UNICEF, at a time when approx 20 million people are facing prospect or actuality of famine in South Sudan, northern Nigeria, Somalia, and Yemen. Trump has also increased U.S. air strikes in Iraq and Syria, resulting in increased civilian casualties (e.g., in Mosul and in a strike that, unintentionally or otherwise, apparently hit a mosque in western Syria). The Mosul strike is now under official US mil. investigation.

No reason to think Pence would be much of an improvement and b/c -- among other things -- of his closer ties to congressional Repubs and greater personal discipline than Trump, might very well be worse.

That said, it's too early to conclude that Trump is done for. The investigation may very well fail to turn up hard evidence (i.e., court-worthy evidence) of collusion betw him and Russia in the election meddling, and w/o such hard evidence impeachment is not a realistic possibility.

Anonymous said...

One thing we should have learned from Trump's campaign is not to underestimate Trump.

Trump is a man who knows how to make problems go away. Not saying he will escape this one, but let's not get too comfortable just yet.

Ed Barreras said...

LFC, don't forget the ICE raids and deportations. That is one crisis that is happening under our noses -- easy to forget if one isn't oneself personally effected.

LFC said...

@Ed Barreras
yes, point taken

Jerry Fresia said...

I hope you are right. We all want to see Trump resign (more likely than impeached). However, it behooves us to be cautious and pay attention to the red flags that honorable and credible journalists are pointing to.

The initial claim that the "Russians did it" came from a for-profit-cyber-security firm known as CrowdStrike. Of late, their credibility has taken serious hits. (http://bit.ly/2nNqJ4p)

Any number of serious analysts have not jumped on the bandwagon. For example:

In the same article linked to above the NYTs noted on Dec 13, 2016: “Attribution, as the skill of identifying a cyberattacker is known, is more art than science. It is often impossible to name an attacker with absolute certainty.”

Paul Wood, BBC News, Washington, March 30, 2017: “So far, no single piece of evidence has been made public proving that the Trump campaign joined with Russia to steal the US presidency – nothing….Stop to let that thought reverberate for a moment.”

I don't see the "lightening speed." The FBI began its investigation in July 2016. That was eight months ago. And what have we seen so far? Evidence of American billionaires engaged in corrupt business deals with Russian corrupt oligarchs? Lots of suggestive leads, but hard incontrovertible evidence of illegality? Not yet.

Evidence that it was the Russians who hacked the DNC and fed Podesta emails to Wikileaks? Lots of lip service. Lots of MSNBC declarations. But real evidence made public after 8 months? Zip.

And now the Senate Intelligence Committee is center stage. It is headed by Robert Burr who has noted that there is no "separation" between him and Trump. Burr also once once boasted that he sicced the FBI on Hillary Clinton.

I hope these investigation turn up the smoking gun and Trump is hauled off. But here is the biggest red flag of all: the 2018 elections and the attendant policy agendas are fast approaching and the millions of impoverished Americans who are in despair are being ignored, again, by the Democratic leadership, save for Bernie and Elizabeth.

Worrisome.


Robert Paul Wolff said...

Jerry, obviously I have no access to any evidence that is not available to all of us, so we shall simply have to wait and see.

David Palmeter said...

Ed Barrares


"So we should root for tax reform to fail, because that will hasten the demise of T***P?"

If it were to cause Trump to fail, that would be great--but root for the failure of ANY tax "reform" that is likely to come out of this Congress? You betcha.

s. wallerstein said...

Besides his ties to Russia, Trump has some serious conflicts of interest, which if investigated by the FBI (which is no longer friendly to Trump), might lead to impeachment. Besides that, being a pathological and not particularly skillful liar, Trump is going to commit perjury at one time or another and that could lead to impeachment too.

Ed Barreras said...

Right you are, David.