Day 562 Saturday August 4, 2018 1,016 Days to Go
There’s a lot of detritus to get to today.
First off, Paul Manafort: he is so screwed.
In his trial evidence has been presented to not only show his extravagant life style, but his desperate financial situation. So desperate that he willingly falsified documents to banks. He was also deeply in debt to Russians. Not any Russians, very rich Russians. Russians that are close associates of Vladimir Putin. So desperate that he took on the role of campaign chairman for the Trump campaign and tried to “get whole” with said rich Russian by selling him access to Trump. Gee, does this make him a prime target for Russian influence?
But that’s the best of it for Manafort. How’s his trial going? Well, if you are the prosecution you can’t ask for much more. If you’re the defense, you are watching your only legal hope going down in flames. So it depends on which side you are on. The prosecution has not only presented evidence of Manafort’s extravagant life style ($1.4M on suits!) but also that he paid for these things with a wire transfer from off shore accounts in Cyprus. Accounts that he didn’t pay taxes on, that he “forgot”, year after year, to check off the box on the IRS form saying that he had off shore accounts, and that he told his accountants were client accounts, not his personal accounts.
And that’s not the worst of it for Manafort, his accountants (I’m guessing the ones he didn’t want to pay and hoped to see what they had from the prosecution during “discovery”) said they lied for him and were afraid and regretted their actions on his behalf.
He’s up on 18 counts, and I’m hearing any one of these counts could net him ten years.
Let’s move on.
Poor cute Ivanka. She feels bad for those immigrant children separated from their parents. Aw.
Meanwhile, Daddy’s administration lawyers tried in court to pawn the job of reuniting the kids with their parents to the ACLU! How rich is that? It wasn’t that long ago that the Republicans were trying to paint anyone who is a member of the ACLU like they were some kind of Communist.
Speaking of which, Mr. Trump has decided to call the press “the enemy of the people.” That’s a phrase Stalin used. Stalin used it to excuse his rounding up political opponents and killing them (or send them off to the gulag.)
How far The Republican party has come: asking what they used to try to make an organization sound like a commie outfit to actually stealing the punch lines from a commie!
Meanwhile hundred of kids remain separated from their parents due to the kidnapping by our government and they not only have no plan of how to reunite them; they really don’t care.
There were some good job numbers. Except, wages didn’t go up. It seems the numbers look good because people are having to work several crappy jobs.
The president, who derided his predecessor for campaigning two or three times a week before an election, is campaigning every day. Trump is trying to bolster the Republican candidates. In some areas it seems to really help. In others, not so much. It is scary that he can really boost someone’s numbers. The test will be in the general election, not the primaries.
One of his favorite tag lines to whip up the crowd is to point to the press box and call them fake news. It’s getting really dangerous. I wish the news organizations would stop covering him and leave it to Fox and InfoWars. Then Trump would have to point to them; the sycophantic people that support him and lie for him and call them fake, Which would be appropriate.
It is sad that our president calls legitimate news organizations fake, while supporting such an awful man as Alex Jones at InfoWars.
Recently, the president has been saying he’d be okay with a government shutdown so he can get his wall. Sounds like he ought to go to the border, put on a diaper (or Depends) and cry and pout until he gets his wall. Maybe, some Mexicans can throw some change through the fence to get the ball rolling.
Meanwhile Roger Stone’s good buddy, the NYC madam, has been questioned by Mueller’s people. Hum, maybe old Roger is in hot water? Why would he be? Oh, I dunno, maybe the fortuitous timing of his pronouncements and those of Trump, RT, and WikiLeaks makes the special prosecutor think there’s a connection? That and the fact the Stone admitted to there being a connection.
There was an unusual press briefing this week. The FBI and all the intelligence agencies plus Homeland Security made speeches saying they were taking action to stop Russian meddling in our elections, despite the lack of interest or action from their president or Congress. Hey, I got a suggestion, why not start by changing the passwords on the voting machines from “abcde” to something else?
This brings me to the thought that Trump was not legitimately elected. I know, crazy thought. But here’s the thing, we now know that anyone with little effort could breach many of the voting machines throughout the country. We also know that no agency has said they’ve looked into it. They all seem to say, “Not our job.” Or “We weren’t tasked to do that.” The Republicans in Congress seem to be in league with the Russians on this one, be it de jure or de facto. They have killed a bill to fund efforts to stop meddling. They’ve shown no interest in getting to the bottom of the problem. Also, it’s hard to show votes were flipped. I do remember during the election that one group that was watching the voting machines said a server went down that showed a lot of Democratic votes, but when it came back up miraculously it then showed it going Republican.
It seems as long as the Republicans see the Russian interference going their way they don’t really care to look at it. That’s patriotism for ya!
Well, there you have it: my week in review.
There’s also interesting little bits, like:
Trump doesn’t know his geography. (England, Britain, United Kingdom – you say potato. What’s what’s the diff? Make up your mind!)
Trump is being sued over his receiving millions and millions of dollars from foreign governments and princes.
There’s this clause in the Constitution, known as the emoluments clause (Article 1, Section 9). The specific part is right at the end that starts, “No title of nobility …”, and ends with “accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title of any kind whatever from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”
So when the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia came to New York and put his retinue up in a Trump property (he didn’t stay in the dump. He stayed at the Plaza.) It was enough of a shot in the arm that the money losing property made the first quarter numbers look good. It turned it around.
So Trump and the Trump organization gets sued. They tried to argue that emoluments really means bribery and only that. The judge ruled against them and accepted the dictionary definition, which is “a salary, fee, or profit from employment or office.”
Now I don’t know about you, but as far as I know Trump holds THE OFFICE of president and the crown PRINCE of Saudi Arabia had his people stay in a Trump property, which put a lot of money into Trump’s pocket. The prince had to go out of his way to do this. So tell me, is that a bribe or just profiting? Either way it’s an emolument. Where are the folks screaming “Lock Him UP!”
1,016 Days to Go
PS Waterlilies by Claude Monet