Tag Archives: Democrat
As President Trump pumps out Tweet after shameless, petty Tweet and his TV lawyer Ruby Giuliani lies outrageously on any show that will give him a microphone – the American body politic is left to wonder, “What would Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller say?”
In recent weeks, Trump and his mob have launched a campaign to discredit Mueller and his investigation – but standing placidly amid the faux outrage and bombast, the man fixed in the dead center of Trump’s target has remained silent. Owing to his sense of duty, propriety and professionalism – the veteran U.S. Marine officer and former FBI Director Robert Mueller III has kept quiet.
I was stunned when my iPhone buzzed this morning at 7:00 AM ET. I was expecting a call from my pool maintenance guy to say what time he was coming over to fix the light bulb in my hot tub – so imagine my surprise when it was the Special Prosecutor himself!
Mr. Mueller explained that he enjoyed my recent blog post on a hike my wife and I made in Yellowstone National Park – and that he needed to let off some steam without winding up on the front page of The New York Times. I wasn’t entirely sure it was a compliment when he told me that he was certain nothing I wrote on my blog was going to make headlines anywhere.
Mueller didn’t have much time to chat. He, Rod Rosenstein and Christopher Wray had to leave shortly for a breakfast meeting with Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Of course, Mueller told me, they can’t really talk about anything with Sessions because (A) he’s recused himself from the Trump investigation, (B) he’s likely to leak info to Trump and (C) they suspect he’s angry because he’s lost his magic powers and can’t remember where he buried his pot of gold. You can’t trust a bitter ex-leprechaun.
In the short time we talked, Mueller got a number of things off his chest.
He said I could ask him anything I wanted.
What follows is a transcript of our phone call.
ME: You’re getting a lot of pressure to wrap up your investigation…
MUELLER: Hold on, what do you mean by pressure?
ME: You know. Giuliani and the President are waging a campaign to discredit you…
MUELLER: (Laughs) Oh, that? You call that pressure? I’ll tell you what pressure is – and Donny Bone Spurs has no clue – but pressure is trying to keep a squad of young soldiers alive when you’re waist deep in a muddy rice paddy taking incoming fire from an enemy you can’t see. That’s pressure. This is no deadly jungle firefight. I can see Trump and his impotent bullies coming a mile away. Nothing they say affects me.
ME: But it does seem to affect public opinion.
MUELLER: That’s not my concern. I’m not hosting a popularity contest – I’m running a criminal investigation. Facts matter to me. I don’t give a rat’s ass for anyone’s opinion. And certainly not a flack like Sean Hannity or a soulless, Mephistophelean mouthpiece like Kellyanne Conway. Funny. Her husband actually sounds like an intelligent guy. That’s a real odd couple there.
ME: But what do you say to those who complain that your investigation has gone on too long and has spent too many taxpayer dollars?
MUELLER: You mean what do I say to my fellow Republicans who say that?
ME: Oh, that’s right, you are a Republican.
MUELLER: Have been all my life. So are Rod Rosenstein and Chris Wray. We’re rock-ribbed members of the Grand Old Party. Accent on “Old”.
ME: So, are your fellow Republicans correct? Is it time to wrap this thing up?
MUELLER: First of all, not every Republican wants to end this investigation. There are still quite a few in Congress who want to see it play out and justice be done.
And between you and me — many of my fellow Republicans won’t say it publically, but they’d love to have me indict Trump and his whole White House mafia so I’ll rid them of the disaster they helped to create.
Secondly, let’s dispense with this bullshit about how long my investigation is taking. Does anyone remember Whitewater? That took more than 5 years. Never heard any GOP flacks complain about that. Benghazi? Please. That shit show ran longer than the Watergate probe. And those idiots in the House Freedom Caucus still want to investigate Benghazi some more! And how about “Uranium One?” It’s madness! Those ginned-up, penny-ante cases are nothing compared to my investigation. We’re trying to get to the bottom of how a hostile foreign power managed to meddle in an American Presidential election.
ME: I see, but…
MUELLER: I mean, Putin and agents of the Russian government fucked with our most scared democratic process! They even tried to hack into our voting systems. That should set my fellow Republicans’ hair on fire. And when I get done, they’ll want to set Trump’s hair on fire, too. What a blaze that’ll be! Not since I saw napalm in Vietnam…
ME: But Trump and Giuliani are certain you haven’t found any evidence of collusion.
MUELLER: Collusion? I don’t give a fig about collusion. I’m running down a conspiracy: a criminal conspiracy. And it’s a big case.
It’s like a vast all-you-can-eat buffet. There’s so much perjury, malfeasance, chicanery, money laundering, petty grifting, influence peddling, and conspiracy to defraud the American electorate that you simply can’t pile it all on your plate. You can’t digest it all in one meal. If I tried to ingest this immense, illegal feast all at once – I’d explode like Mr. Creosote in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.
ME: What about Trump and his allies calling for an investigation of the origin of your investigation?
MUELLER: I could care less. This probe started long before I took charge of it. It began because our brilliant and patriotic intelligence community learned that folks working on the Trump campaign had all sorts of sordid contacts with Russian oligarchs, the Russian government, Wikileaks and, possibly, Putin himself.
MUELLER: Trump’s mysterious man crush.
ME: Okay. Trump’s relationship to Putin is notably homoerotic – but let’s stay on point…
MUELLER: And your point is…?
ME: Are you going to indict President Trump for conspiracy with the Russians to manipulate the vote in the 2016 elections?
MUELLER: Certainly. Eventually. And a whole lot of other things, including that crazy sale of his Florida mansion to some Russian for a half-million more than it was worth.
ME: Well, when?
MUELLER: Look. Here’s the thing. Because of what Comey did during the last Presidential election, I have to be careful. I can’t make any kind of public statement that might affect the mid-term elections.
ME: You can’t?
MUELLER: No. Think about it. If before this year’s critical midterms, I laid out the litany of crimes that I intended to charge Trump and his mendacious mob with — there wouldn’t be a Republican elected dogcatcher outside of Wyoming and the Dakotas.
ME: Would that be so bad?
MUELLER: That’s not my call. I’m not about politics. I’m not about public opinion. I’m all about the law.
ME: Is there any way you can tell us more about what you already know? Must we rely on Michael Avenatti to keep us informed?
MUELLER: I love Avenatti! I wish I could be like Mike!
MUELLER: Of course! Mike’s a bull in the china shop. I can’t behave that way. But without giving away the whole game, I’m sure he and I will end up in the same place.
ME: Are you saying that President Trump and his minions are guilty?
MUELLER: Guilty of what?
ME: Of criminal conspiracy and everything else!
MUELLER: I can’t reveal that information. It’s classified. Let’s just say that Trump and his lying legions will ultimately be connected to a Russian conspiracy to screw with the 2016 Presidential election.
MUELLER: And to make money and effect policy during – and after — the campaign.
ME: That should be revolutionary!
MUELLER: It should be. But it may not be.
ME: Why not?
MUELLER: Because the end of this legal drama is up to the American people. I may or may not be able to indict Trump (there’s this whole Presidential thing) – but even if the Supreme Court says I can’t indict Trump – the Congress can impeach him. This government is yours. You can let your representative know that Trump should be impeached,
Donald Trump is a cheap criminal. And I’ve got the goods on him — in spades. I can’t wait to bring the hammer down on this un-Presidential prick.
ME: You don’t sound very objective…
MUELLER: I’m completely objective.
ME: So, do we American lovers of democracy have anything to fear in the near future?
MUELLER: A low turnout in the midterms.
ME: Why so?
MUELLER: Because, you liberal morons, if you don’t elect a Democratic majority in the House, they’ll never impeach Trump — let alone convict him in the Senate.
MUELLER: Sorry, I’ve gotta go. Jeff wants to push our breakfast meeting by a half hour (he’s texting Trump) – and move it from Denny’s Diner to the nearest Waffle House.
So now, just hours after Donald Trump couldn’t bring himself to admit to The Washington Post that President Barack Obama was born in the U.S.A. — some campaign flunky puts out a statement saying that Herr Trump actually believes that Obama is, in fact, born in America.
Well, let’s hear that from Donald J. Trump himself.
And then let’s hear him tell us what the hell this nonsense (or pack of shameless lies) was all about 5 years ago:
(CNN) Possibly-serious Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is giving few details about the investigation he claims to have launched in Hawaii to get to the bottom of where President Obama was born, but the business mogul told CNN Thursday Americans will be “very surprised” by what he has found.
“We’re looking into it very, very strongly. At a certain point in time I’ll be revealing some interesting things,” Trump said on CNN’s American Morning.Trump first claimed earlier this month he had sent investigators to Obama’s home state in an effort to find out if the president was indeed born there, as he says he was and several media organization’s independent investigations have confirmed.
“I have people that have been studying it and they cannot believe what they’re finding,” Trump told NBC then.
C’mon mass media! Don’t let Trump skate on this one. What specific “interesting things” did he find out about Obama’s citizenship five years ago?
What did his “people that have been studying it” really find? And why could they not “believe what they’re finding.”
Trump said all this crap.
The media must get Trump to say that Obama is a citizen with his own lips – and then ask the follow-up questions.
Make Trump back all his old statements up.
Or admit it was all a lie.
The Presidency of the United States is at stake.
I’m talking to you, Wolf Blitzer, Brian Williams, Lester Holt, Anderson Cooper, Andrea Mitchell – and maybe, just maybe, the last honest journalists on FOX News.
Hoist the Great Orange Demagogue by his own petard.
Whether you support former First Lady, New York Senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or Vermont Senator (and gasp!) self-avowed Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders, there is no doubt that the vote in the Michigan Democratic Primary has turned the 2016 Presidential nominating contest into a hotly contested race.
Tonight’s results from the great state of Michigan haven’t changed my mind. I’ve always loved me some Bernie Sanders. (I still remember “Brunch with Bernie” on Thom Hartman’s radio show – and all of his appearances on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC program.)
To be sure, I’m feeling the Bern all the way to the Democratic Convention. But if Hillary somehow ultimately prevails in the delegate count – I’m 100% with her against whatever monstrosity the GOP nominates: whether it’s Trump or Cruz or some lousy, GOP establishment option they manage to cobble together at a brokered (okay, “open”) convention.
So, my progressive friends – this was a great night.
Those of us who are progressive Democrats are in a great position. Bernie Sanders is leading in the right direction. If Hillary Clinton hopes to compete for the Democratic nomination, she must embrace Bernie’s populist, idealistic, progressive platform – and outflank him on the left.
Either way, we win.
Go ahead, GOP. Give us Trump or Cruz.
In an election year that features a billionaire tycoon/reality show star at the top of the GOP polls — The Can’t-idates: Running For President When Nobody Knows Your Name introduces us to a cast of candidates whose kookiness trumps Trump.
Craig has spent much of the past year getting to know the people he calls “The Can’t-idates” — some of the wildest dreamers and iconoclasts that have ever (somehow) gotten their names on a Presidential ballot. Can’t-idates like Pamela Pinkney Butts…
…and Sydney’s Voluptuous Buttocks.
The folks in Craig’s book are definitely not contenders – unless they’re contending for the title of Most Improbable Candidacy of 2016. (A title that, come to think of it, The Donald has already locked up.)
But whatever their chances, whatever their motivations, the author treats all his “Can’t-idates” with dignity and respect — allowing them to tell their stories and reveal themselves in an entertaining and enlightening way.
You can get your copy of the book – and meet the author — at a book-signing party on Friday, March 25 at 7 pm at Book Soup in West Hollywood, CA. Craig assures me that daughter-made cookies will be provided, and that he will be happy to personally describe what it feels like to have Ted Cruz hug you, be interviewed with a pig, and stand five feet away from Donald Trump — not necessarily in that order.
More information on the book is available here.
The following are some excerpts from Craig’s press release…
This country has long craved a non-politician who would campaign for president, a freewheeling dreamer not bound by conventional political wisdom. Who cares that, other than the need for oxygen to stay alive, Trump has little in common with most of his supporters? They still perceive him to be the only candidate bold enough to buck the system they despise. The thing is, he’s not. As you will learn in The Can’t-idates: Running For President When Nobody Knows Your Name, there are a lot of real real people campaigning to be Commander in Chief. If only somebody would listen to them…
Pundits also like to complain that our political system just produces the same old faces, yet they’re ignoring the hundreds of candidates who file every four years to run for president. The 2016 election has already produced more than double the number of “citizen candidates” than the 2012 election did – nearly 1,300 compared to 500.
So what keeps these people clinging against all odds to the ultimate American Dream? The Can’t-idates: Running For President When Nobody Knows Your Name has the amazing, inspiring and sometimes amusing answers.
To research this new book, award-winning journalist Craig Tomashoff spoke with more than 100 ordinary Americans attempting to accomplish the extraordinary – get elected to the highest office in the land without any political experience whatsoever. Out of those interviews, he found 15 unforgettable citizens who are running for the highest office in the land not just to make their country a better place. They’re also doing it to find something that’s been missing from their personal lives.
Tomashoff traveled 10,000 miles in three weeks to meet these 15 people. There’s Harley Brown, the Hell’s Angel in Idaho whose job used to be informing military families that they’re loved ones had died. Until God told him to run. There’s Josh Usera, the ex-MMA fighter from South Dakota, who hopes his campaign will redeem his hometown reputation after several brushes with the law. And there’s Vermin Supreme, the Massachusetts political prankster who is back for a seventh run at the White House by promising free candy and ponies in exchange for votes.
The Can’t-idates: Running For President When Nobody Knows Your Name offers a lively, loving look at a collection of misfits, ne’er-do-wells and American dreamers who still believe in something the rest of us have long since forgotten.
Tomorrow evening, January 28, 2014, President Barack Obama will stand before a special joint session of Congress to present the Constitutionally mandated State of the Union Address. As President Obama is a wise and circumspect orator, a skilled politician and a naturally conciliatory person, he will probably not give the kind of speech millions of progressives, liberals and Democrats would love to hear him give.
We will certainly hear a speech that will thrill us at times with ardent, engaging calls for tolerance, cooperation, hope and determination in confronting the many daunting challenges our nation faces in this turbulent age of promise and peril.
According to all the pre-speech hype from the TV talking heads, we are led to expect a “feisty” President to lay out an agenda that relies more on executive action than Congressional legislation. Confronted by historic levels of obstruction and inaction by the opposition party, particularly by the Republican majority in the House, Obama has little choice than to try to make progress on his own this year. Yet, I don’t expect him to be completely candid about why he has encountered so much Republican resistance.
In fact, there will be some large elephants in the room that will likely go unaddressed.
That’s because, as our country’s first black President, while Obama may be allowed to strike a “feisty” note, he can’t afford to appear angry or defiant – though his opponents will surely label him such (and worse) regardless of his actual demeanor. There’s too large, vocal and virulent a sector of the U.S. electorate (and political class) that can’t tolerate the mixed-race son of a black African father and a white American mother bluntly lashing out against a “do-nothing Congress” as President “Give ‘Em Hell” Harry Truman famously did.
Southern blacks were forced to appear humble and deferential in the presence of whites in the Jim Crow South. And now, despite all the progress we’ve made since the Civil Rights Movement of the 50’s and 60’s, a black Leader of the Free World is still not free to get righteously indignant and tell it like it is.
Everyone – even many liberal wise men – agree that President Obama can’t appear to be an angry black man. (Of course, you can’t be an angry woman, either.) But the same politicos and pundits admire tough-talking, shoot-from-the-hip, white public officials from Governor Chris Christie to Sheriff Joe Arpaio. It’s a clear, shameful double standard.
Now, let me be clear. Racial animus isn’t the only reason I don’t expect President Obama to give ‘em hell in his State of the Union speech. It’s clear by now that he’s a natural bridge-builder and consensus-seeker. Obama’s not the kind of populist firebrand that some on the left hoped he might be in 2008 when they heard the soaring rhetoric of his inspirational Hope and Change campaign. I believe he’s sincere about trying to encourage a less divisive political atmosphere.
But Obama can’t clap with one hand — and the GOP refuses to extend theirs.
Just imagine that an impassioned Barack Obama wrote the following words in an off-the-top-of-his-head, get-it-off-his-chest first draft. Then, after reading it back to himself, the calm and cautious peacemaker President was about to get out his red pen and start to temper his words – when I got someone to distract him so I could steal this draft off his desk…
TEXT OF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’S 2014 STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and my fellow Americans – including all you assault rifle-toting, Bible thumping, intolerant, government-hating folks and those of you who are still unable to get over the fact that I’m only half as white as the 43 Presidents who preceded me.
The state of our nation is nowhere near as good as it would be if my Republican opposition in Congress would actually do their job and work for the benefit of all Americans – instead of misleading their less educated, bigoted and utterly confused “low information” supporters into voting against their own economic interests by flogging hot button social issues like abortion and gay marriage while pursuing economic policies that favor corporations and the wealthiest one percent over the interests of the vast majority of middle class and working class Americans – let alone the neediest among us.
In the Gospels, Jesus talked a lot about how “it’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven” And he was always trying to help the poor and the sick and those oppressed. Somehow, I don’t think that Jesus would be trying to balance the budget by kicking needy families with children off food stamps – or denying unemployment insurance to working families during a hard, cold winter. Yet that’s what these supposedly Jesus-loving conservatives in the GOP – especially that wacko Tea Party bunch – are always pushing us to do.
In order to avoid a second, economy-damaging government shutdown, Democrats in Congress – and this President – were forced to ignore the explicit teachings of Jesus and take food out of the mouths of babies and deny much-needed help to workers who find themselves out of a job through no fault of their own. (And folks, these unemployed workers PAID into the system for years to make sure they were insured against an economic downturn.)
I want to particularly acknowledge the hard, flinty heart of Republican Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. If there’s a working man or woman in Kenosha, Racine or Walworth Counties who is still supporting Paul Ryan, I have no idea why. Wake up, folks! Look at the guy’s record. He’s all about corporations getting all the breaks, the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer – and the middle class footing the bill.
And what’s with that hair? Is he an Eddie Munster fan or what?
Sorry, Paul, just kidding — about the hair. The rest is, as Sergeant Joe Friday used to say, “just the facts.” You don’t remember Dragnet, Paul? It was on TV around the same time as The Munsters.
Now, I wish I didn’t have to talk like this. I’m a nice guy by nature. I encourage people to get along, and I think we can best solve our problems and meet the challenges we face through consensus building and common effort.
But I’ve tried bipartisanship and compromise – and Republicans just won’t take “yes” for an answer. Let’s take Health Reform, for instance. Many in my party are in favor of the type of government-run, single-payer health care system that’s been successful throughout Europe and Canada. Barring that, many progressives hoped for at least a so-called “public option” – but what did I do?
What did the President that conservatives and Tea Baggers openly excoriate as everything from Stalin to Hitler to Mao — and as both a communist and a fascist do? Did I propose the Big Government system that the majority of my party wanted? No, I didn’t. Instead, I compromised by adopting an idea that was the brainchild of conservatives: the individual mandate. I took a huge political hit within my progressive base to seek a deal that would extend affordable health care to millions of uninsured Americans. And I did it by promoting a Republican idea.
So, how did Republicans respond to my bipartisan approach? Did they appreciate the political courage it took to disappoint so many Democrats and progressive independents in the pursuit of the greater good?
In the words of House Speaker John Boehner — “Hell no!”
My reward from the opposition party – that’s you, you Republicans and Tea Baggers — has been nothing but a constant shit storm of misinformation, vilification and obstruction – including that needless government shutdown.
And please don’t tell me that Democrats and Republicans play the game the same way — because the level of obstruction I’ve endured at the hands of the right wing in Congress is historic.
The truth is that there’s no historical precedent for the number of cabinet-level nominees that have been blocked or delayed by Republicans during my administration. Let me emphasize, my fellow Americans: this has never happened before.
Republicans in the Senate even filibustered my nomination of a Republican Vietnam War hero and former Senator, Chuck Hagel. In fact, Chuck was the first Defense Secretary candidate ever filibustered. Again, I reached out in a nonpartisan way – and got smacked in the face for doing it. But it’s not that I was hurt – it’s that America suffered from a needlessly slow and combative process in filling a job that’s vital to our national security.
Lately, Republicans have filibustered nearly every one of my Cabinet appointments. Guys, this is my team we’re taking about. A President gets to name his own team. Advise and consent. That’s your job, Senators. And, frankly, I’ve had enough of the “advise” and not enough “consent”.
My judicial nominees are also getting the shaft. They’re waiting exceptionally long periods to be confirmed. The average wait for circuit and district judges while I’ve been in the White House has been 227 days, compared with 175 days under President Bush. I’ve got one appellate judge who waited a year for her nomination to be voted on.
There have always been filibusters in the U.S. Senate, but they were rare. Before 1960, there were only four times in U.S. history when Senators of one party had to muster a 60-vote super majority to end a filibuster. My so-called “loyal opposition” has used the tactic far more than ever before. Since 2007, the Senate Historical Office has recorded that Democrats have had to end Republican filibusters more than 360 times — an all-time record of which nobody should be proud.
This is not business as usual, my fellow Americans.
During the legislative fights to pass the landmark Civil Rights bills of the early 1960′s, the filibuster became a weapon used by the bigots opposed to ending segregation. Still, even in those charged and turbulent times, filibusters were rare — and the Senators had to take the floor and keep the floor by talking hour after hour. Today, Mitch McConnell (that turtle-looking guy with the grumpy face sitting on the Republican side of the aisle) just tells the Democratic Majority Leader that no GOP Senators are willing to allow a vote – or even a debate – on an issue. It’s filibuster by default.
Lately, Majority Leader Harry Reid has implemented some reforms that have unclogged the Congressional constipation regarding my nominees. Thanks, Harry. What the hell took you so long?
So, why is it that Republicans aren’t willing to cooperate at all with my administration? Why did Majority Leader McConnell, the senior Senator from Kentucky, announce early in my tenure that his number one priority was to make me a one-term President?
Why wasn’t this eminent Republican leader’s first priority to improve the economy, repair our nation’s failing, outdated infrastructure and improve the lives of working Americans? Why was I his target?
I know I’m not supposed to say it – but sometimes I’ve got to wonder if that good old Southern boy just can’t allow himself to work side by side with a black President. Is that the problem, Mitch?
I’m just sayin’…
Look, America. This nation is not going backward. And I’m not going to give up. The arc of history bends toward freedom and tolerance – and the GOP must get on board and help us move forward into this new century – dealing with the problems of poverty and the obscene disparity of wealth in our nation, our global environmental crisis, the scourge of gun violence, malfeasance and amorality on Wall Street, and all the other issues that must be dealt with in order for America – and the world – to survive and grow in peace and prosperity.
But if my Republican friends continue to be the party of obstruction, intolerance and willful ignorance, they will eventually be consigned to the dustbin of history.
Starting with the mid-term elections later this year.
I’m angry, America. I’m pissed. I’ve lost faith in the possibility of my Republican friends putting aside partisanship and idealogical extremism in favor of the general welfare. But I haven’t lost faith in you, my fellow Americans. I believe in the wisdom and goodness and tolerance of the vast majority of the American people who truly embrace the ideals our nation was founded on: freedom, equality and justice for all.
As President Abraham Lincoln said in his first Inaugural Address, at one of the gravest moments in our nation’s history:
“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.
Even you, Mitch.