People Unclear

This is number 79 of a series

I’m beginning to love these. I get one almost every day. Here’s the most recent:

Donald J. Trump <contact@victory.donaldtrump.com>
To: jf_blanton@yahoo.com
Apr 19 at 6:08 PM
John,Every year, the Corrupt Media holds a total snoozefest White House Correspondents dinner where they thrive off their negativity and hatred towards me and my Administration.

On April 27th, while the Liberal Elites mingle with the Corrupt Media, I’ll be holding an EPIC rally in Wisconsin with REAL AMERICAN PATRIOTS.

I would truly love to join the president’s EPIC rally in Wisconsin, and I would make the trip if I could be assured I would have a chance to meet REAL AMERICAN PATRIOT patriot Natalia Veselnitskaya.

The Government You Paid For

Number 39 of a Series

You may not be satisfied with the weather we’re having, and you may be disappointed in your choice of friends, but one thing you can count on is getting the government you paid for. It would be interesting at this moment to take a look and see what kind of government you most recently purchased. The story comes from CNN streaming on YouTube and also from ABC World News Tonight with David Muir, streaming on Hulu, where I obtained these screen shots.

This centers on a story that’s been around for over a year, and it concerns a meeting involving some of candidate Donald Trump’s campaign advisors and a Russian promising help in Mr. Trump’s plan to defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016. The meeting occurred in Trump Tower, and what attracted Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and campaign manager Paul manafort was the promise that Natalia Veselnitskaya was prepared to dish up some dirt on Clinton. Others attended the June 2016 meeting, as well. One was Rinat Rafkatovitch Akhmetshin, “a Russian-American lobbyist and former Soviet counterintelligence officer.”

So, when prosecutors and intelligence agencies began to dig into Vladimir Putin’s scheme to tip the scales for the election, one of the things they learned about was this meeting. What did the Trump team expect to gain by meeting with these Russians? It was beginning to look mighty suspicious. Denials started to fly. Don Jr. went full-throated to put some distance. He thought the meeting was going to be about adoption. There was a law on the books about adopting Russian children, and the Russians wanted some relief. Emails quickly put the lie to that explanation.

It’s worth noting that Sarah Sanders, a highly-paid government employee, has weighed in, quoting the President’s denial.

I’m beginning to think “I love it” will be the catch phrase by which this administration is tagged in the history books.

Incredibly, Don Jr. is under the impression that continuing to lie about the matter will make everything all right.

Things further unraveled a few days ago. Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s long-time attorney and fixer of problems, is now cooperating with the feds. He is saying that, despite denials over the past year, President Trump knew about the Russian meeting in advance. The President has responded, tweeting yesterday:

For the record, and so search engines can find it, here is the text of the President’s denial:

…..I did NOT know of the meeting with my son, Don jr. Sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam (Taxi cabs maybe?). He even retained Bill and Crooked Hillary’s lawyer. Gee, I wonder if they helped him make the choice!

In order to repudiate Mr. Cohen’s charge, the President’s supporters need to impugn the character of Michael Cohen. Here is Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City, and currently one of President Trump’s personal lawyers.

Yeah. That’s going to fly. Listen up, people, and that includes you, Mr. Mayor. When you set out to lay a string of lies, you need to concentrate on keeping your story straight.

In all my life I never expected every politician to be honest. I was hoping, however, to find at least one. I have been told that Diogenes still has his lamp, but that’s only a rumor.

Bye Bye My Love Goodbye

It’s sad to see long-time lovers breaking up. Somebody even wrote a song about it:

Bye bye love
Bye bye happiness
Hello loneliness
I think I’m-a gonna cry-y
Bye bye love
Bye bye sweet caress
Hello emptiness
I feel like I could die
Bye bye my love goodbye

[With apologies to the Everly Brothers.]

What’s even worse is when the breakup is above the fold on most news outlets. Double worse is when it’s about crime and politics and worse still when it’s presidential politics. Bye bye, my love, goodbye. The breakup is streaming now on ABC World News Tonight with David Muir on Hulu, where I obtained these screen shots.

This continuing saga has a history stretching back in time, before some of us were reborn. Like before the election of Donald J. Trump as President of the United States.

That’s right. Porn movie actress Stephanie Clifford, a.k.a. Stormy Daniels, and private citizen Trump had their own one-night stand a decade or so back. Actually, it may not be possible to classify this as a one-night stand, since (my understanding) a one-night stand lasts until morning. Furthermore, I cannot assure readers that anybody actually took their clothes off.

But that’s history, and although history may not always repeat itself, it does sometimes come back to haunt. Like when you are running for election for the highest office in the land, and election is a fortnight away, and you suddenly remember. “Oh, shit. There’s this Stormy Daniels business. That could put me down a half a point in the polling, and since I’m already 10 points down, it might be worth while shedding some cash and shaving a half point. Can somebody get Michael on the phone for me?”

Few deny that Michael Cohen, friend, attorney, and fixer for Donald Trump for over a decade, paid Ms. Clifford $130,000 to claim she did not hump the Trump while Donald’s sweet wife was preggers. So the money was paid, and the lady kept her mouth shut, and Trump eked out a win, and we have what we have today. Except…

Except the mouth did not stay shut. It’s amazing how mouths tend not to do so. At a point Ms. Clifford decided she had been screwed, and we wonder how long it took for her to figure that out. So she obtained another lawyer, figuring her then-lawyer Keith M. Davidson had been in bed (figuratively not literally) with Trump’s lawyer Cohen. So Clifford obtained new legal council in the person of Michael Avenatti, and Mr. Avenatti proceeded to unravel the NDA Mr. Cohen had negotiated on behalf of Mr. Trump.

Other lawyers began to look at the arrangement, and those lawyers work for the United States Government, and what they saw was possible violation of election law. Specifically, the payment to Ms. Clifford was a campaign expense, since it was an essential part of getting Mr. Trump elected, but said payment never showed up on any campaign financial disclosure filings. As lawyers, government lawyers at that, began to dig into the matter, other interesting stuff started to come out. Apparently government lawyers came to believe Michael Cohen had been practicing beyond the limits of established statutes, and they did what government lawyers often do:

Agents of the FBI seized documents and more than a dozen phones and electronic devices.

Yeah, here is some of the stuff the government lawyers suspect:

To obtain a warrant to carry out this search on Mr. Cohen’s office, house, and hotel room, they demonstrated to a magistrate they had probable cause Mr. Cohen had engaged in bank and wire fraud. Mr. Cohen is in deep trouble.

If Mr. Cohen is in deep trouble, then President Trump is in an inch of trouble, because Mr. Cohen had been doing a lot of dirty stuff for Mr. Trump. How about if Mr. Cohen would tell the government lawyers about this stuff he had been doing for Mr. Trump?

No way.

“I would do anything to protect Mr. Trump.”

“Mr. President, is Michael Cohen going to flip, sir?” I just love the way the report added the superfluous “sir” at the end of that question. Anyhow, the president has been adamant:

The New York Times and a third rate reporter named Maggie Haberman, known as a Crooked H flunkie who I don’t speak to and have nothing to do with, are going out of their way to destroy Michael Cohen and his relationship with me in the hope that he will “flip.” They use….

….non-existent “sources” and a drunk/drugged up loser who hates Michael, a fine person with a wonderful family. Michael is a businessman for his own account/lawyer who I have always liked & respected. Most people will flip if the Government lets them out of trouble, even if….

….it means lying or making up stories. Sorry, I don’t see Michael doing that despite the horrible Witch Hunt and the dishonest media!

I take that as a “no.”

Oops! That was then. This is now.

In an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC News:

My wife and my son have my first loyalty and always will. I put family and country first.

ABC News now has it that Michael Cohen sees losing everything over his loyalty to the president, which loyalty has historically never been reciprocated. Will Mr. Cohen cough up incriminating details on a sitting president in exchange for leniency on some serious charges? There are issues.

If Michael Cohen says, “Give me a break, and I’m going to tell you about some criminal stuff in Donald Trump’s past,” then prosecutors, and worst of all a judge, will be asking, “Is he going to make up stuff about the president in order to save his own hide?” It is a concern, but it doesn’t work that way. What Mr. Cohen can do is tell what he knows, and then prosecutors can use his statements in an affidavit, which they will take to a judge to obtain search warrants and subpoenas to obtain information that will corroborate what Michael Cohen has told them. Then, providing the there is verifiable criminal activity, they can begin criminal proceedings. Does anybody doubt the President of the United States has committed criminal acts worthy of prosecution? Not within shouting distance of where I now sit.

Michael Cohen has turned from “All the way with Donald Trump” (I know that doesn’t rhyme), to “Not so fast there, Mr. Trump.” He is expressing his legal view on the infamous Trump Tower of June 2016, saying…

“…an example of poor judgment.” You think?

Multiple news outlets, those which the president calls out as “fake news,” are reporting that Michael Cohen has obtained new legal counsel independent of the president’s legal team. That means that the Trump-Cohen partnership is coming asunder—the two will be going their separate ways. What’s about to play out could be very interesting and will likely end up in the history books.

Bye bye, my love, goodbye.