Monday, December 10, 2018

Re-Election? Trump Won't Even Finish His Current Term

I laugh when I hear pundits talking about Donald Trump's re-election campaign, as if he's going to last that long. Let me make it very clear: Trump will resign sometime in 2019. I guarantee it.

Trump, and at least one of his children, is in some very, very serious trouble. When you factor in the scale of his High Crimes and Misdemeanors, as well as his position in government, he is perhaps the most crooked, corrupt politician in American history. 

Some context is important here. Let's recap the two biggest presidential scandals of the last five decades. Richard Nixon left office disgraced by Watergate. He wasn't impeached but would've been (and likely indicted as well) had he not cut a deal to resign on August 9, 1974 in his second year of his second term. He threw his presidency in the toilet over a cheap, 3rd-rate break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters and then obstructed justice in a bone-headed cover-up.

Bill Clinton was impeached in December 1998 by the Republican-controlled House, but the GOP Senate couldn't muster enough of the 2/3's vote they needed to remove him from office. Clinton's impeachment was all about perjury. Lying about sex. Period. Clinton's biggest crime? He was, literally, an unapologetic horn-dog who simply wanted to get off.

Which brings us to Trump who, as we learned conclusively in court filings last week by Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, is a felon. A soon-to-be unindicted co-conspirator who directed his former lawyer-fixer-legbreaker Michael Cohen to commit campaign finance violations twice in paying off porn-star Stormy Daniels and former Playmate Karen McDougal just weeks before the 2016 election.

To be sure, Trump wanted to get off too (the list of his sordid sexual conquests is quite long), but more importantly he wanted to influence the outcome of the presidential election. And that's the difference between his transgressions and those of his randy predecessors.  

What we have yet to learn conclusively from special counsel Robert Mueller is whether or not Trump conspired with Russia to steal the election, and the extent of that conspiracy. But we will. And soon enough. If anyone out there still doesn't believe this, I have a building on 5th Avenue called Individual-1 Tower to sell you.

The extent of that collusion/conspiracy appears likely to conclude that Trump, the 45th president of the United States of America, is a Russian puppet. A kompromised agent of an enemy state. A traitor.

Trump's political and legal troubles aren't about a blowjob or a picked lock and a busted filing cabinet. They're about the betrayal of America on the highest possible levels of government. Of threatening our national security. Of corrupting our free and fair elections, the bedrock of our democracy.

As such, Trump, facing a bloodthirsty Democrat House come January, is a virtual lock for impeachment. Oh sure, Reps. Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff, who'll be taking over the House Judiciary & Intelligence Committees respectively, are downplaying the "I" word for optics' sake. But they're as horny for this as a sailor on weekend leave.

Which is why Trump won't make it to 2020.

Trump knows more than anyone what he did. He knows the extent of his crimes and the depths of his treason. He knows the involvement of his equally amoral, corrupt kids. His GPS is set to "Mueller" and so he knows exactly where the steely prosecutor is headed. Which is why he tweets "NO COLLUSION!" and "WITCH HUNT" non-stop, hoping that somehow the Founding Fathers will come back to life and make Twitter the overriding Constitutional power.

One day soon the world will know beyond a reasonable doubt what The Manchurian President has done. And what his kids have done. And when that time comes, his heretofore enablers in the Republican Party will abandon him en masse. It'll finally be the point where they face the binary choice of him or me. And then the "I alone" president will get his wish. He'll be isolated, alone and with no one to defend and protect him.

Trump is foolish if he thinks the Supreme Court will ultimately protect him. As previous decisions involving both Nixon and Clinton demonstrate, the Court has made it abundantly clear that no one is above the law. Not even the president.

Trump will then be facing his own choice of stay and fight (visiting Jr. and possibly Eric, Ivanka and son-in-law Jared "I love Saudi Arabia!" Kushner in prison) and face impeachment, indictment and possible imprisonment one day, or take a Nixon-like deal and walk. If he's lucky to be offered such a generous exit.

Which makes the discussion of his re-election in 2020 truly laughable... 

Friday, December 07, 2018

An Open Letter to Daddy From Ivanka, Eric & Donnie Jr

Dear Daddy:

The boys nominated me to write this on our behalf because everyone knows I'm your favorite child (sorry Tiff!) and Donnie thinks I'm a better writer than he is... and Eric, well....anyway...

So, we're mad daddy! Really mad! We'd be crying, but we don't have tear-ducts or human-like emotions (just like you daddy!)...so...anyway...

...We had everything. Money, fame, power. We could lie, cheat and steal. No one cared. Uncle Mikey always took care of everything. Then you had to make everything messy-messy by running for president. And then throwing poor Uncle Mikey under the bus. Now look at us. Mueller knows everything. We're ruined! Likely going to jail. And our very classy Trump brand is worthless. I think we hate you!

Why did you do this to us? You never even wanted to be president. You always told us you hate all those dirty, lazy, blue-collar "little people" and just wanted all the free publicity we'd get so we could make more money (we love money!). And you'd get so much attention (we know how much you loooove attention, daddy!). But you never even thought you'd win. You promised us you wouldn't win. You gave us and mommy...I mean Melanie...your word. You lied to us! Do you remember how upset Melanie was on Election Night? It was so upsetting. I almost cried again.

We are so mad at you (I'm stomping my feet right now!). We put up with all your warts all these years. I never said one word when you'd awkwardly and inappropriately put your hands all over me and tell people like Howard Stern you'd date me if I wasn't your daughter. How could you say that! How could you say you'd only date me not marry me! I felt so unappreciated!

And all those times you called Eric "stupid" and called him and Donnie "losers." All of this was so unfair. We just took it all. We never said anything back to you (ok, I do remember the boys always yelling "Stop it daddy...we're not stupid losers!").

So what do we do now? What does our big strong tough incredibly physically-fit handsome  "counter-puncher" do now to save us all? Do we hire someone to "take care of things" the way Uncle Mikey used to (wink wink...oh shit, my mascara's running...). Do we tell Corey to have Mueller's legs broken? Have Uncle Vlad poison someone? Get Uncle "M" to bone-saw the shit out of...oops...sorry...I forgot we're not supposed to ever talk about that!

Just please do something, daddy, and do it fast! We're very scared. Time is running out. Donnie's already planning how he's going to escape from prison. This is bad. Very, very bad.

Sincerely,
Your favorite child Ivanka (who's ass you really need to stop touching, ok?) & the los...I mean boys.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

What If Trump Really DID Write Those Answers for Mueller Himself?

Donald Trump seemed especially agitated last week. Can ya blame him? I'm incredibly agitated just watching this chaotic shitshow on TV. He's living it.

Trump and the Republican Party were trounced in the midterms. He was lambasted over his decision not to attend the WW1 ceremony in France and the Veteran's Day gathering at Arlington National Cemetery. The First Lady went rogue and publicly attacked one of his top national security aides, demanding her firing. The stock market continued to sink back to 2017 levels. And he and his lawyers were working on the written answers to special prosecutor Robert Mueller's questions into the campaign's possible collusion with Russia.

Trump insisted all week that he wrote the answers himself.     

"I write the answers. My lawyers don't write answers. I write answers. I was asked a series of questions. I've answered them very easily -- very easily."

Bullshit. There isn't a lawyer alive who'd let an erratic, impulsive, delusional, pathologically-lying client like Trump write his own answers. Especially not on this level, about this subject matter and with the stakes so high. Plus, Trump can't string together two coherent sentences.

But I can't help thinking...what if he did write them? What the hell would that look like...

Mueller Question #1: Mr. President, did you know prior to June 9, 2016 that a meeting at Trump Tower would be taking place on that date between the Russians and your son Don Jr, son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign manager Paul Manafort?

Trump: I knew that a...look...and I'll tell you this...it was a nothing meeting. There was no collusion! You can't do collusion if nobody offers you anything. Don't get me wrong. And I'll...did we try? But...and believe me...no one cuts deals better than me. If you read my book you'd...everyone knows, frankly, it's a witch hunt. FAKE NEWS! We talked about...and let me tell you it was not easy...Donnie said they had stuff...it was a waste of...we talked about adoptions. Babies. Little people. No big deal. NO COLLUSION! But I never...was I there? I mean I could be. Maybe I was. You tell me...

Mueller Question #2: Mr. President: Were you aware that, prior to the election, WikiLeaks provided hacked emails and other confidential documents from Hillary Clinton, John Podesta and/or the DNC to either Roger Stone or anyone else associated with your campaign?

Trump: I love WikiLeaks! I mean...and no one had more access to them than me...you know I know a lot of people. I build...they buy my apartments. Spend thousands. Billions. The Chinese. The Russians. The Saudis. They all love Trump buildings! WikiLeaks...they're very good at what they do. Julian likes me. And I like him. We talked a lot. Met a few times. But I don't know him. He gave me...everybody knows...NO COLLUSION. It's a WITCH HUNT! 12 angry Democrats who...and Mueller and Comey were lovers. Nobody talks about that. There's no...look...it's not illegal to take hacked emails. Everyone would. It's called op-po research. Perfectly ok to...but Roger never gave me anything. He gave it all to Donnie. So I'm in the clear. But there was nothing useful in them...believe me.

Mueller Question #3: Mr. President, did you fire then-FBI Director James Comey in order to stop the special investigation into collusion with Russia?

Trump: No. That's a stupid, stupid....I would nev...but let me tell you this...and, frankly, many people are saying the investigation is illegal. A total WITCH HUNT! There was NO COLLUSION! Did I want to stop the investigation? You could say that. But I'm not afraid of...look...did I think firing Comey would do that? I only hire the best people. Everyone wants to work for me. Comey, he was...people have this phony talk of chaos in the White House. FAKE NEWS! There's no chaos! It's Michelle Obama spreading lies, but nobody wants to talk about that. Comey? Yeah. I can tell you, frankly, I thought if he's gone I could put one of my guys in there...and I have a lot of friends who wanna help me...I should be protected....Rudy Giuliani...everyone knows he's the smartest lawyer in the history of the legal...and let me tell you...Rudy would've killed the whole disgusting, disgusting thing. And by the way, Jim Acosta's ugly and fat....

Mueller Question #4: Are you planning to fire me?

Trump: We'll see what happens...

Friday, November 16, 2018

Making the Case for Hillary 2020

Before I begin, let me first save some of you precious time by writing a few of the hate-replies I'm expecting:

*Hillary? Seriously dude, WTF is wrong with you?
*Nooooooooooooooo!
*No more f**king Clintons! 
*She was the WORST candidate in history!

Actually, she was the most qualified candidate in history, and she kinda sorta won. She received almost 3-million more votes than Donald Trump and, if we all truly believe in Robert Mueller's investigation into collusion and obstruction of justice, then we should argue that Vladimir Putin stole the Electoral College for Trump by a razor-thin 77,000-vote margin which crumbled the blue wall in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Full disclosure: I was all-in for Hillary Clinton in both 2008 and '16. I have three daughters. Like many Americans hungry for progress and gender-equality, I so desperately and passionately yearn for a woman president. Not only because it's about time we shatter that proverbial glass ceiling, but because I truly believe the future is female. That women should take over the controls...because America, and the world, would be a much better place for it. 

And because I continue to believe Hillary is not only the most qualified candidate in history, but that she'd actually be an incredible president.
 
Ok, relax...I'll indulge you haters for a moment. Hillary did run a bad campaign (she never went to Wisconsin, for example). She is a polarizing figure. She is stiff and awkward. She can come off as entitled, arrogant and tone-deaf. And she does have a husband whose baggage is a real liability (but let's be very clear: she's not responsible for her husband’s behavior. She's a victim of it). Were she to run again, she definitely needs massive help (psst...Hillary...I'm available and ready).

In politics, four years is a very long time. Times change. Perceptions change. People change. Voters change. And yes, candidates can change too. Consider Richard M. Nixon, who had the last laugh in 1968 when, after his humiliating loss to JFK eight years earlier, went on to win two terms because America was a much different place than when he lost in '60. I don't believe the political and cultural landscape is much different in real terms now.

Could Hillary be the new-Nixon?

Regardless of what the haters believe, she still has the highest profile of any democrat. She still has tens of millions of voters with her. She's still as qualified as ever. And, assuming she'd be running against Trump and not a successful primary challenger such as Jeff Flake or John Kasich, would have a badly weakened, highly unpopular, scandal-plagued corrupt president she'd be running against. One with a disastrous term that'd be under an unmerciful microscope.

And no James Comey who, many including the candidate herself believe, tragically sunk her campaign in its final days with his public announcement that she was under FBI investigation while concealing that Trump was as well.
 
And Russia. We now know the extent of Putin's meddling to help elect Trump. That too would be under a microscope and perhaps much less of a factor if our intelligence community is effective in waging its counter-offensive.

To be sure, Hillary has been one of the most vilified political figures in modern history. And I’m in the camp that believe it’s largely due to sexism. Sadly, America still has a big problem with smart, strong, ambitious, determined, powerful women.

America needs to get over itself.

Think of the incredible message a Hillary victory would send to our daughters. That in the face of adversity, no matter who tries to keep you down, that even if you fail, you get back up and fight...and show the world you are smart, strong, ambitious, determined and powerful and successful in the end.

So what would Clinton need to do differently in 2020? She should avoid direct confrontations with Trump (or any other Republican nominee should Trump resign, not run, be primaried or be in prison). Stay away from personal attacks. Avoid the negative. Focus purely on the issues that Americans care most about, not the testy back-and-forth between candidates that frustrates, angers and exhausts them.

On the policy side, the pitch is simple:

Issue #1: Health care. In 1993 Hillary, as chair of the Task Force on National Health Care Reform in her husband's new administration, took on an angry, obstructionist Republican Congress and the insurance industry to fight for affordable, universal health care. While her proposal ultimately failed in a bitter partisan and self-serving economic battle, Hillarycare served to pave the way for Obamacare 25 years later.

Issue #2: Middle-class tax cuts. She could run on providing the working class with the meaningful tax cuts Trump promised but forgot to give "the forgotten men and women."  

Issue #3: Public education. Trump and his woefully inept and unqualified Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have a general disdain for public education, pushing through a budget which starves the system of critical funding.

Issue #4: Gun control. There's been more frequent and deadlier mass shootings than ever. Americans want sensible, responsible gun legislation which involves raising age limits; expanding background checks and eliminating loopholes; increased waiting periods for gun purchases; bump-stock, high-capacity magazine and assault weapons bans; and increased funding for mental health care programs while prohibiting those with mental illness from buying guns.

Issue #5: Climate change. The planet is hotter, the weather more erratic and the storms more violent and deadly than ever. Americans want clean air, safe drinking water and a healthy Earth for themselves and their children.

Issue #6: Women's rights. Women are still fighting for equal pay, reproductive rights and protection from sexual-harassment and assault. The Me Too movement is a prime example of a major cultural shift since the '16 election.

Issue #7: LGBTQ rights. Equality for all Americans, regardless of sexuality. Need she say more...

Issue #8: Immigration reform. Kids were not caged pre-2016. Immigrants/refugees were not relentlessly demonized. America's values were not under siege. It's time for an immigration-reform policy which incorporates decency, compassion, humanity and increased border security. 

These are slam-dunk issues. Hillary would have to effectively hammer them home with genuine passion and concern, and without engaging in personal mud-slinging with the Sociopath-in-Chief. Her campaign would need to be about her and what she can deliver to both democrats and republican voters, and not merely that Trump is an ignorant, sexist, misogynist, racist, xenophobic, corrupt traitor. That needs to speak for itself. And it will.

But there's still the personality problem. Hillary lacks the natural gifts that ooze from politicians like her husband and Barack Obama. The charm, the charisma, the public ease, confidence and comfort of their own skin. This is where she needs the most work. She needs to stop listening to the overpaid, under-qualified consultants with old-school instincts and an over-reliance on nerdy data. She needs to be able to sit with average folks on both sides of the political spectrum and be the girl they wanna have a beer with. She can do it. She just needs to let her hair down and trust her own instincts.

In short, she'd need to stay on message, avoid putting her foot in her mouth and connect on a real human level, while receiving the votes cast for her in '16 and, this time, campaign like an animal in the key swing states.

Yes. Those are some very big "ifs"...

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Caravan: The Deadly Invasion That Never Was

It’s been almost a week since Election Day. And in the run up to the midterms, Donald Trump waged an unrelenting xenophobic campaign to convince Republicans America was on the verge of a 'deadly invasion of thugs, MS-13 gang members and Middle Eastern terrorists' masquerading as a caravan of desperate freedom and asylum-seeking Hispanic immigrants--many of them women and children--walking thousands of miles through difficult conditions to escape persecution and the threat of death.

But miraculously, the nanosecond the election was over, the incendiary rhetoric, which had been feverishly spewing from Trump's mouth like projectile vomit, immediately stopped. As if the caravan doesn't exist and never did. Astounding that this grave national-security emergency, a crisis so out-of-control that it required Trump to hurriedly dispatch the United States military to protect the Southern border, has now suddenly and swiftly vanished.

Which if course means there is no imminent danger. And that there never was. No threat. No invasion. Just a rancid cesspool of cowardly fear-mongering. These immigrants are not thugs, gang members or terrorists. Their only crime is that they continue to see America as their great beacon of hope and promise...where they could keep their kids alive, work hard and pursue the American dream. 

Which or course also means that Trump was lying. Again. That he shamelessly demonized these poor souls as pawns in his partisan shill-game to gin up the hate-vote. That he unconscionably exploited our troops for self-serving political purposes. That he yet again lashed out like a cornered rat because his fragile manbaby ego and political fortunes were threatened.

And once again he lied to the base. Those zombie-like cultists who would walk through fire for the sociopath who rewards their undying loyalty by summarily disrespecting and deceiving them with each syllable he speaks. By using and abusing their sons and daughters...who patriotically signed up to serve their country and asked for only one thing in return: to send them into conflict as a last resort. But instead of being mad-as-fucking hell they keep lapping up his deceptive bullshit like stray cats to a bowl of milk.

To be sure, over the past few weeks Trump has fed his base so much red meat they should be going into cardiac arrest. But they haven't. And probably never will. They are so brainwashed they'd likely follow him into the ether like the cyanide-swallowing Jonestown masses.

The unfortunate caravan saga is just one example of Trump's high crimes and misdemeanors. Just one example of how he's eroding our moral, ethical and legal foundations and normalizing ignorance, incivility, intolerance, racism, dishonesty and criminality.

Trump took an oath to uphold the Constitution. To defend and protect America's interests and the rights of its citizens. But almost every minute of every single day he violates that oath. He's betrayed his country and the people he was elected to serve. He puts his own interests before anyone or anything else. And as evidenced this past weekend in Paris, he's decimated our standing on the world stage. In doing so, our safety and national security is now at great risk.

Our future, and everything we stand for, is uncertain. 

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Dear Media: It's Time to Stand the F**K Up With/For Jim Acosta

CNN's Chief White House press correspondent Jim Acosta has been stripped of his access. For asking a question about the RussiaGate investigation. For simply doing his job. Free speech and freedom of the press are under attack. And it would behoove every single other White House correspondent to turn in their access as well until Acosta's is returned. Because an attack on one of them is an attack on them all.

Trump's ferocious attacks on the media is nothing new. His relentless incendiary "the media is the enemy of the people" rhetoric has persisted for years and is believed to have inspired the recent bombing attempts on George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, CNN and his other perceived opponents. It's the same brand of hate-speak that's also inspired the mass shooting-murder at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Which is why Trump's continued aggressive behavior and rhetoric towards Acosta, CNN and the media overall is beyond irresponsible and reprehensible and remains potentially deadly.  

Adding insult to injury, the White House, through its Baghdad Bob press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, even resorted to tweeting a doctored video (grounds for a massive libel suit?) Wednesday night to support the administration's nefarious claim that Acosta was menacing and physical towards a young female intern who attempted to grab the microphone away from him at Trump's surreal 90-minute East Village-worthy performance-art presser earlier in the day.

So it's time. It's time for the media to stand up to Trump and Sanders. To stand up for and with Acosta. To stand up for itself. For journalism. For freedom of the press and the Constitution. For decency, civility and the truth.

Because you can't have respect without self-respect. 

And no self-respecting White House correspondent could/would/should allow this egregious, tyrannical neo-Fascist ban to happen without a strong rebuke and act of defiance and unity.

Stop covering Trump. Stop attending his White House charades. Stop waiting for him to bloviate his pathological lies on the lawn. Stop attending the useless, irrelevant Sanders briefings.

It is a privilege to be president and serve the people. It is a privilege to live in a democracy that allows for a free and open press that can criticize and question its leaders.

Despite the oath he took to protect it, Trump does not respect the Constitution. He openly disdains and attacks the media. He doesn't appreciate the job of journalists and the critical role it serves in our democracy.

He needs to be reminded of that. He needs to learn a valuable lesson. Now.  

The worst thing you can do to Trump is to ignore him.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Hey Trump: You Begged Voters to Make the Election All About You. They Did

Dear Trump (I still refuse to acknowledge you as a legitimate president. Or even a "Mr"):

Congratulations! For months you've literally begged voters to make the midterm elections all about you. Night after night, rally after rally, tweet after tweet, you implored them to hit the polls yesterday thinking one thing: that it was you on the ballot. Well they did.

The election boiled down to a simple "yes" or No." Yes if you like Trump, no if you don't.

Americans said "No." Most of them, that is.

They said no to ignorance, intolerance, incivility and bullying. They said no to gaslighting and pathological-lying. They said no to sexism, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia, anti-Semitism and racism. They said no to corruption, criminality and treason.

They said yes to decency, civility, tolerance and humanity. They said yes to reality, facts and the truth. They said yes to women, Jews, blacks, LBGTQ, Hispanics, refugees and immigrants. They said yes to the Constitution and the rule of law. They said yes to checks and balances. Most importantly, they said yes to democracy.

Voters sent a strong message to you that you are not above the law. That you do not defy political gravity. That the system worked. That 242 years of process hasn't been destroyed no matter how hard you've been trying.

You acted. You used. You abused. You broke the law. You've betrayed America. And now you and your complicit Republican Congress are paying the price. It's all catching up to you.

We let Trump be Trump, and guess what? The experiment failed. You are not only our worst enemy, but your own.

To be fair, last night did not usher in the big blue tsunami Democrats had hoped for. And that's disappointing. Because it means there's still way too many Americans who are still seemingly ok with pussy-grabbing, sexual-abuse, white nationalism and hate-speak. But to acknowledge the overall results as anything but a huge Democrat victory would be dishonest and foolish.

All across America the political landscape is changing. And not in your favor. Democrats flipped at least 28 House seats and re-took control. They even won seats in Texas and Oklahoma, for example. There's a Democrat governor of Kansas now. Beto O'Rourke and Stacey Abrams came way closer than they should've in deeply red states like Texas and Georgia respectively.  Seven governorships flipped. And state and local seats flipped as well. You did that. You cost your party this power.

The election was a big win for women, minorities and LGBTQ. These victorious candidates not only represent the diverse cultural patchwork that is America, but are well-poised to be incredible Senate candidates in 2020.  

You asked for it to be all about you and we delivered.

You can spin the election as a "tremendous success" all you want, but we both know you understand the critical impact of losing the House. Of what it means to you and your crime family personally. You're most likely crappin' your pants right now. Because you know the investigations are coming. And the subpoenas. And the hearings.

And we haven't even gotten to Mueller yet...

So lawyer up... and strap yourself in. It's gonna be a bumpy ride...