The Day After Stormy

red dress

To prepare for the water cooler conversations today, I highly recommend Josh Marshall, who has five points. I’ll tease with a couple of them.

The big takeaway from her account of their relationship was that she quickly asserted a dominant position in her interactions with Trump and maintained that throughout. …

Finally, the big news. Who threatened Daniels? She made it very clear she could identify the person if she saw him again. If you know Cohen’s business associates and particularly his past in the Taxi medallion business – strongarming major magnates in that world – you don’t need to have any question about who sent that goon. This is how Cohen operates because it’s how Trump operates.

As I said, the other three points are good, too.

A Perennial Conundrum, Solved by Aardvark

tighty

As you struggle to rid your mind of the image of Donald Trump spanked in his tighty whities, permit me to raise once again the puzzling question posed by this headline: Kaine: Trump is ‘lying’ or ‘delusional’ on DACA.

OK, so which is it, lying or delusional behavior?

For a long time I went with delusional. I now know that was too simple.

Like the Cretan in the paradox, Trump always lies.

But he doesn’t lie cleverly. Instead, he always tries to gaslight you by telling a lie that’s exactly 180 degrees from the truth. In consequence, the public has come to learn that if they want to know the truth, all they have to do is figure out what is the precise opposite of what Don the Con just said.

Prime example last week: the tweet that all the big law firms and high powered lawyers yearn to be his defense counsel. When the truth is that none of them want to work for him.

And, by the way, let me pause to tell you why they won’t work for him. There are many good and sufficient reasons, but here’s the main one. The big law firms depend on hiring a stream of highly intelligent and ambitious law graduates. And highly intelligent law graduates, finishing their legal education in 2018, are not going to work for the law that works for Donald Trump. And the management committee bloody well knows it. Trust me on this one.

We now return to our regularly scheduled program.

It’s reasonably clear now that Don the Con always lies, and a lot of the time he knows he’s lying. His mental disability lies in his failure to gauge the effect of his lying. He believes he is a superhero with the magical power to gaslight the public. But his act has just about run its course.

Seventy-two percent of registered voters now want Mueller to continue his investigation. Eleven percent think Mueller should be fired.

Congressman Costello has figured out that the game is over, the jig is up. Fox News will figure it out some time in the next little while.

And that, of course, will be the moment when Trump starts a war.

 

Please Forgive Me, Congressman Costello, I Have Let You Down Badly

toxic

Rep. Costello won’t run for reelection in Pennsylvania:

Republican Rep. Ryan Costello won’t seek reelection this fall, a blow to Republicans seeking to hold his redrawn, suburban Philadelphia district.

In an interview on Sunday with the Daily Local News of West Chester (Pa.), Costello blamed the “political environment” for abandoning his reelection bid, including the conduct of President Donald Trump.

“Whether it’s Stormy Daniels, or passing an omnibus spending bill that the president threatens to veto after promising to sign [it], it’s very difficult to move forward in a constructive way today,” Costello told the paper.

Costello also had blame for “the left” for contributing “a lot of hate” and fostering a toxic political environment.

I must examine my conscience. Is Aardvark one of those fostering a toxic political environment? How can I look at myself in the mirror?

The Rancidness of Contemporary Evangelicalism

Aardvark’s posse have been exchanging email all weekend about the awfulness of some of the recent Facebook postings of our classmates from our Red State High School days back in the 1960s.

The conversation is enriched and given perspective by a long piece by Michael Gerson, himself an evangelical. You need to read it for yourself, and I won’t try to provide a fair summary. But a lot of the problem has to do with some bad choices evangelicals made at crucial points in history—like demanding that their adherent reject belief in evolution. Or making a huge deal out of Supreme Court decisions on prayer in the schools. Or—unlike the Catholics—never developing a coherent theory about what religions requires by way of social action. Or the fact that many of their leaders have sold their souls to Donald Trump.

After reading Gerson, I have a better sense of what happened—including what has probably happened to some of the increasingly crazy folks among my former high school classmates.

I still lack a compelling answer to why it happened.

Gonna Be Dershowitz

dershowitz

Almost all the qualified criminal defense lawyers have deserted Trump or refused to join his team in the first place.

What’s Don the Con going to do? I think he’s going to place himself in the hands of retired Harvard Law professor and current Faux News commentator, Alan Dershowitz. And I think Dershowitz will take the job.

Back when Hector was a pup, I learned what little I know about criminal law from Dershowitz, so I have followed his career with some interest.

Thinks he’s ten times as smart as everyone else. Loves to mouth off. Loves the spotlight. Loves to defend seemingly lost causes. Defended Claus vol Bulow and got a movie out of it. Defended Mike Tyson. One on the cast of thousands on the O.J. Simpson legal team.

Sure, he’ll take on the job of defending Trump.

But what’s gonna happen when Trump refuses to follow his advice—as he’s done with all his other lawyers—and Dershowitz reads him the riot act?