“NOTHING WAS DONE WRONG!” Some Thoughts for the Cocktail Hour

Franklin Graham

As the Very, Very Reverend Franklin Graham calls down the wrath of God on the Democrats, we have it on good authority that President Pence is looking better and better out in Sioux City, Iowa.

May it be so. World without end. Amen.

Meanwhile, Trump, calling on some primal resource deep within his lizard brain, has intuited that if his alternate reality begins to slip from the minds of his cult followers, he is royally screwed, blued, and tattooed. Hence the NOTHING WAS DONE WRONG! tweet.

Nothing Wrong Tweet

As I reported earlier today, the Wall Street Journal has gently hinted to its plutocratic readers that this may not be the world’s best idea—for the said plutocratic leaders and for the empty suited politicians who represent them.

But Trump, it is said, has a mystical connection with the minds of the uneducated white folk of the heartland. So I think I’m goin’ with The Donald on this one: yep, let the alternative reality fade from their simple minds, and it’s all over for the Trumpeter.

I don’t know whether that’s right. But hallelujah, may it be so. World without end. Amen.

I want to share Daily Kos’ take on the matter. You will learn nothing new from it. But it is  the cocktail hour right now, out on the Right Coast.

Daily Kos writes,

The idiot in chief was at it again, on Sunday, this time apparently responding to Republicans who have been attempting to both-sides their way through impeachment questions by muttering, to the press, that Donald Trump was wrong to extort Ukraine into opening “investigations” of his political foes but that it wasn’t so bad as to amount to an impeachable offense.

That was never, ever going to fly with Donald Trump, because Donald Trump is a (say it with me, now) malignant narcissist. He is mentally ill. He genuinely believes he is perfect, his actions are perfect, he is the bestest phone-talker in the history of phone talking and he will get VERY DAMN MAD AT YOU if you suggest otherwise.

Republican lawmakers may think their best path for dodging responsibility to an exposed high crime, of the explicitly mentioned-in-the-Constitution variety, is to very lightly rap Trump on the shoulders while declaring that well, the Constitutional edict against doing crimes is more of a suggestion, really, but Trump has no intention of allowing that to happen. One does not criticize Dear Leader by suggesting that he has done something wrong. One praises Dear Leader for his perfection, and if you can’t handle that, Trump’s tone suggests, you may end up on Dear Leader’s enemies list no matter how you vote on impeachment itself.

That puts Republicans, especially Senate Republicans, in a bind. Anyone who does not want to look like a frothing authoritarian-minded nut (sit down, Lindsey) has to acknowledge that no, it is not “perfect” to withhold military aid from an ally as means of pressuring them into supporting an election-related conspiracy theory that your personal “lawyer” friend cooked up to smear your next possible election opponent.

From that uncontroversial real-world perch, Republican senators think perhaps they can rappel down briefly to crackpot crazytown base-land with declarations that it is still not quite corrupt enough to actually do anything about. Spilled milk and all; oh well, chalk this one up to Trump just not knowing which crimes are crimes.

That would allow them to avoid collapsing entirely into the Dear Leaderism of the Jim Jordans and Devin Nuneses, so that they themselves do not look mind-bogglingly corrupt, while still avoiding all-but-certain primary challenges from Republicans who dothink Dear Leader ought to be able to commit any damn crime he wants to. It’s what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, perhaps, intends as the Senate’s escape hatch now that a dozen different witnesses have testified that Trump and allies without question carried out the extortion effort, over the course of many months; the previous Republican stance that Trump did nothing wrong is now impossible to plausibly argue, so arguing that Trump’s corrupt act was not a presidential dealbreaker is the current line of retreat.

But Trump isn’t having it. Dear Leader is perfect, by God, and not one of you will be getting out of this by meekly claiming otherwise.

I think it’s time for a drink. Not only to accompany the wit and wisdom of Daily Kos, but also because my Russian readership is steadily growing, and I’m a little concerned.

The Wall Street Journal Would Like You to Know that Trump Lied About Ukraine Aid to Sen. Ron Johnson (R.-Wis.)

liar liar

I wonder who was their source. Who, o who, could it be?

Wall Street Journal, Trump, in August Call With GOP Senator, Denied Official’s Claim on Ukraine Aid: Sen. Ron Johnson asked the president after hearing of potential pressure campaign:

President Trump denied that he had linked military aid to Ukraine with a commitment by Kyiv to investigate the 2016 presidential election when pressed on the matter by a Republican senator in August, according to the lawmaker.

In an interview, Sen. Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) said he learned of a potential quid pro quo from the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, who told him that aid to Ukraine was tied to the desire by Mr. Trump and his allies to have Kyiv undertake investigations that the president has sought.

Mr. Johnson raised the issue with Mr. Trump in a phone call on Aug. 31, shortly before the senator was due to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In the call, Mr. Trump flatly rejected the notion that he directed aides to make military aid to Ukraine contingent on a new investigation by Kyiv, Mr. Johnson said.

Mr. Johnson, who supports aid to Ukraine and is the chairman of a Senate subcommittee with jurisdiction over the region, said Mr. Trump was adamant on the issue. “He said—‘Expletive deleted—No way. I would never do that. Who told you that?” the Wisconsin senator recalled. Mr. Johnson told Mr. Trump that he had learned of the arrangement from Mr. Sondland.

 

The Wall Street Journal Would Like You to Know Some Things about the China Trade Deal That Ain’t Happenin’

one or the other

Wall Street Journal, Trump Administration Goes Ahead with New Tariffs on Chinese Products: U.S. duties of 15% on tools, apparel items, some footwear and many electronics are expected to hit consumers

One thing the Journal would like you to know is that the tariffs Trump has imposed will cost every American household between $600 and $1000 this year.

They would also like you to know that the leaders of the People’s Republic

  • have concluded they are not going to get a trade deal
  • see no incentive to help Trump out of the hole he has dug, and
  • are waiting back for the pain suffered by American farmers and other businesses to have its natural political effect.

In addition,

Chinese retaliatory measures also went into effect on Sunday, with more to come on Dec. 15. The biggest categories of American exports to be hit with extra tariffs Sunday include $3.2 billion in annual soybean shipments, $2.55 billion in crude oil and $1.16 billion in pharmaceuticals, according to Panjiva Research.

Also, paraphrasing slightly, the Journal would like to inform you that the Chinese are prepared to go through the motions of a negotiation, but any deal they might accept would be a really good deal for China.

A Retraction, or Maybe a Qualification

Previously, I have opined that Trump’s best course of action would be to give China what they want, and then—lying through his teeth, as is his wont—claim to have achieved a great victory.

But I now think that things have gone too far. I believe Trump is damned if he does take a China-friendly deal, and damned if he doesn’t. Because if he backs down now, all the farmers who have lost their Chinese markets will remain fucked, and all the businesses with disrupted supply chains will remain screwed.

They probably will not like the fact that they have been well and truly swived, for nothing whatsoever.

Any more than the Aardvarks like the fact that we are paying $600-1000 this year so that Trump can stroke he ego.

The Wall Street Journal Would Like The Donald to Know Exactly and Precisely What Made the Market Tank Today

monopoly man

Amidst all the reporting and commentary on today’s madness, the Wall Street Journal alone (to my knowledge) supplies this informative observation:

Markets broadly held up following China’s tariff announcement and Mr. Powell’s speech but reacted negatively to Mr. Trump’s Twitter proclamations with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping more than 600 points, yields on U.S. government bonds tumbling and many commodities prices falling.