Donald Trump’s net approval rating of -12.5 seems terrible.

But when you look at it in context, it tends to show that people hate Washington, and they don’t hate Trump much more or less than the Democratic leaders, whose net approval ratings are almost identical to Trump’s

Nancy Pelosi -13.3
Chuck Schumer -12.4

There is one person people hate more than Trump – Mitch McConnell at -23. Hating him is the one thing that liberals and conservatives can agree on. Yet McConnell may wield the most power of any of them.

So proclaimed our leader, using the same New Math he used to calculate his inauguration crowd.

Ya gotta love that guy! By the way, the population of Sri Lanka is between 20 and 25 million.

I have a theory about this. A lot of people think Trump is just careless or intellectually challenged. I disagree. I think he’s just manipulating us. I think he deliberately says “crazy shit” (to quote his former White House counsel) so the media, social media, pundits, late-night comics, and douchebags like me will concentrate on chasing micro-developments in these storylines, while ignoring all of his malignant schemes and his major failures in the realm of substantive policy issues. I think his theory is that everyone who discusses “covfefe” or “138 million” is someone who is not discussing his obstruction of justice, his lack of control over his subordinates, his lack of a coherent foreign policy, or his failure to work with lawmakers on either health care or immigration.

I may be giving him too much credit by thinking he’s cagey enough to use chaos as a strategy. Perhaps he’s just what he appears to be, a pathological liar and narcissist who has no control over his impulses, but I think it is dangerous to underestimate him. He was in the construction business in New York and New Jersey, sometimes underpaid his contractors, and is still alive, so you know he must have outstanding survival instincts.

The report read: “The President’s efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests.”

Instead of denying it, Trump should instead thank God they did. He probably in office now only because Chris Christie, Don McGahn, Dan Coats, Rob Porter and others failed to carry out his improper or illegal orders (“crazy shit,” as McGahn called it).

Polls, as of today (April 22)

New Hampshire: Sanders 30, Biden 18, Buttigieg 15

Iowa: Biden 19, Sanders 19, Buttigieg 14

That kinda makes Buittigieg the favorite, in that the other two are about 50/50 to still be alive come primary time. Beto O’Rourke seems to have run out of steam, having fallen to 6th in both states. I’m guessing that the Beto crowd has embraced Mayor Pete as their new savior.

The oddsmakers differ in one respect: they still place Kamala Harris above Buttigieg and Biden, and barely beneath Bernie. The polls show Harris barely making a blip on the radar (Iowa 6%, New Hampshire 4%).

Elizabeth Warren is foundering in both the polls and the odds, but she made a bold move today. She hopes to differentiate herself by being the only candidate calling for a Trump impeachment. Given that many Democrats agree with that stance, she hopes that might breathe new life into her campaign. Remains to be seen.

Here is the redacted Mueller report, all 448 pages of it.

“If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment.”

My quick summary, with comments, follows after the jump. It will probably upset you guys on both sides of the political spectrum …

Continue reading ““Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I’m fucked.””

They got asked questions and told the truth, and now they’re worried the wrath will follow

I’m sure their positions are secure. Surely nobody that we know would blame them for telling the truth.

Hey, White House officials – just remember to go full Omarosa. Tape every word of your exit interview. In several states you need a party’s consent to tape your conversation with them, but in the District of Columbia, you do not. It is a “one-party consent” area.

“Trump says he ‘has always liked’ Jimmy Carter. He previously called him the worst president in U.S. history.”

First of all, the WaPo headline implies that those two statements are contradictory. They are not. I like a lot of people that I consider completely incompetent, because their hearts are kind.

Secondly, at the time that Trump said those things they might have been accurate, or at least debatably so. No longer. As Trump noted:

Trump really took off the pressure, so, as he noted, Carter is no longer a candidate for the bottom spot.

I’ll bet he would.

Laughably, he then goes on to say he wasn’t even in the room during the period of time when the non-existent pee tape was shot! (Say, when exactly was that time when it was shot? Just asking so we can check your whereabouts.)

I’ve mentioned before that I think the pee tape is probably real. My reason is that Trump asked James Comey to investigate it. If he had done nothing like the suggested action, then he would have been absolutely sure that no tape could have possibly existed, ergo there would have been nothing to investigate. By asking Comey to look into it, he was conceding the possibility that such a thing might exist.

“Donald Trump told Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan he would grant McAleenan a pardon if he were sent to jail for having border agents block asylum seekers from entering the US in defiance of US law.”

Hey, Kev and company, you better make sure to get that in writing. Trump has been known to default, reverse and renege on occasion (or simply deny he ever said it in the first place). If you want to get him pinned down, you have to go full Omarosa and tape every word.

Denial is always his go-to lie, but if Trump ultimately can’t deny this because there are too many witnesses, then he needs a backup. He can always use his own reputation as a legal defense of this position, “Sure I said it, but everyone knows I never mean what I say.”

Follow-up: the initial denial

Trump is not likely to worry about moral or legal obstacles, because he’s Trump, but financing is another matter.

I think he can find a fine historical precedent. When a country in the 20th century did not want to have unwanted minorities around, they shipped them elsewhere by boxcar.

That has to be economical. Just round ’em all up, load them in a single long train, destination San Francisco train station in Pelositown:

Everybody out – and good luck to all!

This would have the additional … er … benefit that illegal immigrants would find life in San Francisco delightful, and would write to the people back home telling them to join the fun!

———

Don’t tell Stephen Miller about this. He will not realize my suggestions are ironic. After he read Jonathan Swift, he Googled recipes to cook Catholic babies.

It’s a Stephen Miller scheme. Could you have guessed? He even looks like a Bond villain.

“The Trump administration pressured the Department of Homeland Security to release immigrants detained at the southern border into so-called sanctuary cities in part to retaliate against Democrats who oppose President Donald Trump’s plans for a border wall.”

Trump not only admitted this, but bragged about it on Twitter:

Some say that the DHS resistance to this plan is the reason for Nielsen’s removal and/or the alleged ongoing house-cleaning at the agency. Rumor has it that they will also fire the DHS General Counsel who told the White House that this was probably illegal. That person, John Mitnick, is allegedly the “reason why most of the immigration policies from DHS never came to fruition.” Insiders say that Nielsen’s failure to remove Mitnick and some others was an important reason why she was in the doghouse.

I have to say this plan is genius.

EVIL genius, of course.

It’s immoral, and probably illegal, so it’s pure Lex Luthor genius, but genius nonetheless.

The U.S. Immigration System May Have Reached a Breaking Point

“Experts say the president is not wrong when he says that ‘legal loopholes’ in America’s immigration system are partly responsible for encouraging migrants to bring children on a dangerous journey that in some cases ends in tragedy.”

Of course, Trump is not correct about the fact that these people are drug lords, terrorists and criminals. They are almost all just poor people, often ill people, desperate for a better life. The only real danger they represent consists of the diseases they carry.

“The majority of our agents get sick. Infectious disease is everywhere. There’s always scabies in there. Usually we have chickenpox. We have tuberculosis in there. You name it, it’s probably been through that building. So it’s dangerous. It’s dangerous for our agents. It’s dangerous for the detainees that don’t have anything.”

The distinction between Trump’s perception and reality seems irrelevant, because the real point is just that there are too many of them and our system can no longer process them effectively. As the FNYT reports: “The flow of migrant families has reached record levels, with February totals 560 percent above those for the same period last year.” Trump may be confused about the nature of the danger, but he seems to be correct that the danger is real.

And the most depressing element of this situation is that nobody seems to have a solution, and the few ideas that might be tried are rejected by one side of the aisle or the other, so the backlog just keeps piling up.

Heads-up in advance: I am not kidding …

“Filings by the department since June 2017 reveal a new interpretation that ‘would permit the president – and all federal officials – to accept unlimited amounts of money from foreign governments, as long as the money comes through commercial transactions with an entity owned by the federal official.'”

Yup, that’s right. Our government officials can take all the foreign bribes they want as long as the foreign governments don’t actually hand them the checks. According to this interpretation, it is literally true that if Joe President owned a bank, he could accept unlimited amounts of “interest payments” from foreign investors.

The esteemed professor of medicine, Donald J. Trump, again settled the scientific debate.

In this case, there’s not even a debate. He just manufactured this from whole cloth, and it is wacky even by his own high standard of wackitude. “Cancer is not caused by noises of any kind. A power source that does cause many health problems, including cancer, is coal, an extremely dirty fuel Trump loves and has attempted to bolster.”