Well, if you didn’t need to do it, then it’s not an emergency, is it?

“I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn’t need to do this.”

An emergency, by definition, is “a serious, unexpected situation requiring immediate action.”

Trump would get away with a lot more of his nefarious schemes if he’d just keep his mouth shut. Needless to say, “keeping his mouth shut” is not one of his strong points. He’s like a super-villain who trips himself up because he reveals his secret plans to 007 or Batman, just because he wants Bond or the Caped Crusader to know how smart he is.

“Trying to use the 25th Amendment to try and circumvent the Election is a despicable act of unconstitutional power grabbing…which happens in third world countries. You have to obey the law. This is an attack on our system & Constitution.”

(The Amendments are part of the Constitution.)

Dershowitz is just fear-mongering and spouting nonsense. It is completely impossible to use the 25th Amendment to overturn an election. There is literally no such thing, because the only person who can possibly benefit from the process is the Vice-President, who was elected in the very same election!

I don’t even understand the question. I always think “Black enough for what?”

Is she trying to win the Oval Office or a hip-hop Grammy?

Is this one black enough? Is this one feminine enough? Is this one guilty of cultural appropriation? This kind of cannibalism, the people of the left eating their own, is a good reason why liberals frequently end up fielding their second team and thus losing elections to drooling idiots, stumblebums and racists.

Is Harris representative of the average African American? I suppose not, but I can’t imagine what difference that makes. Look at her policies and character. If you don’t like them, try to educate her about your concerns, then move on to another candidate if she’s unresponsive.

I really don’t know anything about her, other than that she fucked up on that tweet about the tax refunds, meaning she is just as bad at numbers as every other politician. I did like that interview where she said she smoked dope and she inhaled the shit out of it. I know she is descended from Jamaican slaves and attended Howard University, which sounds pretty fuckin’ black to me, but what do I know? Given that I’m so white I could be the mutant offspring of Edgar Winter and a female polar bear, I don’t really get a vote on black authenticity.

He didn’t use the word “lied.” He said “contradicted by other evidence.”

“The committee has identified several individuals with direct knowledge of the phone calls you denied receiving from the White House.”

The king of the Big Dick Toilets was not subpoenaed, but he did testify under oath.

Oops.

Whitaker’s 15 minutes are just about up. In fact, he may no longer be acting AG when you read this. Barr’s confirmation vote should be held on Thursday.

Lyndon LaRouche, the political extremist and conspiracy theorist who ran for president in eight consecutive national elections, died Tuesday, his political action committee confirmed. He was 96.”

One of the more fascinating tidbits: he ran one of his eight Presidential campaigns from prison! He was sentenced to 15 years in prison for running some scam or another, but he only served about six years. I presume they let him out early because they just got tired of listening to him. I think even Charles Manson found him “a little out there.”

Although he did nothing that I know of on the internet, he was the true father of internet nutbaggery. He was a prominent nutburger before it was even a thing. If you took ten of his wackiest positions and intermingled them with ten headlines from the late, lamented Weekly World News, nobody but a true LaRouche expert could tell the difference.

Although LaRouche was pretty much wrong about everything he ever said, I suppose he may well turn out to be right about his overall premise:

“A central tenet of his apocalyptic platform warned of an inevitable global downward slide into crisis.”

True enough. That may not happen in the next ten or a hundred or even a million years, but I suppose it is inevitable. Maybe it will occur fairly soon in cosmic terms, or maybe not until the sun burns out. Making that prediction is sort of like predicting that Dwayne Johnson will die. No matter how fit and healthy he seems today, your prediction has to be right eventually.

Trump’s claim about Beto’s rally: “He has 200 people, 300 people.”

The facts: “Estimates from O’Rourke’s anti-border wall protest show that 7,000 to 8,000 people attended his rally. Some other reports put attendance as high as 10,000 to 15,000.”

Trump’s claim about his own rally: “The arena holds 8,000. And thank you, Fire Department. They got in about 10,000. Thank you, Fire Department. Appreciate it.”

The Fire Department: “Fire Department spokesman Enrique Aguilar told the El Paso Times on Monday that Trump did not receive permission to exceed the limit and that there were 6,500 people inside the building during the president’s rally.”

No wonder he doesn’t want us to see his tax returns! Not a big numbers guy.

In some degree to fairness to Trump, he’s probably not much worse at numbers than most other politicians. I have to say that I never once saw any of our campus activists, right or left, YAF or SDS, in a non-required math class. They were not big on classes where you couldn’t assert your superior solution by shouting down the opposition.

And it’s not just a right-wing phenomenon. Remember that Elizabeth Warren claimed that the number of Americans incarcerated for low-level marijuana offenses was greater than the number locked up for all violent crimes! That claim was even more ridiculous than Trump’s boasts about his crowd sizes. The numbers are not even vaguely comparable.

* In the federal prisons, of the approximately 180,000 prisoners, only about 250 are there for drug possession, and only about 12% of those involve marijuana. That means about 30 people in the entire vast expanse of the United States. Of course that is 30 too many, but those 30 are a drop in the bucket compared to the inmates who were convicted of violent crimes.

* In the state prisons, about 3.4% of all prisoners are in for drug possession – of any kind of drug, not just reefer. Assuming the same ratio as the Feds (marijuana possession offenders as a percentage of all of possession offenders), that means about 5000 people are incarcerated for marijuana possession in a total prison population of more than a million. It is regrettable that we have imprisoned more than five thousand people for possession of some doobie. If I were the president, I’d pardon them all. But again – that is an insignificant group beside the violent offenders (some 700,000).

The survey was done over a two-week period almost entirely BEFORE the Northam blackface scandal was first reported.

Only 37% of Republicans thought blackface was unacceptable.

66% of black people feel that blackface is not acceptable, with an additional 16% in the “not sure / don’t know” group.

And yet …

The majority of Republicans are calling for Northam to resign, and the vast majority of black people believe he should not. I reckon our ethical standards are highly fluid.

It would be interesting and useful to take the exact same poll again now, which would allow the pollsters to establish an hypocrisy index.

Interestingly, white Democrats have not been hypocritical as a group. They said that blackface was unacceptable, declaring so in almost the same percentage as black people, and they have also broadly called for Northam to step down.

Well, I doubt that will happen.

The removal of a President is a political process, not a legal one, because the Constitution does not define an impeachable offense other than “high crimes and misdemeanors,” a phrase which means whatever Congress says it means. The reality is that if you’re going to remove him from office, you need the votes of 67 senators. As I’ve noted many times, there is no reasonably imaginable Trump action that would cause that to happen.

What if Trump gave Putin a blow job while they both shit on an American flag?

Nah. The GOP spin doctors would say we are coming closer to peace by having better relations with Russia.

Maybe if he dropped an atomic bomb on Wall Street …

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) pledged this week in her campaign kickoff that she would never stop fighting everyday Americans. “I will stand up to the common man—with my fists,” said Klobuchar, asserting that she would take on all Americans—rich, poor, black, white, straight, or gay—in an all-out brawl until every last one was bleeding and unconscious. “As president, I promise the American people an open exchange of blows. I will not hold back in beating every citizen to a pulp. Just like I’ve fought tooth and nail against the people of Minnesota.”

(The Onion)

Well … duh!

Is there anyone who didn’t already realize that?

“He said it wasn’t his idea. The president had ordered him to write the memo justifying the firing.”

If you have forgotten, the President then used the memo to justify the firing of Comey on Rosenstein’s recommendation.

(Hey, why wait for somebody to produce a case that Comey should be fired when you can do it yourself? That’s just good business. In the corporate world we call it vertical integration! You don’t need a supplier if you ARE the supplier. And it’s often wise to give your supplier a different name, creating a house brand, even if they are really your own company. In this case, Rosenstein was his house brand.)

The background: they published some of Bezos’s intimate text messages, whereupon Bezos hired investigators to find out how the Enquirer could have gotten their hands on his personal texts. The Enquirer does not like being investigated …

And then Bezos picks up the story

“A few days after hearing about Mr. Pecker’s apoplexy, we were approached, verbally at first, with an offer. They said they had more of my text messages and photos that they would publish if we didn’t stop our investigation.”

After Bezos ignored their verbal threats, they sent him a written description of the pics they have of him, and said “It would give no editor pleasure to send this email. I hope common sense can prevail — and quickly.”

Needless to say (since we know about it), Bezos simply chose to make the letter public, and continued his investigation. He told his investigators that they have an unlimited budget – and Bezos is VERY VERY rich, so “unlimited” means truly as much as a hundred investigators could spend in several lifetimes.

The big question – why is the Enquirer so paranoid about being investigated? The answer lies in their settlement in the Trump case. In return for not being prosecuted for the obvious crimes they committed there, they had to sign an agreement not to commit any crimes of any kind for three years, and if they did, then “A.M.I. shall thereafter be subject to prosecution for any federal criminal violation of which this office has knowledge.” In other words, if they commit any further crimes, they would no longer get away scott-free on the Trump crimes. That probably would mean prison time for ol’ Mr. Pecker himself.

Obviously, they can’t afford to have a swarm of investigators up in their business.

They only part I don’t understand is why they thought Bezos would cave to the blackmail. He’s not running for office, and he has more money than he can ever spend, even if he has to fork over half to his wife, so he has nothing to lose, nothing to be afraid of, and there is really no way to control him unless he has committed a crime. Publish his dick pics? Who cares when you have 60 billion dollars earned legally? If you give me 60 billion dollars, you can publish all the dick pics you want. I’ll even pose for some new ones. Just make sure the check is good.

It’s interesting to see how the oddsmakers view it.

If you really think your faves have a chance at the Oval Office, you might be able to clean up on this. For example, you can get 25-1 on Elizabeth Warren, so a bet of ten grand lands you a check for a quarter of a million if she makes it to the White House. Righteous bucks.

Or as she would say, righteous wampum.

Trump is, as you might expect, approximately an even money bet (21-10), since he’s more or less certain of the GOP nomination, and about a coin flip in the general election.

A bet for Kamala Harris only pays off 6-1 at this moment. That doesn’t seem like a good bet to me. A lot can happen between now and then, and that’s not much reward for your risk. Kamala has really been established as a betting favorite, which surprised me. I like her well enough, but I didn’t know she had that much swagger. She only pays off 10-3 on a bet to win the Democratic nomination.

Beto is the next favorite for the nomination, even though he hasn’t even declared. The best payoff on him is 13-2 to win the nomination. Biden is next, with the best odds being 7-1. There is a sizeable gap after those three. Bernie pays off at 12-1, Warren at 14-1. At this point Cory Booker is a 20-1 shot for the nomination. You can get 33-1 on Hillary if you like the long shots.

The President offers a “compromise” to break the stalemate

Trump said he wants to build in 2019 not a full-length wall, but merely 230 miles of wall, costing $5.7 billion dollars in the 2019 budget. That’s about right, about $25 million per mile. A group of MIT engineers estimated a cost of 27 to 40 million per mile, but that was based on his previous prototypes, which were before the new steel slat design.

So Trump is willing to trade DACA and TPS for only 230 miles of wall material which is probably sorely needed (I would have to hear from the DHS experts to change that “probably” to “definitely” or “definitely not.”) Remember the photographer who shot the entire length of the wall found areas where there was nothing at all to prevent people from simply walking in. Trump may well be right in saying we really do need another 230 miles of barriers.

Note that Trump’s proposal is just that – a proposal. An offer. A negotiation. If the Democrats really want to negotiate in good faith, in my opinion, they should submit a counter-proposal to show the American public exactly where the two sides disagree. If I were in their shoes, the first thing I would demand would be a permanent DACA solution, not a delaying action that will create this same crisis again in three years. That is management by procrastination.

The Dems could really declare a win if they agree to Trump’s deal (with DACA made permanent) by taking control of the narrative and saying – “We did not fund a border wall across the southern border. We only funded 230 miles of barriers in areas that are basically unprotected today.” That would be a major victory over Trump, whose base was expecting a shiny new wall from sea to shining sea, all paid for by Mexico.

And, of course, it would also get the government open again, and government families would again be able to pay their bills.

Just call me the Amazing Kreskin. Here is my prediction.

Trump will offer to make some concessions on other matters in order to get his border wall.

They will be meaningful and realistic concessions of a statesmanlike nature, filled with well-researched key details about where a wall is really necessary, and a willingness to take only the amount needed to build that portion of the wall, in exchange for a deal on the Dreamers. He will also offer a sincere apology for having let the stalemate go on long enough to hurt so many American families and the economy in general. He will establish himself as a compassionate man and great leader who considers the welfare of his fellow Americans more important than his own ego, thus shaming the Democrats quietly and subtly, without his usual insults and ad hominem or ad mulierem arguments.

Just kidding.

This will not be a sincere attempt to end the impasse, but will be yet another political ploy to shift blame for the shut-down. He will offer concessions that the Democrats have already rejected. When they reject them again, he will say “See, the shut-down is the Democrats’ fault. I tried.”

Now he might not do that, but that is exactly what Richard Nixon would do, and Trump frequently uses the Nixon playbook. Nixon never stopped playing politics. There was, however, a major difference between Nixon and Trump: given a choice between ruining the country or ruining himself, Nixon finally chose to step aside in disgrace to let the country heal. It happened after many attempts to lie and deflect and defend his way out of it, but ultimately he spared the country when he finally realized that he really was the dead mouse that had to be swept from America’s kitchen floor, as commentator Nicholas von Hoffman had suggested.

I don’t see Trump ever thinking that a mere country is more important than Donald Trump.

No country. Not even Russia.

That’s where America is now. We have a President with less character than Richard Milhous Nixon. How many of you guys who remember Nixon ever thought that to be even a remote possibility?

—————

Secondary prediction: when the Dems inevitably reject his insincere offer, Trump will first blame the Dems for the stalemate, let that sink in for a day or two, then have no choice but to play the national emergency card “for the good of the country and the safety of all good Americans.”

“Good Americans,” of course, translates as all white Americans, unless they are gay, or Jewish, or young, or have a vagina, or dislike Hannity.

He will make an exception in the vagina case if they are really hot. We do need to ensure the safety of our precious and endangered national reserve of supermodels.

I am not as confident that Trump will do this portion of the prediction, because it would require him to think two moves ahead (I’ll do this, they will respond like that, so then I’ll do this). I am not confident that he can plan that far in advance. On the other hand, he may end up deciding to do that in anger, even if it is not in his current thinking.

President Trump Directed His Attorney Michael Cohen To Lie To Congress About The Moscow Tower Project

Mueller’s office has poo-pooed the article, or has at least established that some details are not correct.

UPDATE from the comments section:

Inside the Mueller’s teams decision to dispute the Buzzfeed article

“Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer, confirmed on Thursday that he paid a small tech firm to rig online polls,”… “at the direction of and for the sole benefit of” Trump.

This sounds worse than it is. It’s SOP. ALL online polls are invalid, and since the sample is self-selecting, they are all rigged in a sense. Every one I’ve ever seen is “stuffed.”

But you have to love the details of the payoff. The Journal reported: “Cohen gave Gauger a blue Walmart bag containing about $13,000 in cash. Gauger also said that Cohen randomly included a boxing glove Cohen claimed at the time had been worn by a Brazilian mixed-martial arts fighter.”

(Cohen denies those details, thereby refuting the one and only cool thing anyone has ever said about him.)

The other great detail: Trump/Cohen were supposed to pay the guy $50,000 in total. According to the story, Trump did give Cohen the fifty grand, but Cohen only turned over $13K and pocketed the rest.

In a related detail: Cohen also hired that same firm to promote a “Cohen is sexy” campaign on Twitter. Wall Street Journal reports Cohen paid John Gauger to set up WomenForCohen account to promote him as a ‘pit bull’ and ‘sex symbol’

———

Boy, if ever a client and a lawyer were meant for each other!

You go, Rudy. Soon you’ll actually fall back on the spurious Onion quote of you saying “Crime is not illegal.”

Perhaps Giuliani is right. It’s hard to keep track of his positions. He has argued that collusion is not a crime, so he obviously thought there might be some. Well, I was assuming he thinks rationally. I figured, “If he thought there was no collusion, he would not bring up the subject of whether it was criminal.” That might be logical on my part if we were talking about a sensible person, but this is Rudy.

The President, however has said many times that the campaign did not collude with Russia, the most recent being his infamous “smocking gun” tweet in December.

In the past year, the percentage of Americans approving the wall has increased from 34% to 42%. Assuming 250 million Americans of voting age, that means Trump managed, in the past year, to convince an additional 20 million eligible voters to support his position.

Among college-educated voters, support for the wall rose 13 points, from 30% to 43%. That means that college-educated voters are now slightly more likely to support the wall than those without degrees. The opposite was true last year.

“Strong” opposition to the wall has declined significantly, from 52 percent last January to 38 percent now.

———–

Mind you, these findings still show that the majority of Americans oppose the wall. (54-42, with 4 undecided).

It’s also worth noting that the majority of Americans blame Trump for the shutdown. About twice as many blame Trump as blame the Democrats. (53-29, with the other 18% either in the “don’t know” or “both” camps).

Americans overwhelmingly reject Trump’s depiction of the border situation as a “crisis.” Only 24% agree with that. On the other hand, another 48% call it a serious problem, so almost 3/4 of Americans believe that the border situation is a serious problem or worse. (The rest are either undecided or in the “not a serious problem” camp.)