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Member since: Thu Aug 18, 2005, 09:38 AM
Number of posts: 195

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Stipulating that the Federal Elections Commission is useless....

I'm surprised there hasn't been a more vigorous legal attempt to interdict Trump's practice of treating most if not all his campaign stops as official government business, characterizing them as tours, listening sessions, or whatever. He's squeezing tens of millions of dollars out of taxpayers to cover his coarse, negative, smear-filled vote hunting. So is Pence.

I doubt it will do them any good at this point. And it isn't as if previous presidents haven't done this occasionally. But it's still the case this is the first truly 24/7, permanent-campaign administration. T's refusal to truly step away from his business interests was an immediate issue but these continuing "I'm just here to pay my respects" or "welcome to our celebration of American Independence" festivities now get no more than shrugs. Of course, he's been so bad on so many far more critical level, so who's got time to worry about such relatively petty transgressions? Nevertheless, he's set a low bar and perhaps a dangerous precedent for unscrupulous successors.

Republican cover-up flaw

Presuming the GOP through Barr and congressional leaders continue to foot-drag or fail to deliver most of all of the Mueller report to the House committees seeking it, there is one way it might pop up anyway.

Sen. Lindsay "Boo Radley" Graham is planning to investigate the investigators, even though the GOP lawmakers already have spent a lot of time questioning principles in the FBI and Justice Department whom they hypothesize were biased and anti-Trump. If those hearings commence, it will be necessary to actually look at the product of the work of all these investigators and lawyers whose work contributed to Mueller's report. You can't ask about the efficacy of the report and the work that went into it without actually discussing the report.

Now I understand Graham is mainly interested in the pre-special counsel period, especially the "discredited dossier" and alleged motivations for beginning investigations of Trump. Maybe that's the way he segregates (appropriate verb for a southern GOP senator) the early days of the probe from the final report, but the final report is, in fact, a prospective proof against the argument that unprofessional hacks didn't care how they did it but they were going to "get" Trump. If you believe Barr (though why would you?), the "liberal" cabal of agents and lawyers in the end absolved Trump. Curious, huh? It's typical, massive, GOP cognitive dissonance, but Repubs and conservatives don't perceive that in themselves, so let the show trial begin.

Indeed, Trump has put the stamp of wonderfulness on the unseen (by others and probably still himself) report, calling it the best report possible. Oh really? Then, again, how do we reconcile the Graham/GOP thesis? By comparing how the investigations began with how they concluded. Recognizing, of course, that Trump is still being investigated.

At the very minimum, you would think this natural progression would force Graham et. al. to at some point go into closed session. But that would obviate the primary purpose of his counter-investigation -- namely, a dog and pony show to impress upon voters how this all really was a witch hunt, and that Hillary and Obama did it.

Maybe the GOP will have ways around this conundrum, even if they're only crude denials of Democratic requests for a fair inquiry. But the public -- most of whom would like to see the report -- will nevertheless be reminded that the GOP is once again in its usual sleight-of-hand mode.


Politico reports that our Preznit has a nasty habit of tearing up official government documents that cross his Prezinential desk. Trying to meet federal retention requirements in the Presidential Records Act, a team of government analysts has been spending its time attempting to reassemble the torn papers.

I gave thought to how this team of hard-working public servants might make their operation more efficient and then it hit me. They should contact the Iranian students who in 1979 managed to reassemble thousands of documents shredded by US diplomats just before revolutionaries took over our embassy there. In fact, just mail the whole truckload of official confetti to Tehran, and I've no doubt it'll be restored to readability in just a matter of a few years -- for free! And probably via Wikileaks.


Re new immigration ban, the Big Disconnect

So do they think we're dolts, or what?

Trump signs an executive order modifying his controversial and court-stalled earlier order banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority Mideast countries. This time, however, Iraq is excluded from that group, because, according to the Trump administration, that country satisfied US government security concerns in a matter of just two or three weeks.

Yet both orders were issued ostensibly because of Trumped-up concerns about *our* government's visa and immigration screening procedures, which already are quite intensive. So, for a good chunk of this year and perhaps indefinitely, while TrumpCo takes its sweet time thinking all of that through, those concerns still apply to the other six countries. And yet Iraq is, just like that, off the hook.

If the Trumpists really think our own security screening procedures are inadequate and will require a lengthy period to improve, how could it matter what new efforts Iraq could muster in a matter of two or three weeks? Hmmm?
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