Saturday, September 15, 2018

Pardon me while I take a small victory lap



Back in March I made a prediction:

Today I feel vindicated.
Reading the 76 pages of charges against Manafort is like reading an international sequel to “The Godfather.” Money laundering, illegal lobbying, tax evasion, perjury, conspiracy to get others to commit perjury, movement of tens of millions of dollars through offshore bank accounts in Cyprus and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Involved with Manafort were his partner and deputy, Rick Gates, and one Konstantin Kilimnik, a former Russian intelligence agent also charged in the conspiracy and currently on the lam in Moscow under the protection of none other than the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.  [Emphasis added, naturally.]
It's true that nothing in the public record implicates the president directly -- yet.  However, the circumstantial evidence is pretty damning, and Mueller isn't done.

For anyone keeping score, that five close associates of the president either convicted of or pleading guilty to felonies, thirteen Russian nationals indicted for interfering in our election, and I've lost count of how many ancillary indictments and convictions there have been along the way.  For a witch hunt, Mueller sure seems to be catching himself an awful lot of witches.

And can you imagine if that was Hillary or Obama instead of Trump?

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

This isn't resistance, it's treason

Much as I want to see Donald Trump thwarted from advancing his xenophobic, misogynistic and downright dangerous agenda, this is not the way.  An anonymous "senior official" in the administration announced in the New York Times today that he (or she) is part of "the resistance inside the Trump Administration."  I am about as sympathetic an audience for that message as you are likely to find, but I don't buy it.  Love him or loathe him (and make no mistake, I do not love him) Donald Trump is still at the moment the duly elected president of the United States.  There are Constitutional mechanisms to remove him from office: impeachment.  The 25th Amendment.  Or Congress could, you know, start to exercise some oversight.  But a passive-aggressive undermining from inside his own administration is not on that list.  That isn't resistance, it's treason.

If you're going to oppose the President, you need to stand up and be counted.  Show your face.  Resign, or force them to fire you.  But don't subvert the law, and for God's sake don't announce from the cover of journalistic anonymity that you're subverting the law.  That sets a terrible precedent.  The next president to have a "resistance" inside his or her own administration might be someone that you agree with.


Sunday, September 02, 2018

Trump strips more citizenships

Last month I wrote about how the Trump administration is moving to rescind the citizenship of naturalized U.S. citizens.  Now it is doing the same thing to natural-born citizens (but, of course, only to natural-born citizens with poor parents and brown skin).

I'm not sure what is more disturbing, that this is happening, or that it hasn't gotten more attention.  Because once you start to strip people of their citizenship, you have gone full-fascist.