Friday, December 8, 2017

The Trump Producers - A Criminal Smorgasbord

"The Producers" has to be one of the best and funniest movies ever made. Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder delivered perfect performances.
The movie could have been titled "The Best Made Plans Of Mice And Men". First there is the corruption of Leo Bloom, a naive accountant, at the hands of Max Bialystock, an aging Broadway producer who has resorted to sexually preying on old ladies to sustain himself.
Max corrupts Leo with a mixture of flattery and dreams of wealth. It's a simple scheme that relies on producing a Broadway flop. That's it, oversell the play to investors. When the play is a total flop, there will be no accounting. The investors will just report their losses and never know they had been conned.
The only thing they required was a script that was doomed from the start and actors who were total hams. They chose a play that was written by an aging Nazi. The play, "Springtime For Hitler", was a tribute to Adolph Hitler.

Max turned it into a musical. The audience was initially stunned. After all, this was Manhattan.
Just as the audience is about to leave the leading man takes the stage. The audience pauses. Then one person laughs. Then another. Then the audience returns to their seats and howls with laughter.

Yes, "Springtime For Hitler" is a smash Broadway hit. A farce that opens to rave reviews. Bialystock and Bloom are doomed. The investors realize the production was oversold and it's off to prison for the producers.
In 2016, American voters turned a second rate, fascist roadshow into a smash hit in real life. Donald J. Trump won the election.
Vladimir Putin produced this debacle. Russian oligarchs along with the Russian mafia invested heavily in this drama. Wealthy Americans, along with American white supremacists, also invested in the Trump campaign.
After the election a new calculus was done by the Republican leadership and their backers. In our system, Congress, the Legislative Branch, is tasked with bringing a criminal president to justice.
The House can impeach based upon "Treason, Bribery, or other High crimes and Misdemeanors" and the Senate tries the case. Our founding fathers put this in our Constitution to prevent a criminal from taking over and perverting the Executive Branch and jeopardizing the country.
The evidence against Trump is massive. The House has a virtual smorgasbord of offenses to charge Trump with. Trump has literally covered the entire spectrum of offenses and everything he did is well documented and corroborated by multiple sources.
So why hasn't the House impeached Trump? Why isn't there a trial in the Senate? How do you spell puppet?
Okay, here goes. Trump is saved from financial ruin by Russians. They bail him out and prop him up and cultivate him. Russia then invades our election process with an army of cyber warriors working to support Trump. Trump, the Russian puppet wins the election.
Ah, but then there are Trump's American backers and they want their share. They have their own preferred Trump puppeteer.
All this is interesting, but in the end the real power rests in the hands of the Republican controlled Congress. They can get rid of Trump or they can use him. They can make him an offer he can't refuse.
They've all seen "The Godfather". They can let him stay in office and say whatever he wants, whenever he wants. It doesn't really matter. What matters is that he signs whatever legislation they put on his desk. What matters is that he reads whatever script they give him when the need arises. For instance, they need a Republican Senator elected in Alabama and Trump endorses Moore. Simple, right?
If they can manage to get legislation past the objections of members of their own party, Trump will sign it. No questions asked. They are the closest they have been to doing just that right now.
This is all so simple. Trump is a puppet with multiple masters. No wonder his speech is slurred at times. No wonder people go crazy trying to makes sense of what he says from one moment to the next. Too bad our free press doesn't get it. They are either blind or distracted.
The fate of our Republic truly rests in the hands of one man right now. That's why the Republicans in Congress are trying so hard to get rid of him. Say a prayer for Robert Muller. If he goes, so goes the nation.
I don't think this is a reasonable situation for either Mueller or the nation to be in. Trump is not the problem. There are multiple competing producers behind this. They are multinational. They are multi ideological. They are all wealthy. They are all using money to corrupt us. A corrupted electorate is the problem.
Holy Moly!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Ho Hum, It's Just The 76th Anniversary Of The Attack On Pearl Harbor

Japan attacked Pearl Harbor 76 years ago on 12/7/1941. The news outraged our nation.
The next day President Roosevelt spoke to Congress and asked them to issue a declaration of war against Japan. He said, "I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December seventh, nineteen forty-one, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.”

Congress responded without a single dissenting vote in the Senate and only one in the House. Four days later, Germany and Italy declared war on us and we responded in kind.
Once we were attacked we were united. Men enlisted. Women went to work in factories. Everybody cooperated with rationing and all the other discomforts and sacrifices that came with being at war. People died.
We didn't do this for a few months, we did it for years. We did it until Germany, Italy and Japan were completely vanquished. We accepted nothing less than unconditional surrenders.
We didn't send our troops off to war lightly. 416,800 Americans died in combat during WWII. Everybody knew someone who died or was injured. Families who lost a member and/or had a member injured had gold star and/or blue star flags in their windows. We all saw the flags. They were in neighborhoods everywhere.
We refer to that generation as the "greatest generation". They were there united when it counted. Patriotism meant something. Partisanship retreated into the shadows. 
When we were attacked last year by Russia, we did nothing. Where was the outrage? Where was the unity? Where was the devastating response?
What did we do? We elected the man who colluded with our enemy in the attack on our democracy. We elected the man who was compromised by the Russians decades ago. We elected a man who has been working with the Russian Mafia. We elected a man who bragged about abusing women. We elected a racist who was supported by the KKK and other white supremacist groups. We elected a man who started his own criminal family. We elected a man who seems to idolize totalitarian dictators. We elected a man who lies continually.
I cannot imagine what all those who died putting an end to Hitler and the other dictators must be thinking of us. How did we start down this road? When did that happen? When did we elevate crime and greed and betrayal to national virtue?
What did their sacrifice purchase for us?
Holy Moly!

Friday, December 1, 2017

The First Day Of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas, Mueller gave us Flynn and an open road to the White House and Donald Trump.
Yep, General Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI and is now cooperating with Muller's investigation.
Do you remember General Flynn. He was the man Trump appointed to be his NSA. He was a member of Trump's transition team. He was the man President Obama fired. Flynn was the head of the DIA when Obama fired him.
After Trump won the election last November, President Obama cautioned him several times against hiring Flynn. Trump hired Flynn anyway.
When Acting Attorney General Sally Yates contacted the White House within a week of Trump taking office, she warned them about Flynn. Within days, Trump fired Yates.
In January Trump also met with FBI Director James Comey. Trump also invited Comey for a private dinner after that and asked him for his loyalty. On February 14, Trump sadly fired Flynn for allegedly lying to Mike Pence.
On May 3, Comey testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee and on May 9, Trump fired Comey.
On May 17, Robert Muller was hired as a Special Prosecutor to investigate Russian interference and meddling in our election. Muller was hired by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself because of the Trump Russia investigations.
Trump was furious at Sessions for recusing himself and berated him publically. Trump scorned the press and the Special Prosecutor and called the investigation a "witch hunt" and the reporting of it "fake news".
God knows there's a lot more that happened since Trump assumed office, but it would be painful and exhausting to detail it all. Suffice to say, many people Trump hired were fired, including a Nazi and a white supremacist or two. The latest rumor as of yesterday is that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is leaving in January.

On October 30, Mueller brought indictments against Paul Manafort, Rick Gates and George Popadopoulos. These were the first people charged by Muller in his investigation. George Popadopoulos immediately pled guilty and is cooperating with Muller.
These former Trump staff members have been charged with multiple crimes including conspiring against the United States and money laundering.
Ever since Trump began campaigning for President, he has steadfastly defended and praised Russian President Vladimir Putin. Yep, Donny loves Vlad. Yep, Donny chose to defend Vlad while berating all of our national security and intelligence agencies.
It was just yesterday that we learned Trump was pressuring Senate Republicans to end the Russia Inquiry. What's another obstruction of justice violation at this point? There's ample precedence for it.
Some call what we have been watching "treason". Whatever you choose to call it, it is definitely a Trump family affair.
It appears this family is up to its eyeballs in deals with various Russian oligarchs and members of organized crime. We have heard about money laundering, human trafficking, collusion, rape, child sexual abuse - to mention just a few of the things. Trump is even supporting a man accused of pedophilia for the Senate.
Somehow Donald Trump is the darling of the religious right. The evangelicals absolutely love him. Among other things, he wants to keep Christ in Christmas.

Trump's White House Lawyer, Ty Cobb, commented on the Flynn indictment and plea today. No, not that Ty Cobb, this Ty Cobb.
Yes, old Ty referred to Flynn as a "former Obama administration official". Ty did not say that President Obama fired Flynn. Ty did not say that President Obama cautioned Trump several times not to hire Flynn.
The original Ty Cobb could have helped Trump's Ty Cobb with some statistics. He could have told him that Mueller sought 4 indictments so far and got 4 indictments. He could have told him that when 2 of the people Mueller indicted pled guilty without going to trial, Mueller was putting up some truly impressive numbers.
According to song, on the first day of Christmas you get a partridge in a pear tree. Not bad.
On the other hand an informer in the dock ain't bad either. We still have 24 more days to go and there are all sorts of people we could see joining Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, George Popadopoulos and Michael Flynn in the dock.
I wouldn't be surprised to see this elf appear in the dock, but I think we're likely to see Donald, Jr. and Eric and Ivanka before we see him. In fact, I think Jeff might be the final person to be indicted way down the line.
Jared Kushner could be next up in the dock. Jared sorta stands out in the crowd. He seems destined to follow his dad into prison.
Carter Page has been chafing at the bit to end up in the dock. For a while there he was almost daring Mueller to indict him.
We all have our favorites and the office indictment pools are going wild, but we all know Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a traditional roasted Christmas Goose with all the fixins.
Holy Moly!