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The Shearing of Hair Trompf (11)

July 18, 2017

Senate Republicans join The Resistance (but they’re still not proposing anything positive). Is this the page on which the plot, or the screw, or at least the worm, begins an exquisite turn? I’m thinking this looks like the point where the national Republicans have lost it. Now it be every man for his own self. The rotted center cannot hold, and the Party becomes a herd of rough beasts, slouching off in all directions. It’s spooky and it’s spooked.

Nobody’s afraid of the big bad Trompf anymore, nor of the big bad McTurtle.  (But can the Koch Bros’ reactionaries, represented by a fellow Hoosier, step into the power gap and block a continuing expansion of Medicaid, until it’s Med for All, if the few R women in the Senate continue to be relatively “moderate”?  And will these three “centrists” now form a “swing” power block, at least on some social issues?  And are they, plus male anti-Trompfers incl Graham and McCain, plus the eleven R Governors, the seeds of a renewed “conservative” R Party?  Here’s more on Capito, Collins, and Murkowski on the health care repeal machinations.)

Meanwhile, “a Monmouth University poll released Monday [7-17] found that more people support impeaching Trump now than supported Nixon’s impeachment just as the Watergate scandal began to unfold in the summer of 1973″ (Think Progress).

What upsets T most is anything that diminishes the popularity of his brand, and/or weakens his authoritarian power (Naomi Klein’s pages on Trump branding, in her new book, NO Is Not Enough, are highly informative about this). At the same time, Republicans are seeing him destroy their brand (except among a rabid minority of the electorate, who consider bigotry and authoritarianism to be indispensible to their self-interest).  They can be outvoted, and Republican politicians are beginning to fear that they will be.

Confirmation that Mueller’s team is investigating the Jr/Natalia et al. meeting.  And even a Fox News legal analyst believes Jr (et many of the al.) might have committed a crime.  And yep,  with that 8th man we’re flat-out talking international real estate money laundering (another).  Um, and now we know that at G-20 T had a second, long, meeting with Putin, with no one able to hear the conversation except P’s translator, so that’s all we know.  NYT‘s take on it.  And no useful record or memorialization.   7-19  (In probably related news, The State Dept’s cyber security chief leaves, and the Admin closes the Office of Global Criminal Justice.) / Is Comey prepared to “take T down”? / Some valuable Qs and nuances re. major media reporting of recent “Russiagate” events.  / Trompf attack, about investigation:  disses Sessions, Mueller, Comey, Rosenstein; warns M not to investigate his family’s finances, which means M must be getting warm.  /  Cyprus bank records show that not long before becoming Director of the Trompf campaign, Manafort was deeply in debt, related to his activities with Ukrainians, etc (it’s very complicated).

7-20 Mueller says the hell you say, and continues probe of finances (poss incl Deutsche Bank).  / Interlude:  Trompf as stand up comedian, and he doesn’t know it. / Herr Trompf is working at discrediting Mueller and his team (is this sort of like “obstruction of justice”?); and, asks lawyers to look into his powers to pardon staff, family, even himself.  (Might that be read as evidence that he is worried about the state of his soul?  Or that he considers himself to be godlike?  If I were making this up, I’d narrate it as a practical political consideration on the part of a president who considers himself to have been placed above the law by the members of the electoral college.  When the time comes that pardons are necessary, he will explain that the Russia thing must put into the past, so that it no longer hinders his ability to protect, or at least do good things for, the American people, blah blah blah.)  But what if a pardoned person then lied under oath?  7-21 Mueller orders WH not to destroy anything related to the Jr-V meeting (M shows a sense of humor, beginning the letter, “As you are aware,…”).

(Josh Marshall at TPM reminds us of details of the Starr-Clinton investigation, and contrasts them with Mueller-Trompf.)

[Pages (1) and (10) and (12) of this episode.]

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