I’m sure I’m not the first one to make this observation, but the supposed accelerated news cycle is having a stroboscopic effect on the passage of this presidency for me. At first everything was moving at such a breathless pace that I felt an almost physical sense of movement. Now, everything has been moving so fast for so long that it’s as though things are standing perfectly still. One scandal feels much like the next. We are in a land that has no signposts: a featureless plane of stupidity, a weird stasis.
And so, in spite of the oft repeated cliche that any X amount of time is an eternity in politics I will defy the scolds and gaze into deep time, like I did in 2010 when Republicans had their Tea Party wave. Back then, I’d looked forward to 2020, the next redistricting year, and concluded that Hillary would be the best set-up to take us back to the promised land. I made a few key phone calls and said only, “Clear the field.” You know the rest. Looks like I may have been right in my assessment. But not in the way I expected.
Looking beyond 2020, one thing that concerns me about a post-Trump world is the sort of anti-First Law of Motion of the media. Once a body is set in motion in the vacuity of media space, no countervailing force will stop it from doing the thing that gets eyeballs, clicks–turns a profit, in other words. And so I look forward and wonder, will Jake Tapper be able to prevent himself from scolding President Gillibrand for some totally anodyne shit? Will the media be so high on its own supply of rageahol that it won’t be able to wind itself down and cover a “normal” presidency? What possible incentive will it have to do that in what will likely be an even more fragmented media landscape?
It seems like the kind of question media boffin Jay Rosen might have some thoughts about. Or the enlightened jackal salon of the Balloon Juice commentariat?
Not that there’s much we can do about it. (And lamenting the deteriorating level public discourse is as old as the agora.) But what we can do is elect some Democrats. And here’s how: This is the fund that’s split between all eventual Democratic nominees in House districts currently held by Republicans.
The First Law of Media Motion: Once a body is set in motion in the vacuity of media space, no countervailing force will stop it from doing the thing that gets eyeballs, clicks–turns a profit, in other words.
Love it. I’ve never heard this before, is this all yours?
I don’t believe that the media will ever distinguish between “good faith” and “bad faith” arguments, so I have very little hope in the future.
Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho
Let me just note that I heard the original of that song over the weekend at a restaurant. When I noted that I’ll always love to hear Townes’ version, it was cool to hear the original, the bartender (again) mildly chastised me for not coming to trivia there, where he has lost of music questions.
@LAO: Sadly, I think your view is correct, and I share it.
Both sides are equally bad is a MSM mantra that won’t die easily. Let’s see if Toobin is one of many journalists and commentators who will stop lying that our two main parties are both corrupt.
None. Scandal sells. You only need to see the most recent example, Fire and Fury, to know they are all salivating over their next Big Clickpiece or Social Media profile raiser.
Something I’ve noticed over the last year is the velocity of change in the village media. It seems like every time I see the same reporter or talking head they have a different employer. I can never tell what’s a step up in stature or prestige any longer. Is it better to be a featured beat writer for WaPo or the WHC for PBS?
ISTM, this relentless swinger party they are all engaged in only further serves to ensure we will have scandalous, sensational, no-news news coverage for the foreseeable future.
The Moar You Know
Rageahol and more to the point, money. Trump has been an incredible boon to media distribution in all its manifold forms. Once he’s gone they are fucked unless the can keep the eyes and clicks of the Trumpetariat, and there’s only one way to do that. It will make their treatment of Obama look responsible.
ETA: this will apply to either a Dem or “responsible” GOP president. It won’t matter. The media will carve them to bits. They have to, now. It’s all going to be about money.
Major Major Major Major
Such an accurate and evocative description of what I see when I read the news. And I’m generally much calmer now than I was a year ago, as you also noted. It’s not that I’ve tuned out, so much as I’m moving along with the cycles now so there’s no acceleration.
Many of my friends on social media seem to still have their outrage meters spiked and are operating at what can’t be a healthy level of rage. It stresses me out just looking at Facebook now, and not (just) because of idiots sharing idiotic things like I sometimes complain about.
@Jerry: It came to me whole while I was working. So, maybe! I’m a musician and learned to trust that sometimes inspiration is just your subconscious reworking something you already know.
@Corner Stone: Wow. You know, now that you point this out, that’s totally true. I always assume they are traveling downmarket b/c that is the only direction to go in a world that cares less and less about both good journalism and the news biz.
Major Major Major Major
@Jewish Steel: a creative writing teacher once told me that every story is just a combination of the last book you read, the last song you heard, and the last fight you had.
@Corner Stone: watching PBS News Hour I witnessed Tamara Keith almost make a point about Tr*mp’s overt lawbreaking…it was clearly painful, like she pulled her lower lip over her head and swallowed herself. I make it a point to not watch these news gymnastics, or anything that passes for “analysis” these days
The Moar You Know
@Major Major Major Major: I have a fair number of those on the FB, but two in particular who I am genuinely worried about, one who is family. Both elderly, both not well, and far, far too angry for their own good. They’re not wrong (that’s the hard part) but they need to leave it to some of us younger folks who can handle the cortisol. They can’t.
@The Moar You Know: Yup. My fear. Of course, they already did this to the most qualified presidential candidate on the last ballot. They’ve got practice.
@Major Major Major Major: My composition teacher, after reviewing my latest exercise sat and thought for a moment, then wheeled around and grabbed a book of sonatas by Schubert. There is was, in a different key, the melody I had brought him. He knew I didn’t steal it on purpose but said it was the reason we’ve got to know our music history inside and out.
I’m all out of outrage for the moment — but this, this is fucking ridiculous.
from the article:
@LAO: Like Mueller’s a one-man shop? Are these people truly this stupid?
That question would have once been rhetorical, but it’s like rhetorical questions about Trump are all turned inside out.
Great post. Possibly my favorite song of all time.
Trump adviser: President considering ‘prosecuting Mueller and his team’ over Russia probe Because of course he is. But her EMAILS! Both Sides do it! I feel sick.
I can’t fucking stand Tom Brokaw. Will you finally swallow those marbles in your mouth and choke to fucking death? For the good of the country, sir. The good of the country.
Major Major Major Major
@Jewish Steel: one time I accidentally basically wrote the mad tea party in one scene.
I fucking hate him too.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
I think Black Mirror has it called; the future media personality will be a cartoon dog that does nothing but insults everyone.
The problem with stroking the Rage to 11 is what do you do for the next hit? Moore and child molestation was to much.y. That’s why Trump is screwed over time, sooner or later his dotard, racists, cheese burger eating, woman hater act will become old and his base will drop him, for a cartoon of a talking foul mouthed dog.
The stroboscope analogy is perfect, and I wish I’d thought of it! I didn’t, but I shall be stealing it. Thanks for the imagery.
@Corner Stone: It’s like a massive game of musical chairs, isn’t it?
I am feeling schadenfreude because the Dow Jones went down more than 170 points yesterday and is down about 370 so far today. So 500+ point drop just when Twitler’s SOTU drops. I am old enough to remember when that big of a drop in two days would be a huge news story.
I will say that given the sheer speed with regards to scandals, tweets, staff turnover, and other types of news re tRump that a lot of regular folk and news people are having a hard time putting what is going on in its place and understanding it. I feel like the real accounting for this administration can’t happen until it is over not just because of the speed of events, but also because the idiot at the top is erratic and everything changes always and nothing ever just is and stays that way.
Major Major Major Major
@Enhanced Voting Techniques:
I haven’t seen much past the first season, but I see they’ve retained their penchant for the obvious.
mai naem mobile
I am not even convinced that Muellers not going to paper over stuff and be a good little Republican. Everybody’s so convinced he’s some white knight in shining armor. Who the fuck knows? Mueller, Comey,Baker and McCabe could just move on and get multi million payoffs at law firms. Let Manafort, Gates,Papadopoulos and Page be collateral damage. Flynn gets pardoned. I don’t trust the GOP at all.
@Mary G: Yeah, but that was back when the Dow was under 2000. Hell, it’s gone up over 6000 just since the inauguration. “Everyone” knows that the market is at the end of a really good cycle. The herd is ready to be spooked.
Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady)
@LAO: That is literally incredible. I’m having a hard time making myself believe Trump thinks he can prosecute Mueller.
@Mary G: Maybe a Constitutional crisis scares the bot traders?
@Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): And, what the heck has Sessions being telling him, that Trump believes he can order the prosecution of any individual? I’m gobsmacked.
@mai naem mobile:
He’s all we’ve got. Some third tier functionary outside the system. All of our other institutions have failed. So we’ll accept his report to Congress that Trump et al are dirtier than Hog Heaven, we’ll nod our heads solemnly and be at peace because we knew it all along.
“Stop hitting me! Stop hitting me! Stop hitting me! Mueller’s the one you want! It’s Mueller’s fault, not mine!”
@mai naem mobile: I’m no fan of the GOP, but Mueller is a straight shooter — he left his high-paying legal job to take on the investigation. We should have a degree of faith in him.
Man, this Chris Wray fella. What a scumbag.
@Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): Trump is very stupid, like incredibly and unfathomably stupid, and doesn’t really understand what the law is or what lawyers do. He thinks of “his lawyers” as the guys who make problems go away. That’s what he wants to do here, use lawyers to something something and then his problems go away.
Can we assume that once the economy shits the bed we will be told how poor Trump inherited the bigly terribke Obama economy?
This is getting genuinely alarming. What do we do if they remove everyone except loyalists? It seems like a huge public protest is the only thing “we” CAN do.
@mai naem mobile: There’s a huge level of Republican agita currently. If there was even a whisper that Mueller would whitewash the results of his investigation, I doubt we’d be seeing this particular response. There are plenty of other things to worry about without creating new ones from the whole cloth.
@DougJ: Time spent with the very simple and beautiful Mick Taylor solo pays dividends to any level guitarist. This guy (not me) breaks it down very nicely.
@GregB: More likely is that Trump will say his enemies in the “deep economy” are trying to make him look bad. Democrats and liberals will say that’s absurd. And Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi and the rest will react to the reaction by saying LOL LIBS TRUST AND LOVE CORPORATIONS NOW HYPOCRITE ESTABLISHMENT NEOLIBERALS GOTTA NEOLIBERAL
instead, the market is only up 6% on the year, (month), rather than up 8%.
@Corner Stone: I wish there was a like button for comments.
Trump picked him, so no reason to be surprised.
@Spanky: Sounds like today’s big drop is largely due to adverse reaction to the Bezos/Buffet/Dimon troika threatening to inconvenience the healthcare gravy train. But yes, the long relatively steady rise in the market post-Big Recession is due to come to an end at some point, so why not now?
@FlipYrWhig: Finally! I have long sought a definition for “neoliberal”. At long, long last hopefully my quest can come to an end.
Can’t wait to hear him bullshit his way past that.
Rosenstein controls the scope of Mueller’s investigation, but has been giving Mueller all the funding and scope he has requested.
So – just fire Rosenstein and replace him with one of the Trump loyalists who is already confirmed by the Senate to something else – problem solved.
It worked for Hitler, after all.
If that happens I plan to apply for a job at the FBI. Sure it’ll be a pay cut, but the perks man! The perks! I’ll get to threaten, harass, and even jail my enemies. And, oh goodness, the level of stalking I’m gonna pull off. This is going to be epic!
I think people still care about good reporting. It is just so damned hard to find that the default setting is to tune it all out as white noise in the background.
The NYT does good reporting every once in awhile, but the signal to noise ratio isn’t enough to make me want to subscribe.
Thank you for your first paragraph alone! Best description I’ve read yet of the surreal sense of time, non-time, un-time, we’ve all been experiencing here at our shack. Unmoored. It’s of comfort to see this sensation described so lucidly.
20% correction to catch its breath is more likely than ‘come to an end’, in my view.
There is not much in the economy that will bring a collapse in stock prices, like the previous case – huge amounts of highly rated debt not being what it promised to be – then all the banks suspect the solvency of each other (because they were each holding unknown amounts of that dodgy debt as ‘assets’).
Instead, if there is no euphoria, there is no place for a crash to happen. I admit that things are starting to look more euphoric than over the previous few years.
Rising interest rates might slow growth, but so far, they are being raised pretty slowly.
Major Major Major Major
CNN alert tells me trump wants the memo out ASAP, but not before his speech ?
As much as I’ve loved that album and listened to it at least eleventy billion times, I say Merry Clayton steals the show.
Criminal folks: can Mueller prosecute the claims he finds or just make a report? can he go to a preliminary hearing rto publicly put forth his evidence if he so desires it?
are there any? I thought one problem Trump has is actually nominating all those subcabinet officers.
Mick Taylor plays on the majority of my favorite Stones albums. Coinkidink? I think not.
I often wondered how Britain handled it’s media problem after the tabloids took over everything over there. I always wondered if we would suvive what Rupert Murdoch did to Western media consumption. Still not sure we will.
Just One More Canuck
@LAO: I know I shouldn’t ask, but did they give any reason for prosecuting Mueller. That would make for a good laugh
@Corner Stone: People who use it mean “sucks, and in a related matter have you noticed I have a rose in my Twitter name?”
Yes. As I’ve mentioned, I’m active on several hunting/gun/fishing forums. The political tilt is about what you would expect but in the past week, lots of regulars have absolutely gone off the deep end: Mueller/McCabe/Rosenstein are criminals and should be prosecuted for treason is a popular refrain.
In the past, I’d guess that about 10% of commenters were liberal, 20% were hardcore alt-right, and 70% were mainstream conservative. Now 90% of the comments are of the ilk I described above. And this isn’t bot traffic.
I probably have a higher tolerance for different viewpoints than most folks, but this is genuinely alarming.
O/T when is Uday and Qusay’s next bigly game safari?
Somebody needs to check the lions for possible guns.
@Just One More Canuck: Treason is the reason I’ve been hearing. That, along with, Democrats funded the Steel dossier and the FBI conspired with Clinton to interfere with the election. Mueller is relying on the discredited dossier. Q.E.D.
Major Major Major Major
@FlipYrWhig: very rarely they’re discussing South American political history.
If you read the alternative history mystery “Fatherland” by Robert Harris, you begin to realize just how much some “Americans” would love living in a Nazi state, everything is so comfortable, so easy, no pesky minorities, clean streets, no crime except hidden away at the very top levels of government and society.
@Major Major Major Major: No one dare upstage The Donald!
@Just One More Canuck:
Federal statute Sec#09385: being a big meany and also, too, turning down Trump’s offer of three porn stars.
@Just One More Canuck: No.
@eric: I believe, there is a sitting grand jury. It has already produced indictments. Grand jury matters are sealed (ie. can’t be made public) — this applies to prosecutors and law enforcement. Suprisingly — grand jury witness are free to divulge anything they have testified to or about but this rarely seems to happen.
(And, yes I just realize I responded to a comment directed at Criminal folk).
Don’t forget das Autobahn–no speed limit!
I just wish we had a Plan B other than “yell a lot”
I feel like our Plan A was “Someone in charge will do something”. Time for Plan B.
@LAO: I am not sure he needs Sessions to tell him that.
His entire life tRump has had people to do his work for him and has been allowed to move though life with few if any consequences. This has warped him. All are at his bidding. It has left him with the impression that he doesn’t fail others fail him. He is always the smartest person in the room and knows more about nuclear weapons than experts working int he field for 30 years.
“Featureless plane of stupidity” nails it.
I’m still incredibly angry — to an unhealthy degree, probably. I flipped off an elderly woman in Sarasota on I-75 the other day because the back of her Durango was plastered with Trump stickers, and as I was passing her, I was thinking, “YOU’RE the fucking reason my in-law in DACA status isn’t able to sleep nights. YOU’RE the fucking reason I’m worried about Pence shoving my gay kid in the closet. YOU’RE the fucking reason this state will be underwater soon,” etc. So, I flipped her off and mouthed “FUCK YOU!” as I passed for good measure. She looked mildly shocked at such an affront from a white lady in an old Caddy…
I agree. Trump overwhelms the senses.
The level of corruption, at every level imaginable, such as self-dealing, conflicts of interest, and extra-marital affairs that would bog down most administrations is like eight, ninth, and tenth things on the list of corrupt shit Trump and his Cabinet are up to.
And yet conservatives in this country cheer him on. This worries me more, because they a good percentage of this country only cares about advancing their agenda at all costs, even if our democratic institutions are ground down in the process.
@trollhattan: I believe that 18 USC Section 2380*
**** Don’t bother looking it up — not a real statute.
Well hey, here’s one (almost) #NeverTrumper wondering “what the hell happened”?
Michael Steele…c’mon, man:
It’s…it’s almost like they don’t have any principles but the Kochs’ and Trump’s at this point, amirite Michael?
Conservative values? What are those, again?
Y’all better hurry up and join the center-center party in this country before the republic isn’t a republic anymore…just sayin’…
They really have. I honestly didn’t consider that at the outset- that they just wouldn’t be up to it. I thought they’d rally! Instead they seem to be down for the count.
Major Major Major Major
@Gravenstone: I hope somebody has a huge embarrassing leak ready for right after.
and why not, Trump has an uncle who was a physicist. QE Doofus
@ET: I was inarticulate — why isn’t Sessions telling Trump that Trump doesn’t have the authority to direct the prosecution of any individual. Sessions must engage in constant toadying in order to maintain his position as Attorney General.
They’ve probably been bad for a long time and we just didn’t know it because there weren’t stressors on the system.
It’s like when people said Florida’s election systems were a fucking mess in 2000. They’re all a mess. It just usually doesn’t come down to 300 votes.
@mai naem mobile: Glad I’m not alone in that fear. The more Trump & Co. squeal, the more credible Mueller seems, but still, it’s slim reed to hang your hopes on.
Different album. This one is from Sticky Fingers
Because he’s horrible at his job? He’s not even a good toady. Just a bad hire from any perspective, even Trump’s.
Mueller can indict and prosecute everyone except DJT.
To do anything to Trump, he needs Attorney General to OK it. ie, he needs an OK before he can report anything like an impeachment recommendation.
Just win baby!
@Major Major Major Major:
Unpossible. All of those old coots in Congress wear Depends.
@Kay: Sessions has an agenda at the Department of Justice — a longstanding, vile, racist agenda — that I believe, he finds worth debasing himself to pursue. And I think it pre-dates the emergence of Trump as a candidate.
@Major Major Major Major: Drop it in the midst of the SotU debacle. Let the news orgs already be talking about it once his prattling comes to a merciful end. He might well stroke out immediately at the affront, the sheer lack of attention due his august personnage.
@Major Major Major Major:
All that concern for methods and sources is misplaced. Any information in the hands of the Republican political leadership must be assumed to be compromised.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Our Institutions:
Need a Plan B. Definitely. They’re not up to this challenge.
@Spanky: Maybe the Russian piss tape* performers will make a cameo appearance.
* yes I know, no such thing – but a handy shorthand for whatever kompromat actually is held
The SOTU would be a good time for some patriotic democrat to stand up and yell “You’re unfit to be president” until the Sargent At Arms removes him or her. Then another democrat stands up and does the same thing.
I think it may be time to just start throwing bodies on the gears of the machine.
@Kay: I love the fact that he used the term “official” — is he aware of any “unofficial” effort to undermine the special counsel?
I thought the institutions were sort of holding up until this week.
The Republican assault on the FBI looks like it will succeed. And now the FBI becomes a tool to punish political enemies, we are heading into banana republic tin-pot dictator territory.
The Moar You Know
@mai naem mobile: I agree. I gave up on this as a route to remediate the harm done by the 2016 elections months ago. Midterm elections are ten months away. He is slow walking this.
We either win these midterms or live with the consequences forever. No one is coming to save us.
Oops. Never mind.
Of course he’s “aware” of it. He’s helping direct it. But it’s not “official”. Not file-stamped or anything.
They’re ridiculous and perhaps more importantly they’re just not up to this. There was a never a guarantee that they would be. It’s a myth that people always “rise” to challenges. Most of the time they don’t. He’s not rising.
They specifically decided to keep accepting corporate funding. I don’t know that people actually comprehend what an amazing feat Bernie’s grassroots campaign funding was.
Is that why Nixon was simply an unindicted co-conspirator?
Maybe we can get Putin to into detail about he messed with our elections, and bought off Trump and the Republicans.
Probably the only thing that would get enough attention to provoke enough outrage to force a change from Republicans.
Help us Vladimir Vladimirivitch Putin, your our only hope.
Look, if folks don’t make it plain that there are consequences from the populace, Mueller’s investigation will be largely just an academic yes this guy is a crook study.
@Kay: I don’t think it’s a matter of whether or not Congressional republicans are up to this or willing to rise to the challenge. I think that they simply do not care. They hope to treat this as “politics as usual” which is so fucking dishonest and they expect that the media will respond as it always does but crediting their bad faith arguments as valid.
Trump has enjoyed his special activities in more places than a Moscow hotel room, and Russian intelligence services are not the only ones capable of recording them.
Extraordinary people are extraordinary and rare. We just happen not to have any at this time. We have mediocre people. It happens.
There could be a crisis where one asks “who will answer the call?” and the response is “no one. no one will” :)
That’s actually MORE likely than a dramatic rescue, I would think.
Barely a blip, by percentage, in a 26000 market
Tilda Swintons Bald Cap
@The Moar You Know: Also the whole Obstruction of Justice is weak sauce. It’s like the charge you come up with because you don’t have enough to really charge the perp one something worse. Way worse stuff happened, are we ever going to find out? It’s almost two year since the election and we still don’t know what really happened as far as Russia, Cambridge Analytica etc.
I go back and forth between, we will win in November and start to get things sorted, or maybe I should buy guns, lots of guns.
@Major Major Major Major: Of course, nothing can take attention away from the greatest speech in history. He’ll leave the further destruction of democracy to another day.
I wonder if some of the third party vote was because of the media’s both sides bullshit. All the denigrating of an actual candidate and equalizing that with an actual moron. If you weren’t politically saviy who could you believe?
@Amaranthine RBG: I like that plan.
@gene108: Yes. I have relatives who are or have been FBI agents. They are Republicans through and through. To find them, and people like them, under attack is mind boggling.
I know Moveon has a plan of action in case Mueller is fired, but I think we should start implementing that plan earlier than that. Mueller’s firing will be too late.
@The Moar You Know:
I have to tune out every so often because otherwise the stress is killing me. I was thinking about this yesterday, and realized exactly what you are saying, I can’t deal with any where near the level of stress that I could even 10 yrs ago.
@charon: So, can Mueller say “fuck it” i am going to have a probable cause hearing for someone not yet indicted by the Grand Jury and make all of his evidence public? I understand why he might not want to do this in the ordinary course, but if he wanted to explain his case for the “public good,” can he do it? thanks
I don’t care if some experts don’t think he is technically mentally ill. The guy is mucho delusional.
She would have shit her drawers, gone off the road and rolled her car in the median if you’d been driving a NEW Caddy!
Wasn’t that part of the Carter-era Anti-Meanie crime bill?
@bemused: Why is this a delusion? Can’t he do it? He just needs to fire enough honest people and replace them with enough sycophants. And power ultimately comes from the barrel of a gun.
This. Full. Stop.
I just do not understand why people think drumpf is anything but a fucking moron. He proves it every day.
All the plan requires is a tiny bit of courage. …
(Yeah, I am not holding my breath.)
Reading that article, it’s his general belief that everything always works in his favor even when it obviously doesn’t. He has no doubts he will WIN at anything. Manafort won’t flip on him. He believes he can turn bird shit into gold and diamonds. And on and on.
@Corner Stone: However horrible a pResident Lord Dampnut has proven, he’s been media gold. Publishers will – as is the wont of plucky traded enterprises – forecast ever greater scandals which will sell ever more books and articles and views/clicks, and are likely to manufacture scandal if none appears. One wonders whether the hyperventilation over the Scsndal-Free Presidency that was Obama’s two terms wws not driven by the ignorati-led clusterfvck that was the Shrubbery and the eight-year search for the hidden skeletons in the Clenis’ closet. So far Lord Dampnut has been an embarrassment of riches for Beltway gossips and scandalmongers, and that and the sweet sweet advertising revenue will be a hard habit to break.
Thing is, she deserved it. From your description, she’s all in for the shitstain, and proud of it.
Were you heading back from buying your T-bone steaks?
They have been consistently weakened since the Nixon pardon. Then GHWB pardoning everyone in sight over Iran Contra. WJC pushed the limits but in the end submitted himself to the process and rule of law, no matter what fever dreams RWNJ’s think happened. Then we had the 2000 SCOTUS decision and GWB/Cheney warping the IC to their will, with the assistance of the media. Obama played by the rules but he also never held anyone accountable, for basically anything. After 30 or 40 years, the table was perfectly set for someone who is a stone cold moron who has never suffered a consequence in his entire life. They were hollowed out long ago, we just had a couple Democratic Presidents in interims that allowed us to believe they were still functioning and whole. Each successive Republican President has pushed them closer to the cliff.
You mean they didn’t send you a fucking memo on the WH letterhead saying they were going to turf Mueller?
He’s packing the courts with RWNJ’s. The last in line is our military. Any guesses as to how that turns out?
Mike in DC
Mueller can do a few things to make it harder to fire him:
1. Subpoena Trump. Even if Trump fights it, firing the guy who subpoenas you is a nonstarter.
2. Refer the obstruction charge. If he fires Mueller it just gives the impeachment referral greater momentum.
3. Charge literally anyone for the underlying conspiracy with Russia. It moves the national conversation to a different place.
J R in WV
I remember way back when, a hundred years ago, when 500 points on the Dow was nearly 10% of the market….wait, that was 8 years ago, when Obama took office….
Now it’s more like 2%, not good, but still a real drop. Hope it allows people to boo when he talks about the great market resulting from his good governance. Like anything he’s ever done has moved the market in a good way. That great tax bill and his stupidity about free trade (hating it, we hates it…) will destroy our economy.
OT, but Jesus Christ on a crutch
FEMA ending food and water aid to Puerto Rico
I think Iran-Contra is the key. It was a horrific scandal – direct violation of an old respected law to aid an enemy (Iran), help butcher innocents in Central America, *and* set off a disastrous drug epidemic in the states. Yet the Republicans got away with it, through manipulation of the legal process (immunizing North), accepting Reagan’s “I don’t remember”, and GWHB’s mad pardon pen. And, the likely ringleader, GHWB himself, is a more-or-less respected elder statesman (yes, I know about the recent “cop-a-feel” revelations, but you all know what I mean).
Yeah, VP and former CIA-chief GHWB knew nothing, nothing about the goings-on in the White House. Reagan sure scampered away happy and dumb, and that’s evidently how we like it. No Ken Starr treatment until we had a Dem in office.
@joel hanes: Genocide by neglect. See also, Flint Michigan.
Well here’s a handy guide I just found at the WaPo:
It lays out how the laws changed post-Ken Starr, not necessarily to our advantage.
J R in WV
“Criminal folks: can Mueller prosecute the claims he finds or just make a report?”
He’s already got two convictions/guilty pleas and two indictments due to come to trial in the near future. Those two guys are wearing a GPS bracelet under home confinement. He’s got a Grand Jury hearing evidence and handing up indictments when requested. So, YES he can prosecute everyone he discovers to be guilty of a crime. Possibly excepting the mastermind idiot, Trump.
@Ruckus: It wasn’t just Trump campaign stickers, though there were several of those. She had really obnoxious stickers like, “Proud Deplorable!” and “He Is Your President! Get Over it!” and “Build The Wall!” and “America Is Back,” etc. Still, it’s not like me to do something like that. I’m actually pretty mild mannered in person!
@Jager: Read Harris’s new book, “Munich.” Excellent and scary.
@Betty Cracker: I’ve gotten to spewing vitriol and profanity at such a volume that my husband is beginning to think I’ve had a stroke.
J R in WV
Actually, now the situation is such that I suspect the Kompromat the Russians have on Trump won’t do them any good. None of the Republicans care what crimes and treason that rat bastard has committed. What good is kompromat in that situation???
J R in WV
Driving down the road in my Pink Cadillac, my Pink Cadillac….
Never pictured you in a Caddy, always imagined a truck or SUV in the FL vack country. But now that I think about the FL back country, sure, Cadillac makes sense too.
J R in WV
Me too, but my wife just asks “What is it now?” because she knows what’s going on.
Is he ok with you referring to him as “toaster”?
@Jerry: I am going to do everything in my meager internet powers to make this a well-known law, and the rest of you should too.
How did Jerry Hall go from Mick Jagger to Rupert Murdoch?! Talk about traveling downmarket.
@LAO: unless I’m confusing him with someone else, he also left a big money legal firm at least once to work as a line prosecutor in, I think, DC. He likes being a prosecutor. He gets bored. He seems like an interesting man. Sorry I don’t have the link – don’t have the time to find it now