Adventus

"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Thin Red Line


What's your point? (asking for a Trump supporter)

“In my opinion, he shared [the British spy dossier] so that I would think he had it out there,” Mr. Trump told The Times.

“As leverage?” reporters Peter Baker, Michael S. Schmidt and Maggie Haberman asked.

“Yeah, I think so,” Mr. Trump said. “In retrospect.”

The extended excerpts of the interview contain more allegations against Comey.

Trump also denied Comey’s sworn testimony about the one-on-one meeting when Comey claimed the President cleared the room.

“Look, you look at his testimony,” Trump suggested. “His testimony is loaded up with lies, O.K.?”

Who you gonna believe?  The fired head of the FBI, or the guy who lies about the size of his inaugural crowds?

“Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,” Trump said, the New York Times reports.

Sessions elected to remove himself from all things Russia after it was revealed he failed to disclose multiple meetings with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

“Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself, which frankly I think is very unfair to the president,” Trump said, according to the Times. “How do you take a job and then recuse yourself?”

“If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks Jeff, but I’m not going to take you.’ It’s extremely unfair—and that’s a mild word—to the president,” he added.
Fuckin' ethics rules!  Ethics are so unfair to the President!

Asked if Mr. Mueller’s investigation would cross a red line if it expanded to look at his family’s finances beyond any relationship to Russia,” the report reads, “Mr. Trump said, ‘I would say yes.’ He would not say what he would do about it. ‘I think that’s a violation. Look, this is about Russia.'”

“I don’t think we’re under investigation,” Trump told the Times. “I’m not under investigation. For what? I didn’t do anything wrong.”

And I'll fire anybody who says I did!   Meanwhile, in a classic example of "log in your eye/splinter in your brother's":

Mr. Trump said Mr. Mueller was running an office rife with conflicts of interest and warned investigators against delving into matters too far afield from Russia. Mr. Trump never said he would order the Justice Department to fire Mr. Mueller, nor would he outline circumstances under which he might do so. But he left open the possibility as he expressed deep grievance over an investigation that has taken a political toll in the six months since he took office.

And, of course, conflict means people who don't side with Trump:

I said to Jeff Sessions, "Who's your deputy?"  So his deputy he hardly knew, and that's Rosenstein, Rod Rosenstein, who is from Baltimore.  There are very few Republicans in Baltimore, if any.
There is some puzzlement  over that this morning, but Trump's meaning couldn't be more clear:  A) Sessions didn't "know" Rosenstein, so Rosenstein couldn't be loyal to Trump.  B) only Republicans should investigate Trump, because only Republicans would be loyal to Trump and not have a "conflict of interest."  Which is clearly being defined by Trump as a lack of loyalty to him.

Trump may have to make good on that threat he didn't quite make:

According to the New York Times, investigators are looking into President Donald Trump’s relationship to Germany’s Deutsche Bank over huge loans the bank gave to Trump throughout their two decade-long relationship.

The bank has been in contact with both financial industry regulators and federal investigators regarding “hundreds of millions of dollars in loans made to Mr. Trump’s businesses through Deutsche Bank’s private wealth management unit.”

According to the Times, sources close to the bank also say they intend to cooperate with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller in his Russian collusion investigation as well.

I guess he'll have to fire Deutsche Bank, too.

Can we impeach this guy now, before he fires Mueller and pardons himself (I still don't think a self-pardon would stand up in court, but I don't want a Court with Gorsuch on it deciding that issue.)?  Please?  If not for all of the above, then for this?

“Napoleon finished a little bit bad,” the president began. “His one problem is he didn’t go to Russia that night because he had extracurricular activities, and they froze to death. How many times has Russia been saved by the weather?”

Trump then reflected that Hitler made the same mistake in his decision to wage war in Russia during the winter.

“Same thing happened to Hitler,” he said. “Not for that reason, though. Hitler wanted to consolidate. He was all set to walk in. But he wanted to consolidate, and it went and dropped to 35 degrees below zero, and that was the end of that army.”

“But the Russians have great fighters in the cold,” he said. “They use the cold to their advantage. I mean, they’ve won five wars where the armies that went against them froze to death. It’s pretty amazing. So, we’re having a good time. The economy is doing great.”
It's not the ignorance of history that bothers me, it's the shift from Russia to the economy, as if one logically leads to the other.  Or, rather, as if whatever crosses the empty plain of his mind is deserving of expression.

Can this man even walk and chew gum at the same time?

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