"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, January 10, 2019

May You Live In Interesting Times

First:  the man lies the way other people draw breath; that's just a given.  Regardless, the exact manner of his departure is irrelevant; his intent is what matters:

“He crafted that approach, it’s one he owns,” said Jay Goldberg, who served as Trump’s lawyer from 1989 to 2014 and handled two of his divorces.

“He has a tendency to argue,” Goldberg added, “and if he is not satisfied he will leave the room, disappear, doesn’t come back and the people are on edge wondering where he is, and then when he feels it is the appropriate time he comes back.”

Goldberg told the website that Trump stood up and left negotiations of a divorce settlement with his first wife, Ivana Trump, after they could not agree on alimony.

“Everyone was looking for him because without his presence a deal couldn’t be done, and he was gone for two hours and we didn’t know where he was,” Goldberg said. “When he came back, the other side was so concerned if they didn’t make a deal he would walk away again.”

Trump pulled the same stunt in divorce court, after he believed the judge had made an unreasonable request, and Goldberg said the ploy rattled the judge and lawyers on both sides.

In another episode during the divorce case, Trump walked out on a judge he thought had made an unreasonable request and didn’t come back, rattling the judge and lawyers from both sides, Goldberg said.

Trump has boasted about his move in his book, “The Art of the Deal,” and on Twitter as an essential part of his negotiating skills.

“Negotiations 101: The best deals you can make are the ones you walk away from,” Trump tweeted in May 2014, “and then get them with better terms.”

No matter what his ex-attorney says, this tactic is a stunt, not a "move."  I don't know of a judge I ever appeared before who would have rewarded a client walking out of the courtroom.  I even dealt with "angry" clients, on both sides (my own and the opposition); stunts like this never impressed me, or any lawyer I knew.  I don't understand a judge or lawyer rewarding the opponent for walking away, either.  Either Goldberg is as full of it as his ex-client, or lawyers and judges in New York are real pushovers.

Yeah, I don't think so, either.

On Tuesday Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska undercut President Trump, just hours before he delivered his failed Oval Office address.

She told reporters she thinks the government should be re-opened and Congress can then decide what to do about the border.

“I think we can walk and chew gum,” she said.

On Wednesday, she upped the ante.

Not only did she call once against for the Senate to pass the necessary bills to end the shutdown, she dissed the President.

Murkowski told reporters Wednesday afternoon the Senate needs to “do our business” and get the six appropriation bills “done.”

And she made clear she believes President Trump is holding workers “hostage.”


A patch of ice doth not a winter make, but if this were the Democrats rather than the GOP, the media would be reporting nothing but the lack of unity and fractiousness of the Democrats.  And that tweet from Trump pretty much confirms this:

Trump wants a "win."  That means his opponent has to lose.  It's the only way he can understand this situation.  Even the GOP is going to figure out that's a losing position.

Will he declare a national emergency, then?  Given the layers of bureaucracy such an order would have to trickle down through, I don't see anything even being implemented before a court issues a temporary restraining order. Let us all pause and remember how the military has slow-walked many of Trump's more outrageous directives to it.   Jeffrey Toobin freaked out on CNN, citing "emergencies" already established but never citing a statute or factual situation similar to building a border wall against Mexico.  Even if the courts ultimately upheld it, the decision would take so long Congress would be locked in battle with Trump on the matter, and even the GOP Senators would not look kindly on a situation that Fox & Friends knows stinks:

ADDING: Yeah, Trump really doesn't have a clue.


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