Opinion: Forty-five days into a four-year madness

One of these two individuals is "a bad (sick!) guy" (AP)

One of these two individuals is “a bad (sick!) guy” (AP)

It’s pitiful. Pitiful and pathetic.

The president of the United States accuses his predecessor of illegally wiretapping his campaign, a charge that if true also implicates the FBI, the Justice Department and much of the intelligence community in a major, democracy-shattering criminal conspiracy.  He also calls his predecessor “a bad (or sick!) guy.”

That same president then sends out a spokesperson — and apparently the hapless Sarah Huckabee Sanders is the most prominent administration official willing to show her face — to defend his claim, telling the American people that if these charges are true, “this is the greatest overreach in the greatest abuse of power that I think we have ever seen and a huge attack on democracy itself.”

In other words, this is serious, serious stuff.  It is immensely important if it’s true; it is also immensely important if untrue, because it would confirm that this president and this administration have no tethers to reality, honor, truth or basic decency.

Yet when asked to produce even a scintilla of evidence to bolster its dramatic claim, what happens? This in-your-face, “alpha male” administration suddenly shrinks into sullen silence.  In a series of tweets over the weekend, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer first demanded an investigation by congressional intelligence committees into President Trump’s claim, then concluded with the following:

Nice.

That is the act of an administration that knows it has no ground on which to stand and no way to defend itself. As I said, pitiful and pathetic.

Let’s review some basics here: Trump is the president. He controls the executive branch, where the evidence of such wiretapping would presumably exist. He doesn’t need to bring in Congress to investigate. He doesn’t need the courts to investigate. He has the answers already, within his own administration. All he has to do is ask.

James Clapper, who until recently served as director of national intelligence, has publicly stated that no such wiretapping occurred. FBI Director James Comey, who would also know, has reportedly asked his superiors at the Justice Department to clear his agency’s reputation by publicly confirming that no such wiretapping occurred.

Yet still silence.

In one sense it’s understandable. Despite a complete absence of evidence, Trump is insisting to aides and friends that he is right and that he won’t back down. In that environment, a public statement of the truth would put the Justice Department in direct contradiction with a president already raging and ranting against the forces inside his head supposedly arrayed against him, according to multiple inside accounts. So officials there are choosing to stay low.

And yes, I guess Clapper could be lying. Comey could be lying too — in fact, Huckabee Sanders said today that Trump doesn’t accept his reported denial. That’s right: The president of the United States, through a spokesperson, is suggesting that the head of the FBI is not just an illegal wiretapper but very likely a liar as well, which may mean that a firing is imminent. (That’s what it would mean in a normal administration, but then again, that’s probably not much guidance in this one.)

All this, and we are just 45 days into a 1,461-day presidential term. My fellow Americans, it’s not going to get any better from here on out.

 

Reader Comments 0

1727 comments
Dave Jenson
Dave Jenson

Loretta Lynch has admitted signing off on doing it. Her name in on TWO FISA requests the first one denied by the FISA court. So we'll all find out exactly what went on after Congress finishes their investigation into it. And to say that former president Obama didn't know about it would be a false claim. It was HIS administration after all.

Marvin Junior
Marvin Junior

Trump needs to worry about Putin tapping dat a$$!

Geda Lynn Craig
Geda Lynn Craig

Buckle up snowflake butter cups....your little wagons are about to go on a bumpy ride.

lvg
lvg

Russian sharks are beginning to turn on the Orange Whale:

""""""""""""""Kremlin-controlled news outlets used to root for Donald Trump’s election. Now they’re reveling in the chaos and division of his early presidency.

“Sessions Scandal: ‘U.S Headed to Constitutional Crisis,’” reads a March 3 headline on the website of the Kremlin-funded English-language network RT.

“Immigrants See American Dream Fade in Wake of Surge in Hate Crimes,” Sputnik News, another English language outlet bankrolled by the Kremlin, reported the same day.

“America is in the grips of hatred,” the Russian television commentator Dmitry Kiselyov told viewers of the Rossiya 1 network on Sunday night. The popular host, appointed directly by Russian President Vladimir Putin, suggested the political discord could lead to violence in gun-friendly America — “a dangerous combination with free-flowing firearms,” he said.

“The Russian government is savoring the severe damage to America’s international image as a result of the tumultuous first weeks of the Trump administration’s tenure,” said Andrew Weiss, a former Clinton White House National Security Council official for Russian affairs.

That’s particularly true given dimming hopes in Moscow that Trump can now deliver on his pledge to cooperate with Putin.

Russian media coverage has a limited impact on the U.S. political debate, even if stories by RT and Sputnik can circulate widely across Twitter and Facebook.

But shifts in how Russia reports on U.S. politics can offer important clues about Putin's latest views of America.

And at the moment, Putin seems to be reveling in the sense of crisis gripping U.S. politics."""""

From Politico



JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

I'm out, work calls.

But I know that barring some breaking news when I come back I will not have missed a thing.

Fly-On-The-Wall
Fly-On-The-Wall

@JohnnyReb Yup, republicans/conservatives here will not be dealing with facts or living in this world.  So you will not have missed a thing.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

Repubs are now saying the replacement for ACA will be in phases with the current being phase one. 

KUTGF
KUTGF

@JohnnyReb That is some "replace"....  Here's part of the replace and we really really really promise to replace more at sometime in the future....Trust us.

honested
honested

@JohnnyReb 

Even the republiklans realize that most Americans have no interest in being slaves to insurance company profits.

Citizen-of-the-World
Citizen-of-the-World

Trump tweets another lie! Alert the media! Stop the presses! 


At least Trump gets up early to post these lies so his Chumps don't have to wait in breathless anticipation all day long for their daily dollop of duplicity. Lie to me Trump! Lie to me! I love it when you lie to me!

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@JohnnyReb I see you made it back after slithering away for a minute, still with no proof that poor Republican constituents (druggies, your term) in Republican states do not want to keep their ACA Medicaid expansion.  No worry, I have more to show you.


GOP Governors Forming Plan to Keep Obama Medicaid Expansion


A group of Republican governors is preparing a compromise plan for their peers in Congress who want to roll back Obamacare’s Medicaid benefits, asking them to preserve the law’s expansion of coverage to millions of poor people.  The compromise proposal has been initiated by a group including Ohio Governor John Kasich and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and would hold on to parts of the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of the program. The group also includes Utah, Arizona, and Tennessee, according to the officials. The proposal was presented to larger groups of governors in the past week during their winter meeting in Washington, according to the officials.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@StraightNoChaser @JohnnyReb

I actually stand up right and walk.

I actually have a life other than blogging that gets priority over arguing with you.

Yes, there is disagreement among Repubs on the Medicaid expansion.

The states want more Federal money to expand.

The pot is only so big.

The likely outcome will be block grants for states to make the most of it.

I'm sure you are for single payer and everything your side wants eases us toward that.

You are not going to get single payer, and your not getting everyone under Medicaid.

There will be some that fall through the hole between.

Paul42
Paul42

@StraightNoChaser

What's that line we keep hearing about how local officials are more attuned to the real wants and needs of their constituents than those people who hang out at the nation's capital?  Do the governors know something the Federal officials don't?

Isn't that the one of the conservative mantras?

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@ByteMe

...and it turns out 113 of these super-duper "vicious" folk were actually released by Gee-Dub, of course.

And let's not even venture to imagine how many more might've been out there fighting us if we'd, oh, "doubled Gitmo" as per Mitt Romney's brilliant proposal, back in the day.

Also, too--wow. 122 guys. Clearly as existential a threat as we've ever faced, amirite?

Kamchak
Kamchak

Oh darn.

Now I can't afford my chemotherapy treatments.

If only I hadn't bought that iPhone....

honested
honested

@Kamchak 

The absurdity of such a comparison is mind boggling.

If he phrased it along the lines of "That new I-phone you wanted to buy every month for the rest of time" he might be in the ball park!

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Kamchak

Now I can't afford my chemotherapy treatments.

I'll share a personal Fun Fact. Just for the pills--I'm not talking injected stuff, or the other stuff I had to take to keep my body from falling completely apart, but the pills?--for two weeks' worth of that Krazy Khemo I'd been doing not that long ago?

That'd be one course out of six I did? If I were to procure them from Canada?

Wanna guess what those two weeks' worth woulda set me back? 

you probably don't.



TetoLeo
TetoLeo

SNC,

Wow I'm really in your head huh?

By insinuating I'm a snowflake, does that mean that you know you are losing again?

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@TetoLeo You still following me around? I do not have to insinuate, you are showing it with every whine about a post from what? 18 minutes ago now and counting.  Since my original Ben Carson post I have talked about Trump's insane lie that he tweeted this morning and ACA. LOL

TetoLeo
TetoLeo

SNC,

Only when you invoke my screen name, or use my words to make a point or whatever it is you attempt to do.

Go back and see who has been responding and who has been seeking the attention....as in i don't respond to your other drivel, but only when you start a past TetoLeo or Teto or Leo. You on the other hand can't seem to let me go.

It's OK though from what I can tell by your post I'll have plenty of rum floating around in your head, seems to be plenty of free space.

TetoLeo
TetoLeo

SNC,

I don't want anything which is why I have not been starting new threads that start by addressing you. You on the other hand have started how many of your post specifically new post by addressing me?

So I ask you what is it you want from me?

I'm all the way down here in Brunswick so can't give you a hug if that's what you need, but will try to help however I can

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@TetoLeo You are so annoying, you are like finger nails on a chalk board. Do you suffer from obsessive compulsive behavior?  Since you are begging for my attention what's your story?  How can I help you?  Because I will never concede to your belief that slaves were not kidnapped. What do you want?  

ByteMe
ByteMe

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) on Tuesday morning brushed off concerns about the access low-income Americans will have to health insurance with Republicans' plan to replace Obamacare, arguing that Americans will just have to choose between a new phone and health insurance.

"Americans have choices. And they've got to make a choice. And so maybe rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and they want to go spend hundreds of dollars on that, maybe they should invest in their own health care. They've got to make those decisions themselves," Chaffetz said on CNN's "New Day" when pressed on insurance for low-income Americans under the latest draft legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act.


I say let's start with Rep Chaffetz.  We pay for his healthcare, let's take it away from him first and see if he keeps his phone or his healthcare.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@ByteMe 

He seems to have little respect for the Americans who vote for him.

honested
honested

@ByteMe 

A working motto for the new republiklan 'plan':  "If Americans don't want to dedicate all of their resources to potential health care needs, they don't deserve to live".

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Nick_Danger @ByteMe

He has a good point about the way poor people allocate their money.

My experience with them has been cigarettes and alcohol ahead of other more important things.

ProudAmerican2017
ProudAmerican2017

Thirty five prominent mental health experts signed a letter of dissent to the New York Times.

“We fear that too much is at stake to be silent any longer,” the letter states.Trump’s speech and actions show that he has an “inability to tolerate views different from his own, leading to rage reactions” in which he is unable to empathize, and he is “attacking facts and those who convey them.”

The letter warns that Trump’s attacks will probably increase and that the “grave emotional instability” shown by his actions and words “makes him incapable of serving safely as president.”

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

I question the validity of the letters..They would need to examine him

TBS
TBS

@Visual_Cortex @StraightNoChaser @JohnnyReb @ProudAmerican2017


In the link I posted above.


Trump posted the tweet 31 minutes after Fox News tweeted about a U.S. airstrike that killed a former detainee in Yemen. 

“Former Gitmo detainee killed by a U.S. airstrike in Yemen; at least 122 former Gitmo detainees have re-engaged in terrorism” the “Fox & Friends” account tweeted just after 6:30 a.m.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@BuckeyeGa I don't think the end of him that's the problem is where they'd want to start the exam.

Paul42
Paul42

@JohnnyReb

Your position is conservatives don't take mental health seriously?

Now that explains a lot...

ByteMe
ByteMe

@honested  It's their aspiration to act like that and have enough power that there won't be consequences.

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

 We do know the LibProgs sound and act like a druggie losing his guaranteed fix.

~~~~JREB


This progressive has excellent healthcare and supplemental insurance to cover my salary if I do become sick that I pay for.  The druggies, your term, are those poor mid west and southern Trump voters that Republicans had better make sure they maintain coverage for if their do nothing sorry excuse for what a polititican should be, want to win another election.  They better make sure they keep pre exisiting coverage and Medicaid coverage for all of those poor republican voters that live in WV, AL, MS, SC, MS and any other unfortunate poor republican voter that was bamboozled into voting for Trump or any other Republican not knowing that Obamacare is the same thing as ACA.  ##MICDROP

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@StraightNoChaser

You could not be more out of touch.

You state the things important to your bunch, not ours.

Most on the Right will be upset because the subsidies, aka tax credit stays.

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

actually Trump voters mentioned how important Obamacare was to them

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@JohnnyReb @StraightNoChaser Let me do this and it should kill your hyperbole this morning, then again it won't because you are a habitual Trump humper.  You see JREB I have proof to back up my post, what do you have?  Nothing, absolutely nothing.  


"I have been very forceful in repeatedly saying that the expansion of Medicaid is tremendously important to 184,000 West Virginians. That is something -- every time we talk about how has it moved to change -- I am constantly talking about," she said.

~~~~Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, (R) WV