America Lost

Trump Maladministration

Kori Schake at The Atlantic:

The Halifax Forum, occurring just after President Donald Trump unleashed yet another petulant tirade against Germany and France that culminated in the unseemly taunt that Parisians were speaking German until the U.S. intervened in World Wars I and II, had a funereal feel this year. Allies are grieving the loss of an America they believed in, as it sinks in that they cannot rely on us any longer. …

…It’s not just that allies don’t believe the reassuring voices in the administration; they are tired of tuning in to the malicious circus of American politics and policies. They’re exhausted with our solipsism and drama, and disappointed with our indifference to anyone else’s problems and politics. They are resigning themselves to a world without American inspiration or partnership, to a post-American international order.

The Americans present at the conference pointed to policy successes, like the establishment of nato’s 30-30-30 rapid-deployment forces, U.S. troops deploying to Poland, reconstituting the Second Fleet to patrol the Atlantic, and integral U.S. participation in nato’s biggest military exercise since the end of the Cold War. But allies are getting tired of hearing it. Not only were those successes overshadowed by Trump’s offensive behavior, the incandescence of his public rage called into question whether the United States would come to the defense of its allies in a crisis.

The decibel level of mean-spiritedness coming from the highest levels of American government is deafening our friends to our better selves. Allies believe they are witnessing something they never expected to behold, and which endangers both their security and our own: the United States putting an end to the American order. Word came through during the Forum that nato will not be holding a 70th-anniversary celebration, because the president of the United States cannot be trusted not to bring the temple down upon all our heads. That was the dirge played in Halifax.

The world might be relieved if a “normal” person is elected in 2020, but after this debacle the U.S. will no longer occupy a unique leadership position. Our political system elected Donald Trump and has allowed him to remain in office for two years. Even if he is removed from office next year, the damage is done.

At least, now that The Creature has turned in his “answers” to Bob Mueller, and Democrats are about to take over the House, maybe finally the abomination that is the Trump Administration will finally break apart. Harry Litman, a former deputy assistant attorney general, teaches constitutional law at UC San Diego and UCLA and writes for the Los Angeles Times:

The actual charges are likely to be one of three criminal conspiracies: violating federal election laws, violating computer laws, or soliciting or receiving something of value from a foreign government. Charges, in other words, that not even the most ardent Trump die-hard could trivialize. They bring with them the possibility that Mueller might opt to name President Trump himself as an unindicted co-conspirator.

In case you missed this:

Look first for an indictment against radio commentator Jerome Corsi, who told the world last week that after several months of his cooperating with the probe, Mueller has informed him that he will be charged with “some form of lying” to the Mueller team.

Corsi, often identified in news reports as an associate of Roger Stone, is supposed to be in plea negotiations now.

Back to Harry Litman — I believe Rachel Maddow and others have pointed this out.

Another augury of blockbuster developments: Mueller last week filed a statement in the District of Columbia court that is overseeing the case of Manafort, who awaits sentencing on his tax and fraud conviction. Mueller requested a 10-day delay in submitting a status report on the ground that the later report would “be of greater assistance” to the court’s work determining what sentence Manafort deserves. Mueller’s request strongly suggests that we’ll soon see important additional information bearing on the value of Manafort’s cooperation, up to and including a potential role as a key witness in a soon-to-be-unveiled criminal case.

The whole point of the enormous pressure Mueller brought to bear against Manafort was to shake loose information about persons above him in the food chain. Those are very few, arguably only Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner or Trump himself (who we know believes that Manafort could incriminate him).

And,

Finally, Mueller’s team is scheduled to file a long-delayed court memorandum Dec. 4, laying out its view of the value of the cooperation of former national security advisor Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty more than a year ago to lying about his contacts with a Russian official.

Litman believes that Mueller and his team have months of investigating yet ahead of them. However, “it is increasingly likely that the full contours of his inquiry will be sketched out and known to the public by year’s end.”

So, there’s a chance it won’t be much longer before the pressure of Mueller’s “inquiry” and House investigations will finally dismantle what’s left of Trump. But the old world order isn’t going to be restored.

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. grannyeagle  •  Nov 24, 2018 @2:31 pm

    The image of Trump being increasingly isolated, watching TV to catch news of himself and munching on cheeseburgers brings to mind what Osama Bin Laden was doing when he was killed, alone in a room watching himself on TV.  Sad.  Personally, I recognize that we may never get back to where we were before but maybe that's okay, change rarely happens the way we think it should.  I have to have faith that the change that occurs will be for the best.  We have to make it better and it's up to all of us.  As I keep telling Mr. Spock (my dog) love is all that matters.

  2. Tom_b  •  Nov 24, 2018 @2:48 pm

    Rome thought it would rule forever, too, but fell. Too much lead in the water, perhaps, as one of a number of factors. Regardless of what Fox Kool-Aid the Idiot drinks, it is plain to see the “family grandpa” sitting in the dark corner all day believing the Earth is flat because Hannity said so, even after you show him NASA pictures from space. Except Trump does not even have children of sound mind. Do any of them play with a full deck? Melania is the brightest in the household, but even she should be thinking about ducking out while the Idiot still has assets she could reap in a settlement.

    Unfortunately, the West is screwed. The stink of nationalism is dispersing freely from its prematurely declared grave. We are seeing numerous countries destabilizing as their deplorables, totally ignorant of history, go down a road that goes nowhere. Nowhere good, anyway.

    We’ll kick their sorry butts again, as we did with the Civil War and World War II; same enemy, slightly different ideology. But, sadly, we know the price those victories extracted.

  3. Mike G  •  Nov 24, 2018 @2:51 pm

    This is the impression I get from my Australian friends also. The US is no longer a trusted older brother figure; historical, economic and cultural ties continue, but now we're like an alcoholic they can't count on anymore, who makes a scene at the family reunion for attention. China is where the energy and attention is going.

  4. c u n d gulag  •  Nov 24, 2018 @5:32 pm

    Yes, we're now like the angry alcoholic uncle – if he was armed to the teeth.

    The world wants to laugh at tRUMP, but they're scared he might wage war on their country, or decide to launch nukes.

    Two more years of tRUMP, and if we want to see a shithole country, we can look outside our windows.

    What tRUMP has unraveled can never be made whole again.

    Never.

     

  5. c u n d gulag  •  Nov 24, 2018 @5:33 pm

    Twit-filtered again?

    Oy.

  6. doug  •  Nov 24, 2018 @6:15 pm

    Trump is a moron. The rest of the world sees that and will soon disregard him when he exits the world stage, hopefully for a jail cell. The damage, and I regret agreeing on this point, will outlast Trump by a lot. The reason is unfortunately factual, also there for the world to see. We elected him – a significant part of the electorate continues to support Trump. 

    That's a problem. The world sees that a large slice of the US electorate is either stupid or bigoted (or some combination of the two) and eager to elect representatives even more bigoted and stupid than they are. At one point in my lifetime, it was axiomatic – you wanted to select US leaders better than you. 

    So yeah, we have a lot of work to do to restore an ethical framework for the electorate. From that, we have to select a superior legislature and president. And the first step is for the voters to agree to get big money out of politics. That single move will improve the ethical quality of candidates enormously. 

  7. Swami  •  Nov 25, 2018 @1:04 am

    Trump is a moron. The rest of the world sees that and will soon disregard him when he exits the world stage, hopefully for a jail cell. 

     Hopefully for a gold plated casket! Trump is just a bag of shit that will be washed away into the dung heap of history. History will judge him as being of no consequence other than to highlight the greatness of America in allowing a moral defective an opportunity to redeem himself. Unfortunately he didn't have the fortitude nor substance of character to avail himself of that golden opportunity. Once a bag of shit, always a bag of shit.

     He is too consumed in his narcissism and other emotional deficits and debilitations to ever rise to the level required to fulfill even the most rudimentary tasks of the presidency. He's just a bag of shit masquerading in a role that is way above his intellectual and emotional capacity.

    Needless to say…I'm praying for Trump's take down. And I can feel it in my bones that that time is coming close.

     

  8. Bonnie  •  Nov 25, 2018 @2:01 am

    When I was a kid, Americans in other countries, especially Europe were always referred to as The Ugly American.  Right now, the ugliest American of all is president*.

  9. jrkrideau  •  Nov 25, 2018 @8:59 am

    One of Trump's <i>achievements</i> seems to be that he is destroying the US dollar as the world's reserve currency. Increasingly many of the Eurasian countries under sanction are simply moving to national currency exchanges; China, reportedly, is busy setting up an alternative to the US dominated SWIFT.

    A major cause of Venezuela's problems (besides Maduro is a lousy administrator and the US has been doing its best to overthrow him) is that they cannot get refinancing because of US sanctions. IIRC, China and Venezuela are moving to swaps. One more blow agains SWIFT

    His MAGA seems to be turning into MAS or Make America Smaller.

  10. csm  •  Nov 25, 2018 @11:15 am

    Its said of regimes suffering under autocracy or dictatorships that the people are generally good, its the leaders that are bad who need to be removed.  What we've done by electing and keeping Trump in office is requiring the rethinking of that premise, that the people who would elect and support such leaders have issues themselves.  This is very bad for America.

  11. goatherd  •  Nov 25, 2018 @1:13 pm

    I found the Dahlia Lithwick article a bit uplifting, but, like a lot of people, I grasp at every bit of optimism I can find.

    It's a bit of a cliche, but, it seems that part of the "human comedy" is that we set off pursuit of something we want and we end up finding its opposite.   I know we would have a range of definitions for the word "great" as applied to nations and people, each one shaped by our experiences and situation.  But, few of us would have sought to make the US less relevant and less trustworthy.  It was fairly clear that we would pass the torch on to China sooner or later, but, few of us would have chosen sooner.   The redhats had a very different view of what makes a nation great, but, in the end we all got the same thing, and it's not anything "great."

     

     

  12. Swami  •  Nov 25, 2018 @3:58 pm

    Mueller needs to indict Donny Jr. If Whitaker tries to block it he'll seal his fate, and if Trump acts in any way to save little Donny he'll be providing the proof positive needed for an obstruction of justice charge against him. If Mueller indicts Donny Jr., Trump won't be able to sit still and allow that process to play out. Remember…When Trump gets hit, he hits back…whether it's wise or not. It's in the nature of the beast!

    C'mon, Mueller…. Force Trump's hand! And bring this criminal enterprise to an end.

     Barbara Underwood, New York State Attorney General is already in the process of taking a chunk out of Trump's fat ass…And it's implied that there's more to come from those quarters.. Chomp. chomp, chomp. Yum, yum, eat'em up.

  13. Swami  •  Nov 25, 2018 @5:00 pm

    Alan Dershowitz Predicts Mueller Report Will Be 'Politically Very Devastating' For Trump

    Gee, He must have stayed up all night in deep thought to arrive at that conclusion. What's this world coming to when we have sit in awe to get the intellectual droppings from Alan Dershowitz? I hate to boast, but I arrived at that conclusion months and months ago…The question that remains is will the Congressional Trumptards act to put an end the circus. 

    6400 verifiable lies told to date. Pretty soon there will be a sign outside the White House resembling the signs on the early McDonald's..instead of saying over 1 million sold.. Trump's signage will refer to his lies..over 1 million told.

  14. uncledad  •  Nov 25, 2018 @5:27 pm

    Swami: "intellectual droppings from Alan Dershowitz?"

    Classic! Dershowitz is now and has been for quite some time a tee-vee, tea-tard, rube law-splainer, bobble-head. It was a good financial move for him to take the big bag of sh#t's side. He is at least assured of air-time on Trump tee-vee. Once Trump is done for and FAUX is in the crapper he'll be lucky to get a guest appearance on court TV or maybe if he's really lucky a contributor role on whatever cesspool legal show Nancy Grace is hosting!

  15. uncledad  •  Nov 25, 2018 @5:38 pm

    "America Lost"

    Maybe? I think we are on the verge of a re-awakening in this country. The low info mouth breather republican is not a new phenomenon. This has been going on for quite a few years. Trump I feel is the culmination, the final act in a tragic comedy. Once he goes down FAUX and the entire right-wing fringe will collapse. My feeling is it would be best to keep him in office and let him lose re-election that would be an end that at least moderates republicans could support. Impeaching him would, in my mind, only embolden him and his deplorables. Once he suffers a crushing defeat at the poles I feel the country will experience a political cleansing, the rubes will crawl back under the rocks and some sort of established order on the right will be re-instated! That or the whole country goes up in flames fueled by AR-15 wielding rednecks!

  16. Swami  •  Nov 25, 2018 @11:08 pm

    "My feeling is it would be best to keep him in office and let him lose re-election that would be an end that at least moderates republicans could support. "

     My feeling is that he should get a public flogging similar to the one Charles Laughton received when he portrayed Quasimodo in the original movie version of the Hunchback of Notre Dame. I can picture Trump grunting in monosyllables, like the hunchback, as the lash is applied to his back,while he tries to comprehend how he managed to get himself in that situation.

     On a serious note…Anything short of drumming him out of office in complete disgrace would be a travesty of justice. He's made a mockery of America and shouldn't get away clean. He colluded with a foreign enemy to perpetrate a fraud on the American public. Just because many Americans are gullible and voted for Trump that doesn't absolve him of his crimes.

  17. grannyeagle  •  Nov 26, 2018 @1:27 pm

    I don't understand this concept that you can't indict a sitting president as it would interfere with his governing and put the country in danger.  IMHO, that is nonsense as that's why we have a VP.  What if the president dies?  It has happened and that certainly interfered with his governance.  To let a corrupt person sit in that office and let him continue to do damage is irresponsible and certainly not in the best interests of the country.  I don't know if Trump can be re-elected but then I never thought he could be elected in the first place.  I just don't know if I can tolerate another 2 yrs. of what Swami calls him.

  18. Bill  •  Nov 26, 2018 @3:09 pm

    I try to look at the bright side (such as it is).  There are so many teachable moments involved when an NPD creature attains the US presidency.  Good ones for the kids include how con artists operate, who’s most susceptible to cons, and how cons and suckers need each other in order to successfully dysfunction.  But I’m also starting to think that a lot of today’s kids are being force-disciplined into figuring these things out for themselves.  And they don’t trust the adults who let all this happen, anymore.