What kind of a day was it in Trump Land? A day like any other, except...You Are There!
I don't even know where to begin, so we'll just toss a coin:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) gave Dr. Christine Blasey Ford -- who says she was sexually attacked by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh -- until sundown to show her face in the town square, or the little lady is a yellow-belly coward and has to git out of Dodge.
The New York Times reported that Rod Rosenstein supposedly suggested wire-tapping Trump because of concerns over the 25th Amendment and mental incapacity.
Trump reverted to being Trump and tried to "slut shame" a sexual abuse victim by tweeting, "I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents. I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!"
Rob Goldstone, who set up the 2016 Trump Tower meeting, did an interview with Cynthia McFadden of the Today show. He said that while he didn't know specifically who wanted the meeting, he nonetheless acknowledged that, yes, it was clear to him that what was being discussed was a dirty offer from the Russians.
And floodwaters as a result of Hurricane Florence have overflowed a dam at a North Carolina power plant. Reports are that toxic coal ash from the plant's dump site may be flowing from the dam's lake into nearby Cape Fear River.
Don't worry about the toxic coal ash, Trump is on the job. There he is in North Carolina telling a guy big congrats on having a boat land in his front yard (as if the "Finders Keepers" rule applies) and offering "Have a good day!" to a hungry, drive-thru local resident receiving a box lunch at a center for those in need of food. No paper towels were thrown this time -- although, they probably could have been helpful with all that coal ash.
Thanks to Rob Goldstone's admission, it looks like the Special Counsel's office found a roomful of witches this time!
It's sort of hard to imagine that the Republican Party -- knowing how the years have damned the GOP senators' treatment of Anita Hill 27 years ago testifying against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas over sexual abuse -- not only wouldn't treat with the utmost deference the next woman who claimed being sexual attacked by a Supreme Court nominee, especially with a mid-term election coming up and women already flocking to Democrats, but would bizarrely and actually treat her...worse!
I've heard two suggestions that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford could make if she decides to turn down the Republican senators' bullying. One is that she go on 60 Minutes, and there can be interviewed in depth for the public to see in prime time. In fact, I can't imagine that the show hasn't long-since contacted her and are ready to go at a moment's notice if she says 'yes.' But I especially like the second suggestion from Norm Ornstein. He said that Democrats should organize their own official government hearing with Dr. Blasey Ford. And they could have every witness there that she wants called, people who have said they were aware of the attack long before Brett Kavanaugh was a Supreme Court nominee. And they should have the person who administered her lie detector test there to testify. And Democratic women and men senators should question her.
As for the Rod Rosenstein story, Ari Melber did an impressive, intricate breakdown of the timeline of events surrounding the Department of Justice meeting with Mr. Rosenstein, including how it all related to newly-appointed Chief of Staff John Kelly (who was included in the article, as being the person Rosentein supposedly suggested he talk to). The specifics and dates are detailed, but the bottomline is that it's near-ludicrous for the story to have played out as written. Logistically possible, yes, but problematically unlikely for everything to fit in like clockwork, including that Rosenstein was new to his position and Kelly was not yet appointed to Chief of State and just a lower-level functionary in the administration at that point.
Details for the story come from people not in the meeting. Participants who were actually there say that Rosentein was being sarcastic when Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe brought up investigating Trump because of concerns over Trump's mental condition. A New York Times reporter defended his story because he said that , contrary to latter insistence that Rosenstein was just being sarcastic, he had instead responded at the meeting that, in fact, he was being serious. Okay, fine, let's say he did say he was being serious. I write dialogue for a living. It's REALLY EASY for me to figure out how that would go -- being sarcastic and serious at the same time.
Andrew McCabe: The president may be having mental problems. What do we do about that? Should the Department investigate him?
Rod Rosenstein: (incredulous, then sarcastically) What do you want to do, Andy, wire the president??”
Andrew McCabe: (stares at him a moment in disbelief, then) You're joking, Rod. Right??
Rod Rosenstein: No, I am dead serious. Because you just suggested we investigate the president, and I want to know -- if you mean that -- how in the world that's supposed to work? Do you actually mean we should wire-tap him???
Andrew McCabe: No, of course not.
Rod Rosenstein: Right.
It's not a difficult concept. It is not reasonably believable that career, conservative, by-the-book Republican Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosentein was seriously suggesting that he bring a wire into meetings with the president of the United States. Who had appointed him to the job, it must be remembered, as well. But here's the thing for anyone conspiratorialist who thinks he Really Actually Meant it. If anyone believes that Rod Rosenstein was actually serious about bugging Trump because of the 25th Amendment...why didn't he?? Because -- he didn't.
By the way, though, how crazy must the brain-sick lunatic stuff that Trump was saying in private have been for anyone in the Department of Justice to even JOKE about investigating the president, let alone THINK about it??!!
One other thing. I like the New York Times. I don't like all the articles they write, but they're a deepy important, extraordinary source of information in the country. And if they thought this was a real story of political meaning, they should have printed it. But -- this doesn't remotely strike me as a serious story of political importance. They may have got the details right, but from all I've read and heard, they got the analysis and meaning of it wrong. And knowing the impact it would have on the country, I think it was a deeply bad decision to go with it.
I should also note that, for all the coverage, I don't think it's a problematic story. Anyone who believes the worst here, believed in the "Dark State of the DOJ" already. Anyone who wants Rod Rosenstein fired over this, they wanted him fired already. And we know that Trump has wanted to fire Rosenstein for a year, so it doesn't matter if it's this reason or some other manufactured one. He has probably already decided to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions after the mid-term elections, which would be the first step to trying to fire Rod Rosenstein, so it's all part of the same piece. Other than Trump's most loyal adherents, I suspect that most everyone else not only senses the story is probably off-base, but is probably also thinking, "I'm glad the Department of Justice was aware that Trump was probably nuts and keeping its eyes open." What's unfortunate though is that it does throw gas on the low-burning embers of Trump Acolytes. But they'll always find their next reason to get inflamed on behalf of their Beloved.
Concerning Trump's tweet slamming Dr. Ford, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) told reporters she was "appalled" by Trump's comment. Just appalled. I know, because, yeah, who in the world could have possibly seen that tweet coming...?? Though it's nice to know that Trump could finally make a comment that would publicly appall her. Andrea Mitchell wrote on social media that she wondered if this was a "warning shot" to the White House from Sen. Collins. Yes, it was. A sort of, "Okay, okay, I know what you actually think about all this 'men being accused of sexual abuse' stuff and don't ever believe any women, perhaps because you're one of the guilty ones, but if you tweet it out loud to the public AGAIN I may be backed into a corner" heads-up.
What kind of a day was it? A day like any other, except You Are There...
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