It’s Time For Action …

Don Trump’s taxes have been in dispute for years.  He is the first president since Reagan … more than thirty years ago … to refuse to make public his most recent tax returns.  His excuses have been many, none of them valid.  First, he said we weren’t smart enough to understand them, for their complexity was far beyond our ability to comprehend.  He fails to remember that among “we” are tax lawyers, accountants, and other professionals who would far better understand his returns than he himself does.  Then he said that nobody cared … another blatant lie.  His next excuse was that he was being audited, but that argument was struck down when the IRS said that while it was true he was under audit, there was no reason that should stop him from releasing his tax returns.

Then, in light of the fact that he refused to divest himself of certain business holdings once he held public office, coupled with the fact that there appears to be a connection between his businesses and certain Russians, the House Ways and Means Committee first requested, then subpoenaed the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service in order to obtain Trump’s tax returns.  And again, ran into a brick wall when Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury, flat out refused to honour the subpoena, saying that in his opinion it had no legitimate purpose.

A week later, New York State lawmakers approved a bill that would authorize state tax officials to release the president’s state returns to any one of three congressional committees.  The state returns would include much, though not all, of the same information in the federal returns, and is readily available, whereas obtaining the federal returns could be a years-long process.

Representative Richard Neal from Massachusetts is Chairman of the House Ways and Means committee, and as such is the person who would need to ask the state of New York for copies of the returns.  And … he is refusing.  Between this, and Nancy Pelosi’s refusal to open an impeachment investigation, I am beginning to wonder if the democrats are in cahoots with the republicans!!!

Neal claims he fears that getting the state returns would bolster Trump administration arguments that Congress is on a political fishing expedition — and not, as Neal has claimed, overseeing the Internal Revenue Service’s annual audits of the president.  While I have urged caution in a number of areas up to this point, my patience has worn thin … no wait … make that, my patience has worn OUT!  I agree with Representative Maxine Waters, Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee when she says …

“Whatever it takes to get it — I’m for it.  I believe that the president of the United States should follow the tradition of other presidents and reveal his tax returns.”

Every single day that Donald Trump remains in office he causes more damage to this nation.  He is wasting precious tax dollars on things like taking his entire family on a trip to the UK, when only he and Melania were invited.  His policies and ‘executive orders’ have wreaked havoc on our southern border where thus far six children have died while in ‘protective’ custody and thousands remain separated from their parents.  He has caused serious rifts between the U.S. and its allies by being offensive to their leaders and attempting to bully them into acting as he wishes.  He has placed people in high-ranking cabinet positions who are less qualified for their jobs than I am.  He has committed to sending $8 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia, a nation whose crown prince ordered the brutal murder of one of our own journalists. He has imposed tariffs on imports from just about every nation we trade with … tariffs that cost We, The People of this nation. And the list goes on.

On a slightly more positive note …

On May 21st, the House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed former campaign press secretary Hope Hicks, and former White House lawyer Annie Donaldson for documents related to allegations that Trump obstructed justice.  On June 4th, Trump directed the two women to defy the subpoena.  Both are now private citizens and are not subject to orders given by Trump.  Hope Hicks has, it is reported, turned over some of the documents requested, those relating to Trump’s campaign.

It is but a drop in the bucket, for Ms. Hicks’ attorney Robert Trout said in a letter to committee chairman Jerry Nadler that Hicks would not hand over documents related to Trump’s time in the White House and his presidential transition period because administration attorneys believe the papers may be subject to a claim of executive privilege by Trump.  Since when does the president of this nation have the right to claim “executive privilege” in order to cover up his own wrongdoing?  Did we learn nothing from Watergate?

I keep hoping that somehow, somewhere there is a person whose conscience calls on him or her to do the right thing, to put the well-being of the nation first, to tell what he or she knows.  I had hoped that person would be Robert Mueller, then I hoped it would be Don McGahn, but Mueller has chosen to err on the side of caution, and McGahn has shown his feathers.

All the games being played, all the political posturing, is going to come with a high price tag.  It already has, but it gets higher for every day he is allowed to rule as a king.  It seems to me that all the attempts to hide documents and threaten witnesses constitutes obstruction of justice in and of itself.  It’s time for Congress to get tough, for we can no longer afford to sit on our hands and wait for just the right moment.

Thoughts on Impeachment …

As most of you know, I have been vacillating on whether the time is right for the House to begin the process to ultimately impeach Donald Trump or not.  Still today, I have mixed feelings about it … I definitely think he ought to be impeached, but it’s not just that simple.  This morning I stumbled across a piece in The Opinionated by political analyst and author Bill Press, whose work I have always respected, and his words made a lot of sense to me.  The article helped clarify my own thoughts, both pro and con.

Bill-Press

Bill Press

With all due apologies, I know I’ve weighed in on the debate about impeaching Donald Trump in previous columns. The reason I take it up again is because so many Democrats still can’t decide how to proceed.

Democrats are split into two camps. Those who say it’s a mistake to start impeachment hearings because they’re bound to fail. Trump will still be in the White House because Senate Trumpers will never vote to convict him. And those who insist that — even if they’re sure to fail — Democrats must begin impeachment hearings anyway, because not doing so would in effect endorse Trump’s unacceptable presidential behavior. More than any other factor, how that issue is resolved, I believe, could determine what happens in 2020.

First, let’s be clear. Why should Donald Trump be impeached? As Elizabeth Barrett Browning famously wrote, “Let me count the ways.” He’s debased the office of the presidency. He’s told thousands of lies. He played footsie with a foreign adversary to win an election. He obstructed justice, many times. He intimidated witnesses. He ordered top aides to commit crimes. He defied congressional subpoenas.

There’s no doubt, as Republican Congressman Justin Amash concluded after reading the Mueller report, Trump has “engaged in impeachable conduct.” Whether he actually committed crimes does not matter, Amash points out, because impeachment “simply requires a finding that an official has engaged in careless, abusive, corrupt, or otherwise dishonorable conduct” — all spelled out in Mueller’s report.

Still, no matter how strong the case, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s advised Democrats in Congress not to rush into impeachment. They’re better off, she told them, focusing instead on three priorities: their legislative agenda, especially health care; oversight hearings and beating Donald Trump in 2020. And, for a while, most Democrats agreed to hold back. Until this week, when Trump did everything he could to force impeachment hearings.

For many Democrats, what made the difference was Trump’s stopping former White House Counsel Don McGahn from testifying before the House Judiciary Committee. Democrats wanted to hear from McGahn because, in his report, after revealing that Trump twice ordered McGahn to fire him as special counsel and then lie to the New York Times about it, Mueller says it’s up to Congress to investigate further in order to determine whether Trump is guilty of criminal obstruction of justice. By blocking McGahn’s testimony, Trump’s also blocking Congress from doing its job.

On top of that came Baby Donnie’s White House temper tantrum. In a political stunt clearly orchestrated ahead of time, Trump stormed out of an infrastructure meeting with Speaker Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, supposedly upset because Pelosi had earlier accused him of engaging in a cover-up (which he has!), and went directly to the Rose Garden, where reporters were already assembled in front of a campaign-style podium with the sign “No Collusion. No Obstruction.” “I don’t do cover-ups,” Trump fumed. No, and Nixon wasn’t a crook, either.

With that, the anti-impeachment dam so carefully built by Nancy Pelosi began to crumble. A week ago, there were only a handful of Democrats wanting to start impeachment hearings right away. Today, there are 30 to 40, including at least one member of the House leadership, Rhode Island’s David Cicilline. It’s reached the point where House Budget Chairman John Yarmouth told me, impeachment hearings are now “inevitable.”

Still, Pelosi urges restraint, based on five arguments. One, doing impeachment would suck up all the oxygen and make it practically impossible to pass legislation on any issue. Two, impeachment has little public and zero, aside from Justin Amash, bipartisan support. Three, Democrats can achieve almost the same results by proceeding first with oversight hearings now underway in the judiciary, intelligence, financial services, ways and means and oversight committees. Four, as noted above, impeachment would hit a dead end in the Senate. Five, impeachment might actually help Donald Trump, by allowing him to run for re-election as a victim.

For now, I believe, Speaker Pelosi makes a strong case. Democrats are smart to hold off, while letting the case build against Trump for 2020. But that could still change, depending on how he responds to court rulings against him.

That’s the key. After refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas, if Trump also rejects court orders to comply, he’d be declaring war on not one, but two co-equal branches of government. At that point, Democrats would have no choice but to launch impeachment hearings. And it’s a safe bet that’s what’s going to happen.

Bill has also recently published a book, Trump Must Go: The 100 Top Reasons to Dump Trump (And One to Keep Him)Bill-Press-book

Only Two Snarky Snippets Today …

Is there no end, you ask, to the snark of the Filosofa?  And the answer is … I don’t think so.  If there is, I haven’t found it yet.  The problem is that I have at least 30 topics backlogged that are snark-inducing and I don’t know where to start.  Okay … let’s start here …


Coward of the county …

Don McGahnI had hoped that former White House counsel Don McGahn had conjones.  I hoped he was a man of honour and integrity.  All indications were that he cared about the letter of the law, for he resigned his position rather than do Trump’s bidding which would have meant breaking the law.  A sign of an honourable man.  But I was wrong. McGahn is just as afraid of Trump as are the rest of his minions.

Legally, since McGahn is a private citizen and no longer employed by the U.S. government, there is nothing Trump or Barr can do to stop McGahn from testifying.  What hold, then, does Trump have?  Well, let me tell you … Trump has made it known in a rather offhand sort of way that if McGahn testified before the House committee, he (Trump) would instruct republicans to cease dealing with McGahn’s law firm, Jones Day.  McGahn’s lawyer said that McGahn would honour Trump’s wishes.  What about the wishes of the citizens of this nation?  What are we, chopped liver?  I was a fool to believe that Don McGahn might put the best interest of the nation, the common good, before his own personal concerns.  Silly me, for believing that anyone who was ever associated with Trump had a backbone or a conscience.

Committee chair Jerry Nadler responded …

“This move is just the latest act of obstruction from the White House that includes its blanket refusal to cooperate with this committee. It is also the latest example of this Administration’s disdain for law.”

Right, Mr. Nadler, so instead of scratching your head, let’s do something this time.  Hold McGahn in contempt, swear out a warrant for his arrest, fine the heck out of him.  DO SOMETHING!!!

Trump, of course, is gloating, saying …

“I think it’s a very important precedent. And the attorneys say that they’re not doing that for me, they’re doing that for the office of the president. So we’re talking about the future.”

Bullshit.  If this is to become the future, then let us simply disband both the executive and legislative branches right now … today … for neither of them is worth a damn at this moment.  We the People are being royally ripped off!


Kris Kobach thinks highly of himself …

kobachYou remember Kris Kobach, right?  Well, perhaps I’ll just briefly refresh your memory, for he has been out of the news for a while now.  Kris Kobach is the former Secretary of State of Kansas who was named the vice chairman of Trump’s short-lived, ignominious ‘Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity’ which was a rather draconian committee attempting to prove that there had been massive voter fraud in the 2016 elections.  The truth was that the only election irregularities were on the part of Trump and his ‘people’, including his Russian buddies.  Kobach demanded that the states turn over all information on all voters, including private information such as address and social security numbers.  Most states flat-out refused, there was no evidence of voter fraud, and the commission simply fell apart.

Kobach has a long history of bigotry and attempted voter suppression techniques, and at one point had called for a “Muslim registry”.  He was also an advisor to good ol’ Sheriff Joe Arpaio, America’s #1 racist.

Fast forward to today.  Trump is trying to create a new position in his administration that would be titled “Immigration Czar”.  Say WHAT???  We don’t have ‘czars’ in this country!!! Donnie has been hanging out with the Russians too long! The position would be ostensibly to “coordinate immigration policy across government agencies”.  There is no doubt that it would, in reality, be much more than that.  Trump is considering a couple of people for that position, and Kris Kobach is one.  Well, he thinks highly of himself, and he provided the White House with a list of his ‘requirements’ for the job:

  1. Office in the West Wing.
  2. Walk-in privileges with the president.
  3. Assistant to the President rank – at highest pay level for WH senior staff.
  4. Staff of 7 people (2 attorneys, 2 research analysts, 1 scheduler, 1 media person, 1 assistant).
  5. POTUS sits down individually with Czar and the secretaries of Homeland Security, Defense, Justice, Ag, Interior, and Commerce, and tells each of the Secretaries to follow the directives of the Czar without delay, subject to appeal to the President in cases of disagreement.
  6. 24/7 access to either a DHS or DOD jet. Czar must be on the border every week.
  7. Ability to spend weekends in KS with family on way from border back to DC, unless POTUS needs Czar elsewhere.
  8. Security detail if deemed necessary after security review.
  9. Serve as the face of Trump immigration policy – the principal spokesman on television and in the media.
  10. Promise that by November 1, 2019, the president will nominate Kris Kobach to be DHS Secretary, unless Kobach wishes to continue in Czar position.

My jaw had to be picked up from the floor … in fact, I laughed so hard that I had to be picked up from the floor!!!  Who does this yahoo think he is???


A closing note …

Please keep our good friend rawgod and his family in your hearts tonight.  They have had to evacuate their home due to wildfires in Alberta, Canada.  They and the kitties are safe, but don’t know yet whether they will lose their home to the fires. 😢

Just Two Thoughts …

It occurs to me that those of us writing political blogs covering U.S. politics and the regime of Donald Trump spend more time correcting misconceptions that he creates than we spend being proactive and creative.  But so be it … we cannot let the fool on the hill get by with lies that go unchecked and with tarnishing the reputations of good people.

Image result for don mcgahnThe latest, of course, is Don McGahn, former White House counsel.  According to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, McGahn testified under oath that Trump had given him a directive to order Rod Rosenstein, then-Deputy Attorney General, to fire Robert Mueller based on a ‘conflict of interest’ that did not, in fact, exist.  McGahn refused, and ultimately left Trump’s employ rather than break the law.

Naturally, Trump denied that he had told McGahn to fire Mueller …

“As has been incorrectly reported by the Fake News Media, I never told then White House Counsel Don McGahn to fire Robert Mueller, even though I had the legal right to do so. If I wanted to fire Mueller, I didn’t need McGahn to do it, I could have done it myself.”

Ah yes, he could have, but that would have opened a can of worms and made him look even guiltier than he already did at that point.  Now really, folks, who are you going to believe … Trump who has told more than 10,000 documented lies since his inauguration, or McGahn who had the integrity to refuse an order and resign rather than break the law?

Then last month, the day after the redacted copy of the Mueller report was released to Congress and the public, Trump contacted McGahn and asked him to publicly declare that he doesn’t believe Trump obstructed justice.  McGahn refused Trump’s request.  Now if that doesn’t speak loud and clear that Trump is, to this day, obstructing justice, then I don’t know what it takes.  Are you listening, Mitchell McConnell??? 

Trump, needless to say, is in a state of rage …

“I was NOT going to fire Bob Mueller, and did not fire Bob Mueller. In fact, he was allowed to finish his Report with unprecedented help from the Trump Administration. Actually, lawyer Don McGahn had a much better chance of being fired than Mueller. Never a big fan!”

Image result for quotes about lies thomas jeffersonUnprecedented help from the administration?  I think not.  And if he wasn’t a fan of McGahn, why did he hire him in the first place?  More lies.  With apparently nothing better to do, Trump tweeted some 70 times on Saturday. Since he is so fond of giving everyone nicknames, I think his new moniker ought to be Tweety Twump.

McGahn is still, as of this writing, scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on May 21st, though Trump has ordered him not to.  I think that since McGahn is a private citizen, and since he has already testified before the Mueller team, that even Trump’s “executive privilege” cannot stop McGahn if he chooses to testify.  I hope that he will, I like and respect McGahn, however if he doesn’t, I hope that the committee will issue a warrant for his arrest for contempt of Congress.  Somewhere, somehow, Congress must find the chink in the armour and be allowed to do its job.


july-2The United States celebrates Independence Day on the 4th of July each year.  The celebration commemorates the Declaration of Independence of the United States on July 4, 1776. The Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American colonies were no longer subject and subordinate to the monarch of Britain and were now united, free, and independent states.  Of course, it would take a war to make the declaration reality, but this is the date that is remembered for its significance.  In recent decades, the holiday is, for many, not much more than an excuse to picnic or grill out, drink lots of beer, and watch fireworks after dark.  Nonetheless, there is symbolic meaning to the day.

One of the most prominent events takes place in Washington, D.C., which includes fireworks on the mall.  Correction … it did.  Until King Donald Trump decided to take over the celebration and make it all about himself, rather than the people who fought for this nation’s independence back while his own ancestors were still living in Germany.

Trump has decided to move the fireworks display from its usual spot on the Mall to be closer to the Potomac River (who said it was up to him???), but that isn’t even the worst of it.  He has decided to hold a bloomin’ campaign rally from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial!  What an irony!  The man who was known as ‘Honest Abe’ … being defaced and devalued by the most dishonest president in the history of the United States.  The man who fought to free the slaves and end bigotry being smeared by the one who is “Making America Racist Again”!

This is supposed to be the people’s celebration, not Donald Trump’s.  That’s okay, though, for just as I said last year, in my heart, there is nothing to celebrate this July 4th.  Frankly, in this, the year 2019, I wish we were still a subject of the Crown.  Queen Elizabeth is a much kinder, more intelligent leader than the one we have.

Just A Few More Snarky Snippets

My friends … I don’t even know where to begin today.  When they say, ‘truth is stranger than fiction’, they aren’t kidding!  Nobody, in their wildest dreams, could have written the script for the madness and mayhem that is the federal government of the ‘United’ States today.


Good grief …

good griefFirst on the agenda is the fact that Trump’s approval rating has climbed.  He still hasn’t hit 50%, but according to the latest Gallup poll, he is at 46%, while according to the FiveThirtyEight aggregate of polls, he has climbed to 42.7, a 1.5% jump since last Thursday.  Why?  The only thing I can figure out is because his base, who largely do not bother to investigate facts, believe him when he says the Mueller report “completely exonerated” him.  It didn’t, and in fact it pointed out at least ten instances where he was guilty of obstruction that would have landed him in jail if he were not president.  But, Trump supporters don’t read the report.  They also don’t question why he is going to so much trouble to keep Mueller, McGahn and others from testifying if he believes he is exonerated.  They don’t ask why he isn’t encouraging those testimonies that would show us mean ol’ liberals just how innocent he is.

What’s even more concerning is that the jump in his approval rating is not necessarily among republicans but rather democrats and independents!  Among Democrats where Trump’s job approval has improved the most month-to-month, just 4% approved of the job he was doing in March compared to 10% who said the same in April. Independents went from 33% job approval for Trump in March to 39% in April.  Now, I don’t put much faith in the numbers of the polls, for each is biased in its own way, but it’s the trend that is relevant.  What the Sam Heck has he said or done that has democrats swaying in his favour?  Anybody?


Can he do that?

President-Elect Donald Trump Holds Meetings At Trump Tower

Judge Napolitano

Second, let’s talk about freedom of the press, shall we?  Remember a week or so ago Gronda wrote a piece about Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, Senior legal analyst for Fox News, who wrote an OpEd whereby he opined that Trump is, in fact, guilty of obstruction of justice and should be charged as such.  Trump, needless to say, was not happy with the man who he once referred to as a “very talented legal mind”.  I made a comment at the time on Gronda’s post that I wondered how long it will be before he is relieved of his duties at Fox.  And now, Trump is hinting at just that just that to happen.

Trump retweeted an obscure Twitter account on Sunday morning …

trump-re-tweetIf Trump were just anybody, one might overlook it and say he was just blowing off some steam.  But, for better or for worse … mostly worse … he is the president of a nation of some 330 million people and thus is to be held to a higher standard than Joe Blow. This one bears watching, my friends, for this is about more than a difference of opinion or a dispute between Trump and the judge … this one may set a precedent in terms of freedom of the press.


And about those pesky subpoenas …

Last Thursday, Trump said he did not believe he would allow former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify to committees in Congress, saying McGahn had already spoken to the special counsel on the Russia probe.

“I would say it’s done. I’ve had him testifying already for 30 hours.”

I am not a lawyer and hesitate to make a proclamation about what can or cannot be done, but I’ve done a bit of research and as best I can tell a private citizen, which McGahn is and Mueller will soon be, does not have to take orders from the ‘man’ in the Oval Office.  Now, if he were being asked to testify about state secrets or the location of nuclear weapons stashes, that would be a different story.  But, McGahn is being asked only to clarify and elucidate his previous testimony before the special counsel.

Trump is also attempting to keep Mueller from testifying.  It was assumed that Mueller would resign from the DOJ in April, and I have no idea why the delay, unless it is for this very reason, to keep him from testifying.

And Attorney General William Barr has both ignored the summons to testify before the House Judiciary Committee last week, and refused to release the unredacted Mueller report as requested by subpoena by the deadline yesterday.

Mick Mulvaney, acting as White House Chief of Staff, said in early April that the democrats would never see Trump’s tax returns.  This was in response to a subpoena for six years’ worth of returns, something that every other president since Reagan has submitted voluntarily.  Then yesterday, Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin refused to allow the Internal Revenue Service to release Trump’s tax returns.

ENOUGH!!!!!!!!

Either Donald Trump wants to be the president or he does not.  He cannot be considered the leader of this nation if he cannot even be held accountable to We the People who are paying his salary.  And before any of you say, “but he doesn’t take a salary” … yes, he does receive a salary.  If he donates it somewhere, that is his choice, but he does receive a salary of $400,000 per year.  As comedian Seth Meyers said, Trump should pay his taxes instead of donating his salary. And what are we getting in return?  Obstruction of justice, corruption extraordinaire, destruction of our environment, an average of twelve blatant lies each day, incited divisiveness of our nation, and a ‘man’ who believes himself to be above the law of the land.

Imagine what would happen if either you or I simply ignored or willfully defied a subpoena? Anybody know how to bake a cake with a saw in it? We do not have a president, folks, we have an autocratic wanna-be dictator who has trampled our Constitution, has trampled our democracy, and is trampling on our lives.


And now that I have managed to raise your blood pressure by at least 30 points, I shall leave you to ponder while I go clean my kitchen.  I had a bit of a cooking mishap this evening and there are grease and rice sticks all over the place!  Ever deep fry rice sticks?  I’ll tell you all about it later.

Guess Who’s Baaaaaack?

Some things just keep coming back, over and over again, for no discernible reason.  They are not usually good things, but more like things that once you think you’ve gotten rid of it, you hope never to see it again.  Bathtub mold, stink bugs, a 6-month old potato, that ugly sweater from your Aunt Hester, etc.  Today, we have the displeasure of the return of Steve Bannon into our lives.  I thought we had gotten rid of him and he was over in France, helping Marine LePen, or some such thing.  The headline in The Washington Post read …

Bannon Pitches White House on Plan to Cripple Mueller Probe and Protect Trump

Why, oh WHY???  Whatever have we done to deserve yet another round of Bannon?

His plan, in a nutshell, isn’t really anything that we haven’t all discussed over the past 2-3 days anyway:

  1. Fire Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who oversees the work of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and in recent days signed off on a search warrant of Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen.
  2. White House cease its cooperation with Mueller, reversing the policy of Trump’s legal team to provide information to the special counsel’s team and to allow staff members to sit for interviews.
  3. Create a new ‘legal battleground’ to protect himself from the investigation by asserting executive privilege — and arguing that Mueller’s interviews with White House officials over the past year should now be null and void.
  4. Fire lawyer Ty Cobb, who has encouraged White House cooperation with Mueller’s team.

The first and second on the list are predictable and Trump has, no doubt, thought of those all by himself.  The third is unique, and legal analysts say they doubt it would be possible to render past testimony as null and void, since those who testified did so willingly and of their own volition.  His rationale for firing Ty Cobb is that then Trump can say he was given bad advice by his lawyers.  John Dowd already resigned, and Don McGahn has said he would leave if Mueller were fired, so if Cobb were also out of the picture, then Trump would be free and clear to say they all gave him bad advice.

Now, those close to Trump say that Bannon is still persona non grata because of the revelations critical of Trump and his family that were included in Michael Wolff’s book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, published in January.  If so, there is some doubt whether Trump would welcome Bannon back into the inner circle, but … in my view, Trump would welcome a wild boar hog if he thought said hog could help him out of this mess.  Consider that Trump has recently told friends and aides that he is willing to engage in political warfare in the coming months to stop his presidency from being consumed by the investigation.  I believe there is no low to which he would not stoop in order to save his own arse.

Bannon, meanwhile, has reportedly been meeting ‘through back channels’ with Trump confidants, proposing the above ideas, and knowing Bannon, a few more that we don’t know about.  Most agree, however, that almost anything Trump does at this juncture will serve only to make him appear even more incredibly guilty than he already is.  Almost any move he makes in any direction is likely to set off a domino effect, possibly causing a mass exodus from the Department of Justice and even more divisiveness within Congress.  None of which, of course, is good for a nation already divided and nearly a tinderbox, to say the least.

As I noted, after his ouster from both the White House and Breitbart, Bannon took his show on the road, spreading his populist ideas in Europe.  In March, according to the New York Times, he was in France, supporting Marine LePen, and then in Hungary, working with Prime Minister Viktor Orban. In Zurich, Switzerland, he met with leaders of Germany’s far-right Alternative for Germany party, and then he settled in Italy.  He claims to be working on a project to create a think tank to “weaponize” populist economic and social ideas in the U.S.  And as for his ‘work’ in Europe, he is doing nothing more, he says, than building a vast network of European populists to demolish the Continent’s political establishment. “All I’m trying to be is the infrastructure, globally, for the global populist movement.” Just that.

Go back to Europe, Mr. Bannon.  Go to a desert island in the Pacific.  Go to Russia.  Go anywhere, but just get the heck out of the U.S.  We have enough troubles without you adding to them.