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 …
First 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?
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 …
If 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.
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.