Take a Letter Ivanka

Last night, as I got home, about a half-past ten

There was the woman I thought I knew, watching CNN

I kept my cool I ain’t no fool let me tell you what happened then

I packed some clothes and I walked out and I ain’t going back again

So take a letter Ivanka, address it to my wife

Say I won’t be coming home, gotta start a new life

So take a letter Ivanka, address it to my wife

Send a copy to my lawyer, gotta start a new life

You’ve been many things but most of all a very good daughter to me

And it’s times like this I feel… You’ve always been close to me

Was I wrong to cheat and lie, I gave her a very good life

Ever since I’ve been President, my life’s been full of strife

So take a letter Ivanka, address it to my wife

Say I won’t be coming home, gotta start a new life

So take a letter Ivanka, address it to my wife

Send a copy to Giuliani, gotta start a new life

When a man loves a woman, it’s hard to understand

Why she would turn from Fox News, and start watching CNN

I never really noticed, how sweet you are to me

It just so happens I’m free tonight

Would you like to have dinner with me?

So take a letter Ivanka, address it to my wife

Say I won’t be coming home, gotta start a new life

So take a letter Ivanka, address it to my wife

Think I’ll go to Russia, gotta start a new life

And now here comes Impeachment, it’s all based on fake news

Just because I used other countries, to make sure I couldn’t lose

I told Ukraine you’ll get no money unless you get the goods on Joe

I just don’t get why people think it’s some kinda quid pro quo

And now it’s out all over town that I keep two sets of books

One that shows I’m ultra-rich on top of my good looks

The other set says that I’m dead broke so my taxes are really low

I know you understand Ivanka because that’s the way we roll

So take a letter Ivanka, address it to my wife

Say I won’t be coming home, gotta start a new life

So take a letter Ivanka, address it to my wife

Send a copy to my lawyer, gotta start a new life

Apologies to R.B. Greaves

Who Thought John Bolton Would Be The Moral Center of Trumpworld?

I don’t pretend to like John Bolton. He is the warmonger of warmongers. He has no use for the rest of the world and thinks they deserve no input into anything.

“If I were doing the Security Council today, I’d have one permanent member, the United States, because that’s the real reflection of the distribution of power in the world. All international laws are invalid, meaningless attempts to constrict American power.”

His solution to problems with other nations is typically regime change.

“The only way to resolve the North Korean problem is to change the regime.”

“Iran has essentially mastered all of the complex science and technology that they need to have a completely indigenous nuclear weapons program. That means that our options on Iran are extremely limited, to regime change or as a last resort, the use of force.”

“It was right to overthrow Saddam Hussein. It was the regime itself that was a threat. I think in hindsight, what I would have done is turn authority back over to Iraqis much more quickly and say: “Your country, you figure out how to run it.”

When you look up “neo-conservative” in the dictionary. John Bolton’s mustache is next to the definition. Yet still, in one of the few bright moments from within the Trump administration. John Bolton saw a crime, refused to take part, and had it referred to White House lawyers for review.

“I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up.”

Bolton went further according to former NSC Russia Expert Fiona Hill, he said,

“Giuliani’s a hand grenade and is going to blow everybody up.”

Bolton made sure that when shit goes down, and it will, he had absolutely nothing to do with it.

John Bolton recently left the Trump administration with differing accounts of the circumstances. Bolton says he quit… Trump says he fired him. Bolton has said almost nothing publicly since his departure but left no doubt he has plenty to say and will in due time. I didn’t like Bolton when he served as American Ambassador to the United Nations during the Bush administration. I didn’t care to hear and see him as a contributor to Fox News. I didn’t like him in the Trump administration. But when he’s inevitably called to testify in a House hearing. I’m getting the popcorn and pulling up a chair.

Why Republicans Want House Democrats to Vote for Impeachment

Mitch McConnell already said it…

“I would have no choice but to take it up. How long you’re on it is a whole different matter, but I would have no choice but to take it up.”

Democrats in the House of Representatives now have the votes without needing any Republicans, to vote to Impeach the President and send the matter to the Senate for a trial; and that’s just what Trump and Republican lawmakers want.

Right now, Republicans are the minority in the House and though they control the other two branches of government. There’s little they can do to keep 6 separate House committees from investigating and calling witnesses. One or more breaking or even leaking negative news against the President. The dam has broken on the White House stall tactic of refusing to let witnesses testify. Even after the White House demanded they not, they are starting to come forward, last being former Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. She dropped some new names when she quoted John Bolton as telling her to contact White House lawyers saying,

“I am not part of whatever drug deal Rudy and Mulvaney are cooking up.”

House Republicans have no power to stop this assault on the well-deserving Trump. They spent years running roughshod over Democrats when they were in the majority and you know what they say about payback. Rep. Matt Gaetz tried to sit in on a hearing of a committee he wasn’t on and got kicked out. Their ability to question witnesses is limited and they don’t have subpoena power. Trump has demonstrated his full lack of understanding of the Constitution by calling for the Impeachment of Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi (House members can’t be Impeached). He’d have been better off using King Henry II’s tactic of asking, “Will no one rid me of these meddlesome Democrats?” Of course, Trump has little knowledge of history though there’s a small chance he caught the line in the award-winning movie, “Becket.”

So, how do Republicans end the madness, watching as polls slide more and more in favor of Impeaching and removing the President? Put it in the hands of the Senate of course. Didn’t Mitch McConnell handle Neil Gorsuch’s nomination for the Supreme Court? And like it or not, he got Brett Kavanaugh through, even conducting a fake investigation where he and the White House controlled the scope, refusing to interview multiple witnesses who called the FBI saying they had relevant testimony. If the House has an Impeachment vote, Mitch will immediately begin a Senate trial as he’s promised. His first order of business will be to try shutting down the investigations of the House committees which he’ll say were interfering with the solemn duties of the Senate.

As soon as Mitch gets his hands on the process, he’ll start shaping what will be investigated, which witnesses will be heard, and what will be held in the open vs kept in the dark. Casual observers will wonder exactly who is on trial as at least half the testimony will be about whistleblowers, the deep state, and Hunter Biden. They’ll lead you to believe Donald Trump has acted no differently than Democrats doing opposition research and the Hillary campaign. All while planning to host the next G-7 conference at Mar -a- Lago. Trump will probably suggest the Senate Hearings be held in the Trump Internationale ballroom because the acoustics are “the greatest.”

Make no mistake, Republican efforts to have an immediate House vote are a ploy to take over the reins of the investigation. If you’ve ever watched a Senate confirmation hearing you get the gist. Republican Senators like Susan Collins (ME) will wring their hands but ultimately vote with their majority. They’ll find Trump’s actions “concerning” but that they don’t rise to the level of “High crimes and misdemeanors.” Meanwhile, the unindicted coconspirator from a case which saw one of his personal lawyers go to jail, won’t be prosecuted as a sitting President, while another personal lawyer of his faces the same fate.

Nancy Pelosi is doing the right thing by holding off the Impeachment vote. Trump’s reputation such that it is, is dying by a thousand cuts and even the Trump base is realizing the crimes he’s committed. Whether some of them care is another matter but public opinion is shifting and fair-weather Senators will invariably shift with it. Unless they get an early chance to stop the Impeachment altogether.

Rudy Giuliani Wouldn’t Do Very Well In Jail

This has nothing to do with the story but has anyone ever noticed how much Rudy looks like the vampire from the 1922 silent film, “Nosferatu?” I’m not pointing that out to mock Rudy, but to say that he rose to be the top Federal prosecutor of the Southern District of New York (SDNY) on his talent as a lawyer, not his good looks.

If you only know Giuliani from his television interviews where he contradicts himself repeatedly and lies on behalf of his maybe still client Donald Trump. Trump was asked if Giuliani who’s found himself on the hot seat was still his lawyer. The answer was less than clear.

It’s been reported by CNN and the New York Times that Rudy is under investigation for among other things, lobbying violations of the type that have tripped up many a Trump associate including Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort. It can’t help that two of Giuliani’s associates were just arrested trying to leave the country with one-way tickets, charged with federal campaign finance violations. The men had been working with Giuliani trying to dig up dirt on Democrat Presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Before Rudy was Trump’s tv lawyer, before he was Mayor of New York, he was appointed US Attorney for SDNY where he handled a number of high profile mob cases. In a close to two-year trial, the Mafia Commission Case, Rudy put away three of the heads of the Five-Families using RICO charges to seal the deal. The mob allegedly put a hit out on Rudy which extended into his first year as Mayor. Some of the people Rudy put away are still in jail and still pissed. It’s ironic that the SDNY that Giuliani once led is the office now investigating him.

Putting aside for a moment the guilt or innocence of Giuliani. If he is convicted, he wouldn’t find jail a very friendly place. He’s made more than a few enemies along the way. Besides the crime families (who have been known to hold a grudge(, there’s the Haitians who might remember the time Rudy fought against Haitian refugees seeking asylum. He was working in Ronald Reagan’s Justice Department then whose immigration policies with regard to brown and black people were little different than the current resident of the Oval Office. Rudy has been a spokesman for Trump’s immigration policies and he might end up housed with people who resent his defense of caged brown children in horrific conditions. Imagine if Rudy decides to cut a deal with prosecutors and flip on his client that will no doubt have thrown him under the bus long before the metal doors clang shut.

Rudy has lived fairly well in his adult life. When Mayor he lived in Gracie Mansion (except when he moved out when he couldn’t move his mistress in). He’s stayed in Trump’s luxury resorts and now lives in a $3.5 million estate in Water Mill, NY. Even if he goes to a relatively nice Club Fed facility, the views will be nothing like he’s accustomed to.

Gracie Mansion

I imagine ex-prosecutors can’t get on the friends & family plan in prison. He likely still has friends throughout the Justice Dept (though they might be hesitant to cross Trump) and they might assist him with his placement. If he can just find a prison without mobsters, Haitians, Hispanics, blacks, Democrats, and Republicans. He might do just fine?

Mitt Romney is Sitting by the Phone But Nobody’s Calling

Mitt Romney is ready if the Republicans need him. Perhaps he’s thinking back to the 2002 Winter Olympics. They were heading into the games with a financial shortfall of $379 million dollars. The Salt Lake Organizing Committee hired Romney as its President and CEO based on his business and finance experience at Bain Capital and his ties to the LDS Church (Church of Latter-Day Saints or Mormons) that were important in Utah. Romney was a whirling dervish, making commercials, lobbying Congress, hitting up his rich friends for donations. He waived his salary and contributed $1 million of his own money toward the effort. He became the face of the 2002 Winter Olympics and when all was said and done, the Games had an excess of $100 million making it the most successful Winter Olympics ever. According to himself and most everyone else, Romney saved the Games, he was a hero.

Mitt has tried three times to bring his leadership to the Republican Party as their candidate for President. In 2008 he watched John McCain get the nod and ultimately watched him lose overwhelmingly to the upstart Barack Obama. In 2012, he became the Republican Nominee, yet lost to Obama himself, despite a significant portion of the country’s rage against the first black President. In 2016, he’d explored running again but found little enthusiasm in the Party for a two-time loser and was unable to make the run, On January 30, 2015 he announced he would not run again saying, “one of our next generation of Republican leaders” would be better positioned to win the general election.”

We are approaching the 2020 Presidential Election, it would normally be a no-brainer that the incumbent President Donald Trump would again be the Party Nominee. The economy is doing well, for the most part, joblessness is at a 50-year low, and he has the overwhelming support of the Party base. The downside is that more than half the country opposes him and there’s the growing realization that “Individual #1” is a criminal that engaged in election fraud and obstruction of justice at a minimum. The Democrat-led House of Representatives has begun an Impeachment Inquiry with six separate committees running down various areas of interest. The one getting real traction is Trump’s efforts to get the new Ukranian President to investigate Trump’s Democrat political rival, former Vice-President Joe Biden, in order to receive almost $400 million in military aid approved by Congress. Unlike every other scandal (and there have been many), this one has taken root and new revelations are occurring literally every single day. While none dare say it publicly yet, Republicans are having the prospect of coming up with a new Nominee at the last second. Mitt Romney is thinking he might get that call.

The problem with Mitt though is that for all the times he has been “alarmed,” “shocked,” or “frustrated” with Trump and his actions, some of them inhumane like the caging of children coming across the Southern border. Romney has folded like a chair every time and ultimately used his role as a Senator from Utah to support Trump at every turn. America will never forget how you genuflected at Trump during the 2016 Election process, trying to become his Vice-President or Secretary of State. Trump made Mitt grovel and then publicly rejected him. Pride is normally thought of as a deadly sin but Mitt could have demonstrated just a little.

Should Republicans go looking for a respectable candidate they, unfortunately, have few places to search? Lindsay Graham has contorted himself into a Trump puppet, Paul Ryan slinked away from being Majority Leader and went to the board of Fox News. Only John Kasich, former Ohio Governor has shown any integrity and refused to participate in the Trump madness, even before things started going wrong. And then there’s Mitt… He’s one of the few speaking out even mildly against Trump’s behavior, hoping someone is listening.

View at Medium.com

Whoever answers the call if it comes will be asked to perform a miracle, picking up the pieces of a political party that Trump made his own then trashed. It may be far too late for anyone to undo the Trump damage but Mitt is thinking, “I did it before in 2002!” He’s sitting by the phone waiting for that call.

Ukraine is Important- Impeach Trump – Don’t Forget to Follow the Money!

Democrats in the House of Representatives have finally gotten traction against Donald Trump. Revelations of his conversation with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in which he requested multiple times Ukraine investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Along with moving transcripts of that conversation along with those with Soviet leader Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, seems to have done the trick. The narrative was simple, Trump traded our national security for his personal political interest; holding up $391 million in military aid approved by Congress unless he “did us a favor” and investigated the Biden’s to hurt Joe’s bid as a contender in the 2020 Presidential Election.

Add to that, revelations that Trump in the Oval Office told two Russians he was “unconcerned” about Russian interference in the 2016 Election because “we do it all the time in other countries,” was simple enough that the White House has yet to issue a response two days later. Surrogates on the Sunday shows twisted themselves in knots trying to defend the President. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy literally denied Trump said what the White House released transcript admitted he said. Stephen Miller pointed to the “deep state” and cited his vast knowledge after three years in government. Lindsey Graham forgot everything he learned in law school by discounting, “second-hand” information, forgetting his own reliance on Linda Tripp during the Clinton Impeachment.

Most of all, the public has reacted to the Ukraine information with a majority of Americans, 55% according to recent polls, now supporting an Impeachment investigation. Nancy Pelosi has indicated the focus of the investigation will be Ukraine and national security which is understandable, but it’s critical not to take their eye off the ball and ignore Trump’s finances which is what Trump clearly has been trying to keep from the view of Democrats and the American public.

As rewarding and the Ukrainian line of inquiry has been. Expecting Republican Senators to vote against Trump in an Impeachment trial based on moving documents to a different server and disobeying the Presidential Records Act is expecting more that they’ve demonstrated they should be credited for. Their ability to ignore the Quid Pro Quo in Trump’s suggestion Ukraine investigate Biden cannot be underestimated, especially after listening to Lindsay Graham, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee put Tump above both Party and Country. What will be needed, is to remind the public, that not only is Trump a lawless traitor, he’s also a crook, which is why the ball shouldn’t be dropped on following the money.

AT this moment, Trump’s personal financial information and that of The Trump Organization is being sought by various Congressional committees, the State of New York, a Manhattan District Attorney, the State of California, and various private groups suing Trump. Trump has gone to extreme lengths to keep that information secret including ignoring subpoenas, instructing the IRS not to comply with rules about providing taxpayer information to the Ways & Means Committee. Trump has sued his banks and accountants to keep them from complying with legally issued subpoenas. He’s using the Malcolm X approach to keep his finances secret… “by any means necessary.”

We’ve heard testimony from Michael Cohen that Trump used fraudulent financial data to secure loans or get better insurance rates. Ivanka and Don, Jr had criminal fraud charges dropped after a Trump attorney visited the Manhattan District Attorney and later made a huge donation to his campaign fund. The Trump Foundation has been shut down as a fraudulent charity. The Trump Organization has been accused of money laundering, and there have been multiple suspicious real estate transactions Trump and his sons once bragged about with Russia and Saudi Arabia. There seems to be fertile ground to uncover illegal activity once the financial records are reviewed. This is no time to give up and chase the shiny Ukranian object.

Yes, Ukraine is important, Trump’s secret conversations with Putin and MBS equally so. But follow the money; in all likelihood it will lead to proof of multiple other crimes, equally understandable by the public and impossible for Republican senators to ignore.

For Those Who Don’t Remember Watergate… Here’s What To Expect

If you were old enough to remember October 8, 1998. That’s the date when Impeachment proceedings were launched against President Bill Clinton. The process itself took 16 months from the House authorizing an Impeachment vote by a count of 258–176. Republicans were supported by 35 Democrats who supported the proceedings.

The year before the Impeachment started was marked by Independent Counsel Ken Starr holding a Grand Jury and steadily leaking his findings to tarnish Clinton. He eventually presented his 3,183-page report to the House of Representatives, dropping off 18 boxes of supporting material and dropping the mike. The Senate trial presided over by Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, began January 7, 1999.

There were breaking news highlights including Monica Lewinski presenting the semen-stained blue dress she’d saved for years without ever cleaning. Her alleged friend Linda Tripp appeared before the grand jury four times producing secret tapes she made of Lewinski baring her soul. When it was all said and done, it was a highly partisan affair and Clinton was acquitted on the two counts presented for trial. Republicans lost seats in the House of Representatives after failing to Impeach Clinton and Newt Gingrich who headed up the charge, resigned as House Majority Leader. Clinton apologized and went on to finish his second term with a high approval rating. That was how Clinton’s Impeachment went, Trump’s will be more like Watergate.

Watergate got very little traction in the beginning. On June 17, 1972, five inept burglars were caught breaking into the DNC headquarters in the Watergate Hotel in Washington, DC. One of the five, James McCord, was a security coordinator for the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the Committee to Re-Elect the President, aptly named CREEP. He was fired from both positions the day after the break-in. The story would have died out but for the dogged reporting of the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. The saga was played out in the film, “All The President’s Men,” starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman. If you’ve seen the movie or know your history (perhaps lived it). You already know the ending. Nixon resigned when a few Republican Senators told him he “didn’t have the votes” and he quit to spare his pride the nation the trouble of kicking him out. I don’t expect Trump to have the decency to resign, but here’s where the similarities will be between the upcoming Trump Impeachment and Nixon’s Watergate.

The power of television is what made Trump the President and it’s what will bring him down. Television killed Nixon’s first chance of becoming President as he came off poorly in a televised debate with John F. Kennedy. Nixon had a five-o’clock shadow and came across sour and stiff. Kennedy was youthful and passionate and won the election. Nixon had the experience, Kennedy had the looks and energy. Trump was famous because of his television show, “The Apprentice” and reveled at any chance to perform. He took control of every media opportunity and even those who didn’t like him often watched to see what he’d say next. Impeachment will be different, and Trump will be without control.

Impeachment hearings will be a daily reminder of all the failings of a President with many. Clinton was generally well-liked and his sins as they were, weren’t viewed as that outside the norm by most Americans. Only in recent years has Bill Clinton been viewed as a negative and his popularity helped him. Trump has had negative approval ratings since his first day in office. Even the Republicans in Congress that have steadfastly supported him don’t like him. They stay with him out of fear of reprisal from either Trump’s tweets or his base. As long as the public stays with him, they will too. That’s where television comes in.

During the time of Watergate, there were but a few television networks and all but Ted Turner’s were fixated on the hearings carrying basically the same material. You’ve heard the expression, “It’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up.” That came from having John Dean testify on live TV about Nixon’s secret tapes. Nixon tried to keep them out but eventually, the nation heard that Nixon led the cover-up of Watergate and even approved the break-in in advance. Nixon was paranoid and would do anything he could to get an edge. Sound familiar?

There was no Fox News at the time or a network of right-wing media outlets to keep Nixon loyalists in a bubble. Trump’s problem today is that Fox is already planning for a post-Trump era. New board member Paul Ryan is already suggesting they move away from Trump. Sean Hannity has conceded the recent coverage “looks bad” and on-air personalities Shepard Smith and Carlson Tucker have hurled broadsides at each other on their shows over coverage of Trump. Impeachment will bring us all the witnesses that Trump has blocked, copies of financial records including his taxes. There have always been suggestions Trump has committed fraud, money laundering, tax evasion and more but they’ve never been dragged out on live television with his own employees testifying against him. That plus evidence he disregarded national security in favor of his personal business interests and re-election ought to be enough to make his most ardent supporters in the Senate consider putting the nation first just one time.

The Trump Impeachment will consume the news cycle on a daily basis. New reports will break regularly and people will flip on him to save themselves, just like Watergate. My interest in politics stemmed from reading all the books published afterward by the participants, especially the guilty ones like John Dean and H.R. Haldeman. The only way they got to be heroes was by baring their souls, at the expense of Richard M. Nixon. Such will be the case with Trump. they’ll all turn on him, and their evolution will be televised.

Republicans Can Rid Us Of This Meddlesome President

They all hate him. They fear being on the butt end of one of his tweets, or perhaps him backing a primary candidate against them for a perceived slight. They wake up each morning scanning Twitter to see what new position they must adopt and defend that they had never previously considered before Trump said it. Many are morally opposed to him, others just want their soul back.

Unexpectedly an opportunity has come to be rid of this menace. All because of a whistleblower complaint that exposed him blackmailing/bribing Ukraine to investigate old charges against Joe Biden and his son Hunter that were long ago investigated and dismissed. In a way only Donald Trump and Rudy Guiliani could have managed. They got caught, lied about it, and changed their story multiple times before White House notes of a phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy showing Trump committing a felony, implicating Attorney General William Barr to boot.

Trump being Trump, he initially refused to turn over the transcript of the phone call and the whistleblower which by law was supposed to be turned over to the relevant committees in Congress. Finally showing a spine after allowing countless Trump lackeys to ignore subpoenas or refuse to testify or turn over documents. Nancy Pelosi announced a formal Impeachment Inquiry into the President’s behavior. Trump kept announcing his phone call was “perfect.” Leaving him no legitimate explanation as to why then he couldn’t turn over the transcript? Within hours of the transcript being released to the public and the whistleblower report given to the leadership in Congress. Democrats had the 218 votes required to vote for an Impeachment and a trial to be conducted by the Republican-controlled Senate. With more misdeeds by Trump becoming public by the day, that the House will take that Impeachment vote is nearly certain. Then it’s up to the Republicans in the Senate to decide what they’re going to do?

It takes a two-thirds majority vote to find the President guilty in the Senate and evict him from office. Twice before it was attempted with Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton; each previous attempt failed. Richard Nixon resigned before Impeachment after Republican Senator’s came to him explaining he didn’t have the votes to survive. While it appears that this group of Republicans won’t ever turn on the President. This is their one chance to rid themselves of this lunatic on grounds of national security or perhaps just fatigue.

If they vote to get rid of Trump in the Senate, they could make their first claim to have acted honorably, in the interest of the Republic, since Trump took office. They could claim they put Country before Party, no man is above the law, throw in a few words like truth, justice, and the American way. A group that hasn’t exactly covered themselves in glory as they stayed silent when children were caged and white supremacists roamed the White House can finally stand up and be heard.

The inevitable Impeachment trial in the Senate will be conducted by the Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsay Graham. The former best friend of the late John McCain used to consider himself and hope to be seen as an honorable man. In the past two years he’s gone against much he once believed in, siding with a President way too close to Russia, a country Graham once considered the enemy. Lindsay has turned the other way when Trump cheats at golf and on his wives. He’s dishonored his longtime friend John McCain and made a mockery of his legacy. This will be his last chance to square things with McCain, his PArty, and the American public.

Don’t count out the possibility that Trump could be convicted in the Senate. Their calculation has been that as long as Trump held a significant approval rating with his base, they couldn’t afford to turn against him. We’ve now gotten to the point that did in Nixon. Televised congressional hearings with negative information coming out daily. Then repeated on 24-hour cable news networks. Any sign that the base is leaving Trump and the Senate may well turn on him. We will see?

Republican Excuses If Trump Loans Were Co-Signed By Russian Oligarchs

On Tuesday, August 28th, Lawrence O’Donnell opened his show during the handoff from Rachel Maddow by saying a single source had claimed Donald Trump had gotten loans from Deutsche Bank; cosigned by Russian oligarchs. O’ Donnell later admitted he erred by discussing a thinly sourced story which did not meet “the rigorous vetting standards” of MSNBC and NBC News. Typically, a news organization would require at least two sources before going public and Lawrence O’Donnell stated several times he only had one.

“Last night I made an error in judgment by reporting an item about the president’s finances that didn’t go through our rigorous verification and standards process. I shouldn’t have reported it and I was wrong to discuss it on the air. I will address the issue on my show tonight.”

The thought of Russians actually co-signing Trump’s loans had never been discussed publicly although many have questioned why Deutsche Bank would lend hundreds of millions of dollars to Trump when literally no-one else in the world would? Reporters worldwide are now on the scent and Trump loan documents are already under subpoena. We will likely find out the truth fairly soon. My question is, how will Republican supporters respond if this turns out to be true? Let’s imagine?

Mitch McConnell

“These loans were taken out long before Mr. Trump ran for President. I myself have gifts of tens of millions from my Chinese father-in-law. Co-signing a loan is a normal business arrangement and I see nothing wrong with it. As an aside, my name is not Moscow Mitch.”

Lindsay Graham

“I think any honest business relationship the President had with close friends of Vladimir Putin can only help bring our two countries closer together. The President kept quiet about it because the fake news media would only twist it and try to make it out to be something other than a standard business deal with a dictator.”

Sean Hannity

“This is just like when people tried to make something out of Michael Cohen secretly representing me while I had him on my show several times. Nothing to see here.”

Mike Pence

“I can assure you this never happened. You have my word!”

David Duke

“We stand with the President. No matter what they say about him, he’s our guy.”

Vladimir Putin

“Nyet! Fake news!”

Ann Coulter

“I don’t care what he does as long as he builds that wall.”

Michael Cohen

“I have nothing to say. I don’t want to end up like Jeffrey Epstein.”

With Apologies to Neil Diamond, “Trump’s Brother Love Travelling Salvation Show.”

To those on the outside, a Trump Rally stars a barely literate conman, repeating his hit lines from 2016. He spreads his unique brand of hatred, targeting mostly minorities and women, saving a few barbs for others who didn’t let him have his way. It somewhat reminds of a circus, although the Headmaster often seems like a clown with the oversized red tie and the hair. There’s no explanation for the hair except it seems to have a life of its own. Changing direction and color without notice.

For the insiders, the loyalists, the Trump base; it’s like church. Except instead of exhortations to chase Satan away. He’s leading the service. Trump rallies are a traveling roadshow. Seeking out destinations where a big enough segment of his loyalists can be found to listen to him brag about false accomplishments, attack the media, and cue the chants whether it be; “Lock Her Up,” or “Send Her Home,” or “Mexico!” in response to the question about who’s going to pay for the wall.

The Trump Rally is the biggest event of the year for those who aren’t on the traveling team. If they didn’t already have their MAGA hat and Trump shirt. A vendor will gladly sell them one. The official merchandise is made in the USA, although bootleg items may be tagged, “Made in China.” The crowd is a sea of almost all white, although you can usually spot the “Michael the black guy,” spotted in the first few rows behind Trump and holding a sign. He’s made a hustle out of supporting Trump as have Diamond & Silk and a few others.

If you’ve never seen the movie, “A Face in the Crowd,” starring Andy Griffith, you should. You’ll be impressed by Andy in a serious role starring as Lonesome Rhodes, a conman who had much of the nation adoring him until his true personality came out. You never saw this Andy Griffith in Mayberry. He was a charming womanizer with an evil streak a mile wide. Commentator Keith Olbermann used to regularly call Trump, “Lonesome Rhodes” long before the election. How right he was.

Singer Neil Diamond released, “Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show” in 1969. It was recently featured in the Quentin Tarantino film, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” which gave it a revival although it never really went away. Southern evangelicals originally hated the song, thinking it mocked their revivals and traveling ministers who went from town to town. Diamond explained it was a celebration of Gospel music and the controversy ultimately subsided.

The song can’t help but remind you of a Trump rally.

“Cause Everyone Knows Brother Love’s Show”

Everyone knows a Trump rally. They’re almost all the same. Rock music starts it out, much of it played against the wishes of the artists that originally performed it.

“ Room gets suddenly still
And when you’d almost bet
You could hear yourself sweat, he walks in”

When the man himself finally arrives on stage, the crowd cheers and he revels in it. He’s been known to break out clapping for himself.

The Trump Rally is a family affair. Grandma and grandpa, the kids, bring them all.

“ Pack up the babies
And grab the old ladies
And everyone goes
’Cause everyone knows
Brother Love’s show”

The rallies are a chance to see who makes up the Trump base. You could make the case that they are the extremists and every Trump voter can’t be associated with those wearing Confederate flag shirts and spewing hate which some in the crowd do. That they’re almost all white probably is a fair representation. When they were screaming, “Send Her Back” and Trump was basking in glory for 13 seconds before moving on. (He later praised the Greenville, NC crowd as “patriots.”) It took a couple of days to get back on message after the nation pointed out how racist they were. Racists hate being called racist, being racist they don’t mind so much.

The Trump rally is a portrait of a certain part of America. When Trump opened his 2020 Campaign in my city Orlando, FL. I didn’t attend but did scour the pictures to see who I know that did. For them, it was the Trump Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show. For me, it represented something else entirely.

“Love, Brother Love say
Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show
Pack up the babies
And grab the old ladies
And everyone goes”

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