Trump’s Attack On Our Democratic Republic…

Trump’s firing of Comey, as well as his abrupt dumping of Yates ought to give every American who both understands and appreciates the institutions of our democratic republic great pause. The man currently sitting in the oval office is arguably the greatest internal threat to our democracy and its institutions of the modern era.

The article by Brian Beutler below states the concern and dangers quite well we think.

NEW REPUBLIC – The firing of James Comey has restarted a conversation about the vulnerability of public institutions in America that had gone largely dormant.

Before Tuesday, one of the most remarkable things about Donald Trump’s presidency was how sturdy it had shown competitor institutions, and the larger system of checks and balances, to be. Courts have beat back his power grabs; media, for all its flaws, has been more skeptical of the claims and actions of the Trump administration than of any administration in recent history. Civil society organizations have flourished, and a vital protest movement has both slowed the GOP legislative agenda, and forced some Republicans in Congress to expect a measure of accountability from the White House.

For those who were relieved by this, Comey’s firing should be a frightful awakening from complacency.

The immediate threat of the Trump presidency wasn’t that he would sap the public of its civic-mindedness, or intimidate judges and reporters into submission with his tweets. It was to the institutions under his control—the ones within the executive branch—and particularly those with meaningful independence from political actors in the White House. Because the path to neutralizing or coopting external institutions runs through corrupting internal ones.

In his first weeks as president, Trump appeared to lack both the aptitude and the dedication required to do this. Yes, he corrupted the government, but it was through laziness and greed, so the effect was limited. Trump was satisfied with a bargain whereby Republicans in Congress set most policy, and in return they turned a blind eye to his self-enrichment.

Firing Comey changes the terms of the bargain, but in a perverse way it also makes the bargain harder for Republicans in Congress to abrogate.

The Washington Post’s Dave Weigel wrote a practically minute-by-minute account of how the Fox News reaction to the firing progressed from confusion to elation within 12 hours. House Speaker Paul Ryan went 24 hours without saying a word about Comey’s firing, before telling Fox News that “it is entirely within the president’s role and authority to relieve him and that’s what he did.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose bad faith glows in the dark, celebrated the news and chalked the Democratic clamor for answers and accountability up to partisanship. (The fact that Democrats have been forced to resort to obstructive maneuvers suggests that McConnell isn’t budging, even in private.)

It is true that people of integrity would want to get to the bottom of this, whereas Ryan and McConnell see it as a useful smokescreen for dismantling the safety net. But this has become about more than a tax cut and a rollback of the Affordable Care Act. It is about whether Republicans in Congress want to be on the fun end of entrenched power, or on the receiving end of its blunt force.

If Trump gets away with firing Comey—if Republicans let him nominate any director he wants; if they resist the pressure to insist on appointing a special prosecutor, or to convene an investigative body; if they squash inquiries into the firing itself—he will read it as permission to run amok. As The Atlantic’s Ron Brownstein wrote, Trump’s “appetite for shattering democratic constraints is only likely to grow.”

Continue reading BELOW THE FOLD.

The Manchurian Candidate?…

Is There A Trump Russian Connection?…

Flynn, Yates, and now Comey gone. All fired by Trump. All related to, or involved in the alleged Trump /Russian connection or its investigation.

Lets connect the dots and see just where the trail takes us. Likely right to the top… Donald J. Trump.

  • Russian government releases photos of private meeting

  • FBI’s Comey had led probe of Russian meddling in U.S. election

Donald Trump met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the White House on Wednesday, a day after firing the FBI director who was heading an investigation into the U.S. president’s Russian connections.

The White House didn’t let U.S. reporters witness the meeting, intended as a prelude to Trump’s first face-to-face talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, expected within months. But after the Russian government released photos of Trump greeting Lavrov and Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak, who’s been at the center of intrigue about the Trump campaign’s contacts with Moscow, reporters were suddenly ushered into the Oval Office. They found Trump sitting there with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. The Russians had left.

“We had a very, very good meeting with Mr. Lavrov, and I thought it was very good,” Trump said. In a later statement, the White House said Trump “further emphasized his desire to build a better relationship between the United States and Russia.”

More BELOW THE FOLD.

Trump Fires Comey…

Are Trump’s true motives obvious on this? or is it just me?

WASHINGTON – President Trump has fired the director of the F.B.I., James B. Comey, over his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, the White House said on Tuesday.

Mr. Comey’s dismissal was a stunning development for a president that benefited from the F.B.I. investigation of the Democratic nominee during the 2016 campaign. Separately, the F.B.I. also is investigating whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to influence the election.

The abrupt firing raised questions over whether Mr. Trump was trying to influence the Russia investigation. But he said he was following recommendations from the Justice Department, which criticized how Mr. Comey concluded the investigation into Mrs. Clinton.

“While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau”, Mr. Trump said in a letter dated Tuesday to Mr. Comey.

Mr. Comey broke with longstanding tradition and policies by publicly discussing the Clinton case last July and chastising her “careless” handling of classified information. Then, in the campaign’s final days, Mr. Comey announced that the F.B.I. was reopening the investigation, a move that earned him widespread criticism.

Yet many of the facts cited as evidence for Mr. Comey’s dismissal were well known when Mr. Trump decided to keep him on the job. Mr. Comey was three years in to a 10-year term.

“It is essential that we find new leadership for the F.B.I. that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission,” Mr. Trump wrote.

In the final days of the campaign, Mr. Trump said that it “took guts” for Mr. Comey to reopen the Clinton investigation. “What he did brought back his reputation,” Mr. Trump said. Those very actions are now at the heart of Mr. Comey’s firing.

Full New York Times article BELOW THE FOLD.

As Spicer (and Trump) Deflects…

POLITICO – The White House on Tuesday defended its pace in firing former national security adviser Michael Flynn, suggesting former acting Attorney General Sally Yates may have had an agenda when she warned the administration about the embattled adviser in January.

Yates put the Trump administration back in the hot seat this week when she testified on Monday that she had warned White House officials that Flynn had been compromised and susceptible to blackmail after misleading Vice President Mike Pence about his discussions with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.

The stark warning came 18 days before President Donald Trump ultimately fired Flynn.

But on Tuesday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer painted Yates as an anti-Trump partisan who was not only appointed by former President Barack Obama (emphasis mine)…

Of course Trump (and his lackeys) will deflect rather than confront  the ineptitude and gross incompetence of both himself and his administration.

Trump time and time again during the campaign was notoriously ill informed as well as consistently inaccurate with many of his statements. So much so one doing the due diligence would have to conclude Trump is actually a liar a significant share of the time. Con man extraordinaire would be an appropriate description of the, cough, man.

Yates has more honesty and integrity in the tip of her pinky finger than the “POTUS” has in his entire bloated body. BTW, a fish rots from the head down. So do organizations and countries.

America anointed as its leader a con man that is inept, unqualified, dishonest, lacking in what heretofore was considered good character, a xenophobe, a misogynist, a narcissist, and so much more.  Now the only thing left is whether America itself has the character and integrity to rid itself of the cancer that is Trump and his fake populism.

Complete POLITICO article  BELOW THE FOLD.