Saturday, October 19, 2019

Doing It At Cost

I know this is vanishingly unimportant compared to what is going on in the Trump administration, but I wanted to point something out about Trump's (naturally) lying claim that he will not make any money from holding next year's G7 summit at his Doral resort, because he will charge everything at "cost."

The Doral resort has 643 rooms and suites.  Currently, the price per night quoted by Travelocity, Expedia and Hotels.com is $206.00 for the cheapest room.  I am just going to guess here that at these discount rates, the cost of running the place must be about $150 a night per room.

June is a very slow month in Miami, for obvious reasons, and in recent years, the occupancy rate in June at the Doral was about 40%.  So, basically, 386 rooms of the hotel would be vacant on any day in June, every one of which will be filled with delegates and press during the event.

The G7 summit officially lasts three days.  That would require four nights stay at the hotel at a dead minimum; with preparations, etc, I'm guessing that the average stay would be at least five nights.  So, five nights times 386 rooms times $150 comes out to $289,500.00 in pure profit in Trump's pocket, not counting one cent that the delegates and press would spend at his restaurants, golf course, etc, which will of course not be provided at cost; and this is using the cheapest room rate available at the hotel.  I'm guessing that the guy stands to easily make a half million in pure profit on this criminal deal, not counting the immense value of the free publicity given to this failing hotel.  And this is assuming against all previous experience that Trump is actually telling the truth and will actually provide the rooms at cost.

As a final note, let me say that this half million would be an incredible windfall to most of us, but it is small change to a guy who is supposedly worth ten billion.  I saw Digby wondering about how much this habitual liar is really worth if he has to engage in such open criminality, when he is already in so much trouble, for that money.  A good question.  How about those tax returns, Donald?

Friday, October 18, 2019

Republicans Take a Stand

Hey, this wonderful news about the patriots who make up our Republican party, from the Washington Post:
"IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY
Growing number of Republicans struggle to defend Trump on G-7 choice, Ukraine and Syria...

One Republican, Rep. Francis Rooney of Florida, compared the situation to Watergate and did not rule out voting to impeach President Trump."

One! That is apparently the growing number! The Republicans who are "struggling" against this deranged criminal has gone from zero to one! That is a percentage increase in Republican support for impeachment of infinity!

To be fair, the article does mention "many" Republicans that were allegedly disturbed by Trump's deliberate demolishing of the Constitutional prohibition against Presidents making money from their office, but of course none of them would be identified by name.

On the other hand, to stand up against this backbencher that no one ever heard of before today, the article mentions Republican leaders like Kevin McCarthy, Jeff Duncan and Tom Cole, who don't give a God damn what Trump did, and are proud of the fact.

The struggle is underway to free the Republican party from any responsibility for the disaster that their President has caused, and the mainstream press is already picking which side to support.  This is going to be an ugly year.

Chamberlain

Donald Trump's recent collaboration in genocide has been compared a number of times this week to the behavior of English Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain toward Adolf Hitler in the runup to the Second World War, which has become a symbol of craven capitulation.  I thought it would be a good time to mention something about this behavior which I learned while at the University of Cambridge, and which is not generally understood.

Chamberlain's failure to do anything to build up Britain's military. faced with a threat from Nazi Germany, culminating in his famous meeting in Munich, where he gave Czechoslovakia to Hitler for nothing in return, has now been compared to Trump's betrayal of our Kurdish allies in the face of demands from the Turkish dictator.  This behavior on Chamberlain's part has been generally attributed to a combination of cowardice and a sort of Pollyannaish naivete regarding Hitler's promises.  This, as I have learned, is false.

The famous moment when Chamberlain promised his people that he had averted World War II

What virtually everyone, at least in this country, forgets about Chamberlain is the most significant fact about him:  He was a Conservative, he acted like a Conservative and he dealt with the Nazi threat like a Conservative.  There was a single factor that led Chamberlain to leave Britain nearly defenseless against German attack: a military buildup would require raising taxes, and Chamberlain was afraid that his party's right wing base would vote them out of power if they raised taxes.

Conservatism: the same in all places and all times, and just as malignant at every turn.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Press Faces a Test

Those of us who are worried if the mainstream press has learned one damned thing from the disaster that it helped create in the last four years, or if they are about to once again do their best to put a criminal madman back in the White House because that is better than a Democrat, are about to learn a big lesson about what is to come in the next year.

The criminal murderer Recep Erdogan, who rules Turkey, just announced a five day halt in his genocidal aggression against the Kurds, for the sole purpose of allowing them to clear out of their homeland before his troops resume slaughtering them, this all taking place in an act which was approved by Trump before it happened. Even though the Turkish government itself stated that this is not a cease fire, it is being portrayed as such by the White House and its Republican enablers, who are of course crowing about the supposed immense diplomatic victory won by Trump, who also today asserted that he had singlehandedly defeated ISIS in one month.

We are confronted now with American troops running for their lives and having to bomb our own bases to prevent them from falling into the hands of our enemies- a retreat of a kind rarely seen in the world since the Nazis fled the Soviet Union in 1944.

It should be clear to everyone now, that this man is so incompetent, ignorant and vicious that he could precipitate a world war any day, without the slightest warning or consultation. So here is the question:  Is the press going to report the truth about this latest nearly incomprehensible Trump-caused catastrophe, or will it give even the slightest credence to his insane notion that he pulled off some great diplomatic victory, instead of the humiliating betrayal and defeat that it actually is?  It's reaction to the situation with the Kurds is going to provide a major insight into how they intend to cover the coming election, in which the fate of the whole country is at risk.

I'll return to the subject in a few days to see how they did.  I'm not very hopeful.

TRUMP WINS NOBEL!

It has just been announced that Donald Trump has been awarded the Nobel Piece Prize, for giving a piece of Syria to Turkey.


Monday, October 14, 2019

The Trump Trot

People who are familiar with the way Conservatives discuss things will no doubt be aware of something called the "Gish Gallop."  This common right wing argumentative strategy, for those who have not heard of it, is described at Wikipedia:


"The Gish gallop is a technique used during debating that focuses on overwhelming an opponent with as many arguments as possible, without regard for accuracy or strength of the arguments. The term was coined by Eugenie Scott and named after the creationist Duane Gish, who used the technique frequently against proponents of evolution.  

During a Gish gallop, a debater confronts an opponent with a rapid series of many specious arguments, half-truths, and misrepresentations in a short space of time, which makes it impossible for the opponent to refute all of them within the format of a formal debate."

Ever an innovator in Presidential behavior, Donald Trump has developed his own strategy, which I am dubbing the "Trump trot," which consists in committing so many crimes, so rapidly, that no one has the chance to follow any one of them to fully reveal his criminality, before being forced to move on to the next one.  Thus, he wriggles out of any consequences for his behavior, while decent people are forced to deal with an endless sequence of unprecedented criminal acts, and public consciousness never has a chance to really understand the depth of his criminal behavior before it is forgotten in the wake of further abominations.

So far, it has worked for him, sad to say.  Maybe this time, if Democrats do their duty it won't.  At this point, we can at least hope.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Horrible News From the Wingnuts!

A story which has been blocked from the Fake News! But you can count on Green Eagle to see to it that it receives the attention it deserves!

Now, I must confess that this is not the greatest wingnut story that I have ever read.  That still belongs to the lady who claimed that she helped Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi kill and eat Norm Foster, and also said that she was Bill Clinton's sister and the Zodiac killer.  But still, it's a pretty good one:

"Shocking information has come in from Field McConnel...
Retired USAF Lt. Col Field McConnell says it’s been reported to him that Barack Obama was executed on September 29, 2019 by firing squad at GTMO.   McConnel went to the same high school as the illegal President Barak Obama in Hawaii!"

Well, who would know better than someone who went to the same high school as Obama?  I am sure they all received news about it along with their notices of the date of the next homecoming game.

"McConnel states the two big issues are 9/11 and pedophilia." 

9/11?  Obama was involved in 9/11?  When he was an Illinois State Senator?  And pedophilia? Well, I guess every Democrat does that.  Oh well, let's just move on.


"He says anybody who has trafficked children is going to be executed as well as anybody aware of the 9/11 treason and didn’t report it as required.   9/11 was done by elements within our own government.  By law, anybody having direct knowledge of treason is compelled to report it to one state Governor or one chief judge or justice of any one state.  So anybody who was aware of the false flag 9/11 operation and who didn’t report it is guilty of treason."

What law?  That's a new one on me.  Oh, of course, the part of the Constitution written in invisible ink which only True Patriots can read.

"He also states there is going to be a big celebration and announcements on the 10th of November which is the birthday of the US Marines founded in 1775 on this date."

There is going to be a national celebration of the execution of President Obama.  I can hardly wait.  Will there be free beer?

Do you think that it will give people like this guy one second's doubt when it doesn't happen, or deter him from spreading his next malignant lie?

"Lots covered here including one interesting tidbit he says about the US justice system.  He says Trump is going to make all lawyers part of the BAR association repledge themselves to the United States since all BAR members currently work for the Queen of England!"

Something else that I just never knew.  Does that include Rudy Giuliani?  If so, I think the Queen might want to consider removing a few of them from her employment.

You can thank Green Eagle for this valuable history lesson, brought to you without a single ad from a survivalist supply company or a gold trader, as is de rigeur for the original sources of things like this.

"If Obama was executed for treason (which he should have been if we had a justice system and a real country) then we can only hope Obama accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior before he was dispatched.  Jesus is the only hope any of us have.  You deny him, he denies you to the father!"

Can't finish without getting Jesus in there.  I'll just end by relating a story that Retired USAF Lt. Col Field McConnell told, illustrating how thoroughly the government is working against him.  Once, when he was selected for a jury, the judge asked the jurors if any of them had personal experience of pedophilia.  McConnell raised his hand and told the judge that his sister, who was one of the most evil people on the planet, was Hillary Clinton's partner in her world wide child sex ring.  At that point, the judge dismissed him from the jury.  How dare he!  Obviously taking his orders right from the Queen!

Saturday, October 12, 2019

The Dam Breaks



It's been quite a week for Donald Trump.  He managed to hold off revelations about his stupendous criminality for over two years, through a combination of threats, bribes, bullying and just hiring corrupt tools like Barr and Giuliani, who won't turn on him because they are involved in his criminality up to their necks.

But things changed this week.

Ambassador Marie Yovanovich, who was fired because she stood in the way of Trump's crooked schemes in Ukraine, refused a State Department demand that she keep her mouth shut, and spent nine hours telling a House committee exactly what happened.

Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, has now indicated that he will testify under oath about what he knows, despite also being ordered by the State Department to shut up.

Two of Rudy Giuliani's "business associates" were arrested in the act of trying to flee the country, after a lunch with Rudy.  These men are charged with campaign finance violations, i.e. transferring illegal foreign money to Republican campaigns (did I even need to add the word "Republican" there?)  These allegations include a donation from a Russian oligarch of over $300,000 to Trump's Presidential campaign.
Trump with Rudy and the two men who he never even met.

Rudy himself is under criminal investigation, by the same prosecutor's office he once headed.  And who on earth would count on this pathetic weasel to keep quiet about what he knows, when his freedom is on the line?  And particularly when Donald Trump is showing him the steadfast loyalty for which he is so famous:

"Trump tells reporters he doesn’t know if Giuliani is still his attorney"

Or even ever existed.

We know that there are several more "whistleblowers" waiting in line to tell their part of the story of Trump's corruption.  Who knows what they have to say?

Trump's betrayal of the Kurds is such a grotesque act of criminal indifference that even many Republicans, despite decades of brainwashing, are starting to see what a horrible man he is.  And particularly as his existence becomes a threat to their own political careers.

Prosecutors finally seem to be within striking distance of Trump's tax returns, which if they were revealed would, at this point, be a crushing blow to him; otherwise, why has he fought like a cornered mongoose for years to keep them secret?

Remember that every person that speaks out makes it easier for the next one to speak out; every piece of damning evidence we pry loose makes it that much easier to get the next one; every associate of Trump who is arrested leads to the next one to go down; and every crime that is revealed is a hill which once climbed gives us a view of a whole new range of hills just beyond us.

The strands of this spiderweb are snapping, one by one; a time may soon come that there are not enough left to hold the spider up in the air.

I cannot say that this is what is going to happen, because Trump's power to misuse the Presidency to protect himself from his endless criminality is immense, as is his own party's corruption, but things sure look different today than they did two weeks ago.  A shame that it's too late for the Kurds or the Syrians who are going to be attacked by a resurgent ISIS, but at least we can now pray that it is not too late for the rest of us.

Update:  The following headline appears this Sunday at Talking Points Memo:

"Defense Secretary Says Pentagon Will Comply With Subpoena In Impeachment Inquiry"

As I suggested above, one crack in the wall leads to another one.  It will be very interesting to see where this all leads.


Author's note:  I apologize for comparing both Trump and Rudy to small, angry animals in one post.  I know it is not good form, but I did it anyway. 

Friday, October 11, 2019

Who Knew What When, and Why?

I wondered about this yesterday, but didn't write a post about it.  Thankfully, I have now seen a couple of other people ask the same question, because we absolutely need an answer to it.

As you undoubtedly know, these two guys are associates of Rudy Giuliani.  They were arrested yesterday for crimes related to campaign finance violations, including one Russian donation to Donald Trump's campaign of over $300,000.

So, here is the story: these jerks had lunch with Rudy (at Trump's Washington hotel, no less) and went immediately to Dulles airport, where they were arrested by Federal agents on their way to the gate with one way tickets out of the country.

Here is the question:  How did these two know that they were about to be arrested?  It hardly strains the imagination to suspect that Rudy told them; and if so, the question is, how did Rudy, who has no official position in the government, know?

There is one  possibility that is so obvious that I would have to see positive evidence that it is not true.  And that is that Donald Trump gave this secret information to Rudy, who passed it along to these guys.  If so, the betrayal of Federal agents to enable crooks to escape would clearly be another extremely impeachable offense, and like the situation in Ukraine, one that everyone can understand.

Answer that question, Rudy.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

There Is No End to His Malignance

Just when you thought he had already told the most piggish lie you have ever heard, he tops himself.

Donald Trump had this to say today, justifying his monstrous abandonment of our allies, the Kurds, to his business partners in Turkey:

"They didn't help us in the Second World War; they didn't help us with Normandy"

Yes, that's his answer: the Kurds, who didn't have a country during World War II (and still don't, thanks in significant part to oppression from the very Turks that Trump is pandering to now) deserve to be betrayed because they did not participate in the Normandy invasion.

And let us not forget this:

"Ahead of the Trump administration's announcement, Kurdish forces had recently dismantled defensive positions along the Turkey-Syria border under assurances from the US it would not allow a Turkish assault."

It wasn't enough for Trump to enable Turkish genocide, not something exactly surprising from that country; he had to prepare the ground for it.  He owns every murder the Turks commit, as much as they do.

And let me add a little bit of background to this story.  What was the role of Turkey, which was a country with a substantial military, in World War 2?  From Wikipedia:

"Turkey remained neutral until the final stages of World War II and tried to maintain an equal distance between both the Axis and the Allies until February 1945, when Turkey entered the war on the side of the Allies...Turkey declared war on the Axis powers in February, 1945, after the Allies made its invitation to the inaugural meeting of the United Nations (along with the invitations of several other nations) conditional on full belligerency. No Turkish troops ever saw combat."

February 1945!  That's when they entered the war, under world pressure.  By that time, the Red Army was 35 miles from Berlin, and Hitler was two months away from committing suicide.  So how much did Turkey contribute to the Normandy invasion?  I repeat,

"No Turkish troops ever saw combat."
The state of the war in Germany in February, 1945

This is an ignorant, hateful, belligerent, ignorant, childish, stupid man, and a corrupt, criminal one.  He has no business being in a place of power.  He belongs nowhere but in prison, at this point, given his betrayal of the Kurds, on death row.


Splits in GOP Senators' Reactions!

Another exquisite example of the reporting that we have come to expect and love from our liberal media; the following headline at the Washington Post this morning:

"The revealing splits in GOP senators’ reactions to impeachment"

Revealing splits! See, Republicans are thinking people that are analyzing this and drawing their own conclusions!  Hallelujah!

And what are these "revealing splits?"  Here are the numbers the Post found:

Support Trump Unequivocally:  39
Have expressed concerns or said they have questions:  14
Support the impeachment inquiry:  0

Revealing splits!  So, here is what we really have:  39 Republican Senators are going to refuse to recognize that Trump has done a thing wrong, no matter what, 14 are going to do the exact same thing, after writing a "strongly worded" letter expressing mild confusion, and zero are going to do what is right for the country.

Revealing splits!  Sort of like the Nazis that argued about whether to invade Austria or Czechoslovakia first.  And go ahead, someone out there, and criticize me for comparing Republicans to Nazis. At this point that is a pretty silly argument.

War!

Trump finally gets a war, even if we are not yet shooting!

Turkey has now invaded the neighboring country of Syria, encouraged to do so by Donald Trump, who, of course, has business interests in Turkey.
Diplomacy, Trump style, carried out by his friends in Turkey

Let us remember that Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait was the justification for our first Gulf War, in 1990-1991.  Then, a causus belli, now just fine if it suits the economic interests of the President.  That is how far Republicans have fallen in just the last three decades. 

Besides enabling Turkey's long term goal to strike a genocidal blow against the Kurds, this act of Trump's is likely to free tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners, very likely resulting in a resurgence of one of the most hateful, violent groups in the world; one that Trump has repeatedly claimed to have personally eliminated.

A two for one- good work there, Trump.

This savage and irrational act on its own should be enough to immediately throw Trump out of office, and perhaps implicate him in war crimes.  Instead, Trump's party is circling the wagons around him, intent on perpetually denying that he has done a thing wrong, and his "base" of miserable excuses for human beings is going to go on proclaiming him the greatest leader in world history, selected by a benevolent God to lead us all into a better world.

Meanwhile, the mainstream press goes on debating whether Trump's behavior is a legitimate use of Presidential power, or just a little on the unusual side.

Well, it will be interesting to start hearing the death tolls from Syria.

Here, if you are interested, is a map showing what Turkey is up to: