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writing for godot

False Alarm - Trump's State of Emergency

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Written by Zepp Jamieson   
Thursday, 14 February 2019 18:52

February 14th 2019

By all accounts, Captain Pissmop is going to declare a state of emergency as a last-ditch effort to get funding for his foolish wall. If he doesn’t do that, I’m still covered: I can keep the main title and just write an entirely different piece. It’s all good.

It’ will probably work as well as his efforts to extort the wall out of the country by shutting down the government. The arithmetic on that one, even by GOP standards, was atrocious. Trump wanted $5.7 billion for a wall. The Dems offered to add $1.57 billion for ‘border security.” The Republicans in Congress thought that was reasonable, and voted for the bill. Trump then proceeded to shut down the government, a fiasco that cost the country $11 billion dollars, ruined hundreds of thousands of lives, and in the end, simply kicked the can down the road for three weeks.

The latest bill has $1.4 billion for border security with any mathematician will tell you is less than $1.57 billion. Bizarrely, the GOP and Trump tried to spin that as a victory for the Wallbangers, and when, for some inexplicable reason, that didn’t work, Trump tried vacillating on signing the bill. The Republicans in Congress, who just spent the past two months getting massaged with sledgehammers over the shutdown, elected to not play along. Which led to Pissmop’s final gambit: this state of emergency.

The idea is that Trump can use the declaration to strip funds away from other emergencies, such as Puerto Rico’s hurricane relief, or the fires in California.

Even by his standards, it’s an unbelievably cruel, vicious, and dishonest tactic. Any person who supports him on this is a disgrace both as a person and as an American. At this point, if you support Trump, there is something deeply wrong with you, morally, mentally and intellectually. You have to be a sociopath, deranged, and stupid, or all three.

The question remains: how many Republicans will follow him into this new sewer of a rabbit hole?

There was an interesting exchange on the Senate floor this afternoon that suggests that even the corporate whores have lost patience. Chuck Grassley, a man seemingly willing to eat tons of turds for the GOP, was interrupted by Mitch McConnell, who breathlessly announced that Trump would sign the spending bill, and that he would issue a national emergency declaration to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

McConnell, the biggest whore in the Senate, declared proudly, "I indicated to him I am going to support the national emergency declaration."

The party spin is that Grassley was having a bad hair day and was only annoyed, yeah, pissy, at being interrupted by the Majority Leader. Because Grassley has such a rich history of snarking at party leadership, you understand.

I’m guessing that Grassley knew exactly why McConnell was interrupting him and didn’t like it one little bit. Earlier this morning, at a prayer function of the sort that afflicts representative democracy, he said, “Let's all pray that the president will have wisdom to sign the bills so government doesn't shut down.” Note lack of support for the politically suicidal tactic of declaring a phony emergency so Trump can steal from victims of natural disasters. Grassley may be willing to sacrifice the country for the sake of the party, but he isn’t willing to sacrifice Chuck Grassley for the sake of the party. He knows that if Pissmop’s scheme to fuck over American victims for his vanity project ever came to pass, it would be the absolute end of the Republican Party and Chuck Grassley.

Hence his barely concealed disgust for the obsequious McConnell.

In an unrelated development, Atlantic magazine printed an excerpt from Andrew McCabe’s book, “The Threat”. McCabe was fired by a vindictive Trump just a day and a half before he was to retire for speaking out against the firing of James Comey.

McCabe wrote, “The president steps over bright ethical and moral lines wherever he encounters them. Everyone in America saw it when he fired my boss. But I saw it firsthand time and time again.”

That’s pretty damning, especially since he discloses that the Department of Justice heads were seriously discussing the possibility of the Cabinet declaring Trump unable to perform his duties and removing him from office. (Trump, perhaps uneasily aware that it could happen, had a spectacular Twitter meltdown today over that one.)

In a telling vignette, McCabe wrote:

 

Trump launched back into his speech about what a great decision it was to fire Jim Comey, how wonderful it was that the director was gone, because so many people did not like Comey, even hated him—he actually used the word hate.

Eventually he changed the subject. He said that he wanted to come to FBI headquarters to see people and excite them and show them how much he loves the FBI. He pressed me to answer whether I thought it was a good idea. I said it was always a good idea to visit. I was trying to take some of the immediacy out of his proposal—to communicate that the door was always open, so that he wouldn’t feel he had to crash through it right away. I knew what a disaster it could turn out to be if he came to the Hoover Building in the near future. He pressed further, asking specifically, Do you think it would be a good idea for me to come down now? I said, Sure.

He looked at Don McGahn. The president said, Don, what do you think? Do you think I should go down to the FBI and speak to the people?

McGahn was sitting in one of the wooden chairs to my right. Making eye contact with Trump, he said, in a very pat and very prepared way, If the acting director of the FBI is telling you he thinks it is a good idea for you to come visit the FBI, then you should do it.

Then McGahn turned and looked at me. And Trump looked at me and asked, Is that what you’re telling me? Do you think it is a good idea?

It was a bizarre performance. I said it would be fine. I had no real choice. This was not worth the ultimate sacrifice.

In this moment, I felt the way I’d felt in 1998, in a case involving the Russian Mafia, when I sent a man I’ll call Big Felix in to meet with a Mafia boss named Dimitri Gufield. The same kind of thing was happening here, in the Oval Office. Dimitri had wanted Felix to endorse his protection scheme. This is a dangerous business, and it’s a bad neighborhood, and you know, if you want, I can protect you from that. If you want my protection. I can protect you. Do you want my protection? Trump and his men were trying to work me the way a criminal brigade would operate.

For whatever reason, the visit to the FBI never happened.

 

No. It’s not going to get better from here. It’s going to get worse.

 

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