How To Get The Mueller Report

What if Attorney General Bob Barr decides not to release all of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report? The Democrats in Congress could try to subpoena it, but that will take forever in court challenges.

Instead, they should channel their inner Donald Trump.

When Trump was a candidate and Hillary Clinton’s emails went missing, Trump asked for help in finding them: “I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

So if the Mueller report can’t be found in the public domain, maybe the Democrats should ask if anyone can help locate it. The WikiLeaks and the Russians probably won’t assist, but others might.

Who should do the asking? Why Hillary Clinton, of course!

Dems Lack A Star Campaigner. Sad

The 2018 campaign is almost over and no matter who wins or looses this week, one thing is abundantly clear. No one comes even close to matching Donald Trump on the campaign trail.

For the past several weeks, Trump has been able to command an incredible amount of  press coverage while crowding out anyone from the Democratic side. Yes, Barak Obama got some press, as did Bernie Saunders. And two-time loser Hillary Clinton is still kicking around and acting like she has a political future, which is catnip to the press.

But no one can put out a message on the campaign trail like Trump. Quite frankly, the Republicans are going have to think about lifting the ‘Great Communicator’ mantle from Ronald Reagan and giving it to Trump instead.

For the Dems to have any chance in 2020 they are going to have to find people that can take campaigning to a higher level. Maybe not at the Trump level, but at least close.

Last Minute Election Surprises?

It is a week before election day and one wonders whether there will be some sort of last minute surprise. Like in 2016 when the FBI Director announced 11 days before the election that Hillary Clinton’s emails were again under investigation, only to say  ‘nevermind’ a week later.

  • Will there be a leak from Robert Mueller’s office or any of the attorney generals investigating Trump, Inc?
  • Will Hillary Clinton say something stupid? (And why is she still in the public eye?)
  • Does Michael Avenatti have another client in the wings ready to spill?
  • Will the Russians get caught red handed?
  • Will extreme Trump supporters try to kill more people?

The odds are at least 50/50 on something happening. If it does, which side will it help? The last minute Kavenaugh kerfuffle turned out to be a great motivator for Trump’s Republican base. Is there anything that will get more millennials or Hispanics to the polls for the Democrats without firing up the other side as well?

We will know soon enough.

 

Swampwater (gate)

Before he became president, when he was still governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton and his wife were accused of being involved in a shady real estate deal. The story was that Bill pressured bankers to make unsound loans and lawyer Hillary was behind the slippery legal work that provided the whole thing with a veneer of probriety.

Dubbed ‘Whitewater’, the investigation took years and while neither Bill nor Hillary were ever charged with anything, most of the other people involved in the saga were convicted of crimes.

My how times have changed. Donald Trump’s recent intervention to protect his Washington DC hotel from competition is already old news. In case you missed it, the story goes like this: The FBI’s building is near a Trump hotel. The building is very run down and the FBI needs more space, so it was planning to move. Once it moved, the land could have been redeveloped as a hotel, which would compete with Trump’s.

Trump intervened in the process and now the FBI is pursuing a much more expensive solution. It involves partially staying put so the land cannot be redeveloped into a hotel that competes with Trump’s.

The Whitewater investigation went on for more than 3 years. Trump’s FBI influence was a story for about 3 days. There aren’t any Russians or porn stars involved (so far) to keep it in the news.

Which is good for Trump, because his supporters, who stick with him through almost anything, might actually be bothered by this kind of petty corruption. Even better for Trump is that his opponents are pretty inept at keeping his petty-theft swampiness in the news.

Trump’s opponents need someone who has a demonstrated ability to keep a story in the news and press Trump’s buttons, someone like Stormy Daniels’ lawyer. Maybe they should hire Michael Avenatti to sue Trump. At a minimum, the visibility might kill the FBI deal, costing the Trump Organization a bunch of money.

Trump Owes The Clintons – Big Time

At this point, does anyone really think that Donald Trump didn’t sleep with Stormy Daniels? Or the former Playboy model? Or the Russian prostitutes? Or the ____________? Of course not.

The real question is whether it makes any difference. The answer is an emphatic NO! And the main reason it doesn’t make any difference is that Bill and Hillary Clinton made it OK for a president to have an affair. Trump owes both of them a huge “thank you”.

When Bill Clinton was outed for fooling around with Monica Lewinsky the left was disappointed, not appalled. Sure, Bill was a horndog, but how could he be so stupid as to have an affair with an intern in his workplace instead of someone more innocuous? Why couldn’t he have done it with the reporter who said she was so happy with his politics she’d give him oral sex?

Hillary made it worse. She didn’t leave him or kick him out – instead she publicly forgave him. So why should Trump be any different, his supporters say? Sure, he shouldn’t cheat on his wife, but that’s between him and her. Even the religious right is giving Trump a bye on this because they like his politics (although so far not enough to offer him oral sex).

Bill did get impeached, but that was for lying about the affair, not having it. Trump lied too, but he won’t get impeached because Clinton demonstrated that trying to convict the President for lying about an affair doesn’t work. If Trump does get impeached – which is unlikely – it will be for laundering Russian money, not an unlaundered dress.

The Clinton Standard

Since when did the Clintons become the standard for propriety in politics? The latest news is that Hillary Clinton intervened to keep an accused of sexual harasser on her staff when he was about to fired. The implication is that the #metoo crowd should back off, because even Hillary tolerated harassers.

Well, duh. She’s the person who excused her husband when he cheated on her with a young intern named Lewinsy.  In fact, she aggressively defended him.

But here is the thing. The Republicans have spent the last 30 years telling us how corrupt and slimy the Clintons are. So telling us that even the Clintons cheat, lie, steal, etc. is not the best way to say that it is ok to do it. We are not really talking about Ghandi or Mother Terresa here.

The truth is that the Clintons are an excellent straw man. Bill is an admitted adulterer / harasser yet has high approval ratings – ergo, other harassers that aren’t as popular also should be able to get away with it.

Hillary doesn’t have Bill’s high approval ratings, but she is living in some kind of alternate reality. She fancies herself a politician and is easily drawn into the fray. But the truth is that she is a great policy wonk but a terrible politician, constantly making decisions without understanding how they will play out politically, such as defending harassers or ignoring advice not to use a personal email server.

The best thing she could do for the Democrats would be to declare that she is a flawed individual who should not be a standard for anything, and fade away from politics. A true politician would realize this. Unfortunately, she is not a politician.

The Inverse Clinton Equation

The equation is pretty simple. The more trouble Donald Trump finds himself in, the more he calls out the Clintons for illegal behavior.

The equation even translates to Trump’s underlings. The more hot water Jeff Sessions finds himself in regarding Russian connections, the closer he gets to appointing a special prosecutor to investigate the Clintons.

It works because the Clintons are today’s Kennedys – the political family full of drama that can’t stay out of the news, even when they aren’t being investigated. There isn’t a lot of middle ground about the Clintons – most either hate them or love them (and not necessarily equally).

So firing up the Clinton headline machine is the best way to distract from Trump’s woes. The sad thing is that it will work.

Trump Won’t Be Impeached

As the Special Counsel’s investigation heats up and Donald Trump’s relationship with Congress continues to cool down, some are speculating about impeachment.

In the history of the United States, only two presidents have been impeached, i.e., charged by the House Of Representatives with serious offenses. Both presidents went to trial in the Senate, and both won their trials when the Senate declined to convict either of them of the crimes the House charged them with.

The presidents were Andrew Jackson, nicknamed “Old Hickory” for his fortitude, and Bill “Big Dog” Clinton. There is no way that Donald Trump is going to let himself be bested by either of these presidents by getting convicted. Especially Clinton.

Trump’s pattern in legal matters is fight, fight, fight, settle. It is more likely that Trump will follow Richard Nixon’s path and resign before it gets to impeachment, although there is a chance there resignation will happen after the House votes to impeach.

Assuming the potential charges against Trump include conflicts of interest, bribery or worse related to the financing of his businesses, the resignation will probably be part of a ‘settlement’ deal that lets Trump and his family stay out of jail and keep most of their assets.

The threat of impeachment may work, but it is unlikely that it will actually happen.

Follow The Money

Where does Trump Inc. really get its money? In his interview with the New York Times this week, Donald Trump shot himself in the foot again and told everyone it was none of their business. Of course, now everyone will be focused on that very question.

Trump said that the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election would cross a “red line” if it started looking into his finances. But the special counsel is apparently thinking of doing just that, if he hasn’t already. After all, any crime investigator knows that the first thing to do is follow the money.

Trump’s supporters think he has a point: the investigation was supposed to be about Russian interference and should not be side tracked.  These are also people who have no love for the Clintons and surely supported Bill’s impeachment. They should remember that the only reason he was impeached was because an investigation of Clinton’s business affairs got sidetracked to whether or not he lied about having sex with an intern.

Sex with an intern is not Trump’s style, but the investigation may find that his firm is financially in bed with a number of dubious characters and governments, which could have the same consequences.

Is Trump Becoming Hillary?

Will Donald Trump become the president that Hillary Clinton would have been before Bernie Sanders pushed her to the left? After all, he does not seem to have any real ideology and has no problem reversing his positions. After the public embarrassment of another legislative defeat or two, maybe he will just declare himself party-independent and decide to do whatever it takes to make his presidency ‘successful’.

He has already offered to work with the Democrats on health care. He is looking at supporting Barak Obama’s Federal Reserve chair (Janet Yellen) and some of his economic policies. He is cozying up to China and taking actions that annoy Russia.

Sure, his appointees and executive orders have been nothing like what Clinton would have done. But it is early – Trump has not even been president for 100 days yet. Already Steve Bannon’s influence is being supplanted by a life long NY Democrat – Jared Kushner. There will undoubtedly be more changes to come.

At the end of the day, this president asks himself not what is good for the country, but what is good for the Trump brand. Interestingly, if he decides that political success is better for the brand than ideology, it might also be better for the country.