Category Archives: Election

Coincidence

You know, it really is a surprise to find American’s Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, at the heart of a whisper/smear/cloud-of-FUD campaign against Trump’s electoral opponent – There’s corruption! Look! An investigation! Don’t trust Biden!

Well, it would be if you don’t remember 2016.

Once, in his days as New York’s chief federal prosecutor and later as the city’s mayor, Rudolph W. Giuliani was a master of releasing damaging leaks aimed at the kneecaps of opponents. Sometimes, they were true.

Now Mr. Giuliani works the other end of the information slurry, and he has had a hard time keeping his stories straight, one day boasting of his inside sources, then denying that they exist.

At a Senate hearing this week in Washington, Democrats took turns at the microphone to ask about the furies that — depending on which version of Mr. Giuliani you believe — ran from the F.B.I. office in New York to Mr. Giuliani during the closing weeks of the 2016 presidential election.

One Democratic senator asked the F.B.I. director, Christopher Wray, if the pipeline was still running.

“Can you assure the American people there are no ongoing leaks from any office of the F.B.I. to Rudolph Giuliani?” Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut asked.

“Senator, I’m certainly not aware of any,” Mr. Wray replied.

Sure.

And days before the election, FBI director Comey announced an investigation into a newly-discovered laptop full of emails tangentially relating to Clinton – an announcement that likely played a big part in her losing the election.

How did that announcement, which went against FBI policy, come to happen? Well, it’s suspected that Comey announced it in an effort to get ahead of leaks about the investigation. Comey denies it, but that’s at odds with other people who involved.

So who was driving those rumors?

The former attorney general, Loretta Lynch, told investigators that Mr. Comey “said, ‘It’s clear to me that there is a cadre of senior people in New York who have a deep and visceral hatred of Secretary Clinton.’ And he said, ‘It is deep.’”

Mr. Comey said he found it “stunning,” Ms. Lynch told the investigators. She replied to him: “I’m just troubled that this issue — meaning the, the New York agent issue and leaks — I am just troubled that this issue has put us where we are today with respect to this laptop.”

The self-proclaimed tribune of that F.B.I. antipathy was Mr. Giuliani, now a lawyer for President Trump.

On Oct. 25, 2016, three days before Mr. Comey’s stunning announcement, Mr. Giuliani appeared on a Fox morning television show.

“We got a couple of surprises left,” Mr. Giuliani said.

He chortled, and when asked to expand on the subject, replied, “And I think it’ll be enormously effective.”

So, yes, it’s a big surprise to see Rudy G running around, spreading rumors about, and trying to get someone to announce an investigation into another of Trump’s (likely) opponents. If you didn’t read anything I quoted above, that is.

Defective

Scene:

You’re a GOP Senator, privately concerned about the actions of President Trump. In your darker moments, you think what you’ve seen is worthy of his removal from office. You also really like being a Senator and don’t want to “spend more time with your family” just yet.

This is a dilemma!

When the Senate trial happens, you can vote against removal. This keeps you in good standing with the GOP base. Bonus points if you give a bunch of fiery bullshit speeches about the process! Sure, you have to lie a lot and maybe that stings your conscience a little. And you run the risk of another four years of Trump. But you get to keep your job!

On the other hand, if you defect – vote for Trump’s removal – you might succeed in removing Trump from office. Principles FTW! You will also utterly infuriate the GOP base, who will mount a primary challenge against you the next time you’re up for election (and flood you with death threats until then). And you will probably lose – no Democrats are coming to your rescue, and there’s a good chance unaffiliated voters can’t vote in GOP primaries. So, voting for removal is likely a career killing move.

What do you do?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Obviously, you vote against removal. Before that, you work to derail the House impeachment process before it gets to the Senate – to avoid a Senate vote altogether. If you really want to win, you get in line behind Lindsey Graham and start kissing Trump’s ass, hoping he loses in 2020. Because you want to keep your job, not sink your career for something as unprofitable as principles.

And yet, countless op-ed writers keep predicting that GOP Senators are getting ready to fall on their swords any day now. It’s baffling.

Can We…

Reduce the field of pundits by about 75%?

There’s an endless stream of breathless editorials whining that the Democratic field is too big and that it needs to get cut down really quickly or… the world will end.

Here’s one of today’s, from Donna Edwards:

It’s time for the Democratic field to start getting smaller

It’s after Labor Day and the race for the Democratic nomination is now well underway. Despite the fact that it’s a long road trip, the field seems determined to use the byways instead of the highways. Democrats know where they’re headed, but they aren’t so sure when they’ll get there. And at this point, they might be better off with fewer passengers along for the ride.

Whether by natural selection or volunteerism (and whether they know it or not), time is up for most of the field. Just because the rules allow you to continue to breathe shallow breaths into your campaign does not mean you should.

Are we there yet? It’s time to get on the interstate.

That’s all true; most of these candidates have no chance. And they should really just get out of the way and let those who do have a chance get more speaking time.

But you know what?

In 2008, there were eight Democrats going into the Iowa caucuses – January 3rd! Gasp! And the world didn’t end! By the end of January, five of them had dropped out, including Joe Biden. That left Clinton, Obama and not-a-chance-in-hell Mike Gravel (who changed parties in March).

Patience, pundits. I know this preliminary round stuff is boring, but that’s how the tournament works.

Put Some Votes On The Credit Card

Several senior White House officials have begun discussing whether to push for a temporary payroll tax cut as a way to arrest an economic slowdown, three people familiar with the discussions said, revealing the growing concerns by President Trump’s top economic aides.

The talks are still in their early stages, and the officials have not decided whether to formally push Congress to approve the cut, these people said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to disclose internal discussions. But the White House in recent days has begun searching for proposals that could halt a slowing economy

Fiscal responsibility? That’s for suckers.

Bad Actor

I can’t believe I missed this at the time.

Turns out that the people in the crowd at Trump’s weird 2015 campaign launch announcement (when he descended the gold escalator) were paid actors. Well, since this is Trump we’re talking about, the actors were not paid until they filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, four months later.