Russia Monitor: From Hidden Warship To Missing Republicans, Trump World Spins On

“An advance team is hundreds of people. The fact that some 23- or 24-year-old person on the advance team went to that site and said, ‘Oh my goodness, there’s the John McCain. We all know how the president feels about the former senator. Maybe that’s not the best backdrop. Could somebody look into moving it?’ That’s not an unreasonable thing to ask.”

“Seriously?” (NBC Host) Chuck Todd asked.

By Dan Peak
The Commoner Call (6/3/19)

Dear Fellow Readers,

Acting White House Chief of Staff and Chief Sycophant Mick Mulvaney provides the perfect opening and question for how Dems will respond to Trump: impeach or not! Wait you ask, how did we get from hiding the USS John McCain from Trump so he’s not triggered to the “I” word, as Trump calls it?

Dems will impeach. There is a growing groundswell of support for impeachment though it’s far from overwhelming. I could remind all the Mueller report lays out the prosecutorial case for impeachment over obstruction of justice while also documenting criminal activity, though insufficient to bring a charge of conspiracy against Trump. But as Trump sheds all pretense of reasonableness in favor of increasingly dangerous decisions while goading Dems to impeach. Do we really care about diagnosing his personality disorder or do we simply decide ‘ENOUGH’.

Trump’s Dangerous New Authoritarian Toy – Trade Tariffs

We witness a daily parade of lies and dangerous decisions spewed into the echo chamber of cable news. There’s the big stuff like Trump’s wielding of trade war tariffs like a kid getting his first Star Wars toy light saber. When Trump lies by asserting many times that it is China paying the tariffs, a cable news host like Fox News’ Chris Wallace can  wrest a begrudged correction out of White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow’s admission that “yes”, consumers will pay.

No one can put the lying genie back in the bottle. Trump simply presses forward with more lies with assertions like, “We will be taking in Tens of Billions of Dollars in Tariffs from China. Buyers of product can make it themselves in the USA (ideal), or buy it from non-Tariffed countries.”

The Trumpster adults have left the room and while the few Republicans who will even venture an opinion hope Trump is bluffing, China doubles down. Trump suggests we can make our own iPads here in the U.S. but China says, not without rare-earth metals while offering “don’t say we didn’t warn you”. Just in case, “the 17 elements, such as yttrium and neodymium, have wonderful magnetic and luminescent properties that are extremely useful, even in tiny amounts, for many high-tech applications”; you can’t make an iPad of cell phone without them and China mines “70 percent of the world’s total production of rare-earth ore”.

Trump Threatens Mexico – “A Hostile Foreign Power”

Trump is having so much fun with his new toy he’s now turned on Mexico … again. Trump now threatens Mexico with a 5% tariff. But — like China –Mexico will retaliate.

Trump always has his smiling sycophants and Fox News – in this case he has both in Fox host Tucker Carlson calling for a war on Mexico, “a hostile foreign power”.

“When the United States is attacked by a hostile foreign power it must strike back, and make no mistake Mexico is a hostile foreign power,” Carlson said. “For decades the Mexican government has sent its poor north to our country. This has allowed that country’s criminal oligarchy to maintain power and get even richer but at great expense to us. The flood of illegal workers into the United States has damaged our communities, ruined our schools, burdened our healthcare system and fractured our national unity.”

Trump’s Friends – Other Authoritarian World Leaders

The daily dangers Trump puts forward come in many sizes. In a pickle for how to appease Turkish President Erdogan and Russian President Putin, Trump overrode all of his advisers (again) to tout a “joint technical study” over how the U.S. can sell Turkey F-35 fighter jets and coexist with Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems.

“Confident of their assessment on the dangers posed by the missile system, US defence officials had refused to participate in the study group multiple times over the course of the past two months.

“In a single phone call, that policy changed.

“US National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis told Middle East Eye that there’s “nothing new to announce at this time”.

“We have been clear that obtaining the S-400 would create an unacceptable risk to US technology, our pilots, and our aircraft,” Marquis added.”

This sets up yet another battle between Congress and Trump. What will Republicans do? Senators like Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have spent their entire conservative lives and political careers standing against trade tariffs only to cave to Trump, again.

Any predictions on whether Graham finds his spine on a defense technology issue?

But Speaking of Spine…

House Speaker Pelosi is not ready to use the “I” word yet. She will. Read this quote and see whether this is anything other than impeachment.

“”We have a defiance of the Constitution of the United States, and so when we go down this path, we have to be ready, and it has to be clear to the American people, and we have to hope that it’ll be clear to the Republicans in the United States Senate,” she said Thursday, comments she echoed Saturday.”

There are cries for impeachment – how else do you respond to “a defiance of the Constitution”? Can Dems legitimately wave off impeachment as a calculated political act?

One thing to note – there are so far 54 Democrats supporting an impeachment inquiry while 58 are undecided and 123 “awaiting response”. Many of the Dems in the undecided column comment as if they are already or soon to be in the support column. Including Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), the total is 59, a jump of 10 in the last several days, but far from a majority.

Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) is in the ‘awaiting’ column.

Let’s Hear What Dem Congresspersons are Hearing – Depends on Your District

It’s easy to find articles on the opinion and experience of individual Reps. Here is Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA) offering, “why haven’t you gotten rid of him yet?” , while Rep Cheri Bustos (D-IL) offering that her constituents “see it as just more dysfunction in Washington”, and “the President’s going to be what the president is”.

“The pressure began to extend to some swing districts, where constituents pressed Democratic members such as Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick (Ariz.), and Donna Shalala (Fla.) to move ahead with impeachment proceedings.

“Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.), a Judiciary Committee member who backs launching an impeachment inquiry, said the widespread support from her constituents at a Wednesday town hall “is a shift” from even a month ago.

“House Democrats’ district town halls during the Memorial Day recess came as Mueller made his first public appearance to reiterate the findings in his report about Russia’s election interference and Trump’s efforts to obstruct the investigation. More than a dozen Democrats subsequently jumped on the impeachment train, citing Mueller’s assertion that “if we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”

“…Nearly all the Democrats calling for an impeachment inquiry — with the exception of freshman Rep. Tom Malinowski (N.J.) — hail from safe blue districts. But the impeachment talk is starting to raise its head across the country, even if swing-district lawmakers largely aren’t ready to get on board yet.”

Kirpatrick (D-AZ) represents a swing district but “just hours after Mueller made his statement on Wednesday” the phones were “ringing off the hook”. Many offer that there are other priorities, but one of Rep Donna Shalala’s (D-FL) constituents offered this:

““I understand what you guys are doing with these bills, and that’s great. But you can’t fix the roof if the house is on fire. So it’s not acceptable that we’re ignoring this,” the constituent told Shalala in impassioned remarks.”

“Trump is Counting on Impeachment – He Won’t Be Disappointed

We’ll give Washington Post columnist David Von Drehle the last word – he offers something for everyone – from encouragement to caution to advice:

“Proponents of impeachment come from three blocs: progressive pundits who have no idea what it takes to win office; occupants of safe seats in gerrymandered Democratic districts; and the Justin Amash wing of the Republican Party, population: one.”

Von Drehle characterizes the Dems as Trump’s “ace up his sleeve”, “no matter how bleak things may look for Trump…”. It is Trump that “is goading the Democrats to impeach with every trick or prod in his arsenal of provocation”.

Some sober observations:

“To win, he (Trump) needs a villain to blame for these unfulfilled promises, and he is casting impeachment-mad Democrats for the role. Surely, by now, even his most righteous opponents can see that Trump is a master of this game.”

We shall see. Dems were always going to be Trump’s villain. Dems will impeach. It will all come down to who can best make their case – it always comes down to who best makes their case.

Trump will love impeachment.