BREAKING: Bruni says be very afraid!

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2018

Bruni gets it right:
In this morning's column, we think Frank Bruni gets it right about our nation's perilous situation.

You'll rarely hear it on cable news, where they're blindly in love with The Chase. But Bruni lays it out nice and clear:

Donald J. Trump is dangerous:
BRUNI (4/11/18): We haven’t been in a safe space since Nov. 8, 2016, but we’re in especially dangerous territory now. President Trump seems closer than ever to decisions that could plunge the country into crisis. And there’s nothing in his bearing or behavior to suggest that he cares all that much about sparing America that chaos and pain.

[...]

There is no Hope Hicks anymore
, no Rob Porter, no Gary Cohn, no H. R. McMaster: The ranks of people who either gave Trump a sense of comfort and stability or sought to steer him away from his most destructive impulses have thinned. He’s more alone than ever. He must be more frightened, too.

But not half as scared as the rest of us should be.
"There is no Hope Hicks anymore?" The sheer insanity of our situation lurks in that plaintive remark.

Over Here, in the liberal world, our bench is so empty that we're forced to place our hopes in a money-grubbing adult film star and her transparently ludicrous lawyer, and in our undignified hope that the high school kids from Florida will be able to bail us out. (More on our fear of the rebooted "Roseanne" to come.)

Over There, in the Oval Office, the lid was allegedly being kept on by the ministrations of a 28-year-old former model. The sheer absurdity of all this represents what's left of our culture.

Our one complaint about Bruni's column? We think he protests too little! We'll guess he may have chosen not to say what his column is really about.

If Trump's situation collapses around him, who can guarantee that he won't turn to aggressive, even deranged, military adventures? Who's to say that he might not turn to those nuclear bombs?

In today's most exciting news report, we're told that Trump wanted to fire Mueller in December. According to the exciting report, Trump's aides had decided, by that time, that they didn't have to act on an order from Trump until it had been given at least three times.

We'd better hope that someone around Trump, with Hicks now gone, has devised a similar plan if he the embattled, erratic commander in chief decides to make the missiles fly. When it comes to a matter like that, does anyone even have the means to make him give the command three times?

It amazes us to see so little of this concern when we watch cable news at night. The children are full-tilt cavorting; they're thrilled.

We think Bruni got it right.

Concerning that December episode: In the aforementioned news report, we were struck by this remarkable passage about Trump's pique in December:
HABERMAN AND SCHMIDT (4/11/18): The articles that provoked Mr. Trump’s anger in December—which were published by Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal and Reuters—said one of Mr. Mueller’s subpoenas had targeted Mr. Trump’s and his family’s banking records at Deutsche Bank. Mr. Trump’s lawyers, who have studied Mr. Trump’s bank accounts, did not believe the articles were accurate because Mr. Trump did not have his money there.

The lawyers were also able to learn that federal prosecutors in a different inquiry had issued a subpoena for entities connected to the family business of Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. The news outlets later clarified the articles, saying that the subpoena to Deutsche Bank pertained to people affiliated with Mr. Trump, who was satisfied with the explanation and dropped his push to fire Mr. Mueller.
Oof! Back in December, Trump's anger at Mueller had been triggered by inaccurate news reports. When the inaccurate reports were "clarified," Donald J. Trump calmed down.

(Use of the tern "clarified" is a form of professional courtesy. You'll note from that passage that the reports by those major news orgs were wrong in two different ways.)

This morning, we went back to look at the relevant Maddow Show transcripts during that period.

Were Maddow viewers excitedly told about those erroneous news reports? When the erroneous reports were quickly corrected, were viewers told about that? Or did a cable star keep suggesting that the complaints from Trump aides had been wrong?

Perhaps you can guess what we found!

Cable news is partisan entertainment, and Maddow just isn't obsessively honest. Concerning that very key second point, we've been telling you that for years.

34 comments:

  1. Still obsessing over Maddow. So sad and pathetic.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bruni says: "He’s more alone than ever. He must be more frightened, too."

    Somerby says he thinks Bruni got it right. Then he says we are all busy cavorting over "The Chase" and insufficiently worried that Trump might nuke someone.

    The point of The Chase is to uncover sufficient malfeasance to impeach Trump and remove him from office before he has a chance to do permanent damage to our country, including nuking someone. This is not fun and games.

    What does Somerby think anyone is supposed to do to prevent Trump from using those nukes otherwise? Become BFFs with him? Is there any evidence Trump listens to anyone who doesn't tell him what he wants to hear?

    I disagree that Trump is isolated or fearful. For one thing, Trump spends hours on the phone calling a variety of people outside public service who are his friends and advisors. These are businessmen and former staff (such as Porter and Bannon) and even people like Ivana Trump. These are the folks he relies on for moral support, to prop up his ego and feel OK about himself and to maintain confidence. Second, Fear is not an emotion that Trump ever admits to feeling. It is immediately displaced to anger, rage. His greatest fear is probably about the proximity of Mueller's investigation to his own interests. Trump, as a narcissistic psychopath, doesn't care about whether Ivanka or Jared, or Pence or any of his close associates are targeted. He doesn't care about anything except himself, his image and his perceived success and wealth. So, no, he isn't afraid and he doesn't need Hope Hicks for anything except ego gratification. There are other women around to do that job for him.

    Somerby better hope the Chase continues because it is the only thing that is going to save our skin, after the midterm elections and a Democratic House/Senate get in. Failing that, he will have to nuke someone or the Republicans will never remove him from office, no matter how bad he gets.

    ReplyDelete
  3. "And there’s nothing in his bearing or behavior to suggest that he cares all that much about sparing America that chaos and pain."

    Ah, yes, I remember Very Serious People of Washington raising very similar concerns in the early 2000s - "gravitas", remember? Back then Mr. Cheney was their solution. He and Mr. Rumsfeld.

    Yeah, thanks, but no thanks. I think I definitely prefer Donald the Awesome. Anything can happen of course, we'll see, but, incidentally, weren't you, Bob, among those predicting doom and gloom vis-a-vis the recent Kim Jong-il situation? Are you still shaking in your boots or is all that forgotten now?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Any references/evidence for "Very Serious People of Washington raising very similar concerns" about "nothing in his bearing or behavior to suggest that he cares all that much about sparing America that chaos and pain"?

      I do not recall that at all, nor Cheney being a solution.

      "gravitas" was indeed a serious issue with Bush, but not related to the point Bob is making.

      Bob regularly points out the hundreds of thousands of deaths caused by Bush/Cheney, but those were not in the US.

      Nobody really knows what you are talking about with reference to "Kim Jong-il", but quite clearly Kim Jong-un has used Trump to get the upper hand over the US. Yeah thanks.

      Your bravado about Trump is so painfully obvious a mask for your own "shaking in your boots". Listen, calm down, I will personally see to it that you are not harmed.

      Delete
    2. Mao,
      Trump is a liar and a thief.
      And Putin's bitch.
      Discuss.

      Delete
    3. P.T. Barnum is said to have said-"A sucker is born every second". As Trump is saying to you and DinC: "Bend over, I'll drive"".

      Delete
    4. Chickenshit bastards.

      Delete
    5. Gutless worms.

      Delete
  4. Somerby, willing to believe unquestioningly Haberman and Schmidt's report today about Trump's reaction. Here's how the reporters got their info for today's story: "according to interviews with eight White House officials, people close to the president and others familiar with the episode."

    But unwilling to believe them back in January:
    "That said, how do we know that these events really occurred? How do we know that they occurred in the way implied and described?

    Again, let's look at those four sources. Schmidt and Haberman sourced their report this way:

    "according to four people told of the matter""

    (http://dailyhowler.blogspot.com/2018/01/bombshells-away-fuzzy-air-filled.html?m=1)

    As Somerby likes to say: Like you, we have no idea what really happened.

    But here, Somerby adds a further qualification: Like you, we have no idea what really happened. Unless it fits our narrative. Then, no question that the reporters' story is true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is it because the earlier report does not deal with direct sources and the latter does?

      Delete
    2. "unquestioningly"? He's qualifies it by saying "we're told" and "according to ..." How is that unquestionably?

      Delete
    3. Nice try. Somerby didn't say "we're told" or "according to." He accepts the new story. "Oof!"

      Delete
    4. He says both of those about the new story in his eight paragraph. Check it out again. Somerby says "we're told" or "according to." Re the new story .

      Delete
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  9. Even though Bruni is clever with words, he has to struggle to try to make Trump sound dangerous. He describes the raid on Trump's lawyer's office as "legal", as if that meant it was kosher. As Alan Dershowitz pointed out, the ACLU would have reacted strongly if during the investigation of Hillary's e-mails, the FBI had gotten legal permission to raid Hillary's lawyer's office.

    And, so far, there's no evidence at all of Trump illegally colluding with Russia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow. Even Alan Dershowitz, the guy who supported Bush's extra-judicial torture regime, thinks this is an overstep. I wonder, if it's for the same reason (tribal) that DavidinCal thinks so.
      Just kidding. Of course, these sad excuses for human beings will wave away treason by their party.

      BTW, did you see Bannon just figured out he's going to prison too?
      Good times!

      Delete
    2. Dershowitz is a liberal Democrat. Wikipedis says, "He is a scholar of United States constitutional law and criminal law, and a leading defender of civil liberties. He spent most of his career at Harvard Law School where in 1967, at the age of 28, he became the youngest full professor of law in its history."

      He sometimes agrees with the judicial reasoning championed by conservatives. He thinks for himself, and doesn't automatically parrot the liberal line.

      Delete
    3. David, you often state that there is no evidence of collusion. How do you know this. The only information lay people have is what's reported, which may or may not be right, or may or may not be the complete story. The only person that knows if there is/isn't evidence of collusion, and if there is evidence, the strength of that evidence, is the special prosecutor's office. Not maddow, not Hannity, not chris Mathews, not briebart, not media matters, etc...

      Delete
    4. Yes, Dershowitz is on the dream team now. Next up, Johnnie Cochrane. You're now an OJ juror, Comrade DinC, you treasonous bastard.

      Delete
    5. "there's no evidence at all of Trump illegally colluding with Russia."

      Why, in the name of chanting "Lock her up", would "the real people from America's heartland" need evidence of criminal activity, to believe someone is guilty?

      Delete
  10. AnonymousApril 11, 2018 at 3:31 PM wrote

    The point of The Chase is to uncover sufficient malfeasance to impeach Trump and remove him from office

    I agree. This is a dreadful abuse or power. Mueller's job is supposed to be to fairly investigate possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. But, everyone (except my idealistic wife) knows that the Special Prosecutor is actually working to get Trump,, by hook or by crook. As other have pointed out, this is like the technique developed by Beria, the infamous sidekick of Stalin, who said, “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "everyone...knows the special prosecutor is actually working to get trump..." again, as with my comment above, no reporter, and certainly no one on this blog, has any idea exactly what the special prosecutor's office does or doesn't have with respect to collusion, or other crimes. to state otherwise is just jumping to conclusions. I wish everyone would just let the man do his job and issue his report, or bring charges where he feels crimes have been committed.

      This notion that Mueller is a liberal hitman is laughable. He was appointed director of the FBI by a republican president and confirmed 98-0 by the senate. He attended Princeton, NYU, and University of VA, with degrees in international relations and a law degree. He served in Vietnam where he was awarded the bronze medal and a purple heart. He is a serious dude and is being slandered by a bunch of talking heads on 24-hr news networks and internet blogs.

      Delete
    2. Dave the Guitar PlayerApril 12, 2018 at 12:24 PM

      DinC - You are mixing up (deliberately?) Bob's complaints about the Chase with Mueller's investigation. The "Chase" is the sensationalisation of everything Trump does by the media, just to get more people to pay attention to them. They don't care who is being chased or exactly why as long as it improves ratings. Bob has not criticized Mueller on this issue, so for you to imply that Mueller is part of the "Chase" is strictly misdirection or an inability to discern the difference between the media and the investigation. Mueller is just doing his job.

      Delete
    3. No, Comrade DinC, not an abuse of power. That would be like investigating Benghazi 10 times or Whitewater for 8 years.

      No, no, you treasonous bastard, this is the work of patriots.

      Listen to the words of an anonymous Republican Congressman to Erick Erickson.

      He may be an idiot, but he’s still the President and leader of my party and he is capable of doing some things right. But dammit he’s taking us all down with him. We are well and truly f**ked in November….It’s like Forrest Gump won the presidency, but an evil, really f*cking stupid Forrest Gump. He can’t help himself. He’s just a f**king idiot who thinks he’s winning when people are b*tching about him.

      ….If we get to summer and most of the primaries are over, they just might pull the trigger if the President fires Mueller. The sh*t will hit the fan if that happens and I’d vote to impeach him myself. Most of us would, I think. Hell, all the Democrats would and you only need a majority in the House. If we’re going to lose because of him, we might as well impeach the motherf**ker.

      ….I say a lot of shit on TV defending him, even over this. But honestly, I wish the motherf*cker would just go away. We’re going to lose the House, lose the Senate, and lose a bunch of states because of him. All his supporters will blame us for what we have or have not done, but he hasn’t led. He wakes up in the morning, sh*ts all over Twitter, sh*ts all over us, sh*ts all over his staff, then hits golf balls. F*ck him. Of course, I can’t say that in public or I’d get run out of town.



      Delete
    4. It'll be interesting to see what crimes they find Trump has been committing. Money laundering or whatever for for Russians. The guy is such a sleazebag.

      How does the independent counsel work? If he's supposed to go after collusion but finds that he was money laundering, what is he supposed to do?

      Maybe we can just table it and prosecute him after he finishes being president.

      With Clinton they went after the White Water deal which turned out to be a big goose egg but they did get him in the end for having his dick sucked. Or I guess the lying about the dick suck. So, maybe this will be similar in that way. The ancillary crime can be dealt with on its own terms. What do you think David?

      Delete
    5. Mueller's instructions include more than just election collusion. When they released his authorizing memo to address Manafort's court brief asking for dismissal of charges, it was under the pretext that Mueller had no right to be investigating his wrongdoing since it was not related to the election. Rosenstein's memo to Mueller lists much more than election collusion, much of it redacted to the media. Nunes threw a tantrum to get an unredacted copy of that memo. There is no need for later prosecution if Mueller finds lawbreaking. He has his grand juries and can issue charges himself.

      Delete
    6. I was really wondering how deep into the slimey gutter Comrade DinC was willing to go defending the lying sack of shit corrupt and treasonous orange abomination degenerate fraud. I see I now have my answer. He is literally comparing Mueller a combat decorated Marine Officer to Stalin. Tell us more about McCarthyism, David, you treasonous bastard.

      Delete
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