All The “King’s” Men (And Women)

The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank has been on a roll since the election of Donald Trump. It’s understandable–Trump provides a target for anyone who takes policy seriously, and an even bigger target for people who are tempted to berate pompous ignoramuses and moral cowards.

Milbank detests both categories.

In the linked column, he points to the obvious: the moral rot that Trump has brought with him to the political process has spread throughout the Republican Party. As he notes, what the President is doing is reprehensible; what the GOP leadership is not doing is unforgivable.(“Unforgivable” is actually my “pet name” for Mitch McConnell. At least, it’s the “pet name” I can use in polite company.)

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) stood on the Senate floor Wednesday morning for his first public remarks since the seismic events of the day before: The president’s former personal lawyer pleaded guilty to fraud and breaking campaign finance laws, implicating the president in a crime; the president’s former campaign chairman was convicted on eight counts of financial crimes, making him one of five members of Trump’s team who have been convicted or have admitted guilt; and a Republican congressman was indicted, the second of Trump’s earliest congressional supporters to be charged this month.

It was time for leadership. McConnell ducked.

Instead, he hailed Trump’s campaign rally in West Virginia the night before. He disparaged President Barack Obama’s record. He spoke about low unemployment “under this united Republican government.” He went on about coal, taxes, apprenticeship programs, health research, prisoner rehabilitation and more — and not a peep about the corruption swirling around the president. When reporters pressed McConnell in the hallway for comment, he brushed them off.

Paul Ryan didn’t come off any better. Milbank quoted Ryan saying he “needed more information.”

What more do you need, Mr. Speaker? What more will it take, Republicans? It seems nothing can bring them to state what is manifestly true: The president is unfit to serve, surrounded by hooligans and doing incalculable harm.

Milbank recounted the equally shameful silence of others in the GOP hierarchy, then wrote what most rational Americans–including those who once called the Grand Old Party home– are thinking:

This intolerable silence of the Republicans — through “Access Hollywood,” racist outbursts, diplomatic mayhem and endless scandal — is what allows Trump and his Fox News-viewing supporters to dock their spaceship in a parallel universe where truth isn’t truth. At Tuesday night’s rally in West Virginia, Trump’s irony-challenged audience could be heard chanting “Drain the Swamp!” and “Lock her up!” (Hillary Clinton, that is), just a few hours after Paul Manafort’s conviction and Cohen’s guilty plea.

Milbank dismisses the common wisdom that excuses Republican officeholders because they fear the party’s base.

Republican lawmakers fear that with 87 percent of Republican voters backing Trump, crossing him is political suicide. But this is circular. Support among the Republican base remains high because Republican officeholders validate him.

Milbank quotes the “weasel words” of various Republican Senators–Cornyn, Grassley, Graham and Hatch–and references the criminal charges recently filed against two GOP Representatives (who just happened to be the first two to climb aboard the Trump Train). His recitation makes it impossible to disagree with his conclusion:

If Republicans don’t put some moral distance between themselves and Trump, there will soon be nothing left to salvage.


  1. Yes. As you state at the beginning, Trump and Republicans present a target rich environment for rational people who see these two entities tearing the body politic to shreds. It’s almost as pathetic as what the Weimar politicians did in Germany when the Nazis were rising to power. They never took them seriously until they were (literally) kicked out of government. They were replaced with a party not dissimilar to the Trump-ites of the “base”. The Nazis also had a charismatic leader who was mentally deranged and bellicose.

    The parallels between Trumpism and the Nazis is more than disturbing. Throw some creature like Stephen Miller into the mix and we have a most eery parallel in how humans can rip civility out of a nation’s spirit.

    As Jonathan Swann said on Bill Maher’s show last week, Congressional Republicans are running shit scared. It’s no wonder that they remain silent about the scandals, unwilling to govern and unwilling to stand up to this horrible president. Their political philosophy is so centered on winning elections to satisfy their donors, that they’ve completely ignored the spirit of the Constitution to be a check or a balance on a runaway bully-oriented executive branch.

    I think everyone with a brain who contributes to this blog sees this and is fundamentally opposed to Republicanism. That said, I also think, in view of the special and primary elections so far, the general populace of the country is finally waking up to the horror show they’ve either put in place or allowed to happen by not voting. We, as the nation that we love, realize that we are in great peril of having our democracy replaced by truly evil, stupid and hateful people.

    VOTE BLUE for every office on the ballot.

  2. back in the late 60s and early 70s we wouldnt tollerate what even started here,we the people are now just the dust under the bed. when we had the air waves the people,we amassed,and took to the streets. vietnam was just the underbelly,as we seen how political moves and undermining the left,by the right,became clear,then,real clear,with watergate. we had titans in journalism and ones who,would,lead. the local rock stations such as klos and kmet in l.a. were a voice,not just in liberalism,but they had no problem playing the songs that literally,ended a war. when we partied,they partied,when the politcal sausage was made,they ate it up..and put it in place. we didnt make judgements,it was obvious who,and why,and now we do something about it. since reagan,we have seen this republican plan to dominate,and suppress in any way,or chance they had. with 911 king george the second,allowed,and as congress off on some gotta win at all costs,changed perminatly,under a guise of motherland,and american fries,to save this democracy. the demonds of satin,and its followers were about to swim across the oceans to invade us!!! well, i can see obvioulsy,anyone who went to war prior to desert storm,needed no proding. the ones after desert storm were taught a oh shit were doomed-issue.. as congress was scared shitless,and didnt turn the lights out while the slept,passed the biggest change in laws and sedition to the American people,since king george of we merely allowed it to happen,even when we were scared. funny how the fbi knew who all 20 were,the day after on 9/12 ,. go figure,because someone slept on the job,we now have lost our free speech,and outspokens sleves to become pawns in a new politcal gain.those think tanks,many handled by former politicos,and paid for shrinks,come together withnew ideals in suppressing the electorate. after all, we only have the vote left,and damn any one who sez,we will have that..well,look around at whos in charge,and allowed to be in charge,this mid term,, maybe the last time we ever vote again,,think about it?

  3. Maybe I just don’t understand how statistics are reached but I see reports about the wonderful economic condition in this this country but it doesn’t apply to people in my economic level or family and friends above my barely above federal poverty level. I am a price-watcher (on all food and almost all other products in Kroger and CVS) and have seen steady increases, especially in recent months. I see the unbelievably low unemployment rate but many people are out of work and corporations are seeking “qualified” workers to hire for numerous job openings. Even the Indianapolis Star cartoonist and guest columnist lately, staunch Republican Gary Varvel, has pointed to the real job level situation today; picturing his Labor Day 2018 message by picturing a “workers” plate with 3 hot dogs and and a “jobs” plate with a dozen buns. No one I have asked about Trump’s celebrated “tax reform” has seen more than a pittance increase on their paychecks and here in Indiana we have received additional taxes on gas and vehicle registrations – designated for infrastructure improvements only. People in my low-middle class neighborhood received increased property tax assessments with increased property taxes while those in the adjoining township of middle and above income levels, received decreases in both assessment and property taxes.

    “…Trump provides a target for anyone who takes policy seriously,” Trump’s policy is to provide NO policy; just wait for his next Tweet.

    “Republican lawmakers fear that with 87 percent of Republican voters backing Trump, crossing him is political suicide.” Regarding this Millbank statement I will resort to the opening cry in the Roman Coliseum, “LET THE GAMES BEGIN!” So far there have been only friends and “business associates” of Trump who have been thrown to the lions or have chosen the lions over the “King”. Personally, I am ready to witness the onset of “political suicide” in the form of true Americanism…beginning with McConnell and Ryan.


  4. In a fit of irony, last week the two top Congressional Republicans stood up to speak in honor of John McCain. If I weren’t such a realist I might wonder if either Ryan or McConnell understood that they were praising a man for being their opposite. Mark Twain’s brilliant work, “The Facts Concerning the Recent Carnival of Crime in Connecticut,” comes to mind every time I see Republicans speaking these days. Most recently, it applies to Lindsey Graham.

    And this is just for everyone’s amusement: In a nearly unparalleled act of hubris, Rick Scott supporters actually ran an ad accusing Bill Nelson of stealing from Medicare. For those who aren’t familiar with Governor Scott, his healthcare company was found guilty of one of the largest swindles of Medicare in history.

  5. i had my 5th annual labor day bbq sunday,on the farm site i rent,300 lb hog, 6 briskets,10 racksoribs.corn on the cob,pop,and watermellon,whos invited,all who are working a conservitve state,me liberal/progressive. no politics were talked,it was a celebration of,the working class. you know,the Americans who got hurt or died,building this nation,and its democracy. i was asked where the free will donation can was, i said, take it home,and make your monthly card work, im celebrating labor day,and your invited to remmeber who,and why,we stand here today,enjoy..

  6. Debbie; thank you for the kind words.

    Peggy; I don’t know how anyone else feels about this but, it makes me angry to see elected officials of either party continue saying Trump should have been at Senator John McCain’s funeral or any of his memorial services. Senator McCain made it very clear that he did NOT want Trump to attend or to speak about or for him. I believe it would have been a total insult to John McCain and his entire family as well as those who actually honored him to have to watch and listen to more of Trump’s lies. It is questionable that Ivanka and Jared attended; their views of everything John McCain stood for are Trump views.

    As an aside; AOL news items keep showing a picture of Trump swinging his golf club around the same time as one of John McCain’s memorials was taking place. Trump was standing in an area of tall, dead looking weeds…one would think he is a better golfer with the millions we are paying for him to have practice time on his own courses.

    P.S. Sheila; this is now on my regular listing place. Thank you

  7. I’m with Jo Ann on this one. I see states exchanging jobs with each other, but don’t see new manufacturing from the tax cuts yet.

  8. JoAnn has it right. What she doesn’t mention are the many jobs that this summer have gone unfilled because the Republicans closed the boarder to Hispanics and have deported thousands more. These racist policies are not solely the responsibility of Trump… they are the responsibility of the entire Republican Party. There are still over 500 children held with little hope of being returned to their parents. What shame that political party has brought on the country!

  9. I’m sorry, but Milbank doesn’t quite have it right. He suggests that the Republicans are not making an appropriate response to Trump, when in fact they’re exactly who led us to this moment in history. They led the way to make Trump possible, so why on Earth would they react with any moral conviction or clarity when they are DIRECTLY reponsible for leading this nation to a place where a President Trump is possible? That’s like asking the quarterback to apologize for helping win the game. Democrats are not faultless in this process, no, but Republican rhetoric of the past 30+ years (Especially the 8yrs if President Obama) has had this moment in mind: Rich old white men have claimed the throne in their idealized Kingdom of Glory. We’re living in the era of “I got mine, now you get yours while I sit on your chest” and it was congressionally signed, sealed, and delivered through the monied interests and the religous rectitude of christofascism. So I say again, WHY would R’s in Congress act against this President? The only reason I could see is they probably would like to be able to control him better, but they’ll take what they can get and savor every moment. They’ll perhaps turn on him when he costs them votes, but so far it doesn’t seem like he’s doing that among their base.

  10. John and Theresa; the last time I bought tomatoes at Kroger, the sticker identified them as being grown in Canada. I wondered; is that because Trump doesn’t allow migrant workers here, the immigrants who live here are in hiding, the U.S. farmers are not allowed to grow produce and who is picking tomatoes in Canada? It has been years since we could buy Indiana grown, vine ripened, delicious produce and the quality of produce is poor and overpriced. What will Trump’s latest hair-brained, childish action regarding trade with Mexico and Canada bring but higher prices and poorer quality. Wonder what quality produce they are eating in the White House and in the homes of Congressional members? There are not only no morals in the current administration and Congress; there is no moral to this story about Canadian tomatoes, et al.

  11. I have Republican friends (yes, I still have some) who look at the shameless racism, bigotry, misogyny, hypocrisy, anti-intellectualism, disdain for the rule of law, and rampant corruption that is consuming their party and say “But that’s not who we are.” I’ve starting asking them, “OK, so what are you going to do about it and when are you going to start?”

    They don’t seem to have much of an answer. Until they do, they’re merely abetting the travesty. Two terms, both I think from Post columnists, to describe these apologists are “Vichy Republican”, and “moral eunuchs”.

    I’m going to use them liberally (pun intended). I’ll probably lose some friends, but that’s alright.

  12. What a great gesture, Jack. Many Americans have no concept what Labor Day is about, but they’re quickly learning what it means to be without solidarity.

    Or, in other words, united.

    The GOP is now run by the Koch brothers with the assistance of Fox News and ‘institutes’ and “dark money chambers’ all over the country; mainly in red states like Indiana.

    With the common knowledge about the coal mining profession and black lung, why would any sort of leader advocate for coal jobs in 2018??

    Only the owners of coal and the burners of coal would applaud such nonsense. No leader in their right mind would advocate coal jobs to unemployed Americans.

    Dana is right in saying, “…Trump and his Fox News-viewing supporters to dock their spaceship in a parallel universe where truth isn’t truth.”

    It’s because the Koch’s built their entire platform upon lies and deception. What’s up is down. Because of their money, they have access to over 150 universities of higher learning to preach their Ayn Rand version of rugged individualism and objectivism.

    Their dark money is processed through many different non-profits so they can use their campaign donations as tax write-offs, yet these dollars always make it to McConnell, Ryan, Pence, etc.

    It’s why they need propaganda news like Fox to carry a warped message to those who don’t know they’re being manipulated.

    It’s truly sad to witness.

    What this also does is allow the DNC and it’s supporters to offer up another alternative universe where truth isn’t truth to get their base to vote for corporate-funded politicians because they’re “anti-Trump”.

    Both of these platforms occupy the far-right mentality.

    Take your choice of ‘unrestrained free market capitalism’ or ‘free market capitalism”.

    Seeing that capitalism is the problem, it’s not much of a choice…is it?

  13. Of course the real question is what do those who support Putin/Trump/Pence think that they are getting from the present administration?

    A racially based theocratic oligarchy? A return to the ever gone past? Revenge? The approval of Fox News et al? A fulfilled prophecy?

  14. JM — you got it right – Trump is the RESULT of the Republican shenanigans for the last 50 years.
    Has anyone out there read “People of the LIe” by M. Scott Peck? The Republican leadership should have their faces on the cover. And I am NOT saying the Democrats don’t have their fair share of liars, they do. Just as the Republican party has their heros, e.g. John McCain. But the Dems have not brought it to the uber diabolical level that Mitch McConnell et al have. When McConnell stated his MAIN Congressional objective was to make Obama a 1 term president & refused to hold hearings for the Obama SCOTUS nominee, all bets were off. We were clearly under the leadership of a man with no soul. Unfortunately, the Dems would have to be as devious to counter what’s going on with Republican leadership and then we would REALLY be lost. My only hope is that I still believe RIGHT will win in the end, it just seems to take FOREVER.

  15. Eight and three quarter years ago, Democrats and other intelligent speaking human beings celebrated the Presidential victory of Obama by holding dinners and parties throughout the District of Columbia. On the very same night, Senator McConnell summoned his troops, some of whom were sober, to find devious ways to keep Obama from being reelected.
    McConnell succeeded at something he’s always been good at. Doing nothing. He consistently gets better at it. He didn’t keep Obama from winning a second term, but he did talk his party members into setting records for inactivity. Trump is weird, but McConnell may be weirder. I would hate to be the male offspring of McConnell and forever be known as a full-scale son of a Mitch.

  16. How disappointing it is Labor Day, but not a mention of it in today’s column. Oh well, Labor Day is perhaps our most hollowed out and meaningless of all the the National Holidays we celebrate.

    As I read today in another Blog this morning:
    Putting Labor back in Labor Day Weekend

    “Labor Day weekend is a reminder there’s no labor party in U.S. politics. Instead, we have two pro-business parties: the Republicans and the Republicans-lite, otherwise known as the Democrats. Both are coerced if not controlled by corporations through campaign finance “contributions” (bribes) and lobbyists (plus the promise of high-paying jobs should your local member of Congress lose an election or wish to transition to a much higher paying job as a lobbyist/influence peddler).”

    The Republicans want to outright destroy Labor Unions and the Corporate Democratic Party will issue some vacant words of Solidarity with Unions. Bill Clinton took the Main Street Democratic Party and transformed it into the Wall Street Neo-Liberalist, Corporate Democratic Party.

    As Leo W. Gerard is the International President of the United Steelworkers (USW) union has written:

    “American corporations weren’t always shareholder-centered. For about three decades after World War II, worker wages rose in tandem with productivity. This was a time during which corporations subscribed to the philosophy that they were obligated to serve their customers, communities, workers and shareholders.

    Over the past 30 years, however, US corporations embraced a new notion, which is that they had only one responsibility, to fill the pockets of shareholders.

    That is the same 30 years during which workers’ wages stagnated and CEO pay rose no matter how badly the executive performed. That is the same 30 years in which private equity firms bought manufacturers, loaded them up with debt, sold them off at massive profit then shrugged when a stumble threw the firm into bankruptcy, closed factories and killed good, family-supporting American jobs. That is the same 30 years when American corporations moved manufacturing from the United States to low-wage, high-pollution countries like Mexico and China.”

    Celebrating Labor Day as it should be, that is the documentation of Labor’s over 100 years of historical struggle against Capitalism is not something we can do. We cannot celebrate it for two reasons: One it would be admission of the class warfare the 1% vs us Proles, and Two we have no Labor Party here in the USA to represent us.

    Today, Labor Day, you can celebrate it by going to your local Big Box Store and take advantage of the Labor Day Sales, and purchase a product NOT Made in USA.

  17. Monotonous; you are 100% right. Even my mention of migrant workers didn’t reflect what this day was set aside to celebrate. I doubt they got Labor Day off as a holiday and we know they received no benefits which Unions fought so hared to establish for all working people. I come from a strong Union family; men and women; Unions fought for safe working conditions, fair pay, paid vacations and paid holidays like today…but where are Unions today? Could their absence in most corporations be why people have forgotten the meaning of Labor Day.

  18. Sheila, I admire your restraint in regard to describing Mitch McConnell. He makes me wish I knew voodoo and if I did his voodoo doll would look like a porcupine. He is totally worthless as are the other Senators that you mentioned that always seem to be in photographs with him. When I see them I always wonder what they’re plotting when the photograph was taken. As for Lindsey Graham he should get the Nobel Prize for flip flopping and suck-upping.

    Kudos to Vernon Turner for mentioning the Weimar Republic of Germany which is normally left out in discussions regarding the contrast between what is happening now and the rise of Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist Party in Germany in the early 1930s. If it were not for the weakness of the Weimar Republic, enhanced by the Great Depression, Hitler and his buddies wouldn’t have, perhaps, made it as far as they eventually did. I’m reminded of the famous photograph of a wheelbarrow full of Deutschemarks that was the weekly pay for a low level Weimar bureaucrat if I’m not mistaken at the height of the Great Depression and its grim impact on Europe.

    Again, the conduct of these people, including those in the Congress, is beyond reprehensible where they sit back and do nothing, absolutely nothing, in regard to the failings and criminalities of the current administration and act as if they are afraid of their own shadows. There’s an old expression that our government is only as good as we are and while I still think that’s true people like Paul Ryan, Jim Jordan, and others of their ilk have sunk far lower than that comparison. It’s pretty obvious that they have.

    This also reminds me, and I’d have to check for actual details, of numerous Italian governments that have come and gone in the face of scandal while in our case those politicians whose reputations and careers have been sullied continue to serve since those that elect them aren’t paying attention. Years ago when I took a class on comparative politics I was always glad that our government was better than the ones that we studied but I don’t think that’s true any longer. The rub is, and it continues to be the rub, is that we are the government, they represent us, which doesn’t put the electorate is any sort of good light.

    Jimmy Carter, God bless him, spoke of a growing malaise in this country that set him up for holy hell when he was President nearly 40 years ago. Right now, his comments seem prescient even though he was describing another time and another crisis of confidence, one of many that we had from the early 1960s through his single term in office. Right now, we’re just meandering, again looking on as mere spectators of the horror show that has been playing itself out in Washington, DC for the last 20 months. We are so badly split politically and psychologically over what we’re seeing that we’re not just asleep at the switch in dealing with this, we can’t even find the switch.

  19. I don’t know what is so hard about this. When 85-90% of Republican voters believe and support Trump, they aren’t likely to swim against the current – especially when they would likely be replaced by someone who does agree with the voters. Of course, this is a great time for leadership, but no one else seems to be able to move the minds of the culT membership, so they aren’t likely to do much better, unless they can take over Fox News. (Which reminds me of an old Star Trek episode where the entire population of a planet is controlled by a computer. Spock and Captain Kirk disable the computer, and the population must find a way to think for themselves.)

    A very bright, college educated woman I know still believes that Hillary Clinton and Richard Branson are in cahoots running a child trafficking ring. With that kind of brainwashing out there, our only true choice is to vote the blue wave.

  20. Tom,

    “We are so badly split politically and psychologically over what we’re seeing that we’re not just asleep at the switch in dealing with this, we can’t even find the switch.”

    The SWITCH is camouflaged.

    “Kudos to Vernon Turner for mentioning the Weimar Republic of Germany which is normally left out in discussions regarding the contrast between what is happening now and the rise of Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist Party in Germany in the early 1930s.”

    This is WHY the switch had to be camouflaged. You can’t expect, the OLIGARCHY [Bush, Koch etc.] to have used the same method to KILL THE DEMOCRACY that had eventually FAILED in Germany. So they turned their movement UPSIDE DOWN in order to RECREATE the SOCIAL/POLITICAL HATRED of Nazi Germany that is now so prevalent in America’s BODY POLITIC.

  21. The following is from “Ur-Fascism” by the Italian author,Umberto Eco, in the New York Review of Books dated June 22, 1995:

    “If we think of the totalitarian governments that ruled Europe before the Second World War we can easily say that it would be DIFFICULT for them to REAPPEAR in the same form in different historical circumstances…..In the same vein, even though I am much concerned about the various Nazi-like movements that have arisen here and there in Europe, including Russia, I do not think that Nazism, in its ORIGINAL FORM, is about to reappear in a nationwide movement.”

    “We must keep alert, so that the sense of these words will not be forgotten again. Ur-Fascism is still around us, sometimes in PLAINCLOTHES. It would be so much easier, for us, if there appeared on the world scene somebody saying, “I want to reopen Auschwitz, I want the Black Shirts to parade again in the Italian Squares.” Life is not that simple, Ur-Fascism can come back under the most innocent of disguises. Our duty is to UNCOVER it and to point our finger at any of its new instances-every day, in every part of the world. Franklin Roosevelt’s words of November 4, 1938, are worth recalling:

    “I venture the challenging statement that if American democracy ceases to move
    forward as a living force, seeking day and night by peaceful means to better the
    lot of our citizens, fascism will grow in strength in our land.””

    I’m afraid we failed to heed Umberto Eco’s advice, despite many warnings to do so.

  22. To be clear, our American Oligarchy, Plutocrats – the 1%, love President Agent Orange and Pastor Pence. The Agent Orange Regime is deregulating, and lowering their taxes, the 1% and the Multi-National Corporations have hit the Jackpot.

    The 1% in their $10,000 suits and shoes try to pass themselves off as socially responsible, cultured, wealthy people. President Agent Orange and Pastor Pence reveal the true ugly face of the 1%. President Agent Orange and Pastor Pence can and will carry on with the triangulation into silos of the American People, they have been very successful. The 1% preferred the dog whistles of triangulation, but President Agent Orange and Pastor Pence are delivering the wealth of the nation to them – Mission Accomplished.

    The real danger here to the 1% is the Mueller Investigation and all it’s side tracks into Stormy Daniels, etc., may show to the the American Proles how utterly corrupt the 1% and our system is as whole-money laundering, tax evasion, etc. Thus, I believe there will be some sacrificial lambs offered up to the Altar of Justice (think Martha Stewart) but the corrupt system will survive.

    Too bad on this Labor Day we do not have a Real Labor Party.

  23. Marv,

    Oh, the Nazis have their uniforms all picked out. I’m guessing Confederate battle flags sown across a field of swastikas. We’ve seen these low-lifes be whipped into a frenzy by ivy-league looking ideologues in tweed suits. Exploiting fear and hate is their motto, and Trump’s legions have exploited those things to a degree we haven’t seen for almost a century.

  24. The Republican powers-that-be -McConnell and Ryan and perhaps Trump – won’t change direction until forced to do so. Even convictions, guilty pleas, exposed multiple ties to a foreign enemy, and separating crying children from their parents hasn’t shamed this shameless bunch into sensible, humane action. They won’t listen until and unless then lose their Republican majorities. High profile Republicans like George Will have said the same thing. Vote Democratic to remove legislative controls from McConnell and Ryan’s lieutenants.

  25. The GDP and stock market continue to rise. I’m afraid it’s not going to be pretty day on this blog on November 7th.

  26. Sheila posted what of all the King’s men … did she not? I got lost in all the closing hymns. So here is the benediction:

    Hum pity Trumpity sat on his wall.
    Hum pity Trumpity had a great fall.
    And all of Putin’s horses,
    And of Kim Jong-un’s men,
    Could not put
    Hum pity Trumpity back together again.

  27. You need no information to begin an investigation. In fact the purpose of an investigation is to gather information. It is entirely within Congress’ purview to launch investigations as part of their oversight authority. I am surprised that Mr. Ryan would require more information, particularly when congressional Republicans have been investigating the FBI and DOJ all year long based on rumors and innuendo, much of which could be sourced to the very Republicans calling for those investigations.

    For a party that spent years investigating the Clintons and Obama based upon wild conspiracy theories, the argument that more information is needed has no credibility whatsoever. In fact, had Nunes waited for more information before insisting on investigations into his wild ravings about FISA court warrants, we might have foregone some of the drama he stirred up in his so-called investigation into Russian collusion.

    Given that the House Intelligence Committee has consistently acted to protect President Trump and to prevent the public from learning the truth, I suppose we should be grateful that the Republicans have abdicated any investigatory responsibility in regards to the travesty taking place in the Oval Office. They’ve brushed off the convictions of Manafort and Cohen as not having shown any evidence of collusion. Lindsey Graham is desperately trying to convince himself that saving this president from himself is somehow in the best interests of the country. It is perhaps the most stunning and flagrant example of intellectual dishonesty I’ve ever seen and a complete betrayal of his friend and colleague John McCain. There is no way to spin support for this president as an act of patriotism. Patriotism often requires acts of bravery and self-sacrifice, neither of which are evident in the words or actions of any Republican in Congress or running for Congress.

    We will have to rely on Robert Mueller coming up with evidence so damning that it cannot be ignored, although at this stage I can hardly imagine what depravity it would take to motivate the Republicans to hold this president accountable. They are like MacBeth in “blood stepped in so far” that “returning were as tedious as go o’er”. They passed the point to act long ago and to act now or in the future will make their sin that much greater and more obvious to all.

  28. Monotonous has made some especially sharp observations today, so kudos to him. On this Labor Day we are supposed to honor labor but we haven’t bothered to define this sector of the economy/society with any degree of certitude. I have worked in car factories, restaurants, insurance offices, prosecutors’ offices, tax offices and generally in law offices, and always as labor. I define the term labor to include anyone who works for wages, salaries, fees or any other form of compensation for services rendered, that as a lawyer and occasional pro tem or special judge I was a member of labor, and that as a summertime auto worker in the 1940s I was a member of labor. Only investors in enterprises who otherwise who do not work for such enterprise are not labor.

    Given this expansive view of labor it would seem that we would be interested in saluting labor on this Labor Day, but we have been taught by the financial arm of the economic process that we must have subsets within the labor force, that the street sweeper is a laborer but that doctors and lawyers are not, though all

    render services to their beneficiaries for gain. I think social ego is involved and fostered by those who profit by division based on supposed differences in their respective contributions, but I think we are comparing oranges and apples in comparing clean streets with a doctor’s prescription and lawyer’s advice in, for instance, a divorce case, and who’s to say and by what standard is any one of such services rendered to be considered superior to the other?

    So to my fellow laborers in the law library and the street cleaner’s seat, Happy Labor Day!

  29. Becky; the continuing rise of the GDP and the stock market means the rich are getting richer…are you?

  30. I know it is late, but I must post this:

    Republican official resigns after calling kneeling NFL players ‘baboons’
    Carla Maloney, in another post, she said “overpaid ignorant blacks” should “go to Africa”.

    As many have written here including me – The Dog Whistles are a thing of the past – the sirens sound and the bells ring out racism now in public.

    The Second Coming
    By William Butler Yeats

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    The Second Coming of the Confederacy???

  31. “The Second Coming of the Confederacy???”

    Monotonous; only if we let it come. As with many others on this blog and otherwise; we who are paying attention fear that complacency will set in and Democratic voters will AGAIN sit at home and let the Republicans MAINTAIN their current hold by believing in that prophetic “Blue Wave” rather than becoming part of it.

    “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;”

    The current “centre” of the Republican party is a mentally ill, egotistical, over-the-hill, immature, racist who has stirred up the century-and-a-half years old State’s Rights, White nationalists to a frenzy. Can he or they hold permanently with so many abandoning their sinking ship? How much power will McConnell wield when Ryan is not there to back him up with the House support? If not 2020 election year; which was their primary goal until they began losing ground in 2018; maybe we have a chance to regain a foothold…according to your post, another Republic official has “bit the dust”. This is happening more often each week; November 6th is drawing nigh and nigher, surely our “centre can hold” till then.

    In keeping with your 6:56 p.m. comment; another “dog whistle a thing of the past” out of Florida this week from the mouth of DeSantis; “I hope the Democrats don’t monkey up this election.”


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