Media (415)

 

How Nancy Stole Christmas

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

Under stress caused by his impeachment Trump took another big step into his alternate reality of ludicrous imaginations.  After earlier having given us his deep insights into toilets and dishwashers, at a Florida rally this week he revisited one of his favorite topics, windmills.  Although, in his own words, the president never understood wind, he studied windmills better than anybody he knows: ‘They’re noisy.  They kill the birds.  You want to see a bird graveyard? Go under a windmill someday.  You’ll see more birds than you’ve ever seen in your life.’  Also, according to Trump, enormous amounts of fumes are blown from the ‘world we have,’ which is tiny compared to the universe.  That promising thought was never finished, and the president didn’t revisit an earlier statement that windmills cause cancer either, probably protecting us from too much depressing information at once, as a responsible leader should.  After thus having enlightened the general public Trump withdrew to Mar-a-Lago, where he didn’t immediately play golf but first conferred with Rudy Giuliani, who probably showed up with his fly open, drooling and bouncing against the walls.

The president’s concern about the impeachment process is understandable because Nancy Pelosi has him by the proverbial balls.  As long as she refuses to send the Articles of Impeachment over to the Senate Trump is in limbo and it’s eating at him.  He and his enforcer Mitch McConnell imagined that they could stage a quick bogus trial without witnesses and with immediate exoneration, but the Speaker wants to have rules established that prevent a whitewashing of the president’s high crimes and misdemeanors.   It drives Trump nuts and it also creates a conflict between him and the Senate Majority Leader, who is in no hurry to have a trial and wouldn’t mind if Pelosi sat on the Articles until kingdom come.  In his anger over this predicament the president is lashing out on all cylinders, claiming that the Democrats are demanding privileges that he was denied during the impeachment inquiry, namely witnesses and legal representation.  Conveniently or because of age-related amnesia Trump forgets that he prohibited key witnesses, who could conceivably have cleared him, from testifying, and that his lawyers refused to participate in the hearings in the House.

A term that’s being thrown around by both parties is ‘due process,’ and it’s obvious that they mean different things.  The Constitution contains two due process clauses, in the 5th and the 14th Amendments.  In general the term refers to fair treatment through the normal judicial system, but like everything else in that system, what is ‘fair’ is open to interpretation, and even more complicated because the impeachment trial will take place in the US Senate, which according to Stuart Chase commonly presents a spectacle of bad language and can become the last refuge of scoundrels.

Looking forward at year’s end one has to worry about the mess Trump will leave behind even if he’s voted out of office next year.  It’s impossible to rank its elements by importance: political pollution of the American legal system for decennia to come, environmental destruction that may not be redeemable, irreparable mental damage to children of asylum seekers, and a modern fascist segment of the population that will remain a cult as long as Trump is fanning the flames of racism and discontent.

Responding to a question about a present Kim Jong-un promised to give him for Christmas, possibly the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile, the president speculated that Little Rocket Man might send him a beautiful vase.  When asked on Christmas Day about the present he gave Melania Trump said it was ‘a difficult question’ and mentioned a card and lots of love, while he was still ‘working on a gift.’

 

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''A Very Ugly Word''

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

The first line of Trump’s obituary will be: ‘Donald John Trump, the 45th US President, was impeached on December 18, 2019.’  Impeachment is for eternity, and Trump is fuming.  For a while now the president has claimed that impeachment would be good for him politically and pretended that it didn’t bother him personally, but for someone who has tried his whole life to belong to various elites and always has been shunned but finally made it to the White House it is a mark that will be burned on his forehead and that he’ll see in the mirror for the rest of his days.  Before the House voted on two articles of impeachment Trump tweeted that Nancy Pelosi’s teeth are falling out, giving away how scared he is of the Speaker.  After meeting with the president of that country Trump said that ‘Guatemala would know how to handle Democrats.’  Also, before the impeachment Rudy Giuliani helpfully and publicly confirmed that he had convinced Trump to remove Marie Yovanovitch from Ukraine so that he could manufacture dirt on Joe Biden.  Trump commented that Hizzoner is the ‘greatest crime fighter ever’ and does everything for him ‘out of love.’

On the eve of his impeachment the president sent a six-page letter to Nancy Pelosi, copied to all members of Congress, who received it in an envelope together with the White House Christmas card.  The letter is a written version of a typical Trump rant that looks like a lengthy tweet, with the usual bizarre capitalization and punctuation.  In a line for the ages the president blames the Speaker for having ‘cheapened the importance of the very ugly word, impeachment!’  In other passages Trump complains that ‘more due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials’ than to him, and states that Pelosi offends Americans of faith by saying that she prays for him.  At the end of the letter the president declares that he wrote it for the purpose of history and to put his thoughts ‘on a permanent and indelible record,’ to achieve that one hundred years from now people learn from ‘this affair,’ so that it can never happen to another president.  Although Trump couldn’t have written the letter himself, because he is barely literate, he clearly dictated most of it.  Strategist Rick Wilson called the letter ‘pure crazy weapons-grade nuts.’

If the president thought that his Salem Witch sentence was right on target, during the debate in the House some Republicans did him one better.  Trump’s impeachment was compared to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and one Representative claimed that Pontius Pilate afforded more rights to Jesus than the Democrats to Trump.   Other terms that floated were ‘McCarthyism,’ ‘Stalinism,’ an ‘attempted coup’ and a ‘lynching.’  Commenting on the events the president said that the Democrats have been trying to impeach him from before he was elected.

Some observers noted that his impeachment marks the first time Trump is being held accountable for anything, and at a rally in Michigan his anger spilled out in an attack on Representative Debby Dingell, whose husband John, a WW II veteran who served 59 years in Congress, died earlier this year.  The president suggested that Dingell might be in hell, which was too depraved even for some of his followers so that he quickly had to change the topic to the water use of dishwashers.

Trump wants a speedy trial in the Senate, where he almost certainly will be acquitted, but Nancy Pelosi may deny him that sliver of comfort.  She wants to know what the rules of the trial will be before she designates her trial managers and sends the articles of impeachment over to the other chamber.  Leader McConnell will have to go through her before he can start any bogus proceedings.

 

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Plumber-in-Chief

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

 During an average seven-day time span Trump produces a fair amount of nonsense, but this time he was exceptionally productive.  His most bizarre statement was, literally: ‘Right now, in a number of states the laws allow a baby to be born from his or her mother’s womb in the ninth month.  It is wrong, it has to change.’  On another occasion he complained about LED lights that ‘make you look orange,’ which he doesn’t like because he’s ‘vain.’  Apparently the president doesn’t know that he looks orange in any light, and even at night in the dark.  In what appeared to be a meeting with plumbers Trump philosophized about ‘many states where they have so much water that’s coming down,’ adding ‘it’s called rain.’  In spite of all that water many sinks and showers are apparently barely functional, and the president said ‘we’re looking very strongly at that.’  Possibly an even bigger problem are toilets, some of which according to Donald the Plumber have to be flushed up to fifteen times!  Speaking to a Jewish audience Trump repeated an anti-semitic trope by saying ‘you’ll have to vote for me, because the Democrats are after your money.’

Following all that gloom and doom about bathroom fixtures the president also had some good news.  He had called with the King and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia after one of their officers killed three people at a naval base where he was in training, and they promised to pay cash to the relatives of the victims.  Cash, in Trump’s eyes, is the ultimate remedy for everything.  Maybe the disproportionate number of insanities the president supplied this week had something to do with the articles of impeachment the House Judiciary Committee has drawn up.  To keep it simple Trump will ‘only’ be charged with Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress.  A House vote on his impeachment is expected early next week and a trial in the Senate in January.  In probably the most provocative move he (or Putin) could think of, on the day the articles of impeachment were drafted the president met with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov in the Oval Office.  Afterwards Trump told the White House press corps that he had issued a warning about possible Russian meddling in future US elections, something Lavrov immediately denied.

In anticipation of testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee by the Inspector General of the Justice Department, Horowitz, the president attacked FBI Director Wray, who had stood up for his agency, calling him ‘the current director’ and the involved FBI agents ‘scum.’  In spite of Attorney General Barr’s stated opinion that the FBI investigation into Russian impingement on the Trump campaign had been insufficiently predicated, Horowitz maintained that the FBI had every reason to start the investigation, although serious mistakes were made with FISA applications.

The length of Trump’s trial in the Senate is yet to be determined.  Mitch McConnell wants it over as fast as possible, but the White House wants a big show, including an interrogation of Hunter Biden.  Democrats also prefer to keep it short, because they want to get back to the people’s regular business, but if they have to they’ll subpoena Mike Pompeo, Mick Mulvaney and John Bolton, making the president’s obstruction of Congress even more visible than it is now, something McConnell wants to prevent.

Lost in the avalanche of reporting about House committees and Senate hearings was the news that Trump paid a $2 million fine for stealing from his own foundation, while Don Jr., Ivanka and Eric must be about to enroll in mandatory training how to run a charity.   In all, Washington’s ‘Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics’ counted 2,300 conflicts of interest for the Trump family, which is definitely a national record.


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Een heel verstandig besluit

Dus Jeroen Pauw houdt op met zijn praatshow. Dat is een heel verstandig besluit.
     
Ik zei het de laatste tijd nogal eens: ‘’Eerlijk gezegd ben ik een beetje uitgePauwd’’.
Altijd met diezelfde mensen praten, altijd dat gemaakte ‘’We gaan beginnen’’, altijd dat nerveuze getrommel met die vingers, Nooit de tijd om echt een boek te lezen als er een schrijver komt. Altijd maar weer met andere mensen van de televisie over de televisie praten.
      ‘Jongen hou er toch eens mee op; ga wat anders doen. Want dat kan je’’.

In zijn interview-programma ''5 jaar later'' werd hem een jaar of twee geleden eens gevraagd wat hijzelf over vijf jaar zou doen. Hij antwoordde toen iets in de trant van: ‘’Dat weet ik eigenlijk niet. Maar misschien zit ik dan wel in New York. Correspondent of zo’’.

Toen dacht ik al: ‘’Jongen ga dat doen. Daar word je veel gelukkiger van dan dat gebabbel in de marge van het ‘’Vandaag dit: Morgen dat’’.

 

 

Escape from London

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

When Donald Trump runs out of town without giving a scheduled press conference you know something bad has happened.  His appearance at the 70 years of NATO celebration was littered with his foul-ups and barely hidden insults by the parties he was meeting.  He started by attacking Emmanuel Macron, who had called NATO ‘braindead,’ something Trump apparently took as a personal insult because he considers himself the brain of NATO, in spite of having called the alliance ‘obsolete’ a couple of years ago.  Then he broke a cardinal rule of US political protocol by calling Adam Schiff ‘a maniac’ and ‘a deranged human being’ and extending the honor to Nancy Pelosi.  Asked whether the US supports Iranian protesters the president said ‘no,’ without an explanation, and to top it off he claimed that if he were impeached future presidents might undergo the same treatment for picking an orange out of a fridge.  Trump’s babbling like the village idiot caused Macron,  Justin Trudeau, Boris Johnson, Dutch Prime Minister Rutte and Princes Anne to joke about him while being video-taped, which resulted in images being shown all over the world.

The president did hardly any better with the Royals.  He denied knowing Prince Andrew, in spite of pictures showing them together last June and once calling him ‘a lot of fun.’  During a reception by the Queen Princess Anne ostensibly refused to come over and greet the Trumps, while Price Charles quite noticeably flipped them off by lifting his middle finger next to his nose.  After all those signs of disrespect Trump left in a hurry, calling Trudeau ‘two-faced’ on the way to the airport.   Back home meanwhile Lisa Page, a formerg FBI attorney involved in the early stages of the Mueller probe and often ridiculed by the president, had decided to break her silence, triggered by Trump’s faking an orgasm at one of his rallies when talking about Page and her former lover, Peter Strzok.  In light of the fact that the president and Melania sleep on different floors of the White House and that Trump had a lock installed on his bedroom door it is safe to assume that this is the only sex he’s getting these days.  More damaging to the president was the news that the Inspector General of the Justice Department had found no irregularities in the start of the probe.

Before the House Intelligence Committee could hand over its report on the impeachment inquiry to the Judiciary Committee the Republican members released their own report, exonerating the president and stating that all the witnesses were Trump haters.  White House lawyers are still pondering if they will participate in the hearings of the Judiciary Committee, with a deadline that expires today, and if they decide to stay away they’ll undoubtedly come up with something to complain about.  The phone logs linking Rudy Giuliani to the Office of Management & Budget were the shocker of the report.

During the first day of the hearings by the Judiciary Committee three constitutional scholars from Harvard, Stanford and the University of North Carolina testified, as did Jonathan Turley of George Washington University, the latter as the witness of the Republican minority.  The three were in agreement that Trump deserved to be impeached for abuse of his office, bribery and obstruction of justice and Congress, while Turley saw no grounds for impeachment yet and wanted the investigation to be extended

On Monday the Inspector General’s report is due, unless Attorney General Barr, who disagrees with its findings even though it exonerates ‘his’ FBI, succeeds in blocking the release.  Meanwhile Hizzoner is in Ukraine, hanging out with a rats’ nest of corrupt former prosecutors like himself, still hoping to find proof of meddling in the 2016 elections that never took place.  That man won’t learn until he’s in the slammer.

 
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