Nine Was on the Money

Trump’s team is floating the idea of pardons, including self-pardons. Seeing what level of outrage it inspires. Starting the process of getting people used to it, in hopes that when he does it, at least his base will feel like it was a.) inevitable and b.) normal.

This along with his comments to the Times fawners about Sessions: Mueller must now be digging where Trump knows it hurts.


36 Responses to Nine Was on the Money

  1. Squirrel says:

    Just read the NYT ‘interview’. (Not any kind of interview I’d recognise; was the NYT just trying to set him up as a totally incoherent nincompoop? If they were, I doubt they’ve succeeded: it just makes every single one of them look like total incompetents. They even had to publish an editorial to make sense of just part of it.)

    Well, Mueller, it would appear, is doing the obvious thing: following the money.Why is it all Trump roads seem to lead to Deutsche Bank?) He’s bound to be fired. Trump’s new motto, I’m guessing, is ‘fire and replace’, preferably with ‘family’. Scaramucci, do the fandango . . .etc. etc.

    For all the ‘can he or can’t he legally’ few pundits seem to have yet fully grasped that ‘whatever’s good for Trump’ he’ll do.

    No broadband or internet in this part of France from for 48 hours; some people here have lost it for three days up till now. No explanation from either the ISP or France Telecom. Impossible to communicate with either by means of any live human being, in fact. Standard (and obviously infuriatingly useless in the circumstances) automated reply: ‘Check your email or our website for information’. Here, it suddenly re-appeared yesterday, but still no explanation or apology. . .

    Could it have been Russians? Who knows.

    Meanwhile, we have been immersed in the minotaur’s labyrinth that is French taxation. The French internal revenue seem to delight every couple of years in discovering a new tax to levy on unsuspecting foreigners who actually dare to own a house in their country. Since friend, of course, is French, this is particularly galling, as they are at the moment determined to classify her as ‘foreign’ ‘cos she lives mostly in London . . .God knows what is going to happen after Brexit . . .

  2. Squirrel says:

    This is The Boy Donald’s First Book of Napoleon, and The History of Russia 1812 for Trumps unabridged:

    we went to Napoleon’s tomb . . Well, Napoleon finished a little bit bad. But I asked that. So I asked the president, so what about Napoleon? He said: “No, no, no. What he did was incredible. He designed Paris.” [garbled] The street grid, the way they work, you know, the spokes.

    (Macron must have mentioned Baron Haussmann and Napoleon III looking out of the Eiffel Tower before dinner, I’d guess.)

    He did so many things even beyond. And his one problem is he didn’t go to Russia that night because he had extracurricular activities (Macron must have mentioned Marie Walewska at some point? Or even joked about Josephine?) and they froze to death.

    You can just about work backwards to what Macron thought he was telling the mango-hued wotsit, but . . .It makes the thought of this guy talking alone to Putin even just for 15 minutes even more terrifying, doesn’t it?
    (Adopting baby Russians, indeed!)

  3. bluthner says:


    The weirdest part of that weird bit from the weird interview is that Trump thinks he is telling the reporters something they don’t know about Napoleon, without realising that what he is telling them is that he himself never knew anything about Napoleon (not that what he ‘knows’ now is any closer to useful). As if he was a proud 4th grader who is repeating, in a garbled way, his history lesson from Miss Woolly at school yesterday. Putin could have found out anything at all that the hairball knows and was not supposed to tell. The only good news is that he can’t tell it with any reliability, because his mind is so low functioning. But Putin will know that and get what he wants anyway. Alas

    If Trump starts pardoning his family and himself, that’s yet another day on which we will discover just how deep the fix is in. Myself I would consider nothing he signed after that day to be a valid law. And I think I’d make a new flag: stars and stripes with a great big yellow banana stitched over it. For everyone who knows the old republic is in abeyance from that day to the day the Rule of Law is re-established, if indeed it ever comes.

  4. StillBernie says:

    Bluth, we already were a banana republic. It’s just that this time around they don’t even bother to try to hide it.

  5. NatashaFatale says:

    Let’s take it for granted that he will fire Mueller and start pardoning his family subpoena by subpoena (i.e., you’re subpoenaed at 10AM, you’re pardoned after lunch). Okay, huge shit storm. (Or so the lying media pretends.) Democrats howl. (So what else is new?) Congressional Republicans are troubled, they express (I type, therefore I express) deep concern. And? What then?

    I’m not ready to admit that I know what then, so I’ll keep pretending to myself (“You’ve been wrong before, you’ve been wrong before, you’ve been wrong before…”) that I don’t. But I do know what “What then?” depends on. It depends entirely on reaction of the majority of the public. There is a point where a refusal to accept this level of blatant sleaze reaches critical mass, a point where too many ordinary, mostly uninvolved citizens say “No, this we will not accept.” When that point is reached congress will sense it – you don’t make it to congress without a keen eye for the torpedo that will sink you – congress will sense it and leap to their feet shouting ¡No pasaran! as one, and then it really is over for Trump.

    Is there anything Trump could do that will bring us to that critical mass? When he finally gets around to pardoning himself (and he will), will that be enough? Or will a solid majority of Republicans chortle that they guess he just showed Them? And a solid majority of navel-gazers say “So what? The Dems are just as crooked and they’ve led me down that garden path for the last time…”? And a solid majority of the press regularly interrupt their non-stop OJ fixation for five-minute no-progress reports on A Constitution in Crisis – Day 524?

    Hard to say. Maybe not hard to know, but definitely hard to say. I guess we’ll all know for sure soon enough.

  6. NatashaFatale says:


    The example of Trump’s exhaustive historical studies appears to be contagious,

  7. Or will a solid majority of Republicans chortle that they guess he just showed Them? And a solid majority of navel-gazers say “So what? The Dems are just as crooked and they’ve led me down that garden path for the last time…

    When Trump won the election I said the only thing which would stop, which could stop, the advance of fascism was millions of people out in the streets.

    That’s still my position.

    I don’t know if we’ll get there or not. The drip-feed of novocaine in the form of gradually escalating and outrageous nose-thumbing at both the law and tradition certainly seems to be working as planned. It’s entirely possible that we’ll remain stuck in “deeply concerned” mode all the way to the cellblocks.

    I could, of course, bring the whole sordid Trump enterprise to a screeching halt with just the right carefully worded flamethrowing blog post, but that would be cheating, wouldn’t it.

  8. bluthner says:

    Of course a solid majority of Republicans still isn’t enough votes to own the county. Unless the rest if the voters don’t bother to vote. So the novocaine has to work on more than just his base.

    Will it? it might. But then no one can complain.

  9. StillBernie says:

    We went to war twice in the interests of the Bush family business. Twas the Saudis and AIPAC we danced for that time, not the Russkies. Dems deeply concerned? Hell no, they voted along with him. Look at the other legislation we got that curtailed civil liberties, gave the prez carte blanche on a lot of other stuff, and made a whole lot of cronies (ie contracting buddies) filthy rich on our dimes with zero accountability (how many billions was it that went down that rabbit hole.) People even went out in the streets for that. Didn’t get us much.

    And according to the excellent Stephen Thrasher in the Graun, the Dems are still in the business of curtailing civil liberties, this time the first amendment, in the interests of AIPAC.

    But in “progressive” New York State, Gillibrand is joining her fellow senator Chuck Schumer (and 12 other Democratic senators around the country) to support a bipartisan bill that will make the civilized act of protesting against the Israeli occupation of Palestine a felony.

    But never fear, Kamala Harris is here to save the party. As I’ve said, be prepared to have her shoved down your throats for a long time. And remember who she dances for – she inherited the Clinton donor pool.

  10. StillBernie says:

    It was Kevin who said that what to be afraid of wasn’t Pelosi, Feinstein, or Boxer (the best of that unholy triumverate), but who they put up to replace them as they take their eventual curtain calls. You have one answer here.

  11. KevinNevada says:


    the California Democratic machine is deeply compromised.

    Boxer was actually one of the best of them. A few have always found some room to do the right thing from time to time.

    Harris started as Willie Brown’s girlfriend (which is always a short-term gig) and worked her way up. SF District Attorney first, to confirm that she knew which side holds the butter.

    And speaking of the brilliant and funny (and effective) W. Brown, he is cited by Bill Clinton as the wise source of this advice:
    “The ‘e’ in e-mail stands for ‘evidence’. “

    Neither Brown nor the Big Dawg ever touch the stuff. Email. Bah, humbug.

    The smug oh-I-know-better Hills failed to heed this good advice. Alas.

  12. StillBernie says:

    If i read that article right, was Kamala Harris really crowing about female prison labor making flags as some sort of a victory for justice and criminal rehab? If i read it right, jeebus is weeping. We welcome our new pro-labor overlords.

    Yeah, i knew about Brown, which is no biggie, he has an open marriage i believe. And she declined to prosecute Steve Munchin while in office. In addition to the Clinton donors, i’m sure she has the backing of Obama and Holder’s as well.

    I believe Boxer was the environmental warrior of the bunch.

    Trump may not use email either, can’t remember.

  13. AhBrightWings says:

    When Trump won the election I said the only thing which would stop, which could stop, the advance of fascism was millions of people out in the streets.

    That’s still my position.

    Ditto, Gunny. Ditto.

    Three systems are giving us a finger-hold or toe-hold (I envision an entity hanging from the proverbial cliff with blood leaking from nails) on democracy: protesters, the media, and the judicial branch. If any one of those three fail or fall, all bets are off, but those groups are simply keeping us “hanging in there.”

    The only way to vault ourselves back to safe ground is to have mass protests. If Congress becomes any more supine, it will slip into an envelope and mail itself to another country at a flat rate. It remains to be seen if the country that elected this craven dolt– despite the 1001 warning signs that we’d land exactly where we are– can muster the energy to rescue itself. I’m no longer an optimist, about anything.

  14. Expat says:

    I have generally looked on street protests in a free and open democracy as impotent gestures, at least if not backed up by more universal support from the general population. Just the opinion of an aging reactionary but it looks as if there is a wealth of literature and commentary on the topic. The quote below is from an LSE Blog piece with hyperlinks up the wazoo.

    Political opportunities indirectly facilitate protest mobilization and enhance their chance of success. The basic idea is that demonstrations influence the political agenda if they take place under favorable political circumstances, defined through the presence of four factors: a democratic regime, a programmatic party system, a polity open to the challenger’s’ claims, and political allies’ support. While the first two factors are necessary for any change in political agendas, protest size and violence can compensate the absence of sympathetic political allies.

  15. StillBernie says:

    Dunno Expat. I’m on the fence here, and it certainly isn’t my own style. They’ve been both effective and counter effective. And they take many forms. I was alive during the Viet Nam War protests, but too young to be engaged with them. I lived (on the outskirts) of LA at the time of the Rodney King protests, which were for legit reasons but ended up hurting the very people who were protesting in that it was their own neighborhoods that they trashed. We did, if i remember correctly, have plenty of Iraq War protests. You may hold that Occupy was impotent, but i don’t (I’ll get there in a minute.) Ditto BLM. We had a bunch of pussyhats protest, to very little avail.

    I think that where protest is ultimately effective is at the ballot box. The protests call attention to issues, and they come to fruition later. That’s where we got a say in the Iraq war ultimately – it had a large part in getting Clinton tossed and Obama elected. And it reared up again when Obama (backed by the Clintons and a few others) was mooting bombing Syria. We threatens our congress re: the ballot box and they fucking well listened. (And John Kerry, Iraq War voter, saved the day. Woulda been different if the inept Clinton was still SOS.) And now we seem to be heartily sick of war.

    The Occupy movement called attention to things that ultimately got some very big crowds out to listen to Bernie Sanders. I’d also call those crowds protests against Clinton, establishment Dems, and the Republicans as well. And any smart opposition party will be serious about incorporating those issues into a platform.Trump’s crowds were also protests against establishment politicians. BLM protesting police brutality for the crime of being brown made it’s point – people are certainly paying more attention to justice now on that front.

    So protest Trump all you want, i still call it healthy. If you want to storm the Bastille though, you’re going to still have to replace it with something. I’m not seeing a whole lot ready to step in as of yet. I suspect it will be at the ballot box where there will be an actual say, let’s hope that we’ll be dealt some alternatives viable enough that will get us out to vote. Instead of saying fuck it, new bosses, old bosses, whatever.

  16. StillBernie says:

    As for this part –

    “…street protests in a free and open democracy as impotent gestures, at least if not backed up by more universal support from the general population”

    I’d say the other way around, that the protests help drum up support from the general population.

  17. NatashaFatale says:


    Maybe thinking like an engineer (mechanical variety) would help a little more than the LSE here. We are trying to move something and are looking for a force that will move it.

    What are we trying to move? The Republicans in congress: because they are the only thing that can bring Trump down. If they continue to abide him, nothing Mueller or any court can do will stop him. If they decide to stop abiding him, they already have more than enough perfectly legal and proper ammunition to do the job in a week or so.

    What kind of force will move it? Only one kind: a conviction in the minds of enough individual GOP congressmen that they themselves will go down if they continue to abet Trump and his crew.

    What kinds of protest cannot apply that force? Protests by Democrats and left-leaning independents, because these are people who, statistically, never vote Republican. Protests by minorities, ditto. “Carefully worded flamethrowing blog posts” because nobody but nobody ever out-shouts the right. Scholarly legal and historical analyses, because few GOP and GOP-leaning voters are in danger of even finding them, much less being convinced by them. In short, any kind pf protests by anybody already seen as enemies of Republican candidates – because these Republican congressmen wouldn’t be congressmen if such people had anything to say about it.

    What kind of protests will, then? Protests that include perceptible numbers of Republicans and significant numbers of the kind of independents who must vote Republican if Republicans are to win. Protests that dare these congressmen to prove they’re not complicit in Trump’s deliberate malfeasance. Protests that convincingly promise retribution if they persist in helping to throw the republic away.

  18. Expat says:

    Hard to argue with any of that Nat but we are still far from enough people accepting your basic premise of:

    ….Trump’s deliberate malfeasance.


    ….helping to throw the republic away.

    If they did there would be no argument.

    So far Trump is a boorish, narcissistic, politically inexperienced NYC version of a London Wide Boy who had the audacity to win, mainly because enough people had had enough of the status quo. Mueller will have to turn up something incontroverible to change that. And if he doesn’t will enough people have had enough of a boorish, narcissistic, politically inexperienced NYC version of a London Wide Boy to vote him out of office in 2020? Or less likely vote for a house and senate in 2018 that will successfully impeach and remove him from office prematurely.

  19. NatashaFatale says:


    No towering disagreements from me, The congress we have now will either impeach him or it won’t; if he’s still around in November of 2018, I think he’s probably weathered the storm for good.

    Or, put another way: if there’s a credible threat of the GOP losing the house and senate in 2018, he’ll be impeached before that’s allowed to happen, If he’s still around in November, that will mean that the GOP likes its chances and he’s pretty much home free the rest of the way to 2020.

  20. KevinNevada says:

    The protests that count, are what happen when enough people show up to vote.

    Street demonstrations can be de-legitimized by the coverage, it’s all about the message not the reality. Consider, for example what happened on my campus Berkeley when Milo Y., a vile shit if ever there was one, was scheduled to make a visit. The peaceful protest against him was hijacked by a focussed gang of 50 to 100, all masked, who showed up late and committed a bit of the ultra-violent, then fled.

    The coverage afterwards was all about the violence. And they are already rehabilitating that vile little shit, to spew fresh propaganda. He’ll be back on Breitbart soon.

    I still think the masked gang were hired by Bannon, probably via Miller or some other operative.

    I have zero evidence for this, but it smelled then and still smells.

    The FBI used to get up to similar tricks during Vietnam.


    And in late news, Chuck Shumer is now floating single-payer as a possibility.

    Someone, at least, isn’t stupid.

  21. bluthner says:


    I agree that Trump’s supporters are nowhere near even wanting to begin to consider that Trump is filthy with mob money. And some may not even care that he is, even if the evidence is produced and is overwhelming.

    But when the evidence is produced, if in deference to those people’s indifference nothing then happens, then the republic is well and truly fucked, and probably terminally.


    There is a of course a 3rd scenario, and it may be more likely than either of the two you sketch out: Trump could still be around in November not because the GOP in Congress likes his chances but because they haven’t got a clear enough signal either way and they take the line of least resistance, which is to do nothing much but what they have been doing already.

    So it’s still entirely possible that after the midterms Trump’s chances of impeachment rise significantly, while his chances of being found guilty in the Senate don’t rise much. Which would leave him in office but not exactly home free.

    Free enough to continue doing huge damage, of course. Which is ‘home’ enough.

    Seems that the hard-core Trump base have so deeply thrown in with Trump that every attempt to expose his crimes they take as an attack on themselves and their choice, not as an attempt to uphold or even cling onto the rule of law. Myself I think that kind of irrational loyalty won’t shift even an inch until those people can see an alternative leader who looks like them and who seems to at least identify with them even if he (and it will have to be a he for most of them I fear) is not of them. No candidate that the DNC brass seems to favour at the moment comes anywhere near meeting that test.

  22. NatashaFatale says:


    I don’t expect Trump’s base to turn on him either. The only GOP voters likely to turn are the so-called moderates and the GOP-leaning independents. But there have to be 30 or 40 in congress who need those votes to survive.

    And yes, he could be impeached after 2018 and then hang on for years. Especially if it takes Mueller that long to report, and most especially if what he reports can be spun as routine business sleaze. I consider that to be home free enough: Trump will still be dismantling the government and he’ll still be signing every bill that’s tossed his way.

  23. StillBernie says:

    Kev –

    Schumer has an op-ed in the Times, and Pelosi essentially the same on in Wapo. There is no mention of single-payer in either – only nod to healthcare is reducing the price of prescription drugs for the elderly. If Schumer said that on TV, i’d reckon it’s just a bit of shapeshifting.

    Commenters are smarter and cynical these days, even those on the Dem team. They’re not swallowing it as it stands, the gist is your plan is vague with empty platitudes, and you’re the wrong messengers. You don’t have the cred to be believed on this.

  24. StillBernie says:

    Kev –

    Schumer has an op-ed in the Times, and Pelosi essentially the same on in Wapo. There is no mention of single-payer in either – only nod to healthcare is reducing the price of prescription drugs for the elderly. If Schumer said that on TV, i’d reckon it’s just a bit of shapeshifting.

    Commenters are smarter and cynical these days, even those on the Dem team. They’re not swallowing it as it stands, the gist is your plan is vague with empty platitudes, and you’re the wrong messengers. You don’t have the cred to be believed on this, bow out and turn it over to others now.

  25. NatashaFatale says:


    But he won’t bow out and turn it over. This is a no-brainer pain-free, risk-free jackpot of political karma for him and anyone else who cares to play. There is no chance in hell he’ll be forced to put his money where his mouth is. For that to happen he’d have to be part of a veto-proof majority, and by the time that happens no one will remember what he says today.

    This is no different from the GOP’s 60 or so votes to repeal the ACA, They got heaps of glory from the faithful and there was no chance at all that they’d be whacking a single voter where it hurts. Everyone in congress, both parties, has to know exactly how this works. It’s a firm and principled stand for motherhood, kittens, and apple pie, and that’s all it is.

  26. StillBernie says:

    Exactly. It’s kind of a tough line for Mr. Wall St to walk, and he won’t be able to. Keep in mind too, that this is the dude that said for every working class voter they lost, they’d pick up two surburban Repubs. Glad that worked out for them. I still say though, that he’ll get to keep his job. Pelosi won’t go, but she has a better chance of being forced out than he does.

    Look at who the party is pushing too. The fix is in folks, Kamala Harris is your candidate for 2020. Not only bought and paid for by the big biz Dem donors, she’s pushing the criminal justice issue (which is important) to try and hook the young and urban voters Clinton lost. (She had a NYT op-ed on the issue jointly with Rand Paul the other day.) And presumably that will get them the numbers so they can blow off the heartland working classes yet again.

  27. NatashaFatale says:


    Meanwhile you have an increased obligation to oppose Trumpery in all its manifestations. I thought for a while that we could do without you, but yesterday the Guardian informed me that only women oppose Trump. The rest of us merely pretend to. So now we know, and I think that changes things.

  28. StillBernie says:

    I’m not a woman. When these Graun and NYT writers talk about women, “Hillary’s getting the Democratic nomination is a victory for all women”, women’s issues and rights (because what is good for the childed, and /or those who aspire to the boardroom is good for all of us) it has nothing whatsoever to do with me, i have no clue whatsoever who these martians are. So i’ll stick with calling myself the biological term female, and i’ll leave the women to their pussyhats.

  29. StillBernie says:

    My favorite is that women who didn’t vote for Hillary are self-hating. Well, no, i don’t actually hate myself, but i can muster some up for a bunch of dingbats so intellectually stunted and up their own asses that they put half the world’s population into the same lump (molded in their own image) because they have the same plumbing.

    Speaking of women though, along with Pelosi and Schumer, Warren and Cheri Bustos are part of the contingent unveiling the Dems’ Better Deal™ (sorta like the New Deal, get it? Except it’s not.) today. I can still tolerate Warren, but Bustos is the real deal. That’s who they should be putting up, not Harris.

  30. KevinNevada says:


    thanks for that piece on Kid Rock.

    He’s a grifter like Trump is a grifter and in many of the same ways. Read the article: the bad boy, the blue-collar hero, grew up in a mansion, Daddy was a rich auto dealer. He’s been pretending to be something he isn’t, for his entire adult life.

    And sure, he may win the GOP Primary. All of Michigan is still pissed off about the Flint water atrocity, it’s a good cycle to run as the outsider rebel.

    Even if Daddy was a wealthy auto dealer and you grew up in a mansion.

  31. KevinNevada says:


    and the term you are looking for is “wimmin”.

    You’re welcome. :-)

  32. StillBernie says:

    Or womyn, for the singular :)

    Female works for me :) Some graun feminista had a problem with that – it sounds primitive, like an animal. What, you’re more exalted than that?

    That Kid Rock article is more nuanced than you’re reading of it, i think. Yep, he comes off as a douche. But there’s more to it. How do you explain the NAACP award? And there’s something to not thinking you’re too good to hang out with your fans and the regular folk. Bustos can do that too. The Hamptons crowd can’t, has no idea how to, and there’s their problem. Apparently Stabenow is liked though. Anodoctal, but someone from AZ said that last election, the Dem party came in and tossed out all the old Hispanic people who used to head the party there. And replaced them with shiny new leaders who passes the DNC casting call. The old leaders switched to Indy and took their other stalwart voters with them.

    Schumer is getting slaughtered in the comments section :) Don’t think they’re going to buy it, Chuck.

  33. StillBernie says:

    Somebody should run Marilyn Manson for office, in either Fla, or Ohio where he’s from. I don’t know what his politics are, of if he’s even political. He has a couple of decent tunes. He’d be every opposition politician’s nightmare, but he’s one of the seriously smartest guys in rock.

  34. NatashaFatale says:


    I hate to break it to you but I mis-paraphrased the G. The actual title is “The Trump resistance can be best described in one adjective: female.”

  35. StillBernie says:

    Sigh. Am i going to have to start calling myself a girl now?

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