sofa kingsofa king's Journal
I think many of us fail to appreciate the seriousness of Trump's screw-ups this week, which appear to include at least two violations of 18 USC ss 793:
The interesting part about it is that if he leaves the race, the national security threat he presents is largely eased, so if it's a choice between getting his ass kicked and facing prison, or leaving now and being able to continue being a rich asshole, I think he'll take the deal.
If that happens, according to my research so far, the RNC can apply Rule 9 of their Party Rules:
RULE NO. 9
Filling Vacancies in Nominations
(a) The Republican National Committee is hereby authorized and empowered to fill any and all vacancies which may occur by reason of death, declination, or otherwise of the Republican candidate for President of the United States or the Republican candidate for Vice President of the United States, as nominated by the national convention, or the Republican National Committee may reconvene the national convention for the purpose of filling any such vacancies.
(b) In voting under this rule, the Republican National Committee members representing any state shall be entitled to
cast the same number of votes as said state was entitled to cast at the national convention.
(c) In the event that the members of the Republican National Committee from any state shall not be in agreement in the casting of votes hereunder, the votes of such state shall be divided equally, including fractional votes, among the members of the Republican National Committee present or voting by proxy.
(d) No candidate shall be chosen to fill any such vacancy except upon receiving a majority of the votes entitled to be
cast in the election.
The obvious first choice would be Paul Ryan, the only guy smart enough to sit this one out. But he might just be smart enough to continue sitting it out. They all hate Ted Cruz, so he won't be seriously considered. Rubio is now committed to a critical Senate race that Republicans have to win. Christie might be able to make a good case for it, as well as Kasich.
But so too could Jeb!, who is still sitting on a mountain of campaign cash, assuming he hasn't blown it all yet. Even better, it would be right up Rove's alley, the ultimate back-room deal for all the marbles, the way he's always tried to game it.
There is still nearly 100 days left in this campaign and the RNC would like nothing better than a do-over, without the input of the mere people they so despise. So the pressure on Trump to drop out will soon be coming from all angles, if my guess about his transgressions are correct.
By the way, if I call this one correct, DU gods, I will wish to change my screen name....
Trump isn't the son of a CIA director, surrounded by Defense industry magnates. He hasn't been nearly as able to conceal his financial relationship with the foreign entity performing the illegal acts, as Bush was able to conceal his prior financial relationship with Saudi Arabia and the bin Ladens.
Instead, he's surrounded by a bunch of knuckle-dragging racists and minor-league political managers--and servants of a foreign nuclear power--who appear to be at least as unaware of the definition of espionage as Donald Trump himself is unaware.
I am beginning to suspect that Trump is about to have a sit-down with the FBI, and they're going to offer him a deal: dropping out of the race would serve national security interests without having to imprison him for life.
I'm pretty sure he'll take that deal.
If it happens, it's going to happen fast, fast, fast, because if he wins he can exonerate himself, grant himself security clearances, and be protected from impeachment by the Republican Congress. The GOP could be brought on board with the prospect of being able to put together a second convention (in 2008 the conventions were in September).
... That's espionage:
(b) Whoever, for the purpose aforesaid, and with like intent or reason to believe, copies, takes, makes, or obtains, or attempts to copy, take, make, or obtain, any sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, document, writing, or note of anything connected with the national defense; or
Recall that Trump and Clinton are running for the office of Commander in Chief, so the email server break-in is inextricably connected to the national defense.
Also note that at the Republican Convention, Trump staffers intervened and removed language calling for material aid to the Ukraine:
"Trump staffers in the room, who are not delegates but are there to oversee the process, intervened," Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin wrote of the meeting at which the wording was changed. "By working with pro-Trump delegates, they were able to get the issue tabled while they devised a method to roll back the language."
So there is already circumstantial evidence for collusion between Trump and the Russians.
And there is no statute of limitations, either. This will hang over Trump's head for the rest of his life.
Cruz won a solid 25% of the hardest-core, formerly-sure-to-vote Republicans in the Primaries this year, 7,800,000 votes. Trump won only 45% of all Republican primary voters, 14,000,000. A further 7 million voted for someone else entirely. The need to unify the base was never stronger.
With the renewal of his attacks, and thanks to his childishly thin skin, Trump went a long way toward alienating one quarter to one half of his most ardent supporters. Who knows how many millions in donations that represents.
It was a clever move on Cruz's part, too, and one sure to work for us in the long run. He also is hated and feared by Republican managers, yet he just went a long way toward losing the election for the GOP this time and placed himself as an automatic front-runner in the next election, which he will also lose.
It's as close as we will get to a guaranteed eight-year term for Hillary Clinton. Because the politics of division never adds up!
Trump is notorious for not paying, and I think the ghostwriter deliberately poisoned and rickrolled the document as a first draft, with the final to be delivered on payment. The Trumps liked the first draft, stiffed the writer, and NOW they're paying for it, for sure.
... While the Sack of Shit has four.
Please feel free to post your deep thoughts on the Republican Convention here for our amusement.
Are you not entertained?
From that one move, several early guesses can be made:
* Removing a speaker from the list is about as big a tell as you can show in the VP guessing game (unless you're Republican and Tim Tebow backs out on you). Furthermore, the timing of this move suggests that it is intentional, designed to tip off the press and tealeaf-readers so that pollsters can run their hypothetical matchup scenarios. It injects enthusiasm into Democrats and shows the general lack of finesse in the Republican pick, and keeps people looking ahead to the Democratic Convention while the dumpster fire burns. Warren can easily be added back to the speaker list if this is a head-fake, but it risks upsetting those of us who would consider the pick of Warren to be an excellent one.
* As best I can tell, Mass. election law now allows for an interim gubernatorial appointment, for up to 160 days, at which point a special election must be held. The current governor is Republican, and his appointment will have a leg up in the next regular election, and he may be able to run in the special election as well. Picking Warren would concede a large but not insurmountable advantage to the Massachusetts Republicans. Democrats must feel confident that Warren's position can be refilled by another Democrat in mid-2017.
* Assuming a win, the move would also promote the highly competent Ed Markey to the position of senior Senator from Massachusetts, which certainly puts him in a position for higher office or future cabinet posts. Markey got his current post through a clever double-move by the Obama Administration after the death of Ted Kennedy, in which they moved John Kerry to Secretary of State and created two new powerhouse Senators (Warren and Markey) with the move.
* Democrats cannot make a move like this without conceding territory in the Senate, temporarily. That, in turn, could dramatically influence the course of events that President Clinton can follow in her first five months... UNLESS your internal polling suggests that Democrats are going to wind up holding somewhere around 53-59 seats in the Senate. That range is enough to control business in the Senate, but not enough to override a filibuster. It provides some padding to give a seat away, temporarily. The Warren hand-tip suggests that Democrats are now very confident about regaining a strong majority in the Senate.
* In retrospect it appears as if Mrs. Clinton has been carefully judging the reactions of voters as she appeared with or dangled potential running mates, including Tim Kaine just last week. I recall a hypothetical scenario poll from much earlier in the year that suggested that a Clinton/Warren ticket could defeat any combination of Republicans.
* Democrats must also have noted something about the "misogyny vector" which works in our favor. My current assumption is that the racists are the misogynists, so that doubling down on a female ticket doesn't change any minds on the Republican side, but it must have a net positive effect on Democratic and undecided voters. That squares well with my own personal bias, though, so it's not a solid guess like some of the above.
The Senate will sorely miss Mrs. Warren, if she accepts the nomination as running-mate. But Ed Markey is a superb replacement as senior Senator and Massachusetts has a deep bag of competent leadership which can replace Warren. Democrats must feel considerably more confident about the upcoming elections than I suspected, for Warren is an intrepid and potentially risky choice in several ways. Wonderful!
What I failed to account for is Trump's incompetence. One must never underestimate the power of stupid.
This is the time of year when both campaigns are trying hard to throw reporters off the path, so that the impact of the running mate's announcement is maximized. It's called a "dangle."
Here, however, I detect a clever double-move on the part of the Clinton camp.
Trump is a terrible candidate in every way and often, especially when the candidate is a cowardly and ignorant chickenhawk, handlers try to bolster the ticket with a strong military figure. W had former Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney; Nixon got Bronze Star winner Spiro Agnew; Perot chose Admiral Stockdale, and so on.
Trump desperately needs someone who knows a thing or two about defense, since he clearly does not know anything at all about it. No brass, no ass.
Mrs. Clinton herself needs no such assistance. Her record as Secretary of State stands on its own. But she has a chance to further erode Trump's support by also appearing receptive to the idea of a defense-specialist running-mate.
So in this case, Mrs. Clinton almost certainly IS NOT considering Admiral Stavridis as her primary choice. Instead, this leak is almost certainly designed to neutralize Trump-camp leaks about former DIA chief General Michael Flynn. The Clinton-camp disclosure keeps the press chasing its tail for a day or two and also reduces any potential gain the Trump people might get for putting Flynn on the ticket.
One might further make some guesses about the overall competence of the Trump campaign's management, and Flynn's sudden and public reversal on being pro-choice, and suspect that perhaps Flynn in fact IS Trump's choice for running mate. In that case the Clinton campaign's leak is potentially even more effective, providing the press with the hypothetical matchups they so dearly love going through the upcoming Cleveland convention disaster, while also preserving the secrecy of their actual choice.
Pretty cool, if that's the case. We'll know for sure in only a few weeks.
It looks like she may have to run to escape indictment for protecting Trump in Florida, and she has the Fox-bimbo routine down pat. Florida itself is shaping up to be among the worst of the electoral disasters Republicans are now facing, and putting her on the ticket would help that.
She's also far enough down the totem pole that she might prove to be a loyal Vice President instead of a dangerous plotting rival, as Gingrich or Cruz (or Romney, or Christie) would be.
Bondi is also considerably more competent than the "dangles" Trump has been casting this week, in an attempt to throw off the press before the convention. The smart play is to offer red herrings to the press so that the choice can be a surprise.
But then again, we have yet to see a smart play from Trump or the GOP this year, so who knows?
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