[The most threatening danger, right at this moment, is that in an attempt
to rescue himself from the domestic quicksand that is slowly and visibly
sucking him in, Trump may opt to take some irresponsible action
demonstrating his supposed machismo as the POTUS on the external front.

At the maximum, as a consequence, it may even wipe off the human race,
along with many other forms of life, from the face of the globe.

That possibility needs be actively forestalled.]


The Ship Is Sinking. The Rats Are Scrambling.
The president is losing whatever grip he had.

APR 11, 2018

 Getty Images
The hinges are all hanging loose and broken.

>From the The New York Times:

Inside the White House, Mr. Trump—furious after the F.B.I. raided his
longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen—spent much of the day brooding
and fearful and near what two people close to the West Wing described as a
“meltdown.” Mr. Trump’s public and private wrath about the special
counsel’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election are
nothing new. But the raids on Monday on Mr. Cohen’s Rockefeller Center
office and Park Avenue hotel room have sent the president to new heights of
outrage, setting the White House on edge as it faces a national security
crisis in Syria and more internal staff churn.

I am fully aware that, more than any other occupant of that office, this
president* is capable of creating a sturdy bubble in which he is the
indomitable and wise master of the universe, all objective evidence to the
contrary. But, ever since the FBI dropped by Michael Cohen’s office, it
seems that this might be the event that shatters the bubble for good.

Getty Images

We can safely speculate that Cohen knows everything: the money, the scams,
the women, the Russians. All of it. And in the days since the raid, Cohen
has abandoned the truculent public persona that had served him so well in
the past in favor of being someone who seems grateful that he wasn’t hauled
off to Pelican Bay on the spot.

>From CNN:

"I am unhappy to have my personal residence and office raided. But I will
tell you that members of the FBI that conducted the search and seizure were
all extremely professional, courteous and respectful. And I thanked them at
the conclusion," Cohen said in a phone conversation on Tuesday with CNN.
Asked if he was worried, Cohen said: "I would be lying to you if I told
that I am not. Do I need this in my life? No. Do I want to be involved in
this? No." The raid was "upsetting to say the least," he added.

This would seem to indicate that Cohen has sized up matters and decided
that his best move is to flip on the president*. Back in ‘73, you wouldn’t
have seen Gordon Liddy complimenting the FBI on his arrest, I’ll tell you
that. They don’t make thuggish apparatchiks like they used to.

Anyway, back at Camp Runamuck, things are going pretty thoroughly haywire.
>From the Times:

Mr. Trump’s mood had begun to sour even before the raids on his lawyer.
People close to the White House said that over the weekend, the president
engaged in few activities other than dinner at the Trump International
Hotel. He tuned into Fox News, they said, watched reports about the
so-called deep state looking to sink his presidency and became unglued. Mr.
Trump angrily told his advisers that people were trying to undermine him
and that he wanted to get rid of three top Justice Department officials —
Jeff Sessions, the attorney general; Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney
general who appointed Mr. Mueller; and Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I.
director — according to two people familiar with what took place.

Getty Images

He eventually calmed down and the anger abated. But it was stoked anew on
Monday, after the F.B.I. raids on Mr. Cohen. Mr. Rosenstein in particular
was a source of Mr. Trump’s anger on Monday, and some aides believed the
president was seriously considering firing him, to a degree he has not in
the past.
Ah, but the strawberries, that’s where I had them…

Few people still at the White House are able to restrain Mr. Trump from
acting on his impulses after the departures of crucial staff members who
were once able to join forces with other aides to do so. That included Hope
Hicks, his former communications director; Rob Porter, his former staff
secretary; and, in 2017, the chief of staff Reince Priebus and the chief
strategist Stephen K. Bannon. John F. Kelly, the current chief of staff
whose influence over the president has waned for months, appeared beaten
down and less hands-on, according to two White House officials. Mr. Kelly
has told Mr. Trump it is frustrating for staff members that the president
deems most news media stories fake news but believes the ones accusing
various advisers of leaking, according to people familiar with the

Let us sum up, shall we? We have a deeply corrupt and incompetent
president*, who’s never been entirely on the rails, sensing quite
accurately that he’s very close to being run to ground by a prosecutor he
can’t bully or bribe out of his way. And, as this Times story indicates, as
the ship continues to list, the traffic down the ratlines is getting
awfully heavy.

All these anonymous quotes are coming from people who are clearly
immunizing themselves against ever having signed aboard this catastrophe,
in the hopes that they will one day have careers in politics again. This
has to be stoking the president*’s paranoid rage to the point where it’s
melting ice lagoons on Neptune. Meanwhile, there’s a genuine crisis brewing
over Syria, and there’s only one person who can give the national command
orders, and he may be unravelling by the hour.

Maybe voting for someone just because he pretended to be pissed at the same
people you’re pissed at wasn’t the best idea in the world.



The Law Is Coming, Mr. Trump

CreditJon Han

By The Editorial Board

The editorial board represents the opinions of the board, its editor and
the publisher. It is separate from the newsroom and the Op-Ed section.

April 10, 2018

Why don’t we take a step back and contemplate what Americans, and the
world, are witnessing?

Early Monday morning, F.B.I. agents raided the New York office, home and
hotel room of the personal lawyer for the president of the United States.
They seized evidence of possible federal crimes — including bank fraud,
wire fraud and campaign finance violations related to payoffs made to
women, including a porn actress, who say they had affairs with the
president before he took office and were paid off and intimidated into

That evening the president surrounded himself with the top American
military officials and launched unbidden into a tirade against the top
American law enforcement officials — officials of his own government —
accusing them of “an attack on our country.”

Oh, also: The Times reported Monday evening that investigators were
examining a $150,000 donation to the president’s personal foundation from a
Ukrainian steel magnate, given during the American presidential campaign in
exchange for a 20-minute video appearance.

Meanwhile, the president’s former campaign chairman is under indictment,
and his former national security adviser has pleaded guilty to lying to
investigators. His son-in-law and other associates are also under

This is your president, ladies and gentlemen. This is how Donald Trump does
business, and these are the kinds of people he surrounds himself with.

Mr. Trump has spent his career in the company of developers and
celebrities, and also of grifters, cons, sharks, goons and crooks. He cuts
corners, he lies, he cheats, he brags about it, and for the most part, he’s
gotten away with it, protected by threats of litigation, hush money and his
own bravado. Those methods may be proving to have their limits when they
are applied from the Oval Office. Though Republican leaders in Congress
still keep a cowardly silence, Mr. Trump now has real reason to be afraid.
A raid on a lawyer’s office doesn’t happen every day; it means that
multiple government officials, and a federal judge, had reason to believe
they’d find evidence of a crime there and that they didn’t trust the lawyer
not to destroy that evidence.

On Monday, when he appeared with his national security team, Mr. Trump,
whose motto could be, “The buck stops anywhere but here,” angrily blamed
everyone he could think of for the “unfairness” of an investigation that
has already consumed the first year of his presidency, yet is only now
starting to heat up. He said Attorney General Jeff Sessions made “a very
terrible mistake” by recusing himself from overseeing the investigation —
the implication being that a more loyal attorney general would have
obstructed justice and blocked the investigation. He complained about the
“horrible things” that Hillary Clinton did “and all of the crimes that were
committed.” He called the A-team of investigators from the office of the
special counsel, Robert Mueller, “the most biased group of people.” As for
Mr. Mueller himself, “we’ll see what happens,” Mr. Trump said. “Many people
have said, ‘You should fire him.’”

In fact, the raids on the premises used by Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Michael
Cohen, were conducted by the public corruption unit of the federal
attorney’s office in Manhattan, and at the request not of the special
counsel’s team, but under a search warrant that investigators in New York
obtained following a referral by Mr. Mueller, who first consulted with the
deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein. To sum up, a Republican-appointed
former F.B.I. director consulted with a Republican-appointed deputy
attorney general, who then authorized a referral to an F.B.I. field office
not known for its anti-Trump bias. Deep state, indeed.

Mr. Trump also railed against the authorities who, he said, “broke into”
Mr. Cohen’s office. “Attorney-client privilege is dead!” the president
tweeted early Tuesday morning, during what was presumably his executive
time. He was wrong. The privilege is one of the most sacrosanct in the
American legal system, but it does not protect communications in
furtherance of a crime. Anyway, one might ask, if this is all a big witch
hunt and Mr. Trump has nothing illegal or untoward to hide, why does he
care about the privilege in the first place?

The answer, of course, is that he has a lot to hide.

This wasn’t even the first early-morning raid of a close Trump associate.
That distinction goes to Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s former campaign
chairman and Russian oligarch-whisperer, who now faces a slate of federal
charges long enough to land him in prison for the rest of his life. And
what of Mr. Cohen? He’s already been cut loose by his law firm, and when
the charges start rolling in, he’ll likely get the same treatment from Mr.

Among the grotesqueries that faded into the background of Mr. Trump’s
carnival of misgovernment during the past 24 hours was that Monday’s
meeting was ostensibly called to discuss a matter of global significance: a
reported chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians. Mr. Trump instead
made it about him, with his narcissistic and self-pitying claim that the
investigation represented an attack on the country “in a true sense.”

No, Mr. Trump — a true attack on America is what happened on, say, Sept.
11, 2001. Remember that one? Thousands of people lost their lives. Your
response was to point out that the fall of the twin towers meant your
building was now the tallest in downtown Manhattan. Of course, that also
wasn’t true.

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Peace Is Doable

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