by John Walters
Tweet Me Right
Acosta a straight up savage pic.twitter.com/CZxfqyW6w5
— Downtown Josh Brown (@ReformedBroker) November 9, 2018
Today’s post is almost entirely about Matt Whitaker and Bob Mueller and gloom and doom and HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND, EVERYBODY!!!
A few years ago Matt Whitaker sat on the board of World Patent Marketing, a company that promised inventors it would help get them patents and make them rich. Last year the Federal Trade Commission recognized the company as a total scam and ordered it to pay $26 million in fines.
By that time Whitaker had moved on to FACT (the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust), which claimed to be a “non-partisan ethics watchdog which holds accountable government officials from both parties.” The problem is, it was actually a front for Whitaker to appear on television spouting anti-Mueller investigation talking points.
There was no FACT beyond Whitaker. He was the entire staff of FACT (imagine that, a singular person behaving as if he’s part of a larger organization so as to inflate that org’s importance; when I shared this with the MH staff, we all enjoyed a hearty chuckle). Someone with deep pockets bankrolled him, the sole purpose being so that he could appear on conservative talk shows and even CNN as FACT’s Executive Director as opposed to “Matt Whitaker, bald conservative lawyer who once played for Iowa but now tries to sell jacuzzis in infomercials.”
So that’s your cousin Jeffery…
2. Forced Whitaker
Whitaker, you see, has been appointed acting Attorney General by President Trump after Trump fired Jeff Sessions on Wednesday. He got on Trump’s radar by constantly getting himself booked on CNN and other shows to spout the contrarian view on Mueller, and while there laid out a blueprint for how to combat Mueller that was actually better than any one Bannon or Miller or anyone else had conjured. The point is, you can land a Cabinet position these days simply if you’re a compelling enough cable news guest.
Trump’s motive for firing Sessions may or may not be unconstitutional (it depends if you can prove Trump was trying to obstruct justice by firing Sessions). That’s funny because the reason he fired Sessions is because the erstwhile Senator/Trump’s-most-raucous-cheerleader-among-that-body recused himself from the Mueller investigation, an investigation that was only launched after Trump fired the head of the FBI, and Congress decided we had to investigate whether or not THAT was an obstruction of justice.
So, if you are following: Trump fires Comey —-> special investigation headed by Robert Mueller to determine whether or not POTUS obstructed justice———> Mueller’s putative boss, Sessions, recuses himself because he was appointed by Donny——–> Donny vewwwwy unhappy (“Why in the hell do you think I appointed you AG in the first place?!?”) ——-> Donny eventually fires Sessions ——-> installs his latest lapdog, Whitaker, to succeed Sessions ——> the last thing Whitaker is going to do is recuse himself, i.e., he’s now Mueller’s boss.
(And let’s be honest here, the entire reason for that last graf was me working this out in my own brain).
So you can see the irony here. It’s kind of humorous, no? President fires guy, investigation launched over obstruction, guy who could squash investigation takes a flier on it, so he gets fired, too, which could trigger a second investigation. Henchman who resembles SS Stormtrooper installed to curb all of it.
3. So What The Hell Can Matt Whitaker Do, Anyway?
Well, until Congress reconvenes in January, a hell of a lot. He can bleed Mueller’s investigation dry of funds. He can fire Mueller (something Sessions refused to do and something Rod Rosenstein refuses to do, but if Whitaker is not recusing himself, then Rosenstein’s role as buffer between Mueller and Trump disappears). At the very least he can look over Mueller’s shoulder, peruse all the evidence, and report back to Trump. It’s like playing the Patriots (or the Faithful Patriots) but having to run every play past Bill Belichick before you run it in the game (which reminds us of the TapeGate Pats).
Let’s be real here: in the Beltway, Matt Whitaker is a TOTAL NOBODY. A MEATHEAD. He was a walking ad for road rage before Trump rose to power and he’ll probably revert to that afterward. He’s not a Senator. He’s not a Supreme Court justice or even a federal judge. He’s not even a Rep. He’s a fixer and he’s basically volunteered to assassinate, politically, Robert Mueller and end the special investigation.
And that will make him a hero to Trump. It may make him a hero to Iowans who, after all, reelected avowed neo-Nazi Steve King for another term as a Representative. So this may be a brilliant career maneuver for Whitaker. Who knows?
Now, when any and all of this has happened in the past, we’ve always heard the same thing from the well-meaning Democrats and cable news hosts: “TRUMP CAN’T DO THAT!”
Technically, Trump cannot. As Kellyanne Conway’s own husband wrote in The New York Times yesterday, Trump cannot appoint an Attorney General without the Senate’s consent because that is a job in which you report to one man and one man only, the President. The Constitution set it up so that in those jobs you need Senate consent so that the President can’t just fill out all the important roles with people who are his (cough, cough, Brett Kavanaugh) lap dogs or just the cast of Fox & Friends.
But so what??? Who’s going to stop him? The Senate? Nope, he owns them and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The Supreme Court? Nope, not with everyone’s favorite drinking buddy now wearing a robe. So who? You, Lieutenant Weinberg?!?
This is Invasion of the Body Snatchers all over again. When the entire organism is corrupted, democracy cannot work. You have to hand it to Trump and his gang for the brilliance, and also the malevolence, of their plan. To wit…
A) Hijack the Republican party by appealing to its fringe elements.
B) Get McConnell and Paul Ryan, both of whom can see the Mack Truck headed right at them, to bend the knees in exchange for tax returns and the promise of SC judges.
C) Fire anyone who gets in your way…
D) Keep the Senate red so that impeachment is impossible.
He’s fully protected. You’re not going to get two-thirds of the Senate to impeach and you’re not going to get the Supreme Court to overrule any of Whitaker’s misdeeds. They’re all in cahoots and at least for the remainder of their careers, they’re protected. Who cares if the plane slams into the side of the skyscraper eventually? They’ll all have parachuted out by then.
4. Is There Any Hope?
Well, let’s discard the possibility of honor, integrity or love of our Constitution. They all took an Uber home with Vlad Putin.
So what’s left? In our minds, because you almost certainly CAN count on Mueller being gone soon, the best bet is the same thing that brought Richard Milhouse Nixon down.
The goddamn fourth estate. That’s right: newspapers.
Whatever Mueller is unable to present to Congress, should Whitaker thwart him, may certainly be leaked to The Washington Post or The New York Times, perhaps late at night (what’s the current parking garage situation in D.C. like), perhaps by someone who looks like Hal Holbrook. We’re somewhat kidding here, but the point is this: if the evidence is damning enough, and definitive beyond any reasonable doubt, America will be mad. Or at least a great portion of it will be.
And at that point it will be up to Senator Doubtfire, a.k.a. McConnell, and the other lizards in the Senate whether or not they truly want to go down in history as leaders who abandoned any pretense of being against treason so long as white supremacy remained intact.
Hey, maybe there’s no evidence at all. Maybe Donald is innocent (that would certainly explain why he fires anyone who gets to close to unearthing the evidence or refuses put a curb on those who do), but probably not. What exactly he is guilty of, or how deeply he went in with the Russians, we don’t know. But there’s almost certainly something there, something Donny desperately wants to keep hidden. The appointment of Whitaker was his most desperate move, and boldest stroke, yet.
One more item: Whitaker has continuously said, in his guise of executive director at FACT (remember, an entity that does not actually exist outside of his own existence), that he does not think it is fair to investigate any of Trump’s finances before he was president. This is either Whitaker being obtuse or just plain stupid, but we’ll go with the former.
The reason Trump’s finances are pertinent is because it goes to motive. There may have been a strong fiscal motive (either Donald being deeply in debt to and/or the Russians bailing him out by overpaying for real estate in exchange for favors) that forced Trump to get in bed with, or have golden showers performed by, the Russians. Of course being a former U.S. Attorney, Whitaker knows this. He’s just trying to fool American Gothic Overalls voters. Again.
5. And Finally…
We endorse this piece by Paul Krugman on Real America versus Senate America. It outlines why so few American citizens are having such a gigantic effect on the many.
You couldn’t grow up in the early Seventies, nor would you have wanted to, without being exposed to the peak of soul/R&B music: The Temptations, Spinners, O’Jays, Isley Brothers, Sylistics, Earth, Wind & Fire, Commodores, Hall & Oates (!), Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross…you get the picture. Blue Magic was a lesser known act, but this song sold more than a million copies and rose to No. 8 on the Billboard charts in the summer of 1974. One of many songs that takes you back to that era.
Fresno State at Boise State
ESPN2 10:15 p.m.
I’ll confess: I’m way over the blue turf. Like, waaaaaaaaay over it. Especially as a TV viewer, half the players on the field just blend into it. Anyway, the Broncos are only 7-2 this season while the Bulldogs are 8-1, so this is a rather big game for Group of 5 fans (Fresno State has a decent chance at that New Year’s 6 bowl berth). Also, Irish fans may want to tune in early for the undercard, Louisville at Syracuse.