Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Shooting The Messenger

They are toadies, flunkies, or sycophants, or perhaps a combination of the three and their support of President Donald J. Trump endangers national security. They are not traitors; they are not giving aid and support to the enemy, for the USA is not in a declared war and consideration of any nation as an "enemy" is therefore subjective. However regrettable for the nation, they are not stupid.

These are congressional Republicans, the 227 (of 239) House Republicans who voted for the Corporate Tax Scam of 2017 and the 51 of 52 (John McCain having been absent) of Senate Republicans who did the same.  "It's always a lot of fun when you win," Trump responded, confirming that congressional Republicans had strengthened him and helped "make America great again." "Enablers," the pop psychologists would call them, accurately.

They're all in for the President who is called an "idiot," "fucking idiot," "fucking moron," "child," dope," or "dumb as shit"- and those characterizations come from members of his own Adminstration.

Validating the juvenile's agenda is not the only damage they're doing.  Politico reports

Last month, House Republicans cast public suspicion on communication they say occurred in the fall of 2016 between former FBI general counsel James Baker and a Mother Jones reporter who wrote stories at the time about the FBI’s probe of Trump-Russia ties. The lawmakers cited Justice Department documents for the claim but have provided no further details.

Republicans have offered no evidence of wrongdoing and say they are merely seeking more information for now.

Evidence is optional, as it was when they nearly rescinded the Affordable Care Act and largely did so de facto with passage of the  tax bill. Moreover

The Republican focus on Justice Department contacts with the media escalated last week, after House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) reached a Wednesday agreement with Justice Department leaders to secure witness testimony from officials whose handling of the Trump-Russia probe he has criticized.

Nunes released a letter the next day to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein which included a little-noticed reference to an alleged meeting between Weissmann and reporters.

Rosenstein's office, Nunes wrote, "is researching records related to the details of an April 2017 meeting between DOJ Attorney (and Mueller teammate) Andrew Weissman… and the media."

The letter offered no other details about the meeting, such as why it might be the subject of an inquiry. But sources tell Politico that Republicans intend to ask more questions along these lines in the coming weeks.

"Sadly, we are now at a point in our political life when anyone can be attacked for partisan gain," tweeted James Comey, neglecting to note that usually the "anyone" is a journalist and the "partisan" is Republican.

Less than three months after the President of the United States of America threatened to challenge the broadcast license of a network he accused of "fake news," the congressional wing of his Party is joining him in an assault upon the practitioners of the First Amendment. The goal of the strategy is to quell dissent while the tactic- intimidation- may be having an effect. In an under-publicized story

“I’ve written twice in my column a quote about one of the people closest to Donald Trump during the campaign saying he’s got early stage of dementia,” (MSNBC host Joe) Scarborough said. “He repeats the same stories over and over again. His father had it, and it’s getting worse, and not a single person who works for him doesn’t know it. He didn’t think he was going to win. Twice the Washington Post would not let me put that in my column. I salute them for having a high bar, but we’re at this moment, and until your book came out, this was something we were not allowed to speak about.” 

This is not The Wall Street Journal or a small-town newspaper subject to the whims and prejudice of a local Art Pope.This is The Washington Post, thus calling into question how far we've come since the media covered up for President Roosevelt's melanoma and helianopa, President Kennedy's scoliosis, or President Reagan's likely dementia.

Scarborough may be exagerating or distorting the situation or- far less likely- lying. But the public needs to know if anything written by the ex-congressman was censored and if so, why it was deemed unfit to print.   Donald Trump may be suffering early symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease, or be mentally ill, or simply may be an evil man with an extraordinarily grandiose image of self. But we'll never know if the newspaper most reliably bringing us coverage of the President starts pulling its punches.

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