“According to White House officials, this was not ‘the first time’ under this Administration that a Presidential transcript was placed into this codeword-level system solely for the purpose of protecting politically sensitive—rather than national security sensistive—information.”
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No surprise that we are in increasingly dangerous and shocking territory with the man in the Oval Office. It will get worse and he will continue to push the envelope – he does think he could get away with murder on Fifth Avenue.
Trump’s feedback so far has been what it has been throughout his life – he lies, he charges opponents with his very own crimes and he skates through. Throughout his life, the stakes have grown increasingly higher, the bunco game ever more dangerous. Trump thrives on it. The United States is already too small a platform — why not drive the entire world mad?
He is worried though. Speaking outside the White House yesterday with the Australian prime minister, some of the orange had worn off by his right ear, cheek high, actual pale white skin showing beneath. Will Trump forgive his makeup artist — full-time deception is required for the job.
It shouldn’t be a problem — Trump has lots of servants willing to help in whatever cover-up.
The odds have to be in Trump’s favor–that he can slide through the whistle blower event. Trump wants to use the bogus Biden story as a refrain in his disjointed Mussolini act as he hits the road for 2020. It is maniacal and it may be successful.
Though maybe not. The Intelligence Community is more organized and has better game players than Trump can conjure up in his fractured consciousness.
The timing of Trump’s recent contacts with foreign leaders, including Zelensky of Ukraine and Putin himself, and the timing of the departures of Dan Coats and John Bolton are not a coincidence.
Have you noticed that James Clapper and John Brennan were not among the on-air pundits in the immediate aftermath of the Ukraine? Why would that be? Neither has John Bolton been seen on Fox News, though he is always so happy to bloviate on call on any subject. They may finally agree that it is time to acknowledge the obvious–Trump has gone over the slippery slope.
Lordie, repeating Comey’s line yet again, I hope there are tapes. If there are tapes, we will hear more than an earful. Then the Vichy Republicans will be forced to really choose.
And yet, Trump may still survive – and democracy will be even more tenuous in a land founded on the quaint old principle that decent people of goodwill would serve the public good.
I would have thought by now, well into the third season of the dystopic fantasy drama, Drumpf Dynasty, we would have seen the emergence of a true antagonist to the antic leading man in this improbable story of power run amok.
Season one, subtitled “This American Carnage Will End,” operated as any drama must – introducing us to the danger, then drawing out unsuspected story lines and introducing ephemeral characters. For a time, one suspected that the show would have a precipitous ending after one season when the larger than life chief investigator, Big Jim, is fired and then prepares to tell all. All the while, the script was preparing us exactly for that letdown – not so much the work of the madcap leader, but the people around him would never speak the words of the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale: “The Emperor Has No Clothes.”
The ironic and confounding title for season two, Razdelyay i Vlastvuy – Russian for “Divide and Conquer” – gave us a further hint. The emperor was not the boss of all bosses — there were other powers more in control and the debt had to be paid. Personally, I saw season two as a bit of a snooze. We got a comprehensive view of the madcap palace and the people coming and going, mostly going. All the while, you expected something to happen, but nothing did happen.
Now as the third season winds down, there are more tantalizing elements. We learn that the emperor is isolating himself, his self-control is evaporating and his elemental cruelty and indecency are increasingly evident to even the people who have embraced his fantasies for so long. The story has been improbable all along – you keep believing that someone, anyone with a modicum of star power will take the simple step of pulling at the right thread, which will quickly unravel and level the emperor standing there, fat and naked, for the world to see.
Personally, I thought that season three, “This is the end of my presidency,” really would be the end of the series – that they wouldn’t renew – especially after Craggy Bob delivered the goods for all the world to see. I expected Craggy Bob to be a more solid character, but Robert DeNiro apparently wasn’t available and the role fell to a lesser actor. That reminds us once more – the original idea of emperor is supposedly more important than the reality of any fool who happens to be seated on the throne. Now, I’m not so sure that the writers have found a way to write the finale, even when they give you more clues.
The most recent surprising element comes from General Jack, the retired military man who could blow the whole story sky high. Jack lets us know that he has seen the emperor as he really is: “a man of limited cognitive ability, dubious behavior,” a danger to our allies, a menace to the idea of democracy. That is one step away from doing it, but then General Jack tells us that he believes in “devoir de reserve.” That’s French, not Russian. It means “the duty of silence.”
I was really confused by this episode. It points to a season four, and maybe beyond—none of which are needed. It tells us that General Jack knows the emperor is butt-neked, and that we all know this is true – all of us, blue team, red meanies and the people who claim to be chartreuse. But General Jack says that the time isn’t right – he knows that the emperor is not his own man, is not always fully “Being There,” is trading on his power for the future, is a coward, and his inner child will destroy anything in his path. But General Jack tells us this just isn’t the time.
What I learned and everyone should know from ancient times, through vaudeville and sitcoms, is that there is a “rule of three.” Audiences are attuned to it and they get exhausted afterward. “Veni, vidi, vici,” said Caesar. “I came, I saw, I conquered,” check, the emperor has done that. Aristotle described the three elements as dramatic unity of time, place and action. Check, season three is for action. “Meet me at camera three,” Jon Stewart used to say. This bullshit has gone on long enough.
I have a question for General Jack and everyone else who could pull the plug on a show that has captured the stage and is now eating up the scenery: we are exhausted and driven mad with the emperor’s antics. Enough is enough. My compulsion to watch Drumpf Dynasty has dissolved away. I’m sick of it. If not now, when?
Peter Eisner, former deputy foreign editor of The Washington Post, is co-author with Michael D’Antonio of “The Shadow President: The Truth About Mike Pence.” The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
(CNN) Faced as we are with the possibility that the United States might be drawn into an unprovoked war with Iran, Americans should examine the past behavior of national security adviser John Robert Bolton, the would-be architect of such a war.
By Peter Eisner
A dictator in an orange jumpsuit once confided in me with one of the aphorisms he understood about power and politics: “You have to create a problem in order to solve it.”
The political theorist was Manuel Antonio Noriega, the deposed Panamanian general serving a 30-year federal prison term in Florida at the time on conspiracy charges.
Donald Trump, that most inept would-be strongman, might understand the phrase though not its origin. Fabrication and conspiracy are hallmarks of Trump’s leadership.
“This American carnage stops right here and stops right now,” Trump said in his inaugural speech in 2017. “Weird shit,” former president George W. Bush was heard to remark on the dais.
The excrement and lies were followed by a storm of the same consistency.
Two years later, spouting offal at a rate of seven to a dozen lies per day, Trump appears in his first Oval Office speech to the nation. In a prime-time talk, he will look into the camera, look at each of us, stripped of his fawning MAGA people, isolated from the throngs. How convincing will be his lies?
Will he convince us that the poor people marching toward the southern border in search of freedom are a menace, amounting to a national emergency?
Will he look into the television lens, knowing that each of us can see every glint and tick of his mien, and declare that the Democrats and Barack Obama are responsible for the overflowing detention camps close to the border, responsible for wrenching migrating children from their mothers and fathers, responsible for death?
Will he claim that he has the power to order the U.S. military to build a wall that a majority of Americans know is unneeded?
This is the first time that the 45th President of the United States dares to sit at the Resolute Desk and speak to each of us from the Oval Office.
A national emergency is a step toward the Noriega route – a strongman approaches dictatorial powers. So far, Trump has been stymied by a significant impediment: The U.S. Constitution. May it always reign.
Look deeply into Trump’s eyes, America, and ask if you believe him. Can this man fix the problem he has created?
A man who was light years brighter than Noriega, Trump and most of us, Einstein by name, knew the answer to such a question.
“We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”
Look into Trump’s eyes and you will know – “the solution lies elsewhere, once you are gone.”
Peter Eisner, journalist and author, co-wrote with Michael D’Antonio the book, The Shadow President, The Truth About Mike Pence.
How are these men related?
Read on….My story in Newsweek.
As Newsday’s Latin America correspondent, I reported from Panama before, during and after the 1989 Panama invasion. The United States spent hundreds of millions of dollars to attack a country that offered little resistance.
By Peter Eisner
A little triangulation:
- Wilbur Ross was vice chairman of the Bank of Cyprus, often cited as a depository for Russian money laundering.
- Bank of Cyprus’s largest shareholder was a Russian billionaire, Dmitry Rybolovlev. In 2008, Rybolovlev bought a mansion — once the largest private house in the United States — from a gentleman named Donald Trump for $95 million. (Trump’s profit more than $50 million).
- White House now blocks information about the bank, Trump and Russia.
We are told that there is nothing to investigate. Forget about it.
The Miami Herald
What would happen now, if a terrorist event or confrontation draws the United States into conflict, and Americans naturally seek to rally around the flag, or react fearfully to what has taken place?
The course has been drawn — dissenters will be blamed, the “so-called judges” and courts, “illegals,” anyone who has spoken against the president of the United States are to blame.
Either by design — it would not be the president’s; it might be the last lips close to his ear — or by accident, this republic will face a challenge it has never seen.
The prospects are raised in Paul Krugman’s column in the New York Times. He writes what is obvious–this president will use any calamity as an excuse to grab unprecedented imperial power:
“What we see here is the most powerful man in the world blatantly telegraphing his intention to use national misfortune to grab even more power. And the question becomes, who will stop him?”
Who then will stop him? Congress, Republicans who worry only about their power, who?
The answer is a challenge to complacency and to patriots of any stripe. After 9/11, twisted minds used public fear and manipulated a falsehood: that Iraq was the threat. A trillion dollars or more later, a million lives later, here we are, says Krugman. It depends….
“..on whether enough Americans are willing to take a public stand. We can’t handle another post-9/11-style suspension of doubt about the man in charge; if that happens, America as we know it will soon be gone.”
The danger is with us.
By Peter Eisner
Seems like a fine day to point out how I, along with millions, am an American by the choice and search of my ancestors for freedom. My paternal grandfather, Louis Eisner, came to this country one hundred eleven years ago, fleeing Jewish persecution in Russian-controlled Poland. He did not undergo extreme vetting — which might have determined that he had at one point attended a few Bolshevik organizational meetings.
Ten years later, in 1916, he became an American citizen and pledged loyalty to the United States, and renounced allegiance to the Russian leader of the moment, Czar Nicholas II. It was a year before the Russian revolution.
Here’s to American freedom and democracy!