I got a feeling about the future

Some of you will be very annoyed by this post, but some of you will greatly enjoy it, so here goes:

What’s the endgame of the Russia probe? By this I mean:

(1) How many people get indicted?
(2) How many people go to jail?
(3) What’s the overall political effect of the whole thing?
(4) Does Trump end up getting impeached?
(5) Does the pee-pee tape or something like that drop?

Here are my answers:

(1) Two people get indicted. I’m not sure who exactly but Flynn, Page, Manafort, and Kushner are all candidates.

(2) No one goes to jail. Trump pardons everyone.

(3) Trump’s approval rating goes down a bit but not that far, into the low 30s. Fox, Breitbart, Woodward, and Greenwald defend him to the last but not too many others do. Trump remains popular with Republicans who continue to believe it’s all a witch hunt. His lack of popularity with the rest of voters hurts him though and Dems take 30-40 seats in the the House in the midterms.

(4) Not before 2018. If Dems take the House, I still think they not impeach. We might hear a lot of “look forward, not backward” type stuff.

(5) I have no idea but it would be fun if it did!

What are your answers?






179 replies
  1. 1
    KingMob says:

    Don’t impeach Trump. That makes him a martyr. He’s a better foil than a cause in 2020.

  2. 2
    JPL says:

    It’s not fun to speculate, because the GOP doesn’t care. They want tax cuts, and to rid us of health care.

    I might add that Paul Ryan thinks that most folks just need three part time jobs, and pay their taxes.

  3. 3
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷 says:

    Civil War

    /TenguPhule

  4. 4
    Sean says:

    I think there will be more indictments. Fewer convictions. Before Trump took office I predicted he’d make Reagan’s 131 indictments/resignations look like child’s play. He’s on pace on the resignation part. The hubris is so thick with these fuckers that anything is possible. If Kushner gets indicted (and flips, because he ain’t going to prison like his daddy did), there could be a raft of Trumpers in jail before this is over.

  5. 5
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    You forgot two more:
    1. What will 45’s health be like in the future?
    2. What are the odds (I know, low) that anyone in the party pushes him out for the Pence option?

    Will NRO and FDRLST columnists still defend him?

  6. 6

    Not playing this game.

  7. 7
    Davis X. Machina says:

    It all depends on how the war in Iran goes.

  8. 8
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷: I wouldn’t go that far.

    Impeachment starts to look likely and it’s “Create two, three, many Oklahoma Cities!” time.

    Their god-emperor, the one they’ve waited all their lives for, is threatened, I don’t expect a sudden epidemic of civic virtue.

  9. 9
    SuzieC says:

    Indictments and impeachment, but shitgibbon will stroke out. He is getting even more morbidly obese and his face hangs down in doughy orange jowls.

  10. 10

    On (1), there will be more than two, but not “All of them Katie”.
    On (4), the Democratic base will pressure leadership for accountability. So there will be impeachment but probably no conviction.

  11. 11
    germy says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    It all depends on how the war in Iran goes.

    or North Korea?

  12. 12

    I suspect there’ll be more indictments, though I don’t think anyone major will go to jail. Trump will pardon them or something. One distressing part of this whole episode (starting with the campaign) is that it bear out the suspicion that rich people do whatever they like and never pay a penalty.

  13. 13
    smintheus says:

    Trump just handed back to the Russians their listening post directed against the NSA. A very provocative move, if Trump is playing chess with the US intelligence establishment. All bets are off now.

  14. 14
    germy says:

    @Iowa Old Lady:

    rich people do whatever they like and never pay a penalty.

    Unless they harm other rich people (see Madoff, Bernard)

  15. 15
    James Powell says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    It all depends on how the war in Iran goes.

    Here’s another game suggestion. Which Democratic senators, if any, will vote “no” on the congressional resolution that authorizes the war in Iran?

  16. 16
    p.a. says:

    Vote suppression has been and will continue to be successful, leading to A) another economic collapse under their idiotic economic regime, possibly including B) another foreign war cockup. Then and only then will enough of the American people still eligible to vote 1) dump the trumpublicans and 2) the true believer mouthbreathers stay home, apathetic for a few cycles again.
    With each round the hole gets deeper, and Dem efforts to claw the nation out become more difficult. IF the demographic positives I read about are true, MAYBE this will be the last time we have to deal with these issues.

  17. 17
  18. 18
    dr. bloor says:

    @Sean:

    If Kushner gets indicted (and flips, because he ain’t going to prison like his daddy did), there could be a raft of Trumpers in jail before this is over.

    The promise of a pardon for federal wrongdoing means the Princeling has no motive to flip. Obi Wan Eric Schneiderman, you’re our only hope.

  19. 19
    hellslittlestangel says:

    I expect Trump to leave office, fairly soon, in a box. This will be followed by the tackiest state funeral in the history of the world.

    If Pence is smart — could there be a bigger if? — he’ll let the indictments go unpardoned, to create at least the appearance of the cleansing of corruption.

  20. 20

    @James Powell:

    Which Democratic senators, if any, will vote “no” on the congressional resolution that authorizes the war in Iran?

    That’s a trick question. There will be no resolution for an Iranian war, they’ll use the 2001 AUMF.

  21. 21
    Shalimar says:

    The one comment that immediately comes to mind is that Democratic voters are getting a lot of practice making their voices heard and many of us are going to rebel if we get more of that “look forward, not backward” bullshit we got 10 years ago. We’re talking about treason. There has to be serious punishment.

  22. 22

    @dr. bloor: Once he’s pardoned, he can’t take the 5th.

  23. 23
    HinTN says:

    @Davis X. Machina: I can guarantee you that will go poorly.

  24. 24

    My feeling is that it’s still too early to talk about impeachment. We don’t even know exactly what’s going on with the Russia stuff. What we need is a solid investigation that will make it clear just how bad the rot is. Impeachment only comes if the investigation proves there’s something worth impeaching for, i.e. something that can reasonably be sold to the general public as high crimes and misdemeanors, not something that will look like the Democrats just trying to get payback. I think he’s done stuff at least that bad, but we can’t move on it until we have the actual evidence.

  25. 25
  26. 26
    dr. bloor says:

    He’ll take the conviction and walk. Not like he’s going to bring shame down on the family.

  27. 27
    TenguPhule says:

    1) Three
    2) It depends. Are we talking their side or ours?
    3) Rule of law becomes a sad joke
    4) No.
    5) Yes, but it won’t matter in the end. Republicans will stand together.

    And things start to break down as all the spending on infrastructure that Republicans ignored for over 30 years start coming due.

  28. 28
    Camembert says:

    @SuzieC: A stroke is my expected scenario as well.

  29. 29
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷: Civic Breakdown.

    War would require our side be capable of organizing.

    /Pedant

  30. 30
    JPL says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: True, but can’t he lie and not be charged?

  31. 31
    efgoldman says:

    @hellslittlestangel:

    If Pence is smart — could there be a bigger if?

    There is no actual, alternate, or parallel universe in which Pence is smart.

  32. 32
    Camembert says:

    @Shalimar: Nah, we’ll fall into line and be called purity ponies by our betters, as always happens.

  33. 33
    TenguPhule says:

    @James Powell:

    Which Democratic senators, if any, will vote “no” on the congressional resolution that authorizes the war in Iran?

    I’d put money on Hawaii’s being in that category. I’ve actually met them.

  34. 34
    dww44 says:

    @hellslittlestangel: But Pence is NOT smart and the GOP is still married to Cleek’s Law, so they aren’t gonna desert a sinking ship anytime soon. They will hang in there for the opportunity (it’s their right, by God!) to fill another Supreme Court vacancy. I’m not sure that the Gods, fickle that they are, are gonna hold all the current occupants in place until we claw back the Presidency and at least one house of the Congress.

    So, in the meantime it’s build a groundswell of Democratic candidates who can be elected to local and state offices and get us back into a majority in 2018.

  35. 35
    TenguPhule says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Their god-emperor, the one they’ve waited all their lives for, is threatened, I don’t expect a sudden epidemic of civic virtue.

    The NRA and their related organs are already making the first overtures of “Shame if something happened” noises.

  36. 36
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @Camembert: I would almost enjoy Trump having a stroke so debilitating that he can only mumble incoherently while waving one tiny hand around, while Republicans in Congress insist that he’s just fine, just being his charmingly unorthodox self.

  37. 37
    dr. bloor says:

    @smintheus:

    A very provocative move, if Trump is playing chess with the US intelligence establishment.

    Very tough to concentrate on the board if the American IC has one of your testicles in a vise and Putin has the other. More likely reacting to whoever is squeezing harder at any given moment.

  38. 38
    TenguPhule says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I think he’s done stuff at least that bad, but we can’t move on it until we have the actual evidence.

    Putin certainly killed enough of them already to make finding testimony rather difficult.

  39. 39
    TenguPhule says:

    @smintheus:

    All bets are off now.

    Not yet. Trump tries cutting their funding as retaliation, then its anything goes at that point. Even Republicans might baulk at that.

  40. 40
    dr. bloor says:

    @hellslittlestangel: We wake up to this every morning. You’re enjoying it?

  41. 41
    rikyrah says:

    more than two will get indicted and go to jail.

    the hatred for Dolt45 and the GOP is quite real out in these Dem streets. This isn’t even Shrub level hate. There will be no ‘ turning of thr page.’ we want our scalps. that man not being impeached by a Democratically controlled House is unacceptable.

  42. 42

    @JPL: He could be charged with perjury in that case.

  43. 43
    TenguPhule says:

    @dr. bloor: He said almost.

  44. 44
    TenguPhule says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Ollie North.

  45. 45
    Corner Stone says:

    @smintheus:

    Trump just handed back to the Russians their listening post directed against the NSA.

    Are you being literal? If so, got a link? I can’t find anything stating this is a done deal.

  46. 46

    Wow. And I used to not believe it when people talked about your dedication to trolling. Are the sock puppets true, too?

  47. 47

    @TenguPhule: That’s were Trump could get into real trouble with Republicans in Congress, impounding funds. I’ve always thought he’ll eventually do it and that’s the breaking point for Congress, even Republicans.

  48. 48

    @TenguPhule: Ollie North was granted immunity by the Senate and that fucked up the prosecution.

  49. 49
    TenguPhule says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    That’s were Trump could get into real trouble with Republicans in Congress, impounding funds. I’ve always thought he’ll eventually do it and that’s the breaking point for Congress, even Republicans.

    Yep, if Trump takes power of the purse and the GOP still do nothing, that’s it. It’s officially the Empire.

    The worst part is that if Congress fucks up the debt limit ceiling increase next month, he might actually get some popular support to do it. And they might not be able to stop him.

  50. 50
    James Powell says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    That’s a trick question. There will be no resolution for an Iranian war, they’ll use the 2001 AUMF.

    I don’t think so. They will have to have some kind of vote in order to set up the 2018 midterm ads that call Democrats objectively pro-terrorist traitors who drink lattes and pronounce French correctly just to show off their books smarts.

    They will, of course, have the full support of the WaPo & NYT editorial boards the whole way.

  51. 51

    @TenguPhule: There’s alot of very bad things that will happen if the debt ceiling isn’t raised.

  52. 52
    aimai says:

    @dr. bloor: But if he gets pardoned he also can be compelled to testify.

  53. 53
    TenguPhule says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: He lied to their faces and got away with it.

  54. 54

    @James Powell: I don’t think that Trump can wait for Labor Day 2018.

  55. 55
    The Dangerman says:

    (1) 4
    (2) 0. Trump pardons everybody. I’m surprised he hasn’t already pardoned Kushner (it doesn’t have to wait, right?).
    (3) 50/50 country hardens into their 50/50 camps; Dems do NOT take House.
    (4) Not a chance. Trump is untouchable as long as there is hope of major tax cuts, etc.; he could bone Ivanka on the South Portico, showing off all the Russian Flag tats on his naked body, and nothing would happen
    (5) Somehow the tax returns come out; no pee pee tape,

  56. 56

    @TenguPhule: It was a tricky exception, we’ve learned from our mistakes.

  57. 57
    Booger says:

    @Corner Stone: the dacha on the eastern shore.

  58. 58
    Corner Stone says:

    @aimai:

    But if he gets pardoned he also can be compelled to testify.

    People keep saying this. Compelled by who? What downside risk is there to not complying, or intentionally perjuring yourself? Who will hold them accountable?

  59. 59
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Booger: We know that. The question is, is it a done deal?

  60. 60
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone: Contempt. Criminal or civil. Perjury convictions.

  61. 61

    I don’t think he’ll get impeached. For one thing, it’s a lost cause. Even if the Democrats take the House, the Senate will be a tough slog. They could do it, but even if they do, there’ll be far too few votes to convict. I don’t think Pelosi would let the House impeach Trump, knowing that he’d never get convicted. My best guess today is that Czar Manbaby will limp along, fatally (politically speaking) crippled for the next three and a half years, and will either lose reelection in a shattering blowout or not even bother to run again. The other thing I could see happening is that he just gives up and resigns. Either way, he leaves on his own two feet, disgraced and loathed, which is no less than what he has so diligently earned.

    I don’t really have any thoughts on who gets indicted and goes to jail. I’d guess at least some of them get indicted, though which ones I can’t say. I don’t see Manbaby pardoning all of them. He just doesn’t give a shit. He might bail out his son in law–though I wouldn’t put it past him to let even him go to jail. There’s no way I can see him pardoning zeroes like Page or Manafort. Why would he? Losers go to jail. If they go to jail, he won’t give two and a half shits.

  62. 62
    Corner Stone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: By who?

  63. 63
    efgoldman says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Trump pardons everybody. I’m surprised he hasn’t already pardoned Kushner

    Then Kushkie has to testify; he has no choice.
    Tangerine Tumor might be stupid enough, but his lawyers aren’t.

  64. 64
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone: By whom? /pedant.

    Mueller. Congress if it pulls its head out. The courts.

  65. 65
    Another Scott says:

    What’s the endgame of the Russia probe? By this I mean:

    It seems quite possible that Mueller’s investigation expands far beyond “Russia”, but who knows.

    (1) How many people get indicted?

    All of them, Katie. (Everyone talked about thus far is at risk.)

    (2) How many people go to jail?

    I don’t think anyone is worth Donnie bothering to get out his Pardon Sharpie. He’ll cut ’em loose. Donnie doesn’t like people who get caught – remember? So, there is a real risk of jail time for his minions. But appeals take years. It may be 2020-2025 before anyone does any time.

    (3) What’s the overall political effect of the whole thing?

    It increases the cynicism in part of the electorate, it infuriates part of the electorate, and it it invigorates part of the electorate. We don’t yet know how it will swing in coming elections – while there are some reasons to be hopeful in the long run – we can’t assume things will work out well.

    If people turn out to vote no matter what the obstacles the GOP puts up, and don’t let the perfect be the enemy of progress, then it could mark the beginning of real progress.

    (4) Does Trump end up getting impeached?

    Not without the House and Senate flipping.

    (5) Does the pee-pee tape or something like that drop?

    If it does, it won’t matter. There were plenty of tapes and statements by Trump in the campaign that were horrifying. It didn’t matter then, it won’t matter now.

    All of my answers above assume that the GOP doesn’t gut Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security. It assumes that the Teabaggers raise the debt limit and don’t shut down the federal government. It assumes that there isn’t a Katrina-level disaster in the USA. It assumes that Donnie doesn’t blunder us into another 9/11, DC Sniper, Anthrax, or similar situation. It assumes that we don’t have an Ebola or Zika epidemic, or some new flu pandemic. It assumes that Donnie doesn’t start a war with Iran or North Korea or start some other easy-to-underestimate-but-ultimately-disastrous conflict. I’m not willing to bet that those assumptions will hold, myself…

    Cheers,
    Scott.
    (On that happy note…)

  66. 66
    Corner Stone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Sounds a little vague. A pardon puts him beyond Mueller, doesn’t it? The R Congress is not going to do anything. Who will refer it to the courts and under what jurisdiction?
    I’m not an attorney but all I keep hearing is some vague “be compelled”. Bullshit.

  67. 67

    @Corner Stone: For one, the judge that they either lied to or told to ‘fuck off, I won’t testify’.

  68. 68
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone: A pardon takes the 5th off the table. Refuse to testify and it is contempt Lie about something material to the investigation under oath and it is perjury.

  69. 69
    zhena gogolia says:

    @JPL:

    Okay, I don’t understand that one at all. I guess the fact that I can’t bear to read the NYT any more is having an effect.

  70. 70

    @Another Scott:

    It assumes that there isn’t a Katrina-level disaster in the USA.

    That’s pretty much guaranteed in the next 6-9 months.

  71. 71
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @The Dangerman: unfortunately, I agree with all of this.

  72. 72
    zhena gogolia says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    Oh, okay, Karen Handel is the opponent of the GUY WHO SENDS ME FIVE E-MAILS EVERY TEN SECONDS.

  73. 73

    @zhena gogolia: He must really like you.

    ETA: Or he could be a stalker.

  74. 74
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Justice Marshall has his ruling.

  75. 75
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Is everyone into giving up these days?

  76. 76
    Morzer says:

    (1) How many people get indicted?
    Ultimately, I think the likelihood would be in the 5-6 person range, if we are talking about reasonably prominent Trumpzis.
    (2) How many people go to jail?
    2-3 people outside the actual family circle, unless Trump is dumb enough to do a mass-pardoning spree.
    (3) What’s the overall political effect of the whole thing?
    None where strong partisans are concerned. You might depress Trumpzi turnout a little, but I am guessing howls of fake patriotism and martyrdom and the Dems are the real traitors here will help the Tangerine Scream. What matters more is how many previously uncommitted voters the Dems can persuade to turn out. Given that the Dems are not… popular… exactly, probably not many. If they come up with a better offer on the economy and sell it better, that might change things.
    (4) Does Trump end up getting impeached?
    Not as matters stand. The Dems pretty clearly aren’t unified enough to make a really dangerous push for it and the GOP aren’t ready to anger the Trumpzi base. It’s better for everyone at this point to keep Trump in place as a useful idiot/enemy.
    (5) Does the pee-pee tape or something like that drop?
    Doubtful, since Putin pretty much has what he wants and would prefer to keep Twitterhea in place. I think it’s more likely that Kushner’s Kollapsing Korporation becomes a source of serious embarrassment, coupled to further revelations of the Raging Meatloaf’s personal corruption.

  77. 77
    SuzieC says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    Extremely annoying. Anyone think responses to the constant begging emails do any good?

  78. 78
    rk says:

    I don’t think anyone will get indicted. I think Trump will drop dead because how much can a 70 year old stressed out overweight slob handle, although historically, evil morons seem to live forever. If he dies, Pence will be treated like a sane beloved leader and the fawning obsequiousness by the media will be one for the record books.They will make sure he gets re-elected because that’s the way whites roll. There are not enough of us in the right places to make a difference. Sorry for the pessimism, but I don’t see a way out of this. No option seems good. Trump’s election has made me lose faith in the country. What I thought of as obvious was not so obvious to too many people.

  79. 79
    Morzer says:

    @rk:

    I think you underestimate Pence’s utter lack of charm, charisma or credibility in any role other than talking hat-stand. His own state wasn’t going to re-elect him and I very much doubt that he’d do better nationally.

  80. 80
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    Pardoning his minions means they are free to talk without risk. I think Orange Cheeto wouldn’t want that over his head. As long as there’s risk, they can take the fifth and not say anything.

    I’m thinking lately about a wild card here. What if something happens to Putin? Would his successor be so accommodating to Trump? I can see a successor wanting to cut Trump loose for a fresh start and a new strategy. Unless the successor is also deep in the network, he might not want to be so exposed.

    Prosecutions take time, but in the meanwhile it could be paralysis for those officially in government, and with a re-election campaign looming, even more skittishness over making what are bold moves on their part.

  81. 81
    Brachiator says:

    Whatever happens will surprise everyone. The only constant will be the certainty of Trump supporters that their Great White Hope was attacked and possibly brought down by atheist unpatriotic libruls.

  82. 82
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @rk: What do you propose to do?

  83. 83
    Mary G says:

    I am trying to resist rage-tweeting about the WaPo article on the four generations of one family on disability article.

    So, instead an article I did like, in something called “Dame”
    The Silencing of the Hillary Clinton Supporter

    Yet the millions of women, black and white, who supported Hillary, gave her money, endorsed her enthusiastically for years, have—aside from the media coverage of the Women’s March—not been heard from since November 9. They weren’t fooled by Trump’s fascism disguised as “populism.” They recognize misogyny when they see it, having lived with it all their lives. Who talks to them? Who listens?

    – See more at: https://www.damemagazine.com/2017/06/01/silencing-hillary-clinton-supporter#sthash.5sBVpyez.dpuf

  84. 84
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: not giving up, but also not assuming that people who have shown no respect for the rule of law – ever – will suddenly start. “But you can’t!” will not be an adequate response when the time comes.

  85. 85
    Another Scott says:

    @SuzieC: At the bottom of those e-mails is a couple of options: 1) Send fewer e-mails, 2) unsubscribe. #1 does cut down on the deluge.

    (It also says in the fine print that some of the money raised may be used for other candidates, GOTV, etc., so it’s not all for him. It seems to be a coordinated, national effort to take advantage of the enthusiasm and interest in that race to help elsewhere – a good thing, IMHO.)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  86. 86
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Morzer: he seems to have fooled a lot of people nationwide into thinking he’s smooth. With the usual media complicity, it’s not a heavy lift.

  87. 87
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    when the time comes.

    What does that mean?

  88. 88
    Morzer says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    What if something happens to Putin?
    I would bet on Putin outlasting Trump. He’s a much calmer, healthier customer.

    I can see a successor wanting to cut Trump loose for a fresh start and a new strategy.
    I don’t think a successor would want to reject Putin’s “big win”. Russians seem impressed and pleased by Putin’s “defeat” of an America that they neither like nor trust. I doubt that a necessarily weaker successor would want to gamble on going against those feelings.

  89. 89
    Sanjeevs says:

    I can’t see any equilibrium position here. Trump is totally compromised. Putin will keep yanking Trumps chain. As we saw with the Oval Office meeting with Lavrov, NATO meeting etc Putin can get him to do anything.
    US is Turkey a year ago. Either the IC takes out Trump or he becomes the next Erdogan.

  90. 90
    Burnspbesq says:

    @James Powell:

    Which Democratic senators, if any, will vote “no” on the congressional resolution that authorizes the war in Iran

    Gillibrand, Hassan, Harris, Warren, Booker, Duckworth, Franken, Klobuchar, Feinstein, and that’s probably it. Maybe Kaine.

    Wilmer and Schumer will cave under pressure from AIPAC. Menendez will cave because he’s a butthead.

  91. 91
    kindness says:

    In the current Senate it wouldn’t matter. No Republican would vote to impeach even if we find Trump was laundering Russian mob money (which he was doing). I’ll one up you Doug. I think the FBI will find and publish the money laundering and Republicans will still tribally support Trump. The treason with Russia is small potatoes over actual billions changing hands in the media’s eyes.

  92. 92
    Morzer says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    Pence hasn’t been in the public eye much, which has probably helped him. I suspect that he can slipstream behind Trump for a while, but if he ever has to actually stand alone, we’ll all see pretty quickly just how arrogant, smug and stupid he really is.

  93. 93
    moops says:

    @Corner Stone: yeah, I never got that logic. The President is right there to pardon you again if they come after you for perjury.

    Pardons for everyone. doesn’t matter how many indictments, nobody is going to roll on a President with Russian Mob ties. Unless you’re a clueless dolt like Comey.

  94. 94

    @rk: I can understand the despair, but I think we’ll make it. This crew is too fucking filthy and–what’s worse to a lot of people–too fucking stupid and incompetent to get by with this. The whole country has watched this shit show fail parade live and in color for four months now, and we aren’t impressed. Pence isn’t going to make it through this unscathed. He’s in it as deep as anybody. The whole Republican Party has sat back and let this pathetic loser suck off Vladimir Putin for two years now, and the whole country has watched them do it. These guys are in for a bad stretch. People are disgusted. People are pissed off. People are ready to do something. The Republicans thought they could do anything as long as they wanted, as blatantly as they wanted, and they could get away with it.

    Because of a lot of undemocratic hitches built into our system, they’ve gotten away with it for a long time, but they were stupid. They built up what Josh Marshall calls the bullshit debt for years, and in 2016 it came due, and there was no way to put off paying it, so they ended up with Donald Trump. He was inevitable. Not Trump specifically, but somebody like him. And the real screwup the Republicans made was painting themselves farther and farther into the 27% corner of the room. There just aren’t enough people to keep this kind of idiocy going forever. They thought they could get away with it forever, but the bullshit bill came due, and now they have to pay it. Maybe this seems over hopeful or even naïve, but I do believe it and I have to believe it. There’s no other choice but to keep on grinding ahead.

  95. 95
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Burnspbesq: You are wrong.

  96. 96
    Morzer says:

    @Burnspbesq:

    I think you underestimate the residual trauma from being on the wrong side of the Iraq war resolutions. Democrats aren’t going to want to risk a primary from an energized and very angry base, especially for another needless and brutal war ginned up by Trump to destroy another Obama achievement.

  97. 97
    lgerard says:

    Manafort goes down for money laundering and tax evasion, Flynn for perjury and false reporting, and Stone for some minor Wikileaks collusion. Kushner has a “Karl Rove” moment and barely escapes. trump rescues Flynn, but lets the others twist.

    Dems take the house, but no impeachment as the “trump is too stupid and lazy to conspire with the Russians or know anything about this” defense is successful.

    Sad

  98. 98
    TriassicSands says:

    (1) How many people get indicted?
    None.
    (2) How many people go to jail?
    None. And Trump may or may not pardon anyone who does get convicted of something. It just depends on his mood.
    (3) What’s the overall political effect of the whole thing?
    Net? None. Dems hate Trump more. Independents are still confused. Republicans remain the greatest victims in world history — tied with Christians.
    (4) Does Trump end up getting impeached?
    No way.
    (5) Does the pee-pee tape or something like that drop?
    Unlikely. If something does show up it might be Trump and Vladimir in a threesome with Kushner. Ivanka might be in there somewhere, too.

  99. 99

    @Morzer: I don’t know. I have a friend who has been a Russia specialist since the 1960’s. He’s lived there, and he teaches college courses about Russia. He thinks Putin isn’t going to last through the year. He has a corrupt system going for him, but the country is just too far gone. People are beginning to get pissed off, and he (my friend) doesn’t think Putin can keep the pot from boiling over too much longer. He could be wrong; but he knows what he’s talking about. I hope he’s right. Of course, there’s no way to know that whatever comes after Putin will be any better; but it’s hard to see what could be worse.

  100. 100
    Another Scott says:

    @Morzer: This.

    We’ve seen how rushing to war ends up. Nobody sensible will vote for it, and they won’t be bullied into it by Donnie’s incompetent minions.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  101. 101
    TriassicSands says:

    @Shalimar:

    Angry Dems abandon party; guarantee decades more of GOP authoritarian rule. Their motto becomes “99 and 44/100 % pure.”

  102. 102
    Morzer says:

    Blake Hounshell‏Verified account @blakehounshell 5h5 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) – Special counsel’s Trump campaign investigation includes Manafort case, may expand to include Attorney General Sessions.

    That water’s getting a little hotter, isn’t it, Pepe?

  103. 103
    TriassicSands says:

    @Morzer:

    Yes, but will he bring back the coal mining jobs?

  104. 104
    moops says:

    The people to go after are Ryan and McConnell and other seated R’s that have been involved in treason. The Party will leave Trump in place. But if you go after Senators or Congress people, historically the Party manages to let the sucker twist in the wind and get out if it themselves. A Senator off to prison is not the Party failing, that’s a Senator failing the Party. If that Senator rolls on the President, well, now they have become the enemy of the Party. No wingnut welfare for them. Do your time, stay true to the party, and get the Ollie North treatment. Or heck, in this new world, run for your seat again.

    So, no pardons for Senate or Congress indictments. It is the asymmetry that has to be exploited here.

  105. 105
    Morzer says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (Formerly Mumphrey, et al.):

    What will wreck Putin, if anything does, is the Russian economy going further south. He’s got an awful lot of nationalistic credibility in the bank, the system is very carefully tilted in his favor and his friends have all the money. I think he’ll leave when he wants to and has a solid successor in place.

  106. 106
    Jeffro says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Trump is untouchable as long as there is hope of major tax cuts, etc.; he could bone Ivanka on the South Portico, showing off all the Russian Flag tats on his naked body, and nothing would happen

    Nothing might happen politically…it’s safe to say that I’d gack up my internal organs in about .2 seconds…

  107. 107
    Morzer says:

    @TriassicSands:

    A man who believes that indifferent table wine is the blood of God is capable of promising anything.

  108. 108
    randy khan says:

    (1) 5-6 get indicted. Top candidates (in no particular order): Sessions, Kushner, Manafort, Stone, Flynn. I want Bannon to be on the list, but I think he’s just a terrible, evil person, and isn’t implicated in the Russia stuff and its spinoffs.

    (2) 1-2 of the indicted don’t get jail time. Everyone else does. Trump pardons nobody because he’s not loyal enough and because Pence or Bannon whispers into his ear that pardons make him look weak.

    (3) Dems get galvanized; some of the low-info Trump voters disappear into the woodwork. Dems win the House, and don’t lose any net seats in the Senate in 2018.

    (4) I have slight tilt towards saying that Trump doesn’t get impeached because he resigns in a huff, claiming victory and blaming bad hombres for the trouble he’s in. As a special bonus, he might say he knew nothing about the terrible things Kushner and Sessions were doing. My next choice is that he suffers a health crisis, real or made up, and officially leaves because of that.

    (5) Something really embarrassing emerges, but he doesn’t care about it

  109. 109
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    I doubt there will be an impeachment of Trump. The numbers aren’t there for it. But that’s for Trump. Any other Federal official in on the scheme is fair game. Remember, Trump is a narcissistic, callous son of a-pardoning people means he would have to face the reality of his situation, and actually extend a lifeline. So as the minions go to jail or get heavy fines, he’ll think he could find better and more loyal ones.

  110. 110
    Morzer says:

    @Jeffro:

    Well, the tax cuts seem not to be happening just yet, Obamacare repeal appears to be going nowhere…. As for Trump boning Ivanka naked on the South Portico, well, maybe Cthulhu rising in rage at that gross provocation wouldn’t be all that bad.

  111. 111
    aimai says:

    @Corner Stone: Uh–the FBI? Mueller? the New York AG’s office?

  112. 112
    TriassicSands says:

    @JPL:

    I might add that Paul Ryan thinks that most folks just need three part time jobs, and pay their taxes.

    Why only part-time jobs? Three times eight = 24, the number of hours in the day. OK, that might be hard to pull off if the jobs aren’t all in the same building (aka convenience store), but even if that’s a real problem it doesn’t rule out two full-time jobs, one part-time job, transportation time, and an hour or two for a nap or naps. Meals can be taken between customers. Nirvana!

  113. 113
    trollhattan says:

    Odds are the core of Trumps administrative slip through and he serves out his term. Some number of unimportant associates get charged and perhaps a few convicted. They won’t matter.

    It would be great to be wrong.

  114. 114

    @The Dangerman:

    Trump is untouchable as long as there is hope of major tax cuts, etc.

    But that’s really the thing, isn’t it? There isn’t any way in hell any of that is going to go through. Not now. They’ve run out of time. I don’t know how that shifts the odds of what might happen, but Republicans can’t seriously be worried about what happens to Trump because they need him to get their shit laws through. They aren’t going to get any shit laws through now, and they have to know that.

  115. 115

    I think people are overestimating the shitgibbon’s durability. As of the last numbers I saw, his favourable ratings among Republicans are at 75%. His “strongly approve” numbers are plummeting. His “strongly disapprove” is climbing towards 50% awfully fast. That’s not to say this will continue this dramatically, but I think people are overestimating the strength of epistemic closure. If the shitgibbon’s numbers get bad enough, not only is impeachment a possibility but you’ll likely get Republicans claiming he was never a Republican in the first place.

  116. 116
    aimai says:

    @CarolDuhart2: This is very correct. Trump never does anything for anyone–he considers that puts him one down in the cosmic schema. He couldn’t even bring himself to do a simple favor for his own press secretary and let the guy meet the pope. All stories about Trump reveal him as a person who thinks that the very opportunity to do someone a favor, like a pardon, is understood by Trump as a chance to exert more leverage over them or to lose power by granting them the favor.

    Lots of lower Trump officials can and (I think) will be indicted for straight up corruption, money laundering, mishandling of classified information and Trump won’t bother to pardon them or will hold off doing so until the end of his term–putting them in legal limbo and legal jeopardy. Some of them will flip (look at Christie’s minions) and some will hang tough but still end up convicted because others will have testified against them.
    It won’t affect impeachment because Trump will never be impeached until the Republicans can figure out a way to redefine him as a democrat.

  117. 117
    Matt McIrvin says:

    In some way, the investigation is eventually going to swing around to focus on Hillary Clinton.

  118. 118
    Another Scott says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (Formerly Mumphrey, et al.): Dunno. I’m no expert, but the XE Dollar to Rubble Graph doesn’t seem to indicate things are getting worse for the economy there. When the Rubble was collapsing in late 2015 it seemed Putin was in trouble, but it seems to be on a continuing, gradual recovery since early 2016.

    Putin is continuing to be hurt by low oil and gas prices. That’s why he’s cozying up to OPEC and trying his best to cut worldwide production. So far, it doesn’t seem to be working (and weakness in the US and world economies isn’t helping).

    I hope your friend is right. It is long past time that Putin was thrown out of office…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  119. 119
    Kirk says:

    Since the pardon question keeps coming up, I’ll put in my thoughts. Yes, Trump can blanket pardon – for the original crime, for the middle fingers of contempt and perjury, all of it — in the federal criminal courts. It does nothing for civil or state courts.

    There is a common assumption that accepting a pardon assumes guilt. The precedence is weak (Burdick) but exists. So taking the pardon makes the subsequent civil suits and state indictments difficult to counter.

    Note, IANAL, and the ‘admission of guilt’ parts of this are untested/unprecedented. But you can be charged for pretty much the same crime at both state and federal levels (see for example McVeigh), and you can be faced with civil charges over the criminal incident, so it’s worth keeping in mind.

  120. 120
    Corner Stone says:

    @aimai: If a state AG comes after him we may have something to work with. But my understanding, and I am happy to be proven wrong, is that a presidential pardon means Mueller and the FBI can go screw.
    Point being, people keep saying this amorphously vague “be compelled”. Bullshit.
    “The power of Christ compels you! the power of Christ compels you!”
    They do not give a fuck and there does not seem to be anyone who is going to make them give a fuck.
    I’ll wait til that changes.

  121. 121
    efgoldman says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    he seems to have fooled a lot of people nationwide into thinking he’s smooth.

    Nobody except we political junkies pays any attention to the VP at all, until s/he becomes or runs for president (Nixon, Humphrey, Gore), or gets in real trouble (Agnew)

  122. 122
    rk says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    We have to continue doing what we’re doing. Fighting is the only option. We seem to be losing a lot of battles, but I hope we win the war. I also believe that the unexpected can happen. I’ve seen it happen many times in my life (unfortunately the unexpected this time was Hillary’s loss, although I had a sick feeling about it the whole time). On a personal level I’m volunteering to help some Syrian refugee families. I’m pessimistic because 3 and a half years is a very long time to suffer these morons.

  123. 123
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Come the fuck on.

  124. 124
    Morzer says:

    http://www.reuters.com/article.....SKBN18T2S8

    President Donald Trump is still looking for a new FBI director more than three weeks after he fired James Comey, and sources familiar with the recruiting process say it has been chaotic and that job interviews led by Trump have been brief.

    Three close associates of three contenders for the job, all of whom have been interviewed by Trump, said the candidates were summoned to the White House for 10- to 20-minute conversations with Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

    Those conversations, which followed initial interviews at the Justice Department, have been light on questions about substantive issues facing the agency, the three associates said.

    While the department has compiled a long list of candidates for the White House, there has been no “clear framework or logic for who was interviewed and why,” said one of the sources.

    Another of the three sources described the process as chaotic and said that in one interview, Trump spoke mostly about himself and seemed distracted.

    I think that the likeliest outcome of Trump’s modus operandi is that he limps through his term, enrages a lot of people along the way, probably loses the GOP the House, but manages to slither off into the undergrowth because enough serious people will agree that hanging a president would be bad for the nation.

  125. 125
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @rk: Well. I haven’t given up in a country that has lasted this long. YMMV.

  126. 126
    efgoldman says:

    @Another Scott:

    Nobody sensible will vote for it, and they won’t be bullied into it by Donnie’s incompetent minions.

    Plus, as Adam has pointed out many times, there are no resources available to fight another war.
    [Cue Tengue: “He’ll just re-institute the draft”. Ignoring that there aren’t enough supplies, weapons, munitions….]

  127. 127
    xian says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay:

    will NRO…?

    yes

    i may need to hang out here more again when the indictments start coming down

  128. 128
    Morzer says:

    @efgoldman:

    there are no resources available to fight another war

    Which might be a problem, because a raging, desperate Trump might just find his thoughts turning to the nuclear possibility. Maybe Ivanka would fling herself across the nuclear football, but I have to admit that I have some doubts.

  129. 129
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @efgoldman: Not only that, but Republicans don’t want the firestorm. Unless the country is at immediate risk, nobody really wants to go. It’s been 50 years since there’s a draft, and the minute there is one, #Resistance becomes truly massive. Iran has a million man army and is double the size of Iraq, and mountainous, which is something that millennials can quickly find out.

    Generals have advised against war with North Korea for decades as well. Both would require parents of 1,2,3 child families to possibly sacrifice their only son/daughter for a guaranteeed unwinnable quagmire. Nobody wants to take the political risk of both defeat and massive resistance.

  130. 130
    TenguPhule says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    It was a tricky exception, we’ve learned from our mistakes.

    But have the current Republicans in Congress? And would it be a mistake if its done deliberately a second time?

  131. 131
    Noskilz says:

    I think the FBI and the CIA are playing for keeps. I don’t think Trump can wish his problems away, and I don’t think he or his minions are professional or capable enough to make them go away(or will have much luck in avoiding new and exciting ways to screw up.)

    I don’t expect it to unfold on internet time, but I don’t think he’s going to get a full term. While I can’t be sure who or how many will wind up in jail, my impression is the special counsel’s investigation has its eye on that end.

    But of course, we’ll just have to see.

  132. 132
    efgoldman says:

    @aimai:

    some will hang tough but still end up convicted because others will have testified against them.

    In the case of suspected financial crimes, if Mueller has bank and tax records he might not need testimony.
    They’re starting out with the Russia business; but I thionk except as it involves illegal transactions like money laundering and other financial crimes, it’s the money that will bring them all down.

  133. 133
    efgoldman says:

    @Kirk:

    you can be charged for pretty much the same crime at both state and federal levels (see for example McVeigh)

    More recently, Dyllan Roof.

  134. 134
    Bobby Thomson says:

    It’s like all y’all have been asleep the last 40 years. Anything that requires an assumption that people will learn from mistakes, that Republicans will be punished for bad behavior short of molesting children, or that people will respond to logical policy-based arguments is jut not. gonna. happen.

    Trump’s premature death is far more likely than impeachment. I’d put the odds of the former at 40% and the latter at about 2-4%. Republicans were feeling sheepish for a few weeks there but the re-emergence of female foils has given them their second wind. People are shit and you can’t count on them to do the right thing or even to act in their own rational self interest.

  135. 135
    efgoldman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I haven’t given up in a country that has lasted this long.

    We survived the War of Southern Treason, after all, but I wish we weren’t still fighting a rearguard action 150 years later.

  136. 136
    TriassicSands says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))):

    …but you’ll likely get Republicans claiming he was never a Republican in the first place.

    It is difficult overstate the entertainment value of watching and listening to the Republicans — especially prominent ones like Ryan and McConnell — running away from Trump and explaining their “grave doubts” about him all along.

    Trump is notorious for abandoning “friends” when they are no longer needed or have become a liability. If one or more people don’t trust that Trump will pardon them (would you trust Trump with your freedom?), they could cut a deal and testify against him. Disloyalty can be a two-way street. That would be a thing of beauty.

    I have no idea how any of this will turn out. I’m skeptical about it ever amounting to much, especially if that is compared with what I want and hope will happen. The puzzle is “Why, if they didn’t do anything, do they keep behaving like people who did?” I can’t answer that — these are not candidates for the World’s Smartest Human” title. Plus, they’re all so creepy and corrupt…

  137. 137
    Another Scott says:

    @efgoldman: I was looking at the Navy’s budget request for FY18 (27 page .pdf summary) today.

    TACTOM (cruise missile) FY17 – 196, FY18 – 100

    Donnie used 59 cruise missiles (but they may have been a different model – I dunno) against that air base in Syria. In a single attack. Against one target.

    I don’t know how many the Navy has in inventory, but it looks like we cannot even assume that there will be plenty of bombs and missiles if Donnie were to try to just run some war from the air…

    :-/

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  138. 138
    Hkedi [Kang T. Q.] says:

    I think that there is a good chance that the cheeto does try to start a war with Iran/NK. It will be a massive C-Fk but the big thing is that he DOESN’T CARE. Draft? no problem! (if the Republican party is suicidal enough to go along with it) I imagine a lot of “we can beat the conservatism into those blue states” ethnic cleansing stupidity. Any draft would be exquisitely targeted to blue leaning areas as an excuse to crack down. (that is if the Republican party can get off of it’s back foot)

    This will work out as well as would be expected. I.E. really stupidly.

    One other bit of horribleness that I’m expecting in the moderate future (probably after they find some idiot who will take the head of the FBI) is the “shocking” discovery of evidence and the attempt to Jail either/both Hillary and Obama for “crimes”.

    Hope I’m wrong, but I won’t be surprised if I’m right.

  139. 139
    lol chikinburd says:

    The question of how many indictments or convictions there will be (spoiler: very close to zero) is far less interesting than the question of how many premature deaths there will be among the principals to prevent convictions or the power play’s reversal. Or the question of the log-10 of the number of global collateral premature deaths pursuant to the same end.

  140. 140
    Jeffro says:

    @Noskilz:

    I think the FBI and the CIA are playing for keeps

    I think so too, and let’s hope so: the Mango Menace is a clear and present danger to the country, as are his minions and his connections to/debts with Russia

  141. 141
    randy khan says:

    @Kirk:

    Pardons extend only to crimes, and you can’t pardon for future crimes. So (a) they don’t stop civil contempt for failure to comply with subpoenas, testify, etc.; and (b) he’d have to issue a second pardon after someone perjured himself or herself.

  142. 142
    Ruckus says:

    @SuzieC:
    I’ve emailed them back that mom was far better at the guilt trip thing and it didn’t work for her. Also that they should come up with something better than SEND US MONEY AND WE WILL something, something, something……….

    I realize that it takes money to do this, I’m just not seeing what they are doing that justifies me giving away something I don’t have a lot of. I’ve volunteered and heard nothing back.

  143. 143
    Morzer says:

    @randy khan:

    It’s Kushner pardons all the way down! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee….. (or maybe peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee)

  144. 144
    Ruckus says:

    @Morzer:
    But dense got elected twice, surly they knew him the second time. And while we think he’s dense as a post, he is one of them and many would vote for him to avoid a democrat, which as we have been told is the worst thing……………. in the world. Of course we have history which tells us different.

  145. 145
    efgoldman says:

    @Ruckus:

    But dense got elected twice, surly they knew him the second time.

    He only got elected statewide (governor) once, and until he was rescued for VP, it looked like he was going to get thrown out in a landslide. His previous elections were to congress, from blood red bible banger districts.

  146. 146
    Vhh says:

    @Morzer: I worked in Moscow years ago, Ifollow Russian news and watch Youtubes about shopping in Russia. Unlike the 70s, when there was nothing in the shops, you can gets lots of stuff, BUT at Western European prices. But the ruble has dropped more than a factor of 2 and the avg salary in Moscow is $1000/month (and less in the provinces). People are hurting. With fuel efficiency up, plug in hybrids, and fracking, oil prices are under pressure, and if oil doesn’t go up in price,things get worse in Russia. Guess why Vlad pushed Trumpov to walk away from Paris…..

  147. 147
    Another Scott says:

    @Vhh: Yet Putin’s Russia is a signatory of the Paris Agreement. ;-)

    Donnie pulled out of Paris because Obama signed it. That’s the only reason. It’s all about trying to erase Obama’s accomplishments.

    Cheers,
    Scott.
    (Who agrees with you that Putin and Russia are hurting as long as oil prices are low.)

  148. 148
    moops says:

    I’m guessing his tax records come out. I also think Mueller digs out actual money laundering on Trump.

  149. 149
    Kirk says:

    @randy khan: Agreed, sorry if I was unclear. That “middle finger” statement was about the follow-on pardons — set’em up and knock’em down.

  150. 150
    TenguPhule says:

    @efgoldman: No Draft. Stop loss. Until our military falls apart. Yes, I think he’s that fucking petty and stupid.

  151. 151
    TenguPhule says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Come the fuck on.

    Oh come on, you know the Republicans can’t resist those emails.

  152. 152
    TenguPhule says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (Formerly Mumphrey, et al.):

    There isn’t any way in hell any of that is going to go through. Not now. They’ve run out of time.

    Uh no, they have not. All they need to do is stick a 10 year time limit on them and hey presto, fuck the fillibuster!

  153. 153
    Hkedi [Kang T. Q.] says:

    @TenguPhule: And then after the military falls apart, Draft with a broken military!

  154. 154
    TenguPhule says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: When the time comes for Trump and company to obey a ruling….and they don’t.

    Already tested with Homeland. And that test did not look good for law and order.

  155. 155
    TenguPhule says:

    @Hkedi [Kang T. Q.]: Nope. Privatization. And guess who’s related to a merc company owner!

  156. 156
    mai naem mobile says:

    I really think it’s too early to tell. If the rumored stuff is true and proved reasonably by Mueller I think 6-8 people indicted because I think they’ll get some underlings for doing stupid stuff to cover for their bosses – probably obstruction of justice or perjury. I have no idea if anybody goes to jail. Probably the underlings at a Club Fed for a payoff from the wingnut welfare circuit or Dolt or Kushner. Impeachment is a 50/50. If the Dems take over the House,maybe they make a deal with Dolt not to impeach if he doesn’t pardon the above people. I also think there’s a good chance he leaves office due to his health. The pee pee tape shows up if Dolt displeases Putin.

  157. 157
    Gretchen says:

    @Mary G: thanks for sharing that. Great article. I too am wondering why it’s more important to know why the winners voted the way they did rather than what the 3 million more voters who voted for Hillary were thinking.

  158. 158
    J R in WV says:

    @The Dangerman:

    I’m surprised he hasn’t already pardoned Kushner (it doesn’t have to wait, right?).

    It can’t work prospectively, only retrospectively. So Kush can be pardoned for anything he has done in the past, but it sets a timestamp, and anything illegal Kush does AFTER that timestamp is not covered by that past pardon, there would need to be another one. And another one after that, perhaps… eventually it starts to look very much like a breakdown in the government obeying the law… huh, sounds funny, doesn’t it?

  159. 159
    jl says:

    @J R in WV: Balloon-Juice will need a front poster lawyer who specializes in presidential pardon law. What will the pardons look like. “I DJT, presiding president, pardon Kush for all money laundering and any other crimes known or unknown before the moment I sign this here paper”. “..pardon Flynn for all undeclared and illegal payments from, and associated lying, perjury, false witness related to, and other bad stuff related or unrelated to, foreign governments and agents thereof, known or unknown…”

  160. 160
    Hkedi [Kang T. Q.] says:

    @TenguPhule: They might try, but I’d guess that a mercenary company might see that sort of conflict, especially as late in a conflict as that, as a non-profitable situation.

    Unless they have completely drunk the cool-aid (which with Blackwater makes some sense) I imagine their CFO would look at Trumps history with sub-contractors.

  161. 161
    ericblair says:

    @Vhh:

    People are hurting. With fuel efficiency up, plug in hybrids, and fracking, oil prices are under pressure, and if oil doesn’t go up in price,things get worse in Russia. Guess why Vlad pushed Trumpov to walk away from Paris…..

    The real decay is being forced on the towns and rural areas: the farther you are from Moscow, the worse it gets (except Chechnya, which is another story). So if you’re in central Moscow, it generally looks good. Since the one thing that Putin is good at is controlling information flow, it’s hard to get a real idea about what is going on. However, groups like truck drivers and farmers are getting seriously pissed about corruption, and the media machine doesn’t know how to deal with it since they’re supposed to be the salt-of-the-earth government supporters. It’s like a boiler with no pressure meter or pressure valve. When shit goes down, it’s probably going to be very fast and very unexpected.

    The Ruble will go up and down. There has been a lot of upwards pressure because of the sanctions/embargoes, since the money is being used for domestic goods instead of traded for imports. The expectation is it will start falling again when the big boys really push to get their money out of Russia and into the Caymens and Cyprus and every other sandy island with a bank on it.

  162. 162
    Mike Toreno says:

    Trump won’t be impeached. He won’t last long enough; I don’t see him lasting out the summer before quitting. It’s a job. He’s not used to that.

  163. 163
    Это курам на смех says:

    He isn’t going anywhere. The world’s biggest narcissist holds the world’s highest office. No way he walks away from that.

  164. 164
    Smitty says:

    Flynn, Manafort, Stone et al squeal like the pigs that they are. Trump and family hide behind 5th amendment as is their right.House and Senate Republicans run down the ratlines at headturning speed but too late to salvage 2018 elections. No impeachment. Many federal pardons but he Donald is eaten by RICO laws. He dies in jail. All Trumps/Kushners forfeit ill-gotten gains and die in jail also except Barron who goes on to become CEO of Exxon. Warren wins presidency in 2020. Bernie still thinks being an independent is OK. Melania does Hustler. Bannon dissappears and no one cares or notices. Sean Spencer has a top ten country western recording and wins a WWF wrestling belt. Life becomes good. All Christians go to hell.
    Just guessing.

  165. 165
    Smitty says:

    Spencer Spicer. Tomato tomahto.

  166. 166
    Mike in DC says:

    Well, someone here has to be the wild-eyed optimist, so here goes: Trump will be impeached, removed, indicted, convicted and ultimately incarcerated. He will die in prison. Let justice be done, though the heavens fall.

  167. 167
    Ed Zaitz says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I know, the best you can hope for is a draw.

  168. 168
    Barry says:

    @CarolDuhart2: “I’m thinking lately about a wild card here. What if something happens to Putin? Would his successor be so accommodating to Trump? I can see a successor wanting to cut Trump loose for a fresh start and a new strategy. Unless the successor is also deep in the network, he might not want to be so exposed.”

    No, because having a hold on the President of the USA is a major asset, and Putin’s successor would want that (assuming Putin gives it to him). Remember, Putin at this point can really f*ck over the administration with some well-timed leaks of hard evidence.

    Now, if Putin was in a bad domestic situation, it could be worth his while to blow the Trump Administration sky-high, for a foreign policy win.

  169. 169
    Barry says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (Formerly Mumphrey, et al.): “I don’t know. I have a friend who has been a Russia specialist since the 1960’s. He’s lived there, and he teaches college courses about Russia. He thinks Putin isn’t going to last through the year. He has a corrupt system going for him, but the country is just too far gone. People are beginning to get pissed off, and he (my friend) doesn’t think Putin can keep the pot from boiling over too much longer. He could be wrong; but he knows what he’s talking about. I hope he’s right. Of course, there’s no way to know that whatever comes after Putin will be any better; but it’s hard to see what could be worse.”

    Which is not good news for Trump, because if Putin is in a precarious situation, he has no incentive to refrain from using assets.

  170. 170
    Princess says:

    My only prediction is: Trump wins in 2020. Bank on it, Libs.

    I’ve been reading Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail and am feeling very pessimistic these days, not, i think, without cause.

  171. 171
    Captain C says:

    @Princess: Trump and his gang have nowhere near the political skill nor the allies that Nixon had.

  172. 172
    Lee says:

    @The Dangerman:

    I agree with yours with the exception the Dems take the House.

    (1) 4
    (2) 0. Trump pardons everybody.
    (3) Voter turnout overwhelms voter suppression efforts.
    (4) No impeachment unless #3 & there is a smoking gun. Keeping him in office up until 2020 makes it easier. If Dems take house we can mitigate the damage he does.
    (5) Somehow the tax returns come out & we get proof of him communicating directly with the Russians regarding the elections.
    (6) He ends up facing state crimes after he leaves office.

  173. 173
    Daddio7 says:

    @Another Scott: There is a facility near me that builds a large, carrier launched surveillance aircraft. Two years ago they doubled their workforce and built several new assembly hangers. I imagine that this buildup has been duplicated in hundreds of towns. Trust me, the US has a pant load of military gear.

  174. 174
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Captain C: But the citizenry is, I think, more tribal and brainwashed than they were in 1968-72. And you don’t need a Nixon-sized landslide to get the win. You don’t even need a popular majority.

    To beat Trump we need some kind of novelty to get people excited, and some way to keep the Bernie wing in the tent pissing out. The obvious solution would be to nominate Bernie Sanders himself, but come on, the guy is going to be even more ancient and cranky. But if we don’t, the Bernie people (who are already agitating for Bernie 2020 and insisting that the 2016 results compel you) are going to spend all their energy attacking the Democratic nominee. Especially if it’s Gillibrand, who is going to get instantly branded as Hillary 2.

  175. 175
    way2blue says:

    House flips Democratic in 2018; Trump &Pence resign to avoid impeachment; Pelosi becomes President… (That’s my pipe dream… )

  176. 176
    Wyatt Derp says:

    1) Two people get indicted. I’m not sure who exactly but Flynn, Page, Manafort, and Kushner are all candidates.

    (2) No one goes to jail. Trump pardons everyone.

    (3) Trump’s approval rating goes down a bit but not that far, into the low 30s. Fox, Breitbart, Woodward, and Greenwald defend him to the last but not too many others do. Trump remains popular with Republicans who continue to believe it’s all a witch hunt. His lack of popularity with the rest of voters hurts him though and Dems take 30-40 seats in the the House in the midterms.

    (4) Not before 2018. If Dems take the House, I still think they not impeach. We might hear a lot of “look forward, not backward” type stuff.

    (5) I have no idea but it would be fun if it did!

    1 – I’d add Sessions to the list.
    4 – If dems re-take the house some repubs will be open to impeachment prior to 2020 so I think this is more likely than you do.

    Otherwise I`m with you.

  177. 177
    Spinoza Is My Co-Pilot says:

    My current view on this is very similar to Doug!, except I don’t think us Dems pick up quite that many House seats in ’18 (still enough — if just barely — for Pelosi to be Speaker again, though). I don’t see how Pelosi avoids impeachment proceedings: the calls for that will be too strong with a Democratic House majority, and the odds of demoralizing the Democratic base for 2020 will be too great to “look forward, not backward” or whatever. No way in hell does the Senate convict, however, so the net effect will essentially be zero — both the Democratic and the fascist bases will be equally pissed, just for opposite reasons, of course.

  178. 178
    Another Scott says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Wilmer is a one-trick pony – he gives the same speech every time he speaks. Like Perot, he will be much less popular if he tries again than he was the first time. He would be 79 years old in January 2021. (Tell us about your plans to deal with the banks, Wilmer. (autoplay)) Democrats would (of necessity) build firewalls against his Russia-connected minions. He continues to do almost nothing to help build a national party infrastructure behind him that could actually implement his policies (such as they are). Instead, he “Sen. I’m an Independent” continues to try to build a non-Democrat organization while feeding off the Democratic Party host.

    After months (or even up to 4 years) of Trump and his minions, I doubt that Democrats are going to want to be lectured about the evils of Wall Street again, and how socialist economics that minimizes fixing social ills is a winning formula.

    As many here have noted, the base of the Democratic Party is women, especially women who are minorities. Linda Sarsour gave a great speech at the DC March for Truth today. The fight is much bigger than economics, much bigger than disillusioned 50-something white guys in the mid-west. Yes, we should continue to try to win them over (Hillary had great programs and proposals to address lots of their concerns, but they weren’t willing to listen) – we need to try to reach everyone who will listen. But the main thing to do is to make sure everyone possible can vote. And to work together to defeat our common enemy.

    My $0.02.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  179. 179
    fuckwit says:

    I do not like this game, because I am a cynical bastard who has lived through Ford’s pardon of Nixon, Ollie North and Pointdexter taking the fall for Reagan and Bush who walked out unscathed, and Scooter Libby taking the fall for Darth Cheney and Shrub, so I don’t see any indictments or convictions coming for anyone other than Flynn and Manafort. It’ll stop there and nobody will care.

    Impeachment won’t happen, but if people stay organized and fired up I can see picking up a good couple dozen House seats in 2018 and maybe re-taking it in 2020. Senate is a tougher nut to crack, but maybe if there are some Blue Dogs running.

    There will be no civil war. Democracy will go further down the toilet but it will survive.

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