Lying Liars Gotta Lie


The Wall Street Journal reports that Michael Cohen instructed Stephen Ryan, his previous lawyer, to raise the prospect of a pardon after the FBI raided Cohen’s home last April. That statement by lawyer Lanny Davis, who now represents Cohen, directly contradicts Cohen’s testimony to the House Oversight and Reform Committee on 27 February.

Cohen: “I have never asked for, nor would I accept, a pardon from Mr. Trump.”

Davis: “During that time period, [Cohen] directed his attorney to explore possibilities of a pardon at one point with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani as well as other lawyers advising President Trump.”

Cohen has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress, but he has now flipped on his former client Donald Trump, so it makes sense that the Democrats on the House Oversight Committee would give him a forum for further lies.

Walking Away


The AP reports that the Trump/Kim summit in Hanoi has broken up early because of a failure to reach a deal.

Trump, in a news conference after the summit abruptly shut down early, blamed the breakdown on North Korea’s insistence that all punishing sanctions that the U.S. has imposed on Pyongyang be lifted without the country committing to eliminate its nuclear arsenal.

“Sometimes you have to walk,” Trump explained, adding that he had a proposed agreement that was “ready to be signed.”

“I’d much rather do it right than do it fast,” the president said. “We’re in position to do something very special.”

Part of the art of the deal is the ability to patiently get up from the table and walk away until the other side is able to give you what you need. Trump, like Reagan with Gorbachev in 1987, seems willing to use that negotiating option. I wish him luck.

The AP couldn’t resist inserting this into the middle of their story—

The breakdown denied Trump a much-needed victory amid growing domestic turmoil back home, including congressional testimony this week by his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who called Trump a “racist” and “conman” and claimed prior knowledge of foreign powers’ efforts to help Trump win in 2016.

If the imagined fallout for Cohen’s testimony was part of the calculus for either side in the negotiation, Trump’s apparent non-concern for it should work to his advantage by demonstrating a resolve not to let domestic U.S. issues adversely affect a nuclear deal.

Fake News


And we have another bombshell that’s a dud. It’s seems that there is no evidence to support the BuzzFeed story about Donald Trump ordering Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. One of the bylined reports has admitted that he’s seen nothing. No one else has been able to confirm the story. Oh, and the Special Counsel’s operation has disputed the report.

Those reporters and the editor responsible would probably be better suited to an outlet such as Breitbart Unmasked Bunny Billy Boy Unread. I hear there may be one or more openings there.

The Dispossessed


Neo has a post up titled Something’s going on in Europe which quotes several European source about populist movements on the other side of the Atlantic.

France and Britan—

Technically, our globalised economic model performs well. It produces a lot of wealth. But it doesn’t need the majority of the population to function. It has no real need for the manual workers, labourers and even small-business owners outside of the big cities. Paris creates enough wealth for the whole of France, and London does the same in Britain. But you cannot build a society around this. The gilets jaunes is a revolt of the working classes who live in these places…

Norway—

America isn’t the only Western country in which too much power accrues to self-seeking bureaucrats and lobbyists who don’t give a damn what ordinary citizens think or want or need. America’s not alone in being run by politicians who, preoccupied with short-term personal gains and political prospects at the expense of the long-term national interest, pursue disastrous policies that threaten to bring down Western civilization. And America isn’t the only country whose mainstream news media spread “fake news” about all the above, whitewashing dangerous alien cultures while showing insufficient concern for our own.

France—

The cities themselves have become very unequal, too. The Parisian economy needs executives and qualified professionals. It also needs workers, predominantly immigrants, for the construction industry and catering et cetera. Business relies on this very specific demographic mix. The problem is that ‘the people’ outside of this still exist. In fact, ‘Peripheral France’ actually encompasses the majority of French people.

I believe that there’s a lesson to be drawn from history about the long-term viability of a society that focuses on an urban elite at the expense of the plebes in flyover country. It is the history of Rome. Eventually, the political balance that maintains the elite in their commanding positions will fail as their internal conflicts weaken them. We may be seeing such a struggle on the Left here in the U. S.

Trump, Brexit, and les gilet jaunes are the vanguard of flyover country’s opposition to the current order. Bernie Sanders and ¡Ocasio! She Guevara appear to represent people who want to be part of the elite, but who feel that they have been cheated by a corrupt hierarchy. There are only so many slots available for executive, managerial, and professional workers, and many young inner party wannabes are finding that they have six-figure student loans and a working-class job or no job at all. They haven’t even been able to move into the outer party.

Free stuff—tuition, medical care, whatever—will ease the current burden on the elite wannabes, but many of the elite’s policies run counter to their real world interests. The internal fights on the Left are about to get interesting.

TDS and Wishful Thinking


Now that sentencing memos for Flynn and Cohen are floating around in public, the Left and the press, but I repeat myself, are having a good time explaining how those memos show that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has the evidence to take down President Trump. One of the sanest summaries I’ve read was by Max Bergman and Sam Berger at The Daily Beast. As much as I dislike Donald Trump and wish a different person were President, I find the evidence of collusion presented thus far to be sketchy. Most of it doesn’t even qualify as circumstantial. A good deal of it doesn’t past the laugh test. I mean, who would think that Putin would accept a penthouse in a Trump building when he already has equal or better housing with much better security?

It may be that there is some there there, but those memos don’t make a good case for it.

We’ll have to wait and see.

Hooked on Trump


Erick Erickson has a post up over at The Resurgent suggesting that the press have become addicted to Donald Trump.

Reporters are the addicts stealing money from their mom’s purse for a hit of their drug. It is an exotic one called Trump. … They need a twelve step program, but I fear the fix is too strong. And like meth addicts, even their faces are changing as they pick at their skin and more permanently scowl. This is unhealthy.

In order to begin working a twelve-step program of recovery, they’d have to admit that they are powerless over Trump and their lives have become unmanageable. They haven’t hit bottom yet.