Archive for the ‘stinking piece of shit’ Category

Readers’ poll

September 17, 2018

1. Trump recently tweeted that the Department of Justice should not have indicted two “very popular” Republican congressmen for crimes before the mid-term elections, thereby putting in doubt two “easy wins.”

• Agree

• Disagree

2. Trump recently tweeted that only around 18 Puerto Ricans died due to Hurricane Maria, not the nearly 3000 subsequently calculated, which is a conspiracy by Democrats to make him look bad.

• Agree

• Disagree

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The New York Times “Anonymous” Op-ed

September 10, 2018

I defer to another guest column, by Francis Wilkinson in Bloomberg Opinion. Every word is on target. Edited by me for brevity:

Some people in the White House think Trump is ignorant, dangerous and unhinged. They told author Bob Woodward that, though not allowing him to use their names. One wrote a New York Times op-ed about Trump’s deranged reign — also anonymously.

Basically, everyone in the political business, including lots of people who collect taxpayer-funded salaries to pretend otherwise, know that Trump is a malicious, incompetent buffoon.

But 63 million voted for him, some venting their resentments and insecurities. Others hoped Trump, upon taking office, would magically rise from the ethical sewer in which he had spent a lifetime.

Nothing in the Times op-ed, or in comments to Woodward, alters GOP political dynamics. Republican insiders tell one another Trump is an abomination doing an abysmal job. What they tell their voters is something else. Eight in 10 — or more — Republicans approve of Trump’s performance. And because Republican leaders have spent years telling their voters to distrust legitimate news media and to believe only loyal partisans such as Fox News, there is no reason to expect the op-ed or the Woodward book or any other manifestation of truth to penetrate the carefully constructed unreality.

The Republican Party had already become ideologically extreme; contemptuous of inherited social and economic policy; scornful of compromise, of conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and of the legitimacy of its political opposition.

Now it has embraced Trump’s rampant personal corruption and attacks on blacks and Hispanics and women. The party has escalated bad-faith attacks on news media that accurately chronicle Trump lies, and on institutions that resist the almost daily assaults on the rule of law and public ethics.

A nuclear holocaust has thus far been averted — thanks for that, Anonymous. But other acts of aggression, from the Muslim ban to voter suppression, continue undeterred.

The Trump administration planned and executed a policy of seizing infants from their parents at the U.S. border. It did so with such grotesque callousness that it is thus far unable to reunite hundreds of literally kidnapped children with their parents.

Not one Republican in Congress has held a hearing to find out how this crime occurred, and who is responsible. The corruption of the party is endemic. Anyone who thinks they escape the moral and political taint of this administration by murmuring anonymous misgivings about Trump is a fool as well as a coward.

The dishonest Kavanaugh charade

September 7, 2018

Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh says Roe v. Wade is “settled law.” Well, settled law is what the Supreme Court says. “Separate but (supposedly) equal” was settled law for 57 years until in 1954 the Court said it wasn’t. Kavanaugh refuses to admit that he would (with alacrity) provide the needed fifth vote to overturn Roe.

In fact that’s precisely his nomination’s raison d’etre. A lot of voters abide a stinking piece of shit as president just to get a Supreme Court that will end abortion rights. Trump is delivering on that devil’s bargain.

Kavanaugh’s record makes it a sure thing that he’d vote to reverse Roe. That was clear from Senator Hirono’s questioning. In one case Kavanaugh ruled that having to file a two-page form was an “undue burden,” while in another it wasn’t an “undue burden” on a woman to be held in involuntary detention — where in both cases the result was to prevent abortions.

Roe was a legal case but abortion is a political issue. If you want to curtail abortion rights, then at least have the honesty to say so — instead of hiding behind this “settled law” crap, which makes the whole process a dishonest charade.

Of course, honesty is the last thing we can expect from the Trump administration. There’s not an honest bone in its body.

For the record, I’m not pro-abortion, and always thought Roe was both badly decided and politically bad. Abortion rights were inexorably progressing through normal democratic processes, until the Court’s action made the issue toxically divisive. But for it to turn things upside down again now, by reversing Roe, would be even worse, unleashing political Armageddon. Saner heads on the Court should recoil from doing that.

But, like honesty, sanity is in short supply among today’s Republicans.

The Trump Tax on cars

September 6, 2018

NAFTA was a bad deal, the worst deal ever, sending jobs to Mexico. Our imports exceed exports, a bad thing. Trump’s tough talk of tariffs against Mexico made them give us a better deal. A big win. So much winning!

That’s the Trump story. Every word is a lie, including “the” and “to.”

NAFTA reduced trade barriers among Canada, Mexico, and America. This enabled Mexico and Canada to produce and export more — thereby becoming richer, and hence a bigger market for stuff we produce. (After NAFTA we export more to Canada and Mexico than we import from them.) Low production costs in Mexico enable Americans to buy stuff cheaper, and thus to buy more. Which creates more jobs — more than the ones lost to Mexico. That’s how free trade makes everybody better off.

That’s Economics 101. Which Trump flunked. (He got rich as a con artist.)

But isn’t Trump’s new deal with Mexico better for America? No, it’s worse — and worse for Mexico as well. Mexico agreed to it because the Trumpian alternative of full punitive tariffs was worse still (and Mexico’s incoming and outgoing presidents both wanted this issue resolved before the handover).

Cars are the main target. Trump’s deal will make Mexican car production costlier, so more production will occur in America. Good, no? No, because North American car makers don’t compete just against each other, but against the whole rest of the world. Making North American car production more expensive makes it less competitive against cars from all those other countries. And Trump’s idiotic trade policy raises the costs of not only Mexico’s car production, but our own. Cars use a lot of metal, and tariffs on metal, like aluminum, raise prices for it. Surely a plan for killing both U.S. and Mexican jobs and making us all poorer.

We don’t know yet how things will wind up with Canada. But meantime it’s estimated that Trump’s “great deal” with Mexico will add over $2000 to the cost of your next car purchase. Call it the Trump MAGA tax. (But don’t forget the big tax cut he gave millionaires.)

Trump is the Antichrist

August 31, 2018

Fundamentalist Christians have long been obsessed with the Antichrist. He figured prominently in the “Left Behind” books. Not an abstraction, the Antichrist would be a real person, come among us, the avatar of Satan himself, working to destroy God’s kingdom.

Turns out it’s true. The Antichrist is here. It’s Trump.

Isn’t it obvious, explaining everything? Firstly, the Antichrist could not be some two-bit player on the world stage. He’d have to be a huge figure, cutting a wide swath, as befitting his Satanic role. No one has ever filled that bill like Trump. No public character has ever so dominated the landscape.

And the Antichrist would, of course, be literally the anti-Christ. The antithesis of Christ and everything he represented. That’s Trump to a “T.”

Christ would never lie. Or “grab them by the pussy.”

Love thy neighbor? Canada and Mexico are our neighbors. (Not Russia.) And how about our more immediate neighbors, living among us? All those non-white people, all those immigrants? (And Democrats.) Trump is all hate-thy-neighbor.

Turn the other cheek? Trump tries to make the opposite seem a virtue — “fighting back.” That is, viciously smearing every critic or opponent. Calling them names. And now abusing his power to punish them (like yanking honest John Brennan’s security clearance).

Chase money changers from the temple? Trump welcomes them in. Having promised to “drain the swamp,” he deepens it. Flynn, Price, Pruitt, Carson, Manafort, Cohen, Bannon, Wilbur Ross. Trump’s own corruptly milking the presidency for personal profit. A total swamp of sleaze.

Suffer the little children to come unto me? Even little children he makes suffer, ripping them from parental arms.

Loyalty? Christ was loyal to Peter even after Peter denied him; loyal to God even on the cross. Trump (who demands loyalty from others) is loyal to nothing and no one but himself. Least of all his country, which he’s betrayed to its worst enemy, Russia. (I didn’t write “sold out” because he actually got nothing in return.)

And did I mention the lying? “Lying” is an inadequate word here. Trump wars against the very concept of truth, to create a world in which reality and truth are meaningless.

But these are details. The big picture is indeed wholly at odds with the heart of Christ’s teaching. Trump is a moral black hole sucking in everything and everyone around him. A vortex of evil.

Now, realize that the Antichrist doesn’t wear a costume with horns and tail, proclaiming his identity. Of course not — the whole point, the real danger, is his deviously disguising it. To fool people, so the Satanic agenda can be achieved. Admittedly, Trump’s disguise is ridiculously thin, transparent to anyone with eyes to see. But Satan has thrown black magic dust in the eyes of Christians.

They say never mind his personal peccadillos, they like what he’s doing. That’s the snare, the dust thrown in their eyes. And what is he doing that’s so wonderful it could possibly justify the poisoning of America’s whole civic culture, everything it stands for — everything Christ stands for?

So these fools fall right into Satan’s trap, blind to their plunge into the vortex of evil — dragging down with them their precious religion itself, demonstrating its falsity.

In the fantasies of uber-Christians, like in those “Left Behind” books, the Antichrist is always ultimately defeated by the legions of the godly. But what if those legions are bamboozled into fighting for the wrong side?

They’re marching in Satan’s army — straight into Hell — where they will all burn forever.

Manafort, Cohen, and the Prevaricator of the United States

August 24, 2018

Manafort

Paul Manafort was Trump’s campaign chief. Bad enough that he worked for foreign villains like Yanukovych, whom even Ukraine couldn’t stomach (which is saying something). But Manafort compounded his crime by ducking income tax on his ill-gotten lucre. He’s been convicted on eight counts of tax evasion and bank fraud. One of the many caught by Mueller’s witch hunt. Manafort faces years in prison and a further trial for failure to register as a foreign agent and so forth.

Manafort even literally wears clothing made from snakes. Yet this reptile Trump still insists is a fine human being. And that his prosecution was “unfair,” a favorite Trump word (applicable only to him, or his lackeys). A jury convicted Manafort of eight serious crimes. Where was the “unfairness?” As WAMC radio’s Alan Chartock incessantly warned, a single Trumpy juror could have stonewalled to get Manafort off the hook. But not one did. The verdict was unanimous.

Calling the whole thing unfair is an insult to the public servants who properly did their jobs in bringing a criminal to justice, and to the citizen jurors who conscientiously fulfilled their civic responsibility. Of course, civic responsibility is a concept wholly alien to Trump.

Capone

He tweeted comparing Manafort’s treatment with Al Capone’s (misspelling his name). Capone, after a long crime extravaganza full of murders, was finally imprisoned for tax evasion. Just like Manafort. Interesting comparison, O Great Genius.

Then Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer and “fixer” pled guilty to a bunch of felony campaign finance violations, in arranging hush money for sluts with whom Trump committed adultery.*

Cohen

Cohen’s testimony that Trump directed these payments makes Trump’s previous denials his 2,768th outright lie. (Trump also still laughably denies the affairs.) More important, Cohen’s evidence implicates Trump in serious actual crimes.

Trump, despite (of course) calling Cohen a liar, apparently no longer denies his role in the payments. His new lie is that they weren’t a crime anyway — because the money came from his pocket, not his campaign.

He said this on his favorite TV show, Fox & Fiends. Why did none of the little foxes there challenge his statement? And say, “Excuse me, Lord and Master, but I’m afraid you’re mistaken. That actually makes it a worse crime.”

Because even were it arguable whether campaign funds can be used for hush money, if the money (indisputably benefiting the campaign) circumvented the whole system of campaign finance regulation and reporting, that’s incontestably a clear and bigger no-no.

Lawyer Cohen himself seemed pretty clear on the doings being criminal, and indeed unarguably so. Why else plead guilty to charges that will send him up for years?

Hey, Christians still stuck in Trumpland’s alternate reality — as an atheist I don’t have your morality. I rape and murder whenever I want.

* “Slut” is not a nice word, but fits any female who’d do it with such a creep.

QAnon and the Republican war on reality

August 5, 2018

QAnon” is the handle of an online person or group claiming access to all kinds of secret information (“Q” refers to a high security clearance) about “deep state” conspiracies against Trump; with Trump actually being the great mastermind behind everything. QAnonism is spreading like wildfire among his Republican fans, especially at his rallies (where big “Q” signs are proliferating).

Included in the deranged QAnon catechism: Kim Jong-Un is actually a CIA puppet; the Democratic National Committee hired Salvadoran Gang MS-13 to murder its staffer Seth Rich; the Mueller probe is actually a counter-coup by Trump himself to expose Democratic wrongdoing; Obama, Hillary, and George Soros are child traffickers, also plotting a coup; that Trump’s enemies like John McCain wear ankle bracelets so he can track them; that J.P. Morgan sank the Titanic; that the Rothschild family heads a satanic cult. That QAnon explains the whole universe and will usher in a Christian “great awakening.”

The clues to all this are labeled “breadcrumbs.” When asked, QAnoners are fuzzy about how the dots actually connect and just say follow the breadcrumbs. But they’re certain it’s all true.

Striking too is the crazed obsession to pin fantastical misdeeds on Hillary — admittedly no paragon of virtue — and Obama, who actually was one, guilty only of officeholding-while-black — while blind to unquestioned facts showing Trump as the filthiest turd in U.S. political history.

In June a guy was arrested on terrorism charges after driving an armored vehicle, wielding an AR-15, and blocking traffic for two hours at Hoover Dam, claiming to be on a QAnon mission demanding release of an FBI report on Hillary (that had actually already been released). Previously another guy shot up a pizza parlor flagged by QAnon for having a Hillary-run pedophile ring headquartered in its basement. (Allegedly.)

Loopy radio conspiracy monger Alex Jones earlier promoted QAnonism, but now it’s too far out even for him. Even for Alex Jones. So now, within the Republican universe, Alex Jones is something of a moderate.

Meantime, at his recent Pennsylvania rally, Trump loudly called Russian election meddling a “hoax,” even while the rest of his government held a top-level meeting sounding the alarm about Russian election meddling. He also said “Russia is very unhappy that Trump won, that I can tell you.” While Putin, standing beside him just weeks earlier in Helsinki, openly said he’d wanted Trump to win.

So Trump lies outrageously to a huge crowd, and they cheer madly. (Literally.) Those waiting for his base to turn against him for something got their final answer in Helsinki where he sold us out to Russia. And 79% of Republicans (in an Axios poll) approved his Helsinki performance.

“Great awakening?” More like a great conking out.

My previous review of a book about conspiracy theories is worth re-reading (click here). It explains the deep evolutionary and psychological reasons why conspiracy theories (like QAnonism) find a ready audience. And we all want to believe what we’d like to be true. Yet most people retain a grip on reality. Except Republicans.

That’s not just a cheap shot but making a serious point. Having been a Republican myself till last year, I am still struggling to understand why most Republicans have totally drunk this Kool-Aid. I keep returning to the point that most of them believe in a supernatural god, Heaven, Hell, and the Bible. Does sustaining such fantasy beliefs compromise the brain’s ability to grasp reality — priming it to accept all the constant massive Trump lies?

Most religious people are able to compartmentalize — keeping their faith delusions in a separate mental folder, while thinking rationally and normally in other spheres. Even Republicans seemed to do this, until Trump came along. I could see through him from the start, as a very bad character in every possible way. I watched with horror as most other Republicans, en masse, dove over the cliff like lemmings. Where were their critical faculties?

This would be sad for them if Republicans were on some island of their own, and the rest of us could move on. But with 40% of our electorate embedded in this meshugas, it infects everything.

America has built up a tremendous reservoir of assets over two centuries. Strong institutions, rule of law, a culture that promotes dynamism, and a wonderful population full of good energetic people. And again, despite religious faith, empiricism was a crucially prevailing ethos. Empiricism means knowledge grounded in reality. Without that, we’re cast adrift. But now America’s leader actively, intentionally, assiduously works to destroy the line between reality and falsehood, and the credibility of real information sources. With too many following him down that road to perdition.

I have on my wall an enlargement of a onetime U.S. postage stamp that proclaimed “America’s light fueled by truth and reason.”

That light is going out.

Joint Statement by ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, and CNN

July 21, 2018

For Release July 21, 2018

We have always taken with utmost seriousness our responsibility to the American people to inform them truthfully, accurately, and objectively. In furtherance of this, we have traditionally maintained a stance of partisan neutrality — even though it has always been deemed appropriate for news media to present analyses, evaluations, and opinions. Editorial endorsements of political candidates have been standard practice for newspapers.

We have ourselves refrained from such editorial expressions until now. But extraordinary times require extraordinary responses.

Our loyalty to our own traditions should not negate our loyalty to our country and to the larger principles it stands for.

Hence we now state here, forthrightly, our editorial opinion: that our country and its principles are today under assault, and disgraced by, President Trump. We will elaborate in future broadcast editorials.

We acknowledge some responsibility on our part for the sad state of affairs. During the 2016 campaign, we thought we were showing what our viewers wanted to see (and, frankly, what would attract viewers). This resulted in one candidate, Donald Trump, receiving a grossly disproportionate share of coverage and what amounted to billions of dollars worth of free advertising. This likely affected the outcome.

We will not repeat this mistake, not only because it was bad journalistic practice, but also to avoid contributing to a bad 2020 election outcome. Based on what we’ve previously said, his re-election would be bad for our country and its ideals.

There are already two major news networks that are highly partisan mouthpieces for this administration: Fox News and Sinclair Broadcast Group. We will not emulate their partisanship on the other side. But what we will do is to now adopt a code of conduct to ensure, at least, avoidance of any complicity with the administration’s propaganda efforts promoting President Trump’s political interests.

This does not mean we won’t cover the President when his actions are legitimately newsworthy. It does mean we will not give him a soap-box for self-aggrandizement and spreading his message and his lies. We will not broadcast interviews with him. We will no longer routinely cover his tweets, rallies, speeches, and statements — except to expose the lies therein. (Which actually should mean ample air time.)

Also, we will no longer participate in the daily White House “news” briefings currently conducted by Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. We have made a determination that they are not a legitimate information source. Nor will we give air time to the President’s other spokespersons, defenders, apologists, or propagandists; except, again, to point out lies and other scandalous utterances.

With those parameters, we will continue our mission to keep the American people well informed of all the facts bearing on the state of the world, to enable them to participate as good citizens.

The President says we are biased against him, and calls any factual reporting that doesn’t flatter him “fake news.” No doubt our statement today will be exploited by him in that vein. So be it. We have now made clear that we are indeed opposed to him, because of our loyalty to our country and its values. And, while we have thusly expressed our view, we will never lie or bend the truth in its service. Heaven knows there’s enough damning truth that our faking it is wholly unnecessary.

The independent news media is not “the enemy of the people.” It is the enemy of liars.

[Note: this statement is imaginary]

Would and wouldn’t

July 19, 2018

Back in my PSC days, a telephone company witness filed prepared testimony containing a huge blunder. On the stand, he said to delete the entire paragraph. Cross-examining, I asked why.

“It was a typo,” he answered, with a straight face.

I was reminded of this by Trump’s Tuesday claim that he’d merely mis-spoken Monday. Faced with a firestorm of condemnation, he did what he always does: he lied.

His Helsinki performance was a disgrace from beginning to end. What he meant was perfectly clear. And he imagines changing one word fixes everything? (Meantime, on Wednesday, he was unable to stick to the Tuesday script; and we still don’t know what he told Putin in private.)

Even before Tuesday’s “typo correction,” Hannity said those who criticize Trump regarding Helsinki are traitors to conservatism. Is this what “conservatism” now has come to? Getting in bed with a murdering Russian dictator who subverted our democracy? To think I once called myself a conservative.

Yes, good relations with Russia are desirable. But not at the cost of trashing everything America used to represent.

My daughter pointed me to a July 8 article by Jonathan Chait about Trump-and-Russia. I started reading, thinking, “yada yada yada;” however, this proved to be a devastating exposition (pulling together information already public) of just how thoroughly dirty Trump is. Read it.

Yet if Putin does “have something” on Trump, it seems a moot point. After “grab them by the pussy,” Stormy Daniels, Trump University, the constant lying, and so much else. Shoot someone on Fifth Avenue. Trump’s mind-slaves have sealed their deal with the Devil.

And whether Putin has him by the balls, or it’s Trump’s own psychopolitical pathology, doesn’t much matter because the result is the same. He is selling out America’s fundamental values and ideals, and tearing down the structure of alliances and the rules-based global order we so painstakingly built, that for seven decades served us and the free world so well, a bulwark of prosperity and peace.

It’s not simply “America First” or even “America Alone;” not merely a cynical transactional view of the world, nor even just a might-makes-right view. All of them myopically self-destructive. It’s worse yet: it’s realigning America, from the free world and the Enlightenment, to the dark side.

A monumental historical tragedy.

Trump’s treason

July 16, 2018

Recently at the G7 meeting in Canada, Trump played skunk at the picnic, refused to sign the agreed communique, and called Canada’s prime minister a backstabbing liar. He’s launched trade wars against our allies.

Then the Brussels NATO summit: cussing them out for not meeting a 2%-of-GDP defense spending target. He says they “owe us money,” which is false, it doesn’t work that way. Then he says the target should be 4%, which not even America spends. Then he turns around and congratulates himself for getting the others to agree to spend more. To which they say, “Wait — what?” They in fact agreed to nothing beyond existing targets.

And who would they be spending more to defend against? Trump never says. (It’s Russia.)

But the 2% thing is just a pretext for picking another fight with our allies and undermining NATO — exactly what Russia craves.

Meantime he accuses Germany’s Angela Merkel of being “totally controlled” by Russia, because of a gas pipeline. In fact Merkel has led the fight to keep sanctions against Russia for its Ukraine aggression. While Trump refused to enforce sanctions voted by Congress (and read below about his Helsinki summit). Who’s controlled by Russia?

Then he travels to Britain, whose people, he says, love him, while thousands protest his visit (he didn’t dare enter London). Prime Minister May had gone out on a limb for Trump, flattering him on her early Washington visit, and taking a lot of heat for inviting him to Britain. Her payback? Once in Britain he attacks and undermines her, saying he could do her job better on Brexit. (As if he understands the least thing about the Brexit complexities she is struggling with.) He threatens to refuse a trade deal, and practically endorses her rival Boris Johnson. But then he denies saying any of this, calling it “fake news,” despite his voice on the tape. And then he nonsensically attacks London’s mayor. And gives a racist rant about immigrants ruining European culture. And has people counting all the ways he dissed the Queen. This was a “diplomatic visit.

Then Trump was quoted Sunday saying that America’s biggest foe is the European Union.

Next, having thoroughly pummeled our European “foes,” it was time for a love-fest with our pal Putin.

Former Ambassador Nicholas Burns, interviewed beforehand, stressed that Trump’s job is to protect America, and he must confront Putin forcefully about election subversion. Calling this a “witch hunt” (now it’s “rigged witch hunt”) becomes increasingly absurd. Thirty-two people have so far been indicted by the Mueller investigation, with full details about exactly what they did and how, the majority for attempting (probably successfully) to subvert our election. An attack on America more damaging than anything by the Soviets during the cold war. American intelligence is absolutely clear and unanimous about this. It was also the bipartisan conclusion of the Senate Intelligence Committee. The latest indictments name Russian military and intelligence officials, proving that this was an operation by Putin’s regime.

So Trump promised he’d ask Putin the question. We’re told that in their private meeting they discussed it at length. Well, here’s the complete transcript:

Trump: Did you mess with our election?

Putin: Nyet.

Trump: OK.

But Trump welcomed Putin’s offer to have our people go to Russia to work with his people to investigate what he denies happened. Ha ha.

Bizarrely, while denying that Russia’s cyber-attack affected our election, or that it even happened, Trump continues to berate Obama for a weak response to it. But is Trump responding forcefully now? And while his endlessly repeated mantra is “no collusion” during the campaign, his stance ever since — denying the attack, minimizing it, smearing the investigation of it*, refusing to confront Russia about it, or to act to thwart a repeat — is collusion. (The legal term: “accessory after the fact.”)

In the news conference following the meeting, Trump said, “I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia having done the election stuff. Thus indeed crediting Putin’s lies, against our own intelligence and law enforcement institutions. More: Trump even blamed our bad relations with Russia on America. Our relations were poisoned not by anything Russia has done, but by our “foolish” investigation!

Putin is also guilty of trying destabilize other European democracies (including having a hand in the Brexit vote); a devastating cyber attack on Estonia; military aggression in Georgia and Ukraine, including the seizure of Crimea; military intervention to prop up the blood-soaked Syrian dictator; crushing dissent within Russia by brutal means including outright murders of opposition politicians (like Boris Nemtsov), whistlebowers (like Sergei Magnitski) and crusading journalists (like Anna Politkovskaya); and even extending the murder spree to Britain with poison nerve gas.

Yet Trump calls out Putin on none of this, instead totally kisses his ass with lavish praise, and endorses his lies. “Trump sides with Russia” is the headline. John McCain said no American president has ever abased himself so abjectly before a foreign tyrant, and this is a low point in the history of the presidency. (Read McCain’s full extraordinarily harsh statement.)

And what did the great dealmaker get for America in return for this gift to Putin? Zilch. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said the meeting’s outcome was “better than super.” Trump’s shredding relationships with our (former) allies, in particular, is a huge triumph for Russia. Exactly what Russia aimed to achieve in subverting our election. Putin brazenly said yes, he did want Trump elected. And sandbagging America with this president is exactly why the Russian election subversion was in fact such a big deal.

Our president used to be called “the leader of the free world.” Trump is trying to switch us to the other side.

“Treason” is a very strong word. May sound like exaggerated hyperbole. I have never before used it in discussing politics. I use it now with judicious care (and not metaphorically). Treason is the only crime defined in the Constitution: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”

Adhering to our enemies, giving them aid and comfort. Putin and Russia are still our enemies.

Trump is a traitor.

* Trump trotted out a new thoroughly phony attack on the investigation: “where’s the server?” Watch for Fox Fake News and congressional Republicans go to town beating this hollow drum.