Thursday, May 11, 2017

Comey's Firing and the Blowback..

Since I briefly mentioned the French election from the start of the week (some might even say the end of the weekend since it fell on a Sunday) in the previous post, let's talk about the news event that's currently inescapable not just for those involved but for the rest of us....

Yes, I'm talking about electoral vote winner Trump's firing of FBI director James Comey on Tuesday afternoon with no notice and seemingly out of nowhere.  Given that nobody saw it coming, including Comey himself, this event seemed to drop and make waves that may change the country - just not in the way Donnie and his minions intended.

Almost immediately after it happened, there was a sense that this didn't pass the sniff test and that something was up.  Maybe it was the initial reason that was given: that the Trump administration was unhappy with how Comey handled the Hillary Clinton investigation and his treatment of her just before the election.  Given that the election was back in November and we were almost a third of the way into May at the time Comey lost his job, it seems like a spurious reason at best. Add to this, the electoral vote winner and his minions' praise of Comey around the time of the investigation and after the election (including from Sean Spicer, White House press secretary, just a week earlier) and it seems unbelievable.

Whats more pressing is the administration's claims that Comey being let go has nothing to do with his probe of Russia possibly colluding with the Trump administration in the race leading to the past election.  Given that the firing happened two days before Comey was to speak to Congress as well as the slow but steady revelation of ties between individuals in the Trump campaign (and/or his administration) and Russia, it becomes evident that his firing wasn't because of anything that happened six months ago but due to his continuing probe of possible Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election.

So what now?  The simple answer is there needs to be an independent special prosecutor to look into the probe and see if anything is being covered up.  While Democrats appear willing to offer this up, the Repubs aren't so willing.  Whether it's because of sheer partisan power plays and wanting to keep their jobs or just a naivete on a level unimaginable for someone on that level, the fact that many on the right still seem to think this is no big deal is disturbing.  Add to this the fact the firing came within less than a day of subponaes being handed out in a Grand Jury over the issue and it becomes clear that electoral vote winner Trump, co electoral vote winner Pence and their minions are trying to hide something and are drawing even more attention to the exact issue they hope would go away when Comey was fired. 

Admittedly, things are not over yet.  Even though Trump and company wanted the issue of Russia to go away, this action guarantees that a yuuuuuggggge spotlight will remain on the issue and his tweetstorms on the topic.  Time wil tell what will happen, but given that this appears somewhere between Watergate era Nixon and a third world dictator action, there needs to be a special prosecutor ASAP.

Delayed Note of How the Week Started - France Dodged a Bullet

Hey!  Sorry for being scarce on the blog front.  I was in the process of relocating for the time being to help out a seriously ill relative and have been busy doing all the usual moving related stuff.  While I still have a lot to do I thought it prudent to come on here briefly for a couple of post. 

We all know the big topic filling the room and we'll get to that in the next post.  But, for now, let's take a step back and remind ourselves how the week started. 

Yes, it's hard to believe only a few days ago the big news was the French election last Sunday where far right candidate for the National Front Marine Le Pen was steadily trounced by centrist Emmanuel Macron for the Presidency of the country.  While the centrism of Macron is far from great in a lot of ways, the fact that he beat the candidate some were comparing to electoral vote winner Trump by over 30 points is a massive sigh of relief in a world still dealing with Britain's Brexit vote and the current state of the U.S.

To be fair, a case can be made that this election had the lowest voter turnout in France since 1969.  However, their low voter turnout rate was 74%, a percentage that would probably scare the crap out of both the Repubs and establishment Democrats.  Thus, it's safe to say that the victory of Macron was legit. 

That doesn't mean it's over, Macron's party is still struggling to process candidates for elections to Parliament.  In addition there are three more European countries with elections coming up that could foretell the direction of the European Union, if not the continent's political leanings altogether.  Still, the fact that centrism beat a party that in the past had some openly neofacist tendencies (and may still have them under the surface) got the week off to a start that many thought would relieve some of the hype about the Repubs victory optics over the House repeal of the ACA. 

Little did anyone know what turns the next couple of days would take.