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Trump’s approval rating amid Ukraine scandal is perfectly predictable

President Donald Trump
REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
The unusual thing about President Donald Trump’s support is that it essentially never goes up or down much.

Perfect is as perfect does.

I’ve tried and I’m still trying, but I confess I’ve never fully grokked how Donald Perfect Trump came to occupy the office of Washington and Lincoln. I understand the vagaries of the Electoral College pretty well, but the power of Trumpian tweets and Russian bots and Facebook users much less. 

But that stuff is a small part of the explanation necessary for me to understand how this cruel, vain, ignorant, greedy egomaniac acquired and continues to enjoy the unflinching support of about 40 percent of Americans, as measured by approval ratings.

I tell myself that 40 isn’t a good approval rating. It isn’t. It’s bad, but not historically awful for a president, especially one who so frequently flaunts his least approvable qualities. The unusual, almost creepy thing about Trump’s support is that it essentially never goes up or down much. In fact, you might not (or might, if you’ve been paying attention) know that Trump’s approval number, as measured by FiveThirtyEight’s average of many polls, is up slightly but noticeably over the past week.


That wasn’t just any week. It was the week sentient Americans became aware of new evidence of the bottomless depths of the Trumpian conscience. The evidence was contained in his uncontroverted and sadly all-too-believable effort to use the power and leverage of his office to enlist the leader of a desperate nation to dig up dirt on the son of one of his potential 2020 opponents.

Of course you know the basic facts from better sources than me. Trump put a hold on some scheduled U.S. military aid that Ukraine needs to protect itself from Russia. Then, in a phone call, during which Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky hoped to press Trump to get that aid moving, Trump changed the subject several times in several ways to ask Zelensky to have his government look into Ukrainian business transactions of Joe Biden’s son Hunter and the possibility that the senior Biden had improperly used his influence (back when he was vice president) to help the son’s allegedly illicit actions, charges that would obviously be damaging to the current leading Democratic candidate.

I don’t know if it was a high crime or misdemeanor, but the call stinks. It was a disgraceful abuse of office. It shows thuggish, bullying character that Americans should be ashamed to see coming from their president. And it represents a clear effort to use tax dollars to extort illicit political opposition research from a foreign government. It shows a quite possibly impeachable-level abuse of his presidential powers to help himself politically. 

Trump cannot seem to grasp how anyone could think there was anything wrong in anything he said. At least he acts like he can’t grasp it. In fact, he constantly refers to the call as “perfect,” including the bits where he appears to attach giving Ukraine the defense funds that he, Trump, had put on hold, to getting Zelensky’s help in digging up Biden dirt.

He doesn’t say that he might have been misunderstood by Zelensky, and that he can see how some people might think it would be better not to say anything that could possibly be misunderstood as seeking to leverage foreign aid for oppo research.

But no. “Perfect.” He didn’t say it once. He says it every time he talks about the call. He’s proud of it. “Perfect.” He can’t imagine how anyone could have handled it any better. “Perfect.” Anyone who sees it differently can choose between two descriptions, “fake news,” or “witch hunt.” 

One example from a Trump tweet:


Is he really that stupid, or is he just confident that his supporters are?

Trump sees something in the loyalty of his base that is quite possibly correct but that I can’t fully wrap my head around. He once famously bragged that his supporters are so loyal that  “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any votes.”


If anyone I supported ever said this, they would lose my support. I take a dim view of egomania and megalomania in my presidents. 

But in fact, Trump appears to be correct. As regular readers of this space know, I obsessively check Trump’s approval ratings, perhaps because I cannot believe that while they’re bad, they never change, no matter what he does or says.

A month ago, when I last updated my occasional series on Trump’s amazingly unchanging approval, I thought I saw evidence that the tide might be turning. Anyway, when I wrote that last update, Trump was down a few points to a 13-percentage negative gap in his then most recent approval/disapproval numbers according to the average of polls maintained by FiveThirtyEight. 

But I was wrong.

In the month since then, including especially the past week when the Ukraine/Biden/”perfect” phone call has been dominating the national news and fueling the Democrats’ move to impeach him, Trump’s FiveThirtyEight average approval rating has improved, very slowly but steadily, a tenth of a point or two at a time, from 41.0 percent on September 10 to 42.8 percent on Friday.

If you are open to the belief that Trump’s conduct in this matter was “perfect,” I pass along below an interview, between Republican Rep. and Trump loyalist Jim Jordan of Ohio, the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, who at least had the gumption to show up and defend Trump on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper yesterday

I give Jordan credit for showing up, but not much more. He was unable to acknowledge the basic facts, which are now quite well established, and simply refused to engage with any of the inconvenient questions raised by Tapper.

Tapper, I thought, was solid and pretty aggressive without crossing the objectivity boundaries imposed by his job. Jordan believes that both Joe and Hunter Biden did a lot of bad stuff but was all see-no-evil about anything untoward in Trump’s beyond-doubt multiple requests to Zelensky to dig up dirt on the Bidens. Jordan didn’t really dispute that fact, he just refused to engage, changing the subject whenever Tapper tried to give him a chance to respond to the key problem with Trump’s conduct.


It ends with Tapper, giving up trying and saying: 

“President Trump was pushing the president of Ukraine to investigate a political rival I cannot believe that that is okay with you. I can’t believe it’s okay with you.”

And a last note on Trump’s self-admiration of his “perfect” call, just so you don’t think I’m the only that notices how committed he is to that description of his exchange with the Ukrainian president. It comes from Maureen Dowd’s column of Friday, headlined “Impeaching the peach one,” in which Dowd has an exchange with Speaker Nancy Pelosi about Pelosi’s most recent exchange with Trump. Says Pelosi to Dowd: 

“My conversation with the president was one in which he said the phone call was perfect and he couldn’t wait until I saw it because it was perfect. It wasn’t perfect.”

She’s a cool customer, that speaker. Inclined to understatement. But she got this right. It wasn’t perfect.

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Comments (49)

  1. Submitted by Barbara Boldenow on 09/30/2019 - 11:35 am.

    I can only conclude that the “outsider” status and total disgust with the establishment politicians and parties keep them approving of him. I can understand that. I just don’t feel the need to go off the cliff. That’s a frightening conclusion. Nothing else makes any sense.

  2. Submitted by Misty Martin on 09/30/2019 - 11:41 am.

    Eric:

    President Donald J. Trump is amoral – A.M.O.R.A.L. at the very least – he’s many things and NONE of them GOOD as far as I can see, but I do not believe he can distinguish between good and evil – the sad thing is that obviously, many of his supporters have lost the ability to do so either, or so it would seem, at least to me. Sad.

  3. Submitted by Mike Chrun on 09/30/2019 - 11:57 am.

    “Is he really that stupid, or is he just confident that his supporters are?” I don’t think many of his supporters are that stupid. They might never acknowledge it; but they, like Jordan, know you can’t defend the basic act. So you obviously make it about the Bidens because, at all cost, the enemy must never win. Pretty sure we’ll have the usual followers of the great leader chiming in about the “lefties” and the “leftists” and the “socialists” and what they did, or didn’t do, or what will happen if they get away with this. They obviously take their cues from Fox News just as the great leader does. Ironic that one of the main talking points of Fox is how much of this is simply because of the hatred of Trump by the Democrats. Nothing at all about how Trump’s hold on his followers is rooted in a hatred of the other side.

    Now, is the great leader that stupid? At some level, I think he is. But he also knows bullying, lying, scapegoating, and sycophants can get him out of a lot of messy situations.

    • Submitted by B. Dahl on 09/30/2019 - 08:13 pm.

      I really don’t understand how one can not wonder how Hunter Biden found himself a really wealthy man during the time his Dad was VP of the US. Makes one concerned if Dad is elected President will this continue and what kid of political debts does he have to the Chinese and Ukraine. Why not really investigate/

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/01/2019 - 08:58 am.

        How did Donald Trump find himself a wealthy man? Or his sons? Or Jared Kushner? Family connections always grease the skids even for the most marginally competent.

        Today we learned that Hunter Biden is something of a black sheep, whose business activities bring no joy into his father’s life.

  4. Submitted by Joel Stegner on 09/30/2019 - 12:11 pm.

    Conservative men hate change, never want to admit a mistake and cannot handle people they consider inferiors – women, racial and religious minorities, refugees and immigrants, gay people, liberals and socialists – being in charge. Trump is pretending to be their savior, but those in agriculture and manufacturing should have figured out already that he is not. The trade war has deeply harmed blue collar households and do you think anyone is in the mood to bail him out..

    • Submitted by John Webster on 09/30/2019 - 01:57 pm.

      I’m overall a political moderate who is liberal on a few issues (especially universal health care), and I’ve voted for candidates with the last names of Clinton, Dukakis, Gore, and Obama. I also have known many conservative men, and few of them are like the caricature you paint of them. The vast majority of conservatives favor incremental and what they regard as prudential change, but they don’t favor radical change a la Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. And the trade war is in response to Chinese predations: currency manipulation, restricting imports, and most of all theft of intellectual property. Those practices pre-date Trump’s presidency and have been condemned by many prominent Democrats including Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer. Soybean farmers have been hurt at least as much by the millions of hogs in China who ate soybeans imported from the U.S. but who have died from a widespread disease, thus greatly decreasing the demand for soybeans. Understanding economic realities has to go far beyond simplistic Trump-bashing.

      • Submitted by Mark Noonan on 10/04/2019 - 03:22 am.

        Maybe so. But It’s those who are poor that get socked. Those on fixed incomes can not tolerate the price increases that result from a trade war.

  5. Submitted by Connor OKeefe on 09/30/2019 - 12:15 pm.

    Hunter Biden was under ceiminal investigation. His father used his office and US foreign aid to pressure a foreign country to fire the man who was doing the investigation. Incredibly, he also implicated President Obama.

    These facts are not in dispute; Joe Biden publicly bragged about it.

    If asking a foreign country to reopen a criminal investigation into corruption is an abuse of power, how can lefties defend their candidate for President?

    I don’t pretend to understand how lefties think, but how they think this is going to end well for them is confounding.

    • Submitted by Eric House on 09/30/2019 - 12:25 pm.

      What exactly does any of this comment have to do with the corruption of Donald Trump?

      • Submitted by Barry Tungseth on 10/07/2019 - 10:08 am.

        It has nothing to do with Trump. That`s why it was written. If you`ll notice, Trump and his followers always go backwards in statements in Trump`s support.

    • Submitted by Brian Simon on 09/30/2019 - 12:26 pm.

      Whether or not the Bidens were behaving criminally is unrelated to whether or not President Trump committed actions deserving impeachment & renoval from office.

      If the administration were promoting a DOJ investigation into the Bidens, I’d have a lot more confidence in the veracity of the claims. Instead, the main point of contact is Rudi Giuliani – the President’s personally attorney, who is not in a positiin to pursue a prosecution. Doesn’t that seem just a little bit fishy to you?

      • Submitted by Connor OKeefe on 09/30/2019 - 12:42 pm.

        I don’t disagree with anything you say. My problem is, I don’t see anything untoward in asking Ukraine to reopen an investigation into corruption. The US enlists the help of foreign countries in investigating crimes every day.

        Trump’s request was made with his usual clumsiness; the man clearly loves the taste of his own shoes, but I sincerely don’t see it as misconduct. I do however, see Biden’s actions as misconduct, and potentially criminal.

        • Submitted by Barbara Mcgraw on 09/30/2019 - 02:20 pm.

          Here’s what the Editorial Board of the New York Times said in a fabulous piece in yesterday’s paper: “A president’s use of his power for his own political gain, at the expense of the public interest, is the quintessence of an impeachable offense. It was, in fact, one of the examples the Constitution‘s framers deployed to explain what would constitute “ high crimes and misdemeanors,” the standard for impeachment.” Further, “ If the president had evidence, his White House counsel should have shared it with the Department of Justice and let the FBI do its job, in coordination with Ukrainian counterparts.” Pressuring the President of Ukraine by our president is clearly an impeachable offense…

        • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 09/30/2019 - 02:25 pm.

          Asking a foreign power to intervene in an American election is a clear (and impeachable) Constitutional violation.

          • Submitted by Connor OKeefe on 09/30/2019 - 03:28 pm.

            I suppose that might be true, but I’m at a loss to understand where it applies to the issue at hand.

            • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 09/30/2019 - 04:24 pm.

              OK, why is congress looking to bring impeachment? You just agreed with the (this is an impeachable offense).

            • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/01/2019 - 09:09 am.

              According to one well-placed government official, the U.S. has been clear: we will not tolerate foreign interference in our elections. The United States will continue to push back against malign actors who seek to subvert our democratic process.

              The fact that Secretary Pompeo did not burst into flames immediately upon saying that is a miracle.

    • Submitted by Jim Smola on 09/30/2019 - 12:50 pm.

      Actually the facts state that Hunter Biden and the company he served as a Board Director wasn’t being investigated by the prosecutor. European countries, Ukrainian activists, and President Obama by sending Vice President Biden did pressure the Ukrainian government to appoint someone who would investigate the company which they did. The investigation was conducted and Hunter Biden was absolved. To state anything else is to distort the facts and blur the truth.

    • Submitted by Scott Marshall on 10/01/2019 - 09:58 am.

      It’s incredible what the Trump Republicans do not know or ignore
      Hunter sat on the board, he is a lawyer. Polish X President was appointed the same time. Russia cut off Gas to Ukraine. They just got rid of Russian puppet President BTW George W Bush appointed HB to Amtrak’s board.

    • Submitted by Mark Noonan on 10/04/2019 - 03:24 am.

      Maybe you need to read. Biden wasn’t THE ONLY one after the Attorney General. Europe did as well as his own people. So I think it’s unfair to say Biden was the one responsible.

  6. Submitted by James Robins on 09/30/2019 - 12:19 pm.

    Polling does not measure intensity of support. In 2016, the intensity of support clearly swung to Republicans and the polling had no way of knowing the lack of intensity would depress Democratic turnout. The poll results skewed toward Clinton accordingly.

    Given the mood of the country, it seems as though we are likely to see fairly equal intensity of support in 2020. It seems likely, as well, that the Ukraine phone call would tend to increase the intensity of Democratic support even if the polling does not account for it.

  7. Submitted by Brian Simon on 09/30/2019 - 12:21 pm.

    Real DJT wrote:
    “If that perfect phone call with the President of Ukraine Isn’t considered appropriate, then no future President can EVER again speak to another foreign leader!”

    Flawless logic. If we want future Presidents to communicate with foreign leaders, we better give this one a pass!

    • Submitted by Mark Noonan on 10/04/2019 - 03:27 am.

      Wrong. The call in itself is not the problem. But asking a foreign Power to investigate a political rival and Presidential Candidate is abuse of presidential power. If that don’t bother you then I don’t know what will. I bet if A Democrat did the same thing you might not be so happy.

  8. Submitted by cory johnson on 09/30/2019 - 12:22 pm.

    It seems unhelpful for the face of impeachment (Schiff) to make up the entirety of the phone call as the opening salvo into the inquiry. I mean it’s helpful for the partisans in the press to report as truth, but not so helpful in establishing trust in the process.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 09/30/2019 - 12:39 pm.

      First, the Trump supporters are never going to have “trust in the process,” unless Our Beloved Leader is vindicated. The Decision has been made for them.

      Second, Rep. Schiff prefaced his remarks by saying that he was going to give an outline of the phone call, not a verbatim recitation. The idea that he was “making it up” is a convenient trope for the right-wing media to feed the gullible, but it is not what happened.

      Third, the White House itself said that it was not releasing a “verbatim transcript” of the call. Unless and until they do, we will have to rely on their summary.

      • Submitted by Connor OKeefe on 09/30/2019 - 12:58 pm.

        First, Schiff recited a purient fantasy; honestly I expected him to wipe his chin when he was finished speaking; it was nothing short of shameful.

        Second, as I understand it, several people make notes of phone calls, and not every call is recorded. It’s probable what you see is what there is.

        Third, “the process” was compromised when the GOP impeached Clinton. The Democrats are doubling down on that taint; they were planning for impeachment before Trump was sworn in.

        There’s no putting that genie back in the bottle. The process is irretrievably compromised: only someone completely ignorant of government affairs will ever have confidence in the process, ever again.

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 09/30/2019 - 01:21 pm.

          “Third, “the process” was compromised when the GOP impeached Clinton. The Democrats are doubling down on that taint; they were planning for impeachment before Trump was sworn in.”

          Here’s a key difference this time: When the Republicans impeached President Clinton, they did no investigation of their own, and relied solely on the Starr Report (and if you want something that appeals largely to prurient interests, you can start there). The process was blatantly used for political purposes (Newt Gingrich resigned when impeachment talk failed to bring the electoral gains he thought it would). This time around, the House is actually going to do investigation and hold hearings. The process is being reinstated.

    • Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 09/30/2019 - 04:04 pm.

      I’m not clear what “opening salvo” or comment of Rep. Schiff is being referred to here but as far as I know, the only documents that were released by the White House are a memorandum of the June 25 phone call to the Ukrainian President and a redacted copy of the whistleblower’s complaint which stated that he was told by several inside sources that the “word-for-word” transcript of the phone call was placed in a computer specially reserved for classified information. If Schiff and Congress have not been given a “word-for-word” transcript of the phone call when it does exist, it’s Schiff’s and Congress’s job to find out why not.

      The impeachment investigation is to find out how many other documents have been improperly concealed by being deliberately misclassified as “classified”. This investigation is about a cover-up as well as the abuse of power in soliciting or maybe coercing campaign support from a foreign power.

  9. Submitted by John Webster on 09/30/2019 - 01:04 pm.

    It all depends on what the word “approval” means regarding approval rating. I would bet heavily that a large majority of Trump voters don’t approve of his personal demeanor, the colossal ego, and his other glaring flaws. That large majority doesn’t like Trump on a personal level, but they support the legislation he has signed and the judges he has nominated. They strongly oppose the ideas of the inevitable 2020 Democratic nominee, Elizabeth Warren, and they’ll vote for Trump again with deep regret but without hesitation. America is a big, politically diverse country, i.e. it is not just one big newsroom or faculty lounge where everyone recites the same slogans.

    • Submitted by Connor OKeefe on 09/30/2019 - 01:26 pm.

      You have succinctly and correctly summed up the consensus among my circle of friends.

      Mike Pence wouldn’t be a bad President either, but we’d like to see Trump finish the border wall and reform immigration. We are also enthused about the candidates that have been mentioned as his replacements for RBG.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 09/30/2019 - 02:29 pm.

      It’s called a ‘Faustian bargain’.
      And remember where HE ended up.
      (for those not acquainted with Goethe, it’s called selling your soul to the devil).

  10. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 09/30/2019 - 04:01 pm.

    It is going to be like dominos all lined up. One will fall and that will start the succession of those trying to get out of the way. There will be defections, convictions, and the rest will have Trump stink all over them. Trump, the mob boss, has masterfully cornered himself and he is starting to throw others under the bus to save himself. It will get to the point Republicans in congress will have to leave or try and defend Trump’s ever increasing indefensible behavior and comments. Either way they lose. The jig is up for the GOP.

  11. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 09/30/2019 - 04:49 pm.

    Not being quite as obsessed by poll numbers as is Eric, I pay less attention to them at this point in the process – specifically, more than a year before the next election, and months before we even know who the candidates will be, though the Republican candidate appears to be a shoo-in among his non-thinking followers. My point is that it’s way too early to get TOO excited about poll numbers, especially when Trump supporters have demonstrated that many suffer from cognitive dissonance of staggering proportions if, as John Webster suggests, they don’t approve of his behavior or personality, but do approve of the racist policies and economic stupidity of legislation he has supported. If anything, a person who demonstrates in public, on the campaign trail, that they’re essentially a jerk and a bully, is likely to be even more so in situations, such as diplomatic negotiations, dealing with the inevitable criticism that goes with public office, etc., that are more private.

    In short, there’s little to admire about Donald J. Trump, but a segment of the population supports him anyway because they’ve convinced themselves that he somehow represents them. Unless they’re bigoted millionaires with autocratic tendencies, that’s simply not the case.

    Mr. O’Keefe’s suggestion that Mike Pence wouldn’t be a bad President is appalling, and would do little more than replace Trump’s secular bigotry with Mr. Pence’s equally obvious, equally ill-informed, religious bigotry. Those who’ve paid even minimal attention to the Middle East over the past decade(s) should have noted that religious bigotry is not conducive to peace and tranquility. European history for more than a thousand years was peppered with religious warfare that killed many hundreds of thousands who went to the wrong church, or no church at all. Theocracy is fundamentally in opposition to democracy, and Christian fundamentalists clamoring for a “more Biblical” United States are advocating theocracy. If “The Handmaid’s Tale” and the idea of living in Gilead appeals to you, then I suppose Mike Pence would be your guy. The border wall, like the Berlin Wall, Hadrian’s Wall, China’s Great Wall, and virtually every city wall built in Europe for hundreds of years, is merely an expression of fear and loathing – not the sort of values we like to associate with American exceptionalism.

    Like most organized crime bosses, Trump strikes me as someone who genuinely believes he needn’t pay attention to whatever laws and rules exist. He was elected King, after all, at least as far as he’s concerned, and the toadies roaming the West Wing of the White House don’t challenge him about anything substantial, including whether his new clothes are actually there, so he gets to indulge his prejudices, large and small, without much consideration for their effect on others. His personal welfare and the nation’s welfare are synonymous, at least in his own mind, and flattery simply seems like the truth.

  12. Submitted by Rich Crose on 09/30/2019 - 09:21 pm.

    There are plenty of people going to their mail box everyday expecting a check from that nice man who promised them 80% returns on their investment.

    Over 90% of con men are never prosecuted because the mark either doesn’t believe they’ve been conned or if they do, they are too embarrassed to admit it and won’t come forward.

    Trump is running the ultimate long con, he is on the verge of getting called out and he’s getting nervous. When con men are on the verge of being discovered, the lies come fast and furious thinking if they tell enough lies, the mark is going to believe one of them.

    Russia and the Jim Jordan’s helped him con the populace the first time, now he’s trying to recruit more –he’s found a good one in Giuliani.

    • Submitted by Barry Tungseth on 10/07/2019 - 10:16 am.

      Just reading Trump`s own book “The Art Of The Deal” will explain why you are correct. It is To bad all Americans did not read and comprehend it before they voted, because Trump would have lost the election hands down.

  13. Submitted by Tom Anderson on 09/30/2019 - 11:40 pm.

    The President will eventually have an opponent to face, but unless the fix is in (again) his opponent is unknown at this date.

    According to the Strib, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky did not yet know of the hold on the funds prior to the call.

    “I obsessively check Trump’s approval ratings”, which readers of this space are well aware. “Obsessively” is the key word that 40% of Americans have noticed about liberals and progressives, since Day 1. Maybe they just feel sorry for the guy.

  14. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 10/01/2019 - 08:04 am.

    The impeachment process will get to the bottom of Trump’s lawlessness. It’s going to exposed the GOP cowards in congress who are willing to do nothing about the lawlessness. The GOP is so far dug in on Trump they will find it hard to back out gracefully. Oh, they could resign, and then speak their true feelings, as so many do. Kevin McCarthy found out, on 60 Minutes, how hard it is going to be to defend the indefensible, and this is just the start. If the GOP couldn’t figure out Trump, and deal with him by now, they don’t deserve to be in congress. The GOP jig is up. See yah!

  15. Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 10/01/2019 - 09:33 am.

    I think Trump’s approval ratings might be up because Democrats have shown how corrupt they have become because they are defending Hunter Biden’s $50,000 a month job for a Ukrainian gas company he had little to no expertise to deserve. To working people of all kinds who make less than $50,000 pre YEAR, that defense looks like shameless hypocrisy masked by the ugliest of self-righteousness, and so this impeachment something of a scam.

    As for Trump’s phone call, foreign aid particularly military aid is leverage. We do not give money to foreign countries for charity, out of the kindness of our hearts. If we Americans were privy to the quid pro quo demands of every president for 40 years, we would be appalled. But generally we do not want to know.

    As for Ukraine, Americans have been lied to by their media and government about the country for years now. Russia did not invade Crimea or the Dontesk region; Americans and the EU conspired to start a color revolution when the Ukranian president at the time took the better energy and trade deal from Russia than he was offered by the EU. Then the gov of the new western puppet president, full of Svoboda neo-nazis, started squaking about exterminating the ethnic Russians in the western half of Ukraine. Crimea voted overwhelmingly to the join Russia, Donetsk rebelled and Russia stepped in for support.

    Russia is the crown jewel in regime change doctrine. Ukraine cannot be seen accurately but through that lens. At the time, Hillary called Putin Hitler-like, even though we were supporting the neo-nazis. Just about everything we have been told about Ukraine the last few years is a lie.

    Anyway, Biden, Obama and the Clintons are profoundly corrupt, so this profoundly corrupt President stirring up dirt about them, and this distracting circus called impeachment, is an empire in decline, in denial about how systemically corrupt things on both sides of the partisan divide have become; a circus to maintain the economic and general warmongering corporatized status quo, basically.

    Fact is, there are many things bearing down on American empire, on the way of life we have grown accustomed to, and this coversation hides the fact that we have few to no good ideas what to do about that. Distract away, America….

    • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 10/01/2019 - 01:18 pm.

      And of course, $50K a month is really a lot of money, for a lawyer lobbyist, (depends on who is looking) (Seems a good football player makes more than that “per-game” and you have proof positive that this is corrupt, or are you just peddling the std. Trump BS? And how is it the democratic congress is defending the Jr Biden? By going after Criminal Trump and executing their sworn duty to the constitution? Something Trump has done everything not to do? If it is the “perfect” phone call, then why doesn’t Trump and his mobsters open the flood gates to all the information, it will embarrass the hell out of the congress and guarantee him reelection See the simple act of connecting a dot or two, just shows how hypocritical arguments like yours are, how empty, contrived and made up. Protect the guilty by casting shade at the innocent. quoting from the article:”Is he really that stupid, or is he just confident that his supporters are?” I’ll vote for the supporters, so willing to be bamboozled, and so proud to demonstrate it! ,

      • Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 10/01/2019 - 09:17 pm.

        “See the simple act of connecting a dot or two, just shows how hypocritical arguments like yours are, how empty, contrived and made up.”

        Connecting the dots is an art, just like life. We are all free to tell our story. Blessings on the path.

        • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 10/02/2019 - 09:27 am.

          Well if it is so “hypocritical” and “contrived, made up” then you should have no problem presenting something to support your dot connecting. The perspective was: “If it is the “perfect” phone call, then why doesn’t Trump and his mobsters open the flood gates to all the information, it will embarrass the hell out of the congress and guarantee him reelection.”
          Please, enlighten!

    • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 10/01/2019 - 08:48 pm.

      “Fact is, there are many things bearing down on American empire, on the way of life we have grown accustomed to, and this conversation hides the fact that we have few to no good ideas what to do about that. Distract away, America….”

      Well William, a ray of hope at last. You have acknowledged that during the time of Ike (Kennedy?) we actually had a few “good old days”. Of course if you were of your current age during the time of Ike or Kennedy you would express your frustration and long for the days of Woodrow Wilson.

      With the likely notable exception of D J Trump, I will accept that the Presidents in my lifetime (beginning with Ike) sought the office of the Presidency with fairly altruistic objectives: they honestly believed they had ideas that would move the nation in a direction to make it better. To imply that they all entered and exited with corrupt intent and you can see no difference between any of them is as cynical as it gets.

      Of course, if I am to be critical of the consistent theme of your posts, it is only reasonable that I offer an alternative.

      I give you:

      Bir Tawil

      Perhaps the most famous “unclaimed land” in the world is Bir Tawil. In 2014, author Alastair Bonnett described Bir Tawil as the only place on Earth that was habitable but was not claimed by any recognised government.

      • Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 10/02/2019 - 08:09 am.

        Edward,

        I would be far from suggesting Ike-Kennedy were good ol days…

        Ike might have been altruistic, but then he hired the Dulles brothers, two of the nastiest swamp creatures to ever roam the halls of modern Washington. Jim Crow laws were still in effect. Kids were still forcebly removed from indigenous communities. The threat of nuclear anihilation was ever present…

        Anyway, I am an American, I love my country and its people, I fight for it and them in these pages, and I have no desire to be an expatriot. Which argument suggesting I move to Bir Tawil sounds almost exactly like DJT orange julius telling certain congress people to go back where they came from, because he did not like their criticisms of this country.

        I mean to stick around and be a part of the dialogue aka democracy.

  16. Submitted by Edward Blaise on 10/01/2019 - 08:25 pm.

    One more ultimate act of breathtaking hypocrisy:

    Mike Pompeo, West Point grad, Army armored tank platoon commander, Harvard law graduate, Kansas entrepreneur is asked to simply do as Sec. of State Hilary Clinton did for 11 hours: answer questions from a semi hostile house committee and poor old chicken little Mike Pompeo gives all manner of excuses why he could not do that when issued the same house subpoena that Hilary answered. And Pompeo was one of the guys asking questions!

    Zero accountability from this administration, top to bottom. Bullies and cowards, top to bottom, and their faithful refuse to hold them responsible in anyway.

  17. Submitted by Chas Dalseide on 10/02/2019 - 07:19 pm.

    I suppose I should have stepped up sooner. But having recently read an 11 page article on the younger Biden, I wondered if his image as a loser was cultivated. If he was so bad, it had to be that his father was the valuable connection.
    But isn’t that routine in business? Then I wondered, just what kind of corruption can you get away with if you are a board member? I suppose the big thing is to steer purchases to your friends, and get a little commission for doing so? Or maybe you can champion one of your friends, or one of his kids to be hired for a nice position in the company? Or you can vote to give entrenched executives big raises and bonuses. Or you can promote grants to your favorite causes? Otherwise, how much expertise is needed to buy something low from the supplier, and sell it high to the consumer and take a cut out of the middle? What kind of corruption is required to get the public utilities commissions to set higher rates? I think that I recall that he only attended two board meetings, which I guess are confidential. I also read that the ex-President of Poland was on the board. Did he get paid the same? What did he bring to the company? Maybe those guys made the stock look better to potential investors? Did the value of the company go up?

    As for foreign aid, it isn’t delivered without strings. You will be required to spend it at Boeing or Caterpillar, not at Rolls Royce or Fiat. So it must be quite a process to put those deals together. Is the buyer in control, or the seller? Or some middleman? Does he get a commission paid by the taxpayer?

  18. Submitted by cory johnson on 10/05/2019 - 10:11 am.

    Trump should’ve listened to Schumer when he told Maddow “Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community — they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,”. That’s exactly what’s happening with this John Brennan holdover and his/her “whistleblower” report.

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