Thursday, October 24, 2019

Transparent indeed. Plus: Rudy's Romanian Rhapsody!

On the Andrea Mitchell show earlier this day, I saw a Trump-supporting congressman (can't recall the name) claim that the Mueller report exonerated Trump. One has come to expect such lies. But one would hear fewer lies if the talking heads on MSNBC and CNN would simply say the magic words: "You're lying!"

Just like that. Why not? The charge is accurate. The Mueller report proved beyond all doubt that Trump obstructed justice repeatedly. The president would not have obstructed justice unless the underlying accusation of collusion were real.

Unfortunately, Pelosi refused to mount an impeachment inquiry based on Mueller's investigation -- and for that reason, the "exoneration" narrative has taken hold.

They're doing it again. The Republicans are working hard to convince the public that the House impeachment investigation lacks transparency, even though plenty of Republicans are in those committee hearing rooms, and even though the Republicans are allowed to question the witnesses as much as they would like. Many sensitive investigations are conducted in a similar fashion. The Benghazi investigation happened behind closed doors, and no Republican complained.

You wanna talk transparency? Okay. Let's.

The White House placed the transcript of the Zelensky chat -- a "perfect" and innocent chat, according to Trump -- onto the most secret computer available. The original transcript was marked S/NF (Secret/No Foreign Distribution), which is a pretty low classification. Nothing in the released version indicates that the document deserved even that high a classification.

It is against the law to over-classify a document in order to prevent personal embarrassment. The transcript cannot be simultaneously sweet-n-innocent and ultra-ultra-secret.

If the Republicans care about transparency, why don't they explain why that document was hidden? Why don't they demand the release of the actual transcript (which, I'm guessing, may contain a reference to Firtash)? And why can't we see all of the other over-classified phone calls on that system?

And why won't the Republicans demand that charges be filed against whoever is over-classifying these things?

Why don't the Republicans decry Trump's refusal to acknowledge lawful subpoenas? Why don't Republicans denounce Trump's lawyers, who insist that the president may not be subject to any kind of investigation or oversight?

Transparency. These hypocrites dare to mention that word. 

Finally: Romania!
Remember when Rudy was warning us to look at Romania? Yes, it seems that while we were all focused on Ukraine -- and to a lesser extent, China -- the Trumpers also had a little Romanian smear action going on the side. Here's the first volley.
The businessman was Gabriel “Puiu” Popoviciu, a wealthy Romanian real estate tycoon. The lawyer brought in to advise him was Hunter Biden, the son of then-Vice President Joe Biden, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Hunter Biden’s work for Popoviciu in 2016 went unreported at the time, but Joe Biden’s involvement in Romania was very much public. The vice president was among the leading voices pushing the government to crack down on corruption.

There’s no evidence that Hunter or his father acted improperly or violated any laws. But the arrangement, government ethics experts say, raises concerns that Hunter Biden was used as a prop in Popoviciu’s effort to dodge criminal prosecution.
I see nothing here to indicate that Joe did anything to help this Popoviciu fellow. Obviously, this accusation is every bit as bullshitty as the previous fantasias. That said, there's a lot of bribery and extortion going on in this administration, so do not be surprised if some Romanian official, palm suitably greased, comes forward with a tale of Bidenian perfidy.

You know who really is assisting Popoviciu? None other than RUDY GIULIANI.
Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani is being paid to assist lawyers working to free a wealthy Romanian-American real estate magnate who was convicted and sentenced to prison over a corrupt land deal.

Giuliani last week wrote to Romania’s president and prime minister to complain about the nature of their country’s efforts to tackle corruption. He called for an amnesty for people convicted under what he called the “excesses” of the Romanian anticorruption authorities.

The former New York City mayor said on Tuesday that he wrote the letter under a retainer he is paid by the Freeh Group, a private consultancy run by Giuliani’s friend Louis Freeh, a former FBI director and federal judge. Giuliani declined to say how much he was paid.

Freeh represents Gabriel “Puiu” Popoviciu, who was convicted in 2016 of crimes relating to his purchase of land in Bucharest that he developed into a shopping mall.
I'm reminded of the time Rudy castigated Lanny Davis for representing Ukrainian criminal Dmitry Firtash. Well, things have changed: Firtash is now represented by Rudy's pals, Toensing and diGenova, and he also pays a lot of money to Rudy's pal Lev Parnas. Since Parnas pays Rudy, and since money is fungible, we may fairly state that Firtash money has ended up in Rudy's wallet. There are plenty of reasons to think that Rudy himself is secretly representing Firtash.

The hypocrisy never stops!

What's next? Is Rudy going to accuse Hunter Biden of being bald and overweight?

And with that, I leave you in the hands one of my favorite conductors, Sergiu Celibidache -- the original mad Romanian. Here, he conducts (what else?) Enescu's Romanian Rhapsody No. 1. Even if you're not of the classical music persuasion, I suggest that you give this piece a try -- the second half makes most pop music seem slow and plodding. I'm sorry that this video is not in stereo, but Celi's body language is pretty cute.







Comments:
Rep Peter King (R-NY) was the person on the Andrea Mitchell Show hosted by Kristen.
 
Pelosi fails bc "optics" will be the death of the Republic. First in 2007 now 2019.
Taking a lot of heat from the scolds for accusing no spine. The latest republican SCIF Riot no repercussions.
 
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