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The Caligula Presidency: a Weekly Ovi Column - Week 24 The Caligula Presidency: a Weekly Ovi Column - Week 24
by Dr. Emanuel Paparella
2017-11-25 08:23:46
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lino1

Week 24 - Columns 161-167
On the subjects of: Mar-A-Lago and the Far-Right, the Least Popular President, the Special Counsel,
Obstruction of Justice, Comey's Firing.

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Column 161

What is the Boogey Man Up To and When is He Coming?

 lino163_400

Special Counsel Robert Mueller caught the Trump campaign by surprise last month, issuing a subpoena to more than a dozen officials despite the campaign's voluntary compliance with his probe,

The subpoena is the "first official order" for information from the campaign. None of those who received the subpoena were compelled to testify before a grand jury." Sending a subpoena to an entity that says it has been cooperating with document requests isn't unusual in cases in which prosecutors have some concern that their demands aren't being met promptly or aren't being entirely fulfilled.

Mueller is overseeing an investigation into attempts by the Russian government to meddle in the 2016 election and potential collusion with Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

Trump has previously denied working with the Russian government for political benefit. The special counsel's office has declined to comment. A representative for the White House also declined to comment. The plot thickens as we speak. It appears that the boogey man is dutifully preparing his case and will sooner or later come knocking at the door of the White House.

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Column 162

Trump’s Multiple Lies about his Wealth

 lino164_400

The president’s family business is worth about one-tenth of the value he has claimed, according to an analysis of the latest figures he has filed with the federal government.

In 2016 the Trump Organization reported nearly $9.5 billion in revenues. But recent public filings by the president indicate that the company actually earned only as much as $700 million that year. Trump has been reporting inflated revenue since at least 2010. The latest figures Trump has filed recently demote the Trump Organization from the No. 3 spot on the list of largest privately held New York City companies to No. 40

Trump is down an astonishing 92 places to No. 248, in Forbes’ rankings of richest men in America. He took a dive on Bloomberg’s Billionaires’’ list, but is credited with still having a total $2.9 billion in assets, as far as Bloomberg’s knows. In 2015 Trump boasted: “My massive net worth is in excess of $10 billion.” Net worth is a subjective “feeling,” Trump said in a 2006 deposition. Since Trump hasn’t released his tax returns, as presidents typically do, his income and information about holdings remains murky. Trump is currently being sued by Citizens for Responsibility for failing to put his business interests into a blind trust.

Moral of the story: one has to be crazy to put any trust in anything this president says.

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Column 163

Mar-A-Lago, a tempting Attraction for
Far-Right Groups at the Palm Beaches

 lino165

The latest in Palm Beach high society gossip is that there are now people who are ditching Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort for a competitor Trump once ridiculed as the one who gets the leftovers, The Breakers. This trend began after Trump refused to condemn the white supremacists who rallied in Charlottesville this summer. Nineteen charities such as the Red Cross and Bethesda Hospital Foundation, canceled their events at the resort.

As the Palm Beach elite shifts set its sights on more a-political horizons, Trump defenders, undeterred, have started flocking to the resort as a means of showing support for the commander-in-chief. Among those who are planning to hold galas at the oceanside retreat this winter season include Televangelist Pat Robertson and a group of high society ladies called “The Trumpettes USA.” (see above picture).

Recently, the private club held a Young Republicans National Federation gala that included a speech from singer and Trump cheerleader Joy Villa, who celebrated conspiracy theorist and Sandy Hook-denier Alex Jones and an America-first ideology. Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network decided to host its first gala for its Orphan’s Promise charity at Mar-A-Lago and reportedly only planned it just so it could take place there.

And in February, a pro-Israel group will hold a 700-person “Truth About Israel Gala,” where attendees will dish out $600 per ticket. Organizers said they want to hold their event at Trump's estate because of his pro-Israel stance. In effect the club has become an attraction to all fanatical Trump supporters, who now will have a chance, via Mar-A-Lago to watch a president solve a nuclear dilemma while cutting their filet mignon. They'll get another opportunity when Trump returns to Mar-A-Lago for Thanksgiving for six days starting on Tuesday. Vico had it on target when he observed that decaying societies “at the end they go crazy.” 

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Column 164

Is He the Least Popular President Ever in US History?

 lino166_400

The Latest Poll Shows that the least popular president ever is starting to lose his base. It hasn’t exactly abandoned, given that 71.8 percent of all Republicans still approve of the job he is doing, but it nevertheless represents a 3 percent drop from the prior week when it was 75.2. The overall approval rating, however, hovers around 35 percent. That is surely the lowest in recent memory.

Earlier a poll from Morning Consult/Politico found that  8 percent of Trump voters would defect to a generic Democrat candidate in the 2020 election. Also noteworthy is the fact that lately a number of fellow GOP politicians have become frequent public critics of the president, chiefly Arizona Senator Jeff Flake and Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, both of whom plan to retire after their respective terms. Flake has gone as far as to say that Trump’s actions are "dangerous to our democracy."

The worst approval rating as above described occurred at Day 302 of Trump’s presidency. Former President Barack Obama boasted an approval rating of 51.4 percent at the same point. It appears that the 12 day trip to Asia did precious little to boost his already sagging popularity. 

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Column 165

The Special Counsel Diligently Preparing his Case
for Obstruction of Justice

 lino167_400

Special Counsel Robert Mueller who is investigating whether President Donald Trump sought to obstruct a federal inquiry into connections between his presidential campaign and Russian operatives has now directed the Justice Department to turn over a broad array of documents, ABC News has learned.

Mueller's investigators are keen to obtain emails related to the firing of FBI Director Comey and the earlier decision of Attorney General Session to recuse himself from the entire matter. That means that Mueller is now demanding documents from the department overseeing his investigation. Mueller's investigators now seek not only communications between Justice Department officials themselves, but also any communications with White House counterparts

Trump, however, has openly expressed disdain for the federal probe. Shortly before firing Comey, Trump secretly drafted a memo laying out his reasons for wanting the FBI chief ousted. The draft memo was never publicly released. Rosenstein still maintains final supervision over the case, even though he was interviewed by Mueller's team as a witness for his own role in Comey's firing.

In July, Trump posted a Tweet demanding to know why "our beleaguered" attorney general wasn't "looking into Crooked Hillarys crimes & Russia relations."

Senate and House Democrats hammered Sessions for previously telling Congress -- under oath -- that no Trump campaign associates ever communicated with Russian operatives or intermediaries. But in the first known charges brought by Mueller, announced last month, former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos admitted he told Sessions and Trump during a meeting last year that he was working with Russians to orchestrate a meeting between Trump and Russian President Putin. Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to charges of lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian nationals.

The plot thickens but the investigation is far from over. The Bogey man is surely coming to knock at the White House eventually.

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Column 166

Trump believes that he is as Innocent as a Lamb: Really?

 lino168_400

The Bogey Man is coming with the goods

President Donald Trump is reportedly under the impression that special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in last year’s presidential election is almost over and that he will get off scot-free.

 “I don’t think there’s any reason to believe this is almost over,” Randall Eliason, law professor at George Washington University and a former federal prosecutor, told the Post. “Based not just on what we’ve seen but also what we know about white-collar investigations generally, this seems to me like it is just getting started.”

Others say that they expect the probe to go on well into next year and possibly a lot longer. Cooperation from low-level officials like George Papadopoulos generate “new evidence and leads about those higher on the chain of command,” making it unlikely that they are done following up on leads developed over the summer.

Trump’s private counsel disagrees with experts cited in the Post, arguing that Mueller’s probe “will wrap up by the end of the year, if not shortly thereafter.”

“The people who have been interviewed generally feel they were treated fairly by the special counsel, and adequately prepared to assist them in understanding the relevant material,” Ty Cobb, the president’s lead defense attorney, told the Post. “They came back feeling that it was over, but nobody I know of was shaken or scared.”

“This is a classic Gambino-style rollup,” a person close to Trump told the Post, referring to one of New York's notorious crime families, which was brought down by the FBI in the early 1990s. “You have to anticipate this rollup will reach everyone in the administration.”

*******************************************

Column 167

Special Counsel Focuses on Comey's Firing

 lino169_400

Mueller’s team is actively investigating whether President Trump tried to obstruct a federal criminal probe over Russia’s attempts to influence last year’s presidential election.

Comey's termination was read to him over the phone while he was traveling for the bureau in Los Angeles. He was there for a field office inspection and a recruitment event that evening as part of the FBI's efforts to boost diversity. But a different FBI official told ABC News that Comey first learned of his firing by seeing news reports on TV. Comey was "surprised, really surprised" and was "caught flat-footed," the official said.

A White House official confirmed to ABC News that Keith Schiller, the president's longtime bodyguard and then-Oval Office director of operations, hand-delivered Trump's termination letter to FBI headquarters. In the days immediately after Comey’s firing, different White House officials, including Spicer and then-deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders, denied that Trump had influenced or directed Rosenstein to write the memo that suggested Comey be fired.

On May 10, Sen. Feinstein said that during his call with her, Trump said "the department's a mess, I asked Rosenstein and Sessions to look into it," apparently referring to the FBI.

In a May 18 closed-door briefing with the Senate, Rosenstein reportedly told them that "he knew that Comey was going to be removed prior to him writing his memo," And in the wake of Comey’s firing, Trump told NBC News, “When I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said 'you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.’"

The nature of the interactions and any alleged directives shared between the White House and the key Department of Justice officials before the Comey dismissal is now a part of special counsel Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

It seems that no stones are being left unturned. The Bogey man is a coming!

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End of Week 24

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The "CALIGULA PRESIDENCY" Columns

Week 1 -Week 2 - Week 3 - Week 4 - Week 5 - Week 6 - Week 7 - Week 8 - Week 9 - Week 10 - Week 11 - Week 12 - Week 13 - Week 14 - Week 15 - Week 16 - Week 17 - Week 18 - Week 19 - Week 20 - Week 21 - Week 22 - Week 23 - Week 24 -

****************************************************

Check Dr Emanuel Paparella's NEW BOOK
"The Caligula Presidency: A Satirical Debunking Critique"
is online now and you can download it for FREE HERE!

 life_91_400

****************************************************

Check also Dr Emanuel Paparella's other EBOOKS
Aesthetic Theories of Great Western Philosophers
& Europe Beyond the Euro
You can download them all for FREE HERE!
 
 life_46_400
 

 


     
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