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America’s Mayor’ to Trump’s chump...........

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    Posted: May 05 2018 at 6:27pm
Rudy Giuliani goes from ‘America’s Mayor’ to Trump’s chump
 3:10
Why Trump’s hush money repayment to Cohen may be illegal
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Rudy Giuliani’s disclosure that President Trump repaid his attorney for the hush agreement with Stormy Daniels could still be a campaign finance violation.(Whitney Shefte/The Washington Post)

  

In 1991, I took a business trip to New York City soon after the birth of my son Andrew. Though my family had visited Manhattan through the most dreadful days of the 1970s and 1980s, the grim hopelessness that suffocated the “Ungovernable City” reached its nadir in the early 1990s. A travel magazine from that period listed New York alongside war-torn Sarajevo, Bosnia , in a ranking of the worst cities in the world to visit. Nothing I saw during that three-day trip made me question that conclusion.

My old station wagon was broken into on the trip’s first two nights; vandals shattered all of its windows for good measure on their second pass. Walking through Penn Station late at night was like touring the set of a dystopian horror movie. And a nighttime stroll through Central Park, these days considered romantic, would have then been evidence of a death wish. Murders in New York reached an all-time high in 1990 , while robberies and car thefts continued to explode upward. Natives of the Big Apple that I talked to during that period fondly recalled a bygone era when they could roam the city without fear. No one believed those days would return.

Four years later, after being elected to Congress, I reluctantly returned to New York for a House Armed Services Committee meeting aboard the USS Intrepid. Within minutes of leaving my Midtown hotel, I started peppering my hosts with questions.

“Where is the graffiti?” “When did Times Square stop smelling like a sewer?” “What happened to all the garbage on the street?”

Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and his police commissioner, William Bratton, are what happened. Their groundbreaking policies led to the reversal of a crime epidemic that was strangling the soul of New York City.

Giuliani’s record on crime ranks among the greatest public-policy achievements of the 20th century. Under him, violent crime in the city dropped 56 percent, murders and robberies plunged by two-thirds, and property crimes fell 65 percent. Critics still cite an improving economy, the crack epidemic’s end and the policies of Giuliani’s predecessor as mitigating factors. But let’s give credit where credit is due.

Beyond those historic achievements, it would be Giuliani’s inspired leadership in the days after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, earned him the title “America’s Mayor.” Before President George W. Bush found his voice on top of a pile of rubble at Ground Zero, it was Giuliani who projected compassion, determination and defiance during those trying times. Giuliani struck nothing less than a Churchillian pose when that inspired leadership was so necessary for New York and the rest of the world.

Why do I choose today to excavate Giuliani’s record as mayor? Because this week, that same man became the latest public figure to assume the role of henchman for President Trump, stooping so low as to slander the very law-enforcement institutions that made New York’s remarkable renaissance possible.

During his Wednesday night appearance on Fox News’s “Hannity,” Giuliani was so desperate to protect the president from the fallout over his porn-star payoff that he compared FBI agents and prosecutors in the Southern District of New York to Nazi stormtroopers. And what grave offense did these pillars of American law enforcement commit to earn such a damning rebuke?

They did exactly what then-U.S. Attorney Giuliani did during his own time as the Southern District’s top prosecutor. In pursuing their investigation into Trump fixer Michael Cohen, the U.S. Attorney’s office went to a federal court, argued for a warrant based on probable cause, conducted a constitutionally approved search and gathered evidence to either prove or disprove that the subject had committed a crime. As Giuliani himself said of the search on Cohen’s apartment, home and office: “Is it extraordinary? No. This is the way prosecutors get information — sometimes to convict and prosecute, sometimes to exculpate.”

But that was Giuliani way back on April 9 — before he joined Trump’s team of misfit lawyers.

Why America’s Mayor would now allow himself to become Trump’s chump is beyond me. With many West Wing insiders openly questioning whether the 45th president will even finish his term, such shortsightedness makes no sense, even when viewed in the most cynical of lights.

Giuliani has said that in September 2001, during New York’s darkest hour, he drew strength from Winston Churchill’s example. That is curious considering the great British leader stood alone for years while warning the world of Hitler’s dangers. That lonely stand isolated him from kings, prime ministers and his own political party. And yet poor Rudy couldn’t even stay true to his former colleagues for a month once Trump came calling.

We can all thank God that Churchill, and not Giuliani, was on guard when Adolf Hitler’s actual stormtroopers sought to destroy England and lay waste to the rest of Western civilization. Because unlike Rudy Giuliani, Winston Churchill never blinked.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2018 at 6:29pm
Buying Trump’s narrative would make chumps of us all

President-elect Trump with Rudy Giuliani in November 2016. (Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press)
 Deputy editorial page editor, columnist  Email the author

We’re missing something important, indeed fundamental, in all the legal-political chatter about whether President Trump will answer questions from the special counsel and what might happen if he refuses.

We need to keep in mind: This is the president, not an ordinary witness — or, to be more precise, ordinary subject — in a run-of-the-mill criminal investigation. That fact counsels, on the part of prosecutors, more respect for the president’s time and office than in the usual case. But it also calls for, on the part of the chief executive, more respect for and accommodation of the reasonable needs of the criminal justice system.

Please stop laughing. I know. This president has, for months, demonstrated the precise opposite, seeking to undermine the legitimacy of the Justice Department generally and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III in particular.“This is a witch hunt like nobody has ever seen before,” Trump said Friday of Mueller’s probe. “The problem we have is that you have 13 people — they’re all Democrats, and they’re real Democrats; they’re angry Democrats.”

It is on us, the American people, not to accept this. We must not collude with him, however unwittingly, in lowering the bar for the behavior we should expect from a president.

In the current context, that would not only mean refraining from the kind of scurrilous criticism that has emanated from the president and his minions about the Justice Department and the Mueller investigation. See, for another example, Rudy Giuliani describing the New York FBI agents who raided the office, home and hotel room of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen as “stormtroopers.

It would also include a pledge to cooperate, to the extent possible, with investigators’ requests for documents or testimony. (This was, in fact, the approach of soon-to-depart White House lawyer Ty Cobb.) Yes, attorneys for an ordinary person in Trump’s circumstances would strongly advise him not to voluntarily answer questions from Mueller’s team. That advice would be amped up a thousand-fold by the reality-bending nature of Trump’s ordinary discourse, and the attendant additional legal jeopardy that presents.

But do we not — at least, should we not — demand more of a president than that he protects his own legal interests? Not out of the goodness of his heart — that naive I’m not — but out of a sense that the public expects more than simple compliance with the letter of the law and, more to the point, will punish a president who fails to live up to a higher standard?

Take a look at the topics about which Mueller is said to want to question Trump. They are all logical outgrowths of factual predicates. “They’re ridiculous questions,” Giuliani scoffed in an interview with Fox News. “‘What did you think?’ ‘What did you feel?’ ” But of course state of mind is central to any potential obstruction case. Any prosecutor would be derelict not to ask.

Under ordinary circumstances, although little is ordinary when a president is under criminal investigation, political considerations constrain legal strategy. What would be the fallout from facing a subpoena vs. testifying voluntarily? What would be the political implications of claiming executive privilege? Of asserting the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination?

Compare Bill Clinton then to Trump now. Certainly, Clinton was no model of civic virtue or transparency. But his behavior looks like pattycake in contrast to Trump’s. Clinton was the one to call for an independent counsel to investigate Whitewater, albeit under intense political pressure; Trump has never conceded the need for a special counsel. Clinton and advisers griped about the vast right-wing conspiracy against them and an out-of-control prosecutor in the form of Kenneth Starr, but with nothing like the venom exhibited by Trump.

When Starr sought Clinton’s testimony on Monica Lewinsky, Clinton’s lawyers slow-walked the independent counsel for months, and then bargained him down to a single, four-hour interview at the White House. But the prospect of Clinton’s refusing Starr and invoking his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination — as much as Clinton’s lawyers advised that course — was politically unthinkable.

“Clinton’s political advisers told him that it was like placing a loaded gun to his head,” Ken Gormley wrote in his authoritative account of the investigation. “Invoking the Fifth Amendment sounded like admitting guilt, which seemed like a perfect recipe for impeachment and removal.”

That it is possible, now, to imagine Trump taking the Fifth and surviving is a measure of the brilliance and effectiveness of his scorched-earth strategy to discredit the investigation and investigators. If everything is rigged and everyone is crooked, good-faith compliance is for chumps. But buying Trump’s narrative would make chumps of us all and a laughingstock of the rule of law. We cannot let that happen.

12 Monkeys...............
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arirish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2018 at 7:56pm
carbon20 - Do you think Trump ET AL pulled all the B. S. they've pulled in N Y City without political payouts, graft, bribery and who knows what else? Russia has dirt on Trump! Trump has dirt on Ruddy, the Russians, the freedom caucus, the beltway GOP,the NRA, the Alt right, the white nationalist and the neo-nazi's all have separate agendas (just like everyone else) and who knows where it all ends! The bad guys always depend on the majority remaining docile! It's easier and easier to prove the falsehood and harder and harder to prove the truth! Those that can't think for themselves are easily mislead! Any Democracy can elect a nut job! Hopefully we can survive it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 06 2018 at 2:34am
all i know is the American People deserve better than this,






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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 06 2018 at 4:02am
Hear Hear!
Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arirish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 06 2018 at 11:58pm
carbon20 said - all i know is the American People deserve better than this,
The world deserves better! The Germans and Europe deserved better than Hitler! The U.S. and the world need to resist! I was glad to see Our Allies in France and England condemn his latest remarks! Please encourage your politicians to stand up to this clown! If the Allies had stood up to Germany in the Sudetenland and Austria history may have been very different! We need your help! We need your voices to champion democracy! The more pressure placed on this Administration the better! HELP! Please HELP!   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 07 2018 at 12:37am
I sympathise and empathise but don't think we can be of much help.  I wish we could!

When those of us outside the USA make comments or do any lobying regarding the Chump, we are never seen by those who voted for him as doing so for "the right reasons".  We are usually seen as having ulterior motives or interfering, sometimes even Anti-American. 

I see what you see (I think) and believe this apparent idiot to be profoundly dangerous.  I see him doing the things that Hitler did in the early 30s to consolidate his power, before launching the horrors of the war.  Although there is no evidence that he will invade Poland, or open death camps, or do anything at all nefarious with such power,  the very desire for it is dangerous; as is his attempted control of the media.

What I don't see is a way to enlighten anyone.  Those who did not vote for Trump have seen the writing on the wall (mostly) and a few Trump voters have woken up, but the vast majority refuse to remove their blinkers and I can scream forever, as can the whole choir of watchers, without being heard.  If we do manage to get their attention, we are perceived as anything from  Commie Campaigners to Deluded Democrat Dunses.  That opinion seems to cover all foreign pundits, however erudite or intelligent.  It seems hopeless.

Despite feeling like Cassandra, I will continue to point out the falsehoods, inconsistencies and historic parallels.  'And you have my appologies for being so bloody useless.  You really do deserve better.
Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 07 2018 at 5:33am
I too dislike pointing out what some may dislike, 

BUT,
,i once told a friend he had bad breath,

hard  to do as others who said they where is friend would rather people  talk behind his back,

Rather  than tell him so he could fix it... .. .

What friend would you rather have.......

He thanked me, and fixed his problem......
12 Monkeys...............
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