Streetwise Professor

February 5, 2020


Filed under: Politics — cpirrong @ 9:49 pm

I can’t remember the last time I watched the State of the Union Address. It is usually just political onanism. But the prospect of a SOTU on the eve of an impeachment vote in the Senate was sufficiently unique that I tuned in last night, partly to observe how Trump handled it, but mainly to see how the Democrats did. There were no surprises.

Trump knew he was going to be acquitted, and had every reason to be magnanimous, gracious, and forward looking. And he was. Yes, he told some stretchers, but (a) he was usually within two standard deviations of the truth (a good performance by SOTU standards), and (b) had a good story to tell. So he told it, with what for him involved little bombast. By Trump standards in particular, he was reserved and contained.

Trump can indeed be small and petty (though he was not last night). Given that, it is quite the challenge to appear smaller and more petty. But the Democrats managed, appearing Lilliputian even in comparison to Trump at his pettiest.

Trump did the by now normal (post-Reagan) shout-outs to ordinary Americans whose stories personalized his political themes. And who could take issue with any of his ordinary American stories?

Well, the Democrats could, quite clearly. A centenarian Tuskegee airman–a sour, taciturn response. A young black girl given a scholarship–a sour, taciturn response. A recovered addict now gainfully employed and reunited with his family–a sour, taciturn response.

Normal people could not help but find these stories uplifting. So I guess that shows the Democrats in the House and Senate are not normal people, but are instead twisted partisan freaks whose hatred of Trump transcends normal human sentiments. They hate Trump so much that they cannot express love for ordinary Americans that he has embraced.

And nota bene: all of these people were African American.

Perhaps that explains the Democrats’ sourness. Yes, Trump threw plenty of red meat to his base (e.g., the awarding of the Medal of Freedom to Rush Limbaugh). But he also quite plainly went straight for the Democrats’ base, by making appeals to their single-most important constituency. Trump has already made inroads there, and I have no doubt that he built on that last night. Hence, the Democrats are afraid. Very afraid.

As a result, expect them to crank the racism charges up to 11. And not against Trump only–against you, if you have the temerity to support him, or even if you merely fail to engage in the most vituperous denunciations of him. We are in for a very ugly 9 months.

Of course the piece de resistance was Nancy Pelosi’s peevish and theatrical ripping of her copy of Trump’s speech after he concluded.

Expect to see that over and over and over again. It was not a good look, and the Trump campaign will remind you of that repeatedly.

There’s the old expression: never interrupt an enemy when he (or in this instance, she) is in the middle of making a mistake. And petty, peevish, partisan Pelosi made a big one. So do carry on, Nancy. It may play well in Smallville, but in other precincts, not so much.

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  1. petty, peevish, partisan, PRACTISED Pelosi: the paper was helpfully “pretorn” so that her alcohol- and age-weakened wrists could cope.

    (P.S. The “alcohol” is just a guess: after all, if she were ever sloshed how could I tell?)

    Comment by dearieme — February 6, 2020 @ 8:53 am

  2. My favorite part was watching Noodler sitting next to Schmuck Schumer, both of them sullen and dour as all get out, and Noodler sinking deeper and deeper into his turtleneck pants, to the point where he almost disappeared.

    On pre-ripping – SanFranNan Mafiosi seemed to be shuffling cards during the whole thing. Dearieme refers to what really happened, caught on camera – she was pre-ripping. Also, she seemed to be chewing a cud during the whole speech.

    Somehow, the Great American Comeback was portrayed as a Manifesto of Mis-Truths by SanFranNan.

    It’s either alcohol or copious drugs – or both.

    Comment by elmer — February 6, 2020 @ 1:53 pm

  3. The Democrats have been cornered by their own strategy, I suspect.

    Having whipped the hard core of their base into a frenzy over Trump in the early days of his presidency, demonising him as the incarnation of Hitler-Satan, they now can’t be seen to compromise with him or even respond to him as a normal human being.

    They’re caught two ways: the hard-core base will never be satisfied with what they do, because what can ever be enough against Hitler-Satan – ‘what, you sat still while he talked??’ – while ordinary Americans watching on television get cheesed off by their incomprehensible peevishness (perfect word to use, by the way).

    Where are the adults.

    Comment by Ex-Global Super-Regulator on Lunch Break — February 6, 2020 @ 2:02 pm

  4. Still, Trump is doing utmost to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory – he just can’t shut up, can he? I wonder how many swing voters are getting so very tired of his BS.

    @Ex One does have to wonder how exactly the Dems expected this to play out. I’m not sure their strategy was wrong, more their timing. If only they could have held off passing it over to the Senate until the autumn. Heads should roll for this debacle

    Comment by David Mercer — February 6, 2020 @ 4:38 pm

  5. Over here in the Land of Oz we refer to a guy who behaves like a girl, as a Nancy. Will have to change that now such that a Nancy is now referred to as a politician who behaves like a 2 year old having a Hissy-fit. Is this woman 2 steps away from being POTUS if Trump and pence go up in smoke? If yes then heaven help us because the heathens won’t?

    Comment by Alessio — February 6, 2020 @ 5:51 pm

  6. There was one moment that really fascinated me during the SOTU speech: when Trump took credit for some criminal sentencing reforms. There was an audible gasp from the Dems, and Nancy’s mouth dropped open, because of course it had been a bipartisan achievement. In the minds of the Dems, however, they are solely responsible for that, as such things are their bailiwick. Never mind that they still needed Trump’s signature to make it happen, it is still not fair for Trump to take credit!

    Comment by I.M. Pembroke — February 7, 2020 @ 9:35 am

  7. If only they could have held off passing it over to the Senate until the autumn.

    I’m not sure that would’ve helped, David – for one thing, sitting on their hands for eight months blows a pretty big hole in the argument that Trump was an urgent threat to democracy – which is why they couldn’t afford him due process.

    Comment by dcardno — February 7, 2020 @ 1:17 pm

  8. @David – what is it about the Dems’ strategy that you think is right?

    Comment by Ex-Global Super-Regulator on Lunch Break — February 7, 2020 @ 4:10 pm

  9. What is your take on this Professor:

    Full of the stuff you have been talking about for years- oligarchs, money laundering, energy companies
    The IMF guy featured in it resigned today as well – must be things happening behind the scenes.
    Please watch if you have time.

    Comment by Crankshaft — February 8, 2020 @ 12:29 am

  10. I kinda like those “Any functioning adult” bumper stickers. That’s what you use when you don’t like Trump, but have already seen what’s on offer at the Democrat primaries, right?

    Comment by Ivan — February 8, 2020 @ 9:29 am

  11. @Crankshaft

    The Glenn Beck presentation ties it all together, but he does take a bit too much time. Let me throw out just a couple of things to see if we can make it easier to understand:

    1) Victor Pinchuk, one of the 4 chief crooks in Ukraine, was the single largest individual donor to the Clinton Foundation, well over $8 million, getting him some photo-ops with Chelsea Clinton – I have pictures. Pinchuk hired Doug Schoen as a lobbyist – in Ukraine, the crooks learned very quickly how to try to buy a good image, and how to employ lobbyists, just like the Russians.

    side note – the Russians lobbied Conyers from Michigan with their “Ukrainians are Nazis” line dating from soviet times, which is one of the things that prevented Ukraine from getting lethal aid from the US to combat the invasion by Russia.

    2) Burisma was being investigated long before President Trump became president – just type in “Zlochevsky” and pull it up on Wiki:


    In 2012, Viktor Pshonka,[a] the Ukrainian prosecutor general, began investigating Burisma Holdings owner, Zlochevsky, over allegations of money laundering, tax evasion, and corruption during 2010–2012.[15][16]

    In April 2014, the Serious Fraud Office froze approximately $23 million belonging to companies controlled by Zlochevsky.[17] At the end of 2014, Zlochevsky fled Ukraine amid allegations of unlawful self enrichment and legalization of funds (Article 368-2, Criminal Code of Ukraine) during his tenure in public office.[18] In January 2015, Prosecutor General Vitaly Yarema announced that Zlochevsky had been put on the wanted list for alleged financial corruption.[19] At the end of January 2015, the Central Criminal Court in London released the $23 million that were blocked on accounts of Zlochevsky due to inadequate evidence.[18] In June 2018, the Serious Fraud Office stated that the case was closed.[20]

    Zlochevsky returned to Ukraine in February 2018 after investigations into his Burisma Holdings had been completed in December 2017 with no charges filed against him.[21][22]

    On 18 April 2018, an alleged recording of part of a conversation between President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and fugitive Ukrainian lawmaker Oleksandr Onyshchenko was released by Onyshchenko which implicated Zlochevsky in graft.[3][23][24]

    On 15 June 2018, after the Solomyansky District Court in Kyiv had annulled the ruling of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAP) to close a criminal proceeding against him in 2017, Zlochevsky was accused of having illegally issued, while he was Ecology Minister in 2010–2012, oil and gas licenses to the companies that belonged to him.[25]

    According to Ukrainian authorities Zlochevsky is suspected of “theft of government funds on an especially large scale”.[26] Authorities said the criminal investigation on suspicion of embezzlement is currently on hold because Zlochevsky whereabouts cannot presently be determined.[27] As of 2019, Zlochevsky is reported to live in Monaco.[28]

    3) Burisma has given money to —- Bolton. Also, to the Atlantic Council. Burisma has spread money around, which has been and is a typical practice in the former sovok union republics.

    4) Are there ties between some Ukrainian oligarch crooks and Kremlinoid oligarch crooks? You betcha. But do NOT believe the crap that once again the Kremlinoids/Roosha are putting out some kind of disinformation campaign. The disinformation campaigns have been coming from the Dems for a very long time, and they have been engaging in various stunts to try to hide their own wrongdoing and their own corruption.

    5) The Dems are circling the wagons not to protect Biden, but to protect the person to whom Biden referred when he said, on video — “go ask the president, and sonofabitch, they fired the prosecutor.”

    6) Kolomoisky, another one of the 4 chief crook oligarch thugs in Ukraine, figures into this more than you know. He raised his own private army in Ukraine to “fight against the Russians” in Eastern Ukraine. The bastard was just protecting his own assets, but there were some really stupid Ukrainians who were willing to give him hero status for that. What kind of a country is it, when an oligarch can simply raise his own private army? Among other things? By way of example, Kolomoisky bought tens of millions of dollars of office building in Cleveland, Ohio – documented. Also, additional real estate and businesses, in London, and in Miami and elsewhere in the US.

    Comment by elmer — February 10, 2020 @ 9:20 am

  12. @Crankshaft

    a little more – Beck refers to money laundering.

    The crook thug oligarchs in the former sovok republics learned very quickly how to use shell companies (there was a lawyer in England who specialized in shell companies in Belgium, Belize, the Virgin Islands, you name it) for them. Even in Oregon, where you don’t have to disclose ownership or directors, or anything, for LLC’s.

    They also caught on very quickly to the use of “offshore accounts,” and transfers of money through Cyprus and Latvia and other places. This actually stems from sovok times, then the sovok union had treaties with Cyprus in order to try to get hard currency, because noone wanted rubles.

    Example – there’s a buy named Boyko, with the Party of Regions in Ukraine, who made a deal for a “super-drilling rig” with the Ukrainian government, through a shell company in Latvia. The rig was very heavily overpriced. The Latvian company was owned by some guy in the street, who knew nothing about the existence of the company. The justification for the very heavy overprice? “Special features” – which were very hard to see or find.

    The current prez of Ukraine did indeed appear on a TV program on the channel owned by Kolomoisky – yep, the same Kolomoisky who drove Privat Bank bankrupt, leading to its nationalization.

    Kolomoisky, who at one time boasted of having a shark tank in his office, has sued Ukraine for damages, and for the return of PrivatBank. Talk about chutzpah – it’s mega-chutzpah.

    It was discovered that he’s got Ukrainian and Israeli citizenship, in the course of a lawsuit in England in which he was a party. It is illegal for Ukrainians to have multiple citizenship. His justification? I’ve got 3 passports, not 2.

    Bottom line – Bite Me and his cocaine crackhead son got in on the corruption. So did others.

    Ukraine targeted Manafort, because he was advising a pro-Russian thug president – Yanukovych. And because they thought that Manafort controlled Trump policy, they targeted Trump. That was done through DNC operatives.

    Now they’re scrambling around in Ukraine, trying to overcome that story.

    And Barr is right – there are many cross-currents in Ukraine, and information has to be carefully scrutinized.

    Comment by elmer — February 10, 2020 @ 9:59 am

  13. We don’t know yet, Trump knows more than we to, but what the swamp tried to do to Trump (remove him from office) makes Watergate look like a walk in the park, he has ever right to be small and petty.

    The crap he and his family have had to withstand, none of us would have coped with.

    Comment by Joe Walker — February 10, 2020 @ 4:30 pm

  14. Thanks elmer.

    ‘ … the sovok union had treaties with Cyprus in order to try to get hard currency, because noone wanted rubles.’

    But wot did the Cypriots do with the rubles? Or did they exchange hard currency for Russian gold, oil etc?

    Comment by Ex-Global Super-Regulator on Lunch Break — February 11, 2020 @ 4:14 am

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