The Thinker: Rich Galen


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Mullings by Rich Galen ®
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Capital Chaos

Rich Galen

Monday March 19, 2017

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  • I got back to Our Nation's Capitol at about midnight Saturday night.

  • I had been in West Palm Beach, Florida watching the Washington Nationals play baseball as spring training winds down.

  • I will not burden you with visions of bright green fields, flat-as-a-pool-table infields; about young men standing in the batter's box while other young men throw 5.25 ounce rocks within a few inches of their bodies; about the sound of the young men in the batter's box hitting that rock with a wooden bat.

  • Where was I?

  • Oh, yes. I got back to our unfortunate reality late Saturday night.

  • By that time former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe had been fired. In fact, McCabe had been fired about 24 hours earlier - around 11:00 pm on Friday night - just 36 hours from his being able to leave on his own and collect the retirement earned over 20+ years of service.

  • FBI Director makes about $172,000 per year. That's not chicken feed, but put another way, $172,000 would only keep Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin in the air on his favored government aircraft for less than 30 hours.

  • Mnuchin, in case you missed it, has spent over $1,000,000 in tax dollars flying around on government airplanes - not C-130s but posh Gulfstream-type planes. For instance, according to (the admittedly Liberal) Mother Jones magazine, a trip to Florida in June cost you and me about $27,000 on one of those Gulfstreams. An internal Treasury Department memo points out that commercial travel would have cost $688 per person. Round Trip.

  • To be fair, I just took a trip to Florida and back. Delta tells me the round trip cost (including tax, title and dealer prep) was about $900.

  • Let's use that. For $27,000 Mnuchin could have flown on Delta from DCA - ATL - PBI and back and taken 29 other people with him.

  • Where was I?

  • Andrew McCabe has been a frequent - constant - target of Trumpian Tweets. According to a release from Attorney General Jeff Sessions' office - Sessions is never more than one keystroke (the TWEET button) from finding his luggage on the front lawn of the DoJ - both the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) concluded that
    "Mr. McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor-including under oath-on multiple occasions."

  • And so, in spite of the fact that he "lacks candor" almost every day, Trump had Sessions leap on that still-to-be-released report to fire McCabe.

  • Because none of us knows what the details of that report are, the website warns us
    "It is simply not clear at this stage whether or not the record will support his dismissal."

  • As the BBC's Katty Kay said,
    "Trump sees the world in terms of winning and losing. If McCabe had lasted through Saturday and retired on Sunday with full benefits, that would have been a win for McCabe and, thus, a loss for Trump."

  • No "win-win" situations in Trump world. If you think you won, then Trump thinks he could have squeezed you harder until you agreed to a deal you didn't like.

  • I don't know what Andrew McCabe did or didn't do and even if he did what the investigation determined he did, I don't know that it warranted firing.

  • What I do know is Donald Trump, like the school yard bully he is, spit on the McCabe's professional grave when he tweeted:
    Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI - A great day for Democracy. Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!

  • The way the McCabe case was handled by Trump and Sessions might be perfectly legal, but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

  • It's one thing for Developer Donald Trump to want to squeeze a contractor into accepting a bad deal, it's something else for President Donald Trump to want to squeeze the 325 million people of the United States of America into putting up with this kind of behavior.

  • Just 10 days until Opening Day. Can't come soon enough.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the Mother Jones article on Steve Mnuchin's travel, and the analysis of the McCabe situation.

    The Mullfoto is a sweet photograph of two doves (I think) on my back deck.

-- END --

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