The Room Where It Happened, a review

***I will not refer to the title of the book and shall limit excerpts and quotes***

“I am not a nation builder. I do not believe what is, after all, an essentially Marxist analysis that a better economic way of life will divert people from terrorism.” -Bolton from his book.

This book is not merely a recounting of Bolton’s time in the Trump Administration that highlights the utter chaos and dysfunction that the administration represents. Bolton does draw a clear picture of the dumpster-fire through what must have been copious note taking. This is polished, in decent editing, into a passive, often noncommittal “I’m merely an observer here” voice. The book is divided in chapter by topic, not chronologically, which was a wise decision.

Stitching all of his observations together, is the subtext of what this book is really about, aside from money. It’s an apology tour explaining his innocence in the Trump administration. His actions were well reasoned and his motivations were pure. Moreover, and more importantly, it’s a last-ditch effort to recommit to, and reclaim, “traditional” conservative ideals which are interspersed throughout the book as examples of what should be and divorced from what currently is not. Values which he must realize by now, don’t exist in the GOP and never wholly did. Values which mean nothing to either the Trump cult of true-believers or those in government that bow to Trump. In this respect, his efforts in writing this book are in vain.

Saddled to his overtures of re-establishing a nonexistent conservative GOP is his perpetual attacks at his perceived adversaries: Obama-bad. Liberals-bad. Progressives-bad. Bureaucrats, diplomats, career government officials-all bad. Negative media reporting-always inaccurate and bad. Anything that gets in the way of conflicts leading to war is pretty much bad bad bad.

Bolton’s descriptions of Trump’s ineptitude vacillates between a thin, “He has no idea what he’s doing,” and a reflection on Trump’s inscrutability; as if there is some type of mysterious process to Trump’s thoughts that cannot be understood at that time. This despite the fact that it is crystal clear how Trump formulates his “policy” ideas: from Fox News soundbites/ similar sources, and Trump’s fixation on his own image. This is not a mystery. The easily understood nature of it is recounted in the book over and over. This is super simple stuff. There isn’t any thought process behind the vacuous soundbites.

Bolton often cites inaccuracies of press reporting, as second and third hand reporting by those whom do not have the best interests of the administration in mind. At the same time, Bolton repeatedly admits the administration perpetually changes course on policy, multiple times a week, if not the same day due to Trump’s scatterbrain inability to stay on point or articulate anything coherent. More often than not, those who do not have the “best interests of the administration in mind,” are sources from within the administration, not press spin, which is contrary to Bolton’s over-arching opinion, even though at multiple points in his book he is wondering which admin person was responsible for story X, and in some points tracks down that responsible party.

Overall the book is edited well from the notes, but the facts described are not consistent with Bolton’s ideology and preconceived notions which he holds onto as dearly as any cult member.

He mocks the concept of the “Axis of Adults,” to corral Trump’s worst tendencies, but simultaneously points out Trump’s inability to give direct orders, his incoherence, and his ignorance of the facts. Most blow-by-blow details of Trump/Bolton interactions are the very stuff of Bolton attempting to act as the adult to Trump’s child. Steering, sidetracking, undermining, and coddling from page to page.

In Bolton’s world, the only one aware of what’s going on and reacting properly, is Bolton…or anyone that agrees with him. I must restate, much of Donny’s incoherence is perched atop his reliance on Fox News soundbites, and many of these soundbite ideas originated with Bolton himself.

Although Bolton passes many opportunities to state clear judgement on Trump’s incompetence, he has no such difficulty with various other characters he dislikes (Haley, Mattis, Mnuchin, and finally Mulvaney), and ascribing nefarious intent to their actions. Bolton recounts Trump blunder after blunder, but finds himself incapable of putting a name to the obvious. From Trump’s shitting on a G7 joint statement because he felt Trudeau had personally slighted him, to Trump’s inane “negotiations” with S. Korea focused around the belief he would receive a Nobel Prize and spectacular photo-ops highlighting his skills in deal-making, deals in which Trump gave concession after concession to N. Korea and received nothing.

Bolton describes the ceaseless back-biting and palace intrigue of the Trump administration, as if he is merely a reactionary pragmatist in an unsavory environment. The fact is, his score-keeping and revealed plans to better position himself, indicates he is well suited to that environment.

Bolton’s worldview, shaped in fear of “globalism,” reduces every international challenge to the most barbaric end result: war. War solves everything that starving a nation to death can’t. No matter the initial tact, all roads lead to war.

Common cause only threatens national sovereignty. Narrow self-determination trumps foresight, thereby, Brexit can only be correct. Pesky diplomats and bureaucrats, with their plodding thoughtfulness, interfere with the smash-bang, gauntleted hand of taking that which is rightfully ours.

Nothing need be done regarding the largest concerns of our times in a forward looking, international fashion. There are only short-term, colliding interests and long term enmities. Why proactively create multilateral or global responses to global issues by design, when we can react after the fact out of compulsion and necessity?

Bolton will cite historical reference when it suits his needs, but steers clear of historical reference which would shed light on the fact that much of the international issues he had dealt with in the Trump administration were due to the United State’s lack of foresight in which he, himself had previously played a part.

This book is Bolton’s nosediving phoenix; his death-spiral swansong. John Bolton is a relic old man with dreadfully myopic, old-world, imperialist beliefs. He is destined to only failures; his mind is bankrupt, and I hope this book is the train-wreck ending to his appearances in public life.

Topics:

Helsinki, Trump’s private, 2 hour meeting with Putin. Bolton very much glosses over the fact that the interpreter was instructed not to take notes and could only brief others from memory. Bolton mentions in an offhand way, Putin’s willingness to allow Mueller to investigate within Russia in exchange for extradition of Bill Browder (The Magnitsky Act), so he could exact revenge on him and this very much excited Trump because Putin added that Browder had financed Hillary Clinton’s campaign with $400 million dollars he had stolen from Russia.

Trump’s deference to Russia/Putin. Time and again, Bolton illuminates Trump’s deference to Putin. Trump’s very public statements in defense of Putin, and all of the private statements and actions in deference to Russia that have been reported before: not wanting to enact sanctions, slow-walking implementing sanctions, threatening to rescind sanctions, and generally being a Putin apologist at every opportunity. This only serves to highlight what has been glaringly obvious from before the time Trump was inaugurated until to this day. At the very least, Trump refuses to speak badly of Russia because he is afraid it diminishes the 2016 election and his ability to have personally beneficial relationships with foreign leaders. The constant Trump admin line that, “No one is tougher on Russia than Trump,” is no more true today than it was in 2017. The machinery of the US government, in its bureaucrats working through existing procedures and treaties, continues to attempt to call Putin to justice despite Donald Trump.

Trump/Erdogan. Trump promises to end SDNY prosecution of Turkish business Halkbank to Turkey’s PM Erdogan as a personal favor, and to front the notion to Erdogan, that Trump had as much unbridled power in dictatorship as the Turkish leader. Likewise, Trump promised to remove US forces from northern Syria because Erdogan asked him to. No thought as to what this would mean to the Kurds whom Erdogan would immediately seek to eliminate, until well after the withdraw was contemplated. Any afterthoughts had zero impact on impending reality when Trump did unilaterally decide to remove US forces shortly after Bolton’s departure.

Saudis murder Khashoggi. Bolton makes it clear, Trump immediately decided he would have the Saudi’s backs no matter what. Before any facts were in; it did not matter. They’re buying a bunch of military hardware from the US, that is all that matters. Bolton agrees with trump’s approach and says, the press is going unreasonably frothy-mouthed and everyone should know the administration is taking it seriously because Pompeo made a trip to Saudi Arabia.

Venezuela/Maduro debacle. Top to bottom a Trump admin clusterfuck. Trump fixated on Military options, while the “adults in the room,” of which Bolton is one, try to organize concerted government influence to a regime change and fail spectacularly. The history of US failures in regime change in the Americas is mostly avoided by Bolton, except to somehow blame his current predicament on Obama.

Citing the withdraw of embassy staff as a giant gaff and pivotal to the Trump Administration’s ineffectiveness, while in the same paragraph, praising State Sec Pompeo for criticizing the Obama admin’s handling of Benghazi and simultaneously removing staff so as to avoid another Benghazi, when in hindsight it had exactly zero similarities with Benghazi. Truly breath-takingly, idiotic mental gymnastics.

State Dept and Treasury Dept both could not align themselves with the rest of the government. Bolton blames this on Mnuchin and Obama, when clearly the problem is the Trump administration as a whole. While Trump dreams of toy soldiers and reminds the man the Trump admin attempts to put in power, Guaidó, (according to Bolton)- “Trump then assured Guaidó he’d pull off Maduro’s overthrow, and offered as an aside that he was sure Guaidó would remember in the future what had happened,” which Bolton explains as US interest in Oil, and the rest of us explain as the set-up for a little personal payback to Donny.

Guaidó’s Wife, Fabiana Rosales, visits the White House for a meeting in which she describes the situation in Venezuela. According to Bolton, Trump’s take on the meeting: She looked very young and didn’t wear a wedding ring.

Body language tells the entire story in this photo.

President Donald Trump, right, listens during a meeting with Fabiana Rosales, left, a Venezuelan activist who is the wife of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, as she speaks in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, March 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Trump/China. Trump, spur-of-the-moment, crafts international policy over the phone, as a favor in exchange for a future favor. Bolton refers to this as “stunning” because it was unreciprocated. Clearly, he didn’t understand the nature of Trump in this exchange.

In regards to severe financial penalties against Chinese Company ZTE.

Trump begging Xi to help him win re-election:

Bolton notes, with the situation deteriorating in Hong Kong, Trump directs all staff to not talk about it, it’s an internal Chinese problem. Xi is very grateful for that. Likewise Trump doesn’t want any mention of anniversary of Tiananmen Square, because it could upset his trade talks, “That was 15 years ago, no one cares, I’m trying to make a deal.”

In regards to Chinese repression of ethnic minority, largely Muslim, Uighurs, Trump bemoans, “why are we thinking about sanctions for that?” Later, Xi explained to Trump the concentration camps being built for the Uighurs, and Trump replied that Xi should go ahead and build those camps because that is exactly the right thing to do.

Bolton points out Trump could not care less about Taiwan, because of it’s diminutive size. Trump wants a big deal with China. Bolton speculates that after Trump abandoned the Kurds, whom would he likely abandon next? Taiwan.

Covid-19. According to Bolton, YES Trump messed up a lot. Initially Trump tried to smooth things over for China because the only thing he cared about was the trade deal. It wasn’t until some time later, when the markets started reacting to reality, that Trump took it somewhat seriously.

From here, Bolton spends a great deal of words defending his personal fuck-up in this situation, using typical “conservative” goobledy-gook phraseology for removing oversight and career people with expertise (this exact same type of phrasing appears in the White House’s proposed budgeting repeatedly):

“To reduce duplication and overlap, and enhance coordination and efficiency.”

Through these words, it made “good sense” to move the directorate overseeing Global Health into those dealing with weapons of mass destruction. Yeah, global health should be under the auspices of war. Which would of course require shuffling/removing staff and expertise that didn’t quite fit into that department. That this staff had previously been organized the way they had, according to Bolton, was only a sign of political bias by the Obama administration.

North Korean Denuclearization. There is little that can be said to further illuminate our understanding of this subject which is well reported. Bolton digs into it in detail. Donald Trump personally sought to negotiate a subject in which he had very little understanding. He did not understand the scope of the issue, the terms of the issue, or the vested interests of parties in the issue. It is clear he would do anything to have any type of deal he could declare a “win”. Efforts were made to coach him up. Those were short-lived in efficacy and proved totally useless in combating Trump’s supreme ignorance and stupidity.

Iran. In his own words, Bolton seeks escalation at every opportunity. There should never be proportional reactions, but instead an endless series of one-upmanship. In other situations Bolton bemoans the linking of disparate issues, but has zero issue with sponsored terrorism being linked to the nuclear agreement. He sees the EU’s interests as contrary to the US, and to be ignored. He sees all diplomatic intervention as a ridiculous waste of time. There is only one answer, it is escalating actions of war which Bolton states could led to all-out war, a risk he is willing to take.

“Without US concessions, in Macron’s view, Iran would never come to the table, which was just fine with me.”

Yet again Bolton undermines his own take, stating the press inaccurately portrayed a divide in the White House between Trump and himself on whether Iran should be responded to with disproportionate military force, directly after he played the adult in the room and ratcheted up the easily manipulated Trump, “How far are you willing to go? How much risk can you take? Think of this as a series of steps, not just one action but the actions after that.” To which Trump took the bait, because he was a real risk taker, only for this to happen days later:

Bolton argues against checking our facts before reacting with force. Fact-checking is bureaucratic mumble jumble. He argues against projected casualties from a strike as total speculation that should not halt a show of force.

Bolton’s meeting with Barr. As the Ukraine scandal was just beginning to unfold for Bolton, he had his first meeting with the then new AG Bill Barr. In this meeting he outlined some troublesome details for Barr concerning Trump which he wondered might not create some very large issues, particularly his “penchant for giving personal favors to dictators.”

1. Trump’s interference in the criminal cases of Halkbank, ZTE,and Huawei.

2. Lifting US sanctions against Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska.

3. Trump’s personal legal issues.

Bolton wonders allowed to Barr if there might be more, as of yet unknown, issues below the surface. He says to Barr that obstruction of justice looks like a way of life for Trump. How ironic is it, that the person Bolton chooses to finally come clean to about Trump, is Trump’s most ardent supporter, co-conspirator in obstruction of justice and subversion of the rule of law.

Ukraine. Bolton confirms Giuliani’s orchestrated steamrolling of Ambassador Yavonovitch, but indicates she probably voted for Clinton like 90% of the foreign service.

Bolton speculates it was Mulvaney who raised the issue of Ukrainian defense funding as possible leverage over Ukraine in response to a series of bizarre conspiracy stories that Giuliani was feeding Trump about Hunter Biden, the server, Hillary Clinton, and who knows what else, because Bolton found the whole thing ludicrous.

Yes, as was obvious, everything the totally believable, and honestly super-awesome, Fiona Hill testified to at the impeachment hearings, was correct.

Bolton recounts the infamous Zelensky-Trump phone call in this way. The transcript is not necessarily word for word. They did not keep recordings as was customary at that time. The Quid Pro Quo did not come as a surprise, because it was already known. It didn’t surprise Bolton because, as he said, “The linkage of the military assistance with the Giuliani fantasies was already baked in.”

There is not much worth saying here except that Bolton recounts exactly what we know from the hearings, but from his vantage point at the time. there is no discrepancy, which leaves the GOP exactly where they ostensibly are, which is, “We don’t care.”

There is nothing further illuminated, except this wound down into his resignation, not because of Ukraine, but that was the last straw. He had a final argument with Trump, in which Trump told him, “A lot of people” say they don’t like Bolton and that he is a leaker and not a team player. Bolton responds in the book, not to Trump apparently, that he believes the leakers were Pompeo and Mulvaney (so much for the 2nd and 3rd hand, evil liberal media spin Bolton previous writes in this book).

There follows Bolton’s hyper-partisan account of the Democrats hyper-partisan investigation. He suggests it should have ground on through all legal channels and been broad to open investigation into all of Trump’s deeds.

My thoughts:

Bolton is correct, widening the scope of the investigation into all of Trump’s similar actions would have resulted in his being removed from office, but only in a world in which that investigation was compressed into what time was left before election. No such world exists. Had the scope been widened and the Democrats worked through the courts to make it happen, the Trump admin would have used the courts to slow-play the Democrats into the election and beyond.

The Democrats were correct to push the impeachment into the GOP’s court in the Senate. In the end, the message was clear. How far is the GOP willing to tow the line? Because Trump will do this again and again. In fact, he has been using the government and his position in it, for his own personal interests the whole time, as we see in Bolton’s book.

Now, had Bolton testified in the Senate in the narrow scope of the impeachment, the results would have been nearly the same. The only difference would be that the GOP rebuttal of, “this doesn’t really prove an impeachable offense,” would have been replaced with the already muted and more exact response of, “Well yeah he did it, but that’s totally fine.”

The End is Nigh

This morning I was certain the House impeachment inquiry would plod on, only to be dismantled by the machinations of ol’ Mitch McConnell. I’ve changed my mind.

I believe after the events of today, McConnell’s calculations have shifted. With the Syrian debacle, which I believe was crafted during the 2018 Helsinki meeting with Putin, and wrote as much at that time, and this mornings off-the-rails joint press conference with the Italian President doing nothing to quell the world’s unease, added to the unstoppable impeachment inquiry, I believe the time has come.

*I’d like to point out, one of the presumptions I made about the Helsinki meeting with Putin which hasn’t yet fully come to pass, was that we would see an increase in Russian sanctioned assassinations. I believe that time is also upon us. It’s now or never to go after the big fish.*

Also today, Trump held a bipartisan meeting to discuss the situation in Syria and had yet another serious meltdown because he couldn’t take the pressure. A meeting from which the Democrats up and left in the face of his incoherence. Added to this, a truly bizarre letter written by Donny himself that is undoubtedly post dated to 10/9 but certainly more recent, if not today, written to Erdogan:

The time has come. Not that Donny hasn’t been crazy before, but because the real consequences are inevitable now. It’s really happening. We all knew this would happen; everyone knew. The GOP was just willing to pretend it wouldn’t, or willing to believe they could forestall the consequences until the end of Donny’s term, but it’s really happening. Immediate undeniable, world-altering consequences right now are unfolding in tandem with the beginning of Donny’s final breakdown.

Nothing is going to get better. We have always said things are going to get worse…and things are going to get worse than the awful they already are. Donny has truly lost his shit. There is nothing he won’t do now. Nothing. This is the final game, right now. He can get away with altering the world order via Syria. He can, because he just did. He is all powerful you see. He can do anything without consequence. people will cry, sure. They always do.

McConnell has reiterated again today that the Senate will take up the impeachment of Trump as constitutionally mandated (of course he lambasted the Democrats for this whole undertaking while saying this). I had presumed he would just rig it any way he likes, because he can: not call fact witnesses, truncate any questioning, and slam-bang it into a couple days of maddening avoidance of facts. But now, I think his perspective must have changed. Things will get worse and waiting until 2021 is simply too much to ask.

Hey, McConnell still gets to cram the courts full of unqualified ideologues, that’s all he cares about, and that’s all he’s doing anyway. So, if he just makes a deal with Pelosi and Schumer to allow them to present their most compelling evidence, if it’s iron clad, the Senate can be “resigned” to their duty, and he gets to keep the White House and keep his conveyor belt of judicial appointments. Everyone’s happy…or at least DC stays happy.

I don’t expect the House cult members to stop their goofy tirades and distractions, that’s their meal ticket with the cult whether it’s led by Donny or not; whether they remain in the House or employed by Fox News. That won’t change. What I do expect to change, is a suddenly more amenable Senate GOP to the ideas of “listening”or “hearing out the facts” or “doing our duty.”

The time has come, and we can only hope there isn’t any more irreparable damage done to our earth or geo-political stability, but I’m afraid more undesirable and unanticipated events are bound to happen as a part of the play, and they are as unstoppable as the impeachment inquiry.

UPDATE: After I completed this post I learned on the Rachel Maddow Show, that McConnell has told the GOP Senators to plan on spending 6 days a week during, or directly before the holidays on impeachment proceedings. This indicates:

1. He has consulted with Pelosi and Schumer on how they will proceed.

2. He plans on not gimping the trial entirely, but instead plans to take this seriously to some extent.

I believe my analysis is correct.

Mueller’s Testimony Tomorrow

What do we expect from Robert Mueller’s testimony in front of the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees tomorrow? He’s already said he would not travel outside of the four corners of the Mueller report, and then, was directed by the Trump administration to not to travel outside of the four corners, which is a particularly crappy chess (checkers) move.

For the most part, we shouldn’t expect any more than that. We know that. So those of us whom have already read the report aren’t likely to glean any further insight or explanation as to why Trump is not already in the middle of an impeachment hearing, despite the obvious crimes that would be brought to trial were he not the “president.” And, even though we fully understand that impeachment is a political process and not a legal one, We are left to wonder which “high crimes” or “misdemeanors” must be committed in order to pass into that type of political scrutiny. Must Donny shoot someone on Fifth venue? Is that what it takes?

So what is this? Must we presume the intention of this “read out” or “movie version of the book” is designed to bolster the anemic numbers of registered voters that would prefer to start an impeachment proceeding or continue to investigate, all the way up to a barely lukewarm 50%?

That’s the best we could hope for, short of Mueller throwing out his predetermined boundaries, which he won’t.

Is the plan to slow roll from 50% into impeachment hearings and watch that shitty number melt away due to exhaustion? Do the democrats think starting an impeachment proceeding now, is going to yield building results as compared to when they should have started it, as soon as the report came out, with Mueller being the first fact witness?

Therefore, I think this is little more than just “putting it out there,” and “I’m not saying, I’m just saying,” because, short of a miracle, this is all there is from this very important information source, due to shitting planning. It’s not like there is any plan to immediately build on top of Mueller’s testimony.

The GOP numbers are not going to change a bit. Sure, the truth will be laid out in a live reading, so what? That shit has already been relegated to “not interested.” In fact, the numbers, as far as the GOP are concerned, are more likely to only get worse than 12% total, because the spin team is going to be replaying 24/7 the line of questioning about FISA warrants, Strzok-Page, Carter Page, the 12 angry democrats, and Robert Mueller’s goddamn golf membership. And some of the registered democrats and independents will remember the testimony fondly as they turn their attention to the 2020 election. End of story.

But a majority of the congresspeople need to be convinced in order to start an impeachment proceeding! The political leanings of congresspeople are directly informed by the likeliness of their continued employment. That is all. The only people that ever needed convincing was the electorate and that time has passed.

I had said, until such a time as money is taken out of politics, Nancy Pelosi was as good a speaker as the democrats were going to have for the 116th Congress. I continue to believe that. We have exactly the dysfunctional system we deserve.

We can hope that the GOP in their profound stupidity, will so rile up Mueller, that he decides to snap back and take some particularly pointed questions head on, but we know that isn’t going to happen. We do know for a fact that the GOP will, once again, not be interested in the inconvenient facts outlined in the Mueller report. Their interests will be solely: spin, obfuscation, misdirection, waxing poetic about the “money wasted” and misuse of congressional oversight, and the creation of new conspiracy theories for Hannity and Carlson to discuss for the next 6 months.

Democrats Are Passing Meaningful Legislation (it just dies in the Senate)

Similar to the GOP pledge to block, obstruct and slow down every effort by the Obama Administration to enact initiatives, The current Mitch McConnell led Senate will not even allow the great majority of laws passed by the Democrat led House to see a vote in the Senate. The same Senate which occupies most of it’s time installing underqualified “conservative” judges or approving of Trump appointees if it does anything at all.

In the Senate, barely a dozen roll-call votes have been held this year on bills, amendments and legislation, and around 20 bills have been signed into law since January. Senator Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, vented that Mr. McConnell had “effectively turned the United States Senate into a very expensive lunch club that occasionally votes on a judge or two.”

Here is Mitch baby letting us all know any of the “socialist” bills that come out of the House, will not be allowed a vote by the self declared “grim reaper.”

Mitch isn’t stopping “socialist” bills from reaching the floor of the Senate, he’s stopping nearly every bill from reaching the floor despite the fact that most of them are wildly popular with both conservatives and liberals. Mitch’s plan is purely a political one, as all of his plans are. The plan is: to not allow Democrats to pass any meaningful legislation despite how popular they may be, and to not force GOP Senators to have to vote on legislation they find ideologically unpalatable before an election year. Because when you think about it, nothing is more important for our elected officials than keeping their jobs. What could be more important than that?

So despite the cries from all of the cult talking heads that, “Democrats aren’t doing anything but trying to impeach Trump,” the fact is, House Democrats are churning out very meaningful legislation to which Mitch McConnell’s Senate merely refuses to grant attention.

It is true that the first term of the previous GOP controlled House will most likely end up having more legislation passed…

Then the current first term of the Dem controlled House at about the halfway point…

but it won’t be a great margin, and it won’t be due to lack of bills being considered, of which the Dem controlled House is handling, what will most likely be, a much larger portfolio of bills then the previous first term GOP controlled House. The truth is, the House always has a ton of bills to consider every session and this House is no exception to that trend. So when someone yells, “Dems don’t do anything!” you tell them to go fuck themselves and copy/paste the above chart.

What is worth noting is the sweeping changes the House bills propose. Changes which are, by and large, perennially popular with the electorate, but somehow never manage to be crafted into law.

Below are some of the highlights of the bills that died in the Senate this year:

Two nationally popular gun control bills that would increase the time for background checks to ten days and expand background checks as a necessity to loophole sales such as gun shows, were passed at the end of February. There still are no scheduled votes in the Senate.

On January 5th, McConnell blocks two House bills to reopen the government that had been shutdown by Trump’s temper tantrum over his idiot wall. McConnell had also blocked Senate Democrats move to reopen the government on the 10th.

On January 6th, McConnell gets enough support to vote down the passage of a bill disapproving of the Treasury’s actions to lift sanctions on Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. A bill which 136 GOP House members joined Democrats in drafting and which initially had enough GOP support in the Senate to pass, but was ultimately turned back by just enough GOP Senators as directed by McConnell. Not coincidentally, Deripaska firm, Rusal, announced in May that it would be spending over $2oo Million in investment in McConnell’s home state of Kentucky.

Despite all of the bells, whistles, alarms, and air-raid sirens going off, Mitch McConnell will not allow bipartisan bills to protect the 2020 elections to receive a vote.

HR1: McConnell states he will not allow the expansive and necessary election reform bill to see the light of day. HR1 is a massive anti-corruption, single bill package of individual bills to: bring clarity to the effects of dark money in elections, remove gerrymandering, require tax filings of the President and Vice President be made public, enforce stricter lobbying requirements, make election day a national holiday, and address the many voter fraud/suppression issues of the last election cycle. McConnell stated he will not allow a vote on this bill, “because I get to decide what we vote on.”

ACA (Obamacare): The House creates a bill to protect the ACA and lower costs even as the Trump administration seeks to overturn the bill with nothing to replace it. There will be no vote on this bill in the Senate.

McConnell blocks a vote on the release of the Mueller report twice in the same week.

The House passes the “Equality Act” to extend federal anti-discriminatory protection to LBGQT Americans. Despite the fear mongering from House GOP that it would, of course, mean that women’s sports would be invaded by transgendered women through this protection. No scheduled vote in the Senate…nor shall there be.

According to McConnell, the Senate will “probably not,” vote on the house “Dreamers” bill to create a path to citizenship for them.