Sunday: Shut Up, Rudy!!
We begin today's Sunday show roundup with White House economic adviser and beginning-stage Benjamin Button, Larry Kudlow.
Appearing on CNN's STATE OF THE UNION with Jake Tapper, Kudlow was there to fluff himself (and his needy boss) for the recent 4.1 percent economic growth rate. Watch Kudlow somehow try to explain why despite the growth and the beliefs about tax cuts, they are now on track to add 1 trillion dollars to the deficit:
KUDLOW: And, of course, we inherited a tough deficit situation. Any time you have slow growth -- I mean, the prior administration had a very slow growth period, OK? That really damages the budget deficit.
TAPPER: They were coming off the Great Recession of 2008.
KUDLOW: And, by the way, I give them that.
KUDLOW: Always have, but -- but not eight years. I mean, that was the problem. They never got the snap-back we should have gotten. I don't want to waste our time right on...
What?! For eight years, Larry Kudlow complained about the growth rate of President Obama's time in office. As CBS NEWS pointed out on Jan 27, 2018:
In fact, Mr. Trump didn't inherit a fixer-upper economy. The U.S. economy just entered its 10th year of growth, a recovery that began under President Barack Obama, who inherited the Great Recession. The data show that the falling unemployment rate and gains in home values reflect the duration of the recovery, rather than any major changes made since 2017 by the Trump administration. While Mr. Trump praised the 4.1 percent annual growth rate in the second quarter, the economy exceeded that level four times during the Obama presidency: in 2009, 2011 and twice in 2014. In purely numerical terms, a larger shift took place in the second quarter of 2014, when the economy went from contracting by 1 percent to growing at a rate of 5.1 percent.
So not only did the Obama Administration dig us out of a ditch financially, they got the economy booming so good that we are essentially still running on auto-pilot now ... despite Trump or the wisdom of Larry Kudlow. But Tapper pointed out that while 4.1% economic growth rate is good, economists have said it is unsustainable:
TAPPER: Larry, there's no arguing that the economic growth rate, 4.1 percent, is a positive for the country. And you have said that you agree with the president that this is sustainable. There are some economists who are skeptical. And I just want to read some of what they had to say. The chief economist at Moody's said: "The growth we're seeing is not sustainable and will come close to stalling out by 2020." The chief economist at Morgan Stanley said that this is -- the growth is a result of doomsday prepping. In "The New York Times," she said -- quote -- "Global companies are stockpiling raw materials, intermediate goods and finished goods before tariffs take effect and raise the prices of those goods. Once the bite of tariffs hits demand, companies will no longer need to build inventories, and this boost to economic growth could end." Why are you so confident it is sustainable?
KUDLOW: Well, there's just a lot of good things going on. I appreciate that my profession may disagree. They often do.
Yes, because when has Larry Kudlow's gut instinct and ignoring of economist steered us wrong before?
We move on to Former White House Communications Director and Carrie Bradshaw's gay best friend, Anthony Scaramucci.
Appearing via satellite feed from Israel to talk to Jake Tapper, he had a pretty flimsy excuse for Trump's knowledge of the infamous Trump Tower meeting with Russians:
SCARAMUCCI: Well, I think, could he have known after the fact? I think that's possible. But I think what Donald Trump Jr. said last year, that the meeting was about 20 minutes, they thought they were going in for -- for one thing, it turned out to be a completely other thing, and then they shortly dismissed the meeting. And so -- so, yes, I do think it's possible. And I think that, if you check sources inside the White House and you check sources inside that campaign, the level of freneticism, it is very possible. Also, you have to remember the president is an entrepreneur. And so one of the things that entrepreneurs do very well is they delegate to other people, and they create a lot of autonomy around them. And so one of the reasons why that campaign was so successful is that the president said, OK, Paul has a job, Jared has a job, everybody was in different positions, and he's a guy that would delegate to people, the way good entrepreneurs do.
Let us first marvel at Scaramucci getting the window of Trump knowing about the meeting possibly right after and before he tweeted about "30,000 emails" at 4:40pm est. Then let's take a look at Scaramucci's solid defense for Trump based on his "delegating" as an entrepreneur. According to Jeff Lamire for the Associated Press on Nov. 26, 2016:
Those close to him are gently suggesting that he will have to do some more delegating given the sheer volume of decisions needed to get his administration up and running, according to a person familiar with private discussions but not authorized to speak about them by name. Trump has chafed at that, but he has signaled willingness to relinquish some personal control.
Rather, Trump functions simultaneously as his own big-picture strategist and micro-managing chief executive. He has gotten involved in intramural skirmishing that has engulfed his campaign, both stoking and calming tensions depending on the circumstances.
So it seems Trump is very much involved in the decision-making. In fact the only place where Trump seems to delegate is in his duty as "Commander-In-Chief" according to Nicole Gaouette for CNN Politics on June 16, 2017:
Trump's move to loosen the reins on military commanders in Afghanistan follows a similar decision about the generals' decision making authority in Syria and Iraq. In late April, Trump delegated authority to Mattis to set troop levels in the fight against ISIS, a move a senior US defense official said "enables military commanders to become more agile, adaptive and efficient in supporting our partners."
Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad shit, and I happen to think it's all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately.
The chance that Don Jr did not walk these jumos [broadly thought to be "jamokes"] up to his father's office on the twenty-sixth floor is zero.
Finally we end on the former Mayor of New York City and Gotham City Mayoral candidate, Rudy Giuliani.
Speaking to Margaret Brennan on CBS' FACE THE NATION, Giuliani attacks the credibility of former Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen:
GIULIANI: Yeah, well, I mean. I don't see how you can believe Michael Cohen. Michael Cohen is also the guy that taped him without telling him. Taped Chris Cuomo. Taking his cell phone and putting it in a drawer and saying I'm not recording it and then did a two-hour recording that we now have. He did that at least four other times. To my surprise he turns out to be almost an instinctual liar. So there's no way this guy's credibility is going to withstand four or five witnesses saying the exact opposite.
Well that settles it according to Rudy Giuliani! Cohen is a known liar and should not be trusted. But Brennan had the other side of Giuliani's brain to contradict this AND their previous assertion that a payment to Karen McDougal didn't occur:
BRENNAN: You mentioned Karen McDougal. This recording that was made public earlier this week relates to her. She claims she did have a consensual affair with the President. But I want to ask you beyond this case, beyond Stormy Daniels, were other payments made to as yet unnamed women around the time of the 2016 campaign?
GIULIANI: There is-- there is a conversation about that. On one of the tapes in which I think Chris Cuomo asked him that and Cohen says no. Denies it. Said that there were no other situations like this.
BRENNAN: Was that an accurate statement by Cohen?
GIULIANI: As far as I know yeah. I have no evidence to disprove that. And-- and we've searched the records. I mean-- remember both these payments were made or at least the McDougal payment was going to be made through a corporation. Well, you're hardly going to make an illegal contribution through a corporation and that whole dispute about check or cash really couldn't have been done any other way. But-- but by check. It's a corporation, after all, making the payment.
BRENNAN: But you maintain that payment didn't actually occur.
GIULIANI: That one didn't happen for-- for reasons I guess that AMI wanted to keep it, they probably saw a value in keeping it. I mean I know a lot of people raised questions about it but it's pretty clear from the tape this is a straight out and out legal and business transaction.
Wow! So Cohen is a liar but only when he's not and they never paid Karen McDougal unless they did it by check on the up and up. But it's the following part that may have opened a can pf worms for Trump:
GIULIANI: Well, let me see if I can-- I can make it about as clear as possible. We know of something like a hundred eighty-three unique conversations on tape. One of those is with the President of the United States. That's the three-minute one involving-- involving the McDougal payment--AMI-McDougal payment. There are 12 others, maybe 11 or 12 others out of the 183 in which the President is discussed at any length by Cohen, mostly, with reporters.
As James Comey once "lordy hoped," there are tapes! 183 of them. And considering Cohen had only three clients, I think rough times are up ahead for Trump and Sean Hannity! Seems that in between this and Longtime Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg getting a subpoena, we've begun Act 3 of the new remake of Brian DePalma's The Untouchables. I call dibs on Andy Garcia!!
How badly is Giuliani performing? About as poorly as any other Trump lawyer. According to Eric Lutz for MIC on July 28,2018:
President Donald Trump's case was “immeasurably" damaged by Rudy Giuliani's contradictory comments about Michael Cohen recently, according to a friend and former attorney of the president. "I knew as soon as Giuliani spoke that he was damaging Trump's case immeasurably," Jay Goldberg, Trump's former divorce lawyer, told CNN on Friday night. "It ranks near 100 in terms of damage."
That does it for this week. See you next week for another Sunday Roundup!
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Pop Culture observer & Comics fan. Amateur Movie Reviewer. Political Freelance Writer @wonkette. Marine, Husband & Dad. Opinions are mine only.