Tag Archives: Stormy Daniels

‘This is war’? Um, no … it isn’t

I’m beginning to repeat myself and for that I apologize.

I don’t intend to apologize for the repetitive topic. It involves this notion that the current state of political debate necessarily must devolve into a rhetorical flame-throwing contest.

Such fiery rhetoric comes from many of my progressive/liberal social media friends and acquaintances. Some of them have scolded me for seeking to reduce the temperature.

“This is war,” a few of them have told me. No. It is not.

I’ve had a brief bit of exposure to war. Believe me when I say this: This is nothing close to the real thing.

Yes, it is a form of combat. Democrats are angry with Republicans for fomenting anger. They suggest that anger can — and does — manifest itself in acts such as what we witnessed the past few days: the mailing of pipe bombs to officials who disagree with Donald Trump, the nation’s 45th president.

So, to counter that anger, they propose to ratchet it up. Among the top proponents of the in-your-face policy of political debate is Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who has made a name for himself representing Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress who alleges taking a one-time tumble with the future 45th president.

Avenatti is considering whether to run for president in 2020. Imagine my surprise. He says Democrats need a gut fighter to take the battle straight to the president and his fellow Republicans.

Where does it go from there? Only heaven knows.

I am sick of hearing the “war” references to this political debate. Too many politicians I respect — the late Sen. John McCain, the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, former Vice President Joe Biden, for example — have demonstrated how elected officials can argue and bicker over public policy without demonizing those on the other side.

Thus, I cannot accept the “this is war” mantra we hear from today’s active participants.

Waiting for a more ‘presidential’ president

There you go, Mr. President. Donald Trump has vowed to be “more presidential” during his time in office.

Then he does this: He fires off a Twitter tirade that includes this gem about a woman who had sued him for defamation related to a payment his one-time lawyer made to the woman.

Trump wrote:  “Federal Judge throws out Stormy Danials lawsuit verses Trump. Trump is entitled to full legal fees. @FoxNews Great, now I can go after Horseface and her 3rd rate lawyer in the Great State of Texas. She will confirm the letter she signed! She knows nothing about me, a total con.”

You need to parse through the mangled syntax, shoddy punctuation and, oh yes, the epithet he hurled at woman he mentions by her(misspelled) name in the tweet.

Yes, he calls Stormy Daniels “Horseface.”

Daniels alleges she and the future president had a one-night tryst in a hotel. Trump later ordered his then-lawyer, Michael Cohen, to pay her $130,000 to keep quiet about the event … while denying it ever happened. Go … figure.

I won’t get into what we all know to be the obvious, which is that we won’t ever see the president of the United States on a GQ magazine cover. Oh, well. I guess I just did.

Still, the president’s oft-stated vow to be “more presidential” has yet to be kept.

Shameful.

Avenatti becomes a royal pain in the … wherever

Michael Avenatti began driving me crazy some months ago when he was seen everywhere, talking to every talking head on TV about a client of his, a woman who goes by the name of Stormy Daniels.

She is the adult film actress/dancer who took a $130,000 payment from the former lawyer for Donald Trump to keep her quiet about a one-night stand she said she had with the future president of the United States in 2006.

Avenatti has become a ubiquitous presence on TV.  Good grief, the guy seems able to be everywhere all at once! How does this clown do that?

And then he entered the battle to keep Brett Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court. He now represents a woman who contends that the newly sworn in justice assaulted her years ago.

You know, I am going to buy into the argument that Avenatti’s late entry into this discussion might have doomed efforts to keep Kavanaugh off the court.

Avenatti has become a politician. He has stated his desire to consider running for president of the United States in 2020. He is making political speeches. He is saying Democrats need to deal with Trump with even more bile and vitriol than the president dishes out to his political foes.

I’m trying to connect the dots. A lawyer signs on to represent a high-profile client; then he starts sounding like a possible presidential candidate; and then he jumps into another high-profile fray, this time involving a nominee to the highest court in the United States.

What’s this guy’s motive, other than to boost his clientele, make a name for himself and, well, fatten his wallet?

Avenatti very well might be a first-rate lawyer. He says he is. All the time. To any talk-show host who’ll have him on the air.

Me? I’m sick of listening to this clown.

‘Don’t call me a celebrity?’ Sorry, bub … you are one!

Michael Avenatti cracks me up.

The lawyer who is pondering a run for the presidency in 2020 has scolded the media for calling him a “celebrity.” He bristled at the idea of the media labeling him something he most certainly has become.

Avenatti represents Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels, the porn actor who alleges she and the future president of the United States, Donald Trump, had a fling in a hotel room years ago. The president paid her hush money to keep her quiet, but denies the tryst occurred … go figure.

Avenatti has stepped into the public spotlight by being everywhere, seemingly at once. That, by my definition, makes him a celebrity.

Oh, no, he answers. He is a lawyer with an 18-year career. He has represented “Davids against Goliaths.”

I guess this means that if decides to run for president, he’ll tell us he isn’t a politician.

He then will fit the definition of two terms he doesn’t like.

Too bad, counselor/celebrity and maybe — politician.

I mean, if the shoe fits …

Wanting a presidential candidate with policy chops

I just watched a snippet of Michael Avenatti delivering a sort of campaign stump speech to some listeners in Iowa.

The high-profile lawyer is considering a run for the presidency. His only claim to fame/notoriety to date has been that he represents Stormy Daniels, the porn star who says she and the future president, Donald Trump, had a fling in a hotel room back in 2006 — and that the president paid her $130,000 to keep quiet about it.

Avenatti is her mouthpiece. He also is a blowhard, a celebrity who’s trying to parlay his celebrity status into something that requires a lot more of those who seek high public office.

Does that remind you of anyone else? Of course it does!

I’m a bit old-fashioned. I want presidents to have some public service experience. I want them to demonstrate a commitment to the public. I want them to be well-versed, well-spoken and well-educated on policy and on the nuance of government. I do not want some showboat to prance onto the political stage and bellow, “Vote for me because I am not a politician!”

The 2020 election will feature, more than likely, a large field of Democratic candidates, the size of which of might rival the number of 2016 Republican candidates who sought to succeed Barack Obama as president.

Given the electoral success that Donald Trump experienced in 2016, I am pretty certain that the opening-day field of Democratic contenders will include its fair share of carnival barkers, goofballs and unqualified showboats.

That is how I consider Michael Avenatti, who well might be a great lawyer, but who is about as qualified to serve as president as the guy who’s in the office now. Which is to say he is patently unqualified.

My hope is that Democrats can produce a newcomer, someone who isn’t much of a presence at this moment on the political horizon.

That all said, I hope Avenatti sticks to lawyering and clears the field for candidates who actually know what they would do were they to get elected president.

‘President Avenatti?’ For real?

Say it ain’t so, counselor.

Michael Avenatti, whose only claim to national notoriety rests with his legal representation of a porn star who alleges she had a one-night stand with a future president of the United States, says he is considering a run for — gulp! — the presidency of the United States.

Oh … my … goodness!

Do you know what this tells me? It tells me that Donald J. Trump’s election as president in 2016 cements the notion that anyone can be be elected to the highest office in the land. Prior qualifications don’t matter. It doesn’t matter whether they have prior public service experience. Nor does it matter if they understand fully the complicated machinery that constitutes the federal system of government.

Avenatti was, shall we say, on no one’s radar prior to emerging as Stormy Daniels’s lawyer.

“I’m exploring a run for the presidency of the United States, and I wanted to come to Iowa and listen to people and learn about some issues that are facing the citizens of Iowa and do my homework,” Avenatti told the Des Moines Register.

As the saying goes: Only in America.

Hey, did POTUS break a law?

History may be about to repeat itself. I put the emphasis on “may be,” as in “maybe.”

The FBI seized papers and other material from former Donald Trump lawyer/friend Michael Cohen and then discovered a recorded evidence that he and Trump discussed payments to a former Playboy model who has contended she and Trump had an yearlong affair before Trump became president.

How is history repeating itself?

Follow the bouncing ball  …

The U.S. House of Representatives impeached President Bill Clinton in 1998 for committing perjury to a federal grand jury, which asked him about an affair the president was having with a White House intern; Clinton lied when he denied the relationship.

The House then learned about that infamous blue dress. The Republican majority then had its cause for impeachment: The president took an oath to follow the law; he didn’t when he lied to the grand jury. Thus, the impeachment.

Special counsel Robert Mueller now has all the evidence seized in that FBI raid of Cohen’s office. He recorded conversations with the president over the payment to the Playboy model, Karen McDougal.

Did the president, then, possibly violate campaign finance laws when he paid off the model, perhaps to keep her quiet, just as he paid the hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels? Did he break the law by failing to disclose the payment as required by law of those who are running for president?

Is there another law broken here? Are there, um, grounds for impeachment? It might sound specious to those who think the Mueller investigation is a “witch hunt.” Then again, there were those on the other side who said the same thing about the Kenneth Starr examination into President Clinton’s behavior.

To be sure, the GOP majority in the House isn’t likely to go along with an impeachment resolution. Democrats most certainly would, which then makes the upcoming congressional election all the more critical. Do you get my drift? Of course you do!

Conviction, quite clearly, is another matter — as the GOP found out in 1998 and as Democrats could learn in, say, 2019.

Another campaign kicks off? Seriously?

“Our troops didn’t die in Yorktown, didn’t take Normandy beach, didn’t rebuild Europe and secure the postwar peace that you are now destroying, Mr. President, for you to live as a Manchurian candidate in our White House.”

Who do you suppose made this statement today?

OK, I’ll give it up. It came from Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who represents Stormy Daniels/Stephanie Clifford, the porn star who alleges she took a one-night tumble in a hotel room about a dozen years ago with Donald J. Trump Sr.

Why do I even mention this? Why devote any blog space to this guy?

Because he annoys me. That’s why.

Avenatti is becoming the ubiquitous lawyer who seems to my way of thinking to be more interested in promoting his own interests than in protecting the interests of his most famous client.

Avenatti delivered some kind of speech today in front of the White House in which he called Trump a “Manchurian candidate.”

I need some help on many matters. One of them involves whether the content of Avenatti’s speech has anything to do with Daniels/Clifford’s beef with Donald Trump.

Yes, Trump deserves criticism. I’ve delivered my share of it from this forum. Yes, Avenatti also is entitled to criticize the president as well. His public celebrity status, though, is due to his legal representation of a woman who received a hush-money payment from a guy who once was the president’s lawyer/Mr. Fix It.

I am believing now that Michael Avenatti is branching out.

Is there another political career in the making before our eyes?

I’m tired of this guy already.

Strange legal bedfellows?

This is weird.

Lanny Davis, one of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s better friends, is now representing Michael Cohen, who until just recently was supposedly a friend of and legal adviser to Donald J. Trump … although I am unclear just how many “friends” the president actually has.

Cohen is now declaring some form of independence from Trump, the guy he used to work for as a “fixer” and, oh yes, for whom he wrote that $130,000 check to keep the porn star Stormy Daniels quiet about the tryst she had years ago with the man who would become president of the United States.

As The Hill reported: Cohen, who previously worked for Trump, told (ABC News’s George) Stephanopoulos last week that his “first loyalty” lies with his family, not the president. 

I don’t know about you, but this is looking to me as though Cohen is about to unleash all he knows about Trump’s behavior. I am pretty sure the special counsel, Robert Mueller, is going to be all ears.

What about Cohen’s relationship with Lanny Davis? I guess there’s something to be said about strange bedfellows, yes?

Connecting some dots inside the White House

I feel like connecting a few dots. So … here goes.

The 2016 Republican Party presidential nominee was revealed in a decade-old recording boasting about how he could grab women by their “pu***” because his status as a “star” gave him license.

The nominee, Donald John Trump, was elected president.

He declares war on media outlets that he finds disagreeable. He calls them “fake news” and then submits to interviews almost exclusively with Fox News, which was run by the late Roger Ailes.

Ailes, meanwhile, gets hit with complaints of sexual harassment by a number of high-profile female journalists; Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson are two of them.

Ailes gets the boot. But his No. 2 man, Bill Shine, stands with him and allegedly covers up for the boss.

Then, just this week, Shine — who left Fox News — has been named deputy White House chief of staff in charge of communications.

So, we have the president — who has a history of sexual harassment complaints leveled against him by many women — hires a guy with a sexual harassment history of his own. The White House underling is now director of communications for the administration.

It’s fair to wonder about Trump’s values. He never rails against accusations of sexual harassment. He defends those against whom these complaints are leveled; he called former Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly — who also faced such accusations — a “good man.”

Trump reportedly takes a dim view of the “Me Too” and “Time’s Up” movements, believing that the women who make accusations against powerful men are off base.

Oh, and then his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 in hush money to keep quiet about a tryst that Trump says never happened.

What do you suppose is the common denominator here? Let’s see. I think it’s boorish behavior toward women, which appears to have Donald Trump’s fingerprints all over it.