In the Foreseeable future

Before this blog ends up on some snotty little right-wingish “fake news” list*, which will then be quoted like scripture by the terminally lazy who will not even bother to use Google or their own common sense, I thought I’d once again clarify the following:
this blog has never been a news source.  it is an opinion blog only.

I’d also like to add that in the foreseeable future, the purpose of this blog will be altered slightly.  I will attempt to pull together all the accurate information I can on the Trump-Russia scandal, and put it here, all in one convenient place.  Reason?  It’s because there is so much coming at all of us every day during this scandal that it’s almost impossible to keep track of it if you are also trying to live your life.  Since I have no life at present, I’ll try to do that for you.

That said, I can’t guarantee anything except that I will try to keep my sources above-board, and also I can’t claim that I can make sense of all of this story without a security clearance (which I certainly do not have, and not having any relatives in the Trump family, probably cannot get).  I am also not a journalist.

Please keep all this in mind while you are reading.  I hope to be of some help to you in sorting all of this out, that’s all.  Peace.  And resist.

*It was noted, right after “fake news” became an issue the day after the election, that many, many lists of “fake news sites” suddenly popped up all over the Internet, and most of the “fake news sites” seen on a majority of those lists seemed to be left- or center-leaning news sites and blogs.  The reason turned out to be that many (not all) of those lists were compiled by right wingers who had swallowed too much Russian-style Breitbartish kool-aid.

Wheels: off

I don’t think we have a president anymore.

Not that we’ve had much of a president in the past several months, but whatever we did have — any illusion of power — is gone.  Even the supposed hordes of angry white boys (now properly identified as Nazis) he was either directly or indirectly threatening us with if we did not fall into line and let him do whatever he pleased…well, that threat is turning out to be minuscule.  For instance, yesterday’s attempted bullying of Boston ended with about 100 would-be bullies being escorted away through a crowd of about 40,000, to the mocking sound of tuba music.

That is to say that there’s not enough of them to scare anybody.

Trump himself is nothing but a bully.  He never was anything more, and he never had any plan for anything.  That wall, for instance?  They’re already flying drones filled with drugs into the U.S.  A wall can be dug under if they want to transport humans.  It’s an expensive waste of resources and money, and it’s a distraction.  Anyone still harping about the wall is a fool.  This isn’t China in 221 BC.

That’s not the only issue.  Apparently his poor excuse for an Education Secretary, DeVos, has an evil brother who wanted to approach Trump with an idea that he (DeVos’s brother) would be a sort of viceroy in Afghanistan and keep the peace and raid their considerable mineral resources for a nice little salary of TEN BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR.

Since Trump is so incredibly stupid, he might have thought it was a good idea…but McMaster blocked DeVos’s brother’s access to Trump, so the deal is a no-go for the time being.  Not that they won’t try again, though, if given enough time.  At least now we know why the woefully unqualified DeVos is in the Cabinet, though, aside from the fact that her family made massive contributions to Trump’s campaign.

Do you really want a president who is that stupid?

All Trump sees is money, and after that, power.  He’s been pretty much stripped of his power at this point, but he’s still eyeballing the money.  For him the presidency has been nothing but the ultimate money-grubbing scheme, and he’s continuing to do it.

How does Russia fit into the scheme?  Easy — Putin is a corrupt billionaire, and Trump (who is not a billionaire) owes him and/or his mob buddies a ton of…you got it…money (SEE LINKED ARTICLE ABOVE).  This is all this whole thing was ever about.

It was not about making America great again (by reversing everything the black guy did, because the only thing almost as powerful to Trump as money and power is his jealousy of Obama.  He hates the guy.)

The very real criminal here, outside of Trump, Putin, various Trump cronies and several very corrupt Republicans in positions of power in Congress, is the right-wing media.  This is a more delicate matter, as we do have the Constitution standing in the way of our access to them.  But they must be neutered, even if it takes massive boycotts and protests to do it.  And they will be.  I’d like to see some of them charged with treason, too, but that is unlikely and could set a dangerous precedent.  Better to just discredit them to the point where they don’t even have as much credibility as your average reality show, and their supporters turn slightly pink in the cheeks while trying to defend the indefensible — kind of like an increasing number of Trump supporters are doing now, sometimes to the tune of tuba music.

As for Trump and his cronies, the matter is less delicate.  He’s now nothing more than a broken-down actor waiting for the stage hook.  It’s just a matter of making those with the power realize that Trump has to be dragged off the stage sooner rather than later (he will not resign).  This is because as powerless as he is, he’s still a figurehead, and as long as he’s there, there will be more and more trouble because his cronies, and his sycophants, and his buddies in Congress are still there and up to some very nasty business under the cover of “president” Trump.  It is, of course, part of the problem that most of these people are as corrupt as Trump, and not as stupid.

But he needs to be gone.  Let’s get to it.  Now.

 

Cruel Reality

It was revealed a few weeks ago, I think, that Mueller had appropriated (for lack of a better word) a grand jury that was originally assembled in New York State – I still don’t know if this is the one investigating potential Trump family financial crimes or not, but it seems likely.  A few days ago it was revealed that Mueller also has his own grand jury, and it is issuing subpoenas in the Trump/Russia case.  Meantime some grand jury somewhere is investigating Flynn and has been for months.  I’m guessing that one is on the federal level because it probably is looking at possible treasonous activities.

Whatever.

Of course Mensch and Taylor are now crowing that they got the story first, months ago, before Mueller was hired as Special Counsel.  Somehow they always leave that part out, as well as the parts about the sealed indictments — which no less than Preet Bahara dismissed as poppycock — and that thing about Bannon getting the death penalty (for what???  He hasn’t even been charged with anything!) and that business about the Supreme Court being involved.  (They aren’t.  Really.)

We know who assembled the grand jury in New York State, so I’m talking about the Flynn one.  The fact is Mueller didn’t do it.  Therefore, linking the grand jury story to the story of Mueller’s grand jury(ies) is ridiculous.  No one can crow that they told us about this months ago, because if they did their reporting was incomplete.  Yes somebody was working on this, but obviously so secretly that even Louise Mensch had no idea what they were doing.  The fact is, nobody knew.   We were left to guess and judge by Flynn’s actions and those of others involved in the situation (asking for immunity, etc.).

And in the past few days there has been the other thing…the fresh exhumation of human trafficking and child molestation stories involving Trump and those in his circle.  Mensch has jumped on that bandwagon as well, which is interesting because this brings us to our other Twitter-monger, the one who keeps posting about these things in relation to Trump, and blaming one of the Rothschilds for everything.  She is now claiming that the human trafficking story is what will bring Trump down; that the Trump-Russia thing is actually no big deal.  She also claims to be seriously on the outs with Mensch, who is now trying to claim the same thing — that the trafficking charges will bring Trump down and to hell with Russia.

*sigh* this brings me to the point…

This Trump-Russia story IS the biggest story of any of our lives, and it WILL bring the Trump administration crashing down, possibly taking at least a large portion of the Republican Party with it.  No rape/child molestation/human trafficking story will do that, unfortunate as it is to have to say such a thing.  If personal crimes (unrelated to Trump-Russia) any effect on Trump at all, it will be after he is removed from office.

Further, I’ve written about this several times and I’ll repeat it:  this crap on Twitter has got to stop and the only way it will stop is if people stop falling for it.  This Trump-Russia story is not about any of these people on Twitter who seem to be attempting to make a living off of it.  It is about all of us; it is about our nation’s sovereignty; it is about the survival of the constitution as our foundation and of the presidency as something more than a ceremonial head of state (and it should be noted that Trump is failing in that limited capacity as well; he simply has no grasp on what he is supposed to be doing).

That last point — the reduction of the office of the president to nothing more than a ceremonial role — is not being discussed, but it should be.  While it’s true that half of Congress seems to be as ensnared by Russia as is the Trump administration, it’s also mysteriously true that they are acting to tie Trump’s tiny hands so that he cannot fire or appoint anyone, can’t remove sanctions, can’t start a war to distract us, etc.  I’m not entirely sure why this is happening when so many of them are beholden to Russia, but there it is: right now we have a president whose only power is his tweets.

While it protects us in the present, it may have a scary impact on the future.  This is the important stuff.  No, I am NOT saying that issues such as human trafficking and child molestation aren’t horrendous crimes and deserve no attention, but the fact is that they are not what is going to bring Trump down.  Anyone who claims otherwise fails to realize that our constitution protects itself first and the rest of us by extension (because it has to; we don’t live forever, but the constitution does).  Bringing Trump down for personal crimes is not going to save the government, nor reverse the damage he has done and that Congress is doing in order to prevent him from wrecking things further.  Bringing him down for obstruction of justice and/or treason will save our government by nullifying everything that has happened.  The rest of the charges, as long as they are in no way connected to Trump-Russia, can occupy the rest of his life — and that is as it should be.

Anyone on Twitter (or elsewhere) claiming otherwise is full of shit and out for their 15 minutes of fame.  They are no better than Trump.  We need to keep our eyes on obstruction of justice and treason, which are definitely “high crimes” that will take Trump out of office and hopefully erase him from history except as a footnote and a warning.  The rest of it will be the stuff that will make Trump personally miserable and possibly keep him in jail for the rest of his life if the obstruction/treason charges don’t do the job.  We can hope for no more.

 

Really out loud


As you have heard, last night the Senate voted down the umpteenth effort to kill off the ACA and several million Americans along with it.  People are celebrating, but I know they’ll just try it again, possibly as soon as next week.  McConnell and Ryan are acting as if their lives depend on it, after all; maybe someday we’ll find out why.

At this point it can’t be just a deep-seated hatred of Obama and his achievement that’s motivating them (although it is certainly one of Trump’s major motivations).  It has to be something more, and it has to be something to do with money; otherwise, why try repeatedly over a course of years — not to mention just the last several days — to push through a repeal with nothing but empty and dangerous nonsense to replace it?  Why all the secrecy?  Why induce senators to vote on something they haven’t even read?  Heck, just before the vote last night, which was minutes after the “replacement” was finally revealed, some senators said they were voting for it even though they hated it.

That.makes.no.fucking.sense unless there’s someone waving money at them, hard.  Or else, someone is threatening them.

But as I said we won’t find out what’s pushing this extreme behavior for a while, if ever.  Mensch has been chiming in with her fan-fic, crediting McCain and his buddy Graham with a sweet little patriotic conspiracy where they both voted to confirm Sessions and split their votes on the healthkill bill.  This was necessary so they wouldn’t blow their cover, and OF COURSE it’s top secret!

No.  Try again.  They are who they are — McCain is nothing if not unpredictable — and they did what they did.  I will never believe otherwise unless I hear it from their own mouths.

In the meantime, something far more illuminating has happened.  In fact there were four things:

(1) the Joint Chiefs of Staff has openly defied Trump on his new zero-tolerance policy for transgender soldiers/sailors.  It would appear that the generals are (to an extent) turning on Trump.  This is something I’ve never seen happen before in my several decades of life.

(2) Congress has passed a veto-proof extension (and, I think, a toughening) of the sanctions on Russia.  It’s on Trump’s desk right now, but it doesn’t matter.  It’s passed.  There is nothing he can do about it.  He probably doesn’t totally grasp that there’s nothing he can do about it, but he’s stuck with it.

Putin is already responding by throwing U.S. diplomats out of Russia; that’s fine because now there can be no more talk of the U.S. giving Russian compounds (on U.S. soil) back.  I predict Trump will try, anyway, simply because it’s within his control and he may see it as a way to save his considerable ass with Putin.  (No I don’t believe he’s actually done this already, but I may be wrong; if he has, he’s screwed either way.)

(3) More reps and senators are now talking openly about Trump and Russia on the floor of the House and Senate (and/or in the hallways) and refusing to be hushed.  It’s clear that what we’re hearing, they’re hearing — which means it isn’t “fake news” — and at least some of them are as fed up as we are.

(4) Lindsay Graham, for what he’s worth, is apparently cooking up a bill that will prevent Trump from dismissing Special Counsel Robert Mueller by shouting “you’re fired!” just like he used to on his TV show.  There has also been talk of a bill in the House that would prevent Trump from unilaterally starting a war, but I don’t know what happened with that.  Presidents were never supposed to be able to do that anyway; not that they haven’t — and that’s the problem, particularly with someone as desperate to cause a distraction as is Trump.

All in all it looks like the wheels are falling off, not only for Trump but for the entire Republican party.  I refuse to guess how much longer this is going to take.

I had predicted that things would start happening after June 30; it appears I wasn’t far wrong.  What’s happening now is that people are openly defying Trump and calling Congressional Republican leadership to task, and Congress itself defies Trump one day (the healthkill bill and the sanctions) and coddles him the next (money for the Mexican wall, which they previously said was dead — but it’s stupid enough where I’m sure they’ll go ahead with it anyway, magically pulling money out of their asses).

Next come actual indictments of people surrounding Trump.  There will be no impeachment; for all Congress’s recent bluster, they will not impeach Trump. As I said earlier, someone’s holding something over their heads, and whatever it is scares the hell out of them.

But some things are inevitable, and one inevitability here is that someone is going to jail for all of this, or at least part of it.  I have no idea when the actual legal action will start, but the latest rumor is “by the end of the summer.”  They just aren’t saying which summer.

 

Fried Reality

Do you want Kool-aid with that?

Woke up unusually early this morning, slouched over to the computer, brought up Twitter…and what the hell did I find?  Louise Mensch, sometime during the night, had posted to her Patribotics blog something to the effect that the death penalty was being considered for Steve Bannon.

That should have come with a full-scale, five-alarm splarf alert.  Alas it did not, and my coffee ended up all over my computer screen.

To most people I need not explain that loathsome as he is, Bannon has not been charged with anything and no one even knows for sure if he’s being investigated, or what for if he is.  That is to say innocent until proven guilty.  That’s the way the system works.  To say he’s getting the death penalty (again, what for?) is the cyber equivalent of road rage.

All of which means that this is yet more nonsense coming from the Pied Piper of the left (actually she’s a neocon).

I have to credit the denizens of Twitter, however.  There was some chuckling, some outrage, and some shrugging for about an hour…and then they went on with their petty feuds, pontificating, and general puffery as if nothing happened.  That is to say that the death-penalty incident did nothing but make Mensch look worse than she’s already looking to a lot of people — and at this point, it’s no longer a big deal.

There has been far more discussion of Trump’s incoherent New York Times interview, and that’s as it should be.  Here we have an isolated, unhinged individual who is sick with jealousy of his predecessor, so much so that he has not bothered to study the issue of health insurance — Obama’s crowning achievement — at all (he thinks it costs $12.00 a year), and has only convinced himself that the ACA (Obamacare’s real name) is “bad.”  No definition of “bad,” just “bad.”  And so it has to go.  And if Congress won’t do it, he’ll destroy it himself.  And to the 32,000,000 people such an action would deprive of healthcare, fuck off.

He also thinks the Attorney General is his private attorney who should have told Trump before he was confirmed that he was going to recuse himself (WTF), and so forth and so on.  And it does go on and on, making less and less sense every day.  To put it bluntly, he has no fucking idea what he’s doing.

But he doesn’t really care, because the only reason he got into the Presidency to begin with was to grift.  And that he’s doing quite well, along with his family.  It begs the question, “if we can’t afford the ACA how can we afford the Trump family?”  It’s getting almost that bad.

The closer we get to the grift being revealed publicly, the more angry, agitated and acid Trump becomes — and so yesterday he insulted his Attorney General so badly that the pundits couldn’t see how Sessions could stay in the job.  Of course Sessions, who probably views Trump as his protector to some degree, announced today that he’s staying.

As long as these people are making money off the situation, and feeling somewhat protected by the Oval Office, they will stay no matter what Trump does to them.**

And then Trump was staggeringly dumb enough to accidentally reveal that Special Counsel Mueller was probably investigating the Trump family finances.  He did that by cautioning Mueller not to investigate that issue.  Today Mueller’s team announced that they are, in fact, doing that, which tells me they have been all along (Trump’s finances and those of his administration are entwined, after all; remember — Trump is a grifter and his administration a massive scam).

Someone on Twitter stated that we are not up against Russia alone, we are up against an extra-national crime organization funded by oligarchs who are looking to rob the rest of us blind and enslave us.  Yes.  Yes.  And Yes.  This whole business with Trump is nothing but a giant scam; a front.  It’s advanced money laundering, if you will.

And that brings us back to the Queen of Conspiracy, Mensch.  Some say she’s a plant.  Judging from her own words, I cannot imagine why anyone center or left would support her; she has made no secret of her neocon origins and leanings.  In fact she may be indirectly and/or unwittingly working for Trump; in a way, everyone on the far right is doing that, just as it appears independents and hard-left wingers got scammed by Jill Stein and perhaps Bernie Sanders (who may or may not have been scammed himself — more on that later).

Whatever the truth is, however, my hat’s off to Twitter for pretty much passing this Mensch nonsense by this morning and quickly moving on to the important stuff — Trump’s nonsense.  That is ultimately what will affect us all.

** another perspective entirely is that Sessions may be staying to stop Trump from firing Mueller.  Problem with that is that Sessions supposedly recused himself from the Russia investigation, so he can’t protect Mueller.  That job falls to Rosenstein.

 

How to spot fake tweets

By “fake” I mean “nonfactual” tweets.

The idea for this article came yesterday, when a lengthy tweet thread was posted by someone on Twitter who has long claimed to be
(1) some sort of religious consultant in the White House
(2) a victim of death and other threats, mostly coming from Steve Bannon but also coming from minions of Bannon who have recently been arrested (?? I haven’t heard of any arrests, have you?)
(3) a distant relative of Trump
(4) a cancer patient.

I’m neither here nor there on who this person claims to be, but I do have issues when they tweet stuff like this:

(1) Donald Jr. and Eric turned on their father last October
(2) Donald Jr. released his incriminating emails intentionally to bring his father down
(3) Ivanka is her father’s partner in crime and also “his lover,”
(4) a Rothschild is actually the reason for Putin and Trump being in power.

Okay, folks…now I get off the train.  Any time you mention “Rothschild” you lose me.  It’s been a hallmark of right and left-wing cranks for years: when all else fails, blame the Rothschilds.  I’m not saying they’re innocent, I just don’t know who the hell they are.  And unless one steps on my toe in an elevator, I don’t give a shit.  Power is, after all, given — not taken.  Trump is finding this out in real time, right in front of us, for all to see.

Ivanka’s relationship with her father is none of our business.  Nepotism is very much our business, but it is not the same thing as incest or whatever the hell the charges are.

As for Beavis and Butthead (Eric and Donald Jr.), there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that they have turned on their father, nor that they are bright enough to carry out any sort of plot.  No, the truth appears to be just this: Donald Jr. released the emails because he simply isn’t smart enough to realize that what they reveal is not only illegal, but possibly treasonous.  If it turns out otherwise, I’ll be the most shocked individual in the cosmos, and Donald Jr. will deserve a goddamn acting award for his performance as the village idiot.

All this brings me to the point: beware of what you read on Twitter.  If the writer claims membership in any sort of “club” (you know, names that sound like Anti-Trump Team A or the Elite Force or other juvenile crap like that), speaks in jargon (whether real or invented), claims military status that others have questioned, does little on Twitter but talk about how bad other twitterers are, doxxes people, invents sensational rumors (see above) especially while claiming dubious status…they probably need professional help.  And you aren’t the one to help them.

Neither believe what they say, nor pay much attention to it.  Instead, pay attention to people widely known to have expertise in their fields (Preet Bahara comes to mind).  You will get a glimpse of the truth from these people.  You will not get it from someone claiming to be hiding out from antagonists in the White House, or claiming to know a lot of unnamed sources in the IC, or God knows what else.  All you’ll be doing is wasting your time with these people.  Tune out.

 

A few things I wish we’d get straight

I just saw another of those headlines: “Here’s why Hillary Clinton didn’t win the election!”  I’ve seen numerous articles on this subject, most slamming Clinton for running a bad campaign, or the Democrats for being out of touch, etc.

It’s bullshit, people.  Stop it.  Fact is, Clinton won big and would have won bigger if there hadn’t been so much tampering going on.

Also, it’s clear that the Trump campaign colluded (not a legal term, btw) with the Russians to get Trump elected (we’ve spent the past 3 days yammering about Donald Trump Jr., haven’t we?  and how about all the bombshells before that?), and some of this collusion involved the creation and promotion of fake news, as Trump loves to call it — although in his eternal projection state, he confuses “fake news” with legit news.  We’re talking about genuine fake news here — the right-wing kind.

In fact, it’s being surmised that the Russians would not have known where to target their fake news campaign without the help of the Trump campaign.  It’s easy to see proof of this: just observe Putin, who is obviously clueless on the subjects of U.S. government and society.

Yes, this collusion is illegal, immoral, treasonous, and from the looks of Trump, fattening.  BUT THE FACT REMAINS THAT HILLARY CLINTON WON THE FUCKING ELECTION.

Since the general election there have been several local/Congressional elections in which the Republicans apparently used their election-eating machine to retain seats that they otherwise would have lost.  Yet I am still seeing articles about the Democrats being out of touch, rather than articles examining just how it is that unpopular/unsuitable/unqualified/downright grotesque Republican candidates keep winning elections — never by a landslide — that they were projected to lose.  And why, why are there always stories about weird shit happening at the polls at those elections?

So that’s it.  I want to know why are we not dealing with two basic problems that led us into this debacle: a corrupt and useless Electoral College, and a vast Republican voting fraud/intimidation/disenfranchisement machine which far outstrips anything put together in decades past by Chicago’s first Mayor Daley (who did, via vote fraud, help get Kennedy elected; otherwise Watergate would have happened a decade earlier).

And I want to see some investigative journalism done about this.  Now.

Conduct Unbecoming

It’s a low moment when one realizes that the term “conduct unbecoming” technically does not apply to the president of the United States.  But there it is: it does not.

Currently the qualifications for the office are lower than those for local school-board members, I believe.  This accounts for much of the GOP field in the last two elections.  Many were nothing more than vanity candidates.

What concerns me is that the most obvious vanity candidate of them all was able to steal the office.  (NO, HE WAS NOT ELECTED.)  Now securely there, he is being held to no particular standards of conduct and execution of duties, simply because there aren’t any.

Things have come to a new low point now; this morning he was revealed on national television to have blackmailed two popular talk-show hosts.  Don’t get excited; nothing will happen to him.  Remember what I wrote in the previous post.

However, this came directly on the heels of yesterday’s revelation that…let’s see if I can get this straight…a Republican operative contacted Russian hackers for Clinton’s emails, somehow for or through Flynn.  This is huge, folks.  This indicates collusion.  The only choking point is determining Flynn’s exact role in the scheme.  Someone might also like to take a look at just how it was that the Republican operative in question died just days after revealing this story.  Yes, he was 81 years old, but still — that’s a big coincidence.

Meantime, remember Carter Page?  It’s been revealed that he spent much of April — roughly the last time we heard anything about him — talking to the FBI without a lawyer, which indicates that either he’s stupid (but we already guessed that), or he has flipped.  This revelation seemed to make various satellites in the Trump orbit rather shaky.  One of them suddenly did what he’d been resisting doing: he registered retroactively as a foreign agent.

Left wing Pied Piper and right-wing operative Louise Mensch suddenly withdrew from Twitter this morning, claiming Trump is done (he is not) and because of that her work is done for the time being.  Those who have been following her for a long time claim that she has done this before.  I don’t know about that, but what I do know is that Mensch has been under pressure from various Twitterers for a few months now, one of them being Seth Abramson, about whom I still have serious questions — although I’d believe him before Mensch any day.  Another person she’s been tussling with is the highly credible Preet Bahara, with whom Mensch presumed to argue the legal point of whether a sealed indictment against a sitting president is possible.  I’d say she lost; at least, nothing has happened to prove her right and the attorney Bahara wrong.

It’s gotten particularly intense recently, with claims that she’s been doxxing people (doxxing basically means making private information very public; it’s not always illegal but it is always unethical).  Certainly she seems to spend more time lately issuing denials and threats of legal action than she does inventing conspiracy theories and making wild claims.  Her announced disappearance this morning comes just after the very latest charges of doxxing; there seems to be a new victim coming forward every few days.

So it seems stuff is going down, folks, in various arenas.  Unfortunately Trump is not one of the things tumbling down, and that brings me back to the point.

As I said, you probably need more qualifications to run for the local school board than you do for president, and once you obtain the office of president, you are under no particular obligation to your oath or to anything else (definitely not true of school-board members).  Trump has taken and is taking full advantage of that.

Because of that, I’m writing to my senators to ask them what they think of raising the standards for those who run for the office of president.  I know it’s the last thing we have to worry about right now, but think about it — it’s part of what got us here.  It’s an issue that needs to be addressed.