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.

8/4/18 update
As noted in some of the more recent posts, I have given up trying to explain or clarify every new bombshell that explodes.  If you want my overview of what all this is about, please read this post that I wrote in April.  Much of it is turning out to be true.

Any other posts from now on will be only on non-bombshell subjects.  It isn’t worth it to cover each and every new scandal or outrage; it’s just exhausting.  Worse, most of them are the essence of “fake news;” they are nothing more than distractions.

I do promise to hold a big party once this is all over, however.

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Of White Elephants, Kushner and (ultimately) Syria

According to a report by NBC News, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators are looking at multiple efforts made by Kushner to obtain financing for the project from the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, but they were rejected. Later Qatar’s neighbors in the Persian Gulf, including Saudi Arabia, began a blockade against Qatar, alleging that the state was a supporter of terrorism. As a Trump adviser on Middle East policy, Kushner, with close ties to Saudi Arabia, was a party to launching this blockade. This and other attempts to get financing for 666 Fifth from Russia, China, and Turkey have drawn the investigators to scrutinize what seem to be Kushner’s serious conflicts of interest.

— from The Curse of 666 Fifth Avenue, the Skyscraper That Could Sink the Kushners
Clive Irving

The preceding paragraph sums up the entire recent history of the 666 Fifth Avenue debacle better than I ever could, so please be sure to read it.  It explains most of what I’m about to say.

I’d also like to emphasize that all of this is merely my effort to connect the dots.  I am guessing based on publicly-available information.

Okay, here we go.  First of all, it is said that Jamal Khashoggi was researching the connection between the Saudis, the Qatar blockade, Kushner, and this stupid building.  I’m also guessing that Kushner spent much of 2017 flitting around the world selling and/or trading U.S. intelligence for various types of profit.

Those two things are connected, because it’s said that one of the names mentioned in some intelligence Kushner very generously gave the Saudis was Khashoggi — who already had been a thorn in their side anyway, and probably Kushner wasn’t a fan of his either, considering that he was allegedly researching Kushner’s financing irregularities.

Anyway, this likely led to Khashoggi’s horrific murder at the hands of the Saudis.  In Turkey.  The location of the murder is connected (Turkey).  Saudi Arabia is connected to Turkey.  They’re all connected to Putin.

As I’m writing this, Trump is trying to lie and say that Erdogan told him not to worry, he’d take care of ISIS for him.  (I guess later he’ll claim that this was the grand plan he had to eliminate ISIS minutes after he assumed the presidency — remember that campaign promise?)

Also remember that it’s a documented fact that the Saudis fund ISIS.  ISIS was well contained in Syria, as I understand, but without U.S. troops there they will go wild and probably conduct mass genocide against the Kurds.**  I don’t know what the Russian/Saudi/Turkish axis stands to gain from all of this; Syria is not terribly oil rich.  Nonetheless, it’s all connected.

All of which brings us to the Kushner connection to Trump’s sudden and stupid announcement that the U.S. would be withdrawing from Syria (he’s also now saying something about Afghanistan, but that’s a whole other bag of filthy corruption).  It all goes back to the Khashoggi murder and all the crap that event threatens to expose, should it ever be made totally public.  Remember, Trump is now saying that TURKEY is bailing us out of Syria.  He originally said it was Russia, but was probably quickly ordered by Putin to STFU, even as the Russian media were openly celebrating.

I’m guessing that a threat of exposure of Kushner actually being an accessory, however unwittingly, to the murder of a U.S. green card holder (and a journalist) is what pushed Trump to make this rash announcement.  And that threat came from Turkey.

No, it’s not Turkey turning on their buddies the Saudis and the Russians.  They’re all in it together; Erdogan is just trying to extract goodies from the evidence he has about the murder (and he does seem to have a lot — tapes?  really?  how the hell did that happen?). Being the kind of creature he is — and Trump, Mr. Bone Saw and Putin are — he doesn’t care who he embarrasses a bit while doing it, and his buddies in the axis don’t care, either.  To them, it’s all for show and profit.  The Russians certainly don’t care; apparently they’re doubling over with laughter as we speak.

You see, Russia is trying (and failing) to look as innocent in the whole affair of the 2016 election and all the goodies they’ve stolen since, as Saudi Arabia is trying to look innocent in the death of Khashoggi (and their financing of terrorists, etc., etc.).  Erdogan, (who as of right now has little to hide but the fact that his security guards beat up U.S. protestors on U.S. soil and Trump did nothing about it), got the Trump card in this caper, and he’s delivered Syria to the axis with it while allowing Russia and S.A. to claim they had nothing to do with it.  Never mind the glass houses.

Oh yes, there IS one glaring gem in Erdogan’s own glass house: the long-standing aggression of the Turks against the Kurds.  Forgot about that.  My bad.  It’s only the major piece of the puzzle here, after all.

Anyway, now Trump has lost his Secretary of Defense as a result of all of this (of course he’s trying to re-frame this by claiming that he fired Mattis).  In his brilliant resignation letter, Secretary Mattis stopped just short of calling Trump a traitor.  The letter was so deeply disturbing that members of Congress now want Mattis to testify about its contents.  Certainly it made Mr. Obstructionist, Mitch McConnell, blink — but I’m sure McConnell will have forgotten all about it by the time holiday recess is over.  Too much other havoc to wreak, I guess; McConnell is a political terrorist, after all.  He has his work to do.

So there you have it — my theory on what prompted Trump into this new and heightened display of stupidity.

To distract from it all he’s shut down a portion of the U.S. government, allegedly over his long-lost wall that Mexico was going to pay for, but now we’re supposed to.  A grifter even extracted several million dollars from Trump’s cult to build this wall before someone else realized out loud that private donations to the government can only be made to a general fund — meaning that it’s highly unlikely the money would be used to build a wall, and the donors would have no say in the matter.   Insert that old saw about a fool and his money here.*

And so the U.S. limps on, somehow unable to get rid of this parasite.  It’s now said that Russian interference in the 2016 election — their promotion of Jill Stein and Bernie Sanders — is what cost Hillary Clinton enough votes in swing states to win the Electoral College, even though she won the popular vote.  I have doubts about that; this seems like yet another media smokescreen designed to make us somehow forget that the Russians actually changed votes.  I say that because Trump’s margin of victory was equally tiny and unlikely in each state that was involved.  It’s charming that some in the media still want to protect us from “shock,” but vote-stealing seems to be a fact here, not a myth to be shoved off into the wilds of conspiracy theory.  (Keep in mind that the same entities have tried to tell us that the Russians accessed actual voting machines, but just snooped around and didn’t do anything.  Right.)

But I digress.  I do that a lot these days.  There is, after all, no one clear line in this saga.  However, to me, the connection between Kushner, Khashoggi, Syria and the axis is all too clear.  I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am.

* P.S. I’m informed that the fraudulent GoFundMe campaign to fund Trump’s wall continues.  Since they won’t be able to give the money directly to any wall-funding account, I’m guessing one of three things will happen:
(1) they’ll be forced to give everyone refunds.  However, many people will never see their money again, or
(2) they’ll give the money to Trump’s campaign fund, where it will promptly disappear forever, or
(3) the grifter who started the whole thing will try to pocket all the money or else will try to extract an extra-large administrative fee.

** P.P.S. The Australians and several allied forces in Europe are still in Syria and will remain there.  This represents a miscalculation on Putin’s part; he seems to have assumed that once the U.S. was gone, the region will have been left without protection from ISIS.  Seems he forgot about everyone else.

 

So, what do you expect?

I think I said, perhaps longer than a year ago, that Trump was finished and we didn’t have a president anymore.  I still stand by that, now more than ever — but I do feel I was premature in a number of ways as he still did serve for a long time as a figurehead and a shield behind which people like Ryan, McConnell, and Putin could do whatever they wanted (or rather, Ryan and McConnell did and Putin thought he could).  Now, however, it is the simple truth: he’s finished.

I was watching the speculation on Twitter during the recent summit, and some of it was remarkably haywire — such as several people hijacking a thread to take guesses about whether Trump would defect to Russia.  Uh, people…

Even though I don’t believe for a minute that Putin and Trump are having an open-to-the-public schoolyard catfight (I do believe that all those cutsie pictures, and Russian media’s subsequent childish swipes at Trump and the U.S. , were and are mostly for the purpose of propaganda), I also don’t believe that Trump will find sanctuary in Russia.  In fact he may find death there, and he knows it.  After all, he failed to lift the sanctions against Russia, which was the entire point of this whole dizzy affair from the beginning.

As I’ve said before, Putin has little concept of what he’s dealing with in the U.S.  He probably continues to believe that Trump is as all-powerful as he himself is and that Trump is merely failing at his task because he’s…well, list the insults narcissists use here.  Yes, he is finished with Trump — but all this scowling at Trump and glad-handling Mister Bone Saw (while Trump looked on forlornly) were just for public show, fodder for the gullible and lazy media.  The real show is going on behind the scenes and is for now secret.

Russia’s only interest now is trying to appear innocent, at which they will be as lucky as Mister Bone Saw has been in distancing himself from the murder of Khashoggi.  In the end, they will fail.  Will they face consequences?  I believe they will, if only in increased sanctions and international isolation…until they rid themselves of Putin.  Putin will ultimately end up being the price Russia pays for putting up with Putin for so long.

Okay, so will Trump defect to Saudi Arabia?  That’s still a possibility, but I don’t think so.  I have no doubt that behind the scenes, an offer has been made.  But Saudi Arabia is in almost as fragile an international position as Russia.  They just don’t hold the bullying power they did when they caused an oil crisis in the 1970’s.  The world is moving on from oil, fast.  And once we achieve that goal, Saudi Arabia and Russia are finished — and they both know it.  Hence “Trump’s policies” against solar and wind energy, the environment, etc.  In fact, the day after I first published this, Trump announced a plan to end subsidies for electric cars and alternative energy.

Anyway, another thing I keep seeing on Twitter that amuses me is people continuing to whine “Pence is worse!”  I believe I’ve already addressed that in this blog, so I won’t further.  I’d just like one clear answer from these people, though: WHAT THE HELL DO YOU WANT TO DO, KEEP TRUMP?  (I really continue to believe that most of these whiners are bots, btw.)

And then in the next sentence they start listing all the terrible things Trump wants to do to the U.S.  People…it’s over.  It’s over.  He can’t.  The only person left with any power — and most of that, he’s usurped — is Mitch McConnell, and there are increasing rumblings about the Senate turning on him, along with a growing concentration on McConnell’s own considerable shadiness.  He is not invincible, and once he’s gone, the game is up.  And he will be gone.

Okay, so what can we expect?  A Trumpian explosion of alphabet soup on Twitter, for one thing.  Attempts to start “scandals” like the one where Trump said Obama was spying on him.  Blaming Obama.  Blaming Hillary.  Threats.  Whining.  Obstruction of justice.  Witness tampering.  Stuff like that.

And that’s all.

We are not helpless and we are not in any more danger than we already have been.  No one’s going to start a shooting WWIII (we already are, however, in another cold war).  No one’s even going to start a civil war.  That is to say, don’t let the Chicken-Little squad scare you, because that’s what they want to do.  Keep looking forward to a future without Trump and the Republicans and the Russians, kiddos, because it’s there.  Chin up.

 

And P.S. — don’t fall for any news stories about divisions or “weakness” among the Democrats, dears.  Those are coming from the Russians.

Way to go, Illinois

Here in Illinois, I know a lot of Dems (and probably more than a few Republicans) held their noses as they voted for J.B. Pritzker.  But consider this:

(1) He’s unlikely to hold up the state budget for 2 years and rack up billions of dollars in late-payment fees, trashing the state’s credit rating, while he throws a hissy fit about “financial responsibility.”

(2) He’s unlikely to spend 4 years and his entire re-election campaign blaming Mike Madigan (Speaker, IL House of Reps) for everything that goes wrong — and really, EVERYTHING went wrong for Rauner, including holding up the state budget for 2 years while he threw a hissy fit about “financial responsibility.”

(3) He’s REALLY unlikely to take 2 or 3 classes of Catholic school kids to the Vatican on the taxpayers’ dime (while holding up the state budget for 2 years while he throws a hissy fit about “financial responsibility”).

(4) He won’t, really won’t, try to reduce teachers’ pay to minimum wage and bust their union while holding up the state budget for 2 years while he throws a hissy fit about “financial responsibility.”

(5) If he is shocked by how differently a state is run than a business, Pritzker will keep it to himself — unlike Rauner, who whined very early in his term, “who knew that running a state and running a business were so different?”  This was while he was blaming Madigan for everything and was about to hold up the state budget for 2 years while he threw a hissy fit about “financial responsibility.”

All of the above are things Rauner actually did.  In the end, he beat himself with a big assist from an old-style machine Democrat (Pritzker), who after all had similar qualifications to Rauner.  Both are billionaire businessmen, so there goes Rauner’s claim to fame right there.  His only hope after Pritzker was nominated was to smear him with Blagojevich (see below); he had to know that even the nascent Republican vote-stealing machine in IL would be out of order this election after such an overwhelming display of ineptitude on his part.

I’ll add that Pritzker was not my first choice, either. Another friggin’ billionaire? Sheesh. But at least it took away Rauner’s claim about running the government like a successful businessman instead of a grifting politician.

Like I said, Pritzker’s also tainted by Blagojevich — which was the only dirt Rauner could come up with once the “successful businessman” angle was taken away. That and some voter intimidation and fraud by the Republicans cost Quinn the governor’s seat 4 years ago. But it didn’t work this time, thank God, and I think Pritzker had enough of a scare that he won’t again be pulling shit like the attempted deal with Blagojevich (who is still in prison).

All in all, even though we had to hold our noses to vote for Pritzker, he’s probably the only Dem who could have won as easily as he did, even with the Blagojevich stain. And again, even though the national media tried to portray this race as “close,” it never was. Rauner was gone the moment Pritzker won the primary and he knew it; that would not have been necessarily true with anyone else — even given Rauner’s fantastic gift for trashing himself.

Plus we got rid of the Russia twins Roskam and Hultgren in the U.S. House, hallelujah.

Not a bad night here in Illinois.

An Interview with Trump*

*I made shit up**
**The sad part is that I didn’t have to make a lot of this shit up

Me: This office is all gold like pee-pee…jeez, why did I say that?

Trump:  There was no pee-pee!  I don’t like pee-pee!  I just shit all the time!

Kelly: (sinks into a chair in the corner; drops his head into his hands and groans softly)

Me:  So how’s your wall going?

Trump:  It’s the most beautiful wall I’ve ever seen.  Really.  The best in the whole history of the world.

Me: So it exists? (Trump nods) Who paid for it?  They should get their money back because people are still getting over the border, right?

Trump:  Mexico.  (I shake my head)  They’ll pay.  They keep sending rapists and murderers, so I had to do something.

Me:  Rapists and murderers?  Just like the Republican party?

Trump: (looks startled, then stares blankly at something over my shoulder)

Me:  Have you returned the kids to their parents yet?

Trump: I have the best brain.  (points at his head)  No toadstools!  It’s the bigliest!

Me: What?  (silence; sensing this is getting nowhere, I change the subject)  So what’s all this business with Russia?

Trump: Putin’s a nice guy! He told me I was great. I barely know him. I met him once. Russia is our great friend. He was the coffee boy, I think.

Me: Ivanka was seen hanging out with Putin’s girlfriend…

Trump: I have the biggest brain.  (points at his head)

Me: What do you think about Manafort flipping?

Trump: Covfefe. (wags finger at my notes) Delete that.  I never said that.  Who?

Me: One of the coffee boys in your campaign?  Manafort?

Trump: He was only with the campaign a few days.  I didn’t know him.  He didn’t have anything to do with Pence.  Donald Trump wanted Christie but he hired Pence.  I fired Comey so he would stop investigating Russia.  It made the Russian ambassador happy.  No wait.  Delete that.  I didn’t say that.  Fake news!  Comey was terrible.  The FBI hated him, so I got rid of him.  I didn’t fire him because of Russia.  There was no collusion.  The FBI is terrible.  There was no collusion.  The investigation is fake.

Me: Huh?  What brought all that up?

Trump: I used to sell vodka.  It was the bestliest vodka in the…Me:  We were talking about all the coffee boys in your campaign.

Trump: There were a lot of them. I didn’t know them. I think there was a guy named Flynn.

Me: Yeah, he flipped too.

Trump: Very disloyal. I knew him for years. I never saw him before. I don’t know what they’re talking about. It’s fake news from the fake news people.  They’re failing.  I’m very rich.

Me: There have been several reports that you were never actually a billionaire.

Trump:  Fake news from losers!

Me:  There are also some reports that you weren’t actually elected President.

Trump: We investigated that!  Fake news!

Me: Yes, but you were investigating supposed “voter fraud” and you stopped the investigation when it started to look like your election was fake.

Trump: No, that’s because we couldn’t find any voter fraud because of Hillary.  Obama hid it.  Russia never did anything.  There was no collusion.  It’s all fake news.

Me: So Hillary imported a lot of fake voters so that she could lose?

Trump: (nods) I have the best words.  I went to the best schools.  (points at his head)

Me: Okay, what do you think about Cohen flipping?

Trump: Third-rate lawyer! I didn’t know him very well. Very disloyal. It’s all lies and fabrications because I’m famous.

I don’t want to answer any questions about Russia.  There was no collusion.

Me: Collusion isn’t what your administration is being investigated for, because it isn’t a crime.

Trump:  There was no collusion!  Fake news from the failing news media!  I couldn’t help it if my campaign kept meeting with Russians.  They didn’t do anything wrong!  Everybody does that!

I don’t want to answer any questions about Russia.

Me: You don’t even want to talk about Mueller?

Trump: It’s a fake investigation into fake lies.  There was no collusion.  I don’t know who he is. Maybe he was the coffee boy. I’m the president! I want my lawyer Sessions to fire him, but he won’t do it. Disloyal! Stupid southerner!  I only hire the best people!  I came here to drain the swamp!

Me: How about the chaos in your administration?

Trump: Fake news! The administration is running like a well-oiled Ford Pinto.

Me: Yeah, it’s on fire…

Trump: I hire the best people.  Look at Betsy.  Lots of money in that family.  Her brother’s great.  He had nothing to do with the Seychelles meeting.  I don’t even know about it.  Ben Carson is the best person.  He’s smart, real smart.  My EPA guy hates the environment because it’s bad for business.  Smart guy!  I like him.  It’s the best administration in history.  No other administration has done anything.  The economy is way up.  Lincoln said so.

All over the country I have yuge rallies.  YUGE!

Me: How do you think you’re helping the economy?  Ford just came out and said that your tariff war has cost them millions, and farmers are enraged over the loss of soybean sales overseas.

Trump: They’re losers!  I was over in Germany and they make great cars. But they don’t make them in America and I don’t like their boss so I put a tariff on them, just like I won’t let Puerto Rico into the union because I don’t like their mayor.  Germany is bad!  We pay too much for NATO, no fair!  And I baled the farmers out.  Did you read my book? I’m great at deals!

Me:  Her name is Merkel and she’s the Chancellor, not the boss.  Wait a minute…did you just say you talk to Lincoln?

Trump: He sits on the sofa in the Oval Office and tweaks my ear.  Really rude guy, a loser.  But I’m just as great as he is.  He said my speech was better than the Gettysburger.

Oh, by the way, they have the most beautiful chocolate cake in the world at Gettysburger.

Me: Some psychic said that’s Kennedy lounging on the sofa and one of the Roosevelts tweaking your ear, and they keep telling you to quit.  But anyway…why are you promoting a dying industry, coal, when most new jobs in energy are in renewable resources?

Trump: That’s a yuge lie. Coal is going to make America great again. They buy my hats.  We can run out of wind and sunlight and birds can die from it. I have created more jobs than any president in the history of the world.  And I never start a fight with anyone in order to affect the stock market so my friends can make money.  Fake news!

Me (shaking head): Yes you do…wait a minute…birds?  Birds can also die from flying into skyscrapers too, you know…

Trump: (shrugs) Did I show you Ivanka? I’d date her if she wasn’t my daughter…(chuckles)

Me: Huh? Um…okay…didn’t she get a bunch of Chinese trademarks for her own business after she visited there on state business?

Trump: I always think bigly. I have a great brain. I have the best words.  The Chinese love me.

Me: Uh-huh.  What’s going on with you and Justin Trudeau?

Trump: I’m the best president in the history of the world. I guess he’s jealous.  He doesn’t want to meet with me.

Me: The Canadian government says no such meeting was requested.

Trump: (fidgets) I don’t cheat at golf. That’s fake news.

(I look over at Kelly, who is looking out the window wistfully)

Me: What about Kavanaugh?

Trump: He’s a great guy. All the women are liars. They like me because I’m famous and rich. They let you grab their p…Me: So how do you think Jared is doing in bringing peace to the Middle East?

Trump: Jared’s always overseas. He doesn’t work here in Washington. We’re going to build golf courses and hotels in the Middle East and Puerto Rico. I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t like CNN. Obama did it.  Crooked Hillary!

Me: Do you feel Don Jr. may be in legal trouble?

Trump: I don’t know him.  Coffee boy?

Me: How about your response to the hurricanes?

Trump: Obama screwed up, and Hillary helped him. They were both on the Russian payroll. I have a big thing coming out about this, but I can’t tell you now. Lock her up!

Me: I thought you said Russia was our friend?  So why is it bad if they were on the Russian payroll?

Trump: My book sold more than Bob Woody’s book. It was all lies.

Me: When will you tell us about what Obama and Hillary did?

Trump: In a few months. When I think about it.  It’s all top secret.  I haven’t told Russia yet.

Me: Is this like your big secret to putting an end to Isis?

Trump: You know anything about Isis? I don’t. I never said that. I never said that.  There are good people on both sides.

Me: That’s what you said about Charlottesville.

Trump: (stares blankly)

Me: What is your concept of the role of the President?

Trump: I’m doing a great job. The greatest in history. No one’s laughing at me like they laughed at Obama. No one laughs at me. I’m more of a war hero than McCain.  I went to a military academy.  I’m running the government like a business. No one laughs at me. I was making a joke. They didn’t laugh. Someone put a noise on the soundtrack. It was fake news. No one laughs at me.

Me: And again, what about all this Russia and mob stuff?

Trump: (to Kelly) Kelly, tell her she’s fired.  (walks out of the room muttering “no collusion”)

Kelly: You can’t fire her, she doesn’t work for you Mr. Pre… he’s gone. (sighs) You can’t do anything with him.

(sound of ghostly chuckling coming from the couch)

 

Famous Last Words

“I don’t think Manafort will flip.”

Yeah, I said that a while back.  And then yesterday, he did just that.  And Mueller’s office’s apparent claim that they had no interest in his story suddenly turned out to be an expert bluff.

I’d hate to play Mueller at poker.

I’ll write more later about what I make of this whole situation.  Meantime, I understand Trump is tweeting about something unrelated being Obama’s fault.

Update, late November:

Turns out I was right in the first place.  Not only that, but Mueller suddenly pretending to be interested in anything Manafort had to say…well, that may have been a trap, because he probably knew Manafort would/had to lie.  Having long experience prosecuting the Mob, Mueller probably also knew that Manafort and Trump’s legal teams would be passing notes.

Then Trump suddenly turned in his written responses to Mueller’s questions, very shortly before Mueller told Manafort to take a perp walk to prison.  I’m guessing the fact that they were passing notes was very, very clear at that point.

So in conclusion, Manafort did end up giving evidence, but unintentionally.  I guess you could say that if this whole scandal is “Stupid Watergate,” Manafort must be “Stupid James Bond.”

Persona non grata

Been around a long time.  Can’t recall any president ever being shut out of social events and rituals.

Memes are flying that Trump has been excluded from “two funerals and a wedding,” but the truth is that he was only excluded from two funerals.  The royal wedding thing was never an issue except that Trump was stupid and churlish enough to insist on being invited (only to find himself being left to pout when he wasn’t).

Fact is that Obama wasn’t invited to Prince William’s wedding, and he wasn’t invited to Prince Harry’s wedding even though he and Harry are friends.  American presidents (and ex-presidents) are walking security headaches on top of all the security headaches already caused by a royal wedding.  So they don’t get invited, period.

So that brings us back to the funerals.  Again, I’ve seen presidents send their wives or other dignitaries to various funerals in their stead, but I’ve never seen a president be specifically excluded in the first place.

Nothing much to add here except that I’ve noted that Trump’s cult is already attacking the family of John McCain.  To that I say, “really?  What the hell is wrong with you people?  Trump hated McCain anyway — why would he even want to be at the funeral?”

Or this: “why does hearing the truth hurt you so much?”  This is, after all, what the cultists are getting their knickers in a knot about.  They are deliberately ignoring the remarkable fact that Trump was specifically excluded from the guest list.

And so I’ll leave alone that they don’t deal with the fact that their hero is all too obviously persona non grata in polite society, and stress that they prefer to deflect by taking cheap shots at the families of newly-dead people…even families of war heroes when their own hero dodged the draft 5 times in the same era.

There is, after all, very little to successfully defend in Trump – and so his cultists latch on to fantasy, and fiercely attempt to castigate whoever they perceive as hurting their dear leader.  (BTW, Trump was never mentioned by any of the speakers, so how do these cultists know the speakers’ words were about him?)

As I’ve said in other posts, there is a small portion of U.S. society who will never be able to leave the cult.  Let’s hope a few of the rest wake up.  Maybe they already have; I have very little use for polls, but a recent one states that an astounding 60% of the U.S. public disapprove of Trump.  If that percentage includes even a few former Trump-suckers, it’s a hopeful sign.

If he only had a brain

I’m sitting here wondering if you actually have to have a brain in order to get a headache.  If you don’t, there are more than a few people in D.C. who must be in agony tonight.

While clubbing the moles that kept popping up on my news feed tonight (Cohen pleads guilty to 8 charges!  Manafort found guilty on 8 counts!  Cohen implicates Trump!) I kept thinking, crap…this just keeps getting worse for Trump, doesn’t it?

But not just for Trump.  I also ran across this article, which explains that the Russian-Republican connection possibly extends all the way back to the Nixon era.  I want everyone to read this, especially if you believe the whole Trussia debacle just popped out of thin air in 2016.

This article explains so many things, not the least of which is the sudden fear and awe that Republicans seemed to hold for Trump after many of them vehemently opposed him during the campaign and right up to the convention.  Hell, Lindsay Graham was an outspoken critic until he played golf with Trump one day.  He’s been cowering ever since.  Want to know why?  Read the article.  (This article may also explain Reagan’s much-touted “success” in dissolving the Soviet Union — the truth may be that the oligarchs just had no use for the Soviet Union because they weren’t making money off of it, so they let Reagan have the win so they could have Russia and he could go down in the history books, at least temporarily, as a tough-guy hero.)

Meantime, back to Cohen and Manafort…

I don’t think Manafort will flip.  I think he will conclude that he and his family are better off with him staying in prison and silent; he’s had too many dealings with very dangerous people for him or his family to escape unharmed if he started talking.

I could be surprised; I’d like to be.  Nevertheless, the charges against him in the first trial  had little to do with Trump.  I believe the whole thing was just a warm-up to test the judicial waters and see what might happen.  Could Manafort have information that would be useful to Mueller?  I believe Mueller has said no, they don’t need him.  So maybe it’s all settled and Manafort will go quietly to rot in prison; Manafort, the guy who for years thought he was James Bond, only to find out today that he is mere cannon fodder.

The other theory is that these people believe they are bullet-proof, and Manafort is truly dumbfounded to have been convicted.  If that’s the case, all bets are off; he could do anything.  But I still doubt he’ll flip.

Cohen, on the other hand, is not only talking but is implicating Trump.  Because of Cohen, Trump is now officially an unindicted co-conspirator.  That’s the same place Nixon ended up in just before he resigned.

Will Trump resign?  I doubt it; see the “bullet proof” paragraph above.  Trump doesn’t get it.  It goes back to that brain thing I was talking about earlier.  He may have a headache and he may freak out on Twitter.  But he lacks the organ that would help him make sense of it all.

Seriously, today changed everything.  Whether it will stay changed or if we will revert to wafting aimlessly through a bottomless pit of distractions while the investigation drags on forever…well here’s the thing: we won’t know until tomorrow, or maybe the day after, or maybe the week or month after.  And that’s hell.

Going to the store now for popcorn and aspirin.