He tweeted all night long

I guess Trump spent the night tweeting that Flynn should get immunity from prosecution because this whole Russia affair is a “witch hunt,” which only begs the question why Trump himself doesn’t ask for immunity.  Of course he hasn’t been called yet to testify, but the possibility remains.

In a way one almost feels sorry for him.  He never had a clue this investigation could or would happen.  He honestly thought that as president, all his troubles would disappear.  He thought he could wave his presidential wand and/or Uncle Putie would issue a threat to the American public, and everyone would bow to him and all “fake” news would disappear.  And in his perfect world, the only news that would be left would be Fox News, Breitbart, the National Enquirer, and the right-wing radio brigade.  There would be no one who would not dutifully cling to the official story.  Congress would grovel and be terrified of the mighty Trump and his right-wing fact-creating machine, and would cease to be any kind of threat.  And thus Trump would be able to go back to his accustomed looting and his weekend golf outings, undisturbed by facts or danger of exposure.  Heck, why not start campaigning for his second term right now?  After all, Uncle Putie’s election-eating machine is in place to make that happen (again), and it sure beats working.

But reality has struck.  Somebody tweeted last night that the former Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele told some group to start cultivating Pence (who is also on the verge of some serious trouble, but that’s for another post), because Trump isn’t going to last long.  And it has nothing to do with Flynn or anyone else being given immunity and singing like a tweetie-bird.  It has to do with stubborn facts, and an intelligence community and a fourth estate that keep spewing them.

Flynn — probably because of his lawyer’s daft statement about Flynn’s need for immunity (which lined up with Trump’s) — was denied immunity by the Senate Intelligence Committee early today.  That’s one of three; we’ll see what the FBI and the disgraced House Committee do.  (Slight update: the House Committee is probably too paralyzed to do anything coherent, but Rep. Schiff did state today that he did not see the need for immunity, since no one is being prosecuted at present.)

At first I was alarmed about that, but then I realized that because of one Republican senator, the Democrats actually have a working majority on the Senate Committee.  They are not going to give Flynn immunity and then do a softball hearing with him, during which he can say anything, even claim he was the one who cut down the cherry tree, and they can’t touch him for it later.

The Committee must have smelled a rat, so they left Flynn out in the open and vulnerable.  As Rachel Maddow stated last night, they must have other ways of getting at the truth, (see video link in article) meaning Flynn is just not that important in the overall scheme — at least, he is no more important than Pence, Bannon, Tillerson, or any of the rest.  His case is not outstanding enough to give immunity, and besides, as Rep. Schiff said, no one’s being prosecuted at present, so why jump the gun?  You know, “no one asks for immunity unless they’re guilty,” (a quote from Flynn himself).  And no one tweets about it at 3:00 a.m. or whenever it was, unless they are guilty.

Worse, actual facts, (as opposed to propaganda), are as resilient a cockroaches.

As I reported last night, there was another tweet that claimed that “reliable sources” felt that Trump would resign shortly.  But as of today, when one of three entities Flynn asked for immunity has denied him, I doubt the stupid Trump still feels he’s in that much danger.  The logic seems to be that Flynn will tell some tall tale under immunity and get away with it — as will Trump and his administration — but without it, he will plead the 5th (which is probably the only amendment to the Constitution, outside of a sentence fragment of the 2nd amendment, that Trump knows).  Either way, in Trump’s view, Trump wins.

Hell, Trump’s probably thinking he should have slept last night, not spent the night tweeting like a guilty 8-year-old anticipating a morning meeting with the school principal.  Now he’ll probably happily fly to Mar A Lago and go play golf, and once again hand the taxpayers the tab, oblivious to the fact that a Flynn without immunity is more dangerous to him than a Flynn with immunity.

It would be nice if he found at the end of the weekend that he has no Presidential seat to go back to, but right now it seems like a distant dream.  It is good to know, however, that this possibility is being worked on.   However arcane the process seems, right now it looks like no one who is being investigated is going to be given a soft landing.

Congress, that is all we ask.

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And finally, the bomb

I’ll put responsibility for this post entirely at Bill Palmer’s feet:
Trump resigning?

More rockets bursting in air

Yesterday I came across a tweet from a “White House staffer” that claimed that we should watch for Devin Nunes to recuse himself from the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation any day now, because “the knives are out” for Nunes at the White House.  As I know at least some of the White House leakers are actually minions of Bannon, I was skeptical.  It didn’t seem to make any sense.  Why would the White House be gunning for someone who was making an utter fool of himself trying to defend them?

And now, this: Strap in tight

Okay, now I get it.  (Note: Latest word has it that Nunes has denied everything and is not recusing himself.)

A few minutes later another bomb burst, this time about Flynn (who was peripherally involved in the Nunes situation, but that’s the least of his problems).  For two weeks we’ve been hearing that Flynn was about to flip.  Now it appears he has:

Flynn, WSJ

Shoes are dropping and rockets are bursting faster than I can type today, and I’m sure there’ll be more.  All I can promise is that I’ll post things as quickly as I can make sense of them and find reliable sources to refer my readers to.

P.S. for what it’s worth: White House staffer tweet

Death of the storm chaser (no Trump for a moment)

I have a friend who is a storm chaser.  He is not the high-tech type of guy with a million computers and radar and fancy photographic equipment filling his “tornado tank” to the extent that he barely fits in.  He is not a scientist.  In fact, he doesn’t even use the very latest technology to find out where the tornadoes may be; he draws his own conclusions from older methods.  And he has never, ever claimed to be in it for “saving lives” (a lie about the purpose of storm chasing that started during the life of the Discovery Channel series “Storm Chasers”).

So why is he there?  For the adrenaline rush of seeing a powerful tornado sweep over an open field, not so very far off.  For the sake of videoing that tornado, and taking photos of it, and recalling it with his friends decades later.

The massive influx of newbies to the hobby/profession since 2009 (and “Storm Chasers”) has caught him off guard and made him cautious about going out.  Too many of the newbies are stupid and reckless, he says, and if they didn’t have all this modern technology they wouldn’t even be able to find a rain shower, let alone a tornado.

Two of the the TWISTEX team, on the other hand, were former cast members of the series “Storm Chasers.” Later they and one of their adult children would become, along with a newbie chaser, the first storm chasers to be killed by a tornado.

Nevertheless TWISTEX were no lightweights, nor were they among those who, as the saying goes, “seek glory in the cannon’s mouth.”  They were a serious scientific team and among the most experienced and cautious of the old guard, which included semi-pro hobby chasers like my friend as well as scientific chasers.

TWISTEX was, in fact, well-known for being cautious.  They had to be; their work involved getting in the projected path of an existing tornado, placing scientific equipment there, and getting out of the way as fast as possible.  But somehow that went awry on May 31, 2013, when they were killed by a sub-vortice of a massive, 2.5 mile wide EF3 tornado.

One would think this event would deter a lot of potential newbies, but it did not.  “It could happen to anyone,” became the new rule, and no one was scared off from chasing.  Everyone wanted their storm-chasing TV show, and some even created their own.  And so the avalanche of new chasers continued, and as a consequence, stupid behavior increased.  A whole new storm-chasing danger arose, and that was the simple act of driving.  This was what my storm-chaser friend had been saying all along.

Just after the deaths of the TWISTEX team I became aware of a new guy named Kelley Williamson.  He was an older man, in his 50’s, who started chasing after his wife was injured in a tornado-related automobile accident (I’m guessing sometime around 2011).  Right away I was struck by the fantastic amount of employees this guy seemed to have — he was on some sort of online network and was constantly talking to people who were telling him where to chase, where his partners were, and other information.  “Where did he come from all of a sudden,” I wondered; however, I found him entertaining and in subsequent years I always looked for his live stream before those of some other chasers.

Turned out a lot of people liked Kelley’s presentation, and in the last year he found himself with his own TV show on the Weather Channel.  Whether that led to what happened the other day is anybody’s guess.  And as the accident is still under investigation, perhaps I shouldn’t say much.

Suffice it to say that Williamson and his buddy were rushing toward a tornado, blew a stop sign, and took out not only themselves but also a young chaser named Corbin Lee Jaeger who happened to be at the same intersection, traveling on the crossing road.  It was a high-speed crash and all three died instantly.

Could this have happened in the old days when chasers were few and sometimes never crossed paths?  Maybe.  Would it have happened without all that modern technology making it easier to find a potentially tornadic storm?  Maybe.  Would it have happened if Williamson weren’t trying to get footage for a TV show?  Maybe.  Those are all questions that no one has a firm answer for.

But I’m thinking that perhaps my friend has a point.  Sometimes one just wonders if the good old days weren’t actually better.

My sincere condolences to the families and friends of those involved.

Stunning

A moment from today’s Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing

There were more “rockets bursting in air” in this testimony, but I’ll leave further commentary for later, when it’s over.

Chris Hayes Explains it all for you

Chris Hayes

This is lengthy, but worthwhile to listen to.  First it explains that Putin’s widely-reported, desperate denials of Russian involvement in our election have been for naught.  Putin apparently doesn’t understand what he’s gotten himself into because (not only does he not understand the U.S., but) that’s not the entire, or the original, reason for the investigations into Russia/Trump/the mafia.  The original reason was financial corruption — Russia’s, and by extension Trump’s.  In the end, the tie-in with our election is a consequence of everything else that happened.  So even if the election collusion can’t be proven, there’s still all this other stuff, some of which already has been proven.

Yes, financial misdoing still could take Trump out of office.  Remember what I said about Trump’s fathomless greed.  He is so amoral and consumed with avarice that he is blind to the laws governing conflicts of interest, and in the end, it might be that and not the election tampering that will take him down.

Also read the previous post in this blog; it ties in very strongly with what you’ll hear in the linked podcast.

This sort of explains everything

I’m still checking up on the veracity of the site, but this article seems to be legit:

Why the FBI can’t tell all

If true, it does explain a few things, such as why Obama didn’t pressure Comey to resign after Comey basically screwed up the election by making a bogus announcement about emails…well, actually, he didn’t.  Clinton still won by nearly 3,000,000 votes, and it may have been more if there hadn’t been so much voter suppression (not voter fraud), wonky voting machines, and voter intimidation, not to speak of gerrymandering.  And she may even have won the electoral college vote had not at least 50 Republican members of the college been there illegally.

But I digress.  People are still asking why Obama didn’t put the hammer on Comey, and what’s stated in this article may be why.

Palmer Report stated yesterday that several members of the New York Bonano (sp) crime family have suddenly been arrested, and that this particular crime family has connections to Russian mobsters.  He instantly drew the conclusion that this said something about Trump.  I won’t go that far, but having read this article, I might be tempted.