Page the Flynn-flam man

In the past week focus in Russiagate has swung wildly from zeroing in on Carter Page, who not only keeps incriminating himself during interviews, but apparently also transmitted to the Russians some recording of Trump asking the Russians to help with his campaign, (and this coincided with Trump publicly asking the Russians to hack Clinton’s emails during a Presidential debate*), back to Michael Flynn, who accepted money from foreign governments even after being told not to.  Apparently in addition to other investigations of Flynn (one of which the White House is obstructing by refusing to release certain documents), the Pentagon is also now investigating him.  All of which means that it sucks to be Michael Flynn right now.

One wonders when the focus will shift back to Manafort, who we have not heard a whole lot about in a while.  And how about Giuliani?  He was supposed to be in handcuffs at least 2 weeks ago.  Haven’t heard a word lately.

As for Nunes, he’s disappeared for the time being.  Chaffetz keeps speaking in mazes and hasn’t taken leave yet, it seems (guess that tootsie wasn’t so sore after all).  McCain and Graham were full of shit to begin with.  Burr has had an ethics complaint brought against him.  And it goes on and on and on, and almost everyone in Congress whose behavior has been weird has R-(state) after their name.  A few, like Nunes and Chaffetz, have gone downright squirrelly, but according to them we’re supposed to believe that nothing is wrong.  Sing along with them: “It’s just another day in paradise,” and go happily about your business.  At least, that’s what they’d like you to do.

Put all this together and I have just one piece of advice to help sort it out: it’s not just one person who is the key to this.  It’s ALL of them.  (Otherwise how did they all end up in one administration, and one Republican Congress, together at the same time?Add to that at least 4 decades of Republican-party corruption and you have your answer.

And then there’s Comey.  The only thing I can say for him is that Obama stuck by him, and I trusted Obama.  But I can also say that Comey’s dragging his feet…or is he?  Word has it that there are two Russiagate grand juries in progress, and one is nearly done with its work (since all the news last week was about Flynn, I’m guessing this grand jury was focusing on something related to him).  Stay tuned.  In the end it may turn out that Comey sacrificed his reputation for the sake of the Republic, but that sounds a bit too melodramatic to believe.  Still, Obama stuck by him — and Trump has made at least one threat to fire him.  To me, that says a lot.

Once again, to anyone feeling lost and confused, all I can advise is never lose sight of the fact that just about everyone on the Trump administration has Russian connections, and so do an awful lot of other people in the Republican party.  This will get you through all these wild changes of focus on the part of the investigations and in the media.

It will also help you deal with any attempted distractions thrown out by Trump or others in his circle, and those are pitched out almost daily.  Never expect to read about any of that here because I can pride myself on being almost immune.  Not that I won’t slip up now and then; I will (and I already have).  But keep this in mind: if you don’t read about it here eventually, it’s a distraction.  Don’t bother with it.

*I’d like to point out once again that not only did Trump publicly ask the Russians to hack Clinton’s emails, but at the last debate, when his poll numbers were in the toilet and we were all looking forward to Madame President, Trump stated that we should just hand him the election now.  Somehow no one seems to remember this anymore, but I do, and I believe he said it because he knew the election was fixed.  Also remember how from October on he kept crying about the election being fixed in Clinton’s favor.  Just always keep in mind that Trump is nearly transparent.  Whatever he whines that someone else is doing (and they’re usually not), you can bet he’s doing himself.  As in, he knew what the Russians were up to, AND he asked them to do it.

P.S. It’s now Sunday, the beginning of week 3, and no one has been arrested.

Chaffetz goes bonkers

In the past two weeks, Jason Chaffetz has
(1) Said he would not be running for re-election.  Some major news outlets are stopping here and writing exhaustive articles about how brilliant this may turn out to be, as he’s planning to run for president in 12 years.  (Note: observe the career of Sarah Palin to see how much quitting boosts one’s political aspirations; also observe the career of Dan Quayle to see how long major missteps and stupidity can live on in the public consciousness.)

(2) Said he might resign before his term was up.

(3) Said he might resign very soon.

(4) Spent Monday or Tuesday of this week making the astounding claim that Obama was responsible for Trump hiring Flynn as National Security Advisor.  This was in the same time period that the Trump administration fell into a P.R. trap set by the House Oversight Committee (Chaffetz’s committee!).  You see, the Committee ordered some documents pertaining to Flynn that they knew the White House would not release, thereby making the White House look like it was covering something up.  And the White House just tiptoed through the tulips right into the big ouchie trap, which then slammed shut and injured not only the administration but apparently some part of Chaffetz’s foot as well.

This illustrates that in Chaffetz’s absence (or even just projected absence) Flynn is no longer safe from the attentions of the Oversight Committee, which formerly was refusing to look at the Trump-Russia situation at all and was, in fact, intending to keep investigating Hillary Clinton until they found…something, anything, even if it took centuries.  But suddenly Chaffetz announced he was out of there someday, perhaps soon, so immediately the microscope was moved to Flynn.

Quick Chaffetz, deflect!  (Well, he tried…)

(5) On Wednesday, announced that he was taking leave from the House to have elective surgery on his foot which appears to be shoved deeply into his mouth, or in the same trap the Committee set for Trump, or both.

It’s speculated that Chaffetz is caught between the FBI and Russian blackmail.  I’d say it’s almost definite that he is running from something that he does not want to deal with, and not toward the presidential race in 12 years.

Anyway, we won’t have to deal with the little twit for at least the next month; meantime, maybe someone in Washington can get some actual work done.

P.S. This should lead to a discussion of the Senate Intelligence Committee and one Senator Burr, who is co-chairman, but I didn’t fall for the line that the Committee was paralyzed because Burr is also compromised by Russia, so we won’t go there.  I mean, Burr is definitely compromised by Russia — I think almost the entire Republican Party is — but the Democrats have apparently had a working majority in this Committee anyway because of another Republican in the group who is not cooperating with her party.

P.P.S. It’s now Thursday of Week 2 and nobody in D.C. has been arrested yet.  And also, as to why I didn’t mention anything the president’s “briefing” of the Senate on North Korea: I knew it was going to be bullshit.  And it was.

Mr. Benghazi Bails

It’s not confirmed yet, but several sources (including at least one radio station in Utah) are reporting that not only will Jason Chaffetz not run for re-election, but he also may leave office prior to the end of his term.  (3:00 p.m. update: now the rumors seems to indicate that Chaffetz will resign by tomorrow; reasons range from a lucrative job offer to him running for governor of Utah to him having an affair to him accepting “dark money” for his campaign…and of course there’s the Russia thing.)  So I guess at this point we can rule out mere homesickness.

Just a few months ago this same guy was totally arrogant and self-assured, completely determined to ignore the Trump-Russia scandal (“I don’t see anything to investigate,” he shrugged) and instead re-investigate Hillary Clinton over and over and over again until he found something she did wrong regarding Benghazi.  He promised years of investigations, and as the link shows, he said so out loud and in public.  And now he’s turning tail and running.  Interesting.

While I’m delighted at this turn of events, I’d almost rather see shoes drop on Mr. Logan Act (Tom Cotton), or Trey Gowdy, Devin Nunes, or any of a half dozen or more in Congress just like Gowdy, Cotton and Nunes.  Even better than any of them would be the tag team of Ryan and McConnell.   There have been serious mutterings about those two, but I’ll be honest: I want more than that.  Handcuffs on both of them would be nice.  And soon.

One can dream, and so far it all seems to be just a faraway dream.  After all, it’s now Thursday and no one in Washington D.C. has been arrested.

The Wrong-way Armada, and other tales

A right-wing news and commentary site has created a new storyline: Russiagate is dead.  You read that right.  I discarded the name of the site where I saw this particular headline; too bad, or else I would have added it to my “fake news” list.  Suffice it to say that at least this one RW site is crowing about all the “silence” since Trump launched his fake airstrip attack against Syria in early April, and claiming that the “silence” proves Russiagate was just a left-wing conspiracy and is now officially over with.

They must be deaf.

Just today one person peripherally involved in the scandal, Jason Chaffetz, announced that he will not seek reelection in 2018.  This is not because of any ulterior motives, he stressed, but just because he is homesick.  Right.  This came just a few days after the news broke that he may have a Russian blackmail problem, but never mind…nothing to see here.  He just misses them ol’ salt flats.

Uh-huh.

Just prior to that came the damning news about the wrong-way armada.  Remember that Trump supposedly had us on the brink of a nuclear war with North Korea?  That our ships were lining up on the coast of North Korea, ready to fire?

Of course you know by now that none of that ever happened.  The administration lied…or did they?  I’m of the belief that maybe they chose to believe that the ships were where they said they were.  Maybe they were led to believe that; by whom is a good question, but then again, there’s the fact that Trump is belligerently ignorant and dismissive of the responsibilities of his job and maybe there’s someone up there who is preventing him from getting actual information for that reason.

Anyway, point is, the administration lied.  Again.  Every day of the Trump administration has brought another assault on agreed-upon reality, but this one was really, really big.

Today there came the fluffy story about Trump’s mental state.  Some neurologist somewhere didn’t know better than to diagnose Trump from a distance, and said she feels that his brain is failing.  Well, we knew that, didn’t we.  Numerous sources have pointed out his apparently increasing missteps and gaffs in recent weeks; it’s gotten to the point where barely a day goes by without something really weird happening.

One wonders when something will happen that will jar even Trump’s staunchest supporters into reality, or if that will ever happen.  They’re already at work at denial of the Korea gaff; almost can’t wait to see their creation when it’s finished, but I’m sure they’ll end up blaming everything on Obama or Clinton.

I don’t honestly believe Trump has that many genuine supporters among politicians and others in government; those who outwardly support him there all seem to have some sort of Russian issue lurking in the background calling the shots for them (see mention of Chaffetz above).  But among the population there is the substantial brainwashed crowd who really, honestly believe that this Russia stuff is all a hoax (see mention of today’s right-wing headline above), or a giant conspiracy, and nothing more.

I’m thinking at this point, our only hope is to isolate them.  Taking away their feed is a start, and there has been some progress in that direction: today Bill O’Reilly was apparently fired from Fox News, and Alex Jones is fighting off some sort of legal difficulty by claiming he’s just an actor (as did Glenn Beck at one point, but that never stopped his followers from believing his “act”).

There are, of course, still too many of these pundits to count.  They must be brought down if we are all, to the last of us, to reclaim our sanity and our grasp on the truth.   This is not an anti-first amendment threat (Trump has made many of those, by the way, so if you’re a Trump supporter frothing at the mouth about what I just said, consider that before you spout off about it).  This is a response to a threat on our very existence in the real world.

Not accepting reality is a threat to our existence.  We can’t keep sailing off toward never-never land forever, folks.  But in 2017, this is where we are at, with a fake president to boot.  Something’s got to give.

BTW, it’s Wednesday and no one has been arrested.

Carter Page Again

Watch.this.video:
Young Turks

This video was made back on April 5.

Patribotics

Okay, “UNCLE.”

Patribotics explains this whole mess better in one article than I could in an entire blog.  Can’t say I didn’t try, though.

This article (by Louise Mensch) folds Louise’s Cambridge fascination into the mix, something I couldn’t quite do before.  But I stand by my conclusion that while it’s the major weapon, it is not the entire crime; the big picture also includes Trump’s mafia connections, foreign debt, business corruption, and the longstanding, deep corruption of the Republican party that made it possible to place something like Trump in the Oval Office.

This story goes back decades, not merely a few years.  In fact it seems to have started in the late 1960’s, when Nixon violated the Logan Act prior to being elected president (and then Reagan did it again in the late 1970’s).  Alongside this came the rise of the religious right and its pet red herring, the abortion issue* (which it created — honestly, sometime in the 1970’s there was a wingnut evangelist meeting where they almost literally picked abortion out of a hat to be their pet issue).

In the late 1970’s the two (the Republicans and the religious wingnuts) meshed and led us into the debacle we have now.  The Russians were Johnny-come-lately’s to the party, not that this absolves them of anything.  It does not.  But they looked at the longstanding situation in the Republican party and decided that the U.S. government was a sitting duck.  And so off they went on their merry round of hacking.

Update: Louise says now that Carter Page may have shared with the Russians “tape” (?? who uses tape anymore) of Donald Trump offering to lift sanctions against Russia in exchange for Russian hacking to help him win the election; that’s treason, folks — but remember, violations of the Logan Act or outright treason had gotten at least 2 previous Republican presidential candidates elected.

If this leaves you a bit depressed, always remember that in spite of all the Russian bots and trolls and fake news and hacking, Trump didn’t actually win.  He was pushed into office by not only dirty tricks, but gaming the system.  As I mentioned above, that capability wasn’t created in a matter of months.  This has been going on for a long, long time.

Anyway, read on:
Patribotics

*The modern “religious right” got its start in public life with the civil rights movement of the 1960’s, by the way.  Good ol’ boy southern evangelists wanted no part of racial equality.  But back in those days, that view was so unpopular that they decided to pick on the growing women’s rights movement — and abortion — instead.  To this day it’s a much easier target.

Chaffetz and Russia

Turns out that Russia has more on Jason Chaffetz than just financial ties:

Palmer Report

Right now we have two Congressmen with confirmed Russian slop on their faces (Chaffetz and Nunes); I’m waiting for something to drop about Ryan and McConnell, and possibly Gowdy and several others.  Stay tuned (see update Mr. Benghazi Bails).

Hint: if a Congressman/woman is Republican and is passively or actively obstructing the Trump/Russia investigations, keep an ear out for future revelations about that person’s Russia ties.