So far today…

These are all verified reports:

(1) Trump appears to have passed the contents of James Comey’s laptop to the Russians during that infamous Oval Office meeting.  This is in addition to sharing top-secret Israeli intelligence that really really REALLY shouldn’t have been shared.  Gee, we’re finding out more and more about why that meeting was supposed to be a secret, aren’t we?

(2) Well, I already told you about Paul Ryan a couple of times, but I do find it interesting that an actual audio recording of the conversation he tried to deny having surfaced yesterday, after having been rumored to exist for several months.

(3) It’s now absolutely clear that Pence could not have been ignorant of Flynn’s foreign entanglements — there’s just no way — yet he hired him anyway during the transition.  And then lied about it later.

(4) Flynn is now flirting with contempt of Congress charges by refusing to answer a subpoena to appear before…which committee was it?  I’m losing track.

(5) The twit (Chaffetz) will leave Congress and join Fox sometime around June 30.  That is, of course, unless he freaks out again and decides to do something else, like hang around and continue to give us all a goddamned headache.  Word has it that his departure is not unrelated to Russian kompromat.  Certainly he’s not going to try to tell us it’s because he has a sore tootsie or that the tumbling Fox gave him such a great deal that he couldn’t refuse.  Or will he?

It’s not noon yet as I write, so this may not be all for today.  Stay tuned.

P.S.  there’s one guy on Twitter who wrote an entire thread last night about some dark figure (not Putin?) who is supposedly blackmailing Trump.  Nothing in the thread made sense; it was all about this person forcing Trump to fire McMaster and keep Sean Spicer(?), and create a special counsel to investigate Russiagate (???!!??) and dark mutterings about snuff movies and slavery involving the entire GOP, and etc, etc.  Be aware that we’re going to be seeing more and more of this shit as things intensify in the coming days/weeks.  Don’t fall for it.  These people are wasting our time for the thrill of 5 minutes of fame.  If you doubt this, I have to add that this same guy wrote a thread last week about how “they” were shutting down his Twitter account.  Kind of ironic, since he was writing an entire thread by himself at the time with no interference.

The Hounds of Hell

…or is it a lizard?  Getting my metaphors mixed up here.

The good news is that Trump’s attempted nyah-nyah-nyah (the bit with the Russians in the Oval Office with the U.S. press shut out, and a TASS photographer having the run of the place), coming on the heels of him firing the popular Comey, has quickly turned into an “ouch ouch ouch.”  Yesterday as media pundits and former IC folk sounded the alarm that the Russians in question were probably spies, Trump claimed to be shocked, SHOCKED at the Russians, and tried to claim they “tricked” him.

Oh Christ, Trump, even you can’t be that stupid.  Well, maybe you can…

Apparently early this morning Trump followed all that up with a tweet threatening Comey with “tapes.”  Yes, “tapes.”  Just like Nixon.  Apparently while Trump has been whining about being wiretapped, he’s been taping people (remember that virtually everything he claims is being done to him unfairly is projection, meaning he’s the one actually doing it).  It’s evident he thinks the people he’s been taping have more to lose than he does.

Wrong again; that blew up in his face in under 12 hours.  Bigly.  The formidable Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi dashed off a letter to the president’s legal counsel, (which is included in this tweet), turning Trump’s “clever” claim into yet another nightmare for him.  Now the entire Democratic party is demanding that the contents of Trump’s tapes be revealed as part of the investigations — and they have a right to.  Worse for Trump, instead of cowering in terror, Comey just shrugged.

Next outburst of stupidity from Trump in 5..4..3..2..  He never learns.

Yes, there are far more serious things going on right now in the saga of Russiagate, but the catalyst that unleashed the hounds was the firing of Comey — which is why I discussed it here.  Suddenly everything that was going to take months is taking place right now, or will be soon.  Yesterday I heard about a boatload of subpoenas being served; today I heard a rumor about Flynn and Manafort flipping (neither rumor has been substantiated).  Jeff Sessions seems to be teetering on the edge of career-ending trouble about his refusal to confirm whether he has or has not recused himself from matters concerning the Trump campaign (if he did indeed recuse himself, he never should have advised Trump to fire Comey, as he evidently did).  And the acting FBI director has turned out to be anything but loyal to Trump.

About all Trump has going for him right now are the loyal chimps in Congress who refuse to notice that anything is amiss.  I’m talking about McConnell, Ryan, Chaffetz, Burr and Nunes specifically, but there may a hundred more.  The thing is, almost none of them are clinging to fantasy out of a great love of Trump.  It’s more fear of the Russians, who apparently have compromised the entire Republican party.  The evidence is there, clear as daylight; all one need do is be willing to look — which Trump is frantically trying to prevent us from doing.  And his lackeys in Congress are trying hard not to see anything.

All in all, it seems to be whipping up into a nightmare for Trump.  He’s so rattled that it’s no wonder he accidentally admitted that he fired Comey because Comey wouldn’t stop investigating Russiagate.  (Or maybe it wasn’t an accident; maybe he’s just too stupid to know he should never have said that.  It’s called admitting to an impeachable offense, dummy.)

As you know if you’ve been reading this blog, I’m not much for rumors.  But suddenly a fair number of them are coming true, so I’ll be a little more open about repeating them here.  Certainly I am finding out more about what to anticipate from rumors than I am finding out from the legitimate media in the U.S. at present (and no that does not include state-run Fox News).

As Trump is trying to hold back the attack dogs by acting ever more autocratic (he’s now threatening to stop having daily news briefings because his lackeys can’t keep his lies straight), it’s a fair bet that there’s even more going on right now than the rumors are hinting at.  Stuff is coming down, folks.  All I can say is, hold on and stay tuned.

P.S. rumor as to when the entire Trump administration will be gone is that it will be “by June 1.”  (That seems overly optimistic to me, though.)  And neither Pence or Ryan is going to be president in Trump’s place; they’re both tainted by Russia (the entire Republican party is; look at the well-documented FBI raid on a GOP consulting office that occurred yesterday — no that was not about a long-ago gubernatorial race).

Current word is that the next president will be Orrin Hatch.  Inherit the wind.

Slouching Toward Armagedden

So the President of the United States, such as he is, fires the most prominent person investigating him on Tuesday…then on Wednesday invites two major players  in the “Peegate” dossier, two Russian diplomats (spies) to the White House, and holds a closed-door meeting with them to which only the Russian press is invited.  Meantime, in Russia, someone interviews a giddy Putin, who (with a big smile on his face) denies having anything to do with Comey being fired.

All of which means that Putin had something to do with Comey being fired.  And also, sportsfans, it means we are no longer a sovereign nation.  And this is all thanks to Donald Trump, to his 30 or so million gullible, brainwashed worshipers, and to the Republican election-stealing machine (which is now under an increasing amount of scrutiny, but it may be too late).

Of course there are all sorts of rumors flying around about this happening and that happening, arrests, leaks, whatnot.  It all seems too little and too late.  And even in the middle of this maelstrom, all the Republicans can do is offer a few tepid “we should open an investigation,” responses (never mind that we already have at least 3!).  Most of them aren’t even going that far; they are supporting Trump and denying anything is wrong.

As I tweeted to a senior Democratic senator today, it’s all very nice and oh-so-correct that people are starting to talk about more investigations and independent prosecutors, etc.  But we don’t have time for that anymore.  Any day now, Trump is going to decide that no laws apply to him (he’s already unclear on the subject), and the Russians will back him up.  Two Russian actors from Peegate showing up at the White House and being treated like royalty today proves that, especially given the timing.

Trump’s approval ratings may be sinking to historic lows as we speak (never mind that he shouldn’t have any approval at all at this point), but in his mind he is rid of Comey and no one can hurt him anymore, and those polls are lies all lies and didn’t he have the biggest election win ever (well no, but…)?  So he brought in his Russian buddies, right in everyone’s faces, the day after he fired Comey…and didn’t bother to tell us what they talked about because there is nothing anyone can do about it.  He is president and nyah, nyah, nyah.

It’s a short step from that to being a dictator.  The moment Trump totally and fearlessly convinces himself that he is above (not merely running from) written laws and rules of ethics, we will be lost.  There will be nothing else to do but revolt.  And that moment is coming fast.  We are probably talking about hours now, not even days or weeks, let alone months.

What we do need to do to avoid that happening is:
(1) invoke the 25th Amendment.  Won’t happen because Pence has to initiate this (there is a way around that, but it involves action by the Republican Congress, which won’t happen either).  Why won’t Pence do it?  Because he’s in this Russia thing up to his friggin’ neck.  And why won’t Congress do it?  Because many of the Republicans there are also in this up their friggin’ necks.

(2) impeach.  Again, we’ve a very obedient Republican Congress, at least until November 2018.  It will be difficult to get anything done.  And we don’t have until November 2018.  All will be lost by then; it’s almost lost now.

(3) push Trump to resign.  Good luck with that; it’s not in the script of the epic movie he’s invented about himself.  Besides, if he quits, there’s no guarantee he won’t have a Russian heart attack or somehow fall off the side of one of his towers.  Scatterbrained as he is, he knows this.  Staying in office and attempting to gaslight the entire nation is much preferable.

So what to do?  I don’t know.  Wish I could say.

While we’re stuck waiting for these dolts to get off their asses, however, I can suggest one thing: if you know someone who voted for Trump and still thinks he’s great, punch that person out.  Of course I’m just kidding…but not by much.  Maybe physical violence is out, but verbal violence?  Have at it.  Call them out.  Scream at them.  Humiliate them.  Disown them.  Make them face the truth about their god Trump. 

They deserve every last bit of it.  They are traitors.

The state of stuff, 4/11/17

With Congress on yet another vacation (yes, they call it recess, but…), there’s nothing much “official” going on in public.  That is true except for the case of that Russian hacker, apparently a very famous one, who suddenly got arrested in Spain the other day by request of the U.S.

Wow was that easy.  The guy was responsible for hacking millions of computer systems and users worldwide, and apparently even helped hack the U.S. election, but he didn’t know better than to go live in a country that has an extradition agreement with the U.S. and live openly and casually, making no attempt to hide?  Right.

Maybe he didn’t care.  Maybe getting arrested and being so valuable to the U.S. that he’d be protected to the nth degree was preferable to living in Russia and being shot, poisoned, or pushed out of a high-rise window.

Also note the timing of the arrest: a few days after Trump’s almost-successful diversion tactic in Syria.  It was as if they were saying, “nice try; now back to the real story.”  (BTW, the attack apparently did not help Trump’s approval rating, however much it seems to have acted as a nice big shiny thing to distract the media.)

Trump, however, doesn’t get it.  Not only is he now threatening North Korea (possibly with nukes), but he’s also expanding military activities in Somalia and other places.  I guess since the diversion seemed to work once, he thinks it will work over and over and over.

And if there’s blame involved…well, now he’s blaming his daughter for the “bombing raid” in Syria.  You see, she saw all these pictures of children injured and killed in the chemical attack (which Putin is now blaming on the U.S., just as the U.S. has been blaming it on Putin — another gaslighting attempt on both sides), and was so upset that she asked Daddy to bomb something.  Who could resist those big mascaraed eyes full of tears?  So Daddy bombed an empty air field, which was empty because he’d first cleared the attack with Russia, who informed Syria, who evacuated the facility.  Now Russia and the U.S. are trading insults, so how could Trump be involved with Putin?  Impossible, right?

And what will their excuse be for nuking North Korea?  Ivanka’s heart?  And I guess they’ll be bombing Somalia because of all those photos of starving children?  Sure.

Never mind that stories are circulating that this is all some kind of oil deal (the Syria thing, at least), orchestrated for Trump by Jared Kushner, who a Twitter pundit said will end up being the one person in jail, when all is said and done, with the most convictions in the entire Trump-Russia scandal.

Here back at home the Republicans, never cowed by reality, are making their anti-healthcare plan even worse and are planning to re-introduce it.  Probably buoyed by the success of forcing the deplorable Gorsuch on the Supreme Court (and thereby the rest of us), they likely feel they can be successful this time.  Never mind all those people screaming at them in their town halls and out in the streets; they just won’t have town halls and they’ll leave town whenever the streets get too hot.  Those are all paid protesters from other states after all, right?

And so, safe in this little bubble of unreality, Congress believes it can pass this horrible legislation and “free” us from the supposed burden of healthcare.  In a world where a commercial airline can have some paid thugs beat up a passenger — and then blame it on the passenger* — and not instantly lose their business to the extent of going bankrupt, it seems anything is possible.  This is the Age of the Thug.

* The New York Post just said this is okay because the passenger, a doctor, is not a very nice person and had some sort of conviction on his record.  The airline has lost approximately a billion dollars in the stock market as of today, but no big deal…they lost money after 9/11 too and if I remember correctly, got a government bail-out.  Whether one of the planes allegedly involved in the 9/11 “attack” was still flying years later is still an open question.

Clueless in New York

As if anyone needed any more proof that Donald Trump has no idea what he is talking about, there was last night’s debate — which also proved that we in the audience have no idea what he’s talking about.  What he presents is a blank slate on which his supporters chalk their fondest wishes, nothing more.

I’m sure he’s claiming he won the debate.  But he also said he lost it because his mike was defective.  Maybe the mike was adding sniffling noises to his gibberish, I don’t know.

As for those sniffling noises, Twitter is ablaze with arguments over whether the cause was illness, allergy, cocaine, or Adderall.  We will never know for sure, because we will never be sure of anything about Trump

All I know for sure is that he’s gotten as far as he has by regurgitating everything that was wrong during the Bush years as if Obama created those problems (he didn’t) and hasn’t corrected anything (he has).   And Trump’s true believers lap up this nonsense.  They get two things out of this: a paper hero, and a continuing excuse to hide from the truth.

And oh yes: he’s white and Obama isn’t.

What Trump gets out of it?  His name in lights, millions skimmed off his campaign coffers into his own companies, and possible Russian backing (they own him, after all) for his further business entanglements (you can’t call them deals) and maybe even in the Oval Office, should he get there.  Oh, and then there’s Deutsche bank.  And all the other stuff.

Let’s just say that it all looks like a huge scheme to bail Trump out of financial hot water, which he is almost certainly in, and keep his name in lights and keep him living in the manner to which he is accustomed.  (One right-wing fanzine site even posted a photo essay explaining why Trump could not live in the icky old White House…it’s not posh enough for him.)

What’s left out of the scheme?  Service and governance, two things Trump knows nothing about.

And no, they are not the same as “business.”  A lot of his supporters fend off criticism by claiming he’s a successful businessman.  See the paragraphs above; he is not.  As a further example, one bank estimated his worth at MINUS $250,000,000.  Even if that’s not true, the jerk’s a definite walking debt-bomb and is clearly looking to make some sort of “deal” by capturing the White House, to get his ass out of the fire.

Even if he were a business whiz, as the current governor of Illinois (a multi-millionaire businessman) is finding out, business and government are two different subjects entirely, involving two different skill sets.  Rauner is quickly becoming famous for stalemate and inaction simply because he is so confounded by that.  (He’s an asshole, too, but…)

Trump appears to have an aptitude for nothing but flim-flam.  He’s known to other billionaires as an empty silver spoon and a swindler.

He’s never even come close to holding public office, and he has no idea at all of what the word “service” means.  In the past 16 months I heard a lot from the right wing about how supposedly unqualified Hillary Clinton is for the Presidency.  Odd that I’m hearing it not at all since Trump got the nomination.  It’s as if the charge was ridiculous to begin with (and it was), and considering what the Republicans have now, no one dares mention it anymore.

Which is to say that Trump is not only patently unqualified, but clueless.  He would have done far better in some other country with “Prince” before his name, but maybe not even then.  Even princes seem to have more demanded of them than he has ever had.  All he knows how to do is maintain his lifestyle, no matter what the cost.

Personally, I do not want to be part of that cost.  I trust not many others do, either.

 

Projection 101

Trump’s sanity is questioned; he starts calling Clinton “unstable.”

Trump’s charitable activities are questioned; he refocuses the media on the Clinton Foundation and blows a ton of smoke on the nonexistent fire to keep their eyes there, and off of him.

Trump’s health is questioned and this is worsened by a very questionable medical letter allegedly written by a gastroenterologist (in five minutes in the back of a limo).  He demands to see Clinton’s health records, which she has already released, and calls her unhealthy.

Trump’s racist statements land him the title of “racist;” Trump calls Clinton a racist.

Attendance at Trump’s rallies is apparently dwindling to the point where, as one comment put it, “there was better attendance at Spinal Tap and the puppet show.”  Trump starts tweeting stuff about Clinton being able to fit her rallies into small outhouses.

Trump inexplicably cancels several campaign events, then says Clinton is “in hiding.”

See a pattern here, folks?

Turn it off

And now, folks, Trump TV

I have no doubt this is true, given Trump’s considerable history (detailed in the article) of launching businesses at the wrong time, and having them fail.  Why is it the wrong time? Fox News, presumably Trump’s model, is dying.  Of course it’s been dying off and on for years, but this time it appears that some real changes may be in order there, finally.  All backstage drama aside, much of their audience is due to check out in the next decade.  That’s bad for business.

The bigger issue is that cable in general is dying in places where geography does not make it necessary (and that’s much of the country).  Launching a new channel now is…well…stupid.  Glenn Beck bailed out of TV to exist online — where he’s doing as well as can be expected, I gather –and Sarah Palin, of course, failed miserably with her channel, but she still has enough loyal suckers to send money to her PAC, so she’s okay.  And Trump? Who knows what he will do when he fails.  No doubt he’ll cook up another major flim-flam scam, although running for president again would be out of the question.

He can’t go back to network TV, either.  A couple of comments from an executive at NBC indicate that the possibility is gone forever.  So much for Trump’s alleged scheme to boost his income by running for president, failing, and returning to the show in glory.  (If this is true, how could he ever think it would work?  Ah, it’s his business genius.)

I think the real issue here is the extent of Trump’s delusion.  It seems to be a rampant disease among Republicans; they do everything they can to make their wishes seem to be God’s command, and somehow it almost never works out, at least not for long.

Trump is by far the worst case ever.  But I recall 4 years ago when a Facebook friend became enraged by an anti-Romney meme I’d posted and sneered something like, “you liberals had better laugh now but you won’t be laughing in November.”  Yes, Republicans were convinced (possibly because they thought they had rigged the voting machines in various states) they were going to win.  Look what happened.

And they’re at it again; at least, Trump is.  And if they lose, according to Trump, it’s because of fraud.  Another case of projection.

All this rampant delusion makes me wonder, as I said in an earlier post, if Trump isn’t really, really serious about becoming president.  At least, I wonder if his ego is that serious, so much so that he can’t admit that he’s looking into the jaws of yet another huge, deep cavernous failure.

But these reports of him using this campaign as a sort of long job interview for his next venture — one that will somehow reward him if he fails, which he will — have been persistent.

November will not be interesting, but  I think December will.