The department of scaredy-cat

I am writing this in the midst of a Trump Tweetstorm.  I don’t follow Trump on Twitter, but everyone’s saying that he’s trying to deflect attention from Russiagate by claiming that Hillary Clinton, (of COURSE) had her own Russia thing.  Why he isn’t also demanding an investigation of Nixon on the China story is anyone’s guess.

He did get away with this once before, almost.  That was the time he claimed Obama had personally “wiretapped” him.  And yes, his lapdogs in Congress jumped at that and wasted a lot of hearing time asking questions about it.   You know, because it’s not about the actual story, it’s about who leaked it.

That, however, was then.  This is now, after Rep. Nunes disgraced himself by running to the White House for instructions on what to say, then said it, then admitted it, then denied it.  He’s now facing this:
Complaint

And that ain’t all.  The media are after him; his fellow Congressmen/women are after him.  It doesn’t sound like it’s just going to go away.

Nunes has lost his credibility.  Whether or not he recuses himself from the investigation is no matter.  The work of his committee is now lost because of him.  Rep. Schiff or no Rep. Schiff, it’s gone.  That may be no big deal, though, because the Republicans on that committee were more fascinated with who leaked the stories about Trump than the actual stories about Trump.  It’s kind of like casually watching your house burn down, and then your one of your neighbors calls the fire department, and then when the house is in ruins you try to find out which neighbor had the nerve to call the fire department.

Of course that’s only one lapdog down; there are many more in Congress.  It’s just that Nunes was a big one.  Plus, the always-obtuse Paul Ryan expressed his support of Nunes today.  Ryan…you know, the guy who the White House just tried to throw under the bus when the Republican anti-healthcare bill died.  Ryan, the guy everyone hates.  I guess because both he and Nunes are said to be at least peripherally involved in Russiagate, Ryan’s thought is that if he stays quiet about Nunes, the nervous, hiccuping Nunes won’t burp up any secrets about him.

That’s the problem: when the Trump administration finally falls, it’s set to take several ranking members of Congress and possibly the entire Republican party with it.  So who among them is really going to investigate anything?

This brings me to another, slightly unrelated point.  Keep in mind always that just about everyone in the Trump administration has been implicated in Russiagate.  This includes Mike Pence.  If Pence manages to weasel his way into the Oval Office, his stay there won’t be comfortable and he’ll spend whatever time is left to him in office fighting off scandal rather than passing every anti-gay bill he can possibly lay his hands on.  The guy’s a walking scandal-bomb.  He’s certainly no better than Trump, but the point is, he’s no worse.

Also keep in mind what I said earlier: many Republican Congressional members are also possibly involved.  This includes number 2 in the line of succession to the president’s seat once Trump is gone.  That, my friends, is Paul Ryan.

I bring this up because even now I keep hearing and reading whiny articles and posts and comments saying, “if Trump is gone we get Pence, and he’s worse!”  And then when you rule Pence out, they jump to, “but then we get Ryan!”

Uh…people…do you really want to keep Trump for four years because you’re afraid of Pence and Ryan?  That’s assinine.

Even if Trump is deposed somehow (and I don’t believe it will be via impeachment, but I’m still having a hard time believing he will resign, so I don’t know how this will happen), and Pence takes the office, remember that Pence is compromised.  If Pence is removed, the chance of the embattled Ryan still being there to take his place looks like a shaky premise right now.  After all, the Trump administration is trying very, very hard to throw him under the bus and even had the gall to demand he resign as Speaker of the House.  Also, he’s implicated in the Russiagate thing.

But what if he becomes President?  This: nothing.  He’s about as popular as anthrax, even among his own party, and is ineffective to boot.  The only guarantee with Ryan as president is a landslide for the Democrats in the Congressional elections of 2018.  And after that he’ll be paralyzed and unable to do anything, not that he does much anyway.

All that said, let’s get back back to Trump’s Tweetstorm going on tonight.  It’s earlier than usual (it’s only halfway through the evening as I write), and on a Monday (somehow I tend to believe that most of his Tweetstorms happen later in the week).  What’s this about?  Nunes canceled the House Intelligence Committee’s meeting, which was supposed to have been this afternoon.  Can’t be that.  Might be the Senate Intelligence Committee’s meeting on Thursday.  That could mean a long week of Tweetstorms ahead.

It also could mean some major shit is going to hit the fan before Thursday, and Trump knows about it and is nervously trying to deflect.  Never mind that one of his lapdogs has been disgraced, and he’s publicly shamed Ryan, so that’s two down among his sworn secret-keepers.  He probably hasn’t factored that in, anyway; he’s too dumb.  And you’d think it would occur to him at some point that the reaction of an innocent man would be to swear to get to the bottom of this supposed hoax (Russiagate), rather than Tweet like mad to try to deflect interest elsewhere, but no…again, he’s too dumb.

No, something caused this Tweetstorm that hit too close to the truth for him to stay quiet.  I can’t wait to find out what it is.

A little ah-HAH moment

I’m guessing this is why the Trump administration just planted a story in the National Enquirer blaming Flynn for all that pesky Russia stuff:

Palmer Report

Life in the S#*%-storm

I haven’t been writing because of security concerns, and because I’ve been ill at the thought of somewhere around 20% of the U.S. population being stupid enough to vote for Donald Trump.  But as of today, I’ve decided I have something to thank them for.

Courtesy of the Trump-suckers, welcome to life in the shit-storm.  Today (Wednesday, 3/22/17) it’s hitting the fan faster than I can type.

In some ways, that’s a good thing.  I’ve suspected for years that something wasn’t right with the Republican party.  They were sending out too many unqualified, loony, weird-looking candidates and were having too much success doing so.  It’s only now when all the shit is hitting the proverbial fan that I start to see why and how this has been happening.

We now have at least circumstantial evidence that not just Trump, but most of his cabinet and several ranking members of the House and Senate are Russian agents (so to speak), either wittingly or unwittingly.  “Useful idiots,” as it were.  And we have Trump and his suckers to thank for that.  Without the jolt of the very fact that this dolt was elected, none of this would ever have come to light in our lifetimes.

As of today, with each passing minute, the evidence against all of them — circumstantial as it may be — is piling up faster than the snow in an eastern-seaboard blizzard.  It’s the perfect shit-storm.  And the best part of it is, it can’t easily be shoveled off the walk and passed by with blinders on, in the hope that it will soon be forgotten.  That’s because there’s just too much of it.

I have to mention the public reaction to all this.  Of course, the 20% with Trumpitis will never believe any of it, not even in the unlikely event that Trump is led to the gallows for treason (more seriously, there has been a lot of talk about impeachment; but impeachment won’t necessarily get rid of him, so I prefer not to dwell on it).  If it comes to that point, the Trump-suckers will blame it on aliens or something.  Or they’ll claim that Trump is still president even after he’s been removed from office because they believe in some…I don’t know…”deep state” or something.  (You know, kind of like Elvis still being alive.)  Never mind that all it is is a deep state of denial on their part; to them, it’s reality.  And that’s their story and they’re sticking to it.  The rest of us can go to hell.

And so, courtesy of our Trump-sucker friends, massive gerrymandering, wonky voting machines, voter suppression (not fraud), a corrupt Electoral College, and of course not forgetting Russia, here we are in the middle of a shit-storm in hell.

Around 40% of the population recognize this in varying degrees and are in varying degrees of panic, and have been since November.  In addition, I’ll wager there is another 15% who have no idea what time of day it is or what country they’re in.  They’re too busy talking on their cell phones to realize that their country has fallen down around their ears.  The last 25% are kids, but I have to give them credit.  Young as they are, a lot of them seem perfectly aware that something is wrong…which is more than I can say for the 20% who voted for Trump.

And what’s wrong?  Following is a dose of reality for those who can take it.  I remind you that most of this thus far is based on circumstantial evidence and is not proven.  Funny how “proof” has become so much harder to come by lately than it was when Hillary Clinton was dragged before Congress over and over to explain her emails and Benghazi, or when people kept saying that Obama was an immigrant.  Actually there was no proof then, either, but the point is that it didn’t seem necessary.  Now, however, even with an avalanche of circumstance behind every allegation (unlike the allegations against Clinton and Obama), proof is a rare commodity all of a sudden, or at least it seems almost impossible to obtain at a level that satisfies those who are trying to protect Trump.

And there are a lot of those:

Trump – positively floating on Russian waters in spite of his denials that he even knew the word “Russia” before just recently.  “Fake!”  There seem to be Russians around him no matter where he goes, except in Washington, where he is surrounded by Russian surrogates.  “Fake!”  But still he claims, “Russia?  Where’s that?”  Meantime he tweets shit about Obama and Clinton at 3:00 a.m., making up stories about how they are guilty of the things he himself has done. FAKE.

Pence – either a liar, or he needs to carry a full-sized calendar around with him.  Wikileaks is talking crap about him so I doubt he’s deeply involved with Russia, or maybe it’s just another smokescreen.  Whatever, he’s got enough stupidity and scandals of his own where he likely won’t last long if by some miracle the rest of them are prosecuted and he is left alone and exposed.

Sessions – talked to the Russians, lied to Congress about it, but nothing substantial seems to be happening to him as a result (more on that in the future).  Yes he was forced to recuse himself from any investigations of the Trump-Russia connection, but that’s no big deal because we have…

Bannon – what his deal is no one knows or cares; he’s just a sodden sad-sack lump with some political savvy to the extent that he’s very good at destroying basic governmental functions without batting an eyelash.   But the fact is that his Breitbart is being investigated for its connection to Russian bots.  I’m sure Breitbart will be allowed to claim that they are SHOCKED, SHOCKED to hear that Russians attached bots to their site, and that will be the end of it as far as Congress is concerned (not the IC, however).  Anyway…you get it…Russia.

Tillerson – Putin’s closest American buddy.  Seems too tired to do his job and claims he never wanted it.  Never mind the reason he got it (something about a zillion-dollar oil deal that could make Putin the richest man in the world, and is probably the reason Putin pushed so hard to get Trump elected).

And then there’s that business about him wanting to skip a NATO meeting to go carouse with his buddies in Russia.  But never mind, nothing to see here.  He’s very tired and hates his job, after all.

Flynn – lied (about Russia), got caught, got fired, and that was supposed to be the end of it.  ALL of it.  Not another word about Russia, you hear?  Only it isn’t the end of it.  When last observed, Flynn was covering his ass and I’m guessing getting ready to sing.

Manafort – there’s so much going on here that I have trouble keeping it straight, but apparently he got caught hiding massive amounts of Russian and Ukrainian money (paychecks?), acting as an unregistered Russian operative in the U.S., and pulling pro-Russian crap in Ukraine.  Now he may be getting ready to sing, as he’s hired some sort of crisis-management PR agency.  Meantime, Trump is trying hard to deny he ever met his former campaign manager.  You’d think that he’d still be reeling over the (rather unforgettable) fact that Manafort maneuvered him into taking on Pence as his running mate, but probably all Trump can think about is “why can’t I tell Pence, ‘you’re fired?’  It worked on TV!”

McConnell – protected Trump last fall when Obama wanted to go public with the fact that the FBI was investigating Russian interference in our election which was apparently favoring Trump.  Now his wife has a post in the Cabinet.  Russian connections are not clear at the moment, but I have no doubt that they are there.

Ryan – an oddly suppressed oil scandal, a long-buried insider trading scandal, probably has some Russian financial support as well, and he definitely benefited from the Russian email hacks, although lord knows we haven’t heard much about that, either.  He’s generally a creepy, icky, sucky creature such as one would find in the muck of a swamp.  Ironic, isn’t it.

Chaffetz — Russian financial ties.

Nunes — Russian financial ties.

Gowdy — I honestly forgot what I heard about him — it got lost in the shit-storm — but I’m sure it has something to do with Russia.  And oh yes, his entire lengthy Benghazi investigation was bullshit.

Giuliani – Russia.  Wikileaks.  Something to do with rogue FBI agents.  And too stupid to keep his mouth shut about it.

Stone – peripheral character, not in any official position, but too tied to Russia and Trump to be ignored.

Page – pretty much ditto Stone.

Meantime there are anywhere from 6 to 10 unexplained Russian deaths; at least a few of these people were in Trump’s/Putin’s orbit.  And that ain’t all.  In fact, there’s so much Russia showing up all over Washington D.C. that one wonders if the town’s somehow been transported and is now a suburb of Moscow.

Still, even with all of this (and I’ve actually barely left a fingerprint on the veneer), I’m sure Trump’s supporters will tell you, “nothing to see here.”  And all I have to say in response is, “it must be nice on your planet.”  Because whatever planet they’re on, it sure ain’t Earth.

And what is Congress going to do about all of this?  Didn’t I just mention a lot of their leaders?  You have your answer: they will do as much of nothing as possible.

Diane Feinstein did hint the other day that (because so many Republicans are tied up with Russia in one way or another?) the Democrats may choose to leave the Russia issue to the intelligence community, and meantime pursue Trump via the emoluments avenue.  Certainly they seem to (no PROOF again) have a lot to nab Trump on there, without unduly alarming their oh-so-delicate, oh-so-nervous, and apparently oh-so-guilty Republican counterparts.  There is, after all, nothing to be revealed about the rest of them by investigating whether Trump is profiting hugely off of being President.  Plus, she hinted (wishfully, I think) that the problem may take care of itself, and Trump will magically quit.

My take on it is that he can’t quit.  If he quits, the Russians may kill him.  But that’s just an idea.  Honestly, however, how can you believe anything else when all these Russians keep turning up dead?

Also about the emoluments thing: Trump is so tangled up in Russia that there is no guarantee that investigating him in that avenue will ensure that no one in Congress is unwittingly exposed.  So it’s a nice thought, Feinstein, and for sure you know far more about this than I do.  But I don’t accept it as a legitimate avenue of investigation at this point, in and of itself.  Investigate Russia and you end up with Russia; investigate conflicts of interest and profiteering and you also end up with Russia.  The Republicans cannot allow either investigation to happen, so they will continue to do as much of nothing as they possibly can.

All roads lead to Russia from Washington D.C., and there is no escaping that fact.  And that, my friends, is why we are stuck in a shit-storm from hell for the time being.  Thank you so much Trump voters, for unwittingly bringing all this out into the open.  But that’s all we have to thank you for.

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.

 

This is what happens when you don’t believe science

Yep, that’s it: you start believing in weird shit uttered by cranky old televangelists.   And the Stupid of the Day award goes to…Pat Robertson

 

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.