Open the door, let ’em in

This is a genuine scoop by CNN tonight.  In case you don’t want to click on it, the article basically says that the Russians bragged that they could use Flynn to influence Trump.

Meantime, Pence is using Facebook to beg Trump worshipers for donations to defend Trump against all those mean people who are trying to destroy him.  I wonder if Pence includes himself among the mean people.  After all, he’s the one who knew Flynn was dirty and hired him anyway.

Slightly louder explosions, but not really

Mother Jones just posted this.

I am assuming this is the big scoop that was hinted at…was it yesterday or the day before?  Anyway, someone on Twitter claimed that one of the major “newspapers” would publish a HUGE piece of information involving Trump/Russia “within 48 hours,” as I remember.

Well, if this is it,*shrug*.  In my view it’s nothing more than a couple more tidbits that will be quickly set buried under an avalanche of new tidbits, and the process will repeat itself over and over and over until…what?

The implication here is that Trump is safely at 30,000 feet, so shit is coming down back at home.  it isn’t.

All these tidbits do not amount to a stack of doodle y-squat, let alone a major scoop.  They’re just restatements of what we’ve already known for a long time.  I am frankly sick and tired of what Trump said about Comey to the Russians (except that he apparently did admit again that Comey was fired because of the Russia investigation, which we all knew anyway).  I am also sick and tired about names not being named; you know, “someone close to Trump is being investigated.”  Well, fucking thanks; that narrows it down to about 600.  (Other sources say it’s Jared Kushner, and state that he is merely “a person of interest.”)

Break a story about how they’re about to arrest somebody, and name that person, and be right…and then we’ll talk about real bombshells.

All sorts of tiddly $#*%

Nothing dramatic has happened this morning; just a steady drip, drip, drip.  No flood.

Trump is preparing to get on a plane to somewhere, not that anything he does or says really matters.  There is the odd report that he is paranoid that Pence will “take over” while he is gone, and certainly there has been a uptick in rumors of Pence funding his presidential campaign for 2020, etc.  But the fact is there has also been a sharp uptick in reports that Pence knew Flynn was crooked well before he allowed Flynn to become national security advisor to Trump.  So if I were Pence, maybe I wouldn’t be thinking about 2020, but surviving 2017 as a free man involved in politics instead.

As for Pence taking over, I doubt it.  Nothing dramatic will happen in Trump’s absence;  Washington is too scared right now.  Apparently Ryan is hiding under his desk after finding out that he had been recorded saying that the Russians were paying Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and Trump.  It’s said he’s now wondering what else he uttered that was recorded, and in typical Republican fashion who did it.  Right.  Let’s never face our own crimes, let’s worry about who exposed them.

Anyway, the Rohrabacher situation reveals that Russian influence in Washington may go back further than previously thought, and that the Republicans in particular have been identified by the Russians as sitting ducks.  (For a scathing Wisconsin editorial about our darling Ryan, read hereThis is interesting too.)

So that’s one thing that’s scaring the Republicans.  The other is Robert Mueller, who has now requested Congressional investigations halt, or at least curtail their activities.  Social media reacted to this request with fear and outrage, particularly since a story was planted yesterday about how the law firm Mueller worked for was connected to the Trumps or those associated with them.  People, people…

At this point there probably aren’t too many major law firms that haven’t had dealings with the Trumps and/or their associates.  That doesn’t mean Mueller himself did.  Also, the timing of this story suggests that it came from either the Russians or Trump’s camp.  Put all of that together and I say that unless Mueller starts doing things obviously pro-Trump, don’t panic.

The request that the Congressional committees dial back their investigations is no big deal considering the amount of interference and obstruction various Republicans on those committees were subjecting them to.  Remember all those questions about Hillary Clinton’s emails in at least two of the public hearings that were supposed to be about the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia?  It could be that Mueller saw that too, and decided the committees were just trying to score political points and deflections.  And he’s right on that.  Enough, already.  Let’s not let the inmates run the asylum, as the old saying goes.

Anyway, the little explosion this morning is that Trump signed financial disclosures for 2016 against the advice of his attorneys.  Why was he advised against signing?  Because the disclosures were false.

The other little explosion is that Julian Assange is a free man (odd that this happened at the same moment a massive cyber-attack on social media was in progress); he can leave the embassy now because the Swiss no longer want to question him about the possible rape charge.  It’s said the FBI may have had something to do with this, which is interesting.  It does seem that Assange’s even more vulnerable to Putin now if he doesn’t toe the mark.  So really, he may be free, but he isn’t free, and he will never be free.

And so that’s where we are at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, May 19, 2017.  Trump’s about to be in the thin air, Pence is stranded on the ground, Ryan is hiding under his desk, Mueller’s sniffing around, Assange thinks he’s free, and nobody’s is going anywhere for a while.

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.

Putin Gets It All Wrong

The ever-helpful Vladmir Putin is today offering Congress a transcript of the meeting between Trump, Putin’s foreign minister, and Putin’s ambassador to the U.S.  This is to prove that Trump did not convey any top secrets to these nice boys, even though Trump himself admits he did.

Meantime it’s become apparent that McConnell and Ryan are eagerly awaiting the transcript, which they will accept as if it is a golden tablet passed down on Mt. Sinai (kind of ironic, since this leak situation involves our intelligence relationship with Israel).  They will then announce that it’s all cleared up, no need to press for further information on anything, anything at all.  Everything’s fixed.  Now let’s get back to reducing taxes on the super-rich and destroying healthcare!  You know, like nothing happened.

You see, severe a transgression as Trump’s revealing highly classified information to an enemy was, it wasn’t a statutory crime.  Presidents can declassify anything any time.  Whether they should or not is another question.  Let’s just say that they almost never do, and there are good reasons for this.  Therefore, Trump’s transgression was never something that was going to get him kicked out of office or land him in jail.  It was just stupid.  It was also baldly transparent, because if he ever needed to prove his loyalty to Russia at the expense of the U.S., that did it.

But again that’s not illegal, it’s just immoral.  Somebody lost their life because of this, after all.

And so, Putey-dear, I wouldn’t bother with your “transcript,” which in itself is proof of where Trump’s loyalties lie and nothing more.  The only people who will try to believe it will do so because they are trying to cover up something.  That “something” may be their contacts with you or your flying monkeys, for sure, but what they’re going down for are laws they broke here at home in the U.S.

You see, the real problem here is not the leak.  The problem here is obstruction of justice (addressed in the Comey memo, which McConnell, Ryan, and the twit Chaffitz will try very very hard to pretend is fake), and massive corruption.  Those are the things that will bring your little section of the big house of cards tumbling down, transcript or not.

In a way it’s kind of touching for you to offer, Putin, but the thing is that we don’t give a shit what you have to say.  You’re beneath us.  Be off before someone drops a house on you.

Gosh. That’s stupid.

I’ll just leave this right here:

Trump leaked highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador

Okay, RUMOR MILL TIME:

Sunday night one of the White House leakers said that Trump was coming to the end of what would be one of his last weekends in the White House.  Okay, this is vague.  It could mean that he’s now going to be spending ALL his weekends at his own properties instead of just 99% of them, or it could mean that he’s closing the White House — I’m not joking; he has actually mentioned the possibility.  It also may mean resignation, which takes us to the rumor I read tonight on Twitter: Trump may indeed resign because of “all the negativity.”  I won’t bite on the “negativity” thing; I’ll just say “MAGA” and “wall” and leave it at that.

Last time we heard a strong resignation rumor…well, Trump is still there, so I won’t go into that.

However, this time it’s coming right after a really, really, stupid blunder.  Okay, it’s more than one stupid blunder, it’s more like 17 of them in one week according to Keith Olbermann.

If there’s any trace of truth in the rumor this time, it may well be that Trump believes he will “get out of jail free” if he resigns.  If that’s what he’s betting, he’s wrong.  As has been observed over the past few days, the focus of the investigation has now changed from collusion to ill-gotten financial gains (leading to collusion).  No matter which way Trump runs, he’s going to crash into trouble.  He can’t even go home to New York if he resigns; the attorney general there is almost literally gunning for him on racketeering charges.  This means that even if the federal case(s) against him fall apart, he still may end up spending his dotage in a prison in New York state because of his association with people like Felix Sater and Joey “No Socks” Cinque.  Who knew grifting could be so hard?

In a way it’s a lucky break for the U.S. that Trump is so incredibly stupid.  But that’s like saying it’s a lucky thing you just broke one bone in your leg instead of several.

When the Levee Breaks

More hounds of hell today, lots of them; a near flood of them.  This is what happens, Trump, when you fire the one who is investigating you; only when you’re president, it also happens to everyone else in the country.

Today I woke up to news from Louise Mensch.  She said that beginning the very day Trump fired Comey, Senator Orrin Hatch started being given daily national security briefings.  Yeah, you read that right: President 101 classes, the same ones Trump thinks he is too smart for.

If this is indeed happening, it’s because Pence is as dirty as Trump and cannot be president, nor can Paul Ryan with his (alleged) upcoming RICO issues.  That brings us to Hatch, president pro tem of the Senate.  Of course, right away someone else on Twitter chimed in and claimed that Hatch has accepted laundered Russian money as donations, to the tune of about $65,000.  So who knows; we could even end up with General Mattis.  But right now it’s apparently Hatch.

And why would the powers-that-be suddenly be feeling emboldened to quietly appoint a president-in-waiting?  Because, it turns out, Trump is now under indictment for RICO violations.  It’s a sealed indictment and can come to nothing if Trump is not impeached, but evidently that’s being worked on as well.  There’s apparently enough dirt clinging to various Republican members of Congress (and the entire Republican party) to sway at least a few of them, if only to save their own sorry asses.

Our European allies are whispering in our IC’s ears and offering quiet help and information.  That must be the dull roar I hear in the background, or it just could be the distant levee breaking from so much rain.  Day after day after day there’s been more and more, drip, drip, drip.

A song kept running through my head all day; I referenced it above.  It’s “When the Levee Breaks,” (Kansas Joe McCoy, Memphis Minnie, 1929), as performed by Led Zeppelin.  If you’ve never heard this version, it’s bone-crushingly heavy, matching the mood of the day.  One imagines the sound of a tank crushing the proverbial china shop.

The lyrics, which are about a Mississippi River flood in the 1920’s, are nothing if not prescient:

If it keeps on raining, levee’s going to break
If it keeps on raining, levee’s going to break
When the levee breaks, have no place to stay…
Cryin’ won’t help yuh, cryin’ won’t do you no good, no
Cryin’ won’t help yuh, cryin’ won’t do you no good
When the levee breaks, mama you got to move
…Going down, going down now, going down, down, down…

Interestingly this version of the song was recorded during the Nixon years, at just before the point where the levee of that time was about to break.  I have a feeling we’re in such a time again.

If you listen hard enough, you can hear the distant roar and the baying of the hounds.  But then at the next moment, you think you may be imagining it and you’re lost in a fog again with that ceaseless drip, drip, drip as your constant companion.

And that’s the problem; we’ve all had enough; we can’t take any more phantoms.  Let it be real this time.