This is how things got the way they are (and no, Russia isn’t the whole story)

Finally I found an article that tells me I’m not the only one who has been seeing a long trail of corruption, spanning decades, that led us to where we are now:

The long, lucrative right-wing grift

That said, Russia isn’t the whole story, but it remains a story, and that is because at its base it is about treason.  No matter what publicity stunts Trump pulls, never forget that.

In the Foreseeable future

Before this blog ends up on some snotty little right-wingish “fake news” list*, which will then be quoted like scripture by the terminally lazy who will not even bother to use Google or their own common sense, I thought I’d once again clarify the following:
this blog has never been a news source.  it is an opinion blog only.

I’d also like to add that in the foreseeable future, the purpose of this blog will be altered slightly.  I will attempt to pull together all the accurate information I can on the Trump-Russia scandal, and put it here, all in one convenient place.  Reason?  It’s because there is so much coming at all of us every day during this scandal that it’s almost impossible to keep track of it if you are also trying to live your life.  Since I have no life at present, I’ll try to do that for you.

That said, I can’t guarantee anything except that I will try to keep my sources above-board, and also I can’t claim that I can make sense of all of this story without a security clearance (which I certainly do not have, and not having any relatives in the Trump family, probably cannot get).  I am also not a journalist.

Please keep all this in mind while you are reading.  I hope to be of some help to you in sorting all of this out, that’s all.  Peace.  And resist.

*It was noted, right after “fake news” became an issue the day after the election, that many, many lists of “fake news sites” suddenly popped up all over the Internet, and most of the “fake news sites” seen on a majority of those lists seemed to be left- or center-leaning news sites and blogs.  The reason turned out to be that many (not all) of those lists were compiled by right wingers who had swallowed too much Russian-style Breitbartish kool-aid.

The Pit Bull’s New Clothes

Just reblogging something I wrote in 2008. Read it and see if you can guess why.

Fact is, this Republican election-tampering crap has been happening for a long time. The Russians apparently caught on to that, and helped them out in 2016.

Civilization Rant

The Republicans seem to be finding out the truth of Abraham Lincoln’s sage remark, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”

But the impact of their party’s waning influence has yet to hit home in some of the thicker Republican skulls. I’m talking about the large minority who are well and truly snookered by McCain/Palin and their desperate diversionary tactics.

Try as they might to disguise and deny it, truth keeps resurfacing almost every day in various ways. The latest and funniest was the fluffy-bunny revelation that Ms. Palin got an expensive new wardrobe and makeover after her nomination. The media suddenly noticed this — at least some of them did — and to defend itself, the McCain campaign is claiming that this fuss about…

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Cenk Ungar explains even more of everything for you

The Young Turks was clicking on all four cylinders today: Meeting in Seychelles  This video explains a story I kind of skirted over the other day, simply because I didn’t know what to think of it except that it possibly explains part of the reason we ended up with the massively unqualified Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary (the other part of that story is, of course, Congressional corruption and collusion, but we’ll leave that for later).

And then there’s this little gem: Carter Page


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.

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.

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:

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), or to carry on quietly and with dignity (knowing the truth will come out), 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.