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.

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.

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.

They just can’t stop themselves

Turns out Comey lied to Congress again about Hillary Clinton’s emails*:

running off at the mouth

And it doesn’t matter now, anyway, because Trump fired Comey this afternoon, and the reason is rich: because of Comey’s insistent mishandling of the Clinton email question (such as it was — wasn’t much of a question).   Right.

Where we go from here is a down a long, dark road.

*late evening update: there’s now at least one thread of thought that Comey dredging up the inaccurate Clinton email story was deliberate.  Yeah, you read that right.  He did it because he knew a long time ago he would be fired (insert rumor about Russia’s insistence on it here), and he guessed that Trump would use this “lie to Congress” as an excuse to get rid of him.  I didn’t believe it at first, but then I noticed that the would-be master propagandist, distorter, and all-around twit Julian Assange actually put Hillary Clinton in the same sentence as Marine Le Pen (good lord!) and claimed that they were discriminated against and “patriarchy is alive.”  Coming from someone hiding out from a sex-offense charge and living under the protection and thumb of a tyrant, I found that to be a bucket of sheer gall.

However, from contemplating the fact that the vapid Assange chimed in at the moment he did, I knew Russia had something to do with all this (actually I knew that Russiagate had something to do with it from the start; everybody did).  And the more I thought about Comey repeating the past lie about Clinton to Congress, the more I agreed that it likely was deliberate.  He was trying to force Trump’s hand, because on Comey’s end, the work was done.  There was nothing left to do but let the courts handle it.  And apparently, they are.

We’ll see if I’m right.