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.

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.

Yates by Schiff

I can sum up yesterday’s testimony no better than Rep. Adam Schiff, so I’ll leave my coverage of the event at this:

Schiff tweet

I did hear about some unintentional hilarity that ensued when Sen. Cruz joined the Republican deflection party and tried to grill Yates about Clinton’s emails (two other Republicans had tried other deflection tactics earlier), but I don’t have the details yet.  Apparently Yates wiped the floor with Cruz.  Sorry I missed it.

But some other really major news happened before the testimony: Trump apparently contacted several Republican members of the Senate, trying to get them to cancel Yates’ appearance (quite as Rep. Nunes had obliged him earlier in the House), either after or before having spent the night tweeting insults and dark conspiracy theories about Yates.  That’s witness tampering, hoss.  It’s like bigly illegal, so much so that it can lead to 20 years of jail time.  It also makes Trump look as guilty as a 3-year-old who called his mom “poopyhead.”  An innocent adult does not behave that way.

We have yet to see if anything will happen to Trump anytime soon for this, or if they’ll just add it to the list of other things he’s apparently being investigated for.  The New York State’s Attorney has apparently said that he’s determined to see Trump die penniless in jail (in this case, probably on racketeering charges).  It may be through that avenue that we finally see justice; the way the federal investigations are proceeding, Trump will die naturally, free as a bird and still in possession of his smokescreen of wealth, at least a decade before any charges are brought against anyone.

Thing is, this asshole is a disaster and we cannot wait that long.

Open Mouth. Insert Foot.

Originally posted 5/6/17; updated and re-posted 5/8/17 after a considerable amount of new information came to light

I heard about this yesterday or the day before (5/6/17), but had to take some time to ponder it because…well, it doesn’t make sense.

Sometime in the past few days the Trump administration claimed that it had warned Flynn to cease having contact with the Russians, and that this had taken place during the transition period.

Since the transition period was the same time that Flynn apparently didn’t tell Pence (who headed the transition) about his Russian contacts, which was the official reason Flynn was fired…well, you try to put it together.  (5/8/17 update: Sally Yates stated that indeed Pence “was not aware” of Flynn’s continued Russian contacts; however, I’m still having trouble with this because Rep. Cummings sent a letter to Pence in NOVEMBER telling him of Flynn’s Russian buddies.  Did Pence think Flynn just stopped talking to these people?  Really?  What about all those other members of the Trump team who were also reassuring Russia that the sanctions would be lifted?  Sorry, kids, this still makes no sense.  I’m not saying Yates is lying because why would she.  But I’m saying someone in the Trump administration is lying big time, because Flynn later sat in with Trump on calls to Moscow, sans the level of security clearance needed to do that, and he was kept fully 3 weeks after Yates alerted the Trump administration about what sounds like Flynn’s treason.)

It also kicks the silly Obama excuse (we hired him because Obama didn’t vet him!) to the curb, because if, according to this new fairy tale, the Trumpsuckers knew about Flynn’s Russian buddies and warned him about them, and hired him anyway…again, you try and put it together.  (5/8/17 update: this morning, prior to Yates’ testimony, someone from the former Obama administration announced that Obama himself had warned Trump about Flynn in their meeting 2 days after the election.  Sports fans, this Obama excuse is dead.)

This administration is reminding me more and more of an 8-year-old trying to explain away a misdeed in the principal’s office: the truth is pretty transparent, but still they are trying to make us believe that there’s nothing to see here, they didn’t do it, Obama did it, “fake news” did it; whatever.

Oh BTW…if you see a video clip or read a “quote” from Dianne Feinstein claiming that Trump is in no way connected to Russia, it’s genuine fake news from right-wing media.  They took one quote out of context from a fairly old interview (couple of months ago), and are trying to run with it.  Trip them.

You can’t always get what you want

While England/the U.K. is been considered the U.S.’s parent country, France has always been our sibling.  It has not been an easy relationship, but the fact is that we have been allies for at least 241 years.

So in a way it’s no surprise that there are some strong and revealing similarities between our presidential election last November, and theirs which took place this past weekend.  Yes, similarities.  Right down to the Russia thing.

To make a long story short — in case you haven’t heard yet — Russia tried to install a puppet in France, much the way they succeeded in doing so here.  Apparently at least a few members of Congress tried to aid the process (tell me again that Congress hasn’t been infiltrated by Russia), and our president chimed in and praised the nice neo-Nazi lady who was to be installed as another Russian marionette just like himself.

I suppose the Republicans who meddled thought their immense popularity would help Le Pen; instead, something went wrong.  They sure didn’t get what they wanted.  The Russians got outsmarted on the cyber end; the hacking and dirty tricks which had worked so effectively here turned to jelly in their clenched fists.  And our politicians definitely overestimated their popularity with the French, much as they keep trying to overestimate their popularity with their own constituents at home even when we are screaming in their faces in town halls and in the streets.

Right now two U.S. “alt-right” punks are in hiding, apparently, having had something to do with the Russian-cyber-hack end of all of this.  Assange has egg on his face, having been sent on a wild goose chase by fake information deliberately fed into the Russian hack by the new French president Macron’s team.  (I’m wondering just when Putin will decide he no longer has use for Mr. Paleface, and what will happen to Assange after that.  In a way he reminds me of Henry VIII’s Thomas Cromwell.  We know how that ended.)

All in all it was handled brilliantly by Macron’s team, and aided by the fact that France has neither an Electoral College, nor (apparently) the massive election-tampering machine that the Republicans have built in the U.S.  BTW, in the past few days I’ve started to hear rumblings about our election again — specifically about strange events in Michigan, Florida* (which stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb to me on the day of the election), and Texas.  There may be more attention paid to these matters in coming months, as at least one lawsuit appears to have been filed (in Florida).  I almost have hope that the Republican machine will begin to be dismantled.  There have already been a few court rulings against Republican gerrymandering, in fact.

But the question remains, why should we have to deal with this shit?  What do these people think they have to gain (outside of money) by seizing power over a populace that doesn’t want them?  It’s very strange, very stupid.  If they persist, the outcome will be nothing the fascists and oligarchs will like very much.  Money can’t buy you immortality, after all.

And more specifically, for Trump and his ilk — the lid has been blown off of their lies.  They can no longer continue to insist they have nothing to do with Putin and Russia and expect anyone at all (except for the brainwashed) to believe them.  The proof is that the exact same goddamn thing happened in another country; not only that, but our politicians were speaking out in support of the Putin candidate in France.

Anyway, today we will hear from Sally Yates.  If anything interesting happens, I’ll let you know.  Right now it seems we are slouching toward Armageddon, with no particular worries about our world being turned upside down.  Or at least, the Republicans want us to think nothing’s wrong, and they’re willing to send us all to hell while trying to prove it.   May the good Ms. Yates blow it all up in their faces.

*On the morning of the day of our election, I remember thinking that Clinton had Florida in the bag.  Even the hacks on CNN were saying so.

The afternoon dragged by.  There was no news from Florida.  Hours and hours passed, and then…

In the early evening, a CNN announcer said that Trump had won Florida ‘as expected,’ shrugged, and went on to another subject.  No, that is not a direct quote, but that was the gist of what he said.

It was at that point that I knew the election had been fixed, and I stopped watching.