Clueless in the Kremlin; Dumbass in D.C.

I actually thought this article was from The Onion when I first saw the headline. But no, it’s from NPR, an organization not noted for its sense of humor:

Putin Offers Political Asylum to Comey

Sorry if you just spit your coffee out all over your screen.  Yes, it’s true — Putin does not understand what he got himself into when he hooked up with the GOP and Trump.  In fact, it’s apparent that he has no knowledge of the U.S. at all.

I say this because Putin apparently does not realize that every time he opens his yap about a U.S. domestic matter, in jest or not, he incriminates himself (and Trump).  After all, why the hell should he care unless he has skin in the game?

To put it more succinctly: Putin, you’re an idiot — and not a very useful one at that — a greenhorn, and a joke.  You’ve been had.

Now on to some actual news: in celebration of Trump’s birthday yesterday (June 14).  Mueller let it slip that Trump himself is under investigation for obstruction of justice, something we had suspected for a while and that was kinda-sorta confirmed by Comey at the Senate hearing last week.

Happy Birthday, asshole!  But seriously, this is huge.

Trump, of course, is now blubbering all over Twitter about all these nasty people who are leaking lies (uh huh), and claiming that the fact that he’s being investigated for obstruction means that the Russia collusion stories are false, or at least not very important.  I know you are thinking you just entered the Twilight Zone; welcome to Trump’s brain.  No it does not appear to be working very well.

An ongoing thread of discussion over the past several days has been whether Trump would try to fire Mueller.  This leak or announcement, or whatever it was yesterday, makes it all but certain that he will.  But not so fast…

(1) There is some gray area here, but the basic fact seems to be that Mueller doesn’t really work for Trump; he works for the DOJ and Congress.  Congress has already indicated that if Trump fires Mueller, they’ll just re-hire him — and at that point there’ll be really nothing Trump can do about Mueller.  (Note to Trump’s puppet-master: Congress does not work for Trump.  Really.)

(2) Nixon also tried something like this, and it didn’t work out very well for him.

(3) And here’s the biggie: the rumors about Trump considering saying “you’re fired” to Mueller (just like on TV!) probably prompted Mueller to leak or announce (or whatever the hell it was) that Trump is being personally investigated.  Why?  Because Trump cannot fire someone who is known to be investigating him for a crime.  That is to say that even if Trump had the authority to fire Mueller to start with, he lost that option when it got out that Mueller is investigating him.

Doesn’t mean he won’t try anyway — he’s that stupid — but he can’t.  No, he does not and cannot recognize that fact, but let’s just say this: try it, Trump, and see where it gets you.

And with that, I leave Trump and Putin with this thought: welcome to reality.  Sucks, doesn’t it.

 

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.

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.

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.

Stunning

A moment from today’s Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing

There were more “rockets bursting in air” in this testimony, but I’ll leave further commentary for later, when it’s over.