Posts tagged ‘collusion’

Collusion? Chaos as Policy?

Here is a report from the Daily Beast Cheat Sheet:

A new New Yorker profile of Trump-Russia dossier author Christopher Steele reports on a lesser-known memo the former MI-6 spy allegedly discussed with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators. According to the report, in late November 2016, Steele relayed information from his Russian sources that senior Kremlin officials had intervened to block Mitt Romney as President-elect Trump’s choice for secretary of State. Reporter Jane Mayer writes that Moscow had asked Trump to appoint someone who would be willing to lift sanctions related to Ukraine and cooperate with Russia’s involvement in Syria. Romney, long a vocal hawk on Russia, declined to comment for the report. The White House said the former GOP presidential nominee was never a first choice for the job, and declined to comment on “any communications that the Trump team may have had with Russia on the subject.”

Okay, they deny it.  They deny a lot of things that are absolutely. My guess is it is true and Republicans will normalize this when it comes out as consulting with our allies on a good fit.  Think about that.  Again, if this were Obama, how do you think Republicans would react to Russia weighing in on our choice of Secretary of State.  Note the guy who got the nod was unknown to President DFF and was a Russian advocate for lifting sanctions.  Suspicious?  Of course it is.  Note the story today about the State Department receiving $120M to counter Russian meddling and they have spent zero.  What does that tell you?  Again, imagine if Obama had done this.

Meanwhile as the noose tightens and Jareed and Ivanka start to unravel, in a peak of anger, President DFF issues a policy on aluminum and steel.  While President DFF’s enablers are out there trying to pretend this is the way he works and it is good for the country, the Daily Beast reports:

Donald Trump “emphatically” promised to exempt Australian steel and aluminum from import tariffs during a meeting with Australia’s prime minister last year. The vow was witnessed by senior lawmakers on both sides, including U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, Australia’s national broadcaster, ABC, reported. The promise was made in the “steel cage,” the president’s mobile secure-communications pod, on the sidelines of the G-20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, in July 2017. The Australian government has, therefore, been stunned by statements by U.S. officials that there will be no country-specific exemptions to the tariffs. The tariffs were announced in an impromptu fashion by Trump last week, when he said that he intends to impose a 25 percent tax on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum, on national-security grounds. Australia exports about $500 million of steel and aluminum to the U.S. a year. The U.K. has also been blindsided by the move; Prime Minister Theresa May raised her “deep concern” over the proposed new tariffs in a phone call with Trump on Sunday. The EU is said to be preparing retaliatory measures.

Now we can quit pretending.  He was thinking about this and it was a wild outburst.  This is not going to end well and those who try spin it, are doing a great disservice to the country.  There was clearly an obstruction of justice (why is the critical question), there was clearly money laundering and maybe pay for play by the kids, there was clearly collusion and we are just waiting to see who, we know the Russians tried to affect the outcome of the election, and we know that nothing has been done about it.  How much more do you need?

The America that President DFF and his cronies envision is a nightmare version of the American dream and an attack on the fundamentals on which our Constitution was founded upon (Enlightenment ideas).  Yesterday we watched the Oscars trying to celebrate our most basic value, diversity and the freedom for anyone to be creative.  In the meantime on the other side of the country the swamp that the Know Nothings wanted to clean up has grown exponentially and they are in denial about it.  We are in a fight for who we are, and when the realization of who and what President DFF is and represents hits home, we will enter very dangerous times as there is not telling what he might do while Republicans fiddle.  Hey, it is just Monday.

13 Russians and Where did that American Exceptionalism Go

First, why charge 13 Russians who will probably never get prosecuted? Of course if they want to go to France, Spain, Germany, or any number of countries we have extradition treaties with they will be at risk of arrest. Still why? Well I think two reasons and the first one was self-defense. Clearly, as Muller and his boss Rosenstein get closer, their jobs are at risk. We have President DFF and apparently about 35%-40% of the population who think the Russia investigation is a shame, just a Democratic sower grapes. Well, I misspoke. 35%-40% believe that because President DFF told them that and Fox News echoes it, but President DFF knows full well they did.

So what Mueller and Rosenstein were up to was laying down a marker. Here is detailed proof that the Russians were meddling with false news, something Fox News would be an expert at, and trying to sway the election away from Hillary Clinton. The detail is, well, detailed. There is no doubt. So what was accomplished was if President DFF moves against either Rosenstein of Mueller, there is no question he is hurting the investigation and trying to stop it. It may not tie his hands because he is an ignorant jackass, and I apologize to all jackasses because the comparison is not fair, may now tie his lackeys the Republican Congress.

The second reason, besides educating and informing the American Public on one piece of the investigation, was to let those he seeks information from, what he already knows, and the detail he knows it. The big elephant in the room is collusion and why. I know that answer and so do you if your brain cells still work. President DFF got hooked on their money when no one else would lend to him, and now they own him. He is a giant Ponzi scheme, and the scheme started to collapse, when in rushed the Russians who needed to launder money and real estate was the go to market. Think about it. As we learned from hearings last week, the President has ordered no investigations or active counter measures to deal with the Russians. There can only be one plausible reason.

Oh wait! This was Obama’s fault! Except Obama did take action and the real question is why hasn’t President DFF. Obama sanction Russia which Flynn was trying to lift. Oh how short our memories are. So the DFF is the president now, sadly, so what is he doing? And what we learned last week was nothing. The FBI and the intelligence agencies has no mandate from the President.

So what is next? Manafort is in deep dodo. His partner in crime is flipping. Here is where the money trail is. Remember Manafort came out of nowhere, unknown to Trump, and all of a sudden he is heading up the campaign during the critical conventions. Say what? Who ordered that? The money trail is the why of collusion. Once you get the why, the collusion itself will fall out and Mueller suggested he was on that trail in his indictment. So we are getting closer and closer, but one has to ask, isn’t this obvious? Why and how is this man still President of the U.S.?

That answer has to do with the Republicans and the, oh let’s call it 35%, of the American population that is just mind numbingly stupid and ignorant (note stupid is a brain unable to be smart, ignorant is a brain that refuses to learn and be informed). I am reminded of a scene in the movie, Bridge of Spies with Tom Hanks. Mr. Hanks plays a real world person, attorney James Donovan who is defending Russian spy Rudolf Able. Mr. Donovan’s home is attacked by good Americans because he is trying to afford Mr. Rudolf not just the appearance of a good defense, by a good defense. Those “good Americans” are the 35% who have no idea what the Constitution really is or what it means. They are the lock her up bunch*.

Now that 35% has always been around, but they have never been in charge. Now they are and their lap dogs are our Republican Congress who it would seem has no morals other than power. So they have hitched their wagons to the DFF and we should not be surprised. When a shooter mowed down 47 kids at Sandy Hook and all we got was “thoughts and payers” and let’s not move to fast to we know what happened, you knew they had sold their souls to the NRA. When you heard it again after the shooting in Florida (it was like a taped replay), you wanted to say, okay, but now do we know what happened at Sandy Hook or Las Vegas? And again, like the Russian attack, it obvious what the problem is, and in kids getting killed IT’S EASY ACCESS TO GUNS.

The data is irrefutable. It’s guns. Global warming, Russians and collusion, flow down, Dreamers or immigration, you name the issue and the data is screaming and we do nothing and we do nothing because of Republicans and purple state Democrats who cannot stand up for what is right, only what serves their short term interest to be re-elected. In the movie I referenced before, the spy, Rudolf Able referred to Donovan as “Standing Man” after a friend of his father’s who no matter how much he was beat by the government, he stood up again till they finally quit. It refers for standing up for something bigger than yourself. That is what America used to be. A place where no problem was too big to take on, we would apply science, data, and our ingenuity and we would overcome.

But somehow we got taken over by the 35%, the deplorables, and Republicans. That is when American exceptionalism died. Well, it is on life support and it is up to us to bring it back. I think maybe the nation has seen enough, but they never fail to disappoint with calls for a more middle of the road approach when the middle is so far right as to be undrivable. Maybe the shooting in Florida and the 13 Russian indictments will wake us up and give us the single issue that defines who works for us, and who works against us. I can only hope.

*Remember lock her up? Hillary and the emails where it turned out she was careless with some very minor classified information and hurt no one, and she had no intent to reveal secrets. Now we have the White House allowing people with questionable temporary security clearances that the FBI won’t grant security clearances because they are risks seeing the most secret of our secrets. Do you hear chants of lock him up? Yes they are deplorable and most probably unredeemable and we should not care. No they are not worth listening to. They elected a moron.

Where From Here?

Some things just amaze me. I spent the formative years of my life (right out of college) being trained as a navigator, RF-4C back seater, and then a nuclear weapons trained Radar Navigator (Bombardier) in a B-52. In that time period I participated in almost 100 combat missions. Okay, what was the essential lesson of all that training. Plan, plan, plan. Think it through. What could happen and what was the exit strategy? Being safe meant reducing the risks by careful planning, learning from the past, and then executing the plan in the air. Seat of your pants did not exist.

So with that in mind, how do you crash the first high-speed run of a train in Washington?

The engineer of an Amtrak train that derailed outside of Seattle last month may have lost track of where he was and thought he had already passed a curve that would have required him to slow the train to 30 mph, according to new details released by federal safety officials Thursday.

Say what? This befuddles me. First you would have a time-table/schedule of actions, not look for a sign and then pull back the throttles. Let’s see, what time is it, I should be coming up on a curve…Second, and really a WTF moment, there are apps you can use on your smart phone to plot your location and track your trip. Third, I can think of some really cheap ways to put something on the tracks that gives you an audible warning as you approach a curve. WTF. We are pretending we are still driving trains in the 1940s? This is what America has become? Of course it is.  We can’t afford to live in the 21st century according to the Republicans.

Steve Bannon has been invited to speak at the University of Chicago and let the protests begin:

Outside the Booth School of Business protesters chanted phrases “Disinvite! Disinvite!” and “Say it loud and say it clear, stop inviting fascists here,” according to the Chicago Maroon. Local news outlets estimated the number of protesters ranged from 100 to 300 people.

Like Berkley, what part of free speech did these morons not get.  You need to fight free speech with free speech, not Gestopo tactics to suppress speech you do not like.  Do we still have thinking Americans in America?  I really wonder if they understand free speech at all or that the fact we have the 1st Amendment is because what is distasteful to you is someone else’s truth.

Okay, next up, is that President DFF tried to fire Mueller. The press is all over this along with the fact that the White House is terrified the DFF will actually testify to Mueller. Of course he did nothing wrong (except lies continuously), but they are terrified anyway. This all goes to obstruction of justice, which the press is all over like fudge sauce on ice cream, can’t have too much. But we are missing the big picture, which is what our press does as they get caught in a “SQUIRREL” moment (personally my SQUIRREL moments have to do with “BACON”).

So what are the missing? Why the obstruction of justice. What are they obstructing justice for. And that is the real issue here because once you have that, all the denial in the world about an FBI witch hunt falls apart. Was there collusion? Of course there was. Too many meetings. But why and what did the Russians have. Ah, now we are talking. Did they have video of Trump with strippers peeing on a bed in Moscow? The stripper thing gets a little more believability after “Stormy”. But I think it is obvious what the connection is, money laundering through loans. Once you make that connection, the obstruction and the why is easy. Mueller is a smart man. He must have come to that conclusion also, but the press is rabid over the effects of the coverup, not the coverup itself. I think we are getting close to when the other shoe will drop.

Finally, least we forget, we are on another continuing resolution (CR) and it expires on 8 February, my birthday month by the way. If you don’t consume a whole month (especially when you get to my age) celebrating your birthday and making everyone around you miserable, you have not lived. But I get distracted. Norm Ornstein wrote an interesting piece in the Atlantic about the whole situation with DACA and the CR and got to three possible scenarios. You can read it yourself, but back to my plan, plan, plan. Have the Demos considered the three possible outcomes and planned accordingly?

Now once again our press is so focused on asking foolish questions, that they miss the big picture. My favorite is what are you Democrats going to do? And the real question is what can they do? THEY ARE IN THE MINORITY! So why keep asking them stupid questions like what are they going to do when they really have few to no options. The Democrats should push back, but of course they won’t. The push back is here is what we can do, but the Republicans are in charge and the real question is not what we can do, but what can voters do to change this in 2018. They are the ones responsible for this mess.

Now one thing we know is that the shut down is no viable because the Demos don’t have the guts to keep it up to the Republicans blink. And that may be smart because Republicans hate government and have been wanting to dismantle it anyway, so why not let the Democrats do it for them. So what is in play is the promise for a clean DACA bill. But here is the thing. What is their plan when the Republicans put a poison pill in it as we know they will. No, it won’t just be the wall. They have to have a plan for what I think is the most likely outcome. Seen one yet? Me neither. Plan, plan, plan.

Today’s Reality

Do you feel like you are getting bombarded? I do. Let’s start with the Russian thing. At the heart of maybe all the scandals, whether we are talking about Facebook, Russian hacking and manipulation of the election, or Russian collusion with the Trump boys, it all has two things in common, technology and greed. First let’s start with Trump, the great business man. There is no evidence of that. My guess is that he is living on a giant credit card funded by the laundering of Russian money. That is what the DFF is really afraid of, that we will find that out. He is a walking Ponzi scheme. So the Russians have leverage and the DFF was trying to build a Trump Tower in Russia so he certainly was willing to deal. The deal the Russians wanted was a repeal of the Magnitsky act which bars certain Russians from this country and our banking system. See my last blog. After that it was sanctions removed to expand their oil business, their only real source of income.

Enter technology. It should have made us smart and more productive. If you can Google a fact and find stuff out you should be more informed, right? It did not work out that way. First, unless you are really a critical thinker, it allowed unfiltered and unchecked information from anyone on equal terms. The stupid could magnify their stupidity by connecting with more stupids, their junk facts reinforced in their incestual thinking. Then there is email and how easy it is to be hacked and you have the perfect storm. Oh wait, along comes Facebook and Twitter and those uncritical thinkers are bombarded with fake news they drink down like drunken sailors, all in the search of profits for stockholders.

Now we are in a period where we have investigations into all of this, but come on people, it is kind of obvious. The DFF’s love of Russia, the announcements about Hillary’s emails during the campaign, the many, many, connections of his campaign to the Russians, you have to be blind. Then we are bombarded with the crass and depraved lying by Republicans afraid their house of cards is finally going to collapse and trying to pretend all this isn’t just too obvious. What happens if the base finds out the DFF is a fraud, will we be next? And what is the underlying connection that ties all this together, money, the greed that comes with it, and the power it confers.

Money confers power and the more they can accumulate and protect, the safer they feel. It is actually for all of us our security blanket. As we lose community, gated communities suffice as their replacement. Except they don’t and things like the floods in Houston, the fires in Sonoma, or the disaster in Puerto Rico wake us up to our fragility. There is another lesson here about corporations and the bullshit of self-regulation. See Facebook and Twitter and their need for profits that allows their product to be used to undermine democracy in the guise of free speech. See how we trick ourselves? Maybe all speech isn’t equal. Maybe all facts are not equal. Maybe all opinions are not equal.  Maybe the corporate model stifles our humanness.

To see our self-delusion in action just pay attention to General Kelly, an “honorable man”. We suffered through his lies and defamation of a Congresswoman, and by default a Gold Star widow .When pointed out with irrefutable video, silence. Then we got his what is sacred speech, followed by the White House telling us we can not question a 4-star general. But now we have the Civil War just should have been settled by negotiations, it was just a difference of opinion, showing a clear failure to understand history and a total lack of morals. The Civil War was the price we paid for our moral failure when we compromised with the South to make Blacks three-fifths a person. Oh, and General Lee was a traitor to the nation and an abominable slave holder. Oh those pesky facts.

Finally the news was hijacked once again, but this time by a nut job in a rented Home Depot truck. Not much to learn here except that radical religion is evil. Might want to make you think about Alabama’s Republican nomination for Senator, Joe Moore. One of his Republican cohorts in the Senate defending a question about how Judge Roy does not believe in religious freedom based upon his statements, said “Religious freedom comes from God”. Yeah that’s the problem. Whose God?

Well that is where we are these days. I think it will be a long cold winter even with global warming.

Does Democracy Work Anymore?

That’s really at the heart of American malaise about our political system. Let’s face it, on many issues Americans actually do agree and yet Congress (Republicans) ignore those wishes to please a small base that controls their election futures. Here is how the WaPo put it this morning:

Seven in 10 Americans say the nation’s political divisions are at least as big as during the Vietnam War, according to a new poll, which also finds nearly 6 in 10 saying Donald Trump’s presidency is making the U.S. political system more dysfunctional.

The Washington Post-University of Maryland poll — conducted nine months into Trump’s tumultuous presidency — reveals a starkly pessimistic view of U.S. politics, widespread distrust of the nation’s political leaders and their ability to compromise, and an erosion of pride in the way democracy works in America.

Remember that even in the presidential election minority ruled. I have argued before that when you look at gerrymandered districts and the power of Senators in small rural states, the majority is in fact not represented at all. We are a nation badly tilted to representing a minority of conservatives in rural areas. And worse, it would seem that those who are elected serve themselves. Said another way, Republicans are evil.

Hey wait a minute, why single out Republicans? Democrats pander for money too. True, and in that they are both morally and ethical challenged, but there is no equivalency here. Who wants to take away your healthcare? Who wants to gut government so that we can afford tax cuts for the wealthy. Who denies ever worsening climate change? And in that gutting of government we are talking about taking from the disadvantaged. If that is not evil, nothing is. Republicans have justified this with a philosophy of tough love, that giving people handouts simply make them weak and lazy. That might be true if we had a level playing field and those who did not do well truly did not work hard. But facts and data belie that.

The real evilness is on display today in a dumbed down electorate that has been fed propaganda and has a hard time with what is fact and what is opinion. In order to continue their conservative ideas which don’t work, it was necessary to warp reality. They adopted the tactics of the tobacco companies defending cigarettes against the fact that they cause cancer. Lie, repeat the lie, buy off scientists and other experts, and pretend there is doubt in the science. Add in the press echoing these lies without fact checking them and here we are. And that is what they do today about global warming, tax cuts create jobs, immigrants are the problem, or Obamacare is failing (well it will be as the sabotage it). How can democracy work if the electorate is tricked with the real fake news. Oh and note Republicans have joined in with President DFF (Dum Fat F*ck) in trying to now discredit real news and facts.

But the real evilness here is their attempt to discredit Mueller and his investigations, and starting new bogus investigations of Hillary and the Obama Administration to try to distract us. Now the dishonesty here is breathtaking. Here we are with a foreign power for sure manipulating our election with fake news and most likely colluding with the Trump campaign. They don’t care because they have sold their soul to their agenda. Think what would have happened if it was a Democratic Administration with these same allegations. You don’t think we would be up to our eyeballs in investigations and fact finding? Oh, and don’t get distracted with the lie about all campaigns do opposition research. Of course they do, but they don’t collude with a foreign government to get it and as I believe will come out, then collude to release false information targeted to specific voters. This sadly will be lost on most voters where nuance is not their forte. That is the Republicans hope, and that is truly evil.

Just as an aside we know pretty well what happened in that meeting with the DFF’s son, Jared, and Manafort. We know now for a fact that the Russians were there at the behest of the Russian government to get the Magnitsky Act repealed. This law barred the travel and use of our banking system by listed Russians for their complicity in the murder of a lawyer in Russia and other human rights agendas. Putin is frantic to get this repealed because as probably the richest man in the world, his money is in the banking system around the world and he is terrified other countries will follow suit, which may I add, Canada, not one of our “puppets”, just did. What is in question is what did the DFF’s boys agree to and do.  So unless you are a total DFF doofus, there is a real problem here and now Republicans are trying to cravenly hide it.

So what’s the answer.  I used to think it was getting money out of politics and maybe it is.  If our politicians weren’t begging for money about 50% of their time (30 hours/week), maybe they would be less susceptible to lobbyists and big donors.  But what happens if we actually would do that?  Then the big money would just go independent to try to shape public perception to control our government that way.  Try to keep in mind that most news is for profit, and Congress people, terrified of a misinformed public, would vote for them and not country, as they do now.  So we have to think this through.  Since the Supremes gave Corporation the status of individuals with free speech rights, backed by billions making their megaphone truly mega, we have a real problem in how they can control the message.

The only answer is for open government and an informed electorate.  I am not optimistic after seeing the last election and how stupid, and stupid is the kind word here, the electorate really is.  Those that control our agenda are parochial and ignorant and I do not know how you transplant critical thinking.  It is clear to me that arguing with the facts is useless. Maybe our hope is the big crash.  Republican conservative’s ideas simply will not work except for the very rich and many blue states are simply going their own way.  So we travel back to our beginning when we had a confederation of states and need a new constitution.  It took them more than 200 years, but the ignorant and stupid have now undermined that constitution.

Mueller is now making his moves and my guess is we are in for a turbulent time.  President DFF is immoral, ignorant, and unethical.  As the facts come out, we will see if the nation will survive.  It is funny to think that the worst in political system, the Republicans, have the fate of our nation in their hands.

Where There is Smoke…

A little idle speculation this morning:

  • Russians help Trump Win the election – Our national security agencies released a joint investigation that says the Russians hacked Democratic sites (especially Hillary’s) and released emails with the press’s help to damage her campaign and with the stated purpose of helping Donald Trump.  Did they hack the Republicans and hold onto the data? Nobody is saying and of course the Republicans deny it
  • Donald Trump Cozies up to Russsians – During the campaign Chetto Head makes all kinds of nice comments about Russia during the campaign making us wonder if they have something on him
  • Donald Trump refuses to release Taxes – Is it because he paid no taxes or that he shows that he is liar about his wealth, or could he be indebted to the Russians?
  • Uncorroborated Dossier Brief – President Trump was briefed on a dossier prepared by a reliable intelligence source that contained two uncorroborated major accusations, one salacious (prostitutes and peeing on the bed) and one about contacts with the Trump campaign during the campaign.  CNN now reports that they have information that corroborates the second part of that dossier
  • Gen Flynn in Discussions with the Russians – Although he denied it, apparently the FBI may have recordings of Gen. Flynn, Trumps National Security Advisor, talking with the Russians about the sanctions President Obama placed on the Russians after the hack became known.  In fact they may have recordings of the Trump campaign working with the Russians before the election
  • Donald Claims U.S. No Better than Russia – As President when challenged about Putin and his autocracy involvement in the death of opponents, once again the Donald was not about to say anything bad about Russia and equated them with the U.S., clearly a Putin line

You connect the dots.  Let’s just say for a moment that my wild speculation, based upon a whole lot of facts is true, that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians and the Russians may own Donald.  Now what? Will the FBI and the NSA release the data? Will the Justice Department under Sessions charge the president? If they did, then what? We could impeach the Donald, and if the evidence were clear, even the Republicans would go along, but then we have Pence and an administration that was elected with the help of the Russians. So let’s say the whole administration and the election is called into question.  Then what?  Do we have a process for an interim president and a do over?  Just speculating.