Sessions’ new deal

Now we know. In late 2016 Donald Jr. was receiving campaign advice – as well as anti-Hillary internet links and stolen website passwords – by way of Twitter’s DM function from the third-party intelligence agency Wikileaks.

What this means for Mueller’s Russia investigation, I’m not sure. It certainly illustrates a pattern of behavior among Trump’s inner circle, where even known anti-American actors could successfully infiltrate the 2016 campaign with relative ease.

The revelations aren’t surprising, nor is this development:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is entertaining the idea of appointing a second special counsel to investigate a host of Republican concerns — including alleged wrongdoing by the Clinton Foundation and the controversial sale of a uranium company to Russia — and has directed senior federal prosecutors to explore at least some of the matters and report back to him and his top deputy…

The Attorney General will consider appointing a special counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton.

The list of matters [Goodlatte] wanted probed was wide ranging but included the FBI’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, various dealings of the Clinton Foundation and several matters connected to the purchase of the Canadian mining company Uranium One by Russia’s nuclear energy agency.

This is exactly what Trump’s been pushing for behind the scenes. It’s been a long road, until now.

Only weeks ago he simply didn’t understand why the U.S. President couldn’t initiate a DOJ probe himself. Mystified at that, he’s been stymied by an AG who couldn’t read his omni-present moods or the media sheets and wouldn’t start a special counsel investigation in his stead. Why can’t Jeff Sessions throw Hillary Clinton in jail already? What is so hard about that? He thought he might have to fire everybody to get anything done.

We assume Donald this morning has softened his tone.

President Spineless

Our own American Quisling met with his great hero Vladimir Putin earlier today. And he asked the infamous dictator “Hey buddy where did you buy that cool tie-hack-election?”

“Every time he sees me he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ and I really believe, that when he tells me that, he means it,” Trump said. ”But he says, ‘I didn’t do that.’ I think he is very insulted by it, if you want to know the truth.”

NOOOO NOT THE TRUTH aaahh damn it. I was so hoping you’d spare me that. Christ, is Vladi upset with us? Have we hurt his feewings? For fuck’s sake.

“Don’t forget. All he said was he never did that, he didn’t do that. I think he is very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country.”

Any other dangerous despot, go right ahead and call him names. But this one? His feelings very much matter. Seriously, his happiness is closely tied to our country’s well being. Under the Trump administration, at least.


ADD: Guilty? Or psycho? You decide:

President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin did not discuss alleged election meddling on Saturday, despite Trump saying they did, according to Putin’s office.

“No,” Putin’s press secretary Dmitri Peskov told CNN when asked, “as far as you know, did the two leaders discuss meddling?”…

When asked about his meeting with Putin, Trump told reporters on Air Force One that Putin denied attempting to influence the 2016 presidential election.

“I just asked him again,” Trump said. “He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election, he did not do what they are saying he did.”…

“I can’t stand there and argue with him, I would rather have him get out of Syria,” Trump said.”

13 days of Asia: Trump

The President has embarked on an Asian trip. To do dear God knows what.

Way out there, lumbering around Air Force One, flying high above the tatty planet, he ptew-ptew scored points with his handpicked lackeys who know nothing about foreign relations or rocket telemetry.

U.S. President Donald Trump has said Japan should have shot down the North Korean missiles that flew over the country before landing in the Pacific Ocean earlier this year, diplomatic sources have said, despite the difficulties and potential ramifications of doing so…

The U.S. president said he could not understand why a country of samurai warriors did not shoot down the missiles, the sources said.

Dear George Bushes: You can die, now

The Bush family cabal has just released a book, by way of Mark K. Updegrove, called The Last Republicans (hint: it’s about Them. How kyyyoooooote). In it, Bush Prezes forty-one and forty-three demonstrate nearly palpable courage in saying painfully wussy things way too late about a man who is altogether too likely to use nuclear weapons, given enough time in the Oval Office:

“I don’t like him,” the elder Bush told author Mark K. Updegrove in May 2016. “I don’t know much about him, but I know he’s a blowhard. And I’m not too excited about him being a leader.”

The ninety-something wheelchair bound Dad waited until long after the election to reveal his faultless wisdom. As did Junior. And as H.W. is currently enjoying a latent Twitter-infamy for groping a number of young women, I’d like to offer kudos for his timing.

According to the book, George H.W. Bush voted for Hillary Clinton last year (as it was reported he intended to do), while George W. Bush left the presidential slot on the ballot blank.

George W. Bush told Updegrove that he was surprised Trump won the nomination and presidency. He criticized Trump for his lack of humility, which he said was a guiding force among his own family. And when he heard Trump boasting about being his own adviser, Bush thought that Trump “doesn’t know what it means to be president,” Updegrove told CNN.

“I’m a war president!” Mr. Humble once explained. Because everybody else was being so darn arrogant, sheesh.


ADD:

Trump of course has responded in his ‘I Have The Greatest Memory’ way:

Fuck Kuwait! Or something.

Wingnuts: With investigation’s first charges, the investigation must be destroyed (part two)

Having heard about the criminal charges filed just yesterday against Trump’s pals in Washington D.C., Roger Stone is not taking it very well.

And while it would be informative of me perhaps to immediately begin waving away the clouds attendant the Clinton/Uranium conspiracy smokebomb, which Roger is certainly involved in, and for which he’s clearly angry with CNN – who see the ‘story’ for what it is, timely counter-propaganda – let me instead give you a taste of the panic and frustration he’s currently feeling by simply posting Roger’s red-faced attempt to control the “investigation” narrative, so to speak. Alt-right style:

What did Roger think was going to happen? What was he trying to accomplish?

Stone unleashed a tirade against CNN anchors and commentators Friday night, just moments after the news organization published a report that charges had been filed in a sealed indictment related to special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election…

“.@donlemon must be confronted, humiliated, mocked and punished,” Stone wrote from his account Friday night. “Dumber than dog shit.”

In another tweet, Stone told Lemon to “stop lying about the Clinton’s and Uranium you ignorant lying covkscucker.”

Stone has commented on the Twitter suspension by saying it’s only temporary. Buzzfeed reports that it’s permanent.

Wingnuts: With investigation’s first charges, the investigation must be destroyed (part one)

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller’s 2017 special counsel investigation into Russian election tampering laid grounds for its first legal cases yesterday when a grand jury filed criminal charges in Washington D.C..

The charges are still sealed under orders from a federal judge. Plans were prepared Friday for anyone charged to be taken into custody as soon as Monday, the sources said. It is unclear what the charges are.

A spokesman for the special counsel’s office declined to comment. The White House also had no comment, a senior administration official said Saturday morning.

Monday will be an interesting day. If you unfortunately happen to be living in the same neighborhood as Paul Manafort, or Michael Flynn, you might want to take it off. The numbers of news vans and TV cameras soon to be clogging the streets will make it virtually impossible to move.

In anticipation of the media frenzy, as well as of our soon poring over the investigation’s findings (which I think we’ll all be genuinely interested in, because fucking Russia, and WHAT THE HELL?), the wingnuts have fallen back to a typical position, which can be summed up roughly: EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE IS WRONG.

In a court of law when it is discovered that evidence has been contaminated or a witness is lying, that evidence is thrown out and a jury is instructed to ignore the witness testimony.

GOP communications strategist and not-lawyer Jennifer Kerns reads us the Roolz of Evidence.

As new bombshell revelations prove the infamous “Trump dossier” was bought-and-paid-for by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee, the document that launched the Russian collusion investigation against President Trump must accordingly be thrown out.

Jen’s unimpeachable legal grounds for dismissing the document: “Liberals paid for it.” Whatever part of the allegations the Washington Free Beacon paid for (the oppo effort’s originators) would be Truth Itself, we can assume. If that doesn’t convince you, there are the at-large wingnut arguments against the dossier: “It could all be true.” And “Only we are allowed to pull this shit.”

Digging up dirt on history’s dirtiest president has clearly gotten under their skin. The dossier’s begun to loom so large in their poor febrile psyches that they don’t realize it has nothing to do with Mueller’s investigation. They just assume what any ratfucker would: Pee pee tape! You’re going down! They’re fighting back against that, because disgust is infused with special powers in Republicanland. Jen here is tossing rocks at the incoming meteor assuming it’s one of those ‘golden showers’:

In light of the newest charge that the DNC and the Clinton campaign may have broken a dozen federal election laws with the document, special counsel Robert Mueller has no choice but to dismiss the Trump investigation.

To wit: There is no Trump investigation. It’s a Russia investigation. If that doesn’t indicate their own assumption of guilt, what does? Anyway, to be sure, I wiki’d the whole thing and there’s no mention of the infamous dossier. There is however, specific mentions of “Russian election interference, links between Trump associates and Russian officials, alleged collusion between Trump campaign and Russian agents, obstruction of justice, financial investigations, Flynn activities”, and “investigation of Podesta Group lobbying.”

We’ll know more about all this come Monday. I however doubt we’ll see Donald Trump being arrested for whatever part he played in soiling his own bedsheets in a Moscow hotel. We’re more likely to see one, or both, of Manafort and Flynn being taken in for acting as undeclared agents of foreign powers. As they should be.

The wingnuts though will continue to howl about a dirty document concocted entirely by Hillary Clinton which is threatening to destroy a good man. Even though everything on it happened long before he was even a candidate. Even though it only speaks to him as a damaged person, and not to our damaged election.

Life with a narcissist

As I mentioned before, my childhood was not a happy one. It was pretty much hell. Most of that misery was caused by having to grow up with parents who were mentally ill. Not that our friends and colleagues who struggle with mental illness are bad people. It’s that people with untreated personality disorders are bad people. Pretty much none of them can stand to have children around.

My father was an asshole, a full blown narcissist.

Trump’s attacks on Florida Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson, a close family friend for decades, started earlier this week, when Wilson described a Tuesday phone conversation between Trump and Johnson’s widow, Myeshia Johnson, during which Trump said Johnson “knew what he signed up for.”…

Wilson was in the car with the fallen soldier’s family when Trump called, and the family has since confirmed that her description of the call, which took place on speakerphone, was accurate. They’ve also made it clear that it was at their request that Wilson was with them. Johnson’s mother also spoke out, saying Trump had disrespected the family with his call.

This habit of making painfully inappropriate comments in delicate situations is a classic. Narcissists neither notice what sort of mood you’re in nor do they particularly care. At all.

But they certainly notice when anyone complains about their bizarre demeanor. And it usually takes a fair bit of ‘noticing’ before they’re in any way interested in making amends for whatever pain they’ve caused.

Timothy Eckels Sr. hadn’t heard anything from President Trump since his son Timothy Eckels Jr. was killed after a collision involving the USS John S. McCain on August 21. But then, on October 20, two days into the controversy over the president’s handling of a condolence call with an American soldier’s widow, Eckels Sr. received a United Parcel Service package dated October 18 with a letter from the White House.

“Honestly, I feel the letter is reactionary to the media storm brewing over how these things have been handled,” Eckels told The Atlantic. “I’ve received letters from McCain, Mattis, and countless other officials before his. I wasn’t sure if the fact that the accident that caused Timothy’s death has still yet to officially have the cause determined played into the timing of our president’s response.”

I suppose that any condolences from the president, even shame- bad publicity-induced ones, are better than none. But you can be sure now about one thing, as narcissists are just this way. Congresswoman Wilson will always be near the top of Trump’s eternal shitlist.

In a series of tweets Saturday morning, Trump once again lashed out at Wilson. His vicious comments are just the latest in a now five day assault on [Sgt. La David] Johnson’s loved ones.

In one tweet, Trump referred to Wilson as “wacky” and said she “is killing the Democrat party.”

A short time later, Trump quote-tweeted a photo of Wilson standing with President Obama, writing “People get what is going on!”…

Based on the replies to Trump’s tweets, people do know what’s going on — and they’re disgusted to see him using his role as commander in chief to politicize the death of a fallen soldier…

There is no such thing as Making A Mistake. There is no such thing as I Guess I Goofed. But there is always I Will Get You For This.

The miracle of wingnut comprehension

Charles Blow on Trump’s lying.

It is a commonly accepted rule among those who are in the business of argument, especially online, that he or she who invokes Adolf Hitler, either in oratory or essays, automatically forfeits the argument…

Blow presses on nonetheless – all the while erecting caveats. And does a fair job of demonstrating how both politicians have employed the bald-faced lie. He also reminds us of this:

…Vanity Fair reported in 1990 that Trump’s first wife, Ivana, “told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that from time to time her husband reads a book of Hitler’s collected speeches, ‘My New Order,’ which he keeps in a cabinet by his bed.” The magazine pointed out that “Hitler’s speeches, from his earliest days up through the Phony War of 1939, reveal his extraordinary ability as a master propagandist.” (At the time, Trump said, “If I had these speeches, and I am not saying that I do, I would never read them.”)

And, once more.

Trump is no Hitler, but the way he has manipulated the American people with outrageous lies, stacked one on top of the other, has an eerie historical resonance. Demagogy has a fixed design.

The essay’s title? Trump Isn’t Hitler. But the Lying…

Kyle Smith at the National Review responds to Blow. As you’d expect.

I was gobsmacked. My mind reeled. I can’t emphasize enough how fresh, how novel, how utterly without precedent this Hitler-Trump comparison is.

The nut graf?

HITLER: Murdered 11 million according to one analysis.
TRUMP: Has murdered no one thus far.

HITLER: Invaded the sovereign states of Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Free State of Danzig, Denmark, France, Guernsey, Hungary, Italy, Jersey, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, San Marino, the Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia.
TRUMP: Has invaded no sovereign states…

It goes on like this.

For Republicans, anything but guns (part five)

Tuesday October 17th, more two weeks after the massacre in Las Vegas. That’s more than enough time.

Now we can take a hard look at the problem. Today would be a good day to go directly at it. For loyal Republicans, especially, the difficult work now begins. Who or what was really to blame for all those dead bodies?

Media Begging Us For Conspiracy Theories on Las Vegas

Ann Coulter has the mainstream media cornered in her rusty cage. And…I have no idea.

Now the media are just taunting us with their tall tales about Stephen Paddock, the alleged Las Vegas shooter. Reputedly serious news organizations are claiming that he made a living playing video poker. That’s like claiming someone made a living smoking crack.

Coulter will build a conspiracy out of the fact that Stephen Paddock played video poker. The truly damning part here is that the MSM passed along what Vegas police told them without telling Alex Jones what it really means. Can you imagine?

The media are either doing PR for the gambling industry or they don’t want anyone considering the possibility that Paddock was using gambling to launder money.

We can assume it is in CNN’s liberal interest to pretend Paddock wasn’t laundering money. Because grrr. But then, you know how Wolf Blitzer is. He’s surely hiding The Truth whenever there’s a [noun/gerund/guttural sound].

The story says that Paddock’s gambling “was at least a steady income over a period of years.”

I don’t know all the ins and outs of Paddock’s life, but that’s a lie.

She doesn’t know the first thing about him. Except for that he lost big playing computer poker, that’s the first thing she knows.

Among the questions not being asked by our wildly incurious media:

Why would Paddock unload 200 rounds into the hallway at a security guard who was checking on someone else’s room before beginning his massacre?

…umm who, what? You mean me? Alright then. How about: Because he was a security guard? (Is it me? It’s not just me, is it?)

Why was Paddock wearing gloves if he was about to commit suicide?

Have any other solitary mass shooters ever had girlfriends?

That’s some super duper Interpol shit right there. Why would anyone wear gloves to fire a bunch of machine guns? (A thousand steaming shells.) Of all those mass shooters we’ve seen, have any of them had girlfriends? (No, not the solitary ones.) Is it over? Did I win?

Maybe Paddock enjoyed video poker. But if the allegedly serious media are going to keep telling us he was making a living doing it, they’re just begging us to say that losing a percent or two on millions of dollars doesn’t make sense as an investment strategy, but it does make sense as a money laundering operation.

Either the media will concede that smartypants Ann is *headsmack* right, or SHE’S GOT A CONSPIRACY THEORY. ALRIGHT THEN HERE IT COMES.

And the probable illicit business requiring money to be laundered that leaps out at us in Paddock’s case is illegal gun sales.

Nobody makes money on video poker or THIS IS WHAT YOU GET.

If true, it would not only explain the arsenal in his hotel room, but also raises the possibility of either an accomplice or different perpetrator altogether.

People can only lose at video games or YOU ASKED FOR IT.

…a terrorist would go to Paddock’s room on the pretense of buying guns, kill Paddock, commit the massacre, put his gunshot residue-covered gloves on Paddock’s dead hands and slip out of the room when the coast was clear.

Nevermind the 33 guns that Nutball bought in the previous year. Forget about all those hundreds of cameras in the Mandalay Bay Hotel, some of them aimed at Whacko’s room. Just ignore the simple fact that you cannot “launder” cash by betting it. (Cashier: “Hello Mr. Paddock.” Paddock: “Hello Cashier, here are some trash bags. I will have all my crime-money back now.”)

Let us instead gaze in wide wonder at Ann Coulter’s ethical punditry. Surely she would never voluntarily say something so insultingly and conspiratorially stupid. If only Anderson Cooper hadn’t LIED ABOUT THE VIDEO GAMES.

There’s no evidence for any of this, but on the other hand, there’s no evidence for the version the media are giving us. At least the movie script version doesn’t require us to pretend that Paddock was making “millions” from video poker.

No, it’s not the proximal existence of all his many guns, or all the spent bullets and casings, or the many dead bodies (including his own) that make the argument for Paddock’s involvement in the massacre. It’s whether or not he was turning a profit gambling. Because anybody who loses money like that gives up soon enough and goes home.

For Republicans, anything but guns (part four)

Sunday October 15th, two weeks after the massacre in Las Vegas. That’s more than enough time.

Now we can take a hard look at the problem. Today would be a good day to go directly at it. For loyal Republicans, especially, the difficult work now begins. Who or what was really to blame for all those dead bodies?

“No affiliation. No religion. No politics. He never cared about any of that stuff,” the brother of the Las Vegas shooter said.

It was easy to miss the significance of those words — to see how revealing they are.

Timothy Carney pulls a nihilist out his hat.

…if you really listen to those words, they become a possible clue: “No affiliation. No religion. No politics.”

This rings an eerie bell if you’ve been following the dominant social and political trends in 21st Century America…

This was a man untethered to society. He was unmarried. He was unchurched. He was unrooted. He was adrift.

He was retired. But in right wing world, faced with nothing other than a well kept armory and piles of cadavers, it makes head-nodding sense that a 64 year old millionaire would go Travis Bickle on Las Vegas. A certain Bible-banging sense in particular, casually assuming fifty plus years of godless teenage resentment. Midnight basketball, anyone? [off topic: Not exactly sure The Rheumatoids were much of a punk band, oy.]

Writer Margot Talbot expanded on the publisher’s point: “Many drug addicts, he explained, are ‘trying to escape the reality that this place doesn’t give them anything.'”

There’s no support structure, no sense of purpose. Other people become abstractions, and thus they are at best means to ends.

Other than comping him at one casino after another, putting him up in fine hotels and cashing his poker tickets, what did the town of Las Vegas ever “give” Stephen Paddock? What, if anything, meaningful did he have to do there in his short-long life? You can certainly see why he would want to shoot and kill the “abstractions” all around him. You can also see how the lack of things – or, in this case, the lack of lack of things – predisposes the at-risk elderly to mass murder.

Faced with the pictures of Paddock’s hotel room stacked to the gunwales with bullets, tripods, and firearms, the faithful end up with their eyes crossed. All the wingnuts can see is…NOTHING. Which is really…SOMETHING. To wit:

“Las Vegas casino magnate Steve Wynn said Sunday that his resorts and casinos had an extensive profile on Stephen Paddock…

“‘The most vanilla profile one could possibly imagine,’ Mr. Wynn told ‘Fox News Sunday.’…

“‘He didn’t fit the profile of a problem or a compulsive gambler. … You never, ever would stop a man like this from coming in the building.’

Radio host Chuck Baldwin stares at a blank canvas…

Things just don’t add up!…

At this point, all I can say is that I am personally convinced that there was more than one shooter. It seems virtually impossible to me that an untrained 64-year-old Stephen Paddock could have carried out these shootings by himself…

…and sees a conspiracy. No one can just lay out a few thousand dollars and buy himself a bunch of war weapons. And then point them at people. And then shoot them. (In WINGNUT WORLD.)

I also invite readers to watch this compelling acoustic analysis of the shooting that seems to prove the existence of multiple shooters:

EXCLUSIVE: [crazypants]

If there was more than one shooter, the only thing that makes sense to me is it had to be a professional dark ops government action. “Whose government?” you ask.

Oh please. Don’t keep me waiting.

There are only three governments that have the resources to successfully pull off a shooting of this magnitude and completely escape detection inside the continental United States – only three: America’s CIA, British MI6, and the Israeli Mossad.

Third eye, blind. Baldwin looks right past Paddock, through all the fire and smoke, and whistling lead, and sees dong dugga-dong-dong…James Bond.

Plus, the presence of “spy cameras” in Paddock’s room strongly indicates the presence of spooks. This is almost standard procedure for covert ops and suggests a degree of sophistication in this operation that I cannot imagine Stephen Paddock would have.

How would a mere poker player know to put a room service cart outside his door? And to place a camera on it? This is obviously some Aldrich Ames-level strategery on display. A REAL spree shooter barricaded in a hotel room would only…barricade himself. In his room. How Chuck Baldwin untangled this knotty scheme, ’tis a wonder.

Finally, Chuck: Yes the government planned and carried out this murder of its citizens for no good reason. But don’t you go blame Donald Trump for it, because that would be crazy.

No, this doesn’t mean that your congressman or senators (or mine) or the President of the United States or even the Pentagon knows about it – although any one or several of them MIGHT. But it does mean that there is an illegal nefarious dark side of government that surreptitiously carries out the most evil and unspeakable acts of violence against the most helpless and innocent of people ALL OF THE TIME…

Again: Guns? What – are you nuts? Surely there’s something liberal to blame. The government, of course! The Statist Specters of Sector 51.

When the American people can come to grips with the distinct possibility of what I am saying, then we can have an intelligent conversation about what to do about it…

Wolverines, etc.