Cartoon: Best frienemies forever

x Vimeo Video Now that the report from the Director of National Intelligence confirms Mohammed bin Salman’s involvement in the murder and dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi,...

Darkening Horizon: All Trump’s Debts Come Due As Walls Close In.

Upon learning of Trump’s latest foreign policy change, pulling out of Northern Syria, one couldn’t help but fear that the move represented nothing more than the latest payment made to those dark figures around the globe to whom Trump owes his current position. Cutting and running from our duty to support the Kurds will allow Turkey’s autocratic leader to move quickly-into the gap, open up Russian options in Syria, and further inflame a Middle East already heightened with tension over Iran. The news followed upon a tumultuous two weeks in which we learned that Trump bent Ukraine’s elbow back just as the Ukrainian government transitioned into a clean, anti-Putin administration, already engaged in a warm war with Russia. It was always destined to play out this way. Much as Putin, the Saudis, Israel and others, might have liked to have quickly gotten their “due” for their necessary “help” to install our current despot, they knew that the U.S. required time to adjust to the dictatorial life. One doesn’t over-force dynamic change into a two-hundred and forty year old democratic superpower. It has to evolve properly. But, the international crime syndicate that worked so hard and took so many risks will get their due. They cannot wait any longer. Trump looks “weak.” Trump is polling double digits down to every major Democratic opponent. He is facing an impeachment inquiry which – on any given day – could result in a document springing loose to seal Trump’s fate, at least as president. And even the worst procrastinators won’t have a “to do” list with three to four major things left unresolved in the midst of an election year. No, the summer-fall season of “year three” was always going to be the point in time to watch for major action. Trump finds himself in a delectably awful position. He most needs political capital at home while his biggest international benefactors need the most “anti-American” things done. One can just imagine Putin whispering into Trump’s ear: “Donald, it is time to weaken the Ukraine, and get your troops out of Syria, you had promised …” And Trump whimpering: “But I am fighting this impeachment process, and if I am doing things that upset too many people, I won’t survive to get that done. You have to help me get to the point when I can …” To which Putin might giggle viciously; “Oh, Donald, don’t worry, I will help you with impeachment. I will just continue to hold all our loan agreements here and not put a stamp on this envelope to the New York Times. After all, imagine how badly the impeachment might go if those documents found their way out? I do need my list done, Donald.” Of course, whether such actual conversations exist (though they could) is wholly beside the point. The dynamic near surely does exist. Other explanations exist for Trump’s decisions of late, but Occam sneers at those. The real terrifying aspect of the above summation is that we haven’t seen the worst, yet. If you had near outright ownership of the U.S. president, and you are part of the world’s biggest, most ruthless crime syndicate, one that could ruin Trump, would you be satisfied yet? No. NATO still opposes Russia, Iran still sits in the Middle East, sanctions still cripple Putin’s buddies, […]

LEAKED! Access to Calls With Putin, MBS Highly Restricted: Mulvaney in Trouble

As we all know, the whistleblower report noted that the transcripts of Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president had been saved on a special “codeword” server, one normally reserved for the most highly sensitive national intelligence materials. The whistleblower also stated that other politically embarrassing, or politically problematic documents had been stored in the special-access system. Now, we have leaked information that phone calls between Trump and Russian president Putin, and Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman were also saved in the same codeword system. Snap. Leave it to this White House to compile near every document needed to impeach and/or imprison Donald Trump on one centralized system, with highly limited access, and a strict record of the date, time, and identity of anyone who accessed the system, or downloaded a document. It appears that House Democrats will know where to find the very records that Trump most wants to keep hidden. Breaking: White House restricted access to Trump's calls with Putin and Saudi crown princehttps://t.co/2YMgdL4vhH pic.twitter.com/kIw5vyhaAi — Josh Campbell (@joshscampbell) September 27, 2019 This server’s existence might well be the functional equivalent of the audio tapes that did Nixon in, a self-incriminating system, from which there is no defense. Were that Trump’s only problem. CNN confirmed that transcripts of calls between Trump and MBS, particularly after the murder of United States resident and journalist Jamal Kashoggi, were not only hidden away on the special server, but no transcripts of the call were circulated among staff that always receive records of such communications. This is scary. Our president might well be considered an accessory after the fact to murder. Additionally, the system’s existence is going to end up implicating Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s Chief of Staff. Mulvaney as chief of staff, runs the day to day operation of the White House, and necessarily has the lead role in cataloging communication, determining classification and distributing information to the appropriate people. Given that Mulvaney has to know the subject of these conversations, he must also be aware of possible Trump disloyalty, and the mechanism by which the administration would hide transcripts. Such behavior could, “could,” be considered treasonous. Mulvaney is in for some real heat in the near future: NEW: Trump told his acting CoS, Mick Mulvaney, to hold back $400M in military aid for Ukraine at least a week before the call in which Trump pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate Joe Biden's son.by @CarolLeonnig @nakashimae @jdawsey1 #Maddow https://t.co/kvBWupTbnH pic.twitter.com/41tA3WdLdM — Polly Sigh (@dcpoll) September 24, 2019 Mulvaney knew exactly why the funds were being withheld, and knew it was illegal. Mulvaney will soon need to make a decision regarding his “loyalty.” Will Mulvaney roll the dice and continue to support Trump without limit, risking the ultimate “cost” – a life in jail and disgrace as a traitor? Or will he be the man who took the lead in exposing the most corrupt president to ever lead the country? Very few people know all that is on that system. Mulvaney is one. Quite soon, we will find out where Mulvaney’s loyalties lay, and whether Mulvaney might be among the officials in this administration destined for a federal penitentiary. That server is the key. Mulvaney oversaw access to it, still does, actually. UPDATE: WTF?? Pompeo. Barr. Bannon. Kushner. Ivanka. Now in Italy. […]

The Ukraine scandal is just one facet of Trump’s criminal enterprise and the conspiracy at its core

There is a very good reason why conversations between the White House and foreign leaders are usually not placed under high levels of classification....

Trump Awaiting Saudi Direction on How “We” Proceed With Iran

Over the last 24 hours, the hours after the attack on Saudi refineries, Trump has been on a radical tweet storm. Most, by far, whine about how Democrats are now his worst enemy (see the column I published previously), defending Kavanaugh, plus – of course – congratulating himself in an embarrassing way. All this, with a few tweets “sprinkled in” about a possible pending war, with Iran. Truly, unbelievable, in any other context. This one is the most concerning: Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2019 Now, our friends at Dkos are screaming for immediate impeachment on that tweet alone, which is rather absurd, given all the previous actions justifying removal. Some outrage hyperbole slips in at Dkos from time to time. This tweet “alone” doesn’t rise to impeachment status. But, if he were to actually “act” on the Saudi direction or desire, and without consulting Congress, THAT would be something requiring immediate impeachment proceedings. The tweet itself can’t really stand for much of anything, because his tweets are so ridiculous on so many things that no one tweet – in isolation –  should be taken as indicative of actionable policy. But that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be a response from Democrats AND Republicans in Congress. Every single person holding a seat in Congress should be telling Trump that he needs to go to Congress for authorization. Democrats in the House ought to be saying that under no circumstances will they fund a damn thing until Trump awaits Congress’s response. It is horrifying to contemplate that this man, given his obvious instability, sits with the trigger in his hands. It is not hyperbole to say that literally anything could happen, given his temperament and lack of interest in any expert’s opinion. As we have said MANY times, all the “adults in the room” are gone, every single one. There is no limit on what could happen. At this point, the only comforting factor is that Trump seems terrified of actually firing a shot in any situation. That is, of course, not a wholly bad thing. But, the basis is his fear, knowing that he might get in a situation where he is on the losing end politically and on the battle field. We have seen this play out before with respect to Iran. Again, I’m quite grateful he hasn’t actually started a big military commitment. It is his lack of analysis and fear that concerns me. The response to the tweet shouldn’t be “impeachment,” it should  get a massive blowback from Congress, today. For all we know, he could order hundreds of missiles from limitless platforms, drones, air craft carries, subs, bases in Qatar, or even from Afghanistan, all raining down on Iran, initiating a war that we do not want. Iran is not Iraq. Iran has a real military, it is a far larger country than Iraq, and we’ve had enough problems in much weaker countries in the Middle East. Hundreds of thousands of people, many Americans, would die, all […]

Trump on his “kill the bad press” tour at the G20

Yesterday, June 28th was the 1 year anniversary of the Gazette newspaper massacre in the US.  Individual-1 marks the anniversary by slamming U.S. journalism...

Hasan Minhaj calls out Kushner for complicity in human rights violations in front of TIME 100 crowd

TIME magazine released its list of the most influential people of 2019. The list runs the gamut from actors like Mahershala Ali, comedians like Hasan Minhaj, and...

Trump’s BFF King Salman, Beheads 37, Including Teen Once Slated to Attend Western Michigan University.

(King Salman above, second to right of Trump) Associated Press News “DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia on Tuesday beheaded 37 Saudi citizens, most of them minority Shiites, in a mass execution across the country for alleged terrorism-related crimes. It also publicly pinned the executed body and severed head of a convicted Sunni extremist to a pole as a warning to others. The executions were likely to stoke further regional and sectarian tensions between rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran. Saudi dissident Ali Al-Ahmed, who runs the Gulf Institute in Washington, identified 34 of those executed as Shiites based on the names announced by the Interior Ministry. “This is the largest mass execution of Shiites in the kingdom’s history,” he said…. …King Salman ratified by royal decree Tuesday’s mass execution and that of 2016. The king, who has empowered his son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has asserted a bolder and more decisive leadership style than previous monarchs since ascending to the throne in 2015.” Among those put to death was this young soccer player… …who had been slated to attend Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. Detroit Free Press “Mujtaba al-Sweikat was 17 when he was detained at King Fahd International Airport in 2012. Earlier that year, Al-Sweikat allegedly attended a pro-democracy rally in the midst of the Arab Spring, which led to his arrest. He was intending to visit Western Michigan, where he had been accepted as a student, the university confirmed to the Free Press in 2017… …Sweikat was charged with armed disobedience against the king, as well as attacking,shooting and injuring security forces, civilians and passersby. He was also accused of destroying public property, causing chaos and disrupting the peace, by participating in a terrorist cell, to make and deliver Molotov cocktails.       During his time in custody, Sweikat was severely beaten all over his body, including the soles of his feet, and convicted on the basis of a confession extracted through torture, according to Reprieve, an international human rights group that has offices in New York and London and operates with partners around the world. After his arrest, he was not allowed to contact anybody for three days, and his family were not allowed to visit him for three months, during which time he was kept in solitary confinement, according to Reprieve.” Trump, Kushner and the State Department should immediately disassociate the U.S. from this barbaric regime and impose stiff sanctions on Saudi Arabia. But they won’t, as long as there is a possibility of extracting another dollar from them for Trump/KushnerCo. and using them as leverage in drumpf’s jihad against President Obama’s (in Trump’s words) “bad Iran deal.” They will issue a tepid condemnation, at most, and business will continue as usual. Just one more cost of having a sociopath in the Oval Office. (This post was created exclusively for PolitiZoom by Dino Durrati) Please follow me on Twitter @durrati  

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