The current temperature at the airport is 68 degrees, which is fucking stupid, cuz I don’t know anybody who lives at the airport. George Carlin The human memory is a funny thing. Take mine for example. God knows I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday, and can’t even remember my own goddamn name if I don’t sing Happy Birthday to myself in my head, but I can still rip off the entire Gilligan’s Island theme song while unconscious. I was reminded of this when I watched Rachel Maddow this evening. Rachel was talking about a memo to file that then NSA Susan Rice wrote to herself in the waning days of the Obama administration. The memo appeared in her book, and dealt with a meeting with President Barack Obama in which they were discussing the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. At one point, Obama asked Comey for his best judgement as to whether or not it would be risky for the Obama administration to share any information regarding Russia in the interim between the physical change of power on January 20th. Because Comey’s reply was still classified, Rice was unable to speak to it in her book. From the day that the conversation became known, it has been a kind of fools Holy Grail for Trump and his cohorts. Paranoid lunatic that Trump is, he was dead certain that this was some kind of unholy Obama conspiracy against him, aided by the infamous deep state. The administration spent more than two years searching for details of the meeting, as well as that memo, and they finally found it. And they declassified it today. The smoking gun against the Obama administration for secretly conspiring to bring about the summary downfall of Trump’s fledgling administration? A stern reminder from Obama to Comey that the investigation proceed completely by the book, with no shadow of White House interference. Oh yeah, Comey’s best judgement regarding sharing sensitive Russian information with the incoming Trump administration basically came down to Let’s not and say that we did, since incoming NSA Michael Flynn was spending an unusual amount of time in engaging in pillow talk with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. That was the smoking gun, the windmill that Don Trumpote spent almost three years tilting against. A stern reminder from the sitting President to his FBI Director to run his investigation independently from the White House, with no fear or favor, and the stunning revelation that James Comey was deeply suspicious of Michael Flynn’s relationship with the Russian Ambassador. And here’s where my quirky but feeble memory comes in. That segment triggered a long buried memory in my cranium. Not the event itself, but the original coverage of it. And based on this memory, I’m ready to make a prediction. Since Trump seems to be hell bent to prosecute this fantasy persecution by Obama, get ready for lots more of these kinds of revelations. Here’s why I say that. I remember that during the original kerfuffle brought out by this revelation is Susan Rice’s book, it turns out that for such a dignified , measured, and honorable man, President Barack Obama was one protective, sneaky son of a gun. And that’s going to be a real problem for Trump. As it turns out, there was a very specific reason why Susan Rice wrote that particular memo to file. It seems that there was already some […]
Well, well, this should thicken up the pudding nicely. DC District Court Judge Emmett Sullivan issued a ruling from the bench this morning regarding the DOJ’s request that former NSA Michael Flynn’s guilty plea be vacate , and the charges against him dropped. And the ruling isn’t going to be happy news for Tubby the Ewok. In the ruling, not only did judge Sullivan not grant the DOJ’s request that the confession be vacated and the charges dropped, he went in the opposite direction, instead allowing third party filings to be placed before the court for consideration in the judges decision, not just the filings of the DOJ and Flynn’s lawyers. This is not bueno news for Flynn, his lawyers, and the DOJ. In a move that has become common in DOJ filings in the era of Trump, both the DOJ as well as Flynn’s lawyers hammered away at the sovereign rights of the Department of Justice to adjudicate their cases, making it sound like the judge had little option but to comply. But obviously, by this ruling, Judge Sullivan makes it clear that he does not consider himself a helpless tool in this process. This is bad news for Flynn and the DOJ for a bunch of reasons. First, today’s ruling opens the floodgates for Sullivan to receive a whole slew of dissenting opinions from those of Flynn’s lawyers and the DOJ, and to consider them. Chief among those being an open letter already signed by more than 2000 current and former DOJ officials, slamming the request, and pointing out that a positive ruling for Flynn and the DOJ would openly politicize the DOJ, and pose the prospect of a separate form of justice for politically connected defendants. Another effect of today’s ruling is that it will dilute the strength of the DOJ’s case by allowing interested parties a chance to clarify the record. For example, the DOJ in their filing, the DOJ claimed that the FBI lacked the legal predicate to interview Flynn about his phone conversations with then Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, both the interview and the subsequent confession were facially invalid. But FBI officials steadfastly contended that they were not interviewing Flynn about his phone contacts with Kislyak, but his repeated lies to senior White House officials, such as Vice President Mike Pence. With Sullivan’s ruling today, he will now be free to consider this information in his decision making process. But the real reason this is such bad news for Flynn and the DOJ is that it makes it much more likely than not that Judge Sullivan will decide to hold an open hearing in court in order to force the DOJ to defend their position on the issue. Anybody who listened to the oral arguments before the Supreme Court yesterday could hear how moronic any lawyer sounds when trying to defend or espouse a Trumpian position. But it isn’t just the Supreme Court. Anybody who watches Rachel Maddow knows how she loves to get her hands on the transcript of pretty much any federal court proceeding involving Trump’s Department of Selective Justice. With no editorializing, Maddow reads the disjointed ramblings of DOJ lawyers trying to defend the indefensible, followed by the federal court judge’s use of simple legal arguments to reduce the DOJ lawyer to a California Roll on a plate at a sushi bar. […]
*Sigh* If it’s Friday, then it must be Funky Friday. Once again Emperor Gluteus Maximus is licking his numbus nuttus in public. When asked in the Oval Office today about Tubby the Ewok’s naked power play to spring Michael Flynn, Trump replied, Oh, I think you’re going to see a great deal more in the next few weeks. This is just one piece of a dirty puzzle. OK, this is going to turn into a mammoth problem for Trump, with absolutely no viable upside for him, so of course he’s dead set on this path. For starters, the optics are terrible. The nation is still in the middle of a national pandemic, no matter Trump’s demented comments. A whole bunch of states are reopening states where the daily infection rate as well as the death rate is rising, and Trump is bitching about having to constantly raise the expected death toll. And it’s only going to get worse in the coming weeks. And El Pendejo Presidente is fixated on revisiting the Trump-Russia investigation. This move is not about revving up the base for the 2020 election, for the simple reason that it can’t be! Trump is flogging the original dead horse here, because he beat the fucking rap! He already spiked the ball in the end zone over his acquittal. Nobody cares anymore! Trump revisiting the Scandal is like the winning coach in the Super Bowl bitching to the media about a holding call in the third quarter. Who cares?!? You won! Besides, these days even Trump supporters are more interested in earning a paycheck, keeping a roof over their heads, and food in their kids faces than that old saw. So, why do it? Personally, I think that there are two reasons. The first reason was provided by former high ranking FBI official Frank Figliuzzi on MSNBC. Trump’s back is against the wall. His popularity is in the tanker, his polling numbers are in the toilet, and he’s behind in critical states. Fugliuzzi mentioned something interesting, notice how Trump has never called it the Mueller hoax, or the Democratic hoax, or the Comey hoax? No, the goddamn thing has never been anything other than the Russia hoax. That investigation was an embarrassment to Trump, and it will be used against him in the campaign. But I don’t expect any sudden rash of pardons for Manafort, Stone, Flynn if the current trick doesn’t work, or any of the other slobs who facilitated this mess. Because they weren’t convicted of conspiring with Russia. And Russia is the embarrassment for Trump. And it’s not just an embarrassment for Trump either, it’s also a major embarrassment for Vlad the Imp. Remember, there’s at least one open indictment coming out of the Mueller investigation. And that’s a very specific indictment against more than two dozen Russian GRU officers for tampering in the election. That is the gold ring here, nothing else. If Trump wants the Russia monkey off of his back, then Barr must find a way to vacate those indictments, full of nasty things like names, ranks, office identification, and even goddamn IP addresses. If that goes away, Trump can go back to calling it a hoax, or a witch hunt for his slobbering fools. The second reason is my own, and I touched upon it briefly in a recent article. Despite his narcissism, I’m almost starting to believe that the inconvenient truth has started to seep […]
Well, well, well. Isn’t this special? Multiple networks are reporting that the Trump Department of Selective Justice filed a legal brief today with District Court Judge Emmett Sullivan, asking that the original charges against former Trump NSA Michael Flynn be dropped. Just to briefly recap the case, since so much shit does down in such a rush around here. Days after El Pendejo Presidente was inaugurated, DOJ Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates took the unusual step of going to the White House to inform then White House Counsel Don McGahn about newly minted National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. She informed McGahn that Flynn was a prime subject for Russian blackmail die to the fact that they knew that he had lied about his contact with Russians. The lies extended up the ladder to lying to his boss, Vice President Mike Pence. Flynn went on to resign, plead guilty to lying twice, and even become a cooperating witness for the prosecution for a while. Well, you can forget about all of that shit. The US Attorney went into court today to request that the presiding Judge Emmett Sullivan drop the charges against Flynn. But the filing appears, at least on the face to veteran prosecutors, to give the game away. It is not unknown for prosecutors to petition the court to drop charges, but their filings are normally straightforward, with the introduction of new evidence that tends to cast doubt on the validity of the prosecutions case. The logic in the Flynn filing is so convoluted it basically resembles a plate of spaghetti dropped out of a third floor window. It is a two pronged approach. First, playing on Tubby the Ewok’s favorite position that a president is basically a Greek God, untouchable by mere mortals, that even a presidential candidate could not be investigated by federal authorities. As a result, even though Trump was now president, the FBI had no legal grounds to question Flynn in the first place. And the second prong is that the FBI interviewed Flynn regarding his previous, non authorized contacts with former Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. The problem is that former FBI officials involved with the investigation are saying that the investigation was not about Flynn’s contacts with Kislyak, but his repeated lying to Vice President Michael Flynn about those contacts. But this may not yet be a done deal. From the day he gaveled in Flynn’s preliminary arraignment, Judge Emmett Sullivan became the sole holder of Michael Flynn’s case. And while the DOJ filing is full of bluff and bluster about their absolute right to drop the charges, the ultimate decision rests in the hands of Judge Sullivan. And all you need to know about Judge Emmett Sullivan is that he’s the one, in a sentencing hearing last December, angrily demanded to know from the prosecutors as to whether they had seriously considered leveling charges of treason. Get used to it, because this is what fabricated historical revisionism looks like. Trump’s impeachment is a bright red stain that he can never bleach out. So the new battle plan is to have Tubby the Ewok get all hands on deck to come with spurious and nonsensical reasons to drop all of the cases that emerged from the Mueller investigation, trying to smear the Mueller investigation as illegitimate, and therefore the actual impeachment of Trump as illegitimate. […]
If you have a weak stomach, you might want to avoid Trump’s Twitter feed for a while, because it’s about to get bloody. Trump’s Department of Justice announced today that they won’t be filing charges or prosecuting former FBI Director Andrew McCabe. This follows the quiet announcement a few months ago that there will be no charges brought against McCabe’s former boss, James Comey either. This is going to get ugly quickly. For months now, it has been a standard part of Trump’s rally speech to not only opine, but to demand that “criminal” characters like Comey, McCabe, Brennan, Stzrok and Page be tried and imprisoned for their treason. But the fact that Trump’s own Justice Department keeps having to publicly have to decline to charge or prosecute these cases only undercuts his claims. But it isn’t going to stop. In fact, it’s only going to get worse as far as I can see. Because this is a fight that Trump can’t quit, simply because it goes to the core of his very being. When looking at Trump, and his reaction to the entire Trump-Russia investigation, you have to keep two things in mind. When it comes to Donald Trump, there are two absolutes, his omnipotence is absolute, and his thirst for payback in unquenchable. Trump has been impeached, and there isn’t a damn thing he can ever do to change that fact.His impotence to strike back at this outrage almost paralyzes him. Not only is he the third president to be impeached, but the first to have a member of his own party vote to convict him. And since he can’t change it, and it’s hard to sell it as an exoneration, he has to distract from it. Now, the Russia investigation is different. In the Russia investigation, Trump actually turned a clear victory into a -palpable defeat. And right now, he’s trying to take that palpable defeat and turn it into a total debacle. And because he’s Trump, and his dignity has been personally dented, he just can’t stop digging the hole deeper. Look what happened in the Russia investigation. After an exhaustive 20 month investigation, Robert Mueller did two things. He declined to opine on whether the President had committed crimes, since the standing DOJ policy prohibited charging a sitting president, and out of an abundance of caution, he declined to recommend that congress begin impeachment hearings on the matter. Game over. Exoneration, take a victory lap and move on. Except that Trump can’t do that. He can’t do that because his superiority was questioned, his power and authority were questioned, and his perceived honor was impugned. Exoneration isn’t enough for a man like Trump, he needs vindication, but most importantly, he needs retribution. And when Trump wants retribution, retribution is what he’s going to get. After all, why else would he install his own personal Roy Cohn to make sure his every whim is satisfied. Comey fucked with him, McCabe fucked with him, Brennan fucked with him, Stzrok fucked with him, Page fucked with him. And when somebody fucks with Trump, he fucks back ten times harder. All he has to do is to make his hysterical accusations, and the prosecutions follow. After all, it’s not like there’s a rule of law or anything in this country. But Trump […]
What did Fozzy the Bear say when he saw William Barr? Ewoka-woka-woka! I don’t get it. What the hell is it with Trump appointees and free travel at our expense? When a Trump cabinet appointee’s ass hits his leather chair, his first phone call is to the White House travel office to hunt up a private government jet to head off to the fleshpots of Rio to check out deforestation. If the Department of the Interior is so concerned about the quality of the snorkeling waters of the Caribbean, why are they pushing for more off shore drilling? In response to rodent squealing and bovine bleatings from the GOP minority following the Mueller investigation, the DOJ Inspector General opened an official investigation into the origins of the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign and Russia in 2016. The basic points of inquiry were the proper use of FISA warrants to surveil Carter Page, the FBI’s reliance on or lack thereof of the Steele dossier, and reports of FBI attempts to infiltrate the Trump campaign in 2016. But that wasn’t good enough for The Mango Messiah. After all, the DOJ AG didn’t owe Trump anything, and who knew what he would say. So His Lowness got on the blower to Tubby the Ewok, and told him to hand pick somebody to do the job right. Which is how a serious, career, apparent straight shooter named John Durham got the job of ensuring that the tally came out right. And since you can’t get good help these days, Tubby decided to ride shotgun over the whole meshugass. Which of course meant racking up oodles of GAO frequent flier miles. Off they went into the wild blue yonder, to places like Great Britain France, Spain, Italy, and Australia, meeting with government intelligence officials, and trying to fit their square information into Barr’s little round holes. If there was a scandal there to find, then Tubby was the one to find it, and if there wasn’t, fuck it, he’d invent one. And it was all hush-hush and James Bond-ish with Barr suddenly disappearing without any official word that he had even left his tree. But alas, all good things must come to an end, including restful junkets under the disguise of an official government investigation. Next Monday, the DOJ Inspector General is expected to release his official report, and it’s pretty well guaranteed to give Tubby, and his boss, Jabba the Trump, a severe case of the sadz. The report is widely expected, based on snippets already leaked to the press, to tell The Cheeto Prophet that he’s full of shit. No, Obama didn’t tap his phones in 2016. No, the FBI didn’t treat the Steele dossier like a newly found book in the New Testament. No, the FBI didn’t trample all over Carter Page’s civil rights. No, Lisa Page and Peter Strzok didn’t do anything wrong in telling each other what a piece of shit Trump was. And worst of all, it’s going to contain a little something that hasn’t been reported on much yet, but which will make Barr look like a total asshole if he does as expected, and disputes the report. It was reported that in preparing his report, the DOJ IG reached out to John Durham, Barr’s hatchet man investigator, and asked him if he had found any […]
Unfit To Lead
Trump’s presidency has been littered by explosive revelations, especially so of late. Not a single one of those explosive revelations definitively proved that Trump was a knowing Russian asset. However, not a single one of those explosive revelations ever once cast doubt upon the Trump-Russia connection. Not a single revelation ever demonstrated that Trump “argued” with Putin, or “angered” the Russians, or did anything other than blindly adhere to Russian orthodoxy with respect to global issues. Not one revelation. Lacking clear evidence that Trump is a Russian agent, we must continue to make inferences to establish what we know must be true. In my opinion, the clearest evidence we have that Trump is controlled by Russians relates to his derision for, or disdain of, NATO. Simply put, no American bearing even the most pedestrian familiarity with international affairs is “anti-NATO.” In fact, NATO is so central to U.S. security and interests that the only people who have a problem with NATO come from Russia, the country NATO was established to thwart. But Trump has a problem with NATO. Trump has a bigger problem with NATO than we knew even to this point. According to Newsweek, the book “A Warning” by “Anonymous,” contains an entire chapter dedicated to the terror shared by those in the diplomatic community that Trump will pull us out of NATO, or effectively destroy NATO. Per Newsweek’s story: According to Anonymous, Trump “has repeatedly astounded advisors” by suggesting he wishes to withdraw from NATO, which is underpinned by American money and military might. The president tells us we are ‘getting raped’ because other countries are spending far less to be a part of it, adding that the organization is ‘obsolete,'” Anonymous explained. The very fact that Russia detests NATO and wants it dissolved is proof positive that the organization is not “obsolete.” The only people who would view NATO as “obsolete” are the people who want to team-up with Russia in world affairs, which describes both Trump and, increasingly, the Republican party generally. Indeed, last year’s NATO summit was consumed by Trump’s attacks on fellow leaders and demands to address “burden sharing.” A minority of NATO’s members are currently fulfilling the commitment to spend 2 percent of GDP on defense—agreed at the 2014 summit in the U.K.—much to Trump’s frustration. Trump is actually not “frustrated” by the lack of “burden sharing,” indeed, the lack of “burden sharing” has actually been a net positive for the United States. It allowed the U.S. to have near exclusive control NATO’s policy and configuration. Because the United States bore the greatest percentage and overall commitment, the U.S. dictated many of the terms by which NATO operated, including operating U.S. military bases on foreign lands, something that would otherwise be impossible were it not for our disproportionate commitment. No, Trump is not bothered by “burden sharing,” it is simply something he can talk about as justification for weakening NATO. The point, of course, is that not a single sane American ever believed that destabilizing our NATO partners was in the U.S. interests. Yet Trump somehow came up with such thoughts as one of his few core “principles.” Trump has precious few core principles by which he governs, yet this is damn sure one of them. Where could this principle possibly have come […]
Waiter! This soup is cold! It’s vichyssoise sir, it’s served cold The Jerk GOP strategist Rick Wilson nailed the ultimate price of sleeping with the devil to the barn door with the title of his book, Everything Trump Touches, Dies. That title could easily end up being the epitaph on the tombstone of the Trump presidency. The only people to have bumped up against Trump and survived unscathed are pre Trump appointees like Walter Schaub, who resigned in protest, and Sally Yates, who was sacrificed for doing the right thing, or Trump appointees like Nikki Haley and James Mattis, who resigned rather than go through the contortions or moral equivalencies. For all of the others, You roll with pigs, you end up muddy. Except for the fact that most of these porkers were filthy before Trump ever came along. Watching the slow motion, wounded duck fall of Corey Lewandowski from the Trump sky is an interesting character study. Lewandowski came to work for Hair Furor as his national campaign manager with the highest of qualifications, nobody in the political world had ever heard of him, and he worked cheap. A perfect example of Lewandowski’s strategic brilliance is the fact that he couldn’t even screw around on his wife without getting caught. Life lesson for you all. If you’re going to have a cheap tawdry affair, best not to have it with a subordinate campaign staffer. And if you are, best not to get caught on cell phone video engaging in a screaming match with her outside of a midtown Manhattan restaurant in the middle of the lunch rush. What will be the ultimate downfall of Corey Lewandowski is the same virus that infects so many Trump acolytes, terminal arrogance. because a spineless, compliant GOP Senate has let Trump get away with almost anything, Trump has assured his idiot staffers that this magic aura suffuses them as well, due to their close proximity to him. And of course, being dumb enough to work for Trump, these dim sheep buy whole hog into that bullshit. As did Corey Lewandowski yesterday. At least Corey Lewandowski was a real man about this, he went into the hearing publicly announcing that his foal was to insult, obfuscate, denigrate, and even lie to make the entire process a sham. And being a true blue Trumpista, that’s exactly what he did. But being a complete moron, he repeatedly buried not only himself, but the Cheeto Prophet as well. For instance, Lewandowski lied repeatedly under oath. Democratic congressman Eric Swalwell got Lewandowski to sneeringly respond that he had taken notes when dealing with Trump “all the time,” whereupon Swalwell read the FBI transcript portion where Lewandowski said that Trump telling him to take notes in how to tell Sessions to stop the Mueller investigation was the first time it had ever happened. Swalwell managed this Herculean feat without having to resort to hanging his suit jacket over the back of his chair, and rolling his sleeves up to the elbows, like he was engaging in heavy manual labor, which made GOP representative Jim Jordan look like a total twink, and should make him feel like a flaming asshole. Under questioning from the House staff lawyer, Lewandowski was not only shown to have been a repeat liar on Trump’s behalf in many of his public […]
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