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Sunday, June 11, 2017

We're screwed. Here's why.

If this were one of the popular blogs, I'd feel obligated to wear a fake smile as I assure liberals that Trump will face impeachment any day now.

(Remember when liberal bloggers assured everyone that Hillary had the election in the bag? Remember when anyone who made the contrary prediction was damned as a Republican infiltrator?)

Any blogger who wants to be loved must join the growing brotherhood (Alle Menschen werden Brüder) of anti-Trumpists who keep telling each other that impeachment is mere days, mere hours, mere minutes away. I wouldn't be surprised to hear dear Louise say that impeachment has already taken place in secret, the Supreme Court having decided to replace Trump and Pence with their Earth 2 counterparts.

One of the virtues of unlovability is that I can play the role I was born to play -- that of the grumpy old pessimist who tells you things you don't want to hear. Some see the glass as half-empty and some see it as half-full; the grumpy old pessimist sees but a few drops of water quivering on the brink of evaporation, the last drops of water on a parched and dying planet, and he tells you that soon, all too soon, we shall all be crawling across the desert floor, croaking in agony at the pitiless heavens as we face the void of infinite despair.

And that's my act. Thanks for coming, ladies and gentlemen. I'll be playing another show at 11:00.

Here's why impeachment is unlikely, even if Trump's popularity sinks below the 30 percent mark (which many pundits now proclaim to be Doom Point, even though Yeltsin bounced back after his approval rating hit 9 percent).

1. Trump will soon install his toady as FBI Chieftain. His pick will, of course, be compromised, even if his background seems superficially appealing. I don't need to know more about Christopher Wray; it is enough to know Trump.

Never forget: Only the FBI has the resources to do actual knocking-on-doors investigation. That's what the I in FBI stands for.

2. The DNI, the Director of the CIA and the head of the CIA are all Trump's puppets. Any prominent enemy of Trump must be whistle-clean, because the boys and girls who work for Mike Rogers have been listening in to every telephone call and computer message. Moreover, the malchiks and devotchkas working for Spetssvyaz, the Russian version of the NSA, have also been listening in to every telephone call and computer message. (Fun fact: We don't know the name of the head of that agency. Here's a picture of their headquarters.)

Never forget: Modern tech makes it possible to create kompromat where none exists. (See previous post.)

3. Tory power has been diminished in the UK, but Cambridge Analytica (staffed largely by Tories) remains in full force. Right now, the manipulators are busily turning Jim Comey into Hillary II. They'll keep throwing shit against the wall until the shit sticks. Comey, Hillary, Podesta and Obama are all more likely to see the inside of a jail cell than is Donald Trump.

Never forget: Hillary was the most popular woman in America before the smear campaign kicked in.

4. Trump can -- and probably will -- replace Robert Mueller.
One of President Donald Trump’s attorneys on Sunday wouldn't rule out the possibility the president would fire the special counsel appointed to look into his campaign’s potential ties to Russia.

Robert Mueller was appointed by the Justice Department last month to investigate Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election. And on Sunday, ABC's George Stephanopoulos asked Trump attorney Jay Sekulow whether the president would pledge not to interfere or order the attorney general to fire Mueller.

“Look, the president of the United States, as we all know, is a unitary executive,” Sekulow said on ABC’s “This Week.” “But the president is going to seek the advice of his counsel and inside the government as well as outside. And I'm not going to speculate on what he will, or will not, do.”
Translation: Trump will fire Mueller. Cambridge Analytica will no doubt initiate its anti-Mueller smear campaign any day now. Perhaps they'll plant kiddie porn on his computer or his Twitter feed. You should also expect the BernieBots to spew Mueller-hate from stage left. (Has the spew started already? I haven't checked out H.A. Goodman's YouTube channel lately.) (Here's an early attempt.)

5. You know that scenario we keep hearing about -- the one in which FBI agents squeeze the underlings to make them rat out Mr. Big? The one in which the good guys take down Trump the same way they take down the Mafia?

That tactic won't work in this case.

Why not? Because Don Corleone doesn't have the power of the pardon and Trump does. Article II, section 2 of the Constitution says that the president "shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment."

Let's say (hypothetically) that Roger Stone has been caught doing something illegal. (Of course, he never would do anything illegal. Perish forbid! We are simply pursuing a hypothetical scenario.) Let us further say (hypothetically) that the feds tell Stone: "We'll reduce the charges if you testify against Trump."

Why on earth would Stone take that deal? He knows that Trump can hand out pardons the way you hand out candy on Halloween. As Trump cements his position as America's Czar, he will be in a position to promise his loyalists substantial cash rewards. The money will go directly into foreign bank accounts, free of taxation. That's how Putin does it.

But but but (I hear you saying) the Constitution says "except in cases of impeachment." Nobody is going to impeach Roger Stone or Paul Manafort or Michael Flynn. And without squealing underlings, nobody is going to impeach Donald Trump.

The problem is in our Constitution, a document written in the days before organized crime. The Founders simply did not anticipate a Trumpian level of corruption and shamelessness.

When that key fact finally sinks in, when the sheer hopelessness of our situation becomes apparent to all, left-wing dunderheads of the BernieBot ilk will no doubt offer the same remedy that they've been offering since 1980 and perhaps earlier: "We need a new Constitutional convention!"

Oh, right.

C'mon, think about it: Just who do you think will go marching into that convention hall to rewrite all this country's most basic rules? Do you think it'll be Bernie Sanders leading an army of college-aged hipsters and vegetarians and Rastafarians and wiccan feminists and Groovy Flower People? Seriously, is that how you think it's gonna go down?

Ain't gonna happen, silly-billies. The people marching into that secret chamber will be Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell and Steve Bannon and various Cato-ites bought and paid-for by Robert Mercer, Sheldon Adelson and the Kochs. (And Alex Jones and H.A. Goodman will stand outside the hall and say "It is Good.") These are the people who will rewrite the Constitution for the sole purpose of bringing it in line with the Gospel According to Ayn Rand.

Is that what you want, my progressive-purist friends? Because that is what will happen if we have a new Constitutional convention. Guaranteed.

At this point, a BernieBot is likely to retort: "Okay, then. Time for...revolution!"

My friend: If that's the way you think, allow me to offer a gentle invitation to go fuck yourself with a cactus dildo drenched in Dave's Insanity Sauce. The only people in this country likely to stage an armed revolt are the same people who voted for Trump because Hillary is a witch who eats children in the basement below Comet Pizza.

The people who think that way possess guns. They like guns. They really, really want to fire those guns. With every cell in their bodies, they long for the Day of the Gun. And as they spray machine-gun fire all across the American landscape, they'll be singing a country tune with these lyrics:

Jesus wants you to kill!
Kill the lib-er-ill!
He's not like you or I
And that's why he's gotta die
Kill kill kill kill KILL!

Ever see the last shot of Cabaret? (I caught it on teevee about an hour ago.) That shot perfectly illustrates the only "revolution" likely to take place in America the Beautiful.

Stop kidding yourselves. We're screwed.

Added note: Louise. After writing the above, I decided to check out what Louise Mensch has been saying lately. (For the past week or so, I've been trying to ignore her. It's, like, so over.) Although her undeniable propensity to spew bullshit has caused my crush to fade, her most recent tweet is not without points of interest:
Oh fuck
oh fuck
this is like the end of the Sixth Sense

Oh my God I get it
You may be surprised to learn how rarely I complain when an attractive blonde with a British accent says "Oh fuck oh fuck Oh my God." If I were writing dialogue for Billie Piper, that's pretty much how the whole script would go.

Mensch was reacting to the work of one Dark Wisdom, a twitter-based researcher and musician previously unknown to me. He has been doing some excellent work looking into some of the more shadowy activities of Sberbank.

If you're interested, go here and keep clicking the links. One focus of DW's research is a Russian initiative called the Active Citizen Project, which is allegedly designed to allow the average Russian citizen to think that he is having a more direct voice in the day-to-day decisions of government. It's a way of making the people think they are living in a true, Athens-style democracy, even though the online voting systems are completely in Putin's control. The implication seems to be that something similar may be in store for the US. Not democracy, but an incredible simulation!

The Chairman of the Board of Sperbank is Herman Gref, whose ties with Trump are undeniable. Google "Herman Gref Trump." In particular, see here and here.
Comments:
Thank you for the link to Dark Wisdom. Did you read his link to Eric Garland's epic thread? Well worth your time. https://twitter.com/ericgarland/status/873654995027193857

Eric's tweetstorm confirms my suspicion that the election was a coup, though in reality the Rethuglicans had been subverting the country for decades.

On that note, what did you think of the video Obama made the night of the election? I thought it was very strange and my feeling was he was being held hostage and sending a secret coded message. I couldn't shake the feeling he was "telling" us that there had been a coup but to hold tight because the right people were taking care of business.
 
Snoop Pooty Poot would like to thank the Stupid White Folks, Purity Ponies, and Sofa Spuds of his new province of Transoceanic Russia (fka the USA) for making his greatest scheme ever work.

He didn't even need to use the sharks with frickin' laser beams!
 
question: why has trump not used his pardon power thus far?
i mean, he's clearly sweating bullets over flynn's potential opera audition, and manafort's, and now kushner's, in addition to page and stone and guiliani (etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseam). moreover, make no mistake, comey was fired when he was because - other things accumulating - the fbi interviewed his sons the weekend before. given how freely those dolts leak unbidden, a pardon would shut them all up because they could not be prosecuted or one assumes even interviewed.
so, why no pardons? it's not like they come with time frames; they don't. they can be proactive (since 1866 or so), but be issued for a relatively circumscribed offense.
and what does "cases of impeachment" mean? does this reference only the status of impeachment, what is achieved with a vote for this? if the pardon power is only restricted after this house votes on filed articles and essentially indicts him/her? if so, then does that not dangerously limit the power of the congress - article 1 - to exercise its check on executive excess?
or does "cases of impeachment" reference instead the process of impeachment, which has an initiation and then steps that must be executed in succession prior to an actual full house vote?
if this latter is the case (IANAL; i do not know), then the impeachment process was indeed initiated by rep. al green a week after the russians were invited inside the oval. the congressional research service lists this as one of several means by which the impeachment process can "be initiated." hence my question.
if it is the impeachment process that is understood by the constitutional phrase "cases of impeachment," then trump's pardon powers have been constitutionally restricted as of 5/17/17.
which, if you think about it, would be something of a tell as to why no pardons have been issued. sad for the orange one; he could sleep a lot easier, i'm sure, were he able to lift that threat of prosecution from everyone's shoulders and know deeply and certainly no one would sing, opera or otherwise..
of course, all this could be moot when one considers the apparent fact that numerous NY state cases are being investigated against these various players; flynn's role made it a matter of national security. mensch talks about rico cases, and that actually sounds spot on (to use a brit phrase). we are dealing with organized crime, after all, in fact the largest syndicate the planet has ever known, the vampire squid tentacles (taibbi was not thinking broadly enough!) reaching from and into all corners of every major and many minor nations, including russia and china and israel and saudi arabia and most eastern bloc countries....
like you, joe, i feel louise has jumped the shark to genuflect to the more militant IC crew over there, and the flag-waving, chest-thumping, back-patting (selfie version) has been creeping me out. esp. in light of how that faction serves the deep state that is determined to keep stripping us of all our rights so they can go play empire with impunity. that said, tho, i cannot help but respond to the shred of hope lurking in there that, for all that breathless hyperbole, there are some hints our institutions might actually be working.
like the SCOTUS. it will be interesting to see how they decide wrt the travel ban. trump and the GOP are no doubt betting they have that decision - and indeed the court itself - in the bag, but i would not put any money on that. at all.
we live in interesting times, for sure. but true to the chinese saw, opportunities also abound. what a great time to insist that each of our local communities - states, counties, districts, precincts - revert to paper ballots and hand counting. hands-on voting, y'all!! in addition to all the marching and vocalizing and activism! folks are not just woke, they're acting on the truth that democracy is not a spectator sport.

 
"question: why has trump not used his pardon power thus far?"

The pardoned can be forced to testify. The Fifth admendment does not apply to them.

I don't know what the situation is with Louise Mensch. Is she screwy, or is she screwing with us?
 
the point of the pardon would not be so much to testify; tho they might not be able to plead the 5th, they can 'forget'. the larger point is they would not be prosecuted; without that hanging over their heads, there is no incentive for them to cooperate with the feds. that is quite key.
in any case, no one's getting pardoned, which suggests louise is more than on to something when she focuses on schneiderman's RICO cases.
as for louise, sure she's screwy; so are you. so am i. so what?
it's incumbent upon us to bear that in mind when we sift thru her claims, many of which have been proven true with time, and many others are plausible w/in our institutional framework.
fwiw, i'm always wary of zealots of all stripes, as they're clearly steeped in cult-think. she seems sincere enough that i'd believe her a tool before i'd believe she was just messing with us; she loves being right more than her patriotism, if you as me.
what i worry about with her is that her sources are the military industrial intelligence financial complex; american/western interests always translate as corporate, which = oligarchy. at that level, there's not a dime's worth of difference between our oligarchs and russia's oligarchs. think rex tillerson as that poster boy.
plus, louise is a breathless, shouting tory. think andrew sullivan.
ugh.
 
"Fun fact: We don't know the name of the head of that agency (the Spetssvyaz)".

His name is given in Russian on the very page you link to. He is Aleksey Gennadevich Mironov, who is also named at Wikipedia. He looks like this.
 
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