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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Why Trump will win

The Orange One has had a rough few weeks -- hell, a rough six months. Sorry to say it, but I think that his fortunes will soon improve. In fact, his "Russia" troubles may soon be behind him.

You probably already know about his astounding NYT interview, in which he all but calls for the resignation of Jeff Sessions. He also reveals the excuses he will give when he fires Mueller -- and please note that I said "when," not "if."

Sessions will probably be gone before tomorrow's sun rises. With new blood running both Justice and the FBI and Mueller gone, Trump should be in the clear.

On MSNBC, NYT reporter Maggie Haberman said that Trump seemed much more chipper than has been the case recently. Obviously, he has formulated a plan to deep-six the Russia investigations.

Most liberals can't see what's coming. I believe that an unexpected development will soon hit them like a gunshot fired from an abandoned building at midnight.

Next week, Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS -- the oppo research firm which hired Christopher Steele to compile THAT dossier -- will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Although the Steele dossier was originally commissioned by Republicans opposed to Trump, there has been a concerted effort in the right-wing media to picture Fusion GPS as Hillary's plaything:
In a June 7, 2017 letter to Simpson and Fusion GPS, U.S. Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley said that the commission had requested “information about Fusion GPS’ activities related to the dossier compiled by Mr. Christopher Steele.” Specifically, the Senate Judiciary Committee wanted to know about “the clients who hired and paid Fusion and the factual details of those arrangements.”
The image being pushed by the right is far from the truth. Hillary was Putin's worst enemy.  If she had become president, the Magnitsky Act would have been protected and expanded upon.

Simpson, by contrast, now works for Putin. For months, Simpson has been a key part of the effort to undo the Magnitsky Act, which placed sanctions on Russian oligarchs looking to launder money and live the high life in the west.

The oligarchs are focused like a laser beam on the task of upending those sanctions. They will spend any amount of money to attain this goal.

Forewarned is forearmed: In order to understand what's about to happen, you need to read this Daily Caller piece from last January. The article quotes William Browder (whom we have discussed in previous posts) on the Magnitsky Act.
The main proponent of that law, a British-American businessman named Bill Browder, tells TheDC that Glenn Simpson, the head of Fusion GPS, the company behind the Trump dossier, is a “professional smear campaigner.”

According to Browder, Simpson, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, is working with a former Russian counterintelligence officer named Rinat Akhmetshin to destroy the Magnitsky Act, which is named after Browder’s late lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, and was signed into law in Dec. 2012.

“Glenn Simpson knowingly spread false information on behalf of people connected to the Russian government to try to protect Russian torturers and murderers from consequences,” Browder alleged in a phone interview from his office in London on Friday.

“Glenn Simpson’s job was to knowingly and dishonestly change the narrative of how Sergei Magnitsky came to die from murder to natural causes, and to change the narrative that Sergei Magnitsky was a criminal and not a whistleblower,” said Browder, who serves as CEO of the investment firm Hermitage Capital.
Simpson and Fusion GPS were first linked to the anti-Magnitsky effort last month. Politico reported then that Fusion GPS acknowledged that it was hired by the law firm BakerHostetler to dig up dirt on Browder. BakerHostetler was in turn working on behalf of Denis Katsyv, a Russian national who owns a company called Prevezon.

The company is currently the subject of a U.S. federal grand jury investigation based on evidence uncovered by Magnitsky. The Justice Department has frozen $14 million in Prevezon’s assets as part of its investigation.
Here's a much more recent piece by the same Daily Caller writer:
Browder is not linked to or identified in the dossier, but he has said that Fusion GPS’s involvement on the anti-Magnitsky effort raises questions about the veracity of the anti-Trump research.
Fusion’s work on the two projects — one favorable to the Kremlin (Magnitsky) and the other unfavorable (the dossier) — has drawn attention from Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Grassley has inquired with the firm and with the FBI about the salacious dossier, which Steele began compiling last June.

The Republican has questioned why the FBI reportedly used an uncorroborated document financed by a Clinton ally as part of the basis for its investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.
Grassley has also asked the FBI about reports that the bureau informally agreed to pay Steele $50,000 to continue his research on Trump. That payment was reportedly never made, though it is unclear why. Both the FBI and Fusion GPS have avoided answering Grassley’s questions about the dossier.
Get the picture? Simpson will say whatever his Russian paymasters want him to say. The Russians will push the right-wing "party line" that the Steele dossier is a fraud masterminded by Hillary Clinton.

Simpson will confirm this story.

Let that sink in. Simpson will confirm what Russia and the right are saying about Hillary and THAT dossier. He will portray Hillary Clinton as the Queen of All Lies. He will confirm every right-wing fantasy about Evil Hillary, the monster bitch-mistress ruler of Conspiracyland.

And the world will believe him, because Hillary Clinton is still the woman that everyone loves to hate. Did you know that her approval ratings are actually lower than Trump's? Trolls will immediately fill Kos and DU and all other major liberal sites with Hillary-hate.

And Trump will smirk as no man has ever smirked before. You'll see a smirk that will haunt your nightmares and make your stomach do somersaults. You'll be so damned frustrated by that smirk, you'll want to punch the walls until your knuckles bleed.

Republicans will proclaim that the entire case against Trump has crumbled, that all of "Russiagate" was just a damnable Democratic plot. The resultant tumult will give Trump enough political maneuvering room to fire Mueller, because Mueller dared to include on his team investigators who donated money to the Evil One.

Congress will not keep the probe going. Even the Dems will want to forget the whole thing.

Such, at least, is my prediction.

I hope I'm wrong about this. I've been wrong before, Lord knows. But I've also called the shot correctly -- for example, even when the polls put Hillary far ahead, I said that Trump would win the election.

Right now, too many liberals speak as though Trump's removal from office is inevitable. Stop kidding yourselves. There's a reason why Trump's mood has become so giddy.
Maybe they gave him a new drug.

Same way they deflected Dubya's sins: by blaming it on "Dem dirty tricks." And the complicit media ran with that instead of the actual story. Don't forget we've heard nothing more about Reality Winner. Whistleblowers are the "traitors" now, and the actual traitors are the victims.

And looky here who will doubtless be on board to help: The Dirtbag Dems. These new incarnations of Bernie Bros are making $70k a month from their demands we bend our knees to St Bernard and the Lefty Left.
Why liberals always caught off guard. They never plan,anticipate, calculate or analyze anything effectively. They never see anything coming even from ten feet away.
After returning from Europe, Trump and family hoped to relax for a few days at the Trump National Golf Club where the USGA Women's Open Championship was being played. He dodged a bulletin, as the tournament had no disruptions from anticipated women protests, other activist meddling, or unthinkable damage and destruction. The family watched the play from their secure glass-enclosed quarters behind the 15th green on Saturday and Sunday, maybe also on Friday. Some of the players mentioned the crowd noise at the 15th, which carried everywhere on the course, when Trump arrived and waved, and the players knew the cheering wasn't for any of them. The TV showed some of the Asian players passing by and acknowledging the President with their ceremonial and social bow of courtesy and respect, which some also perform for their playing partners, their caddies, and anyone who matters because they are sharing the same planet. Surely Trump and family had reason to be concerned if not worried that a major disruption could occur. But nothing happened other than a great player won in front of the first sitting U.S. President who attended a USGA Women's Open Championship. Of course Trump was giddy.
There's a rather different way to look at what Trump said in that NYT interview, and Josh Marshall says it well in two words, "word salad," the meandering, rather senseless verbal flow of the delusional. Link:

Also there at TPM is a story, also deriving from the interview, on Trump's strange idea that health insurance costs $12 per year. The guy's increasingly unhinged. And goes around giving interviews with the NYT and having off the record discussions with reporters, after which he cannot understand why they're not in the papers...

It seems as though the world Trump lives in has begun to change. His old friends and "business partners," actually employers, have been acting in ways that damage Trump. Maybe he's finally noticed that.

"They tricked us, they lied!" The Trumpers said about the Kislyak, Lavrov, Russian photographer meeting in the WH. But did Trump wonder why?

Of increasing interest is, what else will be revealed? Meetings, email chains, financial documents? In the cases so far the veneer of deniability has been getting thinner through time.

From the NYT write-up of the interview:

"Mr. Trump said he believed Mr. Comey told him about the dossier to implicitly make clear he had something to hold over the president."

That's called blackmail.

"(Comey's) testimony is loaded up with lies, O.K.?"

That's called perjury.

Those are very serious crimes. Why doesn't Trump instruct a criminal investigation against Comey? Hasn't Small Hands got the guts?

Trump also says three times that Macron loves holding his hand.

And he seems to believe, or perhaps to think that Macron believes, that the reason Napoleon failed to conquer Russia was that he went off to have sex with someone one night.
Maybe he's giddy because he knows he'll soon be relieved of a job that he absolutely hates doing.
Respectfully, I don't buy it. The Trumpers have been trying to deflect everything onto Hillary and the Democrats since the beginning of this investigation by in party deploying stooges to lie for them. It hasn't worked so far, and it won't work in the way you're describing. If this happens, I guarantee you there will be a bombshell story released to negate his lies. And if necessary, Chris Steele himself can come testify to debunk him.

Yelling CROOKED HILLARY may have won Trump the election, (with a little help from his friends both foreign and domestic. Well, at least the domestic help used to be his friend.) but it has not stopped the investigation in any meaningful way. Honestly, if this is Trump's big plan, it will go over about as effectively as all that Obama wiretapping BS. LOL, remember that?

It's not over until it's over, and I'm knocking on wood everyday, but I think we've turned a corner. With the release of the Trump Jr. emails, the Senate's request to have he and other Trumpers testify, and the flurry of stories recently about money laundering, I don't think there's anything stopping this anymore. Oh Lord, please let this be true.
I'm glad for the pushback, madmen-spelled-backwards. At least you took my proposition seriously enough to mount a counterargument.

But I still think that there is plenty of mileage left in CROOKED HILLARY. Remember, the Russians can help Simpson backstop any anti-Hillary claims that he makes. Documentation, emails -- hell, even faked recorded telephone conversation. The technology for such fakery has been available for ten years at least.

Trump will take that chance rather see his presidency end in humiliation. The Russians will take that chance if it means keeping in office a president who has secretly pledged to get rid of Magnitsky.

The Simpson testimony will save Trump's ass. It will allow him to fire Mueller while keeping the political blowback manageable.

Psychologically, I have already accepted this outcome, just as I had adjusted to the idea of a Trump presidency in September. (My ladyfriend wondered why I was so preternaturally calm on election night, when she was freaking out.)

Could I be wrong? Sure! Looks like I was incorrect to predict that Sessions would resign today. (In fairness, lots of other people made the same prediction.) Maybe I'm wrong in my forecast of how the Simpson testimony will play out.

And maybe I'm not.
How does the hot-off-the-presses story in the Washington Post (, which describes how Trump has been inquiring as to the limits of his power to pardon, fit into this analysis? This is not a guy who does idle curiosity, after all.
cannot say as i follow your logic, joe. but as a practicing clinician myself, my take on trump's behavior is not really giddy but petrified and near manic with sleep-deprivation, fear, and disorientation. the investigations are closing in on him, ferchrissake; his own son and son-in-law are deeply implicated, and must testify before congress, under threat of subpoena. hence his inquiry on pardons, as cam knit above points out. not that pardons will help him or his kids at all, given schneiderman has been pursuing racketeering charges.

as for the mileage and fervor of "crooked hilllary" etc., are you forgetting that (a) she won a sizable majority of the vote, and (b) that kind of smack talk only flew inside trump's wee cult fests, this cult remaining at that infamous 35%, give or take. seriously, you're worried about these hapless jamucks pulling off a comeback to prevail when they are in disarray beyond belief? his scruffy lawyers are abandoning him, which is not a good sign.

i think you were right not to underestimate his potential to "win" in november, but remember, they cheated in very big ways. but it might be just as dangerous to overestimate his potential to pull this dead rat out of his arse at this point. he's pretty boxed in, and his behavior looks to me like he knows it, like he's scrambling to survive. and he must also know putin is in no position to come riding in on his mighty steed to rescue him. i mean, he has no reason on earth to be feeling giddy; to the extent that he might behave that way, it's his self-deluded mania yankin' his chain.
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