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Thursday, March 01, 2018

No Hope

Wow. Work (of a sort) kept me away from the internet on one of the biggest news days of the year. Where to start?

The biggest news concerns Trump's closest confidante, Hope Hicks. She quit the White House less than a day after a congressional committee grilled her for nine hours. She kept mum, refusing to answer most questions. In any other administration, such behavior would have resulted in contempt charges.

We've been told that her exit has no direct relationship with her testimony. Bullshit, sayeth I.

Although I'm no longer so quick as I once was to dismiss "coincidence theories," the likelihood of coincidence in this instance seems remote. The congressional ordeal and the decision to ankle must have had a cause and effect relationship; no-one will easily convince me otherwise.

Those nine hours cannot have been pleasant. Even though contempt charges did not arrive, they were deserved, and Hicks knows it. That fact must weigh on her conscience like a lead overcoat.

Yes, I used the C word. There is no reason to presume that Hicks shares the pathologies of her boss. This woman is a former fashion model, not a career criminal. Trump demands loyalty from his associates and they pledge it, not realizing that his definition of loyalty is "die for me." Hicks is young, attractive and smart. She doesn't need this shit.

Drugs. On first brush, the controversy over her "white lies" remark seemed overblown. Then this tweet from Kurt Eichenwald arrived, indicating that some "white" lies are really closer to Payne's Grey.
White lies: when I asked hope Hicks about trumps use of amphetamine derivatives in 1982, she said he took them for a few days. When I said medical records I had showed he used them till 1990 - or 8 years when 25 days is max before addiction - she called me liberal & hung up.

....for those wondering, the amphetamine derivatives are known as “chalkies” or “tombstones” when sold on street. Trump had a second doctor he never disclosed who was exposed for providing these to famous people. Trump needed help to kick them. Why have you never heard this?.....
Eichenwald does not identify this Doctor Feelgood. In a previous post, I argued that Dr. Steve Hoefflin -- Michael Jackson's plastic surgeon and friend, and the man who apparently put Trump's hairdo on the road to glory -- deserves greater attention. Although I've seen nothing to link Hoefflin to "chalkies," he did have many famous clients, and one of his nurses said that "medical-strength cocaine was constantly going missing during her time at the clinic."

(I am not accusing Hoefflin of being the doctor referenced by Eichenwald, nor do I have any independent evidence to support Eichenwald's report.)

Back to Hicks. She told those congressfolk that she did not lie about Russia-related matters. Perhaps so, but there is a difference between not lying and refusing to disclose the truth.

As the embedded Rachel Maddow segment explicates, Mark Corallo -- the former spokesperson for Trump's legal team -- has indicated that Hope Hicks played an important role in deep-sixing the evidence concerning the Trump Tower meeting. Maddow drew from Michael Wolfe's Fire and Fury. People who don't like Wolfe will screech and bleat and make other animal noises, but what of it? Corallo has never contradicted Wolfe, and the story was largely confirmed by the NYT. It is an undeniable fact that Corallo did quit, and must have had a reason for doing so -- just as Robert Mueller must have had a reason when he called the guy in for questioning.

(Appros de rien, didja know that Corallo and Eric Prince are longtime friends? It's true.)

There's good reason to suspect that Hicks participated in a scheme to obstruct justice. She probably fell in with this plot without comprehending the ramifications. It's even possible that she did not fully understand what the term "obstruction of justice" means. But now, with the brown-and-smelly hurtling toward the sharp-and-whirly, she needs to tear herself free of Trumpworld. This is the time to ready herself for the call from Mueller.

Perhaps that call has already come. If not...soon, soon.

I'd like to take things a bit further. The Corallo/Hicks controversy concerns the cover story for the infamous Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. (Speaking of whom, did you know about this? Another overlooked WOW story.) Team Trump originally offered a false story that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss American adoptions of Russian children, a practice which Putin ended in retaliation for sanctions. According to numerous news articles, the person who fastened upon this cover yarn -- the man who insisted that this is your story and you're gonna stick to it -- was Donald Trump himself.

But why would Putin's adoption policy even enter into Trump's thinking? Trump is an incurious man who rarely loads up on information that he doesn't really need. Russian adoption law doesn't seem to be in his wheelhouse.

Politico says that Trump and Putin discussed the adoption issue at the G20 summit. Perhaps they did -- or perhaps "adoptions" has become a code word covering more than one contingency.

I suspect that someone else suggested that "adoptions" cover story to Trump. By "someone else," I do not mean one of the advisors aboard Air Force One; I mean someone in Russia. I lean toward the theory that when Donnie learned that the Trump Tower meeting was going to become public, he asked advice from a Russian contact -- perhaps from Putin himself.

Maybe I'm wrong. I certainly can't claim to have evidence. But this much is a near-certainty: If my theory has any truth in it, Hicks would know.

She would know much else as well.

The male/female dynamic comes into play here: A man like a Trump continually stays in impress the girl mode. I'm not implying a romantic relationship between Trump and Hicks. But by instinct, by habit, by character, Trump would never miss an opportunity to demonstrate his cleverness to a pretty young female. Look at how smart I am. Look at how I out-think my enemies. Look at the strategies I employ to get ahead.

Over the years, Hicks has no doubt heard much more than she ever wanted to hear.

That's not all, folks. In a later post, I will I have much more to say about Jared, about that important testimony from Michael Rogers (who may have leaked some of the info that got Jared into trouble), and about Roger Stone (whose "time in the barrel" finally may be to hand).

We should also look at the bizarre claims from Russian "sex expert" Anastasia Vashukevich -- claims which most people would probably dismiss, but which I, foolhardy lad that I am, take at least semi-seriously. The words prostitute and yacht keep cropping up in stories about Trump-linked Russians. Moreover, Anastasia certainly looks as if she could pass as underaged -- a helpful talent if blackmail is the goal. Imagine how young she must have looked at few years ago. Try to keep an open mind as you check out the video...

From the Department of Hitching Horse to Wrong Wagon: White House aids looking to bail get cold shoulder from prospective employers. White House on resume kiss of death.
Some notes from the old continent...

The Five Star Movement looks set to win a plurality in Sunday's general election. They've been holding "Vaffanculo" meetings across the country. (I kid not.) They're polling well among the youth, probably less so among traditional grandmothers. The people they're telling to "fuck off" are the "old-style" politicians of left and right. They are an important, concrete, live example of "beyond left and right" fascism.

WTF is Berlusconi up to? It can't be that he simply wants to stay out of jail. Might there be a Five Star-Berlusconi coalition? Poor Italy.

The media are going overboard with their reporting of snowy weather, framing it as if it were the apocalypse and, in my opinion, continuing to ready people for that time. Bringing in the harvest is labour intensive and if you haven't got the labour because too few Polish workers are coming here then there will be big problems.

Many reports are focusing on the use of the army to help people stuck in their cars on the roads but they are not saying much about what the army is actually doing. Presumably they are snowploughing the hard shoulders and leading convoys, which is great work (nice that they're doing something useful) but pretty mundane, but if you're trying to prepare a population then that's not how you report it. Helping with the harvest will be on a much bigger scale and I expect army reservists to be called up. As everything goes to absolute shit, it will be interesting to watch for whether views about Brexit change among those in uniform. (So far, British service personnel have been overwhelmingly pro-Brexit. Many are also in favour of race war against Muslims on the streets of Britain.)

Who will win the vote in the SPD on whether or not to join a CDU-led coalition? The result be declared on Sunday. Could the widescale trumpeting of a few polls showing small advances by the far-right AfD actually NOT be about influencing SPD members to vote for a coalition? Could it be to prepare for another general election? They must be loving this theme in the reporting. My tip is that Angela Merkel may be out of office very soon whichever one of the three routes is taken: coalition, minority government, or new elections. There have been too many unexpected occurrences for it to be likely that the country will soon enter another period of "Calmness under Angela".
Steve Bannon is in Italy for the election.
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