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Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Trump's rising poll numbers and more

My health concerns have become...concerning. Extreme fatigue, inability to walk very far, occasional throat pain and lightheadedness. The latter is the grooviest symptom -- wheeeeee! -- but also the most worrisome, since I fear stroke far more than I fear The Worst.

I may not be my usual prolix self. Perhaps that's a good thing.

Papadopoulos. Georgie-poo sure does love to talk to strangers in bars, doesn't he? He's gone and dunnit again, blabbing to one Jason Wilson and his wife Simona Mangiante at a Chicago night spot.
Wilson said he proceeded to make small talk about the Trump Russia investigation—and then Papadopoulos reportedly told him that things were “just getting started.” The Mueller indictee also said Sessions pushed him to get more information about the emails from Joseph Mifsud, the academic with high-level Russian connections who has reportedly vanished.
When word of this encounter got out, Georgie back-peddled, saying that the whole thing had been a "misunderstanding."

"Misunderstanding" my ass.

Trump's rising numbers. This is terrifying.
Overall, the poll found Trump’s approval rating holding steady at 44 percent, down only 1 point from last month and up from his December low of 41 percent.

Trump’s numbers in several polls have been on the rise in recent weeks. In a poll by Rasmussen released Monday, his approval rating hit 50 percent. His numbers also improved in recent polls by CNN and The Associated press.
My sense is that the big Dem blogs have decided not to play ostrich this time around, in contrast to their behavior in the last weeks of the election. Trump continues to run against Hillary Clinton -- or rather, against the fever-dream Hillarybeast who haunts the right-wing imagination. The Democratic party must confront and combat this insanity, and perhaps find some way to use it against the Republicans.

Many liberal writers believe that the best way to counter Trumpism is to address the concerns of the working class by proposing traditional government programs. No. This approach has done nothing but fail since 1980.

Instead, I would argue that Dems should feed  fear to the public. We have nothing to fear but a refusal to use fear itself to our advantage.

Many people sense that THEY are plotting against the average American. THEY are the reason why many of us don't live as well as our parents did.

Let us tell our fellow citizens that these fears are justified.

THEY really exist, although THEY have been misidentified. Right-wing news is a monolithic manipulation machine designed to ensure that Americans see the wrong people as THEY.

International fascism and the right-wing power structure are the real THEY. The peddlers of right-wing conspiracy theories serve this reactionary elite by deflecting attention away from the true enemy of the common people.

The Storm is bogus. Pizzagate is bogus. The right-wing version of Benghazi was bogus. Birtherism is bogus. But Trump/Russia is real. The international fascist resurgence is real.

Do not listen to those (like Matt Taibbi) who tell you that the time has come to ignore the conspiratorial origins of this administration. Do not listen to those who insist that we must focus entirely on a discussion of policy. A policy debate with a Trump cultist honors the unworthy -- besides, Trump has been known to switch his policies on a dime, for reasons of whim or profit. Hell, most Americans can't even follow a policy-based discussion, even when their own vital interests are at stake.

Concentrate on fear. We have become a nation of fear junkies, but too many of us have been carefully taught to fear the wrong things and the wrong people. Alex Jones screeches at a parade of scarecrows erected to frighten the gullible. Fascism is no scarecrow. Fascism is real -- and it is terrifying.

Sinclair. Holy mother of God, this is just...diseased.
David Smith, the executive chairman of Sinclair Broadcast Group, said he dislikes and fundamentally distrusts the print media, which he believes “serves no real purpose.” In emails to New York, Smith said that print — as in newspapers and magazines — is a reality-distorting tool of leftists. Print media, he said, has “no credibility” and no relevance.

“I must tell that in all the 45 plus years I have been in the media business I have never seen a single article about us that is reflective of reality especially in today’s world with the shameful political environment and generally complete lack of integrity. Facts and truth have been lost for a long time and likely to never return,” Smith said.

“The print media is so left wing as to be meaningless dribble which accounts for why the industry is and will fade away. Just no credibility.”
Look, we all have had problems with the mainstream media, but those problems have much to do with corporate ownership of the mainstream media organs, and with reporters who (until recent times) showed undue deference to the power structure, often for fear of losing access. Left-wing? Hardly. Smith must define "left-wing" as any source of news which doesn't let neo-fascists control all public perception of events.

The ubiquity of Fox and Sinclair means that the purveyors of pro-fascist news can no longer persuasively claim "outsider" status. The omnipotent and omnipresent cannot pretend to stand outside the mainstream.

We must find a way to use this contradiction to our advantage.

Kilimnik. I've long had mixed feelings toward John Schindler, but this piece deserves your attention. The topic is Konstantin Kilimnik, the GRU agent close to Paul Manafort.

Pause. Take a breath. Consider: Our president's campaign adviser was close to a GRU agent. Three years ago, would you have considered such a thing possible?
There are credible reports that Kilimnik continued to maintain connections with the IRI even after he was cashiered, while more disturbingly, sources in Kyiv tell me that our embassy there relied on Kilimnik, including to help vet personnel, despite his known GRU connections. Kilimnik was a fixture in Ukraine’s capital, touching numerous American interests, official and unofficial. He also seems to have served as the connection between Manafort and Oleg Deripaska, the notorious Russian oligarch and close friend of Putin’s. Any serious inquiry into Kiliminik and his network of friends and partners will likely reveal embarrassing things for Washington beyond Manafort and Trump.
Once more: Roger. In the above-linked article, John Schindler turns his attention to Guccifer 2.0, now definitively identified as a GRU officer. Here we have yet another GRU agent with an undeniable link to to the Trump effort, specifically to Roger Stone...
This is of special interest to Team Mueller since Roger Stone, the veteran Republican dirty-trickster who’s been a close friend and partner of both Manafort and Trump since the 1970s, has admitted he was in contact with Guccifer 2.0. Stone posted Twitter direct messages between himself and the mysterious hacker on his blog. Although Stone denied that he’s been in touch with Russian intelligence, this is now provably untrue. Given that Stone has also been in secret contact with WikiLeaks, he has placed himself at both ends of the Russian-directed spy-cum-criminal conspiracy against the Democrats in 2016. Considering that Trump’s own CIA director called out WikiLeaks as a Kremlin front, specifically “a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia,” it can be safely assumed that Mueller and the FBI have many questions for Stone to answer.
As you may have heard, Mueller is looking into reports that Stone dined with Julian Assange on August 3 of 2016. Stone made this claim in an email to Nunberg on August 4.

Roger-Dodger now says that this message was simply a joke.

Really? Aren't jokes supposed to be, you know, funny? Few would categorize that message to Nunberg as an exercise in Shavian wordplay -- besides, Stone's usual idea of a joke is a thumb in the eye.

When Papadopolous blurted out more than intended, he said it was a "misunderstanding." Roger's message is supposed to be just a "joke." Perhaps these guys are engaged in a "World's Lamest Excuse" competition.

Rumor holds that a Stone-Assange meeting took place outside of the Ecuadorean embassy, and that Assange has skulked out of his lair more than once. I can see how it might happen: A little hair dye, tinted glasses, perhaps a fake mustache. Perhaps one of my British readers can tell me if the embassy has a back entrance. Dare I suggest an underground passage...?
Mueller’s team investigating Russia's election meddling has asked about the email during testimony before a grand jury, a source familiar with the matter told the Journal.

Stone said he was flying out to Los Angeles the night before he sent the email. The Journal confirmed that a flight from Miami to Los Angeles matches a screenshot of the flight information Stone provided, but could not confirm he was on it.
Fortunately, Stone did not try to use the ever-popular "check my passport" excuse. We all recall that his former partner Paul Manafort had three passports.

That said, his story has morphed...
“Airline and hotel records prove I was in California on August 3 and 4,” Stone told TPM. He later clarified that he flew into Los Angeles on August 1 from New York, and then to Miami from Los Angeles on August 3.
From the airport in Miami, he could have taken a flight to Heathrow. The trip takes roughly nine hours.

Stone asks us to believe him, but it's hard to trust a guy who takes pride in being a dirty trickster. His big excuse in this situation rests on the concept of lying to a friend.

Sorry, but the "joke" theory doesn't pass the laugh test.

Kurt Eichenwald. I don't know if you have been following his Twitter feed, but he has been attracting some particularly evil responses lately. Clearly, the Pals-of-Pepe have targeted him.

Books about Hitler's rise to power describe similar ugliness. In the 1920s, in beer halls across Germany, right-wing thugs would hoist their glasses while demanding the blood of enemies. A typical chant: "Death to Walther Rathenau, the godforsaken Jewish sow!" Rathenau was a patriotic German politician of Jewish ancestry who was wrongly blamed for the Versailles Treaty; he was murdered in June of 1922.

Not many years ago, I never expected to encounter that kind of evil in this country. Now we see it every day on Twitter.

This is why I do not tweet. Why should my writings provide a forum for the people I most despise? Many of the "people" trying to terrorize Eichenwald are not real, and the ones who are real are monsters with faces unworthy of a decent person's spit.
Comments:
Apropos of a previous thread on this blog about Hitler and gun law: this guy appears to know what he's talking about. According to him, "under Hitler, guns laws were relaxed and made less restrictive thus making it easier for civilians to purchase pistols, rifles and shotguns." Unfortunately he gives no details.
 
The print and broadcast news media is hoisted on their own petard. Thanx to Rush Limbaugh and AM Hate Radio most republicans don't believe a word. Ever since 2000 when news outlets went all in for Bush the Lesser they lost a large swath of the Left.

No matter the Great White Dope's approval numbers those people are lost to reason, there is no converting them. Robert Mueller is and always will be Obama's Deep State agent out to take down Trump. For Democrats to prevail the DNC has to GOTV, without counting on the Parkland Survivors to do the heavy lifting. This means taking a clear stance on gun control including an assault rifle ban.

The Democrats have to control the narrative even if it means taking a folding chair to the likes of a Chris Matthews or a Chuck Todd as soon as weasel scold come out their pie hole.

In other words Democrats gonna have to get their hands dirty, no more old school's "Impeachment is off the table".

Ahhh...who am I kidding.
 
Agree with Mr. Mike. The time for being polite and civilized has come to an end. Don't mean major illegality--the Rule of Law must stand--but Dems need to play the game hard and yes, dirty around the edges if necessary. All these hustlers need to have the Book thrown at them. No excuses.

Btw, Joe. I'm sorry to hear about your health problems. Stress over what we're seeing and reading certainly doesn't help. Take care of yourself. We need your voice.

Peggysue
 
thyroid
 
Regarding your health, you might consider a 14-day water fast and/or just eating a vegetable-based diet for several weeks.

Fasting is a good all-around option when you don't really know what's wrong. Also, between fasting and a veggie diet any circulatory issues are bound to improve. If you can get some Hawthorn leaf and flower, the tea is particularly beneficial to circulatory health.

Good luck,
-Aaron
 
Thanks, Aaron. I know what's wrong. I'm a heart patient, and I haven't really been the same since the attack. But your advice is sound.
 
Nothing to say except get well! I doubt I'm saying anything you don't already know, but my only recommendation is to take a break from politics if it's stressing you out too much. Health > Politics
 
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