Thursday, July 12, 2018

"Awwwww!" and The Awful. UPDATED: Strzok strikes back!

Update: DAMN! That's Peter Strzok forcing Trey Gowdy to chow down on his own ass. I may be a cynic, I may be a man without heroes, but...DAMN!

(We now return to this morning's post as originally published. The Rachel Maddow clip has been moved downward.)

Meet Charlie! This blog's current canine mascot is an Australian Shepherd puppy named Charlie, who is less than three months old. A friend gifted him to us. This dog's specialty is chewing everything he sees into sub-molecular particles. And I mean everything: Wallets, shoes, books, headphones, cars, trees, national monuments, meteors, abstract concepts... If I dangle my right arm within range of those fearsome teeth, that arm will soon look as gruesome as any shot in Passion of the Christ. Don't let that cute face fool you: This guy's a killer.

But how can we stay mad? Look at those eyes. One blue, one black. Awwwwww!

And now, let's turn from Awwwww to The Awful. That's my new name for each day's news: The Awful.

Trump wants out of NATO.
How can anyone see this story and not admit that Trump is Putin's plaything? The ramifications are historic and horrific.
U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to break with NATO and conduct American security unilaterally — if allies do not immediately meet higher military spending targets, NATO officials and diplomats said.
The military spending targets demanded by Trump are absurd -- deliberately so. Donnie and Vladdie know that the European nations will never go for a proposal to raise military spending to four percent of GDP. Doing so would be ruinous: Consider the perilous economic states of Greece, Italy and the U.K.

I disagree with Josh Marshall's analysis only at the very end...
Again, these numbers are total nonsense and intended as nonsense. It’s not a real proposal. It’s just the US President’s effort to toss another smoke bomb into the summit.
No: Not a smoke bomb. An atom bomb.

Putin decided to put Trump into office for many reasons, but the main motive was the destruction of the NATO alliance. This goal has been crystal clear since the summer of 2016.

Manafort in prison. I am so sick of "flip" predictions. Manafort ain't flipping. Look at how he's living...
I have NO IDEA why Manafort is allowed to have a laptop and cell in jail. I've never heard of this in any of the jurisdictions I've worked in (DC, federal; Massachusetts, state; and New Hampshire, state). Of *course* Manafort's feeling no pressure to flip—he's living like a king.
2/ He has his own bathroom, shower, workroom, and wardrobe? Wow, we're really *bringing the hammer down* on white-collar crime. It's almost like the corrupt politicians who get charged with white-collar crimes are writing all the criminal statutes. In fact, it's *just* like that.
3/ Despite all this—despite Manafort telling people that he's being treated like a VIP—he's complained in filings about the facility he's in and his lockdown status. Folks, this is why Trump is winning: America bends over backwards for rich criminals. We need to wake up—and fast.
Fortunately, there's a solution. But even if Manafort is placed into less palatial digs, the situation remains the same: He can lie and defy and practically beg for a conviction. Nothing matters. A pardon is in the bag.

I know what you're thinking: "But if he accepts a pardon, he can still be forced to testify, and he won't have any Fifth Amendment rights!" Oh, just stop it. Trump will pardon any further crimes as well.

Face facts, folks. Between the pardon and the plutonium, no member of the Trump crime crew has any motive to cooperate with Mueller and every motive to hang tough. Until I see state charges against one of these guys, I consider the very concept of hope laughable.

Cohen won't rat out Trump either, no matter what people are saying right now. Remember when all the smartypants-types assured us that Steve Fucking Bannon was about to turn, or had already turned? Aren't you sick of being misled by cockeyed optimists? Positive thinking is killing us. No matter what assurances Lucy gives us, she's always going to pull the football away at the last second.

Election meddling. David Corn's latest is a must-read.
Two weeks ago, Trump, in a tweet, gave credence to Putin’s claim that Moscow did not intervene in the election. “Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!” Trump maintained. Instead, Trump insisted, the real scandal was that the Democratic National Committee in 2016 did not hand over to the FBI its servers, which were hacked by Russian intelligence. This server business is a phony Fox News-fueled scandal; the DNC provided copies of its servers to the bureau. And even if there were anything untoward about the server matter, it still would pale in comparison to a foreign adversary assaulting an American election with hacks and the dissemination of stolen material.
The aim of Trump’s tweet was to legitimize Putin’s disinformation and to divert attention from Putin’s operation to a distraction. In doing so, the president was stunningly serving Putin’s interests rather than those of the United States.
"Are you now or have you ever been a Democratic voter?" Just look at the vile questions put to Peter Strzok...

This is worse than McCarthyism. At least McCarthy demonized Communists, although his witch-hunt quickly segued into an excuse to undo the New Deal and to toss labor leaders into prison.

For nearly forty years, a magnificently-funded propaganda has created a sick, distorted view of the Democratic party. Many Americans (even liberals) (hell, especially liberals) think that all Dems are evil, subhuman conspirators, and that anyone who favors a a Democratic candidate must be party to the conspiracy.

For the truth about Strzok, I strongly encourage you to view the Rachel Maddow segment embedded below.

How many other deep cover Russian Federation spies are operating in the United States?
Given his actions derailing the House Intelligence committee investigation have Russian agents gotten to the California Cow Cuddling Congressman?
Peter Strzok's work leading operation Ghost Stories be at the root of republican animus?
"Face facts, folks. Between the pardon and the plutonium, no member of the Trump crime crew has any motive to cooperate with Mueller and every motive to hang tough. Until I see state charges against one of these guys, I consider the very concept of hope laughable."

I'm not against a pessimistic attitude (been feeling it strong since the Supreme Court corrupt bargain), but getting Papadopoulous, George Nader, Rick Gates, and especially Michael Flynn to cooperate is getting some serious cooperation. And I'm not gonna celebrate until it's official, but every indication is that Michael Cohen is gonna flip.

It's what I've always said, but if Trump was going to pardon Manafort, every incentive is to do it sooner rather than later. The fact that he's waited this long when one of his trials starts in like two weeks tells me that he ain't gonna pardon him.

But seriously, why the f**k is he getting VIP treatment in jail? Seriously, just, WTF? If jail was that nice for everybody, I'd think about getting arrested instead of spending money on hotel rooms!
Hillary Clinton continues to play the part of Snowball from Animal Farm. The crazier Trump behaves, the more progressive Hillary Clinton goes, the better the Republican's chances for holding onto their power base and for Trump to get re-elected.

The person who is being exalted the most, and the only person left to fix this mess, is Barack Obama admitting his mistakes during his term in office. Anything he did to hurt the rust belt States he should own up to. Until that happens The crazier Trump gets, the safer his supporters feel.
Does Mueller actually need Cohen and Manafort to flip? Both those guys hoarded a lot of documents. Enough documentation would make cooperation beside the point,

Plus all the tax filings that the IRS routinely hands over, plus all other communications that they had warrants for.

The bad news is that the entire GOP is fixed, and getting rid of trump leaves the rotten system in place.

Joseph, Very cute dog.

Tell me about puppies with chewing issues. Since March 21, I have been owned by a chi-dachshund mix who is a holy terror on everything. She is probably eight or nine months old now. My other dog tolerates her.
suan: "Been owned by" THAT'S a good way to phrase it. Nine months old and still chewing? Oy. Sorry to hear that.
Gotta wonder how relations will play out between Adelman-Kushner-Las-Vegas-Trump and the US military-industrial complex. NATO means big contracts. That's what it's about. Surely no US president can successfully fuck with that?

Trump is mentally ill. Everywhere he goes, he leaves people thinking "this guy is a fucking nutcase". I was looking at how he has pissed people off who live close to a big golf project of his in Scotland, possibly at Turnberry. Basically he tries to grab grab grab, he lies his head off, especially about how many percent of people say he's great, and if anybody doesn't lie down like a doormat for him he subjects them to personal abuse. He tries to grab everything, he tells lies, he says most people think he's great, and he throws verbal shit at people when he doesn't get what he wants. He obviously deep down knows he's a pathetic excuse for a human being who deserves a fucking good thrashing.

The guy is not fit for public office of any kind.

This will all end in tears. I have never seen a national leader before who has had "I've got it coming to me" written on his forehead in bigger letters.

The guy has disgraced the United States on his trip to Europe and there is almost certainly more to come. Meanwhile his wife wears a jacket saying she doesn't give a shit, when she's off to see Spanish-speaking children separated by the US authorities from their parents in a blatant crime against humanity. She shouldn't be let off the hook because she's physically beautiful. Her slogan may be cause for postmodernist idiots to discuss irony, but for people who can think straight and who aren't themselves scumbags, it's cause for ensuring her fascist nutcase husband is removed from office (whether his destination is jail or mental hospital or he "does a Forrestal") as soon as possible, by any means necessary - and if the army have to do it, then that would be better than leaving him where he is.

Would it have been right to shoot Hitler in 1932? Yes.

The problem is you don't know the consequences of your actions. Someone else would have replaced Hitler and he might have won ww2.
The only way the Axis could have won WW2 is if none of the Axis Powers had attacked the USSR or the USA. Only against the British Empire alone would the Axis have stood a chance in Areinnye. The material odds were just too great against the Axis, but they started believing their own propaganda about how they had the Biggest Swinging Dicks Ever To Hang From A Primate's Crotch, and the sheer power of their testosterone would pulverize any merely material disadvantages.

Reality proved to be rather different. Matter matters.
@William - I agree. It's only about probabilities. If someone had replaced Hitler and then proceeded to win WW2, we might be in a worse position now, or one that's about the same, or we might be in a better one. Trump will eventually fall, but the longer it takes the more it's going to look like Armageddon. I doubt the course of events will feature lawyers in as big a way as some are hoping. If he is not stopped, his trajectory is to become a war leader and mass murderer. It's unclear where he will start. It could be against China or in Syria, Ukraine, Korea, or he could fall out with Qatar or Iran or somewhere unexpected, perhaps a NATO ally or Mexico or Saudi, or he could go for race war internally, or some combination. About the only regime he definitely won't fall out with is Israel.

I despise Theresa May's government in Britain but a small part of me sympathises with her for how she has to wear a shit-eating grin while she holds this psycho's hand in public. I kept thinking of Ceausescu when looking at pictures of Trump in London.

Serious question: does Trump have a flunky following him around with some alcohol or other substance for washing his hands in after he has shaken hands with someone?

It's great that so many people have protested against Trump in Britain, including many US citizens, but there seems to be a scary "all we can do is bear witness" vibe.

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