Friday, August 31, 2018

Of Mueller, "great scholars," the National Enquirer, Shera Bechard and "Our friend, David"

Will today be a big day? Chuck Todd yesterday predicted that Mueller would drop something big big big today. Maybe, but my big big big gut says otherwise. Nevertheless, others are making the same prediction; see above.

I must admit that the things Trump said at that rally are genuinely chilling. Let's hope that a sizable cat is debagged before midnight. (A Stone indictment? Probably not. But we can dream.)

I must also admit that Morning Joe is a lot easier to watch without Joe. It's almost as good as Garfield Without Garfield. I've often resented Mika Brzezinski because...well, frankly, I never could stand her father, who managed to out-Machiavelli Henry Kissinger and who, unlike Henry the K, besmirched the Dem brand. But Mika herself has definitely grown on me. I wish Scarborough would let her talk more.

Scholars. Is it my imagination, or has Trump been nuttier than usual lately? Consider this:
Trump has stepped up his attacks on the Mueller probe in recent weeks, accusing the former FBI director of running a biased inquiry.

“I view it as an illegal investigation” because “great scholars” have said that “there never should have been a special counsel,” Trump said Thursday.
Which scholars? Are these anti-Mueller "scholars" disinterested? Do they have names that rhyme with Schmuliani or Smershowitz?

On pretty much any topic, there's always going to be one person who can plausibly (or semi-plausibly) be called a "scholar" who will take a position which defies conventional wisdom. Sometimes these unconventional thinkers are right; usually, they are wrong. Does Trump even know what the concept of "scholarly consensus" means?

And since when do "scholars" (as opposed to legislators or judges) determine what is and is not legal?
Asked whether he would comply with a subpoena from Mueller to answer questions, Trump said in the interview that “I’ll see what happens.”
For a while now, I've toyed with the thought that Trump wants to avoid an interview because he fears arrest, right there, on the spot. Many would say that such an arrest would be illegal, on the grounds that a president cannot be indicted. But (ahem!) great scholars have questioned the conventional wisdom on that point.

Our friend. Since that Cohen/Trump audio tape has been getting a lot of renewed attention, I'd like to repeat a point made earlier: The phrase "our friend, David" probably does not refer to David Pecker, publisher of the National Enquirer.

The actual phrase: "I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David."

"Regarding." Not "to." David is the topic of discussion; the info is about a David. David Pecker does not need to receive information about David Pecker.

It seems obvious me that the "David" referenced here is David Dennison, the alter ego (for legal purposes) of Donald Trump. No other interpretation makes sense.

Of course, we have been led to believe that "David Dennison" also functioned as the alter ego of another naughty gentleman, Elliott Broidy. For all the talk about the way Michael Cohen financed the payoffs to Stormy and Karen, we've seen damned little to explain the much larger pay-off to Shera Bechard.

So far, nothing has disconfirmed my little theory that Trump was the actual father of Bechard's aborted child. (And that theory originated with this humble blog, not with Paul Campos.) The theory could be wrong, of course. (If it is, feel free to blame Paul Campos.) Nevertheless, we should continue to keep an eye on this controversy, scrutinizing all the new clues as they trickle in. An abortion is one of the very few things that could cause Trump's fundamentalist followers to break out of their collective trance.

Many readers seem to think that even that would not suffice, but I disagree. Fundamentalist Christians are human beings. Like you and me, they are capable of rationalizing the inexcusable. At a certain point, however, the tethers of rationalization will reach the limits of their elasticity -- and that's when we'll hear a snap, a universe-changing snap like the one in Infinity War.

When Trump recently derided Sessions' southern accent and background, we came just a bit closer to that snapping point.

So let's take another look at Shera Bechard's messages to the world. She knows damned well about our suspicions, and she keeps offering hints of an underlying reality which differs from what we have been told.

Are we reading too much into her cryptic tweets? Possibly. But if so, why won't she say so?

From her August 23 tweet ("narc" means "narcissist" in this context):
The narc I speak of was one that when he came over, if we didn’t all bow down to his majesty we would get the stink eye all night long. I knew there’d be a silly fight that would arise.
To which one reader responds:
Rhymes with Schmonald Crump?
Here's the thing: Bechard could say "No, the name of the narc in question does not rhyme with Schmonald Crump." She could say that. But she doesn't. She interacts with her readers on other topics, but she never acknowledges her readers when they address that topic.

On the same day, she retweeted this message from her lawyer, Peter Stris, who also represented Karen McDougal:
Yes. Our firm represents @SheraBechard in ongoing litigation. Shera is also incredibly brave.
Please help us to bring this nightmare to an end. We need to begin healing our nation!
I'm hopeful that we'll all know the truth about Shera and @realDonaldTrump very soon.
If Elliott Broidy truly did father the unborn child, then nothing -- absolutely nothing -- prevents Stris or Bechard from telling these people: "Sorry, you have the wrong idea." If you check the entire thread, you will see that Stris does interact with his readers -- right up until the point when the readers mention the "Daddy Donald" theory. At that moment, all becomes silence.

Sometimes, silence tells us much.

(If Broidy is indeed the father, then wherein lies the incredible bravery?)

A final Bechard tweet:
And once again I am down to one phone charger. I swear there is a invisible black hole that swallows them up when I’m not looking.
I have a similar black hole. It's called a puppy.

A brief note about the National Enquirer. Here's an Enquirer factoid which few know: The tabloid has a link to Citizen Kane.

In the classic film, Charles Foster Kane's flagship newspaper is called The Enquirer, spelled with an E. Kane was, of course, largely based on William Randolph Hearst, who was pro-Hitler before the war. Perhaps the most explicitly pro-fascist newspaper in the Hearst chain was a tawdry New York rag called The Enquirer. Generoso Pope, a mobster's-whelpling-turned-college-boy, bought that rag and took it national; over time, it became the monstrous cultural artifact that we now know and hate.

Before deciding that it would be fun to run a newspaper, Generoso Pope did a stint in the CIA. He specialized in psychological warfare -- which means that he must have spent time here in Baltimore, under the tutelage of a bizarre man named Paul Linebarger, who wrote very advanced science fiction stories under the name Cordwainer Smith. I've written about him in the past.

Does Pecker have a similarly "spooky" past? So far, I've seen no evidence. If you know of any, please share!
The Abortion issue may not matter to Conservatives because... Men can't have Abortions.

I think the Equation is...Guns don't kill people, People do = Men Can't Have Abortions, only Women Can.
I am not sure I see it that way. Most people on both sides do not defend their choice because it effects them personally but rather is a reflection of a bigger issue. The issue is life vs choice. Do you mean that since men are never faced with choice, they are for life?
That would mean that since men also can not bear children, they are against having children.
Clearly, that is not the case. And it applies to men who are in same sex relationships.
If you mean that men use the abortion issue to control women, there is truth in that. But how do you explain the idea of celibacy for priests. Why not just have celibacy for nuns only. Or no sex before marriage. That applies to both sexes. Why not just ban it for women.
I just don't think that a short sentence does Justice to the subject.
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