Sunday, December 09, 2018

Catching up

I let my William Barr post stay up for a while because I hoped that the news would spread. Alas, most still don't understand that Barr is a CIA man through-and-through, and that he has, in past times, been incredibly effective in covering up covert misdeeds. The fact that Barr has allied himself with Trump tells us much about the intelligence community's relationship with the far right.

(As some of you know, it all started with Gehlen. It didn't end there.)

Trump has chosen Barr because Barr has promised to take the fight to Trump's foes -- Hillary and Comey. As Digby said:
They really, really, really want to lock her up. I've never seen anything like this. It's just sick.
This tactic works because the Clintons rarely defend themselves, and because so many on the left see it as a point of honor to be every bit as psychotically anti-Clinton as the rightwingers are.

(Example: Not too long ago, Virginia Heffernan told her listeners not to buy Bill Clinton's latest book because he's such a notorious abuser of women. Bullshit. He never abused anyone. Does Heffernan actually believe the nonsense spewed by Juanita Brodderick? The woman whose story was so full of holes that even the National Enquirer wouldn't touch it? The woman who later supported Brett freakin' Kavanaugh?)

As a result of this left/right "Open season on the Clintons" attitude, Hillary's approval ratings are actually worse than Trump's. It makes sense for Trump to continue to go after her. Where's the downside?

For years, right-wing propagandists have accused Hillary of being the real-life equivalent of a James Bond supervillain, yet the incessant, interminable Republican-led investigations of her have never led to any charges. Trump has been president for two years, during which time the GOP has controlled all three branches of government. Still no charges.

If Trump doesn't gin up some kind of a trial, the rubes -- at least, some of the rubes -- will figure out that they've been fed a lot of BS over the past quarter century. Sure, many Trumpers will tell themselves that Jeff Sessions was a secret agent for Evil Soros. But that excuse will go only so far.

Mark Meadows may become the new Chief of Staff, according to Axios.
Trump has asked confidants what they think about the idea of installing Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, as John Kelly's permanent replacement, according to these three sources. Trump has also mentioned three other candidates besides Meadows, according to a source with direct knowledge. I don't yet have their names.
Meadows is bad news. A key opponent of John Boehner from the right, Meadows is a Tea Partier who voted against Hurricane Sandy relief. He did more than others to deep-six Obamacare, and he has been utterly reckless in his advocacy of government shutdowns. There was also a strange business involving mysterious payments to a former staffer accused of sexual misconduct.

(Maybe Heffernan should look into that.)

Hilariously, Meadows favors a balanced budget amendment. This, despite the fact that Trump is the deficit-spender par excellence.

Rumor holds that one of the other candidates for the position is -- get this -- Matt Whitaker. If he gets the gig, I will be speechless. Even by Trump-era standards, his venality is outrageous. Unfortunately, the Chief of Staff does not require Senate confirmation.

Comey. Trump's tweets are madder than ever. Worse, many people have bought into the biggest of his many big lies: They really do believe that Comey was on Hillary's side during the 2016 election.

To counter this absurdity, sane people must incessantly repeat these three words: Comey helped Trump. Comey helped Trump. Comey helped Trump. Whether he did so intentionally or otherwise is immaterial. Comey insured Trump's election by talking in public about the Weiner laptop debacle while keeping secret the all-important fact that Trump was under an FBI investigation.

We recently learned that Peter Strzok also knew about the Trump investigation. (This fact came out during Comey's testimony.) If Strzok truly was the deep-dish Hillary agent that the right imagines him to be, why didn't he leak the truth about Trump to the media?

Many on the right believe that the FBI's investigation of Trump was nothing more than a dirty trick played by the so-called "Deep State." Really? Then why didn't we hear about it before the election? Secrecy made the "trick" ineffective and pointless.

If those FISA warrants were issued pursuant to a smear campaign (as the right would have us believe), why keep the whole thing hidden? There's no such thing as a classified smear. Invisible mud can't tarnish a candidate.

In his latest tirades, Trump accused Comey of lying. Evidence? Donald J. Trump don't need no stinkin' evidence.

Although most on the left think that Trump is raging incoherently, I suspect that he has a plan. (A plan perhaps concocted with Barr's aid? Perhaps.) Step 1 of this plan is to get Comey on the record. Step 2 is to find some reasonably plausible way to challenge one of Comey's statements. Step 3, of course, would be a trial of Jim Comey -- the kind of trial that Uncle Joe Stalin would have loved.

More madness. Trump also tweeted a tirade directed against Richard Blumenthal. Shade your eyeballs, because a gale-force blast of chutzpah is a-headin' for your retinas:
Watched Da Nang Dick Blumenthal on television spewing facts almost as accurate as his bravery in Vietnam (which he never saw). As the bullets whizzed by Da Nang Dicks head, as he was saving soldiers....
....left and right, he then woke up from his dream screaming that HE LIED. Next time I go to Vietnam I will ask “the Dick” to travel with me!
Trump's syntax is so garbled that one hardly knows what to make of this statement. Is Trump is the first president to make a dick joke in public? I believe so.

One thing is clear: The guy who dodged Vietnam by pretending to have bone spurs (which never kept him away from the golf course or other activities) has no right to complain about anyone else's service. I've never encountered another public figure so lacking in self-awareness, humility, or decency. Even Hitler had better public manners.

Michael Cohen.
I'm a little sorry that the prosecutors in New York have threatened him with the proverbial tossed book. Unlike all of the other "flipped" Trump aides, Cohen seems sincere in his new loyalties. I am convinced that he now hates his former boss.

A long-ish sentence may encourage him to keep helping Robert Mueller. Good deeds = less time.

Yes, Cohen did wrong. Yes, his crimes were serious. But if Michael Cohen brings down Donald Trump, I would support letting him walk. Hell, I would favor changing the name of the Washington Mall to the Michael D. Cohen National Concourse and Softball Fields.

A final note. I began this post with the intent of writing at length about the Yellow Jacket movement in Paris, which has disturbing parallels to the Occupy movement in this country. Funny, innit? These uprisings happen only when a Democrat -- or, in Macron's case, a small-d democrat -- holds power. Note that the NY Post and Trump himself seem to favor the Yellow Jackets.

But that's a very large subject, and thus must wait for another time.


joseph said...

It is becoming clearer and clearer that Russia is a substantial force behind the Yellow Jackets.

Joseph Cannon said...

joseph, I have been thinking along those same lines. If you have any links to send, please do!

nemdam said...

RE: les gilets jaunes you read my mind in that they seem almost exactly like Occupy Wall Street. Did you see their list of demands? It's an incoherent wish list of contradictory demands like lowering taxes and increasing social services. It's complete nonsense just like Occupy. And of course they want France to leave the EU and NATO. So it shouldn't surprise anyone to learn that Russia has been supporting them. SURPRISE! I also like how people are saying that the protests are about a gas tax and dissatisfaction with Macron only looking out for the wealthy as opposed to being a far right movement perfectly aligned with Russia's goals. Saying les gilets jaunes is about a gas tax and economic inequality is like saying Trump voters are motivated by economic anxiety.

Lastly, it should surprise no one that estimates state 42% of the protestors support Marine Le Pen and 20% Melanchon (anti-EU, anti-NATO, far left guy). So Le Pen supporters make up by far the largest faction and a clear majority are extremists whose foreign policy agenda perfectly lines up with Russia. I'm sure this is all a big coincidence.

nemdam said...

Also link to the political preferences of the protestors.

joseph said...

Mr Mike said...

You give Trumptards too much credit, the Great White Dope can contradict himself on any topic with impunity. The truth is whatever Trump spews today. It took awhile but Jersey drywall contractors wised up to Trump's flimflammery after enough had been stiffed on the final payment. Trump supporters aren't that smart. Trump isn't Machiavellian bc the doesn't have to be.

gadfly said...

Mark Meadows doesn't even think like a "Freedom Caucus" guy because somehow he thinks that Trump supports freedom.

But I cannot understand how he voted against Hurricane Sandy relief when Sandy was only a Tropical Storm from the time "she" made landfall. In my opinion, Cuomo, Bloomberg and Obama's sudden new friend, Krispy Christie, ripped off the American taxpayer.

Anonymous said...

off topic but important:

Alessandro Machi said...

i don't understand why Hillary Clinton doesn't use Facebook Micro Ads to defend herself. This would insulate her from the Media to some degree.