Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

He said "Rocket Man" at the UN!?

I will have more thoughts about this anon, but he actually called Kim Jong Un "Rocket Man" and seems to be advocating for nuclear war. This is a maniac toddler.

He's also trashed the Iran nuclear deal. He is throwing away years and years of diplomacy work. It is tragic and dangerous.

Monday, September 18, 2017

This TrumpWorld Grab-Bag Might Be Wired

It was awfully late last night that I took the time to read about the astonishingly poor op-sec choice of some of the Trump-orbiting lawyer-satellites to discuss White House business in the out-of-doors where journos could hear--but wow! There are clearly other things going on besides open-air discussions about who's got info in a vault and who is trying to oust Jared Kushner. Here's the particular gold nugget of interest to the prospector:

Tension between the two comes as life in the White House is shadowed by the investigation. Not only do Mr. Trump, Mr. Kushner and Mr. McGahn all have lawyers, but so do other senior officials. The uncertainty has grown to the point that White House officials privately express fear that colleagues may be wearing a wire to surreptitiously record conversations for Mr. Mueller.
That fear of a "wire"--where did I hear that before? Oh, yeah, from Trump Himself, on the day he decided that he was the victim of an Obama "wiretap".  My own guess about that was that he could not have been wiretapped except if there was a warrant because of suspected wrongdoing, but he could have been picked up because of the type of crowd his campaign preferred to run with.  Not that he was directly targeted--just that he fell into a particular net.

It turns out, that net might have been intended for Paul Manafort, who had a lot to do with Ukraine and maybe Russia and so much more. I'm not sure what Trump knew when he made that March 4 Tweet, but he apparently thought something pertaining to the campaign had been looked into. And since Manafort was suspected of reaching out to the Russians over the Trump campaign...

But that's all so very speculative! Maybe Manafort was a target of the FBI because of things happening even prior to the Trump campaign--but while we're at it, why was Trump still communicating regularly with Manafort (who he alleges he barely knew, despite him having a residence at Trump Tower?) after Manafort left the campaign? Maybe this kind of question should cause Trump to pause before directing his smears (directly or through surrogates) against people who understand the story of his campaign--possibly even better than he does.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Climate Sunday: Revisiting the Paris Accord

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said today that Trump might be open to staying in the Paris Accord under the right conditions, after a WSJ story suggested Trump was staying in. Is it possible that someone finally explained to Trump that each country sets their own carbon emissions targets and there is nothing unfavorable in staying?

Who even knows? I just think this might, maybe, be a statement with a definite possibility of a glimmer of almost getting it with respects to climate. It's stupid. But it's...something.

This is Awkward, Really

In criticizing Sarah Huckabee Sanders, I made the awkward comparison to Sean Spicer, in that Spicer seemed to have an awareness that he was lying and that it might be kind of bad, at times. Maybe that was why he sometimes had to go hide in the bushes. I don't know.

I do know that I'm not really comfortable with him being made a kind of celebrity. Yeah, he can be personable. But there's something just really messed-up about a person lying for a corrupt, media-hating, bigoted Trump Administration for several months, and then whimsically making a farce of it, as if being dishonest for a living was a punchline.

It's probably true that he won't ever get a job in any elected official's press shop again, and it's probably also true that we can't expect a juicy tell-all about the White House from him. I just don't know that he should be feted for separating from a job that it should have become apparent was morally appalling to do and I am not thrilled with the Emmy program sort of "sheep-dipping" him this way.

If he were to talk straight about the Trump Administration, that might be the start of something.

With TrumpWorld Grab-Bags Like These...

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R.--Kremlin) had a little side-trip to the Ecuadoran Embassy in London last month which was partially arranged (!?) by RW blogger-provocateur Chuck C. Johnson (which sounds nicer than "creepy little muck-dwelling alt-right alleged floor-shitter, Chuck C. Johnson") to meet with Wikileaks' founder Julian Assange. It sort of feels inexcusable that this escaped my attention--the guy who fellow GOP congressman Kevin McCarthy described as possibly on Putin's payroll, meets with the WikiLeaks guy, through this guy.  Sure, it all sounds flaky as hell, but I'm trying to be a Trump/Russia compleatist over here. 

Anyways, Rohrabacher wants to talk with Trump about getting Assange exonerated for disseminating various bits of classified US info, if Assange provides information that exonerates Russia from the DNC hack. A sort of mutual back-washing scheme. 

That's. But. How does he? Can you even? The sad thing is, Trump does denial over the Russian hack thing so convincingly, I wonder if he wouldn't go for it. It would be really dumb. But I wonder.

I'm not sure that whatever Assange means to provide is going to quite prove anything of the "exonerating Russia" quality, and I suspect the decision to "exonerate" Assange really isn't up to Trump, anyway. But it's the thought that counts, since Rohrabacher hasn't been able to do anything about Magnitsky. And Trump probably won't, either. (Sorry, Vlad, I know a lot of money is probably at stake here.)

Meanwhile, back at the Mueller investigation, he obtained a warrant for and received information from Facebook relating to the troll farm of fake accounts that pumped all kinds of ads and fake news and whatnot to the eyeballs of US voting people. It would be a darn shame if this could be verified as having been coordinated with Jared Kushner's data operation. For Jared Kushner. And the campaign. 

In other weird news, it looks like Mike Flynn had been working on a nuclear power project involving  putting plants all over the Middle East (which would count on Russian companies for maintaining site security)--and while it should have been tidily wrapped up in December 2016, um, it wasn't. And maybe he and Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner met with King Abdullah II of Jordan before the inauguration to discuss...the nuclear "Marshall Plan", as it might be called. 

There's so many moving pieces of wrong in this scenario it's kind of hard to know where to start. But in any event, the DNC hack and Wikileaks' participation in throwing the information out to the public, and the way that information release seemed to be timed to the needs of the Trump Campaign in a way that seemed, maybe, a little coordinated, is definitely just one, and not even necessarily the top, messed-up thing with the TrumpWorld milieu. It's really a target-rich environment, and Robert Mueller just keeps adding sharp-shooters to his team. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Impact of Hurricane Irma Needs to Be Respected

The astonishing devastation to the Virgin Islands, particularly, of Hurricane Irma, has to be visually represented to be fully appreciated. In the above graphic, you can see the difference made by a storm where the wind snapped off much of the leaf-bearing vegetation, and a storm wall inundation of salt-water did the rest at killing off the plant-life of what had been island oases of beauty and teeming with life.

It should be noted that the island of Barbuda is, for once in 300 years, without a single human, because it is unlivable. The toll to property has been epic in proportion. The number of persons displaced and bereft of anything at all to their name is astonishing.

And our fuckwit president, Donald Trump, has opinions:

TRUMP: It was such a small number that nobody would have — people thought thousands and thousands of people may have had their lives ended. And the number is a very small number, which is a great tribute to you.

Eight bodies were taken from a Florida nursing home. This is the guy who was in favor of limiting the rights of nursing home residents to sue in the cases of abuse and neglect. I don't know how I feel about that--but I do, but I don't. I have images in my mind I will remember all my life of a situation where people were powerless, and I will always be for those people.

I don't even know if this grinning fool who wants to display his swag ball-cap understands that there is still devastation from Harvey, that there are wildfires leaving residents only too happy for a storm system in the NW,  and still and all, there is ever-developing climate fuckery on the horizon.  He only has his denial.

Trump has no respect for what is happening all around him. I do not think he has the sense to learn, either. He is not fit for this environment.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher Believes Weird Shit

I think it's really weird that one of California's few Republican Congresscritters, Dana Rohrabacher, possibly on the Russian payroll and definitely not properly housetrained,  thinks Charlottesville was a set-up of pore ole innocent Civil War re-enactors by dirty liberal scum.

No, really:

Under Rohrabacher’s scenario, a former “Hillary and Bernie supporter” got Civil War re-enactors to gather under the guise of protecting a Robert E. Lee statue there.

“It was a setup for these dumb Civil War re-enactors,” Rohrabacher said. “It was left-wingers who were manipulating them in order to have this confrontation” and to “put our president on the spot.”
This wasn't even the first rally under the "Unite the Right" banner, which was totally about known alt-right and white supremacist personalities. The above poster was part of the on-line advertising of the rally in question. Ignoring the work that folks like Matt Heimbach, Richard Spencer, and Jason Kessler have done to actually carve out a space for white supremacy to pretend that they were mislead somehow is simply astonishing. Yes, Virginia, there are actual white supremacists. Apparently West Coast elitist Dana Rohrabacher has never met any! But they were proud and loud that day. Shouting things like "Jews will not replace us" which is not, as I recall, a Civil War war-cry. What world is he living in?

Which is pretty much what you'd expect of a Taliban-loving Russia-pwned Bill Maher-show appearing nutburger..

Thursday, September 14, 2017

TrumpWorld Grab-Bags Never Rest

Sometimes I have enough stories to file a TrumpWorld Grab-Bag post, even if I don't entirely get how all the stories fit Sometimes I magically have a theme, such as "inconsistency" or "disruption", to go by.  Sometimes I pull them together with the best narrative I can pull together--and today, I think I want to meditate on that busy factor of the folks on the periphery of the TrumpWorld. 

You know who never rested? Gen. Mike Flynn. The more we look, the more we find out about one of Donald Trump's most trusted foreign policy advisers. It turns out, there was yet another foreign connection that he had omitted from his security clearance paperwork, this time regarding nuclear power in the Middle East--not at all a fraught concept, I'm sure. He's also recently refused to testify before the Senate Intelligence committee. 

It might just be that he would like immunity--the problem is, the more you shake this guy, the more weird connections fall out of him. Like, right now, Special Counsel Mueller is looking at Flynn's weird adult son, Mike, Jr. because of his connections to Flynn Intel Group and the Trump Transition.  It's kind of weird to think Jr. even was in a position to be important in Flynn Sr's various lucrative consulting gigs with Turkey and Russia and Saudi Arabia, I guess, and all them, and also in any way involved with the Trump Campaign or transition since Jr. was a big old conspiracy theorist, internet trolling whackadoodle. But who knows--maybe that was the point?

How's Flynn Jr. for peripheral? Well, I also don't want you to forget about Devin Nunes. I know, the last I mentioned Nunes was about his trying to obstruct the Trump/Russia probe by being stupid about the significance of the Steele Dossier. But before that, there was the brilliant late night ride to uncover the vicious, probative, "unmasking" things that the Obama Administration was doing! My stars and garters! What ever happened with that?

Well, for starters, folks in the know never thought it was much. And then the testimony of Susan Rice kind of got interesting--it's really all in a day's work to follow-up on why heads of state or their representatives are visiting the US without a heads-up, and it's interesting that the meeting was with Flynn, Kushner, etc.

This should really have people looking into the whole "Logan Act" thing.

In other news, for some reason, the US government agencies are scrapping Russian-backed Kaspersky software products as if they were obviously full of spying malware or something. Maybe they think they could get hacked--I dunno. But maybe the next election won''t even need to be hacked--I mean, who needs to fuck with the votes when the GOP has ways of fuxxoring with the voters? Outside job, meet inside job. (Aw shit, I'm sounding a little like a conspiracy theorist now, maybe?)

But as for the above graphic? That's to commemorate the moment when an Office of Government Ethics decided why shouldn't people raise donations for their legal fees regardless of whether it's possibly payment for past or future favors!

This Trump Administration has issues that never rest, and it makes me restless. So I share it all with you!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Sanders is a Better fit than Spicer Was

I know I gave former WH Press Secretary Sean Spicer some crap on this blog about being a liar for all seasons, but there were times I actually felt kind of bad for the guy because I thought he seemed to have a conscience. It didn't work properly, but he looked uncomfortable about some of the things he said--I figured he was kind of bad at his job, and the WH considered it a feature, not a bug. 

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, on the other hand, is a kind of awful which is a much better fit with the overall tenor of the Trump Administration. She can suggest that a private company fire one of their employees over speech that the White House disagrees with, and also recommending that a former FBI Director, who will likely be producing testimony against her boss in an ongoing investigation, be persecuted, without looking like she feels even a bit bad about those things at all. 

It's a funny thing--in this country, we have freedom of speech and of the press, not lèse-majesté, as the Constitutional rule. It's very unusual for the Press Secretary to make a statement from the podium, speaking for the White House, to recommend any private company fire someone for their speech. The allegation that Trump is a white supremacist isn't rare or all that new, and it was announced that same day that President Trump had a dialog with an African American Senator, Tim (not Tom) Scott over Trump's completely pitiful Charlottesville response.  (Trump himself had called former President Obama racist, in addition to insinuating that he was not a citizen. He seems to have a hang-up about whether black people are the real racists. I'm just saying--there could be a reason for that.)

It's also damn weird to have a Press Secretary recommend prosecution of someone via an interestingly not-entirely true position.  

It sort of looks like trying to intimidate people who might dime out Trump for any possible wrong-doing, which I'm not even sure is an advisable stance to take since the fall-out from the Comey firing in the first place was an obstruction of justice investigation. And I don't know if she just doesn't realize that her statements are kind of winding her up in that particular business, or what.

But she commits, you guys. She totally commits.