This is your President speaking.

Number 126

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

We need a President who isn’t a laughing stock to the entire World. We need a truly great leader, a genius at strategy and winning. Respect!

We finally have a president who is not a laughing stock to the entire world.

From ABC World News Tonight with David Muir 13 July 2018 streaming on Hulu

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The Americans

Two years ago I ditched my cable TV contract and subscribed to streaming services. That introduced me to a new world of TV offerings. One was The Americans, produced by FX and streaming on Amazon Prime Video. It’s a spy story, partially inspired by an actual spy case, the Illegals Program, which involved a Russian man and a Russian woman who took over the identities of two dead Canadian children and lived for years in the United States as Donald Howard Heathfield and Tracey Lee Ann Foley. Their route took them from Canada, where they assumed the identities of the dead children, to France, where Heathfield attended graduate school before the pair moved to the United States, where he enrolled in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. At that point the pair began work on their ultimate task, which was to spy on the United States government by way of identifying sensitive people in high position who could be compromised. During their time in Canada the pair produced two sons, who were never aware their parents were Russians. The couple never spoke Russian at home.

At the time Heathfield and Foley entered the United States in 2000 the FBI became aware they were spies, and the agency began intense surveillance, which culminated in indictments and expulsion in 2010. During this time there is significant divergence from the plot of The Americans. Heathfield and Foley were nothing more than spies. They performed their tasks and reported back to Russia. In the TV series the pair are Phillip and Elizabeth Jennings, and they are not nice people. Despite being married, they use sexual persuasion to ensnare unwitting subjects. From the opening scenes of the pilot episode, Elizabeth, in blond disguise, has trolled a government official in a bar and is about to  go down on him in a hotel room.

They also kill people. The series is punctuated by multiple instances of victims being shot at point blank range.

A counterpoint in the plot is FBI agent Stan Beeman, who coincidentally moves in next door to the Jennings and befriends them. Ironically, and critical to the plot, Beeman is working on the investigation of Soviet (during the Cold War) agents. Beeman is cast as a weak link in the agency’s investigation, compromising a cuddlesome clerk at the Soviet embassy and surreptitiously sleeping (a euphemism) with her. His loose ways unravel the agency’s attempt to thwart the Soviet plot.

The real world of Russian spies has a similar agent. He is Peter Strzok, and he worked the case from its inception through the prosecution of Heathfield and Foley and the expulsion of a mass of Russian spies in July 2010. He rose to head up the FBI’s counter intelligence operation and most recently supervised the investigation of the Hillary Clinton email probe and the probe into Russian influence on the Donald Trump presidential campaign. As with the fictional Beeman, Agent Strzok was undone by an extra-marital dalliance.  About the time Donald Trump was running for office, Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page were having an affair. They were humping on the sly.

Bedding down with another government employee is not illegal, nor is it against office policy. Where the two went out of bounds was to use their government email service to communicate so as to keep their sub rosa business sub rosa. When Robert Mueller took over the investigation of the Russian meddling last year one of the first things he did was to learn of these surreptitious interchanges and to remove Strzok from the case. Not only was the private use of government email against office policy, the contents of some of the interchanges were unhinging. The two were vocal (electronically) critical of Donald Trump. Good policy: you can’t investigate a presidential candidate and at the same time be calling him an idiot and a threat to American democracy.

Republicans in Congress, especially in the House of Representatives, have sought from the beginning to derail the Mueller investigation, owing to its devastating revelations concerning Trump campaign officials’ involvement with Russian agents. And that brings us to the topic for today: the Rachel Maddow Show from yesterday, 11 July.

Maddow, as usual, takes some time to warm up before getting to the meat. She displays the background of Heathfield and Foley at length. Here they are in better times in Canada with their children. They used their time in Canada to acclimate to western culture.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpIfLRqz0bg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpIfLRqz0bgTheir unfortunate children were left without a country after their parents were deported.

By the time Heathfield was graduating from Harvard, the FBI was on the scene to snap a graduation photo.

If I were Heathfield I would demand my money back.

The FBI investigation was called “Operation Ghost Stories.”

Here are some details from the indictment:

The use of steganography to conceal  messages is illustrated in an actual image used by the spies and posted on-line for all to view.

A real spy thriller was in the making.

The feds obtained a warrant and bugged the couple’s Boston townhouse.

They listened to Heathfield’s and Tracey’s most intimate conversations.

The two discussed how to make use of steganography.

The feds obtained a warrant and pried into a safe deposit box in Cambridge.

They found film depicting Foley in her early 20s.

An attempt had been made to disguise the origin of the film by trimming the film margins, where manufacture information would be printed. They overlooked one negative.

It had the name of a Russian film manufacturer, Tasma.

The feds also retrieved and photographed notebooks.

One page revealed the 27-character password to employ the steganographic software used to hide messages in images.

Investigations revealed the identities of American government officials targeted by the spies.

One person of interest had information about nuclear “bunker-buster” warheads.”

The FBI has a page on Operation Ghost Stories.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpIfLRqz0bg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpIfLRqz0bg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpIfLRqz0bg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpIfLRqz0bgNow, the FBI official who ran the investigation of The Americans is under fire by Republican lawmakers, who challenge the legitimacy of the Mueller investigation, and, lacking hardly anything else, Peter Strzok’s text exchanges with Lisa Page are going to have to serve as their leverage.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpIfLRqz0bg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpIfLRqz0bgCharges that Strzok engineered the investigation into Trump/Russia are ludicrous in the light of known history. The Brits spotted suspicious activity and passed it on to the Americans, where it settled into Strzok’s lap.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpIfLRqz0bgWith Mueller taking over the prosecution, the Strzok-Page exchanges came out, much to Republican delight.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpIfLRqz0bgSomething not widely pushed by Republicans, is the disdain toward the Russians shown in Strzok’s texts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpIfLRqz0bgYou would not know it from Republicans in Congress, but Strzok was vocal about a range of politicians and candidates.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpIfLRqz0bgSurprisingly, his ultimate choice was a Republican.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpIfLRqz0bgPeter Strzok testified before Congress publicly today, having previously testified in a closed session. The Washington Post is shown stating,

…his political conviction that a Trump presidency would be disastrous for American national security is not based on his bias, it was based on information that was available to him.

In this conclusion, Strzok has been shown to be a sentient carbon life form rather than a political ideologue.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpIfLRqz0bgRachel Maddow illustrates some comments from Strzok’s lawyer, Aitan Goelman. These comments address Republicans’ objections that Strzok gave undue attention to Trump/Russia over the Clinton emails:

Not every FBI investigation is of equal importance to  U.S. national  security. There is simply no equivalence between an investigation  into the possible mishandling of classified information, a relatively commonplace occurrence in the FBI’s…

…and credible evidence suggesting that the presidential campaign of a major party candidate was actively colluding  with a hostile foreign power in a way that could undermine the integrity of an American Presidential [sic] election.

To require senior national security officials to profess fealty to this false equivalence is both short-sighted and dangerous.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpIfLRqz0bgA quick look at news coming out of Strzok’s testimony before Congress today reveals a circus beyond even my expectations: Vox has a bit from Texas’ own Louis Gohmert (District 1):

But Gohmert took things to another level when he brought up Strzok’s personal life.

“I’ve talked to FBI agents around the country. You’ve embarrassed them, you’ve embarrassed yourself. And I can’t help but wonder, when I see you looking there with a little smirk, how many times did you look so innocent into your wife’s eye and lie to her about and —” Gohmert said, before being drowned out by objections from Democrats.

“Mr. Chairman, this is outrageous!” someone yelled, appealing to House Judiciary Chair Bob Goodlatte to intervene. “Shame on you!” another person shouted. Someone else called the comment “harassment of the witness.” Another Democrat yelled at Gohmert, “You need your medication!”

Wacko really has come home.

There’s going to be more from me on today’s hearing. Keep reading. And may Jesus have mercy on our souls.

Schlemiel-in-Chief

Number 34 in a series

I’m starting to feel safer already.

Many good conversations with North Korea-it is going well! In the meantime, no Rocket Launches or Nuclear Testing in 8 months. All of Asia is thrilled. Only the Opposition Party, which includes the Fake News, is complaining. If not for me, we would now be at War with North Korea!

That was posted four days ago by our very own Schlemiel-in-Chief. It’s amazing what can change in such a short time:

North Korea calls talks with Pompeo “regrettable” after he said “progress” was made

Last Updated Jul 7, 2018 9:05 AM EDT

TOKYO, Japan — In a face-to-face visit with hopes of putting meat on the bones after the historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spent two days in North Korea this week negotiating with counterparts. In a first, he even spent a night in a guesthouse belonging to the regime in Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital.

Later on Saturday, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry called talks with Pompeo “regrettable.” A statement by an unnamed North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said the U.S. betrayed the spirit of the summit by making unilateral demands on the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the country, The Associated Press reported.

Pompeo did not meet with Kim Jong Un while in North Korea or walk away with any significant developments on moving closer to its denuclearization. The trip was Pompeo’s third to North Korea this year, and it marked the first time he did not meet with the leader.

Wait. Wait! You didn’t really expect anything substantive would come of the SiC’s much ballyhooed summit with the short one, did you? You did? Oh, Jesus! You fell for the same line the DPRK has been handing out for 65 years.

I obtained impressions of negotiating with the North Koreans from this old war movie. Pork Chop Hill, starring Gregory Peck, came out yearly 60 years ago. The above clip from the movie illustrates the approach of the Chinese (not the DPRK) negotiator. He is disdainful of the U.N. (American) desire to come to a reasonable settlement and end further loss of life. The Chinese and the DPRK have a single goal, and saving lives is not it.

Our own SiC gives the appearance of the U.N. negotiators in the movie—short-sighted and naive to the core. For the time being the SiC has his like-minded base basking in his worldly success, ephemeral for the moment, unlikely to be fulfilled.

This is your President speaking.

Number 124

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

Thanks to REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP, America is WINNING AGAIN – and America is being RESPECTED again all over the world. Because we are finally putting AMERICA FIRST!

Gee, but it’s great to be respected again.

This is your President speaking.

Number 91 in a long series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

The New York Times and a third rate reporter named Maggie Haberman, known as a Crooked H flunkie who I don’t speak to and have nothing to do with, are going out of their way to destroy Michael Cohen and his relationship with me in the hope that he will “flip.” They use….

….non-existent “sources” and a drunk/drugged up loser who hates Michael, a fine person with a wonderful family. Michael is a businessman for his own account/lawyer who I have always liked & respected. Most people will flip if the Government lets them out of trouble, even if….

….it means lying or making up stories. Sorry, I don’t see Michael doing that despite the horrible Witch Hunt and the dishonest media!

Full disclosure: Vladimir Putin says he never told the President of the United States that Russia has the most beautiful hookers. I hope that settles this critical point of international relations.

Schlemiel-in-Chief

Number 31 in a series

The question should not be why I have been posting so many of these, rather the concern should be why I have not posted one every day. There is a daily supply of material coming in volume and absent of any prompting, courtesy of our national Schlemiel-in-Chief. Schlemiel is defined as an inept and clumsy person, also a dolt, also a bungler. It’s from the Yiddish shlemil, which comes from the Hebrew word for ineffective. Yes, that fits, and the joy is ours to behold. Here’s the latest.

Sanctions Flap Erupts Into Open Conflict Between Haley and White House

Apparently, Haley had gotten the idea that President Trump was about to impose new sanctions on Russia in response to that country’s complicity in a Syrian gas attack. We now wonder where the U.N. ambassador got such an idea. Where, indeed?

Haley created a firestorm Sunday when she said the new sanctions would be imposed by the Treasury Department on Monday, when, in fact, no such announcement was planned, according to two officials familiar with the matter.

In a statement, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tried to clarify the situation, but her explanation created more confusion and led to suggestions that President Donald Trump had personally intervened to halt the sanctions from taking effect Monday.

“We are considering additional sanctions on Russia and a decision will be made in the near future,” Sanders said in a statement.

In response to allegations that Ambassador Haley was “confused” about when and if sanctions will be imposed, she let those in charge know that she does not ordinarily get confused:

This is a real sequence of events that have unfolded over the course of the past 72 hours or so:

  • On Sunday, Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley went on CBS’s Face the Nation and, relying on White House talking points, announced the US would impose new sanctions on Russia.
  • President Donald Trump, who was apparently watching TV, became furious. He hadn’t yet approved the sanctions, and apparently hadn’t seen talking points his own administration had produced, so he immediately demanded to know what Haley was talking about.
  • On Monday, the White House announced that Haley was not correct and that sanctions weren’t approved. National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow then told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that Haley had had an episode of “momentary confusion.”
  • On Tuesday night, Haley issued a statement blasting Kudlow, saying, “With all due respect, I don’t get confused.”
  • Kudlow apologized to Haley and clarified in a comment to the New York Times that she wasn’t confused — just out of the loop on a vital policy initiative. “As it turns out, she was basically following what she thought was policy,” Kudlow said. “The policy was changed, and she wasn’t told about it.”

The saga of the schlemiel administration will continue to entertain us so long as there is a God in Heaven.

This is your President speaking.

Number 43 in a long series

And now a few words from the President of the United States:

I will be announcing my decision on Paris Accord, Thursday at 3:00 P.M. The White House Rose Garden. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

Warms my heart.

Buyer’s Remorse

Number 29 in a series

People sometimes buy an item, and after they get it home they have second thoughts. This is called “buyer’s remorse.” There’s a lot of that going around these days. But not everywhere. Somebody who appears not to have these pangs is former Trump communications specialist Jason Miller. When Texas Senator Ted Cruz decided to run for the presidency, Miller was his “digital and communications adviser.” After Senator Cruz quit the race in 2016, the Trump campaign picked up Miller, who then served in a similar capacity until a year ago. Apparently Miller has no regrets, as evidenced by his continued appearances defending the now President Trump. One such appearance was a panel discussion hosted by Anderson Cooper on CNN. The episode is now available for view on YouTube:

Yeah, that was fun to watch. If the selected frame from the video is now showing on your screen, that’s CNN political commentator Van Jones on the left and Jason Miller on the right. Anderson Cooper went around the panel, getting a take from each of the five regarding President Trump’s recent remarks about people from shithole countries like Haiti and also Africa. Miller rose to the occasion. Some excerpts from the video:

Cooper: Jason, I mean, the idea that all Haitians have AIDS, that they should get out, that the President doesn’t want more black people from Africa or from Haiti, wants more white people from Norway… Is that defensible?

Miller: So, Anderson, that’s not at all what the President said., and so let’s talk about the context of what today was…

Cooper: He didn’t say that all Haitians have AIDS?

Miller: Uh, no. No!

Cooper: Not according to the New York Times.

Miller: Anderson, the White House has denied that.

Cooper: They denied that when it was a meeting of White House Staff. But when it was a group of bi-partisan lawmakers today they can’t deny it, because bi-partisan lawmakers heard it.

At this point Miller states that it is not for others to put words in the President’s mouth. Cooper responds that it is the President putting words in the President’s mouth. Watch the video. It quickly becomes apparent Miller wants to talk about anything besides the President’s remarks on Haiti and Africa being shithole places. Miller wants to talk about DACA, which was supposed to have been the original purpose of the President’s meeting with lawmakers. And he goes on and on, extolling how President Trump is about to accomplish what Democrats and Republicans in the past have been unable to. But definitely not about the President’s list of shithole places, which Miller denies was ever spoken, and he knows this because the White House has denied it, so it must be so, and that is that.

Actually, Jason Miller has me at this point. I mean, if some people say Donald Trump called Haiti and Africa shithole places, and the President denies it, then it must not be so because, you know, the President denies it. Which brings us to a few other matters, the first from last month:

According to six officials who attended or were briefed about the meeting, Mr. Trump then began reading aloud from the document, which his domestic policy adviser, Stephen Miller, had given him just before the meeting. The document listed how many immigrants had received visas to enter the United States in 2017.

More than 2,500 were from Afghanistan, a terrorist haven, the president complained.

Haiti had sent 15,000 people. They “all have AIDS,” he grumbled, according to one person who attended the meeting and another person who was briefed about it by a different person who was there.

Forty thousand had come from Nigeria, Mr. Trump added. Once they had seen the United States, they would never “go back to their huts” in Africa, recalled the two officials, who asked for anonymity to discuss a sensitive conversation in the Oval Office.

[Emphasis added]

The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.

An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that ‘s birth certificate is a fraud.

Snowing in Texas and Louisiana, record setting freezing temperatures throughout the country and beyond. Global warming is an expensive hoax!

NBC News just called it the great freeze – coldest weather in years. Is our country still spending money on the GLOBAL WARMING HOAX?

Ice storm rolls from Texas to Tennessee – I’m in Los Angeles and it’s freezing. Global warming is a total, and very expensive, hoax!

We should be focused on clean and beautiful air-not expensive and business closing GLOBAL WARMING-a total hoax!

Obviously a wellhead of truth. Keep reading. There’s going to be more to come.

Uncle Bye-Bye

Yes, it is a continuing series (8).

There are two ways you can leave the DPRK. This is about the second way:

Another North Korean soldier has crossed the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone that separates North and South in a dramatic escape, the second such defection in just over a month, South Korea’s Defense Ministry says.

NPR’s Rob Schmitz, citing a Defense Ministry official, says the low-ranking North Korean soldier crossed over just after 8 a.m. local time on Thursday as a thick layer of fog hung over the area.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reports:

“After the defection, the North’s border guards approached the military demarcation line (MDL) apparently in search of the defector, a [South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff] official told reporters.

In response, the South’s troops fired some 20 warning shots at around 9:30 a.m., he said.

Roughly 40 minutes later, there was the sound of several gunshots from the North but no bullets were found to have crossed the border, he added.”

Last month, we reported on another desperate escape of a North Korean soldier across the DMZ. In that instance, the soldier, later identified as Oh Chong Song, 24, commandeered a jeep across to aid his flight, as his fellow soldiers scrambled to chase him down.

Apparently you can never get too far away from DPRK Supreme Exalted Leader for Life Kim Jong-un.