This is your President speaking.

Number 132

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

“Seems like the Department of Justice (and FBI) had a program to keep Donald Trump from becoming President”. If this had happened to the other side, everybody involved would be in jail. This is a Media coverup of the biggest story of our time.

I never grow tired of posting words from the President of the United States. But then, that’s a lie, because it’s the same old story every day. Is the President ever going to grow up and find a way to keep repeating the same lies day after day?

Jesus, I hope not.

Advertisements

The Government You Paid For

Number 40 of a Series

I was talking to Bill (not his real name) last week, and he told me how he could not bring himself to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016. I had to agree, considering all that Clinton would do if she had been elected. I mentioned her intent to appoint Rick Perry the Secretary of Energy, Ben Carson the Secretary of HUD, and Betsy DeVos the Secretary of Education. I forgot to mention that Clinton was likely to appoint Michael Flynn as National Security Advisor and to nominate Scott Pruitt to head up the Environmental Protection Agency. Then I remembered where I had got it all wrong. It was Donald Trump who got elected, and it was Donald Trump who put all these people into positions of power.

Bill pretended to be embarrassed, but in reality he was not. He felt Donald Trump would be a strong leader, and he allowed that recent history has borne this out. President Trump’s public swaggering and his rude and stiff-necked approach to our allies and trading partners are the kinds of thing this country needs in a leader. Bill made his remarks without a hint of embarrassment, to say nothing of shame. He is getting the government he paid for, which government I like to shine the light on as often as possitle. So, what’s latest? After eight years of boredom we finally have an administration that provides endless entertainment.

Yes, that’s former Trump campaign staffer Rick Gates along with his business parter and former chairman of the Trump campaign Paul Manafort. While he was working for the campaign, Manafort, along with Donald Trump Jr. and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner met with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and others at Trump Tower, ostensibly to obtain juicy information the Russians had on opponent Clinton.

Imagine their chagrin (the Trump critters, not the Russians) when it turned out Veselnitskaya only wanted to talk about smoothing over the matter of Americans adopting Russian orphans. In fact, Donald Jr. expressed his disappointment.

No, wait. That’s not the right picture. Here it is.

Actually, that’s former Press Secretary Sean Spicer saying the words for Don Jr., but I’m sure there is somewhere the Jr. did express disappointment.

And the reason that Trump campaign manager Manafort was at the meeting was the same reason he joined the campaign in 2016. His income from supporting Russian lackey Viktor Yanukovych, had been ousted as president of Ukraine and was no longer able to pass on to Manafort the money (supposedly) provided by the Russian government. Manafort needed to get in with the United States government in order to wield the influence that would draw rubles from Russia in exchange for influence. Manafort figured Trump was his best bet, and he was on the team until August of 2016, at which time the stench became to much even for Trump critters.

But, as they say, that’s so much water under the Zhivopisny Bridge. Paul Manafort has been disassociated from American politics for mostly two years, and in the intervening period President Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey, apparently for refusing to back off on his investigation of Russian attempts to influence the 2016 elections. Exit Mr. Comey, and a new Assistant Attorney General has charged Robert Mueller with continuing the investigation. Mueller’s arm reaches far, and Mueller’s arm reaches wide, and in its reach it came to scoop in Mr. Gates and Mr. Manafort. It became apparent why Mr. Manafort had agreed to work for free for the Trump campaign.

They had Gates dead to rights, and he caved quickly. He had been helping his parter Paul Manafort cook the books.

Gates agreed to plea guilty to the charges that were so obviously true, and part of that agreement was that he would dish the dirt on Manafort.

Now Paul Manafort has gone to trial, and Gates is telling an Alexandria, Virginia, jury the same things he told the Mueller team.

Yes, he did. And what were those crimes?

To be clear, Manafort and Gates committed their crimes before they became associated with the Trump campaign, and none of the crimes being prosecuted today involve collusion with foreign governments. So, that’s the end of it.

Actually, no. Stand by, as there is more to come. There will be suspense (some),  and there will be drama ( a lot). But will there be embarrassment, and will there be shame? Not an ounce. Conservatives are getting the government they paid for.

Bad Joke of the Week

One of a series

The college professor had just finished explaining an important research project to his class. He emphasized that this paper was an absolute requirement for passing his class, and that there would be only two acceptable excuses for being late.

These were a medically certifiable illness or a death in the student’s immediate family.

A smart ass student in the back of the classroom waved his hand and spoke up. “But what about extreme sexual exhaustion, professor?”

“Well,” the professor responded, “I guess you will just have to learn to write with your other hand.”

This is your President speaking.

Number 131

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

Looking back on history, who was treated worse, Alfonse Capone, legendary mob boss, killer and “Public Enemy Number One,” or Paul Manafort, political operative & Reagan/Dole darling, now serving solitary confinement – although convicted of nothing? Where is the Russian Collusion?

Yes, it is breathtaking. And it’s coming from the President of the United States. Perhaps some examination is needed. “Serving solitary confinement.” Don’t know about that.

“Convicted of nothing.” Is he serious?

Paul Manafort was not one of those to plead, so he remained out of jail on bail, confined to his quarters and wearing two ankle bracelets to track his movements. The problem was they forgot to put ankle bracelets on his cell phone, and shortly the FBI, having obtained a warrant, noticed criminal activity salted among his communications.

Yes, he was caught attempting to influence potential witnesses against him. He wanted them to lie.

Of course, when Robert Mueller’s prosecutors presented evidence of this to federal judge Amy Berman Jackson she laughed it off.

Just kidding. She had some choice remarks relating to what actions she could take.

And she didn’t. She revoked Paul Manafort’s bail and ordered him to jail on Friday, where he has been since. Given his age and given the charges against Paul Manafort, if convicted he will possibly spend the remainder of his life behind bars. President Trump came forth quickly to comment on this obvious miscarriage of justice.

And back then the President of the United States was saying:

Wow, what a tough sentence for Paul Manafort, who has represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other top political people and campaigns. Didn’t know Manafort was the head of the Mob. What about Comey and Crooked Hillary and all of the others? Very unfair!

And more:

The Government You Paid For

Number 39 of a Series

You may not be satisfied with the weather we’re having, and you may be disappointed in your choice of friends, but one thing you can count on is getting the government you paid for. It would be interesting at this moment to take a look and see what kind of government you most recently purchased. The story comes from CNN streaming on YouTube and also from ABC World News Tonight with David Muir, streaming on Hulu, where I obtained these screen shots.

This centers on a story that’s been around for over a year, and it concerns a meeting involving some of candidate Donald Trump’s campaign advisors and a Russian promising help in Mr. Trump’s plan to defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016. The meeting occurred in Trump Tower, and what attracted Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and campaign manager Paul manafort was the promise that Natalia Veselnitskaya was prepared to dish up some dirt on Clinton. Others attended the June 2016 meeting, as well. One was Rinat Rafkatovitch Akhmetshin, “a Russian-American lobbyist and former Soviet counterintelligence officer.”

So, when prosecutors and intelligence agencies began to dig into Vladimir Putin’s scheme to tip the scales for the election, one of the things they learned about was this meeting. What did the Trump team expect to gain by meeting with these Russians? It was beginning to look mighty suspicious. Denials started to fly. Don Jr. went full-throated to put some distance. He thought the meeting was going to be about adoption. There was a law on the books about adopting Russian children, and the Russians wanted some relief. Emails quickly put the lie to that explanation.

It’s worth noting that Sarah Sanders, a highly-paid government employee, has weighed in, quoting the President’s denial.

I’m beginning to think “I love it” will be the catch phrase by which this administration is tagged in the history books.

Incredibly, Don Jr. is under the impression that continuing to lie about the matter will make everything all right.

Things further unraveled a few days ago. Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s long-time attorney and fixer of problems, is now cooperating with the feds. He is saying that, despite denials over the past year, President Trump knew about the Russian meeting in advance. The President has responded, tweeting yesterday:

For the record, and so search engines can find it, here is the text of the President’s denial:

…..I did NOT know of the meeting with my son, Don jr. Sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam (Taxi cabs maybe?). He even retained Bill and Crooked Hillary’s lawyer. Gee, I wonder if they helped him make the choice!

In order to repudiate Mr. Cohen’s charge, the President’s supporters need to impugn the character of Michael Cohen. Here is Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City, and currently one of President Trump’s personal lawyers.

Yeah. That’s going to fly. Listen up, people, and that includes you, Mr. Mayor. When you set out to lay a string of lies, you need to concentrate on keeping your story straight.

In all my life I never expected every politician to be honest. I was hoping, however, to find at least one. I have been told that Diogenes still has his lamp, but that’s only a rumor.

Buyer’s Remorse

Number 33 in a series

Whatever happened to buyer’s remorse? You know about buyer’s remorse. It’s when you purchase something because it looks good in the store, but when you get it home you realize you got a bad deal. Some of that’s going around. Finally.

From ABC World News Tonight with David Muir, 26 July 2018, currently streaming on Hulu: Two years ago people voted for candidate Donald Trump in surprising numbers, despite his obvious lack of integrity and workable plans. We recall the towering promises he made, promises no living man could possibly fulfill. Actually, what no living woman could fulfill either, but that’s a story from a another day.

We see now-President Trump coming against some hard reality. In his campaign he reminded American workers, American  manufacturers, and American farmers they were getting a bad deal from other countries. Unfair trade deals were siphoning us dry, and President Trump, he told us, was going to fix all that. How is that working out?

Easy to say. Here’s the reality.

What do I know, but I had the notion that Congress was supposed to approve appropriations of $12 billion and up.

Here is the President in the American heartland urging farmers to wait, the promised land is just around the bend. He offers a new hat, as well.

Not to worry. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin reassures us this is not a bailout. I guess the question is, “Then how do you spell bailout?”

Farmers in the heartland, who largely voted for candidate Trump, are telling ABC News they don’t want handouts. They just want access to markets.

That might not be forthcoming. The President’s unwise moves on trade have taken these farmers and also many manufacturers, out of some world markets, and other countries have moved in.

I’m hoping I’m beginning to see some signs of remorse, but then remorse does not pay the loan at the  bank.

Buyer’s Remorse

Number 32 in a series

1984-01

Opening scene for the movie 1984 (1984 version)

Aw! The party is winding down. The fun is coming to an end.. The time for poking fun is past. No more making the jokes. Matters are getting deadly serious. President Trump has proclaimed the end and has brought down the curtain, this at a Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Kansas City yesterday:

Donald Trump has launched a fresh attack on the “crap” news media, telling a military veterans’ convention that “what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening”.

In a meandering rant taking in “unfair” trade practices by the European Union, his policy of imposing tariffs on incoming goods and big companies “ripping off the United States”, the Republican accused a major US network of manufacturing an interview in cahoots with “lobbyists”.

“What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.” Are we now at that point? Is there no remorse?

Whatever the Party holds to be truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party. That is the fact that you have got to re-learn, Winston. It needs an act of self-destruction, an effort of the will. You must humble yourself before you can become sane.’

Orwell, George. 1984 (Kindle Locations 3548-3550). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

Before it slips away, we need to examine that which is no longer true.

 

I am so glad all that is now settled. At last I can live in peace with my internal conflicts.

He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.

Orwell, George. 1984 (Kindle Locations 4230-4233). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

Rest easy, my friends. The best is yet to come.

People Unclear

This is number 46 of a series

This series is devoted to those people who, despite having to the best information services in human history, never seem to catch on. They are decidedly unclear. One of these would be conservative writer Ann Coulter:

Ann Coulter Retweeted The Hill

A.G. SESSONS GUILTY OF INAPPROPRIATE LAUGHTER!

Ann Coulter added,

All right. I think I get the point. This is a copy and paste from Ann Coulter’s Twitter feed. She is referring to Attorney General (formerly Senator) Jeff Sessions, laughing when high school students begin chanting, “Lock her up!
During the campaign, Trump argued that any presidential candidate under federal investigation — which Clinton was for her handling of classified information stemming from her use of a private email serving while serving as secretary of state — was unfit to lead the country. He egged on chants of “lock her up!” at campaign rallies and told Clinton during the second presidential debate that if he became president, “you’d be in jail.”

This was at the “Turning Point USA’s High School Leadership Summit in Washington.” After enjoying some brief laughter, A.G. Sessions joined in the chant. And that was funny.

But here is what is even more funny. Donald Trump is now President of the United states, and look who’s in jail;

Ann. Ann! Let’s make a bet. $1000. Just between the two of us. Who ends up in jail first, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?

Funny does not get any better than this.

This is your President speaking.

Number 130

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

So we now find out that it was indeed the unverified and Fake Dirty Dossier, that was paid for by Crooked Hillary Clinton and the DNC, that was knowingly & falsely submitted to FISA and which was responsible for starting the totally conflicted and discredited Mueller Witch Hunt!

There is more delight packed in that short morsel than in a train load of sugar beets. Where to start?

Start with the unverified part of the “Fake Dirty Dossier:”

However, there were other aspects to TRUMP’s engagement with the Russian authorities. One which had borne fruit for them was to exploit TRUMP’s person  obsessions and sexual perversion in order to  obtain suitable ‘kompromat’ (compromising material) on him. According to Source D, where s/he had been present, TRUMP’s perverted) conduct in Moscow included hiring the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton Hotel, where he knew president and Mrs OBAMA (whom he hated) had stayed on  one of their official trips to Russia, and defiling the bed where they had slept by employing a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him. the hotel was known to be under FSB control  with microphones and concealed cameras in all the main rooms to record anything they wanted to.

The image of not-yet-candidate Donald Trump watching in fascination while Russian prostitutes pee on a bed in a Moscow hotel is the stuff liberal dreams are made of, and every morning I wake up and thank the President of the United States for again bringing it to my attention. Jesus blesses you, President Trump.

“Crooked Hillary,” properly capitalized, is one of my favorites.

And don’t we all love “totally conflicted and discredited Mueller Witch Hunt!” One picture ices the cake.

May Jesus (and Donald Trump) continue to smile upon us.

This is your President speaking.

Number 129

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

“It was classified to cover up misconduct by the FBI and the Justice Department in misleading the Court by using this Dossier in a dishonest way to gain a warrant to target the Trump Team. This is a Clinton Campaign document. It was a fraud and a hoax designed to target Trump….

….and the DOJ, FBI and Obama Gang need to be held to account. Source #1 was the major source. Avoided talking about it being the Clinton campaign behind it. Misled the Court to provide a pretext to SPY on the Trump Team. Not about Carter Page..was all about getting Trump…..

…..”Carter Page wasn’t a spy, wasn’t an agent of the Russians – he would have cooperated with the FBI. It was a fraud and a hoax designed to target Trump.” Tom Fitton A disgrace to America. They should drop the discredited Mueller Witch Hunt now!

How many ways are to spell “unhinged?”

Conservative Treasure

Number 2 in a series

I admit to leaning toward liberal, and I recognize a truck load of foolishness from the left side of the aisle. That said, here’s a swipe at you conservatives reading this.

Take the image above. It was posted on the Facebook feed of a person I know to be deeply conservative. I find this to be mildly humorous, as do any number of clear-headed people. What is more funny is that there are those, call them conservatives, who take it seriously.

What it says is:

Breaking News

President Putin releases identity of Russian spies who influenced the presidential election.

The photo at the top shows Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photos at the bottom are of former President Obama, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, former DNC National Chairperson Deborah Wasserman Schultz, and Donna Brazile, also former DNC national chairperson. These are the people who a conservative advocate believes, or wants readers to believe, are Russian spies. Once you take this in you begin to realize why bottles of shampoo come with instructions. An examination of known facts may startle a few conservatives. Let’s have a look.

First, here is a Russian spy, and more, illustrated using screen shots from ABC World News Tonight with David Muir from 18 July and streaming on Hulu:

This is Maria Butina. She is 29 years old and from Russia. She is a Russian spy, arrested last week and charged with working to infiltrate the U.S. political system and the National Rifle Association, a left-wing organization that promotes gun rights and friendly relations with Russia. The Russian government directs payments to the NRA, which then works to get Republican candidates elected. Prior to her arrest, the enticing Ms. Butina employed her considerable sex appeal to achieve her goals.

Here is Maria with a former United States Senator.

Prior to her arrest, Maria was packing and sending money to Russia. Here, I presume, is one of her pro-gun poses the NRA found so attractive.

Here is Donald J. Trump, President of the United States. He’s the one on the left. On the right is Russian President Vladimir Putin. The two presidents are good friends, and last Monday they had a two-hour meeting in Helsinki, just the two of them with their interpreters. They emerged from the meeting with Mr. Putin smiling. Mr. Trump was not so much smiling as he was expressing satisfaction with a number of agreements he had made with President Putin. Mr. Putin has hinted at some of the substances of the agreements. Mr. Trump not so much.

Following the meeting Mr. Trump proudly announced that Mr. Putin had disclaimed any Russian involvement in attempts to subvert the 2016 elections in the United States, and Mr. Trump assured those watching, which included a large part of the world, that he was satisfied with Mr. Putin’s assurances.

Here is Mr. Trump, who subsequently withdrew his enthusiasm for Mr. Putin’s assurances.

He told us he meant to say he does not see why Russia wouldn’t be responsible for interfering with the election. He had previously said he does not see why Russia would be responsible. American voters were surprised and also glad for the clarification.

Here is Lindsey Graham, a left-wing senator from South Carolina. He is not satisfied with President Trump’s initial statement, nor with his attempts at backing away from it.

Here is Dan Coats, Director of National Intelligence, who works for President Trump. He is not satisfied, either.

Nor are Republican Senators Bob Corker and Susan Collins.

Meanwhile, twelve Russian military  intelligence officers have been indicted, charged with assault on computers associated with the 2016 elections.

None of the people identified as Russian spied include the four American politicians in the picture at the top. Among my collection of conservative treasures, this one has to rank near the top. Keep reading. There are conservative treasures yet to come.

This is your President speaking.

Number 128

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

The NFL National Anthem Debate is alive and well again – can’t believe it! Isn’t it in contract that players must stand at attention, hand on heart? The $40,000,000 Commissioner must now make a stand. First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!

All right. I think I have this straight now. The President of the United States, elected with the aid of a foreign power, now meets with the leader of the government that assisted in his campaign, alone, except for two interpreters.

He comes out of the meeting and announces said leader of a foreign government was not complicit in aiding his campaign, and he denounces members of this nation’s intelligence services, disparaging past members by name, calling their investigation into crimes committed by the same foreign power that assisted in his election a “witch hunt.”

And he calls football players, who kneel while the national anthem is played, unpatriotic. I now think I have a clear picture of what is going on.

The Comical Conservative

Number 8 in a series.

This business of The Comical Conservative is one of most popular among readers, and I started to wonder how come I don’t post more on it. No excuses. More recently The Comical Conservative has become comical beyond my wildest expectations.

In case you missed it, The Comical Conservative is a persona on Facebook. You can look it up and read all their postings. Being interested in what was front and center for The Comical Conservative these days, I did just that. Here’s an item that caught my attention:

Yes, that’s what’s burning brightly in the conservative world these days. We have a president who meets privately with an enemy leader and then comes out of the meeting and heaps a layer of misinformation on all who will listen. We have the national intelligence services telling the president and also the American people that the government of Vladimir Putin launched an attack on the electoral process two years ago, working to get this president elected, and furthermore is continuing attacks in a similar vein. Government intelligence chiefs are enraged, members of Congress are enraged, and the American people are becoming increasingly enraged.

And here is what is of interest to The Comical Conservative. Linked from the Facebook posting:

Transgender Prisoner Put In Female Jail Despite Not Having Sex-Change Surgery, Days Later Sexually Assaults 4 Inmates

A prisoner who claimed to be a transgender woman and who was put in a women’s prison is now accused of sexually assaulting no less than four female prisoners, according to a new report

The purportedly ‘transgender’ prisoner, who petitioned the government to be put in a women’s prison, is now accused of sexually attacking the four female prisoners in the New Hall jail in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England.

Set aside for a moment that this is about something going on in a foreign country and has nothing to do with American politics, what it shows is what matters to The Comical Conservative. The President of the United States is working against his own country’s interests, and these guys want you to know that a transsexual person has done something bad. Does anybody besides me feel there is a loss of balance here?

All right. I get it. Conservatives are supposed to be about straight America. These guys don’t hold up homosexuals, and others they consider odd, as exemplars of American society. They snicker at liberals for standing up for the rights of the LGBT community. I get it that the ideal conservative is going to  be straight, religious, particularly Christian or Jewish, and sometimes not even Jewish. The ideal conservative is going to be strong of character, guys are going to be tough, women are going to be virtuous. Men and women are going to appreciate having the right to use guns to ensure their personal safety. I get all that. But what ever happened to America?

Where is the outrage at a president who openly sides with an enemy leader against those whose job it is to protect us from foreign attack? I swear, I scrolled through several pages of their Facebook feed, and I was unable to find a single posting that denounced Donald Trump and stood up for the United States. Here’s what I found, instead:

Does anybody besides me remember when conservatism in this country meant loyalty to the United States and to its people. The Comical Conservative certainly is comical, but not in a funny kind of way.

Breitbart Mentality

Number 4

Did I mention I signed up for a subscription to Breitbart News email in July last year? I’m sure I did, and I get these maybe one a day. It’s a nice perspective into the mindset of America’s right-wing, Andrew Breitbart having been a major shaper of current day political discourse:

Andrew James Breitbart (/ˈbrtbɑːrt/; February 1, 1969 – March 1, 2012) was an American conservative publisher, writer and commentator.

After helping in the early stages of The Huffington Post and the Drudge Report, Breitbart created Breitbart.com, a news and right-wing opinion website, along with multiple other “BIG” sites – BIGHollywood, BIGGovernment, BIGJournalism. He played central roles in the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal, the firing of Shirley Sherrod, and the ACORN 2009 undercover videos controversy. Commenters such as Nick Gillespie and Conor Friedersdorf have credited Breitbart with changing how people wrote about politics by “show[ing] how the Internet could be used to route around information bottlenecks imposed by official spokesmen and legacy news outlets” and “wield[ing] a rhetorical flamethrower in the culture wars” by using his own personal experiences and opinions as the basis for his media career.

Following his death, others picked up the ball, including famously Steve Bannon. You will quickly come to the conclusion I do not highly value positions taken by most of the right-wing and by Breitbart in particular. I post material from their site with the idea that sensible people will view it in a cool light and come to a similar conclusion. Not much additional commentary is required.

Today’s topic relates to President Trump’s remarkable performance following his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday. If you do not view this as a diplomatic and even a political disaster, then you and I need to have a talk.

As cameras absorbed the scene and as much of the world watched in wonder, President Trump emerged from his meeting with Vladimir Putin and, apparently without realizing it, filleted himself while standing mere feet from the Russian leader. Reactions were immediate and trending toward unbridled. Those taking a neutral position on American politics were merely astounded. Many conservatives were appalled. Don’t let them pretend otherwise, but liberals were delighted. They could hardly contain their excitement as they pretended to be dismayed. I was one of the delighted.

Much has been written, and there is no need to add more. The core of the matter is that President Trump stood before the world and said to all that Vladimir Putin told him Russia had no part in attacks on the American electoral process, and the president further informed those listening that he believed Putin, contrary the findings of all American intelligence agencies. To many it gave the appearance that our president had gone over to the other side.

This was an obvious embarrassment to the American right-wing, and the response has been quick to come. In short order two missives from Breitbart arrived in my inbox. Here’s the first, which came out on Monday and possibly before the scope of the debacle was manifest at Breitbart:

The subject line of the email reads:

Breitbart News Roundup: Trump Causes Total Media Meltdown with Putin Summit

Breitbart attempts to  heap praise on their guy and  to poke fun at mainstream media for their sense of shock. By the next day some reality had set in. Not only liberals were having conniptions, but conservatives, as well. To most this was decidedly un-American. When I received my daily email yesterday I perceived a change in tone:

There is a need to go onto the attack to call  out those sources denouncing Trump. Interestingly, the subject line is the same as the one from Monday, but there is no touting the president’s diplomatic muscle. It’s worth looking into the headlines from Breitbart on Tuesday. Start with the “Pearl Harbor” reference:

Jill Wine-Banks: Trump’s Performance ‘Will Live in Infamy as Much as the Pearl Harbor Attack or Kristallnacht’

Ian Hanchett | 

On Monday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s All In, MSNBC Contributor and former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks stated President Trump’s performance in Helsinki “will live in infamy as much as the Pearl Harbor attack or Kristallnacht.”

Wine-Banks stated that the perpetrators in Watergate were Americans and that in 2016, “we were burglarized, this time, by foreign agents. And it’s just as serious to me as the Cuban Missile Crisis, in terms of an attack, or the 9/11 attack. The president is taking the side of the people who attacked us instead of trying to prevent a future attack. He has done nothing to make sure that the elections four months away are going to be safe. And I would say that his performance today will live in infamy as much as the Pearl Harbor attack or Kristallnacht. And it’s really a serious issue that we need to deal with.”

Hanchett wants us to know that Wine-Banks is going hyperbolic, equating the Trump debacle with the Japanese Pearl Harbor attack and Kristallnacht. Thousands of Americans died in the 1941 attack, and hundreds in 1938 Germany, Austria, and the Sudetenland. This does not, however, diminish the harm the president has done to American prestige and foreign interests. This exhibits a part of the Breitbart mentality. President Trump’s performance in Helsinki should have been an embarrassment to conservatives as well as to liberals, but Breitbart has the immediate need to defend, even to strike back.

Near the bottom of the email  is a section headed “RINO WATCH,” all caps. “RINO” to conservatives stands for Republican In Name Only. Here’s who received the RINO watch award of the day:

Paul Ryan Confronts Donald Trump: ‘Russia Is Not Our Ally’

Outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan reacted to the news conference between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, reminding the president that Russia was not a friend to the United States.

“The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally,” Paul Ryan said in a statement to reporters. “There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russia, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals.”

Ryan also responded to Trump’s critical comments about the Russia investigation, defending the work conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and other officials.

“There is no question that Russia interfered in our election and continues attempts to undermine democracy here and around the world,” he said. “That is not just the finding of the American intelligence community but also the House Committee on Intelligence.”

Ryan also appeared critical of Trump’s friendly tone with the Russian president, urging tougher action against Putin.

“The United States must be focused on holding Russia accountable and putting an end to its vile attacks on democracy,” he said.

Aside from being in the voice of a person who abetted this administration in all ways possible since January last year, Speaker Ryan’s statement appears to be dead on. Truth coming from a Republican congressman is always appreciated, except by the right-wing when it goes against their favorite president.

Breitbart, to their credit, posts the item without comment. There is an implied condemnation of Speaker Ryan for not toeing the line, but the real push comes from comments posted to the piece. One is by a person writing as 

Trump never said Russia was you damn traitor!

Something seems wrong with this whole narrative, including how vitriolic McCain’s statement was.
The following is from an earlier article.
1. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats distanced himself from his boss, issuing a statement saying the US intelligence community’s judgment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election was “clear”.

2. Tump again denied any collusion between his campaign and the Kremlin

3. Trump’s apparent concessions to Putin over the election controversy drew stinging condemnation from across the political divide.

4. Friday’s US indictment of 12 Russian military intelligence agents exploded with embarrassing timing for Trump as he prepared to meet Putin. On Monday officials said another Russian agent had been arrested for seeking to influence US politics.

Possible conclusions, i don’t know, maybe someone else knows better.
1. Coats says there is clear evidence. No Trump denial of Coats assesment. No problem there to my knowledge. The rest gets interesting because of who is doing the accusing.
2. Trump makes it clear no collusion between his campaign and Russia. No denial of meddling, just not his campaign.
3. Apparent concessions? What concession?
4. 12 military agents indicted Friday and announced by a Trump hating DAG. Very suspicious timing.
5. “Another” Russian agent “had been arrested?” Who was the first? It says here “arrested!” Arrested by who?
6. I remember seeing a story during the DNC server investigation where software was available to assign a digital trail or signature to another computer or user. Is that why the DNC doesn’t want their server investigated. Did the DNC digitally create a false trail to the 12 Russians indicted when in fact it was others not connected to Russia?
7. President Trump has recently begun questioning the DNC/FBI server controversy, including the mystery surrounding the Imrans. Gotta wonder why the case was suddenly settled.
8. I smell a very big rat.

Did Seth Rich have knowledge of this? Scary thought!

Definitely not the party line, and there is a lot requiring a follow-on post with some Skeptical Analysis. A reply that was posted to this is more indicative:

 

Paul Ryan, YOU are not our ally. Get out of congess now and begin collecting your lifetime pension from Soros and the other globalists. You’ve done enough harm already.

NOW we know why Romney picked this tool as his VP.

And that’s more like it. You really need to read the items from Breitbart to get a feel for how the Trump stumble is being received by the right-wing.

Is the right-wing running scared? If so, then they are putting on a brave face. This as the egg begins to crack open:

US offers no details as Russia claims Trump and Putin reached military agreements

Updated 10:20 PM ET, Tue July 17, 2018

Washington (CNN) — Russia announced it was ready to pursue agreements reached by Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump “in the sphere of international security,” though the White House and Pentagon would not confirm any agreements had been made or offer any details.

Trump and Putin met for about two hours during their summit in Helsinki with only translators present. It is still not clear what the two men discussed or agreed to during their meeting.
“The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation is ready for practical implementation of the agreements reached between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump in the sphere of international security achieved at the Helsinki summit,” Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, a Russian military spokesman, said in a statement Tuesday.
The Russian military “is ready to intensify contacts with the US colleagues in the General Staff and other available channels to discuss the extension of the START treaty, cooperation in Syria, as well as other issues of ensuring military security,” Konashenkov said.

And therein lies the crux of the matter. President Trump closeted himself with the Russian dictator, revealing none of details of what was discussed and what was concluded. He has left it to Vladimir Putin to step forth and proclaim the brave new world Donald Trump has agreed to embark upon. At least, he is proclaiming what he and Donald Trump have agreed to. Possibilities tug at the mind. Has President Trump handed Vladimir Putin “the keys to the radar station,” or is Putin making stuff up and defying Trump to refute it?

Without doubt it is a new way of doing  business, and it will be interesting to see how the Breitbart mentality deals with their president gone rogue.

Buyer’s Remorse

Number 31 in a series

I caught yesterday’s edition of ABC World News Tonight with David Muir streaming on Hulu and grabbed these screen shots. I was reminded of an old song:

Isn’t it rich, isn’t it queer
Losing my timing this late in my career
And where are the clowns
Quick send in the clowns
Don’t bother they’re here

All right, already. We’ve got the clowns. Where’s the outrage? Then forget about the outrage. Where’s the remorse? Where’s the buyer’s remorse?

Over the past three years I’ve been shedding conservative Facebook friends. Touch them in the wrong spot, and they’re gone. Others have stayed on, but more recently they have become ominously silent. No more posting unflattering images of Michelle Obama and calling her out for lack of style. I’m even seeing less about President Obama being a Muslim. What’s going on? I’m thinking some people are scared. And I think I know the reason why.

Yes, the infamous witch hunt is still chugging along, and with regularity more witches are being brought to the dock. A number of American citizens have been indicted, and there have been guilty pleas. One sentence has already been served. Others indicted are out of reach, because they are foreign nationals living beyond the grasp of American law. That would include a number of Russian military intelligence officers—12 last week:

A Republican congressional  committee (House of Representatives) recently hauled an early witch hunter into their chamber and worked at shaming him. The embarrassment to the Republican Party has grown so intense that no amount of sincerity was too great to dispense with.

The meeting of President Trump with Russian strong man Vladimir Putin found no support among American intelligence and little support in Congress, specifically Republicans. The press conference that followed measured a new low in presidential conduct. Richard Nixon became famous for saying, “I am not a crook.” President Trump did not rise to even that standard. A report by CNN captured a number of damning remarks:

7. “I hold both countries responsible. I think that the United States has been foolish. I think we’ve all been foolish. … And I think we’re all to blame.”

8. “There was no collusion at all. Everybody knows it. And people are being brought out to the fore. So far that I know, virtually none of it related to the campaign. And they’re going to have to try really hard to find somebody that did relate to the campaign.”

12. “But just to say it one time again — and I say it all the time — there was no collusion. I didn’t know the president. There was nobody to collude with. There was no collusion with the campaign.”

13. “And every time you hear all of these, you know, 12 and 14 — it’s stuff that has nothing to do — and, frankly, they admit these are not people involved in the campaign.”

17. “So let me just say that we have two thoughts. You have groups that are wondering why the FBI never took the server — haven’t they taken the server. Why was the FBI told to leave the office of the Democratic National Committee?”

18. “My people came to me, Dan Coats came to me and some others, they said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin; he just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

19. “What happened to the servers of the Pakistani gentleman that worked on the DNC? Where are those servers? They’re missing; where are they?”

20. “So I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”

That’s a mix. From the CNN item, number 7 relates to a question, “Do you hold Russia at all accountable for anything in particular?” It was possibly regarding the probing of political campaign files and the theft of voter data from one state election board, but it could as well have concerned Russia’s invasion of Georgia and its annexation of Crimea, culminating in a proxy war (invasion) against Ukraine and the destruction of a civilian airliner. And the president tells anybody who will listen we are both to blame.

“There was no collusion at all,” which is intended to translate to “Robert Mueller’s investigation is a lot to do about nothing.” Fact is that the DOJ has not reported any collusion, only a vast array of illegal acts committed against the United States by Putin’s government.

“And every time you hear all of these, you know, 12 and 14 — it’s stuff that has nothing to do — and, frankly, they admit these are not people involved in the campaign.” It is 12, Mr. President, and Russia did do it, and if your party had no involvement, then why is it causing you so much heartburn?

The president has great  confidence in our intelligence people, but Putin said he didn’t do it, and we need to be satisfied with that. Translation, “Will you guys please, please quit embarrassing me with my friend Vladimir Putin?”

A BBC report sums it up:

Trump sides with Russia against FBI.

The people at the FBI, CIA, NSC, and NSA are not taking any of that. They appear to be increasingly pissed at being disrespected by their own Commander-in-Chief.

Robert Mueller’s investigation had three days prior to the Putin meeting filed the indictment against the Russian 12. And now Mueller is told the president isn’t buying it.

Here’s what came out on Friday. Twelve Russian military officers accused of computer penetration.

Specifically, the accounts of at least 300 people connected to the DNC and to the Clinton campaign came under attack.

One target was email accounts used by Clinton’s personal office.

Meanwhile, not all is kumbaya with Republican members of Congress. South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy, who took great relish roasting Hillary Clinton over the Benghazi debacle, was not ready to accept any excuses from his president:

Your first request of Vladimir Putin needs to be, “Tell us which airport we can pick up the 25 Russians…”

Not wanting to be a sore loser, Clinton still felt the need to chime in:

Great World Cup. Question for President Trump as he meets Putin: Do you know which team you play for?

The answer is becoming increasingly unclear.

Others (Republicans!) are choking on the president’s remarks, made while standing alongside Putin. Here is Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy…

He further has said this is not a last year thing.  Our digital infrastructure is now under attack from the Russian government.

Former CIA Director John Brennan minced no words. This…

…was nothing  short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are You???

Note the triple ???, to which I will add !!!

Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska:

This is bizarre and flat-out wrong.

To which I add, no surprise here:

In early 2016, while both parties’ presidential primary election seasons were in progress, Sasse announced that he would not support Republican front-runner Donald Trump should Trump become the party’s candidate; he was the first sitting senator to make such an announcement. Sasse questioned Trump’s commitment to the U.S. Constitution, in particular accusing him of attacking the First Amendment; he stated that Trump had refused to condemn the Ku Klux Klan; and he suggested that Trump “thinks he’s running for King”. He stated that if Trump won the party’s nomination, then he would vote neither for him nor for Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, but would probably “look for some third candidate—a conservative option, a Constitutionalist”. According to a Sasse spokesman, he did not say that he would necessarily leave the party if Trump was nominated.

Another Republican who is no surprise is Arizona Senator Jeff Flake. He has previously called out the president on a number of matters and will not be running for re-election:

Shameful. I never thought I would see an American president throw the intelligence community under the bus like that.

Another Republican senator who is not running for re-election is Bob Corker of Tennessee. Prior to the Putin meeting:

The president’s comments … made us look as a nation more like a pushover.

Senator Chuck Schumer was predictably upset:

Americans are scratching their heads and saying if that’s not the explanation, that Putin has something on him, what is it. What the heck could it be>

Retiring Senator John McCain, who was previously mocked by candidate Trump for being captured in war, shows no love lost. He calls the meeting with Putin “a tragic mistake.

He further remarked:

No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant.

Ouch! That was stinging, coming from a Republican Senator and a staunch conservative. Ouch, again. Even Fox Network is having a fit.

That’s what made his performance disgusting…

Wait, wait! No! Can’t be! You, too, Newt?

President Trump must clarify his statements in Helsinki on our intelligence system and Putin. It is the most serious mistake of his presidency and must be corrected—immediately.

Excuse, me, Newt. Fox, too. Where have you been these past two years. Where were you when he introduced his campaign by announcing that Mexico was sending drugs and rapists. Where were you when candidate Trump offered to pay legal bills for those in the audience who beat up protesters? Where were you when President Trump nominated Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education, Rick Perry for Secretary of Energy, Ben Carson for HUD, Scott Pruitt for EPA, Kirstjen Nielsen for DHS, and Tom Price for HHS? Where have you been the past 18 months while President  Trump uses tax-funded trips to promote his businesses, and funnels official visitors to his hotels and other properties? How much more do I need to pile on before it becomes apparent you have been whoring yourselves for a circus clown president?

Is there more? Unfortunately yes. Only yesterday it was announced that Russian agent Maria Butina has been arrested. Her job? Apparently to work with the National Rifle Association, to assist them in their important work, which includes getting Republicans elected and also to help improve gun rights in Russia.

Wait. Gun rights in Russia?

Russian citizens over 18 years of age can obtain a firearms licence after attending gun-safety classes and passing a federal test and background check. The licence is for five years and may be renewed. Firearms may be acquired for self-defense, hunting, or sports activities. Carrying permits may be issued for hunting firearms licensed for hunting purposes. Initially, purchase is limited to long smooth-bore firearms and pneumatic weapons with a muzzle energy of up to 25 joules (18 ft⋅lbf). After five years of shotgun ownership, rifles may be purchased. Handguns are generally not allowed. Rifles and shotguns with barrels less than 500 mm (20 in) long are prohibited, as are firearms that shoot in bursts and have more than a 10-cartridge capacity. Suppressors are prohibited. An individual cannot possess more than ten guns (up to five shotguns and up to five rifles) unless they are part of a registered gun collection.

Maria, you have your work cut out for you. On the other hand, the U.S.A. is a snap. You need to work your way into the upper circles.

Et tu, Wayne? Say it isn’t so:

Gun-rights activist was Russian agent who sought to use NRA contacts to gather intelligence, prosecutors say

A 29-year-old gun-rights activist served as a covert Russian agent while living in Washington, gathering intelligence on American officials and political organizations and working to establish back-channel lines of communications for the Kremlin, federal prosecutors charged Monday.

There must be more to it:

NRA got more money from Russia-linked sources than earlier reported

The National Rifle Association reported this week that it received more money from people with Russian ties than it has previously acknowledged, but announced that it was officially done cooperating with a congressional inquiry exploring whether illicit Kremlin-linked funding passed through the NRA and into Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said on Wednesday.

 

It makes sense now that it’s been explained to me. Russia gives money to  the NRA. The NRA uses the money to campaign for Republicans. The Republicans (we can name one) show favorable treatment to the Russians.

I was too quick in highlighting all those Republicans pushing back against President Trump. There is at least one Republican who still has his head on straight.

 

Rand Paul sides with Trump on Russia, says critics ‘motivated’ by dislike of president

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., on Monday expressed his approval of President Donald Trump’s handling of Russia despite the tsunami of criticism the president faced after his press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“It’s gotten so ridiculous that someone has to stand up and say we should try to engage even our adversaries and open up our lines of communication,” Paul told Politico after the controversial press conference.

Maybe not all the way on straight. Senator, President Trump not only sought a dialog with Vladimir Putin, he stood in front of the world yesterday and defended the Russian president against charges by American prosecutors that Putin directed attacks on the American political process and is continuing to direct attacks.

Wait, there’s more. Now President Trump says he didn’t say it:

Trump Now Says He Accepts U.S. Intelligence Reports on Russian Election Meddling

WASHINGTON — Under unrelenting pressure from congressional Republicans, his own advisers and his allies on Fox News, President Trump abruptly reversed course on Tuesday and claimed he had misspoken during a news conference with President Vladimir V. Putin about whether Russia tried to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Mr. Trump, reading from a script, said he believed the assessment of the nation’s intelligence agencies that Russia had interfered in the campaign after having seeming to have accepted Mr. Putin’s assertion the day before that Russia was not involved.

The misunderstanding, he said, grew out of an unsuccessful attempt to use a double negative when he answered a question about whether he believed Mr. Putin or his intelligence agencies.

“My people came to me,” he said in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday. “They said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin; he just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

Did I mention “circus clown president?” Yes, apparently I already have. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

This is your President speaking.

Number 127

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

Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!

I just love it when my president talks smart to me.

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

This is your President speaking.

Number 125

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYXCsxf9TsE

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

How can the Rigged Witch Hunt proceed when it was started, influenced and worked on, for an extended period of time, by former FBI Agent/Lover Peter Strzok? Read his hate filled and totally biased Emails and the answer is clear!

How, indeed.