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Saturday, March 11, 2017

This Week in Trumpocracy, 3/11/17

A word to my readers:   I have waited, and I have seen. Merely seven weeks or fifty days into the nightmare, the pieces of the puzzle are falling together in plain view.  It has become evident to your Head Trucker that the goal of the Trump regime is nothing less than to destroy the democratic, constitutional system of government of the United States and make this country a mere satellite of Russian tyrant Putin.   And I believe a great many Republicans in Congress are traitors who are in on the secret, and very happy to cooperate in the ruination of the country.  And who knows how many invisible, unelected associates of the Trump cabal are also busily working his wicked will, which is Putin's too, both here and abroad?

(It also occurred to me overnight - you know, we baby boomers have lived our whole lives in apprehension of the next world war - which we imagined would begin and end with a hail of nukes - but suppose it's not like that, in this virtual-reality age?  Suppose World War III is happening right now, and its goal is not to leave our country a glowing, empty desert, but merely a crippled, divided, subservient tributary of a ghastly New Order run by the Russian dictator?  Suppose nobody noticed that that was the Big Plan all along, both here and in Europe, until it was too late?  I'm certainly not a conspiracy theorist normally - but this thought came to me with a chilling sense of perhaps so.)

Well, time will tell.  I do not say these things lightly. I can't prove any of it, of course - that will be up to patriots in the government and in the media, and God only knows how all this can be stopped, and when, or whether blood must be spilt or not - but I tell you what, boys:  even in the dark, you don't have to see a cow patty to know it's there.

Please note, therefore, that in future this blog will refer to Donald Trump as the Liar-in-Chief, or alternatively as the Puppet-in-Chief, and will not denigrate the office of President with his name.

The Trump regime seemed to kick into high gear this week with the rolling-out of Trumpcare and travel ban 2.0, firing of the senior state department staff, firing of 46 U. S. attorneys, and on and on and on.  I can't review all of that, but here's some highlights, for the record:

1.  I was very glad to see that the media did not let up all week on Trump's outrageous "wiretapp" slander against President Obama.  Early in the week, senators called for investigation into the Liar-in-Chief's lies about former President Obama.  And on Thursday, FBI Director James Comey - he who notoriously swayed the election results last October - met with senior Congressional leaders behind closed doors on Thursday, presumably to discuss the matter. House and Senate leaders were tight-lipped after the meeting, but according to Politico, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi hinted at what she could not say:
“Theoretically, do I think that a director of the FBI who knows for a fact that something is mythology but misleading to the American people and he should set the record straight?” Pelosi said, responding to a question at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast forum. “Yes, I do think he should say that publicly.” Pelosi treaded gingerly around the topic of Russia's alleged connections to Trump’s associates, emphasizing that she couldn’t disclose information she’d learned in classified briefings. “Maybe in a short period of time much more will be in the public domain,” she said.

2.  The Puppet-in-Chief's full plan came into clearer view this week:  build a useless border wall as a sop to the ignorant masses who voted for him, not to mention an equally pointless travel ban against a few Muslim countries, while at the same time crippling the Department of State, the Coast Guard, and the Transportation Security Administration: in other words, leaving us with no effective diplomacy, and our sea and air borders undefended.  Putin must be jizzing all over himself at the thought.

3.  Trump's clueless lackeys are kept in the dark too, and have had a hell of a time trying to defend the Liar-in-Chief's big mouth this week, but press secretary Sean Spicer was able to laugh about it:

4.  Ominously, it seems that the CIA has unaccountably lost its arsenal of of cyber weapons - again, leaving the country more or less defenseless:

5.  Representative Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) has created a page on his official website dedicated to "connecting the Trump-Russia dots," which is highly informative and a must-read.  Here are two of the helpful charts you can find there:

Click to enlarge.

 Rep. Swalwell says:
I've laid out here why Russia is not our friend, how, despite these facts, President Trump and his associates have cozied up to Russia, and how Russia is attacking the core of our democracy—our elections. It's clear that for the future of our country and the integrity of our democracy, we cannot let these attacks go un-answered.

That is why today I call for every American to stand up for our American ideals, and let your voice be heard that America, and President Trump’s Administration, must be free of Russian influence. We need to start by understanding exactly how deep the relationships go, how far the attacks have penetrated, and how we let this go un-noticed for so long. The potential personal, political, and financial ties between Russia and Trump officials, both on the campaign and in the administration, could be immense and threaten our independence, and thus, they must be investigated and brought to light.

6. The press have frequently told us in the last few months that "the Russians hacked the election," but just what exactly does that mean? Could you explain it to your Aunt Lizzy? Just for the record and for your information, here are the two much-discussed reports on that subject issued by the Director of National Intelligence, who at the time was Lt. General James R. Clapper (USAF, ret.):

Joint Statement from the Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security, October 7, 2016

“Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections," January 6, 2017

If you want to consider yourself well-informed on our national crisis, these are two must-read documents.

7.  Former President Dubya has been making the rounds of the chatty-news shows recently, plugging his new book of paintings of wounded vets and basking in a generally warm reception all around.  But as Gary Younge notes in The Nation, a lesser evil is still an evil:
Bush’s moment of redemption came when he was asked how he felt about Donald Trump’s attacks on the media. “I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy,” he replied. “That we need an independent media to hold people like me to account. I mean, power can be very addictive, and it can be corrosive, and it’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power, whether it be here or elsewhere.”

Bush’s comments, and the rush by some liberals to embrace him, illustrate two key trends. The first is the degree to which, in the desperation to mount the broadest possible coalition against Trump, some are prepared to neglect the principles guiding that opposition and, given their form, may yet prove to be unreliable allies.

Bush was never held to account for his own abuses of power. The mainstream media may have found their voice against Trump, but they were virtually mute or, even worse, implicated in peddling lies for the run-up to the Iraq War. This was fake news of some consequence: Hundreds of thousands died, a country was devastated, a region destabilized, innocents tortured, a generation of terrorists spawned. Meanwhile, The New York Times held a story about Bush’s warrantless eavesdropping until after the 2004 election, in part because the editors thought it would be unfair to run it too close to the vote. . . .

Put bluntly, the distinction between Bush and Trump is partly one of etiquette. Bush paid lip service to rights and norms before crushing them underfoot. Trump is more brazen in his language and more candid in his intent. Bush in no small part is how we got where we are today; to line up behind him against Trump is to pit the cause against the symptom without any suggestion of a cure.

This is not to claim that they are equivalent. The absence on Bush’s part of 
open race-baiting and Islamophobia makes a difference. Trump has emboldened bigots to speak out and act out on their hatred in a way that the more coded dog whistles of the Republican Party establishment did not. The Bush administration actively misled and bullied the media (remember how it hounded CBS’s Dan Rather and Mary Mapes for telling the truth about Bush’s draft-dodging?), but at least it didn’t boast about it.

Which brings us to the second trend. The same day that Bush came out to talk about his art and defend a free press, former Conservative prime minister John Major called Brexit a “historic mistake” and bemoaned the “unreal and over-optimistic” hopes that Prime Minister Theresa May had raised for Britain after exiting the European Union. That same week, François Fillon, the scandal-plagued center-right candidate in France, struggled to stay in the presidential race, while Marine Le Pen of the hard-right National Front is almost assured of a place in the runoff election. Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, the governing center-right party is in a tight race with the bombastic populist Geert Wilders, who has referred to Muslims as “goat-fuckers.” And in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel finds herself squeezed between an insurgent anti-immigration party, Alternative for Germany, and a revived Social Democratic Party.

In short, Bush’s intervention is illustrative of a moment in which mainstream conservatism is struggling to establish its credentials in the face of a hard-right onslaught. Some, like Merkel, are battling to distinguish themselves from their demagogic rivals, while others, like May or the Republicans in Congress, have preferred to join the stampede for fear that they will otherwise be crushed by it.
From Afghanistant, here's one sad reminder of the wickedness, stupidity, and futility of W's swashbuckling nation-building that destroyed much more than it saved:
"We are losing our youths every day in this war," said Mohammad Gul, a retired police officer whose son Jalal died with Qadir. "Our government leaders have their families abroad and they are safe in expensive villas. America is doing nothing to stop this war. How long do we have to die? Why are they killing us? Who is there to answer our question?"
Who indeed?

And just for the record, the views expressed in this blog are those of your Head Trucker only, and nobody else's, except where quoted.  I am not a paid "librul" activist, and nobody tells me what to write.  This old cuss represents no one but his ornery self - like the sainted E. B. White, I am a member of a party of one, in the good old American fashion, and I don't care who knows it.

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