The master at nothing but making headlines
This week has seen as busy a news week as we’ve yet seen. Just a quick overview warning us of real signs of a tyrannical autocrat in our leader, with part 1 here below we see articles where he’s instructing the GOP to “take control” of the investigations, insinuating to shut it down. He also expressed there’s probably no need for him to testify for Mueller, despite overwhelming evidence of the shenanigans that went on with Russia. In part 2, we see plenty of articles where Trump is predisposed to tyranny, including his expressing the strong desire to control the Justice Dept, while also attacking the press by saying he’ll take a strong look at our libel laws, seeking to sue the media into submission. In part 3, Trump attacks the courts for pushing back on his attempts to derail the DACA program, while also making a disgustingly vulgar racial slur. Yes, our prez is an expert on attacking our democratic institutions & trampling on civility/human decency, but he’s great at making headlines. It’s about the only thing he’s figured out as president. By virtually any standard, he’s truly an incompetent president.
After GOP congressional investigators unilaterally threw in a stink bomb by opening up a criminal inquiry against those responsible for the contents of the British dossier, Dianne Feinstein out of frustration showed the Dems can also play their own unilateral game of hardball. Rather than bickering about it, she just went ahead & released the congressional transcripts of the Fusion GPS testimony to the media. And the transcripts should have been made public all along, which the testimony presented does make the dossier sound very legit & credible. One important point the dossier reveals, it is blowing out of the water the typical echo-refrain that the dossier is what first sparked the Russian investigations. So now we come to find out the FBI was already tipped to Russian interference prior to British spy Christopher Steele approaching them in the summer of 2016, with the initial whistleblower being someone inside Trump’s own campaign (presumably Papadopoulos when he spilled the beans in a drunken stupor to an Australian diplomat). We’ve found out definitively it wasn’t the dossier or Hillary’s funding of the dossier that started this whole mess for Trump. And since the FBI did get corroborating evidence from more than one source, plus the Russians did indeed attack our election campaigns, this gives the whole narrative surrounding the scandal real credibility. But we’re in a strange situation where GOP investigators are trying to hide the facts when they’re supposed to be uncovering them, so out of the 3 congressional probes, only the Senate Intel has yet to unravel from partisanship. But most of all, America is really relying on Mueller’s team to find the truth.
Getting to the related articles, in Rubin’s article below on what-didnt-republicans-want-you-to-see-in-the-fusion-gps-transcript, she lays out 7 main reasons why corrupt members of the GOP Congress were trying to hide the congressional testimonies of Fusion GPS, even going so far in trying to discredit them along with British spy Christopher Steele by opening a criminal inquiry against them. In reality, we should consider them heroes to our country by blowing the whistle on illegal activities being conducted against our democratic electoral process, so here are those 7 reasons:
You can understand why the Republicans were furiously trying to suppress the transcript, which contains no classified information.
*First, it makes clear that Steele was engaged because of his expertise and contacts. He was not told to find anything in particular, but just to research the totality of Trump’s involvement in Russia.
*Second, according to Simpson, Trump was doing business all over the former Soviet states of Georgia and Azerbaijan. Interestingly, Trump repeatedly denied having financial ties in Russia itself but never publicly denied operations in states in which Russians exercised substantial influence.
*Third, in investigating Trump’s finances they found his properties were not as highly valued as he suggested and, in the case of several golf courses, weren’t making money.
*Fourth, Steele took it upon himself to report his finding to the FBI because he believed there was a “crime in progress” and matter of national security. He later relayed to Simpson that the FBI already had information from a campaign source.
*Fifth, Trump lied about not knowing who Felix Sater is. Simpson testified, “This was something he didn’t want to talk about and testified under oath he wouldn’t know Felix if he ran into him in the street. That was not true. He knew him well and, in fact, continued to associate with him long after he learned of Felix’s organized crime ties. So, you know, that tells you something about somebody.” We do not know if Sater was in fact tied to organized crime.
*Sixth, Simpson called it a reasonable “interpretation” that the Trump Tower meeting was designed by Russian officials to reach out to and cooperate with the Trump team.
*Seventh, far from interfering in the election to benefit Hillary Clinton, the FBI did not publicly disclose during the campaign the wealth of information it was learning about Trump and Russia.
What stands out most from an initial perusal of the transcript is the professionalism and seriousness of Fusion GPS and Steele. By attempting to suppress a candid look into the dossier (really a series of memos, Simpson explains), Republicans once again are caught acting like Trump henchmen, trying to play down the investigation into Russia, not unearth and air what they learn.
In the very next Rubin article fusion-gps-transcript-undercuts-gop-attack-on-steele-and-fbi, she concludes with this:
Steele was doing the proper and patriotic thing in providing important information to the FBI. We therefore come back to where we started– the unseemly behavior of Republican senators trying to manufacture scandal and controversy in the desperate attempt to distract the public and soothe the irrational, unhinged president. They’ve become poster boys for the argument that the country needs divided government to properly deal with the Trump menace.
In the Bloomberg editorial in-defense-of-robert-mueller, it starts off with this statement:
Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election is coming under growing attack from those most blinded by partisanship and — in the case of the White House — self-interest. Their motivations do not automatically render them wrong. A dispassionate review of the facts, however, does.
In the link trump-on-the-stand-the-greatest-political-and-legal-peril-hes-ever-faced, Rubin concludes with this dire predicament Trump is facing:
For all of Trump’s boasting that he’s done everything right (100 percent!) and his lawyer’s ludicrous assertions that a president cannot commit obstruction of justice, the prospect for Trump to be interviewed under oath presents the greatest risk to his presidency yet. Look for a lot of political maneuvering, excuse-making and spin. In the end, however, Mueller has the power to compel Trump to testify; Trump might have a theoretical legal right to refuse, but as a practical matter, he in all likelihood will have to testify — and therefore put himself in grave legal and political peril.
Trump’s lawyers are trying desperately to limit the scope of whenever Mueller wants to interview him (maybe by spring), since an in-person interview would likely be a disaster for their client. For a president who only has a loose connection with the truth, such an interview would seem like an open invitation to perjure himself, so his legal team would far prefer to answer questions in writing. Mueller isn’t likely buying it, so he may well subpoena Trump if the prez doesn’t come in voluntarily. In the past, Trump had mentioned he was willing to be interviewed by Mueller, but his latest statements sound like he’s trying to weasel out of it, claiming again (about a million times) there was no collusion. His hesitancy to the interview only confirms there may well have been collusion, so the prez doesn’t want to be put in a position which could lead to him getting caught. Unless Mueller already has enough evidence to bring up charges against Trump anyway, the prez will have to testify whether he wants to or not. I believe if he tells the truth, he will admit to illegal acts like obstruction, plus possibly conspiracy & money laundering. If he lies, he commits perjury. If he ignores Mueller’s subpoena or pleads the 5th, that would be politically untenable. This is going to get extremely interesting! In 1998 with President Bill Clinton, I remember the ballyhoo surrounding the release of his “sex tape” testimony, which would likely pale in comparison to any future day when possibly Trump’s testimony is released to the public.
Under the cyberattacks group of links, we see Mueller has brought onto his team an experienced prosecutor who specializes in cyber-crimes. That can help explore the core of the Russian cyberattacks including their methods & those who may have assisted, plus might help trace the path to possible money laundering charges. Another article on never-before-has-a-president-ignored-such-a-clear-national-security-threat, highlights the single issue which might represent Trump’s greatest failing as the president. We have midterms this year, so it’s practically a dereliction-of-duty this imminent threat is being ignored by the prez. We are woefully ill-prepared to deal with & stop the attacks without the direction of leadership at the top. And the threats are so overwhelmingly obvious, that glossing them over is practically an open invitation to let foreign intruders keep discrediting future elections.
In other articles, reports are an increasingly larger amount of his presidential time is spent watching cable TV & tweeting based on what he hears. This is a Fox News presidency, governing from their propaganda instead of our intelligence professionals. And as we’ve seen from some of the Fusion GPS articles below, many of these intelligence agents from around the world put their lives on the line to dig up the truths. Yet our prez puts more credence in the slanted opinions of Fox TV entertainers. When Trump claimed he was a stable genius, I heard David Gergen comment “Ronald Reagan never, ever called himself a genius, he was too smart for that.” There are plenty of other links on international dangers & the dangers of Trump, including plenty of fallout from those hideous racist comments coming from both here & around the world. The Trump train wreck could make for a major Dem wave in the November midterms. And Trump certainly set some kind of record by committing over 2000 verifiable lies before the one-year anniversary of taking office! Just see the articles! It’s a milestone & an achievement that even the most loyal Trumpeters should be ashamed of. The problem is, these duped Trumpeters seem incapable of seeing all these irrefutable lies as lies. We also see stories where at least 30 GOP House members aren’t seeking re-election, paving the way for a potential wave, especially with polling showing the electorate generally favors Dems by double-digits.
To wrap up the group of links below, see the hysteria over Oprah for President! I became concerned about celebrities running for president the moment I saw an egomaniac (Donald Trump) discuss it during an interview two decades ago. Anyone can feel free to run & strut their stuff, but in our celebrity-obsessed culture, I genuinely fear their captivated fans & high name recognition help get people elected who simply aren’t qualified. Plus with Trump, the specter of his campaign had all of the media covering his every move for the ratings, propelling his eventual win. I thought we learned from Obama’s rookie mistakes the folly of electing someone with relative inexperience, but even more so with celebrities who lack the experience & depth-of-knowledge. This could get even more absurd, with the likes of Mark Cuban & The Rock hinting at running. Rather than fans swooning for the fame/charisma of their celebrity status, let’s really analyze their knowledge & policy positions. I don’t doubt Oprah would make a far better president than Trump (even Homer Simpson might be better), as she would set a far more sane/reasoned/unifying tone, but I hope the Dem base doesn’t make the same mistake the GOP base did with Trump, falling for the power of their personality. We’re now stuck with an incompetent president beyond measure. I think this week broke the record for the most relevant news articles! That’s the one thing Trump does quite well.
Fusion GPS Transcripts
Being Asked to Testify
Vulnerable to Cyberattacks
Our hateful, incompetent president
I agree he’s always been the consensual president….
but that term consensual hasn’t always been the case with the women he abused….