Wednesday, May 10, 2017

All This, All Of It, Cannot End Well

Abrupt Termination

Our Leader: Stark, Stoltz u. Richtig, On The Day Of His Ascension To Power
Three figures stand out prominently among all those whom Trump has fired since appearing in Washington. While The Leader has fired many lesser figures, these three are particularly deserving of attention for what they appear to have in common.

Sally Yates (fired Jan. 30, 2017): Acting Attorney General. Ordered the DOJ not to defend Trump's travel ban, issued within days of his taking office. As acting AG, Yates was a principal figure in the investigation into Trump's circle and potential connections to Russia; she was investigating the Russian ambassador to the U.S. and members of the Trump campaign team he had been in contact with. Yates warned the White House and was ignored, then fired -- ostensibly for her refusal to carry out Trump's travel ban order. 

Preet Bharara (fired March 11, 2017): U.S. Attorney for the District Of Manhattan. While Bharara had been criticized for not more aggressively pursuing 2008-Crash-era financial oligarchs, he was still a capable and respected prosecutor. He refused to resign after Trump announced he wanted all U.S. attorneys to do so, and demanded to be fired; Trump fired him. At the time, Bharara was investigating Trump's HHS Secretary Tom Price's financial investments. He was also investigating corrupt Russian businessmen and officials. A Russian attorney in one of the cases Bharara investigated fell or was pushed from a window the day before he was set to testify in another matter.

James Comey (fired May 9, 2017): FBI Director. Comey revealed on March 20th that there are ongoing, multiple criminal investigations in connection with Russian government officials' tampering with or attempting to influence the 2016 election.

...[Understand events in the context of] the Family, Brand-driven, Kleptocratic nature of the Trump White House. The core aim is for the President to be popular, to succeed, a goal in key ways even more important to the thirty-something Kushner/Trumps than the 70 year old President.

Politics or policy and ideology, whatever you want to call it, is changeable and secondary, just as Trump can shift from authoritarian isolationist to faux values driven internationalist in a day and a half.  This is precisely what you’d expect from people who [execute political and policy about-faces] ... Words and policy have no meaning.

What matters is protecting and maximizing the value of the new family acquisition: the presidency.

Chas Danner, In The Intelligencer, New York Magazine, April 2017; "Fragile Peace Accord Reached In The White House's Bannon-Kushner War" [Paragraphing added]

(Courtesy of Soul Of America)
There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody's expense but his own.
-- Herman Mellville / "Moby-Dick, or, The Whale"

Yesterday, some 24 hours after the compelling testimony of Sally Yates and James Clapper made his shady Russia ties impossible to deny, Donald Trump fired James Comey, the FBI director leading the investigation into said ties. Today, Trump will meet with Sergei Lavrov, the Russian diplomat who the Steele dossier claims is his handler for Russian intelligence...

Firing Comey was, simply put, the stuff of banana republics. If this is allowed to stand, if Republicans in Congress laugh this off, it means that we no longer live in a functioning democracy. Yesterday, a journalist was arrested in West Virginia for shouting questions to Trump’s odious HHS secretary, Tom Price. Stephen Colbert was attacked via the FCC, a fancy federal way of threatening his First Amendment rights. Laws are being written to criminalize protest, and paid alt-right goons are appearing at events to stir up trouble and create the impetus for doing so. Oh, and the New York Fucking Times now has a feature in which we’re supposed to write nice things about our Great Leader.

This is Fascism, guys. As some of us said months ago. ...
Multiple sources have reported that there are tapes, audio tapes, of the Russian ambassador offering money and help to Trump, to Jeff Sessions, and to Paul Ryan. I’ve heard there is also audio of multiple Trump family members engaging in illicit conversations, recorded by foreign intelligence services. If these tapes exist, will they be leaked? ...

...This is going to be the end of Trump, or the end of democracy in this country. This is not a hyperbole and not a joke. This is the gravest threat to our way of life since the Civil War.

Greg Olear / The Weeklings, May 10,2017; "After Comey: Will Democracy Die In Darkness?"
 (Also courtesy of Soul Of America. All links in the original)

MEHR, MIT ZEITGEIST: I have been asked to explain what the Blog Category, "Kicking The Baby", means. It's a 2011 reference to then-Senator Jon Kyl of (aber natürlich) Nebraska, a fool and a poltroon, who made public comments in the Senate about "90% of all funding for Planned Parenthood" being used to provide abortion services -- what we once called a gross and distorted lie, but now refer to as "alternate facts". 

[Note: Poltroon -- 1. An abject or contemptible coward. adjective. 2. a rare word for cowardly.]

Herr Kyl later said his remarks were not intended to be "factual", but only to emphasize and illustrate his point. Not too sure what that point was, now, but I'll bet it was a real Corker.

But: Kicking The Baby. As seen on South Park, Kyle has fun by "Kicking The Baby" -- booting his little brother, Ike, through a window. Ike -- not Kyle -- is then scolded by their mother for breaking the window.

Kicking The Baby makes it appear as if Ike was to blame. It is ascribing qualities or behavior to Ike that were not accurate, in order to portray The Baby in the worst possible light -- or, if you prefer, it's Lying In Order To Defame And Demonize Ike The Baby. Or, Planned Parenthood.

Almost any position can be made to appear defensible -- so long as you grossly distort and lie, and later state you only did so to illustrate and underline your main point. Whatever it was.
MONGO: You know, [Fill In Blank With Name Of Anyone You Dislike] is an unindicted pederast who continues to be one of the largest distributors of child pornography in North America.

NOT MONGO: Are you insane?? There isn't a shred of truth in any of that! Everything you just said is a lie !!!

MONGO: Oh, I'm sorry. That wasn't intended to be a factual statement.
Do I need to explain further?  No? Ausgezeichnet, Kinder.

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