Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers on Monday mornings. This is an Open Thread forum, so if you have an off-topic opinion burning a hole in your brainpan, feel free to add a comment. __________________________________________________________
Trump surviving Kremlingate until 2020 remains a possibility, even as he obstructs justice, lies, and demonstrates either incompetence or malevolence.
And then there’s all that golfing against ISIS.
If he sacrifices enough underlings (and the American Experiment itself), he might just delay justice until he leaves office … in 2024. Can Trump’s rectal orifice-ness be contained … probably not, because of a resilient hegemony, namely Bannonism. That coupled with Trump’s nouveau crassness, might yet still become normalized because enough money and lawyers have been thrown at potential prosecutions.
Like any good political commissar, Steve Miller/Bannon has refined a behavioral disorder into a 140 character Lord “Haw-Haw” Dampnut.
Predator-profiteer and King Kleptocrat, our Donald will seek to keep his bankrupt cancer motile on a foundation of crony capitalism.
Expect media counterfactuals which make it likely that a non-Watergate conclusion occurs since Pence needs to take over the WH before the full extent of Biglygate is known. This is the deadly GOP calculus that may emerge … how much would a Trump resignation cost versus an impeachment threat via defecting Republicans.
VP Pence does know how far the classified material leads… he knew this during the period when Trump neglected to go to classified intelligence briefings before the inaugural. We’ll soon know whether Pence reached his level of crooked incompetence as Indiana governor. His “firing” Flynn could be the only proof of obstruction to be rendered null by a SCOTUS that might lurch farther right in majority.
Many of us rightly feel contempt or disgust for our fetid, foul system. Is there then little to lose playing in the Trump casino? What, after all, is the worst-case scenario: we’re left with the rotting political system we already have, in which case we simply try something different.
While he wouldn’t usher in Hobbes’s “war of all against all,” he really could make needless war, with an unsteady hand on the nuclear button, and bring much bloodshed, or violence in the streets, along with an ever-deepening distrust that ensures what could be an irreversible devolution.
“Our political system is chock-full of assholes (is it not?), in which case we could do well to add an even bigger, stronger asshole in hopes of bringing order. As the great political philosopher Thomas Hobbes might have put it, Trump, the alpha-asshole, has the potential to “over-awe” the others and restore orderly cooperation. Some of Trump’s supporters simply wish to “blow up” a political system that has shown contempt for them. I find this entirely understandable. But even aside from the desire to break something, the Hobbesian argument for Trump, for the strongman who brings order, should be taken seriously.” (2016)
The Nero Decree (German: Nerobefehl) was issued by Adolf Hitler on March 19, 1945 ordering the destruction of German infrastructure to prevent their use by Allied forces as they penetrated deep within Germany.
Pence is always the Mercers’ GOP insurance against the unbridled success of Trumpism and ironically the ultimate victory of a fantastic middle-Americanism, whose middle-class aspiration is a fungible, unrenewable commodity in the service of a tiny-handed ruling class.
The next milestone will the the 2018 midterm elections, then the Census, then the culmination of micro-targeted democratic failure when Trump survives to be reelected because the “stans” prevail for the Trumpian deep state while The Resistance remains fractured, arguing over purity/impurity issues.
We are in for months of a retreat to Berlin, it’s less about Gessen’s Reichstag Fire autocrat than it is post-Stalingrad and the bunker’s meth-fueled testing of cyanide on the family dog.
We are in for months of lawfare’s scorched-earth maneuvering as the retreat is a series of bureaucratic holding actions, cronies’ looting, and Nero-like fiddling.
Much of this active withdrawal will be active measures and its symbolic violence both overt and covert. Strategy will be sacrificed to tactical destruction, from SCOTUS to specific attacks on race/class/gender. Months of Saturday Night Massacres, weeks of marches.
The GOP shibboleths of privatizing everything in order to achieve minarchy will either remake governance or usher in some 21st Century dystopia of a 1950s post-war segregated, nuclear-family American consumer-state where everyone knows their gated-community place.
The above is not simply racist but also a Bannonist attack on informed consent.
Seventy years ago, in March of 1941, first lady Eleanor Roosevelt hopped in the back of pilot C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson’s plane at the Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama and went for a flight. OK, it wasn’t quite that casual; the event was actually a pretty big deal — because Anderson was black.
There is so much there, there … so much still not known, but what is known are money-laundering, data-laundering, and more recently verification of intention to disrupt the 2016 election with a preference for Trump. And then there’s all the associated perjury and obstruction of justice. And every whining Trump tweet reminds us how screwed we all are, as Trump continues his malevolent regime change, bolstered by a crowd of sociopaths.
Clarity is elusive but many people can see justice if not truth somewhere amidst the smokescreens of Trumpian “truthful exaggeration”. Means and ends, even if it’s the professional courtesy of jumped sharks and drowning lawyers.
After all the Trumpers have given enough indication that they were putting forward their best efforts even in 2016 December, to lift the economic sanctions on Russia. Why would the Trumpers anger their electoral benefactors.
The coming months will be spent sorting out the real and imagined quid pro quos. Even if there was no collusion there was coordination and cooperation, even if indirect, and it will need to be seriously investigated for the coming years. Just as the past years of possible money laundering established a pattern of conduct that should have disqualified Trump.
This was a perfect storm for the GOP and the Russians, with the Brexit shenanigans as a test of the Russian active measures and their subsequent parallel motion with the GOP micro-targeting.
The same patrons worked together, including the Mercers and their Bannonist minions with the overlaps of all those banks, on and off-shore.
Other RWNJs found it easy to support the reactionary message of racism and sexism spread among the LIVs whose false consciousness continues as even their working class health care and their social security gets looted by the ruling class.
The signals began in earnest with the various RNC/GOP contacts, not even with Trump himself, but taking advantage of the GOP pwned by free corporate media for Trump throughout the primaries. Trump was a marketing profit center even if Trump steaks are always about sizzle, much like his illusory philanthropy.
Now it seems geopolitical and perversely dated, as though the Cold War returns, Trump screwing with a Cuba policy only to give “the commies” even greater influence. And “the cyber” part, it still is about profit first.
Even with Nixon, it was about a kind of realism, although for Trump it is a rationalized realism, going back to those salad days of Russian sex workers and a 1990 Playboy interview where he saw the US and Russia forging a global duopoly whose hegemony could be called “peace”. A reminiscence that has been comfortable for Trump.
“There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said, according to a recording of June 15, 2016
The cyber operation is still in its early stages and involves deploying “implants” in Russian networks deemed “important to the adversary and that would cause them pain and discomfort if they were disrupted,” a former U.S. official said.
Officials familiar with the measures said that there was concern among some in the administration that the damage caused by the implants could be difficult to contain.
As a result, the administration requested a legal review, which concluded that the devices could be controlled well enough that their deployment would be considered “proportional” in varying scenarios of Russian provocation, a requirement under international law.
The operation was described as long-term, taking months to position the implants and requiring maintenance thereafter. Under the rules of covert action, Obama’s signature was all that was necessary to set the operation in motion.
U.S. intelligence agencies do not need further approval from Trump, and officials said that he would have to issue a countermanding order to stop it. The officials said that they have seen no indication that Trump has done so.