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Justine

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April 18th, 2018

The "Trump Whisperer"

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/opinions/global-opinions/the-fate-of-the-western-alliance-is-in-macrons-hands/2018/04/17/c2fdea70-4267-11e8-8569-26fda6b404c7_story.html

This article, in today's WPost, is an impressive look at Trumpsky's "bromance" with French President Macron. Curiously, their contact is far closer than Trumpsky enjoys with any other world leader --unless Putin has even greater control over him than is publicly seen.

That is, unless "the dossier" is right that Putin actively blackmails our Asshole-in-Chief.

Be that as it may (and I'm truly counting on Mueller to determine that), Macron -- coming this month on a state visit to the US -- talks several times a week with Trumpsky. They have apparently bonded as fellow "non-political" outsiders who wound up running nuclear-armed countries. (Germany misses the bus on nukes, as well as trade policy...)

Besides, Trumpsky liked a French military parade laat year SO much that he's insisting on having one HERE this fall!

European leaders happily recognize Macron's privileged access and are reportedly using him to talk sense to Trumpsky on vatious subjects. They allegedly refer to Macron as "the Trump whisperer..."

April 16th, 2018

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-a-reluctant-hawk-has-battled-his-top-aides-on-russia-and-lost/2018/04/15/a91e850a-3f1b-11e8-974f-aacd97698cef_story.html?utm_term=.d6e29ee5271d

Today's WashPost has an important front-page article: "In battle over Russia policy, Trump's aides are willing"

It particularly details his foot-dragging role in expelling their diplomats to protest Russia's poisoning an anti-Putin spy in the UK. It seems Trumpsky somehow THOUGHT that our European allies were each throwing out 60 Russian diplomats. Aides quote him saying, "We're not taking the lead. We're matching."

When the actual numbers were subsequently published, "Trump erupted...France and Germany were each expelling only four Russian officials!" He was "furious" when the world press trumpeted that the US had taken "by far the toughest stance on Russia."

He attacked his staff (presumably NatSecurity Advisor H.R. McMaster, who left the job days later): "there were curse words, a lot of curse words.

Later in the article (very well sourced from inside the White House), "he complained to aides that the media [sic!] fixation on the Mueller probe was hobbling his effort to woo Putin. 'I can't put on the charm...I'm not able to be president because of this witch hunt.'"

The article details various other instances where Trumpsky was out-maneuvered by right-thinking officials at State Dept and the Pentagon, notably our December anti-tank missile sale to the Ukraine. Ditto, Trumpsky's stupid invitation to Putin to meet him in Washington -- "prospects for a visit anytime soon seem remote."

"'We're not rushing to do this meeting,' a senior administration official said. 'Our team wasn't thrilled about the idea.'"

I, for one, AM thrilled at such insider resistance to Trumpsky, and I can only imagine his loony over-reaction to this whole article. Think of it as McMaster's revenge!

April 15th, 2018

"The Tinder presidency"

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Great put-down of Trumpsky by WPost's Dana Milbank today.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/opinions/how-does-trump-fill-his-cabinet-he-picks-his-latest-crush/2018/04/13/827b7bd2-3f58-11e8-a7d1-e4efec6389f0_story.html

"...Because Trump's imposter complex* is the size of Trump Tower, no one can affirm all of his ever-shifting impulses. Hence Trump's perpetual quest for his next Tinderella."

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* Comey's new book talks up this peculiar psychopathy to "explain" Trump: "All of us labor under the belief that, if other people knew us the way we know ourselves, they would think less if us."

Mmm, rather, they would see us as complete shits!

April 10th, 2018

So, Mussolini, huh?

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Hot new report: "Commenting on [Trumpsky's] ongoing attacks on Amazon, former Treasury secretary [Larry Summers] told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, 'What is not the job of the president of the United States is to go on a jihad against a company because he does not like the activities of a newspaper that is privately owned by its C.E.O.'

"That, Summers said, 'is something that should be deeply concerning to businesspeople everywhere.' Summers added that the unhinged Twitter campaign against Amazon, reportedly stemming from an 'obsession' with taking down Jeff Bezos, is similar to life in Italy under Benito Mussolini..."

Wouldn't have been my first choice of comparisons to Trumpsky, but, yeah -- nicely put!
It was another crazy day here in Washington, though the big news for The Donald was back in his hometown, New York.

There, pursuant to court-ordered warrants, FBI teams executed raids on the residences and office of Trumpsky's "personal" lawyer, Michael Cohen. (The distinction in "personal" is that Donald has other lawyers here and elsewhere, handling the Russian election-tampering case, etc.)

Trumpsky himself, as well as some newsies, missed a subtle point: Special Counsel Mueller found evidence of illegal activity by Cohen, specifically in wire and bank fraud and other areas NOT related to (1) the Russia mess, and (2) the lawsuit by porn star Stormy Daniels -- involving illicit hush money paid just before the 2016 election to cover up their affair. Even Daniels' elated attorney, on TV, seemed to miss that point.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller, appropriately determined that the New York matter be referred to the US Attorney there -- not handled by the Mueller office here.

As I noted, Trumpsky went utterly bonkers today at the news, publicly moaning how "unfair" it all was -- poor baby! He seem to have understood little about the finer points of the Mueller and Rosenstein actions -- notable, however, was him abusing a White House meeting on military policy, calling reporters in and blustering for twenty minutes about how the Justice Department had failed him.

The TV "commentariat" tonight seems to think it quite possible that Trumpsky will resort to high-handed action in coming days, perhaps firing the entire Justice Department, down to the janitors. That and/or bombing Syria to take out his anger at Mueller & Co. -- and, just incidentally, to punish Damascus for its unpardonable use of poison gas against innocent civilians laat weekend. Whatever he does, it won't be pretty...

March 30th, 2018

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/29/comedian-will-ferrell-says-he-cant-in-good-conscience-use-facebook.html

Yay!

I've never used FB, and after their collaborating with Trumpies of various stripes (including, at one remove, the Russkies), I certainly never will.

I'm pleased to hear that the actor who for a decade deftly deflated politicos on SNL has now taken his distance from FB.

March 29th, 2018

I do NOT like Fox News, but occasionally they report interesting shit:

This morning, at a Financial Times-sponsored "Future of News" conclave, Steve Bannon -- "who served as vice president of Cambridge Analytica from June 2014 to August 2016, when he joined the Trump campaign -- attempted to draw a line between the campaign and the firm.

"Bannon said he had no knowledge of the data mining operation [sic!] and instead put the blame on Facebook, saying the social network cared more about profits than privacy.

“'They take your stuff for free. They sell it and monetize it for huge margins. That’s why the companies trade for such high valuations,' Bannon said. 'Then they write algorithms and control your life. [sic!]'

"He also stood by his comments in Michael Wolff’s 'Fire and Fury' — a tell-all about the Trump administration. Trump booted him out of The White House last year over disparaging comments he made about the president’s family.

"Bannon said his Wolff interviews were 'authorized' by both the White House and outgoing communications director Hope Hicks.

“'I haven’t seen anybody refute anything that was said in the book,' Bannon said."

March 26th, 2018

A modest proposal, based on a close reading of the WAPO article on Cambridge Analytica (CA) today:

We can demand Bolton be fired for illegal electoral abuses. He runs a super-PAC which illegally worked with CA non-US staff in 2014 and 2016 here. The Post obtained data from CA showing the firm spent $7.5 million and had 41 (sic!) employees and contractors in the US between April and at least July, 2014.

Bolton's spokesman Garrett Marquis admitted to the Post that "Bolton, not individuals at [CA], made all strategic decisions relating to the zuper-PAC's work...Bolton had been unaware of any alleged improprieties by CA until recent news reports."

The Post's source, Noah Wylie, "who left [CA] at the end of 2014 because of his uneasiness about its politics," puts the lie to Garrett's claim that Bolton made "ALL the strategic decisions" -- "...Bannon and [CA President] Nix, a Briton [who BOTH illegally discussed "strategic campaign matters"]

The Post doesn't take its material to the inevitable conclusion: Bolton is a bad actor who may well be in the gunsights of Special Counsel Mueller. Someone should get a court injunction against an admitted felon, Bolton, serving in the USG. Certainly his security clearance must be lifted, just like Jared's.

Gotcha, asshole!
Sorry, gentle readers, I didn't write yesterday about the March for Our Lives, which we watched on TV, quite mesmerized by the superb teen-aged speakers. (Both of us Washington residents afflicted with colds, so we didn't brave the 40-degree weather downtown; plus we're veterans of too many mobs for Fourth of July fireworks on the Mall...)

Someone else also stayed away on the weekend: Trumpsky! He golfed to avoid facing the kids' criticism. I read details on "Daily KOS" -- included some 300 scathing comments by readers. His imperial style on the course -- his infamous cheating and bad sportsmanship -- was a main target of the gibes. One exchange:

"I’ll bet the asswipe drives his cart onto the green [ruining the surface for others]..."

"That he does, sir! He has totally sickened me on golf, and I used to play 4 times a week on occasion! None since seeing the game of 'Honesty and integrity' lowered to a cheating scam by our so-called president!!!"

March 25th, 2018

Trumpsky is certainly the MOST dangerous Anerican, but cautiously conservative columnist George Will is no doubt right to call new National Security Advisor John Bolton the second-most.

Will, who resigned from the Republican Party when Trumpsky won election (if NOT the most popular votes), notes that Bolton, despite being equally high-risk, is FIVE things The Donald is not: "intelligent, educated, principled, articulate and experienced."

Which alas shows the severe limits -- when it comes to national leadership -- of brains, schools, principles, wit, and experience. Because Bolton shares Trumpsky's other evident weaknesses -- impetuousness, instability, wretched judgement, and inhumane outlook, among myriad others.

Will notes that Bolton's all-too-known convictions, dangerous as they are, don't square with the Asshole in Chief. "Let's say this one more time: Trump. Has. No. Convictions.

"Even this scatterbrain's Swiss cheese-style TARIFFS [my emphasis] are too sloppy to represent forethought...a sincere sofa is a [philosophical] 'category mistake' -- sofas are incapable of sincerity [as is, Will agrees, Donald J. Trump]..."

Will argues The Donald is the first American leader (I use the term loosely*) in some time who "is no longer the world's most powerful person. The president of China is...because of [Trumpsky's] abandonment of the Teans-Pacific Partnership...Power is the ability to achieve INTENDED effects. Randomly smashing crockery does not count..."

Bolton, for his part, "seems to believe that the US has the power to determine who can and cannot acquire nuclear weapons...[but nowadays] almost any nation determined to become a nuclear power can do so."

The columnist accuses Bolton of having "a narcissistic personaity disorder" -- "a recipe for diplomatic delusions and military overreaching."

If you gentle readers somehow hadn't noticed already, the world is in grievous danger with this absurd twosome in nominal charge of what is all too laughably referred to as national security.

And I haven't even mentioned Russia yet...


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* I refer to him as Trumpsky ever since I dubbed him that in summer 2016. I refuse to use the word "president" in his regard because he effectively stole the election. Even the word "leader" comes hard...
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