I’m back and there’s a lot to unpack this week. First of all, I offer heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Art Bell. He passed away on Friday the 13th, which is the single most Art Bell thing Art Bell could have done. I spent many years working lonely night shifts, and Coast to Coast AM carried me through it.
Even though my interest in the paranormal and conspiratorial predates discovering Mr Bell’s show, nobody but him ever made it as fun or entertaining while also keeping it from getting downright goofy or scare-mongery. RIP to a good man and a fantastic broadcaster.
Admittedly, I haven’t listened to any of Art Bell’s podcasts or much of his other content in a long, long time. I’m sorry for that because I’d like to know what his perspectives would be on how what he always called “the Quickening” is shaping up.
First, we have the chaos of the international order on display again in Syria. President Trump has continued his April tradition of lobbing cruise missiles at the Assad regime.
When he’s right, he’s right. This is a rare occasion in which CM is in full agreement with millions of solid Trump supporters, me included. I disapprove of this latest episode in the Syrian Saga, just as I protested last year’s flop, Episode I: The Phantom Military Strategy.
Say what you will about George W Bush, but it appears that he is to be the last American president who believed in at least upholding the pretense of US and international law when it came to making war.
I’m bothered as much by the lawlessness of the West’s involvement in the Syrian Civil War as I am the stupidity of doing it in the first place. I mean, Russia is calling for an emergency UNSC meeting to reassert norms of international law.
In a statement issued by the Kremlin, the Russian leader says Moscow is calling an emergency meeting of the United Nations’ Security Council over the strike launched by the US, Britain and France.
Putin added that the strike had a “destructive influence on the entire system of international relations.”
I don’t care what your attitude is about Putin or whether you believe he’s harming international relations himself with his supposed troll farms and exotic assassination techniques. He’s correct and I’m glad at least one of the leaders of the major powers is asserting that coordinated military strikes by a coalition of nations should occur once the reason for conducting them has been verified and there’s a consensus on what action should be taken. This was understood with Iraq in 1991 and again in 2003. Post-Arab Spring, it no longer exists and it spells trouble for the future. It’s reckless.
For my part, I find that nothing about this situation makes any sense. Assad and Putin are winning the war. There’s no reason to risk bringing an international coalition in to undo everything by using chemical weapons. I’m skeptical of this, as I always am when the intelligence community is making these claims. They have their own interests and I long ago stopped believing that those have anything to do with what is best for our country.
Seeing Trump carry out their agenda is heartbreaking. I had genuinely hoped that these mindless and illegal interventions were something he would end. I’m disappointed today but remain adamant that the president must follow through on his pledge to finish the American involvement in Syria once ISIS is gone.
As bad as the situation is now, it’s going to be even worse once the struggle begins between Assad, Iran, Turkey, and the Kurds with Russia desperately trying to restrain its friends. Let them all stay busy with this for a few years. They care, we don’t. Deep State can suck it.
On the topic of Deep State,we had Trump’s lawyer’s office get raided by the FBI. It remains to be seen whether the validity of the warrant will be upheld or if Cohen really broke any laws. I’m going to leave that aside for now, although I’ll say I think there’s a possibility that any unlawful election shenanigans involving Trump were far more likely over woman troubles than Russia Collusion.
Instead, I’m just going to say that these heavy-handed tactics are a blunder that will build Trump’s support, regardless of what is found out from any documents that were in Cohen’s office. This was an extraordinary action to take and it provides further ammunition to Trump’s claims that he’s the target of a witch hunt by partisan bureaucrats who will stop at nothing to reverse the outcome of the 2016 election.
It’s not about Trump being above the law. Nobody is arguing that. It’s the unequal enforcement of the law that has been the problem all along. Cheryl Mills didn’t have her home raided over the Clinton emails. She got immunity. Perkins Coie hasn’t been raided, even though it paid for the Steele Dossier and may have violated campaign finance laws in doing so. You cannot have these scandals going unexamined and unpunished and expect a serious person to think that Trump should be thoroughly investigated with limitless scope and depth and in which all protections afforded to anyone else are violated ruthlessly. Not if you’re really committed to seeing him impeached, anyway.
Rosenstein himself reportedly signed off on this and, in my opinion, has provided sufficient justification for his firing. This couldn’t come at a worse time for Rosenstein, who is already looking at threats of being impeached himself over stonewalling Congress.
Well, I’ve been repeatedly saying for months that this is exactly what should happen for any federal official who refuses to comply with Congress. Glad to see it being put into practice.
If he manages not to be impeached, then Trump might as well fire him. This is as good a time as any. Rosenstein’s objectivity is far too questionable given his involvement in FISA Abuse, his status as a witness in any possible obstruction case over Comey’s firing, and now this stunt with Cohen.
Firing Rosenstein wouldn’t automatically remove Mueller. Whoever took Rosenstein’s place would have to do it or Sessions would have to unrecuse and do it. I’m not sure that Trump can count on sufficient GOP support to do that right now, but it is noteworthy that the Cohen raid has had a pretty negative effect on public sentiment for him.
Anybody want to place any bets? I’m giving Rosenstein three months but think Mueller will stay on to finish his investigation into Russian Collusion sometime after Ivanka’s second term.
Oh, I mentioned Comey. His book is coming out. I’ll probably read it, but I doubt it will be as good as some of the parodies.
I lose it at “The hell is this, g-man?” every…single…time.
I don’t know if Trump’s pardon of Scooter Libby is intended as a “fuck you” to the FBI and Mueller but it is satisfying either way. Libby was indeed railroaded and this was a good deed on Trump’s part on its merits. However, he’s sent a clear message that Flynn, Cohen, and probably Manafort really don’t have anything to fear from Mueller’s investigation. The only question is if Trump can survive it. You know I say he will, but la dee da.
Moving on to other topics, my wife has been obsessed with the story about the lesbian couple who murder-suicided their adopted kids in California. She had hoped there would be some shred of evidence to show that it wasn’t intentional; that it was a horrible accident rather than an unspeakable evil.
Signs of physical and emotional abuse observed by friends, neighbors and teachers resulted in nearly 10 years of contacts with child welfare workers and police.
Despite the mounting string of incidents, no law enforcement, school district or social services agency ever interceded to the point of stopping the abuse. The parents seem to have been aided by limited communication between state agencies and the fact that no central nationwide registry exists for child abuse or child welfare reports.
I don’t know why my wife follows these depressing local news stories. But, you know, she can’t figure out why I follow the insanity of political news either.
Here’s one of those stories we seem to like discussing. It includes both a corporate boycott and racial profiling.
Too soon to tell if the charges were justified, as it was the employees who made the call and we don’t know what was done or said up until that point. But that is a plethora of cops to respond to a simple loitering call, El Guapo.
Let’s lighten the mood a bit with a clip Art Bell would approve of.
Next, an episode of Gym Idiots from Infinite Elgintensity (this is one of the top ten YouTube channels I recommend following):
On the topic of fitness, my resumption of my diet and exercise routine has been going strong. I marked one full month back on Thursday and am down about 7 pounds. Not bad considering that I had a vacation, wedding anniversary, and child’s birthday during that time. My daily workouts have been paying off, big league.
Okay, so what shall we fight about?