It was another bad week for the forces of Deep State with worse to come on the horizon as we prepare for the IG report. First, it’s become fully obvious to almost everyone that SC Bob Mueller has no idea what he’s looking for, but whatever it is, he’s convinced it’s hidden up Paul Manafort’s ass.
If this is June, it must be time to indict Paul Manafort again. The clock is ticking, and the tic-tocs are getting louder.
Robert Mueller is clearly feeling the hot breath of public impatience on the back of his neck. He was the great black-and-white hope for bringing down Donald Trump, and a year later the president is still not in prison stripes. Mr. Mueller has indicted Paul Manafort twice, and threatens now to jail him for tampering with a witness.
Direct evidence of witness-tampering against Mr. Manafort, in Prof. Rosenzweig’s telling, is mostly vapor. “Saying ‘we should talk’ is hardly the stuff that true witness-tampering charges are made of. More to the point, if the entire conversation in which Manafort participated lasted for less than a minute and a half, he would have to be a very, very fast talker to have accomplished anything.”
Whatever Manafort has or hasn’t done, the clear exasperation he’s given Mueller over his refusals to plea to the litany of charges brought against him and determination to fight back on all possible fronts is marvelous. Mueller honestly doesn’t seem to know how to handle it when this happens after it worked so well on General Flynn and Martha Stewart.
Team Deep State was further shaken when it was revealed that James Wolfe had been leaking classified information to the media, including a Buzzfeed reporter he was screwing.
Court documents describe Mr. Wolfe’s communications with four reporters — including Ms. Watkins — using encrypted messaging applications. It appeared that the F.B.I. was investigating how Ms. Watkins learned that Russian spies in 2013 had tried to recruit Carter Page, a former Trump foreign policy adviser. She published an article for BuzzFeed News on April 3, 2017, about the attempted recruitment of Mr. Page in which he confirmed the contacts.
Sessions wasn’t kidding about deploying a Leak Posse, was he? The reason I say it’s bad for the Deep State is that the selective leaking of damaging information to a tame media has long been one of its primary power sources. The Strzok/Page texts also heavily emphasize this partnership. Until this dynamic is broken by aggressively hunting and prosecuting officials who abuse their positions of trust, the swamp won’t be drained. Whether or not the First Amendment will survive the war is another concern.
Buzzfeed appears to have been aware of the relationship in this case too, which raises a number of other ethical questions. Not that Buzzfeed has any ethics.
Where is #MeToo on this?
Oh, and accused leaker Andy McCabe has been begging for immunity, according to, er, a leak (later confirmed by his lawyer). Good take from Andrew McCarthy.
If McCabe was being candid with the Post’s readers, then it is hard to understand how he can now represent that truthful answers to the Judiciary Committee’s questions could incriminate him. More likely, McCabe is trying to make himself non-prosecutable.
Fuck McCabe. No.
So here we are, over two years into all of the opposition’s best efforts at surveillance and shakedowns of Trump’s associates and it has yielded nothing but prosecutions for either unrelated or incidental crimes, indictments for some Russians who won’t ever be brought to court and even if they were it is unlikely they’d be convicted, and the noose is now slowly closing in on the FBI and DOJ officials who were the true colluders in the 2016 election. The Resistance has let its imaginations (and news coverage) run wild with conspiracy theories for since Inauguration Day. All they can do is wonder why the Blue Wave is evaporating.
In that vein, here’s a good non-scandalous view on that.
The three-legged stool of the new Republican majority is a pro-citizen immigration policy, a pro-worker economic policy and a foreign policy that rejects moral imperialism and its concomitant foreign wars. John Adams described just such a foreign policy when he wrote that America is “the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all” but “the champion and vindicator only of her own.”
Giving up on a failed policy of moral imperialism allows Republicans to focus on forming good citizens and restoring a sense of Americanism that relies upon strong ties of fellowship and belief in a shared destiny. To that end, our candidates would be well advised to ignore strategists and consultants who talk exclusively in terms of messaging tailored to statistical constructs like “disaffected Democrats with some college” or “married suburban men who drive S.U.V.s.” When it comes to politics, most people don’t want to be addressed as members of a demographic group looking for a payoff. They want to be addressed as Americans.
That’s not to say that the author didn’t mention how badly the Trump Collusion myth-mongering has backfired.
At some point, the combination of scandal fatigue — there is almost no crime of which Mr. Trump is not regularly accused — and the continuing revelations of improprieties by government officials (in the F.B.I., at the Department of Justice and elsewhere) will lead voters to believe that Mr. Trump got a raw deal.
This is probably the one article cited in this post I would recommend reading in full.
With the accusations about colluding with Russia fading away, Trump is now free to pursue a foreign policy that benefits Russia.
President Donald Trump on Saturday doubled down on his call for Russia to be readmitted into the G7 and blamed his predecessor for Russia’s aggression in Crimea.
I have a few points on this.
The first is that I think it should be understood that there’s no way this should be done without some conditions.
This actually isn’t the first time this idea has been suggested, though it was tied to Russia leaving Syria rather than the Crimea.
That leads to my second point. Putin isn’t giving up the Crimea under any circumstances. It’s gone. The Crimea is so crucial to Russian security interests that there is absolutely nothing they would negotiate in return for it.
Nothing short of war will get them out and we’re not doing that, no way. We’ll have to find other concessions for Russia to give up in exchange for G-7 readmittance because anyone who thinks Russia can or even will give up the Crimea is fighting reality.
Last one: criticizing Obama for “letting” Putin take the Crimea is an unfair cheap shot. There wasn’t anything he could have done, again, short of starting off World War III.
All that said, is Trump right about letting Russia back into the G-7? Sure, I think so. As I’ve said before, Russia isn’t our problem. It’s Europe’s and especially the economic order that Germany desperately wants to maintain. If there’s one thing that should be absolutely clear to the Germans, Poles, French, and the rest it’s that the United States has no interest spending billions of dollars and waging stupid wars for their benefit anymore.
One way or another, Europe needs to learn how to live next to Russia again. I recommend they get lots more troops and tanks of their own if they want to keep a hostile relationship in place since they won’t have ours. Alternatively, they could pursue economic incentives to keep the peace.
Economic bonds between us and Russia are better, not worse for our own security. Also, I really don’t want Putin to release the piss tape.
I could go on and on about Trump’s trolling of the G-7, but it really deserves its own post. Maybe I’ll get on that later.
Speaking of negotiations, will we one day remember when Dennis Rodman was the great mediator who ended the Korean War?
This was suggested seriously by Scott Adams months ago, when he remarked that Rodman was the only person in the world who happens to be friends with both Trump and Kim.
Adams often says that we’re living in a simulation. This may be the turn of events that has sold me on the idea.
That’s about all I have for the moment. There was more, but I have other things to do. We’ll pick it up in the comments.
Oh, hey. The comments. Did anybody notice this?
I added a plugin that lets everyone upload photos into comments so we can just start throwing memes at each other instead of all that tedious typing out of well-thought-out arguments. Have fun with it, but post no porn. I’m trying to keep RVS on good terms with everybody’s corporate IT departments.