Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Our fate is being decided in Beijing and Moscow... and a New York courtroom. And Pelosi's pacing.

I'll finish with a note about AOC and Pelosi and our need for masterful timing...

... but begin with a reminder. Within two weeks, I will publish my e-book POLEMICAL JUDO: MEMES FOR A POLITICAL KNIFE FIGHT.

It will offer 100+ tricky or blunt weapons that could add to our arsenal in this desperate fight for civilization. Keep alert for announcements so you can pre-order!

== While all the attention is on Washington and Syria... == 

... there are three other world capitals where the destinies of America and the West and the Enlightenment Experiment are being decided. 

First: Xi's Choice: Destroy Trump - or save him and weaken America. Shall the Chinese give Trump a huge "victory" to crow about, in a new trade deal that might salvage his failing poll numbers? That would possibly allow DT further opportunities to continue his all-out campaign to weaken us by destroying all fundamentals, our alliances and sciences, civil service, innovative industries and moral high ground. 

Or else, Xi can stand his ground and let Trump's trade war trigger an economic downturn. That finishes off Trump, though at some pain to the Chinese economy, as well, though protecting current trade practices..

Moscow isn't the same. The Putin-led mafia-cabal that owns old Two Scoops has only has some overlapping interests with the Chinese politburo: they are wary allies, knowing they'll eventually confront each other, after America is brought low. So Xi has a serious tradeoff to ponder. This article is flawed-but-plausible thinking outside the standard box.

Of course Trump is absolutely proved to be a Kremlin asset. In the last week he handed  the Kurds over to Turkey, with Russian military forces occupying former US bases, cementing Turkish President Erdogan's alliance with Moscow and completing Putin's control over an arc stretching from Crimea and Ankara to Lataika and Syria, through Iraq to Tehran. 

I've worried about what Putin will do, when Trump ceases to be useful. When he's for-sure a liability, demolishing the Republican Party that the KGB and mafia-oligarchs have so thoroughly suborned. When that happens, how do you cast aside the liability, without unleashing a livid-living Trump to turn his rally-mobs against the GOP? Well, the former(?) KGB agent has a standard fallback, turning Donald into a martyr. (God bless the Secret Service!) I had imagined that point to be imminent, as Trump's polls collapse. But this last week showed clearly there's lots more benefit (U.S. destruction) to be got from him. 

(What the FBI should be intensely interested in is HOW Trump coordinated with Erdogan and Putin. Seriously, via Giuliani? Codewords during DT's calls with Vlad? You think he can remember code words? Unless...)

What neither Putin nor Xi can comprehend is the degree to which we've been protected by a rule-of-law tradition that has augmented across 250 years. Moreover, despite the "Roberts Doctrine" that may protect some White House traitors from subpoenas, there are already hemorrhages as civil servants ignore orders to appear before Congress.

And there awaits big news from a New York courtroom.

 == Follow the Money ==

I don't give much damn about the tax returns, which are likely just embarrassing. But there is a potential "big one" that'd reveal criminal money laundering in the range of tens of billions. Deutsche Bank, it is back in the news. House Democrats have subpoenaed the bank to hand over the financial records of Trump, his family, and his company. Trump sued to block the subpoenas, but in April U.S. District Court Judge Edgardo Ramos ruled that the subpoenas were valid and could be enforced. Trump appealed.

Trump's lawyers argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan that the Democrats are just trying to damage him and have no valid legislative reason for seeing all the records. House lawyers said that Congress has investigative powers as well as legislative powers and needs the records to see if there has been money laundering and foreign meddling in U.S. elections. 

Ah, let us see if it is officially revealed that the funds that both rescued Trump Inc. and meddled in our elections came from any or all of Roman Abramovich, Alexander Abramov, Oleg Deripaska, Mikhail Prokhorov, Alisher Usmanov, German Khan, Viktor Vekselberg, Leonid Mikhelson, Vagit Alekperov, Mikhail Fridman, Vladimir Potanin, Pyotr Aven, and Vitaly Malkin. And yet more Lenin-raised, Marxism-reciting – then suddenly mafiosi -- overlords, many of the KGB-trained, but suddenly “great guys” to the mad American right.

Moreover, this is also being fought in state courts. (God bless New York!) And here's the deal. All it will take is one civil servant, at say the IRS, or one bank inspector or fed-up Deutsche Bank employee or EU auditor to -- when served by a legal subpoena -- decide to say "okay!" instead of primly waiting for the appeal to cross Roberts's bench. 

In fact, hold that thought. Because it points to a way for Pelosi and Schiff and Nadler to bypass the courts entirely, should John Roberts decide to go full monty with his Non-Justiciable Doctrine.

== Details... details... ==

Meanwhile The Washington Post has discovered that in the 5 years before becoming president, Trump borrowed (at least) $360 million from Deutsche Bank for his hotels in D.C. and Chicago and his Doral golf resort in Florida. The loans all have variable interest rates, so a 1% drop in interest rates would save Trump $3.6 million per year on these loans alone.

There’s a word for this kind of person. “Pompeo warned Trump would be an 'authoritarian president' in 2016. Now he's one of Trump's most loyal and trusted advisors.” Why? One word. Dominionism. He is timing his loyalty to suit his future master: Mike Pence. They have to time things just right.

But... but... why on Earth would Trump rescind the Bush-era policies encouraging shift to efficient and superior-in-all-ways LED light bulbs? Not even any industry moguls pushed for this. “The most plausible explanation is that Trump knows his base will cheer him for "owning the libs." In fact, much of what he does seems to be designed to make liberals' blood boil, rather than achieving any policy goal that Trump cares about.” 

== A great judge of character? =

President Donald Trump tweet-fired national security adviser John Bolton as he "strongly disagreed with many" of Bolton's suggestions." "I thank John very much for his service. I will be naming a new National Security Advisor next week," Trump wrote. 

“Trump has plowed through an unprecedented number of national security professionals while multiple geopolitical crises have played out. The President has had three national security advisers -- Bolton, Michael Flynn and H.R. McMaster. He has summarily fired a secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, by tweet after undercutting the former ExxonMobil CEO for months. Secretary of Defense James Mattis resigned, reportedly in frustration over Trump's decision to pull out of Syria. … “The President has also churned through two Homeland Security secretaries, John Kelly and Kirstjen Nielsen, and a National Security Agency director, Mike Rogers. He's lost a deputy national security adviser, K.T. McFarland and an ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and his deputy, Sue Gordon, left their posts last month." (And I clipped this 2 weeks ago, before the latest firings!)

"Bolton's departure comes as tensions with Iran are escalating in the Persian Gulf, North Korea continues to develop its weapons capabilities, arms control experts are warning of a potential nuclear arms race with Russia and trade tensions with China are intensifying, while Trump is discussing a drawdown of forces in Afghanistan.”

Some comment that this does seem to mean that Trump (unlike all past GOP presidents since Ike) is not a big fan of actual hot war. It suggests that saber waving at Iran might not go all the way to a Tonkin-Gulf style provocation. (Still, get ALL the folks you know to look up "Tonkin Incident" and "Gleiwitz" and "Reichstag Fire.")

But the towering point that no pundit or politician seems ready to make is that Mr. “Great Judge of Character” has been ‘betrayed” by more former Great Guys than any twenty other presidents, combined. Set aside the lies and treason and turpitude. Great judge of character is what bites home. They have no answer for that.

== AOC and Nancy and timing ==

I am a fan of AOC and I am glad the DP "Roosevelt wing" is very active. Still, it is vital to avoid splitterism and falling for tricks to harm our enlightenment-patriotic coalition against the Putinist Cabal. Especially, all this piling onto Nancy Pelosi is both unfair and intemperate/shortsighted -- an example of 'sumo' politics that always, always falls into Republican traps. The Judo approach requires timing. Those who question Pelosi's courage or determination bear a steep burden of proof. Under what scenario do they even imagine she is shy over combat? Of course she is being strategic! Why assume anythings else? What matters now is NOT going for formal impeachment, followed by a failed Senate vote. What matters is: 

1- that formal impeachment hearings might corner Chief Justice John Roberts into ruling in favor of Congressional subpoenas, since that is a process specifically described in the the Constitution. This is paramount! Nothing else matters as much, because once the subpoenas and hearings are unleashed, the Trumpists face evisceration. (And we must be prepared with a plan in case Roberts betrays us.)

2- that the impeachment process must NOT wind up being seen as just "revenge for Clinton," allowing the Red Base to rally around their martyr. If you think it will be enough just to defeat the GOP in 2020, you have ZERO memory of 2010 and 1994 when they came roaring back. They must be crushed for all this criminality and treason, and removing Trump a couple of months early is less urgent.

3- If you want a huge symbolic victory, then TIME impeachment so that the senate trial is held in the NEW Senate that takes hold a couple of weeks before inauguration in 2020. Think about that.

4- tune the meaning. A tsunami of corruption revelations during 2020 will win us defections from the confederacy, while a Senate trial that happens BEFORE those defections will win us an earthquake of Timothy McVeighs. Above all, our audience is the so called "deep state" - a fictitious, slanderous term for the brave and devoted men and women who have been preserving the republic by adhering to the law, during a lawless regime. If they see us dotting the i’s while revealing crimes, we keep them loyal.

5- Pence. OMG have folks any concept of reality at all? Trump is largely cauterized by his own blithering moronic behavior. Pence gets in and all damage to the Republican brand goes away as he smoothly croons about peace and reconciliation, winning large numbers of relieved officers back into the GOP fold... the leaky Trump White House gets replaced by one packed by Pence with devout Book of Revelations Dominionists, utterly disciplined and dedicated to the end of the world. 

Literally. Absolutely and literally. The end of the world

Pace yourselves. Radicalize! Fight! By getting your neighbors ready with tumbrels and torches.


Jon S. said...

Getting the first results from Trump's financial documents already. And the sheer pedestrian stupidity of his criminality makes me want to weep.

He kept two sets of books on his properties, one for tax purposes and one for loans. And he literally kept both sets. They are currently being compared by the courts.

Meanwhile, we also learned today that Rudy Giuliani, Donnie's personal attorney who is under investigation for multiple violations of federal law (especially as regards his bypassing the State Department on Donnie's behalf), is also the subject of an FBI counterintelligence operation...

Dwight Williams said...

I keep saying that the US should impeach both Trump and Pence. Get the two-fer! It's not impossible, especially Pence is also under investigation as we type and post.

David Brin said...

I do not see eliminating Pence too. The intel-FBI guys know that will look like a coup. What might happen is to use smoking guns to make Pence (1) turn on Trump and once sworn in (2) not go for a nomination and (3) fill the White House with neutral professionals. It's the last one that matters. It would prevent him from leaping for Armageddon.

DP said...

What will it say about America as a nation if we re-elect Trump?

If Trump loses, what will his hard core base do - peacefully return to their former lives?

David Brin said...

Donald Trump and Bill Barr Are Setting a Religious War Trap
An attempt to deflect attention from the impeachment inquiry by goading the base.

matthew said...

I disagree on timing for the trial in the Senate. It should be after the GOP convention so Trump is the nominee but before the general election so the GOP Senators up for reelection can bear the voter backlash for protecting an obvious crook.
Getting the Senate back is vitally important. Make those vulnerable senators vote the party line then hang them with evidence of their perfidy.

Jon S. said...

Pence has already committed at least one impeachable offense - he's refusing to cooperate with subpoenas. (Those of us who are, ah, of a certain age might recall that this was one of the articles of impeachment prepared against Nixon.)

Larry Hart said...

Dr Brin in the main post:

"Pompeo warned Trump would be an 'authoritarian president' in 2016. Now he's one of Trump's most loyal and trusted advisors.” Why?

An alternate theory--Donald Trump has Mule powers. Remember how the old Warlord of Kalgan became The Mule's loyal viceroy? Or how Captain Han Pritcher of the Foundation became The Mule's general? That's exactly what goes through my head when I watch Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and so on becoming fawning toadies to Benedict Donald.

What neither Putin nor Xi can comprehend is the degree to which we've been protected by a rule-of-law tradition that has augmented across 250 years.

Like the post-Mule Foundation, one would hope.

Larry Hart said...

Daniel Duffy:

If Trump loses, what will his hard core base do - peacefully return to their former lives?

I suspect the vast majority of them will change the channel. Trump is entertainment to them, and they'll find it with Rosanne or Kanye West or whoever. Or if Trump does start Trump-TV, they'll just watch him all the time. Sure, a few will be roused to anger enough to engage in mass shootings. That's nothing we don't already deal with on a daily basis.

I also suspect that a minority but a large one will scratch their eyes and wake up as if from some long dream that they can't quite remember the details of, and will be horrified or at least embarrassed if they are shown video of themselves these past several years.

Don Gisselbeck said...

My pet theory (no I don't believe psychic powers exist); some leftist has developed limited psychic power. The only thing they can do is weaken a few people's inhibitions. They ran the first experiment with Rush Limbaugh and are now trying it on the Stable Genius. It may not produce the desired result.

DP said...

Larry, after Trump loses I expect we will see dozens of Timothy McVeigh imitators.

DP said...

What we saw from Trump these past few days is "Hitler-in-the-bunker" levels of craziness, a total meltdown.

David Brin said...

matthew, good point.

LH... except for the McVeighs.

Larry Hart said...

Daniel Duffy:

Larry, after Trump loses I expect we will see dozens of Timothy McVeigh imitators.

We'll see a few, but as I say, we see a few of them already.

I don't think it will be as many as you fear. They talk tougher than they actually are.

Cyrill Joseph Landau said...

Putin is awesome, Trump is awesome. You are a self-hating Jew.�� And if I lived in the middle Earth I would also praise Jinping 11 for bringing greater respect to my nation.

Larry Hart said...

Didn't locumranch insist that "awesome" only means the same thing as awful? In that case, yeah, they are.

duncan cairncross said...

Timothy McVeigh
Was born in 1968 - he was among the brain damaged cohort -(my generation) and he committed his atrocity in his late 20's

That was 24 years ago - his fellow lead poisoned cohort are now in their forties and fifties - the last of them are 45 years old

I simply don't think we are going to see many if any "Timothy McVeigh's" actually DOING ANYTHING

They are past the dangerous ages

David Brin said...

Duncan I hope you are right. Possibly the greatest thing I ever did was help run the 1970 Clean Air Car Race that helped move the no-lead in gas bill out of committee.

Alas, I think you under-rate the secret power of Boomers. Grouchiness.

David Brin said...

Israelis who think US fundamentalists "love" them are crazy.
The fundies support Israel so that
(1) Jews will rebuild the Temple and go back to sacrificing goats and bowing before people named Cohen and
(2) a deliberately provoked war starts near Meggido triggers events raved by Patmos in Revelation,
(3) Jews will then choose either to suddenly convert to one sect of Christianity or go straight to hell.
And according to Revelation, most do the latter.

THERE's your "friends" in right wing America. Faming imbeciles.

Doug Alder said...

Cyril - I hope for your sake that was sarcasm, otherwise you are a flaming moron. FYI David is a Mormon (or at least he was) not a Jew

Larry Hart said...

David Brin:

Alas, I think you under-rate the secret power of Boomers. Grouchiness

Don't you think that's more talk than action, though?

At this point, we're shaking our walkers at each other going, "Get off my lawn!" The only real damage aging boomers can do is vote for the destruction of our civilization. Which is a big deal, I'll grant, but doesn't involve physical action.

Larry Hart said...

@Doug Adler,

You're on the right side, but I'm not sure you have all your facts straight.

Jon S. said...

Meanwhile, we learn more about yesterday's meeting between Donnie and Congressional leaders. He's falling apart, and either thinks his opponents are as stupid as he is or genuinely forgot that he called the meeting. (Oh, and the "leaked" letter? The one that reads like it was written by a grade-school child who watched The Godfather too many times? He photocopied it and handed it out at the meeting, imagining somehow that it made him look "tough".)

And Pelosi has revealed herself as a master of the rapier, not the broadsword. "I pray for the President's health every day, but now I have to pray for his mental health." A masterful stroke, sliding right past his normal defenses and pricking straight into his ego. If it works properly, it will prove as elegant as the Doctor's "Don't you think she looks tired?"

Larry Hart said...

Jon S:

Oh, and the "leaked" letter? The one that reads like it was written by a grade-school child who watched The Godfather too many times?

Why do all prominent authoritarians--Trump, Saddam Hussein, I think Roy Cohn--like to treat The Godfather in particular as a how-to manual?

He photocopied it and handed it out at the meeting, imagining somehow that it made him look "tough".

I suppose the fact that he blustered threats at Erdogan instead of making kissy-face like he does with Kim Jung Un is supposed to show that he's in control of the situation.

Remember when he said "I don't see why it would [be Russia tampering with our elections]" and then he claimed he meant to say "I don't see why it wouldn't"? Maybe he pulled something like that with Erdogan. "I meant to say not to invade Syria and attach the Kurds!"

David Brin said...

Exactly Jon S. She's in her game. Nancy is right! Use Pity!!

And yes, LH: Doug A. is a good guys, but wrong on the fact.

scidata said...

"Silencing Science", Scientific American, May 2019 p88. (paywalled) tracks over 300 gov't attempts to suppress knowledge. As expected, CA shows 1 incident, NY shows 0. Also as expected, TX shows 7, FL shows 11. If you adjust for population, the implications are truly scary. "It's concerning to imagine a generation of schoolkids not learning basic principles such as climate change and evolution". Confederate kids.

locumranch said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alfred Differ said...

I like Matthew's timing for the trial better.

David Brin said...

I'm not reading locum ... nor even skimming, this month. Next month, if he takes vitamins, I might skim. But not if he screams boldface at us. Those will be purged. Period.

DP said...

Thank God Trump and his minions are as stupid as they are evil.

After listening the Mulvaney admit to a quid pro quo this afternoon all I could think of was "The Gang that Couldn't Shoot Straight".

DP said...

After Trump loses, goes to jail, gets impeached or otherwise forced from office - what are we to do with his hard core followers?

Hold Nuremberg trials for the leaders (especially those who got kids killed in dog cages) and de-Nazify them?

Re-education camps?

Ignore them and let them fester, hoping they will go away back to their obscure lives?

Be like the Beatles at the end of "Yellow Submarine" when they called out to the Blue Meanies "Won't you come and join us?" and then lived together happily ever after in psychedelic hippie bliss?

duncan cairncross said...

When Trump is in jail you should keep investigating and put ALL the Crims in jail - right back to Cheney

David Brin said...

Crum DD & DD! Take it easy! While it's true that "charity for all and malice toward none" prevented a confederate guerilla war, many DID lapse into KKK gang-lynching mode for 100 years. So we need to augment "charity for all and malice toward none" magnanimity.

The best way is to save the world... yes including the Southeast, which insanely ignores global warming, even though theirs is the region worst affected and possibly rendered uninhabitable. Save the economy with good jobs despite automation. Save democracy and equality....

... and give all their kids free college.

But yes. Almost all gopper politicians are probably crooks.

Alfred Differ said...

That Confederate guerilla war that didn't happen... sorta did in a unorganized way. Reconstruction collapsed when the North was exhausted with fighting the people who would not quit.

While my sense of justice calls for indicting and convicting all those who thought US concentration camps were reasonable disincentives to halt immigration and asylum requests, I don't think we are going to get that far before a similar exhaustion sets in. I'll settle for a few trials of people "just following orders" and an apology from a future President for the previous President's bad behavior.

I still want to keep a list of people we considered indicting, though. I know DoJ doesn't like to do that openly as it is unfair to prevent the accused with recourse to clear their names, but I'm not part of DoJ. I want the list kept in the open where listed people can invite charges if they want off the list. That would require a cooperative NGO, I think.

Alfred Differ said...

Don Gisselbeck,

The only thing they can do is weaken a few people's inhibitions.

That psychic power sounds like the one used by barkeeps when they push another shot of tequila toward me. 8)

Cyrill Joseph Landau said...

David Brin is a Mormon. How come his Wikipedia page says he is Jewish and grew up shabbat shaloming all weekend long.

Tony Fisk said...

In the contrarian tradition of interrupting political posts with scientific news (a pleasant change from the opposite), a process which blocks GABA neurotransmitter has been identified. It can cause autism, epilepsy, and schizophrenia. It may be treatable

Deuxglass said...


So excess chloride in a neuron screws up its development and contributes to neurological disorders. That's interesting. Where could the excess chloride come from in the environment?

Jon S. said...

I have my doubts about that study (mouse models are notoriously unreliable in diagnosis and treatment of human neurological issues, particularly such poorly-understood issues as ASD), but am willing to defer that until I can consult with my brother-in-law, a research pharmacologist (who holds a patent for a rather interesting antirejection therapy that functions by selectively suppressing the activity of the gene-complex responsible for tissue rejection, rather than the traditional method of simply suppressing the patient's entire immune system until the transplant has taken hold).

However, I did spot the obvious flaw in a study linked below that, purporting to diagnose the cause of "behavioral disorders" in children with ASD. Specifically, the stimulus to elicit the desired emotional changes during an fMRI was the one so beloved of psychologists, showing the children pictures of faces with fearful or angry expressions.

This failed to take into account the most widely-spread symptom of ASD - the inability to read facial expressions. They were, metaphorically speaking, using a reflex hammer to check the nervous system of someone with no legs. So you'll pardon me if I take any of their other conclusions regarding ASD with a rather sizable grain of salt.

Larry Hart said...

Jon S:

So you'll pardon me if I take any of their other conclusions regarding ASD with a rather sizable grain of salt.

That sizable grain of salt could be where the excess chloride comes from.

Just sayin'


Deuxglass said...

Do mice use another way to remove excess chlorides than do humans? That question is unanswered. It's possible but not probable.

Larry Hart said...

Columnist David Brooks realizes that "This sophont is dangerous."


But right now, Elizabeth Warren has the momentum, and so those of us who feel politically homeless may face a stark choice.

For many, supporting Warren is too high a price to pay, even for ousting Trump. “There is no universe where I will ever vote for Donald Trump, and there is no universe where I could ever vote for Elizabeth Warren,” Jennifer Horn, a former chairwoman of the New Hampshire G.O.P., told The Washington Examiner.

And you can see why so many people have that reaction.


And yet ….

And yet, if it comes to Trump vs. Warren in a general election, the only plausible choice is to support Warren. Over the past month Donald Trump has given us fresh reminders of the unique and exceptional ways he corrupts American life. You’re either part of removing that corruption or you are not. When your nation’s political system is in danger, staying home and not voting is not a responsible option.


Furthermore, Trump is an unprecedented threat to democratic institutions. Over the past few years, I’ve thought the progressive fears of incipient American fascism were vastly overblown. But, especially over the past month, Trump has worked overtime to validate those fears and to raise the horrifying specter of what he’ll be like if he is given a second term and is vindicated, unhinged and unwell.


scidata said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
scidata said...

The only hope for the GOP is to split the Dems. Perhaps a 3rd party wingnut to siphon off 5% of the D vote.

Larry Hart said...


Radio host Rick Ungar believes that that's what Tulsi Gabbard will be doing (running as an independent after she doesn't get the Dem nomination).

He's not the only one. Malcolm Nance was on Stephanie Miller's show a few days ago and in a bit of a rant announced, "Anyone on my twitter feed who's voting for Tulsi Gabbard might as well delete me right now. I don't need any Russian agents."

Larry Hart said...

but then again (emphasis mine) :

The only hope for the GOP is to split the Dems

You really think the Republican Party is that desperate? To me, we're reaching the point where Trump just might not win in an Electoral Vote landslide, but only if he keeps openly betraying his supporters like farmers and the military.

I mean, who do you think is going to beat him? Elizabeth Warren? I love her, but she almost brings out Hillary levels of reflexive opposition. Joe Biden? He'd probably get crossover Republican voters, but a lot of itching-for-change progressives would stay home or vote for Jill Stein again. To me, the Democrats' only chance of beating him is to get the American voting public to not think of the revelations of Trump's outrages as mere partisan witch hunting. And while we may be getting there, we're not there yet.

scidata said...

@Larry Hart

I wasn't really thinking of Republican strategy, but rather that of offshore oligarchs.

A.F. Rey said...

To me, the Democrats' only chance of beating him is to get the American voting public to not think of the revelations of Trump's outrages as mere partisan witch hunting.

Don't forget a recession, Larry. Republicans have been pushing hard how great the economy is with Trump. If it turns before next November, a lot of voters will blame him for it (whether he deserves the blame or not).

scidata said...

The Canadian federal election is on Monday, and we've been hit with offshore trolls (even from US). AI is fighting the good fight here.

Larry Hart said...

A F Rey:

Don't forget a recession,

Yeah, that would help. It wouldn't affect his supporters who like his bullying and white supremacism, but it would give pause to those who think he's great he's great on jobs.

I'm with Bill Maher that the bad effects of a recession would be a small price to pay for bursting the Trump bubble. My wife and I consider any subsequent losses in our retirement accounts to be de-facto campaign contributions.

David Brin said...

If Deutsche Bank comes through, then Putin will seek a Trump exit strategy. My latest thought -- blame his recent gyrations on a brain tumor.

That would leave him free to remain president officially and run around yelling while Pence takes charge under the 25th and plames dems for the tumor.

locumranch said...


In order to convict Trump of the heinous crime of soliciting foreign interference in US domestic elections, the US Democratic Party is soliciting testimony from foreign Deutsche Bank officials in order to interfere with pending US domestic elections.

David Smelser said...

Larry/scidata "3rd party to split the Dems"?

Russia's propaganda machine discovers 2020 Democratic candidate Tulsi Gabbard

Hillary Clinton suggests Russia is grooming Tulsi Gabbard for third-party run

Is Gabbard the 2020 Jill Stein?

Larry Hart said...

David Smelser:

Is Gabbard the 2020 Jill Stein?

As mentioned above, at least one progressive radio host and one intelligence officer turned MSNBC commentator sure seem to think so.

David Brin said...

Trump names author of The Illuminati Handbook to presidential scholars commission.

Zepp Jamieson said...

I notice that Gabbard invited Hillary to "join the race" because apparently they cannot debate the issue unless she does. Right now the race effectively is between Biden and the two progressive candidates, one of whom needs to drop out very early in the primaries. Adding a Hillary candidacy to the mix would ensure division and chaos amongst the Democrats, and I have a feeling that Gabbard wouldn't much mind doing that.

matthew said...

I believe I predicted a Gabbard 3rd party run here months ago. Y'all need to keep up.
Russian bots been working to push Garbage Gabbard for the last 6 months, yo.

Zepp Jamieson said...

I note that in seeking information from Deutschebank, the Dems are using open due process, with subpoenas stating full legal justification, in order to determine the exact nature of crimes for which there is probable cause.
Trump send flaks in secret (at the time) to due an extra legal and extortionist mission in order to pressure the Ukraine government into producing negative information on a private citizen in that country, not out of any real legal concern (no writs, no subpoenas, no legal procedure) but simply in hopes of embarrassing a relative who is running against Trump in the 2020 election.
See the difference?

Larry Hart said...

Zepp Jamieson:

See the difference?

"I don't need your persuasion
'Cause I'm already there."

- Air Supply

David Brin said...

In conclusion, Mattis again paraphrased Lincoln, this time that president's famous Second Inaugural speech, delivered in the closing days of the Civil War: "With malice for none and charity for all, let us restore trust in one another." Alas he ignored a basic fact. That before we could start healing the nation's wounds, Lincoln and the Union had to win. Win overwhelming victory over flat-out, spectacularly treasonous evil. And so must we. And a little satire at a banquet will not do, sir.

And I recommend you generals start keeping a wary eye on some of your non-coms.

Alfred Differ said...

The weird thing about this whole Ukraine thing is it looks like a desperate con by Firtash to avoid extradition and his mark fell for it so strongly that the con will fail because the fool will get himself impeached for falling for it.

It's an interesting possibility that counter-intel people should study for years because it may be a wonderful lesson in how an external agent can take down a US President. It's OBVIOUSLY a lesson in why US Presidents are supposed to surround themselves by smart skeptical people, but it is SO much more. 8)

scidata said...

@Alfred Differ

Surviving DT, and learning the appropriate lessons, might actually inoculate the US going forward. There may not be a Seldon Plan, but there certainly is a survival gradient. The implications for SETI are intriguing. Perhaps I've been reading too much Brin this year (but greatly enjoying it).

TCB said...

"Surviving DT, and learning the appropriate lessons, might actually inoculate the US going forward."

This reminds me of how, before vaccines, you could always spot a smallpox survivor because they were so badly scarred.

Larry Hart said...


Perhaps I've been reading too much Brin this year (but greatly enjoying it).

I re-read Existence over the summer, and I still intend to get back to Kiln People as soon as I stop coming across new books I haven't read that I have to shoehorn into my schedule.

Latest distraction--did you know that Kareem Abdul Jabbar (yes, that Kareem Abdul Jabbar) has co-written a series of novels starring a young Mycroft Holmes and his little brother?

matthew said...

HRC bringing Gabbard's foreign allegiance to light is a brilliant judo move, imo. None of the current candidates could mention it without splintering the party. Any attack by a current candidate would just give Garbage Gabbard the *reason* she wants to launch her 3rd party bid.
But now, when Gabbard tries to launch her 3rd party bid, the counter-narrative to Gabby's supporters is, "Oh, so HRC was *right* that Gabby was going to run a 3rd party spoiler race?" The Russian bots and trolls will spin in their grave before admitting that HRC was correct on *anything*.
HRC inoculates the field for the DNC. She, by virtue of the hatred for her on the right, can say what no one else in the Dem establishment can say because so many people will resist her being right.
HRC may have just saved us from a Gabbard spoiler candidacy, and if not, she inoculated the room somewhat. Even if Gabbard still runs, the warning was given first and her candidacy is wounded.
I bet there were back room discussions on who to handle this for at least the last 3 months. Due to HRC's "unique" status as a Dem elder who is the most hated in the party, she can bring wrinkles to the denunciation that no one else can.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Not surprised. Abdul-Jabbar has shown himself to be something of a Renaissance Man, gifted in many different fields. Why not mystery writing? I'll have to look for some of his work. I'm reading "Wanderers" by Chuck Wendig right now, which started out as a variant 'zombie apocalypse' theme with Shalmaneser as the Oracle of Delphi, with some rather ham-fisted politics, but as I get into the final third, it's evolved into something quite fascinating, and more like "Dodge, in hell" than "The Stand". Good stuff.

locumranch said...

The list of potential 'Russian Dupes' aided by Kremlin disinformation now includes Tulsi Gabbard, Jill Stein, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump & it grows longer every day.

This is by design as there literally is no intelligent way to resolve disinformation by either crediting it or responding to it.

We would be wise to ignore it, but we aren't, so we won't.

Instead, we will introduce this non-information into our thinking machinery in much the same way that workers once threw wooden shoes into industrial machinery.

We've condemned ourselves.


Zepp Jamieson said...

@matthew: The best part of it is that Clinton merely made a vague statement, naming nobody in particular beyond "a female Democratic candidate" and Gabbard essentially outed herself. You can be against US 'boots on the ground' involvement in the Middle East (I am) without being a Putin stooge. But Gabbard's approach reminds me more of the Russian bots (which are out in force this morning on her behalf) or the crazed far leftists Brin sees under every bed. Her statements on Syria say the least. Her claim to be "the only candidate for peace" is ridiculous on the face of it. Does anyone seriously believe Sanders is pro war? Or Biden? Yes, they vote for the bloated military budget, but this is a country that fetishises its military, and to not blindly throw money at it is politically fatal. I'm hoping that the nation will out grow that once we're on the other side of the Trump era, along with saccharine adoration and belief in the wit and wisdom of the rich.
Aside from causing Gabbard to self destruct (she really is a specimen) Hillary also brought out the Petrograd manipulators, and made them easier to spot. Might help.

Treebeard said...

Hello again. Now that the weather’s getting bad I’m inside more, reading blogs again. Looks like people down here are as crazy as ever, bloviating about global conspiracies, spinning grand tales about saving the world, calling other people Russian agents and the like. One thing that occurred to me is how much it all sounds like the delusions of aging baby boomers who don’t want to go gentle into the night without one last go at saving the world and beating the Russkies at the same time. Being from the punk rock generation I always found that mentality annoying.

The best thing about spending time in the wilderness is how humbling it is. You soon realize how deluded human beings are who think the world revolves around their pet ideas, theories and systems, and how certain it is that the mountains and the sky will still be here tomorrow, no matter who you vote for, what stories you tell or ideas you sell, or how frantically you do so. Which I guess means I don’t have much to say on the usual topics of this blog, but maybe I’ll think of something next time.

matthew said...

Hey treebeard, don't think that it has been forgotten that you have called yourself a white nationalist, praised Putin, and said that you attack LGBTQ people. You've threatened violence here. Your words about the mountains are all crap to try to rehabilitate your online presence or somesuch idiocy.

So, fuck off Nazi punk.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Hmmm. I've heard Sanders being called a communist many times (usually by people who have no idea what communism is, or the variations in socialism), but never a Putin dupe. Putin isn't a communist: he's a fascist. Authoritarian, controlling and corrupt. Sanders, a democratic socialist, is, if anything, the anti-Putin.

Larry Hart said...

@Zepp Jamieson,

Another way of saying that, with apologies to George Orwell, is:

"The word you're thinking of is socialism. But this isn't socialism. Democratic socialism, perhaps, but that's a different thing, in fact the opposite thing."

Treebeard said...

LOL, like I said, people down here are as crazy as ever. Sounds like someone else could use some time away from the Matrix of Crazy; I seriously think it's becoming a public health crisis at this point. As I've said before, it's not hard to understand Puritan witch-hunts and Cultural Revolutions when you listen to people like our friend matthew here (who is straight-up lying, by the way). Maybe try to find some Zen somewhere, because you sound like you're a little mental, and just the sort of person trolls like to target.

Phaedrusnailfile said...

Well bummer, I must have taken a strange turn a couple of roads back and find myself in the same holler as treebeard and Locum. The vitriol directed at Tulsi is suprising coming from a few of the usual posters that I usually find my politics aligning with. If Hillary's comments were an isolated occurence one could reach the same conclusion as Matthew and Zepp, but since they are part of a recurring theme by NYT and MSNBC journalists who bring up Assad and Russia in almost every article they write about Gabbard to smear the most outspoken of the anti war candidates, i tend to sypathize with her point of view.

scidata said...

Got this message just over a week ago from SETI@home project:
"Large swaths of Northern California, including the UC Berkeley Campus, are under a Public Safety Power Shutoff due to high winds and the associated wildfire risks."

Hardening our infrastructure against increasing climate hardships will be as important as building new stuff. I hope this DC clown show ends soon. Things are getting a bit dilapidated. Once again, my BNW over 1984 preference. We are indeed "amusing ourselves to death" - Neil Postman

Zepp Jamieson said...

@Phaedrusnailfile: The problem is that there is absolutely no doubt that Russia meddled in the 2016 elections and has shown every intention of doing so again. And while last week I was prepared to give Gabbard the benefit of the doubt, her reaction to Clinton pretty much eliminated any reservations I had that she wasn't a Putnik, or at least a stooge. Her behaviour was questionable, particularly the claim that she's the only candidate who is 'anti-war'. Russian trolls have been trying to paint the Dems as the party of war for some time now. I even had one guy tell me that Bernie Sanders was "pro war".

Phaedrusnailfile said...

Zepp, thanks for the response. I have no doubt that Russia meddled in 2016 nor do i have any doubt that they will continue to try in the next one. There is a strong difference though in Tulsi saying that i would like the United States to stop enganging in regime change wars based on her first hand exprience in one and her being a Russian stooge and an even stronger difference in suggesting that she is being groomed for a third party candidacy which HRC asserted without any evidence to back her claim.

TCB said...

Well, the only crazed far leftist I know personally is me, and I say Tulsi Gabbard can go to hell.

Phaedrusnailfile said...

There just seems to be a disturbing pattern emerging wherin the media and advocates of strong foriegn presence within the Demcratic party are ignoring the simmering frustration of many people within that party. There is a reason Gabbard poles as well as she does despite the overwhelmingly negative coverage from mainstream supposedly liberal outlets.

David Brin said...

Guys, try to notice when one of them is on vitamins! locum and Treebeard will always strawman and fire away at delusional chimera versions of us, waaaaay over there, and hence have little useful to say. (Alas, actually, I like sane conservatives (almost exticts) and smithian libertarians like Alfred!) locum & treebeard will also proudly display that they have no grasp of even the concept of positive sum civilization.

Still, try to notice when they've taken vitamins. In this case, there was an underlying tone of... um... collegiality and friendliness?... in the ent's jibes. I'll take it! Welcome back, som.

Now to REALLY piss him off! ;-)

The book is up for pre-order!

Onward, onward.


Zepp Jamieson said...

Well, if opposing regime change through military pressure was the only criterion, I would be calling Bernie Sanders a Russian stooge, and I definitely am not. In fact, if you ignore details, I actually agree with her. But the devil is in the details, Her claim that she's the "only anti-war" candidate is nonsense, and her approach seems geared to maximise divisiveness amongst Democrats. She tends to very closely echo the talking points from Saint Petersburg. And her reaction to Hillary's vague statements are not those of an innocent person.
It may be she isn't involved with the Russians in any way. There's room for reasonable doubt. But watch her.

matthew said...

The Russian embassy literally tweeted in support of Gabbard.

GMT -5 (Hugh) said...

I read the post and the comments and I see a near complete lack of understanding of who the GOP and Trump supporters are. Having an accurate understanding of the opposition is crucial to planning a successful outcome. Both sides are creating straw men and are aggravating their supporters. The result is unpredictable and will probably be very bad.

GMT -5 (Hugh) said...

If the resistance handles the impeachment poorly, it will end up aiding in Trump's reelection.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Moff: Even the Democrats are going to find it hard to screw this up. Trump has not only admitted to various impeachable offences, he's BRAGGED about them. There is no reasonable doubt of his guilt.

GMT -5 (Hugh) said...

I've spent time as a criminal prosecutor. You'd be amazed at how hard it is to present a case. You learn the hard way that there is a difference between what you think the evidence shows and what the evidence actually shows. Sometimes it is a matter of how we interpret the information. We think that there is only one explanation. We end up being very unpleasantly surprised when the opposition presents alternative explanations...and it gets even more unpleasant when the fact finders (the jury or the judge) sides with the opposition.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Largest prison and probation populations outside of China. It can't be that hard.
Impeachment is not an evidentiary process; it's a matter of the prosecuting party obtaining enough to persuade a) the Senate and b) the people that the issues at hand are grave enough to warrant removal of the president. The jury is biased in the Senate, and you not only have the persuade them of the defendant's guilt, but that it would be politically devastating to ignore that guilt and vote against impeachment anyway.
That's the task set before the Democrats, and thus far, they seem to be lining things up nicely.

GMT -5 (Hugh) said...


First of all, chag sameach. Regarding your comment:

"Israelis who think US fundamentalists 'love' them are crazy. . . ."

Your description of fundamentalist Christian beliefs is simplistic and inaccurate. I think the Israelis (whatever you mean by that) know the Christians better than you do.