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What Comes After Farce?

[ 178 ] May 19, 2017 |

Good lord.


You can’t even script this shit anymore. If you saw this in the McBain movie, you’d say to yourself “Damn; Simpson’s writing has all gone to hell.”

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  1. malraux says:

    It does authenticate the idea that trump thought people would be happy with the firing rather than furious.

    I remain amazed at how bad at this he is.

  2. free_fries_ says:

    WaPo just dropped story that a WH adviser now considered a Person of Interest in Russia investigation. It’s probably Kushner but how hilarious would it be if it were Ivanka?

    • humanoid.panda says:

      I’d go with Bannon. There were all sorts of stories about how it might have coordinated with Russian bot-makers..

      • Vance Maverick says:

        I definitely read that as “Barron”. Your way does make more sense.

      • Alan G Kaufman says:

        Yep: https://www.justsecurity.org/41199/connecting-dots-political-microtargeting-russia-investigation-cambridge-analytica/

        “Cambridge Analytica is the data mining firm hired by the Trump campaign to help it collect and use social media information to identify and persuade voters to vote (or not vote), through an activity known as political microtargeting. The company is principally owned by Robert Mercer, a hedge fund billionaire who supported Trump and was a leading investor in Breitbart. Stephen Bannon, Trump’s campaign chairman (after Manafort) and now chief strategist at the White House, was the vice president of Cambridge Analytica’s board as well as the executive chairman of Breitbart before joining Trump’s team in August.”

      • Craigo says:

        Bannon was reportedly against Comey’s ouster, while Jared was the biggest proponent.

        • ChrisS says:

          Bannon is evil, but he’s not stupid. IMO, he would know that firing Comey would open up a shitstorm. Whereas, if Comey was just doddering along with an investigation they might be able to control it somewhat.

          • Nick never Nick says:

            Yeah, I agree with this — remember Trump’s first week, when it seemed like he was going to get evil things done? That was when Bannon was in the saddle. The ragey flailing ever since then is probably due to Kushner, who in addition to being malevolent and above his pay grade, has probably been too sheltered and entitled for most of his life to truly understand how dangerous the various Powers of Washington can be.

            • humanoid.panda says:

              Yeah, I agree with this — remember Trump’s first week, when it seemed like he was going to get evil things done? That was when Bannon was in the saddle

              Eh, that’s revisionist history. Remember: the brilliant idea to have Miller, a non lawyer, write the travel ban, and then unleash it without any preparation in order to create maximum chaos was all Bannon.

            • mongolia says:

              remember Trump’s first week, when it seemed like he was going to get evil things done? That was when Bannon was in the saddle.

              eh, that first week was when it was confirmed that bannon was an idiot. my concern was more that kushner had rove-type republicans whispering in his ear, but that dissipated pretty quickly, so the big concern was how much various law enforcement/security agencies would end up ramping up their activities against non-republican groups. fortunately, looks like the deep state (aka the bureaucracy) was never particularly inclined to cooperate heavily with these guys

            • ASV says:

              They spent the first week lying about the size of the inauguration crowd.

          • ForkyMcSpoon says:

            Bannon is smarter than Kushner, I’ll grant you.

            That doesn’t mean he’s smart.

          • njorl says:

            Also, Bannon comes from a propaganda background. He knows you can’t make things like this go away just by firing people. Kushner is from a business background, where firing a senior subordinate makes their projects die.

            ETA – Still, I think firing Comey was too stupid an idea to be anyone but Trump’s.

        • Doug Gardner says:

          Imagine an idea so bad that even Bannon was against it. The mind reels.

    • Alex.S says:

      That’s a slippery story, as “person of interest” could mean anything from a witness they want to interview to a target of the investigation.

    • keta says:

      I’d guess Kushner as well. From the linked NY Times piece April 6:

      When Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, sought the top-secret security clearance that would give him access to some of the nation’s most closely guarded secrets, he was required to disclose all encounters with foreign government officials over the last seven years.
      But Mr. Kushner did not mention dozens of contacts with foreign leaders or officials in recent months. They include a December meeting with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, and one with the head of a Russian state-owned bank, Vnesheconombank, arranged at Mr. Kislyak’s behest.

      Given the reported animosity between Trump’s closest advisers it makes me giggle when I think about all the leaks, the dribbling of information coming out of the investigations, and the certain finger-pointing and accusations within the inner circle. It’s fucking glorious.

    • West of the Cascades says:

      And since they don’t give a name, it means even more hilarity among the infighters and even less sleep for the jet-lagged Orange Menace.

  3. humanoid.panda says:

    And that’s the SECOND MOST IMPORTANT STORY PUBLISHED BETWEEN 3 AND 330 THIS AFTERNOON.

    Seriously: until this day, I was convinced that the Russian stuff was
    Manafort, Flynn, Page, expendable people who Trump can say he already fired.

    But a senior official at the West Wing who was involved in the campaign and close to the president is one of two, and only two people: Kushner or Bannon.

    • nemdam says:

      Spoiler alert: It’s Kushner.

      I don’t know why people can’t figure this out. It’s known that he lied about his contacts with Russians on his security clearance form. That’s all the evidence you need to become a person of interest in an investigation.

      Note that Bannon could also be under investigation, but we just don’t know. Or the entire White House.

  4. LeeEsq says:

    When the Trump administration gets put into fiction, writers are going to have to reduce the craziness because nobody would believe them.

  5. Shakezula says:

    On Twitter several people have noted that the NYT & WaPo stories went out after Air Force One took off.

    Being cooped up in a plane with a ragey orange is going to make for a flight that lasts 100,000 years in subjective time.

    • Nick never Nick says:

      This is the sort of thing I come here to read, I would never in my entire lifetime have thought of this small, horrid angle.

    • Alex.S says:

      Well at least Trump took a small number of people to rationally discuss everything about the plane. Such as Jared Kusher’s spokesman.

      Melania Trump — first lady
      Reince Priebus — White House chief of staff
      Stephen Miller — senior policy adviser
      Jared Kushner — senior adviser, foreign policy point man and Trump’s son-in-law
      Steve Bannon — chief White House strategist
      Ivanka Trump — adviser to the President and Trump’s daughter
      H.R. McMaster — national security adviser
      Sean Spicer — White House press secretary
      Sarah Huckabee Sanders — deputy press secretary
      Michael Anton — National Security Council spokesman
      Hope Hicks — White House director of strategic communications
      Gary Cohn — National Economic Council director
      Dina Powell — deputy national security adviser
      Josh Raffel — Jared Kushner’s spokesman

    • wjts says:

      I imagine that the scene after landing is going to resemble that one part of that one science fiction movie. You know, where the mysterious ship is in the docking bay, dramatically lit from underneath with powerful floodlights, they can’t raise anybody inside on the radio, and the team of investigators is gathered outside the entry hatch in their space suits. Then the hatch opens with a dramatic hiss of escaping steam, and they step inside the pitch-black craft. The only sound is the echoes of their footsteps as they make their way through the deserted vehicle, their flashlights playing across empty seats and the occasional incongruous artifact: a single shoe, a broken tablet, a severed arm. Then there’s an inhuman screech from behind them, and they turn around to see an orange, almost human shape charging towards them along the ceiling.

      • John Revolta says:

        I’m thinking of the part in Wag the Dog when they’re stuck in the plane with Woody Harrelson’s insane prisoner guy and not enough tranquilizers

    • keta says:

      Deep State had two parachutes prepared for the junket aboard Air Force One.

      “Who are the two new parachutes for?” asked one of the secret service members detailed to Trump.

      “One is for president Trump, one is for his golf clubs,” replied Deep State. “You are going to suit him up and then push him out of Air Force One at these GPS coordinates over Saudi Arabia.”

      “Why, that’s monstrous!” replied the secret service member.

      “Not at all,” replied Deep Sate. “We stuck an extra sand wedge in his golf bag.”

    • janitor_of_lunacy says:

      “Are we there yet?”

  6. C.V. Danes says:

    And the sad thing is that this tragicomedy is beyond most Trump supporters. They really just don’t get it.

    And there’s no fucking reaching them, either. Doing so is a complete waste of time. Our energy is better spent fighting to protect the voting rights of those we can reach, and getting them to the polls.

    • eclare says:

      They probably don’t even know about this. Is the right wing media reporting on any of this?

    • patrick II says:

      PBS interviewed some Trump voters in a waffle shop in Virginia Beach the other day.

      “Give him a chance.”
      “The media isn’t being fair.”
      “There is no evidence.”
      (what about James Comey?)
      He’s a Democrat

      So, even when there seems to be plain evidence, it can’t be trusted because it comes from “the media” or if the evidence comes from someone else they are assigned the “democrat” label and therefore untrustworthy and lying.

  7. Alex.S says:

    But why? Why talk to random Russians about firing the FBI director?

    Oh hey, in the article they found someone to defend this!

    A third government official briefed on the meeting defended the president, saying Mr. Trump was using a negotiating tactic when he told Mr. Lavrov about the “pressure” he was under. The idea, the official suggested, was to create a sense of obligation with Russian officials and to coax concessions out of Mr. Lavrov — on Syria, Ukraine and other issues — by saying that Russian meddling in last year’s election had created enormous political problems for Mr. Trump.

    I AM NOW MORE CONFUSED!

    • CS Clark says:

      It makes perfect sense that he’s trying to do with his moral bankruptcy what he did with all his financial bankruptcies.

    • keta says:

      The Art of the Surreal.

    • rewenzo says:

      “Negotiating tactic” makes no sense. Why would you:

      (1) tell the other side they put you in a difficult position
      (2) tell them you got out of the difficult position easily
      (3) ask them for concessions because of all the trouble they put you through?

    • Nick056 says:

      “I was taking heat because you interfered in the election on my behalf, and I had to fire the FBI director to try to quash the intelligence investigation into your givernment’s conduct. Cost me some capital. Can you work with me on Ukraine?”

      That would — does! — read like a defense of telling Russia that the pressure’s off with the Comey firing, so they should be ready to play ball on regional policy. It’s confirming the conspiracy. It’s not evidence of collusion — it IS collusion.

  8. CaptainBringdown says:

    This little tidbit is telling:

    The White House document that contained Mr. Trump’s comments was based on notes taken from inside the Oval Office and has been circulated as the official account of the meeting. One official read quotations to The Times, and a second official confirmed the broad outlines of the discussion.

    The daggers are coming out.

  9. HenryW says:

    BTW, while we’re talking about nut jobs, here’s some details about Curtis Ellis, whom Trump may nominate to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs (he already serves on it unofficially, since it does not require Senate confirmation). He makes Bannon and Miller look like Noam Chomsky:

    In a World Net Daily column, Ellis sounded as far off the reality path as Alex Jones and Mike Flynn arguing that Obama and Clinton literally want to kill white working people, “If you believe, as do the leftists, that America has more than it deserves and Americans are racists, the global redistribution of our wealth and the death (literally) of white working people is a desired outcome, a feature not a bug.”

    http://www.politicususa.com/2017/05/15/trump-finalist-dol-job-curtis-ellis-par-mike-flynn-steve-bannon.html

    He has also claimed that claimed that job training is “re-education” and leads to “extermination”, “‘Retraining’? More like re-education & extermination.”

  10. Nick never Nick says:

    So, does Trump return to the United States from this trip abroad to face the music? Or is this flight his silent departure from America, on which he decamps and sets up a revanchist shadow-government somewhere in Eurasia? Will America experience a century of anti-presidents, ensconced somewhere in a Croatian stronghold, issuing decrees that the corporate tax rate has been cut to 3% and guns must be worn while showering?

  11. Todd says:

    FFS. At least George III probably had a blood disease.

  12. randy khan says:

    One other fascinating detail: Nobody in the White House is bothering to deny the story. Too many people have seen the transcript, I guess.

    • Nick never Nick says:

      I think they’ve given up on denials, since Trump normally sells them out about a day later — right now most people charged with speaking to the public or justifying anything are probably in the same kind of state lab rats go into when you give them choices of levers to press but then shock them randomly anyway.

    • howard says:

      in all honesty, when i first saw the headline, my very first assumption was that this is so unbelievable that maybe it was a trump-ian planted story to find the leaker gone horribly wrong, but then they didn’t deny it!

      i was just talking to my 86-year-old mother, who had been running errands and just came in, and she said “i know you say i should stay calm and watch turner classic movies but the news is better than the best soap opera right now.”

      and i said “so you had your back turned for an hour, so you probably don’t even know” and proceeded to tell her.

      i mean, i knew the guy had no self-control, but this is beyond no self-control, this is complete breakdown territory.

    • Craigo says:

      Well, apparently the entire court followed the emperor overseas. I’m not sure there’s anyone left but the guy at the front desk.

  13. ChrisS says:

    Who is running the country now? Pence? LOL.

    Trump will come back to find the locks on the Whitehouse are changed.

    • Dennis Orphen says:

      I should have changed that stupid lock

      I should have made you leave your key

      If I had known for just one second you’d be back to bother me

  14. Kurzleg says:

    I loved Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Donald Trump, but it never occurred to me that it might just be generally accurate. Recent events certainly are reinforcing such a reading.

  15. nemdam says:

    Democrats should really stop talking about Russia. I mean, what if they never find any collusion?

    Anyone still staying this shouldn’t be taken seriously on this issue.

  16. Nick never Nick says:

    Well, the Trump presidency has run through to its predictable end and Trump has decamped for simpler shores, trailing nervous aides and crumpled briefing notes. As the Trump-One takes off from Ronald Reagan International Airport and turns out over the dark Atlantic, let us give one final thought to the splenic reality star who shot through American politics like an orange-hued extinction-sized asteroid and won our hearts with his simple down-home rants against foreigners, Muslims, liberals, women, blacks, Europeans, the disabled, veterans, war heroes, and Mexicans. Now all we will have to remember him by are his multiple bankrupt properties and a sense of vague shame hanging over the country, rather akin to the aftermath of a bachelor party in which everyone pretends to take things rather too far, and does. Farewell, Trump! And who knows, perhaps we shall meet again, in the Trump-Berdimuhamedow tower of Ashgabat or a Uralic golf course. Until that day, let us hoist a flute of antifreeze and toast the cruel, demented skinflint who so embodies our hopes and dreams and sweaty night terrors.

    Adieu, oh ye who we came to know too well.

  17. Simple Mind says:

    Is Toby Keith on that plane with Trump? He’ll be performing for the Saudis tomorrow (Whiskey Girl, Beer for Horses, what could go wrong?)

  18. Joe_JP says:

    “crazy, a real nut job”

    Trump is looking in the mirror again.

  19. Brien Jackson says:

    Speaking of farce, just gonna leave this here:

    https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/865562626201460736

      • Brien Jackson says:

        I’m considering looking up the betting line that Mueller’s investigation uncovers dirt on Greenwald.

        • sibusisodan says:

          I think there is a certain group of people who don’t need to be compromised to work to benefit Russia. They just need to be manoeuvred such that they convince themselves they’re doing what is right and true.

          Greenwald because his perspicacity and righteousness are so part of his self-image. He’s not going to get taken in by the Man, man.

          Trump because anything he decides to do is automatically the best thing ever and totally his own decision.

          What’s the point of compromising such people?

        • nemdam says:

          I dunno. If you believe this, Vox might write an article calling you a conspiracy theorist.

          To deny the possibility that Greenwald is on the Kremlin payroll is to deny that Trump might be colluding with Russia.

    • Nick never Nick says:

      Now, why’d you have to go and do that

    • Craigo says:

      That aged poorly.

    • addicted44 says:

      I haven’t read down that thread, but it could be read as not an indictment, but rather, just an observation of the crazy situation the Repubs have put the US in with Trump.

      • ForkyMcSpoon says:

        But we know from Greenwald’s other writing that he thinks it’s “redbaiting” to suggest that the right-wing authoritarian kleptocratic capitalist regime in Russia is supporting far right movements in other countries.

        Russia is eternally the (true) left’s friend, their assassinations of Russian leftists notwithstanding.

    • Captain Haddock says:

      And a Twitter exchange that is just so, so Greenwald:

      W – That’s St. Basil’s Cathedral taking over the White House, not the Kremlin.

      GG – Yes, that’s totally what Time meant to convey. That St. Basil’s Cathedral has taken over the White House.

      W – Oh I think Time messed up. But reality is that it is St Basil’s Cathedral, not the Kremlin.

      GG – I KNOW THAT.

      W – Awesome – no need to get tetchy. Sorry for the inconvenience caused by interacting with your tweet.

  20. Joe_JP says:

    Maybe, Sasse and Schumer can share some of their weed.

  21. Nick never Nick says:

    Man, the Pulitzer committee is going to have a tough job on its hands this year.

  22. farin says:

    The answer to the headline, alas, is “more tragedy.”

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