"Irony my Shirt": 18 months on

    It's 18 months past the stolen election, and we can itemize different ways it was stolen/cheated/rigged, even if all the testimony and indictments haven't come through yet. There's enough to piece together. Not just the politics, but the whole background of criminality and illegal hidden influence. And of course the successful effort to start tearing apart our government (put in place those determined to destroy what they're in charge of - hardly subtle).

    1) illegal Russian money and workers/hackers flooding the internetz with fake memes & fake news, stealing emails, hacking on ballot boxes (did they succeed? dunno, we never finished the audit), and direct conversations (collusion, if you will) between Trump team and Russia and Wikileaks to make it happen. (toss in illegal Brexit influence for good measure - it's part of where they cut their teeth, though Manafort was global - Ukraine, Africa, etc.).

    [and how about those unfortunate poisonings, falling off of balconies, multiple concussions from a drunken fall in a hotel room, untimely heart attacks... seems that being a journalist or lawyer crossing Putin brings a lot of bad "luck"]

    2) direct background links between Trump campaign (via Cohen as fixer plus Trump himself) and Fox News, both for illegal coordination of campaign messages, but also likely illegal real estate deals that provided a lot of quid for a lot of quo. (Hannity obtusely claims he didn't pay Cohen - Hannity didn't need to pay - his fake news platform was the payment-in-unkind - such as the whole made up Seth Rich connection repeated night after night). But wait, there's more - Sinclair Broadcast's nationwide net has been caught foisting pre-baked conservative Trump-friendly news bits on its announcers (not that we didn't largely know this in the campaign), but the meltdown's happening in time to threaten their next expansion effort to give it a near monosopy stake in Flyover Country news.

    3) Trump and the whole RNC are eminently blackmailable - one RNC deputy paid out $1.6 million to a mistress, Trump himself paid out (via his "lawyer"/fixer/another RNC deputy Cohen) at least a quarter million to 2 mistresses plus rumored a $30K payout to a doorman claiming Trump has a bastard kid. Combine this with mentions of kompromat out of Trump's Moscow trips and the RNC emails the Russians stole (but have never been seen), and the likelihood of a massive blackmail hostage situation is obvious. (Also rumors that they have NY Times emails too....)

    4) Leaks. And more leaks. Rather bizarre that out of Hillary's hundreds of thousands of emails, somewhere around 30 were possibly (retroactively) confidential. Yet Trump directly gave Lavrov/the Russians intelligence gleaned by Israel, Nunes directly leaked confidential House info to a possible target in his "midnight run" (plus released a highly spun redacted version of its Russian investigation in the end), Comey's memos were leaked within an hour, FBI agents leaked damaging innuendo to the press to influence an election, and yet there's still not any repercussions for these flagrant violations. (And yeah, McCabe tried to damage Hllary with a Clinton Foundation leak to the Times, but that's not why Team Trump is angry with him).

    5) Pay to play - Trump has driven a truck through the emoluments clause, using his extensive holdings as a pay-to-play scam for foreign governments and anyone wishing to get his attention and favor. There's a Maryland lawsuit for this, but it's unlikely to move quickly. Meanwhile, Jared Kushner's father and brother met with Qatar to squeeze a favorable loan out of them, and then we helped Saudis jam an embargo on them when no loan appeared. Jared's sister was trying to sell golden visas to Hong Kong citizens using the US name and Jared's connections. Several incidents of gov officials using press conferences and other inappropriate venues to promote Ivanka's fashion line among others. And of course Mar-a-Lago as the cherry of wheedling mislabed payoffs (Trump Tower's too much a dump, while properties in Panama and Azerbaijan have devolved into the empty shell of a shell game they always were).

    6) "Very own candy store" syndrome - Carson, Pruitt, Mnuchin, Trump himself, et al using government coffers to feed their expensive habits in travel, taxpayer-paid vacations, and so on. OK, not directly an issue tied to the rest of this - more an indication of where their heads and lack-of-morals are (and the irony that the supposed frugal shrink-government-to-fit-in-a-bathtub types are strangely silent about all this.)

    7) Illegal meetings and conspiracies - from the 2013 conspiracy setup in Moscow to the March and June 2016 cabals set up in Trump Tower and the Mayflower, to Jared's attempt to set up a backchannel with Obama still prez, combined with Michael Flynn's plotting, and more news about Papadopoulos in Athens & Budapest, Carter Page in Moscow, Erik Prince (Betsy de Vos' brother) in the Seychelles bringing UAE/Saudi connects around Russian sanctions... combine this with Russian attempts to destroy our political system plus launch some bizarre new Russian-Saudi-US nuclear scheme in the mideast, it only spells trouble - billions, nay, trillions on the table - begs for and pays for malfeasance and the worst kind of criminal activities. [Saudi Crown prince locking up other royalty in a 5-star hotel while he stole their money, torturing some... straight out of a gangster movie, just Arab faces]

    8) Data everywhere - confirmed that various "friends" of Facebook had not just a few hundred thousand, but at last count, "much greater than" the previous 87 million misused (stolen) account activity/profiles. Let's just put it at 300-500 million for yucks, and compare it to the electorate around 135 million (plus those millions who were discouraged from voting). And yes, combined with Russian hacking (what about those Trump Tower & Betsy de Vos' Spectrum servers that seemed to have a lot of funny communication with Alfa Bank in Russia? Still need some good answers there...)

    9) NRA Russian ties - okay, should possibly go up above, but this is special - $30 million from Russian sources, but supposedly spent appropriately (that's called "laundering" to you & me - a few account transfers, and voila, sparkly clean for any use). And as a rising issue among Gen Z plus anyone sensible (how many of those left?), could be/should be a big deal - the "sacrosanct" 2nd Amendment is wearing off - go Parkland kids.

    10) Indictments & pleas & legal actions oh my - there are the more-or-less formality indictments of Russian actors, but then we got hacker Nikulin extradited out of Prague, Flynn pleaded guilty, Gates pleaded guilty, Papadopoulos pleaded guilty, et al, while Cohen's searched and indicted, Manafort's indicted, and so on. Possibly best to come is Nastya Rybka sitting in a Thai cell, someone who already leaked compromising videos of oligarch-Russian government collusion through Russian-opposition figure Navalny, and threatens to have much much more if she makes it out (without falling down drunk, slipping off a balcony, or poisoning herself/overdosing on medicine, as RT might "report").

    11) Cooperating witnesses - Hope Hicks? George Nader? Reince Priebus? who else is feeding Mueller direct info of all the illegal acts, denied contacts that actually happened, outright lies and other efforts at obstruction? It's not like the obstruction is the worst part by any means - but it's often the easiest to prosecute, and this administration and the Republicans in general have been committing sappuko by Tweet storm and press release. More cowbell, please!

    11) "Focus on the Family" - massive number of Republicans resigning to spend more time with their kids. Nice sign of rats deserting sinking ship. Including an amazing unprecedented turnover in the White House. Speaking of Family, the Christian elite has fallen in lockstep behind the Trump gang - Falwell Jr's multi-billion LIberty U, Pat Robertson's cable net... "Grab 'm by the pussy", stories of hookers pissing on beds, and confirmed payouts to pornstars hasn't been enough to deter this Godly bunch, which makes one wonder what exactly *are* their priorities, since obviously some of this hush money goes for abortions and other favorite Christian right causes.

    12) D-I-V-O-R-C-E - seems a number of Republican spouses are having a #TimeIsUp moment and cashing out their marriage savings before prosecutors can freeze assets - wives of Giuliani, Eric Trump Jr, Manafort.... I guess that's female empowerment, but would have been nice if those females hadn't been empowering the initial illegal behavior that brought all those wishes.

    13) and for a baker's dozen, Hillary's still healthy 2 years after Susan Sarandon started frantically worrying about her health (a meme that would gain vicious traction over the following 6 months, including with the supposedly "journalistic" but always Russia-friendly Wikileaks). Still to come are a) the supposed IG investigation soon-to-be-released version of the FBI's SDNY branch's blackmail & leaks the last month of the campaign, and b) the hard questions about how known Russian and Republican/Trump behavior related to incidents like Susan Sarandon's outbursts and Jill Stein/Mike Flynn's joint visit to Moscow. As always, follow the money - and the denials. Sometimes the way they protest gives away more info than the original charge - such as Hannity's slip up about "real estate advice" (thanks, Palmer).

    Addendum: several notable cases re: gerrymandering and voter id and other ways of suppressing the vote, largely minority (and presumed Democrat). One judge just ruled Kobach, the government's suppressor-in-chief, as in contempt of court, and there are some major initiatives (Schwarzenegger?) to restore fairness in election mapping. Significant, or always too little, too late with steadily moving goalposts?

    Addendum 2: And we know Trump has a) refused to enact Russian sanctions legislated by Congress, and b) pretended to enact Russian sanctions legislated by Congress while not, plus c) faking a retaliation for Syrian chemical weapons that did far less than claimed. This is fitting in "nicely" with the definition of Treason:

    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

    Whether cyberwar is truly war, I think we can define Russian behavior as Enemy Action, and abetting an end-around for sanctions and coordinating cyber-attacks and illegal use of data with them (plus giving them essentially choice/veto power over a Secretary of State pick) begins to look like "Aid and Comfort".

    Addendum 3: The confirmation that Trump has assumed fake identities to push false stories is simply premeditated, habitual fraud. That the media gets tired of verifying him, or drops the majority of lies and failures in reporting about him over the decades doesn't change that. *EVERY SINGLE THING OUT OF HIS MOUTH OR FINGERS* can be assumed to be either a partial or complete lie, or some kind of manipulative spin on the truth. *EVERYTHING*. He has been caught lying in court, in the press, to regulators, to the IRS, to the FBI director, to his wives, to whores, to his staff... simply *TO EVERYONE*. Yet because of traditional habits from politicians in the news, we are continuously exposed to ridiculous analyses that pretend to try to find some logic and justification in each day's blast of nonsense, rather than the obvious "which kind of crazy is he spewing today, and how will he change it in a) 5 minutes, b) 10 hours, c) in 1 or 2 days. It's not that his output is so great - it's that it's large enough and reality-averse enough while we treat it as worth comment and analysis. This is largely a self-made error of the Emperor's New Clothes type - we simply *must* deal with the Emperor as if he's wearing clothes, and worse, as if all Emperors always wore (non) clothes like he wears, and the closest we get to refuting him is a puerile, irrelevant "well, maybe his clothes aren't the best". He should be in jail for a variety of repeat offenses - look at his scam University as just one - yet instead he's got spotlight at the front & center of the world's stage. This makes all the previous points irrelevant if we can't get over this one. We keep acting as if he deserves the niceities and personal considerations of our system, when these rules and politeness are exactly what he's set out to exploit and destroy, at least for everyone but him.



    Add to #12, the sometime-in-the-future tell-all book?

    But Trump embodies the core beliefs in white evangelical gospels:

    love his title, glad I clicked through! laugh

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