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Mark Zaid, JFK and Trump


James DiEugenio
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6 hours ago, Douglas Caddy said:

Robert: Like Trump,  you chose to deflect discussion of the issue presented and instead raise a totally unrelated one. It no longer works for Trump and doesn't work for you.

Amen.

Donald Trump is a crass, bigoted, poorly educated, sociopathic salesman who is so narcissistic that he craps in a gold toilet -- "a racist, a con man, and a cheat," in the words of his own former personal attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen.

It's way past time for Trump's  delusional (and/or dishonest) enablers to end the farce and stop colluding with Trump's endless bald-faced lies, false narratives, "conspiracy theories," and ad hominem attacks on his many victims and witnesses.

Trump never takes an iota of responsibility for his many mistakes and his life of crime.  It's a YUGE character flaw that originated in his sociopathic childhood.

As for Trump's decades-long involvement with the Russian mafia, Felix Sater, (and with Putin's billionaire oligarchs) it has been well-documented by Russ Baker and others in recent years.

And the Steele Dossier has been largely verified, after being completely suppressed by the FBI, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and the U.S. mainstream media prior to the 2016 election.

 

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WN:

If the Steele Dossier has been "largely verified" . can you explain to my why Mueller did not use it?

Secondly, how can you possibly say that pile whatever was "completely suppressed"?  I mean you really did not know any of the following?

Steele shopped the report around but it was David Kramer – an expert on Russian affairs and long-time aide to Sen. John McCain – who spread the anti-Trump dossier all over Washington and leaked it to the media, including CNN, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, NPR and BuzzFeed.

We know that from Kramer’s own testimony in a libel suit that was recently made public. Apparently Kramer showed the document to BuzzFeed reporter Ken Bensinger. Claiming he was a slow reader Benzinger asked to take pictures of the dossier. Kramer says he asked him not to, but then left the room for 20-30 minutes.

Kramer also claims he was “shocked” when BuzzFeed later published the entire dossier.

You just can’t make this stuff up.

McCain also gave the dossier to James Comey, but the FBI Director had previously received it directly from the Clinton campaign and Steele. That led directly to the FBI’s investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia, including FISA warrants and wire taps of Trump’s associates — this was all under the Obama Administration, mind you — and ultimately special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.

 

 

Edited by James DiEugenio
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In other words, when we peel away the partisanship and the personal vindictiveness, the facts are that McCain had his aide do what he could to sell the dossier to any media entity who would take it.  It was so bad and sleazy no one would, except an online outfit.

Comey got it from not one, but two sources.  And it was that pile of goofiness that started the FBI inquiry into Russiagate and the FISA warrants on Carter Page.

Adam Schiff did everything he could as minority leader on the committee to conceal who had paid for the dossier and to hide the fact that it was instrumental in the Page FISA.

The only incident that precedes the dossier is the George P episode.  Which many of you wish to dismiss.  But to me that whole chapter is as smelly as rotting fish. It seems to me to be almost a model of an FBI sting. Therefore if one goes by the origins of the whole Russia Gate imbroglio, it seems to have begun with people in the FBI who did not like Trump and favored HRC; it was then egged on by people in the GOP who did not like Trump and looked at him as some kind of outsider who had upset their guy, Bush.  These two forces then met and are epitomized by guys like Comey, Rosenstein and McCabe.

And I can see how people like that would prefer HRC over Trump.

Edited by James DiEugenio
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2 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

In other words, when we peel away the partisanship and the personal vindictiveness, the facts are that McCain had his aide do what he could to sell the dossier to any media entity who would take it.  It was so bad and sleazy no one would, except an online outfit.

Comey got it from not one, but two sources.  And it was that pile of goofiness that started the FBI inquiry into Russiagate and the FISA warrants on Carter Page.

Adam Schiff did everything he could as minority leader on the committee to conceal who had paid for the dossier and to hide the fact that it was instrumental in the Page FISA.

The only incident that precedes the dossier is the George P episode.  Which many of you wish to dismiss.  But to me that whole chapter is as smelly as rotting fish. It seems to me to be almost a model of an FBI sting. Therefore if one goes by the origins of the whole Russia Gate imbroglio, it seems to have begun with people in the FBI who did not like Trump and favored HRC; it was then egged on by people in the GOP who did not like Trump and looked at him as some kind of outsider who had upset their guy, Bush.  These two forces then met and are epitomized by guys like Comey, Rosenstein and McCabe.

And I can see how people like that would prefer HRC over Trump.

Yes, James Comey so preferred Clinton over Trump that he violated FBI protocol by re-opening the Hillary e-mail investigation 11 days before the election.  This destroyed the Trump campaign by turning cable news into non-stop Clinton bashing.:eek

And the FBI so had it in for Trump the only mention of the Steele Dossier during the campaign was on Halloween when David Corn wrote it up in Mother Jones.

In DiEugenio's alternative universe Mother Jones has a far greater reach than all the cable news shows combined.:drive

'The FBI is Trumpland': anti-Clinton atmosphere spurred leaking, sources say

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/03/fbi-leaks-hillary-clinton-james-comey-donald-trump

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4 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

In other words, when we peel away the partisanship and the personal vindictiveness, the facts are that McCain had his aide do what he could to sell the dossier to any media entity who would take it.  It was so bad and sleazy no one would, except an online outfit.

Comey got it from not one, but two sources.  And it was that pile of goofiness that started the FBI inquiry into Russiagate and the FISA warrants on Carter Page.

Adam Schiff did everything he could as minority leader on the committee to conceal who had paid for the dossier and to hide the fact that it was instrumental in the Page FISA.

The only incident that precedes the dossier is the George P episode.  Which many of you wish to dismiss.  But to me that whole chapter is as smelly as rotting fish. It seems to me to be almost a model of an FBI sting. Therefore if one goes by the origins of the whole Russia Gate imbroglio, it seems to have begun with people in the FBI who did not like Trump and favored HRC; it was then egged on by people in the GOP who did not like Trump and looked at him as some kind of outsider who had upset their guy, Bush.  These two forces then met and are epitomized by guys like Comey, Rosenstein and McCabe.

And I can see how people like that would prefer HRC over Trump.

Jim,

    Christopher Steele was so concerned about the national security implications of his Trump/Russia Dossier -- especially by the evidence that Donald Trump was possibly being blackmailed by the Kremlin -- that he discussed his findings with the FBI and U.S. media representatives before the 2016 election.

     Nothing happened!  As you probably know, Dean Baquet put the kibosh on any pre-election NYT stories about the Trump campaign's multiple Russian contacts-- opting instead to publish weekly headline stories about Hillary's Emails.

    David Korn at Mother Jones published the only 2016 pre-election story in the entire U.S. media about the Steele Dossier, on October 31st.  

     The U.S. public was kept entirely in the dark about the Steele Dossier until it was finally published by Ben Smith at Buzzfeed on January 10, 2017.  And then there were howls of execration in the U.S. mainstream media about Buzzfeed publishing the "unverified" Dossier-- without intentional irony by the same media moguls who had published weekly unverified FBI allegations about Hillary throughout 2016!

    As for the veracity of the Dossier, the Lawfare review article I posted (above) covers the details pretty well.  Much of it has been confirmed, and very little has been debunked.

    Personally, I believe that the Kremlin has sexual kompromat on Trump, and that Steele's 2016 concerns about Trump being blackmailed by Putin were justified.  

    How else do we explain Trump's persistent capitulation and deference to Putin since 2016-- insulting our NATO allies, undermining the Ukraine, abandoning the Kurds, and even insisting that Russia hasn't hacked our elections?!

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27 minutes ago, W. Niederhut said:

Jim,

    Christopher Steele was so concerned about the national security implications of his Trump/Russia Dossier -- especially by the evidence that Donald Trump was possibly being blackmailed by the Kremlin -- that he discussed his findings with the FBI and U.S. media representatives before the 2016 election.

     Nothing happened!  As you probably know, Dean Baquet put the kibosh on any pre-election NYT stories about the Trump campaign's multiple Russian contacts-- opting instead to publish weekly headline stories about Hillary's Emails.

    David Korn at Mother Jones published the only 2016 pre-election story in the entire U.S. media about the Steele Dossier, on October 31st.  

     The U.S. public was kept entirely in the dark about the Steele Dossier until it was finally published by Ben Smith at Buzzfeed on January 10, 2017.  And then there were howls of execration in the U.S. mainstream media about Buzzfeed publishing the "unverified" Dossier-- without intentional irony by the same media moguls who had published weekly unverified FBI allegations about Hillary throughout 2016!

 

That's the fairy tale version. One part of this tale holds that foreign nationals trying to influence a US Presidential election is the equivalent of an "attack on democracy", while another part of the same tale holds that a foreign national's efforts to influence represents the highest integrity.

The Dossier is largely gossip which really does not amount to anything worth discussing except - it was used to violate the Constitutional rights of a US citizen with the subsequent result of subjecting a Presidential campaign to extensive surveillance by agents of the State. It's a very serious and consequential scandal.

32 minutes ago, W. Niederhut said:

 

    As for the veracity of the Dossier, the Lawfare review article I posted (above) covers the details pretty well.  Much of it has been confirmed, and very little has been debunked.

    Personally, I believe that the Kremlin has sexual kompromat on Trump, and that Steele's 2016 concerns about Trump being blackmailed by Putin were justified.  

    How else do we explain Trump's persistent capitulation and deference to Putin since 2016-- insulting our NATO allies, undermining the Ukraine, abandoning the Kurds, and even insisting that Russia hasn't hacked our elections?!

I am sorry, but that is complete nonsense. As the saying goes - you are entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts.

The Lawfare article does not vouch for the veracity of the Steele Dossier. As was pointed out to you, Lawfare concedes “much of the reporting simply remains uncorroborated” and ends with the hopeful wish: “But surely there is more to come from Mueller’s team.” But there wasn’t more to come, as was acknowledged by Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post in a Fact-Checker which was published this past July, as was also pointed out to you.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/04/24/what-steele-dossier-said-vs-what-mueller-report-said/

According to Kessler's analysis, the only point of contact between the Dossier and the Mueller findings was the contested notion that Russian operatives hacked the DNC. That’s it.

The idea that it has been “largely confirmed” seems to be one of those rumours which gains traction simply by being repeated and repeated. We should all try to do better than that.

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30 minutes ago, Jeff Carter said:

That's the fairy tale version. One part of this tale holds that foreign nationals trying to influence a US Presidential election is the equivalent of an "attack on democracy", while another part of the same tale holds that a foreign national's efforts to influence represents the highest integrity.

Yes, Christopher Steele tried to influence the '16 election when the only outlet to cover his dossier was Mother Jones.

Quote

 We should all try to do better than that.

You first, Jeff...

 

 

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On 10/20/2019 at 9:13 PM, W. Niederhut said:

Jeff,

     I posted links to the extensive database of Russian Facebook ads from 2016, as you requested.

     Have you reviewed any of them?  They're like case studies in a Gerasimov Doctrine propaganda textbook for fomenting conflict and division in U.S. society along racial, ethnic, and religious lines-- in close parallel to the 2016 Trump/Manafort campaign.

    As for the verification of the Steele Dossier, here's a high quality link to a Lawfare review article on the subject.

    (In my experience, Lawfare publishes good material.)

The Steele Dossier: A Retrospective

https://www.lawfareblog.com/steele-dossier-retrospective

 

      Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for you and Robert to post a credible reference link to support the Trump/GOP talking point about the Steele Dossier being fake-- and to give us your take on the death of Oleg Erovinkin.

Jeff Carter,

     Speaking of fairy tales, you still seem to be living in your Trumptopian fantasy world -- an alternate universe of Trump's "alternative facts."

     Do you still actually believe that Russia didn't hack U.S. voter registration databases in multiple states and publish 35,000 Facebook ads in 2016?

      The Lawfare review article (above) specifically states that, "the Dossier holds up well over time, and none of it, to our knowledge has been disproven."  Right?

     This is entirely consistent with Glenn Kessler's fact-checking article about the Dossier in WaPo.

     And, no, FBI surveillance of the 2016 Trump campaign was not initiated by the Steele Dossier.  Let's dispense with that oft-repeated Trump/GOP lie.

     

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Cliff - your capacity to mischaracterize and misinterpret what people are saying is astonishing. You should work for cable news or one of the political parties.

1 hour ago, W. Niederhut said:

 

     Do you still actually believe that Russia didn't hack U.S. voter registration databases in multiple states and publish 35,000 Facebook ads in 2016?

 

There is no hard evidence of such (hacking) by agents of the Russian government. It is conjecture, which Gareth Porter argues may have the hidden agenda of putting the DHS in charge of America’s election apparatus.

https://original.antiwar.com/porter/2018/08/28/how-the-department-of-homeland-security-created-a-deceptive-tale-of-russia-hacking-us-voter-sites/

The Russian government didn’t publish 35,000 Facebook ads. An online marketing firm based in St Petersburg did. Connections between the firm and Russia’s government is also conjecture, and has not been factually established.

1 hour ago, W. Niederhut said:

      The Lawfare review article (above) specifically states that, "the Dossier holds up well over time, and none of it, to our knowledge has been disproven."  Right?

     This is entirely consistent with Glenn Kessler's fact-checking article about the Dossier in WaPo.  

Yes, Lawfare's author's write that. And then they say: “much of the reporting simply remains uncorroborated”.

Saying that something “holds up well over time” is expressing an opinion rather than establishing a fact, and establishing information as verified or corroborated is very different from arguing that something is “not disproven”.  Kessler’s Wa-Po piece confirms only one point of correlation between Steele’s assertions and Mueller’s Report, and that point is otherwise contested. Your characterization  is simply incorrect.

 

1 hour ago, W. Niederhut said:

And, no, FBI surveillance of the 2016 Trump campaign was not initiated by the Steele Dossier.  Let's dispense with that oft-repeated Trump/GOP lie.

     

The talking point of an alleged “oft-repeated lie” depends on hair-splitting between something being “authorized” versus something being “initiated”. The FISA authorization was granted after FBI officials vouched for the integrity of Steele and his info, even as it was non-corroborated and all the FBI had. This was a serious violation of FISA court procedures which was claimed could never happen by advocates of the NSA surveillance programs.

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20 minutes ago, Jeff Carter said:

Cliff - your capacity to mischaracterize and misinterpret what people are saying is astonishing.

Your inability to make a fact-based rebuttal to anything I write speaks of your intellectual bankruptcy.

20 minutes ago, Jeff Carter said:

 

You should work for cable news or one of the political parties.

You're so married to Trumpian talking point Team Fascist ought to cut you checks.

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It's truly astonishing to see the sheer volume of Trumpaganda about Christopher Steele's Dossier and Trump's three year cover up of his Russia-gate scandal on right wing disinformation sites like Fox News, Daily Caller, Breitbart, Washington Examiner, Washington Times, WSJ, The Federalist, etc.

On a simple Google "news" search for "Christopher Steele," the Trumpaganda disinformation articles out-number the reality-based news articles by a factor of 15- or 20-to-1!

No wonder the delusional 26% of Americans who watch Fox News in the recent Pew Research Poll will support Trump even after he starts shooting people on 5th Avenue.

The Trump/GOP Russia-gate disinformation is endless.   Then, in the Google search mix, there are occasional non-Trumpaganda articles like this one.

by James Lamond and Talia Dessel

October 17, 2019

Attorney General Bill Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham are traveling around the world trying to get foreign governments to give credence to a conspiracy theory that they believe will undermine the FBI’s decision to open an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. This effort is an abuse of power, purely designed to help President Donald Trump politically. The fact is, it would have been malpractice if the FBI had not opened its investigation in the summer of 2016.

Barr and Durham’s quixotic journey has resulted in the chief law enforcement officer of the United States traveling to Italy to review deposition tapes, pressing the United Kingdom for cooperation, and Trump himself pressuring the Australian prime minister for assistance in the matter. The conspiracy theory doesn’t contest the findings of the Mueller investigation, instead, it aims to prove that the trigger for the FBI launching its original inquiry into Russian interference was, in fact, a set up.

For months, Trump and his supporters pushed the idea that the Steele dossier was the impetus for the FBI to launch its investigation into Russian interference and whether the Trump campaign was playing any role in it. Their strategy was to discredit Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent and author of the now-famous dossier, and thereby throw the entire U.S. investigation into question. But the Steele dossier is not what prompted the FBI to start its investigation. Instead, it was the activities of Trump campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos.

In the spring of 2016, Papadopoulos connected with a London-based Maltese professor with longstanding Russia ties named Joseph Mifsud. Mifsud had just returned from a trip to Moscow in April of 2016 when he met with Papadopoulos and informed him that the Russian government had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton “in the form of thousands of emails.”

Shortly after his conversation with Mifsud, in May 2016 Papadopoulos met with Australia’s top diplomat in London for a few drinks. It was there that Papadopoulos told the diplomat what Mifsud had told him about the Russian “dirt” on Clinton. Two months later, in July, Australia passed this information to the FBI. And this, according to the Mueller report, was what prompted the FBI on July 31, 2016 to “open an investigation into whether individuals associated with the Trump Campaign were coordinating with the Russian government in its interference activities.”

The conspiracy theory that Barr appears to be chasing down, is similar to one that Papadopoulos himself has been advocating. It alleges that Russian interference in 2016 was all a set-up and that Mifsud was a Western agent. The theory advances the idea that Trump isn’t the beneficiary of foreign interference— he’s a victim of it.  And if Barr can just disprove the validity of the Papadopoulos tip, then the entire legitimacy of the Mueller investigation falls apart.

In reality, there were so many suspicious links between the Trump campaign and Russia, and so many strong indications of Russian interference in the 2016 election, it would have been truly irresponsible of the FBI not to have initiated an investigation – with or without the Papadopoulos story. The Russia investigation wasn’t the result of one single tip — but the product of trained U.S. law enforcement and intelligence officials properly reacting to a real threat.

First, there were multiple, separate warnings from allied intelligence agencies to U.S. officials about Russia’s relationship with the Trump campaign. Beginning in late 2015 and going at least through the summer of 2016, the United Kingdom, Germany, Estonia, Poland, the Netherlands and France all informed U.S. officials about interactions between Trump associates and Russians.

Second, an alarming number of figures known to U.S. law enforcement to have Russian links joined the Trump campaign in rapid succession. Michael Flynn joined the campaign as Trump’s national security advisor in February 2016, just two months after he was paid $45,000 to speak at an RT gala in Moscow where he sat next to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Considering Flynn was the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), this behavior surely would have caught the U.S. Intelligence Community’s attention, especially once he joined the campaign. Carter Page, who years earlier had allegedly been recruited by Russian spies in New York and interviewed by the FBI about it, joined the campaign as a foreign policy aide in March 2016. Paul Manafort, who would eventually become campaign chairman, joined on March 28, 2016. Manafort had spent years working for pro-Russian Ukrainian oligarchs and had been interviewed by the FBI reportedly about this work in 2013 and 2014.

Third, Trump’s own behavior would have raised red flags for law enforcement and intelligence agencies. During the campaign, Trump was up front about wanting Russia’s help, publicly calling for Russia to hack his opponent even after it was known that Russia was interfering in the election. He was also pursuing a lucrative business deal in Moscow, which he lied to the American people about, claiming he had “nothing to do with Russia” .

Fourth, the 2016 election was being attacked by Russian military officers, and this necessitated an investigation. Public reports of Russia’s hacking of the DNC go back to June 14, 2016, and Wikileaks began releasing the stolen emails from the DNC on July 22, 2016. Trump was even made aware in August, during his first intelligence briefing as the Republican nominee, that Russia would probably try to spy on his campaign, and he and his campaign were advised to contact the FBI about anything suspicious.

Fifth, the so-called “deep state” plot hinged on the idea that launching an investigation into Trump would damage his campaign — but the investigation wasn’t revealed until after Trump had won. FBI Director James Comey publicly revealed the investigation on March 20, 2017, months after Trump had been elected and inaugurated. And it wasn’t until after Trump had fired Comey and invited the Russian foreign minister into the Oval Office to laugh about relieving the pressure of the Russia investigation that the FBI opened another investigation into Trump himself, seeking to determine “whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests.”

With all of this happening in such short order, it would have been unthinkable for the FBI and U.S. intelligence agencies not to have investigated the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.

So, why is the attorney general, along with a hand-picked U.S. Attorney, personally chasing down leads around the globe in an effort to undermine U.S. law enforcement? Even for the most serious crimes, the attorney general does not typically fly to a foreign country just to review a video tape of a deposition.

The answer is that this doesn’t have anything to do with law enforcement at all. This entire effort is meant to do one thing: Provide fodder for Trump’s conspiracy theories about the origins and legitimacy of the Russia investigation. The goal of these investigations is to create the appearance of impropriety and to support the false claims that the Mueller probe and its findings were an illegitimate, partisan endeavor advanced by the “deep state.”

For years, Trump and his team have been advancing conspiracy theories along these lines. As each successive version is debunked, the argument gets continually reshaped, each version more outlandish than the prior one. It first began with Steele and claiming he duped the FBI into opening an investigation. Then it shifted the blame to a cabal of senior FBI agents surrounding then-FBI Director Comey who opposed Trump and conspired to open an investigation into him to damage his campaign. After that, the idea was that that then-CIA Director John Brennan personally orchestrated the investigation in an effort to get Clinton elected so that he could keep his job.

There is, however, one major difference between the current push and previous efforts. The man making the case now isn’t a talking head or congressman appearing on Fox News. It’s America’s chief law enforcement officer using the full power of the U.S. government to pressure foreign governments to engage in investigations designed to politically benefit Trump. If this sounds familiar, that’s because it is exactly what Trump tried to do in the phone call with the Ukrainian president that is now at the heart of the impeachment proceedings. Trump even asked the Ukrainian president to work with Barr on his politically motivated investigations, yet Barr has refused to recuse himself from related cases, calling into question the impartiality of the government’s investigation.

The president of the United States and his attorney general are both working to leverage America’s relationships with its allies to advance conspiracy theories as part of an ongoing political campaign. This is a gross abuse of power. Both should go.

Image: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

 

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4 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

Now, Mr. Van Ness will say: geez Jim, I like your posts.  But who the heck cares.  I like Jake Tapper and CNN more. Thus ignoring what Zaid predicted would happen. And what he did in 1993.

I take it this was meant for me! Missed me by that much!

I predicted this would happen if he were elected. It really doesn't take Fellini to figure that one out.

This is my take. Leave it if you wish.

The "Deep State" as we keep hearing about here, amounts to a virtual Fourth Rail of the government otherwise known as bureaucrats who run the country, day in and day out. These are the people below the political appointee level of the government who have to make the whole shooting match (pun intended) function.

Sure, there are smoke filled rooms with cigar chomping old timers scheming to manipulate anyone they can to fulfill their goals and sometimes their pockets but they have to contend with the courts and the fourth rail to be effective. These people are called politicians. I include their minions and the many people and institutions that they represent (AKA "Us"). It's not unusual for the politicians to be able to force compliance within the fourth rail and courts but that is often times limited, simply because the scope and size of the "Deep State" makes it really difficult to keep everyone in line and singing off the same sheet. The fourth rail also includes cigar chomping veterans of the government, whom we're all familiar with here, who "for the good of everyone else" impose their beliefs onto the system and manipulate it for their own reasons. They too have to contend with the other parts of the bureaucracy, courts and so on but also have to contend with the policy makers.

Many of these bureaucrats are actually good people who have been raised in ordinary circumstances and try their best to do a good job. Not necessarily because they're patriotic or anything else but just because they understand the difference between right and wrong and have families and friends that are often times impacted by their responsibilities.

Flash back warning!

The 1964 ERA lead to the defection of several prominent Democrats to the Republican party. The net effect of this defection was to eventually (particularly after the Tea Party movement in the 00s) sort of spiritually shift the Republicans further to the right and out of the more mainstream atmosphere of the country, thereby centering the Democrats (Clinton, Obama NOT Sanders). By and large these centrist Democrats did well for the country, although there's plenty of finger pointing to do regarding many issues, which shouldn't be a big shock. Anyone with the job of POTUS is going to find the job as it is - probably the most difficult job in the world. If you look at the other side of the isle in roughly the same time period, Bush I and II and Trump (NOT McCain - couldn't hide his centrist leanings), you'll see several wars, divisive political climate, disastrous policies and the like. The same goes here - I don't expect that a President isn't going to miss, sometimes often, but at least in the case of Bush II disaster is the only conclusion I can come to. In fairness, I wouldn't want to be the one getting notified about 9/11 (I can't imagine what that would have been like) but the Iraq invasion and the great recession sit squarely in his lap IMO.

The upshot of all this IMO is as far as presidential candidates go republicans have run aground. They're forced by their "base" to square up behind populist opportunists who appeal to their lowest common denominators regardless of the quality or resume of the candidate.

Flash forward to:

Trump. Donald Trump is and was the least qualified candidate for president in my lifetime if not ever. The lack of experience in this job manifests itself in almost all of the issues surrounding his presidency. His personal failings aside, he very simply has no previous experience in any elected office, foreign service position, military, law enforcement or judiciary background or anything else which equips him with the necessary expertise to perform or direct those segments of the government. That is, when the "Deep State" looks at him and his directives they're often so far detached from existing policies, norms or even common sense that much of the country and particularly the people responsible for carrying out those directives become frightened at what they're seeing. You may argue about that but the fact is, whether you like it or not, 51 of the 65 top positions in the White House have turned over, 16 of them twice! Nine out of the 15 cabinet positions have also turned over at least once, surpassing all of the first year cabinet turnover of both Bushes, Clinton, Reagan and Obama combined! A large percentage of this population has turned over because Trump either refuses to listen to them and other advisors and fires them or they tire of the chaotic atmosphere and leave. Anecdotally speaking, the word on the street is that very few people want to have anything to do with working for him for these reasons.

Add to that this dandy little truth: One hundred and forty three positions in the federal government which require confirmation have yet to receive a nomination. Most are being headed on an "Acting" basis which suits Trump because it essentially means he can dictate his spur of the moment opinion on any range of issues he knows nothing about or has a policy agenda for and not receive push back from people who do know what they're talking about.

After pruning the tree of at least qualified, if not ideal (IMO) advisors, he continues to welcome on board sycophants and obsequious people whose primary qualifications are they will agree with him no matter what, or are his children. Qualified candidates who wish to work in this administration are hard to find.

Trump believes everything he thinks so his life and surroundings reflect those realities. Although you may think Trump is being picked on by a cabal of neo-liberal thugs that are staging a "coup" the fact is he's reaping the fruits of what his own behavior has sown. Characterizing what is happening as a "coup d'etat" is ridiculous beyond measure. It requires willful ignorance of not only what the term means (extra-constitutional removal of a head of state - Hint: Impeachment is in the constitution) but also Trump's own track record of openly admitting to sexual assault, requesting foreign interference in a US election, intimidating witnesses in federal investigations, slandering the previous President on a number of issues (birth certificate anyone?), threatening and withholding domestic and foreign aid approved by congress and his own office for political purposes, innumerable instances of obstruction, violations of the emoluments clause, outright breaches of security protocol, on and on and that's just what he admits to!

So you and many others are making the Steele Dossier into this huge monster that is absolute proof that Trump was set up? Huh? The Steele Dossier was opposition research that raised red flags but was always referred to as such. Trump IS one giant red flag! The election meddling, Russian collusion, counter intelligence investigations were properly predicated intelligence and law enforcement investigations which were overseen by congress and the DOJ originally under republican leadership and then under democrats.

All of this was completely predictable when an unqualified individual of "mixed" reputation and checkered past is elected by a minority of the population, most of whom are cynical about their value in the eyes of others.

It doesn't take a cabal of insiders, spooks and bluebloods fanatically holding onto their status and money to unravel Trump. His essence is enough.

 

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[An article about two courageous lawyers and their patriotic client]

Lawyer for Ukraine whistleblower sends White House cease and desist

From the article: In his letter, Bakaj cites Trump's recent comments to reporters that they'd "be doing the public a service" if they reported the name of the whistleblower as well as his comments in September that whoever provided the whistleblower with information about his call with the Ukrainian President is "close to a spy," adding that in the old days spies were dealt with differently.

"These are not words of an individual with a firm grasp of the significance of the office which he occupies, nor a fundamental understanding of the significance of each word he articulates by virtue of occupying that office," Bakaj wrote.

The letter to Cipollone also states that "should anyone be physically harmed, my co-counsel, Mark Zaid, and I will not hesitate to take any and all appropriate action against your client. Those who are complicit in this vindictive campaign against my client, whether through action or inaction, shall also be responsible, be that legally or morally."

 

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/lawyer-for-ukraine-whistleblower-sends-white-house-cease-and-desist-letter-to-stop-trumps-attacks/ar-BBWr2Fl?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=UE07DHP

 

Edited by Douglas Caddy
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