Friday Reads With Baby AnimalsPosted: September 22, 2017
Dakinikat isn’t feeling well today, so I’m filling in. It has been one hell of a crazy week–thank goodness the weekend is almost here. Let’s hope Trump doesn’t blow up the world before he heads to one of his golf courses. Some stories to check out:
Ryan Lizza at The New Yorker: A Dizzying Week of Trump-Russia Revelations.
…this week was a good one for Trump-Russia-conspiracy theorists. TheTimesreported major developments about the seriousness with which Mueller is pursuing a potential obstruction-of-justice case against the President. And the possibility that Russian entities had help in targeting voters using Facebook ads became a major part of the congressional investigation. But it was news about Manafort this week that gave a boost to two theories that close watchers of the Russia investigation have been hyping as potentially earth-shattering.
You don’t have to be Louise Mensch, the much-mocked amateur sleuth and Russia-conspiracy theorist, to wonder why, after years of working closely with a Russian oligarch and pro-Russia parties in Ukraine, Paul Manafort suddenly reëmerged in American politics as the head of the Presidential campaign that Vladimir Putin wanted to win. One theory, which has been floating around for months, is that after Manafort fell out with Oleg Deripaska, the Russian oligarch who accused Manafort of essentially stealing millions of dollars from him, he seized on Trump’s rise as a way of currying favor with Deripaska and Putin, who is Deripaska’s close ally.
This always seemed a bit too John le Carré to believe, but, on Wednesday, the Washington Postreported the first morsels that give the theory some credence. “Less than two weeks before Donald Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination, his campaign chairman offered to provide briefings on the race to a Russian billionaire closely aligned with the Kremlin,” the Post said. In another e-mail, according to the Post, Manafort seemed to suggest that he could leverage his new role running Trump’s campaign to settle old debts. “How do we use to get whole?” Manafort wrote to an employee based in Kiev, referring to his prominent new role in Trump’s campaign. The link between Manafort’s sketchy work in Ukraine and Russia, and his interest in running Trump’s campaign, became a lot stronger after the Post piece.
The second Russia theory that was bolstered this week also involves Manafort, whose home in Virginia was raided by the F.B.I. in July and who was reportedly told by Mueller’s team that he is likely to be indicted. CNN reported this week that Manafort was the subject of a fisa warrant that gave the F.B.I. permission to spy on his electronic communications at some point last year and into this year. The report offers some of the most tantalizing evidence of the white whale of Russia investigators: outright collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. “Some of the intelligence collected includes communications that sparked concerns among investigators that Manafort had encouraged the Russians to help with the campaign, according to three sources familiar with the investigation,” CNN noted. “Two of these sources, however, cautioned that the evidence is not conclusive.” The CNN report added that the “FBI interest deepened last fall because of intercepted communications between Manafort and suspected Russian operatives, and among the Russians themselves.”
I have to say that North Korea’s dictator seems a lot more credible and stable these days than the insane moron the Electoral College selected. You really need to read the full text of the statement by Kim Jong Un:
The speech made by the US Chief Executive in his maiden appearance on the UN arena in the prevailing serious circumstances, in which the situation on the Korean peninsula has been rendered tense as never before and is inching closer to a touch-and-go state, is arousing worldwide concern.
A certain degree of my guess was that he would make stereotyped, prepared remarks a little different from what he used to utter in his office on the spur of the moment as he had to speak on the world’s largest official diplomatic stage.
But, far from making somewhat plausible remarks that can be helpful to defusing tension, he made unprecedented rude nonsense one has never heard from any of his predecessors.
A frightened dog barks louder.
I would like to advise Trump to exercise prudence in selecting words and to be considerate of whom he speaks to when making a speech in front of the world.
The mentally deranged behaviour of the US president openly expressing on the UN arena the unethical will to “totally destroy” a sovereign state, beyond the boundary of threats of regime change or overturn of social system, makes even those with normal thinking faculty reconsider discretion and composure.
His remarks remind me of such words as “political layman” and “political heretic” which were in vogue in reference to Trump during his presidential election campaign.
After taking office Trump has rendered the world restless through threats and blackmail against all countries. He is unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of the military forces of a country, and he is surely a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire, rather than a politician.
His remarks which described the US option through straightforward expression of his will have convinced me, rather than frightening or stopping me, that the path I chose is correct and that it is the one I have to follow to the last.
Now that Trump has denied the existence of and insulted me and my country in front of the eyes of the world and made the most ferocious declaration of war in history that he would destroy the DPRK, we will consider with seriousness taking a corresponding, highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history.
Action is the best option in treating the dotard who, hard of hearing, is uttering only what he wants to say.
As a man representing the DPRK and upon the dignity and honour of my state and people and upon all my own, I will make the man holding the prerogative of supreme command of the US pay dearly for his rude nonsense calling for totally destroying the DPRK.
This is not a rhetorical expression loved by Trump.
I am now thinking hard about what response he could have expected from us when he allowed such eccentric words to trip off his tongue.
Whatever Trump might have expected, he will face results beyond his expectation.
I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire.
Naturally Trump replied on Twitter. He’d never be able to compose a lengthy statement like the one above.
It sure seems as if Trump is one being tested and failing badly.
This morning Trump also addressed the Russia investigation on Twitter.
It’s such a “hoax” that there’s a special prosecutor investigating and demanding records of White House meetings and Air Force One phone records. Trump really is a dotard. Maybe he simply can’t remember anything that happened yesterday.
Kim Jong Un isn’t the only world leader who spoke harshly about Trump at the UN: WATCH | Mugabe at UN stands up to ‘Giant Gold Goliath’ Trump.
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe did not mince words at the United Nations Thursday about Donald Trump, mocking the US president as the “Giant Gold Goliath.”
Addressing the UN General Assembly, where reproaches of other leaders are generally less personal in tone, the 93-year-old veteran leader took Trump to task both on policy and appearance.
“And may I say to the United States president, Mr. Trump, please blow your trumpet — blow your trumpet in a musical way towards the values of unity, peace, cooperation, togetherness, dialogue, which we have always stood for and which are well-writ in our very sacred document, the Charter of the United Nations.”
Of course GOP Senators continue onward with their latest effort to take health care away from millions of Americans. At the Washington Post, Alexandra Petri has reached then end of her rope: Sorry I can’t go to your thing. I must call my senator to plead for my life.
I am sorry I cannot make it to your event, but I have to call Congress every eight minutes to plead for my life.
Would I like to go to your wedding/bar mitzvah/coffee date/movie/quiet place where sleep is possible? You bet. But you know that if I don’t call my senator and register my opposition, the new Terrible Health-Care-Ending Bill to Unleash Boils Across the Land, Replace the Rivers with Blood and Slay All the Firstborn will go through, and the time between those bills is getting shorter and shorter.
It is not that I don’t want to be there for your life milestone. I do! I am just really concerned that my senator might prefer for this state to have six costly nowhere bridges studded with diamonds than to prevent millions of people from being flung off their insurance, and I am not willing to take that chance, not even for the six minutes that will pass between the inception of this bill and its introduction on the Senate floor for a vote.
(Just a minute; in the course of typing this response they have already introduced another bill and I have to call again.)
Click on the link to read the rest.
More stories to check out:
Brian Stelter at CNN: Trump says this is all a hoax. Mueller, Congress and Facebook disagree.
The New York Times: Facebook’s Frankenstein Moment.