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16 February 2017

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Kooshy

Is amazing to me the Borg/deep state and her operators inside the goverment are not afraid of this soft (coup) to become public and openly discussed, they are not even afraid of consequences to them and to the state, they are not afraid of declaring war on the constitutional system.

The Twisted Genius

Fred,

Nice, but I was never thrilled by baloney. I did like sliced Spam cooked over an open fire until it developed a nice crisp char. We'd put it between two pieces of dense pumpernickel, lay back and gaze at the stars. Life was so good back then.

Eric Newhill

English Outsider,
Bill Kristol will be one of many bound by chains and dragged to his death behind a deplorable pickup truck to the amusement and satisfaction of cheering heavily armed deplorable crowds, should the coup be fully realized.

If these people think they are going to overthrow the Trump Presidency without serious violent civil unrest - perhaps a civil war - resulting, they are more delusional than I thought them to be. When they seek to destroy Trump, they seek to destroy all of the hopes and dreams of the deplorables - you know, the people with all the guns. And the deplorables know exactly what is happening and have a pretty good idea who is behind it all.

Castellio

The only line that surprises me in the article is the line "Has the MSM gone totally over to the dark side?"

The owners of the mainstream media play critical roles at the interface of news, finance and government, they have learned how to frame issues, they are willing to cover or not cover events to achieve their agendas, and they regularly hire such fronts as David Ignatius to speak for them.

They are not benign. They expect to get their way. They are a central node. They are working hard to take Trump out.

HawkOfMay

The noise and fury will continue throughout the Trump Presidency. That noise and fury does not matter while the Republicans control congress. The Republicans will not touch the idea of the impeachment of Pres. Trump. His base is not eroding regardless of what NYT and the Washington Post has to say. The part of the electorate that opposes him will not change. The rants do not mean anything unless it can be turned into coherent political action.

The Republicans are striking while the iron is hot at both the state and national level. In this light Pres. Trump's distractions could be seen as useful since very little attention is being paid to the real changes that are being enacted by the Republicans. As long as the Republican agenda is not impeded by Pres. Trump's floundering (regardless if that floundering is real, perceived, or manufactured) there is no incentive to do anything. A weakened Pres. Trump may benefit the Congressional Republicans since there are differences between what Pres. Trump has promised and what the Republicans want to pass.

Pres. Trump will be naming more judges than any other President in the past 40 years. I don't see anything structurally changing in 2018 or 2020 that will change the Democrats minority status. 2020 is especially important because it is another census year and the Republicans will continue to control a majority of the states.

Now if you look at the rhetoric used by 'Morongobill':

  • perhaps it is time that we had an American Night of the Long Knives

Why would anyone on the receiving end of that commentary take it as anything but an existential threat? How do people react against existential threats?

When Pres. Trump is not inclined to draw clear moral differences between our system of government and Putin's authoritarian Russia it immediately biases me against anything Pres. Trump does. It makes me question anything else that Pres. Trump does. It plays into the story and the context that media has constructed onto about Pres. Trump being compromised.

Finally you have Koch brothers warning about authoritarian trends in American politics. (“We have a tremendous danger, because we can go the authoritarian route, or we can move toward a free and open society.” --- Charles Koch). Anything that pushes back against that authoritarian route I will support.

  • Are we witnessing a criminal assault against our Constitutional system
I find this to particularly odd question. The Republicans are ascendant. They have more power since anytime since the Great Depression. Bannon's prediction of 50 years of Republican rule stands just as close to reality now as it did before the leaks about Flynn. A few leaks; regardless of how criminal; does not rise to an assault on our Constitutional system. With regards to the news bias: We all have to be news analysts. I don't see how we can change that without putting our system of checks and balances into even greater peril than it is now.
The Twisted Genius

William Fitzgerald,

Probably the most significant instance in modern times was Reagan's message to the Iranian government to not release the hostages until he was sworn in as President. There was some uproar at the time, but I don't think there were as many running around with their hair on fire then as there are now.

Merca

Harper, I think you are long behind events. Unfortunately PCR has it more acutely analysed:
http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/02/16/trump-presidency-rip/

The Twisted Genius

I don't see any of this leading to a coup d'etat. Both the country and the Trump administration will weather this just as the country and the Reagan administration weathered the Iran-Contra affair. The only thing Flynn has to worry about is if he lied to the FBI about anything contained in the transcripts of his call(s) to the Russian Ambassador. Then he could end up like Cartwright. In my opinion, Flynn and Trump should have owned this up front. All the calls did was diffuse a growing tension between to nuclear armed adversaries. Was that so bad?

Trump ought to own whatever contacts and relationships he has with Russians to stop this whole affair in its tracks. So he talked with Russians who may turn out to be SVR, FSB, GRU or United Russia operatives. So a lot of Trump's fortune may be owned by Russian banks and oligarchs. If anything like this was openly admitted, Russian intelligence would lose any leverage it might have had and our IC could no longer speculate about this leverage. There would be loud harumphing from all corners and then we'd all get over it. Unfortunately, I don't think Trump has the strength of character to absorb the blow to his ego this admission would inflict upon him. I do believe he will place his bloated ego above the good of his administration and the country. He will fight this to the bitter end and the country will be worse for it.

turcopolier

All

Harper is presently busy reorganizing the universe but will respond to a number of you this evening. pl

Valissa

I think you are spot on.

hans

It does seem the IC is going very hard to get rid of Trump, or beat him into submission, aided by the MSM.

The MSM's performance has been risible... reminds me of ancient days on high school n college newspapers. The NYT and WaPo have set their hounds loose, all pre-tuned to their 1950s Red Scare pitch-pipe, familiar but still potent because their readership is naive, to put it kindly.

But it's the broadcast media that both alarms and amuses me. They're like children just presented with a huge box giftwrapped in multiple layers, festooned extravagantly with ribbons n bows. Their excitement is palpable and they tear into the unwrapping with such glee you know they're experiencing the cub reporter's wetdream of covering A Great Moment In History. Every time Maddow gets A Name Interview her joyful smarminess makes me wonder if she's wet herself.

Everywhere one tunes in, whether their angle is left, right, or Respectable Center, the exuberance of these happy yappers amazes.

But the weather's turning, we didn't get much snow this winter, and soon I'll be opening the cabin for the season and be able to spend my days watching 'our' bear emerge with her new cubs, the loons rebuilding their nest in the bay, and spend nights with good whiskey watching the fireplace and listening to the chorus of the frogs down in the swamp.

fellow_traveler

Where do I get my (((Soros))) check? Same place where we pick up our Death Panel checks?

 jld

For which purpose/effect?

Cameron Kelley

I thought this piece in Asia Times by someone who isn't American might be of interest on the topic at hand: http://www.atimes.com/world-community-sizes-diminished-trump/

TV

It looks like this - from out here:
The "establishment" (deep state) could not grasp that Trump was elected.
"How could those flyover yahoos do this?"
Then, they got nervous:
"Oops, our guaranteed jobs, pensions, the good life might be in question."
Who's in charge here?
"We'll show those flyover yahoos and their "president" who REALLY runs this country, and it ain't them."
And this is not partisan.
This is about the REAL "ruling class" feeling threatened.
And please spare me the "dedicated, brave men and women, blah blah blah."
Maybe at one time, but now the bureaucracy is all about self-enrichment and power.

ann

The main stream media makes its money selling drugs during the evening news. And sugar the rest of the day. Then they report poll numbers so you know how your neighbors are "feeling". And, yea, they have nice 7th homes. We should not count on any information that gets in the way of ad revenue coming from the MSM.

Laura

All --

I urge you all to listen (not read a transcript) but listen to the entire Trump press conference that is just wrapping up.

Then, let's have a discussion.

Nuff Sed

All good reasons to avoid flight paths over NATO territory.

different clue

I have generally avoided copy-pasting chunks of writing from other places into my comments here. But Naked Capitalism's co-blogger Lambert Strether wrote a few days ago a comment in semi-parallel with this post, and of enough value in my mind; that I will copy-paste it here in case it may be considered valuable enough to deserve to be published.

* * * * * * * *

Lambert Strether
February 14, 2017 at 2:50 am
Sketching some first thoughts, because the situation is overly dynamic and has a lot of moving parts–

Yep, the sharks smell blood in the water. (The tank is the Beltway, however.) Some links on Flynn:

WHY ARE NINE SOURCES COMING FORWARD NOW ON FLYNN’S CONVERSATIONS WITH RUSSIA? EmptyWheel

Michael Flynn Resigns as National Security Adviser NYT

This to me is the important story, from (Kushner’s) Observer:

In light of this, and out of worries about the White House’s ability to keep secrets, some of our spy agencies have begun withholding intelligence from the Oval Office. Why risk your most sensitive information if the president may ignore it anyway? A senior National Security Agency official explained that NSA was systematically holding back some of the “good stuff” from the White House, in an unprecedented move. For decades, NSA has prepared special reports for the president’s eyes only, containing enormously sensitive intelligence. In the last three weeks, however, NSA has ceased doing this, fearing Trump and his staff cannot keep their best SIGINT secrets.

Since NSA provides something like 80 percent of the actionable intelligence in our government, what’s being kept from the White House may be very significant indeed. However, such concerns are widely shared across the IC, and NSA doesn’t appear to be the only agency withholding intelligence from the administration out of security fears.

What’s going on was explained lucidly by a senior Pentagon intelligence official, who stated that “since January 20, we’ve assumed that the Kremlin has ears inside the SITROOM,” meaning the White House Situation Room, the 5,500 square-foot conference room in the West Wing where the president and his top staffers get intelligence briefings. “There’s not much the Russians don’t know at this point,” the official added in wry frustration.

None of this has happened in Washington before. A White House with unsettling links to Moscow wasn’t something anybody in the Pentagon or the Intelligence Community even considered a possibility until a few months ago. Until Team Trump clarifies its strange relationship with the Kremlin, and starts working on its professional honesty, the IC will approach the administration with caution and concern.

I previously warned the Trump administration not to go to war with the nation’s spies, and here’s why. This is a risky situation, particularly since President Trump is prone to creating crises foreign and domestic with his incautious tweets. In the event of a serious international crisis of the sort which eventually befalls almost every administration, the White House will need the best intelligence possible to prevent war, possibly even nuclear war. It may not get the information it needs in that hour of crisis, and for that it has nobody to blame but itself.

So factions within the intelligence community have gone on strike (so much for “democratic norms”) A few things.

1) Chuck Schumer issued the same threat (“Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you. So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this”). So we’re looking at, as it were, full spectrum dominance within the political class by the “intelligence community.”

2) So far as I can tell from the Schindler article linked above, Flynn fucked up, maybe on about the level of Petraeus or Democrat Sandy Berger, who hid classified documents in his pants and smuggled them out of the National Archive. (Of course, a lot of people in the Beltway were very happy to see Flynn fuck up, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t. And while we’re at it, can somebody please point me to a fully paid-up member of The Blob who isn’t crazy pants? Or corrupt? And isn’t the Logan Act a dead letter?)

3) To me, looks like a well-executed play in a game-plan that intelligence community slash Democrat factions have been running since at least mid-summer. (At this point we remember that “American statesman” Leon Panetta was Obama’s chief of state, head of DoD, and head of the CIA. So I would be very interested to know who appointed WaPo’s nine anonymous sources.) Clinton calling Trump a Russian stooge in the debates was one play, the 25-page “dodgy” dossier was another play (now, apparently, SIGNINT is “confirming” parts of it, so that’s still on the boil), the call for “faithless electors” to be briefed in the (farcically bad) JARA memo was another play, this is another play. No doubt impeaching Trump or getting him to resign by peeling off “moderate Republicans” would be a touchdown).

4) Note that Clinton made her charges of Trump treason in the debate in as direct a fashion as possible, so voters have aleady had the chance to take all this into consideration, at least at a high level (and since we can never see any of the intel, the high level is all we ever will see.) So, if the winning play in the gameplan is removing Trump from office, we’re seeing the intelligence community reversing an election result.

5) If the intelligence community can (a) vet a Presidential candidate after he is elected but before he takes office, and (b) can reverse an election result based on evidence the public cannot see, then the intelligence community is, in essence, a new fourth branch of government not accountable to the people in any way. Anybody who thinks the military will go back to the barracks after staging a coup is delusional. In the same way, anybody who thinks the intelligence community will go back to its SIGINT and HUMINT is delusional. Once they have achieved this change in the Constitutional order, it will never be undone.

6) It’s been amazing to see what liberals have been willing to throw away for Clinton’s sake. Apparently, having a vehemently pro-life Pence as President isn’t a problem for them. Nor is turning the intelligence community in a Praetorian Guard and giving them veto power over voters’ choice of a President a stumbling block. And it can’t be that they really believe Trump is a fascist, else for example Trump’s nominee to the VA wouldn’t be approved 100-0. So it’s all about their power and their rice bowls, plain and simple (and, I would argue, the war with Russia that The Blob wants, which amounts to the same thing). It would be wonderful to spot a good faith actor in this mess, but frankly, I’m stumped.

7) So this is what a legitimacy crisis looks like when liberal Democrats foment it. It would be entertaining if it weren’t so horrific and sad.

8) Of course, all the Democrat establishment really had to do was:

a) Get 10 Democrats on the road doing Town Halls, just like Sanders is doing, talking about universal programs that deliver concrete material benefits, especially to the working class

b) Make voter registration a core party function.

That would do it. Boom, Senate 2018, Presidency 2020. Rather than do something simple that connects with voters, they’re fomenting a slow-moving soft coup and a change to the Constitutional order from inside the Beltway. Swell. Just swell.

Reply ↓

* * * * * * *

I too view this as an unfolding IC/Borg-driven "bloodless assassination" of President Trump under way in open view. I am a little confused as to why Obama would care to be involved. Isn't he content to spend his remaining decades golfing on the beach and counting his money as it keeps rolling in?

About Soros . . . this looks bigger than Soros to me, and much deeper and wider-spread. If there were no Soros, I think the only difference would be fewer or maybe no pink kitty caps.

About Pence . . . he apparently was willing to say that Flynn "lied" to him. If that is not really true, that makes me wonder if Pence is a "silent partner" in this bloodless assassination plan against President Trump . . . instructed to look Eagle Scoutly, Straight Arrowly, and await further instructions while being ready to assume the Presidency.

Obviously, the Clintonites would prefer a President Pence, or even a President Ryan, over the President Trump they now face.

Merca

I just watched Trump's press conference and it made me feel I was wrong in following PCR's statements: the guy is not giving up. I wish my former president Cristina Kirchner had those balls and lucidity to interact live with the cynical brainwasher presstitutes, but even bright, she was only a parliamentary, not a businesswoman used to deal with cretins. I'm so happy for Americans and remain hopeful about a fairer America to a fairer world. Fingers crossed still.

Jack

"Journos & other idiots are confused as hell by the Donald Trump; don't get that he may be the *only* recent leader who never had a boss."

Nassim Taleb tweeting today.

BillWade

Hi JLD. The best defense is a good offense, keep them on their toes and too busy to worry about much else like trying to upset the Presidential apple cart.

LondonBob

From what I have read the FBI have already cleared Flynn, they have found no criminal activity or connection, in regards to Flynn or anyone else. The media aren't reporting this.

English Outsider

PCR may be a dissident but he's still living in the bubble - that closed Washington environment where trivia take on immense meaning to insiders but leave outsiders cold.

Same with Westminster - the politicians and journalists can get enormously exited about nothing very much in their tiny sealed bubble and most people say "What's this got to do with what matters to me?"

During his candidacy Trump managed to connect with normal people because he came from outside the bubble. The only danger is that because he is now perforce living inside that bubble himself, he also starts to see things on the skew. Then, I suppose, he and his team will lose the connection they had with what the great mass of outsiders want. If that happens, he and his team will then also start to magnify trivia.

In that case, what should be merely a few bumps in the road on the start of the journey will come to seem like some great emergency. The danger is not that his opponents will oust Trump, but that he will take those opponents more seriously than he should and therefore allow his presidency to be knocked off course.

In these circumstances, where there's a lot of hysteria around but nothing much in the way of solid threat, one hopes that Trump will adapt the famous motto of one of his predecessors and recognise that the only thing to be paranoid about is paranoia itself.

D

This is not "Obama-inspired." Obama does not care enough about anything but himself to get involved. It is Hillary Clinton-inspired. She is the one who feels the presidency should be hers by right.

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