Politics postsThursday July 13, 2017
Collusion, Collusion, Wear a Gas Mask and a Veil
It's been a few days but it doesn't cease to astonish—particularly since Trump Jr., Trump and Fox News are all trying to deny it and downplay it.
Here's what British entertainment publicist Rob Goldstone wrote to Don Trump Jr. on June 3, 2016 about his client, Emin Agalarov:
Emin just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting.
The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.
This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump - helped along by Aras and Emin.
Nothing secretive or ambiguous about that last line. No doubt what is being offered.
And here's Jr.'s response 17 minutes later:
Thanks Rob I appreciate that. I am on the road at the moment but perhaps I just speak to Emin first. Seems we have some time and if it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer.
Nothing ambiguous about that either. A meeting was set up at Trump tower for June 9 with a Russian attorney with Kremlin connections. Trump Jr. says that nothing came of that meeting—the woman spoke in vague terms and then about adoptions. Should we believe him? Here's Trump Jr. last July on CNN responding to charges of Trump-Russia collusion:
It's disgusting. It's so phony. ... I can't think of bigger lies. But that exactly goes to show you what the D.N.C. and what the Clinton camp will do. They will lie and do anything to win.
David Corn at Mother Jones connects the obvious dots. Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo writes about how the Trump folks, intent on the latest news cycle, don't seem to realize the legal trouble they're in. John Cassidy at The New Yorker notes Republicans still aren't breaking from Trump in any meaningful way.
It's Day 174 of America Held Hostage.
'This Borders on Treason'
Frum Sums Up Trump Effrontery
Here's David Frum, former spechwriter to Bush II, and the man who coined the phrase “Axis of Evil,” on the horrors of Trump abroad:
As presidential speeches go, Trump's address in Warsaw was fair. Ish. If you forget who is speaking and what that person has been saying and doing since Inauguration Day—since the opening of his campaign in 2015—and really through his career.
But if you remember those things, the speech jolted you to attention again and again.
“We treasure the rule of law and protect the right to free speech and free expression.” This must be an example of what the grammarians should rename the “disjunctive we”: a we that does not include the speaker of the words. Rule of law? Free speech? Shortly before boarding the plane to Europe, President Trump's advisers were reportedly discussing a pending CNN merger with AT&T as leverage against the news network—a possibility that, if realized, would be a perversion of anti-trust law.
And so it went through the catalogue of effrontery. A president who has made lewd remarks about assaulting women said, “We empower women as pillars of our society and of our success.” A president who won't read his briefing books declared, “We seek to know everything so that we can better know ourselves.” A president who once seemed unsure whether the abolitionist Frederick Douglass is alive or dead congratulated himself: “We celebrate our ancient heroes, embrace our timeless traditions and customs.” A president whose brand is notorious worldwide for gaudy hideousness preened: “We strive for excellence, and cherish inspiring works of art.”
More on the Atlantic site.
What's Crawling Beneath the American Rock
Jared Yates Sexton exposed the anti-Semitism behind Trump's CNN/WWE video, and all he got for his trouble were accusations, villification and death threats from right-wing and US Nazi sites and subreddits:
In the past few hours I'd been getting plenty of threats about going on a “helicopter ride” and cartoons of people being hurled out the doors of an airborne chopper. Here I found it was all a reference to the murderous Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet's practice of tossing his victims into the sea. The posters there, and in my Twitter feed, seemed to take a great deal of pleasure at the thought of replicating that atrocity in modern-day America.
Other threats appeared on related sites, particularly on 4chan, the wild west of internet forums. Here, in reference to my reporting, they talked openly about “the Journocaust,” a term some used in place of the civil war. The fantasy seemed to be open hostilities in which journalists, academics and liberals could be hung in public, an event some called “The Day of the Rope” after a plot point in William Pierce's The Turner Diaries, a 1978 novel about a fictional race war some in the extreme right hold as a holy book of sorts.
America's problem isn't immigrants.
When They Go Low, We Kick Them in the Face
I agree with almost everything Dan Savage says here, particularly the part about Dems getting on message and fighting back. I don't even know if we have to cheat like the Republicans cheat—the way he suggests—but we at least have to state, precisely and vehemently, and over and over and over again, what the fuck is going on. And in broad terms, it's what I wrote back in November. Basically it's what I've been writing the entire sad history of this blog:
Republicans wants to give more to those who have most; and they want to take away from those who have least.
Cf., everything Mitch McConnell has ever done. Cf., this idiot anti-healthcare bill he's still trying to pass, and that will cause such harm to so many people.
And it's getting worse. The right-wing propaganda machine is getting worse. It's not just Fox and Rush and Alex and Breitbart and Drudge and ... It's also Sinclair Broadcasting Group, which John Oliver profiled Sunday night, and which is on the verge of buying the Tribune Company. And it's all the Russian propaganda, which differs in almost no way from right-wing propaganda. Not enough attention has been paid to that. That's how much the GOP and Fox News and et al. is the enemy now. Our greatest enemy, Russia, is simply parroting what they say. Russia swayed our election because Fox News laid the groundwork.