Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Gathering Tease

What a disappointment -- for Democrats -- Comey's testimony turned out to be!  For all his earlier hints and promises of juicy revelations about Trump, once under oath Comey squirmed and weaseled and said nothing that could be used as evidence that Trump "obstructed justice".  If anything, he dug his political grave with his mouth;  not even the most frantic Democrat will love him now, and his days of political power are over.  What made him switch positions like that?  I have a theory, but I'll hold it back for awhile.

And then there's Sessions' testimony today -- which was tangled, confused, and full of contradictions -- and made Sessions look like an idiot (without, again, providing any solid testimony or evidence against Trump).  Pretty clearly, Congress will now pile on Sessions too.  I expect he'll be out of his job by the end of the summer.  Was this planned?

I note also the particular question the Senators on the committee made a point of asking: "Did you have any contact with any Russians on... ?"  This is a question guaranteed to confuse, especially to confuse a person who doesn't think fast, as Sessions clearly doesn't.  What do they mean by "any contact"?  Shaking hands and saying hello at a convention rally?  Probably everybody on the Trump campaign -- and probably everybody in Washington -- has had that much contact.  Hell, I've had more contact than that with Russians, at Science Fiction conventions.  If "any" contact with any Russians is evidence of crime, then all the reporters of all the major media, and most of the elected and appointed members of the federal government can be hauled in front of the firing squad.  The fact that Sessions wasn't smart enough to deal with questions like this shows that he just plain isn't smart enough to be Attorney General.  Surely Trump knew that when he offered Sessions the job.  Why?  Again, I'll hold off on my theory for now.

Just in case the dickering in Congress today wasn't exciting enough, Trump let (nudged?) a junior (and obviously not too sharp) staff member tell the media outright (not just "leak") that he thought that Trump was wondering if he (Trump) could "fire the Special Prosecutor".  Of course Trump made no such move, and the rest of his staff insisted he had no such intention, but hoo-hah, did that ever stir up the media!

The icing on the cake is the revelation according to Bloomberg from the "intelligence community" (Just which agency?  Not specified.) that Russian hackers, before the 2016 election, hacked into the voter-registration lists of "39 states" (How many counties in those states?  Not specified.). 

And what did the Russian govt. do with the names and addresses of all those voters?  ...Not a damned thing.  I doubt that this was because the US govt. learned about the hack and told Putin & Co. to cut it out.  Although various pundits have speculated about what an enemy govt. could do with that knowledge, I suspect that the real reason is that the Russians really don't know what the hell to do with the knowledge.  For one thing, they have to know that the computer lists are backed up by hard-copy, and any computer-games would be quickly revealed.  For another, they know that Americans -- as voters or anything else -- are unpredictable;  they can't understand us, and they think we're all crazy.  Meddling with us, they know, would be about as safe as playing catch with a bottle of liquid nitroglycerin.  For a third, Russia has never been a democratic country, and have no idea how such a system really works.  When Stalin bragged "It doesn't matter how people vote;  what matters is who counts the votes" he revealed himself as an amateur.  Americans have had more than two centuries' experience with conducting elections, cheating on elections, and countering election cheats;  our election process -- being different in every one of the 50 states -- is so complex (as I can personally attest!) that most Americans can't keep track of it, and absolutely no Russian can.

So, what's the point of revealing this Russian voter-registration-list hack now, and then revealing that absolutely nothing came of it?  Why, keeping the Democrats and the media fixated on the whole Trump and the Russians flap, of course.  It's all part of Trump's don't-throw-me-in-that-briar-patch tease!  He's got everyone absorbed in two questions:  what is Sessions not saying about Comey's firing, and why was Comey really fired?  Trump is confident enough to keep pouring fuel on the fire -- clearly waiting to be called into the hearings himself.  He's whipping up the tension for more than dramatic effect;  the longer he holds out, the more hysterical the attacks by the various folks who don't like him will get, the worse the excuses by the frantic conservatives will get, the more they'll reveal themselves as idiots and incompetents, and the more excuse he'll have to fire them in droves.  This is a neat way to get shed of those troublesome troglodyte reactionaries his election obligations required him to hire, and also a fine way to flush out the stealth Democrats in the federal bureaucracy.

Obviously, when he's called to testify, he'll say that he fired Comey for other reasons -- and he can prove it. 

And how will he prove it?  I've seen a few hints.  Note that Comey started trimming his sails (and contradicting himself) when, according to a reporter who happened to overhear, Trump commented that Comey had "better hope that our meeting wasn't taped".  Click! -- as we used to say back in the early days of Women's Lib.  I also note that one of the cannier senators in the committee hearing asked Sessions if he knew of any recordings that might have been made of meetings with Trump.  Sessions promptly said no, and you could see that the idea was new to him.  The senator, clearly thinking of Nixon, then asked if he knew of any federal law that would forbid the president from erasing any portion of those recordings, and Sessions admitted that he'd have to go look that up.

Heheheheh.  No fear of erasure, folks.  I'm convinced that Trump's ace up his sleeve is that he's been recording everything he's done, audio and video,from waking to sleep, for a very long time -- and he has no intention of erasing any of that.  I believe he has recordings that will show up Comey for a liar and worse, and will show that -- far from being Putin's tool -- Trump screwed the Russians seven ways from sundown, and possibly still has their balls in his pocket.  And the gods only know what else. 

Yes, Trump too remembers Watergate.  And he's no fool.

--Leslie <;)))><                        


Joel C. Salomon said...

One point: Russia may not understand democracy, but they’ve been observing us long enough to guess that a President whose election is perceived (or can be spun) to lack legitimacy, is weakened in domestic politics. And a domestically-weaker President (recall that at the time of the hacks, No-Fly-Zone-in-Syria Hillary was favored to win) isn’t in position to stand up to Russia, whether in Syria or Eastern Europe, where there’s any danger of the confrontation turning “hot”.

That’s why (I suspect) Russia was less subtle about their hacking attempts than they might have been, and why they bothered hacking into databases they could not easily alter. It wasn’t to change the election results, only to let Americans believe they might have done so. (And the Democrats are assisting, almost as if Russia were still Communist.)

Paradoctor said...

Comey and Trump have called each other liars; and in a Trump-vs-Comey credibility contest, Trump loses big-time. His poll numbers continue to fall, his pro-impeachment numbers continue to rise (now well above 50%).

Trump brags that he has tapes; Comey hopes that he does. Bluff called, advantage Comey. I too hope he does, though I doubt it.

Sessiona squirmed and evaded and invoked imaginary privileges; a clear tell that he's guilty as Hell. That's not the sort of impression that one plans to make. Also he admitted that he violated his recusal pledge. I suspect that his days in office are numbered.

Was Trump wondering out loud about firing Mueller an 11-d-chess genius move, or more boneheaded narcissism? I vote narcissism. His staff talked him down from this explicit obstruction of justice, which is an impeachable offense in itself, one that got Nixon.

As evidence for the orange conman's boneheaded narcissism, I cite his recent cabinet meeting, where he praised himself for nonexistent accomplishments, and then had his entire cabinet ass-kiss him. How Stalinesque. The Farce is strong in this one.

If Trump is actively hoping to be called to testify before the Senate, then he is a bigger fool than ever. In that context, his unthinking lies and brags will be criminal perjury, before an audience who either hates him outright (all the D's and half the R's) or think him no longer an asset.

But lucky him, he'll have Russian hackers backing him, come 2020, if he makes it that far.

Leslie Fish said...

Hmmmm, seeing who his cabinet members are, I suspect that that ass-kissing session(!) was a test -- to see how many of those bonehead Conservatives could be easily gotten rid of. He's maneuvered Sessions onto the hot seat, he's been politically "obliged" to fire a lot of the hard-right idiots that he originally appointed, and yesterday he hung another Conservative idiot out to dry. I don't think those lies and brags were quite so "unthinking", especially if he has verifiable A-V proof of what he really said, and how much was just speculation or bombast. One thing I'm sure of is that he really does have something heavy-duty up his sleeve.

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