STATE OF THE UNIOM: “NEW AMERICAN MORNING”
How is that for some real Nazi shit? Given the choice, suddenly a future great state seems more appealing. The Washington Post reports, “President Trump, whose first year in office saw near-constant turmoil and division, claimed Tuesday that he has ushered in an ebullient ‘new American moment,’” which is horrifying because he considers neo-Nazi and racist domestic hate groups to have among them some “very fine people”. Now you can take a very official poll! Is our new American morning a… Golden Dawn, Shining Path or Springtime for Twitler?! As The Washington Post notes, “While Republicans cheered throughout, Democrats sat stonily.” Of note, “Trump did not mention the Russia investigation, which is reaching a critical point”. As The Washington Post notes, “after these occasional episodes of dignified orthodoxy, it usually is only a matter of days, or even hours, before he says something — often in a blistering tweet — to change the subject. Again and again, Trump’s personal attacks or divisive pronouncements have wiped away whatever aura of statesmanship he created by reading speeches from teleprompters.” Also of note, “female Democratic lawmakers wore black in solidarity with the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements that have emerged amid headlines about sexual assault by famous and powerful men,” such as the pussy grabbing fake bullshit Russian president.
From The Washington Post.
STATE OF THE UNIOM: TRUMP ASKS CONGRESS TO END THE RULE OF LAW
Slate reports, “Donald Trump’s first State of the Union was a deeply dangerous speech. Slate notes, “Trump called on Congress to give him unprecedented and unquestionably antidemocratic powers: ‘Tonight,’ he said, ‘I call on the congress to empower every Cabinet secretary with the authority to reward good workers—and to remove federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the American people.’” Think about it as no one else is. As Slate rightfully points out, “By design, it is easy to overlook the true significance of the second half of that phrase. But dwell on it for a moment, and imagine what this would actually look like in practice. Under Trump’s proposal, any Cabinet secretary could decide that, say, a law enforcement official investigating the president had ‘undermined the public trust’ or ‘failed the American people’—and fire him on the spot.” Slate adds, “In his first State of the Union, the 45th president of the United States asked Congress for the authority to end the rule of law. And that—not Trump’s supposedly unifying policy proposals, much less his supposedly presidential ability to read a speech off a teleprompter—should be the headline of every newspaper tomorrow.”
STATE OF THE UNIOM: TRUMP IS PLEASED TO KEEP GITMO OPEN
BBC News reports, “US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to keep Guantanamo Bay military prison open. Mr Trump announced the move in his State of the Union address.”
From BBC News.
Programming note: more coverage of the “STATE OF THE UNIOM” in “KNOW YOUR ENEMY”.
MORE ON WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO THE KREMLIN REPORT
Anders Aslund writing on The Atlantic Council’s blog reports on “the new Combating America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA)” which “President Donald Trump had little choice” but to sign “into law on August 2, although the main aim of the law was to make sure that the president could not revoke the sanctions against Russia because of its military aggression in Ukraine on his own.” Aslund notes, “The most interesting element of the new law was section 241. It called on the secretary of the treasury, in consultation with the director of national intelligence and the secretary of state, to submit within 180 days a detailed report identifying ‘the most significant senior foreign political figures and oligarchs’ in Russia, ‘as determined by their closeness to the Russian regime and their net worth’ and an ‘assessment of the relationship between individuals’ and ‘President Vladimir Putin or other members of the Russian ruling elite’ and an ‘identification of any indices of corruption with respect to those individuals.’ This anticipated report was called the ‘Kremlin list’ and it was due at midnight on January 29.” Aslund continues, “At the last minute, however, somebody high up—no one knows who at this point—threw out the experts’ work and instead wrote down the names of the top officials in the Russian presidential administration and government plus the 96 Russian billionaires on the Forbes list. In doing so, this senior official ridiculed the government experts who had prepared another report, rendering CAATSA ineffective and mocking US sanctions on Russia overall. By signing this list, the secretary of the treasury took responsibility for it.” So what the hell happened? Treasury Secretary and serious smirker Steve Mnuchin owns it, but clearly the fake Russian president and his benefactor in the Kremlin Vladimir Putin are running, in the conspiracy language that is au rigueur at present moment, a parallel state that functions in tandem and apart from the normal machinations of American governance. Aslund notes as TRUMPISTAN WATCH did yesterday, “If this excerpt of the Kremlin phone book will have any effect, it will solidify the Russian elite behind Putin,” adding, “The main beneficiary of this list is Russia’s president.” You can read the reactions of Russians on the list, which Meduza has compiled, and as you do recall this is pure theater. Russia requires a foreign enemy to justify regime continuity. Deutsche Welle sums it up, “Growing anticipation among Russian media outlets and elite circles over an anticipated report by the US government has quickly turned to ridicule. The so-called ‘Kremlin Report,’ they said on Tuesday, was a joke.”
CIA DIRECTOR MET RUSSIAN SPIES IN WASHINGTON
CNN reports, “CIA Director Mike Pompeo recently met with his Russian counterparts when they traveled to the US, according to US ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman.” CNN notes, “Russian media is reporting those who met with Pompeo may have included the country’s sanctioned spy chief, Sergey Naryshkin.” CNN adds, “Both US and Russian officials indicated that the discussions had centered on cooperative efforts to combat terrorism, but Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is demanding to know the details.” Among the questions Schumer wants answered are, “Which US officials did he meet with? Did any White House or National Security Council official meet with Naryshkin? What did they discuss?” Russian state-run TASS reports, “The director of Russia’s foreign intelligence SVR, Sergey Naryshkin, has visited the United States for consultations with US counterparts on the struggle against terrorism, Russian ambassador in Washington Anatoly Antonov said on the 60 Minutes show of the Rossiya-1 federal television channel on Tuesday.” Antonov is quoted, “Sergey Naryshkin was here [in the United States]. He held consultations with his counterparts. Joint struggle against terrorism was discussed. We maintained contact in 2014 during the Sochi Olympics. Of course, we consider joint work this year, during the FIFA World Cup finals”. Antonov added, “Politics will be politics, but everyday work will be everyday work. There are political slogans, but there is also some real work to do”. Naryshkin has been sanctioned since 2014.
FBI DIRECTOR CHRISTOPHER WRAY TIES MCCABE DEPARTURE TO IG REPORT
NBC News reports, “FBI Director Chris Wray made clear in a message sent to all bureau employees on Monday night that Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s decision to step aside was a result of forthcoming information to be detailed in an inspector general report”. Because every pound of flesh extracted from Trump must be excised from Clinton, “Wray alluded to having seen aspects of the IG’s report into the way the FBI handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server,” NBC News notes.
From NBC News.
SECOND DOSSIER GIVEN TO FBI CONFIRMS STEELE’S
The Guardian reports, “The FBI inquiry into alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 US presidential election has been given a second memo that independently set out some of the same allegations made in a dossier by Christopher Steele, the British former spy.” However, “The second memo was written by Cody Shearer, a controversial political activist and former journalist who was close to the Clinton White House in the 1990s. Unlike Steele, Shearer does not have a background in espionage, and his memo was initially viewed with scepticism, not least because he had shared it with select media organisations before the election.” The Guardian notes, “while he lacks the precision and polish of a seasoned former spy like Steele, Shearer has also been described as having a large network of sources around the world and the independent financial means to pursue leads.”
From The Guardian.
DARKNESS AT NUNES WON’T SAY IF LATEST BS COORDINATED WITH WH
The Daily Beast reports, “The Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee refused to answer when a colleague asked him if he had coordinated his incendiary surveillance memo with the White House”. The Daily Beast adds, “During Monday’s contentious closed-door committee meeting, Rep. Mike Quigley, a Democrat, asked Nunes point-blank if his staffers had been talking with the White House as they compiled a four-page memo alleging FBI and Justice Department abuses over surveillance of President Trump’s allies in the Russia probe.” In response, “Nunes made a few comments that didn’t answer the question before finally responding, ‘I’m not answering.’” The answer is of course. Meanwhile, The Washington Post has video of Trump on a live mic at the “State of the Uniom” telling Rep. Jeff Duncan, “that he will ‘100 percent’ release a memo alleging abuse by the FBI.” As if anyone had any doubt except the idiots who appear on American television screens throughout the day on cable news.
From The Daily Beast.
PAUL RYAN GETS HIS DOUBLESPEAK ON OVER DARKNESS AT NUNES MEMO
CNN reports, “House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters Tuesday he is in favor of the public release of a memo, which alleges the FBI abused its surveillance tools, but said he is telling GOP House members that there needs to be separation between those allegations and the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.” That is one hell of a dance he has laid out because discrediting the FBI and the Department of Justice is the entire purpose of DARKNESS AT NUNES memo, not informing the American people, in whose name atrocities against the nation are being committed by a crew of complicit, treasonous thugs. Ryan said, “I think because of all the loose political rhetoric floating around here, we need to make sure we explain that there is a separation between these things,” which is also again the purpose of the DARKNESS AT NUNES memo: to send “loose political rhetoric floating around here”. Ryan added, “I think we need to disclose, that brings us accountability, that brings us transparency, that helps us clean up any problem we have with (the Justice Department) and FBI.” So in conclusion, Paul Ryan, House Speaker and totally complicit GOP death cult member, wants to cleanse the Department of Justice and the FBI. What could be more insane than that? Recall before this was a death cult, it was a Republican Party that ran on a platform of “law and order” not “cleanse the DoJ and the FBI”. And thanks to the #MeToo movement, the public now has its appetite whet for purges, which no longer seem so odd or extraordinary after months of them in various sectors including government, toppling many but not the pussy grabber.
ARMY SECRETARY TRIES GETTING TOUGH WITH… GERMANY
Reuters reports, “Failure by the next German government to fulfill a pledge to boost military spending to two percent of its economic output will weaken the NATO alliance, a senior U.S. military official said on Monday.” Finally! We needed to get tough with Germany! Reuters adds, “Army secretary Mark Esper told reporters during a visit to U.S. troops in Wiesbaden, Germany, that NATO members had recommitted to meeting the NATO 2-percent target in 2017, and he would take the German government at its word that it would stick to that pledge.” Otherwise he stuck to the well-worn trans-Atlantic script about Russian “adventurism” (aggression would have been a less sexy, more accurate word choice) in condemning Russian activities against Europe and military operations against Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine since 2014.
LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE BY HECKLING SERGEY LAVROV
CNN reports, “A Russia-engineered peace conference aimed at bringing together warring factions in Syria has been fruitless, with the main opposition figures snubbing the talks and those who did attend walking out. Opposition members who took part in the conference at the Black Sea resort of Sochi heckled Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday during his speech before the walkout, video posted online by the Foreign Ministry shows.” Why would the Foreign Ministry post the video if not to try and show how rambunctious and unruly even the opposition that gets to go to such talks is? CNN notes, “In a statement released Sunday, Nasser Al Hariri, who represents a separate umbrella group of Syrian political opponents as well as opposition fighters, said the High Negotiation Committee would not attend, instead maintaining a commitment to the UN-backed process. Other Syrian opposition members based in Turkey staged a protest, refusing to leave the Sochi airport on arrival when they saw pictures of the Syrian flag. The members delegated Turkey to represent them in the negotiations.”
BANNON’S INTERVIEW WITH HOUSE INTEL COMMITTEE DELAYED
Reuters reports, “Former White House strategist Steve Bannon’s return to the U.S. House Intelligence Committee will not take place on Wednesday as expected, Representative Adam Schiff, the panel’s top Democrat said on Tuesday.” Reuters adds, “A source familiar with the issue said Bannon’s appearance was canceled because the White House and the committee had yet to agree on matters of executive privilege, by which the president can resist congressional requests for information if he deems it in the public interest.” Trump would not even know what the meaning of the public interest is, but abusing power is something he is well accustomed to by now.
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
THE FIRING OF FBI DEPUTY DIRECTOR ANDREW MCCABE: A POST-SCRIPT
The Washington Post reports, “it is not clear that McCabe even was much of a headache for Trump while in a leadership role at the FBI, despite the president’s effort to caricature McCabe as a deep-state poster boy.” While Trump tweeted on December 23 of last year, “How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin’ James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife’s campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?” Naturally our fake Russian bullshit president “didn’t have his facts straight.” The Washington Post corrects his lies, “McCabe’s wife, Jill, ran for the Virginia state Senate as a Democrat in 2015 and received $467,500 from the political action committee of the state’s then-governor, Terry McAuliffe, a Clinton ally. Beyond exaggerating the dollar amount (even if you throw in $207,788 from the Virginia Democratic Party, the total still falls short of $700,000) Trump got the timeline wrong.” Furthermore, The Washington Post continues, “McCabe was not ‘in charge’ of the Clinton email investigation at the time of his wife’s campaign. He did not become the FBI’s deputy director until 2016 and only then ‘assumed, for the first time, an oversight role in the investigation into Secretary Clinton’s emails,’ according to the agency.” Ergo, “The theory that donations to Jill McCabe’s campaign were some kind of bribe intended to curry favor with the man in charge of the email investigation just doesn’t make sense. Plus, it is not necessarily safe to assume that Andrew McCabe is a Democrat simply because his wife is. Virginia does not register party affiliations and, as CNN has reported, McCabe voted in the 2016 Republican presidential primary.” What is unknown is, “whether McCabe possesses anything as explosive as the Comey notes — or whether he would provide any information to the press — but his departure from the FBI is not without risk to Trump.”
From The Washington Post.
STATE OF THE UNIOM: FOR SALE FOR CHEAP
The Washington Post reports, “President Trump is seeking to parlay his first State of the Union address Tuesday into cash for his reelection campaign by offering supporters a chance to see their name flashed on the campaign’s website during the speech.” Tacky! The Washington Post continues, “In a fundraising solicitation Monday, Trump offered those willing to pay at least $35 the opportunity to see their name displayed during a live-streaming of the address on the website.” Can you imagine this is how some get their thrills? These are the citizens. Remember, the cancer has infected the body politic. The Washington Post notes, “As of late Tuesday afternoon, the pitch had generated $1 million in contributions from more than 75,000 individuals, according to Cassie Smedile, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee. Money raised by solicitation will benefit not only Trump’s campaign but also the RNC and joint fundraising committee, she said.”
From The Washington Post.
STATE OF THE UNIOM: TRUMP CLAPS FOR HIMSELF
NBC News reports, “State of the Union viewers noticed that the president was repeatedly clapping for himself.” He is just that kind of guy! Isn’t that what the pundits say about everything else to normalize him? NBC News notes, “While it is customary for lawmakers in attendance at a State of the Union address to applaud after the commander in chief delivers lines they agree with, it isn’t typical for the president himself to consistently applaud himself along with the audience.”
From NBC News.
STATE OF THE UNIOM: REAL NAZI SHIT
Breitbart News reports, “Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) says he has asked the United States Capitol Police and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to arrest ‘any illegal aliens’ who arrive and attempt to attend President Trump’s ‘State of the Union’ address.” Dehumanizing an entire group of people and forcing those who belong to the group to carry their papers constantly and live in fear is pretty 1937 Germany, especially when coupled with the threat of deportation. Breitbart News notes, “Last week, ABC News revealed that at least 24 Democrats are expected to bring illegal aliens as their guests to Trump’s SOTU address, but Gosar says Capitol Police and Sessions should use the opportunity to enforce the Rule of Law.” What a bizarre definition of “Rule of Law”. It sounds far more like rule of racist thugs. In lieu of browns shirts, however, Trumpistan has red caps.
From Breitbart News.
The Baltimore Sun reports, “A Democratic state lawmaker from Baltimore has introduced a bill that would prohibit Maryland judges from issuing civil arrest warrants for tenants being sued for less than $5,000 in unpaid rent — a proposal entitled the ‘Jared Kushner Act.’ Del. Bilal Ali’s proposed legislation comes five months after The Baltimore Sun reported that the apartment management company owned by Kushner, son-in-law and top adviser to President Donald Trump, was the most aggressive landlord in Maryland in obtaining civil arrest warrants called ‘body attachments’ against tenants.”
From The Baltimore Sun.
—–TOWARDS A PEACEFUL NUCLEAR EXCHANGE—–
WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT NUCLEAR ANNIHILATION
The Washington Post reports, “A dangerous disconnect is emerging between the horrific impacts of even the limited use of nuclear weapons, and leaders and policymakers who seem intent on threatening nuclear use in an ever-expanding range of scenarios. If this continues, the risk that a nuclear weapon will be used for the first time in more than 70 years — deliberately or otherwise — will grow. We must return to a more sober dialogue and approach to policy.” The Washington Post adds, “The Trump administration appears poised to expand the circumstances under which the United States might use nuclear weapons, including in response to a cyberattack. The time when leaders and policymakers in the United States, Russia and other countries had anything close to a personal connection with the effects of even a single nuclear weapon is becoming more distant. Memories of a smoldering Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the stark fear generated by the Cuban missile crisis or the massive protests sparked in the early 1980s by the deployment of U.S. and Soviet intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe no longer drive or even inform policy. As former secretary of state George P. Shultz told Congress last week, ‘I fear people have lost that sense of dread.’”
From The Washington Post.
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