Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Last Call For Generally Awful Kelly

If there were any doubts left that Trump regime chief of staff Gen. John Kelly is anything but another screamingly racist asshole, that got put to bed yesterday as he decided to come out as a Confederate apologist and fascist jackass.

White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly on Monday called Robert E. Lee “an honorable man” and said that “the lack of an ability to compromise” led to the Civil War, once again thrusting himself into the public spotlight on an emotionally charged issue.

The comments, made on the debut night of conservative media host Laura Ingraham’s show on Fox News, came after Kelly was asked about the recent decision by a Virginia church to remove plaques that honored the Confederate general and George Washington.

I would tell you that Robert E. Lee was an honorable man,” Kelly told Ingraham. “He was a man that gave up his country to fight for his state, which 150 years ago was more important than country. It was always loyalty to state first back in those days. Now it’s different today. But the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War, and men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had them make their stand.”

Got that?  Former four-star general and student of history telling FOX news viewers that the Civil War was the fault of lack of compromise on slavery.  You know, it was both sides' fault.

Let that one sink in.

The comments came in the midst of an interview that touched on a wide range of topics including the indictments in the Mueller investigation, the United States’ relationship with China, and Kelly’s work as the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
Long seen as a force of order and discipline in the White House, the former Marine general became part of the controversy over the president’s calls to Gold Star families this month when he defended Trump’s statements to a widow, made false claims about a Florida congresswoman who had criticized the White House and said he would only take questions from reporters who knew families who had lost soldiers overseas. He told Ingraham on Monday that he didn’t believe he had anything to apologize for

Apologize to a black woman?  That doesn't happen in America.  Kelly wasn't put on Trump's team to contain Trump, he was put there because he's just like Trump and shares his racist, fascist tendencies.  Let's not forget Kelly was brought in as Homeland Security director and was happily making military plans for America's border with Mexico and rounding up the undocumented before Trump asked him to join the White House staff as its head.

No illusions here.  Kelly is just as awful as the rest of the Trump racists, and they can't be kicked out of power soon enough.

The Joy Of Cooking Turkeys

Joy-Ann Reid shows America how it's done in this clip from her MSNBC weekend morning show AM Joy as she dismantles Washington Examiner stenographer Jen Kerns on the Mueller investigation and right-wing Clinton hysteria.

The Mary Sue's Vivian Kane:

In addition to being an obvious deflection from the investigation into his own administration, this story is utter bullshit. Hillary Clinton had no involvement in the Uranium One deal. This was a transaction between a private company and a foreign government. The closest this deal got to Clinton was when it was reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, of which she is and was not a member, meaning she never got close to it at all. Also, Trump loves to scare the public by throwing out the word “nuclear,” while omitting the subsequent word “power.” 
Basically, Trump is trying to convince us that Hillary Clinton gave away 20% of our country’s uranium supply so that Russia could make bombs. Not one part of that is true, but it’s the kind of blatantly false claim that the media so often has trouble shutting down. 
When talking to Jen Kerns, a former GOP spokesperson and contributor for the conservative Washington Examiner, Reid had no such trouble. I’ve never had such a strong reaction to basic fact-checking, but this clip is making me feel all warm inside. 
“I want to ask you a couple fact-based questions” is my new favorite phrase in the English language. 
What makes this extra maddening is that Kerns has all the information Reid asks for. She knows that her talking points are misleading; she’s obviously just hoping she doesn’t get called on her BS. These people are lying to us, plain and simple, and we need more Joy-Ann Reids in the world, letting them know we see their lies for what they are, and we won’t stand for it.

This is so good I may actually start watching MSNBC again.

Well, at least AM Joy.

It's Mueller Time, Con't

Nixon Trump is in full bunker mode right now after Monday's indictments, and nobody's happy around the White House as America's racist uncle is screaming at the TV and wondering why he's surrounded by idiots who might have already turned evidence on him.

And he's scared.  Poor thing.

President Trump woke before dawn on Monday and burrowed in at the White House residence to wait for the Russia bombshell he knew was coming.

Separated from most of his West Wing staff — who fretted over why he was late getting to the Oval Office — Trump clicked on the television and spent the morning playing fuming media critic, legal analyst and crisis communications strategist, according to several people close to him.

The president digested the news of the first indictments in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe with exasperation and disgust, these people said. He called his lawyers repeatedly. He listened intently to cable news commentary. And, with rising irritation, he watched live footage of his onetime campaign adviser and confidant, Paul Manafort, turning himself in to the FBI.

Initially, Trump felt vindicated. Though frustrated that the media were linking him to the indictment and tarnishing his presidency, he cheered that the charges against Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, were focused primarily on activities that began before his campaign. Trump tweeted at 10:28 a.m., “there is NO COLLUSION!”

But the president’s celebration was short-lived. A few minutes later, court documents were unsealed showing that George Papadopoulos, an unpaid foreign policy adviser on Trump’s campaign, pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the FBI about his efforts to broker a relationship between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The case provides the clearest evidence yet of links between Trump’s campaign and Russian officials. 

The notoriously thin-skinned, easily-baited, entirely predictable old man is now Elvis, shooting the TV.

But Trump’s anger Monday was visible to those who interacted with him, and the mood in the corridors of the White House was one of weariness and fear of the unknown. As the president groused upstairs, many staffers — some of whom have hired lawyers to help them navigate Mueller’s investigation — privately speculated about where the special counsel might turn next.

The walls are closing in,” said one senior Republican in close contact with top staffers who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak candidly. “Everyone is freaking out.”

Trump is also increasingly agitated by the expansion of Mueller’s probe into financial issues beyond the 2016 campaign and about the potential damage to him and his family.

Clock's ticking for Trump and he knows it.  He knows Mueller has him.  He knows there's no way out.  And frankly I think there's a chance he might throw in the towel.

But I doubt that will happen.  A bully punched in the nose may back off for a while, but then they'll come back at you with twice the rage that you dared to stand up to them, and I expect we'll see Trump's response before he leaves for his Asia trip later this week.

I expect it won't be pretty.  If another indictment comes this week, all bets are off.  The smart money is on former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, but there's also a chance that Sam Clovis, Trump campaign co-chair and current nominee for the USDA's top science position (even though he's not a scientist at all) could be named next.  After all, the evidence strongly points to him being involved in the events detailed in George Papdopoulos's indictment.

Corey Lewandowski too is most likely in the crosshairs.  Manafort after all replaced him on the Trump team, but back in March 2016 Lewandowski was running the campaign and would have certainly known what was going on with the putative contacts to Russia to get dirt on Hillary.

Finally, former US Attorney for Manhattan Preet Bharara gives some insight as to where he thinks the Mueller case is going.

“Hard to tell, but the George Papadopoulos guilty plea tells us (a) Mueller is moving fast (b) the Mueller team keeps secrets well (c) more charges should be expected and (d) this team takes obstruction and lying very, very seriously,” Bharara said, referring to the former unpaid Trump campaign adviser, whose plea deal rocked Washington on Monday. “That should be of concern to some people.”

Remember, Bharara was fired by Trump.

We'll see who's next, but I guarantee you more indictments are coming, and soon.  As Preet says, Mueller is moving fast.  Now that he's pulled the pin on this indictment grenade, the real fun begins.


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