Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Daily Donald 3/15/2017

Yesterday Pres. Donald Trump's IRS returns for 2005 were "leaked". Based on what is in the return and the WH pre-release statement, it is fair to conclude that Pres. Donald Trump "leaked" this himself. Given that the House intelligence committee is due to meet on the issue of Russian links to his Administration, it is likely that DJT felt the need to put something that cast him in a positive light. It is unclear why he is going through the motions of making it look like he didn't release this information himself, but it is quite baffling to see him first tweet that the returns are genuine and then to claim that they are fake news in a sequence of tweets that leaves most people including his own staff baffled.

The House committee itself seems to have publicly admitted that the whole accusation DJT laid on Pres Obama's door about "wiretapping" was not backed by any evidence. Since there are at least two FISA warrants at play against Russian targets with close ties to Donald Trump, this wild "wiretapping" allegation can be interpreted as judicial obstruction. That is a felony charge which Donald can be impeached upon. The thought of this is putting President Trump under great strain. As the strain accelerates so do the reports of fear among the White House staff.  I guess his staff know that unlike him - they enjoy no immunity or pardon from Soon-to-Be President Pence.

The dumpster fire also appears to have gained some. Anbang visibly paid off the Kushner family and China suddenly became much more friendly towards President Donald Trump. That is an odd thing for China to be doing, after all candidate Trump did advocate a trade war with China. That said Pres. Trump did kill the Trans Pacific Pact which China didn't like - so I assume that Anbang's generous offer to the Kushners is China's way of saying "Thank You".  Under normal circumstances these people would be facing jail time, but we don't live in normal times.

As things stand State, Justice, DHS and most of the NSCS are almost completely emptied out. The usual watchdogs that keep an eye on illegal behavior in the stock market have been rendered completely silent by President Trump's policy of fire-but-not-replace. The EPA and other agencies that could mount a serious challenge to Steve Bannon's limitless expansion of power have been dismantled. It will not be long before this plague reaches the DoE, and the DoD as Trump begins to decline into a mixture of senility and paranoia. I don't know how long Gen. McMaster will last as NSA, he has had his first open feud with Bannon. If you thought Steve Bannon couldn't possibly be do so much damage - well think again.

NY-USAA Preet Bharara has been fired. Just when he started an inquiry into the illegal actions of Rupert Murdoch's Fox News corporation. Apparently he was also beginning an investigation into stuff that could be interpreted as Emoluments. Obviously he became a threat to President Trump and that meant he had to go.

In other entertaining news, Wikileaks (as it unsurprisingly turns out) is hosted in Russia by an associate of President Putin. This development has left the usual "IC accountability" crowd in a bit of a pickle. Glenn Greenwald and other are now quick to try and dismiss the entire "hosted in Russia" business as being a case of hype. They still want to cling to the idea that by bringing Snowden's exploits to light, they weren't somehow amplifying a Russian agenda. Well that is going to be difficult given how much proximity there is in the public imagination between Russia, Wikileaks and Snowden.

A related issue is the behavior of the Berniecrats (or the "Almost Trump Supporters"). Berniecrats (as many will candidly admit) didn't turn up to vote against Trump. They were a small but vocal minority who preferred to waste their votes on upstanding (and clapping for Putin) candidates like Jill Stein. This is a wonderful group of people who appear to operate on a simple calculation - the system must be destroyed - Hillary has been destroyed, and Trump will do exactly that as he attempts line his own pockets. These folks never take responsibility for anything. Mostly millennials - these great folk capture the same toxic combination of ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and mental disorganization so popular among the Boomer generation. Like the Boomers they don't want to be on the hook for all the debt created so far. So destroying the system is the only way to get clear of that debt - or so they believe.

The end result of their efforts will be a massive conflict that corrodes the power of the establishment - leaving the door open for the Berniecrats to seize power and then burn what is left of the nation to the ground. They have been successful in this agenda so far. Now their approach is to offer token support to the Russian backed Wikileaks platform in the hope that it further hobbles the USIC and degrades its ability to rein Trump's destructive behavior. If your only agenda is "destroying the system" I guess you can make it work.

Which brings me back to the other thing that is all set to destroy the country - TrumpCare. Everyone (including Trump himself) feel the proposal is not going to get them where he wants to go. There is an attempt by Trumpers to call it "Obamacare 2.0" but that name isn't sticking. Current estimate of the people that will lose coverage is 24 million by one estimate. The Trump WH has taken to discrediting its own CBO estimates in an effort to mask their utter embarrassment in this fiasco.

So the remains of the day are - we are one tiny step closer to the collapse of the national government. Both Trumpers and Berniecrats feel they will gain liberation from their debts in this climate, but neither gets where this is really going to lead. As both depend on Obamacare and Medicare for actual survival, I feel a Trump engineered collapse of the state will produce a very different outcome than what either desires.

I don't expect either group to take responsibility for its actions, the Trumpers are too old and beyond caring and the Berniecrats are a alternative reality unto themselves.

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