Authoritarianism: Feb 12–Feb 18 Changes

Not one of these things listed below is even remotely normal for a new (or ANY) administration in the U.S.

  1. Articles openly speculating about 45’s mental health are one thing, but here’s a whole raft of articles about probable treason.
The timeline of claims made in an unsubstantiated dossier presented by top US intelligence officials to President Donald Trump and senior lawmakers last month has increased scrutiny of events that unfolded in the final months of the Trump campaign.
The dossier alleges serious misconduct and conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia’s government. The White House has dismissed the dossier as fiction, and some of the facts and assertions it includes have indeed been proven wrong.
Other allegations in the dossier, however, are still being investigated. According to a recent CNN report, moreover, US intelligence officials have now corroborated some of the dossier’s material. And this corroboration has reportedly led US intelligence officials to regard other information in the dossier as more credible.
And the U.S. intelligence community treating 45 as a security risk in of himself.
In particular, fears that the White House is too friendly to Moscow are causing close allies to curtail some of their espionage relationships with Washington — a development with grave implications for international security, particularly in the all-important realm of counterterrorism.
Now those concerns are causing problems much closer to home — in fact, inside the Beltway itself. Our Intelligence Community is so worried by the unprecedented problems of the Trump administration — not only do senior officials possess troubling ties to the Kremlin, there are nagging questions about basic competence regarding Team Trump — that it is beginning to withhold intelligence from a White House which our spies do not trust.

Even more fascinating is the fact that The Observer is owned and operated by one Jared Kushner., i.e., Ivanka (Antoinette) Trump’s husband (cf https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Observer).

2. Meanwhile on the spox front

Remind me again how she got this job?

Awesome, her wiki entry has the Bowling Green Massacre entered in it!

3. I am speechless at the breaches in security protocol, etc.

4. The sooner he is out of there, the better. For fucks sake we formed this country to get rid of a fucking monarch. We do not want or need a deranged king now, either.

“This is a judicial usurpation of power,” [White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller] said on “Fox News Sunday.” “The president’s powers here are beyond question.”

Yap yap yap there’s a Renfield flapping his lips.

5. Not a new story — I heard about this back when the Fuckup Admin decided to fuck up traveling, but this has a much more complete story (and it doesn’t get any better at all). I personally travel with a chromebook I don’t care about losing (well, I’ll be hopping mad over the principle of the thing, of course) and a secondary phone I don’t normally use.

Relatedly, this might be useful: I plan to look into it.

6. Mmmmm. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t!

7. Ugh…we are so fucking screwed.

Granted, this is the rather hysterical-headlineritus left-rag Politicususa, note that it is pulling together comments on Maddow’s show, quotes from a senior intelligence officer, and drawing on Kushner’s The Observer article…

This is Schindler, former NSA analyst:

He also touched on the blatant incompetence of this administration, “Our Intelligence Community is so worried by the unprecedented problems of the Trump administration — not only do senior officials possess troubling ties to the Kremlin, there are nagging questions about basic competence regarding Team Trump — that it is beginning to withhold intelligence from a White House which our spies do not trust.”

Unprecedented, unpresidented…

For a more no-holds-barred take on this fucking clusterfuck:

8. As a martial artist, I find this absolutely fascinating. Trudeau wins. But also, what the everlasting fuck? You have to watch all the short clips (including the links to tweeted clips) to really grok how bizarre 45’s handshakes are. I think Gorsuch should have put his other hand out and let 45 pull him into his own face smack :-P

Men, this is 45’s “grab your pussy” on your terms. Take notes from the Canadian PM.

9. *Wheeze*

10. This one’s an odd one.

11. This is obscene. For $200K apiece, 45 hawks national security to his corrupt gain for photo ops.

Some of the images I listed here have disappeared (the guy posting all the facebook images at MAL) but they’re listed here in this roundup by NYT, which also explains the disappearances:

After news reports were published about Mr. DeAgazio’s Facebook account, the account was deleted, along with the photographs.

Yep.

12. Wow, okay so Flynn has resigned. This is the second Kremlin-associated person with Trump to do so (after Paul Manafort). The dice, they are a-rollin’. Kellogg is supposed to be the “acting” NSA (huh?) and rumor is that PETRAEUS is one possible replacement.

Popcorn anyone?

While it is not clear what he said in his F.B.I. interview, investigators believed that Mr. Flynn was not entirely forthcoming, the officials said. That raises the stakes of what so far has been a political scandal that cost Mr. Flynn his job. If the authorities conclude that Mr. Flynn knowingly lied to the F.B.I., it could expose him to a felony charge. President Trump asked for Mr. Flynn’s resignation Monday night.

GOP really isn’t coming off well here at all. Can you just imagine them saying all this stuff if Hils had been the prez in this case? Nope.

13. Strange stuff.

14. This is actually a bit more than saving off — a process that started months ago when the climate change data from many different places in the U.S. got archived out of country in a several months long project. Now this is expanding a bit, to monitor changes to online/available data at government sites such as NASA, etc.

Like similar groups across the country — in more than 20 cities — they believe that the Trump administration might want to disappear this data down a memory hole. So these hackers, scientists, and students are collecting it to save outside government servers.
But now they’re going even further. Groups like DataRefugeand the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative, which organized the Berkeley hackathon to collect data from NASA’s earth sciences programs and the Department of Energy, are doing more than archiving. Diehard coders are building robust systems to monitor ongoing changes to government websites. And they’re keeping track of what’s already been removed — because yes, the pruning has already begun.

15. The problem is Mar A Lago (or MAL for short — it sure as shit isn’t some fucking “Winter WH,” FFS) is so completely unsecured, one is forced to consider whether this story is potentially true.

Although, strictly speaking I don’t see any new stuff here. But hell, if Moby can bring 45 down, I say more power to him.

16. NONE OF THIS MAKES ANY SENSE.

[O]n Tuesday, Conway, who had claimed just hours before his resignation that the White House had “full confidence” in Flynn, repeatedly could not say why the administration waited to act.
On NBC’s “Today” show, the White House counselor claimed that “the situation had become unsustainable” after Flynn misled Pence.
“But the fact is, General Flynn continued in that position and was in the presidential daily briefings, as part of the leader calls, as recently as yesterday,” Conway said.
Host Matt Lauer was incredulous.
“Kellyanne, that makes no sense,” he said. “Last month, the Justice Department warned the White House that General Flynn had misled them and that, as a result, he was vulnerable to blackmail and at that moment he still had the complete trust of the president?”

17. Stop and think about this for a sec. In 27 days, Flynn resigned/was fired; Conway under fire for ethics breach; WH under scrutiny over Mar-a-Lago security breach. TWENTY-SEVEN DAYS.

Dear gods, impeach him already.

18. Proof that karma’s a bitch.

19. Need to read this thread.

20. OK, 45 just unfollowed Conway on twitter. There’s your kiss of death. On Valentine’s day!

(forgive the provenance of this reference)

So far this is still there

21. Make this happen! If congress doesn’t get it’s shit together, then WE WILL. IANAL, but this sounds good:

State attorneys general have the power to bring actions against corporations, something known as a “Quo Warranto” proceeding, to determine whether the corporations are a conduit for illegal activity. This is known as a corporation acting “ultra vires” or beyond its legal authority. In this case, the proceeding would determine whether Trump’s corporate entities are being used as a conduit for illegal emoluments to Trump.

22. This is probably a helpful website.

23. Having a hard time believing this one.

24. Just dropping this here.

25. This just gets better and better. Snowballing?

26. But note that the FBI sat on this shit while bleating about EMAILS. I want Comey’s head on this platter as well.

27. Fuck the GOP too. Wrap them around each other’s necks and let them both sink.

28. A good writeup here. The money shot?

Trump says the real story here are these illegal leaks. In other words, the story is not about Flynn talking to the Russians or lying to Pence but that the story was leaked.

29. My twitter feed is looking a little shell-shocked as well.

And who the fuck are these 89K idiots?

30. This needs to reach Pence. This entire corrupt admin has got to go. And what the fuck, GOP?

What the actual living fuck? Who tapped Flynn? Either the Russkies or one of the IC agencies. Not only that, but BEFORE the election. You know, BEFORE traitor-Flynn became the NSA. But you know what? Even if a civilian recorded the traitor-Flynn, he or she should be awarded a medal of honor.

31. o.O

32. And here we go boys & girls… 45 confirms all of it. Goes from fake news to illegally leaked in less than 30 minutes.

33. Useful information. Though I can tell you as one datapoint: middle aged white woman with Globe Entry & electronics, was barely even examined on either end of international trip. I still use secondary phone & chromebook that I won’t weep if are stolen, I mean confiscated, by border agents.

34. Interesting to digest on:

If Harward becomes NSA, Mattis would emerge from the Flynn mess in a uniquely powerful position: He would have two of his former deputies at the table in some meetings. The other one is John Kelly, now secretary for Homeland Security, who was his number two when Mattis commanded a Marine division early in the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
At this point, Mattis has far greater influence over former military officers than the president does. His presence at the Pentagon is the sole reason some are considering climbing aboard Trump’s sinking ship.

I’m shocked anyone would willingly hitch their ride to the carooming-off-the-cliff disaster-wreck that is the WH admin, though.

35. Uhm.

“A Russian spy ship patrolling 30 miles from the Groton SUBASE underscores that the threats posed by a resurgent Russia are real,” said Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT), according to WTNH. “This unacceptable, aggressive action, combined with the buzzing of US Navy ships in the Red Sea yesterday are clearly testing the resolve of a new administration. While I have total confidence in our Navy’s vigilant, responsible readiness, the White House needs to move past their seeming infatuation with Putin and treat him like the serious threat to global peace and security that he has been for the last five years.”

and

36. Yeah, I didn’t think the IC would take too kindly to that “illegal leak” bullshit from 45.

Though I honestly wonder if he won’t wind up in the loony bin before long. I have to say that dementia seems way too obvious here, though I am not a doctor. I am more surprised by everyone’s hitching their rides to his…guess they figure they can get their cut in when a nutcase is running things. GOP=Greed.

37. Several months too late, but at least finally…

38. Blood in the water.

Didn’t take long.

39. Whut?

Rally? Whut? The fuck is this shit?

40. Sure. Right on schedule for manufactured distraction #1: War

41. Simply unfit to be president.

42. Whoa. Again, remember this is Kushner’s rag.

Republicans should be advised to put country over party right now and pursue rigorous inquiries into the full extent of Trump’s Moscow links and their impact on the election — and the new administration. Washington is at the precipice of a scandal unlike anything seen since Watergate. Indeed, KremlinGate promises to be much seedier and more troubling than anything proffered by President Nixon.
Here the inevitable comparisons to Watergate fall short. Tricky Dick committed domestic crimes, and paid the price for them, but Nixon was in no way beholden to a foreign power — much less one which has several thousand nuclear weapons pointed at the United States. Neither did Nixon collude with that foreign power’s spies to arrange his own election to the presidency.
We are now discussing things worse than mere impeachment. If members of Trump’s team colluded with Russian intelligence, the Espionage Act comes into play, and we’ve entered uncharted waters, presidentially speaking.

43. lolwhut

I fear that the judge may start laughing so hard they forget to dismiss it or something o.O But SRSLY.

44. Hope it’s enough for an actual, productive investigation to follow.

45. And our allies now need to spy on us because 45 is so unpredictable and unamerican.

46. THEN GET ON WITH IT ALREADY, MOTHERFUCKERS.

47. OH YES PLEASE OH YES THIS WOULD GIVE HIM UTTER APOPLEXY!

48. Oh my. If only this could bring Sessions down as well.

49.

50. Another lolwhut

51. o.O

52. Uhm…

53. o.O

54. (Did I already include this one? Never mind, it’s good. Please, please, please. I think NYC would be especially happy to do this one…)

55. Interesting. Also, you know this is why 45 and GOP bent on rescinding protections for civil servants, “cleaning house,” etc. They want political lackeys everywhere, not dedicated-to-their-craft workers. These are people who have worked through multiple presidencies of both parties.

56.

57. McCain appears to actually be jumping off the 45-train. I’m still reserving some opinion here b/c McCain is very well known for being a fair-weather kinda guy, but this is interesting.

58. We really, really hate him.

February disapproval ratings in first term Reagan 18% Bush 13% Clinton 25% Bush 21% Obama 17% Trump 56% —

59. Mmhmm. My take: Looks like some other faction in the fuckup that is current WH has ascendency for now. But this doesn’t address the rot at the top. (Acosta seems to be widely regarded as a reasonably principled conservative; I’m astonished he’s willing to taint his name with this tainted WH.)

60. This has to be seen/heard to be believed.

He sounds like an abuser.

Acosta must be so happy he accepted this pile of shit.

61. Jesus wept.

We really have to get this bawsock OUT OF THE WH.

It’s just word salad.

TPM front page (well played) clicks thru to this http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-claims-his-administration-inherited-mess

62. Day Without Immigrants protest 2/16/2017

63. That billionaire guy to go over IC?

Normally, I don’t like to share Kahn’s stuff because he hasn’t yet met a link he likes and so FUCKING ONLY EVER TWEETS SCREENCAPS WITH NO CORROBORATING LINKS <ahem>, so it’s hard to follow. But this is important.

65. Good reading.

On top of all those concerns, there’s also a more simple one: the fact that the GSA’s decision to ignore the hotel lease violation creates a precedent. “Everybody looks to GSA for policy guidance and leadership. This is not leadership. It’s not a model of behavior. It’s exactly the kind of stuff that we don’t want to happen,” Schooner says. “We don’t want government agencies to buy scandals. We want our public spending to be scandal-free, to be transparent, to be credible, to be accountable, to be something where we can look at the results and be proud of them.
“This is atrocious,” he says.

66. This is in from FOX NEWS. Whoa.

67. This would be… I can’t imagine the uproar. It’s based on a draft memo, so nothing yet, and/or could be attempted distraction. It’s also completely impossible: The Feds don’t direct Nat. Guard under title 32 (state control) so it would be up to the individual governors.

(Now contemplate Gov. Jerry Brown for a few minutes.)

Plus the blowback if they collected on a U.S. citizen — since mistakes will inevitably happen — they’d violate a shitload of laws in this area.

This smells of an insane idea floated about early in WH collabs before being shot down for most likely the above set of reasons.

See also:

68. Treason.

69. By Evan McMullin

70. Another interesting conservative.

71. WILL the FBI take this up?

Apparently Devin Nunes, who heads up the relevant committee has changed his song. (Phone calls? Some personal line crossed? Someone else with goods on him?)

72. So trying to sidestep the judicial blocks on his first order…

73. I don’t know what the hell Chaffetz’s problem is, but I think every last person in his district needs to mob his office, call him, postcard him, fax him…

Yesterday, as the Associated Press reported, the Republican congressman took the next ridiculous step.
The Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, who has refused Democratic requests to investigate possible conflicts of interest involving President Donald Trump, is seeking criminal charges against a former State Department employee who helped set up Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday asking him to convene a grand jury or charge Bryan Pagliano, the computer specialist who helped establish Clinton’s server while she was secretary of state.
So let me get this straight. There’s evidence that Russia launched an illegal espionage operation to help put Donald Trump in the Oval Office. There’s evidence that Team Trump was in communications with officials in Vladimir Putin’s government at the time. There’s evidence that leading members of Team Trump lied about these contacts. There’s evidence that the communications continued during the presidential transition process, which Trump administration officials lied about, and which led to the White House National Security Advisor resigning.
There’s evidence that this entire scandal, possibly the most serious since Watergate, is part of an ongoing U.S. counter-espionage investigation.
It’s against this backdrop that Jason Chaffetz, just yesterday, contacted the Justice Department seeking criminal charges related to … wait for it … Hillary Clinton’s email server.
Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in a deeply stupid nightmare?

74. For some levity:

75. I like this.

76. Lovely. Watch out for this sort of thing. Check out where you send your money to, and DON’T do it thru a robocall!

77. Applause.

78. tick tick boom. First poll entirely post-Flynn.

79. This is not who we are.

It’s a case that has shocked and outraged El Paso county officials, who called the enforcement action in their courtroom an unprecedented federal intrusion into a space meant to ensure their community’s public safety. Immigration advocates see it as another sign that the Trump administration plans to widen the scope of its priorities as it aggressively seeks to find and deport a wide range of the nation’s estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants.
“It’s just not tolerable,” said El Paso District Attorney Jaime Esparza, during a phone conference with reporters on Thursday. “We have really worked very hard in this community to reach out to victims of domestic violence to come forward, to make sure that they have access to law enforcement and the courthouse, and this puts a horrible chilling effect on this whole effort.”
Officials said no one could recall an incident in which immigration authorities entered a courtroom during a proceeding, posting agents inside and at each exit.

80. Exactly. As I keep saying, RUSSIA.

81. Tweeted then deleted. Gosh, I wonder why? Fuck 45 and his entire shit sandwich of a WH.

Oh…he only deleted it to add MOAR press. No thanks 45. I know who my enemy is, and as badly as the press can behave, they are not the threat to national security that you and your shit sandwiches are.

82. :-/

83. More details on WH’s shit sandwich.

84. I’ve got my teeny violin here, somewhere. As Brandon Friedman said,

On Feb. 15, she gave a speech at the Magnet Schools of America 2017 National Policy Training Conference and the first thing she talked about wasn’t magnet schools but protesters

What a fucking whiner. You notice how all these billionaires just whine when things don’t go smoothly their way? Goddamn trust fund babies.

85. *snort*

86. Yep

87. The press may not be America’s enemy but they sure as fuck are THEIR OWN! CHRIST — WHAT BATSHIT STUPID HEADLINES. The lowliest interns would be ashamed of that crap.

88. WaPo.

89. Keeping an eye on this.

90. For Sale: U.S. Government. Reasonably good condition. Don’t unlock the gate holding The Public back. That needs some work.

91. You know I keep telling myself that yeah, there are people who fall for 45’s bloviating. I mean, real actual people and so on. And for whatever reason, they like his energy, his rhetoric. And then I am brought up short by shit like this. No, no such thing happened last night. And if you take the barest 5 seconds to check, you’ll know no such thing happened in Sweden. So then I’m forced to admit that no, I don’t actually know how people fall for this crap. At all. Sorry, Trumpster.

In defending his executive order banning Islamic refugees and travelers from 7 Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S., Trump said, “When you look at what’s happening in Germany, when you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden — Sweden! Who would believe this? Sweden!”
“They took in large numbers, they’re having problems like they never like they never thought possible,” he went on.
However, there was no terror attack in Sweden on Friday.

Musta been next to the Bowling Green Massacre. Why?

92. Need to shut it down.

And yes, he’s taken to calling it the “Southern White House.” Utterly unacceptable, given the Confederate origins of that name. Mar A Lago, or MAL for short.

93. We are having an effect. Do not doubt this. And VOTE for fucks sake, at the next elections. TURN OUT BY THE MILLIONS. Shut ’em all out. If they won’t do their jobs, we need to get rid of them.

94. The Melbourne (Florida) “rally” sounds like it was a damp squib. Mother Jones runs down the list:

No tie! Truly, Trump is a man of the people.
The first five minutes is dedicated solely to trashing the media. He says he wants to speak directly to The People without the filter of fake news. “When the media lies, I won’t let them get away with it.”
This is all done in service of a speech carried live and commercial-free by all three cable news channels.
The White House is running “smoothly, very smoothly.”
He wants to bring back mining jobs for “clean, very clean coal.” I’m sensing a rhetorical trend here.
He reprises several of his greatest hits: His Obamacare replacement will provide much better health care at a much lower cost. No more jobs are going to be sent overseas. He’s going to slap a 35 percent tax on goods sent back here. And he still wants a “trillion dollar” infrastructure plan.
Jobs are already “pouring back in” to the country.
“Not one network will show the crowd,” he says at the exact moment the pool camera pulls back to show the crowd.
He says he got the price of Air Force One down by a billion dollars. When did that happen? Let’s google a bit…ah. It’s just your basic Trump bullshit. The CEO of Boeing has agreed to keep the price tag below $4 billion for a project that’s currently estimated to cost between $3.2 billion and $3.7 billion. Nice work, Donald.
He also got the price of the F-35 down by “hundreds of billions” dollars. It’s actually hundreds of millions, but who’s counting? And it was a price reduction that was already in the works before Trump ever got involved.
He says Obama was letting immigrants into the country with “no vetting, no nothing.” This is just a ridiculous lie.

Bring back mining jobs, eh? What does that get him, a few paltry votes from one formerly beautiful, now utterly trashed, state? Good luck with that. Coal is so dead, it makes that horse shaped smear over there look positively lively.

95. Laughing all the way to the fucking bank.

96. I’ve never seen this before. People are MAD.

97. I noticed this too. Set up the contrast so that when he pulls the trigger, ppl are happy? Throws women under the bus, still lets GOP on its merry destruction but hey.