Thursday, May 11, 2017

We Are All In Putin's Pocket Now

In the early 19th century, when Britain ruled much of the world, their king was cuckoo. Maybe it was because he’d lost the American colonies. He was nuts. And his young son was appointed Regent to handle the duties his incompetent father was unable to handle. The Prince Regent was not cuckoo but he was thick as two planks and very irresponsible.

We are in a similar situation now. Britain wasn’t actually ruled by their monarch even then; they had Parliament, and their Parliament was not a houseful of poodles. Our president has awesome powers and an obedient Congress, and he is still not in control. He is cuckoo and irresponsible and impulsive and delusional and corrupt and a liar.

Weirder still: the oddball scenario of Trump huddling with the Russian foreign minister and the Russian ambassador (spy master really) in the Oval Office, with the American press barred but the Russian press invited. If it sounded like a script written in Moscow it’s because it was. It was Putin who demanded the press exclusive at the high level meeting. Putin set the guidelines. Trump is not in control. Putin is. I was joking yesterday about how this is all completely normal, how it’s routine for Russian assets to have regular sit downs with their Russian spymasters. Joke, no joke. Our president is being operate by remote control from Moscow. Persuade me this isn’t true. Since we don’t have any American press coverage of the meeting we will not be able to observe the Russian technicians installing the listening devices.

How did we get here? The Washington Post gives us a picture of the president’s latest temper tantrum. How it happened and what it means.

The only thing that Russia’s press exclusive with Trump did not publish was the photo of Trump kneeling to receive commands from his master.

Politico describes the Russian tete a tete yesterday as a Russian victory dance. The Comey firing is only part of this Russian operation. Previous to this president the Russian prpresident did not have the power to fire American FBI directors.

Do we feel diminished yet? Do we feel like a Russian satellite yet? Do we feel as stupid as we look to the rest of the world? A new Quinnipiac poll asked respondents what word they would use to describe President Trump. (Via NY Magazine.)

The number one response by 8 percentage points was IDIOT.

Next in line: INCOMPETENT.

Next: LIAR.

Fourth place was a tie: 25% are still brainwashed and responded with LEADER. But 25% also responded with UNQUALIFIED.

The White House is lying about the Comey firing. Slate counts the ways.

Via Business Insider: A former CIA deputy director explains why it was dangerous to let the Russians bring their news [sic] crew into the Oval Office.

Constitutional Crisis? The New York Review of Books thinks it is.

Charlie Pierce: "Really, unless a fresh crop of spines suddenly sprouts within the Republican congressional majorities, nothing is going to happen. Unless a fresh crop of balls suddenly sprouts within the federal bureaucracy—hey, there are even more parking garages in D.C. now than there were in 1973—the odds are that the White House is going to skate on this.” Pierce also draws parallels with Watergate. But as I've been saying: Nixon at least hired domestic spooks. He didn't hire the KGB to secure power.

From Rolling Stone: Trump’s few Republican critics are not confronting him. Why?

Michael Tomasky goes through the five key players who might checkmate the Russian puppet in the White House

The Republicans are acting strangely. Like a police chief holding back to make sure the bank robbers finish looting the bank and put the money safely offshore before he does anything. As long as the Russians seem to be in control how much strategic information are they collecting? Which did they steal first, the keys to our nuclear arsenal or the keys to our economic infrastructure? Maybe the keys to the Federal Reserve. They may soon have our entire country in their pocket.

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