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Putin:  Hello Trump. Now that you’re president I want you to know that we will never relinquish power over the province of Crimea or Eastern Ukraine. If you attempt to stop us, we will bomb you out of west and take the entire country. I’m just letting you know our intentions. You have no claim to Eastern Europe. Do we understand each other?

Trump: Who is this?

Putin: It’s Vladamir Putin, imbecile. Didn’t your secretary mention my name?

Trump: I thought she was talking about the carpet service. There’s a big stain in here where I dropped my margarita. Who is this again?

Putin: It’s Putin!

Trump: And what do you want, Mr Pooteen:

Putin: Ukraine. Are you listening to me? Is this connection working?

Trump: I heard there’s fighting over there or something. Why would anyone want that place? You must be some kind of lightweight.

Putin: Would you consider the awesome power of the entire Russian military a lightweight?

Trump: You have influence with the Russian military? Is that what you just said?

Putin: Yes, I did.

Trump: Do they eat a lot of meat in Russia?

Putin: What?!

Trump: Do they eat a lot meat in Russia? It’s not a hard question.

Putin: Well, I suppose we do, why?

Trump: What do say we sell them some good ol’ American Trump steaks? We could make millions!

Putin: Again with the steaks? Oh god. I need to talk to you about some serious state matters.

Trump: What’s more important than profit?  What’d you say your name was again?

Putin: I’ll call you back.

*Click*

*Dialing*

Putin: You did warn me, you American bastard.

Obama: Yep. Did you mention the Russian army?

Putin: I did.

Obama: He’ll have a Timesheets.com proposal on your desk by tomorrow morning.

Putin: Nope, he tried to sell me steaks.

Obama: Crud. Steaks again? You’ve got to be kidding me!

Putin: He never mentioned Timesheets.com. I knew he’d go with the steaks. Pay up.

Obama: I can’t believe he’s still hocking steaks. As if he was some kind of rancher or something! I guess I owe you 50 Rubles after all. Until next time…

Putin: Yes, until next time.

Today in Trump’s America, where naked bigotry and its ugliness is on the rise, the most candid display yet of hyped-up paranoia. Marches in 20 cities against, you guessed it, sharia law. Because, you know, that’s been a real problem here. Smh

Why don’t they just write “Get out, Muslims” on their picket signs and drop the pretext? The new Fuhrer is definitely inspiring his followers.

Today Donald Trump said he would testify 100% under oath (because for him, there are varying degrees of oath, evidently) to dispute the recent public testimony of former FBI Director James Comey.

So I have to be honest. This is a tough call. A real head-scratcher, as it were.

Should I believe the serial liar who claimed the biggest crowd in inauguration history and the largest electoral college margin in recent history? Both false, by the way. This is a person who also claimed 3+ million illegal votes were cast against him without a shred of evidence, and that former President Obama ‘tapped’ Trump tower. Should I believe the guy who has thousands of lawsuits to his name, many of which settled out of court for vast sums of money?

Or should I believe the career lawman who was voted to lead the FBI by a bipartisan vote of 93 to only 1 against.

Again, difficult to decide.

Should we choose to believe the guy who publicly threatened Comey with the existence of tape recordings (which logic tells us probably don’t exist) or the guy who meticulously made notes immediately after his every encounter with the President, and shared them with co-workers as an insurance policy against exactly this kind of public intimidation?

Of course, one might ask why it’s necessary for Trump to testify at all, since he threatened the existence of secret tape recordings if Comey broke his silence about their interactions. Well, Mr. President, consider that silence broken. Comey sang like a canary. Now it’s time to release the tapes you basically said you would. You know, to clear your good name.

No tapes? Oh. Yet another shocker.

So who do we choose to believe? Scholars will ponder this difficult question for the next millennia.

 

Today, citizens of the planet everywhere are wondering just what kind of idiot is in charge of the United States. Every country everywhere (except Syria and Nicaragua) thinks it’s important to protect the environment, except for the money-driven, selfish interests of the Americans. This is how the world must be judging us today. Trump is ruining us in his quest for political gain.

 

 

Today I saw this quote from John Bowden at The Hill:

“In recent weeks, Fox News’ dominance in the ratings has slipped. MSNBC beat Fox three nights in a row in primetime on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in the key 25-54 demographic last week, mostly thanks to MSNBC host Rachel Maddow. Fox News maintained a larger total number of viewers, but trailed MSNBC in the most valuable demographic.

Maddow finished #1 across all cable news, with 734,000 demo viewers and 2.87 million viewers.”

This along with the slow implosion going on over at Fox News, and the overall news and information climate may be changing for the better.

As you may know, there’s been an uproar over the sudden firing of FBI Directory Comey. It raised many questions for various reasons. Presidents don’t typically fire FBI directors. It’s only ever happened once before. And FBI directors, as with all law enforcement, are expected to remain apolitical. FBI directors have 10 year appointments and generally enjoy near total bi-partisan support when appointed.

So when an FBI director is hastily fired, it raises questions. Considering that the Trump campaign is under investigation by the FBI, questions become almost inevitable. Why now? Who’s idea was it? What were the circumstances that lead to the decision? Why such drastic changes to the official explanation? It’s clear from the shifting reasons provided by the White House, something unusual is going on. Explanations never change so significantly over such a frenzied period without good reason.

So, here’s a quick explanation of what is probably going on.

As was recently reported, Comey had asked for resources to expand his probe into the campaign investigation sometime in the not-to-distant past. This information made its way to the Oval Office where Trump decided it was time to act. He fired him immediately and has plans to replace him with someone who will let the investigations die.

But it turns out Trump invited Comey to the White House in January. He already knew he was under investigation or soon would be. He wanted to feel Comey out. Would he pledge loyalty to Trump, or would he follow the investigation wherever it led? In Trump’s mind, it couldn’t be both, and he soon had his answer. He couldn’t count on the FBI director’s unquestioning support.

At the meeting, Trump says Comey asked to keep his job. Comey says Trump asked for loyalty. Given that Trump invited Comey, and that Trump knew his campaign was being investigated, Comey’s version is a far more believable scenario.

Last week, Trump threatened Comey publicly with the existence of recordings by directly suggesting that he may have made “tapes” and that Comey said damaging or possibly illegal things during their meeting. This is a highly unlikely scenario for a number of reasons. First and foremost among them, it’s probably safe to assume Donald Trump doesn’t want his private conversations recorded by anyone for any reason, “believe me!”. Second, why would Trump invite the FBI director to the White House and then make a recording of the conversation? Did the President believe in advance that the FBI Director would, during their first meeting, admit to a crime? That’s just very unlikely.

So let’s just assume for now that the now-infamous tapes tweet was just an empty threat and there are no tapes. But regardless of the existence of tapes, Trump is clearly threatening Comey, the man he just fired. When someone threatens you about ‘leaking’, there’s usually a motivating factor. So Trump is clearly motivated by something.

And since Trump is threatening Comey, then that leads to a very plausible explanation for why Comey has declined to testify in front of congress, even in private. He WANTS to tell his side of this story but he can’t. He’s being publicly, brazenly threatened by the most powerful man on Earth who’s also a billionaire. Would you testify?

Meanwhile, the former FBI director doesn’t want to appear like a disgruntled employee. He’s got the respect and support of his former organization to consider as well as the public. He can’t go on camera and willingly spill the beans on Donald Trump without losing a lot of respect from both within his old organization and without. Not because anyone loves Trump, but because the leader of the nations most respected law enforcement organization can’t be a loose lipped individual.

But Comey is no idiot. He knows his revenge will come soon enough and he’ll be able to tell the world what happened. He just doesn’t want the world to think he did it to get back at Trump. So he’ll wait, because he knows eventually he’ll be subpoenaed. Then he can spill the beans without anyone thinking he’s trying to get back at his old boss. Plus, there’s far more impact and respect if your testimony has to be subpoenaed.

Meanwhile, Trump’s original plan was to ask the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to submit a memo that would be used as justification for the bloodletting. This would give Trump the rationale to fire Comey without the appearance of a cover-up as he attempted to interfere with the FBI’s ongoing investigation. But problems arose when Trump declined to tell Rosenstein that he would rely on that letter as the primary justification, pinning the entire decision on Rosenstein’s shoulders. For Rosenstein, it was a bridge too far. He revolted and threatened Trump with a resignation if the explanation wasn’t retracted. At this point, Trump realized that he had to take over the messaging so he quickly sat down for a rare one on one interview with Lester Holt, one of the most respected names in journalism, to ‘set the record straight’.

Realizing the cover story had fallen apart, he quickly took the blame for the decision to let Comey go, but went further, forcefully diminishing the importance of the memo by saying he had already made up his mind long before the memo was written. But this only leads to another curious question: Why would Trump ask the Deputy AG for a letter he planned on ignoring and didn’t need? The only plausible explanation was that he wanted to use it as a cover story and rationale in the firing of Comey.

The best defense is a good offense. This was never truer for any individual than Trump. He threatened Comey and the media in general. He explained that his staff can’t possibly get all the facts correct at their own press briefings and he even threatened to cancel them altogether, providing written statements instead, and doing a presser every two weeks.

So, Trump is looking more and more desperate – at least desperate enough that he felt it was worth taking extraordinary risks like firing the FBI director, and asking for the creation a cockamamie excuse (in memo form) he planned to pin on fall guy Rosenstein without so much as a head’s up. Those are huge risks to take, and it’s reasonable to assume there’s an equally large and damaging reason for taking them.

What is Trump so afraid they’ll uncover in this Russian meddling probe? I guess we’ll eventually find out. Whatever he’s trying to hide, his only hope is to appoint an FBI director who won’t pursue the already open investigations. Someone “Loyal”.

 

Sean Spicer has the hardest job in America. He must continuously spin an alternate reality to people who ask difficult questions like “where’s the proof?” And “what did the president mean when he said…?” I imagine his mind must really be battered as he tries to live on both worlds – the one where he tells reporters that Steve Bannon left the NSC because he accomplished his objectives, and the real one. The reality where Trump’s inauguration crowd was the biggest ever, and the actual one.

After a while, it must begin to affect a person in nefarious ways. How could it not? Living a life where you’re continuously required to invent a completely different reality than the one we all experience is nothing short of mind-blowing.

The healthcare law is a ‘disaster’. Climate science is fake. The list goes on and on and on. Daily, the press secretary is required to fib, massage, or outright lie.

Meanwhile, one must ask themselves, who are they lying to? Certainly not the reporters, who shake their heads in disbelief and write things down wondering why they didn’t become a doctor like their parents wanted.

No, the people who it affects the most are the dumbest. Those who don’t have the ability to reason for themselves and walk around thinking Trump and all his nonsense are real. People like Michael Flynn Jr. who thinks General McMaster must be a communist spy and ISIS sympathizer because he refuses, reportedly by Flynn Jr., to use the term ‘radical Islam’. Good thing he’s not in government.

Spinning alternate realities is bad for everyone. It’s bad for the mental health of the perpetrator who must, on some level, begin to lose his grip on reality. It’s bad for the casualties who can’t discern the truth from the noise, and it’s bad for the country as whole. Half the people are walking around living in a completely different reality than, well, reality.