with an emphasis on the ass

The revision list informs me I starting writing this post on August 21, 2018. I’ve revised it eight times in the intervening months without publishing it. I chose not to publish it because the supporting evidence was too complex to fit conveniently in a blog post and I didn’t want to assert that Comrade Trump was an intelligence asset without backing it up. Happily, the New York Times has finally done all that, and I can simply link to their article:

Here’s the meat of my original much-revised post. I’ve edited out all the supporting material, I encourage you to read the Times article, and a rather good summary of the evidence by Politico.


My opinion? Comrade Donald J. Trump is a Russian intelligence asset.

I know that sounds like some conspiracy theory shit, but I’m serious. It’s probably a good idea to define ‘intelligence asset’. An asset is someone or something intended, developed, cultivated or utilized to gather or disseminate information that might be useful to an intelligence service. That’s all it means.

It doesn’t mean Trump is a Russian spy. It doesn’t mean he’s intentionally working for his boy Vlad Putin. It just means Putin is using Trump to further Russia’s geo-political agenda, and has been doing so since Trump began his campaign. It’s possible — even likely — Trump isn’t aware he’s being used.

Comrade Trump meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov & Ambassador Sergei Kislyak the day after he fired FBI Director Comey. During the meeting Trump disclosed classified material obtained from a US ally.

Let’s face it, Comrade Trump is a classic example of the Dunning-Kruger effect (which, for some reason, I always read as the Freddie Kruger effect). The D-K effect is defined as ‘a cognitive bias in which people of low ability have illusory superiority and mistakenly assess their cognitive ability as greater than it is.’ In other words, the D-K effect describes folks who actually aren’t terribly clever but believe they are. Comrade Trump has claimed expert knowledge of: international trade, politicians, social media, ISIS, campaign finance, television ratings, taxes, the visa system, governance, debt, renewable energy, the law, infrastructure, finances, drone technology, science, border security, and the economy. In fact, he’s shown himself to be painfully ignorant in those areas.

Because of the D-K effect and his massive ego, Trump is easily manipulated. And let’s not forget, Putin is a former intelligence officer who has worked undercover and has been trained by experts in social manipulation. But it’s not just a matter of Trump being a dupe; there are a lot of other reasons he may be acting as a Russian asset.

He’s vulnerable to kompromat. I mentioned this back in July of last year. It seems probable that Putin has something on Trump. It could be his shady business and banking transactions with Russian and former Soviet states have made him vulnerable to blackmail. It could be money laundering in the US; we know a LOT of Russians have purchased Trump condos and apartments for millions of dollars (and real estate is the money launderer’s favorite tactic). It could, I suppose, be the infamous pee tape, though I think that’s unlikely. I’m inclined to think the Trump kompromat is more criminal than salacious. 

It really doesn’t matter what his motives are; what matters is that Donald Trump, the sitting president of the United States, is furthering the geo-political agenda of a hostile foreign nation. What matters is that one of this nation’s two major political parties is complicit in Comrade Trump’s offenses. 


Again, the reason I didn’t publish this back in August was that I wanted to include evidence to support the claim — but all that evidence made for an awkwardly long blog post. Over the past several months, even more supporting material has become known and has been reported by major news sources.

Even so, it still sounds incredible to state that the President of the United States is a Russian intelligence asset. But I can’t find any other explanation for Trump’s behavior, for his pro-Russian policies, for his reluctance to impose sanctions against Russia or Russian oligarchs, for his willingness to remove those sanctions, for his campaign’s frequent inappropriate interactions with Russian agents, and for his consistent attempts to undermine US law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

It seems clear the guy is helping the Russians and damaging the security of the nation he’s sworn to defend.

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a short list of things that are more national emergencier than a wall

— health care
— gun violence
— climate change
— ocean pollution
— noise pollution
— light pollution
— every fucking kind of pollution
— protecting the Mueller investigation
— Sarah Huckabee Sanders
— equal pay for the US Women’s Soccer team
— urban e-scooters
— single cup coffee makers
— the men’s rights movement
— angry white men
— men
— televisions as big as autopsy tables
— the novels of Dan Brown
— Ann Coulter
— de-clutter fascists
— individually-wrapped ‘cheese’ tiles
— slasher movies
— WalMart
— the Buffy the Vampire Slayer reboot
— everybody wearing ear-buds or headphones everywhere
— all those damned Kardashians
— sex robots
— Peeps-flavored coffee creamer
— drones
— kids living with their parents after age 25, or 21, or maybe 19
— designers who make women’s clothing without pockets
— everybody associated in any way with the Trump administration
— Trump

“I just want to stand on top of the Wall and piss off the edge of the world!” Tyrion Lannister

Comrade Donald Trump would be wise to hire the smallest Lannister, who at least understands the most important function of a wall.

a few suggestions for wall

Dear Presadent Trump,

We must build a good wall across the southern bord–no, wait–every border to make America safe from the terrorist and gang violence and drug. It is impertive that we have thewall. I am not a engineer, but I have thought about this for long hours and I have for you a few suggestion for the build of the wall.

— do not use iron because it rust
— make it pointy and smeer points with dog feses
— make it electric and with solar panes so the terrorist will get a shock but wont cost much for the electic bill.
— put something on it that will, make people itch you cant climb and itch orscratch at the same time. Also put dog feses in the itch powder togive infection if they itch a bloody wound
— hire cowboys to ride along wall and shoot sometimes even if there arent any terrorist or gangmember the noise will scaer them and keep them geussing if they might get shot up or not. Also it will give jobs to cowboys who need jobs
— have scientists invent big trappdoor spiders and plant them on Mexico side immigrats are scaered of spiders, dogs to but spiders woud be easier to take care of i think
— i saw on tv solders was putting up bob wire, but dont use bob wire I saw on tv you can put a blanket on bob wire and climb right over it,it was in a movie but it makes sence you could do that
— if you use bob wire smeer it with horse fese haha just kidding dog feses
— ok thats it

I hope this is helpful. America really needs wall so stay stong and make America greater than it was before you was elected. All true Americas support you and not the libtards and commies like Obongo who hate America. God bless andkeep you warm.

A Fan.

ps. Melonia is the hottest first Lady ever haha just saying.

a short list of things I’d like to see in 2019

In no particular order:

The Great British Baking Show with Paul Hollywood as a contestant. Let’s see how he likes that.
— A movie car chase in which the police officer doing the chasing decides it’s just not worth the risk to the public and just stops.
— The return of home milk delivery in glass bottles.
— Playgrounds for adults, so you could go play on a swing for half an hour without other adults looking at you like you’re some sort of pedophile.
— Louis CK continuing to perform in comedy clubs…and the entire audience standing and walking out.
— A remake of Killing Eve with all the same actors but with a plot that wasn’t phenomenally stupid.
— Donald Trump and his family of grifters and traitors in handcuffs.
— Universal health care in the US.
— Universal selective service in the US. Not necessarily military service, but a couple years of compulsory national, state, or local service.
— George RR Martin admitting he’s sick to death of GoT and acknowledging he’s never going to finishing the last books, so everybody should just watch the HBO show and be satisfied.
— More respect for bollards.
— A harsh, severe, punitive tax on houses with pointless gables and extraneous dormer windows.
— Brett Kavanaugh busted for DWI.
— Gun owners actually held accountable for their guns.
— Actual usable pockets in women’s clothes. It’s 2019, for fuck’s sake.

I’m sure there’s other stuff, but this is all I could come up with while waiting for the coffee to finish becoming coffee.

What about you? What would you like to see in the coming year?

comrade trump spent three hours in iraq

I was actually prepared to give Comrade Trump some credit. I mean, he actually visited troops in a theater of combat operations. Yes, that’s something every POTUS in recent history has done and is expected to do, but let’s face it — nobody really expects Trump to behave like a president anymore. But I believe in giving credit where it’s due, so I found myself in the unusual position of giving Trump props for doing the minimum requirements of his job.

But Jeebus on toast, he had to go and fuck that up. All he had to do was go the al-Asad Air Base, shake a few hands, take a few photos with a few troops, and give a simple speech supporting their mission. Seriously, a high school student could have done that. But Trump? Apparently beyond his ability. He just couldn’t do it.

First, the point of POTUS visiting troops in a combat area is to bolster the morale of the men and women who do the fighting and killing and dying at the Commander-in-Chief’s direction. That’s it. It’s a simple task. It’s NOT even remotely a venue for partisan politics. And it should NEVER be about money.

Here’s one of the early comments in Trump’s speech to the troops:

“America shouldn’t be doing the fighting for every nation on Earth not being reimbursed. If they want us to do the fighting, they also have to pay a price — and sometimes that’s also a monetary price — so we’re not the suckers of the world. We’re no longer the suckers, folks.”

The US military isn’t a mercenary army. They’re not for hire. We don’t tell other nations we’ll protect their interests (and our interests) only IF they can reimburse us. The US military isn’t a for-profit enterprise. Comrade Trump doesn’t seem to understand that.

Then he moved on to domestic partisan politics.

We want to have strong borders in the United States. The Democrats don’t want to let us have strong borders — only for one reason. You know why? Because I want it. … You know, when you think about it, you’re fighting for borders in other countries, and they don’t want to fight — the Democrats — for the border of our country.

First, Trump makes it about him. Democrats are opposed to building a wall along the southern border just to spite him. Second, he accuses his political opponents of not wanting to protect the nation. Turning a morale-building mission into a political campaign speech is despicable.

That said, I must say I have no problem with Trump signing MAGA hats while at the air base, providing the Trump campaign didn’t bring them or distribute them. I don’t think the criticism Trump received for hat-signing is justified. If troops ask him to sign their hat, he should damn well sign their hat.

Near the end of his speech, Trump flat out lied to the troops. He lied to them in a typical Trump self-aggrandizing way.

“You just got one of the biggest pay raises you’ve ever received… You haven’t gotten one in more than 10 years — more than 10 years. And we got you a big one. I got you a big one. I got you a big one. They had plenty of people that came up. They said, ‘You know, we could make it smaller. We could make it 3 percent. We could make it 2 percent.’ I said, ‘No. Make it 10 percent. Make it more than 10 percent.'”

They’ll get a 2.8% pay raise next year, which is about average. It’s certainly not the biggest raise the military has ever received. They’ve been given a raise every year for decades. It’s not enough, of course. It’s not even close to enough. I’d applaud Trump if he actually DID fight for a meaningful pay increase for the troops, especially enlisted personnel. But he hasn’t.

And if all that wasn’t bad enough, Trump and his communications team inadvertently outed a covert Navy SEAL team. The locations of special forces units deployed abroad is classified, and showing the faces of spec ops troops is generally a violation of operational security. Trump’s team put their faces on Twitter. Twitter, for fuck’s sake.

Oh, and one more thing (there’s always one more thing when Comrade Trump is involved): he didn’t bother to meet with the Prime Minister or any Iraqi officials while he was there. He apparently doesn’t understand that US troops are stationed in Iraq with the permission of the Iraqi government. President Obama worked out an arrangement with the Iraqis; the Trump administration has been attempting to negotiate a similar long-term arrangement since the spring…without success so far. Snubbing Iraqi officials isn’t going to help. Some Iraqi officials are now calling for all US troops to be removed.

Comrade Trump was in Iraq for a total of about three hours. In that time he offended the Iraqi government, outed a covert SEAL team, lied to the troops, and turned a simple morale-building mission into a political campaign event.

Three hours. The thing is, I don’t think any of these fuck-ups were deliberate. They were all just the result of a president who doesn’t understand his job and is incapable of carrying it out. This should have been an easy gig for Trump and his team. But in three hours they managed to create a monumental clusterfuck.

I guess we should be grateful it was only three hours.

a midvinterblot’s tale

The luck of the king is the luck of the land, according to the Ynglings, the most ancient of Viking dynasties. The sad truth of this can be seen in the story of King Visbur and his son Domald — which is appropriate given that today is the winter solstice.

Visbur married the daughter of Aude the Rich. Her name is unknown to history since the value of women was only measured by their ability to give birth to sons. She gave Visbur two sons: Ond and Gisle. At some point Visbur put his wife aside and married another, whose name is also forgotten. The new wife gave him another son, Domald (sometimes called Dómaldi or Dómaldr), who was declared Visbur’s heir.

Ond, Gisle, and their poor nameless mother objected. The two sons went to Visbur to protest, but were rejected. Their mother then cursed Domald with ósgæssa — ill-luck or bad fortune. Ond and Gisle took what today would be called a pro-active approach. This is how the skald Snorri Sturluson described it:

Eptir þat sömnuðu þeir liði, ok kómu at Vísbur um nótt á úvart ok brendu hann inni.
Thereafter they collected men, came unexpectedly in the night on Visbur, and burned him in his house.

The crown passed to Domald, whose curse of ill-luck was compounded by an exaggerated sense of self-worth coupled with a distinct lack of competence. Domald’s reign was disastrous. Crops withered and failed, livestock became sickly and died. So on the winter solstice, at the time of midvinterblot — the annual sacrifice — Domald had his priests sacrifice oxen instead of sheep. The greater the sacrifice, the more it is appreciated by the gods.

It didn’t work. The crops still failed, the livestock grew thinner, old folks and children starved. At the next midvinterblot Domald had his priests sacrifice a few peasants instead of oxen.

An early version of the Sacrifice of Domald.

It didn’t work. The fields of rye and barley gave paltry yields, the hay and timothy needed to feed the livestock died before it could be harvested, the swine and cattle wasted away. So as the winter solstice and midvinterblot approached:

…a great multitude of Swedes came to Upsalir; and now the chiefs held consultations with each other, and all agreed that the times of scarcity were on account of their king Domald, and they resolved to offer him for good seasons, and to assault and kill him, and sprinkle the stalle of the gods with his blood. And they did so.

And they did so. Snorri Sturluson assures us the crops and livestock then flourished, and all were happy.

Domald dies by bloody arms,
Raised not by foes in war’s alarms
Raised by his Swedish liegemen’s hand,
To bring good seasons to the land.

Carl Larsson’s ‘Midvinterblot’ depicting the sacrifice of Domald.

We shouldn’t read anything into the similarity between the names Domald and Donald. Nor should we consider the blood oblation of midvinterblot as anything other than a metaphor for a meaningful sacrifice. But given recent events, and the promise of more chaos, upheaval, and pandemonium to come, I think it’s past time for Congressional Republicans to begin the ritual necessary to remove our own ill-fated, star-crossed Donald from power.

The luck of king, the Ynglings told us, is the luck of the land. And Comrade Donald is bad luck all around. For the good of the nation and its people, Donald Trump needs to go.

700 days

Today is Comrade Donald J. Trump’s 700th day as President of These United States. And I am completely exhausted. A lot of us (well, most of us, if you look at the popular vote totals) were pretty certain he was going to be a bad president, but I don’t think anybody expected him to be so thoroughly and consistently awful. A lot of us (well, some of us) hoped that once he grasped the nature of the job Trump would at least try to do the job well. I mean, we all benefit as a nation when the president — even if we don’t like him — succeeds.

But fuck me with a chainsaw, we can’t go a single day without a couple of scandals that would sink any other presidency. The sheer number and scale of Comrade Trump’s cascading daily outrages is staggering.

Today, for example, we learn that North Korea (you remember…Trump and Kim Jong Un ‘fell in love’ in Singapore and Trump happily reported on Twitter that “everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.”) isn’t going to denuclearize itself. I don’t think anybody but Trump actually thought they would, but now it’s official. The president got played by a third-rate dictator. That’s this morning’s horrorshow; we have time for a couple more after lunch.

 

Yesterday we learned that candidate Trump had signed…wait, do you remember when Trump said he had no business deals at all with Russia? Then he said he’d looked at a development deal in Moscow but decided against it before he became a candidate. Then he said he’d planned a major development deal in Moscow and discussions had continued while he was campaigning, but nothing had come of it. Then he admitted he’d pursued the major development deal, but hadn’t signed anything. Well, yesterday we learned he’d actually signed a letter of intent to develop the deal in Moscow. This is a consistent pattern for Trump. When caught lying, tell another lie, followed by still more lies.

Yesterday Trump also decided to pull US troops out of Syria. He’d discussed this with his boy Vlad Putin and with Turkish president Erdogan. But he didn’t bother consulting his own Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon. Or the Department of Defense, or the State Department, or the National Security Council, or members of Congress. He just went on Twitter and announced it, saying ISIS had been defeated (which probably comes as a surprise to ISIS, since there are still around fifteen thousand ISIS troops fighting in Syria). This withdrawal effectively delivers Syria entirely to Russian influence.

Also yesterday, the Trump administration decided to lift sanctions imposed by the US Treasury on Oleg Deripaska, the Russian oligarch. Deripaska, who has been described as “Putin’s favorite industrialist”, is also the guy who ‘loaned’ Trump’s former campaign manager and convicted felon Paul Manafort ten million dollars.

And the day before that? Trump was forced to close the so-called Trump Foundation after the Attorney General of New York found the charity had been used by the Trump family as a sort of slush fund for personal use. The AG noted “a shocking pattern of illegality,” including “willful and repeated…unlawful coordination with the Trump presidential campaign.” This happened after Trump’s first National Security Adviser was due to be sentenced for lying to the FBI about being an “unregistered agent of a foreign country” but before we learned that Russia had implemented a disinformation campaign against Special Counsel Robert Mueller. And, of course, yesterday the Republican National Committee announced it would merge with Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign and become a single entity — an unprecedented move that would have shocked the news media and sparked Congressional investigations two years ago. Two days ago it was just a footnote scandal.

This happens every fucking day now — scandal after outrage after malfeasance after incompetence after scandal. And every day it seems to be accelerating. Seven hundred days of this. It’s no wonder the entire nation is exhausted and frazzled and just wants to have a quiet beer someplace with friends and maybe go a full day without another two or three crises, is that too much to ask?