This says more about American journalism than any thing else

White House misconduct. Sensational leaks. Battling broadsheets.

The swirling story around President Trump’s dealings with Russia is being compared in journalism circles to past blockbusters like Watergate and the Monica Lewinsky scandal — with a 21st-century twist.

News organizations like The Washington Post, The New York Times and CNN are jousting for scoops, but instead of sending clerks to grab the early editions from newsstands, editors watch the news unfold on Twitter in real time. Anonymous sources are driving bombshell stories, and leaks are springing from encrypted iPhone messaging apps rather than from meetings in underground parking garages.

The news cycle begins at sunrise, as groggy reporters hear the ping of a presidential tweet, and ends sometime in the overnight hours, as newspaper editors tear up planned front pages scrambled by the latest revelation from Washington. In consequence and velocity, the political developments of the past four weeks — has it been only four weeks? — are jogging memories of momentous journalistic times.

What we’ve actually got is the privileged snowflakes whining, bitterly. And not a lot more. There’s very little actual news here at all.


Non-profit advocacy group Free Speech for People has asked New York’s attorney general to investigate whether to file a lawsuit to revoke the charter of The Trump Organization for violating state business laws.
In a letter to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the group and four attorneys said that the attorney general’s office has the power to revoke the corporate charter from Trump’s organization, which has violated laws that prohibit the president from receiving payments from foreign governments.
Schneiderman’s press secretary Amy Spitalnick told ThinkProgress that the attorney general’s office will review the letter.

Review meaning, I assume, place it in the roundunderthedeskfilingcabinet.

This isn’t going to end well

WASHINGTON — Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials.

American law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee, three of the officials said. The intelligence agencies then sought to learn whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election.

The officials interviewed in recent weeks said that, so far, they had seen no evidence of such cooperation.

Just not well at all. Because we can see the beginnings at least of a plot here by he permanent state against the duly elected President.

The officials said the intercepted communications were not limited to Trump campaign officials, and included other associates of Mr. Trump. On the Russian side, the contacts also included members of the government outside of the intelligence services, they said. All of the current and former officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the continuing investigation is classified.

The officials said that one of the advisers picked up on the calls was Paul Manafort, who was Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman for several months last year and had worked as a political consultant in Ukraine. The officials declined to identify the other Trump associates on the calls.

Manafort was quite obviously working for Putin (indirectly maybe) in Ukraine. OK, but that doesn’t mean that the campaign was, it means that someone in the campaign had done so.

And tg show the difference, I worked for Ukip, I have had contacts with Russian intelligence. No one working over there for any length of time has not. I’ve had contact with the US and UK guys with three letters after their job title too. Not to any great end but as someone who once had a uranium import/export licence that’s just to be expected. My mate and business partner is an arms dealer–of course there are intelligence contacts.

None of which means that Ukip nor any campaign by it had anything to do with Russian intelligence.

But read those American claims a little more closely. People in the Trump campaign had contacts with people in Russian intelligence…..which means just about anyone senior in either government or business over there. Fine, OK, that’s the nature of the state there. B ut it is a leap, and it’s a leap which is being made, to move from such contacts to they’re cooperating on the campaign.

And do note that proof offered, that the Russians hacked the DNC. We’re note sure that’s true rather than it being a Bernie Bro pissed off and leaking.

And all of those qualifications come much later in the article. Meaning that most people won’t ever read them.

Of course, It’s entirely possible that Putin thought that Trump would be easier to deal with than Hillary (no, stop giggling at the back there) and that he did intervene. But can’t say that I’m in the slightest convinced about this “contacts from the campaign” talk.

Aaaah, so this is how it’s going to work

Russia has begun an internet offensive using false news and email hacking against Emmanuel Macron, the new favourite for the French presidency, his campaign chief said yesterday.

Richard Ferrand, manager of En Marche (On the move), the movement set up by the centrist Mr Macron, appealed to the government to defend him against “the interference of a foreign power in our democratic life”.

Any nasty stories about righty folks like Fillon are real and true and fuck off out of public life. Any nasty stories about lefty folk are fake news and Russians and hacking and IGNORE IT!

Interesting question here

In the wake of the US election, the past few months have felt like an alternate reality for many. But even in the wildest of alternate realities, did anybody think Moby would be the one to bring down the Trump administration?

In a Facebook post on Monday, the American DJ, musician and animal rights activist claimed he had spent the weekend “talking to friends who work in dc [sic]” and could therefore “accurately” post insider information about the Trump presidency.

The allegations detailed by Moby included that Trump was “being blackmailed” by the Russian government for “much more nefarious things” than prevailing rumours already suggest, but that the Trump administration is simultaneously “in collusion” with the Russian government “and has been since day one”.

What could you actually blackmail Trump about?

If it were something sexual it would have to be up there with dead boys for absolutely everyone knows that he’s not kept in his pants over the years (actually, would be fun to know who the current mistress is, wouldn’t it?). Money? Taxes? There’s not much I can see there that could be used. We can’t even try out the idea that he’s a Grey Alien for all know that was Hills.

So, what could anyone use to blackmail Trump with?

This is interesting

Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s national security adviser, has resigned from his post after less than one month in office following reports that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russia.

The standard political move is to blow smoke, deny that there’s a problem and then, when someone does eventually go, deny there ever was a problem.

Here we seem to have “Yup, Mike, that was a fuck up. Goodbye”

I wonder if this rather businesslike attitude toward failure is going to be a constant theme?

This is an interesting start, isn’t it?

Al Franken has repeated his contention that some of his fellow senators think Donald Trump is “not right mentally”.

“A few” Republicans are so concerned, the Minnesota Democrat told CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday. “It’s not the majority of them, it’s a few.”

Such concerns are expressed, he said, “in the way all of us have this suspicion. He lies a lot, he says things that aren’t true, that’s the same as lying I guess”.

Start with the he’s a bit odd thing some Rs and within a couple of months it will have moved to “All Rs think he’s mad so impeach!”

Blimey, George Monbiot is turning Conservative!

Looks like genetics will out:

There are hundreds of examples of how this might begin, such as community shops, development trusts, food assemblies (communities buying fresh food directly from local producers), community choirs and free universities (in which people exchange knowledge and skills in social spaces). Also time banking (where neighbours give their time to give practical help and support to others), transition towns (where residents try to create more sustainable economies), potluck lunch clubs (in which everyone brings a homemade dish to share), local currencies, Men’s Sheds (in which older men swap skills and escape from loneliness), turning streets into temporary playgrounds (like the Playing Out project), secular services (such as Sunday Assembly), lantern festivals, fun palaces and technology hubs.

Turning such initiatives into a wider social revival means creating what practitioners call “thick networks”: projects that proliferate, spawning further ventures and ideas that weren’t envisaged when they started. They then begin to develop a dense, participatory culture that becomes attractive and relevant to everyone rather than mostly to socially active people with time on their hands.

Aka Edmund Burke’s little platoons.

Tears in heaven over sinner that repenteth and all that.

Senate Democrats to Vote For Andy Puzder as Labor Sec

Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder acknowledged Tuesday that he had employed an undocumented worker as a housekeeper, putting him again at odds with President Donald Trump’s push to keep jobs in American hands.

Puzder said in a statement that he and his wife were unaware the housekeeper was not legally permitted to work in the U.S. during the years they employed her.

“When I learned of her status, we immediately ended her employment and offered her assistance in getting legal status,” Puzder said. “We have fully paid back taxes to the IRS and the State of California.

Well, obviously they will, right? Because the Senate Dems think that the undocumented should not be discriminated against, should be aided in becoming legal residents?

I have got that right, yes? No one would play just mere politics with something like this, would they?

Polly’s rather talking it up isn’t she?

For Ukip the stakes could not be higher. Lose here and the party is well and truly dead: its new leader, and its candidate here, Paul Nuttall buried on his first outing. Byelections are the great hope of insurgent parties, when voters can indulge in risk-free protest. No seat could be riper than this Brexit hotspot, where almost 70% voted leave: Stoke perfectly matches this week’s BBC research showing the closest correlation between high Brexit areas and low education qualifications.

Only the idiots vote for Brexit says that last line.

Not beating Labour in a seat which has been Labour since creation in 1950 (and one of the constituent parts was Labour back before 1910 as well) would be most disappointing but not a disaster.

But then, you know, Polly, shape expectations, all that.

Not really quite getting it

If the last week has shown us anything, it’s that Donald Trump has power, but he doesn’t have much of a mandate yet.

In a democracy winning the election is the mandate.

As to the rest of it the writer is from a splinter socialist group (proper socialist, not just Bernie Bro’)

There is every reason to believe that if confronted, this caste can be overtaken. We’re in a shocking new political era. Just in the past few months, thousands of people have joined leftwing organizations such as the Democratic Socialists of America, and millions more are trying to get active politically at the local level.

Oooooh, yes please! Snowflakes partitioning themselves of from America. What could possibly go wrong?

A period of silence from you would be welcome

Barack Obama and his aides expected to take on President Donald Trump at some point, but they didn’t think it would happen this quickly.

Now they’re trying to find the right balance on issues that demand a response, and how to use Obama deliver the selective pushback. Obama and his team are monitoring what’s happening at the White House, and not ruling out the possibility that Obama will challenge Trump more forcefully in the coming months, according to people who’ve been in contact with the former president.

You’ve had your 8 years matey, you’re out of office. Sure, as a private citizen you’ve almost all the political rights of everyone else (you’re not allowed to run for Pres again though).

However, a period of silence would be welcome. Perhaps you might like to take up portrait painting? Building hovels for poor people? Possibly spend decades proclaiming that “I am not a crook”?

For opposer in chief of your successor is not quite what we expect from ex-Presidents.