Apr. 1st, 2017

solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
Frankly, it's not an easy day to get through all this. I'm not the only one feeling it; Trump is too. I told him (in a tweet) that he didn't want this job, and the thing is, I meant it. He didn't know it at the time, but he didn't want it, and it's showing, as "Trump walked out of an executive order signing ceremony without having signed the executive orders" - because he was not willing to deal with questions about Russia and Flynn.

(Note that NONE OF THIS IS APRIL FOOLS' DAY ANYTHING. Horribly, freakishly, this is all real.)

Let's pick up with the Russian election subversion.

"Trump’s White House struggles to get out from under Russia controversy" is probably the understatement of the year so far. And a bad headline for a bad article, given that it kind of treats all this as political, but that's kind of why I'm including it. "Did Russia Help Trump Win the Primary? Marco Rubio Deliberately 'Sidelined,' Senate Investigation Told" has piqued Marco Rubio's interest, for whatever that's worth.

But the big question at the moment is Flynn. "Could Michael Flynn Turn on Trump?" Not yet, he's not. "Chaffetz: Flynn's request for immunity 'very mysterious'"? Perhaps. I like the analysis in "Why Michael Flynn may be seeking immunity," and I, too, immediately went to the Ollie North fiasco - wherein Ollie North's grant of immunity was key in the Reagan administration getting away with treason in Iran-Contra. Keep that in mind when considering any support for immunity for Flynn. Nonetheless, "The Trump White House is in deep legal trouble, according to Trump’s own standards." Also Flynn's, by his own pre-election statements. "Rachel Maddow Explains How Mike Pence Is Going To Go Down With Trump For Russia Scandal" reminds us of how completely nonsensical Mike Pence's "I had no idea!" response to Flynn being a foreign agent actually is. Thankfully, so far, "Senate Intelligence Committee Denies Immunity To Michael Flynn In Russia Probe." And Maxine Waters asks, "Republicans: Where are the Patriots?" Ask the Republicans who supported Reagan through Iran-Contra, and Nixon's sabotage of Vietnam peace talks in 1968. Once is an accident, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action.

"Lisa Desjardins breaks down the financial connections between President Trump, the people around him and Russia." It's a fairly short runthrough. "Trump won't reveal his taxes, so Congress should change the way presidents report their finances" writes a Republican lawyer.

"I saw what happens when a U.S. president lets Vladimir Putin get away with murder. His name was Barack Obama." is from a former president of the Republic of Georgia. A bit of a ... not a counterpoint, because he thinks Trump is far worse. But there you are.

Not that it helps that State has been being gutted. "Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spends his first weeks isolated from an anxious bureaucracy" - wherein staffers are reportedly told not to talk to him or even make eye contact. BECAUSE EYE CONTACT. WHAT.

Because hopping christ on a hairy pogo stick it's an administration made ENTIRELY OF STEROIDAL BABOONS doing NOTHING but APE GRUNT BIGGER DICK HORSESHIT apparently.

Sorry. (Not sorry.)

Fuck, where were we? Subversion or corruption, subversion or corruption? Subversion? Sure. "Betsy DeVos’s Brother, The Founder Of Blackwater, Is Setting Up A Private Army For China, Sources Say." Erik Prince says it's not really military, it's private security. Military-type private security. Like, a private army. But not military.

And, about as promised, "President Trump's Middle East Policy Consists of Bombing People."

Corruption! HHS secretary "Price intervened on rule affecting drug profits the same day he got drug stocks: report." AWESOME! More complete version of the story: "Tom Price Intervened on Rule That Would Hurt Drug Profits, the Same Day He Acquired Drug Stock."

What _should_ be administration-ending news - "Trump University Suit Settlement Approved by Judge" ($25 million payout for fraud) - goes nicely in parallel with "Trump’s Administration Is Making It Easier for For-Profit Colleges to Screw Over More Students."

Scientific American: "Republicans Want to Destroy Our National Parks. It's Up to Us to Save Them" is a call to protest. "Judge halts shutdown of last Kentucky abortion clinic" is our only old-school culture-war element today.

Locally, we have "Free press? State hits tiny paper with pricey lawsuit after it seeks public records" [Note: despite being the Seattle Times, this story is about Oregon, and involves a question of medical records] and, in the _one_ piece of good news here, Washington State "AG sues Tim Eyman for $2M, says he profited from campaigns." For those not from here, Tim Eyman is an anti-government-funding/anti-tax activist who has made a career in-state of running a for-profit company which does nothing but run rightist initiative campaigns. His signature gatherers are generally well paid, there has been fraud, almost all of his initiatives get ruled unconstitutional even if they pass, but various usual suspects - and some local people - keep funding him. He's also been busted - successfully - for spending campaign funds on personal expenses before, so _this ain't new_. Last time hurt him; hopefully this time will too.

Good luck out there.

It's April 1, 2017; this is the news )

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