A rambling blog post

Our constant hysterical political climate disgusts me.  Trump’s constant braggadocio, petty attacks and rambling , fact-free word salads disgust me.  The Democrats and media hysterical spin about Trump disgusts me.  As far as political commentary or analysis goes, the various smart takes in 2016 remain the same in 2019, as our American political hamster wheel spins round and round.

For the most part lately, I’ve gotten off the daily habit of tracking the partisan spin throughout the day.  Perhaps if something interesting or new happens, I’ll write about it, but fair warning, the rest of this post will be another detour about my efforts to make peace between our consumerist culture and the myriad counter-cultural efforts to combat our wasteful American lifestyle.

Last night I watched a short CNN video on Twitter about a fashion designer, zero waste daniel, who started a clothing design business using only scrap fabric waste.  His approach of sewing together small scraps of fabric to create larger pieces of fabric, from which to construct his clothing designs, while being a trendy environmental-mindful concept, does highlight our society’s love affair with consumer goods, where most of us acquire way more than we consume and live totally unconcerned about our wastefulness.

There’s a common mindset among more conservative Americans and the political right to dismiss everything coming from the liberal environmentalist echo chamber, but perhaps we should all try to be a little more open to listening and considering the merits of ideas, before making snap partisan political judgments.

Many aspects of our environmentally conscious activism do stem from the political left, then take hold in American businesses, who react to the political activism.  Many businesses respond to and embrace the latest politicized framing of appropriate environmentally conscious policies.  This type of political pressure infuriates many on the right.

On the merits, though, pushing all of the politics aside, being less wasteful, using less disposable packaging and taking a more mindful approach to our consumer habits seem like very traditional, conservative American thrifty values, that would even have appealed to Benjamin Franklin and most of our American founders.  The less wasteful approaches definitely were ingrained habits to my parents and grandparents.

Moving to a crafting/needlework blog post, explains why I haven’t been blogging much lately…  I have been stitching away… using all stuff that’s been sitting here for many years.

I struggle with my consumerist mindset and am working to rethink my relationship with purchasing many items, that clutter up my home,  and often have never been used.  However, moving to a zero waste lifestyle takes way more commitment and effort than I will expend, so it’s small steps in my life.

For decades, I purchased loads of craft and needlework supplies, without much concern or thought about the possibility of having too much stuff.  Yet, the thought of parting with my craft and needlework stuff just isn’t happening yet, but I now strive not to buy more, unless it’s some basic supply that I really need.

A few years ago, I began an effort to make projects using only stuff I already have and that’s what that hummingbird cross-stitch picture above is.  I bought a bunch of small Spring-themed counted cross-stitch kits  (and some not so small ones too) on clearance at Walmart, over the many years that I worked there.  I stitched a couple of these a few years ago and posted a photo, but never fear, I have more to go:

I have a hard time seeing to stitch on 18-count, so I used 14 Aida cloth from my supplies for the  hummingbird and a bunny kit last weekend.  I bought two of the bunny kits, for no logical reason…:

I did finish that Diane Graebner Amish design (out of the hoop and needs pressing):

Learning more about finishing my needlework into some useful or decorative item leads me to read a lot of cross-stitch blogs and browse Pinterest frequently.  That habit leads me to want… more new cross stitch stuff, especially the nicer linens and evenweave fabrics and threads.  It takes a constant effort to remind myself that, while stitching on plain old Aida cloth isn’t as nice as stitching on expensive fabrics, these kits and Aida projects still look nice, I think.

Yesterday afternoon, I was torturing myself looking at the blog of a very talented cross stitch designer, Brenda Gervais.  All of her patterns scream, “I want to stitch that!”.  Gervais wrote a short background story to her 2017 series, Summer Schoolhouse ~ Lessons in Abecedarian.  She relates how she found a small children’s book while hunting for antiques, but it wasn’t just any old book.  It was a copy of the oldest children’s book in the Library of Congress and it’s considered to be the oldest children’s book in print.   This book contains the first documented use of the word, baseball.  In the process of browsing cross stitch blogs, I learned a new word: abecedarian and a bit of historical trivia too.

To fill my fix for something new, there are lots of free patterns online.  I stitched this free St.Patrick’s Day cats piece, by Lynn B., twice.  I am going to make them into little decorative pillows or perhaps frame them, but one is for a family member and then I liked these black cats so much, I stitched one for me too:

Yesterday, was another free pattern start, Russian Dolls, this one from DMC:

Plus, I have a bigger cross stitch project of a Liberty Bell, that’s in progress, but that one deserves a fancier Belfast white linen, not plain old Aida cloth.  Just started this, so it’s only the top of Independence Hall and some of the lettering:

Of course, still working on plastic canvas too:

Not sure what I’ll do with this house picture, but it’s a design that I like, so I stitched it…

It’s very hard for me to concentrate on writing lately, but I’ll try to get back to politics soon.

355 Comments

Filed under General Interest

355 responses to “A rambling blog post

  1. JK

    Thought to clarify. Before the August [really September] revision an ‘urgent report’ required the reporter to be a first hand witness – now hearsay rumors are apparently perfectly acceptable.

    And a slight change to my phrasing, “and you didn’t regard that as urgent?”

    • What worries me most JK, that for all intents and purposes due to the relentless spin on both sides America already teeters on the brink of lawlessness. The Dems/high-level Obama peeps and the Clinton machine will not allow any criminal prosecutions to move forward against high-level Dems involved in the Russian-Collusion smear campaign. I’ve seen a lot of Trump pundits refer to it as a “hoax”, but it was an orchestrated smear campaign to paint Trump as a Russian agent.

      Sure many liberal media people know the spin they’re spreading is lies, but I suspect many more of them truly believe all the Dem spin. All of the liberal media’s “trusted sources” are Dems or former Obama officials. Fox operates the same way running the Trump show. There’s no way to break through the entrenched binary-thinking when it’s always red pill vs. blue pill spin drama.

      We’re in for a very rocky road, especially with CNN and MSNBC having “trusted sources” who might soon be targets of a federal criminal investigation – Clapper, Brennan, McCabe, James Baker, etc.

      • JK

        Think LB we’ve already passed the threshold of (general) lawlessness. We don’t see it (much) owing to where we are but were we to be for a day a fly on the wall of any of the myriad offices of Washington DC or, for instance, wearing a MAGA hat on the streets of Portland Oregon or Seattle Washington it’d be plainly evident.

        You’re right about the term “hoax” though, and have been all along, what we’re witnessing is at its simplest ‘spin’ or, to put it in pre-media meme terms, manipulation. You’re correct too where the “two audiences” (although that’s simplistic it’s convenient) are concerned but that’s just one of the ways mob mentality – in an earlier age, mass hysteria – manifests. The Covington kids and Jussie Smollet case studies.

        Quite rocky indeed.

        (There are actually two James Bakers in the mix – the one formerly counsel at the Bureau and the other some role at DIA.)

      • Way back in 1998, I knew the Clinton lawlessness and use of spin info warfare was a very dangerous road, but I’ve always lacked any way to prove what happened to me, other than a plan I came up, which could take years to acquire the evidence to make a strong enough RICO case against them.

        You mentioned recently that I seem to lead an active life, well, that’s completely untrue.
        My grandkids live in another state, so I see them only rarely. My husband’s condition is much worse, but after several weird contacts from people we knew during Desert Storm, and since I started this blog in 2012 there have been many attacks on my computer and more strange occurrences than I care to even mention – I trust no one, I always pay close attention to what’s going on around me in public, I leave my house only when necessary. I don’t know what efforts are underway or if there’s any progress in investigating what happened to me – because I don’t want to know unless there’s enough evidence to prove who is at the top.

        There’s no way anyone high up would be charged with any crime at this point, since it happened so long ago, but I keep plugging along writing about the corrupt spin info war and trying to implode dumb spin attacks on Twitter for only one reason. This spin information warfare will destroy America’s ability to unite on anything and is a grave national security threat.

        In my case, the Clinton smear operatives hunted me down from the Excite message boards, where I was posting anonymously, they investigated me and located that retired general (who is still a reliable Dem general). Then they fed him a pack of lies and recruited him to silence me. They sent a retired general to attack an Army wife… and my only offense was writing about their stupid spin information warfare and mocking their dumb spin efforts.

        They corrupted the military chain of command and abused power in a totally egregious manner.

        What it’s like living with your reputation destroyed within your family, where everyone believes you’re a nut case, has been hell. I have zero credibility in my family and get treated like the dotty relative, whom everyone talks to like I’m fragile. My kids turned to reporting on me to my sisters and trusting them to confide in. I get talked about within my family, rather than talked to.

        I’ve learned patience through this ordeal and I work on forgiveness every day, because I refuse to hate anyone. But what happened to me should never happen to any American.

        The larger picture though is their spin/smear campaign efforts have corrupted every part of the federal government – in 2016 we had Dem and Repub retired generals, the Supreme Court is a hotbed of partisan rancor, we have the POTUS and the Obama-aligned intel peeps at war, the FBI at the highest level was corrupted and Pelosi and Cummings in 2016 called the FBI field agents investigating the Clinton Foundation “Trump fanboys”. Our political institutions are at the breaking point. Lawlessness is advancing rapidly.

        The thing about all their smear campaigns is they comb the target’s background and look for people who hate or have a lot of personal animosity toward the target.

        The two incidents you mentioned – the Covington kids and the Jussie Smollett, well, my sense is these two incidents were highly likely not just random cases of some stupid partisan acting stupidly. The way that Covington kids video was quickly deleted on Twitter and Twitter said it was just one lone school teacher – time to move and the media moved on immediately, made me feel it had to be another orchestrated Dem smear operation. With Smollett, Michelle Obama’s former administration aide, Tina Tchen, jumped in trying to do damage control and get the case brushed under the carpet.

        https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/30/us/jussie-smollett-tina-tchen/index.html

        The part of the Smollett story that made me believe it was an orchestrated smear operation rather than just Smollett acting on his own, was the two guys he paid to help him stage that told police they rehearsed the script. I wonder who wrote that script and who coordinated the media spin effort to frame the narrative and sensationalize it. It all smelled like an orchestrated Dem smear operation to me.

  2. JK

    I thought to revisit the facts as I put them in these my most recent comments in order to ensure my memory hadn’t played tricks on me. Admitting not bothering with a detailed chronology. Last evening typing how Schiff had emphasized “urgent” in his questioning of the acting DNI. Rather glad I did so because my memory did indeed leave me missing there being a second element equally important – “credible.”

    I blame the pace of media – Well a fella has to blame somebody right?

    Anyway before the media “bombshell” [#947,212th AT … Like dates bearing either of BC or AD get it?] about the whistleblower there was some befuddlement in certain circles – but then when the bombshell smacked down this first link clearly establishes Schiff had advance knowledge:

    https://www.lawfareblog.com/mysterious-whistleblower-complaint-what-adam-schiff-talking-about

    The “ambush” commences at 35:16

    https://www.c-span.org/video/?464509-1/acting-director-national-intelligence-maguire-testifies-whistleblower-complaint

    Next up – The Spin (made readily apparent whenever either of the tale-teller’s partisans employ some form of the words “hoax” or, in the case of the other currently “bogus” in their respective first paragraph)

    https://www.factcheck.org/2019/10/no-hearsay-rule-change-for-whistleblowers/

  3. JK

    Figured you’d get a kick outta that.

    This podcast filled in some blanks for me LB, I think you ought listen:

    https://www.judicialwatch.org/videos/tune-in-for-tom-fittons-weekly-update/

    • JK, the bios and timeline he lays out sure put a lot of 2016 events into perspective and raise more alarming questions about what the hell the Clinton/Obama people were doing. They used the power of US intelligence and the FBI to try to stop Trump, because the Clinton dirty trick to derail the GOP primary – the “GOP Insurgent” backfired and they were desperate to stop Trump, by any means possible.

      I still wonder how much Trump knew about the big media efforts to give him endless hours of free media to promote him and if he was aware that was a Clinton dirty trick.

      I didn’t know about the connections between Michael Cohen and Felix Sater, but what are the odds than out of all the lawyers in America, Michael Cohen hired Lanny Davis?

      Watching this Dem impeachment circus, well, Trump certainly lacks the Dems ability to orchestrate complex webs of deceit like the Clinton machine. Trump and Giuliani, on the other hand, look like a lame Laurel and Hardy routine… where even Schiff’s impeachment circus looks like it might be enough to get Trump impeached. Trump wants to run his own impeachment defense effort and his lawyer is implicated in the alleged corrupt actions.

      • JK

        Figured him laying out the timelines would be the thing kept you interested. Sater I’d seen somewhere “growing up mere streets away” from where Cohen came of age and though it did occur to me at the time “That’s curious, I wonder if … And about the same age … Wonder how many schools are in that neighborhood?”

        But then I got sidetracked onto something else (and is it any wonder!) then didn’t think about it anymore until that presentation.

        And as we’re on the subject of “complex webs” isn’t it quite amazing where that Weissman fellow keeps popping up everywhere one looks?

        I don’t think its a coincidence Flynn’s new lawyer that Sidney Powell lady showed up seeing as how it’s Judge Sullivan on the bench and Weissman’s lurking in the underbrush on that one too. Wouldn’t make any difference I suppose if I never found out but I wonder if Flynn went looking for Powell or if it was the other way ’round?

        Oh Schiff’s gonna impeach Trump alright – no way there’s a conviction in the Senate though.

        Well maybe one conviction. Joe Biden.

        Dems have misjudged the utility of using the impeachment process – but given the base I don’t know it coulda been avoided – but by my mentioning Biden’s being the only conviction I probably ought expand on my reasoning.

        In a phrase – a circular firing squad.

      • I suspect the Clinton machine, of which Schumer and Pelosi can be counted to fall in line, decided to run this “impeachment inquiry” charade at the behest of the Clintons. The Dem insiders keep their eyes peeled for any Trump antics that might be spun up into a vehicle as an “impeachable offense” and this Trump-Ukraine mess fit the bill rather well. Biden has been an underperformer and no match for Trump. Warren and Sanders are too far left, but ultimately it boils down to Hillary wants to be president and exact revenge on Trump for stealing her glory.

        The other big driving force has to be fear of the impending Horowitz/Durham investigations, which impeachment can help spin under the carpet.

        However, I think there’s more craziness (corruption) with Rudy’s Kiev Kapers that’s going to make it hard for Republicans to ignore. The quid pro quo phone call could be the least egregious allegation. Trump’s first impulse is always to do the most corrupt action, then his minders jump into action to talk him around to why that corrupt action would be very bad and they do massive damage control. Then Trump completely backtracks, while still maintaining his actions were perfect. Even Kelly asserting if he had been there Trump wouldn’t be facing impeachment speaks to this pattern. Trump can be relied on to choose the most corrupt, self-defeating course of action every time.

        And just like he did throughout the Mueller investigation, Trump’s going to be on the phone and telling people around him to lie, cover-up, etc. because that’s exactly what he does. He’s used having his lawyers buy silence.

        2016 death match looks like it’s not going to end anytime soon.

  4. JK

    “Raise more alarming questions about what the hell the Clinton/Obama people were doing.”

    Sorry about overlooking that but still that can be handled shorter than a phrase using a mere single word – Inevitable.

    Somehow though I doubt we’ll be hearing the pundit class using it this time.

  5. JK
  6. JK

    Owing to a general feeling of not wanting to be on the most current post …

    “It’s become part of the mainstream media mythmaking in the Trump era to present everything that happened during the Obama years was above reproach and pretend the Obama executive branch operated totally committed to doing all things professionally, transparently and by the book!” (See Susan Rice’s email to herself immediately before Obama’s term ended.)

    Onto other matters:

    https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/11/more-evidence-that-the-comey-fbi-was-a-malevolent-clown-show-by-larry-c-johnson.html#more

    Mr. Johnson’s link to Techno Fog’s source-tweet leaves something less than desired so …

    https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6234142/136/united-states-v-flynn/

    Not least where the Flynn case is concerned the prize from the Crackerjacks; a sourcelink to “everything Flynn”

    https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6234142/united-states-v-flynn/?page=2

    • JK, America might be heading to a total political nervous breakdown, if the Durham/Horowitz investigations expose the whole level of corruptions at the highest levels of the Obama administration, with the Clinton machine, and this impeachment drama rolls on.

      I’ve started reading the impeachment transcripts. The Trump corruption is less-orchestrated than the Clinton/Dem/Obama adventures, but geesh, the Giuliani escapades in Ukraine seem to me like a third-rate Sid Vicious knock-off, with trying to destroy this ambassador to Ukraine.

      I’m almost done with the 351 pages of her transcript and will likely do blog posts as I finish them with my thoughts – but I don’t believe she was some malignant Deep State actor, but only someone whom some corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor (as if there are any other kind…)Letschenko (sp?) fed Giuliani lies about. She seemed totally dismayed that she was being smeared on Twitter and FOX News by Giuliani, Don Jr. and Hannity and she had no means to defend herself. Her concerns that she raised with her superiors were nuts – Ambassador Sondland advised her to tweet out support for Trump. And in the State Dept. her superiors told her they knew it was all lies, and the most she got in support was assurances the Sec of State or someone would call Hannity for information.

      The most disturbing part was the State Dept. had just asked her to extend for a year, when this Giuliani-led smear campaign kicked into high gear to destroy her. When Trump decided to fire her, the State Dept. higher ups wanted her to leave Ukraine immediately out of security concerns – they were worried about her safety if Trump impulsively tweeted something bad about her. She served 5 previous administrations – 33 years of dedicated service, with no problems.

      Erdogan is visiting Trump next week, so who knows how he’ll manipulate Trump into some crazy crap this time.

      I still am undecided on impeachment and would prefer to just let the voters decide though, because anything Washington does turns into a massive spin freak show

      I’ve been following the UndercoverHuber tweets about the Flynn 302 – quite amazing.

      I think it’s obvious that the FBI head honchos were working closely with the Lynch DOJ to bury the Clinton investigations (email and foundation) and then when Trump won, those still in place jumped on board the Trump-Russian collusion smear effort to take down Trump. At this point, Trump’s corrupt antics are growing by leaps and bounds. With another 5 years, he’ll be matching the Clinton machine level corruption.

      No winners for America with this mess, that’s for sure.

      • JK

        Ignorant where the process of creating the transcripts goes so I’ve not bothered with ’em (really no time for it anyway however I am curious about one thing that might get me interested in making time.

        Are the witness statements subject to Republican cross examination or are the statements more or less just the individual’s “story”? The Right-leaning media does seem to be making that case and owing to my reading of how “the impeachment process[es]” of the past all having some semblance of due process – eg prosecutor [special prosecutors in the 20th C] counsel for defense – but in this case the impeachment process, such as it is, being conducted in an Intel Committee rather than a Judiciary setting tends me to think the Right-leaning media may well have a point.

      • In the Yovanovitch one, which is my first one, it seems like most other Congressional hearings – opening statement, then both Dems and Republicans ask questions. These have longer blocks of time for questioning and it seems like Dems got more time, but reading it didn’t seem like it was “Soviet-style” honestly. The basic facts of what happened aren’t in dispute – she was asked by the Trump State Dept. to extend a year, then Giuliani, Don Jr. and Hannity started smearing her in the media and Trump fired her. Giuliani based his allegations on some Ukrainian prosecutor telling him stuff, but this Ukrainian guy later changed his story and said his allegations weren’t true. This lady supported Trump’s official foreign policy, supported the military aid too & his State Dept asked her to extend a year, but Giuliani wanted her gone.

  7. JK

    A Ukrainian changing his (or her) story? Surely you jest?

    Kidding (sorta). One question though, was that ambassador serving in place during the previous administration, maybe not in the same capacity?

    Well maybe two, what were the issues the Ukrainian prosecutor had “concerns” over leading to the allegations in the first place – before Guiliani ever arrived on scene?

    My mind’s been spun quite severely just trying to follow the election stuff and the IC (incl. Flynn) shenanigans – don’t know I can handle Ukraine adding to the whirl. I just last week completed the p/t regime ameliorating my June whiplashing and wouldn’t look forward to having another go what with icy roads in the forecast an’ all.

    By the way LB, using the two days of 60° weather allotted me Monday and Tuesday I got my thermal underwear outta storage in preparation for what looks to be in my neighborhood by Sunday – probably in yours come Wednesday – so if you didn’t do Step 2 of the two step process of checking batteries when the time changed you better do so at double quicktime.

    Step 1 – Fresh batteries in the smoke detector.

    Step 2 – Check the battery[ies] powering your electric socks are functioning at spec.

    • JK

      Logging off my email I noticed this:

      https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/yovanovitch-communicated-with-dem-staffer-on-delicate-issue-after-complaint-emails-show-despite-testimony/

      Unfamiliar as I am with Mdme Ambassador’s testimony I’m unqualified to adjudge whether it makes a material difference – What’s LB, your read?

      • I read the transcript and she can correct the records if she needs to. She acknowledged being contacted, but she thought she referred it to the State Dept. and was contacted later to talk to Congressional Dems. If my memory serves me, Madam Ambassador recalled 2 emails from some Dem staffer.

        It may become a hill-to-die-on Trumper spin talking point to bolster their “witch hunt” spin, but I don’t think it does anything to deal with Trump’s impeachment problems.

        The testimony in these hearings builds the case that Trump absolutely tied the military aid to his demands for an investigation into 2016, Bidens, Crowdstrike, some mystery server and Burisma. Trump even demanded the president of Ukraine make the announcement of these investigations on CNN.

        The more I think about this ambassador situation is worse than the phone call. What happened to her is a gross abuse of power, especially considering Trump’s own State Dept. asked her extend her stay, then Trump attorney and son waged a media smear campaign against her. She got no help from Pompeo and this smear campaign was coming from the Oval Office. That smear campaign undermined her ability to do her job and she had no legal protections.

  8. JK

    In expectance you’ll be reading Andy’s latest note my above using the terms “semblance of due process.”

    Twentieth century practices where impeachment[s] are concerned differ markedly from that of Andrew Johnson in that then in “testing evidence” Congress hadn’t realized the conveniences such that Special Prosecutors could protect the juries’ own transgressions becoming issues.

    Now we find in the twenty-first impeachments are, essentially, just PR.

    Or put another way, spin.

  9. JK

    A reading recommendation LB, except this time there’s no need to lay out any money to Jeff Bezos or wait for your weekly trip to the library – you can thank me later if at all.

    As you’ll no doubt recall from the way our ‘working together’ (O’Bagy) developed I employ the technique of returning to the source to sift some more. That Larry Johnson piece just above when I first noticed it had a mere 11 comments – one notably hearkening back to a subject I think we asked ourselves fairly recently on this exact thread (along the lines of ‘How did Mrs Powell find herself employed by Flynn in the first place’ & ‘How is it this Weissman character keeps popping up?’) Anyway I noticed some guy [gal] calling himself “Factotum” [ 06 November 2019 at 02:58 PM ] posing much the same – returning today I see he’s answered himself.

    But most recently we find ourselves occupied with “matters relating to Ukraine in this instance specifically but generally speaking, Eastern Europe” and how that’s got to be somehow pertinent in our domestic politics/spin. However there’s another commentor only very infrequently offers stuff on Mr. Johnson’s posts far more frequently Col. Lang’s a fellow [in this case I’m certain male – reminds me of Able in some ways interestingly] Anyway *Factotum replying to *Brent – Long story short Factotum apparently incites one English Outsider to join in.

    I regard what *English Outsider adds to the conversation as gold.

    Albeit only in a roundabout sense generally speaking – rather like what we get (or used to get pre, oh maybe 1990) that is “someone speaking on background.”

    Not particularly pertinent to the goings on of our current topic but nonetheless good grounding. *David Habakkuk’s two comments likewise.

  10. JK

    I’m thinking now LB it wasn’t me and you wondering how Sidney got into this latest stuff (I’ve got into this thread’s, I think, 2nd page and I don’t see where either of us mention the subject.

    There is something you put up on October 1st though we might return to or at least, bear in mind – specifically:

    “The only thing I’ve never been sure about is if Bill Clinton and Trump initially worked out some “deal” for Trump to run that GOP Insurgency, to gain publicity for his reality show . Still wonder if it was something like that. …”

    That remains nagging at me too to this day.

    The wonder is though – presuming that was the case – isn’t it quite remarkable that without that “deal” none of the revelations since; what the IC’s apparently done, the Mueller Investigation/Report, “the whistleblower” and now this uhm “impeachment” would have ever come into the public’s view?

    History I think LB may well view what we’re suffering in our days quite differently than we, living through it, do.

    That is, depending on what result we eventually come to. That being as the comment thread I earlier mentioned we come to either the continuation of what I’ve always worked toward, the United States or, Eastern Europe.

    Or worse. Shariah.

  11. Sorry for not responding sooner, JK. Got sidetracked with some other stuff and then fell asleep. I’m still pondering that comment thread you pointed out earlier. I’ve felt like a broken record going on about the dangers of this spin war for years now, but as I was writing about during the 2016 election, and where America is at now, having the entire media in America engaged in escalating scorched earth spin war has broken the news media in America, leaves me deeply concerned for our future. The spin cycles have escalated, with the media churning out “news” that’s more partisan flame-throwing than any sort of carefully researched informational product. The mainstream media relies on only highly partisan “sources” to churn out stories and America, as a result of the rabid, partisan political and media culture keeps fracturing more and more. The war between Trump and Dems might lead us to a place we where we’re unable to function – a lawless, spin-driven place, where the “rules” change constantly based on media-driven rage and powerful media charlatans inciting the masses. The partisan political factions and media figures, who drive this scorched earth spin war control America, in ways that fuel and drive this growing, bizarre form of high-tech tribalism.

    I hate to be so gloomy, but this spin war destroys any common meaning of words and it’s destroying any respect for the rule of law, in ways I never expected to see in America. So many of the Congressional Republicans are acting like Democrats now, refusing to accept political outcomes they don’t like and trying to spin them away.

    With this impeachment inquiry, they are outright refusing to accept any findings that run counter to Trump and when the Horowitz/Durham findings come out, Democrats will refuse to accept findings that expose Dem corruption. We will then be living in a new world, where the rule of law among both sides of partisans in Washington has no meaning. They can do anything they want, with just some orchestrated spin theatrics to gloss over the lawlessness.

    • JK

      “The war between Trump and Dems might lead us to a place we where we’re unable to function – a lawless, spin-driven place, where the “rules” change constantly based on media-driven rage and powerful media charlatans inciting the masses.”

      That’s really the worry isn’t it – not so much the personalities rather the atmosphere driving us into a state in which were “unable to function.”

      I’ve always carried – and “gloomed” over a lingering memory I’ve carried since my Dad took me along on this one particular housecall – in hindsight I’m thinking the poor fellow Dad attended that day had some form of Lou Gehrig’s disease except that, as I was given to understand the lingering inability to function had lasted, and was to continue for some time to come because, apparently the fellow’s breathing function was unaffected. His sole means of communication being his ability to blink one eye but only the one eye. Scares me to this day. Scares me in a way that combat never had the ability to produce.

    • I was living in Germany when the Wall came down. A common complaint among West Germans once the massive influx of East Germans occurred was how their junky communist cars were a menace on the autobahns. They definitely weren’t up to speed with any West German BMW, Mercedes or Porsche and West Germans don’t like anyone slowing them down on the autobahn.

      • JK

        That’s funny LB.

        By the way, you remember from a couple days ago my mentioning you’d may be happy if you checked to make sure the batteries in your electric socks were good?

        https://w1.weather.gov/data/obhistory/KBPK.html

        That first column’s the date the second’s the time – notice at 00:53 looking over it’s showing a southerly wind and just abit over from there a temperature of 56°?

        Now look at the top entries.

        Tshirt yesterday – not now though.

    • Any opinions on this impeachment drama yet, JK?

      • JK

        Nope.

        May have some after such time as I’ve read some blogger’s takes on it as my plans are to avoid, as much as possible, media (all the overtly partisan anyway) reporting and, as I really ain’t got the time, even the C-Span airings.

        After all LB, I did catch every moment of the Mueller Show and I figure that was enough. Figuring I can wait for the release on Netflix.

      • Well, this hearing appears to be heading to be a farce, perhaps not as bad as the Nadler “Mueller” show, but still not much better.

        Each side, with their respective TV media spin teams and Twitter “live tweet” squads , jumped into full-blown spin mode.

        Gonna be mostly a farce, I suspect. I thought perhaps Schiff could give it a whiff of legitimacy, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.

  12. JK

    As I’ve readily admitted LB, I’m not following this latest stuff at all but I know you are to some more or less degree.

    Given that you are following along I’d appreciate your take on the allegations here:

    https://johnsolomonreports.com/the-real-ukraine-controversy-an-activist-u-s-embassy-and-its-adherence-to-the-geneva-convention/

    • I’ll read it JK, but now that I know DiGenova has been sharing information with Soloman and DiGenova is the lawyer for Firtash, who’s in Vienna fighting extradition to the US for bribery, I’m just not so trusting of Solomon’s reporting. Don’t really trust anyone who is invested in advancing or promoting Trump or Dem spin narratives.

      The media (all of them) are so entwined with the political goings on, that frankly, it’s becoming a waste of time to read any of their reporting – and I do mean – any of them.

      No one can sift through this growing pile of spin garbage or keep track of it, because we’re all going to be sucked down some rabbit holes, which will make it more and more difficult to analyze facts. You either start trusting the red pill propaganda or the blue pill propaganda and that is the point of this massive spin war to confuse (and control) people with non-stop spin agitprop.

      The news media is so infested with partisan spin efforts, Trump and Dem, that for me it’s probably better to analyze the spin war writ large.

      I know that both Dems, Republicans and Trump were heavily involved in Ukraine in 2016, but even long before that. I think they’re all crooked or flat out crooks.

      There’s so much contradictory information, JK, that I honestly don’t think I’m smart enough to sift through this ever-growing spin pile and find any golden kernels.

  13. JK

    Oh you’re smart enough LB – time’s more the element with Solomon’s reporting. For instance something ‘popped’ as I was perusing his links some of which were reminiscent of Ignatius’ reporting that [allegedly] wound up being used as verifying what the FBI leaked to Ignatius in the first place as evidence enough for a FISA warrant.

    I’ll just paste a comment I left on ‘Who’s Site We Acquainted On’

    “I should probably qualify […] the “when” part of the timeline I might be expecting any ‘comment you might care to make’ because there’s alot of linked stuff that; at any rate I’m unfamiliar with how, exactly, State operates.

    Take for instance page two of four of this from Victoria Nuland (Date: June 9th, 2016) I note on the “To” line the name Eric Ciaramella. That seems to ring a bell. Now where have I run across that name recently? … (sounds of mouseclicks ensue) …

    Oh yeah here it is:

    https://thefederalist.com/2019/11/10/schiffs-committee-published-name-of-alleged-whistleblower-last-week/

    How unusual is that, […] somebody ‘To’d’ on an email from Victoria Nuland and dated way back from 2016 would bear so similarly named as [who it has been alleged] is the whistleblower that’s started just yesterday the first public hearings in an impeachment?

    Somehow at least to this pore ol’ dumb hillbilly that don’t seem a likely coincidence.

    But I could be misguided I suppose.

    Take your time [LB].

    • Well, JK, I read some of the transcripts and Schiff was heavy-handed in those private hearings and then yesterday watching the open hearing, where he couldn’t muzzle Republicans, his carefully constructed case had some serious problems and let’s say I do believe Trump acted totally inappropriately with asking the president of Ukraine to investigate the Bidens and I also believe Giuliani’s antics in Ukraine were a mix of his personal business, Trump’s errand boy and interfering in State Dept business. It was totally inappropriate for Giuliani to be trashing the ambassador to Ukrainian officials.

      That said Trump has the absolute power to fire her for any reason or no reason at all, but what infuriates me is Trump acts as low as the worst Democrat sewer rats waging smear campaigns in the media. He mainstreamed the Dem model orchestrated media smear efforts in the GOP and that means both parties are totally corrupt spin operations.

      The things you pointed out make me wonder, as did some things in the hearing yesterday. This “whisltleblower complaint” was just another Dem smear operation, but Trump & Giuliani’s actions were totally as awful as the crap the Dems pull. America will be the loser, because at this point – no one will be held accountable for anything in Washington. The trashing Horowitz has begun…

      The respective partisan tribe will spin non-stop until the other side decides “it’s time to move on”. We’re rapidly advancing to where the political parties in America are completely above the law.

      The Taylor guy seemed like a straight-shooter guy, who came on board as a Trump political appointee because he believed Trump would push for military aid for the Ukrainians, so Trump withholding shenanigans offended him. He didn’t seem like he was out to get Trump, just wanted the rules to be followed.

      The Kent guy seemed like a seasoned diplomat, but he was very sparse with explaining the Hunter Biden business – he reported the conflict of interest, nothing happened. He just went about his business.

      A lot of details were missing.

      With Taylor, I wondered why he said he had two meetings with Zelensky to urge him not to announce investigations, when they got wind that Zelensky was planning to make an announcement when he went to the UN. I wondered why he felt that was imperative to stop Zelensky from making any sort of announcement – he obviously wasn’t trying to protect Trump from quid pro quo allegations, he was trying to make sure no Ukrainian investigations were started into any of it what Trump talked about, it seemed to me. That just seemed above his pay grade to directly undercut what the president asked for. I wondered if he discussed going to talk Zelensky out of announcing investigations with other people and who those people might be? Most of what Trump asked Zelensky to investigate – help Barr with 2016 & Burisma was totally legitimate and in US interests. Why couldn’t he have told Zelensky it would be better to make a more general announcement of investigations assisting US DOJ? It just seemed odd to me.

      Yes, I should have known better than to trust anything Schiff touches, but I still believe the smear campaign against Yovanovitch is appalling.. Trump delights in humiliating people and has zero professional ethics – he is corrupt to the core. He did that crap with Comey too. He announces most firings on Twitter, before having the decency to talk to the person directly. Then he plots ways to deepen the humiliation. With Comey he didn’t want Comey to be able to fly back on a government plane, he wanted Comey locked out of the FBI building and didn’t even want him allowed in to clean out his office.

      I’m still studying this link you posted, btw.

      • JK

        “A lot of details [are] missing.”

        “No one can sift through this growing pile of spin garbage or keep track of it, because we’re all going to be sucked down some rabbit holes, which will make it more and more difficult to analyze facts.”

        To the first – You noticed I’m sure “Toria” et al seeming to prefer stuff be done ‘telephonically’ (even though that’s clearly and evidently less secure .. cough cough .. than a dot gov computer messaging means?) Why would those “seasoned diplomats” seemingly prefer to talk on telephones at the very same time “little green men are undoubtedly active, hostile, and armed with the latest gee-whizzery” running around no more than 20 miles to to their east! Knowing without doubt the “green men” are gonna be picking up whatever telephonic communications are going to be taking place no matter what?

        And a goldurn conference call at that! (With I might add if reports [from both Schiff & *media] are to be believed, a clear-named CIA person invited to participate?!!)

        Why would they do that you suppose?

        Reckon FOIA maybe had something to do with that?

        Now ask yourself whether it’s likely Vlad Putin gives a [insert preferred word] about anything having to do with a Freedom of Information request. Likely or not? Most likely not I’m thinking. So …

        As to that second – “Somebody” ordered/directed those means and methods be used and, disdain for Trump aside, he didn’t ride down that golden escalator until sometime after the Ukrainian shenanigans had been well in play.

        The real question should be, ultimately so far as our Republic is concerned, who (or what) made it be so – the elected President or the IC?

        “The terrorists will not change us” George W. Bush famously declared.

        I wonder if he was wrong?

  14. Funny you mentioned Nuland’s phone… on Twitter yesterday Dems and media were having fainting spells about the security risk of Gordon Sondland on his personal cell phone talking to Trump – omg, this was a grave security risk, blah, blah, blah. I tweeted several times reminding about Nuland’s intercepted call and she was a “Russia expert”, speaks fluent Russian.

    Lot of selective memory in the media – everything since 2016 is “unprecedented” and everything Obama peeps touched was above reproach.

    Back when all that Patriot Act and Homeland Security stuff was being debated, I took the contrarian view that giving the IC more unchecked surveillance authority was a very bad thing. I was against forming the Dept, of Homeland Security too and don’t think any of this stuff has made us safer.

    On a different topic, why can’t Soros and his money funding Dem/Leftist efforts be mentioned now? If anyone mentions Soros involvement in Ukraine on Twitter, the liberal media crowd goes into accusing “antisemitism.” It’s like the liberal media decrees some topics and people off-limits in Twitter politics.

  15. JK

    I think LB, though you well may have already listened to this, is worthwhile mostly because rather than Rich Lowry, Charlie Cooke is doing the asking – Cooke’s being English (and schooled English) probably helps people who haven’t been following so closely:

    https://www.nationalreview.com/podcasts/the-mccarthy-report/episode-64-going-public/

    • Barr’s got probably 2/3 of the problem correct there, because the Dems have been abusing intel and government assets since the 90s – as I know with what happened to me in 1998.

      It’s not “disdain” or “hate” for Trump, it’s that while he has been under siege from a Dem scorched earth effort to destroy his presidency, he has opted to engage in the same corrupt scorched earth efforts to destroy his “enemies”. He keeps trying to corrupt everyone around him.

      He will trample any rules, just like the Dems, so buying into the belief he’s some innocent victim doesn’t sit well with me. And then there’s that still unknown – how he got billions of dollars in free media, most of from liberal media to wreak havoc on the GOP primary in 2016.

  16. JK

    ” And then there’s that still unknown – how he got billions of dollars in free media, most of from liberal media to wreak havoc on the GOP primary in 2016.”

    Actually LB my opinion on that is that, you’ve already supplied the most likely answer to that – nothing else I’ve seen posited comes close. Going out on a limb here, again “in my opinion” I think we’re seeing something akin to that where that ‘Mayor Pete’ fellow’s campaign is concerned. Would he, could he even remotely, based on ‘his record of accomplishment’ gotten himself so far except for that one thing we must not speak of?

    The one thing (branch) not included in your critique though where I think Barr’s nailing it doesn’t even have Trump in the equation at all – rather if it’s ‘personality’ at all important to is wider points its to do with GW:

    “To my mind, the most blatant and consequential usurpation of Executive power in our history was played out during the Administration of President George W. Bush, when the Supreme Court, in a series of cases, set itself up as the ultimate arbiter and superintendent of military decisions inherent in prosecuting a military conflict – decisions that lie at the very core of the President’s discretion as Commander in Chief.”

    “This usurpation climaxed with the Court’s 2008 decision in Boumediene. There, the Supreme Court overturned hundreds of years of American, and earlier British, law and practice, which had always considered decisions as to whether to detain foreign combatants to be purely military judgments which civilian judges had no power to review. For the first time, the Court ruled that foreign persons who had no connection with the United States other than being confronted by our military on the battlefield had “due process” rights and thus have the right to habeas corpus to obtain judicial review of whether the military has a sufficient evidentiary basis to hold them.”

    […]

    “As the Preamble suggests, governments are established for two different security reasons – to secure domestic tranquility and to provide for defense against external dangers. These are two very different realms of government action.”

    “The Constitution does not confer “rights” on foreign enemies. Rather the Constitution is designed to maximize the government’s efficiency to achieve victory – even at the cost of “collateral damage” that would be unacceptable in the domestic realm. The idea that the judiciary acts as a neutral check on the political branches to protect foreign enemies from our government is insane.”

    “The impact of Boumediene has been extremely consequential. For the first time in American history our armed forces is incapable of taking prisoners. We are now in a crazy position that, if we identify a terrorist enemy on the battlefield, such as ISIS, we can kill them with drone or any other weapon. But if we capture them and want to hold them at Guantanamo or in the United States, the military is tied down in developing evidence for an adversarial process and must spend resources in interminable litigation.”

      • Sorry JK, got sidetracked here with caregiver stuff, then dozed off listening to the Cooke/McCarthy podcast. I’ll comment on it tomorrow when I am wide awake and able to focus better.

    • JK, we’ve had quite a few discussions about the myriad ways the Dems #Resist effort poses threats to our ordered liberty, as designed in our constitution, and I know the disturbing abuses within the US intelligence agencies grabbed your attention. I was much slower to grasp the gravity of a lot of the intel shenanigans, mainly because I’m not well-versed on the intricacies of our intel operations, having just a very generic understanding of, how to phrase this, rules of road in the intel chain of command.

      Barr makes some really great principled arguments in this speech.

      The #Resist effort not only has worked to immobilize Trump from being able to form a functioning executive branch, it’s a multi-faceted operation to delegitimize Trump’s presidency in every way. From the 24/7 scorched earth spin war against Trump, to the non-stop litigation, to sabotaging every executive branch effort, the Dems want to make sure that Trump’s administration fails.

      Trump’s own disorganization, lack of policy focus, inexperience in government, decision to run a reality spin show rather than an actual Office of the President, but most all his fragile ego have all bolstered the #Resist effort.

      Trump has benefited from much of the grotesque corrupt scorched earth spin, with the mainstream media openly working with #Resist Dems to attack him. Much of it has backfired and they’ve damaged themselves more than Trump. Trump has driven them over the edge and their spin efforts are so totally exposed now.

      Trump deciding to focus more on his own scorched earth spin show, coordinating with FOX pundits and some friendly online media types, has allowed Trump to create a very loyal “fan base”, but unable to expand it and also unable to focus on actually defeating the #Resist effort, that’s trying to immobilize his White House from carrying on the nation’s business. He devotes his efforts to the spin war (his all about “me” effort) rather than defending the Office of the President, which would matter way more to preserving what Barr sees as ” the Framers’ vision of a strong, independent Executive.”

      Sadly, I just don’t see Trump being the man to defeat the Dems corrupt #Resist effort or their corrupt scorched earth spin war, no matter how much many Republicans and conservatives have embraced Trump, believing his fighting the #Resist and the corrupt Dems is for some higher purpose. They believe Trump really is fighting for them.

      The truth is Trump has embraced the Dem corrupt spin model and focuses solely on that. He doesn’t care one iota about preserving the powers of the Office of the President; he cares about his own popularity.

      So many Republicans who are seriously concerned about the Dems corrupt #Resist efforts, I fear, may realize before this scorched earth spin battle is over that Trump has zero loyalty to them or their higher cause and in fact, will switch sides in a heartbeat, if he thinks it will benefit himself.

      Trump will throw Barr (and anyone else who gets in his way) under the bus in a heartbeat, if Barr at some point chooses to uphold the rule of law over going along with one of Trump’s corrupt whims.

      Trump ain’t the guy, in my opinion, to be choosing to defend some cause greater than his own shallow self-interest, no matter how much America really needs just such a leader to stand firm against the corrupt Dem #Resist effort.

  17. JK

    Thanks for that above. Incidentally I’d already become interested in following along with the research into, generally and specifically, crows and their relative the ravens.

    “The other odd part about this to me, is neither Kent nor Taylor felt morally compelled to contact Congress themselves and report it.”

    There’s a good reason for that absence of first, the morality part (though as I’ve said until today’s Vindman and Williams appearing I’d not been particularly interested – more on that below) Anyway as I understand it both Taylor and Kent being ‘of State’ and State being an Executive directed cabinet level department, there’d have been no compelling reason, moral or otherwise, to report to Congress. Put another way as this came up in this morning’s hearings, Congress isn’t in State’s ‘chain of command.’ It’s called Separation of Powers for a good reason. At least the authors of the Constitution thought so.

    Before I expound on today’s stuff I suppose I ought state what has been a longstanding belief of mine where ‘foreign aid’ of any type is concerned – and actually my belief reflects I think as Barr recently mentioned in his bringing up the words of the Preamble for the reasons a government exists – All foreign aid, as its collected from The People should be transactional.

    Admitting any particular of a ‘quid’ or a ‘quo’ might be construed as having some affectual intent. Or not perhaps where the foreign aid is of a purely humanitarian nature – Indonesia’s tsunami aid for instance.

    Before I get into the notes I was making intending perhaps, an email to my Rep, I noted a Repub asking both Williams and Vindman why each of them listening to the *call (firsthand evidence) had two distinct impressions as to whether it was a ‘request’ or that it was a ‘demand’ – unsurprisingly (to me at any rate) the civilian would only go so far as to characterize it as “unusual” while the Army guy judged it as we know.

    Which gets me to my now abandoned suggestion for my Rep – Congressman Stewart pre-empted me – my supposed interrogatory language taking some form of the following:

    ‘Ask Vindman if Zelensky has a military background and if not, would (V) believe he could inerringly characterize Zelensky’s frame of mind to interpret Trump’s words as he (V) did? Indeed, would you (V) characterize as likely any official of a sovereign nation considering themselves subject to a Trump “demand”? Lastly, would President Zelensky consider himself within and subject to Washington’s chain of command?’

    That’s directly from my extraneous notes so I would have, prior to my emailing that on, cleaned it up.

    History provides me illustratively an example of foreign aid’s being transactional, Chamberlain returned from Berlin waving a note around he’d got from Hitler promising “Peace in our time.”

    That quid obviously not having the same value as the quo.

    Then again Neville was a civilian while Hitler had been in the trenches.

    • ” All foreign aid, as its collected from The People should be transactional.”

      Um, JK, I believe all US foreign aid should be in American national interest.

      With Trump – the Giuliani antics (gathering op dirt in Ukraine and at the same time being a presidential policy envoy) offend me more than the quid pro quo allegation. And it’s very clear that the “whistleblower complaint” was another Dem #Resist smear campaign to take down Trump. It all boils down to both sides are fully committed to this scorched earth spin war.

      No winning for the American people, that’s for sure.

  18. JK

    Well yes of course LB, in the national interest.

    “As the Preamble suggests, governments are established for two different security reasons – to secure domestic tranquility and to provide for defense against external dangers.”

    This administration’s request/demand – eye-of-the-beholder as Miss Williams and Mr Vindman’s distinctions of the same thing are both now in evidence (equally “weighted” in Lady Justice’s scale presumably). Stipulating the current arguments (which being impeachment “everybody agrees” is political rather than judicial ain’t likely to ever be settled upon) where conducting the affairs of foreign policy with “personal requests/demands” thrown in is apparently unseemly – However blind we fly given the lack of historic context. But in the end I’d agree it sure as hell doesn’t meet what I’d describe as furthering domestic tranquility but then again as I mention we’re lacking History’s report on whether past Presidents may have (I’d guess given we’ve had some 45 of ’em there’s been at least some few) pitched a personal interest a time or two at least.

    Then again I’m thinking hardly anybody, if at all, in Washington DC are much interested in the concept of domestic tranquility – Rather I think, thinking about it, precisely the opposite.

    • “Then again I’m thinking hardly anybody, if at all, in Washington DC are much interested in the concept of domestic tranquility – Rather I think, thinking about it, precisely the opposite.”

      Seems to me that in Washington, the concern is winning the spin in order to wield political power… and of course, promote their own big money deals.

      • I haven’t been able to follow this Sondland sideshow completely – caregiver stuff kind of busy today… I heard a bit this morning – his opening and thought that was damning, but then the more he talked and Repubs started questioning, in my mind this guy is a totally unreliable witness. Got tired of his line, “I don’t take notes”, but then asserting if he had access to notes and emails it would jog his memory bs. I read that is if he could read what other people said, he could adjust his testimony accordingly. I suspect he’s wishing he had not given a million dollars to secure an ambassadorship.

        All of this is a sideshow – Schiff, Trump, Giuliani, Republicans and the media.

        Back to your link. I’m not finished with McCarthy’s audiobook of Ball of Collusion, but he lays out a lot of the Ukraine stuff in that book.

  19. JK

    I’m not particularly interested in any of this – wrong-headed in my mind owing to its being vested in the wrong venue ie Intel rather than Judiciary – impeachment stuff generally. I was interested with MISTER Vindman only because I figured him to be the most likely suspect linking to the *whistleblower who managed to kick the thing off.

    That aside the reason I’m making an appearance here now is I noticed Mark put up a post I thought you’d probably find interesting:

    https://havechanged.blogspot.com/2019/11/the-right-and-other-right.html

  20. JK

    Didn’t realize Andy’s stuff would be appearing in the New York Post:

    https://nypost.com/2019/11/20/gordon-sondlands-testimony-frees-team-trump-to-adopt-the-best-defense-the-truth/

    Unseemly – yes (to my mind). Illegal – I suppose that depends.

    • He’s had some other stuff in the New York Post lately.

      I don’t buy his defense argument here, btw. However, after watching that Schiff sideshow with Vindman yesterday and most of the Sondland fiasco today, seems like concerns about the rule of law aren’t what any of Schiff’s sideshow and Trump’s effort to compete with Schiff for the ringleader role in this national nightmare, is about anyways.

      This Sondland was the dancing bear, who learned to ride a unicycle and juggle at the same time act… He used his opening statement to offer Dems their smoking gun moment and the afternoon handing Trump a lifeline, admitting Trump never tied the quid to the quo and each side of partisans ran with their preferred version of Sondland. Sondland seems like he’s the kind of guy who could give Trump a run for his money when it comes to lying through his teeth.

      Sondland kept mentioning his poor memory and that he doesn’t take notes, while at the same time lamenting the State Dept hasn’t released his or other people’s notes and emails to Congress… Sounded like he wanted to know what other people had said, so he could adjust his story accordingly.

      • JK

        “They’re” all dancing LB.

        Dancing bears the lot of ’em. S’why I only had the energy to watch the one day. Matter of fact after that Spicer guy I figure ABC does a DC version.

        Probably get about the same Nielsen ratings though.

      • JK, this Sondland guy was an amazing dissembler, who would likely say anything if he thought it would have allowed him to slink away from being in the hot seat yesterday.

        Trump, the Dems, and media latched onto two completely contradictory statements from Sondland as the “gospel” on what happened, when the only thing obvious is Sondland is not a reliable witness, since he altered his testimony after his first testimony and yesterday his takes vacillated as the day wore on.

        He kept harping about his poor memory…

        He kept saying if the State Dept. released notes and emails it would prod his memory…

        He blabbed about how hearing other people’s memories of events helped him remember…

        My take was he wanted State Dept records to be able to construct a version of events that would be most beneficial to himself.

    • JK, Here’s a tweet thread on the Carter Page FISA warrant -about the news an FBI attorney is under criminal investigation. This Techno_Fog person posts a lot of documents: https://twitter.com/Techno_Fog/status/1197678008460554240

      • JK

        Thanks LB, I’ve got Techno Fog bookmarked but I been busy of late and not been checking his(?) stuff – that Undercover Huber you follow mentioning any of this?

        Just throwing something out here for your consideration … Reckon it just possible maybe it’s not Page the “leak” is relating to but rather Flynn? Reason for me suggesting is (really only scanned the link) I note 302s being mentioned and as that Powell lady’s been haranguing the Gubmit’s lawyers in Judge Sullivan’s court ‘whoever’ is the source of this most recent could maybe not be taking Flynn into account? I’ve noted Powell “noting” at least the possibility of a separate earlier FISA on Flynn (but no reliable verification so far as I’m aware – yet) … Of course it is perfectly reasonable Page is the subject if only because a FISA covers everybody Page has been in communication with, past extending up through the date of whenever that FISA was set to expire.

        “Whoever” though exactly probably maybe isn’t what’s behind this leak “just now” – coming as it does immediately upon the Schiff-Show’s concluding(?) – s’got my antennae perking up at any rate. These IGs (other than Mueller) you have to admit have been remarkably leak-free. Could be its either distraction or some CYA taking place. I just find the timing curious is all.

      • JK

        Here’s a giggle for you LB:

        “NOTE: This story has been updated. Alexander Vindman received a Purple Heart after being wounded by an IED, or improvised explosive device, not an IUD, or intrauterine device. We regret the error.”

        https://www.gq.com/story/vindman-gop-attacking-vets

        Tells us something of the awareness the Left has generally when it deigns to speak on military subjects generally.

      • They have latched onto him only because he’s feeding their anti-Trump spin narrative.

        I watch people’s body language closely – especially facial expressions and Vindman seemed to smirk when Schiff interrupted, to shield him from answering a Republican question about who the third person was he talked to about the call. The third person was a NSC person, but he said the person had a need to know. Schiff interrupted and asserted he was protecting the whistleblower – it sure looked to me like Vindman was smirking and that made me distrust everything about this whole impeachment drama. Schiff claimed he didn’t know who the whistleblower was and so did Vindman, but they both didn’t want to out the whistleblower?

        I had seen tweets that Vindman and Fiona Hill-The Non-Partisan, had legal representation from Boies, Schiller and Flexner… Fiona, The Non-Partisan opened her testimony dumping in this latest Dem spin casting everything Republicans say about Ukraine as dangerous “GOP Conspiracy Theories” that feed “Russian Conspiracy Theories”. She also testified she read the Steele dossier the day before Buzzfeed published it, when Strobe Talbott showed it to her… I think she only mentioned that to protect herself from Republican allegations, because Talbott was mentioned in a lawsuit that Alfa Bank filed against Steele – Steele gave Talbott a copy of the dossier. She struck me as working overtime to present a non-partisan aura, while trying to inflict as much damage on Trump and Republicans as possible. The media hype glorifying her tells its own story about her role in the Dem spin narrative.

  21. JK

    Belay LB, yep its Page.

    • JK

      “The media hype glorifying her tells its own story about her role in the Dem spin narrative.”

      Doggone it LB now you’ve gone and put it so that I’m compelled to have to watch some of the primetime punditry. I’d been perfectly content these last two weeks watching movies on TCM and now I’m gonna have to tune to Rachel – never have been able to handle Hannity, too strident. That Cuomo guy, too sanctimonious.

      Oh well, probably get me up-to-speed on whatever it is this one commentor over on Duff’s seems to be on about.

      Thanks alot.

      • Hannity is a bizarre agitation propaganda experience, but I can’t deal with Cuomo or Maddow either, so it’s small video clips on Twitter , but I did actually watch the hearings.

        Speaking of that Holmes guy, who overheard the Sondland-Trump phone call, well his account of that struck me as so dubious, that I can’t believe anyone is taking that seriously.

        Sondland was the most unreliable witness imo- a guy just trying to say whatever he thought would get him out of this mess unscathed… What a clown!

        I am sure Maddow will give you a good dose of the sainted Fiona Hill, The Non-Partisan and latest feminist icon.

      • JK

        You’ve the same opinion of Rachel as my girlfriend’s apparently – matter of fact when I mentioned my intention she put her foot down so I guess it’ll be watching Harvey afterall – the Jimmy Stewart one. After all these years you’d think I’d already watched that but nope, just bits and pieces.

        Sure Rachel is oh maybe “fevered” comes closest? Still that’s better’n getting yelled at by couple slicked hair guys from teevee or being preached to so if’n I’m to watch “glorifying” it’s got to be Rachel – and besides back in my very young years I took the best to the “yarn-spinners” and though I know you was never exposed to hillbillies spinning up I gar-un-tee Rachel’d be right at home at a Mountain View Folk Festival. Lemme see …

        http://web.lyon.edu/groups/mslibrary/rcol/festival.htm

        Looks like rather’n ‘yarn-spinner’ we’ve got all uppity and now it’s called ‘oral history’ – tell the truth though puttin’ it like that seems like would take all the virtue out of it – then again since I doubt Rachel could come even within spitting distance of the accent oral history’ll do. Matter of fact now I’m thinkin’ onit I bet ‘slipt some right healthy moon’ Young Rachel might actually approach it – don’t reckon however I’d particular enjoy hearin’ her first yelps at it though. Probably sound sumpin like a scrooch owl an’ I ain’t never had much hankerin’ to being round them nests.

        Harvey it is.

  22. JK

    Page is going down.

    No not that Page, the other Page:

    https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/16020887/strzok-v-barr/

    I wonder whether she’s “loyal” enough to fall on the sword too.

    For all “concerned”?

  23. JK

    Recalling LB, quite awhile ago though, your posing questions about all those accompanying to her interview – and the justifications: if any.

    https://www.judicialwatch.org/tom-fittons-weekly-update/new-emails-highlight-sham-clinton-investigation/

    • Thanks JK, I definitely still do wonder about those accompanying her to her interview and why the FBI redacted only one name from the team of her lawyers in their FBI Notes release in the fall of 2016, but in July 2016 right after her interview, Team Clinton provided all those named to the NYTimes and Hillary gave a cozy phone interview to Chuck Todd…

      • JK

        Read your latest abit ago, informative, thanks. You’ll be remembering I watch all the Sunday Shows rather ritualistically? Figure that’ll be enough to get me up to speed on how the witnesses stuff is being spun? I just couldn’t bring myself to watch any of the primetime stuff last night – matter of fact I’m thinking my ‘tv-news fast’ of the last couple weeks has down miracles for my general health – last Sunday I didn’t watch because of some unscheduled “friends-business” came up which required my being away but I figure since the Schiff Show hadn’t been until this last week there wasn’t much about that anyway.

        Figure I’ll watch MTP which normally I don’t because it comes on here immediately after the early edition of Chris Wallace’s has aired giving me a clear thirty minutes for preparing and eating my oatmeal – God I miss Tim Russert! Anyway I’m figuring diverting 30 minutes to watching Chuck Todd I’ll probably go the whole day having lost my appetite.

        By the way I’d just now intended to click in my bookmarks where I have all my “most frequented podcasts” stored and as Andy’s site is immediately below John Batchelor’s I missed tapping exactly on John’s and Andy’s came up with my noticing there’s a new one up there so here ya go:

        https://www.nationalreview.com/podcasts/the-mccarthy-report/

        Ain’t listened to it myself yet so can’t offer anything. Be interesting to see if what he says is sort of like what you typed. Later.

      • I already listened to that McCarthy podcast. He was much more diplomatic than I am, lol.

  24. JK

    Oops. “has done” not “has down”

  25. JK

    Mind telling me whether you listened to it before or after your post?

    Doesn’t matter LB in the end but from your phrasing I’m tending toward your listening after. And actually it (Andy’s & Charles’ commentary) aligns with what you’ve been saying in our conversation all week. Not saying I “figured how you’d put it” but thinking back about how your gears seemed to be turning I was thinking what you’d ultimately post would be supremely fair-minded, ‘fairly thought-out’ if you will.

    I’m more thankful for your post after listening to Andy than before. Gold.

    Charles though, after the bit about that Fiona lady however kept me aware there could/will be extreme dangers ahead though – I’m not confident at all our political leaders .. any of ’em are up to doing what ought be done to avoid what, very possibly could come to be close to a civil convulsion. I know the Dem media can not allow itself to. Sure as hell not the partisans either.

    Finesse is the word of the day – the convulsion could be avoided but I don’t see any of the “interested parties” being inclined to do what ought be done and that’s back down! Sadly I don’t see anybody doing that though. I sure am glad I live in the boondocks.

  26. “Finesse is the word of the day – the convulsion could be avoided but I don’t see any of the “interested parties” being inclined to do what ought be done and that’s back down! ”

    JK, I wrote it before I listened to McCarthy, I think, but I’m not 100% sure, since I start and stop writing blog posts many times, due to interruptions helping my husband. My other distraction is I keep several windows open at a time and constantly see other stuff I’m reading or listening to as I’m writing.

    What’s brewing is a take-no-prisoners spin/smear/legal eagle partisan Death Match, JK. This scorched earth spin war appears to be heading past the point of no return, which is what I worried about all the way back in 1998, when the first full-blown scorched earth spin war battle raged across American media to keep Bill Clinton from being removed from office.

    The level of corruption coupled with our cultural decline, where large swaths of America are citizens who are completely ignorant of even our basic foundational principles and live in a world of instantaneous emotional responses driven by media charlatans leaves America in a very precarious state, very prone to this media/political spin chaos spilling further into civilian upheavals. The national security brain trust, according to media reports is warning about Russian disinformation, but they’re oblivious to the vastly greater dangers from our homegrown scorched earth spin war (which is 99.9% disinformation). As I’ve been harping on… seems like forever… is this domestic spin war leaves America wide open for hostile foreign disinformation. Each side of partisans will believe anything bad about the other.

    Seriously, during Trump’s Friday morning call-in to Fox and Friends he was whining about Yovanovitch not being an angel and claiming she didn’t even hang his picture up in the embassy. Within minutes another US embassy worker at another embassy tweeted it took their embassy 15 months to get official photos, because they were waiting for the WH to issue them through the State Dept. Then a while later, Yovanovitch’s lawyers responded that wasn’t true and that the photos didn’t arrive until over a year after Trump was in office and they were instructed they could not use any other unofficial photo until the official one arrived. This is the level of Trump pettiness and grievances and he lives in a world fueled by gossip, rumors, malicious innuendo. He, is the perfect example of how a vast swath of America lives – reacting emotionally to whatever information, from any source they hear. The spin war thrives off of this widespread ignorance and intellectual laziness. One of Trump’s favorite lines is “other people were saying” and that is the world he wallows in. He doesn’t care about facts at all, only fanning his ego and fixating on what the media is saying about him.

    The Left’s road to power in their culture war in recent decades was built on developing vast, powerful networks of mass media spin operations. Twitter creates sort of a one-stop spin ops central messaging center for both sides of partisans and their respective media spin warriors.

    We’re headed to an epic battle for one side to breakthrough the static trench spin war that’s developed and finally defeat the other side… it’s just defeating the other side requires igniting massive civil chaos, hopefully not escalating outbreaks of politically-charged violence, but I’m not very optimistic there.

    Oh one side note kind of thing JK, McCarthy made some comment a while back about Rudy Giuliani being one of the most amazing investigators of complicated RICO cases he ever worked with and McCarthy wasn’t sure about all the weird Giuliani antics, but he was curious what information Rudy dug up in Ukraine:

    Rudy Giuliani
    @RudyGiuliani
    TRUTH ALERT:

    The statement I’ve made several times of having an insurance policy, if thrown under bus, is sarcastic & relates to the files in my safe about the Biden Family’s 4 decade monetizing of his office.

    If I disappear, it will appear immediately along with my RICO chart.
    4:29 PM · Nov 23, 2019

    Not sure where this is going, but it’s going to be something.

    • JK

      I read this your response very early this am LB, started to begin a reply but my thoughts were too unconsidered to ensure I’d be able to transmit a clearer understanding. I’m not where I’m intending to be yet either unfortunately, but I’m going to go ahead with my somewhat less preliminary thoughts on where I’m coming from.

      Just so you know this is something I’m going to probably spend at least a week on, maybe more maybe less but the basics “on paper and handwritten” (seem) are more organized and coherent than I’d expected I could in just some few hours. I suppose that’s because I’ve spent longer than Trump’s been in my forebrain mulling it around and considering it that that’s the reason it seems to be coming relatively quicker than I’d anticipated.

      It’s not the politicians LB I think’s the growing problem (not even the pretend-politician). Sure he’s aggravated the acceleration but he’s really only one of the symptoms of the illness. Two other symptoms are the vested interests [media mostly and when I’m using ‘media’ I’m not discriminating – ‘vested’ in the etymological sense ie: “people or organizations who have a financial or personal interest in a business, company, or existing system” & the specific bureaucracy “we’ve” set up which parts of existed before, mostly, 911 but since has become so unwieldy its highly likely that, unless it can be reined in institutionally, looks like it might well soon be uncontrollable.

      China’s Confucianist System being for me probably the most illustrative historical example but seeing as how my personal studying (requisite in, and for, my former line of work) formed much of my basis a probable parallel can likely be drawn from Rome’s Republic.

      Hmmm. Looking at what I’ve typed that’s doggoned esoteric ain’t it?

      Simpler put (I hope) Confucian China got overwhelmed by outsiders while Rome’s Republic (as I understand) by attempting too much was undone by insiders. We, it seems to me, are emulating both in combination.

      And the media is exacerbating the illness. Not making it worse exactly but for damn sure not helping the medical staff.

      Meanwhile the patient – all 350 or whatever it is million of us – is getting sicker. At the same time “our bureacracy’s *health* is improving.

      That’s worrisome.

      Put mildly.

      And now we’ve got the Specialists Doctor Facebook and Doctor Twitter involved and our sunk costs already through the roof look likelier than not to hitchhike a ride on Spaceship One to parts unknown.

      Bureaucracy has the built-in ability to feed itself. Protect and enhance itself.

      The patient is however susceptible to further infections. Unhelpfully, even though now everybody’s using the same bathroom doesn’t mean everybody’s washing their hands after. Regardless to however loudly hollered the advisability to do so.

      Prognosis? Grim.

      • That’s actually kind an amazing diagnosis and prognosis from a “systems analysis” perspective, JK.

        You’re right about the politicians, whom Americans and the politicians themselves believe are the magic red pill or blue pill solution, when in reality the politicians trot along behind the big money interests.

        Anyone expecting Republicans, Democrats, Trump or any other political entity to rein in this mess or even put the brakes on is delusional – gonna take a massive shake-up or wake-up call to even make a blip.

        I believe we’ve got wholesale public corruption in the entire system and our culture writ large, so yeah:

        “Prognosis? Grim”

        Interesting thing about this full-blown system collapse is I’ve been thinking about this calamity befalling our republic for over 20 years, as the corruption spiraled to the point there’s no amount of spin that can mask the stench anymore.

        Been thinking of whether there’s a comprehensive strategy that could defy history and counter the collapse. Dreamed up a pie-the-sky plan, perfectly legal, absolutely no violence – but it was a strategy for “fighting” a civil war without any shots ever being fired or any violence at all, just working to defeat the wholesale public corruption and the massive spin war that allows the corruption to go unchecked.

        Wrote a whole bunch in my Penzu journals over the years… Lots of big ideas, I had, lol. Totally untested, of course.

  27. JK

    I’ve thought some about such a a possibility too but only in the last decade or so had I put any serious thought to it. Some “bright people” brainstormed up a map which for me looks useful for any such exercise … lemme see …

    https://www.vividmaps.com/2016/12/trumpland-and-clinton-archipelago.html

    Let’s toss the labels overboard though before we begin. Seeing as you above put in The level of corruption coupled with our cultural decline, where large swaths of America are citizens who are completely ignorant of even our basic foundational principles and live in a world of instantaneous emotional responses driven by media charlatans leaves America in a very precarious state, very prone to this media/political spin chaos spilling further into civilian upheavals allows me see yourself doing “systems” yourself gold.

    Toss too probably 95+% of that stuff you may’ve seen on those “preppers sites.” Those folks are already isolated – for the most part, self-isolated – and so in every scenario apart from a natural disaster; a Carrington Event, Tunguska, a New Madrid scale repeat (Yellowstone), a Chicxulub, those are so orders of magnitude way above – well with the exception of maybe the first, the Carrington – nothing at all could be “well prepared” for. So. Assuming the preppers can handle a week’s incommunicado they’re probably not gonna be a risk to anybody but themselves.

    Let’s limit to a “civil convulse.”

    The west west of the Rockies and the Cascades would be immediately ‘martial-lawed’ and/but so long as order is not imposed down to the street-level that’d probably be the only “no go to zone.” East of the same mountains to oh, ten miles from the Mississippi River that large landmass – excepting some “relatively isolated but concentrated” urban areas – would probably carry on relatively unaffected.

    East of the Mississippi however would likely be problematic. Spicy even.

    Well the evening news is about to come on so I’ll call it a day. Later

  28. JK

    God I love this Krystal Ball gal!

    https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/471882-rising-november-25-2019

    I’m not a liberal by any stretch, but by the same token I’m not a Washington DC (Republican) conservative either.

    • JK, She just tells it like it is. I was a Republican, conservative and loyal to the GOP pretty much, but I’m politically homeless now and intend to stay that way for the foreseeable future.

    • Thanks JK, I saw a tweet about this, no link, so I wasn’t sure what was going on.

      Journos are tweeting about Trump’s ongoing rally in FL tonight. Trump is using those 3 pardoned war crimes guys as role models of “great warfighters” and he’s cast the top brass as the “deep state” in one of his riffs… This is not going to go well for our military if Trump decides to hype these war crimes cases to appeal to the rank and file soldiers and play the top brass as the evil “deep state”.

      Trump’s as much of a wrecking ball as the corrupt Dems and media.

      • JK

        Recall that bit above I excerpted from Barr’s speech:

        “This usurpation climaxed with the Court’s 2008 decision in Boumediene. There, the Supreme Court overturned hundreds of years of American, and earlier British, law and practice, which had always considered decisions as to whether to detain foreign combatants to be purely military judgments which civilian judges had no power to review. For the first time, the Court ruled that foreign persons who had no connection with the United States other than being confronted by our military on the battlefield had “due process” rights and thus have the right to habeas corpus to obtain judicial review of whether the military has a sufficient evidentiary basis to hold them.”

        “The Constitution does not confer “rights” on foreign enemies. Rather the Constitution is designed to maximize the government’s efficiency to achieve victory – even at the cost of “collateral damage” that would be unacceptable in the domestic realm. The idea that the judiciary acts as a neutral check on the political branches to protect foreign enemies from our government is insane.”

        “The impact of Boumediene has been extremely consequential. For the first time in American history our armed forces is incapable of taking prisoners. We are now in a crazy position that, if we identify a terrorist enemy on the battlefield, such as ISIS, we can kill them with drone or any other weapon. But if we capture them and want to hold them at Guantanamo or in the United States, the military is tied down in developing evidence for an adversarial process and must spend resources in interminable litigation.”

        Coupled to what I included in the systems analysis?

        And, you being where you are surely you’re sitting in for a few Bingo games down at your local VFW or Amvets – I know even when I’m in Little Rock where its my black brother-in-law’s (he not being a vet himself) parents and their friends at their local VFW – and often I’m the only white guy in the place – I’m actually hearing more “pro-Trump” than I’d ever expect so I dunno LB.

        “Something” is going on – what it is I ain’t exactly sure. Now it could be the Dem prospects so far just ain’t cutting it but whatever it is the fellows returning from these theaters of the last 18 years – and I even hear it at the VA – anyway they seem to me surprisingly solid.

        Of course I’m not running into many Admirals nor Generals nor Service Chiefs and for damn sure no Secretaries of the Branches at any of the VFWs I’m hanging around so I’ll admit I maybe ain’t getting the “full picture” but I think its telling we ain’t seeing very many “retirings on principle” but rather firings.

        That’s not why I’ve dropped by just now though it’s rather the “exercise” we’ve mentioned more recently made me notice something:

        https://cdrsalamander.blogspot.com/2019/11/where-would-we-bury-all-bodies.html

    • JK, I read the first 5 pages of this letter and I had seen various reporting on this case. The military prosecutorial abuse allegations need to be taken seriously and investigated.

      The problem is I do not for one minute believe Trump seriously considered these cases or cares about the military justice system. He watched the hype on FOX and some loudmouth Trump pundits hyped these cases.
      There’s reporting that Bernard Kerik and Marc Mukasey got involved to sell Trump on these pardons.

      https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/24/politics/navy-seal-chief-eddie-gallagher-defense-team-trump/index.html

      Trump will use these 3 pardons as a political spin tool to attack the generals, who he’s now cast as the new “Deep State” out to get him. Trump gave that spin attack a trial run at last night’s rally in FL . He has a unique ability to wage class warfare, casting himself as the champion of the “forgotten little man,” which is quite a con considering he’s a pampered rich brat, who never grew up. Ordinary people keep buying into his spin games though.

      Trump’s going to work to tear apart the military chain of command and turn the rank and file against the generals… all to use as spin garbage to bolster his support among the enlisted ranks. Trump uses the same vicious divide and conquer spin strategies as the Dem spin machine, except Trump lives and breathes playing people against each other, even on his own team, so he won’t recognize how devastating his scorched earth spin antics directed against the generals will be for the military overall. Gonna be a complete demolition of “good order and discipline” and unit cohesiveness, with Trump working to incite the troops against trusting the generals…

      • JK

        ” Gonna be a complete demolition of “good order and discipline” and unit cohesiveness, with Trump working to incite the troops against trusting the generals…”

        Reckon when Lincoln fired, who knows how many, Generals that was deleterious to the enlisted ranks? (Well, at the time I admit Grant’s reputation as “The Butcher of the Army” probably did little to calm the nerves of the regular trooper.) But then there was that time Truman fired MacArthur which, from my reading of the Korea War era actually seemed quite the reverse. And hasn’t there been much “gnashing of teeth” that, at least before Trump got elected to be Commander in Chief there was “some dismay” expressed at how the ROEs were more than somewhat limiting?

        Incidentally, bro-in-law’s Dad retired as an Army Colonel so I expect you appreciate that when “the white boy” is sitting at their table he’d have been from the lowest end of the totem pole were everybody at the table still active? And by the way, most of these guys went on to double-retirements from various other federal departments – VA and Army Corps of Engineers and a couple other places they’d, I’m pretty sure, not be happy if they knew I’d listed those other agencies/departments on a blog I hang around on? Of course those type of guys at the VFW I only “mostly” get to even sit with aren’t from the VFW I’m at more frequently. (And likely were it not for my being an officer’s son – or “bro’d-in-law’ed to the Dad of one of ’em – most likely I wouldn’t be there either.)

        Now its true I ain’t hanging around “a slew” of actively serving enlisteds but LB, I’m around enough to’ve noticed what I’d least expected.

        Something is different.

  29. Well, JK, I am around active duty soldiers almost every place I go in this town, but I try to keep conversations away from politics and unit morale. Talked to a nice soldier for about an hour in the waiting room at my pulmonologist’s office a few weeks ago – we were both waiting to do sleep studies that night. Interesting young solider, born in Kenya, came to the US, joined the Army mainly for his citizenship. Think he said he has almost 10 years in, but is getting out. He’s in an engineer unit, but he’s gotten his bachelor’s and a master’s in emergency management and he’s planning on getting out and trying to get a job doing that instead. He sounded like he likes the Army, but he said he was a paratrooper, before coming here and his knees are messed up from jumping. Kind of like the ideal immigrant story actually – very polite and seemed like a very nice young man.

    My pulmonologist is an American immigrant success story too – came from Africa – I didn’t ask where.

    As to this Trump situation, Trump is uniquely unconcerned about details or policy and even when his staff puts together some great policy programs, often Trump goes out there and in a single tweet or comment, he throws his own policy into disarray. His own team never knows what he will say or what the policy will be in 5 minutes, let alone in a month from now. They talk him back from the ledge usually and he backtracks often (like his latest Syria debacle).

    Along with that Trump’s main concern and what he devotes his time to his running his reality TV presidency show. He wants to be the star of that show 24/7 and own the spin cycles in America and he succeeds amazingly well at that. So, initially Trump wanted to pardon these 3 guys on Memorial Day, but staff and leadership at the Pentagon talked him out of that, but he decided to do it now. Just like he wants to pardon Rod Blagojevich, but he’s been talked down from that for now. I expect he will go ahead with that too at some point.

    Plenty of people on FOX and elsewhere have made principled arguments about prosecutorial misconduct and other issues with these cases, but Trump’s comments at his FL rally last night, I think, are what it’s all about to him – playing the rank and file against the generals, which he has done before with his spin antics. At the rally last night , that was first taste of how Trump’s going to play these pardons (and Trumpers on Twitter are stating Gallagher will be brought on board to campaign with Trump). Trump spouted off about his pardoning “great warfighters” and he called the Navy officials “Deep State” at the Pentagon… so once again he’s using his go to spin device, it’s always Trump’s the champion of the little people (his campaign is using that “little man” spin already) fighting the Deep State enemies, who are trying to destroy him,,, all because he cares so much about the “little people”. This line sells well with a heck of a lot of blue collar people, who buy into Trump’s shtick and it’s sold well with a lot of rank and file soldiers. I have family members who have completely bought into Trump as the champion of working class people, so I’ve heard it.

    Trump was pushed on these pardons by the likes of Duncan Hunter and Louie Gohmert, Bernard Kerik and Michael Mukasey, who took Gallagher’s case, and the FOX Trump chorus.

    I don’t think Trump went through any careful legal review process on these three cases – it was just a handful of people petitioning him and FOX News hype. I haven’t heard any explanation of any sort of legal review process done by the WH.

    Trump does not care about military principles or judicial misconduct and he has not instructed the Pentagon to make reforms there or talked about any concern about rules of engagement. All he’s done is spin it to the media and now use it at a political rally to create a new spin “Deep State” nemesis. Trump doesn’t operate like any other president in American history and he delights in creating these spin dramas where he’s playing two entities against each other for his own entertainment and casting himself as the hero, who decides who the “winner” is. He’s turned the Office of the President into the set of The Apprentice, where the big moment is who gets fired next…

    I was one who thought McCrystal deserved to be fired for his staff being so undisciplined as to tell Rolling Stones all that negative stuff about Obama and there were other cases in history where generals clashed with presidents and lost. In fact, one of the things I’ve abhorred most about our celebrity culture is we’re now on our second celebrity president in a row and too many of the most recognizable generals are media show-boaters and more politicians than principled military leaders.

    It won’t take long to see if Trump decides to make these pardons a regular part of his rally spin riffs.

  30. JK

    Knowing something about your keenness in regards to timelines and relating details:

    https://apelbaum.wordpress.com/2018/03/17/the-mechanics-of-deception/

    (May wanna brew yourself up a couple gallons of tea before really digging in)

    • Darned it JK, I just swore I was taking a break from our political circus and settled in to read a Mary Jo Putney historical romance novel… Once A Rebel, which is book 2 in a 4 book series titled… Rogues Redeemed, as if you care, lol. I read book 1, Once a Solider, quite awhile ago. I also intend to read book 7 in Mary Balogh’s Wescott series, Someone To Remember.

      Alas, I’ve read the first few paragraphs of this link and have a fresh glass of iced at hand, so I’m digging in on this.

      Might I at least inquire if you know the writer of this blog or how you came across it, JK?

      • JK

        Tonight’s the first I’ve landed on it LB. Was reading on another blog that somebody (also unknown to me) pasted the link onto.

        Fascinating comment thread if I do say so myself – though there is some “gee-whizzery” that’s way over my head there is too stuff like this:

        “My, my; the things one sees when going back with the benefit of hindsight….. the center photo bottom, with Kramer at the podium,,,, look at the guy seated at the table to camera right.”

        “Recognize him?”

        “that’s Ambassador Taylor, I believe. I think he was the chargé d’affaires at the time.”

        “This is the same Ambassador Taylor who testified in the House Impeachment theatrical production directed by Congressman Adam Schiff… (who has his own interesting links to Ukrainian figures, as you have discovered and posted in a more recent post) and is the same guy who was spreading rumors in text messages/emails all this Spring and Summer claiming a link between US aid and investigations of the Bidens in Ukraine supposedly demanded by Trump, including messages he spread around BEFORE Trump’s July phone call with the Ukrainian president.”

        “What interesting company he was keeping in 2016!”

        longshadow , November 29, 2019 at 5:18 pm

        ***

        Fascinating no?

        (And you’ll probably be happy to note – that’s just the point I’ve got to myself! Looks to be a long week.

        My apologies LB.)

  31. JK, Oh my, this line about Steele being questioned about how he’s sure he wasn’t fed disinformation:

    “On the possibility that he was just fed a steady diet of dezinformatsiya, according to Steele’s own words that was unlikely because:

    “Disinformation is an issue in my profession, it is a central concern, and we are trained to spot disinformation, and if I believed this [the dossier] was disinformation, or I had concerns about that, I would tell you [Fusion GPS] that. And I’m not telling you that. I’m telling you that I don’t believe this [the dossier] is disinformation.”

    So what Steele is saying here is essentially: ‘I am a wise old British gentleman spy, I was trained at the Hogwarts School of spy Wizardry, and you can trust everything I’m telling you. Now, BEGONE!’

    This is laughable! Vetting sources is a critical part of the evaluation and reliability of intelligence. It’s such an essential part of the craft that no decisions about the information can be made without it. Given the poor quality of his raw intelligence, Steele’s lack of concern for the possibility that he was being fed disinformation is alarming.”

    All the, to borrow your term, “gee-whizzery,” just flies right by me. Have no idea how to even assess that technology or information, really.

    And for what it’s worth JK, I’ll have you know the historical romance novel, Once A Rebel, I was engrossed in, also involves a British gentleman spy too, but unlike Steele and his well-connected sleaze merchants, Lord Audley learned the trade to survive, after he was wrongfully accused of a crime and found himself impressed on a ship in the midst of war against Napoleon.

    • JK

      My pal has used Mr. Apelbaum’s work-product in cited “expert testimony.” So, if good enough for a Court good enough for me.

      • I browsed through Apelbaum’s blog and website – realized quickly I was in way over my head with the techno-lingo. That post on the Steele dossier sure had a lot of information, that I did understand, which that caught my attention. His laying out people involved in that Clinton spin operation reinforced my belief this was a Sid Blumenthal masterpiece spin production.

        I’ve suspected all along the Steele dossier served as more a useful plot device to create this “Trump the Russian Asset/Agent” spin narrative than any real intelligence product. Calling it a “dossier” makes it sound important, having a former British spy cast as the master Russia sleuth also added to the spin drama. Yet, the entire masterpiece Russia SPIN theater, I believe was the work of a team of Clinton sleaze merchants (this Apelbaum guy puts the group at over 2 dozen people), who developed the narrative and the avenues to feed it into the media and into top levels of the Obama administration (and British intelligence too).

        It’s been the Clinton machine’s most successful spin creation thus far.

  32. JK

    “I’ll have you know the historical romance novel, Once A Rebel, I was engrossed in …”

    You ain’t sore at me though are you?

    There’s more’n just the one or two ‘laughables’ I found – a veritable gold mine of would-be-spooks running around.

    Too I hope you noticed (but mainly in the comments) the guy’s apolitical, which is refreshing. And there’s two smackdowns of actual journalists – also in comments – you ought not miss, though the last one’s way down in the thread. Far past the one I copied above. I figure I’d spent maybe an hour “checking the goods” before I came here leaving the link and just now finished the thread and some few of the links ‘others’ provided. Sure some of the commentors are definitely partisans (of one stripe or another) but the guy seems more than willing to let whoever the commentor he’s not interested in the politics of it.

    As for the ‘gee-whizzery’ I’m gonna email the link to a pal of mine works for our ABI’s Cyber Division and I’ll get back here probably sometime late tomorrow with his (the pal’s) assessment of the “doables/professionalism” of what’s on there – my non-tech-IQ says it’s legit.

  33. JK

    Andy’s featured here LB, haven’t listened (yet) to it myself:

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/12/an-impeachment-preview.php

  34. JK

    “Spin Redux” by … Guess Who?

    https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/472763-rising-december-3-2019

    Probably the most (in my opinion of course) neutral media site in the US.

    • I find Krystal Ball just tells it like it is.

      Still haven’t listened to the Andrew McCarthy link you posted earlier, JK. I will though.

      There’s a massive Dem/media spin tsunami against any Republicans who mention Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election, despite even the NYT and Politico reporting on that a couple years ago. Granted it was nothing on the scale of the Russian govt’s orchestrated info war operations, but still it did happen and it resulted in that little black book that took out Manafort.

      I tweeted the news links several times (places like NYT and Politico… not the far-right fever swamps), but not going to bother with more. Perhaps Durham’s investigation will delve into that. Still wonder why the Dems/media spun this latest Red Scare spin so aggressively, that if you mention Ukraine interference you’re spreading Russian disinformation, but I feel sure concerns about America’s national security had ZERO part in the spin decision. They wanted to silence Senate Republicans from mentioning Ukraine interference…

      • JK

        No I don’t think the natsec stuff had any part of it either if only because the “concerned parties” didn’t make any issue of it whatsoever until after the election loss. Actually quite the reverse – “the 80s called they want their foreign policy back!” “wait until after the election and I’ll have more flexibility” et cetera et cetera.

  35. JK

    Not having the luxury of being able to (yesterday’s weather being the first for oh, two weeks or so, that was both warmish and dry and my having “stuff to do” requiring both, I had to take advantage of it) Anyway I had not the time to watch the Professors lecture Congress on the finer points of the advisability of the latest Impeachment “process.”

    So. I hit your homepage first hoping you’d have some post up from which I could borrow [steal] whatever ideas I could in order to, when on other blogs attempting comment, have some clearish understanding of what happened so to form a coherent comment.

    You see LB, it’s only from you that I trust to form what I think? (Unlike media you see stuff from both [all] sides.)

    You gonna have a post up anytime soon LB?

    • Thanks for praise JK, but my opinions are truly amateur hour. Been intending to get some blog posts written lately, but then I get distracted by other real life stuff and just don’t buckle down and write something.

      I didn’t watch the “esteemed” legal experts and frankly, after watching all of the revered “career foreign service people” testify and by the time we were treated to the performance of our nonpareil national security expert, Fiona Hill-The Non-Partisan, I fear, my patience with The Schiff Sideshow was exhausted.

      I did catch a few minutes here or there of the hearings yesterday, while helping my husband, because he keeps his TV in the sunroom on FOX News all day long and what those bits led me to believe was this just more hyper-partisan spin theater.

  36. JK

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/open-ended-criteria-dershowitz-says-next-democratic-president-will-be-impeached

    Sad thing about that prospect LB is, I think events will prove him correct.

    If Nancy’s sad now (or, whoever her counterpart may be) she’ll be sadder.

  37. JK

    God I laugh at how Andy puts it at the nine minute mark:

    • JK, He’s got it about right. Geesh, now the Dems and their media spin clowns are accusing Republicans of being Russian assets for even mentioning Ukraine interference. David Corn, one of the big Dem spin operatives, who launched the Steele dossier spin effort, tarred AG Bill Barr as assisting Russia too: https://twitter.com/DavidCornDC/status/1204539154819772416

      They’ve gone off the deep end with their Red Scare spin melodrama.

      Haven’t read any of the Horowitz report and am thoroughly sick of the fake impeachment hysterics, but seems there’s plenty more of this Dem fainting couch #Resist spin to come. Expecting John Durham will be smeared as a Trump stooge and/or Russian asset soon too, since he disagreed with Horowitz’ conclusions.

  38. JK

    I think you’re right – about them being off the deep end that is. But then again the Republicans are similarly positioned – the “Oh no it ain’t so’s” at every instance of the Democrats saying whatever probably making it inevitable.

    I have read it the first time through though the studying of it as well as the separate studying of the footnotes (as well as having to compare all (well “some” anyway) of what’s known from other sources) hasn’t begun quite yet.

    If part of the goal of all this is to ‘wear us out’ I’d have to say our pols have done an admirable job of it.

    Still something’s nagged at me from the beginning of all this stuff and exactly what it was/is I’ve, until just now, not been able to quite put my finger on what it was. Peter to the rescue:

    https://bayourenaissanceman.blogspot.com/2019/12/the-ig-reports-whitewashing-of-fbi-is.html

    • “If part of the goal of all this is to ‘wear us out’ I’d have to say our pols have done an admirable job of it.”

      All of the “errors” went to damage Trump, but the issue I suspect goes way beyond “political bias” and although there is extreme bias involved, the real scope of the problem is harder to explain, more ominous, and so far I haven’t found any recognition of this problem and certainly no research.
      I dubbed the problem “information voids,” a term I made up to fit the problem, but perhaps information warfare experts have an actual term for this problem.

      With this full-blown scorched earth spin war, it’s easy to see how the news media (mainstream and FOX/Trump-friendly) constantly repeat distorted, deceptive, dishonest information (spin) and depending which news sources you listen to and trust, you will end up with completely divergent information and realities about the very same news event.

      Our understanding and ability to understand unfolding events relies on a whole bunch of unconscious analysis and assessing of previous information we’ve sorted through and picked what we believe and what we discard. If you end up believing more and more distorted, deceptive and dishonest spin, your ability to form rational, “unbiased” assessments becomes totally corrupted.

      Once you’re marinated into so much highly corrupted news information and everyone in your circle relies on those same corrupted news sources, how you assess new information becomes more and more corrupted too. All of these Obama/anti-Trump peeps trust in the mainstream media reporting and routinely cite it in their own official reports (same thing with the Mueller report). They truly “believe” most of the worst spin dirt about Trump and all of their closest work associates hold the same beliefs. Given that when something as serious as Russian info war threats is on the radar, the normal pressure would be to err on being more aggressive rather than less.

      A lot of liberals talk about Trump supporters as a cult, but they and all of their trusted liberal news media sources also behave in a cult like manner. So, although this Horowitz report is blowing huge holes into over three years of relentless Dem/liberal media spin, once these people start talking among themselves, they will quickly revert back to their cult beliefs. They will still believe the Steele dossier, still believe Trump is a Russian asset, still believe everything Trump does is a “threat to our democracy.”

      I’m not sure how America will be able to defeat the scorched earth spin war, but I know either partisan side “winning” the spin war isn’t winning at all – it’s America descending closer to irreconcilable divides.

      Breaking through the partisan echo-chambers would take a non-partisan front to emerge. And at this point, many of us are plain worn out by all of this spin war mess. It’s almost like torture to have to sift through literal mountains of spin crap to find even a single golden kernel… especially knowing these mountains of spin crap will quickly avalanche to bury you and that single golden kernel…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s