Like a Reince/Stone cowboy

I’ve had the suspicion for some time that even though the FBI may not be able to prove that Trump colluded with Russia himself, there’s an awful lot of evidence piling up that Page, Manafort, and Stone did. For example, Roger Stone has admitted to talking with Guccifer 2.0 (I know that I’m a McCarthyite red-baiter for stating these facts, of course). So I guess the plan will be to say that the people currently running Trump’s White House — Preibus, Bannon, Kushner etc. — had nothing do with it, and it was all the fault of a few marginal bad apple rogues:

“You had Sam Clovis, God bless him, who tried to put together an advisory group of people,” the official said. “Then you have the whole Manafort-Ukraine thing and Roger Stone running around doing whatever Roger Stone is doing.” He added, “This campaign, early on, had a lot of marginalia associated with it. Guys like Carter Page, Roger Stone. I have no earthly idea what those guys have been up to, right?”

[….]

The White House official’s attempt to separate Trump from the “marginal” figures who once ran Trump’s campaign isn’t likely to work. Later in the day, Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, echoed this spin publicly when he claimed that Manafort played a “limited role for a very limited amount of time” in the campaign. In fact, Manafort worked for Trump for six months last year, from March to August, the crucial period in which Trump secured the Republican nomination and fended off potential challenges at the G.O.P. Convention.

But the larger takeaway from the White House’s spin is that the top people around Trump may have no idea how much exposure the President has on the issue of Russian collusion.

I have no idea how much it will hurt Trump if it can be proved that Stone or Manafort or Page had some quid pro quo with the Ruskies. Chris Christie isn’t in jail for Bridgegate. But his approval rating sure is low.



Late Night Horrowshow Open Thread: “A man with no fixed address”

Dolt45’s Brain (Bane?) as described by the Washington Post:

In the three years before he became Donald Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon lived as a virtual nomad in a quest to build a populist political insurgency…

He owned a house and condo in Southern California, where he had entertainment and consulting businesses, a driver’s license and a checking account. He claimed Florida as his residence, registering to vote in Miami and telling authorities he lived at the same address as his third ex-wife.

At the same time, he routinely stayed in Washington and New York as he engineered the expansion of Breitbart News and hosted a live Breitbart radio program. By 2015, Bannon stayed so often at Breitbart’s townhouse headquarters on Capitol Hill that he kept a picture of a daughter on a mantle piece, beneath a portrait of Abraham Lincoln…

The issue of Bannon’s legal residency has been simmering since last summer, shortly after he became chief executive of Trump’s campaign. The Guardian reported in an Aug. 26 story that he was registered to vote at a then-vacant house and speculated that Bannon may have signed an oath that he was a Florida resident to take advantage of the state’s lack of state income taxes. In California, where Bannon had lived and owned property for more than two decades, income tax can exceed 12 percent…

In the digital age, when most Americans leave a clear footprint of their whereabouts, Bannon left a meandering trail filled with ambiguity, contradictions and questions. The Post found that Bannon left a negligible footprint in Florida. He did not get a Florida driver’s license or register a car in the state. He never voted in Florida, and neighbors near two homes he leased in Miami said they never saw him. His rent and utility bills were sent to his business manager in California.

Bannon’s former wife occupied the premises, according to a landlord and neighbors.

At the same time Bannon said he was living with his ex-wife, she was under investigation for involvement in a plot to smuggle drugs and a cellphone into a Miami jail, a law enforcement document obtained by The Post shows…

The two were married in 2006, when Bannon was 53 and Clohesy was 36. They divorced in California in 2009. She had moved to Florida in 2008, “starting a new life in Miami,” Bannon said in court papers during the divorce. But the two remained in touch, and she worked on three political documentaries he directed in 2011 and 2012…

The $4,900 monthly rent was a big jump for Clohesy, who declared on the lease application that her most recent apartment had cost her $950 a month, documents show. But by his own account, Bannon could afford it.

He stated on the application that he earned $750,000 a year as chairman of Breitbart News Network, a figure that has not been previously reported. He also earned $270,000 as executive chairman of Arc Entertainment, a film distribution company based in Santa Monica, Calif.

In addition, Bannon received about $100,000 in salary that year as part-time chairman of the Government Accountability Institute, a new nonprofit charity in Tallahassee, according to filings with the Internal Revenue Service. Bannon, two Breitbart writers and other conservative activists had launched the organization a year earlier and it produced reports and books that were promoted by Breitbart. Bannon claimed he worked 30 hours a week at GAI, according to IRS filings…

On April 2, 2014, more than a year after Bannon signed the lease on the residence in Coconut Grove, he registered to vote in Florida and listed the Opechee Drive address as his legal home. Bannon did not have to show an ID to register. He provided the last four digits of his Social Security number to verify his identity.

One of the allures of Florida is its zero income tax rate for in-state residents. The Post was unable to determine what state Bannon claimed as his primary residence for the purpose of income tax…

On Feb. 18, 2015, Bannon ended the water and sewer service at Opechee Drive and switched the service to Onaway Drive, less than a half mile away in Coconut Grove, records show. Five days later, Bannon changed his voter registration to Onaway Drive.

The Opechee house was left in disrepair, according to an email between the landlord and Bannon and interviews with the landlord.

Padlocks had been placed on interior doors — or the doors had been removed altogether. A hot tub was destroyed.

“[E]ntire Jacuzzi bathtub seems to have been covered in acid,” the landlord wrote in the February 2015 email to Bannon…



Saturday Night Fights Open Thread: Is This the End of Little Roger?

I’ve been waiting for the downfall of foundational ratfvcker Roger Stone since he was a damp little CREEPster in Tricky Dick’s administration (and I was in high school). Since the Trump puppeteers seem determined to bring back the full panoply of Watergate-era high crimes & misdemeanors (… the second time, as farce) there would be a pleasing symmetry if the expensively-dressed thug with the Nixon back tattoo were to finally fail his escape from the latest GOP heist caper due to an overenthusiastic investment in Lord Smallgloves’ pinchbeck empire…

Roger Stone, President Trump’s longtime confidant and former campaign advisor, has admitted that he was in private communication with one of the Kremlin-connected hacker personas behind the Democratic National Committee email breach last year.

Stone — one of several Trump associates under FBI investigation for potential Russia ties — acknowledged in a lengthy statement Friday evening that he communicated with Guccifer 2.0 in direct Twitter messages last summer.

The statement came in response to a recent Smoking Gun report that suggests Stone might have collaborated with Russian hackers.

U.S. intelligence officials and various cybersecurity firms have concluded that Russian spy agencies created Guccifer 2.0 as an Internet persona for the purpose of helping Trump win the White House…

Last weekend’s uncharacteristically angry (and hastily erased) tweets would certainly seem to indicate that the professional ‘political operative’ may be worried that, for the first time in his inglorious career, some other minion has beaten him to the sole available FBI-inside-informant slot. Some backstory, from Harry Reid’s former campaign manager:


Read more



The Squire of Poopville

So hubby and I were watching the original Star Trek series, first season, and there was an episode where Kirk and Sulu got captured by an alien being who manifested as a pompous braggart in a rococo lair.

The annoying douchecanoe alien was lecherous toward female crew who beamed down and got into silly pissing matches with the men, then bullied and threatened them when thwarted. At the end, his parents, who appeared as light beams, came to collect him.

It turned out the douchey alien was just a capricious child engaged in elaborate cosplay. The alien parents apologized to the Enterprise crew for their trouble while sonny boy whined about being removed from the sandbox.

No such deus ex machina will save us.

How’s your Tuesday going? I was out of town for a few days, so I’m beat from traveling. Just chilling out with the dogs, who are always clingy when I return from a trip. You?

Open thread!



Open Thread: DC Press Corps Contemplates the Remnants of Sean Spicer’s Career

I understand that ‘DC is wired for Republicans‘, but there there must be some limits…



Another Low: Trump Announces Official Program for Anti-Immigrant Repubs to Hide Behind Crime Victims

(Jim Morin via GoComics.com)
.

Per the Washington Post:

Trump met in the Oval Office ahead of the prime-time address with Jamiel Shaw Sr., whose son was shot by a gang member in Los Angeles in 2008, and Jessica Davis and Susan Oliver, who were married to California police officers killed in the line of duty in 2014. All three were guests in the presidential box in the House chamber, as Trump aimed to make a pointed message about the costs of illegal immigration a week after the Department of Homeland Security rolled out sweeping new enforcement guidelines.

Trump was joined several times on the campaign trail by family members of victims of crimes committed by illegal immigrants, including so-called “angel moms,” whose children had been killed. As president, Trump has pledged to raise their profiles, and the new DHS guidelines issued last week included a provision to create a new office to support such victims and their families.

“I have ordered the Department of Homeland Security to create an office to serve American victims,” Trump said in his speech to Congress. “The office is called VOICE –- Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement. We are providing a voice to those who have been ignored by our media, and silenced by special interests.”

Trump’s spotlight on the victims’ families has sparked an outcry among those who charge the president is exaggerating the risks to sow public fear to make his proposals more politically expedient. Studies have shown that immigrants, including the estimated 11 million living here illegally, have lower crime rates than the native-born population…

With such a kewl acronym, who could be against it?

Every single Republican office-holder owes America a public apology for putting this monster at the head of their party, and then ratfvcking him into the Oval Office.



Wednesday Evening Open Thread: History Starts Over Every Morning for Some People

As an acquaintance once said about his cat, “Every time she blinks, she opens her eyes to a whole new world.”

Except for the grudges! Those, they can carry around for a lifetime! THANKS, REPUBLICANS!
***********

Apart from remembering to thank whatever powers that we were not made as morans, what’s on the agenda for the evening?