A Conspiracy So Immense

My brain is tired. Between writing the book and trying to keep up with the latest Mueller investigation news, my brain is telling me it wants to spend about three days binge-watching episodes of “Gunsmoke.” I will slog on as best I can. However, I do want to register a complaint that the mess surrounding Trump is making Watergate look simple.

One thing I believe I understand is that the investigation has Trump dead to rights on campaign finance violations. This is from Lawfare:

In short, the Department of Justice, speaking through the acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, is alleging that the president of the United States coordinated and directed a surrogate to commit a campaign finance violation punishable with time in prison. While the filing does not specify that the president “knowingly and willfully” violated the law, as is required by the statute, this is the first time that the government has alleged in its own voice that President Trump is personally involved in what it considers to be federal offenses.

And it does not hold back in describing the magnitude of those offenses. The memo states that Cohen’s actions, “struck a blow to one of the core goals of the federal campaign finance laws: transparency. While many Americans who desired a particular outcome to the election knocked on doors, toiled at phone banks, or found any number of other legal ways to make their voices heard, Cohen sought to influence the election from the shadows.” His sentence “should reflect the seriousness of Cohen’s brazen violations of the election laws and attempt to counter the public cynicism that may arise when individuals like Cohen act as if the political process belongs to the rich and powerful.”

Even David French at National Review admits that it’s unlikely prosecutors would have made such strong statements about the POTUS without corrorating evidence that supports Cohen’s testimony.

We also have more hints at connections between the Trump campaign and Russia, although nothing new that clearly incriminates Trump. Marcy Wheeler explains what Manafort lied about, which is interesting. But there are so many connections between Trump’s associates and Russians, both the Russian government and the Russian mob. And that’s where my brain freezes.




33 thoughts on “A Conspiracy So Immense

  1. I hear you about how complicated this thing is. I'm personally very tired of following all the ins and outs, all the twists and turns. That said, this is orders of magnitude worse than Watergate. People will be studying this case for decades, and children not yet born will be reading about it in history books.

    There are a couple of key points that I've read here and there and believe to be true:

    1) Trump is guilty. He's not even preparing a defense, because there is none. He will instead be trying to smear his accusers. 

    2) The only way Trump will escape jail is if he can remain in office as long as possible, because of this charming quirk in American tradition that a sitting president cannot be indicted.

    This means: a) thwart all efforts at impeachment (should be easy, given the supine Republican Senate), and b) get re-elected at all costs, in 2020.

    Essentially his only strategy to avoid jail is to run out the clock, to die first.

  2. "…when individuals like Cohen act as if the political process belongs to the rich and powerful."

    Nice, and I appreciate the sentiment but the reality is the rich and powerful actually do own the political process and so much more.  Cohen and Trump are definitely deserving, but if DOJ were actually consistent with that there'd be a lot more people under indictment and/or in prison. 

    Until campaign finance laws are changed, the wealthy will always own it.

  3. csm: "appreciate the sentiment but the reality is the rich and powerful actually do own the political process and so much more"

    Right, I'd like to say to the prosecutors, no sh#t Sherlock it's called Citizen United, the decision by the supremes which basically gave away the election process to dark money millionaires and also makes a joke of campaign limits, just like President Obama said it would, remember? However I still believe even if the house impeaches on campaign finance law violation (which I agree with maha, they have him dead to rights) the senate will never convict, the right-wing talking points are already taking shape: he was trying to protect his family, it was Cohen who should have knew the law, what does this have to do with Russia, etc.etc.etc………..

  4. Maha, If you take the redacted pages of the Cohen or Manifort sentencing documents and turn the page sideways, they look just like the bars of a prison cell.

  5. Oh, tRUMP's guilty all right!

    And so are 'all the president's men. '  Note: Not one woman was charged!  (The same for Nixon's crime syndicate, and Clinton's… Not… Syndic…Syndick… Fiasco!  BTW, IMO:  Women will finally be equal, when a female POTUS and her crew are charged with felonies).

    And it's kind of ironic that 'all the president's "MORANS!!!"'  will now probably LOSE more money paying attorney's fee's, than they'd have MADE with their grift if tRUMP had lost – as expected.  And as planned – or whatever passes for planning in this confederacy of putz's). .

    What else wasn't planned – besides Hillary losing, I mean?  Well, that's easy:  The possibility that if things didn't quite come out as they'd hoped, that they might serve some not inconsiderable time in prison.

    If I were to make a movie about this dangerous political circus, I'd title it "The Broducers." Or, "All the President's 'MORANS!!'" '

  6. Lies all lies, Comey utters nothing but lies.  Guilty, not a chance, as we know some are above those low class feelings.  This is the gut of infallibility tweeting here, and his gut says Comey lies.  Who would dare cast doubt on his judgement.  As Sylvester the Cat so often said (also not the truth) "I thought I heard a Tweetie Twurd".  Close to the truth though.

  7. "Note: Not one woman was charged!"  

    Cund, I heard an analysis from yet another "former federal prosecutor" looking at where we are and how this seems to be playing out, that there are three people who will most likely be charged with conspiracy or some  associated crime: Kushner, Jr., and yes, daddy's little girl/wife, Ivanka.  She's all up in the emoluments scam, what with the China patents and other grifts.  Branded as the smart businesswoman, even the illegal advantages from Daddy Deals still couldn't save that clothing business.  This rotten apple hasn't fallen too far from the tree.

  8. Westerns have always bored me to death, so I would need to be nearly incapacitated to appreciate "Gunsmoke".

    I am enjoying and recommend The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu. It's definitely not comfort food, but the novel it’s based on will become a classic, in the same league as 1984 or Brave New World. Everybody remarks on how prescient it is, having been written in the early 1980s.

    • I read the Atwood book years ago. I watched most of the first season of the series but found it more upsetting than soothing. I need soothing these days.

  9. Moonbat,

    Add Zamyatin's anti-Utopia, "We," to that list.

    It's the earliest of the modern anti-Utopian novels, and has aged well in the nearly 100 years since it was first published in the then young USSR.

  10. If you can catch some reruns of Little House on the Prairie they'll always leave you with a soothing sense. Homespun, salt of the earth kinda stuff.

  11. My maternal grandmother used to love "Gunsmoke" when it was a half hour and in B&W.   When it went to a full hour, there was a period when it really pushed the boundaries.  It was the best of the cowboy shows in my book. 

  12. Goatherd,

    I'd throw "Raw Hide" in there.

    "Bonanza" was too predictable.  Everytime one of the son's brought a female love interest home to the homestead to meet Pa 'n the boy's, she ALWAY'S died!

  13. I must be older than y'all coz I think the best westerns were the old ones, like Roy Rogers and the Lone Ranger.  I fell in love with Roy when I was about 6yo and planned to marry him when I grew up but Dale Evans was in the way.  As for comforting or soothing, I like Leave it to Beaver.  It's a little hard getting past the suits & ties for the men and the high heels and jewelry for the women but it did have a moral or lesson.  I wish I could have raised my kids with as much patience. 

  14. OK. So who are the counterparts here of the Gunsmoke characters. Obviously.  Maha is Miss Kitty.

  15. I've always enjoyed crime shows.. Racket Squad, Dragnet, the Untouchables. I guess that's why I'm enjoying watching Mueller and his crack team of investigators bringing the Trump crime family to justice.

  16. I hate westerns; but, then, I am an American Indian and I quickly caught on to how we were always the bad guys.  I love mystery movies, especially from the late 1930s and 40s.  When I need relaxing, I make popcorn and watch some Charlie Chan, the Saint, the Falcon, Philo Vance, the Thin Man mysteries.  Hallmark has a lot saccharin but the saccharin is outweighed by the astoundingly large number of commercials they have.  I watch some of the mysteries; but, if it is a good mystery, I order the dvd; and, then, watch it without commercials.  P.S. I make really, really good popcorn.  I wish the press would stop covering trump's tweets.  I see no need in making him feel more important than he is.  Think there will be a state funeral for him like this last one.  I hope not.  If there is and I am around, I will spend the time watching old mysteries.  I hope he goes to jail.  Soon!

  17. Bonnie – I think Trump will be the first American president so unpopular they can hold his state funeral in a phone booth (remember those?)  and have room left over for the choir.

  18. doug…. Trump is going to have to pay for professional mourners at his funeral. You know, similar to the stage extras who were paid to cheer on his candidacy announcement when he made his famous Hollywood descent down the escalator.

     You can rest assured when that big bag of shit departs for over yonder, there won't be a rending of garments or a gnashing of teeth.

  19. Escapism?  I've done the last three months basically on the DVDs of the Outlander.  Pretty people, prettier clothes, some pretty good sex.  Not gonna ask for more.  Started skipping the torture scenes after about round five. 

  20. Dibs on Festus!

    This goes out to grannyeagle and Bonnie from "the guy who can get into 'Eraserhead' for free."  

    It actually made me a little misty, I'd forgotten how much time has passed.

    I hope the link works.

  21. I watch The Office, but it occasionally rubs up against modern reality, so I switch to Star Trek. Reminds me of my youth.  I'm thinking that Trumps Presidential Library will be a buncha TVs mostly showing reruns of Fox and Friends, with a few Golden Oy good hair days.  There will also be a large graffiti wall, pretty much the whole outside of the building.

  22. Reuters is reporting the Russian Lawyer has flipped.  Expect aggressive tweets.  The market is down again.  Brexit is on life support. Trump is busy fixing France's political woes.  Just another normal Monday.  

    Why does everyone seem so desperate for escapism?




  23. The Russian Mata Hari who stalked the NRA can't give anyone up without the permission of the Kremlin. The Kremlin recently announced that they won't seek a meeting with Trump. SNL hinted about this with the line from Putin that he'd avoid Donnie- "I prefer presidents that don't get indicted."

    If Maria B. is giving up top people in the NRA with Putin approval, then Moscow is throwing Trump under the bus. That's entirely possible if they want to sow discord in the US. IMO, it's going to be an interesting indication of where Moscow stands if she implicates Americans in the spy scheme, and which ones.

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