The Beginning Of The End

Last week, I wrote the following:

Among the emerging Democratic Party stars in Congress is Rep. Adam Schiff, of California. He’s the Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee and has been a leading anti-Tr-mp voice, speaking calmly and intelligently and authoritatively, particularly when it comes to Tr-mp’s unhinged tweets about Obama’s nonexistent wiretapping of Tr-mp Tower. The congressman has put a lot of pressure on his Republican colleagues to take the danger of Tr-mp seriously.

On Monday, the head of the FBI, James Comey, and the head of the National Security Agency, Mike Rogers, came before Schiff and the House Intelligence Committee and essentially confirmed what we already knew—that Tr-mp is either deluded or a liar or both—and Comey confirmed what we highly suspected—that the FBI is investing links between Russia and Tr-mp’s campaign, and has been since late July.

I listened to almost all of the testimony yesterday, beginning with congressman Schiff’s opening comments, which are posted below. If you watch the 17 minutes of his statement, you will see why what I wrote about him last week is absolutely true, why we are lucky to have him. He is the right man for the job, the job of exposing Tr-mp for what he is, but in a way that no one can call hysterical. His hair wasn’t on fire. He presented what we know in a way that anyone could understand, anyone could follow.

Despite attempts by Republicans on the committee to deflect, obfuscate, and dilute what was happening as Comey and Rogers testified, what I witnessed as I watched yesterday was quite likely the beginning of the end of the Tr-mp regime. Oh, he may hang on for a while; he may even hang on through his entire term. But his credibility, to the extent anyone thought he had any credibility, is gone. His moral authority, to the extent anyone thought he had any moral authority, is gone. His ability to govern, to the extent anyone thought he had the ability to govern, is gone.

As some have pointed out, the leader of the free world no longer leads from the United States. She leads from Germany. Angela Merkel is the moral leader of the free world. Tr-mp, with his Putin-loving posture, his mental instability, and his disregard for diplomatic norms, is not to be trusted, is not fit for the job. Many of us knew this before he was elected, some are finding it out now, and others will never admit it. But it is true. I never thought I would live long enough to see it happen, to see the United States of America become what it has become. But here we are.

Watch Adam Schiff and you will get some idea of how we got here:

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15 Comments

  1. ansonburlingame

     /  March 22, 2017

    Duane,

    I am surprised your supporters have not commented on your point that Trump will now never be able to govern as President “forever”. I hope you are wrong but only time will tell. I do not write about that hope as a Trump supporter, which I am not, but simply as an American. Who wants our country to have to endure utter stalemate for four more years?

    It is astounding to me right now that the Freedom Caucus might well defeat the HC bill to fail in the House tomorrow. I doubt that will happen but it certainly could happen. OR that bill could be amended to satisfy the FC and then be filibustered to death in the Senate by Democrats. Either way it is back to stalemate over HC and we then must see the ultimate fate of ACA which if not fixed will cause ……. Then as premiums go haywire and a GOP House will never budget more money to support ACA, well where does that leave America?

    Next up is tax reform. Filibuster and again stalemate. Increasing Homeland Security and DOD funding will be filibuster and stalemate again. Government shutdown anyone? Likely, in my view and both sides will try to blame the other.

    Next up will be increasing pressure for impeachment of Trump with some form of collusion with Russia being the case. My guess right now is Manafort will be the primary source of such collusion and every possible attempt to tie those actions to Trump consuming America for a year or more.

    Then America will have to deal with a Pence Presidency or maybe even a Ryan Presidency.

    Then you get your wish and Dems regain control of House and Senate in 2018 but still with GOP control of WH until 2020. Then, God forbid, we get Dem single party power in 2020 and the radical Left (more and more socialism) agenda returns to power.

    Then ………

    One thing and only one thing will keep some semblance of conservative influence in American government if all that plays out and it is the “thing” that will be the hallmark of a short Trump Presidency. Gorsuch will be on SCOTUS and SCOTUS will constrain attempts to legislate form the bench, leaving the task to Congress to pass laws needed to advance your agenda.

    The only way you will get your agenda thru the Senate come the predictable 2020 political situation is 60 or more Dems in Senate and the center of DEMS cave in to the radial Left of your party to advance universal, single payer HC, free college, a less than 200 ship Navy, no carrier battle groups able to conduct combat operations other than defense of our territorial waters, a totally unreliable nuclear triad, and a national debt demanding interest only payments greater than our defense budget, at least.

    I wonder if Europe will come to OUR rescue in say 2022 or so??

    Anson

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  2. ansonburlingame

     /  March 22, 2017

    Duane, again,

    I was going to mention this above but it was too long to include. But today’s events compel me to bring this up, something I have suspected for several weeks now.

    U.S. intelligence and counter intelligence (FBI when conducted in USA) surveil “Russians” all the time, legally with FISA warrants. Anyone that does not know that should not participate in this conversation. Remember it is a warrant used to conduct intelligence gathering, not criminal investigations of U.S. citizens.

    Even if a “russian” is swept up in such surveillance it is very rare they are criminally prosecuted in USA simply to avoid revealing sources and methods, etc. They may be expelled but again not taken into a U.S. criminal court.

    So what happens when a U.S. citizen IN AMERICA is “caught up” in such surveillance. Assume for example that the surveillance did NOT reveal criminal activity by said citizen. NOTHING HAPPENS is almost every case and no one ever hears about such things.

    But what it the citizen says something or does something that MIGHT BE criminal? What next? Well the logical thing to do is “open an FBI criminal investigation” and get a warrant to surveil a suspected criminal. Now does such a “search warrant” go thru FISA? I doubt it but maybe it does. But for damn sure it would have to be a separate criminal warrant to “search” a U.S. citizen approved by “some” U.S. court. No such warrant has been found and I seriously doubt one exists. The FBI is far too concerned about revealing U.S. intelligence activities or methods to every take such information into an open U.S. court of law.

    It now seems (if one is to believe the GOP chairman of the House INTEL committee) that a new “leaker” has come forward (legally so says the Chairman) to report that in fact people associated with Trump were indeed “swept up” in some intelligence or counter intelligence surveillance of “russians”

    Like it or not, if the leaker is to be believed, some U.S. citizens were “caught” in some form of communication with “russians”. We have not idea what was said or done, criminal or innocent, “dirty politics”, “politically incorrect” or whatever name you care to apply. But there is the simple fact that U.S. “agencies” conducted surveillance of some U.S. citizens possibly connected to Trump campaign. They did so legally under a FISA warrant intended to collect intelligence or counter intelligence information, NOT criminal activity by a U.S. citizen.

    What next now I wonder???

    Maybe Comey will stand before Congress and say “What “xyz” said or did was stupid, dumb, careless, even negligent but there is not enough evidence that can be brought into court to warrant charging that individual with a crime”. Sort of like………..

    Then what?

    Anson

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  3. Anonymous

     /  March 22, 2017

    Anson,

    I’m not sure I’d believe anything the GOP chair of the House Intel Committe said. He leaked classified information to the press and spoke not with his colleagues on the committee or the NSA, but to the subject of the investigation. That makes him unfit to serve in his position and possibly in need of investigation himself. Manafort, the Campaign Chairman for Trump’s campaign, Flynn, Sessions, et.al. were in contact and/or taking money from the Russians. It is beginning to smell like the party of treason. Comey is on cruise control now that he assisted Russian efforts to tilt the election to Trump, he is not to be believed as well. Drain the swamp?!! It is now a mangrove swamp, impassable, and mired in corruption.

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  4. ansonburlingame

     /  March 23, 2017

    Anonymous,

    Duane must be busy doing other things. He usually gets right into the middle of such discussions and always states (or restates it) the case being made by the Left. Interesting when a new “twist” arises that may well be “bad news” for the Left he remains silent. But I am happy to engage with you on this matter.

    Bob Woodward himself said last night that this new information (IF true) was really a BIG DEAL. Again, if true, it shows the use of our intelligence agencies for political purposes by “someone”. As a minimum “someone” broke the law to publicize the Flynn information. Should we ignore such a legal violation?

    Both Schiff and Nunes are now playing this politically for all it is worth. Every statement by Schiff or questions asked by him in public hearings are designed to make the case for the Left. He is convinced he already knows all the “right answers”. His Dem followers on the intel comm do the same. Same for GOP with all public statements or questions asked try to make the case for the Right. That is exactly like a political campaign, NOT a bipartisan investigation involving really SECRET information, by either side.

    The one shining example of how this investigation SHOULD be conducted is coming out of the Gorsuch hearings. “Someone” must completely empty his mind of who did what to who, read the LAW very carefully, listen then to arguments of FACTS ONLY and then decide one way or the other.

    Is it now a proven FACT that Flynn talked to Russians? NO is my answer. Until I see the actual document showing who he talked to, when, where he was located during any discussion, who collected that information, did they collect it legally and can it be presented in an open court, then I say it is only a allegation at this point, certainly not proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Hell we don’t even know for sure if the “proponderance of the evidence” says he did or not hold a discussion “with Russians”, MUCH LESS what either man said.

    Did anyone in the Trump campaign hold any discussion with anyone about “foreign powers” or what U.S.. policy should be in the future. Absolutely they “probably did so”, but of course the devil is in the details of what they said, etc..

    Has U.S. intelligence gathered a “mountain” of information about U.S. citizens “talking to foreign powers” about U.S. policy. I hope to hell they have done so simply to gather all the intelligence possible about such matters. BUT THAT SHIT IS VERY SECRET and should be so.

    Which brings up the new term “masking”. I assume you (and other readers) know what that now means in terms of revealing innocent, politically correct, politically incorrect or even criminal discussions gathered by “intelligence agencies”. Only in the most extraordinary situations should such information be aired, publicly, period. Who exactly should make the decision to “go public”. I submit a totally impartial JUDGE should do so and politics MUST NOT HAVE anything to do with that decision.

    Of all the people, every Tom, Dick or Harry in DC today that should bear that responsibility, my pick would be Gorsuch or someone exactly like him. NO ONE in Congress, the WH or any law enforcement or intelligence agency should be allowed to make that earth shaking decision.

    But you can bet your bippy that when a Gorsuch-like judge MADE such a decision, half the country would call him or her every name in the book and thousands of lawyers would be lined up to litigate that decision again and again until. Then it would go to SCOTUS and I bet my own bippy that with todays SCOTUS it would be a tie vote and the decision would be based on what a lower court had decided. If it was the 9th court, you would gloat and I would do the same if it was the 10th court, probably.

    I want the full and unvarnished truth in this matter and I don’t care who goes down and out when the truth is actually made available to me. Actually I would almost hope that BOTH Obama and Trump would share the same cell when it was 1. shown that intelligence information was illegally made public by one and 2. the other did something actually against the law to either win an election or illegally enrich himself. Of course the words “Obama” and “Trump” are metaphors for “people trying to win a political argument” illegally!!!

    If all those transcripts are made available publicly to impeach Trump, I want to see all the other transcripts showing Hillary (or her foundation or campaign organization) did the same thing. Show one side then show the other as well!!

    Your leaker got a head start a month or so ago. Now my leaker has Schiff backing and filling. Do you now have anymore of what is the real truth in this mess? I sure don’t, not yet and doubt that I ever will either. But as well “my leaker” has a leg up on yours.

    One other point. When we release all this “intelligence information” regarding the current mess I want to go back and see all that information as it relates to Benghazi!!!

    Finally, what SHOULD both Schiff and Nunes have done yesterday. The two of them should have gone into a SCIF together, with no one else in the room and no one “listening in”. Nunes say “Here is what I just was told”. Schiff says “That’s BS”. Nunes says “What should WE (not I) do with it”. Schiff says “Don’t tell anyone else”. Nunes says “OK, but then what?” Schiff says “Let’s take it to the “committee” to decide”. Nunes says “OK”

    Then “someone” on the committee or their staffer, or secretary or the janitor cleaning the office “leaks” it anyway. Then what? Well, they both say, “Let’s be transparent about all this shit” and hold a press conference together. Boy would I like to be in the press core asking the questions at THAT press conference. But all they would say is “We both share a block buster secret but cannot confirm or deny what it is”. That will soon be called a “Comey response”.

    Then what?

    Who will win that political battle? Answer is “Whoever leaks last and best”!!!!!

    Anson

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    • Anson,

      I have been busy and haven’t had time to get into all this. But since you last wrote, a lot has changed. Right-winger Jennifer Rubin, writing in the Post today, pretty much nails it:

      End the Nunes charade, and follow the Russian money

      We now know Tr-mp lied about his financial relationship with Russian interests and was in a money bed with rich Russians, some connected with organized crime. We now know his campaign manager, who we previously knew had ties to a Russian oligarch, has so many corrupt connections and associations that they are hard to keep track of. And on and on.

      And Rubin brings up something that I think the GOP, should things get even uglier someday, will eventually use to impeach this asshole: Emoluments violations. Rubin says Democrats should, among other things, “demand a select committee to investigate Trump’s almost certain violation of the emoluments clause.” She is exactly right. And if Republicans were smart, if they weren’t so goddamned corrupt, they would see that such a committee would, eventually, be in their best political interests. They could use it to get rid of this orange cancer, even if a President P-nce turns my stomach almost as much as Tr-mp does.

      Duane

       

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  5. Duane —
    I’m sorry you have to wade through so much inane verbosity (see 3 out 4 comments above) to get to my small comment. The ones I’m speaking of are rambling and incoherent and sound like they were blubbered by a crackhead with the mentality: “Man, I’m feeling so friggin’ antsy. I’m tired of doing nothing. Let’s just burn the place to the ground.” But — I digress.

    I’m encouraged by the following facts:
    About 3 months after the “plumbers” arrests in 1973, Nixon’s staff began resigning — or were fired. I’m sure you can look it up. I know because in 1972 I was a member of the Committee to Re-elect the President — to my eternal shame. Now, back in those olden days, there were still Republicans you could call “statesmen” — unlike today. Still, Nixon won re-election in a landslide over honest George McGovern: 61 or 62% of the popular vote I believe. In less than 19 months from those arrests, Dick Nixon was gone. And long before his departure, mine from the GOP.
    Things moved slower in those days. What Nixon did pales in comparison to Tr-mp’s collusion and corruption. At a little less than 1% per week, Tr-mp supporters are realizing they’ve been had. Some are very unhappy (Bernie Sanders’ event in WV) — even at their own stupidity. The level of corruption in the GOP congress is so blatant and so deep that the unwinding of the evil will take work, but the American people are pissed — and the treason is undeniable.
    Tr-mp’s ability to “govern” — or whatever it is he want to call his golf-tweet-uninformed bullshitting — is not only reduced by its historic and mercifully tragic incompetence, but by public disapproval. The cowards who now populate the GOP are on what I like to call the “Burlingame Fence”: Should they be stand-up representatives of the people and throw PG Tr-mp out of the WH and into prison where he belongs? Or should they double down and hope, hope, hope, hope that the truth doesn’t come out before they can destroy America?
    The thing is, Tr-mp’s web of co-conspirators looks to be far more vast than Nixon’s. More chances for it to unravel. Nixon was paranoid, but he wasn’t an idiot. He and his people understood how government works. He was surrounded by competent players who should simply have fessed up in the early days. Donald’s dingbats are so pathetic — especially his apologists — that every time they move they step in another burning sack of their own excrement.
    The truth is out there. Be strong.

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    • Thanks for that summary and use of the Nixonian nightmare that, these days, seems rather mundane, as you suggest. Even if a fraction of what we suspect about Tr-mp is true, it is so much worse than what Nixon ever thought of doing.

      Nixon was smart, for sure. But he also harbored his own mental pathologies, among them paranoia. He did have some smart people around him, but not enough with the courage to stop him or correct him. He had people, like Chuck Colson, who would eat shit if Nixon asked them to. But the larger GOP in those days was, as you said, not the same as it is today. It is almost impossible to imagine more than a handful of Republicans in Congress right now who will openly challenge the corruption we literally see every single day. Sure, there are plenty of them, according to various news reports, who recognize and confess to reporters the shitstorm that is the Tr-mp “administration,” but those comments will stay on background. At least until a point is reached where Tr-mp is no longer useful to their legislative fantasies. In that case, they will turn on him and turn to Pence.

      My theory of all this has always been that if Tr-mp is willing to enact the Randian agenda advanced by Ryan and Company, Tr-mp is safe. If he starts doing more than making noises about “working with Democrats” and actually starts doing crazy things like actually working with them (as terrible a mistake as I think that would be for Democrats), then suddenly talk of Emoluments violations will come up. And that is if the Russian thing goes away. If it doesn’t, if Tr-mp is knee-deep in Putin’s scheme, then GOP leadership will gladly dump him and bring in Pence. I have always thought they secretly want a way to get rid of Tr-mp without pissing off too many of his voters. It is his voters, those crazy people who still believe in him, that keeps him in office at this moment. There are too many districts that can be switched, if enough of those voters stay home in two years, and it is quite possible Republicans could lose control of the House, if Tr-mp is impeached and convicted and makes a lot of noise, as we know he would.

      What this corrupt GOP is looking for is stability, enough of it to get their radical agenda through before campaigning starts next year. Tr-mp does not offer them much stability, but until a politically defensible way to get rid of him is available, they will have to take what they can get, in terms of dealing with him. They don’t give a damn that he is a vulgar, treasonous kleptocrat, so long as they can get his ugly signature on their ugly bills.

      Duane

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  6. Anonymous

     /  March 23, 2017

    Anson,

    You say the anonymous tip that lead to Flynn’s resignation was “breaking the law” revealing classified information. When Numbnuts, I mean Nunes cites an “anonymous” source saying there was “incidental surveillance” of Trump associates, then goes straight to the associates boss and informs him and the press about classified information, there is no law breaking. SMDH, hypocrisy much?

    Gorsuch was as full of crap as a Christmas turkey, claiming there are no Republican or Democratic judges. Ahem, bullshit. Flynn admitted talking with the Russians, and taking their damn money, and then lied to Pence about the call. As far as Nunes assertion that names were included, he already walked that back saying that it was obvious as to whom the intelligence report was referring to.

    I have no doubt sooner rather than later investigation reports will result in Trump’s impeachment. Christ, just the number of demonstrable lies he told in less than 70 days is bad enough. Nobody is going to go back and look at intelligence reports about Hillary or Benghazi, you crazy old coot. Intelligence leaks are not new in DC, but giving that information to the person involved in the investigation is something I can’t recall.

    Watching your party deal with healthcare is like watching a cub bear playing with his own junk. Nothing good will come of it, just a damn mess waiting to happen. I watched Nixon squirm like a worm in my High School days with him declaring, “I am not a crook”. What will be Trump’s finale, “It was fake news, not treason”. Expert negotiator, dealmaker, or just a traitor?

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    • Well played, sir. Gorsux reminds reminds me of a smug, frat boy — smirkingly guilty of diddling the dean’s 15-year old daughter. As for PG Tr-mp? Treason it is.

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  7. ansonburlingame

     /  March 24, 2017

    Anonymous,

    Only one point in response. Comey himself said there are legal ways for whistleblowers to divulge classified information. They go to a person with needed clearances and authority over the situation at hand. They are allowed by law to remain anonymous. It is up to the “authorities” receiving the information as to what to do with it. Far different situation, legally, than to discuss or even provided an uncleared member of the press such information.

    The BIG mistake made in this recent case of “leaking” is that BOTH Nunes and Schiff should have been on the receiving end of the information provided by the whistleblower. BOTH should have been at the table, in the park hiding behind trees or on speaker phone when the discussion first took place.

    Politics aside, this is a rather “simple” investigation if one sticks to FACTS. Did Flynn talk to “Russians”. Probably yes, but prove it. What did he say to “Russians”? Who knows, yet. Did he break a law when doing so? Who knows, yet. IF he broke a law can the information be revealed in court of law? Hardly ever when the classification of the discussion was highly classified, and more important, the means in which the discussion was highly classified. It becomes a difficult judgment call to decide whether or not to prosecute such a case. Should that be decided for political reasons or instead a rock solid risk/benefit decision process?

    IF Schiff says prosecute and Nunes says nothing there illegal, THAT becomes a huge political issue but not one that can be debated in PUBLIC, yet. What if FBI says prosecute and CIA says No? Who does Comey sit in front of to make his case to prosecute and CIA sit before to say No? Obviously any vote by the Intel Comm will simply be along party lines and you sure as hell cannot then take the case to the full House. Is that not exactly what happened when Clinton was impeached, a vote along party lines?

    But at least the Clinton impeachment played out in the full public view as “intelligence collection” was not involved. Same with Nixon, no Top Secret (followed by 5 or more codewords/coverwords) stamped on every page of such proceedings.

    If Trump or any of his associates broke the law I will support impeachment and removal from office of our President and incarceration of such associates, believe it or not. But such facts that make that case must be provided publicly to me in a court of law, in front of a full Senate being the case for Trump and other federal courts for his associates.

    In that case the best GOP lawyers in the land will advocate for equital and the best the Dems can provide will advocate for removal from office. “Did such acts rise to the level of impeachment of a President” will be the principle debate in such a court of law. I can form my own opinions in such a matter but so what. I MUST leave it to a jury to decide and an impartial judge to govern what information can be (legally, IAW rules of evidence) provided to the jury to make such a decision.

    If and when that happens I will accept the ruling of the “court”, like it or not. Will you?

    But this issue is now bigger than even the possible impeachment and removal from office of a sitting President. Has our intelligence community been used for domestic political purposes is the fundamental question that confounds me now. If the answer is Yes it indicates that we have become as bad a “Russian” using the full power of the State to gain political advantage and doing so illegally.

    Does the possibility of such astounding misuse of federal power give YOU grave concern, no matter whether a Dem of GOP president OR his associates did so (and the President let them do “it” once he found out about it)?

    “Everyone knows” that if you are in anywhere in Russia, someone is listening. Are we now at that point in America and is politics driving that problem?

    Politics aside, Anonymous, I appreciate the exchange we have had herein. You are advocating YOUR views and I am advocating MY view and we not called each other ……. Let the General rant away. I pay no attention now with HIM. You have made valid (but politically tainted) points and I have tried to respond with my own views (leaning Right for sure). That’s fine with me and such debates should be held particularly when matters are REALLY BIG DEALS, a possible law-breaking President (or key associates with knowledge of the President) OR possible misuse of intelligence collecting agencies for political purposes. Maybe BOTH things have taken place. My guess it both probably have happened now.

    Then what????

    Anson

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  8. Anonymous

     /  March 24, 2017

    Anson,

    We both were raised in the days of “party line” telephones, and if you made stupid, criminal, or threatening remarks, everyone on the line knew it. If you don’t think your calls are monitored today because of long distance (overseas) calls or keywords used inappropriately, then I would suggest you are mistaken. At any given time our government or others have the ability to monitor you through your telephones, televisions, or microwaves(according to Kelly Conway).

    I don’t think our intelligence agencies are being used as political tools, I do think however, the principals of these agencies can have confirmation biases which can influence investigations. Comey proved that to be true by his announcement days before the election re: Clinton’s e-mails, which he admitted were not worthy of prosecution, just interfering in an election. Sessions spoke of the high crime of perjury in Clinton’s impeachment (in which the term “intelligence” was notably absent), and did the same during his Congressional testimony. He spoke to the Russians on more occasions than admitted after exposed that he did.

    Flynn is a national disgrace, taking money from and talking sanctions with the Russians. I would even go into his ridiculous conspiracy re: Comet Pizza as a child porn entity ran by Hillary and Podesta. Nunes has zero credibility after his attempt to deflect attention, and must agree to an independent investigation without further partisan wrangling. The reasons for Trump’s impeachment are legion, his destruction of US credibility by his constant prevarications, his assault on our intelligence communities abilities, and his associates penchant to associate with enemies of our country(Russia) gives me more grave concern than anything I have ever witnessed.

    Snowden informed the American public of the depth and actions of the NSA after being dismissed by what you state Comey referred to as the proper action for whistleblowers. Some call him a hero, many call him a traitor, after watching “Citizen Four”, I am unsure. Everyone “knows” in the US as well as Russia that you should always assume you are being watched and listened to. My, how that would make things better, if everyone spoke honestly and assumed their mother and everyone were aware of their actions. I don’t think Trump is smart enough to have orchestrated the Russian influence, but I do believe he as aware of the treason.

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    • This intrigued me: “I don’t think Trump is smart enough to have orchestrated the Russian influence, but I do believe he as aware of the treason.”

      I look at it differently. I think he’s dumb enough to have at least ham-handedly attempted to not orchestrate, but piggyback on and coordinate with, Russian influence. I think he’s that dumb and that corrupt.

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      • Anonymous

         /  March 30, 2017

        Duane,

        I think Bannon, Stone, Page, Manafort, et al. orchestrated the coordination with the Russians, Trump knew and made it clear he approved when he made the request that the Russians hack to find “the 30,000 missing e-mails. I’d like to to see them shot for treason if proven.

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        • I think you’re right on target, Anonymous. If I may be so impertinent, I’d like to elaborate on your “et al”: …..and Kushner, Nunes, Flynn, Sessions, Pence, McConnell, Ryan, Tillerson, Gordon, Gowdy and Cheney. I’m against the death penalty —- mostly.
          Public hanging would be better than a firing squad IMHO. And Steve King should be added to the list on general principles.

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        • I’m not sure about Bannon’s role in all this, mainly because he’s such an ultra-nationalist who believes the West is under siege by, mainly, Islam, but who also recognizes that Russia does not have the West’s best interests at heart. My guess is he admires Putin’s fanatic committment to protecting his vision of a restored Russian empire, but would have stopped short of conspiring with Russia to do what certainly was done by somebody on the Tr-mp team. But I could be completely wrong. He is an asshole, after all.

          If it is proven that someone, including Tr-mp himself, were guilty of colluding with the Russians, I don’t know what else the crime would be called except treason. And treason can be a capital offense. But I’m almost completely against the death penalty. And besides that, if Tr-mp were guilty, personally guilty, of conspiring with the Russians, I would want him to rot in a federal prison somewhere and live with what he did every single day, taking his shits not on gold-plated toilets, but regular old prison shitters. That would be the punishment, in his particular case, that he would deserve.

          Having said all that, I have a feeling that most of what happened, and something did happen, involved amateurish, ham-handed attempts to get in bed with what the Russians were doing. The most serious part, I think, will actually involve Tr-mp and the banks, and whether he was stupid enough, or desperate enough, to get himself into a situation where he was, in fact, used as an instrument of Russian aggression against our democracy. We will find out in time.

          Duane

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