The Night Before America’s Storm


Word came out late Friday afternoon that a grand jury has filed the first charges in the investigation over Russian interference in the 2016 American election. The charges come after months of investigation, headed by former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

There’s been much speculation since Friday over who’s about to be charged with some fairly serious crimes. Is it Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, who played a key behind-the-scenes role in the 2016 presidential campaign, and was apparently present in key meetings with Russian officials?

Or is it Paul Manafort, who for a time was Trump’s campaign manager last year? Manafort has spent most of his life in the shadows, mainly working former eastern bloc nations, mostly closely perhaps in the Ukraine where his business dealings attracted the attention of the FBI, who have been investigating Manafort for nearly 5 years over possible money laundering crimes.

While Manafort is a strong candidate for indictment (Kushner might be a longshot at this stage), my money is on retired general Michael Flynn, who served a fleeting few weeks as Trump’s National Security Advisor before resigning in disgrace after it was disclosed that Flynn lied about lobbying for the Turkish government and purposefully deceived Vice President Michael Pence over conversations with the Russian Ambassador about U.S. sanctions.

Why Flynn? Mainly because of another story that broke a few hours before the Grand Jury indictments leaked to the media.  Dana Boente (you can be forgiven if you don’t know who that is) was, at least until last Friday, a U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia. Boente however, resigned his post with no explanation. Why is that important? Because individuals such as Boente cannot maintain their position as an attorney if they are significant witnesses to significant crimes.

So where’s the connection? Well, according to the previous special investigator James Comey (who you know was fired by Trump earlier in the year), Boente was witness to at least two conversations between Mr. Comey and President Trump where the subject of the conversation was … Michael Flynn.

Still, this is very speculative. We won’t know until the indictments are announced. But whomever it is, it’ll mark the first strike it what will surely be many months of legal, if not Constitutional drama, as Mueller peels back each layer from the onion that will almost certainly lead to the White House.

That is assuming of course, that Trump doesn’t fire Mueller first.

Which might just happen this upcoming week.

Strap on the seat belt, the next part of this ride could get terribly bumpy.

Catalonia Pulls the Plug on Madrid

So this is kind of a big deal, and it just happened this afternoon in Barcelona:

The Spanish government has vowed to “restore the rule of law”. The table is set from upheaval not only in Spain, but in other areas of Europe with separatist movements. There are many, including Albania and Moldova. Not to mention other much larger countries like France, Germany, Italy and of course, Mother Russia.

UPDATE: Britain has quickly rallied behind the Spanish government, which wasn’t unexpected:

It’s likely other major European nations will follow suit, as the EU attempts to solidify some semblance of stability within a very fluid and uncertain situation.


Media Goon Bill O’Reilly Picks a Fight he Can’t Possibly Hope to Win

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Bill-o. You remember him, no? Many people are still struggling to forget his slimy presence on this planet, in particular the women he sexually harassed – god knows who for god knows how many years.

Since getting canned in disgrace from Fox News, which was (and for all we know still is) a seething pit of predatory sexual misconduct against women, news came out over the weekend in a significant NY Times story that O’Reilly made a sexual harassment settlement in January of 2017 to the mind-boggling tune of $33 million. The person who O’Reilly settled with was former Fox News (of course) personality Lis Wiehl, who while acting as a supporting mouthpiece on one of O’Reilly’s cheesy segments, also provided Bill-o with legal advice.

Let the record also show that as far as we know, Wiehl is the sixth woman that’s received a payout from O’Reilly to settle an harassment claim.

That Wiehl settlement is estimated to be nearly one-half of O’Reilly’s entire net worth, which begs the question, what the heck did he do to this woman? (as of this writing, all we know is that he sent her unsolicited pornography which is pretty bad, but there’s gotta be a whole lot more to what was going on. Also, it’s come to light that Fox News, just a month after the Wiehl settlement, signed O’Reilly to a 4 year, $100 million contract extension because, well, Fox News I guess).

In the time since the Times story, O’Reilly has been, as you’d expect, very contrite. Oh, who am I kidding?  He went on the attack by having his “new” legal council, Mark Fabiani send out this drivel:

Once again, The New York Times has maliciously smeared Bill O’Reilly, this time even failing to print a sworn affidavit from his former lawyer, Lis Wiehl, repudiating all allegations against Bill O’Reilly. The Times ignored that evidence, sworn under oath, and chose to rely on unsubstantiated allegations, anonymous sources and incomplete leaked or stolen documents.

In its latest diatribe against Bill O’Reilly, the Times printed leaked information provided by anonymous sources that is out of context, false, defamatory, and obviously designed to embarrass Bill O’Reilly and to keep him from competing in the marketplace.

Nothing to see here, folks. Bill, you see, is a very misunderstood man, no thanks to that mean old New York Times which had the audacity of reporting on actual court affidavits. Just to be extra sure that the people be reassured that it’s all be no big deal, O’Reilly went on the TV Monday morning, and managed to pick himself a fight:

Sure you wanna do that, Bill? Ms. Kelly, who currently has a morning talk-show gig that’s been more or less a rating’s disaster, is nonetheless, definitely not a woman to ratf*ck with:

But oh well, it doesn’t matter. Bill has already moved on with bigger fish to fry:

Probably a wise choice, Bill. Unlike Kelly, up against God you might still have a fighting chance.

Turns out General Kelly – not much Better than His Boss!

Why in heaven’s sake is this man defending the indefensible?

Oh, please. It’s been well known that the Representative Frederica Wilson has held a long-term personal relationship with the Johnson family, and was there with Myeshia Johnson, widow of fallen Sgt. La David Johnson who died in an ambush in Niger earlier this month, took that phone call from Donald Trump, from which he reputedly said “he knew what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurt.”

If anyone should be able to lend an empathetic ear, it ought be General John Kelly, who lost his son Robert, to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in 2010. Instead, he’s decided to do his boss’s heavy lifting by attacking those who had the audacity of speaking up over Trump’s utterly reprehensible behavior towards the widow of a fallen serviceman.

So cry me a river the next time anyone bemoans how difficult a job Kelly has controlling his boss. He signed up for it, and it now appears, he’s more than willing to wade into the political muck.

The Human Empathy Bypass Strikes Again


Hoo boy, hold onto something sturdy. This one is a doozy.

President Donald Trump told U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson‘s widow Tuesday that “he knew what he signed up for … but when it happens, it hurts anyway,” when he died serving in northwestern Africa, according to Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami Gardens. 

The president called about 4:45 p.m. and spoke to Johnson’s pregnant widow, Myeshia Johnson, for about five minutes. She is a mother to Johnson’s surviving 2-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter. The conversation happened before Johnson’s remains arrived at Miami International Airport on a commercial Delta Airlines flight. 

Wilson watched as the widow, who is expecting their third baby in January, leaned over the U.S. flag that was draping Johnson’s casket. Her pregnant belly was shaking against the casket as she sobbed uncontrollably. Their daughter stood next to her stoically. Their toddler waited in the arms of a relative.

I mean, where do you even start over something like this? The President of the United States tells the grieving woman carrying child, with her two other born children by her side to paraphrase, “tough shit lady, but your husband was asking for it.”

The problem, as there always seems to be one when it comes to having something, anything sticking to this wretched man who oozes from his mouth on a daily basis a slime of contempt towards the most vulnerable. Once again we’re faced with plausible deniability. While Johnson’s call was witnessed, it was by one of those dastardly Demo-crats. You can just see the vapid wheels already churning amongst The Donald diehard rushing to the President’s defence of this ceaseless sideshow of the grotesque.

God, I wish there was a tape of that conversation, not that it, I suppose, would make much of a goddamn difference.

UPDATE: There are now at least two witnesses to this event. From the Washington Post:DMbQ4GZWsAAs2J5

Also a tell, the White House’s reaction to what is reported to have happened hasn’t been to deny the event, but that the conversation between Trump and the grieving widow should be kept confidential:

On Tuesday night, an administration official, speaking on background, told CNBC that “the president’s conversations with the families of American heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice are private.”

In other words, “the President is an unsympathetic oaf but that’s nothing that should concern you.”

EVEN MORE UPDATE: Trump was just asked about the conversation. His response appears to be a non-denial denial:

The President is Not Well

I mean, really? Supposedly this man shot a 73 (or maybe it was a 74) at Trump’s golf club in Washington last week, and yet he needs assistance climbing three lousy steps?

The President is a verified junk-food addict and is also known to have bragged that he purposefully avoids any and all physical activities because of a long-held belief that exercise leads to premature death.

Trump is the oldest person to have ever been elected the office of the Presidency, and at 71, when you’re having trouble climbing stairs, you’ve got a big problem.

Catalonia Prepares to Declare Independence


It might be difficult to believe, but the man pictured above, Carles Puigdemont, is on the cusp of being one of the most prominent people on Earth. As we type this post, Mr. Puigdemont is giving a speech in which he may be declaring Catalonian independence from Spain, which sets the table for some incredibly tumultuous months, and possibly years ahead not only for Spain as we know it, but for the rest of Europe.

The Catalonia story has, to date, received mild interest in North America, in part because there’s not very much understanding or knowledge about the long-standing independence movement in western Europe, in part because much of the media attention on a day-to-day basis is consumed with the gravitational pull from the latest misdoings of the Trump Administration.

Depending on what Puigdemont says today, the world as we know it is about to change.

UPDATE: Puigdemont just wrapped up a fairly lengthy speech, and kinda-sorta declared independence, saying that Catalonia “will be a state”, while saying that he wants “dialogue” with Madrid.  Lots to digest here, but first impression is that if that was a declaration of independence, it was a soft call.

Mike Pence Sets Low Water Mark for Worst Staged Protest Ever


Sheyah. Riiiiiiiiight.

The logistics alone for giving a U.S. Vice President security at one of these events are a nightmare, and that’s not even considering the huge secret service costs involved. It still doesn’t prevent these numbskulls from “protesting.” I’ll bet a king’s ransom this stunt was planned many days in advance.

One might call it shameless. For this crew, it’s just part of their day-to-day operation.

UPDATE: Yup, it was a stunt. Here is the confirmation:


What Happens if a President has had an Empathy Bypass?

You get breathtaking scenes like this:


Or this:

Or this:

How can you have a man lead a country when he can’t understand or even relate to people who are suffering?

The answer is of course, he can’t.