It’s more than Miss Universe Moscow

From Balloon Juice:

A guy neck deep in Trump’s shadiest finance deals suddenly hands ‘peace plan’ to Trump’s lawyer with apparent aim of toppling Ukraine’s govt? The ‘plan’ was to remove Poroshenko, let Putin keep Crimea in perpetuity and lift all sanctions.

But — but Vladi’s My Daddy tweeted I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING! Yeah, that’s right. Except those his son was thinking of in 2008 when he said, “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

Shooting the messenger

Yesterday Pajiba pointed out that one of the reporters who best covered Feckless Leader’s reeling, rude, racist press conference — pointing out Vladi’s My Daddy’s many lies, urging honesty re Russia, and generally expressing all right-minded people’s dismay at having an unhinged lout living in the White House — was none other than Fox News’ Shepard Smith. Today, of course, we learn that loyal Fox viewers are, as the Weekly World News’ Ed Anger used to say, pig-biting mad and calling for Smith’s head. It’s not that (h/t Balloon Juice) Dolt 45 could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody without losing his diehard 30 percent supporters; it’s that he could sit in the Situation Room and press a button.

If this be treason

I read Pajiba for the entertainment news (a TV sequel to Love Actually? oh, shoot me now), but there’s also a righteous headline quoting a national security authority quoting a senior intelligence official: “He will die in jail.” He, of course, is Donald Trump a.k.a. Vladi’s My Daddy, whose raging tweets don’t actually deny the ties between his campaign and Russia but merely rant about the leaks revealing them — leaks that, according to the national security authority, are about to “go nuclear” as the intelligence community Trump bashed and belittled ends up being his worst nightmare, if not the savior of the Republic.

I urge you to read the article along with Betty Cracker’s piece in Balloon Juice, which admits it’s not ideal to have our intel community neck-deep in our politics, but this is no ordinary time:

It was an outrage when Comey stuck his big, fat, morally upright thumb on the scales in the waning days of the election. So why cheer the intel community on now, hoping they dump enough dirt to bury the Trump admin?

Because this isn’t a normal administration. Trump referred to me and the 65 million other Americans who didn’t vote for him as “enemies” in his New Year “message.” He’s done nothing to reach out to anyone other than his rancid fan base. He’s stocked the government with racists, misogynists and bigoted kooks, and his top advisers are openly fomenting a global white nationalist effort to undermine Western democracies.

The Republicans who control Congress are willing to go along with Trump’s anti-American agenda if doing so will allow them to cut taxes for billionaires and take away people’s access to affordable healthcare. They’ve said so outright, so they can’t be trusted to do their job and keep our government from being controlled by a hostile foreign power.

… So, spooks it is. No, I don’t trust them completely. No, I don’t think it’s a good idea for the intel community to manipulate domestic politics (and I wish we’d mind our own business abroad too).

But desperate times call for desperate measures. If it takes leaks to force the Republicans in Congress to work with the Democrats and do their goddamned jobs, then bring on the drip, drip, drip.

Remember Hillary Clinton warning us about Russia and the Trump campaign in the debates? It’s part of another Balloon Juice post, which includes a glorious Bob Vulfov tweet of today’s presidential briefing outline (“Honestly, we are pretty boned … No way around it, boss … We should send an Edible Arrangement to VP Pence”).

Snark across the sea

Comedian Frankie Boyle riffing in the Guardian:

Presidents always enter office with something to prove, it’s just rarely their sanity … He is a super-villain in a world without heroes … If the Queen ever has to shake Trump’s hand, she will put on so many gloves she’ll look like Mickey Mouse … He looks like aliens came to Earth and made a human costume after seeing one commercial for a car dealership …

We face a brief political period that, unchecked, will bring at least irreversible climate change and, at worst, nuclear war.

Way to bring down the house, Frankie. Buzzkill. (It’s still worth reading for his comments on Trump Tower and Melania.)

A deranged decree

Pajiba points out that the only thing Feckless Leader is doing that isn’t Putin’s or Bannon’s bidding is “that thing that everyone said would get him impeached,” i.e., keeping his ties to his and his family’s business interests. Today it was tweeting — apparently during his freaking intelligence briefing — and then sending his press secretary out to repeat that Nordstrom should stock his daughter’s schmattas by presidential, regardless of market, demand. Reactions ranged from “conflict of interest” to “crook” to “unconstitutional.” Me, I’m thinking of following my sonnet with a song to the tune of Steve Martin’s “King Tut” called “King Putz.”

All in all, his brain’s another brick in the wall

Today’s jingle of the day comes from a commercial extolling the filter tip of Pall Mall cigarettes:

Over, under, around, and through
Pall Mall flavor travels to you

Texas Senator John Cornyn reminded me of it by saying (h/t No More Mr. Nice Blog), in regards to the cost of Feckless Leader’s border wall: “I have concerns about spending un-offset money, which adds to the debt, period. I don’t think we’re just going to be able to solve border security with a physical barrier because people can come under, around it and through it.”

B – b – but the wall won’t cost us a dime, because Mexico will pay for it! Get with the program, Corny! Between this and two Republicans opposing Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education, are we seeing a rift between the GOP and Lord Boor?

Cue Steve Martin from the end of those old “Saturday Night Live” sketches: “Naaaah.”

The Pygmy Colossus

I should have gone to the airport to join the protests against the thief executive’s outrageous, hypocritical, and un-American let’s be honest and call it a Muslim ban, but I was oddly moved to look up the Statue of Liberty’s legendary lines and write a poem instead. With apologies to Emma Lazarus and the sonnet form,

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame
Whose conquering stride spanned wide from shore to shore,
Still less like our America’s dear dame —
The woman with the torch, who by the door
To freedom spoke inspiring words now moot.
She weeps in silence, while an empty suit
(Unbuttoned sport coat, anyway — such girth!)
Occupied by a preening, strutting boor
Stands like a toxic blight upon the Earth
And cravenly cries, “Keep your tired and poor!
The innocents and children fleeing war
Will get no welcome here. Let men say, ‘Shame!’
But huddled masses now will find a dearth
Of pity where democracy saw birth.”

A braver blogger than I

Or at least possessor of a stronger stomach is Roy Edroso at Alicublog, who regularly reads some of the most outrageous wingnut screeds and reprints them with sensibly snarky commentary. This week, in back-to-back posts, he dispatches some feminine ninny who compares Ivanka Trump to Kate Middleton and, pausing only to come up for air, a Louis L’Amour loon who compares her father Lord Boor to — wait for it — Abraham Lincoln: “Not since 1860 have American voters rejected their elite and chosen a candidate without apparent qualifications.”

Roy’s remark: “Ah, I see; so in 1860 Americans (40 percent of them, anyway) … rolled the dice on a former Congressman at the head of a burgeoning movement and party who had stood for the Senate and whose debates with Stephen Douglas, a watershed in American political discourse, had been widely circulated — which lines up pretty good with ‘former reality TV star’ and ‘famous bankrupt rageclown.'”

He forgot to mention how Lincoln was backed and Douglas hacked by the Russians, but I’m still a fan.