Watching a Presidency Implode in Real-Time: Frank Rich for NYMagazine

by Dartagnan – Frank Rich is one of the more savvy political commentators in journalism. As a former columnist for the New York Times, a producer for HBO, and now an esteemed writer-at-large for New York Magazine, Rich is one of the true “elites” that Republicans have taught their base to ignore or despise, depending on how accurate and trustworthy their writing and analysis happens to be. The more penetrating and close to the bone, the more the journalist is to be maligned, according to Republican dogma. His latest observations in NyMag are likely to evoke a profoundly negative response from Republicans. Which means they are spot-on. Rich’s analysis for the past few months has been presented in a “Q and A” format at NY Magazine. At times, the actual question is rendered unnecessary as Rich’s response provides adequate context. Those instances will be carefully edited by your humble Diarist, and his responses edited to emphasize their essence, and with...

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Brennan: “I am aware of intelligence of contacts and interactions between Russians / Trump Campaign”

by jamess – What’s that old Law School truism … “Never ask a Question, that you don’t already know the Answer to.” Well, it seems like the Perry-Mason-wannabee Trey Gowdy, must have ditched class that day way back in the 80’s, when that lesson was being taught … if the stark and to-the-point Answers given by John Brennan, to Gowdy’s “gotcha” Questions, are to be any guide. House Intelligence Committee meeting, on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, May 23rd 2017  (Transcript from realclearpolitics.com )   … Did evidence exist of collusion, coordination, conspiracy, between the Trump campaign and Russian state actors at the time you learned of 2016 efforts? BRENNAN:  I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known...

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Steve Bannon Told Trump: ‘go to the mattresses’ & Bodies Falling at WH Just Like a Mafia Movie

by ursulafaw – The Trump White House is flailing like a beached whale right now as Kremlin Gate looms like a tsunami in the distance. They can hear it roaring and it’s only a question of time before it arrives, smashing them down, engulfing them and splintering their soon to be lost dreams of glory. And who is the only man who can stop it, or so he tells them? Steve Bannon. Steve Bannon has advised Donald Trump that his only hope is to “go to the mattresses,” under Bannon’s direction if he wants to  save his presidency. This from the Washington Post: Although much remained fluid Saturday, the beefed-up operation could include the return of some of Trump’s more combative campaign aides, including Corey Lewandowski, who was fired as campaign manager nearly a year ago, and David N. Bossie, who was deputy campaign manager and made his name in politics...

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“NSA in Unprecedented Hunt for KremlinGate Evidence”

by pollwatcher – The Trump regime has relentlessly attacked our Intelligence agencies in an effort to discredit them and obstruct any investigation into the regime’s love affair with Putin and other ruthless authoritarians.  I’m not sure how they thought this was going to be a good idea, but it looks like the NSA has had enough.  … now that the Justice Department has appointed Robert Mueller special counsel charged with running the Russia investigation, NSA is apparently pulling out all the stops to track down any additional evidence which might be relevant to the expanded inquiry into KremlinGate. Specifically, last week NSA is believed to have sent out an unprecedented order to the Directorate of Operations, the agency’s largest unit. The DO, as insiders term it, manages all of NSA’s SIGINT (signal intelligence) assets worldwide, making it the most important spy operation on earth. … Such an order would have charged every...

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‘RussiaGate’ Has Become a Catastrophic Failure of Leadership — and a Debacle From Which the Trump Presidency Will Not Recover

by DOUGLAS BLACKMON – The Trump-Russia scandal has metastasized quickly and destructively. A little more than a week ago, I said on CNN and wrote on Facebook that — based on reporting I’d just completed in Washington DC — it was clear that the controversy surrounding Russian contacts with advisers to President Donald J. Trump and his campaign team was about to become much more serious and much more directly focused on the president himself, and would have deeply troubling consequences for our democracy. The revelations since then have confirmed all of that, and will be remembered as the point when an extraordinary but perhaps still manageable political embarrassment for the Trump administration mushroomed into the most serious controversy to engulf a presidency since Watergate. Based on what we know already, and new revelations that will soon illuminate more key events in this sequence, our country faces a dramatic constitutional exigency....

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RUSSIA-GATE: Senate Intelligence Committee Investigation – Let’s Meet the Members Shall We

by Doctor Who – This weekend’s 2.5 hour meeting of the Senate Intelligence Committee with FBI Director Comey, ended in a bunch of Senate Committee Members walking out stone faced and pale as if they had seen a ghost, and followed the next day by a letter from the Committee asking all individuals and Agencies to preserve any and all records having to do with Russia-Gate.  With these recent developments I though it might be a good time to take a look at the makeup of this Committee that arguably has the fate of the US Democracy in its hands. So here they are: REPUBLICANS: 1. Richard Burr (R-NC), Chairman 2. James Risch (R-ID) 3. Marco Rubio (R-FL) 4. Susan Collins (R-ME) 5. Roy Blunt (R-MO) 6. James Lankford (R-OK) 7. Tom Cotton (R-AR) 8. John Cornyn (R-TX) DEMOCRATS: 1. Mark Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman 2. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) 3. Ron...

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