Home » Ain't life great. » The Pumpkin – Issue 92: I was down there also… Treason!… We smell a rat… The grass is bluer… GW: And I’m aflame with such a burning desire.

The Pumpkin – Issue 92: I was down there also… Treason!… We smell a rat… The grass is bluer… GW: And I’m aflame with such a burning desire.

Lie of the day

“I was down there also, but I’m not considering myself a first responder”

– Trump lied magnanimously at a Rose Garden event, where genuine first responders on 9/11 were present to witness him signing a bill protecting their longterm medical care against his assaults on Obama’s Affordable Care Act. He went on to tell the heroic men and women who were really there at Ground Zero, that he had been down often, helping with moving rubble – a complete fantasy.

The Pumpkin looks forward to the fact-checkers’ version, especially as Trump has several times been forced to row back on lies that he “lost many friends”. There is no evidence whatever that he lost anybody he knew on 9/11; or that he was ever there – especially as he previously claimed to have been in New Jersey, where he personally “witnessed thousands of Muslims” dancing and cheering; something that also never happened.

We’ve since learned that he continues to tell the story of how he was luckily pulled off a helicopter flight before it crashed in 1989, killing two crew and three of his employees. A former PA says that’s just bullshit, he hadn’t been due to fly. He just has to insert himself, Zelig-like, into every drama.

I thought he might be crazy, but no: he’s just a pathetic, attention-seeking little creep.

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping clink glasses at a conference in Tajikistan.

“And once we’ve necked a few of these babes, we can throw the turnips at the Americans!”

 

“This is the new reality of Trumpworld, in which truth is forced to kneel by an open grave, before being shot through the head.”

Treason!

Astonishingly, since Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s six-hour appearance in front of the House Judiciary Committee being lightly slapped around on his famous report, 488 pages that few Murkans could be bothered to read – the Disney version comes out next month – Trump and his scummy acolytes have been loudly and triumphantly proclaiming that he said in all respects, exactly the opposite of what anyone watching would have clearly heard him say.

Asked directly by chairman Jerrold Nadler if his report “totally exonerated” Trump, as the president has been going around saying for five months since the report was published, Mueller clearly and unambiguously replied: “No. “Was there obstruction of justice? “Yes”.

Yet Trump is still furiously tweeting that Mueller’s testimony totally exonerated him.

Because he knows, not enough people would have been watching. Again, it’s all about the ratings, the percentages – the distractor factor. Without sufficient consensus – critical mass – between people who heard Mueller not exonerating the president, and the majority who weren’t watching, Trump is gambling, he can create enough doubt for those who did hear it, to be persuaded that they heard exactly the opposite of what they heard.

Never mistake this man for a complete clown.

Asked if he thought Russian activities had played a part in Trump’s election, Mueller replied “Yes”, and added that he had no doubt the Russians were continuing to interfere “as we sit here” in the 2020 campaign.

Yet Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Trump’s former press spokeswoman, now looking like zombie-shit (he added, ungallantly) since her ouster, her lyin’ eyes reduced to puffy slits, has tweeted that Mueller said exactly the opposite, totally vindicating the president and presumably the Russians. While Trump himself has doubled down on his “witch hunt” slogan, openly accusing Mueller of “treason”.

Treason! A legally constituted criminal investigation, sanctioned by no fewer than six circuit court judges, whose initial causes and purposes have twice been thoroughly investigated and found to be free of any possible taint of conspiracy against the president or any suggestion of “fakery” by Mrs Clinton, President Obama and the Democrat party.

(Oh, but Peter Strzok made a joke… Presidential harrassment! Witch hunt! Failing FBI! Dem conspiracy! Treason!)

Treason – a capital offence. While we might perhaps note, the Justice Department has just this week revived capital punishment for federal crimes, after decades in suspension. Intimidation? Surely not.

Treason – because Mueller twice disobeyed Trump’s illegal order to defy the Congress and not show up to testify.

Just more lies, piled on lies. Treason.

A report, of which Mueller himself commented at last month’s private hearing that if his findings had applied to anyone in America other than the president, they would have been indicted for obstructing justice. (He is still of the opinion that if Trump loses the 2020 election and leaves office next year, he can be indicted. After a second term, however, he is not so certain as there is a statute of limitations that may have run out by then.)

A report, which he had to defend twice in letters, accusing Attorney General Barr of putting out a false summary for public consumption prior to releasing the redacted version to Congress, claiming it had exonerated the president when it had not.

(Okay, Mueller has to take the blame for not saying as much without a confusing double-negative and a lot of pussyfooting, hand-wringing and punch-pulling over whether or not you could indict a sitting president and, even if you could, did he have the authority to do it? No, he didn’t.)

Findings, of which no fewer than ONE THOUSAND current and former prosecuting attorneys have signed an opinion stating that indictable crimes were undoubtedly committed, on the basis of the evidence.

A report, from which Trump’s enablers in the senate are desperately trying to persuade the American public that it’s “time to move on”, because there’s nothing in it.

This is the new reality of Trumpworld, in which truth is forced to kneel by an open grave, before being shot through the head.

And what is the excuse for the liar, Trump to contradict every word Mr Mueller said at that hearing? Well, as reported by a fawning, cringing media, even by the Washington Post and the New York Times – who should know better than to give the orange fabulist a pass –  it was because Mr Mueller’s “performance” lacked conviction, making him sound “old”, “unreliable” or even “incompetent”. It was “disappointing” that he had not added significantly to his thoroughly comprehensive report.

Disappointing, too, I imagine, that he did not break into a chorus of Happy Days Are Here Again and go tap-dancing around the room in a pink tutu, sprinkling fairy dust from a wand.

In other words, this 74-year-old man, a notoriously self-effacing, media-shy Purple Heart combat veteran and former most highly regarded Director of the FBI for twelve years, supported by a handpicked team of highly experienced, specialised prosecutors and the resources of the number one federal crime-fighting agency in the country; who had only the day before been instructed not to say certain things by Trump’s pet Deppity Dawg Attorney General, Barr – who has himself been ruled to be criminally in contempt of Congress – and was struggling to balance his allegiances to the Department of Justice (to which he was answerable); to the sacred office of the president, that he swore an oath to uphold; and to the American people, was not sufficiently “entertaining” for a TV audience.

Yet in all the key respects – I did not watch all six hours, just the highlights – his testimony totally supported the conclusions of the written report, that is there for anyone to read if they even give a damn, which clearly no-one now does.

Murka has moved on, to discussion of whether children in concentration camps should be allowed to sleep, eat, wash and use a toilet, or whether they are happier in conditions under which it would be illegal to keep a herd of pigs. Whether or not the president is a lying, criminal sonofabitch, well, is the Pope a Catholic? Who cares!

Murka has moved on, to discussion of whether people of colour should go back to whichever shitholes their ancestors came from, and stop becoming legitimately elected representatives of their communities, telling white folks how to run their country.

Murka is too busy fascinating over another story of a pedophile ring – this time, one that seems to have had an actual existence. Oh, and that may once have involved Trump! (He hasn’t said he wasn’t, only that he is “no longer a fan” of Jeffrey Epstein.) And Murka is worried Trump’s twin satraps, Pompeo and Bolton, may be dragging them into an oil war again, against a manufactured enemy.

There was no contradiction or backtracking on the Grandpa Mueller show. No “confusion”, although a lot of whiffling and card-sorting. Even in its redacted form, blacking out references to intelligence reports and grand jury testimony, the Mueller team had found that:

Yes, there was collusion with the Russian attempt to influence the election –  indeed, Trump has since stated publicly on camera that he would do it again! He would see no reason to inform the FBI if the Russians offered him “dirt” on his next opponent, “why would I?”

One hundred and forty instances were cited, of communication between Russian officials and members of the Trump campaign team. But “collusion” is not the word Mueller uses, because “collusion” is nowhere to be found in the criminal law. “Collusion” is not the name of the crime. “Conspiracy” is. Thus, and thus alone, there was no “collusion”.

And there was not sufficient connection found between campaign members and Trump himself on the issue of Russian interference, that would stand-up a criminal charge of conspiracy; although nobody objected to the Russians interfering, indeed they positively welcomed it. This is a legal technicality, not proof of innocence. Although, as Mueller said at the hearing, having understandably some difficulty getting the words out, Trump “generally, yes” had lied to him in written answers to questions, and other Trump officials had lied under questioning, while documents and recordings had been destroyed, so that all the evidence could not be properly evaluated.

(It may be noted, that the full story of the Russian campaign of interference was not covered by the report, or in Mueller’s testimony because, as he said, it is still under investigation. Nevertheless, there was no doubt it happened; which is why Trump has now let the Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, go and has nominated a dumbfuck Texan in his place, a man with no intel experience, who agrees that Mueller, Clinton and President Obama should be investigated for treason. Yes, Dear Reader, you are watching a re-run of the rise of Nazism in 1930s Germany, only without the pretty uniforms.)

And yes, there was obstruction of justice. Eleven counts, detailing meticulously how Trump attempted to shut down the investigation by ordering his staffers to bully and intimidate and threaten those involved, right up even to the level of the then-Attorney General, Mr Sessions – by attempting at every stage to undermine the credibility of investigators and prosecutors; ordering his people to manufacture, destroy or withold evidence; and firing anyone he had the power to fire, who was connected with the investigation.

Were those the actions of an innocent man, d’you think, or of a career criminal “trained” in aggressive-defensive tactics by the notorious mafia attorney, his father’s old consigliere, Roy Cohn?

And he is still obstructing justice, continually seeking to discredit and undermine (and even to personally sue) the Congressional committees and their chairmen battling to investigate the Trump campaign and his nefarious financial affairs; branding the ongoing inquiries as more evidence of a “witch-hunt”; presidential “harassment”, such as no president before has ever had to put up with (I wonder why not?) nor should ever again; commanding his present and former staff under made-up rules not to comply with legal subpoenas requiring their testimony and the release of documents.

Yet, by some special dark magic and the tragic shortcomings of a constitution whose authors never imagined a hellish succubus like Trump would be able to con its way into the White House, this terrible, incompetent old grifter, made-for-TV businessman and superannuated, barely literate playboy whose ignorance of geopolitics and history lead him to believe that democracy is just a loser’s word for totalitarian dictatorship, this “kakistocrat” remains perhaps more firmly in office, with higher approval ratings, than before.

As Trump daily demonstrates, the rule of law in America has ended; the rule of “lie” is firmly established. The only version of reality permitted is the one he and his officials choose to invent and endorse to cement their powerbase. The man is a gangster, pure and simple; bidding for leadership of a cabal of international gangster-capitalists clamped like an octopus over the face of humanity.

 

We smell a rat

Trump has been doubling down, as he always does when criticized for wild statements he makes, on his remarks about Elijah Cummings, chair of the Oversight Commitee, that is looking into his murky tax affairs. The congressman represents a ward in Baltimore that Trump has asserted is a disgusting, rat-infested, crime-ridden shithole.

The assiduous reporters at the Washington Post have pointed out, over 900 rental properties in that area of Baltimore are owned by the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner’s company, that has been cited for over 200 code violations in respect of city housing ordinances.

They refer to an investigation by the New York Times and Pro Publica published in 2012, when tenants of Kushner properties reported mouse infestations, mold problems and maggots. A private investigator who looked into Kushner’s property management company, Westminster Management, described the managers as ‘slumlords.’

 

The grass is bluer

Former Republican congressman, now host of the MSNBC “Morning Joe” program, and man-who-has-seen-the-light, Joe Scarborough has taken to calling the leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell, not without a trace of contempt, “Moscow Mitch”.

It marks a change of name for the profoundly venal and obstructionist Senator from Kentucky, McConnell, who has hitherto been known – and has branded himself for promotional purposes, because he thinks it’s funny – as “Cocaine Mitch”.

The nickname derives from some past allegations of skulduggery involving his wife’s Chinese family, apparently. The pair of them – Elaine Chao is a Trump appointee, Secretary for Transportation – are also deeply mired in a corruption-to-influence-peddling scandal; not that you’d remember that, what with the other shit flying around, an’ all.

Whatever he’s on, McConnell is refusing to stop calling “a hoax” (zero points for originality), the reports of his own Intelligence Committee gleaned from the Pentagon, the CIA, the NSA and the FBI, that there’s continuing Russian online interference in the 2020 election; and is adamant that he won’t even allow a debate on cyber-security measures the Democrats in the lower House have passed to the Senate for ratification.

The question everyone is obviously asking is, whyever not? Why would he not defend his country against a hostile adversary? It can’t be merely because he has made a career out of stymieing every legitimate attempt by the Democrats to introduce legislation in the Senate, or to get their judicial nominees ratified, since Obama first became president?

It’s being suggested he may not want to upset Oleg Deripaska, an oligarch mate of Putin’s known as Russia’s “Aluminum King” (allegedly murdering his way to the throne), who is offering to open a scenic smelting plant amid the rolling hills of Mitch’s bluegrass constituency.

McConnell’s Senate lifted Deripaska’s sanctions last December, despite testimony in the Manafort trials that the Russian used financial kompromat to push Manafort into a relationship with a Russian agent, Kalimnick, and the pair of them went fishing for voter data to send back to the GRU.

But the media is leaning more toward the theory that it’s because McConnell has read the polls and sees that Trump can’t win without foreign help. The kind of help he has publicly said he would welcome.

I love the deep scent of corruption among the julep trees, whatever, don’t you? Especially when it comes laced with a dangerous hint of treason:

“Collusion”, by Parfums de Trump. For a greater you!

 

GW: And I’m aflame with such a burning desire

Europe: Firefighters are battling wildfires on multiple fronts in southern Italy, including one blaze in Puglia that left at least one person dead. 3 Canadair aircraft were dumping water on a wildfire raging in Tortoli, Sardinia, that forced the evacuation of a beach and some homes. (NYT) The weather outlook in the wake of last week’s powerful heatwave across the northern Mediterranean, southern France, northern Italy and the Adriatic, pushing northwards through the Balkans, is for more severe ‘supercell’ storms, with destructive high winds, potential for tornadoes, torrential (“excessive”) rain, spectacular lightning and large hail. (Severe-weather.eu)

And we have our very own Tropical Storm… an area of exceptionally low cyclonic pressure off the Bay of Biscay is likely to bring damaging winds and torrential rain to northwestern France and southwest England, Tuesday 30 July. (Severe-weather.eu) The heat plume that brought new record temperatures to Britain (38.7C) and France last week, shattering the ones set in June, has resulted in a reading of 34C in Finland.

USA: An Idaho wildfire that burned 113,000 acres and forced the partial evacuation of the nation’s leading nuclear energy research lab, INL, has been partly contained, officials said (25 July). The fast-moving Sheep Fire was sparked by a lightning strike near Idaho Falls. Dry conditions and rising temperatures are creating a perfect environment for summer wildfires. The Vader Fire, Canyon Fire and Shady Fire are burning farther west in National Forest land. (CNN) New York was under a 95 degree Heat Index advisory, 30 July (Accuweather).

Arctic: Hundreds of fires are continuing to burn out of control in northern Canada, Greenland and Siberia, where nobody much is available to fight them. Some have extended over 300 thousand Ha. Along with the rest of the hemisphere, “The Arctic region recorded its hottest June ever (10C anomaly). Since the start of that month, more than 100 wildfires have burned in the Arctic circle. In Russia, 11 of 49 regions are experiencing wildfires. (Alberta has had over 400). The WMO has called the fires “unprecedented” (The Guardian, 26 July). Soot is falling on ice fields, darkening them and speeding melting. Smoke is detected all around the globe and air quality in northerly cities is becoming a health hazard.

On 25 July, CO2 across Siberia where many fires are burning was measured at 1,205 parts per million, and poisonous carbon monoxide at over 80 thousand parts per billion. (Arctic News) Over the whole ocean, sea ice has plummeted to its lowest ever measured volume. There is now no ancient sea ice left off the north coast of Greenland, where it has been raining for days.

Russia: Even the usually optimistic Siberian Times, that likes to attract tourism, is alarmed: “A series of natural disasters are hitting Siberia, with the latest a dire threat from severe flooding to Baikal – the oldest and deepest lake in the world, containing 20% of the planet’s unfrozen freshwater. The alert concerns flooding in Baikalsk – where evacuation has begun – and concerns that toxic mudflows can dump poisonous sludge from a former pulp and paper mill into the lake’s pristine waters. Pools of liquid sludge containing lignin pose a huge threat to life in Baikal with warnings of an ‘ecological catastrophe’. ‘We can only pray now,” said one campaigner pointing to a risk of a dam burst on the Solzana River where a bride (bridge, surely? ed.) had been swept away already.”

“Almost 3 million hectares (7.4 million acres, an area greater than the size of the state of Massachusetts) are now burning in Siberia and the Russian Far East.” Smoke has covered an area larger than the size of the EU.

India: 1,050 people were rescued by Naval units from a train stuck for 15 hours in floods outside  Mumbai, 26 July. Flights were cancelled at the airport. The death toll from this year’s monsoon flooding in India is over 600. (BBC) Other parts of the country such as Tamil Nadu are trapped in drought.

Brazil: 3 people are confirmed dead and others missing in floods and landslides that have hit Pernambuco province. The government of Recife municipality said 102mm of rain fell in 6 hours early on 24 July. It’s the second “excessive” rainfall event in Pernambuco in 6 weeks: 7 people died there in June.

No denying it: a Swiss meta-analysis sampled from 700 data points of 20th-century research on cyclical warming and cooling has blown out of the water the energy-industry sponsored suggestion that current warming is merely normal cyclicality and things will cool down again in due course. Not only is the current state of warming twice as high as anything found over 2,000 years of past data (please, media, choose words more carefully – it wasn’t warmer 2,000 years ago, that’s just the chosen baseline!), but the so-called Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period supposed to prove warming is cyclical were far shallower, more intermittent, probably volcanic in origin and did not happen all at the same time across the whole globe.

CO2, they say, always was and is still the main driver of atmospheric forcing. 95% is man-made. Come on denier guys, give up, you know you’ve lost.

Tunnel approaching….

The Blessed Mary Greeley reports: 477 small earthquakes were recorded in 24 hours at Ridgecrest in Southern California yesterday (26 July) – scene of the big M7.1 quake three weeks ago. The city is located on a known faultline southwest of the Coso volcanic field, an area of hundreds of ancient volcanic cones thought to overlie a larger magma field than Yellowstone. The swarm is being read as an indication of pressure building and another big one is anticipated – even the “unzipping” of the famed San Andreas nearby.

Or not, as the case may be.

The following message posted on Mary’s site by “Rand Jooe” – I have previously alluded to the other Posts suggesting we all get to know Jesus – sums up the mood of nervous jitters:

“My sweet sweet Mary…. When I get ‘stressed’, I go get a x-LG jar of crunchy Jiff peanut butter, spoon & watch a little YouTube…. Chill. Now, we could infuse a bunch of x-crunchy peanut butter into the fault line, MAYBE, it might too CHILLOUT.
my2centsworth. 😜👍”

See what we might be losing?

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