The Hill & Its Trollish Clickbait, ‘Stopping Robert Mueller’

by Shelton Bumgarner

The Hill, what Capitol staffers read on the john when they are done reading Politico, should be ashamed of itself for publishing the complete and total bullshit article “Stopping Robert Mueller to protect us all.” This article, written weirdly by former Clintonite Mark Penn, is obviously a stalking horse for the current political strategy of Trump and his demon spawn Rudy Giuliani. It is embarrassing to read something that is so comical in its effort to make us believe that the evil “Deep State” is “desperate” to bring down Trump. Penn writes:

With this report on the way and congressional investigators beginning to zero in on the lack of hard, verified evidence for starting the Trump probe, current and former intelligence and Justice Department officials are dumping everything they can think of to save their reputations.

A quick Google search belies this dumb accusation. If anything, Mueller has been quite successful in the last year and he has plenty of reason to keep going in the days, weeks and, if need be, years ahead.

Here’s some more.

But it is backfiring. They started by telling the story of Alexander Downer, an Australian diplomat, as having remembered a bar conversation with George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign. But how did the FBI know they should talk to him? That’s left out of their narrative. Downer’s signature appears on a $25 million contribution to the Clinton Foundation. You don’t need much imagination to figure that he was close with Clinton Foundation operatives who relayed information to the State Department, which then called the FBI to complete the loop. This wasn’t intelligence. It was likely opposition research from the start.

To quote Hillary Clinton during the Bengazhi hearings, “What difference does it make?”

So what if it was oppo. That doesn’t change the fact that Trump may have colluded with a hostile foreign power to rig a presidential election. It makes me apoplectic that this trash that was spewed out of the FOX News Bullshit Mountain even got written. This is all part of a concerted effort on the part of the Trump – Giuliani nexus to prepare us all for God-only-knows-what.

Even more bullshit:

Time and time again, investigators came up empty. Even several sting operations with an FBI spy we just learned about failed to produce a Delorean-like video with cash on the table. But rather than close the probe, the deep state just expanded it. All they had were a few isolated contacts with Russians and absolutely nothing related to Trump himself, yet they pressed forward. Egged on by Steele, they simply believed Trump and his team must be dirty. They just needed to dig deep enough.

If the fate of the Republic wasn’t at stake, I would laugh. But the time for us to laugh about Trump’s corruption and obstruction is very much over. What’s weird to me is people are willing to engulf themselves in the flames of the Trump pier for, what? Access to power? I mean, really, it’s not like VP Mike Pence is going to really change anything. In fact, if you’re all that concerned about “owning libs,” Pence has an actual ideology that Trump lacks. As Jim Comey confidant Benjamin Wittes famously quipped Trump is “malevolence mitigated only by his incompetence.” Pence is competent and would have an ideology beyond whatever he happened to spew in a tweet that morning.

Here more from the piece that leaves me astonished at its tone-deafness.

This process must now be stopped, preferably long before a vote in the Senate. Rather than a fair, limited and impartial investigation, the Mueller investigation became a partisan, open-ended inquisition that, by its precedent, is a threat to all those who ever want to participate in a national campaign or an administration again.

I am not the type of person to protest. But I can tell you for a fact that if “this….process…stopped” in the guise of Trump firing Robert Mueller without cause I will hit the streets. I would like to think other like-minded people would join me. I am not so naive as to think it would really matter in the end — even well-heeled people are apologists for Trump and the system is so broken that the book The Plot Against America is starting to look more like a documentary as opposed to a counter-factual novel. But this bullshit by Penn doesn’t exactly help the situation.

This part is spews so directly from the dark recesses of the surreal bullshit factory that runs the country right now that I feel astonished it was published.

The president’s lawyers need to extend their new aggressiveness from words to action, filing complaints with Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility on the failure of Mueller and Rosenstein to recuse themselves, and going into court to question the tactics of the special counsel, from selective prosecutions on unrelated matters, illegally seizing Government Services Administration emails, covering up the phone texts of FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, and operating without a scope approved by the attorney general. (The regulations call for the attorney general to recuse himself from the investigation but appear to still leave him responsible for the scope.)

The emails between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page are widely seen as a non-issue by anyone who hasn’t drunk the Trump Koolaide and it’s embarrassing that The Hill would allow a writer to even mention it. Maybe the “secret society” was off the day they decided to publish it.

Mueller has done more than enough in the last year to prove he has earned the right to be left alone for the foreseeable future. Let’s just see where this leads. If we are still a Republic and not a “managed democracy” like they have in Russia, we have to do that. Trump may want to be an American Caligula, but I’d like to think we haven’t reached that point yet. I still have hope that America’s over two centuries of experimenting in self-rule hasn’t failed yet.

If we follow Penn’s advice, we are little more than a banana republic where rules and laws change at the whim of the Dear Leader. So, if anything, we have to protect Robert Mueller to protect ourselves, not the opposite.

Shelton Bumgarner is a writer and photographer living in Richmond, Va. He can be reached at migukin (at) gmail (dot) com.

V-Log: The Left Doesn’t Take The Insanity Of The Right Serious Enough

by Shelton Bumgarner

I go into a lot of detail about my thoughts on this matter in this video.


Of The Mad King: We’re In A Constitutional Crisis

by Shelton Bumgarner

Stupid Watergate has finally reached a level of seriousness where we have to stop making fun of it and sit up and take notice at the gravity of the situation. For some time now, there has been talk of this or that dumb thing Trump has done causing us to be in a Constitutional Crisis.

Today’s insane tweet on the part of Trump “demanding” an investigation into what may or may not have happened during the 2016 presidential campaign is the final straw. We’re in a Constitutional Crisis now. The logic of Trump’s legal team is so completely twisted and bonkers that it gives me a headache.

The point is not to determine the facts of the case, the point is to give the Trump base talking points they can use to “own” liberals. This, even though they’ve finally veered off any connection to the facts and now are dealing almost exclusively in lies and misinterpretations.

If the Deep State was so eager to hurt the Trump campaign, why would they keep things quiet via the use of an informant when it came to Trump while they released the second Comey letter just days before the November election. Why is this so difficult to understand.

It’s so difficult to understand for some — if not all — Trump supporters because they are comfortable with Trump’s policies, the economy is humming and in real terms they’re more concerned about their kid’s soccer scores than they are as something as complex as a Constitutional Crisis. They just don’t care. And not until they have a personal interest in all of this will they have an opinion on way or another.

So, I have a bad feeling about this. I suspect Trump is going to do serious damage to Constitutional norms, or democracy and our country. This all goes back to who is going to be Trump’s successor and how he or she addresses all this damage. Are they going to go back to what we expect in all these things, or are they going to use the damage Trump has done has an excuse to redefine what is acceptable behavior on the part of our leaders?

Why Trump Was Inevitable

by Shelton Bumgarner

Let me state from the beginning that I don’t have all the political, psychological, sociological and even historical insight that I need to properly tell all of this, but I am a more than casual observer of American presidential political history and so I’m going to give it a go.

Having said that, it is clear to me that Trump — or someone like Trump — was inevitable at this moment in our nation’s history. It is obvious to me that what caused Trump was that while we were all enjoying Obama’s pleasant, scandal-free administration the Right was going completely insane. Tribal politics and its associated hatred of Obama for being the nation’s first black president made it so it was inevitable that we were going to have a completely bonkers Republican president at some point.

Add to this the headwinds of historic weakness of Hillary Clinton as a candidate and the election meddling of the Russians really the only way Trump would not have won was if he hadn’t run in the first place. But, really, if you looked at who was likely to get through the primary system at the time, it is highly unlikely that Jeb Bush was going to be the nominee. He was completely detached from the national Republican Party and everyone else who might have won was in some ways worse than Trump because no only were they insanely conservative, they were competent and had an ideology they were willing to defend to boot.

But Trump has his own unique set of bonkers qualities than make him extremely dangerous to the Republic. While he may be too lazy, unfocused and incompetent to be a true authoritarian, his complete lack of adherence to political norms may cause lasting damage to the American political landscape.

So, the issue is, there were and are structural problems with the Republican Party that the average person simply was unaware of unless they happened to catch FOX News one night. When about half the political electorate lives in an insane bubble of surreal conspiracy theories and race-induced rage, it’s inevitable that once they get their opportunity to run the country we’re in for a whole lot of trouble.

The truly tragic thing about all of this is there is no easy fix. The tectonic political, economic and demographic forces that led to the creation of the cancer that is the modern Republican Party aren’t going anywhere. It could be 20 to 30 years before things work themselves out and by the time they do the Republican Party will have turn our once independent judiciary into a bastion of Right wing nutjob hacks whose entire reason for being on the bench is to give old, wealthy white people as much power as possible.

What’s more, there’s a real chance of a civil war. There’s a real risk that we’ve gone beyond the point of no return and we’re going to have an actual civil war in the United States within the next 20 years. I have no idea if it will actually happen or not, but it’s something to worry about.

It will definitely be interesting to see what happens.

Jon Stewart Would Be An Ideal Presidential Candidate At This Point

by Shelton Bumgarner

This is just an idle daydream, but it seems to me that the ideal person to run against Donald Trump in 2020, should last that long, would be Jon Stewart. I say this because Stewart is everything Trump isn’t — funny, smart and self-aware.

Of course, Stewart, at least at this point, has zero political experience outside of his interest in 9/11 first responder rights and a little bit about veterans affairs. And, of course, there is the obvious issue that he appears to have zero interest in actually doing anything beyond running his petting zoo.

But the match up between Trump and Stewart would be one for the ages. And regardless, I think we would need someone like Stewart to take down Trump. Yet I honestly don’t know. The nation is so divided at this point that there’s no perfect person to do the job.

Trump is so powerful with 40% of the electorate and the economy is doing so well that it will be a difficult fight no matter what. Add to this the continuing struggle that The Resistance has with trying to find some sort of messaging beyond simply being against Trump and you have the makings of a pretty bad situation.

This doesn’t begin to address the issue of what happens if Trump wags the dog using Iran or the DPRk.

We’re going to have to just wait and see, I guess.

My Current Take On The #TrumpRussia Endgame

by Shelton Bumgarner

As of late March 2018, here’s my hot take on the endgame to #TrumpRussia.

It seems to me that what is going to happen is it will be a combination of Iran-Contra and the Monica Lewinsky scandals. Trump could very well be impeached, but he won’t be convicted and ultimately he not only survives but prospers as he grows more accustomed to the office of president.

What’s more, I still predict a major war against the DPRK (and maybe Iran) between now and August 2018. I say this for two reasons. One, Trump needs a Wag The Dog situation to get people talking about something else. Meanwhile, he wants to squash any chance of a Blue Wave happening this fall.

‘Spank My Booty’ — Idle Thoughts On The Current State Of The Stormy Daniels Affair

by Shelton Bumgarner

The sad thing is that even if we see Trump’s junk, he may very well not only survive but prosper. Whatever dark part of the American psyche Trump has tapped into is so strong, do powerful that we simply may not be able to get rid of him until he absolutely has to leave office unless he changes the Constitution.

Add to this the very real — and growing — danger that Trump will start a war with the DPRK and things as of this moment are not looking so great. It’s very possible that once Trump essentially starts WWIII, that Stormy Daniels will go down the memory hole and we’ll wake up in 8 years to a president even more conservative and bonkers than Trump.

I guess what I’m saying is we have to take seriously the notion that Trump is going to eliminate Ms. Daniels as a threat by willfully killing about 1 million people in Korea and beyond. I fear that we’ve not really processed that yet. This is really serious. The addition of John Bolton to the White House staff means Trump is at least lurching in that direction.

Additionally Sec. of Defense James Mattis allegedly has said he may not be able to work with Bolton. So, there is the off chance that Mattis — the only “adult” left in the Trump Administration may bolt and we’re totally, completely fucked.

This is personal for me because I used to live in South Korea. If I see Seoul razed on TV, it’s going to be pretty deep. It’s going to be one of the worst moments of my life to date. But there’s little any of us can do at this point. So, it’s possible that Stormy Daniels may have significantly more power in her hands than any of could possibly imagine.

It’s really weird, though, the power Trump has over his supporters. What, exactly, do they at this point love so much about him? Why does it seem that the typical rules of politics don’t apply to Trump? How did we get here and how do we make our way out?

It seems as though maybe the United States suffers from structural Constitutional rot and we may very well be careening towards an actual civil war. Or, put another way, the United States as some have quipped, is going through a slow motion Civil Cold War. It could be that at this point the only thing stopping us from having an actual real civil war is, well, Donald Trump. Or that we’re just too generally meh about politics on an existential level that it’s just not going to happen any time soon.

All I can say is, hurry up Stormy Daniels. We really need to see whatever “proof” you may have. The fate of the world may be at stake.

Cynthia Nixon, Chelsea Handler & The Right’s Hypocrisy About Trump

by Shelton Bumgarner

The Right has made an epic, enormous, historic deal with the devil when it comes to Trump. They simply don’t care that Karen McDougal was on TV for an hour talking about how much she banged Donald Trump while he was married. They just don’t care as long as gun rights are protected and the march towards making abortion illegal continues to be inevitable.

But trouble is brewing for the Right.

It comes in the guise of any number of women celebrities who might run for higher office at some point in the future. It will be difficult — but not impossible — for the very people who are completely silent about Trump being, essentially, a whore monger, to get upset if a female celebrity who has at some point in her career done nude scenes runs for office. I mean, hell, Chelsea Handler has a revenge-porn sex tape out that I’ve seen and I’d still rather vote for her than Donald Trump.

I guess what I’m saying is while the Right is completely shameless in their hypocrisy, them sucking up to Trump is at least going to make it a little bit more difficult for them to do it in the future. Maybe. A little bit. Should Cynthia Nixon become a viable presidential candidate, they’re going to attack her on her morals and on whatever she’s done on Sex & The City.

So people like me are going to go, “What the what?” I mean, it’s difficult for one to flip flop on morals within the span of a generation…twice! So it will be interesting. The damage that Trump has done to the moral standing of the Right is so devastating, so wide ranging that it is within the realm of possibility that the United States could go from a Right-wing nutjob (be it Trump or Pence) to a progressive bisexual woman all within the span of less than a decade.

But there are an enormous number of caveats to this scenario. The Russians could meddle again, Trump could start a war with either or both Iran and the DPRK. And history is pretty weird sometimes. It goes off in strange directions that you can’t possibly predict.

And, yet, like I said, the Republican Party is setting itself up for a pretty astonishing flip-flop on morals. Hell, even if it’s just Pence, the Republicans are in for a lulu of a moral compass change. Trump is such an historical aberration that no matter what happens, we’re in for head spinning change once he’s gone.

The question is, of course, will thing snap back into place, or have the changed forever? Only time will tell on that question.

Trump Should Get It Over With And Fire Mueller So The End Can Come

by Shelton Bumgarner

I am beginning to get the feeling that Trump is, like the great showman he is, teasing his eventual firing of Robert Mueller and wants to heighten the excitement for the season (series?) end of Celebrity President. But remember, it was a year after Nixon fired his Special Prosecutor before he resigned.

So, add to all of this the fact that Trump has a Vichy Congress to rely upon, the Russians could meddle in any prospective Blue Wave and Trump can always start a war with Iran or the DPRK to weasel his way out of all his problems and you have the makings of an enormous clusterfuck.

But I do think if Trump fires Mueller he will actually face some consequences for once. There’s a real chance that it would end his presidency…eventually. It is really, really hard to get rid of an American president and Trump could very well make it through 2020 and beyond.

All I know is I’m ready to protest if Trump fires Mueller and it won’t be easy to get rid of Trump if he does. It could take something like the People’s Impeachment that took place in South Korea for us to get rid of him. It could take a while. Like, weeks if not months of massive protests.

But the United States is not South Korea, so even that might not do the trick. I do think Trump should just fire Mueller and let the chips fall where they may. This teasing of us for weeks and months is really beginning to get on my nerves.

Do We Have What It Takes To Save Ourselves From Trump’s Autocracy?

by Shelton Bumgarner

We may have finally reached the tipping point of all of this clusterfuck. Or if we haven’t we’re getting a lot closer than we were. I still think we’re going to war with the DPRK by August, but we live in surreal times. There are no easy answers. I wish there were.

The issue is we’re going to have to save ourselves if that is even possible. It’s not like the Dutch are going to march in and save the day. We, as Americans, are going to have to fix this problem. But it’s very possible that Trump has successfully muddied the waters to such an extent that we’ll never pin him down.

But I still have hope.

The below video is pretty interesting.