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H2O Man

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Member since: Mon Dec 29, 2003, 07:49 PM
Number of posts: 62,317

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Steele & Broken Glass

“Steel and Glass”
John Lennon

There you stand with your L.A. tan
And your New York walk and your New York talk.....
Well your mouthpiece squawks as he spreads your lies
But you can't pull strings if your hands are tied
Well your teeth are clean but your mind is capped
You leave your smell like an alley cat
Steel and glass
Steel and glass


It was wonderful to learn that Trump spent the weekend “calling people and screaming.” He reportedly “feels boxed in” by recent events, and “sees no way out.” This is a good thing. And it will continue to get better.

Donald Trump is a sociopath. Thus, he has a remarkably limited range of emotions. He gets positive feelings from “winning,” which in his decaying mind, includes striking out at “enemies.” This allows him to feel in control. But when he faces any form of opposition, he becomes frustrated, and strikes out in anger. Hence, we have witnessed literally hundreds of examples of – be he happy or enraged – his corresponding behaviors are the same: lashing out at others.

There is a third emotion that Trump has recently been dealing with: paranoia. While it is true that paranoia has been a feature of his personality throughout his life time, it has recently become elevated. It is important to recognize that the paranoid thinking associated with interpersonal relationships and business dealings is different that that associated with fearing that one's criminal behaviors are being investigated and pursued in the legal system.

In general, when investigators are seeking evidence required to prosecute crimes committed by an organized group, efforts are made to increase the levels of paranoia within the group. This holds particularly true for the group's leadership. Frequently, the target will increase the efforts to both not make a mistake, and to hide evidence of their guilt. Yet, due to the elevated paranoia, they are actually more likely to expose their guilt.

Now, there are obviously serious differences in the power of, for example, a mob boss and a president to try to cover their tracks. While both may attempt to seek assistance from a corrupt person in government – and there are corrupt individuals within all three branches – a president does have the power to fire people. Richard Nixon exercised this power, in a gross example of what is known as “abuse of power.” Nixon also dangled pardons in front of co-conspirators he wanted to keep silent. And he attempted to manipulate two intelligence agencies to cover his tracks.

The best investigators and prosecutors recognize the patterns of behaviors that criminals exhibit. This includes mob bosses as well as presidents. Hence, they prepare well in advance of the elevation of paranoid thinking. Thus, they are able to correctly anticipate what actions their prey will take. And they are able to respond to those actions.

I can say, with zero risk of error, that Mr. Mueller has a far greater understanding of what makes Trump tick, than Trump does of Mr. Mueller. For a sociopath can only view others in the context of themselves, with others being mere objects. Yet Mr. Mueller has taken Trump's measure in a far broader perspective.

Screaming weekend phone calls, renewed threats to fire Sessions and McGahn, and the attack on “Google” are among the expected range of elevated paranoia expressing itself. Attempts to thwart the Mueller investigation will surely increase. But it is too late. Trump will only increase his legal jeopardy between now and the November elections, and it will skyrocket in the days after the election.

Keep on fighting the Good Fight!
H2O Man

The Manical Misery Tour

As a Good Friend posted on facebook, Helsinki was just a month ago. Clearly, a lot of information about the Trump-Russian scandal has come to the surface since then. Tuesday's events were outstanding. The pace of events combined with the good work of journalists increases the value of internet discussions. Yet it can be difficult to identify the “best” place to start.

How about a review regarding the chances that Trump agrees to meet with Mr. Mueller? A factor to keep in mind – one not being discussed recently in the media – is that Trump did meet with Mr. Mueller in May of 2017.Both of them remember that discussion It is actually the primary reason that Trump says that Mr. Mueller is “conflicted.”

First, Trump outlined his vision of what the FBI should do during his administration. Then Trump offered the former director his old job – to replace Mr. Comey, who Trump claimed had done the job wrong. But Mr. Mueller was not interested. In fact, the following day he was appointed to his current position in the Justice Department.

Both men have measured the other. Trump is far too much of a coward to agree to meeting Mr. Mueller. What is interesting to consider now is how much Trump fears Mr. Mueller “communicating” with Donald, Junior. We can watch films of both Trumps being deposed as recently as the summer of 2016 on YouTube. Neither would fare well with Mr. Mueller; Junior is even weaker than his father.

And that brings us to Michael Cohen. He was the trouble-shooting, tough guy for “the Family.” He has worked with Trump's three best-known spawn, as well as Jared, for years. This included during the campaign. We know that the operation to silence two women during the campaign, by way of illegal campaign contributions, included Cohen, Trump, and at least one other member of the campaign. It sure as hell wasn't Tiffany or Barron.

Yesterday's news that state agencies are focused upon interviewing Cohen after his guilty plea to SDNY federal charges, places Trump and the three spawn in further legal jeopardy. Since Trump can't pardon them for state charges, it must be a rather uncomfortable time in Trump world. Please join me in sending thoughts and prayers – for convictions, of course.

Will Trump pardon Manafort? It is likely. However, doing so will work against Trump as soon as the new Democratic majority is seated in the House of Representatives. While we can anticipate Trump acting out in ways that are damaging to our nation, keep in mind that it is a clear sigh that the end is near.

Hopefully, that will signal the end of Rudy Giuliani and Alan Dershowitz's appearances on television. Often in a long life, all that is left in the last stages is the person's essence. Both men are disgusting.

Finally, is there a possibility that Mr. Mueller and Mr. Rosenstein will decide that, due to extreme circumstances, Trump should be indicted? It would seem unlikely that the thought hasn't crossed both men's minds. I believe that it is likely that Mr. Mueller will file sealed indictments, to be opened the moment Trump is removed from office.

Don McGahn

The New York Times story about Don McGahn's cooperating with Mr. Mueller's investigation is outstanding news. On its surface, just the fact that McGahn believed that Trump was planning to try to pin all charges of obstruction of justice on him suggests that McGahn, too, sees connections between the Trump-Russian scandal and Watergate. The Nixon White House counsel, John Dean, recognized that the president was planning to blame him for the Watergate cover-up.

But it is far better than that. Though the media hasn't commented on this – yet – keep in mind that it was McGahn who told Trump not to issue the document of why Trump was firing James Comey. Trump and Stephen Miller had authored that original text, which would be replaced by the Sessions and Rosenstein papers.

Keep in mind that Mr. Mueller has a copy of the Trump-Miller paper. He has surely discussed it with McGahn. And asked him exactly why McGahn insisted it not be released, and instead had the baloney about Trump's being upset about how Mr. Comey treated Hillary Clinton.

I'd wager that Mr. Mueller will talk to McGahn about Trump's targeting Mr. Brennan and the others that he blames for investigating the Trump-Russian scandal.

Here is a Newsweek article:

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/msn/don-mcgahn-gave-mueller-valuable-obstruction-info/ar-BBM6339



A Tenney for Your Thoughts

There has been some interesting news regarding the race in New York State's 22nd Congressional District in the past 36 hours. Yesterday, for example, self-identified “Tea Party” republican Claudia Tenney “postponed” a campaign stop in Norwich, Chenango County's seat, for the second time in a week. Her official reason was because of “public safety” – although Norwich is overwhelmingly republican, she was concerned about the protest rally planned to greet her.

https://www.evesun.com/news/stories/2018-08-14/29846/Tenney-postpones-Norwich-visit-after-protest-threat/

Why, you might be asking, would a republican member of the House of Representatives be so concerned about public safety in a place that has a City Police force, the sheriff's department, and a State Police station? Perhaps “public safety” isn't the reason? Let's look closer.

Some of you may remember Tenney for her curious claim that mass murderers are Democrats. Yes, she has gotten her insights from watching Alex Jones. This has not made her wildly popular with the establishment republicans in the district. Nor has her extreme-right stances on issues that impact the communities in our region. More, the local government officials – mostly republicans – are frustrated by her ignoring their attempts to even communicate with her. She has been too busy rehearsing for a role in the Trump administration.

I like to look at numbers. In 2016, Trump carried our district by 16%. Tenney won the seat vacated by Richard Hanna by 6%. Thus, about one in ten Trump voters did not support her. Hanna, a moderate republican – the type that Democrats in our district were able to work with on some issues – has endorsed Anthony Brindisi. In the link below, Hanna addresses the reasons that Tenney has become increasingly unpopular with republicans since she took office:

https://www.ucpublicaffairs.com/home/2018/2/23/ny-22-minute-richard-hanna-provides-scathing-accessment-of-tenney-by-luke-perry

Up until her fund-raiser with Trump earlier this week, Tenney had been running commercials attempting to discredit Brindisi by claiming he is a puppet for Nancy Pelosi. At a campaign meeting in Chenango County on Sunday, a couple of people raised the issue of if Nancy should maintain her leadership position in 2019. One brought the Binghamton newspaper, and read a letter-to-the-editor that quoted Tenney's position. I pointed out that because this is a republican talking point, we should all ignore it. When Anthony faces questions about Rep. Pelosi, he should note that she is not a candidate in the 22nd, and pivot to the issues most important to our district.

I noted that while the internet has changed where many people get their news, that newspapers are still important. And, during campaign season, that sales increase, and the letters-to-the-editor become the most read part of the newspapers. Hence, even a relatively small group of people can organize a coordinated letter-to-the-editor campaign aimed at every newspaper in the district. Usually, these are to energize the base, and attract the support of undecided independents. In this case, it will also be to peel republican votes from Tenney.

Luckily, Tenney is helping to make this easier. Since meeting with Trump, she has switched from talking against Rep. Pelosi, to claiming that Brandisi is “far too close to organized crime” to be elected. (The Daily Star; Oneonta, NY; Aug 14, 2018; “Trump treks upstate to back GOP incumbents; pages 1-2.) When asked to back her claim, she said that Anthony's elderly father, also a lawyer, had once represented a person reputed to be a mobster. This was before Anthony was born, a fact that seems to be stretching the “far too close” claim a tad too far. It's this type of thing that resulted in the Oneida County Executive – a republican – to call Tenney a “national embarrassment.”

Tenney is now scheduled to appear in Norwich next Sunday. I hope she actually does. From the phone calls and e-mails that I've had today, I know there will be a very large crowd waiting for her.

Fight the Good Fight!
H2O Man

Democracy Rising!

The last thirty hours have reinforced my beliefs that the Democratic Party is set to make great advances this year. Yesterday, I met and attended a meeting with Anthony Brandisi, the Democrat who is opposing Claudia Tenney in my congressional district. And today, along with my daughter and cousin, I attended the powerful ant-Trump/Tenney rally in Utica, NY.

Now, in our district, there are more republicans registered than there are Democrats. However, there are enough independents registered, that we can fill that gap three times over. Equally important in terms of upstate New York contests, a significant number of republicans strongly dislike Tenney. The last person to hold that office, a republican, has already endorsed Anthony. Republicans on small town boards are quietly supporting the Brandisi campaign.

The group in Utica numbered between 1700 and 2000. There was a pro-Trump group of seven on the other side of the street. Our group was composed of a wide variety of people, from young to old. The group was black, brown, red, yellow, and white. Every sub-group within the party was represented, and everyone got along beautifully. The signs and posters were great.

This is democracy rising. It's a powerful force.

A few Trumpets invaded our space during the rally, attempting to provoke disruptions or fights. I was punched in the chest at one point. Out of two thousand people, I must be the guy who people want to punch. I don't know. But it didn't get more of a response beyond laughter. And some ass-clowns were throwing water on the crowd from a window, until the police visited them.

On Sunday, we met in the village square of small-town America. Today, it was a city. I love the smell of democracy in America. Reminds me of victory!

– H2O Man

Summer's Almost Gone

“Summer's almost gone
Summer's almost gone
Almost gone
Yeah, it's almost gone
Where will we be
When the summer's gone?”
-- Jim Morrison

Despite all of the horrors associated with the Trump presidency, I believe that we will be in a good place as we approach the fall elections. I'm confident that the Mueller investigation will continue to provide documentation of the gross corruption of the Trump campaign, transition team, and administration. This will include the closely related Southern District of New York's case against Michael Cohen. I think that the current political environment provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Democrats to make significant progress at the state and national levels.

There have been a number of interesting – though at times acrimonious – discussions about various types of Democrats on this forum in recent weeks. I tend to self-identify as a Kennedy Democrat, and still wear the tie clip that Robert F. Kennedy handed out on the steps of the Chenango County Courthouse steps back in 1964, during his campaign for Senate. However, at this point in time, I think it is essential that we drop everything but “Democrat.” We need to kick it into higher gear, and work together to elect all of the Democratic candidates.

I have two invitations, one for tomorrow and another for the middle of next week, to meet with candida I've been asked to help attract the support of the Democratic Left (progressives independents). In this tes and their campaign leaders for two state offices. Though I am not in either candidate's district,region of the state, there are more independent voters than registered Democrats, making it necessary to “unite the tribes” in order to achieve victories. This approach allowed local Democrats to achieve unprecedented victories in the past decade.

There are three candidates in NYS districts running for seats in the House of Representatives that I am focusing on. I think that the three provide the model necessary to not only maintain our party's strength, but also to expand it. And it is expanded by offering more seats at the table, seats that offer better representation to a wider variety of Democrats. More, the three illustrate the potential strength of unity, versus the self-defeating nature of divisions within the Democratic Party.

The first campaign I have joined and continue to support is that of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She has brought great excitement to the 2018 elections, by advocating for the progressive change that a large segment of our party wants. There has been some grumbling, including on this forum, about her identifying as a Democratic Socialist. In fact, a few forum members have posted a splattering of anti-Alexandria information on a daily basis. Now that the contested primaries are over, I hope that this divisive activity stops. We need to be united.

On Sunday afternoon, I will be meeting with Anthony Brindisi and his campaign. He is running against Claudia Tenney in NYS's 22nd Congressional District. Some in the RNC are calling this one of the most important contests in the country. Brindisi has a very good chance of unseating Tenney, who is one of the most toxic republicans today. In fact, she is so desperate that it was announced this week that Trump will be coming to Utica on Monday to campaign for her.

This is being organized by none other than Carl Paladino, the chairman of Trump's NYS campaign. This is the same Carl Paladino that ran a failed campaign for governor (among other positions), and who was removed from his local school board for racism. Utica's republican leaders, aware of the the depth of anti-Trump sentiments in the area, pressured Paladino to change the original plans for the Trump rally – it has since been announced that it will be a closed meeting of only “donors.” There was an attempt to keep the time and location secret. That effort failed, and our side will be outside, peacefully protesting against Trump and Tenney.

(I should note that after redistricting, Maurice Hinchey represented the district in Congress. My aunt served as his top aide for many years. Democrats can win this district, especially with a strong candidate like Anthony Brindisi.)

Paladino, of course, is from western NYS. While I do not know if he is a blood relative of Rep. Chris Collins, it is safe to say they are from the same family. Their family businesses have overlapped for decades. Collins was more successful in politics, because he has been slick, while Paladino is a dim-wit. But both are Trump republicans.

By being indicted on federal charges this week, Collins is now damaged goods. Paladino and Collins are convinced that Collins can win re-election in the 27th District by claiming that organized crime does a lot of good for communities. However, although it is beneath the surface, a significant number of republican leaders in the 27th are asking that Collins step aside. They've noted that if Collin accept a nomination for a local position, such as town clerk, their party can legally replace him on the ballot for Congress.

Either way, this creates a great opportunity for the Democratic candidate, Grand Island Town Supervisor Nate McMurray. At this time, McMurray's campaign is in need of grass roots' donations. We can be sure the republican party will be heavily financing Collins or any candidate that might replace him. Thus, I am going to send a donation to his campaign that matches what I donate to Alexandria and Anthony Brindisy. And if others are in a position to help McMurray's campaign, linked to below, it's a much-needed investment in democracy.


https://votemcmurray.com/

Thank you for your consideration. Unite, and fight the Good Fight!

H2O Man

"Make It Plain"

The media is reporting numerous extremely important stories on an on-going basis. Two current, closely related events include Trump's role in his son's meeting with Russians for “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, and Paul Manafort's first criminal trial. The complexity of these stories is such that it can be difficult to remember everything from as recent as one month ago.

Trump and Rudy Giuliani are actively both trying to cloud the issues, and get ahead of bad news they know is coming right around the corner. White House spokespeople are, at very best, habitually having the claims they make supporting Trump being exposed had absolutely untrue. It's a combined effort to confuse the general public.

That's why I think it is important that Democrats – including those running for office – practice one of Malcolm X's instructions: “Make it plain.” (In fact, that's the title of one of the very best books about Malcolm, as well as a related documentary.) I recognize that none of our party's candidates can run exclusively as “anti-Trump,” but it is an issue that will surface in every campaign. And there are some outstanding Democrats in both the House and Senate that are speaking truth on CNN and MSNBC.

It's extremely important that Democrats at the grass roots level also discuss the Trump-Russian scandal. In part, this is to counter the attempt by Trump to confuse the public, so that republicans can have an excuse to not impeach him. It is also equally important to do to educate the public on the dangerous nature of the crimes the Trump campaign committed, and why it is so important to vote for Democrats in November.

I'm comfortable saying here that I believe that vote tallies in sections of three states – Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – were tampered in a manner that changed the “official” outcome of the 2016 election. But I can't prove it, and thus can not “make it plain” in a public discussion. Thus, I focus on what can be proven – that the Trump campaign conspired with the Russians to influence the outcome of the election.

The Trump “family business” had extensive dealings with Russian entities connected to Putin for decades. Thus, when Donald Jr. was contacted about potential “dirt” on Clinton, he readily accepted the offer. He wasn't offended that a foreign adversary was attempting to influence our election. No, these were “family friends.” He said that he loved it, especially if the “dirt” came out during the general election contest.

Michael Cohen says that Junior came into a meeting between Trump and Cohen, and informed his father of the offer. Rudy Giuliani denied that, but then spoke of a second meeting that followed, where the top people discussed the upcoming meeting with the Russians. This meeting was to discuss how the campaign could best disguise that the campaign was coordinating with Russia.

In the meeting with the Russians, it was agreed that the stolen e-mails from the DNC and Clinton campaign would go through a cut-out. Manafort identified Roger Stone as the person in charge on the Trump campaign's side. The Russians would make use of Guicifer 2.0 and Wikileaks. In return, the Trump campaign would alter the republican platform on Ukraine, and lift the Magnitsky Act sanctions if Trump was elected.

Junior called his father both right before and after this meeting on a private line. Trump would soon make a claim that he was preparing a speech on Clinton's “corruption.” Manafort was able to pressure the republicans to alter their platform. Although Trump never made the “corruption” speech he had promised, he soon blurted out his infamous “Russia, if you're listening” request. And hours later, Russians attempted to hack Hillary Clinton's e-mails.

In the months that followed, when the Trump Tower meeting was exposed by the media, panic set in the group that had conspired with the Russians. Both the father and son, along with co-conspirators, attempted to lie about the meeting. This shows consciousness of guilt. Junior went so far as to lie to a congressional committee. Some of the half-wits who were not directly involved in the conspiracy would parrot those lies to the media, because Trump lied to them, too. When a client lies to his defense lawyers, it's never a good thing. Thus Jay Sekulow's humiliating admission this weekend that he had “bad information” when he claimed Trump didn't dictate Junior's statement.

The Trump campaign – including the candidate – conspired with the Russians. It's as plain as that.

In Cold Blood

As we watch the melt-down of Donald Trump via twitter and rallies, it may be worthwhile to consider something that a retired federal prosecutor recently explained on the news. He was taking part in a discussion on the differences between interrogating a “common” criminal versus a “con man.” Most criminals, he noted, recognize that they are outlaws. This is like John Dillinger, who believed that robbing banks was his job, and the police's job was to catch him.

Once caught, common criminals tend to do one of two things: the weaker ones rat out others to try to get a reduced sentence, while those who subscribe to the criminal code of conduct accept their fate. In modern times – and this is pre-DSM 5's shift for insurance coverage – these people were labeled with “anti-social personality disorder.” A few of these criminals have been able to rise to powerful positions in mainstream society before being unmasked as common criminals. Richard Nixon is a fine example.

The retired prosecutor explained that these people are far easier to interview, and break, than those known as “con men” or related terms. For these “con men” are convinced that they can lie their way out of any situation. Their confidence in their ability to manipulate is rooted in years of experience. This includes a belief that they can out-smart anyone by way of spontaneously lying off the top of their heads.

These are known as sociopaths (or psychopaths, depending upon if one separates genetics from environmental factors). Years ago, when I did an in-service training at my place of employment on sociopaths, I used a section from the book “In Cold Blood” to illustrate sociopathy in action. First published in 1966, this was the best-selling “true crime” book until Vincent Bugliosi published “Helter Skelter”; it remains the second best-seller today.

In it, Truman Capote tells the story of the murder of the Herb Clutter family in rural Kansas, a vicious crime that shocked the nation. There is a part where the two men who commit the murders go shopping. Perry is the classic anti-social, and Dick is the sociopath. In business after business, Dick is able to evaluate and then manipulate the clerks into literally giving them “free stuff,” that he has no intention of ever paying for. This is the approach a sociopath takes when being interviewed by an investigator – rapid evaluations that lead to attempts to manipulate in an manner aimed at not paying for one's crimes.

It's worth briefly considering part of the book “Helter Skelter,” too. When Charlie recognizes the gig is up, what does he do? He convinces some of his “family” – in this case, all females – to try to both take the fall for the crimes, and to implicate other men. But not Charlie. Sociopaths manipulate anti-socials.

This brings us to the question: is Trump mentally ill? As is well-documented in Bandy Lee's book, “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump,” the president is a classic sociopath. This is a personality type, distinct from a mental illness. It involves brain structures, and this is why normal people often describe sociopaths as “cold-blooded” and reptilian. At the same time, it is accurate to say that a sociopath under extreme pressure can experience episodes of psychosis – or breaks from reality. Hence, the current melt-down, in which the sick puppy attempts to manipulate reality.

Does Trump really want to talk to Mr. Mueller? Does he really believe he can convince Mr. Mueller that the investigation is a witch hunt? I think that part of him does. But the other part of him is scared shitless.

Being for the Benefit of Mr. Q

“I told you about the walrus and me, man
You know we're as close as can be, man
Well here's another clue for you all
The walrus was Paul.”
John Lennon; Glass Onion

I've read some OP/threads here regarding the curious phenomenon known as “Q-anon.” I suspect that I have been aware of Q for longer than most people on this forum. That, of course, does not make my opinion of the group any more valuable than that of anyone else. However, I may be able to put it into a slightly different context than most, and one that I believe is worth considering.

In my humble opinion, for whatever it is worth, two people have turned what started out as a prank into an effort to divide and discredit the republican base. The two attended college together in the 1970s, where they were politically active. In the decades since, while they have remained friends, one became more of a liberal-moderate Democrat, who has had a career in government before retiring last summer. The second one remained a progressive, though not as radical as he had been in his youth, as he had a career in human services.

The two have remained good friends over the decades, despite periods of time when they either talked on the phone (and now internet), or got together in various settings around the northeast. The presidency of Donald Trump is unacceptable to the pair. Thus, about 16 months ago, while sharing a smoke while listening to the Beatles' “White Album,” they decided to target and exploit the over-active imaginations of a vulnerable group of far-right space cats.

The ideal victims of such monkey warfare would be a sub-group that was convinced they had The Answer, with the group being small enough that each member reinforced the others' perception. This creates an environment that allows for perception management. It is especially easy if that small group is invested in conspiracy theories.

The para-human specimens that would mutate into the larger current movement within the bowels of the republican party was perfect. Most believed that the same forces that took JFK out were now targeting Trump. This caused the two Democrats to focus their attention on the character “Mr. X” from the movie “JFK,” who explained the Deep State to Kevin Costner's character in the park. Surely, the group would easily swallow the concept of a Mr. X contacting them, to say they did indeed have The Answer, and that their country sorely needed them to solve today's vast conspiracy to protect Trump. Hook, line, and sinker.

Since Mr. X was already taken, the pair opted for the letter Q. Relying upon the technical skills of the retired social worker's son, they found the best non-traceable manner to initiate the leader of the pack of jackasses. They started with “information” the group would find fit their concept of reality. Slowly, over time, they left bread crumbs that led the expanding group to wilder beliefs. Before they knew it, the group had grown in size and insanity beyond the two men's wildest dreams.

The two old buddies realized that opportunity knocked: if they could get the Q group to become visible, and identified with the “new” republican party, it had the potential to damage the republicans going into the 2018 mid-term elections. Just attending rallies – especially Trump's events – was not enough, Q informed the group. They had to have tee-shirts and posters to help deliver the message. The nation's future depended upon their heroic efforts to teach The Answer. Q & Associates in the intelligence community were counting on these brave patriots.

Now, as anyone and everyone paying attention has noticed, the media will frequently focus upon the gad flies who attend rallies and political gatherings. It's a way to disguise the discrediting of the larger group as entertainment. It's a tried and true practice that has been used against many movements, including the environmentalists'. It has been less often used against the rabid right; for example, the Tea Party was made to look patriotic, rather than idiotic. Not this time!

Thus, I believe that Democrats should make good use of Q-anon. Identify them as representing the republican party. Heck, refer to them as leaders. Keep in mind the Q mantra, used in response to the question, “Can you prove any of this is true?” …. “You can't prove it's not true.”

Fight the Good Fight, and keep a sense of humor,
H2O Man

Current Events

Perhaps the most valuable services that the media is providing the general public at this time is found in the interviews of individuals who rank as “expert witnesses” in the court of public opinion. One example is Malcolm Nance, who explains the workings of the intelligence community, as it relates to the Russian-Trump scandal. By listening to Mr. Nance, and reading his books, the public gains the knowledge needed to come to a proper understanding of current events.

Likewise, both CNN and MSNBC frequently feature retired federal prosecutors to explain how the legal system works. One of the most important among these is Paul Butler, who is currently a professor at Georgetown University's Law Center. His insights are as important to our understanding of the federal court system, as are Mr. Nance's to our grasp of his area of expertise.

In one of his July appearances on MSNBC, for but one example, Mr. Butler noted that the Department of Justice has a policy of not subpoenaing targets of investigations to testify before a grand jury. This policy, he explained, is distinct from the approach taken with subjects of investigations. With that in mind, we can view the status of some of the members of the Trump campaign, transition team, and administration in a more accurate light.

It may be of particular value in understanding the growing tensions between Mr. Mueller and Trump and his legal team. Publicly, of course, we have witnessed Rudy Giuliani's attempts to both confuse the public, and “get out ahead” of stories that the legal team believes are about to break. As tempting as it is to focus on Rudy, it is important to remember Malcolm X's saying, “Don't aim at the puppet, aim at the puppeteer.”

The serious discussions between Trump's legal team and the Mueller team do not involve Giuliani. He is merely a prop in the court of public opinion, and not a serious legal defense attorney. The nonsense he spouts is therefore best understood as a reaction to the pressure the actual team is experiencing in their communications with Mr. Mueller. Let's look at a current example.

In the past, the Trump team told the Mueller team that the president could not have been attempting to obstruct justice in his private conversations with Mr. Comey regarding “going easy” on General Flynn, because Trump was unaware the FBI was currently investigating Flynn. This week, we learn for certain what we all suspected – that two members of the White House staff had informed Trump that the FBI was investigating Flynn. And that a short time after being thus informed, Trump spoke with Mr. Comey. Thus, by definition, Trump was attempting to obstruct justice.

Keep in mind that Mr. Mueller is in possession of Trump's original letter for firing Mr. Comey, which is distinct from the letter that Mr. Rosenstein was tasked with producing the following day. Safe to say that Trump's rough draft did not focus on the anguish he felt for Mr. Comey's public comments on Hillary Clinton.

This explains exactly why Trump and Rudy are behaving the way they currently are. It is the only alternative that guilty people have, when prosecutors have as much overwhelming evidence as Mr. Mueller's team has.

Always listen carefully to Paul Butler.
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