On the morning of Friday, January 25, 2019, dark and early, NPR popped up on my clock radio and Steve Inskeep said the following words: “Roger Stone is set to appear in federal court. He was arrested in Florida.“
I did what any contemporary blogger would do. I checked Trump’s Twitter feed.
There was, to my mind, an unnatural silence.
His last Tweet was twelve hours earlier, still whining about Michael D’Antonio, the author of the “The Truth About Trump,” who appeared January 18th on CNN to talk about Trump, based on his observations. (Warning: Auto-launch video)
Trump’s Tweet says this:
A third rate conman who interviewed me many years ago for just a short period of time has been playing his biggest con of all on Fake News CNN. Michael D’Antonio, a broken down hack who knows nothing about me, goes on night after night telling made up Trump stories. Disgraceful!
From there, I went to look for an article from a reliable source (which I consider The Guardian to be):
Roger Stone says he won’t testify against Trump after Mueller indictment
Jim Wright caught on immediately, and wrote this hot take on Facebook and I just had to laugh. He was right, of course. At 8:16 am, Trump to post the following:
Greatest Witch Hunt in the History of our Country! NO COLLUSION! Border Coyotes, Drug Dealers and Human Traffickers are treated better. Who alerted CNN to be there?
The same morning, Laguardia airport shut down over safety issues because the government shutdown made travel unsafe. (Too few air traffic controllers. Federal workers. Unavailable because they weren’t paid.)
Trump buckled mid afternoon, like the spineless bully he is, and announced he was reopening the government for three weeks (a temporary reprieve). Having successfully directed attention back to himself, I wondered what else I missed in the news cycle, because that’s how this goes.
A Facebook friend provided one of the missing pieces.
Deflect, deflect, misdirect, deflect. That’s what Trump does every time he pulls this crap, only this time he cost the U.S. billions of dollars in lost income, thanks to his temper tantrum over a wall.
Meanwhile, back on Facebook, after complimenting me on my foresight, my friend Mark asked me for a follow up. So here you go.
I’m trying to pay attention to the hydra that is the current administration, and I heard about Roger Stone while writing about Al Franken. Here’s the post Mark meant:
It’s not hard to put those pieces together if you choose to pay attention.
Sarah Kendzior (who wrote an excellent book called The View from Flyover Country) continues to collect and share data on our steady slide into fascism. She wrote the following post on November 18, 2016 (an excerpt from her blog post, titled, We’re heading into dark times. This is how to be your own light in the Age of Trump.):
He told us his plans all along, though most chose to downplay or deny them
You can look to the president-elect himself for a vision of what is to come. He has told you his plans all along, though most chose to downplay or deny them. You can even look back to before his candidacy, when in February 2014, he went on Fox News to defend Russia. Why a reality TV host was on Fox News defending Russia is its own story, but here is what he said about his desired outcome for the United States:
“You know what solves it? When the economy crashes, when the country goes to total hell and everything is a disaster. Then you’ll have a [chuckles], you know, you’ll have riots to go back to where we used to be when we were great.”
This is what “Make America Great Again” means to Donald Trump. It is how he has operated his businesses, taking advantage of economic disasters like the housing market crash. It is why, during a long and painful recession, he made “You’re fired” a national catchphrase, because he understands that sometimes it feels good to know that the person getting fired, for once, is not you. He said he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and people would still vote for him, and he said he could grab women “by the pussy” because “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”
And on Twitter, Kurt Eichenwald published a thread that talks about Stone’s connection to Fox News that, if true, could move mountains toward silencing their propaganda machine.
Meanwhile, Sara Danner Dukic has published this Timeline you might be interested in.
Don’t like the sources because they’re bloggers? How about the New York Times or New York Magazine’s Intelligencer?
From the New York Times:
Trump and His Associates Had More Than 100 Contacts With Russians Before the Inauguration
And from The Intelligencer:
Roger Stone Used Mob Threats Because Trump Is Basically a Crime Boss
I refuse to play the “Trump is too stupid to be doing this on purpose” game. I will bet huge sums of money (I don’t actually have) that Richard Nixon never dreamed of someone holding the office of President who could one day be subject to a RICO investigation.
Don’t know what I’m talking about? Read up on the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
RICO was enacted by section 901(a) of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 (Pub.L. 91–452, 84 Stat. 922, enacted October 15, 1970) and is codified at 18 U.S.C. ch. 96 as 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961–1968. G. Robert Blakey, an adviser to the United States Senate Government Operations Committee, drafted the law under the close supervision of the committee’s chairman, Senator John Little McClellan. It was enacted as Title IX of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970, and signed into law by Richard M. Nixon [emphasis mine]. While its original use in the 1970s was to prosecute the Mafia as well as others who were actively engaged in organized crime, its later application has been more widespread.
That’s what we’re dealing with today. We’re not talking about a wall. We’re talking about a hostage crisis.
And the all-too-complicit GOP are willing to go right along with this bullshit because it accomplishes their 40-year goal of destroying the Democratic party and their 154-year goal of destroying Washington as the seat of federal government.
If you think that this is over, especially if you’re a federal employee, I strongly suggest thinking again. Three weeks are going to fly right by.
February is coming. Round two is coming. Valentine’s Day is inevitable.
There will be no agreement, until we can take Trump and McConnell out of the equation. And all of this lands squarely in the lap of Republicans at every conceivable level.
Don’t buy the bullshit.