Monday, January 29, 2018


This is almost surreal. Secret societies, secret memos, and made up conspiracies, all paint a picture of nation in dire straits, or a Republican Party that's grasping at straws in order to protect a damaged and deeply flawed president.

First up, we have this hilarious piece of satire from the Washington Post's Dana Milbank, "Inside the secret, sinister and very legal cabal trying to destroy Trump." In the article, Milbank mocks the conspiracy theory approach to governing practiced by congressional Republicans like Trey Gowdy (R-Benghazi). So, what's the conspiracy according to Trey and the GOP? There's a "secret society" inside the FBI, and it has one goal: undermining Donald Trump's presidency.

I know, scary stuff ... if it were true. But it's not. Hence Milbank's mocking piece from last week.

So, the next question is how did the GOP come to latch on this secret conspiracy, which they desperately want to believe in? In a few words - according to Fox News, Breitbart, Rush Limbaugh, and the Daily Caller (yeah, the usual suspects) - they read a text message between FBI agents that unwittingly revealed the dastardly plan.

Here's the real problem. No one in the right wing noise machine bothered to investigate the "secret society" claim because it fit a narrative they wanted to push. And Fox News didn't just scroll or text the information. They began hyping the secret society claim dozens of time, on air, as if it was bombshell news.

Then they suddenly went silent when they learned the story "was a joke." Oops.

Having learned nothing from their secret society embarrassment, we're now being asked to suffer through another lowbrow, almost vaudevillian, drama being played out by the conspiracy seeking GOP. This time they want to release a "secret memo," held by the House Intelligence Committee, which promises to unveil serious misdeeds at the Justice Department and inside the FBI.

Insuring it "seriousness" is that it was written by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), who's increasingly looking like the congressional version of Inspector Clouseau.

Recall, this is the same Devin Nunes who said 10 months ago it wasn't a big deal if foreigners (i.e. Russians) hacked computers in the United States, but that it should be a crime if journalists started investigating and writing about foreign hacking.


If you're keeping score at home, this is what Nunes was saying: If Russia hacked the vote, it's no big deal. But we should be able to go after you if you investigate Russian hacking, and report on it.

It's this kind of evil genius mentality that has the few responsible Republicans left concerned about what's in the Nunes memo. Because the memo claims evil deeds by the DOJ and the FBI, the FBI is taking this seriously and has asked to take a look so they can address what's being claimed. Since pieces of the memo are supposed to have national security implications, the FBI has been denied access. It's too sensitive, even for the FBI [*cough ** cough*].

Rep. Adam Schiff, a former prosecutor and the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, has seen the Nunes memo (written by him and his staff), and said it's "rife with factual inaccuracies" and is really designed to get House Republicans riled up.

From non-existent conspiracies, to non-existent hacking crimes (that should not be investigated, or written about, mind you), to partisan conspiracy memos, it's clear that the Republican Party under Donald Trump has been reduced to servile lackeys. The funny part, if you're inclined to see humor in any of this, is that our one time law and order GOP has become sycophants to our laughingstock president, and he could care less about any of them.

Grab some popcorn. It's embarrassing to our nation, but there's more to come.

- Mark

UPDATE: FBI Deputy Director, Andrew McCabe, has been asked to step down, immediately. Donald Trump had asked FBI director, Christopher Wray, to fire McCabe several times. The White House claims Trump wasn't involved in the decision to remove McCabe (Slate).

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