This is the United States of Bizarrica. The mind reels at the crescendo of craziness that assails our senses, and the most hated president-elect ever to approach the Oval Office has not yet even assumed the cloak of command. Are they correct who assure us that truth is no more, this is the age of post-truth? Or is truth merely in hiding, like the former British spy who is at the heart of just part of the swirl of intrigue?
Who is allied with whom? Are the intelligence agencies allied in a Dark State conspiracy to deny the self-anointed world’s greatest businessman his tainted presidency? If so, why did part of it (the FBI) try to destroy the candidacy of his opponent? Or if Comey didn’t do that, why are all the Democrats of the House so pissed? Speaking of urine, what about all those memos compiled by the former MI6 agent, who now fears for his life, because after all, the Russian spook apparatus has already managed to kill not one, but two, Russian dissidents on British soil?.
Is there anyone with clean hands? Clapper has been caught in bald-faced lies to the Congress and the American people. Comey is at least a double-, maybe a triple-dealer. Trump spews lies the way Old Faithful spews steam. Clinton told Wall Street oligarchs that she speaks public truth and private truth, which are not one and the same. Everyone knows nobody in Congress tells the truth. The mainstream media can’t be trusted; most of them no longer acknowledge that “media” is a plural noun and requires an appropriate verb. “Media is” indeed! "Media are," you idiots!
What is the poor, confused citizen of Bizarrica to make of all this? Besides making haste, that is, to some more sane country, which most of us couldn’t do even if we wanted to.
We can try to sort it out. The boastful grabber of pussy held what he called a news conference, but was actually a piece of theater for the former star performer of a highly-rated TV show. He stood beside a table stacked with file folders stuffed with paper. He had no deals, no loans, no ties to Russia, he said. David Cay Johnston, the journalist who knows this guy better than anyone, pointed out that he said “Russia,” not “Russians,” thus distinguishing between the Russian government (Russia) and the wealthy people who actually run Russia (Russians), which is because when his businesses went bankrupt for the seventh time and the traditional banks cut off his line of credit, he got hundreds of millions of dollars in loans through Russian oligarchs. Curious, one of the journalists who attended the news conference TV show peeked inside several of the folders on the table. They contained blank sheets of paper.
The president-to-be’s lawyer had said the folders were full of all the documents Trump had to sign to convey power over his business empire to his sons, thus fulfilling his obligations under the conflict-of-interest laws, which he said didn’t apply to him but he was doing it anyway just to show what a really, really good guy he is. (The lawyer' works for an international business law firm whose Moscow office was named 2016 Russian Law Firm of the Year by a European law journal.) Even if the folders had contained real documents, said the man tasked to run the government’s non-partisan office of ethics compliance, the cockamamie arrangement the lawyer outlined wouldn’t comply with any version of ethics known to man. Whereupon a powerful House Republican said, whoa, ethics monitor, you are out of bounds and better get over here into one of our secret torture chambers and eat yor words or you won’t even have an office of ethics compliance because we’ll take away your funding and maybe even toss you in jail and throw away the key. This is the guy who on the very first day of the new Congress voted to do away with the office that monitors members of congress for ethics compliance, which shows what he thinks of “ethics.”
Meanwhile, before he went into hiding for fear of his life and the safety of his family, the former British spy, a Russian expert, told a U.S. journalist that he had been hired to sniff around Trump’s connections to Russia at the behest of someone representing someone seeking the Republican presidential nomination, which Donald won, whereupon someone representing Clinton said, keep on sniffing, we will now pay for it, but this former MI6 agent (who, the consensus has it, is very good at this spy stuff) soon decided that what he was finding was so important that it had to be given to people who knew how to handle such sensitive info, namely the intelligence agencies of the UK and the US. He arranged with intermediaries to deliver his stuff to the government spooks. But nothing came of it. Even as the presidential election, with its own separate carnivals of crazy, careered toward election day, all the FBI seemed focused on was Clinton’s damned e-mails. Frustrated, the MI6 guy, whose name is Steele, arranged for another intermediary to give his memos to Sen. John McCain, who once ran for president his own self, and McCain took the stuff to the FBI, in high dudgeon because here was an adversarial foreign power meddling in a free and fair election, the very heart of our democracy, and something needed to be done about that. Now there were so many people running around Washington with copies of this stuff that it was like the old joke about the secret agent who was about to make a coded contact with another secret agent named Schmidt. He went to the secret location where Schmidt was supposed to be, knocked on the door, and uttered the secret code phrase to the sleepy guy in pajamas who opened the door. “Oh,” said the guy, “you don’t want me, you want Schmidt the spy. He lives upstairs.”
In any event, Steele, the real ex-spy, finally talked to a journalist, who wrote in a veiled way about the stuff, and one thing led to another, and then all the excrement hit the proverbial fan. “Lies,” said the boastful grabber of pussy; “fiction,” said Russia.
There are some sideshows. A former civil rights leader, now an esteemed member of Congress, without naming him, declared that the guy about to be sworn in as chief of state “is not a legitimate president.” This elicited delight in some quarters, umbrage in another. The world’s greatest businessman, soon to be president, told the former civil rights leader to mind his own district, which is a disaster, and leave real matters of governance to white guys who know how to do it.
I suppose I’ve missed some of the Big Picture, but a reeling mind can sort out only so much, especially when it inhabits an aging body for whom Social Security is an important part of income, and who depends for continued health upon Medicare . . . ya see what I’m saying?