She might as well have said: “You know what, Yvette, I’ve not got a freakin clue where they will pay their taxes. Indeed, I expect they probably won’t”. Because she doesn’t know anything about it, and compared with Yvette Cooper who was patiently calm and polite but firm, May looked like a rank amateur.

Talking of which… Is there a competition going on between May and Trump to see who can be the bigger embarrassing roaster?

What a load of nonsense. He couldn’t even read the statement that his people prepared for him. He rambles through it, mixes up repeal and repel and indicates that there might be some doubt as to what he said… when there is no doubt at all.

Danny sent me this article from the Washington Post.

America’s child president had a play date with a KGB alumnus, who surely enjoyed providing daycare. It was a useful, because illuminating, event: Now we shall see how many Republicans retain a capacity for embarrassment.

Jeane Kirkpatrick, a Democrat closely associated with such Democratic national security stalwarts as former senator Henry Jackson and former senator and former vice president Hubert Humphrey, was President Ronald Reagan’s ambassador to the United Nations. In her speech at the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, she explained her disaffection from her party: “They always blame America first.” In Helsinki, the president who bandies the phrase “America First” put himself first, as always, and America last, behind President Vladimir Putin’s regime.

Because the Democrats had just held their convention in San Francisco, Kirkpatrick branded the “blame America first” cohort as “San Francisco Democrats.” Thirty-four years on, how numerous are the “Helsinki Republicans”?

What, precisely, did President Trump say about the diametrically opposed statements by U.S. intelligence agencies (and the Senate Intelligence Committee) and by Putin concerning Russia and the 2016 U.S. elections? Precision is not part of Trump’s repertoire: He speaks English as though it is a second language that he learned from someone who learned English last week. So, it is usually difficult to sift meanings from Trump’s word salads. But in Helsinki he was, for him, crystal clear about feeling no allegiance to the intelligence institutions that work at his direction and under leaders he chose.

Speaking of Republicans incapable of blushing — those with the peculiar strength that comes from being incapable of embarrassment — consider Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), who for years enjoyed derivative gravitas from his association with Sen. John McCain (Ariz.). Graham tweeted about Helsinki: “Missed opportunity by President Trump to firmly hold Russia accountable for 2016 meddling and deliver a strong warning regarding future elections.” A “missed opportunity” by a man who had not acknowledged the meddling?

Contrast Graham’s mush with this on Monday from McCain, still vinegary: “Today’s press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.” Or this from Arizona’s other senator, Jeff Flake (R): “I never thought I would see the day when our American president would stand on the stage with the Russian President and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression.” Blame America only.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and others might believe that they must stay in their positions lest there be no adult supervision of the Oval playpen. This is a serious worry, but so is this: Can those people do their jobs for someone who has neither respect nor loyalty for them?

Like the purloined letter in Edgar Allan Poe’s short story with that title, collusion with Russia is hiding in plain sight. We shall learn from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation whether in 2016 there was collusion with Russia by members of the Trump campaign. The world, however, saw in Helsinki something more grave — ongoing collusion between Trump, now in power, and Russia. The collusion is in what Trump says (refusing to back the United States’ intelligence agencies) and in what evidently went unsaid (such as: You ought to stop disrupting Ukrainedowning civilian airlinersattempting to assassinate people abroad using poisons, and so on, and on).

Americans elected a president who — this is a safe surmise — knew that he had more to fear from making his tax returns public than from keeping them secret. The most innocent inference is that for decades he has depended on an American weakness, susceptibility to the tacky charisma of wealth, which would evaporate when his tax returns revealed that he has always lied about his wealth, too. A more ominous explanation might be that his redundantly demonstrated incompetence as a businessman tumbled him into unsavory financial dependencies on Russians. A still more sinister explanation might be that the Russians have something else, something worse, to keep him compliant.

The explanation is in doubt; what needs to be explained — his compliance — is not. Granted, Trump has a weak man’s banal fascination with strong men whose disdain for him is evidently unimaginable to him. And, yes, he only perfunctorily pretends to have priorities beyond personal aggrandizement. But just as astronomers inferred, from anomalies in the orbits of the planet Uranus, the existence of Neptune before actually seeing it, Mueller might infer, and then find, still-hidden sources of the behavior of this sad, embarrassing wreck of a man.


    1. That actually made me feel physically sick, Zoolon.

      I’m not sure what it says about Brits that they lap up this sort of crap, along with the rubbish in Express and the Sun. (I’m not sure if the Star is still a thing. Surely even a cat would be disinclined to use it in its littler box.)

      I remember an older guy who worked at D C Thomson pointing out how rigidly Tory both the morning and evening papers (and for that matter the Sunday paper) in Dundee were, and how, despite that, the population of Dundee had voted solidly Labour until they started voting solidly SNP, without troubling the Tories any more than once in his memory.

      Perhaps it truly is just that people like the tittle tattle in these downmarket dimbo rags.

      Thanks for the link.


  1. ha ha ha he said Uranus. uranus ha ha ha ha. Sounds a bit like….. ha ha ha.

    Jeez, May’s grilling is grim. She really had no answers. If I’d won a competition and was allowed to ask a question I would have asked what tariff she would apply to a ball-bearing that landed in Italy, got put into a bicycle wheel in Germany, that was fitted to a bicycle in Switzerland (VAT alert, plus zero tariff alert, but no country-of-origin agreement alert) then spray painted in Sweden and sent to the UK?

    Liked by 4 people

        1. Well when next I see you -on independence day I will look you up. You owe me a tenner which is about two beers. I will of course reciprocate and we can regale each other with independence/brexit stories.
          Everyone else contributing to this blog is of course also invited.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Terry……great point about “Uranus.” There are two plausibly correct ways to say it, both of which are disgusting in polite society. So the planet should probably just be renamed and be done with the problem.

      Uranus is an oddball name anyway; the only planet not named after a Roman God. It’s named after the GREEK God of the sky. Maybe we should just go back to the name proposed by the astronomer William Herschel who discovered it in 1781. He suggested that it be named “Georgium Sidus” in honor of George III. But that never caught on outside of England, and it fell to a German, Johann Elert Bode, to pick the name of the Greek God…..the name that stuck. Of course if we rename Uranus, then maybe for uniformity we should also rename the element Uranium, newly discovered at the time by a friend of Bode who liked the name of the planet so much that he used it to name his new element.

      I LOVE Google and Wikipedia!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. And it just gets better and better. It was announced just a couple of hours ago that Trumpy is inviting Putin to Washington in the Fall.

    Then there was his “NO” to the question yesterday about whether he thought that Putin had interfered in the last election. The White House press secretary then explained that NO didn’t actually mean NO. It meant NO….MORE QUESTIONS, she said. (Everybody got a good laugh.)

    All this was 24 hours after the would/wouldn’t “clarification” in which he said that it definitely was Russia…….but on the other hand MIGHT have been someone else.

    Stay tuned………for the latest “yes means no”, “black is white” clarification.

    I like the Boris cartoon. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I dunno. Are they rewriting the language(s)?

      Brexit means Brexit, but would means wouldn’t and no doesn’t mean no any more.

      I don’t like Sarah Saunders, but sometimes I just have to feel sorry for.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ruth wishart

        Following Following @ruth_wishart

        It’s beyond surreal that US Congress members are considering a subpoena to translator to find out what their own President has said to and promised a foreign power!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Being a bare faced liar and brazenly unprincipled are virtues required of the modern politician. They say what they want, lying with impunity because they know their supporters will think it’s ok. They rely on the fact that the majority of people aren’t paying attention and will believe anything if its short, sweet and said often enough. We have Ruth Davidson closer to home as a prime example of that.

        Folk that follow this stuff are in the minority and the shutters come down when they try to tell people around them what’s going on because they just don’t want to hear it.

        Integrity is dead (if it was ever alive). People get the government they deserve right enough.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Agreed. We know that most people get their news from the headlines they see as they pass the paper stand in Adsa, or from Radio 2.

          All pretty biased.

          It’s amazing that the more they say one thing the more they are the opposite.

          We had “strong and stable” over and opver till we were sick of it, when demonstrably May and her gang of incompetents were “weak and wobbly”… and now every sentence starts “I’m clear…” when in fact “I’m a muddle headed moron” would be closer to the truth.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. The Washington Post article is clever and erudite and Trump’s incoherence is an easy target, but one (possibly the only one) of his policy proposals which (in my opinion) had merit in his presidential campaign was the stated intention to pursue accord with Russia and pull back from military engagement in the Middle East. I very much doubted that powerful vested interests in America would let him do this – and what has been in evidence over past months is a set of confused and contradictory push-pull moves in these arenas, typical of Trump’s approach.

    However, it is important to note that the direction of travel in his flailing seems to be towards this detente – which can only be a positive thing for international relations and world peace if the destination can be reached. And it is also important to note that this is in the face of concerted and coordinated internal opposition from deep seated and powerful internal actors – not least the multi-billion arms industry with America by far the largest arms exporter in the world. The last thing these and other deep state interests want is accord with Russia or any greater rapprochement between EU and Russia. And so there has been a massive – almost frantic – effort to demonise Putin and Russia and the Trump-Putin relationship is the focus of this. The Washington Post article shows similar intent.

    The Blackening of Russia has been aided and abetted by our own U.K. government with evidence free accusations in relation to the Skripal affair and charges of Chemical weapons in Douma resulting in diplomatic expulsions on the international stage and air strikes in Syria. The investigation into Russian hacking interfering with American democracy has recently led to the indictment of 12 Russian operatives, despite the fact that 2 year’s investigation has produced absolutely no evidence of this beyond “intelligence information” and the action has been brought in the certain knowledge that evidence will never need to be either presented or tested.

    I am not an apologist for either Trump or Putin. However, I believe that Trump is like a rabbit caught in the headlights of forces and actors much more dangerous and insidious – which may account in some small way for his somewhat erratic and startling behaviour. His distrust of his own security and intelligence services is perhaps unsurprising . This interview with William Binney, former technical director of the NSA is well worth listening to (if you can ignore the rather shouty interviewer )

    Also commend this article -“The Russian US Election Meddling Big Lie Won’t Die”

    Just my opinion – but these add another perspective in a situation where it is possible that the rather easy Trump-bashing diverts attention from rather more dangerous and subversive agents which have far more impact on world events

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Actually, one of the things I thought was encouraging in Trump’s campaign was his concentration of trade and not on wars. I didn’t know that that would mean trade wars though.

      But he has crept up to Saudi and to Israel and, with his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, has guaranteed that peace there is far farther away than it has been for a long time, he seems not to have lived up to his rhetoric.

      Of course I never expected him to win, so it was a pipe dream of peace.

      Needless to say the creepy UK is, as you say, complicit. How could it dare not to be when it is so dependent on the USA for a trade deal?

      Thanks for the links. I’m off to watch/read.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. “The Russian US Election Meddling Big Lie Won’t Die.”

      SERIOUSLY????? Sheeeesh!!!!

      Normally, I wouldn’t read past the ridiculous headline of something like this. But on the off chance that it’s intended as a piece of parody, I did read a few lines. No parody! Whoever this idiot Stephen Lendman is, he fits right in with Trumpy’s rhetoric about the Mueller investigation being a political “witch hunt” and about how the American media are the “REAL enemy of the people” and how we need to become friends with Putin and Russia.

      Sooner or later, I suppose that it’s inevitable that one will encounter the familiar stuff in the UK and Europe about how NATO is endangering peace-loving mother Russia, and how that admirable Russian nationalist Vladimir Putin……..who wants nothing more than peace and prosperity for the Russian people……is simply resisting warlike America-run NATO which is threatening the Russian state. All this gibberish was recently being spouted while peace loving Putin and the peace loving Russian state were attacking Ukraine and annexing Crimea.

      I’m used to this c*** that appeals to a certain brand of left wing Europeans, but what’s different now is that apparently the President of the United States has bought into the idea…..right down to open hostility to NATO. Every intelligence agency in the USA ……civilian and military…….has declared that the USA is literally under cyber ATTACK by Putin and Russia. This is therefore about countering a literal act of war in the modern age. This is not the missile and nuclear warhead age of Ronald Reagan, and this is not the time to be yammering about detant. That ship sailed long ago. This is about resisting an act of war against the fundamental bedrock principles of the democratic American system itself.

      Yes, Trump is unintelligent and out of his depth. So was George W. Bush. Bush meant well I think, but was a tool of the traditional Republican war hawks. Therefore I had some sympathy for Bush. Trump on the other hand is a narcissistic self-serving populist demagogue whose every impulse serves only his own self-interest at the expense of the United States of America. He is not a tool of a wing of his own political party, he is a tool of the dictator of a hostile foreign power.

      I can’t do anything about people in the UK and Europe who won’t ever believe a single word that the American security agencies….CIA, NSA, FBI, Pentagon……… say about this or anything else. But comes the next election, we can SURELY do something about this racist, sexist, xenophobic, self-confessed sexual predator and political demagogue who has sold out to the enemy.

      He deserves some sympathy because he is inarticulate? SERIOUSLY????? Because he occasionally says something at random that we agree with? SERIOUSLY??????

      I may tend to agree that GEORGE W. BUSH was “like a rabbit caught in the headlights of forces and actors much more dangerous and insidious – which may account in some small way for his somewhat erratic and startling behaviour.”

      But that is NOT a description of Donald Trump. And if you think that the political forces of the presidency are in some way responsible for his “erratic and startling behavior,” then you haven’t been paying attention to DECADES in which he has been in public life and on the front pages of the New York newspapers. Trump is a willful narcissistic self-serving con-artist, whose service to a hostile foreign power is nothing less than treasonous. He is a criminal who deserves not an ounce of our sympathy. He deserves prison, and with any luck at all, the Mueller investigation will put him there.

      If there is any fault in the op-ed piece in the Post by prominent conservative Republican columnist George Will, it was simply that he went too easy on this odious disgusting treasonous piece of c***, not to put too fine a point on it !


      1. Dear Danny – thank you for your response.

        I understand your personal rant against Donald Trump – and I share many of the views you express about his failings. My post above, however, suggested that forces and vested interests far more insidious and dangerous than Trump are at the heart of the anti Russia/Putin drive.

        Your cursory dismissal of such a possibility suggests that you have bought fully into the “Russia is the source of all evil” narrative promulgated by the US ( and UK) political establishments. Is it possible that your anger and bile directed against the tree makes you blind to the wood? Or even to the wood’s existence?

        I am touched by your absolute faith in your “intelligence” agencies, but you don’t need to be a “European leftie” to have a healthy scepticism about what such establishment agencies promote – in any country. Given the performances of such agencies – over the past two decades in particular – a thinking person might wish to have some credible and verifiable evidence to back up the assertions they put out – and it is in incredibly short supply.

        The hysteria evident in your response, the advancement of argument by simple assertion and the absolute belief in your own certainties is uncannily similar, in both tone and content, to that of Colonel Ralph Peters and Max Boot in the following interview:

        There is nothing so dangerous as a closed mind and evidence-free certainty that you are right – as some of our own political leaders have shown us, with disastrous consequences, in the recent past.


        1. Jomry……..If you have read the history of the twentieth century and have come to the conclusion that there is any kind of moral or geo-political equivalence to the principles and policies of the democratically elected governments of the USA and Britain compared with those of Stalin’s Soviet Union and Putin’s Russia, then we are in the fevered swamp of far left wing UK and European politics, and any words of mine on the subject would be pointless.

          I also thought that maybe your link to the article “The Russian US Election Meddling Big Lie Won’t Die” was just good-natured ignorance on the part of someone who hadn’t actually read the federal indictments against named individual Russian agents….telling exactly what they did and how they did it. But when I read you comment referring to “The hysteria evident in your response, the advancement of argument by simple assertion”, I see that you probably haven’t in fact read the court documents and probably don’t intend to…..particularly since I see that you’ve gone to FOX News and are treating us to a Tucker Carlson piece.

          Clearly we have nothing to say to each other.

          I did however write a few more words about Donald Trump…..direct from my “closed mind”, as you describe it.

          To try to equate Trump with any other American politician is a false equivalency. Trump is like nothing ever encountered before in the history of the American republic. To understand Trump, you have to view him for what he is and always has been, a con-artist ….a grifter…..whose sole purpose in life, solidly documented through many decades by the mainstream New York media, has been to promote himself as a celebrity womanizer who separates other people from their money in real estate construction, stiffs small business contractors by not paying them for work completed, and burnishes his celebrity status with reality TV stardom. He also famously and successfully defrauded people with his “Trump University.”

          To understand modern American politics, people have to understand how a right wing faction of a great American political party went crazy when the Democrats elected a black man as president in 2008. Trump then saw his chance at achieving the one thing he didn’t have…..political power. So he launched a racist vendetta, telling people that the democratically elected President of the United States was not born in the United States, and therefore not a legitimate president…..a usurper….possibly from Kenya! He demanded to see the black man’s birth certificate……something that no WHITE president was ever asked to produce……and the right-wing back-woods undereducated yahoos of the Republican right wing lapped up his racist c*** like mothers milk. So now…..because the con man and populist demagogue understood the fundamental racism of the Republican Party (that goes back to Richard Nixon’s “southern strategy”)…….Trump is solidly installed in the Oval Office and has become almost a god-like cult figure to the right wing Republican crazy people.

          And now, EVERY agency and EVERY official of the American law enforcement and intelligence community has rock solid evidence of the criminal cyber activities by Russian agents against the American democratic process. These are NOT random political charges, they are judicial indictments against named individuals, with detailed evidence, descriptions, and accounts of their activities; specified in official judicial documents in federal court. This is evidence that every REPUBLICAN leader in Congress is on record as agreeing with. That’s why there is now a criminal investigation of Trump underway by his OWN Department of Justice of his OWN Executive Branch, and by the REPUBLICAN chaired committees of the same REPUBLICAN controlled Congress.

          But Trump calls it a “witch hunt” and right wing crazy people write articles titled “The Russian Election Meddling Big Lie Won’t Die.” Since the facts of the case are published in the media, Trump calls the media “the REAL enemies of the people,” as he, on alternate days, says that he both DOES and DOESN’T agree that the Russians hacked our political system. When he went to Europe, he demolished our relationship with the NATO alliance, and then proceeded to Helsinki, where he praised Putin to the stars. This is not an opinion! This is what he DID……and the background of collusion with Russia is arguably criminal.

          So this is not business as usual. This is not “just politics.” And not everything in politics is equivalent to every else. There are real FACTS that can be known, and not everything is simply a political opinion. There is no factual doubt that Russia is engaged in full blown cyber warfare against the USA. You can read all about it in voluminously detailed federal court filings. And yet we have a president whose response to this is to periodically deny it, while praising the Russian dictator. The depth of Donald Trump’s personal depravity and mental derangement knows no bounds. THAT’S why he is under criminal investigation, and why that criminal inquiry is not simply “politics.”

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Dear Danny,

            The main thrust of my otiginal comment was to suggest that the US problem with Russia is deep-seated and pervasive and that this, rather than Trump, is a the real threat to international relations and that the predilection with Trump-bashing (he is an easy target) runs the risk of diverting attention from this. Your rant at length about Trump, regurgitating old news about his behavior and history to show what a bad dude he is (as though we needed telling) , studiously avoids any engagement with the underlying issue.

            Your claim that the “policies and principles of the US political system are morally and geopolitically superior” is one I often came across when I lived and worked in the US, along with open hostility expressed by many engaged in the political system – to anything that could be labelled “socialist”.

            Far from having morally superior policies and principles, US foreign policy has a well documented history of :-
            – subversive interference, black ops and false flag operations, military engagement and actual or attempted regime change in South America and other countries across the world (Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, Pakistan – to name but a few)
            – It continues to destabilize the Arab world through the funneling of arms and funds to the (now) apartheid state of Israel: and to destabilize the Middle East by funneling arms and supplies to jihadist rebels to effect regime change in Syria
            – It has an annual armed forces budget of 610 billion USD (Russia’s is 70 billion) and extensive military bases, missile launchers and military personnel across Europe and in other parts of the world.
            – Since the launch of the “War on terror” following 9/11 in 2001, it has had an expenditure of 4 trillion USD leaving 1.3 million people dead.
            – etc.. etc..
            …all in the name of “democracy”

            To argue that such policies and principles are morally superior requires a degree of cognitive dissonance that is decidedly unhealthy – and logical argument will have no sway. This exchange, therefore, serves no purpose, and so for my own ( and possibly your own ) sanity, I think it best now to bring this exchange to an end. I will not be returning to this thread.


  4. Re the earlier discussion about language and meaning, we shouldn’t forget the UK government ‘s definition of consent… Yes, No, and I’m not answering that all mean yes please, I do want to be shafted.
    How do I get back through the looking glass to the real world? Damn, I think this is as real as it gets and it’s really scary.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The only way back into the real world is by voting to become an independent nation in Europe and joining our neighbours and like minded countries like Ireland, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Finland, either in the EU or EFTA.

      It suits all of them rather well.


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