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America’s top comics are moving on him like a bitch — and with about the same results — but they’re doing it long and hard and with zesty humor, and they won’t stop until . . . .

Don’t think the world isn’t watching and laughing with them.

– Stephen Colbert, The Late Show, September 26, 2019 –

– Jimmy Kimmel Live, September 27, 2019 –

WASHINGTON — The White House concealed some reconstructed transcripts of delicate calls between President Trump and foreign officials, including President Vladimir V. Putin and the Saudi royal family, in a highly classified computer system after embarrassing leaks of his conversations, according to current and former officials.


The unnamed whistleblower provided the complaint in August to Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, who determined that the complaint was of an “urgent concern” and “appeared credible,” although acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire consulted with the Justice Department and determined the complaint fell outside the statutory requirements which would compel him to hand it over to Congress. Hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid that had been delayed by the Trump administration were released to Ukraine earlier in September.

The cast of characters in the Trump-Giuliani-Ukraine saga laid out in the whistleblower complaint is extensive, with more than 20 individuals named.


Related on BackChannels: “United States of America — Basic Training” – Timeless

President Trump’s woes may not ease Joe Biden’s issues with his son’s positioning on the world stage (China and Ukraine most noticeably), but the momentum has reached the point at which the President MAY become doubtful as the nation’s chief negotiator and representative in matters of trade and war. Between America’s engagement in WWII and this Trumpian Era, there never has been a shade of doubt regarding the nation’s commitment to civility, democracy, fair and free elections, fair trade, rule by consent, and rule of law worldwide. With that package has gone the revocation of the power of dictators and tyrants (and “Presidents for Life”). This President, his associates and cronies, starting with the rightly disgraced former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, appear to have believed in power sought for its own sake — for their own sake — and they, perhaps with a lift from Moscow — proved themselves right by winning an American election (by a slim Electoral College margin — some other engagements have been as thinly supported as well).

Not only “The Democrats” have roared back.

– Republican Jeff Flake quitting Republican Party politics in disgust, NBC News, October 24, 2017 –

Recent and Related Headlines

“‘3 Musketeers’ or ‘3 Stooges’? Republicans Running Against Trump May Fall in Between.” The New York Times – 9/19/2019 ->

The Republican Parties in Arizona, Kansas, Nevada and South Carolina, meanwhile, are planning to cancel the 2020 presidential primaries in their states to make it virtually impossible for Mr. Trump’s challengers to build support.


“Two of Trump’s Republican challengers support impeachment effort” – Reuters – 9/24/2019 ->

Republicans Joe Walsh and Bill Weld made the comments as the U.S. House of Representatives planned to launch a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump over reports he sought Ukrainian help to smear Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden.

“The Ukraine caper by the president is some combination of treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors,” said Weld, a former Massachusetts governor. “The one thing that’s absolutely clear is it is grounds for removal from office.”


“Trump told Russian officials in 2017 he wasn’t concerned about Moscow’s interference in U.S. election” – The Washington Post – 9/27/2019 ->

President Trump told two senior Russian officials in a 2017 Oval Office meeting that he was unconcerned about Moscow’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election because the United States did the same in other countries, an assertion that prompted alarmed White House officials to limit access to the remarks to an unusually small number of people, according to three former officials with knowledge of the matter.


“Collusion After the Fact” – Lawfare – 9/28/2019 ->

Shortly after the story broke, I received a message from a person directly involved with the FBI’s decision to open a counterintelligence and obstruction investigation of President Trump in the immediate aftermath of the firing of FBI Director James Comey. To say this person, who had clearly learned about the matter for the first time from the Post, was angered by the story would be to understate the matter.

The message read in relevant part: “None of us had any idea. Multiple people had opportunity and patriotic reason to tell us. Instead, silence.”


Popular wisdom on this fellow: not a prayer!

But winning isn’t the only thing, is it?

(Sorry, Vince, the Presidency isn’t a football game).

BackChannels admires Bill Weld for standing up to an ignoble (remember, he “moved on her like a bitch” — and she was married) political amateur.

– Real Time with Bill Maher, September 28, 2019

Inspired by the above and passed along with this excerpt:

The State Department issued an export license for the missiles on Dec. 22, and on March 2 the Pentagon announced final approval for the sale of 210 Javelins and 35 launching units. The order to halt investigations into Mr. Manafort came in early April.

Volodymyr Ariev, a member of Parliament who is an ally of President Petro O. Poroshenko, readily acknowledged that the intention in Kiev was to put investigations into Mr. Manafort’s activities “in the long-term box.”

“In every possible way, we will avoid irritating the top American officials,” Mr. Ariev said in an interview. “We shouldn’t spoil relations with the administration.”