Mabry Mill, Floyd, Va.
This entry contains a subset of the images that I took from this online photo-montage (link embedded): 21 Small Towns You Should Visit on Your Next American Road Trip. The other pictures are those that I already had on my computer and are from various sources.
For this entry, I'd like to link to this Charlie Pierce piece (link embedded): Getting to the Bottom of the Memo Cesspool.
I'd also like for this entry to discuss the topic a bit.
Picturesque Galena, Illinois
It's difficult to overstate the American historically unprecedented assault that the Trump kleptocracy and his GOP Congressional enablers are carrying out on the FBI and, more generally, the Department of Justice with an effort to "cleanse" (purge) it of anyone suspected of anti-Trump sentiment and to sabotage the Robert Mueller investigation.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
There is a sort of Stalinist show trail quality to the alternate reality that is being ginned up by the Fox News Channel -- a.k.a., Trump TV -- and other organs of the media/entertainment ecosystem (i.e., Breitbart, Wall Street Journal editorial shithouse, Rush Limbaugh, National Review, etc.) involving a supposed vast anti-Trump conspiracy at the highest career position levels of both FBI and DOJ that sought to throw the election to Hillary (just think about that for a minute).
Prairie City, Oregon
In order to do that, these conspirators up to and including the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein -- a Trump appointee, no less, but one he calls, factually incorrectly, a "Democrat from Baltimore" -- ginned up all this phony evidence including the entire Russia collusion story, wiretapping the kooky Putin stooge Carter Page, and the Steele dossier. Oh, and there is the whole business about a "secret society" that supposedly exists in the FBI trying to take down Trump in a "deep state" coup (possibly on Hillary's behalf).
Blue bonnets in Marble Falls, Texas
The present-day cult-like GOP and its fevered media/entertainment hothouse really are second-to-none in this sort of conspiracy-mongering that would do a whole season's worth of Coast-to-Coast AM radio show proud.
All of this finds its apotheosis in the so-called "Nunes Memo" -- a four-page "summary" of thousands of pages of classified documents obtained through the FISA warrant that was part of Page's wiretapping (surveilling), itself part of an Obama administration plot to spy on Trump, that was put together by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.)
Spanish-moss on a tree-lined narrow road in Brooksville, Florida
Nunes -- accurately dubbed by Pierce as the "ranking White House lawn ornament" and the Sacramento Bee editorial board as a "Trump stooge" -- who is running from his House Intelligence Committee chairmanship a wild and wildly destructive counter-operation on Trump's behalf. (Nunes represents a safely Red [i.e., voter-proof] district -- even in California.)
The Lake Michigan lakeshore in Sawyer, Michigan
The Ur-Daddy of the rightwing agitprop machine, Sean Hannity, has touted this dumbass memo as a civilization-altering revelation that will obliterate all credibility of the scandalous accusations swirling around Trump, but that Nunes put together (reportedly without ever seeing the underlying intelligence documents) and got the committee to agree to release on a party-line vote before editing it further and sending it to the White House for Trump to "review" and release (probably by Saturday).
(As an aside, as for Sean Hannity, he frequently looks like he is about to have a heart attack. At least Ann Coulter enjoys her performance art.)
Missouri River Canyon, Cascade, Montana
This is the "Nunes Memo" that ignited the rightwing media/entertainment agitprop machine over the past few weeks and whose impending release is causing massive consternation at the FBI with the FBI Director -- appointed by Trump -- strongly opposing the release of the memo. But Trump believes it will sabotage the Mueller investigation and give him a pretext to fire Rosenstein and appoint a new Deputy AG who will fire or otherwise severely curtail Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
Donald Trump Jr. -- the sociopathic son of sociopathic Donald Trump -- is already bragging via Twitter that Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who resigned the other day under severe and ugly pressure from Trump, was "fired" because of this memo.
It is my fervent hope that at the end of this Trump/GOP dystopia, if and when sanity is ever restored, the Trump children -- especially Jr. and Ivanka -- are sitting in jail cells.
A ram in Granite Gap, New Mexico
The remaining pictures below are not from the above photo-montage.
Former FBI Director James Comey -- fired by Trump last year for refusing to pledge loyalty to him but ostensibly, bizarrely, on the grounds of having reopened the election-throwing Hillary Clinton email investigation just days before the election -- took to Twitter to decry the "weasels and liars" and invoked Sen. Joseph McCarthy to condemn the Trump/GOP machinations.
We've come a long way, baby, in just 15 months. Also, God, I hate Twitter. And Facebook.
The Mittens buttes, Canyonlands National Park, Arizona
Remember, too, that all of these people -- including Comey, McCabe, Rosenstein, and Mueller -- are all Republicans, so it gives this whole Alice-In-Wonderland spectacle a sort of Bolshevik versus Menshevik power struggle quality to it. Alas, the Bolsheviks won.
It goes without saying that the GOP as a party and Trump are now wedded together in a vile and incestuous union. Panicked white ethno-nationalists, racists, corporate and other dark money oligarchs, libertarian kooks, grifters, charlatans, and con artists -- that's today's GOP and the Trump kleptocracy.
Zion National Park, Utah, July 2014; photo by A.R.
Pierce -- in the above-linked piece -- is of the view that: "complete surrender of the Republican congressional leadership to this fairy tale, leads to the inevitable conclusion that there is more going on here than political damage control. People are breaking too much rock over this matter for that to be the case. People are risking too much to keep the cover story aloft."
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, July 2014; photo by A.R.
He concludes his piece thusly:
It might be Russian ratfcking. It might be dirty money being cleaned through the First Family's business. It might be a complex combination of both. But not even this president* is dumb and/or arrogant enough to risk a massive constitutional crisis simply to save himself a little embarrassment concerning the circumstances of his election. Even I give him the benefit of the doubt on that one.
Old house and a storm in the distance somewhere in Montana
As for when all this insanity will end -- or at least be checked -- that gets into the prospects for the midterms this November.
Whether we get that "wave" election in November or not, this situation is truly a highly destructive one to our country's institutions. As for that wave, there is the chance it won't materialize given the vast amounts of money the GOP is shoveling through the sky-trillion dollar tax cut -- including the tiny but still meaningful bonuses to wage slaves -- and solid economic performance.
Blue Ridge Mountains, Sept. 3, 2017; photo by George Jiang
Indeed, I heard a Fox 5 (not Trump TV Fox News Channel) blurb at the gym -- or as George Orwell wrote it in 1984, bleating from the telescreens -- about the $1,250 bonuses and all the Ho Hos, Ding-Dongs, Zingers, and Twinkees they can eat for a year for Hostess workers. Naturally, this hits all the religious, rugged individualistic, and erogenous zones of the bloated, synthetic cream-filled, American idiocracy -- making them what to run right out and eagerly vote GOP.
Crashing surface, Cape Mendocino, Calif.
OK, I think that's all for now. I'll try to post a BIG Y'EYEMAH Friday Night Creature Feature later this day, although I might not post anything until Saturday night.
Fuca Pillar, Cape Flattery, Washington
OK, goodnight for now.