Meanwhile, Out in Left Field

By James Howard Kunstler

With Russian “meddling” stalled in the dead letter office, The New York Times has apparently re-branded itself Floozie Central in its quixotic campaign to unseat the Golden Golem of Greatness by all means necessary. The Stormy Daniels affair, and its slime-trail of payoffs, is the slender thread that the Resistance hopes to hang Donald Trump on.

The great legal minds of cable TV have been very busy trying to suss out which part of the $130,000 non-disclosure payoff might apply as a campaign financing violation. If Rudy Giuliani still had his wits about him, of course, he would claim that the money was just Ms. Daniel’s going rate for an overnight frolic amongst her legendary twin peaks, that is, a sex worker’s simple transaction fee. Where does it say in the constitution that a president may not consort with tramps and hussies?

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Fever Pitch

By James Howard Kunstler

Those in the USA who have not been driven plumb insane by President Donald Trump are probably scratching their heads down to the subdural cavity this week with his imposition of more severe sanctions on Russia only a month after he went to Helsinki to repair tattered relations with Russia’s president, Mr. Putin. The official reason: payback for the poisoning in Wiltshire, UK, of Sergei Skripal, retired UK/Russia double agent, and his daughter Yulia.

Really? For that? For a botched assassination with one of the world’s most potent military nerve agents which, by the way, failed to kill its victims. (Somebody please go inform the Russian military that they may have batch problems over at the nerve agent lab.) Oh, also, by the way, there’s less evidence that whatever-it-was on the Skripal’s doorknob, or in the bubble-and-squeak they ordered at that restaurant, came from Russia than from the UK’s own military poisons lab at nearby Porton Down.

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Russia Attacked Us

By James Howard Kunstler

This idiotic fantasy congealed in the political matrix last week as everyone across the spectrum of parties and factions scrambled for patriotism brownie points in what is shaping up as an epic game of Capture-the-Flag for the mid-term elections. Listen to me for a moment, as our arch-nemesis Vlad the Putin said to Fox News knucklehead Chris Wallace in an interview aired Sunday Night — when Wallace interrupted Mr. Putin for perhaps the fourth time, saying, “I don’t want to interrupt you, sir, but….”

“Listen to me. Be patient,” Mr. Putin repeated dolefully, like a second-grade teacher struggling with an ADD kid.

The interview was trying my Christian patience, too. And my own personal fantasy was that Mr. Putin would whip out 30 inches of rebar and whap Chris Wallace upside the head with it. But he only repeated, “Be patient….”

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Anatomy of a Displacement-Projection Syndrome

By James Howard Kunstler

“For more than a decade, Russia has meddled in elections around the world, supported brutal dictators and invaded sovereign nations — all to the detriment of United States interests.”
The New York Times

The Resistance sure got a case of the vapors this week over Mr. Trump’s failure to throttle America’s arch-enemy, the murderous thug V. Putin of Russia, onstage in Helsinki, as any genuine Marvel Comix hero is expected to do when facing consummate evil. Instead, the Golden Golem of Greatness voiced some doubts about the veracity of our “intelligence community” — as the shape-shifting Moloch of black ops likes to call itself, as if it were a kindly service organization in Mr. Rogers neighborhood, collecting dimes for victims of childhood cancer.

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All Enemies, Foreign, Domestic, Real And Imagined: Full Week Ahead Preview

By Heisenberg

Through it all (i.e., despite trade uncertainty, Italy’s political drama and ongoing concerns about the sustainability of the domestic political situation as Trump remains at odds with the nation’s top law enforcement agencies and intelligence apparatus), U.S. equities managed to turn in their best May performance since the bull market began.

To be sure, that’s a largely meaningless statistic, but it’s worth mentioning I suppose and if nothing else, it makes for a fun chart and an easy lead-in to my traditional Sunday evening week ahead preview:

MaySPXReturns

Over the weekend, Trump seemed to be more agitated than usual with regard to the special counsel probe and while that drama has recently taken a backseat to more pressing concerns for markets, it’s important to remember that the headline risk around the investigation is still there – it’s just a matter of when the next shoe drops. For those who missed it, here’s a smattering of egregious “covfefe”:

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Fishy Business

By James Howard Kunstler

Picking up a trope conceived months back, the melodrama of US governance is looking more and more like Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, with the FBI as the doomed ship Pequod, with R. Mueller as Captain Ahab and D.J. Trump as the white whale. In the classic book, of course, the wounded whale finally sends the ship to the bottom, crew and all (but one), and swims away to the freedom of the deep blue sea.

Forgive the barrage of movie metaphor, but there’s quite a bit of the 1944 classic Gaslight in here too — and sure, I’m not the first to notice. In that film, the wicked Charles Boyer manipulates his wife, played by Ingrid Bergman, into thinking she’s lost her marbles, in order to cover up his own crimes. That’s how I feel when I turn to The New York Times every morning — for instance, today’s edition, with the front-page story Trump Proxies Drop by Briefings on Use of F.B.I. Informant (which headline was actually changed on the landing page to Trump’s Lawyer and Chief of Staff Appear at Briefings on F.B.I.’s Russia Informant).

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