Trey Gowdy is a Fraud and a Coward

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Trey Gowdy is the Republican House member who was caught falsifying the Benghazi evidence in order to frame Hillary Clinton. He would also like you to think that he has the credibility to say this in public and get away with it.

Rep. Trey Gowdy told FNC's Bret Baier on FOX News Sunday that while there are documents he has not seen, he knows that if there were any evidence that President Trump committed any crime with regard to Russia "Adam Schiff would have leaked it."

Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said this week that President Trump is compromised by the Russians, offering possible recordings of his meeting with Putin as evidence. Later on Sunday morning, Schiff suggested Trump's businesses were Russian money laundering operations.

"I have not seen one scintilla of evidence that this president colluded, conspired, collaborated, with Russia. And neither has anyone else, or you can rest assured, Adam Schiff would have leaked it," Gowdy said. "That is why they have moved on from collusion on to obstruction of justice, which is now their current preoccupation."

Gowdy leaves Congress at the end of this term having gotten exactly none of his main targets. He can't defend his record, he can't stand for re-election, and he has to skip town and evade the scrutiny that comes with lying on behalf of Trump. So what else is there for Gowdy? He gets to act out his shitposting in real time on Fox News with a clown like Bret Baier. 

This attack on Representative Adam Schiff has no credibility behind it whatsoever. It is cowardly and irresponsible, given that there's no evidence to suggest that Schiff is as scummy as his counterparts on the other side of the aisle who are leaking everything they can get their hands on.

In fact, most Democrats will readily tell you that they wished Schiff was more like his GOP colleagues and would leak information that damages Trump. Instead, we get a more thoughtful and responsible lawmaker in Schiff who refuses to run away from this fight and will stand up to Trump and the Russians.

Have you ever noticed that, just when Republicans in Congress should be fighting the Russians, their preferred choice is to abandon the people they represent and go make money lobbying? Why isn't this front page news?

History is going to take a huge crap all over these people, and they're going to end up in obscurity, pretending they aren't who they really are in order to get free coupons for bullshit they don't need.

Michael Cohen is a Bit Player

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This is quite a sideshow we have going here:

President Donald Trump has condemned his former lawyer Michael Cohen amid US media reports that he secretly recorded Mr Trump discussing payments to former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

The tapes were reportedly discovered during an FBI raid on Mr Cohen's property earlier this year in New York.

Mr Trump tweeted that such a raid was "almost unheard of".

He added that a lawyer secretly recording a client was "totally unheard of and perhaps illegal".

The advantage of having someone like Cohen around is that it is easier to discount their actions and jettison them when it becomes advantageous. Trump never brought Cohen to Washington D.C. because he had already made up his mind that Cohen was an exposed flank as far as his personal dealings were concerned. It doesn't seem like there was much to the business deals, other than the fact that they were blatant conflicts of interest and probably involved bribes.

Rachel Maddow already exposed the reason why the recorded conversation between Trump and Cohen is a red herring. The New York Times is more than willing to carry water for Trump and Giuliani, et al, in exchange for access. It just seems to me that Cohen is going to try to reveal some sordid details about what Trump has done in the past in order to save himself from getting railroaded for being a douchebag fixer.

The real crimes are conspiracy to steal the election by accepting Russian help and obstructing justice. Anything that distracts from that is designed to minimize the damage to the presidency and his legitimacy to hold office. I don't know where Cohen really gets us as far as the major crimes. He seems like the sideshow. I'm starting to think that, if we focus on Russia and obstruction of justice more than Playboy models and hush money, we'll have a better idea as to whether or not we can actually get rid of Trump once and for all.

Russia is Still Afraid of NATO

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Right now, a relative handful of U.S. Marines are in Ukraine, doing what NATO troops are supposed to do--train together in order to fight effectively together in a current or future conflict. You'd think that a handful of Americans would pose no threat to Russia, but that's not the case:

The Corps has been bouncing all over Europe the past several months, participating in exercises with allies and vowing to boost its presence in Norway to strengthen cold-weather training — moves that have caught the ire of Russia.

And this time, Russia is aghast over a recent U.S. land and maritime exercise in the Black Sea region that kicked off July 9, which involved roughly 50 U.S. Marines and hundreds of sailors. The training took place near Russian-annexed Crimea and contested areas in eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed separatists have been fighting the Ukrainian government since 2014.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova at a July 12 Moscow briefing warned of possible “consequences” over the exercise, and described the training evolution as tension-provoking and potentially destabilizing in southeastern Ukraine and the Black Sea region.

“Military activities will take place in direct proximity to the conflict zone in southeastern Ukraine where Ukrainian military units continue to shell peaceful Donbass cities every day despite a ‘bread truce’ announced on July 1 by the Minsk Contact Group,” Zakharova said. “Attempts to flex muscles in these conditions will hardly help stabilize the situation in this region.”

The small Marine contingent from Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, based out of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, participated in the 18th iteration of exercise Sea Breeze, where they integrated with the Ukrainian military aboard the Shyrokolan Range north of Mykolaiv, Ukraine.

Everything that's going on in the background, whether it be between Trump and Putin or in the diplomatic sphere, it is this kind of thing that Russia is trying to put an end to:

Russia has vowed to retaliate if Norway invites the United States to more than double the number of Marines stationed in the country.

In a statement on its Facebook page, the Russian Embassy said it made the Scandinavian country "less predictable", while warning it "could cause growing tensions, triggering an arms race and destabilising the situation in northern Europe,” 

It added: “We see it as clearly unfriendly, and it will not remain free of consequence.”

The response came after Oslo announced earlier this week that it would ask the US, its Nato ally, to send 700 marines to train in Norway from 2019. There are around 330 US Marines in Norway at present.

To my recollection, Trump hasn't mentioned the fact that Defense Secretary Mattis has sent Marines to Europe once again this year to train with our allies. It's almost as if the President of the United States is embarrassed that the Marines are out there. Putin is on record yesterday warning the U.S. that we had better not be cultivating stronger ties with Ukraine or Georgia. A real president would have told him to go pound sand.

Putin is still afraid of NATO, and the possibility that the alliance will not tolerate his expansionist goals. He doesn't give a shit what happens in America, but he does want to know if the Ukrainian Army can stand up to the men he sends into the region to cause trouble.

Trump won't talk about how training with NATO forces makes our military bonds with our NATO allies stronger and more effective because he's afraid they're not spending enough on defense. A real president would have visited with these troops. What a photo op that would have been--Trump leaves the Helsinki summit and then flies to Ukraine so he can have lunch with a small contingent of Marines training with the Ukranian military. What better way to show a commitment to both NATO members and a non-NATO state like the Ukraine.

Hey, maybe if the troops were training on a golf course, Trump would have shown up to say hello.