Have We Reached Peak Farce Yet?

Here’s the moment at which Trump declares he could declassify documents “just by thinking about it.” He didn’t even have to tell anyone, apparently.

I don’t know about you, but random secret declassifications seem a tad dysfunctional to me.

Jennifer Rubin:

In a pre-recorded interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity, he insisted: “If you’re the president of the United States, you can declassify just by saying, it’s declassified. Even by thinking about it, because you’re sending it to Mar-a-Lago or to wherever you’re sending it.” This, of course, acknowledges that the documents he hoarded were highly sensitive, that Trump knew they were and that he sent them to Mar-a-Lago anyway.

It’s probably not possible to understand how Trump understands this. He has the mind of a small child, and a dimwitted small child at that. But he seems to be clinging to the idea that as long as the documents had been declassified, he did nothing wrong by hoarding them in the basement. Which is not how any of this works.

Yesterday it felt as if the whole planet was declaring it was out of bleeps to give. Massive street protests broke out in Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini, 22, at the hands of the morality police. Amini had been detained because of “unsuitable attire,” by which I understand her hijab wasn’t properly adjusted. And she died in custody, apparently beaten to death. Women in Iran are burning their hijabs.

Yesterday Russians took to the streets to protest the war in Ukraine. This happened after Putin initiated a draft, apparently.

Images and videos show police cracking down on demonstrators in multiple cities,with footageshowing several protesters at a demonstration in central Moscow being carried away by the police and authorities in St. Petersburg attempting to contain a crowd chanting “no mobilization” outside Isakiivskiy Cathedral.

Police detained the protesters across 38 cities in Russia on Wednesday, according to figures released shortly after midnight by independent monitoring group OVD-Info. The group’s spokeswoman Maria Kuznetsova told CNN by phone that at at least four police stations in Moscow, some of the protesters arrested by riot police were being drafted directly into Russia’s military.

Yeah, that will so not help Putin win his war. The Russian “military” is a big enough mess already without adding antiwar draftees to the mix.

And then, yesterday, NY AG Tish James smacked Trump with a $250 million lawsuit and the 11th Circuit federal appeals sided with the Department of Justice against Trump. You can read the decision here. It’s interesting.

See Aaron Blake, A thorough rebuke of Judge Aileen Cannon’s pro-Trump order and Greg Sargent, Appeals court slams Judge Cannon: No, Trump is not above the law.

17 thoughts on “Have We Reached Peak Farce Yet?

  1. It would be a hell of a gotcha if Trump weren't more or less telling the truth. More so than he usually does, in fact.

    By a President's actions. things can be declassified, regardless of the procedure for anyone else. We can't know his thoughts, thank anything holy, so that's not really the issue.

    And a Secretary of State can't just decided to declassify "her emails!" So comparisons w. Sec. Clinton don't make sense except as liberal base-rousing.

    The real question is: was he President or had he left office when he "declassified" the docs? And nobody D- or R-leaning is addressing that, for some reason.

    • The 11th Circuit Court does not agree with you about the "real" question. But they did address it.

       "In any event, at least for these purposes, the declassification argument is a red herring because declassifying an official document would not change its content or render it personal," the three-judge panel wrote. "So even if we assumed that [Trump] did declassify some or all of the documents, that would not explain why he has a personal interest in them."

      That's from a three-judge panel, with two Trump-appointed judges.

      You also used the phrase that marks you as a troll. You suggested Trump can just declassify, "regardless of the procedure for anyone else."  Perhaps you think Trump is king. The court says no.

      Mr. Trump “suggests that he may have declassified these documents when he was president,” the appeals court wrote. “But the record contains no evidence that any of these records were declassified.”

      Obviously, the court thinks the government has to be notified by POTUS of a change. BTW, the information is out there, including the decision by the 11th Circuit. You might read before you offer – let me be polite – uninformed opinions.

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    • Lots of people have addressed the issue or when and how the "declassification" could have happened. There is no such thing as secret declassification. A POTUS can choose to have information declassified, but then there IS a process for following through on the declassification that would have left a record. If the process wasn't followed, it didn't happen. If there is no record, it didn't happen. This article explains it. 

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  2. Have We Reached Peak Farce Yet?  No.

    That question is sort of like asking "Can tRump and Hawley and other republican politicians go lower?" before they have finally reached the depth of getting mired in whale sh!t at the bottom of the Mariannas Trench.

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  3. Have We Reached Peak Farce Yet?

    No, but we're closer than we've ever been. I think peak farce will be when he pulls his self pardon out of the air just as the judge hands him his 20 year sentence.

    The human mind is a funny thing. I've spent the last 7 years wishing misery on Trump. I wanted him to suffer and feel just a fraction of the pain and misery he has inflicted on so many of his victims. But after watching his interview with Hannity I actually had a tinge of sympathy for him. To see him so pitiful and helpless in trying to construct a defense against his upcoming indictments caused me to feel sympathy for his desperation. 

     It was like if it was a boxing match and the devastating blows didn't bring him to the canvas so his cornerman had run in and stop the fight by hugging him and yelling to the judges..No mas!, no mas!

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    • Re Putin: I keep thinking of the opening scene of Enemy At The Gates, a WWII classic. In the opening scene, untrained Russian conscripts are thrown into the battle for Stalingrad against hardened German troops. They are slaughtered and their sacrifice does nothing to defend Russia. 

      Yeah, desperate is the word. Putin can't survive if he doesn't win. And he's lost. 

      Comparing the situations of Putin and Trump is prophetic. Trump has to win every criminal case or he's screwed. Get a load of what he's posting to Truth Social (last night.) 

      https://digbysblog.net/2022/09/23/going-q-all-the-way/

      This is a call for anarchy to the most deranged wing of the cult. I repeat myself but Trump has no confidence his trickery will work in criminal court with a Washington DC jury. As Trump adopts a defense comprised of extortion, I think some of the key lawyers will resign, leaving the kooks. I expect Trump will not be subtle in calls for "wild demonstrations" and Trump won't condemn violence. He will say the only way to end the violence is to dismiss the charges. 

      Then end of Trump and Putin puts a lot of "stuff" in flux. Change, but what result. The cult will self-destruct becuase Trump never groomed an heir. All the wannabes will eat each other. In a similar fashion, when Putin is deposed, the latent liberalism in the young will become vocal. A representative government might be the outcome – not probable, but there will be calls for reform.

  4. Mental declassification would be a gnarly superpower, but is it telepathic or psychopathic? Is he psychic or psychotic?

    By the way, "Letitia" is Latin for "gladness". Dear Letitia, you be you. You make me glad.

     

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    • Mental declassification would be a gnarly superpower, 

       Not really, it's a flyweight superpower. When Trump can raise the dead, walk on water, turn water into wine, or feed the multitudes with just one fish then I'd say he'd be gnarling. The thing is there is no way to prove or verify mental declassification. Even Uri Geller was able to bend spoons with his psychic abilities and you could see it with your own eyes.

      I think Trump is just dabbling in the realm of ex nihilo. It is fairly well established that when some people are put under great stress there is a tendency to retreat into fantasy as a protection mechanism to prevent a mental breakdown. That seems to be where Trump is going with his claim of  psychic powers.

      • From the NYT, a letter to the editor regarding mental superpowers.

        To the Editor:

        Re “Court Lifts Hold on Sensitive Files at Trump’s Estate” (front page, Sept. 22):

        Perhaps we made a mistake not electing Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election. He just revealed that he could declassify top-secret documents by just “thinking about it.”

        Just imagine all that could have been accomplished by having Mr. Trump just think about ending the war in Ukraine, stopping climate change or taming inflation by using his magical powers.

        We have a word to describe his beliefs: delusional.

        Richard S. Emrich
        Plymouth, Mich.

        I'm with Richard.  Nothing psychic here, more like psychotic.  Delusional is the word.

        • Trump's comment about telepathic declassification says to me that Trump has not one shred of evidence that he declassified any of the papers he stole.

          (And stole is the word for taking something that is not yours and lying about it to the legal owners when they demand it be returned.)

          This was the escape Trump convinced himself made it – not criminal. He'd lie and say he declassified and no one could prove he did not The problem is – he has to prove he DID for his lawyers to use it as a defense. So there's limited PR value and zero legal value. 

          When this gets to a jury, tRump will offer as a defense that it's all political. The DoJ has a stack of requests for the stuff to be returned and legal explanations for why the failure to return will have consequences. If they can prove Trump tried to conceal much of the classified files, that's obstruction. So the prosecution can prove they tried to resolve this without prosecution. 

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  5. "Peak farce?"

    More likely we'll find out we we're 'parsing feaks.'

    "Is too words that work well together!!!"

    The word 'feak' is real.  And it matches-up well with another real word (as you all know):  "Parce."

    "Parsing feaks:"  Look it up! 🙂

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