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Now that Donald Trump is pretty much assured of getting away with it, even despite the interference of those meddling kids the House impeachment managers, he has a whole lot of great ideas to bind up the nation's wounds and restore the harmony and fair play that make America a great nation. Which means it's time for his enemies to taste his wrath, or possibly his literal taint. He's a strong leader that way.

In a story that's sure to evolve further as the bodies metaphorically (?) pile up, Vanity Fair's Gabe Sherman reports "Republicans briefed on Trump's thinking" say it's pike-sharpening time at the White House:

"It's payback time," a prominent Republican told me last week. "He has an enemies list that is growing by the day," another source said. Names that came up in my conversations with Republicans included Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, Mitt Romney, and John Bolton. "Trump's playbook is simple: go after people who crossed him during impeachment."

Remember kids, those terrible Democrats and liberal traitors like John Bolton were out to get Donald Trump from day one, so it's only fair for him to use all the power of the Executive Branch to smite his enemies. They started it by not loving him, and now look what they're going to make him do.


Multiple sources told Sherman that Bolton, Trump's 38th or so National Security Adviser, is at the top of Trump's target list, the target of frantic midnight googling for "mustache voodoo doll" and "how to hide a human body." Despite Bolton's denials that he leaked any of the contents of his upcoming tell-some book, Trump is convinced Bolton did all the leaking himself.

The White House last week sent that nastygram to Bolton's publisher insisting the book revealed oodles of TOP SECRET information, which seems unlikely given that Bolton has ridden in the National Security State rodeo a few times, however noxious his blow-em-all-up politics may be. He's a war-head and an asshole, but not an idiot about practical matters like "should I publish classified information?"

But Sherman says Trump's attempt to hide Bolton's book on the bin Laden server is just the start. Since Trump got out of the Mueller investigation relatively unscathed, with only people who read thinking he did anything wrong, "Republicans close to the White House fear how far Trump will take things after he's gotten off for a second time." One of Sherman's sources says "Trump has been calling people and telling them to go after Bolton," and that Trump wants Bolton criminally investigated for doing crimes. Maybe he'll even ask some foreign leaders to do him a favor. Us. To do us a favor.

Another "person familiar with Trump's thinking" said the Great Man "believes Bolton might have mishandled classified information," which makes sense coming from the guy who bragged to Russian officials about classified intelligence and endangered the lives of lord knows how many people, including that US asset in the Kremlin who had to be extracted to save their life. Donald Trump probably knows more about mishandling classified information than anyone in government!

Other plans to Get Stachey include the possibility of selectively leaking emails to suggest Bolton "was doing pay-to-play," which is certainly a bad thing if you're a Cabinet member Trump no longer likes.

In a related story, Trump's personal attorney and chucklefuck handler Rudy Giuliani told NPR in an interview yesterday he thinks it's time to call some witnesses from the White House inner circle, as long as you're talking about the White House of 2015. Trump may be acquitted tomorrow, but that's no reason Joe Biden shouldn't be investigated for his many nonexistent crimes.

Absolutely; 100% [...] I would have no problem with him doing it. In fact, I'd have a problem with him not doing it. I think he would be saying that Joe Biden can get away with selling out the United States, making us a fool in the Ukraine.

You guys, we just explained in some detail Monday why that's bullshit, so we'll go with the short form: The Ukrainian company Hunter Biden worked for wasn't being investigated when Joe Biden joined an international effort to remove a corrupt prosecutor. And the corruption that company was accused of happened before Hunter got the job. Jesus.

Giuliani nonetheless repeated the usual lies about Biden; we're happy to see that instead of repeating them, and then saying "but actually," the NPR story is instead careful to present an accurate account of Biden's involvement in getting rid of the corrupt guy. Giuliani's version is there, but clearly framed as unreliable assertions within that factual framework. It's actually a pretty sophisticated bit of reporting that absolutely refuses to let a known liar hijack the story. J-school students should study it, I says.

So that's nice -- Trump is out to chop off some heads, but at least some outlets are getting pretty good at reporting on him and his merry band of crooks without playing into their game.

[Vanity Fair / NPR]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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