All posts by A K

Trying to Get a Shower


Like Scarface said: “every time you try to get out, they just keep trying to pull you back in!”

After a long, stormy night under the cardboard, Ken West needed a shower.

A friend, he said, offered him a chance at showering off at his house – but when West showed up, he saw five men with a substantial amount of illegal narcotics.

“I had to bounce,” West said, explaining that he needed to leave the life of illicit substances behind. “Those guys get wild when they get in that stuff.”

Lamenting the reality of the American justice system, West noted that although minor offenders can do long jail time for a small amount of narcotics, that doesn’t mean that the drugs are not a social problem of mass proportions.

As for himself, West has just emerged from the bowels of the Albemarle County Jail after a period of over 30 days of incarceration. The crime? Violating a restraining order from a spiteful girlfriend.

In following up on West’s crime and punishment, Leading the Horse spoke to the woman who took out the restraining order, then called the police and had West arrested in February.

Claiming “psychological abuse,” the woman was unable to provide specific examples of any behavior that would warrant arrest and incarceration. Saying over and over that she “loved her Kenny” she maintained that “she needs to get herself right now.” At some points, she maintained that West went to jail willingly to get three square meals a day, an idea that West himself emphatically denied.

In short, from past reporting and knowledge of the actors (which you can read all about in the archives) it appears that West has been the victim of a poisonous, tumultuous relationship, and a punitive legal system (his girlfriend, in our view, is also a victim, both of her own situation and of Kenny’s annoyingly repetitive “gospel”). It should also be noted that America absolutely needs a system to protect women from their boyfriends, spouses, and other men in their lives. Domestic violence is no laughing matter. But in the “court of the street”, the jurisprudence of those who live with their actions, it should be said that like many who have been caught up in the American dragnet, West probably did not need to spend over a month awaiting a hearing at which he was released, unless his penance was in order to serve the general principle of domestic abuse protections. Oddly enough, West himself maintains that he was guilty and willing to do his time, explaining that his real crime was breaking the judge’s order.

Citing the prestige and the responsibility that America gives its judges, West argues that by accepting the punishment, and “fessing up” to the judge, he was able to achieve his eventual release, and justice was served.

Who’s Paying Michael Jones’s Canteen Money? – and – Peace, Peace, but There Is No Peace


In new revelations on the curious case of Michael Jones, Ken West is suggesting that Jones, as a mid-level drug runner, is leaning on some business associates to send him canteen money in jail.


“That stuff doesn’t just fall out of the sky,” West said


When Jones gets shipped out to “the box,” West said (referring to a longer term penitentiary), jailers will most likely cut off the long dreadlocks that hang in his face.


Remembering his ill-treatment at the hands of the Charlottesville clapper, West also mentioned some other existing grievances with local characters, including a man named “Will Stringum” who apparently operated a used bicycle shop in the past, and owes West $30,000 for “exceptional goods” which West later characterized as “fine English steel.”


However, West also needs to get his bicycle from his ex-girlfriend’s house.


Summoning visions of Will Stringum on his own bicycle pedaling furiously away from police, West said the delinquent bicycle hawker is probably on the run from the law.


West also chronicled another recent interaction he had with a state trooper.


The state trooper, West said, hailed from Georgia and was extremely racist. West shared some racist vignettes that the officer had shared with him.


In order to string the fellow along, West said, he raised the idea of a nuclear attack on North Korea. Unsurprisingly, the state trooper voiced his whole-hearted enthusiasm for using neutron bombs in a war capacity to “bomb North Korea back to the Stone Age.”


West further suggested that “neutron bombs” do not generate uranium decay or nuclear fallout.


A quick Google search by our fact checkers shows this is not the case, and that neutron bombs are considered to generate around 5% of their blast power as residual fallout. gives these definitions:


“Residual radiation is defined as radiation emitted more than one minute after the detonation. If the fission explosion is an airburst, the residual radiation will come mainly from the weapon debris. If the explosion is on or near the surface, the soil, water, and other materials in the vicinity will be sucked upward by the rising cloud, causing early (local) and delayed (worldwide) fallout. Early fallout settles to the ground during the first 24 hours; it may contaminate large areas and be an immediate and extreme biological hazard. Delayed fallout, which arrives after the first day, consists of microscopic particles that are dispersed by prevailing winds and settle in low concentrations over possibly extensive portions of Earth’s surface.”


The bottom line, at risk of editorializing, is that neither the state trooper in question, the chickenhawk John Bolton, or any of the basket-dwellers who insist on “military solutions” of this kind have the brain cells to rub together to understand the simple premise of mutually assured destruction, although anybody who is anybody in conventional statesmanship has known this for about half a century. Set off enough nuclear bombs, and your environment will be an uninhabitable nuclear wasteland. The basket people, who seem to be popping up everywhere, are keen on getting the rest of us to agree that all of these diplomats and career scientists and government folks were really just pursuing peace for a lark. It’s one of the stupidest things anyone can ever think, but on today’s menu, it’s just the #3.



This Just In: West Changes Story on Jones


After passionately insisting for days that Charlottesville clapper Michael Jones had been “hemmed up,” in jailhouse parlance, and that the police actions in his case constitute entrapment, Ken West has suddenly reversed his character assessment of Jones, who he said threatened him in prison.


West’s new assessment is based on information he learned while consorting with a female friend who West said is a “jailhouse person,” explaining that she has extensive knowledge of some of the people around Michael Jones, and others who are well known in the local community.


When we spoke to this woman, who West called “Michelle,” she had no comment on the Jones case, saying that she was “in a situation” regarding her brother.


Later on the call, West explained that Michelle had spent a significant amount of time in prison for, in his words, “spitting on police.”


Why is this important?


Since our reporting was largely based on West’s repeated claims that Jones was being unfairly prosecuted, his abrupt about-face changes the narrative considerably. It will be up to a grand jury to determine whether in fact, Jones is, as West calls him, a “petty smalltime drug dealer and thief” or whether he is simply someone caught up in the wide dragnet of America’s war on drugs.


As for West, who claims to be an informant for the police, after being offered a spot in a Super Eight Hotel in Greenbriar, the “snitch” has retired to his usual hiding spot somewhere above chicken alley. His sofa is a cardboard box.

Investigations, Clarifications and Technical Difficulties

Leading the Horse has been busy over the past few days, scouring the Internet for hard facts on the curious case of Michael Jones, while also struggling to maintain the site’s web hosting functionality.


On the morning of April 3, we found that the site had “stepped out for a bit” in the parlance of GoDaddy’s administrators. A follow-up call was unfruitful as the representative did not find us behind a computer after a lengthy wait time.


The next afternoon, we were able to speak with a technician who is the proud owner of a Bichon-King Cavalier dog, and who explained that for some reason, an earlier migration was not properly checked, which resulted in a second default of the site to hosting limbo. This individual spent about half an hour updating the managed WordPress URLs and other information and making the migration functional again for a fee of $13.99 in order to open up the defunct hosted location for an additional month – so that the valued content of the blog could be uploaded to a new location.


In the meantime, court documents for Michael Jones show that a hearing date of May 9 has been set. A grand jury trial is pending. The court documents that we saw did not contain any information about bail.


We also got some updates from Ken West, the initial source of the Jones story.


“He tortured me in the clink,” West said of the Charlottesville clapper, explaining that they call jail “the clink” or “the slammer” because of the sound the doors make when they close. Sound, he said, was very much an issue, as was some amount of sexual aggression. West clarified that although Jones did not attempt to become aggressive with him, he did introduce some “innuendo” that West found disconcerting.


Most of the problem, West said, was the noise.


“It’s loud,” West said.


Discussing his activism and advocacy for someone who also aggravated his own jailhouse experience, West said that Jones really does need some kind of mental help.


“He belongs in a mental hospital, not a jail cell,” West said.


In general, West said, Jones can be a threatening and imposing figure, and a disruption to peace and quiet.


Although the public defender’s office will not inform us further about Jones’s particular case (though we are eternally grateful to the nice individual who helped us to access the court web site), we’ll be watching the court website and looking for local coverage of this case.


CVille Mall Personality Michael Jones Awaits Hearing?

Charlottesville mall “clapper” Michael Jones had his 15 minutes of fame several years ago – a Google search for this downtown character turns up only a single story in CVille online in August 2014.

The investigative account by reporter Graelyn Brashear provides insight into Jones’s past, his wranglings with the law, and his frequent appearances on the downtown mall loudly practicing freedom of speech.

It also reveals how then-city-council member Bob Fenwick attempted to curb the loud clapping and revelating of Michael Jones walking up and down the mall, and was allegedly threatened by Jones, albeit somewhat indirectly.

Restaurants reportedly complained about Jones’s behavior, and some mall-goers claimed to be frightened of his actions, although the reported outcome of Fenwick’s complaint to a local magistrate suggests the local official was unable to establish threatening or menacing action on Jones’s part, at least any behavior that would rise to the standard of prosecution.

For the most part, that 2014 story is where the public paper trail on Michael Jones ends – but now, Leading the Horse has an exclusive update from our man on the street, Ken West, who was incarcerated along with Michael Jones over the last month in Albemarle County jail.

According to West, Jones has been locked up for four months, facing a drug charge, with a hearing another four months from now.

However, West maintains that the actions of the police in Jones’s case constitute entrapment, and that, given adequate defense or public scrutiny into his case, a number of valid defenses may be possible.

West says Jones told him that the police officer making the arrest report told him that “I can write anything I want on this paper.”

West also contends that Jones lacks legal savvy to protect himself from unfair prosecution, characterizing the clapper as “a simple man” and someone who is not very knowledgeable about the law. As a result, West says, it’s imperative that Jones receive outside assistance and advocacy, to make sure that his pending trial or other outcome is fair.

It would make sense to assume from the background information and reports in hand that Jones is one of many smalltime offenders languishing in prison due to a lack of funds for meeting bail conditions – but West insists that in this case, a judge has set no bail for Jones, because the powers that be “want to keep him off the street.”

Communications with officers at the facility have confirmed that a direct inbound phone call to an inmate is not possible: in our view, inmates routinely lack easy ways to communicate with the outside world. Those who call on the telephone to speak to inmates are asked to write a letter to establish communication, at least in our case. A private company called ICS solutions is responsible for loading money onto inmate’s call accounts – but representatives of ICS solutions told Leading the Horse in February that even with money on their phone accounts, outbound inmate calls are restricted in various ways that can deter them from easily reaching advocates and family members on the outside, without some knowledge of who is paying for their phone access.

To those who study the work of public defenders and advocacy for the many Americans serving unknown sentences with delayed trials, a number of red flags apply here. The question of bail has not been confirmed…overall, the reports that we have received require follow-up and confirmation.

Leading the Horse is encouraging newsroom staff at CVille and other local publications to look into the matter, and verify reports from the street, to shed light on what’s next for a Charlottesville resident with a unique public record.

Trying Their Best to Discredit Parkland Students

Today I did something conventional wisdom says you should never do. I read the comments.

What I found was the usual – the right-wing’s desire to deflect and obfuscate the conversation to suit their aims. Aims that are in many ways antithetical to what this country is founded on, and dangerous in their violent ideology.

I read about the dangers of gun free zones, and how students are just tugging on people’s heartstrings. Some were proud to make slightly tangential arguments about the value of public schooling, and used all kinds of other tangents and diversions to suggest that those who are enthusiastic about student rallies and protests don’t understand what’s happening – that the elites in the mainstream media and the Hollywood liberals are just ginning people up to fight the system in an illogical way.

Then I came to one particular comment and it threw me for a second – it made me think.

A gentleman who had previously aligned himself with all of these other facetious kinds of arguments made a comment to the irony of the situation – that liberals and others are arguing for restricting the Second Amendment, precisely at the time when there’s a president in place that makes the right wing’s guardianship of armed revolt to the federal government the most important of all.

To be honest, part of the reason that it stuck out to me is that the gentleman was willing to conclude that this current administration is thoroughly off the rails. You don’t often get that from the right, because they are wedded to this corrupt and infantile administration because it supports many of their policy positions. But this guy was using that argument, the argument of – “if your government is so bad, (as we agree it is,) why don’t you want to protect the right to fight it?”

It threw me for a few seconds, until I really thought about it again and realized I had the answer. The reason why these liberals and college students and Hollywood elites and mainstream media people don’t want to enshrine armed revolt against the government, even under this administration, is that they are fundamentally opposed to this kind of violence.

Now, as all kinds of people point out, restricting assault weapons doesn’t mean you take away someone’s right to defend themselves. If you’re a big man and you think you can fight the feds with an AR 15, then you should be able to be a big man and fight them with a shotgun instead. But at the core of it, people toward the center or further away from the right wing don’t have a desire to compose militias to fight the government. They see that is inherently destabilizing and dangerous – and you don’t have to look any further than the American Civil War to buttress this argument. However, again to be clear, those on the center-to-left are not taking away the right of people in the right wing to defend themselves against the government or anyone else. Common sense gun law would not take away a person’s core arsenal of firearms. It would, however, seek to remedy the situations where people are massacring each other in broad daylight.

To get back to the main point, though, let’s talk about resistance to the federal government. When you cut through the layers of the onion – kind of like I did when I was trying to parse this gentleman’s argument – you can see that there is a simplistic way to view this. There are two sides, left and right. The right-wing side wants to preserve armed revolt against the federal government but, ironically, does not want to regulate or monitor or oversee that government to make sure they’re not, for example, trashing the Interior Department, hollowing out the State Department, running the EPA as a business lobby, or running amok and destroying all sorts of other institutions or picking a fight with the judiciary. None of that interests these people, who want to instead arm citizens to go to war with the government if they don’t like it.

On the other side, you have people who do not want to have any kind of armed conflict with federal government, state government, individual law enforcement officers or anyone else. Instead, they’re trying to engage with the democracy and make laws that keep government honest and responsive to the people.

Now – if I’m on the other side of this argument, does this sound like propaganda? Probably. But as I’ve been saying for a while now, it all comes down to values. Either you want to reform a government by participating and putting in place checks and balances and reforms that put a check on civil servants (or in the words of the right wing you’re a hippie with no job) or, you don’t care about any of that and you want to stockpile weapons to at some future point to engage some corrupt government militarily (in which case you’re a real patriot and one of the good guys with a gun?)

I for one think that a reasonable person can see the flaws and contradictions in the latter idea, but if not, you have to do is look at the Clinton years when we had a kind of laboratory test case for the stuff that the Second Amendment protectors like to talk about – you had a government that right-wingers really didn’t like. As a result, they led several small armed revolts (think Waco and Ruby Ridge) and were quickly contained and incarcerated by law enforcement officers operating on behalf of federal, state and local government.

Let me say this another way – to the thorough disappointment and chagrin of these right-wing warriors, we are actually all in this together. We are one country of people and we have one law enforcement and public safety infrastructure. We can argue about how it’s run from the top – we can argue about how it’s run at a local level – but aside from a few really nutty people, nobody really wants to engage with each other with guns instead of words. But that’s what you’re getting from a right-wing married to the gun lobby – that’s their perspective. They want this theoretical capability and they’re lobbying for it strongly and they’re suggesting that this other side is restricting their ability to do so. That’s why they feel the need to discredit students who have seen their young colleagues gunned down. Am I tearing at your heartstrings yet?

They’re wrong on all counts. Nobody’s going to take their guns. They’re not going to war with any government. The students aren’t controlled by Hollywood elites or mainstream media or anybody else. They represent the people, and that’s not just a liberal opinion.

Why I Changed My Mind about Nunberg

Yesterday morning, I watched the entire half-hour video of Sam Nunberg’s interview with Erin Burnett on live television, which may have been a questionable use of my time.

However, I learned a lot — about the effects of being honest and unscripted on live television.
At first, it seemed like totally self-defeating, out of control blather – Nunberg’s repeated assertion that he wasn’t going to sit for 80 hours had me in stitches. He’s going to sit for however many hours they want him to sit for — thinking he was above the legal system, I thought, was really ignorant.

However, in the aftermath, Nunberg clarified to reporters later today that he would spend a couple of days in jail just to sweat everybody, and then produce the material that he’s been asked for.

The more I thought about it, the more Nunberg’s outrage that took over the media cycle resembled my own rant later in the morning to a rep from the extended warranty company that robocalls me every other day — a fierce, sometimes profane protection of one’s productive capabilities and resentment for intrusions that seem labor-intensive and unfair.

“I have work to do,” Nunberg kept saying. “I’m not going to sit for 80 hours.” I feel your pain, fella.
When he talked about the labor-intensive process of going through introducing his past e-mails to the Mueller investigation, he was right about the labor-intensive part of it.

Maybe I’ll just give them my password,” Nunberg said at one point, echoing, perhaps, legions of those audited by the IRS in the past who came up with this kind of passive acquiescence that puts the labor burden on someone else. You want my records? Go get them.

I’ve come to a different perspective about a lot of the rest of it, too.

My first thought on Nunberg admitting blatantly that Donald Trump “probably knew” about the Trump Tower meeting Russians and his assertion that Trump “probably did something” also seemed reckless, erratic and self-defeating. Isn’t Trump going to hit him back? I thought.

In the light of day, though, it seems like maybe he’ll get away with it, and maybe it wasn’t such a bad call after all.

Think about all of these shady personalities who are getting targeted by the federal investigation. One of the commonalities between them is that they’re not talking. Manafort or Kushner or any of those guys wouldn’t come out and start blabbing on live TV about what they think about Donald Trump – and maybe if they did, we would respect them a little more.

They wouldn’t do that partly because any continued defense against the special product prosecutor hinges on taking the fifth in a lot of very specific ways. Of course Trump himself is all about blurting, but even he has some limits and some filters that work in the sense of self-preservation to keep him from spilling his own beans in ways that reporters and law enforcement would jump on.

As I continued to think about what Nunberg read into the public record today, I started seeing the spate of news articles coming out around this problematic daily news cycle — calling Nunberg things like bizarre and erratic and disturbed.

I even saw some journalists politely wringing their hands about the airing of Nunberg’s statements — questions around whether or not he was being exploited or whether there is a sense of decorum that should exist in the press.

This seems particularly disingenuous to me and furthers my interest in promoting the kind of transparency that Nunberg brought to the table.

No, there shouldn’t be decorum, and there shouldn’t be any kind of curtailing of this kind of public testimony. If a person is willing to say those things on the record — you should let them — actually, that’s part of your responsibility to let them, to get those words out there – because that’s really what’s up, not the whitewashed spin coming from White House press flacks. Why do you think everybody read Wolff’s book?

Another thing that the Nunberg case brought to mind is how damnably reticent our print and broadcast media are about reporting anything that’s sensational at all. So much of our news is rigidly curated — drained of all cadence and color, scripted to a T. A quote that makes somebody look bad will be pulled out — because it’s bad for business. Acrimonious exchanges are edited in the interest of not inflaming the readership.

Meanwhile, the civic fabric of our country is in flames. Everybody’s messing with everybody else, and chaos is the order of the day. But you won’t really get that from TV, and you definitely will not get it from most local newspapers. Oh, you’ll get headlines with a two second sound bite – but you won’t get the kinds of backbiting, huckstering and all-out melee that are the hallmark of this administration. They’re usually behind the curtain.

Maybe Nunberg, the political trickster, was onto something. He just doesn’t want to hurt his friend Roger who, as he points out, he’s been through a lot with. He doesn’t feel like being bothered with a bullshit subpoena. He decided to put it all out there – even though it makes him look kind of like a moron. In the jaded halls of Washington, there are worse ways to go.

Just the Tip of the Spear

(Note — with the unanticipated incarceration of our man Ken West in Charlottesville, Leading the Horse has been forced to go further afield in search of prophecy. What we’ve found may surprise you!)

A new report from Jonathan Kleck makes some startling revelations about the supernatural reality of our world.

“Okay, guys, here we go.” Kleck starts, sitting in a living room wearing a knit cap and headset and matching turquoise shirt. “This video is — they have announced the coming of the Antichrist. They announced it publicly three times already — right in front of your face.”

Directly after this startling announcement, Kleck shows a short video of the 2016 Super Bowl performance by Prince, referencing “the Twins,” two “beautiful dancers” who are on stage with the now-departed superstar, and pointing out the hive or hexagonal patterns created by stage lights in the video.
Having dispensed with this bit of knowledge, Kleck moves on to another video by youtube user Dave Shadow showing that what he calls a “tip of the spear” seems to be superimposed over the down markers in the game.

Kleck notes several times that his friend ‘Billy Skywalker,’ who is seen as Billy Montoya on the youtube channel shown on screen, has a tip of the spear on his desk, and apparently served in Okinawa.
The general message, obfuscated by Kleck’s repeated recitation of simple facts and names, seems to be that a mysterious spear has been injected into the televised rout of the New England Patriots this past February by the underdog Philadelphia Eagles.

(see background below)
In his own tip of the spear narrative, Kleck repeats the words “tip of the spear” several dozen times, to rather annoying effect.

“The Lord told me to do separate tip of the spear videos,” Kleck said. “Don’t do them all at once — do repetitive.”

Kleck narrated an incident in which he called Billy, who told him he had not called, even though the number was in red on his phone, and said Billy had a tip of the spear sitting on his desk at the time.
“Let’s just talk — what are the odds?” Kleck asked, noting that as he drove, he saw the words “spear spear spear spear” on a set of political posters.

In an interesting heightening of Kleck’s verbal repetition, the picture shown of a tip of the spear from Okinawa actually has the words “tip of the spear” written on it, engraved in its forged surface.
“Three times — they have announced the arrival of the Antichrist,” Kleck said. “I will prove it — I’ll use absolute empirical, irrefutable data to prove it.”

Telling his audience to ‘sit tight’, Kleck said it’s important not to hurry but to be ‘slow and steady’ in the deliberate revealing of the prophecy.

“To the people who are going hey, why do you keep going over the same material?” Kleck said, “I do it because … has anybody else on planet earth been able to show everybody what Original Sin was?”
He then answers his own question with a muted shake of the head and a soft “no.”
“It’s because the Lord is delivering it,” Kleck continues. “I’m just a conduit…so when you question it … why do you keep sharing it? … well, I guess it’s because the Lord keeps using me to show it … that’s the answer.”


Background — the ‘spear of Longinus’ or ‘spear of destiny’ is a name for the historical spear that was said to end the life of the Messiah Jesus Christ at his crucifixion at Golgotha. Historians believe that the use of the spear by Cassius Gaius, the tenured centurion, angered the authorities in Rome, as it was done without prior authorization. Legend has it that Joseph of Arimathea secreted the spear away, and that it was subsequently used by various world powers, starting with Constantine, to acquire broad territories in battle.
In more recent history, it is claimed that a young Adolf Hitler was much enamored with the spear as it was displayed in the Hofbrau Museum in Austria. During the ‘Anschluss’ or annexation of Austria by the Germans, Hitler allegedly liberated the spear of destiny and brought it to his headquarters, the ‘wolf’s lair.’
It is said that whoever wields the spear of destiny will take over the world.
Hitler didn’t take over the world — but he came pretty damn close.
More of the history of the spear of destiny can be found in an obscure book by Trevor Ravenscroft, which we have acquired.

The Memo

When I finally got to lay eyes on the Nunes memo, one of my first thoughts was “Oh no, these people are going to have to read (or pretend to read) — a lot!”

Disclaimer — this is not a post about the illiteracy of pig farmers in Alabama, although as a dirty libtard, you might think that I would be inclined toward those. This is an honest look at the mental struggle that it will take to present the memo as anything other than a ridiculous and desperate power play. In the immortal words of Alec Baldwin as the Grim Reaper in Glen Garry Glen Ross: “You think I’m f—king with you? — I’m not f–king you. I’m here from downtown and I’m here on a mission of mercy…”

Getting back to the original point — anyone who wants to suggest that the largely Republican leadership of the FBI and DOJ are corrupt or in a tank or anything else like that will have to memorize key words and catch phrases like “Fusion GPS” and “Christopher Steele” and, well hell, “Devin Nunes” – none of those trip easily off the tongue — but beyond that, they’ll have to read a document that, to our amazement, has been entirely de-classified from top secret — but reads more like a Verizon contract than a spy novel. If you like Tom Clancy, you’re still going to hate the memo.

If you really want to get to the bottom of this, listen to Jacob Weisberg and Dahlia Lithwick on Trumpcast as they discuss what all of this really is — Lithwick says the memo reads like a Fox news report — to me, at first reading, it reads like a bunch of what will be incomprehensible legalese to the majority of the Trump base. Unlike the words of our great fearless leader, the memo doesn’t have a lot of simple action verbs and four or five letter words. It’s quite a dense chronicling of a very bureaucratic procedure that’s really not very exciting, and at the heart of it, not very straightforward.

One of the points that I would most like to make is that we’ve spent years talking about how all FISA court orders are rubber-stamped. We’ve spent years talking about how the Patriot Act lets the government spy on us. Even Rand Paul, that perennial Paul Revere of the Republican arena, routinely tells his followers how intrusive government surveillance is wrong — but we don’t go cherry-picking some random FISA warrant to make our case. Instead, we rely upon that stoic cynicism that has always characterized many red-blooded Americans on the right and the left. We just don’t like being spied on, but we know that we’re being spied on, and we know that the bureaucratic spooks are doing their work behind the scenes. We don’t demand to lift the curtain, and certainly the central question is: why the hell would we lift the curtain in this specific individual case? The answer is not because somebody like Andrew McCabe, who is as white bread middle of the road as it gets, is somehow embarking on some Machiavellian conspiracy to deny a good man his due. The answer is because so many of us have bought into the clownish lies of this fool president that we’re willing to go down this garden path with him. At least some people are. I’m not.

Lithwick and Weisberg also talk about what I feel is the textbook example of how this is going to play “in the heartland” — how people like to use simple phrases and names out of context to try to support opinions that are pure bullshit. They intimate how the name ‘Rod Rosenstein’ sounds vaguely Jewish, and how an uninformed base (really the uninformed base par excellance) might try to paint Rosenstein as a Democrat. All of this also gets into the strange fusion of the traditional right and neo-Nazis by someone who, oddly enough, has Jews in his family, which is also part of his cabinet (see Michael Wolff’s book.) But that’s beside the point. The point is that in the heartland, Rod Rosenstein is going to become shorthand for a pointy-headed Jew, and not known for the actual bureaucratic record that the bureaucrat possesses.

And to get back to the process — the process is going to, in this particular instance, be seen as “corrupt,” (gasp) although anybody with two brain cells to rub together knows that the FISA process is always sketchy, and that when it comes to trying to parse the ways that our government surveills us, it goes no further than something our grandpas always said — you can’t fight City Hall.

Mr. Trump went bravely out to fight City Hall, and his team is marching behind him with pitchforks, but they really don’t want to read the memo. Many of them will not read it — they will parrot phrases that their pastors or somebody told them in some kind of warped or declined context, phrases like Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele and Sally Yates and Rod Rosenstein. They will speak these names and events and places as if they were some liturgical sacrum of the medieval age, without knowing what they mean, but with all the passion of a 13th century chorister. I’m getting really tired of this bullshit — how about you?

Two Waterworlds

Ken West is excited about a new idea that he has added to his plan for “the best science fiction movie ever.”
In order to guard his secrets from anyone who has not signed a non-disclosure agreement, West is “being coy” but it has something to do with the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, in which, he says, he has identified “two waterworlds.”

West has also been suggesting that North Korea is due to develop nuclear weapons, and that the United States will attack the peninsula on the morning of Feb. 4 – so if that happens, well, it’s been nice to know y’all.