Commentary on faith & politics committed to the truth in Jesus Christ and in all things around us. America once loved God but has become a land fallen, in love with money.Our politicians sellout votes for money, for favor to the rich. The Religious Right embrace mammon's ideology and glorify nationalism equating politics with faith, so "of the nation" instead of just "in the nation". The Religious Left cling to the nobel cause but decline the cure so afraid of a real internal personal relationship with the heavenly Father that yearns so very much to be close to them. As it is both Right and Left are so bereft of real introspection. Pray we all have the courage to stand up for what is right in one of the toughest places to do so - our in-group. A change is coming.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Greetings From California, The Bay Area, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Sunnyvale and Levi Stadium.

My sister Ann passed away recently and so I made the trek out to the west coast to deal with that and visit my long lost nephew but more like a brother, Ross. and my other nephew Gregory. My sister and I loved each other very much. I could not have had a better sis on almost every level. Both Ross and Gregory said they needed me out there now to help and so it was on. There is a lot of backstory here I will cover another time but we had a great time and accomplished what we could.

In the neighborhood my sister lived and nephew lives, that is until the house is sold, it is so clean and nice with all manner of palm trees and exotic flora. The streets, yards and all just seem to have this aura of cleanliness and freshness. Santa Clara has a temperate climate with temps between 60 and 90 degrees all year long, light winds and breezes off the pacific ocean...very nice indeed. There is no polluted air and you know when it is going to rain and not rain. If you like to go outside without your hair blowing all over the place it is possible here. You can plan and get things done here.
The trip out was eventful. The fast and furious auto maneuver God made(maybe i helped, maybe i did something with the steering wheel, whew!) west of Flagstaff in order to avoid an I-40 catastrophic multiple car crash should be on someone's video since the opposing lanes were sitting still, stopped in a traffic jam. Tires were squealing as i barely made it around the back of a pickup that strangely and slowly pulled horizontally and directly out onto i-40 in front of me and another car. We were going top highway speed coming down mountain. It was just as if the person in that pickup pulled it out onto the interstate to purposefully cause an accident only 30 yards ahead in the middle of the two lanes.
Would have swore i heard cheering as i crazy swerved to avoid the back of the pickup. If only the car had a dash cam but then just watching that would dangerously raise the heart rate.
Was probably on Arizona TV.

All that just kept the blood flowing, the beauty and breathtaking nature of the trip took care of the rest.






My long lost nephew Ross(was Rossy back then)

Mac's (Ross's dad)
pristine condition 48 star American flag.
Mac also worked at Lockheed,
helped design the Hubble Space telescope.

Lindy my deceased niece and son Gregory(living 23 now)

Ross about 10 yrs. earlier in Fresno. Got a problem wit dat?
Silicon Valley's coolest park


The Bakersfield I-5 California HighwayVideos
(or road music in the great expanse)


video video video

A few last takes

Could have put them all here, Google, Yahoo, Cisco, Facebook, Amazon, Oracle, Apple.
 All and more were in a mile of my sister's house.
It is after all why they call it Silicon Valley.

The name stinks



Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Pray For The People Of Houston, Hit By ‘Catastrophic’ Flooding, As Harvey Crosses Texas (Latest Images From Houston)

Pray for the people in the path of Hurricane Harvey. This is a storm of immense proportions not so much by size but by stationary duration. The storm is affecting areas from San Antonio to Corpus Christi but the amount of rainfall is particularly heavy in the Houston area and some have characterized it as unprecedented and even biblical in it's amount of rainfall and effect.

Houston, the capital of the US oil and gas industry, was struggling on Monday to assess the damage caused by “catastrophic and life-threatening” flooding as Tropical Storm Harvey brought torrential rains to much of the Texas coast and into Louisiana. Harvey weakened from a Category 4 hurricane to a Category 1 tropical storm after making landfall near the port of Corpus Christi on Friday night, but over the weekend brought heavy rain to Houston 150 miles away to the north-east. Further downpours brought the total rainfall levels close to 40 inches in Dayton, to the northeast of Houston, by Monday morning. Brock Long, the recently appointed head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, on Monday morning said he expected more than 30,000 people to be placed in temporary shelters as a result of the flooding and more than 450,000 people to seek disaster assistance due to flooding. FEMA deployed 1,800 staff, as security forces in the area were bolstered by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense.

 Army engineers began releasing water from reservoirs in the west of the city early on Monday morning in an effort to slow the flooding of Houston’s city centre. Schools, airports and offices were ordered to shut, while mandatory evacuations began late on Sunday night in some areas. An emergency has also been declared in the neighbouring state of Louisiana, the White House confirmed on Monday, authorising federal assistance to local relief efforts. The US National Hurricane Center has warned that an “unprecedented” 50 inches of rain could fall in some areas by Friday. It said record flooding was expected in many parts of south-east Texas, creating a “life-threatening situation”, with heavy rain expected to continue until at least Wednesday. More than 27 inches of rain fell in 24 hours in some areas, with 35 inches expected by Sunday evening, the National Weather Service said. “This event is unprecedented & all impacts are unknown & beyond anything experienced,” it said in a tweet. “What we’re seeing is the most devastating flood event in Houston’s recorded history,” Steve Bowen, chief meteorologist at reinsurance company Aon Benfield, told Reuters.

Many residents of the fourth-biggest city in the US were obliged to flee their homes in boats or rescue helicopters as the floodwaters rose. The Insurance Information Institute said flood damage could match that caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when the National Flood Insurance Program paid out more than $15bn, Reuters reported. The storm is the first big natural disaster to hit the US since Donald Trump became president, and will be a test of the federal government’s ability to respond to complex challenges under the new administration. Mr Trump tweeted his appreciation for the “wonderful co-ordination” between federal, state and local government agencies. The White House said he would go to Texas on Tuesday. - Ed Crooks

In case you haven't got the breadth and depth of the catastrophe in Houston take a look at some of these pics. This is happening right now and more heavy rain is forecast as Hurricane Harvey restrengthens off shore and comes back.

Pray for these people there and pray that any hidden or trapped people will be found. Pray the Holy Spirit will guide all these rescue workers to the right places and pray rain will let up so rescue workers can get in and save any and all from drowning. Pray for the salvation of as many as possible through this disaster. Such storms and devastation are the result of man's sin and the resulting fallen world but God loves and has compassion on these people and seeks to deliver them from this and from this falling world. 
And pray for President Donald Trump. We may not like his behavior or his policies but he is under the power of this world like so many. Satan has convinced him he is "the man"and that the real stock is in material things and accomplishment but such a mental and spiritual bondage can be the strongest of ball and chains. Because you would also have it this way for yourself pray those chains will be broken and pray that dark spirit will be broken as easily as possible. Pray that Donald Trump will relent and repent to the Lord God our Father in heaven and receive Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. I think when he realizes that's where it's at he will go for it quickly as so many have and will. For every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Trump Decides To Use Hurricane Harvey As Cover To Pardon Fellow Birther And Racial Profiler Joe Arpaio

The reports begin coming in from the National Weather Service Thursday and Friday about the approach of Hurricane Harvey and the unprecedented devastation it may cause. One report after another comes in as each one gets more and more horrific in it's predictions, the stage is clearly set for Texas and it's coastal areas to get blasted beyond anything experienced before and so President Trump is jumping on the oncoming disaster to use it as a cover for very controversial actions he has held off on, most notably the pardon of Joe Arpaio. Hoping the news coverage of Hurricane Harvey would drown out expected wide-spread criticism, even from his own political party, Trump takes his focus off this historically devastating hurricane and on to his own controversial political concerns.

You would think most people would only go so far with so much pushing of extremely controversial racist hinted comments and statements but even in the face of such monumental catastrophic oncoming disaster of which Trump should be wholly and laser focused on, he, undaunted by the debacle in Charlotteville and then Phoenix, both full of racist inuendo and inference, goes ahead and seeks advantage in the diversion of a catastrophe to pardon Joe Arpaio who ran a relentless and brutal campaign to detain undocumented immigrants. The sheriff used chain gangs and prison tent cities during Arizona’s scorching summers, bringing scores of legal claims he violated the constitutional rights of Latinos. The Federal court agreed with the claims.

“For the majority of Latinos, Joe Arpaio is a symbol of racism, of discrimination, of anti-Hispanic sentiment, or anti-immigrant sentiment, of abuse of power, and this is the guy Donald Trump chose to pardon,” said Ana Navarro, a Republican strategist.

For some Joe Arpaio is most notably known for his birther stance against President Obama. Next to Trump, Arpaio is the second leading proponet of the birther issue.

So this is the president you now have. One that will instead of wholly focusing on preparing to deal with the thousands of people in life threatening situations in southern Texas, focuses on political advantage for himself and on of all things a sheriff convicted of racially profiling in contempt of court and his birther buddy and all of this in the aftermath of racial inflammation in Charlotteville and Phoenix.

All this should inform you that Trump will use the most scurrilous and devious tactics to benefit himself and his political standing and most likely before it is all over will resort to use of a conflict somewhere, somehow to take the heat off himself as the Russia investigation bears down on him, no pun intended.
In short, people will come second and Trump first. In this life

Friday, August 18, 2017

Bannon Calls Trump's Supremacist Supporters Clowns, Freaks And Goobers. The North Korea "Got Us" Was Just Icing On The Cake

How's the "Everything is going great" thing going?
Get this; The news headlines have been all about Trump and his attempt at moral equivalency between the two protesting groups in Charlotteville, Virginia. You might add here that the Governor of Virginia has requested Trump stay clear of Virginia.

So what is happening here? It appears the Trump administration is on the fringe of major breakdown but that is not the case. The case is that this is providing great cover for the escalating Paul Manafort inquiry taking place right now in the Mueller investigation of Trump involvement in the Russia meddling but more on that later.

After Nazi, KKK and other fringe white supremacists descended or should I say ascended up to Charlotteville Va. to push hate and emphasize the lesser elements of human expression they were met with counterprotesters. Fights broke out after the KKKers left their designated areas. Seeing that both groups were involved in these skermishes President Trump in effect tried to cast both of them as equals. A white supremacist drove his car into a group of counter protesters injuring many and killing one girl and Trump can do no better than entertain some kind of moral equivalency between protesters protesting hate and the hating protesters. Trump's base is made up of many of these hating protesters.

So in the midst of this debacle it is revealed that Steve Bannon gave an interview with Robert Kuttner and Joshua Green, both taped by the way, demonstrating Bannon's true opinion of these white supremacist supporters of Trump.

This interview was revealed on PBS and can be seen here -

Keep in mind the white supremacist protesters so often praised Trump and indicated they thought he was on their side. Bannon in his interview in which he did not designate to be off the record revealed that he thought these white supremacist protesters and others like them were clowns, freaks and a bunch of goobers and indicated they were being used by the Trump administration as pawns in pursuit of Trumps own agenda.
Bob Dylan would be so proud considering the lyrics from his song "Only A Pawn In Their Game" which so clearly indicts this strategy of the Trump administration as we speak, poor white racist dogs-on-a-chain pawns, political manipulation, the game, all of it.
Or in this case, Bannon didn't say that.
So essentially Bannon was caught dissing down on Trump's own base of supporters and the ones Trump knows will be po'd more so than many. Really PO'ed if you know what I mean. Bannon called them freaks, clowns and goobers.
There was no way Bannon, the "alt right commander' could stay on after mocking and insulting so many of these, the followers of Trump and the "alt right commander". The bro-loyal trust was kicked to the curb big time and so something had to give. Man, does it get any better than this,lol.

So you see the day after that revelation about Bannon came out which was yesterday, Bannon is gone. Oh yes he was on the block but with that he is gone, bannoshed.

From the interview Bannon also was caught saying North Korea has "got us" because of the potential for South Korean casualities in the event of aggression by the North. General John Kelly surely wasn't pleased knowing a nation's leadership doesn't let the enemy know they "got us" in any military scenario although anyone on that tactical chessboard should have realized that. That little revelation was however just icing on the cake.

The PBS interview occurs yesterday and today Bannon is out. The lesser lesson is no doubt you don't say the enemy has "got us" before they got us and the greater lesson is you don't diss on Trump's beloved base of clowns, freaks and goobers but don't take it from me, just ask Steve Bannon.

- Doug Yearight

Facebook Shuts AI system After Bots Speak Their Own Language, Defy Human Instructions

Days after Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that artificial intelligence (AI) was the biggest risk, Facebook has shut down one of its AI systems after chatbots started speaking in their own language defying the codes provided.

According to a report in Tech Times on Sunday, the social media giant had to pull the plug on the AI system that its researchers were working on “because things got out of hand”.

“The AI did not start shutting down computers worldwide or something of the sort, but it stopped using English and started using a language that it created,” the report noted.

Initially the AI agents used English to converse with each other but they later created a new language that only AI systems could understand, thus, defying their purpose.

This led Facebook researchers to shut down the AI systems and then force them to speak to each other only in English.

In June, researchers from the Facebook AI Research Lab (FAIR) found that while they were busy trying to improve chatbots, the “dialogue agents” were creating their own language.

Soon, the bots began to deviate from the scripted norms and started communicating in an entirely new language which they created without human input, media reports said.

Using machine learning algorithms, the “dialogue agents” were left to converse freely in an attempt to strengthen their conversational skills.

The researchers also found these bots to be “incredibly crafty negotiators”.

“After learning to negotiate, the bots relied on machine learning and advanced strategies in an attempt to improve the outcome of these negotiations,” the report said.

“Over time, the bots became quite skilled at it and even began feigning interest in one item in order to ‘sacrifice’ it at a later stage in the negotiation as a faux compromise,” it added.

Although this appears to be a huge leap for AI, several experts including Professor Stephen Hawking have raised fears that humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, could be superseded by AI.

Others like Tesla’s Elon Musk, philanthropist Bill Gates and ex-Apple founder Steve Wozniak have also expressed their concerns about where the AI technology was heading.

Interestingly, this incident took place just days after a verbal spat between Facebook CEO and Musk who exchanged harsh words over a debate on the future of AI.

“I’ve talked to Mark about this (AI). His understanding of the subject is limited,” Musk tweeted last week.

The tweet came after Zuckerberg, during a Facebook livestream earlier this month, castigated Musk for arguing that care and regulation was needed to safeguard the future if AI becomes mainstream.

“I think people who are naysayers and try to drum up these doomsday scenarios -- I just, I don’t understand it. It’s really negative and in some ways I actually think it is pretty irresponsible,” Zuckerberg said.

Musk has been speaking frequently on AI and has called its progress the “biggest risk we face as a civilisation”.

“AI is a rare case where we need to be proactive in regulation instead of reactive because if we’re reactive in AI regulation it’s too late,” he said.

-Indo Asian News Service, San Francisco

Fox News Hit With Bombshell New Lawsuit Alleging White House Reviewed False Story & Pushed It's Publication

White House reviewed Fox News story about Seth Rich before publication, lawsuit alleges

President Trump and White House officials allegedly reviewed a Fox News story about the death of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich before it was published and pushed for it to be published "immediately," according to an explosive lawsuit filed Tuesday.

The May 16 article, which allegedly contained fabricated quotes and was later retracted, fueled conspiracy theories that Rich was murdered in connection with a massive WikiLeaks data dump of 20,000 DNC emails.

In a stunning twist, the suit, filed in Manhattan federal court, alleges that then—White House press secretary Sean Spicer met with two Fox News contributors in April about the Rich murder and "asked to be kept abreast of developments."

"The motivation behind the article: establish that Seth Rich provided WikiLeaks with the DNC emails to shift the blame from Russia and help put to bed speculation that President Trump colluded with Russia in an attempt to influence the outcome of the presidential election," the suit says.
Spicer confirmed to ABC News that he met with Dallas financial adviser Ed Butowsky, who was identified in the lawsuit as a "frequent contributor for Fox News."

"Ed is longtime supporter of the president's agenda who often appears in the media. He asked for a 10 minute meeting, with no specified topic, to catch up and said he would be bringing along a contributor to Fox News. As Ed himself has noted, he has never met the president, and the White House had nothing to do with his story," Spicer said in a statement.

According to the lawsuit, filed by Fox News contributor Rod Wheeler, Fox News investigative reporter Malia Zimmerman wrote in her article that Rich provided DNC emails to WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential primaries.

The Fox News network and its parent company, 21st Century Fox, were named in the lawsuit, as were Zimmerman and Butowsky. The suit alleges defamation and racial discrimination. Zimmerman declined to comment, according to a Fox spokesperson.

NPR was the first to report on the lawsuit.
The lawsuit includes a screenshot of a text message, dated May 14, allegedly from Butowsky to Wheeler, that reads, "Not to add any more pressure but the president just read the article. He wants the article out immediately. It's now all up to you. But don't feel the pressure."
The story was published on the Fox News website less than 36 hours after the text was sent, according to the lawsuit.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters today that Trump had "no knowledge" of the Rich article published by Fox News and dismissed any claims of White House involvement.
Just before Butowsky allegedly sent the text message, he purportedly left a voicemail for Wheeler in which he said, according to the lawsuit, "A couple minutes ago, I got a note that we have the full, uh, attention of the White House on this. And tomorrow, let's close this deal, whatever we've got to do. But you can feel free to say that the White House is onto this now."

According to the lawsuit, Zimmerman, "with the knowledge and support of Butowsky," fabricated two quotes included in the story and attributed them to Wheeler, the only named source in the article.

According to the lawsuit, the article quotes Wheeler as saying, "My investigation up to this point shows there was some degree of email exchange between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks" and "My investigation shows someone within the D.C. government, Democratic National Committee or Clinton team is blocking the murder investigation from going forward. That is unfortunate. Seth Rich's murder is unsolved as a result of that." Wheeler has denied making those comments.

Shortly after the article was published, Wheeler says, he called Butowsky and demanded an explanation for the fabricated statements. Butowsky said the statements were falsely attributed to Wheeler because "that is the way the president wanted the article," the complaint states.

Days later, Butowsky allegedly wrote to Zimmerman, "I didn't tell you yet but the federal government is involved at this moment, behind the scenes and believe your story," according to the lawsuit.

Fox News retracted the story on May 23, according to the complaint. A statement from Fox News President Jay Wallace, which was provided to ABC News, said accusations that the story was published to deflect attention from coverage of Trump associates' possible collusion with Russia was "completely erroneous."

"The retraction of this story is still being investigated internally, and we have no evidence that Rod Wheeler was misquoted by Zimmerman," Wallace said. "Additionally, Fox News vehemently denies the race discrimination claims in the lawsuit. The dispute between Zimmerman and Rod Wheeler has nothing to do with race."

The lawsuit alleges that the motivation behind the Fox News article was to "establish that Seth Rich provided WikiLeaks with the DNC emails to shift the blame from Russia and help put to bed speculation that President Trump colluded with Russia in an attempt to influence the outcome of the presidential election."

In February 2017, Butowsky introduced himself to Wheeler and offered to bankroll an investigation into Rich's murder, the lawsuit alleges. Butowsky's intention was to confirm that Rich was behind leaks and prove that he was "murdered by a Democrat operative because he leaked the emails to WikiLeaks," the lawsuit alleges.

Rich, 27, was shot and killed on July 10, 2016, near his home in Washington, D.C. On July 22, WikiLeaks released nearly 20,000 emails from the accounts of seven DNC officials. In May, officials familiar with the investigation into Rich's death told ABC News that his murder was determined to be an attempted robbery gone wrong and that the FBI was not investigating it further.

The lawsuit alleges that Zimmerman and Butowsky "were not in this alone." In the months leading up to the May 16 article, Butowsky kept in "regular contact" with senior members of the Trump administration, according to the lawsuit.

Fox did not clear Wheeler's name or admit that Zimmerman misquoted him, according to the lawsuit, which claims that Wheeler suffered "irreparable damage to his reputation" and that his career "will likely never recover" as a result.
"Mr. Wheeler was subsequently forced to correct the false record, and, as a result, lost all credibility in the eyes of the public," according to the lawsuit.

In addition to monetary damages, the lawsuit is seeking an injunction permanently restraining Fox News from engaging in "any such further unlawful conduct," an order directing Fox News to place Wheeler "in the position he would have occupied" if it had not been for the media company's "defamatory and discriminatory conduct," and a "declaratory judgment that the actions, conduct and practices" of Fox News violated U.S. and New York state laws.

In response to the lawsuit, Butowsky told ABC News that while he knows people at the White House, "I never talked to the president in my life."
He called Wheeler a "liar" and claimed he was attempting to get a job at the White House.
In a statement, the Rich family said it hopes the lawsuit brings closure to his death.

"While we can't speak to the evidence that you now have, we are hopeful that this brings an end to what has been the most emotionally difficult time in our lives and an end to conspiracy theories surrounding our beloved Seth," the family said in a statement.
-Tom Llamas and Michael DelMoro

President Trump Is Now Directly Implicated In Trying To Cover Up The Russia Scandal

 Play Video 2:09
'Witch hunt, fake news, phony': Trump's defenses against the Russia probe
President Trump has repeatedly lashed out with insults to defend himself as the Russia investigation unfolds. Here are some of his go-to attacks. (Video: Jenny Starrs/Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
If the Russia scandal is nothing but a witch hunt, as President Trump so often says, it’s awfully strange that he’s going to so much trouble to cover it up.

Last night, Ashley Parker, Carol D. Leonnig, Philip Rucker and Tom Hamburger broke the latest blockbuster story in this scandal, in which the president dictated a misleading statement about the nature of the fateful meeting his son Donald Trump Jr., his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and his then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort had with a group of Russians during the campaign:

On the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Germany last month, President Trump’s advisers discussed how to respond to a new revelation that Trump’s oldest son had met with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign — a disclosure the advisers knew carried political and potentially legal peril.

The strategy, the advisers agreed, should be for Donald Trump Jr. to release a statement to get ahead of the story. They wanted to be truthful, so their account couldn’t be repudiated later if the full details emerged.
But within hours, at the president’s direction, the plan changed.

Flying home from Germany on July 8 aboard Air Force One, Trump personally dictated a statement in which Trump Jr. said that he and the Russian lawyer had “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children” when they met in June 2016, according to multiple people with knowledge of the deliberations. The statement, issued to the New York Times as it prepared an article, emphasized that the subject of the meeting was “not a campaign issue at the time.”

The claims were later shown to be misleading.
 Play Video 2:00
President Trump personally intervened to write Donald Trump Jr. statement
President Trump personally dictated a statement that was issued after revelations that Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 election. The Washington Post's Philip Rucker and Carol D. Leonnig explain. (Bastien Inzaurralde/The Washington Post)

In case you haven’t been following, the meeting occurred because Trump Jr. was promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton that was presented to him as coming from the Russian government. He summoned Kushner and Manafort, forwarding them the email in which that offer was made. They joined him at the meeting, which was attended by a lawyer with close ties to the Kremlin, a former Russian intelligence officer and a gentleman who was once the subject of a congressional inquiry into an enormous Russian money-laundering operation. According to Trump Jr. and Kushner’s version of events, the damaging information didn’t materialize, and the Russians were more interested in discussing the potential repeal of the Magnitsky Act, which sanctioned certain Russian individuals accused of corruption and human rights abuses. So the line from the Trump team is essentially that they were trying to collude with the Russian government to help their campaign, but the attempt was unsuccessful.

This latest story is clearly one of the most significant developments in this scandal to date, for two reasons. First, it describes an organized effort to mislead the public — not to spin, or minimize the story, or distract from it, or throw out wild accusations about someone else, but to intentionally fool everyone into believing something false. Second, it implicates the president himself. Indeed, the most extraordinary part of the picture this story paints is that while other people involved were recommending some measure of transparency on the assumption that the truth would come out eventually, they were overruled by the president, who personally dictated the misleading statement.

And it gets worse. Once the story broke, Trump’s own lawyer went to the media and denied that the president was involved in the drafting of the misleading statement. In two televised interviews, Jay Sekulow said “the president was not involved in the drafting of the statement,” “The president didn’t sign off on anything,” and “The president wasn’t involved in that.” While it’s theoretically possible that Sekulow would make emphatic statements of fact like those about what his client did or didn’t do without actually asking Trump, that seems almost impossible to believe. Sekulow is a prominent attorney who knows exactly what kind of trouble that could bring, both to himself and his client. So the only reasonable conclusion is that he was repeating what Trump told him.

So, to put this together: The president of the United States personally wrote a statement about this meeting with the Russians, a statement that everyone involved knew to be false. Going further, he then either lied to his own lawyer about his involvement so that the lawyer would repeat that lie publicly (highly likely) or was candid with his lawyer and persuaded him to lie to the media on his behalf (much less likely).

We all know what the official White House line about this story is going to be: The real problem isn’t what Trump did; it’s the fact that it was leaked! I’m reminded of something the sadly departed Anthony Scaramucci said during his brief tenure as White House communication director: “There are people inside the administration who think it is their job to save America from this president.” He was right — or at the very least, they’re trying to save him from himself.

It has been entertaining to watch the ongoing soap opera of this White House — the infighting, the backstabbing, the firings, the general air of chaos — but it’s important to remember that the biggest problem it has is the man who sits in the Oval Office. The fact that Trump assumed that he could engineer this mini-coverup and the truth would never get out, both about the meeting itself and about his role in misleading the public about it, shows just how deluded he is about how his own White House works.
Let’s return to that scene on Air Force One. A damaging story is breaking, and Trump’s advisers are facing the dilemma many administrations have faced before: How do we deal with it? How much information should we voluntarily reveal? Is there a way to make the story go away that won’t set us up for even more trouble down the road? While they were debating those questions, the one person to whom no one could say no told them how it was going to be: They were going to lie. And as is so often the case with Trump, the lie was quickly revealed for what it was.

I promise you, the substantial number of people involved in that discussion were profoundly uncomfortable with Trump’s instructions. For a political flack, nothing inspires more dread than putting out a story that you know is bogus and that you don’t think will hold up.
Their fears were inevitably realized, and now the Russia scandal has reached all the way to the president himself. Something tells me there’s more to come.

- Paul Waldman