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Want to stop Trump? Topple him from power

Trump is an ignorant willful child who can and will do extraordinary damage if he lasts four years in office. That can’t be allowed. Some say, well, let’s organize and take back the House and Senate in 2018. Then he can be stopped. No. We don’t have the luxury of waiting that long. Happily, the Trump / Russia investigation is just now igniting. Sooner rather than later it will suck all the air out of the room, just like Watergate did. Early on, few except for a few crazed hippie radicals like myself thought Nixon would fall. Yet, Nixon did fall. Trump will too.

Carter Page and Michael Flynn have already been thrown under the bus by Trump in a desperate vain attempt to stop the damage. It won’t work. Just as in Watergate, the investigations are moving up the chain of command, implicating ever more White House staffers and Trump campaign higher-ups.

Flynn is deep, serious trouble. Being investigated by an Inspector General is deadly serious. IGs are independent and feared. Not only is ex-military specifically banned from receiving money from foreign governments, Flynn was directly told by the Pentagon not to do it, took the money anyway, then lied about it on his disclosure statement, which is a crime. He probably has no choice except to cooperate, in addition to prison, he could lose his military pension, which is revocable if there are national security violations.

Pentagon warned Flynn in 2014 against taking foreign payments; IG launches investigation

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn was warned by the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014 against accepting foreign payments as he entered retirement, according to new documents obtained by the House oversight committee.

The inspector general of the Department of Defense also opened an investigation of Flynn earlier this month, according to an April 11 letter released by the oversight committee Thursday.

Flynn worked in the White House for a mere 24 days. The Trump Administration refuses to provide a log of Flynn’s phone calls. I’m guessing they are trying to cover-up who Flynn called, like Russians being monitored under FISA warrants.

Flynn and Page are now non-players. All their juice is gone. No one in D.C. will want to even acknowledge they know them. This also means they may be willing to cooperate with law enforcement to save their sorry, corrupt asses, perhaps dealing to receive lesser sentences when convicted.

So far, neither Page nor former national security advisor Michael Flynn seem candidates for immunity in the Russian scandal. They are left in the place where only the undead dwell. People formally known as players but whose names are no longer uttered in polite Beltway conversations.

In the end, Page may long for Russian handlers. They could prove the only non-canine friends he has.

Assange, Snowden, Russia. Wilderness of mirrors

The Trump Administration now appears determined to prosecute Julian Assange. I would not be surprised if Edward Snowden somehow gets returned to the U.S. Assange and Snowden have served their purpose. Neither Trump nor Russia has little further use for them, and loose cannons can do damage if allowed to freely roll around.

John Schindler finds it significant that Assange helped Snowden get to Moscow in 2013, and further believes the whole deal was stage-managed by Moscow. This does not necessarily mean Snowden knew he was being manipulated. Assange, on the other hand is and always has been a snake.

If you are looking for clear and obvious good guys in this, well, it’s not a cowboy film where heroes can be identified by their white hats. It’s a John Le Carre novel, a murky wilderness of mirrors where little can be taken at face value. However, all roads here do lead to Trump / Russia collusion both on the election and financial deals that don’t want made public.

Trump Co. was deeply connected to Wikileaks, even as they try to distance themselves from it now.

Several members of Team Trump may now be facing FBI questions about their dealings with WikiLeaks, especially Roger Stone, the longtime Trump associate and self-described dirty trickster who repeatedly boasted of his relationship with Assange, including admissions that he had foreknowledge of WikiLeaks email dumps that were damaging to the Clinton campaign and Democrats. Collusion with shady political operatives is one thing, while collusion with hostile foreign intelligence services is quite another, legally speaking. Anybody who’s been playing footsie with Assange and his “privacy organization” to influence American politics with help from the Kremlin, should expect a visit by Federal investigators sometime soon.

This is crucial. Much of the intel being used to investigate Trump / Russia ties came from Brit / European IC.

Thanks to Snowden and his battalions of cultish supporters in their echo chambers in all corners of the globe, any findings from the NSA-led Western intelligence alliance are automatically suspect. This has proved very useful to Vladimir Putin, since the lion’s share of evidence establishing collusion between his government and Team Trump comes from Western SIGINT. We now know that several Western spy services, including NSA, possess damning evidence of clandestine links in 2016 and before between Team Trump and Russian spies.

Ginormous offshore subsidy-free wind turbines

Vestas V164 offshore wind turbines

The biggest offshore wind turbines now produce 8 MW, enough for roughly 48,000 US homes, and are over 700 feet tall. They will soon be dwarfed by much bigger turbines capable of producing 15 MW, maybe much more. The economies of scale in such behemoths means big wind will be completely competitive with any power source. They will no longer need subsidies or tax credits.

Just one giant 15-megawatt turbine would produce power more cheaply than five 3-megawatt machines, or even two with an 8-megawatt capacity. That’s because bigger turbines can produce the same power from a fewer number of foundations and less complex grid connections. The wind farm’s layout can be made more efficient, and fewer machines means less maintenance.

The scale of the turbines may not even stop at 15 megawatts. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, a unit of Lockheed Martin Corp. is working on components for a possible 50-megawatt turbine that would have blades 100 meters long — each stretching further than two soccer fields.

A curious dinner indeed: Putin, Michael Flynn, Jill Stein

Those of us who enjoy diving down rabbit holes have known about this dinner for a while. Now it’s being reported in mainstream media. Putin, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, and Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein were at the table with Vladimir Putin at RT’s 10th birthday party in December 2015.

Flynn, who was already advising the Trump campaign, was paid $45,000 to speak and was seated next to Putin. Jill Stein gave her usual incoherent response when asked why she was there. Interestingly, NBC News indulges in blatant editorializing after quoting Stein. Still, the dinner is quite curious and Jill Stein is probably too dumb to realize she was being used and that RT is hardly a champion of freedom. And as one who was very active in the Green Party once, it is my considered opinion that Jill Stein is a blithering idiot.

“And my own connection to RT, you know ironically, it takes a Russian television station to actually be open to independent candidates in this country and that is a shame. A shameful commentary on our own media,” she told NBC’s Alex Seitz-Wald.

(Stein did well enough to help Russia achieve its aims. Her vote totals in the crucial states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan were all greater than Clinton’s margin of defeat, and arguably denied Clinton an Electoral College victory.)

As for Flynn:

“It is not coincidence that Flynn was placed next to President Putin,” said Michael McFaul, U.S. ambassador in Moscow from 2012 to 2014 and now an NBC News analyst. “Flynn was considered a close Trump adviser. Why else would they want him there?”

Water shortage in Lake Mead averted

Enough water will be released from Lake Powell into Lake Mead this year to prevent a shortage that would have triggered mandatory cutbacks in water amounts for Nevada and Arizona. 9 million acre-feet will flow from Powell to Mead. This is above the annual average on 8.7 million acre-feet but less than originally hoped for due a dry March.

Still, this is hugely good news, even if the rationing could still happen a few years in the future. A bullet has been dodged.

A shortage would trigger cuts in water deliveries to Arizona and Nevada, the first states to be hit under the multi-state agreements and rules governing the Colorado River. That had been expected as soon as next year.

“It’s pushed that shortage likelihood out into the future,” Duke said, but it’s too early to say how far

Lake Mead will now end this water year 5, maybe 7 feet higher than last year.