Shh! It’s A Sekrit!

Ta-da! Most of James Comey’s unclassified memos have been magic-wanded into obscurity. Retroactively classifying materials that can damn or embarrass a thin-skinned megalomaniac offers exciting new possibilities for the Trump administration.

Their antipathy towards “leaking” goes well beyond that of the civil servant who believes certain sensitive information should be kept under wraps for the safety and security of the nation. Think of it instead as an extension of Trump’s need to control the narrative at even the granular level. This has everything to do with his increasingly convoluted web of lies and fuck all to do with anything that doesn’t protect the president and his surprisingly loose-lipped kin.

Until he achieves total control over the media and the Intelligence Community, however, these kind of maneuvers will only band-aid the festering wound of his presidency.

(Year Zero/Day One Hundred and Seventy-Two)

A Glimpse Of Testimony To Come

The Senate Intelligence Committee has made a copy of James Comey’s opening statement available ahead of tomorrow’s hotly anticipated testimony. Of especial interest is a curious statement the president made during his final personal interaction with the FBI director.

On the morning of April 11, the President called me and asked what I had done about his request that I “get out” that he is not personally under investigation. I replied that I had passed his request to the Acting Deputy Attorney General, but I had not heard back. He replied that “the cloud” was getting in the way of his ability to do his job.

At first we thought the cloud might be a metaphor for the cloud of suspicion harrying his administration. Then we recalled the man can barely finish a complete sentence. We entertained the notion that Trump was referring to a computing cloud, but that too was a nonstarter. Several thousand dollars hastily proffered to a private investigator later and we have a definitive answer.

This is the cloud distracting Donnie.

As you can see, the cloud has an unusual shape. Sources inside the White House confirm 45 stares at it through the windows in the Oval Office for 4 to 5 hours a day. It never moves position or changes shape. During meetings with aides, he has been known to interupt the flow of conversation with questions like “Is it following me?” and “I’m not the only one who sees it, right?”

Given its distractive qualities, it may be the ultimate symbol of his presidency.

(Year Zero/Day One Hundred and Thirty-Nine)

5 Things To Expect When Ex-FBI Director James Comey Testifies On Russia

There are still a lot of unknowns in the competing investigations into the Trump administration’s connections with Russia, so fired FBI Director James Comey’s upcoming public testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee should prove illuminating. Here are five things to expect when Comey takes the stand next Thursday:

Comey will spoil the plot to the 1981 swashbuckling comedy Zorro, The Gay Blade.

The move is sure to be controversial, but Comey will assert “The movie came out 36 years ago. Unless they’ve been living under a rock all this time, no true George Hamilton fan missed his impressive dual performance as Don Diego de la Vega and Bunny Wigglesworth.”

Comey will reveal he’s legally changed his last name to Comet.

The former FBI chief is expected to comment “It just sounds cooler, ya know? ‘Jim Comet, fighter of crime and fascist presidents who collude with Russia.’ It has a nice ring to it.”

Jim Comet will reveal what he knows about Trump’s friendship with Guss, the imitable lizard-man.

As emissary of the lizard people, Guss has been tasked with bending governments to his will and replacing leaders with shape-shifting reptiliods when necessary. Comet’s unique view into the interstellar struggle for human survival should definitively prove that the president is in league with the lizard people, if not already one of them.

Comet will share a more personal side of himself.

Jim will talk about his interest in the feasibility of terraforming Mars (NASA is far outside the FBI’s purview, but he’s had ample time to read since he was relieved of his duties), how he’s thinking of going back to school to get an MFA in sculpture, and why Song of Solomon is the most erotic part of the Bible. He’ll also bring a photo album filled with pictures of his lovely grandchildren, which he will pass around to lawmakers. A request will be entered into the official record that Senators be careful while handling them, because he cherishes his family memories.

Comet will pepper his testimony with references to Kendrick Lamar in hopes that he’ll be sampled on the next album.

Jim’s a huge fan of Kendrick, and he wants to put this one-in-a-lifetime spotlight on what he has to say to good use.

(Year Zero/Day One Hundred and Thirty Four)

Lies, Lies, It’s All Lies

Noted crazy man and nut job James Comey has agreed to spread the Deep State’s insidious lies in an open hearing before Congress. The man was always a venomous snake in the grass, poised to strike and fill Donald Trump’s leg with vile, treasonous poison, the kind there may be no antidote for. Why oh why didn’t anyone think to make a Comey antivenom? This is yet another case of fake news and faux bombshells! The wretched depravity of the globalist media elite knows no limits! We’ve got the guns, now we just need the wall to line the entire staffs – from publishers to newspaper delivery boys – of The New York Times and The Washington Post up against. For America. For our unborn children and our future greatness. For God’s own truth.

At least, that’s what I imagine The Daily Wire’s John Nolte is thinking right now.

(Year Zero/Day One Hundred and Twenty)

There’s Something Deeply Wrong Here

I wish I’d had more time to enjoy Spicer in the bushes. In the hectic days since president Trump dispatched his praetorian bodyguard to FBI headquarters to do away with a man who wouldn’t pledge his undying loyalty, the absurdity of  Sean Spicer’s flailing about brought some levity to the situation.

The problem is the emergent public record around the firing of James Comey doesn’t need our mirth. It needs to raise our hackles. Alarms should be ringing in our heads. Lights should be flashing and instructing us to exit the building without trampling each other. As Jonathan Chiat put it yesterday: “Trump is trying to control the FBI. It’s time to freak out.”

Trump, in fact, is trying to bend every useful organ of the federal government to his will. Some, like the Keebler Klansman Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department, are not only happy kowtowers but directly involved in the move to muzzle another agency’s investigation. Dwelling too long on the imperfect parallels with Richard Nixon in the hope that Comey is what leads to impeachment misses the heart of the matter. The president has had some success in making departments either subservient to his will or has understaffed/underfunded parts of the government that could stand in the way of whatever it is he wants at any given moment.

To put it another way: we can dismiss what’s going on as another Trumpian shitshow and continue to talk about how many scoops of ice cream the president gets, or we can acknowledge the erosion of democratic norms is accelerating. It’s not much fun to admit something deeply wrong is underway, but there isn’t much that can be done for that.

Then there’s the question of 45’s mounting paranoia. When Donald Trump accused Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower over Twitter, it was shocking and bizarre. Now that the American public has had a chance to contend with this repeated and unfounded claim, it’s just bizarre. He is obsessed with the idea that someone’s listening in. Given all we’ve learned about the man and his associates since November, there’s a good chance this is an existential concern. They’re coming for me. They know what I’ve done. Rumor has it he also makes recordings of his own. His paranoia could also be projection. If I do it, so does everyone else.

Whether one or both are true, this morning saw Trump lashing out like a cornered animal.

President Trump on Friday warned James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director he fired this week, against leaking anything negative about the president …

In a series of early-morning Twitter posts, Mr. Trump even seemed to suggest that there may be secret tapes of his conversations with Mr. Comey that could be used to counter the former F.B.I. director if necessary. It was not immediately clear whether he meant that literally or simply hoped to intimidate Mr. Comey into silence.

“James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter.

Mr. Trump appeared agitated over news reports on Friday that focused on contradictory accounts of his decision to fire Mr. Comey at the same time the F.B.I. is investigating ties between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia.

Trump also threatened to halt daily press briefings if… he doesn’t get more favorable coverage? Russia is never mentioned again? It doesn’t seem like much on its face other than hunkering down, but given all that’s happening more extreme measures could taken to try to maintain his grip on power.

One thing is certain in this strange and labyrinthine tale: If Donald Trump is going to threaten Comey on Twitter and intimate he has recordings of the conversation, sooner or later people are going to want to take a listen to his audio library.

(Year Zero/Day One Hundred and Thirteen)