Washington Horror Blog

SEMI-FICTIONAL CHRONICLE of the EVIL THAT INFECTS WASHINGTON, D.C. To read Prologue and Character Guide, please see www.washingtonhorrorblog.com, updated 6/6//2017. Follow Washington Water Woman on Twitter @HorrorDC ....

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Pretty Stupid

"Jared, they stole your luggage!  They stole your watch!  They stole your shoes!  Your children are already DEAD!"

Jared Kushner screamed "Nana!" and woke up, nearly giving himself a hernia when the seat belt restrained him from jumping up from his airplane seat.

"Was it the--"

"Gaaaa!" hollered Jared, startled by the sight of his bleach-blond wife.  (Dream Nana hated Ivanka Trump.)

"Honey!" said Ivanka, stroking his wrist.  "Did you have that dream again?"  (She never said "Holocaust survivor" out loud.)

He shook his head.  "This one was different," Jared whispered.  He could still see Sebastian Gorka lighting the oven, and Steve Bannon laughing as his grandmother was pushed towards it by Stephen Miller.

"Everything alright sir?" asked a looming Secret Service agent, taking advantage of the opportunity to look down Ivanka's shirt and examine her cleavage.  "Your children heard screaming."

Jared and Ivanka glanced over to the cluster of seats where their nanny was trying to distract the Kushner children with "Make America Great Again!" coloring books (made in China).

"Daddy had a dream about the recalcitrance of Qatar in not accepting the wisdom of Saudi hegemony in the Middle East as the only possible road to lasting peace," Ivanka called out to her children, with the same fake smile she employed for people like Angela Merkel and that black gardener who always smelled sweaty when he delivered her daily bouquet of White House roses.

The nanny was accustomed to her employers' insistence on talking to their toddlers as adults, but she was not accustomed to hearing a reply like the one Arabella issued, a Chinese folk saying she uttered in Mandarin:  "A bear chasing skunks will have no honey in the winter cave."

"We'll be home soon!" Ivanka said, blowing kisses to her children.

Back in DC, the Jordanian embassy was already buzzing about Jared Kushner's return visit to the Middle East--which had already been planned as a quiet working trip, but which was completely overlooked by a media consumed with the tragedy in Charlottesville and its epic fallout.  King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein had tried to do with Kushner what had completely failed in two prior meetings with Donald Trump:  explain that it was a very small minority of takfiri jihadists (approximately two percent of Sunni Muslims) who were driving the violent extremism, while most Muslims believe in peaceful respect for the two earlier Biblical faiths:  Judaism and Christianity.

"I have spoken at length with the king," said the Jordanian ambassador, drumming his fingers on the conference table around which sat his top deputies.  "Mr. Kushner judges the countries in the region by two things:  their historic response to American investors and their posture towards the Trump Administration."

"By 'American investors' you mean?"

"This is interpreted primarily as where have Kushner and Trump family members been allowed to do deals," replied the ambassador.

"Were they blocked in Qatar?"

"Not precisely, but they are sorely compromised by a juggernaut of Saudi cronyism.  Israel is now turning a blind eye to Saudi human rights violations and the continued degradation of women to have an ally against Iran."

"So is Israel guiding the Trump Administration now?  Because Kushner is Jewish?"

"Jewish?!" laughed the Jordanian ambassador.  "Kosher, maybe, but I have never known a Jew like him.  His grandparents survived a Nazi concentration camp, and he has no problem with Nazis marching in American cities!  In any case, it is clearly Saudi Arabia who is guiding the Trump Administration in the Middle East now."

"So what is Kushner's plan for the Middle East?"

The ambassador shook his head.  "The total capitulation of Qatar."

"The Saudis want their massive oil reserve:  even a child can see this!"

"That child cannot see it!" cried the ambassador, his voice rising.  "There are American troops in Qatar, and also in Turkey--which is flying food into Qatar.  It is all madness!  It is conceivable that Iran and Jordan will actually be the only legitimately functioning Middle East democracies within a year.  The 'war on terror'--as defined by the Saudis, the Israelis, and Trump--will lead to increased bloodshed, more curtailing of journalists and dissidents, isolated zones of heavily guarded wealth interspersing vast swaths of turbulent slums and deserts."

"And Syria?"

"A de-populated country already, mostly bombed into ruins, propped up by Russian aid."

"What is Kushner's plan for Syria?  Kushner was sent to the Middle East to--"

"There is no plan to change anything.  Soon the Trump Administration will declare Isis defeated, but the jihad has already expanded outside of the original Isis territory."

"And Jordan?"

The ambassador looked at the ceiling for a moment.  "Jordan will pray."

Prayers (silent) were also underway a few miles south, at the Camelot Society meeting in the library of the Federal Reserve Board.

"Nobody's seen a successful Nazi economy since 1940!" said Obi Wan woman.

"Don't you dare say it!" cried Italian economist Luciano Talaverdi Yellen (whose marriage to Helen Yellen had only caused confusion for him at work, not career advancement).

"We have to be prepared for this!" declared Janet Yellen's deputy.  "The Trump Administration has signaled its support for white supremacist fascists, the debt ceiling is about to be breached, emergency measures--"

"NO!" declared Luciano, jumping to his feet.  "If we become a fascist state, it will only invite invasion!"

"That's what you're going with?" asked Obi Wan woman.

"It's not a joke!" insisted Luciano.  "It doesn't matter if the trains run on time and industrial production increases if we are only going to have a coalition of allies invade us through Mexico to close the Mexican and Muslim concentration camps!  It will not be a sustainable economy, whatever Carl Icahn says!"

"Wow," said Janet Yellen's deputy.  "Nobody's going to invade the U.S.:  let's not get ahead of ourselves."

"No, we do need to get ahead of ourselves!" retorted Obi Wan woman.  "Where are the grown-ups right now?  The charities are pulling their galas out of Mar-a-Lago, the business leaders are pulling out of Trump's advisory councils, Steve Bannon has gone from the National Security Council to working again for Breitbart--whose biggest story this week--THIS WEEK!!--was about arresting Floridians for public sex on the beach--"

"Could we get back on point?" interrupted Janet Yellen's deputy.

"I am on point!" insisted Obi Wan woman.  "Opinion polls show historic levels of distrust and disdain for every branch of government AND the media.  We need to step up as the responsible party to shape the economic path forward."

"That is not the way the Fed works!" replied Luciano, slumping back down in his chair.

"Well, who else?" asked Obi Wan woman.

"But people don't trust banks, either," said Janet Yellen's deputy.  "That's why we avoid fanfare about our quarterly meetings--the less the average American knows about the Federal Reserve Board's involvement in their lives, the better."

"I think we should do what everybody else does to anonymously advance their socioeconomic agenda," said Obi Wan woman.  "I think we should set up a SuperPAC!"

Over at the White House, private bodyguard Randy (Bubba) Blaylock had turned down an offer to follow Steve Bannon to Los Angeles and was now assigned to adviser Sebastian Gorka--a Nazi whose death threats had increased 5,000 percent since Charlottesville.  Now Bubba's grandfather had fought Nazis in World War II, but that was a long time ago, and he was pretty sure Gorka had just gotten a bad rep.  That's why Bubba was surprised at what Gorka said when he stopped by to welcome new Georgetown Law student Tiffany Trump to the East Wing:  "What a beautiful white specimen you are!  We must find you an excellent husband, and I hope you have at least ten children!"  Tiffany laughed nervously, and looked at the Secret Service woman stationed nearby, who abruptly stepped in front of Tiffany and suggested Gorka probably had something more important to be doing.  Bubba burst out laughing, Gorka glared at him, and the two headed back to the West Wing.

She is pretty, said Ghost Regina.

Pretty stupid! retorted her twin brother, Ghost Ferguson.

"Reggie, Fergie!" cried the gardener, Bridge.  "Don't you mess with her!"

But the spectral pre-schoolers had not found Barron very amusing, so they were very interested in this one.

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COMING UP:     
What's happening with the Ghost CIA!?

Sunday, August 13, 2017

American Girl

Barbara Hellmeister was back from her weekend visit to Charlottesville, disappointed she had failed to find a new Nazi lover and partner to help her raise her unborn Hitler-DNA-infused Donald Trump clone.  Her pregnancy would start showing soon, and then it would be too late.  She crawled into her perch in the bridgeman's quarters of the 14th Street Bridge--which always had a calming, comforting effect on her, despite the semi-squalor.  (She didn't know that this feeling came from the demon Ardua lurking in the Potomac below her.)  She counted the cash she had made selling chemical weapons to white supremacists, and examined a couple Nazi artifacts she had picked up.  (Her personal collection, inherited from her Nazi grandfather, had mostly perished in the blaze she had set several years earlier.)  Since the closing of the White House science office, she had not held a lucrative position.  She was still on the FBI's most-wanted list, and it would be far too risky to return to the CIA.  She pressed her hand to her stomach, wondering at her own decision not to follow one of the neo-Nazi groups back to Georgia or Alabama.  It was true that most of them were stupid, couldn't even spell Charlottesville properly on Twitter, had more Celtic blood than Aryan, and had only managed to kill one person--a white woman!--but somehow none of those things really mattered in comparison to the inexplicable draw she felt pulling her back here.  Her phone buzzed, and she was surprised to see a text message from Ricky Chesterfield, a KKK car mechanic from South Carolina who had decided to look her up in DC before heading home.  She smiled at his message asking if she wanted to "have some fun" at the Holocaust Museum.  Do I ever!

Over at the Justice Department, Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions had happily put in motion a civil rights investigation into the white supremacist murder in Charlottesville (since the victim was white and no civil rights violation would be found).  Now, with that public relations coup behind him, he was eager to get back to prosecuting government leaks and deporting oncology nurses for the crime of being born in Mexico.  "Hawk!"

"Yes, sir, General Sessions, sir!" cried DOJ attorney Atticus Hawk, jumping to his feet and saluting.

"At ease!" replied Sessions, shutting the office door behind him before sitting down next to Hawk's desk.  "How's the leak investigation going?"

"Well, sir," began Hawk, sitting back down and shoving his taco salad away from his papers, "we've narrowed it down to about fifty suspects in the CIA, a hundred in the White House, two-hundred at the Pentagon--"

"TWO-HUNDRED!?"

"Well, statistically speaking, that's actually a pretty small number considering how many people work at the Pentagon."

"TWO-HUNDRED!?  It's the trans-sexers, isn't it?!"

"The trans?  Um, we're not examining that, uh, factor."

"We have enemies on all sides, son!"

"Don't I know it?!" declared Hawk, who was regretting his lunch choice and desperately wanting to use the bathroom.  "We did identify one DOJ cleaning woman deported a couple weeks ago who told some Mueller grand jury stories to an Associated Press reporter in Guadalajara."  (This was a complete lie:  Hawk was responsible for most of the leaks about Robert Mueller.)

"Guadalajara!" exclaimed Sessions, instinctively recoiling in disgust from the Spanish name.

"Well, the reporter has a British passport, and I assume you don't want us to bring the woman back for questioning?  She claims she was deported in a case of mistaken identity."

"What happened when you questioned those pesky reporters from the Post and the Times and the Buzzkill?"

"Buzzfeed?  Well, sir, General, their lawyers all sent protest letters citing the First Amendment."

"And you let that stop you!?" cried Sessions, getting red in the face.  "The God-damned First Amendment doesn't protect traitors!"

"Well, sir, there's no proof of treason--"

"I told you to get me the proof!"

"It's a chicken and an egg thing," replied Hawk.

"What?!  You a country boy all of the sudden, telling me about poultry?!"

"Um--"

"They publish government secrets, they need to tell us who leaked 'em!" hollered Sessions.

"We did trace some of the leaks to Barron," whispered Hawk, "but you don't want us to haul him in here, do you?"

"Bannon?!  YES, haul him in here!"

"Barron, sir, the kid."  (Sessions shook his head in confusion.)  "Melania's son, Barron."

"Get me those reporters, damn it!" declared the Attorney General, before storming out of Hawk's office.

I didn't get to tell him our suspects for the "Game of Thrones" leak, Hawk thought to himself.

Not far away, FBI agent Dulles Samuelson was, in fact, delivering a sealed envelope of material from Atticus Hawk to a member of the Special Prosecutor's team.  The woman nodded silently and was quickly on her way.  Samuelson walked quickly into a different corridor before slowing down his pace and exhaling deeply.  It was absolutely astonishing to him that Donald Trump was still in office, that there was still no law enforcement against him, that the bullying Trump had personally aborted the years-long planning for construction of a new FBI building to show his displeasure with the investigation, that the President of the United States had thanked Putin for expelling U.S. diplomats...then gave a wink and a nod to a white supremacist rally responsible for murder.  Samuelson heard whispers of things here and there--how important it was to build a slam-dunk case and not make anything public before all possible criminal conspirators were nailed--but serving as an officer investigating and arresting small-fry criminals every week seemed more and more surreal to him.  He walked into his office to finish up a drug ring report, thinking about Angela de la Paz--who had stopped talking about the supernatural world and thrown herself into espionage for Charles Wu again.  Hawk had still only seen her kill a couple of demons, but he knew it was always on her mind.  She might be talking about North Korea or the undercover agent in the Russian suite of Trump International Hotel, but he could always see in her eyes that intense glow indicating how tuned in she was to what was happening just across the natural/supernatural divide.  When he had first learned of this, he had considered Angela's unique abilities to fight evil a gift; now he understood what a weight it was on her, the massive presence of evil in this town.  The whole town was full of "fire and fury" now, and there seemed no way it could end well.

Over at George Washington University Hospital, Dr. Khalid Mohammad cried in relief as his laboring wife Yasmin gave birth to their first child.  He shook his head when offered the scalpel to cut the umbilical cord, not interested in taking his eyes off Yasmin cradling the baby girl.  "I want to name her Charlotte," whispered Yasmin, "or Heather".

Khalid laughed at the idea of giving their daughter a non-Muslim name, but nodded.  "Charlotte Heather Mohammad," he said.  "An American girl."

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COMING UP:     Jared fixes the Middle East!

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Pravda!

"Finally, some sun coming out!" exclaimed Texas Congressman Zeke "Slick" Hicks, pulling his captain's hat lower over his eyes.  "Just as we were heading back to D.C.!"  He idled the motor of the newly acquired Molotov Cocktail (a gift from Exxon) and headed back to the cooler to grab another beer.  "Man, I wish I was deep-sea fishing in the Gulf instead of chugging up the Chesapeake!"

"Why did you stop the boat?" whined Congressman Devin Nunes.  "I don't wanna miss my flight to California!"

"Aw, don't get your shrimp nets in a tangle!" replied the Chairman of the secret Russia Caucus.  "I just wanna look at the blue sky for a minute!"

"Blue sky," muttered Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan under his breath, rolling down his shirt sleeves.  (The Speaker of the House had to avoid direct sun since becoming a zombie earlier in the year.)

"Can we go over the talking points again?" asked Rep. Nunes.  "I still don't understand how I'm supposed to explain to my constituents why we increased sanctions on Russia even though Russiagate is a big fat nothing burger."

"We're just doing what the intelligence community recommended," said the Speaker of the House.  "But none of it is connected to Trump ...or to us, for that matter."

"Well, what if my constituents see it differently?" continued Nunes.  "Mueller's got the second grand jury now, somebody leaked that phone call where Trump complained to the Australian prime minister that Putin was more pleasant to talk to, somebody leaked that Trump was involved in Junior's bogus statement on the Russian adoptions meeting, Trump complained about having to sign the Russia sanctions bill--"

"We've gone over this!" said Rep. Hicks (who was perfectly capable of denying to his dying breath being in over his head).  "Plausible deniability!  Limited liability corporations!  We've done everything very carefully, and there's no way that Manafort will squeal because, well, you know."

"He'd be whacked by the Russian mob!" laughed the Speaker of the House, a little more light-headed than usual with the sunlight affecting the maggots in his brain.

"It's not funny!" protested the sunbathing Representative from Florida (who was in denial about skin cancer, sea-level rise, and her re-election odds if voter suppression efforts failed in her District).  "You can't just laugh it off, Paul!  We need to stay in agreement on these talking points!  I don't want some guy named Vitaly showing up at my door when push comes to shove."  (Actually, she did have some fantasies about a young, handsome "Vitaly" getting physical with her, but that's in a different blog....)

"The Russia bot Twitter trolls are cranking out more #MAGA Tweets than anybody else," said Rep. Hicks.  "They're also in the top ten for Tweeting "fakenews" and "SethRich"--they've got our backs, and we've got theirs, and Exxon hasn't given up hope of reversing those sanctions later and drilling in Russia.  The way I see it, Mueller's gonna nab a couple little low-lifes from the campaign, the New York A.G. is gonna nab a couple of Russian money-launderers, and the Republican voters will come roaring back to vindicate Trump, like a tornado zipping across Interstate 10!"

"Damned straight!" exclaimed the Speaker of the House.

"Well, at least we still have Obamacare," sighed Devin Nunes.  "I won't have to take questions about repeal and replace anymore."

The smile faded from Rep. Ryan's face, and he started fantasizing about ripping the Californian's head off and chowing down on his brains right now.

Back in D.C., Captain Tyler Glockmann rolled his wheelchair into the upper floor meeting room of the Brewmaster's Castle.  Today he was the first one in for the Heurich Society Meeting, though he had already spoken to Condoleezza Rice every morning and every night this week.  He grabbed a muffin from the tray that butler Han Li had left out, dreading the bad news he would have to deliver today:  the Joint Chief of Staff would go to the mat against Trump on transgender service members, but nothing else...at least, not yet.  He stared up at the ceiling, thinking about his brother--the real, deceased Captain Tyler Glockmann.  Did you serve your country?  Am I serving my country?  The god-damned President of the United States had just launched his own propaganda news channel, which would declare any indictment against the entire criminal enterprise a lie, but I am lying every day I'm at the Defense Intelligence Agency.  Means justify the end.  What is the end?  He took a swallow of lemonade.  It was clear to everybody at the Defense Intelligence Agency that the old KGB agent had played a very, very long game, and it was far, far from over.

"Damned if you do, damned if you don't, am I right?" asked the treasurer, walking into the conference room.

"Sir?"

"Take the shot," he replied with false cheerfulness.  "Of course, there's no need for that--he could just be smothered in his sleep.  But then what?  The barbarians would be at the gate with their home-made AK47s squaring off against the Pentagon.  The brass have to stand down, sit back in the name of democracy while it rots from the inside.  Is this chocolate chip or raisin?"  Glockmann shook his head.  "Next year we're either gonna look like Venezuela or Russia, and Russia would be better, don't you think?"

"Venezuela, actually," said the international arms merchant, who had just sat down.  "I'm making a ton of money selling weapons down there!"

"Would you sell them here if there's a civil war?" asked Glockmann.

"There already is, Captain!  And the Heurich Society never loses in any war!"

Not far away, junior partner Bridezilla was hosting her largest ever Russia practice reception at Prince and Prowling, up on the roof deck, with a harpist sitting under a tent ready to begin the sunset serenade music.  Her boyfriend ("Esperantu Edward") had helped her pick up a few Russian words over the last few months, and she was fairly certain people were whispering about Mueller's grand juries and the New York RICO investigation, but she was uncertain what exactly they were saying.  She smiled with false serenity as she moved among the guests, pleased that she had brought millions in dollars of business to the law firm but fully aware that the government practice division was raking in ten times that amount doing unlisted support work for the Justice Department's Trump-related litigation defense teams.  She still suspected Edward might be a spy of some sort, but everything about DC had become so surreal that it scarcely mattered anymore.

"When are you two going to get married?" asked an importer, taking Bridezilla by the arm and pointing to Esperantu Edward.

Bridezilla looked down in surprise at her ring finger, which was empty.  How long has this been empty?  When did I meet Edward?  What will happen to us?

"Well?" laughed the importer.  "He would do anything for you!"

In fact, Edward was now deeply enmeshed in the Russian resistance to Vladimir Putin, and the more clients he brought to her at Prince and Prowling, the more dangerous it was becoming for her.

"Would he?" she smiled.

Down in Southwest, the secret Russia Caucus--willfully ignorant their new boat was loaded with hidden state-of-the-art Soviet listening devices--was pulling the Molotov Cocktail into its new pier slip--right next to the Singapore Surprise.  Ten feet below, Ardua of the Potomac knew nothing about geopolitics, but the demon did know evil hubris when she saw it.

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 COMING UP:     Out, damned leak!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Public Service

It had been a long time since Sebastian L'Arche had attended a support group for Iraqi war veterans.  In truth, he had come a long way since seeing the combat and prisoner abuses that had led him to retreat (for the most part) away from people and into a world surrounded by animals.  But something about Trump's Tweets this week had brought him back, and he wasn't the only one looking around in vain for an empty chair as people fanned out across the VFW hall looking for additional folding chairs.

"L'Arche!" somebody called to him, but Sebastian didn't recognize her.

"It's me, Ward!  It used to be Arthur Ward, but now I'm Athena Ward."

"Oh!" said Sebastian.  "Wow, okay, well, good for you."

"Shit hit the fan this week, you know?"

"You aren't still on active duty?" asked Sebastian.

"No, but this is messing with me badly.  I served my country!  I did, and nobody in Trump's family served!  Where the Hell does he get off saying trans can't serve anymore?!"

"It's messed up," replied Sebastian.  "The Attorney General met a couple of weeks ago with the folks behind that North Carolina bathroom bill."

"What!?" exclaimed another veteran, interjecting himself into the conversation.

"After all the shit that went down in Iraq," said Sebastian, "when the Generals just looked the other way about the WMD lies and the torture, what I don't get is why are they pushing back on the trans thing?"

"Why shouldn't they be!?" exclaimed Athena, angrily.

"Trump is bat shit crazy, is what I'm saying," replied Sebastian.  "They haven't taken the nuclear football away from him, but the generals are pushing back on the trans thing?  What the Hell is going on?"

"Maybe they never gave him those nuclear launch codes, you know?" said the stranger, who then introduced himself as Ed.  "I mean, if Scaramucci thinks Reince Priebus was a 'freaking paranoid schizo', what the Hell's the diagnosis for Trump himself?  I think this 'malignant narcissist' is a bit weak, you know?"

"And now DOJ says EEOC shouldn't be protectin' LBGT rights!" cried Athena.  "They aren't civil rights!  I'm a black trans vet, I served in Iraq, and nobody's got my back!"  Athena started crying, which startled Sebastian even more than her appearance, but he put his arm around her.  "I fought in that Hell Hole for what?!  He goes golfing at his private clubs every weekend!"

"My buddy in the Coast Guard says they're draining a tenth of the budget on these golf club outings," said Ed.  "He doesn't give a damn about protecting the country, never did!"

"It's all bullshit," said Sebastian.  "Trump decapitated Homeland Security because he needed a new babysitter at the White House!"

"Yeah, but Priebus was a moron," said Ed, "and he couldn't deliver Obamacare repeal."

"Anybody working for Trump is a moron!" sniffed Athena.

"I don't know about that," said Sebastian.  "This is what's freaking me out:  what if the military is plotting a coup, just waiting for the White House to get crazy enough to justify doing it?  Then they say North Korea or Russia are taking advantage of the chaos to go after us, and they need to take charge."

"That would be the best thing that could happen!" declared Ed.

"That's what they want us to think!" said Sebastian.  "But then we lose all control!  Congress becomes completely irrelevant!"

"They're already useless," said Ed.

"No, not yet!" declared Sebastian, more from philosophical conviction than actual observation.  "No, not yet."

Out at the Arlington home for the mentally challenged, psychologist Leo Schwartz was observing how the residents were interacting with their visitors during the backyard picnic, pondering whether it was fair to keep them relegated here while taxpayers funded the likes of Trump, Miller, Gorka, and Scaramucci blowing up the White House.  If he had a single one of those guys living here, he would be recommending them for psychiatric holds at the hospital!  Danger to themselves, danger to others.  He watched Millie the helping dog sidle up to Theresa to help her deal with the shrill mother that made her nervous.  He watched Buckner show his sister the home-made pickle relish he had made for the picnic.  He watched Cedric having a conversation with his stuffed bear Aloysius about the CIA, and the psychologist wondered how "crazy" would be redefined now that the American Psychoanalysts' Association had reversed their policy about not commenting on the mental health of public officials.  Public-official-completely-out-of-touch-with-reality-and-a-massive-menace-to-society-syndrome.

Back in the city, White House gardener Bridge stabbed angrily at the dandelions, listening to the ghosts vote on who would take responsibility for whispering into the ear of the new Chief of Staff.

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COMING UP:    
The dog days of summer in the secret Russia Caucus!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Make Americagate Again!

"What the Hell?!"

"I know," replied triple agent Charles Wu, who had just entered the limo of the very unhappy Chinese ambassador's car to drive around for awhile and chat.  "The State Department is simply not a major player right now."

"Trump confused us with Taiwan!" the ambassador griped.

"It was just his ignorance of the terminology, but he absolutely does not have China confused with Taiwan."

"Not when he is selling weapons!" said the ambassador, sarcastically.  "Then he sells them to Taiwan!  He is also very clear about blame for North Korea--then he says it is Beijing's fault somehow, even though it is not!  Does he think we want nuclear weapons launching from North Korea?"

"Trump doesn't think much, period."  (Wu was speaking with the ambassador in English because the Chinese ambassador did not like Wu's Hong Kong accent in Mandarin.)  "Wu is a very crude man, and whatever education he had in his youth, he has squandered it on a lifetime without intellectual stimulation.  He looks at a couple of things, then goes into a meeting and spouts off.  He has spent decades with sycophants and has no idea he is actually a complete ignoramus and national embarrassment."

"Is this what we are paying you for?" asked the ambassador testily, though he gestured for Wu to help himself to the mini-bar.

"Your Excellency, I have already passed a great deal of Russian intelligence to our interlocutor."

"Russian?  Where is the American intelligence?"

"There simply isn't American intelligence, right now, sir.   I mean that in both senses of the word."  (The ambassador looked puzzled.)  "The State Department policy desks are all grossly understaffed right now, the Secretary of State has zero control of the agenda and is constantly talking out of both sides of his mouth to try to clean up Trump's messes without being fired, the FBI is running a counter-intelligence investigation that encompasses its own Attorney General, the CIA is feeding intelligence to European allies as an end-run around Trump, the Pentagon and National Security Agency are furious that Congress and the White House had nothing to say after Russian hacks into nuclear power plants--your Excellency, American intelligence is paralyzed, American democracy is paralyzed.  The Republicans are so drunk on power they are poised to let spy compounds on U.S. soil be returned to the Russians.  The U.S. has been weakened considerably.  I can't tell you what the U.S. is going to do because the power structure is completely unstable."

The Chinese ambassador turned to stare intently at Wu.  "China cannot be hemmed in by a Russian-American alliance."

"I agree, absolutely," said Wu.

"China cannot be pulled into regional war if Pakistan is drawn into worsening Middle East conflict by Saudi Arabian aggression over Qatar and Iran!  U.S. is not holding back Saudi Arabia!"

"I agree," said Wu.

"Our hackers have found everything necessary to remove Trump from office, but still the imbecile is there!"

"He cannot be removed outside the normal processes, which are slow in a democracy such as this."

"Democracy!" scoffed the ambassador, shaking his head.  "The Republicans reek of corruption now, trying to pass this legislation of tax cuts and health care cuts opposed by over 80% of Americans!  They cause widespread unrest but allow the people to arm themselves, inviting a rebellion.  It is foolish!"

"I agree," said Wu.

"This will not be Russia's century!" the ambassador said defiantly. "If U.S. falls, this will be Chinese century!"

Wu nodded silently.

Ten minutes later, dropped off back in Cleveland Park, Charles Wu was walking the long way home.  Beijing was cracking down on human rights, and his mother was furious about what was happening to democracy activists in Hong Kong.  The Trump Administration would never say a word about any of that, and Beijing might actually become more authoritarian at home while simultaneously more aggressive overseas.  China, to his chagrin, had not followed his recommendation to go public with what they had hacked about the Trump family finances, and Wu was feeling less and less inclined to strengthen their hand globally.  The British were still gratefully paying for Wu's Chinese intelligence, but they were faltering as badly as Trump was on the international stage.  And there was very little Chinese intelligence he was willing to trade to the dangerous Trump Administration.  He caught the sound of his daughter's giggles while still at the corner of the block and stopped in his tracks.  He used to lecture Angela de la Paz about her naivety, but was he the one now in it over his head?  The juggling act used to feel like lightweight balls, but now they felt like bombs with lit fuses.  The other day Liv Cigemeier asked him for another grant to International Development Machine to fill vacuums being left around the world by a withdrawing U.S. aid presence, and Wu found himself shocked to be reminded that there were people in the world who had no idea where he really got his money and why he did the things he did with it.  He was a spy, damn it!  He had already changed the world, hadn't he?  Could he, still?  The problem was, if he got hold of the best secret in the world today, was there anybody he really wanted to sell it to?

Downtown, Justice Department attorney Atticus Hawk had done a lot of questionable things over the course of his career, but selling state secrets was not one of them:  those he was patriotically giving away for free.  Most of the time he was leaking to the FBI about General Sessions--which he felt perfectly justified in doing since Sessions had ignored a court order to hand over information to Congressional investigators--but this week he had gone outside of his comfort zone to leak to the press that Sessions had secretly met with the people behind the transgender bathroom bills.  Every decent law-abiding American man knew you stared straight ahead while doing your business at the urinal, and only complete perverts would want to pass legislation about who was whipping out which private parts where!  That's the bro code!  Just because some repressed Republican had gotten pissed off by discovering his prostitute was transgender was no reason to invite the government into public restrooms!  And if Sessions was hiding the meeting, it was clearly because he was a pervert, too!

"Penny for your thoughts?" asked Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, causing Hawk to jump out of his seat.  "Didn't mean to startle you, son!  I wanted to get a head start on tomorrow's business.  Did you finish that memo on how to re-word the voting commission letter to the states?"

"I did, sir, General, sir, but I think it will only satisfy a couple of the states' concerns.  It's hard to argue with them about centralizing the voter data federally when every state holds the legal authority to run elections.  After all, if Obama had asked for Alabama voter data in 2012--"

"Don't be a smart-ass!" retorted the Attorney General.  "Trump wants to send that letter out again!  It's outrageous they won't answer it!"

"General Sessions, I'm not sure this is the right time to attempt another voter fraud commission letter.  After all, Junior just admitted meeting with Russians at Trump Tower to discuss--"

"I don't know anything about that!" interjected Sessions, angrily.  "I'm recused!  I don't read anything about the Russia investigation!"

"Which, perhaps, is why somebody not involved in the Trump campaign should be making decisions about our voting processes."

"I'm the Attorney-General!"

"Yes, sir."

"I'm in charge of the voting processes!"

"Actually, sir--"

"How can I be recused from our voting processes?"

"Russians might be involved in the voting processes, General."

"WHAT?!  That is fake news, and I'm shocked to hear it in the Justice Department!"

"That's what the Special Counsel is investigating, General."

"I don't know what he's investigating!  I'm recused!  And there's never been sustained, systemic collusion!"

Hawk's jaw dropped at the sound of Kellyanne Conway's propaganda piece's erupting from the General's mouth.  So now it's fake news unless it was sustained, systemic collusion?

Over at the White House, Kellyanne Conway was busy handing out more MAGA hats in preparation for "Made in America Week".

"I'm not wearing this," said Omarosa Manigault, handing hers back.  "Where are the ones that were made in America?  This says Made in China."

"Don't be a smart-ass!" Conway snarled.

"And I hope you're not planning to wear the Ivanka Trump brand all week!" Manigault exclaimed, pointing at Conway's sundress.  "They're made in Indonesia and--"

"Shut up!" Conway barked.  "Who do you think you are?"

"He promised to bring manufacturing back to the--"

"Don't tell me what he promised, missy!  I was working on the campaign while you were still begging for another reality television gig!"

"So does that mean you're entitled to have the campaign committee pay your legal bills, or is that only for Junior and Jared?"

"Maybe you can take that smart mouth of yours over to Capitol Hill and get the Congressional Black Caucus on the bus over here for a meeting!  That's the only thing you were hired to do, and it hasn't happened!"

"Maybe you need to send a bigger bus," replied Manigault (who had already resumed looking for another reality television gig, possibly something about ghosts in the White House).

Up on the White House roof, the hot snipers wiped the sweat from their brows and continued pacing nervously, listening more to the screaming voices coming from inside the building than to anything happening outside of it.

****************************************************************
Washington Water Woman is heading out of town for a bit, 
and expects to return to blogging in a couple of weeks....

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Up in the Air

Brittani was back at trapeze school in Southwest, and Glenn Michael Beckmann didn't know what to do with her.  A 15-year-old with an annulled Virginia under-age marriage, still too young to work, uninterested in getting her GED, constantly talking in her sleep about some demon she thinks lives in the basement of Southwest Plaza, and now obsessed with becoming a circus performer!  It could be a year before her scrawny arms and abdomen built up enough muscle to get good at this, and Beckmann was pondering hitting up her father for some money to cover these trapeze school fees.  After all, Brittani's father had a good-paying job working security for Steve Bannon at the White House, while Beckmann's Bad Asses security firm was not exactly making Beckmann rich.  And he needed to pay for a lot of drugs to work out the ever more confusing conspiracies oppressing the United States people!

As his blog (written in code as "Beckmann's Floral Cushions") made clear, Beckmann had no doubt that Donald Trump had been installed by aliens as a puppet king to weaken and confuse the will of human beings so that they would succumb easily to a full-scale invasion by alien overlords.  But the Resistance did not understand this!  The Resistance was still talking about: civil rights; the free press; White House corruption; Trump's kissing Putin's ass in a closed-door meeting; the G20 leaders creating responsible economic partnerships while the U.S. got sidelined by sending Ivanka's boobs, stilettos, & plastic surgery in to negotiate; Melania Trump's talking to Putin at dinner about cyber-bullying (how he got bullied about Election hack) and their new plan for U.S.-Russia cyber cooperation....But far too people were rallying to Beckmann's argument that the people of Earth needed to prepare for the alien invasion.  Trump was just a distraction!

Over at the White House, Brittani's father, Randy "Bubba" Blaylock, was not fully under the spell of Steve Bannon (who had sold his soul to Satan) because Bubba had been wearing a cursed Rolex since he and Beckmann had rescued Brittani from her deranged husband (the previous Rolex owner).  Trump rarely left the country, and Bannon was spying on Vice-President Pence, who was taking advantage of the POTUS absence to run helicopter drills for the 25th Amendment ouster of Trump.  As Bannon grew more and more incensed at the sound of Pence's Indiana National Guard alumni crews choppering in circles around the White House (shooting blanks at the snipers on the roof), Bubba was starting to worry that his time in the White House might end prematurely--before he could usurp that damned fashionista Gunther Zimmer as Melania's lover.  That was the reason Bubba was rummaging through the bedroom that served as Melania's closet (she needed a 20' x 20' closet) trying to find incriminating evidence against Zimmer. It was then that he found Zimmer's sewing basket and realized it had no normal thread:  only the clear nylon parachute thread used by Navy Seals.  "Who the Hell is this guy?!" he exclaimed out loud, not thinking to check the sewing basket for CIA bugs.  (The CIA does not spy on U.S. citizens, but considers Melania Trump an illegal alien.)

Meanwhile, a Congressional caucus was running a covert helicopter operation of its own:  that is, to say, certain rogue members of the anti-Zombie caucus had used Zombie-fighting activity as a cover to commission a helicopter for a non-Zombie purpose.  So, while Paul Ryan was busy telling sleeveless reporters to put on more clothing in the July heat and humidity, and Mitch McConnell was again postponing the Obamacare repeal vote so that Republicans could first purchase stock in the health care companies that were going to benefit from the bill, Congressman Herrmark's Chief of Staff, Ann Bishis, had ordered the helicopter to transport into the country the Syrian Kurdish refugee twin brides of Herrmark's twin bodyguards, Nick and Costas, from an offshore vessel.  Ann Bishis had never flouted a law in the manner she was flouting the Trump travel ban, but Greek blood (hers and that of her cousins, Nick and Costas) was thicker than water...or anything else.  And so it was that Syrian illegal aliens entered the country in a helicopter that was supposed to be fighting Congressional zombies.

Out on the river, Barbara Hellmeister (out of her job as mistress and Special Science Adviser to Donald Trump since the arrival of Melania and dismantling of the White House science office) sat in the bridgeman's quarters not far above Ardua of the Potomac, stroked her Trump/Hitler DNA-infused womb, and pondered her next move.

****************************************************************
COMING UP:    Triple agent Charles Wu walks 
delicate line as Beijing cracks down on Hong Kong
and begins revenge for U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

The diary of FBI agent Dulles Samuelson

It's nice to see Angela napping in the sunshine, soaking in some sunshine and salt air.  She's had so many bad dreams lately, though I liked the one she had last night where Obama declared a 2020 Presidential run and Trump went completely out of his freaking mind!  

So glad I passed the six-month probation mark at FBI!  What an insane time to become an agent.  When I started, I had the typical rookie assignments, but things have changed a lot since Comey got fired.  Most people were labeled friends-of-Comey or not, and the newer people like me are the only ones viewed as neutral.  I'm not neutral at all, but I keep my mouth shut most of the time.  People start talking about the partial travel ban now in effect?  I'm a sphinx.  People talk about Trump's lawyer withdrawing the threat to go after Comey for leaks?  "Really?" I say, like I hadn't heard anything about it at all!  People talk about the legality of Trump's having a re-election campaign fundraiser in his hotel building he's leasing from the federal government, I just say, "that's for the lawyers to figure out."  People talk about Trump's flirting with the Irish reporter or denigrating the MSNBC reporter?  I just raise my eyebrows in a way that can be interpreted any way they want to.  Comments on Eric Holder's Tweet encouraging FBI and DOJ to stay strong for duty, honor, country?  I tell them I'm not on Twitter!

But the "WSJ" Trump-Russia collusion article that came out?  That was different.  Things went berserk at the Bureau!  That was no "Clinton News Network" #fakenews story--it was the freaking "Wall Street Journal"!!  Everywhere you went, somebody had taped a copy to a men's room mirror or pinned it to a kitchenette bulletin board.  It might disappear for awhile, then reappear again.  I finally caught one guy in the act by accident:  Atticus Hawk from the A.G.'s office!  He started sweating, then saw my name badge and relaxed.  "Your dad was a CIA agent, right?"  I asked him how he knew that, and he said his was, too.  

Then he asked me to pass some information to Mueller about Jared Kushner!  Finally!  I'm in the loop!  Of course it was in a sealed envelope, so I didn't really learn anything.  The Russian bank stuff?  Blackmailing Joe Scarborough?  I guess I'll find out later.  

I tried to ask him about why the GOP budget will zero out funding to the Election Assistance Commission while this new Pence-Kobach voting commission is asking for detailed voter roll information from every single state in the country, but his brow beaded up again and he said he had to rush off to a meeting with "General Sessions".  "General Sessions?" LOL!!!  I would have loved to tell him we call the Deputy A.G. "Dagwood", but I'll save that for next time.

The truth is that some FBI employees are lawyers and some are not, and when I do hear conversations about this stuff, it can be pretty confusing.  If DOJ goes nuts, what does "law enforcement" even mean anymore?  Arizona's ex-sheriff Arpaio is now on trial for ignoring a federal court order, but Trump has been lambasting court orders for months and his supporters think Arpaio should have been appointed head of the FBI!  If Trump actually ignores a court order, what happens?

On the drive from DC to the beach, I asked Angela if what the FBI is doing even matters in the bigger scheme of things:  demons, ghosts, all this crazy stuff out there.  She said those worlds aren't supposed to overlap, and I still need to do what's right in the one I live in.  I guess that's what she is:  a sheriff trying to enforce the rules against overlapping.  I know she's been going into the Dreamtime a lot, so I asked her if she's discovered that it's not just Trump and Bannon who sold their souls to Satan.  She looked really sad and just nodded.

Meanwhile, back in DC, TFFT (too fat for television) reporter Holly Gonightly was filming a segment on "Circus Life" at the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival on the National Mall when temporal lobe epileptic John Doe suddenly pointed at the swinging trapezes and began screaming, "The arc of history is bending!  The arc of history is bending!"  Then he fell into a silent trance, listening to the ghost of Henry Samuelson.

*************************************************************
COMING UP:    Donald Trump meets with Vladimir Putin
to talk about the Trump-Russia collusion nothingburger,
 #fakenews, garbagenews, witchhunt!  
(....And Slavic babes.)