The Sound of Shoes Dropping in the Night

The Sound of Shoes Dropping in the Night by James Howard Kunstler

It was interesting to watch the Cable News divas go incandescent under the glare of their own gaslight late yesterday when they received the unpleasant news that the Barr & Durham “review” of RussiaGate had been officially upgraded to a “criminal investigation.” Rachel Maddow’s trademark pouty-face got a workout as she strained to imagine “…what the thing is that Durham might be looking into.” Yes, that’s a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, all right… with a sputtering fuse sticking out of it. Welcome to the Wile E. Coyote Lookalike Club, Rache. You’ll have a lot of competition when the Sunday morning news-chat shows rev up.

Minutes later, the answer dawned on her: “It [the thing] follows the wildest conspiracy theories from Fox News!” You’d think that someone who invested two-plus years of her life in the Mueller report, which blew up in her pouty-face last spring, might have felt a twinge of journalistic curiosity as to the sum-and-substance of the thing. But no, she just hauled on-screen RussiaGate intriguer David Laufman, a former DOJ lawyer who ran the agency’s CounterIntel and Export Control desk during the RussiaGate years, and also helped oversee the botched Hillary Clinton private email server probe.

“They have this theory,” Rachel said, “that maybe Russia didn’t interfere in the election….”

“It’s preposterous,” said Mr. Laufman, all lawyered up and ready to draw a number and take a seat for his own grand jury testimony. (Note: Mr. Laufman was also deeply involved in the Brett Kavanaugh fiasco as lawyer to Christine Blasey Ford’s BFF, former FBI agent Monica McLean.)

Over in the locked ward of CNN, Andy Cooper and Jeff Toobin attempted to digest the criminal investigation news as if someone had ordered in a platter of shit sandwiches for the green room just before air-time. Toobin pretended to not know exactly who the mysterious Joseph Mifsud was, and struggled to even pronounce his name: “…Mifsood? Misfood…? You mean the Italian professor?” No Jeff, the guy employed by several “friendly” foreign intelligence agencies, and the CIA, to sandbag Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos, and failed. I guess when you’re at the beating heart of TV news, you don’t have to actually follow any of the stories reported outside your range of thought and experience.

Next Andy hauled onscreen former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (now a paid CNN “contributor”) to finesse a distinction between the “overall investigation of the Russian interference” and “the counterintelligence investigation that was launched by the FBI.” Consider that Mr. Clapper was right in the middle between the CIA and the FBI. Since he is known to be a friend of Mr. Comey’s and a not-friend of Mr. Brennan’s one can easily see which way Mr. Clapper is tilting. One can also see the circular firing squad that this is a setup for. And, of course, Mr. Clapper himself will be a subject in Mr. Durham’s criminal case proceedings. I predict October will be the last month that Mr. Clapper draws a CNN paycheck — as he hunkers down with his attorneys awaiting the subpoena with his name on it.

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James Howard Kunstler

James Howard Kunstler says he wrote The Geography of Nowhere, “Because I believe a lot of people share my feelings about the tragic landscape of highway strips, parking lots, housing tracts, mega-malls, junked cities, and ravaged countryside that makes up the everyday environment where most Americans live and work.” Home From Nowhere was a continuation of that discussion with an emphasis on the remedies. A portion of it appeared as the cover story in the September 1996 Atlantic Monthly. His next book in the series, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, published by Simon & Schuster / Free Press, is a look a wide-ranging look at cities here and abroad, an inquiry into what makes them great (or miserable), and in particular what America is going to do with it’s mutilated cities.