If you've been paying attention to the news lately, you know that there are all sorts of strange activities that have occurred, and are continuing to occur, with respect to Trump operatives, Russian operatives, bizarre allegations of Obama and the United Kingdom spying on Trump, claims by Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway that microwave ovens sometimes turn into cameras, and so on. Though it's not been proven yet, there appears to have been collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian hackers to release emails damaging to the Hillary Clinton campaign.
To add another layer of intrigue, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Republican Devin Nunes, appears to be working openly (and perhaps secretly too) for Donald Trump. He shared investigative information with Donald Trump before he shared it with with his fellow intelligence committee members. This is a brazen breach of the fundamental American concepts of separation of powers and checks and balances. And it also raises the question: Is he secretly sharing any other information with the Trump Administration? How can we trust him, or the Intelligence Committee, after this?
But perhaps these things are not so surprising after all, when you consider that Republicans recently voted to keep Donald Trump's tax returns secret from the public, which also hinders investigations into just what the heck is going on between actors in our government and actors in the Russian government.
"Something extraordinary is on the cusp of taking place in Washington on Thursday. An unpopular president and a House Republican leadership team with a seemingly weak grasp of its own members' priorities is preparing to rush through legislation that would trade 24 million people's health coverage for a huge tax cut on wealthy households and health care corporations... The Republican health care reform bill polls poorly, has sparked protests across the country, and would have disproportionately harmful effects on the older, poorer and rural voters [who voted for Trump]... House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will ask his majority to vote for this bill despite all this..." ("Everything About This Republican Obamacare Repeal Vote Is Nuts," March 23, 2017).
And here's something really eye-catching with regard to Nunes tipping off Trump about intelligence investigations: Politico reported that "Nunes said he briefed House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on the information on Wednesday morning before heading to the White House to brief the president." First off, Ryan is not a member of the House Intelligence Committee, so why is Nunes conferring with him, but not his fellow Intelligence Committee members? And second, can you imagine the conversation between the two? Here's how I picture it:
Nunes (knocking on Ryan's office door): "Paul, you got a minute?"
Ryan (annoyed): "Devin, I'm very busy here. I'm trying to kick poor people off Medicaid, raise insurance premiums on seniors, and get billions in tax breaks for our political sugar daddies. I need to get this done, and quickly, to make sure we get our campaign donations."
Nunes: "It'll only take a minute."
Ryan (acquiescing with a sigh): "Alright, come on in."
Nunes explains the investigation materials he wants to secret off to Trump. Ryan seems only half-interested, distracted.
Nunes: "So... are you okay with all this."
Ryan: "Dude, whatevers. It's hard for me to focus right now. I've been dreaming about kicking poor people off Medicaid ever since I got smashed at a keg party back in college." (His empty blue eyes drift off, and a sinister smile appears on his face as he remembers those days... but then he quickly snaps back to the present) So yeah, sure, fine, go tip off the Don... I mean, um, brief him. I've got work to do."
Though my skit is in jest (but perhaps closer to the truth than we know), it's clear to me that punishing the poor and securing tax breaks for the rich is so vitally important to Republicans, that they're willing to suppress, deceive, downplay, and obstruct investigations into possible treasonous activities. And this is what happens in a plutocracy. This is what happens in a political system manipulated by big money. Justice and truth get thrown out the window, as if they were garbage.