Remembering Kim Demick

Last weekend, shortly after having returned home to Michigan from New Mexico, where she’d moved some six months earlier, Ypsilanti artist Kim Demick passed away. While I considered Kim a friend, the truth is I didn’t know her terribly well. I think we first met at the Shadow Art Fair about 10 years ago now, after which I’d commissioned her to make something for Linette. We’d see each other after that, and we’d talk, but I never really got to know Kim well, at least firsthand. For the most part, I knew Kim through Linette, who had grown closer with her over the past several years, since the cancer diagnosis. And it was through Linette’s eyes that I came to appreciate just what an incredible woman Kim was, how fully she lived her life, and just how much people truly cared for her. It’s difficult to articulate, but, watching the way her friends came through to support her over these past several years, has been an incredibly beautiful thing to witness, and I think it’s testament to the kind of person that Kim was, her ability to connect so deeply with people, and her refusal, in spite of everything she was facing, to live her life any less fully. So, when I leaned that she’d passed, I reached out to one of her friends and offered this space, in case she, or others, wanted to share their thoughts. Following are their responses. My hope is that they convey just what an incredible woman Kim was, and to what extent she impacted the lives of those in her orbit. While her time here was brief, she made tremendous use of it, and her presence here will reverberate for a long time to come.

Marti Gulkeisen:

Kim danced through life. Her eyes, her smile, her heart–they all danced constantly. She’d waltz with strangers in a generous 1-2-3-1-2-3 of conversation–deep, graceful, without expectation–leaving them pleasantly taken aback at the unexpected empathy.

She would leave a quick note about some mundane anything–like groceries or feeding the dog–and it would be more ornate than my best attempt at calligraphy, with each letter dancing on the page. She didn’t know how to not make things beautiful.

She would sew, and the cloth, the seams, the dyed indigo patterns–they would all dance, enchanted with her, like the rest of us. No beauty was ever lost on her. She saw in a glass, or flower, or bit of old wood or metal, what many overlooked. Then she’d set it just so, with some adornment, and show how it danced to everyone.

She danced with the desert. They were both so warm, so unobviously rich–a natural pair once you see it. The Southwest was her secret darling, her mistress away from Michigan. A conflicted place where she felt at once connected with the majesty of the earth and isolated from the hearth and home up north that fed her soul.

She danced for the earth, her hands deep in the soil, and it fed her, until nothing would. Heirloom tomatoes and leafy things, and herbs I’d never heard of–they’d all dance for Kim. First as happy growing things, then on the lucky palettes of those she cared for. She would cook with amaranth or coconut or fennel and serve you a dance. Your nose would catch the tune first, then you’d watch the dishes sashay onto the table, then finally your mouth would join in and dance, too, until it grew too tired and sated to go on.

She was a darling all dolled up and would dance through the room. She was made for galas and conversation about art, music, good food and culture. And she’d shake it all night on the dance floor. She was so skilled at true dancing–not the precise steps or technique that imply dance–but the essence of moving musically and deliberately, without hesitation or self-consciousness.

She loved to move and to laugh and was so full of happiness. She’d flop her arms wild as we clomped an awkward dance in the driveway and sang to the full moon, full of joy with no need for sense. She’d sway a solemn slow dance with me when my heart was broken. Even when her heart was broken, she would be grateful and unselfish and dance through her grief with love for those around her.

Thank you, Kim Demick, for dancing with me, and with all of us. I’m so sad it’s over, but also feel so lucky to have had a spot on your dance card. I know you’re dancing with your mom now, and that she left when she did, so she’d be there for you now. I hope your soul keeps dancing now and ever after, just like it always has. I love you. I miss you.

Helen Harding:

I feel so lucky to have known Kim. I got to wear her clothes and eat her food and dance with her. I’m so thankful I got to see her amazing outfits and read her beautiful letters and listen to her describe a salad (or piece of cake or glass of wine) with such intense description. We shared plenty of meals and conversations, but what we did most together was work. You can learn a lot about a person while working side by side. We took turns being each other’s bosses—she was mine at Jefferson Market and I was hers at Eat. But no matter who was in charge, it always felt collaborative. I loved watching her move through a room. I could see how her brain worked, and it was so different from mine. She was detail oriented, but noticed and focused on things that I wouldn’t have noticed or focused on. She had an amazing amount of empathy that, I think, was rooted in the knowledge that true connection was possible in every interaction. She was exceptional with challenging catering clients. She knew how to help people feel at ease, to feel heard, to feel love even in the most mundane interaction. This made her a pretty rad co-worker as well. I met Kim when I was 15. She has been a huge influence ever since. And she will continue to be so— She’ll remind me to operate from a place of kindness and beauty and creativity and strength. She will be missed. That is certain.

David Ketchens:

Hair. For the past 15 years I had the honor of being Kim Demick’s personal hairstylist. Our first collaboration took me from simple cutter to artist. We spent hours in my apartment pouring through vintage fashion magazines combing the pages for inspiration. We settled on a cut known as the Vogue. How fitting. It’s the bubble back brought up to the nape with the sides angling longer. We would cut, sip wine, analyze in the mirror, and cut more. We didn’t stop until we knew we had a winner. Kim looked amazing. For a year after not a week passed without someone coming to my salon saying they’d seen Kim somewhere in the world and asked who cut her hair. A whole year!!!! No cut since has resonated so strongly in the world. The ladies didn’t want just her hair; they admired the whole package: Kim in her endless layers of scarves, bangles, patterned fabrics, and shiny accessories. We did many cuts through the years, but we both agreed that the Vogue was our favorite. Right after entering hospice, Kim reached out for one last cut. Her hair was tangled from lying in bed. I gently brushed out the snarls and cut a version of the Vogue for old times sake. Sadly, it was to be our final collaboration. We had come full circle. Back to the start. Hair. Just like life.

Dan Hussong:

The obvious things that we know about Kim Demick are these. She was unselfish. She was dedicated to peace and respect. She was curious. She retained knowledge. She applied and shared her knowledge.

She was healthy.

Kim Demick was open minded to all forms of artistic expression. Life excited her.

She had dreams,

yes.

She knew the meaning of a

Good connection.

Between tar –

Asphalt-

And rubber!

I have buckets of walnuts that she collected.

We all know Kim’s love.

Kim Demick hated

The television show “Everyone Loves Raymond”.

Repeat: Kim Demick hated “Everyone Loves Raymond”.

There was a point in time where Kim and I would watch the late night television programs with Gisele on crowded couch. (Jimmy Fallon, etc.)

On a long thin couch and sometimes the floor.

We would pass out next to the remarkable indulgence of television.

At 1 a.m. the theme song to “Everyone Loves Raymond”

-(JUMP FROM SLEEP NOW!)-

Would come on (END IT NOW) and it was like watching a wild woman put out a stove fire!

Without her contact lenses Kim Demick would search all of the buttons near the t.v.

In darkness and urgency -half asleep- to

Turn off the television.

She really hated “Everyone Loves Raymond”.

She, Kim Demick, said, ”Everyone Loves Raymond” made her “brain hurt.”

Her “hate” for that show got us all off of the couch and into bed at a consistent hour.

You are special to have been in contact with Kim Demick.

Margot Finn:

Two years ago, after a tough winter spent in and out of the hospital, Kim and I took a road trip to Chicago to see Sleater-Kinney. The night we arrived, we drove past a comic/zine shop she recognized and spent over an hour there, pouring over weird, wonderful artwork. At the Little Goat diner, she ordered a chocolate malt, even though she worried that it might upset her guts. She was so delighted by it, she kept insisting that I taste it again. The next day, we mapped out a route that would enable us to hit a half a dozen bakeries selling packzi. She started conversations with the other people in line and behind the counter about how ‘you think this is crazy, you should see it at the holidays because really they’re known for their raisin bread and people line up around the block’ or ‘I guess my favorite is the passion fruit, but actually we have this raspberry mazurka and if you’ve never tried it, well.’ We marveled at the mosaics at the L stop near our hotel. Even though we were running a little late to the concert, and she really needed to find a place to sit, she insisted on stopping by the merch table first to pick out a shirt for a friend who couldn’t be there. The next day, as we were packing up to leave, she said she felt like she’d been shut up in an attic and being on this trip was like someone throwing open a window. It was such a departure from the punishing routines of being sick. As we were checking out of the hotel, she tried to microwave some tea for the road in a travel mug made of metal, and flames shot out. The desk clerk who had to leap over the counter with a fire extinguisher wasn’t even mad. He apologized for her tea being unsalvageable. She tried to insist on paying for gas and apologized for every time we had to stop, as if she were some kind of burden. She was so good at finding, creating, and bestowing beautiful objects and delicious food on people, and I loved the way I experienced the world when I was around her.

Blake Reetz:

Listening to this as I think about our dear friend Kim, and the impact she made on our community. She once thanked me for never looking at her with “sad eyes” and forcing a moment. I just talked and hung out with her as I always had. That’s all I knew how to do, really. And I’m so glad she was grateful for that. I’m eternally grateful for the hours spent vibing about food trends, fashion, music, art. She knew it all, and knew it well. She hand stitched the tie I wore for my wedding out of vintage Art Deco silk, because of course she had it just laying around. She impacted so many and I’m lucky to be one of them. Hope I see you next time around, Kim.

Donald Harrison:

I met Kim in the summer of 2007 when I moved back to Ann Arbor after living away for 10 years. I didn’t know anyone anymore. I needed a sublet so I had somewhere to stay and figure things out. When I went to check out this house on Sheehan, there were a few of my potential housemates to greet me with a candlelit spread of cheeses and bread and olives and wine. And there was Kim, leading the way and welcoming me like it was already my home. I hadn’t even had a tour of the place yet, and already I knew I was going to take it. We were kindred spirits and quickly became friends. Over the subsequent years, I saw this generous, bright and kind soul in action often. Add to that mix her fierce, creative force and she’s been one of the most indelible individuals I’ve ever known. Namaste, KD.

Amanda Edmonds:

So much love and light for my dear, dear friend Kimberly A Demick who we lost from this world Saturday morning after the most courageous battle, fought with love and fortitude, and defying so many odds for so long. I was devastated to not be home in time for a final goodbye in person, though we were able to to FaceTime earlier in my trip and have a beautiful conversation. I had planned to go straight to see her from the flight yesterday… But I tried to see Europe, especially Paris—where I was in her last and most peaceful days— through her eyes. I said my own goodbye from afar on Saturday afternoon while at the American cemetery at Normandy, breathing in a beautiful view of the sea and the sky, and learned on the train back that she had just peacefully slipped away. My friend, we so miss you already and will for all time, taking solace only in remembering to see beauty and make art and love the people in our lives so, so hard as you did.

Jean Henry:

Kim first presented herself to me at the end of the Jefferson Market’s first anniversary party by handing me a paper plate. She was dressed to the nines in a neighborhood where no one dressed up… ever. I remember flamenco shoes and a twirling red skirt, dangling earrings and a head scarf. She had shiny ebony hair and black cat eye liner. I don’t know if she was glittery or sequined, but she seemed to be. She was spectacular. That ordinary paper plate had been festooned in a curlicue calligraphy and small drawings that expressed her love for our place and her desire to be a part of it somehow… but things were complicated, and then, her number.

This is what Kim did. She waltzed into your life and made it immediately better— more colorful and open and generous than you ever thought it could be— and then she told you that you were great. And how were you doing? And would you like to try a bite of this?

I hired her. Temporarily at first, and then, after a failed attempt to move west with her boyfriend, permanently, as manager. She had come back, broken-hearted, with no housing and no money, and she went to work rebuilding. She was unbelievably resilient. Her generosity of spirit arose from hardship, not ease. Like her advocacy, her work ethic and her creative drive, Kim’s love was a survival tool. I suggested house sitting through the summer as a way to save money. She house sat serially for two straight years, living out of a suitcase and a car, moving from house to house, bringing with her that same magic. They would all come back, begging her to house sit again. They raved about Kim. Everyone did. It was then she told me that she was part Romani — aka Gypsy. This came as no surprise.

Kim magnified the lives of those she encountered. She worked her magic on my business. When people talk about the Jefferson Market with starry eyes, they are talking about the Kim effect— nothing I brought to the table. We were running a little business. She made it magic… Every. Damn. Day. She would do whatever it took to make people happy. She cared about you. She knew your dog and your children by their first names. She had private conversations with them. She never talked down to anyone ever. Once I bought some brightly colored Mexican cut paper flowers and banners to sell and asked Kim to display some. She used them all. The entire place became a fiesta. The staff and guests loved it. And I loved it. What was not to love? Selling things was secondary to the magic making. That’s what Kim brought. She made the market a place worthy of shameless devotion.

I once had a nightmare about Kim. We closed the market for one week each year between Christmas and New Years. Those were peaceful weeks filled with annual inventory and repairs and no customer service. I dreamed that i walked in one of those mornings, and Kim had opened the place up and was hurriedly baking pastries and brewing coffee. A line was forming. Some neighbors had come knocking, and she couldn’t turn them away. When I recalled the dream to Kim, she laughed and said, “That sounds like me.”

When she left to pursue custom seamstress work full time, the neighborhood was bereft. They were hard on the new staff for months. No one could compare. Kim and I have remained friends all these years later, because, like everyone else she touched, I did not want to let her go.

For a little while, we were both sick at the same time. My then 5 year old son and I joined Kim for a dog walk in Eberwhite woods. My son wanted me to chase after him. I could not. So Kim ran with him and played with him, dodging in and out of trees gleefully like some kind of woodland sprite. That’s the Kim he remembers still. It’s likely she was sicker than I was that day. Kim’s strategy throughout her illness, as in the rest of her life, was to grab as many good days as she could. She defied every doctor’s expectation. They knew her body but underestimated her spirit.

Kim was always planning something new. She would be hooked up to machines in the hospital and still be thinking abut a new business, or buying a house someday, or moving to New Mexico and falling in love again. The last two she accomplished, against all odds, in this last year. She had many dreams unfulfilled too. We all do. But she left a profound legacy that goes well beyond anyone’s standard list of worldly accomplishments. A legacy that is hard to enumerate. Her accomplishments do not fit on a CV. They fit better on a paper plate, an intricately draped frock or a chuppah made for a friend of salvaged curly willow. Her community supported her through illness in ways that were remarkable, but we’ll leave those stories for later. She earned our devotion. She was the fierce advocate, the help mate, the magic maker. When, through considerable effort, we managed to finally get her back to Michigan from New Mexico a few weeks ago, I walked into her hospital room and hugged her. She touched my face and asked, “How are you feeling?”… I replied, ‘I am feeling that I love you.’ We all do.

Grab the good days.

“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.” ― Walt Whitman

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In epic asshole fashion, Lindsey Graham promises to reopen the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email

I could write about any mumber of things right now, like the long overdue passing of Fox News founder Roger Ailes, or the fact that Trump and DeVos are pushing for deep cuts to public school programs, but I keep coming back to this bewildering clip of Senator Lindsey Graham on Fox News talking about how, since we now have a special prosecutor looking into charges of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russians, Congress can once again turn its full attention toward what really matters…. the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email.

Yup, as we discussed might happen yesterday, now that it’s been announced that former FBI Director Mueller will be heading an independent Russia investigation on behalf of the Justice Department, the Republicans are attempting to scurry away from the whole mess as fast as humanly possible. And, I guess, as Graham sees it, going back after Clinton will not only give the impression of equivalency, which as we know, is absolute bullshit, but also allow him the opportunity to look like a badass investigator looking out for the welfare of the nation, instead of as a bootlicking coward who doesn’t have the courage to stand up to what is likely a criminal conspiracy that extends all the way to the Oval Office… So, yes, while Mueller looks into the real threats facing our country, it looks as though Graham and company will be delving into Clinton’s server security, and theorizing as to how, hypothetically, a handful of marginally classified documents could have fallen into the hands of our enemies… completely ignoring the fact that, just a few days ago, in the real world, our sitting President snuck a Russian agent into the White House and gave him the identity of an Israeli asset undercover in ISIS, jeopardizing both that man’s life, as well as our intelligence relationship with a trusted ally.

Any last remaining shred of respect I may have had for Lindsey Graham is now completely gone. This is beyond disgraceful. But, sadly, it doesn’t come as a surprise. Once it became clear that they couldn’t stop the Russia investigation, we knew this would happen. We know they would do anything in their power not only to slow the investigation, but to muddy the waters, leaving people confused as to what’s really going on, further sewing seeds of distrust in American institutions. And what’s really going on is that, in spite of the fact that we know with some degree of certainty that our Republican President is a corrupt, lying, conman, who, in all likelihood, corroborated with the Russians to tip the election in his favor, the overwhelming majority of Republicans in Congress have made the decision that they’re not only going to continue standing by his side, but that they’re going to aid him in his efforts, just so long as they feel he’s able to push forward their agenda of shuttering public schools, privatizing social security, rolling back environmental protections, and pushing deregulation across every sector. They know what Trump is, and it doesn’t matter to them. They bought their tickets, and they’re on the ride, and they’re going to see it through to the bitter end. And it’s our job to make sure that, when the ride ends, so too do their tenures in DC.

Here, for those of you who didn’t watch the video above, is a bit of the transcript from the folks at Think Progress.

…“I don’t know what caused the appointment. I haven’t seen any evidence of a crime yet. The bottom line is I respect the decision, but this pretty much shuts Congress down,” Graham said. “Democrats, you got what you wanted. You got a special counsel. Now we’ll just move on. We’re not prosecutors.”

That doesn’t mean, however, that Graham thinks all of Congress’ investigations should stop.

“There’s a new front opening here. I have reason to believe that there are emails between Clinton campaign officials, democratic operatives to the Department of Justice regarding the Clinton email investigation that happened on Obama’s watch. I have reason to believe those emails exist,” Graham said. “I’m on the Judiciary Committee. And I think it’s important that the Judiciary Committee be given any emails that were directed to the Department of Justice by Clinton campaign officials or operatives because we have jurisdiction over the Department of Justice.”

Graham added that he had not seen the emails, and did not elaborate on why he said he had “reason to believe” they exist…

If you’re looking to send a signal today, illustrating to the Republicans just how bloody it’s going to get for them come November 2018, please join me in making a contribution to the campaign of Rob Quist, the white cowboy hat-wearing folk singer going up against Republican tech billionaire Greg Gianforte for the Montana House seat recently vacated by Ryan Zinke, Trump’s new Secretary of the Interior. It’s a long shot to be sure, but, according to the polling, Quist is now down by just single digits, and Democratic money is starting to flow into the state in unprecedented amounts. And I know it could be wishful thinking, but I can’t help but think Quist might have a shot on May 25, when the special election is scheduled to take place… So, what do you say? Shall we send a message to Republicans like Graham who, as least so far, have shown us that they’re willing to place partisan politics over the wellbeing of the nation?

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“No politician in history… has been treated worse.” -Donald Trump

Addressing graduates at the United States Coast Guard Academy this morning, our incredibly sensitive President once again took the opportunity to go on at length about his victimization at the hands of America’s intellectual elite. “No politician in history… has been treated worse,” he told the young men and women before him, before launching into a diatribe about how difficult his life has been… And it got me thinking about a few politicians who, one could argue, had it almost as bad.

I could go on, but I’m tired, and I suspect you get the point. For what it’s worth, had I gone on, I would have included Putin critic Denis Voronenkov, but I don’t think many of you would have recognized him.

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Just because Mueller’s been appointed to investigate the Trump-Russia connection, doesn’t mean we should allow Congressional Republicans off the hook

Saying, “The public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein this evening announced that he had appointed well-respected, former FBI Director Robert Mueller to head an independent investigation into Russia’s involvement in our last election, and the possibility that agents of Vladamir Putin’s government colluded with Donald Trump’s campaign staff. This, it would appear, came an absolute shock to Trump, who, we were told a few days ago, thought these multiple, concurrent investigations would end with the firing of James Comey, which, by the way, the administration, at least initially, blamed on a memo authored by Rosenstein about the FBI Director’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server. [The President would eventually say that the decision to fired Comey was his own, and that it had to do with what her referred to as “the Russia thing”, which many, including myself, took as an admission of obstruction.]

Oh, and it also came out today that, according to people familiar with the situation, Trump not only unsuccessfully solicited an oath of loyalty from Comey before firing him, but asked Comey to drop the investigation of Michael Flynn, who, as we now know, lied about his communications with the Russians during the campaign. And, perhaps just as importantly, news just broke a few hours ago that, just a month before Trump secured the Republican nomination for president, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy stated to his fellow GOP leaders on Capitol Hill that he believed Trump to be on Putin’s payroll. And, not only is it on tape, but, after McCarthy says it, Paul Ryan can be heard cautioning those in attendance not to share what’s being talking about, adding, “What’s said in the family, stays in the family,” like the patriarch of an organized crime family… As for why this tape is being released now, one can only imagine it’s part of a coordinated campaign within the GOP to save the party by sacrificing Trump.

So, yeah, I guess you could say it’s been an eventful day.

As for the naming of Mueller as the special counsel running the investigation, almost everyone, from what I can tell, appears pleased, saying that he’s beyond reproach, and just the kind of person we need to lead us through this mess and restore faith in our government. For what it’s worth, though, people also seem to think that the investigation will now… at least from the perspective of those of us watching from the outside… slow down considerably, as Mueller will likely both shut down the leaks we’ve grown so accustomed to, and begin attacking this in a more methodical manner. [Philip Mudd, ex deputy director of the CIA Counterterrorist Center, is quoted as saying the following about the Mueller appointment: “This guy isn’t just good. He is THE best that ever was. There is nobody better at doggedly pursuing a case. And I know he would hate me for saying this, I know him personally, but he has a heart and a sense of humor too.”]

Personally, as good as all of that sounds, I was hoping that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi would find a way to bring the idea of an independent investigation to the floor of the House, as she mentioned that she was trying to do this this morning. “The inaction of the Republican Congress in the face of the President’s appalling conduct is unacceptable,” she said in a statement. “Today, Democrats are moving to force a vote on the bipartisan legislation establishing an independent outside commission to investigate the Trump-Russia connection and the possibility of collusion to interfere in the election.” Like Pelosi, who added, “Republicans in Congress must decide whether they will be accomplices to the President’s abuses, or whether they will honor their oath to the Constitution,” I wanted to get these people on the record right now, before this goes any further, as to where they stand. As all of the House Republicans will be running for reelection in 2018, I want evidence of where they stand right now on Trump and whether not they feel as though an independent investigation is necessary. I don’t want to give them any more time to carefully select their words, or rewrite history… Speaking of which, did you see that Liz Cheney went back and deleted her tweet praising Trump for his firing of Comey? Oh, and word on the street is that the networks can no longer find any Republicans willing to go on camera and defend Trump… So, yes, things are definitely beginning to shift.

At any rate, I wanted it to come to a vote on the floor of the House so that I’d have a list of all those Republicans who voted against an investigation, to put right alongside my list of all those Republicans who voted to take health care from 24 million Americans and roll back protections on those with pre-existing medical conditions. But I know that the Republicans, who still have the numbers, would have found a way to keep it from a vote. And, even if they did move to initiate an independent investigation, I doubt that they would have gotten anyone as good as Mueller. So, all in all, I’d say this was a pretty good day… At least we now know the investigation is going to keep moving forward.

Oh, and for what it’s worth, some Republicans had begun to see the light relative to an independent investigation. News broke early this afternoon that four Republican senators (Graham, Heller, McCain, and Murkowski) had come out in favor of an independent investigation into Russia/Trump. And Michigan’s own Justin Amash today became the first Republican in Congress to say that, if the claims were true about Trump having asked Comey to end the investigation into Flynn, he’d support impeachment… As for the other Republicans, I’m sure they’re breathing a little easier tonight, knowing that they’re no longer being called on to appoint a special prosecutor. Now, I’m sure they’re thinking they can stop pretending to be investigating Trump, just defer to Mueller, and get on about the business of laying waste to the democratic underpinnings of our society. And that’s what I think we need to fight against. We can’t allow them to hide. We need to keep the investigation in front of them every minute, and we need to try our best to force them to publicly take a side. We need to know if they stand with Trump, or the American people.

As for where all of this is heading, I think I was right when I said on Twitter earlier today that he’d make a break for it, possibly while on this first international trip of his. Yes, I know it’s unlikely that a sitting President of the United States would hijack Air Force One and take it to a country without an extradition treaty with the U.S., but all of this has been unlikely.

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We found the leaker, and it’s Donald Trump… By passing highly classified intelligence information to the Russians, Trump has committed an impeachable offense

I know this will be outdated within five minutes of my having posted it, but HOLY SHIT… Not only did Trump invite Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Putin’s Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak into the White House the day after firing James Comey, the man responsible for directing the FBI’s investigation into possible collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russians to sway the outcome of our last presidential election, but, now, according to the Washington Post, we’re learning that, during that meeting, Trump passed “highly classified information” along to the Lavrov and Kislyak that could jeopardize both our international intelligence relationships and our campaign against ISIS. Here, if you’ve yet to read it, is a clip from the Washington Post.

…In his meeting with Lavrov, Trump seemed to be boasting about his inside knowledge of the looming threat. “I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day,” the president said, according to an official with knowledge of the exchange.

Trump went on to discuss aspects of the threat that the United States learned only through the espionage capabilities of a key partner. He did not reveal the specific intelligence-gathering method, but he described how the Islamic State was pursuing elements of a specific plot and how much harm such an attack could cause under varying circumstances. Most alarmingly, officials said, Trump revealed the city in the Islamic State’s territory where the U.S. intelligence partner detected the threat…

The identification of the location was seen as particularly problematic, officials said, because Russia could use that detail to help identify the U.S. ally or intelligence capability involved. Officials said the capability could be useful for other purposes, possibly providing intelligence on Russia’s presence in Syria. Moscow would be keenly interested in identifying that source and perhaps disrupting it.

Russia and the United States both regard the Islamic State as an enemy and share limited information about terrorist threats. But the two nations have competing agendas in Syria, where Moscow has deployed military assets and personnel to support President Bashar al-Assad.

“Russia could identify our sources or techniques,” the senior U.S. official said.

A former intelligence official who handled high-level intelligence on Russia said that given the clues Trump provided, “I don’t think that it would be that hard [for Russian spy services] to figure this out.”

At a more fundamental level, the information wasn’t the United States’ to provide to others. Under the rules of espionage, governments — and even individual agencies — are given significant control over whether and how the information they gather is disseminated, even after it has been shared. Violating that practice undercuts trust considered essential to sharing secrets.

The officials declined to identify the ally but said it has previously voiced frustration with Washington’s inability to safeguard sensitive information related to Iraq and Syria.

“If that partner learned we’d given this to Russia without their knowledge or asking first, that is a blow to that relationship,” the U.S. official said.

Trump also described measures the United States has taken or is contemplating to counter the threat, including military operations in Iraq and Syria, as well as other steps to tighten security, officials said…

So, if you thought that things couldn’t possibly get any worse for the administration, you were wrong. Tonight, as I post this, not only has the White House staff apparently gone into hiding, but members of the GOP are finally beginning to acknowledge “the downward spiral,” as talk of impeachment intensifies in Washington.

So here’s the question of the day… How can a party that took the White Hosue by railing against the email security of Secretary Clinton, suggesting that her lax server oversight could result in sensitive intelligence falling into the hands of our enemies, possibly withstand the news, which, by the way, has now been corroborated by Reuters, that Trump straight-up passed along classified information to Lavrov and Kislyak, jeopardizing our campaign against ISIS, as well as our relationship with a valued ally. [Is it any wonder why, as the Wall Street Journal reported back in February, that intelligence professionals have been keeping sensitive information from the Trump administration?] And, to make maters even worse, it would appear that Trump didn’t even share the information in the context of a meaningful conversation about ISIS. If the news accounts are to be believed, he just threw this piece of sensitive intelligence data out as an illustration of how awesome our intelligence gathering capabilities are. “I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day,” he reportedly said to the Russian delegation right before launching into the specifics about the ISIS plot uncovered by a foreign intelligence partner. He essentially gave up the identity of a foreign asset in or to impress the Russians… It’s like he’s becoming Alec Baldwin’s comically braggadocious representation of him.

So, given all of this, what do we do now that we know our President is leaking sensitive intelligence to our adversaries?

I’m inclined to say Pau Ryan was right when he said not too long ago, “Individuals who are ‘extremely careless’ with classified information should be denied further access to such info“… but maybe that just applies to Democrats… What do you think?

Oh, and for what it’s worth, as some Republicans see it, the problem isn’t that our President gave sensitive information to the Russians, but that someone told the press… Here’s the frontage story on Breitbart News tonight.

update: OK, things have changed a little while we were sleeping. Last night, amid all the excitement, the administration put White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster in front of reporters to say, that the story as reported was false, and that “the President did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known.” Early this morning, though, Trump, as is his custom, contradicted that statement, essentially saying that he was within his rights as President to declassify and share sensitive data on the fly, even if it endangered operatives in the field. Here’s his tweet.

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