"There's a good chance I may have committed some light...treason."
July 11, 2017 10:10 AM   Subscribe

More shocking developments have come to light (Matt Shuham and Allegra Kirkland, TPM) in the on-going investigation into the Trump campaign's alleged efforts with the Russian Government to undermine the integrity of United States Presidential election and the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, the so-called Better Care Reconciliation Act, the Republican effort to undermine health insurance for tens of millions people, has met with resistance from all parts of the political spectrum.

On July 8th, Jo Becker, Matt Apuzzo, and Adam Goldman of the New York Times published a piece detailing a previously undisclosed June 9th, 2016 meeting in Trump Tower between Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, and Kremlin linked attorney, Natalia Veselnitskaya. On July 9th, the New York Times team followed up with another story revealing that Trump Jr. had been promised information from the Russian Government that would be damaging to the Clinton campaign. On July 10th, the team of Becker, Apuzzo, Goldman, and Maggie Haberman broke a third story about the secret meeting stating that Trump Jr. had been informed in email that the Russian Government was attempting to aid his father's campaign.

Shortly before Becker, Apuzzo, and Goldman were to break a fourth story regarding the contents of the emails on July 11th, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted a statement and what appears to be a copy of the email chain with Rob Goldstone (1, 2). Lindsey Graham is, as usual, disturbed by these revelations, while Tim Kaine pulls no punches in asserting that the investigation may be getting into potential "treason" (Esme Cribb, TPM).

In healthcare news, the effort to force 22 million people off their health insurance is facing resistance in the Republican caucus with seven Senators from opposite ends of the ideological spectrum not backing the legislation (538, Perry Bacon, Jr.). Direct actions in Washington DC have been poignant and also led to arrests of peaceful protesters (tweets from Jeff Stein of Vox).

(Thanks also to melissasaurus for the title, which references this wonderful Arrested Development clip.)
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal (3601 comments total) 149 users marked this as a favorite
 
Bravo!
posted by notyou at 10:13 AM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Wow, I made it to the end of a post!
posted by zug at 10:13 AM on July 11 [13 favorites]


God bless every single person who's made a politics thread for waiting until now to use the George Bluth Sr. quote.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:14 AM on July 11 [251 favorites]


As frequently as Senator Graham experiences "concerns" and "troubles" you would think he would be compelled to act, in some way, to get rid of those feelings by maybe removing the source of said troubles of concerns.
posted by Tevin at 10:14 AM on July 11 [48 favorites]


OK. I can see that Lucy is holding the football. I'm gonna run up to it and kick it. I'm ready. Here I go.
posted by prefpara at 10:14 AM on July 11 [129 favorites]


One thing that's so frustrating about this shit is that I spend dealing with impostor syndrome and trying to get things just so, while these fucking guys don't seem to have the slightest clue how bad they are at what they do. I go back and forth between gratitude that I'm not a treasonous fuckup and envy at just how oblivious they apparently get to be.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 10:14 AM on July 11 [161 favorites]


You know what's incredible? All the Trumps could have gone on being as crooked and shady as ever, if only Donald Trump hadn't made a serious bid for president. Or even if he had just shut up *at all* after being elected. Pride truly goeth before a fall.
posted by Autumnheart at 10:14 AM on July 11 [79 favorites]






The Trumps are a crime family, why are they so bad at crime??? Ridiculous.
posted by Artw at 10:16 AM on July 11 [44 favorites]


For those of you using the brownest of the brown liquors to cope Trump might fuck up bourbon for you too:

If President Trump follows through on his threat to impose tariffs on steel imports, expect to see an immediate response from the European Union — including retaliatory tariffs on, of all things, bourbon.

This may seem an oddly disproportionate choice. Everyone needs steel; bourbon, on the other hand, is just a hipster fad and a good-ole-boy mainstay, right?

In fact, a punitive tariff on bourbon and other American whiskeys would be both a symbolic and a substantive body blow — a strike at a unique American product that is enormously popular overseas. Should the tariff dominoes fall, it will be a case study in the shortsightedness of a supposedly “America first” trade policy that, in the end, hurts Americans the most.

posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:17 AM on July 11 [30 favorites]


Two links from the end of the prior thread, thanks to mandolin conspiracy, both from Robert Faturechi, ProPublica, and Danielle Ivory, The New York Times: The Deep Industry Ties of Trump’s Deregulation Teams (NYT) and Trump Has Secretive Teams to Roll Back Regulations, Led by Hires With Deep Industry Ties (ProPublica) We’ve found many appointees with potential conflicts of interest, including two who might personally profit if particular regulations are undone.

Only two who might personally profit? Yeah, that's my current level of jaded disdain for the reeking, toxic swamp goblins who march behind Trump.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:17 AM on July 11 [23 favorites]


William Henry Harrison: 32 days.
Donald John Trump: 172 days and counting.
James Garfield: 200 days.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:19 AM on July 11 [11 favorites]


To be fair, if the Trumps haven't been showcasing an almost-literally terminal case of Imposter Syndrome, we wouldn't be here. If they thought they had legitimately earned their place, they wouldn't be constantly Hillary this and Obama that. Of course, it doesn't help that it's coming to light that they are, in fact, imposters.
posted by Autumnheart at 10:19 AM on July 11 [15 favorites]


As frequently as Senator Graham experiences "concerns" and "troubles" you would think he would be compelled to act, in some way, to get rid of those feelings by maybe removing the source of said troubles of concerns.

He's concerned in the way that someone might be concerned about high blood pressure or an enlarged prostate.
posted by Talez at 10:20 AM on July 11 [8 favorites]


All the Trumps could have gone on being as crooked and shady as ever, if only Donald Trump hadn't made a serious bid for president.

i'm not sure they could have - i sort of think that trump's presidential run was actually a Producers-style scam to do massive fundraising, lose, and then pay off old real estate debt with all the money left in the campaign fund. but then they had to go and blow the whole thing by winning.
posted by murphy slaw at 10:22 AM on July 11 [158 favorites]


The Trumps are a crime family, why are they so bad at crime??? Ridiculous.

Senate: President Crimer, did you do a Russia treason?

President Crimer: *puts on sunglasses*
posted by middleclasstool at 10:22 AM on July 11 [71 favorites]


Daily Beast: Trump Aides Freaking Out Over Don Jr.'s Russia Email: The 'Sum Of All Fears', in which nobody in the White House will defend Don Jr, even anonymously.
The revelation of these emails immediately sent shockwaves through the White House.

“This is sum of all fears stuff. It’s what we’ve all been dreading,” said one White House official who is now exploring the possibility of retaining an attorney, a step described as purely precautionary.
...
The Daily Beast contacted multiple senior White House staffers on Tuesday to solicit defenses of Trump Jr., even anonymously. Each individual immediately referred questions to Junior’s legal and public-relations team, emphasizing that the president’s son is not a federal employee.
...
Over the past week, one senior White House official and a former top Trump campaign aide both independently and bluntly described the president’s son as an “idiot” — one who played a role in the campaign and Trump’s political rise simply because he “shares the same DNA,” the official noted.
I also love this sentence just as a matter of journalistic practice: "White House and former campaign officials who were reached by The Daily Beast spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not cleared to vent about President Trump’s first-born son."
posted by zachlipton at 10:23 AM on July 11 [93 favorites]


Don't know if this has been linked to before, but here's a refresher on all five kids, from 2015. Sometimes I forget who is doing what.
posted by Melismata at 10:24 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


President Trump now asking the Kremlin whether they'd be willing to accept his son for adoption.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:24 AM on July 11 [42 favorites]


The 'Sum Of All Fears'

As the past year has taught us, that movie left out a lot of fears. Class-action lawsuit anyone?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:25 AM on July 11 [7 favorites]


...to accept his son for adoption.
[false but likely tag]
posted by Namlit at 10:25 AM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Guys....I'm so ready to start poppin' corn with y'all and let the celebration begin...but it just feels like we've been down this road too many times before. I've become too jaded to accept that this latest revelation is necessarily going to lead somewhere.

The media is treating this right now like yet-another moment we went from smoke to fire. I fear they're working with the wrong metaphor; that instead we've just upped the temp of the not-yet-boiling-water from 175 to 180(F). The takeaway DJT may be going for is that the emails prove the purported "evidence" the trumps were seeking was only to prove Hilary was the one conspiring. SHE was the one with the illegal contact and dealings; the trumps were being patriots by proving it. "And, of course Don jr wouldn't release it if it ACTUALLY showed something illegal- all this demonstrates is that the trumps were trying to get the bottom of Crooked Hilary's never-ending scams. It is absolutely disgusting that the fake media is so desperate for talking points that they twist the words of a true patriot like DJT." - cue conservative talking point.

All this will do is continue to raise the bar for the gray legal area of collusion, rather than lower it. We continue to become ever so more complacent, taking known liars at their word and giving their indenfisible actions an acceptable level of spin. Since the republicans have conceded that ignorance of criminal conduct remains a valid excuse (I know, I know, IOKIYAR), I don't see this leading anywhere. Yet. Just another drip-drip of diarrhea in a seemingly bottomless septic tank.
posted by andruwjones26 at 10:26 AM on July 11 [68 favorites]


For the folks playing along at home, I'd like to make sure everyone catches this excerpt from Don Jr.'s apparent defense
Rob Goldstone: This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump

....

Donald Trump Jr: Seems we have some time and if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer. Could we do a call first thing next week when I am back?

Further thoughts and annotations from WaPo.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 10:26 AM on July 11 [12 favorites]


> i sort of think that trump's presidential run was actually a Producers-style scam to do massive fundraising, lose, and then pay off old real estate debt with all the money left in the campaign fund. but then they had to go and blow the whole thing by winning.

This makes sense, but I just cannot get my mind around how broke they must have been in order to resort to this plan *despite* being CORRUPT AS SHIT their entire lives.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:27 AM on July 11 [13 favorites]


i think we need the advice of constitutional scholars here - does the definition of "high crimes and misdemeanors" to be impeached for include being too stupid to pour piss out of a boot with instructions on the heel?

if so, the whole lot is GUILTY
posted by pyramid termite at 10:29 AM on July 11 [8 favorites]


Betsy DeVos meets with ‘men’s rights’ activists

Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning (to hate women)?
posted by zombieflanders at 10:29 AM on July 11 [113 favorites]


The Trumps are a crime family, why are they so bad at crime??? Ridiculous.

They're also a casino family bad at casinos, a hotel family bad at hotels, a "Christian" family that has trouble honoring the ten commandments...

Someone else can take and make more of these. I'm tired.
posted by deezil at 10:29 AM on July 11 [51 favorites]


Metafilter (politics threads): Someone else can take and make more of these. I'm tired.
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:31 AM on July 11 [71 favorites]


I do not, under any circumstances, believe that Junior's meeting with Russia will do anything to remove President Trump from office or weaken his standing with the Congressional GOP.

However, it would bring me no greater joy than to see President Trump's favorite boy end up as the greasy stain on the floor that makes Trump crash and break.
posted by Tevin at 10:31 AM on July 11 [12 favorites]


Metafilter (mods of politics threads): I'm tired.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:32 AM on July 11 [25 favorites]


The Trumps are a crime family, why are they so bad at crime??? Ridiculous.

Because America is set up to support, forgive, ignore, and generally celebrate criminals who call themselves businesspeople.
posted by maxsparber at 10:32 AM on July 11 [70 favorites]


I can't tell satire from "reality" scripting anymore.
posted by infini at 10:34 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


When is the next mass protest in DC going to take place? I need to do SOMETHING to express my outrage, beyond calling my Senator/House Rep to say thanks for doing things I agree with and speaking out against this travesty.

It's unfathomable that this is where we are now, and so fast too. The G20 stuff with the US on the outside. Japan just announced they are holding TPP talks without the US. How did five months see such a decline of leadership?
posted by gemmy at 10:34 AM on July 11 [10 favorites]


Guys....I'm so ready to start poppin' corn with y'all and let the celebration begin...but it just feels like we've been down this road too many times before. I've become too jaded to accept that this latest revelation is necessarily going to lead somewhere.

Big revelations like this, developed separately by the press (and then by moronic participants), are never going to bring the administration down on their own. They just can't in this situation. Trump's just not a guy who's going to resign because of a damaging news story.

What they do is alter the media and political landscape, move the Overton Window. The crux to all of this is how comfortable congressional Republicans feel about blocking impeachment. When the Overton window moves to such a point that they feel like they're at risk if they defend him, then things can happen. Those things will probably be driven by the Mueller investigation, which is humming along quietly on its own track.

That's my read, anyway, based on what I know about the system in general and the way Watergate shook out in particular.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 10:34 AM on July 11 [77 favorites]


Over the past week, one senior White House official and a former top Trump campaign aide both independently and bluntly described the president’s son as an “idiot”
"Life's tough. Its even tougher if you're stupid" John Wayne — @DonaldJTrumpJr
posted by octobersurprise at 10:34 AM on July 11 [16 favorites]


Poor Jared Sexton: "I...worked on this story for a year...and...he just...he tweeted it out."

"This is the dumbest and biggest crime in the history of American politics. There's not even a close second."
posted by straight at 10:34 AM on July 11 [112 favorites]


Also: I know everyone is doing this anyway, but if you live in a place where your congressional delegation are Republicans, each of these big news events makes a great excuse to call them and tell them that this is inexcusable.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 10:36 AM on July 11 [19 favorites]


The Trumps are quintessential American nobility - all power, no nuance.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:36 AM on July 11 [3 favorites]


"Life's tough. Its even tougher if you're stupid" John Wayne — @DonaldJTrumpJr

The punchline is the comment below that.
Man Bartlett‏ @man 14h14 hours ago
Replying to @DonaldJTrumpJr

Also, not a John Wayne quote 😂
posted by jaduncan at 10:36 AM on July 11 [42 favorites]


"One thing that's so frustrating about this shit is that I spend dealing with impostor syndrome and trying to get things just so, while these fucking guys don't seem to have the slightest clue... "

One positive thing I got from this mess is that at work and in school, and life in general, every time I feel inadequate or incompetent I can just remind myself that trump taught me :

-that if you sound confident enough people won't know what you don't know
-that in most cases people who are determined to like you don't even want to know what you don't know
-that people's standards are waaaay lower than I thought

My work ethics have not suffered, but any performance anxiety I had is practically gone.
posted by Tarumba at 10:37 AM on July 11 [84 favorites]


The sad white people who voted for Trump don't care, and Republicans know that, so the Trumpening will continue. He'll finish out his term, rebrand Trump University as the Trump Foundation, and then we'll get to watch the media go crazy as he's indicted for fraud.
posted by betweenthebars at 10:37 AM on July 11 [6 favorites]


I'm reading this book called The Charisma Myth right now and it's scary how much people will automatically buy anything if you say it confidently, no matter what it is.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:38 AM on July 11 [33 favorites]


My previous take might have been deleted, but I'm not convinced DT jr's actions are so much stupid as they are self-destructive in a way that punishes his father, and might include additional dire actions on his part.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 10:39 AM on July 11 [3 favorites]


I'm reading this book called The Charisma Myth right now and it's scary how much people will automatically buy anything if you say it confidently, no matter what it is.

Great, somebody tell the DNC.
posted by Autumnheart at 10:39 AM on July 11 [34 favorites]


Donald Trump Jr. must have known that the emails were coming out, and quick, so he decided to get ahead of the tsunami. Still, this is un-freakin-believable.

Hoist him on his petard! And quick!
posted by kuatto at 10:39 AM on July 11 [3 favorites]


{briefly takes break from shitstorm that is Brexit in the UK and ambles back into a US election thread}

Huh; he's still POTUS. Dammit. Though the betting markets predict ... conflicting things regarding his tenure.

{returns back to the country disintegrating on the other side of the Atlantic}
posted by Wordshore at 10:39 AM on July 11 [13 favorites]


I don't know how to react to this. Like, in the place in my brain where the reaction normally would be, there's just a big empty field.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:40 AM on July 11 [49 favorites]


I'm reading this book called The Charisma Myth right now and it's scary how much people will automatically buy anything if you say it confidently, no matter what it is.

People seem automatically wired to seek out the easiest way to get ahead. No one needs to think about anything if they just take people at their word, or just feel good about them.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:41 AM on July 11 [2 favorites]


!!!BCRA RED ALERT!!!

McConnell has cancelled the first two weeks of the Senate's August recess [tweet].
posted by melissasaurus at 10:41 AM on July 11 [68 favorites]


A bunch of people are replaying to Jared Sexton's tweets with offers to send him some booze money.
posted by azpenguin at 10:41 AM on July 11 [4 favorites]


"Life's tough. Its even tougher if you're stupid" John Wayne — @DonaldJTrumpJr

The punchline is the comment below that.


That photo further down of the Trump lads...is that a Photoshop??
posted by orrnyereg at 10:42 AM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Because America is set up to support, forgive, ignore, and generally celebrate criminals who call themselves businesspeople are white men.
posted by JohnFromGR at 10:42 AM on July 11 [48 favorites]


Also, remember: Watergate took over two years to shake out.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 10:42 AM on July 11 [14 favorites]


McConnell has cancelled the first two weeks of the Senate's August recess

@JoePWilliams31: "Sen. Blunt, a member of GOP leadership, told me 15 minutes before this announcement it would never happen."

This will go over extremely poorly.
posted by zachlipton at 10:42 AM on July 11 [24 favorites]


dances_with_sneetches: William Henry Harrison: 32 days.
Donald John Trump: 172 days and counting.
James Garfield: 200 days.


Harrison: died of pneumonia in 1841.
Garfield: assassinated in 1881; the second of four Presidents to be assassinated, following Abraham Lincoln.

Trump: unfit for office, but this rusty icebreaker won't be retired from duty until the GOP can break enough of the ice on which we all stand, and which blocks their path to more money for themselves and the lobbyists who support them.

The better parallel might be Bill Clinton's impeachment process: he made remarks including response to Monica Lewinsky scandal on January 26, 1998. The impeachment process of Bill Clinton was initiated by the House of Representatives on December 19, 1998. Clinton was subsequently acquitted of these charges by the Senate on February 12, 1999, and two other impeachment articles – a second perjury charge and a charge of abuse of power – failed in the House.

Over a year from that first statement and the final actions in the Senate, and it looks like the whole impeachment process was relatively quick. The difference then was that there was a Republican majority, and the support for impeachment fell largely on party lines. Will the GOP act that fast when their own (Fools) Golden Boy is the one in question? There was a pretty clear fault along party lines when they held a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on the Russian intervention in the 2016 election, back in May 2017
Democrats quizzed former Obama administration officials on Russia, how former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn had been "compromised" and how the White House officials conducted themselves when confronted with the information.

Republicans wanted to know how the information got out in the first place.
And they asked about the travel ban, which was another topic that wasn't supposed to be central to that discussion.

In other words, I look forward to an impeachment process where the GOP asks about what Obama should have done and when, and whatever might be the off-topic topic of the day, while the Dems try to keep on topic, then get talked over. Will the process wrap up before the next wave of elections? Sadly, I'm hoping not, and happily, I don't think they'll get there unless there are strong ties between Trump Jr. (and everyone else) and President Trump.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:43 AM on July 11 [6 favorites]


MRAs are just another form of alt-right human garbage, so this move by DeVos fails to surprise.

(These fuckers, under the name CAFE, have done their part fucking up the MMIW which is currently crashing and burning today)
posted by Yowser at 10:43 AM on July 11 [10 favorites]


Talking Points Memo: Philip Bump at the Post just flagged this Trump speech from June 7th, four days after Don Goldstone’s first contact with Don Jr and two days before the meeting at Trump Tower on June 9th.

Trump promises big news about Hillary Clinton’s crimes in a speech on “probably” June 13th.”

posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:43 AM on July 11 [59 favorites]


the phlegmatic king: Also, remember: Watergate took over two years to shake out.

That's only because 1) there was no public internet at that point, and thus 2) no Twitter, which wouldn't even matter, because 3) Nixon didn't hire his own kids to run his treason plots.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:44 AM on July 11 [27 favorites]


They're going to try and take away 24 millions people's healthcare before more treason can come to light.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:45 AM on July 11 [87 favorites]


What they do is alter the media and political landscape, move the Overton Window.

So I've been wondering this - Mueller's gonna have to run a Truth and Reconciliation hearing, right? Or like a fancy explainer on every TV channel along with Netflix and Hulu? Who is the window actually moving for? Members of Congress, suckers like us who have given our lives over to the "X new comments, show" alert?



Won't a typical American be in for some terrible whiplash? I'm thinking of specific people I know who I imagine wouldn't even know what to do with the concept of Don Jr talking about getting oppo from the Russian government. If they ever hear about this sometime this week, they'll just ignore it as some weird story, and they'd certainly never thought of such a thing or the implications of what it all means. They just have no frame of reference for all this OMNIGATE stuff. How will this all shake out?
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 10:45 AM on July 11 [13 favorites]


Donnie J's superposition into the shit soup is now making it kind of impossible to keep straight. I wonder how Mueller's team is organizing their whiteboards.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:45 AM on July 11 [2 favorites]


David Kravets/Ars Technica: Twitter users blocked by Trump sue, claim @realDonaldTrump is public forum
A handful of Twitter users, backed by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, sued President Donald Trump on Tuesday, claiming their constitutional rights are being violated because the president has blocked them from his @realDonaldTrump handle.

The suit claims that Trump's Twitter feed is a public forum and an official voice of the president. Excluding people from reading or replying to his tweets—especially because they tweeted critical comments—amounts to a First Amendment breach, according to the lawsuit.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:46 AM on July 11 [101 favorites]


McConnell is probably freaking out because he wants to get a bill done while Trump is still there to sign it. And Pence is hoping they don't look under too many rocks as well, because he's dirty too. They're all dirty.
posted by azpenguin at 10:47 AM on July 11 [15 favorites]


I wonder how Mueller's team is organizing their whiteboards.

Jackson Pollock painting.
posted by zarq at 10:48 AM on July 11 [43 favorites]


Maybe just charge (and try, convict, guillotine, etc) Ivanka, Eric, Donnie J, and Elder T all as one unit to avoid confusion.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:49 AM on July 11 [5 favorites]


Trump promises big news about Hillary Clinton’s crimes in a speech on “probably” June 13th.”

There's also the June 9th reply to the infamous "Delete your account!" tweet with "Where are your 33,000 emails you deleted" about 15 minutes after the meeting was supposed to have ended.
posted by TwoWordReview at 10:49 AM on July 11 [16 favorites]


> McConnell is probably freaking out because he wants to get a bill done while Trump is still there to sign it.

It's like a movie where the hero is racing against time to re-fuse a bomb.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:49 AM on July 11 [82 favorites]


McConnell has cancelled the first two weeks of the Senate's August recess

It's because he's already convincing "moderates" to make the BRCA even worse.

Remember, the idea that there are "NeverTrumpers," or moderates in any real sense of the word, in Congress is a myth that conservatives are trying sell you so that they can pull the same BS (but with a nicer name) if Trump is gone. Substantively, there is not one lick of difference between them and all the other evil pieces of shit.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:50 AM on July 11 [46 favorites]


mueller's entire staff is sitting on top of a flipped conference table, drinking from the bottle and throwing paper airplanes made from unfinished subpeonas
posted by murphy slaw at 10:50 AM on July 11 [77 favorites]


Trump might fuck up bourbon for you too

Only if you're European though. The surplus glut should lower prices in the US, where the luxury bourbon business has lately been sagging already as the fad dies away.

Anyway, having recently been in Bourbon country in Kentucky, that's a bunch of Trump-loving people there, and not the poor whites we're told to pay attention to, but the ones with 400 acre horse farms and the like. I will be delighted to see their industry suffer. Alas I won't enjoy the lower prices, as I can not tolerate more than a few shots of bourbon before the sweetness disgusts me. The only whisky for me has no "e" in it. And no corn.
posted by spitbull at 10:50 AM on July 11 [12 favorites]


Like, in the place in my brain where the reaction normally would be, there's just a big empty field.

That was the field in which your fucks were grown. It's barren now :(

Anyway, I took a break from these threads, but of course I'm back now because WHAT. WHAT. I want to believe any of this matters, at all, but, like, I don't. Is there any reason we could or should expect anything to happen now or within the next week or so? Or is this all just more stuff to go in the ever-working mill of Mueller's investigation, which we will all, hopefully, one day see the results of?
posted by yasaman at 10:51 AM on July 11 [38 favorites]


Also in BCRA news, Sarah Kliff brings us Senate GOP health bill quietly brings back preexisting conditions
The Senate health care bill could once again allow insurance companies to offer some individuals plans that cover few benefits — and, in certain policies, exclude sick people entirely.

These changes result from a little-noticed provision that lets self-employed Americans opt out of the individual market and buy into the health plans that large employers provide, which have more lax regulatory standards.

Health policy experts at the Kaiser Family Foundation and Georgetown University have recently analyzed this provision, and concluded that these “small-business health plans” could siphon off healthy consumers.

These plans could, according to one analysis, “condition membership on the health status of small businesses” — including cases where the small business is a self-employed individual.
So healthy people get to be small businesses of one, sick people are the ones left on the individual market, premiums rise, death spiral, etc... Great system they're working on.
posted by zachlipton at 10:52 AM on July 11 [18 favorites]


[...] revelations like this, developed separately by the press (and then by moronic participants), are never going to bring the administration down on their own. [...] What they do is alter the media and political landscape, move the Overton Window.

And, I'm increasingly thinking, they exhaust and weaken and grind down his supporters. I know there's this idea that people who weren't turned off by all of his disgusting behavior (and treason) prior to this will be with him forever. But each of these revelations peels off a few more of those people, makes them less likely to vote during the midterms, less likely to pay attention to his calls to actions and attend his rallies, less likely to donate money to him, less likely to fight for him (via whatever means, including the worst case scenario). This news breaks through to some of them, and it makes them tired. It'll never be the lightning bolt that will strike him down but it's important, both to motivate us and to de-motivate his base.
posted by penduluum at 10:52 AM on July 11 [20 favorites]


David Kravets/Ars Technica: Twitter users blocked by Trump sue, claim @realDonaldTrump is public forum

Honestly....I kind of wish that it would be something like this that brings Trump down. Something small, under most radars, but unquestionably something that comes back to bite Trump in the ass in a way nearl poetic in its eloquence.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:53 AM on July 11 [24 favorites]


> I can not tolerate more than a few shots of bourbon before the sweetness disgusts me

I love bourbon, but after "more than a few shots" of any hard liquor it really doesn't matter what I'm drinking.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:54 AM on July 11 [25 favorites]


more stuff to go in the ever-working mill of Mueller's investigation

listen i know the wheels of justice turn slowly but grind exceedingly fine but at this point i am willing to settle for some HEARTY WHOLE-GRAIN JUSTICE if it would move things along
posted by murphy slaw at 10:56 AM on July 11 [196 favorites]


the wheels of justice turn slowly but grind exceedingly fine

Huh. I have never heard this as a complete phrase, nor have I ever examined the metaphor before. I learned something today. Thanks Trump Jr!
posted by Think_Long at 10:59 AM on July 11 [15 favorites]


Talking Points Memo: Philip Bump at the Post just flagged this Trump speech from June 7th, four days after Don Goldstone’s first contact with Don Jr and two days before the meeting at Trump Tower on June 9th.

Trump promises big news about Hillary Clinton’s crimes in a speech on “probably” June 13th.”


That timing (and more) was also noted by Seth Abramson in his twitter thread, which is really thoughtful about what else was going on (at Toddler Tower), which I'll quote some of here:
(1) Don Jr. was there. He first lied and said there was no meeting, then he said there was and lied about its content, then he "came clean."
...

(13) Kushner had spoken with Sergey Kislyak by phone in April. Manafort had spoken in person with Kislyak at the Mayflower Hotel that month.

(15) Manafort at this point was just *weeks* away from lying on TV about whether he met with Russians at the RNC to change the GOP platform.

(17) Soon after the June 9 meeting with a Russian agent at toddler Tower Manafort met twice with an ex-Russian solder. He did not disclose it.

(19) Despite this, Don Jr. says he never told Kushner and Manafort they would be meeting with a Russian and they never pressed him for info.

(21) This is a good time to note neither Don Jr., Kushner, nor Manafort would ever breathe a word of this meeting to anyone for over a year.

(23) Moreover, we know from Politico that Trump was "hunkered with his advisers," including Manafort and Kushner, discussing anti-HRC intel.

(25) At some point during the day, Don Jr., Manafort, and Kushner excused themselves from their dad's/boss's company to meet with a Russian.

(27) This despite the fact they were related to and/or working for Trump, in his house, discussing the same topic as their upcoming meeting.

(29) So according to Don Jr., they heard out this Russian agent (who'd set the meeting under false pretenses, grr!) for around a half hour.

(31) And we now know what the Trumps, Kushner, and Manafort spent the rest of the day doing: writing a major speech about... anti-HRC intel.

(33) So Trump instead gave on June 22 the "anti-HRC" speech that he, Don Jr., Kushner, and Manafort had prepared at toddler Tower on June 9 .

(35) In America we say "blackmail." But what Trump wrote while a Russian agent with anti-HRC intel was in toddler Tower said "blackmail file."

(39) The week Goldstone was hanging out with toddler Sr. and Don Jr. in Moscow is the week Steele's dossier says Putin got kompromat on toddler.

N.B. That was actually the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, November 2013.

(45) Trump's *friendship* with the men who set up the meeting Goldstone and Agalarov makes it unthinkable Don Jr. hid the meeting from him.

(47) That means if now-President toddler was really at the June 9 meeting or on speaker-phone during it he also committed "close to treason."

(49) Social media data from Goldstone confirms the toddler Tower meeting was in the afternoon on June 9, when toddler Sr. was in the building.

I have to say it would be unreasonable to believe that Trump skipped this meeting, in his own Tower.

He should be smart enough to distance himself .... but he's not.
posted by Dashy at 11:00 AM on July 11 [43 favorites]


If ever there was a time for someone to say '"screw it" and livestream Sarah Sanders' off-camera briefing, it's right now.
posted by zachlipton at 11:00 AM on July 11 [41 favorites]


"Who's this Trump Jr. guy? Never heard of him. Hell, I wouldn't recognize him if we were in the same room." - President Trump
posted by Sangermaine at 11:02 AM on July 11 [7 favorites]


murphy slaw: listen i know the wheels of justice turn slowly but grind exceedingly fine but at this point i am willing to settle for some HEARTY WHOLE-GRAIN JUSTICE if it would move things along

"(Willing to settle for) Hearty whole grain justice" is either the name of my new band, or the sign I carry at the next protest.
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:04 AM on July 11 [25 favorites]


It should be noted that the email was sent to Don Jr only because Don Sr doesn't use email and it was thought to be too sensitive to go thru Rhona, his secretary.
Of course it was for him, all things are fed to the giant ego.

>This via Susan Simpson of The View from LL2 blog<>
posted by readery at 11:04 AM on July 11 [18 favorites]


The revelation of these emails immediately sent shockwaves through the White House.

At this point the White House is an unbaffled circular water bed from the seventies surrounded by velvet black light posters of Trump, Putin and face eating leopards.
posted by srboisvert at 11:05 AM on July 11 [22 favorites]


It's like a movie where the hero is racing against time to re-fuse a bomb.

Except in this case, re-fuse means not refusing and not throwing out with the refuse.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:06 AM on July 11 [3 favorites]


I'm so tired of all these miserable idiots, can we bury them under a volcano yet
posted by theodolite at 11:07 AM on July 11 [13 favorites]


Re: Vamper Trump (aww, and we thought HE was the dumb one)
Eric's brother-in-law Jared Kushner officiated the wedding, telling Yunaska, "You are not just gaining a family, you are getting six million Twitter followers."

WHY ARE THEY SO GROSS? I can't. I just fucking can't with these people. I now get physically ill when I hear Cheeto on NPR, and this shit? I mean come on. Can we just not? I know nothing's going to happen because they've been setting us up for this shit for years now, people are just gleefully letting them burn the house down and no one is coming to save us, least of all Sanders and his ilk. I am just so frustrated I could scream. The Lucy/football comparison is so, so apt.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 11:07 AM on July 11 [18 favorites]


Argh. DailyKos skipped the even-numbered tweets. The whole thread is here, and the important parts are:
22) But all that is just the prelude, because we *also* now know that now-President Trump was in Trump Tower as this meeting was happening.

(23) Moreover, we know from Politico that Trump was "hunkered with his advisers," including Manafort and Kushner, discussing anti-HRC intel.

(24) So Trump was in a building he owns—with his sons and his manager—discussing the very topic (anti-HRC intel) Don Jr's meeting was about.

(25) At some point during the day, Don Jr., Manafort, and Kushner excused themselves from their dad's/boss's company to meet with a Russian.

(26) According to Don Jr., none of the three men told Trump where they were going, or who they met with, and *still* hadn't *as of today*.

(27) This despite the fact they were related to and/or working for Trump, in his house, discussing the same topic as their upcoming meeting.

(28) This is a good time to note that when news of the meeting came out, Trump's attorneys called the whole thing a *Democratic conspiracy*.

(29) So according to Don Jr., they heard out this Russian agent (who'd set the meeting under false pretenses, grr!) for around a half hour.

(30) They then went back to their dad/boss and continued discussing the same topic they'd just been discussing with an agent of the Kremlin.

(31) And we now know what the Trumps, Kushner, and Manafort spent the rest of the day doing: writing a major speech about... anti-HRC intel.

(32) Trump initially said he'd give the speech—which he announced that day (June 9)—on June 13. Then the Pulse nightclub shooting happened.

(33) So Trump instead gave—on June 22—the "anti-HRC" speech that he, Don Jr., Kushner, and Manafort had prepared at Trump Tower on June 9 .

(34) During that speech he claimed "enemies" of the U.S. had a "blackmail file" on Clinton—clearly using a Russian phrasing for "kompromat."

(35) In America we say "blackmail." But what Trump wrote while a Russian agent with anti-HRC intel was in Trump Tower said "blackmail file."

(very sorry, mods)
posted by Dashy at 11:09 AM on July 11 [44 favorites]


I can not tolerate more than a few shots of bourbon before the sweetness disgusts me

Drunk or sober Walter Payton's a saint.
posted by srboisvert at 11:10 AM on July 11 [13 favorites]


Here's my favorite part that doesn't seem to be mentioned in this thread yet:

The email chain from Rob Goldstone to Jr. says "The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras and they offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be useful to your father. This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump — helped along by Aras and Emin."

Emin is Emin Agalarov, who connected Jr. to Natalia Veselnitskaya, the lawyer the Three Stooges met with. Aras is his father Aras (or Araz) Agalarov, who is mentioned in the famous dossier:

"Two knowledgeable St Petersburg sources claim Republican candidate TRUMP has paid bribes and engaged in sexual activities there but key witnesses silenced and evidence hard to obtain Both believe Azeri business associate of TRUMP, Araz AGALAROV will know the details"

"The two St Petersburg figures cited believed an Azeri business figure, Araz AGALAROV (with offices in Baku and London) had been closely involved with TRUMP in Russia and would know most of the details of what the Republican presidential candidate had got up to there."

Which means ... the doomsday clock just moved a few seconds closer to PISSTAPE O'CLOCK
posted by penduluum at 11:10 AM on July 11 [34 favorites]


The state visit to London, with the carriage ride and all the pageantry Trump demands, has been postponed to sometime next year, I guess, maybe, due to a "scheduling conflict."

Which is a really weird typo for "because nobody wants him there."
posted by zachlipton at 11:10 AM on July 11 [81 favorites]


Intel, instead of the dirty condom, they got risotto recipe...
posted by Oyéah at 11:11 AM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Surely this.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 11:12 AM on July 11 [7 favorites]


The mistake isn't thinking the piss tape exists. The mistake is thinking it'll make the tiniest difference. If the piss tape comes out, it'll be called a positive development: "Well, now the Russians no longer have leverage. Brilliant strategic move by the President."
posted by Behemoth at 11:14 AM on July 11 [18 favorites]


>Surely this.

lol no

There is not "this."

"This" will never happen.

The only "this" is followed by "is our country now" because these scandals are only setting a new precedent for acceptable behavior for a President.
posted by Tevin at 11:16 AM on July 11 [28 favorites]


    Russia wasn't involved in the election at all, they're just a boogeyman!
    Okay maybe Trump & his sons and his campaign managers and future cabinet members met with Russians a few times, but so what?
    Alright it was more than a few times, and they failed to disclose a lot of those times, but who says these meetings had anything to do with collusion?
    Sure, maybe the Russians were offering to help with the campaign a bit, but it's not like anyone in Trump's camp took a meeting knowing this! They were ambushed!
    Fine, maybe they knew the Russians were offering damaging info on the opposition, but come on, you would jump at the chance in their position!
    And besides, Trump knew nothing about what goes on in his own campaign! He was a totally isolated figurehead!
    And even if he wasn't, who cares? MAGA!
    Besides, all of this is fine because the US does it too! If the US meddles in the integrity of foreign elections that means we have no right to protect ourselves from foreign influence! Better to have a compromised government than be a hypocrite, am I right people? America first!
    Clinton was an incompetent, corrupt liar - that's why I voted for Trump! But all you hypocrites need to stop criticizing Trump for being an incompetent, corrupt liar - don't you realize Clinton was just as bad?
    This is all FAKE NEWS anyway - yeah yeah, anonymous sources have been the bedrock of quality journalism for centuries, but if the reputation of a tacky real estate billionaire is on the line I'll gladly throw the fourth estate under a bus. Sure he'd sell me out for a second scoop of ice cream, but so what? What matters is he's trashing our country and that makes some people I don't like upset. Worth it!
    Oh, our intelligence agencies say it happened? Psh, come back when you have some real evidence. You've just got circumstantial evidence interpreted through a lens of suspicion and bitterness - not exactly persuasive to a skeptic like myself! By the way Seth Rich was killed by the DNC, a greentext on /pol/ told me so.
    Why didn't Obama do more about this, I wonder? All he did was seize Russian compounds, expel their ambassadors, publicly criticize them and plant cyber weapons in their infrastructure. Why didn't he cause a national panic and halt the election? American democracy is tainted thanks to your wuss-in-chief! What's that? Trump should stand up to Russia now, hold them accountable and stop them from doing it again? Dude, chill the fuck out and let this nothing burger go already.
    Even if Trump did in fact lie to our faces for six months, use us as tools to attack the integrity of the press, undermine the reputation of our nation's institutions to protect his own skin and make fools out of every last starry-eyed follower to trust his rotten word, who cares? It's not like he did anything illegal.
    Trump colluding with the Russians was actually patriotic because it saved the country from Hitlery.
posted by Sangermaine at 11:16 AM on July 11 [120 favorites]


What are the odds Trump, following his brilliant son's example, gets ahead of the New York Times by releasing the piss tape himself?
posted by spitbull at 11:16 AM on July 11 [9 favorites]






@adamgoldmanNYT: Update 2: I am still reporting.

7 minutes ago. This is only very slightly less annoying than the ticking.
posted by zachlipton at 11:17 AM on July 11 [12 favorites]


And I was just about to go get some work done...
posted by TwoWordReview at 11:18 AM on July 11


Fox News (yes, Fox News): Donald Trump Jr. releases 'entire email chain' regarding Russian meeting

Warning: autoplay video with talking head. But here's the meat and potatoes:

Donald Trump Jr. on Tuesday released what he said was the “entire email chain” of his conversations setting up a disputed meeting [?] with a Russian attorney, showing what appeared to be an offer to provide information that would “incriminate” Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
[...] The email disclosure is likely to embolden critics of President Trump and those attempting to link his campaign to alleged collusion with Russian officials.
[...] There is nothing contained in the emails to suggest Trump Jr. was informed of the larger alleged Russian effort to meddle in the U.S. presidential election.


I don't understand either of the phrases I bolded. What's a "disputed meeting"? Hasn't everyone agreed now that it did happen? The people who were disputing it were ... well, lying. And what do you mean, "attempting to link"? Attempting?
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:19 AM on July 11 [10 favorites]


If the piss tape exists and becomes viewable online, I think it would be hard to overstate how damaging it could be. There's "I heard about collusion" damaging, and there's "I saw the President jerking off to pissing Russian escorts with my own two face eyes" damaging. It would be like the first episode of Black Mirror, except with zero sympathy for the protagonist.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:19 AM on July 11 [12 favorites]


Forget it, Jake, it's Fox News. At least aim for smaller fish in larger barrels.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:20 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


I disagree. I don't think that video would be any more damaging than the "grab 'em" video was.
posted by Autumnheart at 11:21 AM on July 11 [16 favorites]


At one point in the emails, Rob Goldstone says that Emin is "on stage in Moscow" on June 6, 2016. Out of curiosity, I tracked down that this is most likely about the Fashion People Awards 2016 where he was receiving an award (Youtube) and also performing (Periscope); at least, I think that's him performing, it's a really low-res video.

Anyways, it's pretty interesting that a good chunk of the email chain was about trying to set up a call and/or meeting between Don Jr. and Emin who, let's not forget, is a pop singer. Although, according to his Wikipedia entry is also somehow involved in his father Araz's real estate business, too.
posted by mhum at 11:22 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Im pretty certain we've covered this in previous threads wrt the pee-tapes but I think it definitely matters what exactly is on them - Twitler pissing on some Russian prostitutes? fits squarely in the category of shooting someone on 5th avenue or, you know, colluding with a foreign power to steal an election (as in, no consequences). If it, by some chance, features those prostitutes pissing ON HIM? then perhaps it might tarnish his supporters opinions/offend their sensibilities/break the image of him as some strongman enough for some action.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 11:23 AM on July 11 [3 favorites]


"I saw the President jerking off to pissing Russian escorts with my own two face eyes" damaging.

i will bet hard cash that if the tape exists and comes out, within minutes r/thedonald will be full of "tribute" videos posted to youtube
posted by murphy slaw at 11:23 AM on July 11 [8 favorites]


I don't think that video would be any more damaging than the "grab 'em" video was.

I tend to agree. And it shouldn't be. In fact, it should be less damaging. However much it might "help" our cause, I'm very uncomfortable making an issue out of the sexual practices of (theoretically) consenting adults. That's a world of difference from being recorded bragging about committing actual sexual assault.
posted by jammer at 11:23 AM on July 11 [32 favorites]


I just talked to one of my public defender freinds about Don Jr. being an idiot and how much his lawyer must hate life and his direct quote was: "Dude, this is my every day. I'll tell someone not to talk to anyone else but me and 15 minutes later they will be on the monitored jail phone confessing everything to their babymomma. Jr. is just another criminal defendant with way more money."
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:26 AM on July 11 [119 favorites]


I don't care whether he should be ashamed of and shamed by a consensual sex act (he shouldn't be); I care that he would be. I'm not proud of that fact, but that's where I am right now.
posted by penduluum at 11:26 AM on July 11 [7 favorites]


> Forget it, Jake, it's Fox News. At least aim for smaller fish in larger barrels.

Hey, at least they're reporting it!

Ok fine, here is something by Paul Krugman:
Donald Trump, the Siberian Candidate
If elected, would Donald Trump be Vladimir Putin’s man in the White House? This should be a ludicrous, outrageous question.

No, wait, that appears to be from July *last year*. How about this one:

Franklin Foer: Putin’s Puppet
If the Russian president could design a candidate to undermine American interests—and advance his own—he’d look a lot like Donald Trump.

Oh, that's also a year old now.

But hey, Fox News is catching up.
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:28 AM on July 11 [9 favorites]


...bourbon, on the other hand, is just a hipster fad and a good-ole-boy mainstay, right?

Wrong. Next question.
posted by Splunge at 11:29 AM on July 11 [21 favorites]


within minutes r/thedonald will be full of "tribute" videos posted to youtube

That would be the Reddit Event Horizon.
posted by spitbull at 11:29 AM on July 11 [6 favorites]


Trump's personal consensual sex acts may not be morally relevant, but they are politically relevant. Trump possibly allowing himself to be blackmailed and controlled by Putin is extremely morally relevant.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:32 AM on July 11 [36 favorites]


Top comment on r/the_donald ATM, in a thread titled "LEAKERS BTFO. Don Jr. dumps the entire email chain!":
Now the question is, how the fuck did they get it? NSA?
Might be some reading-comprehension issues over there.
posted by Coventry at 11:33 AM on July 11 [22 favorites]


It's not within my emotional capabilities to feel bad for any Republican brought low by his or her legal and/or consenting sexual practices.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:33 AM on July 11 [9 favorites]


Trump's personal consensual sex acts may not be morally relevant, but they are politically relevant. Trump possibly allowing himself to be blackmailed and controlled by Putin is extremely morally relevant.

But GOP and Trump voters are already okay with all of those things.
posted by Artw at 11:33 AM on July 11 [3 favorites]


What are the odds Trump, following his brilliant son's example, gets ahead of the New York Times by releasing the piss tape himself?

At the rate things are progressing, I fully expect Trump to do a live, hour-long reenactment of the piss tape, with himself and his entire family, on national television.

And what would they call that act? THE ARISTOCRATS.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:34 AM on July 11 [57 favorites]


Looking forward to finding out where R. Kelly will be heading as an ambassador.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:36 AM on July 11 [5 favorites]


McConnell confirms: New health care bill Thursday, CBO score early next week and vote on motion to proceed mid next week

They're still really going to try to ram TrumpCare through, treason or no treason.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:37 AM on July 11 [12 favorites]




I made the mistake of clicking into r/the_donald and the first post I see is headlined "TFW when Don Jr shuts it down by just posting the truth like a beast. Hillary your turn."

I fundamentally don't understand anything. I am lost in a corn maze of stupidity and brutality.
posted by prefpara at 11:38 AM on July 11 [130 favorites]


who talks like that
posted by murphy slaw at 11:39 AM on July 11 [39 favorites]


Okay, Don Jr. says he released the emails to be more transparent:
"The information they suggested they had about Hillary Clinton I thought was Political Opposition Research," Trump Jr. said in the Tuesday statement. "I first wanted to just have a phone call but when they didn’t work out, they said the woman would be in New York and asked if I would meet. I decided to take the meeting...As Rob Goldstone said just today in the press, the entire meeting was 'the most insane nonsense I ever heard. And I was actually agitated by it.'"
But the emails said, in part (emphasis mine):
The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father
This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump
Emin asked that I schedule a meeting with you and The Russian government attorney who is flying over from Moscow for this Thursday.
Lawyers of Metafilter, is there a legal distinction I'm missing here? Because "Crown prosecutor of Russia", "part of Russia and its government’s support" and "Russian government attorney" hardly sound like run-of-the-mill political oppo research that is definitely not connected to a government. And Junior HAS A LAWYER. Surely no remotely competent lawyer would let him release this stuff with his statement as he did, right? What am I missing?
posted by triggerfinger at 11:39 AM on July 11 [9 favorites]


They're also a casino family bad at casinos, a hotel family bad at hotels, a "Christian" family that has trouble honoring the ten commandments..

They are truly conservative in that there is no standard that they can't double.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:40 AM on July 11 [14 favorites]




It's sort of amazing that anybody wouldn't stop reading at "Crown Prosecutor of Russia".
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:41 AM on July 11 [16 favorites]


Surely no remotely competent lawyer would let him release this stuff with his statement as he did, right? What am I missing?

Even the best lawyer can only advise the client how to not be a complete fucking moron. The client still has to listen. Complete fucking morons rarely listen.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:42 AM on July 11 [25 favorites]


Excellent use of a Mariah Carey gif in the Jennifer Jacobs thread!
posted by orrnyereg at 11:42 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


It's sort of amazing that anybody wouldn't stop reading at "Crown Prosecutor of Russia".


A funny comment from t_d (I need to stop ending up there)
Hello Mr DONALD TRUMP JR my name is VLADIMIR RUSTINKSI of the Russian Crown. My father, mr Vladimir Putin was the late exporter of many documents related to Hillary Clinton. After his passed, he left in total the sum of $US TWO-HUNDRED FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS ($200,000,000) which I am requesting to be meeting with you in MOSCOW for exhange of these documents.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 11:43 AM on July 11 [77 favorites]


My Kirkland Signature cling wrap is a high-quality cling wrap and I applaud its transparency
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:43 AM on July 11 [97 favorites]


Are there any countries without an actual monarchy that even have a Crown Prosecutor?
posted by zachlipton at 11:45 AM on July 11


It's sort of amazing that anybody wouldn't stop reading at "Crown Prosecutor of Russia".

Yes, because Russia no longer has a Czar!!!

...or do they. #reallymakesuthink #thetruthisoutthere
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:46 AM on July 11 [3 favorites]


It's still a witch hunt even if it turns up actual witches, right?
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:47 AM on July 11 [3 favorites]


> 'then they had to go and blow the whole thing by winning'

Funnily enough, I was talking to the wife about this just last night.

'Well... Talk about bad taste!'
posted by Myeral at 11:47 AM on July 11 [2 favorites]


(34) During that speech he claimed "enemies" of the U.S. had a "blackmail file" on Clinton—clearly using a Russian phrasing for "kompromat."


Can someone explain this? I'm a Russian speaker and I thought kompromat simply stands for compromizing materials. I don't see how it would be "blackmail file", which seems to be just a file with blackmail data?
posted by rainy at 11:47 AM on July 11 [4 favorites]


One more detail not noted yet: ProPublica pointed out that an AP reporter spotted obvious anagram Reince Priebus going into Trump Tower on the day of the meeting with the Russian lawyer.
posted by neroli at 11:48 AM on July 11 [23 favorites]


Are there any countries without an actual monarchy that even have a Crown Prosecutor?

I think that that was a translation/usage error for "state prosecutor" because Rob Goldstone, who wrote the email, is British (where they do still have a monarchy).
posted by dhens at 11:48 AM on July 11 [9 favorites]


Kompromat is collected in order to blackmail or undermine the target, no?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:48 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Sarah Huckabee Sanders reads a statement from Trump: "My son is a high-quality person and I applaud his transparency." -- @JenniferJJacobs, Bloomberg White House Correspondent

How fucking insane is it that the White House told the press they were no longer allowed to make audio or video recordings of any comments made by the press secretary during official press briefings and the press is just willingly going along with it?
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:49 AM on July 11 [75 favorites]


Basically, the timeline reads like this:
Trump team before the meeting: Oh boy oh boy oh boy this is gonna be epic!

Russian lawyer at meeting: Someday, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me.

Trump team at meeting: Adoptions? Sanctions? Huh? I thought we were getting the good stuff today.
It's like they were too dumb to even see the implicit quid pro quo.
posted by stopgap at 11:49 AM on July 11 [30 favorites]


Which means ... the doomsday clock just moved a few seconds closer to PISSTAPE O'CLOCK

Reminder that Fredo also set up sexual entertainment to show a visiting American a good time.
Senator Pat Geary: Freddie, that thing can't be real.
Fredo Corleone: Sure it is. That's why they call him Superman.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:50 AM on July 11 [6 favorites]


In America business comes first. That's why our czar is bizarre.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:50 AM on July 11 [2 favorites]


One more detail not noted yet: ProPublica pointed out that an AP reporter spotted obvious anagram Reince Priebus going into Trump Tower on the day of the meeting with the Russian lawyer.
posted by neroli at 13:48 on July 11

Hello from yesterday
posted by fluttering hellfire at 11:50 AM on July 11 [5 favorites]


I am honestly terrified that Trump Jr's bullshit, AS IMPORTANT AS IT IS, is going to eclipse the GOP effort to ram Trumpcare down our throats.

Any insights on what their plans are going to be? Do you think they'll be able to change the scoring by manipulating the way the CBO is allowed to score the plan? How steadfast is moderate opposition? How fucked are we? *hides*
posted by orangutan at 11:51 AM on July 11 [9 favorites]


I think that that was a translation/usage error for "state prosecutor" because Rob Goldstone, who wrote the email, is British (where they do still have a monarchy).

Yeah, it would be like an American referring to the Russian prosecutor general as the "attorney general."
posted by stopgap at 11:51 AM on July 11 [5 favorites]


How fucked are we?

Well and truly fucked.
posted by e1c at 11:53 AM on July 11 [6 favorites]


Sarah Huckabee Sanders reads a statement from Trump: "My son is a high-quality person and I applaud his transparency." -- @JenniferJJacobs, Bloomberg White House Correspondent

This is definitely something a real human who is not a sociopath or robot says about their real-life son.
posted by dis_integration at 11:54 AM on July 11 [125 favorites]


I think they are just going to bring it up for a vote, and if it loses it loses, and then they move on to the debt ceiling.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:54 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Just ran through a local news thread with a lot of Trump supporters in it (and a lot of non-supporters, so it wasn't a complete dumpster fire), and the Trump supporters really don't seem to understand that when you post a document incriminating you in a crime, that doesn't make you innocent. It proves your guilt.

They honestly seem to think that hiding the information is the bad thing and that being "transparent" about doing it is exonerating. No, that's not how it works.
posted by Autumnheart at 11:55 AM on July 11 [68 favorites]




How fucked are we?

Twenty fucks, same as in town.
posted by delfin at 11:57 AM on July 11 [58 favorites]


They honestly seem to think...

You're giving them too much credit.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:57 AM on July 11 [14 favorites]


Something occurred to me about TrumpCare the other day.

One style of protest that has been popular for decades, and remains popular today, is called a "die-in." In a die-in, protesters lie down on the ground en masse and pretend to be dead, in representation of people who have died or will die as a result of the protested agenda.

If TrumpCare passes, I think die-ins might become disturbingly literal.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:58 AM on July 11 [6 favorites]


>..is that a Photoshop??

Surely it HAS to be???
posted by Myeral at 11:58 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]


AARGH PERP WALKS for everyone! Donny Sr. and Jr. in matching orange jumpsuits and shiny bracelets, hobbling toward the court doors! Priebus desperately trying to cover his face from the cameras. Manafort and Kushner being jostled as the U.S. Marshals barely hold back the angry mob. Stephen Miller, Kellyanne Conway and Sarah Sanders already in the stocks as small children throw rotten tomatoes at their smarmy, lying heads. Accompanied by Jamie Dimon and the Bundy family, why not.

A finally - FINALLY - humbled Pence resigns tearfully in disgrace, his wife finally deciding she's had enough of his shit and refusing to stand beside him under the Klieg lights. Bannon goes back to being passed out in a gutter somewhere. McConnell's own entrails rebel against him. Alex Jones is forced to retire due to risk of apoplexy. A sulfurous crack opens in the earth's crust and reclaims Roger Stone.

I ask you, is that really too much to hope for?
posted by darkstar at 11:58 AM on July 11 [66 favorites]


Slate: Is Donald Trump Jr. guilty of treason? Probably not, but he likely committed this other crime.

"As nothing-burgers go, this one's a Whopper."

posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:59 AM on July 11 [4 favorites]


obvious anagram Reince Priebus

There is nothing goddamn obvious about it. It generates, like many strings of characters, numerous anagrams, none of which seem particularly apt. Is that the joke?
posted by thelonius at 12:01 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]


I just heard the spin from Fox news on my drive home; the tack they're taking is that if this woman was really a government representative from Russia, Obama should've done something about it. That would be interesting multitasking seeing as how the office of the FBI tasked with counterintelligence in the New York area was hot on the case of Her Emails.
posted by Captain l'escalier at 12:01 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]


You're giving them too much credit.

With both "honestly" and "think."
posted by kirkaracha at 12:01 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Listen, no matter what happens, we need to be able to connect Mike Pence to something. Because there's no way he didn't know, and he cannot get off scot-free.
posted by triggerfinger at 12:02 PM on July 11 [14 favorites]


East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:32 PM: Trump's personal consensual sex acts...

So everybody seems to be assuming "the piss tape" (if it exists) would involve something resembling consent, like this was a couple well paid college age escorts agreeing to a little piss play for extra money.

But you've got strong hints of Trump's predilection for underage girls, history of violence towards women, disgust with female bodily functions, and the strong likelihood that the "escorts" were provided by Russian intelligence and/or organized crime with the express intent to compromise Trump. So, that's not really setting a scene in which "consent" features prominently.

I guess my imagination is darker than yours.
posted by dirge at 12:02 PM on July 11 [70 favorites]


About Trumpcare:

At Tuesdays with Toomey* today, an 80 year old cancer survivor celebrated her birthday by staging a die in in the middle of a busy Philly street. She was joined by members of ADAPT. I had to leave so I'm not sure yet if there were arrests.

If that doesn't spur you on to call your senator, I don't know what will.

*the weekly protest outside Senator Toomey's offices across PA
posted by mcduff at 12:03 PM on July 11 [31 favorites]


Today is the 213th anniversary of Hamilton's dual with Burr (it's also Prime Day, but Alexa doesn't have anything to say about Don Jr., I asked).

Which leads me to ask how the hell the Presidency went from Washington's Farewell Address to "My son is a high-quality person and I applaud his transparency."
posted by zachlipton at 12:05 PM on July 11 [18 favorites]


Lawyers of Metafilter, is there a legal distinction I'm missing here?

Enh, I'd say there's wiggle room. You have a non-governmental person saying so-and-so works for the government, and that the government is doing such-and-such. It's not a government person saying the government is doing that. It's a statement from someone (seemingly) without real authority who may or may not know what he's talking about.

Obviously, it's not helpful, and I doubt it was vetted for release, but on its own, you can probably poke some holes in it.

All of which is intended not as legal advice, but as musing on a hypothetical, academic question.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:07 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


>> obvious anagram Reince Priebus
> There is nothing goddamn obvious about it ... is that the joke?


It's just a nickname. From back in 2013, Charlie Pierce: Obvious anagram Reince Priebus, figurehead high priest of the Silly Party, has decided to butch himself up again. Or here are Stephen Colbert and Samantha Bee in 2016.
posted by RedOrGreen at 12:07 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Obvious Anagram Reince Priebus is a nickname sourced from National Treasure Charles Pierce of Esquire, signifying that while we're not sure what "Reince Priebus" anagrams into, it is clearly an anagram of SOMETHING because it bears no similarities with any other names thus concocted in the King's English, even by movie stars or musicians. It is a jumble of letters that triggers just enough of an Actual Name uncanny valley to strike one's forebrain accordingly.
posted by delfin at 12:09 PM on July 11 [147 favorites]


On Sunday msalt suggested that we call our on Senators to introduce legislation to prevent the executive from sharing any classified information about election tampering and cybersecurity with the Russian government. The last couple of days have been a great impetus for developing some talking points along these lines:
  • Executive should be statutorily prohibited from sharing classified information on election related cybersecurity
  • Members of the Trump campaign have been repeatedly caught in lies about their contacts with Russian government agents
    • Donald Trump asked the Russians to hack and release Hillary Clinton's emails
    • Donald Trump has repeatedly lied about his relationship with Vladimir Putin
    • Donald Trump has betrayed highly classified intelligence to Russian officials
    • Michael Flynn discussed sanctions with Kislyak before the inauguration
    • Donald Trump Jr. has admitted to meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer, after being told the Russian government supported his father's campaign, to obtain damaging material on Hillary Clinton
    • Jared Kushner has had numerous undisclosed meetings with Russian officials
    • Jared Kushner attempted to set up a private communication channel with the Russian government to avoid US surveillance
    • Jefferson B. Sessions III has lied about his contacts with Russian officials
    • Paul Manafort has been linked to the Putin-backed regime in Ukraine and has apparently taken millions of dollars from them
  • Given these many connections as well as others too numerous to lay out, the executive cannot be trusted to work with Russia on anything involving cybersecurity and elections.
  • Please introduce legislation to prevent the executive from working on Trump's promised joint effor with Russia to collaborate on cybersecurity and election integrity
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 12:09 PM on July 11 [43 favorites]


I ask you, is that really too much to hope for?

You forgot the next part, in which Chief Justice Roberts swears in Paul "the granny-starver" Ryan as the 46th President of the United States.
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:10 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


obvious anagram Reince Priebus

There is nothing goddamn obvious about it. It generates, like many strings of characters, numerous anagrams, none of which seem particularly apt. Is that the joke?


Yes, but what do you think of these beans?
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:11 PM on July 11 [9 favorites]


At this point, I think Trump's ultimate defense is saying, "Yeah, I did it. So what?" and hoping the answer is "not enough people to matter."

That's if shouting "Fake news!" doesn't work.

And really, "fake news" is a brilliant term for the mixture of outright lies, exaggerations, contextless irrelevancies, unrepresentative anecdotes, and other bullshit that Fox News has been putting out for years. It almost makes me wish Democrats had thought of just dismissing it all as "fake news" instead of trying getting bogged down responding and explaining, "Well, that's inaccurate, that's an exaggeration, that didn't actually happen, that myth has been disproven by this data, etc." Except as we can from Trump's useage it's a rhetorical strategy that disproves way too much.
posted by straight at 12:12 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


Provenance unknown (PBS? Dr. Dave Solot?), but if true, one hell of a picture (Trump, Cohen, Agalarov, Goldstone, Veselnistkaya)
posted by Dashy at 12:14 PM on July 11 [21 favorites]


>I can give you power, but you must give me your first born!

>Fine, he's an idiot. What could go wrong?

This deal with the devil isn't going so well, dealmaker.
posted by adept256 at 12:14 PM on July 11 [7 favorites]


This administration is turning out like one of Brendan Fraser's wishes in Bedazzled.
posted by Autumnheart at 12:16 PM on July 11 [33 favorites]


When this Junior story broke yesterday a friend of mine posted about it. Someone commented on her thread last night that "I'm still waiting for something concrete. The NYT apparently received word of what was in the email from a leak in the Whitehouse. No one has a copy of the email..."

I might have danced while I posted Junior's tweets earlier today in response to request for something concrete.
posted by Twain Device at 12:16 PM on July 11 [8 favorites]


Provenance unknown (PBS? Dr. Dave Solot?), but if true, one hell of a picture (Trump, Cohen, Agalarov, Goldstone, Veselnistkaya)

Crass Supper
posted by kirkaracha at 12:16 PM on July 11 [21 favorites]


I hereby move that we rechristen "Obvious Anagram Reince Priebus" as "Neural Network Training Outtake Reince Priebus."
posted by contraption at 12:17 PM on July 11 [43 favorites]


The sad white people who voted for Trump don't care, and Republicans know that, so the Trumpening will continue.

Even if Trump were impeached, the Trumpening would continue, as it would have if Clinton had won the Electoral College—the Trump campaign was a big signal rocket sent up that connected all of the white supremacists and Nazis and other deplorables together, and has shown them that the entire right half of the American political establishment wouldn't stand in their way.

Somehow a huge chunk of the American electorate were okay with a candidate who was openly planning to round up millions of people and put them in camps, and was justifying that and a religious ban based on FDR's wartime executive orders. After all the crowing that Obama using EOs to do things like reshuffle prosecution priorities for government attorneys was supposedly terrible executive overreach and incipient dictatorship.

Trump's administration could quite possibly just put a bunch of stuff in place, like "extra detention capacity", which a future actually-competent Nazi regime might pick up and use ready-made. Not to mention all the anti-human-rights shit that is conventional conservative doctrine anyways.

So unfortunately we're basically in a Hotel California situation here and cannot let our guard down, no matter what.
posted by XMLicious at 12:17 PM on July 11 [37 favorites]


Burhanistan: "Donnie J's superposition into the shit soup is now making it kind of impossible to keep straight. I wonder how Mueller's team is organizing their whiteboards."
At the FBI, to establish the relationships that sustain Omnigate's life, the investigators stretch strings from the corners of the photos, red or green or white or gold-and-orange according to whether they mark a relationship of blood, of bribery, cowardice, kompromat. When the strings become so numerous that you can no longer pass among them, the investigators leave: the offices are dismantled; only the strings and their supports remain.

From across the street, camping with their dossiers, the FBI's refugees look at the labyrinth of taut strings and photos that rise in the windows. That is the FBI still, and they are nothing.

They rebuild the Bureau elsewhere. They weave a similar pattern of strings which they would like to be more complex and at the same time more regular than the other. Then they abandon it and take themselves and their dossiers still farther away.

Thus, when traveling in the territory of Washington, you come upon the ruins of abandoned offices, without the walls which do not last, without the bones of the dead which the wind rolls away: spiderwebs of intricate relationships seeking an indictment.
With apologies to I.C.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:19 PM on July 11 [21 favorites]


Ok, today is moving too fast, and I can't even tell if this article is something I got to from right here in the thread, but I feel like I finally understand the Magnitsky Act and how it connects adoptions and sanctions. If you're also confused, this is a good article:

Anne Applebaum, Washington Post: This law might explain why a Russian lawyer wanted to meet with Trump
The Magnitsky Act bothered the Russian leadership — in fact, it really, really bothered them, far more than it should have. In part that may have been because it focused attention on the real source of so much Russian wealth: theft from the state. In part it may have been because the powerful officials involved, like all powerful officials in Russia, care a lot about being able to travel freely to the West in order to buy property, to go skiing, to hide their money.

It also set a precedent. Suddenly there was a way to target all of those gray bureaucrats, the men behind the scenes who give the orders to loot the state and kill citizens. The Magnitsky Act was the template for the sanctions that the Obama administration placed more broadly on Russian individuals and businesses in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Basically, very rich Russian oligarchs got their fee-fees hurt and their style crimped by these sanctions, and they set out to buy a friendlier government in the United States. They succeeded beyond their dreams - but ...
posted by RedOrGreen at 12:19 PM on July 11 [38 favorites]


But you've got strong hints of Trump's predilection for underage girls, history of violence towards women, disgust with female bodily functions, and the strong likelihood that the "escorts" were provided by Russian intelligence and/or organized crime with the express intent to compromise Trump.

There is also every reason in the world to believe that if a tape was made, the woman/women in question are now very likely dead, having been silenced by one party or another. This wasn't a jolly romp like in some cheeky '70s softcore farce, it's super effed-up shit involving powerful people.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:19 PM on July 11 [54 favorites]


Provenance unknown (PBS? Dr. Dave Solot?), but if true, one hell of a picture (Trump, Cohen, Agalarov, Goldstone, Veselnistkaya)

Why are they meeting in a conference room from a John Carpenter movie about an evil corporation that turns innocent people into killer robots?
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:19 PM on July 11 [20 favorites]


They honestly seem to think that hiding the information is the bad thing and that being "transparent" about doing it is exonerating. No, that's not how it works.

SSSSSHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhh!
posted by Rykey at 12:20 PM on July 11 [8 favorites]


The Atlantic has a mini-documentary on the ADAPT protesters and just why they're willing to throw their bodies upon the gears.

PS: You say "expensive Medicaid expansion", I say "massive jobs program" in work that cannot be done by robots…
posted by Soliloquy at 12:20 PM on July 11 [26 favorites]


Provenance unknown

Provenance would be easier to determine if you link the twitter account that shared the picture, at the very least.
posted by Roommate at 12:22 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


obvious anagram Reince Priebus
RNC PR BS E-I-E-I-EU
posted by sjswitzer at 12:24 PM on July 11 [64 favorites]


PS: You say "expensive Medicaid expansion", I say "massive jobs program" in work that cannot be done by robots…

True: but our rhetoric should not bend, however subtly, to the idea that the metric for government action should primarily be economic outcomes.

Health care is a human right.
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:24 PM on July 11 [10 favorites]


And huge headshots of Brad Pitt, Denzel Washington, and...is that Cate Blanchett? Whaaaa?
posted by orrnyereg at 12:24 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]


provenance (2013 Miss Universe shindig)

I'll bet that's not Veselnitskaya, though.
posted by pjenks at 12:25 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


Somehow a huge chunk of the American electorate were okay with a candidate who was openly planning to round up millions of people and put them in camps, and was justifying that and a religious ban based on FDR's wartime executive orders.

And approvingly cited Eisenhower's "Operation Wetback" as a precedent for his deportation plan.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:25 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Don Jr to appear on Hannity tonight. Can't wait to see what else he becomes 'transparent' about.
posted by rc3spencer at 12:27 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Emin Agalarov - the "pop singer" at the eye of the storm - is an interesting guy. He appeared as the interval act at the Eurovision final in Baku, Azerbaijan (for reference, Justin Timberlake was the interval act last year in Stockholm). Agalarov's not much of a talent (don't watch the YT video if you value music), but at the time he was the son-in-law of the Azeri president. Reminder that Trump has had shady dealings in Azerbaijan.

Current chat in Eurovision circles is whether the Azeri victory in 2011 - somewhat widely believed to be connected to rooms full of burner phones, dodgy SIM cards and hacking - was a trial run for the current Pepe-wielding crowd.

As conspiracies go, it's a weird one but I'd love to see more digging into the Azeri-Russian connections.
posted by kariebookish at 12:29 PM on July 11 [11 favorites]


So Donnie takes the fall, spends three years in a country-club white-collar prison, and then gets pardoned in 2020, standing to inherit the Trump fortune now engorged with Gazprom cash and various emoluments? Smooth...
posted by acb at 12:29 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


A human being's made of more than air
With all that bulk, you're bound to see him there
Unless that human bein' next to you
Is unimpressive, undistinguished
You know who...
posted by kirkaracha at 12:30 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Speaking of Hannity, here's his latest spin: "If Donald trump himself were colluding with Vladimir Putin and the Russians, why would he need his son to act as an intermediary?"

The desperation in these people's thinking is pretty evident.
posted by zachlipton at 12:30 PM on July 11 [58 favorites]


That Seth Abramson thread has been posted a bunch of times now, and I'm getting really frustrated by it:

22) But all that is just the prelude, because we *also* now know that now-President Trump was in Trump Tower as this meeting was happening.

Do we know this? HOW do we know this? I have not seen this reported anywhere else, and it seems like a really big deal. (So big that everything else was "just a prelude" apparently.)

(23) Moreover, we know from Politico that Trump was "hunkered with his advisers," including Manafort and Kushner, discussing anti-HRC intel.

He puts "hunkered with his advisers" in quotes and mentions Politico, but a google search of politico.com for that exact phrase turns up nothing.

In fact a google search of the whole internet for that exact phrase turns up only references to this twitter thread.

What is he quoting? Again, I haven't seen this reported anywhere else.

Twitter is a crappy medium for journalism. There is no space to cite your sources or explain the limits of your knowledge. There are also no editors and no fact checkers.

But I think Abramson himself is also not very credible on this subject.

I think Abramson is making up some of those details and mixing them in with real facts, and it pisses me off, so I think we should all stop sharing that thread.
posted by OnceUponATime at 12:30 PM on July 11 [17 favorites]


"Think about all of this like a Russian intel op -- if a unicorn shows up in front of you when you need it. Ask why."

@MollyMcKew on Russian influence and Jr's email chain which she suspects may be a ruse to cover up something worse.

The Trumps are stupid, but surely not this stupid. Lucy's still holding the football.

(eta yes i hate twitter too but what to do @mollymckew?)
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth at 12:33 PM on July 11 [14 favorites]


I think Abramson is making up some of those details and mixing them in with real facts, and it pisses me off, so I think we should all stop sharing that thread.
Or any thread of his. Or Schmensch's, etc.
posted by rc3spencer at 12:33 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


The desperation in these people's thinking is pretty evident.

Calling that "thinking" is a big stretch
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:33 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


The fact that they were so scared of this that they reacted this stupidly instead of crying 'fake news!' after the Times released the emails -- retaining a smidgen of deniability and firing up the base -- tells you exactly how bad THEY think this is.
posted by chris24 at 12:33 PM on July 11 [17 favorites]


And huge headshots of Brad Pitt, Denzel Washington, and...is that Cate Blanchett? Whaaaa?

They're photos by Martin Schoeller, yeah?
posted by slenderloris at 12:33 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


The Trumps are stupid, but surely not this stupid.

They're this stupid.
posted by theodolite at 12:34 PM on July 11 [69 favorites]


The Crown prosecutor of Russia

Are they really too dumb to see that talking about the “crown prosecutor” of a republic is as transparently false as talking about, say, the Pope of Morocco?
posted by acb at 12:35 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


They are this stupid, but that doesn't mean there's not something worse. Because they're that stupid, too.
posted by nat at 12:37 PM on July 11 [9 favorites]


Are they really too dumb to see that talking about the “crown prosecutor” of a republic is as transparently false

Goldstone is British. He just didn't know what the position was called in Russia, and used the British name for it.
posted by OnceUponATime at 12:37 PM on July 11 [20 favorites]


Also, neither of the Donalds Trump know that the UK is a monarchy with Crown prosecutors and that Russia is a republic.
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:38 PM on July 11 [6 favorites]


>> Are they really too dumb to see that talking about the “crown prosecutor” of a republic is as transparently false as talking about, say, the Pope of Morocco?

> Goldstone is British. He just didn't know what the position was called in Russia, and used the British name for it.

Exactly what I was typing - thx, preview - it would be like me calling someone in Britain their Attorney General because I didn't know better.
posted by RedOrGreen at 12:38 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


#DonJrChildrensBooks is now trending on Twitter.

Highlights include:
* "The Princess and the Peabrains"
* "No Light in the Attic"
* "The Very Power-Hungry Caterpillar"
* "Oh, the Prisons You Will Go"
* "Don Jr And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Email."
posted by zarq at 12:39 PM on July 11 [57 favorites]


@Carter_PE
Holy crap. If this is what NYT has, can you imagine what @TheJusticeDept has collected?
posted by chris24 at 12:41 PM on July 11 [29 favorites]


Now, I don't like to use the word "hero", but...("Repeal and Go F🇺🇸ck Yourself" T-shirt vs. Ted Cruz)
posted by Huffy Puffy at 12:41 PM on July 11 [30 favorites]


obvious anagram Reince Priebus

Huh, I always assumed the joke was that the word "penis" sticks out like a sore... thumb in his name. Maybe it only does to me. Shows where my mind's at, I guess.
posted by Rykey at 12:42 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]


Ruth Marcus in the WaPo: The Donald Trump Jr. emails could hardly be more incriminating
The email chain between Donald Trump Jr. and Rob Goldstone, the publicist brokering a meeting between the Trump campaign and a Kremlin-linked lawyer, could hardly be more incriminating.

By explicitly linking the source of the information to the Russian government and by describing it as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” Goldstone made crystal clear that he was offering the campaign a chance to collude — yes, that word is appropriate here — with a foreign government to “incriminate Hillary” Clinton and help win the presidency.

By reacting as he did, eagerly accepting the offer of this foreign aid, Trump Jr. made clear that he was a willing part of this incipient conspiracy — and yes, that word is appropriate here, too. “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer,” he responded, within minutes of receiving the inquiry.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 12:42 PM on July 11 [19 favorites]


Julian Assange decides he wants to be a part of this narrative: "Contacted Trump Jr this morning on why he should publish his emails (i.e with us). Two hours later, does it himself"

Question one is why Assange has Don Jr's contact info.
posted by zachlipton at 12:43 PM on July 11 [62 favorites]


They are this stupid, but that doesn't mean there's not something worse. Because they're that stupid, too.

Surely, if we've learned anything here, is that there's always something worse.
posted by acb at 12:43 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Holy crap. If this is what NYT has, can you imagine what @TheJusticeDept has collected?

Yeah, but how much of it is going to see the light of day if Sessions decides to keep conditionally recusing himself?
posted by Autumnheart at 12:44 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


Also, neither of the Donalds Trump know that the UK is a monarchy with Crown prosecutors and that Russia is a republic.

Donald Trump the elder apparently called the (male) prime minister of Denmark the "King of Denmark" in a conference call (Denmark's actual monarch is Queen Margaret II, whose husband has the rank of prince, not king. Oopsy doopsy.)
posted by dhens at 12:47 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Trump Jr. delivers ‘smoking gun’ to Mueller
The email chain released by the president’s son shows an intent to collude with Russia, veteran prosecutors and white-collar defense attorneys say. (Darren Samuelsohn / Politico)
posted by Barack Spinoza at 12:47 PM on July 11 [24 favorites]


Um... does anyone else think that the phrasing of the email to DJTJr might indicate that the Russian government was willing to forge "official"[1] documents showing Hillary's "illegal" actions?

[1] I mean, technically they would actually be official documents, coming from the Russian government, but with, y'know, actual lies and innuendo in them
posted by hanov3r at 12:48 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Question one is why Assange has Don Jr's contact info.

Question 2 - When and how did Assange know that NY Times had the email? Timeline from NY Times says that Trump tweeted a few minutes after they contacted him for comment and he asked for more time, but Assange knew 2 hours before that?
posted by TwoWordReview at 12:48 PM on July 11 [21 favorites]


Well, here's some good news: The Rock is running for president.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:48 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]


Twitter is a crappy medium for journalism. There is no space to cite your sources or explain the limits of your knowledge. There are also no editors and no fact checkers.

This has been a major frustration for me basically since President Asterisk announced his run, but getting worse the more power he has gained. On the one hand, I really hate relying on twitter for news. On the other hand, regular media leaves out very important information all the time - twitter is where I learned about the current admin's failure to staff the State Department properly. Mike Pence having his email hacked while he was governor in Indiana - twitter told me that too.

I get this sense that mainstream media (mostly NPR and WaPo for me) doesn't want to point out just how far off of norms the current administration is, because reporting on that accurately makes them sound like the abysmal excuse for a government that they are.

Maybe I am just bad at finding the right news sources.
posted by Emmy Rae at 12:49 PM on July 11 [7 favorites]


This Trump Jr stuff reminds me a little bit of Mission: Impossible, just because it's so improbable and out of the blue.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:50 PM on July 11


That photo further down of the Trump lads...is that a Photoshop??

Yes, to remove Ivanka, and some minor face en-slothening.
posted by tomierna at 12:50 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Assange is another of the white men who have a Putinesque and Trumpian approach to the world, he just prefers to think of himself as spyish. It is not shocking they all collude, or that they all view themselves as the plucky protagonist in their own thriller drama romance with a poor understanding of law, justice, or IT.
posted by Deoridhe at 12:50 PM on July 11 [9 favorites]


Nor is it shocking that whenever someone happens to get a lot of attention on the global stage, one of the others has to chime in with their own two cents. "Look at me!"
posted by Autumnheart at 12:51 PM on July 11 [8 favorites]


Question 2 - When and how did Assange know that NY Times had the email? Timeline from NY Times says that Trump tweeted a few minutes after they contacted him for comment and he asked for more time, but Assange knew 2 hours before that?

Correction: He tweeted the emails as they were about to publish and Trump camp asked for more time. Didn't say when they contacted him initially. Still doesn't explain how Assange knew 2 hours earlier.
posted by TwoWordReview at 12:53 PM on July 11


Following up a comment I made in the last thread, MSNBC reported that Don Jr. released the emails after a NYT reporter called him for comment on the emails, so he knew they had them and were getting ready to release them.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:55 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Nor is it shocking that whenever someone happens to get a lot of attention on the global stage, one of the others has to chime in with their own two cents. "Look at me!"

Has Gingrich or Bill Maher said anything yet?
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:55 PM on July 11 [8 favorites]


Well, here's some good news: The Rock is running for president.

In other words, we've learned nothing.
posted by zarq at 12:56 PM on July 11 [8 favorites]


Trump on Don Jr: "My son is a high quality person and I applaud his transparency" (Sarah Huckabee Sanders read the statement) (source)
posted by cell divide at 12:57 PM on July 11


Well, here's some good news: The Rock is running for president.
No.

How about people who want to be president get elected to lower office first to show they're serious and give people an opportunity to see how they deal with things when they actually have to do stuff and not just how they campaign? The presidency shouldn't be a vanity project.
posted by Green With You at 12:57 PM on July 11 [160 favorites]


Trump Jr. delivers ‘smoking gun’ to Mueller

Further down:
A source close to Manafort told POLITICO on Tuesday that the campaign manager hadn’t read all the way to the bottom of the email exchanges on his phone and that he didn’t even know who he was meeting with when he attended the 20 to 30-minute session. Kushner’s attorney did not respond to a request for comment.
So the best we've got now is essentially "oops, totally missed the bit in the thread about 'Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump." That's not a great look.
posted by zachlipton at 12:58 PM on July 11 [24 favorites]




> I hereby move that we rechristen "Obvious Anagram Reince Priebus" as "Neural Network Training Outtake Reince Priebus."

Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Literally First of his Name, King of the RNC, the CPAC, and the Wisconsin Republican Party, the Frequently Burnt, the Obvious Anagram, the Neural Net Training Outtake,, Lord Paramount of the Cheeselands, Protector of the PR BS, Breaker of Oaths, and Babysitter of Bannon.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:58 PM on July 11 [42 favorites]


I'd say instead that Trump is ruining it further by the day for future entertainers who might wish to run for political office later in life.

How about people who want to be president get elected to lower office first to show they're serious and give people an opportunity to see how they deal with things when they actually have to do stuff and not just how they campaign? The presidency shouldn't be a vanity project.

Absolutely. The presidency is not an entry-level position. Run for mayor first.
posted by Autumnheart at 12:59 PM on July 11 [32 favorites]


On the one hand, celebrity-turned-politician isn't always a disaster. Al Franken hasn't been bad, and Arnold Schwarzenegger turned out to be a fairly okay governor as I understand it. I will let the good people of Minnesota correct me, too, but from what I understand Jesse Ventura wasn't that bad either.

On the other hand - Ronald Reagan.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:00 PM on July 11 [10 favorites]


> 22) But all that is just the prelude, because we *also* now know that now-President Trump was in Trump Tower as this meeting was happening.

Do we know this? HOW do we know this? I have not seen this reported anywhere else, and it seems like a really big deal. (So big that everything else was "just a prelude" apparently.)


Associated Press, Amid fundraising worries, Trump gathers potential donors: "Presumptive GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump on Thursday summoned allies and Republican Party heavyweights to kick off a general election fund-raising operation and push back against the notion that his late-starting cash collecting would be outgunned by Hillary Clinton's. {...} The Manhattan meeting at Trump Tower kicked off the Trump Victory Fund, the joint cash-raising operation with the RNC that plans to gather money both for his candidacy and for House and Senate GOP candidates."

(23) Moreover, we know from Politico that Trump was "hunkered with his advisers," including Manafort and Kushner, discussing anti-HRC intel.

He puts "hunkered down with his advisers" in quotes and mentions Politico, but a google search of politico.com for that exact phrase turns up nothing.


Politico, Trump prepares charge sheet against Clinton: "Donald Trump’s team is hunkering down to draft the charge sheet the presumptive GOP nominee will unveil against Hillary Clinton on Monday, intent on laying out a credible general election argument that leads voters to question her trustworthiness."

Seth Abramson should be read with the same skepticism as any independent investigator, but however much one may disagree with his inferences and conclusions, he's fairly reliable about his basic facts.
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:01 PM on July 11 [9 favorites]


Following up a comment I made in the last thread, MSNBC reported that Don Jr. released the emails after a NYT reporter called him for comment on the emails, so he knew they had them and were getting ready to release them.

A very damaging thing is about to damage you. Do you freeze? or do you run away, trying to buy yourself a little extra time to figure out how best to handle the very damaging thing that is about to damage you?

Trick question, the answer is "None of the above: instead, you run head-on at the very damaging thing in hopes that... it won't hurt as bad if you can tell yourself that you freely-ish participated in your own damaging?"

This is the stupidest choose-your-own-adventure ever
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:01 PM on July 11 [9 favorites]


Al Franken hasn't been bad

True, but he was involved heavily in politics with a radio show before he ran for office. He didn't just walk off of the SNL set to file paperwork.
posted by Emmy Rae at 1:02 PM on July 11 [37 favorites]


Dylan Matthews/Vox: The latest revelation won't end Trump's presidency. Only Paul Ryan can.
The truth is that whether or not Trump is “brought down” has at best an indirect relationship to the gravity of the charges against him. His fate depends much more heavily on how Republican leaders in Congress respond to the scandals in question than it does on those scandals’ details or severity. Trump is the American president. He can only be permanently removed from office if a majority of the House votes to impeach and a two-thirds majority of the Senate votes to convict. He can’t be charged in federal courts like a normal civilian.

Trump could also be removed under the 25th Amendment by a majority of his Cabinet — but that would also entail the Republican Party abandoning him, and if he contests it, the judgment would need to be ratified by Congress.

Unless Trump voluntarily chooses to resign, the only thing that will bring him down is Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agreeing that he must be removed from office, and rallying their members to vote for impeachment and removal.
No one is sure that indictment can work any other way, from any other direction. Plus, unlike Nixon, the President and Congress belong to the same party, and Congress needs to keep the president around to sign off on their agenda.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:02 PM on July 11 [15 favorites]


> Speaking of Hannity, here's his latest spin: "If Donald trump himself were colluding with Vladimir Putin and the Russians, why would he need his son to act as an intermediary?"

That is some weak-ass spin. Like, someone with debilitating vertigo could handle that ride levels of spin.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:03 PM on July 11 [11 favorites]


he was involved heavily in politics with a radio show before he ran for office. He didn't just walk off of the SNL set to file paperwork.

Radio talk shows aren't necessarily political leadership, but that is a fair point.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:03 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


So the best we've got now is essentially "oops, totally missed the bit in the thread about 'Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump." That's not a great look.

So he takes a meeting from an email with the subject line "FW: Russia - Clinton - private and confidential" and doesn't bother asking "What's that all about?"
posted by stopgap at 1:03 PM on July 11 [21 favorites]




Do you freeze, or do you run away, trying to buy yourself a little extra time ...

You know what they say about meeting bears in the forest. You don't need to run faster than a bear, just faster than the slowest person in your party.
posted by spitbull at 1:04 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Al Franken hasn't been bad

True, but he was involved heavily in politics with a radio show before he ran for office. He didn't just walk off of the SNL set to file paperwork.


He was doing politics independently of the radio show, eventually choosing to focus on politics when he started his run for US Senate.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:04 PM on July 11


> Speaking of Hannity, here's his latest spin: "If Donald trump himself were colluding with Vladimir Putin and the Russians, why would he need his son to act as an intermediary?"

I love that Hannity wants us to see this as a rhetorical question when there's a straightforward factual answer. Don Sr. needed Don Jr. to act as an intermediary because Don Sr. can't figure out how to use email. Next question?
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:05 PM on July 11 [62 favorites]


Ventura was better than some and worse than others--and he was mayor of Brooklyn Park before he was governor. Al Franken had several years writing and being involved in politics before running for the Senate, and if we're being strictly factual, he barely won his first election--they had to perform a recount. But he won re-election handily, and his hard work has been paying off.
posted by Autumnheart at 1:05 PM on July 11 [18 favorites]


"If Donald Trump himself were colluding with Vladimir Putin and the Russians, why would he need his son to act as an intermediary?"

Why wouldn't President Nixon have performed the burglary himself?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:05 PM on July 11 [92 favorites]


> Speaking of Hannity, here's his latest spin: "If Donald trump himself were colluding with Vladimir Putin and the Russians, why would he need his son to act as an intermediary?"

I no rite. Like what executive ever delegates anything? That's why the mafia was called organized crime, because one guy did everything himself all alone and never had any help.
posted by dis_integration at 1:06 PM on July 11 [20 favorites]


but from what I understand Jesse Ventura wasn't that bad either.

I was much younger and kind of too punk rock for policy when he was elected, but what I will always remember is that we had a state surplus, and instead of saving it for a lean year he sent everyone a check. Year or two later, we were in deficit and had massive, massive cuts to education, food stamps and all kinds of stuff. It was a cheap popularity-boosting measure that relied on everyone believing that government "steals" your money via taxes.

I'm not really a fan of celebrity politicians. Franken is good enough, but I would still prefer someone who was able to run and win on policy, not fame.
posted by Frowner at 1:07 PM on July 11 [53 favorites]


They are this stupid, but that doesn't mean there's not something worse. Because they're that stupid, too.

I'm going to beat my dead horse one more time and point out there's still no proof evil isn't just a particularly nasty mix of tactical competence and bigger picture stupidity/short sightedness. Remember, investigators post holocaust found evidence the Nazis may have originally thought they really were going to repatriate most of their victims, and it was only as they started realizing that wasn't even a logistical/practical possibility they decided to just kill everybody because as far as their way of thinking was concerned, the two methods produced functionally identical outcomes. That's what "banality of evil" refers to--reducing deeply moral decisions to abstract bureaucratic decisions and compartmentalizing the hell out of the ethics of the decisions.

Evil can be just a horribly extreme and destructive version of "not my problem" plus deliberate tunnel vision when it comes to the ethics.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:07 PM on July 11 [50 favorites]


Counterpoint: Trump Nation voting for a Samoan seems unlikely. They're racists. The Rock may have very humorously noted that people project whatever racial identity they want to see on him, but it's gonna come out that he's actually brown.
posted by spitbull at 1:07 PM on July 11 [10 favorites]


@CommsDirector
Take a step back from shock for a moment.
Are a few things to keep in mind.:
1. If they think this is exculpatory, what's still out?
2. No one on the email was surprised at the fact that the Russian gov was attempting to help them. They already knew it. On June 3.
3. Manafort and Kushner are both implicated. This wasn't just Junior. And Goldstone may have sent things to Trump's Exec Assistant.
4. This chain seems to describe a preexisting channel btw the Russian government and Trump Sr. Gov --> Goldstone --> Rhona -> Trump
5. All of these people have lied about all of these things. They have lied on TV. On clearance forms. In writing. Repeatedly.
6. This is just what we have from leaks. Can you even imagine what Mueller has right now?
posted by chris24 at 1:09 PM on July 11 [106 favorites]


The crux to all of this is how comfortable congressional Republicans feel about blocking impeachment. When the Overton window moves to such a point that they feel like they're at risk if they defend him, then things can happen. Those things will probably be driven by the Mueller investigation, which is humming along quietly on its own track.

That's my read, anyway, based on what I know about the system in general and the way Watergate shook out in particular.


The scales tipped for Nixon when the tapes revealed Nixon was guilty of conspiracy to obstruct justice. One can measure the depravity of the modern Republican Party by the fact that weeks ago, Trump admitted as much, publicly, in his interview with NBC.
posted by Gelatin at 1:10 PM on July 11 [55 favorites]


The Rock is going to hands down win any election because he's the fucking Rock. America votes for the shiniest thing.

(And yes, for incredibly stupid reasons Trump counted as "shiny" last election)
posted by Artw at 1:11 PM on July 11 [11 favorites]


Can you even imagine what Mueller has right now?

I hope he has what he needs, but CNN has reported that the FBI was unaware of this meeting until now.

Which given the public Facebook check-in is slightly disappointing...
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:12 PM on July 11 [7 favorites]


> So the best we've got now is essentially "oops, totally missed the bit in the thread about 'Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump." That's not a great look.

Not a great look? I mean look at the incredulity that met the mere suggestion that someone could possibly miss a stray "c" or (c) in the body text of her thousands of emails. So obviously, IOKIYAR.
posted by klarck at 1:13 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


The Rock is going to hands down win any election because he's the fucking Rock. America votes for the shiniest thing.

Depends on how much celebrity fatigue Trump drums up between now and whenever he leaves office.
posted by Autumnheart at 1:13 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


We may actually know now why the Republicans are nervous about moving against Trump. In the Morning Joe spat, we heard about how they were nervous about negative stories in the National Enquirer. Just think about the "shocking" Cruz-affair story the paper ran during the primaries. The Republicans are worried about Trump smearing them through his press buddies.
posted by drezdn at 1:13 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


I know The Rock as POTUS might seem like a shining city on the hill right now, but make that dude president and the Idiocracy Prophecy will be complete.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:14 PM on July 11 [50 favorites]


So Donnie takes the fall, spends three years in a country-club white-collar prison, and then gets pardoned in 2020, standing to inherit the Trump fortune now engorged with Gazprom cash and various emoluments? Smooth...

If we actually get to the point (and I'm having trouble imaging it at the moment) that charges are filed and a conviction obtained against Donald Trump, I can't imagine that the authorities would have any compunction against seizing the emoluments. I don't see him skating away if we get the point of a conviction. Getting there, however....
posted by Existential Dread at 1:14 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


Just to point out that Franken ran on policy not on fame and was up against a horrible Norm Coleman. There was a recount and thank god Franken won. Franken was, and is, a policy wonk. To be fair, a comedian and policy wonk but if you read any of his books you'll see he's deeply political.
posted by misterpatrick at 1:14 PM on July 11 [85 favorites]


*Will be* complete?
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:14 PM on July 11 [7 favorites]


Don't worry. All we have to do is wait for a Democratic president and the Republicans will care about principles again.
posted by Talez at 1:15 PM on July 11 [28 favorites]


I know it's a little late in the thread, but this post is *holds hand up* a damn fine cup of Metafilter. Well done, EC!
posted by Brak at 1:15 PM on July 11 [21 favorites]


I do not believe America to be capable of "celebrity fatigue".
posted by Artw at 1:16 PM on July 11 [13 favorites]


Doktor Zed - I don't see that your link actually includes this text that you quote? "The Manhattan meeting at Trump Tower kicked off the Trump Victory Fund".

In fact it says "Attendees included Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus, who waved to the press upon arrival at the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan" (emphasis mine.)

(It is dated Jun 9, 2016, 3:03 PM ET and says the meeting was "today." The collusion at Trump Tower happened an hour after that story came out, so I'm not sure how relevant that link is either way, to be honest.)

And the Politico link says "Donald Trump’s team is hunkering down." (And doesn't say exactly when the hunkering was happening.)

It does not say Trump is hunkering with them.

So I think think there are still some issues with Abramson's "basic facts."
posted by OnceUponATime at 1:16 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


Franken is good enough

Not to mention smart enough, and doggone it, people like him.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:16 PM on July 11 [199 favorites]


don't see him skating away if we get the point of a conviction.

No Trump is going to prison. Daddy has a pardon pen.
posted by spitbull at 1:16 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


The other thing about Franken is that he clearly puts in a great deal of effort to do the work. With health care, a good chunk of the Senate demonstrably has no idea what they're talking about. Sometimes they're just lying, but half the time, they're just talking nonsense because they don't know the policy issues. Sen. Franken is the kind of Senator who knows what essential health benefits are and why they matter, the kind of Senator who throws out a reference to an Atul Gawande study on Medicaid, the kind of Senator who self-evidently puts in the time to prepare for hearings and learn the concepts he needs to do his job.

I'm not inherently opposed to someone skipping a step or two and running directly for Senate if they can do it (not President though), but it's got to be the sort of person who will dive headfirst into policy while actively avoiding using their fame. That's the exact opposite of Trump's political career.
posted by zachlipton at 1:17 PM on July 11 [103 favorites]


The Republicans are worried about Trump smearing them through his press buddies.

Hmm, not sure about that. Trump has no idea what their values are, what they stand for.
posted by Melismata at 1:18 PM on July 11


I wonder how Mueller's team is organizing their whiteboards.

I'm reminded of DeLillo's Nicholas Branch, who regarded the Warren Report as "the megaton novel James Joyce would have written if he'd moved to Iowa City and lived to be a hundred." Obviously, Ommigate is the reality TV show William Burroughs would have written if he'd moved to New Jersey and done yage and poppers with John Le Carré.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:18 PM on July 11 [12 favorites]


Al Franken, AB 1973, Harvard (cum laude), government major. But you know, college is just a status thing.
posted by spitbull at 1:19 PM on July 11 [111 favorites]


No Trump is going to prison. Daddy has a pardon pen

DJT is definitely the only President I can imagine not pardoning his own flesh and blood.

But in any case this will all go nowhere and Trump will be reelected (especially if Zuckerberg and The Rock are running)
posted by dis_integration at 1:20 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]




Arnold Schwarzenegger turned out to be a fairly okay governor as I understand it.

He was a good liar.

He ran on a platform of fiscal discipline, then did the exact opposite as governor. He spent most of his time in office trying to convince Californians that the state didn't need to raise taxes. He wound up tripling the state's debt and destroying its creditworthiness. He also eventually cut social programs in a big way, targeting the poor, especially poor women and seniors. He left office with the state government owing massive amounts to colleges as well. State colleges tripled their tuitions and decreased what they offered to students as a result.

He ran on protecting kids, then cut services to developmentally disabled children in his first month as governor. He would go on to cut health care for children living in poverty and even cut funding for investigations into child abuse and neglect.

He also vetoed a ton of laws that would have protected workers in the name of creating more jobs, including vetoing much-needed regulations on businesses -- especially over protections for the environment against pollution.

Oh, and he also pushed to privatize pensions (which turned half the state against him.)
posted by zarq at 1:22 PM on July 11 [83 favorites]


WaPo headline: Emails show Trump Jr. was told ‘Russian government lawyer’ could provide damaging information on Clinton

NYT banner: Trump Jr. on Russians’ Offer: ‘I Love It’
Email Specifies Tie to Moscow in Effort to ‘Incriminate Hillary’


CNN banner: Trump Jr. releases emails on Russia meeting

It really was Trump's Mirror all along.
posted by RedOrGreen at 1:22 PM on July 11 [20 favorites]




This is looking more and more likely

No joke, it took me a second to see that as a primary debate, instead of a particularly riveting game of Celebrity Jeopardy!
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:25 PM on July 11 [6 favorites]


Fluffy side notes:
1. I didn't know 'til Colbert's 7/10 monologue that the WH didn't have any hotel accommodations booked before G20.
There are 50,000 high school prom committee chairs that are more organized than they are.

2. #DonJrChildrensBooks is now trending on Twitter.
All I could come up with was "The Secret Pardon," but in my defense I'm still kinda sick.

3. Speaking of which, re:"If Donald Trump himself were colluding ... why would he need his son to act as an intermediary?" -
Man, I can smell the desperation from here, and I've got a stuffy nose to boot.

4. Also, am I the only damn theater nerd who starts singing my own version of "Mr. Goldstone" whenever that dipstick is mentioned. ("Have a bliny, Mr. Goldstone, have a vodka, caviar or samovar ...")

[OK, I am.]
posted by NorthernLite at 1:27 PM on July 11 [17 favorites]


NorthernLite, you're not, but for me it's because I played Mr. Goldstone in my high school's production of Gypsy many decades ago.
posted by hanov3r at 1:30 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Are Trump Junior, Kushner or Manafort now going to retroactively register as Russian agents? That is apparently a serious question I am asking.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:30 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


The Rock is a Republican. He'd be against Pence in the Republican primaries, not debating Zuckerberg in the Democratic ones.

Rock(R) vs. Zuck(D) is literally the only scenario I've ever heard wherein I'd consider voting for a Republican for President. Dwayne Johnson has no business being President, but Zuckerberg would be the final nail in the coffin for anything resembling democracy in the United States.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:30 PM on July 11 [56 favorites]


4. Also, am I the only damn theater nerd who starts singing my own version of "Mr. Goldstone" yt whenever that dipstick is mentioned. ("Have a bliny, Mr. Goldstone, have a vodka, caviar or samovar ...")

Alexandra Petri was bringing it last night. The "best" one:
would you say mr goldstone plays a positive role?
no i would say that he
have a neg role, mr goldstone
posted by zachlipton at 1:30 PM on July 11 [8 favorites]


Assange is another of the white men who have a Putinesque and Trumpian approach to the world, he just prefers to think of himself as spyish.

NYRB has a nice piece about Julian in the latest issue: 'The Nihilism of Julian Assange'
posted by octobersurprise at 1:31 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


basically I'd have to hold my nose and pretend I was voting for Maui. or maybe for Boxer Santaros.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:32 PM on July 11 [7 favorites]


The only "this" is followed by "is our country now" because these scandals are only setting a new precedent for acceptable behavior for a President.

Not exactly. They are setting a precedent for acceptable behavior from a Republican president. Democratic presidents will still be expected to be unfailingly scrupulous. Republicans can lie to start needless wars financed by government debt and that's swell, but if a Democrat wears a tan suit or greets a soldier while holding a coffee cup or, during the national anthem, places his hand over his heart two seconds later than the people around him, well, those are major scandals that demonstrate disrespect for the dignity of the office.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 1:33 PM on July 11 [75 favorites]


Trump Junior has retweeted this video by Nigel Farage, who is very confident that this will all blow over, as will any investigation into Farage possibly acting as an intermediary between the Trump campaign and Julian Assange at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:33 PM on July 11 [8 favorites]


I just talked to one of my public defender freinds about Don Jr. being an idiot and how much his lawyer must hate life and his direct quote was: "Dude, this is my every day. I'll tell someone not to talk to anyone else but me and 15 minutes later they will be on the monitored jail phone confessing everything to their babymomma. Jr. is just another criminal defendant with way more money."

"I'm rich! I'm white! Who needs BRAINS?" I'm amazed that these people can remember to put on pants in the morning. I'm amazed that they remember ketchup goes on steak and not fingerpainted on the tablecloth. But hey, if you're white and your daddy has money...

And please, NO MORE inexperienced Presidents. This is not an entry-level job! FFS, even doofuses (doofi?) like Ronald Reagan and Warren Harding held previous office! "Experienced" doesn't mean "taking bribes across one's desk like Spiro Agnew!" Mr. Smith Goes To Washington was not a documentary!
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 1:33 PM on July 11 [16 favorites]


2. #DonJrChildrensBooks is now trending on Twitter.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, obvs.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:34 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Doktor Zed - I don't see that your link actually includes this text that you quote? "The Manhattan meeting at Trump Tower kicked off the Trump Victory Fund".

Ugh, that link was to an ABC story, not the AP story I quoted: https://apnews.com/784aadef318846edb331b2031af3ee8d/amid-fundraising-worries-trump-gathers-potential-donors The Four Seasons meeting mentioned in the ABC article was for their lunch.
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:35 PM on July 11


I wonder if all of this -- getting Trump elected, and then throwing his presidency into chaos when the collusion is revealed -- is what Russia wanted to happen. Pretty good way to paralyze our government.
posted by gurple at 1:36 PM on July 11 [12 favorites]


Down the rabbit hole I went and found this funny, delightful, and self-deprecating class day address Al Franken gave at Harvard in 2002. The story about Daniel Bell's class is worth the read alone.

The fact that he took a class with Prof. Daniel Bell makes him more qualified for high public office then anything I've ever learned about him.
posted by spitbull at 1:36 PM on July 11 [7 favorites]


He spent most of his time in office trying to convince Californians that the state didn't need to raise taxes. He wound up tripling the state's debt and destroying its creditworthiness.

Schwarzenegger's run also didn't happen in a vacuum, it was a very particular recall election. You might even say it was a total recall election. Either way, he was awful.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:37 PM on July 11 [16 favorites]


Metafilter: even doofuses (doofi?).
posted by Melismata at 1:37 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]


Doofodes, surely.
posted by orrnyereg at 1:40 PM on July 11 [6 favorites]


I prefer to think of myself as a Doof Warrior.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:40 PM on July 11 [6 favorites]




I really, really miss Saturday Night Live. Only a month until the primetime Weekend Update run!
posted by lalex at 1:44 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Surely this. . .

Not this and stop calling me Shirley.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:45 PM on July 11 [6 favorites]


Non-Senior Advisor to the President Alex Jones explains that Donald Trump Junior was just doing his job, which was apparently "trying to find Russian spies", the traditional role of a US presidential candidate's first-born son.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:45 PM on July 11 [35 favorites]


The Zuckerberg thing I don't get AT ALL. Are there people who like him? What is there to like? All I know about him is he runs an sinister company that I want nothing to do with. If he wanted to make history he could have fought the fake news all over his stupid website instead of letting ridiculous lies about Hillary Clinton win the day.

There are Democrats available and experienced that inspire me and for whom I would love to cast a vote! You know who doesn't like the talented, experienced democrats already working as public servants? Republicans. They won't vote for our candidate anyway.

I think accepting folks like The Rock or Mark Zuckerberg is just playing the other side's game of attacking any of our champions that rise in the ranks. Rs may think politics is a joke but it is deadly serious to me, and I will continue to treat it that way.
posted by Emmy Rae at 1:46 PM on July 11 [45 favorites]



NYRB has a nice piece about Julian in the latest issue: 'The Nihilism of Julian Assange'
Lady Gaga: What’s your favorite food?

Assange: Let’s not pretend I’m a normal person. I am obsessed with political struggle. I’m not a normal person.
Christ, what an asshole.
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:47 PM on July 11 [32 favorites]


I wonder if all of this -- getting Trump elected, and then throwing his presidency into chaos when the collusion is revealed -- is what Russia wanted to happen. Pretty good way to paralyze our government.

I honestly think there's a time in our future when Putin decides that his idiot has outlived his usefulness and starts dumping all the Trump family kompromat he's been collecting. I hope to be able to spend that day right here with all of you!
posted by lalex at 1:49 PM on July 11 [24 favorites]


And I'm excited to hear what noted patriots McMaster and Mattis have to say about these developments.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:50 PM on July 11 [9 favorites]


NYRB has a nice piece about Julian in the latest issue: 'The Nihilism of Julian Assange'
I highly recommend seeing Risk, if on the fence, or fairly ignorant of Assange. The accumulated creep factor alone after spending almost 2 hours watching and listening to him and his disturbing crew will enlighten as to what a topical monster he is. I was on the fence, apparently not knowing much about him after all.
Immediate shower was needed after. Misogynist narcissistic cult leader is just the beginning of his ugliness.
posted by rc3spencer at 1:51 PM on July 11 [18 favorites]


I have released
the kompromat
that were in
my inbox

and which
you were probably
hoping
i'd forgotten

Forgive me
this is delicious
so sweet

- v putin
posted by Tevin at 1:52 PM on July 11 [112 favorites]


The presidency is not an entry-level position. Run for mayor first.

I totally agree. I want the constitution changed over it (hahahah), even. Do not run for president with literally no political experience!

I know The Rock as POTUS might seem like a shining city on the hill right now, but make that dude president and the Idiocracy Prophecy will be complete.

I generally don't approve of celebrities running for office with no experience, but seriously, can The Rock be worse than Trump? I mean, I'm not super in favor of it and posted that snarkily, but if it's Rock vs. Trump, then...

The one that really scares me is Kanye vs. Trump but hopefully Kanye has a short attention span.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:52 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


I honestly think there's a time in our future when Putin decides that his idiot has outlived his usefulness and starts dumping all the Trump family kompromat he's been collecting.

I've had the thought that this may in fact be what's going on right now.
posted by Andrhia at 1:53 PM on July 11 [11 favorites]


So is Emin Agalarov the analogue to Johnny Fontane in this farce?
posted by stopgap at 1:55 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


What, no love for four-term Congressman The Love Boat's Gopher?
posted by achrise at 1:57 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


I have nowhere else to put this anxiety so its going here but Adam Goldberg tweeted three hours ago that Update: he's still reporting and Eric Geller said 5 minutes ago that "so, uh, something just happened. Stand by for news" and its killing me.
posted by Brainy at 1:58 PM on July 11 [9 favorites]


The Zuckerberg thing I don't get AT ALL. Are there people who like him? What is there to like? All I know about him is he runs an sinister company that I want nothing to do with

I've never been in the facebook ecosystem, either. Can you imagine? I see it being very easy for him to campaign on streamlining gov't by forcing citizens to have a facebook acct.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 1:59 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


And I'm excited to hear what noted patriots McMaster and Mattis have to say about these developments.

Speaking of Mattis...

This is a really remarkable interview.

When the Trump administration accidentally leaked his private number, he apparently got a lot of calls. One was from a high school paper in his home state wanting an interview, which he gave.

I have so many thoughts and feelings on the stuff he says here, in the context of this corrupt administration... And in the context of Trump having handed over the entire US military to this guy. And Congress having passed a special law just to allow him to serve. I hardly know where to start. But I will say I think historians will study that interview.

I sometimes kind of wonder to what extent Trump was forced to hand over control of the military to Mattis (and if so, I wonder forced by whom?) Like... people knew before Trump took office that he was a Russian asset, so....

But if Mattis secretly has even more power than he apparently has, I hope he will, like General Washington, hand it over peacefully to civilian elected officials when the crisis has passed.

(PLEASE NOTE - I have NO EVIDENCE for my imaginary scenario of Trump being forced to hand things over to Mattis. That imaginary scenario is just a scenario I have imagined. Which I sometimes wonder about.)

Anyway, it's a good interview.
posted by OnceUponATime at 1:59 PM on July 11 [29 favorites]


it would be like me calling someone in Britain their Attorney General because I didn't know better.

No, it would be an entirely appropriate use of the term.
posted by lovelyzoo at 2:02 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Based upon my experience following The Rock on instagram, I think he would at least try to do a good job. And be genial. Those are both things we don't have now.
posted by something something at 2:02 PM on July 11 [22 favorites]


Truly then we would know if we'd hit Rock bottom.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 2:03 PM on July 11 [9 favorites]


I thought I was straight, but I'd hit Rock bottom.
posted by Floydd at 2:05 PM on July 11 [32 favorites]


I'd be on board if we could also get Vin Diesel. Rock/Diesel 2020?

OR Vin Diesel as Secretary of State? Tough, charming, ripped. High-energy. High tolerance for jumping on the hoods of cars as they careen off of bridges towards barges of explosives. Necessary skills. Rex Tillerson just doesn't have what it takes.
posted by witchen at 2:08 PM on July 11 [8 favorites]


I can't think of a better example of the lasting damage to our country than the phrase "well, he'd do a better job than Trump" with its broken-jawed scream of semantic emptiness and desperate truth.
posted by lefty lucky cat at 2:09 PM on July 11 [65 favorites]


The travel ban is paying off! An Iranian cancer researcher who had a State Department visa issued in May was detained at Logan Airport in Boston before he could make his way to Boston Children's Hospital and do nefarious cancer research. Now he, his wife and their three kids are to be sent away before they can do unimaginable harm to the homeland.
posted by adamg at 2:10 PM on July 11 [108 favorites]


I'd be on board if we could also get Vin Diesel.

I thought Diesel and Johnson had a (kayfabe-ish?) brouhaha about whether Diesel could take Johnson in a fight. Which, Vin, I love you, but The Rock would crush you like a thing that rocks crush easily.
posted by Jpfed at 2:12 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]


like a thing that rocks crush easily

Scissors?
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:14 PM on July 11 [50 favorites]


> I can't think of a better example of the lasting damage to our country than the phrase "well, he'd do a better job than Trump"

Right? There will someday be a different president, and they will make some mistake - possibly minor, possibly not - and how will we react? Well, at least he didn't grab someone by the pussy? Well, it's not like he was engaging in a treasonous conspiracy with the Russians?
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:14 PM on July 11 [10 favorites]


So would it be Crown Prosecutors or Crowns Prosecutor?
posted by sebastienbailard at 2:15 PM on July 11 [6 favorites]


triggerfinger: Lawyers of Metafilter, is there a legal distinction I'm missing here? Because "Crown prosecutor of Russia", "part of Russia and its government’s support" and "Russian government attorney" hardly sound like run-of-the-mill political oppo research that is definitely not connected to a government.

chris24, from the prior thread: Romney's chief strategist in 2012 campaign:

@stuartpstevens:
When Gore campaign was sent Bush debate brief book, they called FBI. If foreign interests offer you info on former SOS, you call the FBI.


Emphasis mine - it doesn't matter if it's someone arriving in a vehicle emblazoned with the Russian seal or someone even vaguely connected to Russia - CONTACT THE FBI.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:15 PM on July 11 [43 favorites]


> The Zuckerberg thing I don't get AT ALL. Are there people who like him? What is there to like? All I know about him is he runs an sinister company that I want nothing to do with. If he wanted to make history he could have fought the fake news all over his stupid website instead of letting ridiculous lies about Hillary Clinton win the day.

So the frame you're working with here is that a successful candidate for political office is one who's loved, or at least liked. However, being liked or loved is not necessarily the best means of winning high office. In the case of Zuckerberg, he's feared and respected by some people, because he runs a very, very influential website. And that's enough to get some meaningful support; the Meg Whitman/Carly Fiorina voters of the world, the ones who still think that Silicon Valley business leaders are smart and good, will be all over Zuckerberg's run.

But more importantly, Zuckerberg can drum up broader support for his candidacy through subtly manipulating what gets displayed on that influential website; good news about Zuck just so happens to tend to bubble up to the top, and bad news just so happens to not get displayed, and since it all involves statistical shifts in what gets displayed rather than any outright bans on anti-Zuck content — and since the newsfeed algorithm is secret — there's no way to be certain about the extent of the manipulation, or even whether it exists at all. And so enough people end up in a media bubble where it seems like everyone else supports that fresh-faced young Zuckerberg fellow, and enough of those people end up supporting Zuckerberg cause it looks like everyone supports Zuckerberg, that he gains just enough support to end up winning the Democratic Party primary.

It's a nightmare. It's also all too plausible, since given the choice between Zuckerberg and whichever left insurgent ends up being most prominent, the DNC will without a doubt prefer Zuckerberg. The institutional center of the party is, broadly speaking, pro-capitalist and liberal rather than anti-capitalist or left, and well-connected pro-capitalism liberals are exactly the demographic that's most taken in by the soft-technocratic big-business approach to governance — "we'll just nudge the masses into doing what we want! And everyone will be happy cause we know best!" — of which Zuckerberg is practically the apotheosis.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:15 PM on July 11 [40 favorites]


And be genial.

...and musical
posted by Buntix at 2:16 PM on July 11


One of two possibilities concerning the Trumps and lying.

1: They have yet to realize it is near impossible to publicly lie and not be caught in today's world of recorded data, OR

2: They are incapable of not lying.
posted by notreally at 2:16 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


3: They don't care. There have never been any consequences to lying so far.
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:17 PM on July 11 [75 favorites]


So the budget situation is getting interesting. They've added $1.6 billion for a border wall. The problem is that the Republicans generally can't pass a budget on their own, because too many Republicans simply won't vote to keep the government open no matter what, which means they need Democratic votes to avoid a government shutdown. That fucking wall is going to be an impediment to getting those Democratic votes, which is why the government is at this very moment not shut down and there's no wall funding. So it's hard for me to see how they resolve that one.

Friendly reminder that we're set to hit the debt ceiling by early October, and default is a hell of a lot worse than a government shutdown.
posted by zachlipton at 2:17 PM on July 11 [20 favorites]


Some people are suggesting that President Trump be replaced by Vice President Pence, but there is substantial evidence that the Pence campaign also colluded with the Russian government, because it was the exact same campaign. Bad news for Vice President Pence!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:19 PM on July 11 [10 favorites]


[Couple comments deleted; gonna ask that folks ease back a little on the noise/chitchat about side topics.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:20 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]


So the frame you're working with here is that a successful candidate for political office is one who's loved, or at least liked.

Sorry, that was poorly phrased - I meant like him as a candidate. I guess right now he is just wandering diners in middle America so maybe there is some idea or issue focus yet to emerge.

The rest of your scenario is just awful to contemplate. This is why we need real news we can rely on.
posted by Emmy Rae at 2:22 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


chris24: @Carter_PE Holy crap. If this is what NYT has, can you imagine what @TheJusticeDept has collected?

TwoWordReview from the prior thread: @Craigipedia (Media Matters) : CNN's @evanperez reports (11:25am) that the FBI did not have prior knowledge of this Trump Jr. meeting until recent scoops

!!!
posted by filthy light thief at 2:22 PM on July 11 [8 favorites]


Can we start referring to Donald Junior as "Easy D"?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:25 PM on July 11 [8 favorites]


I posted this in the previous thread, and there are probably now more of these available, but here it is anyway:
PDF version of Donald Trump Jr's statement and email chain
posted by pjenks at 2:25 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


So the budget situation is getting interesting. They've added $1.6 billion for a border wall.

Did anyone besides Trump actually want a wall? I don't remember that being on any of the Rs' agenda (granny starving and tax cuts yes, but not a wall, I don't think). Are they including it because they are still kissing T's butt? I'd think by now they'd be tired of kissing his butt. Someone besides T really wants this thing and is pushing Congress to include it (not T, who has no political skills).
posted by Melismata at 2:26 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


I have nowhere else to put this anxiety so its going here but Adam Goldberg tweeted three hours ago that Update: he's still reporting and Eric Geller said 5 minutes ago that "so, uh, something just happened. Stand by for news" and its killing me.

I have honestly developed an addiction-like relationship with this kind of tickticktickBOOM stuff. The highs, the anxious anticipation, the cravings. I'm not sure what to do with it.
posted by lalex at 2:27 PM on July 11 [16 favorites]


CNN's @evanperez reports (11:25am) that the FBI did not have prior knowledge of this Trump Jr. meeting until recent scoops

So this gives probable cause to subpoena a lot of emails now. Hold on to your butts.
posted by stopgap at 2:27 PM on July 11 [21 favorites]


Can we start referring to Donald Junior as "Easy D"?

Yeah. If anything he's Lil' D.
posted by Talez at 2:29 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


The Russians are flat-out laughing at the US and (no pun intended) taking the piss.

Tweet by Ellie Hall: MEANWHILE, IN MOSCOW: Emin Agalarov posts a selfie with the caption "what's in the news ??? 😜" https://www.instagram.com/eminofficial
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:29 PM on July 11 [8 favorites]


Cure Penis Brie
posted by pmburns222 at 2:30 PM on July 11 [10 favorites]


Based upon my experience following The Rock on instagram, I think he would at least try to do a good job. And be genial. Those are both things we don't have now.

I think The Rock would be a lot like Justin Trudeau. A lot of people skills and emotional intelligence, but as for experience and intellectual heft? Well... [*wavy hand*]
posted by Capt. Renault at 2:31 PM on July 11 [7 favorites]


Metafilter: with its broken-jawed scream of semantic emptiness and desperate truth.
posted by hanov3r at 2:35 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]




The thing is, if the FBI didn't know about this meeting, then you have to think there's plenty of other branches on this tree they're following. His choices of lawyers for his team indicates he may be pursuing organized crime and money laundering angles. Now you take an outright confession of illegal ratfuckery and throw that into the mix? I would not be surprised if he put in a request for more resources very soon.
posted by azpenguin at 2:36 PM on July 11 [7 favorites]


Did anyone besides Trump actually want a wall? I don't remember that being on any of the Rs' agenda (granny starving and tax cuts yes, but not a wall, I don't think). Are they including it because they are still kissing T's butt?

The Republicans are absolutely terrified of the potential of a revolt by Trump's base. Many of them used to think that the McCain/Ryan/Romney-style conservatives were the core of the party, but they now realize that racist, lunatic Trumpists are the dominant force of Republican politics. Pandering to Trump supporters is absolutely necessary because the party is utterly powerless without them.
posted by parallellines at 2:37 PM on July 11 [22 favorites]


I have nowhere else to put this anxiety so its going here but Adam Goldberg tweeted three hours ago that Update: he's still reporting and Eric Geller said 5 minutes ago that "so, uh, something just happened. Stand by for news" and its killing me.


BREAKING: Trump administration limits agencies' ability to buy @kaspersky cybersecurity software

https://www.politicopro.com/cybersecurity/story/2017/07/trump-administration-limits-governments-ability-to-buy-popular-russian-security-software-159448

It's paywalled, but there's been some other news this week about Kaspersky working with Russian intelligence. (Which, I mean, they are a Russian company, so....) Not sure if that's related.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 2:38 PM on July 11 [8 favorites]


Eric Gellar's story (which he has already apologized for over-hyping): The Trump administration has discouraged government agencies from using a leading Russian cybersecurity firm’s software amid fears that the firm's products could serve as a Trojan horse for the Kremlin's hackers. The General Services Administration said Tuesday that it had removed Kaspersky Lab from the approved list of vendors for two government-wide purchasing contracts that agencies use to acquire technology services.

Anyone who has knowingly been using Russian-made cybersecurity software when there are plenty of alternatives is nuts, frankly.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:39 PM on July 11 [14 favorites]


Eric Geller said 5 minutes ago that "so, uh, something just happened. Stand by for news" and its killing me.

Eric Geller is a troll. A sometimes lovable troll I suppose, but a troll nonetheless.

His story (paywalled, so link to tweet) is that the GSA has removed Kaspersky security products from its list of contracted software.

If you want to yell at him on twitter now, that's probably not the worst way you could spend your afternoon.
posted by zachlipton at 2:40 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Hitting Rock bottom.

I think the correct term is "Spanking Rock bottom."
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 2:41 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


came for the post title. was not disappointed.
posted by ovenmitt at 2:43 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


From January, Ars Technica: Ruslan Stoyanov, the head of Kaspersky Lab's investigations unit, was arrested for treason in December, Russian newspaper Kommersant reported Wednesday. The paper said that Sergei Mikhailov, a division head of the Russian intelligence service FSB, was also arrested in the same probe.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:43 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Rob Goldstone's Relationship With the Trumps: A Timeline (Ashley Feinberg for Wired, July 11, 2017)
posted by filthy light thief at 2:46 PM on July 11 [6 favorites]


So yesterday when the email story first broke I made a comment here about yelling "It's Russia O'Clock again!" from my study and my gf yelling from the living room, "For fuck's sake, WHAT NOW?"

This morning we got on a plane from Seattle to LA. I stopped looking at the internet on my phone right at boarding time... which was 8:04, same time the Fredo tweet hit Metafilter (and I presume only a minute or two after the actual tweet itself).

We landed in LA a little over two hours later. I pulled out my phone, took it out of airplane mode... and then when I got over my complete shock, I looked across the aisle to my gf and said, "Hey, guess what time it is?"

To her credit, she did not yell "For FUCK'S SAKE, WHAT NOW?" in an airplane. But I very nearly did.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 2:47 PM on July 11 [51 favorites]


I think the correct term is "Spanking Rock bottom."

Surely it's "smelling what Rock Bottom is cooking?" but my WWE-ese is dated.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:51 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Mr. Rabbit is convinced that the DJTJr tweets are a test to see how the public, Congress, and the base react. He says it was strategic and that it'll tell them how far they can go and what they can get away with.

Me: "You think this is strategic? No, they are way too dumb for that kind of maneuver."
Him: "Yeah, they are dumb, but they do have smart people working for them."
Me: "Like who?"
Him: "Their counsel."
Me: "SAYS WHO?"
posted by rabbitrabbit at 2:52 PM on July 11 [13 favorites]


My main misgiving with Dwayne DeRock is his past and present relationship with WWE... I mean, he and Trump are two of a very select group who Vince McMahon pretended to let beat him up. Would he keep on Mrs. McMahon in his cabinet? Even promote her to Secretary of Kayfabe?
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:58 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


I had seen this before but since yesterday trumpies have escalated the "russophobic" accusations (is it even a word) and I feel like screaming because by their definition actual Russian citizens would be russophobic, and anyone who isn't terrified of the Russian government is completely fucking clueless.
posted by Tarumba at 3:01 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


If you were wondering what it would take to get Glenn Greenwald to stop the RUSSIA IS A NOTHINGBURGER stuff you should know that after the revelations today... you're still wondering, 'cause he's still riding the NO PUPPET train.

Did he fall on his head? Did Clinton murder his god? Is he a Russian agent?
posted by Justinian at 3:01 PM on July 11 [42 favorites]


I love the Russian people. Put Gary Kasparov in charge. There. Nice country, good ally, let them join NATO. Lovely. Putin, I'm not so sure about.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:02 PM on July 11 [28 favorites]


You two soggy rock bottom boys are just dumber than a bag of hammers.
posted by maxsparber at 3:02 PM on July 11 [8 favorites]


At the FBI, to establish the relationships that sustain Omnigate's life, the investigators stretch strings from the corners of the photos, red or green or white or gold-and-orange according to whether they mark a relationship of blood, of bribery, cowardice, kompromat. When the strings become so numerous that you can no longer pass among them, the investigators leave: the offices are dismantled; only the strings and their supports remain.

From across the street, camping with their dossiers, the FBI's refugees look at the labyrinth of taut strings and photos that rise in the windows. That is the FBI still, and they are nothing.

They rebuild the Bureau elsewhere. They weave a similar pattern of strings which they would like to be more complex and at the same time more regular than the other. Then they abandon it and take themselves and their dossiers still farther away.

Thus, when traveling in the territory of Washington, you come upon the ruins of abandoned offices, without the walls which do not last, without the bones of the dead which the wind rolls away: spiderwebs of intricate relationships seeking an indictment.


holy shit itily

"Robert Mueller does not necessarily believe everything James Comey says when he describes the crimes allegedly committed by the Trump administration, but the special prosecutor does continue listening to the tall former FBI Director with greater attention and curiosity than he shows any other investigator or lawyer of his"
posted by Sebmojo at 3:03 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


Trump begins to dismantle Obama’s “startup visa” program (Joe Mullin for Ars Technica, July 11, 2017).

The Obama-era rule would have granted immigration “parole” for those with $250,000 in capital, but now it's "on hold" until March 2018, and
The Department of Homeland Security intends to rescind the rule but is taking public comment during a review period.
...
Australia, Canada, Chile, Ireland, and New Zealand all have visa grants or other programs to attract entrepreneurs. In the US, there's no sure-fire way to ensure a foreign startup founder, even one who has lined up significant funding, can continue to reside in the country.
Trump's America: let's make this great country as un-attractive to anyone and everyone.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:03 PM on July 11 [13 favorites]


I meant to write "Did Clinton murder his dog?" not "god" but imma let it stand because that's A+ typoing.
posted by Justinian at 3:04 PM on July 11 [88 favorites]


Did Clinton murder his god?

This is a great typo until it starts showing up on InfoWars
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:05 PM on July 11 [33 favorites]


Let me emphasize just how fucking ridiculous the Hayes/Greenwald twitter exchange is that Justinian linked to is. Pretty sure that Putin could shoot Hillary on 5th Avenue, in broad daylight, while wearing a MAGA hat, and Greenwald would be like BUT IT WASN'T COLLUSION!!!!!

Fuck. Him.
posted by joyceanmachine at 3:09 PM on July 11 [17 favorites]


I wonder if we'll ever again have a President that hasn't been Stone Cold Stunned.
posted by Copronymus at 3:09 PM on July 11 [10 favorites]


I would really like for Mr. Mueller to give a statement of some kind on the status of his investigation. It's fun to think that they are all busy and hiring people and whatnot, but I'd really like the adult in charge of investigating this clusterfuck to say something.
posted by lazaruslong at 3:09 PM on July 11 [11 favorites]


This is a great typo until it starts showing up on InfoWars

I did an image search on "clinton where is your god now" (not recommended in hind-sightlessness-due-to-ripping-out-eyes).

It does indeed appear that a lot of people do believe that Clinton is intent on killing their god.
posted by Buntix at 3:10 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Jesus H. Christ, Glenn, have you SEEN this motherfucker's twitter account? Do you understand that his dayjob for the past decade+ has been saying stuff in front of cameras?
posted by Existential Dread at 3:12 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


Because I don't think that if Trump seriously wanted to [say he prefers soldiers who aren't captured], he'd do it in front of cameras.
Because I don't think that if Trump seriously wanted to [claim to have a big dick], he'd do it in front of cameras.
Because I don't think that if Trump seriously wanted to [call Ted Cruz's wife ugly and accuse his dad of murdering JFK], he'd do it in front of cameras.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:14 PM on July 11 [16 favorites]


I keep thinking about the fact that according to the Russian lawyer, Jared attended only about 10 minutes of the meeting -- just long enough to learn there was no dirt to be had that day. Then off he goes, until another day.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:15 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry to derail re: Greenwald's increasing derangement, but
Because I don't think that if Trump seriously wanted to direct/request Russians commit crimes, he'd do it in front of cameras.
He confessed to firing Comey in order to derail the Russia investigation ON CAMERA. Your justification is absurd on its face, Glenn.
posted by Existential Dread at 3:16 PM on July 11 [44 favorites]


Oh, Eric. "This is the EXACT reason they viciously attack our family! They can't stand that we are extremely close and will ALWAYS support each other."

He may not be the dumbest Trumpkid, but I do think he's the most naive.
posted by lalex at 3:17 PM on July 11 [10 favorites]


Yeah, I am confused by the Russia-skeptic thing on this, and a little frustrated by "there is evidence that the Trump campaign was up to some shady stuff with Russian entities, but since it's not exactly as everyone surmised back in, like, January, that means there's no story and you're just a bunch of liberal hacks". I share Greenwald's general skepticism of all US politicians and understand that global elites all guard each other's interests, but that doesn't mean that I'm cool with some global elites, like, literally soliciting hacked material from other global elites in secret with a view to influencing the election. Our democracy might be kind of shit, but that doesn't mean that just anything goes.

Also, you know, I am not especially enthused by two white nationalist, intensely homophobic major governments hooking up for mutual advantage.

Again, just because there's corruption and things are generally terrible doesn't mean that literally any stepping up of corruption is cool and no worse than the status quo.
posted by Frowner at 3:19 PM on July 11 [29 favorites]


Why are we pretending Greenwald is anything other than a Russian state actor himself? He promoted Wikileaks the entire time.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:21 PM on July 11 [33 favorites]


Trump, like Greenwald, is a white man.

Sec. Clinton is not.

I calls 'em like I sees 'em. Whale biologist.
posted by anem0ne at 3:21 PM on July 11 [39 favorites]


WaPo: Hackers have been stealing credit card numbers from Trump’s hotels for months

Please tell me we can blame Giuliani for this.

Oh, Eric. "This is the EXACT reason they viciously attack our family! They can't stand that we are extremely close and will ALWAYS support each other."

So Trump has two sons that are going to stay on as executives in the family business and he's going to put the business in a trust. He names Don Jr. and antoher-guy-not-named-Trump as trustees and declares that Eric can be the one and only member of an "advisory council" that can suggest things to the trustees.

Now is that an extremely close family that always supports each other or what?
posted by zachlipton at 3:24 PM on July 11 [15 favorites]


In conclusion, Metafilter: Fuck Glenn Greenwald.
posted by spitbull at 3:24 PM on July 11 [13 favorites]


I wonder if all of this -- getting Trump elected, and then throwing his presidency into chaos when the collusion is revealed -- is what Russia wanted to happen. Pretty good way to paralyze our government.

It's at least an acceptable outcome.
posted by vibrotronica at 3:29 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


AND Putin gets a free pisstape out of it, which is one of the best entertainment values.
posted by delfin at 3:31 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


It's about time that Eric did something stupid too so we can continue the competition about which of them is dumbest. I wonder what he'll do?
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:32 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Well, he tweeted this. Not a bad effort.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:34 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


To keep President Trump in the clear here, you have to believe all of the following things:
  • Trump Jr, Kushner, and Manafort enthusiastically met with a Russian operative to get Russian dirt on Clinton and never mentioned this to Trump (what?) and
  • This meeting happened but the Russian didn't actually have any promised information, even though they've lied about the content of this meeting at least three times so far and
  • No other meetings where Clinton dirt was given to the Trump team occurred, even though nearly every Trump campaign principal has now been shown to have lied about their contacts with Russians and
  • The fact that Russia is the only thing Trump meaningfully diverged from the GOP platform on just happens to be a coincidence and
  • Trump's firing of Comey under admittedly false pretenses because he wanted to put the Russia thing away was done despite the fact that none of his Russian activity is problematic and
  • Everyone in Trump's sphere is acting like they're covering up something to do with Russia but this is just a coincidence and nothing bad actually happened
Every single one of those has to be true for Trump to not have committed impeachable offenses. Frankly I don't believe any of them.
posted by 0xFCAF at 3:37 PM on July 11 [175 favorites]


I don't think this has been posted yet but Pence is showing all the loyalty you would expect. His take on the release of emails (The Hill, Rebecca Savransky):
"The Vice President is working every day to advance the president's agenda, which is what the American people sent us here to do," press secretary Marc Lotter said in a statement.

"The Vice President was not aware of the meeting. He is not focused on stories about the campaign, particularly stories about the time before he joined the ticket." [emphasis mine.]

posted by vac2003 at 3:42 PM on July 11 [15 favorites]


Oh, Eric, you silly goose. We're more than happy to attack your father for repeatedly leaving his wives for his mistresses, too!
posted by Sublimity at 3:43 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


Man this past year has made me feel like some kind of savant trend-setter in re my feelings that both Assange and Greenwald should probably go jump in a lake that date back several years. I was like, "I dunno, that Assange guy seems like a mega turbo creep and Greenwald suspiciously ignores obvious malfeasance in favor of his hobby horses" and everyone poo-pooed.
posted by soren_lorensen at 3:48 PM on July 11 [29 favorites]


Oh gosh, Haley Byrd reminds us that Paul Manafort is the guy who, when asked if he had met with Russians, replied:
It’s not like these people wear badges that say, "I’m a Russian intelligence officer."
Nope, you don't see any badges; you just get an email stating that the Russian government wants to offer you damaging oppo intel to help your campaign, with the subject line "Russia - Clinton - private and confidential."
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:52 PM on July 11 [67 favorites]


In March 2017, Greenwald announced plans to build a shelter for stray pets in Brazil that would be staffed by homeless people.

Well, at least we know where he stands.
posted by valkane at 3:56 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


You could show Glenn Greenwald a video of Trump shaking hands with Putin and saying "Thank you for helping me win with those hacked emails, I'll be really happy to help you with the Crimea thing" and Greenwald would object that they may have been doing an improv sketch.

There is no distance they're not willing to move the goalposts. "Collusion" is simply whatever is currently thirty yards ahead of the ball.
posted by 0xFCAF at 3:58 PM on July 11 [17 favorites]


In March 2017, Greenwald announced plans to build a shelter for stray pets in Brazil that would be staffed by homeless people.

Well, at least we know where he stands.


Not a fan of Greenwald, but is that supposed to be damning in some way?
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:59 PM on July 11 [7 favorites]


Actual Fox News push notification: "Breaking News. 'HANNITY' EXCLUSIVE: Donald Trump Jr. acknowledges he 'would have done things a little differently' regarding Russian meeting

That is, in fairness, the closest you'll ever get to a Trump admitting they fucked up.
posted by zachlipton at 4:01 PM on July 11 [23 favorites]


So Breitbart is leaking too, to CNN's Oliver Darcy. Pro-Trump media scrambles to react to bombshell emails
Raheem Kassam, editor-in-chief of Breitbart London, reacted to the story of Donald J. Trump's newly-released emails in a way that wouldn't typically be expected from someone at the far-right outfit, which is a reliable supporter of President Trump.

"So like, this is straight up collusion," he wrote in the news outlet's internal Slack, according to a transcript of the conversation obtained by CNN. "Right?"
posted by zachlipton at 4:06 PM on July 11 [85 favorites]


You know what they say about meeting bears in the forest. You don't need to run faster than a bear, just faster than the slowest person in your party.

I have some bad news for Donald Jr
posted by tivalasvegas at 4:07 PM on July 11 [54 favorites]


And so the Bannon plan comes to fruition.
Tear it down. Burn it. Front stage chaos and mayhem.
Meanwhile the men behind the curtain are dismantling everything as fast as possible.
Then it's time to drop the grifters and lo and behold I give you the dominionist theocracy of America and President Pence.
Dark Times.
posted by adamvasco at 4:30 PM on July 11 [18 favorites]


How's the saying go? The first generation makes the wealth, the second generation spends it, and the third generation gets the whole family convicted of treason, right?
posted by entropicamericana at 4:30 PM on July 11 [26 favorites]


The Obama-era rule would have granted immigration “parole” for those with $250,000 in capital, but now it's "on hold" until March 2018

Wait, what? We're now opposed to wealthy foreigners coming to the US and spending their filthy lucre building businesses here? That seems to be pretty much the most desirable form of immigration I can imagine.
posted by jackbishop at 4:41 PM on July 11 [8 favorites]


Interesting how the New York Time's main page notes that the story regarding Donnie Jr is "Developing". There's more coming. Instead of relieving the pressure, each story seems to increase it by that much more.

While we wait on the next explosion, the NYT Editorial Board has written about Donald Trump Jr. and the Culture of Dishonesty:
If a culture of dishonesty takes root in an administration, how can Americans believe anything its officials say? Take, for instance, the matter of whether President Vladimir Putin of Russia personally directed Moscow’s hacking of the 2016 presidential election. In statements dating from his first days in office until the eve of his meeting with Mr. Putin in Germany last week, when he said “nobody really knows,” Mr. Trump has deflected and sought to discredit his own intelligence agencies’ finding that Moscow, at Mr. Putin’s direction, tried to disrupt the election to help him win. Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state, said after the American and Russian presidents met in Hamburg that they “had a very robust and lengthy exchange on the subject” and that Mr. Trump had “pressed” Mr. Putin on the issue. Later, Mr. Trump made much the same claim on Twitter. The Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, had quite a different version of the facts, suggesting that Mr. Trump had characterized the hacking controversy as a “campaign” against Russia in which “not a single fact has been produced.” So whom should Americans believe? In a more credible administration, who would ever ask?
Another interesting piece that relates to this topic has come from The Weekly Standard's Editorial Board The Trump Administration Has Forfeited the Right to be Trusted on Russia:
The bill [codifying sanctions on Russia into law], now before the House, would force the president to seek congressional approval before easing the sanctions. The administration has been lobbying lawmakers to remove this provision. That’s understandable, inasmuch as the president’s power unilaterally to ease or lift sanctions can be a useful tool by which to encourage favorable conduct from a global miscreant. In more ordinary circumstances, the administration’s objection would have some merit.

But these are not more ordinary circumstances. These are circumstances in which the president has no capacity to set policy toward Russia. Whether the media has unfairly targeted the president and his advisers over their dealings with Russian officials is now beside the point. By a series of unforced errors—omissions of financial dealings with Russian companies, unaccountably faulty memories on meetings with Kremlin-connected operatives—the Trump team has lost all credibility on the question of Russia. Second-guessing by the media and politicians of both parties will be the inevitable accompaniment to every White House announcement about Vladimir Putin or Russia.
Although the Standard's editorial is not as hard-hitting as the NYT's, it's still astounding to see agreement between such different publications regarding the credibility of a Republican administration.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 4:44 PM on July 11 [26 favorites]


I wonder how Mueller's team is organizing their whiteboards.

Oh my lord. Last night, before the Don Jr. email tweetbomb, I stumbled onto this handy timeline of Russian contacts available in both graphic form and text form, chock full of quotes and citations, by attorney and podcaster Susan Simpson on her blog--but I refrained from posting it here as it was released on June 19 (three weeks ago in calendar time, eons in shitstormwatch time).

Now, in post-Don-Jr.-tweet light, the timeline has a nice nostalgic feel. We can hang it up in the Stupid Watergate museum, kind of like those old maps by medieval cartographers that are missing continents that remind us of "what we knew then" and "oh if only we'd known how much more was to come"...
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 4:46 PM on July 11 [6 favorites]


Axios: "If the New York Times knows all this, imagine what Bob Mueller knows."
posted by Chrysostom at 4:50 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]


Wait, what? We're now opposed to wealthy foreigners coming to the US and spending their filthy lucre building businesses here?

BODI - Because Obama Did It.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 4:52 PM on July 11 [7 favorites]


Axios: "If the New York Times knows all this, imagine what Bob Mueller knows."

As others pointed out last time someone posted that, the FBI was unaware of this meeting until media reports. It's reasonable to believe there are things that the FBI knows that we don't know but investigative journalists may well know things the FBI doesn't know.
posted by Justinian at 4:54 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]


Joe's had quite enough. Too bad the stink will still stick to him.

Joe Scarborough announces he is leaving Republican Party
posted by Rust Moranis at 4:54 PM on July 11 [20 favorites]


I totally agree. I want the constitution changed over it (hahahah), even. Do not run for president with literally no political experience!

Yet another reason to favor a parliament, if you needed one
posted by Automocar at 4:57 PM on July 11 [7 favorites]


"If the New York Times knows all this, imagine what Bob Mueller knows."

This quote bothers me because it deprecates the role of good investigative journalism. After all, it was the press—not the FBI—that broke Watergate.
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:58 PM on July 11 [21 favorites]


Seriously you guys the structure of the federal government absolutely stinks and I am sick of it
posted by Automocar at 4:58 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Joe Scarborough announces he is leaving Republican Party
Scarborough, a former Republican congressman from Florida, will say on Tuesday's episode of Stephen Colbert's "Late Show" that he is leaving the GOP to become an independent, the executive producer of the show tweeted.
"independent" is the word that Republican voters use to describe themselves when they want to make you think they're considering alternatives before they go into the booth and vote straight party line R.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 4:59 PM on July 11 [85 favorites]


Hey, anyone leaving the GOP gets some bonus points these days.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:59 PM on July 11 [8 favorites]


Yet another reason to favor a parliament, if you needed one

I always find it quite amazing that there's no shadow executive in the United States. Congressional parties and the executive operate only in loose association and can be adversaries at times.
posted by Talez at 5:02 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]



Oh, Eric. "This is the EXACT reason they viciously attack our family! They can't stand that we are extremely close and will ALWAYS support each other."

He may not be the dumbest Trumpkid, but I do think he's the most naive.


Most willing to throw away his mother as not counting as part of his family, more like. though I think all the rest of them are good at that too, as you would have to be to stay in favor with dadgod.
posted by queenofbithynia at 5:03 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


The Trump administration isn’t a farce. It’s a tragedy. Like Watergate, this is an era of low comedy and high fear. (Ezra Klein / Vox)

"This must be what it was like to live through Watergate. The disorientation, the confusion, the half-truth, the shock, the dark humor. I think of something Elizabeth Drew, the author of one of my favorite books on the era, wrote — “Watergate was a time of low comedy and high fear.” The farce of the story distracts from its horror, and so we take refuge. Twitter is never funnier than when a new Trump-Russia story breaks."

"And yet. This isn’t a scandal as we are used to thinking about it. This isn’t an embarrassment, or a gaffe. This is a security breach. It calls into question whether America’s foreign policy is being driven by the favors President Donald Trump owes Vladimir Putin for his political help or, perhaps worse, whether it’s being driven by the fear that Putin will release far more damning material if Trump crosses him."
posted by Barack Spinoza at 5:04 PM on July 11 [31 favorites]


Hey, anyone leaving the GOP gets some bonus points these days.

It's time for some game theory!
posted by Flashman at 5:04 PM on July 11 [10 favorites]


Zachlipton: WaPo: Hackers have been stealing credit card numbers from Trump’s hotels for months

Not just names, CC numbers, expiration dates, and security codes.

Here is the news story from the Hill Hackers stole credit card info from Trump hotel guests for months
In some cases, hackers also gained access to guest names, email, phone numbers, addresses, and other information, although the company reported that Social Security numbers and passports were not accessed.
Other information? Like they were at the hotel with someone other than their wife? Or?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:05 PM on July 11 [10 favorites]


Sorry to be late to the party. Catching up from last night was a 3-hour process.

Anyway, just here to say thanks for the new post, Ex. (Can I call you Ex? Feels like I know you so well at this point.)

And thanks to everyone here. You're the best community I could imagine to keep me company as the world devolves into madness, seemingly by leaps and bounds by the minute.
posted by greermahoney at 5:05 PM on July 11 [24 favorites]



In March 2017, Greenwald announced plans to build a shelter for stray pets in Brazil that would be staffed by homeless people.

Well, at least we know where he stands.

Not a fan of Greenwald, but is that supposed to be damning in some way?


wrong way around. a REAL humanitarian would build a homeless shelter for humans and staff it with kitty cats. get your priorities together, glenn

(no but I hate him too, seriously)
posted by queenofbithynia at 5:06 PM on July 11 [15 favorites]




After all, it was the press—not the FBI—that broke Watergate.

Deep Throat was the Associate Director of the FBI.
posted by Etrigan at 5:08 PM on July 11 [82 favorites]


Joe's had quite enough. Too bad the stink will still stick to him.

Ariana Huffington used to be a conservative talking head until the Bush II Administration broke her of the habit. To the point where Huffpo is the closest thing to Faux News the left has, only even they have some shreds of self awareness and respect.

Once they break free of the Brain Eater, there is potential for them.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:09 PM on July 11 [6 favorites]


It's time for some game theory!
posted by Flashman


Eponywhatnow? Nice.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:10 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


After all, it was the press—not the FBI—that broke Watergate.

It was sorta both.
posted by OnceUponATime at 5:11 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


As others pointed out last time someone posted that, the FBI was unaware of this meeting until media reports.
So says CNN. And only CNN, right?
posted by rc3spencer at 5:14 PM on July 11


I know we're all distracted by today's treason bombshell, but meanwhile the Republican's "deconstruction of the administrative state" to consolidate all federal power under a shadow apparatus in Bannon's office is starting to have real consequences:

Energy CEOs say the lack of a quorum at FERC means the industry is slowing down and putting an unnecessary drag on the economy. "This is sidelining billions of dollars in private capital otherwise poised to put thousands of Americans to work expanding and improving our nation's energy delivery system." Said Bill Yardley, President, Gas Transmission and Midstream, Enbridge.

posted by T.D. Strange at 5:15 PM on July 11 [15 favorites]


From Facebook: "The 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Journalism has been awarded to Donald Trump Jr., for his diligent, persistent, and successful efforts to uncover the Trump Campaign's collusion with Russia. Congratulations!"
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:16 PM on July 11 [43 favorites]


soren_lorenson for most welcome derail of the month. Christ, I'm trying to eat a Rueben and drink my beer in the neighborhood bar, fighting off tears of gladness at people being brave and good.
posted by Caxton1476 at 5:19 PM on July 11 [12 favorites]


The suspiciously long silence on Junior is broken.

@realDonaldTrump
My son, Donald, will be interviewed by @seanhannity tonight at 10:00 P.M. He is a great person who loves our country!

posted by Rust Moranis at 5:25 PM on July 11 [6 favorites]


It would help if he specified the country.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:28 PM on July 11 [110 favorites]


Wow, Sean Hannity has gotta love a tease-in from the prez! Nothing like a little marketing collusion to get the ball rolling.
posted by valkane at 5:31 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Florida. News from Florida. News from Florida that makes me cry in a good way. I guess I've seen it all now I die relaxi.
posted by vrakatar at 5:32 PM on July 11 [6 favorites]


@AP
BREAKING: Donald Trump Jr. tells Fox News that he did not tell his father about meeting with Russian lawyer.
If someone told you that the Russian government was trying to elect your dad and has dirt on his opponent available, you would obviously never mention it, up to and including the point where your now-President father is firing the FBI director because of an investigation of the non-existent connection between the campaign and Russia.

It would just never come up. Why would you even mention it?
posted by 0xFCAF at 5:32 PM on July 11 [78 favorites]


Synergy!
posted by valkane at 5:32 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Corey Robin:
My fully serious, non-ironic, non-tongue-in-check take on the Russia investigation: The investigation—really investigations, in the FBI, Congress, the media, elsewhere—should go on. For two reasons. First, we don't know the whole story, and we should. I certainly would like to get to the bottom of it. Second, it does tend to keep Trump on the ropes. I'm not at all convinced he'd be able to focus on anything if he didn't have to deal with this scandal—focus does not seem to be his strong suit (in The Art of the Deal he brags about his lack of focus)—but it does keep him obsessed with this story, which means he can't do much of anything else. And that's good.

The downside is that the same applies to liberals, particularly in the media: for all the talk of being able to walk and chew gum at the same time, they sometimes seem incapable of walking and chewing gum at the same time. (See that Vox piece I posted a few weeks back which showed in detail how the Russia story allowed the Republicans to move forward with Trumpcare.)

So here's my bottom line: let the investigations continue, let reporters keep covering it, but keep it in perspective; don't let it obscure everything else that is going on; and for God's sake, please don't respond to each and every blip of the news cycle with some overwrought article or tweet about how Our Democracy has never endured such terrible misfortunes as these.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:32 PM on July 11 [15 favorites]


I know nothing about anything has made sense for what seems like years now, but for god's sake why would he think it's a good idea to go on live TV tonight? Even a friendly network? Just shut the fuck up for a little while. Imagine being this family's lawyers.
posted by something something at 5:34 PM on July 11 [9 favorites]


the pieces...keep falling...into place...

Yashar Ali:
"June 7 - 5:16 PM - Don Jr. confirms meeting w/ Russian lawyer
June 7 - 9:13 PM Trump promises press conf the next week with Clinton dirt."

John Aravosis:
"And then, Don Jr's meeting is a bust, the Russians give him nothing, and Trump delays his press conference."
posted by lalex at 5:34 PM on July 11 [55 favorites]


BREAKING: Donald Trump Jr. tells Fox News that he did not tell his father about meeting with Russian lawyer.

If past performance on his assurances is any guide, we'll start off tomorrow with Don Jr. tweeting out the contents of an email where he's informing his father of every detail.
posted by zachlipton at 5:35 PM on July 11 [24 favorites]




TD Strange: page not found, here is the link to that story:

Energy CEOs say investor money and jobs at risk because FERC isn't functional

If someone told you that the Russian government was trying to elect your dad and has dirt on his opponent available, you would obviously never mention it, up to and including the point where your now-President father is firing the FBI director because of an investigation of the non-existent connection between the campaign and Russia.


Yeah. There is already some pretty good evidence his dad knew.

@Yasher Ali
June 7 - 5:16 PM - Don Jr. confirms meeting w/ Russian lawyer
June 7 - 9:13 PM Trump promises press conf the next week with Clinton dirt.
(twitter link has video of DJT making this promise)
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:38 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]


It would just never come up. Why would you even mention it?

I liked how Ana Navarro put it:
"Don't know about u'all, but I don't buy Trump didn't know re Jared & Jr's mtng w/Russian. He carries those kids in his pouch, kangaroo-style"
posted by Flashman at 5:41 PM on July 11 [22 favorites]


I know nothing about anything has made sense for what seems like years now, but for god's sake why would he think it's a good idea to go on live TV tonight? Even a friendly network? Just shut the fuck up for a little while. Imagine being this family's lawyers.

Yeah, with the All-Star game on Fox tonight and all.
posted by Melismata at 5:42 PM on July 11


apropos. we're doing our best to form a human chain to save America.
posted by Emily's Fist at 5:43 PM on July 11 [41 favorites]


it's shit like this that makes it so hard for the trumps to hire competent legal representation
posted by murphy slaw at 5:44 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


> If it, by some chance, features those prostitutes pissing ON HIM?

trumptwitterarchive.com has real time search of all of 45's tweets & he said this when Buzzfeed reported on the dossier
Russia just said the unverified report paid for by political opponents is "A COMPLETE AND TOTAL FABRICATION, UTTER NONSENSE."
I don't think Trump is smart enough to play two dimensional chess, but some of the statements around this issue sound like Bill Clinton's "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." Remember, Bill didn't, according to the definition of sexual relations he was using from the Paula Jones case.

Trump didn't say the report was a fabrication. He says Russia says it is. He's also made statements that leads me to believe that if there was a micturition scene, he thinks any video was from an angle where he isn't visible. He didn't realize there was another camera in the room. He's also made statements that wouldn't be false if the scene happened, he watched but didn't "participate." This is all a distraction from real problems like savaging health care, but it's all I can cope with right now. Kinkshaming family-and-America-above-all hypocrites is OK by me.
posted by ASCII Costanza head at 5:44 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]




Schwarzenegger's run also didn't happen in a vacuum, it was a very particular recall election.

It was a fucking stupid recall election. The recall "was a seven-month reality show starring a cast of 135 candidates that included a porn actress, performance artists, a ferret enthusiast and onetime 'Diff'rent Strokes' child star Gary Coleman, each basking in Andy Warhol's proverbial 15 minutes of fame."

Gray Davis, the governor, was reelected in November 2002 by a five-percent margin and was recalled in October 2003, without any major scandals during his second term.

The big issue was that Davis "tripled" the car tax from 0.65% to 2% of the car's value. The tax had been reduced from 2% to 0.65% in 1998 when California's economy was flush, with a provision to restore the fee in case the economy got worse.

Voters were pissed at Davis, elected Schwarzenegger, and Schwarzenegger cut the tax.

Turns out the car tax was distributed to local governments to use as they saw fit, and local governments used the money for stuff like ambulances and police. Pretty soon there were sob stories about small towns (most of which voted for the recall) not having emergency services.

The kicker is that drivers ended up spending more per year.
So, OK, you're not paying the $160 a year or so in the car tax. But your gasoline costs have soared, and the taxes you pay on that gas, which is supposed to go only to improve your roads and build rail to get those other guys out of your way and onto commuter trains -- that's going to balance the budget. And while excise taxes on gasoline stay steady at about 18 cents a gallon, most drivers (because of the increase in gasoline prices) are paying more than $160 a year more in gasoline sales taxes this year [2007] than they did in 2003, when the restoration of the car tax was blocked.
Schwarzenegger did have an awesome quote, though:
This is really embarrassing. I just forgot the name of our state governor's name. But I know that you will help me recall him.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:49 PM on July 11 [29 favorites]




Tucker Carlson. He can't backpeddle fast enough from the grave he has dug for himself.
posted by valkane at 5:54 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


You can see it in his face.
posted by valkane at 5:55 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


"You forgot the next part, in which Chief Justice Roberts swears in Paul "the granny-starver" Ryan as the 46th President of the United States."

So there's an interesting -- and until now almost entirely theoretical -- Constitutional law question about this.

Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 says (bold mine throughout):
In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.
The Presidential Succession Act of 1947 provides the current list of successors that goes VEEP, Speaker of the House, etc. HOWEVER, the Appointments Clause of the Constitution (II.2.2) says,
He [the President] ... shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
And the Incompatibility Clause (I.6.3) specifies that:
No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office
So arguably -- and it has been so argued from James Madison up to the present (here's some post-9/11 testimony to Congress on the problems with the current statute) -- members of Congress cannot succeed to the presidency because they are not and Constitutionally cannot be Officers of the United States, which is a legal term of art that refers to members of the executive branch appointed by the president (etc etc).

I'm not a Constitutional scholar, but this is the sort of bar-exam question that pops up in law school, and I'm absolutely certain that -- given the 228-year pedigree of the opposition and the fact that the statutes governing succession have been back and forth between the two positions based on exactly this dispute -- that any attempt to put Paul Ryan in the presidency would be an absolute catastrophe of litigation and legitimacy.

(I mean, it would be so bad that even though I would not pee on Mike Pence if he were on fire because I hate him so much, I can completely see why many members of Congress, including Democrats, would be highly incentivized to find a way to declare Pence free of the Trump/Russian taint, especially if he guaranteed he wouldn't run in 2020, because I can't see a way to resolve the Constitutional question that isn't a catastrophe for the legitimacy of the presidency and the Supreme Court, and Congress has no legitimacy now, so ...)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:56 PM on July 11 [34 favorites]


In the article, Navarro is shown tweeting that Donald Jr.'s thin skin is "a hereditary condition." Isn't it obvious that so was being dropped on his head as a child?
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:56 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


A lot to unpack in tonight's Rucker/Parker White House gossip session: ‘Category 5 hurricane’: White House under siege by Trump Jr.’s Russia revelations. Some samples:
The makeup of Trump’s inner circle is the subject of internal debate, as ever. Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and senior adviser; Jared Kushner, her husband and another senior adviser; and first lady Melania Trump have been privately pressing the president to shake up his team — most specifically by replacing Reince Priebus as the White House chief of staff, according to two senior White House officials and one ally close to the White House.
...
Trump continues to view the Russia controversy as an excuse used by Democrats for losing an election they thought they would win — and an attempt to undermine the legitimacy of his victory, aides said. They said that the president’s frustration is based on the media coverage of his son’s actions, as opposed to the actions themselves.
...
A handful of Republican operatives close to the White House are scrambling to Trump Jr.’s defense and have begun what could be an extensive campaign to try to discredit some of the journalists who have been reporting on the matter.

Their plan, as one member of the team described it, is to research the reporters’ previous work, in some cases going back years, and to exploit any mistakes or perceived biases. They intend to demand corrections, trumpet errors on social media and feed them to conservative outlets, such as Fox News.

But one outside adviser said a campaign against the press when it comes to Trump Jr.’s meeting could be futile: “The meeting happened. It’s tough to go to war with the facts.”
...
Other senior White House officials were hesitant to talk about Trump Jr. — even on the condition of anonymity — for fear of exposing themselves legally.
One important detail in there: "Pence found out about Trump Jr.’s meeting with the Russian attorney Friday evening in advance of the first Times story, said one person familiar with the discussions."

That implies Pence knew Don Jr. was lying all weekend as he spun story after story about the meeting.
posted by zachlipton at 5:58 PM on July 11 [42 favorites]


Imagine being this family's lawyers.

When you're known for stiffing people, I bet the good lawyers take a pass on you.
posted by emjaybee at 5:58 PM on July 11 [10 favorites]


"It’s tough to go to war with the facts.”
I mean, have you seen the past 20-odd years of Republican strategy?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:01 PM on July 11 [36 favorites]


I'm so sorry to do this, but I dropped the best quote:
One friend of Trump Jr.’s said the presidential son saw the Hannity appearance as an opportunity to give his version of Richard Nixon’s “Checkers” speech, a 1952 address in which the then-vice presidential candidate defended himself against accusations of financial improprieties
Please tell me this is someone's idea of a sick "what's the worst thing I can say about Don Jr. that he's too stupid to realize isn't a compliment?" joke.
posted by zachlipton at 6:02 PM on July 11 [24 favorites]


Won't pay, won't listen.

It's kind of a lethal killer of lawyer boners.
posted by joyceanmachine at 6:03 PM on July 11 [14 favorites]


The recent scandal where the Trump administration tried blackmailing Scarborough into better coverage has left me with the impression that Carlson and Greenwald have been reporting in a way that would keep their scandals out of the National Enquirer.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:04 PM on July 11 [17 favorites]


It’s tough to go to war with the facts.”

perhaps not, else the shitfucker would have lost and we would not be having this thread. Or this year. the hyper-reality/kayfabe angle of all this suggests that facts are now replaceable by alt-facts. I'm worried about objective reality and the country.
posted by vrakatar at 6:05 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]


micturition

Whelp, now I know what that is.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 6:06 PM on July 11


Yashar Ali:
"June 7 - 5:16 PM - Don Jr. confirms meeting w/ Russian lawyer
June 7 - 9:13 PM Trump promises press conf the next week with Clinton dirt."

John Aravosis:
"And then, Don Jr's meeting is a bust, the Russians give him nothing, and Trump delays his press conference."


Or rather, the Pulse nightclub shooting on the 12th pre-empts Trump's planned speech for the 13th, and he talks about terrorism and national security instead.

Also on the 12th, Julian Assange gives an interview with ITV in which he promised Wikileaks would publish "upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton". A week later, Wikileaks tweets an "insurance" torrent of hacked DNCfiles.

Then on June 15th, “Guccifer 2.0″ releases a DNC opposition file on Trump, stolen from the Democratic Party’s network.

From the Donald Junior timeline, one can see the Trump Tower and the Kremlin working out the kinks in coordinating their collusion. There's going to be a lot more revelations to come...
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:09 PM on July 11 [21 favorites]


And on Aug. 19th, Manafort resigns from the campaign. Probably because of what he knows and can be charged with.
posted by vrakatar at 6:17 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]


To me, this makes obstruction of justice charges against Trump much more realistic. It's true, as I've said before, that there need be no underlying crime for obstruction to occur. But the defense being raised was that Trump didn't know what he was doing and that's just the way Trump talks and he had no reason to actually want to obstruct justice. This torpedos that defense; Trump knew that the Russia investigation would likely uncover all kinds of dirt like this. So he fired Comey.
posted by Justinian at 6:22 PM on July 11 [10 favorites]


If the "good press" had been seriously following what was happening to the Trump campaign in the summer of '16, we'd have all known all this stuff well before the election. We should never have to deal with "well, it's obvious in retrospect", but we always do. Of course, it should also be obvious that a big reason Trump has such a hate-on for CNN (and the NYT and WaPo) is because they were good to him in the not-too-distant past.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:23 PM on July 11 [6 favorites]


My Trumpxiety is at 11. I barely slept Sunday night, and had serious trouble driving to and from work on Monday. Then I got home and slept for about 14 hours straight. I'm not getting anything done and feel awful all the time. This totally sucks and I'm thinking about just blocking all the news sites on every device I have so I don't have to think about it.
posted by miyabo at 6:26 PM on July 11 [15 favorites]


National Treasure Alexandra Petri, WaPo: How Never To Do Anything Wrong OR The Trump Administration Did Not Chop Down The Cherry Tree
“Don, did you chop down the cherry tree?”
Never.
Definitely not.
This insinuation is the work of the mainstream media and it just shows you how low they will go, and I for one am SHOCKED, SHOCKED and appalled — but not at all surprised.

Just for the record if any cherry trees are found to have been chopped down, I did not then light a bonfire with the twigs and throw a small child onto the flames and shout “MAY THE LORD OF DARKNESS WELCOME THIS SACRIFICE,” and certainly no blood was drunk by any person you would find interesting. That specific sequence of things did not happen, and H. R. McMaster can vouch for it.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:26 PM on July 11 [30 favorites]


The alt-right response, judging from the comments on this Megan McCardle/Bloomberg column that I found when morbid curiosity drew me to visit Drudge, seems to be that well, 'we didn't want a normal play-by-the-rules president anyway, we wanted somebody who would get dirty, who'd do whatever it takes to win, for 'Murca'.
And the white nationalists who've anointed Putin their Haile Selassie probably aren't going to care either.
posted by Flashman at 6:27 PM on July 11 [12 favorites]


> Corey Robin: [...] The downside is that the same applies to liberals, particularly in the media: for all the talk of being able to walk and chew gum at the same time, they sometimes seem incapable of walking and chewing gum at the same time. (See that Vox piece I posted a few weeks back which showed in detail how the Russia story allowed the Republicans to move forward with Trumpcare.

I'm not quite certain what Vox piece Robin's talking about here, and I don't have Facebook to be able to scroll back in his timeline to see his previous posts, but if it's this one, I have to say that I'm not impressed by the analysis he's linking to or his summary of its conclusions. If you click through to their source data and plot the percent of tweets that were about the AHCA vs. Russia, you get something like this. And if you average the percentages, you get an average of 26.4% of tweets about the AHCA, and only 10.6% about Russia. Neither of these shows Democrats failing to walk and chew gum at the same time. Unless he's talking about some other Vox piece, this looks like a case where Robin just dug himself in such a hole on the Trump-Russia story that he's willing to latch on to shoddy analysis for which the data doesn't even support its premise.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:28 PM on July 11 [6 favorites]


I wish I could remember the comedian who was saying that there's no way we can get through the next four years without seeing Trump's dick. Either there's a sex tape or his pants split or he just whips it out at the podium, but there is no way we're gonna be spared that sight.

We'd be better off with President Camacho.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:29 PM on July 11 [19 favorites]


members of Congress cannot succeed to the presidency because they are not and Constitutionally cannot be Officers of the United States, which is a legal term of art that refers to members of the executive branch appointed by the president (etc etc).

I don't really understand this. From Wikipedia:

The Presidential Succession Act of 1792 was the first succession law passed by Congress. The act was contentious because the Federalists did not want the then Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, who had become the leader of the Democratic-Republicans, to follow the Vice President in the succession. There were also separation of powers concerns over including the Chief Justice of the United States in the line. The compromise they worked out established the President pro tempore of the Senate as next in line after the Vice President, followed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

While the Speaker of the House is not necessarily an elected Representative, the Senate President pro tempore is always a Senator. The constitution went into effect in 1789, and the Presidential Succession Act of 1792 was signed by George Washington. Should we not err on the side of trusting George Washington to interpret a minor technical point of the original constitution?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:29 PM on July 11


If you're wondering why all those lawyers would have turned down Trump (besides the part where he doesn't pay his bills or follow advice), just ask the Times:
Advisers said the president was frustrated not so much by his son as by the headlines. But three people close to the legal team said he had also trained his ire on Marc E. Kasowitz, his longtime lawyer, who is leading the team of private lawyers representing him. Mr. Trump, who often vents about advisers in times of trouble, has grown disillusioned by Mr. Kasowitz’s strategy, the people said.

The strain, though, exists on both sides. Mr. Kasowitz and his colleagues have complained that Mr. Kushner has been whispering in the president’s ear about the Russia investigations and stories while keeping the lawyers out of the loop, according to another person familiar with the legal team. The president’s lawyers view Mr. Kushner as an obstacle and freelancer more concerned about protecting himself than his father-in-law, the person said. While no ultimatum has been delivered, the lawyers have told colleagues that they cannot keep operating that way, raising the prospect that Mr. Kasowitz may resign.
And:
Elsewhere, Mr. Kasowitz was working separately to inform an article being prepared by Circa, a news outlet the White House considers favorable, instead of The Times. According to the person close to the legal team, Mr. Kasowitz was kept out of the discussion about Donald Trump Jr.’s initial statement and saw it only after it had been published online in the first Times article.
Kasowitz may be the only person involved in this who is stupider than Don Jr.
posted by zachlipton at 6:30 PM on July 11 [13 favorites]


Some good news from flippable

Double flip. Two Oklahoma State legislative seats flipped red to blue tonight. State senate district 44 and House 75. Congrats @OkDemocrats!

These two districts went Republican by 10 and 19 points last time they were contested. These are big pick-ups.

posted by emjaybee at 6:33 PM on July 11 [112 favorites]


Oh, Eric. "This is the EXACT reason they viciously attack our family! They can't stand that we are extremely close and will ALWAYS support each other."

OH NO ERIC I'M ROOTING FOR YOU TO SUPPORT EACH OTHER ALL THE WAY TO PRISON!
posted by TwoStride at 6:34 PM on July 11 [8 favorites]


We'd be better off with President Camacho.

I mean, I would take Terry Crews over literally anyone currently in the line of succession for the presidency.
posted by nonasuch at 6:36 PM on July 11 [26 favorites]


Whelp, now I know what [micturition] is.

You should've learned it from The Big Lebowski like 99.999% of people who know what it means did.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:38 PM on July 11 [15 favorites]


Some good news from flippable

YOU ARE STEALING MY THUNDER, EMJAYBEE

Kidding, thanks for the early update!
posted by Chrysostom at 6:38 PM on July 11 [10 favorites]


You should've learned it from The Big Lebowski like 99.999% of people who know what it means did.

That Obama mattress really tied the hotel room together, Dude.
posted by Freon at 6:44 PM on July 11 [16 favorites]


You should've learned it from The Big Lebowski yt like 99.999% of people who know what it means did.

I didn't watch The Big Lebowski; I'm bereft of a lot of common knowledge. I'd work on it but I'm busy refreshing the thread. I have an ice cube strapped to my thumb to ease the pain of my constant spacebar/down motion. That detail is probably the last bit of cultural knowledge I'll ever receive before my hands fuse to the keyboard.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 6:44 PM on July 11 [17 favorites]


Daily Beast (Lachlan Markay): Donald Trump Jr.’s Russian Connection Has Ties to Former Kremlin Spies
The Russian lawyer who peddled dirt on Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump Jr. has ties to former Russian military and intelligence officials, a key congressional committee will hear in testimony next week.

William Browder, an American financier who has investigated Russian corruption for more than a decade, will brief the Senate Judiciary Committee at a hearing next week on the lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya’s ties to the Russian government—including to former top members of the GRU and the FSB, two of the Kremlin’s main intelligence agencies. Those ties were spelled out in documents that Browder shared with the committee and provided to The Daily Beast this week.

“Veselnitskaya may have had her own agenda in requesting a meeting with Trump,” according Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, a former CIA officer who led the agency’s European directorate of operations. “But Russian intelligence practice is to co-opt such a person by arming them with secret intelligence information and tasking them to pass it to Trump’s people and get their reaction.”
The hilarious part is that it sounds like Sen. Grassley planned this hearing months ago so he could beat up on Fusion GPS over the Steele dossier and cast doubt on allegations of collusion, and it blew up in his face in catastrophic fashion. So that's fun.
posted by zachlipton at 6:47 PM on July 11 [40 favorites]


Is this a clip from the interview that will air tonight? OMG, he looks so fucking smug!!

Bonus, if you read the comments, you'll find someone who appears to be the real James Frey saying this:

He released them himself and said they were real. He can't claim he released his own fake emails

Which just amuses the fuck out of me!!! I mean if anyone is sensitive to the distinction between real and fake at this point, it's gotta be Frey right?
posted by great_radio at 6:50 PM on July 11 [9 favorites]


members of Congress cannot succeed to the presidency because they are not and Constitutionally cannot be Officers of the United States, which is a legal term of art that refers to members of the executive branch appointed by the president (etc etc).

Not a legal scholar, don't know but...

This is definitely the timeline where the US ends up without a President because of some stupid legal technicality, which the Supreme Court refuses to fix because of originalist jurisprudence, and Congress won't solve because Democrats and Republicans refuse to allow each other a momentary victory.
posted by Glibpaxman at 6:50 PM on July 11 [6 favorites]


You should've learned it from The Big Lebowski ...

Not to derail much further, but I learned it from Douglas Adams and his Vogon Poetry.
Oh freddled gruntbuggly,
Thy micturations are to me,
As plurdled gabbleblotchits,
On a lurgid bee [...]
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 6:52 PM on July 11 [49 favorites]


I am legit excited about those OK special election wins! Those were not expected to flip.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:56 PM on July 11 [22 favorites]


Anywhere to watch the Hannity interview online? Asking for a friend.
posted by dhens at 6:57 PM on July 11


"Should we not err on the side of trusting George Washington to interpret a minor technical point of the original constitution?"

If that were so, we wouldn't have been debating it for 228 years. And Madison was one of the authors of the Federalist Papers so his interpretation is probably more persuasive -- and certainly more legally-cited -- than whatever Washington thought. Washington, while a great man and a clear Cincinnatus, was not a scholar and did not contribute a whole lot to the jurisprudence around the Constitution. Typically if we have Constitutional questions that the Framers had thoughts on, we turn to Madison, Hamilton, Jay, Jefferson, Adams, and to far lesser degree Franklin (brilliant but dead a year into the Republic) and Washington, who was an indispensible man and a moral pillar, but not terribly well-educated and not as smart as the other Founders -- and he knew it. (And it's truly not a criticism -- he knew his limitations and he turned to brilliant men to staff his army and cabinet, and he had a genius for corralling those towering intellects, it is a very special and unique skill.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:57 PM on July 11 [29 favorites]


"44 years a Republican, 1 year an Independent, today I'm joining the Democratic Party"

I sent him a note, Illinoisian to Illinoisian, and got a very cordial response back. Seems like a hoopy frood who really knows where his towel is.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:00 PM on July 11 [57 favorites]


OMG, he looks so fucking smug!!

is it just me, or do junior and pharmabro martin shkreli look like they were hewn from the same chunk of smugwood
posted by murphy slaw at 7:01 PM on July 11 [85 favorites]


The Christopher Wray hearing tomorrow should be a fucking riot.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:01 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Democrats and Republicans refuse to allow each other a momentary victory.

So you're anticipating some major shift in Democratic Party modus operandi?
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:14 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


editorial board at the noted commie #fakenews New York Post: Donald Trump Jr. is an Idiot
posted by lalex at 7:15 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]


NYT: Rancor at White House as Russia Story Refuses to Let the Page Turn
Ultimately, the people said, the president signed off on a statement from Donald Trump Jr. for The Times that was so incomplete that it required day after day of follow-up statements, each more revealing than the last.
Oh boy, more obstruction of justice.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:16 PM on July 11 [26 favorites]


Whoops, left out the lead-in:
As Air Force One jetted back from Europe on Saturday, a small cadre of Mr. Trump’s advisers huddled in a cabin helping to craft a statement for the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., to give to The New York Times explaining why he met last summer with a lawyer connected to the Russian government. Participants on the plane and back in the United States debated about how transparent to be in the statement, according to people familiar with the discussions.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:18 PM on July 11 [23 favorites]


Whoah, wait, does this mean no stop in Britain?

Is this what will spare the queen the ordeal of a carriage ride with 45?
posted by ocschwar at 7:20 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Well I found the interview streaming and watched for about 2 minutes and it's such obvious fluffery that I can't handle it. I worry about the impact on those people who only consume FOX.
posted by dhens at 7:20 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


the NY Post piece ultimately pivots to how this is all just a big hysterical democratic overreaction to a nothingburger that is impeding Trump's agenda, but not until after thoroughly throwing junior under the bus and backing over him a few times.
posted by murphy slaw at 7:22 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


Yeah, the NY Post thing is all "it turned out to be a total wash [according to people who have NOTHING AT ALL TO HIDE NOPE NOTHING YOU READ IT HERE FIRST]".
posted by uosuaq at 7:26 PM on July 11


Seems like a hoopy frood who really knows where his towel is.

What language is this?! The aforementioned Illinoisian? Where it's good to be a hoopy frood?

I'm from Minnesota where we talk regular.
posted by Emmy Rae at 7:29 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Judging from Hannity it looks like they're going for "we just plan to get away with it" and it's probably going to work.

I look forward to wannabe right wing sycophant pundits tomorrow talking about how this is just how things are done in the business world and didn't we want government to be run like a business?
posted by Talez at 7:29 PM on July 11 [6 favorites]


Wow, all of a sudden I want donnie to TWEET LIKE CRAZY-ER-EST!!!!!
posted by vrakatar at 7:34 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry that Trump's trip to NotSoGreat Britain has been postponed until sometime after the next season of Doctor Who, since the a photoshop master at b3ta.com has converted an iconic century-old travel poster for the island's worst-named beach town (Skegness? One letter away from Smegness) to one of the best depictions of The Donald I've seen yet.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:35 PM on July 11 [10 favorites]


The Christopher Wray hearing tomorrow should be a fucking riot.

If John McCain was still alive this would be a perfect vote to express disapproval with the Traitorous Republican party.

But in this world I'd be utterly shocked if a single Republican voted against confirmation.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:36 PM on July 11 [8 favorites]


Oi, there's nowt wrong wi Skeggy.
posted by Flashman at 7:38 PM on July 11 [10 favorites]


Article 1, end of Section 2:
The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers;and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.
Section 3:
The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.
The incompatibility clause would require Ryan to resign his House seat upon succeeding to the Presidency, as Sessions did when he became AG,
and Gerald Ford did when he became VP.
Article 2 middle of section 1:
and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.
This doesn't specify Officer of the United States, just "Officer". The interpretation from the Second Congress on has been that Congress can include their own officers.

At any rate, the only way to resolve it would be for the Secretary of State to sue the new President. The Supremes could decide it for real. They appear to have original jurisdiction on the case, so they could work quickly.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:42 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


Oh boy, more obstruction of justice.

Lying to the American people isn't obstruction of justice. Only lying to the Feds or under oath.
posted by Justinian at 7:48 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]


let me take a peak inside /r/the_donald

mmhmm
yep
yeah


Okay, they're not concerned.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 8:06 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


"This doesn't specify Officer of the United States, just "Officer"."

You have indeed correctly identified the dispute that will lead to years of litigation and that has already led to 228 years of legal debates. Here's some Yalies, Northwestern weighs in in the Stanford Law Review, here is testimony to Congress from 2004. It's an absolutely live issue and a majority of Constitutional scholars -- currently, in the theoretical case -- come down on the side that Congressmen can't be in the line of succession (regardless of when they resign). There's debate right back to the Federalist Papers about whether "Officer" means "Officer of the United States" -- that is pretty much literally the entire dispute.

There are certainly arguments that the Speaker can and should be in the line of succession, not least that Congress has so legislated. That's why it will be an ugly and lengthy legal battle that will ultimately be settled by the Supreme Court in a hotly contentious partisan climate with a disputed Supreme Court seat. It's a nightmare.

Until now it's been almost entirely theoretical, with an uptick of debate after 9/11, when a "designated survivor" scenario became possible. It's an interesting theoretical debate. It's hideously ugly if it becomes a live issue.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:08 PM on July 11 [21 favorites]


What language is this?! The aforementioned Illinoisian? Where it's good to be a hoopy frood?

Don't panic, just read this
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:10 PM on July 11 [25 favorites]


Gray Davis, the governor, was reelected in November 2002 by a five-percent margin and was recalled in October 2003, without any major scandals during his second term.

The big issue was that Davis "tripled" the car tax from 0.65% to 2% of the car's value.


I'll admit I'm not the greatest follower of local politics, then or now. But it's pretty clear in my memory that the big issue was the energy crisis and the details that were emerging about Enron. There was the dot com crash and endless budget crises too. The overall picture was of large, unforgivable fiscal blundering and incompetence.

There was a lot of anger, but Davis did not seem clued into the public feelings at all and I don't really feel it's too ridiculous that he was recalled.
posted by fleacircus at 8:11 PM on July 11 [6 favorites]


CAFE: Fox News spent a whole day claiming James Comey leaked secret info. It wasn’t true, so they issued a 5 second apology. (SpongeBob remix)
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:15 PM on July 11 [9 favorites]


It's funny/terrifying to watch everyone argue legal niceties when we all know the rule of law is utterly meaningless. Paul Ryan could simply declare himself president and the only thing stopping him would be McConnell. Literally nothing else could stop him.

Laws. Ha! It's like nobody watched the last two years!

Laws are for losers, everyone knows that.
posted by aramaic at 8:17 PM on July 11 [14 favorites]


So, I started wondering about how we got here (lol) and rewinded back to Saturday's NYT article that basically kicked off this latest episode of the Trump Shitshow to try to figure out how/where they got this info to begin with. The source for the info regarding this meeting is cited as "according to confidential government records described to The New York Times" and "according to interviews and the documents, which were outlined by people familiar with them."

The Saturday NYT article references the fact that both Kushner and Manafort have recently revised their SF-86 forms to include additional meetings with foreign nationals and specifically calls out that this specific meeting was part of both of their revisions. In Kushner's case, the confirmation is part of a statement provided by his spokesperson Jamie Gorelick. In Manafort's case, his confirmation is only provided "according to people familiar with the events" while his actual spokesman "declined to comment."

In the Sunday follow-up article, they go a bit further in their sourcing and say that "Mr. Manafort and Mr. Kushner recently disclosed the meeting, though not its content, in confidential government documents described to The New York Times." So, at this point, I'm thinking "obviously, these 'confidential government documents' have gotta be the revised SF-86s, right? " But, then further down in the article, there's this:
Mr. Manafort, the former campaign chairman, also recently disclosed the meeting, and Donald Trump Jr.’s role in organizing it, to congressional investigators who had questions about his foreign contacts, according to people familiar with the events. Neither Mr. Manafort nor Mr. Kushner was required to disclose the content of the meeting.
Now, I'm really confused. Neither the Mueller investigation nor any FBI investigation (SF-86 related or otherwise) would be described as "congressional" since they're both under the aegis of the DoJ. Poking around a bit more, I find that Manafort offered to testify to both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees back in March but I don't see anywhere that he actually did so. However, in late May, Manafort apparently did turn over a bunch of documents to the Senate Intel Committee, apparently in response to a letter asking for a listing of "any Russian official or business executive he met with between June 16, 2015 and Jan. 20, 2017. [...] And it seeks all his email or other communications during that period with Russians, or with the Trump campaign about Russia or Russians." So, a new possibility opens up: could the NYT have gotten the info via this document dump? In fact, could it be possible that they got the email chain itself from someone in or around the Senate Intel Committee rather than Kushner or Manafort (my first guesses)? Would the documents that Manafort provided count as "confidential government documents" now that the SSCI had them? On the other hand, if the NYT did get this information somehow via the SSCI, why would they draw attention to the fact that Manafort coughed up the docs? Maybe the NYT's documentary sources are both the revised SF-86s and the Manafort SSCI documents and their sourcing on this is covered from multiple angles.

No way to tell for sure what's happening here, of course. But, as much meat as there is on this story, I'm still pretty interested in how this particular sausage got made. Hopefully they'll have time to cover this bit in the inevitable HBO mini-series and/or prestige Oscar-bait movie about this dumb period.
posted by mhum at 8:17 PM on July 11 [11 favorites]


New York Post: "Don Jr. is why Nigerian e-mail scammers keep trying their luck.”

I can't breathe
posted by Tarumba at 8:20 PM on July 11 [79 favorites]


let me take a peak inside /r/the_donald

mmhmm
yep
yeah


Okay, they're not concerned.


It's important to keep in mind that /r/The_Donald is a *heavily* moderated North Korea like media environment where, in general, only positive things can be posted and commented. It's a pretty good barometer of the crest of the crazy, but not a good barometer of wave beneath the crest, which may or may not be freaking out.

Apparently their current idea is that the meeting with Veselnitskaya was, in fact, an evil setup by the wicked Democrats, who planned long in advance to entrap DJT with it? Or something. Sounds like sublimated freaking-out to me. Desperation.
posted by dis_integration at 8:26 PM on July 11 [31 favorites]


So, I think the only way anyone would ever have standing to challenge the succession order would be once Ryan or Hatch were sworn in. At that point, if we're lucky, the Supreme Court would have original jurisdiction:
In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction.
(The next-in-line Cabinet member would be the "other public Minister", though the text seems to mostly want to be about ambassadors.) Somebody (Ryan, let's say) would have been sworn in immediately upon the office becoming vacant, so there wouldn't be time for an injunction, and the law as it exists is valid until it isn't.

I think I just figured out the next season of "Veep". Somebody goes from Speaker to President, then loses the Supreme Court case and has to go home.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 8:28 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


Lying to the American people isn't obstruction of justice. Only lying to the Feds or under oath.

Just taking a stab here, but the Feds are American people aren't they?
posted by BentFranklin at 8:33 PM on July 11


Both Bill Kristol and Josh Marshall have tweeted within the past hour that the White House was involved in writing Donald Trump Jr's false response that was issued on Saturday. That response was also, says Kristol, seen by Trump. No confirmed sources to this, but if true suggests that the White House was actively involved in a cover-up of the truth. Color me shocked.
posted by vac2003 at 9:02 PM on July 11 [21 favorites]


> It's important to keep in mind that /r/The_Donald is a *heavily* moderated North Korea like media environment where, in general, only positive things can be posted and commented. It's a pretty good barometer of the crest of the crazy, but not a good barometer of wave beneath the crest, which may or may not be freaking out.

Also it's good to keep in mind that something like 90% of the participants there are bots. Reading it is useful to see what the party line is — what the bot owners are telling the devoted MAGAheads to think — but there's nothing like an organic community there.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:04 PM on July 11 [8 favorites]


ProPublica:
“The ongoing investigations into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia involve reams of classified material. Yet Marc Kasowitz, the New York lawyer whom President Donald Trump has hired to defend him in these inquiries, told ProPublica through a spokesman that he does not have a security clearance — the prerequisite for access to government secrets. Nor does he expect to seek one.”

“Several lawyers who have represented presidents and senior government officials said they could not imagine handling a case so suffused with sensitive material without a clearance.”

“One possible explanation for Kasowitz’s decision not to pursue a clearance: He might have trouble getting one.”
posted by Chrysostom at 9:06 PM on July 11 [38 favorites]


Gray Davis was fucked by circumstance and Enron. It didn't help he was kind of a wet noodle (character is destiny and his name is Gray, after all). The guy who funded the recall? Darrell Issa, who hoped to replace Davis himself, but was dissuaded by GOP funders and activists led by former LA mayor (and owner of the DTLA restaurant The Pantry) and Arnold supporter Richard Riordan. Riordan was to have been Davis's GOP opponent in the prior election, but Davis had pulled the "support the other party's goofball (Simon?) on the sly and face off against him in the general" strategy, and it worked. That recall was pretty much the last hurrah for California's moderate GOP.
posted by notyou at 9:13 PM on July 11 [9 favorites]


Also it's good to keep in mind that something like 90% of the participants there are bots.

Hmm, is there a source for that number? How do we know it's not just a self-selected group of crazies?
posted by jcreigh at 9:20 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]


But it's pretty clear in my memory that the big issue was the energy crisis and the details that were emerging about Enron. There was the dot com crash and endless budget crises too.

All those things happened before he was reelected.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:21 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


The Age of Detesting Trump, David Bromwich, London Review of Books:
Nothing now would better serve the maturity and the invigoration of the Democrats than to give up any hope of sound advice or renewal from Bill or Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. They were pleasant to think about, but their politics have turned out wrong, and there’s nothing they can do for us now.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:25 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


Deep Throat was the Associate Director of the FBI.

It was once too absurd and surreal that a key figure in a national scandal was a porno term and title

But now we have Donald Trump
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:25 PM on July 11 [6 favorites]


All those things happened before he was reelected

They were ongoing after, too. Davis would have lost to Riordan, but he was smart/lucky enough face Simon instead. Then the auto fees, then the recall circus. Cruz Bustamante!
posted by notyou at 9:37 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


I believe it was the rolling blackouts middle of unrelenting California summer heat (even though tying the to Governor Gray Davis personally is controversial) and the significantly raised car fees that personally affected most people in California that really caused Gray Davis' downfall. For the poor, any increase in fees hurts, but since it was a percentage of the car value, even if you're rich and gaudy enough to buy a $100,000 car, an extra 1.35% of the car's value is a noticeable amount of money.

Which is relevant to our current situation, because as objectionable as the Russian collusion scandal is, it's a bit abstract. So long as we have bread and circuses, it's hard to imagine real change.
posted by fragmede at 9:39 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]




The meeting between Junior/Manafort/Kushner and the Russian agent is now officially part of Mueller's investigation.

Didn't we just have a thing about how and when the Justice Department confirms investigations, or was that specific to the FBI?
posted by rhizome at 9:50 PM on July 11




filthy light thief: "Harrison: died of pneumonia in 1841.
Garfield: assassinated in 1881; the second of four Presidents to be assassinated, following Abraham Lincoln.
"

Garfield was a really interesting guy who supported civil rights for blacks and fought against corruption. He could have been a really good president, and his death was a tragedy.

I also know his great-granddaughter, if you'd like to discuss more about James A. Garfield sometime.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:56 PM on July 11 [31 favorites]


Garfield was a really interesting guy
...who ended up with a really boring comic strip named after him.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:01 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


Didn't we just have a thing about how and when the Justice Department confirms investigations, or was that specific to the FBI?

Yep, I edited out the "officially" as it was from a CNN source, and not an official statement.
posted by darkstar at 10:03 PM on July 11


“Veselnitskaya may have had her own agenda in requesting a meeting with Trump,” according Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, a former CIA officer who led the agency’s European directorate of operations. “But Russian intelligence practice is to co-opt such a person by arming them with secret intelligence information and tasking them to pass it to Trump’s people and get their reaction.”

From the Russian perspective the first step in any recruitment is just seeing if they'll show up. Doesn't matter what for, doesn't necessarily have to make sense even. If you show up you can be recruited. That comes from a former GRU Colonel of my acquaintance. True fact.
posted by scalefree at 10:03 PM on July 11 [72 favorites]


If you show up you can be recruited.

Indeed, the fact that you show up to such a meeting is, in itself, compromising, and a basis for kompromat, as we are seeing demonstrated so vividly now.
posted by darkstar at 10:06 PM on July 11 [42 favorites]


From the Russian perspective the first step in any recruitment is just seeing if they'll show up. Doesn't matter what for, doesn't necessarily have to make sense even. If you show up you can be recruited. That comes from a former GRU Colonel of my acquaintance. True fact.

Here's the fun part though. As noted by Kara Calavera, Goldstone's email says "this is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump - helped along by Aras and Emin." And this sounds like an obvious point, but it's really worth just saying it explicitly, that everything about that line implies that this support was an ongoing, known thing. There's no context, no introductory remarks. It's simply assumed that Don Jr. obviously knows what this is all about. You and I read it and say "hey, wait, what support?," but Don Jr. reads it and goes "that sounds nice, lemme grab the campaign's braintrust for a meeting."

This meeting might have been an attempt to see if they'd show up, but the email indicates that it was "part of" an ongoing effort everyone was already aware of. We don't know what those parts were yet, but the email implies this was more than first steps.
posted by zachlipton at 10:19 PM on July 11 [65 favorites]


We don't know what those parts were yet, but the email implies this was more than first steps.

This has to be why Don, Jr. is tripping over himself with the incriminating e-mails. Because there were other contacts that are worse.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:23 PM on July 11 [24 favorites]


> The Age of Detesting Trump, David Bromwich, London Review of Books:

From the piece:
President Trump, monster and scapegoat, is too rash in his overall demeanour, too uncalibrated in his words and gestures, too ill-adapted to the routines of politics to carry credit even when he is speaking common sense.
I almost stopped reading this piece right here, and probably should have. Scapegoat? Fuuuuuuck you, pal. Donald Trump is the President of the United States of America, from the Republican Party, with both houses of our bicameral legislature controlled by that same Republican Party. "The buck stops here" is a somewhat problematic axiom in a system with many veto points and the possibility of divided government, but it certainly applies here. All of the blame he has received is for actual misdeeds, unmet expectations, or at worst unrealistic expectations, in which case he'd have the company of 43 other Presidents (giving William Henry Harrison a pass for not even making it through his first 100 days.)

And what common sense has Trump spoken that we should be giving him credit for?
The Democrats tossed his idea that better relations with Russia ‘would not be a bad thing’ into the general stew of his repulsive ideas on taxes and immigration
That's not a low bar, it's a fucking nanotube lying at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Can I get credit for saying that it wouldn't be a bad thing if someone cured cancer? JFK didn't say "it wouldn't be a bad thing if we got to the Moon" -- he said we were going to the fucking Moon. Trump couldn't even come out and say honestly that he affirmatively wanted better relations with this hostile foreign power, because it was plain for anyone (except David Bromwich, apparently) to see that "better" meant "better for Donald Trump", which really meant "better for Vladimir Putin" because Trump is a shitty negotiator, not "better" in the sense of being better for advancing American interests.

For some reason, I kept reading:
They may pin their hopes on the intelligence community and eventually the lawyers, but what will maintain the balance of the state in the meantime? The answer that seems agreed on by moderates of both parties is: the generals.
There's much more to this paragraph, but nothing actually backing up the idea that "moderates of both parties" are putting any faith in Gen. Mattis or any other general. No direct quotes, just "Americans say..." and "he is said to have been a responsible commander." Like, sure, I've read some comments to the effect of Mattis being the sharpest knife in a drawer full of spatulas, and his 98-1 confirmation vote was a huge disappointment, but the idea that any significant portion of the left is putting any faith in him is absurd. He just happens to be the only adult in the room.

But this is the paragraph where I gave up on finding anything of value in the remainder of the piece:
The compulsion to convict Trump of something definite, something dire, even if not yet a criminal offence, reached a sort of climax on 25 June when an entire back page of the Times Sunday Week in Review was transformed into an enormous zero-shaped pattern entitled ‘Trump’s Lies’, under the byline of two reporters, David Leonhardt and Stuart A. Thompson. The dates of more than a hundred ‘lies’ were printed in boldface, the text of the lie in quotation marks and the correction in parenthesis. Most of the lies, however, were what anyone would call opportunistic half-truths, scattershot promises, changes of tack with a denial that any change had taken place and, above all, hyperbolic exaggerations.
What follows after this is some of the most pathetic and shameful Trump apologia I've seen outside of the wingnutosphere, where Trump's lies are defined down as exaggerations that "all politicians indulge" in. Really? If Obama rounded a fucking decimal the wrong way would lead the nightly newscasts, but I'm supposed to believe that Trump getting numbers wrong by two or three orders of magnitude is something less than a lie? Bromwich apparently believes that lies can't be lies if the liar doesn't give a shit if they're correct, and that proving negatives like "Trump wasn't 'tapped'" is a reasonable prerequisite before being allowed to call the unsupported assertion a lie.

I'm not going to waste any more time, except to say that of course "Putin Derangement Syndrome" and "Kathy Griffin", and "Johnny Depp" are key parts of his argument, and that real enemies, on a day when the President's son confessed to treason, are Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, because of fucking course they are.

Leftier-than-thou leftists are descending into self parody at least as fast as the Trump presidency.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:24 PM on July 11 [68 favorites]


Also, re the earlier Franken discussion - he's got a new book out, and it isn't bad. If you were thinking of him as a celebrity politician, it will definitely disabuse you of that notion. Worth checking out of the library.

Also, he talks a lot of shit about Ted Cruz.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:26 PM on July 11 [32 favorites]


Leftier-than-thou leftists are descending into self parody at least as fast as the Trump presidency.

Bromwich is absolutely a "Clinton and the neoliberals are the true enemy!!!11!!1!!" leftist and people like him go on the list right between Ilyn Payne and Polliver.

Maybe Greenwald is hiring? Exposing sources to the feds is hard work.
posted by Justinian at 10:34 PM on July 11 [12 favorites]


So, I finally got the whole "obvious anagram Reince Priebus" thing. "I err, bec. supine." Or did you guys mean "Nicer pie! (Rubes.)"
posted by biogeo at 10:46 PM on July 11 [14 favorites]


Oh god, I knew I'd find the perfect one immediately after posting that.

A perfect summary of the BCRA and all other Republican "policy" this administration. Reince Priebus: "Nice ripe rubes."
posted by biogeo at 10:49 PM on July 11 [41 favorites]


Anagram or reversed, I've been waiting years for Priebus to be forced back into the ancient magic puzzle box he escaped from.
posted by downtohisturtles at 11:10 PM on July 11 [11 favorites]


The Obvious Anagram mini-derail is such a delight to re-visit again once more.

I think this bit is already even posted in this thread, but I'm willing to risk a dreaded double-posting (deliberate misuse) because it's this little funny trick that makes me laugh hard (and if you haven't lately let me recommend laughing hard at something does a world of good for the soul):

If you disemvowel Reince Priebus you get RNC PR BS.
posted by carsonb at 11:20 PM on July 11 [38 favorites]


I now believe Reince Priebus is called Obvious Anagram by National Treasure Charles P. Pierce of Esquire because, were he to appear in a crossword clue, he would be an obvious anagram, rather than because he actually provides an obvious anagram.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:22 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


[Tail end of big old Gray Davis / Enron / Cal election derail deleted. Also (separately), weird little cryptic sarcastic interjections that then have to be teased out to determine what you are in fact trying to say is not good for these threads. Just say what you are trying to say if there is something to actually be said. And everyone, please: we have a limited number of moderators and more than one thread to deal with, plus are human with only human physical and mental tolerances. We cannot keep a continuous comment by comment watch in these threads for months and years (one whole day is not so pleasant), so *please* try to resist continued derailing, spatting, relitigating the you know what, and other problems we've outlined numerous times.]
posted by taz at 11:25 PM on July 11 [50 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

** Special elections results - Noted upthread, the Dems flipped two Oklahoma legislature seats, Senate 44 and House 75. These were big swings - they had gone for Trump 56-37 and 58-36, respectively. Back in May, there was also a pronounced Dem swing in House 28 back in May (although they fell just short), so they seem to have some wind at their back. Both houses remain under GOP control, but every seat counts, and there are three more specials in OK this year.

** Kobach commission:
-- The National Association of Secretaries of State meeting in Indianapolis unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution underscoring the Constitutional rights of of states to administer local, state and federal elections.

-- The Indiana SOS has been sued for saying she would cooperate with the commission's voter data request. The suit contends that this would violate IN state law.
** Odds & ends:
-- FL GOP has posted their worst fundraising quarter in at least 20 years.
-- NH has passed SB3, an effort to suppress the votes of college students. Some thought that this might be unconstitutional.
-- Morning Consult poll has Jeff Flake of AZ as the least popular senator, 37/45. He's the only senator up in 2018 who is underwater (Heller is 41/33).
posted by Chrysostom at 11:27 PM on July 11 [62 favorites]


Speaking of Al Franken, he has posted the first in apparently a series of videos through a partnership of National Geographic's Years of Living Dangerously series and the Funny or Die website... "Boiling the Frog". A very solid presentation, but as usual, do NOT read the YouTube comments; they represent a strong argument for the human race going extinct.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:27 PM on July 11 [6 favorites]


Franken is legit, I don't know anybody who would call him a celebrity politician. Do people call Fred Grandy that? Fred Thompson I can see, but he was a neck-sticker-outer. Anyway, Franken has given me a serious case of Baader-Meinhof by calling Ted Cruz "the guy who microwaves fish at the office." At least twice in the past month I've seen references to microwaving fish as a thing annoying people do.
posted by rhizome at 11:51 PM on July 11 [12 favorites]


with both houses of our bicameral legislature controlled by that same Republican Party

Or: The Origin of the Breakdown of a Conscience in the Bicameral Legislature
posted by Jon Mitchell at 11:56 PM on July 11 [27 favorites]


It was once too absurd and surreal that a key figure in a national scandal was a porno term and title

But now we have Donald Trump


Trump actually appeared in a porno. [real]

He had a very small part.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:58 PM on July 11 [37 favorites]


Here's something depressing that I realized recently: if these asswipes aren't removed from office before 2020, it's very likely their names will go to space aboard the next Mars rover. We'll have sent something more shitty to another planet than the astronaut waste bags they left on the moon.
posted by casarkos at 12:07 AM on July 12 [2 favorites]




For those freaking out, (with good reason!) here's my twice monthly reminder that there are people available to listen. Call a crisis hotline, or text 741-741. Seriously. We listen. We empathize. We validate. And we try to help you find coping mechanisms that will help you get through this. We're here for you.
posted by greermahoney at 12:39 AM on July 12 [40 favorites]


In the Limbaugh reality distortion sphere, Don Jr. is a naturally gifted politician whose nascent career is being hamstrung by dirt-throwing Democrats:
“But you note the energy with which the media is going after Donald Trump Jr. And there’s a reason. They want to dirty him up. They want to destroy the guy before he gets started on his own political career. He has an obvious interest in politics. I don’t know if you’ve heard this guy speak.

“Folks, he is what his dad isn’t in that he is an ideological conservative – and if you’ve heard him speak, he’s got it down. He knows his stuff – and he can sell it and he can be persuasive with it – and he is the exact kind of conservative they want to destroy before he gets started, especially given that they don’t have a bench of their own. That is an added reason for all this energy in destroying Donald Trump Jr. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.”

posted by Gordion Knott at 1:19 AM on July 12 [4 favorites]


Got to hand it to Limbaugh. In that Junior is a criminal and an idiot, he really is a perfect ideological conservative.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:24 AM on July 12 [55 favorites]


In the Limbaugh reality distortion sphere, Don Jr. is a naturally gifted politician whose nascent career is being hamstrung by dirt-throwing Democrats:

Nice to see them admitting why they've been going after Chelsea since she was 12 goddamn years old.
posted by Etrigan at 1:25 AM on July 12 [59 favorites]


@MerriamWebster: Top lookups in order: collusion, treason, collude, quid pro quo, kakistocracy
posted by salix at 2:21 AM on July 12 [54 favorites]


Don Jr.'s Russia meeting wasn't collusion — just amateur hour, The Hill:
One image that a lot of experts see in these stories is a possible violation of the federal law banning foreign contributions to federal campaigns — ironically the very claim that the meeting was called to discuss with regard to Hillary Clinton. The relevant law is 36 U.S.C. 510, which bars direct or indirect contributions or other things of value from a foreign national. MSNBC justice and security analyst Matthew Miller said Trump Jr. could now go to jail because “it doesn’t have to be money … it can be, potentially, accepting information. So he’s potentially confessing in his statement to committing a crime.”

Of course, the crux is “other thing of value.” Under this approach, a court would have to include information as a thing of value like money and then declare that Trump Jr. solicited the information by agreeing to go to the meeting. If that were the case, the wide array of meetings by politicians and their aides with foreign nationals would suddenly become possible criminal violations.

It is common for foreign governments to withhold or take actions to influence elections in other countries. Information is often shared through various channels during elections from lobbyists, non-government organizations, and government officials. This includes former Clinton aide Alexandra Chalupa, who allegedly worked with Ukrainian government officials and journalists to come up with dirt on Trump and Manafort.

Consider the implications of such an unprecedented extension of the criminal code. The sharing of information — even possible criminal conduct by a leading political figure — would be treated the same as accepting cash. It would constitute a major threat to free speech, the free press and the right of association. It would also expose a broad spectrum of political speech to possible criminal prosecution.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 2:28 AM on July 12 [1 favorite]


There are 19 occurrences of the word treason in this thread, but treason is the one crime defined explicitly in the US Constitution. It can only concern countries with which we are at war. We are not at war with Russia. So nothing anyone does in relation to Russia can be treasonous.

Even during the Cold War, this was the case with relation to the USSR, which is why the Rosenbergs, e.g., were not charged with treason.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 2:31 AM on July 12 [8 favorites]


Did Chalupa ever deny she ever met with Ukranian officials? Perhaps under oath in a congressional hearing or on a form requesting top secret security clearance?
posted by PenDevil at 2:37 AM on July 12 [3 favorites]


A diversion about the possible Zuck presidential bid.

The Silicon Valley surveillance capitalism complex is an advanced nation-state-level power. It drains capital and brain power from all over the world. If you don't accept our values and invest in us, we disrupt you out of existence. With thunderous applause (and through-the-roof stock prices). It is hyper-intelligent and is not ashamed of its open ambitions: Thielian immortality (while the rest of you can die of your pre-existing conditions), Muskian space colonization (while the rest of you can die on the truly fucked earth), Kalanickian labour system, and Googlo-Facebookian monopoly on knowledge, dissemination, attention, and behavioural data. Behind all this: the throbbing Trumpian impulses of chaos.

Denmark is already sending a full-time professional diplomat as the ambassador to American tech multinationals. This is a desperate cry for help.

The surveillance capitalism complex is one step away from the perfect totalitarianism. Surveillance does not only know more about you than yourself do. It modifies behaviour and the motivation behind the behaviour, that is, what we used to call "will of the people". Everybody voluntarily pays the smartphone tax and carries a state-sanctioned telescreen. When you know you're being watched you change your behaviour. And your conditioned behaviour reinforces the power structure that conditions your behaviour.

This will make Dostoevsky's Grand Inquisitor look like a nursery rime. And The_Zuck is its VR-enhanced, affable face. In North America.

And when the Anglo-Saxon strand of surveillance capitalism is on the convergence track with Chinese-style technototalitarianism, while already monopolising the Internet and the very concept of an internet in the fastest growing continents, one does wonder if this has been the destined future humans deserve all along.

Somebody say something nice to me please so I don't sink deeper into my own despair.
posted by runcifex at 2:38 AM on July 12 [58 favorites]


I think the major damage of this meeting is yet to be done. It may or may not have been something criminal in and of itself, but these people have done a lot of things like that and not shown the slightest remorse when called on them. Yet we know now that they all lied, and lied, and lied again, for a year... about a meeting that didn't matter?

From which:

1. It did matter. A lot
2. For reasons which will be damning, once revealed
3. And these people lie, and lie, and lie, until actual incontrovertible truth is produced.

Which is what the subpoena was invented for.

It is impossible that these people were not dealing with Russia, and impossible - given 45's entire MO and history - that large sums of money were not involved. Treason is a pipe dream; high crimes and misdemeanours are whatever's convenient, but bribery is bribery.

If I had to collapse the waveform and pick one outcome, that's the one I'd pick. An incontrovertible paper trail or confession (which may be the same thing) that large, material benefits were promised to 45 in return for acting on behalf of the Russian oligarchy. And the adventures of the Duffer Don, Junior Poltroon, are the thread to tug at.
posted by Devonian at 2:44 AM on July 12 [11 favorites]


About presidential succession: isn't the point that they need to follow the Watergate playbook, and replace Pence first? For now, all on the right are happy with a president Pence, but if something more damning than what we know now turns up, we'll see a case against the VP tout de suite.
posted by mumimor at 3:00 AM on July 12 [1 favorite]


Consider the implications of such an unprecedented extension of the criminal code. The sharing of information — even possible criminal conduct by a leading political figure — would be treated the same as accepting cash. It would constitute a major threat to free speech, the free press and the right of association.

Yeah, no. Courts are quite capable of distinguishing between things that are real and things that would fall under some tendentious interpretation, but would make a law silly and unconstitutional.

There's a huge gulf between a hypothetical meeting at which chit-chat is exchanged, and a meeting that is the prelude to a massive interference by agents of a foreign government. Casual political conversations rarely provide a material benefit and they certainly don't impose a material cost on the other side. In contrast, the Trump Tower meeting may have been the offer and acceptance of a massive Russian interference in the election, one that certainly would have delivered a material benefit to Trump's team, and one that excited them so much that Jared, Trump Jr, and Mnuchin all turned up for it.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:08 AM on July 12 [16 favorites]


There are 19 occurrences of the word treason in this thread, but treason is the one crime defined explicitly in the US Constitution. It can only concern countries with which we are at war.
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.
From 10 USC 2205:
(2) the term "enemy" means any country, government, group, or person that has been engaged in hostilities, whether or not lawfully authorized, with the United States;
posted by Etrigan at 3:13 AM on July 12 [49 favorites]


an aposite quote from a somethingawful goon: You are confused because the objective was never to lend credibility to trump or even suppress clinton's chances, the objective is to delegitimize the process, as it has been elsewhere in the world. The objective is proceeding swimmingly.

Like, let's grant this is the highest-level Putin-approved psyop to do some Manchurian Candidate nonsense. I personally believe this was more of a vague influence dragnet in the State Dept mold rather than direct influencing (partially because that's what the evidence supports so far but also because that's a certain level of irony I could see Putin playing with) but for the purposes of conversation fuck it, this conspiracy goes all the way to the top. Why was this operative either cleared or directed to have an incredibly awkward meeting with Trump Jr. with no actual information to present? why do you think this incredibly explosive information was allowed to be committed to writing?

Why would an ex spymaster and multi-decade politician decide, in a G20 meeting that notably went 90 minutes overtime, not confer with Trump for two flippin' minutes to say "hey, how do you want to play this in the media, by the way?" like every other meeting of leaders since the printing press. Why would this person, who supposedly masterminded all this shit go out and say the almost exact opposite of what happened before Trump got to a mic if a secure Trump presidency was the goal?

The imagery of Trump on a leash is no doubt compelling to the unexercised fetishists here, but a) makes even less sense than the rest of what happened in 2016 and b) doesn't and wouldn't work IRL. The object is nothing more or less than the raw spectacle of it. Loud and noisy and public. Electing a clown, eating him alive, replacing him with a towheaded rapture-ready chauvinist so blandly psychopathic even the Hoosiers were getting ready to tell him to fuck off. And all of our institutions, the two parties, the purportedly friendly congress who bridles under his executive authority, the media who has never found a moral they won't mortgage for more eyes and clicks, all of it is going along and all of it is loathed by the nation. It's foul fighting vile and you can't turn it the fuck off so the prevailing sentiment in the average person is one of general disgust and forlorn hope. Now THATS a quintessentially Russian sentiment if there ever was one.

posted by Sebmojo at 3:14 AM on July 12 [59 favorites]


(2) the term "enemy" means any country, government, group, or person that has been engaged in hostilities, whether or not lawfully authorized, with the United States;

Have we been engaged in hostilities with Russia? Is Russia an enemy?
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:36 AM on July 12


If Russia is attacking the USA electronically then it's engaged in hostilities, no?
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:45 AM on July 12 [36 favorites]


Also, given that the authors of the constitution would have almost certainly been hanged for treason had the British caught them, they drafted the definition of treason extremely tightly, to the point where it's next to impossible to be convicted of it. Which is why the US has other laws such as the Espionage Act 1917, which are essentially the treason-in-all-but-name one can actually be convicted of in real-world conditions.
posted by acb at 3:51 AM on July 12 [13 favorites]


Joseph Gurl: treason is the one crime defined explicitly in the US Constitution. It can only concern countries with which we are at war.

Citation? "Enemy" as used in the treason clause is left undefined and I'm not sure it's ever been tested in court. Cornell's annotated constitution mentions three Supreme Court cases arising from the "aid and comfort to the enemy" part of the treason clause, all of them involving aid to declared enemies during WWII, so it seems to still be unclear whether "enemies" might include undeclared enemies.

Even during the Cold War, this was the case with relation to the USSR, which is why the Rosenbergs, e.g., were not charged with treason.

Alternately, as acb notes, it could be because it was sufficient to charge them with espionage, which does not carry the burdensome constitutional requirement of "two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or ... Confession in open court."

Etrigan: From 10 USC 2205:

(2) the term "enemy" means any country, government, group, or person that has been engaged in hostilities, whether or not lawfully authorized, with the United States;


Your link is to 50 USC 2204, but more significantly, you've missed the part at the top where it says "As used in this chapter," i.e., the definition does not necessarily apply to uses of "enemy" outside of that chapter.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:11 AM on July 12 [9 favorites]


'The only honest answer is that an impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers [it] to be at a given moment in history; conviction results from whatever offense or offenses two-thirds of the other body considers to be sufficiently serious to require removal of the accused from office.'
- Gerald Ford, remarks in the House (April 15, 1970), Congressional Record, vol. 116, p. 11913.
posted by rc3spencer at 4:27 AM on July 12 [9 favorites]




There are 19 occurrences of the word treason in this thread, but treason is the one crime defined explicitly in the US Constitution. It can only concern countries with which we are at war. We are not at war with Russia. So nothing anyone does in relation to Russia can be treasonous.

Yeah, and I've pointed out the same before.

But it's important to recognize that people can and do talk about treason without meaning the specifically defined crime against the federal government of the US. Sometimes people just mean acts that are gross betrayals of one's own country as in the usual sense of the word. Acts can be treasonous without being convictably treasonous, or can be treasonous without being examples of the specifically defined US crime.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:42 AM on July 12 [41 favorites]


WSJ: Trump Jr. Email Shows Possible Role of Top Russian Prosecutor
Russia doesn’t have a crown prosecutor, which is Britain’s term for a top prosecuting attorney. But Russia does have an equivalent: the prosecutor general’s office, run by Yuri Chaika.
...
For Mr. Chaika, the campaign against [the Magnitsky Act and hedge fund manager Bill Browder] appeared to be personal. He publicly accused the hedge-fund manager in 2015 of working with U.S. security services to produce a documentary that aired corruption allegations against the Chaika family.
...
When a Russian opposition campaigner released the documentary on Mr. Chaika’s family, one notable person jumped to the prosecutor’s defense: Aras Agalarov, the Russian-Azerbaijani businessman who organized the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow with President Trump.
...
Ms. Veselnitskaya denies working for the Russian government and says she was advocating on behalf of a Russian client facing a U.S. money laundering case related to the Magnitsky Act.
...
Mr. Goldstone insisted that he was referring to Ms. Veselnitskaya, a private attorney, and not Mr. Chaika... “It’s a language thing—I am English—and I call ALL prosecutors crown prosecutors,” Mr. Goldstone wrote in an email to The Wall Street Journal.
It's not paywalled, for now at least.
posted by pjenks at 4:48 AM on July 12 [11 favorites]




I'm wondering why I'm not sort of jumping around in joy this morning about this, and I think that part of the answer is that while I'd be rapturous if say, Trump and Ryan and Pence had say, decided to reenact The Human Centipede with all the Tea Party members of the House, that would be one thing. But God is never so good. The rot goes so deep.

The GOP has the chance to hold onto the Supreme Court and gerrymandering for decades. How can they look at that and with any ease abandon Trump and his demagogical talents? Does anybody in power understand why the 100% of the populace, give or take a few Nazis, not look at Trump and ew? I sure as fuck don't. My psychiatrist has been asking me questions as to what I think motivates Trump and his supporters, and I think my shrink knows his stuff, so either he is performing some shrink ninja on me or he too is wildly fascinated by this crazy shit.

I don't know what my point is.
posted by angrycat at 4:53 AM on July 12 [10 favorites]


But it's important to recognize that people can and do talk about treason without meaning the specifically defined crime against the federal government of the US. Sometimes people just mean acts that are gross betrayals of one's own country as in the usual sense of the word. Acts can be treasonous without being convictably treasonous, or can be treasonous without being examples of the specifically defined US crime.

It's treasony
posted by Sebmojo at 4:55 AM on July 12 [10 favorites]


Has it never been revealed, or did I miss it: How did the NYT acquire the DTJ email thread? Does it follow that it would have to be from one of the recipients, or is that not necessarily a logical assumption? How else?
posted by taz at 4:59 AM on July 12 [3 favorites]


FWIW, treason might feel good, but really the only laws needed to take the whole shebang down are 18 USC 371 and 18 USC 1001. Every time Trump lies, it's part of a conspiracy to deprive The People and Congress of their lawful oversight.
posted by mikelieman at 5:01 AM on July 12 [10 favorites]


Question for UK mefi-ers:
Is Rob Goldstone's claim (in the WSJ, above) that he calls "all prosecutors 'crown prosecutors'" believable?
Is "crown prosecutor" possibly synonymous with government attorney? Of course, Velnitskaya was none of those things, she claims.
posted by pjenks at 5:13 AM on July 12


WIW, treason might feel good, but really the only laws needed to take the whole shebang down are 18 USC 371 and 18 USC 1001.

Hell, at this point, even the RICO statutes are becoming relevant. The Trump family seems to be nothing if not one big (dis)organized crime syndicate, what with the money laundering, the charity fraud, the self-dealing, quid-pro-quo influence peddling, obstruction, collusion, conspiracy, etc., etc.
posted by darkstar at 5:17 AM on July 12 [6 favorites]


We need some clown prosecutors.
posted by Artw at 5:18 AM on July 12 [29 favorites]


Oh, BTW... massive iceberg breaks off of Antarctica - normally something that would alarm the shit out of people and prompt some pause for thought even from republicans, but I expect it to go relatively unremarked on even though it's quite possibly a landmark moment on our path to extinction.
posted by Artw at 5:21 AM on July 12 [38 favorites]


You know, since Trump seems to live in the 1980's, and since Sessions apparently wants to bring the DARE program back, I think it's time to bring back this famous PSA from 1987 to explain how Don Jr. wound up meeting with the Russians.
"Who taught you how to do this stuff?"
"You, all right?! I learned it by watching you!"

Parents who collude with Russia have children who collude with Russia.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:21 AM on July 12 [36 favorites]


Question for UK mefi-ers:
Is Rob Goldstone's claim (in the WSJ, above) that he calls "all prosecutors 'crown prosecutors'" believable?
Is "crown prosecutor" possibly synonymous with government attorney? Of course, Velnitskaya was none of those things, she claims.


Kinda? Crown Prosecutors are lawyers who work for the Crown. Meaning the government, and in that capacity prosecute defendants.

It's not necessarily the most senior lawyer in the government. They are the people who make the charging decisions and prosecute cases. Think Jack McCoy in Law and Order. He's the equivalent of a Crown Prosecutor. But so is the guy who signs the paperwork on your speeding fine. (We do also have an Attorney General).

But regardless, that's an odd way to refer to a lawyer who isn't a Jack McCoy type lawyer.
posted by generichuman at 5:29 AM on July 12 [5 favorites]


Thanks, generichuman!

Although, looking back at Goldstone's email, he writes:
"The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father this morning..."
Using the article "The" seems to make the meaning more specific, doesn't it?
posted by pjenks at 5:37 AM on July 12 [6 favorites]


It doesn't matter what kind of prosecutor he called her. People mess titles like that up easily enough. Everyone in that email thread knew what he meant, if they even noticed. Don't waste your time parsing that particular language too closely.
posted by BentFranklin at 5:40 AM on July 12 [2 favorites]


Is "crown prosecutor" possibly synonymous with government attorney? Of course, Velnitskaya was none of those things, she claims.

But regardless, that's an odd way to refer to a lawyer who isn't a Jack McCoy type lawyer.


It's possible that the "crown prosecutor" who met with Aras Agalarov is not the same individual as the Russian lawyer (Veselnitskaya) sent to meet with Trump's people in NY.

In Goldstone's first email: "The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with [Emin's] Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents..."

Then in a later email: "Emin asked that I schedule a meeting with you and The Russian government attorney who is flying over from Moscow for this Thursday."

Then later: "Would it be possible to move tomorrow meeting to 4pm as the Russian attorney is in court until 3"

But also, according to the NYT, Veselnitskaya "started her career in the prosecutor’s office in Moscow’s suburbs before branching out."
posted by melissasaurus at 5:41 AM on July 12 [5 favorites]


Morning Consult poll has Jeff Flake of AZ as the least popular senator, 37/45. He's the only senator up in 2018 who is underwater (Heller is 41/33).

Hooowwwwww does Pat Toomey have a 45% approval rating? How?!

Anyway, that poll is an excellent reminder of something to always keep in mind when looking at American opinion polls. Everyone thinks that everyone else's [whatever] sucks, but theirs is just fine. Congress as a body has an approval rating in the teens, but in general individual congresspeople are liked just fine by their own constituencies. You see the same thing with public school systems. Everyone else's schools are dangerous dens of drugs and sex, but their own school system is hunky-dory. Everyone else who receives foods stamps is a moocher, but me and all the people I know legitimately need the help.
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:45 AM on July 12 [52 favorites]


@taz: There's a lot of speculation about the source of the emails (Bannon aiming for Kushner? the Russians mad about the G20?), but nothing definitive.
posted by notyou at 5:46 AM on July 12 [1 favorite]


I like how the innocent explanation for this meeting is that Junior wasn't going to commit treason, he was just going to talk to a Russian attorney representing a Russian businessman to further Russian interests to drop or mollify Russian sanctions as enacted by the US in order to secure Russian assistance to help his father win the presidency.

You know. Like you do.
posted by lydhre at 5:48 AM on July 12 [54 favorites]


My fave takeaways from Jr's emails are that no one seems surprised (or that they are surprising anyone) in June 2016 that Russia is helping Trump, that the back channel to Trump is known (Rhona) by Goldstone, and that Manafort and Kushner are all over this, in Trump Tower. Plenty to follow up on there.
posted by rc3spencer at 5:48 AM on July 12 [26 favorites]


Trump-Russia investigators probe Jared Kushner-run digital operation
Investigators at the House and Senate Intelligence committees and the Justice Department are examining whether the Trump campaign’s digital operation – overseen by Jared Kushner – helped guide Russia’s sophisticated voter targeting and fake news attacks on Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Congressional and Justice Department investigators are focusing on whether Trump’s campaign pointed Russian cyber operatives to certain voting jurisdictions in key states – areas where Trump’s digital team and Republican operatives were spotting unexpected weakness in voter support for Hillary Clinton, according to several people familiar with the parallel inquiries.

Also under scrutiny is the question of whether Trump associates or campaign aides had any role in assisting the Russians in publicly releasing thousands of emails, hacked from the accounts of top Democrats, at turning points in the presidential race, mainly through the London-based transparency web site WikiLeaks, .

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told McClatchy he wants to know whether Russia’s “fake or damaging news stories” were “coordinated in any way in terms of targeting or in terms of timing or in terms of any other measure … with the (Trump) campaign.”
posted by chris24 at 5:50 AM on July 12 [22 favorites]


We need some clown prosecutors.

It's important to remember that the Rs whom we all are convinced are scheming with Trump to take over the world are in fact just simply in over their heads. MORE THAN ONE of them has ADMITTED that all they know how to do is obstruct Obama, they don't know actually how to govern. Never attribute malice...
posted by Melismata at 6:01 AM on July 12 [18 favorites]


Is Rob Goldstone's claim (in the WSJ, above) that he calls "all prosecutors 'crown prosecutors'" believable?

Hazy with titles? Yes. Goldstone comes across as the sort of Brit who learned little at school but a lot from the British tabloids and the telly.
posted by Mister Bijou at 6:03 AM on July 12 [2 favorites]


I've seen the healthcare shit and vote suppression they want to pass and will 1000% attribute malice.
posted by Artw at 6:04 AM on July 12 [64 favorites]


Never attribute malice...

At some point depraved indifference to one's own incompetence is sufficient to establish malice.
posted by melissasaurus at 6:05 AM on July 12 [59 favorites]


he is what his dad isn’t in that he is an ideological conservative – and if you’ve heard him speak, he’s got it down. He knows his stuff

Yep, every time the guy opens his mouth I'm all "Is that you George Will, channeling the ghost of William Buckley?"

I know these things are uncorked in the wingnut echo chamber so that people can get their RDA of talking points and all, but I seriously cannot believe this is the angle they're going for. Although to be fair, the intended audience has no clue what words like "ideological" and "conservative" mean, and when they do see Don Jr. speaking, he does look like a white rich guy in a suit, so he must know his stuff, so.
posted by Rykey at 6:12 AM on July 12 [6 favorites]


There has been some speculation that Don Jr. may end up being tried as an adult despite being only a wealthy 40 year old white male.
posted by srboisvert at 6:13 AM on July 12 [174 favorites]


I really hope when the smoke clears from this shitfire nobody forgets about the cc: Manafort, Kushner part of the email.
posted by mcstayinskool at 6:17 AM on July 12 [31 favorites]


On reflection, I think there's a strong case to be made for narrowly interpreting "enemies" in the treason clause to include only declared enemies. Treason was defined narrowly in the Constitution and with an unusually high burden of proof precisely because the British government in the 18th century had abused charges of treason as a means of silencing dissent; we should be wary of weakening those protections and returning to such abuses.

It may be tempting to include undeclared enemies like Russia as a means of getting at Trump insiders, but keep in mind that it's the Trump administration who is charged with enforcing federal laws. Who would Attorney General Jeff Sessions consider to be an enemy of the United States if he could get away with it, and who might he charge with treason under such an interpretation?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:25 AM on July 12 [10 favorites]



Citation? "Enemy" as used in the treason clause is left undefined and I'm not sure it's ever been tested in court.


When Jane Fonda went to North Vietnam, the lack of a formal state of war was deemed clear cut enough to forestall any prosecution.
posted by ocschwar at 6:26 AM on July 12 [8 favorites]


Vile Nazi bastard Rep. Steve King: Use food stamp funds on border wall
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:32 AM on July 12 [19 favorites]


When Jane Fonda went to North Vietnam, the lack of a formal state of war was deemed clear cut enough to forestall any prosecution.
And we're WAY past declaring war ever again, since 2001.
Except of course for using the generic 'war on terrorism (or 'x').
posted by rc3spencer at 6:33 AM on July 12 [2 favorites]


Both Bill Kristol and Josh Marshall have tweeted within the past hour that the White House was involved in writing Donald Trump Jr's false response that was issued on Saturday. That response was also, says Kristol, seen by Trump. No confirmed sources to this, but if true suggests that the White House was actively involved in a cover-up of the truth. Color me shocked.

Just to be clear, the reason they tweeted that is that an NYT article posted last night just before they tweeted (and linked upthread) said so.

I now believe Reince Priebus is called Obvious Anagram by National Treasure Charles P. Pierce of Esquire because, were he to appear in a crossword clue, he would be an obvious anagram, rather than because he actually provides an obvious anagram.

Yes, absolutely. He's called Obvious Anagram because you look at his name and say, "That's obviously just an anagram of something, not an actual name." Have you ever known or heard of anyone from anywhere named either 'Reince' (even as a nickname, which it is) or "Priebus' or any words resembling those? I think 'Reince' may actually violate some phonetic laws of nature.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:34 AM on July 12 [17 favorites]


Does anybody in power understand why the 100% of the populace, give or take a few Nazis, not look at Trump and ew? I sure as fuck don't. My psychiatrist has been asking me questions as to what I think motivates Trump and his supporters, and I think my shrink knows his stuff, so either he is performing some shrink ninja on me or he too is wildly fascinated by this crazy shit.

angrycat, Rykey has the answer: to be fair, the intended audience has no clue what words like "ideological" and "conservative" mean, and when they do see Don Jr. speaking, he does look like a white rich guy in a suit, so he must know his stuff, so.

I was thinking of this because the business newsfeed I get ( in Denmark) was speculating that Trump is about to replace Janet Yellen with Gary Cohn, and my very first thought was (irony alert!) "well, you can't really have a woman in that position, can you?" I grew up with a stepfather who really saw the world that way, and I think it clouds their thought to the degree everything is hazy and scary if you don't have white men in suits at all positions, regardless of everything else. My stepfather's new wife has the same mindset, its not gendered.
posted by mumimor at 6:34 AM on July 12 [7 favorites]


since today is the Christopher Wray appointment hearing for FBI Director, does anyone have a good backgrounder on the dude?
posted by murphy slaw at 6:38 AM on July 12


Yes, absolutely. He's called Obvious Anagram because you look at his name and say, "That's obviously just an anagram of something, not an actual name."

And because of the penis thing. It's like with Spiro Agnew: some of us can't help but see those 5 friendly letters, all thrusting out and waving around.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:39 AM on July 12 [5 favorites]


Reince Priebus = Eric rub E-penis.
posted by Radiophonic Oddity at 6:43 AM on July 12 [12 favorites]


Isn't it an anagram for "I, Prince Erebus"?

Erebus: a primordial deity, representing the personification of darkness..
posted by Philby at 6:45 AM on July 12 [10 favorites]


[Okay, please please stop with the obvious anagram thing. Guy has an unusual name, and it's not worth over 30 comments in this one thread alone, repeated in virtually every new thread. stahp. ]
posted by taz at 6:47 AM on July 12 [67 favorites]


@realdonaldtrump: The W.H. is functioning perfectly, focused on HealthCare, Tax Cuts/Reform & many other things. I have very little time for watching T.V.

Out of everything else, I think I'm most amazed that he's bothering to lie about the amount of tv he watches.
posted by tau_ceti at 6:47 AM on July 12 [57 favorites]


Out of everything else, I think I'm most amazed that he's bothering to lie about the amount of tv he watches.

Look into addiction and how it works.
posted by Namlit at 6:50 AM on July 12 [19 favorites]




@realdonaldtrump: The W.H. is functioning perfectly, focused on HealthCare, Tax Cuts/Reform & many other things. I have very little time for watching T.V.

To be fair, when you're used to watching 16 hours of TV a day, 6 hours a day might seem like very little.
posted by Rykey at 6:51 AM on July 12 [38 favorites]


@realdonaldtrump: Is the fact that my son is a fucking idiot something you'd have to DVR cable news shows and watch them later when you're supposed to be in national security meetings to know? [fake, barely]
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:52 AM on July 12 [2 favorites]


@realdonaldtrump: The W.H. is functioning perfectly, focused on HealthCare, Tax Cuts/Reform & many other things. I have very little time for watching T.V.

Out of everything else, I think I'm most amazed that he's bothering to lie about the amount of tv he watches.


Note that he doesn't actually say that he's not watching a lot of TV. I have very little time for working out, but I still do it.
posted by Etrigan at 6:52 AM on July 12 [15 favorites]


Also, the lie that he doesn't have time to watch much TV is clearly a direct response to what he was watching on TV.
posted by parallellines at 6:52 AM on July 12 [45 favorites]




Trey Gowdy canceled the day's Benghazi and rescheduled his head-sharpening appointment to try talking sense for once. Heartening that he's not discrediting Mueller.

“This drip, drip, drip, is undermining the credibility of this administration,” Gowdy said on Fox News. “Someone close to the president needs to get everyone connected with that campaign in a room and say, ‘from the time you saw Dr. Zhivago until the moment you drank vodka with a guy named Boris, you list every single one of those, and we are going to turn them over to the special counsel.’” [...] Gowdy said he was also concerned about the legal implications of the meeting, but stressed that that aspect be left to special counsel Bob Mueller. “I am going to let Bob Mueller sort out all the criminality,” he said.
posted by Rust Moranis at 7:02 AM on July 12 [20 favorites]


The view in Kushner's orbit is that the brutal new revelations are more P.R. problems than legal problems. And if he makes progress with his Middle East peace efforts, perceptions would be very different. - Axios AM

---

Joe Sarno: So, you the brains of this outfit, or is he?

Longbaugh: Tell ya the truth, I don't think this is a brains kind of operation.
posted by chris24 at 7:07 AM on July 12 [27 favorites]


It sounds bad when the guy in charge of the investigations subcommittee in the House Judiciary Committee, who is the same party as you, uses the words "all the criminality" when talking about somebody who has the same name as you.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:07 AM on July 12 [23 favorites]


It's also true that if Jared suddenly revealed that he's cured cancer perceptions would be very different.
posted by Copronymus at 7:10 AM on July 12 [14 favorites]


The view in Kushner's orbit is that the brutal new revelations are more P.R. problems than legal problems. And if he makes progress with his Middle East peace efforts, perceptions would be very different. - Axios AM

To quote another person who was dealing with peace efforts in that region: If.
posted by Etrigan at 7:11 AM on July 12 [12 favorites]


stephen colbert has andy serkis read trump's tweets as gollum

Seriously can't recommend this enough, the action starts at 4:00 or so. Tears of bitter hilarity are running down my cheeks.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:13 AM on July 12 [10 favorites]


Who knows, maybe he can persuade Netanyahu to give up the Golan Heights and the Palestinians to forget about East Jerusalem the damned horse can fly...
posted by acb at 7:13 AM on July 12 [2 favorites]


Ok, this latest Trump tweet is the one that broke me. I was laughing so loudly and hysterically that my cat came and sat on me and stuck his face in front of my mouth to see if I was in distress and needed Cat Help. Then he laid down on my chest (he weighs 20 lbs, this is serious) and purred until I calmed down.
posted by threeturtles at 7:15 AM on July 12 [84 favorites]


This is all so crazy making. I have to really be careful to not give into feeling defeated by the barrage of it all. A few political FPPs back I started emailing VP Pence with almost daily regularity. I did it for a few weeks never heard anything back. Well I started up again after I saw him brag on Facebook about a bunch of dumb stuff. Here's my email to him, which I will also send in a snail mail today:

"Please explain to me how you reconcile your morality with the lack of ethical behavior around you? I seriously do not understand how you can consider yourself a man of Christ and align with the Trump family. Their behavior is malevolent. And WHY ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH are you seeking council from Rush Limbaugh? He is everything that is wrong with modern American politics. You will have to explain your involvement with Russia interfering in our democratic election. You will have to explain your behavior and if it is as malevolent as the Trumps. We see you. God sees you. Be an honorable man of scripture do not hide behind it."

Yeah I know he will never respond. But it keeps his staff busy.

Anyone else in Texas please continue to call Cruz and Cornyn. Cruz claimed we were not interested in Russia stuff and he should hear from us that we are. And I think they really are trying to pass Cruz's healthcare cruelty amendment next week. I've had to take breaks, but I'm back in calling them all the time. Just UGH.

One thing that I've found that helps me keep doing it is to also call another rep who is doing something I support and thank them. That way I'm balancing the vitriol with gratitude, which helps me keep going.

thanks everyone for all you're doing. Thanks for these threads.
posted by dog food sugar at 7:18 AM on July 12 [39 favorites]


Kushner: "5... 4... 3... 2... 1... Go!"
* Trump Jr tweets
* Internet explodes
Kushner: "You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!"
posted by Talez at 7:21 AM on July 12 [13 favorites]


thanks everyone for all you're doing. Thanks for these threads.

Thank you for what you are doing also; you're being the engaged citizen that democracy depends on.
posted by jaduncan at 7:22 AM on July 12 [13 favorites]


Out of everything else, I think I'm most amazed that he's bothering to lie about the amount of tv he watches.

I choose to believe he's not trying to convince he doesn't watch too much television, but instead complaining about the lack of tv watching he is getting in.
posted by drezdn at 7:23 AM on July 12 [28 favorites]


The thing about all the Russia meetings that hasn't been exposed yet is the quid pro quo. If all they wanted to do was interfere, then they could do all their hacking and document dumping without involving the Trump campaign. So clearly they wanted something for their effort and I'm assuming it was ending the sanctions, but it seems like we really need evidence that they asked.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 7:23 AM on July 12 [6 favorites]


from the time you saw Dr. Zhivago until the moment you drank vodka with a guy named Boris

I can't lie. That's pretty funny (while also, y'know, being terribly minimizing about the extent, breadth, and unprecedented nature of both the Trump campaign and transition team's contact with state actors, and their goddamn motherfucking unending duplicity about it).
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:26 AM on July 12 [8 favorites]


we really need evidence that they asked.

Thanks for coming to my meeting about dirt on Hillary. But before we get into that, I'd really like to talk about the Magnitsky Act -- I mean adoptions (hint hint). - Natalia Veselnitskaya (basically)
posted by chris24 at 7:28 AM on July 12 [11 favorites]


The thing about all the Russia meetings that hasn't been exposed yet is the quid pro quo. If all they wanted to do was interfere, then they could do all their hacking and document dumping without involving the Trump campaign. So clearly they wanted something for their effort and I'm assuming it was ending the sanctions, but it seems like we really need evidence that they asked.

You don't pull an oil CEO with the Russian Order of Friendship in to be a terrible and disinterested Secretary of State for shits and giggles.

CEOs don't just decide to be public servants. They go where they can make fucking squillions. If I was betting on conspiracies my twenty bucks is going on the Trump family having that mysterious controlling interest in Rosneft, Tillerson still having his Exxon stock, and both walking away with said squillions after the sanctions are dealt with and the Black Sea venture goes through. For bonus tin foil hat points, a war in the middle east between KSA and Qatar would drive oil prices up making them even fucking richer.

But that's just where my imagination takes me.
posted by Talez at 7:33 AM on July 12 [63 favorites]


The thing about all the Russia meetings that hasn't been exposed yet is the quid pro quo. If all they wanted to do was interfere, then they could do all their hacking and document dumping without involving the Trump campaign. So clearly they wanted something for their effort and I'm assuming it was ending the sanctions, but it seems like we really need evidence that they asked.

This is turning into something like flipping a Mafia family. They need someone to start talking to avoid the less serious charges, and then they can steadily work up. Unfortunately for the Trumps they are up against somewhat of a all-star legal team in Muller et al, and that's setting aside the separate FBI investigation.
posted by jaduncan at 7:34 AM on July 12 [3 favorites]


My assumption was that they were trying to build a Russian style oligarchy in the US, only the crucial element of ruthless leadership (a Putin equivalent plus supporting institutions) was missing and instead they got a senile narcissist who wants to golf and a bunch of amateur crooks.
posted by Tarumba at 7:37 AM on July 12 [14 favorites]


For your diversion, here's a supercut of Donald Trump saying "no collusion" in various interviews:

WATCH: For months Pres. Trump has repeatedly denied there was any collusion between his campaign & Russia. #11MSNBC
— 11th Hour (@11thHour) 12 July 2017


And here's the rest of gang:

Watch: Trump, Pence, Kellyanne, Manafort denying any Trump campaign contact with Russians
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) 11 July 2017


No, seriously, Team Trump is going to try to brazen out the Donald Jr. scandal by repeated denials because that's what worked for them in the past.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:38 AM on July 12 [31 favorites]


It's frustrating to see this discussion devolve into rules-lawyering about when it's okay to use the word treason. As far as I know, none of us is a lawyer who's going to ever prosecute anyone in the Trump orbit, so this assumption that every invocation of the word is as a legal term of art is counterproductive and beside the point. It's troubling to see such extreme levels of credulousness from so many self-described leftists toward arguments that vindicate the Trumpists combined with constant nitpicking and hair splitting when the obvious patterns of foul play are cited.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:48 AM on July 12 [49 favorites]


> No, seriously, Team Trump is going to try to brazen out the Donald Jr. scandal

That's Donald Trump's entire life, and (one way or another) it made him President of the United States. I wouldn't change course if I were him, either.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:49 AM on July 12 [11 favorites]


No, seriously, Team Trump is going to try to brazen out the Donald Jr. scandal by repeated denials because that's what worked for them in the past.

Trump could be on tape accepting a bribe from Exxon to destroy our National Parks for drilling oil wells and Republicans still wouldn't impeach him with some bullshit tautology like "he's just a business guy, that's how things are done in business".
posted by Talez at 7:52 AM on July 12 [10 favorites]


with some bullshit tautology like "he's just a business guy, that's how things are done in business".

And/or "we only know how to obstruct Obama, we don't know anything else."
posted by Melismata at 7:55 AM on July 12 [6 favorites]


It's troubling to see such extreme levels of credulousness from so many self-described leftists toward arguments that vindicate the Trumpists combined with constant nitpicking and hair splitting when the obvious patterns of foul play are cited.

I mean just in this thread we're currently being credulous and nitpicky about, at least:

The definitions of the words "treason" and "enemy"
The usage of the words "obvious anagram"
The qualifications of a handful of celebrities to be President of the United States
And specifically the historical legacy and electoral circumstances of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Whether the release of the Piss Tape would be a moral hypocrisy
Glenn Greenwald, of all fucking things

So apparently we just like to keep busy.
posted by penduluum at 7:58 AM on July 12 [7 favorites]


So apparently we just like to keep busy.

can't sleep, trump will eat me
posted by murphy slaw at 7:59 AM on July 12 [60 favorites]


> So apparently we just like to keep busy.

I think in the case of Trump, it's a lot more than that. He and Russia were enemies of neoliberal sellouts Obama and Clinton, and the enemies of their enemies are their friends, or if not friends, at least figures that they will look at in the most charitable possible light for the purposes of kicking the shit out of those neoliberal sellouts long after they've lost most of their political relevance.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:01 AM on July 12 [1 favorite]


Love this, gotta share:

John Nichols at BillMoyers.com: Democrats Must Become America’s Anti-Gerrymandering Party
American democracy is not working. We have a president who lost the popular vote by almost 3 million ballots, a Congress that reflects gerrymandered district lines rather than the will of the people and a voting system that discourages rather than encourages the high turnouts that are needed to establish a genuinely representative democracy.

The Republican Party, which has benefited from this dysfunction, is in no rush to change things.
[...]
For the Democrats, there are two ways to address the crisis. First, they can carry on as they always have and hope that they get better at being an opposition party within a fundamentally flawed system. Second, they could propose to reform the system in ways that would begin to realize the promise of competitive elections and popular democracy.

Rep. Don Beyer has chosen the bolder route. Last week, the Virginia Democrat proposed the Fair Representation Act, a plan to democratize congressional elections with a bold reform that could also be used to bring real competition to state legislative contests.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:02 AM on July 12 [90 favorites]


with some bullshit tautology like "he's just a business guy, that's how things are done in business".

Also, things like nature are for librul commie snowflakes.
posted by acb at 8:05 AM on July 12


The Wray hearing so far is a total farce. Even the Democrats are acting like the vote is a foregone conclusion. Wray looking likely to have significant Democratic support. Some oversight of the replacement of the man investigating the President of the United States for, yes, treason. That's what it is in the popular usage, regardless of the statutes that would ultimately be used in a hypothetical prosecution. And we should us the accurate rhetoric, as should our elected Democrats.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:07 AM on July 12 [3 favorites]


Sen. Graham is going ham on the Don Jr. emails during the Wray hearing right now. Reading them out, being pretty goddamned forceful.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:07 AM on July 12 [20 favorites]


That's Donald Trump's entire life, and (one way or another) it made him President of the United States. I wouldn't change course if I were him, either.

Past Performance Is Not Indicative of Future Results.

(Fax your senator, call your rep, get involved, resist, and so on and so on.)
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:08 AM on July 12 [7 favorites]


Yeah, Graham really perked up there with Wray. Worth catching.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:09 AM on July 12 [2 favorites]


can't sleep, trump will eat me

These threads have turned out to be my best way of following the nefarious weirdness. I don't always have time to read everything in the thread, much less everything linked, but I can always scan the most recent fifty comments and feel in touch, even if I don't always have a grip.
posted by kingless at 8:09 AM on July 12 [13 favorites]


If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can bring peace to the middle east
And maybe cure some cancers in the bargain,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you can get away with treason, my son!
posted by Naberius at 8:10 AM on July 12 [13 favorites]


Osita Newanevu, Politico: Did the Clinton Campaign Really Collude With Ukraine?
It’s important to remember that what’s ultimately concerning about Russiagate is the possibility that the Trump campaign—including staffers now employed in the White House by the president—worked with a hostile government whose leaders attempted to influence and disrupt the election with cyberattacks. The Chalupa story is about officials in an embassy passing along opposition research to a Democratic operative and reporters. The two episodes are not close to being the same, but that fact obviously won’t stop Trump’s supporters from deploying the story for yet another round of Clinton whataboutism.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:11 AM on July 12 [10 favorites]


Osita Newanevu, Politico: Did the Clinton Campaign Really Collude With Ukraine?

The Post comes to the same conclusion.
The short-hand version of this story — Russia helped Trump, but Ukraine helped Clinton! — suffers badly from a collapse of scale.

While the Politico story does detail apparent willingness among embassy staffers to help Chalupa and also more broadly documents ways in which Ukrainian officials appeared to prefer Clinton’s candidacy, what’s missing is evidence of a concerted effort driven by Kiev.

U.S. intelligence agencies believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally directed his intelligence agencies to hack into and release private information from the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign. That effort included hackers from two different intelligence agencies which spent months inside the DNC network before releasing thousands of pages of documents to the public.

What’s more, they coordinated a widespread campaign to amplifying unflattering stories about Clinton and promote Trump. Russia also repeatedly probed American election systems, prompting an unusual warning to states from the federal government.

American intelligence agencies saw signs that people allied with Trump’s campaign may have been aiding the Russians in that effort. That’s why this is all being discussed right now, of course, since Trump Jr.’s emails draw the clearest line between the Russians and the campaign we’ve yet seen. The FBI began a counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s meddling a year ago.

By contrast, Politico’s report details the work of one person who was researching Manafort with help from inside the Ukrainian Embassy and who, at some undetermined point, provided info to the Clinton campaign, though she worked for the DNC as a consultant until shortly before the party conventions. That, coupled with the Manafort ledger revelation, is the full scope of the Ukrainian plot that’s been revealed. A weak link to the Ukrainians and a weaker link to the Clinton campaign.
posted by chris24 at 8:19 AM on July 12 [25 favorites]


can't sleep, trump will eat me

We've been digested and deposited in his jowl fat for some time now, dear.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:25 AM on July 12 [7 favorites]


I don't know if it matters in terms of election law, but it seems to me that there's a pretty clear difference between getting information on an election opponent's activities conducted in concert with a foreign government, which would necessarily be known mainly (if not exclusively) by members of that government, versus a foreign government hacking into a campaign's U.S. computers and coordinating release of the ill-gotten documents with that candidate's opponent. The former wouldn't be shady at all if it were 100% domestic -- for instance, Obama's 2012 campaign digging into Romney's history at Bain – but the hacking would still be a huge scandal if we found out that the Trump campaign was actively soliciting help from U.S.-based Anonymous members or similar.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:32 AM on July 12 [6 favorites]


Josh Marshall in TPM: The Vipers and the Derp*
First we learn that the initial response from Donald Trump Jr to the Saturday (first) Times article was crafted by the a group of the President’s advisors on Air Force One on the return from Europe. The President signed off on the final version. The President’s son is purportedly set apart from the daily affairs of the White House running the President’s business empire. Why is the President’s White House team answering press stories on his behalf? That seems like a pretty good question. More practically though, if nothing else, this appears to implicate the President in the false claims made to the Times for the first story. [...]

What I’m lead to understand is that [Jared Kushner] might think that putting Don Jr in the spotlight, at the center of the story, would in some way help him, push him into the background and thus take pressure off him. Does that make any sense? Not really. But remember, Kushner thought firing James Comey was a good idea. With Kushner, Don Jr and the rest of these guys, I have a persistent sense that they don’t quite grasp the seriousness of the situation they’re in. This is not like a media war in New York City where you can land a blow by placing a nasty story in The New York Post or bludgeon your enemies by buying your own paper. Big, sprawling criminal investigations of this sort rumble on in perfect indifference to whether or not you won the morning or killed it in ten different news cycles. [...]

Let me add some additional detail which sheds some light on this. You can see here that Kasowitz and the President’s legal team believe Kushner is trying to protect himself at the President’s expense. Yet, despite this, Kushner is preventing them from adequately defending the President by using familial proximity to influence him. [...]

This is all a hall of mirrors. It’s impossible to tell with any real reliability who is doing what to whom. What’s clear is that this is a notional ‘team’ which appears to be in some key ways as afraid of each other as they are of the prosecutors on their trail. That clearly is not a good recipe for any kind of concerted action that could limit legal exposure. At the end of the day though these folks are in trouble because, almost certainly, they have various kinds of misconduct to hide. So all the musical chairs and mutual knifing probably won’t over time prevent their wrongdoing from being revealed.
These intellectual all-stars have gotten away with so much shady bullshit over the years, that they think they're going to lessen the heat by screwing each other over in the media. Thing is, though, they're all tied together. I mean, remember Eric Trump's whiny tweet about how they are all so close and always stick together? Well dawg, that sort of statement is why it's impossible to believe that your jackass father was totally clueless about his son, campaign chairman, and son-in-law meeting with Kremlin lawyer Natlia Veselnitskaya to discuss obtaining damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

The amount of stupid would be hilarious if weren't for the wickedness and cruelty.

*Not fond of the ableism in the title.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 8:33 AM on July 12 [45 favorites]


Aras Agalarov on Russian radio today: The letter @DonaldJTrumpJr posted is "all made up. I don't know these people." (via @maxseddon)

Of course, as is pointed out in the replies: Um, not so sure about that.
posted by pjenks at 8:35 AM on July 12 [24 favorites]


Here's the law in question: 52 U.S. Code § 30121 - Contributions and donations by foreign nationals

(a) Prohibition
It shall be unlawful for—
(1) a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make—
(A)
a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election;
(B)
a contribution or donation to a committee of a political party;
...
(2)
a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or donation described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1) from a foreign national.
(b) “Foreign national” defined
As used in this section, the term “foreign national” means—
(1)
a foreign principal, as such term is defined by section 611(b) of title 22, except that the term “foreign national” shall not include any individual who is a citizen of the United States; or
(2)
an individual who is not a citizen of the United States or a national of the United States...


The Clinton campaign members are not foreign nationals, so they can't be guilty of (a)(1).

Alexandra Chalupa is an American citizen. EVEN IF the Clinton campaign solicited something of value from her, they cannot be guilty of (a)(2).

Equally, if Trump Jr had solicited something of value from a US citizen, he would be in the clear with regard to this law. But Natalia Veselnitskaya is not a US citizen. (And nor is Rob Goldstone.)

Am I missing something?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:40 AM on July 12 [13 favorites]


> This is all a hall of mirrors.

I initially misread this as "hell of mirrors," and who can blame me?
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:42 AM on July 12 [5 favorites]


No, seriously, Team Trump is going to try to brazen out the Donald Jr. scandal by repeated denials because that's what worked for them in the past.


And I, for one, think this is exactly what they should keep doing. On TV, on the Twitters, into microphones everywhere. In courtrooms, in prison cells, everywhere.
posted by Rykey at 8:43 AM on July 12 [9 favorites]


Vile Nazi bastard Rep. Steve King: Use food stamp funds on border wall

I wonder if Steve King understands that food stamps have a backend effect as a farm subsidy. Eliminate SNAP and you have 45 million people cutting their grocery budgets which will have a direct effect on commodity prices. It's not like having 1/8 of the country less able to buy food will affect Iowa or anything.
posted by nathan_teske at 8:45 AM on July 12 [84 favorites]


Steve King is the kind of straight-up KKK-level racist who would gladly condemn poor whites to starvation if it does more to kill black people---I mean, "restore U.S. demographics."
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:47 AM on July 12 [35 favorites]


A trio of NPR links on Wray:
- Watch Live: FBI Director Nominee Christopher Wray's nomination hearing (includes live-blogging summary)
- 5 Questions For FBI Director Nominee Christopher Wray (questions are generally answered with information from the public record, often including formal comments on these general questions, as well as summaries of responses from Wray's friends and colleagues)
1. Will you be loyal to the justice system or to the president?
2. Speaking of Russia, your law firm, King & Spalding, has represented clients in that country. Please describe your involvement.
In a dozen years of private law practice, Wray has built up a long list of clients, from major banks and corporations to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. His law firm, King & Spalding, has represented Russian oil interests. But lawyers there said Wray had no involvement with those Russian clients. Wray already has signed an ethics agreement with the Justice Department. That paperwork tallied Wray's annual takeaway from the law firm partnership at $9 million. [But why not pick someone who hasn't had even the hint of a business relationship with Russian clients? -ed.]
3. During your tenure at the Justice Department, after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, you were part of a team protecting national security. The American Civil Liberties Union says your name appears 29 times in documents it gathered through the Freedom of Information Act. What was your involvement in the detainee interrogation program and what did you do about abuses?
4. Are you prepared to resign if you see a violation of laws, rules or norms by your superiors at the Justice Department or anyone in the White House?
5. Your predecessor at the FBI, James Comey, has testified the bureau has open investigations in every state into possible threats posed by people radicalized by the Islamic State. What tools would you deploy to attack that threat?
- FBI Director Nominee Christopher Wray Could Help Steady The Bureau Amid Turmoil
Christopher Wray's friends and mentors use one word to describe him: steady.

That trait could come in handy at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where employees have been reeling since President Trump fired Director James Comey two months ago.

Wray, 50, has spent years working in and around the U.S. Justice Department, making national security policy and overseeing cases against corrupt business executives. But he's operated outside the spotlight, by design.
...
This week, the FBI Agents Association agreed, offering its strong support for the nomination. In a statement, president Thomas O'Connor told NPR his organization is "confident that [Wray] understands the nature of investigative work and the centrality of Special Agents to the mission of the FBI."

That's probably because Wray has seen that work from the inside. He served as a federal prosecutor in Atlanta before he moved to Washington for top jobs inside the George W. Bush Justice Department.

Wray was a key part of a team struggling to protect national security after the Sept. 11 attacks, heading to work in the morning before dawn, and hoping that his socks matched once he got to the office.

"Those were very intense times," recalled friend and colleague Andrew Hruska. "We understood that we were handling some of the most significant issues in the country, and Chris was at the epicenter."
Not sure why the folksy "hoping his socks matched" was added in.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:48 AM on July 12 [1 favorite]


Paul Ryan when asked if he would have taken the meeting said "I'm not going to answer hypotheticals". Is that standard I don't want to answer "Hell no" because I don't want to make the president look bad, or is it "This is not actually a hypothetical question and I have done that so I can't just answer no to that question"?
posted by TwoWordReview at 8:50 AM on July 12 [8 favorites]


Paul Ryan when asked if he would have taken the meeting said "I'm not going to answer hypotheticals". Is that standard I don't want to answer "Hell no" because I don't want to make the president look bad, or is it "This is not actually a hypothetical question and I have done that so I can't just answer no to that question"?

"Omertà means family. Family means nobody gets left behind — or forgotten."
posted by Talez at 8:53 AM on July 12 [13 favorites]


Paul Ryan when asked if he would have taken the meeting said "I'm not going to answer hypotheticals". Is that standard I don't want to answer "Hell no" because I don't want to make the president look bad, or is it "This is not actually a hypothetical question and I have done that so I can't just answer no to that question"?

@daveweigel: FWIW, Ryan's super PAC made use of info stolen by hackers from the DNC
posted by zombieflanders at 8:54 AM on July 12 [53 favorites]


likely their names will go to space aboard the next Mars rover.

So we can hope for aliens to assist us eventually.
posted by spitbull at 8:55 AM on July 12 [3 favorites]


Good news break:
Connecticut Just Banned Civil Forfeiture Without A Criminal Conviction (Institute For Justice)

Many states have curtailed civil forfeiture, and New Mexico has abolished it except for property directly connected to the commission of a crime.

Nice work from foreign agent John Oliver!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:58 AM on July 12 [100 favorites]


Aras Agalarov on Russian radio today: The letter @DonaldJTrumpJr posted is "all made up. I don't know these people." (via @maxseddon)

Of course, as is pointed out in the replies: Um, not so sure about that.


How do these people not know about photography? Or the ability to print an email, never mind how servers store email. Never mind incidental cameral surveillance, or anything more complex. It strikes me how incredibly insulated they are -- some ordinary schmo having a garden-variety extra-marital affair would be a hundred times better at covering his own tracks.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 9:01 AM on July 12 [7 favorites]


The presidency is not an entry-level position. Run for mayor first.

I totally agree. I want the constitution changed over it (hahahah), even. Do not run for president with literally no political experience!


The irony is that the founders created the Electoral College for exactly that situation -- nixing an unqualified doofus who managed to get himself elected by popular appeal. 2016 was exactly the situation for which the EC was created, and it failed. It's time for it to go.
posted by Gelatin at 9:01 AM on July 12 [76 favorites]




Wired has a handy timeline of Goldstone's associations with the Trumps and the Agalarovs, documented with Goldstone's social media posts. The dinner photos with the enormous celebrity portraits are from his posts.
posted by gladly at 9:11 AM on July 12 [3 favorites]


> Aras Agalarov on Russian radio today: The letter @DonaldJTrumpJr posted is "all made up. I don't know these people." (via @maxseddon)
Of course, as is pointed out in the replies: Um, not so sure about that.


He knows. They all know. They're just laughing at us.

I've been mulling over how these emails came to light - the NYT cited several insiders "with knowledge of" etc.

One possibility is, of course, rats fleeing the ship, or people pushing the spotlight over towards Jr. so that Kushner can get a reprieve. But that's incredibly short-term stupid thinking - isn't it obvious that when they go down, they'll all go down together? Ok, I know - "stupid" is practically mandated by Trump's razor, and "thinking" is not something this crowd does. Or maybe what's out there is so bad, so treasonous (not literally, whatever) that being out even a tiny bit in front of the heat is worth it.

But the other possibility is that it's all part of the plan - the Russian puppet masters have masterminded Trump's rise, and now they want to reveal his utter clownishness to the world, and rub our noses in it. Ha ha, democracy so great, you elect moron.

Oh well. We are definitely living in interesting times.
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:12 AM on July 12 [3 favorites]


Wray says he "needs to get beefed up on" online terrorist recruitment and the technology they use to do it. He also dodged questions on 702 intercepts because "that was passed after I was there". Seems like the guy we want leading 21st century counter intel.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:16 AM on July 12 [2 favorites]


Wray is there for one reason and one reason only: To fire Mueller and end the Russia investigation.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:21 AM on July 12 [4 favorites]


Mark Zuckerberg Hits the Road to Meet Regular Folks—With a Few Conditions - WSJ article, not paywalled, I think.

There are quite a few Democratic political operatives named in that piece who are a part of Zuck's team now.
posted by gladly at 9:22 AM on July 12




T.D. Strange: Seems like the guy we want leading 21st century counter intel.

Or is this an unfortunate case of the perfect being the enemy of the good? Is he good enough to manage the FBI without caving or bending to Trump or any other outside forces, and to learn on the job to understand more of the broad and numerous fronts being managed and methods being used to manage them? I imagine the FBI is broad enough that it's nigh impossible to find someone who knows something about all of it before they're the head of the agency, because people tend to specialize, even if the collaborate with others.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:22 AM on July 12 [1 favorite]


We are definitely living in interesting times.

On that note, "Shakespeare Performed: Courtyard Theatre’s King Lear with Sheep," which captures the zeitgeist of 2017 almost too well.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:23 AM on July 12 [3 favorites]


That Wired timeline is impressive. Thanks for the memories Rob Goldstone and Instagram. One thing I learned: that famous dinner picture with Trump, The Agalarovs, Rob Goldstone, etc is from the Las Vegas Miss USA pageant in 2013 (not Miss Universe in Moscow).
posted by pjenks at 9:26 AM on July 12 [3 favorites]


Wray is there for one reason and one reason only: To fire Mueller and end the Russia investigation.

He can't. Only the AG can, and since Sessions recused himself, only DAG Rosenstein can. Obviously Trump can fire Rosenstein until he gets to someone in DOJ who will fire Mueller, but FBI Director is not in that chain.
posted by chris24 at 9:26 AM on July 12 [41 favorites]


Wray is there for one reason and one reason only: To fire Mueller and end the Russia investigation.

He can't. Only the AG can, and since Sessions recused himself, only DAG Rosenstein can.


I would not bet the money in my pocket on anyone in the White House knowing that, and I'm not even entirely certain I have any money in my pocket.
posted by Etrigan at 9:29 AM on July 12 [6 favorites]


gladly: "Wired has a handy timeline of Goldstone's associations with the Trumps and the Agalarovs, documented with Goldstone's social media posts."

I'll note that the article is by Ashley Feinberg, the former Gawker and Gizmodo writer who uncovered James Comey's secret Twitter account and who recently joined up with Wired. If these dunderheads have left anything more incriminating lying around on their Instachats, Facepages, or what have you, I really hope she's the one to sniff it out.
posted by mhum at 9:30 AM on July 12 [18 favorites]




Russia’s Trump
posted by robbyrobs at 9:34 AM on July 12 [2 favorites]


The irony is that the founders created the Electoral College for exactly that situation -- nixing an unqualified doofus who managed to get himself elected by popular appeal. 2016 was exactly the situation for which the EC was created, and it failed. It's time for it to go.

It was adopted in no small part to expressly give more power to slave-holding states, which is reason enough why it should go. Quote James Madison at the federal convention of 1787:

"The people at large was in [my] opinion the fittest in itself [to appoint an executive]. It would be as likely as any that could be devised to produce an Executive Magistrate of distinguished Character. The people generally could only know & vote for some Citizen whose merits had rendered him an object of general attention & esteem. There was one difficulty however of a serious nature attending an immediate choice by the people. The right of suffrage was much more diffusive in the Northern than the Southern States; and the latter could have no influence in the election on the score of the Negroes. The substitution of electors obviated this difficulty and seemed on the whole to be liable to fewest objections."

Discussed here, the founders don't seem too worried about the wisdom of the population.
posted by Emily's Fist at 9:38 AM on July 12 [19 favorites]


But the other possibility is that it's all part of the plan - the Russian puppet masters have masterminded Trump's rise, and now they want to reveal his utter clownishness to the world, and rub our noses in it. Ha ha, democracy so great, you elect moron.

I'm sure that Putin chose Trump as his tool (and there must have been a number of other, equally qualified, equally pliable and less colourful candidates who, in the course of a few years, could have been built up for the role) precisely to add insult to injury.
posted by acb at 9:40 AM on July 12 [3 favorites]


Fluttering Hellfire's cake wager: One evening in the next two weeks, Russia O'clock will be Rod Rosenstein getting fired for not agreeing to fire Mueller. If he's still employed by 7/28, then I'll cake it up.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 9:43 AM on July 12 [18 favorites]


It was adopted in no small part to expressly give more power to slave-holding states, which is reason enough why it should go.

Federalist 68 (probably Hamilton) holds out the nobler reason for the E.C.'s existence, though. There's no reason both can't be true.
posted by gauche at 9:44 AM on July 12 [6 favorites]


Discussed here, the founders don't seem too worried about the wisdom of the population.
Indeed, as Zinn et al, have recounted. the construction of our government was a brilliant mechanism for circumventing the wisdom of the population.
posted by rc3spencer at 9:49 AM on July 12


And here we have the guy who defeated one of the two Jewish GOP members of the House referring to a Jewish Senator's economic positions with a centuries-old anti-Semitic reference.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:49 AM on July 12 [12 favorites]


The numbering and allotment of electors was designed to protect slave states, but the decision not to bind electors to specific candidates is all about Hamilton's EC-as-firewall idea. If they just wanted to empower the South they'd have made our current state of affairs, where a vote for a particular elector is really a proxy vote for a certain candidate, explicit in the Constitution rather than giving the electors any pretense at independence.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:51 AM on July 12 [10 favorites]


Feinstein is predictably voting yes on Wray. He may get unanimous confirmation after Trump fired Comey. Our Democrats have leaned nothing, even still.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:53 AM on July 12 [38 favorites]


WSJ article, not paywalled, I think.

Paywalled.
posted by Mister Bijou at 9:58 AM on July 12


Pat Robertson is claiming he's taping an interview with Trump today to air tomorrow. You know, just a casual interview with Pat "blame feminists and gay people for 9/11 and abortion for Katrina" Robertson.
posted by zachlipton at 10:04 AM on July 12 [15 favorites]


Trump goes AWOL, hasn’t shown up to work all week

Day after day, Donald Trump's schedule remains empty. He hasn't made an official, stateside public appearance in more than a week.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:05 AM on July 12 [42 favorites]


Shoot, sorry. Here's a link to the writer's tweet with a link. (Zuckerberg WSJ article)
posted by gladly at 10:06 AM on July 12




‘Category 5 hurricane’: White House under siege by Trump Jr.’s Russia revelations
One White House official went so far as to stop communicating with the president’s embattled son, although this official spoke sympathetically about his plight, casting Trump Jr. as someone who just wants to hunt, fish and run his family’s real estate business.

“The kid is an honest kid,” said one friend of Trump Jr. “The White House should’ve never let that story go out on the president’s son … What he’s upset about was that it was a minor meeting and the media glare — anything that’s Russia-related, gets picked up the way roaches get caught in a roach motel.”
I didn't say Junior was a cockroach, you said Junior was a cockroach.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:08 AM on July 12 [11 favorites]


Trump goes AWOL, hasn’t shown up to work all week

He's been very busy not watching TV.
posted by notyou at 10:08 AM on July 12 [7 favorites]


Trump goes AWOL...

Trump has not given a full-fledged press conference since February, and has not sat down for a one-on-one news interview with a legitimate news source since May 11. Just before Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in May, he also disappeared from public for nearly a week.

Huh.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:10 AM on July 12 [33 favorites]


> Our Democrats have leaned nothing, even still.

They're all pals, and nobody wants to cause a fuss. That would be untoward.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:11 AM on July 12 [9 favorites]


The Trump Jr meeting was going on at 4:20 on 6/9

"We'd like to discuss the, uh, noble cause of child adoptions and how they've been so unfairly affected by the Magnitsky act..."

"Oh, you guys and your crazy Russian gibberish, anyway check this out I booked our meeting for 4:20 on 6/9 LOL!"
posted by Behemoth at 10:12 AM on July 12 [4 favorites]


But the other possibility is that it's all part of the plan - the Russian puppet masters have masterminded Trump's rise, and now they want to reveal his utter clownishness to the world, and rub our noses in it. Ha ha, democracy so great, you elect moron.

I've been thinking this for a while. Who leaked the photos of Trump yukking it up in the Oval Office with Lavrov and Kislyak? Who leaked the photo of Ivanka filling in for Trump at the G20?
posted by SpaceBass at 10:13 AM on July 12 [2 favorites]


He's really bad at interviews and really really bad at press conferences and so maybe they've taken that away from him.

No matter what, though? He won't let them take his social media away.
posted by notyou at 10:13 AM on July 12


Black Twitter has been pointing out that calling 39-year-old Jr. a "kid" is uniquely gross given that black children are often assumed to be older/more threatening than they are, like Tamir Rice.
posted by emjaybee at 10:14 AM on July 12 [129 favorites]


Trump Jr. as someone who just wants to hunt, fish and run his family’s real estate business.

Thanks for the reminder that since elephants are on the short list of animals clearly displaying rudimentary sentience/sapience, Don Jr. essentially commits murder for fun.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:14 AM on July 12 [33 favorites]


can we use "idiot manchild?"
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:15 AM on July 12 [7 favorites]


"Grown man irrevocably warped by nepotism and a conspicuous absence of consequences"?
posted by Autumnheart at 10:21 AM on July 12 [8 favorites]


WaPo: State Department spent more than $15,000 for rooms at new Trump hotel in Vancouver
The State Department spent more than $15,000 to book 19 rooms at the new Trump hotel in Vancouver when members of President Trump’s family headlined the grand opening of the tower in late February.

The hotel bookings — which were released to The Washington Post under a Freedom of Information Act request — reflect the first evidence of State Department expenditures at a Trump-branded property since President Trump took office in January.
posted by zachlipton at 10:23 AM on July 12 [60 favorites]


Jeez, we need another Special Prosecutor just for the Emoluments violations. And a third for the charity fraud.

I mean, there is already ample evidence of those high crimes and misdemeanors, no?
posted by darkstar at 10:33 AM on July 12 [15 favorites]


State Department spent more than $15,000 for rooms at new Trump hotel in Vancouver

I recently spent a week in Vancouver, BC and the only blemish on an otherwise lovely vacation was one morning stumbling unawares upon that fucking hotel and its gaudy-ass shit stain of a logo. It quite nearly put me off my delicious, delicious Japadog. (I somehow still managed to eat all of it.)
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:40 AM on July 12 [9 favorites]


Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo: The Big Trumpers Still Don’t Get The Trouble They’re In

Why is this the case? I think it’s acculturation. They’re born to invulnerability. And by and large their life experience supports that and rewards it.
...
[Kushner] was a driving force spurring Donald Trump to fire James Comey, which landed both of them in an investigation for obstruction of justice. He thought that was a good idea, when in fact it was an insane idea. During James Comey’s high profile testimony after his dismissal, Sen John Cornyn of Texas pressed Comey on why he thought there was a political motive behind his firing since it was so obvious that firing Comey would inflame the Russia probe rather than make it go away. Cornyn has been one of President Trump’s most reliably and lickspittleish defenders. But in this case he was right, at least in the narrow sense of the logic of his argument. But people don’t always act logically. Kushner and Trump are impulsive, aggressive and headstrong and think they’re invulnerable. It’s the kind of power play that probably makes a lot of sense on their own stomping grounds.
...
A big federal investigation like this is like a broad lava flow. It moves slowly but it is unstoppable. It burns and crushes things in its wake. And things too big or unburnable it just covers over. The little antics and PR gambits mainly do not matter. Key players in this mix don’t seem to appreciate that.

posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:40 AM on July 12 [43 favorites]


An interesting quote from the NYT piece by Peter Baker and Maggie HabermanRancor at White House as Russia Story Refuses to Let the Page Turn:
The Russia story has become the brier patch from which the president seemingly cannot escape. It dominated his trip to Europe last week and, after he leaves on Wednesday night for a couple of days in France, it may dominate that trip as well.
I would not be surprised if another big story hit after AF1 has taken off tonight--as Adam Goldman tweeted, he's "still reporting".
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 10:42 AM on July 12 [10 favorites]


I would not be surprised if another big story hit after AF1 has taken off tonight--as Adam Goldman tweeted, he's "still reporting".
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 12:42 on July 12 [1 favorite +] [!]


oh please oh please oh please
posted by fluttering hellfire at 10:48 AM on July 12 [6 favorites]


He won't let them take his social media away.

This remark has been haunting me all day. I'm right now in a situation where we have collectively intervened to care for a mentally ill relative. They are not at all demented, but they are self-harming, and the way the law works here, we cannot legally do anything unless it there is an immediate danger to the public or other individuals. To prove the self-harm would take months. We did it anyway, hoping that our relative will accept the fact and luckily they did. But their arguments were so like Trump's that it is triggering and I am crouched in a corner with 3 fleece blankets.

An old person can harm themself and others without being demented. They can be delusional, paranoid, addicted, psychotic and just plain stupid, but if they are not demented, the law of the land where I live is that they are free to do whatever they want. I don't know how it is in the US, but here only dementia, brain death or voluntary permission can lead to custodianship. This is good in principle, but I know many people are dealing with huge dilemmas because of it. What if your 30-yo son is schizophrenic and living on the street? What if your husband has a gambling addiction?

Anyway, to get back on track, when I read that Trump had said that, I felt with his family, realizing they are in a similar situation. Then of course I realized they are all hell-bent on making the most of it as long as he lives and that they are also dumb as fuck, and also that he is killing people and that should be a legal cause for intervention. But that's there.
posted by mumimor at 10:50 AM on July 12 [19 favorites]


Hey- so, remember that bizarre network traffic between Alfa Bank & Trump Tower? That was occurring regularly between May 4 until September 23.

I did a little googling & came up with this google doc put together by Scott J. Dworkin, Co-Founder & Senior Advisor, The Democratic Coalition on February 20, 2017:

Trump Dossier Analysis: Corroborating Evidence in the Trump/Russia Dossier

Has this been linked/discussed before? It seems to be even more compelling now that figures like Aras Agalarov are receiving attention (or even, in light of Trump's retaliation against Qatar).

On the other hand, I'm not sure how much of the dossier has been debunked or if it was determined to be counter-intelligence, etc.

Thoughts?
posted by narwhal at 10:58 AM on July 12 [3 favorites]


The Big Trumpers Still Don’t Get The Trouble They’re In

They’re counting on getting pardoned. And they’re probably not wrong.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 11:02 AM on July 12 [7 favorites]


Hey- so, remember that bizarre network traffic between Alfa Bank & Trump Tower?

err . . i think that was innocuous marketing traffic between Alfa Bank and a Philadelphia server farm for Cendyn and Listrak right? Emptywheel and others have covered this.
posted by rc3spencer at 11:02 AM on July 12




A reminder of other political actions: today is a day of action to protect Net Neutrality, which you might notice thanks to the banner that currently reads "US Mefites can tell the FCC to save Net Neutrality" (links to DearFCC.org, which LobsterMitten noted in MeTa is EFF's website, but it only mails the FCC, not Congress).

If anyone wants to put up a broader post, they can and get that post linked there. 5 Calls has a script to call Ajit Pai, FCC Chairman, the man who could destroy the open internet, as labeled by a headline on The Guardian.

Related twist: AT&T says it will support a massive protest to save ‘net neutrality’ even though it sued to kill today’s net-neutrality rules (Jeff Dunn for Business Insider, July 11, 2017)
posted by filthy light thief at 11:07 AM on July 12 [20 favorites]


The White House has put out a video to attack the CBO (your friendly reminder that the CBO Director was handpicked by Tom Price). It spells "inaccurately" wrong.
posted by zachlipton at 11:09 AM on July 12 [38 favorites]


It spells "inaccurately" wrong.

But isn't spelling "inaccurately" correctly the greater wrong?
posted by Etrigan at 11:12 AM on July 12 [15 favorites]


From Brad Sherman's statement: "Every day Democrats, Republicans, and the entire world are shocked by the latest example of America’s amateur President. Ignorance accompanied by a refusal to learn. Lack of impulse control, accompanied by a refusal to have his staff control his impulses. We’re no longer surprised by any action, no matter how far below the dignity of the office—and no matter how dangerous to the country."

This is a happy surprise. Brad has been pretty milquetoast and I've been quite annoyed (and annoying) at him. Pleased to see him pulling no punches.
posted by Sophie1 at 11:13 AM on July 12 [15 favorites]


Thanks, rc3spencer- do you happen to have a link to the followup reporting that determined that? I hate that it takes so much work to keep the "real" evidence of conspiracy distinct from the "fake." Clearly, I missed the epilogue to that particular story..
posted by narwhal at 11:14 AM on July 12


With regards to the nonchalant moving of goalposts from meetings -> coordination -> collusion -> "treason" (seeking out assistance from a hostile foreign government to change the outcome of an election) -> Treason (as described in The Constitution), an LGM commenter makes a good point:
We should also remember that the most destructive war in American history was committed by American traitors that weren't charged as traitors at its conclusion.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:17 AM on July 12 [69 favorites]




I'm pretty sure the House Democratic leadership will try to hold off on any move against Trump personally until they get Mueller's report. Keep the powder dry until you can maybe win a Senate trial, and finally find out everything.

But under the Constitution, any Federal official can be impeached, and removed from office and/or disqualified from any future office. This was the traditional use of impeachment back in Ye Olde 17th Century England, to rid the king of "bad advisers". In the US, typically crooked Cabinet members or advisers have the decency to quit or get fired, but that doesn't seem likely here.

It might be worth somebody writing up some articles of impeachment against Jared. As a bonus, the pardon power doesn't apply in cases of impeachment. Even Trump's theoretical allies are probably getting tired of seeing his son-in-law in the White House.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:22 AM on July 12 [5 favorites]


More on DeVos and the Dept of Education going full MRA:
In an interview previewing her plans, [Candice] Jackson, who heads the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights and organized Thursday’s sessions, made clear that she believes investigations under the 1972 law known as Title IX have gone deeply awry. A sexual assault survivor herself, she said she sees “a red flag that something’s not quite right” — and that the rights of accused students have too often been ignored.

Hundreds of cases are still pending, some for years, she said, because investigators were “specifically told to keep looking until you find the violation” on college campuses even after they found none — a charge her critics strongly deny.

As of Monday, the office had 496 open sexual assault cases, and the average length of a case is 703 days, according to the department. The longest pending higher education cases, against the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Arizona State University, have been open for more than five years. The office is required to complete 80 percent of its investigations within 180 days.

Investigative processes have not been “fairly balanced between the accusing victim and the accused student,” Ms. Jackson argued, and students have been branded rapists “when the facts just don’t back that up.” In most investigations, she said, there’s “not even an accusation that these accused students overrode the will of a young woman.”

“Rather, the accusations — 90 percent of them — fall into the category of ‘we were both drunk,’ ‘we broke up, and six months later I found myself under a Title IX investigation because she just decided that our last sleeping together was not quite right,’” Ms. Jackson said.
[...]
Catherine E. Lhamon, who led the Education Department’s civil rights office from August 2013 through December 2016, called Ms. Jackson’s claims that investigators were told to fish for violations “patently, demonstrably untrue.” For the department to distinguish between violent and nonviolent assaults in investigations, she added, “portrays a profound misunderstanding of Title IX.”

Ms. Lhamon said investigations under her tenure turned up “jaw-dropping degrees of noncompliance” with sexual assault law.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:24 AM on July 12 [27 favorites]


Last thread suggested otherwise but some from grain-of-salt sources. Traffic analysis implying that the servers were automatically replicating SQL databases; however, the nature of the data is unknown and could theoretically just be the marketing data described in rc3spencer's link, not necessarily the hacked voter data those articles imply.
posted by CyberSlug Labs at 11:25 AM on July 12 [2 favorites]


> It might be worth somebody writing up some articles of impeachment against Jared. As a bonus, the pardon power doesn't apply in cases of impeachment. Even Trump's theoretical allies are probably getting tired of seeing his son-in-law in the White House.

Yeah, but there's also value in having all of these bad actors staying where they are with their knives out and pointed at each other. There is very little chance this conspiracy stops at the Jared/Junior level, so it's better to have them in play, potentially stabbing one another / daddy / other Trumpists in the back and leaking about it, since that's the only window we have into things right now.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:26 AM on July 12 [3 favorites]


If you show up you can be recruited. Guess the number on that old saw, "80% of success is showing up" will be going up.

Is this what will spare the queen the ordeal of a carriage ride with 45? It seems god did save the queen.
posted by tilde at 11:28 AM on July 12 [1 favorite]


"Innaccurate" is actually a colloquialism from New York. See, innkeepers were widely known to cheat their customers when tallying up their bills for room and board, so people would commonly refer to a suspect calculation as "inn accurate" to mean it was actually not accurate. Anyway, how 'bout those steamed hams?
posted by contraption at 11:31 AM on July 12 [16 favorites]




I was trying to refresh my memory on the final conclusion about the fishy server and found this:

On Monday, Slate published an explosive story alleging that Trump Tower contained a secret server that was secretly sending secret messages to Russia’s largest bank...

But on Tuesday afternoon, The Intercept poured cold water on Slate’s report, making the case that Trump Tower was sending spam, not top secret Manchurian Candidate code messages, to Alfa Bank.

I wasn't as skeptical of The Intercept's motives back then. The fact that it was that particular organization that rushed in to provide an innocent explanation is much more interesting now.
posted by diogenes at 11:35 AM on July 12 [53 favorites]


As nice as the thought is, I still don't see Trump being impeached or really anything much coming of Uday's admission of guilt.

The problem, at core, is that even our most wildly optimistic models don't see us getting 66 firm, solid, Democrats in the Senate.

And I am very close to entirely convinced that the Congressional Republicans will not vote to remove Trump either via impeachment or the 25th Amendment literally no matter what he does.

I'm not just being gloomy here for the sake of it. I'm convinced of this because I'm convinced that the Congressional Republicans are acting in a deeply irrational manner due to a long standing, unresolved, grudge against the Democrats for being right about Nixon and being forced to oust him at due to Democratic pressure.

They will come up with all manner of rationalization and justification for what is, I think, ultimately a deeply rooted emotional decision. The Democrats won against Nixon, and the Republican movers and shakers still hate the Democrats with a burning passion for that. The impeachment of Bill Clinton was, at heart, an act of vengeance against the Democrats for having ousted Nixon.

I don't know if their deep need for revenge would have been satisfied if Clinton had been driven from office, but I do know that when he weathered everything they could throw at him and emerged more popular than ever it embittered the Republicans deeply and reaffirmed to them that no Republican must ever suffer Nixon's fate again.

I think there is a deep, subconscious, need among the Republican movers and shakers to do two things: get revenge on the world (and the Democrats especially) for being right about Nixon, and to keep themselves from suffering that loss of prestige and face they suffered with Nixon ever again.

For that reason I am convinced, no exaggeration, no hyperbole, that Donald Trump could murder someone in cold blood on national TV and the Republicans would not impeach him. They'd exhaust themselves spinning, rationalizing, and justifying, but in the end it's about emotion. They cannot, they will not, suffer again the hurt of having one of their Presidents ousted.

That is their true line in the sand, and I think that desperate need to avoid repeating the failure of Nixon is greater even than their desire to be reelected.
posted by sotonohito at 11:38 AM on July 12 [46 favorites]


Donald Trump Jr.’s Emails Sound Like the Steele Dossier
One interesting element of the Donald Trump Jr. emails now in the news is that they track with parts of the Steele memos.

In that first memo, dated June 20, Steele wrote that Trump “and his inner circle have accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other political rivals.” The Trump Jr. email chain began on June 3, 2016.
...
There has been no confirmation that Putin steadily fed information to Trump’s camp or that a Kremlin-controlled anti-Clinton dossier existed. But one of Steele’s overarching points in this memo was that Putin’s regime was funneling derogatory Clinton material to Trump. The Trump Jr. emails suggest that the Russian government was aiming to do that and that the Trump campaign was willing and eager to receive assistance from Putin. So Donald Trump Jr. has done what Steele could not: produce evidence that the Trump campaign was—or wanted to be—in cahoots with a foreign adversary to win the White House.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:38 AM on July 12 [32 favorites]


The FBI's counterintelligence team was still investigating the server issue as of early March.
posted by melissasaurus at 11:38 AM on July 12 [6 favorites]


Associated Press: Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee are questioning the Trump administration's decision to settle a money laundering case with a Russian real estate firm in light of revelations that the company was represented by the same Russian lawyer who met last year with President Donald Trump's son.

The letter sent by House Judiciary ranking member John Conyers and other Democrats asks whether lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya was involved in settlement negotiations between Russian real estate firm Prevezon Holdings Ltd. and the Justice Department. Prevezon agreed last May to pay $6 million to the government to avoid a trial on charges the firm laundered proceeds from a $230 million tax fraud.

Veselnitskaya represented Dennis Katsyv, Prevezon's owner. Katsyv backed a lobbying campaign last year aimed at scuttling Magnitsky Act sanctions against Russian interests.

posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:42 AM on July 12 [12 favorites]


I think there is a deep, subconscious, need among the Republican movers and shakers to do two things: get revenge on the world (and the Democrats especially) for being right about Nixon everything, and to keep themselves from suffering that loss of prestige and face they suffered with Nixon ever again.

Recall also that by the end of his second term, George W. Bush was widely seen as bumbling and incompetent, so much so that the 27% that still believed he had done a good job had to rebrand themselves as the "Tea Party." And Bush was followed by Obama, a smooth, intelligent statesman that the Republicans hate with a bloody passion. I don't think Republicans outside the crazification factor have much illusion about history being kind to Trump, either.

In a way, Trump's obvious inferiority complex resonates perfectly with the Republican id.
posted by Gelatin at 11:43 AM on July 12 [17 favorites]


Sophie1: Congressman Sherman Introduces Article of Impeachment: Obstruction of Justice

This sounds like a big deal. Is this a big deal?
posted by rabbitrabbit at 11:45 AM on July 12 [5 favorites]


CNN on the Prevezon settlement, from May.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:46 AM on July 12


This sounds like a big deal. Is this a big deal?

It's as much a big deal as the House voting to repeal Obamacare while Obama was still president.
posted by Talez at 11:47 AM on July 12 [16 favorites]


This sounds like a big deal. Is this a big deal?

This is how the part that is a big deal, starts.
posted by Sophie1 at 11:49 AM on July 12 [12 favorites]


I think we've passed 20,000 leagues below Watergate depths.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:53 AM on July 12 [4 favorites]


Are there any issues with double jeopardy in impeachment? I'm guessing no, since it's not subject to judicial review.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:54 AM on July 12


This sounds like a big deal. Is this a big deal?

It's about as big a deal as it is likely to pass.
posted by FakeFreyja at 11:54 AM on July 12 [1 favorite]


Are there any issues with double jeopardy in impeachment?

I'm confident in predicting Trump will commit more impeachable offenses from this point forward as well.
posted by Gelatin at 11:55 AM on July 12 [6 favorites]


I anticipate every Republican and some Democrats voting against impeachment with the explanation that they want to wait for Mueller's investigation to conclude.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:56 AM on July 12 [4 favorites]


I anticipate Ryan not permitting the motion for impeachment to even get a vote. Until we win in 2018, no motion to impeach will get a vote.
posted by sotonohito at 12:01 PM on July 12 [11 favorites]


It's in no way a big deal, guys.

It will be a big deal when Republicans introduce articles of impeachment or Democrats control the House and introduce articles of impeachment.
posted by Justinian at 12:03 PM on July 12 [2 favorites]


Looks like there will be a vote:

The Hill: Under House rules, any member can force a vote on what’s known as a “privileged” resolution that argues an issue concerns the dignity and integrity of the institution.

House Republicans could easily reject the resolution, but it would put all members on record regarding Trump's impeachment.

posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:03 PM on July 12 [24 favorites]


This one won't get a vote. But if Paul Ryan thought the Senate was ready to remove both Trump and Pence, he would have the Presidency to gain by allowing it forward.
posted by Jpfed at 12:04 PM on July 12


I think the important thing is that these articles at least open the door to further articles being introduced as things develop.

For all of the noise that Republicans made about wanting to impeach Obama for this/that/the other, they never actually DID anything about it because they wanted to keep him around as a badguy for fundraising purposes, and also because most of them understood deep down that they had no actual leg to stand on for impeachment. No actual articles were written up, let alone introduced.

The very fact that Sherman and Green have at least bothered to write this shit up means that we can start building a serious case, not just for impeaching Trump, but for electorally removing obstructionist Republicans who refuse to admit the obvious reality of our current situation.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:10 PM on July 12 [17 favorites]


CBN is previewing their Trump interview (his first with someone who doesn't work for Fox News in months) and I'm not linking directly to Pat Robertson's network, but Bradd Jaffy's summary really seems to say it all: "Trump says Putin wanted Hillary to win because Trump is big on the military and energy and Hillary wanted windmills" [excerpt behind link]

In other news, a guy is holding up a "Buy Bitcoin" sign he's scrawled on a notepad behind Janet Yellen as she testifies.
posted by zachlipton at 12:10 PM on July 12 [5 favorites]


Nice to see that Pat Robertson is almost dead.
posted by pjenks at 12:13 PM on July 12 [41 favorites]


they never actually DID anything about it because they wanted to keep him around as a badguy for fundraising purposes, and also because most of them understood deep down that they had no actual leg to stand on for impeachment

And ultimately, Obama was not impeached because swing voters didn't want him to be impeached, and the Republicans calculated that attempting to do so would cost them support. If they had calculated it would help them, they would have done so, even though they would have no chance of a two-thirds Senate conviction. Impeachment is a political matter.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:14 PM on July 12 [2 favorites]


To be honest, if we're comparing the competence of the Trump family to Mafia families, real and fictional, I think they fall somewhere between Fat Tony's mafia crew on The Simpsons and the mafia bots on Futurama.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:16 PM on July 12 [16 favorites]


The very fact that Sherman and Green have at least bothered to write this shit up means that we can start building a serious case, not just for impeaching Trump, but for electorally removing obstructionist Republicans who refuse to admit the obvious reality of our current situation.

That's every Republican -- down to dog catcher -- until proven otherwise. In the so-called "Tea Party" elections, Republicans gained a significant advantage by creating the perception among feckless Democrats -- but I repeat myself -- that they had to run away from Obama and his signature legislative achievement, the ACA (a feat that even Bill Clinton couldn't manage, given lockstep and bad-faith Republican opposition).

For every election going forward, Republicans need to be forced to choose between backing a corrupt, incompetent criminal or betraying their rabid base (and the ultra-wealthy interests that fund the rabid base's propaganda mill). Hold their feet to the fire: Party or country?

And Trump Junior's little treason email just gave the Democrats plenty of ammunition. To coin a phrase, I love it!
posted by Gelatin at 12:17 PM on July 12 [14 favorites]


Nice to see that Pat Robertson is almost dead.

That is not dead which can eternal lie.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:17 PM on July 12 [30 favorites]


Make An Old New York Real Estate Stereotype Very Happy Again
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:18 PM on July 12 [5 favorites]


I'm sure Pat Robertson has fantastic health care, funded by millions in donations scammed from the pensions of the elderly over several decades
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:22 PM on July 12 [29 favorites]


Impeachment is a political matter, and politically it is an extraordinarily bad idea to force a vote on impeachment before you have an open and shut case that can win. Ask Robert Drinan and Tip O'Neill in 1973, or Newt Gingrich and Bob Livingston in 1998.

Don't let the air out of the balloon. Keep inflating until it pops. If Sherman brings up his resolution, Pelosi's going to table it (make it go away without debate) or send it away to committee as fast as she can. Don't let the House vote not to impeach.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 12:24 PM on July 12 [49 favorites]


Gaspard Koenig/Les Echos op-ed, translated for Worldcrunch: Trump And Bastille Day, How To Spoil France's Celebration Of Freedom
Why does France want to share its annual national party with a president that American history itself is already rejecting? In the UK, ... a petition against Trump's state visit has a million signatures.
Nice picture on the article too.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:25 PM on July 12


He Burst The Bubble (Josh Marshall / TPM)
posted by Barack Spinoza at 12:26 PM on July 12 [9 favorites]


Four articles on Trump, Jr. and Russia from the New Yorker:

- Is Donald Trump, Jr., Taking the Fall for the White House? (John Cassidy) In the emerging White House narrative, Trump, Jr., is an outsider—a well-connected freelancer who wasn’t speaking or acting on behalf of his father.
Trump, Jr., didn’t have a formal title within the Trump campaign, and he isn’t a member of the Trump Administration. In the emerging White House narrative, that makes him an outsider—a well-connected freelancer who wasn’t speaking or acting on behalf of his father or the campaign when he agreed to meet with Veselnitskaya.
Even if the White House can manage to convince anybody of this, which seems unlikely, it would still face a huge problem: two other people who attended the June 9th meeting were Paul Manafort, who was then the manager of the Trump campaign, and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, who is now one of the President’s closest advisers in the White House.
- Are Donald Trump, Jr.,’s E-mails About Meeting with a Russian Lawyer Evidence of a Crime? (Jeffrey Toobin) Donald Trump, Jr.,’s e-mails raise questions of possible criminal behavior, starting with violations of campaign-finance laws.
“Collusion” is not a legal term in this context, nor is it a crime. Neither is listening to outlandish tales, even from foreigners. But Trump, Jr.,’s e-mails do raise questions of possible criminal behavior, starting with violations of campaign-finance laws. Federal law prohibits American campaign officials from soliciting from foreign governments “anything of value . . . in connection with” an election. In the meeting with Veselnitskaya, did Trump, Jr., or Jared Kushner, the candidate’s son-in-law, or Paul Manafort, then Trump’s campaign manager, who were also in attendance, solicit anything of value? The e-mails don’t clearly answer that question. But it is possible that they solicited information–perhaps specific information, relating to, say, e-mail accounts associated with Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the campaign, might conclude that such a solicitation could constitute a crime, and he might ask a grand jury to return an indictment on that theory. (The possibility of a prosecution based on an “anything-of-value” theory has been explored in greater detail by Robert Bauer, President Obama’s White House counsel, and by Rick Hasen, an election-law specialist, in several posts.)

But this narrow view of one meeting fails to provide a full picture of how prosecutors approach criminal investigations. There are thousands of e-mails between members of Trump’s campaign for investigators to examine. Do any of those messages say anything about the meeting? Are other meetings with Russians described in them? In some respects, the person most exposed by the released e-mails is not Trump, Jr., but Jared Kushner, who continues to serve as a high-ranking White House adviser. More to the point, under penalty of law, Kushner filed an application to receive a security clearance, which was supposed to list all his foreign contacts. He did not initially disclose the June meeting, and congressional Democrats have been calling for his security clearance to be revoked. Inadvertence and bad memory are valid defenses in false-statement cases, but could Kushner seriously contend that a meeting set up with an e-mail heading “Russian – Clinton – private and confidential” simply slipped his mind?

Certainly the attendees at that meeting, as well as other Trump campaign officials, will be asked by F.B.I. agents, and perhaps before a grand jury, about contacts with the Russians. Any sort of false statement in these contexts would be a federal crime. Federal law also bars the kind of hacking that was visited upon John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, and the Democratic National Committee; if any Trump officials aided and abetted the hacking, that, too, would be a crime.
- Donald Trump, Jr.,’s E-Mails Have Fundamentally Changed the Russia Story (Ryan Lizza) The revelation about Donald Trump, Jr.,’s eagerness to collude with the Russians is all the more shocking considering the outrage that he has expressed over such accusations.
In less than ninety minutes, the sentiment from people sympathetic to the President’s son had shifted from “nothingburger” to “I hope he doesn’t go to jail.”

The e-mails are incriminating. According to the correspondence, a Russian government official had contacted a former associate of Donald Trump, who had previously had business dealings in Russia, and offered anti-Clinton information. “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” Rob Goldstone, an associate of a Russian pop musician, Emin Agalarov, who was close to the Trump family, wrote. (Donald Trump once appeared in one of Agalarov’s music videos, and various reports on Tuesday noted that Emin and Trump, Jr., have texted as recently as January.)

I asked Steve Schmidt, who helped run John McCain’s 2008 Presidential campaign, what he would have done if he had received a similar e-mail. “Would have either ignored it or called the F.B.I.,” Schmidt told me. I also asked Charlie Black, who has been involved at the highest levels with numerous Republican campaigns, and who is also a former business partner of Manafort, if most campaign professionals would have called the F.B.I. “Yes,” he said, “but you should not cast Donnie as a campaign professional. He is not.”
- The Russians at the Center of the Donald Trump, Jr., E-mails (Joshua Yaffa) Natalia Veselnitskaya’s past as a lawyer suggests a proximity to the world of Russian officialdom, but far from its most powerful or well-connected members.
Katsyv denied any wrongdoing, but prosecutors alleged that this money in part came from a tax scam worth two hundred and thirty million dollars uncovered by a Russian lawyer named Sergey Magnitsky. His death in a Moscow jail ultimately led to the passage of the Magnitsky Act, in 2012, which froze the U.S. assets of Russian officials implicated in corruption or human-rights violations. It’s hard to remember now, given the acerbic state of U.S.-Russian relations, but at the time, no U.S. move in years incensed the Kremlin as much. (Putin’s revenge was cutting: he responded by banning U.S. adoptions of Russian children, the issue that, in early versions of the story, Veselnitskaya supposedly wanted to discuss with Trump, Jr.) Leonid Bershidsky, a cautious and astute Russia-watcher, argued in Bloomberg View that the Trump Tower meeting was more likely a personal stunt for Veselnitskaya, “the tenacious and ambitious lawyer who could pull every string in the Moscow region, did so to get her pet issue—the repeal of the Magnitsky Act, which was getting her major client in trouble—in front of some important Americans.”
Emphasis mine - yes, they could have been actually talking about adoption. There's a very specific reason why the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr. wanted to talk about adopting babies (Natasha Bertrand, Business Insider, July 10, 2017)
posted by filthy light thief at 12:30 PM on July 12 [42 favorites]


Trump And Bastille Day, How To Spoil France's Celebration Of Freedom

Does... does Trump understand what happened to the obscenely rich, incompetent absolute ruler who colluded with foreign powers after the storming of the Bastille?
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:34 PM on July 12 [26 favorites]


Don't let the air out of the balloon. Keep inflating until it pops. If Sherman brings up his resolution, Pelosi's going to table it (make it go away without debate) or send it away to committee as fast as she can. Don't let the House vote not to impeach.

Maybe if the House will never vote to impeach, as seems likely now, forcing an impeachment vote sometime in 2018 would be helpful to the election campaign?
posted by Glibpaxman at 12:35 PM on July 12


Ooh! I get to be pedantic!! A league, with regard to Nemo's voyages (and maritime units of measure), was distance traveled rather than depths achieved. There's even an SNL sketch that pokes fun at the misconception (transcript & poor video).

Nevertheless, I concur with your general assessment, dances_with_sneetches- we're far deeper than Watergate ever went, regardless of unit o' measure.

posted by narwhal at 12:36 PM on July 12 [29 favorites]


There's even an SNL sketch that pokes fun at the misconception (transcript & poor video).

Not just a sketch. It's one of the top 5 SNL sketches of all time, IMO. And it kills me that NBC won't allow a decent video of it to stay up online.

posted by Atom Eyes at 12:43 PM on July 12 [14 favorites]


I agree that impeachment is unlikely to pass at this point, but it sure would be sweet if Mueller is able to drop a serious, multi-felony case on his orangeness after he's been stripped of executive privilege/immunity.
posted by Anoplura at 12:45 PM on July 12 [10 favorites]


The Democratic Party can also use a non-passage as "Republicans are totally fine with a corrupt foreign-government colluder in office! They hate America!" If they had the guts to do so.
posted by Autumnheart at 12:48 PM on July 12 [13 favorites]


I get the tactical issues with, erm, shooting the wad of impeachment too early.

But also, it's now admitted on all sides that some of the President's closest advisors and family members have repeatedly lied about at least one compromising and probably illegal meeting with an unfriendly foreign power. There's no way to know whether any or all of them are being blackmailed into using their power as high government officials to advance that country's interests against our own.

They all have to go, and my tentative position is that Democrats need to act as if this is the crisis that it actually is, with the limited power they have.

The long, slow process of determining what happened and who knew what when can and should wait for Mueller's wheels to churn. But even as Watergate unfolded, there wasn't an ongoing question of foreign coercion dictating American policy. Now there is, and it clouds every foreign policy action (and inaction) taken by this Administration.

They all have to go now.
posted by tivalasvegas at 12:49 PM on July 12 [32 favorites]


The Democratic Party can also use a non-passage as "Republicans are totally fine with a corrupt foreign-government colluder in office! They hate America!" If they had the guts to do so.

They can, and should, use this line right now, and all the time, impeachment motion or no impeachment motion.
posted by Gelatin at 12:51 PM on July 12 [36 favorites]


I wonder if these Republicans who keep parroting Don Jr. by saying "seems like opposition research to me!" realize that they're making it sound as though lying about seeking aid from intelligence sources in foreign countries is a normal thing they personally would do in the course of political campaigns.
posted by XMLicious at 12:54 PM on July 12 [6 favorites]


Individual congresspeople drafting articles of impeachment and Pelosi not letting it get to a vote is the right amount of impeachment theater for this moment. Dear god, would handing Trump a "victory" over impeachment by having a failed vote be a mistake. No milk-brained swing voters who aren't already burning with a hunger to get him and the republicans out of office ASAfuckingP will be swayed to any more democrat-favorable positions by an impeachment vote that doesn't pass or any talking points that could be extracted from that.
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:57 PM on July 12 [48 favorites]


I couldn't do it. I tried to "watch" the Sanders press briefing, so far as one can watch audio-only briefings on television, and I noped out of there when Sanders responded to a question asking why everyone seemed to have amnesia about meetings with Russians and only Russians and Sanders responded with a litany of imagined Clinton transgressions. Sanders clearly belongs in Malebolge (the eighth cricle of Hell) but I can't decide which ditch she'd end up in. Bolgia One has panderers, Bolgia Two is full of excessive flatterers, Bolgia Five grifters, Bolgia Six hypocrites, Bolgia Nine for political schismatics, and Bolgia Ten is for falsifiers. Perhaps she would alternate days?
posted by Justinian at 1:02 PM on July 12 [37 favorites]


nah everybody in this admin is going straight to Antenora, Ninth Circle, Traitors to Country
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:06 PM on July 12 [14 favorites]


If I never hear or read "nothing burger" again, I'll be very happy.
posted by cell divide at 1:07 PM on July 12 [39 favorites]


Perhaps she would alternate days?

Think her soul [assuming facts not in evidence] would be split so she'd have to endure all of them at once.
posted by Twain Device at 1:09 PM on July 12 [3 favorites]


I'm doubtful an inevitably unsuccessful vote on impeachment at this time will be helpful, and could be counterproductive, because impeachment of a president is a vastly weighty thing, and there will be a sentiment that it should wait until investigations reach conclusions. (Not a sentiment I share, because I want to kick Donald to the curb immediately, but still.)

However.

Something that is much less weighty would be a non-binding resolution calling on unelected, unqualified and unpopular Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner's security clearance to be revoked, because he has repeatedly lied on his applications regarding his interactions with hostile foreign powers. I would be delighted to see a vote forced on this as a privileged resolution, making Republicans go on record as either opposing such a no-brainer decision to protect national security, or (heaven forbid) doing the right thing and invoking the righteous fury of the president and his Twitter account.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:10 PM on July 12 [49 favorites]


Individual congresspeople drafting articles of impeachment and Pelosi not letting it get to a vote is the right amount of impeachment theater for this moment. Dear god, would handing Trump a "victory" over impeachment by having a failed vote be a mistake.

You may be correct, prize bull octorok, and I trust Leader Pelosi and the rest of the leadership (mostly) to make the right tactical decision about how far to let impeachment go right now.

I think we (the outraged citizenry) should be shouting it from the hills, though. Overton window don't move on its own, and it's past defenestration time.
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:12 PM on July 12 [9 favorites]


The Democratic Party can also use a non-passage as "Republicans are totally fine with a corrupt foreign-government colluder in office! They hate America!" If they had the guts to do so.

They can, and should, use this line right now, and all the time, impeachment motion or no impeachment motion.


Yes. This. Hang the albatross around the neck of every Republican from city council and school board on up to Granny Starver and Yertle the Turtle.

And while I'm wishfully thinking: how about "Anyone who flaunts the Confederate flag is flaunting a flag of treason and hates America!" Because that is what the Confederate flag is - a symbol of treason in the service of slavery (and how it chaps my hide to see people in Union states flaunting the damn thing).
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 1:14 PM on July 12 [35 favorites]




There is a house on my morning commute with a truly baffling flag display. They have a US flag, a UK flag, and a confederate flag. In Pennsylvania. I'm stumped. (Nigel Farage, is that you?)
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:19 PM on July 12 [21 favorites]


Maybe they just like flags
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:20 PM on July 12 [14 favorites]


Subtle, FoxNews.
(Onscreen news ticker reads: "MANAFORT AND PRES TRUMP SON-IN-LAW JARED KOSHER MET WITH VESELNITSKAYA...)"
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:21 PM on July 12 [20 favorites]


They're working on building a theme park.
posted by Etrigan at 1:22 PM on July 12 [2 favorites]


Jeet Heer wants one more chance to kick the bipartisan cooperation football.

Steve M. responds appropriately:
It seems to me that if the parties were reversed -- if Democrats had an incompetent, corrupt, ignorant, unqualified, TV-addicted president with an inner circle full of equally unfit advisers, many of whom gave aid and comfort to an enemy government that subverted our electoral system, Republicans would be hammering Democratic members of Congress relentlessly for sharing a party with the corrupt administration and loudly impugning the patriotism of any Democrats who refused to help impeach their own president.

But Heer isn't ready to propose that Democrats act that way -- heaven knows we don't want to be rash, do we? Instead, he writes this:
Trump Jr.’s highly damaging emails have handed Democrats the leverage they’ve long sought in the Russia scandal. They should take advantage of it by making a final offer to the Republicans to abandon their support for Trump, or suffer the consequences. If the GOP steps up their investigation, they might damage their short-term political prospects—assuming they can pass any major legislation, which is not a given. But they’ll be acting in their own long-term interest, by distancing themselves from an increasingly unpopular president, and they’ll finally be doing the right thing to preserve what’s left of America’s democratic norms. But if the Republicans continue to drag their feet, then they must be treated no better than Trump’s other unsavory accomplices, and suffer the electoral consequences.
We're giving you one last chance! We're going after you -- unless you stop obstructing justice quite as much, in which case we'll take a dive in the midterms the way we usually do! C'mon, guys -- we're asking you nicely!

Please. Republicans have made it abundantly clear that they place party over country. And it's long past time for Democrats to start nationalizing midterm elections, something Republicans do every cycle.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:25 PM on July 12 [44 favorites]


BUT HIS CHINA BEEF

@realDonaldTrump
"After 14 years, U.S. beef hits Chinese market. Trade deal an exciting opportunity for agriculture."
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:28 PM on July 12


It's scoop-o-clock! WSJ: Russian Officials Overheard Discussing Trump Associates Before Campaign Began:
U.S. intelligence agencies starting in the spring of 2015 detected conversations in which Russian government officials discussed associates of Donald Trump, several months before he declared his candidacy for president, according to current and former U.S. officials.

In some cases, the Russians in the overheard conversations talked about meetings held outside the U.S. involving Russian government officials and Trump business associates or advisers, these people said.

It isn’t clear which Trump associates or advisers the Russians were referring to, or whether they had any connection to his presidential aspirations.
This report is incredibly, frustratingly, near uselessly vague, but we'll see if more leaks develop.
posted by zachlipton at 1:28 PM on July 12 [25 favorites]


"After 14 years, U.S. beef hits Chinese market. Trade deal an exciting opportunity for agriculture."

Which he managed to get because he threw the domestic poultry industry under the bus.
posted by Talez at 1:34 PM on July 12 [6 favorites]


Ah, the China beef thing, our President's favorite go-to diversion-creator*

*tweeted three days after the Comey firing
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:35 PM on July 12 [2 favorites]


I didn't see this posted earlier, but Trump threatened to sue the USGA if they moved the Women's Open out of his golf course. Gross, gross, gross.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 1:35 PM on July 12 [19 favorites]


@realDonaldTrump
"After 14 years, U.S. beef hits Chinese market. Trade deal an exciting opportunity for agriculture."


but whos going to buy 14 year old beef
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 1:35 PM on July 12 [54 favorites]


"Agriculture", I guess?
posted by tivalasvegas at 1:37 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


AP: Trump in Paris: The curious case of his friend Jim
For all things Paris, President Donald Trump’s go-to guy is Jim.

The way Trump tells it — Jim is a friend who loves Paris and used to visit every year. Yet when Trump travels to the city Thursday for his first time as president, it’s unlikely that Jim will tag along. Jim doesn’t go to Paris anymore. Trump says that’s because the city has been infiltrated by foreign extremists.

Whether Jim exists is unclear. Trump has never given his last name. The White House has not responded to a request for comment about who Jim is or whether he will be on the trip.
posted by zachlipton at 1:38 PM on July 12 [28 favorites]


In all seriousness though, we just thew a $50b domestic broiler industry under the bus to give cattle access to a $2.5b market.

Dealmaker in fucking chief that one.
posted by Talez at 1:40 PM on July 12 [43 favorites]


Do you think Trump reads his replies on Twitter? I think the answer must be no, because otherwise how would he resist responding to them?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:41 PM on July 12 [3 favorites]


Maybe Jim owns the taxi company which employs the drivers Thomas Friedman is always talking to.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:41 PM on July 12 [32 favorites]


I've seen him respond to replies on his tweets. It was disturbing.
posted by exolstice at 1:42 PM on July 12 [7 favorites]


Jim doesn’t go to Paris anymore.

Whatever, "Jim". My wife is over there right now for her first time in Europe and having a great time, and since she's not worried about extremists I get to learn about babies.

Don't let the terrorists win, Jim. Be brave!
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 1:46 PM on July 12 [4 favorites]


Jim's last name is Barron. OBVS, PEOPLE. Jim and John Barron hang out with the illegal voter that was in line with that German golfer.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 1:46 PM on July 12 [6 favorites]


Maybe Jim owns the taxi company which employs the drivers Thomas Friedman is always talking to.

Maybe he's David Brooks's dining companion who had an existential freak-out over Italian names on sandwich fixings.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:46 PM on July 12 [23 favorites]


Is Jim his factory owner fried we heard a lot about during the campaign?
posted by kirkaracha at 1:47 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


The Hill: Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) called Wednesday for Jared Kushner, President Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, to resign from his White House post in the wake of revelations about a campaign meeting with a Russian lawyer who promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

Murphy said Kushner misled Trump and Vice President Pence, causing them to state falsely that no associates from their campaign communicated with the Russians.


It is politically important that Republicans are forced to take a position on this issue, and it's beyond politically important that Kushner is forced out.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:49 PM on July 12 [46 favorites]


Never mind The Rock for Prez, there's a new candidate running for Senate and his name is Kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiid.....
posted by PenDevil at 2:07 PM on July 12 [4 favorites]


Does this mean he's given up on trying to find work as a cowboy?
posted by contraption at 2:10 PM on July 12 [8 favorites]


Never mind The Rock for Prez, there's a new candidate running for Senate and his name is Kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiid.....

So many policy positions & so little time before the election. I've got quite a bit of reading to do.
posted by narwhal at 2:11 PM on July 12 [2 favorites]


> Poor Jared Sexton: "I...worked on this story for a year...and...he just...he tweeted it out."

> A bunch of people are replaying to Jared Sexton's tweets with offers to send him some booze money.

Deadspin suggests that we might want to hold on to our booze money. Digging into things, it looks like Sexton took steps to explain that he wasn't a NYT writer and that the credit should go to them, but between the limitations of Twitter as a medium, the viral nature of anything Trump-related, and probably some measure of self-promotion, Sexton's connection to the story came off as much larger than it actually was. (Of course Deadspin's being more dickish than necessary about it, as their style guide requires.)
posted by tonycpsu at 2:11 PM on July 12 [4 favorites]


Oh, it's just this rotating box of slogans like "In Rock we trust," "Pimp of the nation," and "Party to the people?" Maybe there is enough time to get through all the material.
posted by narwhal at 2:13 PM on July 12 [3 favorites]


Kid Rock will be running in the Michigan Republican primary against former state Supreme Court Justice Robert Young, who was on Trump's shortlist of SCOTUS candidates.

The debates should be interesting.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:15 PM on July 12 [5 favorites]


There's no way in hell Kid Rock can put his stage name on the ballot, right?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:18 PM on July 12


Sexton stated several times that he's an independent journalist.
posted by rhizome at 2:19 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


There's no way in hell Kid Rock can put his stage name on the ballot, right?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94


Governor Jesse Ventura did, although he'd legally changed it by then.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 2:21 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


Starchild's is legally changed as well.
posted by rhizome at 2:22 PM on July 12


Meat Loaf 2020
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:22 PM on July 12 [3 favorites]


> Sexton stated several times that he's an independent journalist.

Sure, but the problem is that the juicy but misleading tweet gets retweeted around the world a thousand times before the boring clarifying tweet gets a few half-hearted favorites.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:23 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


Sorry, I can't look away.

His header photo is named: KidRock_Presidential_header.jpg

The site is hosted on Squarespace.

The headline of the "site" (one page, no internal links except in the top nav which links to itself) is: ARE YOU SCARED?

But you can buy bumper stickers, t-shirts, yard signs, & hats. From http://kidrock.warnerbrosrecords.com/senate.html. Is that.. normal? For a private company (a record label in this case) to host a candidate's merch?

And you can subscribe to his email newsletter.

(Why you'd buy any Kid Rock hat other than this one, though, doesn't make any sense to me)
posted by narwhal at 2:24 PM on July 12 [5 favorites]


Is the name thing much different than Bob Dole or Bill Clinton? It's not their legal name but they used it on the ballot.
posted by Emmy Rae at 2:26 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


Never mind The Rock for Prez, there's a new candidate running for Senate and his name is Kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiid.....

Filthy piece of shit made his name ripping off Black American culture with watered-down, shitty 17th-rate "hip hop," then when he lined his pockets with that, pivoted to warmed-over redneck shit-rock. And isn't he from the metro Detroit area, perhaps the archetype of American white flight and using the city as scapegoat for every evil, real or imagined? (Granted, my current hometown of Baltimore is only a notch or two down that list, too.)

So basically he's a perfect microcosm of America, in something vaguely resembling human form, then. I'm glad this is just a marketing stunt (so far), because the fucker would win in a landslide.
posted by CommonSense at 2:30 PM on July 12 [29 favorites]


I'm no fan of Kid Rock, but read his interview in Grand Royal from back before he was famous.
posted by rhizome at 2:35 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]



I agree that impeachment is unlikely to pass at this point, but it sure would be sweet if Mueller is able to drop a serious, multi-felony case on his orangeness after he's been stripped of executive privilege/immunity


Yes, but how do you get him out of Russia?

If it becomes obvious that, as soon as he is no longer President, he'll be on the fast track to a 3-figure jail term, there's a good chance that he'll seek asylum in an, ahem, friendlier climate. Even if it means doing a D.B. Cooper from Air Force One on the way back from a foreign engagement.
posted by acb at 2:36 PM on July 12


Sorry, I can't look away.

I mean, I appreciate that you're aware it's a problem and all, but—
THIS IS LITERALLY HOW WE GOT INTO THIS MESS IN THE FIRST PLACE!!
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:36 PM on July 12 [11 favorites]


Reuters (Steve Holland): Exclusive: Trump says he was unaware of son's meeting with Russian lawyer
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he was unaware of his son Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting last year with a Russian lawyer at the heart of a White House controversy, telling Reuters he only learned of it a couple of days ago.

Asked if he knew that his son was meeting with the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in June last year, Trump said in a White House interview: “No, that I didn’t know until a couple of days ago when I heard about this.”
What's the over-under on how long it will take to disprove this? A day?

He also said he asked Putin twice if Russia meddled in the election and he said no both times, even after he asked him "a second time in a totally different way," so case closed there.
posted by zachlipton at 2:40 PM on July 12 [44 favorites]


What's the over-under on how long it will take to disprove this? A day?

Trump started tweeting about "Hillary's emails" that freaking afternoon!
posted by PenDevil at 2:45 PM on July 12 [33 favorites]


even after he asked him "a second time in a totally different way,"

Mr. Putin, didn't you not meddle in the election?
posted by theodolite at 2:46 PM on July 12 [15 favorites]


And isn't he from the metro Detroit area, perhaps the archetype of American white flight and using the city as scapegoat for every evil, real or imagined?

dude's not even from Detroit. he's from Romeo, 40 miles north. so, yes, the very picture of Michigan white flight, with the added bonus of claiming a hardship he never actually experienced.

derail, I know, but I cannot overemphasize how derided Kid Rock is among nearly everyone I know who is actually from Detroit.
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 2:49 PM on July 12 [13 favorites]


Normally I would encourage political activism by rappers from Detroit, but the White House is already occupied by an insane clown posse.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:55 PM on July 12 [46 favorites]


zachlipton: "He also said he asked Putin twice if Russia meddled in the election and he said no both times, even after he asked him "a second time in a totally different way," so case closed there."

At some point, are reporters ever going to stop being polite and start being real? Why isn't the very, very obvious follow-up question(s): "Why would you ever believe Putin? What if he's lying to you? Heck, why should we even believe you? How do I know that you're not lying to me right now?" Jesus.
posted by mhum at 2:56 PM on July 12 [48 favorites]


If we have to have one white rapper with ties to Detroit running a celebrity campaign, of course it's Kid Rock and not Eminem. Kid Rock is Papa Doc, Clarence' parents had a real good marriage and went to Cranbrook, only, even more privileged than that.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:06 PM on July 12 [4 favorites]


He also said he asked Putin twice if Russia meddled in the election and he said no both times, even after he asked him "a second time in a totally different way," so case closed there.

I thought zachlipton must be making a Zoolander joke that was going over my head, but it's real.
posted by peeedro at 3:07 PM on July 12 [37 favorites]


according to this book of Russian folklore I downloaded you have to ask three times before Putin is compelled to tell the truth, so way to drop the fuckin ball Donny
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:11 PM on July 12 [91 favorites]


I didn't see this posted earlier, but Trump threatened to sue the USGA if they moved the Women's Open out of his golf course. Gross, gross, gross.

Please do. Does he not realize that a lawsuit with discovery and depositions under oath is every politician's worst nightmare? Is the 1990s too far back to register in his historical awareness?

In fact, since Peter Thiel demonstrated that funding third parties' lawsuits for political reasons is acceptable, why doesn't someone start a PAC named "SUE TRUMP'S ASS" to fund each and every lawsuit from the thousands of people and businesses that he and his minions have intimidated by threat of lawsuit over the years? Every hard-working small business person shafted out of payment, every woman groped, every staffer who suffered a hostile workplace environment at any Trump property or business...
posted by msalt at 3:15 PM on July 12 [44 favorites]


@sarahkendzior: I tweeted this on July 26, 2016. Found it odd that Kremlin spokesman referred inquiries about hacks to Donald Trump Jr. Now we know why:
On Monday, fallout from the hack also reverberated at the Kremlin, where a spokesman declined to comment on the hack except to refer reporters to comments by Trump's son, Don Jr., calling the allegations part of a pattern of "lie after lie."

"Mr. Trump Jr. has already strongly responded" to the Clinton campaign's claims, the Russian spokesman said, according to the news agency Tass.
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:18 PM on July 12 [18 favorites]


Romeo, Romeo, where art thou Theordore Nugent.

Screw that, draft Alice Cooper.
posted by clavdivs at 3:20 PM on July 12 [2 favorites]


dude's not even from Detroit. he's from Romeo, 40 miles north.

IMO Michigan's seeing the result of brain drain/ youth flight that began a couple decades ago, thanks to the recession/ dying auto industry/ lack of bipartisan cooperation to bring in new industries. (See how quickly the Rs killed some of Granholm's initiatives.) Too many smart progressives gone, leaving us with just the tRumpy types, many of whom ARE still doing well (better than me) financially. But bigots gotta bigot, no matter their circumstances.
posted by NorthernLite at 3:20 PM on July 12 [2 favorites]


Well, I'll give him this. Having learned about his wealthy upbringing (to say nothing of his current wealth as a celebrity), Ritchie (bka Kid Rock)'s politics certainly are in his self-interest. Which is more than you can say about an awful lot of Republican voters.

He is, if nothing else, consistent.
posted by CommonSense at 3:24 PM on July 12 [2 favorites]


Is the 1990s too far back to register in his historical awareness?

His historical awareness stopped sometime in the 1970s. Citing MacArthur and Patton as his favorite generals, thinking inner cities are Thunderdome, etc.

Except for Russia. It's surprising to me that someone who spent decades with the Soviet Union as the Evil Empire in the Cold War is so buddy-buddy with Russia now.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:27 PM on July 12 [5 favorites]


I'm sure Pat Robertson has fantastic health care, funded by millions in donations scammed from the pensions of the elderly over several decades
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 3:22 PM on July 12 [−] Favorite added! [!]

It is seriously a good thing that the blood of virgins does not actually bring about immortality otherwise we would be saddled with a bunch of gross old men forever.


He also said he asked Putin twice if Russia meddled in the election and he said no both times, even after he asked him "a second time in a totally different way," so case closed there


I'm tickled at the idea of DJT acting out the part of Detective Columbo in order to trick Putin into confessing.


I always think Kid Rock looks like he smells bad-- like Axe body spray on top of stale sweat and urine with a top note of unwashed tobacco mouth.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:28 PM on July 12 [22 favorites]


Oh and I forgot the windmills thing. God love him, DJT is just insistent that coal/oil/gas are what REAL MEN want and windmills are for sissy girls. I do not get the connection but he loathes windmills and he loathes Hillary Clinton so I guess they go hand-in-hand.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:31 PM on July 12 [6 favorites]


can't trust windmills. they might be giants.
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:33 PM on July 12 [40 favorites]


I do not get the connection but he loathes windmills

Possibly he thinks they are dragons?
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:34 PM on July 12 [4 favorites]


Watching the Downfall of a Presidency in Real Time (Frank Rich / NYMag)
The good news for those who want to see justice done is that this scandal not only resembles Watergate but also The Godfather — albeit a Godfather where every Corleone is a Fredo and not a single lawyer is as crafty as Tom Hagen, despite the fact that Little Donald’s private attorney has a history of defending clients from mob families. The level of stupidity of the conspirators is staggering: Not the least of the week’s news is that Kushner thought he could get away with omitting this Trump Tower meeting on the government questionnaire he filed to get his security clearance. (The $2.5 million that Charles Kushner donated to Harvard to gain his son admission was not money well spent.) My other favorite detail of the week (so far) is that Rob Goldstone, the former British tabloid writer and Miss Universe entrepreneur who served as the Trump campaign’s Russian middleman, posted on Facebook that he was “preparing for meeting” at Trump Tower on the day it took place.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 3:36 PM on July 12 [12 favorites]


CNN Trump threatens anger if health care fails

Watch out! Grandpa is going to spit his dentures out! Better take the remote control away from him.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:36 PM on July 12 [11 favorites]


can't trust windmills. they might be giants.

Kompromat man, kompromat man
Does what Putin says he can
Will we all die? It's certainly plausible
Kompromat man
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:39 PM on July 12 [54 favorites]


He hates windmills because he picked a spot for his golf course in Scotland near where they already approved an offshore wind farm, he didn't like the view, and he started a vendetta against various Scottish politicians. As usual, it comes back to his wallet.
posted by zachlipton at 3:39 PM on July 12 [36 favorites]


Oops. I misremembered Don Quixote's imaginary giants as dragons. ¡Ay, caramba!
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:40 PM on July 12 [4 favorites]


God love him, DJT is just insistent that coal/oil/gas are what REAL MEN want and windmills are for sissy girls.

I do find, as an audiophile, that my vinyl sounds warmer, with a more resonant mid-range, when my array of amps is being powered by electricity derived from high-sulfur coal. There's a noticeable difference when the utility starts drawing from the local wind farm.
posted by Flashman at 3:42 PM on July 12 [75 favorites]


He always brings up the "millions of birds die" argument against windmills as though anyone would ever believe he gives two shits for any birds. And how many birds will die/have died because of global warming and the destruction of their habitats?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:45 PM on July 12 [12 favorites]



He hates windmills because he picked a spot for his golf course in Scotland near where they already approved an offshore wind farm, he didn't like the view, and he started a vendetta against various Scottish politicians.


And he got dragged into the “conservative” political tribe (as opposed to becoming a Democrat, which at one point was plausible) to minimise cognitive dissonance, given how self-professed conservatives from Rupert Murdoch to Tony Abbott, from Nigel Farage to the Koch brothers, hate wind turbines. Everything else—the white-nationalist rhetoric, the attacks on women's rights, “blue lives matter”—all followed from the presence of a wind farm in Scotland.
posted by acb at 3:47 PM on July 12 [14 favorites]


When birds die due to climate change, it's God's will and probably they deserved it. When windmills kill them it's all liberals fault. Remember, nothing is ever ever your fault when you're a Republican.
posted by soren_lorensen at 3:48 PM on July 12 [29 favorites]


The birds and bees are dying are God's punishment for sex education in schools. I mean, can it be any clearer?
posted by acb at 3:51 PM on July 12 [18 favorites]


He always brings up the "millions of birds die" argument against windmills as though anyone would ever believe he gives two shits for any birds. And how many birds will die/have died because of global warming and the destruction of their habitats?

WAAAAY more birds are killed by domestic cats than windmills. And design and location changes have reduced the incidental take of birds by rather a lot.
posted by suelac at 3:51 PM on July 12 [7 favorites]


There are already anecdotal stories about various arseholes in Australia hunting (urban, domestic) cats and claiming concern for birds as their motivation. It's probably only a matter of time until the *chan deplorables adopt this as part of the alt-right cause.
posted by acb at 3:53 PM on July 12 [4 favorites]


the white-nationalist rhetoric, the attacks on women's rights, “blue lives matter”—all followed from the presence of a wind farm in Scotland.

This...is not at all accurate. He's been racist and misogynist forever.
posted by melissasaurus at 3:56 PM on July 12 [23 favorites]


Habitat loss due to real estate development, like hotels and golf courses, has really affected bird population sizes. Birds are pretty good at reproducing to replace individuals who die (almost all birds die of predation), assuming that there are sufficient breeding habitats for reproduction.
posted by hydropsyche at 3:56 PM on July 12 [9 favorites]


I forgot about his passion for goddamned steam catapults over digital as another example of his stuck-in-the-'70s mindset.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:58 PM on July 12 [10 favorites]


Birds are very smart and can learn things. Like not to fly into windmills.
posted by tel3path at 4:06 PM on July 12 [3 favorites]


(Onscreen news ticker reads: "MANAFORT AND PRES TRUMP SON-IN-LAW JARED KOSHER MET WITH VESELNITSKAYA...)"

Damn you, Anti-Semito-Correct!
posted by The Tensor at 4:07 PM on July 12 [16 favorites]


I'm glad this is just a marketing stunt (so far), because the fucker would win in a landslide.

Yeah let's not assume anything in politics is just a marketing stunt anymore
posted by Apocryphon at 4:12 PM on July 12 [17 favorites]


Axios: Trump lawyers want wall between Kushner, president
President Trump's outside legal team wants to wall off Jared Kushner from discussing the Russia investigation with his father-in-law, according to sources with direct knowledge of the discussions.

Members of Trump's legal team — which is led by longtime Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz, and includes conservative legal firebrand Jay Sekulow — are trying to cloak their startling demand with the two-word message to Kushner: Nothing personal.

The team contends that it isn't out to get Kushner, but just wants to protect the president because his son-in-law is so wrapped up in the investigation. He had three meetings with Russians that special counsel Bob Mueller is sure to investigate.

Members of Trump's legal team are frustrated that Kushner has been discussing the investigation with the president, according to the sources.

The mechanics of the wall are unclear, but it apparently would constitute an agreement by Kushner not to discuss anything about the Russia probes with the president.
posted by murphy slaw at 4:16 PM on July 12 [9 favorites]


Benjamin Wittes: Wray Does Well; the Senate Judiciary Committee Does Not
So if I were a senator, I would vote to confirm him. But I would do so with a big caveat—which is that I see no reason for the next President to respect Wray's statutory ten-year term in office.

If I were a presidential candidate running against Trump—in either party—I would make very clear that I reserved the right to remove Wray from office as part of the initial transition. Indeed, I might promise to do so. And if I were a senator, I would be carving that space out now. As Susan Hennessey and I wrote yesterday on our Foreign Policy feed, "To give Wray his ten years would send a message to all future presidents that there is no cost for removing the FBI director and replacing him or her with your own person.
...
If Wray acquitted himself well today, the same cannot be said for the body before which he appeared: the Senate Judiciary Committee. Neither Democrats nor Republicans, in the main, approached the situation with the gravity it deserved; nor did they push the nominee aggressively about how and why he thinks he can be effective under current circumstances and given what happened to Comey. Some senators, like Orrin Hatch and Amy Klobuchar, treated Wray as though he were any other nominee—focusing their questions on their individual legislative or local concerns. It was as though a perfectly normal president under perfectly normal circumstances had picked a nominee whose appointment raised no extraordinary questions. The committee today had an opportunity to put down a marker about acceptable behavior in an FBI director—and acceptable presidential behavior towards the FBI. On the latter point, at least, many senators passed up the chance.
Brian Beutler: Democrats should vote en masse against Trump’s FBI director nominee:
Again, it’s not Wray’s fault, necessarily, but it’s critical that Comey’s successor be someone that the next president doesn’t feel the need to fire. Wray may serve with distinction through Trump’s presidency and into his successor’s presidency. But the likelihood that anyone Trump selected will end up becoming compromised is so high that Democrats shouldn’t preemptively complicate efforts to remove him in the future by offering their support to him now.
Meanwhile, Jared and Ivanka continue their tradition of skipping town when the going gets tough. Rather than stick around to fight for their health care bill, the budget, tax cuts, debt ceiling, defend the administration on charges of collusion, etc..., they're jetting off to Sun Valley.

Axios: Trump lawyers want wall between Kushner, president. I swear, if one of you does a "and I bet he's gonna say Mexico has to pay for that wall too" joke, well, uh, I guess I got it covered already? I don't know.

Daily Beast: Jeff Sessions’ Secret Speech to the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Biggest Christian-Right Group You’ve Never Heard Of. A good profile of the Alliance Defending Freedom and why it's disturbing to have the Attorney General sneaking off to give a secret speech to their "religious freedom summit."

Trump to Pat Robertson: It was a great G20. We had 20 countries. Here, he's pulled off the unique accomplishment of trying to sound smart by showing off he knows what G20 means, while failing to realize the EU isn't a country.
posted by zachlipton at 4:19 PM on July 12 [67 favorites]


It's also all too plausible, since given the choice between Zuckerberg and whichever left insurgent ends up being most prominent, the DNC will without a doubt prefer Zuckerberg. The institutional center of the party is, broadly speaking, pro-capitalist and liberal rather than anti-capitalist or left, and well-connected pro-capitalism liberals are exactly the demographic that's most taken in by the soft-technocratic big-business approach to governance — "we'll just nudge the masses into doing what we want! And everyone will be happy cause we know best!" — of which Zuckerberg is practically the apotheosis.

That's an elegantly tragicomedic scenario, to have the celebrity blowhard candidate win the Democratic nomination because the DNC party elite revolts against the people; the reverse of how Trump won the Republican nomination because the party base rebelled against the RNC.
posted by Apocryphon at 4:20 PM on July 12 [6 favorites]


The mechanics of the wall are unclear, but it apparently would constitute an agreement by Kushner not to discuss anything about the Russia probes with the president.

Wasn't Trump trying to call up Mike freaking Flynn to chat about "things" as recently as a few weeks ago? Good luck with your plan, gents!
posted by Barack Spinoza at 4:21 PM on July 12 [5 favorites]


Do we call it a Chinese, Russian, or Mexican wall?
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:23 PM on July 12 [2 favorites]


if there's one thing we know about donald trump, it is that telling him that he isn't supposed to do something instantly makes doing that thing his top priority
posted by murphy slaw at 4:25 PM on July 12 [6 favorites]


It's time to start referring to Trump & co. as "the lame duck Trump administration." This is essential to resisting Republican attempts to cram though laws as the ship goes down, and will be doubly important in blocking any additional Supreme Court picks Trump might have the opportunity to submit.

It has the additional advantage of being true, and better yet it will drive Trump crazy.
posted by msalt at 4:32 PM on July 12 [34 favorites]


they're jetting off to Sun Valley.

Good god, is it just me or does old Ivanks look like something from the Uncanny Valley in that Variety pic.

Anyway, that pile of dog poop in a suit Newt Gingrich was defending the collusion/treason as biz as usual. If some mentally calcified trumpie said that to me I'd reply, "YOU'RE RIGHT! I totes recall when Eisenhower asked Stalin for help getting elected."
posted by NorthernLite at 4:34 PM on July 12 [2 favorites]


And it's time for another Daily Beast gripe session with your hosts Swin and Markay: Team Trump Hunts for ‘Traitors’ While the President ‘Growls’ at the TV. Everyone is all paranoid and speculating about the "traitors" who leaked to the Times, but let's check in on the President himself:
The president’s suggestion that he is not current absorbing all that much TV these days contradicts what several White House sources have noted about Trump’s regular television consumption habits: Mainly, that ever since taking office, the 45th president of the United States spends way too much time watching cable news—Fox News, naturally, being a favored, and friendly, network—and obsessing over coverage and media personalities.

Officials reached by The Daily Beast spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not cleared to discuss the president’s TV hate-watching habits, or internal West Wing strife.

As other news outlets have noted as well, President Trump has a tendency to also yell at his TV screens in the White House, and scowl and angrily comment as he watches news segments he finds disagreeable.

This is especially true with Trump-Russia stories. When asked if the president was still hissing at the TV this week over the televised Trump Jr. coverage, one White House official confirmed that the president was still taking out his Russia-related frustrations on an inanimate object while bitterly watching the news.

“Yes,” the aide replied. “Very much…Growling.”
posted by zachlipton at 4:35 PM on July 12 [28 favorites]


Yeah, based on the fact that we have heard Jared speak in public literally once or twice, ever, HE's the one who can't stop running his mouth.

I do love seeing these fucking rats begin to frantically distance themselves from each other, though. Bannon must be laughing his booze-reeking ass off.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:35 PM on July 12 [5 favorites]


Wheels up news drop very soon?
posted by Burhanistan at 4:37 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


Watching the Downfall of a Presidency in Real Time

Why has no one edited the Downfall parody video clip to put Trump's face over Hitler's? Yeah, it'd be a lot of work but but Trump's anger is reportedly a perfect match.
posted by msalt at 4:40 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


Officials reached by The Daily Beast spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not cleared to discuss the president’s TV hate-watching habits, or internal West Wing strife.

No kidding.
posted by zarq at 4:44 PM on July 12 [5 favorites]


Republican provocateur Roger Stone fueled the speculation on Wednesday when he claimed to know who the leaker was, and “their initials are J.K.”

he's right, it was Rowling, she wizarded it right out from under their noses

what is great though is this is the worst possible way to smear Kushner because referring to people by their initials in this white house is like when parents spell out D-O-C-T-O-R in front of their toddlers. it will take Trump YEARS to figure out who those letters might stand for.
posted by queenofbithynia at 4:47 PM on July 12 [19 favorites]


Maybe Trump can cite Nixon getting help from Ho Chi Minh to get elected.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:49 PM on July 12 [10 favorites]


is like when parents spell out D-O-C-T-O-R in front of their toddlers. it will take Trump YEARS to figure out who those letters might stand for.

Yeah, on a related note, Hunter Walker just dropped this quote:
These are questions that are also being asked inside the West Wing. A clearly exasperated White House staffer told Yahoo News they believe the continued attacks on the Clintons are an effort to satisfy Trump, who has infamously remained fixated on his election victory. The staffer suggested this focus on the Clintons is leading to statements that don’t address the issues at hand and therefore prevent the discussion from moving on.

The staffer’s take: “The Clinton stuff is purely done to appease Trump. It’s the equivalent of giving a sick, screaming baby whiskey instead of taking them to the doctor and actually solving the problem.”
Imagine if we had a President whose own staff didn't constantly infantilize, and I use that word literally, him.
posted by zachlipton at 5:01 PM on July 12 [51 favorites]


In this analogy, taking the infant to the doctor = impeachment, yes?
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:12 PM on July 12 [12 favorites]


CNN has video from 2013 where Donnie shitstain hangs out with the Agalarovs. Here's what Donnie has to say about having his Miss Universe pageant in Moscow:

""I have great respect for Russia. And to have the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, in the most important location, the most beautiful building, in your convention center, with such amazing partners, I mean it's going to be fantastic for detente, or whatever you want to say," Trump continues. "I think it's a great thing for both countries, and honestly they really wanted it in Russia -- badly. ... Politically they wanted it."

Perhaps that was the bait. Get the idiot over to Moscow and show him a good time. Make him think he's doing us a favor.
posted by vrakatar at 5:13 PM on July 12 [9 favorites]


“Very much…Growling.”
Next meme... Trump as Angry Doge.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:17 PM on July 12 [5 favorites]


Trump as Angry Doge.

I believe you mean ANGERY.
posted by dhens at 5:27 PM on July 12 [6 favorites]


What happens if the Obamacare Repeal Kill the Poor and Sick for Tax Cuts bill crashes and burns? Does the entire agenda collapse? They can't do the tax cuts they want to do without the Medicaid cuts.

I suppose they can just do W Parts 2 and massively cut taxes for 10 years. Then whine about the deficit which they themselves created.
posted by Justinian at 5:32 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


Trump loves a military parade — it’s one reason he’s heading to Paris
President Trump was not expected to attend France’s Bastille Day, which this year will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I.

But then he learned there would be a military parade.

French President Emmanuel Macron told Trump in a June 27 phone call about the event, which this year will feature U.S. and French troops marching through the historic streets near the Arc de Triomphe, fighter jets cutting through the skies above, and flags, horses and military equipment on display — the sort of spectacle that Trump wanted to stage at his own inauguration in January.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:36 PM on July 12 [10 favorites]


>For your diversion, here's a supercut of Donald Trump saying "no collusion" in various interviews:

>>WATCH: For months Pres. Trump has repeatedly denied there was any collusion between his campaign & Russia. #11MSNBC


Keep in mind that, thanks to the second side of Trump's Mirror, we know that whenever Trump says, "I am absolutely, positively NOT doing X" it actually means that he absolutely, positively IS doing X.

The more times and more emphatically he repeats his denials, the more certain it becomes that he was actually doing X, in spades.

(Why else is he even thinking about it? Why is he worried about it? Why is it on his mind? Because he's worried about being found out--that's why.)
posted by flug at 5:36 PM on July 12 [7 favorites]


Trump as Angry Doge.

Would that he were. Then we could send him to Venice and he'd be their problem.
posted by jackbishop at 5:38 PM on July 12 [15 favorites]


> From the Daily Beast:
Other senior Trump administration officials have gossiped that Manafort himself could be behind the leak. Some officials jokingly suggested the president himself was the culprit, only to concede that “these days, who knows?” one aide said.

“Could [Corey] Lewandowski have done this?” was yet another zany theory hurled around internally on Tuesday, hypothesizing perhaps someone forwarded the emails to the ousted campaign manager.
The ratfuckers chase their own tails before turning and biting the rat next to them in a frenzy of ratfuckery.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:44 PM on July 12 [10 favorites]


I'm still waiting for the Carter Page / Jeff Sessions bomb to drop. So far we just have Sessions conveniently forgetting things under oath and Page occasionally running his mouth on TV. I really want to know what that relationship is about. They're the slowest drips (see what I did there).
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:51 PM on July 12 [11 favorites]


Has anyone deciphered the likely names that are whited-out in the email yet, based on kerning and em spacing of that font?
posted by odinsdream at 5:55 PM on July 12 [2 favorites]


We seem to have glided right over the period-comma-apostrophe bullshit from the New Yorker (as seen here.)

The main problem seems to be this: "another of our conventions: when something like “Jr.” occurs in the middle of a phrase, clause, or sentence, it is set off by its preceding comma and a following comma." Which means they end up with this: "Donald Trump, Jr.,'s Love For Russian Dirt."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:57 PM on July 12 [14 favorites]


Absolutely. The presidency is not an entry-level position. Run for mayor first.
posted by Autumnheart at 2:59 PM on July 11
[29 favorites +] [!]


This guy just announced that he's running for mayor of New Orleans.
(YouTube link)
posted by artychoke at 6:01 PM on July 12 [2 favorites]


fantastic for detente

Fantastic...for...detente

for detente you guys
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:01 PM on July 12 [16 favorites]


Fantastic...for...detente

Even back when Trump knew actual words, he was still stuck in the 80s.
posted by zachlipton at 6:05 PM on July 12 [4 favorites]


I just want to correct something I saw upthread. The China-Beef deal was actually reached under Obama, it is just that American imports just started arriving . Second, Chinese poultry needs to meet Dept. of Agriculture standards. And finally, US poultry producers love China because they buy all our chicken feet (which used to be ground up into fertilizer). Turns out American chickens have bigger, meatier feet than Chinese ones do.
Obama deal
Chicken feet
posted by obliquity of the ecliptic at 6:05 PM on July 12 [38 favorites]


In other, non-treason news: brace for impact...

TPM: Short Tempers And Mass Confusion: O’care Repeal Is Going Awesome
An updated version of Senate Republicans’ health care bill will be released Thursday morning, but as of Wednesday afternoon few lawmakers had any idea what that bill would include, or even if one or two versions will be unveiled.

The good news: The tweaks ... seem to have accomplished little more than pissing off both camps.
posted by RedOrGreen at 6:06 PM on July 12 [12 favorites]


Metafilter: bigger, meatier feet
posted by uosuaq at 6:07 PM on July 12 [19 favorites]


That New Orleans mayor candidate (Charles O Anderson) has a Wix site with infinitely more content than Kid Rock. He might be announcing his run in a somewhat silly way, but he has a history of working on his dearest issue & he makes it clear that as mayor, he would use that position to further his goals of reducing the murder rate in N.O.

The difference between him & K.R. couldn't be more stark. I wish him the best. Please, no milkshake duck.

Edited to add a link to his site
posted by narwhal at 6:27 PM on July 12 [6 favorites]


I am over stunt candidates. This shit grates and is embarrassing.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:30 PM on July 12 [16 favorites]


Guys I think we've missed a whole line of reasoning as to why Junior decided to shit his evidence all over Twitter.

What if his confidant and adviser that told him to "be transparent" is a time traveler from the future sent to save us from some future Trump catastrophe?
posted by Talez at 6:34 PM on July 12 [2 favorites]


What if his confidant and adviser that told him to "be transparent" is a time traveler from the future sent to save us from some future Trump catastrophe?

That time machine landed nine months late.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:37 PM on July 12 [16 favorites]


I do love seeing these fucking rats begin to frantically distance themselves from each other, though. Bannon must be laughing his booze-reeking ass off.

Unfortunately for them, at this point they're all tied together.
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:38 PM on July 12 [4 favorites]


In which MSNBC's Katy Tur and Politico's Jake Sherman cope with the madness of the Trump administration by entertaining each other, and sometimes cracking each other up, by surreptitiously embedding Phish lyrics into their reporting.
posted by vverse23 at 6:40 PM on July 12 [12 favorites]


That time machine landed nine months late.

No no no there's multiple travelers. They've been releasing stuff to the media but the American people still elected him. Now they're trying again.
posted by Talez at 6:42 PM on July 12 [2 favorites]


Keep in mind that, thanks to the second side of Trump's Mirror, we know that whenever Trump says, "I am absolutely, positively NOT doing X" it actually means that he absolutely, positively IS doing X.

I'm all on board the Trump's Shaving Kit wagon and always have been, don't get me wrong, but... are we sure that Trump knows the definition of "collusion", as opposed to merely its Bad Sounding-ness?
posted by tivalasvegas at 6:46 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


WaPo: DHS’s Kelly tells Hispanic caucus DACA might not survive court challenge
Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly told the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in a closed-door meeting Wednesday that an initiative that grants work permits to more than 800,000 undocumented immigrants may not survive a looming legal challenge.

Kelly declined to take questions after the meeting, but his spokesman said the secretary told the members that the Obama-era program, which shields immigrants brought to the United States as children, is at risk.
...
“Jeff Sessions is going to say, ‘Deport them,’ ” a visibly shaken Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) said in English and Spanish, noting that the attorney general had been a fierce opponent of illegal immigration as a senator from Alabama. “If you’re going to count on Jeff Sessions to save DACA, then DACA is ended.”
There's been considerable speculation that they're trying to figure out a backdoor way to end DACA without the political fallout of actually doing it by using a lawsuit by red states to force the issue and declare that they'll stop issuing renewals. I'd upgrade that speculation to red alert status now.

Also on immigration: Politico—Trump crafting plan to slash legal immigration. In which Miller and Bannon are working on a bill that would cut the number of legal immigrants in half. I guess the whole "big beautiful door" in the wall thing, shockingly, turned out to be a lie too.
posted by zachlipton at 6:47 PM on July 12 [23 favorites]


zombieflanders: "And here we have the guy who defeated one of the two Jewish GOP members of the House referring to a Jewish Senator's economic positions with a centuries-old anti-Semitic reference."

In Dave Brat's defense, he is an extremely stupid person. The odds that he is aware of the origin of the phrase are slim.

I'd even say there is some chance he's not aware of Shakespeare.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:48 PM on July 12 [7 favorites]


@fluttering hellfire- I hear you. & I agree, for the most part. But the fact of the matter is, folks need votes to get elected. A dry, traditional run for office by a qualified candidate may work for us, but there are more than just you's & me's out there. Our latest election taught us (or me, at least) that in some cases, that's not enough.

If a stunt candidate gets more people to the polls (and, obviously, if that stunt candidate is an actual, worthwhile candidate) so be it. I don't understand most marketing or advertising, so I'm the last person folks should consult when asking "is this a reasonable strategy." As such, I can't possibly say whether hating on a rap announcement is just "get off my lawn" or a failure to understand how much the game of politics is evolving..
posted by narwhal at 6:49 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


That time machine landed nine months late.

No no no there's multiple travelers. They've been releasing stuff to the media but the American people still elected him. Now they're trying again.
Somewhere up the timeline is this decade's wikihistory page.
posted by tilde at 6:51 PM on July 12 [3 favorites]


I wouldn't get too excited about articles of impeachment, guys. Not when Bob Goodlatte, who is among the worst of the worst, is head of the House Judiciary Committee.
posted by dogheart at 6:52 PM on July 12 [3 favorites]



In which MSNBC's Katy Tur and Politico's Jake Sherman cope with the madness of the Trump administration by entertaining each other, and sometimes cracking each other up, by surreptitiously embedding Phish lyrics into their reporting.


I haven't seen Phish since like 2003 but I love this.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:52 PM on July 12 [9 favorites]


Nixon took 20 months, according to NPR. I need to go through my Doonesbury books and measure that in panels, or something. Even with Twitter and Jr self immolating in pixel form, it's not moving fast enough, nor will it. The party in power is just going to crush things through as fast as they can, assuming the actual post-Trumpening will bog things down again and prevent the kill the poors bills from being rammed through after the Administration is officially removed.
posted by tilde at 6:54 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


pjenks: "Nice to see that Pat Robertson is almost dead."

You know who played Pat Robertson on the SNL skit of the '88 Republican primary debate? Al Franken!
posted by Chrysostom at 6:59 PM on July 12 [12 favorites]


In which MSNBC's Katy Tur and Politico's Jake Sherman cope with the madness of the Trump administration by entertaining each other, and sometimes cracking each other up, by surreptitiously embedding Phish lyrics into their reporting.

Finally, something besides ice cream justifies Phish's existence. This is adorable and reminds me of Chris Packham of Springwatch.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:00 PM on July 12 [3 favorites]


Financial Times: Did Yuri Chaika, Russia’s top prosecutor, want to help Donald Trump.
posted by adamvasco at 7:01 PM on July 12 [3 favorites]


Natasha Bertrand, Business Insider: House Democrats want to know why a major Russian money-laundering case was abruptly settled

Why is Jeff Sessions still in office, let alone allowed to make any kind of decisions involving Russa?

Also, this story has a huge thread over on /r/politics, where people noted: Remember when Paul Ryan said off the record: "There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump."

So, I guess Rohrbacker had already been shilling for Putin on the Magnitsky Act on his own- see Putin's Favorite Congressman, Politico, 11/2016. And apparently he's also tight with the "crown lawyer," Natalia Veselnitskaya. When she was seated front row at a 2014 congressional hearing, scoping Russian Ambassador, Michael McFaul's laptop with her phone in hand, McFaul said she was invited by Rohrbacker.

He may be acting totally outside of Trump's world, but still interesting to see more backstory on this Magnitsky stuff.
posted by p3t3 at 7:03 PM on July 12 [34 favorites]


I know narwhal, we had a mayoral candidate run for publicity for his ice cream shop which was ha ha funny, but we also had a hotly contested dem primary and I think any detraction from things that affect actual constituents lives is not a luxury we have right now. Had Clinton won the presidency and Kander won the senate, Beatle Bob could have run for mayor and I would have trusted my fellow St. Losers. I just don't think we can afford the idgaf vote lulz anymore. I have a sinking feeling that since Trump won the election, the idgaf vote is now the momentum. I want someone smart and experienced and qualified to lead. I have no apologies for this, and no apologies for looking down on low information voters.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:04 PM on July 12 [6 favorites]


Remember when Paul Ryan said off the record: "There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump."


That wasn't Ryan but he was there, that was some CA repub I forget who. Great point tho, not trying to kibosh. Ryan tried to shush him down I think, and the tapes might only exsist thanks to Evan Macmuffin.
posted by vrakatar at 7:09 PM on July 12 [7 favorites]


Among the many annoying things about this whole Russia thing is that I've been finding myself rooting for has-been warmongering neo-conservatives like max boot and bill kristol to talk some sense into the GOP.
posted by empath at 7:10 PM on July 12 [5 favorites]


Remember when Paul Ryan said off the record: "There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump."

iirc, that was Kevin McCarthy. I was sitting 15 feet away from that guy at an event as he just lied his ass off in our faces, telling us about how this is all a nothingburger and firing Comey was just swell, and then the report came out a short time later that he spent the previous year cracking "jokes" about Trump being on Putin's payroll. What a joke.
posted by zachlipton at 7:12 PM on July 12 [12 favorites]


Senator Grassley says he wants Manafort to testify in front of the judiciary committee, with subpoena if necessary. Mostly regarding the Foreign Agent Registration Act, but anything could come up as a topic.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 7:12 PM on July 12 [10 favorites]


vrakatar- you're right, it was Kevin McCarthy, not Ryan. Thanks!
posted by p3t3 at 7:12 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


Healthcare roundup:

* Murkowski calls caucus meeting "icky," says no progress on her sticking points. [Alaska Dispatch News]

* Politico - Murkowski savaged the Medicaid cuts in the caucus meeting, and Hoeven backed her up. Heller says he hasn't changed his mind. Portman says he still opposes the bill over Medicaid cuts. Toomey says Medicaid cuts are a must.

* NBC - Medicaid cuts still likely in the revised bill.

* NYMag - Coherent bill still nowhere in sight.

* Huffpost gets this quote from a GOP aide: “I hate to break this one to you guys, but I don’t think they have any idea yet how they’re going to do this.”
posted by Chrysostom at 7:25 PM on July 12 [35 favorites]


Rohrabacher! I was sad to leave my East Bay congressional district this past spring, but I'm glad to have landed in Rohrabacher's so I can have someplace to direct my post election fear and frustration.

We're coming for ya, Dana.
posted by notyou at 7:34 PM on July 12 [18 favorites]


For Dana Rohrabacher news and notes: crazydana.com.

(Sorry about sharing that site's the tone deaf use of "crazy" here.)
posted by notyou at 7:42 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


So if any of you in senate districts that don't have a 2018 seat up, or are in safe blue, consider tossing some change to McCaskill. She is doing tireless outreach to red districts and it's nascent in spilling over to house races and state leg races. This needs to keep going. I WANT Missouri to be considered purple by 2020 and ensure that Roy fucking Blunt doesn't see anything but a golf course and a shitty book deal in 2022.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:47 PM on July 12 [19 favorites]


dis_integration: But in any case this will all go nowhere and Trump will be reelected

Today is the first day I've ventured back into the #45 threads in some time, and I had to run to the bathroom to dry-heave over the toilet after reading that.

(As was suggested in... a MetaTalk thread I can't find right now, I'm making a comment to gently remind folks that the bulk of The Blue is turning into a ghost town as the #45 threads function as MeFite event horizons. I know these discussions are addictive, fast-moving, and information-rich, and I know our various media outlets have turned into firehoses, but there's more to MetaFilter than this, and we could all use a brain break.)
posted by tzikeh at 7:49 PM on July 12 [34 favorites]


One thing this past election made clear: if you want to run an online business -- like Twitter, or Facebook, or any "platform" -- where there is an expectation from users that they are seeing trusted content from fellow humans, or they are seeing factual data...there has to be some culpability for the business if their platform is being exploited by botnets or disinformation groups or whatever and millions lied to. This, of course, should also hold true for shit like Fox "News".

And that's on top of being liable for threats, doxxing or the like, when people use the platform as a tool for doing so.

These things effect all of us. They can actively hurt, in real ways, real live humans. The idea that you can spawn a business which makes you billions by making millions of people's lives worse without consequence is reprehensible.
posted by maxwelton at 7:50 PM on July 12 [17 favorites]


Trump and Russia, Clinton and Ukraine: How do they compare?, Politifact:
According to Politico, the pro-Western administration that replaced Yanukovych preferred Clinton over Trump and was eager to help the consultant.

For Hannity, this was a direct parallel to the Trump affair, and he asked people to consider, "which was worse."

"Now that you have evidence from both sides, you have to decide for yourself," he told his viewers.

Are the two episodes basically the same?

No one has all the facts, but we can compare the details that we do have. The cases have similarities and differences.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:58 PM on July 12 [6 favorites]


ELECTIONS NEWS

** Kobach commission:
-- Another day, another legal action. Complaint to the Election Assistance Commission Inspector General that EAC Commissioner McCormick is illegally also serving on the Kobach commission.
-- Dahlia Lithwick: The chaos being sown by the commission is exactly as designed.
-- Speaking of Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State website has a bunch of inaccurate data for voters (shocking!).
** NJ gov -- Monmouth poll finds Dem Phil Murphy still with a huge lead over GOP Kim Guadagno, 53-26.

** 2018 Senate:
-- 538: AZ is a good Dem opportunity, they need to get a candidate pronto.

-- Looks like recent loser of the VA GOP governor nomination and crypto-white supremacist Corey Gardner is going to get into the Senate race against Tim Kaine. [Richmond Times-Dispatch]

** Healthcare -- Morning Consult poll finds 67% of Republicans want Congress to continue with repeal & replace effort, vs 21% to move on. Across all voters, it's 40/47.
** Odds & ends:
-- Including last night's OK flips, in the 26 special state/federal special elections this year, the Dem has outperformed Hillary's result in 19 of them.
-- Fun fact of the day: Lancaster County, PA has never been represented by a Democrat in Congress ever.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:04 PM on July 12 [35 favorites]


Against Bluexit, Branko Marcetic:
In December 2016, journalist Kevin Baker wrote a piece for the New Republic complaining about the “lazily deployed” stereotype of the “condescending coastal liberal who lives in his own bubble,” and about the “right-wing project to label anyone in the opposition as somehow deracinated, unnatural, unconnected to ‘the homeland.’”

Then, in March, Baker wrote a column titled “It’s Time for a Bluexit,” arguing that progressive America, or “blue states,” ought to simply break off from the conservative-voting parts of the country and go it alone. It was, in his words, “virtual secession.” Can’t get more “unconnected to ‘the homeland’” than that.

Baker’s column is obviously not serious, but it appears to have struck a nerve with some liberals. Last week, he was back on the Bluexit train as MSNBC anchor Joy Reid invited him onto her show to elaborate on his column, while the hashtag “#Bluexit” trended, mostly in support of his basic point.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:11 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


Another installment of "I didn't think the leopard would eat _my_ face":

Trump supporter: Republican health plan 'terrifies me' by Eric Barlow.
posted by great_radio at 8:15 PM on July 12 [14 favorites]


Kellyanne Conway just had the oddest appearance on Hannity in which she holds up pieces of paper to illustrate "Collusion? ["Collusion" but crossed out]" and "Illusion Delusion." It's utter batshit WTFery.

I like this take from @russiannavyblog: Teachers go on food stamps, but fucking @KellyannePolls buys a $7.7m house because she can do this.
posted by zachlipton at 8:15 PM on July 12 [33 favorites]


-- Looks like recent loser of the VA GOP governor nomination and crypto-white supremacist Corey Gardner is going to get into the Senate race against Tim Kaine. [Richmond Times-Dispatch]

Apparently thinking that Stewart's campaign was the right way to do it, the White House and RNC are digging into the Virginia gubernatorial race, trying to make the republican candidate Ed Gillespie embrace the Trump. From the WaPo, Gillespie’s primary scare has White House, others urging ‘Trump world’ hires. Gillespie is not quite a never-Trumper, he just pretends the Trump and his unpopular policies don't exist. To fix that, republican insiders have pushed for him to bring Corey Lewandowski into his campaign and the White House has offered to have Trump's family available to campaign in Va.
posted by peeedro at 8:21 PM on July 12 [2 favorites]


Kellyanne Conway just had the oddest appearance on Hannity in which she holds up pieces of paper to illustrate "Collusion? ["Collusion" but crossed out]" and "Illusion Delusion." It's utter batshit WTFery

Ah yes, the "treason schmeason" defence.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 8:22 PM on July 12 [43 favorites]


Trump supporter: Republican health plan 'terrifies me' by Eric Barlow.

In which he laments that his 5 year old son may well die if Obamacare goes away. I'm sure that would make him very sad as he heads to the voting booth to vote for Republicans against in a year and a half.
posted by Justinian at 8:24 PM on July 12 [27 favorites]




Wait, what? A goddamn umbrella sharing startup?
posted by medusa at 8:46 PM on July 12 [15 favorites]


From the WaPo, Gillespie’s primary scare has White House, others urging ‘Trump world’ hires. Gillespie is not quite a never-Trumper, he just pretends the Trump and his unpopular policies don't exist. To fix that, republican insiders have pushed for him to bring Corey Lewandowski into his campaign and the White House has offered to have Trump's family available to campaign in Va.

Please Br'er Trump, don't throw me into the brier patch. Democratic primary votes nearly doubled Republican in VA. Clinton won VA. Trump underperformed Crazy fucking Ken Kookinelli. Please, go full Trumpist against motivated Northern Virginia.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:50 PM on July 12 [6 favorites]


tbh, the Napoleon painting is the only thing I like about Bannon. It's exuberantly nuts.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:51 PM on July 12 [5 favorites]


Wait, what? A goddamn umbrella sharing startup?

and what, pay for my own umbrella? not this millennial.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 8:53 PM on July 12 [10 favorites]


Healthcare -- Morning Consult poll finds 67% of Republicans want Congress to continue with repeal & replace effort, vs 21% to move on.

They don't know what the hell they want other than sticking it to Obama. The AHCA and BCRA are both unpopular among different strains of Republicans for diametrically opposed reasons but the base all still want to push repeal and replace through without any common ground on what that would look like. They've been papering over the schism in the GOP since the Tea Party and the only thing holding it together is the moderates caving on everything, but there won't be much of a party if the moderates cave on healthcare and get voted out. But that's what they get for trying to please two parties masquerading as one.

I'm honestly surprised that the Murkowskis of the party haven't decided to get off Mr. McConnell's Wild Ride and snipe Manchin and Heitkamp from the Dems to pool resources as a small third party, they'd all end up as important dealmakers in Congress and get to keep on playing the middle on everything.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:54 PM on July 12 [8 favorites]


The Republicans' problem with their long campaign against Obamacare is a perfect example of a dog chasing a car and having no idea what to do when it catches it.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:05 PM on July 12 [18 favorites]


Wait, what? A goddamn umbrella sharing startup?

Um, this is probably the best thing that 2017's come up with so far, really.
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:08 PM on July 12 [11 favorites]


From the article about the Republican afraid of losing his son if Obamacare is repealed:
I am a Republican, and I voted for President Trump. I voted for leaders who, I thought, would make a serious, bipartisan effort to fix the problems with Obamacare.
No. You. DIDN'T. The Republican plank has NEVER been "fix Obamacare." It has ALWAYS been "get rid of the plan this person of color managed to taint 'Murica with, consequences be damned." And how do I know the Republicans hate it because Obama is black? Easy. Obamacare IS the Republican plan! Everyone knows it's Romney's design and implementation from his time as governor.

I mean, I feel sorry for this guy and his son. No one deserves to experience the fear and stress of dealing with serious, life threatening healthcare issues for themselves or their children. But for fuck's sake, stop voting based on what you think/hope/pray people are saying and take them at their fucking word. When a candidate says he's getting rid of the "disastrous" Obamacare that keeps your son alive, believe him and vote for someone else! Goddammit.
posted by xyzzy at 9:09 PM on July 12 [106 favorites]


When a candidate says he's getting rid of the "disastrous" Obamacare that keeps your son alive, believe him and vote for someone else!

pony request: "impotent rage" flag
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:14 PM on July 12 [18 favorites]


I read the news today, oh boy...

On the upside, yesterday's report about (not really) teleporting a photon gives me at least a sliver of hope that someday someone will be able to beam me the fuck out of this timeline.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:17 PM on July 12 [7 favorites]


medusa: Wait, what? A goddamn umbrella sharing startup?

The headlines leaves out the best part - the umbrella sharing company is one of 15 umbrella sharing startups in China. Not a joke.
posted by bluecore at 9:20 PM on July 12 [4 favorites]


I look forward to Kellyanne going full Ross Perot and bringing out some charts.

I feel sorry for the ghost of Napoleon, who was after all incredibly intelligent, that he has to spend eternity watching drunken shitgibbons like Bannon cosplay as him.
posted by emjaybee at 9:22 PM on July 12 [2 favorites]


On the upside, there are many good Photoshops of Kellyanne's signs on the Twitters.
posted by emjaybee at 9:26 PM on July 12 [6 favorites]




House Democrats unveil Obamacare fixes:
Chief among the proposals is creating an annual $15 billion reinsurance fund to help stabilize markets. Reinsurance would cover high claims for insurers.

While Obamacare included several programs to share risk among insurers to cover the cost of covering people with pre-existing conditions, some of those programs have expired.

The proposal also calls for fully funding the cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers, which reimburse insurers for lowering copays and deductibles of low-income Obamacare customers.

The Trump administration has not decided whether to commit to making the cost-sharing payments in 2018, which in some cases has led insurers to raise premiums in some areas. Insurers are required under Obamacare to lower copays and deductibles for poor Obamacare customers and the government would in turn reimburse them.

Other ideas include considering expanding the availability of catastrophic health insurance plans that include essential health benefits and coverage for primary care for younger people. A major problem with Obamacare is the law's enrollment population has been too sick, with not enough young and healthy people to offset high medical claims.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:27 PM on July 12 [13 favorites]


Vox has a better explainer of the House Dems' Obamacare fixes.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:29 PM on July 12 [9 favorites]


> No one has all the facts, but we can compare the details that we do have. The cases have similarities and differences.

PolitiFact may as well have closed with "in conclusion, Russia and Ukraine are lands of contrasts." The only things missing from their ridiculous list of similarities is "both Ukraine and Russia are sovereign states on the planet Earth", and "both Trump and Clinton have spent time in Washington, DC." Meanwhile, the list of differences includes things like "one country is an ally, one isn't", and "one was the result of a criminal cyber attack, one wasn't."

I eagerly await PolitiFact's next bombshell: "Garfield and Lasagna, Clinton and Pantsuits: How Do They Compare?"
posted by tonycpsu at 9:30 PM on July 12 [13 favorites]


So we can blame Obama and his lax immigration policy for Jr's troubles?
posted by notyou at 9:31 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


I read the news today, oh boy...

Nothing makes sense anymore and if we are all alive in 5 years someone will Kickstarter a but did this really happen in 2017 card/drinking game and make a bazillion dollars.
posted by hapaxes.legomenon at 9:40 PM on July 12 [30 favorites]


the Vox link addresses exactly the point I was looking for:
One other way the Democrats could strengthen the law would be to make the individual mandate penalty more severe, charging people a higher price to remain uninsured. But the group didn’t go that way, knowing such a proposal would be unpopular
Until you make the mandate penalties much more severe you aren't serious. Oh, I support the fixes they propose. They will help a lot. But they're avoiding a necessary and important proposal because it wouldn't be popular. Which is politically cowardly.
posted by Justinian at 9:41 PM on July 12 [7 favorites]


I feel sorry for the ghost of Napoleon, who was after all incredibly intelligent, that he has to spend eternity watching drunken shitgibbons like Bannon cosplay as him.

The really nice thing about eternity is that Steve Bannon is just a brief, whiskey scented blip from your perspective.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:47 PM on July 12 [12 favorites]


Congressional Democrats, politically cowardly? Are you sure there's not some other explanation? I mean it's just so out of character.
posted by contraption at 9:51 PM on July 12 [9 favorites]


Hell, put in the mandate penalty increase and negotiate it out if you have to. Then you can say you compromised!
posted by Justinian at 9:52 PM on July 12 [10 favorites]


You guys are so basic--it's 69th dimensional chess. To avoid having to negotiate and compromise, they led with the watered-down compromise position! A plan fiendishly clever in its intricacy!
posted by Joseph Gurl at 10:04 PM on July 12 [8 favorites]


democratic congressmen always drive off the lot after paying a hefty chunk over the sticker price, don't they
posted by murphy slaw at 10:08 PM on July 12 [15 favorites]


Corey Robin:
There's been a lot of discussion in the last few days of the use of the word treason. I've weighed in on its inappropriateness from a legal/constitutional view. That has raised the counter-claim that the word has more than a legal or constitutional meaning. But treason and its cognates—disloyalty, betrayal, subversion—are even more dangerous from a political and moral point of view. I've been shocked, frankly, at the ease with which people who should know better have been throwing these terms around. It's as if they have no knowledge of American history, and how easily these terms get mobilized for the most insidious political ends. This is one area where the Framers of the Constitution actually understood what the fuck they were talking about. To insist on the definition they adopted in the Constitution is not to engage in fussy originalism or anachronism; it's not being pedantic or legalistic. It's to be aware of the history of these terms and how dangerous they can be, and to have a little humility about your ability to transcend the lessons of the past. It really doesn't matter if these terms are being used by the right or the left. They're toxic. I tried to explore some of the dangers in this more theoretical piece I did for Jacobin year ago. Bottom line: we're all Hobbesians now. We just don't know it. And that's a problem.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 10:10 PM on July 12 [13 favorites]


And how do I know the Republicans hate it because Obama is black? Easy. Obamacare IS the Republican plan!

No. No, it isn't. It really, really isn't.

(But yes, Obama being black had a lot to do with them opposing it so viciously.)
posted by mightygodking at 10:21 PM on July 12 [10 favorites]


That insane Conway interview has gotten significant meme traction, naturally.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 10:38 PM on July 12 [26 favorites]


I'm not going to disagree on the specifics of the points you raise, mightygodking, but Obama himself frequently cited the Heritage plan as a starting point for Obamacare, knowing that Republicans would never go for single-payer. He even tweaked Romney, calling it "Romneycare" on multiple occasions.
posted by xyzzy at 10:43 PM on July 12 [8 favorites]


Plot twist: the super secret new Senate health care plan will be just giving everyone in the country membership in an umbrella sharing program. It will improve the CBO score!
posted by medusa at 10:55 PM on July 12 [11 favorites]


Then, in March, Baker wrote a column titled “It’s Time for a Bluexit,” arguing that progressive America, or “blue states,” ought to simply break off from the conservative-voting parts of the country and go it alone.

Uh-huh.

Pretty sure the last time that the fuckers that disenfranchise black people made noises about splitting from the Union, the liberals won the war.
posted by sebastienbailard at 11:00 PM on July 12 [5 favorites]


Why not rebrand the individual mandate as a "freeloader penalty" meant to enforce personal responsibility for health care costs?
posted by mikelieman at 11:14 PM on July 12 [20 favorites]




"At 9:20 EST, POTUS came back to the press cabin and talked off-record for roughly 70 minutes."

Just once I’d love to read that followed by "and we all said 'hell no' because our job is to hold politicians accountable and so we don’t do off the record chats with people who repeatedly tell lies."
posted by zachlipton at 1:09 AM on July 13 [64 favorites]


zachlipton: Kellyanne Conway just had the oddest appearance on Hannity in which she holds up pieces of paper to illustrate "Collusion? ["Collusion" but crossed out]" and "Illusion Delusion." It's utter batshit WTFery.

The first word was "Conclusion?" And when she read the words, she said "Conclusion? Collusion, no. We don't have that yet."

YET.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:07 AM on July 13 [11 favorites]


So basically Conway was doing a short, dumb Subterranean Homesick Blues?
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:15 AM on July 13 [27 favorites]


Wait, what? A goddamn umbrella sharing startup?

Err, no. Actually, there are fifteen umbrella sharing startups in China. Yup, you heard that right.

Fifteen.
Umbrella sharing startups.
In China.

I take this to be further proof that we are one of the weirder timelines of the simulation.
posted by sour cream at 3:13 AM on July 13 [4 favorites]


FWIW if y'all wanna pay me and download my app I'll share my political rage with you. Free for the first month, only seven easy payments of $9.99 a month after!
posted by saysthis at 3:28 AM on July 13


Which is politically cowardly.

Hey - Buddy - there's a line, ok? We got 2018's to fuck up.

Once more into the teach - being opposite of GOP doesn't work in the red zones, and being Independent doesn't either. So what can we deduce? Anyone? Anyone? Seriously, halp awready
posted by petebest at 4:50 AM on July 13


The new cover of TIME is out.

Red Handed
posted by chris24 at 4:56 AM on July 13 [50 favorites]


The new cover of TIME is out.

Omg, that is a thing of beauty. The email in the background, the highlighting of key sections. I might need a copy of that.
posted by Twain Device at 4:59 AM on July 13 [9 favorites]


Everyone but Donald Sr getting a real cover/coverstory on TIME magazine, that's simply genius.

Like the concept of him being too useless to kick out until like 30-40 other people have been forced to resign.
posted by tilde at 5:02 AM on July 13 [9 favorites]


And lookie here, Sessions and Pence being dodgy yesterday on Russia.

@HeerJeet
1. Attorney General refuses to be fully forthcoming about Russian contacts despite court order. [Justice Department Defies Court Deadline To Release Sessions' Contacts With Russians]

2. Vice President's office refuses -- 3 times -- to answer direct questions about Russian contacts: [Mike Pence’s Press Secretary Won’t Say If His Boss Met With Russians]

3. It's really striking how reluctant figures like Sessions & Pence are to answer even simple factual questions on the Russia story.
posted by chris24 at 5:02 AM on July 13 [66 favorites]


The email in the background, the highlighting of key sections.

I just noticed that the "I love it" is highlighted almost perfectly in a Hitler mustache position.
posted by chris24 at 5:07 AM on July 13 [36 favorites]


Yesterday, there was a lot of storm activity in the Boston area, which caused everyone's phone to go off at once. So naturally everyone starts trying to figure out how to turn the audio alerts off, and we discover that you actually can't turn off "presidential" alerts. I really, really hope that no one tells him about this.
posted by Melismata at 5:16 AM on July 13 [6 favorites]


The Presidential Alerts are what we are going to get if they take away his Twitter.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 5:20 AM on July 13 [18 favorites]


Somewhere up the timeline is this decade's wikihistory page.

Rorty has already written it, almost 20 years ago.

posted by rc3spencer at 5:51 AM on July 13 [5 favorites]


I've made the questionable decision to apply for US citizenship. I had my interview yesterday, and one of my questions on the civics test was "If both the President and the Vice President can no longer serve, who becomes President?". Thanks to Eyebrows McGee in this thread, I almost had an Apu "just say slavery" moment and thought to myself "well, there's an interesting -- and until now almost entirely theoretical -- Constitutional law question about this".
posted by ocha-no-mizu at 5:56 AM on July 13 [114 favorites]


BBC Moscow Correspondent, Steve Rosenberg, does a daily roundup of Russian newspapers every morning. Today, among other stories:
Russia could pull out of talks next week if the US won't return to a discussion about giving back the Russian diplomatic compounds in MD and NY.
This is on top of recent reports that the Russians will soon impose retaliatory measures for the sanctions Obama imposed in December 2016.

...Since the Trump admin hasn't been able to follow through after all those phone calls.
posted by pjenks at 6:00 AM on July 13 [11 favorites]


@senjohnmccain: Must-read @washingtonpost: "This is what makes #Russia a hostile power"

Deeply concerning!
posted by Artw at 6:05 AM on July 13 [6 favorites]


Oh boy, more obstruction of justice.

Lying to the American people isn't obstruction of justice. Only lying to the Feds or under oath.


I feel you -- Jr. is not himself obstructing justice by lying to the world -- but what we were talking about is White House staffers knowingly orchestrating and composing a false cover story for him (not even an administration employee) in order to prevent discovery of either crimes or at minimum facts material to an active Justice Department criminal investigation of unlawful activity. All at the direction and with the approval of the President. That's arguably part of a conspiracy to obstruct justice.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:05 AM on July 13 [18 favorites]


While collusion may not be treason, it's almost definitely illegal.

@AdavNoti
The foreign solicitation ban sure is having its 15 minutes! It's being made to sound a lot more complicated than it is, though. 1/

(a) It's illegal to ask a foreigner for a contribution. 52 USC 30121(a)(2). 2/

(b) Giving *anything* of value -- incl. intangible goods/services -- to a campaign below value is a contribution. 11 CFR 100.52(d)(1). 3/

(c) So asking a foreigner to give intangible goods or services to a campaign below value is illegal. 52 USC 30121; 11 CFR 100.52(d)(1). 4/

And that's it. Not complicated. But since egalitarian twitter is oddly concerned with creds, I'll add that I argued Bluman v. FEC. 5/5
posted by chris24 at 6:14 AM on July 13 [45 favorites]




The foreign solicitation ban sure is having its 15 minutes!

I was listening to a podcast yesterday with a lawyer from the Obama administration, and he was very much focused on the foreign solicitation ban.
posted by diogenes at 6:21 AM on July 13 [1 favorite]


While the bait of Rosneft billions might be a point of Trump's collusion with Russia to interfere with US elections, I think it's just as likely he was about a year out from actually forfeiting property to DeutscheBank in this last, formerly-failed, up-to-1B, loan.

Sort of, "why not - collude with Russia or go actually broke. 50/50."
posted by petebest at 6:33 AM on July 13 [11 favorites]


(a) It's illegal to ask a foreigner for a contribution. 52 USC 30121(a)(2). 2/

(b) Giving *anything* of value -- incl. intangible goods/services -- to a campaign below value is a contribution. 11 CFR 100.52(d)(1). 3/

(c) So asking a foreigner to give intangible goods or services to a campaign below value is illegal. 52 USC 30121; 11 CFR 100.52(d)(1). 4/


Speaking of which: anybody know the status of what ought to have been a scandal surrounding Team Trump soliciting members of foreign governments to contribute to their campaign via emails repeatedly spammed to them? Because if you're looking for violations of this statute you'd be hard pressed to come up with a more egregious example.
posted by scalefree at 6:35 AM on July 13 [17 favorites]


umbrella sharing startup

The surge pricing is a killer though.
posted by spitbull at 6:35 AM on July 13 [7 favorites]


Speaking of which: anybody know the status of what ought to have been a scandal surrounding Team Trump soliciting members of foreign governments
Looks like it never happened, cuz shenanigans?

posted by rc3spencer at 6:40 AM on July 13 [2 favorites]


A Watergate response checklist that looks eerily familiar. (h/t /r/poltiicalhumor)

Also, lol @ "What about Chappaquiddick?" coming up four times.
posted by Talez at 6:45 AM on July 13 [31 favorites]


Examples of ongoing FEC shenanigans.
re: not investigating Trump campaign foreign solicitations
posted by rc3spencer at 6:48 AM on July 13 [3 favorites]


A Watergate response checklist that looks eerily familiar. (h/t /r/poltiicalhumor)

Ha, just substitute Benghazi for Chappaquiddick and Comey for Dean, and that whole list sounds a lot like some of my friends' fb feeds.
posted by Mchelly at 6:48 AM on July 13 [7 favorites]


Ha, just substitute Benghazi for Chappaquiddick and Comey for Dean, and that whole list sounds a lot like some of my friends' fb feeds.

Hell, since every Trumpette is posting the bullshit story about Kennedy supposedly soliciting Andropov's help to beat Reagan, even the 'Teddy Kennedy did bad things' fixation is the same.
posted by chris24 at 7:01 AM on July 13 [3 favorites]


The FEC is not a real agency, its designed to be broken and nonfunctional, and it's been broken and nonfunctional for its entire existence.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:02 AM on July 13 [8 favorites]




I'm glad that Trump's guilt has become so clear, but I'm not enjoying this phase where he and his cronies continue to run our government despite the obviousness of the guilt.
posted by diogenes at 7:06 AM on July 13 [70 favorites]


But treason and its cognates—disloyalty, betrayal, subversion—are even more dangerous from a political and moral point of view. I've been shocked, frankly, at the ease with which people who should know better have been throwing these terms around. It's as if they have no knowledge of American history, and how easily these terms get mobilized for the most insidious political ends.
He's not wrong to say that the present evidence for an actual legal case of "treason" is very thin to non-existent. And he's not wrong to point out how accusations of treason inflame passions and divide people even further. And it's true that malicious accusations of treason have been used for insidious political ends. But in the face of a Presidential administration which does appear to have betrayed and subverted the American political process to a degree likely unparalleled in history, the anguish over the danger of the word "treason" seems just a little pedantic.

(None of that should be taken as a more general dismissal of Robin, just that I'm baffled if there's a larger point there than "treason is not a word to be used lightly." For which: noted.)
posted by octobersurprise at 7:09 AM on July 13 [19 favorites]


I've made the questionable decision to apply for US citizenship.

For what it's worth, I'm glad you're joining us.
posted by biogeo at 7:09 AM on July 13 [32 favorites]


continue to run our government

Is there much evidence that they're running anything, apart from 'in circles'? They've told various agencies to go out and do various shitty things, but in terms of actually leading?

45's main agenda appears to be tweeting, golfing and vanishing.
posted by Devonian at 7:14 AM on July 13 [7 favorites]


So naturally everyone starts trying to figure out how to turn the audio alerts off, and we discover that you actually can't turn off "presidential" alerts.

Wait what? There are presidential alerts? That you can't turn off? Since when??
posted by rabbitrabbit at 7:18 AM on July 13 [3 favorites]




45's main agenda appears to be tweeting, golfing and vanishing.

And allowing agencies to detain people at airports and deport people who have lived here all their lives.
posted by Melismata at 7:20 AM on July 13 [9 favorites]


Wait what? There are presidential alerts? That you can't turn off? Since when??

Mandated to be active by 2010, functional by 2012.

Wireless Emergency Alerts
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 7:21 AM on July 13 [3 favorites]


I've made the questionable decision to apply for US citizenship.

I'm still holding off. I'm in solid, solid, D territory so me voting won't make a lick of difference and I'd lose consular assistance from Australia if they start playing funny business with more classes of foreigners (i.e. liberal agitators).
posted by Talez at 7:23 AM on July 13 [2 favorites]


Oh OK. I know about emergency alerts of course. I thought presidential alerts were a different thing.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 7:23 AM on July 13 [1 favorite]


And allowing agencies to detain people at airports and deport people who have lived here all their lives.

And dismantling environmental, economic and consumer regulations - yes. But that's breaking things, not running them.
posted by Devonian at 7:24 AM on July 13 [4 favorites]


Trump Administration Eager to Start Crackdown on Legal Immigration
If anyone's considering becoming a citizen, your time is running out. Just a heads up.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:25 AM on July 13 [5 favorites]


I thought presidential alerts were a different thing.

Oh, give it time. *shudder*
posted by Rykey at 7:27 AM on July 13 [5 favorites]


Emergency alerts are unblockable alerts in the events of an emergency; i.e., if that rock formation under the Atlantic collapsed and sent a killer mega-tsunami to wipe out the East Coast or something, everyone would get texted about it.

Presidential Alerts, introduced in 2017, are a new thing, allowing the nation's supreme alpha-male to address his subjects and mark their inboxes with his testosterone-rich urine, as is his prerogative. They're mostly about the ugliness of female public figures, failing mainstream media sources and covfefe.
posted by acb at 7:27 AM on July 13 [7 favorites]


Looks like the new 'healthcare' bill is out - Washngton Examiner


A new draft of the bill Republicans are advancing to repeal and replace portions of Obamacare leaves in place taxes on high-income earners and allows customers to purchase less expensive plans that cover fewer medical services, according to a Senate leadership outline obtained by the Washington Examiner.

posted by Devonian at 7:28 AM on July 13 [3 favorites]


Wait what? There are presidential alerts? That you can't turn off? Since when??

You didn't get the one advertising Ivanka's Fall Collection?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:29 AM on July 13 [16 favorites]


I understand when people, especially legally competent people, cringe when regular folk use the word "treason". I watched a 2 hour documentary on the French Revolution and ensuing terror last night, and saw that word used there, with all the attendant collapse of civil order and betrayal of trust that that entailed, and I winced. When that treason word is used, the King is probably about to lose his head, and all hell will break lose. Under the present circumstances, there is no way in hell any competent lawyer or agency will attempt to pin the crime of "treason" on anyone in this administration.

But, but, but, we are still missing a lot of the story. From what we regular folk can see, based on the information in the public domain, it looks like a cabal of amoral thieves saw fit to grab power through any and all means necessary, including collusion with a hostile foreign power, that they did so for the goal (most of them) of self-enrichment. They were aided and abetted by those who had no qualms about abusing religious sentiment in pursuit of self-serving political goals. And the entire kleptocratic ensemble continues to destroy the institutions of society, fomenting hatred, tearing down the carefully negotiated structures (regulations) that were put in place for reasons of shared interest (health, safety) to enrich themselves.

I understand the lawyers. I will continue to call it treason though.
posted by stonepharisee at 7:29 AM on July 13 [59 favorites]


leaves in place taxes on high-income earners

So it's DOA, is what you're telling us.
posted by Etrigan at 7:30 AM on July 13 [12 favorites]


Please Br'er Trump, don't throw me into the brier patch. Democratic primary votes nearly doubled Republican in VA. Clinton won VA. Trump underperformed Crazy fucking Ken Kookinelli. Please, go full Trumpist against motivated Northern Virginia.

Normally, I'd agree, but I worry about the off-year election problems that Dems have seen in other special elections. If there's a Republican running VA during the 2020 post-census redistricting, I think we could say goodbye to a blue VA for a while.
posted by gladly at 7:34 AM on July 13 [3 favorites]


if it doesn't have the tax cuts, then they just changed the bill from a trojan horse into a huge, rotting wooden horse with nothing inside as a gift to people who already have a perfectly functional huge wooden horse, thank you very much.
posted by murphy slaw at 7:39 AM on July 13 [10 favorites]


Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:40 AM on July 13 [49 favorites]


So who actually likes it without the tax cuts? Instead of a gift to the wealthy it's now completely pointless? The final game plan really is to "repeal and replace"with something exactly identical to the ACA but without Obama cooties on it, I guess.
posted by jackbishop at 7:44 AM on July 13 [2 favorites]


SenMikeLee:

Just FYI - The Cruz-Lee Amendment has not been added to BCRA. Something based on it has, but I have not seen it or agreed to it.

I am withholding judgment and look forward to reading it.

posted by Chrysostom at 7:46 AM on July 13


The new version of the plan still guts Medicaid.
posted by zarq at 7:48 AM on July 13 [11 favorites]


if it doesn't have the tax cuts, then they just changed the bill from a trojan horse into a huge, rotting wooden horse with nothing inside as a gift to people who already have a perfectly functional huge wooden horse, thank you very much.

It likely still cuts the excise tax on tanning salons, the tax on medical device manufacturers, the annual fee on insurance providers, and the provision raising the medical expense deduction floor to 10% of AGI; it likely also includes expansion of HSAs (a tax-avoidance tool mostly used by households with >$100K AGI).

Even if they keep the net investment income tax and the provision on high insurance CEO pay, there are undoubtedly still a lot of tax cuts in the bill.
posted by melissasaurus at 7:48 AM on July 13 [5 favorites]


Essential viewing: Trump's newly appointed Director of the Indian Health Service is evicerated by the atomic fury of Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT)

The outrage on display in that video is incredibly cathartic. I just want someone to express outrage about something, I now realize. Not concern. Not worry. Not raised eyebrows. Pure outrage.

I need the vicarious relief.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 7:54 AM on July 13 [59 favorites]


> with something exactly identical to the ACA

This is exactly what the GOP wants people to think. My expectation is that regardless of what taxes are left in place for political reasons, the exchanges will still be massively underfunded, and that poor people will get fucked very hard. Let's wait and see what the wonks say before we go giving them undeserved credit.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:55 AM on July 13 [6 favorites]


I want a Damned. Answer. (YT link)

Senator Tester from SD just won the my new hero award today. That was awesome.
posted by petebest at 7:57 AM on July 13 [35 favorites]


If there's a Republican running VA during the 2020 post-census redistricting, I think we could say goodbye to a blue VA for a while.

Virginia is only blue in statewide elections. Because of gerrymandering 7 of 11 congressional districts are represented by republicans, at the state level republicans hold a majority in both the Senate and the House of Delegates. But democrats have won all the presidential and senate elections since 2008, and three of the last four governor's races. Unless Trump is somehow redrawing the map of political identity in the state to favor republicans (not likely), a republican governor in 2020 isn't going to change ongoing economic and demographic trends that are making Virginia more reliably blue.
posted by peeedro at 7:59 AM on July 13 [5 favorites]


HSAs (a tax-avoidance tool mostly used by households with >$100K AGI)

We have a folder full of receipts from HSA qualifying expenses. Anytime we want to put our paws on some pre-tax dollars, we submit some expenses to the HSA for reimbursement. Fund roll over from year to year and there is no sunset on when you can submit an expense so it's just a tax sheltered slush fund for us.

I mean, I like that it's there and that we can use it in this way but it's not exactly being used to meet it's intended need.
posted by VTX at 8:00 AM on July 13 [10 favorites]


Essential viewing: Trump's newly appointed Director of the Indian Health Service is evicerated by the atomic fury of Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT)

tfw some pissant little bureaucrat won't answer you, a sitting senator, because you have zero power compared to the giant asshole up top that is ready to shit all over said bureaucrat.
posted by Talez at 8:01 AM on July 13 [9 favorites]


Normally, I'd agree, but I worry about the off-year election problems that Dems have seen in other special elections.

Kaine won't be running in a special, and the Democratic turnout in all of these specials has been above average, as well as swinging 10+ points in their favor. The problem has been that that has still not been enough to win deeply red gerrymandered districts in Georgia and South Carolina, or in a deep red State Trump won by 40+ in Montana. The trend is still good, and VA Gov in 2017 and Kaine in 2018 will not really be comprable. Let's hope I won't be proven wrong, but a state wide election in VA should not be a competitive race in the Trump era, and if it is, Democrats are more fucked than we even thought after 11/9.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:01 AM on July 13 [4 favorites]


the atomic fury of Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT)

Tester represents a quite red state, only narrowly won his last election and is up again in '18. His strategy for years had been to distance himself from the Democratic party and anything appearing liberal. Recently, however, he's been making a lot of good choices. If he can keep up the image of "angry crewcut guy holding the big government weasels accountable" then he just might both be able to keep his seat here in '18 and also be a part of strong congressional resistance, which would be a real feat.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:01 AM on July 13 [42 favorites]


Essential viewing: Trump's newly appointed Director of the Indian Health Service is evicerated by the atomic fury of Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT)

I really enjoyed watching this but it does make me wonder if that senator had been a woman, how quickly she'd be silenced for not being polite.
posted by mcduff at 8:03 AM on July 13 [55 favorites]


The pretzels that guy is willing to twist himself into, with a shamed and terrfied look on his face, to avoid saying that yes, they are most concerned about personnel and yet their budget cuts funds for hiring and retaining said personnel are just astounding. Goddamn.
posted by lydhre at 8:04 AM on July 13 [8 favorites]


If he can keep up the image of "angry crewcut guy holding the big government weasels accountable" then he just might both be able to win re-election here in '18 and also be a part of strong congressional resistance, which would be something of a feat.

It helps that he has a string quartet following him around all day.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:05 AM on July 13 [8 favorites]


T.D. Strange: "Kaine won't be running in a special, and the Democratic turnout in all of these specials has been above average, as well as swinging 10+ points in their favor. The problem has been that that has still not been enough to win deeply red gerrymandered districts in Georgia and South Carolina, or in a deep red State Trump won by 40+ in Montana. The trend is still good, and VA Gov in 2017 and Kaine in 2018 will not really be comprable. Let's hope I won't be proven wrong, but a state wide election in VA should not be a competitive race in the Trump era, and if it is, Democrats are more fucked than we even thought after 11/9."

Yeah, specials have actually been going well? I'm as disappointed as anyone that we couldn't flip GA-06 and MT-AL, but those were reaches. And Dems have flipped four state leg seats so far.

In VA, I predict Dem wins in gov/LG/AG and a pickup of five seats in the House of Delegates this fall; Kaine wins next year. Put me down for a cake as appropriate.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:06 AM on July 13 [7 favorites]


You know, every damn day is starting to remind me of that scene in A Handmaid's Tale that somebody referenced in another mega thread. Where a horrific terroristic event results in martial law and people just watch their TVs, not sure what to do.

We haven't had blood spilled, but we've had this tremendous upending of norms, things ridiculous are asserted as fact, and the entity steering the ship of state is mad.

I feel like history books in the future are going to have to explain why there wasn't more immediate action taken against these evil motherfuckers, and while there will be good reasons like the procedure for impeachment and the nature of the GOP at this point in time, there will also be some sort of explanation that boils down to, 'people were going to their jobs, getting paid, feeding their kids, watching quality TV, it just didn't seem like things could be that bad given those things'
posted by angrycat at 8:06 AM on July 13 [70 favorites]


Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who is responsible for gathering the votes for the bill, said there is no other plan that can get 50 votes. "If you vote "No" on this bill, it essentially is a vote for Obamacare because that's what we're going to be left with," Cornyn said on Fox this morning. "If Senator Paul can show me 49 other votes for his bill, then I would be all for it. But, unfortunately, the practicality is we have to pass a bill."

He's telling Republicans that this is their last chance and if they don't vote yes, they'll be blamed for the bill's defeat.
posted by zarq at 8:08 AM on July 13 [7 favorites]


Here's a good thread about the proposed HSA expansion and how it's just another huge tax cut for the wealthy.
posted by melissasaurus at 8:10 AM on July 13 [5 favorites]


Mandated to be active by 2010, functional by 2012.

Wireless Emergency Alerts


Yeah thanks for the flood alert two nights ago that woke me up. Eight floors up.
posted by srboisvert at 8:10 AM on July 13


I really enjoyed watching this but

Not today! No buts!

*rewatches*
posted by petebest at 8:10 AM on July 13 [5 favorites]


I just want someone to express outrage about something, I now realize. Not concern. Not worry. Not raised eyebrows. Pure outrage.

This is how I feel about Trump/Russia every day.
posted by diogenes at 8:11 AM on July 13 [18 favorites]


HSAs used to be a good tool for contractors/freelancers. HSA plus low-premium, deductible only plan was a no-brainer. This was of course a few years ago, back when deductible-only plans existed and a $5,000 deductible was considered high.
posted by FakeFreyja at 8:15 AM on July 13 [3 favorites]


> The pretzels that guy is willing to twist himself into, with a shamed and terrfied look on his face, to avoid saying that yes, they are most concerned about personnel and yet their budget cuts funds for hiring and retaining said personnel are just astounding.

In my short time working for the federal government, I've become acquainted with several GS14's and SES whose entire career was built on their superpower for never being the one to break bad news.
posted by klarck at 8:25 AM on July 13 [5 favorites]


remind me of that scene in A Handmaid's Tale that somebody referenced in another mega thread. Where a horrific terroristic event results in martial law and people just watch their TVs, not sure what to do.
Fundamentalist theocracies gonna theocratize! In God We Trust, right?
posted by rc3spencer at 8:25 AM on July 13


@HeerJeet
1. Attorney General refuses to be fully forthcoming about Russian contacts despite court order. [Justice Department Defies Court Deadline To Release Sessions' Contacts With Russians]


If Sessions's revised version of his SF86 questionnaire is anything like Kushner's - the NYT reports that "Mr. Kushner supplemented the list of foreign contacts three times, adding more than 100 names, people close to him said." - there's no wonder he doesn't want it getting out.

That obstructionism shouldn't be a surprise at all. The post-bellum crypto-Confederate South's hypocritical disregard for the law is a foundational part of its character, and Jeff Sessions is a sterling product of what Langston Hughes called the "lazy, laughing South / With blood on its mouth". He's trying remake the Justice Department in that image.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:26 AM on July 13 [32 favorites]


Has Sessions been fired for perjury yet?
posted by Yowser at 8:27 AM on July 13 [10 favorites]


Paige Winfield Cunningham, Washington Post:
Here's what McConnell has told several hesitant senators (including Portman and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.): The bill’s deepest Medicaid cuts are far into the future, and they’ll never go into effect anyway.

“He’s trying to sell the pragmatists like Portman, like Capito on ‘the CPI-U will never happen,’” a GOP lobbyist and former Hill staffer told me.

Under the current version of the Senate health-care bill, federal Medicaid spending would drop by 26 percent starting in 2026, pegged to the Urban Consumer Price Index. That's still eight-and-a-half years away -- long past senators' next election. And cutting Medicaid is so unpopular, with so much resistance from the health-care industry, that it's likely Congress would find a way to avoid the cuts when the time comes. After all, that's what Congress did for years by enacting the so-called "Doc Fix" to a Medicare doctors' payment formula.

But that's a big "if" in the minds of medical providers, who fear having any Medicaid cuts written into law.
The doctors told me they didn't get any solid promises from the rank-and-file yesterday to oppose the GOP bill.
(Emphasis in original).

So McConnell is basically telling Republican senators "Yes, we want to propose cutting Medicaid, and yes, we know that would kill or bankrupt millions of Americans, and yes, this would ruin the health-care industry, but don't worry! It wouldn't happen until one or two senate terms from now. By then the Democrats will probably be in charge and they'll have to clean up this mess, and we'll get to smear them as 'fiscally irresponsible' for doing what we knew would have to be done all along."

That's depressing. Let's lighten the mood with a joke.

Q: What do you get when a viper fucks a tortoise?
A: Senator Mitch McConnell.
posted by biogeo at 8:29 AM on July 13 [87 favorites]


The bill’s deepest Medicaid cuts are far into the future, and they’ll never go into effect anyway.

As Mathew Yglesias said on Twitter:

Call me crazy but “don’t worry, the bill’s major provisions won’t actually be implemented” seems like an unsound basis for legislating.
posted by diogenes at 8:31 AM on July 13 [95 favorites]


Historical question: has the strategy of "enacting" (and getting credit for, and planning on the legislative extortion with) *future* cuts been a recent phenomenon, or is this something Congress has always done?
posted by Dashy at 8:35 AM on July 13 [1 favorite]


> Call me crazy but “don’t worry, the bill’s major provisions won’t actually be implemented” seems like an unsound basis for legislating.

But think of those sweet, sweet tax cuts.
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:36 AM on July 13 [2 favorites]


Historical question: has the strategy of "enacting" (and getting credit for, and planning on the legislative extortion with) *future* cuts been a recent phenomenon, or is this something Congress has always done?

It's a nakedly transparent plan to make it cut the budget so they can push it through reconciliation instead of Democrats getting to do their bad Dikembe Mutombo impression.
posted by Talez at 8:38 AM on July 13 [4 favorites]


games like this have been played by congress one way or another since reagan's election
posted by pyramid termite at 8:39 AM on July 13 [1 favorite]




I am amused by the conceit that if we liberals don't use the word "treason," it won't be used against us from the right in the future. Anyone who can say that doesn't know American history nearly as well as they pretend to. The word was widely used in 2003-4 against protesters against the disastrous Iraq war, just for instance.

Trump is a traitor to my values, which I consider to be patriotic.
posted by spitbull at 8:48 AM on July 13 [80 favorites]


Why is Trump over there? Given his aversion to travelling, this seems odd. I can't imagine any personal desire on his, or Macron's, part to be there. Is there some n-dimensional arrangement going on between adults from various quarters to position DJT at a specific time and place?
posted by stonepharisee at 8:50 AM on July 13


I feel like history books in the future are going to have to explain why there wasn't more immediate action taken against these evil motherfuckers, and while there will be good reasons like the procedure for impeachment and the nature of the GOP at this point in time, there will also be some sort of explanation that boils down to, 'people were going to their jobs, getting paid, feeding their kids, watching quality TV, it just didn't seem like things could be that bad given those things'

I think the cause has to be something more than this, though. The thing is—you don't even have to use anything beyond mainstream WWII-era concepts of right and wrong to explain what was so insanely dangerous about the stuff Trump was saying he would do during the campaign and what he's been doing since then.

One thing I keep coming back to is that in the 1930s when the Nazis and many other fascist regimes came to ascendancy, "World Peace" was still something people campaigned for and was at least taken somewhat seriously as a feasible and social goal. Some people referred to the first World War as "The War To End All Wars."

Now, in 2017, "World Peace" is a punch line or at best something cute which an adorably innocent child might wish for. If anyone in politics or public life articulated it as a goal, even in the context of something like the Syrian conflict, they would be dismissed as staggeringly naïve person putting forward a "non-starter" of a goal.

Yet, Trump and all of his stated objectives taking control of the United States of America and its deadliest of nuclear arsenals turned out to be eminently feasible and regarded as acceptable by a huge chunk of the population of the country.

I feel as though there must be something intrinsic to society and its collective attitudes that has changed or degraded or hasn't been successfully passed on, despite incredible progress in so many spheres, for Trump to be workable, nay actually successful, but World Peace to be completely excluded from public consciousness in the 21st century.
posted by XMLicious at 8:52 AM on July 13 [23 favorites]


Why is Trump over there? Given his aversion to travelling, this seems odd. I can't imagine any personal desire on his, or Macron's, part to be there. Is there some n-dimensional arrangement going on between adults from various quarters to position DJT at a specific time and place?

the manbaby gets to see a military parade for bastille day.
posted by anem0ne at 8:52 AM on July 13 [38 favorites]


Why say "Traitor" when you can say "Person in possible breach of the Espionage Act as amended"?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:53 AM on July 13 [15 favorites]


It's closer to Russia, just in case.
posted by yhbc at 8:53 AM on July 13 [4 favorites]


Ok, so it looks like the details of the Senate revised healthcare bill are dribbling out, and the summary is "fewer tax cuts, more bare-bones insurance plans, same cuts to Medicaid but don't worry, they'll never be allowed to happen". Which is lipstick-on-a-pig levels of improvement.

But I guess I'd like to know - what is the function of a "bare bones insurance plan"? When your insurance plan doesn't cover say the cost of an ambulance ride or the cost of cancer treatments, what is the point of paying for it? Genuinely curious why anyone would go for it, even if they couldn't afford anything better.
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:54 AM on July 13 [8 favorites]


For example, despicable Ann Coulter titled her 2003 best-selling book attacking anti-Iraq-war protests among other things, Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism .

So anyone who reaches for the smelling salts when liberals say "treason" about Trump and Russia can kiss my ass.
posted by spitbull at 8:54 AM on July 13 [105 favorites]


The bill’s deepest Medicaid cuts are far into the future, and they’ll never go into effect anyway.

...

Call me crazy but “don’t worry, the bill’s major provisions won’t actually be implemented” seems like an unsound basis for legislating.


Right?! I wish to God the people who could vote McConnell out would listen to this and care about what it means: your Senator is so intent on pushing his self-serving agenda he'll intentionally put forth legislation he thinks he knows won't happen.
posted by Rykey at 8:55 AM on July 13 [8 favorites]


Macron made a point of being nice to Trump at G20.
posted by scalefree at 8:55 AM on July 13 [3 favorites]


Turns out Macron is not so good when not being directly compared with a nazi.

Makes me a little worried for how the next Macron/Nazi election will go TBH.
posted by Artw at 8:57 AM on July 13 [2 favorites]


I'm really curious as to what the menu is at Le Jules Verne tonight.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 8:57 AM on July 13 [2 favorites]


I feel as though there must be something intrinsic to society and its collective attitudes that has changed or degraded or hasn't been successfully passed on, despite incredible progress in so many spheres, for Trump to be workable, nay actually successful, but World Peace to be completely excluded from public consciousness in the 21st century.
So do Pankaj Mishra and Rousseau. Populist rageouts are pretty regular affairs since the Enlightenment's elitist takeover.
posted by rc3spencer at 8:58 AM on July 13 [1 favorite]


Right?! I wish to God the people who could vote McConnell out would listen to this and care about what it means: your Senator is so intent on pushing his self-serving agenda he'll intentionally put forth legislation he thinks he knows won't happen.

"So if it'll never happen, there should be no problem with cutting out that part of the bill altogether, right? We'll save money on printing that way."
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:59 AM on July 13 [20 favorites]


I'm really curious as to what the menu is at Le Jules Verne tonight.

Pain de viande.
posted by Artw at 8:59 AM on July 13 [6 favorites]


the manbaby gets to see a military parade for bastille day.

This. A thousand times this. To a praise addict like a malignant narcissist a military parade must be like a shot of pure heroin straight into a main vein.
posted by scalefree at 9:00 AM on July 13 [12 favorites]


Redorgreen But I guess I'd like to know - what is the function of a "bare bones insurance plan"? When your insurance plan doesn't cover say the cost of an ambulance ride or the cost of cancer treatments, what is the point of paying for it? Genuinely curious why anyone would go for it, even if they couldn't afford anything better.

I wonder the same thing and I think the answer comes down to health insurance companies can spend a ton of money on marketing and lawyers to make the plans seem appealing.

I've purchased my own health insurance for over 15 years now. It's not a straight forward process -- it got better with the ACA because of the exchange, but it is very hard to tell what is covered and what is not.

I suspect many people will look at a plan and think "I can afford that and it's insurance so that's good!"
posted by mcduff at 9:01 AM on July 13 [11 favorites]


Why is Trump over there? Given his aversion to travelling, this seems odd.

It does, doesn't it? If there's one thing constant in Trump's character, though, it's his bottomless need for approval and adulation. Perhaps his narcissistic supply is running so low, he's willing to swap the domestic variety for a gallic one.

For Macron's part, his invitation makes him look gracious and diplomatic at the very least. And he has an opportunity to reaffirm Franco-American ties that supersede Trump. Or maybe he's playing le bon flic to Merkel's schlechter bulle.
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:01 AM on July 13 [4 favorites]


I;'m kidding, that;s for losers, it'll be bifteck au sauce tomate.
posted by Artw at 9:01 AM on July 13 [3 favorites]


The CBO has scored the president's budget.

It lowers the deficit except for one minor issue...
The President’s budget includes a set of principles to guide deficit-neutral reform of the tax system. Because that proposal lacks the specific details that CBO and JCT would need to estimate any effects on the budget and the economy (which could be significant), this analysis includes the Administration’s estimate of no effect as a placeholder; many combinations of policy changes could have such an effect.
The fact that this wasn't in 48 point type as the front page is beyond my reckoning.

The CBO is scoring Trump's budget on the assumption a (multi?) trillion dollar tax cut will cost us nothing.
posted by Talez at 9:02 AM on July 13 [58 favorites]


there will also be some sort of explanation that boils down to, 'people were going to their jobs, getting paid, feeding their kids, watching quality TV, it just didn't seem like things could be that bad given those things'

To be fair, a lot of those folks aren't feeling that things are "okay," they're just trying to manage their responsibilities and obligations to others and survive, on a practical level, with whatever practical tools they have at the level of their ordinary lives. A lot of their problems may be systemic, but ordinary people don't have a lot of systemic level political power on a daily, practical basis. We have to deal not just with the rules and policies coming down from the elected government, but de facto private law and policy, like insurance provider and banking terms and policies. Not everybody has the economic slack to put crusading over the big issues ahead of little things that are more immediate and important like feeding and clothing their kids and getting back surgery or not accidentally ending up homeless. I don't get the impression most people feel everything's fine, they're just busy and out of fucks to give and strained almost to the personal breaking point already in a lot of cases.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:03 AM on July 13 [45 favorites]


I mean, there's a practical power advantage to economically disenfranchising and emiserating people. It leaves them less time to organize and think and strains their ability to keep and maintain reliable social support in their daily lives, which creates a relative practical power gap opportunistic authoritarians can exploit to strengthen their hold.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:07 AM on July 13 [31 favorites]


And just to report that having tried various searches for a single conservative or pro-Bush commentator taking Coulter or anyone else to task for the word "treason" over concerns for its legal and constitutional specificity in 2003 or 2004, I can report that Google has yielded nothing so far.

This is why we lose. We worry about setting precedents the right has smashed to bits many times already. They don't play by any rules they don't like.
posted by spitbull at 9:09 AM on July 13 [46 favorites]


the manbaby gets to see a military parade for bastille day.

Donnie's got a real Tor Johnson vibe going on this morning in France.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:11 AM on July 13 [11 favorites]


Macron made a point of being nice to Trump at G20.
posted by scalefree at 8:55 AM on July 13 [3 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


That's hilarious! Not least that short glimpse of Putin's face.

Regardless, Macron, like some other heads of state, has realized that Trump is easy to manipulate. And since the US is still the largest economy and the largest military force on the globe it is relevant to try to manipulate Trump. Merkel is in Paris as well, it's not like Macron is selling out, to the contrary, it seems the French/German agenda is to build an independent European defence economy.
posted by mumimor at 9:17 AM on July 13 [10 favorites]


Donnie's got a real Tor Johnson vibe going on this morning in France.

Time for go to bed, Donnie.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:17 AM on July 13 [10 favorites]


If you, like me, have a morbid fascination with Trump's bizarre and varied handshakes, enjoy this one with French first lady Brigitte Macron.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 9:18 AM on July 13 [10 favorites]


He looks like he's trying to rip off her arm in order to eat it
posted by angrycat at 9:19 AM on July 13 [6 favorites]




If you, like me, have a morbid fascination with Trump's bizarre and varied handshakes, enjoy this one with French first lady Brigitte Macron.

It looks like she's being assaulted
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:20 AM on July 13 [8 favorites]


Like no joke if I saw that going down on the street, I would seriously consider calling the police
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:21 AM on July 13 [16 favorites]


> This is why we lose. We worry about setting precedents the right has smashed to bits many times already. They don't play by any rules they don't like.

Eh, I'm fine just ceding the point on "treason" and using "collusion" or "collaboration" or whatever word the critics want to use. The wingnuts and brocialists prefer to make this about that single word instead of the larger discussion about how dangerous Trump is, and how dangerous his collaboration with a hostile foreign power is to our democracy. The wingnuts (at least some of them) simply see it as the ends justifying the means in getting their guy elected, while the brocialists are probably looking at it more from an accelerationist point of view where Trump's danger is a feature, not a bug. I'm not interested in fighting over which word we use to describe it -- I just want it to be stopped.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:21 AM on July 13 [5 favorites]


Team Trump Hunts for ‘Traitors’ While the President ‘Growls’ at the TV -- ASAWIN SUEBSAENG and LACHLAN MARKAY, The Daily Beast

The title use of "traitors" is a direct quote from a White House source. So the Trump posse is clear on the metaphorical power of the word.
posted by spitbull at 9:24 AM on July 13 [22 favorites]


I am happy for the hot takes to move into "is this actually treason?" territory. If you can see treason from your Overton window, that's a good thing.
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:25 AM on July 13 [74 favorites]


Tonycpsu I get your point but I'm making a broader than semantic argument. Substitute the practice of "filibuster" for the word "traitor," if you like. We (on the left, of course) have entered mutually assured destruction territory with the Republican Party. Ceding points of order out of concern for retaliation is failing to recognIze a street fight is not a boxing match.
posted by spitbull at 9:28 AM on July 13 [13 favorites]


Can I put in request that every US citizen reading this thread contact their senators about the BCRA today? I know a lot of you already call but if you haven't called (or faxed or emailed) today, could you please take two minutes to do it? You know all the reasons why the BCRA would be devastating. Consider how it will feel if it passes and you didn't do what you could to stop it.

I know I have huge regrets that I didn't canvas for Clinton last year. (I live in PA. What was I thinking?!) I don't want to have regrets about this too.

CALL
-- (202) 224-3121 This is the senate switchboard. They will connect you with your senators.

FAX
-- faxzero.com is free and has your senators' fax numbers

EMAIL
-- email your senators' healthcare staffers
posted by mcduff at 9:28 AM on July 13 [25 favorites]


If you can see treason from your Overton window, that's a good thing.

Yeah, if this weren't the most incompetent fascist dictatorship of all time, the treason argument we'd all be desperately making here is that the Resistance isn't treason. Or, more likely, we'd all be too afraid to post anything like that online. These are some dumb, trifling motherfuckers.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:29 AM on July 13 [7 favorites]


My coworker won the lottery and got through to a Toomey staffer in his DC office, but I only got voicemail.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:30 AM on July 13 [4 favorites]


tonycpsu
I just got straight through to Toomey's Philly office: (215) 241-1090
The staffer was actually nice.
posted by mcduff at 9:32 AM on July 13 [3 favorites]


I like to look up my Senator's regional office phone numbers and call those to emphasize that I am a constituent.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:32 AM on July 13 [2 favorites]


> Tonycpsu I get your point but I'm making a broader than semantic argument. Substitute the practice of "filibuster" for the word "traitor," if you like. We (on the left, of course) have entered mutually assured destruction territory with the Republican Party. Ceding points of order out of concern for retaliation is failing to recognIze a street fight is not a boxing match.

Except Democrats embracing unanimous obstructionism with the filibuster, withholding unanimous consent, whatever creates an actual tactical win for them, whereas getting into the weeds of whether something counts as treason just wastes time. I'm more interested in what's behind this rules-lawyering about the word than I am in the word itself.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:34 AM on July 13


> I like to look up my Senator's regional office phone numbers and call those to emphasize that I am a constituent.

Yeah, that hasn't worked well for me with Toomey. His regional offices weren't even going to voicemail for me before, but I'll try again later.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:36 AM on July 13


> Trump's Oval Office Prayer Circle Photo A Gift From God to Twitter.

I think that of all the bad actors in this crappy play, these evangelical types holding Trump up as the answer to their prayers make me the angriest. I mean, Trump and the collection of venal, racist grifters he's surrounded himself with are just doing what it is they do. But the idea that these supposed men and women of God could look at Trump, knowing what they do about his actions and (stated, not inferred) beliefs, and see - or pretend to see - a man of faith and piety, makes me want to fury puke and I'm not even religious. To me it seems obvious that they regard him as a weapon they can use to further their interests.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:37 AM on July 13 [49 favorites]


Andy Slavitt has a tweet thread about the details of the Trumpcare amendment. He calls it "unworkably bad" and one of his takeaways is that this is not the final bill, "McConnell is signaling amendments can take things out or be added if Senators can get 50 votes." Slavitt also thinks that additional amendments wouldn't be scored by the CBO in time, but that won't stop the vote.
posted by gladly at 9:38 AM on July 13 [4 favorites]




I was called traitor multiple times during the Bush II years for pointing out that there were no WMDs in Iraq. I will never, ever forgive the Republican party for that. Now, a Republican president has conspired with a foreign government to subvert American democracy, and I'm supposed to show some restraint.
posted by vibrotronica at 9:39 AM on July 13 [159 favorites]


Not everybody has the economic slack to put crusading over the big issues ahead of little things that are more immediate and important like feeding and clothing their kids and getting back surgery or not accidentally ending up homeless. I don't get the impression most people feel everything's fine, they're just busy and out of fucks to give and strained almost to the personal breaking point already in a lot of cases.

But "crusading" isn't the effort which was missing in many cases, simply voting was and simply opposing Nazi shit expressed openly in front of them. Count me as guilty on the latter. Per the numbers at the top of the relevant Wikipedia pages, percentage-wise the turnout in the 2016 election was the lowest since 2000.

I had someone try to tell me the other day—in the course of a conversation about Trump's explicit plan to round up millions of people and put them in camps, mass population resettlement—that they didn't like being "too confrontational" on political issues and that their personal alternative to that and to voting is to "set a good example" instead, whatever the fuck that means, which they somehow seriously believed is a substitute for taking the minimal direct action to avert a future Holocaust-like event.

Yeah, everyone has lots of shit going on and voter suppression is rampant, but we really should not go easy on people who are declining to make the minimal effort to participate in democracy when explicitly Nazi shit has been marshaled and is on the field. Especially not cis-het-able-white people.

Everyone needs to know if the people around them can be counted on when the Nazis come again, many having been AWOL when the Nazis came on 11-9, even if their butts get singed a little bit when a fire is lit under them. We've been luckier than most in human history have been in that the Nazis who were installed into power this time turned out to be stultifyingly incompetent, but we aren't going to get such good fortune twice: if we don't turn back the tide, the next decision point will be when you see the cattle cars rolling by or whatever the modern equivalent of that is.
posted by XMLicious at 9:41 AM on July 13 [14 favorites]


Trump is having a hard time even pretending to listen to Macron's opening statement at their joint appearance right now.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 9:45 AM on July 13 [3 favorites]


He's fidgeting and mouthing comments to unidentified members of the audience, smirking and looking pretty vacant, all while Macron is speaking.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 9:47 AM on July 13 [2 favorites]


I wish we wouldn't always use fascism, in its Italian and German variants, as if they were the threat. History rhymes, it doesn't repeat. The problem is this bunch of fuckers. We need new words.
posted by stonepharisee at 9:47 AM on July 13 [5 favorites]


The New Republic magazine cover that goes with the article I posted earlier about Trump's Russian mob ties is pretty good.
posted by chris24 at 9:47 AM on July 13 [4 favorites]


Macron is claiming that both France and the USA are committed to fighting terrorism on he Internet

(AHAHAHAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHA)
posted by Yowser at 9:48 AM on July 13 [5 favorites]


Seeing T on TV for the first time in ages. Holy shit, he's lost weight, and there's something weird about his face. Did he have a stroke? Seriously. Maybe the dementia is really setting in. Creepy.
posted by Melismata at 9:50 AM on July 13 [7 favorites]


There's this weird combo of poutfaced sneering, nodding out, and total fidgety disinterest. So presidential.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 9:50 AM on July 13


> Now, a Republican president has conspired with a foreign government to subvert American democracy, and I'm supposed to show some restraint.

Yeah, um, in case this is directed at me, let me just clarify that I have no problem calling DJT Jr.'s actions treasonous (I did exactly that upthread), and believe that there is a near zero percent chance that his father did not know about those actions.

You go ahead and use whatever words you like, and tell people who don't like it to piss off. My only point is that I don't think that a liberal victory in the War of Being Able to Use the Word Treason to Describe the Trump Campaign's Connections to Russia would amount to much, and find it far more worthwhile to understand why leftists are so eager to carry Trump's water while disguising it as an argument about the power of a single word.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:50 AM on July 13 [5 favorites]


Oh god this is so embarrassing to listen to
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:53 AM on July 13 [7 favorites]


Everyone needs to know if the people around them can be counted on when the Nazis come again
And that almost 3 million more votes than the Nazis won't make a difference anyway. Our voter suppressed gerrymandered electoral college system also needs to be removed.
posted by rc3spencer at 9:53 AM on July 13 [8 favorites]


AP: The Latest: Trump overheard complimenting Macron’s wife [real]
President Donald Trump was captured complimenting the French president’s wife’s appearance in video posted by the French government’s Facebook account.

The footage shows Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron (eh-mahn-yoo-EHL’ mah-KROHN’) and their wives chatting after their tour of the museums at Les Invalides (lehz ahn-vah-leed).

Trump at one point turns to Brigitte Macron and tells her: “You’re in such good shape.”

He repeats the observation to the French president before turning back to the French first lady, and remarking: “Beautiful.”
I'm trying to find the video but am not seeing it yet.
posted by zachlipton at 9:54 AM on July 13 [9 favorites]


Good thing Les Tic Tacs were not handy.
posted by spitbull at 9:55 AM on July 13 [35 favorites]


I wish we wouldn't always use fascism, in its Italian and German variants, as if they were the threat. History rhymes, it doesn't repeat. The problem is this bunch of fuckers. We need new words.

I really do not agree, at all. It needs to be made clear to people that if you lend a hand to a plan to round millions of people up and put them in camps, and transform our society into one where doors are being busted down by the millions to hunt down people and haul them off, you are lending a hand to accomplish the same thing the Nazis sought.

We should not fuck around with figuring out how to convey subtle political science differences, any more than we should bother with "well, actually" about the definition of "democracy" when trying to express that handing unlimited funding of political operations to a bunch of billionaires—public campaigns for judicial appointments and cabinet nominees now included too—is a threat to democracy.
posted by XMLicious at 9:57 AM on July 13 [32 favorites]


fluttering hellfire (love the username): There's this weird combo of poutfaced sneering, nodding out, and total fidgety disinterest. So presidential.

You misspelled "Predisential". See, that explains a lot about this timeline - it's the Trump Predisency.
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:58 AM on July 13


This is some rambling bullshit.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 9:58 AM on July 13 [2 favorites]




I mean, sorry to seem to joke about a joke about sexual assault. Except I'm not joking. Dude is a walking, talking threat to women everywhere he goes.
posted by spitbull at 9:59 AM on July 13 [13 favorites]


Trump: France is America's oldest ally.
"A lot of people don't know that."


It's real, you guys. This is really happening.
posted by RedOrGreen at 10:00 AM on July 13 [57 favorites]


WAAAAY more birds are killed by domestic cats than windmills. And design and location changes have reduced the incidental take of birds by rather a lot.

Plus domestic cats throw so much shade (if they are like my cat) that they probably interfere with the solar. BRING BACK THE STEAM!
posted by srboisvert at 10:01 AM on July 13 [6 favorites]


he knows nothing of loyalty
smells like new money, dresses like fake royalty
desperate to rise above his station
everything he does betrays the ideals of our nation
posted by entropicamericana at 10:02 AM on July 13 [47 favorites]


How long before Conservatives call Trump a cheese-eating surrender monkey apologist? Will they start shooting up fry vans while trying to expose FreedomFryGate's pedophile ring?
posted by Yowser at 10:03 AM on July 13 [1 favorite]


Trump is asked by a French reporter if he'll reconsider on the Paris Accords: "Something could happen with respect to the Paris Accords. We'll see what happens...If it happens, that would be wonderful, and if it doesn't, that would be ok too."

Thanks, that's helpful.
posted by zachlipton at 10:04 AM on July 13 [30 favorites]


Some talking points for your Senators about this latest PoS bill from McConnell. Here is the Senate Phone Directory, FaxZero's Directory, and the healthcare staffer list. (Thanks to mcduff for assembling some of this information!)

Feel free to pick and choose which points make the most sense for your legislators and/or include them all in a letter/fax/email.

General points:
  • Completely opposed to the bill
  • Bill developed in complete secrecy, with no public or committee hearings
  • Bill is still intended to gut Medicaid which will result in millions losing insurance
  • McConne