Open Thread: Trump Admires A Dictator Who Kills All the Right People

It’s a real problem, keeping up with Lord Short Thumbs. Like one of those beasties that avoid capture by spraying body wastes indiscriminately, by the time everyone’s had the chance to notice his latest assault on human dignity, he’s moved on to another target!

74 replies
  1. 1
    encephalopath says:

    Some thoughts from earlier in the day…

    Paul Ryan calling for Comey to come before Congress to further explain his emailghazi decision may not work out the way he thinks it will.

    In his press conference, Comey was SO vague about the “they” who were careless and “information was marked” classified. He let every listener just assume whatever it is they already wanted to believe about the situation to be true and run with it.

    He came out and said “No criminal charge,” then threw out an unsubstantiated pile of garbage, slapped Clinton’s name on it, and lit it on fire. Calling him to congress is going to make him explain what exactly was in that pile of garbage and why he thinks it has something to do with Clinton.

    For instance, Clinton testified that she never “sent or received any material marked classified.” Comey says multiple email threads contained “information marked classified.” So now all the talking heads are running around screaming, “She lied! She lied! She lied!” Hmmm… well, documents are marked classified. Information floating around in the ether doesn’t have CLASSIFIED stamped on it like some sort of Platonic ideal.

    Taking a classified document from the secure system and transferring it to the non-secure email system is a violation of classification rules. This is what Clinton says she never did and that no one sent to her either. When Comey says email information marked classified everyone is assuming that Clinton has done this thing that she says she didn’t when Comey is actually weasel wordedly referencing something else.

    Email containing information marked classified means that people are discussing a thing in the non-secure email system that is in a document marked classified in the secure system. Comey is going to be force to clarify that distinction when he appears before Congress.

    He will also be forced to define who exactly he is talking about in relation to these emails. Who started this discussion about the classified thing. Who participated in this discussion. Right now all Comey is saying is email threads on Clinton’s server. For all we know Clinton was only CCed on these discussions and never actively participated in them. Comey just leaves that leap up to everyone’s imagination.

    My prediction is that further examination of Comey’s accusations will reveal that the details of what was going on aren’t what everyone is currently assuming they are. The minority gets to ask questions too. Good luck with that Mr. Ryan.

  2. 2
    Peter says:

    It’s really only a matter of time before Trump drops something from those classified briefings in an interview to show off.

  3. 3
    Prescott Cactus says:


    Good luck with that Mr. Ryan.

    Condi and Colin did it, but, but. . .

  4. 4
    c u n d gulag says:

    tRUMP will blame all of this anti-Semitic, pro-Saddam, stuff, as a “pogroming” error!

  5. 5
    Hungry Joe says:

    Trump is drawn to the putrescent like a moth to a blowtorch.

  6. 6
    Trollhattan says:

    @c u n d gulag:

  7. 7
    Trollhattan says:

    Republican tanks all have backup lights.

  8. 8
    jl says:

    @encephalopath: I once had a job working with classified material. I think a good chance what you say is true. A lot of the supposed case for indictment may collapse into the ridiculous upon close examination. May be a kind of repeat of the HRC eleven hour testimony.

  9. 9
    Trollhattan says:

    Trey Gowdy doing anything these days? He’s very good.

  10. 10
    jl says:

    About Trump, not nearly enough emphasis, or even notice, that his claim to have opposed the Iraq war, before it went bad and especially in public debate before the Congressional vote, is another one of his damned lies

    Donald Trump and the Iraq War

    Maybe that would be a good topic for a major front post on this almost Top-10,000 political blog.

  11. 11
    jl says:

    @Trollhattan: Come to think of it, we don’t know whether Comey did his little speech because he wanted to avoid being called before Congress, or to avoid the charge of wasting a huge amount of time and money on something that should have taken a few weeks at most. I guess the House GOP wants to find out.

  12. 12
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Any chance they could feed him something completely false, yet too juicy or inflammatory for him to keep confidential? Would be lovely to catch him red-handed violating national security.

  13. 13
    Eric U. says:

    @jl: this situation is covered in even the most basic security briefing given to military audiences. There is plenty of info floating around in the public domain that is classified in government circles. There is probably something classified in today’s Washington Post. You would think that would mean that it should be declassified, but it really depends on context.

  14. 14
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Of course Trump would praise Saddam Hussein. Birds of a feather and all that.
    So if Trump becomes President, Saddam Hussein is the kind of foreign leader he’ll be hanging around with. Imagine anyone running for President praising a dictator for his torture and killings. The mind boggles.

  15. 15
    Julie says:

    So University of Utah and BYU are both on the list of ‘colleges that hate Trump the most’. I’ve seen discussion of Trump’s ‘Mormon problem’ in passing, but that still surprised me.

  16. 16
    dmsilev says:

    So, about those Trump fundraising numbers…
    Trump’s New Fundraising Numbers Leave More Questions Than Answers

    Campaign finance experts were unable to determine exactly how much money Trump raised for his campaign, as opposed to money raised for joint committees that also provide donations for national and state Republican parties.

    “We have no idea from this how much money he actually raised for Trump’s campaign committee,” Brett Kappel, a campaign finance expert and partner at the Akerman law firm, told TPM regarding the Trump campaign’s new numbers.

    Anyone surprised that his campaign is trying to play numbers games? I’m going to guess that the numbers for ‘money raised for the actual Trump campaign’ and ‘cash on hand at end of June’ are pretty bad, otherwise they would have just released those right at the beginning of the month and not spent a week trying to figure out how best to obfuscate them. Which means that when the actual numbers become available in two weeks, Trump and his campaign will look even worse.

  17. 17
    bluehill says:

    In street vernacular, “Game recognize game.”

  18. 18
    Carl W says:

    @encephalopath: 1) Comey never says that the emails refer to material “marked” classified.

    2) Comey does say that some of the classified information is in e-mails that Hillary sent.

    3) Comey implies that a Gmail account would have been better for security than a private, competently administered server. That seems extremely unlikely to me… I don’t know what Google’s internal security architecture is like, but I’d expect that the number of Google employees who could read the email in an arbitrary Gmail account is at least in the dozens.

    4) I do think it’s plausible that most or all of the “classified information” found was either already public or unimportant in practice. (I almost said “likely” rather than “plausible”, but that would be more a matter of wishful thinking than a weighing of the evidence.)

  19. 19
    TriassicSands says:

    Rights? We don’t need no “steenking” rights. And neither do suspected terrorists. After all, if they’re suspects, they must be guilty of something (probably terrorism).

    So, the S. Hussein (not to be confused with B. Hussein O.) model for how to deal with terrorists will be the new SOP once Trump takes over. That’s comforting. I mean it is obviously worth killing a thousand innocent people if that kind of blanket extermination process allows us to get just one “bad guy” terrorist.

    Why on earth would Trump think praising Saddam Hussein — for anything — would be a good idea? I continue to firmly believe that Trump is mentally ill.

  20. 20
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @encephalopath: Hey, you read Comey’s statement carefully! No fair!!11




  21. 21
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Carl W: re your #1 – Eh?

    Comey’s statement:

    None of these e-mails should have been on any kind of unclassified system, but their presence is especially concerning because all of these e-mails were housed on unclassified personal servers not even supported by full-time security staff, like those found at Departments and Agencies of the U.S. Government—or even with a commercial service like Gmail.

    Separately, it is important to say something about the marking of classified information. Only a very small number of the e-mails containing classified information bore markings indicating the presence of classified information. But even if information is not marked “classified” in an e-mail, participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it.

    While not the focus of our investigation, we also developed evidence that the security culture of the State Department in general, and with respect to use of unclassified e-mail systems in particular, was generally lacking in the kind of care for classified information found elsewhere in the government.

    As Mr/Ms encephalopath said, there’s a lot of weaseling in there about who exactly he’s accusing.


  22. 22
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Julie: McKay Coppins (a Mormon himself) has talked about ‘Trump’s Mormon problem’ at Buzzfeed. Shorter:

    – Mormons get nervous when powerful people start talking about exiling/locking up followers of the “wrong” religion. They know their own history.

    – Mormons are explicitly not anti-foreigner. All their young men are required to serve a two-year ‘mission’ overseas (& the more adventuresome young women go as well). Unlike Trump & his idiot followers, they speak ferrin tongues and have lived in places that require passports.

    – Mormons are anti-crass. They’re not necessarily nice by nature, but the culture rewards all the traits of understatement & modesty that Trump gleefully rejects every time he opens his mouth.

    Coppins thinks Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson will get a lot of votes in Utah… along with some Sanders holdouts, and write-ins for the last Repub presidential candidate (a fellow Mormon).

  23. 23
    Ken says:

    More and more, I am leaning toward the theory that Trump is a Democratic plant. DSM-5 301.81 simply can’t explain it all, or as well.

  24. 24
    Trollhattan says:

    @Anne Laurie:
    If only Trump were married to those three women at the same time….

  25. 25
    Carl W says:

    @Julie: Clinton sure seems to have a problem in places named “Clinton” :)

    Sanders won in the primaries in 8 out of the 9 counties named Clinton County in the US, and one of the top 10 “colleges that love Trump” is in Clinton, SC.

  26. 26
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @encephalopath: I was wondering yesterday if there was an important distinction between classified INFORMATION and classified MATERIALS, because it seemed like Team FBI and Team Clinton were being very careful about which one they were using. Your post gives me hope that I was on the right track: “you shouldn’t talk about The Thing over email, because some stuff related to The Thing is classified” vs. “I never sent or received any work product pertaining to The Thing.” That about right?

  27. 27
    Feebog says:


    Problem is since the hearing will touch on classified information it may be closed. And of course Republicans are not going to leak anything that may exonerate Clinton. Dems on the other hand…

  28. 28
    Cat48 says:

    I have a problem with Ryan & Chaffetz, who have no Law degrees, constantly accusing Hillz of breaking the Law.

  29. 29
    Felonius Monk says:

    I don’t want to just see Trump lose, I want to see him found afterward filthy in a spider hole.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he was found floating face down in the Jersey swamps.

  30. 30
    Carl W says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: OK, you got me. I admit I didn’t actually read the whole statement. I searched for encephalopath’s quoted phrase “information marked classified” and didn’t find it, and then I searched for “marked” and didn’t find that either (which is why I put the word in quotes), but “markings” is close enough.

    I apologize for my laziness and I retract my “1)” bullet point.

    I’m very curious now about these markings… maybe more information will come out in the Congressional hearing(s)?

  31. 31

    @Felonius Monk: Given how he’s stiffed contractors in both NJ and LV, I’m astounded he hasn’t landed there already.

  32. 32
    MattF says:

    @encephalopath: Fred Kaplan’s (mistitled) piece (at Slate, but worth reading) gives some relevant details in that vein.

  33. 33
    Trollhattan says:

    @Felonius Monk:
    End zone at Meadowlands is already taken, but surely there’s a shitty, gaudy hotel under construction with footings yet to be poured?

    ETA for anybody “visiting” the aforementioned is snark, intended solely for our viewing audience who, like me I’m sure want Herr Trump to live a long, boring life bouncing a grandson, and only a grandson, on his knee.

  34. 34
    gene108 says:


    or to avoid the charge of wasting a huge amount of time and money on something that should have taken a few weeks at most. I guess the House GOP wants to find out.

    Republicans are upset he spend a long time going after Hillary and didn’t come up with anything to actually indict her on.

    Comey was their last-best-hope to stop the Hilldabeast from becoming President.

  35. 35
    gene108 says:

    @Carl W:

    Her e-mails are also available on the internet here.

    If she’s trying to hide something, she’s doing a really bad job of it.

  36. 36
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Julie: ethnic cleansing hasn’t worked well for Mormons.

  37. 37
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Carl W: but she won the Clinton neighborhood in Manhattan.

  38. 38
    Percysowner says:


    I sort of expect his kids to sue him after the campaign is over, a la Sumner Redstone, for fucking up their inheritance. The Caligula Combover brand won’t be worth the plastic the big golden signs are made from by November.

    Nah, he probably made them sign non-discloser, non-sue agreements as soon as they could sign their names.

  39. 39
    Trollhattan says:

    Hilz takes it on the road Holds rally in front of Trump’s shuttered Atlantic City ca…place where people used to throw their money at him. .

  40. 40
    encephalopath says:


    And the big money question is, “Is there any evidence classified information was revealed to anyone who didn’t have the security clearance to see it?”

    I’m guessing the answer to that question is No or Comey would have brought it up and that’s all anyone would be talking about now. That’s why Comey sticks with, “Maybe the server could have been hacked. There’s just no way to know.”

  41. 41
    Carl W says:

    @gene108: Although presumably any emails with the classification markings I was curious about wouldn’t be in that data.

    (I don’t think she set up the server to hide anything. But I also doubt it was her decision to post 130k of her emails publicly.)

  42. 42
    Felonius Monk says:

    Carl P. Paladino, one of presidential candidate Donald Trump’s top supporters in Buffalo, Wednesday suggested via Twitter that U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch be lynched.

    “Lynch @LorettaLynch let a Grand Jury decide,” Paladino, who has a long history of sending racially tinged emails, tweeted at 11 a.m. in reference to the attorney general, who is African-American.

    The tweet was deleted about a half hour later, and Paladino sent the following tweet to a reporter at WGRZ afterwards, from an assistant named “Jackie”:

    “I work for Carl, I’m new to twitter & tweeted what Carl asked but made mistake of adding Lynch. My bad.”


    Carl Paladino is a lying piece of shit. He’s Donald Trump without the money or charisma. He somehow wangled the Republican nomination for governor of New York when Andrew Cuomo ran for his first term. Lately, he’s been a Trump surrogate appearing on CNN occasionally.

    And did I say he is a lying piece of shit. Anybody who believes that his assistant Jackie made a mistake here is a maroon.

    Oh, and did I mention that Carl Paladino is a lying piece of shit?

  43. 43
    Cat48 says:

    ChuckToddler just had an Atty who specializes in Classified Information. He said Clinton was never going to be charged bc she did not share any info with people outside the Agency she worked at, just her fellow workers.

  44. 44
    rikyrah says:

    Why do they hate him?

  45. 45
    Anonymous At Work says:

    Just as Peak Wingnut is a Lie!, so too is Nadir Trump is a Lie!. Because Trump can find a way to go lower than the lowest low you imagined him being capable of lowering himself. Because he is a simpering, whimpering man-child who cannot have the attention given to anyone but himself.

  46. 46
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: The one thing for which I think I can legitimately praise Trump is that he has known whom he can stiff and whom he can’t. When it comes to the building trades in NY/NJ, that is a useful survival skill.

  47. 47
    chopper says:


    any dollar number that trump offers up about any subject whatsoever is automatically suspect. you could ask him how much a cup of coffee costs and he’d make up some number that’s off by 3 orders of magnitude.

  48. 48
    Quinerly says:

    Great interview with a great attorney who knows his shit, Abe Lowell. Actually the interview would have been grew if Chuck had shut up and had stopped interrupting. Lowell kept it on track. Not sure Chuck listened.

  49. 49
    Peale says:

    @Cat48: Yep. They were looking for the smoking memo – the one where she passed classified information to Syd Blumenthal and said “Go and Attack my Enemies” and if it was there, they didn’t find it.

  50. 50
    nutella says:

    @Felonius Monk:

    I don’t think ‘My bad’ is an adequate apology for threatening to lynch a public official. That’s more appropriate for inadvertently stepping in front of someone in a line. Shows that Paladino’s opinion of lynching is that it was just a tiny inconvenience.

  51. 51
    dogwood says:

    @Anne Laurie:
    “Mormons are anti-crass”.
    I live in north- central Idaho where there are plenty of Mormons, but no where near the majority they have in southeastern Idaho. I have never seen or heard a Mormon be vulgar, crass or uncivil in public. They are aggressive missionaries overseas and at home, and they see minorities and immigrants as easy marks. Fiscally, they are conservative rather than Republican. Mormon state legislators will fight tooth and nail against tax increases, but they won’t cut taxes if it means they can’t pay the bills. They value education, so schools might face some cuts during recessions, but they’ll never close them down or completely cripple them. Raiding pension funds to pay for tax cuts in Idaho? Never. Trust me, if you have to be governed by right -wingers, Mormons are infinitely preferable to evangelicals and tea partiers.

  52. 52
    Median says:

    @Felonius Monk: you may want to look into the word “maroon”, especially in this context.

  53. 53
  54. 54
    Julie says:

    @Anne Laurie: Interesting. I’d assumed that the Mormon objection to Trump was mostly because he’s so ‘crass.’ But I hadn’t put it in the context of them being able to relate themselves to other ‘out’ groups.

  55. 55
    Lee says:

    @Carl W:

    #3 IIRC Gmail is encrypted on the server and communicates with the client via https.

    It would have been more secure.

  56. 56
    Julie says:

    @dogwood: And Salt Lake City has largely solved their homeless crisis, too. My parents lived in Eastern Idaho for more than a decade and I saw a lot of what you’re describing.

  57. 57
    Quinerly says:

    Trump ranting in Ohio right now. Says, “Newt will be involved in my government.” Then rambles on about Scotland, the dishonest media, his post office project in NY, and HRC’s teleprompter…..and his 10 year old has great potential…..

  58. 58
    Hoodie says:

    @dogwood: Mormon culture has always been socially conservative but communal. That’s what the beehive symbolism is about. Trump is the antithesis of that.

  59. 59
    chopper says:


    i love how this guy is just terminally incapable of sticking to a script. yesterday’s news about clinton, nothingburger that it was, was still a nice slowball across the plate and he just can’t help but whiff and hit himself in the dick with the bat.

  60. 60
    Carl W says:

    @Carl W: So according to this, the marking “(C)” for classified was applied to two of the emails, but the State Department says the marking was erroneous and the emails were not actually classified.

  61. 61
    Quinerly says:

    “small dick”
    There I fixed it for you.

  62. 62
    Kenneth Kohl says:

    @Felonius Monk: As a western NY’er, the phrase “Lying piece of shit” is going easy on Paladino. A few yer ago, my wife and I were at a fundraiser (too long of a story to get into here) where Carl was “guest speaker” at an event where he was trying to raise money to pack the Buffalo School Board with similar ilk.He proceeded to hurl insult after insult at many of the incumbent s.b. members, most of which were female African-American. “Lying piece of shit” is the best of his attributes. He is one of the most despicable, racist, misogynistic people I have ever encountered. With those personality traits, and as a half-assed real estate developer, he’s the budget version of Trump. It comes as no surprise that this ass-hole is Trumps’ “lead” in NY. It also will give me great pleasure when New Yorkers hand Trump’s sizable ass to him in November.

    When we left the event, my red-haired, very fair skinned wife (Celtic bloodlines) told me that she wished I had come “costumed” in blackface as her partner. That would have been pretty sweet…

  63. 63
    Barb2 says:

    @Julie: I was sort of expecting most Mormons to choose option “not female”. The Mormons were leaders in the fight to kill the ERA. Plus a female president does not fit the end of time prophesy. My grandfather escaped from the Mormon patriarchy and passed on his dislike of the Mormon church. (He was beaten and baptized to cure him of smoking.)

    My own research lead me to study their end of time and the church doctrine of storing up enough food to carry a family through the end of times event window.

    That’s good news that young Mormons can see past the gender of the candidates.

  64. 64
    Carl W says:

    @Lee: AFAICT (after a little Googling), Gmail is not encrypted on the server. Even if it were, that wouldn’t help with security against privileged Google employees — it’s clear that Gmail searches and ads are based on the unencrypted email text, so there must be employees who could get access to the email text.

  65. 65
    encephalopath says:

    @Carl W: @Carl W:

    Gmail is not encrypted on the server. Even if it were, that wouldn’t help with security against privileged Google employees

    That’s the thing I’ve been wondering about too. Everyone talks about security in terms of outside incursion. No one mentions where those gmail servers are located. Who the fuck knows?

    And what if you got something on a Google developer and pushed your way into extorted access?

    How is that more secure than a private server in a location with 24/7 Secret Service protection.

  66. 66
    Carl W says:


    And what if you got something on a Google developer and pushed your way into extorted access?

    Blackmail, bribery, intimidation, convincing somebody they could be the next Snowden… it would take a lot to convince me that Gmail would be secure against a country.

  67. 67
    karen marie says:

    @Gin & Tonic: i read somewhere that Trump underperformed the real estate market by 57%, so it appears your confidence in his performance relative to the trades is misplaced.

  68. 68
    karen marie says:

    @karen marie: Here is a link.

  69. 69
    Enhanced Voting Techinques says:


    May be a kind of repeat of the HRC eleven hour testimony.

    They really that stupid as to give HRC 11 more hours of free air time, again?

  70. 70
    hueyplong says:

    1. @Ken: I’m pretty sure DSM-5 301.81 remains the best explanation. At times I wish the Dem plant theory were true, but; (a) the Dems aren’t that smart or that calculating; and (b) if Trump were a plant, he would have bragged publicly about it by now, probably in a tweeted response to news about a bad poll. “I’ve got all the best schemes.” Which brings us back to DSM-5 301.81. Dude made Orlando about him. I’m not anxious to get a more convincing example.

    2. The way Hillary could win Utah is for her to get the 36% we’d like to count on, while no one among Trump, Johnson, and the various write-ins can match that number. It’s a narrow path, but if it happened it would approach Obama’s first election as most joyful election night experience of my life. Hillary Clinton winning Utah.

  71. 71
    Luthe says:

    @Kenneth Kohl: Wait, isn’t Paladino the horse-fucker? Or was that some other upstate Republican?

  72. 72

    […] Anne Laurie at Balloon Juice, Donald Trump admires the efficiency standards set by Saddam […]

  73. 73
    Cermet says:

    So the Rump claims that Hussein was good at killing terrorist and Hussein attacked Israel … do we connect dots here to conclude that he considers Jews in Israel all terrorist…?

  74. 74
    Paul in KY says:

    @Anne Laurie: Plus Trump has slagged Romney something awful & Mormons generally like the ex-Gov.

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