Self Inflicted Wounds: Blind, Deaf, and Maybe Dumb

In the street of the blind, the one eyed man is the guiding light

Genesis Rabbah (300-500 CE)

Last week Yediot Ahronot reported, now confirmed by Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post, that Israel’s Intelligence Community has itself been warned to be careful sharing and transferring information and intelligence with the White House during the next Administration.  Now the Sunday Times of London and The Guardian are reporting that our British allies are very, very concerned:

A British intelligence source with extensive transatlantic experience said US spies had labelled Trump and his advisers’ links to the Kremlin problematic. “Until we have established whe­ther Trump and senior mem­­bers of his team can be trusted, we’re going to hold back,” the source told the Times. “Putting­ it bluntly, we can’t risk betraying sources and methods to the Russians.”

The concern is that any information and intelligence shared after the transition  will wind up with the Russians and the Russians would likely provide it to the Iranians (and the unspoken bit here for the Israelis is the Iranians would share it with the Syrians and Hezbullah). That this information quickly leaked from the Israelis is not an accident or a coincidence. It was intended to leak in order to provide the same message to our other allies and partners: that anything shared with the incoming Administration’s White House team may wind up with Russia. Through the Israeli leak the US’s other allies, partners, and clients have now been warned. This includes the other four members of the Five Eyes Intelligence alliance, the rest of our NATO allies, and other allies and partners. They have all been put on notice that the US Intelligence Community thinks that the incoming President, Vice President, their strategy, policy, and communication advisors, the incoming National Security Advisor and his deputies, and the rest of the incoming White House team cannot be trusted with classified information.

This means that the US will have its ability to see and hear seriously restricted starting next Friday. We won’t be blind, as we’ll still have our own capability, but our vision will be significantly dimmed and our hearing significantly dulled. This will make managing and mitigating the foreign, defense, and national security problem sets that we are currently facing, let alone the ability to anticipate future ones, much more difficult. And this includes the ongoing Russian active measures, influence, and cyber operations directed at us, at our allies, and at our partners.

We are off the looking glass and through the map.

118 replies
  1. 1
    Catherine D. says:

    Definitely dumber than dirt! I don’t blame any country not sharing info. Ix-nay on ump-tray.

  2. 2

    This is not the kind of thing for which impeachment was designed to be the remedy. Indeed, there is no Constitutional remedy for this, so unforeseen was it. This is only to say that, by definition, any remedy will be an extra-Constitutional one. That, in turn, is not to say that there are, or can be, no remedies at all. The real question that remains at that point is not “what particular extra-Constitutional remedy might be brought into play?” The question is, what is the threshold for extra-Constitutional remedies?

  3. 3
    debbie says:

    How can we assure British Intelligence of anything when people of such venality are provided the secrets? What corrupt politician wouldn’t grab the opportunity to play at Supreme Savior?

    P.S. Similarly, will Israeli Intelligence be able to control Bibi’s mouth?

  4. 4
    Josie says:

    Is information that was previously given to the Obama administration saved and passed on to the next administration, or is it expunged and not available after the change?

  5. 5
    Ruckus says:

    What the hell do you mean maybe dumb? The incoming, can’t call it an administration as that lends an air of possible competence and they have none, have done everything so far to imply, show, prove, that they are total incompetents. OK at the very best they are totally incompetent, at the worst they are trying to be this fucking stupid. And they aren’t nearly smart enough to pull that off.

  6. 6
    Bostonian says:

    We can’t and won’t assure British intelligence of something that’s not true. Trump couldn’t get the security clearance required of a janitor at a defense contractor. Our intelligence services will take the steps necessary to protect allies so that there will be something for them to work with again when he’s gone.

  7. 7
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Josie: Its compartmented. Those that need to know it will have access to it.

  8. 8
    brettvk says:

    Open thread: Shepard Fairey and two other artists, Jessica Sabogal and Ernesto Yerena, have a Kickstarter for distributing public art at the inauguration. They’ve now made the posters downloadable here. They are really beautiful.

  9. 9
    Ian G. says:

    Forgive my ignorance, but I can’t help but wonder about a possible “Clear and Present Danger” scenario, where Assad wants to deal with a special forces presence in eastern Syria or something, and Putin gets the info from Trump, and blam! we have dead and captured American soldiers paraded on state TV through the streets of Damascus.

    Again, I don’t know at all if the above scenario is realistic even if Trump is passing every item he thinks is of material importance to Putin, but I’d be lying if it didn’t cross my mind.

  10. 10
    Mike in NC says:

    Under Trump all intelligence sharing will be done via courier. All official travel over land will be by stagecoach. All flights will be via hot air balloon. Sad!

  11. 11
    Chet Murthy says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Adam, not to disagree with you, but … ISTR Cheney’s folks had access to everything? I recall there was this hullaballoo about how he had some -higher- clearance, giving him access to all the SCI in existence, or something like that? And besides, it seems to me the way it -has- to work is: you want access to certain info, you go to certain persons/committees for access/clearance. Well, those people, they can be fired and replaced, eh?

    James Wimberley seems to put it well

    I’d sure like to learn I’m Chicken Little on this.

  12. 12
    dopealope says:

    To show our solidarity with President Elect Trump, I proposed we all were something yellow on Inauguration Day, Friday Jan. 20th, 2016. Let’s make it the Yellow Inauguration … #yellowInauguration

  13. 13
    Jeff says:

    What could go wrong?

  14. 14
    Joyce H says:

    The IC needs to do what they do when they want to verify the identity of a mole – give Trump (and only Trump) plausible but false information and wait and see if Putin acts on it.

  15. 15
    Johnny Dollar says:

    Nice post.

    BTW, the link the Five Eyes goes (for me, at least) to a no-content-without pay-page, which won’t even allow me to back up to this site.

  16. 16
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Chet Murthy: I think you misunderstood my answer. The information will be compartmented. It always is. Those that need to know it will have access to it. What the Israelis, Brits, and others are concerned about is that if information is provided directly, not filtered through the intelligence cycle/intelligence production process it will wind up being passed on. The US IC made some major changes post 2003 in order to prevent raw intelligence from winding up in the hands of the policy makers.

  17. 17
    Corner Stone says:

    Fuck you Danielle Pletka!

  18. 18
    dm says:

    I should have held onto this a bit longer (posted in the previous thread, where it wasn’t as relevant). I had forgotten about this:

    The Hill reports on Ivanka Trump vacationing in Croatia with Putin’s putative girlfriend (Rupert Murdoch’s ex).

    Um. Small world.

  19. 19
    lamh36 says:

    Adam, did you see this posted in the last thread?

    CIA director warns Trump to watch what he says, be careful on Russia via @Reuters

    Apparently this was on Fox News…someone elsewhere called it “shots fired”…

  20. 20
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Corner Stone: without knowing what you’re referring to, I heartily concur.

  21. 21
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Johnny Dollar: Not sure what is up with The Australian. I’ve switched it out to another article that explains Five Eyes.

  22. 22
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @lamh36: I saw it first thing this morning.

  23. 23
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Frank Wilhoit: How is this not the thing for which impeachment was intended? The President is a lunatic, an incompetent, and possibly a traitor. Divine right monarchies had this problem from time to time, too. The only way for them to fix it involved either poison in a goblet, or a civil war. Congress can fix this problem by 12:02pm on Friday. They won’t, but they could. McConnell and Ryan are obviously OK with having a Russian operative in the Oval Office.

  24. 24
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Johnny Dollar:

    BTW, the link the Five Eyes goes (for me, at least) to a no-content-without pay-page, which won’t even allow me to back up to this site.

    Same. So I ended up Googling “Five Eyes.” Very interesting (and I’m fascinated by some of the proposed flag designs incorporating Stars and Stripes, Maple Leaf, Union Jack, and Southern Cross in both the white and red versions).

  25. 25
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I fixed it by changing it out for another news report that explains the alliance.

  26. 26
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Thanks, saw your response to Johnny Dollar.

  27. 27
    sigaba says:

    @Frank Wilhoit: The people who wrote the Constitution probably would think NATO and Five Eyes were bad ideas in the first place. Need a new Constitution.

  28. 28
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Lurking Canadian:

    The only way for them to fix it involved either poison in a goblet, or a civil war.

    It’s such a shame that the well-known story of how Edward II died is almost certainly apocryphal.

  29. 29
    JPL says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Wouldn’t it be wise for the British Intelligence agency to release/leak the info they have on Trump, before he takes office?

  30. 30
    Hal says:

    I can’t believe we are about to inaugurate someone like Trump when there are so many unanswered questions about his interests and loyalty to the country he is about to become President.

    The same people who found outrage in what Obama was wearing while in the Oval Office can’t be bothered to give a shit about any of those questions. I know I shouldn’t be surprised, but damn, you would think some of this would be mildly concerning to these people.

  31. 31
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Ay mae nott bee aybel tu spil, buwt Ay taeyk grayt prayed een mae leenqink!

  32. 32
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @JPL: From the sources I read that seem to be reliable conduits for the IC: 1) numerous other states, including US allies and partners, are all working they’re own leads into whether the Trump campaign, and now transition, is working with the Russians and 2) more leaks are coming.

  33. 33
    Kristine says:

    Is getting rid of Trump enough to fix the problem? From what I’ve heard, a number of his appointees would need to go as well. Would Pence clean house/force resignations/etc? Assuming he wasn’t dragged into this thanks to what he knew and when he knew it.

  34. 34
    Corner Stone says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Gah. Put some briefs on under that kilt.

  35. 35
  36. 36
    Corner Stone says:

    @Hal: Where are his fucking tax returns?

  37. 37
    Corner Stone says:

    @JPL: I wonder what our allies have been threatened with that they are not opening the faucet of oppo on Trump at this point.

  38. 38
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Corner Stone:
    @Adam L Silverman:

    It’s a pity that all my favourite jokes about Scotsmen, kilts, stinginess, and love of whisky, lose their effectiveness when written out.

    ETA: That said, I don’t think Adam was trying to do Scots so much as making reference to a little Tempest in a Teapot over a Typo the other night. I could be wrong.

  39. 39
    debbie says:

    @Corner Stone:

    My bet is that they’re piled up just below the files of blank pages he brought to his press conference.

  40. 40

    OT: some of my friends on FB are sharing a piece now that says “this was the week democrats learned that B-rnie S-nders supporters are not going away.” It’s about how they’re mad at Booker over the drug reimportation bill. It’s a perfect distillation of what’s happening to the party. (Name with vowels removed as anti-troll prophylactic)

    1. His supporters are apparently not democrats, as they’re rhetorically setting up a dichotomy
    2. They are the ones bringing up the primary even as they’re the ones complaining about us mean Hillary fans who keep refighting it (happens inside the piece itself)
    3. They’re acting like they invented another proud democratic tradition, infighting and being mad at corporatism
    4. It’s happening at exactly the wrong time and being fueled by The Intercept, so they’re Russian propaganda tools

    One person even commented that Booker’s testimony against Sessions was obviously a distraction so he could get away with this vote, which makes so little sense I had to unfollow them.

  41. 41
    JPL says:

    Adam, Two questions
    How concerned are you about Trump and his Russians connections?
    How concerned are you about Tillerson’s views on China?

    A one to ten answer is fine, with ten being hair on fire.

  42. 42
    Corner Stone says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Aye gnu whut ee wuz doughing.

  43. 43
    Peale says:

    @Major Major Major Major: the only thing we can do to get the Bernie supporters back is let them choose the candidate. That they’ll choose poorly isn’t the issue. But they aren’t going to come back unless they get put in charge. Whatever. If we’re 1/2 right about what Trump plans to do, I don’t think we’ll have to worry about our next candidate being “compromised by Wall Street” anyway. The only candidate who will be able to slip through is one with no accomplishments whatsoever, who can appeal to the Bernie Bros desire to vote for only the untainted.

  44. 44
    cmorenc says:

    @Lurking Canadian:

    Congress can fix this problem by 12:02pm on Friday. They won’t, but they could. McConnell and Ryan are obviously OK with having a Russian operative in the Oval Office.

    IMHO Ryan may be only partly in wilful denial – but may also be shrewdly calculating that he isn’t yet in a position to make impeachment moves against Trump stick, and knowing his political future would be toast within the conservative GOP congressional caucus if he couldn’t. In McConnell”s case, it may be less wilful denial and more cynical calculation that he isn’t yet in a position to go after impeachment of Trump without causing enormous collateral damage to the GOP and its congressional majority. And very possibly compounded by fear that the Russians may have some compromising info on him that they’d release if he allows his fellow GOP senators go after Trump.

  45. 45
    Timurid says:

    We won’t be blind, as we’ll still have our own capability.

    Until federal marshals show up at Langley and Fort Meade, escorting tractor trailers full of pink slips…

  46. 46

    @Peale: even if we do let them choose the candidate, they’ll do what they did when we gave them the platform or as is likely to happen the party chairmanship and complain that we aren’t listening. Also I’m sick of hearing from these people if their rhetoric is coming from outside the party like that. I wouldn’t take a Republican’s advice and I’m not going to take theirs. Democrats must reform the Democratic Party. It’s free to join!

  47. 47
    Zinsky says:

    @Frank Wilhoit: Frank – I think you are right. The Founders presumed a Russian double agent would take a pistol shot to the head well before they were ever elected to the presidency.

  48. 48
    Timurid says:


    The problem with impeachment is that the penalty for any Republican who participates is getting primaried at best and a polonium milkshake at worst.

  49. 49
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Out of curiosity, are these people racially diverse and are they mostly men?

  50. 50
    Peale says:

    @cmorenc: what about Ryan and McConnell makes you think they wouldn’t be OK with Putin? Their oweners aren’t concerned and probably think that they’ll make fortunes and remain in power forever. It will be interesting to watch Russian friendly board members installed at major defense contractors and banks. Ryan and McConnells owners see eye to eye with their Russian counterparts on the value of ensuring that wealth and power continuously flow up. There isn’t a conflict that they’ll die over.

  51. 51
    cmorenc says:


    @Adam L Silverman: Wouldn’t it be wise for the British Intelligence agency to release/leak the info they have on Trump, before he takes office?

    The might be waiting to collect enough ironclad proof that Trump, his congressional supporters, and his propaganda arms will be unable to deflate it as unproven speculation or subject to alternative innocent interpretations.

  52. 52
    bystander says:

    Could someone list in detail what “extra-Constitutional remedies” are? I’ll just sit here chortling into my handkerchief. Thanks!

  53. 53
    JPL says:

    @cmorenc: Yup.. All you have to do is google the Senate leader’s name and military service, to understand that.

  54. 54
    Baud says:

    British intelligence asks for guarantees that its spies in Russia will remain anonymous under the Trump administration.

    Ain’t no guarantee worth the paper it’s printed on.

  55. 55
    Eljai says:

    @Major Major Major Major: When are they going to realize that we have to forge coalitions now? We’re not going to agree with everyone on everything. Besides, B-rnie was holding hands with Andrew Cuomo last week and he is far worse than Cory Booker.

  56. 56

    @Baud: no and yes, of course. Everybody else is scared for their fucking lives.

  57. 57
    Baud says:

    @bystander: Fantasy shit.

  58. 58
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Why not both?

  59. 59

    @Eljai: one of my friends criticized John Lewis for sitting next to Booker in the article preview picture when I shared an article titled Why aren’t more Dems standing with John Lewis, so I’m guessing never.

  60. 60
    MomSense says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    It wasn’t even a bill. What do you make of Wilmer’s continued silence on Russian interference in the election? After all the first targets were Wilmer’s supporters and Devine has connections with Putin and Yanukovich just like Manafort.

  61. 61
    Baud says:

    @Eljai: My guess is never.

    @Major Major Major Major: That was my impression, but I can’t say I’ve seen polling on it, so I wanted to confirm your experience.

  62. 62
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @JPL: All of them Katie. On both questions.

  63. 63
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Corner Stone: Ay aem nowt baekinq aeneetheenk rawayt nouw, kno doughing fer mee

  64. 64
    JPL says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Add me to the scared for my f..king life category.
    That’s why I wanted to know how Adam felt. (comment 41)

  65. 65
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Timurid: Does it come with whipped cream and a cherry like at Steak N Shake?

  66. 66
    JPL says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Thanks.. The weather is nice in Atlanta, so periodically I’ve been working in the yard, while swearing under my breath. It hasn’t helped.

  67. 67
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @cmorenc: If you come for the king, you best not miss…

  68. 68

    @MomSense: there was also another reimportation amendment that nobody’s talking about, I presume because Wilmer wasn’t a sponsor. And as I kept (past tense because I gave up) trying to explain to these people, ted fucking Cruz voted yes so there’s a good chance it’s a little more complicated than Cory Booker bad.

    And I would like to see Wilmer’s tax returns but I don’t really care any more. I’d settle for him joining the party.

  69. 69
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @bystander: @Baud: I’ll take Gadsden Flags for $600 Alex!

  70. 70
    cmorenc says:


    @cmorenc: what about Ryan and McConnell makes you think they wouldn’t be OK with Putin?

    In Ryan’s case, because he’s a true-believer conservative ideologue who has never truly outgrown his attachment to Ayn Rand’s socioeconomic philosophy – it’s more plausible that he doesn’t quite believe the extent of Trump’s connections to Russia, in part because if true, that would interfere significantly and unpredictably with the best chance he will ever have to deeply revamp the federal government away from the progressive legacy of the New Deal, and in part because the pieces aren’t yet in place that would enable him to push impeaching or pushing Trump out without suffering politically fatal resistance from the many hard-liners in his caucus. McConnell OTOH is a completely Machiavellian cynic, about whom it might just be true that he’d be ok with it, provided he gets to keep his own controlling sphere of power undiminished rather than let the Russian accusations get enough traction to threaten GOP hold on congress. AND might, in McConnell’s case, also fear that the Russians might have compromising information on him as well if he allows any rebellion against Trump to get going by way of impeachment or otherwise.

  71. 71
    Quinerly says:

    That was back in the summer. Ivanka is a long time friend of Wendy Deng. Think Wendy actually introduced Jared and Ivanka to each other other

  72. 72
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major: It’ll never happen. He’d lose ½ his supporters, and he knows it.

  73. 73
    Calouste says:

    @cmorenc: Also, McConnell’s wife got a cabinet appointment.

  74. 74

    @Quinerly: Wendy Dang is I think strong evidence that we’re in a James Bond film.

  75. 75
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @JPL: We are slaves to process, which I’ve been saying implicitly or explicitly in various ways since I got here. In both posts and comments. We’ve seen a lot of processes break down from age or neglect and/or be purposefully broken. But the processes within the IC, specifically between and among allies and partners for sharing, run both ways. We would suspend information sharing if we had concerns about a change in leadership or position by a partner and ally, our allies and partners are certainly going to do what they need to do to protect themselves individually and protect as much of the alliance as they can. The tyranny of process may not save us, but it provides us with space to maneuver within and for our real friends, allies, and partners to do the same.

  76. 76
    Corner Stone says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Yeah…well…I guess I could be talked into going for that. But at least dinner first!
    Ok…then how about delivery pizza while I’m there. Okay, okay…a two for one meal coupon for Jack in the Box when I leave. Sheesh, what’s a girl gotta do around here…

  77. 77
    gene108 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I do not think anyone but BS is sufficiently pure enough for that crowd. They can be so easily egged on to attack their erstwhile allies, because those allies have aspirations other than “suffering” for the “cause”.

    I wonder, if they will actually rally behind any Democrat in 2020? They will invest effort in tearing down many Dems, who have a shot in 2020, like Booker.

  78. 78
    gene108 says:


    Which one? She was Bush, Jr’s Sec of Labor.

  79. 79
    Timurid says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Yes, but the cherry glows like Rudolph’s nose.
    Actually the more likely worse case punishment would be getting a Gabrielle Giffords milkshake from some crazy 27%’er.

    In other news my former professor has spent the day on Facebook with his buddies talking about how “Trump is wrong BUT” and clucking nervously about how Democrats are overreacting. He compared John Lewis and his ‘disrespect for offices and institutions’ to the founders of the Confederacy. Since we’re about to be overrun by racist pinheads with a weakness for projection, I guess we’ll need to come up with a term of art for that kind of inspired statement. I propose “Freshwater Godwin.”

    The day drinking lamp is lit.

  80. 80

    @gene108: transportation. I’m honestly wondering if it was actually any sort of quid pro quo at all. It seems like she would be in a normal R cabinet this time around. Maybe trump just couldn’t find anybody who hated transportation to run the agency.

  81. 81
    Another Scott says:

    @Peale: Be-nie’s people were going to burn the place down unless they got their stuff in the Platform. They did get (much/most of) their stuff in the Platform, yet some of them still behaved like trolls at the Convention. And they continue to harp that Be-nie “obviously” woulda won versus Donnie.

    True-believers can’t be expected to stop complaining.

    They could get Keith as DNC Chair but would continue to complain (if, say, the DNC takes any corporate donations). And you can bet they will continue to scream about the Corrupt™ Democratic Party no matter how many of these battles they win.

    J is at one of the Protect Healthcare rallies in Maryland today. The rally organization (supposed to be coordinated by one of Be-nie’s people according to the initial annoucement) seems to have left a lot to be desired (I finally got an e-mail this morning that there was one in NoVA about 3 hours before it started…). How do you think Be-nie is going to try to spin it? A gigantic success? A dissapointing failure because the Corrupt™ Corporate Democrats™ are not fighting their Wall Street donors hard enough?

    Too many of Be-nie’s supporters seem to think that success just happens. If only we yell and scream enough and point our index fingers, then we’ll get everything we demand. Anything short of instant success is a betrayal.


    (Who is looking forward to Obama showing us, again, how community organization is done.)

  82. 82
    Another Scott says:

    @Major Major Major Major: GMTA. :-)


  83. 83
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Timurid: Oy vey!

  84. 84
    Baud says:

    @Another Scott: Wasn’t J a strong Wilmer person? How does she feel about him now?

  85. 85
    Suzanne says:

    @Another Scott:

    They could get Keith as DNC Chair but would continue to complain (if, say, the DNC takes any corporate donations).

    Which is an interesting position to take, since at the DNC Forum yesterday, only one candidate for chair said that they would immediately sign the pledge not to take corporate donations, and it was not Ellison. It was Sally Boynton Brown. Ellison said that elections cost money and that if we were going to win them while turning away corporate money, we had better come up with a solid plan to compensate.

    The fact that he said that made me like him.

  86. 86

    @Suzanne: he’s a fine candidate. I wonder if the B-rniebros will turn on him now, just like they did on Gabbard after her meeting with hahaha I kill me.

  87. 87
    Baud says:

    @Suzanne: Do you have a favorite after the event?

  88. 88
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major: It’s interesting how Dean isn’t talked about as a top tier candidate anymore.

  89. 89
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Yes, Elaine Chao was Dubya’s Labor Secretary, but her husband wasn’t the Republican Leader in the Senate then, so the nepotism angle wasn’t quite as blatant.

    That said, she’s probably one of T’s better Cabinet appointments. I heard her speak once in Atlanta, and she struck me as very competent. And she was Deputy Secretary of Transportation under GHWB, so she arguably has some knowledge of the portfolio going in.

    She was born in Taiwan. I have no idea if that is the least bit significant, and with any other PEOTUS it probably wouldn’t even register, but given T’s early phone call with the Taiwanese president and the poking at Jyna, my antennæ are quivering a little bit.

  90. 90
    debbie says:


    That said, she’s probably one of T’s better Cabinet appointments

    You’ve set a very, very low bar.

  91. 91

    What difference does it make? America elected an immature ignoramous, so information, real or not is useless. The orange maggot has no ability to rationally evaluate information- it’s all thrown in the cesspool of what things mean to his ego

  92. 92
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    You’ve set a very, very low bar.

    True dat.

  93. 93
  94. 94
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I missed (or forgot) that news. Lack of interest or something else?

  95. 95
    Emerald says:

    @Peale: @gene108:
    I want them to go away. Just go away. They’re not Democrats. They have no say in what happens with our party.

    Let them form their own party. They have their charismatic leader and a lot of enthusiastic followers. If they can’t do it now when can they do it?

    Then let them take their new party, and go out and win some elections. They need to win something. City Council or Mayor or State Assembly and work up to Congresscritter and Senator. That’s how they can have their say. They want to change the country? That’s how you do it.

    Democrats can do without them. We need to spend our time getting out the vote, and fighting voter suppression. If we do that, we don’t need to hug fascists on the right or on the left.

  96. 96

    @Baud: Sorry, I only knew the headline.

    ETA: @Emerald: they are of course welcome to join the party. I’ll listen to them then. That’s what they did in my assembly district this past month and their squeaked out a majority of our delegates to the state party. I welcome their involvement, WITHIN THE PARTY.

    Of course, if their agenda could only barely get a majority in San Francisco…

  97. 97
    Another Scott says:

    @Baud: She’s still carrying the torch for him. She’s still upset that he didn’t win the nomination, etc.

    She has a long memory, and doesn’t “forgive and forget”, unfortunately.

    It’ll be interesting to hear what she says about the rally today – she’ll be home shortly.


  98. 98
    Baud says:

    @Another Scott:

    doesn’t “forgive and forget”,

    No offense to you or her, but no one is apologizing.

    This whole thing makes me sad.

  99. 99
    Suzanne says:

    @Baud: I have to admit that I am an Ellison fan. When he announced his candidacy, I was very pleased. I thought he was very solid yesterday, and I think he has some solid ideas for improving communication between the DNC, state and local party offices, and constituents. I am less familiar with Perez, but I liked him quite a bit at the Forum, too. And the other candidates also has good things to say. So I wouldn’t say that I have a favorite, per se, and I don’t get to vote, anyway. If I did get to vote, I’d probably go with Ellison, but if Perez won, I certainly wouldn’t think that was a bad outcome by any means.

    I am taking a different tack in the age of Trump. I think ideology and position is actually relatively unimportant right now. I think we need to concentrate on effectiveness to the exclusion of all else right now. Short of someone being as fucking useless as Anthony Weiner or John Edwards, I am not into getting hung up on dumb shit. I don’t like the vote on drug importation taken by Booker, Bennet, Murray, etc. last week. But you know what? Whatever.

    Getting back into power should be the sole focus right now.

  100. 100
    Baud says:

    @Suzanne: Thanks. I like Ellison too, although I have always liked Perez as a person. I also share your outlook on what we need to do next.

  101. 101


    I am taking a different tack in the age of Trump. I think ideology and position is actually relatively unimportant right now. I think we need to concentrate on effectiveness to the exclusion of all else right now.

    I agree especially since we’re talking about what are frankly very small differences in the grand scheme of things. Especially when we’re out of power. It’s not like we’re talking about picking, I don’t even know, Manchin or something.

    But the B-rnie people just. Won’t. Let. It. Go.

  102. 102
    Suzanne says:

    @Suzanne: To follow up on my earlier statement, I am really, REALLY done with the Left’s seeming allergy to unifying. We SUCK at this. We seem to be constitutionally averse to coming together. For example, I just saw an opinion piece in (I think) the NYT about how the pink pussyhats are a bad protest symbol and that people should do something else. And I have seen many things in this vein: don’t protest that way, protest this way! This Democrat sucks for XYZ reason! The DNC is corrupt because of Unnamed Thing Here!

    FFS, we need to STOP. The Republicans win despite their smaller numbers because they don’t let the perfect become the enemy of the good, because they don’t insist on their dream candidates or else they opt out, because they realize that elections are just a stepping stone to governance, purity is a goal but not a standard, and that their agenda is better advanced if they get over some of their shit and hold their noses and pull the lever anyway.

    If we ever want to be in a position to set any agenda ever again, then we should figure this out.

  103. 103
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Then we have to let them go. I just don’t seen an alternative.

  104. 104

    @Baud: to be honest a lot of the ones I know are cranky old (even if chronologically young) leftists who like to quote Chomsky or woo-woo crystal healing Steiniacs anyway. They were never ours.

  105. 105
    Suzanne says:

    @Baud: I don’t really know where this idea came from that voting is primarily seen as an expression of self. It’s not. Voting is a collective action.

    If they want to leave, let them leave. I voted for Sanders in the primary, but I always felt that his late entry to the party was a mark against him. Because, ultimately, I don’t care about the candidates. I care about the agenda. And the agenda is best forwarded with team effort.

  106. 106

    @Suzanne: and his late exit from the primary. He said quite clearly in interviews and writings in the past few years that he’s going to use the Democratic Party as a tool in an attempt to bring white people away from the republicans and wake them up to their economic plight. It’s how he attracted all the extraparty lefties, who are (see me above) I think the only cranks remaining, very very loudly, with him.

  107. 107
    Suzanne says:

    @Major Major Major Major: If he wants to get white people to leave the GOP, then good for him. I like him and many of his policy goals. I don’t need to like everything about a candidate or have their priorities match mine 100%.

  108. 108

    @Suzanne: there’s nothing wrong with the idea other than the part where it probably won’t work. Obama was according to driftglass the most pro manufacturing president since Eisenhower. Did you see that Atlantic piece about the ingrates in Elkhart? Anyway.

  109. 109
    dm says:

    @Baud: Josh Marshall has a podcast (“The Josh Marshall Show”, I think is a search that works). The past couple of weeks he interviewed Ellison and Perez.

    I’d be happy with either of them, though I think Perez felt a bit more concrete in how he would rebuild the party at the local level. I’ve got to respect Ellison’s willingness to leave Congress to be DNC chair, though.

    Speaking of local elections (which both Ellison and Perez talked about in their interviews), have you all seen Run For Office? Type in your zipcode and get back a list of offices in your area you could run for, with links to descriptions of the office, filing deadlines, and instructions for filing as a candidate.

    When I googled for the website above, one of the earlier hits was a “volunteer, organize, run for office” site at (options: I’m willing to run for office/I’m willing to volunteer in someone’s campaign). Despite all the Bernie Derangement Syndrome on display here, I think there are serious Berniacs who may be serious about this stuff. I think, if there’s an annoying Berniac in your circle, point them here, and ask when they’re going to run for office. Remind them that a movement is built from the ground up.

  110. 110
    Jeffro says:

    Hey y’all just picture of this was Clinton and a Democratic Congress and Senate were covering for her despite all evidence that she was working as an agent of China.

    Would Republicans already be calling for a second amendment remedy march on the capital on January 20? Why I believe they would. Not recommending that we do this with trump just noting it for contrast

  111. 111
    pluky says:

    @Joyce H: I’d be amazed if they hadn’t do just that already.

  112. 112

    @Lurking Canadian: You mean “…high crimes and misdemeanors…” ? You forced me to think this through and I concluded that you are right, though our reasoning may be different.

    The dirty little secret of the United States Constitution (described by British Prime Minister Henry Asquith, as late as the eve of World War I, as “the worst in the world”) is that not only has the English language evolved substantially since it was written, but it is not even well written by the standards of its time.

    God forbid that I, or anyone, should attempt to say “The Founders meant thus’n’such”. The whole point is that inspection of the text doesn’t yield that. The most we can hope is to be able to propose interpretations that are plausible, evocative, and not grossly contradictory of each other; and that last qualifier is skating on some pretty thin ice of its own. (Well, all right; the most that a handful of persons in any given generation can hope is to be appointed to the Supreme Court. That gets you out from under the plausible-and-evocative part.)

    Among the infinite, non-falsifiable propositions that might be put forward:

    — The Presidency has morphed into an institution of a kind that the Founders did not have the historical equipment to envision.
    — Although Congress is defined primarily in reaction to the British Parliament, impeachment may have been thought of as a sort of vote-of-no-confidence, requiring a supermajority.

    Supermajorities are a symptom of very muddled thinking. The difficulty with votes-of-no-confidence is that they are ultimately a matter of party loyalty. Hence (perhaps) the supermajority, though the real problem turns out not to be why would a faction impeach, but why would a faction block impeachment.

    If, on the other hand, impeachment is regarded as a meta-criminal sanction, devised to meet the singular case of an officeholder who requires some degree of ex-officio immunity, then the vagueness of its definition is fatal to its applicability.

    It is extremely difficult, tho’ not quite impossible, to imagine that both the vagueness and the fatality were not apparent at the time. If they were not apparent, then impeachment must nonetheless be defined in order to apply it; the two existing precedents (three, if one counts the preliminary maneouvres towards impeaching Richard Nixon) supply the only available ingredients of a definition.

    If it was apparent at the time that impeachment was insufficiently defined, then the whole thing is a piece of shadow-play: a fig leaf of ostensible, but not actual, accountability.

    The 25th Amendment and its possible extended application aside, no one has ever suggested that a President could be deposed for being an asshole, not how utter, or complete, or universally intolerable an asshole. Precedent and common law indicate that grounds for impeachment must adduce one or more overt acts (conceivably, of omission). But note that the House, acting as prosecutor, and the Senate, sitting as judge and jury, have total discretion to decide what is “bad enough”.

    That discretion is qualitatively different from what prosecutors or judges nominally possess in regular criminal jurisprudence — I speak in terms of how those responsibilities are defined, not in terms of how they are typically exercised. In my view, that qualitative difference makes the meta-criminal paradigm the wrong one to use in attempting to understand impeachment, and throws it back into the vote-of-no-confidence frame.

    That being so, and the supermajority requirement allowing a cohesive faction (even were it outnumbered by 2-minus-epsilon to 1) to defeat any vote of no confidence, the only possible conclusions are these:

    1. You were right.
    2. The Founders did not know what the screaming fkkk they were doing.
    3. We don’t either.

  113. 113
    Corner Stone says:


    Would Republicans already be calling for a second amendment remedy march on the capital on January 20? Why I believe they would.

    That’s obviously just because they are more patriotic than D’s and love this country that much more intensely.

  114. 114
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Speaking of local elections (which both Ellison and Perez talked about in their interviews), have you all seen Run For Office? Type in your zipcode and get back a list of offices in your area you could run for, with links to descriptions of the office, filing deadlines, and instructions for filing as a candidate.

    Somebody please make sure Kay sees this (I’d offer, but I am rarely around when she’s active on the threads). From everything I know about her, she would be a formidable candidate and an exemplary elected official.

    ETA: Of course it goes without saying that Baud will use this resource to great effect.

  115. 115
    bemused senior says:

    @dm: I just started volunteering for them. They need volunteers to help populate their database.

  116. 116
    J R in WV says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Isn’t that the Gaelic? No, I guess it’s too close to English for that… Maybe New Cornish?

    I forget who said it, “Tis a mighty poor man who can only think of one way to spell a word!”

    I try to get the most standard speling, but sometimes…… (sic ;-)

  117. 117
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Suzanne: I don’t think it’s possible. I really don’t.

    We’ve been fighting for literally the entire length of Obama’s presidency about “purity ponies” and “rainbow shitting unicorns”. What has become sadly apparent is that a purity pony is just somebody who’s primary, no-compromise issue (and everybody has at least one) is something the speaker doesn’t really care about.

    It would be great if we could say, “Look, candidate A agrees with you on nine issues out of ten, whereas candidate B opposes you on all ten, so shouldn’t you vote for A?” It sounds sensible. It Is sensible. But if you’re gay and issue #10 is gay rights, you just got thrown under a bus. If you’re a woman and issue #10 is abortion, you just got thrown under a bus. And so on ad infinitum.

    And the thing is: in such a scenario somebody did get thrown under a damned bus! And now you’re asking her to back your candidate.

    The Republicans get around it because they feed on anger, and because they are the wrecking crew. The Democrats are actually trying to make positive changes. That’s going to require picking battles, and prioritizing and all that political stuff, and as a result, somebody’s going under the bus.

    I don’t know how to fix it.

  118. 118
    Captain C says:

    @Another Scott:

    Be-nie’s people were going to burn the place down unless they got their stuff in the Platform. They did get (much/most of) their stuff in the Platform, yet some of them still behaved like trolls at the Convention.

    I had a friend whose Gofundme to pay for his protest trip was titled “Political Woodstock.” This made his efforts seem fundamentally unserious to me. I’m sure he wasn’t the only one with this attitude.

    Too many of Be-nie’s supporters seem to think that success just happens. If only we yell and scream enough and point our index fingers, then we’ll get everything we demand. Anything short of instant success is a betrayal.

    And for these particular people it’s always someone else who has to actually do it, and take the blame if it’s not perfect.

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