Late Night Scumbags Open Thread: If This Is History Repeating, Did It Have to Be Such A Lousy Farce?

The call logs and intercepted communications are part of a larger trove of information that the F.B.I. is sifting through as it investigates the links between Mr. Trump’s associates and the Russian government, as well as the hacking of the D.N.C., according to federal law enforcement officials. As part of its inquiry, the F.B.I. has obtained banking and travel records and conducted interviews, the officials said….

The intercepted calls are different from the wiretapped conversations last year between Michael T. Flynn, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, and Sergey I. Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States. In those calls, which led to Mr. Flynn’s resignation on Monday night, the two men discussed sanctions that the Obama administration imposed on Russia in December…

Given his short stay at the top, Mr. Flynn’s case might be quickly forgotten as an isolated episode if it did not raise other questions, particularly about what the president knew and when. Even more broadly, it underscores lingering uncertainty about the relationship between the Trump administration and Vladimir V. Putin’s Russia, a subject of great interest given American intelligence reports of Moscow’s intervention in last year’s elections in the United States.

As leaders of both parties said on Tuesday that they expected the Senate to investigate and probably even summon Mr. Flynn to testify, more details emerged about a drama that played out largely in secret inside a White House riven by competing power centers. Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, revealed that Mr. Trump had known about concerns that Mr. Flynn lied for more than two weeks before demanding his resignation on Monday night. But Vice President Mike Pence was kept in the dark and did not learn that Mr. Flynn had misled him about his Russia contacts until reading news accounts late last week…

(Somewhere in Hell, dead Spiro Agnew weeps at the GOP’s reduction to the likes of ‘Mike Dense’.)

“The mountain has labored, and brought forth a mouse. But did it have to be a wall-eyed mouse in a clown suit?”

65 replies
  1. 1
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    Sigh. There is not a single person who regularly reads this blog who was surprised by these “repeated contacts.” Why is the NYT “shocked – shocked! that there is gambling treason going on here”?

  2. 2
    NotMax says:

    The worst and the dimmest.

  3. 3

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice: They have to maintain the appearance of not having a liberal bias by at all times favoring the Republicans.

  4. 4
    Peale says:

    What “Pence Camp?”

  5. 5
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @KevinMFeeney
    Shout out to everybody saying they didn’t want to deal with the endless drama of having the Clintons back in the White House

    Of course, the key difference here is that Clinton Drama is almost entirely made up, while this shit actually happens.

  6. 6
    amk says:

    fuck you, nyt.

  7. 7
  8. 8
    amk says:

    great see all your evil here pic by schooley.

  9. 9
    hovercraft says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice:
    Republicans are innocent until proven guilty, democrats are guilty until proven innocent. Duh !

  10. 10
    sigaba says:

    @Peale: It’s conceivable there are people who actually give damn and have a professional interest in what happens to Mike Pence. Hard to imagine, by conceivable.

  11. 11
    Westyny says:

    @amk: I’m imagining a little bead of damp hanging from the tips of all their noses, particularly Flynn’s. Try it! Works for me! Then I do the same with the rest of the cabinet, lingering over DeVos and Sessions . . . and off to bed.

  12. 12
    🚸 Martin says:

    So, here’s more insight into the manufacturing jobs problem:

    Daimler employs over 19,000 people at the Untertürkheim factory, one of the biggest powertrain manufacturing facility in the world. There are a lot of complex internal combustion engines (ICE) coming out of that place, which produces everything from complete engines, axles, transmissions and other components.

    Due to the transition to electric propulsion, which requires simpler electric motors, the company expects the modernisation of the plant will require significantly fewer employees.

    The German automaker has been trying to negotiate with its ‘Works Council’, which represents the factory workers, a plan to transition the factory. As it currently exist, the maker of Mercedes-Benz expects the plant to become irrelevant in the next few decades as electric vehicles overtake gas-powered cars.

    This is Germany, middle-class manufacturing nirvana. These are not jobs being outsourced. This is a fundamental change in what we manufacture as a planet, and how we manufacture it, and it’s a change that will push labor out of that function. This is not the fault of labor, or the lack of unions, or neoliberals, or global trade, or any of the many round holes we keep trying to jam this square peg into. It’s simply how we are advancing as a species. This evolution carries certain benefits – reduction in pollution, improved safety, etc. and it will take jobs from some places – secondary effects will be fossil fuel extraction and conversion, transportation, etc. and add them to other places – engineering, solar and wind generation.

    The near-term net effect will probably be negative for Germans. The long-term effect will be positive for all economies, because the base cost of EVs is expected to fall below the base cost of ICE vehicles as early as 2020 which will allow transportation to expand into new markets, creating new demand for commerce, etc.

  13. 13
    NotMax says:

    In other news –

    A man dressed as Adolf Hitler was spotted wandering around the Nazi dictator’s birthplace in Austria. Most recently, he was seen browsing the World War II section of a local bookstore. Locals say he’s introduced himself at bars as “Harald Hitler.” At least one canny photographer caught him standing outside the house where Hitler was born. Source

  14. 14
    🚸 Martin says:

    @NotMax: Anyone seen Bannon lately?

  15. 15

    @NotMax: you ever read Look Who’s Back?

  16. 16

    In lighter news, this is a real article:
    http://www.ravishly.com/2017/0.....needs-stop

    I’m Fat-Shaming My Cat And It Needs To Stop

    “Allie, you need to go on a diet, your ass is huge,” I say.

    No, I’m not a complete asshole, Allie is my cat.

    I’ve been saying these fatphobic things to her for a while, but only recently realized that when I fat-shame her, I’m fat-shaming myself.

  17. 17
    NotMax says:

    @Major Major Major Major

    Saw the movie, which was, to put it extremely charitably, uneven.

  18. 18
    🚸 Martin says:

    Reminder that both Roger Stone and Rudy Giuliani seemed to know when information about Clinton was about to drop from Wikileaks. There’s a good chance they were also part of this in some way.

  19. 19
    🚸 Martin says:

    Aha! Test passed. There is some hope, after all.

    Federal emergency officials approved Gov. Jerry Brown’s requests to pay for winter storm damages and to support California’s unfolding response to the emergency at the distressed Oroville Dam, the White House announced Tuesday

    “I want to thank FEMA for moving quickly to approve our requests,” Brown said, a day after expressing optimism that the Trump administration would come to his state’s assistance. “This federal aid will get money and resources where it’s needed most.”

    So, Trump is not so absolute in his grudge-holding.

  20. 20

    @🚸 Martin: or he just hasn’t gotten his kakistocrats in charge of FEMA yet.

  21. 21
    magurakurin says:

    @🚸 Martin: I saw him walking behind Mike Flynn with a pointy umbrella…

  22. 22
    burnspbesq says:

    John Banner is spinning in his grave over the poor quality of Congressional Republicans’ impression of Sgt. Schultz (” I know nuthink, I see nuthink.”).

  23. 23
    🚸 Martin says:

    @magurakurin: Heh. I thought we had moved onto syringes in airports.

  24. 24
    Arclite says:

    What’s the over/under on how soon before the Republicans start impeachment hearings on Trump, simply because what little brand they have left he’s pouring down the drain?

  25. 25
    danielx says:

    Flynn’s lie about Russia didn’t bring him down. Exposure of lie did. WH knew weeks ago & did nothing. Why?

    Because…because they’re taking cues from the boss. Who hasn’t a clue – about anything, or so it appears. On top of that, WH staff is a bunch of fucking amateurs. Priebus is an amateur at this level, and he’s the closest thing resembling an establishment Republican in the lot. A strong WH chief of staff would have had an operation up and going at this point, if not smoothly, but Trump will never tolerate a strong chief of staff – too much of a threat to his ego.

    Again, the staff is taking their cues from the shitgibbon, and I’m guessing that even now he doesn’t truly grasp how dire his situation is. He has never, ever had to deal with any real consequences – like jail, threat of bodily injury or death, impeachment, deprival of lifestyle – for anything he has ever done in his life. Nor yet been under the kind of microscope the oval office occupant is under at all times…and to belabor the obvious, he is thinskinned in the extreme. He loves the media as long as they’re not actually accusing him of crimes, but when he is criticized, he feels unappreciated – they owe him better treatment because, goddamnit, he is Donald Trump and he deserves it, simply because he’s Donald Trump.

    He figures this is all going to go away, somehow, because Donald Trump does not end up with the shitty end of the nasty, sharp-pointed stick – ever. He’s always ended up on top before and he figures he will now as well, one way or another.

    ETA: I’ve never seen the spectacle of a completely incompetent White House staff, and I’m enjoying it a lot less than I thought I would. It’s annoying, embarrassing and dangerous. Other administrations
    might have done things I detested, but they were all more or less competent. I mean, Karl Rove is an evil little fuck, but he knew how to get shit done and make the boss look good.

  26. 26
    Arclite says:

    Also, the fcking assholes at the FBI had no trouble whatsoever leaking details of Clinton’s “investigation” but chose to release Trump’s treasonous shit AFTER he’s in office? WTF, FBI?

  27. 27
    🚸 Martin says:

    @Arclite: Yeah, like I said earlier, Comey’s going to have a lot to answer for here.

  28. 28
    danielx says:

    @🚸 Martin:

    Or he is….preoccupied…with other matters.

  29. 29
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    @NotMax: There was a movie about this (link)

  30. 30
    burnspbesq says:

    @🚸 Martin:

    So, Trump is not so absolute in his grudge-holding.

    Is there any evidence that Trump knew about this before it happened? I’d say rescission by tweet is a very real possibility–which is ironic because Trump carried Butte County, where the damage from a spill would be centered.

  31. 31
    her4e says:

    So, Trump is not so absolute in his grudge-holding.

    There’s more than a fair chance FEMA did this without Trump’s knowledge, because, ya’ know. it’s kinda their job, at least while FEMA still exists.

  32. 32
    prob50 says:

    Comment #31 was mine, have no idea how name got changed. Musta hit some weird key somewhere. Maaybe conspiracy??

  33. 33
    piratedan says:

    the issue doesn’t appear to be in connecting the dots… that seems rather problematic… say working with another sovereign state up to and during the electoral process, petitioning said state to do harm to their political opponents and then magically having that said same come true…

    The problem appears to be that there are so many fucking dots….

    multiple persons involved in the campaign with multiple fingers in multiple pies and the GOP KNEW that this shit was going down and instead of stepping in and doing what’s right, instead said, what if we can ride this fucker into power? You can’t not bet on American stupidity, hell a good 25% of the country doesn’t even know that the ACA and Obamacare are the same fucking thing!

    THIS is the party that has always claimed the moral high ground and are now essentially selling themselves for one last ride at making things “right” for the people that vote for them and fuck all the supposed consequences. Telling us all that they really are morally and ethically overdrawn.

    When the true scope of this is essentially revealed (if ever, thanks NYT, I’m really glad that you focused on the e-mails you duplicitous bastards) I have to believe that this shit easily permeates all thru the GOP, Ryan, Preibus, McConnell, Guiliani, Christie, Conway, Manafort, Lewandoski, etc… the entire Trumps Eleven. The only hope I have, if this shit is ever fully exposed, is that Nancy Smash will have the balls to say, fuck this “healing for the good of the country” bullshit and lances this fucking boil once and for all and tells the rest of the country to put on their big boy pants and realize that worshiping a different sky buddy doesn’t make you any less of an American and whatever your skin pigment ratios or sexual preferences are (excepting dogs and cats…), you should still be able to vote and root for the goddamn Patriots if you want to. It shouldn’t be a fucking crime to want health care for folks and for women to decide to have sexy time whenever they want to and not have to have an aspirin between their knees and if you want to worship and condemn those people and feel self righteous, well go on ahead, but you can’t make it illegal for fucks sake.

    It’s amazing I have any teeth left after all of the grinding that’s been going on considering how devoid these people are of what used to be considered basic common decency.

  34. 34
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Peale:

    What “Pence Camp?”

    The “social conservatives” look to Pence to get abortions banned and gays shoved back in the closet, like their Jeebus intended. Not to mention punishing all those dark-skinned ‘sons of Ham’ for not being Real Murkins, like them.

    The fact that the Bannon (Trump) and Priebus (GOP establishment) camps treat Pence like the idiot second cousin who only gets invited to the party because he’s got the use of his parents’ Audi and the key to their liquor cabinet should tell them something about how much the Republicans value their input, but these are ‘good Christians’ who were okay with voting for a man who’s gleefully broken at least nine of the ten commandments, so…

  35. 35
    sigaba says:

    @NotMax: Is this sorta like the guy who dresses like Batman and stalks around in front of the Mann Chinese and charges people to take pictures with him?

  36. 36
    hellslittlestangel says:

    I’ll say this for Mike Pence: I am very willing to believe he was “out of the loop.” He’s probably been out of the loop for at least the last 30 years.

  37. 37
    hellslittlestangel says:

    Pence Camp: where I spent the dullest summer of my childhood.

  38. 38
    NotMax says:

    @David Canadian Anchor Baby Koch

    Trivia: Director Franklin J. Schaffner chose locations around the Lancaster, PA area because he wanted to pump money into the local economy near his alma mater, Franklin & Marshall College.

  39. 39
    John M. Burt says:

    This really is history repeating itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.
    Nixon’s downfall was genuinely tragic because for all his unforgivable flaws Nixon was an intelligent man who did a lot of good things, and wanted to do more of them.
    Donald’s downfall (touch wood) is farcical because he has no redeeming qualities and should never have been taken seriously as a candidate for President. As President, he has proven himself every bit as incompetent and corrupt as we said he would.
    Let’s just hope it continues to go to Hell as quickly as it has so far.

  40. 40
    Bruce K says:

    This scandal’s already big enough to make Watergate look like a nothingburger in comparison, and it’s happened so quickly that the mess doesn’t even have a proper name yet. If there’s another unexploded bomb (or more) to be uncovered, Trump might still beat William Henry Harrison’s record.

  41. 41
    liberal says:

    @Arclite: they’ll impeach when Trump loses favor with the base. Not before.

  42. 42
    ArchTeryx says:

    @John M. Burt: Unfortunately, the single greatest sin liberals committed is being right, and it’s a sin the D.C. press has never and will never forgive them for, right up to the point that the lot of them burn in nuclear fire. They’ll go straight to hell still bleating ‘But her emails!’

  43. 43
    Kay says:

    @🚸 Martin:

    As it currently exist, the maker of Mercedes-Benz expects the plant to become irrelevant in the next few decades as electric vehicles overtake gas-powered cars.

    But this was exactly the problem with the Obama Administration on jobs and wages. The next few decades, Martin.

    You can’t tell people your whole focus is 20 years out. That addresses nothing about their current situation. That’s why they sounded like Tom Friedman. You have to talk to people where they are.

    Aspiring to something is fine and moving in a general direction is fine- that’s the “opportunity” part, but that’s only half of it. You can’t stay 30,000 feet above them because that’s “optimistic” and sounds better. There were times that they would open a talk about jobs with preschool. Preschool is great but your audience is like “so people who are now 3 years old will be doing great… eventually?” It would have been a great message if Presidents had 30 year terms, but they don’t.

    It ends up sounding like advice or punditry rather than “help”. No one looks to government for advice. No one puts their own daily life in this huge frame and even if they did what does that mean for them? Once they know they’re part of larger economic cycles, then what? Not 2 decades from now but next month, next year?

  44. 44
    Matt says:

    Newstands here in Italy this morning are plastered with old topless shots of Melania Trump, revealing a sad botched boob job. Should I feel sorry for her?

  45. 45
    Spanky says:

    Wait, Pence found out Flynn lied to him about the Russian ambassador calls *by reading it in the paper*???

    Wait, Pence can read?

  46. 46
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @Matt: No. Melania did choose to say “I do”, didn’t she?

  47. 47
    Kay says:

    I still can’t come with a single good faith reason why Comey would reveal that they were looking at that laptop for information on Clinton and not reveal that they were investigating the Trump campaign.

    He was way out of line with his press conference on Clinton – it isn’t his job to opine on her practices- but to then make it worse by intervening again and not even blab about BOTH investigations but limit it to Clinton?

    It sure looks like the FBI was working for Trump and we know Sessions was part of Trump’s campaign so where does that leave us? How will we ever find out what happened? What if it happens again? What if Russia intervenes in the midterms? All these same law enforcement people just stay in place thru another cycle and we run this movie again?

  48. 48
    rikyrah says:

    them trying to protect Pence…
    uh uh
    he is knee deep in all of this.

  49. 49
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:
    your logic and questions make absolute sense.

  50. 50
    J R in WV says:

    Ok, it’s nearly dawn, and I’m still awake. I was almost asleep when the dogs erupted. They were asleep on their bed in the bedroom, then howling at something out in the woods. After some shouting, and now sigh that they were going to quit, I let them out. Big mistake.

    They spooked a skunk. I smelled it before I let them back in… which isn’t going to happen soon. This is the worst ever, rankest, most unbelievable smell yet. We have a new type moving into this area, spotted skunks, instead of the two stripes model we have had for generations.

    Maybe they smell worse than the two stripes. A bath with Peroxide, baking soda, and dawn soap is pretty good at killing the stench. I would much rather do that outside, but it’s 36 right now. I need to go to town, which kills nearly 3 hours just on the back and forth. I need to send a UPS package, and shop.

    Latest new meds change has made me way more prone to insomnia. Gripe, gripe, gripe. And my dogs stink really bad. I sprayed Febreze in the bedroom so wife could continue to sleep. Stench lasts for days around the back of the house.

    Rural problems, you city folk should be glad the skunks don’t appear to be adapting to suburban terrain. Irritating. But less stressful than current geopolitical stress! I like skunks, they’re very valuable to the rural ecosystem… Skunks dig up ground bee nests, yellow jackets around here, and destroy the nest while eating larvae. Their fur is too thick for the bees to get through.

    If I could teach the dogs to leave them alone. Honestly, they may have learned, these guys I think this was their first encounter with the gas warfare critters of the forested hills. For quite a while the skunks were uncommon, they seem to be coming back, these spotted ones.

    I hope everyone gets a good laugh at our 2-3 am explosion of backyard chemical warfare. No harm done, the skunk is probably fine, irritated, even angry, but OK, not even prone to run away, really. They’re pretty calm critters, until a dog gets into their face, then it’s lower the boom time.

    The dogs are healthy, it won’t hurt them to be outside for a while, until we can stand to be close to them enough to wash with the environmental scientist devised cleanser. It really works. A quart of Rite-Aid peroxide, most of a box of Arm&Hammer, and enough soap to wash off the oily spray.

  51. 51
    Zinsky says:

    This Administration is the most incompetent traveling shitshow in American political history. They should all be impeached and hold a special, make-up election. The one in 2016 was a Russian con job.

  52. 52
    waspuppet says:

    Remarkable picture. Such an uncanny coincidence that four weeks ago there were plenty of women and nonwhite people considered able and qualified to work in the upper reaches of a presidential administration, and now suddenly there aren’t. Someone should look into how everyone but white men suddenly got stupid over the past month.

  53. 53
    Kay says:

    @rikyrah:

    One example Reid posited of the “selective approach”: Comey’s methods in investigating Donald Trump and his campaign’s possible ties to the Russian government.
    “In my communications with you and other top officials in the national security community, it has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government – a foreign interest openly hostile to the United States, which Trump praises at every opportunity,” he said. “I wrote to you months ago calling for this information to be released to the public…and yet, you continue to resist calls to inform the public of this critical information.”

    This is a real question. It doesn’t matter if Clinton “didn’t spend enough time in Wisconsin” or whatever the excuse is every time this comes up. That has nothing at all to do with the actions of the FBI.

    Comey has to explain why he released information on one and not the other because he is investigating Trump now. His personal decisions re: Trump are in question and he’s currently investigating. It isn’t in the past. This is the situation today.

  54. 54

    @J R in WV:

    you city folk should be glad the skunks don’t appear to be adapting to suburban terrain

    Eh, we have skunks here in the city.

  55. 55
    Anne Laurie says:

    @J R in WV:

    Rural problems, you city folk should be glad the skunks don’t appear to be adapting to suburban terrain. Irritating. But less stressful than current geopolitical stress! I like skunks, they’re very valuable to the rural ecosystem…

    They do just fine in the Boston exurbs, I can tell you from olfactory experience. Especially around this time of year, when they’re roaming around looking for love — poor dumb bastids can’t intimidate the cars on the freeway offramps with their gas weapons until it’s too late for both parties.

    I get a whiff in passing occasionally when I let our little dogs out in the back yard, but fortunately they’re too cowardly to do more than yap furiously at four-footed passers-by in the night… so far. If I get the (nasal) hint that there’s a skunk cruising in the brush between our yard and the offramp, I’ll make a point of sweeping our most powerful flashlight a few times before letting the dogs out, just as a warning.

    There have been red foxes spotted on our street, but foxes won’t challenge a three-dog pack, even when those dogs are only 15lbs each. On the other hand, I worry about coyotes, which are also well-established in nearby towns… if there’s evidence they’ve moved into our area, we’d have to start escorting the dogs into the yard, seventeen times a day/night…

  56. 56
    Travels with Charley says:

    I had a family of skunks take up habitation under my garden shed in suburban northern Virginia. They shared the yard with the dogs – the dogs got skunked if they were let out after 9 pm or before 6 am. If I respected their timetable, all was well. I eventually hired someone to trap the skunks & fortify the shed foundation. Kandahar didn’t have a wall as strong!

  57. 57
    GregB says:

    @NotMax:

    He’s back!

  58. 58
    Tripod says:

    Pence was Reince’s (or whatever the fuck his name is) pick. It was a sop to the Kochies.

    He’ll fuck over the god squad for the sake of big money (and whatever else he needs to do), in order to sit in the oval office for a few months.

  59. 59
    Gindy51 says:

    @J R in WV: We added chicken wire around the bottom of our fencing and it stopped the skunks from coming into the yard. Kind of gross, but we toss the dog shit over the fence so they stay away from the fence line.
    Worse than skunk spray is DEAD skunk.

  60. 60
    Gindy51 says:

    @Anne Laurie: Your foxes will disappear if coyotes move in.

  61. 61
    jonas says:

    The officials interviewed in recent weeks said that, so far, they had seen no evidence of such cooperation.

    That’s pretty hilarious. What does one casually chat with “senior Russian intelligence officials” about? The weather? What color drapes to put in the dacha? The St. Petersburg soccer team?

  62. 62
    jonas says:

    @Tripod: I thought Walker was the Koch’s boy. Pence was a sop to the religious right. Remember Jerry Falwell and others telling their supporters that no matter how horrible Trump was, Pence would actually be running things so don’t worry. Pence is just a beat-down dignity wraith at this point, so how’d that work out?

  63. 63
    brettvk says:

    @J R in WV: OTOH, I knew a dog years ago, belonged to my bff, who got used to skunk spray and actually hunted them down. Deckers also had the habit of sleeping in the crawl space under the bedroom after he’d eaten the skunk, which perfumed the space above.

    I live in a urbanish area but I have resident possums. raccoons, woodchucks, and skunks and I’ve seen foxes inside the city limits. One night I was walking the dogs down the alley and thought I saw my tuxedo cat walking ahead of us — fortunately it walked into a pool of streetlight before we caught up to it. I carry a flashlight for my failing night vision now.

  64. 64
    SgrAstar says:

    @J R in WV:

    you city folk should be glad the skunks don’t appear to be adapting to (sub)urban terrain.

    Oh but they have. San Francisco is full of em. We share your pain.

  65. 65
    SWMBO says:

    Years ago when we were in high school, my cousin and I went camping with my dog. The first night we heard something in the food on the table and we opened the tent and let the barking hellion out. He scared off a family of raccoons. The next night, we were going to let him loose and decided to use the flashlight to see if that would scare them off. It was a family of skunks. We let them forage in peace.

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