The Wire

It looks like a Breitbart article published yesterday is what set off Trump’s unhinged Twitter rant this morning, in which he accused President Obama of orchestrating a “Nixon/Watergate” plot to tap phones at Trump Tower prior to the election. The Breitbart article alleges the Obama admin used “police state” tactics to monitor the Trump campaign, per WaPo. WaPo also quotes a “senior intelligence official” who speculates as follows about Trump’s accusation:

“It’s highly unlikely there was a wiretap. It seems unthinkable. If that were the case by some chance, that means that a federal judge would have found that there was either probable cause that he had committed a crime or was an agent of a foreign power.”

That might be exactly what happened. We know there is supposedly an ongoing FBI investigation into Russian meddling in the US election, and in January, The Guardian and BBC both reported on a FISA warrant obtained in connection with that investigation. Here’s a contemporaneous summary from Lawfare:

…[F]ollowing Buzzfeed’s publication of the complete dossier, the Guardian reported on January 11 that it had: “learned that the FBI applied for a warrant from the foreign intelligence surveillance (Fisa) court over the summer in order to monitor four members of the Trump team suspected of irregular contacts with Russian officials. The Fisa court turned down the application asking FBI counter-intelligence investigators to narrow its focus. According to one report, the FBI was finally granted a warrant in October, but that has not been confirmed, and it is not clear whether any warrant led to a full investigation.”

The following day, on January 12, the BBC offered a more detailed account, based on “several sources,” and corroborated by a “senior member of the US intelligence community.” According to this report, the investigation began last April when then-CIA Director John Brennan became aware of a tape of a conversation about money from Moscow being funneled into the US presidential campaign, which was passed to him by an intelligence agency “in one of the Baltic States.”

Seemingly in line with the Guardian reporting, the BBC reported that a FISA warrant had been obtained in October after being rejected as overbroad not once, but twice by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. However, unlike the Guardian, the BBC story claimed the FISA was not targeted at Trump or any of his associates. While “three of Trump’s associates were the subject of the inquiry,” it said the actual warrant was for “electronic records from two Russian banks.” Those warrants were pursued to trace “transfers of money from Russia to the United States.”

So, is the wiretapping Twitler is fuming about today the result of that FISA warrant? Who the hell knows? But if so, as the senior intelligence agent quoted by WaPo says, that would seem to indicate the feds had probable cause that a crime or act of espionage had been committed. Wouldn’t Twitler want to quash that line of speculation?

Well, as someone on Twitter so aptly put it, Trump and crew aren’t masterminds; they’re shitlords. So maybe he really did see the Breitbart article (while feeling all defensive and angry about the Russia issue that just won’t go away) and then went off on a screaming tangent without realizing what a juicy can of worms he was opening. This comment from the WaPo article linked above bolsters that theory:

Trump’s tweets took numerous top White House aides by surprise, according to a second White House official who was not authorized to speak publicly. Saturday was expected to be a “down day, pretty quiet,” this official said, and there was little, if any, attempt to coordinate the president’s message on the wiretapping allegations.

LOL! And now Twitler has moved on to trashing Arnold Schwarzenegger, having addressed the “Nixon/Watergate” business by calling his predecessor a “bad (or sick) guy.”

To summarize, our current president is a lunatic with the attention span of a fruit fly, and DC may or may not be about to erupt into the biggest political scandal in the history of the United States. In other words, it’s a day of the week that ends with “day” in the accursed and benighted Trump Error.

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307 replies
  1. 1
    Corner Stone says:

    IT.HAS.BEGUN!

  2. 2
    Corner Stone says:

    The IC has about elebenty copies of the call recordings between Trump/T people and RUS. And not just our IC but the entire civilized world’s IC. And thank Brietbart, Trump has finally been made aware for a brief instant that he has been got.
    And now he’s rabbiting, looking for any hole to scurry down.

  3. 3

    He’ll try to nuke an American city before this is done. Probably Chicago.

  4. 4
    WereBear says:

    With all the sick and twisted usual suspects clustered in this White House, I hope for a real domino effect.

    Aren’t they all, one way or another, in on this? Didn’t the entire Republican “leadership” as currently constituted, join in?

  5. 5
    eldorado says:

    time to start turning over the rocks and see what scurries out

  6. 6
    Corner Stone says:

    I sincerely hope Obama tweets out a text of, “Who Me?” with an adjoining picture of Obama doing the “I don’t know/who cares” gesture and Smiling Joe in the background with the aviators on.

  7. 7
    Yarrow says:

    Posted in the thread below:

    Trump knows his illegal ties to Moscow will be exposed soon. Hence his panic. He will do anything to save himself. Even provoking civil war.— John Schindler (@20committee) March 4, 2017

    So Hill #GOP needs to ponder how much of Trump's dangerous crazy they can tolerate. Only they can stop him. If they don't, this is on them.— John Schindler (@20committee) March 4, 2017

    It’s going to get very ugly. And whatever happens, it’s on the Republicans in Congress. They have the power to stop him.

  8. 8
    JPL says:

    Either President Lunatic is spreading fake news, or his personal phones have been wire tapped. Which would you prefer?

  9. 9
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Thoroughly Pizzled: Good grief, I just thought “he’ll probably nuke Chicago” when your comment appeared. Are we starting to think like…HIM, because this is just what he’d think of. Does prolonged exposure to Trump damage brain cells?
    Yours truly,
    Concerned.

  10. 10
    Keith P. says:

    Note well that he tweeted this from Mar-a-Lago, as he’s there for his 4th weekend in 5 weeks on the job.

  11. 11
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    By going after Obama this way, I wouldn’t be surprised if he dug his own grave. No lawyer would advise him to do this, of course. Discovery alone would sink him, since Obama would have the resources and standing to get every document and tape relating to this in front of a judge. And if evidence was deleted, those who are facing years in jail for doing so would turn over like a rock, giving up others (including him).

  12. 12
    Oatler. says:

    Stop mocking lunatics with short attention spans! We have feelings, you know.

  13. 13
    Kilgore Trout says:

    We need a complete halt to all Senate confirmations from the White House until we can figure out what the hell is going on.*

    *I think I got that paraphrased correctly.

  14. 14
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    So maybe he really did see the Breitbart article (while feeling all defensive and angry about the Russia issue that just won’t go away) and then went off on a screaming tangent without realizing what a juicy can of worms he was opening.

    Robert Costa‏Verified account @ costareports 1h1 hour ago
    Trump left WH in a fury on Friday, fuming about Sessions’s recusal and telling aides that Sessions shouldn’t have recused himself…

    fury… also from Costa

    confirmed: Priebus and Bannon are *not* in Florida with POTUS, per WH, though they may fly down there later today

    as the kids say, “Ya think?” also is there anywhere I can place a bet on Mrs Conway missing her daughter’s dance recital this weekend

  15. 15
    Yarrow says:

    I want the entire damn Trump family to go down with dear old dad. Lolita and Uday and Qusay and their various “businesses.” All of it. The Trump name must be made something no one wants to be associated with in any way. It stands for treason.

  16. 16
    PPCLI says:

    @Corner Stone: I love the image. But I’m sure Obama knows by instinct the warriors maxim: “Don’t interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”

    Don’t draw attention from Trump and his incriminating caterwauling.

  17. 17
    Baud says:

    @Yarrow: I said a long time ago I want Trump to be the most reviled American since Benedict Arnold. I see that Benedict Donald is catching on. I am pleased.

  18. 18
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Keith P.:

    Note well that he tweeted this from Mar-a-Lago…

    Well, that’s because Mar-A-Lago is the the Southern White House… just like the way the WH has become the Western Kremlin…

  19. 19
    lapassionara says:

    Where is Howard Baker, Jr when we need him?

  20. 20
    Another Scott says:

    Betty: predecessor successor (, perhaps?)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  21. 21
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    Senator Chris Coons: “There are transcripts that provide very helpful, very critical insights into whether or not [collusion occurred]”.

    That’s like someone from 1974 saying “there are transcripts that provide very helpful, very critical insights into whether or not Nixon ordered a cover-up

  22. 22
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Baud: Benedict Arnold was just a traitor… I’d like to see Trump compared to Jeffrey Dahmer, or Hannibal Lecter…

  23. 23
    JPL says:

    @David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch: Yesterday I mentioned to my son, that Chris Coons isn’t the type to say something without some proof.

  24. 24
    Baud says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…: Nah. Those guys still have fans.

  25. 25
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I, for one, am shocked that Sean Hannity is too dumb to know you don’t ever ask a question you don’t want answered

    Sean Hannity‏Verified account
    @ seanhannity
    Sean Hannity Retweeted Donald J. Trump
    What did OBAMA know and when did he know it??
    Donald J. TrumpVerified account @ realDonaldTrump
    How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!

  26. 26
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    (Hollywood) — Barack Obama and Joe Biden to star as lead actors in remake of “Lethal Weapon”

  27. 27
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @Another Scott: No, that was about Obama, not Arnold.

  28. 28
    JPL says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…: Just no! It’s bad enough already.

  29. 29
    geg6 says:

    Shit’s gonna go down. Holy moley, the volcano’s rumbling and smoking seems to reaching a climax and it’s about to blow. I think Coons is right and (consider it stolen!) Benedict Donald is freaking out because he knows it.

  30. 30
    Hill Dweller says:

    @PPCLI: I suspect Obama and his most trusted advisors started sowing the seeds of Trump’s destruction the day after the election, while being overtly kind and accommodating during the transition.

  31. 31
    Yarrow says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: That actually made me laugh out loud. Just when you think Sean Hannity can’t get any dumber.

    Any word from Morning Joke yet?

  32. 32
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I, for one, am shocked that Sean Hannity is too dumb

    I’m not…

  33. 33
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch: The Sting, in a version where two retired pols bring all their skills, and all of their powers, to snare a rogue president

  34. 34
    p.a. says:

    @WereBear: Goes back to the Obama meeting when McComrade said if O went public he’d call politics. Burn them down.

  35. 35
    PPCLI says:

    @Kilgore Trout: Absolutely! In particular, according to the McConnell rule, we can’t confirm Gorsuch, since this may be the last year of the Trump administration.

  36. 36
    Uncharismatic megafauna says:

    Not sure where this ranks in pantheon of Republican hypocrisy, but this from House Intel Chair Nunes on wiretap of Flynn-Kislyak has got to be right up there:

    “The big problem I see here is that you have an American citizen who had his phone calls recorded.”

  37. 37
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    An awful lot of Russians connected to this mess have dropped dead over the last few weeks… when will an American connected to this turn up dead under mysterious circumstances?

  38. 38
    PPCLI says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…: Hannibal Lector would never eat a steak well done with ketchup.

  39. 39
    GrandJury says:

    Yes yes please do investigate Obama wiretap allegations and the reasons behind it. Like the Russian connections. By all means please do. I will be totally behind all the inevitable knee jerk reactions from the wingnut wurlitzer on this.

    Drain that swamp and all that.

  40. 40
    Aleta says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…: Don Jong-un has been suggested.

    ETA (It won’t come to that.)

  41. 41
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    Big props to Harry Palmer and Michael Weston for digging out this treason.

  42. 42
    Tripod says:

    it’s not our fault we embraced a dementia suffering loon…it’s Obama’s fault!

    That’s not saleable. There is no actionable base. The forty-percent Fuck-O’s will just deny ever voting for the man.

    Sad.

  43. 43
    The Dangerman says:

    President Pence by the 4th of July.

  44. 44
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @JPL: Sorry… we don’t want to give cannibalism a bad name now, do we?

  45. 45
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Aleta: Well, they’ve both got the hair…

  46. 46
    Yarrow says:

    @PPCLI: Indeed. And speaking of Gorsuch, where does his nomination stand. I haven’t heard anything about hearings and barely anything about meetings with Senators.

  47. 47
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @PPCLI: Or a taco bowl, for that matter…

  48. 48
    cosima says:

    @Yarrow: That’s actually an excellent photoshop gig for someone with the skills. All of his branded buildings with the ump changed to eason.

    My photoshop skills are zero.

  49. 49
    Corner Stone says:

    @PPCLI: Nah. Obama will let Trump wind himself up to a point where he says something actionable. And then someone other than Obama will initiate something that will push Trump to the next level of eruption until eventually he’ll start tweeting something self-incriminating.
    “That Obama! What a sick guy! I always knew Putin was right about Obama when he told me all about him as we were signing that arms deal with North Korea! SAD!”

  50. 50
    m0nty says:

    This thread needs more McNutty and Bunk.

  51. 51
    Baud says:

    @Corner Stone: The best thing Obama could do is ignore Trump and let himself be seen enjoying life and receiving praise.

  52. 52
    Aleta says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…: My crackpot alternative theory is he took shelter in the presidency to be protected from the Russians by the world class security.

  53. 53
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch: I’m reading the recent bio of John LeCarré, which is bigly good, terrific, and all these stories have me imagining George Smiley quietly reviewing timelines and photographs and visiting people in off hours to get the truth out of them with his silent moral authority

  54. 54
    Corner Stone says:

    @JPL:

    Either President Lunatic is spreading fake news, or his personal phones have been wire tapped. Which would you prefer?

    It’s clearly both.

  55. 55
    Yarrow says:

    @Corner Stone: Agreed. Obama is a master at letting his enemies hang themselves.

    I bet he’s enjoying the hell out of watching this unfold as Trump steps in all the booby-traps he (Obama) set. Of course since Obama’s a patriot and loves this country he is probably just as horrified as we all are. But he knows where the traps and what the intelligence is. He knows what’s coming.

  56. 56
    GregB says:

    Does this mean that the FBI was investigating the Trump campaign at the same time as…….da…da…daaaaaaaaa! The Clinton campaign?

  57. 57
    TS says:

    @Yarrow:

    John Schindler @20committee

    Trump will show the public evidence of Obama’s illegal wiretapping right after he reveals his Kenyan birth certificate.

    Twitter

  58. 58
    CaseyL says:

    @Yarrow: The GOP will do the entire process under cover of darkness: hearings, committee vote, and floor vote to confirm at 1:00 AM, without telling the Democrats.

    We’ll wake up some fine morning to find Gorsuch magically confirmed – without a single opposing voice or vote! Imagine that!

  59. 59
    cosima says:

    @Yarrow: Last thing that I heard about him was that he was on a charm offensive, schmoozing on both sides of the aisle, having done his homework well enough to talk to various people about their dogs/birds/watercolour skills/etc. so that they’d fall on the ‘yes’ vote side. Which infuriated me. I don’t recall Sotomayor or Kagan showing up at Ryan’s office with a gym towel & a baseball cap trying to get his vote.

  60. 60
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    when then-CIA Director John Brennan became aware of a tape of a conversation about money from Moscow being funneled into the US presidential campaign

    Whoa… I’ve been trying to follow this pretty closely and this is the first comment I’ve heard about MONEY being funneled into the campaign…

  61. 61
    Yarrow says:

    @cosima: Hey! Did you see the reports that Trump’s state visit to the UK has been pushed back to October and will now mostly take place in Scotland, at Balmoral?

  62. 62
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…:

    “Moscow on the Atlantic”

  63. 63
    Corner Stone says:

    @Oatler.:

    Stop mocking lunatics with short attention spans! We have feelings, you know.

    Wait. Who were we mocking agai-…ooo! Ice cream!

  64. 64
    mai naem mobile says:

    Remember what a lot of Republicans said about the DNC emails bring hacked – they were careless and didn’t secure their email. Welllll, Dolt 45 and his team were apparently careless. They could have planned around a wiretap but they didn’t . Oh,well. Of course, I don’t believe this story anyway Being a GOPig, Dolt 45 is probably wiretapping Dem leaders because it’s always projection with thsee mofos.

  65. 65
    Yarrow says:

    @cosima: But it seems like it’s been awhile, right? The Gorsuch nomination has kind of disappeared.

    @CaseyL: Given the current circumstances, I’m not sure the GOP wants to be doing that. Whether they realize that or not, I don’t know.

  66. 66
    Ken says:

    according to a second White House official who was not authorized to speak publicly

    “Get out of there now! The leaks are coming from inside the house!

  67. 67
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I like the sense of humor and guile of Colonel Stok from ‘Funeral from Berlin”

  68. 68
    Percysowner says:

    @Thoroughly Pizzled: Maybe Chicago, although I think Detroit or some other city that he has described as a hell hole could be on the block as well. After all he’ll be saving those poor black people who live in hellish conditions by killing them rather than letting them suffer. Or, if someone smart gets to him he could try to take out California, on the grounds that that way the Republicans will win the Presidency for forever.

    I THINK I’m being paranoid here, but I have wondered what the military does if he orders a strike on an American city.

  69. 69
    Corner Stone says:

    @Yarrow:

    I want the entire damn Trump family to go down with dear old dad. Lolita and Uday and Qusay and their various “businesses.” All of it. The Trump name must be made something no one wants to be associated with in any way. It stands for treason.

    Oh, me fucking too, also too. Throw in all of them, J Kush, Bannon, KAC, Little Nazi. All.Of.Them.
    The only thing I am having trouble deciding is do we want them behind bars as a type of spectacle where people can pay to tour the facility and see them ranting frantically as dementia takes over completely? Or do we have them put in a super secure hidden facility where no one will ever see or hear from them ever again, like the holding facility they had Cobra Commander in the second GI Joe movie?

  70. 70
    mai naem mobile says:

    I am mentally exhausted by this administration. I can’t handle 4 years of this. They’re all cray cray. The whole lot. Every day it’s another huge story. A regular story that would keep DC talking for at least a week or two becomes a one day story because they have to move on to the next scandal.

  71. 71
    TS says:

    @Yarrow:

    Hey! Did you see the reports that Trump’s state visit to the UK has been pushed back to October and will now mostly take place in Scotland, at Balmoral?

    Does he own a hotel there or are they seriously going to inflict him on the Queen?

  72. 72
    GregB says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…:

    Yes indeed. There seems to be evidence of money going to elements in the US to run trolling operations.

    Something about money from Moscow being sent to pensioners in the US…..that money then becomes slushy and dispersed to operatives in the US.

  73. 73
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @CaseyL: Hell, if they could run the entire 115th Congress in the middle of the night, they’d probably do it…

  74. 74
    m0nty says:

    Actually strike that, this thread needs more Cool Lester Smooth. Follow the money, indeed.

  75. 75
    Smitty says:

    @The Dangerman: Not sure about the date but a Pence presidency is inevitable. His staff needs to be watched. He is making lists of appointees as we speak or he is a complete fool.

  76. 76
    Corner Stone says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…:

    I’d like to see Trump compared to Jeffrey Dahmer, or Hannibal Lecter…

    I would take Lecter as president over Trump any day. You may not like the man’s actions but, by damn, the man knew how to plan!
    Does that say more about Trump, or more about me? Eh, either way I guess.

  77. 77
    cosima says:

    @Yarrow: Yes, that was at least a couple of weeks ago. Is Gorsuch keeping to the shadows hoping to be appointed by some nefarious means, or is he keeping to the shadows hoping that shitgibbon has forgotten that he nominated him?

  78. 78
    Yarrow says:

    @TS: The Queen is the head of state and it’s a state visit, so they have to meet.

    Massive protests were being planned for London in June (when he was originally scheduled to visit) so they moved it from London to Scotland. The Scots hate him, though, so I’m not sure it’s going to go much better for him. I think his address to Parliament that had been floated has been scrapped after a petition and protests.

  79. 79
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Aleta: Well… given that we’ve now all apparently been banished to some sort of crackpot alternative universe, crackpot alternative theories somehow seem appropriate…

    OK, here’s what we’ve got: the Rand Corporation, in conjunction with the saucer people — under the supervision of the reverse vampires — are forcing our parents to go to bed early in a fiendish plot to eliminate the meal of dinner… We’re through the looking glass, here, people.

    Someone needs to reach out to Dante, and see if he can identify which circle of hell we’re currently stuck in…

  80. 80
    Aleta says:

    People say things like “How much more does he have to do before the authorities step in?”

    What authorities? The FBI, that succession list, the R Congress, none of them are coming, are they? Pence and Ryan might be talking to people, but they are essentially cowards.

  81. 81
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Yarrow:

    The Queen is the head of state and it’s a state visit, so they have to meet.

    Shorter Queen Elizabeth…

    Damn it all… I’m TRAPPED

  82. 82
    cosima says:

    @TS: He has a much-hated golf course here. The headline that I saw at the shops mentioned his visit to Scotland in October — look for creative anti-Trump signs placed in all of the fields! Hope he doesn’t go to Balmoral, that’s closer to me than his golf course. Hope he doesn’t come at all, that he’s too busy being fitted for an orange jumpsuit.

  83. 83
    Yarrow says:

    @Smitty: I think the leaking of the Pence AOL email account isn’t a coincidence. Someone wants to make Pence seem less than perfect. I think he knows about a lot of this Russian stuff, if only because he was around it for too long. Accessory after the fact.

    Thread downstairs we were looking at the line of succession. You have to get to Orrin Hatch before you find someone who isn’t up to their eyeballs in this stuff.

  84. 84
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @GregB: I had read about the pensioners and the trolling ops but I took the wording of that article as saying money had gone directly into the campaign and not just individuals on the periphery…

    Siggggghhh.. perhaps that was just wishful thinking on my part…

  85. 85
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…:

    Whoa… I’ve been trying to follow this pretty closely and this is the first comment I’ve heard about MONEY being funneled into the campaign…

    Trump’s Moscow bank loans that have kept him afloat from years come from Moscow. Since it’s Russia those loans are from the mobsters who are Putins buddies, because in Russia all business is corrupt. See Josh’s write up that a lot of this is just Trump is a damn fool bellow.

    It real easy to see Trump as a rational person responding to things rationally. But if you follow Josh Marshall’s logic – Trump reads dumb ass shit written by a Dumb Ass idiot on a Dumb Ass Website, Brebart, it says bad things about Trump so therefor Trump as to respond like the Dumb Ass Idiot he is and flips his staff the bird and tells them to clean up the mess Trump just made.

  86. 86
    Yarrow says:

    @cosima: I think part of it being pushed off to October was the Brits hoping they won’t have to deal with him by then!

  87. 87
    Mike in NC says:

    If Trumpolini ends up wearing an orange jumpsuit before Labor Day I will start going to church again.

  88. 88
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I don’t know who NYC Southpaw is but.. this

    southpaw‏ @ nycsouthpaw 3h3 hours ago
    For a while now, we have been caught between an unhinged, unfit President and a Congress risking the life of the republic for partisan ends.

    for tax cuts, all for tax cuts for the people who have gotten richer and richer for thirty plus years, that’s what the coal miners and the Bubbas of the northern midwest voted for. Obvious and often said, of course, but I still can’t quite believe it.

    Rick Wilson‏Verified account @ TheRickWilson 56m56 minutes ago
    .@ LindseyGrahamSC just said; “I’m not only going to push for a Russia investigation…I’m going to punish them for interfering in our elex.”

    Um… Linds? Russia is only half the problem, one might argue the lesser half.
    When Lindsey Graham goes on TV tomorrow to preen and be patted on the head for the absolutely fierce public statements he’s making, will anyone ask him about the legislation to back up those statements? Seems to getting hold of Trump’s tax returns is the very obvious first step

  89. 89
    Yarrow says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…: Nah. The Queen has met all sorts of horrible people. She can handle herself. She’s be unfailingly polite and correct, do the minimum required for a state visit and then move along. I bet she tells Charles to he has to meet with him because Trump has already said he doesn’t want to meet Charles. LOL.

  90. 90

    The Republican party and their war on reason and science and even mere decency is responsible for the current mess. They need to go the way of the Whigs or we will see an even worse iteration of the current nightmare.

  91. 91
    Adam L Silverman says:

    This is about the FISA warrant issued for the private, Trump Organization server that was in contact with an Alfa Bank server and a few other Russian connected servers. Louise Mensch first reported on it at Heat Street back just before the election. Mark Levin, who served at the beginning of his career in the Reagan Administration, has been pushing on his syndicated radio show and at Breitbart that there is a silent/soft coup going on against the President by former President Obama. It is partially fueled by the widely spread talking point that there are large numbers of Obama political appointees still in their jobs – there aren’t, there are maybe a dozen or two across the entire government – and they are responsible, on orders from President Obama, for the leaks and all the other bad things happening around the first 5 weeks of the Trump Administration.

    Remember the President spends significant amounts of time consuming cable news, printed out information from the Internet for him to read, etc. This has been reported repeatedly and indicates it goes on both during the workday and then when he’s alone at the White House after hours. Whether he understands or even cares what a FISA warrant is, or why it was issued doesn’t matter. The tweeting is part of a strategic communication strategy. It is intended as boundary maintenance for his supporters. It continues to delineate the “Us” – Trump supporters who are real and loyal Americans from the “Them” – everyone else, especially anyone who ever supported Obama and who aren’t real, loyal Americans, but rather those who’s loyalty is suspect. The President’s supporters consume lots of the same media he does – cable news (specifically Fox), talk radio – both AM and over the Internet to include Breitbart broadcasts and Alex Jones’s broadcasts, and right wing print media – including from sights like Breitbart, Daily Caller, Daily Mail UK, NY Post, etc. They are already primed for the message. And the President is very, very good at feeding them additional, especially savory tidbits. Especially if it distracts from other issues.

  92. 92
  93. 93
    Baud says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Maxine Waters was on TV saying she has confidence in McCain and Graham. I think the Dems are trying to guilt them into doing the right thing.

  94. 94
    Spanky says:

    @GregB:

    Does this mean that the FBI was investigating the Trump campaign at the same time as…….da…da…daaaaaaaaa! The Clinton campaign?

    Yes, although that’s too much of a SA for a non-SQ. SATSQ is non-operative.

  95. 95
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Yarrow: I’ve said it before, Betty says she has the vapors, trump doesn’t want Charles, give him Ann. He’ll wet himself, like a dog!

  96. 96
    Another Scott says:

    @Yarrow:

    The Queen is the head of state and it’s a state visit, so they have to meet.

    The Queen is 90 years old and has a husband who is 95.

    She doesn’t have to meet with anyone if she doesn’t want to – she’s got ready-made medical excuses anytime she wants.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  97. 97
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Percysowner: Los Angeles. Home of those terrible liberals of Hollywood, and Compton, too.

  98. 98
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    so therefor Trump as to respond like the Dumb Ass Idiot he is and flips his staff the bird and tells them to clean up the mess Trump just made.

    I find it… astonishing… that the current POTUS appears to be getting all his news and info from THREE sources: Breitbart, Fox, and InfoWars… BUT… wait for it… all he does is denigrate his own country’s IC over and over and over again…

    ***does double take so severe almost dislocates neck***

    So by lashing out in the Twitterverse (his weapon of choice… a digital rubber chicken, so to speak) all he’s done is make a bigger mess for himself…

  99. 99
    hovercraft says:

    The tale of two presidents.
    Twitler is mad, someone ruined the most “presidential” week by any president evah!! So he’s lashing out, someone get him a pacifier, quick organize a rally so he can feel loved.

  100. 100
    Baud says:

    @Another Scott: It worked for the Bushes.

  101. 101
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Another Scott:

    Betty: predecessor successor (, perhaps?)

    Nope, although it is pretty to think so. Predecessor is correct.

  102. 102
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I found only about the first thirty years of the Le Carré biography to be interesting, but wow! were they interesting. Fascinating how much having a truly horrible, rotten man as a father shaped him into such an insightful person.

  103. 103
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Keith P.:

  104. 104
    Spanky says:

    @Percysowner:

    I THINK I’m being paranoid here, but I have wondered what the military does if he orders a strike on an American city.

    One slug behind the ear.

  105. 105
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @schrodingers_cat: They need to go the way of the NSDAP and the CPSU. Oblivion.

  106. 106
    Neldob says:

    @PPCLI: Yes! Yes! Yes!

  107. 107
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @hovercraft: He’s mad in both senses of the word: angry, and not sane.

  108. 108
    JMG says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I think you’re giving Trump way too much credit for strategic thinking. These tweets are bellows of ignorant rage and hate, the same qualities he shares with his base. They also spur on his foes. Take it from a veteran Philadelphia boo bird sports fan. There is no joy like seeing that your opponent has rabbit ears and you’re getting to him.

  109. 109
    Baud says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    not a President

    But Van Jones said….

  110. 110
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That AlfaBank server thing was shown to be almost certainly nothing, back when it first surfaced, by the technical writers. There were perfectly plausible and benign explanations for that, understandable by people who understand how DNS queries and e-mail transactions work. I’m not going to go back and look that stuff up, let alone re-type it here, but it was a big nothingburger, largely explainable by incompetence and sloth on the part of the Trump Org (shocking, I know.)

  111. 111
    Aleta says:

    @GregB: You mean the same FBI that believed Steele’s information to be credible and asked him to keep working on it, and then told the NYT they had found no direct links between Trump and Russia or to its hacking?

  112. 112
    Kathleen says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Or missing a beauty nap in her Malibu Meth Barbie Pink Plastic Crypt.

  113. 113
    different-church-lady says:

    @Corner Stone: The menu at state dinners would be a LOT more interesting…

  114. 114
    cosima says:

    @Yarrow: They may be too cynical to think that. As is the case with so many of us, faith in the checks & balances that would/could get rid of him is not very strong. Which is perhaps part of what the shitgibbon et al are counting on.

  115. 115
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    The tweeting is part of a strategic communication strategy. It is intended as boundary maintenance for his supporters. It continues to delineate the “Us” – Trump supporters who are real and loyal Americans from the “Them” – everyone else, especially anyone who ever supported Obama and who aren’t real, loyal Americans, but rather those who’s loyalty is suspect.

    This right here… this is what they’re really up to…

  116. 116
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Baud: Van Jones is crowding such luminaries as Chuckles the Toddler, David Brooks, and Mrs. Greenspan for single digit tumbrel manifest numbers.

  117. 117
    Yarrow says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Agreed. Along those lines, this thread is worth a read:

    <THREAD>Where this is all heading: Crazytown, with a stopover at HumiliationvilleThe story is coming out and it won't be pretty.— Eric Garland (@ericgarland) March 4, 2017

    Sample tweets:

    The authoritarian – I no longer call them conservative – wing of US politics has spent 30 years propagandizing people toward paranoia.

    Science is out to get you. Meteorologists are lying. History is fake news. Obama is a Martian. Chemtrails!

    It’s been a brainwashing.

    We no longer have different opinions or ideologies, but entirely different sets of facts.

    All inconvenient facts are called lies.

    Unless the last eight months of signaling – up to this morning – are off base, we’re about to learn about treason by a sitting president.

    This will cause the people who put Trump in office to enter the biggest spasm of paranoia we’ve ever seen to deny their own humiliation.

    They’ve been carefully conditioned to reject all inconvenient facts as The Enemy’s Conspiracy.

    They’re about to reject our System.

    We are in dangerous times. As things get worse for Trump his supporters are going to lose what’s left of their minds.

  118. 118
    Another Scott says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I guess I’m still not awake yet.

    Thanks to you and the Smiling Mortician.

    Cheeers,
    Scott.

  119. 119

    Has the tribune of all true liberals, spoken yet?

  120. 120
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Mike in NC:

    And you can send a thank-you to my husband, who every time I go into despair about Trump says, “I’m praying.”

  121. 121
    Kathleen says:

    @p.a.: Reposted from downstairs:

    Given the craven, sycophantic mainslime media in this country, Obama was wise not to reveal anything. I think if media were more principled and focused on truth and facts he may have made a different decision. We could easily have a 300 Comment Thread here on what the media headlines, stories, and tweets would have been if President Obama had released information.

  122. 122
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @hellslittlestangel: I’m up to the nineties and really enjoying it, but I’m a Le Carré fanboy– even though I admit I could tell you the plots of his most recent books, but not the titles. That may have more to do with an overcrowded and disorganized brain than with the books. And Ronnie is one of those characters you would say is too much if it were fiction.

  123. 123
    trollhattan says:

    Must be frustrating to be a doctrinnaire Republican on the cusp of controlling the three arms of government and collecting all of the longterm Republican goals, only to watch the administration fail so profoundly. The smart ones will have seen this coming.

  124. 124
    Yarrow says:

    @Another Scott: Well, true enough. But there are already indications that the Queen will meet him.

  125. 125
    Kathleen says:

    @Corner Stone: It’s not just Trump, his family and minions, and Pence. The entire Rethuglican party needs to go down in flames as well. All of them.

  126. 126
    Another Scott says:

    @Kathleen: Good point. I think that’s one big reason why Obama was trying to make it a “bipartisan” announcement – nothing that The Village™ likes better than bipartisan stuff.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  127. 127
    debbie says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    That’s one pitiful “strategic communications strategy.” Like hamsters generating electricity.

  128. 128
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Kilgore Trout: There are only 5 still pending. There are about 600 positions that he has yet to nominate anyone to fill.

  129. 129
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Another Scott: My nym, again and again.

    Wipe them out. All of them.

  130. 130
    Corner Stone says:

    @Baud: I think Van Jones is going to long rue that incredibly poor decision to make such a categorical statement. He got called out by name by Masha Gessen as “fawns” and you could tell Joy was uncomfortable with how true it was as a description.
    Or maybe he’ll get his pundit badge and make a fortune being the next Harold Ford.

  131. 131
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Corner Stone: I’m pretty sure someone made sure he saw a print out of this:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....-home.html

  132. 132
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Corner Stone: What ever happened to the first Harold Ford?

  133. 133
    Lapassionara says:

    @Yarrow: yes, alas, I fear you are correct. Rule 1, it is always projection. Rule 2, the Republicans are ruthless, shameless, and will do anything to get and hold onto power. The only way they do anything about our incompetent and lunatic president is if they are backed into a corner and have no choice.

  134. 134
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @lapassionara: I just checked and it appears he is still interred in Huntsville.

  135. 135
    Kathleen says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Tee hee. I see what you did there! Brava!

  136. 136
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: And, hey, if you can’t trust The Daily Mail, who can you trust?

  137. 137
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch: @JPL: Again, that’s not what he said. Here’s the actual video:

  138. 138
    Yarrow says:

    @Corner Stone: Van Jones is going to continue being someone who almost could have been someone. Working around the edges with enough people believing his shtick to earn a living, but never quite reaching the levels that he, Van Jones. thinks he should.

  139. 139
    Bex says:

    @Corner Stone: The Republicans may be sorry they didn’t let Obama close Gitmo.

  140. 140
    Kathleen says:

    @Another Scott: They never saw a side of the aisle they didn’t want reached. As long as said side was Republican.

  141. 141
    dr. bloor says:

    @Baud:

    The best thing Obama could do is ignore Trump and let himself be seen enjoying life and receiving praise.

    He should show up at that same Starbucks in Manhattan and put the video on Twitter every week.

  142. 142
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    In the final days of The Bunker, Twitler will marry Ivanka, his true love, in a small civil ceremony within the Führerbunker.

  143. 143
    Kathleen says:

    Deleted

  144. 144
    Kathleen says:

    @David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch: Or would that be a small carpet chewing civil ceremony?

  145. 145
    geg6 says:

    @Yarrow:

    Yes, this is my only fear of this whole thing finally coming to a head. They will go to DefCon 5.

  146. 146
    Kathleen says:

    @zhena gogolia: I agree with your husband. I’m praying, too.

  147. 147
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Just caught a clip of Graham’s town hall– He says if what Trump is saying is true, it is indeed the biggest scandal since Watergate (and if I am secretly heir to the throne of All The Russias, I can be bought off for a measly fifty million), but if a warrant were issued, it’s a much different question and a different scandal. Back up that tough talk, Linds, back it up. Prove me wrong in my contempt for you.

    @Another Scott: I enjoy the Potter books, but they aren’t very deep.

    Not just The Village, which is what Mitch McConnell understood with the Just Say No strategy.

  148. 148
    Kathleen says:

    @geg6: Which is one of the reasons I’m praying. DefCon 5 or any variation cannot happen.

  149. 149
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @dr. bloor: Obama should quietly show up at a Starbucks across town from wherever the next Hate Rally is.

  150. 150
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Christ, that’s a stupid story. Michelle and Valerie are going to go shopping together! Obama just wanted to play golf and write his memoirs and now mean old Donald is making him lead The Resistance!

  151. 151
    Corner Stone says:

    @Adam L Silverman: My God! There’s that black woman plotting against Real America ™ *again*!

  152. 152
    Corner Stone says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I am sure he is doing well somewhere selling out his Democratic “colleagues”.

  153. 153
    Brachiator says:

    LOL! And now Twitler has moved on to trashing Arnold Schwarzenegger, having addressed the “Nixon/Watergate” business by calling his predecessor a “bad (or sick) guy.”

    To summarize, our current president is a lunatic with the attention span of a fruit fly

    He also has a mind that is naturally drawn to crazy conspiracy theories, and has has surrounded himself with advisors who relish feeding his most twisted fantasies.

    With this insane feedback loop-the-loop, what could possibly go wrong?

  154. 154
    Yarrow says:

    @geg6: Me too. I think it’s going to get ugly. I don’t know what that’s going to look like, but anyone who is in a vulnerable group–so, non-white, non-straight, immigrants, non-Christian, women, young, old, etc.–will be the first targeted. I hope they’re preparing. I hope we’re prepared.

  155. 155
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Uncharismatic megafauna: It doesn’t, it’s the coordinated strategic communication response. It ignores the reality, which most Americans do not know, that we have standing collection on the Russian ambassador to the US, as do a number of our allies, partners, and competitors (China). In our case this includes all SIGINT of his communications. When its collected any of the intercepted communications that involve an American citizen or green card holder who were in the US at the time the collection occurred are logged, annotated, and then sealed. They are not analyzed! Until or unless an investigation is opened into the actual target of the collection – in this case the Russian ambassador in DC. Or until or unless an investigation is opened into the American citizen or green card holder on the other side of the phone call or email or text message. Once the FISA warrant was issued and once the counterintelligence investigation was opened into Russian interference in the 2016 election and leads were pursued the transcripts of these phone calls and any email correspondence or other messaging that can be captured through SIGINT would be unsealed and reviewed. Moreover, we know that our allies and partners in Europe have collected the same/similar information. So there’s a secondary source for the intel if necessary.

  156. 156
  157. 157
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Yarrow:

    I was going to say I never understood the fear and loathing so many (mostly conservative) men have for Valerie Jarret, and then I remember that she’s a powerful Black woman and I’m like, Oh, duh.

  158. 158
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Graham says he’ll support subpoenas of the tax returns when he sees a reason to do so.

    So… no there there.

  159. 159
    texasboyshaun says:

    Traitor
    Racist
    Un-American
    Misogynistic
    P***ygrabber

  160. 160
    Central Planning says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…:

    which circle of hell we’re currently stuck in…

    All of them, Katie.

  161. 161
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: It is proceeding through regular order. He’s been meeting with Senators and is working up his paperwork – answers to questions to Judiciary Committee members. Basically its moving at the speed of Senate, which is slow no matter what happens.

  162. 162
    fuckwit says:

    @PPCLI: Please proceed, Twitler.

  163. 163
    A Ghost to Most says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    The Sting, in a version where two retired pols bring all their skills, and all of their powers, to snare a rogue president

    I see it more as Reds, with Big O as Willis, with Michele as totally badass instead of wiilling but unexperienced. Mirren becomes Clinton, Malkovich becomes Uncle Joe. Political assassins.

  164. 164
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Interesting:

    Toluse Olorunnipa‏Verified account @ ToluseO 43m43 minutes ago
    . @ GrahamBlog on Obamacare: “I don’t even know what the GOP plan is”
    Warns leadership against take-it-or-leave-it approach: “I’ll leave it”

    Sounds like he might be joining Rand Paul’s strategy of “kill it from the right so I don’t have to deal with the actual consequences and angry constituents

  165. 165
    Vhh says:

    @Gin & Tonic: As with the Manafort and Page stories,which did not blow up then but are blowwing up now, there may be more behind the Alfa server story.

  166. 166
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I think as events overtake his nomination that it could be slowed. A country focused on Trump’s team being Russian spies, plants, agents, assets–any or all of those–won’t lead to a Senate rushing to confirm Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

  167. 167
    Aleta says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    for tax cuts, all for tax cuts for the people who have gotten richer and richer for thirty plus years, that’s what the coal miners and the Bubbas of the northern midwest voted for.

    The people who are getting rich from robotics, which have actually increased US manufacturing productivity, stood by while Trump told people that the US is failing, and immigrants and foreign countries have caused their problems.

  168. 168
    Bill Arnold says:

    To summarize, our current president is a lunatic with the attention span of a fruit fly, and DC may or may not be about to erupt into the biggest political scandal in the history of the United States.

    I’m undisciplined enough to be unable to fully suppress enjoyment of this glorious unfolding chaotic spectacle (at most 30% played out IMO), and am loving the increase in deviousness in this discussion, but there are significant dangers. Notably
    (1) The administration is fitfully settling into place, with damage already being done both domestically and internationally. The “McConnell rule” (tx PPCLI #35) and similar obstructionism are entirely appropriate at this point, even objectively. E.g. do we know for sure that Nominee X was not named in support of a Russian agenda? Agree with upthread comments on this.
    (2) There will be temptations to uhm engineer a way out; keep very alert and perhaps talk publicly about the plausible possibilities in advance. (e.g. false flag operation scenarios, similar scenarios, provoked war, and etc.) (And anyone who knows of any such plans should leak them if they have any decency left in them.)
    (3) Bannon in particular (hard to tell for sure if its mainly him, using information filtered through public news sources) seems to have thought that he could control the chaos, and maybe still does think this. He could not/can not, and he’s not the best player at that game anyway.
    (4) Lots being said about mental stability. We all (including veto/control points in the government) need to pay close attention, and remember that nuclear weapons and other dangerous superpower tools are present.

  169. 169
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Adam L Silverman: This is the part that simultaneously astounds me and amuses me; that Donald’s inner circle of conspiracy mongers do not get that the Russian ambassador to the US would be routinely monitored, and that other countries would do so as well. Boring everyday surveillance is somehow an extraordinary exercise of people out to get Donald.

    It’s like the TWA Flight 800 incident; OBVIOUSLY the plane was secretly shot down by a guided missile cruiser in the area on Clinton’s orders for something, even though keeping the launch of a missile a secret on a ship with a crew of hundreds is utterly impossible.

  170. 170
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @GregB: Yep, the money stuff has been reported on for about a month or so. I think I linked to some of it in a Maskirovka post. The unclassified IC report on the Russian interference into the election, as well as the oppo research report, indicated that money was being funneled through Russian American businesses, as well as pensions being paid to Russian emigres to the US. The oppo research indicated that part of the ongoing ties between the President and the Russians was that the Trump Organization had agreed to keep tabs on the emigre community, especially the elite and notable members within it, for the Russian government and to funnel information on these folks back to the Kremlin. I have not seen that formally substantiated yet by the subsequent reporting.

  171. 171
    Jeffro says:

    @Corner Stone: whaddya know, this IS the week after all…

    …hey kids, gather ’round the Twitter machine and let’s watch history unfold!!

  172. 172
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Bill Arnold: Bannon is about to discover the first rule of tigers: don’t try to ride one.

  173. 173
    debbie says:

    @Yarrow:

    I haven’t been paying attention. How long as the Daily Mail been so unhinged?

  174. 174
    J R in WV says:

    @Uncharismatic megafauna:

    If you call the police department, you know that call is recorded.

    If you call a mafia family boss, you know THAT phone call is recorded; just so if you call any foreign embassy, you KNOW THAT phone call is recorded.

    So for any Republican to go haring off after “The real problem here is that an American’s phone call was recorded!” when that American was calling the Russian ambassador shows amazing stupidity! Far too stupid to be allowed out of the Home without a minder.

    And for someone who is allegedly a high level Intelligence guy to be calling the Russian ambassador brings the “Military Intelligence is an oxymoron” joke into play.

    But then we knew these guys were a few cards short of a full deck from the beginning. I’m just surprised they are so bad at keeping that aspect undercover!

  175. 175
    JMG says:

    @Bill Arnold: It is noteworthy that the one institution in DC which has not uttered a peep either individually or collectively on any topic since January 20 has been the Joints Chiefs of Staff. Love to know what they’re saying when they have lunch together.

  176. 176
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Evan McMurry‏Verified account @ evanmcmurry 36m36 minutes ago
    Before leaving for Mar-a-Lago yesterday, Pres. Trump summoned some senior staff to the Oval Office and went “ballistic,” sources tell ABC.

    Man, would I love to have heard that

  177. 177
    dm says:

    Hey — remember that witches’ ritual to curse the Cheeto Benito that was going around a week or so ago? Do you suppose it’s taking effect?

  178. 178
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @JMG: Not printable in a family blog. Routine discourse in a barracks, however.

  179. 179
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…: The 115th Congress has about four to six weeks before it pretty much stops doing anything. Once they get to the Summer recess, which is when everyone in the House and anyone up for reelection in the Senate will really start their reelection campaigns. Once we reach that point nothing of any significance is going to move in the House – all business on that side will grind to a halt. The Senate will slow down even more than usual, except for nominations as they come in and the one for Judge Gorsuch. I fully expect a CR with a bump for DOD at the wire in September to keep the government running and funded at current levels through DEC 2018, because the President’s teased budget is DOA – it takes too much money from too many districts and states going into an election year. No one in the House is going to want to take a hard vote on anything once May rolls around.

  180. 180
    fuckwit says:

    People have compared the Troll cartel to Nixon, Shrub, Harding, Hitler, Caligula, etc, but to my eyes the closest historical parallel is the Borgia popes.

    Troll is a lot more Cesare Borgia: corrupt, sexually rapacious, venal, deeply insecure, spoiled, totally incompetent. And he even has his beloved Lucretia to dote on.

  181. 181
    Bill Arnold says:

    Re the WaPo article Trump, citing no evidence, accuses Obama of ‘Nixon/Watergate’ plot to wiretap Trump Tower:

    It has long been his practice to stir up new controversies to deflect attention from a damaging news cycle, such as the one in recent days about Sessions and Russia.

    Press getting feistier. Nice to see. (Bold mine.)

  182. 182
    maryQ says:

    I’m a fruit fly geneticist, and so is my husband. The fruitlfy attention span is plenty long, and the y are gentle creatures. You need to apologize to fruit flies.

  183. 183
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @dm: It doesn’t matter how you move your wand, the curse is going to land, the target is larger than the Death Star.

  184. 184
    hovercraft says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I think I’m falling in love, I only wish he was from a state where it would be easier to win statewide. If Twitter keeps this up, he may yet make that possible, but given the madness in Kansas, republicans can never go too far. Sigh.

  185. 185
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Vhh: I looked at it from the technical side (which I understand) back then, and believe it was nothing.

  186. 186
    Ian G. says:

    Can I just say that nothing disgusts me more than Jews like Mark Levin and David Horowitz being standard-bearers for the Drumpfenkorps? Many, many Jewish conservatives like Frum, Jen Rubin, even the loathsome Ben Shapiro recognized the social forces Trump unleashed as being the same ones that gave us Auschwitz. And yet Levin and Horowitz would apparently rather join an incipient Nazi movement than acknowledge that “the left” that haunts their diseased minds is not a danger to anyone or anything.

  187. 187
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: It was reported that the Vice President was briefed on LTG Flynn’s contacts with Ambassador Kislyak back in early January, so the Vice President lied when he indicated he didn’t know about it. Moreover, beginning just after the election the Transition went to great pains to make it clear that the Vice President was getting the full PDB six days a week to rebut the reporting that the President wasn’t. There is no way he could not have known. But what he’s done so far, as he’s trying to do with his Indiana email problem, is put on his pained, pious face and lied.

  188. 188
    MattF says:

    @maryQ: Some years ago, I knew a fruit fly geneticist with a mop of bushy red hair. When she shook her head vigorously, a few flies would fall out. She’d shrug, “They’re sterile”.

  189. 189
    socraticsilence says:

    @PPCLI:

    The problem for Trump is his stupid tweets have just given Obama a way to hit back and publicly attack Trump without it being “political” in the eyes of the media- CNN. et al will actually push Obama for a statement.

  190. 190
    Tripod says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    Bannon is a drunk. Someone in previous thread floated him as a potential leaker. I think that’s plausible – in a gets pissed drunk and then runs mouth way.

    Anyway whatever the intent, he’s nowhere coherent enough to manage a communications strategy.

    It’s amateur hour in the WH.

  191. 191
    dmsilev says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Don’t worry; someone will leak the details soon enough.

  192. 192
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Tripod: I have it on good authority that when the Carter Administration came to power, Alexander Haig muttered something about it being “amateur hour” in the WH.

    The Donald Disaster is the real deal.

  193. 193
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ian G.: Horowitz was a leftist asshole back in the 60’s, and he transformed into a rightist asshole in the 80’s and beyond.

    Please note the constant.

  194. 194
    Lyrebird says:

    @Ian G.: The Korps leadership still disgusts me more, but yeah… when Jennifer Rubin can see through and reject the genuinely abominable so-called heart of this Republican administration, how can anyone else be blind? (I guess Jared Kushner’s got a lot of incentive.)

  195. 195
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I saw and read that. And then I saw and read the critiques of it. And then the critiques of the critiques. Simply put it doesn’t matter. It got the FISA judge to approve the FISA warrant. So if all that server was doing was placing orders at the Starbucks in the lobby of Trump Tower all the digits used by the tech heads debunking this amount to nothing. What matters is there is a standing FISA warrant and an open, ongoing counterintelligence investigation.

  196. 196
    Corner Stone says:

    Dude just ran a 4.22 40yd dash at NFL Combine. Damn.
    Yes, I am that kind of football nerd who loves the Combine and Draft prep.

    ETA, for those who don’t follow that is smoking fucking fast and the new record, previously held by RB Chris Johnson who I think was with the Cards last year.
    A very useful time is anything 4.4X. Anything under 4.40 flat is smoking fast and anything under 4.30 flat is blazing fucking fast.

  197. 197
    Kathleen says:

    @Vhh: Joseph Cannon (cannonfire.blogspot.com) linked to a February 7th article written by Louise Mensch, in which she outlines Sessions’ involvement with Alfa Bank:

    But Mr. Burt was in the direct pay of Alfa Bank. Sessions must name that intermediary.Sessions is directly responsible then for three of the most crucial things in any criminal, intelligence or Congressional investigation Russian hacking of the election: the recruitment of Carter Page, Trump’s shift in foreign policy towards Ukraine and Russia, directly matching the time and the substance as reported in the Steele dossier to be ‘payment’ for Russian hacking, and for deep connections to Alfa Bank, on which the FBI FISA warrant was finally granted. He would be both a suspect, and a key witness.

    The link to the entire article is here:

    https://patribotics.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/jeff-sessions-attorney-general-suspect/

  198. 198
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Yep. And as I’ve said in other threads, Trump will throw everyone under the bus, with the possible exception of Ivanka, before he goes down. He never liked Pence. Pence wasn’t his first pick for VP and Pence will pay for that by Trump blaming him for the Russian stuff. If Pence got the PDB and was told, then Trump will publicly blame Pence for not letting him know before he, Trump, will admit to any wrongdoing.

    Trump will do anything and everything to hold on to power because resigning means he lost. And he can’t do that. Everyone will go down before Trump goes.

  199. 199
    hovercraft says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…:
    I think we are overthinking the whole strategery thing, Twitter and his minions lash out, and their base since it already sees itself as besieged feels their pain, and agrees. They are being accused of racism and xenophobia, just because they think the country should be run by white men for the benefit of white people, it’s just not fair. They are making lemonade out of lemons, nothing more. Twitter and his minions do I think sometimes put out shiny objects as distractions when they are feeling put upon, but there is no puppet master planning all this. Putin orchestrated his elevation, but now he’s cut the strings so to speak and is just watching along with the rest of us as they try to destroy the country. Putin I’m sure has some more cards up his sleeve, but for now he’s staying on the sidelines.

  200. 200
    Kathleen says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I’m being very paranoid here and tin foily, but I think Bannon is capable of engineering the downfall of Trump in such a manner that total chaos would be unleashed.

  201. 201
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Video of Lindsey Graham addressing Trump’s tweets about Obama

    If I were Trump, and I didn’t know Lindsey Graham to be all talk, I’d be worried.

  202. 202
    Jeffro says:

    I think they’re going to end up getting him for money laundering and RICO-related activities besides the espionage.

    He really IS going to die in prison

  203. 203
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @debbie: No. The President has a higher approval among registered Republican than any single GOP member of Congress or the GOP as a whole. So his communications strategy is effective. As long as this is the case, no matter what the overall approval rating is, the GOP majorities in Congress will do nothing. Because they are scared to death of being primaried with the full weight of the Trump Campaign (Mercer funded Bannon and Conway operation using Cambridge Analytics) being turned on them beginning this summer when the 2018 election begins. By doing what he’s doing he continues to maintain, stroke, stoke, and lock in his supporters. Elected and appointed GOP officials know this. And they are scared of it.

  204. 204
    germy says:

    Report: Trump listened in on calls at resort

    Donald Trump allegedly eavesdropped on phone calls involving employees at his resort in Palm Beach, Fla., according to a new report.

    The real estate mogul used a telephone console installed in his bedroom for monitoring conversations at Mar-A-Lago, BuzzFeed said Thursday.

  205. 205
    D58826 says:

    Wonder if Vlad is having buyers remorse and looking to whither there is a money back return policy

  206. 206
    Pogonip says:

    @cosima: Did your daughter start training yet? If so, how’d it go?

  207. 207
    D58826 says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Even if he wasn’t getting the PDB I can’t imagine that there wasn’t water cooler gossip or some of his old pals in the House that would have tipped him off that Flynn was lying..

  208. 208
    Pogonip says:

    @maryQ: Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

  209. 209
    Brachiator says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The 115th Congress has about four to six weeks before it pretty much stops doing anything. Once they get to the Summer recess, which is when everyone in the House and anyone up for reelection in the Senate will really start their reelection campaigns. Once we reach that point nothing of any significance is going to move in the House – all business on that side will grind to a halt.

    Trump promised to repeal and replace Obamacare, start building a wall, and to cut taxes. The Republicans are hot to give Trump what he wants.

    One possible basis for comparison. The Bush tax cuts (The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001) was introduced in the House on May 15, 2001, and passed the next day. It passed the Senate on May 23 and was signed into law on June 7. This gave Republicans bragging rights for getting things done. The empty promise at the time was that the tax cuts would be so stimulative that the national debt would be eliminated by 2010.

  210. 210
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Exactly!

  211. 211
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @fuckwit:

    Unlike Trump, the Borgias were actually intelligent and capable of stringing manipulations together for a coherent strategy.

  212. 212
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @D58826: I’m afraid Nordstrom has dropped all the Trump merchandise lines. He’s SOL.

  213. 213
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: up to a point yes , but all the billionaire money in the world wont be able to buy off evidence of treason and collusion

  214. 214
    Baud says:

    @Brachiator: True, but tax cuts are the easiest thing in the world to come to agreement on.

  215. 215
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Especially the retired 3 star career intel officer. Piss poor tradecraft there.

  216. 216
    Jeff says:

    @WereBear: Yes, yes and yes.

  217. 217
    Lizzy L says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I have paid attention to politics since Adlai ran for president, I have been politically active on and off all my life, and I know that politics ain’t beanbag. I am not shocked by the gambling at Rick’s place. But this crew (I include the House and Senate Republicans as well as the folks in the executive branch) is really something else.

  218. 218
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Another Scott:

    She doesn’t have to meet with anyone if she doesn’t want to – she’s got ready-made medical excuses anytime she wants.

    Indeed. I’m thinking a terrible, coughing, sneezing, runny-nose, watering-eyes cold. But trouper that she is, Her Majesty insists upon meeting and spending time and shaking hands with the notoriously germophobic Trump.

  219. 219
    Brachiator says:

    @germy:

    Donald Trump allegedly eavesdropped on phone calls involving employees at his resort in Palm Beach, Fla., according to a new report.

    So, Trump has a Nixon-like thing for listening in on phone calls, and then projects his obsessions onto Obama.

    “Paging Dr Freud, Dr Jung, Dr Laing, Dr Kübler-Ross…”

  220. 220
    Baud says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Oooh. That would be the best. An ill Queen agrees to meet with Trump, but Trump won’t take the meeting.

  221. 221
    Corner Stone says:

    @D58826:

    Wonder if Vlad is having buyers remorse and looking to whither there is a money back return policy

    Vlad is getting the best reality TV show money can buy, and is about to double his $200B bank account once the sanctions are lifted. He will then move on to use the fall of trusted democracy in the US as a prop to undermine and destroy France and Germany’s elections. The UK voting for Brexit is doing all the work he could have hoped for.
    Vlad is loving this. It’s like that story I can’t remember the source of, where someone said it didn’t surprise them elected officials could be bought. They were surprised at how cheap the price was.

  222. 222
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Makes you wonder who fucked up and promoted him from 2LT to 1LT.

  223. 223
    Aimai says:

    @fuckwit: cesare was an accomplished soldier and a cunning tactician.

  224. 224
    Brachiator says:

    @Baud:

    True, but tax cuts are the easiest thing in the world to come to agreement on.

    When the Democrats roll over, yes. They were pressed to vote up or down.

    But people also forget how comprehensive this tax law was.

    The Act made significant changes in several areas of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, including income tax rates, estate and gift tax exclusions, and qualified and retirement plan rules. In general, the Act lowered tax rates and simplified retirement and qualified plan rules such as for individual retirement accounts, 401(k) plans, 403(b), and pension plans. The changes were so large and numerous that many books and analysis papers were published regarding the changes and how to best take advantage of them.

    Note that the 2015 tax laws passed by Congress even settled some tax provisions from the Bill Clinton era. The idea, agreed to by both parties, was to give a new president a relatively clear field for new tax reform.

    The Republicans no doubt would have obstructed the hell out of a president Clinton, but they are jumping for joy at the opportunity for getting their pet provisions approved by Trump.

  225. 225
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    anyone seen any numbers on the pro trump “rallies”? MSNBC had a little window in the corner of the screen, looks like as many as several dozen in front of Trump Tower in NYC

  226. 226
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Tripod: I’m pretty sure he leaks much more strategically. He wants to solidify the power center he’s building, including his alt National Security Council. I’m pretty sure he was involving with leaking about LTG Flynn to force him out. LTG Flynn was part of the President’s inner circle well before Bannon was. The new National Security Advisor is a still serving 3 star, which limits his room for maneuver, and he’s not someone that the President has a long standing relationship with. This benefits Bannon and advantages his agenda.

  227. 227
    trollhattan says:

    @Corner Stone:
    If Vlad’s underlying goal is to show his own people democracy is fatally flawed and they should continue embracing autocracy (his!) this will do just fine. Deal-making can go on with or without Trump’s participation, retaining power remains job #1.

  228. 228
    Baud says:

    @Brachiator: Agree. I think they’ll use most of their political capital on slashing taxes. The good news is that hopefully they have less time to do damage in our areas.

  229. 229
    germy says:

    @Brachiator:

    …and then projects his obsessions onto Obama.

    If you want to know what they’re up to, look at what they accuse others of doing.

  230. 230
    germy says:

    @trollhattan:

    …underlying goal is to show his own people democracy is fatally flawed and they should continue embracing autocracy (his!) this will do just fine

    He’ll say democracy is flawed because the u.s. elected an autocrat. So cut out the middleman.

  231. 231
    hovercraft says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    Not sure if it’s still the case, but he was one of the regular table fillers on Morning Joe, he was very useful in validating all of Mika and Joe’s criticisms of Hillary and democrats in general, and Obama and his divisiveness in particular.

  232. 232
    Ridnik Chrome says:

    @Thoroughly Pizzled: Good God, don’t say that, even in jest. Chicago’s my hometown, and even if I don’t live there anymore, I’d like to go back and visit something other than a smoking radioactive crater!

  233. 233
    debbie says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Based on his actions and words, it seems to me that Trump is listening exclusively to discredited sources. You’d think if he had access to actual, excellent intelligence, he listen to that as well, weigh both, and then take action accordingly.

    As for the GOP, I think they’re treating Trump like the evangelicals treat Jews: Jews are merely the caretakers of Jerusalem until the Rapture, and keeping Trump in place is the best way to get their agenda enacted.

  234. 234
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brachiator: No one was showing up en masse at town halls and local offices and in front of their homes and at other events screaming at them from January 2001 on. That is what is different this time. They know they are between a rock and a hard place. And they will do anything and everything to avoid doing anything that costs them their elected positions.

  235. 235
    debbie says:

    @Baud:

    And she coughs on his hand as he extends it!

  236. 236
    J R in WV says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    All that Sigint data in other countries isn’t sealed like our copies are. So these other countries can feed data that would otherwise be sealed without a FISA warrant to anyone they think could make good use of it.

    I just hope indictments of Mike “Dence” Pence, Dead-eye Paul Ryan and Turtle McConnell are handed up before impeachment starts. And Ryan Tillerson, too. I forget who’s next after that. We need to dig down to a sane person, though. Perhaps busting Dence Pence for his AOL email account first?

    Then forcing The Donald to nominate a really presidential VP candidate – “somehow a miracle occurs” is the box we used to write on the white boards when there was something hard to design.

    I know there’s some fantasy in here, but anything to keep hope for our democracy alive, right?

  237. 237
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Who knows. My understanding is that as long as he’s properly supervised, he’s fine. The problems didn’t really start until he was promoted from major general to lieutenant general.

  238. 238
    Corner Stone says:

    Why does this Masterpass commercial where the beardbro sneakily buys movie tix for him and an Asian male youth look like a really awkward first date more than a bros night out?
    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  239. 239
    trollhattan says:

    @debbie:
    I picture Trump grabbing the queen’s hand and giving her the 45-second yankaround. One is not amused.

  240. 240
  241. 241
    Rjm says:

    Is there a Mercer / Putin connection of any kind? If not it seems like a case of duelling bankrolls, and a weird conflict between the Bannon and Sessions/Manafort wing.

  242. 242
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I find it tasks credulity to think Trump’s tweets are a product of a “strategic communication strategy. However, I’d concede that he accidentally hit upon the desired result. Basically, he consumes the same Fake News and conspiracy theories as his most loyal followers. Frankly, it’s frightening.

  243. 243
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Yikes. Nutty Steve King sounding pretty anti-trump on MSNBC right now. Did trump finally step on his own dick hard enough for the Tea Party right to turn on him?

  244. 244
    Aleta says:

    BBC:

    President Donald Trump’s accusation that his predecessor ordered his phones to be tapped is “simply false”, Barack Obama’s spokesman has said.
    Kevin Lewis said that “neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any US citizen”.
    Mr Trump had tweeted: “Terrible! Just found out Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!”
    He gave no details to back the claim.
    In his statement, Mr Lewis said a “cardinal rule of the Obama Administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice”.
    The statement left open the possibility that a judicial investigation was taking place.
    Earlier Ben Rhodes, who was Mr Obama’s foreign policy adviser and speechwriter, also addressed Mr Trump’s claims in a tweet, saying: “No President can order a wiretap. Those restrictions were put in place to protect citizens from people like you.”

  245. 245
    Baud says:

    @trollhattan:

    I picture Trump grabbing the queen’s hand and giving her the 45-second yankaround.

    I pray it will be her hand.

  246. 246
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…:

    Whoa… I’ve been trying to follow this pretty closely and this is the first comment I’ve heard about MONEY being funneled into the campaign…

    First I’d read that too (need to upgrade my reading lists, apparently). Here’s the surface report (haven’t started digging yet):
    Trump ‘compromising’ claims: How and why did we get here? (12 January 2017)

    Last April, the CIA director was shown intelligence that worried him. It was – allegedly – a tape recording of a conversation about money from the Kremlin going into the US presidential campaign.

    It was passed to the US by an intelligence agency of one of the Baltic States. The CIA cannot act domestically against American citizens so a joint counter-intelligence taskforce was created.

  247. 247
    D58826 says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: demonstrators or plainclothes security? are they wearing name tags:-)

  248. 248
    Baud says:

    @Aleta: I believe Barack!

  249. 249
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @pamelabrown53: I wanted to edit my comment and was informed that I didn’t have permission to edit?! Anyway, my response above was from Adam Silverman at comment #91.

  250. 250
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Nutty Steve King IA House member?
    That’s unpossible he would say anything negative or not outright deluded about Trump. I saw a blurb of him yesterday before I could change the channel where he was talking pointing his ass off pro-Trump.

  251. 251
    jacy says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Why does this Masterpass commercial where the beardbro sneakily buys movie tix for him and an Asian male youth look like a really awkward first date more than a bros night out?
    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    I had that exact same thought!

  252. 252
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Corner Stone: I think he was one of the first MOC’s to endorse trump

  253. 253

    I have some doubts about Trump’s tweets being deliberate distractions from bad news cycles because he has constant bad news cycles and tweets. It’s not like there’s a lull that marks off a bad vs good cycle or ridiculous from sane tweets.

  254. 254
    Aleta says:

    Trump uses chaos as a vital element in his tactics, perhaps having learned during his long career to capitalize on the chaos that his recklessness, ignorance, and aggression inevitably create.

    Trump uses chaos to shock his opponents into varying crouches of outrage and contempt and then lunges forward amid the tumult wherever he sees an opportunity presenting itself. No wonder he thinks of himself as the supreme “counter-puncher.” His virtuosity is in his opportunism.

    It is against this reality that we must see the likelihood of a crisis as the vital springboard of a Trump presidency, especially an increasingly shaky, unpopular, and unstable one. The lower his poll numbers, the more outlandish his lies, the greater the resistance from opponents within the bureaucracies, the thicker his scandals and chaos, the likelier he will be to seek to use a crisis and all the opportunities it offers to lever himself from a position of defensiveness to that of dominating power.

    It is impossible to say when such a crisis might present itself or what it might be: A confrontation with Iran in the Persian Gulf? A dust-up with China over its claimed possessions in the South China Sea? A terrorist attack on American soil? There is no way of predicting, but it is worth taking very seriously that some sort of crisis will come and that, given Trump’s past behavior, his ruthless opportunism, and his drumbeat emphasis on “protecting the country,” such a crisis might well serve as a turning point in a Trump presidency, particularly one that is increasingly under siege.

    -Mark Danner, NYRB

  255. 255
    Another Scott says:

    @Corner Stone: Supposedly Bolt could run a sub 4.0…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  256. 256
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Kathleen: Y’know, I’ve always suspected the epithet Teppichfresser had some fairly off-color implications bristling in the deep pile, but I’ve never been a cunning enough linguist to comb them out…

  257. 257
    Kilgore Trout says:

    @Smitty: Sorry – whether he is implicated in collusion with a foreign power or not he is tainted. He cannot benefit from the fruit of a poison tree. If he ascends to the Presidency he needs to appoint a non-partisan consensus VP in consultation with Democrats and Republicans, and then resign himself. It is the *only* way to end up with a legitimate president.

  258. 258
    sigaba says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Has Kander announced his Exploratory Committee yet? He should.

  259. 259
    J R in WV says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Yes, for the “retired 3 star career intel officer” to forget that every Russian telephone in DC, or in the nation for that matter is permanently wired is really curious. Maybe he just assumed that after the election, which was fixed, those tapes would be in Trump’s desk drawer and no danger to him or anyone the R’s cared about.

    Pretty stupid assumption, but we all know that ass|u|me makes an ass of U and Me.

  260. 260
    sigaba says:

    @Kilgore Trout: Yeah but not only did Trump pick Pence (or at least he went long with the suggestion), Pence was on the ballot, he has an electoral legitimacy that’s independent of Trump’s.

    He’s not out unless he’s directly implicated in wrongdoing.

  261. 261
    Brachiator says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    No one was showing up en masse at town halls and local offices and in front of their homes and at other events screaming at them from January 2001 on. That is what is different this time. They know they are between a rock and a hard place. And they will do anything and everything to avoid doing anything that costs them their elected positions.

    Republican hardliners are pushing for a straight repeal of Obamacare even in the face of hostile voters. They are also trying hard to sell the lie that tax cuts will benefit the middle class.

    A new Quinnipiac poll shows that 78 percent of Republicans believe Trump over the media. The Republicans may think that their best play is to help Trump keep his promises (and push their own agenda).

    And as far as I can see, despite growing anger displayed at the various town hall meetings, Trump has not backed down from any of his campaign promises.

  262. 262
    divF says:

    @maryQ: Then you undoubtedly recall Sarah Palin dissing the government’s funding of drosophila research. Idiot.

  263. 263
    hovercraft says:

    @fuckwit:

    Troll is a lot more Cesare Borgia: corrupt, sexually rapacious, venal, deeply insecure, spoiled, totally incompetent. And he even has his beloved Lucretia to dote on.

    He WAS sexually rapacious, but sadly I’m sure he no is, and that exacerbates his other shortcomings, his dream of being the man Lucretia really needs will never be realized. SAD !

  264. 264
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @divF: In Paris, France! I kid you not!

  265. 265
    Kathleen says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: I was channeling Godwin (claims that Hitler actually chewed a carpet during a tantrum) but I will have to become more familiar with term “Teppichfresser “. It may prove to be a creative pejorative.

  266. 266
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Corner Stone:#130.

    Van Jones, IMHO, has said too many off the wall things to be taken seriously. He seems to be a man without a core, no sense of self. I’ve reached the point where he is just too shallow and easily influenced to afford him a modicum of credibility. What’s interesting is that he started out as a progressive hero and now deserves the sell-out label that the Dude-bros try to pin on Corey Booker.

  267. 267
    Corner Stone says:

    @Another Scott: I have seen speculation that posits Bolt could accomplish that. But, IMO it is extremely doubtful. I think if it were possible we would probably have seen a 4.15 or faster time by now. And if you watch Bolt run he is geared for the longer distance sprint. He has lots of competition until about halfway through the 100m and then it seems he makes other people look like they are foolishly standing still on the track.
    Not to say that at one point he could not have specifically trained to compete in an NFL Combine type competition and done extremely well, but I think his speed is a little apples to oranges to directly compare.

  268. 268
    John says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Evan McMurry‏Verified account @ evanmcmurry 36m36 minutes ago
    Before leaving for Mar-a-Lago yesterday, Pres. Trump summoned some senior staff to the Oval Office and went “ballistic,” sources tell ABC.

    Man, would I love to have heard that

    I found a video of that for you.

  269. 269
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: And how many of the leading (low)lights of neoconservatism got there after a long apprenticeship as fulminating Trotskyites? All that changes for fuckwits like Horowitz is which side of the political meter they’re pegging the needle on.

  270. 270
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Corner Stone: Didn’t some NFL team sign Bob Hayes (first sub-10s 100m) and he turned out to be lousy at football?

  271. 271
    efgoldman says:

    @Percysowner:

    I have wondered what the military does if he orders a strike on an American city.

    Pretend not to have heard.

  272. 272
    Jim says:

    Betty: Please stop denigrating fruit flies by comparing them with DJT.

  273. 273
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Jeffro: From your fingers to the energies of the universe. O/T I’m starting a draft of the book you suggested! Researching print self pub (ebook pub is pretty turnkey w/Amazon, I’m told). We’ll see how it goes…

    @maryQ: I was preparing to announce that counsel for fruit flies would like an apology and a retraction for the defamatory comparison so as to avoid litigation, and I’m excited to have an expert opinion that it is indeed defamatory. Plus it’s very cool that you and your husband are fruit fly geneticists.

  274. 274
    socraticsilence says:

    @Another Scott:

    I don’t know- Bolt starts slow, he usually starts to catch the field at around the 40-50 meter mark.

  275. 275
    Ksmiami says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…: I bet carter page is a dead man walking he just doesn’t know it- yet

  276. 276
    Ksmiami says:

    @Rjm: Mercer came to support trump late in the game- I believe the Russian infiltration pre-dated it

  277. 277
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Brachiator:

    Trump has not backed down from any of his campaign promises.

    He can’t walk back on or recant those promises. He is the authentic Stimme des Volkes. Facts will simply have to change to match them.

    Does anybody know where Armeeabteilug Steiner has gotten to?

  278. 278
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Man, would I love to have heard that

    Sheesh, I’d have paid 2 days salary to hear that. Maybe 3. :-)
    Perhaps the aliens are recording it all, and will share when they uncloak. :-)

  279. 279
    Jeffro says:

    @debbie:

    Based on his actions and words, it seems to me that Trump is listening exclusively to discredited sources. You’d think if he had access to actual, excellent intelligence, he listen to that as well, weigh both, and then take action accordingly.

    Discredited or not, Trumpov only listens to what he wants to hear, i.e., flattery and/or that which will benefit him (financially or otherwise). Everything else is fake news/alternative facts.

  280. 280
    Bill Arnold says:

    @dm:

    Hey — remember that witches’ ritual to curse the Cheeto Benito that was going around a week or so ago? Do you suppose it’s taking effect?

    I’ve been told (including in RL) that that is a typical binding spell, designed not to cause harm. Ritual magic drives me up a wall, so I didn’t confirm. Too much of a physics mindset perhaps. (Undergrad physics degree.)

  281. 281
    Jeffro says:

    @J R in WV:

    I just hope indictments of Mike “Dence” Pence, Dead-eye Paul Ryan and Turtle McConnell are handed up before impeachment starts. And Ryan Tillerson, too. I forget who’s next after that. We need to dig down to a sane person, though.

    I’ve said this many times before and promise to only throw it out here once…per thread =)…but, if the Trump campaign colluded with and was put into power by the actions (acts of war?) of a hostile foreign power, then 65 million American voters were denied their voting rights and therefore have standing to take it all the way to SCOTUS. How that would turn out is anyone’s guess, but I can’t see John Roberts saying the results – the R ticket “winning”* – would stand. Hillary Clinton should be declared the winner and sworn in as president. And then for the good of the country, right/wrong/indifferent, she should immediately step down and leave Kaine – a pretty blank slate if ever there was one – to get a real administration going and help put the country to rights.

    Pinky-swear, not bringing this up again today. =)

  282. 282
    Jeffro says:

    @Brachiator:

    A new Quinnipiac poll shows that 78 percent of Republicans believe Trump over the media.

    78%, not 88% or 95%. I’ll take it. There will be some who peel off from the GOP because of this, while our side is as unified as ever.

  283. 283
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Bill Arnold: Just think of it as accessing an exotic energy source.

  284. 284
    Jeffro says:

    @Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho: Which suggestion? I throw awesome ideas out there all the time. =)

  285. 285
    Mark says:

    @Gin & Tonic: You may be thinking about Renaldo Neihemiah:

    http://www.pro-football-refere.....heRe00.htm

    Bob Hayes was a Hall-Of-Famer..

  286. 286
    Spanky says:

    @Brachiator:

    A new Quinnipiac poll shows that 78 percent of Republicans believe Trump over the media.

    No one ever mentions what (shrinking?) percentage of the electorate now calls themselves “Republican”. Seems that would drive actual numbers lower. By now, those of my acquaintance who used to be (Reagan, GHWB) Republican haven’t been saying anything.

  287. 287
    Suzanne says:

    @Kathleen:

    The entire Rethuglican party needs to go down in flames as well. All of them.

    QF goddamned T. I want this to splatter McConnell, Ryan, Chaffetz, Cruz, Gohmert, Sessions, and all the rest of them. To the point that they are afraid to leave the house.

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    Calouste says:

    @Yarrow: The Queen had to put up with weekly visits from Maggie Thatcher for 13 years. If that didn’t drive her mad, nothing can.

  289. 289
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Mark: Who knows what I was thinking. I know next to zero about football.

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    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Jeffro: SCOUTS says two words “political question”, and poof – it goes away. The court would never grant cert.

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    Applejinx says:

    @debbie: And he yanks her arm violently and breaks it ;P

  292. 292
    Brachiator says:

    @Spanky: RE: A new Quinnipiac poll shows that 78 percent of Republicans believe Trump over the media.

    No one ever mentions what (shrinking?) percentage of the electorate now calls themselves “Republican”. Seems that would drive actual numbers lower.

    An interesting point. But declining numbers will not prevent Republicans from touting the raw percentage as proof that they have the people’s support. And the Republicans also have the majority in Congress.

    Also, many Republicans feel safe in GOP majority districts, and insulated against voter discontent. A spanking in the mid terms might get their attention.

  293. 293
    Kenneth Kohl says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    during the very sacred election process.

    ‘sacred election process’ FTW. Irony just died on a Russian cross today.

  294. 294
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Just think of it as accessing an exotic energy source.

    There are more interesting interpretations fwiw. Anyway, getting a bunch of new people emotionally fired up about Trump is potentially a good thing. If nothing else, it will leak over into the rest of their lives, as they talk about it with friends and acquaintances and ideological enemies. Or is that what you meant?

  295. 295
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: “Fressen” is German for an animal eating. “Essen” is for humans.

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    @Corner Stone: What we must not do, at any cost, is give Trump any claim to any kind of martyrdom.

    That is the first priority. What we must do, as the second priority, is make sure that the Republican Party, which I take to include not only its officeholders, and activists, and funders, but also and specifically its voters, goes down with Trump and its placed outside striking distance of power for a human lifetime.

  297. 297
    Chet Murthy says:

    @Yarrow: dayyum, indeed, she met idi amin. benedict donald is small beer compared to that!

  298. 298
    Chet Murthy says:

    @JMG: With all due respect, he didn’t pull off a feat <50 other humans have achieved, by being a complete idiot. He has skills — just skills that aren't particularly useful to running an organization in a responsible fashion (or to being a decent human being).

    I think Adam's right, that this is a communication plan with his base. I *also* think this isn't completely …. conscious on his part. Recall how he re-watches his interviews with the sound off. He's -got- skills. Also, remember that he almost -uniquely- figured out he could lie daily and get away with it. And last, remember that he has Bannonazi behind him. -That- man is no fool.

  299. 299
    Chet Murthy says:

    @debbie: It’s not aimed at you. It was never aimed at you. It’s aimed at people like my former friend who wrote that there was no evidence Benedict Donald was a fascist, and that he was a businessman, so we couldn’t tell what he’d do in govt.

    Also, I believe it’s a -classic- strategy of fascists (and other authoritarians?) to publish completely unbelievable facts, and apply pressure to get others to fall in line parrotting them. It’s a way of discerning who is with them, and who’s a squish. So when the culling comes, they know who has to go ….

    No, it’s not all completely rational. But it’s not all madness.

  300. 300
    Corner Stone says:

    @Frank Wilhoit:

    What we must not do, at any cost, is give Trump any claim to any kind of martyrdom.

    That is the first priority.

    Fuck that nonsense. If he’s a martyr that means he no longer has a position of power over the nation. The people willing to go to war to reclaim what Trump stands for is tiny. Right now the people enabling him is also tiny, but in elected office.
    I would rather have his slack jawed yokels lamenting the loss of Trump from office than sit here and bitch about the feckless R officials who are enacting his crazy ass agenda.

  301. 301
    Corner Stone says:

    @Calouste:

    The Queen had to put up with weekly visits from Maggie Thatcher for 13 years. If that didn’t drive her mad, nothing can.

    How do we know that it did not?

  302. 302

    @Corner Stone: You don’t seem to have much grasp of history, or of the role of nostalgia in politics. Trump-martyr would be a zillion times worse than Trump-in-office. Does the name Juvénal Habyarimana mean anything to you?

  303. 303

    This makes three dead. How long before the FSB starts whacking American politicians to try to keep this thing from blowing? I would put the over/under at less than a week.

  304. 304
    amk says:

    @Frank Wilhoit:

    Trump-martyr ??? Gimme a break.

  305. 305
    Corner Stone says:

    @Frank Wilhoit: Nope. Nostalgia? WTF are you babbling about? You sound even more stupid than usual.

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    apocalipstick says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Bob Hayes is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
    Combine speed is incredibly overrated, though. Just remember that Jerry Rice, Walter Payton, and Steve Largent were all considered slow

  307. 307
    Corner Stone says:

    @apocalipstick: It’s not over rated for the guys looking to get paid, however.

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