I Can’t Even

It looks like the reason Trump kept the American press out of the meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov last week was he didn’t want them to hear this:

“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”

Mr. Trump added, “I’m not under investigation.”

Trump just took off on his mission to unify the world’s religions. Nice timing, New York Times!

[The kittehs are expecting visitors, and then I’ll be knitting all afternoon. I’ll check in later. Have fun!]






346 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Didn’t Putin offer to release their notes from the meeting?

    ReplyReply
  2. 2
    TenguPhule says:

    @Baud: He did.

    ReplyReply
  3. 3
    Bailey says:

    NY Times appears to get great joy in provoking what will certainly be 12 Comey memos in response. I can’t complain.

    ReplyReply
  4. 4
    Served says:

    I just regained 5 years of my life imagining him lose his mind at his staff over the entire flight.

    ReplyReply
  5. 5
    JPL says:

    Thanks for the post. The day is not over, and it’s always possible with this administration that more information is going to published at five.

    ReplyReply
  6. 6
    TenguPhule says:

    “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”

    As I recall, an innocent person died in a giant pressure cooker full of tuna.

    I think we could bend the eighth amendment to allow that as the official penalty for treason. Less the tuna, of course. No sense in wasting perfectly good food.

    ReplyReply
  7. 7
    JPL says:

    @Served: lol They will probably have to hold him back from entering the cockpit.

    ReplyReply
  8. 8
    TaMara (HFG) says:

    Can not be said enough. Don’t piss off the Intelligence pros. drip…drip…drip

    ReplyReply
  9. 9
    TenguPhule says:

    @Bailey:

    I can’t complain.

    And yet here you are.

    ReplyReply
  10. 10
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    This is from the official American transcript.

    The Washington Post weighs in.

    Russia probe reaches current White House official, people familiar with the case say

    ReplyReply
  11. 11
    Baud says:

    I thought only one American was present at the meeting.

    ReplyReply
  12. 12
    NotMax says:

    crazy, a real nut job

    There’s that projection, again.

    ReplyReply
  13. 13
    Gin & Tonic says:

    That’s real smart. Fire the guy then bad-mouth him to the Russians. Comey doesn’t strike me as an impulsive guy, but rather as someone who will pick a time and place of his own choosing, coldly and calmly, to get even.

    ReplyReply
  14. 14
    LAO says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Let it be Jared, please!

    ReplyReply
  15. 15
    TenguPhule says:

    @Baud:

    I thought only one American was present at the meeting.

    Are we really sure Trump is an American?

    ReplyReply
  16. 16
    Keith P. says:

    It’s funny, because I (and probably half the country) *knew* some bad news was coming today to give Trump a kick in the ass on the way out. I was just about to jump in the shower when this broke.

    ReplyReply
  17. 17
    Gin & Tonic says:

    What’s best is “Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, did not dispute the account.”

    ReplyReply
  18. 18
    Baud says:

    @TenguPhule: That’s why I said one.

    ReplyReply
  19. 19
    marcion says:

    this fucking guy. so obsequious to Mother Russia. it just gets more and more ridiculous

    ReplyReply
  20. 20
    Bailey says:

    @TenguPhule:

    And yet here you are.

    Thank for another fine example of your missing the point. You are consistent.

    ReplyReply
  21. 21
    Mike in DC says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Jared, Reince or someone from the alt-right wing (Bannon, Miller, McFarland, Anton, gorka)?

    ReplyReply
  22. 22
    hueyplong says:

    How can any investigator (or prosecutor) expect to find anything worse for Trump than this? It’s like taking a suspect into the interrogation room when he has already confessed, describing the crime and his motivation in detail.

    WTF? Someone from the bottom third in intelligence of the FoxNews viewership is the President of the United States.

    ReplyReply
  23. 23
    MaxUtil says:

    @Served: I doubt there any bushes on board for his staff to hide among, but surely there’s some curtains they could blend in to?

    ReplyReply
  24. 24
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷 says:

    This kind of shit is why I don’t think this scandal is going to go away any time soon. The SS Trump is just too leaky and the man can’t help himself from making even more unforced errors.

    Trump also, apparently, doesn’t engender a whole lot of loyalty among WH staff on account of being an asshole, so the leaks from inside the house will continue

    ReplyReply
  25. 25
    TenguPhule says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    What’s best is “Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, did not dispute the account.”

    Trump hasn’t given him marching orders yet.

    ReplyReply
  26. 26
    Miss Bianca says:

    your kittehs are expecting visitors?

    eta: “I’m not under investigation” seems destined to join “I am not a crook” and “I am not a crackpot” in the lexicon of Famous Last Words.

    ReplyReply
  27. 27
    Bailey says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷:

    Trump also, apparently, doesn’t engender a whole lot of loyalty among WH staff on account of being an asshole, so the leaks from inside the house will continue

    You mean from Pence.

    ReplyReply
  28. 28
    TenguPhule says:

    The law enforcement investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign has identified a current White House official as a significant person of interest, showing that the probe is reaching into the highest levels of government, according to people familiar with the matter.

    The senior White House adviser under scrutiny by investigators is someone close to the president, according to these people, who would not further identify the official.

    PLease don’t be a Fitzimas Bust like last time.

    ReplyReply
  29. 29
    Betty Cracker says:

    @LAO: I think it is Kushner. The meeting with Kislyak (why?) and the meeting with the Russian development bank honcho who was subsequently deported as a spy — both of which Kushner “forgot” to disclose — smell fishier than a cut-rate seafood market.

    ReplyReply
  30. 30
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Yes, Jared was the first name that came to my mind too.

    ReplyReply
  31. 31
    Hoodie says:

    @NotMax: Not so much projection, it’s just that trump thinks it’s crazy to have any scruples that might get in the way of getting what you want. He’s a completely amoral sociopath, which is why he’s attracted to other sociopaths like Putin. He envies their ability to get what they want by force or deceit. Every minute the GOP enables this monster to continue in office, they’re accomplices to his crimes.

    ReplyReply
  32. 32
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷 says:

    Mr. Trump added, “I’m not under investigation.”

    “Please tell master Vlad everything is still going according to plan! I don’t want to drink tea!”

    ReplyReply
  33. 33
    JPL says:

    @Betty Cracker: That’s what I think. Follow the money

    ReplyReply
  34. 34
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Betty Cracker: Josh Barro‏Verified account @ jbarro 3m3 minutes
    hey, remember how Jared was weirdly eager for Trump to fire Comey, a move Bannon thought was reckless?
    At least Jared can get advice from his dad about prison
    Lock him up

    emphasis mine

    ReplyReply
  35. 35
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Reuters notice just came across my phone: Reuters/Ipsos poll shows Trump with lowest ratings since inauguration.

    ReplyReply
  36. 36
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Bailey: If that’s where at least some are coming from then I don’t think its going to help him much to become president. He doesn’t have much credibility himself being head of the transition team

    ReplyReply
  37. 37
    Jean says:

    Why would Jared think that a removing Comey would help him or Trump?

    ReplyReply
  38. 38
    germy says:

    The federal probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives has expanded to include a current White House official, the Washington Post reports.

    A senior White House adviser—described by the Post as someone “close to the president”—is reportedly one of the subjects of the investigation, according to sources familiar with the probe. This is in addition to former Trump aides Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort, who were previously identified as subjects of the investigation.

    Who could it be now?

    ReplyReply
  39. 39
    Ian G. says:

    @Served:

    Maybe we’ll be lucky and a staffer will decide to Flight 93 it after listening to an hour of Dolt 45 ranting.

    ReplyReply
  40. 40
    Kay says:

    Have to love how Donald Trump trashes US officials, behind their back, to the Russians.

    America First! He’s a nasty piece of work and he always has been.

    ReplyReply
  41. 41
    Barbara says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: It was strongly implied they are referring to Sessions or Kushner or both of them. In this case, pragmatism overcomes schadenfreude and I hope it’s Sessions, whether Kushner comes along or not.

    ReplyReply
  42. 42
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: As someone who has prepped senior leaders to conduct engagements and negotiations, has taught large numbers of Soldiers how to do so, and has done a few myself, this is not how you set conditions for concessions. It is, however, revealing far too much information to trained human intelligence (HUMINT) personnel who have cultivated you as a source.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/19/us/politics/trump-russia-comey.html?smid=tw-share

    A third government official briefed on the meeting defended the president, saying Mr. Trump was using a negotiating tactic when he told Mr. Lavrov about the “pressure” he was under. The idea, the official suggested, was to create a sense of obligation with Russian officials and to coax concessions out of Mr. Lavrov — on Syria, Ukraine and other issues — by saying that Russian meddling in last year’s election had created enormous political problems for Mr. Trump.

    ReplyReply
  43. 43
    Tony J says:

    How in the hell did he think impulsively firing the guy heading the investigation into his collusion with Russia was going to take the pressure off?

    It’s true. He knows nothing and no one can tell him anything. As a recipe for constant dick-stepping you can’t beat it.

    ReplyReply
  44. 44
    moops says:

    likely it is Kushner, and too bad, since he won’t roll on Trump. He also won’t roll on the people he hates in the administration, because they would then likely roll on Trump. Kushner’s noted absence from the WH, the place where he works if people recall, is likely not an accident.

    ReplyReply
  45. 45
    Kay says:

    @Jean:

    Because he’s in over his head and never should gotten that job?

    ReplyReply
  46. 46
    clay says:

    He is so dumb. He really thought that firing Comey would quash the investigation. He probably thinks pouring gasoline on a fire would put it out.

    “What, it’s a liquid, right?”

    ReplyReply
  47. 47
    JPL says:

    It’s not even five yet..

    ReplyReply
  48. 48
    smintheus says:

    This is a measure of how desperate Republicans are at this stage:

    A third government official briefed on the meeting defended the president, saying Mr. Trump was using a negotiating tactic when he told Mr. Lavrov about the “pressure” he was under. The idea, the official suggested, was to create a sense of obligation with Russian officials and to coax concessions out of Mr. Lavrov — on Syria, Ukraine and other issues — by saying that Russian meddling in last year’s election had created enormous political problems for Mr. Trump.

    Because nobody could possibly foresee that Russians would actually jump at the chance to take advantage of the political weakness of a sitting American president. No, this is just an example of Trump being a clever negotiator.

    ReplyReply
  49. 49
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @TenguPhule: How about a surfeit of lampreys?

    @Miss Bianca: Also too, “I am not a witch.”

    ReplyReply
  50. 50
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mike in DC: No. LTG McMaster was present. My understanding is that Secretary Tillerson was as well. There would have also been an official note taker to produce an internal transcript for reference, as well as a summary read out that could be released to the press. The Russian delegation would have had their own note taker.

    ReplyReply
  51. 51
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Ian G.:

    Tim Heidecker sings it.

    ReplyReply
  52. 52
    germy says:

    @Jean:

    Why would Jared think that a removing Comey would help him or Trump?

    It’s how he thinks. When he took over a newspaper, his first question to his editors was “Who can we get rid of?” They tried to explain reducing the workforce would reduce the quality of the paper, but he saw it strictly as cost saving.

    He brings his business mentality to government. I’m sure he didn’t foresee any backlash against letting Comey go. He’s probably the one who told his FIL they’d get praise from both parties.

    ReplyReply
  53. 53
    Kay says:

    God, they just play Donald Trump constantly. It’s like shooting fish. One big, dumb fish thrashing wildly around in a barrel.

    ReplyReply
  54. 54
    Ian G. says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I’d love to see Boy Blunder be the thing that sinks this administration. Bonus points if it leads to a long Twitter meltdown from Dolt 45 that includes every antisemitic invective in the book.

    ReplyReply
  55. 55
    Hoodie says:

    @Jean: he’s an amateur who doesn’t understand how the DOJ or FBI works. He’s a rich punk who married the boss’s daughter, not a criminal mastermind.

    ReplyReply
  56. 56
    Bailey says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷:

    If that’s where at least some are coming from then I don’t think its going to help him much to become president. He doesn’t have much credibility himself being head of the transition team

    He doesn’t really need credibility to become President – just needs to let the law take its course. And then take a gamble that after one giant investigation, no one will be much interested to have another into him. Even so, he’d probably manage to find some plausible deniability into what he knew/didn’t know about Flynn which is his only real concern.

    He’s leaking like mad, no doubt.

    ReplyReply
  57. 57
    MaryL says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    This is from the official American transcript.

    How much must his entire staff hate him for that quote to make it into the official summary.

    ReplyReply
  58. 58
    Barbara says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: No doubt firing Comey was the culminating act of Jared’s conviction that if only he had the power to fire the prosecutor he could have avoided the trauma of seeing his father go to prison. In this case, Bannon was clearly right.

    ReplyReply
  59. 59
    Baud says:

    For all his faults, Benedict Arnold was not a stupid man.

    ReplyReply
  60. 60
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Betty Cracker: Sergey Gorkov is the name you’re looking for.

    Suddenly I’m craving blintzes…

    ReplyReply
  61. 61
    Lapassionara says:

    This comment, “I faced great pressure because of Russia. that’s taken off” does not make sense to me. I have a hard time envisioning Trump feeling pressure of any sort, as he has no shame, and clearly thinks every action he takes is the greatest. Also, it was said to a Russian, so it seems like a signal to the Russian that he will now have more freedom to work with the Russians than he has had so far. If he thought firing Comey would take off the pressure, ….. Sigh.

    ReplyReply
  62. 62
    hovercraft says:

    I posed this question downstairs, not realizing he was leaving this early.

    May 19, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    So are we going to get a 5:45 news dump or do you think they’ll time it so that it hits when he lands in Riyadh?

    So I guess the answer is both, or all of them Katie.

    ReplyReply
  63. 63
    Barbara says:

    @Jean: Because he doesn’t understand how the USG works any better than Trump does?

    ReplyReply
  64. 64
    Chris says:

    Trump just took off on his mission to unify the world’s religions.

    I could see him unifying the world’s religions in the same way that Hitler unified Russian communists, American capitalists and British imperialists.

    ReplyReply
  65. 65
    The Golux says:

    I tells ya, this has been relevant every goddamn day since 11/9/2016.

    ReplyReply
  66. 66
    JMG says:

    @Bailey: I gotts think if Trump has to go, he’ll try and take Pence with him. And all the rest of them, too.

    ReplyReply
  67. 67
    Ian G. says:

    @Jean:

    Because​ he’s a moron who panicked?

    ReplyReply
  68. 68
    Chris says:

    @hueyplong:

    How can any investigator (or prosecutor) expect to find anything worse for Trump than this?

    My own thought from the beginning has been “you know, it doesn’t matter even if the investigation reveals that Trump has no ties to Russia and is as clean as a whistle; the simple fact that he went on television and asked the Russians to hack an election for him should’ve disqualified him right then and there.”

    ReplyReply
  69. 69
    NotMax says:

    Cyrillic fanciers here, is ved’ma the correct Russian term (transliterated) for witch?

    ReplyReply
  70. 70
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Barbara: Sessions doesn’t count as a White House staffer. We do know, however, from Comey’s testimony a few weeks ago that Sessions is part of the investigation. We also know from Clapper’s testimony when asked by Senator Hirono if he’d seen SIGINT that included unmasked US citizens who were part of the campaign or members of Congress. Clapper replied “both”. There was only one campaign official who was a member of Congress: Sessions.

    ReplyReply
  71. 71
    Suffragette City says:

    @Kay: Exactly and they sure seem to know how to stroke his ego. He’ll tell them anything because they LIKE HIM.

    ReplyReply
  72. 72
    Bailey says:

    @JMG:

    I gotts think if Trump has to go, he’ll try and take Pence with him. And all the rest of them, too.

    That would not make me sad.

    ReplyReply
  73. 73
    Baud says:

    @Ian G.: He just had too much on his plate.

    ReplyReply
  74. 74
    Jean says:

    @Kay: On that, I completely agree. But why leak what Trump supposedly said? Doesn’t that pit Trump against Kushner as a leaker? Kushner is setting himself up for a fall–out of Trump’s favor and possibly a subject of investigation. Can he be that stupid to think Comey would just be quiet or that the FBI would stop investigating?

    ReplyReply
  75. 75

    @Kay: @Suffragette City: I think they pay him. He will do anything for them greenbacks.

    ReplyReply
  76. 76
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Ian G.: because he’s a princeling who sees everyone not of the blood as a servant

    ReplyReply
  77. 77
    Ian G. says:

    @JMG:

    One can hope.

    ReplyReply
  78. 78
    clay says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Bwah ha ha ha! A negotiating tactic! That’s rich!

    “Gee, uh, I’m really screwed over here. Reaaaallllly in a pickle. Now give me what I want, please?”

    ReplyReply
  79. 79
    Baud says:

    @clay: The Fart of the Deal.

    ReplyReply
  80. 80
    Sebastian says:

    @Mike in DC:

    Twitter says Jared

    ReplyReply
  81. 81
    Chris says:

    @smintheus:

    A third government official briefed on the meeting defended the president, saying Mr. Trump was using a negotiating tactic when he told Mr. Lavrov about the “pressure” he was under. The idea, the official suggested, was to create a sense of obligation with Russian officials and to coax concessions out of Mr. Lavrov — on Syria, Ukraine and other issues — by saying that Russian meddling in last year’s election had created enormous political problems for Mr. Trump.

    If I were Russian and was told that, my reaction would be “then let’s push as hard as we can for as much as we can get now, because if he’s under as much pressure as he says, this guy might not even be here in six months and whoever replaces him will almost certainly take a hard line on us.”

    But YMMV.

    ReplyReply
  82. 82
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @NotMax: Yes.

    ReplyReply
  83. 83
    JanieM says:

    @Lapassionara:

    This comment, “I faced great pressure because of Russia. that’s taken off” does not make sense to me.

    It’s Trump, why would it make any sense? He blathers whatever he thinks will get him what he thinks he wants in any given moment.

    ReplyReply
  84. 84
    smintheus says:

    @MaryL: That’s a good point.

    ReplyReply
  85. 85
    clay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The Russian delegation would have had their own note taker

    Or, you know, a recording device.

    ReplyReply
  86. 86
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @clay: Fun fact: the only way to put out a fire in a cotton boll is to use gasoline because the unprocessed fibers are too dense for water to penetrate the boll.

    ReplyReply
  87. 87
    zhena gogolia says:

    @NotMax:

    Yes.

    ReplyReply
  88. 88
    JPL says:

    The Daily Beast had an article after the Comey memo was released. A high level official said they are f..ked. I can’t find it now, but it rumored that the official was Kushner.

    found the article
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/a.....tely-fcked

    ReplyReply
  89. 89
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @JPL: Gonna be a long afternoon/evening. He’s going to be completely wrong footed by the time he lands in Saudi. The trip is going to go very, very, very badly now.

    ReplyReply
  90. 90
    Baud says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Now?

    ReplyReply
  91. 91
    chopper says:

    @smintheus:

    The idea, the official suggested, was to create a sense of obligation with Russian officials and to coax concessions out of Mr. Lavrov — on Syria, Ukraine and other issues — by saying that Russian meddling in last year’s election had created enormous political problems for Mr. Trump.

    ah yes, the “please stop posterizing me” gambit. always a winner.

    ReplyReply
  92. 92
  93. 93
    psycholinguist says:

    As I’m listening to this, I finally get the obvious thing that seems to be going on here. Trump is so jealous of Putin’s role in Russia. I swear his firing of Comey was an attempt to show Putin he’s just as tough as Putin, and can do anything he wants. Is this a dick-measuring exercise with Putin? About the only explanation that allows some sort of internal coherence in this decision, batshit crazy as it is.

    ReplyReply
  94. 94
    TenguPhule says:

    @JMG:

    I gotts think if Trump has to go, he’ll try and take Pence with him. And all the rest of them, too.

    The David Koresh option?

    ReplyReply
  95. 95
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Bailey: I don’t think people will buy that. He was in charge and should have known. Like the presidency, the buck stopped with him. He’s dirty too and will go down along with other top GOP leadership

    ReplyReply
  96. 96
    smintheus says:

    @Chris: Yep, it’s one of the basic rules from the political leadership handbook: You never confess to weakness to KGB; you never tell autocrats you need to keep an eye on your home front; and you never roll around in poison ivy.

    ReplyReply
  97. 97
    zhena gogolia says:

    @psycholinguist:

    I think he tries to follow Putin’s every move. The question is, who’s his Kadyrov going to be?

    ReplyReply
  98. 98
    RareSanity says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I’m so glad you keep your decoder ring on.

    I remember the exchange between Clapper and Hirono, but I missed all that he communicated in his response, while saying very little.

    Speaking around classified subjects does seem to be quite the artform.

    ReplyReply
  99. 99
    hovercraft says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Oh please make it so, please! Seeing that klansman go down would be almost as good as seeing Twitler go down.

    ReplyReply
  100. 100
    Gravenstone says:

    @JPL: I should think AF1 has an extremely hardened cockpit. He can beat his tiny fists bloody on the door, but he ain’t getting inside.

    ReplyReply
  101. 101
    JPL says:

    @TenguPhule: NO… Leave the White House alone.

    ReplyReply
  102. 102
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @smintheus: See my comment here:
    https://www.balloon-juice.com/2017/05/19/i-cant-even-4/#comment-6387668

    As someone who has prepped senior leaders to conduct engagements and negotiations, has taught large numbers of Soldiers how to do so, and has done a few myself, this is not how you set conditions for concessions. It is, however, revealing far too much information to trained human intelligence (HUMINT) personnel who have cultivated you as a source.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/19/us/politics/trump-russia-comey.html?smid=tw-share

    A third government official briefed on the meeting defended the president, saying Mr. Trump was using a negotiating tactic when he told Mr. Lavrov about the “pressure” he was under. The idea, the official suggested, was to create a sense of obligation with Russian officials and to coax concessions out of Mr. Lavrov — on Syria, Ukraine and other issues — by saying that Russian meddling in last year’s election had created enormous political problems for Mr. Trump.

    ReplyReply
  103. 103
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The trip is going to go very, very, very badly now.

    War with the entire Muslim faith by midnight badly? Or worse?

    ReplyReply
  104. 104
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @germy: Not to very bright, leveraged out the wazoo, trust fund baby. Anything else I can help with?

    ReplyReply
  105. 105
    TenguPhule says:

    @JPL: It would be a small price to pay. And we could always rebuild it, this time with all up solar panels.

    ReplyReply
  106. 106
    germy says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Is the FLOTUS with him?

    ReplyReply
  107. 107
    Baud says:

    @germy: Ivanka or Melania?

    ReplyReply
  108. 108
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Ah yes, more evidence of Trump’s “clever” businessman negotiation tactics. It was clear from Day 1 of the campaign the man was unfit.

    ReplyReply
  109. 109
    Ian G. says:

    Just for the record, I still can’t get my jaw off the floor over the fact that this meeting with the Russians ACTUALLY HAPPENED AS PLANNED AFTER THE COMEY FIRING. Either Andy Kaufman is about to rip the Trump mask off in this 2+ year long piece of performance art, or Trump is literally the least self aware person who has ever lived.

    ReplyReply
  110. 110
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Baud:

    You are very quick with the keyboard, aren’t you?

    ReplyReply
  111. 111
    Spider-Dan says:

    @Bailey: I dare not fantasize about a scenario in which Trump discovers that Pence is the source of all these leaks. I’m reasonably certain that the Vice President is the one person in the executive branch that the President does NOT have the authority to dismiss.

    ReplyReply
  112. 112
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Adam L Silverman: WHY DID YOU MENTION BLINTZES WHY…(trying, and failing, not think of blintzes swimming in sour cream and blueberry preserves…)

    ReplyReply
  113. 113
    clay says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That was a fun fact! But what about an oxygen suppressant like a fire extinguisher? Would that work?

    ReplyReply
  114. 114
    Corner Stone says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Suddenly I’m craving blintzes…

    Weirdly, I have been craving a bagel with thinly sliced salmon. It’s weird because I’ve never had it in my whole life.
    Maybe I am pregnant and am actually going to have all of Sally Yates babies?

    ReplyReply
  115. 115
    Gravenstone says:

    @Betty Cracker: Maybe he and daddy can get adjoining cells?

    ReplyReply
  116. 116
    🌷 Martin says:

    @TaMara (HFG): Yeah, the coordinated effort of this is impressive. It’s a daily barrage, with different parts carefully leaked to different media outlets. They’ve taken away the ability to blame individual reporters or outlets, and the ability to put too much credit on journalists. It’s a careful, coordinated unravelling not just of Trump but of the entire operation that put him in office. Which, is both impressive and a bit terrifying.

    ReplyReply
  117. 117
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Fun fact: the only way to put out a fire in a cotton boll is to use gasoline because the unprocessed fibers are too dense for water to penetrate the boll.

    So Trump is a mutated cotton boll?

    ReplyReply
  118. 118
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Ian G.: and trump went out and in front of TeeVee cameras said he gave them the meeting because Putin asked him to

    ReplyReply
  119. 119
    germy says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Reminds me of someone who bought a company I worked for a few decades ago. After a couple of months, he called everyone together to ask that we all work for no salary, just for a few weeks or so, until he could turn things around. He wore a seven thousand dollar wristwatch while he made this request.

    All I remember is the scraping sound of a bunch of chairs sliding back, and then a mass exodus.

    ReplyReply
  120. 120
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Ooh, try it. Just make sure to put a thin schmear of cream cheese on the bagel first. Then some capers and a shpritz of lemon.

    ReplyReply
  121. 121
    hueyplong says:

    I also can’t figure out why the Trumpsters thought firing Comey would make everything go away instead of triggering massive blowback. The best I could come up with is that maybe they read too much into Comey’s late knifing of Hilz, i.e., they wanted to think that it was Comey coming home to being a good little GOP Bundist and that he would be willing to quietly take one for the team if forced out.

    Maybe they’re just stupid and self-absorbed, and Trump’s Razor always wins.

    ReplyReply
  122. 122
    Gravenstone says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Kind of sad when only Bannon recognized the blowback that turfing Comey would bring.

    ReplyReply
  123. 123
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Miss Bianca: @Corner Stone: Damn it, now I feel like booking a flight to NYC.

    ReplyReply
  124. 124
    hovercraft says:

    @germy: @Baud:

    Ivanka yes, Melania no.

    ReplyReply
  125. 125
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MaryL: Doesn’t have to be his staff. That transcript will have circulated to everyone who needed to know. The National Security Staff Senior Director for Russia and Eurasia. The National Security Staff Director for Russia. The Director of the Russia and Eurasia Desk at State. The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (most likely an SES in an acting capacity right now) for Russia and Eurasia. Similar officials at DHS, Treasury, DOJ, etc. And anyone they think needed to be tracking on it. So the leaks could be coming from a lot of places.

    ReplyReply
  126. 126
    Ian G. says:

    @TenguPhule:

    After finding out that Stephen Miller was going to write Dolt 45’s Islam speech, I figured we’d have to grade “success” on a curve, like half of Pakistan and Egypt not engulfed in flames from rioting being a “success”.

    ReplyReply
  127. 127
    TenguPhule says:

    @Spider-Dan:

    I’m reasonably certain that the Vice President is the one person in the executive branch that the President does NOT have the authority to dismiss.

    As I said earlier, it would not surprise me at all if Trump order his personal security to whack Pence at some point for failing him.

    ReplyReply
  128. 128
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Multiple confirmations!

    ReplyReply
  129. 129
    Jean says:

    @Baud: Read this morning that Melania was with him, and the description of her was very positive: She speaks several languages and has made many international trips. News to me.

    ReplyReply
  130. 130
    hovercraft says:

    @zhena gogolia:
    And that’s him when he’s sick, imagine him at 100%

    ReplyReply
  131. 131
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @hovercraft: It is all over twitter. And it is being tweeted at him.

    ReplyReply
  132. 132
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Jean:

    It’s hard to grow up in Slovenia without having to speak several languages.

    ReplyReply
  133. 133
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Spider-Dan: He doesn’t. VP is elected

    ReplyReply
  134. 134
    germy says:

    @Ian G.:

    Andy Kaufman is about to rip the Trump mask off in this 2+ year long piece of performance art

    Actually, it IS like having Tony Clifton for president. Although I think Clifton was a bit classier.

    ReplyReply
  135. 135
    Baud says:

    Tomorrow’s tweet: I have the RIGHT as president to obstruct justice! Also, too, most abused politician in history.

    ReplyReply
  136. 136

    @Gravenstone: Unlike the pampered princelings, he has actually held some jobs that were not family business.
    /Need to have a shower for saying something nice about Bannon.

    ReplyReply
  137. 137
    hovercraft says:

    @Corner Stone:
    Somewhere Tamron Hall is giving you the stank eye.

    ReplyReply
  138. 138
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Chris: Baklava for everyone! Seriously, almost every monotheistic religion, and the various sects within it, include societies with their own variant of baklava. I call for a baklava summit!

    Also, now I want a gyro. And baklava.

    And before anyone asks: yes, I do make baklava too.

    ReplyReply
  139. 139
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Awesome.

    Tick tick, motherfuckers.

    ReplyReply
  140. 140
    Corner Stone says:

    Seriously. If ever…EVER…there were a time for those god damned FEMA Re-education Camps IT.IS.NOW.

    ReplyReply
  141. 141
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule: If that really happened, I wouldn’t know to laugh or be horrified

    ReplyReply
  142. 142
    Miss Bianca says:

    @JPL: @Adam L Silverman: My God, when did the Friday news dump become the Friday news tsunami?

    ReplyReply
  143. 143
    smintheus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I agree with you. Plus it’s the opposite of what any moderately cognizant untrained amateur would do in the circumstances. No sane adult negotiates with thugs by saying ‘Help me, I’m in deep sh!t here.’

    ReplyReply
  144. 144
    JanieM says:

    @hovercraft:

    Ivanka yes, Melania no.

    Don’t know if this is meant as sarcasm, but Google says Melania, Ivanka, and Jared are all going.

    ReplyReply
  145. 145
    LAO says:

    @Spider-Dan: OMG! It’s definitely Pence. That would be perfect.*

    *By definitely, I mean it would be in the dystopian novel i feel stuck in.

    ReplyReply
  146. 146
    hovercraft says:

    @Gravenstone:
    Dad’s been out for a few years now, but he can definitely give him some pointers.

    ReplyReply
  147. 147
    efgoldman says:

    @Jean:

    Why would Jared think that a removing Comey would help him or Trump?

    Because he knows/understands less about politics than your cat does.

    ReplyReply
  148. 148
    zhena gogolia says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷:

    Hate to say I had the same fleeting thought (I hate that this is who I’ve become!)

    ReplyReply
  149. 149
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @Chris:

    Trump couldn’t unify his two gelatinous ass cheeks.

    ReplyReply
  150. 150
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Adam L Silverman: that is gonna be one long ass flight for his staffers

    ReplyReply
  151. 151
    TenguPhule says:

    @Baud:

    I have the RIGHT as president to obstruct justice! Also, too, most abused politician in history.

    Already happened.

    No, he’s gonna step it up a notch.

    After careful consideration it is clear that there are too many leakers in the US government. Therefore I have accepted the Russian’s offer to deploy security forces loyal only to me across the country. Welcome your new Russian overlords, you sad peasants!

    ReplyReply
  152. 152

    @Adam L Silverman:You can cater for the Balloon Juice reception of John’s wedding. He has the house and the car, lined up.

    ReplyReply
  153. 153
    Yarrow says:

    @JMG:

    I gotts think if Trump has to go, he’ll try and take Pence with him. And all the rest of them, too.

    He’s going to throw everyone under the bus before he leaves. I expect him to leak documents or recordings showing Pence is the mastermind behind this Russia stuff, then feed him to the wolves. Heh.

    ReplyReply
  154. 154
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @clay: I fully expect they have audio and video in addition to the pictures all taken by the TASS photojournalist.

    ReplyReply
  155. 155
    zhena gogolia says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while):

    Brain bleach stat!

    ReplyReply
  156. 156
    Baud says:

    When I bought my last car, I went to the dealership and explained how my last car broke down and if I didn’t get a new car immediately, I was not going to be able to work and would probably get fired.

    He gave me a good deal.

    ReplyReply
  157. 157
    TenguPhule says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    My God, when did the Friday news dump become the Friday news tsunami?

    This month.

    ReplyReply
  158. 158
    hovercraft says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Sadly/fortunately I don’t tweet.

    ReplyReply
  159. 159
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷 says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): So, he wouldn’t have an anus, then, if he could?

    ReplyReply
  160. 160
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    Becoming more and more obvious the orange hue comes not from tanning beds or bronzer but rather is an outward manifestation of being doused in Russian red combined with a yellow streak a mile wide.

    ReplyReply
  161. 161
    SatanicPanic says:

    @JPL: We’ve gotten so used to bonkers news it’s hard to remember a time when any of these one stories would have been worth months of analysis.

    ReplyReply
  162. 162

    @JanieM: An entourage of a 1000 along with bottles of ketchup are going.

    ReplyReply
  163. 163
    Corner Stone says:

    @hovercraft: Oh, I will have her babies like yesterday. Or today. Or call me,maybe?
    But Sally Yates is playing a large chunk of taking down Trumpov. If it ever happens SY will be getting some extended foot messages and other various things thrown her way.

    ReplyReply
  164. 164
    JanieM says:

    I clicked through to the NYT link in the OP and the looks on the Russians’ faces are priceless. Great work on the part of a guy who’s supposed to be able to read his audience so well.

    ReplyReply
  165. 165
    efgoldman says:

    @moops:

    likely it is Kushner, and too bad, since he won’t roll on Trump

    To save his own ass? Of course he will.

    ReplyReply
  166. 166
    TenguPhule says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Seriously. If ever…EVER…there were a time for those god damned FEMA Re-education Camps IT.IS.NOW.

    Tumbrels, camps, make up your minds people!

    /kvetches while changing the order form yet again

    ReplyReply
  167. 167
    hovercraft says:

    @Baud:

    I have the RIGHT as president to obstruct justice! Also, too, most abused politician in history.

    or

    When the president obstructs justice for stratgery, it’s not a crime. You should thank ME!

    ReplyReply
  168. 168

    @JanieM: His charm does not work on those are not in awe of him.

    ReplyReply
  169. 169
    hueyplong says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷: “So, he wouldn’t have an anus, then, if he could?”

    He’s already got one above the neck. Why does he need two?

    ReplyReply
  170. 170
    Miss Bianca says:

    @🌷 Martin: note to self, upon the unlikely event of winning national public office: Avoid really, really, pissing off the IC…

    ReplyReply
  171. 171
    zhena gogolia says:

    @JanieM:

    Lavrov looks as if he spends some serious time in the tanning bed too.

    ReplyReply
  172. 172
    SatanicPanic says:

    I’m like a fiend now with all this news. Like one story comes in, I read it, go “ohhhhhh that feels gooooood” and then it’s off to find the next one because I’m afraid of running out. Is anyone else feeling this?

    ReplyReply
  173. 173
    NCSteve says:

    God. I keep hoping I’ll suddenly hear a piano playing “Momma’s Little Babies” and Garrison Keeler saying “wouldn’t this be a good time for a piece of rhubarb pie? Yes, nothing takes the taste of shame and humiliation out of your mouth quite like Bebopareebop Rhubarb Pie.”

    ReplyReply
  174. 174
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: It was always fraught with diplomatic and other dangers. That was if it started without any new/additional bad news for the President. He’s going to be trapped in a metal tube, seething for the next 10 plus hours or so depending on the flight path to Riyadh. He doesn’t do well when he’s tired, when he’s away from home, and/or when he’s upset. He’s now all three. And since he didn’t want to go on the trip to begin with, I expect he’ll be fully set for a meltdown well before he lands.

    I’d have a field day writing Key Leader Engagement (KLE) prep packets/backgrounders on the President for this type of things. If I didn’t work, via contractor, for the US.

    ReplyReply
  175. 175
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    that is gonna be one long ass flight for his staffers

    Fuck them.

    ReplyReply
  176. 176
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷: Laugh. It will feel so good.

    ReplyReply
  177. 177
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L.Silverman

    Merely reading the word baklava makes the teeth ache.

    ReplyReply
  178. 178
    LAO says:

    @schrodingers_cat: it’s shocking it works on anyone. Trump is a black hole of charm.

    ReplyReply
  179. 179
    hovercraft says:

    @JanieM:
    I must have missed the announcement about Melania, my bad.

    ReplyReply
  180. 180
    Ian G. says:

    @Baud:

    I’m waiting for him to rant about how persecuted he is while at Yad Vashem. That will be the piece de la resistance for this trip.

    ReplyReply
  181. 181
    zhena gogolia says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    I would feel that way if it were a novel or a film. The fact that the United States of America is in the hands of evil criminals does not give me a warm, fuzzy feeling.

    ReplyReply
  182. 182
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I do what I can.

    ReplyReply
  183. 183
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Baud: I have been one of the most persecuted politicians in all of human history! The Lugenpress has lied about me bigly, saying I’m some Russian puppet. And so have the Democrat party. No longer. Today I am pleased to announce I am declaring martial law indefinitely and suspending the Constiution. All of you losers will finally show me the respect I deserve or else!

    We can finally Make America Great Again, right Comrade Vlad?

    ReplyReply
  184. 184
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I’d have a field day writing Key Leader Engagement (KLE) prep packets/backgrounders on the President for this type of things.

    So you suspect they’re gonna make him eat a sheep’s eyeball?

    ReplyReply
  185. 185
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: IKR? Now I’m thinking about blintzes *and* real bagels with lox…

    @Adam L Silverman: And no, I don’t expect ANY blowback at all from Trump’s describing Comey as a “nut job”, do you?

    ReplyReply
  186. 186
    Corner Stone says:

    @TenguPhule: Tumbrels for some, FEMA Camps for others!
    /Vote Kang

    ReplyReply
  187. 187
    feebog says:

    @Lapassionara:

    This comment, “I faced great pressure because of Russia. that’s taken off” does not make sense to me.

    I think what the Moron-in-Chief was trying to say is “the investigation into my collusion with you guys.” Read it that way and it makes sense.

    ReplyReply
  188. 188
    JPL says:

    @Miss Bianca: They are the greatest tsunamis though.

    ReplyReply
  189. 189
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule: I hate it, but I’d like to think Pence would know he was going to die because he crossed a malevolent man-child

    ReplyReply
  190. 190
    sm*t cl*de says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I particularly like the rationale (from “a third government official briefed on the meeting”) that the announcement was intended “to create a sense of obligation with Russian officials”. That is, that Trump was negotiating from weakness and begging for a pity-fuck.
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DANimWFVYAAvyp7.jpg

    ReplyReply
  191. 191
    Chris says:

    @psycholinguist:

    As I’m listening to this, I finally get the obvious thing that seems to be going on here. Trump is so jealous of Putin’s role in Russia. I swear his firing of Comey was an attempt to show Putin he’s just as tough as Putin, and can do anything he wants. Is this a dick-measuring exercise with Putin? About the only explanation that allows some sort of internal coherence in this decision, batshit crazy as it is.

    Can you imagine the reaction of Putin, of all people, a KGB veteran, to Trump proudly announcing to him that he’s firing Comey?

    Putin: [external dialogue] “Oh, very well done! I hope your next director works out better!”
    Putin: [internal monologue] “It’s not enough that you had more enemies than most Game Of Thrones characters already, now you’re declaring war on your own state security organs? Can even you be that stupid?”

    ReplyReply
  192. 192
    Corner Stone says:

    It’s not strange to call a senior official a “nut job”. I mean, James Woolsey is a world class fucking nut job. But not sure I would say that to the Russians in the Oval Office right after I fired him.

    ReplyReply
  193. 193
    TenguPhule says:

    @Corner Stone:

    /Vote Kang

    Am I getting overtime for this?

    ReplyReply
  194. 194
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @RareSanity: You’re welcome and you have no idea.

    As for disclosures by these folks… Ever wonder why there are topics in the news in my areas of expertise that I don’t write posts on or if someone else does I don’t comment on? It is because I’m not quite sure where the line might be, so I keep my mouth shut.

    ReplyReply
  195. 195
    TenguPhule says:

    @sm*t cl*de:

    That is, that Trump was negotiating from weakness and begging for a pity-fuck.

    It worked for Zap Branagan, Trump’s distant descendent.

    ReplyReply
  196. 196
    MaryL says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Got it. That makes more sense.

    ReplyReply
  197. 197
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    Anybody see the video that shows Hillary practicing for the debates. Specifically how to avoid the unwanted Trump hug.

    Link

    ReplyReply
  198. 198
    JanieM says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Indeed. I was also thinking that they’re actually laughing *at* him, but he’s so dumb and insulated from reality that he thinks they’re laughing *with* him.

    ReplyReply
  199. 199
    HRA says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Ha! I have the ingredients ready for making the baklava. I really want spanokopita for dinner.

    ReplyReply
  200. 200
    LurkerNoLonger says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    I’m like a fiend now with all this news. Like one story comes in, I read it, go “ohhhhhh that feels gooooood” and then it’s off to find the next one because I’m afraid of running out. Is anyone else feeling this?

    Yes! I’m a junkie and Balloon Juice is my dealer.

    ReplyReply
  201. 201
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Chris: Putin’s investment isn’t working out as much as he would probably like.

    Sure the US is in chaos, but enough shit is on autopilot that it won’t really matter. Those sanctions aren’t likely to be removed any time soon and Putin ain’t gettin’ any younger

    ReplyReply
  202. 202
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @hovercraft: I have no idea what is going to happen. That said he had at least two phone calls and two meetings/was in two meetings with Kislyak. He failed to disclose these on his confirmation paperwork and he said he had no interactions with Russians as a campaign surrogate (he used that specific term) in his under oath testimony in questioning by both Senator Franken and Leahy. If I was working the network analysis piece of this, he’d be in the mix.

    ReplyReply
  203. 203
    randy khan says:

    Cue Trump denying he said it as soon as he gets back to the Twitter machine.

    ReplyReply
  204. 204
    JanieM says:

    @hovercraft: I only saw it because I ran across an article about whether she was going to wear a headscarf…..T having crapped on Michelle O. a few years ago when *she* didn’t wear one in S.A.

    ReplyReply
  205. 205
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷 says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷: Edit: There’s also a not so insignificant chance Trump could start a nuclear war that would make all of Putin’s billions and his political power worthless

    ReplyReply
  206. 206
    gene108 says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Are we really sure Trump is an American?

    Per Birther “logic” he is not. Per Birther “logic” you are a natural born citizen only if both your parents are natural born citizens. Since Ma Trump was born and raised in Scotland, Trump would not qualify.

    ReplyReply
  207. 207
    grandpa john says:

    @<a href="#comm

    ent-6387657″>Gin & Tonic: YEP Reuters/Ipsos poll shows Trump with lowest ratings since inauguration.favorable 38%, unfavorable 56%. Even Reps unfavorable is from last week, 16% then , 22 or 23 % this week

    ReplyReply
  208. 208
    clay says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Hmmm… So because you didn’t answer my question about putting out cotton boll fires with an extinguisher, then I can assume that the answer requires top-level clearance!

    ReplyReply
  209. 209
    NotMax says:

    @Corner Stone

    Time to re-watch the last few minutes of By Dawn’s Early Light wherein General James Earl Jones’ plane deliberately flies on a collision course with Air Force One.

    ReplyReply
  210. 210
    germy says:

    Judd Legum‏Verified account @JuddLegum 11m11 minutes ago

    CNN: Trump/Russia

    MSNBC: Trump/Russia

    Fox: Some weather we’re having! Amirite?

    ReplyReply
  211. 211
    JanieM says:

    I also that it sounds like he thought he was informing them of something they didn’t know already (“I fired him”), as if they had just flown in from Betelgeuse in a news blackout. on top of everything else, he has the BEST news sources, better than anyone!

    ReplyReply
  212. 212
    Calouste says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I think he won’t make it to the NATO or G7 meetings.

    ReplyReply
  213. 213
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: I was expecting he’d make it through Saudi okay, with the possible exception of his speech on Islam given that Stephen Miller is writing it. I figured the problems would be Israel. He and his staff and his forward/advance team and his ambassador in Tel Aviv have now managed to piss off the Israelis very, very badly. I’ve got a post coming before he gets there on this. Just the bullshit about Masada and Yad Vashem would’ve been enough (also shows how dumb and ultimately ineffective the Jewish Americans in his inner circle are – Jared, Stephen Miller – both should have been able to explain the importance of these visits to him and made it stick) to seriously upset the Israelis. Combine that with the intel disclosure and burning the Israeli asset, the statements about the Western Wall being in Palestine, referring to the Palestinian Authority as Palestine, not wanting to be accompanied by Bibi to the Wall, and his advanced schedule indicating he will make a speech about the right of Palestinian self determination when he meets with Abbas just put it all way, way over the top.

    Combine this with jet lag, no control over what he eats and when. And the fact that he’s now a wounded bird so the NATO leaders can all just politely tweak him into meltdown, this isn’t going to go well at all.

    ReplyReply
  214. 214
    JanieM says:

    Drat, I need to be on a different browser and hope for ETA functionality……

    ReplyReply
  215. 215
    Ian G. says:

    @psycholinguist:

    Per Trump’s Razor and the man’s entire “career”, you’re probably right.

    ReplyReply
  216. 216
    ruemara says:

    @hueyplong: Finally, we have a quintessential American.

    ReplyReply
  217. 217
    Aleta says:

    @Gin & Tonic: That must be a fake poll. The 2 pm readout on the Trump cheerocounter was the highest number ever.

    ReplyReply
  218. 218
    Baud says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Netanyahu shouldn’t have bet it all on red.

    ReplyReply
  219. 219
    SatanicPanic says:

    @zhena gogolia: I think the election pushed me over that point where it’s no longer about having fun, it’s just about maintaining my sanity, and now I’m needing bigger and bigger hits.

    ReplyReply
  220. 220
    trollhattan says:

    @gene108:
    Wee Donny is noothin’ but a haggis-eatin’ crybaby furriner!

    ReplyReply
  221. 221
    Kay says:

    @Tilda Swintons Bald Cap:

    Specifically how to avoid the unwanted Trump hug.

    It’s so gross how he insists on manhandling people. What IS that? Some kind of domination thing? To take something as nice as a hug and turn it into this hostile demeaning gesture is just so obnoxious.

    ReplyReply
  222. 222
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    “What’s with you people, anyway? 21st century and you still can’t set your clocks to the real time.”

    ReplyReply
  223. 223
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @germy: Yes.@Baud: @hovercraft: They’re both traveling with him. Basically the First Lady, the entire senior staff/senior advisors are on the trip. The actual subject matter experts on the National Security Staff for each of these states and the specific issues are not traveling with the President. This is bad staffing for this trip.

    ReplyReply
  224. 224
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I was expecting he’d make it through Saudi okay, with the possible exception of his speech on Islam given that Stephen Miller is writing it.

    How on earth did you come to that conclusion? I know the Saudis will have the place on full lockdown beyond their normal one, but you don’t think Trump is going to be stepping on Saudi dicks left and right both before and after his speech?

    ReplyReply
  225. 225
    Central Planning says:

    @smintheus: and don’t get involved in a land war in Asia.

    ReplyReply
  226. 226
    hueyplong says:

    Trolling me viciously, my son emailed me a New Republic link I did not open, because part of the link was “our choice for FBI director Joe Lieberman.” I rose to the bait just enough to reply that the New Republic wins the Pierre Laval Award for today.

    Really feeling a lack of love for a pair of elves today, Concern Troll Elf Lieberman, and Klan Elf Jefferson Beauregard Lee Jackson Stewart Johnston Kirby-Smith Forrest Sessions.

    ReplyReply
  227. 227
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @clay: I have no idea. Just some obscure fact I remember from a grade school reader about cotton production.

    ReplyReply
  228. 228
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Corner Stone: I’m not sure how to respond to any of those comments…

    ReplyReply
  229. 229
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Baud: Always bet on black.

    ReplyReply
  230. 230
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    this isn’t going to go well at all.

    I wish I could laugh about this. I can’t.

    ReplyReply
  231. 231
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: Would explain the hair.

    ReplyReply
  232. 232
    hedgehog mobile says:

    @LurkerNoLonger: Same here…this joint and TPM.

    ReplyReply
  233. 233
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Combine that with the intel disclosure and burning the Israeli asset, the statements about the Western Wall being in Palestine, referring to the Palestinian Authority as Palestine, not wanting to be accompanied by Bibi to the Wall, and his advanced schedule indicating he will make a speech about the right of Palestinian self determination when he meets with Abbas just put it all way, way over the top.

    As I’ve noted before, Israelis have killed their own leaders for less.

    ReplyReply
  234. 234
    Jeffro says:

    @germy:

    Who can it be now?

    Who indeed?

    ReplyReply
  235. 235
    germy says:

    28 mins ago –
    Fox News gave “The Five” co-host Bob Beckel the boot Friday for making a racist remark to a black IT worker.

    ReplyReply
  236. 236
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Miss Bianca: Global climate change has some really strange effects.

    ReplyReply
  237. 237
    TenguPhule says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Hillary’s mistake was not being born African American.

    ReplyReply
  238. 238
    Aleta says:

    @hovercraft:

    obstructs justice for stratgery

    It all makes sense when you put it that way.

    ReplyReply
  239. 239
    Bailey says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷:

    I don’t think people will buy that. He was in charge and should have known. Like the presidency, the buck stopped with him. He’s dirty too and will go down along with other top GOP leadership

    I think that’s asking a lot. Impeachment with actual removal of a president has never happened, so it would be massive to happen now. (If. Still seems very remote to me.) A president and a VP going at same time? I think everyone would look for reasons for that not to happen.

    ReplyReply
  240. 240
    germy says:

    @Jeffro: That’s exactly what i was humming when I wrote that. You got the obscure reference!

    ReplyReply
  241. 241

    @TenguPhule: Please, please let it be Jared.

    ReplyReply
  242. 242
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @hovercraft: Neither do I. I just monitor it for work, and blogging, related purposes.

    ReplyReply
  243. 243
    Aleta says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: kind of a genius

    ReplyReply
  244. 244
    ruemara says:

    @Adam L Silverman: And you’ve never offered any to the readership? Sad.

    ReplyReply
  245. 245
    moops says:

    None of this seems to be stemming the kleptocracy and the liquidation of federal assets and corporate welfare initiatives.

    my particular federal agency has been told to create a 2018 budget that is 20% smaller. Even if the man-child is put in prison we still have to draft the dam thing just to have Congress tell us to throw it out. Huge waste of time, and always possible Congress signs it, or negotiates it with whoever is in the WH next year. Meanwhile, we don’t plan for anything but mothballing and layoffs.

    ReplyReply
  246. 246
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule: Hopefully somebody takes out the whole entourage in a hail of bullets

    ReplyReply
  247. 247
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: I honestly don’t know. Camel is usually what they serve at the banquets. It’s a delicacy in Saudi.

    ReplyReply
  248. 248
    Jeffro says:

    @JMG:

    I gotts think if Trump has to go, he’ll try and take Pence with him. And all the rest of them, too.

    Anything to preserve his “fortune” for him and Lucretia.

    I still see him sitting at that interrogation room table, face in hands: “…okay, once more for the record…I first began laundering money for the Russian mob back in 2002…”

    ReplyReply
  249. 249
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Miss Bianca: Blowback? Most likely. Repercussions? Most definitely.

    ReplyReply
  250. 250

    @JMG: If he thinks they’ve turned on him or injured him, he’ll hit back. He says that’s the best action to take when someone hits you.

    ReplyReply
  251. 251
    Jeffro says:

    @Jeffro: “…I first became aware that Paul Manafort was taking some sort of direction from Putin back in 2015…”

    ReplyReply
  252. 252
    NotMax says:

    @Omnes Omnibus

    Just a heads-up that your stalker (apparently) showed up again last night.

    ReplyReply
  253. 253
    Chris says:

    @gene108:

    Per Birther logic, a real citizen is anyone the Birthers say he or she is.

    ReplyReply
  254. 254
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @HRA: Excellent. We’ll all be right over.

    ReplyReply
  255. 255
    germy says:

    How much longer can Pence play dumb?

    ReplyReply
  256. 256
    Corner Stone says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    I’m like a fiend now with all this news. Like one story comes in, I read it, go “ohhhhhh that feels gooooood” and then it’s off to find the next one because I’m afraid of running out. Is anyone else feeling this?

    Man sitting in closet with a bottle: “I ain’t gotta problem! I can quit anytime!”
    Assume a woman who is his wife who has just opened the closet door: “Man, look at yoself! Just look at yoself!”

    ReplyReply
  257. 257
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Camel is usually what they serve at the banquets. It’s a delicacy in Saudi.

    Yes, but that’s to honored guests. If they’re trying to tweak him, what’s the worst possible regional dish they could make him eat?

    ReplyReply
  258. 258
    Jeffro says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Maybe I am pregnant and am actually going to have all of Sally Yates babies?

    Wait…why do YOU get to have all of her babies??!? That’s just selfish

    ReplyReply
  259. 259
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @clay: No comment.

    ReplyReply
  260. 260
    Rasputin's Evil Twin says:

    @Kay: In this case, it’s more like whaling, yes?

    ReplyReply
  261. 261

    @Lapassionara:

    I have a hard time envisioning Trump feeling pressure of any sort

    This mistake is perfectly natural, but it’s a misunderstanding of how narcissists work. A narcissist doesn’t think they’re the best. They can’t bear not being treated like the best. They are perhaps the most insecure people possible, desperate for constant external validation, and unable to admit the slightest weakness because it hurts too bad. This is why Trump is so miserable and rage-y. Not being respected eats at him, where it would have hardly any effect on someone who actually believed in themselves.

    @Corner Stone:
    Who is Kang the Conqueror?

    ReplyReply
  262. 262
    TenguPhule says:

    @germy: Forever Katie. Because he’s not pretending.

    ReplyReply
  263. 263
    Chris says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I was expecting he’d make it through Saudi okay, with the possible exception of his speech on Islam given that Stephen Miller is writing it.

    Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln…

    ReplyReply
  264. 264
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @NotMax: caligula?

    ReplyReply
  265. 265
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Bailey: If there exists real evidence of criminal, even treasonous, wrongdoings by both of them, then anything’s possible. The public outcry would be too great to ignore.

    If the GOP did ignore public sentiment, expect political violence

    ReplyReply
  266. 266
    JPL says:

    @germy: I think Trump brings him down. If Pence still plays deaf and dumb, Trump will blame Flynn on him. After all he was in charge of the transition.

    ReplyReply
  267. 267
    TenguPhule says:

    @moops:

    None of this seems to be stemming the kleptocracy and the liquidation of federal assets and corporate welfare initiatives.

    I think the solution will have to involve bounty hunters and specifying “No Disintegrations”

    ReplyReply
  268. 268
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @germy: He’s been doing it for nearly 58 years so far.

    ReplyReply
  269. 269
    Jeffro says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    that is gonna be one long ass flight for his staffers

    Sent me straight to a mental image of Samuel L. Jackson: “I am TIRED…of this MOTHERFUCKING ORANGE FART CLOUD…on this MOTHERFUCKING PLANE!!!”

    (h/t Betty from earlier)

    ReplyReply
  270. 270
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: He seems to do better with autocrats.

    ReplyReply
  271. 271
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Adam L Silverman: have you ever eaten camel? I’m imagining it as kind of like steak or elk meat, but even gamier…

    ETA: but nothing would justify smothering it with ketchup!

    @germy: He’s managed it for 60 + years, how could he stop now?

    ReplyReply
  272. 272
    Chris says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    the statements about the Western Wall being in Palestine, referring to the Palestinian Authority as Palestine, not wanting to be accompanied by Bibi to the Wall, and his advanced schedule indicating he will make a speech about the right of Palestinian self determination when he meets with Abbas just put it all way, way over the top.

    I truly don’t get this. His entire political persona is based on Islamophobia, more than anything else with the possible exception of anti-Hispanic prejudice. Why in God’s name would he and those around him decide to go moderate on that, of all things? I mean, at this point, he could pretty much announce an abandonment of the two-state solution and that he supported all of the West Bank becoming part of Israel, and he’d suffer basically no political repercussions – nobody in America gives a shit about Palestinians other than a very marginalized minority that already votes for the other party. And all his supporters would cheer, and probably a few other people besides. What the hell is that all about?

    ReplyReply
  273. 273
    Barbara says:

    @Chris: S.A. has the wherewithal to utilize time delay or otherwise bring about “technical failures” should the speech start being a little too inflammatory.

    ReplyReply
  274. 274
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Jeffro: Years before.

    ReplyReply
  275. 275
    NotMax says:

    @germy

    He’s not playing. WYSIWYG.

    @Omnes Omnibus

    99.99% certainty. All the signs and hallmarks were present, excepting invoking your nym.

    ReplyReply
  276. 276
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Except for the ones who know how to play him, which is all of them Katie

    ReplyReply
  277. 277
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Miss Bianca: I am guessing it is more like a really big goat.

    ReplyReply
  278. 278
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    He seems to do better with autocrats.

    Only the white Russian ones.

    Mr. Ban the Muslims, remember?

    ReplyReply
  279. 279
    Ian G. says:

    @hueyplong:

    I usually refer to him as Nathan Bedford Forrest Sessions, Jubal Early Sessions, or Preston Brooks Sessions, interchangably.

    ReplyReply
  280. 280
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @NotMax: Oh, yea!

    ReplyReply
  281. 281
    clay says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    And no, I don’t expect ANY blowback at all from Trump’s describing Comey as a “nut job”, do you?

    It’s more “I know you are but what am I”-ism from Trump. Remember in the campaign when people pointed out that he was being racist, and he just up and called Hillary a huge racist?

    And, of course, “No YOU’RE the puppet.”

    People have been saying that he’s unstable and irrational, so he uses that same term against (who he perceives to be) his enemy. In this case, Comey.

    I mean, say what you will about Comey — and we all have — but no one has ever accused him of being crazy or irrational. The complaint doesn’t even make sense. But that’s Trump for you. He is rubber, we are all glue.

    ReplyReply
  282. 282

    @Chris:

    at this point, he could pretty much announce an abandonment of the two-state solution and that he supported all of the West Bank becoming part of Israel, and he’d suffer basically no political repercussions

    He already did that. You’re right, nobody in America paid attention. You can imagine how contradicting that now endears him to Israelis.

    As for why, I’m guessing he’s too stupid to know what he’s talking about and repeating the last thing someone convinced him to say. My guess for who would be that Bannon is back on top and providing the Neo-Nazi ‘fuck Zionist conspirators’ perspective.

    ReplyReply
  283. 283
    Chet Murthy says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷:

    Trump also, apparently, doesn’t engender a whole lot of loyalty

    In the entire history of his public life (going back to the 80s) there is *one* instance of a subordinate saying he was a good boss (the (female!) engineer who ran some of his construction projects (maybe Trump Tower?)). -ONE-. That, combined with the documented record of him stiffing anybody he could, howsoever powerless, is ample evidence that no, no, no, if you’re gonna work for him, get the paychecks on time, and deposit ’em -that- -day-. Oh, and don’t ever let him throw you under the bus — have your own contemporaneous account, hopefully backed-up with recordings. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that Every. Single. Aide. has an innocuous app installed to record audio continuously Notwithstanding that Spicey demanded to inspect all the phones. B/c you can camouflage that shit.

    ReplyReply
  284. 284
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Chris: The simplest explanation is the best one: they’re all stupid and are flailing.

    Could also be that being Isalophobic plays well to the rubes to get elected, not so much to foreign leaders when you’re in office.

    Another example of Trump’s insincerity

    ReplyReply
  285. 285
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: Not sure.

    ReplyReply
  286. 286
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: you beat me to it!

    ReplyReply
  287. 287
    TenguPhule says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    I’m imagining it as kind of like steak or elk meat, but even gamier…

    Think veal, only with a sweeter and fattier taste.

    ReplyReply
  288. 288
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I alerted Adam via email, if that makes you feel better. He is aware of the situation.

    ReplyReply
  289. 289
    Ian G. says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I’m kind of hoping that he’ll have lost it so completely by the time he meets the Pope that he’ll go into some insane rant about global Jesuit conspiracies that he read on InfoWars, or heard as a kid from his father.

    ReplyReply
  290. 290
    efgoldman says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    This is bad staffing for this trip.

    Or maybe just typical

    ReplyReply
  291. 291
    Aleta says:

    @TenguPhule: It’s reported they plan steak and ketchup and will loosen normal dietary restrictions. (To show traditional respect for guests.)

    ReplyReply
  292. 292
    Chris says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Camel is usually what they serve at the banquets. It’s a delicacy in Saudi.

    Yes, but that’s to honored guests. If they’re trying to tweak him, what’s the worst possible regional dish they could make him eat?

    There’s a story in Charlie Wilson’s War about Gust Avrakotos and his people in Pakistan being saddled with some politician’s adviser during a trip to the region, that they really didn’t want to have to take care of. So they decided to simply take him to the most local restaurant they could find on their first night there, knowing what the shock of third world food would do to his stomach. Sure enough, traveler’s diarrhea/food poisoning hit him immediately, and he was basically out of commission for the rest of the trip.

    Saudi Arabia ain’t Pakistan, but it’d be hilarious if they figured out some way to make this happen…

    ReplyReply
  293. 293
    Peale says:

    @Barbara: We’ll see. I’d be curious to find out what the House of Saud has been telling its people in advance of the trip. I hope whatever he does, he embarrasses them bigly.

    ReplyReply
  294. 294
    Chet Murthy says:

    @Ian G.: *ouch* Dude, there are decent Americans on that flight, flying the plane and otherwise running the ship. They’re not aides. Just functional staff. Some, I bet, are under military orders.

    ReplyReply
  295. 295
    The Lodger says:

    @Chris: Enormous political problems. Would these problems include having Russian intelligence provide him the opportunity to speak to two of their top operatives IN THE OVAL OFFICE?
    We should all have problems like this. Enormous ones, too.

    ReplyReply
  296. 296
    Jeffro says:

    @germy:

    That’s exactly what i was humming when I wrote that. You got the obscure reference!

    Yes…condemning myself to at least another hour’s worth of Men At Work earworms…thanks!

    ReplyReply
  297. 297
    different-church-lady says:

    @Keith P.: Well, it is a day that ends in “…day”, after all.

    ReplyReply
  298. 298
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Miss Bianca: I have never eaten it. The three standards at Iraqi banquets are goats and lambs (including the heads) and an Iraqi subspecies of carp, whole roasted over open flames, then boned just prior to serving. This is all served with rice, hummus, baba ghanoush, lubna, pickled veggies, and often kebabs of various sorts and fresh pita. I loved eating with the locals!

    ReplyReply
  299. 299
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Ian G.: Lol

    ReplyReply
  300. 300
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Chris: I have no idea.

    ReplyReply
  301. 301
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Chet Murthy: Acceptable casualties.

    They would die knowing they serves their country by taking out a tyrant

    ReplyReply
  302. 302
    efgoldman says:

    @germy:

    How much longer can Pence play dumb?

    He’s not playing. Not for nothing was he considered the dumbest member of the house, even with Gohmert, King, and Bachmann for competition.

    ReplyReply
  303. 303
    Miss Bianca says:

    @TenguPhule: ooh…that sounds rather tasty. Not that I’m likely to get invited to a Saudi dinner party where i’m the honored guest any time soon, but based on that description, I would gladly tuck into a plate of camel meat!

    ReplyReply
  304. 304
    Adam L Silverman says:

    And McClatchy decides to pile on!!!!

    ReplyReply
  305. 305
    NotMax says:

    @efgoldman

    Gotta have the seats filled with the cheering/applause choir, don’tcha know.

    ReplyReply
  306. 306
    Felonius Monk says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    this isn’t going to go well at all.

    The purpose of part of this trip is UNITY. I believe he will be successful in causing Muslims, Jews, and Catholics to be unified in their desire to see the world rid of him.

    ReplyReply
  307. 307
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Chet Murthy: Probably. Wouldn’t surprise me

    ReplyReply
  308. 308
    Peale says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    He seems to do better with autocrats.

    Until he meets them. Whatever happened in that meeting with Erdrogan seems to have ticked him off.

    ReplyReply
  309. 309
    moops says:

    Having had camel in the Kingdom, they are very proud of it. I don’t think ketchup will help. But there is not a large shame in taking minimal portions, then his staff can sneak him steak for him to eat in his room later with two scoops of ice cream. He won’t starve.

    ReplyReply
  310. 310
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Dude, you are making me feel RAVENOUS right now. That sounds like the best feast ever!

    ReplyReply
  311. 311
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: Did fine with Erdogan.

    ReplyReply
  312. 312
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’ve always wondered how you embed tweets into comments

    ReplyReply
  313. 313
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    And oceans of tea.

    ReplyReply
  314. 314
    germy says:

    @efgoldman:

    Gohmert, King, and Bachmann for competition

    Some stiff competition. One would be exceedingly dense to beat that team.

    ReplyReply
  315. 315
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’ll be in and out this evening, so keep me apprised if there’s a problem.

    ReplyReply
  316. 316
    Corner Stone says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The three standards at Iraqi banquets are goats and lambs (including the heads) and an Iraqi subspecies of carp, whole roasted over open flames, then boned just prior to serving. This is all served with rice, hummus, baba ghanoush, lubna, pickled veggies, and often kebabs of various sorts and fresh pita.

    Oh, God. Now I want goat. And lamb. And goat. And lamb. Not carp so much. But all the side dishes!

    ReplyReply
  317. 317
    pat says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I think “going well” or not depends a lot on your point of view. From mine, the worse it is, the better. Heh.

    ReplyReply
  318. 318
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷: On the tweet click on the little arrow in the top right. Click on embed tweet. Copy the embed code. Paste it into the comment. Hit post comment.

    ReplyReply
  319. 319
    Adam L Silverman says:

    ReplyReply
  320. 320
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Neat! Thanks

    ReplyReply
  321. 321
    Central Planning says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Eating with locals is always the way to go. When I traveled internationally I always made a point of eating the local cuisine, and no american food. Always worked out great, especially since I didn’t really know what I was eating.

    Once when I was in Beijing, I went to a restaurant that didn’t have any english words on the menu. My friend and I picked 3 or 4 different things from different areas on the menu. Worked out great. The english translations were funny too – “fragrant cosmetology hoof” was the most interesting one.

    ReplyReply
  322. 322
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Corner Stone: They are very proud of the fish. They run aquaculture near the Tigris and are very, very proud of doing so. So if you get fish you should feel especially honored. It was very, very good.

    ReplyReply
  323. 323
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Central Planning:

    fragrant cosmetology hoof

    That wasn’t a restaurant, that was a cosmetics boutique!

    ReplyReply
  324. 324
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @JPL: Mar-a-Waco.

    ReplyReply
  325. 325
    Central Planning says:

    @Adam L Silverman: My insides were as smooth as a baby’s bottom.

    ReplyReply
  326. 326
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: He used him as a human shield. And it was on his turf at the time.

    ReplyReply
  327. 327
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: Yep.

    ReplyReply
  328. 328
    Origuy says:

    @NotMax: Yes. ведьма (ved’ma) is a witch. Looking at Google Translate’s annotations, it’s specifically a female witch, and has the connotations (hag, harridan) that the English word has. I’m not a fluent Russian speaker, though.

    ReplyReply
  329. 329
    VOR says:

    I think of this quote when I ponder the Trump administration: “It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.” – Mark Twain

    ReplyReply
  330. 330
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’m necro’ing your earlier comment, because I have a question about this that’s bugged me for awhile:

    We also know from Clapper’s testimony when asked by Senator Hirono if he’d seen SIGINT that included unmasked US citizens who were part of the campaign or members of Congress. Clapper replied “both”. There was only one campaign official who was a member of Congress: Sessions.

    Doesn’t Clapper’s answer also mean that there could be different unmasked citizens – some of which were MoC, some of whom were campaign members? The phrasing leaves open the possibility that there’s no overlap between the groups.

    ReplyReply
  331. 331
    Bill Arnold says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    Yes, Jared was the first name that came to my mind too.

    Likewise. (With no evidence, just popped into mind.)

    ReplyReply
  332. 332
    Capri says:

    @hueyplong: I think they didn’t expect blowback because they knew the Democrats didn’t like him because how he screwed Hilary and the GOP would go along with anything they did. They absolutely didn’t see past the fact that folks might not like Comey as an individual, or that they might question his choices/actions/motives and yet, still think it was out of line for Trump to axe him.
    The thing that always comes to my mind when reading about this is: “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” That’s some nuanced shit that Trump doesn’t get.

    ReplyReply
  333. 333
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MisterForkbeard: Ir is possible, but based on the way both the question was asked and how he answered it I think it was likely both.

    ReplyReply
  334. 334
    The Lodger says:

    @Jeffro: It can only be Jared…

    ReplyReply
  335. 335
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Thanks! This has been bugging me whenever I see you talk about it, but I’m always reading far enough behind you posting that I don’t want to bring it back up again. Appreciate the reply.

    ReplyReply
  336. 336
    hovercraft says:

    @TenguPhule: @germy:

    Forever Katie. Because he’s not pretending.

    He’s not playing dumb because he’s called dense for a reason, but he’s lying about not knowing about all of the Flynn shit. Just because he’s stupid doesn’t mean he doesn’t know that he screwed the pooch, and Mother is not going to be pleased with him.

    ReplyReply
  337. 337
    hovercraft says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I wish someone would serve him an animal head, aren’t the eyeballs considered a delicacy? That would be priceless.

    ReplyReply
  338. 338
    dr. luba says:

    @The Lodger:
    The Independent, just now:

    Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner ‘person of interest in Russia investigation’
    A former FBI Director is heading the probe

    ReplyReply
  339. 339
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku 🗳 🌷 says:

    @hovercraft: Oh, dear. Mother will make me sleep on the couch for a month for this.

    Yuck

    ReplyReply
  340. 340
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Um, by “kebabs of all sorts” do you mean skewered veggies? Isn’t “kebab” the word for “meat”? Dunno about Pashtun, but it is in Turkish (shish kebab = skewered meat, doner kebab = turned meat, etc.) /language pedant

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  341. 341
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Yep

    @Corner Stone: If the Iraqi carp is like the fish I had in Kazakhstan, yes you do want it, unless you hate fish. The fish had little spiky bones throughout, but it was a delicious white-meat fish, not oily or gamy at all.

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  342. 342
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @hovercraft:

    Just because he’s stupid doesn’t mean he doesn’t know that he screwed the pooch, and Mother is not going to be pleased with him.

    Bullshit. Who do you think’s doing the leaking? The brains of the outifit: “Mother!”

    Think about it. How did they get the knuckledragging fundanazis out for a serial adulterer & daughter-fondler? By telling them that Trump wouldn’t be POTUS for very long, & then they’d get the theocrat of their fever dreams. Here we are, right on schedule. Mark my words: If the investigations get too close to VP Dunce, the Soldiers of Gilead will close ranks around him to save his imbecile do-what-Mother-tells-him arse for the White House.

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  343. 343
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @hovercraft:

    Sheep’s eyes with ketchup.

    I remember reading, many decades ago, about one of the early overseas tours undertaken by the then-young Queen Elizabeth II and her husband (so probably early 1950s). They went to one of the ME/NA countries, can’t remember which one, and at dinner the Queen and Duke were each presented, very ceremonially, with a plate containing one sheep’s eye. Reports at the time were that both of the British Royals consumed the local delicacy with politeness, if not relish (in either sense of the word). I doubt it shows up on Buckingham Palace menus.

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  344. 344
    a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio) says:

    @Adam L Silverman: A friend used to work on a wrecker crew for the CSX railroad and had to deal with a cotton bale fire. It was essentially unmanageable–500 pounds of raw, compressed cotton, once it starts burning, can’t be stopped, and even submerging it, unless for prolonged periods, is no guarantee the fire will stay out. All they could really do was use a crane to separate it physically from the other cotton bales and the rest of the wreck.

    Pulling the bale apart might help, as it would allow you to separate the burning cotton from the as-yet unignited portion. Snopes is dubious about the use of gasoline, although one commenter notes that that story might have resulted from confusion over the use of CO2 or nitrogen to deprive the fire of oxygen. I’d worry about the heat of the fire vaporizing the gasoline so that the gas fumes would ignite, myself. Chemistry labs are advised to keep sodium metal submerged in paraffin oil to prevent contact with air, for what that’s worth.
    A burning cotton boll could probably be trampled underfoot, however, and extinguished that way; a boll is maybe the size of my (smallish) fist at the largest.

    But yeah, if we’ve gone past dumpster fire to cotton bale fire, we might as well try gasoline; if nothing else, it’ll get things over faster. I couldn’t vouch for the safety, though, just the speed.

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    Ryan says:

    Now Chump gets to learn what it’s like to run a real Fortune 50 company, in other words, one with a board of directors.

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    Achrachno says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Boll? Maybe you mean bale? A boll is c. the size of a ping-pong ball and I can’t imagine one supporting a fire big enough to worry much about.

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