Saturday Morning Open Thread: Rashamon, Rash o’ Liars

(Jack Ohman via

We’ve survived worse, but yesterday sure felt like a low point in American history. Of course I knew Republican corporatists would be happy to sell the country to anyone who offered, but I figured at least they’d set a higher price. Guess they read the ‘thirty pieces of silver’ story from that holy book they all claim to revere, and figured it would be disrespectful to their role model to ask for more…

Apart from mourning / #Resisting, what’s on the agenda for the day?

168 replies
  1. 1
    Daoud bin Daoud says:

    The Russian puppet is happy to have his puppetmaster pull his strings.

  2. 2
    Kansi says:

    The fact that this was telegraphed ahead of time makes it no less stunning. The big question is: Now what?

  3. 3
    OzarkHillbilly says:


  4. 4
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Mike Pence touches Nasa equipment right next to ‘do not touch’ sign

    I got nuthin’. NASA had this:

    It was OK to touch the surface. Those are just day-to-day reminder signs. We were going to clean it anyway. It was an honor to host you!

    Sure. Got it. Right. No, I believe you. Really I do.

  5. 5
    TenguPhule says:

    Will nobody rid us of this treasonous bastard, his family, associates, henchmen and fucking party collaborators?

    /Fuck it all, at this point I am perfectly entitled to make my literary fucking appeal.

  6. 6
    TriassicSands says:

    “There was a very clear positive chemistry between the two…There was not a lot of relitigating things from the past.”

    Autocrats of a feather, oppress together.

    Why re-litigate Russian interference in our elections? Trump doesn’t want to admit that he was helped to his massive, incredible, historic, stunning, overwhelming, greatest-ever electoral victory by anyone but the adoring voters of the United States of Russia, um, I mean America. Putin has no reason to want to discuss it at all. Case closed.

    Besides, Putin probably promised to assist Trump in 2020 and Trump, being the small “d” democrat that he is agreed, since Russian help isn’t really unconstitutional — nowhere in the US Constitution does it say that Russia shouldn’t help Donald Trump win elections. What more do strict constructionists need?

  7. 7
    TriassicSands says:


    Will nobody rid us of this treasonous bastard…?

    I’m afraid not. The framers didn’t really plan for a complete idiot to win the presidency. It’s ironic, because they certainly favored rich white men, but I’m afraid the Jeffersons and Madisons and Hamiltons of that day couldn’t imagine a mindless fool with no regard for the well-being of the country being elected. You know, if nothing else, the Electoral College would step in and protect us from that kind of mistake.

    Worked like a charm!

  8. 8
    SFAW says:

    For awhile, with respect to the collusion with Putin/Russia, I used to refer to the Rethugs as the Party of Treasonous Motherfuckers. I — and others here — have been dutifully corrected by one or more of the lawyers here, noting that we were not at war with Russia, therefore no treason.

    I finally see that I was wrong. I mean, how can it be treason, if we’re a satellite of the country interfering with our “government”? How can it be treason if the Rethugs are merely doing what our new Russian overlords want?

    My biggest mistake, I think, was assuming it would be our new Chinese overlords. So, I guess my crystal ball/Magic Eight Ball needs to be traded in.

    Do we know if President Lying Littledick at least got a bowl of pottage out of the “deal.” He’s the World’s Greatest Dealmaker, so I’m sure he at least got one for himself and First Lady Ivanka.

  9. 9
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😐 😐😐

  10. 10
    SFAW says:

    And I know efgoldman keeps reminding us that Watergate took awhile to lead to Nixon’s resignation. Hell, I really enjoyed the Ervin and Company hearings myself. He’s right, but I just wish — since this is the Intertoobz Age — that things would move along more quickly, so that we have a (non-satellite) country left.

  11. 11
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  12. 12
    TriassicSands says:


    Hell, I really enjoyed the Ervin and Company hearings myself.

    Any idea who will play Ervin’s role today?

  13. 13
    patrick II says:

    It has been striking to me how someone who has a dominant/submissive attitude towards society, and tries to dominate others when possible, becomes so submissive when they perceive someone as a more alpha male. I am only surprised Trump didn’t roll over on his back, wag his tail, and strike a submissive pose.

  14. 14
    SFAW says:


    Any idea who will play Ervin’s role today?

    Good one!

    The only Ervin-play will be Trey Gowdy going after Hitlary.

  15. 15
    Yoda Dog says:

    I, for one, welcome new Russian overlords.

  16. 16
    SFAW says:

    @patrick II:

    I am only surprised Trump didn’t roll over on his back, wag his tail, and strike a submissive pose.

    It sounds like he demonstrated his “down dog” position for Putin, when the cameras weren’t around.

    Good luck getting President Obese Orange into Lululemon yoga pants, however. His would have to come from Omar the Tentmaker, I imagine.

  17. 17
    NotMax says:

    @Triassic Sands

    Leave us not forget that Ervin was one of the southern Democrats who had not yet jumped over to becoming a member of the G.O.P. Extremely pro-Nixon (both in voting record and by public statement), to the point of having previously announced that it was “inconceivable” that the president was involved in anything questionable or underhanded.

  18. 18

    @SFAW: The local news informed me that Trump and Putin solved the Syria problem.

  19. 19
    HoosierDaddy says:

    My 83 year-old very liberal mother helped me gain some much needed perspective regarding Putin-Trump: “We are not watching the negotiations of two statesmen. We are witnessing the haggling of the heads of two crime families who happen to own 80% of the worlds nuclear arsenal.”

  20. 20
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    So this is what it feels like to be a client state.

  21. 21
    Baud says:

    Y’all are distracting us from health care.

  22. 22
  23. 23

    OT: Another Echo Park pic.
    Note: This is coming out a bit dark and desaturated on Chrome on a PC. It looks OK in Edge(I’m not sure about IE, and I don’t have Firefox). It looks fine on Chrome on Android.

    ETA: Looks fine in IE.

  24. 24
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: You should be used to it, you live in Kentucky.

  25. 25
    TriassicSands says:


    Yea, but it’s a very different world today. Nothing would make me happier than to see someone in the GOP step up and show some genuine character. And nothing would surprise me more. My capacity to be shocked would be renewed.

    Hope springs eternal…

  26. 26
    patrick II says:

    I saw a couple of diplomats being interviewed on MSNBC, one by Chris Hayes about the Trump Putin meeting. They were saying it wasn’t so bad because it got some first steps done towards a better relationship with Russia. One said Russia’s software attack was our fault because we didn’t have a better math program for our students, and then encouraged us to look forward because “lawyers think about the past, but diplomats the future”.
    I can see why the old time Republicans held these guys in contempt.

  27. 27
    p.a. says:

    Well, authoritarians always want a strong leader. Guess this is conscious and subconscious affirmation that tRump’s the cuck, Vlad’s the man.

  28. 28
    Arm The Homeless says:

    The White House is working hard to sell deliverables from the meeting—like the Syria cease-fire—as a win, demonstrating that Trump’s obsession with better relations with Putin can benefit the United States. But the concessions granted place the U.S. behind the Russian narrative, following the lead of an aggressive, revanchist nation.

    Houston, we’ve got a large fucking problem

    Further proof that Trump Cultists’ entire worldview is intermingled with the insatiable need for ‘strength’ and ‘order’ carved from the backs of people they have an irrational fear of. It’s a completely unchained Id, scared and lashing out at a modernity where they are finding it harder and harder to stay the center of the nation’s attention; the simple act of being born into the right family, church or ethnic group used to guarantee that for these delicate snowflakes.

  29. 29
    JPL says:

    @patrick II: That doesn’t make me feel better. Every time that I try to look forward, I want to return to bed.

  30. 30
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    One morning in late March, Brij Khandelwal called the Agra police to report an attempted murder.

    Days before, the high court in India’s Uttarakhand state had issued a landmark judgment declaring the Yamuna river – and another of India’s holiest waterways, the Ganges – “living entities”.

    Khandelwal, an activist, followed the logic. “Scientifically speaking, the Yamuna is ecologically dead,” he says. His police report named a series of government officials he wanted charged with attempted poisoning. “If the river is dead, someone has to be responsible for killing it.”

  31. 31
    Oldgold says:

    To be fair to Trump, he did not give Alaska back to the Rooskies.

  32. 32
    Another Scott says:


    Besides, Putin probably promised to assist Trump in 2020 and Trump, …


    You see, Vlad didn’t do anything in 2016, so there’s no need for him to do anything in 2020. Amirite?


    I know you’re snarking, but, like the Ohman comic on top says, Vlad doesn’t have to promise Donnie anything. He may wink and nod and make soothing noises that Donnie likes, but he’s not Donnie’s friend.

    Vlad is all about increasing his own power and decreasing the power of the US, NATO, and the EU. He wants a chaotic Donnie (or Mikey) in the White House; he has no interest in helping them. He wants everyone else off-balance, wondering what they have to do to make Vlad happy, etc., etc.

    The biggest threat to Vlad continues to be the Russian economy and low oil prices. Even with all the “good news” for Vlad recently, the Rubble has been weakening in 2017. The West still has lots of levers to influence Russian policy if it is willing to use them…

    I’m hearing some more details about the ceasefire in SW Syria this AM:

    Previous ceasefires in Syria have collapsed or failed to reduce violence for long, and it was unclear whether this deal would fare any better.

    Al Jazeera’s Natasha Ghoneim, reporting from Gaziantep, Turkey, said that despite such announcements of ceasefires, fighting continues and residents feel unsafe.

    “This week there were peace talks in Astana and ahead of those talks, a ceasefire was announced, but in the west of the country, rebels are in a fierce battle with the Syrian forces who are trying to regain control and along the southern border there is sporadic fighting going on, the Syrian opposition is in control for the most part along the border with Jordan, but clearly fighting continues despite these ceasefires,” she said.

    “We have spoken to residents in the southwest portion of Syria and they say that despite a ceasefire, they don’t feel safe and humanitarian aid doesn’t reach them.”

    I’m all for negotiations and ending the war there. But given the participants at this meeting, and history, this seems to be designed to strengthen Assad and weaken the opposition and looks to be another “win” for Vlad.


  33. 33
    Bruce K says:

    @Oldgold: No, he handed over the whole bloody country. Alaska is just part of the package deal.

    My parents are resigned to not living to see this set right. I hope I live long enough.

  34. 34
    bystander says:


    /Fuck it all, at this point I am perfectly entitled to make my literary fucking appeal.

    So long as you flutter your eyelashes while making said appeal to signal that you’re just joking, yes.

    As much as I loathe Trump and his next of vipers, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are equally contemptible craven quislings.

  35. 35

    @Oldgold: He’s saving that for his next meeting.

  36. 36
    Kathleen says:

    @patrick II: He wanted to walk out of meeting with Putin’s letter jacket and prom invite. Squee!

  37. 37
    germy says:

    Tillerson: “He says he didn’t interfere, and he promises not to interfere again in 2020.”

  38. 38
    Kristine says:

    Trump needed someone to humiliate and bully him like Dad did. And now he’s found him.

  39. 39
    Oldgold says:

    Actually, I think I could support a reverse Seward’s Folly, if it included the Palins.

  40. 40
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Sweet Jeebus save us all:

    Theresa May is planning to spend tens of millions of pounds of aid funding on buying premiums with British insurance companies to help cover the costs of natural disasters in African countries, such as severe drought.

    The prime minister believes that buying up private insurance policies in the UK, in a break from more traditional forms of aid spending, could reduce the need for expensive direct humanitarian support in the future.

    A senior Downing Street official said the plan was to spend £30m over four years on the initiative, after which the companies would be able to continue working directly with African countries, opening up the opportunity to make a profit.

    Because nothing says “profit” like withered crops.

  41. 41
    Another Scott says:

    @TriassicSands: (Good) politicians are cautious. TheHill:

    Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas)—a “no” vote that took many in Washington by surprise—distanced himself the closed-door process used to draft the Senate bill.

    “It takes two parties who want to come together. Not just Republicans. Not just Democrats,” he said during a polite, but pointed, meeting with constituents in rural Kansas.

    Asked if he could support the bill, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) told constituents that “I don’t know if we’re even going to get a bill up,” according to the Des Moines Register.

    Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), who normally aligns with leadership, also came out as “no” over the recess break.

    “No counta de chickies before-a dey hatcha,” etc., etc., but these people aren’t going to vote against bills like this without speaking out against them first. (It doesn’t mean they will vote against it, but it’s a necessary first step.)

    Watergate took months and months to bring down Nixon. It’s still early, but the timeline is accelerating.

    Supposedly they have to fish or cut bait on BCRAP before the August recess (July 31 – September 4). We can’t assume they won’t try to ram something through by July 30 even with all the “no” noises right now. There’s too much pressure for them – “We must do something. This is something, so we must do it.” – for us to conclude that it will be an easy win for us. The screaming to end Obamacare, and the desire to cut taxes for the 0.01%, especially.

    Immediately after that they will have to come up with a FY18 budget and raise the debt ceiling, and they want their magical tax bill even if they can’t gut Obamacare and Medicaid right now. If they shut down the government, or cause a default, then all bets are off on how quickly the Teabagger House of Cards begins to collapse. Similarly, if they actually do ram through the BCRAP bill and destroy the healthcare and insurance system in the US…

    It’s a long road. We have to fight them every single day. If it helps the cause to golf-clap Teabaggers making “No” noises, then we should clap away – while keeping our eyes on the prize.


  42. 42
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Oldgold: Why stop at them? I’ll throw the ZEGS and McTurtle into the deal too.

  43. 43

    @patrick II: Yes, and we’re working *hard* on those improved math programs.
    No, we’re not. We’re working hard on robbing everyone else to line the crime family’s pockets.

  44. 44
  45. 45
    TriassicSands says:

    @Another Scott:

    As I said, hope springs eternal.

  46. 46
    Oldgold says:

    My player to be named later would be Ted Cruz.

  47. 47
    debbie says:

    Based on photos of the meeting, Putin seems to be morphing into Gollum.

  48. 48
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Oldgold: I like. What do you think we’d have to sweeten the deal with to get them to take tRump and Dence?

  49. 49
    Robin Gittelman says:

    @patrick II: That undoubtedly happened in the private meeting

  50. 50
    trnc says:

    @patrick II: Gergen was very impressed with DT because the meeting lasted for over 2 hours even though it was only scheduled for 30 minutes. I guess the content of the meeting and the fact that DT could have been giving away more of the US Treasury every 15 minutes doesn’t really matter as long as some kind of minimum time limit was met.

  51. 51
    Another Scott says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I can’t find it at the moment, but someone took that picture and Photoshopped it with Donnie holding pictures of his electoral college map (colored by county)
    (with tiny hands)… It’s great.

    And sad.



  52. 52
  53. 53
    hueyplong says:

    I’m not sure Putin/Russia has to “influence” McConnell and Ryan at all. Those guys already support what’s going on. Acting like they have to be blackmailed or otherwise forced to act the way they’re acting assumes a level of humanity for which there isn’t a lot of objective proof. Putin wasn’t at Ryan’s college kegger.

    As for when Trump will outlive his usefulness to Putin so that Putin actually drops the kompromat on us, the answer to that seems to be “never,” unless for some reason he just decides to do it for fun.

    Sorry to say, but I’m pretty much putting most of my eggs in the Mueller basket.

  54. 54
    Oldgold says:


  55. 55
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @TriassicSands: Too much faith in the Electoral College, yes. Hamilton did describe the current WH resident pretty well:

    When a man unprincipled in private life desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper, possessed of considerable talents, having the advantage of military habits—despotic in his ordinary demeanour—known to have scoffed in private at the principles of liberty—when such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity—to join in the cry of danger to liberty—to take every opportunity of embarrassing the General Government & bringing it under suspicion—to flatter and fall in with all the non sense of the zealots of the day—It may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may “ride the storm and direct the whirlwind.”

  56. 56
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    This is like Munich, except instead of appeasing Hitler it was Mussoline. Dear god.

  57. 57
    randy khan says:

    It occurred to me last night that the only professional representing the U.S. during the meeting with Putin was the translator.

  58. 58
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Another Scott:

    It’s great.

    And sad.


  59. 59
    ArchTeryx says:

    What I’m worried about now is the 2018 election. You just know our voting systems are going to be absolutely wide open to Russian and/or billionaire interference, so Trump keeps a compliant and all-Republican Congress. We as liberals aren’t just struggling now against the enemy within – now we have to contend with an external enemy, too.

    There probably were worse times to be a liberal in our country’s history but I can’t think of any.

  60. 60
    Vhh says:

    @Arm The Homeless: We can now call the entire GOP cuckservatives.

  61. 61
    JMG says:

    The meeting went long because Putin wanted it to. Trump is a massive motormouth, and Putin, as any veteran intelligence officer (or good reporter) would do, kept going “uh-huh,” “fascinating,” “please tell me more,” etc. I’m sure a massive amount of classified information came out of Trump’s pie hole.

  62. 62
  63. 63
    sm*t cl*de says:

    David Frum
    Both the fence and the burglar agreed there was no need to relitigate who the TV belonged to.

    WHOM it belonged to. Harrumph.

  64. 64
    Schlemazel says:

    @sm*t cl*de:
    TO WHOM it belonged

    “Ending a sentence with a preposition is a practice which I will not up put” Winston Churchill

  65. 65
    randy khan says:


    Remember that voting systems are controlled by the states, and that so far nearly all of them seem to be fiercely protecting their independence, so there’s some hope there.

  66. 66
    Baud says:


    There probably were worse times to be a liberal in our country’s history but I can’t think of any.

    Yeah. OTOH, I can’t think of any period in history when liberals were as defeatist and fatalistic as they seem to be now. Maybe a cause and effect there. Who knows?

  67. 67
    randy khan says:


    Or, to sound less stuffy: “who owned the TV.”

  68. 68
    debbie says:


    Usage is ever-changing.

  69. 69
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: He sees her as his primary advisor. Probably did that all the time at his business, why not now?

  70. 70
    debbie says:

    Memes aside, does anyone know the real reason for Merkel’s body language in this photo?

  71. 71
    zhena gogolia says:


    Now what? We, the patriotic majority, sit here and watch the treasonous minority rule over us.

  72. 72
    zhena gogolia says:

    The Friedman tweet is right on. It’s what the MSM don’t seem to “get.” Or pretend not to “get.”

  73. 73
    Another Scott says:

    @debbie: A longer clip that gives a little more context, and my guess, is here from downstairs.



  74. 74
    Tokyokie says:

    @JMG: Keep in mind as well that the Russians had three English-speakers at the meeting, the Americans had one Russian-speaker. Yeah, it’s a pretty good bet we got played. Putin could pretend not to understand something Trump said in order to draw him out and hark up more detail, over and over and over.

  75. 75
    Gravenstone says:

    @trnc: It took so long because the translators kept breaking up laughing after incredulously asking Trump, ‘is that really what you want to say?’.

  76. 76
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @ArchTeryx: 1861-1865.

  77. 77
    Steeplejack says:

    @Another Scott:

    The photo at the top of the story Debbie linked to is of Merkel talking to Trump with her face in her hands. The eye-roll at Putin is way down in the article.

  78. 78
    Kay says:

    Ivanka Trump briefly sits in for her father at G20 session

    West Wing Reports
    New line of succession:
    Favorite Daughter
    Favorite Daughter’s Husband
    Eldest Son
    Next Son
    Vice President
    Least favorite son

  79. 79
    germy says:

    @sm*t cl*de:

    WHOM it belonged to. Harrumph.

    To whom it belonged?

  80. 80
    Kay says:

    Anne Applebaum‏
    Because an unelected, unqualified, unprepared New York socialite is the best person to represent American national interests

    I guess the son in law was busy. Probably conducting bilateral meetings.

  81. 81
    Schlemazel says:

    @randy khan: @debbie:
    Oh sure, lets dumb down the language until we all speak in 140 character grunts!

    I was joking, out-pendenting the pendent.

  82. 82
    GregB says:

    No puppet!

    Matruyshka, yes, puppet no.

  83. 83
    Immanentize says:

    @debbie: I agree with you (and Steven Pinker). “Whom” is now as useless and dead as “thee.”. It will take some generational time for that to be finally true.

  84. 84
  85. 85
    Another Scott says:

    @Steeplejack: Whoops. I just went on the text in the URL. Dunno what the face-holding stuff was about.


  86. 86
    MomSense says:


    Now that it is in NK’s range they don’t want it.

    All I know is that I want the whole fucking treasonous Republican Party from the top to bottom to be destroyed. I want every last item of dirty laundry aired in public. I want to see Ryan’s blue eyes look scared as he is perp walked down the capitol steps in handcuffs. I hope McConnell trips while he is handcuffed and they have to drag his sorry little legs behind him to the police van.

    All that bullshit Cold War hiding under our desks, and decades of MAD, Domino Theory, and investing all of our money in death and destruction instead of health and education culminated in handing our nation over to Russia because they threw money at a greedy GOP while pushing homophobia, racism, and misogyny.

  87. 87
    d58826 says:

    @Tokyokie: There were three people at the meeting backing the Russian position. Tillerson is the third. Nothing he would like more than to lift sanctions so Exxon can have a big payday. Given the ethical standards of this regime I suspect he will have a big payday as well.

    Going over the way Tillerson characterized the hacking discussion again seems like a big win for Putin. Trump supposed raised the issue, Putin denied it and then all was forgiven.
    In his opening statement Trump should have said:

    We know what you did.
    We reject your denial. You will stop now. You will stop interfering in W. Europe. I will sign the senate sanctions bill because of your conduct in 2016. If my IC tells me that you are still hacking our systems then we will impose additional penalties. There are some things we might be able to agree on today but US/Russian relations will not improve until the hacking stops.

    And if Putin didn’t like it he could leave.
    But I saw a comment this morning that Trump though his meeting with Putin was tremendous. And it was – for Putin. The US not so much.

  88. 88
    debbie says:


    Can’t happen soon enough for me!

  89. 89
    efgoldman says:


    I just wish — since this is the Intertoobz Age — that things would move along more quickly

    The Watergate cases were all about covering up moving money, after the fact of the burglary. They got testimony going up the ladder, along with the tapes, that the cover up originated in the Oval office. All the other mishegas – the enemies list, the Vietnam lies, diddling with the FBI and IRS – was incidental and not part of the impeachment resolution.
    This current bullshit is all about the cover up, too, although it looks like blatantly illegal acts were committed, rather than just passing on attache cases full of cash. This internet world makes it HARDER, not easier, to solve. Mueller can’t just google “election crimes” or something. I don’t think he can compel production or testimony from Russians, and he certainly can’t get anything from the seven or so conveniently dead Russians. Say what you want about Tricksie Dicksie, I don’t think he ever had witnesses assassinated. For Mueller to follow the money, his people have to go thru millions of documents covering tens if thousands of transactions with any of the crime family’s [hundreds or maybe thousands] shell companies, LLCs owned by other companies owned by one or another of them. Even with modern software, a very slow process.


    Any idea who will play Ervin’s role today?

    Absolutely nobody in the RWNJ KKKrazy KKKaukus. From the whole senate? I’d pick Shelson Whitehouse former state AG, former federal prosecutor, a brilliant guy who doesn’t care about publicity.
    Or, to really piss off the mouth breathers, Kamala Harris.
    The question is, who’d play Howard Baker?

    Also, don’t forget the house judiciary committee under Peter Rodino from NJ, did yeoman work

  90. 90
    Mike in DC says:

    King Leer.

  91. 91
    debbie says:


    This conference being her moment to shine, Merkel has to be in absolute disbelief.

  92. 92
    Kay says:

    So what would one do if one were planning to run against Trump in 2020? How would one prepare for Russian interference?

    It would have to be part of your campaign planning, right? There were two hacks we know about – the DNC break-in and then the Clinton campaign email theft, but there was also unspecified “interference” which seems to have something to do with planting false stories about the candidates- maybe more than that, we don’t know, no one has seen fit to tell the public. Even if you assumed there would be “interference” how would you plan for that? One of the really viral fake stories about Clinton was that she was running a child sex ring. Okay, that would not have been on MY radar- didn’t see that coming- what would the plan have been to stop the “Hillary Clinton is running an international child sex trafficking ring” story?

  93. 93
    Baud says:


    So what would one do if one were planning to run against Trump in 2020? How would one prepare for Russian interference?

    Covered it last night, Kay.

  94. 94
    d58826 says:

    THe Russian media readout

    State-owned RIA Novosti wrote that the meeting would improve US-Russia relations, which they said Trump was seriously committed to building. In recent weeks, the narrative that Trump is stilted in his desire to build a stronger connection with Russia has been coming up repeatedly in Russian media.
    “Pressure from the anti-Russian American establishment, which unfairly accuses the Russian Federation of interfering in its presidential elections and which Trump is forced to grapple with, is partly to blame,” the article said.;ocid=iehp

  95. 95
    MomSense says:


    She can’t fucking believe one of the finest most intelligent presidents in our history was replaced with an addled, racist, orange buffoon. She was hoping that if she closed her eyes and said Barack Obama three times she would wake up and this fucking nightmare would be over.

  96. 96
    Immanentize says:


    All that bullshit Cold War hiding under our desks, and decades of MAD, Domino Theory, and investing all of our money in death and destruction instead of health and education culminated in handing our nation over to Russia because they threw money at a greedy GOP while pushing homophobia, racism, and misogyny.

    This sums it all up so well. Now who were we told was our “real” adversary in Viet Nam? Angola? Cuba? Friggin’ Grenada? I just can’t remember….

  97. 97
    Immanentize says:

    @debbie: For thee?

  98. 98
    Kay says:

    @Mike in DC:

    It really bothers me. I think there should be public service announcements that this not normal and people should resist getting used to it.

    I hold them all responsible, too. Ivanka is a grown woman. She has agency and free will. She doesn’t know this is just wrong? It’s disgusting behavior. She is personally responsible for her role in this. At any point she could say “no” but she never does. Bow out, Ivanka. Go home. Do the right thing even if your father doesn’t.

  99. 99
    Immanentize says:

    Flake. He is a smart guy who wants to be President. If the winds start shifting, watch Flake.

  100. 100
    Steeplejack says:

    @El Caganer:

    It would be interesting to get Silverman’s take on that piece. It rings hollow to me.

    She [an intelligence officer] asked me the other day what I made of the repeated meme that the Russians—​Vladimir Putin in particular—​intervened in our election and put their (his) thumb on the political scale in order to help Trump. Here is my answer:

    Let’s begin with the continued refusal of the DNC to allow DHS or FBI to examine the computer/​computers of the DNC where the alleged hack supposed took place. Instead of insisting that the FBI examine their computers, the DNC turned to a private organization—CrowdStrike.

    Publius Tacitus seems to assume that one incident—the hacking of the DNC server—was the sum total of suspected Russian involvement and then goes into a long, involved “refutation” of that single item. From what I have read, the intelligence community seems to think that the Russian effort involved much more than that: the bots, the fake news, the shadowy meetings with Trump campaign officials, etc. Tacitus ignores all of that but concludes:

    Now we are feigning outrage at a Russian intervention that never occurred. We are oblivious to facts. We go only with emotion and fantasy. This is a dangerous concoction.

    Well, at least part of what he says there is true. I’ll leave it as an exercise to determine who is oblivious to facts.

  101. 101
    Kay says:


    Even if Trump wasn’t involved in the interference – I think his campaign was, but say they weren’t- he has a huge advantage over his opponent because he knows what happened- he was briefed.

    Say you’re a Democratic governor and you’re planning on running against him. How do you prepare given he knows everything about it and you know nothing?

  102. 102
    Immanentize says:

    @Kay: One way to plan for the hacking is to do what Macron did — Imbed unique fake story lines into your data that are easily provably false and when the document dump comes from WikiLeaks, point out that they were creating fake news.

    That and be no older than 50.

  103. 103
    Baud says:

    @Kay: I think the bigger problem is how do you handle a media that will blow everything out of proportion against the Dem nominee.

  104. 104
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    How do you prepare given he knows everything about it

    Assumes facts not in evidence. I’m still waiting for proof that he knows anything at all.

  105. 105
    Immanentize says:

    Also, this is a huge RWNJ talking point:

    Let’s begin with the continued refusal of the DNC to allow DHS or FBI to examine the computer/​computers of the DNC

    That I do not believe is true. Or I should say, I have never seen a valid source that supports this statement The FBI had friggin subpoena power and warrants if they really wanted the servers That said, the DNC was the Victim, not the criminal….

  106. 106
    d58826 says:

    @Kay: So as the lawyers say lets stipulate

    Even if Trump wasn’t involved in the interference – I think his campaign was, but say they weren’t- he has a huge advantage over his opponent because he knows what happened- he was briefed.

    , he knows about it NOW and is doing nothing to stop it. He basically gave Putin a green light to proceed in yesterday’s meeting. Dusting off my Perry Mason law degree isn’t there something call an accessory after the fact?

  107. 107
    Kay says:


    That’s smart. I didn’t know he did that. I hope it would work here. I’m afraid it would be covered as “questions remain as to whether the Democratic candidate is really a human being or an alien from Mars”

    We had a 7 year “debate” over Obama’s birth certificate and I’m still not sure Obama won. There are “concerns”. It’s “troubling”.

  108. 108
    Citizen_X says:

    What irks me is how we got rolled by a shit country. This is not the mighty Soviet Union of the past. Russia does few things well: weapons, space flight, hacking, oil and gas production. That’s it. It gives them an economy smaller than Italy’s, serving a broken down, low-life-expectancy population. And–because of our ambitious right-wing idealogues–we couldn’t resist them? It’s like being conquered by Romania.

  109. 109
    O. Felix Culpa says:


    She was hoping that if she closed her eyes and said Barack Obama three times she would wake up and this fucking nightmare would be over.

    She and all the rest of us.

  110. 110
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Immanentize: Let us say for the moment it is true, the DNC is refusing to allow DHS or the FBI to look at their computers. Would you allow an agency that actively worked to torpedo your Presidential nominee or another agency under the thumb of a man working overtime to co-opt it into an arm of his re-election campaign to look at anything?

  111. 111
    Kay says:


    Right. He also publicly encouraged them to hack during his campaign. Here’s what my husband thinks happened re: Trump (specifically). Her thinks Trump’s campaign people (Stone, Manafort) told Trump that Russia had hacked Clinton’s private server and had incredibly damaging emails that they hadn’t released. That wasn’t true but Trump thought it was true and that’s why he encouraged it. He thinks Trump was out of the loop completely- that they just had to give him a reason to explain what was clearly interference and make it sound like there was some “revelation” about Clinton that Russia would uncover and people needed to know about it so that’s why it was good they were doing this.

    The incredibly damaging Clinton emails were never released so from Trump’s perspective he won anyway and so that’s why he feels it’s no big deal.

  112. 112
    Shalimar says:

    @Kay: And in news from an alternate universe, Chelsea Clinton represented the U.S. at the g20 meeting today. The universal response from conservative talk show hosts was not “Hillary is president, she can do what she wants.”

  113. 113
    Kay says:


    I think it’s frightening because at every turn as this sleds downhill you think “someone or something will stop this” and no one does. Instead they all just realign to a new reality and try to protect/advance their narrow interests. You can almost see the transactional compromises being made “well, we DID get our SCOTUS justice” or “we will probably get our tax cut” or “this isn’t a bad trade for my 30 year dream of abolishing Medicaid”.

    I’m not naive- I understand horsetrading- but it’s dispiriting that there isn’t more long term thinking- some sense of the damage Trump could do. They’re so reckless! I didn’t anticipate that.

  114. 114
    Immanentize says:

    No. Not ever.


    ETA. If in fact the DNC hack has anything to do with Russian election interference, I am confident Bobby three sticks has the servers. He is nothing if not thorough.

  115. 115
    El Caganer says:

    @Steeplejack: I also find PT analysis somewhat questionable, but I think it’s important to try to see reality as clearly as possible. I’m a very,very far lefty and everybody at NJ knows how delusional lefties can be. It’s tough to stay grounded when smothered by official and unofficial bullshit.

  116. 116
    d58826 says:

    When you have lost the National Standard:
    Trump Caves to Putin

    What President Trump’s meeting with Vladimir Putin tells us about the future of Russian-American affairs. If Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s readout of Donald Trump’s meeting with Vladimir Putin is a preview of the Trump administration’s approach to Russia, it’s going to be a rough three and a half years. In a diplomatic depantsing that will have repercussions far beyond Russia, Tillerson’s comments did more to further Russia’s interests than Russian propaganda outlets could have possibly hoped to accomplish themselves.

  117. 117

    So what does Putin have on the big bosses of the main stream media? Why are they downplaying this capitulation?

  118. 118
    debbie says:


    I’m sure you didn’t mean it, but I just laughed out loud! I’m sorry SNL is on break; I can just imagine what they’d do with this.

  119. 119
    Kay says:


    I don’t think Chelsea Clinton would do it. She’d know it was a bad idea. She strikes me as cautious and disciplined.

    That’s what kills me about the Trumps. That there has to be a law that is exactly on-point and enforced or there are no limits. The limits on their behavior are “illegal, and likely to be prosecuted, with a conviction”- that’s a REALLY low standard for behavior. Ivanka and Kushner don’t “have” to do any of this. They have choices.

  120. 120
    debbie says:


    Of thine?

  121. 121
    tobie says:

    @Immanentize:Whenever our media overlords talk about the DNC supposedly refusing to let the FBI look at their server, they conveniently forget that the FBI’s initial effort to alert the DNC to the hack was to leave a voice mail message on the general number for the DNC. The FBI didn’t go in person to the party; it didn’t schedule a face-to-face meeting with the party’s chairperson. It left a phone message and when no response came, it just let the issue languish for months. The FBI didn’t signal the urgency of the matter until it was too late.

  122. 122
    Aleta says:

    Republicans are fine with Ivanka sitting down with world leaders, with Devos heading DOE, Tillerson dismantling State. Same sociopathic disregard for US ideals and the country’s future, this is just more blatant and way up on the dangerousness scale. Removes all possible doubt about knowledge of collusion of course. If he wasn’t up to his neck in it I doubt it would be happening this way.

    To news that Ivanka “briefly joined the main table when the President had to step out and the President of the World Bank started talking,”
    Jamelle Bouie wrote on twitter:

    So glad we all decided to elect Ivanka Trump too.
    Honestly surprised that one of Trump’s large sons wasn’t given DOD or something.

  123. 123
    Shalimar says:

    @Kay: I don’t think Hillary or Chelsea would ever even think of it, because it’s banana republic crap and they understand politics. In the more likely alternate world Clinton presidency, we’re in month 6 of the Hillary impeachment hearings for conspiring with Obama to fix the election.

  124. 124
    Tenar Arha says:

    @Kay: Yeah, my despite of her really is off the chain. I think it’s because she pulls out the phony white bread rich lady feminist card (so much false coin) so often I feel like hurling.

    Here’s the thing that soothes me: she doesn’t have to testify against her husband, but it seems clear to me that by working at the White House, she put herself in greater legal jeopardy. She’s party to whatever coverup might be going or have gone on, and she can take the 5th but that’s her only protection now. So…I console myself with the likelihood that she and Jared are both going to jail the longer they stay involved in her father’s affairs.

  125. 125
    Aleta says:

    @tobie: Thanks for the reminder. We shouldn’t forget this part.

  126. 126
    Kay says:

    @Tenar Arha:

    I never bought her bullshit. She wants power without accountability. That’s ordinary- nothing unique about that. The shame is we gave it to her.

  127. 127
    MomSense says:


    Gallows humor will get us through this.

  128. 128
    Kay says:

    Nineteen Democratic state attorneys general are suing Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos over rescinded student loan regulations.
    The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court, alleges that the Department of Education violated federal law by abruptly rolling back its Borrower Defense to Repayment rule, which was designed to hold abusive higher education institutions accountable for cheating students and taxpayers out of billions of dollars in federal loans. The Obama-era rule, finalized in November 2016, was meant to better protect student borrowers against misleading and predatory practices by creating consistent, clear, fair and transparent processes to file claims.

    State elections matter, folks. They can sue and sue and sue.

  129. 129
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The GOP Is the party of treason.

    Wipe them out. All of them.

  130. 130
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Kay:

    So what would one do if one were planning to run against Trump in 2020? How would one prepare for Russian interference?

    As a private citizen, attempt to asssinate Putin

  131. 131
    MomSense says:


    Look at Nicolae Ceausescu for the example of family enrichment, corruption, as well as all the crackdowns on an independent judiciary and opposition.

    That’s the model I’m seeing.

  132. 132
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Ratings. It’s good for ratings. The only thing that matters to the mercenary asshats who run the Ferengi Infotainment Networks.

  133. 133
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Kay: How can DeVos legimitamently claim that’s on the up and up without it looking like She’s trying to line her own pockets

  134. 134
    Another Scott says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Another Scott: Found it. D’Oh. It was on Cole’s Twitter feed. darth.


  135. 135
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:


    It really bothers me. I think there should be public service announcements that this not normal and people should resist getting used to it.

    Most people don’t follow this stuff as closely as we do. They’re too busy watching reruns of Big Bang Theory joining Penny in laughing at those effete nerdy fags, especially the Jewish and the Indian ones. Or they’re struggling day to day to stay afloat, working their asses off so they don’t go bankrupt. A great side effect of gross income inequality

  136. 136
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:


    I tend to view the methodology of the end of the reign of the Ceaucescus as inspirational, much as I see the end to the reign of the Capets and the Romanovs.

  137. 137
    TriassicSands says:

    @Mike in DC:

    Kamala Harris.

    A terrible choice. Why, she would hurt feelings and make people nervous. And that’s unconstitutional* — for a woman.

    * She’s mean to white men. What would Jefferson** say?

    ** Jefferson Davis, that is.

  138. 138
    MomSense says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes:

    Yeah I’m fucking all in on firing squads for the trumpers, believe me.

  139. 139
    Aleta says:

    @Kay That there has to be a law that is exactly on-point and enforced or there are no limits.

    The Trumps — and the Kochs and the Bundy Malheur takeover. Repubs throwing out completed Florida votes in Dem districts in 2000, then halting the Florida recount by blaming (the orchestrated) protest violence. It’s a criminal’s mindset now accepted by some people throughout society as a path to wealth and then as standard practice once you have it. The muscle of the NRA and of Kushner’s housing lawyers’ use of the courts.

  140. 140
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    I’m headed out for a driving vacation. Don’t know how much I’ll be in contact. Hang in there and keep resisting!

  141. 141
    TriassicSands says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The GOP Is the party of treason.

    I’m currently reading a history of the Republican Party. It’s like being in “Opposite Land.” Democrats are the racists and traitors. Republicans are trying to curb the power of the wealthy few. The reversal is remarkable. The modern GOP is no more the “party of Lincoln” than Trump is the Einstein of politics.

  142. 142
    Aleta says:

    I’ve been watching West Wing and it’s hard knowing that the issues they fought for are in doubt today and that the President’s daughter ends up in the Handmaid’s Tale.

  143. 143
    debbie says:


    Similarly, Victor Hansen insists it’s the Dems who are responsible for Trump’s coarseness.

  144. 144
    Kay says:


    I think it’s bad for the national psyche- our sense of ourselves. Every adult knows the “meritocracy” is oversold in the US but the basic idea is important, because it’s part of why people TRY. They never get that, it seems. The problem with “the game is rigged” is not just the sleaze and corruption, it’s that this thing only works if people PLAY. They won’t play a rigged game and can you blame them? Why bother?

  145. 145
    jonas says:

    @Another Scott:

    (It doesn’t mean they will vote against it, but it’s a necessary first step.)

    I think what they’re actually announcing is that they’re formally reserving a spot in McConnell’s bribe queue. A few billion in extra ag subsidies will certainly help allay some of their concerns about the bill, I’m sure.

  146. 146
    Kay says:


    That’s why Obama’s election was so inspiring. It was “you CAN win this game- you should play!”

    Ivanka is “don’t bother getting that degree in international relations and busting ass to sit at that table- the seat goes to…whomever”. It exposes the idea as a lie.

  147. 147
    Kay says:


    We have a successful family business here- they make candy. They are big employers. I like the CEO- the son of the founder. He’s smart and interesting. So his dad wanted him to work for the company after college and he wouldn’t- he went and worked for a company that makes building products in North Carolina for 5 years. I asked him why he did that and he said he wanted “credibility” as a manager when he came back- he knew he was coming back. That mattered to him- that the employees knew he did that part himself. So that’s what people CAN do. They can not take the gift.

  148. 148
    Radiumgirl says:

    @randy khan: Actually neither owned it because it was stolen property. Just saying.

  149. 149
    MomSense says:


    And the way Republicans treated Obama after the election revealed that their narratives about family values, respect for the office, personal responsibility, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, etc was all bullshit. We had a president who exemplified everything they said they valued and they were terrible to him.

  150. 150
    Aleta says:

    Jees, this video of May nudging Trump bc everyone but him has turned to look to the front

  151. 151
    Aleta says:

    @MomSense: yes, this

  152. 152
    Kathleen says:

    @d58826: My Law and Order Law Degree agrees with your Perry Mason Law Degree.

  153. 153
    MomSense says:

    @Kay: @Kay:

    The Republicans want power and money at all cost. Same for the trumps, although i think they mostly just want money. They will say and do whatever they need to in service of power and money. They routinely completely reverse their policies, stated objectives, tactics without ever explaining why. Sometimes I think the simple act of remembering is the biggest factor that determines which party you vote for. We joke about it but when we say I’m old enough to remember when and then describe a Republican 180 we are talking about how they will say or do anything for power because they have no values or morals other than desire for power. They don’t care about credibility. They were wrong about the ACA killing jobs (if they even actually believed that). They have been wrong about everything. They never even admit they were wrong. They don’t care.

  154. 154
    Kathleen says:

    @Shalimar: And the Alt Left would say this is why corrupt corporate neliberal Democrats lose elections.

  155. 155
    Mnemosyne says:

    So LAX is one of the airports where you have to remove ALL books/notebooks, ALL snacks, and ALL small electronics (Kindles, iPads, etc) from your carry-on bag and put EACH of them in a separate bin before putting it through the x-ray. Plus you still have to take off your shoes, too, which means you have to keep track of FOUR SEPARATE BINS in addition to whatever bag(s) you have. What a pain in the ass.

  156. 156
    debbie says:


    Love that moment when someone off to the left reminds Trump to smile!

  157. 157
    TriassicSands says:


    Yeah, poor Mr. Trump was never coarse before he ran for president. Those nasty Demon-crats making Donald say things he wishes he didn’t have to say. But as Huckabee-Sanders reminds us, if you throw a firecracker at Trump, he’ll come back at you with a thermonuclear bomb. Proportionality!

  158. 158

    @Mnemosyne: Are you at the airport?
    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: That is way out of line. Are you really that naive or are you trying to get John Cole in trouble, by posting this incendiary rhetoric?

  159. 159
    StringOnAStick says:

    I have got to stop reading this stuff obsessively all day long, it is destroying my mental health and turning me into a depressed zombie who barely gets anything done. I think I will force myself to take a media break and get involved with the local Dems and OFA. I don’t know what else to do, I don’t want to spend the rest of my life being this unhappy and fatalistic.

  160. 160
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Mnemosyne: It is at the point where air travel would be preferable if they just sedated all the passengers and kept everybody strapped to a gurney during the flight.

  161. 161
    Mnemosyne says:


    Yep — heading to Chicago to see family. It’s supposed to rain all week, but I’m prepared. ☔️

  162. 162
    japa21 says:

    @Mnemosyne: Rain should be scattered. Will be warm and humid, however. Today is gorgeous. I wish it would stay this way.

  163. 163

    Proposed blog post titles: “King Trump and the Shadows of History” and “King Trump and the Party of Treason.”

    Most of the old histories of monarchy and aristocratic factionalism are relevant again, and didn’t we fight a war to get rid of these people?

  164. 164
    David Rickard says:

    Trump: The reward for this country is 5000 dollars, is that right?
    America: Judas was content for 4970 dollars less.
    Trump: There were no dollars in them days.
    America: But sons of bitches… yeah.

  165. 165
    david spikes says:

    The art of the deal-give them everything and you get nothing-not even gratitude, just contempt.

  166. 166
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Just venting, but I shouldn’t do that. Not in that way. Was still half-asleep when I typed that

  167. 167
    Tehanu says:


    Trump needed someone to humiliate and bully him like Dad did. And now he’s found him.

    Why the hell don’t we have Like buttons on this site?!!!!

  168. 168
    sukabi says:

    @bystander: I’d posit they’re actually worse…if they’d put the good of the country over party just once in the last 2 years we wouldn’t be dealing with the Orange dick-headed dunce and his family of grifters.

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