Russiagate Open Thread: Devin Nunes, GOPutz Agent of Chaos

And I, for one, sincerely hope he’ll get busted for obstruction along with all his fellow Trump-enablers:

Rep. Devin Nunes, once sidelined by an ethics inquiry from leading the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia probe, is reasserting the full authority of his position as chairman just as the GOP appears poised to challenge special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian officials…

Although Nunes has not officially wrested his panel’s Russia probe back from the Republicans he deputized to run it, the chairman’s reemergence as a combative Trump loyalist has raised alarm among Democrats that the future of the investigation may be clipped short or otherwise undermined. Even some of Nunes’s GOP allies have expressed concern about his tactics, prompting rare public warnings that he should temper his attacks on federal law enforcement.

“I’m interested in getting access to the information and not the drama,” Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said last month, when Nunes began threatening contempt citations for FBI Director Christopher A. Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein in the wake of revelations that former Mueller team members had exchanged ­anti-Trump texts…

[Ed: When Trey “Endless Benghazi Hearings” Gowdy thinks one of his fellows is maybe showboating a little much… ]

The packed schedule, sometimes featuring two or three overlapping interviews per day, has sparked complaints from Democrats that it is impossible to fully prepare for or monitor the investigation’s progress. Even when members are able to focus on one witness at a time, people familiar with the probe said, relevant requested documents often fail to materialize until after the interview has concluded — and the interviewees are hardly ever invited back.

The order of interviews has also been a point of ongoing dispute. While Senate Intelligence Committee leaders boast of a methodical process that starts with peripheral players and builds to key witnesses, the House Intelligence Committee’s order is comparatively haphazard and unstructured — almost designed, critics say, to give the probe a “veneer of respectability” while effectively giving investigators whiplash…

Reminder: This is not just about Nunes, Gowdy, Grassley. The entire Republican Party has been all too willing to, at the very least, look the other way while the Trump Crime Cartel loots our country and flouts our laws.

152 replies
  1. 1
    KickBoxBanana says:

    Yea right. Republicans are furrowing their brows. Oh noezzz. Danger.

    When you start reading things like “even some Republicans are expressing concern” you know they won’t do a damn thing.

  2. 2
    germy says:

    Tangled web

    Umm… @SecElaineChao appointed Betsy DeVos's father-in-law, Richard DeVos, to the FAA Management Advisory Council. DeVos is the only member with ZERO aviation experience.— mrs panstreppon (@mrspanstreppon) January 2, 2018

  3. 3
    Joe Falco says:

    Gowdy is just upset he’s not the showboat. It must be pretty lonely to have no Democrat in the White House for him to unleash his “super genius” prosecutor skills upon.

  4. 4
    The Ancient Randonneur says:

    Read this NYT op-ed from Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch, both former journalists, founders of the research firm Fusion GPS. Here’s a taste:

    The intelligence committees have known for months that credible allegations of collusion between the Trump camp and Russia were pouring in from independent sources during the campaign. Yet lawmakers in the thrall of the president continue to wage a cynical campaign to portray us as the unwitting victims of Kremlin disinformation.

    Republican leadership has known for almost a year. Let that sink … Gorsuch confirmation, the looting of the Treasury by passing that abomination of a tax bill, and continuing awful behavior by the Ochre Skidmark … I’m old enough to remember when “reasonable Republican” wasn’t a setup for a George Carlin punchline.

  5. 5
    The Ancient Randonneur says:

    @germy: But he did build a pyramid scheme based on selling soap, so he does have that to his credit.

  6. 6
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Penetration at all levels.

  7. 7
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @germy: That’s okay, the ships in Secretary Chao’s family’s shipping company are routinely used for smuggling drugs. So all good.

  8. 8
    PPCLI says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur: Though to be fair, it was an important service. Those future Amway customers were pretty smelly.

  9. 9
    The Ancient Randonneur says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Indeed. Have you seen the Fusion GPS piece I linked above? Apparently we have a lot to learn from Congressional testimony given by Fusion GPS personnel.

  10. 10
    gene108 says:

    I hope that Trump’s and Republican’s corruption can become the issue for 2018.

    The Republicans turning a blind eye to the antics of Mark Foley helped Democrats recapture the House in 2006.

    I wonder, if we’ve become too numb to care or if the amount of corruption from Trump and Congressional Republicans just overwhelms our ability to absorb it. Basically, we are on information overload and are shutting down as a defense mechanism.

    I just hope we can defeat guys like Nunes this fall.

  11. 11
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur: I read it last night. I find it very interesting. Both of those guys are very sharp. They were very good at what they did – investigative journalism – before opening Fusion GPS. And they have a sterling reputation for doing very solid political research for campaigns from both parties. I guarantee that a lot of the House GOP members screaming and yelling about them have actually used their services.

  12. 12

    I hope the Democrats are making lists of people to fire, Executive Orders to rescind, and laws to propose in 2018 and 2020.

    And to get out the vote in those years too.

  13. 13
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Nunes needs to die in prison.

  14. 14
    Yarrow says:

    Reminder: This is not just about Nunes, Gowdy, Grassley. The entire Republican Party has been all too willing to, at the very least, look the other way while the Trump Crime Cartel loots our country and flouts our laws.

    Yep. They had their chance to do the right thing by the country and they did not. They are traitors.

  15. 15
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Joe Falco: Oh, we saw how awesome his powers were when Hillary Clinton reduced him to a puddle of goo a couple years back.

  16. 16
    SFAW says:

    Hmm, tumbrels, or trials for treason? So many decisions … (I know, I know — one does not necessarily preclude the other.)

    I hope that, when the Dems eventually take back all of Congress, that the “Truth and Reconciliation” hearings start off with a statement akin to “Did we say ‘reconciliation’? We’re sorry, our bad, we meant to say ‘Exile to the bottom of the Marianas Trench, forever.’ Don’t let the sharks bite you in the ass on the way down, you traitorous motherfuckers.”

  17. 17
    SFAW says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Nunes needs to die in prison.

    You seem to be in a forgiving mood this AM — are you feeling OK?

  18. 18
    Yarrow says:

    I think pressure on congressional Republicans is starting to ramp up. Like the Fusion GPS guys writing that op-ed. I found this tweet from Richard Painter interesting:
    Example: this tweet from Richard Painter calling on Congress to get Trump out of there.

    Two psychologically unfit men crowing about their nukes. This is not a good way to start the New Year. Congress needs to deal with one of them and the UN Security Council needs to deal with the other.— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) January 3, 2018

    He’s calling on Congress to get Trump out of there. It’s pretty direct.

  19. 19
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: God I remember the swooning when he was named chair of that committee. Dave Weigel (whom I mostly like) wrote a couple of love letters about who Gowdy was going to get justice for the families by getting to the bottom of… the talking points. Remember when Benghazi was about “talking points”?

  20. 20
    Adam L Silverman says:

    An entire family of geniuses!

  21. 21
    The Ancient Randonneur says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Preferably Terre Haute on the same gurney McVeigh died on.

  22. 22
    Elie says:

    I really hope Muellers next indictments are for Repubs in Congress along w some guilty pleas. We need them in full panic

  23. 23
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: what happens to a country when a majority of one party is shown to be full on working with a hostile foreign power (Or at the very least looking the other way while their colleagues work with that hostile power and do its bidding?)

    What happens when a third-party campaign is found to have been primarily funded by that same hostile foreign power?

    What happens when one of the major challengers in the other major party was being directed by (funded by?) that hostile power?

    I think at the very least 65 million Americans have standing to petition SCOTUS to overturn the election results.

  24. 24
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: for some reason I don’t think that dog is going to hunt

  25. 25
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @germy: Qualifications are for you dang East coast liberal elitists!! Wealth and relations are the new qualifications. Get with it, Libtards.

  26. 26
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Adam L Silverman: We always pegged Eric for the smart one.

  27. 27
    tobie says:

    @Jeffro: What’s up with Tad Devine? Has he been interviewed by Mueller’s team yet?

  28. 28
    Spanky says:

    @tobie: We’ll be the last to know.

  29. 29
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jeffro: You want the sanitized for Balloon Juice answer so as not to upset anyone before lunch or do you want the real answer?

  30. 30
    Leto says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur: Maddow started her show off last night with that piece. The redacted Fusion GPS Senate testimony is sitting on Orrin Hatch’s desk, and has been there for a few months.

    As Adam said:

    Penetration at all levels.

  31. 31
    Leto says:

    @Patricia Kayden: But then he opened his mouth…

  32. 32
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Leto: Why would it be on Orrin Hatch’s desk? He has nothing to do with either the House or Senate investigations.

  33. 33
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: The real answer, please. You can put a warning in bold so those who don’t want to read it can skip it.

  34. 34
    LAO says:

    @Adam L Silverman: LOL. Welcome President Ryan.

  35. 35
    ET says:

    If Republicans are so concerned isn’t there a fix by removing him from the committee?

  36. 36
    tobie says:

    @Leto: I believe the transcript of GPS’s testimony is on Chuck Grassley’s desk. Easy to confuse him with Hatch–both are octogenarians, both have shown themselves in the past year to have no principles.

  37. 37
    Spanky says:

    @LAO: There’s a higher probability that a President Ryan’s first name is Jack rather than Paul, given how dirty Paulie Blue Eyes seems to be.

    OTOH, I can totally see a corrupted GOP majority rallying around Paulie so they can collectively cling to power. Then things will get interesting.

  38. 38
    geg6 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Isn’t Judiciary doing an investigation?

    In other news, in looking up Hatch’s information on Wikipedia to be sure I was right that he was on Judiciary, I found out he was born in Pittsburgh and went to Pitt Law for his JD. I just want to note that, as a city, we don’t want to be held responsible for him and as an alumnus of Pitt, I’m embarrassed.

  39. 39
    Peale says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I was listening to some of her early stand-up the other day, and now that you mention it, some of her jokes now actually appear to contain code words to activate sleeper cells and communicate with the mother land.

  40. 40
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    I thought Nunes recused himself. Can you take back a recusal?

  41. 41
    LAO says:

    @Spanky: Dirty, not dirty. If Trump and Pence are impeached, the order of succession falls to the Speaker of the House, At least until the mid term elections that’s Speaker Ryan. Has nothing to do with a corrupt GOP majority, that’s the law.

  42. 42
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Team Trump seems to think that “deep state” means “liberals” and/or “establishment.” Interestingly, wannabe lefty radical dumbasses appear to hold a similar view.

  43. 43
    Mnemosyne says:

    This op-ed was written back in November more specifically about sexual harassment complaints, but I think it fits here, too:

    The Myth of the Male Bumbler

  44. 44
    No Drought No More says:

    John Dean said in an recent interview that he believes those republican congressmen that met secretly to plot and undermine the Trump-Russia investigation have already committed obstruction of justice. To my surprise, Dean also copped to the fact that neither he, nor any other lawyer in Nixon’s White House, really understood the legal definition of obstruction, and at least initially acted illegally while in ignorance of the law. None of them wised-up not until it was too late. Dean also mentioned that he knew so much more than Nixon, Haldeman, and Erlichman ever suspected; that simply by keeping his ears open, he had learned enough to hang them all high. Dean assumes the same is true about those current White House officials interviewed by Mueller’s investigators. Which is to say, Mueller likely has a better idea about who is who, and who did what and when, than Trump or his attorney’s do themselves.

  45. 45
    Yarrow says:

    @LAO: Yes. Unless the Speaker is somehow encouraged not to take the job as President. He’s not required to become President in that situation. He could say no and then it goes to the next in line.

  46. 46
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @LAO: Wouldn’t that only be if there were some sort of simultaneous impeachment? If you impeach Trump first, you get Pres. Pence, and Pence picks a VP. Impeach Pence and you get Pres. New VP. I’m not sure it ever makes it down to Pres. Ryan.

  47. 47
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    What happens? Civil war, dissolution, violent coup, or the traitors become the new normal, is what usually happens. Hopefully we’ll buck the norm.

  48. 48
    LAO says:

    @Yarrow: Ah, and what would convince Ryan not to accept?

    @FlipYrWhig: agreed. My comment was offered in the context of the Russian treason investigation resulting in impeachment. I can’t see Pence escaping scrutiny.

  49. 49
    Yarrow says:

    @LAO: Bob Mueller’s investigation.

  50. 50
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:


    Ah, and what would convince Ryan not to accept?

    Not dying in prison?

  51. 51
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @LAO: Sure, but I’m just wondering whether there could be two simultaneous impeachment proceedings like that. If it’s one and then the other, in either order, it’ll never be Paul Ryan’s turn.

  52. 52
    germy says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    the ships in Secretary Chao’s family’s shipping company are routinely used for smuggling drugs.

    Heh heh heh Wait, what?

  53. 53
    JWR says:


    Interestingly, wannabe lefty radical dumbasses appear to hold a similar view.

    Heh. Yesterday morning on DemocracyNow!, Amy Goodman featured, for the entire f***ing hour, none other than leftier than thou Glenn Greenwald! (It was excruciating, to say the least.)

  54. 54
    burnspbesq says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Nunes needs to die in prison

    Or Fresno. Not much difference.

  55. 55
    LAO says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    As a general starting point, I despise Ryan and his politics but he’s not going to be implicated in Mueller investigation.

    @FlipYrWhig: We might actually see! Won’t that be exciting.

  56. 56
    Spanky says:

    @LAO: I know that’s the law. The first part of my comment assumed removal from office after he was indicted. The second part, of course, is the more probable version where his dirt is ignored by the majority GOP.

  57. 57
    LAO says:

    @Spanky: Ok. I get it. Indicted for what?

  58. 58
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @JWR: The sad thing is that I really used to like Amy Goodman, but she’s very much a “missing the forest for the trees” kind of journalist, who kept running extremely negative and biased stories against HRC… and featuring people like GG and insisting they were operating in good faith.

  59. 59
  60. 60
    Yarrow says:

    @LAO: We will see. Mueller’s investigation is uncovering a lot of money laundering and a lot of people are involved. I don’t think the rumors of Ryan stepping down and moving back to Janesville to be with his kids were an accident.

  61. 61
    Fleeting Expletive says:

    Rachel Maddow’s segment last night on Fusion’s testimony to the Republicans’ committees was chilling. In those 10 hours of the hearing in which the R’s were told, chapter and verse, of what they’d found of Trump’s activities with Russians, Weren’t all the committees given constructive knowledge of crimes? Is this complicity in coverup by itself if Grassley refuses to release the transcripts? There’s misprision of some felonies, I think, some guilty knowledge. It’s like we’re discovering (again) that the Republicans are pod people and have been all along.

  62. 62
    Spanky says:

    @LAO: Ummmm, being a dick?

    I’m guessing that he’s orchestrating some of the obstruction going on in the House. I guess we’ll have to wait to see what Mueller uncovers.

  63. 63
    LAO says:

    @Spanky: LOL. He’s certainly a dick. And if that were illegal, I could retire. Can we make it illegal?

  64. 64
    Yarrow says:

    Doug Jones is about to be sworn in! Biden is with him. Mondale is there too.

    Edit: Also, Tina Smith from MN.

  65. 65
    Kay says:

    You have to ask if other GOP lawmakers received assistance from Russia or were involved in promoting some of the business deals that involved money laundering. There was reporting that there was Russian help in GOP Congressional campaigns. Maybe they don’t want that revealed and they’re protecting both Trump and themselves.

  66. 66
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Well, she is part of the Gay Mafia. That’s a real thing, right? //

  67. 67
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    Potentially a problem with that:

    Paul Ryan refutes rumors of early retirement from House

    Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) sought to tamp down rumors Tuesday that he’s planning to leave Congress, telling rank-and-file lawmakers in a private meeting that he’s not giving up the speakership anytime soon.

    The Wisconsin Republican’s defiant remarks were met with a standing ovation from his colleagues on a historic day in which the House passed a sweeping tax-reform bill. (After the vote, Republicans were told that the House will have to vote again on the tax plan Wednesday, in order to clear the Senate’s Byrd rule.)

    In his speech in the Capitol’s basement, the 47-year-old Speaker said he still has plenty he wants to accomplish in 2018, specifically on entitlement and welfare reform.

    Ryan has relayed that same message during one-on-one phone calls and private meetings with GOP colleagues, sources said.

    “I am not going anywhere anytime soon. And let’s just leave that thing at that,” a dismissive Ryan told reporters at a news conference after the closed-door meeting with House Republicans.

    But Ryan is pushing back hard against the Capitol Hill rumor mill. If he’s perceived as a lame duck on his way out the door, crucial 2018 fundraising dollars could dry up and he could lose political leverage as he faces upcoming battles over the budget, immigrant “Dreamers,” the debt ceiling and unresolved health-care matters.

    Furthermore, despite the tax victory, Ryan still believes he has unfinished business. He’s spoken to President Trump and many of his GOP colleagues about turning their focus to cutting spending on health-care and anti-poverty programs as a way to curb the deficit and debt.

    Under their 2016 “Better Way” campaign plan, House Republicans called for giving seniors a choice to join competing plans in addition to Medicare, as well as work requirements for people who receive welfare and food stamps.

    “We still have things we need to accomplish,” said Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Calif.), a Ryan ally who frequently attends weekly leadership meetings in the Speaker’s office. “And after we get through tax reform, we want to make sure we get the ‘Better Way’ agenda implemented.”

    Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) conceded that Speakers don’t typically last very long in the top job. The veteran lawmaker, who is close to leadership, has served under five Speakers in two decades: Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Boehner and Ryan.

    But with their first taste of victory, rank-and-file Republicans will rally behind the Speaker – and his agenda, Shimkus said.

    “After we have a big win, can we do welfare reform? Can we do an infrastructure bill? If we stay united as a Republican conference, we’re a pretty powerful force,” Shimkus told The Hill.

    “Tax reform is unifying, historic, and we believe it will produce as advertised.”

    I have a feeling Ryan is gonna stick around for awhile. Hopefully taking back the House this 2018 will be the beginning of rolling the Republicans’ “Dystopian Way” agenda.

  68. 68
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I thought sanitizing things was against balloon juice traditions as well as all Internet traditions ?

  69. 69
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @LAO: Nope. What Jeffro is asking about usually leads to violence.

  70. 70
    geg6 says:

    OT, but why the hell would anyone think I want to buy the hideous meat hoodie I’m getting in the banner ad? And how the hell did that come up for me?

  71. 71
    SFAW says:


    I can’t see Pence escaping scrutiny.

    I expect less naivete from a Noo Yawkuh.

    Dense will just give Mueller one of those steely-eyed looks he gave Kim Jong-Un at the Korean DMZ, and Mueller will collapse into a puddle, that same way that Kim did. That same look convinced Kim to give up all his nukes and missiles, too. What chance would that commie Mueller have against Dense’s awesome stare?

  72. 72
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @geg6: Hatch is not the Senate Judiciary Chairman. Grassley, who is not an attorney, is.

  73. 73
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: The problem here is that Ryan HAS to push back on the rumors or he loses a lot of power as Speaker. This is a case where loudly protesting the rumors isn’t an indicator of anything.

  74. 74
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Peale: I couldn’t stand her stand up. But I generally can’t stand most of the better known comedians stand up.

  75. 75
    Yarrow says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: He said he’s not leaving “anytime soon.” He wants to protect his fundraising ability. His statement in no way rules out his departure later this year or a decision about running for reelection.

  76. 76
    geg6 says:


    She’s an idiot. I’ve had that impression of her for a decade, at least.

  77. 77
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: Yes. Now that the House Ethics Committee has cleared him, though I’m sure the Special Counsel’s Office hasn’t, he is now retaking control of his committee for everything. Not that he ever really gave it up.

  78. 78
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Seems we’ve got almost three generations of folks that slept through 5th and 10th grade civics and American history.

  79. 79
    SFAW says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    Paul Ryan refutes rumors of early retirement from House

    He means voluntary, one assumes.

    Randy Bryce — come on down!!

  80. 80
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Isn’t the HEC run by Republicans?

  81. 81
    geg6 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Gotta agree with you on this. But I saw Chris Rock back in May, I think, and he is fucking hilarious.

  82. 82
    Mnemosyne says:


    As a general starting point, I despise Ryan and his politics but he’s not going to be implicated in Mueller investigation.

    There was reporting right after the election that House Republicans were getting direct assistance from the Russians in the form of stolen opposition research. Ryan clearly knows that the Russians have been funding Republicans based on his comments about Rohrabacher. I think he’s neck-deep with Russia, too.

  83. 83
    Fleeting Expletive says:

    Sobering economic anecdote: Getting a haircut yesterday after a couple of months procrastinating, I asked the stylist if they’d been busy over the holidays because of back-to-school cuts (that was my excuse for putting it off), she said no and that it had been real quiet. “A lot of people are waiting until February when they get their tax refund.” This is a joint that charges $15 bucks for a haircut. That seems…dire?

  84. 84
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yep.

  85. 85
    LAO says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’d be very pleased if you (and the rest of the jackals) are correct. I just don’t see it personally.

  86. 86
    Marcopolo says:

    OT but happy thought—just saw Doug Jones get sworn in as the new senator from AL!

  87. 87
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @geg6: I used to really like her in-depth investigative stories. That REALLY changed for me in 2016 when I listened to her at my dentist appointment and couldn’t change the channel – she spent a huge amount of time attacking Hillary for her essential non-role in the Guatemala coup, implying the Hillary was solely at fault and that everyone in Guatemala personally blamed her and why didn’t she just magically fix everything?

    It was kind of appalling. There was so much wrong with it from a journalistic point of view I just couldn’t reconcile it with my previous notions of her as a good investigative journalist that focuses in important but forgotten stories. Now I think she’s just someone who goes after ‘establishment’ figures and has an axe to grind, but sometimes does good work when the object of her stories really do need more coverage.

  88. 88
    JWR says:

    @MisterForkbeard: Same here. I still listen in every day, and have done so since her show began back during the Clinton administration, because I still consider her to be an excellent journalist, despite her blind eye when it comes to her Bernie!Bro/GG leanings.

  89. 89
    Yarrow says:

    @Mnemosyne: Agreed. Ryan knows. Top Republican leadership knows. They are traitors.

  90. 90
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @No Drought No More: If anyone highly placed who works in the Capitol ever decided to turn whistleblower and tell all, you’d be amazed at what would be revealed. Working in and for Congress basically comes with its own code of silence.

  91. 91
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: President Hatch come on down!

  92. 92
    efgoldman says:

    Nobody is using these words, but the storm tomorrow into Friday is looking like Blizzard of ’78 Redux for Southern/Eastern New England
    Glad we live at the top of a hill, well above the river valley,
    We’ve been lucky with power outtages, but most wires around here are on poles.

  93. 93
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I don’t think it’s that. I just think that Trumpets don’t think liberals should have rights period.

    My mother, who isn’t that much of liberal at all, was accused on some AOL story about Kathy Griffin from months ago of being a traitor and betraying our military and crazy shit like that for basically saying she saw little difference between Griffin holding up Trump’s bloody head and Trump tweeting the picture of a train hitting a reporter.

  94. 94
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: But Hatch has said he’s retiring, so he may say no as well. Next in line is Tillerson. I’m sure that Medal of Friendship (or whatever it was) from Putin means nothing.

  95. 95
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    Maybe. I would very much like to see the air out of his sails from his Tax victory by being indicted.

  96. 96
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    What if we get President DeVos?

  97. 97
  98. 98
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @LAO: Where do you think the money for his Super PAC comes from? Naturalized American oligarch close to Putin, that’s where.

  99. 99
    JWR says:



    She’s an idiot. I’ve had that impression of her for a decade, at least.

    To be perfectly honest about it, I’ve thought this too. (We are talking about Amy Goodman here, and not Ellen, about whom I really have no opinion, right?)

  100. 100
    Yarrow says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: She’s pretty far down the list.

    @Adam L Silverman: Yep. And he wants to keep all that kind of talk “in the family.”

  101. 101

    @geg6: Isn’t it funny that all that the leftier than thou people want to do is to attack Ds. Including the senator from my neighboring state.

  102. 102
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mnemosyne: I cover the Jewish Elders Global Conspiracy stuff for Balloon Juice. Gay mafia is someone else’s beat. I can say that at the annual global conspiracy round robin softball tournament and picnic that they have the best uniforms. But that’s all I know.

    Also, would it kill the Illuminati to actually learn how to make potato salad and cole slaw? I mean if you can’t bring basic side dishes for the picnic, how the hell can you be expected to carry off your part of the conspiracy for global domination? And don’t get me started on the Bilderbergers. Every year, every year!!!, they volunteer to bring the paper plates, cups, napkins, and plastic flatware. Really? Could you possibly be cheaper? And for the love of something, could the freaking Trilateral committee actually be bothered to bring decent brownies and cookies and pies? And people wonder why the world is so messed up. We can’t even self cater an annual picnic, were you all really expecting us to effectively run things from behind the scenes?

  103. 103
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @geg6: Lunch time! Meat hoodie… Nom, nom, nom!

  104. 104
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: Every Congressional committee is currently run by the Republicans.

  105. 105

    I’ve been watching Nunes for about ten years, because I wrote a blog about California water policy. He’s been a major figure in that: a strong and decently resourceful advocate for what his water district owners have told him to do. He has had his own blog for ages. He’s either a decent writer with a strong ideological bent or he knows enough to hire one. Either way, he’s been a prominent politician in California water stuff. I would have sworn that House seat was his as long as he wants it.

    I would also have sworn that he never, ever was a big foreign intelligence guy, nor interested. It seems to me (and I’ve been watching closely for a decade) that he has been entirely corrupted by Trump. He’s a born suck-up, kick-down type of guy, but had he been left with his old owners, he’d have just advocated for terrible water policy for the rest of his life. Now, because he was attracted to Trump, he’s brought the Trump chaos upon himself. He’s got a good challenger for a seat that should have been his forever; I doubt it would have even occurred to people that someone could run against him there. He may face obstruction charges.

    (If things go right in November and we have the strength to hold even minor figures accountable) I am just so bemused that what seemed like a powerful, untouchable figure in my small niche might be brought down by something so unrelated to his history. The day before Nunes met Trump, I cannot believe that he had any Russian influence or interest in collusion or any of that. To all appearances, he just wasn’t involved in that scene. And then Trump found him, and may ultimately wreck him for things that have nothing to do with his policies that I’ve followed and argued against for so long.

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  107. 107
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    NPR reported on the two new Dem Senators. It went something like this:

    “Tina Smith, the Lieutant Governor of Minnesota, was appointed by the governor to replace Senator All Franken, who resigned amidst a flurry of sexual harassment allegations. Beginning in November, several women accused Franken of inappropriate and unwanted sexual behavior, and he announced last month that he would resign his Senate seat.

    Doug Jones, of Alabama, is also being sworn in today.”

  108. 108
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @geg6: I like Chris Rock. I like Lewis Black. I liked Carlin and Robin Williams. I like Eddie Izzard. I like Al Murray (see video below). I like Billy Connelly. I like some of Sarah Silverman’s stuff. That’s pretty much it.

  109. 109
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Marcopolo: So he won’t be posting here anymore?

  110. 110
    Kelly says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Just for fun imagine a 50/50 Senate, Trump is impeached, Pence moves up. There is now no tie breaker. Does post Galand bad feelings leave the Senate hung unable to confirm a replacement VP?

  111. 111
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @efgoldman: Bomb Cyclone baby! Gonna bring megaladon sharks from the depths where they’ve been hiding and dump them on the unsuspecting east coast. Giant ice shark storms of death!//

  112. 112
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: President Mnuchin come on down!

  113. 113
    catclub says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: Given that ‘we’ elected Trump, we would deserve that , too.

  114. 114
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @onthepublicrecord: He wanted to be on the Intel committee and then run it because his pet issue is relocating the US foreign based intel collection and analytical facilities in Lajes. Where his family is from before they immigrated to the US. And where his relatives and their friends are still major land owners. That’s why he wanted to have oversight of the intel communities. The US Intel Community is well aware of this reality and cannot stand him.

  115. 115
    Kelly says:

    Hmmm. Any impeachment conviction vote would include a deal on the new VP I suppose.

  116. 116
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Kelly: I have no idea.

  117. 117
    Timurid says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I thought the Day Drinking Season ended yesterday?

  118. 118
    Phylllis says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Heh. Just started snowing here. This time yesterday, we were expecting nada in these parts–now they’re saying 3 inches or thereabouts.

  119. 119
    Ruviana says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Yet another reason to hate NPR.

  120. 120
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Yeah, what is this “bomb cyclone” s–t?

  121. 121
    Yarrow says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I really have grown to detest NPR’s coverage. A lot of the individual shows are good and my local station has BBC and that’s good, but in general they are Republicans and they carry water for them.

  122. 122
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That’s a horrible thought!

  123. 123

    @Adam L Silverman: Wondering what you think of my assessment that without Trump, he wasn’t headed down a path of corruption? That had he not been sucked into Trump chaos, he’d never have been a very interesting figure?

  124. 124
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Timurid: I’ve had a high protein smoothie and am now working on a cup of tea.

  125. 125
    Another Scott says:


    This is how we know we’re a real family here.

    – Paulie Blue Eyes.

    They made their choice long ago. They’re going to stick together until the federal marshals take them away.


  126. 126
    Spanky says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    “This rapidly intensifying East Coast storm will produce strong, damaging winds — possibly resulting in downed trees, power outages and coastal flooding,” the National Weather Service tweeted Wednesday morning.

    Forecasters are expecting the storm to become a “bomb cyclone” because its pressure is predicted to fall so fast, an indicator of explosive strengthening. The storm could rank as the most intense over the waters east of New England in decades at this time of year.

    National Weather Service hurricane hunter aircraft are even flying into the storm to gather data and refine the forecast given the possible severe impacts in coastal areas.

    Woo hoo!

    Down here in balmy Southern Maryland we’ll get pounded by about an inch of snow. You New Englanders stay, umm, frosty?

  127. 127
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Phylllis: They got a dusting up in the Florida panhandle. Leon County (Tallahassee) schools preemptively closed yesterday. It was so bad that the Mayor of San Juan, PR offered to send assistance.

  128. 128
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Yarrow: I wouldn’t go that far. But NPR is pathologically obsessed with not apportioning any blame at all to Republicans, to the point where they’ll list over and over and over that Trump “spoke without evidence” or “made statements sometimes at odds with the evidence” and evaluate the actual claims… but will bend over backwards to never actually say Trump lied.

    They do similar things for the rest of the republicans. They dont’ want to ever get caught saying out loud that Republicans are crooks, but they’ll describe their actual actions in a “oh, republicans did this thing” way that completely omits context and impact.

  129. 129
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @zhena gogolia: Any cyclonic storm where the internal barometric pressure drops at least one point per hour. I think for a 24 hour period. This one is supposed to drop more than 24 points in 24 hours. So it’s like a pressure bomb went off. Or something.

  130. 130
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: First Jewish-American president or first alien reptilian wearing an itchy, ill fitting human skin suit masquerading as a mortgage brokerage CEO president?//

  131. 131
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @onthepublicrecord: The only think I knew about him was his abject unfitness to be on the Intel Committee, let alone chair it, based on his educational and professional background and his monomaniacal focus on moving all US intel infrastructure to Lajes to benefit his extended family and their friends. My opinion is that the former would get him in trouble eventually as he was likely to say something he shouldn’t because he has no business on the intel committee. And that the latter would also get him in trouble because it is both a stupid idea and something that pisses off the US Intel Community. Beyond that you are likely correct as you’ve followed him more closely than I have.

  132. 132
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    If nothing else, that’s gonna suck for everyone in that area who’s prone to weather migraines, and will probably hit people who don’t normally get them.

    I spent most of yesterday feeling like the pressure in my head was trying to push out my left eyeball because some clouds rolled in, so I really feel their pain.

  133. 133
    Another Scott says:

    Watching classic Japanese monster movies on TCM at the moment, while waiting for our furnace to be repaired (tomorrow, with any luck). Bad electronics board, again. Grrr…

    Anywho, is there an Oxygen Destroyer or similar that would work on Donnie and his minions, by chance? Would we risk using it??!

    How are they going to defeat Rodan??!!?!


  134. 134
    Leto says:

    Back from lunch/gym: @Adam L Silverman: @tobie: tobie is correct; I get my octogenarian white guys mixed up at times. It’s the comb-overs. Sorry!

  135. 135
    Applejinx says:

    @Fleeting Expletive: No shit. Some of us have commented on this before. Sounds plausible to me.

  136. 136
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    @germy: McConnell’s wife giving a major Republican financier a position on an oversight committee is not at all suspicious…

    DeVos. Mercer. Koch.

    Does anyone else think the “Russian project” cold have been accomplished on someone else’s behalf than Donald Trump?
    And why so many Republican’s are desperately doing anything and everything to keep him in power?

    They’re fucking owned by these people. I’m assuming Mueller or the DOJ has serious investigations in progress as we speak regarding money they’ve gotten from the American Cabal and the Russians, particularly the illegal acts they’ve all committed as a condition of the transfer of funds.

    And they’re ALL terrified they’re getting found out. Nunes is just the one with the worst poker face.

  137. 137
    catclub says:

    @Adam L Silverman: so is a meat hoodie made with a blanket steak?

  138. 138
    glory b says:

    @onthepublicrecord: I remember a while ago someone pointing out ( I wish I could remember where) that Nunez was a surprise since most appointees have some background or experience in the Committee’s subject matter.

    I also read that Nunez campaigned hard for the position and more than a few folks thought his insistence on getting the chairmanship was a head scratcher. In retrospect, it seems fishy.

    Also read that he’s dumb as a box of rocks, but he’s proven that since then.

  139. 139
    trnc says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Ellen is just an agent for the deep state. The kids who act like her guests are the ones really running the show.

  140. 140
    glory b says:

    @onthepublicrecord: I don’t know as much about him as you do, but I’m inclined to agree.

  141. 141
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Fleeting Expletive:

    I just realized I’ve gotten zero new work from my overpriced website since October 27. I’d had an unpleasant meeting about the shit quality of the SEO with my rep last week (I could lease 4 luxury cars a month for what I pay for the thing). His response was the usual “spend more money”, to which I responded “I’m not borrowing another dime to pay for this lack of performance or service”. He asked me how far off I was over last year, and I guessed 20-25 percent. Took a better look yesterday, and it’s more like 35-40%.

    My clientele is solid middle class for the major part.

    Now, there’s no doubt that a big chunk of wrongness is tied up with my bullshit asshole thieving lying cheap motherfucker cocksucker SEO provider. At the same time, I’ve had too many “I just don’t have money” calls to discount Republican economic malaise.

  142. 142
  143. 143
    trnc says:

    @Kelly: Impeachment doesn’t get it. Trump won’t leave unless he’s convicted by the senate, and that would require at least 10 post-election republicans to vote for conviction. I can’t come up with one except maybe for Collins if she’s still in, and even she would probably fold.

  144. 144
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @catclub: Most likely.

  145. 145
    SFAW says:


    I can’t come up with one except maybe for Collins if she’s still in, and even she would probably fold.


    She just fucked over her constituents in exchange for somewhat less than a bowl of pottage (unless bullshit “promises” from Turtle have magically gained nutrients when I wasn’t looking). The only time it would not be a dead-lock certainty is if 90 percent of the rest of the traitorous R senators decided to convict as well.

    At least LePage is up-front about his fucking-over of Mainers. And Collins would probably label me as “sexist” for not bowing down before her awesomeness.

  146. 146
    Davebo says:


    True Dat! Collins is actually worse than most. At least the Freedom Caucus/Tea Party types own their asshattery.

  147. 147
    Miss Bianca says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: OK, I’m not much in the habit of contributing my limited funds to out-of-state political campaigns, but I think I am going to have to contribute some cash to the Iron Stache’s campaign, if only to see ZEGS pulling that long, sad face when he realizes he’s being booted out of Congress on his ass.

  148. 148
    Another Scott says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Interesting.

    Perhaps relatedly: It was clear to me in ~ 2006-2007 that housing was in a huge bubble around here when one of the in-fill developments nearby wasn’t getting any bites for new McMansions “Starting at $1.4M” and then about 6 months later the sign was changed to “Starting at $995k”, and still months went by before there was any sign of construction…

    Here’s hoping your “leading indicators” aren’t an indication of another crash like that!

    Hang in there.


  149. 149
    Miss Bianca says:

    @MisterForkbeard: Welcome to my world. I used to work in community radio, where Goodman is still revered as some sort of demi-goddess. I became dislillusioned with her after having to listen to hours of her shows. Yes, she is anti-establishment with an axe to grind, and she too suffers for Clinton Derangement Syndrome. Oddly, I remember her airing some tape of President Bill calling her out for being both rude and hostile, and her whole schtick with her on-air sycophants was trying to reassure herself that she was only trying to Speak Truth to Power.

  150. 150
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Adam L Silverman:It’s obviously time for the Monstrous Regiment of Women to take over the party planning, but the last time I spoke to them about it, they got pissed: “why do *we* always have to be the ones who do everything?”

  151. 151
  152. 152
    Bonnie says:

    Not only should Nunes be busted for obstruction; but, he should be jailed for treason. He is complicit with Trump and his gang, who committed acts of treason as stated by Bannon, who was close enough to see what was happening. These guys are all traitors to their country and should pay for that.

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