Release the Memo: 24 Hours Later

Late yesterday evening I addressed the quickly developing disinformation campaign being called release the memo after the hashtag of the same name. I specifically wrote:

Apparently Congressman Nunes, or folks working for/with him on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, have produced a four page memo alleging significant abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by the Obama Administration, specifically the Department of Justice and the FBI, against Republicans. The memo is supposedly classified. This has led to the creation of a release the memo hashtag (click at your own risk of sanity). This would seem to explain Sean Hannity’s opening tease on Fox News tonight.

And:

It is hard to get decent info at this point, but if I’m following all this correctly the memo being referred to is the result of Congressman Nunes’ monomania regarding lawful unmasking by the Obama Administration in 2015 and 2016 and the attempt to create a controversy and scandal over FISA violations as reported by the chronically wrong and easily duped John Solomon at The Hill, as well as his equally odious, one sided, and misleading reporting on the text messages between two FBI officials during the campaign.

 

Twenty-four hours later we have more clarity on exactly how the alleged memo was created and the purpose to which it is being put. Hamilton68, funded by the German Marshall Fund to track Russian active measures on social media, has been tracking the release the memo hashtag.

Natasha Bertrand at Business Insider has further details.

Russia-linked Twitter bots have jumped on the bandwagon.

#ReleaseTheMemo is the top-trending hashtag among Twitter accounts linked to Russian influence operations, according to Hamilton 68, a website launched last year that says it tracks Russian propaganda in near-real time.

The frequency with which the accounts have been promoting the hashtag has spiked by 233,000% over the past 48 hours, according to the site. The accounts’ references to the “memo,” meanwhile, have increased by 68,000%.

The most-shared domain among the accounts has been WikiLeaks, and the most-shared URL has been a link to WikiLeaks’ “submit” page.

WikiLeaks said on Thursday that it would reward anyone with access to the “FISA abuse memo” who chooses to submit it to the site. The Russia-linked accounts have evidently been sharing the “submit” page to push the memo’s release.

Bret Schafer, a communications coordinator at the German Marshall Fund’s Alliance for Securing Democracy who tracks the Hamilton 68 accounts, said he “certainly can’t remember” the last time the researchers had seen a topic “promoted to this level” by the Russia-linked bots and trolls.

“On a normal day, our top hashtag is typically used around 400 times in a 48-hour period by the network we track,” he said in an email on Friday.

“As of right now, #ReleaseTheMemo has been used over 3,000 times (and five other related hashtags are in the top 10),” he said. “In total, they’ve easily shared more than 4,500 hashtags on the topic in the past two days, and our top URL is Assange’s offer to pay for a copy of the memo. That certainly seems to be a sign of a coordinated effort by the bots and trolls.”

Congressman Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Select Permanent Committee on Intelligence – and the only member of that committee to actually successfully prosecute an espionage case – had this to say:

a profoundly misleading set of talking points drafted by Republican staff attacking the FBI and its handling of the investigation. Rife with factual inaccuracies and referencing highly classified materials that most of Republican Intelligence Committee members were forced to acknowledge they had never read, this is meant only to give Republican House members a distorted view of the FBI. This may help carry White House water, but it is a deep disservice to our law enforcement professionals.”

Where does this leave our beleaguered hero Congressman Nunes, the chairman of the House Select Permanent Committee on Intelligence? According to GOP strategist Rick Wilson he’s right in the thick of things.

Also, OpSec people, OpSec!!!!!

Wilson’s anonymous source has now been verified by subsequent reporting.

One thing about that document: Republican staffers wrote it.

Even the most plugged-in news consumer could be forgiven for thinking the classified memo is an executive branch document that exposes wrongdoing within the Justice Department and the FBI. It isn’t.

The document, which alleges abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act during the FBI’s quiet counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign in the final months of the 2016 election, was actually compiled by Republican staffers on the House Intelligence Committee. That committee voted along partisan lines this week to allow any member of Congress to take a peek at the document themselves. Republican members soon flocked to a secure room to read the memo written by their allies — and then ran to tell the press about it.

If the memo does eventually go public, it won’t end well for Republicans, Susan Hennessey, the executive editor of the legal commentary site Lawfare, argued Friday. “After causing completely unnecessary chaos today, this memo will be released in some redacted [form] in a few weeks and prove to be an utter embarrassment to Nunes personally, the [House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence] majority, and frankly to US House of Representatives,” Hennessey predict

What I estimated last night was correct.

Since these (the Simpson transcripts just released by HPSCI) basically shoot everything Congressman Nunes, Congressman Gaetz, Congressman DeSantis, Congressman Jordan, and several other GOP members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Oversight, Justice, or other committees have been saying about the Special Counsel and his investigation and the FBI’s role in the counterintelligence investigation pertaining to the President that was begun in July 2016, they needed to do something to change the narrative. Enter the four page classified memo supposedly alleging that the Obama Administration, the DOJ, the FBI, and other parts of the US Intel Community were all conspiring against Republicans and conservatives in general and the President, his businesses, and his campaign in specific. Leaked to Fox News and teed up for Sean Hannity’s diatribe for an audience of one this evening. Given what happened the last time that Congressman Nunes tried to get creative in screening fire for the President, I fully expect that if this memo is ever declassified it won’t survive first contact with the actual subject matter experts the news media brings in to consult on it. Except, of course, for Fox News, talk radio, the alt-right news media (Breitbart, Gateway Pundit, etc) and social media crowd, Wikileaks, RT, and Sputnik. They’ll all, amazingly, have the exact same talking points. As will the White House, the President on twitter, and the aforementioned GOP members of Congress. This amount of coincidence takes a lot of work!

This is a desperate play to try to change the subject, to try to divert the news media’s attention, and it appears to have been fed to one of the specific Fox News personalities that we know are tailoring their programming directly to and for the President. Anyone want to estimate the over/under that Congressman Nunes actually either gave Hannity the memo he cobbled together or just read it to him, despite the fact that it was classified because it cherry picks material from classified DOJ, FBI, and US Intelligence Community information? Finally, releasing a partisan staff product memo isn’t going to answer any actual questions.

The only way to put the issue to bed would be to declassify and release the FISA warrant application. That is not going to happen. And you’ll notice that Congressman Nunes, nor his exceedingly shrill partners in crime – Congressman Gaetz, Congressman DeSantis, Congressman King (IA), Congressman Meadows,  Congressman Jordan, Congressman Zeldin, Sean Hannity, Wikileakes, etc – are actually calling for that to happen. All they want is Congressman Nunes cherry picked material disseminated to create maximum outrage and diversion. Which is, apparently, what Russian state media, Russian intelligence funded trolls, Russian controlled bots, Russia’s fellow travelers on the alt-right, the Fox News personalities who are programming their shows to speak to an audience of one (the President), and these members of Congress all want. This is a strange convergence of interests. And this is why they are all using the exact same talking points, messaging, and language. A lot of work went into creating this coincidence.

Updated at 9:26 PM EST

Here’s an example of the clear eyed, quality thinking that has gone into releasing the memo:

Genius!

Stay frosty (or warm if you’re where it’s cold)!

Open thread!

142 replies
  1. 1
    jharp says:

    Game on.

    Lots of soiled underwear in Camp Trump.

  2. 2
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Nunes needs to pay for this.

    With a prison term.

  3. 3
    Redshift says:

    “I have here in my hand a list…” Actual McCarthy tactics from the treason weasels who try to tar any mention of Russia as McCarthyism.

  4. 4
    Baud says:

    Mueller needs to indict some more folks soon.

  5. 5
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Russia’s fellow travelers on the alt-right

    Don’t forget Russia’s fellow travelers on the “left”.

  6. 6
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Just added this as an update. They’re not sending their best, though some, I assume, are fine people…

  7. 7
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @jharp: Ew.

  8. 8
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    If they’re so concerned about FISA abuse then why did Nunes, Zeldin, Gaetz, DeSantis
    vote to reauthorize it just 7 days ago.

    crocodile tears.

  9. 9
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Actually so far those usual suspects have been pretty good. Either quiet or pointing out why this is stupid. At least as far as I saw as I try not to go looking for that stuff.

  10. 10
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    #Trumpshutdown trending worldwide.

  11. 11
    Reformed Panty Sniffer says:

    Al these machinations by Republicans to divert the Mueller investigation make me wonder how many members of Congress are themselves somehow involved with the Russians. What kind of kompromat does Putin have on them? I read somewhere that Nunes has had some financial dealings with Russian entities in the past. Who else in Congress?

  12. 12
    rikyrah says:

    Watching the countdown clock ⏰ on MSNBC

  13. 13
    rikyrah says:

    @Reformed Panty Sniffer:
    Repeat after me
    Nunes ‘ business partners are Russians with ties to PUTIN

  14. 14

    We are way past ‘boy who cried wolf’ territory. This will play with the people who would echo any stupid thing without caring what it is, and with no one else. By all means, release the memo, so we can laugh at how stupid it is.

  15. 15
    dmsilev says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    They’re not sending their best

    Consider the terrifying probability that these are, in fact, their best.

  16. 16
    AnotherBruce says:

    So this proves correlation between Hannity on Fox News, Nunes, Assange, soon to be Trump and the Russians? Aw hell skip “correlation” and call it collusion.

  17. 17
  18. 18
    Baud says:

    Rachel’s covering to the inauguration donation scam.

  19. 19
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @dmsilev: Actually, I saw someone reference that in terms of the White House staff. That as this initial batch of folks are worn down and leave over the next few weeks, they’re going to be replaced by the B, C, and D listers. Frightening thought, isn’t it?

  20. 20
    dmsilev says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: Washington Post:

    Administration officials acknowledged that many federal employees were not notified until Thursday or Friday that they could be affected, much later than would be typical. In 2013, more than 800,000 federal employees were sent home without pay for 16 days. The reason many weren’t given more advance warning this time is because senior administration officials said they didn’t realize the shutdown threat was real until days ago.

    What’s next, “the dog ate my homework appropriations bill”?

  21. 21
    Dave says:

    @Adam L Silverman: There is something I’m missing here. Lets just play pretend that some part of this is true on or more if the FISA applications was initiated as a result of information brought forward in the Steele dossier. Why would this matter? As in would it matter legally at all or is it merely a straw table for desperate idiots to pound even if it was true?

  22. 22
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Jon Wertheim
    ‏Verified account @jon_wertheim

    Upset alert…Lauren Davis, pride of Cleveland, playing like a river on fire, taking on number #1 Halep #AustralianOpen

    5 replies 10 retweets 44 likes

    okay, that’s funny.

    Tai
    ‏ @phillyphantai

    This match between Simona Halep and Lauren Davis is EVERYTHING!!! 2 Lil powerhouses out there…this is a great match! #AusOpen #HalepVsDavis #WTA 🎾🎾🎾

    1 reply 1 retweet 1 like

    Grrl power

  23. 23
    dmsilev says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I saw an analysis somewhere noting that turnover in this White House is far higher than is normal for the first year of a Presidency. And the first year or two are usually the most productive.

  24. 24
    Mike in NC says:

    @Reformed Panty Sniffer:

    Who else in Congress?

    Seems like there are dozens of GOP congressmen and senators on the FSB payroll.

  25. 25
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: Those damn Russian bots and trolls are really fickle.

  26. 26
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @AnotherBruce: I’m not sure it proves anything. As in what we have counts as actual evidence that is actionable in a court of law. It is certainly enough for intelligence analysis purposes. As I’ve repeatedly said: this much coincidence takes a lot of work.

  27. 27
    SFAW says:

    I half-expect they’ll say they hacked that memo from Hitlary’s server. Along with a ton of Rosatom e-mails to her, and her confession that she murdered Vince Foster with her bare hands (or her fangs).

    On the other hand, I keep hoping for the day that Mueller goes on primetime TV and say “And YOU get a treason indictment, and YOU get a treason indictment, and YOU get one …” usw. That would be cool.

  28. 28
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @dmsilev: I believe I covered that last night.

  29. 29
    rikyrah says:

    @Baud:
    She is the only one on television who has been following this.

  30. 30
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    and we’re tied again: 8-8 in the 3rd set

    Ben Rothenberg
    ‏Verified account @BenRothenberg

    Have wondered for a while now why Lauren Davis hasn’t become more of a cult favorite. Undersized player with an entertaining game, sweet personality and lots of quirks.

    22 replies 6 retweets 71 likes

  31. 31
    dmsilev says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I was trying to actually do some productive work last night, so couldn’t do too much blog-reading.

  32. 32
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Gaetz is not, obviously, a very bright person.

  33. 33
    Corner Stone says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: Davis better finish this set soon or she’s going to cramp out.

  34. 34
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Dave: Correct. Despite both the Senate Judiciary transcript and the HSPCI transcripts of Simpson’s testimonies indicating that when Steele took his initial memo to the FBI they indicated that they’d already opened the counterintelligence investigation because they had a source from within the campaign. That source has been identified as Papadapolous who got drunk and bragged about what the Russians had and wanted to do to help the campaign to the Australian High Commissioner at a pub in London. The latter gentlemen informed Australian intel, which then notified the US intel community through the Five Eyes network.

    But even if the FBI and DOJ had included some material from the Steele dossier, or at that point the first few memos as that’s all that existed at that time in mid 2016, it wouldn’t matter. A FISA warrant is still a warrant. Law enforcement, in this case the FBI vetted by the DOJ office that does QA/QC on FISA warrant requests, puts down the probable cause that justifies asking for the warrant. Not irrefutable facts as evidence at trial. So including material from Steele’s investigation wouldn’t be a problem. The FBI, like law enforcement across the US when seeking warrants, includes material as probable cause from a wide range of informants. A lot of whom are criminals who are working as confidential informants. If that’s okay, then certainly referring to material provided by a highly decorated allied intelligence agent is okay too.

  35. 35
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @dmsilev: Yep and yep.

  36. 36
    Corner Stone says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: He’s the guy parents tell their kids not to help look for their lost puppy in the park.

  37. 37
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SFAW: I’m waiting for the investigation into how the Clinton Foundation was used to defraud Dutch tulip investors before the crash. In 1673 1637.

  38. 38
    Anonymous At Work says:

    I say, release the memo. Democrats then subpoena the authors, put them under Oath, and turn over all their time to Schiff. Much merriment ensues?

  39. 39
    chris says:

    @dmsilev:

    The Stormy Shithole Shutdown Showdown— Clara Jeffery (@ClaraJeffery) January 20, 2018

  40. 40
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @dmsilev: I was teasing. No worries here.

  41. 41
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Daddy bought him out of multiple DUIs. Daddy then bought him a state of Florida legislative seat. Daddy then bought him his current seat in the House.

    I think I’m beginning to see a pattern.

  42. 42
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Adam L Silverman: The Clinton Foundation probably also had a hand in the Mississippi Bubble and the South Seas Bubble.

  43. 43
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Anonymous At Work: Democrats, as the minority on every committee in both the House and the Senate, have no power to subpoena anyone. Or set schedules, agendas, etc.

  44. 44
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Not 1637?

  45. 45
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    They’re not sending their best, though some, I assume, are fine people…

    Snorfle.

  46. 46
    dmsilev says:

    @Adam L Silverman: No worries, I’m good Still a bit shell-shocked from spending several hours yesterday arguing with my computer (translating a 25 page manuscript filled with figures and equations from Word to LaTeX. It’s the sort of experience H.P. Lovecraft wrote about).

  47. 47
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Also, El Nino and La Nina, which more and more people are saying, are here illegally.

  48. 48
    Corner Stone says:

    @dmsilev: Latex? You have a Stormy Daniels story, also too?

  49. 49
    SFAW says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I’m waiting for the investigation into how the Clinton Foundation was used to defraud Dutch tulip investors before the crash. In 1673.

    Their perfidy knows no bounds. And Obama’s as well, because he apparently let them use his time machine.

    History’s Greatest Monsters, indeed.

  50. 50
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: You’re right, I transcribed it wrong. I’ll go fix it.

  51. 51
    dmsilev says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Are you suggesting that the Clinton Foundation, with help from George Soros and Al Gore (who is fat), are responsible for bitcoin and that bubble? Because I could totally buy that.

    That would make it Hillary’s fault that all those video-gamer types can’t buy new graphics cards right now.

  52. 52
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @dmsilev: I haven’t used LaTeX since I was trying to learn R commands. That didn’t end well for anyone.

  53. 53
    Adam L Silverman says:

  54. 54
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    and we’re tied at 10-10. wow.

  55. 55
    dmsilev says:

    @Corner Stone: The niche market for videos of people being beaten with rolled-up copies of Physical Review Letters is (hopefully) quite small. Though, Internet Rule 34 says that it does exist.

  56. 56
    Adam L Silverman says:

  57. 57
    debbie says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    That’s not a bar to anything, unfortunately.

  58. 58
    divF says:

    @dmsilev:

    translating a 25 page manuscript filled with figures and equations from Word to LaTeX

    My sincerest sympathies.
    ETA: I try to get my scientific collaborators to write proposals in LaTeX. I win that argument less than 50% of the time, unfortunately. Then they regret it when it is crunch time and you have six authors passing around a Word document.

  59. 59
    NotMax says:

    Four page memo. Translation:

    Title page. Two extra-wide margined pages of 36-point type, triple-spaced, plus a few words on the last page.

  60. 60
    debbie says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    And that is what makes all this drama so enjoyable!

  61. 61
    sdhays says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Well, I guess I’ll go pick out my stone then.

  62. 62
    SFAW says:

    @dmsilev:

    That would make it Hillary’s fault that all those video-gamer types can’t buy new graphics cards right now.

    Mining cryptocurrency? I must be older than I thought, because I thought you had to have something tangible to mine. No, I don’t want an explanation of what it means.

    But I also note the similarity of “blockchain” to “chain migration,” and am wondering if it’s all a scheme by illegal brown people to rob our nation of its precious bodily fluids.

  63. 63
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    #TrumpShutdown
    416K Tweets

    Pretty overwhelming. The shithead is hitting the fan.

  64. 64
    Yarrow says:

    Doug Jones: "as of right now I'll be voting for the CR."He says CHIP is too big to pass up.— Paul Kane (@pkcapitol) January 20, 2018

    Another reporter said a Republican Senator said they’re “hopeful” because some Dems have broken ranks. I think it’s just Schumer giving some permission to vote yes. Still not enough votes.

  65. 65
    frosty says:

    @dmsilev: That’s some Rule, that Rule 34.

  66. 66
    Corner Stone says:

    Of course Davis is cramping. That’s why Halep has been rushing this whole set.

  67. 67
    Yarrow says:

    .@JohnCornyn to reporters: "No deal."— Phil Mattingly (@Phil_Mattingly) January 20, 2018

  68. 68
    Cermet says:

    Makes one nostalgic for the anthrax mad man murderer (the south African rightwing nutcase) and his letter writing campaign to congressman – assuming he realized he had even crazier nut jobs now running congress and decided to thin the heard in order so he could, again, be the craziest nut case remaining. He’d be one busy letter writer with today’s huge number of congress/white house loons.

  69. 69

    @Adam L Silverman: Well, since Trump is so rich(as he has repeatably told us) he can foot to bill to get to his own damn party.

  70. 70
    NotMax says:

    Senate voting playing a hand of Fizzbin.

  71. 71
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Happy Anniversary!

  72. 72
    SFAW says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    he can foot to bill to get to his own damn party.

    Will the airlines accept rubles?

  73. 73
    NotMax says:

    More than 40 noes.

  74. 74
    sdhays says:

    @Yarrow: That’s how I read it. If it’s not going to pass, there’s no reason for them to stick out their neck. Although if they did, then I don’t think the bill would even achieve 50 votes in the Senate, which should then pretty much end any discussion of the shutdown being Democrats’ fault. Beyond the usual “WAAAHHHH!!! It’s Democrats’ fault that they aren’t bailing us out of our own bullshit!!!! Waaahhh!!!”

  75. 75
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: Schumer has released Jones and three others from the whip. That’s it. McConnell, depending on how his caucus votes, needs at least 14 Democratic votes.

  76. 76
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Hannity’s off the reservation again and speaking to an audience of one – the President.

  77. 77
    NotMax says:

    ‘Twould be most juicy if someone at the Congressional power plant pulled the switch that shuts off the lights in the Senate chamber.

  78. 78
    efgoldman says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    They’re not sending their best, though some, I assume, are fine people…

    Time was, most members of the house (both parties) were at least competent lawyers who could write or speak in complete sentences, proper syntax, and understood what evidence was and how to marshal it.
    But then, I’m OOOOOOOLLLLLLDD!

    Fuckem

  79. 79
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Adam L Silverman: three Republicans voted against cloture: Graham, Rand and Rounds?

  80. 80
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: Senators Graham, Flake, Lee, and Paul have voted no. The vote is still open for a few more minutes, but we’re heading to a shutdown.

  81. 81

    @efgoldman:

    But then, I’m OOOOOOOLLLLLLDD!

    I’ve gathered that…

  82. 82
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: I wager 32 quatloos!

  83. 83
    B.B.A. says:

    That’s 50 yeas for cloture, which means the spin that Democrats are shutting the government down sounds slightly reasonable to the low-information voter. Sure it’s bullshit, I know that and you know that, but do the American people know that?

  84. 84
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @efgoldman: We have arranged for a fresh onion for your belt of the month club membership for you. We all chipped in.

  85. 85
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Schumer must have released McCaskill too.

    McCaskill is a YES, joining Jones, Heitkamp, Manchin and Donnelly as Dem yes votes— Phil Mattingly (@Phil_Mattingly) January 20, 2018

  86. 86
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Dave: What is in the Steele dossier is inadequate for a FISA warrant. However, it could have started things off, with much more information added. It’s that second part that is why Adam says the request won’t be declassified. (I see Adam has said somewhat more. This is the tl;dr.)

    @Adam L Silverman: Him, not he. One of those grammatical errors I loathe. I know it’s not yours.

    I’m going to disagree slightly with one of the quotes in the top post. I’m about halfway through both Simpson testimonies, and they do not “shoot down” everything all those congressmen have ever said about the subject, even accounting for exaggeration. They are fascinating documents, and they DO indicate that the Steele dossier needs to be taken seriously, for what it is, which is a collection of raw human intelligence reports that can be wound into a number of narratives. Much of the shorthand in the media and probably in the congressmen’s minds seems to take the dossier as a single narrative that can be proved or disproved. Not so.

    Simpson adds a fair bit of his impressions and interpretations of the Steele material and other things. This is additional material that needs verification. It’s plausible, but not really a confirmation of the Steele material. What would be confirmation would be additional human sources or documents that say the same or similar things.

    Nunes would like to be able to say there’s no “there” there. But Simpson undercuts that rather substantially.

    The Russian support for Nunes is interesting. It occurred to me today that Nunes’s behavior has resembled that of the Russians after their guys shot down MH17, the Malaysian airliner, over Ukraine. Toss out several misleading stories. Present fake evidence. That’s fairly generic behavior, although not the only route possible.

  87. 87
    Corner Stone says:

    @B.B.A.: Cloture? What the hell is cloture?

  88. 88
    efgoldman says:

    @Anonymous At Work:

    Democrats then subpoena the authors

    I could be wrong, but I don’t think the minority members acting alone have subpoena power without a majority vote of the committee. Which they won’t get.

    ETA: Adam got there first

  89. 89
    Yarrow says:

    LOL

    Whatever, Mexico gonna pay for our government during the shutdown right? muy bien— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) January 20, 2018

  90. 90
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    HA

    No golf. No party.

    That hits him where it really hurts.

  91. 91
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @B.B.A.: Back to playing troll?

  92. 92
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: Yep, she isn’t needed. I’ve got a post teed up and ready to go once they close the vote and we have a final tally.

  93. 93
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    20 quatloos on the newcomer. (Know I’ve linked to this short video before but it still cracks me up.)

    :)

    Tonight’s episode of the Senate entitled “A Piece of the Inaction.”

  94. 94
  95. 95
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Corner Stone: The opposite of openure.

  96. 96
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: If you haven’t already included it, you might add the Preet Bharara tweet I just posted. Funny!

  97. 97
    patrick II says:

    I watched Frank Luntz on HBO’s Vice documentary show tonight (a show I highly recommend). He was interviewing a group of Trump voters (yet again). All but one person, when asked by Luntz to name their primary news source was, named FOX news , and the one exception to that was the only guy who had come to the opinion that voting for Trump was a mistake. One old guy said that if “Trump had done half of what Obama has done they would put him in the electric chair “.
    Luntz was said he was shocked, shocked at the emotionalism of the responses he heard.
    From Wiki:

    Luntz frequently tests word and phrase choices using focus groups and interviews. His stated purpose in this is the goal of causing audiences to react based on emotion. “80 percent of our life is emotion, and only 20 percent is intellect. I am much more interested in how you feel than how you think. … If I respond to you quietly, the viewer at home is going to have a different reaction than if I respond to you with emotion and with passion and I wave my arms around.

  98. 98
    B.B.A. says:

    Matthew Yglesias‏ @mattyglesias

    If Hillary were president, the government would be shutting down for some different and possibly more stupid reason.
    10:34 PM – 19 Jan 2018 from Washington, DC

  99. 99
    efgoldman says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    We have arranged for a fresh onion for your belt of the month club

    Belt of the month? But I only wear braces to hold up my pants.
    (Too fast typing garbled syntax leads to)

  100. 100
    efgoldman says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    That hits him where it really hurts.

    Only if he has to issue refunds. He’ll recycle the food and alcohol. He might even refrigerate the meat and fish.

  101. 101
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman: I knew you were old, but I didn’t realize you were Yoda.

  102. 102
    NotMax says:

    @efgoldman

    Pants?

    F*ckem.

    ;)

  103. 103
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    and we’re tied 13-13 in the 3rd

    #Epic

  104. 104
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Two sources close to the president, one a White House official and the other a longtime confidant, told The Daily Beast how excited he was for the event and relayed his growing concern that the potential failure to strike a deal to keep the federal government open could keep him from “my party,” as the president has said.

    I heard someone on my TV refer to this as a planned “star-studded” gala. There are no stars mentioned in this article. Who would they be? Chachi and Reba McEntire?

  105. 105
    Yarrow says:

    @efgoldman: Trump feeds on adulation and golf. The shutdown means he gets neither.

  106. 106
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: I’m just waiting for them to close the vote. Apparently one of the GOP senators hasn’t voted yet. It is McConnell who has not yet voted. He’s going to enter a motion to reconsider after voting no, which gives him the option of bringing it back up without having to file for cloture. Saves him about 3 days.

  107. 107
    SFAW says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I knew you were old, but I didn’t realize you were Yoda.

    Fixed, so that efg can parse it better:
    “Old I knew you were , but Yoda you were I realized not.”

  108. 108
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @SFAW: Thanks for the assist.

  109. 109
    SFAW says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Anything for you, big guy.

    Well, not actually anything, but …

  110. 110

    @Yarrow: I’m sure there’s a public course in Virginia or Maryland that he could go to.

  111. 111
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    O’Donnell saying Schumer and McSoapy are still negotiating?

  112. 112

    @Yarrow: I thought he feeds on big macs and fries.

  113. 113

    @SFAW: Pretty much anybody’s a big guy to me.

  114. 114
    dmsilev says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That’s pretty standard for a Majority Leader. Reid used to do it fairly often, and there’d always be people whose purity exceeded their knowledge of (arcane) Senate rules and worked themselves up into a lather over it.

  115. 115
    Peale says:

    @efgoldman: lol. I remember his galas with trays of catered sandwiches. Like hosting diplomats was a corporate working lunch for the procurement department. I’ll laugh if they paid 100,000 for a photo and freezer burned tilapia.

  116. 116
    Cheryl Rofer says:

  117. 117
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @SFAW: I am only about 5’10”. And I know that anything seldom means anything.

  118. 118
    Cheryl Rofer says:

  119. 119
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Peale: I thought it was $250,000.

  120. 120
    AnotherBruce says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I donated a nickel so he could take the ferry to Shelbyville

  121. 121
    Another Scott says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Thanks. I’ll probably miss it, unfortunately.

    TheHill:

    Senate Democrats emerged from a closed-door caucus meeting Friday evening asserting that President Trump and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) were close to a funding deal but the president backed away from it.

    “There was virtually a deal, a comprehensive agreement, between Chuck Schumer and the president, and he walked away from it after he talked to his hard right,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).

    Blumenthal added that the near completion of the deal, and the setback, both occurred on Friday.

    A Senate aide confirmed Blumenthal’s comments. Schumer is expected to lay out the details of the potential agreement, and his discussions with the president, from the Senate floor Friday night.

    […]

    (Emphasis added.)

    Of course Donnie blew up another deal. That’s what he does.

    “The Art of the Deal”, yeah, yeah.:

    If he were writing “The Art of the Deal” today, Schwartz said, it would be a very different book with a very different title. Asked what he would call it, he answered, “The Sociopath.”

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  122. 122
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Just put a post up on it.

  123. 123
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @SFAW:

    keep hoping for the day that Mueller goes on primetime TV and say “And YOU get a treason indictment, and YOU get a treason indictment, and YOU get one …” usw. That would be cool.

    That would be a nice intro for #46, Oprah.

  124. 124
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @dmsilev: Yep. And yep.

  125. 125
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Topgolf

  126. 126
    J R in WV says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Oh, good!

    The more furiousier the better !!!

  127. 127
    B.B.A. says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I thought the Senate Dems were taking a principled stance of “enough with the CRs already!”

  128. 128
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Another Scott: Yep, saw that earlier.

  129. 129
    Another Scott says:

    @B.B.A.: There has to be a CR because there’s no other bill. The question is, what’s in it. They can make the CR as comprehensive as they want, or as limited as they want.

    Here’s hoping that Schumer and Durbin and all the rest play their cards right and take the hostages away while drinking Trump and the Teabaggers’ milkshake. With bells on.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  130. 130
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Another Scott:

    If he were writing “The Art of the Deal” today, Schwartz said, it would be a very different book with a very different title. Asked what he would call it, he answered, “The Sociopath.” “The Disaster Artist.”

  131. 131
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Oopsie!

  132. 132
    J R in WV says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Cloture is a famous Senate rule, it means closing the debate, ending discussion of the proposed bill, and requiring a vote on the merits. Cloture takes 60 votes, a supermajority. Without a vote of at least 60 members in support of cloture, the Senate can’t proceed to a vote up or down on the proposed bill.

    Cloture ends a fillibuster, which is just a fancy word for continuing the debate ad infinitum.

  133. 133
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @J R in WV: CS knows that. He was playing low info voter in response to a particular comment.

  134. 134
    Corner Stone says:

    @J R in WV: If it’s a famous Senate rule then how come no one has ever heard of it before?

  135. 135
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone: Sorry.

  136. 136
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Scott Baio on the spoons, or so I’ve gathered.

  137. 137
  138. 138

    @Villago Delenda Est: Now that’s top flight entertainment, Obummer couldn’t get that!

  139. 139
    RedDirtGirl (AKA IvankaThrowUp) says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Priceless. Just retweeted that to my FIVE followers!

  140. 140
    SFAW says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Scott Baio on the spoons

    If that mook were still getting anything other than “Unidentified male victim” parts in direct-to-DVD movies, he could afford to roll up a $50 bill.

    Oh, wait … what kind of spoon did you mean?

  141. 141
    danielx says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    This will play with the people who would echo any stupid thing without caring what it is, and with no one else.

    Why does the figure 27% come to mind?

  142. 142
    Stuftitcommies says:

    What a den of morons. I need a shower for just viewing it.

Comments are closed.