Brow-Raising Read: “Jared Kushner Is China’s Trump Card”

Few things are more dangerous, in this wicked world, than a stupid rich man who thinks he’s ‘superior’. Adam Entous & Evan Osnos, in the New Yorker:

In early 2017, shortly after Jared Kushner moved into his new office in the West Wing of the White House, he began receiving guests. One visitor who came more than once was Cui Tiankai, the Chinese Ambassador to the United States, a veteran diplomat with a postgraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University. When, during previous Administrations, Cui had visited the White House, his hosts received him with a retinue of China specialists and note-takers. Kushner, President Trump’s thirty-seven-year-old son-in-law and one of his senior advisers, preferred smaller gatherings…

In Kushner, Cui found a confident, attentive, and inexperienced counterpart. The former head of his family’s real-estate empire, which is worth more than a billion dollars, Kushner was intent on bringing a businessman’s sensibility to matters of state. He believed that fresh, confidential relationships could overcome the frustrations of traditional diplomatic bureaucracy. Henry Kissinger, who, in his role as a high-priced international consultant, maintains close relationships in the Chinese hierarchy, had introduced Kushner to Cui during the campaign, and the two met three more times during the transition. In the months after Trump was sworn in, they met more often than Kushner could recall. “Jared became Mr. China,” Michael Pillsbury, a former Pentagon aide on Trump’s transition team, said.

But Cui’s frequent encounters with Kushner made some people in the U.S. government uncomfortable. On at least one occasion, they met alone, which counterintelligence officials considered risky. “There’s nobody else there in the room to verify what was said and what wasn’t, so the Chinese can go back and claim anything,” a former senior U.S. official who was briefed on the meetings said. “I’m sorry, Jared—do you think your background is going to allow you to be able to outsmart the Chinese Ambassador?” Kushner, the official added, “is actually pretty smart. He just has limited life experiences. He was acting with naïveté.”…

Kushner often excluded the government’s top China specialists from his meetings with Cui, a slight that rankled and unnerved the bureaucracy. “He went in utterly unflanked by anyone who could find Beijing on a map,” a former member of the National Security Council said. Some officials who were not invited to Kushner’s sessions or briefed on the outcomes resorted to scouring American intelligence reports to see how Chinese diplomats described their dealings with Kushner. Other U.S. officials spoke to Cui directly about the meetings. Kushner was “their lucky charm,” the former N.S.C. member said. “It was a dream come true. They couldn’t believe he was so compliant.” (A spokesman for Kushner said that none of the China specialists told him that “he shouldn’t be doing it the way he was doing it at the time.”)

[And if they did, he wasn’t listening.]

As months passed, some members of the White House received their permanent security clearances, but Kushner continued to wait. For high-level appointees, the process is normally “expedited,” a former senior U.S. official said. It can be completed in several months, unless “derogatory information” pops up during the review.

Kushner had an interim clearance that gave him access to intelligence. He was also added to a list of recipients of the President’s Daily Brief, or P.D.B., a top-secret digest of the U.S. government’s most closely held and compartmentalized intelligence reports. By the end of the Obama Administration, seven White House officials were authorized to receive the same version of the P.D.B. that appeared on the President’s iPad. The Trump Administration expanded the number to as many as fourteen people, including Kushner. A former senior official said, of the growing P.D.B. distribution list, “It got out of control. Everybody thought it was cool. They wanted to be cool.”

Some people in the office of the director of National Intelligence questioned the expansion, but officials who reported to Trump didn’t want to risk irritating him by trying to exclude his son-in-law and other new additions. David Priess, a former C.I.A. officer who delivered the P.D.B. during the George W. Bush Administration and is the author of “The President’s Book of Secrets,” said that Kushner’s situation was unprecedented: “Having studied the President’s Daily Brief’s six-decade history, I have not come across another case of a White House official being a designated recipient of the P.D.B., for that length of time, without having a full security clearance.”

Among national-security specialists, Kushner’s difficulty obtaining a permanent security clearance has become a subject of fascination. Was it his early failure to disclose foreign contacts? Or did it have something to do with the investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 elections? As the Administration finished its first year, some clues to Kushner’s security troubles have come into sharper focus, giving a new perspective on his encounters with China…

Through his work, Kushner had established links to China. A Kushner project in Jersey City, which opened in November, 2016, reportedly received about fifty million dollars, nearly a quarter of its financing, from Chinese investors who are not publicly named, through a U.S. immigration program known as EB-5, which allows wealthy foreigners to obtain visas by investing in American projects. Kushner was also an investor, alongside prominent Chinese and Hong Kong businessmen, in multiple companies. He and a brother, Joshua Kushner, co-founded Cadre, a real-estate investment firm, which received funding from Jack Ma, the billionaire founder of Alibaba. (The scope of investors behind Kushner projects is unknown, because the company does not disclose the names.) Ivanka Trump has her own business endeavors in China, where some of her branded handbags, shoes, and clothes are manufactured…

By the spring of 2017, investigators in charge of evaluating whether to give Kushner a permanent security clearance had new information to consider. U.S. intelligence agencies aggressively target Chinese government communications, including Cui’s reports to Beijing about his meetings in the United States.

According to current and former officials briefed on U.S. intelligence about Chinese communications, Chinese officials said that Cui and Kushner, in meetings to prepare for the summit at Mar-a-Lago, discussed Kushner’s business interests along with policy. Some intelligence officials became concerned that the Chinese government was seeking to use business inducements to influence Kushner’s views. The intelligence wasn’t conclusive, according to those briefed on the matter. “I never saw any indication that it was successful,” a former senior official said, of Chinese efforts to compromise Kushner. The Chinese could have mischaracterized their discussions with Kushner. But the intelligence reports triggered alarms that Chinese officials were attempting to exploit Kushner’s close relationship with the President, which could yield benefits over time. “They’re in it for the long haul,” the former official said. (A spokesman for Kushner said, “There was never a time—never—that Mr. Kushner spoke to any foreign officials, in the campaign, transition, and in the Administration, about any personal or family business. He was scrupulous in this regard.”)…

When Kushner was briefed by the F.B.I., he saw little cause for alarm, according to a person close to Kushner. He had no doubt that China and other countries were trying to persuade him to do things or to provide information, but he was, despite his inexperience in diplomacy and intelligence, confident in his ability to navigate these situations. After all, he told others, New York real estate is not “a baby’s business.”…

Much more at the link. Amazing to consider how many years of work and effort are being tossed away so that Prince Jared can pretend he’s a Big Man on Campus…

84 replies
  1. 1
    Mathguy says:

    Kushner, the official added, “is actually pretty smart. He just has limited life experiences. He was acting with naïveté.”…

    Evidence please, because I have certainly seen none. I have, however, seen evidence that he’s blithering idiot…

  2. 2

    I would like to know who the other twelve people were who were getting the President’s Daily Brief.

  3. 3
    The Moar You Know says:

    But Cui’s frequent encounters with Kushner made some people in the U.S. government uncomfortable. On at least one occasion, they met alone, which counterintelligence officials considered risky. “There’s nobody else there in the room to verify what was said and what wasn’t, so the Chinese can go back and claim anything,” a former senior U.S. official who was briefed on the meetings said. “I’m sorry, Jared—do you think your background is going to allow you to be able to outsmart the Chinese Ambassador?” Kushner, the official added, “is actually pretty smart. He just has limited life experiences. He was acting with naïveté.”…

    You don’t even do this in routine business deals, why the hell would you do it for government/diplomatic business?

    As to the bolded part, well, that didn’t save the last guy I know who got his clearance yanked.

  4. 4
    Mathguy says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Ivanka, his security guard, the WH custodian, the Uber Eats guy delivering from McDs….

  5. 5
    guachi says:

    I’m stunned they allowed someone with an interim clearance anywhere near intelligence of any kind let alone TS stuff. Further, if he can’t get a clearance after a year when his situation is being expedited he probably isn’t a good security risk.

  6. 6

    The former head of his family’s real-estate empire, which is worth more than a billion dollars, Kushner was intent on bringing a businessman’s sensibility to matters of state.

    Wow. What an amazing whitewashing of Kushner’s unbelievable incompetence and the dimwitted way he’s running his inherited wealth into the ground.

    @guachi:
    Alas, the president is the final deciderer on who gets security clearance.

  7. 7

    In India where nepotism in politics is rife, the relatives of politicians have to at least fucking get elected before they can wield power. I have never heard of the government shutting down either, WTF is that?
    All that the R shenanigans are going to do is make more and more countries use other currencies as a reserve.

    ETA: The more I think about it, Presidential form of government seems an illogical way to run a country.

  8. 8
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: In the Obama White House there were 7. The President, VP, President’s and VP’s Chiefs of Staff, Assistant to the President-National Security Advisor, Assistant to the Vice President-National Security Advisor (overall listed as a Deputy National Security Advisor), and Assistant to the President-Deputy National Security Advisor.

    So the real question is who are the other 6 people this was expanded to.

    Also, when did need to know give way to “it’s cool”?

  9. 9
    JMG says:

    I wonder how many of the people with access to these reports read them, given that Trump doesn’t?

  10. 10
    HeleninEire says:

    Isn’t there someone outside of the federal govt in law enforcement who can do something about this? Not even a “oh he broke state laws” person. But a person at the State level who can say “This is so fucked that surely a State can stop the Feds from being such assholes”

    Cuz really. All this Federal checks and balances shit looks like, well, shit.

  11. 11

    @Adam L Silverman: Ivanka and Jarerd for sure. Don’t know about the other 4.

  12. 12
    The Moar You Know says:

    I’m stunned they allowed someone with an interim clearance anywhere near intelligence of any kind let alone TS stuff.

    @guachi: I am not certain you can get an interim TS clearance. Maybe if you had one previously, but he hasn’t.

    Further, if he can’t get a clearance after a year when his situation is being expedited he probably isn’t a good security risk.

    Mine was held for a year and some months, but a war had just started and there was a hell of a backlog. No such excuse exists now. That no one will sign off on his, given his relationship with the president, tells me he’s far worse than “not a good security risk”.

    Interestingly enough, pretty sure as the law is written Trump can just say “give him one” and it’s done, but he hasn’t. Another data point.

  13. 13
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Mathguy: Kushner was actually smart enough to have married a “Billionaire’s” daughter and then get appointed by that “Billionaire to a high level position in the White House for which he is sorely unqualified. That’s about it.

  14. 14

    Its so frustrating to see Rs pissing away all of America’s unique advantages for their short sighted and short term goals.

  15. 15
    dr. bloor says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Attendees are determined by weekly drawings among Mar a Lago members.

  16. 16
    ruemara says:

    @Adam L Silverman: When America was collectively handed to A Moron And His Treasonous Enablers.

  17. 17
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Boy, I’m glad we avoided the perils of a president who was cavalier about aides receiving classified information. :/

  18. 18
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I have never heard of the government shutting down either, WTF is that?

    Perhaps because like Canada and Great Britain, India has a parliament? I assume that in a two-party system like what we have in the U.S., the government can be shut down periodically if one party decides to throw a wrench in proceedings. There are at least three major parties in Canada and the U.K., so that situation never arises (to the best of my knowledge).

  19. 19
    waspuppet says:

    @Mathguy: Yeah, I despise that framing. If you don’t have a lot of experience in the world, and you decide “Yeah, I can renegotiate our entire relationship with China AND solve the opioid crisis AND reinvent the federal government AND bring peace to the Middle East,” you’re not smart.

  20. 20

    @Adam L Silverman: I have seen “It’s cool” more times in action than I care to think about. And what I’ve seen would be magnified by a lot in this crowd. Bragging about access at parties. Too-loud conversations in airports. A lot of people see a clearance and access as status symbols, and they are in a way. But the rules I learned is that you don’t use them that way.

  21. 21

    @Patricia Kayden: Yes India has a parliamentary democracy and there were no shut downs even during the era of coalition governments in the 90s and the aughts. One of the reasons the framers of the Indian constitution did not opt for the presidential version because they knew that the Presidential election campaign would become a never ending circus.

    * I just saw a 10 part miniseries on the making of the Indian constitution.

  22. 22
    John Revolta says:

    New York real estate is not “a baby’s business.”…

    When’s that note on 666 5th come due again? Tick tock J-boy……………….

  23. 23
    different-church-lady says:

    Yeah, but (it must be said)… Her Motherfuckin’ EMails™

  24. 24

    @FlipYrWhig: Yup, dodged a bullet with that one.

  25. 25
    The Moar You Know says:

    Isn’t there someone outside of the federal govt in law enforcement who can do something about this? Not even a “oh he broke state laws” person. But a person at the State level who can say “This is so fucked that surely a State can stop the Feds from being such assholes”

    @HeleninEire: Classification authority begins and ends with the President. Nobody else gets a say, certainly not the states. As someone who has worked within that system, that makes sense. The states never touch that stuff.

  26. 26
    cain says:

    @Mathguy:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Ivanka, his security guard, the WH custodian, the Uber Eats guy delivering from McDs….

    The porn actress that Trump is currently seeing.

  27. 27
  28. 28
    KithKanan says:

    ETA: The more I think about it, Presidential form of government seems an illogical way to run a country.

    @schrodingers_cat: There’s a reason even the US doesn’t use a Presidential system when we’re helping set up anyone else’s government. It’s amazing it’s taken this long for ours to break down this badly.

  29. 29
    gbbalto says:

    @Patricia Kayden: In a parliamentary system, a vote for a budget that fails (less than 50%) is like a vote of non-confidence for the majority party or coalition, triggering a resignation of the governing party/coalition and an election (40 days normally). The government does not shut down in the meantime, though I understand that some investment commitments cannot go forward. Knowledge based on Canada, may not apply to India.

  30. 30
    chris says:

    @schrodingers_cat: From a Canadian point of view the US operating system is obsolete and heading for catastrophic failure. But… ain’t no way they’re going to install some foreign system without a godawful fight.

  31. 31
    Roger Moore says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Ivanka and Jarerd for sure. Don’t know about the other 4.

    Almost certainly Bannon was on the list.

  32. 32
    Dave says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: God yes. I’m just some mid-grade reserve NCO who never looked after his own career and that look at me and how cool it is that I’m part of this cool thing is endemic. Read in etc etc just all over the place and more than a little sad. I have no doubts that the sort that is attracted to working in a Trump Whitehouse are not the sort that have a mature perspective regarding these things.

  33. 33

    @gbbalto:The ruling party/coalition gets 75 days in India if the initial budget resolution fails.

  34. 34
    Aleta says:

    It horrified me that T as a nominee could get (as apparently any nominee would) security information that would have been denied to others with the same international dealings and bankruptcies. The standards for top level clearances seem to go out the window for any person elected president.

    Surprised that for a top-level clearance, interim (unrestricted?) access is allowed before the full investigation is done. (I get it for temporary lower level clearances, which allow someone to begin work even though they are still not fully cleared. But the time I went through that, so I could begin work while waiting, I still had restricted access during that time.) Together with the PDB access, it seems like Kushner had temporary yet full access as soon as he got to the WH.

    And no one put a stop to this:

    Some people in the office of the director of National Intelligence questioned the expansion, but officials who reported to Trump didn’t want to risk irritating him by trying to exclude his son-in-law and other new additions.

    This reminds me of the Challenger.

  35. 35
    gbbalto says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Thanks. I don’t know whether the 40 days in Canada is set in stone or just the custom.
    ETA: The parliamentary system does both provide continuity of basic government functions and a prompt opportunity for the electorate to weigh in.

  36. 36
    Jack the Second says:

    @Roger Moore: Honestly just pick the 7 most odious people in Trump’s orbit. Difficult, but probably accurate.

  37. 37
    catclub says:

    @KithKanan:

    It’s amazing it’s taken this long for ours to break down this badly.

    If the Southern Democrats had stayed in in 1861, nothing that Lincoln did would have gotten past the Senate.

  38. 38
    Mike in NC says:

    If Kushner wasn’t married to that skank he’d never have been considered for any government security clearance. Next we’ll be hearing that he’s been picked to “renegotiate” the Iran “nuclear deal”.

    Best news today was the rumor that Kelly is on the way out as soon as Ivanka picks a replacement. That pajama-wearing Texas congressman would be a good choice.

  39. 39
    jeffreyw says:

    @dr. bloor:

    Attendees are determined by weekly drawings among Mar a Lago members.

    False! They are awarded by highest bid.

  40. 40
    Mart says:

    @chris:

    But… ain’t no way they’re going to install some foreign system without a godawful fight.

    Aren’t the 27 or so “R” states that are in favor of a constitutional convention pining for a more authoritarian foreign form of government?

  41. 41
    catclub says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Almost certainly Bannon was on the list.

    Maybe Wolff for his favorable book.

  42. 42
    Phylllis says:

    We subscribed to the New Yorker last summer and it has been worth every one of the $100 it cost. This week’s edition has an article about how Yemen has become even more unstable, and remarks on Jared’s involvement. Scary, to say the least.

  43. 43
    Roger Moore says:

    @KithKanan:

    It’s amazing it’s taken this long for ours to break down this badly.

    The most important thing in keeping a government working is that people want to keep it working. Enough good will can keep even a terribly designed system functional. Conversely, enough bad will can jam up even a well designed system.

  44. 44
    The Moar You Know says:

    The standards for top level clearances seem to go out the window for any person elected president.

    @Aleta: Again: the president is the classification authority. Period. Doesn’t matter if he’s got a sheet a mile long, knows more Russian than English and is FedExing the NSA archives out of the White House to Glenn Greenwald, he’s the guy who has it all and decides who gets what. That is how the law is written.

    ETA: obviously the law never counted on the president being an agent of a foreign power, but the people who wrote it never, ever considered that Americans would put such a person into power. Can’t blame them for that. I would have never considered it possible either, until it happened.

  45. 45

    @Roger Moore: True but there are no fail safes like a vote of no confidence in our system. Impeachment is a much higher bar.

  46. 46
    Montanareddog says:

    So, an appointed government advisor with no security clearance and China-linked business interests is allowed access to the PDB and to meet with the PRC ambassador alone? This is banana-republic-on-steroids

  47. 47
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @schrodingers_cat: In the UK the Government sets the Budget and the resulting bill is debated in Parliament but it’s not an automatic loss to the Government if it fails. It’s a three-line whip, all Government MPs are expected to vote for it. However the next step if a Budget bill failed would be a Motion of No Confidence. If that succeeded it would mean a taxi trip to Buck House for the PM and subsequent dissolution of Parliament if no other suitable candidate for PM could be brought forward who could command the confidence of the House.

    Britain doesn’t have the strange American bitsy-bitsy system of paying for stuff; all revenues and borrowings go into a Big Bag of Holding and are doled out to recipients, even pensions and such so a Government shutdown can’t really happen in Britain the way the 18th-century propertarian political system in operation in the US today practically guarantees.

  48. 48
    KithKanan says:

    @Roger Moore: I’m all out of good will when it comes to working with people who do nothing but deal in bad faith.

  49. 49

    I see that Ivanka has supposedly been tasked with finding a replacement for Kelly. On the one hand, that’s ridiculous since she’s as ignorant as her father. On the other hand, I can’t get too worked up because it’s just more of the same. WTF were voters thinking? Never mind. I know.

  50. 50
    Aleta says:

    @The Moar You Know: I am not certain you can get an interim TS clearance. Maybe if you had one previously, but he hasn’t.

    OK, I was assuming his interim clearance was for top security, but I was wrong to assume that.

  51. 51

    @Mike in NC:
    I have never seen anything to make me believe that Ivanka is anything but an empty headed dimwit only slightly smarter than her world class self-absorbed idiot husband. The idea of her hiring a new chief of staff is hilarious. They’ll either be a Scaramouch level flop, or more likely this is like the mile-long list of problem Jared has been picked to not solve.

  52. 52
    Aleta says:

    @The Moar You Know: And I got the impression in high school that they thought the original electoral college would guard against “the wrong person” getting in.

  53. 53
    Roger Moore says:

    @KithKanan:

    I’m all out of good will when it comes to working with people who do nothing but deal in bad faith.

    You’re behind the times. The Republicans ran out of good will around November 2008, which is why our country is going to hell in a handbasket.

  54. 54
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @The Moar You Know: You can get one. When I was first put in for my top secret clearance the interim was in place in 48 hours. When I went up for my renewal, even though my SCI was still active, the TS turns to interim while they do the renewal process. According to the official guidance, if you’re in the computer tracking system, you are eligible to be read on. That’s the official guidance. Whether the Special Security Officers follow it or are more restrictive is a different question entirely.

  55. 55
    Aleta says:

    @The Moar You Know: Doesn’t matter if he’s got a sheet a mile long

    Trump would be so much happier as king.

  56. 56
    KithKanan says:

    @Roger Moore: It’s at the very least an open question whether a country capable of electing Donald Trump deserves to survive.

  57. 57
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I was being facetious. But I’ve also been subject to much more conservative and restrictive Special Security Officers than most.

  58. 58
    Gelfling 545 says:

    I suspect that the next big internstional crisis will be the fight between Russia and China over partitioning the United States.

  59. 59
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Also, when did need to know give way to “it’s cool”?

    When white voters decided that qualifications and expertise were no longer necessary in a US president.

  60. 60
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Please stop reminding me of that picture!!!!!

  61. 61
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Gelfling 545:

    I hope Rufus Sewell is in charge of my half.

  62. 62
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @JMG: Got to read them to see if there’s any way to monetize the information.

  63. 63
    Gravenstone says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Also, when did need to know give way to “it’s cool”?

    C’mon, you know the answer to this. When that “cool” knowledge could be used to further enrich oneself.

  64. 64
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gravenstone: I must be hopelessly old fashioned and naive, but that never occurred to me as a reason to hold my clearance or access anything that I needed to know to do my job.

  65. 65
    Starfish says:

    @guachi: Well, for people who are not priority clearances, it could mean that an employee would get hired and then twiddle their thumbs for the better part of the year until they got their clearance and could get to work on whatever they were hired for. Also, a lot of people quit after getting their full clearances because that makes them more valuable in the employment market.

  66. 66
    Dave says:

    @Gravenstone: Hell it doesn’t even require that. These are shallow people. Knowing makes them feel special. I’m sure greed and grift comes into it but that’s all that’s required.

  67. 67
    rikyrah says:

    @JMG:
    Absolutely ridiculous 😠
    The entire article.
    This muthaphucka can’t get a full Security clearance, but has access like this.

  68. 68

    @Mathguy: No. Naivete is negotiating with the Russians, thinking you can out-negotiate them because you lose money in real estate.

    Just plain stupid (and for Jared, that’s with two os and two ts – “stoopit”) is saying “let’s negotiate over a back channel that’s invisible to normal US laws and oversight!”

  69. 69
  70. 70
    Ruckus says:

    First, these are not smart people.
    Smart people know what they don’t know and aren’t afraid to admit it or learn what they don’t know. Someone told me Sat that you get this naturally as you grow older. That’s not true at all. Many old farts know doodly squat about almost every thing. And just plain squat about everything else.
    These clowns only have the last part down, they don’t know doodly squat. Some even less.

  71. 71
    bmoak says:

    Does anyone doubt that Steven Miller is on the expanded PDF circulation list?

  72. 72
    Ruckus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    The navy got me a top secret clearance without anyone asking me question one or telling me about it. They wanted me to have one, poof there it was. I was told it took less than two weeks. Now this was 47 yrs ago so I’d bet that things have gotten a bit stricter and different since.

  73. 73
    Ruckus says:

    @Patricia Kayden:
    There’s more to it than that but there are safeguards against what happened here. Remember back when this place got going we mostly had experience with monarchies. This was better for more people than that. But people have had the benefit of watching both monarchies and representative countries fall apart because of that lack of safeguards. They fixed a lot of the issues. There is still room for improvement sure, what government can’t say that with a straight face. But in this one we have to hope that the people representing us, actually do. And when they don’t we have little quick recourse. And up until now that has been, when it’s happened. a lot smaller issue than it is now. The country had a far smaller population, far less world influence and far less openly moronic leaders and stupid things one country did affected far fewer other countries.

  74. 74
    SgrAstar says:

    @Phylllis: Agree! The New Yorker is indispensable. Their daily briefs are really good too. There’s something very comforting about reading good writing. :)

  75. 75
    JDM says:


    After all, he told others, New York real estate is not “a baby’s business.”…

    And how has Jared done in the New York real estate business? He’s managed to nearly bankrupt a billionaire family business, and with one incredibly bad deal.

  76. 76
    different-church-lady says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady):

    WTF were voters thinking?

    As the Car Talk guys used to say, they are “unencumbered by the thought process.”

  77. 77
    bk says:

    Ivanka will pull a Cheney and appoint herself.

  78. 78
    opiejeanne says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Could she choose Jared? Is that a possibility?

  79. 79
    father pusbucket says:

    Is this a good time to say “But her emails!”?

  80. 80
    JR says:

    @schrodingers_cat: thank Cromwell, I guess?

  81. 81
    efgoldman says:

    Christ, what an asshole

  82. 82
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Patricia Kayden: In a parliamentary system (a Westminster one at least), failure to pass a budget means the government failed and there’s a new general election.

  83. 83
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @dr. bloor:

    Attendees are determined by weekly drawings among Mar a Lago members.

    Mar-a-Lego, I think you mean. Encounter them in bare feet at your peril!

  84. 84
    Hunter says:

    (A spokesman for Kushner said that none of the China specialists told him that “he shouldn’t be doing it the way he was doing it at the time.”)…

    And of course, it would never occur to him to ask for advice from someone who knows the terrain.

Comments are closed.