Release The Memo Update

Just a quick update regarding the sturm and drang surrounding the Nunes memo. It has been reported today that the White House will kick the Nunes memo back to the House of Representative and leave it up to the House to decide when (if?) to release. What doesn’t seem to be clear is whether the memo will have redactions. Axios reports there likely won’t be. As does The Washington Examiner. And The New York Times.

Mr. Trump, who had a brief window to block the memo’s disclosure on national security grounds, was expected to tell Congress on Friday that he had no objections and would likely not request any material be redacted, according to a senior administration official. It would then be up to the House Intelligence Committee, whose Republican leaders have pushed for its release, to make the document public.

The president’s decision came despite a growing chorus of warnings from national security officials who say that releasing the document would jeopardize sensitive government information, including how intelligence is gathered, and from Democrats who say it is politically motivated and distorts the actions of the Justice Department and the F.B.I. by omitting crucial context.

But Mr. Trump wanted the memo out. He had told people close to him that he believes it makes the case that law enforcement officials acted inappropriately in seeking the highly classified warrant on one of his campaign advisers, Carter Page.

The outstanding question is whether FBI Director Wray resigns over this. The reporting is all over the place on this too. A lot of it focuses on the fears of the White House that Director Wray will do so.

Top White House aides are worried FBI Director Christopher Wray could quit if the highly controversial Republican memo alleging the FBI abused its surveillance tools is released, multiple sources with knowledge of the situation tell CNN.

Wray has made clear he is frustrated that President Donald Trump picked him to lead the FBI after he fired FBI Director James Comey in May, yet his advice on the Nunes memo is being disregarded and cast as part of the purported partisan leadership of the FBI, according to a senior law enforcement official.

Wray’s stance is “raising hell,” one source familiar with the matter said.

Wray has not directly threatened to resign after clashing with Trump over the possible release of the memo, the source added, because that is not his style of dealing with conflict.

Chuck Rosenberg, the former Acting Director of the DEA (2015-2017), US Attorney for both the Eastern District of Virginia and Southern District of New York, and Counsel to the Director of the FBI when Bob Mueller was the director, thinks otherwise (autoplay video interview at the link).
“You can’t threaten resignation every time someone does something dumb,” Chuck Rosenberg says on whether Chris Wray would resign over the memo release.

Director Wray went with then FBI Director Comey and Deputy and Acting Attorney General Comey and told President Bush (43) that they would all resign if he overruled the DOJ and implemented the surveillance program that had been deemed to violate constitutional protections. His new acting deputy is David Bowdich. Bowdich’s bio reads like he’s the poster child for the bureau. He has also been appointed to important positions by both Bob Mueller and James Comey when they were running the FBI. Including his most recent assignment as Associate Director of the FBI.

We just don’t know what will or won’t happen at this point. It is possible that Wray stays on and stay angry and distrustful of the President and we get a repeat or a variant of the President Clinton-Director Freeh relationship from the 1990s.

Jonathan Swan at Axios is reporting, however, that White House officials are now beginning to worry that the Nunes memo will blow up in their faces.

Inside the Trump administration, sources who’ve been briefed on the Nunes memo expect it will be underwhelming and not the “slam dunk” document it’s been hyped up to be.

What we’re hearing: There is much more skepticism inside the administration than has been previously reported about the value of releasing the memo, according to sources familiar with the administration discussions.

This is somewhat in line with my speculation last night that:

I can authoritatively and preemptively state that whatever gets released, keeping Schiff’s statement tonight in context, will be garbage. It will look sloppy to the professionals who will quickly pick it apart. And it will, in short order both blow up in Nunes’ and the Administration’s faces while at the same time become gospel truth on the right and that gospel truth will be disseminated via Fox, Breitbart, Dim Jim, Rush, Drudge, Hewitt, RT, Sputnick, GG, a ton of twitter feeds including Russian bots and trolls, etc.

Remember, the only two members of the House to actually see the underlying classified information are Congressman Gowdy acting as stand in/proxy for the supposed to be recused Congressman Nunes and Congressman Schiff the ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Himes voices his concern that the committee will apparently be releasing the memo unredacted, noting that “an immense amount of classified information will be available to the public.” He warns about the dangers of voting on both memos’ release before any of the committee members beyond Schiff and Gowdy view the underlying intelligence.

Congressman Nunes, the staffers that helped him write the memo, the other 431 members of the House and all of their staff, have NOT seen the underlying classified information that Nunes memo is based on. This is not a recipe for doing one’s best work. It also makes me wonder where Congressman Nunes and his staff got the underlying classified information that is, supposedly, in the memo. If they’ve not seen any of the underlying information that the memo allegedly addresses, what exactly is in the memo?

If the President does indeed kick this back to the House of Representatives to release without a declassification order, it will be released under the House’s rules. Specifically Rule X (of the Standing Rules), Clause 11, subsection G.

Once a member of the committee requests such a vote, the committee shall meet within five days to vote on the matter. (That’s what took place last night when the committee convened to vote on the memo’s release.)  If the committee approves the public disclosure of classified information that was submitted to it by the executive branch, and the executive branch asks for the information to remain secret, the committee must notify the president about its decision. (Because of the closed nature of the process, and the disagreement within the executive branch, it’s unclear whether the executive branch made a formal request to keep the memo under wraps, but House Republicans are certainly behaving as if that happened.)  From there, another five-day clock begins ticking.  Once that five-day window expires, the committee may release the information unless the president “personally in writing” has notified them that the disclosure of the information presents a “threat to the national interest … of such gravity that it outweighs any public interest” in the release.

If the president does issue such an objection, the committee has two choices.  It can let the matter die, or it can, by majority vote, refer the issue to the full House for a vote.  If the committee does send the question to the full chamber, yet another clock begins ticking.  If the HPSCI chair does not move to take up the matter within four calendar days on which the House is in session, then any member has the ability to interrupt the House’s daily order of business to move to consider the question in closed session.  Debate on whether to disclose the information is limited to two hours.

At this point all we can do is wait.

We are off the looking glass and through the map.

Stay frosty!

Open thread.

203 replies
  1. 1
    Corner Stone says:

    Thank God.

  2. 2
    trollhattan says:

    Devin’s whitey tape.

  3. 3

    You stay frosty, I will stay toasty.

  4. 4
    Ohio Mom says:

    I’m repeating what I put on the tail end of a thread below:

    Rumor has it that Trump is coming to MY Cincinnati suburb on Monday. Our local Indivisible group is planning a protest rally.

    I need ideas for my sign.

    Thanking you all in advance…

  5. 5
    Corner Stone says:

    Hopefully no redact and no declass. If there is a declassification then it will become a he said/he said between House GOP and the FBI. And that will only serve to further the ink squirt the House GOP wants.
    Let the GOP hang our NatSec out to dry for purely partisan reasons. And let the high volume leakage begin!

  6. 6
    Corner Stone says:

    @Ohio Mom: “Stormy times a head!”

  7. 7
    Corner Stone says:

    @Ohio Mom: “Hope you have a good lawyer!”

  8. 8

    The media definitely doesn’t seem to be falling for this one either, my CNN alert informed me that the White House wants to release it in order to hinder the Russia investigation.

  9. 9
    Baud says:

    THIS JUST PROVES TRUMP IS MORE TRANSPARENT THAN OBAMA! /Twitter.

  10. 10
    Mary G says:

    This whole farce has had one saving grace – raising Adam Schiff’s public recognition through the roof. He was my personal pick for president 2020 right after Twitler won and now Nunes is pretty much giving him free advertising time.

  11. 11
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Got the formatting fixed!

  12. 12
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I will allow you lukewarm. But that is as far as I’m willing to go.

  13. 13
    Spanky says:

    The memo will never be released. It’s doing its job as a bright shiny object, but it’s quickly losing its luster as folks start to get wise.

  14. 14
    Corner Stone says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That’s not really much of a great protest sign slogan.

  15. 15
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Major Major Major Major: The right wing media ecosphere seems to be all in on the White House line, but everyone else seems to be doing a decent job.

  16. 16
    Baud says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    MY Cincinnati suburb

    As God as my witness, I thought turkeys couldn’t be president.

    Too obscure?

  17. 17
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Corner Stone: Depends what you’re protesting.

  18. 18

    @Adam L Silverman: yeah I wasn’t including radio Rwanda.

  19. 19
    The Dangerman says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    I need ideas for my sign.

    Stormy Times At The White House, Donald?

  20. 20

    @trollhattan:

    Devin’s whitey whiney tape.

    FTFY.

  21. 21
    Yutsano says:

    It also makes me wonder where Congressman Nunes and his staff got the underlying classified information that is, supposedly, in the memo.

    I might just be spitballing here but…

    Their posteriors?

  22. 22
    Mary G says:

    @Ohio Mom: Hillary Said It Would Be Like This. Or one of her slogans, like “Stronger Together” or “Forward”

    There are a bunch on this Google image search, but my fave is “Tiny Hands. YUUUGE Asshole.”

  23. 23
    Corner Stone says:

    @Baud: I think some modern sitcom should do an homage where they parody the scene that has the new station programming director stapling hard rock/metal band posters to the walls of his office.
    That would be gold! Gold, Jerry, gold!

  24. 24
    Mary G says:

    Adam, please moderate my comment. Thank you.

  25. 25
    Doug! says:

    Very informative. Thanks for this.

  26. 26
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @Ohio Mom: “We can do better: reject the great divider.”
    I’m not good at slogans. The one (from the Women’s March) that made me spit out my drink was featured on Bill Maher’s
    show the other day: something along the lines of “I’d call Trump a cunt but he has neither warmth nor depth.”

  27. 27
    The Dangerman says:

    @Baud:

    As God as my witness, I thought turkeys couldn’t be president.

    Perfect.

  28. 28
    Baud says:

    I say there’s a 20% chance Nunes accidentally attaches the wrong document to his email and sends everyone evidence of his collusion with Trump and Putin.

  29. 29
    Corner Stone says:

    If they’ve not seen any of the underlying information that the memo allegedly addresses, what exactly is in the memo?

    If I had to guess it is a transcript of Boris and Natasha from the Rocky & Bullwinkle Show.

  30. 30
    NotMax says:

    Keep in mind as well that, so far as those of us in the peanut gallery are aware, much (if not all) the “underlying intelligence” is selectively chosen raw intelligence data.

    Sound familiar?

  31. 31
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ohio Mom: Here you go:

    Donald Trump said that if I voted for Hillary Clinton that the next president would be under investigation by the FBI. He was right!

  32. 32
    Scott says:

    I guess the mystery is who really wrote the memo. If no one has read the underlying material, then there is a mysterious staffer (s) that wrote this. It also draws attention to Ryan’s lying about how this is oversight. Don’t know how you have oversight without interviews, hearings, official testifying etc. BTW, if Trump is just returning the memo, that implies that he has not declassified anything. Somehow, I doubt the memo has proper classification markings; not even portion markins.

  33. 33
    Corner Stone says:

    If Wray does not resign, then what good is he?

  34. 34
    Aleta says:

    I thought I saw somewhere that Wray said he does not intend to step down. Making me wonder if the story started as press speculation or else what.

  35. 35
    Magda in Black says:

    @Baud:
    Beautiful!

  36. 36

    I’m very glad they’re bungling this so hard.

  37. 37
    Baud says:

    I give it a 45% chance that they fail to accept all the track changes before releasing the memo.

  38. 38
    Gravenstone says:

    @Ohio Mom: Traitor!

    Simple, snappy, accurate.

  39. 39
    hueyplong says:

    The sign should read

    TICK TOCK

    because

    TICK TOCK, MOTHERFUCKERS

    would likely be confiscated more quickly.

  40. 40

    Evening respite from the politics shitshow.
    Pashmina
    Weaving dreams with threads of pashmina..
    Sung and composed by Amit Trivedi.

  41. 41
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Scott: We know who the staffers are.
    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/01/the-men-behind-the-nunes-memo/551825/

    Two sources familiar with the matter told me that much of the heavy lifting was done by Kash Patel, a top Nunes staffer and senior committee counsel. Patel previously attracted media attention by traveling to London late last summer—without the knowledge of the U.S. embassy or British government—along with committee staffer Doug Presley in search of Christopher Steele, author of a controversial dossier on Trump.

    A separate congressional source confirmed that Patel helped write the Nunes memo.

    The committee’s staff director, Damon Nelson, also contributed to the memo, the source told me, adding that Nelson is extremely close to Nunes. Nelson served as Nunes’s deputy chief of staff for 11 years, between 2003 until 2014. A congressional official told The Guardian last August that Nelson was involved in the decision to send Patel and Presley to London. Another former Nunes staffer who now works for the committee, Andrew House, also worked closely with Nelson on the memo, the source added.

    Patel appears to be none too bright.
    https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/2710477/Read-How-a-federal-judge-in-Texas-berated-a.pdf

  42. 42
    neldob says:

    @Ohio Mom: Make China Great Again, Support the GOP & Trump

  43. 43
    NotMax says:

    One question left hanging is who in the White House has enough of a working head on his or her shoulders to recognize its sub-parosity and call for a punt?

  44. 44
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Aleta: Apparently the White House is concerned they’ll look bad. Burning through two FBI directors in under a year is not a positive thing.

  45. 45
    efgoldman says:

    Mr. Trump, who had a brief window to block the memo’s disclosure on national security grounds, was expected to tell Congress on Friday that he had no objections and would likely not request any material be redacted

    1) He doesn’t know what “redacted” means
    2) In order to redact anything, he’d have to (a) read and (b) understand the memo.

    Can Nunes afford a custom fitted orange jump suit, or will he take one off the rack?

  46. 46
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Corner Stone: It depends. Having an adversarial FBI director who doesn’t trust the President and who is going to stand up for the bureau may not be a bad thing.

  47. 47
  48. 48
  49. 49

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Patel appears to be none too bright.

    Shocked, gambling, etc.

  50. 50
    Badgetoon says:

    @Ohio Mom: Stealing this from a nice little old lady in Oakland crossing the street after a corner protest,
    MAGA in bright red the rest was in black
    Make
    Ahole
    Gone
    Again

    I love my town

  51. 51
    Aleta says:

    @Aleta: I can’t find anything reliable about Wray saying that he won’t quit. The news story about the possibility that he might seems partly fueled by “top White House aides” (are worried FBI Director Christopher Wray could quit) and “former FBI agents” (are warning that FBI Director Christopher Wray has to be prepared to quit).

  52. 52
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Apparently the White House is concerned they’ll look bad.

    Talk about closing the barn door after the horses have galloped away …

  53. 53

    @Baud:
    Pretty please let them forget to blank the “Author” field.

  54. 54
    Gravenstone says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Mr. President, you keep breaking these. Please don’t play so roughly with your FBI directors.

  55. 55
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: Apparently no one involved with this.

  56. 56
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @The Dangerman: Nah. Make it sound like a Clue Accusation: “Stormy Daniels in the bedroom with the Forbes Magazine” or somesuch. :)

  57. 57
    chris says:

    @Ohio Mom: A personal favorite: So bad even the introverts are here.

  58. 58
    Corner Stone says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That’s a few facts not in evidence, IMO.

    ETA, going back to line agents and saying plaintively, “Hey, I did my best.”
    Not sure that’s going to be much use. I hope the IC matches the House GOP’s lead and breaks 40 years of oversight to leak the absolute fuck out of everything they know and/or suspect.

  59. 59
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: It’s short for Kashyap. So you tell me.

  60. 60
    FlyingToaster says:

    @hueyplong:

    would likely be confiscated more quickly.

    It won’t be confiscated. But with the expletive it won’t make the evening news. If any local media bothers to send a camera crew.

    “Quit golfing and get back to work!”

  61. 61

    Idiots can’t even manipulate the media with fake intelligence right.

  62. 62
    Barbara says:

    Nunes is a fucking traitor.

  63. 63
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gravenstone: New in box! New in box! Once you remove them from their packaging they lose all their value.

  64. 64
    Baud says:

    I’m actually embarrassed for Putin right now.

  65. 65

    @Ohio Mom: what about just an Obama MISS ME YET?

  66. 66
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Corner Stone: It is. I’m speculating based on the reporting that Wray is seriously pissed off over this, but that he doesn’t overreact.

  67. 67
    EriktheRed says:

    Adam, what do you think of the theory (already voiced here by Spanky) that this memo will never actually see the light of day?

  68. 68
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    Pace Andy Warhol: “In the future everyone will get to be F.B.I. director for 15 minutes.”

  69. 69
    Mike in DC says:

    The minority memo will be leaked, the FBI will leak like a sieve and Nunes will wind up being the sacrificial lamb in the face of massive backlash.

  70. 70
    japa21 says:

    Two things. Wouldn’t this info be stuff that Nunes saw when he was given permission (very reluctantly) to examine the stuff the FBI had? Theoretically, it was with the understanding that he couldn’t use any of it, but it is probably the only way he would have known about it. And considering his limited capacity to think rationally, he only picked out stuff he could indeed use. Even sharing it with the others who helped prepare the memo would have been in violation of the law, would it not?

    Secondly, if the WH does punt, sends it back to the House but does not officially declassify the information, wouldn’t its release also be in violation of the law?

    Either way, Nunes should receive a visit from the FBI and be marched away in handcuffs. Of course, then he becomes a martyr to the cause and further proof that the FBI is out to get Trump.

  71. 71
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @EriktheRed: I think it is possible. But I don’t know how probable. We are so far from normal functioning of the HPSCI because of the GOP majority’s behavior, let alone the White House’s behavior, that I have no real idea how one would estimate this.

  72. 72
    NotMax says:

    @hueyplong

    TICK TOCK

    High Nunes?

    ;)

  73. 73
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: I’m free on Tuesday between 1:45 and 2:00 PM EST.

  74. 74
    Jay S says:

    I take it last night’s assumption that without formal declassification this remains classified even if released and no one without the proper clearance is allowed to read it? @Adam L Silverman: Do you expect to see any formal guidance on this from the powers that be to affected personel? How formal does the president have to be in declassifying something?

  75. 75

    @EriktheRed:
    I think they have to produce the memo. They’ve promised it and claim it’s going to be devastating. The only way they can fail to deliver without losing face is if they can somehow blame the Democrats.

  76. 76
    Redshift says:

    @Scott: Since Nunes ducked the question of whether his staff had worked with the White House, I think there’s a fair chance they saw it there.

  77. 77
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @japa21: Nunes has not seen any of this info. Gowdy and Schiff are the only two from the entire House who have.

  78. 78

    @Adam L Silverman: Then it doesn’t. Kashyap is usually a last name.

  79. 79
  80. 80
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @EriktheRed: Along those lines:

    Brian Beutler @ brianbeutler
    To be clear, by “a dud,” White House officials fear it won’t have enough persuasive force to mislead the public into thinking the Russia investigation is a witch hunt.

    I don’t know whether Trump will #ReleaseTheMemo or not, but part of the goal of this shady exercise was to penetrate the Russia investigation so that Trump could be read into it, and that aspect of the mission has been a resounding success.

    You could argue that the memo can never be as powerful as it is as something unseen.

  81. 81
  82. 82
    japa21 says:

    @Adam L Silverman: So this would not have been included in all the pertinent documents he was allowed to look at? Then an even bigger question is how he got it. The FBI is not saying the stuff in the memo is wrong, just that there are several material omissions of fact which, if included would change everything. I have a hunch the FBI is working on that as we type.

  83. 83
    Old Dan and Little Anne says:

    @Ohio Mom: I hate crowds but I fucking hate drumph more.

  84. 84
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    By sheer chance that’s an open spot, right between Clint Eastwood and “Snooki” LaValle.

    :)

  85. 85
    Jeffro says:

    @Corner Stone: great minds and all that…I was just going to say, “STORMY, BABY!!!”

  86. 86
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jay S: I would expect that each department, bureau, office, and/or command will push guidance out. They do every time there’s a leak.

  87. 87
    Adam L Silverman says:

    And of course:

  88. 88
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    area reporter apparently has a source with a phone

    S.V. Dáte‏Verified account @ svdate
    The Press Pool was evicted from Trump’s remarks to the RNC dinner at Trump hotel.
    Trump then bragged about his score on his mental exam (it was actually a test for early signs of dementia); and then about how long he went on the treadmill.
    Per a source in the room.

    emphasis mine because this rampant petty corruption is driving me nuts. Sounds like Spanky McJigglybottom is on quite a roll, threatening John Kasich and pledging to campaign on Nancy Pelosi in the mid-terms

  89. 89
    Quantumman says:

    @MisterForkbeard: and with a vibrator.

  90. 90
    GregB says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Ah yes. Weren’t half of the media pudwipes praising him for his SOTU outreach to the Democrats?

  91. 91
    Corner Stone says:

    More help from our “allies”:

    Tom Nichols
    ‏Verified account @RadioFreeTom
    12h12 hours ago

    Talking to Trumpers is often like trying to reason with bellowing drunks. But talking to “the Resistance” liberals is like trying to talk to pouting children. Criminy.

  92. 92
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    I need ideas for my sign.

    With the usual apologies to Yarrow,
    TICK-TOCK, MOTHERFUCKER is evergreen.

  93. 93
    Timurid says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    So many creepy desis in the Trump orbit… and I’d bet good money most of them are slobbering Hindutvadis…

  94. 94
    japa21 says:

    @Adam L Silverman: But he never mentioned Israel. He told everybody that when he was in Israel.

    Also, does anyone think that if that was talking about a Dem President that the GOP wouldn’t immediately start impeachment hearings and that most of the Dems would go along with it?

  95. 95
    donnah says:

    I think it’s better for Wray to stay. He’s no fan of Trump, and the agents might leave in solidarity if he goes. I don’t want an empty FBI for the Republicans to restock with whatever party-loyal agents they want.

  96. 96

    @Corner Stone: my god, it’s almost as though politics makes strange bedfellows

  97. 97
    Corner Stone says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Do.Not.Want.

  98. 98
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Baud:

    As God is my witness, I thought turkeys couldn’t be president fly on Air Force One.

  99. 99
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @japa21: If you go up to the post, you’ll see where I quote from the HPSCI transcript where Congressman Himes makes it clear that they only two people who have seen the underlying information are Gowdy, standing in for Nunes, and Schiff as ranking member.

  100. 100
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: I’ll pencil the FBI in.

  101. 101

    @Timurid: I doubt that’s true about Haley though.

  102. 102
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: why…it’s almost like someone predicted…our allied intelligence agencies are leaking and leaking hard to try and help “resolve” this situation.

    (‘situation’ being America ruled by an incompetent, Putin-sympathizing gang of incompetent Putin sympathizers)

    GO IC!

  103. 103
    Mary G says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

  104. 104
    Ohio Mom says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I liked your other one too: My New Year’s resolution is to lose 239 pounds.

    So many good possibilities! How will I choose?

  105. 105
  106. 106
    NotMax says:

    FYI.

    Top US diplomat, Tom Shannon, resigns in latest loss for morale-challenged State Department

    Shannon is the State Department’s third-ranking official, announced his departure on the eve of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s first extended trip to Latin America. Shannon is a near 35-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service, with a wealth of knowledge and experience in Latin America.
    [snip]
    Latin America has been especially hard hit by resignations and forced departures. Noted drug warrior William Brownfield, the former ambassador to Colombia and head of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs resigned in September, while Lisa Kubiske, the former U.S. ambassador to Honduras, also departed the same month. The U.S. ambassador to Haiti, Peter Mulrean, resigned in February 2017 after serving just 16 months.

    Tillerson is embarking Thursday on his first multi-country trip to Latin America and the Caribbean, with stops in Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Jamaica.… Source

  107. 107
    Another Scott says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    I need ideas for my sign.

    “99.6M to 47.3M – Obama’s twice the man you’ll ever be.”

    “You’re no more a billionaire than I am.”

    “Your father is still disappointed in you.”

    “Nobody believes you weigh 239 pounds.”

    “Money can’t buy love, or loyalty. Nobody really likes you – they’re just using you. And you’re too stupid to know it.”

    “You are not king. We kicked out a king. We’ll kick you out too.”

    “Free Melania.”

    “You’re the least popular president in modern history. For good reason.”

    “Vlad doesn’t respect you. He’s laughing at you. Even Kim is laughing at you. You’re a buffoon and everyone knows it.”

    “All the cooks spit in your food.”

    “Clapping for yourself is one of the classic signs of narcissism.”

    “You’re a disgusting pathological liar. How many lies are you going to tell us today?”

    “How much are you billing the US Treasury for this trip today?”

    “Cincinnati has the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Visit it, learn something, and stop enabling racists and NAZIs. Can you surprise us all and do that?”

    “If you had any genuine love for America and the American people, you would resign. You are a pestilence on the presidency and the government of the United States.”

    You might have to use both sides of the sign.

    ;-)

    Cheers,
    Scott.
    (“Who isn’t that great at clever, pithy sayings.”

  108. 108
    K-to-the-Jane says:

    @Ohio Mom: How about…

    If I had more time I’d teach Trump to read so I could have a shorter sentence on this sign.

  109. 109
    AliceBlue says:

    @Ohio Mom:
    “I want to lose 239 pounds in 2018”

    “Make America Think Again”

  110. 110
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Naturally, posted before I scrolled as far down the thread as #39. Naturally.

  111. 111
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Another Scott: “If you had any genuine love for America and the American people, you would resign. You are a pestilence on the presidency and the government of the United States.”

    I think that one works better as a chant than a sign

  112. 112
    Jay S says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I see several sources stating that Gowdy helped prepare the memo for example:

    Though Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, helped craft the memo and has championed its public release, he said on “Fox News Sunday” that he believed the FBI should see the memo before it comes out. He also said it shouldn’t be used to interfere with Mueller’s probe.

    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/29/trey-gowdy-devin-nunes-fbi-classified-memo-374688

  113. 113
    KS in MA says:

    @Ohio Mom:
    “LOCK HIM UP”

  114. 114
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Adam L Silverman: So basically their sole source is Patel, a spy for hire. like they are accusing the FBI of doing with Steele. No one wonder so many Republicans are running for cover.

  115. 115
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Corner Stone: The Diogenes of Newport.

  116. 116
    But her emails!!! says:

    @Corner Stone:
    Tom Nichols isn’t exactly a peach himself given his massive ideological blind spots. The fact the man also has no known unknowns (doesn’t know what he doesn’t know) is also pretty irritating, particularly given he wrote a book about the devaluation of expertise.

  117. 117
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Baud:

    I’m actually embarrassed for Putin right now.

    Winespit.

  118. 118
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I’m afraid we really have opened a pandora’s box in this country

    The Trace‏Verified account @ teamtrace
    A few city contractors in Milwaukee have been spotted openly wearing handguns at job sites and displaying Ku Klux Klan and Confederate flag stickers.
    Members of the Common Council received an email about the incident Monday, less than two weeks after approving a deal in which the troubled company will lose two city contracts worth $800,000 after several employees displayed guns and another brought a Ku Klux Klan sticker to a worksite.

  119. 119
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @But her emails!!!: and he’s a climate change denier

  120. 120
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @NotMax:

    High Nunes?

    Total win. The thread, the day.

  121. 121
    Adam L Silverman says:

    They’re not sending their brightest!

  122. 122
    hueyplong says:

    Kind of looking forward to Jr’s demise.

  123. 123
    But her emails!!! says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    Seriously? I did not know that.

  124. 124
    JWR says:

    Wouldn’t it be something if the memo is released, and it proves everything that Trump and Nunes have been saying all along? (Hey, we gotta be prepared for anything. //)

  125. 125
    clay says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That judge is freakin’ hilarious. Man, being a judge would be a sweet gig. You don’t have to tolerate any bullcrap and people have to put up with your every indulgence.

  126. 126
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @japa21: Yep and yep.

  127. 127
    But her emails!!! says:

    @hueyplong:

    Kind of looking forward to Jr’s demise.

    I’m just worried he’ll ingest a tide pod before justice catches up with him.

  128. 128
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jeffro: I can’t imagine who that might have been.

  129. 129
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jay S: This is the first time I’ve seen reference to Gowdy helping to prepare the memo. Thanks for the link.

  130. 130
    efgoldman says:

    @NotMax:

    High Nunes?

    Do not forsake me, oh my White House…

  131. 131
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: Patel has not seen the underlying intelligence.

  132. 132
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Verily, it is a mystery…

  133. 133
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @But her emails!!!: He’s human. Just like the rest of us. Except for the reptiloids, but as long as they keep their human suits on and don’t bite the heads off live animals while others are trying to eat in the cafeteria or the commissary, I’m okay with them.

  134. 134
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Just remember, in the back of his mind, Jr. is going to pick up the baton/torch/(insert bad metaphor here) and then go on to really SHOW AMERICA A THING OR TWO! when Orangemandias inevitably falls. Oedipus Dunce.

  135. 135
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @But her emails!!!: So much for valuing expertise.

  136. 136
    clay says:

    @Adam L Silverman: This is the first time I’ve seen McCabe’s departure linked to the memo. I know it’s almost a certainty that Jr. doesn’t know what he’s talking about, but is there anything to that?

    (I thought the rumor was that they were trying to use an IG report against McCabe, not the memo — that’s for Rosenstein.)

  137. 137
    pat says:

    @Mary G:

    Yeah, President Schiff!! I would love that.

  138. 138
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jeffro: It is what it is.

  139. 139
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Okay, right, I was pretty sure his Mensa invitation didn’t get lost in the mail, but seriously, can he possibly be this stupid?

    (Well, yeah, I guess he can, because he did, so he is.)

  140. 140
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    FBI installed Drumpf in a coup
    Now Drumpf is destroying FBI

    This would make a great
    Sidney Lumet movie
    (ie Late Great Siskel
    and Ebert on “Q&A”
    ).

  141. 141
    Jay S says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Actually now that I think about it, that provides a decent explanation for Gowdy’s sudden retirement announcement. He might have some leakage problem with regard to Nunes that was used as a pressure point.

  142. 142
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I’m afraid we really have opened a pandora’s box

    Which I briefly read as “panda’s box,” and thought “DAMN those Chinese oligarchs!”

  143. 143
    efgoldman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    we really have opened a pandora’s box in this country

    And when they lose the contract, and all those kkklowns are unemployed, who they gonna’ blame? One guess.

  144. 144
    Jeffro says:

    On a side note: here’s how you know you’re either smart, know too much ‘inside baseball’, or just need to get a hobby: in the course of about an hour watching MSNBC with my better half, I had to explain

    – who Carter Page is, why he’s a loon, and also why he sure earned that FISA warrant…starting back in 2013
    – who the Mercers are (although the extended version of that was tabled until breakfast, when we have more time to talk about it)
    – what Nunes is trying to do with this ‘memo’ and how it relates back to Page, and why Trumpov thinks it’s his ‘Get Out Of Jail Free’ card.

  145. 145
    Corner Stone says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Don’t you open that fucking box.

  146. 146
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I think a box of pandas would be a good thing

    You think United would let me fly with a therapy panda?

  147. 147
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jeffro:

    in the course of about an hour watching MSNBC with my better half

    That’s about the strangest description of “sexy time” I think I’ve heard in a while.

  148. 148
    chris says:

    @Adam L Silverman: So McCabe isn’t on leave until his retirement in March? Thought I read that somewhere.

    ETA I did. https://www.cnn.com/2018/01/29/politics/andrew-mccabe-fbi/index.html

  149. 149
    Jay S says:

    @clay: @Adam L Silverman: Of course the timeline doesn’t add up for the memo to be the actual cause of the “firing” does it? Except for the imagined Fox and Fiends/Hannity version. So yes Jr is making stuff up (or knows stuff he shouldn’t have had access to)

  150. 150
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    You think United would let me fly with a therapy panda?

    Any airline would. Except QANTAS. The therapy panda and the therapy koala would mix it up, and it would not be pretty.

  151. 151
    FlyingToaster says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: An adult panda is bigger than a peacock, and it has claws. So, I don’t think so.

  152. 152
    scav says:

    @Ohio Mom: “Take your Alternative Facts to an Alternative Reality.”

  153. 153
    Debbie(aussie) says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: that’s the flying kangaroo, thank you very much 😜

  154. 154
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @clay: I have no idea. Other than Jr stating as fact, regardless of whether he knows what he’s talking about, that McCabe was fired.

  155. 155
    clay says:

    @Jay S: That’s what I was thinking, yeah.

    You know, I used to think that Eric was the dumb one because, well, look at him. But now he seems like the less dumb one, simply by mostly keeping his damn mouth shut. Mark Twain was right.

  156. 156
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Agreed!

  157. 157
    WaterGirl says:

    @Ohio Mom: Liars lie, cheaters cheat, and traitors betray their country. Donald trump does all three.

  158. 158
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    why trump thinks THE MEMO will save his fat arse

    Hannity Advising Trump on Nunes Memo—Because of Course He Is
    That adviser is Sean Hannity, who has been hyping the so-called Nunes memo all week, and with whom the president continues to speak regularly.
    According to three sources with knowledge of their conversations, Trump has been in regular contact with Hannity over the phone in recent weeks, as the Fox News primetime star and Trump ally has encouraged the prompt release of a controversial four page memo crafted by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee. Hannity has gone to the wall to push for the public release of the memo, which the Intelligence Committee and its chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), authorized this week in a party-line vote despite the classified information therein.

  159. 159
    trnc says:

    @Ohio Mom: Will this fit?

    “What’s the visitation protocol when the whole family is in prison?”

  160. 160
    Jeffro says:

    @Corner Stone: Yeah, I can see that.

    Normally I watch on my own…WAIT…that’s not what I meant. No inferences should be drawn, anyway. Um, so…

  161. 161
  162. 162
    WaterGirl says:

    @Ohio Mom: Some more mediocre ideas for you:

    Donald Trump is a fraud.

    Donald Trump: You Lie!

    The Donald is The Biggest Loser

    If you were actually smart, you wouldn’t need to tell people you are.

    How much money are you getting for betraying your country?

    Did you betray your country for money or were you blackmailed?

    General Kelly is President, Donald Trump is his Puppet.

    Even Trump’s wife hates him.

  163. 163
    frosty says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Staying frosty? No (in the weather sense). Staying toasty? Yes. We hitch up the trailer and bail for Florida in the morning.

  164. 164

    @frosty: Watch out for Floriduh Man.

  165. 165
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @WaterGirl: General Kelly is President, Donald Trump is his Puppet.

    Did you catch that clip that was going around yesterday when Kelly said The Memo was being reviewed by national security lawyers “who work for me– for the President”

  166. 166
    Feebog says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Holy crap. Full disclosure here, I am a Labor Arbitrator and Hearing Officer. I have on occasion had to make an attitude adjustment with an attorney or lay advocate, but I have never seen anything like the whupping the Judge gave Patel.

  167. 167
    WaterGirl says:

    @Corner Stone: Maybe he is an active cooperator?

  168. 168
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    @clay:

    You would think so, but most of the one’s I’ve dealt with seem unhappy.

  169. 169
    Manyakitty says:

    @Ohio Mom: How about the old standby, “LOCK HIM UP”

  170. 170
    WaterGirl says:

    @hueyplong: Two signs: one says Tick Tock, the other says “Motherfuckers1” If they confiscate Motherfuckers, you’ve still got Tick, Tock.

  171. 171
    WaterGirl says:

    @Roger Moore: That would be lovely!

  172. 172
    NotMax says:

    @WaterGirl

    Perhaps a bit too Brtionesque but “Banish him to the Tower” might attract some notice.

  173. 173
    MurAllen says:

    @Ohio Mom: How about: Пошел ты предатель

    Which Google Translate says it means: F*#k you traitor

  174. 174
    WaterGirl says:

    @Jay S: I have to think that Gowdy is resigning and didn’t accept the judge spot he was apparently offered – and is saying what you just quoted – because he’s worried about obstruction and he is trying to stay out of jail.

  175. 175
    WaterGirl says:

    Donald Trump: Do you wonder which of your kids will turn on you first?

  176. 176
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @WaterGirl: DonJr was broken long ago. Eric is equally pathetic. Ivanka just might.

  177. 177
    WaterGirl says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: No, I did not see that! Happy to hear it, though. Let’s hope Trump did, ’cause that’s when he gets rid of people.

  178. 178
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @WaterGirl: Barron. That’s what he and Melania are planning when they speak Slovenian in front of trump.

    @Villago Delenda Est: I realize it’s like winning a toads’ beauty contest, but I think Ivanka is the smartest of the LACs. She knows the truth about her father’s wealth and her husband’s and in-laws’. I think she’ll go with the money.

  179. 179
    Corner Stone says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    DonJr was broken long ago.

    DJT Jr hates his dad. It is so clear as to be undeniable. He’s doing everything he can to bring him down without climbing onto a roof somewhere with a bullhorn.

  180. 180
    Another Scott says:

    @Adam L Silverman: The judge there is a bully and an ideologue. Not a good look.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  181. 181
    WaterGirl says:

    @Feebog: Thanks for calling attention to that – I hadn’t clicked the link. Wow, that was a fun read. Do not fuck with that judge.

  182. 182
    Corner Stone says:

    @WaterGirl: Wray worked for Chris Christie. So at this point I am wondering exactly what his end game may be.

  183. 183
    WaterGirl says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I just like the idea of Trump wondering about that, late at night, alone in his bed, with just his phone and maybe twitter.

    edit: I just re-read what I wrote, and I sound like a mean person. I blame Donald Trump.

  184. 184
    WaterGirl says:

    @Corner Stone: I did not know that. He probably knows just how far you can go without leaving a trail and going to jail. It apparently worked for Chris Christie. Cannot believe they couldn’t get him for bridge gate.

  185. 185
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I realize it’s like winning a toads’ beauty contest, but I think Ivanka is the smartest of the LACs. She knows the truth about her father’s wealth and her husband’s and in-laws’. I think she’ll go with the money.

    I think Ivanka is going to need some chapstick for her finger after sticking it into the wind for so long. She’s clearly not smart but may have an atavistic survival instinct.

  186. 186
    debbie says:

    Where are the loud voices condemning Trump for putting himself above his country? Schiff is vocal, but he needs to be more direct.

  187. 187
    Another Scott says:

    Donnie’s pouting because his BFFs Chuck and Nancy aren’t calling him any more:

    The Democrats just aren’t calling about DACA. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have to get moving fast, or they’ll disappoint you again. We have a great chance to make a deal or, blame the Dems! March 5th is coming up fast.

    Who is “you” there, Donnie?

    Let him stew. He’s an incompetent liar so nothing he says will help get a bill passed.

    It’s clear that the Teabaggers don’t care about DACA or the CR or Puerto Rico or anything else, especially given their “retreat” at Greenbriar. 7 days to go before the next deadline…

    Grrr…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  188. 188
    clay says:

    @Another Scott: He seemed quite personable with both the prosecutors and the defense lawyer. He just didn’t like having a sloppily dressed bureaucrat coming into his courtroom suddenly for no apparent purpose.

  189. 189
    clay says:

    @Another Scott: Is that tweet from tonight? Isn’t it way past his bedtime? And using the full names for Chuck and Nancy (without derogatory nicknames, no less!) is very un-Trump-like. Weird misplaced comma aside, he probably didn’t write that.

  190. 190
    Another Scott says:

    @clay: Maybe, but why all the questions about where or if his passport was stamped? Why all the snide remarks about the rubber-stamp FISA court and the government bureaucrats in Washington who don’t do anything but run up a tab on per-diem?

    He’s a bully and an ideologue.

    I wouldn’t want him deciding any case where I had a stake in the outcome.

    Patel may be a crank and an idiot and all the rest, and there’s obviously some baggage between the judge and the people in charge of classified/declassified stuff that the judge is pissed off about, but the judge had no business treating him like that. IMHO.

    YMMV.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  191. 191
    Another Scott says:

    @clay: Yeah, it’s around an hour old.

    I’m not on Twitter, so the magic that lets people see what kind of phone posted what (apparently) isn’t available to me. I’ve also not spent the time to learn all of “his” various posting styles and remember who uses the ALL CAPS vs Camel Caps vs all the rest. And even the EOPOTUS should have most of the staff working normal 40 hour weeks, so who would be posting on the job at 11 PM is a bit of a mystery…

    Dunno.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  192. 192
    CapnMubbers says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Left coast late, but in case you see this, I so enjoy your music/movie links. Pashmina is indeed a lovely respite.

  193. 193
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Another Scott: Federal judges tend to demand respect. if someone shows up in a t-shirt and jeans, the judge may well ask about it. If the guy says that he is wearing his nicest clothes, the judge will let it go. If someone shows up inappropriately dressed and claims airport delays or something similar, the judge may ask for proof. Did you not see My Cousin Vinnie?

  194. 194
    cain says:

    @Timurid:

    So many creepy desis in the Trump orbit… and I’d bet good money most of them are slobbering Hindutvadis…

    They are all choots. That’s for sure. Looking at the guys facebook picture, he looks like a total asshole to me.

  195. 195
    Another Scott says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Never saw the movie.

    Ok on the rest.

    If it were just the Patel incident, I probably would have let it go, with distaste. But he clearly had it in for him before he even walked in the room.

    THE COURT: Is he going to make an appearance in the case?

    MR. IMPERATO: He filed his notice of appearance.

    THE COURT: When?

    MR. IMPERATO: He did it on my account. He — a couple of weeks ago, he filed it on my account.

    THE COURT: Don’t let those son of bitches use your account.

    And put that in the record.

    They’ll do something terrible, and you’ll get blamed for it.

    All right, go get them.

    And then there’s the rest of the RWNJ talking points about how worthless people who work in DC are, etc. Ruffled my feathers a bit, it did.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  196. 196
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Another Scott: Okay. The whole thing about someone else using the person’s account. I will just leave that there. Why it might be a problem in legal cases, I will leave to you.

    Cheers,

    Omnes.

  197. 197
    Citizen Alan says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    What’s that saying about history repeating as farce? I’ve said for ten years that Sandra Day O’Connor cast the deciding vote to put Bush in the White House and he repaid her by replacing her with an arch-conservative who would vote to overturn nearly every centrist precedent for which she is known and reduce her to a historical footnote.

  198. 198
    Divf says:

    For a poster:

    Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!

  199. 199
    seaboogie says:

    So Wray – head of the FBI – is frustrated by Trump’s behavior. If Wray is this naive, does this not automatically disqualify him for the job? Position a feather in his cap, maybe – but he didn’t see this coming? He’s a ‘pub, isn’t he? No other explanation for such obtuseness, in the Director of the FBI.

  200. 200
    prostratedragon says:

    @Gravenstone: Late I know, but …

    “Tin Toy”

  201. 201
    tybee says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    fump truck

  202. 202
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Jay S: Could this possibly be an underlying factor in Gowdy’s sudden decision not to seek re-election? is it irresponsible to speculate? You know the answer to that!

  203. 203
    J R in WV says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Israeli investigative reporter says Trump shared more information than has been publicly revealed with the Russians https://www.npr.org/2018/01/31/582099085/journalist-details-israels-secret-history-of-targeted-assassinations

    I actually was out running errands and heard this piece on NPR. The guy being interviewed sounded dead serious in this part of the interview. Was very impressive sounding. But then so are you! when just typing ;-)

    I think Trump really pissed off the whole allied IC once they learned about this event, even those who would normally be behind an actual conservative president. Intelligence agents do not strike me as the most liberal community of people out there.

    Yet when someone steps across a boundary and damages things of value to your community, it isn’t going to endear them to your side. Like showing integrity.

Comments are closed.