Our Long National Nightmare Is Not Over: The Nunes Memo II…

For the love of someone’s, anyone’s Deity or Deities, make him stop!!!!

Someone please tell Congressman Nunes that the only part of the State Department that is part of the US Intel Community (USIC/IC) is the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR). It is one of the smallest, if not the smallest, office within the intel community. Its focus is on leveraging intelligence in support of diplomacy.

INR is a bureau of the Department of State and a member of the Intelligence Community (IC). The Bureau of Intelligence and Research’s (INR) primary mission is to harness intelligence to serve U.S. diplomacy. Secretary of State George Marshall established INR in 1947. INR is a direct descendant of the Office of Strategic Services Research Department and the oldest civilian intelligence element in the U.S. Government. Ambassador Daniel B. Smith is INR’s Assistant Secretary.

Drawing on all-source intelligence, INR provides value-added independent analysis of events to U.S. State Department policymakers; ensures that intelligence activities support foreign policy and national security purposes; and serves as the focal point in the State Department for ensuring policy review of sensitive counterintelligence and law enforcement activities around the world. The bureau directs the Department’s program of intelligence analysis and research, conducts liaison with the Intelligence Community, and represents the Department on committees and in interagency intelligence groups. The Bureau of Intelligence and Research also analyzes geographical and international boundary issues.

Unless he’s going to claim that INR somehow colluded with the FBI to frame Carter Page who, as we discussed earlier, has been on the FBI’s radar in regard to counterintelligence since 2013 when the Russian intelligence officers that were trying to recruit him decided he was an idiot, I honestly don’t see how he can make more of a fool of himself than he did today.

Here is, specifically, what the Russian intelligence officers said about Page as picked up by FBI surveillance in 2013:

If you’re wondering where the instructions and talking points are coming from, just take a gander at Russia state controlled news media from 13 January 2017:

Finally, former Special Agent Rangappa discovers a very special person, near and dear to everyone here at Balloon Juice’s heart, on social media:

Stay frosty or Congressman Nunes will write a memo about you.

Open thread!

136 replies
  1. 1
    WaterGirl says:

    The mind boggles.

    These traitors are like the energizer bunny. Or maybe like a roomba that gets itself into a spot where it really can’t get out, and it just keeps bumping impatiently from one obstacle to the next.

    Surely these guys have already been given enough rope to hang themselves multiple times over.

  2. 2
    Redshift says:

    Maybe he has a super secret plan to incapacitate all of Dear Leader’s enemies with laughter…

  3. 3
    WaterGirl says:

    I want public humiliation of all these traitors, and I want it now. Losing patience.

  4. 4
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    I will be curled up in a ball in the corner.

  5. 5
    randy khan says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Or maybe like a roomba that gets itself into a spot where it really can’t get out, and it just keeps bumping impatiently from one obstacle to the next.

    Or just keeps bumping into the same obstacle again and again.

  6. 6
    Redshift says:

    @WaterGirl: Being bullshit artist is a lot less work than producing evidence-based arguments. So we’ll probably be seeing “shocking” new fan-fiction memos until Nunes is frog-marched out.

  7. 7
  8. 8
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I’m headed to go rub doggie bellies. Considering hooking up an IV bourbon drip.

  9. 9
  10. 10

    @WaterGirl: Humiliation isn’t good enough. The proverbial tumbrels, please.

  11. 11
    randy khan says:

    If the first memo is any guide, the State Department memo might be usable as a sleep aid.

  12. 12
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I am from Wisconsin; I would need a brandy drip, but tracking.

  13. 13
    WaterGirl says:

    @randy khan: Let’s hope that – very soon – that obstacle is Robert Mueller, in the form of grand jury testimony, followed by indictments.

  14. 14
    WaterGirl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: @Adam L Silverman: Alcohol not strong enough. This requires chocolate. Some serious chocolate.

  15. 15
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @WaterGirl: Can we compromise on booze-filled chocolates?

  16. 16

    @WaterGirl: I have absolutely no doubt that Nunes, Ryan, McConnell, et al. are obstructing the investigation because they’re implicated in it – probably kompromat, if I had to guess. And if they weren’t already implicated, by their actions in the cover-up, they’ve implicated themselves.

    What worries me, of course, is the Republicans’ clear attempt at this point to shut the entire investigation down. I have no doubt that Mueller is well prepared for this eventuality and has a dead man’s switch (probably state-level indictments, which Trump can’t pardon, for all the conspirators, courtesy of NY AG Schneiderman et al.) and several other factors I haven’t even imagined in place, but at some point I’m afraid that arrests and indictments are going to cause fighting between different law enforcement agencies or something else along the lines.

    I also have little doubt that Adam can clarify this with more informed intel, if he hasn’t already by the time I’ve posted this. (ETA: Or Cheryl.)

  17. 17

    Nunes flat-out lied about the political connections of the Steele dossier not being made clear to the FISA court.

  18. 18
    Dmbeaster says:

    Dang, cant get the retweet about gg twit to load.

  19. 19
    dmsilev says:

    Given historical precedent (or at least fictional movies purporting to be historical) and Trump’s famous love of ketchup, I fully expect the Congressman to soon hold up a sheet of paper holding what he says are the names of 57 Deep State operatives at (rolls dice) the USDA.

  20. 20
    WaterGirl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yes. We. Can.

  21. 21
    MomSense says:

    More memos?

  22. 22

    One thing that doesn’t add up for me is Gowdy, who’s now apparently making noises about how Mueller should be allowed to continue his investigation, if I’m reading and remembering things right. Between that and his apparent decision to step down, should I be reading this as implying that the investigation may have turned him somehow? His recent behaviour, like Page’s throughout the last several years, is almost impossible for me to get a read on. I particularly am not grokking what’s going on with the judicial position he hinted at, at all.

  23. 23
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @WaterGirl: I like it when we all can be reasonable.

  24. 24
    Redshift says:

    I still think it’s horrible to have a president who unquestioningly believes everything on Fox and tries to govern accordingly, but today illustrates that there is one advantage. Since they also suck up to him by telling him what he wants to hear, sometimes it results in a feedback loop that amplifies his stupidity, like believing that the Nunes memo would be a bombshell that would stop the investigation.

  25. 25
    WaterGirl says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))): Even if our democracy wasn’t at stake, the situation we are in would be terribly upsetting to anyone who believes in right and wrong and in the rule of law.

    Preet and one of his very knowledgable guests discussed the whole “working with state prosecutors” thing and they both expressed that they felt that is not happening. I hope to god they are wrong.

    edit: grammar nazis, I am thinking that should be “weren’t” not “wasn’t” in my first sentence. Yes?

  26. 26

    @Redshift: All warfare is based on deception, as Sun-Tzu said. Self-deception isn’t excluded from this. I would find it rather poetic if the whole administration got brought down because of its immersion in a filter bubble. They’re high on their own supply, as the saying goes.

    Obviously I’d have preferred never to have to go through this horseshit in the first place, though.

    @WaterGirl: Hasn’t it been explicitly confirmed that Mueller and Schneiderman are sharing intel with each other? It’s quite possible they’d want to minimise public knowledge of how extensive this is – see Sun-Tzu directly above.

    ETA: Yes, “weren’t” is correct. Past subjunctive tense, to be precise.

  27. 27
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @WaterGirl: Actually, I had as a cheat, a couple of scoops of Ben & Jerry’s Urban Bourbon ice cream.
    https://www.benjerry.com/flavors/urban-bourbon-ice-cream

  28. 28
    WaterGirl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: i like that, too. Almost as much as I like *chocolate.

    *dark chocolate

  29. 29
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))):

    All warfare is based on deception, as Sun-Tzu said.

    Not true. Sometimes overwhelming force comes into play. Sun Tzu lived before artillery existed.

  30. 30
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Alcohol not strong enough. This requires chocolate. Some serious chocolate.

    Had you attended the totes awesome SanFran meet up, you could have had a beer that was served with a piece of high quality chocolate.

  31. 31
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: objection! Self serving.

  32. 32
    matt says:

    It’s Al Capone’s vaults all the way down…

  33. 33

    @Omnes Omnibus: Fair point. I’ll allow the amendment. Probably not applicable in most political analogies, though (although I’m sure there are a few).

  34. 34
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))):

    Yes, “weren’t” is correct. Past subjunctive tense, to be precise.

    OMG pedants are so annoying!!!11

  35. 35
    Calouste says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))): Gowdy said he was going to return to the criminal justice system. People assumed it was as a judge or a prosecutor. It could also be as a witness or a defendant.

  36. 36
    matt says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))): My guess is he can’t quite stomach being enough of a piece of shit to help Trump destroy the legal system. I will admit it’s kind of farfetched, but it’s all I’ve got.

  37. 37
    Scotian says:

    *SIGH*

    Today was already a dark enough day I suspect within the rest of the 5 Eyes nations intelligence leadership and likely their political masters too. What was revealed about how insecure intelligence they might once share within trust in its sanctity in terms of staying “black”/classified could now be treated is bad enough, but unlike the FOXNEWS and worse set, these folks all KNOW what Russia did, who they did it for, whether there was likely Trumpian aid in the process (if they didn’t see it in real time, I have a hard time believing they have not reconstructed it by long before now forensically, it is taking willful blindness on the behalf of too many Americans IMHO to manage what they are as it is) and therefore what Trump and the GOP are truly enabling and in the service of with actions like these. *spoken in the tones of Natasha from Rocky and Bullwinkle, the original cartoon that is* Vlad! Dhalink!!! Today was a Red Letter Day even for Trumpworld, and the ripples from this will be deep, profound, enduring, and even potentially the origin point for true ruptures within alliances down the road depending on the paths to be taken next.

    This is what makes this especially significant, this impacts global security in profound ways, far more than is being seen on the surface, and the fact things are as nakedly open regarding this memo even from American legal sectors within the Trump Administraiton’s own agencies, well that truly is but the tip of the true iceberg this represents in terms of scale and visibility versus totality.

    This was a very sad and bad day for the free world, not just America IMHO.

  38. 38
    WaterGirl says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Urban Bourbon: Burnt Caramel Ice Cream with Almonds, Fudge Flakes & Bourbon Caramel Swirls

    I talked about my favorite ice cream, ever, that was a newish flavor from Haagen Daaz: Sweet Cream Coffee Caramel. It was so good that it nearly ruined all other ice cream for me, and the bastards discontinued it!!!

    But after looking up Urban Bourbon, I an intrigued by the burnt caramel. The caramel in my beloved but discontinued ice cream has a bit of a burnt taste to it – guessing maybe it was the chicory in the caramel sauce?

  39. 39
    Redshift says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))): Add in the fact that only one committee member from each party got to see the evidence the memo was supposedly based on, and Nunes designated Gowdy instead of seeing it himself. And I was hearing earlier this evening (though I’d want to find confirmation) that Nunes has claimed that he and Gowdy wrote the memo, but Gowdy denies it. (The congressman, I think, who was taking about this was saying that obviously Nunes’ staff actually wrote it, which wouldn’t be that unusual.) So was Nunes trying to gain credibility by claiming the guy who saw the intel was involved, or was Gowdy trying to distance himself because he knew the memo was bogus, or what? It’s a puzzle.

  40. 40
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: About 1,400 years before the invention of the Chinese fire arrow and the subsequent Chinese rockets.

  41. 41

    @Steve in the ATL: Five exclamation marks (or equivalents) – Pratchett reference?

    @Calouste: Huh. Now that you mention it, that’s the most parsimonious explanation for all the details I’ve seen about him in the past few days. Probably true.

    @matt: This could also be correct.

  42. 42
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Yet true.

  43. 43
    different-church-lady says:

    YOU get a memo! And YOU get a memo! And YOU get a memo! EVERYBODY gets a memo!!

  44. 44
    Amir Khalid says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))):
    Maybe Trey Gowdy has sympathy for Mueller as a fellow former federal prosecutor, or (this is as plausible as anything else I can think of) as a fellow three-sticks.

    What I find curious is the all-out defence for Carter Page. He doesn’t seem all that important in the Universe of Trump, so why are they bothering?

  45. 45
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: @Steve in the ATL:

  46. 46
    WaterGirl says:

    @Steve in the ATL: I love beer wth chocolate! Tell me that one of the chocolates had some cayenne pepper in it, and I will be really sad I missed it. Besides not getting to meet the people, I mean.

    Maybe the bitterness of the beer serves the same role as coffee and chocolate? I don’t really know about that since I don’t drink coffee, but I love me some beer with anything that is intensely chocolate – brownies, rich chocolate cake, etc.

  47. 47
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Exactly. Not trying to deny the Chinese their due.

  48. 48

    @Redshift: Very little of this makes sense. I wonder if that’s an intention on these people’s part. Probably not. I doubt any of them are bright enough to plan that far ahead. (“The truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand” – it’s probably the fifth time someone’s posted this today alone, but it keeps being relevant.)

  49. 49
    Adam L Silverman says:

    And so it begins:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/02/opinion/leaving-the-fbi.html

    One of the greatest honors of my life was walking across the stage at the F.B.I. Academy and receiving my special agent badge from the director at the time, Robert Mueller. After 21 weeks of intensive training, my class swore an oath and became federal agents entrusted with the solemn duty of protecting Americans and upholding the Constitution.

    After more than a decade of service, which included investigating terrorism, working to rescue kidnapping victims overseas and being special assistant to the director, I am reluctantly turning in my badge and leaving an organization I love. Why? So I can join the growing chorus of people who believe that the relentless attacks on the bureau undermine not just America’s premier law enforcement agency but also the nation’s security. My resignation is painful, but the alternative of remaining quiet while the bureau is tarnished for political gain is impossible.

    A small number of my current and retired colleagues have said that we should simply keep our heads down until the storm passes. I say this with the greatest respect: They are wrong. If those who know the agency best remain silent, it will be defined by those with partisan agendas.

    F.B.I. agents are dogged people who do not care about the direction of political winds. But to succeed in their work, they need public backing. Scorched-earth attacks from politicians with partisan goals now threaten that support, raising corrosive doubts about the integrity of the F.B.I. that could last for generations.

    When the F.B.I. knocks on someone’s door or appeals to the public for assistance in solving crime, the willingness of people to help is directly correlated to their opinion of the agency. When an agent working to stop a terrorist plot attempts to recruit an informant, the agent’s success in gathering critical intelligence depends on the informant’s belief that the agent is credible and trustworthy. And, as the former director, James Comey, would frequently say in underscoring the importance of high standards, whether a jury believes an agent’s testimony depends on whether it has faith in the bureau’s honesty and independence. To be effective, the F.B.I. must be believed and must maintain the support of the public it serves.

    Much more at the link.

  50. 50

  51. 51
    HumboldtBlue says:

    My good friends at the North Coast Journal found themselves in the thick of a viral news story this morning.

    It began yesterday when a woman who was reported missing in Humboldt county by her mother was later identified as a contestant on the Bachelor and she wasn’t missing at all. Quite hilarious, as my good friend and NCJ editor put it “goddamn Golf Digest picked it up. WTF.”

  52. 52
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @WaterGirl: I never had that flavor of Haagen Daaz, so I can’t say. Try the Urban Bourbon and see what you think. Honestly, I only bought it because it was on sale and sounded interesting.

  53. 53

    @Amir Khalid: Page probably knows where a lot of bodies are buried. But see the speculation a few threads above that he may actually be an American counterintel asset – his behaviour is so strange that simply assuming he is what he seems to be doesn’t seem to explain everything, unless there are other facts not known to the public. I doubt any of the Trumplings have any understanding of any of this if it’s true. But who knows. Page and everything around him make even less sense than Gowdy’s behaviour in the last few days.

    (I hope this paragraph makes sense to others. What I’m talking about doesn’t even make sense to me, so it might not.)

  54. 54
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Fucking mortars. Yes, they are indirect fire; they also are the red-headed step child of the gunnery world.

  55. 55
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Redshift: Correct. Nunes and two of his staffers wrote the memo. Gowdy has denied helping despite Nunes claiming that Gowdy helped him.

  56. 56
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Amir Khalid: Gowdy was a US Attorney while Mueller was FBI director.

  57. 57
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: And each one had to be shown what was being collected and that it was new information that reinforced the need to maintain the surveillance. Meaning that every 90 days the FBI had to show the judges new information collected during that 90 day window of Carter Page breaking Federal law, being an ongoing counterintelligence insider threat to the US (as, for instance, an asset or agent of a hostile foreign power), or a combination of the two.

  58. 58
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Then it must be the three-sticks connection.

  59. 59
    Niles says:

    This scandal is gonna unfold over the next year. The GOP and Trump planned this rollout. Just wait. This is worse than Watergate.

  60. 60
    WaterGirl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I read the article and it makes me terribly sad.

  61. 61
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Great, just great! This is now the second major US newspaper to pick this up, WaPo had something earlier. ETA: Pottinger is one of the Flynn-stones that McMaster inherited.

  62. 62

    The Onion had a good news-in-brief headline today: “Breaking: Nunes Memo Exposes Deep Bias, Corruption In Devin Nunes”

  63. 63
    Redshift says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    What I find curious is the all-out defence for Carter Page. He doesn’t seem all that important in the Universe of Trump, so why are they bothering?

    I think the Steele dossier being involved in the warrant is the entire reason. For months, wingnuts have been treating as established fact that claim that the dossier is “completely discredited.” They’ve also long been spinning the story that it’s “information from Russia” to people too stupid or too willfully blind to tell the difference between disinformation from the Russian government and Steele finding out what Russia is doing from Russian sources. (Seriously! I saw a Washington Times headline in October, maybe, crowing about how ironically it was the Democrats who were using Russian information.)

    So yeah, I think it went from wingnut world knowing that the dossier is phony, to it being mentioned in the intel, to the conclusion that the Page wiretap was improper, and therefore the whole investigation is discredited. A “chain” of “logic” for the extremely stupid. I don’t think they particularly care about Carter Page.

  64. 64
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Fuck me to tears. An NSC member making a political call? Not their job. Jebus!

  65. 65
    WaterGirl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: How strong is the bourbon flavor? I can’t really drink alcohol in that family, or even cousins, which I attribute to the thirteen (13!) 7-and-7s I drank the night my beloved cocker spaniel was hit by a car and killed. At 21 years old, it seems like a good idea for your friends to take you out drinking after a tragedy.

    Mellon was a special dog, even though she only lived to be 9 months old. One of my roommates let her out somehow while I was at work. It was fall, and she LOVED the leaves, and she apparently ran into the street after a leaf that was blowing and was hit by a car. She was my first dog and that was a tragic loss for me. Even with her terribly short life, she was a special girl that everybody remembers all these decades later.

    I started this comment talking about alcohol, and now I am crying about my sweet girl. Such is life.

  66. 66
    RedDirtGirl says:

    @Calouste: T@WaterGirl: I see what you did there…

  67. 67
    WaterGirl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Gowdy announced his retirement the day before the memo hit. And yesterday we got news that he had turned down some judicial position. Something about the memo or the coverup was a bridge too far, for him, I think.

  68. 68
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Like I said, he was one of Flynn’s. Was a reporter who after doing a story on Marines got inspired and decided to become one. Went intel. On his second of three tours was assigned to work under Flynn.

  69. 69
  70. 70
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @WaterGirl: Cockers grab your heart and don’t let go. I get emotional about Beau at times and it has be over 30 years. He was the best boy. And i didn’t tear up at all – as far as you know.

  71. 71
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Omnes Omnibus: unapologetic artillery snob

  72. 72
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @WaterGirl: Sorry to read about Mellon, even after however much time has passed.

    You can taste/tell there is some whiskey in it, but it isn’t overwhelming. I don’t drink much at all – maybe a 1/2 dozen drinks a year if I’m being a lush. And I didn’t find it particularly strong or overwhelming.

  73. 73
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Adam L Silverman: disclaimer: “integrity” and “high standards” do not apply to New York Field Office.

  74. 74

    @WaterGirl: Losing a pet is the worst. I can’t imagine how much worse it must be when the pet you’ve lost is still a puppy. I’ll reiterate what Adam said above.

    @Omnes Omnibus: Suspiciously Specific Denial – TV Tropes (warning: it’s TV Tropes, so don’t open if you have something planned in the next several hours)

    Dogs in general just… grab something inside you. I genuinely think it’s genetic. There seems to be substantial scientific evidence for humans’ parallel evolution with dogs.

  75. 75
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    Wall Street Journal? Interestingly quick on their part.
    (And – is there a trick for reading WSJ articles for free? )

  76. 76
    WaterGirl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Better to have loved and lost…

  77. 77
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Yes. One among many other snobberies.

  78. 78
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @WaterGirl: @Omnes Omnibus: I saw someone walking an older blue tick last week and started tearing up about mine. I rescued him in January 2005 – he was running down I70 about an hour east of KC in 4 degree weather. He was skin and bones. Finally found a vets an hour and a half later, pulled in and had them check him for a chip as he had no tags. No chip. Took three of us to get him inside. The vet figured he’d been running lose for at least 2 months and that he’d never been inside a structure before. They figured he’d run off from a hunt or broke out of his kennel or was dumped after hunting season. Nursed him back to health. The next year he had a bad stomach issue caused by anxiety. Nursed him back to health. 7 months later he had a stomach bloat. I nursed him back to health. 8 months later, 3 weeks before leaving to train up for Iraq I found him collapsed in his crate. He died on the way to the vets. He had a massive brain stem stroke.

  79. 79

    @Adam L Silverman: Man, that’s one depressing story. Condolences.

    I’m a bit worried about my own dog right now. He’s been throwing up a lot lately and there seems to be a growth on his pancreas, so I understand. (I wasn’t there for the vet’s explanation – this is all secondhand.) Hopefully it’s benign, but it seems it’ll require surgery. This is another thing that causes me to lose sleep these days.

  80. 80
    WaterGirl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: @(((CassandraLeo))): @Omnes Omnibus: Smartest thing I ever did was tell my 8 housemates that I did not every want to know who had let her out. I am a very forgiving person, but I knew my limits and I wasn’t sure that it wouldn’t change things if I knew who had let her out.

  81. 81
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @WaterGirl: Agreed.

  82. 82

    @WaterGirl: Yeah, there’s some shit I don’t think I’d be able to forgive. You made the right call.

  83. 83
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    s there a trick for reading WSJ articles for free?

    Have the hotel concierge leave one outside your room every morning. Or are you one of those people who sleep in their own beds?

  84. 84
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Steve in the ATL: That conforms to what I’ve read.

  85. 85
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @WaterGirl:

    8 housemates

    I believe that qualifies as a commune

  86. 86
    Lyrebird says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Much more at the link.

    Including, if I read it correctly, a headline from Bret Stephens calling the memo “Nunes’ Nothingburger” or something like that.

    Sadly, @Scotian is likely all too correct in saying

    This was a very sad and bad day for the free world,

    but it’s still remarkable any day I find any sort of agreement with Bret Stephens.

  87. 87
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Holy fuck.

  88. 88
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))): The good news is that if it is benign, the recovery rate is excellent in dogs. We’ll keep good thoughts for you all.

  89. 89
    WaterGirl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That is beyond sad. Makes me think of Walter, though, because he was so lucky you found him and took such good care of him. For me, the bond only strengthens when they are sick or you have to nurse them back to health, I am grateful that you were there at the end, how much more awful it would be to get news like that when you are away.

  90. 90

    @Lyrebird: Stephens is something of a stopped clock for me. He’ll say something I agree with about 10% of the time. Last time he was on Maher I probably found myself agreeing with at least half of what he said, at least in the clips I saw on YouTube, but I think he just knows the audience. That said, he seems to have reasonable views on some issues and completely bonkers views on others. I think he’s one of those rare specimens who actually genuinely believes in small government rather than the religious bullshit that underpins most of today’s GOP, which is probably why he deviates from the party line at times. None of this, of course, makes his climate change denialism or other such bullshit any more forgivable.

    @Adam L Silverman: Thanks. It’s appreciated.

  91. 91
    magurakurin says:

    Chocolates? Oh, I got chocolates, jackals. My wife and I order chocolate from a shop in Bruges every winter. It arrived yesterday…two kilograms worth. A kilogram of pralines and a kilogram of chocolate truffles. boom. straight outta Flanders, yo.

  92. 92
  93. 93
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @magurakurin: two keys of brown? Sweet.

    Or bittersweet.

  94. 94
    WaterGirl says:

    @Steve in the ATL: It was 1974 and 9 of us rented a big old house, starting the summer after our sophomore year in college, some guys, some girls. It was really great. What a great experience that was. Really good people, and lots of fun.

    edited

  95. 95
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: @WaterGirl: For all that he had terrible separation anxiety and was convinced each meal would be his last and would scavenge when on a walk/run if given the chance and it took almost till he died to get him to finally start settling in, he was a very good dog.

  96. 96
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @WaterGirl: Walter finished his life well. Other inaccuracies ignored.

  97. 97
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @WaterGirl:

    It was 1974 and 9 of us rented a big old house, some guys, some girls.

    In other words, it was a commune!

  98. 98
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: All dogs are good dogs. And good for you for taking care of this one.

  99. 99
    magurakurin says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Comin’ into KansaiX carryin’ a couple of keys, don’t sniff by bags if you please little customs doggie.

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    @(((CassandraLeo))):

    I think he’s one of those rare specimens who actually genuinely believes in small government rather than the religious bullshit that underpins most of today’s GOP

    I think he’s basically supposed to be Smarter Hipper David Brooks, and evidently was the best candidate HR could find.

  101. 101
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))): Keep us posted as you’re able.

  102. 102
    WaterGirl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: inaccuracies?

  103. 103
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Smarter Hipper David Brooks

    Pretty sure my golden retriever meets or exceeds this standard. And my English bulldog comes close.

  104. 104
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @WaterGirl: Adam wasn’t the save Walter guy. It was Cole.

  105. 105

    @Major Major Major Major: Well, yes, that too.

    @Adam L Silverman: Will do. Thanks again.

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yep, this. If dogs behave poorly, in my experience, it’s almost always something they’ve been taught. (Or, in some cases, they’ve just been trained ineptly.) It breaks my heart that some dogs are treated so poorly that they have separation anxiety that extreme, or that they are afraid of being touched, or any number of other horrors.

    @Omnes Omnibus: I read WG’s post as making an analogy to Cole taking care of Walter, not saying Adam was taking care of Walter. Could be wrong though, since pronoun use makes it ambiguous (“he” could refer either to Walter or to Adam’s dog). English is dumb sometimes. Particularly in blog comment sections where editing expires after five minutes.

  106. 106
    Adam L Silverman says:

    I’ve been up since Zero Dark 30. Time for me to go give the four foots some more attention (it never really stops with them) and then rack out.

    Catch you all on the flip.

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  108. 108
    GregB says:

    I am trying to figure out who is the biggest shitheel to have beclowned themselves in the Trump era. Glenn Greenwald, Justin Raimondo or Jill Stein.

  109. 109
    WaterGirl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: What a good boy. Speaking of scavenging, one of my cockers learned how to get into the refrigerator. Thank god for duct tape.

  110. 110

    @Adam L Silverman: Take care. Thanks again.

    @GregB: All together now: AOT,K!

    (Raimondo has actually completely fallen off my radar in the last several years, but the answer is nonetheless obligatory. I’m not even 100% sure I correctly remember who he is – he was the antiwar.com guy, right?)

  111. 111
    WaterGirl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Oh, that was just sloppy writing on my part. I wasn’t saying Adam rescued Walter, just that like Walter, Adam’s dog was lucky to have someone like Adam find him.

  112. 112
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Steve in the ATL: So do most house plants. – no offense to your dogs who have an inherent decency that Trump cannot destroy.

  113. 113
    Ruckus says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    They are bothering because of unity. Look how far unity has brought a bunch of morons. They stick together, they make up bullshit together, they lie together about the bullshit. It got them drumpf and congress. The only ones who will break ranks are the ones who realize that sticking together now will cost them far more than an election.

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    Omnes Omnibus says:

    You guys have fun. I am off to bed.

  115. 115
    WaterGirl says:

    Me, too. Goodnight all.

  116. 116
    Steve in the ATL says:

    Bastards. I’m just now boarding a plane. Hope my neighbors don’t mind the snoring!

  117. 117
    Adria McDowell says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))): Funny you should bring Paul Ryan up, because some of the very savvy posters over at the Lipstick Alley politics section brought up a good question: how did Carter Page know, back in his October interview with Chris Hayes, that Paul Ryan would defend the release of this memo- before we even really knew about the memo? Here is a link to the thread:

    https://www.lipstickalley.com/threads/how-did-carter-know-paul-ryan-was.1420141/

    I’m eager to hear the thoughts from our little jackal colony here.

  118. 118
    Ruckus says:

    @GregB:
    Don’t hurt yourself trying to figure it out. The three of them can share the award. They all deserve it.

  119. 119
    GregB says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))):

    Yes, the Anti-War guy who is carrying water for the dick who has unleashed a domestic ethnic cleansing force and is looking to ramp up the global nuclear arms race.

  120. 120
    Ruckus says:

    @WaterGirl:
    Before my cocker I never had a dog that could or would open cabinet doors. Bud could. If he thought there was food anywhere he’d figure out how to check it out. Had to kid proof the entire place.

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    NotMax says:

    @Steve in the ATL

    Hope my neighbors don’t mind the snoring!

    Remember what the dormouse said….

    :)

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    J R in WV says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Smartest thing I ever did was tell my 8 housemates that I did not every want to know who had let her out.

    I doubt they knew, or that it was deliberate. The furry children, they do want to escape into the wild sometimes. Falling leaves, critters to chase, night time for a hunting cat, etc. Here we have lost twice as many furry children to coyotes as to cars, 2:1 really. Out of 20 odd cats and 6 dogs. One smaller dog and one very proud tomcat to the coyote one spring, one cat to the dusty country road.

    Sad to lose them to a stupid thing. Sorry for your loss!

  123. 123

    @Adria McDowell: I’ve been arguing for months that most prominent Republicans’ behaviour, particularly regarding what I’m going to refer to (h/t John Oliver) as Stupid Watergate, can’t be adequately explained without taking kompromat into account. Remember, Russia hacked the RNC’s emails, too. We don’t know what was in them, but the odds that they have incriminating dirt on the prominent GOP politicians are high – and the odds that they’re using that dirt to extract favours are also, given Russia’s behaviour patterns, high. The likeliest candidates, of course, are Ryan and McConnell, but there are no doubt plenty of others.

    People often forget this when trying to analyse the GOP’s behaviour, probably because it’s terrifying. The thought that two whole branches of our government could be under the control of Russian intelligence assets is not a pleasant one. Which, of course, just makes Mueller’s investigation (and associated investigations) that much more crucial to the survival of our democracy.

    It’s also because of this that one of the major things I watch for with GOP politicians is abrupt changes in behaviour patterns. Rudy 9iu11ani almost completely disappeared from the news shortly after being completely ubiquitous for years. What happened? My read is that someone from the DOJ presented him with enough evidence against him to get him to STFU, or maybe even to turn state’s evidence. This is also why I’ve been devoting so much attention to Gowdy’s sudden shift in behaviour over the past few days. People don’t make sudden shifts in behaviour like that for no reason.

    I don’t have answers for all of this – my formal expertise is nothing more than a bachelor’s in political science, an Internet connection, and obsessive attention to the news. (Also, I’ve done a fair amount of informal reading about psychology and other disciplines, but the only other disciplines I have formal post-secondary training in are IT, which is usually only relevant to the Russia investigation when emails come up, and journalism, which I only took a few classes in.) People like Adam and Cheryl have way more expertise to comment on some aspects of Stupid Watergate. But I do think a lot of other sources often ignore some of Stupid Watergate’s important aspects. (To be fair, there are so many aspects to the story that it’s almost impossible to keep track of them all.)

  124. 124
    The Moar You Know says:

    Dogs in general just… grab something inside you. I genuinely think it’s genetic. There seems to be substantial scientific evidence for humans’ parallel evolution with dogs.

    @(((CassandraLeo))): I just spent north of a thousand bucks and will be up all night as my Golden has been vomiting all day and even the ER folks are not sure why. Just trying to hold it together so as not to panic the little guy any further. They gave him IV fluids and some antinausea drugs so at least he will get some sleep and hopefully be better in the AM. There is, of course, no way I will be sleeping even though I’m exhausted. This little guy…he has worked his way right into my soul.

  125. 125

    @The Moar You Know: Man. I hope he gets better. As you probably saw above, my dog is going through something similar, though at least they have a reasonable suspicion of what’s causing it. Seeing them sick is the second worst (only second to losing them altogether). Internets hugs.

  126. 126

    @Amir Khalid: Right. If Page was compromised and it didn’t go up the ranks, then if you’re Trump you let the investigation play out and argue that you’re a victim, as well. Why are they making such a big deal if, as they repeatedly say, there’s no evidence of collusion?

  127. 127
    trollhattan says:

    Asha Rangappa who Adam links to in his post is mui badass.

  128. 128
    J R in WV says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    I have had really elderly critters failing from just age really. A big white cat with red spots and lots of self assurance, probably 20 years old,had won all his fights except the last one with a fox. Wive stepped in to knock Fox cold with an extra post hole digger handle, ash and 5 feet long. A few weeks later Ralph was curled around his food disk at 1 am at the foot of the steps up to our bedroom when I hear his coughing kind of messy sounding.

    The next morning he was dead, had been dead for 8 hours, probably an anyurism, as honorable death as a fiesty big tom cat can asipre to, defending the farm’s chicken flock from a fox. There was nothing to do but bury him deep with a large stone on his grave. Some dogs and cats we have taken to the Vet Clinic we support to be put down, that’s hard even when you know their kidneys are giving up their function, or a cancer is causing a systemic failure. That happened to a loyal and faithful dog while we were in the SW visiting Navajo Nation to learn about their art and history.

    Sometimes they so close to gone it seems better for them to let them lay with you in home to die with you. Other times you beat the illness by enough to take them in with you, and they’re still able to be calm and at peace with you, in your lap, and be put down between you and your wife or on your two laps. That can be best for some of our animals, that have positive relationships with the vets and can be calm there. Sometimes all you can di is stay with them fo be there for them, a spoonful of water if they’re dry, a blanket or coat if they get cool.

    BEst of good luck with your Golden, if they figure out what’s going on aybe they can cure what ails him for now. Take good care of the immediate things, keep him cared for and comfortable. Be there for them. That’s all you cna do!

    WE feel for your Puppy, and want his to feel better, and for you to feel good about your care for the poor puppy. Take care of yourself too, take it easy to the extent you can. Good Luck. Hope things work out for you and your dog.

  129. 129
    Amir Khalid says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))):
    Where using a pronoun would result in ambiguity, use the name — either in apposition to the pronoun (e.g. “he, Fred”/”him, Fred”/”with him, Fred”/ “his, Fred’s”) or instead of the pronoun.

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    Balconesfault says:

    @GregB: with funding from the Koch Brothers

  131. 131
    Big Picture Pathologist says:

    @GregB:

    I still visit Antiwar.com because there are always a couple articles worth reading. Raimondo’s constant turd-polishing regarding Trump has moved beyond unfortunate into pathetic.

  132. 132
    ewrunning says:

    INR is part of the State Department, and ipso facto has Hilary cooties, so for these clowns anything they do to it is deserved. Or maybe someone’s playing 3 dimensional chess and is out to get Tillerson. Of course, hard to know if Rex has gotten around to meeting anyone in INR yet. If they still do the Secretary’s Morning Summary, I suppose it’s delivered by someone who is carefully instructed not to make eye contact. Ewrunning, US State Department, retired (1982-2008), INR analyst 1986-88. Btw, if anyone has a spare good thought for a longtime lurker and very occasional commenter I’m spending my 2nd night in the hospital dealing with an inflamed gall bladder (now gone) and blocked bile duct (to be dealt with today). Good thing I’ve got the news to cheer me up

  133. 133
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @ewrunning:

    Good thoughts to you, with wishes for a speedy return to good health.

    And please consider commenting more frequently. With your background, it sounds as though you would bring another well-informed voice to the conversations here.

  134. 134
    ET says:

    After seeing the lameness of this memo, and having Nunes admit he didn’t see all the underlying intelligentce used to to create the memo, Republicans should be wary of another and House Republican leadership should remove Nunes from the Intel committe. He is making them look worse than they are doing themselves and I didn’t think that was possible.

  135. 135
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @ewrunning: Good luck.

  136. 136
    Quantumman says:

    Just saw a trailer for #memo2. Here is a portion: Hillary$$$$$$$$has$$$$$$$$$$really$$$$$$$$$$$big$$$$$$$$$$$cooties.

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