Release The Memo: The Memoing!

Because the President actually did issue a declassification order, I can actually talk about the memo. I’ve now given it a thorough read and other than some insinuations, it seems like a lot of sizzle and no steak.

We went through former FBI Special Agent (for counterintelligence) Asha Rangappa’s detailed explanation of how a FISA warrant is obtained earlier in the week. There is nothing in the Nunes memo to indicate that any of these processes weren’t followed. Moreover, other than providing information that either the initial warrant to surveil Carter Page, who has been on the FBI’s radar since actual Russian intelligence officers trying to recruit him determined he was an idiot in 2013, or one of the subsequent renewals was based on some information from the Steele dossier it doesn’t seem to say much else about what the FBI is doing incorrectly in regard to the counterintelligence investigation of the President and his campaign. It also tells the whole world that Steel had long been a source for the FBI and deemed to be of high credibility because of his work for MI6. Finally, it tells us which DOJ and FBI officials signed off on the initial warrant request and renewals.

I’m honestly not sure what of this material needed to be classified in the first place. We know the process and procedure for requesting a FISA warrant. Including who has to sign off. So figuring out which DOJ and FBI officials signed off was limited to a group of 3 potential officials at DOJ and 2 at FBI who could have signed off. Frankly, unless or until we see the actual FISA warrant and FISA extension requests, hopefully with suitable redactions, all we have is a GOP committee chair who was on the President’s transition team making a political argument: that the FBI and DOJ, those hot beds of socialism and the vanguard of the Clinton machine, didn’t treat the President’s campaign fairly.

The real problem here is that we know that the FBI opened its counterintelligence investigation into the President’s campaign in July of 2016 as a result of information provided by Australian intelligence based on a contact report from the Australian High Commissioner regarding his meeting with George Papadapolous. The timelines of the allegations being made by Nunes and his staff in regard the start of the counterintelligence investigation in their memo just don’t line up with reality. They also don’t fit what we know of the processes and procedures required to obtain a FISA warrant. This reads very much like I have concluded X and am now going to argue backwards to demonstrate X.

I have no idea what really happens now. I know that there will be a partisan push to purge the DOJ and FBI leadership of people the President himself appointed, such as Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein. Or of career DOJ and FBI officials who are SESes in either career track supervisory positions or in appointed leadership positions. Because these latter group of officials are career civil servants, removing them will be quite difficult. Honestly, there is very little to the memo other than it will be used to increase the sturm and drang on Fox, Breitbart, by Rush and Hewitt and Dim Jim, etc, and on alt-right and MAGA social media to create pressure to remove DAG Rosenstein in the belief it will allow the President to then get rid of Special Counsel Mueller.

We are truly off the looking glass and through the map.

Stay frosty!

Open thread.

(Paragraph 3 edited/revised for clarity and to correct incorrect timeline information.)

305 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Markets don’t like U.S being a Russian client state!

  2. 2
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    it seems like a lot of sizzle and no steak.

    Needs moar ketchup.

  3. 3

    At this point T supporters are a cult and most if not many elected Rs are enablers if not actual members of this cult. So they will believe whatever their boss tells them to believe.
    What do the Russians have over Kelly? Why did he want the memo to be released? Whose interests does he serve?

  4. 4
    germy says:

    The memo got the date wrong about an article that appeared in Mother Jones.

    Of course, the editors at Mother Jones noticed and had a good laugh.

  5. 5
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: Yep, the DOW is now down over 500.

  6. 6
    rikyrah says:

    But here’s the real problem: the timelines don’t line up. Acting AG Yates is mentioned as one of the DOJ signatories. Acting AG Yates was fired in January 2017. The FISA warrant application to surveil Page, let alone the extension request(s), weren’t put before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) until September 2017. Similarly, FBI Director Comey is identified as one of the signatories, yet he was fired in March 2017. This argument doesn’t hold water: how could Comey and Yates be involved in signing off on a bogus warrant request based on the Steele dossier in September, or extensions 90 days later, if they’d been terminated from Federal service 8 and 5 month previous to the requests being made.

    Uh huh
    Uh huh

  7. 7
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: The Schiff memo probably explains this.

  8. 8
    germy says:

    Any word on the release of the minority report?

  9. 9
    Miss Bianca says:

    The timelines of the allegations being made by Nunes and his staff in the memo just don’t line up with reality.

    *In best Reagan voice* “There you go again, Adam…”

    …trying to argue from a standpoint of logic. And that Reality thing! Logic and Reality have no place here in Trumplandia!

  10. 10

    @Baud: We will see a real movement away from $ as a reserve currency, the longer the current status quo continues. Not everyone wants to go down with the flaming gas bag of orange.

  11. 11
    Anonymous At Work says:

    “Wow, this sounds complicated and it’s partisan and it’s politics. I won’t begin to try to understand it. Let’s watch Monster Truck rallies instead.”
    That’s the probable reaction from people who haven’t made up their minds.

  12. 12
    BlueNC says:

    @rikyrah: No, I think the FISA stuff was September 2016 not 2017.

  13. 13
    Adam L Silverman says:

    I’ve edited/revised paragraph 3 to fix my own error where I confused the timelines. I apologize for any confusion.

  14. 14
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rikyrah: @Miss Bianca: I’ve edited/revised paragraph 3 to fix my own error where I confused the timelines. I apologize for any confusion.

    This is what happens when I rush.

  15. 15
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @BlueNC: Correct. I’ve edited/revised paragraph 3 to fix my own error where I confused the timelines. I apologize for any confusion.

  16. 16
    Yutsano says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Talked to a friend who works in finance in NYC about it. Looks like noise from Apple taking a big dive. He said don’t panic yet unless the slide continues into next week. Then it’s a bubble popping.

  17. 17
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yutsano: What happened with Apple. I only got in about 1:50 PM and have been trying to do four things at once since.

  18. 18
    germy says:

    Vote them all out. Nunes, Ryan, all of them.

    Federal judge rules that Florida's system of restoring voting rights for former prisoners is unconstitutional and needs to be changed. https://t.co/mKD4dxWVNR— The Associated Press (@AP) February 2, 2018

  19. 19
    TenguPhule says:

    it seems like a lot of sizzle and no steak.

    CMOT Dibbler had a hand in this memo, obviously.

  20. 20
    different-church-lady says:

    Honestly, there is very little to the memo other than it will be used to increase the sturm and drang on Fox, Breitbart, by Rush and Hewitt and Dim Jim, etc, and on alt-right and MAGA social media to create pressure to remove DAG Rosenstein in the belief it will allow the President to then get rid of Special Counsel Mueller.

    You say this as though there were any other reason.

  21. 21
    pat says:

    This is all anyone can talk about for days now. I wonder what has been happening that we were not supposed to notice?

  22. 22
    Corner Stone says:

    @Yutsano: Apple is tipping its hand waaayyy too early. It’s spooking a lot of people about future growth prospects and what their landscape is going to look like.

    ETA, also too, XOM and Chevron both shit the bed with lower profits due to a weakening market and higher costs. So that’s a drag on the larger market as well.
    I also think there is some “selling the news” going on over jobs numbers, etc.

  23. 23
    TenguPhule says:

    @germy:

    Any word on the release of the minority report?

    Tom Cruise is currently trying to sneak into the White House to take out the bastard who molested his son with the help of a precog.

  24. 24
    different-church-lady says:

    This has been driving me nuts for a long time: what film is the title of this post parodying?

  25. 25
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @pat: Not applying sanctions. Bogus list of wealthy Russians borrowed/lifted from Forbes magazine, the meeting of the heads of the SVR, FSB, and GRU with the DNI and DCI.

  26. 26
    different-church-lady says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Other than their doing everything they can to screw up their good thing lately?

  27. 27
    Mary G says:

    And while everyone is running around with their hair on fire over this weak shit, the administration can deport people who served two tours in Afghanistan, sell off formerly public wilderness to the highest bidder, install unqualified judges, gut consumer protection from financial shenanigans, and etc., etc., rinse and repeat.

    I fear for our country.

  28. 28
    TenguPhule says:

    @different-church-lady:

    This has been driving me nuts for a long time: what film is the title of this post parodying?

    Several.

    X the Xing was a favorite titling for straight to videotape/DVD sequels.

  29. 29
    James E. Powell says:

    Honestly, there is very little to the memo other than it will be used to increase the sturm and drang on Fox, Breitbart, by Rush and Hewitt and Dim Jim, etc

    That’s enough for Republicans. In fact, it’s all they ever need. The last 20 years has shown that if FOX, etc., go DefCon 1 on anything, the other cables give at least half their airtime to the FOX version of the story. And with the standard “both sides” and “some say” coverage, the low information voters who decide elections will come away with the belief that there is some merit to the Republicans’ version of events. It will be enough that they will accept it as “just politics” when Trump fires Mueller.

    We have to face the fact that Republicans are good at this and that Democrats are not. And Democrats have never been good at defense.

    This latest bullshit thing may flat or, as some say, blow up in their faces, but it will not cost them a single vote. The cable shows, the NYT & WaPo, will still promote the next Republican made up bullshit as if it was all brand new.

  30. 30
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @different-church-lady: Sure, sure.

  31. 31
    randy khan says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I have to say the reaction to the Apple earnings has been bewildering. Last night, Apple actually was up about $5 in after-hours trading, now today it’s down $6 or so from yesterday’s close (as of right now). But what Apple said during its earnings call yesterday essentially contradicted the narrative that people aren’t buying the iPhone X, Apple beat not only its guidance for the quarter but the analyst consensus, and its guidance for Q2 is way above what it made last year. So naturally it’s now down 4%. Go figure.

  32. 32
    germy says:

    associated press:

    Former FBI Director James Comey says a newly released Republican-written memo doesn’t add up to much.

    Comey asks on Twitter, “That’s it?”

    He calls the memo “dishonest and misleading” and not worth the damage it’s done to public trust in U.S. intelligence agencies.

  33. 33
    Niles says:

    We finally have a political scandal that is worse than Watergate.

  34. 34
    errg says:

    And not even that much sizzle, really…

  35. 35
    randy khan says:

    it seems like a lot of sizzle and no steak

    Really not much sizzle, either.

    I walked by the FBI headquarters a little while ago to see if there was a “Resist!” banner hanging from it yet, but nothing so far.

  36. 36
    The Ancient Randonneur says:

    This memo appeals to the same crowd that’s still waiting for the infamous “Whitey Tape” to drop.

  37. 37
    Mike in NC says:

    Memo should have been entitled, “Trump Determined To Strike Inside USA”.

  38. 38
    PAM Dirac says:

    @Yutsano:

    Looks like noise from Apple taking a big dive. He said don’t panic yet unless the slide continues into next week. Then it’s a bubble popping.

    I wonder if some of the stable geniuses facing legal pressure are going to start feeling acute financial pressure. I’m sure their financial decisons are very bit as smart as the rest of their decisions.

  39. 39
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @pat: It’s not directed to us – Trump’s base is the target audience for that memo. That’s why it’s so confusing and long winded so the REAL American won’t be bothered to read it and the Conservative media can help them “understand” it it.

  40. 40
    germy says:

    Sean Hannity says the memo is “far worse” than Watergate.

    Gorka says it’s one hundred times worse than what caused the American Revolution.

    This is BIG, people.

  41. 41
    different-church-lady says:

    @Niles: [puts ruble in cup] There’s a good chap.

  42. 42
    The Dangerman says:

    @Anonymous At Work:

    I won’t begin to try to understand it. Let’s watch Monster Truck rallies instead.

    Worse. Friday of Super Bowl weekend. Most of America will be too busy buying beer and looking up guacamole recipes to give a shit.

  43. 43
    Rob in CT says:

    RW media will flog this. Serious centrists will stroke their chins and sadly conclude that both sides do it. The Reality-Based Community knows what’s up. Status quo.

  44. 44
    Mart says:

    I had to google all your initials – the SVR, FSB, and GRU with the DNI and DCI. There evil plan is working, I already forgot about – https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/01/31/582059134/russian-spy-chief-reportedly-met-with-u-s-intelligence-officials-despite-sanctio>

  45. 45
    Ksmiami says:

    Maybe we just need to quarantine the trump supporters and give them rounded objects so they stop damaging the country and themselves

  46. 46
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Wonder how soon before Greenwald extols Nunes’ propaganda memo. No one who doesn’t already believe the Liar-in-Chief will be swayed by this nonsense.

  47. 47
    different-church-lady says:

    @Rob in CT: But we need a majority.

  48. 48
    Boatboy_srq says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Where do you want today’s Interwebz delivered, madame?

  49. 49
    MJS says:

    @Niles: Finally? That’s been the case since 2016. Where ya been?

  50. 50
    different-church-lady says:

    @MJS:

    Where ya been?

    St. Petersburg?

  51. 51
    TenguPhule says:

    @Ksmiami:

    Maybe we just need to quarantine the trump supporters and give them rounded objects so they stop damaging the country and themselves

    That would defeat the purpose of a quarantine.

    Instead, issue lots of knives and swords to them all. And use machine guns to enforce the quarantine.

  52. 52
    Corner Stone says:

    @randy khan: IMO, their commentary actually was much more nuanced than that, and again IMO, they are cutting back production because they are selling high priced models to fewer people.
    They also made some stupid statement about wanting to get to a zero cash basis by a variety of methods – none of them R&D / investment from what I have seen. DIVS and stock buybacks, etc were what I saw. If you have $135B cash on hand that’s a foolish thing to dump on the market all at once. It makes people wonder WTF you see coming at you.

  53. 53
    Yutsano says:

    @Corner Stone: So basically the Apple magic is starting to wear off and otherwise just bad market news for a Friday. Thanks. Might do some TSP tweaking over the weekend just to cover myself here although it’s tempting to just let it ride too.

  54. 54
    Boatboy_srq says:

    @pat: You mean besides Lord Dampnut abrogating Article 2 section 5 by refusing to implement Russia sanctions?

  55. 55
    WhatsMyNym says:

    @randy khan:
    Profit taking on Apple. Those folks probably feel future earnings are already reflected in the price.

  56. 56
    Capri says:

    @PAM Dirac: I’m waiting to see them all say that even though the current economy is all Trump’s doing, when the recession hits in a few months, that will be Obama’s fault.

  57. 57
    germy says:

    As I have said repeatedly, I also remain 100 percent confident in Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The contents of this memo do not – in any way – discredit his investigation.

    — Trey Gowdy (@TGowdySC) February 2, 2018

  58. 58
    Boatboy_srq says:

    All this tells me is that Lord Dampnut thinks Congress is the US’ Board of Directors and the FBI are staff. THIS is the great risk with a “CEO pResidency”: the tendency of a private sector executive to look at the entire Federal sector as at-will employees who can be hired and dismissed onthe whims of the executive. We should all be relieved he doesn’t yet think he is absolute monarch and hasn’t begun ordering beheadings.

  59. 59
    Corner Stone says:

    @Yutsano: As much as it pains me to say it, you may see if you catch Martin around sometime soon. He is obsessively into Apple and their stock price, so may have a more positive take.
    Although, grain of salt, YMMV, FWIW, etc all apply to everybody.

  60. 60
    mai naem mobile says:

    The Dow is down 625 points. Wheeeeeeee…. there’s your Trumpenomics/GOP economy. Everything is awesome!!!

  61. 61
    randy khan says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Your opinion mimics the market, but considering that they sold more phones per week in Q1 than they sold last year (one fewer week this time than last) and the average sale price was way up, I have to say that I don’t really think that’s right.

    They also repeatedly said that they didn’t have specific plans yet on what they were going to do with the cash, and would address it next quarter. (I mean, Apple has a strange problem with the cash – you’re right that it generally is better to put money into R&D than dividends, etc., but there is so much of it and Apple already spends a ton of money on R&D that it also seems there’s going to be a point when more R&D spending would be wasted. After all, you want that stuff to be focused and targeted, not just money thrown at things because you have money.)

  62. 62
    JMG says:

    @The Dangerman: I dunno, The Lewinsky thing broke on Super Bowl week. It got a fair amount of public attention. BTW, I was in San Diego covering that game (Broncos first win). On Sunday morning in the press hotel, the staff was busy taking down all the “Welcome Super Bowl” stuff and putting up fake bookshelves to serve as backdrops for all the pols who wanted to get on the Sunday shows but didn’t want their constituents to know they were at the Super Bowl. Quite hilarious.

  63. 63
    TenguPhule says:

    JFC, the new nuclear posture is a fucking slouch.

    WASF if it actually goes through.

    More “low yield nuclear weapons for use”.

  64. 64
    mai naem mobile says:

    @germy: I wonder if Gowdy had a wire when he was communicating with Nunes and his staff.

  65. 65
    Baud says:

    @randy khan:

    considering that they sold more phones per week in Q1 than they sold last year (one fewer week this time than last) 

    But they gave three models this year.

  66. 66
    pat says:

    @Boatboy_srq:

    In other words, lots of stuff. They really know how to play the media, don’t they.

  67. 67
    TenguPhule says:

    @Boatboy_srq:

    We should all be relieved he doesn’t yet think he is absolute monarch and hasn’t begun ordering beheadings.

    What do you mean “yet”?

    We should only be relieved that they aren’t actually being carried out. So far as we know.

  68. 68
    catclub says:

    @rikyrah: As I see it, Comey signed off on three: Sep/Oct 2016, Jan 201, april 2017 and then was fired in May 2017
    Yates signed off on two: sep/oct 2016 and Jan 2017,

    The memo is unclear at first reading: But what they describe is that they got the initial FISA warrant in Oct 2016, then renewed it every 90 days from there.

    The timeline works with this clarification.

  69. 69
    PAM Dirac says:

    @Capri:

    I’m waiting to see them all say that even though the current economy is all Trump’s doing, when the recession hits in a few months, that will be Obama’s fault.

    This is probably the surest bet of all time.

  70. 70
    Miss Bianca says:

    @germy: Wow, that’s more Reality-Based Analysis than I would have expected from Trey “Benghaaaazziiiii!!11!!” Gowdy. Is he trying to keep the FBI sweet on him for some reason, as he hastily arranges an exit into private life later this year? We wonders, yes, we wonders…

    @mai naem mobile: Im wondering that, as well.

  71. 71
    rikyrah says:

    @Baud:

    @rikyrah: The Schiff memo probably explains this.

    Then they need to phucking release it.

    STOP.PLAYING.BY.RULES.WHEN.THE.OTHER.SIDE.IS.NOT.

    GET SOME DAMN BALLS!

  72. 72
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Memo should have been entitled, “Trump Determined To Strike Inside USA”.

    Nicely done

  73. 73
    MJS says:

    @different-church-lady: I was going to include “Russia”? in that comment, so great minds…

  74. 74
    Gravenstone says:

    @Ksmiami:

    Maybe we just need to quarantine the trump supporters and give them rounded objectssledgehammers so they stop damage the country andonly themselves

    That seems more accurate.

  75. 75
    Anonymous At Work says:

    @The Dangerman: Thank you for the reminder. I cut my cable on TV but lack friends/co-workers who watch “The Sports”.

  76. 76
    catclub says:

    @mai naem mobile: The market was up about 7-8% in January. keep that up for a year and things get really absurd.
    OTOH: If this drop turns out to be 5% the market is still up for the year.

    So far my ruling is : overbought market having a breather. call when it is down 20% from the top.

    a market that drops 20% and then treads water the rest of the year should not cause a recession.

  77. 77
    randy khan says:

    @Baud:

    They did have three models. And the X was the highest seller every week it was available. Probably more to the point, if they sold more phones per week than last year, and sold them at a higher average price, it doesn’t seem to matter whether they had 1, 2, or 3 models.

  78. 78
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: You know if they did that, the media would ignore the content and just talk about how the Dems break the rules and can’t be trusted with national security.

  79. 79

    @Steve in the ATL: He struck in Nov 2016, Putin flew right into our democracy with that flaming missile.

  80. 80
    germy says:

    While this memo raises serious concerns with the FISA process, I have been and remain confident in the overwhelming majority of the men and women serving at the FBI and DOJ.

    — Trey Gowdy (@TGowdySC) February 2, 2018

  81. 81
    Corner Stone says:

    @randy khan: Not to be CW on this, but there is a reason Apple is openly committing to reducing production. They see a smaller pool of buyers for the higher priced model. Their sideline businesses are driving revenue, and essentially punching above their weight re: iPhone X.
    The comments about cash are disturbing, IMO, because that tells me they don’t intend to be aggressive about buying smaller, more innovative or patent heavy companies. With the bubble we are in, most smaller companies are going to want cash or some cash heavy mix alongside stock. At least I would, which I guess means little.
    The market wisdom doesn’t need much more than a statement about future flattening sales for the flagship model and a strange philosophy about zero cash to get weak kneed.
    As I said earlier, their commentary was nuanced and the market, like voters, aren’t in to that kind of thing. I expect they will rebound once this blip passes, as they were at about $180 just a few days ago. Although, maybe that was the euphoria and this is the reality?

  82. 82
    Baud says:

    @randy khan: It matters what the expectation was with three models.

  83. 83
    TenguPhule says:

    @Baud:

    and just talk about how the Dems break the rules and can’t be trusted with national security.

    Meanwhile we watch in real time as Republicans actually break the rules and the only media concern is that the FBI must be afraid of transparency.

  84. 84
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Oopsie!

    Rep. Devin Nunes’ just-released surveillance memo claims that one of its central points about surveillance abuse at the FBI was affirmed by a senior FBI official. But two knowledgeable sources say the memo fundamentally mischaracterizes the official’s still-secret testimony.

    “Deputy Director McCabe testified before the Committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information,” the memo claims, referring to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

    Asked if that was a true representation, a source familiar with McCabe’s testimony responded: “100% not.”

    A senior Democratic House intelligence committee official agreed.

    “The Majority purposefully mischaracterizes both what is actually contained in the FISA applications and the testimony of former FBI Deputy McCabe before our committee in December 2017 – the Minority’s memo lays out the full facts,” the official said.

  85. 85
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Lies, damn lies and Devin Nunes.

  86. 86
    Baud says:

    @TenguPhule: Obviously. We wouldn’t be in this situation if our side were treated fairly.

  87. 87
    catclub says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Is is still a mistake when you do it on purpose?

  88. 88
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @different-church-lady:

    Highlander: The Quickening

  89. 89
    The Dangerman says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Lies, damn lies and Devin Nunes.

    Tulare County. Cows fucking everywhere. The stench of cow shit (it’s bad at times, like all year) clearly rots brains.

  90. 90
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @catclub: No. It is an on purpose.

  91. 91
    different-church-lady says:

    @Baud: Hell, we wouldn’t be in this situation if we treated our own side fairly.

  92. 92
  93. 93
    Immanentize says:

    @Baud: our side is being treated fairly — under Trump rules where
    “Fairly = Trump wins”

  94. 94
    PST says:

    I’m starting to fear that Trump and his minions played us for chumps by getting us all worked up about the memo, thus giving it publicity and, in the eyes of true believers, credibility. Maybe the right reaction should have been, “Whatever, bro.”

  95. 95
    MJS says:

    @germy: Dear Trey, please give the names of the men & women serving at the FBI and DOJ that you DON’T have confidence in and explain exactly what evidence you have that leads to your lack of confidence. Then they can defend themselves, and your little attempt at playing both sides can pass like a fart in the wind. Until you do that, STFU.

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

    @PST:
    The true believers are a shrinking minority.

  97. 97
    Mike in DC says:

    The only thing that matters is whether the pushback is strong enough to deter Trump from firing Rosenstein. If it is, then they took their shot and failed, and things move forward. If it isn’t, then we’re in Plan B territory.

  98. 98
    Barbara says:

    @TenguPhule: I am sure Comrade Nunes was just following orders.

  99. 99
    AnderJ says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Moreover, other than providing information that either the initial warrant to surveil Carter Page, who has been on the FBI’s radar since actual Russian intelligence officers trying to recruit him determined he was an idiot in 2013, or one of the subsequent renewals was based on some information from the Steele dossier.

    Either I am missing something (not a native speaker, or this sentence could also use some editing.

  100. 100
    Betty Cracker says:

    Maddow asked a good question: Has the Trump campaign ever explained why it named Carter Page as an adviser in the first place? I’ve seen him on numerous TV interviews. I wouldn’t hire him to water my houseplants.

  101. 101
  102. 102
    Rob in CT says:

    @Betty Cracker: I thought their line quickly became that he was a nobody, a hanger-on (the moment he became a potential liability).

  103. 103
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mike in DC:

    The only thing that matters is whether the pushback is strong enough to deter Trump from firing Rosenstein. If it is, then they took their shot and failed, and things move forward. If it isn’t, then we’re in Plan B territory.

    Rod hasn’t exactly showered himself in glory lo these many months. I’m not sure it really matters if he is fired or forced out. Who’s to say Trump isn’t already pressuring Rod successfully in such a way that leads to Rosenstein limiting the Mueller investigation track. We have no window into that, so we’re supposed to now think Rosenstein is a straight shooter?

  104. 104
    Mary G says:

    The Nunes memo to Watergate as Ishtar is to Lawrence of Arabia.— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) February 2, 2018

  105. 105
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Capri

    : I’m waiting to see them all say that even though the current economy is all Trump’s doing, when the recession hits in a few months, that will be Obama’s fault.

    Not stupid enough for the Dotard in Chief, it will be Shadow President Hillary Clinton’s fault (after all, as Trump will explain, she won the election).

  106. 106
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Because it is an open thread:

    Don’t think I’ve ever tried to copy or embed a tweet before, so not sure this will work, but this column written by Art Buchwald at the height of the Watergate scandal is worth reading. H/T Digby, who highlighted it.

    https://twitter.com/shirley_naught/status/958959271735066624?s=17

    (In case the Twitter linkage fails, you can just click through from Digby her own self.)

  107. 107
    germy says:

    Rosenstein okay’d an application for either the 3rd or 4th FISA warrant on Carter Page, who’d already spent years under investigation for being a potential knowing agent of a foreign power. A judge then approved it. They want you to be upset about this.

    — shauna (@goldengateblond) February 2, 2018

  108. 108
    PJ says:

    @Betty Cracker: You know that Trump only hires the best and most serious people. Just look at any interview with Page, he automatically inspires confidence.

    Page, Manafort, Papadopolous – these people had been working with, or for, the Russians for a long time, and, in Manafort’s case, were willing to work for Trump for free. No red flags there.

  109. 109
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @The Dangerman:

    If you need to look up a guacamole recipe, you’ve been doing life wrong.

  110. 110
    germy says:

    I’m just here for the pee tape.

    — Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) November 26, 2017

  111. 111
    different-church-lady says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: It’s just squished up peas, right?

  112. 112
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @AnderJ: Thanks. I just added this to it:

    it doesn’t seem to say much else about what the FBI is doing incorrectly in regard to the counterintelligence investigation of the President and his campaign

    .

    Let me know if that helps.

  113. 113
    PST says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: I agree that true believers are a minority, but I don’t see much evidence of shrinkage. He’s got his 38 percent.

  114. 114
    TenguPhule says:

    @Barbara:

    I am sure Comrade Nunes was just following orders.

    The only way to determine the good Germans among them is to vivisect them and see which parts were good.

  115. 115
    p.a. says:

    @germy:

    not worth the damage it’s done to public trust in U.S. intelligence agencies.

    Well, after his October surprise, Comey would know about this.

  116. 116
    TenguPhule says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    : Has the Trump campaign ever explained why it named Carter Page as an adviser in the first place?

    He agreed to work for free.

    They couldn’t get a better offer then that.

  117. 117
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    Why would you want to risk them coming back to life by leaving a body behind?

  118. 118
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mike in DC:

    If it isn’t, then we’re in Plan B territory.

    We’ve been in Plan B territory since they took over the SC with Gorsch.

    Plans C through X should be under review by now.

  119. 119
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: I said vivisect, not dissect. Disposal by great white shark afterwards.

  120. 120
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @PST:
    Yeah, I saw the polls. It’s very bizarre. Well, 62% still trumps 38%. If Trump tries to brazen this out and assume supreme control come this November, expect this country to be plunged into chaos. That 38% will shrink then.

  121. 121
    Brachiator says:

    I have no idea what really happens now. I know that there will be a partisan push to purge the DOJ and FBI leadership of people the President himself appointed, such as Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein. Or of career DOJ and FBI officials who are SESes in either career track supervisory positions or in appointed leadership positions. Because these latter group of officials are career civil servants, removing them will be quite difficult. Honestly, there is very little to the memo other than it will be used to increase the sturm and drang on Fox, Breitbart, by Rush and Hewitt and Dim Jim, etc, and on alt-right and MAGA social media to create pressure to remove DAG Rosenstein in the belief it will allow the President to then get rid of Special Counsel Mueller.

    So, the memo has no real substance and the only questions are the following:

    Will Trump and the GOP continue to sell the idea that the FBI is filled with traitors and must be purged?

    Will Trump and the GOP be able to successfully sell the idea that FBI and CIA personal loyalty to Trump is the same thing as loyalty to America?

    Will Trump be able to fill the ranks of the FBI and CIA with incompetent, but loyal, toadies?

    Will a weakened FBI and CIA be able to do their jobs effectively, or will they be unable to counter an actual threat to the United States?

    What date should be marked down as the date democracy died in the US?

  122. 122
    Humdog says:

    Adam said “This reads very much like I have concluded X and am now going to argue backwards to demonstrate X.” This is exactly what I found think tanks wanted when I was a grad student in polisci at UCLA. It was not a situation where I would look to be hired by a think tank to think. No, you would be hired to find “proofs” for the results the so called think tanks had already determined they wanted. It is why I gave up on grad study all those years ago.

  123. 123
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Corner Stone: You’re right to point out that there’s no reason to assume Rosenstein is a straight shooter. But that Trump and his henchmen seem to want him gone is sort of a mark in his favor. Regardless of Rosenstein’s merit, it’s disturbing as hell that Trump thinks he can stock federal law enforcement agencies with his own personal stooges. Even his abuse of Sessions is autocratic, notwithstanding the fact that Sessions is a total racist scumbag.

  124. 124
    TenguPhule says:

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

    Well, 62% still trumps 38%.

    Unless firearms are involved.

    These assholes have no morals and no qualms about breaking any laws.

    Remember, they can only be sentenced to death once. They have no incentive to back down and every reason to blow it all up if they can’t win.

  125. 125
    TenguPhule says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    it’s disturbing as hell that Trump thinks he can stock federal law enforcement agencies with his own personal stooges.

    When the fascist dictator tells you who he is, believe him the first time.

    Everyone kept asking me last year how he was going to get his armed supporters into position.

    Well, looks like he’s finally stumbled onto that acorn.

  126. 126
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Brachiator:
    1. Probably. They are stupid and desperate. It’s likely they want to have permanent one-party rule.

    2. Hopefully not.

    3. Don’t know. Probably.

    4. Depends on what you define their job as. If it’s to act as a secret police force, persecuting opponents, then yes, they’ll be effective at that.

    5. Never. There will be riots in the streets before any of the above happens.

  127. 127
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brachiator: The only good news so far is, apparently, Sessions went out of his way to publicly praise Rosenstein this AM. My guess is someone explained to him that his department would be in open revolt if he didn’t show some spine on behalf of his people.

  128. 128
    WaterGirl says:

    @germy: Wow, how far out on a limb do you have to be to lose Trey Gowdy? Something definitely has him spooked. Looks like he is running for his life.

  129. 129
    Jeffro says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Lies, damn lies and Devin Nunes.

    That’d look good on a t-shirt.

  130. 130
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    RWNJs aren’t the only ones who can get a hold of guns, y’know. This country is awash with firearms.

  131. 131
    TenguPhule says:

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

    Never. There will be riots in the streets before any of the above happens.

    ‘Never say never. Wherever you are.’

    Yeah, we kinda suck on the rioting part. It is Germany all over again.

  132. 132
    JPL says:

    @Mike in DC: Trump likes to play the bully, but is a coward at heart. He won’t fire Rosenstein. He might make life uncomfortable for him, and he might force someone else to do his dirty work. He just won’t do it himself.

  133. 133
    Jeffro says:

    @Betty Cracker: Carter who?

    /Trumpista

  134. 134
    Brachiator says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Don’t think I’ve ever tried to copy or embed a tweet before, so not sure this will work, but this column written by Art Buchwald at the height of the Watergate scandal is worth reading. H/T Digby, who highlighted it.

    Can’t do Twitter at work, but is this the column that lists all the excuses that could be offered about Nixon’s activities? If so, it also fits the Trump Affair like a comfortable glove.

    We have all been here before…

  135. 135
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule:

    They have no incentive to back down and every reason to blow it all up if they can’t win.

    Except they don’t know who else has firearms, proficiency with them, and a willingness to use them if they have no choice to defend themselves and/or others. The 2nd Amendment absolutists are very, very loud and vocal about their firearms ownership. Most everyone else, however, not so much. Eventually they will try to intimidate or attack the wrong person and find out that the old saw: G-d made man, Samuel Colt made all men equal” doesn’t only apply to white Christians/white Christian men.

  136. 136
    Jeffro says:

    @Brachiator:

    What date should be marked down as the date democracy died in the US?

    I was tempted to say “whatever date it was when Bush v Gore came out”, but then I rethought it and decided that it’s probably best to just go back to the day Ford pardoned Nixon.

  137. 137
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @WaterGirl: Someone got him a gift certificate for a legitimate gentleman’s barber.

  138. 138
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: Nothing like a freshly cleaned and folded firearm. All ready to wear.

  139. 139
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Exactly. And anybody can just go down to the local death shop and buy some boomsticks. There’s a gun shop in my area that has billboards up all over the place. The most revolting one is a Valentine’s themed one that has gun with the words next to it: I have you in my sights. Ick.

    This isn’t exactly like Germany where most people didn’t have access to firearms or a universal right to them either.

  140. 140
    TenguPhule says:

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

    RWNJs aren’t the only ones who can get a hold of guns, y’know. This country is awash with firearms.

    Whoever is the most organized, ruthless and controls the spies in the sky is the odds on favorite to win when it comes down to that.

    The bad thing about all the right wing hate groups and “patriot pledgers” is that it gives them a head start on organized violence and a core of ex-military/ex-law enforcement who are experienced in doing the worst that humanity can do to their fellows.

    No telling which way the current law enforcement agencies will fall down on. Be good or be lawful?

  141. 141
    Sab says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: My mother got a cookbook as a wedding present in 1950 published in Connecticut. It had a recipe for “Waca mola” that involved squished up avocadoes, tomatoes, onions etc.

  142. 142
  143. 143
    Aleta says:

    @Baud:

    Markets don’t like U.S being a Russian client state!

    “Rely on the working class wholeheartedly!”

  144. 144
    Jacel says:

    @The Dangerman: I don’t think the bulls’s manure production in Tulare Counting is keeping pace with Nunes’s burn rate.

  145. 145
    MCA1 says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: To some degree, 38% is plenty low. Based on the state-by-state breakouts, that is. 41% or lower approval in WI, MI, FL, NC, GA, AZ, TX, VA and a number of other places shows that his polling drop over Year 1 was concentrated in states where he barely won and/or couldn’t afford to lose in 2020. CA and IL and NY already hated him so there’s not as many people to lose there. And he’s lost no one in OK, ID and places like that. So the cratering’s happening in the swing states.

  146. 146
    WaterGirl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I should probably know what that means, but sadly I don’t.

  147. 147
    Jeffro says:

    Update your tumbrels priority list: we have a winner! House Republican Claims Nunes Memo Shows ‘Evidence of Treason’

    Say what now?

    As some Republican leaders offered tempered statements on the newly released House Intelligence Committee memo on Friday, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) took the document and ran straight to the absolute extreme.

    Gosar wrote in a statement that the memo “is not just evidence of incompetence but clear and convincing evidence of treason.”

    “The FBI knowingly took false information from the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign and then used it to smear Donald Trump in order to hurt his campaign,” he wrote.

    The memo did not accuse government officials of using “false information,” but alleged that officials used a dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele as one of its sources to apply for a warrant to surveil Trump campaign aide Carter Page. The dossier has not been fully verified, but it’s not clear from the memo how much of the dossier’s claims the FBI independently verified and how many other sources the FBI used. Steele’s work was funded by Democrats, via the firm Fusion GPS, but the dossier did not come directly from Democrats.

    Gosar went on in his statement to specifically accuse former FBI Director James Comey, former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein of “treason.” He called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to “seek criminal prosecution” against those four individuals

    Whoa nellie! Who could have seen THAT coming?

  148. 148
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    I’m necessarily talking about huge citizen armies. I’m talking about guerilla tactics where you continually harass the government until it either gives up or collapses.

  149. 149
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I don’t expect the Republican scum to fight that fairly. Sneak attacks, ambushes and ganging up on isolated targets is more their style. They’re murderers, not warriors.

  150. 150
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Rob in CT:

    I thought their line quickly became that he was a nobody, a hanger-on (the moment he became a potential liability).

    It’s hilarious (or would be, if there weren’t such high stakes) to realize that in his March 2016 editorial board meeting with the Washington Post, candidate Trump named Carter Page second on his list of foreign policy advisors.

    Right after him? Coffee boy George Papadopoulos.

    RYAN: Thank you… We’ve heard you’re going to be announcing your foreign policy team shortly… Any you can share with us?
    TRUMP: Well, I hadn’t thought of doing it, but if you want I can give you some of the names… Walid Phares, who you probably know, PhD, adviser to the House of Representatives caucus, and counter-terrorism expert; Carter Page, PhD; George Papadopoulos, he’s an energy and oil consultant, excellent guy; the Honorable Joe Schmitz, [former] inspector general at the Department of Defense; [retired] Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg; and I have quite a few more. But that’s a group of some of the people that we are dealing with. We have many other people in different aspects of what we do, but that’s a representative group.

  151. 151
    JPL says:

    @WaterGirl: He along with Adam Schiff read the entire warrant.

  152. 152
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @PST: Consider the sense of panic there is around things like this memo something must be up with the 38% .Maybe Trump is worried the Base is about to dump him for a younger, sexier mouth breathing fool.

  153. 153
    catclub says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Has the Trump campaign ever explained why it named Carter Page as an adviser in the first place?

    Somebody else pointed out that as of Oct 2016 Page was no longer even a volunteer member of Trump’s team. So this is more like the irrational support for Flynn after Flynn was booted. Just strange.

  154. 154
    patrick II says:

    I am not sure I understand the thinking. Them memo asserts that some FISA warrants are in part suspect because the known Hillary cabal member Comey signed off on them. And they fired Comey for not following FBI procedures for publicizing an ongoing investigation thus harming Hillary’s campaign.

    Do I have that right?

  155. 155
    Aleta says:

    McFarland’s chances of being confirmed by the Senate virtually collapsed due to the FBI’s Russia investigation.

    The former deputy national security adviser was accused of deceiving the Senate about her knowledge of former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s talks with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S..

    McFarland testified she “was not aware” of those conversations, but court documents later revealed Flynn had emailed with her about his contacts with the Russian envoy during the 2016 presidential transition.

    —The Hill

    She was up for ambassador to Singapore and withdrew.

  156. 156
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    There really weren’t that many Jewish people in Germany as compared to the rest of the population to begin with.

  157. 157
    TenguPhule says:

    @Jeffro:

    Whoa nellie! Who could have seen THAT coming?

    /Raises hand

  158. 158
    Ryan says:

    They forgot the first rule of peddling dope. Don’t get high on your own supply.

  159. 159
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @WaterGirl: He has had a succession of very bad haircuts.
    http://www.esquire.com/news-po.....dy-photos/

    And some dubious attempts at facial hair too!

  160. 160
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: They’re largely blowhards that wilt when looked at in a harsh manner.

  161. 161
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @TenguPhule:

    :

    Has the Trump campaign ever explained why it named Carter Page as an adviser in the first place?

    He agreed to work for free.

    They couldn’t get a better offer then that.

    According to that long profile in The Atlantic the other day, that was Paul Manaf……

    Wait, did they ALL work for free? Well, ya gets what ya pays for, I guess.

  162. 162
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: Correct, which is in my post. Additionally, Germany’s fire arms laws weren’t exactly what they’ve been misrepresented to be. Finally, given that actual armies, properly provisioned and equipped couldn’t stop the NAZIs, expecting a bunch of either ultra-orthodox or emancipated and assimilated Jews without any societal history of firearms ownership and usage, outside of the Jewish German WW I veterans, to stop the NAZIs is kind of silly.

  163. 163

    Trump releases the memo and the Dow closes down 666 points.

    Coincidence? I think not.

  164. 164
    Gravenstone says:

    @Jeffro: This is the same wonderful specimen that asked ICE to arrest any Dreamers who sought entry into the SotU speech. All around wonderful human being, that fellow.

  165. 165
    The Moar You Know says:

    anybody can just go down to the local death shop and buy some boomsticks.

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: You buy yours yet? Do you even know which end the bullet comes out of? Had any training?

    If the shit hits the fan and you’re not sitting on a few guns and a ton of ammo, I have some bad news: they aren’t going to sell you one. It will be too late.

    I’m having some fun at your expense but want to make a point: we’re not going to outshoot these people. They’re better at it and there’s a lot more of them. I know. I shoot with them. The token liberal. It’s not even a joke, it’s just true.

  166. 166
    Yutsano says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: It’s Dolt45. If you decide to work for free you won’t get stiffed on the bill later.

  167. 167
    Betty Cracker says:

    And the Dow closes down 666 points — the devil’s number! Weird day, man!

    ETA: @Major Major Major Major beat me to it!

  168. 168
    Aleta says:

    @Humdog: True for the research and reports of many military contractors too, sometimes unconsciously or just assuming that is how reports are to be done. I believe some of it is also conditioned in by the PhD thesis process at some grad schools.

  169. 169

    Adam, what do you think of Malcolm Nance’ read that Page might actually be a double/triple agent who’s been working on behalf of U.S. intelligence this whole time? There are some really stupid people with PhDs out there, but Page still kind of defies belief. His behaviour is so odd – particularly the way he continually contradicts himself while smiling the whole time – that it’s almost impossible to believe the superficial explanations can possibly explain everything he’s been doing.

    Page is just… one of the oddest people in national politics. Manafort is clearly just a hilariously inept liar, but at least he looks guilty about it. Page is a hilariously inept liar who has the enthusiasm of a golden retriever the whole time. He looks just as obviously guilty, but he doesn’t appear to have the self-awareness to understand it. It’s difficult to understand how he even ties his shoes if he’s really as oblivious as he looks on TV.

    But I’m just speculating based on what I see in the news. You have inside sources. What’s your read on him?

  170. 170
    Adam L Silverman says:

    And we have leaks!

  171. 171
    efgoldman says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I wouldn’t hire him to water my houseplants.

    How about to be one?

  172. 172
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    They’re largely blowhards that wilt when looked at in a harsh manner.

    Trump is well on his way to committing them to a full on death cult. They’re egging each other on, nobody wants to be the first one to start it….but I suspect they’ll all gleefully jump onto that bandwagon even if it is being set on fire.

    They’re burning each bridge behind them with every new delusion of “Clinton Crimez!” and “Deepstate Coup!”.

    The kids weren’t killers at the start of Lord of the Flies either.

  173. 173
    TenguPhule says:

    @efgoldman:

    How about to be one?

    Only if his stamen is clipped off.

  174. 174
    GregB says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    On top of Kremlin stooges Page and Papadopolous, there is Waiid Phares who has shady ties to Lebanese militias accused of war crimes. Nice crew.

  175. 175
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    They’re better at it and there’s a lot more of them. I know. I shoot with them.

    It may be true that there are more of them, I don’t have a way to quantify. I will say that anecdotally, they are waaayyy more into tacticool than they are tactical. I’ve seen them fail to know how to clear a jam, hit anything past 10 yards, and miss every clay pigeon running laterally away from them. IOW, on the whole, IMO, they like the look of the thing more than the functionality of the thing.

  176. 176
    randy khan says:

    @Corner Stone:

    As I said earlier, their commentary was nuanced and the market, like voters, aren’t in to that kind of thing. I expect they will rebound once this blip passes, as they were at about $180 just a few days ago. Although, maybe that was the euphoria and this is the reality?

    And Apple has a history of dropping after earnings reports, even great ones, which always has baffled me.

    Someone pointed out that, even ignoring the iPhone, Apple has several businesses that by themselves would be Fortune 500 companies. (Mac, iPad, even the “services” segment.) I think that creates an expectation that everything always will dominate the world in every respect, which of course no company can do.

  177. 177
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Brachiator: What date should be marked down as the date democracy started in the US?

  178. 178

    @Adam L Silverman: I am shocked, shocked that lying Russian assets in government would lie in an attempt to cover up their Russian connections.

  179. 179
    Step2 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I’m confused by the timeline, the warrant was obtained after Page officially left the campaign, and the campaign had described him as only an unpaid volunteer before that. So what is Page up to with the Russians that is yielding results from the FISA warrant for such a long period of time afterward? The memo’s emphasis on attacking the Steele dossier makes me think it has to do with the Rosneft accusations in the dossier.

  180. 180
    TenguPhule says:

    @Corner Stone: Oathkeepers.

    Among others.

    Ex-cops, Ex-military. Many of them seeing no fucking problems with Trump.

    Do not underestimate these fuckers.

  181. 181
    debbie says:

    The real problem here is that we know that the FBI opened its counterintelligence investigation into the President’s campaign in July of 2016 as a result of information provided by Australian intelligence based on a contact report from the Australian High Commissioner regarding his meeting with George Papadapolous.

    So does this mean that the surveillance in fact did not begin because of the higher-than-usual contacts with Russian agents by anonymous Americans? And that it was not Susan Rice who authorized the unmasking of Americans?

    Is it no longer true that the Jeb Bush campaign in fact originally hired Steele?

    I can’t keep up.

  182. 182
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Brachiator:

    That’s the one, and that was Digby’s point in linking to it (well, in linking to the tweet that linked to the column). Her thread title was “Plus ça change….”

    And yes, it’s kind of uncanny how well it fits today. Change a few names and topical references to their contemporary equivalents (e.g., “What about Chappaquiddick?” becomes “But her emails!”) and it’s nearly point-for-point a column that could have been written in 2017/2018 instead of 45 years earlier.

  183. 183
    Yutsano says:

    @efgoldman: If we’re talking how like Khosrau Anashirawan supposedly planted the corpses of his enemies upside down so their legs resembled unusual trees, then I’m in.

    Filing season has me oddly nihilistic these days.

  184. 184
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))): I’ve seen him make that speculative argument before. I’ve made it before. He is certainly one very, very odd duck. Whether that means he’s actually a deep, not for cover US counterintel asset, I have no idea. And I don’t have any inside sources on this stuff.

  185. 185
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: As far as I can tell, Trump’s job approval has been modestly rising since about mid-December. It’s up to 42% now in the Huffington Post aggregator. Basically all the conservatives are coming home and taking sides, deciding they’re all in with all of this.

    It spooks me because I think 40-odd percent of the country is basically slowly convincing themselves that absolutely nothing takes precedence over fealty to Leader, who is the most manifestly absurd figure they could get behind. And they may also be slowly convincing themselves that if they have to murder the rest of us 50-odd percent, that’s OK too.

    That said, I figure at least part of this is just that the economy hasn’t cracked yet, and it may not be possible for Trump to do all that badly absent that. Obama’s popularity was rising at end of term too.

    And there’s also a low ceiling. There is no way that anyone who self-identifies as a liberal or a Democrat will be down with this. I suspect even a 9/11 type event won’t do it this time, though it might for some of the vapid centrists on the op-ed pages.

  186. 186
    Baud says:

    @TenguPhule: Chill out. We have dragons.

  187. 187
    Aleta says:

    Meanwhile, when does the next federal judge appointee come before the Senate?
    On Jan 31st:

    President Donald Trump’s federal judge appointee David Stras was confirmed by the Senate Tuesday without approval of a home state senator, a move that bucks decades of tradition.

    Newsweek

  188. 188
    The Moar You Know says:

    Page is a hilariously inept liar who has the enthusiasm of a golden retriever the whole time.

    @(((CassandraLeo))): My golden retriever is a horrendously inept thief who is never happier than at the moment he is stealing something and gets caught. So, I can see it.

  189. 189
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule:

    The kids weren’t killers at the start of Lord of the Flies either.

    Yes they were. Children are natural fascists. Just observe a school yard during recess or a school cafeteria during lunch time.

  190. 190
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))): I’m not Adam, but Malcolm Nance knows a whole lot less about Russia and the former Soviet Union than he pretends to on TV. That, said, I’d never use the word “inept” about Manafort. He is a blood-soaked mercenary who has the ethics of a scorpion, and has worked for some of the world’s most odious people for decades while managing to stay on this side of the ground all that time, so he’s anything but inept.

    Page is simply bat-shit crazy.

  191. 191

    @debbie: IIRC the Washington Free Beacon, a right-wing website, originally hired Fusion GPS, which I think in turn hired Steele, to do opposition research on Trump. I’ve probably mixed up some of the chronology too, though. I don’t know if it’s ever been made public knowledge whether the Free Beacon was working on behalf of any specific candidate.

  192. 192
    Baud says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Among other things, what has Trump really done lately? Most normal people aren’t hand-wringing about this memo, which is absolutely meaningless at this point. If Trump uses it as a pretext to fire Rosenstein, however, that’s something people can seek their teeth into.

  193. 193

    @Corner Stone: Haven’t you got the memo, no matter what happens Rs win. Its not pessimism, its strategy to say it again and again. Strategy to do exactly what, I have no idea.

    * In case it was not clear I am paraphrasing some commenters.

  194. 194
    Timurid says:

    @Ryan:

    It’s what I tell all my history students… if you tell a Big Lie long enough you will start believing it yourself.

  195. 195
    terry chay says:

    @PST: Because you aren’t taking into account that people who identify as Republican, Democratic, or independent and/or answer opinion polls are not a static set. To the first, the fact that he has 77% of what used to be 48% of the voting electorate is not really 38%. To the second, look at the reports that people WHO WATCHED THE SOTU approve of the speech and then look at the D to R breakdowns of those same people.

    Right now, opinion polling is based on those who actually care to respond. With the economy doing so well, you are just polling the size of extremely partisan people on either side. It’s actually pretty remarkable that this early, that his supporters are already so outnumbered, because we are looking at his peak support.

    When the economy goes into recession, you’ll see what the country’s actual view of Trump is. Right now the economy is doing so well, nobody cares.

    Same thing happened in the 90’s. Hence all the Clinton and D scandals (e.g. Gary Condit/Chandra Levy).

  196. 196

    @Adam L Silverman: Thanks. Page certainly is really fucking weird.

    @Gin & Tonic: “Inept” in my sentence modified “liar”, so it was just referring to his ability to lie on camera, not his abilities in general. It’s possible he’s what TV Tropes refers to as a “bunny ears lawyer” or a “genius ditz” – i.e., his abilities in one area are enough to overcome his weaknesses in others.

  197. 197
    Aleta says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    My golden retriever is a horrendously inept thief who is never happier than at the moment he is stealing something and gets caught.

    That’s funny. Now that you mention it, my dog is always proud of his achievement, happy to be recognized for it.

  198. 198
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Baud: He hasn’t done much aside from scary railing about prosecuting, smearing or suing anyone he doesn’t like, but there’s been an amazing flood of new Trump scandal stories, including the kind of sex scandal that would have instantly killed any Democrat’s political career. It hasn’t made a dent; it just hardens the opinions of people who already hate him.

  199. 199
    Trollhattan says:

    @Jeffro:
    They should all sue him for libel.

  200. 200
    Timurid says:

    @Yutsano:

    Filthy Mazdakites had it coming…

  201. 201
    Baud says:

    @Matt McIrvin: The problem with the sex scandals is it’s not really new news, even if we find out about new women. So they won’t move the needle much.

  202. 202
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @The Moar You Know: My experience is the 2nd Amendment fetishists don’t ever show up a t a gun range.

  203. 203
    cain says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    This is what happens when I rush.

    Praise Geddy!

  204. 204

    @Matt McIrvin: I need to find it again, but DJW over at LGM had a study in comments that indicates that the incumbent party in the WH usually sees modest increases in approval rating during January and February of a midterm year that subsequently vanish. There is no widely accepted explanation for this, but the pattern looked pretty strong. If it’s still like this in March, it’ll be time to freak out more.

  205. 205
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Baud: Which, admittedly, is probably why Bill Clinton had such teflon against sex scandals too.

  206. 206
    danielx says:

    @rikyrah:

    Pretty much. If Schiff releases the minority report, what exactly is Nunes, or Ryan for that matter, going to do about it?

    ETA: somehow I don’t think a vote of censure is going to keep Schiff up at night.

  207. 207
    Trollhattan says:

    @Aleta:
    Mine specifically steals for the chase. Socks a specialty. Knows which spots we can’t trap him.

    His rules.

  208. 208
    cain says:

    @Mary G:

    And while everyone is running around with their hair on fire over this weak shit, the administration can deport people who served two tours in Afghanistan, sell off formerly public wilderness to the highest bidder, install unqualified judges, gut consumer protection from financial shenanigans, and etc., etc., rinse and repeat.

    Nobody is going to drill shit. If they do, they are fools They know that all that is going on is temporary.. when a blue wave comes.. it will be a big fucking do-over and we’ll kick those assholes out those lands.

  209. 209
    debbie says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))):

    Washington Free Beacon? Arghh, I totally missed that!

  210. 210
    The Moar You Know says:

    My experience is the 2nd Amendment fetishists don’t ever show up a t a gun range.

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: That’s been my experience too. Shooters do. I know, casually, about 40-50 who come to my range on a regular basis.

    Not a one of them voted for Hillary.

  211. 211
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Step2: You’re correct that the official timeline versus what the memo alleges don’t synch. Nor do they hang together logically. As for the Rosneft stuff, I have no idea. Until/unless they release the underlying FISA warrant and extension requests everything is speculation.

  212. 212
    debbie says:

    @Mary G:

    …this weak shit…

    I have to say, this country’s fallen for plenty of weak shit over the years. It’s not safe to lose sight of all the crises, real or imagined.

    ETA: Remember duct tape and plastic tarps?

  213. 213
    danielx says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Sad but true. A lot of these guys get kind of hinky if their rounds-in-storage count gets below five figures.

  214. 214
    Brachiator says:

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

    RE: What date should be marked down as the date democracy died in the US?

    Never. There will be riots in the streets before any of the above happens.

    Slowly, but surely, “Make America Great Again” is morphing into “White people call the shots, and Trump is the Dear Leader of White People.” His base heartily endorse this, and everyone else is just waiting to see what happens next and hoping that the mid term election changes things.

    We will see how far Trump will continue to push things, and what the push back might be.

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The only good news so far is, apparently, Sessions went out of his way to publicly praise Rosenstein this AM. My guess is someone explained to him that his department would be in open revolt if he didn’t show some spine on behalf of his people.

    That Sessions is willing to actually show some spine is very interesting. And somewhat hopeful.

  215. 215
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I am Adam and I endorse this message!

    More seriously, Manafort is a serious player and seriously into a lot of very dirty deeds with very dirty people over the years. The minute his name popped up in regard to the President’s campaign back in spring 2016 I knew there was going to be problems and that something was very, very wrong.

  216. 216

    @debbie: Understandable. There are so many stories coming out on a daily basis that it’s easy to miss details or, indeed, even whole stories. And for that matter, even if you notice them at the time, it’s easy to forget some. And even easier to mix up the chronology. (I spent most of the latter half of last year dealing with a mental disorder that severely fucked with my short-term memory, among other things, so I suspect I got it even worse than the average person did, despite paying much closer attention to the news than the average person does.)

  217. 217

    @Brachiator: I have to give the devil his due: Sessions has actually been pretty good about protecting the DOJ’s independence when it comes to the Mueller investigation. I suspect there’s more than a bit of self-interest here, though – I imagine someone from the DOJ explained to Sessions how much incriminating evidence they have on him, and if he doesn’t cooperate, they’ll bring down the hammer.

  218. 218
  219. 219
    Lapassionara says:

    @Baud: There are indications that the memo will be used to fire Rosenstein. Sessions went off script to praise Rosenstein this am. This seems like a pattern to me. Somebody in the news gets praise from his superior, then boom, he’s fired. Later, Trump said something like “whaddya think” when asked about the possibility of firing R. He is definitely considering it, which to me means he will do it, because he has no impulse control.

  220. 220
    Yutsano says:

    @Brachiator:

    That Sessions is willing to actually show some spine is very interesting

    Oh my. How will Dear Leader react to such horrid treachery?

    @Timurid: Why do you hate 5th Century proto-Communists?

  221. 221
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    And I don’t have any inside sources on this stuff.

    And if you did, you couldn’t talk about it anyway.

  222. 222
    Baud says:

    @Lapassionara: Possibly. But until that happens, people aren’t going to pay attention to what the talking heads say about the memo.

  223. 223

    @Matt McIrvin: @(((CassandraLeo))): Here’s a relevant Twitter thread: https://twitter.com/gelliottmorris/status/959106935760056320

    The other thread linked in the inset is also worth a read.

  224. 224
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brachiator: It is hard to run the DOJ and have any chance of the career folks doing what you want if none of them believes you’ll look out for them as the boss.

    At this point the entire administration should be understood as a toxic leadership environment.

  225. 225
    The Moar You Know says:

    A lot of these guys get kind of hinky if their rounds-in-storage count gets below five figures.

    @danielx: Can’t decide now if I’m a psychopath or failure, because my comfort range is about 2k rounds. Of course, that’s spread among 3 different calibers, few hundred each. I figure that’s a good number for an extended natural disaster, and wholly insufficient for a war, which I would not be sticking around for (the best weapons are a good pair of running shoes and the knowledge of when to use them).

  226. 226

    I checked the Vichy Times, of course they are soft pedaling this, as the official mouth piece of the T admin. I also found an op-ed by Borjas who has been a long time opponent of immigration. More confirmation of where their loyalties lie, not that it was in question anymore. BTW Borjas calls T’s ransom note, “The Grand Bargain”

  227. 227
    Scotian says:

    *reads GOP memo*

    *pounds head repeatedly against maple desk*

    *looks up to say something, face works between disgusted and sickened expressions*

    *goes back to desk pounding with head as only possible comment to this memo*

  228. 228
    Waratah says:

    @Adam L Silverman: the Democrats are leaking? I love it.

  229. 229
    Yutsano says:

    @Scotian:

    pounds head repeatedly against maple desk

    This is seriously the most Canadian thing ever.

    @schrodingers_cat: They are the official newspaper of this neo-fascist regime. I figured out their game. They want Republican rule because it sells more papers for their more liberal readers.

    Also: the ad blocker in FireFox completely ignores their firewall protocols.

  230. 230
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: If I did, I wouldn’t be talking about any of this. Anywhere. At all.

  231. 231

    @Yutsano: Either that or Putin has kompromat on the Sulzbergers. Some days I honestly lean towards kompromat.

    @Scotian: How about this as a reaction?

    http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/i.....11/515.gif

  232. 232
    cain says:

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

    RWNJs aren’t the only ones who can get a hold of guns, y’know. This country is awash with firearms.

    Not just that.. but we’re smart.. meaning, we’ll start using shit like drones and firearms and whatever else on hand. Don’t fuck with us. If they want to start a war with scientists, technologists, blue collars, white collars, and physicists, then they will be sadly mistaken on who is going to win.

  233. 233
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Waratah: Get the flex seal!

  234. 234

    @cain: Good point. Republicans are almost certainly underrepresented among, for example, creators of drones. There may be a disproportionate number of “Libertarians” among them, but I suspect even more are Democrats.

  235. 235
    Yutsano says:

    @Adam L Silverman: You know, I was trying to avoid that joke. Even if it is a low hanging curveball and all.

  236. 236
    AnderJ says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Why it does! Thanks

  237. 237
    cain says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Maddow asked a good question: Has the Trump campaign ever explained why it named Carter Page as an adviser in the first place? I’ve seen him on numerous TV interviews. I wouldn’t hire him to water my houseplants.

    I wouldn’t trust the guy to fertilize my plants with his dead corpse.

  238. 238
    cain says:

    @randy khan:

    And Apple has a history of dropping after earnings reports, even great ones, which always has baffled me.

    Happens all the time to Intel as well.

  239. 239
    terry chay says:

    @Matt McIrvin: You realize the fluctuation 36-42% is not really an actual change in public opinion of Trump, but rather a change in enthusiasm that is reflected in those who report right?

    Compare Trump’s approval ratings with
    http://elections.huffingtonpos.....b-approval

    Obama’s post election:
    http://www.chrisweigant.com/cw.....onoted.jpg

    In the latter you can see a clear trendline, in the former, the approval numbers stabilized shortly after the honeymoon (sometime in August) and all the rest is fluctuation.

  240. 240
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    “It’s a dud!”

    ~ Lt. Frank Drebin

  241. 241
    Scotian says:

    @Yutsano:

    Why thank you thank you very much. Well, that and the fact my desk really is a nice old maple desk I inherited from my grand aunt, ironically enough the one that worked in the intelligence world back in the day.

    @(((CassandraLeo))):

    If I wasn’t such a masochistic history watcher I could get behind that sentiment wholehearted, but alas, I am what I am, a reality slut who can’t turn away even in this …*fill your own descriptors here, mine fail me* CF par excellance…*very weary and wry chuckle*

    General:

    Gotta run an errand now, kind of glad for the break from this, kind of not because even by Trumpworld standards this is a red letter day.

  242. 242
    germy says:

    AP Headline:

    Big pay gains for US workers contribute to Wall St. sell-off

    So… wages go up (I actually doubt this, but okay) and the stock market is unhappy?

  243. 243
    terry chay says:

    @germy: Yes because higher wages are a leading indicator of inflation. And since Yellen will not be re-nominated by Trump, they know that the incoming Fed will take that as an excuse to raise interest rates to head that off. That means money leaves the market (historically, it would have just meant a move of money between stocks and bonds, but that stopped happening about 40 years ago).

    Weird, I know.

  244. 244
    JPL says:

    @germy: Wage increases are good for the worker, but the greedy jerks on Wall ST are afraid of an interest rate hike.

  245. 245
    MJS says:

    @The Moar You Know: You don’t live in a city, do you?

  246. 246
    catclub says:

    @germy: hint of possible inflation and raising interest rates.
    burnsy had a great response: and RUNAWAY INFLATION OMGSTFU!!!!!

    2.4% inflation, the world will end any day now.

    one does not look for causes, because they are myriad.
    One looks for excuses, because they are simple.
    PLus huge amounts of randomness that is completely unexplainable.

  247. 247
    SgrAstar says:

    @TenguPhule: oh puhleeeeeeze. You think we need to be so frickin scared of those gun-toting pussies…just, NO. I live in a red state, I’m surrounded by the assholes, and I am not scared. Not at all. Know why? Cuz we are much, much smarter than they are.

  248. 248
    Yutsano says:

    @catclub:

    PLus huge amounts of randomness that is completely unexplainable.

    More chaos theory? Dammit…

  249. 249
    Barbara says:

    @terry chay: Regarding a president’s approval ratings, I am convinced that there is a small but significant percentage of people who will ALWAYS approve of the president, any president, because he’s president, whether it’s a kind of institutional patriotism or confusion over the concept of approval with loyalty or support.

  250. 250
    Baud says:

    The labor force participation rate remained at 62.7 percent for the fourth consecutive month, the lowest level since the 1970s.

    Anyone remember this stat meant that Obama’s recovery was meaningless?

  251. 251
  252. 252
    debbie says:

    @Baud:

    I’m surprised Trump hasn’t tweeted about the drop in the markets. You’d think he would take credit for the biggest weekly loss since 2008/2016 (depending on the source).

  253. 253
    Tony Jay says:

    @TenguPhule:

    To sort of quote the late, great mutant leader Scott Summers.

    “I don’t have a Plan B”

    “Why the hell not?”

    “Because that would imply I only have 26 plans.”

    #Cyclopswasright

  254. 254
    TenguPhule says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    He is a blood-soaked mercenary who has the ethics of a scorpion

    Take that back! Not all Scorpions!

  255. 255
    germy says:

    sorry no tweets for a little while i read the memo and it was indeed 100x bigger than what started the American Revolution so I had to rush from Boston on horseback to rouse the people

    — Alexandra Petri (@petridishes) February 2, 2018

  256. 256
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The stupidity of this gang that can’t find the firing chamber to load some ammo is exceeded only by their utter incompetence.

  257. 257
    The Lodger says:

    @germy: Yeah, looks like we’re back to the Ford Administration, when the stock market had a sad whenever the wage or employment picture improved. I was looking for a job just out of college and I hated Wall Street with a passion back then.

  258. 258
    debbie says:

    @debbie:

    Ah, MarketWatch was the source for the year 2008 statement.

  259. 259
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Brachiator:

    Second time is always farce.

  260. 260
    TenguPhule says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Haven’t you got the memo, no matter what happens Rs win. Its not pessimism, its strategy to say it again and again. Strategy to do exactly what, I have no idea.

    For the Nth time, pretending the problem isn’t there isn’t going to make it go away. Its not like the FBI tries keeping track of those folks for fun. They’re not all fat fucks who are all talk and no action. Those bad cops we all get outraged over? They’re not new and the ones before them didn’t just drop dead when they retired.

  261. 261
    different-church-lady says:

    @terry chay:

    You realize the fluctuation 36-42% is not really an actual change in public opinion of Trump, but rather a change in enthusiasm that is reflected in those who report right?

    Could it be just a “MEMO MEMO MEMO!!!” factor?

  262. 262
    sdhays says:

    I just want to throw this out because I sometimes forget:

    In late December 2016, the President*-Elect’s son-in-law and close advisor was trying to convince the Russian Ambassador to allow him to discuss something with the Kremlin without US Intelligence knowing about it by using the embassy’s own secure channels back to Mother Russia. That’s not the behavior of a patriotic American about to assume office.

    I know, I know, there’s so much forked up about all of this, we can’t keep up. But…holy shit, we can’t let this fall down the memory hole, as stupid and distracted as our media tends to be. Maybe that’s why he can’t get a clearance???

  263. 263
    TenguPhule says:

    @SgrAstar:

    You think we need to be so frickin scared of those gun-toting pussies…

    I think they should be considered a viable threat. Fear only kicks in if the military and law enforcement either actively fall in line or go passive in allowing their shit. At that point, it would be perfectly justified.

  264. 264
    Barbara says:

    @The Lodger: It’s also Friday afternoon. Any negative impact a measure has tends to be magnified when it comes out at the end of a trading week. Traders like to start fresh on Monday and not worry about continued downward pressure over the weekend.

  265. 265
    Tim in SF says:

    Or of career DOJ and FBI officials who are SESes in either career track supervisory positions or in appointed leadership positions.

    I don’t know what an SES is, and neither does Google.

  266. 266
    JMG says:

    Trump’s approval rate went up because he was relatively quiet. If he went somewhere and played golf for six months, never tweeting, his rating would be above 50 percent when he got back because except for his own bullshit, the country is in decent shape as far as most people can see when they look around, focusing on their own lives as people do. But of course, Trump would rather stand trial for treason than be out of the public eye for six days, let alone six months.

  267. 267
    Barbara says:

    @sdhays: Even the ambassador was shocked! He probably realized tout de suite that if it ever came out that he, the Russian ambassador, had actually taken Kushner up on that offer, the consequences would be hard to predict — somewhere between outrage and catastrophic. He probably had an operative get a word to Kushner that clandestine meetings had to be with clandestine people, not the ambassador. But yeah, it shows motive and a desire to conceal things from our own intelligence sources and agencies.

  268. 268
    Baud says:

    @Tim in SF: The career managerial class in government.

    @JMG:

     But of course, Trump would rather stand trial for treason than be out of the public eye for six days, let alone six months.

    I think the Dems should work with Trump on that.

  269. 269
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Tim in SF: Senior Executive Service. The highest ranked civil service.

  270. 270
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Baud: U-6!

    The far left flogged that too.

    Speaking of which – it was hilarious, in Wilmer’s SOTU response he actually congratulated Drumpf on the freaking stock market and then bashed Obummer for Dodd-Frank not going far enough.

    On the first matter, he just spent 2 years denouncing Wall Street and now he’s embracing it. On the 2nd matter, it kills me who a guy who spent 30 years in DC and never passed anything thinks he can wag his finger at others.

  271. 271
    Mart says:

    Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum adjusted pay raises for inflation and there is no there there on his pretty graph. Man I have trouble with links… https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2018/02/can-we-please-stop-using-nominal-wage-figures-to-tout-new-records/

  272. 272
    efgoldman says:

    @TenguPhule:

    The bad thing about all the right wing hate groups and “patriot pledgers” is that it gives them a head start on organized violence and a core of ex-military/ex-law enforcement

    Back to your “Reds” alarmism, I see. I don’t think a lot of us missed it.
    There are a lot of brave, loud, kowardly keyboard kommandos with s tars n’bars on their rolling coal pickups. Yes, a few of them will go the Bundy route. While trials ended badly for sensible people, it’s a cautionary tale. We will not see roving mobs laying siege to gummint buildings.

  273. 273
    JoeyJoeJoe Junior Shabadoo says:

    @Tim in SF: senior executive service, I believe- appointed government positions, basically

  274. 274
    Baud says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: I watched Kennedy’s response, but not Wilmer’s. That’s pathetic.

  275. 275
    TenguPhule says:

    @efgoldman: I think you’re seriously underestimating just how much of a threat the GOP death cult is.

  276. 276
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Tim in SF: Senior Executive Service.
    https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/senior-executive-service/

    The Senior Executive Service (SES) lead America’s workforce. As the keystone of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, the SES was established to “…ensure that the executive management of the Government of the United States is responsive to the needs, policies, and goals of the Nation and otherwise is of the highest quality.” These leaders possess well-honed executive skills and share a broad perspective on government and a public service commitment that is grounded in the Constitution.

    Members of the SES serve in the key positions just below the top Presidential appointees. SES members are the major link between these appointees and the rest of the Federal workforce. They operate and oversee nearly every government activity in approximately 75 Federal agencies.

    The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) manages the overall Federal executive personnel program, providing the day-to-day oversight and assistance to agencies as they develop, select, and manage their Federal executives.

  277. 277
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Mart: Thats a great link. Thanks.

  278. 278
    Mnemosyne says:

    @TenguPhule:

    We’re not debating whether or not they’re a threat. We’re debating what type of threat they are.

    I will repeat a question I’ve asked you before: the three most populated counties of Southern California — Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego — cover 10,225 square miles. How do you picture a band of heavily armed Trumptards controlling that territory?

  279. 279
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Tim in SF:

    I don’t know what an SES is, and neither does Google.

    Senior Executive Service.

  280. 280
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mnemosyne: Seize all the food trucks and tacquerios and In and Outs. Once you’ve got that, you’re set.//

  281. 281
    MJS says:

    @Mnemosyne: This. Those Teng is so afraid of wet themselves when they come with a mile of an actual city.

  282. 282
    a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio) says:

    @The Moar You Know: It’s a win/win: If he steals something and gets away with it, then he got whatever it was he was stealing, which is AWESOME. If he gets caught, you are playing a wonderful game with him and he is getting So. Much. Attention! And that is EXTRA AWESOME!!!!!!

  283. 283
    Yutsano says:

    @Adam L Silverman: You forgot the Starbucks.

  284. 284
    Gravenstone says:

    @cain: Chemist, checking in. I work with poisons for a living. Come and play with me, if you dare.

  285. 285
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yutsano: Good catch! Thanks.

  286. 286
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mnemosyne: At this point I don’t know if control is the plan or just a forlorn hope as the GOP ride the tiger. What I do know is that the acceptance of treason on the right is hardening in, the escalation in the rightwing rhetoric has been rather noticeable over the last few months and at some point, something is going to give. Republicans are believing their own lies and doubling down on them.

  287. 287
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Pfft. As MJS pointed out, taking over the taquerias would require them to march into scary places filled with Messicans like Boyle Heights and Echo Park, and that’s just LA county.

    And anyone who thinks Latinos in Los Angeles don’t love their guns just as much as pudgy white dudes from Idaho is deluding themselves.

  288. 288

    @TenguPhule: Republicans have been believing and doubling down on their own lies for decades. Remember “reality-based community”? That whole meme was based on Rove dismissing external reality as irrelevant. The entire GOP has been in a massive filter bubble since at least the Clinton administration. This isn’t to say that they’re not a serious threat to the country, but let’s not lose our historical perspective. The number of GOP politicians who get high on their own supply may be higher than it was twenty years ago, but even that trend has been occurring since Gingrich’s purge of congressional staffers in 1994. It’s not a new development.

  289. 289
    noncarborundum says:

    @Sab: Actually that’s no farther from the original term than “guacamole” is. According to etymonline.com, the origin is Nahuatl “ahuaca-molli”, where “hu” spells the same sound as our “w”.

  290. 290
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mnemosyne: I am rarely deluded.

  291. 291
    TenguPhule says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))): Not like this. I remember the Bush II regime of bobbleheads. The “you’re with us or you’re with the terrorists”. This is worse.

    Its not even like McCarthy, Somehow its morphed into conventional Republican wisdom that unless you personally support Trump, not the office, but Trump himself, you are hopelessly biased against him and anything you do, present or say is tainted and can’t be trusted. Picking fights with the FBI, CIA, NSA and all the other IC branches at the same time isn’t being seen as insanity, but proof of “deepstate conspiracy” against Trump.

    Its madness.

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    a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio) says:

    @TenguPhule: Timothy McVeigh.

    I think that says enough.

  293. 293
    VeniceRiley says:

    If I were going to do a takedown of LA, OC, SD, I’d set fire to it all and instruct the fox news watching fire departments to do nothing. The cops … who know which side they’d be on? I’m guessing it’ll sort out by color, as men are known to do.

  294. 294
    TenguPhule says:

    @VeniceRiley:

    If I were going to do a takedown of LA, OC, SD, I’d set fire to it all and instruct the fox news watching fire departments to do nothing.

    Or simply refuse to provide federal aid after the fires burn out…..

  295. 295

    @TenguPhule: I never said it wasn’t worse, but it’s a matter of degree. And the people in the GOP filter bubble are slowly but surely dying off and being replaced in the electorate by a more ethnically diverse generation that also has more experience with (and thus less prejudice against) queer people, immigrants, Muslims, etc. – all the people the GOP has spent the better part of the last two decades demonising. A large part of their increasing extremism is because the demographics are against them in the long term, and they know this (or at least the more conscious ones among them do). This is what that whole “Flight 92 election” bullshit was about two years ago (I may have gotten the number wrong and don’t really feel like looking it up).

    They’re acting like this because the long-term trends are against them. This doesn’t make them a lesser threat, to be clear. But again, do try to maintain awareness of the broader context.

    … And yeah, McVeigh. This isn’t to say there won’t be another McVeigh at some point in the future, but again, none of this is new.

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    a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio) says:

    @Mnemosyne: How did the Ku Klux Klan & the White Citizens’ Council do it? Co-opting law enforcement and using random violence as a terror tactic. Take a long look at the history of the post-Recomstruction South, please.

    I’m not saying this will happen. I’m saying this is how it can be done.

  297. 297
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Eventually they will try to intimidate or attack the wrong person and find out that the old saw: G-d made man, Samuel Colt made all men equal” doesn’t only apply to white Christians/white Christian men.

    Yeah, but what’s kept them from being murdered in mass quantities by non-whites/non-Christian men is the realization among the latter that Samuel Colt sure as shit ain’t going to make them equal before the law.

  298. 298

    @a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio): From what I know of Los Angeles County, I can’t say terrorism would do much to cow its populace. Several of the most fearless people I know live there. I think they’d react much the same way New Yorkers did to last year’s attack there – shrug and then put on their Halloween costumes.

    @Miss Bianca: Maybe, but there are still plenty of liberal white men with guns, methinks.

  299. 299
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    And anyone who thinks Latinos in Los Angeles don’t love their guns just as much as pudgy white dudes from Idaho is deluding themselves.

    Have you seen the original “assault on precinct 13”? That’s all I know about LA.

  300. 300
    J R in WV says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))):

    There are liberal men with guns. When I applied for my carry permit, part of that process is the Sheriff placing a legal ad in the local weekly paper with all the month’s applicants listed. A friend asked if I was gonna be a gunfighter a week or two later, with a sly grin.

    But that was 12 years ago. The locals know I’m a good shot, one evening I visited some neighbors, elderly farmers, one of which traded guns around the county. He had a new pistol, and asked if I wanted to see it. We were sitting on the shed porch facing across a tiny creek to a hill side.

    I said sure, and he went and got a big old nickel plated revolver that shot .22 rounds, in spite of its size. Then he asked if I wanted to shoot it, and of course I said yes. After he handed it to me, I looked across the tiny creek and saw some flowers growing across the creek, 30 or 40 feet away.

    They were the flower that grows a single stalk with leaves in it, with a big trumpet flower on tip. I said to Woody, I’m gonna shoot at that middle flower across the creek. The stem was maybe a 1/4 inch thick.

    I don’t know what they thought, but I aimed and shot that flower off the stalk, first shot from the pistol. They both looked at me with wide eyes, I was between them, and I said I won’t take another shot after that, I can only get worse from here. They grinned, and I know they passed that story to their old friends. Maybe they’ve all died off, Woody and Earl were old then are passed away years ago.

    But I do target shoot from time to time just to keep the skill there. It was a fine pistol to shoot, heavy so pretty stable (heh, heh) in your hand at first. It would have wobbled after a while, which is why I stopped after hitting the first shot well.

  301. 301

    @J R in WV: If not for my history of psychological disorders, there’s a decent chance I’d have picked up at least one firearm myself. Though I doubt I’d always have time to practise shooting regularly, and as Adam has pointed out in the past, if you don’t do that, it makes having one in the house a potential liability.

    The biggest annoyance to me of the gun debate is that people with mental disorders are usually completely erased from it. By volume, the biggest victims of gun violence are suicide victims. This is pretty much in keeping with how we treat mental health generally in this country: we don’t talk about it.

    In any case, I fully support liberals and leftists who don’t have such disorders gaining more proficiency with firearms. That’s a great story, BTW.

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    Steve in the ATL says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))):

    If not for my history of psychological disorders

    Oh, you’re a labor lawyer too?

  303. 303

    @Steve in the ATL: Heh, no. I considered going into law for awhile (and environmental and labour law were the two specialities I would’ve been likeliest to choose), but ultimately realised that actually practising law would probably cause me even more of them. And for that matter, maybe law school itself would have, too.

  304. 304

    @TenguPhule:I am not pretending that there is no problem, but predicting a negative outcome no matter what the scenario is not threat assessment.

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    Just one more canuck says:

    @Betty Cracker: your houseplants are smarter than him

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