Russiagate Open Thread: Nixon Wept

Not just ‘Stupid Watergate’, but ‘Incredibly Stupid Watergate’. To give it the proper Nixonian flavor, ‘Unable-to-Pass-the-NFL-Concussion-Protocol Watergate’….

Mr. Trump’s decision about whether to speak to prosecutors, expected in the coming weeks, will shape one of the most consequential moments of the investigation. Refusing to sit for an interview opens the possibility that Mr. Mueller will subpoena the president to testify before a grand jury, setting up a court fight that would drastically escalate the investigation and could be decided by the Supreme Court.

Rejecting an interview with Mr. Mueller also carries political consequences. It would be certain to prompt accusations that the president is hiding something, and a court fight could prolong the special counsel inquiry, casting a shadow over Republicans as November’s midterm elections approach or beyond into the president’s re-election campaign.

But John Dowd, the longtime Washington defense lawyer hired last summer to represent Mr. Trump in the investigation, wants to rebuff an interview request, as do Mr. Dowd’s deputy, Jay Sekulow, and many West Wing advisers, according to the four people. The lawyers and aides believe the special counsel might be unwilling to subpoena the president and set off a showdown with the White House that Mr. Mueller could lose in court…

Presidents have often agreed to speak with federal prosecutors who are investigating their actions or those close to them. But President Richard M. Nixon refused to turn over to the special prosecutor investigating him tapes of incriminating conversations with aides. The matter eventually went before the Supreme Court, which ruled in 1974 that the president, like every American, was not above the law and had to comply with the special prosecutor’s request.

“The upshot of the Nixon tapes case was that any president is going to have an extremely hard time resisting a request from a law enforcement officer,” said Neal K. Katyal, an acting solicitor general in the Obama administration and a partner at the law firm Hogan Lovells.

“In general,” he added, “presidents do sit for interviews or respond to requests from prosecutors because they take their constitutional responsibility to faithfully execute the laws seriously, and running away from a prosecutor isn’t consistent with faithfully executing the laws.”

Mr. Trump’s penchant for bravado has been a factor that his lawyers must contend with. The president has bragged to some aides that he would be able to clear himself if he talked to Mr. Mueller’s team.

“I’m looking forward to it, actually,” Mr. Trump told reporters at the White House last month, though he added, almost as an afterthought, that an interview would be “subject to my lawyers, and all of that.”…

As NYMag phrases it, “Trump’s Lawyers Seem to Think He’s Incapable of Not Lying”

Aside from Trump’s well-documented penchant for lying, the president’s attorneys must also deal with the strong possibility that their client is not, like, really smart. According to the Times, he’s privately claimed he wouldn’t just survive an exchange with Mueller, he’d find a way to exonerate himself: “The president has bragged to some aides that he would be able to clear himself if he talked to Mr. Mueller’s team.”…

Ordinarily, the president’s attorneys might be worried about the paper reporting on their efforts to mislead their client, but it doesn’t seem like there’s a high risk of Trump reading a Times story all the way to the end.

Either he’ll lie like the weird sculpt on his scalp, and open himself up to all sorts of further investigation. Or — more likely — he’ll fold like one of his crappy ties, expose the scotch-tape rigging beneath the facade, and every other weasel in his mal-administration will have to start writing their own requests for a plea deal.

(How many of the “like, really smart” grifters and goniffs around Trump realize just how much trouble he’s gotten them into? Maybe it’s just as well, for historians, that Trump’s so paranoid about being poisoned… )

219 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    (The explanation for Trump’s odd behavior around the Russia issue dating back to the campaign is probably that he’s guilty)

    This. By contrast, Hillary was innocent and didn’t hesitate to speak to the Feds.

  2. 2
    Jeffro says:

    And yet his followers will accept that all of these maneuverings are necessary because he’s innocent…

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    I’m calling it now. They will plead not guilty by reason of insanity.

  4. 4
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    If he’s innocent, why would he lie under oath.

  5. 5

    Of course his lawyers are telling him not to talk to Mueller. He can’t order lunch without lying, and if his attorneys allow him to testify, they’d be suborning perjury. Not only would Trump be indicted, the attorneys risk disbarment. Don’t think they won’t cover their asses first.

    And then there’s this:

    Trump last year slammed Hillary Clinton staffers who requested immunity or invoked their Fifth Amendment rights in response to requests to testify about the former secretary of state’s private email server.

    “If you are not guilty of a crime, what do you need immunity for?” Trump said at a campaign rally in Florida in September.

    “The mob takes the Fifth Amendment,” Trump said at a campaign event in Iowa later that month. “If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?”

    Heh.

  6. 6
    nonynony says:

    @Jeffro:

    And yet his followers will accept that all of these maneuverings are necessary because he’s innocent…

    Worse than that, actually. The ones I know actually believe that he “got help from the Russians” but that shouldn’t be considered a crime because he stopped Hillary Clinton from becoming president.

    It’s literally “It’s Okay If You’re A Republican” as a justification for any activity that keeps Democrats from having power. It’s an authoritarian mindset – as long as it’s “their” authoritarian they’re okay with abuses of power and collusion with foreign governments. They don’t really believe in democracy anymore, only in having their “team” be the winners.

    It’s sick, but I guess it’s always been there and I don’t really think it’s gotten worse. I think even Reagan could have gotten away with a lot more than he did back in the 80s, he and his people just didn’t think they could and so held back a bit more (they also had a Democratic Congress to deal with, so perhaps that would have been enough of a check back then).

  7. 7
    Elizabelle says:

    Hello jackals. On a train, approaching one of the ancestral homes in Germany.

    Raven will get after me for this, but Nixon was a better man than any of the soulless kleptocrats in the Trump administration. Any of them. Do you have a hero in this administration? Name that critter. They are all appalling.

  8. 8
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: Now if only his supporters will do the same.

  9. 9
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Devin Nunes tells Fox News’ Sean Hannity he has ‘clear evidence of collusion’ with Russia — and the Clinton campaign

    It’s increasingly clear, Hillary will be impeached.

  10. 10
    Elizabelle says:

    The Vichy NY Times story was refreshing, for being forthright. Trump lies. It scares his lawyers. He lies less in depositions, in the past.

    And the last paragraphs. A source or two told the Vichy Times they had been telling Trump the Mueller investigation would be over soon in the hope that der Trump would not savage Mueller by twitter. That was the plan. It is a “managing a toddler” plan. Ice cream is coming.

  11. 11
    Droppy says:

    At some point, my white, middle-aged, midwestern maleness is going to kick in and I am going to see that the Republicans are great and Trump is smart and Clinton is dishonest and Obama was unworthy of his office. It should be coming any minute now. I’m waiting. I’ll just turn on Hannity. Be right back.

  12. 12
    aimai says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: It does make you think that if HRC had gotten in they would have dogged her from the moment she won and the intransigence Obama faced would have been nothing to the hostility and attacks she would have received. They would have impeached her on day one.

  13. 13
    sdhays says:

    Either he’ll lie like the weird sculpt on his scalp, and open himself up to all sorts of further investigation. Or — more likely — he’ll fold like one of his crappy ties, expose the scotch-tape rigging beneath the facade, and every other weasel in his mal-administration will have to start writing their own requests for a plea deal.

    Or, most likely, both.

  14. 14
    Kay says:

    I still worry that the Trump Administration campaign against anyone who is investigating the Trump Administration will be effective, to a greater or lesser extent. Have a chilling effect.

    The Russian interference is just one piece of the corruption. There’s a story a month on how corrupt these people are. Russia could “bring down” the Trump Administration but you probably don’t even need Russia. They are blatantly, flagrantly corrupt. Ordinary sleaze- self-serving deals, profiting off public sector jobs, hiring family members, steering business to family members.

    The Trump Family intimidated and threatened people to run that sleazy empire because it worked. It certainly worked in NYC- for decades. Are federal investigators and prosecutors markedly more ethical than NYC investigators and prosecutors? They better be, because that is ALL we are counting on.

  15. 15
    Elizabelle says:

    @Droppy: l would like to see Hannity in serious legal jeopardy, for passing along false information and aiding and abetting treason.

    Tumbrels. Clean them out.

  16. 16
    Elizabelle says:

    @Kay: I think they are ethical. They know the stakes.

    It’s the work of a lifetime.

  17. 17
    gene108 says:

    @Jeffro:

    And yet his followers will accept that all of these maneuverings are necessary because he’s innocent…

    Of course Trump has to maneuver. The FBI and Mueller are engaged in a partisan witch hunt to destroy Dear Leader, and they will break every law, in order to destroy the Great Man. Look at what they were doing even before Trump got elected, with the unmasking, spying on Carter Page, and who knows what else to undermine our Greatest President Evah.

  18. 18
    Betty Cracker says:

    As has been proven repeatedly over the past couple of years, there’s ALWAYS a record somewhere — on Twitter, on video, etc. — of Trump excoriating opponents in the past for actions he’s taking in the present. From this immutable law, we can confidently predict that Trump will eventually take the Fifth, an action he once denounced as the illegitimate refuge of mobsters.

  19. 19
    Baud says:

    @aimai:

    No question. A lot of rot was exposed by her loss, some of it before it was ready to be exposed. I still would have preferred that she had won, however.

  20. 20
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Droppy: if you look in the mirror and see a man with a goatee, hockey jersey, and backward baseball cap, it’s already too late

  21. 21
    Droppy says:

    @Elizabelle: Sorry – treason is defined as not cheering the president at the State of the Union speech, as any junior high civics student knows. Not cheering Republican presidents, I mean. It is treasonous to cheer Democratic presidents. Are you writing this down?

  22. 22
    Kay says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Not Mueller. Ordinary corruption investigations. If they launch one the lead will be front and center on Fox news with a target on his or her back. That will have a chilling effect.

    Everyone is pretending they don’t know what he’s doing here, but it’s right out of the authoritarian playbook. He’s targeting investigators and prosecutors. The message is if you go against these people you will be smeared and your reputation will be ruined.

  23. 23
    Baud says:

    @Droppy: If you want to speed up the process, consider gaining some weight and losing some hair.

  24. 24
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Kay: he’s never been under this level of scrutiny before. It’s not going to end well for him, somehow someway. The big question is whether the damage he abs his party are doing to our country or reparable or not.

  25. 25
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Elizabelle: He’s under FBI investigation.

    John Schindler ‏
    @20committee
    3 Aug 2017

    #NSA friends tell me they have Hannity in OPERATIONAL calls with known RIS agents. Team Mueller has it all. He is going down. SAD!

    807 replies 4,776 retweets 11,353 likes

    Ben Collins @oneunderscore__
    29 Jan 2018

    New from me: Julian Assange privately told Sean Hannity’s secret Twitter account to use “other channels” so he could tell him “news about (Mark) Warner,” the Dem leading the Senate’s Russia investigation.

    John Schindler‏
    @20committee
    29 Jan 2018

    I’ve told you for months that Hannity has been under CI investigation over his clandestine ties to RIS.

    Now you see why.

    78 replies 932 retweets 2,890 likes

    Schindler ‏is a well connected ex-NSA guy.

  26. 26
    Another Scott says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Yup. There’s no mystery about Trump’s statements and behavior.

    a) Trump always lies. “I will release my tax returns just as soon as the audit is done.”
    b) Trump is delusional about his capabilities and intellect. “I alone can fix it.”
    c) Trump said (roughly) “Of course I would testify before Mueller. I would do it under oath!”

    There was never any doubt that he was not willingly going to let “his employee” question him.

    But it keeps the press busy for a few cycles.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  27. 27
    Kay says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    I hope so. I watched this documentary on Lance Armstrong and all I could think was how long it takes for these people to be exposed. God almighty, everyone knew. Everyone. Except the millions of people wearing those bracelets.

    Armstrong himself says in the film though that what he realized is the truth always comes out. He intimidated people too- got them fired, sued, smeared. It worked until it stopped working.

  28. 28
    gvg says:

    There was a story not too long ago that showed Trump actually understood enough to avoid lying under oath in court in the past. He would basically admit to telling stories when not under oath when officially questioned about it. But then go back to lying when out of court. It was rather surprising and revealing.
    However his lies in politics are even less realistic and the consequences are different and worse. Also it’s hard not to think he must be getting senile compared to the past given what stupid impossible things he says now. so I am not sure he will manage it this time.
    If he did though it would be really interesting. I wonder if his cult would all manage to not notice if he admits to the lies and collusion. Financial marks are more limited than the whole worlds population. He could in the past just go find some more suckers. If he admits it this time, everyone in the whole world will see and there aren’t more marks….
    Should have saved that article but what I see everyday myself is a compulsive liar and an ignoramus with a mean streak who also isn’t too bright. The reason dementia is brought up is comparison with 20 years ago when he could talk logically with a better vocabulary.

  29. 29
    raven says:

    @Elizabelle: 16,592 American KIA’s in Vietnam in 1968.

  30. 30
    Baud says:

    @raven: Nixon was ’69.

  31. 31
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    For more morning vituperation, check out Rick Wilson on Trump’s charge of treason.

  32. 32
    raven says:

    @Baud: 11,616

  33. 33
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    I thought this was interesting.

  34. 34
    raven says:

    Of the 12 bloodiest months of the Vietnam War, the ones in which the largest numbers of Americans were killed in action, eight came after Johnson’s speech. Four of those eight were in 1969, after Richard Nixon became president.

    Nixon in his first months had continued Johnson’s policies of heavy bombing and heavy ground combat. It was not until well into 1969 that the bomb tonnages being expended in Indochina, the number of American military personnel in South Vietnam, and the willingness of American commanders to sustain heavy casualties in aggressive ground operations, finally began to decline.

  35. 35
    NotMax says:

    So, Bobby – you don’t mind if I call you Bobby, do you – what is it you wanted to talk about?

    (cell phone rings) Oh damn. Excuse me, I have to take this.

    (whispering into phone) It’s not a good time, Vladdy, I’m in a meeting. Yes, a real one. Call me back in an hour. Yes, Vladdy. No, Vladdy. Okay, Vladdy. Look, I really got to go now. (ends call)

    Um, that was Melania asking what I wanted for dinner. Women, huh? What’cha gonna do?

    And … scene.

  36. 36
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I do admire Wilson’s talent with insults: “a plump, be-wattled authoritarian-wannabe man-baby with the intellectual horsepower of a toaster oven.”

  37. 37
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Kay: I follow cycling closely, and have for years. Armstrong’s lying was helped by the fact that he had an inspiring personal story: cancer survivor beats the odds and comes back better than before, at the pinnacle of his sport. Yes, he was a bully, and yes, he had enablers, but he also had a lot of people who desperately wanted to believe, because then maybe they could come back from cancer, too.

    And for years it was not the case that everyone knew. Some people suspected, a very small number certainly knew, but no, his doping was not common knowledge.

  38. 38
    Baud says:

    @raven: Nixon couldn’t end the war because then everyone would know his secret plan for ending the war.

  39. 39
    guachi says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:
    Nothing John Schindler posts should be believed. Basically everything he posts has the whiff of “I made this up just now.”

  40. 40
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: I’ll echo guachi’s reservations about Schindler. Real intelligence people don’t brag about being intelligence people. So I tend to doubt everything he says.

  41. 41
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay:

    The message is if you go against these people you will be smeared and your reputation will be ruined.

    The reality is that if you go with these people you will be smeared and your reputation will be ruined.

  42. 42
    Kay says:

    Since Trump was elected I picture it as a series of nets. So the first net broke when the GOP base nominated him. Then the political media net failed- we just crashed through that “safety”. Turns out it was made of spiderwebs or something.

    The latest net to fail was the GOP dissenters in Congress, he bought them off with the tax cut, as he knew he would.

    So now we’re down to “prosecutors and courts” which is the last net so not a great place to be. Ever. It’s never good when all the political branches fail. Not a great place even without the coordinated campaign against prosecutors and courts and of course Trump is conducting an intimidation campaign against them and has had some success- he’s gotten rid of 3 by my count.

    This is it. We fall thru this one there’s nothing left between us and bottom. I’m not panicking but that is the reality as I see it and I do much better if I recognize it and deal.

  43. 43

    Both the world wars were brutal for Europe, India had a gut wrenching partition which displaced millions (and killed) at the moment of its independence. Yes, the current president is terrible but he is not the worst fate to have befallen a nation in the history of forever. Can we have some perspective please?
    I see this on the right side of the aisle too, my cray cray Jill Stein voting, T excuse making friend told me that the week in 2016 with two terrorist incidents (one in Bangladesh and one in Germany) was the worst in terms of death toll evah. I just pulled out the numbers from that particular week 100 years ago in just one WWI theater to shut her up.
    Can we stop being drama queens R us. I so miss No Drama Obama.

  44. 44
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: What is RIS? The google gives me a restaurant, a reading service for the blind, a tech news publication….

  45. 45
    JPL says:

    If a person calls the president a fucking asshole and a racist pig, is that person guilty of treason. Asking for a friend.

  46. 46
    Baud says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: If you go against these people, your reputation is enhanced, at least in my eyes.

  47. 47
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Kay: There is another: the people in the streets.

  48. 48
    Baud says:

    @JPL: Tell your friend he or she has a job in the Baud! administration.

  49. 49
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    T’s base of Evangelicals will not believe anything negative about him. They are told 24/7 that he has been chosen by God and that to oppose him is to go against God.

  50. 50
    Baud says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Don’t forget the Marshall of the Supreme Court. (Is that still a thing on Twitter?)

  51. 51
    Gator90 says:

    I really can’t imagine Trump agreeing to an interview with Mueller or complying with a subpoena requiring him to do so. I would like to believe (but do not assume) that SCOTUS would ultimately tell him he has to. My question is, what if Trump says, Screw that, I ain’t doing it and you can’t make me. What then?

  52. 52
    Immanentize says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Russian Intelligence Services. A generalization, not a specific agency.

  53. 53
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    More vituperation from people who know how to do it.

  54. 54
    Kay says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    It’s funny because I read a long piece about him years ago and he convinced me. I ended thinking “wow- he’s falsely accused” and I had no dog in that fight- don’t follow sports, paid no attention to his anti-cancer initiative. I just found him persuasive.

  55. 55
    Betty Cracker says:

    @gvg: I saw that same story (about how Trump avoided perjury in court while lying copiously in public) — can’t remember exactly where. I see it as emblematic of Trump’s approach to the presidency: He and his entire family of grifting leeches had a con that worked great in the real estate development and brand licensing world. They arrogantly thought it would work in any setting — and the campaign environment validated that notion. Now they’re finding that the con breaks down under the high-powered scrutiny to which a presidential administration is subject. May they all learn an extraordinarily painful lesson.

  56. 56
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Baud: YES!

    It comes up every now and then, but Twitter has mostly moved on.

  57. 57
    Kay says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Right. Absolutely. There’s also intervening events, which more often than not are what “saves” us anyway.

    We have a current scandal in Ohio- it’s complicated, I won’t go into it, but you can tell state government is broken because the legislature didn’t stop it and the executive agencies didn’t stop it (including state law enforcement) – it went all the way to a court. The last net held. Just fucking barely- but it held :)

  58. 58

    @Kay: He dumped his first wife, latched on to Sheryl Crow and then dumped her too. I think this was all before the doping scandal came out. Not everything about him was heroic.

  59. 59
    Chief Oshkosh says:

    @Droppy: I’m unhappy that there hasn’t been response about his “treasonous” comments by elected Dems, pundits, us, anyone.

    The President of the United States just stated that members of another political party were treasonous because they didn’t stand and applaud a speech he made.

    This same President sought excuses for Nazis — literally, Nazis — who killed another citizen.

    This same President, as a candidate, invoked and supported violence against citizens who disagreed with him.

    This declaration of treason from a sitting President; it’s a stark moment.

  60. 60
    MomSense says:

    @guachi:

    Nothing John Schindler posts should be believed.

    His twitter ID/website name is a big giveaway that your statement is true.

  61. 61
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @Baud: Hey, the Marshall of the Supreme Court is somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more!

    (I refer, of course, to John Marshall, the groundbreaking Chief Justice from two centuries back. Not to be confused with the figment of Louise Mensch’s imagination.)

  62. 62
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JPL: Tis the heights of patriotism.

  63. 63
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Immanentize: Finally figured it out after I asked. thanx.

  64. 64
    Mary says:

    Even the conservative* New York Times acknowledges that Trump is a liar.

    *I’m trying out a new framing device. Maybe it will catch on.

  65. 65
    manyakitty says:

    @Kay: It’s horrifying to think that letting Russia in the front door might not be the worst crime 45 and is co-conspirators committed.

  66. 66
    Kay says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Right. I just read the piece because it’s an obscure subject to me and I like that kind of thing- dropping into some corner of the things people follow- and by the end of it I was convinced he was falsely accused.

    I would read about an obsessive stamp collector, too. I once read a long piece about a lady who loves children’s tea sets.

    I like obsessives :)

  67. 67
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Chief Oshkosh:

    I’m unhappy that there hasn’t been response about his “treasonous” comments by elected Dems, pundits, us, anyone.

    You need to look a little harder. The remarks have been widely denounced by all of the above.

  68. 68
    Skippy-san says:

    There was a Twitter thread that explained why Trumps lawyers are probably doing what they are doing. Bottom Line Up Front-Trump is lying to his attorney’s and they know it. That was why one of them quit last year.

  69. 69
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Chief Oshkosh: Amen! And so say we all AMEN.

  70. 70
    Kay says:

    @JohnJHarwood
    2h2 hours ago
    More
    former GWB speechwriter Gerson in wake of Nunes memo: “With the blessing of Republican leaders, the lickspittle wing of the GOP is now firmly in charge.”

    They are, the dissent collapsed when he bought them with the tax cuts, and IMO that matters because Trump worships powerful/rich “respected” people and he wanted them to accept him. Now they have. He’ll take that as permission to go further- in fact, he already has.

    We haven’t hit bottom yet.

  71. 71
    Kristine says:

    @Betty Cracker: “Kentucky Fried Nero” was my fave.

  72. 72
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Chief Oshkosh: Ric Wilson at the Daily Beast and Steven Taylor at OTB have both spoken up. So has Tammy Duckworth. The day is young.

  73. 73
    Nicole says:

    @Kay:

    Are federal investigators and prosecutors markedly more ethical than NYC investigators and prosecutors?

    Yes. Exhibit A: Cyrus Vance, Jr.

  74. 74
    manyakitty says:

    @Kay: Can you give a few details about the Ohio scandal? I mostly keep up on state and local news, and I can’t figure it out.

  75. 75
  76. 76
    jonas says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: A bit like Sy Hersh, Schindler has a lot of sources and breathlessly reports that some huge shoe is about to drop, but it never quite does. For the past year, Schindler’s been claiming that what the IC knows about the extent of Trump’s corruption and ties to Russia will completely toast the entire WH. Sounds great, but not much that he’s predicted so far has really panned out. Here’s hoping.

  77. 77
    Lapassionara says:

    @Kay: I agree that the ordinary, everyday level of corruption should be enough, even without Russia, to get his whole admin in serious trouble, but I am not sure people even know what corruption and self-dealing mean anymore. It makes my head spin.

  78. 78
    danielx says:

    @Baud:

    I’ve tried that; hasn’t helped the process any.

    Also too…I can’t blame Trump’s lawyers a bit. The thought of Trump trying to match wits with Bobby Three Sticks would keep me awake at nights, particularly since Trump is convinced in the face of all evidence that he is smarter than anyone else, including Nobel laureates.

  79. 79
    Betty Cracker says:

    OMFG, y’all:

    Page: “Giving documents to a quote-unquote spy’… it sounds a lot worse than reality, but that’s reality.”

    Does this man not have an attorney who can advise him to stay away from TV studios?

  80. 80
    Jeffro says:

    @Betty Cracker: oh, OUCH!

  81. 81
    H.E.Wolf says:

    @JPL:
    “If a person calls the president a fucking asshole and a racist pig, is that person guilty of treason. Asking for a friend.”

    Je crois que c’est lèse majesté.

    (Pardon my French.)

  82. 82
    Sab says:

    @manyakitty: I am guessing that Kay is referring to the ECOT mess.

  83. 83
    Barbara says:

    @Betty Cracker: At this point I think he might be going for the “no one would be this obvious about it if they were really a spy” defense. Which is to say, who the hell knows, but I don’t think anything he says or fails to say at this point is meaningful, and am willing to let the investigative record, which apparently predates his association with Trump, speak for him.

  84. 84
    rikyrah says:

    Morning Everyone 😄😄😄

  85. 85
    chopper says:

    @Baud:

    it’ll be NGRSH. not guilty by reason of sean hannity. “your honor, my client watches fox news 8 hours a day, can you blame him for being sick an idiot?”

  86. 86
    Jeffro says:

    @Betty Cracker: boy that little smirky grin of his sure screams “SANE PERSON HERE!”, doesn’t it ?

  87. 87
    Kay says:

    @manyakitty:

    Sure.

    The only reason this was revealed was because there was another, different scandal at the OH Dept of Ed, which led to a shakeup and a new director.

    The legislature didn’t stop this, the executive branch didn’t stop it, the AG/auditor/treasurer didn’t stop it. It ended up at a court. That’s the last line of regulation/law enforcement. It shouldn’t get that far. If you’re at a court that means everyone prior to that failed.

  88. 88
    japa21 says:

    Dow drops over 500 at opening. Rocky ride ahead for a lot of folks. Me and Mrs. Japa included.

  89. 89
    NotMax says:

    @chopper

    The Kool-aid defense?

  90. 90
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    The dude is a pathological liar who feeds his narcissism with his lies. He even lies when the truth won’t hurt him.

    I blame the New York and national media for continuing to foist his idiot opinions and ego into the national consciousness over the past 30 years.

  91. 91
    Mike in DC says:

    1. Trump refuses interview
    2. Mueller issues subpoena
    3. Trump’s lawyers move to quash
    4. District judge rules against them
    5. Trump’s lawyers appeal to DC Circuit
    6. DC circuit rules against them
    7. Petition for cert
    8. SCOTUS rules against Trump, 7-2
    9. Trump complies or found in contempt
    10. Trump testifies or takes the 5th

    Trump fighting a subpoena will damage him with soft supporters and swing voters. Taking the 5th will look even worse. And firing Mueller post-subpoena might be politically fatal for him.

  92. 92
    danielx says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Worthy of Churchill.

  93. 93
    japa21 says:

    @Kay: Only thing I didn’t like in the article was seeing the name Kucinich.

    @Mike in DC:

    And firing Mueller post-subpoena might be politically fatal for him.

    If there is one thing we’ve learned in the past couple years is that it is possible that there is nothing politically fatal to this man.

  94. 94
    Amir Khalid says:

    @low-tech cyclist:
    For a moment there, I was wondering why the United States Supreme Court owned a guitar amplifier.

  95. 95
    JPL says:

    @Mike in DC: Alito, Thomas and Gorsuch will rule in favor of the president. What it would do is cause Trump to be in the news for the midterms.
    imo

  96. 96
    Mike in DC says:

    @japa21: Well, fatal in terms of becoming a red line for non-diehard voters. He got 46% and has done little to gain new supporters.

  97. 97
    Barbara says:

    @Mike in DC: There is a point at which your only strategy is a play for time. I think Trump’s lawyers have reached this point. And who knows, if you are wrong about any of the court rulings, they could prevail. The problem for Trump, or any government employee, is that you don’t really have any business being a federal employee if you refuse to cooperate with an investigation like this.

  98. 98
    philpm says:

    @Droppy: If you’re anything like my mom and dad, you’ll be waiting a good long time. They’re both turning 80 this year, and it hasn’t happened to them yet. My dad thinks Trump is possibly the dumbest person he’s ever seen.

  99. 99
    Kay says:

    @japa21:

    I think the thing that bothers me most is Trump is a lousy human being and intensely cynical. His whole world view is “cynical”- he has no other beliefs. He’s transactional- amoral. I get THIS and you will do THIS when I threaten you with THAT.

    What if he turns out to be right? What if everyone is as venal and nasty as he believes?

  100. 100
    Leto says:

    @Betty Cracker: So I did some Googling and I think I found the article. It was a WaPo article referenced in a National Review article. Linking both just for completeness.

    Does Donald Trump Lie Under Oath? August 11, 2016

    Even under oath, Trump struggled with the truth August 10, 2016

    Also, Carter Page is the TV gift that keeps on giving.

  101. 101
    Amir Khalid says:

    @JPL:
    As a Trump appointee, shouldn’t Gorsuch recuse himself from a case personally involving Trump?

  102. 102
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Betty Cracker: clients like Page and Trump are a big reason for the high rates of alcoholism in the legal field

  103. 103
    Immanentize says:

    @chopper:

    NGRSH. not guilty by reason of sean hannity.

    I’m a gonna steal that, K?

  104. 104
    Kay says:

    @japa21:

    Dow drops over 500 at opening. Rocky ride ahead for a lot of folks. Me and Mrs. Japa included.

    My husband’s upset. He wanted to retire and I wanted to tell him he could- he’s worked really hard and he’s a good saver- lived frugally, all that, and I want him to go play tennis and enjoy himself. I sort of love to work and I’m younger so I wouldn’t retire and he could be my househusband- I always wanted one of those! :)

    Anyway. He’s not happy today but he loathes Trump so it doesn’t matter politically. My househusband dreams are shattered.

  105. 105
    Elmo says:

    @Mike in DC: wait one. Change your (10) to:
    Trump refuses to commit to a date. Press of other business. Bad weather. Promises he will comply in two weeks. Then in another two weeks. Reince and repeat.
    (11) Eventually Trump is found in contempt.
    (12) Then what? Who is going to enforce a contempt order? The alternatives are testify or go to jail, right? Sure! So who is going to arrest the President?

    By the time he’s actually found in contempt, it will be baked in to the public mind: of course he’s not going to testify. Why are they bothering with this charade? Nobody can make him, so move on!

  106. 106
    manyakitty says:

    @Sab: Ah, that makes sense. Proof that Kasich isn’t so great (as if we needed more)

  107. 107
    JMG says:

    @Kay: Your husband should know it’s early days yet in the stock market. Haven’t even reached the definition of correction level. The ’87 crash was reversed within a year. You could have your househusband yet.

  108. 108
    Leto says:

    @Barbara:

    The problem for Trump, or any government employee, is that you don’t really have any business being a federal employee if you refuse to cooperate with an investigation like this.

    Oaths to “uphold and protect” are for the little people. Oaths are the words you mouth before the grifting can begin in earnest. When someone has demonstrated a lack of integrity for their entire life, expecting them to process/uphold/live by any oath is just silly. Yet here we are…

  109. 109
    manyakitty says:

    @Kay: Thank you. Ugh. Charter schools have been SUCH a disaster here.

  110. 110
    Kay says:

    @JMG:

    Oh, I’m sure. He’s one of those “you can’t pick the lows” steady people and it’s worked out well for him but even he was pretty excited because he was at his goal. The plan was I would support the youngest, which is fine, I can do that. High school flies. He’ll be gone before we know it.

    He should probably work anyway. He plays A LOT of tennis as it is. I think he would be a great and indulgent grandfather but since none of our children have children that’s out for now :)

  111. 111
    --bd says:

    @Kay: Did your husband think he could retire two months ago? The Dow is currently where it was on December 12, 2017. Another 500 point drop and we are all the way back to November 29th. Panics can be scary, but the Dow would have to drop another 4,500 points to be where we were only a year ago.

  112. 112

    @Kay:
    In some ways it’s worse, and in most not as bad as you’re laying out, because you’re treating the whole situation as one lump, you’re underestimating the layers of institutions involved, and your timeline is off because I guess you trusted institutions that never deserved it. I’ll lay out how I see it, and hopefully that will help.

    First, Republicans in Congress were never going to help us. Trump didn’t buy them off with tax cuts. He had diddly squat to do with those. He negotiated nothing and was a rubber stamp. Congressional Republicans will bitch about him sometimes, ignore what he wants and do what they want, but mostly what he wants is what they want. They have no real reason to get rid of him, and are implacably opposed to admitting they can only hold onto power now by cheating. The odds he was ever going to be successfully impeached were always tiny. That hasn’t changed. That if it does happen precedent says it will be sudden and we won’t see it coming also hasn’t changed. Odds are overwhelming he’ll finish his first term, though.

    The media have not merely accepted but gleefully rubbed Republican lies all over themselves for decades. That net never existed, either. Frankly, we’re beating the odds there, as Trump’s press is slowly getting worse and worse. The ‘treason’ line did not go over well. That is moot. They have little actual power.

    So, Trump is not going to be kicked out of office. But what exactly are you afraid of?

    Executing his political enemies? The system has been holding up just fine when he tries to make it act illegally.

    Declaring himself dictator for life? Ditto. We were never depending on Congress or the news to stop that. The Secret Service will chuck him out on his ass the moment his term is legally up. The system is too widespread, and he does not have nearly enough control.

    Corruption? Yeah, there’s going to be tons of it. SCOTUS will probably say he can’t be federally prosecuted while president, so what he does personally without the system won’t be stopped. He may be punished for it as time and the courts move on, but stuff like the bribery won’t stop. Still, it’s the least danger we’re facing.

    War? Thank God, he seems to be too big a coward. People would yell at him, and he can’t face it.

    Deregulation and general gutting of the government? We have to face it, this is a Republican government and it’s going to do the things a Republican government does. That’s pretty bad for America. At least thanks to the filibuster, they are severely limited in legislation.

    The flip side of this is that if and when we retake control, we have exactly the same power they’re wielding. Those tax cuts are going down, for example. Republicans have finally polarized Democrats against them.

    So what this comes down to is the electorate. This is the ongoing struggle between white race panic trying to burn down the country, and everyone else. No lie, this is a dangerous situation, and it will be with us for decades. We need to be organized and we need to be motivated and we need to stay that way. There are strong signs that is exactly what is happening. The election results since Trump’s election have been stunning, and did anybody expect the Women’s March would be even bigger the second year? But the thing about unprecedented changes is that we don’t know what will happen.

    We have to fight this at the polls. That was always true. We greatly outnumber them, and every state we can get control of to break gerrymandering is a loss they will probably never recover. It’s an electoral war, but one we can win if we fight hard.

  113. 113
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Betty Cracker: Thanks for the clip. I’ve been wondering if he will do the interview circuit again.

    Page has said that he doesn’t need a lawyer because he is innocent. YMMV.

    What Page doesn’t seem to understand is that the sequence of recruitment is to make friends, then ask for documents. The ask at first is for innocuous documents, moving up to the secret stuff. The point is to build confidence and then get the person in a position where they’re compromised. It’s not clear from the publicly available evidence how far along the sequence they got with Page.

    The question is always whether these guys really are that stupid or if it’s an act to cover the wrongdoing.

  114. 114
    MomSense says:

    @japa21:

    Ugh. Sorry about this. It affects my parents so it affects me, too. My measly 401k is also affected but I still have a lot of work years left to ride this stupid roller coaster.

  115. 115
    Mike in DC says:

    @Elmo:
    Yah, but…imagine a posse of federal marshals armed with a scotus backed order, showing up in the lobby at Mar-a-Lago. Trump escorted to the grand jury. Sans lawyers.

  116. 116
    El Caganer says:

    @Betty Cracker: It’s a new strategy, the “hold my beer” defense.

  117. 117
    opiejeanne says:

    @japa21: Tried to check on my stocks and the site is not showing gains/losses for individual stocks today. Has it all locked whatever the price was when I logged on. I wonder if they did that on purpose, “sorry folks, technical problems” because of the two previous hideous drops.

  118. 118
    terraformer says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    But that’s true of pretty much any Republican, anywhere.

    And it never has mattered.

  119. 119
    The Moar You Know says:

    Page has said that he doesn’t need a lawyer because he is innocent.

    @Cheryl Rofer: He’s an idiot. The innocent are the ones who need lawyers most.

  120. 120
    japa21 says:

    Stocks have rebounded. Right now up about 250. Been going up and down.

  121. 121
    Kay says:

    @–bd:

    He thinks conservatives are bad with money so I think he’s seeing it as a sign of things to come. He really does think they’re bad with money. Reckless.

    The economic crash in ’09 was very bad here. I think that traumatized him because he was sort of a “invest in markets” booster prior to that. It really WAS profoundly disturbing, finding out finance people had no fucking idea what they were doing.

  122. 122
    JPL says:

    @Amir Khalid: As dead Scalia would say, hahahahha

  123. 123
    Jeffro says:

    I get a kick out of these MSNBC talking heads saying that if the president* takes credit for a stock market boom, he also has to take the blame for a stock market “correction”. What in the world makes them think Trump is going to take even 1% of the blame for anything?

    The boom is due to his greatness; any “corrections” are the fault of Democrats in Congress and Bob Mueller, full stop. Try to get with the program, talking heads!

  124. 124
    JPL says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Page is not stupid, and that is what is being ignored in the conversation.

  125. 125
    Kay says:

    @–bd:

    I think he’s defensive, as in “I have to get out between crashes” :)

    It’s understandable. I really cannot express how bad it got here in ’09. It was like turning off a light switch. Everything just…stopped. Once you see that you can’t unsee it.

  126. 126
    manyakitty says:

    @JPL: If he’s not stupid, then what’s he playing at?

  127. 127
    frosty says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    every state we can get control of to break gerrymandering is a loss they will probably never recover.

    And it looks like we’ve done just that in PA.

  128. 128
    NotMax says:

    @Kay

    Forced to shutter my business, after 26 years in operation, due those circumstances in ’09. Been pretty much running on fumes since.

  129. 129
    bemused says:

    I can’t imagine how trump’s lawyers can stop him from testifying when he thinks he invincible.

    Too bad the train wreck can’t be televised to the whole world if/when he does.

  130. 130
    Jeffro says:

    OMFG, Paul Ryan, champion of America’s first amendment rights (!)

    Moving up quickly on the tumbrel charts …😡

  131. 131

    @Frankensteinbeck: Thank you for your realistic assessment. This constant drumbeat of WASF gets wearying after a while. One of the biggest problems Ds face is that they have to deal with 2 opposition parties, the Rs and the media (both RW howler monkeys and the likes of NPR, NYT, Atlantic etc)

  132. 132
    El Caganer says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Agree with your earlier comment that our Hour of the Oaf isn’t the darkest point any nation has ever experienced in the history of ever. It’s not even really the worst in this country’s experience, if we choose to remind ourselves of the unpleasantness and downright incivility that occurred from 1861 to 1865.

  133. 133
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Page has said that he doesn’t need a lawyer because he is innocent.

    LOL

    What Page doesn’t seem to understand

    This could be the start of an extraordinarily lengthy post

  134. 134
    Leto says:

    @manyakitty: Mr. Magoo defense.

  135. 135
    Wild Cat says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:
    Can’t wait til they get Amy Goodman and the other current/ex-Pacifica grifters.

  136. 136
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Betty Cracker: From Rick

    moral event horizon

    THAT belongs in the dictionary

  137. 137
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @JPL:

    Page is not stupid, and that is what is being ignored in the conversation.

    What is your evidence for this?

    That’s a genuine question. I can’t figure out what is going on. I lean toward stupid as an explanation, but I’m open to other theories.

  138. 138
    LAO says:

    @Steve in the ATL: On the other hand, the bigger the schmuck, the more billable hours. Hmmm.

  139. 139
    a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio) says:

    @Chief Oshkosh: I thought Senator Duckworth’s comments constituted a strong pushback. and she isn’t the only one who’s spoken out.

  140. 140
    The Pale Scot says:

    I’m finding “The creature known as Donald Trump” aka “The Creature” is rooting itself in my vocabulary, just a whiff of derision that can be properly justified. What? Humans are animals, there’s nothing untrue about that statement.

  141. 141
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Betty Cracker: Clearly he needs more adult supervision. But I love his red hat.

    And I wonder if it’s a (good!) Florida thing since both you and Rick Wilson have such a way with the insults. Kentucky Fried Nero was among his best, IMO.

  142. 142
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @LAO: so true, but giant retainer up front for these clowns

  143. 143
    Chyron HR says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    2 opposition parties, the Rs and the media

    Three opposition parties: the Republicans, the media, Our Revolution and the GRU.

    FOUR opposition–excuse me, I’ll come in again…

  144. 144
    LAO says:

    @JPL: I’m not sure whether Page is stupid or not — but I do think he has spent his life unaccountable for actions and he can’t possibly believe he will be held accountable now. It’s pretty common among white guys. If I had a nickle for every client like this…oh wait, I got more than a nickle!

  145. 145
    LAO says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Without a doubt.

  146. 146
    Tenar Arha says:

    @Kay: It’s weird yet not weird at all how long these effects last. My Dad was too young to see the bank runs, but he always made sure to have a good bit of cash & rarely depended on his debit card. My father, also always saved broken stuff assuming he’d fix it or find a use for it later, & he never ate the last bit of any food until he bought a replacement. Those were just a few of the lifetime effects of living through the Great Depression. He also fully believed that markets were irrational while also working as a stock broker for at least a decade & then including stocks & mutual funds in his investing, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    🤔 Increasing distrust of capital markets may be one of the results of the Great Recession. 🤔🤔 The first group of kids who were old enough to notice what was happening will be voting soon too.

  147. 147
    Nicole says:

    @JPL:

    Page is not stupid, and that is what is being ignored in the conversation.

    Assumes facts not in evidence.

  148. 148
    manyakitty says:

    @Leto: LOLZ

  149. 149
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Chyron HR: and the courts

  150. 150
    a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio) says:

    @Amir Khalid: He should. Rehnquist, who was a Nixon appointee did so during Watergate, so there is a strong precedent.
    If Gorsuch isn’t willing to do so, Roberts may not leave him much choice–and I say that because I think Roberts is keenly aware of his long-term historical reputation, and this would be likely to influence his decision.

    Besides, no unborn children or corporations are involved, thus removing Roberts’ two greatest distractions. And the voting rights of people who don’t look like Chief Justice Roberts are only tangentially involved…

  151. 151
    germy says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    What is your evidence for this?

    According to wikipedia, Page graduated in 1993 from the United States Naval Academy; he was a Distinguished Graduate (top 10% of his class) and was chosen for the Navy’s Trident Scholar program, which gives selected officers the opportunity for independent academic research and study.

  152. 152
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Betty Cracker: as with most “Why don’t the Dems just say…” comments, a lot of people don’t grok that the reason those Aaron Sorkin moments– when the eloquent defense of liberalism/condemnation of X– don’t resonate with people is because Sorkin doesn’t write the response of the great lumpen middle

    @LAO: it’s just baffling to me that someone who seems so dumb and so goofy, if you’ll forgive me the highfalutin’ jargon, was courted by Russian intelligence and drawn or pushed by someone (Manafort) into the trump orbit

  153. 153
    germy says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: That’s a tweet from August 2017. The wheels of justice are certainly moving slowly.

    I’d love to see Hean Shannity end up like Lord Haw Haw, but I’m not holding my breath.

  154. 154
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @germy: True. But I’ve read some of the stuff he’s written lately. It’s incoherent, tendentious, and full of conspiracy theory. His Ph.D. thesis was rejected twice, which is highly unusual. Braver people than I have actually read it, and it sounds like it’s consistent with what I’ve read. One of his former employers says he’s the most bonkers employee he ever had. I don’t know how to reconcile that with the USNA record.

  155. 155
    manyakitty says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Head injury? (seriously)

  156. 156

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    I think most of the “Why don’t the Dems just say…” comments are situations where the Dems are saying exactly that, but the punditariat doesn’t want to talk about that, so you never hear it.

  157. 157

    @El Caganer: I was going to add that too, but yes this country has been through worse, Civil war, what about 1812? Didn’t the Brits sack DC, and burn down the WH, that must have been pretty bad too. Although one doesn’t hear much about it.

  158. 158
    Formerly disgruntled in Oregon says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: It’s like Charlie Brown and the football, with Lucy as the village punditocracy. “If only [Democrat X] would say what I think they should, Lucy’s bound to let me kick the ball this time!”

  159. 159
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @schrodingers_cat: yes, that war was not covered in detail in classes when I was in school. We claim victory, which makes some sense since the British did eventually leave, but hard to feel victorious when your Capitol was burned down.

  160. 160
    opiejeanne says:

    @germy: Yes, and doesn’t he have a Doctorate? Oh, right:
    According to Wikipedia:
    Page received his Ph.D. in 2012 from SOAS, University of London, where he was supervised by Shirin Akiner.[2][10] His doctoral dissertation on the transition of Asian countries from communism to capitalism was rejected twice before ultimately being accepted by new examiners. One of his original examiners later said Page “knew next to nothing” about the subject matter and was unfamiliar with “basic concepts” such as Marxism and state capitalism.[16] He sought unsuccessfully to publish his dissertation as a book; a reviewer described it as “very analytically confused, just throwing a lot of stuff out there without any real kind of argument.”[2] Page blamed the rejection on anti-Russian and anti-American bias.[16] He later ran an international-affairs program at Bard College and taught a course on energy and politics at New York University.[17][18]

  161. 161
    opiejeanne says:

    @germy: What comes to mind is that certain events can change things like intelligence a bit, like heavy use of drugs or a blow to the head.

  162. 162
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @manyakitty: I’ve wondered about that or too many drugs.

    ETA: I see others thinking this too.

  163. 163
    opiejeanne says:

    @Steve in the ATL: When I was in HS in the 60s they were still singing that song that starts ‘In 1814 we took a little trip…” But we had a SS teacher who disabused of us the notion that we won that war.

  164. 164
    manyakitty says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Or, maybe some kind of functional mental illness? He doesn’t necessarily act schizophrenic, but his apparent decline happened during the peak years for it to emerge.

  165. 165
    JPL says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: It depends on the meaning of stupid, and I say that seriously. He certainly has “book smarts”, but he might be immature. It’s possible that he watched a lot of Peter Sellers movies, and modeled himself after Clouseau.

  166. 166
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Formerly disgruntled in Oregon: There’s some of that but it also quickly becomes a feedback loop:

    “Democrats are so bad at ‘messaging.’ Why don’t Democrats say X?”
    “Many Democrats said X.”
    “But I didn’t hear about it. Why are they so bad at ‘messaging’?”
    “Maybe you weren’t listening.”
    “I shouldn’t have to seek these things out. Why are they so bad at ‘messaging’?”
    “The media doesn’t cover it.”
    “Democrats could MAKE the media cover it if they weren’t so bad at ‘messaging.'”
    “How would they do that?”
    “They would say things like X.”
    Etc., etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

  167. 167
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Leto: A co-worker of mine got a ticket for an illegal right turn and decided to challenge it on the basis that he didn’t see the sign saying “NO RIGHT TURN”. The judge apparently laughed at him. We referred to it as the “Your honour, ah’s stoopid” defense

  168. 168
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Just One More Canuck: “Your honour, ah’s stoopid” defense

    soon to be known as the “Don Jr” defense

    Simon Maloy @ SimonMaloy
    sadly, our sweet, rowdy lad’s brain is mostly ossified hair gel at this point

  169. 169
    glory b says:

    @schrodingers_cat: You’re still friends with someone like that? I’m calling your mean girl bona fides into question.

  170. 170
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Presumably that happened gradually through subterranean seepage, like one of those “fatbergs.”

  171. 171
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @opiejeanne:

    where he was supervised by Shirin Akiner

    Who is, as they say in academe, “controversial.”

  172. 172
    Boatboy_srq says:

    @Elizabelle: Nixon was lawful evil. MAGAts are chaotic evil. Not sure if the distinction is meaningful, but it’s quite visible.

  173. 173
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @JPL: From what I’ve seen, he doesn’t have “book smarts” either. What he’s written is only barely readable, and it makes no sense.

  174. 174
    manyakitty says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Have you read anything by Brian and/or Ed Krassenstein? They came out with a crazy theory this morning. Apparently, Carter is a double agent, who actually works for the FBI. This was the big fear about releasing the Nunes memo–that it would reveal his secret activities.

    I don’t buy it, but what do I know?

  175. 175
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @manyakitty: I think Malcolm Nance said something like “all this crazy would make a little bit of sense if he were some kind of double agent”

    ETA: Josh Marshall has speculated that trump has had some kind of informant relationship with the FBI with regard to the Russian mob and money laundering

  176. 176

    @glory b: I should have specified ex-friend.

  177. 177
    manyakitty says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Really? So this might be a thing? WTAF???

  178. 178
    a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio) says:

    @opiejeanne: Check other sites. I was able to look into mine and while some dropped a little others gained a little, and nothing is below where it was a year ago.

    It sounds like a big drop but compared to the 1-year average on the Dow it’s not that bad so far.

  179. 179
    JPL says:

    @manyakitty: It sounds like they watched to many Peter Sellers movies.

  180. 180
    Formerly disgruntled in Oregon says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Exactly – it’s a no-win game, and therefore pointless to play.

  181. 181
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @manyakitty: I think Nance’s comment was kind of a “what the fuck is this guy?” moment, half snark and half bewilderment

  182. 182
    jon says:

    The Derp State is no match for the Deep State.

  183. 183
    jc says:

    Unfortunately my lawyer tells me that I’m not able to tell the truth. But I would absolutely love to be interviewed by the special counsel. Of course I have nothing to hide, so therefore I will be unable to participate in this criminal investigation. I deeply regret that I have no intention of speaking with investigators who are out to get me for the blatant treasonous activities of my campaign.

  184. 184
    GregB says:

    @Kay:

    Most of them knew what they were doing. Separating people from their money to their advantage and sticking the public with the tab.

    Privatize the profits, socialize the losses.

  185. 185
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Dayum. When you’ve lost the North Koreans…

  186. 186
    manyakitty says:

    @JPL: @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Yeah, that’s my take. Dude doesn’t seem like he can play tic tac toe, let alone 11-dimensional chess.

  187. 187
    stinger says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Thanks for the link. One thing Wilson said jumped out at me:

    Trump on Monday decided he would be the arbiter of what constitutes treason in America. He’s mainstreamed the t-word.

    The previous Republican administration mainstreamed another t-word: torture.

    How can we go any lower? Another Republican administration, any time in the next 20 or 30 years, will end this country as we’ve known it. We MUST put Democrats back into power and keep them there until what happened in American politics in the past few years has become a bad memory and, at the same time, has been thoroughly reported and analyzed by historians and sociologists.

  188. 188
    manyakitty says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Interesting. I’ve heard that about Felix Sater, who told friends and family that he, trump, and several others were going to prison for a long time when this all wrapped up.

  189. 189
    opiejeanne says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I can’t quite wrap my head around the idea that someone voted for Jill Stein and is a Trump apologist. Some real deranged mental acrobatics involved.

  190. 190
    Boatboy_srq says:

    @Just One More Canuck: Trouble is, Murikans think they can get away with it.

    Back when I-75 was being extended from Tampa to Miami, there was a speeding case that made it to court. The speeder insisted that she was abiding by the law since she did the speed listed on the signage. But the signage she referenced was the route marker (I-75), not the posted speed limit (55 mph). The judge opined that we should all be thankful the speeder hadn’t been on US 301…

  191. 191

    @opiejeanne: She voted for President Obama twice and W too.

    ETA: The independent voter we all hear of, that can’t make up their mind and votes from the gut.

  192. 192
    opiejeanne says:

    @a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio): I’ve gone back twice since then and they’ve switched it back on. Probably got a lot of complaints. The first time I had recovered a thousand of what I lost, the previous two days, the second time I was down about $300. Mine are like ping pong balls on mousetraps.

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  194. 194
    TenguPhule says:

    @Kay:

    So now we’re down to “prosecutors and courts” which is the last net so not a great place to be. Ever. It’s never good when all the political branches fail. Not a great place even without the coordinated campaign against prosecutors and courts and of course Trump is conducting an intimidation campaign against them and has had some success- he’s gotten rid of 3 by my count.

    This is it. We fall thru this one there’s nothing left between us and bottom. I’m not panicking but that is the reality as I see it and I do much better if I recognize it and deal.

    Welcome to my world, one year ago.

    Clutching at the one last straw reed before it all goes to hell.

    If Mueller fails, forget elections fixing anything. Everything burns.

  195. 195
    opiejeanne says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Oh Lord. How does she dress herself and find food?

  196. 196
    Skippy-san says:

    This is the Twitter thread about Trump’s lawers.

    (BRIEF THREAD) Many are befuddled tonight by news that Trump's White House lawyer, Ty Cobb, is advising Trump to let Mueller interview him, while his personal lawyer, John Dowd, is not. Having been in their shoes—as a former criminal defense attorney—I think I can un-muddle this. pic.twitter.com/1fNtkhLLTo— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) February 6, 2018

  197. 197
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @manyakitty: I see their tweets RT’d into my timeline by others. They seem to have joined the Russiagate “enthusiasts” who make wild claims for clicks. I saw that they were getting ready this morning to release something. I haven’t read the thread, but it’s hard for me to see Page as an FBI agent, somewhat less hard for me to believe the Russians recruited an “idiot,” as they called him.

    He’s a great actor, if that’s the case.

  198. 198
    manyakitty says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: And now it looks like the Fox crowd picked up that idea, so it must be garbage. The Krassensteins make a lot of fancy claims, but never offer supporting evidence. That knocks them way down in my estimation.

  199. 199

    @opiejeanne: I don’t think she is the only one like that, Andrew Sullivan was a W supporter till he wasn’t, then jumped on to the Obama bandwagon and is now again flirting with R positions making excuses for T and castigating the Ds. Do you know who he voted for?

  200. 200

    @Steve in the ATL: Are you sure? I was in Canada for the 200th anniversary, and they were celebrating it as a huge victory.

  201. 201
    Barry says:

    @LAO: “On the other hand, the bigger the schmuck, the more billable hours. Hmmm.”

    You expect to get paid?

  202. 202
    glory b says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I knew you wouldn’t let me down!

  203. 203
    No One of Consequence says:

    @Baud: Ayep. Further cognitive and laboratory analysis will reveal that the tendrils of the creature existing atop his head have extended throughout the cranium and are in effect controlling both motor neuron activity and the majority of cognitive function.

    Or, it is possible that our President* is being controlled by a parasitic flatworm…

    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/captain_higgins

    Ymmv,

    NOoC

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    @glory b: After she defended the first Muslim ban enacted a year ago, I was done.

  205. 205
    glory b says:

    @schrodingers_cat: My faith has been restored.

    If anyone I know believes anything like that, they don’t have the nerve to tell me.

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    LAO says:

    @Barry: Very large retainer agreement from the get go.

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    MisterForkbeard says:

    @opiejeanne: Nah. All it really takes is “I hate HRC so much“, followed up by “Trump is the only real independent”.

    I saw some of this amongst my HRC hating acquaintances. First an insistence on Stein or Bernie, then an unwillingness to consider that literally not everything was HRC’s fault and that she was at best just as bad as Trump but probably worse. And that Trump wasn’t really THAT bad, because he wouldn’t be controlled by Republicans and big money. He could even drain the swamp, which neoliberal crony capitalist wall street shill Hillary would never do.

  208. 208
    Miss Bianca says:

    @MisterForkbeard: the fact that you – and I, come to that – actually know people who are this painfully deluded, yet still manage to function somehow in this world, fills me with resting existential horror (h/t to M4).

  209. 209
    Sab says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I think whether the War of 1812 was taught much in American schools varies by region. In Ohio it is considered a big deal. The Brits and the Americans essentially had a draw. The real losers were the Native tribes.

  210. 210
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Miss Bianca: Resting existing horror is a great description of how all of this makes me feel.

    It takes a lot of energy from me to deal with these people. I used to try and walk them through their arguments… and then explain that Hillary was the closest to their stated positions and that their explicit objections to her were incorrect (and could back that up with evidence), but some of them just told me I had no right to tell them how to vote, especially for a horrible person like Hillary.

    Now I just assume they’re too sexist, racist, or stupid to be worth my time… except in rare situations where it’s someone I’ve known and respected for a long time. I’m still horrified, but less confident I can personally do anything to pierce this level of abject stupidity and self-delusion.

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    stinger says:

    @manyakitty: Evil twin? (not too serious)

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    J R in WV says:

    @raven:

    Plus once he and Henry really got going carpet bombing small towns from North Vietnam through Laos into Cambodia, probably millions of local people. Not our guys, but still murderous war crimes. And people still getting killed by cluster bombs in their rice fields. Kids with limbs blown off. Still, today.

    And Vets still suffering and dying in hospitals, nursing homes, on the street or under a bridge.

    Hope Dick Nixon feels every one of those injuries and deaths individually. Knows who it is and which of his illegal orders caused the pain he is feeling. But the universe isn’t that fair and balanced.

  213. 213
    Vhh says:

    @H.E.Wolf: ça soit lesé majesté……subjunctive when ststing a belief…

  214. 214
    JGabriel says:

    Deleted by author due to being modereratered. Fixed and reposted below.

  215. 215
    JGabriel says:

    Kay:

    The Trump Family intimidated and threatened people to run that sleazy empire because it worked.

    Actually, it didn’t work. Trump went bankrupt repeatedly, American banks won’t do business with him anymore, and he left real estate construction and c’sinos behind for branding opportunities, television, politics, and treason – among other things.

    Trump didn’t keep intimidating and threatening people because it worked; he did it because because he’s a narcissistic asshole who gets off on intimidating and threatening people, and because he never fucking learns from his multitude of failures.

  216. 216
    J R in WV says:

    @JPL:

    “Page is not stupid…” and you suspect this why?

    He looks stupid to me from here. He sounds stupid as well. He has never held a job for very long, another sign of basic incompetence. His PhD paper was rejected twice, I think they finally gave it to him the third time so he would go away.

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    opiejeanne says:

    @schrodingers_cat: No idea. Stein?

  218. 218
    J R in WV says:

    @germy:

    According to wikipedia, Page graduated in 1993 from the United States Naval Academy; he was a Distinguished Graduate (top 10% of his class) and was chosen for the Navy’s Trident Scholar program, which gives selected officers the opportunity for independent academic research and study.

    And yet he did not become a career naval officer, nor get promoted to command of a vessel. I know some Academy grads who were good students, but couldn’t figure out how to pour urine out of a boot with directions on the sole. Some people peak out in school.

  219. 219
    fuckwit says:

    @Kay: there’s Nov 2018?

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