Russiagate Open Thread: What Would You Sell, If You Needed the Money?

“His honor”, without something more tangible to back it, would be worth about 37 cents even in a sellers’ market…


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A little background reading…


143 replies
  1. 1
    NotMax says:

    Poor baby. Doesn’t have a samovar to piss in.

  2. 2
    Corner Stone says:

    There’s a joke here somewhere. I can feel it!

  3. 3
    Lyrebird says:

    I agree with Southpaw:

    FBI is accommodating the WH here—holding open investigations where it would ordinarily deny a clearance so as to permit the person to continue working for Trump.

    Just makes it even more bizarre that this maladministration would go hating on the FBI.

  4. 4
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Vornado will sell its stake in Kushner Companies’ 666 Fifth Avenue
    The company does not intend to keep its stake in the building for too much longer
    Kushner Companies bought the building back in 2006 for a record-breaking $1.8 billion but has yet to begin repaying its half of the $1.2 billion mortgage. Attempts to secure investors, including Chinese firm Anbang, have not worked out well and it would take a $4 billion construction loan to transform the site into condos. In order for this to prove profitable, sales would have to go for the unlikely price of $9,000 per square foot.
    Meanwhile, the full amount of Kushner Companies’ $1.2 billion mortgage is due by February 2019.

    Is a year a long time when you’re looking at $1.2 billion debt coming due?

  5. 5
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Lyrebird:

    Just makes it even more bizarre that this maladministration would go hating on the FBI.

    If they REALLY loved Trump, they’d just hand every one of his “friends” a clearance and look the other way. But nooo, they’re all “We don’t wanna commit treason”, “People go to jail for stuff like this”, even “That’s it, I’m gonna go look for a job at WalMart… “ Ingrates!

  6. 6
    clay says:

    It’s hard to decide who the worst member of the Trumpers is, but the sheer gall of Jared, thinking he’s qualified to basically be the de facto Secretary of State and Chief of Staff all rolled into one, simply because he inherited a fortune and sticks his dick into Ivanka… I probably hate him the most.

    (Sorry, usually not this crude. These a-holes bring out the worst in me.)

  7. 7
    NCSteve says:

    @Lyrebird: Well of course they do. They’re being very, very, very unfair to Trump, okay? He wants things and they won’t give them to him just because they can’t. Very, very unfair. Totally biased. Disgusting.

  8. 8
    TS says:

    FBI assumed – that as for every other administration – if the investigation was still open after 12 months – the President & or CofS would get the message & remove the people involved. THIS administration has to be hit over the head with a brick – or a massive scandal – before they realize they cannot keep doing something The harm in this instance is probably irreparable.

  9. 9
    rikyrah says:

    LarryO says that up to
    FORTY
    FORTY
    FORTY
    FORTY

    people working in the White House DON’T HAVE AN ADEQUATE SECURITY CLEARANCE FOR THEIR JOB?

    DA PHUQ?!?!?!?!?

  10. 10
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: $9000 a fucking SQFT?

  11. 11
    Corner Stone says:

    @clay:

    but the sheer gall of Jared, thinking he’s qualified to basically be the de facto Secretary of State and Chief of Staff all rolled into one, simply because he inherited a fortune and sticks his dick into Ivanka… I probably hate him the most.

    Probably a good choice. But I’m not picky. I have plenty to go around.

  12. 12
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Lyrebird: No they’re not. In the case of political appointments in the Executive Branch, including those in the Executive Office of the President (EOP), the background investigations are conducted by the FBI. That is all the FBI does in this process. Once the background investigation is completed the material is forwarded to an adjudicator. The adjudicator then makes a recommendation as to whether a person is or is not eligible for the clearance and makes a recommendation to award or deny. Because these are political appointments made by the President, and because all maters of clearances and classification are functions of the President/the Executive Branch, the President has the final say. If the adjudicator says someone shouldn’t be granted a clearance/access and the President wants them to have a clearance/access, then the President wins. This also works in the departments, agencies, bureaus, and commands. If the Secretary of Defense or the Attorney General wants someone to have a clearance/access despite the ruling of the adjudicator, the adjudicator can be overridden. This is rare, for a President or a cabinet secretary or senior military commander, but it has sometimes happened in the past. Finally, if a clearance is denied or a renewal is denied, there is an appeal process that one can turn to if one thinks a mistake has been made. The FBI did their jobs here. The breakdown is somewhere above that level. Either the adjudicators have been ordered to sit on these, what is referred to as pencil whipping, or the White House Counsel and Deputy Chief of Staff of the White House, who are responsible for overseeing these issues at the political appointee level, are intervening to monkey wrench this.

  13. 13
    danielx says:

    White House clearly passing the buck on failure of top aides to get security clearance, say the process is up to the FBI and intel agencies.

    Well shit, what else would you expect them to do? The day this White House staff (the leading prevaricator in particular) accept responsibility for anything at all, including restocking the TP in White House restrooms, I’ll start keeping an eye out for pigs with wings.

  14. 14
    GregB says:

    Holy shit. I assume Mueller will just use RICO and arrest the entire lot of scumbags, liars, grifters, traitors, rapists and shitheels.

    This is madness.

  15. 15
    rikyrah says:

    THE EVER LOVING PHUCK!!!!!!

    Sponsor An Immigrant Yourself
    No, really: A new kind of visa would let individual Americans—instead of corporations—reap the economic benefits of migration.
    By ERIC POSNER and GLEN WEYL
    February 13, 2018

    The raw emotions generated by immigration policy—provoked by heartrending stories of families torn apart by deportation, or citizens murdered by illegal immigrants—have scrambled political allegiances and confused public debate. Republicans, usually the champions of family values and small government, now want to restrict family reunification and give bureaucrats the power to screen people who want to enter the country. Democrats, traditionally the allies of the working class, want big business to select immigrants and have given scant attention to the legitimate interests of working-class natives.

    The only way to end this politically charged debate is to think carefully about benefits and costs as well as politics and perceptions. We need a new immigration system that offers liberal admission policies but targets its benefits to native workers rather than corporations.

    ……………………………

    So, immigration expands the economic pie but gives too meager a slice to ordinary people. The goal must be to retain, and in fact expand, immigration while ensuring that its benefits are distributed fairly. The current system does the opposite: channeling the benefits of migration to immigrants and domestic elites. Right now, special classes of citizens—mostly corporations (and in practice, big corporations) and family members—can sponsor temporary or permanent migrants, benefiting shareholders mainly, as well as ethnic enclaves.

    This system should be wiped away and replaced with a system of citizenship sponsorship for immigrants that we call a Visas Between Individuals Program. Under this new system, all citizens would have the right to sponsor a migrant for economic purposes.

  16. 16
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Corner Stone: this is just the result of a google search, and i don’t see any dates, but if these figures are current and accurate, apartments in the Dakota go for ~$3,5000/sq ft (lots, and lots, of square feet, it looks like)
    ETA: dammit, forgot the link.

  17. 17
    rikyrah says:

    Wonkette‏ @Wonkette

    Dianne Feinstein Gonna Need You To Hold Her Beer While She Beats Chuck Grassley’s Ass https://wonkette.com/629689/dianne-feinstein-gonna-need-you-to-hold-her-beer-while-she-beats-chuck-grassleys-ass … via @EvanHurst

    https://twitter.com/Wonkette/status/963444582246739968

  18. 18
    danielx says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Is a year a long time when you’re looking at $1.2 billion debt coming due?

    I’m not sure if the first eleven months would creep by and the last thirty days pass in the wink of an eye, or vice versa.

  19. 19
    kindness says:

    Well since Jared is in huge hock maybe then we don’t have to worry about him being blackmailed? You know, the whole get in line to get any money outta me thing?

    Jared and Trump fell out of the same tree and didn’t roll far.

  20. 20
    NotMax says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist

    Not to worry. Selling off airports, aqueducts and roads will provide an avalanche of bread

  21. 21
    Adam L Silverman says:

    I cannot emphasize enough Blickstein’s statement about significant debt. When I had to sit for a year because a Special Security Officer demanded my second to highest level clearance be renewed immediately before he’d allow me to be on boarded and read on for a supervisory contract position (which I never got, because the renewal took 12 months on the nose and the agency had to have the position filled, so six months in my job was given to someone else), I accumulated some debt. Nothing outstanding or unmanageable. When I was interviewed by the clearance investigator, who was stunned to find out why we were doing my renewal (her response: “that SSO is an idiot, the rules say you can be read on because your highest level clearance, which is what is needed for the job, is still active”), I explained it this way: “I’m very fortunate to have the resources to ride this out. If I was going to sell the country out for money, I’d have done it by now”. She laughed in agreement and that was the end of that.

    That Kushner is millions in debt makes him a tremendously bad risk in national security terms. He is exactly the kind of person one would approach in an attempt to turn and utilize as an asset. Even if his father in law never run for President, because of his family’s long history of supporting political candidates and having access to them as a result, being this much in debt makes Kushner a tremendously bad risk in national security terms.

  22. 22
    dr. bloor says:

    @Lyrebird: Trump doesn’t recognize it as a favor. In the eyes of a paranoid authoritarian, anything less than complete obedience is total betrayal.

  23. 23

    @rikyrah: lol, oh no, not something that benefits “ethnic enclaves!”

  24. 24
    Lyrebird says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Ingrates!

    Too true, and too weird. Orangemandias could probably get away with hippie-punching and state sponsored terrorizing of immigrants year in and year out, sadly, but somehow he can’t resist punching organizations populated almost exclusively by tightly-wound Law n Order Republicans, too! May it bring him down all the sooner…

  25. 25
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I forget who it was (Clapper?) who said people on a treasonous path don’t realize where they’re going until it’s too late to turn back. Strikes me that Jared is dumb and arrogant enough to be easily manipulated, and that much easier to be set on such a path without any clue about where it’s leading

  26. 26
    Lyrebird says:

    @dr. bloor: Yes.

    Too true.

    Also, UGH!

  27. 27
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Pretty much.

  28. 28
    NotMax says:

    @rikyrah

    Editor must have (for reasons of space) cut off the part recommending their wearing a scarlet, white and blue letter at all times.

  29. 29

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: What strikes me about ALL these idiots is that they are so easily manipulated. Carter Page has been the most candid with regard to the security realm, in saying oh of course I gave them some of my published papers, no problem. That is precisely the drill: the recruiter asks the mark to give them something or do something for them. That conditions the mark to feeling like that’s normal, so that when the recruiter asks them for classified paper or to do something illegal, they’re much more likely to do it. And after that, it’s too late.

    Jared’s statement about all those people bothering him about history, and he can certainly make peace in the Middle East without knowing dumb history puts him in a similar category.

    And yeah, debt is the first thing the clearance people look at and demand explanations for.

  30. 30
    Ohio Mom says:

    What I am wondering about is the 666 building. It’s in a very prime location: the corner of Fifth Avenue and 53rd street.

    It’s not a new building but it isn’t any older than a lot of other buildings in the area. It’s something of a landmark.

    How can someone lose money on that?

    ETA: but then again, this is the family that loses money on ca$ino$.

  31. 31
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ohio Mom: These are people that went bankrupt owning a casino.

  32. 32
    stinger says:

    Open thread — there’ll be an Eastern Iowa BJ meetup this Saturday, Cherry Creek Grill, Waterloo, noonish. Be there or be four, nine, sixteen….

  33. 33
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Adam L Silverman: my ETA and your comment crossed in the ether.

  34. 34
    NotMax says:

    @Ohio Mom

    Purchasing it for multiples of what it is worth is step one.

  35. 35
    Mike J says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: That was the way I was told too. Don’t ever try to be smart and think you can hang out with baddies because you’d never slip.

  36. 36

    These fucking assholes are going to sell us all out to save their asses, and the shitstains who voted them in are going to be cheering for them to do it.

  37. 37
    Suzanne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    $9,000 per square foot

    Holy shitballs.
    Even by the insane standards of NYC real estate, that is ludicrous.

  38. 38
    Doug R says:

    @Corner Stone:

    $9000 a fucking SQFT?

    Note the article on the same page that shows what you can get for $4100 a month-looks a lot more than one square foot.

  39. 39

    @Ohio Mom: They bought at the absolute peak of the market. That didn’t help. I would also not be surprised if money-laundering and/or the mob were somehow involved. I mean, it’s NY real estate. It’d be more surprising if neither were.

  40. 40
    Suzanne says:

    @clay:

    I probably hate him the most.

    I definitely hate Jared the most. Not just because his dad bought his way into Harvard and I didn’t get it and had to go to a state school on scholarship. He’s not smart, not funny, not hot, not talented, not charismatic…..and he fuckin’ just keeps failing upward.
    Fuckin’ Ralph Lauren of Arabia.

  41. 41
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Ohio Mom:
    Jared found a way, I’m not sure how. Maybe he got his sums wrong and borrowed more for the fixer-upper work than he could repay. (His father-in-law does this a lot, so I hear.) Maybe he got cocky and overestimated what he could ask for in rent. Maybe he’s such a jackhole that people won’t do business with him. Or maybe the high-end rental-property market is a bit soft in Manhattan and he just got caught out. Who knows?

  42. 42
    patrick II says:

    I can’t wait to see Trump in prison orange and a prison haircut .

  43. 43
    efgoldman says:

    @kindness:

    Jared and Trump fell out of the same tree and didn’t roll far.

    They landed on their heads, too

  44. 44
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Oopsie!

  45. 45
    NotMax says:

    @Amir Khalid

    Any fixing upping remains aspirational. It’s a commercial building with, or so I’ve read, a significantly higher percentage of vacant space since Kushner purchased it than the NYC norm for similarly situated properties.

    (Many moons ago, DC Comics was headquartered there.)

  46. 46
    Suzanne says:

    @Amir Khalid: Novice developers and property owners often underestimate costs of renovation projects. Hell, even experienced developers make that mistake fairly often. My clients do it all the time and they are large companies. I would be willing to bet that he bought the building at the top of the market, and like a dumbass, just thought real estate would continue to escalate infinitesimally. Lots of smarter people than Jared made that error. And costs of construction are going up really fast right now. So I can see how he got screwed.

  47. 47
    delk says:

    @Ohio Mom: The ceilings are too low in the building.

  48. 48
    efgoldman says:

    @Adam L Silverman: OT but I can’t stay awake much longer.
    They started the second season of L&O tonite.
    Defense counsel in episode two? Jerry Orbach

  49. 49

    @Adam L Silverman: I really, really want to see ICE burned to the ground, the fields salted, and it replaced with a new organisation with everyone who used to be in ICE outright banned from serving in the new one. I really don’t think there’s any other appropriate response. People who haven’t been following Loomis’ immigration coverage over at LGM might not realise how bad an organisation it is – it’s cartoonishly evil. (And “evil” is a word I almost always avoid using when referring to real-world events/people. Not in this case.)

  50. 50
    PhoenixRising says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    He is exactly the kind of person one would approach in an attempt to turn and utilize as an asset.

    Yeah, also he’s dumb as a bag of hammers. He probably *believed* the meeting was with Putin’s niece and maybe even that it was about adoptions. Overextended to a degree that put him in an exclusive club among the 1%, stupid AND random chance with Trump running add up to…that guy was compromised first and worst.

  51. 51
    Lyrebird says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Okie dokes. Mos def not going to quibble when you know the full deal. Thanks for laying it all out!

    I still think it’s wacked that Orangemandias would hack up a hairball, so nicely narrated by @NCSteve as well, to spit at the FBI itself.

    And I still hope it keeps backfiring on him!

  52. 52
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷 says:

    Good news. I mentioned I had been looking for a second job the other day and I got an email today from a place I had just applied online to yesterday for a phone interview this Thursday. On top of that I finally got more hours at the job I have now. So I’m feeling pretty good right now.

    The place is Giant Eagle. It’s a corporate location which means it has a union with good benefits. Hopefully, the interview will go well and I’ll have a decent job until I graduate college.

  53. 53

    WaPo: Cryptocurrency mining in Iceland is using so much energy, the electricity may run out

    The value of bitcoin may have stumbled in recent months, but in Iceland it has known only one direction so far: upward. The stunning success of cryptocurrencies around the globe has had a more unexpected repercussion on the island of 340,000 people: It could soon result in an energy shortage in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

    As Iceland has become one of the world’s prime locations for energy-hungry cryptocurrency servers — something analysts describe as a 21st-century gold-rush equivalent — the industry’s electricity demands have skyrocketed, too. For the first time, they now exceed Icelanders’ own private energy consumption, and energy producers fear that they won’t be able to keep up with rising demand if Iceland continues to attract new companies bidding on the success of cryptocurrencies.

  54. 54
    efgoldman says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    What I am wondering about is the 666 building.

    It’s NYC. I’m surprised they haven’t had a convenient fire yet.

  55. 55
    PhoenixRising says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Or, you know, what SHE said. Shoulda read all the comments.

  56. 56

    So friggin’ much news tonight. I’ve thought about posting, and then didn’t, at least half of it. This is OT, but it looks big to me.

  57. 57
    Suzanne says:

    @delk:

    The ceilings are too low in the building.

    That right there is a really common complaint about buildings over 20 years old and it is incredibly costly to fix. Like, often it would be cheaper to tear down the entire building and rebuild something new.

  58. 58
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    How’s that old saw go? “They made their decision. Now let them enforce it!”

    God, Andrew Jackson was such a monster.

    Will ICE play nice?

  59. 59
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Suzanne: Like, often it would be cheaper to tear down the entire building and rebuild something new.

    I’m pretty sure that’s been proposed for the Kushner building. So he’d want to borrow more money…

  60. 60
    barb 2 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    This is what jails are for — to lock up creeps like this.

  61. 61

    It takes a world-class level of incompetence to lose as much money as Kushner was born to. Even Trump was not that stupid.

    Kushner is that stupid.

  62. 62
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    White House says it’s common for security clearance to take a year.

    My TS/BI took about three months. I got a “dossier review required” because i admitted to smoking pot in college.

  63. 63
    NotMax says:

    @Suzanne

    Promote it to multi-multi-gazillionaires who are 5′ 2″ and under.

    Niche market.

    ;)

  64. 64
    Suzanne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I’m sure. And then he gets to deal with financing the whole thing for the multiple years that there is no building.

  65. 65
    eric U. says:

    when the janitors all lost their security clearance under Reagan, I worked in a vault for a while. The janitors would come in and someone would walk around behind them going “unclean!” “unclean!” so we would cover up anything classified. I think they need to do that in the white house with these people that don’t have clearances.

    For those of you that have had to work with classified information, can you imagine the security violations this crew of dimwits has made?

  66. 66
    Amir Khalid says:

    @NotMax:
    This is part of why I tend to favour the “jackhole” theory.

  67. 67
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @NotMax: Promote it to multi-multi-gazillionaires who are 5′ 2″ and under.

    So, Bloomberg, Putin… there’s two apartments

  68. 68
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax:

    (Many moons ago, DC Comics was headquartered there.)

    Until the last multiversal crisis lead to a reboot and relocation. Apparently 666 5th Avenue doesn’t exist on Earth Prime.

  69. 69

    @eric U.: One of their primary attacks on Clinton was how much her private email server criming indangerated U.S. national security because of her allegedly cavalier handling of allegedly TOP SECRET! CLASSIFIED!!!11 emails. So I figure they don’t give the slightest bit of a shit about being careful when handling classified intel, because it’s always, always, always projection with these motherfuckers. If they accuse an opponent of something, they have already done it or will do so at the first opportunity they get. They have all the subtlety of Captain Planet villains, and I’m not entirely sure that was fair to Captain Planet villains.

  70. 70
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @efgoldman: That is a major continuity problem.

    Sleep well!

  71. 71
    NotMax says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist

    And Kim Jong Un for the hat trick.

  72. 72
    Mike J says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: When I lived in DC I knew people who took new jobs and spent the first month reporting to an office across town from where they were supposed to work, doing nothing while waiting for clearance. Pity the White House doesn’t use the holding tanks,.

  73. 73
    Waratah says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I read that earlier. will that stop ICE from picking up Dreamers and deporting them?

  74. 74

    @Waratah: Probably not. ICE are perfect representations of the line from Yeats: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst/Are full of passionate intensity.” Though thankfully, the backlash against Trump seems to be making this less true than it used to be, but it was certainly the case for far too long.

    Anyway, ICE is almost universally full of terrible people who will stop at nothing to do terrible things. I severely doubt anything short of an arrest warrant will stop any of them.

    IANAL though, so maybe it’ll hold more force over them than I expect. ICE doesn’t have a solid history of staying within the law, though, to say the least.

  75. 75

    @Waratah: IANAL, but it looks to me like it should. Hopefully it won’t get buried under all the Trump dreck, and we’ll be able to read analyses of it tomorrow.

  76. 76
    Steeplejack says:

    I asked in one of the threads downstairs if Ivanka had gotten a security clearance. I couldn’t remember seeing any reporting either way. I got on the Google and did a little research, and the results are surprisingly ambiguous.

    A CNN story from last March (warning: possible autoplay video):

    Ivanka Trump will work out of an office in the West Wing and get a security clearance, a White House official told CNN Monday.

    The official also confirmed Trump will receive government-provided communication devices, although she will not be a government employee.

    The move places President Donald Trump’s eldest daughter—long one of his closest advisers—at the center of his administration.

    Asked at a press briefing on Tuesday about the matter, White House press secretary Sean Spicer responded that Ivanka Trump would, by her own choice and at the advice of her attorney, follow rules prescribed for government employees despite being outside of government.

    So it looked like Ivanka would get a clearance but hadn’t received it as of March 21 (the date of the CNN story).

    Then there was a flurry of stories in October when some Democratic representatives called for Ivanka’s and Jared’s clearances to be investigated and possibly revoked because of a “pair of controversies.”

    Business Insider:

    In a letter to White House Counsel Donald McGahn, Democratic Reps. Ted Lieu of California and Don Beyer of Virginia requested that the White House immediately revoke both Trump’s and Kushner’s security clearances following reports on the couple’s use of private e-mail while serving in the White House in addition to a recent report outlining how Trump was nearly indicted in 2012 for real estate fraud related to the Trump SoHo.

    “Recent press investigations highlight severe credibility issues with Ivanka Trump, a White House official, close advisor, and daughter to the president,” the letter from Lieu and Beyer began.

    “These new revelations, along with the ongoing White House probe of Ms. Trump’s private e-mail use, have compromised Ms. Trump’s integrity and credibility,” the pair added. “We are requesting that the White House immediately revoke her security clearance pending an investigation into her actions.”

    The pair then pointed back to a June request to strip Kushner of his security clearance because of the FBI’s probe into his communications with Russian officials prior to President Donald Trump taking office. But the congressmen added that they “have seen no action on this matter.”

    “In light of the recent developments relating to both Mr. Kushner’s e-mail accounts and his financial disclosure statements, we would like to reiterate our request that you immediately revoke his security clearance,” they wrote.

    These October stories seem to take it as fact that both Ivanka and Jared had valid security clearances. That is what at least two members of Congress assumed, and none of the stories I saw dispute that phrasing.

    At this point the whole situation is so murky that I don’t actually remember when it came out that Jared still does not have a security clearance—and hasn’t had one since the beginning of Trump’s administration. And I couldn’t find any word about Ivanka’s current status or whether she ever actually got a security clearance.

    I’m not on the Twitter, but if I were (hint, hint) I would ask one of the big-shot reporters to investigate Ivanka’s current security status—you know, do some reporting.

    If she does have a security clearance, it begs raises the question of how one spouse can be a security risk but the other can be A-OK. That does not compute. If she doesn’t, how the hell is she not getting the same scrutiny that Jared is (even though he is not getting very much)? She appears to have some chameleon-like ability to fade into the background when it is convenient for her.

  77. 77
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Suzanne: Harvard or state school? Were you not aware of LACs?

  78. 78
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Lyrebird: No worries. And I don’t want you to think I’m dumping on you. This is not stuff that the vast majority of Americans, even informed ones, ever needed to know about before now in terms of process. But the reporting on it has been so bad because so few of the people involved in the reporting actually understand the process and the moving pieces, that everyone is just getting confused.

    The system is a mess though. It is underfunded, there are too few investigators and some lunkhead decided it was cheaper to make the bulk of them (those that do the clearance investigations for the Office of Professional Management/OPM) contractors. And since Manning and Wikileaks and Snowden and a few others the process has gotten more backlogged. The Special Security Officers have become even more inflexible, which is how I lost that supervisory contract job back in 2016. Different departments don’t like to accept clearances issued under other departments, which makes it hard for people to move around either on contracts or civil service lines as they often have to be recleared, which further backlogs everything. There’s a lot of pencil whipping – just moving paper around – which further slows things down. But in this case the fault is not with the FBI as the investigators. I’m not 100% sure where the problem is, but it is somewhere above the adjudicators.

  79. 79
    Ruckus says:

    @dr. bloor:
    drumpf doesn’t do favors. Favors are done for him. Especially now that he’s “in charge.”

    ETA drumpf is the idiot Corleone son, the one that bumbles his way to utter mediocracy, until the day someone else decides that he might just make a useful idiot.

  80. 80
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @PhoenixRising: The complete devolution of a family in just three generations. His grandparents survived the Holocaust by fleeing and joining the Bielskis. Then come to the US and build a fortune from scratch. His dad is a scumbag, but he at least maintained/grew the fortune. Jared’s put the entire fortune at risk. And besmirched his grandparents’ names and reputations. I’m pretty sure he couldn’t survive a long day hiking in the woods without servants to assist him, let alone living in the forest and fighting for survival as an irregular militia.

  81. 81
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  83. 83
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’d pay money to see him do a British P Company milling.

  84. 84
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: It is a big deal.

  85. 85
    TS says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Wasn’t there drama with investments in Iceland banking in the leadup to the GFC in 2008. I’m fairly sure the UK government bailed out english investors in same.

    Overview here
    Meltdown Ireland

    Local authorities around the country have more than a billion pounds invested in Icelandic banks.
    Iceland Bank Failure

    Seems enterprising businessmen will always find a way of building something out of nothing & crying when it all goes wrong.

  86. 86
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @barb 2: I’m sure he’s going to be a big hit inside with the Latin Kings bubbas.

  87. 87

    @efgoldman: To answer your question from downstairs; yes my heating, lighting, and doors are automated. I can’t speak to what M*4 has. If you have any questions about my setup, feel free to ask away.

  88. 88
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I wish they’d bring Earth Prime back. It was kind of a cool concept. If DC made a comic about a lone superhero on Earth Prime (and all the trials and tribulations that would come with; no other superheroes to guide them), I’d buy it. Max Landis could write it.

  89. 89
    Ruckus says:

    @Ohio Mom:
    Well the trick in real estate investing is to pay less than the going rate. Jarad paid way over. He got taken. For hundred’s of millions. He is…… a fucking idiot, playing way, way over his head.

  90. 90

    @TS:

    Seems enterprising businessmen will always find a way of building something out of nothing & crying when it all goes wrong.

    In the case of Iceland the bankers mostly went back to being cod fishermen instead of crying.

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷: Break their legs! (That’s how it goes, right?)

  91. 91
    Chet Murthy says:

    @Major Major Major Major: JHFC. And the call this “decentralized”. Idiots.

  92. 92
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: They do take a lot longer now, but not usually for political appointments in the White House. Those get priority, which is why they have the FBI do them. Under the most recent legal revisions they are required to take no more than 6 months and only if there are extenuating circumstances. In reality they run between 9 and 12 months for government side, including military, and 12 to 24 months for contractors. And those are the minimums. The Underscretary of Defense for Intelligence has issued guidance for the DOD, the Services, and all DOD agencies that if someone is in JPASS, they can be read on. This is because you’ll have people in JPASS for their TS, which are now good for 7 years (up from 5 years as of 1 JAN 2017), but whose SCIs have fallen out of the system because they’ve not been read on to an SCI compartment for 24 months. SCI access only stays in JPASS for 24 months. Until he issued his guidance, the SSOs were so paranoid because of Manning, Wikileaks, Snowden, etc that if one was active TS with SCI eligible, they wouldn’t read them on without a completely new SCI investigation. So there’s a huge backlog. Even armed with the memo, you’ll get SSOs that won’t authorize a read on.

  93. 93
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    @rikyrah:
    @Major Major Major Major:

    Thanks. I kind of fucked up in the reply email. The contact had a longish Polish name and I forgot a letter by mistake when I was addressing them. I got an automatic reply saying they would be out of the office until Thursday. At the end, I’ll mention the mistake and apologize.

  94. 94
    Ruckus says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷:
    Used to shop there. As grocery stores go it was pretty good. A lot of the baggers were youngsters with disabilities of some sort. I liked that they gave them work, encouraged them, made them feel welcome. Far better than Kroger.

  95. 95
    TS says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷: Sounding good, may it all be successful for you.

  96. 96
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Steeplejack: Both Ivanka and Jared are, by the reporting, not officially government employees. They don’t draw salaries. Nor are they contractors. Basically they’re volunteers. As far as I know there is no provision for giving volunteers a clearance. As far as I know all of this is illegal under the Anti-Deficiency Act.
    https://www.gao.gov/legal/anti-deficiency-act/about

  97. 97
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: That would be fun.

  98. 98
    TS says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    In the case of Iceland the bankers mostly went back to being cod fishermen instead of crying.

    While the UK Government bailed out their own. Guess the bitcoin miners can also learn about fishing.

  99. 99
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷: You may be the only person who liked Superboy Prime.

  100. 100
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷:
    On second thought, Superman: Secret Idenitity was already that comic now that I think about it.

  101. 101
    Suzanne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I don’t know what LAC stands for, so I guess I wasn’t aware.

  102. 102
    Humdog says:

    Make the low ceilinged 666 property a luxury hotel for short people and call it Little Devils!

  103. 103
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Suzanne: Liberal Arts College.

  104. 104
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I don’t. At least not unironically. I liked the concept of SBP. From my reading of others impressions of the character and some scans, he could of been redeemed in the beginning. I liked him in his debut comic and COIE. He was a sort of tragic character. But Geoff Johns, as good as a writer as he is, ruined SBP. He became a deranged, psychotic brat as well as a stand-in for angry comic book nerds everywhere who wax nostalgic for the pre-crisis comics of yore. Ironically, especially since Rebirth, Johns is basically SBP. He (SBP) also killed characters that the editors wanted gone.

    I think SBP could make a good gag character though that reviews modern comics along with say, the Flash. The 2010’s version of him would probably complain about “SJWs” ruining comics with “Diversity for Diversity’s sake”.

  105. 105
    Raoul says:

    @Corner Stone: This is way out of my league, but one of the top highrise buildings in DT minneapolis has a premo unit on the market for $2.1M. It’s 2,292 sq ft.
    Or, $916/sq ft. Excellent building, amazing rooftop outdoor pool over the parking garage, there’s a concierge, yoga studio, personal wine vaults, etc for the building.
    I get that NYC is fancy, but 10X the price? Hahahahah.

  106. 106
    Suzanne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Oh, I got into Reed, but I didn’t get enough of a scholarship. I wasn’t poor, but definitely needed to take the best financial aid package I could get. Which turned out to be 100% of tuition and housing, but only at an AZ state university.

  107. 107

    @TS: The funny thing is, there really was a labor movement from traditional Icelandic stuff like cod fishing to the banking sector, and when the markets went tits-up, they really did just go right back to fishing. These bitcoin jackasses are all foreign, and once the electricity goes off, will starve at the first frost.

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    cain says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    so basically, a hispanic man is caught stealing.. yeah, I can see our Trumpers all thinking he should be deported cuz he is a bad hombre.

  109. 109
    Mnemosyne says:

    A line of Sydney Greenstreet’s from The Maltese Falcon keeps coming to mind when I think of Trump and Jared:

    Kasper Gutman: I couldn’t be fonder of you if you were my own son. But, well, if you lose a son, it’s possible to get another. There’s only one Maltese Falcon.

  110. 110
    Steeplejack says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The CNN story says (citing Sean Spicer) that “Ivanka Trump would, by her own choice and at the advice of her attorney, follow rules prescribed for government employees despite being outside of government.” Which would seem to include the usual requirement to get a security clearance.

    Also, if there is no provision for giving volunteers a clearance, why has Jared gone through the whole rigmarole of filling out the relevant forms (and fucking them up and filling them out again and again)? Why has no Trump minion thought to say, “Hey, he’s a volunteer—he doesn’t need a security clearance.” (General question—not necessarily for you.)

    Finally, how does the Antideficiency Act come into play, with its focus on funding and appropriations?

  111. 111
    Steeplejack says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    How can someone lose money on that?

    By overpaying for it in the first place.

    P.S. I think the forbidden words like casino and socialism are legal once again. Checking with this . . .

    ETA: Success! I can feel the change in the ambience already.

  112. 112
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    They are, however included in the official roster* of White House employees. In fact, Ivanka’s official job title as included in that roster is “First Daughter and Advisor to the President.”

    As for her and Jared pocketing no salary – you get what you pay for.

    *link is to a roster of names, titles and salaries some of which are (obviously) are no longer operational.

  113. 113
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    Also too, they may not draw salaries but if they’re receiving government health care coverage and benefits they’re employees, not volunteers.

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    Steeplejack says:

    @efgoldman:

    Defense counsel in episode two? Jerry Orbach.

    That’s a nice little shocker. I never watched any of the Law and Order shows when they were first on, but I’ve now seen probably all the episodes of the original and Criminal Intent through the ubiquitous cable reruns. So not in strict chronological order (although most of the channels are pretty good about running each day’s mini-block as a group of adjacent episodes). When Orbach suddenly shows up and he’s not Lennie Briscoe you can almost perceive a slight bump in the space-time continuum.

    A lesser—far lesser—bump is at the end of season 17, when Jeremy Sisto shows up as some random character and then, only a few months later, at the beginning of season 18 starts his long run as Detective Lupo.

    Jeez, just realized you’ve got a lot of viewing ahead.

    I found that I really like Criminal Intent, especially the long arc with Vincent d’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe.

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    Steeplejack says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷:

    Congratulations! That is good news.

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    @Steeplejack: It’s OK to say Merry Christmas casino now!

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    JGabriel says:

    @clay:

    It’s hard to decide who the worst member of the Trumpers is, but the sheer gall of Jared, thinking he’s qualified to basically be the de facto Secretary of State and Chief of Staff all rolled into one, simply because he inherited a fortune and sticks his dick into Ivanka… I probably hate him the most.

    According to 538, Traitor Donald’s aggregate approval rating is about 41%. That’s presumably 41% who would still vote for him again.

    They aren’t the ones I hate most though. The ones I hate most are the right-wing media, like Fox News, and the people who fund the lies and propaganda, people like the Koch Bros. and Putin, that keep this base. rabid, right-wing, 41% base deluded enough to still think Trump is fit for the office of the Presidency. The ones destroying the country for their own personal profit.

    Those are the ones I utterly despise and loathe, the ones I hate with a deep fiery passion.

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    Steeplejack says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    I am thinking about minimal automation—maybe just two or three smart light switches at first. My apartment doesn’t have an overhead light in the living room, and the wall switch by the front door controls one outlet right next to the door—not where I want to have primary lighting. I would love to be able to come in and say, “Alexa—lights!,” and have the desired lamp or two come on. Haven’t thought about it much past that. So I guess my first questions are: (1) type/​brand of “smart” outlet plug; and (2) Alexa or something else?

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    @Steeplejack: You could use Belkin’s Wemo switches(this is how I started out about 4 years ago) to control the lights and use a Smartthings hub to connect it all to Alexa or Google or Cortana(not sure about Siri, I don’t do the fruity stuff). One of the reasons I went “whole hog” or “Sixteen ways to Sunday” as efg put it, is that I have one light switch that controls two light fixtures that each contain 2 lights; most of the time I only want 1 bulb on and the switch is currently behind the microwave oven. That’s why I ended up using smart bulbs and went initially with a Wink hub(it was super cheep), I moved to Smartthings late last year.

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    sigaba says:

    @Lyrebird:

    Just makes it even more bizarre that this maladministration would go hating on the FBI.

    Dependency breeds contempt.

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    J R in WV says:

    @TS:

    Pretty sure I recall that when Iceland’s banks went belly up in the Bush Crash, the government prosecuted all of the top C-level managers successfully. Imprisoned them… a strong indicator that you don’t fuck with Iceland’s banking system, not at all.

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    J R in WV says:

    @Ruckus:

    FWIW, our Krogers has youngsters with some disabilities also. They’re pretty good, really.

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    lgerard says:

    You all should be thinking about what these immoral, law-breaking men do after they leave the White House with state secrets many hostile parties would find valuable. https://t.co/OhZgbv2iLD

    — Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) February 10, 2018

    This strikes me as an extremely important aspect that needs far more consideration,

    Recent news reports had 14 people reading the Daily Briefing

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    Steeplejack says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    Thanks. Starting to build a dossier.

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    sukabi says:

    @Steeplejack: I would guess that if Jared doesn’t have his clearance then ivanka doesn’t either. Being married they share the same financial problems that would normally keep them from being cleared. Also, if there are up to 40 high level folks in the WH that lack clearances it would probably be easier to count the ones that actually do have them. I’m guessing Kelly has one and by default Drumpf has one and Pence. Other than that probably not too many others.

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    Duane says:

    People sell their food benefits. Fifty cents on the dollar. It’s the one liquid asset left for many.

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    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Wait! You mean the Drumpfs arent really rich!??!

    HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOCOOONODE!

  128. 128
    Duane says:

    @Steeplejack: I’ve written a memo. It contains classified info, possibly. Who should I send it to? (Security clearance undetermined).

  129. 129
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @Steeplejack:

    I would love to be able to come in and say, “Alexa—lights!,” and have the desired lamp or two come on.

    Meh. I’ve been using “The Clapper” for years.

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    Steeplejack says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch:

    Science marches on, Grandpa! Get with it.

  131. 131
    Steeplejack says:

    @Duane:

    Adam would probably be your best bet. Please include details on whether the helicopters are laughing and if you have faxed your credenza.

  132. 132
    cthulhu says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Is a year a long time when you’re looking at $1.2 billion debt coming due?

    Not at all. A deal could be found tomorrow…except…

    As others have noted above, this is an older building that needs major renovation to bring it to the standards that the primo renters want but that isn’t cheap given the building’s original construction. Kushner has floated the idea of demolishing and building anew but the other partners are against that since they feel they can manage a reasonable return on what they own with the current building (I am guessing some people put less skin in the game than Kushner for a better cut – another example of Kushner’s “brilliance” in this deal. I am willing to cut him some slack in mis-timing the market, that does happen). I think the main problem is that few with enough money want the scrutiny that would come with making a deal with Kushner now, regardless of the long-term perspective on the property. The Anbang failure is a good example.

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

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    Gvg says:

    As I understand it, if Trump said they have x clearance, they really would. He hasn’t. Maybe he doesn’t want the responsibility or doesn’t understand that. All other clearances throughout the government are a kind of legal delegation of the Presidents power because the government is huge and he can’t meet everyone and decide.
    In practice the delegation process is clearly smarter and safer for the country than the personal judgement of anyone. Prior Presidents were smart enough to prefer the investigative process to using their legal prerogatives. Normal citizens are smart enough to prefer it too. The problem here is that the investigators knew the actual law was the elected President who right now clearly is too self centered to not have the bad advisors. I mean, Trump could never get a clearance himself except this way. He ought to get rid of all the won’t ever get a standard clearance people and hire people who can, but few of those will work for him and getting fewer every day. Also the refusal to get rid of Kushner and the 40 non cleared is one of the reasons he himself wouldn’t get a clearance.
    The problem for them is also that this looks really bad to normal citizens because it is bad for us. Giving clearances based on investigation into issues that hard experience has taught us matter makes sense to people. People watching are also having a hard time really taking in that clearances are actually the Presidents choice. And Trump hasn’t actually forced it by saying I say Kushner has top secret clearance.
    I also wonder about the PDB. Can’t help thinking it’s currently full of bait lies or nothing at all. Which is a bad precedent of lying or omission but how can they do anything else? How do we get back to safe norms?

  134. 134
    Anne Laurie says:

    @efgoldman:

    It’s NYC. I’m surprised they haven’t had a convenient fire yet.

    Another oft-told tale, repeated only because it’s a dying thread:

    My old man was a lifer at the NY Port Authority, and back in the 1970s employees hated the construction of the PA’s World Trade Center with a white-hot ranks-unifying passion. Since these were also the peak years for insurance-related arson, there was a joke among PA workers: Now, where can we find a sky-diving rat?

    (Yes, that was the first thing flashed through my mind when I found out 9/11 was actual terrorism.)

    Obviously, it’s still hard to find a NYC arsonist competent or willing to take on a (relatively modern) skyscraper, though. At least one who’ll take a check from Jared or his associates.

  135. 135
    PST says:

    @rikyrah:

    Under this new system, all citizens would have the right to sponsor a migrant for economic purposes.

    I thought we got rid of that in 1808.

  136. 136
    sukabi says:

    @PST: pretty sure that’s what the civil war was fought over….. (A version of individuals “sponsoring migration for economic gain”)

  137. 137
    Adria McDowell says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I was denied a TS clearance because of defaulted student loans. A total of $10,000. Not millions.

    I really really hate these people. They cannot exit this world fast enough for me.

  138. 138
    MattF says:

    @Ohio Mom: When I was growing up I’d take the subway (from Queens!) into Manhattan, and get off at the 666 building– the 53rd Street station is in the basement. Also, the building is across the street from the Museum of Modern Art. It should be an easy pitch to sell it for condos, but I’m guessing that potential investors saw Jared and decided ‘no way’.

  139. 139
    Jake the antisoshul soshulist says:

    @clay:
    Wonder if Ivanka makes Jared wear a Donald mask?

  140. 140
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Steeplejack: I do not know why in regards to their clearances.

    As to the Anti-Deficiency Act: it also prohibits doing work for the Federal government and not getting paid for doing said work. Basically, one cannot volunteer to do civil service work that is supposed to be paid.

  141. 141
    RobNYNY says:

    @Steeplejack: Someone who is in a position to know told me that the worst job in show business is shortening episodes of L&O by four minutes to fit in more commercials on cable reruns. They can speed them up by a few percent . A 3% acceleration gets about a minute. After that, it’s a matter of deleting reaction shots, the seconds between the last syllable of dialog and the fadeout, some sarcastic remarks that don’t advance the plot, etc.

  142. 142
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @RobNYNY:

    The MeTV network is really bad about this. I assume they do it on all of their shows, but on the one I know really well, Perry Mason, their cutting of little intro and outro bits often gets to the point of affecting audience understanding of what’s going on.

  143. 143
    Kristine says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That old saying about “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves.” Hope it happens to both him and his FIL.

    Except maybe sub “prison orange” for the second “shirtsleeves.”

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