Hey, why not ask for more

I have two Mueller-probe related questions for you.

Number one, in a situation like this, suppose someone’s committed some relatively tangential crimes, maybe a little laundering, a little footsie with Julian Assange. Could that person go to Mueller and say “Hey, I’ll tell you everything, you can wire me up as long as you want, I just don’t want to go to jail”? Do you have to plead first to cooperate or can they let you off scot free?

Number two, where does the whole “no way am I wearing a wire, man” thing come from? I remember it from The Simpsons, but it must predate that. I can’t hear “wearing wire” without thinking “I’m not wearing a freaking wire”.

While we’re at it, let’s raise a little money for the Balloon Juice fund which is split equally among all eventual Democratic nominees in House districts currently held by Republicans? By the way, we are place to raise a total of about 200K in 2018 (across various funds). We did 75K in 2017.

Goal Thermometer

43 replies
  1. 1
    Sebastian says:

    Noone needs to wear a wire. With a warrant IC can turn on the mic in your phone. Mueller already knows everything, what he is looking for are corroborating witnesses so he doesn’t have to burn sources and methods.

    So he won’t be interested in you coming clean unless you can play a role in testifying. You’ll more likely get indicted at some point.

  2. 2
    Yutsano says:

    Number two, where does the whole “no way am I wearing a wire, man” thing come from?

    Hill Street Blues maybe?

  3. 3
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    OT I put in a post at the weekend that there’d been a flood in my building at work – in the end it was bad, but it probably could have been worse. The water peaked at about 9in deep and so everything on the floor and on lower shelves or in lower drawers of filing cabinets was affected. Mostly this wasn’t hugely valuable stuff, though some technical equipment was impacted. The two biggest problems were that our quarantine lab flooded (Australia has very tight import restrictions meaning that soil and animal samples have to be processed in quarantined spaces) and so did the office of a very recently deceased emeritus professor whose family had not yet packed up his books and papers. That latter is going to particularly suck to deal with. The silver lining though is that *magically* a much superior building on campus was able to be vacated so that we can move in – the storage spaces are bigger, the labs are better equipped and more pleasant and the offices are nicer. Considering that our building was nearly condemned last year this is a real upgrade. I’m just trying to keep my head of archaeology (who also has a 3mo old baby at home) semi-sane while this gets worked out.

  4. 4
    Some Dude says:

    AZ-8 just had it special election. The (D) candidate, Hiral Tipirneni, should be a strong opponent to (R) Debbie Lesko. This was Trent Franks seat, until his family planning was made public. Would be great to see this seat turn blue!

  5. 5
    George_Spiggot says:


  6. 6
    Mike E says:

    You’re thinking of that FBI informant who nailed ADM et al for price fixing lysine…the marks were caught on his tape joking aloud about room service personnel wearing a wire. Missed it by *that* much!

  7. 7
    Raoul says:

    Another thing to consider for 2018: blackwomeninpolitics.com
    It’s a database of Black women running for office in every state. Just a compilation of data and links, the site doesn’t evaluate them – so do research if of interest (a few Republicans in the mix, for example).

    I’ve now given to three of the women from the list. One in MN, one in FL, one in GA. Will give to more.

    And yes, of course, there are many valid reasons to give to diverse candidates of all sorts. But white men have been good ol boying each other for centuries. I am not a black woman, but I want to gay white boy some of these Black women as a tiny, tiny bit of a rebuke to the good ol boy networks – and because Black women have real leadership to offer this country, from school boards to Congress and beyond.

  8. 8
    eclare says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: Glad you were able to move to another building.

  9. 9
    Chris T. says:

    Random noteworthy anagram stolen from Guardian crossword puzzle:



  10. 10
    Noah Brand says:

    The “no way am I wearing a freakin’ wire” thing comes from times when police body-bugs were obtrusive and super-easy to spot if someone checked even casually. So since our movies and TV shows tend to be about guys trying to record drug cartels and the Mafia, it means “I’m not going to wear something that they will definitely find, and then shoot me in the head without any further comment.”

  11. 11
    George Spiggott says:

    Prince of The City?

  12. 12
    Origuy says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: Don’t they usually put books and papers in a freezer when something like this happens? Your department should have connections to conservators that have dealt with waterlogged paper. Not that I really know what I talking about.
    Good luck with that. Moving offices is a pain under the best of circumstances.

  13. 13
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @Origuy: The flooding resulted from flash flood when we received over 160mm of rain in one morning. Sediments washed in and storm drains and sewerage overflowed. I wish it were just water.

  14. 14
    Aleta says:

    @Raoul: Thanks.
    Here’s one I support, LPAC. (Their event in Boston 10 days ago was set up for the smallest of donations to be equal to large ones. The next one, in CA, seems focused on big donors. I don’t know anything about political operations and how they do what they do, though.)
    Excerpts from their site:

    LPAC believes that the engagement of lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ) women in politics can translate into greater protections for LGBTQ women and all members of the LGBTQ community. LPAC operates with a commitment to LGBTQ equality, gender, sexual and reproductive justice, and racial, social and economic justice.

    LPAC has been instrumental in electing candidates who push forward progressive, feminist and pro-LGBTQ policies, including the fight for pay equality, LGBTQ nondiscrimination laws, reproductive justice, and voting rights.

    We have also engaged thousands of people in political giving … and built a grassroots contact list of 25,000 people. LPAC has a broad base of support both nationally and economically, yet the majority of LPAC’s donors have contributed under $100.


    LPAC is now celebrating 5 years since its inception. Below you will find a few facts and figures to give you an idea as to what we as a values-driven PAC have been able to achieve.
    * Since our founding, we have invested over $2.1 million from more than 1,500 donors across 48 states and the District of Columbia to build the political power of LGBTQ women;
    * LPAC was the FIRST national LGBTQ organization to endorse Hillary Clinton for President in 2016;
    * In 2016 LPAC invested over $550,000 in its endorsed slate of candidates running for office; and,
    * We value diversity across the board. In 2016, of our slate of candidates was 78% women, 38% candidates of color, and 45% identified as LGBTQ.

    Our plan for 2018:
    This is a phenomenal year with a strong field of LGBTQ women and women of color running for elected office. As such, LPAC will endorse a slate of candidates who not only adhere to our values, but also belong to this underrepresented field. These candidates are running on the local, state and federal level. .


    (We utilize) a small but dedicated team of political professionals to keep our administrative costs low and to effectively invest your generous contribution towards achieving LPAC’s mission;
    * Whether it’s reproductive freedom, access to quality and affordable healthcare, or fighting for the rights and dignity of immigrant families, our rights are threatened when any vulnerable community is under attack. It’s why we speak out – and why we do so every day;

    This page on their site lists “a few of the candidates and campaigns we supported and helped win over the past three election cycles” (2012-2017). It’s impressive.

  15. 15
    Jay S says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: So bottom shelf applies to archaeology as well as booze and groceries?

  16. 16
    Aleta says:

    @Aleta: https://teamlpac.com/about-us/

    Oops, wrong link. (The list is under the title OUR WINS.)
    (You might have to click the x in the overlaid box to see the list…I think. Sorry.)

    This page on their site lists “a few of the candidates and campaigns we supported and helped win over the past three election cycles” (2012-2017). It’s impressive.

  17. 17
    Aleta says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: Sorry to hear about that. I’m glad you’ll be in a better bigger space when all the work of saving is over.

  18. 18
    Arclite says:


    Hill Street Blues maybe?

    I was thinking The Wire, but maybe that’s too recent.

  19. 19
    magurakurin says:

    @Arclite: the wire in The Wire was a wire tap.

  20. 20

    @Sebastian: “No one needs to wear a wire. With a warrant IC can turn on the mic in your phone.”

    Is this true? I know in the old days a transmitter could be placed in a Western Electric ‘phone handset that would use the telephone’s microphone & send it to a (near-by) receiver, allowing recording of everything that was said in the room, whether or not the ‘phone was in use, but now “they” can just turn your ‘phone’s mic on, & record everything said anywhere near you, warrant or not?

  21. 21
    Jay says:

    @M. Bouffant:

    Camera too, but unless you are volenteering, (eg. You are bugging someone), they need a warrant to “bug you”, or a FISA Court order.

  22. 22
    Williamc says:

    Why would they ask anyone to wear a wire? You could get the guy admitting that he asked Vlad Putin personally to hack the election in the morning, and by the evening, he’d be calling Putin’s mother a streewalker. It’s unreliable evidence.
    What’s even more interesting is, where does this go? We’ve known all along that Meuller has the goods on Pussygrabber and his whole bunch. The guy admitted he obstructed justice on national TV! But then I remembered that the law is slow and it comes at you and eats your life away if you’ve done wrong (and even if you haven’t). Also, I remembered that they have the phone calls on record. The liberal purity ponies first lost their love for Obama for retroactively immunizing the telecoms for spying on us. We’ve known for years they are listening to all of our phone calls and demanding that Google and the ISPs hand over information that was “important for national security reasons” for years as well. Heck, we even know that the Princeling was trying to set up a back channel with the Russians during the transition, and that Flynn used his own methods to get messages to the Russians, to avoid NSA detection. Now that the “deep state” has all of this data, the Special Cousel has all of it. He’s watching the news. He’s hearing the Republicans spin the lies about it all, and seems to methodically closing off all the angles that the crazies can bake a conspiracy cake out of. Where does this all end? It’s obvious right now that if Pussygrabber isn’t guilty as hell, he’s dumb as dirt for associating with a bunch of people playing footsie with the Russians. But we all know that he won this election with the Russians help because we live in a hell that can only be the work of low-rent real-world Russian trolls, and the help of all the people that willingly voted for him and still go along with what he’s selling, who are dumber than low-rent Russian trolls. I’m just not seeing where this all ends?

  23. 23
    dopey-o says:

    @M. Bouffant: @M. Bouffant: @Sebastian:

    No one needs to wear a wire. With a warrant IC can turn on the mic in your phone. Mueller already knows everything…

    Remember how Snowden took Poitras’ and Greenwald’s cellphones and locked them inside the in-room microwave? The phones, not Poitras and Greenwald.

  24. 24

    @dopey-o: Locking Greenwald in the microwave doesn’t sound like a half bad idea.

  25. 25
    dopey-o says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: up past your bedtime? Me too.

  26. 26

    @dopey-o: Nah, I’m nocturnal. I’m taking some time lapses of the moon right now.

  27. 27

    @Jay: As if lack of a warrant would stop them. Is it a federal requirement for ‘phones to follow Federal orders, or just something the fascists of the technology sector offered to the gov’t.? I seem to remember all sorts of fuss about unlocking the San Bernardino shooter’s ‘phone, was that all crap to fool us?

  28. 28

    @dopey-o: That could have been because he didn’t want them (as opposed to the gummint) recording him.

  29. 29
    Currants says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: I’m so glad to hear that—my working hours lately mean I haven’t commented much and don’t get to read much but the front page posts, but I DID happen to see your earlier post and have been hoping the flood wasn’t terrible. Glad to happen on the follow-up, and glad that a) it wasn’t as bad as it might have been, and b) you get a facility upgrade. Moving isn’t much fun, nor cleaning, though. But good luck.

  30. 30
    Manyakitty says:

    @Aleta: I didn’t visit their site, but is Tammy Baldwin on their list? Penzey’s posted about her, and said she’s under attack by the Wisconsin Catholic church.

  31. 31
    pablo says:

    Can’t wear a wire in the White House. Inadmissible. Nat’l security. :(

  32. 32
    Jamey says:

    @Yutsano: Mod Squad.

  33. 33
    dopey-o says:

    @M. Bouffant: Naw, that’s what the icebox is for. at least it was when i was a child.

  34. 34
    No Drought No More says:

    “Hey, I’ll tell you everything, you can wire me up as long as you want, I just don’t want to go to jail”?

    Cartoonist Gary Larson anticipated just that scenario years ago.

    [A single cow is speaking in hushed tones, surrounded by attentive cowboys at a campfire near their chuck wagon]:

    “.. It’s going down tonight. The herd is going to stampede at 3 AM. Now remember your promise: when we get to Abilene, I ain’t slaughtered”.

  35. 35
    Another Scott says:

    @Williamc: My assumption has been (like a few others here have mentioned) that Mueller has more than enough evidence to lock the Trumpists away for 50+ years. The rub is, how much of it is admissible in court? How much of it will get past the IC’s worries about “sources and methods”? That we don’t know yet.

    Another issue is, the GOP and Nixon had enough sense to recognize a “Constitutional Crisis” and recognize that blowing up Norms and Traditions wasn’t acceptable. Nixon resigned when he lost support after the critical tape making it clear he was in on the cover-up from the beginning came out. Republicans were willing to vote for impeachment and Nixon knew he had to go. Now the Trumpists and Teabaggers don’t care. They are seemingly willing to blow up every norm and tradition to hang on to power.

    Court cases for Watergate and all the rest dragged out for years. The trials haven’t even started for the Trumpists. We could be in for a very long slog if we don’t flip the House and Senate and don’t have sensible rulings from the courts. And even with those things, the lawyers might still drag things out for years…

    We have to win elections. That’s the best way to put all this stuff behind us sooner rather than later.

    My $0.02.


  36. 36
    low-tech cyclist says:

    Hey, why not ask for more

    “Who could ask for more?” – P. McCartney
    (That song’s been on my mind lately, one guess why.)

    Tossed in a few shekels to both this fund and the SwingLeft fund just the other day. Giving to both is a good balance IMHO – want to focus on the 70 most flippable seats for obvious reasons, but you never know which otherwise ultra-safe Republican is going to get caught doing something both stupid and illegal, because they’re both incredibly amoral and incredibly stupid. Gotta have people ready to take advantage when that happens.

  37. 37
    kattails says:

    Mueller: I keep thinking of the first Prime Suspect series on BBC/PBS, with Helen Mirren. She was the lead detective, on the trail of a vicious serial killer, with immense pressure to get him locked up. They had their prime suspect. She kept insisting that her team do the careful, slow, agonizing grunt work. In the final courtroom scene the guy pleads “Not guilty” and she sits back like a cat who just spit out a couple of yellow feathers. The court might take a while, but in the end he is going down forever.
    Mueller wants as close to absolute as possible, no slop, no wiggle room. I’m good with that.

  38. 38
    LongHairedWeirdo says:

    Re: the technical question, you can be granted immunity to testify, a la Oliver North. Please note that this is something done via an attorney – if you went unlawyered, any good interrogator will ask “what do you have to tell me? Give me enough detail so I know it’s legitimate,” and then have you arrested based upon the confession. Investigators are very much of the opinion “get them by the balls, and their hearts and minds will follow.”

  39. 39
    WaterGirl says:

    @Jay: I read that in DC it is legal to record a conversation (without a warrant) as long as one of the people is aware of it.

  40. 40
    WaterGirl says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: Sounds like good news, bad news. I was afraid the results would be devastating; so glad to hear that it wasn’t worse. Ugh on the “it’s not just wet, but sewage” thing. Can that stuff even be saved?

    Congrats on moving to a new space! You might want to find out what group or department got bumped out of their space, because they almost certainly were down-graded. If it’s anything like my university, where they used to say “space, the final frontier” space grudges would be held until the end of time. After you do your research and know whether they are being upgraded or downgraded, maybe think about contacting the head of that group?

  41. 41
    WilliamC says:

    @Another Scott: thanks for being helpful (and cheerful about it) as always, even to us long-time lurkers, never commenters.
    Me and all my long time circle of activist pals have all given up politics since the coming of Pussygrabber, so I don’t get to talk Russia with anyone. The politics of it are fascinating just because of Fox News.
    The Republicans during Watergate knew that there was no way politically out of the Nixon trap because the media would never let him get away with such obvious criminality. Fox News is really Pravda from NYC. I don’t know how they could get Hannity and the Fox & Friends to rein in their slavish devotion to Pussygrabber and make him understand that the jig is up and he has to go. And we all the know that the Republicans are followers. Is Rupert Murdoch the person to stop all of this?

  42. 42
    Aleta says:

    @Manyakitty: yes, she is!
    Here’s the list:

    A few of the candidates and campaigns we supported and helped win over the past three election cycles: Notable Successes:
    2012— President Barack Obama (D)
    2012— Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Our first openly gay U.S. Senator
    2012— Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
    2012— Marriage Equality in Washington and Maine
    2013— Senator Ed Markey (D-MA)
    2013— Houston Mayor Annise Parker
    2013— Marriage Equality in Illinois
    2014— Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey (D), The first out lesbian Attorney General in the nation
    2014— Arizona Congresswoman Krysten Sinema (D)
    2014— California Attorney General Kamala Harris (D)
    2015— Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biscupski
    2016— Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)
    2016— Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA)
    2017— Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan
    2017— Virginia State Assembly Delegate Danica Roem (D)
    In most states, LGBT know that the work of LPAC is far from over.
    In most states, LGBT Americans continue to suffer legal, political, and cultural discrimination, even with marriage equality. As we look toward the future of LPAC, we will continue to be the political voice that represents the needs of LGBTQ women. Join us as we support candidates who support us–from the state house to the White House.

  43. 43

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