Friday Morning Open Thread: James Comey Is Ready for His Close-Up

Happy Friday the Thirteenth! Michiko Kakutani has a well-earned reputation as a literary sharpshooter, and I’m genuinely grateful that the NYTimes brought her back to review this season’s “hot” political thriller:

“A Higher Loyalty” is the first big memoir by a key player in the alarming melodrama that is the Trump administration. Comey, who was abruptly fired by President Trump on May 9, 2017, has worked in three administrations, and his book underscores just how outside presidential norms Trump’s behavior has been — how ignorant he is about his basic duties as president, and how willfully he has flouted the checks and balances that safeguard our democracy, including the essential independence of the judiciary and law enforcement. Comey’s book fleshes out the testimony he gave before the Senate Intelligence Committee in June 2017 with considerable emotional detail, and it showcases its author’s gift for narrative — a skill he clearly honed during his days as United States attorney for the Southern District of New York.

The volume offers little in the way of hard news revelations about investigations by the F.B.I. or the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III (not unexpectedly, given that such investigations are ongoing and involve classified material), and it lacks the rigorous legal analysis that made Jack Goldsmith’s 2007 book “The Terror Presidency” so incisive about larger dynamics within the Bush administration.

What “A Higher Loyalty” does give readers are some near-cinematic accounts of what Comey was thinking when, as he’s previously said, Trump demanded loyalty from him during a one-on-one dinner at the White House; when Trump pressured him to let go of the investigation into his former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn; and when the president asked what Comey could do to “lift the cloud” of the Russia investigation.

There are some methodical explanations in these pages of the reasoning behind the momentous decisions Comey made regarding Hillary Clinton’s emails during the 2016 campaign — explanations that attest to his nonpartisan and well-intentioned efforts to protect the independence of the F.B.I., but that will leave at least some readers still questioning the judgment calls he made, including the different approaches he took in handling the bureau’s investigation into Clinton (which was made public) and its investigation into the Trump campaign (which was handled with traditional F.B.I. secrecy).

“A Higher Loyalty” also provides sharp sketches of key players in three presidential administrations. Comey draws a scathing portrait of Vice President Dick Cheney’s legal adviser David S. Addington, who spearheaded the arguments of many hard-liners in the George W. Bush White House; Comey describes their point of view: “The war on terrorism justified stretching, if not breaking, the written law.” He depicts Bush national security adviser and later Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as uninterested in having a detailed policy discussion of interrogation policy and the question of torture. He takes Barack Obama’s attorney general Loretta Lynch to task for asking him to refer to the Clinton email case as a “matter,” not an “investigation.” (Comey tartly notes that “the F.B.I. didn’t do ‘matters.’”) And he compares Trump’s attorney general, Jeff Sessions, to Alberto R. Gonzales, who served in the same position under Bush, writing that both were “overwhelmed and overmatched by the job,” but “Sessions lacked the kindness Gonzales radiated.”…

As for his controversial disclosure on Oct. 28, 2016, 11 days before the election, that the F.B.I. was reviewing more Clinton emails that might be pertinent to its earlier investigation, Comey notes here that he had assumed from media polling that Clinton was going to win. He has repeatedly asked himself, he writes, whether he was influenced by that assumption: “It is entirely possible that, because I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president, my concern about making her an illegitimate president by concealing the restarted investigation bore greater weight than it would have if the election appeared closer or if Donald Trump were ahead in all polls. But I don’t know.”…

It’s ironic that Comey, who wanted to shield the F.B.I. from politics, should have ended up putting the bureau in the midst of the 2016 election firestorm; just as it’s ironic (and oddly fitting) that a civil servant who has prided himself on being apolitical and independent should find himself reviled by both Trump and Clinton, and thrust into the center of another tipping point in history…

310 replies
  1. 1
    kd bart says:

    I envision MAGA Chuds taking the “Pee Tape Challenge” in order to show their support for The Donald and to piss off Libtards.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    While we can and should condemn Comey, whose only real attributes seem to be taking notes and not being owned by Russia, we should take a moment to look inward and acknowledge that our voters are more manipulable by outsiders than Republican voters are. Comey’s actions, both in June 2016 and just before the election, should have fired us up rather than depress our turnout.

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    “It is entirely possible that, because I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president, my concern about making her an illegitimate president by concealing the restarted investigation bore greater weight than it would have if the election appeared closer or if Donald Trump were ahead in all polls. But I don’t know.”…

    As Kay says, that’s why you follow procedure.

  4. 4
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    SSDD. Blech.

  5. 5

    @Baud: we have principles for a reason, ferchrissakes

  6. 6
    oatler. says:

    @kd bart: I believe General Nugent has already launched a ground offensive in that theater of operations.

  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9

    @Baud: bigger monkey was so mean!

  10. 10
    Jeffro says:

    I guess what’s amazing to me is what’s already out there, what’s already been out there for months if not years, starting with Trumpov’s complete nonchalance about an attack on our country by a hostile foreign power. “It got me elected, so therefore it’s not a bad thing, and besides I really dig that Putie guy!”

    That right there is treason, full stop. Firing the acting FBI director for letting you know your National Security Director is compromised by that same hostile foreign power? Also treason. Firing the FBI director for not stopping the investigation into the actions of that hostile foreign power? Also treason.

    All right out in the open, fully enabled by a GOP infected with the twin prion diseases of Randism and racism.

  11. 11
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning,Everyone 😄😄😄

  12. 12
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  13. 13
  14. 14
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Major Major Major Major: For a second there I thought you were talking about trump.

  15. 15
    p.a. says:

    So, Comey is donating his book profits to No Labels?

  16. 16
    Baud says:

    When Congress capped the state and local tax deduction at $10,000 as part of its tax overhaul late last year, it was mostly officials from high-tax states such as California, New Jersey and New York that cried foul. But new research shows that taxpayers in more than one-third of states — some with relatively low income taxes — could be negatively affected by the change
    ……

    In addition to those high-tax states — those in the Northeast and on the West Coast — Iowa, Ohio, Nebraska and Wisconsin will also be affected by the new cap. Deductions for state and local taxes in these four states averaged between $10,000 and $15,000.

    In many states, high property taxes are to blame. State and local property tax collections per capita in Iowa and Nebraska, for example, both rank in the top third, according to the conservative Tax Foundation.

    http://www.governing.com/week-.....n-cap.html

  17. 17

    @Baud: “Do you want to touch my monkey?”

  18. 18
    Baud says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: “Now is the time on Sprockets when we dance.”

  19. 19
    PeakVT says:

    I hope nobody actually pays for Comey’s book. The information he provides (to the extent that what is true can be teased out from what is self-serving) will be useful, but he deserves no profit from it. It should have (in a just timeline) previously been made public in transcripts of Congressional hearings.

  20. 20
    satby says:

    @Major Major Major Major: cute!

    @rikyrah: Good morning 🙋!

  21. 21
    JPL says:

    The fact that it was fine to discuss the Clinton investigation during the election, but not Trump’s Russian ties was wrong. No amount of TV appearances can change how I feel about Comey, and I won’t spend a dime for his book. Of course, I’ll gloat if he damages Trump, but that seems unlikely. His base is secure.

  22. 22
    Baud says:

    Interview with Working People’s Party. They say they don’t won’t to be spoilers. Interesting.

    https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2018/04/13/politics/maurice-mitchell-working-families-party-interview/index.html

  23. 23
    satby says:

    @Baud: the con game that the Republicans have played for years is to lower income taxes but hike up “fees” and local taxes. Coupled with letting the infrastructure and schools and services deteriorate because there isn’t enough money to maintain them. What I still can’t believe is how obvious that should be to Republican voters. But it’s not, and that right there is a terrible indictment of our news media’s outright refusal to inform the citizens.

  24. 24
    bystander says:

    @Baud:

    Comey’s actions, both in June 2016 and just before the election, should have fired us up rather than depress our turnout.

    Part of the reaction stems from our conditioning to think of the FBI as objective and non-partisan, despite all indications to the contrary. Even though we know the FBI unjustly targeted MLK in the classic example of institutional racism and even though we all know how many times Clinton was investigated and her biggest crime was staying married to her husband, we always are waiting for a shoe to drop.

  25. 25
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Baud: Every time Kasich cuts taxes on his rich friends, Columbus cuts back on what they send to schools and local governments. Then the schools and local government ask for increased property levies to make up the difference.

    ETA or what Satby said

  26. 26
    debbie says:

    Whether new revelations or old rehashings, any bad news about the Trump administration is good news in my book.

  27. 27
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: thanx.

  28. 28
    debbie says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    The way the photos are framed, it appears you are in a cage. Hope you got out!

  29. 29
    debbie says:

    @Baud:

    “Like a little girl!”

  30. 30
    debbie says:

    @satby:

    the con game that the Republicans have played for years is to lower income taxes but hike up “fees” and local taxes.

    An interesting parallel with the payday lenders. When the CFPB first put limits on their interest rates, payday lenders turned around and started charging for all kinds of things. The most ridiculous one was when they handed the customer a check, they would then charge a $15.00 fee for cashing the check they’d just given out. Crooks all.

  31. 31
    MattF says:

    The picture I get is someone who suddenly found himself a long way out of his depth. Normal law enforcement requires some independence, but that wasn’t going to fly in an administration composed of thugs like Flynn, Manafort, and Lewandowsky– not to mention Trump himself. In response, he did the wrong thing– which is bad, but not necessarily evil.

  32. 32
    Baud says:

    @MattF: I don’t understand. The wrong things he did were during the election before Trump was president.

  33. 33
    Baud says:

    @satby:
    @Ohio Mom:

    You would think people wouldn’t need the media to tell them about their own taxes increasing.

  34. 34
    MattF says:

    @Baud: I was thinking about the payback.

  35. 35
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Baud: That’s true. Our side should have known that Mueller’s announcement that Secretary Clinton was under investigation was b.s. All investigations into Secretary Clinton were b.s.

  36. 36
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    BWHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAH (photo)

  37. 37
    NotMax says:

    Happy Jefferson”s birthday!

  38. 38
    satby says:

    @Baud: they don’t need the media for that, of course. But connecting the dots of government funding would be helpful to people, you would think. As Ohio Mom said, the local taxes for schools go up as the state income tax giveaways occur, but not in a straight line. It takes years to get to a point where roads are so bad and the state and county coffers so bare that there’s no money to adequately maintain them. What people see is that they’re getting bupkis for what taxes they do pay, so why pay more? It’s been working for the anti-tax crowd for decades, because it takes that long to completely degrade common goods.
    Edit: fucking Kindle autocorrect.

  39. 39
    Nicole says:

    While I find it satisfying knowing that some red state Trump voters will get smacked by the limit on state and local tax deductions, I don’t fool myself into thinking it’ll change their vote. They’ll blame the Democrats for not fighting hard enough and figure the best way to punish them is to keep voting GOP.

    I have a relative who, when you talk to her about her personal opinions on political issues, aligns perfectly with the Democrats, but she’d never vote for them because her dad would be mad at her or something. She and her sisters are still competing, in their 40s, to be Dad’s favorite. Tribalism; it’s more powerful than any force of reason. She didn’t vote for Trump, but as she was in a swing state, I don’t give her a pass since she didn’t vote for Clinton.

  40. 40

    @debbie: the monkeys live in the park and you have to go into the cage to feed them!

  41. 41
    charluckles says:

    Comey can toss his book onto the smoldering dumpster fire that is what’s left of the FBIs reputation. His arrogance and conceit led him to do incalculable damage to that which he said he wanted to protect and in the process he helped deliver the worst leadership this nation has ever had. History will not be kind to him regardless of any white-washing books.

  42. 42
    bystander says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: Did twitler really ask, “Can you imagine me with hookers?”

    Nothing but, but don’t make me actually think about it, thanks.

  43. 43

    I was going to attempt some Milky Way shots from the hill behind Glendale, was driving up there and there was a tree in the middle of the road, drove back.

  44. 44
    Kay says:

    No one could have predicted and mistakes were made.

    Let’s put (the awful) Comey behind us – his favorite book is Lean In, which should have been disqualifying.

  45. 45

    @bystander: My first thought was, YES; and how many.

  46. 46
    debbie says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I like that! Did the monkeys make funny faces at you and try to get you to do silly human things (aside from feeding them)?

  47. 47
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    St. Louis Police Chief Slams Online Posting of Info Released by His Department

    For months, activist Phillip Weeks has been systematically gathering St. Louis police policies and procedures. His initial request under the state’s Sunshine law seeking a complete list of policies, manuals and special orders was denied as too burdensome. But by breaking it into smaller requests, he’s been able to get most of what he wanted. Weeks has begun posting the information online under the rubric of an organization he founded called Gram, an acronym for GRassroots Accountability Movement. On Monday, the RFT published a story about his efforts: “St. Louis Police Policies Are Going Up Online, Whether SLMPD Is Ready or Not.”

    Turns out, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is decidedly in the “not ready” camp. On the very day our story was published, Police Chief John Hayden sent a department-wide email making it clear he had “grave” concerns about the information’s publication.
    ………………………
    The new chief added, ominously, “We are currently working with the Police Section of the City Counselor’s Office to determine what remedial legal action can be taken with respect to this release.”

    The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on the department-wide email on Monday night — and its story, bizarrely, is how Weeks (and the RFT) first learned that his project was drawing pushback. Also bizarrely, the daily appears to have made no effort to contact him; he first heard about the Post-Dispatch story, and the chief’s concerns, after the story had already gone live.
    …………………….
    For Weeks, the whole thing has been bizarre. As a department spokesman confirmed to the RFT yesterday, no one is alleging Weeks did anything other than post materials he was given by the department — materials that, as he points out, did include some redactions. It’s not like they just handed him the keys to the police department’s inner workings.

    Says Spokeswoman Schron Jackson, “Mr. Weeks obtained the information through the correct process, the Sunshine Law process. However, he received un-redacted documents containing tactical procedures which is an officer safety concern.”

    But if that’s the case, Weeks wonders, why not just contact him?

    “Instead of the chief putting out a department-wide email saying this is a serious breach, it would have been much swifter to contact me,” he says. It’s not like they don’t know how to find him. In addition to the contact info he supplied on his various Sunshine requests, he notes, after getting the information, he met with various department officials for an hour and a half. He’s also been trying to make an appointment to see the chief himself.

    “If it’s that much of a concern, why not talk to me first?” he asks. “Why advertise the story about what I’m doing?”

    Bizarre indeed.

  48. 48
  49. 49
    Nicole says:

    @Kay:

    his favorite book is Lean In, which should have been disqualifying.

    Ha! I did not know that. I give automatic side eye to anyone who says they liked it.

  50. 50
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: In moderation for reasons I can’t fathom.

  51. 51
    gene108 says:

    I a man not sure what David Corn is on about in his tweet. It is pretty clear Trump would encourage Putin, Assange, et al to do it again, if he personally benefited.

    The only “shocking” thing is a mainline Republican like Preibus happily went along.

  52. 52
    Kay says:

    my concern about making her an illegitimate president

    He really overthought this. All he had to do was go by the book. All his problems stem from his inflated sense of what his role was- his role is easy. There’s a manual. All he had to do was follow a recipe. That’s why they have the rules. So people can rely on them and insulate themselves from decisions that are seen as political. That’s how we attempt equity- if he had followed the ordinary process it would have been more equitable, as between Clinton and Trump.

    90% of workplace conundrums come down to not knowing what your job is. It happens to me too! Everyone needs a one sentence description of their job posted, as a reminder.

  53. 53
    Kay says:

    Once he overstepped his bounds on Clinton he then had to overstep his bounds on Trump, or it’s inequitable treatment and there are only two candidates- treating one differently (and worse) is a CHOICE, because, TWO.

    He overstepped on Clinton and then deferred on Trump, which made it unfair. At every decision point he made the wrong one, but he could have avoided the whole thing by not bringing discretion and his personal moral judgment into it.

  54. 54
  55. 55
    Sm*t Cl*de says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    the monkeys live in the park and you have to go into the cage to feed them!

    Ah, this is at Iwatayama?

  56. 56
    NotMax says:

    Recently came across John Adams’ description of what he considered qualities incumbent on a Secretary of State.

    …A Secretary of State ought to have pierced into the remotest Periods of ancient Times and into the most distant Regions of the Earth: He should have studied the Map of Man, in his Savage as well as civilized State. It is more necessary that a Secretary of State should be omniscient, than a President, provided The President be honest and judicious. Where can We find Such Men? either for Presidents or Secretaries?

    (Letter of July 12, 1811, as reprinted here)

  57. 57
    Anne Laurie says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    In moderation for reasons I can’t fathom.

    Far as I can tell, FYWP still has a disabling prejudice against comments more than three or four short paragraphs. (I released your comment, but don’t count on my doing it again — I’m off to bed!)

  58. 58
  59. 59
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay:

    his personal moral judgment

    He’s a Republican. They are always certain that their “personal moral judgment” is superior to everybody else’s.

  60. 60
    mainmata says:

    With all due respect to David Corn, who is an excellent journalist, quite a lot of Americans realized very early on that Trump not only didn’t give a damn about the Russian interference but he bent way over backwards to praise and gratify Putin anyway he could. He’s really quite transparent that way. It’s just a matter of time now before we discover that he is, in fact, a traitor.

  61. 61
    gene108 says:

    @satby:

    We do need help connecting the dots. As you said, there isn’t a direct line wherein state or local politicians declare because of tax cuts we had to raise property taxes or assess fees, or in an extreme example, like Ferguson, MO, where they run the city budget on tickets, and fines.

    Part of me hopes reporting g that connects the dots would make a difference, but part of me is resigned to believe tribalism will always rule how people vote.

  62. 62
    Kay says:

    Talia Lavin
    ‏Verified account
    @chick_in_kiev
    13h13 hours ago
    More
    The President I Threw The Election For Is Actually Terrible, By James Comey

    James Comey’s other favorite book is The Road to Character, by David Brooks. That would be a good job interview question, favorite books. It never occurred to me, but you would learn a lot with that question.

  63. 63
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Anne Laurie: Thanx Anne.

  64. 64
    Cermet says:

    This whole episode is indicative of so many others and simply confirms the fact that all the media outlets – newspapers, TV, cable news, and even most blogs are simply the tail that the dog – right wing propaganda – wag’s, via seting the tone, if not always the message for all this country’s beliefs. Look no further than putin and his GRU driven services: they saw this and exploited it. No wonder the thugs are happy to allow a hostile foreign power to continue doing this dirty work. Braud isn’t too far off when he says we too follow these people’s false ideas. When a dem really does do something wrong, we (correctly) generally denounce it and the right-wing goes insane pointing out this dem’s wrongs; when thugs do anything wrong, the media barely notes it, the thugs denounce anyone in their party who try’s to agree and we generally let it pass as “just the same stuff – nothing new here.”

  65. 65
    charluckles says:

    @Kay:

    I am reading his comments defending his actions in regards to Clinton and it is absolutely infuriating.

  66. 66
    Kay says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    There’s a lot of that. That’s why we get these testimonials, these character references, from people who “know” them.

    We don’t have to know them. We’re not supposed to have to rely on that. That’s why we have process. So we’re not vulnerable to their subjective awfulness. We can’t know everyone personally!

    Mark Zuckerberg’s whole defense is “I am a nice man”. The fucking EGO on these people! No one asked that! It’s UNVERIFIABLE. Irrelevant.

    If we stipulate they’re morally superior will they answer some real questions? I’m willing to give that to them.

  67. 67
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Weeks’ response.

    Whether Chief Hayden’s email was purposefully provided directly to the Post-Dispatch for a PR story or whether it was leaked, the SLMPD achieved the exact opposite of what they purport to be their stated objective. If the motivation and concern of the department was to have some of the published documents replaced with properly redacted documents, then the SLMPD could have requested a meeting with me as they have in the past to discuss my open records requests. This would have allowed GRAM to consider their request and consult with other experts in law enforcement about the concerns of the SLMPD. Without knowing the specific details GRAM cannot make an informed decision or address the concerns of the department.

    GRAM believes accountability within the SLMPD is essential for the health and safety of residents within the City of St. Louis (http://jointhegram.org/intro). Currently the SLMPD has more police killings per population than any other police department in the country. From January 2013 to December 2017, there have been 31 people killed by the SLMPD, 27 of whom have been black.

  68. 68
    AxelFoley says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    Ah, man, I would’ve loved to see your pics, Bill. As per our conversation a while back, one day I’m gonna drive to a spot where I can get a good look at the Milky Way. In the meantime, I’ll look forward to your pics.

  69. 69
    SFAW says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    OT: a four-picture story of me feeding a tiny monkey.

    How did those mean monkeys get you into the cage, and keep you there? ‘Cause it looks like THEY are the ones roaming free.

  70. 70
    mainmata says:

    @Baud: Yeah, same thing I was thinking. OTOH, at least some of those saw their state income taxes going down and didn’t care about schools and roads. But, yeah, a lot of people are really stupid.

  71. 71
    lethargytartare says:

    @Kay:

    He really overthought this. All he had to do was go by the book. All his problems stem from his inflated sense of what his role was- his role is easy. There’s a manual. All he had to do was follow a recipe. That’s why they have the rules. So people can rely on them and insulate themselves from decisions that are seen as political.

    I think it’s worth considering that Comey is lying, and that the whole point of this was to preemptively threaten the person he thought would be president.

    The most gracious interpretation I can consider is that he’s also lying to himself.

  72. 72
    Kay says:

    @charluckles:

    No one asked him my question. “Once you determined that it was your job to ensure the President was “legitimate” didn’t you also have to apply that to the other candidate and reveal that he was ALSO under investigation?”

    That would have worked out okay. People would at least see it as equitable. If he’s going to make up rules he can at least make up fair rules.

  73. 73

    @SFAW: they are, it’s a monkey park.

  74. 74
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay:

    If we stipulate they’re morally superior will they answer some real questions? I’m willing to give that to them.

    I’m not, because they aren’t. Besides, they’d only lie in service to their moral superiority.

  75. 75
    SFAW says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    Every time Kasich cuts taxes on his rich friends,

    …. a Republican demon gets its wings

  76. 76

    @AxelFoley: This was just a quickie to test out some stuff, there’s still way too much light pollution to get a really good shot around here, the closest place is probably the beach just south on PCH from Oxnard. I shot there Tuesday morning and though it was partly cloudy(the partly portion covering the Milky Way) I could see parts of the galactic center though the clouds. The problem with the coast is that it’s hard to find a day without a marine layer or fog. I may head up to near the Grapevine on I-5 this weekend, I know I can get good shots there and the local Photography group is headed to Joshua Tree Monday night/Tuesday morning(I probably won’t go due to my dogs).

  77. 77
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    “The House Investigative Committee’s Report contains shocking, substantial, and corroborated evidence of wrongdoing by Governor Greitens, The conduct the Report details is certainly impeachable, in my judgment, and the House is well within its rights to proceed on that front. But the people of Missouri should not be put through that ordeal. Governor Greitens should resign immediately.”

    -Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley (R)

    Greitens political dreams are toast, burnt toast at that.

  78. 78
    SFAW says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    they are, it’s a monkey park.

    Well, whatever you need to tell yourself to make your captivity more bearable, I guess.

    PS: Looks interesting. I doubt we have anything like that in MA. (No, Beacon Hill doesn’t count.)

  79. 79

    @SFAW: the deer park is cool too. There’s a fox village somewhere around here, and I might go to an owl cafe later.

  80. 80
    SFAW says:

    @Kay:

    There’s a lot of that. That’s why we get these testimonials, these character references, from people who “know” them.

    For example, Shitgibbon has “character” references from a bunch of people — David Dennison, John Barron, Harold Giuliani, Leo D’Avanzo — so all you jackals are WORNG about him.

  81. 81
    SFAW says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    There’s a fox island somewhere around here,

    I don’t remember where “here” is — West Coast?

    ETA:

    and I might go to an owl cafe later.

    How do they cook them — grilled, sauteed. or baked stuffed? (Asking for a very strange friend.)

  82. 82

    @SFAW: I was remembering wrong and corrected it, it’s a fox village, and there’s also a cat island. I am traveling in Japan.

  83. 83

    @SFAW: Yeah, I’m getting this vibe from Major*4’s account of his confinement.

  84. 84
    SFAW says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    Yeah, I’m getting this vibe from Major*4’s account of his confinement.

    Interesting footage, where did you take that vid? And I thought you only took stills? I guess you’re multi-talented.

    And right about now, MMMM is going to chime in with “You maniacs!!!!”

  85. 85
    Sanjeevs says:

    From what I’ve read Comey just rehashes what we already know about his thought process on Clinton.
    I wonder if he’ll address
    1. What happened in the FBI field office in New York
    2. What exactly was the FBI relationship with Felix Sater
    3. How did FBI counterintelligence fuck this whole thing up so badly. How could Steele on his own find out so much more than them and why did they sit on his findings when first reported to them by Steele himself

  86. 86
    SFAW says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I am traveling in Japan.

    Not sure I can drive there and back before lunch today. Maybe tomorrow.

  87. 87
    Jeffro says:

    He will never admit it, but I am 110% sure that Comey thought that Hillary was going to run away with it (remember at one point it was looking like we were going to flip both the House AND the Senate, and she was going to win with over 300 electoral votes)and he decided to clip her wings but good.

    Hey Jim, the only problem with that is a) that’s not your fucking job and b) there were plenty of other dark forces at work undermining our election and our country. So you can plead innocent all you want, but if you hadn’t been so afraid of a ‘dirty hippie’ administration, we wouldn’t be in this fucking fix.

  88. 88

    @SFAW: Heh, I’ve actually been to where they filmed that but about 10 years later. The also filmed M*A*S*H(both the movie and TV series) there as well and the TV set was still active when I hiked there.

  89. 89
    Weaselone says:

    @SFAW:

    Wow. Those demons must be totally larded up with wings.

  90. 90
    SFAW says:

    @Sanjeevs:

    How could Steele on his own find out so much more than them

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair

  91. 91
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Major Major Major Major: If you get up by Sendai, wave to my very sweet niece.

  92. 92
    JPL says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Trump called Comey a slime ball. Greitens is the real slime ball, and he needs to spend some time in a cage.

  93. 93
    SFAW says:

    @Weaselone:

    Wow. Those demons must be totally larded up with wings.

    Maybe. I mean, Kasich can only do so much.

    Now if we expand that to include all Rethug governors and legislatures — yeah, I agree.

  94. 94
  95. 95
    Another Scott says:

    ‘morning everyone. Happy Friday the 13th.

    Pet Peeve:

    The war on terrorism justified stretching, if not breaking, the written law.

    I hate, hate, hate sentences like that. It probably goes back to Middle English or something, and probably had some use then, but it invites confusion these days. Waterboarding is torture and the use of it by US people (and people acting on the US’s direction) violated international law. There was no “this, if not that” about it. Too often the “if not that” construction is used to attempt to minimize the horror of the “this”. Don’t fall for it.

    I don’t care about Comey’s book, myself. We already know that Comey thought he was above DOJ rules about investigations related to political actors and disclosures close to elections. He wasn’t. It’ (principally) his fault that Trump is President and his fault that we’re suffering through all this now.

    EFG’s one word exclamation applies to him.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  96. 96
    WereBear says:

    @Kay: James Comey’s other favorite book is The Road to Character, by David Brooks.

    I would say his reading comprehension is not looking good so far…

  97. 97
    oldgold says:

    @Sanjeevs:

    Many of the FBI ‘s problems to this day are related to the man who built it. It is hard to correct anything that has a flawed foundation.

    Fresh out of law school I joined a law firm. The head partner was a former FBI man. In the lobby of the firm was a bust of J. Edgar Hoover. It nauseated me.

    Years later, I became the head partner. On the first day, J. Edgar Hoover’s bust was sent to the damn dump.

  98. 98
    SFAW says:

    @WereBear:

    I would say his reading comprehension is not looking good so far…

    I’d say his comprehension was probably OK. I mean, it IS David Fucking Brooks after all.

    Having him “write” a book about character is not unlike Shitgibbon “writing” a book on how to build a thriving business, or Hannity, Gohmert, and Hoft “writing” a book about how to use one’s brainpower to help the country.

  99. 99
    SFAW says:

    @oldgold:

    Years later, I became the head partner. On the first day, J. Edgar Hoover’s bust was sent to the damn dump.

    Excellent.

  100. 100
    ed_finnerty says:

    @lethargytartare: He is lying.

    He did (like most people) that HRC would win. His intent was to limit democrats performance down ballot.

  101. 101
    Nicole says:

    @Kay:

    James Comey’s other favorite book is The Road to Character, by David Brooks.

    Oh my God, just when I thought I couldn’t dislike him any more… self-important prig who is also dumb as a post when it comes to critical reasoning skills. He and Brooks are a matched set.

  102. 102
    satby says:

    @Another Scott:

    EFG’s one word exclamation applies to him.

    I would agree that both EGG and Corner Stone both have appropriate catch phrases here. I agree with all of you.

  103. 103
    satby says:

    @oldgold:

    Years later, I became the head partner. On the first day, J. Edgar Hoover’s bust was sent to the damn dump.

    I love this sentence and want to marry it.

  104. 104
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I kind of glanced through parts of that report on Greitens’, um, activities as described by his victim and couldn’t help thinking that he’s had some experience with this sort of thing. This wasn’t his first time.

  105. 105
    Kay says:

    @SFAW:

    It’s deregulatory, right? We don’t have to regulate Facebook because Zuckerberg is a nice man who cares about people. We only regulate bad people, and it’s up to you to discern who is who. It’s special pleading. “I alone make these decisions but you should not worry because I am good

    That’s REAL elitism. All the bullshit about fancy food and college degrees is a distraction. It’s “I float on a higher plane, above ordinary rules because I am inherently just better”

  106. 106
    Spanky says:

    How is it that Greitens isn’t in jail on multiple felony charges?

  107. 107
    gvg says:

    You know, it strikes me that Trump and his hired helpers with little experience aren’t just indifferent to Russian interference, they also have a kind of passive mindset. It’s not just Russia, Trump doesn’t seem to get that the President is supposed to originate plans with multiple steps and contingencies and get lots of other people to follow along. He only really seems to get making press announcements and trying to manipulate the media. That’s why he hasn’t got as much done as he might have, fortunately. He can hardly manage executive orders.
    I really fear a real crisis because he just won’t be able to act. I don’t even think it’s simple cowardice. He just isn’t a real leader and only played one on TV. Events happen to him.

  108. 108
    Chyron HR says:

    @gvg:

    I really fear a real crisis

    You mean other than the annihilation of Puerto Rico?

  109. 109
    MomSense says:

    @lethargytartare:

    I think it’s worth considering that Comey is lying, and that the whole point of this was to preemptively threaten the person he thought would be president.

    The most gracious interpretation I can consider is that he’s also lying to himself.

    I think he was trying to protect FBI funding because he assumed a Republican congress would be in constant attack and bogus hearings mode with a Clinton president. He wanted to pre-empt accusations of being partial or giving special treatment to Clinton by being able to point to the extraordinary actions he took by holding that presser and by releasing the letter to the committee knowing the Republicans would make a big stink about it.

  110. 110
    sherparick says:

    Unfortunately, Ms. Kakutani calls the Trump Presidency a “melodrama.” The Trump Presidency and decline and fall of the American Republic is a tragedy; a messy, clownish tragedy like Titus Andronicus, but a tragedy none the less. Perhaps Mueller or Kelly will play the role of cook and serve Donald Jr. and Eric baked in a pie to the Donald.

  111. 111
    Immanentize says:

    I have had a fairly busy, productive day so far — taxes!! You all can thank Massachusetts (AKA “TAXACHUSETTS”) for extending the filing date this year to April 18, because Patriot’s Day falls on Monday the 17th.

    But the real reason I stopped by now was just to put this thought out here — Michael Cohen has asked the Judge in the Stormy D. case to suspend the civil suit because he intends to plead the fifth — WRONG! The self-incrimination clause applies only to criminal matters– and those can certainly go forward when a defendant claims the privilege. In fact. this comes up a lot in wrongful death actions. The Supreme Court has said that although juries can make NO inference in a criminal trial regarding the defendant’s exercise of the right to remain silent, in a CIVIL trial, the jury (or the judge) can think what they want to think about it.

    the Fifth Amendment does not forbid adverse inferences against parties to civil actions when they refuse to testify in response to probative evidence offered against them. Baxter v. Palmigiano, 425 U.S. 308, 318 (1976).

    That’s my legal FYI of the day. Or at least of the morning…. Good snarking to All.

  112. 112
    Chief Oshkosh says:

    @gene108:

    We do need help connecting the dots.

    I agree. Any one person on any given subject may be an idiot. On the next subject, an individual may be a genius.

    BTW, don’t you think that’s what Corn is doing by restating what is obvious wrt to Trump and Russian interference? As he should be doing, he’s taking every opportunity (in this case, a new book in the press) to point out how illegal the Trump presidency is. For some, this is apparently an annoying reminder. But for others, it may be their first moment of clarity, of connecting the dots.

  113. 113
    SFAW says:

    @Kay:

    That’s REAL elitism.

    I know this is not directly related to your comment, but something that drives me crazy is when the “Real, Salt-Of-The-Earth, Upstanding People” (a/k/a “the common clay of the New West”) start screaming about those terrible East (or West) Coast “elites who think they’re better than we are.”

    First of all, when did being an elite member of some group become a bad thing? It’s “elitist,” not “elite,” you morons. Second: Their complaining about the “elites” has always come with the unspoken sentiment “but WE are SO much BETTERr than they are — who are THEY to look down their noses at US?” [Frankly, it’s an argument not to far removed from “who does that black guy think he is, anyway? Does he think he’s good as us [sic]?”]

    Fuckem

  114. 114
    MomSense says:

    @Kay:

    He’s also no expert on elections. It was incredibly arrogant for him to think that he could accurately predict the outcome of the election or the effect his action would take on the election.

    He should have just followed the rules like he was supposed to do.

  115. 115
    Cermet says:

    @oldgold: So many parallels here with tRump: J. Edgar Hoover’s, like tRump, was a sexual predator with a sex tape that the ‘enemy’ (in this case, the Mafia/in tRump’s case, the GRU) had over him. They (the Mafia) used this to control both him and the FBI agency not unlike putin has absolute control over the orange fart cloud. Too bad that when a democrat wins the presidency in 2020, once again, the right wing noise machine (and no doubt, with putin’s continued help) will demand that we only look forward, not backward and we will – again.

  116. 116
    SFAW says:

    @Immanentize:

    because Patriot’s Day falls on Monday the 17th.

    That’s last year. This year it’s the 16th.

  117. 117
    geg6 says:

    @satby:

    That was my thinking also.

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Exactly. Not his first rodeo. Disgusting.

  118. 118
    MomSense says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Owls are scary creatures. Two of them flew over me so close I could have touched them. Then they were perched in a tree near me doing their crazy hooded eye lid flipping thing. Even my dog didn’t bark or move toward them. She gave me the let’s get out of here look and then we did.

  119. 119
    Immanentize says:

    @Kay:

    That would be a good job interview question, favorite books

    I think, if I were asked the question, I would go with “Little Fur Family,” by Margaret Wise Brown and
    “The Origin of Consciousness and the Breakdown of the Bicameral Brain,” by Julian Jaynes.
    But then again, in many ways, they are the same book.

  120. 120
    Immanentize says:

    @SFAW: OOOpppsie — Send in your taxes Tuesday!
    My life has definitely slipped the normal time line. Thanks for the correction.

  121. 121
    geg6 says:

    @Immanentize:

    You all can thank Massachusetts (AKA “TAXACHUSETTS”) for extending the filing date this year to April 18, because Patriot’s Day falls on Monday the 17th.

    Actually, you can thank Washington, DC for it as it is a holiday there, too. Emancipation Day to be exact.

  122. 122
    Immanentize says:

    @geg6: Real Patriots always support Emancipation.

    ETA Of course, here in the Hub, Patriots Day is to many, just Marathon Day. A day when no one not associated with the race dares venture downtown.

  123. 123
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Definitely not his first rodeo.

  124. 124
    rikyrah says:

    @Baud:

    Oh well. they can just be patriots about the loss.

  125. 125
    The Ancient Randonneur says:

    @Chief Oshkosh:

    BTW, don’t you think that’s what Corn is doing by restating what is obvious wrt to Trump and Russian interference?

    That is, in fact, what he is doing. An example of that is his almost daily admonishment that “today would be a good day for Donald Trump to release his tax returns.”

  126. 126
    sherparick says:

    In reply to David Corn, what this reveals (as Rance (should that be changed to Rancid?) Priebus in the room and taking the lead on advising Trump on spin) is that from the very start the Republican Establishment, the Right Wing Business elite, as personified by Rupert Murdoch, the Mercers, the Koch brothers, etc. and the Right-Wing Infotainment Industrial Complex at Fox and Talk Radio, did not give a damn about the Russian interference, welcomed it in fact, if it meant tax cuts and deregulation to that would free them to pollute and loot. Ryan, McConnell, and Trump are all linked in a joint project to establish a Right Wing Oligarchy in this country.

  127. 127
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Spanky: The victim in this case didn’t want to prosecute. The only reason any of this is coming to light is because her ex is a very vindictive SOB. He is “getting even” with her and Greitens both. She is being victimized again and just wants it all to go away.

  128. 128
  129. 129
    rikyrah says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Greitens political dreams are toast, burnt toast at that.

    Oh well. Too bad…

    BWA A AHA HA H HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

  130. 130
    Immanentize says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I do feel bad for her. Some. But the Republicans (particularly) seem to count on the fear of women going public as some sort of magic shield to their wrongdoing. The #metoo movement is, in part, an effort to let those like the Greitens victim know that she is not the only one so used. But I know it does not make it any easier for her….

  131. 131
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Immanentize: Interesting.

  132. 132
    sherparick says:

    @Baud: First of all, the polls were actually very close, within the margin of error through the whole election. I thought after the debates and tape she opened up a little distance, but is started tightening again as the Wikileaks material came out and then of course Comey reopened the email (but her emails!!!!!) investigation. Second, there were more folks who were embarrassed about saying they were going to vote for Trump, and ended up voting for him anyway. The assurance that Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin would go Democratic always seemed a little strange to me given the way Clinton had struggled in those states in the primaries and that two of them had right wing Republican Governors. Also, credit this, Sean Trende did say that there was about 5% share of the potential electorate who had not voted 2008 an d 2012 who would come out for a right-wing candidate who would bash NAFTA and China and immigration and the blahs, and they did and they were the margin in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

  133. 133
    Vheidi says:

    @PeakVT: library is your friend

  134. 134
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Kay: David Brooks wrote a book called The Road to Character? Clearly, he missed that left turn at Albuquerque

  135. 135
    Peale says:

    @sherparick: “tax cuts and deregulation”…they are also all aboard with installing a racist oligarchy on the country. They aren’t just happy to get their tax cuts and are using “working class racism” to get popular support. They are going along with a program that increases racial divisions because to a man, everyone in that room wants that outcome and thinks it’s a preferable outcome.

  136. 136
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Kay:

    Once he overstepped his bounds on Clinton he then had to overstep his bounds on Trump, or it’s inequitable treatment and there are only two candidates- treating one differently (and worse) is a CHOICE, because, TWO.

    ^This. If his concern was with fairness in the sense of impartiality, the easiest play would have been to announce that BOTH candidates were the subject of FBI investigations. Since he didn’t do that, we can safely conclude that maintaining impartiality was not his motivation.

  137. 137
    Nicole says:

    And, in other rehabilitation of terrible people news, the Hollywood Reporter is trying to make us all feel sad for Charlie Rose. I read it. It’s annoying. And finishes with little paragraphs about each of his five homes.

  138. 138
    Elizabelle says:

    Good morning.

    Kind of feels like the hours or days before the rebels opened fire on Fort Sumter.

  139. 139
    Spanky says:

    Happy Friday the 13th, Donald! You petty little man. Here’s the list of articles on the CNN front page right now:

    ANALYSIS Comey just went to war with Trump
    Trump raised ‘golden showers thing’ with Comey
    Clapper: Trump likened intel community to Nazi Germany
    Report: Obama reassured Comey
    Lawmaker to Trump: Resign, it will get worse
    Opinion: The effort to discredit Comey’s book is fascinating

    Well, Trump always did want it to be all about him….

  140. 140
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Immanentize: I think her reluctance mostly related to her children. Either way she should have had a say in this and indeed tried to speak to the relevant news people, but in the end her pleas were predictably ignored.

  141. 141
    Kay says:

    @Immanentize:

    The Little Fur Family sounds great. I would resent the question as “too personal” – I spend the whole time in job interviews resenting questions I FEEL are too personal :)

    I get a kick out of my daughter because she goes into it thinking “I have to hire YOU TOO- I’m not sure I want to work here”. Many people don’t meet her high standards for an employer. It works for her, which amazed me.

  142. 142
    eric says:

    @Immanentize: You can assert the 5th in a civil action, but you get an adverse inference in return. The other side can argue that had you testified the evidence would be contrary to your case.

  143. 143
    Elizabelle says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Agreed. Confirming that Trump was under investigation would have given the press something to do other than moan about emails, emails, emails. It was news. Also contradicted what some unnamed source(s) told the FTF Vichy NY Times. That would have been news, too.

    Comey stepped in it, kind of on purpose.

  144. 144
    Spanky says:

    @Just One More Canuck:

    Clearly, he missed that left turn at Albuquerque

    Disoriented by the pit stop at Appleby’s

  145. 145
  146. 146

    Night everyone—May your Friday be as fun-filled as mine was!

  147. 147
    Kay says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    It’s worse than that! The FBI, HIS agency, planted a fake story in the NYTimes exonerating Trump a week before the election!

    That was A LIE. And it has never been corrected.

    I knew his book wouldn’t explain anything. I myself wouldn’t have written a book that touched on an ongoing investigation, so I actually have higher standards than Saint Comey. I would just steer clear of that because I would be afraid it would exert undue influence. So he’s still bad. He learned nothing.

  148. 148
  149. 149
    The Moar You Know says:

    my concern about making her an illegitimate president

    Oh please. Of all the bullshit I’ve ever read. He did it deliberately to kneecap her, and the only thing he’s remotely sorry for is that it ended up costing him his job. I’m fucking glad Trump fired him – that’s got to be extra-humiliating, coming from a shitbag like Orange Hitler – even if it was for all the wrong reasons.

  150. 150
    Elizabelle says:

    LOL. Andy Borowitz, in The New Yorker: Comey Book Bombshell

    Amazon Apologizes for Shipping Ten Thousand Copies of Comey’s Book to White House

    WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Calling it a “regrettable accident,” Amazon apologized on Thursday for shipping ten thousand advance copies of James Comey’s book, “A Higher Loyalty,” to the White House.

    Cartons of the book arrived early Thursday morning and kept coming throughout the day, until stacks of the book clogged virtually every hallway and office in the building.

    … The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, called any speculation that Trump had ordered Comey’s book “absurd,” adding, “The President does not order reading material.”

    Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, said that he had “absolutely no idea” how the ten thousand Comey books made their way to the White House, but advised Trump to follow the procedures on the Amazon Web site for returning unwanted merchandise.

    “You can print up the return labels at home,” he said. “The books should be picked up and out of there in two weeks, three weeks, max.”

    Bezos said that shipping the ten thousand books back to the company’s warehouse would not be overly costly for Amazon. “We get an amazing deal on postage,” he said.

  151. 151
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Elizabelle: I mean, he’s _right_ that after a Clinton victory, the ensuing stories about how there was a renewed investigation just before the election that still led nowhere would have made Republicans howl and screech like Benghazi to the power of Pajama Boy, but why is he even thinking about that? Or why couldn’t he demonstrate his incorruptible integrity (or whatever) by being the guy who took that heat and explained himself to vehemently angry critics? You know who had the stuff to do that? Hillary Fucking Clinton.

  152. 152
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Kay:

    The FBI, HIS agency, planted a fake story in the NYTimes exonerating Trump a week before the election!

    Yup. I’d rather like to know the events that led up to THAT. Any chance Mueller will find out?

  153. 153
    Kay says:

    John Harwood

    Verified account

    @JohnJHarwood
    55m55 minutes ago
    More
    from @stephenfhayes in Weekly Standard: “As Trump consolidates his hold on the party, he’s losing his grip on the presidency. WH staffers whisper their boss appears increasingly unhinged. As prominent Trump supporter recently put it: ‘It’s falling apart’“

    I get upset but I know this – I know it will fall apart. Everyone knows it. It goes too slow and there will be lots and lots of damage along the way, but I think everyone in the country is just braced for the crash. They can only do damage control so long.

  154. 154
    bystander says:

    @Kay:

    He really overthought this.

    A real danger since his ego had inflated his head to the size of a beach ball.

  155. 155
    Brachiator says:

    Just getting my day started. There is the thread below which suggests that the GOP leadership may be distancing itself from Trump. But I hear on the news this morning that the GOP is fully signed on to a big media campaign to depict Comey as a lying traitor. The GOP has got Trump’s back no matter what.

    Also, yesterday a talk radio host mentioned that his wife got a FaceBook message asking her to pray for Trump, that he be defended from the great evil trying to undermine him. Evangelicals are innoculated against any revelations of “immoral” conduct.

  156. 156
    SFAW says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Since he didn’t do that, we can safely conclude that maintaining impartiality was not his motivation.

    Silly libtard. You’re using the old, archaic, libtard definition of “impartiality.” The new, shiny definition is “treats both sides equally, but treats the Republican side MORE equally. And the other side three-fifths as equal..” Or something like that.

  157. 157
    germy says:

    @Nicole:

    And, in other rehabilitation of terrible people news, the Hollywood Reporter is trying to make us all feel sad for Charlie Rose.

    So vile. His arrogance is endless, no matter how contrite he tries to appear.

    His PBS show was a parade of white men of a certain age; “experts” from various think tanks and the village media.

    Since Christiane Amanpour took over, they’re featuring guests Charlie never would have considered taking seriously. And the conversations are 100x more intelligent.

    I understand the WaPo is due to release an embarrassing story about Charlie. CBS is rushing with NDAs everywhere. I wonder if the Hollywood Reporter piece is an attempt at pre-emptive damage control?

  158. 158

    I am using e-file to do my taxes. One of the questions, would you like to donate $3 to the Presidential election fund.
    WTF? Is this new? Why would I want to give the tax cheat’s campaign any money.

  159. 159
    Leto says:

    @SFAW: That’s part of it, but also Steele went directly to sources directly inside the Kremlin, or at least close enough, to gather the dossier infomation. Is that the FBI’s role, or is that a CIA operation? While it is the FBI’s role to safeguard the homeland, it’s the CIAs to operate overseas. Wouldn’t this have been an intelligence failure on the CIAs part? Why didn’t they know about this? Why didn’t their sources pass this along? Also if this was already hashed out, just point me in that direction.

  160. 160
    Immanentize says:

    @Elizabelle: Now that is PRIME Trolling.

  161. 161
    danielx says:

    @gvg:

    We’re in a real crisis right now, and he hasn’t got a clue. Nor is he inclined to listen to anybody who does.

  162. 162
    rikyrah says:

    Trump says he’s ‘draining the swamp,’ even if ‘it may not look like it’
    04/13/18 08:40 AM—UPDATED 04/13/18 09:21 AM
    By Steve Benen

    One of the signature lines of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign was “drain the swamp.” Through the Republican was always a little vague about the meaning of the phrase, it was widely seen as an outsider’s vow to clean up the nation’s capital.

    The Republican told NBC’s “Meet the Press” during the campaign that he’s tired of everybody in the nation’s capital “being controlled by the special interests and the lobbyists.” Trump went so far as to say he’d have “no problem” banning lobbyists from his administration altogether.

    The promise has since become the punch-line to a sad joke, though at a White House event yesterday, the president made the case that he’s honoring his commitment – even if reality suggests otherwise.

    “From the day I took the oath of office, I’ve been fighting to drain the swamp. And sometimes it may not look like it, but, believe me, we are draining the swamp. And there are a lot of unhappy people. You can see that every day. All you have to do is turn on the news. Every time you see me hit, you know that I’m draining the swamp. And people don’t like it.”

    As a rule, when Trump says, “Believe me,” the public’s first instinct should be to not believe him.

  163. 163
    Immanentize says:

    @eric: Yes, true. My favorite side issue is — can a judge use an invocation of the 5th as a negative inference in a summary judgment analysis. I think not….

  164. 164
    SFAW says:

    @Kay:

    @JohnJHarwood
    55m55 minutes ago
    More
    from @stephenfhayes in Weekly Standard: “As Trump consolidates his hold on the party, he’s losing his grip on the presidency. WH staffers whisper their boss appears increasingly unhinged. As prominent Trump supporter recently put it: ‘It’s falling apart’“

    Someone should tell Harwood that he should do some real work, instead of tweeting the same old “he’s unhinged/losing control/falling apart” bullshit that we’ve been hearing for a year. And by “bullshit,” I don’t mean that I think it’s not true — it’s just that it’s SSDD, and until the Janesville Sleeper Agent and America’s Most Traitorous Senate Majority Leader decide to do something about it, it don’t mean shit.

  165. 165
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Elizabelle: Bezos’ revenge?

  166. 166

    @Nicole: I lost all respect for Charlie Rose when he accompanied W to India and spent a week interviewing Indian people prominent in business, arts, politics, reporters etc. And guess who he brought on along with him as an India expert?
    MoU. Taking a few cab rides in Bangalore does not make you a fucking expert on India.

  167. 167
    Kay says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    This whole fucking shit-show has soured me forever on NY politicians. The alignment between the NYTimes ( who led the crap coverage) and Donald Trump must not happen again. I believe that if Donald Trump had been a real estate developer from Arkansas we would have had some due diligence. They “know” him and that’s why they didn’t do any real investigation.

  168. 168
    Immanentize says:

    @rikyrah: Drain the swamp to Trump and his supporters is to get rid of minorities and democrats from civil service. He is working every day to do that. His supporters understand and support that version of draining.

  169. 169
    rikyrah says:

    @gvg:

    I really fear a real crisis because he just won’t be able to act. I don’t even think it’s simple cowardice. He just isn’t a real leader and only played one on TV. Events happen to him.

    He’s an ignorant, incurious functional illiterate. He doesn’t care what he doesn’t know.
    We’ve already had crisis. His racism and ignorance have killed American Citizens in Yemen, Niger and Puerto Rico.
    What he didn’t do in Puerto Rico is another reason why he should be impeached.

  170. 170

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Originally $1 and implemented in 1966[1] as an attempt at the public funding of elections, this money provides for the financing of presidential primary and general election campaigns and national party conventions. Beginning with the 1967 tax year, individual taxpayers were able to designate $1 to be applied to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund. Both the Republican and Democratic nominees in the general election receive a fixed amount of checkoff dollars.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidential_election_campaign_fund_checkoff

  171. 171
    WaterGirl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Definitely more intimidating than the little guy. Thanks for sharing!

  172. 172
    bemused says:

    @Nicole:

    The sisters could just lie who they voted for. What’s so hard about that? I know of older senior citizen women who vote Dem but their old white republican voting husbands have no idea their wives aren’t voting with them. The Dem voters may tell a few other women but they whisper and add my husband doesn’t need to know.

  173. 173
    Kay says:

    @SFAW:

    That isn’t usually how it works, though. How it usually works is outside events overtake the effort to control damage.

    There’s a Katrina, or an Iraq. You don’t need to be competent when it’s good. You need to be competent when it goes bad.

  174. 174
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Brachiator:

    The GOP has got Trump’s back no matter what.

    The flood of GOP retirees from Congress suggests nobody has their backs.

  175. 175

    @Major Major Major Major: Ah yes I figured it out. I was half awake when I started checking boxes and I thought no way does I want to give the hair pouf a dime. Then I remembered that a variation of this question has always been there in the tax form.

  176. 176
    danielx says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    It’s a check box, has to be there. Allah alone knows why.

  177. 177
    Jeffro says:

    @Kay:

    I know it will fall apart. Everyone knows it. It goes too slow and there will be lots and lots of damage along the way, but I think everyone in the country is just braced for the crash

    April Ryan, thank you for being brave enough to go first, right?

    Hopefully the next brave reporter will ask the Possum Queen: “Can you describe the White House’s thinking as to how the Russia investigation – including all of the people already indicted and talking with Mueller – is quickly and cleanly resolved in the president’s favor?”

  178. 178

    @schrodingers_cat: and I didn’t know this, but it actually means that $3 is taken from your payment and put in the fund, not that you pay an extra $3. I’ve generally checked it just on principle.

  179. 179
    Dave says:

    @The Moar You Know: Right and the fact that his firing led to Mueller and far greater peril for our degenerate spwan of a decaying dynasty is just…. Well entirely predictable and also damn serendipitous. I’m glad Comey was fired and glad that by doing so Trump may have screwed himself.

  180. 180
    WereBear says:

    @MomSense: For someone who is, after all, the head of the FBI, and no stranger to bureaucratic buttons, he must be hiding some motive that is more important than actually making sense to his critics.

  181. 181
    Elizabelle says:

    @Immanentize: LOL. Indeed.

    @OzarkHillbilly: Bezos’ revenge could be having Martin Baron hire a few more hungry reporters, of David Farenthold calibre. Not hot dogs or lap dogs (like the FTF Vichy NY Times), digging dogs.

    “Never quarrel with a man who buys ink by the barrel.” — attributed to Mark Twain, but probably not his

  182. 182
    jonas says:

    @JPL: This. The real kicker about Comey’s letter wasn’t that he revealed Clinton was under investigation. The email investigation had been closed months earlier with the announcement that there was no there there and Clinton did nothing prosecutable. What Comey did in his October surprise was suggest that “new” evidence about Clinton’s emails had come to light in the course of the Weiner investigation before he or anyone else knew what was actually in the emails. Of course they turned out to be copies of ones that had already been examined, but the damage had been done. Comey can spin all he wants on this, but it was one of the most profoundly reckless and irresponsible things done by a major public figure in a long, long time. On top of failing to mention the Russia investigation. The fact that Trump shitcanned him to obstruct justice shouldn’t allow him to pretend he’s some kind of martyr.

  183. 183
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    Speaking of assholes, there’s a convention arranged by Al Mohler of the Southern Baptist Seminary taking place in Louisville all week. These are the worst people on earth (a bunch of the attendees – primarily pastors – were in a frothing rage over a few speakers advising rhem that their racial attitudes suck and that they should work on being more inclusionary and less assholish). Anyway, they’ve been constantly live tweeting speeches as they hear them.

    Twitter is like every other social media site and tries to put up other topics that are related in the “latest” section of the task bar, culled from the searches of things that people most interested and tweeting about the event are also pulling up.

    The hashtag “related searches” for this event is #cuminsideme. 😂😂😂

  184. 184
    Elizabelle says:

    @WereBear: I think the rogue NY FBI field office is a huge story. Have we seen much coverage on it? (Like the FTF NYTimes cares. But someone else might …)

  185. 185
    Kay says:

    @SFAW:

    Donald Trump doesn’t really control China. He doesn’t really control the stock market or the economy either. Hell, he doesn’t even control Stormy Daniels or his own EPA director. The balls he’s juggling can drop. They will. It’s gravity.

  186. 186
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    I get upset but I know this – I know it will fall apart. Everyone knows it. It goes too slow and there will be lots and lots of damage along the way, but I think everyone in the country is just braced for the crash. They can only do damage control so long.

    I understand you, Kay. I don’t get upset by this. I don’t even think I know what upset is. I admit..I’ve been in a constant state of rage since November 2016.And, everything we’ve had to go through, as a country, could have been avoided.
    We had a qualified candidate. Didn’t have to happen.

    That’s the constant refrain that has been looping in my head since November 2016.

    This didn’t have to happen.
    And, because, this didn’t have to happen, I don’t want to hear it. I don’t give two shyts about any pain that happens to any of the muthaphuckas that made this happen.
    Those farmers in your area?
    I hope they lose PHUCKING EVERYTHING!!

    EVERYTHING!!
    I’m so tired of White folks being White and clinging to that Whiteness…I have no patience for it.
    And, I dare, once this is all said and done, for folks on the right to purse their lips about phucking anything.

    They voted for and supported TREASON AGAINST THIS COUNTRY.
    They can never say ANYTHING and be treated seriously.
    Uh uh.
    Never again.

  187. 187
    danielx says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Lord Shortfingers certainly doesn’t, as they have discovered. Repeatedly.

  188. 188
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @schrodingers_cat: It’s not new. It’s a fund that all presidential candidates are eligible to draw matching funds from, but if they do so they are limited in how much $ they can spend, hence the fund is becoming increasingly less relevant as candidates choose to fund their campaigns entirely themselves.

  189. 189
    rikyrah says:

    @germy:

    So vile. His arrogance is endless, no matter how contrite he tries to appear.

    I know. Ridiculous. Just STOP with this nonsense.

  190. 190

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yes I know, outrage before coffee had kicked in. My bad.

  191. 191
    germy says:

    @Jeffro:

    April Ryan, thank you for being brave enough to go first, right?

    She’s been getting death threats from drumpfistas.

    I think republican politicians are terrified of The Base. I mean physically terrified. Retirement seems to be the safest way out.

  192. 192
    Immanentize says:

    @rikyrah: I don’t feel you are sufficiently passionate in your opposition to Trump and his voters….

  193. 193
  194. 194
    rikyrah says:

    BREAKING: Good news. Maryland passed plan to outlaw junk insurance. New Jersey passed a plan to restore individual mandate.

    What states do today, the country will do beginning 2021. 1/

    — Andy Slavitt (@ASlavitt) April 13, 2018

  195. 195
    GregB says:

    @Kay:

    We can all feel unraveling quickening. I think that most people know that it is collapsing around Trump’s feet. We all just hope it finishes before Trump has his Greg Stillson moment.

  196. 196
    JPL says:

    @Kay: Maggie Haberman had been covering Trump’s social life and deals for years. She was the instrumental person who led the nytimes coverage. The only regret that I have is I didn’t cancel my subscription sooner.

  197. 197
    danielx says:

    @rikyrah:

    They can never say ANYTHING and be treated seriously.

    C’mon, not even that bit about Republicans being fiscal conservatives?

    But seriously, folks, as Limbaugh used to say…I suspect that one of the reasons Trump pisses off so many of his ostensible Republican allies* is that he has once and for all ripped off the hypocritical mask of the Republican Party. And Republican voters, for that matter. The “stern daddy” party has become the party in which daddy is a whore mongering drunken wastrel who spent the family assets on fast Italian cars, faster Russian women and slow Kentucky horses.

    *or minions, as I am sure Trump refers to them mentally.

  198. 198
    Chris says:

    @Kay:

    He really overthought this. All he had to do was go by the book. All his problems stem from his inflated sense of what his role was- his role is easy. There’s a manual. All he had to do was follow a recipe. That’s why they have the rules. So people can rely on them and insulate themselves from decisions that are seen as political. That’s how we attempt equity- if he had followed the ordinary process it would have been more equitable, as between Clinton and Trump.

    He didn’t even have to do that. He had two perfectly good (from his POV) choices: either “go by the book” on both Trump and Hillary, revealing nothing about the investigations into them to the public. Or break the rules and spill the beans on both Trump and Hillary’s investigations at the same time. (Sure, Hillary wasn’t actually under investigation, but not to worry, the “both sides do it” media will take care of that). Whatever you decide to withhold/reveal on one candidate is canceled out by the fact that you also spilled the beans/refused to spill the beans on the other candidate.

    The fact that he chose to apply one standard to one candidate and another to the other pretty much rules out any possibility other than “he was a partisan hack.”

  199. 199
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I am slow, I saw after posting that others had already answered. Sorry for being superfluous.

  200. 200
    Elizabelle says:

    @Leto: Had never heard of that episode. Thank you. From President Buchanan’s time.

  201. 201
    germy says:

    Comey: “I honestly never thought these words would come out of my mouth, but I don’t know whether the current President of the United States was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013. It’s possible, but I don’t know.”

    Drumf: James Comey is a proven LEAKER & LIAR. Virtually everyone in Washington thought he should be fired for the terrible job he did-until he was, in fact, fired. He leaked CLASSIFIED information, for which he should be prosecuted. He lied to Congress under OATH. He is a weak and untruthful slime ball who was, as time has proven, a terrible Director of the FBI. His handling of the Crooked Hillary Clinton case, and the events surrounding it, will go down as one of the worst “botch jobs” of history. It was my great honor to fire James Comey!

  202. 202
    WereBear says:

    @Elizabelle: I agree, but nothing but the wind in the tumbleweeds on it.

  203. 203

    @OzarkHillbilly: Don’t worry about. I was both slow and stupid this morning, when I posted that comment.

  204. 204
    JPL says:

    @germy: Trump wants to fire Rosenstein because he suggested that Comey be fired. I’m so confused.

  205. 205
    rikyrah says:

    Mueller’s Four Findings on Trump’s Obstruction of Justice
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    April 13, 2018

    According to a report from NBC News, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has collected four findings on Donald Trump’s attempt to obstruct justice.

    His intent to fire former FBI Director James Comey;
    His role in the crafting of a misleading public statement on the nature of a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between his son and Russians;
    Trump’s dangling of pardons before grand jury witnesses who might testify against him; and
    Pressuring Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to recuse himself from the Russia investigation.

    The use of the word “intent” in that first one could be significant, as explained by Renato Mariatti.

    Impeding or influencing an FBI investigation is a crime only if it is done with “corrupt” intent—in other words, the intent to wrongfully impede the administration of justice.

  206. 206
    Peale says:

    @Elizabelle: you can’t begin to discus it without implicating Rudy G and other fine New Yorkers. It won’t get covered. The press would rather spend their time looking for slack jawed midwesterners to blame this shit show on that focus on than look at causes so close to home.

  207. 207
    Chris says:

    @Sanjeevs:

    3. How did FBI counterintelligence fuck this whole thing up so badly. How could Steele on his own find out so much more than them and why did they sit on his findings when first reported to them by Steele himself

    I read a book recently about Nazi sympathizers in Los Angeles in the 1930s, and the efforts to combat them. “Efforts to combat them,” of course, mostly did not mean the cops; the LAPD and LASD were riddled with people who at best thought the Nazis weren’t as big a problem as Jews, nonwhites, and leftists, and at worst were basically Nazis themselves. And the FBI cared so little that even after the politicians finally ordered it to look into the problem, it still pissed away three quarters of its budget chasing Reds instead of Nazis. So most of the work was done by private citizens, the most prominent of which was a Jewish attorney named Leon Lewis.

    The book ends with the actual war, when the FBI finally starts looking into the problem seriously. But even then, it notes that of all the information they gathered on the Nazis, something ridiculous, like 90% of it, was simply handed to them by Leon Lewis and his people, who’d spent the whole previous decade essentially doing their job for them.

    Needless to say, the 1930s aren’t the only time period I was thinking of when reading that.

  208. 208
    Elizabelle says:

    @Peale: It’s a rat’s nest that needs cleaning out. I hope Mueller, and maybe the NYS AG, are on it.

  209. 209
    bemused says:

    @MomSense:

    My husband often walks our dogs at night on our wooded property trails. Recently a very large owl with a huge wingspan flew by them. He said the swoosh sound of the owl’s wings in the still night was very cool.

  210. 210
    Immanentize says:

    @Peale: Yes, but why wont the WaPo do the story? Maybe too busy, but it is a cherce story.

  211. 211
    lurker dean says:

    jebus – the liberal NYT has john it’s-okay-to-torture-people yoo writing that the idiot-in-chief can fire mueller. the nyt really doesn’t give a shit what happens to this country.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/13/opinion/trump-fire-mueller.html?smid=fb-nytopinion&smtyp=cur

  212. 212
    Barbara says:

    @SFAW:

    Someone should tell Harwood that he should do some real work, instead of tweeting the same old “he’s unhinged/losing control/falling apart” bullshit that we’ve been hearing for a year. And by “bullshit,” I don’t mean that I think it’s not true — it’s just that it’s SSDD, and until the Janesville Sleeper Agent and America’s Most Traitorous Senate Majority Leader decide to do something about it, it don’t mean shit.

    Ryan is doing something about it. He’s cutting and running to make sure that he is not under the snow when the avalanche comes.

  213. 213
    gvg says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I am using e-file to do my taxes. One of the questions, would you like to donate $3 to the Presidential election fund.
    WTF? Is this new? Why would I want to give the tax cheat’s campaign any money.

    Nope, it’s been on every tax return I’ve ever filed. I started in the 80’s.

  214. 214
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @germy: So Trump’s theory now is that Comey needed to be fired because he was too LENIENT on Hillary Clinton? Even though the Rosenstein memo was that he was too harsh?

    Trump is such a fucking idiot. He clearly had a fantasy about how cool it would be to be on TV (as Sarah Palin also did) and he’s living by that fantasy by watching himself on TV, yelling at the TV he’s on, calling the TV people to tell him what he wants to see on TV, and then watching the TV cover how he was yelling at it.

    Artist’s rendering: Stupid TV, be more funny!

  215. 215
    WereBear says:

    @Chris: Would that be Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots Against Hollywood and America?

    I have it on my list now.

  216. 216
    Immanentize says:

    @rikyrah: I read the articles linked — who is leaking this? Not Mueller’s people. So, who? I think it must be the attorneys for someone who is cooperating or flipped. Maybe Comey himself. The timing would suit his book release.

  217. 217
    MomSense says:

    @Kay:

    I would not assume that there is not a compromise situation with the New York Times. Russia was able to hack the Defense Department, State, DNC, RNC, Podesta, and others. Why wouldn’t they hack the servers for the New York Times? Yes, the NYT has always been horrible when it comes to all things Clinton, but that doesn’t explain their decisions not to report on all the dirt they have had for years on Trump.

  218. 218
    Chris says:

    @oldgold:

    Many of the FBI ‘s problems to this day are related to the man who built it. It is hard to correct anything that has a flawed foundation.

    Yeah. The thing I keep coming back to in all this is that it’s now pretty clear that it never stopped being J. Edgar Hoover’s bureau, and in some ways has gotten even worse.

  219. 219
    tobie says:

    @rikyrah: I wonder if we’re approaching the point of having regional consortiums for something like single-payer or a public option. PA, DE, NJ, MD, and VA could join forces to create some kind of interstate pool. Wonder how that would work…

  220. 220
    danielx says:

    Also too….nice to that Dr. Krugman and I share some musical tastes. Saw Samantha Fish last fall – if you ever have a chance to see her, go.

  221. 221
    Chris says:

    @SFAW:

    First of all, when did being an elite member of some group become a bad thing? It’s “elitist,” not “elite,” you morons. Second: Their complaining about the “elites” has always come with the unspoken sentiment “but WE are SO much BETTERr than they are — who are THEY to look down their noses at US?” [Frankly, it’s an argument not to far removed from “who does that black guy think he is, anyway? Does he think he’s good as us [sic]?”]

    Third, “elite” long ago stopped meaning anything about wealth or privilege, at least in these people’s mouths. “Elite” simply mean “anyone who lives in a blue state.” Last election, it reached its logical absurd endpoint when we were told that the actual majority of voters were disconnected elites who didn’t understand the common folk.

  222. 222
    Aleta says:

    @Elizabelle: Yes! Comey reveals pressure from T about Russia so why not reveal pressure from his connections about HRC. I don’t think he’s obligated to protect retired FBI or Giuliani if they were manipulating his actions.

    Some of the quotes from the book sound like he’s watching a movie about himself in his head. He’s billed as a very proper servant but uses the book to show off his mind. A report so serious that talks about orange skin color, puffy eyes, comparative hand size? (I.D. was never in question, J.C.) Hard to trust a show off.

  223. 223
    Barbara says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Most of these churches will never get it because to get it would be to share power and stop maintaining the default superiority of their own preferences. When they think about integration, they think about continuing to set the terms to meet their own needs and wants, just with a few darker people sitting among the still mostly white congregation. And they honestly don’t see what’s wrong with that.

  224. 224
    Elizabelle says:

    @lurker dean: I saw that. Fuck the Fucking NY Times. It’s got a fig leaf “but he shouldn’t”, but it makes all kinds of bad suggestions: keep Mueller in exchange for wrapping up the proceedings quickly — “a fixed deadline” — like you’d do that, when Russia choosing the US President is an underlying issue, and there are so many tentacles and so much wrongdoing uncovered. Oh, and skip the mistresses. Nothing to see there.

    Squid ink. And they didn’t open it to reader comments, which would be scathing.

    Fuck John Yoo. Man should be in prison still, and should not have his law license or a cushy job indoctrinating future lawyers. Ethical moron.

  225. 225
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Chris:
    If the FBI made cross-dressing mandatory for all Special Agents, that might be an improvement.

  226. 226
    Washburn says:

    Even if there is a blue wave and articles of impeachment are filed, Senate removal of Trump is nearly impossible and Trump will likely retain
    pardon power until January 2021.

    Now might be a good time to think about what can be done to remove Trump by the only method that has a realistic chance of working: voting.

  227. 227
    germy says:

    NBC:

    Three sources familiar with the investigation said the findings Mueller has collected on Trump’s attempts to obstruct justice include:

    His intent to fire former FBI Director James Comey;

    his role in the crafting of a misleading public statement on the nature of a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between his son and Russians;

    Trump’s dangling of pardons before grand jury witnesses who might testify against him;

    and pressuring Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to recuse himself from the Russia investigation.

  228. 228
    Chris says:

    @Kay:

    It’s worse than that! The FBI, HIS agency, planted a fake story in the NYTimes exonerating Trump a week before the election!

    And yet the story we keep hearing about is whether Obama and Hillary’s stooges Comey and Mueller and Rosenstein are so tainted by their complicity that we can’t trust their investigation.

    “Liberal media,” indeed.

  229. 229
    Kay says:

    @MomSense:

    I think about that with Trump, specifically. He’s a thug. He threatens people. He could threaten media people. We watched him do it with Morning Joe stars. He had dirt on them and he revealed it when they stopped promoting him.

    The Washington Post covers him critically so he tried to destroy that business. Comey is right about one thing- they behave like crime bosses. Look at Pruitt’s behavior. Rat him out and he puts out a hit on you.

  230. 230
    Elizabelle says:

    @Aleta: Check out the photos the NY Times used to illustrate. Strict film noir. Strange lighting and contrast. Looks like Comey’s in a shiny suit. Reviewer used the world “cinematic.” And then: Comey as Elliot Ness. And Gary Cooper as Will Kane!

  231. 231
    Chris says:

    @Kay:

    This whole fucking shit-show has soured me forever on NY politicians.

    Shit, just listening to Trump has soured me on New York accents. Give me back JFK, choosing, in this duhcade, to go to the moon and do these othaa things, not because they aah easy, but because they aah hahd.

  232. 232
    Nicole says:

    @bemused: The sister told me privately (I did not ask; she volunteered it). I think she was really, really embarrassed about “her” party picking Trump. I have no idea who my (ostensibly Republican) stepbrother voted for. He doesn’t actually think much about politics; we grew up in a well-off, very white, conservative area, all the popular kids were conservatives, he was popular, ergo. Nerds like me were the ones bravely holding up our Dukakis-Bentsen signs in the face of much social disapproval.

  233. 233
    Repatriated says:

    @Chris:

    He didn’t even have to do that. He had two perfectly good (from his POV) choices: either “go by the book” on both Trump and Hillary, revealing nothing about the investigations into them to the public. Or break the rules and spill the beans on both Trump and Hillary’s investigations at the same time. (Sure, Hillary wasn’t actually under investigation

    That’s the key here.
    The FBI (as most did) believed Clinton would win.
    The Trump-Russia investigation was ongoing and they didn’t want to tip off the targets. They thought they’d have all the time in the world (and a friendly environment) to wrap it up after the election.

    The Clinton matter was already closed, so there was no investigation to disrupt by talking about it.

  234. 234
    Barbara says:

    @Elizabelle: Fortunately for us, Mueller has about 10 times the knowledge and fortitude that John Yoo would have in a similar undertaking. Yoo “approved” torture largely because he was put under pressure to do so. His legal “reasoning” is infinitely malleable, so long as it serves his Republican masters. Nothing he writes is worth reading.

  235. 235

    @Chris: Same here, both T and the Green Mountain Sage need to STFU forever.

  236. 236
    Chris says:

    @WereBear:

    @Chris: Would that be Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots Against Hollywood and America?

    Yes. With thanks to (((realinterrobang)))’s blog for making me aware of the book.

  237. 237
    lurker dean says:

    @Elizabelle: ugh, yeah, yoo should be a jobless pariah, not in a cushy teaching job. now we get to have the nutjobs scream “look, the nyt says the president can fire mueller.”

  238. 238
    rikyrah says:

    I know we have posted this before, but still…

    WATCH: During her confirmation hearing this morning (yes, this morning – in 2018), judicial nominee Wendy Vitter refused to say whether she agreed with the result in Brown v. Board of Education. #UnfitToJudge pic.twitter.com/RWroh0XUIC

    — The Leadership Conference (@civilrightsorg) April 11, 2018

    Charles Pierce had some words about that.

    This is a very cute answer, particularly for a white person from the state that gave us Plessy v. Ferguson. But Brown is not something with which to get cute. It materially fulfilled the basic promises of the Constitution for a good chunk of the country’s citizens. It redeemed the moral failures of Reconstruction. It fulfilled the sacrifices made during the Civil War. It helped make the Civil Rights Movement possible.

    Not just the Civil Rights Movement.
    EVERY advance in American Society over the past 50 years can point its genesis back to Brown v Board.
    PERIOD.
    And, THAT is the reason why the GOP has despised Brown v. Board from the beginning.

  239. 239
    Chris says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    If the FBI made cross-dressing mandatory for all Special Agents, that might be an improvement.

    Certainly couldn’t hurt.

  240. 240
    Doug R says:

    @debbie:

    The way the photos are framed, it appears you are in a cage. Hope you got out!

    Gaijin Kaiju!

  241. 241
    MomSense says:

    @danielx:

    She’s great. I saw her a few years ago. My son saw her in Chicago where she appeared with Kate Moss.

  242. 242
    Barbara says:

    @Kay: Demanding an audit of the USPS is his latest assault on democratic norms.

  243. 243
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    As angry as I was about his original rather smug Senate testimony “clearing” Clinton, I still see Comey as an overall white hat in the big picture scheme of things. Yes, he did make mistakes, but having learned the backstory in the year plus since it all went down it at least makes him less an evil plotting enemy of Hilary, and more an essentially honorable person stuck in a never-before-seen series of events, with none of the knowledge about the future he has now to guide him.

    Let’s not forget that throughout that summer, the crazed Benghazi/Email crusade was in full-swing, being an effective partner in crime to Trump and the Republicans campaign to suppress support for Hillary. Also don’t forget how Bill Clinton “helped” Hillary by his stupid meeting with the AG on the airplane, and her subsequent request that Comey tone down the language in regards to the investigation. The appearance of improper political interference into the investigation definitely impacted his thinking and actions in the weeks to come.

    If I recall, just prior to Comey’s announcement of the review of “new emails from an unrelated matter”, Rudy Giuliani’s thug cabal in the FBI were going rogue and pressing for a reinvestigation of the email case (as well as trying to open a brand new one on the Clinton Foundation). They had already prepared a report as such to give to our lovey friends on the House Select Committee a copy of their own “findings” to be announced by Chaffetz, Gowdy, McCarthy as a way to embarrass and undermine Comey’s authority, and hi previous declination to forward any criminal charges in the matter. This pressured Comey to take control of the story, prematurely. This was a no win situation in many ways, and yes, he could have let the chips roll where they might have and allowed Chaffetz and his friends to use the information to declare he had conducted a biased investigation. A report like that, as close to the election as it was, was going to have an equally negative impact on Clinton.

    The problem is, there were some pretty dark and ruthless powers aiding and abetting those wanting Trump to win, and we know now that they were not insignificant. Anyone trying to play by any of the old rules of the game was going to be trampled. We literally had little to no clue how extensive the corruption was during that election. I’m holding the bad guys accountable for that, and yes, our own side made mistakes. But the differences between our mistakes and their true evil–vastly different.

    If Comey, now with the full picture of the way we were all cheated, lied to, and stolen from, is squarely on the right side of history and is trying to help us get our country back, then I’m willing to have him join the fight.

  244. 244
    rikyrah says:

    Classless
    A libertarian economist calls for ending public education as we know it. It’s a radical proposal—and deeply wrong.

    by Kevin Carey

    ………………………………….

    What if that story had a different ending? What if nobody listened, and the ruse continued, and the child grew up to become a libertarian economics professor at George Mason University? He might well have written Bryan Caplan’s The Case Against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money.

    These kinds of books often lack the courage of their title’s provocations. Not this one. Caplan, a career educator, really is a staunch skeptic of most of the personal, social, and economic benefits of education. He calls for no less than ending public education as we know it and massively reducing the number of people with high school and college degrees. To prosecute his case, he has assembled a pile of academic studies, including some showing alarmingly subpar literacy and mathematics skills among college graduates. Most people would see these statistics as a reason to make education better. But to Caplan they’re a reason to make education disappear.

    Caplan’s main critique is that most formal education is ineffective and alienated from the skills and knowledge that typical jobs require. Reading, math, and some sciences are worthwhile, he concedes, but everything else is a waste. “There really is no need for K–12 to teach history, social studies, art, music, or foreign languages,” he writes. “The class clown who snarks, ‘What does this have to do with real life?,’ is on to something.” If you can’t easily match a subject with a marketable job skill, he believes, it shouldn’t be taught in school.

    Yet despite all that irrelevant and ineffective learning, people with degrees still get paid a premium by the labor market. And market signals are a central source of capital-T truth for any committed libertarian. If education is so useless, why do employers continue to reward it?

  245. 245

    @Major Major Major Major: They look like the tiny version of langur monkeys.

  246. 246
    Amir Khalid says:

    @danielx:
    I’ve been listening to her stuff on YouTube. She’s really good.

  247. 247
    geg6 says:

    @sherparick:

    The assurance that Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin would go Democratic always seemed a little strange to me given the way Clinton had struggled in those states in the primaries and that two of them had right wing Republican Governors.

    Can’t speak for MI or WI, but Hillary had absolutely no struggles in the primary race in PA. She won PA over Sanders by 12 points, a landslide by any measure.

  248. 248
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @Barbara: As their younger kids increasingly live secular lives, will they change, or like a lot of older Catholic parishes, go down with the ship? It’s pretty hard to be a pastor of nothing-when the only attendance is Sunday morning and the Wednesday afternoon tea service?

    Think of this this way: even the people who believe in god are attending less and less frequently, a fact that only the existence of mega-churches covers up. Cram more people in a building, and the decline in congregations looks less than it does. Merge churches, ditto.

    And the only groups that have significant church attendance are browner and blacker than before. So integrate or close?

  249. 249
    rikyrah says:

    Can’t ask directions…
    Another thing to add to the list that Black people can’t do without risking their lives.

    …………………….

    Black teen nearly shot and killed by homeowner for asking directions after missing his bus
    Travis Gettys
    13 APR 2018 AT 10:10 ET

    A black teenager was nearly shot and killed by a racist homeowner after missing his bus and trying to ask a neighbor for directions.

    Brennan Walker overslept Thursday morning and missed his bus, so he started walking the bus route from his family’s home to Rochester High School, reported WJBK-TV.

    The 14-year-old’s mom had taken his phone away, so he wasn’t able to check it for directions — so the boy knocked on a stranger’s door to ask for help.

    “I got to the house, and I knocked on the lady’s door,” Brennan told the TV station. “Then she started yelling at me and she was like, ‘Why are you trying to break into my house?’ I was trying to explain to her that I was trying to get directions to Rochester High, and she kept yelling at me.”

    “Then the guy came downstairs, and he grabbed the gun,” the teen added. “I saw it and started to run — and that’s when I heard the gunshot.”

    The shot missed the fleeing teen, and Brennan said he kept running until he found a hiding place, and that’s when he broke down crying.

    “My mom says that black boys get shot because sometimes they don’t look their age, and I don’t look my age,” he said. “I’m 14, but I don’t look 14. I’m kind of happy that, like, I didn’t become a statistic.

  250. 250
    Elizabelle says:

    @Barbara: Agreed. Yoo’s a sociopath. He speaks of dear Saint Scalia, who was the sole dissenter against keeping the independent counsel law. On the Rehnquist Court. Because: Inspector Javert. He goes there.

    That we could have a Hitler, or Berlusconi picked by Russia, and need a special prosecutor? Unimaginable.

    The Vichy Times gives this cover, and are particularly weaselsome in not allowing reader comments.

    But any law that prevents the president from removing executive officers would be constitutionally problematic. In his lonely dissent in Morrison v. Olson (1988), Justice Antonin Scalia noted that independent counsels would become unhinged Inspector Javerts. “Frequently an issue of this sort will come before the Court clad, so to speak, in sheep’s clothing,” Mr. Scalia wrote. “But this wolf comes as a wolf.”

    Mr. Scalia had in mind the Iran-contra investigation, which attempted to criminalize a separation of powers dispute between the executive and legislative branches over foreign policy. In the following decade, Democrats belatedly saw the light, too. Ken Starr’s investigation of Bill Clinton lasted for years, consumed enormous resources, and resulted in few convictions. By the end, Congress allowed the independent counsel law to quietly die. Resurrecting this Frankenstein would once again strike a blow at the separation of powers, which protects individual liberty as surely as the Bill of Rights itself. It would also let Congress off the hook for conducting a vigorous probe and possible impeachment — the constitutional text’s only device to punish a sitting president.

    Yoo, you loathesome fucker: we need a special prosecutor precisely because Congress WILL NOT do its job. Further, Kenneth Starr didn’t find anything. It was a witch hunt, and is seen as a witch hunt by people who are not braindead.

    Fuck Yoo and fuck the Vichy Times he wrote in on.

  251. 251

    @Elizabelle: Vichy Times has graduated to full on Nazi Times in one year. Great job!

  252. 252
    Brachiator says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    The GOP has got Trump’s back no matter what.

    The flood of GOP retirees from Congress suggests nobody has their backs.

    Many are retiring, but there are more from where they came from. It’s also interesting to see how the Republican politicians who remain are actively attacking many of the very people who put them into office (e.g., the state GOP reaction to teacher’s strikes).

    It is going to be very interesting to see what happens in the mid terms, whether we get a lot more Democrats, but also what kind of Republican is left standing in the ruins.

  253. 253
    Chris says:

    @Ella in New Mexico:

    If Comey, now with the full picture of the way we were all cheated, lied to, and stolen from, is squarely on the right side of history and is trying to help us get our country back, then I’m willing to have him join the fight.

    But he’s not “fighting.” All he’s doing right now is trying to cover his own ass.

  254. 254
    Jeffro says:

    @rikyrah: Mrs. Jeffro saw that clip yesterday evening and actually gasped…she had a hard time processing that it was not some sort of SNL spoof. For better or worse, most of us who frequent BJ know our enemies better than that.

  255. 255
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Barbara: If it’s an objective audit, it’ll say that the USPS’s financial issues are due to the Republicans forcing it to fully fund its pension plan – something done in no other industry.

  256. 256
    Jeffro says:

    @rikyrah: “Education for me, but not for thee”

  257. 257
    Mnemosyne says:

    @sherparick:

    Also, credit this, Sean Trende did say that there was about 5% share of the potential electorate who had not voted 2008 an d 2012 who would come out for a right-wing candidate who would bash NAFTA and China and immigration and the blahs, and they did and they were the margin in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

    Let’s be clear here: that 5 percent is the hard-core white supremacist vote. They made a difference in 2010, and they made a difference in 2016. That’s the out-and-proud Nazi vote.

  258. 258
    Amir Khalid says:

    Some newbie gitarrista news: The Girl and I are now working on Welfare Mothers. Meanwhile I’ve settled on a Les Paul: an Epiphone Studio in ebony, which I may buy quite soon. (I was looking at a white one, but decided it looked too formal, like something worn with white tie.) I trust a name will occur to me when the time comes.

  259. 259
    Elizabelle says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I keep the Vichy Times pretty much to see what they’re doing. And I like their nonpolitical stuff, particularly by non Vichy Times writers. However, their publisher and executive editor and White House corpse are pretty much whores. That fish has rotted at the head.

    I don’t feel good about paying for the Vichy Times, am kind of hate-reading it, and a lot less than I used to. Always go to the WaPost first. Alack.

  260. 260
    Chris says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Yoo’s a sociopath.

    I still think he was the worst of that administration. (Eye of the beholder, of course).

    There were guys above him who ordered torture and left it to their underlings to figure out the details. There were guys below him who just took orders and followed the manual. But somewhere along the line, there had to be a guy who actually wrote the manual, who actually sat down and worked out all the nitty-gritty aspects of How To Torture (Arguably) Legally. “What can we get away with here? How far can we take abuse of the human body and still loophole our way out of trouble? How many times can we waterboard a person in one day? Is it okay to put out lit cigarettes on a person’s skin, or should we limit ourselves to electric shocks? How long can the electric shocks be administered? Up to what voltage?” Etc, etc, etc. In the Bush administration, that guy was Yoo. And to be the kind of person who can actually put himself through the intellectual process of a “how to get away with torture” manual and not have some sort of emotional breakdown… that speaks to a completely depraved mind even by the Bush administration’s standards.

  261. 261
    Elizabelle says:

    @Chris: Yoo, David Addington, Cheney. Take your pick. They were all sociopaths.

  262. 262
    Elizabelle says:

    @Amir Khalid: The Gal.

  263. 263
    Immanentize says:

    @Elizabelle: But we didn’t keep the independent counsel law, so Yoo is also being completely disingenuous when comparing the “independent counsel” with a civil servant/career employee (which is what Mueller is).

  264. 264
    Immanentize says:

    @Chris: Bybee gets much less play than Yoo, but he wrote some of the most loathsome torture memos. Now a federal judge.

  265. 265
    Leto says:

    @Chris: James Comey is No Hero Charles Pierce’s latest take seems to square with that assessment.

  266. 266
    Kay says:

    @sherparick:

    The assurance that Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin would go Democratic always seemed a little strange to me

    I will never understand it and the blame for that falls squarely on Clinton and her campaign team.

    These states have commonalities. It’s always been a given that if Ohio is moving R then those other states are moving less Dem. They knew they would lose Ohio. That should have been all they needed to know the other states were closer, too.

    That’s what “bellweather” means. It isn’t THAT state. It’s what that state means in terms of other states. To know Ohio is out of reach 6 weeks out and not think “oh, shit, Michigan must be closer than we would like too” is malpractice.

  267. 267
    bemused says:

    @Nicole:

    The sisters vie for their dad’s approval if I read your comment correctly? It would seem easier to me to keep a dad in the dark about a voting choice than a spouse but maybe sister(s) can’t maintain a poker face for dad.

  268. 268
    Kay says:

    @sherparick:

    I’m sort of dreading 2020 because Presidential races are really long and Democrats will be having nervous breakdowns no matter what polling says.

  269. 269
    Leto says:

    @Mnemosyne: This, which was compounded by the amount of voter suppression that happened with the gutting of the VRA. You had state R reps/governors outright bragging about how they were going to hand their state to the OFC via voter suppression tactics.

  270. 270
    Elizabelle says:

    Projection City. You could screen an IMAX film on this one: From the Vichy Times:

    WASHINGTON — President Trump, in a pair of tweets on Friday, called the former F.B.I. director-turned-tell-all author James B. Comey an “untruthful slime ball” and a “proven LEAKER & LIAR,” and said it was “my great honor to fire” him, a day after excerpts from Mr. Comey’s book were shared ahead of its release next week.

    I do laugh at Trump slinging “LEAKER” when attention is focused on a pee tape, which Trump apparently suggested Comey might investigate.

    Trump’s tweets:

    James Comey is a proven LEAKER & LIAR. Virtually everyone in Washington thought he should be fired for the terrible job he did-until he was, in fact, fired. He leaked CLASSIFIED information, for which he should be prosecuted. He lied to Congress under OATH. He is a weak and…..

    …untruthful slime ball who was, as time has proven, a terrible Director of the FBI. His handling of the Crooked Hillary Clinton case, and the events surrounding it, will go down as one of the worst “botch jobs” of history. It was my great honor to fire James Comey!

    Weak and untruthful slimeball, and a leaker besides. Hmmm.

    (More on leaking: didn’t Michael Wolff tell us Trump won’t allow anyone around his bedding? Hmmm…)

  271. 271
    Elizabelle says:

    @Immanentize: Yoo? Disingenuous? No!

  272. 272
    Chris says:

    @Elizabelle:

    As is often the case when Trump tears into fellow Republicans: he’s not quite wrong.

  273. 273
    Kay says:

    @sherparick:

    Wood County in Ohio is a “bellweather” county. If Wood County is close to R or R then that means that reliably D counties are less D. That’s the point of “bellweather”. They don’t care about Wood County, per se. They care that it moves in one direction and the other counties do too.

    That’s what Ohio is for the Great Lakes states. So the Clinton people were like “we lost Ohio but Michigan will be exactly the same as it was in ’12”? No one ever thought like that. Luckily, as it turns out, because it’s dumb and wrong!

  274. 274

    @Chris: And that great supposedly brave and liberal icon, Jon Stewart gave him a softball interview interview where he was smiling and being all nice, not snarly like he was with President Obama.

  275. 275
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @rikyrah: I first read the title as “Clueless” – I don’t think I’m wrong.

    So after starving the education for resources, paying teachers shit (in addition to making many of them pay for their own supplies), and getting ‘alarmingly subpar literacy and mathematics skills’ from college grads, he thinks that the solution is to make the system even worse? George Mason as a whole is a disgrace to the entire economics profession, but this is just absurd beyond words

  276. 276
    Immanentize says:

    @Elizabelle: I am trying to use more temperate language. Just a lark. :-)

  277. 277
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Elizabelle:
    Probably not that.

  278. 278
    Doug Gardner says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Thanks for making me laugh *just before* I reached for my coffee!

  279. 279
    bystander says:

    Talk about a cesspool. George Mason U must be redolent of mendacity.

  280. 280
    Elizabelle says:

    Take that, John Yoo. WaPost:

    A clear majority of Americans support special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and alleged collusion with President Trump’s campaign, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds.

    The results show backing for inquiries into Trump’s orbit on several fronts.

    Nearly 7 in 10 adults say they support Mueller’s focus on possible collusion with Russia. Sixty-four percent say they want the special counsel investigating Trump’s business activities. And a 58 percent majority supports investigating alleged payments by Trump associates to silence women who say they had affairs with him.

  281. 281
    danielx says:

    I don’t know how he does it.

    Once again, my man David Brooks has reached new depths of self-deception. Sort of like the captain of the Titanic saying “it’s cool, we’ve just stopped to take on a little ice”. I know I shouldn’t, but the title lured me in. Yes, this is today’s NYT column, published on this day of our favored deity April 13, 2018. Starting with the title, which I had to rub my eyes and read again.

    A Renaissance on the Right

    Funny, I hadn’t noticed a renaissance. More like a fifty car wreck started by road rage. But let me continue.

    What’s bad for the gavel is good for the pen. The Republican Party is in the midst of a cataclysmic transformation. But all the political turmoil is creating a burst of intellectual creativity on the right.

    Young, fresh writers are bursting on the scene: Sohrab Ahmari, Helen Andrews, Charles Cooke, Mollie Hemingway, Jason Willick, Michael Brendan Dougherty, Gracy Olmstead, James Poulos, Oren Cass, Matthew Schmitz and many others.

    To be fair, I have not read any of them and perhaps they do have conservative ideas other than cutting taxes, fucking the poors and olds, and bombing the shit out of brown people. However…

    Other conservatives are rising to defend that order, including National Review’s Jonah Goldberg, who later this month comes out with his epic and debate-shifting book, “Suicide of the West.”

    Citing Jonah Goldberg? I mean, c’mon, Dave – really?

    I love the way Goldberg provocatively tells his story, but I partially disagree with it. The central tension in his book is between Locke, who emerges as a rational, calm, pipe-smoking economist, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who emerges as a wild-haired, passionately resentful rock star.

    This is horseshit of the finest kind.

    The core problem today is not tribalism. It’s excessive individualism, which has eaten away at our uniting faith and damaged our relationships with one another.

    Goddamned dirty fucking hippies. Again.

    Annnnd….wait for it….

    His conservatism is missing the bonding sentiments of Edmund Burke, and the idea that the little platoon of the family is nestled in the emotional platoon of the neighborhood and the emotional platoon of the nation.

    Ding ding ding! We have a WINNAH!

    As if. Like I want to nestle next to emotional platoons of neo-Nazis. Seriously, David, our blogmaster covered this some time back. There is the conservative movement that exists in your imagination, and there’s the one which exists in the real world. Denizens of the latter do not believe in the political process and they reject any and all parts of that process that do not produce the results they want. If elections don’t give them victory, those elections were obviously fixed…and so on and so forth.

    Yep, this is a barn burner of a column. Does Brooks ever read a fucking news publication, including the one he works for?

  282. 282
    low-tech cyclist says:

    1) James Comey got us into this mess. If not for him, Hillary Clinton would be President.

    2) If Comey can be a problem for Trump, I’m all for it. The enemy of my enemy can be my ally for a season.
    2a) But not my friend. Fuck that.

    3) And never forget #1. After Trump meets his reckoning, Comey will still deserve one of his own.

  283. 283
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @rikyrah:

    LeTourneau got ratfucked by Trumpists, because none of those count in my book, and Trump skates on every damned one of those issues.

  284. 284
    Chris says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I actually didn’t know Stewart had interviewed him. Ugh.

  285. 285
    Lizzy L says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Not new. Been there for decades. Has nothing to do with the current administration.

  286. 286
    geg6 says:

    @Kay:

    Sorry, but this doesn’t ring true to me at all. First, PA and OH aren’t as similar as you think. And absolutely no one from the Clinton campaign was taking PA as a given. I was working on the ground and so were several of my friends and none of us ever were given that idea. We were told and we told them that it would be a fight here. They busted ass, they had a huge advertising blitz, she was here numerous times. That campaign worked its ass off to try to win my state. Anyone who says any different doesn’t have a clue because it is simply not true.

  287. 287
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    @Chris:@Chris:

    But he’s not “fighting.” All he’s doing right now is trying to cover his own ass

    @low-tech cyclist:

    1) James Comey got us into this mess. If not for him, Hillary Clinton would be President.

    I disagree. But I think it takes a deeper, more complex understanding of the entire story to see that. It was a massive conspiracy, stealing the election. Hillary had it in for her in ways far outside anything Comey did, period. We just didn’t know it at the time, and his choices merely played into that plot. The bad guys were winning, on fronts we didn’t even know we were fighting, long before he entered the picture, and their war continued up to the very last minutes of election night. And beyond…

  288. 288
    bemused says:

    @danielx:

    Desperately clinging to republican fantasies.

  289. 289
    Oklahomo says:

    @sherparick: He would smack his lips, ask for seconds, and tweet about how Idi Amin should have left a cookbook to posterity.

  290. 290
    Amir Khalid says:

    How did it completely escape my notice that Friday (it passed midnight five minutes ago) was the 13th?

  291. 291
    Fair Economist says:

    @rikyrah: The frightening thing about this is that if the student had actually been shot and killed, that racist would have claimed he’d tried to break into his house and he’d shot in self-defense. And the media and justice system would probably have supported them, too.

  292. 292
    Shalimar says:

    @danielx: So Jonah Goldberg has apparently written a book about how horrible non-white people are? Is he too stupid to realize how stirring up that hatred always works out for Jews?

  293. 293
    Elizabelle says:

    @danielx:

    Young, fresh writers are bursting on the scene: Sohrab Ahmari, Helen Andrews, Charles Cooke …

    Charles C.W. Cooke, who I believe called John Cole, or this very blog, “impressively dumb.” It’s one of the rotating taglines.

    Tell me more, Bobo. They’re gonna have to find a 12-step program for Brooks. Really, they are.

  294. 294
    Elizabelle says:

    @danielx: With Bobo, the reader comments are always far more illuminating. The top reader comment, by a fellow from Richmond, VA, Scott Schmidt, 774 likes at this moment:

    This is a parody piece, right?

    Some Locke talk, some Burke talk, a bit of Rousseau. This is a conservative intellectual renaissance?

    Address something useful, Mr. Brooks.

    Take on the cesspool that is conservative thought in the United States, from Fox News to talk radio to the darkest, dangerous corners of the web.

    Do something about the rot and filth coming out of your movement, its mouthpieces and its party, then we can have a genteel discussion about how young conservatives want to spin Locke or Burke or Rousseau.

    Teach a class at a local college if you want to muse on these philosophical questions.

    But, please deal with the dreadful, damaging state of current conservatism when writing for the Times.

    Ah Scott. But “the Times” is a great deal of the problem. Awake.

  295. 295
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Amir Khalid: I’m glad you made it safely to Saturday. Sometimes ignorance is protective.

  296. 296
    catclub says:

    @geg6: Thank you for that information. It needs to be aired.

  297. 297
    Chris says:

    @Shalimar:

    Yes. SATSQ.

  298. 298
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Elizabelle: Also, that Rousseau-as-proto-hippie thing has been a Philosophy 101 riff pretty much since there started to be actual hippies. Why he wants to give Doughy Loadpants the credit for it is an exercise in reflected glory of the sort Brooks has specialized in for a long, long time.

  299. 299
    catclub says:

    @gvg:

    Nope, it’s been on every tax return I’ve ever filed. I started in the 80’s.

    It might have gone up from $2 to $3, but I agree it has been there a long time.

  300. 300
    Brachiator says:

    @danielx:

    His conservatism is missing the bonding sentiments of Edmund Burke, and the idea that the little platoon of the family is nestled in the emotional platoon of the neighborhood and the emotional platoon of the nation.

    Still reads better in the original German:

    Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Führer.

  301. 301
    J R in WV says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    The new chief added, ominously, “We are currently working with the Police Section of the City Counselor’s Office to determine what remedial legal action can be taken with respect to this release.”

    This guy is too stupid to run the Mayberry sheriff’s department, let alone a large metro PD. What a maroon! The Freedom of Information Act is specifically to allow citizens to know what the government is doing, including the rules it operates within.

    And he was too self-important to just call the activist, or to meet with him during the (I assume) large number of FOIAs the guy sent in. Dumb!!

    Should have the moral fiber to just resign, retire, become a mall cop. Something. Obviously not boss of whole department material.

  302. 302
    TenguPhule says:

    @Baud:

    whose only real attributes seem to be taking notes and not being owned by Russia

    And we’re not quite sure about the latter.

  303. 303
    TenguPhule says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    was driving up there and there was a tree in the middle of the road, drove back.

    The tree had its own vehicle?

  304. 304
    J R in WV says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Who the heck is MoU? How are we supposed to know the meaning of every acronym or set of initials used everywhere? There’s a standard for using acronyms and initials: At the first use, always spell out the entire phrase or name you plan to use an acronym or initials for. Always…

    No offense, S_C, just a reoccurring pain to me… thanks for your insight into Indian culture, history, the British colonial history, etc.

    PS: Google did not help on MoU, too many memorandums of understanding out there!

  305. 305
    The Other Chuck says:

    @danielx: Honestly, I think Brooks is absolutely right to say there’s too much individualism. It’s gotten to the point now of friggin intellectual solipsism now, where not only does expertise not matter, but neither does reality itself.

    Of course tribalism as a mechanism for larger society isn’t any fucking better by any means. Nor does anything that comes out of Brook’s keyboard, since everything he writes is really concerned with chin-stroking and scolding noises as “gravitas” rather than any intellectual substance. He’ll probably contradict himself in in the next column, if not within the same one, and not lose a moment of sleep worrying his Beautiful Intellectual Mind about it.

  306. 306
    Central Planning says:

    @J R in WV: MoU == Moustache of Understanding

    I didn’t get it at first either.

  307. 307
    J R in WV says:

    \@rikyrah:

    Oh, rikyrah, sweety, come sit by me so we can talk!!!

    Thanks so much for sharing your perspective on everything!

  308. 308

    @TenguPhule: “Nobody Walks in LA”

  309. 309
    J R in WV says:

    @bystander:

    Talk about a cesspool. George Mason U must be redolent of mendacity.

    Pretty sure it is totally bought and paid for by right wing billionaires, so yes, mendacity and worse.

  310. 310
    J R in WV says:

    @Central Planning:

    Of course, can’t believe I didn’t get it, even had the clue of taxi drivers right there! Could have tripped over the salad bar at Appleby’s!!

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