IOKIYAR Open Thread: Insecure Man Communicates Insecurely

Don’t worry, it’ll be a VERY SERIOUS IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE again once there’s a Democrat in the Oval Office! (Assuming we all live through the current occupancy, that is… )

166 replies
  1. 1
    Raoul says:


    Its OK If You Are Orange (and/or Obstructing)

  2. 2
    Felony Govt (formerly Old Broad in California) says:

    “Outside advisors”= Hannity

  3. 3
    TenguPhule says:

    Trump is increasingly relying on his personal cell phone to contact outside advisers

    This would be the unsecured phone that the SS undoubtedly told him not to use because it lacks all the security features necessary for transmitting classified information.

  4. 4
    mad citizen says:

    I wonder what his Presidential Library will be like.

  5. 5
  6. 6
    Ken B says:

    Are recordings of Trump’s unsecured calls admissible in court or other legal actions?

  7. 7
    Nicole says:

    And the media shrugs, because Trump is a man and a Republican so it’s okay.

    Gah. I hate everything.

  8. 8
    TenguPhule says:

    it’ll be a VERY SERIOUS IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE again once there’s a Democrat in the Oval Office!

    I think Democrats need to step up and exploit every weakness in our system revealed by Trump and the GOP.

    And rub it in their faces.

  9. 9
    The Lodger says:

    @mad citizen: No doubt someone in Russia is compiling it now.

  10. 10
    TenguPhule says:

    @mad citizen:

    I wonder what his Presidential Library will be like.

    A toilet.

  11. 11
    Planetpundit says:

    Orange will be the new orange after the Dems sweep Congress.

  12. 12
    dmsilev says:

    @mad citizen: Lots and lots of fake gold leaf, and ‘TRUMP’ emblazoned on every surface. And nothing else.

  13. 13
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @Nicole: Come sit by me because, seriously, I cannot EVEN.

  14. 14
    Elizabelle says:

    I look forward to the transcripts. Gonna be legendary.

  15. 15
  16. 16
    stinger says:

    Lock him up.

  17. 17
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ken B: If there is a FISA warrant for either party to the call.

  18. 18
    japa21 says:

    It seems to me that these calls would be considered part of the Presidential records and almost would be required by law to be recorded.

  19. 19
    Eric S. says:

    @TenguPhule: A gold plated painted toilet.

  20. 20
    Ocotillo says:

    Murdoch had some issues in the UK hacking cell phones of celebrities, any chance……naw

  21. 21
    dexwood says:

    @mad citizen:
    The Best tweets carved in marble.

  22. 22
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @japa21: They are. Unfortunately to be recorded they have to be made on the official White House communication system. There are two real concerns here as a result:
    1) He is discussing sensitive to highly classified matters on an unsecured phone
    2) None of these conversations are being recorded pursuant to the National Records Act.

    Both of these contribute to a larger issue: no one, other than the President and who he is talking to, have any idea what he’s saying and what he’s being told. And both sides of that equation are highly problematic. None of the people that have been mentioned as those he calls regularly have any experience at all with national security, foreign policy, defense/the military, domestic policy, etc. Hannity, who he is reported to speak to at least every evening, never finished college. Presumably because he ran out of money.

  23. 23
    Mary G says:

    When the Watergate tape transcriptions came out in paperback, I borrowed it from the library and read them all, shocked at all the cussing and racism (I’m not sure if they even put the curse words in, but you could fill them in yourself).

    Now Trump says to Nixon “Hold my beer.”

  24. 24
    Lit3Bolt says:

    Don’t worry guys. Chris Cillizza is on the case. Along with Ron Frounier and Matthew Dowd. Their brows will furrow as they have never furrowed before.

  25. 25
    Elizabelle says:

    The White House guest list. The usual White House staff (Possum Queen was there, Kelly, Bolton, Stephen Miller), the expected long-suffering French, wingnuts (Paul LePage!), and captains of industry and megabucks types (Tim Cook of Apple, David Rubenstein of Carlyle Group, Rupert and Jerry Hall Murdoch, Henry Kravis, Ronald Lauder, Fred Smith of Fedex). USSC John Roberts. Steve Mnuchin and his idiot wife, Louise Linton (“mascots” of the Trump era, per NY Mag.) Henry and Nancy Kissinger; they were the only old establishment figures I noticed …

    Small and dull. Heavy on Republicans, light on grace.

    ETA: Only Ivanka and Jared. No lesser Trumps.

  26. 26
    Lit3Bolt says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Can his private phone records be sued under FOIA if he discusses policy?

  27. 27
    Zinsky says:

    Bad judgment. Once again, this reptile (Trump) demonstrates that he lacks the judgment of most 8th graders.

  28. 28
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Nicole: If the Democrats were more obnoxious, perhaps they could get the media to focus on all of these Republican scandals. We need a lot more outrage on our side.

  29. 29
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Deripaska, Lavrov, Patriarch Kirill . . . .

  30. 30
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    President Trump is increasingly relying on his personal cell phone to contact outside advisers, multiple sources inside and outside the White House tell CNN

    Is this the 21st century version of Nixon alone in the WH talking to portraits?

  31. 31
  32. 32
    Steeplejack says:

    @mad citizen:

    Airport newsstand kiosk (racks sparsely filled).

  33. 33
    rikyrah says:

    Tester on NPR about Jackson

    They were going to let him back out quietly.
    He didn’t take the hint.
    When an United States Senator goes on NATIONAL MEDIA and says that you WERE DRUNK WHILE ON DUTY TO THE PRESIDENT…
    He not only has receipts. He has the entire book.

  34. 34
    Aleta says:

    Tester, the ranking member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee:

    “On overseas trips, the admiral would go down the aisle way of the airplane and say, ‘All right, who wants to go to sleep?’ And hand out the prescription drugs like they were candy and put them to sleep, and then give them the drugs to wake them back up again,” he said, citing reports from 20 or more people.

    Tester said the people who raised concerns told the committee that “this doctor has a problem because he hands out prescriptions like candy, in fact in the White House they call him the candy man.”
    Tester also cited allegations that Tester was drunk on duty during his time working for the administration of former President Barack Obama.


  35. 35
    Ruckus says:

    @Mary G:
    Wanna bet at least once a day he says on those phone calls,
    Watch This!

    I seem to recall that President Obama was not allowed to have a phone that was not the sole provided, crap security phone. Gee I wonder what the difference is between these two? Other than sentient life.

  36. 36
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Elizabelle: And they listed Miller as “The Honorable”. White House advisors, no matter how senior, don’t get this honorific/appellation. Whoever is running the protocol office is an idiot, a coward, or both.

  37. 37
    Mnemosyne says:

    Polls closed in Arizona about 10 minutes ago (AZ doesn’t do daylight saving time, so they’re currently in the same time zone as CA).

    Now we wait.

  38. 38
    Kay says:


    Isn’t that amazing? They don’t give a shit anymore. They’re just robbing openly.

    It’s kind of amusing they’re going after the doctor. The rest of the Trump Administration are much, much worse. It’s like oversight theater. The doctor doesn’t matter. They can throw him to the wolves.

  39. 39
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Lit3Bolt: This is technically what Judicial Watch did with Secretary Clinton’s emails, so my guess would be yes. The problem is all you’re going to get is call logs. Since his private cell phone is most likely not hooked up to a recording device. I also expect they’d fight the FOIA, ultimately in court, seeking to drag things out and exhaust those who made the request.

  40. 40
    Ruckus says:

    He lacks the judgement of people a lot younger than 8th grade.

  41. 41
    Raoul says:

    @Eric S.: My grandmother was legendary with the gold metallic spray paint as a fix-all for cracked, rusty or no-longer-trendy-colored objets d’art.
    A gold-tone spraypainted Trump toilet seems about right.

  42. 42
    dmsilev says:

    @rikyrah: I dunno, strong drink seems like an appropriate way of preparing to give Trump a physical exam.

  43. 43
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rikyrah: Dude admitted in public he ran his congressional office as a shakedown, pay to play service provider. It’s one thing to be crooked enough to do it. It’s another to be stupid enough to tell everyone about it.

  44. 44
    Platonailedit says:

    All those ‘checks and balances’. What a joke.

  45. 45
    japa21 says:

    @Mnemosyne: My understanding is a lot of the voting was through the mail so the results may not mean much for a while.

  46. 46
  47. 47
    Mnemosyne says:

    @mad citizen:

    It’ll be like the Liberace Museum, but less tasteful.

  48. 48
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rikyrah: @Aleta: He’s done. If he can’t get these allegations knocked back, specifically the handing out pills like candy and drinking/being drunk while at work/on duty, he’s in a world of hurt. The Navy now has a major scandal on their hands: how did he get his second star back in January? If he backs out from the VA nomination, I expect the Navy will retire him as quickly as they can, hunker down, and hope no one asks any follow up questions about the promotion process, including vetting, for flag officers. And given the allegations he’s going to have trouble establishing a medical practice. No hospital is going to want to assume the risk of giving him privileges as a surgeon, let alone having him on staff, if the allegations are true. By accepting this nomination he’s basically set his Navy career and his medical career on fire.

    The IG Command Climate investigation is a separate issue. I fully expect high ranking surgeons to be assholes and compete with each other, including trying to sabotage each other, for coveted jobs. That bit doesn’t surprise me at all.

    One final point: Kelly’s a retired 4 star. He had to know they had to do a full top to bottom, inside out, crawl into his underwear and look around, scrub on his career before sending his nomination to the Senate. Because once that happened, they lost complete control of the process. By not insisting on a thoroughly invasive vetting, Kelly who definitely knows how the military works, basically helped Jackson set himself on fire.

  49. 49
    Mary G says:

    Since it’s an open thread, I have a question. There are a horde of Democrats running to replace the loathed Darrell Issa, but only one woman, Sara Jacobs. On paper she looks good – masters from Columbia, did 19 months at a contractor for the State Department, was an intern at the UN and Unicef, worked for Hillary in the 2016 campaign. She says all the right things on the issues.

    But, she comes from a wealthy family and has donated a couple of million to her own campaign and has inundated me with campaign materials, two flyers a day, TV commercials, big banner and multiple ads on every site I visit, including here. It’s getting very annoying. It feels like Meg Whitman 2.0 and the primary’s not until June. If she wins, the two-year term will be the longest she’s every held a job. She didn’t show up to the one campaign forum I attended.

    OK to be leery? I guess there is still plenty of time to choose. The Moar You Know, any thoughts?

  50. 50
    Elizabelle says:

    @Adam L Silverman: What a surprise. WaPost readers are snarking about how Miller did not have a date. I watched the short video of arrivals. Pence and “Mother”: he responds to reporters as though he is standing there, not understanding a word of the language. He looked ill at ease. Did not say anything in the clip.

    One actual surprise: Tim Cook’s guest was Lisa Jackson, Obama’s head of EPA, now Apple’s VP for Environment.

  51. 51
    Corner Stone says:

    @Adam L Silverman: But 239lbs, though?

  52. 52
    Aleta says:

    A. Compromised prez is sometimes disoriented, sometimes seems tranquilized, sometimes is speedy.

    B. Prez’s personal physician was known for handing out prescription drugs for sleep and for waking up.

  53. 53
    Elizabelle says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Yeah, I thought this was horrible judgement by Ronny Jackson, and he is self-retiring himself.

  54. 54
    zhena gogolia says:


    We need Joe Friday to say, “There you were, dropping bennies and goofballs and chasing them down with cheap port wine.”

  55. 55
    dww44 says:

    @Adam L Silverman: @Adam L Silverman:

    It’s another to be stupid enough to tell everyone about it.

    That rule doesn’t apply to today’s GOP as in Trump World there is so much that is bad that no one has time or energy to remain outraged at the likes of a Mulvaney. And, I’ve always despised him and Pruitt. Seriously, Trump has hired from the ranks of the GOP the most venal and off putting of the whole lot of them, excepting those still left toadying on his behalf in the halls of Congress.

  56. 56
    danielx says:

    @mad citizen:

    I wonder what his Presidential Library will be like.

    Please….stop….sides hurting.


    …he responds to reporters as though he is standing there, not understanding a word of the language. He looked ill at ease. Did not say anything in the clip.

    Sort of like Being There, except with the cast of Dallas.

  57. 57
    Corner Stone says:

    How did RADM Jackson make it all the way through the prior admin? He was not being subtle.

  58. 58
    Mary G says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I saw a clip of him today practically running down a corridor pursued by a baying pack of reporters, and he seems to deny there was a negative 2012 IG’s report about the bitter feud he had with another physician in the WH medical department. Everyone’s reporting there was one, why the heck does he think he can deny it? He looked very haggard today, too.

  59. 59
    ChaunceyBaker says:

    Somebody, someday, is going to write a thesis on how dumb this guy is (if we don’t allow this fucker to destroy us first). Fuck foreign governments listening in to the call. He should understand that his OWN law-enforcement agency is probably listening in on his private phone at this point. Paulie, from Goodfellas, understood this 60+ years ago.

    Also, how dumb do you have to be to pick up the phone from this guy if you’re not a foreign leader? My guess is, at this point, he’s calling people who are in on whatever scam he’s running. Tomorrow, those same people will be getting a call from Mueller’s team asking about the call.

    IANAL, but Sweet Weeping Jesus, even if your legal status isn’t tied to Trump, at this point you should understand that everything he comes into contact with is destroyed. Everybody who works for him thinks they can escape the event horizon. They can’t. See: Scaramucci (add your favorites). Watch: K.A.Conway (add your favorites).

    Thank you for letting me vent.

  60. 60
    Steeplejack says:


    No lesser Trumps [at state dinner].

    A Twitter commenter: “Don Jr. and Eric couldn’t make it because they got trapped in an unlocked room.”

    I scrolled down through this Twitter thread by Yashar Ali—lots of pictures of the guests. First time I’ve seen Jethrene’s husband. I was surprised, because he looks (out of context) like someone who could be a nice guy. I would have expected a husky, beady-eyed scowler like Papa Huck—or, you know, Jethrene. But I presume he’s a venal grifter, like the rest of them.

  61. 61
    mad citizen says:

    @dexwood: “The Best tweets carved in marble.” Yes! Good one. Hopefully someday Americans will look back and laugh at the fact that this guy communicated with his fellow citizens with friggin’ tweets.

    Steeplejack: “Airport newsstand kiosk (racks sparsely filled).” Another good one–all the jackals library ideas are solid. I’m old enough to remember when asking Sarah Palin what she read was somewhat of a scandal. People paying attention now know that this guy doesnt read a GD thing. I didn’t watch the press conference, but saw a headline that he said the Iran deal was a disaster–words to that effect. Does the press ever do a simple followup, such as, What, Mr. President, is disastrous about the Iran Nuclear deal?

  62. 62
    Mary G says:

    The captions people are putting on the photos of the Macrons and Trumps together are priceless:

    I call this one “The passion of the postnuptial.”— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) April 25, 2018

  63. 63
    Elizabelle says:

    @Steeplejack: Ah, thank you. Will scroll through. WaPost didn’t have too much.

    Got to say, Melania looked beautiful. White and silver Chanel gown. CNN reports she and DJT held hands (LOL).

  64. 64
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: why, it’s almost like everything Trumpov touches turns to shit, isn’t it?

    Except it’s really that since he (DJT) is shit, through and through, that’s both all that he attracts and all that he wants around him. No one of actual merit or substance or even basic job requirements.

  65. 65
    mad citizen says:

    Having just bought a new phone and switched carriers (to a virtual one, Ting), I set up and ported the number myself, etc. I have to wonder, what is Trumpov’s number? What is his carrier? Does he handle his account number, PIN, password himself? I can’t imagine he’s competent to do so.

  66. 66
    Steeplejack says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Jared and Ivanka got the “honorable,” as well, apparently.

  67. 67
    Jeffro says:

    @Patricia Kayden: we need our 2020 candidate to relentlessly remind the country of what the GOP enabled, and what Democrats would never countenance, and that the country deserves better.

  68. 68
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Elizabelle: From all the news reports I’ve seen the VP cannot make small talk. If he hasn’t prepared from a script – like for a debate – he either just repeats talking points or says nothing.

  69. 69
    Washburn says:

    “Thank goodness Hillary Clinton, with her reliance on non-secured forms of electronic communications, is not the president of the United States.”

    This is yet another strong argument in favor of nominating Clinton in 2020.

    America really owes it to her.

  70. 70
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Corner Stone: That statement appears to be the worst

  71. 71
    eclare says:

    Got nothing much to say, just jesus fucking christ. And I hope Mueller has a Lester Freamon. All the pieces matter.

  72. 72
    chris says:

    Gods, I miss the Obamas! (I can hardly bear to look at Dubya but his Mom died.)

    Message to the ideological purists. This is a GOOD thing, not a bad thing,— Trump's not my Pres (@Nysteveo2AOLcom) 23 April 2018

  73. 73
    The Lodger says:

    @mad citizen: How easy would it be to port Trump’s phone to another carrier without letting him know?

  74. 74
    Elizabelle says:

    @Steeplejack: Jethrene cleaned up well. Looks pretty. No pearls. I think her husband resembles Michael Cohen.

    The French ambassador to the US is gay. Love that! He and his partner, Pascal, arrive.

    Stephen Miller looks like a maitre d’ or lounge lizard. Mrs. Justice Roberts looks like a frilly dessert.

  75. 75
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mary G: He was not wrong in his answer. There is not, that I’m aware of from the reporting, an IG investigation and subsequent report into the allegations that he was Dr. Feelgood and drinking at work. The IG investigation that has now been reported on was a command climate investigation. These are pretty common and are used to formally gauge the attitudes within a military command, specifically in regard to the leadership. Sometimes they lead to IG investigations into specific leaders and/or issues. That does not seem to be the case this time. Since the question about an IG investigation followed questions about the allegations of handing pills out like candy, my take was that RADM Jackson was responding to that context, not to the command climate investigation.

  76. 76
    Kay says:

    Jimmy Vielkind

    Verified account

    Follow Follow @JimmyVielkind
    With all precincts reporting, Steve Stern (D) has bested Janet Smitelli (R) for a Suffolk County #nyassembly seat. Has been in GOP hands since 1978.

    We need about 400 more of these, but there are a lot of state elections so it’s not as hard as it sounds.

  77. 77
    Elizabelle says:

    @Adam L Silverman: What a surprise. Another reason Trump picked him.

  78. 78
    Yarrow says:

    @Corner Stone: Of course he was lying about that. Now we see he’s as corrupt as everyone else associated with Trump.

  79. 79
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mary G: The Trumps take four more paces back and they’ve reached the official minimum required distance for a duel.

  80. 80
    kattails says:

    @Ruckus: Wait– the difference between Obama and Drumpf is “sentient life”? Carbon-based life-forms maybe. The latter does not rise to the description of sentient in my book.

  81. 81
    debbie says:


    I heard that interview. 😳 And then Trump defending Jackson. 😡

  82. 82
    Mnemosyne says:


    W’s schoolboy crush on Michelle Obama is one of the few things I put in his “good” column.

  83. 83
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Steeplejack: I saw that. None of them are supposed to get it. Only appointed officials confirmed by the Senate.

  84. 84
    Mike in NC says:

    News alert that federal judge has ruled that Fat Bastard must retain DACA. He’ll shit a cinderblock.

  85. 85
    Kay says:

    The NYTimes was bad on fake concern about national security re: the emails, but let’s not forget Andrea Mitchell. She was awful. If they get the newspaper award, she gets the television division honors.

    No one’s heard a peep out of her on secure communications since Trump was elected. I guess we’re safe after all.

  86. 86
    Mnemosyne says:


    The French ambassador to the US is gay. Love that! He and his partner, Pascal, arrive.

    Is he relatively new, like, post-Obama? If so, I will larf almost as much as I’m sure the French government did when they made that choice.

  87. 87
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Elizabelle: Mrs Justice Roberts is the beard.

  88. 88
    debbie says:


    Tester also cited allegations that Tester was drunk on duty during his time working for the administration of former President Barack Obama.

    How long until Trump blames this on Obama?

  89. 89
    Steeplejack says:

    I would contribute to a modest GoFundMe to get Steve Kornacki a chiropractic adjustment so he can stand up straight.

    ETA: I would adjust his super high-tech display board up a foot or so for free. That might solve a lot of the problem.

  90. 90
    Elizabelle says:

    @Kay: I cannot stand Andrea Mitchell. Thought she used to be kind of good, but she is a Republican-enabling harpy, is she not? Mean of me to say harpy, but it fits.

  91. 91
    Kay says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Uh, oh. That means Jeff Sessions gets another public dressing down! We only see the tweets too- Trump’s a screamer. He’s bellowing insults at all these people daily. It’s worse than we know.

  92. 92
    stinger says:

    @Kay: Wonderful news!

    I wonder if anyone has a nice chart or bar graph of election results since 2016. I’d like to see numbers, or better yet a simple graphic representation. Something to keep my spirits up.

  93. 93
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    AAAAAAHHHHHH!!! Isn’t this illegal???!!! Why doesn’t Trump just use the speaker phone in the lobby of the Russian Embassy?

  94. 94
    eclare says:

    @Adam L Silverman: What? Evidence needed.

  95. 95
    Corner Stone says:


    Tester also cited allegations that Tester was drunk on duty during his time working for the administration of former President Barack Obama.

    That seems like a serious own goal by Tester.

  96. 96
    Adam L Silverman says:


    While Mike Pence was governor, his relationship with the Democratic minority in the legislature was crap. Someone on his staff suggested having the Democratic leaders over to the governor’s mansion for dinner. The table was set for 20, but there were only around seven in attendance. One unlucky legislator stuck next to Pence tried to make conversation, but found even at dinner she couldn’t shift Pence off his talking points. Gov. Pence shouted to his wife, Karen, his closest adviser, at the other end of the table.

    “Mother, Mother, who prepared our meal this evening?”

    The legislators looked at one another, speaking with their eyes: He just called his wife “Mother.”

    Maybe it was a joke, the legislator reasoned. But a few minutes later, Pence shouted again.

    “Mother, Mother, whose china are we eating on?”

    Mother Pence went on a long discourse about where the china was from. A little later, the legislators stumbled out, wondering what was weirder: Pence’s inability to make conversation, or calling his wife “Mother” in the second decade of the 21st century.

  97. 97
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works. 😡

  98. 98
    Mary G says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Oh, it was hard to tell with all the questions being yelled, but I thought he denied the “command control” report TPM described:

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A watchdog report ordered in 2012 by Dr. Ronny Jackson — President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs — found that he and a rival physician exhibited “unprofessional behaviors” as they engaged in a power struggle over the White House medical unit.
    The report, reviewed Tuesday by The Associated Press, suggested the White House consider replacing Jackson or Dr. Jeffrey Kuhlman — or both. Kuhlman was the physician to President Barack Obama at the time.

    The six-page report by the Navy’s Medical Inspector General found a lack of trust in the leadership and low morale among staff members, who described the working environment as “being caught between parents going through a bitter divorce.”Sounds pretty bad to me.
    “There is a severe and pervasive lack of trust in the leadership that has deteriorated to the point that staff walk on ‘eggshells,’” the report found.

    @Adam L Silverman: Yep, the “pistols or swords, my second will call upon yours in the morning” conversation.

  99. 99
    Kay says:


    I think her area of expertise is national security. Allegedly. Hence why she was the point woman on fake national security concerns. Our enemies had those top secret yoga class emails. Level Red! Clear the studio!

  100. 100
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Corner Stone:

    How did RADM Jackson make it all the way through the prior admin? He was not being subtle.

    Hey, President Obama was (comparatively) young & in good shape. It’s not like his personal physician was gonna have to put in long stressful days. And the people who might’ve reported his alleged free hand with prescriptions — reporters & mid-level staff — nobody wanted to be the tattletale responsible for taking away everybody’s late-night lifeline. Another example of the Media / Beltway Village protecting itself.

    (Assuming the accusations are true, of course.)

  101. 101
    Corner Stone says:


    We only see the tweets too- Trump’s a screamer. He’s bellowing insults at all these people daily. It’s worse than we know.

    If he does it in FL can the staffer claim “Stand Your Ground” and punch him in the snotlocker?

  102. 102
    eclare says:

    @Corner Stone: Hahaha….but Tester does seem to have a sense of humor

  103. 103
    Corner Stone says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    It’s not like his personal physician was gonna have to put in long stressful days.

    Apparently Jackson felt the compulsion to self-medicate while on duty. And that’s on leadership to not deal with it. Not to the level of Obama but somebody had to know, if these allegations have any sense of truth to them.

  104. 104
    Yarrow says:


    Got to say, Melania looked beautiful. White and silver Chanel gown.

    I disagree. I always think she looks a little bit off with the way she dresses and this dress was no exception. The top part looked too casual, the underskirt was short and didn’t look right on her. The dress itself was lovely but it wasn’t right for this occasion or maybe not right for her.

  105. 105
    Kay says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Sessions can issue another weak non-threat to resign, or whatever that pathetic squeaking was last week.

    It’s always been my practice not to say “quit” until I actually quit. I don’t understand threatening to quit. I feel like the word describes an action that then has to be taken, or it’s just silly and awkward for everyone.

  106. 106
    Steeplejack says:


    I think the name “Pascal Blondeau” is hilarious (in a good way)!

  107. 107
    japa21 says:

    Lesko (R) has been called winner of AZ election. Up by 6% in the mail in votes, which accounted for almost 80% of vote. Note, strong GOP district. Coming within single digits is really impressive.

  108. 108
    Steeplejack says:


    Tester also cited allegations that Tester was drunk on duty [. . .].

    LOL. Copyediting fail (in the original story).

    How long until Trump blames this on Obama?

    Or, you know, he could blame Tester.

    @Corner Stone:


  109. 109
    Kay says:


    I don’t think she’s “beautiful” either, really. I get it that people do – I recognize the features that add up to that- but there’s just no joy in her face. It’s like a mask. I get no sense of her from looking at her, who she is.

  110. 110
    Mnemosyne says:


    There was some weirdness with people not receiving their voter IDs, which the county clerk swore couldn’t possibly affect the election. 🤔

  111. 111
    eclare says:

    @Yarrow: I didn’t think it was the most flattering thing she could have worn, but I thought it was ok. Thing is, state dinner with France, you need to be better than ok.

  112. 112
    Suzanne says:

    I am stressed out, watching election results in AZ-8. I don’t know why I’m watching, as the Dem WILL NOT WIN. But ahhhh.

    Mr. Suzanne and most of the other teachers/educators in the state are going on strike on Thursday and Friday.

  113. 113
    Mary G says:

    Tale of two tweets about the AZ election, good for Dems:

    #AZ08 early vote was 48.3% Republican and 27.9% Democratthe Republican leads among those voters by just 52.9% to 47.1%— Kenton (@KentonTilford) April 25, 2018

    AZ releases party registration numbers, which you can compare to the vote. Tipirneni utterly swamps Lesko with indies and must be getting significant crossover votes from registered Rs.— Will Jordan (@williamjordann) April 25, 2018

    Seems like there were some crossovers.

  114. 114
    Elizabelle says:

    @Steeplejack: I know. I love it. Novelesque, somehow.

  115. 115
    eclare says:

    @Kay: She wears too much eye makeup. Meow.

  116. 116
    Corner Stone says:

    @japa21: I think Lesko is going to win beyond a recount margin but I’m not sure this race won’t continue to tighten up as it goes on.

  117. 117
    japa21 says:

    @Mnemosyne: Which wouldn’t have mattered with the mail in votes. But yes, there is always some hanky panky when the GOP is in charge.

  118. 118
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @eclare: It has long been whispered that he is very, very closeted. That he got married in order to progress in conservative/GOP political legal circles. When he ruled in favor of the ACA, it became a conspiracy theory on the right – including at Glenn Beck’s The Blaze, though the auther doesn’t state the reason for the blackmail – that he only did so because President Obama was blackmailing him by threatening to out him. The rumors go back to his time as an attorney in the Reagan Administration. Personally I could care less what his preferences are.

    Here’s some links:

    This one claims the issue behind the blackmail is that the Roberts’ illegally adopted their children:

    And here’s The Blaze piece:

  119. 119
    LanceThruster says:

    I’d be happy if standards were applied equally regardless of party. And I thought 4 years of waiting to dump Shrubya were insufferable (which turned into 8). Trump needs to be the albatross around the GOP neck. Having him there probably serves more of purpose than Pence or any of the other goons in the line of succession.

  120. 120
    Mnemosyne says:


    japa21 above said the election has already been called — is s/he confused? The polls only closed about 90 minutes ago.

  121. 121
    Steeplejack says:


    Yes. Kornacki said last night that he didn’t see a Dem win, but a margin under 10% would be (me paraphrasing) a 90-decibel warning siren about a blue tsunami in November.

  122. 122
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: I think you worded your question below badly. Liberalism/Social Democracy are dependent on a fundamental belief in some form of democracy. Even a limited or fucked-up form. Fundamentally, authoritarians, and fascists, (but I repeat myself) don’t believe in democracy.

  123. 123
    Barbara says:

    @Kay: A facial expression like it’s carved in granite is how my husband describes it. I suspect she tries not to smile excessively for fear of showing lines in her face as well. Her dress was a bit sparkly for this event but not outside the bounds of taste. I thought Mme. Macron looked smashing.

  124. 124
    Yarrow says:

    @Kay: I agree. Melania is like a mannequin, which is why every time some of her personality comes through–pushing away Trump’s hand, smiling at Barbara Bush’s funeral–it’s analyzed like balcony positions, hats and jackets were in the old Kremlinology days. It’s the only way to see if there’s anything there behind the mask.

  125. 125
    Elizabelle says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I had never heard those rumors. Interesting.

  126. 126
    Mnemosyne says:


    I think the word your husband is grasping for is “Botox.” 😂

  127. 127
    Barbara says:

    @eclare: It is not really the make-up it’s the plastic surgery that makes her eyes so catlike.

  128. 128
    Yarrow says:

    @eclare: That’s what I mean. She always looks…okay. As a former model I’d generally expect better than just okay. But something always seems off with how she dresses. Belt too wide, hemline is weird, odd patterns, waistline seems off. I really can’t think of an outfit where I thought, “Wow, she looks great.” The clothes are fine, she’s perfectly attractive and fit enough to pull off most things. I can’t figure out why they always look just that little bit off. Maybe because she’s miserable or uncomfortable with her role or life and it just shows all the time, even in what she wears.

  129. 129
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mnemosyne: The vast majority of ballots, something like 80%, were mail in. It didn’t really matter who won the actual election day in person vote.

  130. 130
    Steeplejack says:

    @Steeplejack, @Mnemosyne:

    ETA: To clarify, my “yes” above was not that the election has been called but that it was unlikely that the Dem would win, and the early returns seem to be in line with that.

  131. 131
    Suzanne says:

    @Mnemosyne: When I wrote that comment, MSNBC and AZCentral had not called it. That just changed—Lesko won. That district contains Sun City (aka God’s Waiting Room) and Surprise, a big PHX exurb. So ultra-red.

  132. 132
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Or they believe in democracy just long enough to manipulate it to come to power so they can then consolidate that power and eliminate democracy.

  133. 133
    Suzanne says:

    @Yarrow: She looks like a slave to fashion all the time, aka trying too hard.

  134. 134
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Elizabelle: I personally find it sad that they even exist. As in it is sad, if it is true, that he’s had to do this in order to rise to the top of his profession in a way that is in line with his ideological and jurisprudential preferences because his true personal proclivities are anathema to his ideological and political peers.

  135. 135
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Which fascist got power via majority vote?

  136. 136
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Erdogan.

  137. 137
    Yarrow says:

    @Suzanne: She does, but it also seems something more than that to me. Like she’s got all the right ingredients but can’t put together a good look. I think she’s fundamentally miserable and unhappy and it comes through in her wardrobe choices.

  138. 138
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Exception/rule, etc.

  139. 139
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: It goes beyond that. Often the fascists and authoritarians manipulate democracy to come to power. So plurality victories, not majority ones in order to get power and then they consolidate it.

  140. 140
    Elizabelle says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Yes, it would be sad. Appears there’s a chance it’s true.

    I mostly remember his children at his nomination announcement, dressed for the Harry S Truman administration. Going back and seeing the photo: it was startling. You assume they arrived in an Edsel.

  141. 141
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: My point was that fascists don’t accept democracy as a good thing. They do try to manipulate it toward their ends. Clearer?

  142. 142
    Elizabelle says:

    @Yarrow: Speaking of miserable and unhappy: I cannot believe Melania and Brigitte Macron can walk around, on grass yet (!), in those stilettoes they wear. Kate Middleton too. How do they all do it?

    Was happy to see Laura Bush, and Jenna too, in pretty much flats at Barbara Bush’s funeral. Give them props for a statement there.

  143. 143
    The Pale Scot says:


    Seriously, Trump has hired from the ranks of the GOP the most venal and off putting of the whole lot of them,

    We’re in a reality revival of The Fall and Rise of Reggie Perrin


    I’m expecting any day to see a twitter, “‘The mice will see you now”

  144. 144
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: No arguments here.

  145. 145
    Steeplejack says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I didn’t know about the blackmail, but my gay brother and his gay husband adopted two children (gayness to be determined later), and over the last five-six years he self-educated himself into an expert on same-sex marriage and adoption law. He served on the board of one adoption agency and got somewhat connected in those circles, and he told me a year or two ago that the Robertses’ adoption of the two Irish kids remained an open—and shocking—secret in that world. Lots of people have trouble even finding a kid to adopt, then have to go through major delays, red tape and expenses, and for the Robertses to just circumvent the whole process was astonishing.

    Plus it promotes the black-market side of the process. Shocking for anyone to do it, even more so for a man who would become the nation’s highest jurist.

  146. 146
    Steeplejack says:

    @The Pale Scot:

    I love Reggie Perrin! I actually bought that series on DVD because I thought if I didn’t it would be lost forever.

    “Black ice at Bletchley.”

  147. 147
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Steeplejack: There was no blackmail. That’s just the fever dreams of right wind whackadoodles.

    As for the actual adoptions, my understanding is that they initially claimed they adopted the kids from Latin America, but now it is reported they were adopted from Ireland. I have no idea what the Roberts’ official position is these days as to where the kids are from. Given Ireland’s rules regarding adoptions, if this is where they were adopted from, there are some serious irregularities. To say the least.

  148. 148
    dimmsdale says:

    @Adam L Silverman: So, but can we assume that anyone with the requisite technology can listen in on his actual conversations? (Not sure how that would work, but I thought I’d read that the NSA had amazing capabilities that way.) Also, Adam, any guess as to how easy it d be for intelligence operatives to get jobs at Mar-a-Lago, or has the security service tightened that up?

  149. 149
    Steeplejack says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    What my brother said is pretty much what the story at that link says: Ireland doesn’t allow adoptions to non-residents, and all adoptions have to go through an official agency (i.e., no “private” adoptions). The Latin America angle came in because (quoting from memory here, so not 100%) the Robertses “shipped” the kids through some country there to avoid scrutiny when they brought them into the United States. (Adoptees from Ireland would invite a level of questions that ones from Latin America wouldn’t.)

  150. 150
    Yarrow says:

    @Steeplejack: @Adam L Silverman: If even some of that is true, there’s always the possibility that the rule that everyone and everything that comes in contact with Trump is destroyed may come into play. Since Roberts swore Trump in, perhaps that rule could apply and some of these secrets will be made public and irregularities investigated. Don’t want to hurt the kids, though. None of that is their fault.

  151. 151
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @dimmsdale: The NSA will not be listening unless there’s a FISA warrant for either the President or whomever it is he’s speaking with. As for other intelligence agencies – both allied and competitors – they most certainly are. There are a variety of devices that can be used.

    I would hope that the Secret Service has taken over vetting for employees at the President’s club’s – golf, hotel, and Trump Tower – however, if I was trying to coordinate infiltration I wouldn’t do it just with employees. I’d try to inflitrate members too.

  152. 152
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Steeplejack: Nothing like a little human trafficking as a form of family planning.

  153. 153
    Chet Murthy says:


    Speaking of miserable and unhappy: I cannot believe Melania and Brigitte Macron can walk around, on grass yet (!), in those stilettoes they wear. Kate Middleton too. How do they all do it?

    When I was young and “in the game”, I used to watch women walking in heels, and find it arousing. Now, I just see athleticism, sometimes extraordinary. Can’t imagine how they (and you all) do it.

  154. 154
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: There seem to be a lot of questionable members at Mar-a-Lago. They show up in pictures there from time to time and someone knows who they are and they’re just awful. A new terrible club member every time.

  155. 155
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: These rumors and allegations have been swirling since 2005, and in some cases even earlier. They’re not going to bring down the Chief Justice.

  156. 156
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Steeplejack: Absurdist British humor, seeming more and more like revelations from a Palantír

  157. 157
  158. 158
    Corner Stone says:

    @Chet Murthy:

    When I was young and “in the game”, I used to watch women walking in heels, and find it arousing. Now, I just see athleticism, sometimes extraordinary. Can’t imagine how they (and you all) do it.

    Do I want to know what this statement actually means?

  159. 159
    SgrAstar says:

    @Yarrow: Nothing beats Michelle Obama in Naeem Khan, at the Obama’s first state dinner, for Manmohan Singh, PM of India. Glorious, unforgettable, regal.

  160. 160
    Chet Murthy says:

    @Corner Stone: Oh, it’s nothing untoward. I simply meant that, when I was young and was still thinking of the whole mating/pair-bonding thing, women in high heels were (as many red-blooded het males think) quite attractive. Now, well, I’m no longer in the game (so to speak) and I just think to myself “shit, I couldn’t walk around in those things on flat ground, much less navigate stairs ….. and then carrying stuff? really? sheeite how do they do it”

  161. 161
    Aleta says:

    How little these sociopaths care about vets and their medical care. Like 0.

    Sure, why not put a doctor in charge who has violated his oath by “being under the influence or impaired by substances while practicing medicine.”

    And he’s willing to endanger people under his care by handing out addictive meds regardless of who might be in recovery or be taking meds that interact.

    Republicans decorate themselves with flags and guns to campaign. But see vets as collateral damage and the VA as just another pot of tax money they can steal. That’s why an uncontrolled yes man leading the VA is no problem.

  162. 162
    Radiumgirl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: set himself on fire on purpose?

  163. 163
    J R in WV says:

    @Corner Stone:


    Tester also cited allegations that Tester [Admiral Doctor Ronnie Jackson] was drunk on duty during his time working for the administration of former President Barack Obama.

    That seems like a serious own goal by Tester.

    FTFY. This is a typo from somewhere. Tester cited allegations that Admiral Doctor Ronny Jackson was drunk on duty during the Obama Administration. @Aleta: Tester never worked for the Obama Admin.

  164. 164
    glory b says:

    @Steeplejack: Okay, I’m taking my seat at the mean girls’ table, Mother Pence, what kind of bra are you wearing?? I hope the answer isn’t “none,” but it looks that way.

    Long ago, I worked in the Macy’s “Intimate Apparel” department, which included work as a bra fitter. Anyone can go to any Macy’s and get a fitting on the spot.

  165. 165
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Felony Govt (formerly Old Broad in California): Hearstocracy: government by tabloid.

  166. 166
    boatboy_srq says:

    @TenguPhule: complete with solid gold commode, yes?

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