The Democratic Minority On The House Permanent Select Committee On Intelligence Issues a Rebuttal Report

The Democratic minority on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) has issued a rebuttal report to the GOP majority’s report that was released this morning. The Democratic minority report can be found here. As I indicated earlier regarding the majority report, I’ve only had a chance to give this a quick read and won’t have a chance to do a deep dive until later in the weekend. I do want to note a couple of points from the introduction.

One year later, the Committee’s Majority has shattered its commitment by rushing to end its investigation prematurely, even as it continues to investigate President Donald Trump’s political opponents, our intelligence agencies, law enforcement, and diplomatic corps, and former members of the Administration of President Barack Obama.

In so doing, the Majority has not only failed to meet the mandate given to the HPSCI by the Speaker of the House and the Minority Leader, but they have engaged in a systematic effort to muddy the waters, and to deflect attention away from the President, most recklessly in their assault on the central pillars of the rule of law. Their report, as with their overall conduct o f the investigation, is unworthy of this Committee, the House of Representatives, and most importantly, the American people, who arc now left to try to discern what is true and what is not.

The Majority’s report reflects a lack of seriousness and interest in pursuing the truth. By refusing to call in key witnesses, by refusing to request pertinent documents, and by refusing to compel and enforce witness cooperation and answers to key questions, the Majority hobbled the Committee’s ability to conduct a credible investigation that could inspire public confidence. The Majority’s conduct has also undermined Congress’ independent investigative authority. Their repeated deferrals to the White House allowed witnesses to refuse cooperation, and permitted the Administration to dictate the terms of their interaction with Congress, or evade congressional oversight altogether, setting a damaging precedent for future non-cooperation by this President and, possibly, by his successors.

These Views memorialize the Minority’s profound disappointment with and objections to the manner in which the Majority subverted this investigation, and highlight for the public some of the most glaring misrepresentations, distortions, and inaccuracies in the Majority’s report.

A majority of the report’s findings are misleading and unsupported by the facts and the investigative record. They have been crafted to advance a political narrative that exonerates the President, downplays Russia’s preference and support for then-candidate Trump, explains away repeated contacts by Trump associates with Russia-aligned actors, and seeks to shift suspicion towards President Trump’s political opponents and the prior administration.

One can find no better example of the Majority’s willingness to contort facts to support its politicized narrative than the report’s Finding #35. The Majority argues that evidence that Trump associates sought after the election to establish secret back channels to communicate with the Russians without the U.S. government finding out – and then lied about it – actually proves there was no collusion with Russia. The sophistry of this kind of analysis, and the report as a whole, wither under scrutiny. Even before its public release, the report suffered in the face of public revelations that bear directly on the investigation and contradicted the Majority’s conclusions.

The actions of both the majority and minority on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in releasing their reports come as either new information is coming to light or older information is being fleshed out regarding the June 2016 meeting between Russian assets/proxies and Donald Trump, Jr, Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort at Trump Tower in NY, as well as other Russian attempts to establish connections with the President and/or members of his campaign.

From CNN:

The National Rifle Association is setting aside years of documents related to its interactions with a Kremlin-linked banker, as the gun-rights group appears to be bracing for a possible investigation, according to sources familiar with the situation.

The NRA has faced fresh scrutiny from congressional investigators about its finances and ties to Alexander Torshin, one of the 17 prominent Russian government officials the US Treasury Department recently slapped with sanctions. The gun-rights group has said it is reexamining its relationship with Torshin, who is a lifetime NRA member, in the wake of the sanctions.

The renewed attention has highlighted the close-knit if sometimes uneasy alliance between top NRA officials and Torshin — a relationship that ensnared members of Trump’s team during the presidential campaign, inviting further congressional scrutiny.

Those inquiries could shed light on the tightly held fundraising practices and political activities of the NRA. The political powerhouse shelled out more than $30 million in 2016 to back Donald Trump’s candidacy — more than it spent on 2008 and 2012 political races combined, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Vice President Mike Pence is slated to speak at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention in Dallas next Friday, an official told CNN.

The NRA recently found itself facing allegations that the FBI was investigating whether Torshin illegally funneled money through the group to bolster Trump, according to a McClatchy report. The NRA has publicly denied any contact from the FBI and insisted it hasn’t accepted illegal donations.

Despite the public denials, officials at the gun-rights group have been anxiously preparing as if they were already under investigation, sources said. Some employees have been tasked with preserving years of documents mentioning Torshin or his associate, Maria Butina, who runs a pro-guns group in Russia, a source familiar with the situation said. Privately, some officials have expressed anxiety about a potential investigation and the group’s Russian ties.

Much more at the link.

Despite the dysfunction on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence the investigation into Russian active measures and cyberwarfare during the 2016 campaign will not end here. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is still conducting its investigation as is the Special Counsel’s Office. Moreover, the British and Canadian Parliaments are both engaging in their own investigations into Cambridge Analytica, its parent company SCL, there corroboration with Facebook, and how all of this is connected and may also be connected to Russia. Finally, Putin’s efforts to weaken the US and its NATO and EU allies and partners won’t be ending any time soon either.

Stay right where you are!

Open thread.


140 replies
  1. 1
    MisterForkbeard says:

    Question: Should we stay frosty?

    Or toasty?

    Or split the middle and just stay froasty?

  2. 2
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MisterForkbeard: It’s right there are the bottom of the post:

    Stay right where you are!

  3. 3
    TenguPhule says:

    the investigation into Russian active measures and cyberwarfare during the 2016 campaign will not end here.

    But will it have any real conclusion before we’re all dead?

  4. 4
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: I don’t know, have you pissed Putin off recently? If the answer is no, then perhaps you’ll live to see it.

  5. 5
    TenguPhule says:

    Stay right where you are!

    Great, now I feel a sudden urge to take a whiz.

  6. 6
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    have you pissed Putin off recently?

    Define recently.

  7. 7
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: Have you tried zipping yourself into your own duffel bag?

  8. 8
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    If the House is won by Dems this November, can the House investigation be reopened? I’m assuming it can.

  9. 9
    Uncle Omar says:

    NRA is “setting aside years of documents so that the documents are stored closer to the Monster Shredder the terrorist organization just purchased from Diebold in case the terrorist organization is under investigation.” Fixed.

  10. 10
    SFAW says:

    WTF does “setting aside years of documents” mean? Are they putting them in a “safe place,” so that investigators will have unfettered access? Or does it mean they’re putting those docs where America-loving investigators CANNOT find them? I realize it’s CNN’s wording, but for those of us who can’t read their fucking minds, one would think they’d write a little more clearly. And, no, the “preparing for an investigation” doesn’t really help explain.

    Or maybe I’ve forgotten too much of my native language?

  11. 11
    scav says:

    @TenguPhule: Maybe we’re playing Red Light Green Light (or Grandmother’s Footsteps) and the first one to sneek up on Adam wins?

  12. 12
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Have you tried zipping yourself into your own duffel bag?

    Don’t own any, so if I’m found in one, it wasn’t suicide.

  13. 13
    Amir Khalid says:

    I have my favourite feline on my lap, and I am most assuredly not going anywhere.

  14. 14

    Stay right where you are!

    But they’ll kick me out of the restaurant when I’m done with the noodles I’m appropriating.

  15. 15
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Uncle Omar: @SFAW: According to a lawyer who specializes in national security matters it is due diligence. As in they expect to have these materials either requested by congressional investigators and/or the Special Counsel’s Office or subpoenaed by one or both of them. So they’re going through, identifying the material, and then safeguarding it.

  16. 16
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Appropriate more noodles.

  17. 17
    Wag says:


    Toast your favorite flavor of Poptart and put a scoop of ice cream on it. Frosty/toasty!

  18. 18
  19. 19
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Not my problem. You’ve created these parallel cultural nightmares for yourself. You’ll have to learn to live with them.

  20. 20
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Pray to the FSM.

  21. 21
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’m apparently lost without a temperature related recommendation.

  22. 22
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    You’ve created these parallel cultural nightmares for yourself.

    They look more like ravioli.

  23. 23
    TenguPhule says:

    @MisterForkbeard: Stay at the optimal temperature conductive to bipedal mammals.

  24. 24
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    OT, but the Steamed Hams edits on YouTube are fucking hilarious.

    Steamed Hams but every repeated word overlays the audio

    Steamed Hams but Chalmers is obsessively investigative

  25. 25
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Wag: Frosted toast. Oh. My. God.

  26. 26

    Oh good, you mentioned Nataliya Veselnitskaya, so I can point out that she seems to be telling anyone who will listen that she worked for the GRU (or maybe the FSB). I’m wondering if she is worried about a car accident or polonium in her tea or Novichok on her door handle.

  27. 27
    Mary G says:

    They need to come up with an explanation of where they got the $30 million dollars. And the dark money loopholes need to be closed ASAP.

  28. 28

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: just discovering steamed hams?

    My favorite take on it has been when somebody just handed Jeff Goldblum the script and he did a cold read.

  29. 29
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @TenguPhule: “Conductive” really makes me worry. :)

  30. 30

    @Adam L Silverman: what am I supposed to write about, white programmers and boiled potatoes?

  31. 31
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MisterForkbeard: Stay tepid. Happy?

  32. 32
  33. 33
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Might not be able to get to either the HPSCI Majority or Minority Reports until later in the weekend, meaning Sunday.

    But as it’s an open thread, has anyone commented on Ryan firing the House Chaplain?

    A few thoughts:

    1. I’m opposed to the very idea of a Congressional Chaplain, in either Chamber. Flies right in the face of separation of church and state. I’m not against having a chaplain available privately for Members/Senators and staffers who want or feel they need those services, just as (I assume) there are medical personnel available to assist them when needed. I just don’t like the idea of any kind of government-sanctioned prayer in the halls of Congress.

    2. That said, Father Conway (Conroy? Something like that) gave what seems to me to be a pretty anodyne and conventional prayer about looking after the poor: bog-standard Christianity. But it was enough to cause ZEGS to lose his shit and fire the guy.

    3. As long as there has to be a Chaplain, why the fuck does the Speaker of the House get to make hiring/firing decisions on that office? It should be much less political.

  34. 34
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: FSB as an attorney.

  35. 35
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Works for me.

  36. 36
    Yutsano says:

    Since Adam opened this thread:

    I had surgery today.

    I have several degenerated discs in my back and they can cause me severe pain. So I had a high frequency spinal cord stimulator implanted. It’s only been half a day and one walk, but I can already tell it’s going to help a lot.

  37. 37
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Tepidly happy, thank you. I guess. :)

  38. 38
  39. 39
    efgoldman says:

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

    can the House investigation be reopened?

    Of course; or start a new one.

  40. 40
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: The actual whispers is this is an excuse. The real reason is that the Evangelical members of the GOP House caucus want him gone because he’s 1) Catholic and 2) invited a Muslim Imam to give an opening invocation one morning last year.

  41. 41
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    I think heard about a few months ago but never actually watched any. I saw that one too, but my favorites are far the ones I linked. There was also own where Chalmers is hit by the fire truck after he walks into the street saying goodbye to Skinner.

  42. 42
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yutsano: Congratulations! Is this the type with the remote? Where you can set the intensity of the stimulation?

  43. 43
    lollipopguild says:

    @Yutsano: The 6 million dollar man!

  44. 44
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    That’s actually much worse.

  45. 45
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    How wonderful that you’re already noticing an improvement! Heal quickly, completely, and comfortably!

  46. 46
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That’s, uh. Not technically a medical device you’re thinking of.

    Sorry, I haven’t slept in 35 or so hours. You can probably tell, because my jokes are even worse and more annoying than normal.

  47. 47
  48. 48
    Millard Filmore says:

    Hi Adam, you are likely already familiar with the writings linked in this link:

    Non-Linear Warfare and Reflexive Control – NATO Defense College

    Redefining Hybrid Warfare: Russia’s Nonlinear War against the West

    What is Hybrid Warfare?

    and a few more.

  49. 49
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Was at aour company convention and basically couldn’t sleep between the late hours and my inexplicably uncomfortable bed. Then came home to sick kids and mildly sick wife.

    Got another couple hours to go.And I think I slept for about an hour on the plane back, come to think of it.

  50. 50
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Yes, yes it is.

    “Some of the more conservative evangelical Republicans didn’t like that the Father had invited a Muslim person to give the opening prayer,” the source said.

    Here’s the statement from the guy who has been tapped to find the replacement. He’s a Southern Baptist minister:

    Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), one of the leaders of the committee searching for a replacement for the ousted House chaplain, said the next spiritual leader of the House should be someone with a family who can better relate to and counsel lawmakers with spouses and children.

    Father Patrick Conroy, who was forced out by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), is celibate by virtue of his Catholic faith.

    “I’m looking for somebody who has a little age, that has adult children, that kind of can connect with the bulk of the body here, Republicans and Democrats who are going through, back home the wife, the family … that has some counseling experience … because what’s needed in the body here is people who can sit down with different members, male, female, Democrat, Republican, and just talk about what it is kind of to be up here,” Walker, a Southern Baptist minister and chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, told reporters Thursday.

    Walker, who is also co-chair of the Prayer Caucus, didn’t explicitly say another Catholic could not serve as House chaplain. But he made clear he preferred a nondenominational religious leader who had experience with family life.

    “I don’t think just because you are of that particular strain of faith, that prevents you from doing it. That doesn’t mean [a Catholic] can’t minister people,” Walker continued.

    “But when you walk the journey of having a kid back home that’s struggling or made some bad decisions, or when you have a separation situation or your wife’s not understanding the [congressional] schedule, having somebody who’s walked in those shoes allows you to immediately relate a little bit more than others.”

    “I’m probably looking for somebody more of a nondenominational background, that has a multicultural congregation,” said Walker, who is leading the search for a new chaplain with Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), a pastor, and Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), an Air Force Reserve chaplain.

    Some Catholic Democrats erupted upon hearing Walker’s comments. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) said some lawmakers had surmised that Ryan’s move was designed to appease anti-Catholic sentiments in the GOP conference. Walker, Connolly said, “is now confirming our fears.”

    “We, on its face, would consider such a remark to be anti-Catholic — on its face. So you’re eliminating anyone who’s a Catholic priest — a Catholic nun — from being the chaplain of the House. The largest denomination in the country,” Connolly said.

    “Now, I don’t know if Walker knows that’s what he really said. But to any Catholic ears, that’s what we heard.”

    Other Catholics on Capitol Hill also took offense to Walker’s suggestion that someone with a family would be better equipped to serve as the spiritual counselor to the House.

    “Would that preclude any Catholic priest ever serving as a minister? I would ask that rhetorically back to him,” said Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.), the Democratic Caucus chairman.

    If that’s what Walker is saying, “then no Catholic priest would ever serve as the spiritual reverend here to the House of Representatives,” Crowley said.

    Asked if there is an anti-Catholic bias permeating the House of Representatives, Crowley replied:

    “Look, Paul Ryan is a Catholic. I just think it’s interesting that when the former Catholic Speaker [John Boehner (R-Ohio)] was leaving, he invited the Pope to speak before the House of Representatives. When the current Catholic Speaker [Paul Ryan] is leaving, he’s asking only the second Catholic spiritual leader on the House floor to leave.”

    Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (Mo.), the only Democrat currently on the chaplain search committee, was furious after Thursday’s vote series, and went immediately to try to meet with Ryan in his office. Ryan was absent, Cleaver said afterwards, but Cleaver met with Ryan’s chief of staff and “the chief is trying to set something up.”

    “All I would like is to prevent us from looking like the House of Clowns,” Cleaver, a United Methodist pastor, said after leaving Ryan’s office. “And having yet another controversy that may boil down to fighting over religion and which side is right — this is just not healthy.”
    Both GOP and Democratic sources told The Hill Ryan’s office told Conroy, House chaplain for the past seven years, that he must retire or that he would be fired.

    It’s unclear what led to Conroy’s ouster. But Crowley said it’s his understanding that Conroy was pushed out because he offered a prayer on the House floor that could have been perceived as being critical of the GOP tax-cut bill.

    “It’s reprehensible,” Crowley said.

  51. 51
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Question for you (of course I could google, but you probably know this off the top of your head and will have interesting commentary to boot): Has there ever been a non-Christian Congressional Chaplain? Has there ever been a woman, or a(n out) gay male?

  52. 52
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Keep your hat on.

  53. 53
    Bonnie says:

    It is so depressing to see so many Congress people who care so little about their country. Where are the real Patriots? Even the much ballyhooed free press in America seems to be sitting on the sidelines.

  54. 54
    rikyrah says:


    The SOB’s are going to take another whack at Obamacare😠😠😠

  55. 55
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MisterForkbeard: I got it.

    I supervised an EOD officer for a year who had to have one of the electrical stimulation implants implanted in his back. With the remote to set the intensity.

  56. 56
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    a Muslim Imam

    I suppose a non-Muslim imam wasn’t available.

  57. 57
  58. 58
    Dman says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Can I get off the toilet yet?

  59. 59
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I totally want a lesbian rabbi as the next Chaplain. Trans would be an asset.

  60. 60
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Those rumors are probably true. I agree with SiubhanDuinne that there shouldn’t be Congressional Chaplain.

    I also don’t think the military should have chaplains either.

  61. 61
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @TenguPhule: I could send you one, just in case.

  62. 62
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    It was either that or a Jewish rabbi.

  63. 63
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Millard Filmore: Thanks for the link. Yes, I am very aware of these topics and those presentations.

  64. 64
    PeakVT says:

    Traitors, every one of them.

    The NRA should be disbanded.

  65. 65
    Omnes Omnibus says:

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

    I also don’t think the military should have chaplains either.

    I agree about Congress. I would like to know your reason for opposing military chaplains.

  66. 66
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: No, no, and no. That said, often the official chaplain will invite guest ministers to give the opening prayers on days the House is in session. So there have been rabbis and imams invited to give one off invocations. I’m not aware of, but would not be surprised if some of these guest spots have been done by female ministers and/or some that are also LGBTQ.

  67. 67
    Adam L Silverman says:

    They’re persistent, I’ll give them that!

  68. 68
    SiubhanDuinne says:

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

    I have no problem with chaplains in the military. Lots of people, including uniformed Americans, perform better in their daily lives if they have some kind of spiritual counselor nearby. Just don’t impose their beliefs on those who may disagree with/be offended by their messages.

  69. 69
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    The military is a government institution, ergo it is subject to the same separation of church and state as Congress is.

  70. 70
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Amir Khalid: We’re an ecumenical bunch here.

  71. 71
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’m always amazed that these devices exist and work. Its fascinating.

  72. 72

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: I think what that’s meant in practice is that they can have a chaplain but they also have to let you have a baphomet altar if you ask.

  73. 73
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Dman: Sure. Please remember to wash your hands on the way out.

  74. 74
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Not going to happen.

  75. 75

    @Adam L Silverman: @Dman: I already left the restaurant. Shhhh.

  76. 76
    sukabi says:

    @SFAW: they’re following the Enron / Arthur Anderson method…Industrial shredders, followed by fire. Also huge degausers.

  77. 77
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: Madison did not want one. That said, given that members of Congress have to make decisions that have life and death consequences for Americans and non-Americans too. Having someone to provide spiritual counseling given that reality is not unreasonable. And having a Jesuit as the chaplain is one of the ideal types you could choose to fill that role.

  78. 78
    trollhattan says:

    Kid ran a 5:30 mile at a HS track meet today. PB by 9 seconds and coach thinks she’s got a 5:00 in her before graduation (a sophomore). Pretty good for a soccer girl who haaaates track practice.


  79. 79
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I’ve seen Christian ministers who fervently and honestly believe that their Christian faith and ministerial service is in line with the Jewish tradition and will sometimes refer to themselves as within/descended from the rabbinic tradition. They mean well. They’re also wrong.

  80. 80
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MisterForkbeard: Also shocking and electrifying.

  81. 81
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: Chaplains don’t force religion on anyone. They provide spiritual support for people who need it. A religious person in the military may well desire spiritual support. And a not-religious person may want someone he or she could go to for confidential counseling. I know that as my grandfather was dying and I was waiting for my resignation to go through, I was happy to have someone I could talk to about my problems.

  82. 82
    p.a. says:

    Not like it’s a surprise, but it is nice to see the curtain withdrawn: Catholic, and therefore anti-choice, chaplain fired for making milquetoasty anti-taxcut prayer. Priority 1: $$$$, not their ‘pro-life’ bullshit.

  83. 83
    Sab says:

    @Yutsano: Good luck with that. I have heard that they are remarkably effective.

    My spouse has degenerative back problems. Arthritis, collapsed discs, stenosis, scoliosis ( also whatever back problems that come from being a big strong guy lifting way more than he should for forty-odd years because he’s an idiot.)

    He won’t try the nerve stimulator because some quack neurologist at the Cleveland Clinic thought it might help his cluster headaches. It didn’t. Now his teeth hurt when he has headaches. He said the sales rep was in the operating room advising the surgeon. Weird.

    The surgery expense also blew up my company’s health insurance costs which got me fired. God I miss the olden days before Obamacare.

  84. 84
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Forgot the /snark tag (snark font) but you may read it as given. Won’t happen in my lifetime and probably not even yours, but maybe one day.

  85. 85
    Amir Khalid says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:
    As I understand, in the US military chaplains are there to minister to individual personnel, and don’t influence military decisions. So they don’t directly affect the secular nature of the military.

  86. 86
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: I’ve worked closely with 1/2 a dozen chaplains. Had several as students. Even the most uptight, for lack of a better term, never tried to force anything on anyone. Though this one did have trouble understanding non-demoninational and ecumenical prayer.

  87. 87
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    @Amir Khalid:

    I stand corrected.

  88. 88

    @Omnes Omnibus: Chaplains for armed services make sense but why do we need one for Congress?

  89. 89
    geg6 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I resent very much my tax dollars paying for any religious staff for anyone. You need a priest or a minister or a rabbi or imam, they’re everywhere. Go find one and leave me out of it. I find it an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion. Fuck that shit. It may have made sense in the 18th and 19th centuries when congresscritters couldn’t easily travel home to get their fairy tale fix (though I still think it was unconstitutional and Madison agrees with me), but there is no reason for it today. Abolish the entire thing.

  90. 90
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I can’t believe it. Do they want to lose the Senate too? They won’t give up and they won’t listen to popular will because they’re fascist authoritarians who don’t care about that.

  91. 91
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: They conduct services for those who want to go, and they provide counseling for those who seek it. And it is perfectly possible to have an Imam as a chaplain.*

    *I know that you know this.

  92. 92
  93. 93
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Follow the conversation thread.

  94. 94
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yep.

  95. 95

    Sorry, didn’t read the last line and I went out.

  96. 96
    Yutsano says:

    Thanks all. I do in fact have a remote control to guide things like intensity, different programs for different situations, and deactivation. It can’t be on when driving.

  97. 97


    now I feel a sudden urge to take a whiz.


  98. 98
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Ruh Roh!

  99. 99
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @geg6: Please point out where I supported a Congressional Chaplain. For the military, I have no problem with it. A service for the troops that want/need it.

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

    @Adam L Silverman:
    If they want spiritual advice, they can call their own minister. DC is full of churches as well.

  101. 101
    Amir Khalid says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:
    They don’t listen to the popular will, they listen to their biggest donors. And you know what those donors want.

  102. 102
    debbie says:


    Good for you! Back pain sucks.

  103. 103
    Yutsano says:

    @Sab: It’s weird because the reps are a large part of the process. But I haven’t felt pressured by them at all. Plus you’re supposed to have a trial before you actually commit to the surgical implant. You might want to consult an attorney here.

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

    @Omnes Omnibus: I have no idea why people think you support the office for the Congressional Chaplain.

  105. 105
  106. 106
    Sab says:

    @Yutsano: Keep us posted about how your back zapper does. My guy needs something that helps.

  107. 107
    Ruckus says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:
    I’m an athethist and when I was in the navy not once did I have to put up with any chaplain doing or saying anything I did not want to hear. As others have said they are not there to impose any thing on anyone. And I was fine with that then and now as others did feel the need.

  108. 108
    trollhattan says:

    Good luck! Have an intermittently dodgy back and when it hurts life nearly stops, so I understand the desire to make back pain Just. Go. Away.

  109. 109
    Jeffro says:

    It’s hard to express just how much I appreciate…adore…absolutely love the Fightin’ Dems of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, starting with but not limited to Adam Schiff.

    It would have been SOOOO easy for them to squawk a bit, let this shit slide until the next election, and hope that all turned out well. But despite being in the minority, despite being saddled with the fucking “both sides” media that we currently have…they have been punching back and punching hard.

    Let’s be sure to give them the majority – i.e., subpoena power – this November!

  110. 110
    Mary G says:

    Rep. Cleaver is pissed:

    It's a sorry state our government is in when we have become so partisan that even the democratically-elected House Chaplain is consumed by the tribalism. They could turn a tomato into a partisan issue at this point.— Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (@repcleaver) April 27, 2018

    The chaplain is elected by the whole at the start of the term, though I think the Speaker picks him and everyone votes yes by tradition, but this whole thing is gonna get ugly. Why knows who Fr. Conroy is currently counselling six months out from the election that doesn’t want to start over with a new guy.

  111. 111
    Ruckus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I am against having a prayer opening or closing any session of congress. I am not at all against one being available for someone who feels the need to talk or listen to one.
    I do think the higher power that a congress person should listen to is their constituents though.

  112. 112

    Stay thirsty, my friend.

    @Adam L Silverman:
    So what they’re doing is taking to heart the ‘It’s Not the crime, it’s the coverup’ adage, and hoping playing things straight will hurt less.

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Wow. Yep, that is flat-out anti-Catholic bigotry. Again, wow. Wasn’t expecting to see it while the evangelicals need the anti-secularism ally. No other explanation, though. The ‘needs a family’ objection is so out of left field as to be ridiculous, and could only be meant to rule out a Catholic priest.

  113. 113
    Ruckus says:

    The military is a special subset here. First, often one can’t just leave base. Or if deployed there may not be access other than a military supplied chaplain. As I said above, I don’t care for the practice either but others did on occasion feel the need for counseling. It’s not my place to deny them that, any more than it is their or my place to demand that they or anyone attend services.

  114. 114
    efgoldman says:

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

    I also don’t think the military should have chaplains either.

    Stupid, naive and uniformed.
    Combat is the ultimate stressful situation on a variety of levels. Many members of the military believe in one religion or another. A mass, or a sabbath service, or a Quaker meeting, is a way for soldiers/sailors in subgroups is one way to relieve the stress. As long as one religious group (hello, Air Force) doesn’t impose its views or ceremony on others..
    I have known many chaplains, of various faiths. I never knew one (again, i was never in the Air Force) who did anything but provide counsel and conduct their own religious services.

  115. 115
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Apparently and yep!

  116. 116
    efgoldman says:

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

    The military is a government institution, ergo it is subject to the same separation of church and state as Congress is.

    I repeat: stupid, naive and uninformed.
    You maybe should listen to your elders who have actually served.

  117. 117
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ruckus: I would not argue with this.

  118. 118
    The Lodger says:

    @Sab: I don’t mind the idea of a sales rep in the operating room. The surgeon needs to have someone there who is more familiar than they are with the device being implanted. It’s not like the salesperson is going to whip out a fountain pen and close the deal in the OR.

  119. 119
    efgoldman says:


    You need a priest or a minister or a rabbi or imam, they’re everywhere. Go find one

    On a ship at sea? In a combat zone in a third world theocracy? Like young Goku, you didn’t think this thru.

    ETA: Or what Ruckus said, also too

  120. 120
    Adam L Silverman says:

    I completely forgot this came out today as well!

    The House Intelligence Committee’s report from its Russia investigation published on Friday revealed another meeting former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had with the Russian ambassador before he joined the Trump campaign.

    Flynn and his son, Michael Flynn, Jr., met with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at his Washington, D.C. residence on December 2, 2015, according to emails reviewed by the House Intelligence Committee. Flynn’s son described the meeting as “very productive” in an email to the Russian embassy, according to the committee’s report. According to the report, “emails indicate that the meeting was arranged at the request of General Flynn or his son.” Neither Flynn sat with the committee for an interview, leaving congressional investigators with few details about the rendezvous.

    The meeting with Kislyak took place about a week before Flynn traveled to Moscow to speak at the Kremlin RT news organization’s annual gala. Flynn sat next to Vladimir Putin at the dinner and was paid by RT to attend the event.

    Flynn’s December 2015 meeting with Kislyak also came after he met with President Donald Trump for the first time, but Flynn did not formally join the campaign until 2016.

    Given that Kislyak was the senior Russian Intelligence handler in DC in addition to having been the ambassador to the US, I cannot imagine that this meeting was anything good.

  121. 121
    rikyrah says:

    Wishing you a complete recovery👍

  122. 122
    rikyrah says:


  123. 123
    Sab says:

    @The Lodger: I sort of see your point of view, but I am really uncomfortable with a surgeon operating on my husband’s brain when he clearly doesn’t know what he wants to know when he gets in there.

    I have clients who are cardiac stent sales reps and they have weeks of training. I am not comfortable with sales reps with weeks of training advising surgeons with years of training. What the surgeons sell is years of training, yet they go into my spouse’s head advised by weeks of training? Claiming the neurosurgeon is in charge?

  124. 124
    efgoldman says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Flynn and his son, Michael Flynn, Jr., met with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at his Washington, D.C. residence on December 2, 2015

    I don’t remember in the mists of time: Has Flynn been indicted yet?

  125. 125
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @efgoldman: Pled guilty to one count of lying to the FBI in exchange for full cooperation. If he fails to live up to his end of the bargain, Mueller has plenty more he can drop on him and Jr.

  126. 126
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman: I am really uncomfortable with any “if you served” narratives no matter how accurate they may be..

  127. 127
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Given that Kislyak was the senior Russian Intelligence handler in DC in addition to having been the ambassador to the US, I cannot imagine that this meeting was anything good.

    Probably just exchanging borscht recipes??

  128. 128
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    As I keep trying to remind my fellow Catholics, we may be pretty far down on the white supremacist hit list, but we’re still on there.

  129. 129
    efgoldman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I am really uncomfortable with any “if you served” narratives

    Generally i am too. Hate ’em. But the naivete of that statement required a response from someone who actually knew service chaplains and what they do.

    ETA: In civilian life, mrs efg’s (Episcopal) minister was an Army reserve chaplain who got called up and sent to Iraq. The stories he told were harrowing; talking to soldiers under the stress of combat changed him forever, shook him up no end.

  130. 130
    trollhattan says:

    Merci! :-)

  131. 131
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman: Understood. And good night.

  132. 132
    Sab says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Serious snark here.

  133. 133
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Sab: Yes it was. Thank you, thank you very much.

  134. 134
    The Lodger says:

    @Sab: I understand your reluctance to have a salesperson present during an operation. I’ll just add that some medical devices are more complex than others, though. If your clients had been selling pacemakers instead of stents, their training would have lasted a bit more than a couple of weeks.

  135. 135
    Ruckus says:

    I used to know a doc who was a trained cardiac surgeon. When I knew him he worked for a drug company giving lectures on the use of the companies product. He went back into practice and had to do his residency over because he’d been out of practice for a bit. He was a fully trained doc acting as a medical supply company rep. He told me that this was pretty normal, that a lot of reps had medical training and that a lot of times the rep would be in the operating room. They didn’t touch anything, but could further explain something if necessary. Docs don’t know everything, it’s why they specialize, to be better at something rather than just OK at a moderate amount of stuff. People in all walks of life specialize, which allows them to be better at what they do. When I go to the VA I find that most of the docs are rather good at what they do because they practice a narrow range of medicine on a lot of grumpy old men.

  136. 136
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    See my comment at 87

  137. 137
    J R in WV says:


    When I was in boot camp the first Sunday there was a big service put together by a Baptist shouter with a plan about having a couple thousand men to preach to on Sunday services!

    He was the head chaplain of my battalion, and aimed to save as many young men for Jesus as was possible on the sabbath morning! If shoutin’ out the Devil could be done, he was gonna do it

    I was really offended by having dozens of assistants in the crowd seeking young men to come to accept Jesus and be saved! I believe the good you do is what saves you if you need any saving at all!

    After service, which as I a UU thought was really strange and offensiive, I told them I would not attend such an offensive service ever again and they needed to be prepared to have someone else preach for me. Or no Baptist at all would be fine!

    You would have thought I had said something terrible to them!

    But I didn’t go to the church service the next week…

  138. 138
    JimV says:

    I loved this typo: “… the American people, who arc now left …”

    If only!

  139. 139
    Rand Careaga says:

    Gott mit uns!

  140. 140
    Jay S says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Adam Silverman requests stay in investigation!

Comments are closed.